As a Pediatric Nurse, Alice Ambrose Helps Others With Bladder Exstrophy
Editor’s Note: Alice Ambrose loves children, and because of the profession she’s chosen, she enjoys being with children every day. Part 5 of a 5 part series.
I was a pediatric homecare nurse for a while, and now, I’m a pediatric nurse at a doctor’s office. I assist with patients and triage phone calls for three pediatric urologists who see between 20 to 25 patients a day. I’m amazed at how many different people and children I come in contact with each day.
I’ve also organized a one weekend, summertime campout – the Great Lakes Exstrophy Campout – for the Great Lakes region, like I went to in Seattle, for families and people who have exstrophy. The campout provides an opportunity for them to meet each other, have a good time and share experiences.
I think the campout is especiallygood for siblings of people who have exstrophy as well, since they’re often the ones who feel somewhat left out of the family with the focus on the one with exstrophy. These families learn that you can go camping and swimming with exstrophy.
Dr. Michael Mitchell, the one who did my big surgery for an Indiana pouch that allowed me to get rid of my bag and instead be able to use a catheter, started a support group for exstrophy patients and their families, which included the campouts in 1989 in Seattle. When I moved to Michigan, I wanted to start a campout like the one that had been a part of my life, because I knew I had really benefited from it.
Four years ago, I got involved in ballroom dancing, and it has really done a lot for me physically and emotionally. In my late 30s and early 40s, I had problem with self confidence. Ballroom dancing gives me a chance to dress nicely and feel good about myself.
When I look to the future, I hope I’ll still be a pediatric nurse and I hope the campouts will be even bigger than they are today. I hope that 5 years from now, Brad and I still will be ballroom dancing and that I’ve been able to get my certification as a urology registered nurse. I want to continue to connect with other people who have exstrophy. I have Facebook friends now from all over the world, and even though I’ve never met them, we’ve connected. I want people with exstrophy to know they’re not alone. I hope that in the future, I’m still enjoying life like I am now.
“My 10 Commandments” by Elodie Armstrong – these ideas have helped to shape my daily life.
1) Thou shalt not worry, for worry is the most unproductive of all human activities.
2) Thou shalt not be fearful, for most of the things we fear never come to pass.
3) Thou shalt not cross bridges before you get to them, for no one yet has succeeded in accomplishing this.
4) Thou shalt face each problem as it comes. You can handle only one at a time anyway.
5) Thou shalt not take problems to bed with you for they make very poor bedfellows.
6) Thou shalt not borrow other people’s problems, since they can take better care of them than you can.
7) Thou shalt not try to relive yesterday for good or for ill – it’s gone. Concentrate on what is happening in your life today.
8) Thou shalt count thy blessings, never overlooking the small ones, for many small blessings add up to a big one.
9) Thou shalt be a good listener, for only when you listen do you hear ideas different from your own. Learning something new is difficult when you’re talking.
10) Thou shalt not become bogged down by frustration, for 90 percent of it is rooted in self-pity and only will interfere with positive action.
Here’s a video from the camp that Alice coordinates:
About the Author: For the last 12 years, John E. Phillips of Vestavia, Alabama, has been a professional blogger for major companies, corporations and tourism associations throughout the nation. During his 24 years as Outdoor Editor for “The Birmingham Post-Herald” newspaper, he published more than 7,000 newspaper columns and sold more than 100,000 of his photos to newspapers, magazines and internet sites. He also hosted a radio show that was syndicated at 27 radio stations; created, wrote and sold a syndicated newspaper column that ran in 38 newspapers for more than a decade; and wrote and sold more than 30 books. Learn more at http://www.nighthawkpublications.com