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Dealing With Jealousy

They say jealousy is the green-eyed monster. Which is pretty much correct. However it is a NORMAL human reaction/feeling. So why am I talking about jealousy here? Let me give you a little background, so it will all make more sense.

I graduated from nursing school in May of 2007, then started my dream job. Working with heart/lung/vascular patients who had recently had heart/lung or vascular surgeries. Many times they came to us from the ICU still pretty sick but we had to do what we could to make sure their recovery was normal and as pain free as possible.

In 2011 I graduated with my Bachelor's degree in nursing. In early 2012 I got a job as a clinical teacher at a school here in town. I was going to be teaching these new nursing students the real way we practice, not how you learn from your textbook. I also started my Master's in nursing education that January. But the joke was on me, I guess.

Lupus reared its head

I ended up getting really sick. Spent a week in the hospital and was discharged with no answers that said it was the beginning of my lupus journey. Long story short I ended up having to leave the job I LOVED. I was forced by my health to also quit the clinical job I was so excited about, and drop out of my master's degree.

I tried other jobs that would be less physically challenging. But ended up having to medically retire from the care I had so many dreams of.

Jealousy sneaks in

Fast forward to 2022, my sister graduates from the same nursing program I had graduated from 15 years earlier. I couldn’t be happier for her. I would never be anything but happy for her, and proud of her. But there was a bit of a sting as I sat at her pinning, and graduation ceremony. Sitting there thinking about my short career and what I wish I could have done one day. But that day wasn’t about me. So I did what we spoonies do best, I put on a smile.

It almost feels like she is getting the life that I wanted so badly. She has a great job that she loves, an amazing boyfriend, and a cute dog. (Not as cute as mine though. Haha!) I have no doubt that she will become a mother in the coming years and be a great one. She has the life I wanted and didn’t get. I can say it a million times a day that it’s not her per-say. But it is just unfair.

She recently transferred to the ICU, where she dreamed of working. Taking care of the same kind of patients I did years ago when they moved out of the ICU, to us on the step down unit. I absolutely love talking to her about her shifts. What she did, what kind of patients she cared for. What drains, or wires do they have. If she’s gotten to have a patient on ECMO, or dialysis.

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Love for my sister regardless

I truly do love that she loves her job, and the fact that she plans on going on to get her masters, or to become a Nurse Practitioner. I’m also so proud of her and will tell anyone who asks about her. But I’m human and started to feel a little jealous.

It wasn’t anything she did or didn’t do. It is all me.

But when the jealousy hits it makes me so sad that I’ll likely never go back to working as a nurse, or finish my schooling. But that’s what lupus, or other chronic illnesses do!

I love my sister more than words could ever explain. I am so so thrilled that she is finally working the job she’s wanted since early nursing school. As well as the fact that she is going to further her education. Truth be told it’s not just her that I feel jealous of. It is my friends, old coworkers, and girls I went to nursing school with.

It doesn’t mean I will stop being jealous. It won’t stop the sad feelings about not being able to do things in my career or my education. But time will help my jealous feelings. All that to say, if you are feeling jealous remember that feeling that way is just a natural human feeling.

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