I'm sweating. Yes, it's hot. Even now after midnight, it's hot and I am not made for desert heat. I'm also not made for the medical arena, but here I am in the middle of both- the desert AND Julius' medical care. I'm light headed and don't breathe well with either environment. My boy is now a young adult and "graduated" from his pediatric trach to an adult trach tonight. When I opened the sterile package with the new trach I felt dizzy. "THAT'S gotta go into my son's neck!" Thankfully, I did not say this out loud. Jules watches intensely during these times. He's so vulnerable and knows it. Caught by surprise, I did say, "Wow, it's big!" (Stay on track here. We are talking medicine not......and size does matter in this case.) Oooops, Julius became anxious and I realized I should not have said that out loud so I attempted to down play my fear for the noticeably larger tube that was about to go into his neck and I said stuff like, "You are a young man now," and "It should make you more comfortable with your breathing," and "it's softer than the Shiley so it should feel better once you get used to it." I was clearly trying to make myself feel better about it as well. As usual, he was onto me and my squeamishness. He knows I was never cut out for this. We both got our bearings.
It occurred to me recently, that if I weren't so light-headed when it comes to bodily cuts, needles, blood and such I would be an amazing brain surgeon. Uh huh. At least with the brain, there would be little blood to manage, right? Seriously tho, besides being fascinated with neurology, I have excellent steadiness, asymmetry balance and can use both my hands together or apart as necessary. (Right hand pulls out old trach, Left hand slips new trach into position. Right hand is non-sterile. Left hand is sterile. Right hand manages trach ties. Left hand removes opterator.) This is why the foreman at General Motors made me a floater on the assembly lines when I was fresh out of high school. I could do all the jobs without shutting the line down.
Back to the point- we've had our share of nurses who cannot manipulate both hands together or individually very well. Sometimes, you must use only one hand if the other hand has another job. Sometimes, you must use your non-dominant hand to do fine motor skill. From my experience, men more often have a difficult time with this than women. Sorry, but it's just plain true. Every male nurse we've had simply lacked fine motor skill with their non-dominant hands. And every male nurse we've had could only do one thing at a time. (Bite my tongue.) Julius often requires both trach suction and oral suction together- It's dreadful to watch someone who cannot manage these overlapping tasks. So there I am, demonstrating, yet again, how to manage both without wasting the catheter or cross contaminating the suction tips. I'm not as patient as I was once. NOPE. I was definitely not cut out for the medical field, but when you love someone- REALLY love someone- you do what it takes. You stretch your awareness and ability. You bite your tongue when necessary. And you know, without hesitation, that that person would do the same for you because honest love is cyclical. Anybody who is fortunate enough to get this level of the L word, in whatever form it takes, understands that it's not so far-fetched to feel like you could be a brain surgeon......or an important artist.......
It's calm now and I'm alone and I like it. There is a breeze coming through the house. Both kids are asleep. A few more suction catheters to paint in the studio before I go to bed. 10mm to the tip. Hang them to dry. The medical is art and that is how it settles best for me, whether or not anyone ever sees this as important.