Monday, 4 March 2013

Hey! Old "What's Her Name " is washing her hands again.

Well I think I am finding out that there are just some days that are so routine that to keep a blog entry every day, I would just have to start making up stuff.  I am not beyond trying this, but instead, I will first try to make the mundane seem in some way interesting.  This may be a challenge.

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.

I have tried to blend back in at work. I am filling out my scrubs better than ever following my jerk chicken and Haagan Daz holiday. You have to love wearing scrubs. It is like going to work in your pajamas   I thought I was doing well being inconspicuously pale and winter-beaten, until I looked in the mirror today.  My white top enhanced my soft tan and I had worn my sunglasses on my head, all day.  It was not even sunny.

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".

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