Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mixed blessing

I love my job.  I really do!  Besides the thousand and one reasons that I enjoy being a nurse there is one that I (usually) truly appreciate.  I appreciate having the knowledge that I do.  I remember sitting in a financial adviser's office listening to him talk blah, blah, blah about stocks and dividends.  I honestly had no idea what he was saying.  Then I thought, this is how it must feel for patients and family members in the hospital when they are going through one of the most difficult times of their lives.  Besides not being emotionally able to process some of the information, it might just sounds like "blah, blah, blah" to them.  Therefore, I appreciate that when my kids are sick or need to have surgery I can understand what is going on.

On the other hand, I have a lot of knowledge that non-healthcare workers don't necessarily have (unless they do a lot of Internet searching!).  I've seen the "one in a million" side effect with devastating consequences.  I've watched an entire team of doctors say "I don't know what to do" and "I've only read about that happening in a text book".  I've seen routine procedures that become everything but routine. 

Cadence has an ASD - a hole in the atrial wall of her heart.  We are lucky that it can  most likely be fixed through a cardiac catheterization procedure.  We are lucky that most likely she won't need to have open heart surgery which, obviously, is a much bigger, much scarier procedure to have.  Although I know the chances are slim, I also pray for the possibility that it was close on it's own. 

I am currently studying to take my CCRN exam (critical care nurse certification).  It's something that I should have done long ago.  There have been lots of excuses why I haven't taken it (kids, adoption, moving, life, my brain not in "test mode" since college!) and I am finally determined to do it.  Then I come upon this multiple choice question:

Which of the following is a risk of cardiac catheterization?
A. Vessel rupture
B. Radiation exposure
C. Renal injury and failure
D. All of the above

Nice.  Thank you Ms. Susan Wade for bringing this to the surface of my thoughts.  Doesn't dear Susan know that I like my land of denial?  That I need to face the idea of Cadence's procedure with the luxury of naivete.  I need to only feel stressed about Cadence being hungry since she can't eat before the procedure and the discomfort she might have after the procedure.  Not  "D. All of the above"!  I am not Ms. Wade's biggest fan at the moment.  I think I'm going to walk away now and find a nice warm beach to stick my head in the sand.

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