Friday, August 6, 2010

Flashback Friday: Take This Job and Blog It!

This prompt was practically impossible to write! Too many prepositions! I hope it is clearer than mud!
What did you want to be when you grew up? Why did you want to be that, and did you do it? Did you consistently plan to be whatever it was, or did you change your mind often? Did you do anything like volunteering or interning to give you a taste of your future occupation/role? Were you as happy/satisfied with what you became as you thought you would be? What surprised you? Would you choose it again? Do you still want to be something else - either in addition to or instead of?

I don't really remember why or when I decided I wanted to be a nurse. I just knew that I did and I was steadfast about it from the time I was in elementary school. I briefly toyed with the idea of teaching, primarily after I had such a wonderful English teacher my junior year in high school. But even that couldn't sway me from my goal.

I absolutely loved and devoured every Sue Barton book I could find. It's funny that one of my favorites was Sue Barton: Visiting Nurse, and I eventually ended up in Home Health!

And then there were the Cherry Ames books! They always included a mystery as well as the details of her nursing career. I loved reading them, too. I read books from both of those series multiple times. Just typing it makes me want to find one and read it! Even now, I still love medical fiction, especially that written by Christian authors Harry Kraus, Candace Calvert, and Hannah Alexander.

Once I turned 14, I became a candystriper. If my scanner were hooked up, I would post a picture of me in my uniform and cap - that had two stripes, I think: one for each 100 hours I worked. Most candystripers just delivered mail and filled water pitchers. I was very fortunate to be work on the OB/GYN unit with a wonderful group of nurses who knew my goals and taught me to take pulses and a variety of other things. I went to the hospital any time they and my mom would let me. I remember walking out of that hospital for the last time as we were about to move and feeling like I was leaving a part of myself!

I also was an Explorer Scout for a year and got to volunteer in the emergency room of that same hospital. I saw some pretty gross things, but it only heightened my interest.

It always puzzled me and made me a bit sad that my mom never took me very seriously. She figured that I saw it as a romantic occupation and a way to meet and marry a doctor. (I never wanted to marry a doctor. I knew the demands on their time!) Why she thought that, as much as I did at the hospital, is beyond me. Moms are supposed to believe in you and say you can be anything you want to be! But I will never forget overhearing her tell her best friend on the phone when I was almost through with nursing school, "I guess Linda's really going to be a nurse."

She should have known; she was the one who told me about the lady who destined me to be a nurse when I was just a tiny baby! As I've mentioned in past posts, my siblings were 11, 9, and 7 when I was born. I was not a surprise, and everyone was excited about the baby. (Once my brother quit crying because I wasn't a boy!) Anyway, this lady from church came to see my mom shortly after she brought me home from the hospital. The lady thought it was such a shame and felt sorry for my mom, that she had to start over with a baby when she had the older kids. She tried to "cheer up" my mom (who didn't need cheering!) and said with a sigh, "Well, maybe she'll grow up and become a nurse and take care of you when you get old."

My mom and I laughed a lot about that, but when I was in the midst of caring for her, there were days I didn't think it was very funny!

I enjoyed working as a nurse as much as I expected. Surprisingly, the area I dreaded the most early in nursing school was the surgical/post-surgical aspect, and that ended up being my favorite! I don't care for orthopedic surgical care, but I love any surgery that involves the torso! I love IV's, dressings, drainage tubes, etc. Yeah, I know I'm weird!

When I was working night shift the first two years after I graduated, I remember each Wednesday night watching St. Elsewhere right before going to work! Later I loved Chicago Hope and ER, until ER made me weary with their liberal agendas and portrayals.

The only thing I ever wanted to be more than a nurse was a wife and mom. I wanted to be the traditional cookie-baking, room-mother mom. As much as I enjoyed my nursing career, I was (and still am!) ecstatic to be able to stay home with my kids, and I don't miss my job at all. Being a mom has been everything I expected it to be, with one exception: I didn't know the years would pass so quickly!

So that's my flashback; what about yours? Post your memories on your blog and link up here!


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Joyce said...

Cherry Ames! I haven't thought of those books in years. I loved them too. I started out wanting to be a nurse and took all the icky chemistry my freshman and sophomore years in college. I was a candy striper and explorer they still have Explorers because ours was a really good program? Anyway, I changed my major end of my sophomore year and ended up as a speech pathologist...I did practicum hours in a VA hospital but mostly worked in the public school setting which I loved. Fun memories today!

