October 4, 2015

i've been everywhere, man

I've been everywhere, man
I've been everywhere, man
Crossed the desert's bare, man
I've breathed the mountain air, man
Of travel I've had my share, man
I've been everywhere
- Johnny Cash, among others

     A new month means a new job.  I go to a new place whether it be a different hospital or a different clinic.  I have a new boss.  In fact, I often have different bosses on different days.  I have different colleagues on different days, too.  The hours?  Those change, too.  Last month was working in a surgery outpatient clinic.  October is working nights delivering babies and triaging pregnant women coming into the hospital.  Except for one day where I work days in my own clinic seeing my own patients.  Sleep hygiene?  What's that?
     I've had to learn to adapt in order to survive.  After having been in the working world for so long, I'm not used to this constant change.  I'm the type of guy who goes to the same restaurant for ten years and orders the same thing.  I walk in, and they say, "the usual?" 
     Plus, I'm not young like my other colleagues.  And frankly, I don't have a spine like anyone of any age according to my neurosurgeon.  I can't pull a 14-16 hour shift night after night sitting at the triage desk.  Pain simply won't allow it.  So I make an arrangement with the nurses this month.  When no baby is close to dropping and no one is in triage, I'm lying down in one of the triage beds curled up in the fetal position.  It's not to sleep.  It's to take the strain off my back.  And I'm not really asking.  I'm just being polite.  In return, I change the sheets and leave the bed as I found it.  It's either that or I regress to a cane.  Or, according to my son and my dad, a wheelchair is not too far off in my distant future.

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