all week i've been majorly bumming about working on Thanksgiving
and i've also been absolutely freaking. out.
about taking care of the sickest patients in the hospital
all by myself.
today wasn't as bad as it could have been.
no major crises.
i had it all [mostly] under control.
and i found countless reasons to be thankful.
so many of my patients couldn't eat today.
they were getting nutrition through feeding tubes
and were super bummed about missing out on the turkey.
they were also bummed about not being able to get out of bed.
they were in pain, from open abdominal wounds covered by wound vacs,
from external fixators screwed into their pelvis
from broken bones.
i had a patient who suffered an irrecoverable brain bleed.
and her family decided to discontinue life support,
which was the right thing to do,
but so incredibly hard.
i am thankful for my health
and the health of my family
and my ability to eat
and get out of bed
and my job.
and sooo many other things.
but i also missed my family today
and wished i could have been with them,
instead of taking care of other people's families.
i wished i could have cooked Thanksgiving dinner
and i wished i could have eaten a home-cooked dinner,
instead of cafeteria food at work
and leftover Mexican at home.
and i'm so thankful for my husband,
but i'm disappointed that his Thanksgiving plans were delayed
which meant that he wasn't home to be with me when i got off work.
i've been feeling guilty this week for my grumpiness
and general dissatisfaction with my circumstances.
i've been feeling convicted by the saying,
"it is not happy people who are thankful,
it is thankful people who are happy."
but i think the truth is somewhere in between.
that it might be possible to be thankful and pissed off.
maybe it doesn't make you unhappy,
maybe it just makes you honest?
i've been beating myself up for feeling so crummy.
because i truly believe in how important it is to be thankful
in all things.
even the crappy circumstances.
and i am.
but being thankful is not magically improving my mood.
and i'm tired of pretending.
it feels like almost too much.
i'm an emotional wreck
and every year, around this time,
i cling to the holiday season,
like a lifeboat in a tumultuous sea,
counting on it to bolster me and hoist me up
above the waves that are beating me over the head
threatening to drown me in my own tears.
i go to work every day, terrified that i'll encounter something i can't handle.
whether it's a situation that requires medical knowledge i haven't learned
and experience that i don't have,
or perhaps it's another tragic story that i'm way too affected by
adding to the huge emotional burden i'm already carrying
unable to put it down and let it go,
for fear that i'll lose my ability to feel anything at all.
then i find something like this, on silly ol' Pinterest
and it makes me feel like i just might make it.
i'm thankful all over again for the struggle
because it reminds me that i feel it all.
and that it's worth it.
hearts are funny things, eh?
happy (ha!) Thanksgiving