A Look Back on 43 Years

By | 2022-05-11T09:42:40-04:00 November 17th, 2021|1 Comment

In my 43rd year as a registered nurse, I never dreamed I would be staying home.

I never dreamed I would be taking calls from people frightened of a dreaded virus, worried about their parents, kids, spouses, and themselves.

Debbie Kelly, RN

I never dreamed I would have spent 10 years in L&D, mostly happy times but inevitably, some very sad times.

I never dreamed I would’ve spent eight years dialyzing patients, some who became friends, and all touched me in a way I will never forget.

The tribal elder that included me in pow wows.

The beautiful 18-year-old who died way too young.

The drug abuser who challenged me in ways I never expected but made me a better person.

I never dreamed I would give chemo to some memorable human beings — the fellow who found a mastodon skeleton, the handsome older gentleman who was the voice of the LAX curbside announcer, the Vietnam vet who had a favorite pair of socks.

I never dreamed I would get my master’s degree in a field that did not exist when I graduated with my bachelor’s degree.

I never dreamed I would work for a major U.S. company, then get laid off and ultimately retire — only to return to seasonal part-time work alongside some fabulous people.

I never dreamed all of this would lead me to my 43rd year as a nurse, staying at home, taking calls from people frightened of a dreaded virus.

And I never dreamed a few words of reassurance and support would be my most important work ever.

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About the Author:

Debbie Kelly, MSN, RN
Debbie Kelly, MSN, RN, is mostly retired, although she performs seasonal medical record reviews in Washington State. She has a Master of Science in Nursing, with a specialization in clinical informatics from the University of Colorado.

One Comment

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    Lezli Lynne Byrum November 22, 2021 at 10:27 pm - Reply

    Inspirational for me. I am newly retired and am very happy. The thought of seasonal work is new for me. A reentry point is possible.
    Thank you.

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