Standing in front of the counter with part of a sandwich completed, my mind spun with thoughts and words that I couldn’t weed through.
I grabbed my list to see what I had to do.
Make Chunky’s sandwich
Write him an encouraging note. Don’t forget sticker.
Pick out clothes
Check the weather
Pick out clothes
This is going to take me forever, I thought. I turned to the clock and realized it was already 8pm.
I could hear Chunky and Shawn laughing in the other room. I wished that I could have joined them.
But here, here in this hell of a head I have, I have to do what’s on the list or I won’t sleep at night.
I miss them both dearly.
A deep ache set in my heart and I put the knife down, slid onto the floor and curled my entire being into my disjointed thoughts.
What has happened to me?
The stethoscope bounced on my shoulders as I hurried down the hallway and right into utter chaos.
Doctors shouting, carts whipping, arms working feverishly to string IV lines, the quick starts and stops of rubber squeaks from the shoes of nurses, and my heart pounding loudly than all of it.
I looked up at the florescent lights, took a deep breath and smiled.
I lived for this.
I snatched a mask and formed it around my nose and mouth then secured it tightly behind my ears. My gloves, sized small, were hidden in my scrub pockets. They were the hardest size to find. I snapped them on and was helped into a white plastic gown that was poorly made and would rip when you extended your arms.
I turned my attention to the double doors where the sirens had drowned out the commotion behind me.
Then the stretchers came one by one.
I directed the paramedics into the bays. The most critical, a 16 month old who had been ejected from the vehicle, went into the center bay.
The medical team swarmed each patient and began to work.
I bounced from trauma bay to trauma bay.
Performed chest compressions in one. Started a tricky IV in the other.
I made calls to neurosurgery and paged anesthesia for the umpteenth time.
Delegated supply runs to the PCAs.
I checked the nervous nurse from the 5th floor whose hands shook while preparing syringes and talked her through.
I strung blood transfusions.
And coordinated hand off of one patient to the ICU.
When all was said and done, I was sweating under my face mask, I had splattered blood on my shoes, and my heart beat loudly in my throat.
I exhaled and high fived a fellow nurse.
It was awesome.
And I did it all with out hesitation.
At 21 years old, I could run a trauma bay with my eyes closed and my head clearer than the bluest of skies.
At 32 years old, I can’t even piece together a god damned sandwich.
Shawn’s hand on my shoulder made me jump.
“What are you doing?”
“I don’t know. I can’t do this. I just can’t.”
He stood there in silence, scanned my list, picked up the knife and started to slather the other piece of bread with mayonnaise.
“Can you get off the floor? You’re looking pretty crazy. Why don’t you —-”
And I don’t remember what he said.
My mind drifted off into the infinite web of thoughts screaming in my head.
Just like it does every single minute of my waking day.