Tuesday, June 26, 2012

On Being the New Girl

My first day at my new job was just lovely.

There are some good things about being the new girl.  For one, your new co-workers aren't yet sick of your scrubs.  All my uniforms will be new to them, well, at least for about 10 days.

Another good thing, not much was expected of me the first day.  Of course I didn't know the routine and mostly I was just to follow people around, observing what they do.  That was fun.  Today I will go with one patient (I've been assigned to a child) from the beginning of his journey until he's ready for discharge.  That includes being present with him during his surgery.  That will be interesting!

The part about being a new girl that can feel most awkward is the same part that was difficult as a new kid in elementary school... lunch time.  Having only 30 minutes didn't give enough time to go out to lunch.  I'd brought along something I could eat, though, and was happy to just go outside and sit at a picnic bench.  It was fine but it did make me remember those awkward new girl days from childhood.

Recess and lunch were the most scary that first day at a new school.  In the classroom you pretty much knew or were told by the teacher what to do, but lunch and recess had less structure and more time to look awkward.

I hadn't brought much lunch yesterday.  I just prefer to eat real light when I might be in a stressful situation.  That's a Crohn's strategy.  That's kind of why I avoided the staff lounge.  I didn't want to have to already explain why I wasn't eating much and all the Crohn's stuff.  Funny, huh?  Especially since I am ok with telling it here on the internet for anyone to read.  Go figure.  Anyway, 30 minutes turned out to be much more time than I needed to eat.  I texted Mike.  I texted Maria.

I texted my sister, Tina.  I texted my friend, Kerry.  I still had some time so what did I do with it?  I pulled weeds near the picnic table.

See what I mean about looking awkward?

Lord I Lift Your Name on High

I love to sing.  I love to hum.  I do it a lot.  As I clean, as I drive... I'm sure that is not unusual.  Music has a lot of power!  It has so much power, I've decided to be careful what music I listen to as it influences me so much.  Several years ago I decided to keep the radio in my car set on KLOVE.  Why?  Well, they refer to their music as being "positive and encouraging".  Hey!  That's what I want to be!  I learned that if I listened to that on my way to work, I was able to maintain a positive and encouraging attitude a bit more throughout the day.
I am also on our Worship Team at church.  I enjoy that a lot!  

(stock photo from 123rf.com)

OK, that photo may not be of me but I'm pretty sure I look kind of like that when I sing...except I am older...and I would not wear sunglasses in church...and my microphone is on a stand which I am scared to approach... I don't usually wear a hat because I think my head is already kind of large... and the wind machine is not ever on me when I sing... there may be a few other differences as well.   OK, I'm no more than an average singer, I'm middle-aged and I generally sing standing very still with my hands to my side.  Even clapping when singing is difficult for me.  Other than that, I pretty much look like this person.

Seriously now...

Music has come naturally to me when helping a really frightened patient.  Whether starting an IV or wiping a bottom, humming lightens the moment.  Maybe it just lightens my mood but I think it helps the patient focus on something besides the task at hand as well.

I was once called to the side of a young adult patient nearing the end of her life.  She was conscious and uneasy.  She'd previously told me she was a Christian so with her permission I prayed for her.   Then, knowing she had been active in her congregation, I asked if she wanted me to sing to her to help her relax.  She said that she did.  I started singing Amazing Grace  then moved on to the The Old Rugged Cross.  She listened politely but I didn't feel it was calming her that much.  Then, I decided to sing Jesus Loves Me.  Even though she could only barely make sounds, she started to sing along!  I kept singing but tears were rolling down my face.  She looked and sounded so beautiful to me.  

I thought she fell asleep at the end of that song so I sat quietly by her side for a bit.  When I was about to leave she opened her eyes and whispered a question.  I had to ask her to repeat it several times but finally realized she was asking if I knew the song, Lord, I Lift Your Name on High.  I was so happy because it is a song our worship team sings so I knew all the words.   We sang that song over and over and over with her voice only a whisper and mine choked with tears.  The quality of our voices did not matter.  Finally, she was tired and able to rest.  I left quietly, fully aware that I'd just been allowed to be part of something truly beautiful.  

Maybe I will have the opportunity to sing with her someday in heaven when we will have strong, pure voices.

To hear a sample of the song that meant so much to her, click here.

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