I'll have to think more about that goal of writing something every day.
I ended up working four nights in a row, which is a lot for me. We've had several weeks of really high census, with many nights where we started the shift completely full (that's one charge nurse for fifty patients). Patients end up spending 24 hours or more waiting for beds in the ER until someone gets discharged, or getting admitted to the ICU/CCU. Not an ideal situation.
Which leaves me too tired to write when I get home from work.
Thus the need to re-align my goals.
Day 1 ... of writing something at least three days a week...
We had another full night last night, when our Telemetry monitor tech called me to check on one if our patients. She had that weird sound to her voice that I really don't like to hear from the person in charge of watching everyone's heart rhythm.
I walked/jogged into the room where the assigned nurse was checking the patient for a pulse.
I could tell he wasn't finding one.
The patient was a DNR -- Do Not Resuscitate. Comfort measures only.
At 94, he had just been diagnosed with renal failure. Lapsing into unconsciousness two days ago, his family/Power of Attorney had made the decision to forgo dialysis and transfer to Hospice just a few hours earlier.
We were somber and respectful as we pronounced the patient deceased. I made the call to family, a duty I have performed many times over in the thirteen years I've been a nurse. I even have a memorized spiel I use.
The family took the news well, disappointed that none were present when the patient died.
I told them that it happened very quickly, that the patient was comfortable when he died, and that the death was very peaceful.
As I filled out the forms, and as we prepared the body to be picked up and sent to the morgue, the assigned nurse said, "Wow you're really good at this."
It was a compliment, a testiment to my efficiency...
... and the fact that I've done this twenty or so times before.
Day 3 (of 7 days in a row of writing something every day)
Well, I may have sprained myself after the last post. It's been a while since I've written so hard.
I've been off for five days. I'm required to work at least three 12-hour shifts a week, but I usually work four 12-hour shifts a week. But I was all messed up this week because of a previous week of day-shift meetings, which totally screwed my sleep schedule to hell.
Sometimes, I'll switch my sleep schedule so that I'm up during the day. Unless it's for something special, I always end up regretting it. It's like running down the stairs and accidentally taking two steps at a time. Sometimes you can recover smoothly, sometimes you end up face-first down a flight of stairs. You're better off just taking it one step and a time and not trying anything fancy.
I'm back to work Sunday night, first of four in a row. So it's bed time...
Day 2 of Seven (days in a row of writing something every day)... and already, writer's block has set in. I remember when this was EASY... come home, spill my heart and mind into my blog, eat something totally inappropriate for breakfast, then go to bed til my next shift.
The eating something inappropriate for breakfast still comes pretty easily though. My last breakfast was leftover Chinese (Mongolian Beef, spicy, from The Golden Wok on Valentine's Day).
... so I spent a couple of years as an Admit Nurse. It happened after I very dramatically was kicked out of my position as a night shift charge nurse.
I don't blame myself. There were four of us, and none of us were spared the block and axe.
Three of us went quietly.
I did not.
I fought every step of the way. I appealed every write-up (my god they said I didn't know how to put in a fucking foley... after the hundreds of code blues I've team-led... no Ma'am I wasn't going down over a Fucking Foley).
The Mass Extinction Event that ended up costing six seasoned charge nurses, two pro-nurse vice presidents, and one pro-nurse Chief Nursing Officer wasn't taking me without a fight.
I went up the chain of command, and never even got the professional courtesy of a reply. I was utterly ignored, even as I kicked and screamed up the wooden steps. Even as they pushed my cursing foul-mouthed face against the block. Even as I heard the cold sussuration of the Axe flying through the air.
My written rebuttal was 4 pages long, with 11 supportive documents. I delivered it in a blue binder, a white sticky label on the front. Colored tabs marked "A" through "K" for each supportive document. I wanted it to be intimidating. What it ended up being was... ignored.
After a month if "tisk tisk" and clucking of tongues, I had exhausted all of my options. I stunned them all at how ferocious some of us could fight. Some of us have claws, and mine needed serious cleaning.
I'd thought of traveling, after catching my breath doing some Agency. But the night the Axe fell, and I wasn't a charge nurse anymore, the first day of a self-imposed three week holiday, my phone rang.
One of the other department heads wanted to give me a job.
"It's going to be boring."
"I don't know if I can handle boring."
"Eric, what you need most right now is a big hunk of boring."
Thus, the beginning of two years of... forms. Flu shots. "Did you remember to start the IV antibiotic?"
Every day, a little part of me died a little death.
But I'm Back Now.
Phoenix reborn from the ashes of a hot-burning flame.
I'm the current Poster Boy for Why You Should Just Stick Around Until the Bitches Move On.
My previous boss isn't around anymore, as are few of her cronies.
I used to write a lot. Something every day. Journals all over the place. Moleskines in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and textures. I had a voracious appetite for seeing my thoughts written on paper.
It forced me to be creative.
It forced me to think more clearly about everything - what books I read, what I watched on TV, the movies I went to, the blogs I read, what stocks I'm stalking.
Now that I rarely write, I wonder why.
There have been a couple of years where I didn't find work all that challenging. I had worked as an admission nurse (it took me a dozen times to type that out, it's not a real job in my mind). I spent a couple of years filling out the tedious admission forms every patient has to have filled out before things can happen. Lists of drugs, allergies. Getting you a flu and/or pneumonia shot. Making sure you get an antibiotic your first twenty-four hours if you've got pneumonia.
I just didn't have anything to write about.
Blog posts became fewer and fewer.
Not many folks read me anymore. I once had 120-150 readers a day, now I'm down to 40-50 folks. Based on my link stats, most of you are looking to copy DVD's, trying to use your Kindle to listen to podcasts, want to know more about the weird way doctors and nurses record lab values in progress notes, or have some weird interest in the Maricopa County Jail.
I just don't think as much as I used to.
So I've dug through all of my piles of crap, and found the four notebooks I was writing in. I'm pledging myself to write something -- anything -- every day, for a week.
I know, just a week, but it's a goal I have some hope of reaching.