What really matters

dsc01521Yesterday I got some really bad news about a friend of mine who’s daughter is sick. Not like caught a cold and has the sniffles but like change the rest of your life sick. My friend told me that her daughter had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and was only 7 years old. If you work in health care or know someone with any form of diabetes, you know that this diagnosis is both life changing and comes with its own complications which can often be more debilitating than diabetes itself. The chronic disease process is often much more difficult to watch someone go though as it tends to slowly rob a person of their dignity. Being that I work in a hospital, I have seen many people get news that alters their life completely but it never really affects me like it does other people or other nurses. I mean I am always able to watch it through a windows of disconnect or something. But the news I received yesterday kinda hit me weird. Here I was getting amped up for the next two weeks which was my busiest two weeks of the spring. Between school projects, tests, working and people wanting to do stuff, my next two weeks were shaping up to be pretty nonstop. I worried about things like having enough money to do things I wanted to do, getting all A’s this semester and figuring out what I would do for fun this summer. (Yes this stupid shit keeps me up at night)

One part of our conversation still radiates with me was when my friend  said, “She will have to be on insulin, everyday for the rest of her life.” I think that is when it really hit me, that at the age of 26 having worked in health care for 5 years, on the front lines seeing death and disease all around me, I had no idea what was important in life. You would think that being a nurse for 5 years would help you figure that out but no not me… I have spent years of my life thinking that things could be better, how I could improve on my current situation. I could get a better car, big house, or go to some place exotic or some dumb shit like that. I have been wasting all this energy and time thinking about things that don’t really matter all the while thinking I had it figured out.

When I was a brooding teenager (this was when being depressed was the in thing) my mother used to tell me that there were people in the world who had it much worse than I did. The sad truth is that the world is full of people who have it worse than I do and I now feel that I should be thankful for how blessed I actually am. I know that there are other people out there who are like me and worry about dumb materialistic shit and think its important, but next time you see that homeless guy, legless veteran, mentally retarded person, or just some guy in a wheel chair, you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to think about what is really important in your life.
(And no I have not found Jesus)

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~ by rpfeiffe on April 2, 2009.

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