REIKI REVISITED

A couple of weeks ago, as I followed our tour group, I saw this sign over a storefront on a busy street in Galway. How surprising to see that Reiki was practiced in Ireland. Well, not so surprising says my friend, fellow nurse practitioner and Reiki Master Teacher, Jane Van De Velde, who tells meContinue reading “REIKI REVISITED”

AN ODE TO THE BEST HOUSE ON THE BLOCK

Nurses who make home visits will be able to relate to this. I scan houses I would like to visit—to see not only who lives in them but how they live. What health problems or social issues would I have to address? I took a picture of this house on the west side of ChicagoContinue reading “AN ODE TO THE BEST HOUSE ON THE BLOCK”

CARING AND THE MALE NURSE

Back in the ‘80s I ran a clinic for the elderly that was housed in an apartment on the tenth floor of a Chicago high rise. My patients came to see me, a nurse practitioner, in the office but in many instances I would later check up on them in their apartments in the buildingContinue reading “CARING AND THE MALE NURSE”

THE WEIRDEST HOME VISIT

When I worked in the home care program at a VA hospital in Illinois, medical students sometimes came along with us nurse practitioners while we made our visits. I enjoyed showing them the reality of delivering care in the patient’s home—where we were guests—the subtle line between suggestion and decree, education and instruction, doing forContinue reading “THE WEIRDEST HOME VISIT”

NURSES REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Betsy, a writer friend, emailed me the story she had read in our workshop since I had to miss the class. She knows I hang on every episode of her life in Ireland where her second child was born and she negotiated the daily vicissitudes of a different culture. In this episode she had leftContinue reading “NURSES REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE”

24-Hour Woman

“What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.” —Gabriel Garcia Marquez I remember Sadie Rooney handing me a brown paper bag on my visit that autumn day in the early 90s. Her husband, Jim, a self-taught preacher, had died the month before. At firstContinue reading “24-Hour Woman”

ONCE A NURSE, ALWAYS A NURSE By Jane Van De Velde, DNP, RN

My nursing career has taken me down many paths over the years. Presently, I am a Reiki Master Teacher as well as the founder of a nonprofit organization called The Reiki Share Project. People often ask me what I “do.” And I usually begin by telling them that I am a registered nurse. Their nextContinue reading “ONCE A NURSE, ALWAYS A NURSE By Jane Van De Velde, DNP, RN”

Long Lost Story

Just last week I came across a folder in an old box on the bottom of a closet. There I found accordion-pleated sheets of paper where I had written about the Donovan family in single space dot-matrix some twenty years ago. Bill Donovan had lung cancer with metastasis to his bones and brain. He diedContinue reading “Long Lost Story”

The Murder Building

When I visited a patient in my caseload that lived in an “unsafe” part of the city, I went in the morning. Right after the pimps and drug dealers had called it a night and before the shop keepers pulled up the bars over the store windows and the women came out to sweep theContinue reading “The Murder Building”

Unsolved Mystery?

This happened long ago. I worked for a hospital-based home care program. We, nurse practitioners, received referrals from physicians who had exhausted all options to prolong the patients’ life. We visited the patient in his home and helped the family care for him until death. Traditional hospice services were not an option as yet. MyContinue reading “Unsolved Mystery?”