I am always joking at work about how all we do all day long is put out fires. There are certainly days where it feels like there is zero progress and all we are doing is frantically bailing water out of a sinking boat. Today was such a day. From the moment I clocked in at 6:50am the trouble started and it did not stop until I left for the day. Truthfully even after I left I thought of 5 more things I would have liked to follow-up on but you can’t, you know? I am not superwoman and if I am going to keep any true level of balance and self health I have to allow myself to let go and leave when it is time to leave each day. There will always be more to do and another patient to take care of but I have to take care of me too and sometimes even first.
So all day long I felt like I was treading water and unable to come up for air. The lab ran the wrong blood test on a patient so I had to get in touch with them and correct that problem. There were issues with insurance (there are always issues with insurance). Not to mention I think we accepted at least three emergent cases today completely over booking our schedule and causing a tremendous back up for our scheduled patients. In the middle of all of this a ghost walked in. I have not seen this person in probably 7+ years, they are associated with one of my ex’s. Although there is no bad blood there anyone who knows me well knows that I do awkward small talk about as well as humpty dumpty attempting the balance beam. Small talk is not my thing, as a rule I find it frivolous (like all rules there are exceptions). And as I am not graceful in any other aspect of my life of course I am less than graceful when it comes to things like this. Luckily I was buried so deep in my work and the patients I was involved with that no awkward encounter ever arose. I was grateful, although this particular ghost is an incredibly kind person and I would have been happy to attempt awkward small talk if it came to that, especially given the setting in which we were running into each other.
So with the day I had you might think it would be difficult to find a silver lining on this cloud. However, you could not be more wrong my friend! First of all, I love this mess. Bad days are never that bad when you love it. But there was a specific silver lining and it came early in the day in the form of a 4-year-old hyperactive little boy, a little boy I fell in love with immediately. One of the fires I was having to extinguish today was two patients that arrived late for their tests. This meant I had to lock up their belongings and check them in after their test so we could get them started right away in order to keep our schedule on time. While screening a patient for the second time to make sure it was safe to do her study based on her medical history I suddenly noticed something out of the corner of my eye..
In our office we have a lot of plants. All different kinds of plants, big ones, small ones, wide ones, thin ones.. It’s like a Dr Suess book with a jungle setting. One of the plants is a floor plant that is tall and slender and resembles a palm tree but much thinner. It kind of looks like one of the funny trees from Dr Suess’s The Lorax. While I am screening this patient I suddenly notice that tree is shaking violently! It looked like the tree was having a seizure! I stand up from my desk to see what is causing it and there is this little boy who has the base of the tree in a death grip and is shaking the shit out of it! It reminded me of something I read in a book once about monkeys shaking palm trees to release the fruit at the top. It was hilarious. The patient in front of me, who happened to be the boy’s mother was embarrassed at first but once she realized I thought it was funny she giggled too. Then she yanked him up and sat him down with a book. Here I was running around, caught up in the crisis of the moment and I would have totally missed that. It was the highlight of my week at work. I do not know what possessed that little kid but it was very funny and I am glad I was able to break long enough to be present for it. The rest of the day as issues would rise and fall I kept thinking back to the convulsing palm tree and I would laugh.
After work I ran some errands and then came home for my big Friday night plans.. Wine, Sushi, Writing and Project Runway! Any introvert will agree this is the stuff dreams are made of on a Friday night! They had a sale on a my favorite kind of wine, Pinot Nior, at the grocery store so I got two bottles. I am set for the weekend! The rest of the weekend is jammed packed with wedding plans and parties and projects, I am elated to have a quiet night to enjoy the way I see fit.