Saturday, August 08, 2009
Today's hospital shift was very fulfilling. The stories I heard were as grim as last week's -- maybe more so -- but I had more energy and felt a lot more resilient. I felt like I was riding the wave of tragedy instead of being smashed underneath it, if that makes any sense (not that this is a kind of surfing one wants to have to do!). My presence made a palpable difference to at least three patients: one who was traumatized and very fearful, but became calmer when I stayed at the bedside during provider visits and procedures; one for whom I arranged help from a community agency after discharge; and one who was very upset and just needed to talk, and to hear that coming to the ER had been both necessary and a sign of strength.
Mind you, my brain still has holes in it. I left my beloved Blackberry in the (fortunately not very heavily used on weekends) bathroom near the chaplains' office, but luckily one of the staff chaplains found it and handed it in to security. The security officers gave me a hard time. "Since it's a weekend, we'll need a $20 pizza donation before you can have it back. Oh, and we used it to call all our friends in Europe; that's okay with you, right?" When they were done having fun, they gave me a lecture. "That's a nice phone, and you're lucky someone didn't walk away with it and run up a big bill."
Yeah, guys, I know. I didn't do it on purpose. Honest.
So the brain's still a little shaky, but the heart's doing a teeny bit better. As for the socks, the jury's out. I stopped by my local yarn shop yesterday and learned that other people get holes with the technique I'd been using, too. Oh, good: it's not just me! The shop owner suggested another technique which also produced holes. I'm going to try Something Completely Different, but not until I get to the heel of my next sock, which will be a while. Meanwhile, we bought yarn for me to make socks for Gary, although I'm not going to start them until I've mastered heels. I hope that happens before I retire!