Back From Vacation

 I was back on the road today after a week-and-a-half vacation. One of the nice things about vacation was not having to drive thirty or forty miles everyday. I drove when I wanted and stayed home when I felt like it. Very nice.

Today was a beautiful day and I was feeling well-rested and ready to get back into the swing of things. I passed a thermometer on a bank as I drove to work. It read 64 degrees. I wore a short sleeve top and didn’t bother to bring a sweater knowing it would warm up as the day passed.

I arrived at work one-half hour early so I would have time to go through my paperwork and get report on my patients. The pile of papers in my “in box” wasn’t too bad and I got through them rather quickly. Nurses who saw my patients while I was away left me written reports on their status. Most of my patients remained stable although there was one that now needed daily wound care because a blister she had broke and was raw and oozing. I had a voice mail message from a daughter of one of my patients requesting that I see her mom since she had fallen two days ago and had a skin tear on her elbow. It looked like I was going to have a busy day. That was okay. I was feeling good!

There was one patient that I wasn’t going to see today or actually ever again. Usually I saw him on Monday’s but he hadn’t been home for awhile. After falling at home, he entered rehab and didn’t do very well there. He just lost his spirit. Home was where he wanted to be and no amount of encouragement could make him accept the fact that he needed to be in-patient for at least 6-8 weeks. He never made it home. He died while I was on vacation and I went to his wake to say my last good-bye.

I noticed alot of goldenrod along the roadside. Some homes already had fall wreaths on their front door. The leaves are still green though and when the day gets its warmest, it is hard to remember that it is September and not the beginning of summer.

When I’m on the road, I have a small collection of snacks next to me. I’m not one to give in to the temptation of stopping at any number of fast food places that dot my route around town. Instead, I bring a few things to munch on. Last week when I was on vacation I went to “Whole Foods”. I found a big container of dried green beans that really seemed ideal for my daily snack. The green beans are crunchy, slightly salty, and easy to munch on while driving. I carry a bottle of water to sip on. Sometimes I have bags of dried almonds. I’ve even made my own trail mix with dried almonds, sunflower seeds, and dried cranberries.

The day flew by. My failing 92 year old woman seemed frailer and more lethargic than ever. I did wound care on two of my patients. My COPD patient required a call to her doctor to report a side effect to one of her medications she was having. One of my patients was doing just great and that made me feel terrific.

A few clouds moved in by the end of my work day but the air was still very comfortable. Maybe it will rain tomorrow. That wouldn’t be so bad since we have had outstanding weather for about a week. I logged in 38.2 miles today. And even though I went into work a half-hour early and left an hour late, I still feel the vacation spirit. I’m hoping that feeling will last at least one more day. Wouldn’t that be great!!

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