Nurses Week: ‘A Love Letter to Nurses That Cared for My Dying Mom’

The day we discontinued life support for my mother turned out to be one of the most beautiful days of my life. This is a love letter to the nurses who cared for my mother around the time of her death and all the nurses around the world who are everyday heroes.

My Mom Had Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer

She was staying with me while she completed the second round of chemo. I learned after her death how much she would brag about me to the nurses who cared for her. She was proud of me and that I chose nursing as a career. I didn’t spend time with my mother during her chemo sessions and not because I was too busy–she preferred spending time with her nurses at The Cancer Treatment Center of Philadelphia. At first, it stung but after time in reflection, I understand it completely.

Upon first being diagnosed, my mom fought bravely through surgery and overcame a nasty infection that lasted months. She had a wonderful home care nurse who helped her get into fighting shape. She left her home in North Carolina to have chemo in Philadelphia and came to stay with me. She wore the Cancer Fighter T-shirts and sipped her coffee from the branded mugs. She wanted the world to know that the battle was on, but as the months wore on and her cancer spread it was clear that she was on the losing side.

Ever since I was in nursing school learning about the many roles nurses play in the lives of patients, I knew that I wanted to be a comforter for my mother in her last days. As I prepared myself emotionally for her death I imagined sitting with her at chemo, holding hands. She’d tell me stories about her life and family members long gone. It would be like in the movies and we’d do all the wonderful things people do when a loved one is close to death.

So Much for My End-of-Life Fantasies

 

She told me not to bother coming to chemo, said she enjoyed spending time with the nurses. What? I felt rejected and soon I became a car service transporting her to and from chemo. For the first few weeks, I was tight and resentful. All I could think was, ‘How can she not let me be there for her during this scary time?’ Then one day I noticed something.

Every time I came to pick her up from chemo she’d have a big smile on her face. The nurses and nursing assistants would have her wrapped in a warm blanket, nice and cozy in her treatment chair. Her table would be full of all her favorite snacks. On the ride home, she would share how she felt listened to and well cared for when she spent time with her nurses. My mom was happy and she wasn’t scared. This was the case every time.

A few weeks later, I received a call from an ICU doctor telling me to get to the hospital ASAP and to call my family together. I don’t remember how I kept it together but I do remember a nurse holding me up when I could barely stand. She was a complete stranger who held me close as I soaked her uniform with tears.

I Want to Take a Moment to Say, “Thank You”

I appreciate you for caring for my mother, bathing her, touching and comforting her when I couldn’t. I’m grateful to those of you who whispered in her ear and assured her that all is well. As a nurse, I’ve had the honor of being with many people during their final minutes. I’ve always appreciated and respected those sacred moments. I believe the universe paid the favor back to my family by surrounding her with superb nurses and caregivers.

You helped to keep her alive long enough for all my brothers and sisters to be present on her last day. My mother was there for each of us as we took our first breaths and we were there for her as she took her last. It was a beautiful death.

May 6—12th is National Nurses Week. Nurses are your friends, neighbors, your sisters, or brothers. You may recognize them in their scrubs or even business attire but what you won’t see is the invisible capes they wear. Nurses are your everyday superheroes. Next time you see a nurse, acknowledge them for the lives they touch and thank them for their service. Happy Nurses’ Week!

-Editors’ Note: Originally published in May 2017.

The post Nurses Week: ‘A Love Letter to Nurses That Cared for My Dying Mom’ appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Woody Allen’s ‘A Rainy Day in New York’ to be Released in Italy (EXCLUSIVE)

After being put on the shelf by Amazon, Woody Allen’s “A Rainy Day in New York” is to be released in Italy in the fall via distributor Lucky Red, with other European territories also believed to have closed local distribution deals, a source familiar with the situation told Variety. Following Amazon’s decision to halt the […]

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Amy Schumer Shows Off Huge Bare Baby Bump & Jokes That She’s Been Pregnant ‘A Long Time’

Seven months after announcing her pregnancy, Amy Schumer is still dealing with severe nausea and vomiting — but her face (and T-shirt) said this all during a sonogram session.

