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waves of energy
I am tired, physically tired, and I don’t concentrate well when I am tired.

That’s not such a big deal when all I am talking about is blogging. When I am working in the ER it is a bit more of a problem. There have been days where I was surprised I managed not to kill anyone make any mistakes.

My poor baby waiting for doctor

My little 3 year old has been coughing for days and started running a high fever today. The last two nights have been spent listening to her cough all night and going to her countless times during the night to comfort her.

Last night my hubby even got kicked out of bed and slept in my daughter’s bed while she crawled in with me and slept coughed all over me all night. Hubby says he is too old to sleep in a bunk bed anymore, even if it is the bottom bunk.

So I have been sitting her for a long time staring at the computer screen and willing myself to write my blog for today. Not because I think the world is going to come to an end if I don’t write for one day. But rather because I have committed to myself that I want to write everyday.

I usually spend a long time writing my posts and when I don’t I am not as happy with my work. I have so many half written posts and so many ideas in my head. And like Paula who wrote today in her blog post Mojo? What Mojo?, my thoughts have all seem to have disappeared as well.

So as I was beating myself up and deciding what to write, I patted myself on the back and said: “Susie, it’s ok if every once in a while you do not have energy. Give yourself a break”. Not that that concept is something new to me. I have learned to do that really well in regards to housework, errands and all kinds of other stuff. (I am sure my husband is nodding his head passionately at that comment. I am thinking he is tired of washing dishes and living in a pigsty mess.)

But until today, I have not let myself do that with my blogging. Maybe I am worried that if I will let my blogging slide if I don’t continue to live up to the standards I have set for myself. I don’t know.

So I hope my giving myself a break and not writing something too deep today is okay with all of you who read my blog. But truly it really is okay every once in a while to admit you are out of energy or inspiration. I am sure that it is nothing sleep (or an extra few hours in a day) won’t remedy. Hopefully, I will get some soon. Heck, it’s only 1 am…….

Have any of you ever just run out of steam?

Image:
WAVES OF ENERGY
Airton Kieling | Flickr Creative Commons

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Don't Panic Badge
(Photo courtesy of Jim Linwood )

We have all had those moments in life when we have been gripped by sheer panic. Something happens that is unexpected and we just lose it. Sometimes our panic is triggered by something very serious like a death or injury of a family member or friend. However there are times when even something relatively minor can just break you. It depends on the person and circumstances I guess.

In my 19 years of parenting I have had quite a few of these moments. Some warranted and some not. (Though who am I to say something is unwarranted if that’s what the moment did to me.)

I have had two children with episodes of convulsions. That has to be one of the scariest things a parent can go through. Even with my ER nursing experience, I still think that is one of the worst experiences I ever had. My first experience with any type of convulsion was with my 2nd child. He was a year and a half, running a fever and I sent him into the shower with my husband. The next thing I knew my husband was screaming and holding a stiff convulsing child. I lost it. I was sure he was a goner. And that was even though I knew that convulsions themselves are rarely fatal. Go tell that to anyone watching their kid convulse. Reason does not work at that moment.

My second convulsion experience was even worse. My little one was playing near the steps inside our house. The steps are part of our living room and she often sits on them to play. She had been running fever for a day, but was already feeling better.

All of a sudden we heard a big thunking sound and my eldest was the first to realize what had happened and that something was not right with her. She had fallen backwards on her head and had started convulsing. I was not sure whether the convulsions were what caused the fall, or if she fell and the head injury caused the convulsions. I thought I was going to have a heart attack on the spot.

Luckily I was home with all of the kids. I sent the oldest one running to the neighbor two houses down. (He is an anesthesiologist. I deal with his emergencies and he deals with mine because we both lose it when it comes to our own kids. Funny how that is.) I had the second oldest stay with the two younger ones, and I scooped up my daughter and with every last bit of energy in my body I ran out the door with her in the direction of my neighbor’s house. That should show you how panicked I was because if I was thinking about any kind of neck or head injury, as an ER nurse I should know better than to move her at all. That short walk to my neighbor was one of the longest I have ever had. It was winter, everyone’s windows were closed and no one heard my yelling pleas of help me, someone help me.

My neighbor met me halfway down his stairs and I passed my daughter over to him and almost collapsed myself. I thought she was either going to be dead or brain injured and never the same. Those next two minutes had to have been the longest in my life until they sent someone out to get me and tell me it was okay, she was okay.

