Swan Song

As I’m preparing what I expect to choose my final employment position, and as our nation prepares to choose what may be our last chance at maintaining our democrazy- wait- was that an accident- I prepare to vote for my first choice of candidates, albeit as VP but I’m as stoked as ever, and admire Kamala’s blazetrailing. At the same time, it suddenly occurred to me that I have blazed a few of my own.

In 1983 when I got my Masters degree in Nursing, it was not long after that I became the first Clinical Nurse Specialist at Weiss Community Hospital in Chicago. I started the Psychiatric Home Health program at Five Hospital in Chicago in 1992 and left it with 20 plus employees. I was the first Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner ever approved to the insurance panel at United Healthcare while working at the Ben Gordon Center in 2008. I was the first Psychiatric Nurse Practioner hired at the Family Services Organization in McHenry, Il. in 2010. That was particularly interesting because I joined a group of 4 doctors. One, Dr “D” immediately greeted me rudely with “You know they cut our hours and salary for you to come here.” But when they closed a year and a half later due to Illinois budget issues, another doctor, one who was always kind to me shared Dr (Mitchell) Cary Haywood You know, there was no drama with you coming in like I expected there to be. You just came in and worked.” And Dr D, even though he was cold the entire time there actually said when he left “it was a pleasure working with you.”

Many of us are firsts at things. We don’t always choose to be. Sometimes it’s just cause we’re old and we had to be. Someone has to be first. These were jobs I wanted to do. I wanted to push forward. I wanted to take risks. I wanted to try new things, and I was rewarded. Otherwise I’d be bored.

But I’m very grateful things have turned out the way they have and I have no regrets. In the end, if you’ve saved a few lives, that’s really an honor. If you’ve helped make a few lives better, that’s really meaningful, whether it’s a friend or a child. If you’ve done that, and been brave, and been knocked down and gotten up again and kept fighting on, and left a few loving you, I think that’s the hat trick of life. What else can you really ask for

I don’t really get why they call it a Swan song. Swans are lovely, but they will fight like hell if you try to hurt their young. Well, that part certainly fits. Namaste my friends.

Swan Song

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