*Let me make my own choice*
“I’ve fed a man his last meal as I sat next to his unfamiliar family while he dies from cirrhosis, a life choice of alcohol.
I’ve held a screaming baby as they detox from the cocaine the mother chose to use while pregnant.
I’ve worked to save the life of the driver when I knew the other car had no survivers because he chose to drink and drive.
I’ve given chemotherapy to a dying man even after he was told by doctors there was nothing more to be done. It was his choice to keep fighting. He died in my arms.
I’ve done CPR on grandmothers with wishes to die peaceful because the family made a choice to keep trying.
I’ve sacrificed my family, my holidays, I’ve come in on days off and in the middle of the night for the person who chose to overdose again.
I’ve supported the girl who chose to kill her own baby through abortion.
I’ve stayed in an isolated room with a patient who’s family chose not to see their loved one, I help them die with peace.
I’ve been hit, pushed against the wall, chairs thrown at me, verbally abused, physically abused, and I still go in the room to help the boy who chose to shoot up household cleaners.
I’ve seen people die on transplant list because you chose for your loved one to not be an organ donor.
I’ve worked to keep the life of an addict, I put her on the ventilator and gave her cardiac meds to force her heart to beat, I stood for 14 hrs and never had a break. I didn’t eat for 12 hrs. I fought with all I had and in the end I held her teenage son as he cried in my arms next to his mom’s lifeless body taken by her choice to use drugs.
I wiped brain matter off his head. I wept, I stood in the corner and composed myself. I wrapped his head nicely and made him presentable for family after he chose to end his life.
I’ve taken a baby from a mom who said her choice was to give him up for adoption.
I’ve held the hand of the COPD patient as they slowly suffocate in their last breath due to a life choice of smoking.
I became a nurse 10 years ago and every one of these patients I can still see. They have changed me. I don’t agree with their choices but I show up to work everyday and I give support, I help them, I fight for them.
Now you say I have no choice over my own body. After all I’ve sacrificed for the free choices of others, you now say I’m disposable for making the best choice for me.
How can this be the reality we face. Health care workers are exhausted from helping others who made choices they don’t agree with.
Let us make our own choice.” Lacey Sherrill