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Not Fresh

Permalink 03:08:36 pm by cassie, Categories: Announcements [A]

Since my blog has been overtaken by spambots in my longish absence from the blogosphere when I had a short but passionate summer romance with facebook, I will just assume that nobody but the errant wanderer appears here out of some desire to reconnect with the past Me they once knew. Well, I'm still here, still pretty much the same. Just with more spambots.

Today was certifiably Not Fresh. Lots of... drainage... going on at work. Your garden variety hospital patient might have a urinary catheter or something, but where I work, they have all these weird stomas and holes and fistulas and drainage bags, sometimes 3, 4, 5, 6 different things I've got to drain and measure and keep clean and intact. And let me tell you, some of these drainage things are held on with tape, with a little bit of sticky, and some people just don't have bodies that are ideal for this. My patients are obese, sometimes lumpy, often sweaty from narcotic pain controllers, and this does not make for an ideally tight seal. I spent my day running around cleaning up all this... drainage... on someone confused and hallucinating. Also not ideal for keeping a "hands off" approach to these stuck-on devices.

But that's not what this is about. What it's really about is my running around. I spent four hours this morning with this one patient. In the room. Four hours. My other patient convalesced (she was fine, munching away at her snacks and waiting to be transferred to the med-surg floor) until I finally got to see her again, six hours after the start of my shift and giving her all her meds. I felt the waters closing in on me for a minute there as I struggled to keep things from literally exploding everywhere and I felt myself going from task to task, no end in sight. I finally left the room, de-gowned from my protective outerwear (sounds like a NASA mission) and got to see my other patient. She was fine, but she kept me there talking for twenty minutes. I rarely have twenty minutes of time at once stretch to spare on one task, one patient at work, but she missed me. Everything I hadn't addressed earlier with her was still there from six hours before. I had no choice, and she was seen by about ten other people (PT/OT, social work, nutrition, diabetes education, case manager) in the meantime, but still, she was neglected by me out of necessity. I ended my day by redoing everything on my exploding patient that I had already done twice that morning. But I finished on time, clocking out five minutes late. My tasks were done.

As I drove home, I listened to a message from Mars Hill Church that I had squirreled away on my iPod for just a day as this. It was all about Mary and Martha, how we all need a little bit of both of them in us - Mary's quiet learning heart to start the day, and Martha afterwards, when we've already consecrated all our tasks and ToDo's to God. It was also about looking at a day as starting in the evening and ending with work the next day. Quieting in the evening to be with family, commune with God, refresh for the coming work of the morning as if the evening time were not just the culmination of an exhausting day meant to use as a decompression/complaining/finish-everything-I-didn't-get-to-do-already time. Mark and I can't get up much earlier than we already do every morning, therefore we don't read and sit to pray together in the AM. But then again, often we don't do that in the PM either. I truly appreciated the thought that we should look at our days like the Jews did - as starting at sundown, beginning afresh. Refreshing ourselves in the evening by sitting at Jesus' feet to learn and preparing for the daytime and work ahead with it showered in prayer and the right attitude. Then, in the morning, waking with all that refreshment carrying me into the end of my day. I like to rise with gusto, to get out of bed and steamroll through until everything in my wake is flattened and Mark is home to kiss me and put the baby to bed. I think I need my evening to be the start of our day, to kick it off with consecration rather than determination. I think I needed to hear this sermon today.

I try to do everything and I feel guilty when I'm not involved enough with church, with friends, with righteous things, but the true reason I feel guilty is because I find it easier to busy myself with things to do that are good things, things I mean to do for God, than it is to sit, quietly, and commune and learn from Him. To quiet my frantic brain and scattered Martha thoughts takes too much effort for me sometimes. I neglect the heart and motivation that should be behind my service. I'm such a fool.

No wonder I am drowning, no wonder the waters close in on my life at times. It's easy for me to go to work. Work is where I am in most control. I can manipulate bodies and medications and tubes to fix and perfect my craft, my patients, and I can Accomplish Something. I can't do that with the multitude of uncontrollables in my life outside of work. I cannot always Accomplish. No wonder I feel as if every person at church sees and judges that I do not make it to every service and don't have my hands in every project like I did when I was a single college student. They aren't judging me. It's a farce my conscience makes up to show that my own heart is judging me for my apathy. I am a Martha in need of quietness and a desire to learn again. To pray beyond my crazy Cassie prayers that come in waves throughout the day of "God! I just thought about this to talk to you about!" and that get washed away by another wave the moment my attention is drawn away. Gracious God, come get me, meet me in this sea; I am so poor a swimmer.

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I like to multi-task: wife, writer, nurse, Christian, ne'er do well. I do all with equal gusto.


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