Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sweet Saturday

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!"

Oh boy.

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.
It's scary.

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!


  1. Those of us blessed in youth with a know it all, hands in the air, askme askme attitude have a hard time adjusting to maturity. You see, I am convinced we DO still knowitall...but life and the knocks it has delivered have taught us we think we DON'T knowitall...

    You will develop confidence as you get your practical feet back under you...we have faith.

    muzzer and gussie

  2. You can do it, P! We know you can. Even though unfortunately it takes a little longer with time. But then again the brain is a pretty great "muscle" and can get better when we use it agiain. I'm still waiting for mine to kick in :P


  3. Patience
    We know you can do's Mommi says it's just diffewent when you'we not soopew young anymowe.
    Enjoy the bootiful day wif youw lovely waggle andBill and have faith in youwself
    smoochie kisses,ASTA

  4. Old age is a bitch. Just keep reminding yourself that with age comes wisdom and wisdom beats quick and smart every day of the week. :-)

  5. I am confident you will get it. I had to do the sitting in the classroom just from job to another. Learning the policies etc, is so boring. You are in my highlight for tomorrow Sunday Nov. 22. Stop by and say hi. Blessings

  6. We are furry happy to see Week 1 went well!


  7. I admire your ability to do all you described in this post at your age. I am of similar vintage and am finding I don't have all the energy I used to! Mind you, I have lots of energy, but it runs out sooner than it used to.... I would really like to work much less these days.....but never fail to Hug my Hounds!

  8. Give yourself some T-I-M-E, Patience! A lot can change in 20 years - I would say, give yourself half a year to get adjusted:) before you throw in the towel!

  9. It's only been a week. You're gonna do it. The other comments before ours said it all. Hang in there.
    Ernie & Sasha

  10. Yes, you can do it!
    And you will do it!
    Kisses and hugs

  11. Francarrich from WWNovember 22, 2009 at 3:50 AM

    Know what you mean about the old brain not absorbing things as easily as it used to, or maybe it absorbs it but it just seems harder to find it again! Stuff that has been in my brain for years (sometimes I do quiz evenings) just hides away at the back & won't let me winkle it out so quickly any more & the bits I read recently haven't stuck in there like they would have done twenty years ago.

    By the way, I think the white C.A.T. would need an epitaph after the waggle got hold of it & they were screaming epithets at it. Sorry to be a smart a..e, it's an easy typo especially after a long week behind a school desk. You actually have my greatest admiration for doing what you do.

    Best wishes from me & wags from them.

  12. Thanks, muzzer and gus. You guys have acquired some serious smarts along the way!

    Anie, I feel like my brain muscle is so atrophied, I'm trying to think with a raisen!

    Kisses back to your sweet self, Asta. And to your mommi, too!

    Alison, I will say that the one time we were presented with a theoretical case, I was all over that. They were teaching us the MEWs system. (Do not even ask me what MEWS stands for. Over the course of last week, I heard 433 new TLAs - Three Letter Acronyms - and I haven't a CLUE what ANY of them stand for!) Anyway, the pretend patient had a normal MEWs score, but given the (make believe) circumstances, I urged extra (make believe) vigilence. In the pretend scenario, the pretend patient had to go back to surgery for a pretend bleed.
    That was the highlight of my week!

  13. The old brain will get back to churning away quite happily in time.

    You just need a little (what's that word?) patience.

  14. QMM- I have a BUNCH of catching up to do, and I scheduled time today to do it!

    Khyra - Mmmmmmm. Okay. That's how I will try to look at it!

    Ina, I'm realizing that things look a lot better since I've gotten some rest. I wasn't even figuring fatigue into the equation, but I think you're on to something there!

    Jeannette, you got that right! A whole lot has changed! I'm not throwing in any towels yet. (Okay, maybe fantasizing about it, but that's all...)

    Thanks, Ernie and Sasha! I'm a-hangin'!

    Sweet Lorenza, if you say so, I believe it!

    Fixed Carol! Thanks! What a blessing to have great proofers at the ready. (Want to volunteer to proof the next draft of the novel??? ;-P)

    Barry, you know, it's one of my biggest deficits. I'm patient with dogs, people, horses, children, but NEVER EVER with me. Nail on the head, sir!

  15. I know how you feel, Patience, although the things I attempt are not nearly so important or brain-boggling :-) Just yesterday I had to run my dogs in 4 different agility courses and could not remember the course (even the easy ones) right after I walked it! I had to watch others run it right up until we ran! I used to be able to keep 8 courses straight , one right after another and not be exhausted after a day or two like that! But now..... I fall asleep in front of the computer at night ! :-)
    You will be the best you can be and that in itself better than most everyone else I know!

  16. Yay you can do it!!! My bro has a photographic memory which is a total pain LOL Me not so much lol.

    If your whippets came to my place my cats would walk out and greet them too LOL. They don't like other cats but love dogs LOL.


  17. Francarrich from WWNovember 27, 2009 at 1:45 AM

    I'd proof read for you anytime, Patience but I'd be doing it in "English" English. I already have arguments with this Mac 'cos it only wants to spell check in "American" English, unlike my first ones which came prepared with real English, & remember, your definition of pants is something rather different over here! LOL. It would cost a fortune to send the manuscript back & forth across the Atlantic too!


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