Wednesday, February 13, 2013

All Right, All Right

I've made the decision to go to Boston at the end of the week, for three of our four day weekend. Assuming we are both healthy. My mom suggested waiting to see if she's been discharged from the hospital by then (and not coming otherwise), but I decided we should go, regardless. (If we're not healthy, we probably won't go because we could put her at risk.)

I mention all this because Calliope has been crying the last few minutes, at 9 pm, and I just went in to comfort her and she was swiping at her nose. I hope it's not a new cold. It seems like her canines are coming in so hopefully that's all it is.

Oh, she just started crying again, and for the first time ever, she's actually crying my name, "Mah-ee. Mah-ee."

I just went in again and gave her some Motrin and helped her to lie down -- she was sitting up against the bars of her crib and seemed rather dazed.

This morning I posted a breathlessly anxious request to the Single Moms by Choice toddler board for advice re: traveling by car with a car-hating toddler. Then changed my mind and decided we should fly. Then spoke to my brother, who offered to get me an Amtrak ticket with points. That seemed like a terrible idea... until it seemed like a totally reasonable idea. Have I mentioned that it was another busy day at the clinic? A new asthma diagnosis, two teens wanting to start on birth control pills, a girl with chlamydia (diagnosed two days ago) who came back to talk it over some more, plus juggling calls about travel plans and my mom maybe needing a transfusion. And more.

I voted yes for the transfusion. It's not clear why she should need it now, at least two weeks after her last chemotherapy infusion, but she was feeling awfully weak, and feeling better sounds like an obvious win. Even if I was too freaked out by the concept when I needed one, back when Calliope was two days old. The concept still scares me but intellectually, it seems like a good idea. And Mom says she feels stronger tonight, so that's good.

Aurora, gosh, your comment made me a little ashamed.

I guess the reason that I shared that tidbit about not learning the residents' names is that it's totally out of character for me to not take people into my heart, to take responsibility for them. And it felt flippant and wild to not invest emotion into these people, who are technically not my responsibilty and who often (though not in the case of these three) seem to have no idea what a nurse practitioner does. And sometimes I feel like educating them, and sometimes I feel bored by the idea that I have yet another new batch of doctors coming through, most of whom have no plans to ever practice primary care.

But these three were all very sweet. The truth must also include the previously omitted fact that I took the time to sit down and present to them a detailed inventory of my hatbox, which contains most every form of birth control. I gave a brief history, the pros and cons of each, the active medication, talking points to present to concrete-thinking adolescents (things like, "If you give adolescents birth control pills, you have to ask them, 'where are you going to keep your birth control pills? because if you keep them in your locker, you won't remember to take them home on weekends.'"), showed them what each method looked and felt like, etc. So I didn't come across as nearly as uncaring as I pretended to be here.

But yes, I could at least write down their names on a post-it note and stick it to my desk and try to learn their names, as I usually do. That would be the more humane thing to do.

Therese, I have two siblings, a sister with a husband and two daughters (ages 8 and 14) who live in Florida for the moment but plan to move back to MA soon. My brother is recently divorced and lives in Boston and has been visiting my mom at the hospital and going to doctors' appointments with her. So he gets the hero credit, not me.

It's true that I was ambitious once, and I'm somewhat hard working now, but I'm no hero. Work gets hectic sometimes, but the work I do allows me to feel pretty good about myself. And some days are quieter, and almost every day I have time to eat breakfast and catch up on the SMC Forum while the clinic is open but before patients start rolling in. And every evening, I am finished taking care of others by 6:30 pm. Apart from an easy phone call to my mom, to catch up on the day's doings, to try to find some little Calliope-tidbit to brighten up her day. So a pretty cushy life, in many respects.

Except for tonight, when my girl is crying once again. Off I go.


  1. Good decision to visit your mom (if you & Calliope stay healthy, which I hope you do).

  2. Oh,y. I'm sorry. I thought long and hard about posting what i did and thought perhaps you were just swamped with all that's going on in your life. I' love reading your nblog! You are a great writer and seem like a wonderful mother and a hard worker and a supportive sibling and daughter. Keep writing and sharing and i will (try) to keep my big mouth zipped! Lol