I feel completely beat up and broken today. Sore all over, hurt mentally, just....hurting.
I finished 4 days of working 12 hour days all in a row yesterday at 9:30pm. Yes, that is two hours after I am supposed to be off work. You see, yesterday at shift change, one of our favorite patients, a patient who is at the hospital more than he is at home, stopped breathing. Hand off report between nurses was interrupted by 10 of us running to the back hallway to grab supplies, administer fluid bolus' and call the ICU. Within minutes the situation was overwhelming. Several times, I had to remind myself that I could not cry. Not yet. There was work to do.
In that moment, you close everything of yourself emotionally off, just to be able to complete the task at hand. Saving someone's life.
At the same time this was happening, another patient started bleeding from their fresh surgical wound. Within another couple of minutes, the same hallway was even more crowded as one team prepared a child for transfer to the ICU and a ventilator, while the other team prepared a child and their hysterically crying family for another trip to the OR. Truthfully, I've never seen that much bright red blood all in the same place before. It was horrible and very scary.
At the same time, yes all these happened in the same 30 minutes, I received a patient from the ER who had a very questionable neuro exam. Ugh. More stat pages, more yelling into the phone for someone to come up, quickly please and evaluate this patient.
I felt numb at the end of the day. It took two hours to return the unit to semi-normality.
I cried all the way home. I cried in my bed, explaining to my roommate why I was crying, and feel like crying again today.
It's going to be okay. I am ok, but it hurts. I just have to acknowledge that right now. It hurts and it's ok.