I used to be a nice person

…before I became an ICU nurse. It literally changes a person. I used to be accommodating and shrug off bullshit and try hard to make everybody happy. I originally thought ICU nurses in general were cold-hearted bitches who were smart but didn’t care who they pissed off (and I thought that was a bad thing). Now I know that we’re not cold-hearted bitches but also we don’t care who we piss off (and that’s how you have to be to get shit done). And honestly, you just get tired. Tired of idiots who don’t know what they’re doing. Tired of intubating 90-year-olds. Tired of trying to convince people that their loved one is suffering too much while they writhe in agony every time you turn them. You just get tired and you start to snap a little bit.

It flows over into daily life, too. I’m just not a pushover. I try to be nice, and work things out. And now? I guess I’m not nice anymore. I guess I’m done. I want to enjoy life. Enjoy my daughter while she’s little. Not feel like every time I look at my phone or come home it’s like going to another chore. I’d like to have some time to just be in the middle of my life, before my own parents get old and need me to make decisions for them. Is that so much to ask?

Yesterday I got home and looked for frogs with M. My grandma was blowing up my phone with her crisis-du-jour and I went up there. I sat there and listened to her complain about everything and get a lot of what I did and said in the past totally wrong. Then I said, “ok. Well I hope it works out for you.” I’ve failed miserably at problem solving this whole mess so I’m just not doing it now. I have to go home, make dinner, be with my kid. We’ve got a garden to plant, I need to exercise, it’s a beautiful day. I’ve been caught up in this hell way too long.

I walked out after about 30 minutes. M and I made dinner together and ate together. We went on a nice walk and played at the park. We took a bath and read a book about frogs twice. Then I banged out one last email to my grandma’s kids, my official letter of resignation, so-to-speak.

I’m ready to move to the co-op now. I’m ready to take a job where I get out at 4pm every day and see my child. I’m ready to be closer to my sister, and come to the lake on weekends. I’m ready to just be responsible for us, M and I, for a hot minute.

P.S. The “interview” yesterday was good, but I quickly figured out it’s not a good fit for me. I won’t be a pill pusher or a cog in a wheel. I’m able to direct the care of some of the sickest people in the world, I’m not just going to wheel a cart of stool softeners around all day. I did meet up with my old boss from my college days, when I worked in assisted living. It was so awesome to see her, like long-lost family! I want the job she had back then… resident services, overseeing their care but not doing actual bedside care. In other words, I want an office with my name on the door and business hours. The cool thing is that I made two awesome networking connections yesterday, so bring it, I say. If not I’m going to look into clinic jobs. Just give me a phone and let me decide who needs to see the doc and who doesn’t. Easy peasy.

I just want to see my kid more. I spend all my time wondering and worrying about how I can be with her and there for her more. Other than winning the lottery, of course. I’m done with running my ass off all day, telling doctors how to be human beings, and leading them like sheep to the correct decisions. Done with constant poop and phlegm and patients spitting at me and families deciding to keep their 98-year-old great-granny on life support just because. Done I say! Universe, this is your call… let’s get this train on another track!

 

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2 Comments »

  1. You’re still a nice person. That’s why you need to get the heck out of that job. Your talents as a nurse can be much better used, in my opinion, and you should be able to enjoy every moment of your life with M at the same time. 🙂

    I also have to tell you, I have always thought it unfair that the care of your grandparents has fallen so heavily on your shoulders. People see what you do for a living and take advantage. It’s time the rest of the family picks up the slack. You have a little one to nurture and these years with her will go by fast.

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