Monday, September 28, 2009

Cardiac Rehab

In the summer of 2006, I entered a unit for the first time and had a conversation with the supervisor of the North Little Rock (Baptist) Cardiac Rehab department. I knew nothing about Cardiac Rehab, but was fascinated by their 12 hr/day work every Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday!
At that particular moment in my life, I needed time.
I wanted to be more available to help mom take care of daddy.
I wanted to devote more time to Jae's scholarship.
I wanted to be spend more time with Ralph, Casey and Abby.
I also was desperate to write.
The schedule was near perfect.

I knew the unit supervisor, Glen, through mutual friends and by professional reputation. I didn't request an interview with him but just busted into the unit unannounced and asked him if I would like it there. (!)
I recall telling him that I needed a job which made a difference in people's lives.
I wanted a job that "mattered".
Glen assured me that Cardiac Rehab was indeed life changing.

You see, at that moment in my life, I was still very broken.
Jae had been gone about 15 months and I felt very distracted. I was still doing the daily crying thing, I struggled with the frequent sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach but it appeared on the surface as if I was coping well with the grief.

I also remember at that time in my journey, that one of my survival techniques was to try to encourage other people.
NOT because I was good-hearted, no! no!.....I did it because it made me feel better.
Selfishness...pure and simple.
As I entered Cardiac Rehab that day in 2006, I had this crazy hope that I could make a difference in other people lives while dulling the ache within my own.

The job turned out to be everything I needed it to be.
No kidding,...going to work each day felt like I was going to a 12 hour church social.
In the North Little Rock Cardiac Rehab, hugs are given freely all day long.
Loud laughter abounds.
I know all about my patients children and grandchildren and they know about my girls.
I get to use my spiritual and professional gift of mercy and my patients in turn shower me with affection and affirmation.
I've been part of a staff which has assisted in identifying many life threatening conditions.
Each member of our small team (of 6) is a strong believer in Christ, but our differences are ridiculously huge.

For the hundreds of patients who have passed through our doors during the past 3 and 1/2 years, I think we have been an unusual mix of health care and entertainment. Not because we are especially talented, but because we quickly discovered that we deeply loved working together.
And.....we also deeply loved caring for our patients.

In two days, I will be walking away from this job that I love.
Our hospital is cutting it's services and we are being downsized.
Financially we are not lucrative, therefore our outcomes don't really matter.
(Health care 101. Don't get me started)

Where will I go? I'm not exactly sure.
But I can tell you that 3 1/2 years in a Cardiac Rehab has been just what this broken-hearted mom needed. Most patients complete the program in 8-12 weeks. It took this nurse a bit longer.

Cardiac Rehab for me.
Is God's plan not amazing?

1 comment:

Jonathan Watson said...

God's providence is amazing. Thanks for relating this story. We will be praying that you will discern the next step.

Grace and Peace,