Thursday, February 24, 2011

My moment of silence

Most of us have times when words fail and silence ensues. There are awkward silences and content silences and angry silences. And Camber silences.

My silences happen when too much goes through my brain for my mouth to convert into coherent English expression.

Like when a patient asks me how long I've been married.

Four years.


Not yet.

You guys are so smart to wait to have children until you have more money and have your career established.


What I want to say is, actually, you're wrong, we're not waiting at all. This may surprise you, but 20-25% of all couples will have problems at some point in bringing the old stork around to visit. We are one of them. I want to explain about how yes, we've been to the doctors, and no, I'm not exactly interested in hearing that so-and-so adopted and that made them get pregnant right away or that so-and-so just stopped stressing about getting pregnant and then got pregnant, or that I should just be glad to have time to myself for now before I have kids and it ruins my life and my marriage. I want to tell you all about the agony of hoping each month, of knowing that this month it's really going to happen and then learning that it's not. I want you to understand but I don't want you to drown me in sympathy, nor tell me last when someone you know gets pregnant. I want you to tell me that having kids is wonderful, and that it's worth it--all of it. I want to tell you everything so we can understand each other. So you please, please won't think that I'm a selfish person who hates babies.

I think all this in my brain, but by the time it reaches my mouth it's turned into "Ummmm..."

And a little more silence while I scramble to change the subject to painkillers.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Great Blizzard of 2011

We survived our first Iowa blizzard.

Our Parking Lot
Our Car

Clearing Our Walkway

Moving here, I thought snowstorms like this one were par for the course--I expected a couple giant storms a year. Turns out, this one was kind of a big deal.

Here's the problem: nurses don't get snow days. I thought about bemoaning that fact, but the truth is some great things came of the day:

I woke up to our parking lot deep with snow and the buses cancelled indefinitely. Now, there are a finite number of ways to transport myself from my apartment to the hospital 2.2 miles away. In fact, there are four: drive, bike, bus, or walk. The first three were effectively annihilated by the unreasonably high mounds of snow. I therefore, burdened with the guilt of sick patients and stranded coworkers, was motivated into employing method #4 of getting to work: walking through some rather deep snow. 2.2 miles of it. A blessing: some poor soul had walked most of the path before me, making the going much easier for yours truly. Thanks, whoever you are.

0.2 miles from the hospital, some good samaritans in an SUV gave me a ride the rest of the way. Thanks, mother of a baby in the NICU.

Somewhere along the way, I realized I'd forgotten my shoes. The only footwear I had available to me were Isaac's snow boots, two sizes too big.


A coworker lent me her shoes, just my size. Thanks, Becky.

That night, Isaac shoveled the car out to come get me so I didn't have to walk back home. Thanks, dear.

I came home to find our parking lot plowed and all the sidewalks shoveled. Meaning someone else out there also had to work on a snow day. Thanks, shovel man.

I'm positive that I'd rather be a nurse than the shovel man.