Saturday, July 31, 2010

Voicing my Frustrations

This post is not good, it does not have a funny story, it will not make you smile or leave you any happier than it found you. There is a good chance it will do the opposite. If you don't stop reading right now, there is a good chance you will leave this post more angry and hurt than you had planned on. For safety sake, you might want to leave this post right now.

I am awake at 1:30 in the morning because I cannot shut my brain up. I have been a nurse for a little while..well 7 years now. I have taken care of Kidney Transplant patients (my preferred area), Nursing Home patients, Critical Care patients, and patients with hideous wounds when I was a Wound Care Nurse. I have been a Manager and an employee. I have worked in a Family Practice office and I have given "Alternative Medicine" infusions. I have bathed, medicated, soothed, and loved alot of patients. I have been the only one there when some of them died. I have heard many last words. I am used to my job....or at least I thought I was.

Since I have started at the ER where I am currently working, I have twice experienced horrible incidents with children. Both of them left me angry, fearful and terrified. Both times I could not sleep. One of the children died in a house fire, the other had been run over by a car...twice. I have always known that I am not a Peds Nurse. I knew before I went into Nursing that I would never be blessed with that calling simply because I cannot stand to see children hurt. I was not prepared for the first child, the one from the house fire. It is something I wished I'd never seen and know that I will never be able to forget.

The second child was a toddler, still in diapers, that ran out behind a car and was backed over, then run over again when the adult pulled forward to find out what had been struck. This child died at another facility the next day, but I will not be able to rid my memory of that baby or the sound of his Mother's wails.

I try to tell myself that I will toughen up, but part of me doesn't want to toughen up. I do want to be able to do my job and still function in normal society, but there is a part of me that pushes back from being desensitized to that pain and suffering.

Today was a new experience altogether. I can't even bring myself to talk about it for fear that I will breach confidentiality, but suffice it to say that evidence had to be collected and that two small girls were the patients.

I am at a loss.

How do you experience something like this, something this raw, and come home and act like it's just another day at work??

How do you leave it at work and come home and talk to your spouse about vacation plans?

How do you close your eyes and not see these children and the heart-wrenching injuries?


I know that there aren't any real answers. I know that all I can do is give these children to God and pray for peace, but so far that is not helping me get any sleep.

I don't have any answers. I just want some sleep.


Candance said...

Bless your heart, Hon. That's all I can say because I can't imagine doing what you do day-after-day. You're a very strong woman!

acekotasmomma said...

Now I see why you had such a hard day. I'm so sorry Mel!

Anonymous said...

Mel, I am reading your blog because I received it in an email today. I do data collection on injuries and deaths of children who have been harmed. I can relate to your pain in a very real way as I too have spent many nights lying awake seeing the faces of little ones. What you must never forget is that someone has given you an incredible gift that very few people in this world have. You were given this gift because you CAN handle it and you do your best everyday, you save lives!! For those little ones you mentioned up above, they are now in a happy place, a place where they feel no pain. NEVER forget the lives you have saved. These kiddos have impacted you profoundly. You will never forget them. I have been there, in fact, I find myself there everyday. You just put one foot in front of the other and remind yourself everyday that what you are doing in commendable, honorable, and that you DO have the strength to do it! I admire who you are and what you do. Stay strong and honor those children with your wonderful work impacting the lives of others. :) You CAN do it!

Melanie said...

Amanda & Candance: Thank you. I try not to complain...much, but at some point everything just boils over. Saturday was that day.

Anonymous- I appreciate your kind words. I did tear up a little when reading your very encouraging comment. I know these babies are safe and happy now, and that the living ones are getting the care they need. Sometimes it's so easy to focus on how it personally affects you and not so much on any good that comes of it. In fact, today was another day of giving statements to Social Workers. In the end I am thankful that there are doctors, nurses, case workers and deputies to protect and care for little people that need them. Thanks again.

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