Friday, September 11, 2009

I’m going HOME!!

Let’s start off with the most amazing news ever…I’m going HOME so sooooon.  I have a 6am flight on Friday morning to head home.  It’s currently 2:30 am, and since I got off of work at 1:00 am, I’m just going to stay up because otherwise I’m not sure I’ll get my butt back up to head to the airport at 3:45…and we can’t have that!  I have not been home since I moved here wayyyy back in May.  I love love love Chicago, my friends, and my parents, so I am ridiculously excited to head home.  I have big plans to eat at all my favorite places, hang out with my parents/friends, and run twenty miles.  (Okay, less pumped about that last one…but I guess I’ll squeeze it in.) 

You cannot possibly fathom how excited I am.  I will be exhausted when I get there, but ridiculously happy.

Let’s rewind to Wednesday, aka the WORST DAY OF MY LIFE.  Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but work was an absolute nightmare.  I was pulled to another floor…again.  I was tearing up while getting a patient into bed, and since I kind of knocked her nasogastric tube, she got mad, looked right at me, and exclaimed, “You don’t know what you’re doing, do you??”  Well, actually, I don’t really, but you’re not supposed to know that.  Miserable, miserable day.  I had six patients, an aide who somehow didn’t even manage to get vital signs on my patients, and everything was non-stop.  Half of my patients were very dependent, needing to be changed, a couple needed to be fed, and one complained the entire night that he was nauseated no matter how much anti-nausea medication I gave him.  My shift is technically 3-11:30pm, but I clocked out at 2:30 in the morning.  I had all my paperwork to do, and the nurse before me didn’t sign of any orders, so I had to go through all the charts and check them.  The night nurse asked me eight million questions and looked at me like I’m the dumbest person alive (which I really must have  been…what a mess). 

Since last night was so miserable, I was PRAYING to be called off today.  I couldn’t go back.  Not yet.  I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m a terrible nurse.  But alas, my floor actually has patients on it (like 20-24…don’t ask me where they came from!, so off to work it was.  And I got to work on my floor…thank goodness!!  I had five patients, one of which was suffering from severe dementia (it was bad…really bad), and two family who called me non-stop.  I think I talked to people on the phone at least ten different times.  I’m busy, remember??  Anyway.  The highlight of my night was when a doctor called (randomly…I didn’t page him), and I kept apologizing because I didn’t have the chart or any of my information in front of me.

He stopped me and questioned, “Are you new here?”

”…Kind of”  (Me thinking…”Okay, that’s obvious, but please don’t yell at me!”

”Okay, now stop saying, ‘I’m sorry.’  You have nothing to apologize for, and I’m the director of surgery, so if any doctor yells at you, you tell me and I will let them have it.  And if any of them tell me that you say ‘I’m sorry’ one more time, I’m going to let you have it.”

He was very nice and I appreciated him telling me to calm down about not having everything right in front of me.  I often freak out because so many people get worked up about “calling the doctor,” and I really think it’s made up to be a bigger deal than it needs to be.  I apologize way too much in general, but I think I lay it on stronger when I think I’m obviously being an idiot…which is quite often these days.

Running these days hasn’t been much better than work has been…and if you read this blog just for the running, the nursing has taken over this post!  Short recovery run on Wednesday:

Wednesday, September 9
5.21 miles in 43:33, avg pace of 8:22

Nothing to write home about…just got in the miles!  I just my brand spanking new pair of Brooks Adrenalines…my old pairs have lots of miles on them, so I figured it was time to bring in a new pair.  I’ve got another pair with about sixty miles on them, so I’ll probably need another pair before marathon day.

Today was supposed to be a tempo run…11 miles with 6 at lactate threshold pace.  I wasn’t feeling like running at all after my disaster of a night last night, but I dragged my butt out, telling myself that it would get better if I just got out there.  My warm-up felt okay, but I was tired.  Mentally exhausted, physically tired too.  I gave my LT miles a go and ended up quitting after a mile.  My pace was around 7:20, which is fine, but I knew there was no way I was going to get through this workout.  I decided to stop, more for my mental health than anything, and headed home.  Ended up with a seven mile easier run…whatever, I’ll take it.

Thursday, September 10
7.01 miles in 57:23, avg pace of 8:11

Twenty miles up for this week…we’ll see how they go!  Time to shower and finish packing…then off to CHICAGO for the weekend.  People at work got really confused when I told them I’m going “home” this weekend…Pennsylvania is not home for me after living in Chicago for seventeen years.  I can’t wait!


  1. Wow, Susan, you work so hard. I can't believe you haven't collapsed yet. Mad props, lady!

    Have a GREAT trip this weekend. It sounds like exactly what you need to relax and decompress.

    (I'll be in Chicago tooooo if you happen to come into the city.)

  2. Susan,
    I can relate to SO many things you say about nursing...I'm a nurse too. Have been for 2 years. I just got off a horrible shift as well. My only goal all the time is to get out on time, but that rarely happens...STILL! But that doctor sounds like a rare nice one! Just keep plugging away...

  3. It gets easier, Susan. It really does - hang in there! Not to say that I haven't ever had a nightmare shift in the past few years, but rolling with the punches does become easier.

    Have a safe trip home, & ENJOY your time back!

  4. Have fun at home!! It will be a good break from all the stress and hecticness at work. I'm learning that the life of a nurse is march harder than it appears on the outside! Like you, I say 'I'm sorry' ALL THE TIME. It's just a natural reaction and I don't realize it comes out of my mouth until it does. You are still learning...everyone has to start somewhere. Don't let the cranky patients get to you!

  5. It sounds like some of your patients get pretty nasty! What is the deal with that?! I would have been upset too :(

    Have a great time at home! I think we are supposed to have nice weather for your 20-miler!

  6. Have a great time at home. I always do the same thing when I am at home - eat at all my favorte places.

    I'm glad that one doctor was really nice to you!

  7. I hope you have a great trip home. It sounds like just what you need after a rough day at work! Glad that awesome doc helped calm you down and good luck with that 20 miler!

  8. Sounds like this trip home is coming at the perfect time. And for the record, you're NOT a terrible nurse. I hope the next time I go to a hospital, I get a nurse who cares half as much as you do. :o)

  9. Enjoy your time at home! Sounds like you need to get away from it all for awhile.

  10. Hope you have a great time at home!

  11. I'm so sorry that you had a really bad shift. Joyrun is right. It does get easier and you just roll with the punches. I was laughing when you said that calling the doctors has really been made into a bigger deal than it really is. I used to be deathly scared of calling the doctors b/c i was scared that they were going to ask me something I had no clue to. I still get the jitters, I ain't gonna lie. But, if you just psyche yourself up and say to yourself that it really isn't a big deal. You are just talking to a fellow colleage, you should be ok. Have a great time in Chicago! You deserve the break!

  12. Have fun at home. I hope you can just relax and destress some.

    I'm sorry work has been so rough. It sounds like a very hard job, but you're doing a great job despite everything. I think most people would have just given up, but it takes character to stick it out.