Wednesday, June 29, 2016

To the Public Health Nurse Who Saved My Family

Dear Public Health Nurse,

You saved me.  You probably aren't aware of the impact you have had on my family, but I want to tell you that you saved me.

You first started coming to our house 2 years ago to do weekly weight checks on Davy, who had recently gotten his G Tube

You rejoiced with me over each ounce that Davy gained and mourned with me over each ounce that he lost.  You noticed how Anna was also very tiny for her age and started weighing her too, taking a load off my mind as I could finally see tangible evidence of her slow, but steady growth.

To the Public Health Nurse Who Saved My FamilyBut, you didn't just weigh Davy on your portable scale and then leave each week.  You stayed for a while, and you let me talk.  You showed me how to deal with the stress of being a medical mama.  You let me cry and sometimes, you gave me a hug before you left.  You gave me ways to balance Davy's care with the needs of my 3 older kids.  You helped me figure out how to handle sweet little toddler Anna when she acted out to get attention and made me pull my hair out in frustration.  You researched and printed off articles for whatever parenting issue I was currently dealing with, and you gave me valuable information on feeding a failure to thrive child.  You encouraged me to lean on my friends and my family when I didn't have the courage to ask for help.

"You can do this.  You are a great mom." you said to me so many times, and I knew that they weren't just empty words.

When you hear something enough, you start to believe it.

You told my kids over and over again how amazing they are, and how they were such big helpers to me.  I watched the pride fill their eyes as they took your words to heart, especially during those times when I couldn't find the words myself.

When my depression started to take control over me, you assured me that there was no shame in asking for help.  You are the reason that I had the courage to go to my doctor and get my life back.

photo credit: In the rain via photopin (license)
And when I finally confided to you how my own health seemed to be going downhill, and I suspected that Ehlers Danlos Syndrome was the monster wreaking havoc in my family, you immediately took on the extra responsibility of starting the processes and paperwork to get my family the help we need.

I've heard that having a child with medical needs can make or break a marriage.  Mine survived and came out stronger, and I credit you partly for that.  If I hadn't had your support, I would've crumbled and my relationship with my husband would have followed. 
The knowledge that my family is not the only one that you have helped this way fills me with joy.  To know that other families have you supporting them as well means so much to me.

I've seen many other special needs families talk about how they struggle to navigate social services and public health.  It saddens me because I know that having someone like you on their side would make a world of difference for them. 

An open letter to the public health nurse who saved my family

I wouldn't have survived the last 2 years intact if it hadn't been for you.  I never expected to forge a friendship with you, but I did and I will forever be thankful for that.   

This post is linked up at: 1. Comfort in the Midst of Chaos 2. Being Fibro Mom  3. Mom's Small Victories 4. The Zippy Zebra 5. Raising Samuels 6. Mummy Do It 7. Don't Call Me Supermom 8. What Joy Is Mine 9. Donna Reidland 10. Smart Mom, Smart Ideas  11. Marilyn's Treats 12. The Joy Chaser 13. Mrs AOK A Work in Progress 14. Deb CB 15. Different Dream 


  1. There are some great public health nurses in the area!

  2. What a heartfelt thank you note, Hannah! It's wonderful when you find a support system in your time of need. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post!

  3. This is lovely :) It is nice to read something good about humanity once in awhile

    1. Yes, there are still some good people out there!! :)

  4. This was so beautiful. I am in tears. You have been though so much and your strength is amazing.

  5. Home visitors can really be a lifeline for parents of medically complicated children. Thank you for expressing your gratitude so publicly. Your words are touching and beautiful. Thanks for sharing on Family Joy Blog Link-Up Party. Have a great week!

  6. You are so lucky to have forged such a special and valuable bond with your public health nurse. As someone else who has battled depression (I'm still on medication and will be for some time to come) just having someone to really listen to you is such a relief and can make all the difference when you are struggling to stay afloat. Beautiful post x

    1. Thank you! I hope you are able to find a similar resource!


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