There’s nothing better than racing through the last few sentences of a New Yorker magazine right as your train rolls into 7th Ave and triumphantly tossing it into the recycling on the way home. It feels so satisfying to have your subway trip and reading align perfectly.
I just experienced the career equivalent of this. As 2014 rolled to a close I scrambled to get a new job and on Christmas Eve I received the call that I will indeed be starting a new job in 2015 in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
Last Sunday was my last day at my old job. We had pizza and cupcakes in the nurses’ lounge and when they sang “For she’s a jolly good fellow,” I blushed away because I’m not used to being the center of attention for a group sing-along (triplets, thankfully, get to share “Happy Birthday”).
Always a fan of the “Irish Exit,” I was not looking forward to saying goodbye to my kids and co-workers. Thankfully, our census was low so I didn’t have to feel like I was leaving behind too many kids. (Given that some kids are on the unit for 5+ months, you get to know them pretty well.)
Because I officially “graduated” from my first adult job, Laura cooked up a feast: homemade butternut squash soup with sour cream and roasted pumpkin seeds, kale salad, and quinoa salad with roasted vegetables.
When you eat a meal with that many vegetables you get to eat three desserts: homemade chocolate-covered cake balls, cranberry cake, and ice cream. It was the perfect balance. At dinner Laura asked me which patient I’ll miss the most and immediately I thought of all our kids with spinal cord injuries (SCI). For some reason every kid we’ve had that has come in either as a quadriplegic or a paraplegic has been very special. You’d almost think that only really awesome kids get SCIs.
I would have assumed that any 10, 15, or 18 year old that has been paralyzed by a stray bullet, car accident or surfing accident would spend their days crying and/or lashing out at everyone around them who can walk about freely.
For some reason these kids are so fun to be around. They’ve all been full of personality. One taught himself how to play the piano on a keyboard propped up on his wheelchair arm rests and one covered her room in art that she created. And all of them laugh, joke around more and complain less than most people. They are one of the many reasons why pediatrics is the absolute best and why I couldn’t imagine working in another field.