During a sleep study last year, I was in the charge of a nurse named Pat who has so many interesting stories to tell, I urged her to write them down. As I was leaving at dawn, she stopped me at the door and handed me a lined sheet from a yellow legal pad – with notes for the first story she would write. It occurs to me this was her only copy.
Delinquently, I am atoning for this. I’ll type it here and return the original to Pat:
People think about all the joy and happiness that come with the birth of a baby. The majority of the time, they are correct. However, obstetrics is in its own special section of medicine with both tragedy and comedy. You can and do reach those peaks of joy with the uncomplicated birth of a new baby. At the other end of the spectrum, the one that is the valley, the tragic outcomes of what should be a joyous event are the ones that make a person ask, “Why am I doing this job?”
As with the regular ER, you just don’t know how the day will go. Could be the routine, every-day aches, pains and sniffles, or the “Drop everything! We have an emergency!”
These are the stories of both of those times, the joyous, the funny, the tragic–because you just don’t know what’s coming through the doors next!
Next up: The Stories from Pat, the former OB nurse, now working the more peaceful night shift of Sleep Study. (She’s earned it.) First, I have to reconnect with Pat.