Monday, May 01, 2006

What Price Efficiency?

As I went about my day today, I noticed the plethora of tasks and errands which I accomplished. While I marvelled in a way at what I had done, it led me to wonder what price one pays for such a high level of activity and obsessive-compulsive action.

In the course of my day, I checked email; answered calls; visited a dying patient at home and counseled his wife on the need to now decrease fluids and nutrition in the interest of comfort (more on that perhaps tomorrow); visited a patient in a nursing home; picked up flowers and coffee and chocolate for Mary on her first day of her new job, then picked up seven orders of falafel for Mary and coworkers at a downtown restaurant. After lunch, I sat in on a visit with a patient and a doc who was unfamiliar with her, sent some faxes, made calls, met with my boss, wrote my notes, and then tied up the loose ends of the workday in preparation for teaching from 6:30-9:30. Between 5 and 6pm, I sat at my desk and finished writing an exam for tomorrow's class, emailed it to the college for xeroxing and had a snack before driving up to the college to teach. The came a few hours of lecturing on HIV which I actually really enjoyed. Phew.

On the way home I called my mother from my cell phone, then debriefed with Mary about our days while giving Sparkey his meds, packing my bag for the gym tomorrow morning, loading Mary's car with some things for her new office, taking a bath with Mary, then giving Sparkey his IV fluids. Phew again.

Now I am finally in bed and letting my thoughts flow as I wonder indeed what price I pay for trying to do so much.

Living a full life? Agreed.

Enough leisure time? Almost never.

Chronic pain and fatigue? Often.

Does something have to change in this picture? The answer seems easy enough.


Anonymous said...

Drop the teaching and give yourself more time in the evening to have a life?

: )

Keith "Nurse Keith" Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BC said...

Bingo! Thursday, May 11th is the day I "retire" from teaching, which has been a good two-year experience which is now ready to end.