A Nurse’s Hands

And now, for something a little different.

Lately I’ve taken to looking at my hands, which appear to have morphed into my grandmother’s in recent years. They are well-worn and the skin is thinning rapidly, much to my dismay. While a layer of fat fills in the lines in my face, the same thing can’t be said for my hands, which tell my life story without words.

And then I think: these hands have held new life, and comforted the dying.

These hands have given the first bath…..and the last.

They have been washed literally hundreds of thousands of times in the service of people I didn’t give birth to.

They have administered the first feeding and the last dose of morphine.

They have rubbed sore backs, dressed wounds, smoothed fresh linens over feverish bodies. They have fed, cleaned, stopped bleeding, performed CPR. They have also prepared the living for surgery, and the dead for their final journey.

They are the hands of a nurse. And while I’m no longer a working nurse, my hands will forever bear the marks of the noble work they once did.

And somehow, that makes the wrinkles OK.

Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

9 thoughts on “A Nurse’s Hands

  1. This reminded me of when Christ washed the feet of his friends. I have no doubt honor awaits you one day in His kingdom. Not simply because of your hands, but your heart. Many nurses do what you did, but just for he paycheck. I know you did it with the heart Christ had towards others.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I am currently a RN w bipolar starting the process of disability. I scrolled this far back so far to compare ur story to mine as why u left. Thank u for sharing ur story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome. I wish you the best in your disability case; it’s hard to get it for mental illness but it’s definitely possible. And welcome to bpnurse!


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