Well, let's see… August and September are mere memories; I feel as if I missed them completely. My entire life has been a hectic whirlwind recently. I have always anticipated the romantic chill of Fall, the gold and merlot hues of Autumn's dress. Unfortunately, fate has not been very kind recently, and I haven't had the opportunity to enjoy the season. Without going into it all (right now, anyway), I'll just spew forth the major details…
After a very brief escape to the Carolina coast, classes began again on August 27th. I haven't had a relaxing day since. This is the most hectic semester of my 8-year college career. I have research projects coming out of my proverbial arse, and although the end is in sight, the vision is too distorted and cloudy to be of any comfort. My grades are good, however. That's something, I suppose. I am not oblivious to the fact that I've always been somewhat intellectually vain.
Matters get worse…
My dad was diagnosed with end stage cirrhosis of the liver the weekend before classes began. He called me up on a Tuesday afternoon and just said it: "I have some bad news. My liver is shutting down. I have 12 months or so to live." Within two weeks of that statement, he had hepatic encephalopathy so severe that he didn't even know me anymore. He is now in a skilled nursing facility and requires 24 hour care. Needless to say, the entire scenario does some serious sucking. My dad will be 68 years-old on December 6. God only knows if he will be aware of it or not, or even if he'll be here at all. The prospect of losing my husband and father within a 5 year period is somewhat sobering; I have felt rather abandoned these past few weeks.
I am not alone, however, and I realize that. I am lucky to have a clan of supportive family and friends; the phone never goes a day without ringing atleast 5 times. I don't always answer, though. Not only do I have loads of projects to finish, but as always, I appreciate my solitude. Although the well wishings and visits or calls of support are often nice, I simply don't want to hear them all the time. Life isn't always milk and honey. Shit happens, or so they say. If you cry on a shoulder long enough, it becomes a wet, snotty mess. I don't want that.
The biggest surprise of the season is the fact that I began the dreaded pediatric rotation that I vehemently spoke of all summer. I dreaded working with kids and young people and assumed that I would loathe every moment of it. It surprises me even now to admit it, but I have grown to love peds and I'm even considering specializing in it. I still don't understand the logistics of my fondness of it. My two favorite areas of nursing thus far are oncology….and pediatrics. Perhaps I'll specialize in pediatric oncology. Wouldn't that be a kick in the pants.
And so, here it is, a rainy Friday afternoon spent lamenting the past, cursing the present, and hoping for the future. It's odd, but that seems to be the human way. Everyone's way. Whether we like it or not.