Faith. Hope. Flares.

I’m having a bad flare up of my symptoms today. Yesterday, I had my first clinical day at our hospital location, and it was incredibly intense. It’s every bit as physical a job as I have imagined, and by the end of the evening, and even now, my body continues to scream at me, protesting against everything I ask it to do.

Having a chronic illness and trying to get through nursing school has its unique challenges.

Before I was diagnosed, and subsequently began treatment, I was merely existing. I was fatigued. I wanted to sleep all day and when I tried to sleep at night, I was restless. I ached all over. Every step I took hurt everywhere, and nothing helped the pain subside.

When I finally had a doctor begin to investigate what was the cause of my symptoms I began to have hope. And that hope has been a theme in my life ever since.

I had hope I was finally going to get relief. I had faith that my doctor was listening and I’d be healed. And if not healed, at least I’d find remission.

And when the invitation came to join that doctor’s practice as a Nurse Practitioner, all I asked of her was that she make me well enough to make it through school, and I’d happily become part of her team helping patients like myself.

When I began clinical rotations at a local nursing home last semester, I prayed I would have the strength to meet the physical demands, and continued to hope that with each passing day I would recover just a little bit more. This semester is no different, besides the new location, growing responsibilities, and increased physical demands.

Positivity is what gets me through. Even today, when I’m tired and my cognitive abilities haven’t quite recovered from the evening before, I just keep telling myself it will get better. I tell myself that each step I take will make me stronger, and that eventually I’ll adjust and adapt.

But sometimes, like today, the set back is so bad that I question if I’ll ever really be able to handle a full time RN position. I know that part of my issue is that I have yet to learn how to keep myself from depleting all of my emotional resources caring for my patients. I was drained after we finished up last night, and I woke up so achy that I wanted to cry. Instead, I was short tempered with my husband. And this morning, when I was hoping to get some paperwork done, my mind just wouldn’t engage. So instead I did mindless activities like dishes and laundry and dinner preparations, all of which had to get done anyway.

Even this blog entry isn’t what I wanted it to be. I had a different direction for it, but I can’t seem to recall it, because when I finally did feel up to writing, I had school work to focus on. As a result, this entry feels as empty as I do now. Mindless and lacking direction.

I’m aware enough to realize that emotions are fleeting, and ever changing. So I know these feelings will dissipate, and I’ll feel more like my positive, hopeful self.

And my first hope? I hope that I quickly learn how to provide for my patients without losing myself in the process.

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