There seems to be an an epidemic surrounding me. People refusing to die. Flat out refusing to take that last and final breath. Thier will to live is gaining and and smiles for miles…
AND. IT. IS. AMAZING
The simple fact that I can walk into a room and make a person on a ventilator smile even laugh absolutely shocks me everytime it happens. I couldnt imagine being that lifeless mess hooked up to every machine imaginable while a ventilator shoved air in my lungs to sustain life. I mean I can eat too much pizza and I just want to give up on the world and waste on the couch.
About 9 years ago I became a RN. before that I was a STNA for 5 years. You can do the math if you want but im in my 30’s. I have been taking care of people for the last 14 years of my life. Let’s think about this. 14 years…
I’ve healed wounds, I’ve changed diapers, cracked every rib while trying to resuscitate. I’ve made people breathe, I’ve fed them, bathed them, and I’ve held them while they cried about space men jumping off the moon. I’ve given my patients the medicines to make them well and I’ve gave meds to addicts that I knew only helped until the next fix. I can hear you breathe, feel your heart beat and nothing makes me more proud of what I can do then when I can make a patient smile and elated when I make that sick patient laugh.
To the healthy I’m just this craziness mess of a nurse. I’m unorganized. I don’t time manage paperwork very well and it is common to see me, at the end of my shift, filling it all out. Some may wonder what exactly did I do all night. They may even ask that question out loud. It’s not that I dont care what people might think its just that although paperwork is important… that is not why im a nurse.
I spent the last 12 hours helping the confused woman who keep sitting up on the side of the bed, not sure where she is going, but she wants to go. I spent the last twleve holding the hand the crying elderly woman that is 100% completely nuts and believes that if she calls the operator enough and convinces them to tell me she ate that we will let her go home. Ive spent the last twelve learning how to read lips. So that I can carry on a conversation with someone that no one makes eye contact with because they can’t understand what the vent patient wants. And I carry on that conversation with that delusional vent patient wanting to know if the kids are getting picked up here in the morning because I know that in that patients head. That is reality. I spent the last 12 making sure that woman was not having a panic attack over her kids going to school. I spent the last twelve talking to a man who is most likely brain dead… just incase he is trapped inside.
I spent the last 12 hours talking to a doctor covering the night shift who desperately wants to push everything im talking about onto day shift and convincing him that it can’t wait. I spent the last twelve hearing the drug addicts story. Because few people actually take the time to listen and hear exactly what went wrong. I spent about five minutes explaining to them that it was thier life and I can not fix them only they can and when they are ready to get help they will. I just close with I hope you don’t die before you do. I just spent last 12 repositioning that elderly woman who is lifeless ever couple of hours and giving that man who smells like cat pee, body odor and death a bath because dayshift hardly has any CNAs anymore and a flippin nurse can only do so much. Baths are very low priority in the scheme of things. Usually breathing and meds trump that. Usually. I just spent the last twelve starting about 14 IV’s because I can 98% of the time am able to get it with just one stick. I just spent the last 12 on the phone with every family member in this co. Explaining EVERYTHING the doctor neglected to mention. Or he did mention it but due to thier thick accent and the patients lack of medical knowledge no one understood anything that was happening.
I just spent the last 12 convincing myself that I should come back tomorrow.
What I didn’t do was my paperwork.I saved it for last because I had much more important things I cared to do.
I can live with that.