Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus

My husband has always wanted to get scuba certified. He has loved the ocean ever since spending a lot of his summers as a kid on Catalina Island (where we will do our 6 required dives by the way) at his grandparents' hotel. Nathan has been wanting me to get certified with him ever since we started dating. I have always laughed saying "I could NEVER scuba dive" For his birthday this year, I am not only giving him a Scuba certification class, I'm doing it with him! Yikes! His patience will be rewarded.

The following is my own acronym for the word SCUBA.

Scary: This is the word that has caused me to say "no" to my husband all these years. It's a totally different world under there. Definitely not my comfort zone. I was always taught to breathe with my nose, not my mouth. Something very basic and natural will now take concentration and thought...breathing through my mouth. It will be mind over body to not feel claustrophobic going down 70 feet. That's a long way. It's kind of the opposite of being scared of heights, being scared of depths.

Costly: This won't surprise any of you that know my husband. He's been all over southern California from San Diego to LA checking out all the scuba shops, spending hours on the internet researching the best equipment, and talking about the places he wants to scuba dive. The only things we are required to purchase for the class (other than the class itself) are gloves, booties and a hood for the wetsuit. I did purchase some goggles, a snorkel and fins so that we could go snorkeling. But just like any new activity, it usually takes some money upfront.

Ugly: No one looks good decked out in Scuba attire. Enough said.

Babysteps: I think the secret to succeeding in scuba diving (or anything that is scary and a challenge) is baby steps. 1st baby step was deciding that I could succeed at trying to get certified. Admitting that it's ok if I don't get certified, as long as I tried. The next babystep was snorkeling. Realizing that it's ok to swim under the water with the fish. I had a good time, but I wasn't able to really dive down. The last baby step is using the gear in a swimming pool and eventually the ocean.

Anticipation: While there is most definitely anxiety within me at the thought of scuba diving, I am also excited. Doing something I didn't think I could ever do and then coming to the realization that I can (with lots of prayer and determination)...is exhilarating. And so it is with great anticipation that I look forward to doing something that started out as a sacrifice and something to please my husband, has turned into an opportunity for personal growth.

It helps me to think that God created the things under the sea as much as he created the things on land. What a privilege it is to be able to see these creations up close with my husband.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A much needed break

God knows our needs before we do. We had a few rough months at work with lots of very sick children passing away. We had the largest number of deaths in a 2 month time frame than anyone could remember. Being that we work on a pediatric hematology/oncology unit, you would think that we would "get used to it" and it would just be a "part of what we do" That is not the case at all. All these deaths were making nurses rethink their choice of career and people were getting burned out.

Today I was talking with someone about what a stark contrast it has been on our unit the last few weeks. Our census is so low, so many empty beds, that we are calling off nurses each shift, we are floating to other units, and our assignments are nice, cushy, 2-3 easy patient lists. It's not even like this around Christmas when we try to get as many children home as possible. This last Christmas, there wasn't any empty bed to be seen. I mentioned that I think God knew we needed a break and this was His gift to us. And for it, I am forever grateful.