Just thought I should write about a not-so-bad day at work, so people don’t think I’m a slave to a horrible job. There weren’t any patients planned at our two smaller hospitals yesterday, so I got to be on call all day instead of starting after my shift. I slept in until 9, then showered and donned my flannel pants, a t-shirt, and my pager. I set to work on the craft space and got it completely organized. I vacuumed the basement and did dishes. I had a nice lunch at home and did some paper crafts.
Just as I was wondering what to do with my afternoon the pager went off. Apparently the doctors forgot to tell us about one patient who needed dialysis, and the nurse was wondering when he would be dialyzed. I switched to scrubs and got to the hospital by 2 pm. The patient was fairly stable and the doctors and nurses nice to work with. I had some machine trouble shooting that delayed my start time, but I was able to leave the hospital at 9 pm. Not bad at all! I was able to get a decent shift in, with call-back pay, and now I was anxiety free for a good night’s sleep, knowing that the call 2 nurse would have to get the next page, if there was one (there wasn’t).
Unfortunately, there were some signs that I’m not as tough as I used to be. I can’t leave a patient who is on treatment, so I couldn’t go to the bathroom while I was there. My stomach was cramping up badly and I was trying not to drink so I wouldn’t make it harder for my bladder. Halfway through the patient’s treatment his blood started clotting the tubing. I had been giving him saline flushes every 15 minutes but I could see a total blockage was coming anyway. I rinsed back his blood, clamped him off the machine, and paused treatment to start a new tube set-up. Normally I hate clotted systems for delaying the treatment but this was a blessing from on high! I dashed to the bathroom for some much needed relief before re-connecting him.
But what’s really weird is that around 7 pm I started having cramps again. After an hour I figured out that these were probably Braxton Hicks contractions and they. hurt. bad. Remembering that dehydration can lead to cramps I started chugging my water. Not much relief. It actually hurt to stand up and walk around with them. As soon as the patient was transported back to his room I dug out the granola bar I had brought, and gave myself another bathroom trip before finishing cleaning up the room. They came about every 10 minutes and felt like really bad menstrual cramps, but just on the my right side and back and down my right leg. I hobbled out to my car at 9 and per Ben’s advice grabbed dinner at McDonald’s on the way home. I felt much much better as I started eating real (ha!) food and by 10 pm the cramps were totally gone. I haven’t had any pre-labor contractions yet so that was really weird. I think I pushed myself a bit too hard at work and shouldn’t have gone so long without eating. My coworkers have been encouraging me to get a doctor’s note so that I don’t have to do call anymore. I thought it was too soon but after last night I’m rethinking it. Today I’m still cramp-free, but I’m having a harder time leaning over and climbing stairs. I get winded really easily. It looks like the third trimester is finally catching up to me.
Miranda posted pictures from the shower on her flickr site. Here are some of my favorites!
Saturday I had the loveliest of parties hosted by Miranda and Sarah. They provided delicious and beautiful snacks and desserts, tangerine and turquoise decorations, and invited a variety of friends from all different points of my life. It was wonderful to see all these special women from school and work over the years, and I’m so grateful to have their influence in my life. My mom also drove all the way from Grand Junction to attend! I trust that Miranda will soon post pictures on her site, or email some to me so I can post them.
I feel much better about welcoming a baby into our house. We got a lot of cute and practical clothes, footie pajamas, and I might venture to say that we have enough onesies. Gasp! I also got a nice start to his library and toy collection.
My parents helped immensely by shopping for a crib and changing table! The baby now has a safe place sleep and I feel less anxiety about my lack of nesting so far. We have a place to sleep, clothes to wear, and a good carseat courtesy of Ben’s parents. Throw in a pack of diapers and we could be set if needed. Of course there are many many small things that make life easier. I have a wishlist on amazon to keep track of all the little things we can pick up between now and the birth. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed at how much I need to do still. Here’s a list of things accomplished to make me feel better:
Things to do still:
So that’s not too bad, right?
But those are curtains from Anthropologie. Dearie me, I just can’t rationalize paying $200 for curtains. Target and other stores were dead ends. I’ll just have to make my own. After an hour staring at the fabric racks in Fancy Tiger I came up with these two:
The consensus so far is for the bird print. I love the colors and the birds. But when I hang the two in the room I feel like the teal damask does better over a large space. It’s also heavier fabric so it would function better than the bird print for drapes. I’m still mulling it over. Feel free to drop me your opinion. My other other decoration for the room is this wall art from blik:
At the end of a hard day my impulse is to blog about it. But I try to hold off, wondering the rant will really make me feel better. I already released a lot to Ben, so what’s the point of putting it here? Feels like garnering pity. Still, this is my journal. I won’t go into detail, but it was yet another crazy busy day of
trying to treat too many patients in too short of a time
constant push push push to get people in our chairs
many catheters and fistulas busting
working with a doctor who is difficult
getting lost in the hospital system while trying to give meds or get patients beds or lunches
starting the day off short-staffed
being assigned to charge nurse when I really shouldn’t be charge yet
being on the phone 95% of the day
endless questions from the techs about when so and so will be picked up
wrestling with machine malfunctions
I come home from days like this feeling incredibly unappreciated and ready to quit. We are still short-staffed with no end of in sight. Too many hours with too many demands and too many promises broken. Oh Rachel, we probably pushed you into the charge role too fast, let’s back off and have you gain more experience [then they assign me charge every time I’m at our big hospital]. Oh Rachel, you shouldn’t take care of isolation patients while you are pregnant [then I have to do a hepatitis B+ patient, among many others]. Oh Rachel, take it easy while you’re pregnant, be sure to eat well and drink a lot [then I’m the only RN, meaning I CAN’T leave the room to take a break for the whole shift]. Maternity leave is looking more and more like a glorious summer vacation.
Ben makes fun of the many terms and steps involved in making yarn. Here’s how you do it:
Take your washed wool and brush it into roving or a bat using paddles.
Take your roving and draft it into a bobbin of yarn using a spindle.
Take your bobbin and wind it into a hank using a niddy noddy.
Take your hank and wind it into a ball using a swift and ball winder.
Take your ball and knit it into a hat using needles.
Crap, yo. I bought some decoration for the nursery and it has
arrived. I guess i need to seriously start working on that room. I'm
7 month pregnant today. Time is running out! But today is my one day
off over two weeks and it's booked full with an OB visit, grocery
shopping, choreography rehearsal, and putting my aching feet up for an
hour tonight. I worked four 12 hour shifts in a row (3/4 going into
OT), then 6 hours call back right after on Sunday. Today i'm off but
I have four more in a row starting tomorrow. Looks like saturday will
be nursery work day!