It wasn’t always immediately obvious to me that having a nurse for a mother was shaping me to be a very different person than my friends. Sure I could rhyme off names of their various ailments and often was the only one carrying bug ‘dope’, sunscreen and a hat on field trips, but as far as I was concerned this was no big deal. So I was prepared to do CPR on a stranger and bronchial infections were a dime a dozen, no sense causing a fuss.
But after a while I did start to notice that life at the Lazenby’s was a bit different because of Nurse Cindy (not that we weren’t already so very different for so many reasons!). A trip to the grocery store sometimes turned into a triage scene from a movie (woman slips and falls backwards, head first through plate-glass door while holding groceries…blood and pickle juice everywhere…Nurse Cindy, at your service!), and a drive down a country road can be suddenly cut short so Nurse Cindy can assist at the accident in the other lane. The more Super Nurse Cindy helped, the more often the accidents seemed to happen…she wasn’t an ambulance chaser, she was usually there before the ambulance…she was a trauma magnet!
Somehow the word got out around the neighborhood also. I can remember one day in particular that feels like it happened just yesterday (in fact I think I was in 10th grade, so that would be almost 20 years ago). At the corner a 1/2 block from our house students had gathered to wait for the bus in the early morning (my bus, in fact, and I was late). Suddenly there was banging on the door and kids yelling for Mrs. Lazenby to come quickly. They had just witnessed Brad, a boy just older than me, drop to the ground convulsing. Terrifying for the kids, but for me I am thinking “oh, he’s having a seizure” and continue packing my lunch. Funny thing is, Brad’s parents lived about 4 more houses away, but everyone ran to our house to get my mom. Turns out he was having a Grand Mal seizure, and he had never had one before, which is pretty scary and mom got him to the hospital right away. It ended up being my responsibility to find his girlfriend at school and explain what happened. While she is sobbing hysterically and frantically trying to find someone to drive her to the hospital, I realized her reaction was probably much more normal than mine. What was wrong with me?
Turns out, nothing was/is wrong with me, I am blessed now with confidence, patience and level-headed thinking in emergency situations. I have seen my share of guts and gore over the years and pride myself in being able to channel Nurse Cindy in the moments where it really counts. We may not be similar in many ways Mom, but I am proud that others can count on me, the way our family and friends, and perfect strangers count on you.
Not sure how I feel about ‘the talk‘ being illustrated by a nursing textbook, but since I seem to have turned out okay, we’ll let that one slide.