Wednesday, May 8, 2013

And This One's For the Nurses

In addition to being Teacher Appreciation Week, this week is also National Nurses Week. Last year I recognized the nurses in my life - my mom, nearly all of my camping aunts, and quite a few of my friends - with a serious, heartfelt tribute on the National American Red Cross blog. This year I'd like to recognize the nurses in my life with a little humor.

Assuming they're generally healthy, kids raised by medical professionals, as both Tom and I were, visit the doctor very infrequently. Children of nurses and doctors stop by the pediatrician's office once a year for their "well baby/child" check-ups, but beyond that, they very rarely see the inside of a hospital or clinic...
The story of my youth.
For example, I broke no fewer than seven toes and one thumb and sprained both ankles during my tenure as a competitive high school soccer player. I begged my mom to take me to the doctor (I was seriously desperate for crutches, splints, etc. - anything to show the world how tough I was and that I'd earned my injury), but did she? Nope. Not even once. "Take two Ibuprofen and put ice on it" was her mantra (and as an experienced medical professional, she knew that taking us to the doctor would be a waste of time and money because he'd tell us the exact same thing), and though my sister and I hated hearing it, we know now that her method of parenting injuries and illness made us physically stronger and mentally tougher. She wouldn't allow us to feel sorry for ourselves or "play up" our conditions as worse than they actually were, and as a result, we learned how to better distinguish between serious and minor injuries and to more quickly rebound from whatever knocked us down.   

To be fair, my mom took me to the Emergency Room when circumstances were dire. But in her eyes, dire only came around four times throughout my entire child- and young adult-hood; I ended up in the ER when, as an infant, my shoulder came out of its socket and she couldn't pop it back in (the second time my shoulder came out of its socket she popped it back in herself); when my cousin nailed me directly between the eyes with the blade of a saw; when I had Scarlet Fever; and when I had Shingles. 

I have no doubt that my mom's style of parenting injuries and illnesses contributed to my own relatively calm and rational approach when dealing with my own children's injuries and illnesses. I know when to panic, but I also know when NOT to panic. I know when to visit the Emergency Room (which, thankfully, Tom and I have managed to keep our kids out of thus far), when to stop by Urgent Care, when to schedule an appointment with the pediatrician, and when to just give them "two Ibuprofen and put ice on it".  

Thanks, Mom.

Thanks, nurses.  

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