Saturday, January 7, 2017

November: ICU Month and Felfs

November is more than half over, and yet I move as if in a dream. Between the election, the arrival of cold weather, and the long, hard, crazy hours in the ICU, it seems as if a century has passed and yet at the same time flew by in a blur and a blink.

ICU month. How to describe the craziness and yet long monotonous days in the windowless little room where I type my notes? Fear, elation, and sleep deprivation.This month has been filled with long days and nights, learning about the most critical patients and worrying about tenths of decimals that show whether a patient has heart failure, kidney failure, or a heart attack. Patients come and go: some get better, some get worse and are transferred to tertiary facilities, and some end their lives in front of our eyes.

I've learned this month to keep walking, keep monitoring, keep talking to the nurses to make sure everything is going as I ordered. I've learned to run at the first sound trouble and to gird my loins at the sound of the overhead speaker. I've learned to think fast and act confident, to speak to patients in a caring and firm manner, and that the nicest patient have breaking points and the crankiest patients have their soft spots. It's been a contentious and challenging month, and it is with great relief and a little bit of sadness that I move on to the next month: OB.

Knitting
I've done some knitting despite everything, as the fall weather and gorgeous browns, yellows, reds, and orange leaves outside my window enticed me to wrap myself in the season's best hues. I've purchased yarn for mittens and hats, and am waiting for the right time to cast one. In addition, I was in need of some supportive knitting company one day, dropped by the yarn store, and happened upon a felf making class. What are felfs? Little clever slippers designed by Cat Bordi, taught  in simple steps by the ever-clever Bonnie of the Artful Yarn. They are addicting indeed. I've finished one, and am in the process of making another. I suspect I might even make some for ornaments as well. I'd never felted before, and this was another new process for me. It was so much fun to step outside my comfort zone and learn something new, and refreshing to be amongst knitters again, in a light and laughter-filled room with windows that looked out to tree-lined streets, away from the dark, dim hospital hallways full of death and suffering. I haven't quite finished the slippers, but Bonnie's instructions make the assembly process seem like it *shouldn't* be too much trouble. We'll see!

Hope you all are well,
~Z