Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Life updates

Welp, I pretty much failed that whole getting back to blogging thing, didn't I? In my defense, shits been crazy. Not like OMG I've got so many lunch dates lined up crazy, but like, did you actually mean to say yes for everything on that stress inventory checklist crazy.
My husband and I bought a house, a perfect old adorable to the point of cartoonish house. To say the process of doing so was a bitch is probably an understatement- also so pregnancy, such stress, many tears, wow.
But nothing to put your home buying woes in perspective like actual legit suffering- losing one of the most important people in my life.  To say I lost my grandma a couple of months ago doesn't really cover it. I lost  so much. My hero, my family's matriarch,  my biggest fan, the person who always saw the best in me yet pushed me to be better than I am- is gone.  In many ways I still feel completely lost without her. Our dog died a week later, because apparently my life was determined to become a shitty country song for a while.
In the middle of it all though- my baby. The most beautiful and humbling and terrifying thing in the whole world, surely the only reason I got out of bed for a couple of weeks.  He's perfect. More than I ever would've had the audacity to ask for. The first few weeks I had him, and still occasionally now, I'd burst into tears looking at him, because I was so overwhelmed at how unworthy I was to be part of something so wonderful. I don't have the words. Every cliche is true and still completely inadequate to capture the beauty of it all.
In so many ways I'm a completely different person because of these things. The empathy I experience is different. It's much more raw.  Being on the other side of what I do is humbling. More specifically, it's terrible.  I hope it's made me a better person- I think it's made me a better nurse.  I know what it's like to be pregnant and terrified things are going wrong all the time now.  I understand now when people bring in their new babies for every little thing, or at least, the fear behind it. I know all too well the sadness of that big family, the one who's lost someone about whom we'd probably say "it was time" or "they lived a good life".  I know now that these facts change absolutely nothing, that the loss cuts just as deep, that you feel just as lost without them there. I can really, truly begin to fathom now the pain and horror that would be losing a child. The feelings I get for others hurt so much more right now.
The upside, though, of being hurt, of being helpless, in being in the care of others, is that you learn exactly what kind of person you want to be to every soul you encounter. You're so acutely aware of and so gracious for the kindness of others. You find out exactly how kind and beautiful people can be, and  you can store up every little word, every gesture, all the goodness; you can keep these things and let them grow inside you and wait for the day that you can give them to someone else.
It's small things we can do, and now I know. There's a few moments and people I'll remember forever- I doubt any of them have any clue. The charge nurse that hugged me when he saw me crying in the hall the day my grandmother was dying.  My wonderful L&D nurse holding me like a child while I got an epidural  through Pitocin contractions, whispering in my ear how great I was doing the whole time because she could tell how scared I was. My son's pediatrician at his first appointment , smiling at us and saying "you guys are doing a great job" in her super kind, laid-back way after two weeks of hell worrying that my kid wasn't eating enough..
It's not that I didn't know at all before, but it's so different feeling it. The gravity of other people's goodness, and the opportunities we're given to be everything to someone for a moment. I took my job seriously before, but it weighs even heavier on me now.
Not to say that I'm not still sarcastic and salty as hell. Not that I'm not still small and petty or that I don't mess up on the regular. It's just that I know how scary and vulnerable it is to be in the care of someone else, and I appreciate just how far a little compassion can go.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

MOAR posts

Over here, y'all. Maybe I'll start posting here again someday soon. Right now putting on pants is a whole thing, so bear with me. Miss you, dear readers.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Welp, Here it Goes....

The stabby, ragey antics you've come to expect here, now at my new communal co-blogging endeavor with my buddy Shrtstormtrooper at the link.  Thanks again for being such an accommodating host for my hood rat ways, lady.  Bloggin', take two.

