UA-1097430-1

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Public Health Nurses Often Help Wayward Young Women

If it hadn’t been for our local public health nurse, I don’t know where I’d be. Maybe I would have ended up being like the other girls I see selling themselves on the street corner. I could have been dead from overdosing on drugs; I saw other people do it, and I was no different from them. However, I am not dead, and I did not become a prostitute. I am healthy, alive, and I even have a job. I met Maria, who I am thankful for, and I have beautiful daughter who is my pride and joy.

It started when I got pregnant for the first time. I was fifteen. It might be difficult to believe that I was having sex at that age, but it was because it was expected to do so, not because I enjoyed it. I followed everyone else since they were doing it. As you may think, I got pregnant on the first try. I had no idea how sex worked and what it involved, but once I found out about my condition, I was very scared. I did not want to have a baby when I was still a sophomore in high school!

I wanted to have an aborting instead of carrying the baby throughout the nine months. The problem was that I did not have the money for it, and I did not want to tell my mom about it as she would make me feel guilty about my decision. But at the same time, she would be blaming herself for how I turned out.

Anyway, a friend of mine offered me a solution, he knew some guys who wanted to (in his words) “have a good time” and were willing to pay for it. Well, I was desperate! So, I said yes. He gave me some pointers (and some condoms) and I scraped together the money to take care of my “problem.” There was one problem after another, and although I was able to make some easy money for two years by trading my “services” for cash (or drugs if the person was unable to make payment), I ended up getting pregnant again. However, this time around was bad as I got really sick. Apparently, I was not aware that there was some damage done to my body during my abortion. I would have no idea in what to do if I did not have Maria around.

Maria is the public health nurse who works at our local social services office. She was able to refer me to a real doctor to correctly treat my condition. The doctor was able to provide me with the proper D&C with his care. And when it was all over with, Maria didn’t leave me to fend for myself, she made sure that I knew my options, she taught me all about contraception and sexually transmitted diseases, she also talked to me at great length about where I saw myself, what I wanted to do with my life. Once I told her that I wanted to be a teacher, she did not hesitate in referring me to counselors who can provide me information about what I need to do to be a teacher and how to finance myself.

Five years later, here I am writing this. I finished my college degree in childhood education, got a job at the same elementary school that I went to myself, and even married ‘the boy next door’ who actually turned out to be quite my prince charming. We have a beautiful baby girl now, and I am constantly reminded of Mari and her love for public health nursing whenever I look at my baby, because without Maria’s support and concern, I would have never got to where I am today.

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