Sunday, August 2, 2009

Separation Anxiety

Tomorrow begins a new chapter in my life.

I'll be working a twelve hour shift at one of the hospitals in town. I'll be working three of those every week. The first eighty hours will be for free; the mandatory clinical preceptorship portion of the review course. But I'll be working on the same floor where I'll be after the eighty hours are up.

I'm comfortable with my skill level. (I passed my RN boards in 1983, so I've got some experience.) If anything, my age has improved my judgement, if not my memory! I'm concerned about my feet. My knees. But the whippets have kept me in pretty darn good shape. We walk from 2.5 to 7 miles a day.

We did. Until tomorrow.

And that's my fear. I've been surrounded by a happy pack of whippets 24/7 for the last seven years. And since 1993, I've had a dog next to me while I worked. At our old office (Bill is an MD) the whippets came, too. They decorated our front office. Patients would check out and ask, "How many dogs are in there?" There were beds under the desks, next to the chart racks.

They would stay up front, unless a patient needed a therapy dog. Then Giacomino would come back and work his magic. Sam I Am wasn't born yet.

But starting tomorrow, I go off to work alone. Isn't it ridiculous? I'm fifty-frigging-five years old.

And I have separation anxiety.

Hug your hounds!
*** Bill is home all day for the dogs; they are in good, loving, whippet-spoiling hands***


  1. New chapters are always exciting. Best of everything as you begin yours. And I get separation anxiety every time I leave my pack too.

  2. Oh, Patience, I feel your pain! One of the wonderful things about my current job is that I can come home at "lunch." For me, that means a quick run home, let the dogs out and play for a few minutes and then grab a bagel to eat on the way back to the office, but the sense of peace is so worth it.....the hounds will adopt to your new schedule. The humans have a harder time.

  3. Congratulations on your new job! I am sure you are going to be fine!
    Kisses and hugs

  4. Twelve hours away will be hard - but oh the welcome you'll get when you return home at the end of the day!
    And remember, Patience, this isn't for ever, it is only for now. It is a little blip in the unfolding of your life.
    Enjoy the challenge of a new job, and cherish the moments you spend with the waggle. We'll be thinking of you.

  5. oh my, just think of all that wonderful love just waiting for you when you get home! all the whippets and your loving husband.
    change is interesting, tosay the least.

  6. Francarrich from WWAugust 2, 2009 at 11:14 PM

    I suspect you'll be far too busy while you are working to miss the Waggle but breaktimes might be harder! 12 hours is a long day so I hope you get quite a few breaktimes. What is it about the medical profession that they think students or trainee Drs. etc. should be capable of working hours that anybody else would baulk at purely on the safety aspect? And they are dealing with people's lives!
    I hope you enjoy your return to (paid) work. Hopefully the Waggle have been getting used to your necessary trips away recently & will therefore be delighted when you return each evening,having decided you were away again.

    Best wishes.
    Wags from Banjo & Aida.

  7. Congratulations on the enw job. You have worked hard for it. 80 hours free??

  8. Remember, too, there will be roomsful of people who need what you have, nursing skill, compassion and experience. The dogs will have Bill, the patients will have You. Lucky them(dogs and patients!)


  9. Wow you have had so much change this year. I can only imagine how hard it will be to leave the waggle and they will certainly notice the change too!!

  10. I'll be thinking about you. :) You'll do great, even without a whippet or two by your side. And just think of how wonderful it will be to get home and have an ecstatic waggle there to meet you!

  11. It's hard -- no doubt about it. But at least the waggle will have their Bill around to console them -- he'll just have to leave the studio more often. Ours sleep all day -- and we pay the price when we get home. No flopping on the couch to rest for us either --- have to make up for lost cuddle time. I like working - I do. I just miss the dogs all day...

  12. I know what you mean and it will be quite an adjustment for woman and dogs alike.

    But, with a little love and kind ness, you will all survive.

  13. You're the best nurse. Your pups will all be okay and they will adjust soooo fast. Good luck today. May your feet and back be strong.

  14. I wish I didn't know what you mean but I am facing the same anxiety. The economy has certainly changed people's present and futures. Thank you for putting it into words for the rest of us.

