For the first time in five years, I got recalled the other night. We'd had ten inches of rain in about four hours, atop already-saturated ground, and the hospital was short staffed. There were folks who simply couldn't make it to the building.
So the night supervisor started calling people from the day shift to see if they'd want to come in and work all night, then be off the next day. The recall, thankfully, was optional for people who'd already worked that day, as I had.
It had taken me an hour and a half to get home. The streets around the hospital were flooded. The major arteries in the city were flooded. They were pulling people out of their cars in high water near the party section of town. The frigging *highway* was flooded. As in, all the way home, a drive of about thirty-eight miles, I wondered if I would make it or end up flooded out like the countless cars I saw awash on the shoulder.
I did not go back in.
In other news, a patient I had cared for a couple of years ago walked in early last week to say hi. This was news because, the last time I saw her, she was going somewhere else for experimental treatment of some bizarre cancer I'd never heard of before and haven't seen since. After two years of chemo and radiation and removal and replacement of various bits of her spine, she's in remission and doing well.
The last time I saw her, I was loading her on to an ambulance stretcher from a Roto-Bed. (That's a bed that moves horizontally and vertically on its axis to keep a person who can't move from getting bedsores.) She was completely unable to move, barely able to breathe. The only thing alive about her were her eyes and her masses of gorgeous black hair.
The hair's gone, thanks to the treatment, but her eyes are the same. And she was able to hug me, tightly, when before she couldn't move her arms.
I don't normally cry at work. I *certainly* don't cry at work where other people can see me. I broke those rules when I recognized her.
Finally, I close on The House today. In about an hour and forty minutes. No, make that an hour and thirty-eight minutes. Thirty-seven. Not like I'm nervy about it, or anything. The entire process has been remarkably pain-free; I was expecting something like the soul-crushing, life-eating experience Chef Boy had in buying his first house.
The only screwup so far has been minor, and will result in me being a little late to my own closing. Like a bride who's late to her own funeral, I'm not concerned--I figure they can't start without me, so why worry?
This blog will be changing after I take posession of the house. I'll be so obsessed with wiring, insulation, paint colors, mortar, and wall tile that I'll have to abandon my usual set of metaphors and go to a new set--one that describes patients' conditions in terms of building materials.