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Richard Kind On His ‘A Serious Man’ Directors, The Coen Brothers | PeopleTV

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Today in Movie Culture: ‘Captain Marvel’ Brings Back a ‘90s Fad, Eddie Vedder and Judy Garland Cover ‘A Star is Born’ Songs and More

Today in Movie Culture: ‘Captain Marvel’ Brings Back a ‘90s Fad, Eddie Vedder and Judy Garland Cover ‘A Star is Born’ Songs and More

Here are a bunch of little bites to satisfy your hunger for movie culture:

 

Cosplay of the Day:

Let’s get the week of the release of Captain Marvel started right with this little fan cosplaying as the movie’s title character at the premiere last week. Representation and adorability have never gone so well together, have they?

Brie Larson at the UK Premier of #CaptainMarvel sitting on the floor in a ridiculously expensive dress to give a Young Fan an…

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Life-Saving Cardiac Care Was ‘A Gift’ for Barry Wagoner

Over Memorial Day weekend, Kaiser Permanente member Barry Wagoner had planned to do yardwork. Instead, he spent most of the weekend on the couch feeling lightheaded and exhausted.

Wagoner made a doctor’s appointment but thought about cancelling when his symptoms improved. Thankfully, he decided to follow through.

“They did an electrocardiogram, and 30 seconds later, a staff member told me, ‘We’re taking you to the emergency department,’” he said. There, Wagoner got some shocking news: He had experienced a heart attack and had 100 percent blockage of a major artery.

To open the blockage and reduce the risk of future heart attacks, interventional cardiologist Thomas Tsai, MD, placed a small mesh tube called a stent in the artery.

Wagoner felt dramatically better in the days that followed. “It was like night and day,” he said. “I didn’t realize how ‘awful’ I’d learned to feel was ‘okay’.”

“The care I received from Kaiser Permanente was a gift. … It was exceptional,” he added. “I can never be thankful enough.”

Learn more about Kaiser Permanente’s pioneering cardiac care.

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‘A Dangerous Sport.’ President Trump Says He Wouldn’t Encourage Son Barron to Play Football

(PALM BEACH, Fla.) — President Donald Trump says he wouldn’t steer son Barron toward football, saying it’s “a dangerous sport,” but also wouldn’t stand in the way if the soccer-playing 12-year-old wanted to put on pads.

The NFL fan tells CBS’ “Face the Nation” in an interview taped before the Super Bowl that football is “really tough.”

He says equipment, including helmets, has improved “but it hasn’t solved the problem.”

Trump thinks the NFL “is a great product.” But as for Barron playing, the president calls it a “very tough question.”

“If he wanted to? Yes. Would I steer him that way? No, I wouldn’t.”

The president says many people, “including me, thought soccer would probably never make it in this country, but it really is moving forward rapidly.”

Trump has, in the past, bemoaned that football games have become less violent. The NFL and college football have increased penalties and enforcement for illegal hits to the head and for hitting defenseless players.

“They’re ruining the game,” he said during a rally in Alabama in September 2017.

He said players were being thrown out for aggressive tackles, and it’s “not the same game.”

President Barack Obama, the father of two daughters, said in a 2013 interview with the New Republic that he would “have to think long and hard” before letting a son, if he had one, play football because of the risk of head injuries.

Obama also said football may need to change to prevent injuries.

