There is something about enduring hardship that makes the perception of what is kind and good stand out all the more by contrast.
When I was in training, and spent days and nights and days in a row inside the hospital, once I got outside, a strange phenomenon would happen. The colors would look brighter, and everything had almost a magical quality to it. I eyed the outside world with wonder, even more so than coming out of a movie on a summer day makes your eyes have to adjust. There was just beauty and love and color surrounding my senses, and I was grateful for it.
My troubles continue.
Today they got worse.
But the beauty and love and color surrounded my senses, today, this time, INSIDE the hospital!
I noticed how the PACU nurse shared her dinner with me at the table. She saw I had only rice, and said her salmon was too much for her. She gave me half.
I was in a hurry this morning, and only packed leftovers that were in containers into my bag. Anthony's I didn't even have time to pack it. I gave him money, because he could buy.
Yesterday, at a computer meeting, I had trouble adding a new security app to my phone for remote access to the hospital computer system. They asked me, 'don't you have our workers in the Doctor's Dining Room every day during lunch hours? Aren't they helpful?'
I replied calmly that they are, but I don't eat lunch, so I can't make use of their services.
Breakfast with Anthony and dinner were the only two meals I ate seated in my day. I also had a quick 'brunch' snack seated. All meals were rushed. The other two, lunch and afternoon snack, were single pieces of pizza eaten standing up. The first hot, the second cold, to celebrate Surgical Technologist Week.
The nurse's kindness with salmon and sharing conversation meant so much.
So did the hug from our former Charge Nurse who turned Nurse First Assist who had been out on leave for ages. She said, 'I missed you'.
I loved the nudges from Ross. The blanket on my patient was 'Made In India' and on the drive home, not one or two but THREE songs from him to cheer me up:
- Personal Jesus by Depeche Mode
- Hotel California by the Eagles (I love that album and it always makes me remember happy times motorcycle riding with my Uncle)
- PYT by Michael Jackson (another one of my favorites)
With the first one I could see him inviting me to dance to the music with him in spirit, just like you'd ask a girl to dance here in 3D. The smile. The tilted head, just a little. The dancing to get me to dance too...
I need to spend time with him now.
There are legal actions and I am named in it. It's something medical. This is new.
It feels awful.
But in a way, it bonds me to my peers...one was sued even though she is the one who fixed the problem another doctor did. The patient lumped them all together and sued everyone.
Another had a patient code blue, did chest compressions in the O.R. but didn't call the code team (In ICU and OR, we handle our own codes, traditionally, and don't have the unsterile code team come into the O.R.) The airway was the problem, the anesthesiologist had trouble, the patient didn't do well. But it took him years to get through it, and fortunately, the jury sided with him.
I think he got painful and severe arthritis from all the anger between that lawsuit and his divorce which happened a few years before.
Pretty much every doc you see out there has had something happen. My boss just got sued and it took five years of headache. My mentor was wrongfully terminated, and sued my boss. Everything settled. But it ages you and takes so much time. Just being collateral to their conflict cost me tons--to get a lawyer to be with me for my deposition ($3,000 plus a lost day of work), to incorporate (another chunk like that, because you can't wrongfully terminate a corporation--my boss changed the rules so to sign a contract to work with him I couldn't be a sole proprietor, none of us could), and tax penalties (because my taxes weren't corporate, before, and making the switch has had some major hiccups--so many rules to understand and so many deadlines--my tax man and I were out of sync but now it's going to be okay).
Beneath this all, surprisingly, I feel joy.
I know I am loved by Creator.
I know this is Illusion.
I know everything works for the Highest Good, in ways I can't possibly understand.
I know to have a career with over twenty years in the hospital, with just this one thing, is pretty darn good. I've been subpoenaed once as a witness.
People at the hospital were saying that they were having 'one of those days where nothing goes right'. My friend the cranky hand surgeon who takes wonderful care of Anthony with all his orthopedic mishaps--said that and I said, 'so am I. I just got served. It feels awful.'
Tonight he texted me, and said if I ever need to vent, he's there for me.
How would I know he was that good of a friend if things hadn't been wrong on my end?
I don't know.
I'm going to sleep now.
There are dirty dishes in the sink from two days ago. The pets haven't been fed since morning. There's a super early case tomorrow morning. Another friend and cranky surgeon (cardiothoracic--aren't they ALL cranky?--lol)--is waiting to cut at eight as is the tradition in all heart rooms across America...which requires me being able to start my work at six thirty, which means I am at work by six.
When it rains it really rains lol.
Carla is taking it in stride.
She is clear on one thing--what she can control, and what she can't.
She knows I am 'available to assist'.
She asked me, point blank, 'what IS all of this?!'
I told her how things would turn out--not to be shared here, but the last page of the mystery, Carla knows.
She still has to work through her lesson.
And Carla is going to do just that (makes fingers walk on the table) one day at a time, one minute at a time, all the while connected to me.
Aloha and Mahalos,
Ross and Carla