    I agree with Anonymous...our animals will adjust fast...probably better than we will. Rhonda, if you are reading this...good luck to you too. I know that you are both very strong woman and the changes could turn out to be rather exilharating. Isn't the parallel between you both interesting!

    Patience...wear those attractive support socks we've seen you in and think about getting some nice cushioning inserts for your shoes. Your patients will be very lucky as I'm sure you will keep them laughing!

  15. Echoing all the good thoughts above, along with muzzer's hope that you have a bubble tub (I love our bubble tub too) to help you through the first few weeks. Good shoes and strong knees to you, and hugs for the waggle.

    gussie, teka and Muzzer

    psssst...will you tell Willy Yum he can come visit whenever he wants. Huh? OK?

  16. Yes, it will be a bit hard but at least you know they are in great hands. Just think how many kisses you will get from the moment you walk in until the next time you leave. I love doggy kisses. Annie and Sophie give them to me all of the time.

  17. Oh dear oh dear I feel for you.....Now make sure you wear support socks(that will help) and try to sit when you can, and find the people who really want to help and answer the questions( yep there are still those who are a bit grumpy) Oh I wish I could orient you !! It will be like hopping back on a bike.....with some changes( some for the good and some for not) As for the pups? I have separation anxiety all the time!! Find the "dog people" and then you can can at least talk about them all the time..put a picture on your locker.....and get extra hugs when you come home.....The best part of work for me is coming home and taking the dogs out for a wee walk..I wait all day for it..oh dear I am rambling....pee mail if you need supprt!! Diana and A+A

  18. I have separation anxiety when Old Girl goes to work every. single. day. Grr. Good luck on your new job!

  19. when our mom finally finds a job and goes back to work, we know she will have separation anxiety also. we're just fine, but she's the nutso one!


  20. Patience, I hope you had a really good day....everything will work out fine. My guys are used to me being gone 10-11 hours a day during the week and they don't have a "Bill"... but I know it's hard and heavy on your heart....
    hugs ,
    (and everyone is right... you're the best nurse and your patients and hospital are so lucky to have you!)

  21. I work mornings (for internal medicine doctors) and would look for full time work--but the dogs would miss me. The patients are always ask how the pooches are and love seeing photos I have helped out at another doctor's office a few afternoons. He has a staff dog. One of the job requirements is to walk the dog every two hours. I was allowed to bring one of my dogs one afternoon. Sure made the work more enjoyable. Plus my dog really made everyone smile.
    Patience, you will be okay at work, though of course will miss Bill and the whippets. It is only three days a week and the whippets can give you huge yelps and kisses when you get home from your shifts.

  22. The real winners in all of this are the patients who get to have you shower your wonderful self on them.

  23. I hope your first day went smoothly and quickly - but the transition will be hard regardless. Your new patients are lucky to have you!

    Gracie has been coming to work with me for two weeks, and I'm pretty sure she would be more than happy when she gets to start staying home.

    Sue, Gracie, and HotRod

  24. We hope you had a great first day, Patience! We bet the dogs and Bill were thrilled to see you come home!

    Love ya lots,
    Maggie and Mitch

  25. Patience...

    After spending tons of $$$ on expensive sneakers for work...(memeber the Clinic shoe??? And "Earth" nursing shoes????) I have one word for ya.... white if you have to...the ones with the holes if your hospital will let ya wear those..."the Beach" style...after four hours in $100 plus sneakers my feet were killin' me...I can work 14 hours in Crocs and my feet, legs and back are soooooo much better!

    As for missing your will...but I find once I'm at work I tend to focus on what is in front of me...have a pic of ur waggle with ya...patients LOVE to see pix of my lets them think about something else besides their troubles...

    Good luck...hang in there...and keep ur ears pealed for other job opportunities...I stayed on my floor after my refresher couse (Surgical...ortho) for about 18 months then went to me if you need a listening ear...

    Been there and done that!!!

    Lotsa love,


  26. My best friend in Lexington is a nurse--has been for many years. She thrives on the 12 hour 3 days a week schedules. She's not bothered by leaving a pile of puppies though--only one rather independent dog. I know what you mean about missing them. It takes something really good to get me to leave Willie. Halfway through I'm already wondering how he's doing and anxious to get back to him.

