Misty Blue Foster Took a Giant Step Backwards to Reach Her Dream but Stayed Strong

Editor’s Note: The race of life is not a 100-yard sprint. Life is a marathon, a long distance run often over treacherous terrain that requires strength, endurance and single-mindedness of purpose. For many, just finishing the course is a major achievement. But others choose to endure the pain and push their bodies and minds to the limits, and therefore win. Such is the case of Misty Blue Foster, who at a very young age set her sights on being a nurse, although physically and financially, she appeared to have no way to reach that goal. Part 4 of a 5-part series.

Misty hit difficult roadblocks while in school, but she did not give up.

Misty hit difficult roadblocks while in school, but she did not give up.

I decided after becoming a practical nurse that my life would be better after a four-year nursing degree and eventually a master’s degree. However, I had a major setback because of my financial needs. I couldn’t afford to go to a a four-year nursing school initally, but I could afford a private two-year school with loans and scholarships. Right now, I’m enrolled at the College of San Mateo, an accredited two-year college. I’m taking the prerequisites to be able to get into the RN program.

Here’s what happened–When I applied for my RN program, the school credit I’d received where I got my two-year nursing degree wasn’t transferable. The courses I’d taken were accredited for me to get a licensed nursing degree but not accredited by colleges and universities to count as the first two years of work for a four-year nursing degree. I had to retake all of the courses that I already had passed as prerequisites. I was somewhat devastated because I paid a lot of money, gone to school to become a licensed nurse, assumed I’d be able to go two more years and get a bachelor’s degree, and then discovered that I couldn’t. Now I’m taking and paying for two more years of classes that I’ve already passed. That’s the reason I am still working and going to school.

However, I still wanted to go back to school. My goal always has been to get a BSN degree, so this hurdle is just one more I needed to overcome. I couldn’t get my BSN degree if I got upset and angry and refused to do what was required. As soon as I got the word that I had to retake all those courses, I started. I’m still strong, and at 26 years old, I’m still young.

I don’t know how my medical condition will progress. If I wait until I’m older, I may not be able to handle working and going to school full-time. I can do it at my current age. I’ve had a lot of difficult roadblocks while growing up, working and going to school, but I always remember what my mother told me when I was a child. Even though she had drug and alcohol problems, she made sure to let me know that I always need to make the right choices. She also helped me learn to keep God in my life because she was not going to live long due to her addictions. I have always remembered this, so I pray to Him and ask for strength and help to make good decisions for my life. It is also beneficial to receive support from friends and role models.

Misty Looks for Role Models to Encourage her Through Difficult and Stressful Times

As I grew older, I looked for role models. I had a friend who was a social worker, another friend who was a police officer and a friend who was a nurse. I looked up to them because they gave me guidance and helped me make good choices. They taught me to stay out of trouble and to keep focused on my goal, regardless of what happens. With my faith and mentors, I had amazing supporters who always encouraged me.

When I was younger, I called the police a few times due to the domestic violence in my foster home. A certain police officer responded a few times, and we became friends. He checked on me to see how I was doing and what kind of grades I was making in school. He taught me how to drive and checked on me after I got out of foster care and had surgery. I also met my social worker, Tim, when I went to the county offices after I turned 18, and we also became friends. Lastly, Petie was a nurse at the hospital. She was always very nice and cared about me. She and her husband have pretty much adopted me now that she is retired.

Misty has traveled to several countries, including Australia thanks to Thomas Exler.

Misty has traveled to several countries, including Australia thanks to Tom Exler.

When I was in high school, I researched my conditions, because I didn’t know much about them. I came across a website on bladder exstrophy and contacted Tom Exler. I told him about my disability, and he explained to me that he had the same problem. At the time, he was the vice president of the Association for the Bladder Exstrophy Community, and today he’s the president. I told Tom about my difficult foster home life. I felt comfortable opening up to him.

