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Nenja 1,924 Views

Joined: Aug 9, '08; Posts: 33 (18% Liked) ; Likes: 11

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  • Feb 7 '15

    To my family and friends,

    I wish you understood what my average day at work was like. I wish I could film my every step for weeks on end but that wouldn't even give you the half of it. I can't shove a camera in my brain to relay my thoughts and emotions, my strengths and weaknesses, or my frequent "close call" mental breakdowns.

    I wish you understood what it was like to work 12 hours a day on your feet, without peeing, without eating. Not knowing if you're going to save a life that day or take a trip to the morgue.

    I wish you understood what it feels like to have ribs break beneath your hands, or frantically try to draw up life saving medications from a crash cart with 6 very poorly labeled drawers. Medications that you have seconds to administer to keep a patient alive.

    I wish you understood what it was like to watch a baby recover slowly from heart surgery. Take out each IV and chest tube day by day, until finally you're the one that lets the mother hold her baby for the first time.

    I wish you could see the smile on her face.

    I wish you understood what it was like to pick up the phone and call a mother to tell her that her child isn't going to make it another hour. And to find a way to word it so you don't send her to sheer panic.

    I wish you understood what it was like to fight with physicians in order to fight for your patient.

    I wish you understood the feeling of helplessness when you couldn't save them. The feeling of rolling them into a bag, tying a tag to their toe and wheeling them downstairs.

    I wish you could see the morgue.

    I wish you understood what it feels like driving to work not knowing what will happen that day. How many IVs you will string. How many life savings devices you will help insert. How many breathing tubes will be placed. How many traumas will be called.

    I wish you understood the feeling when a parent collapses on you because you just saved their child's life. Your scrubs soaking wet from the tears they shed.

    I wish you could see what it is like to watch a parent's world fall apart when we did everything we could. But it just wasn't enough. The anger, sadness, rage, despair-all on their face at one time.

    I wish you understood the comradery between other nurses and co-workers. The ones that help you get through your day. Through every emotion, through the fourth discharge and admission.

    I wish you understood the drive home. The decompressing. The tears. Punching the wheel. The "what if." The "maybe if I.."

    If you could understand the half of this. Then maybe you could understand me.

    Sincerely,

    A Pediatric Intensive Care Nurse



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