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Trump makes humanitarian case for wall, calling border situation ‘a crisis of the soul’

In an Oval Office address, the president said the federal government “remains shut down for one reason and one reason only: because Democrats will not fund border security.” Democrats accused him of governing by “temper tantrum” in their televised rebuttal.
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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Golden Globes Briefing: ‘A Star Is Born’ and ‘Vice’ Lead the 2019 Golden Globes Nominations

“Vice” nabbed six nominations, while “A Star Is Born,” “Green Book” and “The Favourite” all received five. “Black Panther” was nominated for best drama.
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‘Vikings’ star is ‘a little scared’ of his rabid fans

It was a risky choice when “Vikings” killed off its protagonist, Ragnar (Travis Fimmel). But the History drama’s audience has grown exponentially as it’s reshaped its narrative around Ragnar’s son, Ivar the Boneless (Alex Høgh Andersen), who was born without the use of his legs. “There was inevitable pushback with the idea that I might…
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Kaiser Permanente Moanalua Medical Center Maintains “A” Grade for Patient Safety

HONOLULU — The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit advocate for health care transparency, has awarded Kaiser Permanente Moanalua Medical Center its seventh straight “A” grade in the Fall 2018 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade. The Hospital Safety Grade, administered in the spring and fall every year, measures the overall performance of more than 2,500 hospitals nationwide in keeping patients safe from preventable medical errors. Moanalua Medical Center is 1 of 4 hospitals in Hawaii honored with the Straight A distinction of receiving five or more consecutive A grades.

The Hospital Safety Score uses hospital performance data collected by national health care organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Scores are calculated based on 27 types of publicly available hospital data related to patient care, medication errors and infection prevention. It’s published as a free resource to help patients and their families make informed health care decisions. Only 32 percent of hospitals in the U.S. have received an A grade in the Fall 2018 report.

“Patient safety is a top priority at Kaiser Permanente, and we’re proud of our doctors, providers and staff who work together to create a healthy healing environment for patients,” said Linda Puu, RN, vice president of quality, safety and care experience at Kaiser Permanente in Hawaii. “Our integrated electronic health record system and coordinated care approach helps reduce errors and safety risks, which improves patient outcomes and ensures a higher quality of care.”


About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 11.8 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to kp.org/share.

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“A Complete Sham”: The FBI’s Report on Brett Kavanaugh Sparks Feminist Outcry and Action

Feminist lawmakers and advocates issued a call for transparency after the White House last week authorized an FBI investigation into mounting sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh. Senate leaders like Dianne Feinstein and advocates like Feminist Majority president Eleanor Smeal also demanded that the process result in a comprehensive and exhaustive pursuit of any information pertaining to claims from multiple women that the Supreme Court nominee was involved in various acts of sexual violence in high school, college and adulthood.

Today, those same demands emerged after Senators gained access to the paltry results of an investigation many think was purposefully limited in scope and ultimately incomplete on the eve of a cloture vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation, sparking outcry across the country.

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who was the first of now five women to come forward with allegations against Kavanaugh, testified last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the night she claims he and his friend at the time, Mark Judge, attempted to rape her in high school. The following day, the committee was scheduled to vote on whether or not to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Senate floor, despite protests from lawmakers in the body. Senator Jeff Flake Friday called for an FBI investigation as the committee gathered to vote—a demand that had been made for weeks by activists and the survivors coming forward themselves—and that same day, President Trump authorized an investigation, but reports claimed that he had limited the list of people to be questioned to four individuals.

In two separate letters, Feinstein and other Democrats on the Judiciary Committee called for transparency and requested that the White House publicly release the instructions they had issued to the agency in order to ensure that the ensuing investigation would be fair and complete. Advocates urged constituents to ask the same of their Senators. No such action was ever taken; instead, the President publicly disparaged Blasey Ford at public events while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell disparaged Kavanaugh’s other accusers on the Senate floor.

On Wednesday night, prior to the release of the FBI’s report, McConnell scheduled a procedural vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination for Friday, and a final confirmation vote for as soon as Saturday. The report, which will not be released publicly, was released several hours later. Despite this narrow timeline, Senators must read the report in shifts or send aides to later brief them on its contents, because only one copy is available. 

