Last week of work before Switzerland. . . .
Call me a totally sissy, but I had to hide in the bathroom on three different occasions on Tuesday to let out a few tears - as not to expose myself to the mass of people crammed into my unit. Why did I keep crying? Not exactly sure. However, the moment I stepped onto the floor, I felt a ton of weight upon my shoulders. Not an empty bed on my unit. My knees practically buckling below me.
It wasn't necessarily the patients that made it particularly challenging (no doubt they kept me busy). What I couldn't escape was the feeling of confinement in a world of chaos, the loud ringing of call lights, the sound of IV pumps shouting at me, the cackling of my co-workers, the fluorescent lights, the TVs turned loudly *malfunctioning hearing aids "I don't want to miss The View!", and the realization that this was my life. All I wanted was to run off the floor and possibly change my name and join the circus. That's an obvious exaggeration, I had to keep reminding myself. It's a job, just a job - it does not encompass the whole of me. Unless I let it. All day, amongst the insanity, I tried my very best not to get run over by the nomadic herd of residents and frantic nurses - but there was something biting at my heels.
One patient died, a patient who I had taken care of the last time I worked - and post mortem care was challenging. This is what they don't talk about in nursing school - they say "here's a 300$ text book on how to take care of sick (but living) patients" but the flip side is taking care of those without a pulse. It was my second post-mortem and although I haven't quite grown insensitive to lifelessness - I will say it gets easier. Maybe it shouldn't matter, but both of my post-mortem were older. . . so the internal rationalization is that they have had their time here. If someone dies at old age, celebrate their time - that is certainly an achievement. What is an unspeakable tragedy is those have not been granted the same opportunity to explore themselves and the world. Which is what makes the death of infants and children significantly more challenging because there is no internal rationalization present. It makes no sense and it is unfair. That is why pediatrics is absolutely not in my cards.
Somedays are better than others : )