It's been five days since I last left the city limits and I'm still not tired of home. The long rest has been punctuated with occasional bursts of dishwashing, reading, lounging with cats, and nursing skills practice. I worked on chest tubes this week.
People say there are no stupid questions, until you ask one. At work I pumped the nurses for information on setting up and maintaining chest tubes. Clint, a long time cardiac nurse I have worked with for three years, explained that you carefully fill the suction control chamber of the chest tube unit with sterile water.
"Wait, " I said, "do you fill it with water before or after you connect it to the patient?"
Clint blinked and stared at me. Then he said, a little slower, "Well, if you wait until after you connect it to the patient, then it will suck all the air out of the patient's lung and collapse it, which is exactly what a chest tube is supposed to prevent from happening."
Clint has continued to speak slowly and use small words for me all week.
I also went to go get my nails done, because clinicals start next week and then heaven knows how long it will be before I notice my nails again. The nail lady I usually go to asks me every time she meets me whether I have kids. I apparently just don't stick in her mind even though I've been coming there a year. She's Vietnamese, so maybe we all look alike. Anyway, when I said, this time, that no, I don't have any kids, she startled me with the following exchange:
Her: "How long you been married?"
Me: "Oh, about four years."
Her: "That's a long time! And still no kids?"
Me: "Uh, no."
Her: (Without a trace of detectable humor) "Oh, well. Maybe tonight."