stonehenge1121: (AesSedai)
Well, I got my Holiday off. Through pure serendipity, there were multiple sick calls on day shift just prior to the holiday. Now, I *WILL NOT* work days; but I can be persuaded to pick up an additional night shift to free up somebody who will. So rather than just giving me the holiday off (like they were supposed to) they gave me the day off (and covered it with vacation time - of which I have an overabundance), paid me overtime to work an extra shift that week, and gave me 'incentive pay' (hospital mandated, as I was covering a shift which was more than 2 staff short. Yeah, having your boss over a barrel: PRICELESS!!!
So we got to go see family for the holiday, which was a lot of fun; and a whole lot of driving - but worth it. I got spoiled by m'lady - and spoiled her a bit, too. We got each other snowshoes (and had a bit of fun using them already, too), I got her a serger (thanks [livejournal.com profile] rarely!) and I got new music (box sets rule!). Best of all, we got to spend time during and around the holiday with many of the people we love most. Thank you, my friends and the family I've chosen, for making our holidays wonderful.

One of those inspired no small amount of introspection during the turning of the year. We'll call him "B", a local musician, whom I knew only peripherally prior to last year. Last year, however, he became very ill, and spent a considerable amount of time in my ICU. (I’m telling no unknown tales here: those who know, already know and the rest aren’t likely to ever meet him and make the connection.) I avoided taking him as a patient for a while, because of the number of people I know who both knew him and where he was receiving care, simply to avoid questions. Oh, I was in the room helping his primary care people, but I didn’t actually take care of him for the first week or so; after that he became one of my ‘regulars’, and I was pleasantly surprised by how many people didn’t ask me about him. As he recovered, [livejournal.com profile] kirvin3 was involved as his Physical Therapist (twice, due to unfortunate set-backs), and we both became better acquainted with both “B” and his wife.
We had, just before Christmas, the singular joy of watching this new friend play his first solo set since his illness at a local Irish Pub. After his night ended (and last call was given) I had a chance to talk to him for a while. I had a chance to tell him how great it was to see him doing what the loves again, and I actually found it hard to articulate how much it meant to me to be a part of that, other than to say “It makes me realize that what I do matters.” Which sounded pretty stupid to me, even at that moment.
Fast forward to Christmas day – I’m in church (yeah, it surprised me, too …the things I do for my family!). The sermon was about Christmas, and how Christmas wasn’t peace, or love or presents under the tree: it was about Hope. And it hit me; that’s what it was, when I watched “B” playing his sets that night. It was the hope represented there. Most of my patients end up in extended care facilities, long-term rehab centers, or the morgue. It’s the nature of what I do – I specialize in extremely critical patients, and few have happy endings to their stories. The few who do, usually we never see again (and I can’t blame them, who wants to remember their close calls?). But I wouldn’t have said that it gets me down; it’s just part of the territory, it’s the nature of the beast. I couldn’t have guessed how much it might mean to me to be able to see somebody who came so close to the edge return to a normal life. Thanks “B”. You gave me a nice Christmas present there. I appreciate the reminder that even in the worst moments ‘back to a normal life’ is only a short distance away.

Who knew that an Irish story could have a happy ending?
stonehenge1121: (AesSedai)
Well, I got my Holiday off. Through pure serendipity, there were multiple sick calls on day shift just prior to the holiday. Now, I *WILL NOT* work days; but I can be persuaded to pick up an additional night shift to free up somebody who will. So rather than just giving me the holiday off (like they were supposed to) they gave me the day off (and covered it with vacation time - of which I have an overabundance), paid me overtime to work an extra shift that week, and gave me 'incentive pay' (hospital mandated, as I was covering a shift which was more than 2 staff short. Yeah, having your boss over a barrel: PRICELESS!!!
So we got to go see family for the holiday, which was a lot of fun; and a whole lot of driving - but worth it. I got spoiled by m'lady - and spoiled her a bit, too. We got each other snowshoes (and had a bit of fun using them already, too), I got her a serger (thanks [livejournal.com profile] rarely!) and I got new music (box sets rule!). Best of all, we got to spend time during and around the holiday with many of the people we love most. Thank you, my friends and the family I've chosen, for making our holidays wonderful.

One of those inspired no small amount of introspection during the turning of the year. We'll call him "B", a local musician, whom I knew only peripherally prior to last year. Last year, however, he became very ill, and spent a considerable amount of time in my ICU. (I’m telling no unknown tales here: those who know, already know and the rest aren’t likely to ever meet him and make the connection.) I avoided taking him as a patient for a while, because of the number of people I know who both knew him and where he was receiving care, simply to avoid questions. Oh, I was in the room helping his primary care people, but I didn’t actually take care of him for the first week or so; after that he became one of my ‘regulars’, and I was pleasantly surprised by how many people didn’t ask me about him. As he recovered, [livejournal.com profile] kirvin3 was involved as his Physical Therapist (twice, due to unfortunate set-backs), and we both became better acquainted with both “B” and his wife.
We had, just before Christmas, the singular joy of watching this new friend play his first solo set since his illness at a local Irish Pub. After his night ended (and last call was given) I had a chance to talk to him for a while. I had a chance to tell him how great it was to see him doing what the loves again, and I actually found it hard to articulate how much it meant to me to be a part of that, other than to say “It makes me realize that what I do matters.” Which sounded pretty stupid to me, even at that moment.
Fast forward to Christmas day – I’m in church (yeah, it surprised me, too …the things I do for my family!). The sermon was about Christmas, and how Christmas wasn’t peace, or love or presents under the tree: it was about Hope. And it hit me; that’s what it was, when I watched “B” playing his sets that night. It was the hope represented there. Most of my patients end up in extended care facilities, long-term rehab centers, or the morgue. It’s the nature of what I do – I specialize in extremely critical patients, and few have happy endings to their stories. The few who do, usually we never see again (and I can’t blame them, who wants to remember their close calls?). But I wouldn’t have said that it gets me down; it’s just part of the territory, it’s the nature of the beast. I couldn’t have guessed how much it might mean to me to be able to see somebody who came so close to the edge return to a normal life. Thanks “B”. You gave me a nice Christmas present there. I appreciate the reminder that even in the worst moments ‘back to a normal life’ is only a short distance away.

