Hello, good morning! How are you? Are you following my tale about nursing? Here’s some more. I might have to break the story into two more parts. We’ll see.
Because I had taken three liberal arts courses during summer school, the only classes I had the fall of my junior year were nursing courses and one called The Educative Process. Why we had to take that, I was not sure but that was my first college A. Things were on a more even keel for me. I had spent the summer working as a nurse’s aide at the county nursing home all night and taking classes early the next morning. It was at the nursing home that I began to doubt my abilities as a nurse. I was the only one on duty for an entire ward. Granted most of the patients were drugged into sleeping all night but there were some nursing skills I was learning. I saw my first bedsore. It was down to the bone and as big as a plate. I almost lost it.
It was time for Maternity Nursing. I had very little problem with that although my grades still did not refect more than a C average.
The highlight of that time was working in the prenatal clinic. It was more a teaching situation than a nursing one. The clientele at this hospital was mainly from the surrounding Chicago south side. Most were very poor, young, uneducated girls. Most of the deliveries at this hospital were those who had no prenatal experience at all.
One day when I was in the labor ward, I was attracted to a young woman who was screaming because she was so terrified. I was assigned to her. Her first question was how the baby was going to get out of her stomach. She didn’t have a clue. Here she was younger than I and already delivering her first child. With each contraction she screamed louder. There was no one there to go through L & D with her.
I held her hand and talked quietly with her, gently explaining the process of giving birth. She began to calm down and she gripped my hand in less of a vice grip even with her contractions. It was close to time to go to class so I excused myself to chart her progress. I told her I’d be back shortly. My instructor had been in the room. When I left, this young girl became very agitated. She was almost panicking again. When I entered the room again she immediately calmed down. I didn’t see this and thought she had it all together finally. The instructor came up to me and told me this and said I would be excused from class. I could stay with her until she delivered. I had never felt so happy. I was doing something right and an instructor noticed. I stayed with her through the delivery and carried her baby to the nursery. She remained calm and listened to my instructions the whole time. She did no more ear splitting screaming. I was elated that I could have that effect on her.
I had made friends with an older nursing student. She lived in Champaign, the home of the main U of I campus. She invited me in October to visit in her home. As I was walking towards the house I saw a young man sitting in the window studying. I was very taken by him. He stayed late before heading back to his fraternity. The next day he was at the house again to go with us to the football game. That evening we went out with my friend and her date. When he walked me to the door of the sorority house where I was staying, he kissed me good night. At that very moment the campus bells started pealing. I knew it was a cliche, but a lovely one. We both laughed and then kissed some more.
At Thanksgiving time he invited me to visit him and his family in a Chicago suburb. Once again, I was having a wonderful time over that three day weekend. There was a special code that the university could use for direct Chicago-Champaign telephone contact. He knew what it was. He would call and I would talk to him for hours, even if I did have to sit on the floor in the uncomfortable booth. He invited me to be his date at his fraternity’s Winter Formal. I was thrilled.
He even asked his father to take me to buy a dress I had seen in a window while walk ing in a shopping center. The dress was so beautiful to me. I rode on the train and his father picked me up. The dress fit perfectly. I loved it! The dance came and went. I had a marvelous time. He said the other guys were really impressed. That made me very happy.
The quarter ended and I went home for Christmas. I was invited to spend New Year’s Eve with him and my friend at a party. I went back to school in Chicago early. We had an Italian dinner down in the loop and then went to a movie. It’s funny the things you remember. We then attended the party. I asked him if he would come to my spring formal. I’m sure he said yes. He was leaving for Champaign the next day but I found out that his friend was going back to see him and I rode along. There was something different in the air. I sensed I was not as welcome. I only stayed a short time then rode the train back to school.
He sent me our picture in January. On the back he had written something familiar. It was a quote from Khalil Gibran about love. I couldn’t figure out what he was trying to say to me. Had I held back too much? Did he sense I was afraid to love him? I didn’t think I had or was. I was confused as to what was wrong. …follow him, Though his ways are hard and steep. And when his wings enfold you, yield to him, Though the sword hidden among his pinions my wound you. And when he speaks to you believe in him.
Late February was my turn for the formal. He never called. He told my friend that he had cut things off with me which wasn’t true. I found out later he was dating another girl on campus. So much for my self confidence again. I was completely dismayed. I guess you could say heart broken. He was the first one I let in to my heart. I was now into the winter quarter of my junior year involved in the Nursing of Children.
It’s time for church. It looks like I’m going to have to tell you about the quarter from Hell tomorrow. Namaste. Attic Annie
For those of you who have read the first three parts, I did something stupid, I don’t know how, and deleted the last part of my story. I’ll write it again and post it some time. Sorry. AA