I watched a couple who had been married for 68 years say goodbye last night. They were in an accident and both pretty badly injured, he was far worse off. The trauma doctors had told them both (and their children) that he would probably not make it out of surgery and if he did, he would never be strong enough to come off the vent. So as he was packaged I put their beds together, rails down as they held hands and said goodbye. How often do we see moments like this and not feel the true depth? Do we use our jaded sense of humor to dull down the situation so much that we can't see things for what they truly are?
I have found that when I allow myself the luxury(!) of letting the emotional side kick in that my head begins to swim in a way that almost seems out of control. I begin to question all the things that I know so well.... like how I feel when a patient is sick as shit (calm and joking on the outside with the best of Buffett in my head)... how the trauma room looks (smells!) when all the patients have left and the lights are off... why I still care what certain people think and why a peer's opinion can matter so much.
Have I become a big fish in a little pond? I can do everything in the ER (charge, triage, trauma, orient). The nurses and coordinators come to me as a resource. Am I banging my head on the ceiling, but am too ignorant to allow opportunity to knock? A very wise and sweet person pointed this fact out to me (maybe a bit more tactfully than I have here). I am starting to think that finding what really makes you happy is frequently viewed as a selfish act. Why is it not a priority, instead of an afterthought?
So before I make myself crazy I am going to soak in the tub with a glass of chocolate wine and allow the more pleasant parts of my night drift through the crazy currents of my mind.