We became close friends. He’s one of my mentors and supports me. He’s taken me to Iceland, Australia and England in the last few years, where I’ve spoken at conferences to people with Exstrophy, bowel, bladder, and neurological problems, and spina bifida. Tom is like the big brother I never had.

Tom invited me to Pennsylvania to the Association for the Bladder Exstrophy Community Conference. He asked a few of the conference attendees to speak to the audience about his or her life story. It was my first time speaking in public. I shared stories from my difficult childhood and told them I was a nurse. I was extremely nervous that no one would be interested, but when I finished, everyone clapped and really enjoyed my presentation. 

Misty shared her story to inspire others.

Misty shared her story to inspire others.

Shortly after the conference, Tom invited me to go to Australia. We met people with exstrophy. I even gave my first speech as a licensed nurse to talk about my medical problems. I found out that many people were not as informed as I was about their conditions. This conference was an eye opener for me, because I learned about other people’s situations and problems. I really enjoyed it!

This year we went to England to Breakaway, a camp for children with disabilities. There were a few kids who had exstrophy and urinary diversions. It was also an eye opening experience and I was grateful to help those children. The same time that we were at the camp in England, the royal wedding took place, which I thought was really neat.

Tom went to another conference without me due to surgery. A mutual friend, Doug Krietz, recorded my talk at his studio so Tom could present it to the conference. We put it on YouTube, so that people can see that they can do anything. My video has thousands of hits from all over the world! People were so excited and told Tom and me that they learned alot. I really didn’t expect that type of recognition, so I was really surprised at how many people were interested in my story. The video can be viewed by typing in my name on YouTube.

Tom Exler has been a tremendous mentor who has encouraged me to share my story and hopefully help others. I think role models are essential whether you’re disabled or not. Mentors love you, care about you and want you to be successful. Mentors push you beyond your limits. My mentors have helped me reach my goals. Every time I’ve gotten knocked down in life, they have picked me up and encouraged me to keep going forward. I’m hoping to finish my nursing prerequisites within a year and then get my RN degree within another year. I’m within two years of getting an RN degree. One of the biggest reasons I’m able to carry on is that I got married 5-years ago, and my husband is a major source of encouragement and support to me.

Next: When Love Called, Misty Blue Foster Was Absolutely Turned Off

 About the Author: For the last 12 years, John E. Phillips of Vestavia, Alabama, has been a professional blogger for major companies, corporations and tourism associations throughout the nation. During his 24 years as Outdoor Editor for “The Birmingham Post-Herald” newspaper, he published more than 7,000 newspaper columns and sold more than 100,000 of his photos to newspapers, magazines and internet sites. He also hosted a radio show that was syndicated at 27 radio stations; created, wrote and sold a syndicated newspaper column that ran in 38 newspapers for more than a decade; and wrote and sold more than 30 books. Learn more at http://www.nighthawkpublications.com

About UroMed Catheters
Headquartered in Suwanee, GA [a suburb of Atlanta], UroMed is one of the nation’s leading providers of single-use catheters, urological and disposable medical supplies, including intermittent catheters, closed system catheters, condom catheters, pediatric catheters and continence care products. UroMed is nationally accredited for Medicare reimbursement and most state Medicaid plans, and partners with private health insurance providers and health plans to provide patients with single-use catheters, catheter kits and incontinence products. UroMed also has seven staffed regional offices located in Boston, MA; Columbia, SC; Jacksonville, FL; Dallas, TX; Carlsbad, CA; Knoxville, TN; Richmond, VA; and Baton Rouge, LA; enabling next-day delivery after a customer’s initial medical supply order. For more information, please visit http://www.uromed.com or call 1-800-841-1233.

2 Responses to Misty Blue Foster Took a Giant Step Backwards to Reach Her Dream but Stayed Strong

  1. Pingback: Spina Bifida Doesn’t Stop Misty Blue Foster in Serving Others « UroMed Catheter Health Blog

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