    Good luck with this new chapter in your life, Patience. It will be a balancing act for sure.

  27. I agree with everything all your wonderful friends and readers have already said. But as a weekend dogsport junkie myself, i'm mostly just excited that you'll be paving the way to be able to do more shows and agility! Look on the very bright side and smile!

  28. We've been thinking about you and your first, now second, day of the new life!!!

    Our grandma was a nurse and our brother is a school nurse - so we know how hard nurses work -- and how much someone who is kind and empathetic is appreciated.

    We're picturing the waggle at the door to greet you -- The sound of hooves. And the swish of tails. And the licks on the nose!!!

    Wirey love,

    Jake and Just Harry

  29. Gosh, your profile said "older than dirt," but you are young. I just retired 18 months ago at age 70. I am a retired RN and my last job was as Intake Nurse for a home health agency in Bardstown. I found you through Tammy who I happened to see she read the CJ and I contacted her. She mentioned you and I decided to visit. One of my daughters married a Wurth from the Paducah Wurths. Do you know any Wurths? Edith is a volunteer at Lourdes Hospital I think. Stop by my neck of the woods if you get a chance. I have worked the 12 hours shifts before and it is pretty neat.

  30. You are never too old for separation anxiety.

  31. While working at my home office and having my hound put his paws on my lap for some loving attention, I got all misty thinking of you with no hound at the hospital for whippet breaks. We value them so!

    Know this, that each time we go on morning or evening walks and see your wonderful martingale lead on Flynn's neck it is a reminder to keep you in our hearts and our prayers during this transition.

    BTW, Flynn is still miffed that the whippet triple flip doesn't work to get him out of your collar. Evil city squirrels still run from this hunter, but they are safe (as long as my arms hold out).

    Looking forward to your precious walkies with the waggle on your days off.

    now "sagehound" on WW
    but always Stardusted

  32. I can relate ! I have a whippet too. When I have to leave her I make sure she is safe, and know she'll do her little hopping dance when she sees me again.

    Good luck with your new job !

  33. We hope you're enjoying a weekend of whippet love to make up for your first week without enough!!!

    Jake and Just Harry

  34. Enjoy a peaceful, Padukah Sunday morning, filled with Whippet kisses.

  35. Oops.... Paducah.... Must be Sunday morning.

  36. The first time I have ever blogged ... is that a word? Anyway, it is appropriate that my first would be with you. I mean think of all the firsts we shared while student nurses in Wilmington. I think I remember best the first injection. You so confidently filled the syringe while I had difficulty getting the needle centered and through the rubber stopper on the medication vial. You explained your expertise as experience with horses. Then there was the state hospital ... what a first for all of us. The ER and first beginnings with you and Bill, I believe I was first to introduce you. Jake's first soccer shoes. So many firsts. So many firsts together missed through distance and life changes.

    55, older than dirt, you describe yourself. Try 70. But I'm not old. I'm an Elder. A Juicy Crone. A Wisdom Keeper, a Mentor. You know my health history and I praise Great Spirit for every day. It's just occurred to me that Blogs are read by all; so here's a message to women in their 50s from one who has been there... You are living through some of the best, most productive years of your life. Recommended read ... "Crones Don't Whine" by Jean Shindola Bolen, MD.

    Love 'ya Patience. And may this be the "first" opening of lines of communication once more. Happy nursing, with many good firsts.


  37. Patience...are you surviving???? We need an update dear Girl!

    Love and kisses...Lacie

  38. Oh my goodness! That's got to be so hard to be away from the waggle. But I'm glad they will be in good hands and perhaps absence will make the heart grow fonder? Oh who am I kidding. There couldn't possibly be more love there.

    While I am sure that you and the whippets will miss each other your patients will be very lucky to have such a big hearted person caring for them.

    wally t.

  39. I think I would feel exactly the same. But I bet the dogs will appreciate you even more - just wait! :)

  40. Stardusted SagehoundAugust 13, 2009 at 5:45 PM

    Separation anxiety; what separation anxiety?

    Quietly shredding my blanket until your return.....


  41. Patience! We really need an update from you. We need to know how the job is going, how the Pups are doing, how Bill is managing, the whole deal.

    Let us hear from you, won't you?

    Stella and Jo


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