I felt faint after a new workout and saw my doctor just to confirm all was ok. To my great surprise, that was not the case. I was diagnosed with mitral valve regurgitation and referred for surgery. I am a nurse, and I cared for heart surgery patients in ICU early in my career. Along with my struggle to accept that I need surgery, I must also deal with becoming the patient rather than the nurse...
I dabbled a little in poetry all the way back to elementary school, when words always entertained as well as intrigued me. But nursing school, a busy nursing career, and raising a family left little time for playing with words on paper. My daughter has been blessed with a writing talent far greater than mine, and reading her work has inspired me to dust off my pen. I have found writing poetry to be a superior form of therapy for me. My ADD mind is generally roaring like a hurricane and condensing my thoughts and feelings into poetry helps clarify and distill my emotion down to manageable portions. The words often fall like tears onto my paper, and editing my work is as if I am blotting those tears… When ink and tears are both dry, I have revised my thoughts and my life.
Writing has thus allowed me to reframe and manage much distress as of late. Being a mom and a nurse during a pandemic has not been the only challenge I have faced. Like all of you, I face heart surgery.
This is the most current poem-turned-therapist…
My heart and mind become night.
Do I think dark thoughts;
Does death stalk me;
Do I find peace and rest;
Amidst the cadence of the sterile theater?
I choose peace.
I choose the stillness of my beloved lake at dawn,
Birds quietly stirring from their slumber as the morning mist wanes.
I choose trust.
I choose trust in the maestro with his hands in my chest,
Conducting a symphony to restore the percussion of my life.
I choose faith.
I choose faith in the God who created me and guides my life,
We have more work to do.
I choose love.
I choose the love that surrounds me, waiting to exhale,
As if it starves all fear until I wake.
Let’s get started,
Let’s get started,
Let’s get started.
I choose peace;
I choose trust;
I choose faith;
I choose love;
This is my new beginning.