Wednesday, April 18, 2012

faking it

First week back at work and Its. Been. Chaos.

Absolute where's-my-pager-what's-floating-in-the-sink-who-drew-with-crayon-on-the-inside-of-the-froggy-potty chaos.

Last night, for what I think was the first time in our adult lives, LD and I collapsed in bed - me in the office with the pager for a night of call - without having done a single dish. Between answering pages, I somehow lost my mouth guard in the bed. Gross, I know, but I was too tired to care.

When I woke up had to unearth the kitchen sink to get water for my coffee. In my bleary-eyed, pre-caffeinated state, I overlooked the plumes of detangler I was spraying over the breakfast table while trying to wrestle Munch's hair into a ponytail. With an annoyed grumbled, LD moved the bowls out of my line of fire. Munch, also not impressed by this frenzied fit of mommy-multitasking, vocalized her annoyance, which was directed more at having her hair yanked around while trying to eat oatmeal. Later I heard Wow's fussiness interrupted by a sharp gasping sound, meaning that Munch had just shoved the pacifier down his throat.

I am not one for whom "rise and shine" has ever come easily (a trait I passed onto my daughter) and LD has been woken up a few times by my shouting expletives at the ringing alarm clock. This is usually because I've been awake for the last few hours by a certain young man who finds himself bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and ready to play at four in the morning. Mom comes in two weeks (Wow is being cared for by a friend's aunt) and I simply cannot wait.

Work has been work. The next six weeks will be tough, after which my schedule lightens up.

I started back on the bone marrow transplant service. Although the hours are long and the patients are sick, the nursing and support staff are wonderful, which does a lot to ease the transition. I find the question "How will you pass the day?" appreciated by patients as a welcome diversion from our typical conversations regarding mouth sores, fevers, diarrhea, and rashes. We chat briefly about books, movies, or other quiet hobbies that fill those weeks - or months - of a transplant hospitalization.

I notice these conversations lighten my heart as well, so I try to make an effort. In the small alcove outside each patient's room, I put on my gown, wash my hands, and pull a smile. A smile that does not always come naturally. June 1. I can make it till June 1. Smile. 

Faking it. Fake it till I make it.


  1. The tiredness of pregnancy gets you ready for the lack of sleep of parenthood that leads to the insomnia of old age. Sorry. That's the way it goes. They should have taught you that in medical school.

  2. I'm keeping you in my thoughts, hang in there till your mom makes it out!

  3. I'll be thinking of you too! Hope the chaos subsides as you establIsh this new routine. I'm sure it will be even better once your mom arrives.

    And yes, I'm certain your patients appreciate your question and smile. I don't think anything can substitute for being able to tell your doctor cares.


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