silveryscrape (silveryscrape) wrote,

Oyez, vatos! Como'stamos?

(Okay, I think I just called you all shoes and asked you where John Stamos is, but go with me on this one.)

Work is getting harder and harder to tolerate, and perversely it's because I love my cow orkers so much that it fills me with rage to think how we spend our days in hell. Every day I show up in the Hole (a closed six-bed unit that's really only a little larger than a living room) and say "Hi, whatever, tch" and R. says "It's Tuesday, Mary," because he knows I'm going to ask, and D. tells me how she didn't kill ANYONE during the night (she's even more bitter than me), and then R. reminds me that if I need any help I should call the Charge nurse from the unit downstairs, and we all have a good cleansing laugh because our unit is the red-headed stepchild and we get no love at all.

Then whatever graduate nurse they're torturing at the moment sneaks in, scared out of her mind to be working in the OPCU (we have a rep), and the float tech from Staffing drags in, frowns at us all, and disappears immediately for an hour to go get breakfast. Then I spend 12 hours answering phones and telling doctors what to do and entering my own orders in the computer because we have no secretary and helping the other nurse out and doing all the tech's work. If I'm lucky and having a really great day, I also find time to take care of my patients.

Then R. and D. come in again and I greet them with glad cries and give report, which on my unit takes forever because we spend a lot of time talking shit about EVERYTHING, including which nurse oversedated her patient to the point where he needed narcan and a trip to the ICU, and which nurse saw the order for a stat CT of the abdomen and sent her patient down for the test 13 HOURS LATER, and in the meantime the patient perforated a bowel and almost died. Also, our patients on that unit are really sick and every single body system requires a lengthy description of how the doctors are fucking things up and ignoring what the nurses tell them to do.

And then I drag home, amazed because the sun's still up, and somehow on the drive down Orange Av past that one yellow Mediterranean-style mansion I admire so much, and on down Aloma past my beloved Lake Mizzell, whose name I dig and can't pronounce, I decompress enough to settle in at home and eat my hamburger and fries in front of the computer to see what y'all have done all day. Also, I watch Forensic Files or Dog the Bounty Hunter, and then I go to bed.

So, yeah, four days off a week is nowhere near enough.

All that's by way of saying goodbye to four of our long time patients we lost last week, and to the newly diagnosed man who unfortunately had a large pulmonary embolism (we think) and died on the spot, unexpectedly. I wasn't working that day, but I kind of wish I had been, because when I had him the day before he grabbed my hand at one point and whispered "I'm scared, Mary." I sat with him for a long time and told him I thought it would be okay. In retrospect, the fear and anxiety and difficulty he had breathing for a few minutes there may have been a mini-embolism, but who knows, he had other reasons for experiencing those things, and hindsight is a pain in the ass. I didn't suspect anything, and the charge nurse didn't suspect anything, and the pulmonary doc said "okie-dokie!" when I called him just to let him know about the shortness of breath. Is too bad. I don't feel I failed in this case, but man, he was so scared about his disease and his prospects, I wish I could have been there just so he'da had a familiar face and a little extra shot of comfort before it happened. You know?

(I hope not.)

Ah! And now that I've used the snarky to arrive at the sad as usual, I'm going to head off to the dentist for my permanent crown, and then I'm going to swing past this one little bungalow-house dealie and see if it's a place I'd like to live. Hey! Maybe if I have a fun new house to fix up, I won't need to inflict my mental heath moves on y'all. Seems considerate. And then I'm going to frown at my story some more, although my story will grin back because it knows I love it, and I'll maybe even start my JuC swap story, because I might have an idea. OH GOD I HOPE I DIDN'T JUST JINX IT.

Tags: nursing
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