I must be getting older and my memory must be fading, because I know all of my kids at one point or another induced panic in me. Maybe it is just the baby of the family thing, but it seems that my littlest daughter is the one who panics me the most these days. Kind of funny considering that my oldest is in the army.

Or maybe it is that my youngest is just the most confident and a bit too independent. Like the time she decided to go home on her own from synagogue on Shabbat when we turned our backs for a minute. We then spent 30 minutes in panic searching for her. Good thing we live in a community where the roads are closed off on the Sabbath, but that didn’t help our panic at the time. We found her safe and sound but with a few more grey hairs on our heads. (By the way, there is no need to call social services, honestly there isn’t.)

There are times when we are stressed about something and we work ourselves into a panic. There are other times when panic is visceral and takes over your body and there is not much to do except wait a few minutes and then consciously will yourself to calm down.

Either way, the only thing we can do when we panic is to remember we are human and not to be too hard on ourselves. Once the initial panic passes, we just need to collect ourselves and decide how we continue from there. Sometimes easier said than done, but we are only human after all.
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This blog post was written for writing workshop #17 run by Josie at Sleep is for the Weak. I chose the second prompt: Has there ever been a time you felt panic start to take you over?

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Anatomy of a Blogger, from Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers
(Photo courtesy of Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com )

Today like every day, there are quite a number of subjects bouncing around in my head waiting for me to write about them. The inside of my brain sounds like my kids arguing with each other. You know what I mean: Me, I want to, I was first, let me…..There has been a very heated battle going on in my head as to which topic deserves to see the light of day today.

The decision as to which thoughts to put into words now and which to leave for another day has not been easy. I probably would have wrestled with my thoughts a bit longer, but I am working the evening shift tonight and I am going to need to leave to work in a little while. In the end it was the thought about work that made the decision for me.

Why do you ask? Because thinking about work right now causes some type of visceral unpleasant reaction in me.

Btw-this is not complaining and I am not looking for sympathy. I am working things through for myself and just wanted to share my insights about how the body reacts to the emotional. Sometimes we see the physical before we even realize the emotional.

So yes my body is talking to me, but it is even deeper than that. Like usual, I am going to have to digress a bit in order to get to the point. So here is some background first.

As you might know from reading this blog I am an ER nurse. I have been a nurse for close to 20 years. Sure I have not always worked and I have definitely not always worked full-time. I have been lucky to have had the opportunity to have 2 years off from work twice and I have gone on maternity leave a few times. I have even had two, or maybe it was three summers off.

Emergency
(Photo courtesy of Taber Andrew Bain )

I think those breaks are the reasons I have actually managed to stay at this job for so long. Where I work, there are even those who joke that they get pregnant in order to have time off from the job and not lose their positions. That’s how mentally and physically draining the work is.

So yes it is about the place I work but it is not just about the place I work. I think I have finally come to grips with the truth that nursing is not my life’s calling. Sure I am good at it, but if I am honest I probably would not say I am great at it. From an emotional point of view I do feel I am great at my job, but from a clinical point of view, I have much to learn. That is probably because I am not enthusiastic enough about my profession so I don’t make the effort to advance my professional education.

In short, I just feel that this was not the way I was meant to make an impact on the world. Everyone is here for a reason and I know I am meant to help people. I just now know that nursing is not the way I am supposed to do it.

So I am taking steps to correct that. I have started blogging about things that are important to me. I am looking into going back to school and I even have a vision of what I want to do with my life. It is not a quick fix and I know I have to be patient and head in the right direction one step at a time.

In the meantime, I still need to make a salary. Five kids and a house is not cheap. I am okay with working. I am even okay working in nursing until I am skilled in something else that makes me happier.

Which brings me back to work. I am not happy with where I am working right now. Whew-I came out and said it. I am not happy working where I am right now.

Sometimes it is the work itself. We rotate departments within the ER. Sometimes we do triage, sometimes walk in, sometimes surgical/orthopedic/trauma and sometimes internal medicine. I do not like traumas. I can work them, but do not enjoy it. On any given day, any of the departments can be horrible to work in. Depends on your luck.

Sometimes it is the stress and the fact that we are understaffed. We are there to help people and sometimes we are just trying to tread water to even see all the patients. For someone who likes to talk to the patients and hear them, it is a terrible feeling.

Sometimes it is the co-workers and the boss. Enough said I think.

I think however a big part of my dissatisfaction is that I don’t have a set schedule and I work shifts as well as morning hours.

I work half time because my husband travels a lot. I am Sabbath observant, so I have a deal where I don’t work on Sabbath or holidays that are like Sabbath. I do however get stuck with a lot of Friday shifts and Saturday night shifts.

