January 28, 2006, 12:52 pm

Walkin’ In The Rain

Is it just me or is the recent crop of babies exceptionally cute?

It’s a very dangerous time for me.

My baby is almost 16 years old.

I have no grandchildren on the horizon for years.

I’m at that dangerous age between still being able to have a baby (just barely, I’m pretty sure my ova are using walkers to get to the Fallopian tube and I’d probably have to deliver in a convalescent home) and not having any grandkids to spoil.

The point being that all of a sudden I am in love with babies. Specifically, any and all pediatric patients under the age of one.

I got to hold an 8 month old for about 15 minutes the other day and he decided to carry on a full “conversation” with me.

It was hilarious; I’d ask him triage questions like, “Are you allergic to any medication?” and he’d “talk” for 30 seconds.

What the heck is going on? Is this like some cosmic joke?

One last surge of maternal hormones before they all get taken away? (Sorry, guys, girl talk here).

I guess, for now, I shall live out my maternal instincts through the babies at work.

Just another advantage of being a nurse!

******************************

It was only 4:00 pm. The sky was full of dark clouds. It seemed much later.

This particular year, we weren’t worried about a draught here in California. The rain never stopped. The clouds were just taking a breath before the next deluge.

She walked into the ER with her baby in an infant seat. Not the cheap old-fashioned plastic versions, but the big car seat type that were now on the market. She completed triage and waited to be seen.

*****

She was all of 17; maybe she weighed 105 lbs. A single mother who lived in the big city adjacent to where my hospital was located. Her baby had a fever and she was concerned.

Not only was she carrying a huge car seat and baby, she had the usual accoutrements. A huge diaper bag. A large purse.

The baby had a virus, nothing serious and we gave Tylenol (no ibuprofen back then).

As I gave her the discharge instructions, I noted that a torrential downpour outside and offered to help her carry her gear to her car.

She said, “No thanks!” and pulled out a huge umbrella. “I don’t have a car. We came by bus.”

*****

Not only had that petite little mother carried that baby and equipment on a bus to get to our ER, she had to make two transfers to get to the bus stop outside the hospital. Now she was going home the same way. In the rain.

I asked her if there was anyone who could come and get her and the baby. Usually, she noted, but there was no one else .

She never asked for a taxi voucher, never assumed that anyone else would be responsible for transportation home. She gathered up her equipment, picked up the baby.

*****

There was no way in hell I was going to let that girl and her baby go home in that downpour by a two-transfer bus route.

I told her I would call a taxi. She said, “Oh no, thank you anyway but I don’t have money to pay a taxi.”

I gave her a taxi voucher.

*****

I caught hell for it later.

My boss at the time did not look kindly on giving out taxi vouchers.

Tough.

The look on her face when I told her she could go home by car was priceless.

If we didn’t have vouchers, I’d have paid for it myself.

The baby may have been the patient, but that day I was able to take care of Mom, too.

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13 Comments

  • Moof
    Moof

    January 28, 2006 at 3:23 pm

    Oooh Kim! Gotta really watch out for that between “Momma and Grammy” stage when all of the babies start looking cute.

    Might be time to get a puppy? ;-)

    .


  • Kim
    Kim

    January 28, 2006 at 4:54 pm

    I have seven cats and two dogs.
    Doesn’t help….LOLOL!


  • PaedsRN
    PaedsRN

    January 28, 2006 at 5:00 pm

    Don’t start her on puppies, pretty soon she’ll have eight cats and TEN dogs! And I’m sorry, once you’ve gone past seven cats there is simply no hope for you… you’ve become a CRAZY CAT LADY! :)

    Now I’ll have to write up about my extremely cute patient from yesterday, just to make your problem worse *evil laugh*


  • Kim
    Kim

    January 28, 2006 at 6:34 pm

    You are so MEAN!!!!!!! And, of course, I’ll HAVE to read it because I’m COMPULSIVELY drawn to it………. LOLOL


  • Difficult Patient
    Difficult Patient

    January 28, 2006 at 11:02 pm

    I totally understand being drawn to those babies . . .My kids are 10 and 14! Oh, and I volunteer in the NICU/ICN! Unfortunately, I can’t have any more babies–I had a hysterectomy a few years ago :o (.


  • Jodi
    Jodi

    January 29, 2006 at 12:56 am

    Good for you Kim!
    Good karma will treat you kindly.
    I’ve been with baby/toddler without a car…It’s what I imagine hell to be like.


  • punchberry
    punchberry

    January 29, 2006 at 1:08 am

    This is a great story Kim; I am so glad that there are kind people like you in the world.

    I also wanted to tell you that I have a little sister who is almost 19 years younger than me. I guess my parents just missed me too much when I went off to college, and then Dana was born the summer between my Freshman and Sophomore years. Anyway, my parents really seem to enjoy her. There were constantly running around, going to school, and working crazy hours when we were little, but now they sort of take their time more. They take her on little day trips, so the “mommy and me” swim lessons (well, my dad does those), etc.


  • Dr Dork
    Dr Dork

    January 29, 2006 at 5:47 am

    Nice, heartwarming story, Kim.

    But seven cats ? And two dogs ?

    How on earth do you find time to feed them all…”dinnertime” must be a nightmare :)

    I have a mental image of cats hanging from every limb as you dispense their meals he he he.


  • Tapati
    Tapati

    January 29, 2006 at 9:29 pm

    Hold out for the grandchildren, you’ll enjoy them so much more if you are child free by then and when you’ve spoiled them, can hand them back and enjoy your child free existence. I am in this state now and I am in bliss. I am twice as happy being a grandma as I was being a mom; it’s that wonderful!

    I managed to resist by NOT giving in to the urge to be around and hold babies. That fans the fire. Put the baby down and back away. :)


  • I love you.
    Hh


  • kenju
    kenju

    January 30, 2006 at 9:14 pm

    I love you too, Kim; you are a saint!


  • Peggy
    Peggy

    December 27, 2006 at 8:29 am

    Maybe there’s an evolutionary reason for the maternal-t’weens….no babies of our own and our own children not yet bringing out grandies. Other women’s babies get our attention and caring, as Kim describes. Good for humanity!


  • Judy
    Judy

    December 28, 2006 at 11:18 pm

    You already have a sitter. Go for it!

    My older 2 were 12 and 14 when I finally got around to having #3. I haven’t regretted it a bit.

    OTOH, puppies are cheaper.

    Definitely good move on the taxi voucher. If pouring rain and baby don’t justify one, what does?


About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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