Saturday, August 27, 2005

nibbling at the edges

it has been a very bad week.

most of last night was spent pondering whether i should quit my job. which i love. and no, there isn't something i would do instead. this is my calling. but i am starting to wonder if i will ever get back to where i was performance-wise before the accident. the week was insanely tough, my shortest day at the hospital was 12 hours, all running. no sitting, no eating, no peeing. and that doesn't count or consider time mentally working through cases at home or pages through the night.

i missed an error made by someone i was supervising Monday. i never do that and i cannot afford to start.

then Wednesday i had to euthanize a dog. it was the right call. we had done everything we could and were no closer to stabilizing Cindy, and she was starting to enter the realm of potential suffering. Cindy's Mom made the call and i supported her. the euthanasia was very peaceful for both Cindy and her owner.

that said, it was a disaster for me. it is only the third euthanasia i have performed since my return. all have been the same. after, i had a severe fight or flight response-- you know, like when you were just in a car wreck--sick to the stomach, got the shakes, couldn't breathe. this is an unexpected bit of fallout from the spring and, for me, is a big problem. given the severity of disease associated with my specialty, i lose or euthanize a lot of animals. if i am a teary mess beforehand and have to throw up after, how can i do my job?

then there is all the other stuff that piled on this week. stuff i can barely recall now or don't care to recall, but all of which contributed to a horrible horrible week. i haven't been eating, at all really. [Call Nova.] my skin is scratchy on my nerves. my sleep is clouded by demons on good nights.

last night after sitting on the couch for 3 hours, i went walking. walked about 2 hours, cross-tracing the streets of Old Town. the 'kids' are back--university has restarted. watched them swirl and break like foam on the surf. watched a large (~30) caravan of students on bikes, no lights, take a corner without signaling and narrowly avoided losing a member of the group to a SUV. wondered if i ever felt that immortal, that privileged.

spent 30 minutes on a swing, swinging like when i was a kid and was just certain you could spin over the top if only you could go fast enough.

this morning is a little better. just a little. but i still haven't answered any of my questions.

i wonder how i will round the corner to face my sadness and anger, to even see it clearly. i fear i will fail those above me, fail myself, and be forced to let go of this vocation that i love so much. i don't know how to do any more, to do any different. all i can do--can think to do--is walk, drink my lattes, sit quietly and wait, hope, and breathe. hopefully, this nibbling at the edges will eventually be enough.

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