Sunday, July 1, 2007

Licensed to Ill

Sorry I've been gone for awhile. It's not good blogger etiquette to only write sporadically, it doesn’t bode well with my legions of fans and fanatics. But what can I say? Personal life has kept me busy and I needed a certain amount of time to decompress, because Angry Male Nurse was becoming Burned Out Angry Male Nurse as does happen from people who invest everything they’ve got into their career form time to time. I’m okay with that, I just need to make sure I have the tools, the support, and the time to chill when I need to. Which I do.

Finished off 2nd semester. Did okay. Made it through with virtually no personal drama, until the end when the students who failed the most absolutely ridiculous and unreasonable final written in the history of Med-Surge got pissed and started manipulating student and staff to get their way. I really felt bad for the students who didn’t get through, I felt that some of the blame did not lie on their shoulders, that teachers who couldn’t even write questions with 8th grade English skills should be held to count for it. But then I saw how the failed students played games and threatened and eventually turned on each other, and I saw that perhaps that the reason for their failings their failure lay more with their lack of professionalism and maturity than anything else. So I backed off, let the chips fall where they may and began to recoup.

My wife and I had a baby on Tuesday. He is the most enigmatic, beautiful, and poopy little dude I have ever met. I’d like to tell you his name but there are some haters out there so I can’t. But it is a fitting name for such a cool dude.
Labor was 30 fucking hours long. The epidural was too strong for my wife so at about 20 hours in her contractions basically stopped, which relieved her so she could rest but scared the shit out of me because the thought of C-section after my wife’s valiant efforts would have broken my heart. I have no problem with C-section, just that my wife wanted to go natural and her spirit was into it. 2 1/2 hours of pushing and the use of Pitocin and suction and my little baby boy came out. I cried when he came out, a good cry, tears that contained my fears, my stress, my anxiety. Also with it came utter joy and amazement, love for my wife and relief that we were all safe. The nursing profession, nursing school, became small dots in my mind, like light coming into the opening of the end of a distant tunnel. Put things into perspective.

I love politics. That’s who I am. But a game is a game is a game and even though it involves human lives I am not responsible for the millions of unbelievable outcomes, for all the incredible personal tragedies I see and some that I am involved in. When I am working I am in a state I call, “In the Mix”, meaning I float from one living to dying crisis from the next, I hear all the other nurses working alongside me performing in the mix, applying their knowledge and intangible personal skills, putting out fires, fucking starting them, dealing with it, I exist in all the noise and I can apply myself one situation at a time. Brains here, not breathing in the ambulance bay there, relieved discharge here, comforted by morphine here, change the patients diapers there. I am in the mix, talking to my mind, listening to the noise but being part of it, too.

I love becoming a nurse. I feel like I am becoming something useful and functional. Skills develop and flourish, unique skills that I am very proud to possess. Some nurses wield them with confidence, other dish the skills out in utterly small insecure amounts.

Sometimes I think about the Beastie Boys from “Licensed to Ill”. Their ZaZen in the mix of 1980’s partying, music industry, cultural racial significance wrapped around them like a blanket

Let it flow let yourself go
Slow and low that is the tempo
Let it flow let yourself go
Slow and low that is the tempo

Have you ever felt water pour on your head from a small waterfall? Not that I get to that often, truly I live in an urban jungle, but I have been in nature a few times. The waterfall is surprisingly loud, and forceful, all that water pushing down on your head and neck, feels like your skull might cave in. But it doesn’t, and after a few moments you realize that the tension in your shoulders is being worked out and you are bending to the will of the water and sort of being with it. That is how I feel in the ER. Stretched out but adjustable. And when the bull shit politics starts to overstretch me, when the patients bullshit becomes a bit too odious, when the doc decides that he or she will revert to pissy 14 year old nerd mode, I put my clasped hands over my head, like a shelter, and shunt off some of that cold water pouring onto my head from the waterfall, and I look around, catch my breath, and let the beating begin again.

Let it flow let yourself go
Slow and low that is the tempo
Let it flow let yourself go
Slow and low that is the tempo

Rainbows, waterfalls, and unicorns, bitches.

Bring it!


Anonymous said...

Can you contact me - I have a question about a nursing resource? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I just wrote you a long post about MLK. Major congrats on the baby!!!

Love and enjoy !!

Ali said...

He is a beautiful little guy! Congratulations!!!

Mother Jones RN said...

Hi there:

Just checking in to see how the new little guy is doing.

Your Mama Jones.

Bohemian Road Nurse... said...

Congrats on the baby!!! (My best friend just had a baby on Wednesday and I think babies being born is the most joyful occasion in the world!)