Democratic Senators, who have called the format “ridiculous,” spoke out today about the constraints placed on this process by leaders like Trump and McConnell. “Even before the Senate received the FBI report, McConnell scheduled a vote on Kavanaugh,” Senator Kamala Harris said on Twitter. “It’s absurd.” Senator Elizabeth Warren echoed the frustrations on her own timeline: “Not even a full week for an FBI investigation,” she wrote. “A single copy of the report given to the Senate. Less than an hour to review. This is a complete sham.” 

Without divulging the substance of the report, many Democrats have also made comments criticizing its limitations and failings. “I read the FBI report,” Senator Jeff Merkley wrote on Twitter. “This whole thing is a sham. This stunted, strangled investigation was designed to provide cover, not to provide the truth.” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Feinstein, who is the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, both slammed the report in statements this morning when its release was first announced. Schumer also noted that claims by McConnell and other political leaders that morning that the report showed no evidence of sexual misconduct were misleading.

The Washington Post was able to confirm that the FBI interviewed six individuals for their investigation; White House spokesman Raj Shah said the agency had been able to interview nine. Dozens of Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh’s classmates were not sought out for questioning, despite being willing to speak to investigators. Although investigators spoke to Deborah Ramirez, who alleged Kavanaugh exposed himself to her without her consent when they attended Yale, they did not follow up with any of the witnesses she told them to reach out to for corroboration, some of whom attempted to directly contact agents to pursue such conversations. Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh themselves were not interviewed; neither was Julie Swetnick, Kavanaugh’s third accuser, who claimed in sworn testimony that he knowingly and willingly attended and participated in parties in which girls were gang-raped.

 An official briefed on the review reported that the FBI chose to focus on the events described by the first two accusers, and did not concentrate on any other accusations of sexual assault or more comprehensive questions about Kavanaugh’s drinking during high school which could possibly indict him of perjury based on his testimony last week. Kavanaugh’s former Yale roommate, James Roche, wrote a piece for Slate that asserts that Kavanaugh lied under oath about his excessive drinking, adding: “I believe Debbie.” He is just one of many former schoolmates of Blasey Ford, Ramirez and Kavanaugh who all claim to have witnessed Kavanaugh’s drinking habits.

“The most notable part of this report,”remarked Senator Dianne Feinstein, “is what’s not in it.” Her outrage is shared by many other feminists nationwide. Ultraviolet released a letter today signed by dozens of sexual assault and domestic violence survivors demanding Flake vote to reject Kavanaugh’s confirmation; protestors gathered in D.C. today to mark the week since Blasey Ford’s testimony and urge his colleagues to do the same and #CancelKavanaugh, and a People’s Fillibuster starting tonight will take place until the final floor vote on his confirmation.

“The White House and Senate majority are pointing to a rushed and limited FBI report as if it sheds any light on the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh,”Feminist Majority president Eleanor Smeal said in a statement. “It patently does not, because the investigation that produced it was purposely designed to give cover to nervous Senators who want to vote yes, not get to the truth.” Smeal added that the findings of the FBI investigation, however, still don’t permit Senators to overlook Kavanaugh’s temperament or what has been made clear about his behavior through the years.

“Senators don’t need an incomplete, partisan-controlled FBI report to tell them that Brett Kavanaugh should not sit on the Supreme Court,” she declared. “He has shown himself to be a right-wing operative who lies under oath with an unfit temperament and an originalist philosophy that is hostile to women’s rights. This behavior and history alone, without the sexual misconduct allegations, is disqualifying.”

Victoria Sheber is an editorial intern at Ms., a debate instructor at Windward School and a member of the JusticeCorps at the Los Angeles Superior Court. Victoria is currently a senior at UCLA studying American Literature & Culture and History; she is also the President of the American Association of University Women chapter on campus and Assistant Section Editor for Fem Newsmagazine. She loves to read and write about feminist literature. 

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