I had a very pleasant dinner the other night with an old friend I went to school with, and whom I literally hadn’t seen for years. We didn’t have a falling off or anything like that. We just sort of — drifted. Life gets in the way. Children, family, work, and suddenly it’s ten years later and you’re wondering where all the freakin’ time went. She didn’t look much different, to me anyway. She was still married to the same guy and still had the cottage up in Haliburton where we once spent a summer weekend walking in the woods and minding the bears. Her kids were all grown up. She was, to my surprise, an ICU nurse. Surprised, because she was determined when we graduated to be the best med-surg nurse ever. But she’s a smart cookie, and predictably she wanted a challenge. She told me when she first started as a med-surg RN, she would avoid codes because “codes were only for critical care nurses.” Now, she jokes, she avoids codes because she’s old and seen it all. Let the young ‘uns do them. I agree, at least with the sentiment.
We compared notes. We kindly and gently mocked each other’s specialities. We traded war stories, told tales of egregious physician behaviour (a favourite nursing pastime), stories about ourselves, our patients, our profession, tragedy and comedy: the wealth of human experience we are privileged to share.
Another piece of wisdom: “Stupidity,” she says, “is what keeps us in business.”
My new motto.
My other new motto: look up an old friend once in a while.