Thursday, July 23, 2020

This week I worked the late shift at work which means go to work with the big guy and then hanging around for an hour and half until my shift starts.  I don't mind it, I go for a nice long walk by the river usually, but it does make for a long day.  And this past week at work has been brutally busy.

Two days ago I had a young patient, twenty-eight years old with an extremely rare type of cancer.  His poor mother looked shell shocked and he seemed apart from himself somehow which is understandable.  Only six weeks ago he was a healthy young man who ran ultra marathons and rock climbed who is now missing part of his liver and starting chemo.

Yesterday there was a youngish patient, only forty-four, who looked like he was dying.  His wife thought so too because she couldn't stop crying when she came down with him for his chest x-ray.  I helped the x-ray tech position the patient because the patient was too weak to do it himself.

And another lady who was ninety-two and still ticking over, in spite of her cancer.

I've started IVs on young people and old people, on men and women, on people with all different types of cancers and all of those patients are wearing masks.  And I wear a mask all day at work which is hot and unpleasant and makes me thirsty, but it protects my patients.

And then I go on Facebook and have to listen to people complaining about their fucking rights and how it's just a hoax and masks don't matter and OMG people, grow up already!

There are worse things than having to wear a mask when you go out to get your groceries or buy a pair of pants.  You could have lung cancer, even though you never smoked a day in  your life.  Or could have a glioblastoma that is killing you and you have five children under the age of ten at home.

Work is hard right now.  Do more with less.  Our patients always need more.  They need someone to listen to them, someone to be kind to them, someone to be gentle with them.  It's so sad but I truly feel like a cog in a wheel, insignificant, just do your job.  But my job is more than just starting IVs, it's about listening to the young woman with five kids while I start her IV and remembering her name half an hour later when she's leaving and treating her like a human being who matters because she does matter.

I feel like I don't matter.  I feel like none of us matter.  On Tuesday I went for my lunch break an hour and a half late.  Doesn't sound like a big deal but it is.  It's disrespect.  We don't have enough staff to do all the work that is required of us and I don't want to leave patients waiting for hours.  Yesterday I cut my lunch short to make sure the line patient I had at one wouldn't have a late start.  He was a young man, 3200 km from home, waiting for a stem cell transplant.  He matters.

All of my patients matter but nurses don't seem to matter which hurts.  This pandemic is eating away at my sanity.  The big guy says stop reading the news which would be helpful but I also want to know what's going on.  I'm tired of stupid too because right now there is a lot of stupid floating around in the world.  There's also a lot of selfish floating around in the world too.  All of us are selfish at times but right now, my god, it's too much.

So I'm tired and bitchy and hot, three of the seven menopausal dwarfs.  Not sure what the other four are, fat, forgetful, sleepy and sweaty I guess.  Apparently I'm all seven of the menopausal dwarfs.

Something beautiful I saw on my walk before work this week because life for me isn't all bad, just parts of it suck at times.

Last weekend the big guy and the little guy behind our house enjoying themselves.

I feel better for venting.  Today I clean and then relax.  The windows are all open and I can hear a blue jay in the back yard.

As my friend would have said, "Always look on the bright side of life."  I think she always did.

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