Looking back over the past year, this PICU nurse feels grateful, successful, proud, educated, tired, but even a bit refreshed and relaxed (a great vacation at the end of the year will do that!).
Here are my Top 10 Moments of 2010:
10.) 2009 is over!!! It was a ROUGH year for Jon and I. We were both glad that it was over and ready for a fresh new start!! 2010 here we come!
9.) I finished 4 more quarters of grad school with a 40 GPA...more importantly, that's 4 quarters closer to becoming an Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner!!
8.) I went on some GREAT vacations (Mexico, Carolina Beach, PR, cruise)- these greatly helped to keep me walking back through those doors of the PICU and logging onto school when it just seemed too much!
7.) I have been able to care for a few patients who were not expected to live...one RSV baby, one heart transplant, one liver disease kid, etc. What a joy it is to see the day they walk out of the PICU and get to go home, healthy and smiling!!
6.) I turned another year older...and yet at least once a week still get asked by a patient or family member if I'm old enough to be a nurse!! Not so sure this is a "Top Moment" this year, but I want to remember it...I'm sure I'll greatly appreciate it in 10 or 20 years!!
5.) I started a blog and found a new passion...what a great outlet it has become for me!
4.) I had some great laughs, both in the PICU as well as in my "real life"- A few of the work related laughs can be seen here or here
3.) The little guy I've been caring for over the past 6 months is showing great developmental improvements despite living in the PICU most of his life. I am proud to say this is largely due to the committment I made to consistently care for him (wow, lot's of "c's" in that one!). It has been a true joy to be able to take care of him...but I can't wait for the day when I get to send him out those PICU doors and off to home!
2.) I have been able to make new friends and deepen friendships I already had. Friendships are essential in keeping PICU nurses sane...and friendships within the PICU are priceless. Who else would understand at the end of a long day whether it's a straight to bed vs. wine vs. martini night based solely off of the last name of the patient you cared for??
And my TOP moment of 2010:
1.) I am married to the most amazing husband in the world. While so many TV shows depict nurses feigning for the docs, it is a true joy to know that I am going home to my best friend...a man who understands very little about what I do. And this is completely to my advantage, because I can leave all of the medicine out of it, and just tell him about the emotions, the physicality of my day. And what a great listener he is!! While most of our dates this year were what we coined "Couch Dates" (AKA: catching up on tivo while I do homework), we still managed to create great memories, deepen our friendship, and fall more in love.
At the end of the day, a PICU nurse is still a nurse...but she needs to go home. No matter how long a day it is, the hospital is just not the same as home...and this PICU nurse is truly grateful for the home...the husband...that she has to go home to!!
So adios 2010....while the adventures for this PICU nurse were a roller coaster of highs and low, stresses and successes, I look forward to what 2011 has to bring!! And to the fellow PICU nurses ringing in the New Year with their "mocktail" (off-brand sprite mixed with cran-apple juice!) while putting those little ones to bed, thank you for all that you do...thank you for your dedication! Those kids are entering into a new year because you are able to keep them alive at least one more day.