Kathy said...

Great story, Linda. I'm linked up, but my story isn't neary as exciting as yours.
While I loved all of those medial television shows and enjoyed my time working in a hospital(on the clerical end), I had no desire to be on the medical side. My husband(the x-ray tech/department manager) has kept me supplied with plenty of "medical tales" over the years, to which I always reply "Ewwwww". LOL

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Love, love, love every paragraph of this. I love getting to know you better. The childhood story makes me, even though so very long-in-the-tooth, want to read those books. And you know I can relate to the birth order thing, although my mom DID need cheering up! Cracks me up that your mom didn't quite believe you or get your passion. Loved St. Elsewhere!
Have I used the word "love" enough in this post? Love ya!

Skoots1moM said...

your mom was from a generation that sometimes didn't understand 'careers' for girls. so proud of you for what you accomplished as a! i would have used you as an example during 'youth lessons' had i been a youth counselor back then...
i ALWAYS wanted to be a candy striper.
i think i'd be right there with you on the post-op thing...God amazes me healing the body and to be part of that intrigues me.

Suzanne said...

Wow! Haven't thought about some of those things in years, Linda!!! Candy striping, Cherry Ames. They bring back fun memories!
Hope your summer is going well!

Craig Weeks said...

ER's agenda did us in, too.

Nel said...

Enjoyed reading your memories. I think our parents must of been about the same age. Bless their hearts!
until next time... nel

Teresa Dawn said...

I've never heard of those books.

That's great taht you became what you always wanted to :)

Susan said...

For a long time I wanted to be a nurse too, but my mom's extended time in hospitals kind of dampened my interest. And now I can't even look at a cut on my daughter's thumb without my tummy quivering! LOL Good thing I didn't become a nurse. I do love watching medical shows, though, and ER was my favorite until they started all the liberal agenda stuff. I tried to watch the one now that is about real-life doctors (Boston Medical?) but the personal lives of the doctors are just a bit too personal for my viewing standards, so I quit watching that one too.

Lisa Spence said...

I love Sue Barton and Cherry Ames both!

Robin Lambright said...

Well I'm late to the party today! But my flashback is up!

I loved Chicago Hope! I was one of my all time fav's!!!!!

Isn't it so amazing that for as much as we yearn to be one thing or another being a mom somehow supersedes our expectations.


bekahcubed said...

That's neat that you started volunteering in nursing so early on--and kept with that same goal all along!

Jim said...

Well, Linda, this is a neat meme. I read it once after you first wrote it and I guess didn't leave a comment. So I came back.
What is neat about it is that you enjoyed your nursing soooooo much but being the mom could even override that! Go Mom! ! ! !

Nikki said...

I know I'm a day late, but I hope that's okay. I just had to join in on this topic because I love talking about it. Thanks!

Cathy said...

That is so cool that you knew from the beginning what you wanted to be and that you succeeded in making it happen. Awesome! Excellent post and an excellent idea for Flashback!

quilly said...

I never head of Sue Barton or Cherry Ames. I wonder how I missed those?! The TV shows I know, of course. I grew weary of ER, too. I rarely saw St. Elsewhere, usually I was trudging in from work about the time it ended.

quilly said...

Ack! I didn't mean to post that yet. I have been such a space cadet tonight!

The fact that your mom didn't believe you really wanted to be a nurse startled me, not just because moms are supposed to believe in their kids, but because my sister sort of did the same thing to her daughter when she was in college, "Oh, Brooke will never finish. This is just one of her whims."

I know your mom didn't mean to be hurtful anymore than my sister meant to be hurtful, but I know you were hurt. My niece called me in tears and said, "My mom doesn't believe in me." Heart wrenching, but happily, like you and your mom, they've grown past it. My sister is extremely proud of her daughter and I am certain your mom was proud of you.

Barbara H. said...

I am so sorry I missed this one -- I would have loved it, but we've just moved out of state. Maybe I'll add a paragraph on this topic to next week's.

I wanted to be a variety of things when I grew up, but never a nurse! But I am glad for those who do -- nurses can be a true blessing.