Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Love/Hate Relationship

Know what I love??? My Job

Know what else I love??? Days off from my job!

Know what I hate? Chopping an entire bushel of onions.

But I guess if I'm chopping an "entire bushel" (do they even still say that word!?) of onions, then I guess that means I have a day off. And I'm making some amazing white chili (recipe from here) which I guess then brings me back to....

Know what I love??? days off that allow me time to chop an entire bushel of onions!

Days off are awesome. They allow me to do things like semi-sleep in. I say "semi" b/c I just can't seem to sleep in like I used to. Waking up at 8 am is a successful sleep-in type morning for me!

But days off also allow me to work out, to get a massage, to open a bottle of wine and sip while I cook an amazing dinner. Yeah, told ya...I LOVE days off!

And if you've ever cooked a dinner where your husband has stopped 3 times to say just how amazing it is, you especially know what I'm talking about!

But days off also allow me to reflect on the 3 days that I've already worked this week. And I've thoroughly enjoyed the patient that I've cared for over the last 6 shifts.

While extremely busy at work, I've thought about 22 times what a great blog post this patient or the situation that I've been in would make a great blog post. And about 21....make that 22...times, I've come home SO exhausted, that the blog post never happened!

So as I sit on my day off (night, now), I am trying to decide whether or not to compile all those thoughts, all those "remember when THAT happened!?" moments into one blog....

OR just keep enjoying the evening with my incredible grateful-for-cooking-an-amazing-meal husband...

Easy choice! The husband!

But I will leave you with one little nugget!

This little guy I've been taking care of (to the size of a 9 month old) is VERY sick. We have him on continuous medications to keep him both sedated and paralyzed. And he's decided that since many of his organs are failing and his liver and spleen have grown to the size of my head, that he only likes to lay "prone" (AKA: on his belly)...except we put a big roll under his groin and his chest to keep his belly and lungs from being squashed onto the bed.

So, in this position, and when on the oscillator (AKA: mack-daddy of ventilators...and yes, I said "mack-daddy!"), we really can't move our patients. But, I'm very concerned about this little guys skin, and especially the areas under the roll with lots of tension.

Enter little 9 mo old penis....with a foley in it. Talk about skin breakdown risk! And what an area! The parents are very aware of this risk. But when it comes to saving his airway...his life!...vs his future manhood, airway is always gonna win!

But, in the interim, step in PICU nurse to consistently check on the said "baby package". And just as I have a respiratory therapist in the room to help me lift, I find a perfect opportunity to thoroughly inspect the skin around said sacred area.

The respiratory therapist helps me gently and ever so slightly lift the bottom half of my patient off the bed. To which I try to inspect the area. Except, when on the oscillator you can't really move the patient at I can't REALLY see the area.

Until I am bent over in the weirdest way possible, with my head in a compromising position on the bed.

And then enter a manager of the unit just happening to be walking by. As she walks by, she just happens to hear me say "Wow, that looks good.....really good!"

And given my positioning, she just busts out laughing in the hallway!

Because truly she understands that as a PICU nurse, I'm not only concerned about the life, and the airway of my patient, but also the little things such as skin integrity. And yet, at the position, and with my apparent word choice, it leaves no other option than to laugh at it all.

And so we set him down the entire 2 inches we have him lifted, and I remove my head from the bed. And then we all just laugh.

But I can laugh and know that yes, this is a great time at work. But I can also confidently laugh knowing that I am providing excellent, holistic, save your life AND your skin...and perhaps man organs...type care.

And that is a good day at work.

And the good days at work lead to better days off.

Which is where I'm at now.

So I leave you- happy, full of wonderful white chili, and grateful for my days off. But also happy for the days of work ahead. Because I love taking care of those that are super sick. I love my job. I love being a PICU nurse.


  1. Yeah, I understand. I like working, but I also like days off. I think the days off to do other things actually make me a better nurse! ;) I can really feel it if I have been working a long stint in a row with no days off...

  2. What a great idea about the chili- I have been doing this thing lately where I buy mass ingredients at costco and put all the ingredients incl seasonings in a ziplock and freeze. That way I can just thaw it the night before, toss it in the crockpot the next am and set the timer. This way I can get my husband to take it easy with the junk food dinners on days that I am not home til 930pm. And it's affordable.