Cadena de Amor, Una

If you are chained and you fall, will you bounce or snap?

Cadena de Amor. 14"x17"  Black and colored pigment ink on Bristol Board.

The following may have or may not have anything to do with the above illustration which I may or may not explain someday. Thanks to Obamacare, I have never been busier writing rule programs. Yesterday at a friend's retirement party we cheekily gave her a picture of Obama to remind her to think of us and to remember why we are all insanely exhausted in meeting new regulations every time the government jerks. Yesterday, I also wrote six new rules for the upcoming influenza season. I felt numb afterwards. My husband told me that it isn't just Obamacare that made us maddeningly busy. He reminded me that I have always been busy at work ever since he knew me. That made me think. 

I have actually been busy mentally and physically since the day I decided to enroll in nursing college at age fifteen. I can't remember ever having had a "normal" or "regular" summer. I was either at some internship or work assignment. It is just recently that I started celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve with my family. Even then, I may be on call. Those who think that nursing is  glamorous do not know the reality of the profession. Hollywood either glamorizes or maligns the profession. It is heavily mental and emotional. As a former practicing trauma nurse I was constantly physically exhausted after a day's work, collapsed on the sofa, woke up at 3:00AM and discovered myself still in scrubs. My husband was so kind not to wake me up because according to him, I was so tired, almost unresponsive. I then woke up, took a shower and got ready to go work again at 5:00AM. That lasted many years. I spent my holidays in the emergency centers and trauma rooms because I had no children yet and we wanted to give those with children the chance to spend the holidays with their families. 

Yet somehow I must truly love my profession or I am stuck with it. Next year I would have graduated from nursing college thirty-five years ago. Except for two years of being a speech therapist, (yes, I studied speech pathology while pursuing post-graduate studies in nursing)  I have been a registered nurse since I came to America. I worked in several emergency and trauma centers but I stayed with my current company. This year, I celebrated my 25th anniversary. For that occasion, I received a $10.00 cafeteria voucher (I wonder where I placed that?), a 16MP pocket camera and the unquantifiable satisfaction of believing that with my work I make a difference in this world. 

The average age of the registered nurse is forty-eight years old. To this day, almost every hospital has a vacant nursing position. To the young women and men in America who enroll in nursing and commit to the profession, thank you. Otherwise, thank you to the graduates of foreign nursing schools who uproot themselves and leave their families to be a registered nurse in the United States of America. To my family, to my husband who has put up with a cranky and tired wife and especially to my children who had to contend with summers and holidays with a mother who is either at work or on call, thank you very much.

To my friends who make me smile and laugh with your visits and comments that help drive away the aches and weariness, thank you.


Rick Forrestal said...

No need to explain today's illustration . . . although she seems to be drawn towards danger, yet entangled and protectively held back by the vine.
(I like it.)

And indeed, it's clear you make a difference in this world (and then some.)

It rained last night, and this morning, it's refreshingly cool. What a difference from the weather we've had. Wow.

Andrew Finnie said...

Hey I wasn't here, you didn't see me, but your art rocks .. so there :)

Lisa Graham Art said...

Ces! I forgot you were a RN. Me too. I am so with you here. You just don't know how much I relate! I have been in this profession for 20 years. Thankfully, I only work very part time now because I feel too tired to do more. I spent too many weekends and holidays away from my family and I missed way to many of my boys events due to my work. I wish I could get those moments back, but when I think about the contribution to the world and the necessity of it all, as you have wrote, I feel better.

For the most part, I bounce...it is my nature and I could not have been in nursing all these years. But on those really really bad nights, which they do occur too often, I do snap. But only for a moment. :)

Congratulations on so many years in this back breaking profession and on keeping a good attitude toward it. I needed to read this post.

And how on earth do you find the time to draw as you do. Wow wow and wow on your art piece here!

k.h.whitaker said...

I see you ;)

k.h.whitaker said...

Love this Ces, I feel this way sometimes ;) The color is awesome! I love the small spurts of bright color with the black and white. Just beautiful!

Ted Blackman said...

Gosh, if you fall while chained you will snap like a twig; chains have no spring in them. A rope will be better because it's coiled, but will still jolt you to a stop. Go with the vine; organic and springy.

I see you are already prepared, though.