Friday, October 29, 2010

Nurse

Does what we do change how we respond to things in our own lives? Does the job become more than a job, but a part of us? I'm not saying that if you work at 7-11 that mixing Slurpees and ringing up Big Gulps is a way of life, but you get my point. A cop is always a cop, on duty or not. A medic or firefighter is the same way. One of my favorite quotes from Backdraft is:

The funny thing about firemen is... Night and day they are always firemen.

I would have to agree with that from a nursing perspective. I am a nurse whether I want to be or not. Its in my head, and its in my blood. Its not something I can magically turn off. My ability to size up a situation, act based on outcomes versus just react and the innate ability to separate from the situation in order to get things done is something that has become as much of me as my Buffett obsession and hate of the Yankees.

It is the ability to separate out that has my interest peaked. My grandfather died this week. He was 90. He survived colon cancer, several strokes and my bat-shit crazy (literally) family. His last stroke in January is the one that started the slide. He has been in and out of nursing homes and the hospital since then. I saw him 3 days before he died. He was still completely with it. My crazy aunt was hovering (as usual) and when he asked for coffee she said no. I said fuck that, got a mouth swab, soaked it in coffee and gave it to him. I also promised to bring him a little bottle of bourbon to spike the coffee when she wasn't looking. I ended my visit with a hug and by telling him that whenever he wanted to sleep to just do it, we would all be just fine. I didn't cry when I found out. I was relieved. I didn't cry at the memorial or the funeral..... because I know that this is what he wanted. My mom was destroyed (not her dad... but they were still close), my sisters cried non-stop and I was the freak who didn't cry. I will miss him, but I know deep down that this is ok. Maybe thats the nurse in me.....

It was mentioned somewhere that this is an "Angry" blog. That I am an angry nurse. Maybe sometimes I am. Looking at where I work and the situations that I deal with I think a moderate amount of anger is not unjustified. If you met me in the hospital would you think of me as the angry nurse? Probably not. In fact, the only people that put two and two together are the ones that know me exceptionally well. As I have said. This all began when I needed an outlet to help me vent before sleep. It was never meant to be anything more than that. I look back on the years and remember who I was and where I was going in my life. Its actually quite an accomplishment. So I will continue to remember the people, the patients and the crazy times. Back for Halloween weekend again. I wonder what the Great Pumpkin has in store this year?



11 Comments:

Blogger MOJITOGIRL said...

So sorry to hear about your grandfather, it reminds me so much of when my father died and my crazyasbatshit family was doing the macarena on the floor....I was so ashamed of them all! I can TOTALLY relate!

Sorry I haven't gotten back to you, it's been a roller coaster on this end too. Call Sandy Rodriguez at Lower Keys Medical Center at 305 294-5531 and follow the prompts to the ER. Just do it after FantasyFest which is in full swing! She's the ER manager you need to talk to. Forget Marathon, the idiots are still in place until new management comes in next year. You don't want to deal with them, trust me. If you're interested in ICU, call Leah Joyner at 305 294 1531. Tell them Gladys sent you!

4:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Over a year ago I was randomly searching nursing things (I am a nursing student) when I stumbled across your blog...and I have read every single one since then. I may be biased, but I think you are a great nurse! Shit happens and being a nurse is difficult, so no I don't think you are an angry person...you're human. And your crazy stories sure make for a more interesting blog! Thanks for all the stories...I can't wait to be an RN in May!

9:22 PM  
Blogger battynurse said...

I'm so sorry about your grandfather. It's sad when someone you love dies. Also everyone deals with grief differently and knowing that your grandfather is at peace now doesn't make you any worse at it, just maybe more realistic. Plus yes, we see a lot of really crappy shit.
I can't say that you have ever struck me as being angry. Annoyed with stupidity (I get that) and yet able to vent about something and move on. Nursing is hard work and somehow or another you have to be able to vent the shit you see or it will consume you.

10:09 PM  
Blogger Cartoon Characters said...

as an RN for 30 plus years...I don't see your blog as "angry"...it's just an expression of one person's experience ... I can't think of anyone that hasn't been upset about something at one point or another...or elated about another thing. Point is, when you are elated, you go out and celebrate - you don't need to blog or vent.

I blog for the same reason you do.

11:39 PM  
Blogger Cartoon Characters said...

btw...I am a Jimmy Buffett fan...and am envious that you have seen him so many times!

11:40 PM  
Anonymous melody said...

I don't think that your blog is an angry blog, just honest and real. I check it every day or so hoping for a new post and a new story.

I am a coffee drinker and hope that if I'm ever at the end of my life and want coffee that someone will swab me with a Starbucks :-) My condolences on your grandfather.

2:33 AM  
Blogger Paradise Driver said...

Angry? NO!
Frustrated? YES!

I have enjoyed your blog almost since day ONE.

I have been in and out of hospitals so much over the last couple of years that I have come to one conclusion:
Doctors do procedures...
...Nurses keep you alive!

XXOOXX

5:54 AM  
Blogger bella<3edward said...

Hi, I recently came across your blog and really enjoy reading your posts. I'm a CCU nurse and see death definitely more than the average bear. I've thought about how I will be one day when I lose a loved one. I know I will be emotional because I'm just that kind of person, but I'm sure I won't be boo-hooing like everyone else.

It is part of who we are as nurses. What we see and deal with every day becomes a part of who we are, and if death is one of those things then it is no stranger to us. It can have a different effect on us than those who never see it.

I love the coffee mouth swabs. I would do the same and would want someone to do that for me :)

3:40 PM  
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7:08 AM  
Blogger vaidyadilemma said...

A nurse's job is a thankless job. They are like 'goalkeepers' of a soccer match, the saves are never counted, but if you concede a goal (mistake) and the mach is lost (death of patient) a nurse is at the receiving end...always. Doctors go unsacthed.

3:09 PM  
Anonymous jaltarangart.in said...

great blog it's wonderful.
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1:15 AM  

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