Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Note To Self -or Argument to Self...

...In favor of...

Here's the thing. I'm meant to do this. It's in me. It's in every fiber that I am. And it's hard. And it has changed who I am and how I view the world. Sometimes I hate that. That's part of adulthood. No matter your chosen career path, life changes you. And maybe not everyone has to have empathy and show care for the 39-week pregnant mother who was brought in by ambulance after getting in a car accident caused by her drunken-ness. That's what I signed up for. I read a book once before I was even in nursing school. A book written by a travel-nurse and her experiences working in the ER. I don't remember much, but I remember one line in particular. Or I remember the way I heard the line. She said, "You will spend the majority of your time with drug addicts and alcoholics. If that doesn't appeal to you, don't do it." I'm not sure that the idea appealed to me, but it didn't deter me. And if I'm being honest with myself, the prospect was somewhat attractive. This is where all the good cases come from.  And by good I mean the ER version of good.

Sometimes I hate it. Sometimes I cry at the prospect of putting on scrubs and lacing up my running (work) shoes. Sometimes my biggest accomplishment is getting out of my car after that ten minutes in the parking garage and walking into the building. But somewhere deep down in there is the girl that remembers why this is what you wanted to do. Somewhere in there was the girl who dreamed of  "getting a good year or two of medical experience then ending up in the emergency room specializing in trauma. Preferably in a place where it's warm all year, like San Diego." (As written on my graduation-walk info sheet as graduating with my first nursing degree). And maybe the dream doesn't look exactly like what I thought it would when I was 21. Who's dreams do?!  The bones are the same.  

Somewhere deep inside is the girl who signed her work-journal (given by a seasoned RN in order to chronicle and remember the first year of nursing) proudly with a full name and the coveted initials R. N.  The girl who wrote on the first page of that journal, "When I put on my scrubs, stethoscope, shoes, and badge I become more than just a nurse. I make miracles every day. I save people's lives every day. I have the opportunity to bring a smile to someone sad, lighten the burden of a person worn out, and to perhaps leave someone feeling better than they were when I came on shift." And oh the thrill and sense of accomplishment and pride of signing RN after your name.

The girl who got her footing underneath her on a medical unit of a regional hospital and wrote about laughing over hearing 'Mary Had a Little Lamb" in her sleep for a week after having a pt with that song as a bed alarm who got out of bed every ten minutes for twelve hours. Who laughed when the patient started to sing along during hour two --including the BEEP BEEP BEEP of the staff cancelling the alarm. Twelve hours of a ninety-year old woman screaming "MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB -BEEP BEEP BEEP!"

Somewhere deep inside is the girls who wrote how frustrating it was to attempt to draw blood on a patient. And to be unsuccessful. And to be so unsuccessful so many times. And knowing that girl became the girl that physicians request and nurses would come find when there was a hard stick in Seattle.

The girl that had butterflies in her stomach her first shift in the ER. Who walked out of the hospital on cloud nine for months, unable to believe her good fortune in being able to have such a fantastic job.  The girl who made it through her first two years of nursing in heaven and on track to accomplish all her goals.

It's all there. All the stuff from before. I don't know what it all means, but it's there, and I'm grateful for it. I just can't help but wonder. I don't think I've missed it. I just think... I don't know. I think there's more. There's something new. Something different. I'm not sure how different, but this rodeo isn't over yet!