Monday, December 23, 2002

Despite trying desparately to maintain Christmas tiding and cheer, there is a significant part of me that remains rather Scrooge-like. The Better Half isn't here for Christmas, I'm rather lonely, and my family is tromping off to the Bahamas for New Years. This is the third year in a row that they've gone away for New Years, and I wasn't able to go because of work. People are driving around like they are on crack, and the stores are unapproachable because the parking lot alone is enough to make you reach for a Jack-and-Xanax cocktail. Plus, Christmas is a holiday that celebrates children, which I tend not to prefer unless they are under age 1 and are unable to tell you that they hate you. At least, not so that you can understand it. And with children come parents...don't get me started on that.

My new motto has become, "Rome wasn't built in a day." I'm trying to go easy on myself being in a new job, but I feel like I need to start writing things down in order to get them straight. It's been over a week, and I'm still trying to figure out stuff like surgical set-up and where the damn path reports go. 90% of the job is finding out where things are, and right now I am seriously lacking this skill. But for the first time in a while, I like coming to work. I like being at work. And although I don't have a whole lot in common with my coworkers, I like them too. I was leafing through a nursing book hoping to find some tricks and timesavers, and phrases like, "to help relieve a raw bottom from diarrhea, use this cream..." and "to get the odor out of bedpans and bedside commodes, try this..." and I realized I didn't really miss what I was doing before. Like every job that is truly worth it's weight in gold, it was often thankless and overwhelming. I remember how I used to run from room to room, sometimes having all three to five of my patients needing blood transfusions. I remember how awful it was when my patient had a reaction to a medication. I remember how terrifying administering chemotherapy was. I still look at the obituaries to see if any of my patients succumbed to their illness. Today, I recognized four names. The weekend before Thanksgiving: seven names. Seven. Most of the time, when we found out someone had died, we were too busy to grieve. Most of the time, we spent more time with the patient than anyone, including their families. As I said before, it took a special person to do that line of work without becoming a basketcase or completely jaded.

I am also tired and cranky. Maybe I'll feel different tommorrow.

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