At BALA we believe the key to creating something special for nurses is listening to nurses. We spent a full year traveling the USA asking you what you want in a pair of shoes and the result is the BALA Twelves, which we are excited to share soon :)
In those discussions we talked about more than shoes. You shared difficult stories about understaffed floors and violent patients as well as amazing teams and close moments with patients. Your stories are the foundation of BALA and guide the decisions we make in building a company for you.
When we launched our website I received an email from Lara, a nurse in Arkansas who wanted to share a story about why she decided to become a nurse. Her motivation and resolve were so inspiring to me that I wanted to share with the community. Her story is below.
If you have a story you want to share I would love to hear from you. My email is below. Thanks so much for being a part of our community and helping us build a shoe for you. We could not do it without each and every one of you.
Brian Lockard, Co-Founder
Why did you decide to be a nurse?
I’m Lara Beth Gore, a 24 year old BSN, RN from Arkansas. I’ve been a nurse for 3 years officially, as of July 16th, 2020 with my specialty being Neurosurgery/Neurology. I’m telling you all that, to then give you a little bit about my background and why I wanted to become a nurse.
I was a healthy, active kid growing up and then at the age of 16 I suffered from 2 strokes about 36 hours apart that left me paralyzed on my left side I was hospitalized for weeks and then underwent intensive physical and occupational therapy for months to follow. A cause was never identified, a lot of theories though!
According to the doctors I was able to gain back about 90% function (it doesn’t always seem that way, but I’m super thankful for what function I have, because I know it could have been so much worse).
After going through all that, I decided I wanted to become a nurse because during my whole experience, it was the nurses who left the biggest impact on me I wanted to be able to give back that same sense of hope, healing, and comfort into people like the nurses did for me.
What parts of your job are harder because of your stroke? How do you overcome those challenges?
So the parts of my job that I consider to be harder because of my strokes are, basically anything that would involve the coordination and dexterity of both hands.
I have 90% function of my left side (my fine motor skills are what is most effected, not my strength). I have a hard time putting on sterile gloves, who doesn’t?? But specifically I have a hard time wiggling my fingers into the proper finger places, so I had to 1) upsize in gloves to give me more wiggle room, literally, and 2) I always make sure to get my right hand in first so it’s sterile and can assist the left.
Another thing, is blood draws, you stick with your dominant hand and usually pop the tubes into the vacuum with the other. To overcome that I will either bring in a buddy nurse to help, I can switch hands once I’ve successfully gotten a flash of blood and then pop the tubes in, or, if I’m feeling adventurous, I will just try with the left hand. I can do it, it’s just a little slower. But I think the most disappointing struggle was that I had fellow nurses that didn’t want my help because they didn’t feel like I could adequately do my job. That one hurt. But the best thing I did in that situation was prove them wrong.
I can do my job and I believe I do a great job. Adapt and overcome, it’s what we do!
What is it like working with stroke patients? How does it feel to treat someone who is going through something that you have directly experienced?
Because of what I went through, I think I have a unique perspective when getting to take care of stroke patients. I know exactly what they’re going through and it’s usually very emotional for me. I love getting to share my story with patients and their families. It’s why I chose Neuro as my specialty.
I am thankful for what happened to me, it gave me a purpose and nursing gave me a place to share my story and help others in a similar position. If I have changed one life and given them hope during a difficult time, then I think it’s all worth it!