Thursday, April 19, 2012

Nursing 101

A few weeks ago my mom and I went to talk to my friend Lacee's nursing class to speak to her students. (Lacee is my gal pal who I worked with at the movie theater with before my accident. In 2003 I convinced her to go to nursing school with me, and the rest is history. She's gotten her Master's Degree and is teaching nursing, and I'M paralyzed. Oh, how things change!)

Anyway, Lacee asked me to come speak to her Fundamentals of Nursing class and talk to them about my accident, how I coped with becoming disabled at such a young age, my experiences being a patient, what I think nurses need to know about being a good nurse, etc. I've spoken to Lacee's classes several times before and I always dreading doing it because I get so nervous when speaking to a large group of people. My nervousness has nothing to do with a fear of public speaking; it's more the fact that I physically have such a difficult time speaking and projecting my voice when I'm in a large room. My voice is quite soft, and it takes me longer to speak since I can't breathe on my own. When I'm talking I often run out of air and I have to wait for my diaphragm pacer to give me another breath before I can continue talking (since I only get 16 breath per minute).

Talking to Lacee's class went really well, so I'm glad I didn't let my apprehension keep me from doing it. It's not my first time doing it and it's always gone really well, so I don't know why I can't so nervous between times. I guess I just worry that people won't be able to hear me and/or follow what I'm saying. But I know I have an important message to share that will have a profound effect on those that hear it.

One of the things that my mom and I spent quite a bit of time talking about was the "early days" after my accident. Things were so hard back then, and I would not want to go back and relive those days again for anything! At the time I didn't think it was especially difficult, but now that so many years have passed I've realized that things are so much easier  now and I'm so much happier. Again, it's not that I wasn't happy at the time, because I was, I'm just so much MORE happy now. It's really a lesson to me to remember that when I'm facing difficult times to just hold on and know that things will eventually get better!


Lisa said...

It is great that you are willing to share your story and experiences with others. My sister is also a quadriplegic and she absolutely hates talking about anything that has to do with her condition, her accident, etc. She was asked to be a mentor to someone who was newly paralyzed and she turned it down. She does not think she needs friends and she for sure never wants to talk to someone who is in the same situation she is (wheelchair bound).

I admire your happy attitude and willingness to educate, and also inspire others.

Brea said...

Heather you are amazing and an inspiration to us all!! I was just thinking how I would love for you to do a video on your blog for all of us to get to see and hear you in person! When reading your post I just kept thinking how I love you and your outlook on life! :)

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