Last night I finally had to face what I have feared since starting at PCH.....a child with injuries due to a television falling on them.
I was floated to a different floor. When looking at my assignment I noticed a lot of traumatic brain injuries listed (this happens to me a lot). This always breaks my heart and I am always curious of what happened to them. I went about my daily routine, I go and get report from the nurses. The last nurse I came to starts giving me report on one of the patients. As she is giving report I asked what happened to the child and she said, "a television fell on her head" I said, "say that again" because I wasn't quite sure I understood. At this point I am holding back the strong emotions, fighting the tears and wanted to run and never look back. I immeditatly go to the breakroom because I could feel the panic and tears building. I stand there for a moment trying to figure out what to do. My mind is racing a million miles an hour. Along with feeling this way, I work in a place where I don't have a support system, no one to turn to in moments like these. That too is a terrible feeling. I try to stay focused and to breathe. The tears start to fall and I begin to breathe faster and faster. I kept thinking, "I can't do this, I can't face that room, I can't face her mother, a television, a fucking television fell on her, I hate TV's" I call a friend, no answer. I start to panic again, my mind racing on who I can call. I call another friend and she answered. I try to gather my thoughts to explain to her what I am feeling and how I am going to deal with this. The tears keep coming trying to wrap my brain around this information. I hang up with her and I try to go do my job, I can't focus, mind racing, heart pounding, tears at the surface.
Am I being tested? Should I challenge myself like I always do when I am faced with situations like this? Can I really do this? I don't think I can do this. I call another friend, my safe person, just to hear her voice.I tell her, "just 2 days ago I get a tattoo of my dead child who died from a television falling on her, and here I am faced with a child who lived from a television falling on her." We get me to a place where I can try and do my job since I have 13 other patients to care for. I go back out and start my vitals (again). As I approach her room my heart is pounding and I feel the panic. I slowly go in, I see 2 nurses and the girls mother cleaning her up. I see this beautiful child lying there with the evidence of what that stupid TV did to her. I immediatly leave the room trying to figure out what to do. After seeing her I knew I couldn't take care of her. I went to the charge nurse and started to cry, I explained to her that I can't care for that patient and why I can't. I said "I am really sorry, I tried to get myself to a point of being able to care for her, but I just can't." She understood and the nurse was able to take her.
What a roller coaster of emotion to face. Took me hours to recover (still trying to recover). It is times like this that I find myself questioning my choice to work at PCH. Why I torture myself? What it is I am trying to prove working here? Am I really meant to be here? Did I fail? I often feel like a failure when I am unable to do certain things that I challenge myself with. I did not see this challenge coming tonight. I still feel like I have failed myself and that I have failed Mckenna. I often feel that since I put myself in this situation of constantly challenging myself, that I need to suck it up and just push through the pain. Though that is nearly impossible. I am at a place where I am trying to find that balance of allowing myself to feel all while being able to function at the same time. Normally I able to push through and put my "mask" on. Tonight I was unable to push through, I was unable to face this challenge head on, I was unable to be there for her and her family. I know I need to give myself permission to be ok with this because, I went as far as I could without pushing myself over the edge and, that is enough (as my safe person would say). Though saying it was enough, doesn't always make it feel like it was enough.........
"If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you"