Yes God, I'm listening. . .
Every once in a while, I'll have a day where I feel like God is slapping me across the head saying "What are you complaining about?!?" - Either that or "Really, you have a fabulous life y'know!" - I know that these days happen to everyone but as a nurse, these days happen a whole hell of a lot more often and to a higher degree.
Today was one of those days. Thankfully my patients were relatively "stable" (used loosely here). Both post car wrecks, one still wearing a Halo for a broken cervical vertebra (i.e. broken neck) and the other a paraplegic as a result of the accident. One is 3 weeks post accident (the paraplegic) and the other is 1 week out and still needs a cervical fusion (the Halo patient) but stable. That can be enough some days to make you realize how lucky you really are but the kicker today has really sucked every bit of emotional reserve out of me.
The shift started with one of our nurses having been called in early to go take a trauma patient off the unit to have examinations/tests done - BAD car accident. VERY. VERY. BAD. 4 hours, 2 "in the ICU room" open belly surgeries (yep, right there in the room), over 2 dozen (and counting at the time) blood products and one trip to the actual OR later. . . . the patient died of massive internal injuries on the OR table. Less than 10 months after an older sibling had died. Leaving a twin sibling as an only living child and a set of unbelievably distraught but wonderful parents with another child loss way to early. VERY. VERY. BAD. ACCIDENT.
1 1/2 hours later we got the call about a second "disaster patient" (i.e. severe trauma). Another car accident. Another BAD accident. Patient who was in the 24th week of a pregnancy. Severe internal injuries, severe head injury and multiple, multiple fractures. Loss of the fetal heart tones at the scene of the accident. No responsiveness since the wreck. Massive hemorrhaging. EVERYWHERE. A second destroyed family in the blink of an eye and in the span of a single 12 hour shift. The patient was still there when we left. . .well, in the physical sense (not sure about spiritually).
So, all day long I just kept thinking of how precious and fleeting life can be and how things that seem to drive us crazy and get under our skin REALLY don't matter that much in the end. . . .
Wear your seatbelts, kay?