Sunday, April 10, 2011

Vibe of the Week

I tend to give my heart's worth of work. (Butterfly Iron work, April 2011)

One time, while on duty this week, I ended up taking my time making notes at the nurses’ station. I had just come from a harrowing (well, in my case anyway) 2 hour talk with four of my patients in the wards.  As much as I enjoy hearing stories, I sometimes need to take a break to recharge. I don’t know if it’s just me (or that I keep thinking about it), but talking to patients for long periods takes something from you.

A little of your “vital energy” gets sapped. I suppose it’s because this kind of listening and interacting takes time, and effort, and concurrent care. You have to make a conscious effort to remember detail, and put it away in memory…so when you have to get back to the books, or consult someone about it, you can pull it out easy and infer a great deal out of it.
Caring about the other person also helps… (Although I’m not saying a good set of notes don’t.)
Chatting up the nurses there was a reprieve of sorts. Sir John B had on his cool playlist, which I checked after I recognized on as The Script’s Breakeven, one of my favorites. 

We got to talking about music, and in the end, I got invited to his band’s gig in the weekend. He’s a cool, all-around guy, with varied interests. He’s married, but he and his wife don’t have a kid yet, so I presumed that was pretty much why he had time to dabble in many things; photography, music, gadgets, even Photoshop.

The other nurse on duty at the time, Sir Ken was also of a different sort. He was also a musician, but classically trained…and he liked crystals. A lot.

He kept his stones in a mint-green chamois bag which he took out later in the shift, and wore on his right wrist. They were huge and chunky, and pointy. One was made of glass-like quartz, and then the other was tourmaline. I turned it over and checked it out, and asked him jokingly, “Would you happen to have some rose quartz there, sir?”

(Rose quartz is supposed to draw love to the wearer.)

His eyebrows shot up, and he went, “Oh, so you know about this too, Ma’am?”

“Nah, not really…I just know about some.” I said.

And we discussed a variety of topics from Gem stones, chakras and which started on Wicca, but was cut short because I received a call from the ER, regarding a patient that needed meds.


Earlier, while I was writing down my notes, he just casually pointed out to me something, “You know what Ma’am, I think, that you use a lot more of your heart than most of the other psychiatrists I’ve seen here. There are two things that could happen… you could either have compassion fatigue, or…worse, you could suffer from a burn-out”.

Time is my friend. (Talisay, Batangas, April 2011)
“What’s the difference?” I asked.

“Well, compassion fatigue  is when you get tired of caring, and then everything all becomes routine, and then you just stop caring…” he said. “On the other hand, if you use your heart too often, and just keep giving and giving, until you can’t give anymore, you run the risk of giving away all of yourself…”

(That got me to thinking. It was something I will probably have to deal with, later, considering I have the tendency to.)


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