I’m not a nurse.
I never chose to be, and I don’t have the skills or the patience for it. However, I’m getting the impression that God has different plans for me.
I’m married to a wonderful man, a top-notch father and life partner. We’ve been together a long time. But one thing that I came to know about him very early on is: he needs a full-time nurse.
Within a few months of beginning our relationship, he suffered a number of nocturnal seizures. He went through a series of MRI’s, blood tests and ultimately a celebral angiogram to get to the bottom of the source of his seizures.
A few years after we married, his lumber spine was so painful that he underwent a lumbarectomy. The surgeon described it this way: “Your vertebra is like a crab cake. As it disintegrates, the crab meat sticks out and pokes into surrounding nerves, causing pain. We have to go in and trim it up again.” They ended up doing the same surgery three times over the next twenty-five years.
My husband has experienced many other physical conditions over the 35 years I’ve known him, but the last three years have been particularly challenging for us both:
- 2020 he had a heart attack and five stents inserted to open his clogged arteries
- 2021 he was diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease
- 2022 he had a toe amputated due to a severe staph infection, followed by a bout of COVID while he was in recovery (which he passed to me).
If the guy didn’t have bad luck, he wouldn’t have any at all. And I’ll add ironically that since I’ve known him, I’ve only had one outpatient surgery that his mother happened to be in town for, so she played nursemaid to me. Proving that God doesn’t have nursing plans for HIM.
Over the years I’ve developed nursing skills out of sheer necessity: I sat by his side, holding his hand, comforting him and praying for healing. I’ve tracked his medicines and given him a reminder when it’s time to take one. I’ve learned to wrap and bandage wounds. I’ve researched what to do and not to do when recovering. I’ve taken his temperature and blood pressure. And I’ve done a ton of running around while he’s laid up – fetching him something to drink, something to eat, visiting the drug store for essentials, etc.
Often when he’s sick or in recovery from a procedure, he’ll ask me things that I have no answer for, because I don’t have a medical degree. In the last few months, I’ve used my stock answer, “I don’t know. I’m not a nurse,” or “You should’ve married a nurse” more times than I can count.
Playing a nurse throughout my marriage makes me really appreciate and respect actual nurses who choose to take care of others every day, people they don’t even know, but who need a nurse’s kind touch and healing skills. It’s not easy being a nurse! It takes patience and love and more often than not, the patient is not at their best. They’re often grumpy and ungrateful due to feeling sick.
In over twenty books that I’ve written, I had never featured a nurse in a story … until this year! No doubt because of my husband’s influence and all the opportunities he’s been giving me 😊 two of my next books will feature nurses as the heroines. They are dual-heroines – nurses are heroines to so many every day, and these two nurses will be heroines of their own published stories.
I reached out to the other InspyRomance authors to identify CCR books that feature nurses as heroines. Please enjoy this list and as soon as I publish my own nurse stories, I’ll return here and let you know!
Valerie Comer: Lavished with Lavender has Kenna, a nurse in home care, taking care of the hero’s elderly grandmother after a fall.
Amy Anguish: Writing Home features a nurse who owns a sweet puppy named Flopsy.
Heather Gray: An Informal Arrangement, An Informal Introduction and An Informal Affair all have nurse heroines.
Merrillee Wren: My book Kirsten’s Mission features a nurse who longs to go back to the mission field. The grandson of one of her patients has other ideas for her future.
Questions to discuss: are you a nurse or other professional in the medical field? What made you decide to devote your career and life to helping and healing others? What is a favorite example of when you made a difference with a patient?