Sunday, February 24, 2008

Just Another Day in Paradise

Well, it was another glorious weekend in the ICU. We had a wonderful complement of delerious folks, some very sick and unstable patients, some with ICU psychosis and some with a little alcohol withdrawal syndrome thrown in for good measure. Once or twice we ran dangerously short of Ativan and mother's milk. We also had dozens and dozens of visitors who just love to ask questions we can't answer or assume a critically ill patient should be up and receiving visitors and entertaining their "guests" who thought enough to come and visit. Add a shortage of nurses, lack of adequate break time and you have a combustible mix. If that isn't enough to make you cry, add a witching hour (the last hour before the shift ends) code blue and you will hear language from women that would make a sailor blush.

Tempers were short, sniping was abundant and feelings were hurt. Kind of inevitable. We can be a vicious bunch of bitches when stressed. For those unaware, it isn't much of a secret that some nurses can be awful toward one another. After all, we're lucky if we get anything to eat at all in a twelve hour shift--why not eat your young? What a s#!tty day. All I wanted to do was get home and finish the grafting on the socks I was making. I wanted to wash and wear them the next day. I kind of knew this was wishful thinking but that is what the knitter in me wanted.

At thirty minutes prior to shift end, the code became my patient. I could only think thirty more minutes, 30 more minutes. That was about the time the nursing house supervisor approached the yarn ho that resides within me and offered her bonus pay on top of time and a half. To my shock and utter horror, I heard myself say sure, I'll stay. Damn me. If I had stayed off ebay last Friday, I wouldn't need the money to pay for the 25 skeins of Sisik that I won. OH YES, I DID. It was a "steal" and I love a good game of last minute bidding on ebay. I don't know WTF I will DO with 25 skeins of Sisek, but I HAD TO HAVE IT. So I worked the double, sped home, slept fast and got up to do it all over again.

The night shift nurses were thankful. Myself and another foolish dayshift nurse had turned their poorly staffed shift into one more tolerable. Additional staff was found by 11pm and we left. I also left my knitting which I had no possible way to finish. When I came back in the morning, the knitting fairy had raided my bag and turned an unfinished pair of socks into magic:
Joanne, who not only does a fabulous job with kitchener stitch is also a healer of tired souls like me. She singlehandedly mended my nursing spirit for as if the gift of finishing my socks was not enough, she bestowed upon me a pair of beautiful hand painted merino wool socks fresh off her own needles. I am blessed: there is no greater gift to a knitter than another knitter making something special just for you. And wow!!! They match my scrubs!!! Thank you!


The Rotten Correspondent said...

Those socks are fabulous! What a nice thing to have done for you.

I love your Propofol/Mother's Milk comment. We always called it Milk of Amnesia, which also works. I've said (and still totally believe) that you could make a million marketing t-shirts that say I (heart)Propofol for critical care nurses.

I'd wear one!

Rudee said...

Your t-shirt would be a good idea. I'll buy a dozen. Be careful if you decide on a "I Heart Mother's Milk" T tho--it could be a rather indelicate and completely misunderstood item. Set up a cafe press account and market yourself. I do love both pair of socks. Jo is a wonder.