Saturday, June 13, 2015

These Doors

I'm alive. I'm here! I didn't fall off the side of the world like it may appear. (Even though at times it kinda feels like I have). WE are here. In Texas. In our house (that is not quite our house yet)! Unpacking box after box after box after box. Mostly of toys. And kitchen stuff. Slowly setting up our life here. But not documenting it. Though I have intended to. 

After our first day of travel I was going to sit down and write about our move - while we were still in the thick of it - but I was tired and chose a shower and bed instead. Then again after our second day on the road I intended to write something but I fell asleep before I could even get my pajamas on. After our THIRD day on the road I had no intentions of writing. I was exhausted and feeling pretty hopeless about the move as our closing was delayed yet again...until later this week after Joe has started residency. I had driven over a 1,000 miles with a baby and a toddler and it was beginning to feel like it was all for naught. But alas it wasn't. Because we made it. And Joe has started work at the hospital. Or at least orientation. 

All of that was my very not brief way of saying LIFE has overwhelmed me lately. Not surprising. There have been a lot of major life changes in the past week. In fact I knew I was going to be overwhelmed. So I prepared (best I could) and asked my dear friend (and reader!) to write a guest post for me. Which she did. She wrote an excellent piece from the perspective of a medical provider in the ER. She even sent it to me last week! I just never posted it. Because I was overwhelmed. But now I'm starting to feel a little bit like myself again and like my life isn't completely out of control. 

So without further ado please enjoy the writing of my amazing real life friend and ER physician assistant. It's incredibly fitting as this is my husband's first week of his emergency medicine career. Thank you friend for sharing your insight and wisdom (and adorable dog!) with me and any remaining faithful readers I may have left. 


Doors represent so many areas of our lives. They open and close leading us through the chapters of life. 

But these doors…these doors can seem heavier and bigger than most.  

These doors represent a lot of fear and often the ‘bad’ days in people’s lives. Patient’s come in scared and not sure what to do next. Some people walk in, some are pushed in or rolled in. 


Here – this isn’t a ‘easy’ place. It’s not where most people want to be – but it is where I want to be. Here I work with a team of incredibly knowledgeable and trained staff and providers. People who give their nights, weekends and holidays to be there for others 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. People who give up time with their families and miss important events in order to be there for others.


I walk in through these doors most days knowing I am scheduled for a 12 hour shift. That 12 hour shift will however often turn into at least 13 or 14 hours. My shifts are so unpredictable that my husband has an app to be able to track if I have left the hospital yet in order to curb his anxiety that something has happened to me. 

Through these doors are the rooms in which fears are crushed or at times come true. Tears are shed. Reassurance is given. 

The shifts are long and exhausting, physically and emotionally. But the shifts are also rewarding. The trust and ability to help others in a very real way – that is something I am amazed by on a daily basis. 


At the end of the shift, I walk back out those double doors.  Open the car door and sit. Alone for the first time in hours, able to sit and reflect. Emotions are allowed to be feltagain…because for the last 12 hours – there has only beentime for action and reaction. There has been history, physical and differential diagnosis. Treatment planning and plan for further care. Tears have been shed on plenty of drives home. Many nights I pray more for patients I have cared for than anyone else.  


But finally – each night (or in the wee hours of the morning), I walk through the most important door for meThe door that leads from the garage into the entryway of my home. This door represents my other life. The life that keeps me going. I take a deep breath and exhale before walking through. I let go of the last shift – because on goes life and behind this door, is the little dog that will run to greet me wagging his entire rearend instead of just his tail. The husband who supports this craziness that I enjoy and has learned the hard way that we don’t make plans for after a shift... or for early morning after a late night shift.

As the doors keep opening and closing, you learn what’s most important…or rather who is most important. I’ve learned to say ‘I love you’ without hesitation to all those I care about. I’ve learned to be tough – because being the youngest provider and female isn’t easy. I’ve learned being wrong has real consequences, but all we can do is keep learning. 

Because the best part? Tomorrow is a new day with new doors that may lead anywhere.

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