Friday, September 6, 2013

Today was a good day to run...

Turns out today was a good day to run.

I was worried.

Last night I went to bed with a tweaked knee.

That's what will happen when you have to move a 396.7 lb patient that refuses to even attempt to assist, all by your lonesome.  How does something like that happen?  Well, aside from the lack of impulse control and personal responsibility that allows somebody to become 400 lbs in the first place (and subsequently experience all the health conditions that come along with being morbidly obese), when your unit is 2 complete nurses below proper staffing levels, there just isn't anyone to help.  Add one part unfair impatience and over demanding ignorance on the part of the patient and family, and yours truly is set up for an injury.

So yes, I did single handedly move 400 lbs of dead weight.  (I don't have superhero strength, I'm just a nurse.)  And I sure did limp out of the room with a tweaked knee.

Two months ago I would have chalked it up to a normal day at work and gone on without complaint.  But yesterday, I ended up limping directly to the break room to compose myself.

You see, there was this despair that welled up inside me.  What if it was a permanent injury?  What would happen to all the progress that I've made?  Would my new found love for running simply go to the wayside? 

And then came the anger.  Anger at administration that continually puts patient safety, my safety, my license and livelihood on the line, day after day.  I mean, if something untoward happened, I'd be hung out dry; left holding the bag while the hospital churned on, business as usual.  How unfair.

Then, most concerning, came the contempt.  Contempt for the patient in the bed that allowed himself to get in that condition.  For demanding so much of others when he's obviously unwilling to hold himself to the same standard.

But as a nurse, I am not afforded the luxury of being judgmental.  I am good at what I do because I remain impartial--a champion for the needs of the patient.  I am to be the patient's biggest (and often only) advocate in navigating the frightful healthcare system we have in this country.

So yeah.  Not a red letter day for me.

(Wow, sorry.  Didn't expect for all that to come boiling over.)

This morning I woke up gratefully and thankfully pain and tweak free.

I had planned an interval workout for today, and since by 9 am it was already 90* out, I opted for the treadmill.  Actually intervals on the treadmill make a lot of sense for me since it offers complete control over pace, distance, and time.

I ended up running 1/4 mile @11:30 pace, then 1/4 mile @9:40 pace, alternating back and forth (as intervals are apt to do) for 3 miles.  Then, as I was ending on a fast interval, I just continued on to complete the 5k since that's the distance on my mind these days.  So I ended up 3.11 miles in 32:41--a perfectly snappy time for me.

At the end I felt spent, but not obliterated.  And, of course, basking in that immediate post-run glow.  All the despair, anger, and contempt from yesterday was left splattered in sweaty drops on the treadmill, and wiped away with a handi-wipe.

Today was a good day to run.