Kickin’ Butt and Takin’ Names

Ahh, sweet are the uses of a little hypomania…….I just got done with eight hours’ worth of work in only six, and with only a minimum of assistance.

I’ve been orienting to the float nurse position at my facility for a whole two days, and completed only parts of two admissions. (For those not in the know, a “float” nurse is exactly what the name implies—a nurse who “floats” around the facility and works where s/he is needed most.) Today I was on my own, and got three all by myself. First reaction: OMIGAWD!! Second reaction: Where am I going, and why am I in this handbasket? Third reaction: OK, breeeeeathe……I’ve got this….it may take me until midnight, but I can do it.

Now, a few words about nursing-home admissions procedures: They take an enormous amount of time and paperwork. Especially paperwork. Today I half expected the friggin’ Sierra Club to show up and picket me for slaying so many trees in the pursuit of my goals, i.e., to get three individuals with multiple health problems properly admitted to our skilled unit for therapies and treatment. This is why we have a float nurse in the building in the first place: this documentation is so comprehensive that there’s no way a unit nurse can do it in addition to her/his other duties.

So this afternoon I was running back and forth between my first two newcomers, thanking God for the extra energy this minor deviation from normal has afforded me. I am old, fat, and way out of shape, but I was bopping around like a youngster and, I must admit, enjoying the natural high I was getting from it. A year ago I couldn’t walk more than a couple hundred feet without getting short of breath and feeling like my back would break in two; for me, this is nothing short of a triumph. Take THAT, lard-ass!!

But, I digress. Where was I? Oh yeah, work. Anyway, I got some help toward the end of the day from the unit nurse, who volunteered to stay after her shift to do part of the third admission. I can probably attribute this piece of good fortune to the look of pure desperation that must’ve been on my face when she’d told me I had a trifecta, instead of the solo admission I’d been expecting. However it happened, I was beyond grateful for the assistance…..otherwise, I’d probably still be there charting on the lady who didn’t get there until almost dinnertime.

Still, for someone who was a desk jockey for several years and then out of work for two months, I think I really rocked it today. I’m sure I didn’t do a perfect job; I’m still new to the paperwork, and I also tend to be easily distracted (oh look, a kitty!) so I may have missed a couple of minor details in the 15 pages of assessments. But it’s sooooo satisfying to finally feel like I’m of some use again, and to get back a little of the confidence I lost back when a corporate nurse observed—and I quote—“Your work habits are pretty consistent with your diagnosis”.

Yep, I’ve come a long way, baby…..kickin’ butt and takin’ names!

Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

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