Ummmm…maybe because it can kill you?
Is this creepy or what?
A wee bit dramatic, perhaps?
All I know is I don’t even want to think about what I come into contact with on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, ignorance is not bliss in this case.
Can you say “wash your hands”, boys and girls?
I think I tend to be a pretty empathetic person.
Even after all these years in nursing practice I tend to give patients the benefit of the doubt, almost to the point of a naivete that I should have lost two decades ago.
But when I’m sick, all that goes out the window.
For you see, when I’m sick, like most nurses, I go to work.
And if you just happen to present with what I am sick with, well I might just think you are a wimp.
It’s not your fault.
My brain can’t help it.
I had a headache. A bad headache. Maybe it was even a migraine. I don’t know. Never been officially diagnosed.
The headache began during Notre Dame’s loss to Michigan.
Eight days ago.
And it lasted until today.
I went to work that Sunday.
I went to work with a left frontal pounding headache, a boring-pain behind my left eye and radiation to the entire left side of my face. I was mildly nauseated. I was photosensitive and the sound of the cardiac monitors exacerbated the piercing pain in my temporal lobe.
Tylenol and Advil did not even touch it.
And three, count ’em three, patients decided to present to the ER with those exact symptoms.
And then, to make matters worse, one of the headache patients began to complain about a tiny blister on his foot.
Say WHAT? I was working with an open, weeping two-inch horizontal ruptured blister on my right heel. The pain was so bad, I took off my shoe and covered my sock with a shoe cover.
He was a double wimp.
Of course I was feeling sorry for myself.
While they laid back and took their Dilaudid, I held my head up high.
I was working through my pain.
While they hugged their emesis basins with a passion I’ve only seen in soap operas, I was working through my nausea!
And when I put the tiny circular band-aid on the barely existant blister, I told my self with pride: I’m walking with my blister!
And after twelve hours of hard-running, life-saving activity during which I suffered beyond anything a human being should have to endure, I drove home.
And when I got there I took: Two Vicodin, ibuprofen 800 mg, and Sudafed 60 mg.
It made my tummy hurt.
So I called my husband and whined about my shift until I became comatose from the Vicodin and I slept the sleep of the narcotized.
But before I lost that final vestige of consciousness, I experienced an epiphany.
When it all boiled down to the basics, I was the biggest wimp of all.