It takes a team of medical professionals to help a single person, but patients are most often in contact with a nurse more than any one else on that team.  From May 6th to the 12th, we celebrate Nurses Week, and I’d like the nurses who’ve played a role in my care to know how important they are to me.

My Clinical Trial Nurse

Clinical trials are a bit scary, especially since you’ve volunteered to experiment with your health. I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful nurse, Sandy, who made the entire process go smoothly.  She was there to answer any questions I had about the trial process and the medications I would be on.  She was there to collect blood and other samples, to teach me how to self-inject Humira, and was ultimately the one who consoled me when I had an initial (bad) reaction to hearing that I’d need surgery.

Had it not been for her, I think my ostomy journey would have ended up being very different from what it has become.

My Stoma Nurse(s) (also referred to as ET Nurses or a WOCN)

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with several amazing stoma nurses, and I have no doubt that their wisdom has made managing an ostomy easier for me.  Even the smallest tips can drastically change the quality of life for an ostomate who might be having skin or appliance challenges.

From the stoma nurse I met before and after my surgery, to the ones who came for home visits during my recovery, and even several stoma nurses whom I’ve met at local ostomy chapter meetings, each one has been a wealth of knowledge that I’m truly grateful for!

My Pre-Op, Post-Op and Follow-Up Care Nurses

I’ve met so many nurses while in hospital, not only for my ileostomy and proctectomy surgeries, but also when I had a blockage and during other visits to the ER.

These nurses made me feel comfortable, even when the situation should have been stressful.  I looked forward to seeing their smiles, even during the nightly pulse, temperature and blood pressure tests!  They would be the people who I voiced my concerns to, and they were always there to make sure that I was getting the best care possible.

It’s these nurses that can make or break a hospital stay, so I feel so grateful to have been graced by so many amazing nurses during my stays.

RYAN GOSLING APPROVES reacctiongif

Credit: reactiongifs.com

Home Care Nurses

I think these nurses are highly undervalued! When I was released from hospital following both my ileostomy and proctectomy surgeries, I had nurses visit my home (often daily) to tend to my wounds.  While I did have a few regulars come to visit, I often did have a new face each time. Each and every one was professional, compassionate and caring.  Recovery couldn’t have been better!

Every Other Nurse I’ve Had the Pleasure of Being Cared for By

There are still so many other nurses to thank, but it goes without saying that I’m thankful to all the nurses I’ve met in the last 7 years. I am in debt to your service, and you deserve a huge round of applause!

Special Thanks to Nurses-to-be!

I also want to give a very special thanks to anyone who’s in the process of becoming a nurse.  I know of several wonderful ladies with IBD who have aspired to help others through a career in nursing and others who have just started their nursing education.  I think that their unique position as both patients and care providers gives them an opportunity to help others in a way that is unparalleled.

QUESTION: Have you met any super-star nurses who’ve made an impact on your IBD or ostomy journey?