What it takes to fuel relationships and tether hearts

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Photo by Brian Kyed on Unsplash

I was raised to believe that gays and lesbians are an abomination to god. I was taught that god didn’t like those types of people and they needed to be fixed before god could let them into heaven, let alone love them. I grew up in a middle-class, predominately white environment where sexual orientation, culture, and racism were never discussed.

Letting go of this diabolical thinking was the second best thing I’ve done as an adult. Supporting my lesbian daughters with unconditional love is the first.

When my daughters were born I was still pretty naive about life, love, and certainly all things LGBTQ+. Now, years later, I am grateful for the lessons my daughters — my personal contribution to humanity — have taught me. …

Not all mother-daughter relationships are endearing

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Joolz: age 7

A Life of Its Own

“Are you prepared for the possibility that the cancer may take on a life of its own, going its own way, charting its own course?”

Holding the phone in my hand, I didn’t respond to my mother’s words right away. I knew she was right. I’m a nurse, for heaven’s sake, of course, I had thought of that. She knew I had thought of that.

I had thought of it every single day since my diagnosis and, still, I decided I wasn’t going to treat my cancer with traditional therapy.

No surgery. No radiation. No chemotherapy. …

What am I really made of?

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Photo by Angèle Kamp on Unsplash

I Am Cerium

Today is my 58th birthday, and I am Cerium, a chemical element with an atomic number of fifty-eight. Cerium is soft and silvery-white, tarnishing easily when exposed to air.

After being exposed to air for 58 years, the tarnishing process has settled deep into my bones. And today — my birthday — I can almost feel the weight of more than a half-century as it softens its silvery-white dullness around my being. It seems like yesterday I’d just begun to live—only to realize today that there is less life ahead than behind. …

Things every daughter should hear

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The author and her daughter

My Dearest Daughter,

I admire your spirit.
You’re a fighter.
You’re strong.

You’re a “what you see is what you get” kind of girl, and I love that!!

You love to read!! Which means I am a complete success as a mother.

You’re not afraid to fail. You approach new situations with curiosity.
You’re never a shrinking violet, regardless of the outcome.

The sound of your laugh, with your heart wide open and your eyes shut tight . . . I hope you never lose that.

You live by the creed: “No person or situation is ever worth giving up myself or losing my dignity.”

Ten easy ways to bounce back

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Photo by Simon Berger on Unsplash

It’s something we neglect until — one day — we need it desperately to survive.

It’s resilience.

We don’t think about it very often. In fact, we numbly expect it to be there when we need it, even though we’ve given it little-to-no thought throughout our years.

Don’t wait — like I did — for a wake-up call like cancer to learn the lesson of resilience. …

The persistent questions I face from others will outlast my sore arm

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Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash

I received my first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine one week ago. As of right now, I haven’t experienced x-ray vision, and there’s no evidence of a third arm sprouting. A sore arm for 24 hours and a card stamped with the vaccine lot number are my only mementos.

Unless you count the many remarks and comments I’ve been collecting: everything from rumors of it altering human DNA to tweets that the vaccine will kill more people than the virus.

As a healthcare provider, I expect questions, concerns, and confusion to circulate this vaccination for some time. What I wasn’t expecting was the high level of resistance to continue after explaining the science. …

It’s time to learn why nurses are consequential

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Photo by Rusty Watson on Unsplash

The majority of people don’t know what it is that nurses do. It’s not the public’s fault. Nurses have been quiet about it for too long.

I’ve been a nurse for over 20 years and none of us expect non-nurses to understand the scope of nursing practice from which we unwind our magic every day.

But when television and media — (cough) the new medical drama Nurses — portray my incredible profession as unfriendly, incompetent, and poorly trained, it’s time to spread the word: that is not who we are!

I cannot sit by while those who are not nurses — television networks, writers, actors/actresses — create pathetic portrayals of my profession. …

How to leave your life better than how you found it

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Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

I have been working on a personal essay for the second edition of Empty The Pews, a remarkable collection of “Twenty-one timely, affecting essays by those who survived hardline, authoritarian religious ideology and uprooted themselves from the reality-averse churches that ultimately failed to contain their spirits.

Although it would be absolutely amazing if my essay were chosen for the second edition, all I find myself focusing on is their incredible mission: Empty the Pews! I wish I would have thought of it myself. …

Avoid these four headline disasters

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Photo by Obi Onyeador on Unsplash

1. The Desperate Headline

This is also known as clickbait.

Medium is not a fan . . . actually, readers aren’t fans of clickbait either.

Clickbait headlines sensationalize and mislead people into clicking on your article. They are characterized by unfulfilled promises and meager information.

Trying to scam readers into viewing your writing isn’t only frowned upon; it’s damaging. This habit will cause readers to distrust you and even avoid anything else you write, on or off Medium.

Here are ways to spot and avoid clickbait headlines:

2. The Clever Headline

Writers are clever by nature, I understand. …

The progress of negativity may be destroying you

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Photo by Oleg Magni on Unsplash

The urge to consume negative story after negative story has its own word: doomscrolling.

For months now, the world has felt like it’s on the verge of collapse. Worldwide corona virus infections with mounting death tolls, increasing unemployment rates, drastic economic downturns, persistent protesters in the streets, and a never-ending US election.

With so many negative happenings in 2020, it appears there is no other option besides negative news stories to consume. …


Julie Nyhus MSN, FNP-BC

Nurse practitioner, health/medical writer, wife, momma, amazing badass rocking 10 years without evidence of cancer! www.nprush.com Twitter @joolzfnp

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