Thursday, September 10, 2020

Mental Hygiene


Today I feel the need to state the obvious:  we are living in times of great change and disruption, and never before has the need to focus on and support our mental health greater.

Remember that the darkness strives to tell us we can't.

It is the quiet voice of stillness that Creator tells us we CAN.


We can do anything.

I remember talking with Esther about the horrible things our boss has said to me about my anesthesia care. Her response almost knocked me off my chair!

What does he know? He is LYING! Don't you believe it, not for one minute!

She was right. He can't even use the computer at the hospital. He only charts by hand at the surgical center. He's there all day. What does he know about the working conditions? 

It made me feel better.

I wanted to talk to you about looking to others for advice on your problems. Case in point, my above ground pool. Last year, I spent a fortune on chemicals and it was green most of the summer. I even had to drain and refill the pool once. Why? Because I trusted the 'experts' at the local pool supply company and their little gizmo to check the water and my test strips.

This year? I bought new test strips and they had two new tests on them, two color dots, in addition to the four or five I had before in the old ones. I looked for support from other above ground pool owners online--youtube and on filters/pump reviews on amazon. I also bought my chemicals cheaper at other hardware stores and Costco. I trusted my intuition and bought this thing advertised online--a solar copper thing that floats in the pool. Now by taking responsibility, I understand it, and with practice, it's going well. The main problem is that the pumps that come with these pools are never sized appropriately for the pool. You need a bigger one. And second, you need more hardness in the water for above ground than you do for in-ground pools--I learned that one from the package on the test strips. 

It wasn't easy to overcome resistance from Anthony, who was encouraging me to give up and throw away the pool. But I prayed and struggled and made mistakes and eventually figured it out. 

There are a lot of things like that where if you just work at it and look into it, you learn. 

I stumbled across something yesterday. With the grief, you need to protect yourself from emotional stress because already you are burdened enough. Yesterday was almost surreal. Here I am, at work, struggling to make it through, and yet miracles happened. Not just for me. For others.

At the end of our two cases, I shared my bad news with my friend who's a urologist. We are close. And I told her my mom passed, but mom loved her, and always called her 'that beautiful lady doctor'. (Her daughter and my niece were in the same class at the same high school). She hugged me. Three times. I was so choked up. Later, she paused, and said, in her N-95 mask and eye shield, that this was the first hug she's given anyone in six months besides her husband. Because of the Covid. And I choked back, I really needed that hug. Thank you.

When you are working with Spirit, and in 'alignment', things happen. Cases switched around. And my tonsillectomy went to another room. I got a gallbladder. With the guy who threw me out of his OR and made me cry something awful...some time ago. He's going through a divorce now, and it's not pretty, he's even unhappier than he was before. Oh no!

So I did something different. 

I kept telling myself over and over, 'I love Jesus! I love Jesus!' because there was no way to get myself out of that situation. 

It went okay.

I wasn't yelled at.

I stood up the whole case, never once looked at my phone, and actually, I was a good fit because the patient needed a certain skill set and I'm good at those skills.

I did a block with the surgeon's okay, and according to the recovery room, the patient felt no pain. 

I was looking for people to relieve after that case, and stumbled across a colleague squeezing in three GI cases during her gap, and was on the last one.

But her surgeon, a heart surgeon, was upset because they were delaying her. I said I'd do the case.

I talked with my colleague and said, 'either I do this one or start the other one for you'. The colleague got upset and said that the surgeon made her wait, why can't she wait two minutes?

I choked out the words, 'I am available!'

So she chose for me to start the case, it was a short one, so she let me finish it and go home. 

I was so excited to work with this surgeon. She's the cardiac one who replaced the mean ones, and she's very very nice. A mother. I enjoyed working with her. She has no idea I started her heart room, or my skills. That's okay. My boy was her boy's age--four--when I started the heart room. I'm glad I had these eleven years to enjoy him. 

At the end of the day, I said goodbye to the PACU nurses, and to the leader, I said, 'I had a good day, thank you.' She said, 'none of us here ate any lunch. It was not a good day.'

I paused, and very gently, shared that I hadn't eaten lunch either (it was four p.m.)...but when I called to see how my patient was doing, and you said that BOTH the nurse and the patient said, 'I'm fine!' it was the highlight of my day, and I thanked her for it.

I was overheard.

I didn't realize it. But the GI nurse who was across the room saw me heading for the door. She took me by the arm, and showed me the pot luck the nurses had for Ellen for her birthday. I saw a cake with her name on it. But she showed me a piece of fried chicken tender, and dipping sauce, and encourage me to take it for the drive home. 

All I'd eaten that day was one apple cider pumpkin spice donut. So I ate it, and gave thanks.

Sometimes, when you have it in your heart, that you love love God and God's children, your brothers and sisters...then sometimes that love gets shown back to you.

I came home to a tired and cranky son who needed to leave the house. 

I took a deep breath, and realized duty was calling and my dreams of cooking the meat in the fridge for dinner were going away. I put on my bathing suit, and drove him to the beach. It's the only thing we can do here in California. And it helps tremendously with the grief and stress. Anthony said at the beginning of the stay at home orders he thought it was wonderful. But now he just wants to socialize. 

While we were at the beach, his phone rang. His best friend and his girlfriend were going to swing by the house! But we weren't home. 

God is good.

People are good.

They really are.

Once you let go of the strings and let Spirit take care of things.

Ross says he agrees with that statement.

clap! clap!

Aloha and Mahalos,



Ross and Carla

The Illuminated Twin Souls

P.S. I'm still doing daily Bible study, it helps so much. Today I learned in Ezekiel how God destroyed the Phoenician port town of Tyre/Tyrus. By the ocean. If you know who the Phoenicians are--even now--you'll see how very timely that is. And also, if you know where Tyre is located. <3