Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Last week, after I worked a charge shift at the hospital, I came home and felt incapable of making decisions.  Noah kept pressing me to give my opinion on something and I just couldn't do it.

For the most part I am not a bad decision maker.  There are certain kinds of decisions (most involving lots of money) that I struggle with more than others, but for the most part I am fairly decisive.  Noah is not a great decision maker.  Not in the sense that he comes to disasterous conclusions, but more just that he tends to keep pushing them off until they decide themselves (or I decide).  Because of that, I make a lot of decisions around the house.  I also make a lot of decisions about the children, since I am the adult that is in charge of them all day long.  I decide when naps happen (or don't), who goes outside when, who eats what and when, what school work belongs on what day and it just goes on and on.

Since Everyn has been born it seems to have gotten worse.  Part of it is just adding in another person to be responsible for, and part of it is that the boys are growing up.  Now I am not just making decisions for them, I am trying either a) to convince them that my decisions are really in their best interests or b) guiding them to make their own decisions.  Both of those things require much more stamina then simply deciding whether to take my preschoolers to the zoo or the park (those were the days!)

I could feel the decisions wearing on me, and then I went back to work.

I work in the Medical Intensive Care Unit and I usually  have a 2 patient assignment.  Sometimes I float to other ICUs and/or general care floors.  Once again, nursing is full of constant decision making.  Do I hold this med or not?  Is it time to call the MD?  Do I titrate the gtt up or wait?  And just like at home, a lot of these decisions are automatic, and don't induce a lot of stress because they don't even feel like decisions anymore.  But the sheer bulk of them can take a toll.  It is like your brain is always turned on, working, exploring all the angles.

Maybe that is why last night I had a dream in which Berean and I were watching an Elephant (who was behind a fence) and then he jumped over the fence and was free.  Have you ever seen an Elephant jump over a tall fence?  It was pretty awesome.

But I digress.

Sometimes (once a month or so- sometimes more, depending on vacations) I fill in as the charge nurse over 36 beds.  I don't have a "core" charge nurse position.  At times I think I would like that, but those positions are not granted on a part time basis, so I just fill in.  Last week was my first night doing it since I came back. Talk about decision making!  Staffing decisions, acuity decisions, decisions about moving patients - it was a lot of decisions.

Then I get home from work and the boys had tons of questions- "Can we do this?"  "Can we do that?" "Can we eat this?"  "Can we eat that?"  It just accumulates until it is too much and I feel like I need to be alone in a decision free environment.  I am glad that I don't always work charge, I don't think my brain could take it!

Anyone else feel like they are always making decisions?  Is it stressful?  Or is it just me?


Thia said...

Yes. No. I don't know. Ok, seriously? Absolutely YES!

Grandma Debbie said...

Do I comment on this post or not? :)

My toughest decisions seem to revolve around priorities. There's not time to do it all. What should I do first? What can be left undone - at least for right now?