Who knew that an Irish story could have a happy ending?
stonehenge1121: (Nemo)
Work is kicking my ass. Well, actually it's work and this damn chest cold that I can't seem to shake. I'm guessing that my sleep schedule isn't helping any, (call it a hunch) and the fact that I'm at work extra days every week for OT or meetings (or additional training, or giving presentations) doesn't do much for my health either. Unfortunately, all that means that I'm only at the gym about once a week, and I haven't been running either ...so much for the 'self-improvement' part of my New Years resolution.

(hmmm, windows media has decided that today is 'early 90's folk-pop day' - the last 6 songs have been Jayhawks, Toad, Counting Crows, rinse and repeat)

Work itself has been pretty good though, except for this week - admitting and caring for two organ donors in two shifts takes a lot out of you, I've found. It's not really the work, mind you: that's pretty basic in and of itself. The mental energy of working with the families, and the strain of coordinating between them and the organ procurement people is the real stress point. I thought the burn patients took a lot from me - jaysus, I had no idea! It's a rough ride for the families, and a *lot* needs to happen in a very short time for there to be a successful donation. It helps if the family understands that there will still be some reflex movements (for a while anyway), and that the tests we need to do (serology, tissue typing, reflex tests for brain death) take time - and that just because the vitals are stable doesn't mean a damn thing. We can, with the technology and meds available to us today, keep a stable heart rate and blood pressure for weeks on a patient who has no brain function whatsoever
On the plus side, knowing how much a donation can help (and how many people it can help) is hugely rewarding. I strongly encourage all of you to fill out a donor card 'just in case' and let your family members know that you have done so - we lose potential donors all the time because family don't know what people wanted - so they default to 'NO', because the thought scares them. Talk about it, tell people what you want and what your wishes are, and fill out the paperwork. It's a help to a lot of people (most of them related to you, since they don't have to be put on the spot to decide if they already know how you feel).
/rant off

I had big plans for today to get some work done on the CD cabinet I'm building as well as laundry and bills - so far I've done the bills and I'm stalled. Maybe I shouldn't have taken that Nyquil last night ...or maybe I just need a day to slack. Who knows.

(Wow, this is a really disjointed post. Music update: now I seem to be on a Metallica/G n' R tear, 5 songs and counting ...nope, now it's Annie DiFranco).

So things here are pretty much status-quo, lots to do and not much time to do them in. And faire starts in two months - it will be interesting to see what changes have been made. I've heard that we'll have a lot more actors and 'street' work this season, and more than a few new musical acts. I'm hopeful that we'll have a good season - I know that the boothies and crafters could use it.

(the new icon is Nemo, because he's sitting on my lap as I work ...what a cat!)
stonehenge1121: (Nemo)
Work is kicking my ass. Well, actually it's work and this damn chest cold that I can't seem to shake. I'm guessing that my sleep schedule isn't helping any, (call it a hunch) and the fact that I'm at work extra days every week for OT or meetings (or additional training, or giving presentations) doesn't do much for my health either. Unfortunately, all that means that I'm only at the gym about once a week, and I haven't been running either ...so much for the 'self-improvement' part of my New Years resolution.

(hmmm, windows media has decided that today is 'early 90's folk-pop day' - the last 6 songs have been Jayhawks, Toad, Counting Crows, rinse and repeat)

Work itself has been pretty good though, except for this week - admitting and caring for two organ donors in two shifts takes a lot out of you, I've found. It's not really the work, mind you: that's pretty basic in and of itself. The mental energy of working with the families, and the strain of coordinating between them and the organ procurement people is the real stress point. I thought the burn patients took a lot from me - jaysus, I had no idea! It's a rough ride for the families, and a *lot* needs to happen in a very short time for there to be a successful donation. It helps if the family understands that there will still be some reflex movements (for a while anyway), and that the tests we need to do (serology, tissue typing, reflex tests for brain death) take time - and that just because the vitals are stable doesn't mean a damn thing. We can, with the technology and meds available to us today, keep a stable heart rate and blood pressure for weeks on a patient who has no brain function whatsoever
On the plus side, knowing how much a donation can help (and how many people it can help) is hugely rewarding. I strongly encourage all of you to fill out a donor card 'just in case' and let your family members know that you have done so - we lose potential donors all the time because family don't know what people wanted - so they default to 'NO', because the thought scares them. Talk about it, tell people what you want and what your wishes are, and fill out the paperwork. It's a help to a lot of people (most of them related to you, since they don't have to be put on the spot to decide if they already know how you feel).
/rant off

I had big plans for today to get some work done on the CD cabinet I'm building as well as laundry and bills - so far I've done the bills and I'm stalled. Maybe I shouldn't have taken that Nyquil last night ...or maybe I just need a day to slack. Who knows.

(Wow, this is a really disjointed post. Music update: now I seem to be on a Metallica/G n' R tear, 5 songs and counting ...nope, now it's Annie DiFranco).

So things here are pretty much status-quo, lots to do and not much time to do them in. And faire starts in two months - it will be interesting to see what changes have been made. I've heard that we'll have a lot more actors and 'street' work this season, and more than a few new musical acts. I'm hopeful that we'll have a good season - I know that the boothies and crafters could use it.

(the new icon is Nemo, because he's sitting on my lap as I work ...what a cat!)

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