Thursday, September 28, 2023

Becoming, and becoming a nurse

It's been a whirlwind since I started nursing school.
Classes almost every day, tests all the time. Memorization, memorization, memorization. Learning and studying constantly. When I'm not in class I am home studying and making summaries in English of the classes (which are all in Hebrew of course). (I do try to get to the gym still, but it's more like once a week...) To say it's been challenging is an understatement, it's been so intensive and difficult for me I feel like I am just scraping by. But I've passed all the tests (so far?), and am keeping my head above water. The amount of learning feels like first year medical school, honestly, with the in-depth details of illnesses, syndromes, and complications we learn. Soon we start a class in pharmacology, where the level of memorization will skyrocket to heights yet unknown to me. Then pharmacological mathematics, where, if you don't get a 100 on the test, you don't pass the course.

Two more years to go.....

Today I had a test in Pathology. It was mostly about cancer tumors, post-mortem exams, various illnesses with varying and complicated names for tumors and irregular developments. What didn't I have to work too hard to learn? That which I've personally been through-- Lipomas, hypotrophic scarring, necrosis, infections that can lead to necrosis, sepsis. I am a pro in those fields of information.

Funny thing is that the test was in a classroom in Soroka hospital, the place where I went through all that stuff. Usually our classes and tests are accross the street in the teacher's center building, but it was closed today so they sent us to Soroka to take our test. Aside from not wanting to run into the doctor from the NF, I was also flooded with memories of my hospital stays there. I was in the area where it all happened, the main area. Recently, like for the past few years, if I've needed the hospital at all, I've only had to go to the out-patient building, and not experience flashbacks. And honestly, I've been so healthy that I've only been to the hospital grounds a few times, and those were to finish my series of immunizations for getting ready to be a nurse (lots of vaccinations in order to work in the hospital).

Today there was anxiety and flashbacks. It was murky. But oddly positive, too. Appealing to me in some way. I studied so hard for the pathology test, but the unexpected flashbacks weren't helping me retain my material. It's hard to describe this relationship I have with that hospital, where I'll soon (January) be doing clinicals in the wards with the nurses and doctors. In one way, that hospital is a magical place, a place where I changed, emotionally and physically, and where I survived, when death was a real possibility. It brings up all kinds of feelings for me, some challenging and some positive. I am drawn to being there, to hopefully help others who are in similar position to where I was 16 years ago. It's not going to be easy, though, I know this.

My scar still hurts often, and I might be having some kidney problems. My upper leg and half of my belly area are forever numb. I still deal with PTSD, although recently not as much, thank G-d. There are daily reminders for me of the NF. They will never go away. I hope that physically I can do the nursing that I want to do. In some ways, I wish I could train in a different hospital, clean slate. In other ways, Soroka is where my tikun lies, and I am relieved and excited that I am on track to meet it face to face. Being there today was good. I got a great parking space. And the test went well. :)


  1. It is so beautiful that you made the resolve after experiencing adversity, to help others who may suffer in a similar way as you had. May G-d bless you and watch over you as you become a nurse, and may you succeed with G-d’s Help to become a great healer. 💕 Barbara and Daniel