I really think I am one of the luckiest people on the planet. No, really, I do. Especially when it comes to working.
I stayed home from the time Tucker was born until 2008. I honestly didn't think I'd ever go back. Once, when we lived in Biloxi, I came close to it. One of my dearest friends was the nurse manager of L&D at a local hospital. She and I had talked casually for years about me coming to work part time for her. One day in August of 2005, Pablo and I decided I should really consider it for financial reasons. My friend and I prayed about it and she left it with me to pray with Pablo. 1 week later, Katrina hit the Gulf Coast and not only was she out of a job, the entire hospital was literally gone. We viewed that as a pretty sure answer to prayer.
Fast forward a couple of years, and we found ourselves in seminary, tired of living below the poverty line. So we decided it was time. Don't get me wrong, we were managing ok. But we were, well, spoiled and wanted to go out to eat once in a blue moon and not sweat over how we could make that happen. After all, Pablo took about a 50% pay cut when we came here.
I got my Louisiana nursing license and started looking around. And that's when The T came into my life. My first impression of Touro was a good one. Touro sits in the middle of Uptown New Orleans. Tree lined streets, enormous mansions, and streetcars. All that is New Orleans. (OK, not all, but you get the point). I love the area and that made it all the more attractive.
And then I met Ivy.
The nurse manager had me cracking up in a matter of 2 minutes. I loved her immediately. The interview wasn't much of an interview at all -- it was more like 2 old friends just sharing NICU war stories and laughing our heads off. I called Paul on the drive home and told him "I love it!!"
I started a few weeks after that. Even nursing orientation, which is normally a monumental drag (think trying to stay awake after taking 2 Ambien), was, well, kinda fun. I met great people. That was my first glimpse of real New Orleanians. I'm sad to say that the few years tucked in behind the gates of the seminary had sequestered me from these wonderful, vibrant, resilient people. Born and raised in New Orleans, these men and women had worked through the storm and never wavered in their committment to the city that they loved. I was, in short, smitten.
Touro serves a wide range of patients. From the uptown crowd to the 9th ward crowd, we see them all. I am proud to say that we treat them all the same. Not to say we don't get a few laughs out of the more eccentric of the 2 extremes. I don't think I've ever come home without a story to tell. But the nurses and doctors I work with are, hands down, the best.
Sometimes when I contemplate leaving, my very first thought is of Touro. Isn't that funny? I actually like going to work. I remember when Pablo and I were preparing to move from the Outer Banks. Our neighbors had a going away party for us. As we walked away, back to our house, I asked him, "Do you think we'll have neighbors like this in Kentucky?" (We didn't.)
When I think of moving away, one of my first thoughts is, "Will I ever find a place like Touro?"
I sure hope so.