I Am Tired of Living Through This

Will started working last week. It’s a little bit of a big deal because he worked at the same hospital for almost 20 years. This was a big change. New people. New electronic medical record. Even new IV start kits.

That’s something that people outside of nursing may not know. That when you move from one hospital to another, the charting system can be totally different. I don’t know if that happens in other jobs. I mean, microsoft word and Excel stay the same from place to place. But for nurses, everything you click on looks different. And charting is like 40% of our work.

I’ve been working at home still. We’ve been busy too. My work from home job involves reading a lot of medical records and typing up summaries about people’s cancer. It’s a lot of reading and writing mostly. With a side of worrying. I never was like that before. Maybe because most of my work has been with leukemia and lymphoma, more rare occurrences. Now I am reading about people’s melanoma, breast and colon cancers. And all of the stories are “was in their usual state of health until abdominal pain and constipation.” I know, it’s totally vague. Lots of these start off seemingly benign sounding, and then it turns out they have a malignancy. Like back pain or something and then they already have mets.

I’m glad to be at home during this covid time. Every day we hear about someone else we know who had it. Is that the same for everyone else? But I know it means I am not a priority for vaccines. My husband will probably get one soon but who knows when I will. Maybe summer? I haven’t heard an exact time line beyond healthcare personnel and there seem to be a lot of logistics with that much vaccination.

Lately on my mind is how long should we stay here? What if I can’t go to Canada? Should we go somewhere else? How long do I stay at this job? But mostly, I am tired of living in a pandemic. I am tired of the enormity of it. All of the things add up. The vigilance, the distance from people, the worry about your own health and your family’s, the economic cost, the sheer amount of loss we are all enduring…it’s just so heavy. Most days I am lucky enough to keep it as background noise. But sometimes, if I think too long on it, it feels so exhausting.

I also keep thinking, is this how the roaring 20s happened? They came off of WWI and a pandemic and just let loose. Will that happen to us too?