Friday, July 22, 2005

Where Does the Time Go?

Seems like it was only yesterday that I posted on Tuesday night. My, how the week does fly. Working only three days, seems like I did the same amount of work I would normally do in five. Maybe I did.

Rose, mentioned in previous missives, is now in the hospital, deemed legally incompetent, and awaiting what comes next.

Another patient called me begging for prednisone for her worsening asthma. I declined and sent her to the ER. She's admitted now and I knew in my gut that prednisone wouldn't cut it. Looks like pneumonia. Sometimes I think about my nursing license when I make such decisions. Must think clearly and not just try to save the patient the inconvenience of an ambulance ride.

Another patient was in the ER today---brittle diabetic, alcoholic, eschewing his insulin and other self-care, sticking to his bottle instead. I don't foresee a happy ending there.

A medical student followed me on my rounds today and we were able to visit three very diverse and interesting patients in their homes: an alcoholic with Hepatitis C and bad pulmonary disease, just out of the hospital; a lovely older man with cancer who takes such good care of himself that I offered to pay him as a consultant to teach my other patients his secrets of success; and finally, a transgendered man (of whom I am exceedingly fond) with more life-threatening diagnoses than you can shake a stethoscope at, and he is still filled with joie de vivre and a strong will to live. Sometimes work can be inspiring, especially when someone takes such responsibility for their life and personal self-care.

That said, work fatigue is definitely weighing on my eyelids this evening, while my old nemesis "compassion fatigue" is nowhere in sight. The weekend is for the recharging of the batteries, and I'm so very pleased that my batteries aren't disposable.

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