My friend’s truck got broken into today. They didn’t take anything, but the back window was totally smashed. As it happens, this friend is also my ride to and from clinical, and so we were let out early because…well, to be honest, I’m not sure why. So his car didn’t sit in the parking lot all smashed up? Because it was supposed to snow later in the evening? Because having your car broken into is upsetting, so our instructor thought he needed the day off? These are all good reasons, but I didn’t ask questions, so I don’t know how close I am to the mark. My friend didn’t actually seem that upset- he isn’t really the get-upset type. I would’ve been a basket case if it had been my truck, but he just rolls with things, which is kind of why I feel so comfortable around him. My instructor asked me multiple times if I felt safe riding home with him, and he asked me himself if I felt vulnerable riding with the back window covered by medical tape, and I honestly never did. I sort of take it for granted that I’m safe with him (which is weird, because apparently it isn’t uncommon to have the exact opposite reaction).
Earlier this evening he called me and asked if I could come and help him cover his back window, so I walked over. I had never been to his place before (technically, it’s his girlfriend’s place, but I hadn’t been there either), and it’s awesome. I’m totally jealous. It’s huge, and open, and full of interesting sights, and sounds, and smells (he’s super into herbalism- this morning while we rode into clinical he was rubbing rosemary into his beard). It actually kind of reminded me of a Smith house common room. There was a random Australian guy in the kitchen, and a saucepan of water with a mushroom floating in it on the stove, and a neat vintage juicer. It had that kind-of-falling-apart-but-still-cool feel, and it made me feel very square, which is my primary feeling when I’m with this friend (on the plus side, he’s older than I realized, so like most of my friends who make me feel like an inexperienced baby, he’s just had more time to be awesome). We taped up his window, and then went in and had some tea while he puttered around and tried to find a cure for a pretty gnarly blister/sore/boil thing on his arm. He soaked it in green tea and rosemary, he iced it (when I showed up he was about to submerge it in really hot water, but I suggested he try ice first before attempting to scald it off), he put salt, and rubbing alcohol, and cabbage juice, and some kind of tincture on it. He kept saying he should take some benedryl, and I kept agreeing with him, but he never quite got around to that part. He’s kind of easily distracted, and so he sat down with me, and we drank tea, and then he showed me his gorgeous banjo that he bought from a doctor who makes his own instruments from wood he gathers while doing relief work, and who once picked him up while hitchhiking. He played a little bit, and then went back to puttering around trying to fix his arm.
I know I say this a lot, but I don’t actually say it enough- I am utterly overwhelmed by how much I love people. Not all people (I try, but I just can’t love everyone. Some people suck), but lots, and not just people I know. I shadowed in the NICU today, and spent the entire day rocking premies, and I was filled with love for them, and I think you have to love someone to go out into the bitter cold to fix a car window without knowing specifically where you’re going (when he called he told me what street he was on, but not the address, so I just charged out into the elements and wandered around looking for his car until he called me back. What can I say- I’m eager to help). You really have to love someone in order to look at their weeping wounds through a jeweler’s loupe, which I also did, because he asked me to in order to fully appreciate how very nasty it looked (darn nasty). The thing is though, that those things aren’t any hardship simply because I do love my friends. I want to do things for them- I want to help them, and spend time with them, and if they ask for help I’m happy to give it. My instructor asked me to text her when my friend and I got home safely, and when I did she told me I was a good person, but I don’t think that was an example of me being particularly good. If it had been someone else, someone I don’t like, and I had helped them, that would be a good person thing, and I’d like to think that I would make an effort, but today wasn’t about me being good, it was about being full of love, and enjoying opportunities to express some of it.
The NICU wasn’t my cup of tea. I love holding babies, but the nurses on the floor don’t do much baby-holding. It seemed weird to me, since premies are supposed to be inside of their mothers still, so you’d think they’d never be put down since they aren’t meant to be alone yet, but they spend most of their time in cribs (the babies that have to be under lights don’t count, but there were several who were just hanging out, not being held). The nurses are incredible, and do great work, they just don’t hold the babies unless they’re feeding them, and I don’t think that’s enough. If I worked in a NICU I’d spend all of my time holding babies, and while I think that would be valuable work, it wouldn’t be very stimulating, and wouldn’t be a great use of my education (I’m not saying being a NICU nurse isn’t a good use of education- I’m saying being a professional baby-holder probably doesn’t require multiple degrees from private colleges). That’s sort of where caring about my patients could turn into a bad thing- I wouldn’t want any babies to be lonely, just like I don’t want any suicidal teenagers to be unhappy, or mothers to feel bad about their birth experiences, no matter what happens, if they get pain meds, or have C-sections, or have unmedicated vaginal births. I want to keep everyone safe, even though I know I can’t, and if I worked in the NICU I’d burn out really quickly (I can’t hug every cat).
I massively do not want to study tonight, but I have to. I have a peds test next week (it was bumped from Monday to Wednesday so we could properly celebrate the Ravens winning the Super Bowl), and I want to crush it.