My dearest loyal followers, if you were wondering if I had dropped off the face of the earth, worry no longer. I am, in fact, alive. I knew you were concerned.
So how’s life lately, you ask? (Even if you didn’t, I’m gonna tell you anyways.)
Well folks, I started nursing school a month ago and it has completely taken over my life. While exhilarating and exciting and interesting, it is straight up exhausting. Lazy summer days with no plans and Netflix marathons and endless time to write have been traded in for 8 hour class days plus a couple more hours of studying each night on the side. And that’s just Monday and Tuesday.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love what I’m learning, but the accelerated pace and time commitment have been an adjustment to say the least. The faculty are incredible, the people are unique and intelligent and way more qualified than me, but man is it tiring.
On Wednesdays, my alarm rings at 5 am, signaling that it’s time to get up, put on my scrubs (which still make me feel like I’m playing dress up) and prepare for the 10 hour clinical day that awaits. I thought I was a morning person until I was rudely awakened (lol get it) to a new definition of morning. There’s waking up early, and then there’s waking up EARLY.
There’s not enough coffee in the world.
As draining as clinical days are, they’re by far my favorite. There’s nothing like real life, hands-on experience to get you through the boredom of sitting in the same windowless lecture hall for 8 hours a day (shoutout to Nursing Annex 155).
My little clinical squad shows up to our floor in the hospital at 6:30, ready to be assigned to a patient and follow our designated nurse around like clueless ducklings. The floor I’m on is an adult “neuro med-surg”, meaning many patients have serious head trauma ranging from strokes to trauma to dementia and everything in-between. Being on that unit gives me a snapshot of serious health problems that I’ve been lucky enough to rarely experience first-hand, until now.
These patients are VERY sick. Sick like lists of medications pages long, altered mental status, late stage renal failure, ventilators, and immobility requiring frequent bed baths and diaper changes, sick. It’s real life, with all its brokenness and devastation and unpredictability.
Each Wednesday, I am awed by the mysteriousness of the body.
I am humbled by the opportunity to enter into someone’s most intimate and sacred space as a complete stranger.
I am excited by new experiences and the amazing ways healthcare is evolving and innovating.
I am comforted by conversations with patients that are warm and inviting and that widen my limited perspective.
I am grateful for kind nurses who are willing to let me follow them around and answer by dumb questions.
I am scared of mistakes, of harming rather than healing, of not doing enough.
Wednesdays are challenging, thrilling, hectic, and frustrating. Frustrating because I have to accept humanity’s lack of control over health and illness and mortality. Even with all the wondrous advancements of technology and medicine, the intricacies of the body are beyond our understanding.
The body is divinity and mortality in one.
And we get to be the manifestation of all that goodness. I mean how cool is that?? I can’t look at the structure of the heart, learn about the awe-inducing details of how our kidneys regulate homeostasis, or hear beautifully clear sounds of breath without being struck with the wonder of our Creator. Just like life, the body is both miraculous and flawed.
But damn is it incredible.
As I struggle through hours of lecture, memorizing drugs that feel like I’m speaking another language, awkward fumblings while assessing patients, pouring through slide after slide of complicated diagrams, it’s easy for me to want to learn it all and learn it all perfectly. But just as the body is finite, so is my level of understanding.
I’m hoping this will help me face the impending 3 tests I have this week (yeah i know), but honestly I’m probably going to strive too hard anyways.
After all, that’s life.