Saturday, March 29, 2014

100 Happy Days: Week Four

The end of week 4 already! 
It's crazy how fast the time flies - I'm already a 1/4 of the way through my 100 happy days.
So far this challenge has been eye opening.
I always knew I was a positive person (with the odd downer of a day where nothing seems to go right) but wondering what picture to use every day has been tougher than I thought it would be, but only because so may things make me happy. 
Really simple things. 
A desert, the way the sun feels, the simple act of relaxing.
This week I found one day particularly challenging but at the same time not.
At work one morning this past weekend I received a call from a former patient's mother.
I had spoken many times to this woman when she would call to get updates on how her son was doing.
This patient was with us for many months before being discharged home about two months ago and while with us he had made huge advances, both physically and mentally. He went from having to be moved from his bed to his wheelchair using a ceiling lift to transferring completely independently. 
I had met him on two previous admissions and had been aware of his heavy drug use. When he came to us this last time he had been in and out the ICU for months and had been clean for that same amount of time.
And he was so grateful. 
He reconnected with his family, started saving his money towards things he'd always wanted, and made moves to lead a healthier life. 
About a week or two before his discharge, he slipped up and used.
I remember having a long conversation with him one evening where he apologized for letting me and the staff down. 
I gave him a huge hug and told him he hadn't let anyone down and reassured him that this one slip up hadn't ruined all the progress he had made. 
I gave him another huge hug the day before he left and told him to take care of himself.
I thought about him a lot after his discharge, wondering how he was doing.
Getting that call... 
I've experienced many patient's deaths, as is the nature of my job, but none have hit my the way this one did.
After I hung up with his mother, I went downstairs to light out memorial candle and wrote a quick note to him in our book.
Then I sat for a few minutes in the stairwell and cried.
With every other patient I knew they were going to die and my job was to make sure it was a comfortable, dignified final journey. 
This one wasn't expected. I mean, we all knew it would happen sooner or later as this guy had lived 9 lives, but I wasn't prepared. And he'd come so far from when I'd first met him. 
I was heartbroken. 
So P., wherever you are now, I hope you're happy and doing what you love. 
And I hope the Cowboys win the Super Bowl, just for you.
You are my happy thing this week.
I'll miss you fiercely.

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Day 22: Friday.
You've already seen the recipe.
I had a craving, and the craving was satisfied with these quick and delicious brownies.
This recipe is my go-to from now on.
Chocolate is always happiness.

Day 23: Saturday.
This may seem stupid but to me it's not.
Full fat yogurt.
For so many years I only ate the lowest of the low fat yogurt. 
In the vein of not depriving myself and not setting diet rules, I've started eating full fat yogurt and OH MY GOODNESS it's so much better.
My happy thing for Saturday was eating full fat yogurt without a single hint of regret or guilt. 
I'm still working on regular pop (though I don't think this is the best idea and I'm actually trying to drink way more water than I usually do)

Day 24: Sunday.
Sunday was the tough day at work that I (long-windedly) mentioned above, so I was in a weird state of mind.
It ended on a high note though, as the nursing student that I had worked with a few times while he regular preceptors were away got me a gift!
Her roommate's family I think owns Pillitteri winery in Niagara and she and I had talked about my love of Niagara so at the end of the shift she gave me a bottle of wine!
So lovely.

Day 25: Monday.
Day 5 of work. A busy day with lots of blood work (I'm now 4 for 4, 100% success rate with taking blood. Basically I'm a natural), vitals, assessments, etc. I was tired, especially knowing I still had one more shift to work before I had a day off. My happy moment was my evening half hour break, sitting down with my feet up and remembering that I had a Timbit in my bag. 

Day 26: Tuesday.
My last of 6 straight shifts (8 hrs-8 hrs-12 hrs-12 hrs-12 hrs-8 hrs), and I was happy it was a quick one. I bought a bottle of wine on the way home to sip while I kicked back. I took the dog for an hour long park play and I was glad to see the sun out. It's a reminder that, despite the quick snowfall we had today and how long this winter has felt, spring is coming. 
My long shadow cast on the slowly melting snow was all the reminder I needed to think happy thoughts of spring. 
Day 27: Wednesday.
I did a whole lot of nothing and then cleaned part of the apartment.
Then finally painted my nails with my new top coat.
I also drank wine on the couch and made a nice dinner and just... relaxed.

Day 28: Thursday.
Not quite a day off, but I worked an 8 hour night shift so I had until 10:15 pm to hang out before I had to head ot work.
I slept in with this lazy cuddler who felt it was no big deal to spread out across my side of the bed while we watched some Parks and Rec before we went to the park.

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