How my disappointments brought me closer to a positive outcome

Finding new home-care nurses is challenging but worth the wait

Ari Anderson avatar

by Ari Anderson |

Share this article:

Share article via email
Main graphic for

So much of life is about gaining maturity through our experiences. Sometimes we go through events similar to ones we’ve experienced before, but we now understand them from a whole different perspective.

A few months ago, I shared here that my back was to the wall. I need night care for my SMA, but my main overnight nurse had to change her hours to days for personal reasons. Knowing that there’s a severe shortage of home-care nurses, I was waiting for someone to rescue me and cover this time so that my mom wouldn’t have to. This would be extremely hard for her since she works 12 hours a day at her job. I’ve always been provided with nurses somehow, and I wondered who the Lord might send this time.

Little did I know when I wrote my column of worries that positive changes were already in motion.

At that point, nurses had been turning down my case over the spring and summer. But my mom offered me some profound wisdom. The rejections weren’t meant to cause me pain and disappointment, she said; they were instead bringing me closer to finding that special someone who’d commit to my case.

Recommended Reading
An illustration of a medical professional with a patient.

Long-term Spinraza found safe, effective for most adults with SMA

My low point

Back in July, I was at a low point. On July 6, the day before my birthday, I received a dreaded phone call: Another nurse had turned down my case.

This one hit me particularly hard because this nurse had been at my home and was learning my care faster than most. I awoke the morning of July 6 fairly confident that she would breeze through the rest of her training with me and be a great addition to my team.

Then at 6 p.m., my nursing agency called and told us the nurse didn’t think she was a good fit. I was beside myself with grief and disappointment. I thought, if someone so skilled had turned down my case, who would take it?

Yet why would I want a nurse who didn’t think she was a great fit? By turning me down, she opened the door for me to find someone who would be.

A turning point

I firmly believe that the Lord saw me struggling in the desert of disappointment and decided to pour hope into me through his own “canteen of generosity.” What followed opened my eyes to how miraculously events can unfold.

In late July, a nurse was driving back and forth between Florida and Wilmington, North Carolina, to find a job on the coast. While returning to Florida, she drove through the town where I live. I’m several hours from the North Carolina coast, but it was as if God put an invisible stop sign in this nurse’s path.

That sign manifested as a flat tire when she arrived in my city. The Lord must have placed a thought in her head because she suddenly exclaimed to herself, “This might be a great place to live and work.”

I have to commend my nursing agency. When she looked them up that day, the agency jumped at the opportunity and called her back within minutes. By the end of the day, she’d found a place to live and work here.

Since this nurse started working with me in mid-August, she’s made up for all those disappointments. She not only learned my care with ease and speed, but she also has a huge, caring heart. That’s a powerful combination.

It’s normal for nurses to be better at some tasks than others. No single nurse can take on every aspect of my care during their shifts. That’s OK, as long as everybody does their part. But my new nurse doesn’t care how much I give her to do during nights, as long as she’s kept busy. Her can-do attitude fills me with overwhelming gratitude.

Although she’s working three nights a week and doing great, I now need to find a replacement for another one of my nurses who wants to stop working nights. I’ll more than likely be turned down several more times, but I now know that every time it happens, I’ll be brought closer to my next great nurse. I send my requests to God, as Philippians 4:6 says.

Taking a positive approach to disappointments helps me soar and cope with SMA. I hope it’s encouraged you as well!

Note: SMA News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of SMA News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to spinal muscular atrophy.


Leave a comment

Fill in the required fields to post. Your email address will not be published.