I wanted to share something a bit personal that I have been struggling with for a little over a year now. I’ve mentioned it in comments on the Facebook Page and also opened up about it briefly while a few of us waited for a speaker at a live webinar once but I haven’t really discussed it yet.
The truth is, I haven’t really known what or how to talk about it. I didn’t want pity or drama and I didn’t want to have to admit the inevitable out loud either.
I’m stepping away from clinical Nursing… most likely permanently.
You see, in February 2018 I received a call from my brother and it was pretty obvious that something big had just happened.
‘I’ve got Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency and you have to be tested too,’ he rambled.
‘Alpha-what? What does this even mean?’ I asked him.
The good news (sort of) was that I was just about to walk into the GP for something else, so I was able to request the test.
A week later, an elated junior GP exclaimed, ‘Yes! You have it. Oh my goodness that is RARE! Do you realise how rare this is?’
Is she seriously that excited by my misfortune?!?
‘Well judging by your excitement, I’m guessing you’ve never seen this before, huh?’ I mumbled unsure of how to take it in.
What the hell does this mean exactly?
To be honest, over a year later I’m still slightly clueless about it. The GP at the time had no idea what to do with me so I’m still yet to see all the specialists.
I now know that I am at a pretty high risk of developing COPD from 40 years of age despite never smoking and for this reason I get very nervous when people smoke in public and the smoke wafts my way.
I’ve had a doctor recommend I don’t get respiratory infections if I can help it too- Goodbye clinical paediatric nursing… I want to live a long and healthy life to see my own kids grow up so I’ll reduce any risks I possibly can.
I should also ensure I drink alcohol only occasionally. Dammit. I love an evening glass of wine but alas… I also love being healthy 😉
The good news is, I am asymptomatic, and I intend to keep focusing on that.
So, there you have it. I won’t be nursing clinically anymore.
Does this make me less of a nurse?
Some may say, yes whereas some may say, no. What I do know, is that I am so passionate about the career and seeing the experience of kids in healthcare transform that I don’t think it matters if I’m a clinical nurse or not.
Sometimes it’s these wake up calls we need to birth the passions within us.
Thank you for being part of this journey!