Life, Nurse stuff

Amid the chaos/ a funny story

Yesterday around 4 pm Ethan was practicing the piano. Our piano is in our basement rec room, just outside my office. I was still working and was planning to work until around 5:00. Ethan was busy later in the evening though, so he had to fit his piano practice in then while I was down there.

Anyway, he was practicing a brand new song, a Christmas song. As it goes, when you’re learning a new song, you make a lot of mistakes. He was slowly plodding along, sightreading the music, playing wrong notes and then fixing them. It sounded….. uh, really nice. 🤣

As I was reviewing a patient’s chart in the other room, I had a moment where I had to bite my tongue from yelling, “Okay, STOP already!!” (Or at least play a song you know better, for the love of God.)

It made me think of that scene in It’s a Wonderful Life. You know the one? Where George is in total chaos mode after the whole bank debacle, and he is about to lose it. He comes home, all frantic, and the house is full of commotion with the kids and his wife and Christmas decorations going up and Janie won’t stop playing “Hark the Herald Angels Singon the piano over and over and over….

I love that scene. I think it so perfectly encapsulates what STRESS looks like. And how totally normal things can totally set a person off, under the right circumstances. He was falling apart internally, but no one else even knew what was happening. You can just see the world spinning around him, about to break into pieces.

This scene also always makes me think of a funny story from when I worked in the hospital.

One day, a Saturday, I think, we had an Amish patient on the unit. It was around the holidays, and the large, extended, very lovely Amish family offered to sing carols in the patient lounge.

Our unit was shaped like a big cross. Think the reception desk in the middle, with 4 hallways extending in either direction. The lounge was located at the end of one hall.

So anyway, they were set up down there, singing some beautiful, peaceful songs. It was very pleasant for all of us staff and the other patients to enjoy.

All of a sudden, a patient down a different hallway (but just around the corner), had some kind of major meltdown. To the point that he was being combative and Security had to be called to help contain him, etc. All sorts of people came running, alarms were going off, voices were raised…. you get the idea. It was pure chaos.

However, meanwhile, down in the patient lounge, the sweet Amish family had no idea that anything was going on down around the corner. So, they just kept on singing!

The songs carried perfectly down the hallway, essentially creating a “soundtrack” for this total mess of a situation unfolding in this patient’s room.

It wasn’t my patient, so I wasn’t directly involved. A few of us were standing nearby, just checking if anything more was needed, etc. I remember catching one of my co-workers’ eyes and almost dying laughing at the absurdity of the situation. It felt like a scene out of a comedy movie, with sheer chaos unfolding, with these angelic voices serenading us simultaneously. (Fortunately, the patient was fine physically; it was more of an emotional situation, and it settled down soon enough.)

But I remember we were all looking at each other like, “What is happening right now?!”

Hahaha!!! Oh, I do sometimes miss the funny stories that came out of working on the inpatient unit. There was never a dull moment. lol!

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for the ability to pay people electronically! Had to send money over to someone for a shared gift, and it’s so convenient.

5 thoughts on “Amid the chaos/ a funny story”

  1. Last week we were at a music practice for the Live Nativity we were about to participate in. The whole set of music was an hour long, and we didn’t have time to go through every song, so the music director would take us to the “critical” parts of the song; transitions, changes in key, other things that might trip us up. It meant that we’d start singing a song and then bump around to another part. It was driving me CRAZY. To stop mid-sentence in singing a song…over and over and over again. I knew it was a ridiculous thing to be driving me crazy, but I’m such a completist that it was slowly KILLING me. My daughter couldn’t stop laughing at me for quietly singing the rest of the sentence under my breath so I could get at least a little bit of closure!!

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  2. I can only imagine the chaos that you witnessed as a nurse on a unit!! I can just envision the situation you are describing!!

    I grew up playing piano and our piano was in the living room where 1 of 2 TVs were, and it was the main gathering space for the family. I was required to practice for an hour/day when I was in my tweens/early teens. And OMG did the family complain about this. I swore that when I had a piano some day, it would not go in our living room. And what do you know – that’s exactly where it is because there is no other place where it fits/would make sense to have it. And that’s the only place we have a TV. Will be interesting to see how that goes when the boys start taking lessons! I’m trying to start to play more consistently, but tend to do it on days when I work from home and am alone in the house so I won’t bother anyone. Phil does not share my love of the piano, though! He took lessons until he was 16. I asked him if he thought he could sit down and play something and he said he had no idea and didn’t care to try because he hated piano lessons so much!

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  3. I would have to put in my earplugs on the white noise mode or the noise cancelling mode. I feel like my relationship with sound is particularly challenging – it feels like I hear EVERY sound at the same level (I despise when music is being played at social events) and if I were trying to work and there was additional noise, I would not be able to concentrate.

    For dumb reasons, I’m currently using my husband’s preferred keyboard with my computer and it’s one of those keyboards that makes a lot of noise when you press a key, and it’s KILLING me. We’re waiting for a new computer to arrive for me, but in the meantime, this is terrible. LOL.

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  4. Haha, having a piano is so nice, but yeah, the practice (for people not doing the practicing) can be harsh! LOL

    I love it’s a beautiful life and can’t wait to watch it again this Christmas.

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