Here in Israel, Friday is the day off. Sunday is a work day. It is also the day to get all the cooking and errands done especially if you are Sabbath observant because there is no cooking on the Sabbath, just warming up.

On the one hand it is good because hubby is almost always home. On the other hand I find the preparations for the Sabbath even more stressful because I don’t have Friday free. I also have to worry about what my work schedule is going to be around all the holidays. It is not pleasant or easy.

For the past few days, I have been physically ill. I have been horribly nauseas (again, NO I am not pregnant) and I have had terrible stomach pain. I very much believe in the mind body connection. (BTW that’s a story for another day about how I came to believe).

It was not however until a good friend pointed out to me that maybe my body was talking to me and maybe it was even about my job, that I actually started putting the two together. I had an unpleasant episode with my boss last week and it was after that episode that I had decided to myself that I needed to look into other options in my hospital.

I haven’t moved all these years because I do like the changing fast pace of the work. I also don’t work on the Sabbath which is not available in all wards. Last but not least, sometimes what you know is easier than moving. I also don’t want to go over my boss’s head until I have some idea of what is out there. Not an easy dance. So I have been dragging my feet.

So I haven’t been listening to myself and my body has decided to do something about it and give me a really unpleasant reminder that I am not happy at work and that I deserve to be.

I even tried making a call today to inquire what was available in the oncology units and clinics. No answer. I guess I better get looking for something else. I don’t think I can handle much more nausea or stomach pain.

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Actually it is but you know the kind of 4 letter word I mean. 🙂

Please Help
(Photo courtesy of Alexander Baxevanis )

I have been feeling really sick to my stomach since yesterday afternoon. I have been nauseous and have stomach pain. And before you even ask, NO I AM NOT PREGNANT! I think if I was, my husband would be feeling even worse than me. 🙂

If there is anything I can’t stand more than anything else in the world it is being nauseas. It is the one thing that makes me break out in a sweat just thinking about it.

So I stayed in bed until about noon. I have barely done anything all day. So yes my house is a mess. And I still feel cruddy!

I am sure you guys are thinking this article is all about asking for help with the kids and the housework. It actually wasn’t intended to be, but I will address that part as well.

The help I was talking about was just the being able to call a good friend and complain and moan and groan a little. I can hear you asking, that’s help? Well yes it is, because in some ways it does make you feel better.

Years ago, I would have just continued feeling sorry for myself and kept my misery to myself. I am sure hubby will disagree, as I do often complain to him as well. What I have learned though is that men and women are different when it comes to sympathy.

When you complain to a man, they are very action and problem solving oriented. When you complain to a women, they let you complain and don’t try to fix anything because they know you just want to share your misery with someone.

Sometimes you need action and problem solving and sometimes you need to be able to moan.

Luckily today, I got both.

This afternoon I called a really good friend of mine and told her I was calling to complain. (Actually I used a ruder word, but have decided to keep this blog profanity clean 🙂 ) It was such a relief to be able to complain and get things off your chest and have an emotional conversation. Still physically felt lousy, but emotionally a bit better.

Hubby walked in the door a few minutes ago. I told him that I was impressed with myself that I had even managed to run two loads of laundry today. That was the sum total of all I did do today. His reply was what’s wrong with your kids helping out with that and moving the wash to the dryer and folding it? My 2nd son (18 years old), right away piped up, I have been doing dishes and straightening up. Hubby then said so what??? Why can’t you do laundry as well.

He disappeared for a few minutes and I heard him switching the laundry from the machine to the dryer. I was very thankful and impressed. Not quite as impressed as I used to be, because although that used to be a rare occurrence, he really has been helping me out around the house more and more. Most of the time it is even unsolicited help.

Back in my superwoman days I would have been beating myself up that I needed to rely on someone for help. I would have been disappointed in myself that I couldn’t manage it all on my own. I have gotten better and better at losing the self guilt.

I had a moment when hubby walked in when I felt bad at my luck of productive activity today. I started apologizing and then I caught myself and said to myself “I feel like something the bulldozer ran over, why do I have to feel bad about not doing anything”? I let go of my guilt and I allowed myself to be the couch potato I have been.

Help is not a 4 letter word and asking for it should not involve feelings of guilt. We all need to learn to cut ourselves some slack and realize we can’t do everything alone, especially when we are feeling less than perfect. (By the way if it wasn’t for the fact that perfect has 7 letters, it would be a 4 letter word as well)

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