Two weeks ago I wrote an email to my boss telling her that our home health nurse was leaving and that the nursing agency had told us there’d be no one to care for Grace until at least July. We were going to be on our own for at least two weeks.
“That’s the last thing you need Joy” came the reply.
She was the first person I’d told who hadn’t said something about how good things will come out of this. In a way it felt like she was the first person who’d really heard what I said.
A home health nurse – a really good one anyways – is an amazing creature. Capable of coming into your home, caring for your child, speaking for your child (in our case), doesn’t notice the dishes in the sink, and doesn’t mind that there is a little brother who needs attention too. That nurse sees you when you are sick, knows when you are behind on laundry, and gently tells you that Grace needs more bibs or extra clothes at school. That nurse sends you pictures now and then so you can see what Grace is up to. That nurse never minds that you call to check in because something about Grace just wasn’t quite right the night before. That nurse takes care of Grace with such a combination of gentleness, enthusiasm, caring, attentiveness, and love that you never question Grace is being cared for.
We are having to give that up. There’s a loss there.
A new nurse is a new nurse. There will be lots of things to figure out. Someone else will need to learn all the ways a seizure can look in Grace. Someone else will have to learn the differences in her vocalizations. Someone else will have to learn to let her go so she can walk on her own. Someone else will have to learn the cues Grace gives us when she’s not well. Someone else will give her medicine, feed her, diaper her, and all that goes with that.
Selfishly there’s also a loss of vacation time that I’ve been mourning. The only time I’ve taken off in quite awhile has been to take Grace to doctor’s appointments. We go to Minnesota a lot for those appointments but I wouldn’t exactly call it fun or relaxing. My hopes of a few days just to get away will have to be delayed.
And in one moment of grief I thought to myself that maybe this was the universe telling us that we can’t take care of her.
My mom and dad are coming in, saving the day in the amazing way that they do. They have graciously worked it into their retirement (which is incredibly busy and sounds wonderful). I hate to take them away from it.
We will make it.
A new nurse will learn.
It won’t be the same.
Graham is really struggling with the change. He’s asked for the nurse each night. He’s been very concerned that no one else would be able to find his favorite episode of the show “Super Why”. He likes “the puppy one.”
The thing is the nurse knew that and before we’d be there she’d have the puppy one all ready to go on Netflix.
Such a thoughtful thing that made life easier.