The proof copy of “The Bump Under the Bed” came in the mail today, and between the eight hundred takes of my advertisement video and a sudden realization that the title of my picture book is off center, this is the closest I have to new content for today’s update:
My dad, ladies and gentleman.
Here’s something else to keep you coming back here on my update days: a follow-up to the previous entry (Once Upon a Time I was a Nursing Student) from my nursing practicum journal.
Last week, my patient had his leg chopped off by a man with a soldering iron.
This week, my patient slept.
I’m getting that vague “nursing isn’t all glamor and heroics” vibe that has me shuddering and bunkering down with a pathophysiology book. By Mosby, if there isn’t more going on in my medication handbook than there is in my patient’s room. Arlo and I kill an hour by looking up the hundred and one medications our patients are on and snickering over some of the more amusing symptoms. Which strikes me as vaguely inappropriate, but I’ve done quite a bit worse that giggle over the word “impotence.” I’m really far too old for that to be funny, but then I’ll probably never really grow up.
I lurk around my patient’s door waiting for her to blink, or shift even, prepared to swoop in and take advantage of the consciousness presented me. But she proves very nearly as stubborn as Mr. I’m-Sleeping-I-Swear from two weeks ago, but with the added obstacle that she’s not faking it. Curse her, because she’s friendly when I talk to her, which makes badgering her about her current sexual activity something I actually have to use tact on.
She’s fortunate enough to fall asleep before I get to that particular question. I’ve never been very delicate in wording, and my personal strategies tend to run along the lines of “umm…so…uh….you used to be married, yeah? But you’re not anymore? So, uh, are you…um…sexually active?”
I’ve only gotten one “yes” so far, and I’m pretty sure my patient was quite gleefully waiting for me to ask.
Though I may not be full of tact, I’m full of sympathy, and the keen ability to sense when it’s time to throw in the towel. She’s tired, struggling to keep her eyes open, and tomorrow is another day to keep trying. I’ll be successful. I’m determined to, which accounts for more in my life than I can say.
6:30am the next day I peak my head in the door, just to check in on her. I have to look twice, because the kind, fifty- year-old black woman from yesterday has somehow turned into a large white man who badly needs to readjust his hospital gown.
I flick through the chart as though it will explain how Renown has mastered transmogrification, then remember that my patient was hopefully going to be transferred to telemetry ASAP to monitor her heart. I remember, because I’d been counting on transfer to be their normally punctual selves.
The word I think in my head is not nice, nor appropriate, for my clinical instructor to read.
It evens out in the end. Amputation guy, for taking as long as another clinical day, has earned me a day off. I take it, pretending to sulk because my patient has left with few of my questions answered.
I’m whistling “Springtime for Hitler” by time I hit the elevators.