Monday, January 26, 2009

The burn unit I'm not walking around

When I was a student a million years ago in North Carolina, I worked in a hospital. I also failed one of the questions on my comprehensive exam for my master's program and had to retake it. Oh! The humiliation! You may know I have a bit of a flair for the angst, so I was angsting all to some random coworker, and in what I'm now sure was an effort to shut me up she said, whenever I start to feel like that I just go take a walk around the burn unit.

Her point was that it could always be worse, etc. Absolutely right. But I just couldn't help thinking of those people in the burn unit, lying there so everyone else would feel better.

I'm not going to lie, life is hard these days. It's this work thing, and this mommy thing that is singing so loud and clear to my little heart and the work thing is just sort of burping a little money into my checking account and skipping over my heart entirely. And that's a bunch of crap, that burn unit thing, eh? Life is hard, it's hard. I'm high-functioning and thankful, yes. It could be worse, yes. I'm blessed beyond measure that I can even SAY it's hard, that I'm safe enough to do so. Heaven knows that hasn't always been the case. But that doesn't really make it not hard, and--more importantly--doesn't solve the question about what I do about this blog while it's hard. Do I go all histrionic and complainy? Do I take a hiatus? Do I get all comedienney? Just post photos of our new president?

[Shrugs.]

[I tried to illustrate the daily heartbreak I experience by posting a video of Hugo saying no bye bye mama. Not. Not. after counting to five! And saying Obama! And Mama Obama! It didn't work. It was cute though. Gosh, he's cute.]

Oh well, how about some observations of office life, since I've been putzing around universities for the last five years? Like how baby carrots for lunch are just as popular as they were the last time I was employed. And how microwaving plastic grosses me out and lunch meetings gross me out on many levels--not least because they are not really lunch breaks at all, but MEETINGS, and then I have to deal with the baby carrot and microwaved plastic eaters. It was all thanks to that patient I worked with who had very serious cancer and swore up and down it was because she had microwaved plastic for years.

On the good side, intranets with photo staff directories and links to where each person sits? Awesome. Starbucks debit card thingies? Awesome.

16 comments:

Kristen M. said...

I would love it if you kept writing just whatever you need to ... I have been lucky enough to be home with my little guy for these 4 1/2 years but when he goes to kindergarten in September, I am going to have to head back to work and even though he wouldn't be with me during that time anyway, for some strange reason it's breaking my heart. I'm not reveling in your misery but instead taking notes on how you are surviving.

All Adither said...

I used to be known at Alaska Airlines Magazine for my baby carrot consumption. Funny. Also, would NEVER microwave plastic. Gross. Why risk it?

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Who microwaves plastic?

Is staying with Hugo an option? Having a broken heart every day doesn't sound like much fun. Sometimes if you do the math you find you can follow your heart.

Jay said...

Use it as you see necessary; venting, ranting, being nonsensical. Unless of course you're hell-bent on taking suggestions, in which case I suggest you post pictures of and tributes to me.

Gary said...

I walk the halls of a mjor burn unit on a weekly basis. I have always found it to be an arrogant person who would suggest you would feel better if you only realized others were suffering more than you. The burn unit is a place where all the narcotics in the world can not quiet the pain of a catastrophic burn injury; the pain is present even when a medically induced coma is used to assist in treating the injured person. Yes, being a patient on a burn unit is probably more painful than what you were experiancing that day when the person shared thier ill concieved idea of gratitude but for someone to find thier salvation on the pain of others and reccomend this as a solution is someone that is so spiritually arrogant they have missed the point of gratitude. Gratitude is about the present and not about all the terrible things that can happen to you that would be worse than what you are experiencing now. John Prine wrote a song "the accident" that poked fun about this very nonsense - "they don't know how lucky they are - they could have ran into that tree; been struck by a bolt of lightning and raped by a mi-nor-i-ty. Your random co-worker would not have been welcomed on the burn unit where I work. Keep the faith.

Katie said...

Yeah for Starbucks debit card thingies...and blogger awards...I gave you one!

Oh and plastic in the micro? Yikes, never.

wheelsonthebus said...

use it however you like. i'll be reading.

Vanessa said...

I think you should write about what you want/need to release. Write for you.

I too hate the microwaving of food in plastic containers. Or canned meat, I had a co worker that LOVED canned meat for lunch meetings. It was all I could do to eat anything.

lapoflux said...

I'm sorry that things are hard right now.

When I went back to work after my mat leave (when my 1st was 9 months old) I couldn't go to the mall near my office because there would be women with children and it would make me want to cry (and often did).

Good luck.

BarbaraCA said...

I had the cutest neighbor - she was teeny, in an athletic way, and attractive, and I really liked her and sort of wished I were more like her (not stalkery, just, oh man, look how she runs and makes wholesome all grain meals and always looks terrific, etc). One day she was bemoaning the fact that she could not find the right dress for a wedding and was too thick in the middle. I went on some fatter-than-thou rant, dimissing her feelings because she was not as heavy as I was and therefore, you know, shut up. She paused and then said, quite kindly, "It's all relative. I'm not where you are and you're not where I am, but where I am makes me just as miserable as you feel where you are."

So, wherever you are, you get to feel however you feel.

ellen said...

Thinking of you. It is tough and no one needs to try to dismiss your feelings. That is not o.k.

J and J Acres said...

I know that if Mr. C and I have kids one day I'll have to keep working. I also know it'll be hard. It's hard enough for me with just the two of us (and our pets) and keeping the house clean, etc.

I don't know how you working moms do it.

phd in yogurtry said...

The number one reason I come back for more cornbread:

"But I just couldn't help thinking of those people in the burn unit, lying there so everyone else would feel better."

Dani in NC said...

I feel ya. There are days when I am upset about the same issue for the millionth time, and I've used up all the creative ways to whine about it :-). To avoid that, I try to post more about what I'm doing instead of what I'm feeling. Ultimately, though, it is YOUR blog so you can post about anything you want and those who don't like it can stop reading.

BTW, I microwave plastic all the time. Yummy! :-)

Stacy (mama-om) said...

Please eat some baby carrots in my honor. :)

xo,
Stacy

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