I have returned to work. I wasn't sure what not working would feel like. I actually didn't mind it a bit. Getting back was not a chore though, just a reality, like snow.
I work at 2 different hospitals. I work in the field of pulmonary medicine. That means lungs to most of us. I test and I teach. In Orangeville, it is very "home town" as most people are either local or friends with people who are local. I usually find something in common with many of my patients. This can be good. This can be not so good. Regardless, I have had some of the best conversations. I meet interesting people everyday. I get advice routinely on finances, real estate, parenting, travel destinations and I get a ton of wisdom from my patients of significant years. I find this the most valuable part of my job.
In Mississauga, I provide formal Asthma Education. Again, very interesting, but mostly to me. My goal has always been that my patients leave with an awareness of at least 1 thing they did not already know. I, in turn, usually end up with at least 1 thing I did not already know. I think it is a fair trade.
The transition back to work after such a long "sabbatical" (my word to pretend I was doing something scholarly), has been pretty smooth. Many people had no idea that I was away. This I find somewhat worrisome. Some others, who realized I was away, assumed that a woman of my age on an extended leave meant that there was a health concern to which I needed to attend. That was a bit of a sad realization, but it is also a comment on the unfortunate circumstances that have affected many of those I love and the families of those I love. I have been fortunate. Some have not.
One of the most effective policies at all hospitals is the "Hand Hygiene" focus. I wash my hands so many times a day, my fingernails have fallen off. One section of this policy mandates that no rings or watches may be worn. As some of you know, I am very time-challenged, so this can be tough. I don't want to be late. I wish I knew how to be on time. I was called "Snail on the Gallop" as a toddler. I never got to school for "Oh Canada", I was dragged to high school by a dear friend who insisted I leave the house even if my hair was only curled on one side. Even as an adult I was referred to as "Pokey". A team of people work round the clock to ensure my patients don't wait too long. This "no watch" thing is not helping my punctuality.
However the "no hand jewelry" policy I find liberating. I strut around waving my bare finger, like a young, single chick. As I said though, no one really new I was missing. Those who did, were heard to be whispering, "wow that spinster is looking a bit jaundiced".
Today I arrived at the hospital to a knew campaign for hand hygiene.
I wondered if he wanted me to wash my hands before or after I gave him the "high five".