And as a bonus: I hate exercise about as much as this adorable cat at this point.  FU,  round ligament pain. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lots of Changes, Except for the Amount of Profanity

Oh, hey there internet! What have you been up to? I've been pretty out of touch with things here in general, unless you're counting baby animal videos and occasionally seeing what comments crazy people and spammers are putting up in regards to year old posts. (We all know because one nurse in the ER one time questioned your need for dilaudid we are ALL cynical bitches- super sorry for my profession).
Anyway, life is pretty busy here. I'm gestating a human now, which is pretty cool, other than the no booze for 9 months part.  Oh also I quit my horrible garbage job and I'm generally somewhat more bearable to be around now, hormones aside. Calm down, I still work in the ER- it's not like I really have any other life or job skills- but this time I'm working for the local non-profit-we-actually-give-a-fuck system of hospitals. I've been here for a couple of months now and most days I don't go home feeling like I've been violated to my core, so that's pretty sweet.
It's a different world for sure. Staffing is actually based on national safety standards and acuity.  The hood clientele definitely still make it in, but not exclusively.  Yup, thanks to this job I'm actually being forced to get over my prejudice towards well-to-do white folks.  They come here fairly frequently, and most of them are actually nice enough.  This place generally seems to care about their staff. They're big on sparkle sparkle press ganey customer satisfaction rainbows and unicorns, but they're equally concerned about employee engagement, which is rad.  My coworkers are generally cool too. I seem to have really hit it off with the people that've left other ERs in the area and have a little perspective about how nice it is not to get shit on on-the-reg.  The bougie hospital lifers are generally nice people too, but they lack perspective to such a huge degree that I usually struggle to stifle my laughter whenever they complain about the hospital. Oh, and I found out I was pregnant basically the day I started working here, and management hasn't said anything about it beyond, "that's so wonderful, congratulations."
Sooo yeah. Overall I feel a renewed sense of purpose and most days I remember why I wanted to be a nurse in the first place. I still encounter the occasional hilarious idiot and I still deal with unforgivable  levels of douchebaggery at times, but things are way better. I'm not sure I have the motivation or material to come back to blogging full time, but I do miss it. That said- I may be guest posting every now and again on my internet partner in crime's  blog here.  Nothing's composed yet and I sleep like 12 hours a day right now, so don't expect frequency, but you should all be reading her blog anyway.
So yeah. Good to catch up. Missed you dear readers.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

A Long Time Coming

Yeah, not that it'll be a surprise, but I think it's about time to shut this thing down.  At least for a while.   For one, way the hell too many real world folk know who I am now, which is pretty astounding for a blog I basically told zero people about when I started it.  The more common knowledge this thing is, the higher the likelihood that it will cause me problems.  Paranoid? Probably.  But shit, guys, I don't really have many other skills than being an ER nurse, and I got bills to pay.
That's really not all, though.  This might be harder for me if I was even getting the same things out of it as when I started, but it's different.  I'm in a different place now than when I started in that the challenges in my career are not so much needing a place to vent as needing a place to reflect.  And while I'm sure that heavy shit I occasionally put out here is super fun to read all the time, it's about equally fun to write (i.e. not at all.)  As much as the times I manage to put my doubts out there tend to clear my head; as much as the feedback I get from all the wonderful people that read this blog tends to give me a new perspective and heal my wounds and help me to forgive myself, I can't help but feel like my struggles are essentially the same ones over and over again.  Plus, it isn't like any of you are getting paid to be my therapist or anything.
When I started in the ER I really just needed to relay and almost confirm that the alternate reality, the moments that if I didn't know better, I would think were staged by some tru TV camera crew, that it wasn't just me getting shocked out of my suburban white girl shell, but that this shit actually was crazy. Some of it's still a little funny.  Sometimes the alternate reality confused me, or made me angry, and I kind of just needed to way to make sense of it all.  It's an interesting position to be in, though, when the emotions that you have basically based your writing on are really no longer your own.  What I once would have considered shocking or funny worthy of my ire just simply is now.  Combative drunks and drug seekers are my day to day world.  For the last couple of months, I've felt like I've actually struggled to make jokes about some of the things I see, to keep up my snark and cynicism about things that when they happened to me, elicited little more than an eye roll.  Things that were mildly annoying that I would certainly forget about were it not for me trying to drudge them up and force myself to feel something about them one way or another.
And ultimately, trying to drudge up snark is a very troublesome thing when it comes to my other struggles.  The struggle to be kind, to be nonjudgmental, a good Christian- one that puts living the way I'm called to live above people thinking I'm funny or smart.  I've been- I'll say reading- struggling- through Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Discipleship over the last several months.  For those unfamiliar with Bonhoeffer, he was an incredible German theologian and modern martyr, that regardless of your religious affiliation or lack thereof, is worthy of endless admiration.  Bonhoeffer lived and wrote about the Christian life in a way that is more challenging and demanding of action that anything I've ever encountered.   His adherence to his principles and his faith ultimately lead to his death at the hand of the nazis in 1945.  
The point of all this is that his works have really caused me to look at myself and see the hypocrisy and my own ongoing willingness to try to be kind and gentle in some facets of my life and judgement and hateful in others.  I have a big problem with making observations and forming immediate judgements.  It's in my nature.  I know this is always going to be a point I struggle with.   The way Bonhoeffer talks about it, though, is enlightening.  If you'll humor me, he says "Judging is the forbidden evaluation of other people. It corrodes simple love. Love does not prohibit my having my own thoughts about others or my perceiving their sin, but both thoughts and perceptions are liberated from evaluating them. They thereby become only an occasion for that forgiveness and unconditional love Jesus gives me."
I know this is right.  I know that what this blog- maybe what it started as, or maybe what it's become, has been a platform from which I've judged others very harshly while ignoring my own piles of bullshit. I do this plenty at work and at home without having yet another outlet in where I feed off my own negativity. I just feel like stepping away right now is a necessary step in cutting ties with some of the things inside me I don't like
I'm sorry if this doesn't make sense, or if it seems like I've gone of the deep end.  The one thing I will truly regret about leaving this behind is all the kindness and grace I've received from so many of you in my times of need.  So many of you have really embodied the spirit of this "simple love" that I'm striving for with varying degrees of success (mostly very little) as of late.  Hopefully I can get better at this, and maybe find a way to talk about what I do from a more positive place.  Until then- thank you all for everything.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Chief Complaint of the Night

