All my life I have rarely been sick, in fact there have only been two times that I can recall. So, about three months ago  when I started feeling bad, it was out of the ordinary.  I did not have any obvious symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, headache, runny nose etc.  I just had a lack of energy and no appetite.  During this time it made me realize that “I would rather have great health, more than any material thing”; not that I do not like nice things or places.  As children, many of us dreamed of growing up and having lots of money, big houses, cars and anything else that money could buy. We were only focused on the “material” things.  There were never any thoughts about our physical or mental health. Health is wealth.

I would rather have excellent health, than all of the money in the world.  If you are sick and cannot get around, what good is having money and things, if you cannot enjoy it? Some people may say that they would use their money to hire the best doctors, but that is no guarantee that you will have good health.  I often think of our patients that we are taking care of in the hospitals and clinics, they are relying on us to give them the best possible care to make them feel better. During this time, they become dependent on the healthcare staff and this may be hard for many that are used to having control of their own lives.  Before you make an assumption that the patient is “difficult” or “hostile”, remember that these are people that were working, taking care of themselves and families and making their own decisions.  We need to include them in all aspects of their care, instead of dictating what will be done.  Although we may have our daily assignment planned, discuss with the patient the Plan of Care and let them have some input on the order of some things, to give them that feeling of control.  We still have to stay on task, but we need to make them feel like adults and not like children being told what to do.  Some people may think that this will interrupt your normal day, but imagine if it were you laying in that bed, how would you want to feel?

See also
Recommendation for Successfully Navigating Life as a Nurse

I have decided that I am going to enjoy life, spend more time taking care of myself and creating experiences with my daughter. I have been privileged to accomplish a lot of things in my life: writing my first children’s book, starting a home-based travel business, building my photography portfolio, traveling domestically and internationally; all while being a mom and nurse.  We spend a lot of time taking care of others; but we must start taking care of ourselves; otherwise we will not be here for others.

So, the fatigue and loss of appetite that I was having was due to  my Vitamin D level being critically low. I am currently working remotely, so eight hours of my day is spent inside on the computer.  When I get off work, I wait until the sun goes down to go on my evening walk; therefore I was getting minimal to no sun. I am happy that this is a condition that can be easily corrected by diet, taking nutritional supplements and spending a few minutes sunbathing (in moderation).  The benefits of sunlight is that Vitamin D is produced when your skin is exposed to the sun and it is one of  the many vitamins our bodies need to stay healthy, relieve stress and increase energy.

I realized that work will be there; so I have made it a point to sit outside on my breaks and lunch. I am glad to say that I am feeling a lot better now. Never take your health for granted.  You only have one life and you need to make sure to maintain your health.  Take care of yourself, mind, body and spirit. The six best doctors in the world: sunlight, exercise, rest, diet, self-confidence and friends.  Maintain them in all stages of life and enjoy a healthy life.   Remember Health is Wealth!!

See also
Setting Boundaries as a Nurse Working with COVID Patients

 

Leslie McRae-Matthews
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