Thursday, December 15, 2011

Be careful what you wish for…

I couldn’t work at one point because my hands were covered in blood. But wasn’t that what I had asked for, what I had wanted.

I wanted a good bloody night, a code, septic shock, something. I wanted to do all the things I do one last time. And that is exactly where I found myself. I intubated, placed an arterial line, placed a central line. I was in that pt’s room for hours, hovering over that body, doing bloody things, giving a lot of orders.

I’m going to miss this. I love this.

It’s extreme stress. To have a life under your direction. Complete responsibility.

It‘s addicting. The adrenaline rush. It’s also exhausting.

My back hurts. I didn’t set the bed at the right height.

I told the family I had little to no hope and most likely they were going to die. Hours later they did. We did everything we could. I did everything I could.

I had wanted so many more experiences like this. There weren’t as many as I had wanted, as I had hoped. But there were enough. They will stay with me forever. This has been an interesting time in my life, an extreme time, a surreal time.

I have a few nights left. As much as I’m ready for them to be over, I’m not.

Be careful what you wish for…

Thursday, December 1, 2011


I should be sleeping right now, but I’m not. I worked last night and I’m back on tonight and here I am, sitting up, awake.

My pager went off a bit ago and a text from a friend let me know there’s a high probability for a chaotic night at work.

Last night was not so chaotic. It was a slow night. I had 3 patients. Only one of which was somewhat sick. I slept most of the night, not restful sleep, but sleep none the less.

I’ve thought a lot about the ICU the last few days. About the parts I like and the parts I don’t like. I find the parts I like heavily outweigh the parts I don’t. I don’t like the nights; that’s about it.

All I’ve really known is the ICU. And I love it. I will miss it. Sometimes I feel so used by God in working in critical care, I feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I wonder if I’ll still feel that way. I wonder if I’ll still feel used. Maybe I’m partly having second thoughts.

I am excited for a new adventure, to learn new things, to work in a new arena, to experience a new perspective. I suppose there is a part of me though, that is afraid of what I’m losing professionally, fearful that what I’m gaining won’t outweigh that which I’ve lost.

It’s funny how we tend to define ourselves by various things. I’ve grown to define myself by my work, by what I do, by my service in the healthcare profession. But I have lost myself to my work and you can’t really be who you are when you aren’t sure who you are anymore. And how can you know who you are when you’ve lost yourself?

In truth, I’m moving more for personal reasons: to be closer to family, to have a better schedule, to re-engage in life again, to have a life outside of work, to “find” myself. I don’t regret that. But I do wonder how that will affect me professionally.

Due to staffing issues, my schedule has been quite horrific these last 10 weeks. Time is a personal resource we shouldn’t waste, you can’t restore it. Those 10 weeks are gone. They’ve left me feeling exhausted, irritable, and disengaged. Sometimes I fear that I will never feel rested again. Yet here I am, sitting up, awake.