I don't know that I've worked at the hospital on a Monday before, so I don't know if today was a normal Monday or an unusually busy Monday.
I arrived 15 minutes early, in time to log in in the Volunteers' room and then stop by the cafeteria to get some water. I've overcome my nervousness about the cafeteria, which was really ridiculous. I have now had lunch there once and when I discovered I could get a 20 oz cup of water with ice, I was delighted. I manage to polish off 2 of those babies during the course of my 4 hour shift.
I relieved the woman who was working the morning shift and settled in. Finally, the girl who has been sitting there staring at me for the last three times I worked is back at her own station again, fully recovered from whatever prevented her from doing her normal work. She was a lovely woman, but we just sat there for four hours and looked at each other. Once we'd exchanged personal information there didn't seem to be anywhere to go with conversation. I felt rude reading while she was there, so mostly we just sat there trying to look everywhere but at each other. She did escort patients around the building for me, and deliver flowers and newspapers, but mostly we sat uncomfortably and stared at each other....or tried to find somewhere else to stare.
But she's gone, so it was just me and I was able to make a dent in my Bill Bryson book.
But it was also busy. I had two phone calls almost immediately, trying to reach the surgery department. I'm not up to speed yet with where to find all the information and when I tried to transfer someone to the proper extension, it didn't work. Must learn how to do that.
A lovely bouquet of flowers arrived and I delivered them upstairs to a nice 93 year old woman, who sent them away to the "dining room."
The hospital is in the middle of putting in new flooring everywhere and there was a committee meeting of about 10 people, including a security guard in the lobby.
It seemed that everywhere I went, I encountered this same group, whether downstairs or upstairs when I went to deliver the flowers. They had samples of different floorings and a guy sounding like someone on the overnight informercial TV shows explaining the good and bad properties of each one.
We had two babies born today. It's always a little bit of a surprise to hear the lullaby over the loudspeaker. It takes a minute to realize it's an announcement of a birth and not someone's cell phone ring.
When I first arrived in the morning, I checked the patient list of who was in the hospital. I do this for two reasons...one is to make sure the printed list is up to date with the computer list and the other is to see if there is anybody I know in the hospital. (There is also a third reason -- to see how many people my age are in the hospital) Today was the second or third time I've found a familiar name, but with all the HIPAA regulations, I'm never sure if it's OK to mention that so-and-so is in the hospital, so I don't.
Today it was a long-time friend whose room was in the pod next to the 93 year old woman to whom I delivered flowers. There is this neat set up for this small hospital where you go down a corridor and the patients are and off to the left in a "pod" of four rooms, and a nurse's station with a computer. So I guess the deal is that there is a nurse for every four rooms and it doesn't have quite the feel of hospitals that we are accustomed to. I didn't stop by to see our friend because I didn't know how serious his condition was, or whether I would be interrupting.
Fortunately, his wife arrived later in the afternoon and gave me the low down on how long he'd been there and what was going to happen next.
When I left the hospital at 4:30, I stopped by the store to pick up dog food and decided to get some Chinese food for dinner. For some reason, my body ached everywhere. It was like I had been struck with instant arthritis. All of my joints were sore. My back hurt, my hips hurt, my fingers hurt, my neck hurt, my leg bones hurt, my toes hurt. It was the weirdest thing. I took some Aleve when I got home and that helped a bit, but all I wanted to do was lie down, so I didn't even watch the end of NCIS-LA.
Fortunately, when I woke up at 2 a.m. (having had my normal four hours of sleep), the pains were gone and I was back to normal again (and I watched the end of NCIS-LA).