Monday, January 26, 2015

Us. Them.

The past year has been identity shifting in many ways. One of the more surprising ones for me is that I no longer feel like a nurse. When I used to interact with healthcare providers I felt like an "us" who came in street clothes. Being on the other side of the reflex hammer through 2 hospital admissions and twelve specialists, though, has left me feeling that health care providers are "them."

The hospital stays really finalized the shift for me. When we did the Pre-Op tour I felt uncomfortable in my flip flops. I wanted to curl my toes under. I had never, ever been in a clinical setting with open toed shoes before.  But day after day of living in a hospital as the mom broke me of that. By the time we left I had no qualms as I sauntered about the place in my sandals.

As a nurse I never truly understood the families that would call to ask for help with simple tasks. I felt they were lazy. And I would cut a hard look when I found out they had turned off an IV pump. When my consecutive hours in a hospital topped 100 I understood the families better. 

Some days I wanted to do every task myself because it gave me something to do. Other days I wanted to do nothing because I was exhausted and couldn't think straight. 

Everybody on the planet knows those pumps are annoying. It's intentional. It gets the nurses' attention. But it also made my brain cells start dying at a rapid pace. Hearing it from the hall for 12 hours is different from having it by your head for a week.

I recognize that I started getting cranky during our hospital stays. Looking back I have tried to factor that in as I consider the way I was treated. Factoring in my irritability, there were people who truly treated me like I was an idiot. Which didn't do much to help my crankiness. Having my intelligence change each time someone new walked in the room was maddening. Some talked to me like I was an equally valuable part of the team. Others treated me like I was the child with a developmental disability. 

Being stuck in isolation made me hate everyone. That was not the nurses' fault, I had shifted from cantankerous to downright ugly at that point. 

I am fully entrenched in this Mommy-thing, but do occasionally wonder what I'll be when I grow up, now that I'm not a nurse. One of T's speech therapists suggested I become a Speech Language Pathologist, since I do it every day anyhow. I did investigate programs and the best ones in the country is near one of my best friends. We'll see if the wind blows me to Iowa in twenty years.  

I also think being a park ranger would be fun. 

I've dreamed of a ministry where some woman I know and trust comes and takes my healthy kids when I have a sick one at home I want to focus on. I'm pretty sure I would have to create, it, though. I'll call the ministry, and the women who volunteer for it, Owa. It sounds grandmother-ish without stepping on toes. At least I'm assuming no grandma goes by Owa, since I made it up from "older woman." Young moms shouldn't be the only ones helping each other out. We need some backup from those who aren't in the trenches. 

I've also thought about being an exercise instructor. That would guarantee me time in the gym. 

Microbiology still thrills me. I actually printed off the application for MITs program. I decided not to submit it at this time, though, as they want to know my career goals. I don't think "raising babies" will grant me admission. Maybe I'll look again in a few decades.

Though I'm not a nurse anymore, I do retain some nurse-ish qualities. I prefer military time. I write notes in medical shorthand. And I make Medication Administration Records when my kids go on antibiotics. Old habits die hard.

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

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