I am hearing John Lennon’s song, A Happy Christmas, but I’m having a hard time feeling the music or the sentiment. I wonder how many people are of the same sentiment. I’ve been fighting these feelings to no avail. Perhaps it’s time to stop fighting and I mean it literally and just do the right thing. Even Sheba looks sad as Santa Claus.
So, I give up gritting and gnashing my teeth. I get up and down a pain killer along with my blood pressure pill and vitamin Ds. No point in suffering and being a hero. I’ve been trying to make a simple batch of biscuits for the last two days. The first time, I put in a tablespoon of baking soda instead of a tablespoon of granulated sugar.
How the hell did that happened? Don’t think that it couldn’t happen to you. Never say never, because even though I was reading granulated sugar, my brain saw baking soda. And I never caught the mistake till I’ve already added the milk. So hoping against hope, I added the missed tablespoon of sugar, formed the biscuits and popped them in the oven.
They came out of the oven puffy and golden, but with a very bitter after taste. Well, what do you figure? The recipe already called for 4 teaspoon of baking powder. It didn’t need an extra tablespoon of baking soda! Very big sigh. Mistakes are apt to happen when one is tired or under the weather.
This reminds me of a time very early in my nursing career. Well, I’ve never forgotten it. It is always just barely beneath the surface of my mind, ready to pop out. I was working a set of nights and made a medication error. Much like my reading of the biscuit recipe, even though my eyes was reading codeine syrup, my brain was saying morphine syrup. Even though I had to look and look at the label and calculate the dosage each time during the night, my brain told me it was morphine syrup instead of what it actually was.
The incident has taught me not to swear by my memory or my other senses. Sometimes we are wrong even though we swear that we couldn’t be. And kindness can come from strange places, like from the patient at the receiving end of my error. Doctors make mistakes, too! She comforts me, though she had received less than adequate pain relief because of me.
And from my manager at the time, a visit to her office and a typewritten list of all my inadequacies, at the time when my patient load for those nights was 25. None of my coworkers spoke of it to me, except the one who discovered the error. She felt so sorry for me. Sometimes one’s universe can be such a silent empty place. You can almost hear the echo of one hand clapping.
That was the hardest summer of my life. It happened in July. I felt I had no one to talk to. I learned to journal, talk into a tape recorder……all these memories, triggered again by the nurse who was duped by those two broadcasters from Australia into thinking it was the Queen calling and forwarded the call. I can understand how upsetting it would be to make such a mistake… well, maybe just a little. Her mistake was broadcasted worldwide.
The sun has come out. Time to move on with life. My Tylenol 3 is working. I’m feeling more comfortable. And oh, on my second try at the biscuits, I forgot the salt. They didn’t look as nice as the bitter ones, but they tasted much better. I even fed them to a guest and got praised!
I’m a much stronger person/nurse now. Mistakes are part of every human being/life. If you see/know another suffering from a mistake, don’t avert your gaze or look the other way. Give her an acknowledgement/comfort, however you can. I am sure it will be much appreciated. I know that from experience.
And here’s wishing everyone A Happy Christmas: