It is a G.L.O.R.I.O.U.S. day in Western Kentucky. Sunny. Warm. A little breeze.
Swede William allowed us to sleep until 6:45 this morning, before he sounded his, "Hey, it's a beautiful morning and time's a-wasting" alarm. (One of the great personal joys of starting this new job is my being able to wake up Swede William for a change. Ha!) Sleeping in until 6:45 felt delicious. Decadent. Ahhhhhhh.
I know that you all are curious about how the new job is going. (I won't ever talk about actual patient care. There are privacy issues that trump all.)
This week I have been in a classroom, although the last two hours yesterday I was on my actual clinical unit, simply observing. I am so impressed with everything I see in this hospital. Their orientation is excellent. People who work there have been there ten, twenty, thirty years, and there are LOTS of employees with that kind of longevity. That says a lot.
Bill and the dogs have done fine. I've been getting home around five. (I don't start the 12 hour shifts until December.) I change my clothes, feed the waggle, and then we go for our walks. Yes it's dark. Less stupid city squirrellies. More C.A.T.s.
Including an all white C.A.T. who wants to be friends with the whippets.
Who approaches us when she sees us coming. In the dark. Under the streetlights. Like a white baggie on the lure machine, screaming "CHASE ME! GET ME! NANNY NANNY BOO BOO!"
If I'm feeling a little peaked from trying to absorb the last, oh, 24 years of updates in hospital nursing in, say, eight hours, if my feet are dragging and my head is pounding and my neck is more knotted than my gramma's tatting, well, let that white C.A.T. start trotting toward Sam I Am, Lindy Loo, Swede William and me. I am no longer feeling exhausted, no I am NOT! I am shot through with adrenaline. ZING! My personal catecholamine level is suddenly high enough that I could hop right on up to the tippy top of Mt. Everest and not even notice that it was chilly out.
And that white C.A.T. is one of those souls who 'doesn't take a hint so good'.
"SHEW," I say.
"We're going to EAT YOUR HEAD OFF, you beastly white flukinschmordablueysnorkle!" scream the whippets. (They actually sling all sorts of horrid epithets, vulgarities, and plain old cuss words, I'm ashamed to tell you, Dear Readers. Along with foamy spit and biting anything in their reach.)
We get back from the walks to the smells of Bill's heavenly kitchen miracles. Thanks to the C.A.T. my plate is spared my face falling into it. I am wide awake, and able to enjoy the most delectable delights he has created.
After dinner the dogs drape themselves around the TV room. I sort through the pages of handouts (more than 250 so far) and try to get my 55 year old brain to process what it took in. The dogs twitch and bark in their sleep, no doubt chomping on any number of white C.A.T.s with exaggerated fangs and stinky butts in dreamland.
I twitch and cry in real life. I have always had things come so easily to me. I was born with a brain that could grasp, figure out, problem solve, and retrieve anything I told it to in a snap. I was the pain in the ass in class: first one with her hand up, first one with the right answer. Now, I'm not.
I feel more like the white C.A.T. Like I'm approaching something all friendly-like. Only it wants to gobble me up. And I'm de-clawed.
But. I'll take it one day at a time. There is plenty of support available to me. I am going to the hospital today to use the online study programs available in the hospital's excellent library. I will do everything I can and if it isn't enough, I'll know I tried.
I will hug my hounds when I get back from the library. Then we'll walk in this beautiful sunshine.
You can hug yours now!