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“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.”
― Steve Maraboli

I was thrilled to be presenting at the 2016 Eastern Regional WOCN Conference, “Strengthening Our Core” this weekend.


The WOCN Society is a professional nursing society which supports its members by promoting educational, clinical and research opportunities to advance the practice and guide the delivery of expert health care to individuals with wounds, ostomies and incontinence.
Wound care nurses are some of the most generous, kind, compassionate, personable, funny, helpful and inspiring people I know. And believe me, I’ve come to know quite a few of them.

The biggest honor was to have a very special guest in the audience: Tina Nardi, a wound care nurse that is as resilient as I am…meaning she never gave up on me after my 27th disastrous surgery, when the last person on earth I wanted to see was another medical person. This surgery was supposed to fix my medical situation, not make it worse! Did I really want to face the disappointing reality that after these three awful surgeries within eight days, I would truly require more bags?


And good ol’ Tina kept dropping off ostomy bags to try in my mailbox…when I wouldn’t even open my door! Thanks Tina.  You can read about how she saved my spirit in my article for the Mighty.

But I did. And boy, did I have fun showing them off at my presentation, as I illustrated a “creative approach to wound care.”


What other conference to I get to present my emergency bag with all of my…toys?

One nurse commented that the most helpful advice I gave was regarding how to actively listen to a patient. I know firsthand,when healing from trauma, there is great therapeutic value in simply the act of telling your story. When we are finally able to put into words what we’re feeling or thinking, most often, we just want someone to compassionately listen. We don’t always tell our problems to someone so they can fix things. In this case, silence is truly golden.


I also got to explain my favorite four survival skills that helped me make it this far. As an audience member tweeted out from my presentation at the Annual Mental Health America Conference, here they are!

And you can read all about why these skills are so great, and literally, SIMPLY great here.

When you know what you're grateful for, you know what you're about. (1)

What a rewarding experience. WOCN, you truly do strengthen our core…and that’s saying a LOT from a gal who literally doesn’t have a stomach!


     Or as I like to say…Gutless and Grateful 🙂

P.S. Wanna know how important positive thinking is in the hospital, even when a patient may seem at their worst? Read the unlikely story of how my one-woman musical came to be.

See photos from the event here!

See a 15 minute clip from my talk here:

If you’re curious, you can view parts one, two, three and four…I wish I had all day to talk to these amazing group of nurses!


What’s in my bag?

I talked plenty about the supplies I need in my “emergency bag.” It’s quite a routine to manage a wound that hasn’t healed for five years. Read about it in my article…

No I Can’t Sit Down: What it’s like walking around with a wound that will never heal


Lots and lots of supplies needed daily…

View the powerpoint presentation


You can view my presentation here, filled with tips on how to manage the physical and psychological aftermath of trauma, and how to find the best possible creative collaborations with your patient.

Hey nurses!

Have questions about my presentation, or interested in more information from one of the slides of my PowerPoint? I have plenty of resources to direct you to. Just send me a note!

You also might be interested in my articles on….

As you heard in my four hard core resiliency recipe, Creativity is a huge survival skill. You can download a free creativity e-book to share with your patients…or do yourself, here!

We all start somewhere.. (1)


And also, I could NOT recommend this book enough for any caregiver or patient – read my review of the new release, The Patient’s Playbook. If you leave a comment, you’ll be entered in a giveaway to snag a free copy!


Thank you, nurses. In a creative collaboration, we really are stronger together. And we couldn’t do it without you.  Has being a nurse changed your life, or has a detour in your life inspired you to become a nurse? I’d love to share your story with my readers.  Learn how to share your story on my site here.


“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”
― Charles Dickens



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