Saturday, May 22, 2010

new blog

I will no longer be posting here. Please visit my new blog, Nurse Jef, instead. Thanks.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

change of shift

Nothing quite compares to the wondrous, sweet relief that consumes every sinew of my being at six thirty in the morning.

The twelve long hours of the night shift are over -- almost -- and the prospect of a good day's sleep galvanizes my caffeine-weary mind into action.

My patient assessments are all charted, vitals recorded, I and O's (fluid intake and output) tallied, and the last thing left for me to do is a final round among all my patients to flush their IV lines and give their insulin shots.

And then they arrive, one by one, trudging out of the dinging elevator doors, ready to take our places. Clutching their clipboards, the day shifters wait patiently in the break room, like ducklings waiting for a good day's breakfast.

I don't know about my fellow night nurses, but the experience of changing shifts refreshes me just as much as a tall glass of iced water in a hot Texas summer day.

So as I mindlessly go on with my work, passing medications, turning patients, cleaning wounds, starting IVs, checking charts, writing telephone orders, there's a part of my subconscious that greedily counts down every second, every minute, until the clock strikes thirty minutes before seven.

Surely this must be what the psalmist is describing when he writes, "My soul waits for the Lord, more than the watchmen for the morning, indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning." (Psalm 130:6)

Isn't there a thought that dissolves the darkly brooding clouds of the stress of daily life more quickly, than the vision of the End of Ages?

When our God will wipe away every tear from the eyes of His people, when He will once for all vanquish suffering and evil and death into the lake of fire, when heaven and earth are renewed with life invincible, when we will see and know our Love, face to face?

Friday, June 06, 2008

absence makes the heart grow fonder

The silence is unnerving. The room across my own has been uninhabited for the past three days, with the bed unusually neatly made. For the past three nights only three people have sat down at the dinner table, with an extra seat gaping like an empty tooth socket.

As of the moment, my brother is five hundred miles away in Houston, sleeping with three other teenagers in their own dormitory room. He and fifteen other classmates from Science Academy are attending a science camp of some sort, wherein they get to immerse themselves in actual research laboratories in Rice University.

Before he left, I half-seriously told him that the next two weeks will be bliss for both of us: he gets to travel, I get to enjoy him gone.

After a mere three days' worth of nobody to squabble with while driving home, of nobody incessantly chanting "Fatty" and "Pimpleface" into my ears, of nobody shoving me away from the computer to play Eve Online, I'm beginning to think that the peace and quiet that I so earnestly wished for when my brother was here wasn't a good idea after all.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

before the jump

Clad in nothing but a pair of blue shorts, I stood there, awkward and apprehensive, watching the chlorine-green water lick the glossy tiles of the pool side.

It was almost empty, except for a handful of white-haired seniors performing water exercises (which relieves their arthritic joints, apparently). And yet I felt so uneasy, so uncomfortable, so... naked. So I half-tried to tuck in my enormous belly and looked down. It still bulged out like a baby bump, so I hastily crossed my arms and retreated to the seats close to the exit.

Just the day before, I mustered enough willpower to drag myself into a sports club in McAllen to enroll for membership. My weight, apparently, had ballooned to a hundred and seventy pounds because of three-night-stand with Lady Gluttony in Houston. Ohhh.. my legs still get shaky when I think of those Vietnamese noodles.

Upon arriving home after my, erm, affair, it took less than a moment for me to hear the singular, screeching, jeering condemnation from my mother's weighing scale and all my nursing textbooks: "YOU'RE A BIG FAT WHALE!"

Maybe what drove me was the unhappy realization of my own sheer hypocrisy. Here I was, supposedly a health-educator/advocate, being trained to save the vast herd of hypertensive and heart-attack prone patients that will be under my care in the next few years, from the evils of those irresistibly yummy and oil-drenched burgers and fries from McDonald's, only to realize that I was slowly becoming one of them.

Or maybe it was the growing discomfort I have when I wear my blue jeans. Four years ago (yes, I've been wearing the same pair all this time and I'm still glowingly happy with it, thank you very much) I had to wear a belt to keep it from falling to my feet. Now, every time, just to keep the button from popping off, I have to do the tummy-tuck maneuver that I so gracefully performed as I described above and then wiggle myself into my increasingly tight pants.

I don't know. Whatever it was, it was enough to convince me sign a contract that entailed me shelling out 45 dollars a month for the next school year.

After warily scanning their wrinkled faces, I realized that the aquatic seniors weren't looking at me. Heck, I thought, they don't even know that I'm here. Throwing all inhibitions aside, I breathed and sighed -- with the air going out of me like a deflating old tire -- and leaped into the shimmering hope that flapping my legs and feet in smelly pool-water for enough number of times would make me physically fit.


It's funny. I didn't have the slightest idea that this blog is one entry short of a measly two hundred. Considering that I started writing because of my intractable tendency to copy from my best friends -- monkey see, monkey do -- I'm going at an arm-dragging snail's pace. So, here's my two hundredth. And here's hoping that something of Lazarus-like proportions would happen to the feeble, stinkingly unproductive green-gray corpse that's my brain.

Friday, May 30, 2008

oh and by the way

This is like so overdue.

Thank you so much to all the people who greeted me in my anticlimactic entry into adulthood twenty-some days ago.

I have yet to reply to each of you, some of whom I literally haven't written in years. I'm really sorry. I guess I'm just at a loss at how I could compress four years' worth of stories into a mere thank-you note.

I'll write, I promise.