"I just got out of jail, but they threw away my shoes".
It probably goes without saying that chosen mode of transport for this complaint was bambalace.
Also, guys, I know. I swear I'm still alive, and occasionally blogging. Sorry.

Friday, June 7, 2013

I Love it Here, Because Something Is Wrong With Me

I've been rather ambivalent about my job for the last few months, wistfully dreaming about going to a fancy, slow ER, or oncology or hospice or bar tending, grateful for my occasional nice, normal patient but pretty much completely and totally over all this other bullshit.  I shared my "I'm not quite sure how much longer I'd really like to be doing this" sentiments with one of my medic friends at work, who promptly blew me off.  I was a little bit butt-hurt about it, to be quite honest.
"You'll never quit.  You love the madness too much.  You'd miss it."
"Nope.  I really don't.  I'm tired of this crap.  I'm just done."
"Nope.  You'll never quit.  Secretly you love it."
I walked away further convinced that no one really gets me here and I could walk away any time and miss absolutely nothing about this place except....ugh.  He's totally right.
You guys, I am a twisted individual.  Obviously I became a nurse to help people and touch lives and make the world a better place, but I also sort of became an ER nurse to see the hilarious shit show circus that unfolds before me every night.   Nights like tonight where it really goes above and beyond the everyday ridiculousness really reinforce that fact that, yep, secretly I love this crap.
There are few things funnier than listening to the things someone yells at the hospital police while high on PCP.  It is ten times as funny when two patients high on PCP, both restrained and in rooms next to one another, start tag teaming it and yelling at one another and the cops. Especially when one of them spends the night telling anyone who will listen that he is a werewolf while growling to drive the point home while the other falls asleep, snoring heavily and occasionally ripping massive farts that ring throughout the entire unit.
It's funny as hell when the two chronic drunks that come in via EMS for cc: found passed out somewhere in public serendipitously find themselves next to each other in the hall beds.  It's even funnier when they become best friends and creepily hit on every woman within eyesight together.
Even the WTF moments are hilarious, like when my (non-critical) stabbing victim reveals to me that the  argument that preceded his injury was him yelling at his girlfriend about how she would have a home-cooked meal on the table if she "wanted to keep her a man" or when I find my patient on BIPAP trying to sneak Raisinetes through her mask.
This place is ridiculous, and it's an ass-kicking.  I held my bladder for 8 hours tonight before I remembered to pee, and I went nearly 12 without eating. But in it's own weird way, it was really fun.  As much as it would be fulfilling to work somewhere else, I would really miss how hilarious this place is.  It's like my own personal trashy reality TV show that I get paid to watch for 12 hours a day.  I'm sure I'd actually be really bummed if it got cancelled.