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Nicole Tounzen

Nanny Nicole

Cabot, United States

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Isn't it fascinating that we are able to create worlds with words?

Just think. By using your imagination, and thinking through word placement, you can create beautiful stories, using "just" words.

Writing has always been a loyal friend, throughout my life. Having a hard day? Write about it. Having an awesome day? Write about it! That boy or girl that you have been crushing on notices you? Write about it. A major life event happens? Write about it. No matter the occasion, there's always an opportunity to be creative with words.

When I was younger, there were two things that I was certain I wanted to do, or be when I grew up. A mommy, and someone who really could make a difference in the world. In my high school years, I had a close family friend tell me that if I really wanted to make a difference, I would need to get a career in the medical field. I thought, well maybe I could be a nurse? After research, and the little minor detail that I don't like needles, I decided nursing was not for me.

Still uncertain what career path to choose, I felt it was important for me to go ahead and start my college education. It was the best decision of my life because it was then that my English 2 Professor, solidified my love of writing. She told me, "Nicole, I know you're considering a career in the medical field, but you should seriously consider minoring in writing. You have a gift with words. I believe you would be an amazing author." She asked me if she could enter my piece into a competition, and I gave her my permission. I later found out that my piece won! I was given a lovely plaque.

Unfortunately, I had that thought in the back of my mind, "If you truly want to make a difference, you need to have a career in the medical field."So I continued my education in medicine. My mother-in-law noticed that I was miserable. She asked me, "Nicole, why are you continuing your education in medicine? Are you happy? What are you passionate about? What makes you happy?" I was moved by our conversation. I don't think anyone had asked me that simple question. "What are you passionate about?" My answer was simple. Children. I love children! I wanted a career where I could help make a difference in children's lives.

I had a little more direction. I chose to continue my education, to become a pediatric dietitian.

Everything was going great! I had my Associates in Health and Science, and I was loving my classes in my Bachelor's program! However, what happened next changed the course of my life. For the next 8 years, I was in the fight for my life. I began to have seizure like symptoms while I was in class. Things that usually never bothered me, things that I did not have allergies to, caused major allergic reactions. I remember in one Nutrition class I had a very bad allergic reaction to a fellow student's perfume. I had a horrible migraine, my eyes were watering so bad it looked like I was crying, and then my heart was racing. It was difficult to breathe.

My professor thought I needed to go home. So I left class, unfortunately, the building was being cleaned with bleach. I went into an anaphylactic reaction. My neck and face were extremely swollen. I managed to make it home safely, I believe by the grace and protection of God. I had to withdraw from completing my Bachelor's, I was devastated. Another 3 years of this went on, without any answers from doctors. The symptoms were progressing quickly. There were vast amounts of time that went by that I was unable to move or to speak. We, my husband and I, we needed answers! What was going on? Was I going to live? Finally; we got the answers we needed! I had Lyme disease.

I am very happy to report that I no longer suffer from that debilitating disease! But that is a story all in it's own! Contact me! I would love to share it with you some time!

Life has definitely not been what I had expected or planned, but I wouldn't trade any of my life experiences for the world! It has made me the strong woman I am today. I am full of gratitude for every part of my life, every season! I have had the privilege of making a difference in the sweetest family, for the last 3 years. I worked a dream job with children, as a nanny!

Life is changing yet again, but I am looking onto the future with great expectation and enthusiasm! What a wonderful time to pursue my passion for writing!

If you are able to create worlds with words, that's making a pretty big difference in the world, don't you think?

Love Always,

Nanny Nicole

On Social Media

What Do You See?

Jul 28, 2020 1 year ago

It has been said that hindsight is 20/20, and for the most part, I have heard this used with a negative connotation. My question is, does this have to be a negative thing? What if we rewrite the story of hindsight? 2020 started off, the way it did for many. I was curious what the year would bring? Grateful for the people in my life, especially my incredible husband of 15 years! I was loving my job, and I was so grateful that I had the privilege to care for such an amazing family! I got to spend all day with the cutest 4 year old girl, and we had so much fun together! Her imagination held so many fun new adventures for us every day! Then in the afternoon, the adventures would continue, with two boys who couldn't wait to get those school wiggles out! In the words of Emperor Kuzco, from the movie; The Emperor's New Groove, "Everything was going my way. Or so I thought." Now, I didn't have someone threatening to smash me with a hammer, inside of a box that was inside of another box, but I did have some major circumstances that were threatening to smash my hope, peace and dreams. The week of my husband's 34th birthday that is when everything started to change. We found out that his company had to make some major cuts, in order for the company to stay afloat. The only problem, we were told his company was considered "essential". It was a hard call that his boss had to make, several times that week. Our hearts went out to him. During this time, I had a health scare that we thought was "Rona" but false alarm, it was a virus that had the exact same symptoms but not the Coronavirus. It was my first time to experience a drive-in triage. That was a wild experience. Nurses and doctors would come up to your car window and take your temp, and ask what your symptoms are. Then based on the severity of symptoms, they would show you which driving lane to be in. They would write your symptoms on a post-it note posted to your windshield, so they would know how to treat you. My husband and I drove to where the test was, and you know it's probably not going to be a whole lot of fun, when the nurse who is administering the test says, "sorry". It felt like a bee was stinging my brain! After a few days, we did receive the good news, however I was still symptomatic so I needed to continue my quarantine. It was during this time that the world went into quarantine. My job was furloughed because the parents I nanny for have been on the front lines of this pandemic, at two hospitals. One parent worked days, the other worked nights. My husband and I, like many people have had to, apply for unemployment. Things were uncertain and very unknown. Yet there was hope and peace. We had gone through challenging times before, and it always ended up being good in the end. So we held onto this truth: "If it's not good, then it's not the end."   My father-in-law has experienced a serious decline in his health. The family had to come together multiple times to think through what would be best for him? How can we get the care he needs during a pandemic? The nursing homes were full or going through a time of quarantine, so it was challenging to find a place for him. He went from one nursing home to another, to finally coming home, with hospice care and currently in the hospital, while this disease progresses rapidly. I had yet another health scare, with someone close to me testing positive for Covid-19. Round two of testing was taking commence. However, during this time, my husband had to stay with his parents so we did not risk getting his dad sick. The results took forever to get back. There was more good news though! I did not have Covid-19 and my friend recovered quickly, without any serious symptoms! It was time to get back to work, and I was so excited to see everyone! However, the weekend before returning, I received a phone call from the mom. It was time to find a new nanny. She said it was so hard to make the call, and she spent so much time thinking about it, but she was terrified that I would end up sick in the hospital from something that would be brought home from the hospitals. She didn't want to risk my already immune compromised health. I was grateful yet heartbroken, all at once. Now, the above is A LOT! If I let it consume me, but I hold this truth, to be self evident, "If it's not good, it's not the end." There was a moment in my life that I didn't know if I would walk or speak again, well that's a whole different story! Guess what, I am walking, dancing and verbally expressing my gratitude to be alive! I have great hope and feel full of peace that my husband and I have a beautiful brilliant future ahead of us! I have never been so grateful for my family! During a time where we are both unemployed, we have been able to knock out some serious debt! We have been dreaming together frequently and loving all of our chilling with Netflix, time. When looking at 2020, what do you see?

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