Although I had a number of classes last week, this is the first week I’ve actually been caring for patients. It made me nostalgic and exhausted. It also seemed to improve my general health, from the standpoint of getting out of the house and focusing on others. I don’t have a neatly packaged post, but here are a list of my thoughts.
- Habits are hard to shake. Even after three years. I think I typed “Hoover” instead of “Lee” more times in the last week than I have in the last three years. Getting into the computer to see patient information quickly was such a frequent task that typing the username became an automatic part of my brain.
- Humanity is more broken than I remembered. I feel like we see a cross-section of society in the hospital. We see some hospital admissions result from people who are not taking care of themselves. But we also see people who have just had very many bad things happen to them, or are fighting against insurmountable health odds and are very discouraged. Maybe this feels even worse at Christmas time.
- Finding things out about people is more interesting than I remembered. I delight in finding out what people do for a living, or what their favorite restaurant is, or if they are a cat or dog person. People are SO fascinating. I love when I make a wild stab and ask a question like, “So did you ever meet…” or “Are you the original founder of…” and totally hit the mark.
- My feet hurt worse than I remembered! After about ten hours of working on the floor, I found my feet to be more painful than I remembered possible. The second day, I took a Tylenol and switched shoes, which helped immensely. (It’s been about 14 hours from the time I leave the house until I get back, even though it’s technically a “12-hour shift.”)
- I forgot how much I love giving medications. In heart surgery, I was in a mostly administrative and coordinating role. I really didn’t get to draw medications out of bottles or start IV’s, or work with my hands at all.
- I forgot how pointless it is to make broad assumptions about people. Sometimes, the worst patients are the high class ones who are used to getting everything they want. Nothing you do pleases them. But sometimes, the best patients are the high class ones who are polite and grateful for everything, even though they are facing major health challenges. I think the same conundrums apply to homeless people and drunkards.
- I forgot how much I love the nurse-patient relationship. Not all patients are grateful, of course. But for the most part, nurses are highly trusted, even though we are often taking care of people we never met before and will never see again. (“Will you take my money and go buy me a phone charger from the gift shop?” etc.)
- It’s fun to go to work with a little sidekick …. literally! I might be bending over a patient and Miracle does a flip (or something), kicking my sides. 🙂 And I kind of feel like I’m glad he or she can “participate” in trying to assuage someone’s pain, or get someone home for Christmas, or calm down the person using the f-word, or listen to the wise old person waiting patiently for answers. “We worked at the hospital all day,” I told Marnell last night when I got home. 🙂 Of course, it might be contributing to point number 3 above and future aches and pains. But so far so good!
On the note of number eight, we are planning to have a gender reveal soon. I might post about that in a few weeks. I think I’ll take a break over Christmas and possibly New Year’s depending on how crazy things go.
I don’t think I can get a book to you by Christmas via media mail any more! So I discounted the three digital downloads in my shop in case you need something instantly. Good news, Captain Garrison is now available as an e-book for the first time! So far, only through my website.
Note: Ebooks purchased here may be read on e-readers, phones, or a desktop computer.
Merry Christmas, wherever you are!