Nursing Notes From the Navajo Nation
On August 1, 2020 I finished my second week on the Navajo reservation and during the night homesickness hit me like a 100 car freight train hauling bananas and circus animals. Wowza my heart is aching. It’s also been a rough week in that I now have been here long enough to see staff dysfunction oozing out from behind the proverbial locked hospital door. (Insert crying emoji then green nauseated emoji here.) Aye Yi Yi, it’s everywhere. I also found out my salary is lower than expected, my relocation and travel expenses are not covered, and my doctorate program might not be covered either. Politics, red tape, far from home, disappointments, a couple of unkind people…it’s enough to make me want to load my little Scooby Subi and head straight back to Texas where my husband, and fur babies, and children and grandchildren are. Where my darling friends are. Where there are tall oak trees and green grass and my very own bed and my chickens. I had a dream last night that I got to go home and my sweet dog did not remember me and would not have anything to do with me.
Then there is also this sickness going around that you might have heard of called Coronavirus.
And many of the people here are very sick.
Just like many people everywhere.
And I am having a moment.
This is where knowing you are called to do something becomes very important. Without knowing that you know that you know, it is far too easy to quit.
What the Lord tells you when times are good and new and exciting is still true when things get hard and you wanna go home.
Regardless of broken promises, government pish-posh, and the occasional co-worker who makes your eyes cross, there are still people here who need help.
I held the frail hand of an elder this week. We were silent as we waited for the fluid to travel down the tube into the vein in which I had just placed an IV catheter. After a few minutes she looked over at her hand clasped in mine and she said, “your hand is so white and mine is so brown but they fit together fine don’t they achʼéʼé; hatsi.ʼ” I smiled as I reached with my other hand to move a strand of wispy silver hair from her face. She looked at me and said, “yágo dootł’izh.” I had no idea what she was saying and she no doubt read my confusion because she then said, “I see the sky in your eyes. Blue.” Suddenly things like relocation expenses and salary no longer mattered. She was a fellow human who needed care. Who is loved by an almighty God who created her skin brown and my skin white.
In that quiet hospital room, the Lord humbled me and grew me and even on days like today when I miss my husband and my life I look at the sky and remember her gentle eyes looking into mine and I continue on.
Please pray for me.
I love you,