Here's the thing about nursing: it humbles you. We are extremely short-staffed this week (I feel like everyone's on vacation except me). People-pleaser that I am, I said I'd stay 4 hours late tonight and also work extra from 11am-7:30pm tomorrow.
I started regretting this choice around 2pm today. Now I've just spent 16 hours mostly on my feet, running from bed to bed. My feet are throbbing, my shoulders are cramping, my head is pounding and I want to pull my hair out. I had that baby again today. However, I'm getting to know her better and it's ever so slightly easier to calm her down. But at shift change, they split up my 2 baby assignment and gave me a baby who is even more difficult! It's like God said, "you're whining about that baby? Suck if up and try dealing with this baby!"
But that's not even the most humbling part. Here I am complaining about a headache and working overtime that I voluntarily (but probably not sanely) signed up for and, by the way, am getting paid extra for. And I hear a terrible, sad story about a baby's family that practically brings me to my knees. I remember interacting with this family recently as mom held the baby for the first time and I can't believe so much has changed in so little time. It only took a moment for their world to shatter and nothing will ever be the same.
It's a blessing in disguise that I see human fragility so frequently, and it saddens me that I've already grown calloused toward it. Part of it is a self-protection mechanism: too much sadness would break a person. But part of it is arrogance. I'm ashamed to admit that I still hear stories from time to time and think, "that would never happen to me." But when I meet the people behind the stories, it always hits a little closer to home when I realize they're just like me!
I really need to start working less overtime and LIVE my life! We've lived in KC 8 months as of today, and I still don't have friends. I still don't get out much. I still haven't found a church. At first I blamed it on night shift. I've been on day shift a little over a month now, and while I may not be completely back to my old self, I feel a little better. If I stopped picking up overtime, I could spend more time with the few people I do know here.
I inhaled a Panera pastry and sat in the break room in shock on my dinner break, my heart breaking over this poor family. Now I have heartburn and I know that even though I'm worn out, I won't sleep tonight. I'll be having fitful dreams about those who are so much more worn out and those who have much bigger battles to fight.
Some people would give anything to have the life I have. I need to stop hiding in the corner and live what I've been given, before it's gone!