When I left my unit, and walked out of the hospital back in May, I really believed I’d have surgery and come back soon. I never anticipated an entire summer spent at home recovering from an extensive surgery on my knee, and coming to embrace the fact that I should probably look for a job less physically demanding than ICU.
It wasn’t until about a month ago that I started really looking seriously at other job opportunities, and when this one landed in my lap, I simply couldn’t turn it down. But it was not a decision that came easy, and that’s because I love you peeps.
I have such mixed emotions. I love, love, love the end-of-life aspect of working in ICU, and so accepting a position as a home hospice nurse was not a difficult decision when I used my head, but when it came to my heart, I already missed you all just thinking about having to leave 4 East.
I am excited, but would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. I am. But I trusted that when the time was right, God would move me – and He has. Sometimes, He has to really strongly get my attention before I listen. I believe this might have been one of those times.
I have made some life-long friends on 4 East over the past 13 plus years, and have had the pleasure of working next to some of the most incredibly talented nurses, physicians, critical care techs, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, and pharmacists I’ll probably ever run across.
I have laughed and cried really hard too many times to count on 4 East. I don’t believe I’ve ever worked any other place where we are together so much that we feel like family. Some of you have helped get me through some of the toughest times in my life. I’ve watched many of you get married and have babies, or work your butts off to get through school. We’ve come together like a family when one of us is grieving a loss, and we’ve gone out and celebrated new relationships, marriages, births, and accomplishments. We’ve been through a lot together. And near or far, at one hospital or another, we’ve all managed to stay in touch and be a part of each other’s lives. I love that about the healthcare field, and about healthcare workers, and I especially love that about our floor. We celebrate each other’s accomplishments and mourn each other’s losses. I love you guys.
Here are just a few of my favorite memories, because there are too many to list……..
The biggest encouragement I ever got was about 6:30 in the morning from Theresa. She pulled me into 4804 and I won’t forget her words. I’ve shared them many times to encourage others, and I will continue to do so. I love you, Theresa.
Room 4801, we were coding a patient and Brynn got a call from her hair dresser. That’s all I’ll say about that. LOL
Pretty face neighbor (said with heavy accent)….. I’m going to miss you.
Room 4802, trying to stop a very strong man from falling out of bed and pulling his arterial line out, and he began punching me. I yelled for help and Tina, Huda, Julie, and Dr. Mohammed came running. The patient had no legs, and yet it took all of us to hold him down. Tina looks at me, sweat pouring down both of our faces while we were holding him down and says, “I’m sure glad I ate my protein bar this morning.” We nearly died laughing.
Huda….. “Im my head right now………”
Fun times spending hours upon hours working on the scheduling committee with Amy, Laura, Suzy, Kim….
Carpooling with Lisa D and Ingrid.
Tony and Eric (“Little Juicy”) and Eric wearing the Superman cape on his first day as charge nurse.
Doing CPR (that I learnt while doing my first aid training in Edinburgh) on a gummy bear that fell on the floor with Rachel U.
The time my patient who was withdrawing from alcohol read my MICUBFFAW badge and tried to sound it out all weekend, yelling for me as “Nurse MICUBFFAW!!!!”
Watching Dr. Bozyk play catch with a Down Syndrome patient every single night before he went home to his family.
Calling a fake report on a patient coming by helicopter to Andrew, and watching him freak out. I’m actually laughing even as I type this.
Patsy, they don’t sell sectionals in Kohl’s, but you can come over and sit on my sectional any time you want.
When Brynn put the Christmas tree up in a young gal’s room, and we made sure she got to celebrate her very last Christmas.
Arvin, and those wigs and teeth. I love you, buddy.
On a midnight shift when we boosted my patient and her wig flew across the room.
When the attending physician asked my patient when his last bowel movement was and he answered, “This morning. When was yours, Doc?”
When the cardiologist gave a long list of tests he was ordering as an outpatient for my 94-year-old patient who had just recovered from a stroke, regaining all of her strength and being discharged with no deficits, and she just listened. When he asked if she had any questions she called him by his first name and said, “Listen, Tom. I have a hair appointment on Tuesday. It’s the only appointment I’m going to.”
Getting to see Darla on her last trip to 4 East, and all of us from back in the day just happened to be working. She just kept crying and saying, “I love you guys. I love you guys.”
And soooo many more…….
I love you guys too. I really, really do. You all work so hard, and the past months have been horrifically difficult in so many ways. I know. I’ve been praying for all of you. Not a day goes by that I don’t….. I’m so proud of the hard work you’ve been doing. I’m really, really proud of you all.
I’m sorry to bail on you this way. It’s not what I planned. I really thought I’d be there another five. But I’ll be up soon to empty my locker and leave my shoes in the middle of the locker room floor for Michelle to throw away. (That is supposed to make you laugh, Michelle! I now give you written permission!)
I love you, 4 East….. “Home of the Fighter!”
PS) I really did just take ACLS for thee. very. last. time.
In the words of the great philosopher, Carol Burnett…… “I’m so glad we had this time together, just to have a laugh or sing a song. Seems we just get started and before you know it, comes the time we have to say So Long!”