I am 46 today! I feel lucky and fortunate and happy. My hospital gig celebrated all September birthdays in a unit meeting on Thursday and I fully claimed my birthday day and my birthday age in the group meeting. None of this – I’m turning 29. I’m 46. I also fully claimed my birthday day by insisting on having this weekend off, I’ve worked at least one day every weekend for the past 4-5 weeks and I’m not happy about it. You know what a nurse needs? A union. But that’s another story for another day. On this, my 46th birthday, I think of my senior thesis advisor Anne who died when she was this age – she was just 7 years older than I was. She was the first woman tenured in my department and I was one of her very first students and I joined when her lab was just an empty room and I saw her in her office late at night many times and I’d see her again in the morning after having slept on a bunch of chairs that she had shoved together to make a makeshift bed.
I missed Vince’s back to school night on Thursday. Jeremy went and made a pinch pot in ceramics class. He met all the other teachers, including the physics teacher named Ms. Vincent who went to MIT in Course 16 (an actual rocket scientist) and then Berkeley. It’ll be a good year.
I had ramen twice today. I went to lunch with Adriana (ramen #1) where we talked about our parallel nursing experiences. She’s on a neuro ICU unit and I asked about her assessments, she says that the hallmark of a neuro ICU nurse is waking everyone up every hour and asking – WHAT IS YOUR NAME? DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOU ARE? and then if they can’t answer those questions, then pinching them to see if they flinch from pain. There is a lot of pinching. And she’s watched a bunch of med students/residents use a hand drill to drill holes into people’s head. OMG. Can you imagine some 23 year old try to drill a hole in your head? I guess everyone has their first day. My first day will be Monday – the day that I’m going to “fly” on my own and have my own load of patients. I would be scared shitless if not for the fact that I can see ahead of me the two people who went on the floor by themselves a few weeks/months ago and seem to still be alive and I can see behind me the two other people who started a few weeks after me. And I lean into the 10,000 times that people have assured me that I’ll be fine (including my preceptor who has taught many, many new nurses) – that the first month or so will be overwhelming and then I’ll fall into a rhythm. The unit is very nice, everyone is open to teaching me, it’s where I’m supposed to be right now. Some days I feel like a veritable drug dealer: dilaudid, morphine, percocet, vicodin, tramadol. Any opioid you want, I’ve given it away. At least I don’t do fentanyl. I’m working out my feelings about it all.
I had ramen #2 with the family. We just had a quiet dinner together tonight. Fun at the asian market and asian dessert store. Now i’m going to give Edda a shower and go to bed early. Fingers crossed for a good 46th year.