I lost it a bit there – it was a stretch of hard shifts and I’m trying to rest on the days off, but it’s hard to relax enough to sleep deeply and nap well. I had promised myself to work full time for 6 weeks and we are at the start of week 4. So it’s the sloggy messy middle part of my promise where it’s not the exciting and nerve wracking beginning nor can you see the light at the end of the tunnel. So I’m slogging. On Friday, I had been assigned to the dreaded step-down unit in which the acuity of the patients are between an acute floor (my usual home) and the ICU. So these are sicker patients than I usually see. They gave me the easiest patients (most stable) patients on the unit, but those patients were still pretty sick, struggling to keep their oxygenation in the low 90s with pretty aggressive support. But they remained stable for me during the day (maybe not better, but thank god not worse). All around me, people were being intubated, extubated, etc. I had no idea what was going on. I called Jeremy on my hospital cell early in the shift and had to get a real pep talk – like a hearty YOU CAN DO THIS. Also, I have no idea what the hospital is thinking – on my home unit, every room has a vitals machine bolted to the wall where you can scan a patient’s wristband and then the vitals will automatically get sent to the computerized record. I never have to write down any vitals sign. On this higher acuity floor, I swear, I had to write down all the vitals and hand transfer them to the computer file. I walked around and asked – do you guys write down your vitals? And they all nodded. There was an ugly moment there early in the shift when I looked at their vitals machine and could not figure out how to take a blood pressure. Do you know how embarrassing it is to open the door to an isolation room and kind of yell into the hallway to people you don’t know, how the *&($! do I take a blood pressure? And I swear, for temperature, they used the little tiny disposable CVS oral thermometers. In which I can not read the numbers and also have to be handwritten down on a napkin and taken in and out of covid rooms. But on Sunday, I had a little gift – they are reopening my unit (at least half the beds) and I was home. I had no covid patients. It was almost a regular day. Except everyone was wearing a mask (patients included) and I still wore my N95 all day. A surgical mask is for going to the grocery store. A N95 is for everywhere in a hospital. My scrubs are getting too tight. That was my main concern for Sunday.
At home, we have a playground in our backyard! I had no idea this was happening, but our next door neighbor had an old swing set that Sophi had outgrown and they were going to take it apart and toss it, but then they thought that little Noah could use it. And so I looked out my window one day and saw a little toddler swinging on a swing set in the backyard. This makes me happy beyond belief. I have to get some playground sand for that little turtle sandbox.
And Kitachi, Edda and Jeremy are making progress on schoolwork… lol