When the nurse is the patient …

Or could be – in my case.  What to do?  I’ve been in nursing for 23 years now.  I’ve seen so much … TOO MUCH(!):  Too much “fight when there is no chance”; too much hope – because “we have technology”; too much of “nature’s cruel twists”;  (combined with) too much of “what were you thinking” stupidity.  Through this, I truly believe in “Quality vs. Quantity”* … so much so, that I have half of my co-workers believing I’ve had a “NO CODE” tattoo on my chest for years now.  I’d like to think that I’m more of a chunky James Dean/Marilyn Monroe … Live Free & Die Hard kind-of-soul (minus all the drugs and psych issues) … But, I also dislike pain – IMMENSELY.  No really … I don’t like to hurt, long term.  If ibuprofen can’t take care of it, then – Houston, we have a problem!

I have some new ‘parts’ trying to take up residence in here.  I’ve been watching them.  Currently, I seem to be watching them grow – taking up more space than is actually comfortable.  Hmmm … What to do?  Maybe they’re some peach fuzz ‘hairs gone wild’, or ducts/cysts on ‘ROIDs … they just need some time to ‘come to the surface and blow’.  Yeah … OK … Gross! … But, I can get behind that thought.

Or maybe, I should get it checked out now – to avoid a “what were you thinking” kind-of-moment.  But – THEY (the folks in the long white coats) are gonna want to smash, stab, excise ME … JUST to check it out.  The safe answer is to cut shit off.  Well now … that seems A BIT RASH, doesn’t it???  (But I know how THEY think!  That’s what I’d do – if it wasn’t me …)  Either way – all of it sounds like it involves PAIN.

Recently, DH caught wind of my … secrets.  His take: ‘Do whatever keeps you going’ …  What?!?  Dude … I’ve seen human PETRI-DISHES kept alive by a ventilator.  No … No, thank you!

Hmm – maybe sharing my space with some other stuff isn’t so bad after all.  For now, anyway.  Walking lop-sided gives me some pause.  And I hate that thought, too!  Don’t even get me started on female femininity, body image issues or any of that nuttiness!  Fundamentally, it has nothing to do with quality … EXCEPT – maybe it does … in MY MIND.  CRAP!   Time to stick my head in the sand for bed … It’s a personal choice I need to wrap my head around, come to terms with … and decide.  And – it’ll take weeks to get into my primary’s office, anyway …

The good news – my current ‘lil issue has me looking at patient comfort a bit more intently.  (That’s always a good thing.) 

A closing thought that pops into my head would be DH Lawrence’s Self Pity poem: 

I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself.

My ‘interpretation’:  Quit the drama … and live the way you choose … WITH IBUPROFEN!


*Quality vs. Quantity:  a personal choice, and one that – as an ER nurse, I fully respect each person’s decisions.  For me, I choose quality … um, MY WAY!

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