Monday, December 21, 2009

The Fam-Damily

You know when you're home when the jokes are frequently at your expense, the laughter flows like water and they know your deepest and darkest secrets and still love you. This dysfunctional family that I have been a part of these last 8 years has given more to me than I could ever give in return. I love my little ER family. Case in point. Last Friday we were hit with a motherfucker of a storm. Snow starting on my way in and continuing all night long. I sat in my little triagony box with music, a book and the highly valued space heater killing time and visiting with all the bored staff from the back. It was almost like an actual snow day from school. I think I triaged 4 people. I took 1 straight back because he was on chemo and had a temp of 103. The others I took back because there was nobody in the waiting room.
Then theres the obligatory "check the weather" walk outside that turns into the all out staff snowball fight with a couple of city EMS providers thrown in for good measure. Something about the attending chasing the patient care tech and a medic shoving snow down my shirt that brings back all those good memories from childhood. I did manage to get said medic back with a snowball to the face. As I was trying to escape back into the ER my shoe covers kicked in and I went (gracefully) KER-THUMP onto the floor. My butt still hurts! Thank GOD I had the space heater to dry out my clothes!

Unfortunately, in any situation the unfettered joy is always tempered by a heavy dose of reality. We were pulled aside that same night to speak with our coordinator about another staff member. Young nurse, well liked with a history of diabetes was a no-call, no-show and work Thursday. She was found dead in her apartment Friday morning. She worked days, so I didn't know her super well, however we always got along, worked well together and she made people laugh. She was one of those slightly funky but sweet people who could wear purple sparkle mascara and look completely adorable. She had a dog that was the light of her life and her current Facebook picture is of the dog dressed as a Christmas elf.

Something about medicine in general reminds us that things always want to be balanced. Ins vs outs. BMP, CBC, ABG..... we want balance. Ironically, life seems to do the same for us as well. An amazing snow night balanced out by profound sadness. I hope that all those she met and cared for realized how special of a nurse they had.

Our ER family may not consist of Mom+Dad and kids, we may try to kill each other from time to time but this is so much more than just a job.


Blogger BigNusreBubba said...

I dont normaly leave comments but seeing as I am just starting out with a new job far far far away and a Diabetic I just got to say this kinda freaks me out!!!! this is not the kind of thing I want to hear about a week before I leave for a new town on my own... still I am sorry to hear about the loss, even if you didn't know her that well, but still leaves me some hope seeing as I am working towards and RN and want to work in a level 1 truama center.

10:53 PM  
Blogger jody said...

Your stories are so exciting and unpredictable! I am hooked on your blog!

12:04 PM  
Blogger VetRN said...

Sorry to hear about your co-worker; that's just very sad.

On a lighter note (and for future reference) if you have a hill nearby, an EZ Slider board with the front curved upward via long-board safety straps makes a kick-ass toboggan for your next slow and snowy night.

3:54 PM  
Blogger GingerJar said...

Soo sad about your co-worker. Nice that at night you can occasionally get in some fun. We don't get snow...and running around in the fog doesn't quite do the same thing....Have a happy holiday.

10:18 AM  
Blogger battynurse said...

As much as I am perfectly content to never see snow in my yard again I have to say that VetRN's idea sounds like fun. The snow ball fight even sounds a bit like fun although cold fun.
I'm sorry about your coworker. How sad. I'm sure she will be missed by many.

10:32 PM  

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