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comment by ghostoffuffle
ghostoffuffle  ·  678 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 11, 2017

just let me tell ya bout/this fuckin' day I'm havin'. Sailing along midday when a patient's dropped into one of my rooms: left-sided weakness, right-sided facial droop, disoriented to time/place/situation, found by her friend on the floor, last known normal yesterday 1pm. So we're thinking stroke, although left weakness and right facial droop make no fucking sense for stroke but whatever she's out of the treatment window no biggie. Drag her to CT and nothing shows- she's not stroking, but she's definitely Ay-1 fucked up. Getting an IV in her takes forever because she's big and old and dehydrated and UGH so it's a good hour and a half before she's lined and phlebotomy can finally get all the blood we need; BUN comes back in the 40s uh oh Creat comes back 3.3 nonono K comes back 6.1 oh come the fuck on lactic comes back 7.2 7.2 FOR THE LOVE OF GOD

back it up

Lactic is an indicator of how much oxygen the cells in your body are working with. It's the best indicator of sepsis, wherein due to a major infectious process your cells are working on anaerobic metabolism and pumping out lactic acid and basically that's not supposed to happen for protracted periods of time and it's not a good sign if your lactics are high. Normal lactic is 0.6 to 1.2.

So this lady is basically circling the drain and I'm in the weeds and my other three patients are just treading water while I flounder and I'm still on orientation and my nurse preceptor has to jump in and save me and

back it up

You may not know me at this point. I'm seeing a lot of grey names in this thread and in general and that means I've been gone awhile and there are new faces or else old faces stopped giving a shit about me which is fine. Either way, let the record show that I once said some stuff here and posted some content here and I may again at some point in the future. For the time being, here's me:

A year and change ago I joined an accelerated nursing program- BSN in one year, which for those in the know is fucking crazy, the normal accel program is two years compressed from four. We started the year with 120 students, ended with 78. I made it through not to toot my own horn (totally to fucking toot my own horn) top of class with all sorts of silly awards to show for it. I managed to postpone the nervous breakdown I'd been denying all year until graduation day, which I skipped in favor of staying in my bed, terrified that I was dying. For the better part of two months. Happy graduation, I guess. Five months and a Buspar prescription later, I'm a nurse in the ER, and by God I feel like I'm helping people. 60 percent of the time. The other 40 percent I feel like I'm just constantly fucking up.

And now here I am, month three into my orientation and holy hell, some days I just don't know if I can do it. Most folks on my unit started somewhere sleepier, like telemetry or general med-surg. I'm beginning to see the benefit to that. It's like picking up a pair of skis for the first time after watching some skiing videos and being like "I'm a skier now!" and then heli-dropping into some triple black diamond in the swiss alps and there are hungry bears on surfboards riding an avalanche after you.

Days like today, I feel like just disappearing, not showing back up to work or anywhere day after tomorrow. And I don't have many friends and I don't have many outlets so here I am, ghosted for the better part of a year only to show up briefly to shit out my worries in the corner of an imaginary bar. You're welcome, world

humanodon  ·  678 days ago  ·  link  ·  


Good nurses are in short supply. It's been a while since we talked, but in my own re-entry to education, I've felt some similar stuff and for my part, I wasn't able to hold it all together until graduation. But, I'm feeling better after a break. Not the point!

What I will say is, I had a meeting with my advisor where I was talking about my chosen discipline (conflict resolution) and parallels to music. You are a musician. What I was saying is that I feel like sometimes in dicey situations, I have to fall back on lessons that I learned from music; I know the changes, the progressions, my own capabilities, etc. and a lot of it is dealing with the emergent as it comes. And as you know, in live music playing with other people, that means fucking up and then bending it around so that it isn't so much a fuck up.

If you know your shit in nursing like you know your shit in music, are these fuckups things that will totally derail the flow? I have no idea, but you probably do. It might be hell right now, but if qualified experts said that you were cool to drop in, maybe there's something to that. On the other hand, given that you know yourself, are there things that need to happen so that you can take care of yourself and thereby be better situated to help your patients?

Anyway, I hope that things work out man. Send sweet jams when you can.

ghostoffuffle  ·  678 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It is so good to hear from you, and with solid advice and a good perspective to boot. Guess it makes sense, given your current track. I don't know half the shit I need to as a nurse yet; they say it takes a good five years before you can really even consider yourself a novice in the field. I'll get there, though. In the meantime, jams are forthcoming at some point. Hope your education is going well- breaks are not a bad thing. In retrospect, wish I'd taken one. How long you have left?

humanodon  ·  678 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It was kind of unwilling, but at this point it's a good 4 months. It's been inconvenient and has kind of messed with my projected timelines, but it's tough to write a thesis on equity and inclusion when studying led to me excluding myself from my own life and my own relationships. Hardly a great place to write from, you know?

As for how long, I don't know. I just have to write the damn thing. Man, that is a huge deal to set yourself on a path where you are helping people on less than great days in their lives. It's even bigger to realistically look at how much time it will take to earn the competence it takes to deal with that capably. Positive self-perception is huge in contributing to feelings of belonging in general and if you're really serious about being a nurse, then finding places where you can get acknowledgement will be crucial to the concretization of that identity. Build those relationships where you can, and if building those relationships is difficult, that's not necessarily all on you. There's a lot of research on mentorship being done these days in employee success. Are there opportunities for mentorship in your professional context?

Anyway, I hope it gets better man, sorry it was a hairy one today.

kleinbl00  ·  678 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I miss you both.


humanodon  ·  677 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Cheers KB. Will try to come back here more regularly!

ghostoffuffle  ·  677 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Right back atcha.