It’s been a long time since I dressed in scrubs and headed to the hospital. They say, once a nurse, always a nurse and I might now agree to that. When Jim asked for a pair of scissors to cut tape, I was stuffing my hands in my pocket searching. Eleven years ago I had a pair of scissors readily available every shift, haven’t done that for ages. I watched the IV occlude wondering if anyone would notice. Heard so many requests wondering why no one was responding. Jim let me reconstitute a couple vials for him and help him pre-oxygenate a surgical patient. What I’ve never done before was bring each of my four children into the OR.
Zach was first up in his scrubs. Full sized scrubs which we rolled up for him, and threw on a purple bandana to cover his hair. The girls gave him a Dr. Zachary Wiedrick tag, and tucked two pens into his pocket just like daddy. Zach watched daddy extubate a thirty eight year old lady after finishing a thyroidectomy. I’d have liked to see that surgery as once upon a time I had it myself.
Madelyn says she might want to be a surgeon, but it was a little gross. I saw Meshach’s bone (six year old Kenyan boy). I saw tendons and nerves and blood and skin cut off. I got to write down how much he weighed, 22 kg. Dad watched his blood pressure. The knifes weren’t how I expected them: they were small. Dr. Rhodes, the surgeon, put some kind of wash that looked like blood on the boys’ right arm, and one that was clear. It was fun watching the surgeon cut, but on the other hand, it was gross. At the end, I felt disgusted. On a scale of one to ten, I would rate this experience a nine and a half!
Rachel says, I got to see the intestines come out and the intestines came almost fully out. The knives were super, super small. It was very bloody. I want to be a vegetarian. But I still will eat some meat. They rubbed the lady’s tummy with something. (Rachel watched a catheterization, an intubation, and a nasogastric insert). I weared scrubs and they were the same colour as dad’s scrubs. A Kenyan scrub nurse put some kind of purple wash on the lady’s tummy, and a wash that looked like blood. Dad’s work was super fun, but gross too.
Hannah says, it’s disgusting and gross, but kind of interesting at the same time. The intestines aren’t exciting. Blood was always falling to the floor. I saw a lot of abdominal CT scans. I watched dad give the lady a second IV, and start a bag of blood. Dad showed me medicines, they had such strange names I couldn’t even read the labels. (Hannah was watching an exploratory laparotomy that lasted a few hours). I will not be a surgeon, I will be an anaesthetist.
I am reminded how tired one feels after a day in the hospital (not that I was there for the whole day, or even working when I was there)…it’ll help me be a little more gracious with Jim when he arrives home each night, and make sure the kids give him quiet space before he enters a different energy expending field, his family. I am also reminded of how much I enjoyed nursing, but that right now, I will try to be fully present as the full time mama of my family…I am so very thankful for each of my children, and this short period of life that I get to fully experience with them. I used to wait hopefully on the promise that just wait and see, the best is yet to be…the best has certainly arrived!