Friday, October 3, 2008

Chillin' ICU Style

It's 3am and I'm hanging out in the ICU. The floor I work on has a funny habit of booking nurses in even though they have too many nurses on the floor and then the extra nurse has to go to a different floor. First they sent me to Emergency which scared me, I'm very under qualified for that area. Luckily I was quickly transferred again to the Intensive Care unit which is easier if you ask me because I only have two patients and they're both plugged in like a Christmas tree so the most I have to do is stare at the screen above their heads and empty some tubes and stuff.

Compared to the stress-mess I've been dealing with on my usual floor it's almost a vacation. But there in lies my problem. I had a little break down yesterday morning when I got home from my shift. It was silly really. They made me team leader for the night (which I'm am not actually trained for but, um, ok.) Early on in the night I noticed we were missing keys for our medication carts. Unfortunately because we have two cart and 6 people on the floor it's sometimes hard to confirm keys are missing. By midnight I was sure though but didn't want to call the nurses who had left to see who had took them home. So then when our supervisor came on at 7am I had to try to recover the keys. Technically we aren't supposed to leave the floor if all the keys aren't back. That means after staying there 12hrs we're supposed to hang around even longer waiting for this forgetful nurse to drive or bus back. Well luckily our supervisor let us go but by the time I got home I was exhausted and frustrated with myself and the combination of 14 days of work in a row, way too little sleep, the awareness that this isn't truly what I want to do with my life and the knowledge that I'm not really sure what to do to change it just kind of got to me. So I had a bit of a cry and then thankfully fell asleep.

I think the most frustrating part of all of it is that I got pushed over the edge by a stupid set of keys. I mean logically who cares!? They're just keys. The worse that happens if they never come back is new locks get put on the medicine cabinets.
I just hate to see myself get to the point where I'm wallowing in the little things. So I know things need to change. I need to take more time to focus on myself and get myself swimming with my head above water. I guess it's time to look at my life again. It amazes me that no matter how many times you straighten things out you still have to go back and re-evaluate again and again.

Sitting in ICU tonight though brings back what Jamine told us in teacher training. People always think they want their life to go smoothly with no ups and down, just one straight balanced line. But if your life were hooked up to a heart monitor which would you prefer? A straight line or one that goes up and down? I know which one my patient's would prefer.
Welcome to life. Enjoy the bumps...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

“Like a summer rose I’m a victim of the Fall
But I’m soon returning, soon returning.
Your love’s the warmest place my sun every shines
In my morning yearning, morning yearning…”
Morning Yearning by Ben Harper from the Both Sides of the Gun album

It’s funny how some songs inspire emotions for a while when you hear them, whether it’s feelings of joy or sadness or whichever. Some songs create this feeling in you only for a short while, but then there are some songs that will always inspire emotion in you no matter how many years you listen to them. I think those songs are the most powerful of all, akin to your sense of smell which has the ability to drag up memories from years before where you may have never thought of them otherwise. When you think about it visual cues just don’t drag up memories the way smells and songs can. When something has that powerful an effect on me I always assume it must be deeply ingrained in our reptilian brain. That’s the explanation I’ve always heard for why our sense of smell links to emotions- because it’s one of the senses that was linked farthest back in the evolutionary chain. That makes me wonder about music. How long have animals been hearing music in the world around them? What does it take to constitute music? Does the sound of crickets at night mingled with the breeze rushing through dry leaves count as music? Does our brain still register these medleys as music? Why has our music become so much more elaborate and controlled?

It’s 2am in the morning and I’m at the hospital for an overnight shift. It’s a funny shift because it’s easy and hard at the same time. Patients sleep through a lot of the night so we have a lot o time to ourselves but at the same time my ability to stay conscious at 3am can sometimes be a struggle. Sometimes it almost feels like too much time to think.

I’ve been trying to find out more information about the Nurse Practitioners program at Ottawa University but am unfortunately stuck behind the glass of technology. Their website is under the infamous “Construction” and the contact email person they have on the site has not responded. I know I have lots of time to apply and half of me isn’t set on the plan anyways but I still would like not to sit around only to realize I’m too late to apply. It’s tricky sometimes because I feel like I’m still asking myself the question “what do I want to be when I grow up?” and I’m still not sure of the answer. In the mean time I can’t sit around waiting for the answer.

I guess I’ll go check on my patients, make sure they’re catching some dreams. Hope you’re all catching some dreams too.