Is Can’t a four letter word?

One of our biggest hurdles in life is realizing how many things we can’t do. And that can’t is not a dirty word.

Alcoholism can’t be controlled. Can’t be cured. All our efforts to control this raging wildfire on our own is going to end up burning us.

But how many have viewed “can’t” as a four letter word and just decided to try harder? To many I’m afraid, burn units full of us. But why? What is it about this little word that we find so offensive?

I believe that “can’t” speaks to our powerlessness and some of us are simply too prideful to admit that there is any situation we cannot fix, manipulate, control or even pray away.

Powerless… it just sounds wrong, our ego is  deflated at the sound of the word. I do not like the word at all, and I really don’t like the feeling of being powerless.

But the more I embrace my powerlessness, the more power I find. True Strength as my Higher Power deals lovingly and fairly with everything that is outside of me and allows me to deal with what’s inside.

Can’t has morphed from a nasty four letter word into a cry of freedom. A wonderful admission of hope that my God has not left me here with unsolvable problems and hopeless situations.

I can’t.

He Can.

I think I’ll let Him.

God is my strength and power: He maketh my way perfect.   2nd Samuel 22:22

Are nurses co-dependents?


Yep, friends and sports fans, that IS me! Circa 1989. When I finally found my graduation picture after a move, my now teenaged children screamed with laughter. As for me, I look at this young lady, so full of excitement for her new career, and my mind plays memories as my heart fills with wonder and joy.

My childhood was full of stuffed animals covered in band aids, Barbie took great care of Ken, who had red sharpie wounds all over his belly from falling out of the Pink Winnebago. The neighborhood kids knew if you got a cut or some sort of wound we run to Alana’s mom, who had a spectacular fist aid kit and magic, cool soft hands that healed. My father would encourage me to “be a doctor!” But no, I wanted to take care of people…

So after this cap was pinned to my head and I finally was able to wear ***drum roll*** WHITE HOSE I was finally a graduate nurse, at my first job in a large major medical center and I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I started with two of my classmates and on our orientation day we paraded around the floor with the assistant nurse manager who was a large, very imposing woman with a deep voice, a bald spot on her scalp from years of pinning a cap to her head and her white uniform glowed and shimmered.

She had just shown us the narcotic closet, explained how we were to count off keys and drugs at each shift change and the penalties for any discrepancy’s found. I was all agog and thrilled with my new heavy responsibility when she locked the closet door, turned, looked me dead in the eyes and said, “Remember, all good nurses are codependent.”

I smiled and nodded as I thought, “Well I have no idea what that is, but I am going to look it up and be the best one EVER!”

I have laughed a lot over this memory. The definition of codependent is “a type of dysfunctional helping relationship where one person supports or enable another person.” ( short version)  Hmmmm…… When you are sick, dying, recovering from surgery or major illness don’t you want a supportive helper? An enabler towards wellness? An advocate for your care?  A magical, cool soft hand to hold yours or soothe you with a touch? I do.

While I am the first to admit that in my personal life codependency was an out of control fire that helped burn a marriage to the ground in the flames of another’s addiction, at work it served me well. I was able to pour my heart and soul into the care of my patients within acceptable boundaries of a professional relationship. At home I had no such boundaries to tell me when to stop, when my helpfulness had turned into manipulation. Or when it was my own pride that refused to surrender or submit.  At home I was unable to see that I was sick too, until the illness’ present had become terminal.

So yes, I do believe good nurses are codependent and brilliant, smart cookies with good hearts and healthy boundaries!

For me, it all goes back to the original textbook on life and my “nurse verse”:

“The king will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for ME.”        Matthew 25:40 NIV


Thankful for Nurses!

I had to share this post as it brought me to tears thinking of the trust and confidence patients and family members alike have placed in me over the years. I love being a nurse and like my colleagues it is an honor and joy to care for you! xxoo Alana

In 2013 I toured the new intensive care units back at the hospital where I volunteer. At the time I was acutely aware how outdated my nursing skills were and realized that I wouldn’t even be safe to flip on a light switch. The state-of-the-art machines were daunting. I never thought that three years later […]

via  I Am Grateful to the Nurses — Marianna Crane: nursing stories