02 September 2006


Last day of work at the hell hole today! The shift manager (a very minor goddess, believe me) made sure I spent most of my pentultimate day at work in the area I like least, Trauma. It was a grizzly day, which I won't recount fully here. I might make graphically disgusting comments and trade gross banter with my co-workers but I won't subject you to that. You think nurses don't have macabre senses of humor? Think again.

I walked into the day to a trauma code, an 80 year old pedestrian struck by a car. She did not survive. She was terribly injured. I'm glad she did not survive the code because the full remainder of her life would have been a living hell of ICU's, IV's, ventilators, tubes, monitors and pain. Her injuries were such that I believe she probably died instantly, even if she showed some signs of life after the accident. Being given the knowledge that my sister's injuries were consistent with immediate unconsciousness despite signs of life was one of the things that helped me most after she was killed. I hope that was the case with this woman.

I was able to switch myself out of Trauma at 7 PM and passed the rest of the evening very pleasantly (especially aided by passive-aggressive shift manager departing at 7 as well). So, today is it. I'm outta there! I've called and left a message for the weekend shift manager (who is a good soul) that, should she assign me to Trauma, I will make sure she becomes one. ; )

Leaving is bittersweet. I very much enjoy working with many of the people there. They will be missed and they will miss me, too. I hope I find some decent folks at THAC*. It's a shame that a few miserable souls can make the rest of the staff so unhappy. It's a shame that this type of behavior can be ignored by the people who should make a difference. It's a shame we all can't just get along, do our part, contribute and take a sense of accomplishment away from our work experience. Someday I'm going to write a treatise on how nurses cheap jab each other to death or burnout. Why is that and what can we do to change it? We don't just eat our young...we nibble daily on each other and it takes a toll.

Tropical depression Ernesto blew through my small suburb last night, leaving small branches and leaves littered on the ground. The creek is swollen and rapid. The sky is the color of flint. It's really beautiful. I love storms. I wish I could have been at the shore during the storm. I wish I could have stayed awake last night to listen to the howling of the wind and the splatter of the rain.

I stopped by GrannyVibe** this morning and looked over her post about guilting her way into spending a day with those gorgeous Peruvian Paso horses the other day. I got to thinking about this woman, whose future is uncertain due to an aggressive form of lymphoma, reaching out and grabbing for all she can right now and lapping it up! God, I love that! I thought about what might lie ahead for Liz...chemo, surgery, radiation, medications, medications, medications...and even more dire possibilities.

It strikes me how we come to learn so much about each other, and care so much, simply from reading characters on a page. You can tell who's real and who's bullshit out here in the 'sphere. I can, anyway. It amazes me how much we can come to care for someone we've never met, just someone who writes some good stuff that we read on a computer screen. God, I want Liz to survive!

People die.

Three people died in my ER yesterday. People die every day. Sometimes it's good and as it should be. The ER doctor I worked with yesterday happened to be the one whose father-in-law I cared for a couple of weeks ago when he came in a died quickly of his cardiac problems. ER Doc made it a point to seek me out on Thursday to thank me, profusely, for the care I gave to his wife's father, and his wife and mother-in-law. He remarked repeatedly last evening about how sorry he was that I'm leaving and how much I'll be missed. It's the closest he can come to telling me he enjoys working with me and will miss me and is sorry I'm leaving. It's the best he can do and, you know what, it's good enough. Just those words mean as much as many of the bear hugs I've been getting from the people I will really miss.

Sometimes people die when they "shouldn't." Like the 30-something overdose of the other day. (Fentanyl-laced heroin is making the rounds again, folks.) Like my sister, hit by a car walking down a country road at the age of nineteen. She "shouldn't" have died. Liz would definitely fall into the "shouldn't" category.

Passive-aggressive shift manager never even said good-bye when she left at 7.

Not a problem.

Happy end of summer, everybody. I hope you enjoy your Labor Day holiday!

**Addendum, Sept.3, 2006: Apparently, Liz has decided to go offline for a while. No horrible physical issues, just personal life stressors according to her son, Finnegan. I hope and pray for Liz's strength and returning health and eagerly await the time when she once again regales us with her wit, wisdom and spirit. Love, peace, happiness and wellness to Liz and all who love her.

tags: bitchy / blogging / death / life / nursing / work


At September 02, 2006 11:57 AM, Blogger Sage said...

Happy leaving!

Your Granny links aren't working, but mine (from my site) isn't either. It might be just temporary. We'll go with that.

I want to chime in that I'm amazed at how much I care about what my guy refers to as my "invisible friends" in the blogsphere. I can't seem to find such strong, opinionated, intelligent and funny people in my real life. I'm surrounded by, what could be mommy-bloggers and whiney bloggers and illogical bloggers and pretentious know-it-all bloggers. Not that there's anything wrong with those types, they're just not my cup of tea.


At September 03, 2006 3:25 AM, Blogger Cheryl said...

Good to see you, Sage, and thanks for dropping by. I love your place!

I know what you mean about a dearth of people who really *get* you in real life, not that I've yet made a concerted effort to find any lately. That's the seduction of the internet...so many more and varied options than are offered within the limits of "real life." Bummer!

Thanks for you kind wishes and have a great weekend.

At September 03, 2006 7:47 PM, Blogger Jean said...

Second the congrats, and I hope THAC is better for you. As long you gotta do, might as well be as happy as possible. No shortage of nibbling to anywhere.

At September 04, 2006 12:34 AM, Blogger Cheryl said...

Are women as catty, petty and downright mean to each other outside of nursing, Jean? It's so disheartening at times, the way women eat at each other, and not in the good way.

Thanks for the kind thoughts!

At September 05, 2006 10:51 AM, Blogger Jean said...

Ah... I think it's everywhere. It was a shock to my system because in law school, there had been a lot of very specific emphasis on something resembling 'solidarity' (that word was never used) among women attorneys, so I expected that when I got out into the world. No dice, unfortunately.

At September 05, 2006 11:29 AM, Blogger Cheryl said...

Well, if they used the word 'solidarity' they'd wind up with pinko commie dyke lawyers and we can't have that!

If I could figure out why women have to tear at each other so much, I could die a happy woman. That and a comfortable bra and I'd be in heaven!


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