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I’m often asked if I miss nursing. Yes, I do. I don’t miss getting up early and going to work. Or the evening and weekend work while teaching. But I think when you’re a nurse, nursing becomes a part of you. As much a part as your hand or heart.

Last week, I had an MRI with contrast. I watched the phlebotomist with much interest as she started the IV. I thought back more than 45 years to my days starting IVs on PMs with a butterfly. What a thrill it was to glide that teeny scalp vein needle into a hand vein. And then tape it with adhesive so it would not move and go sub-q. And to get asked by the other nurses to start their IVs. It took a knack, they’d say.

I survived the jack hammer and buzzing noises and then took myself out for lunch. Roasted tomato soup. One-half sandwich. I passed up dessert. I can’t forget teaching my nursing students Geneen Roth‘s ideas on weight control–eat only when hungry, stop when full–but don’t deprive yourself. And something about throwing the scales away and learning to recognize what food means to you. Check her website; read her books–all of them. Worth every word for gaining insight and getting motivated.

When I got home, I felt something under my shirt. The MRI tech had left the Vitamin E capsules that marked the MRI site taped to my upper back. Probably not a good thing that she forgot. What would I tell a student if she’d left some remnant of a test or treatment on a patient?

My mind seems to obsess over all kinds of nursing-related memories. And I hope it never quits! It gives me lots of things to think, talk, and write about.

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