The 10 Day Writing Challenge- Day #5

Today you hear from me. I guess it’s my turn…

A sober after-work selfie, because I have nothing better to offer you.

6 Things I Wish I’d Never Done

It’s on the tips of my fingers (ha, so lame) to say that I wish I had never started a 10 day writing challenge. At this point my enthusiasm is a little lacking. And I think I missed the deadline, right? Because it’s 12:30 AM and technically Day #6, and here I am typing up Day #5’s list. Ah, well, I must be truly dedicated, or I probably wouldn’t bother. I’m stalling, I think. Because I really don’t want to write this list. This evening was bad enough without having to make myself feel bad by listing all the things I wish I’d never done. This evening included puke, and other unmentionable body fluids, and low blood sugars, and very low blood pressures, and a syncopal episode, and not being able to get anywhere in a timely fashion, and I really am not a Surgical nurse, and I don’t like working on Surgical, and I don’t feel very competent there, and they can keep their small bowel obstructions and NG tubes and wound vacs, and I’ll gladly keep my babies with RSV and Hi-Flo. (How’s that for a sentence?) Excuse the rant. Like I said, I’m stalling. I guess I should start on my list.

#1- I wish I hadn’t not written this this morning. (Hadn’t not, Alison? What’s that?) Something tells me it would have sounded better if I had done this before my twelve-hour shift instead of after it. And then I could be showering right now instead of sitting at the kitchen table in my germy uniform typing furiously. I won’t wish I hadn’t done this challenge, because I think I’m actually glad. It’s been cool up until now, and tomorrow it probably will be again. See how philosophical I am? *Ah, the sarcasm*

#2- I wish I hadn’t read my schedule wrong. One time in nursing school I completely missed a clinical. I thought I had off that day. I logged onto my email to see a worried email from my favorite instructor. I was horrified and apologized abjectly. She was absolutely wonderful about it and let me make it up and didn’t even put it as a missed day on my evaluation. But the feeling of chagrin lingered.

#3- I wish I hadn’t worked so much. The first year I was in nursing school, especially, I think I pushed myself a little too hard. That was the last year before Dad died. The one semester I was taking 18 credits, which is a lot, and I still made myself pick up pretty many hours at the nursing home. I think I was partly trying to prove myself, and partly convinced that I had to graduate without any school debt. I wish I would have relaxed a little, studied a little more, spent more time with my family…

#4– I wish I hadn’t sped so much. Three times is too many for a 21-year-old girl to have been stopped for speeding. The last time almost did me in. I do not cry easily, and I certainly did not cry the first two times I was stopped- both at the tender age of nineteen. But when I was twenty-one and in nursing school, I worked a double shift one Saturday. I was finally getting off work, and I sped joyfully down the road. Only to be brought up short by the flashing lights in my rear-view mirror. I was stoic- I think I just shrugged when the officer asked me how I was. But after I started driving home again, I cried because I was furious. He had written me a ticket for about the same amount of money I had earned by working that double shift. There I was, exhausted after a very long day of work and a long week of school, holding a speeding ticket. So much for picking up doubles. It’s been two years now, since I was last stopped, and hopefully I am a better girl?

#5- I wish I hadn’t been such a brat. When I was thirteen, I was a brat. Also, when I was eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, and sometimes, I think, even when I was twenty-three. Ouch. But I was even worse as a young teen, and I wish I hadn’t been. I remember not studying at all for a test, getting a somewhat sad grade on it, and then thinking it was funny because it made my teacher and parents so upset. I also remember trying to get “points” (which were not supposed to be good things) so that I could stay in at recess, because I knew I wasn’t supposed to. There are so many other things I did in those years that I wish I’d never done, but I’ll spare you. I just wish I could go preach a sermon to thirteen-year-old’s now, and tell them how important it is to apply yourself, learn what you can, and develop good work ethics.

#6- I wish I hadn’t forgotten them or their names. This is a really hard thing about working as a float in the hospital. I have worked with so many different coworkers and had so many different patients between all the units, that often people will remember me, but I’ll be there searching in my mind for how I know them and what their name is. They also have the advantage of remembering me as the nurse who wears the Mennonite cap on her head, since I think I’m the only one of them. But I always cringe when someone remembers me, and I don’t remember them. Like one time I was exclaiming over a baby in the elevator, and the parents informed me that I had been on the OB unit with them after she was born. Or one time I called a coworker by the name of a different coworker and didn’t realize it until a couple minutes later. And one time I had to ask a coworker her name when she knew mine. And one time I saw a coworker whom I had worked with very briefly, several months later, and she was not in uniform- and I had to ask who she was. Even though she knew me. These situations are my nightmares, and I always want to hide my head in a hole afterwards. I think I’ll go do that right now.

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