About a year ago, this was my life. At 5’6 and over 212 pounds, I had a high-stress, full-time teaching job with a 2.5 hour commute. On clinical days, I would get up at 4 a.m. I was also my husband’s care giver; he had liver cancer that progressed to the bone rapidly.
When I lost Rich on November 25, 2016, I had just received the first National Apprenticeship program for CNAs with Job Corps and had three different programs running. I wasn’t sleeping and generally felt sick to the soul, in which meditation and mantras were not helping. I took the survey by the American Nurses Association-my results were in the RED (high risk) in all categories - Safety, Nutrition, Sleep, Physical Activity and Quality of Life. I don’t think I would have taken my health as seriously without that survey. I set out to improve each area.
I bought a treadmill and started walking, even at lunch time during work. I paid attention to what I put in my mouth, packed healthier lunches, and cut my carbs in half. I relaxed to meditation music, listened to sea breeze sounds to go to sleep and set upon a personal growth series. I started to feel healthier and lost 25 pounds by July. I decreased my stress by more than half and lost another 7 pounds, even after receiving a promotion. I’ve participated in the 5 K challenge with HNHN and just put on a “1st Annual Fox Forrest Turkey Trot.” I’ve signed my employer, CSD, for partnership with HNHN and am promoting HNHN to gather data on nurse health at our workplace. The original survey assisted me to set my goals and the new Healthy Nurse survey showed me results - I have improved in all categories and I’m out of the RED on 3! Best of all, I no longer require blood pressure medication.”
Robin Carmichael, RN, BSN
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