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.