Happy Day after Thanksgiving! I had a rather odd but pleasant day. My women’s choir, the St. James Women’s Schola, (picture from last Christmas!) sings every year for the Thanksgiving morning Mass. This is a lovely event and the Cathedral is usually packed. When we arrived for practice – quelle horreur – at least five sopranos – were not there, including all of the four big guns. One was in the hospital, another was ill and had no voice, another was caring for her mother. I’m not sure about the fourth, but at any rate, she was not there. You must understand that this choir has about 22 members, so five is a huge bunch. Unfortunately, we were singing a newish chant, and it was rather difficult, I thought. It was all pretty unnerving. My friend Paul (obviously not a regular member, seeing as he is a guy) had been called in to do the solo bits, and of course he was brilliant. The rest of the rehearsal was unsettling. Jim, our director, bore it all very well, especially given that we were fairly awful, it seemed to me. Usually, the alto section is the focus of his attention, but this time, it was not so, as the sopranos were not hitting their high notes. Several altos were temporarily promoted to sopranos. Then, at the actual service – a miracle - it all went well, and the music was splendid as usual. Preise den Herrn!
Since I am a nurse, I am obliged to work a certain number of holidays, and it was my turn for Thanksgiving. Actually, don’t tell anyone, but I enjoy working on Thanksgiving. We get paid time and a half, get a free dinner, and everyone is usually in a good mood. Odd you might think, since they are working instead of being home eating, but so it is. Maybe that’s a sign that we love our jobs. No, I’m not being sarcastic. I think most of my colleagues really do love their jobs. I do, anyway. This evening, my patients were all nice, none were having crises, and all was going smoothly. The fly in the ointment was that half way through the shift I was going to have to float to another floor. Then they said I could go home if I wanted to. At first I said I didn’t, but then realized that I was not going to have my tasks finished on time to rush off to another unit, since I had just gotten an admission and he needed many things, including wound care. I didn’t want to leave all this for the next nurse, so I said I would go home, thinking I could then get all my stuff done. This patient had a gross abscess on his neck, and I had to irrigate it and put on a new dressing. I saved this for last, fortunately. I had on gown and gloves naturally, but didn’t feel that I needed a face mask. However, when I irrigated it, squirting saline into the wound, it all shot back – all over me, including in my eyes and mouth, which must have been open as it usually is – me being such a loquacious type. Yeeeeech!! I washed my face several times, getting my lab coat all wet, and reported to the nursing supervisor. I then had to go to the ER for labs and a better eye washout, etc. In the manner of emergency rooms (and me being a non-emergency), what amounted to 15 minutes of actual work, took about three hours. The fly in this ointment was that I had left my book upstairs in my backpack. About two hours into the process, I crept off and got it. This improved things immensely. By the time I actually left, it was my usual departure time, so I got paid for the whole eight hours after all. Also – they always draw labs on the patient as well as the victim, and this patient did not have any terrible diseases. Just whatever was making his neck abscess. Ugh! I don’t even want to think what that might have been. This picture, actually beach debris in Hawaii, represents some awful gram positive cocci which might have been lurking in that neck.
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