Rx-ing My Inner Demons And Nemeses

Yesterday was a hard day at work. I received a bit of bad news first thing when I started my shift and then, someone asked me when I was due… As in pregnant due… Yeah, I brushed it off and just let it slide, but I really wanted to rip that person’s head off. It’s not the first time I get asked (last time though, was upon my return from my maternity leave) and I’m sure it will happen again. I have worked my butt off over the past year and I know what my body is capable of. I have a very specific goal for next summer: Our family will all vacation together somewhere tropical and I’d like to be comfortable in a bikini by then. I know it’s a very shallow goal, but it’s my goal and I’d like to make it happen! šŸ™‚

So, after that emotional roller-coaster day at work, I was ready for a mind-numbing WOD. You know the kind: you grunt through every rep, struggle through it all and feel absolutely drained physically when you’re done. Usually, those WODs are an open floodgate for me emotionally as well and that’s when I let the tears flow free. Yeah, it was exactly what I needed to do today.

Skill: Push press 10×2 OTM

I think I probably could have gone for 85% (75#) of my 3RM (90#), but instead, I chose to focus on my form and not throw my butt back on the dip and did all my reps with 65#. I’m really loving my wrist wraps. I love that I could tighten them up so easily after each round and it definitely helped with my wrists.

WOD: Block Rock

This one had been recurring at the box, but I had never done it yet. Coach Caleb said the times were running between 7-12mins and, although I knew I would be much longer than that (I finished in 19:39), I planned on Rx-ing this one. This WOD consists of pretty much my least favourite things in a WOD: running and wallballs. Can you say nemeses?!? Bleh! It doesn’t matter, I was going to chip at it anyway, like I do any other day! šŸ˜‰

The wallballs were definitely killing me and I could not, for the life of me, do more than one rep at a time. I wish we had a 12# ball, but we only have Ā 10#s or 14#s. 10# would have been sandbagging it and although 14# was Rx, it was a struggle. I finished my 1st round when pretty much everyone were finishing their second one. I ran my 3rd round all by myself and chipped through my wallballs. I kept having to no-rep myself because my ball was either missing the mark on the wall or not touching the wall at all. I had to no-rep myself on my very last rep, I wanted to scream at that silly ball to JUST. TOUCH. THE. WALL. ALREADY!!! I know I had no one else to blame but myself and when I was done, the tears just came flowing freely. Every emotion I had bottled up from my crappy day at work just came out in a snotty blubber. For once, I didn’t try to stop it. I let it all out on the mat. I didn’t care about people being around me. I just sobbed and cried for a few minutes.

As a NICU nurse, we celebrate successes with our patients and their families and we also share their frustrations. We are there with these families for 12hrs on end. We get to know them on a personal level, get to know their habits, their likes and dislikes. We connect with some of them more than others. Some stay on our unit for a few hours, others, for months on end. Ā In a day’s work, we can celebrate a tremendous achievement as well as feel incredibleĀ frustrations and a deep sense of loss. We are not robots. I don’t care how much we are supposed to put our feelings aside, it’s not always an easy task. We are also not allowed to discuss our cases with anybody outside of our unit for fear of legal reprimands and I get that, confidentiality issues and all. To add to all of this, we have our own personal load of crap that we deal with everyday, whether it’s at home or at work. Which brings me to this point. When I struggled through the WOD this morning, my discomfort was nothing compared to the struggles some of my patients’ families are going through. One more wallball is nothing in the greater scheme of things. So I kept going, kept pushing, kept fighting. And I broke down once I was done. Not because it was such a tremendous physical challenge, but because breaking through that physical pain opened the door to let go of all these bottled up emotions. Some people choose therapy. For me, Crossfit IS my therapy. Now, I’m ready for my last night shift before I get to enjoy my family over the Christmas break. If you can, have a special thought for all the nurses (doctors, RRTs, cops, EMTs and firemen as well) working over the holidays. We sacrifice celebrating with our families so we can look after yours…

Cherish your loved ones, I know I will cherish mine over the holidays!

Work Day

What I didn’t have time for today:

  • drink enough water
  • eat dinner
  • have a dinner break
  • go pee
  • tell my co-workers how much I appreciated their help
  • hug my daughters at bedtime

What I did have time for today:

  • drink some water
  • have a very late lunch
  • laugh with my co-workers
  • talk to my daughters on the phone
  • talk to my husband on the phone
  • see an old patient of mine who came for a visit and get to hug his parents while tears filled up in their eyes as they were telling me how grateful they were for the care we provided
  • help a newborn take its first breath
  • kiss my daughters goodbye this morning and kiss them in their sleep tonight.

After 2 weeks off, it was yet another long, crazy busy day. I’m glad it’s over and I’m ready to tackle tomorrow… As soon as I can put my feet up for a bit and chug my chocolate/peanut butter/protein smoothie!



All In A Day’s Work

This happenedĀ last night in the NICU…

Me: Hey (co-worker’s name), can you come here? I think my (tiny, premature) patient has a 3rd nipple. Can you come assess it with me please?

Co-worker makes her way over, we both stare at my tiny patient’s chest through the incubator.

Me (as I gently poke and scratch at 3rd nipple): Oh wait! Nope! Never mind! It’s not a nipple, it’s a booger. All’s good!


It’s all in the perspective when you have tiny patients!

#Nightshift, #Timechange, #longnight, #ThingsaNICUnursesays #boogerseverywhere



6 AM Conversation With Rina

Rina: So Mommy? How’s work?

Me: Good! It’s busy

R: What do you do?

Me: I take care of little babies

R: What happened to them?

Me: They are sick so mommy takes care of them.

R: What do you do?

Me: I change their diapers, I give them medications, I give them bottles and I wrap them up in warm blankets.

R: You forgot to put their pyjamas on!

Me: You’re right! Mama’s silly!

R: I go tell Daddy what you do with the babies.


If only my days were that simple at work! šŸ˜‰


I never blog about my job for the simple reason that I can’t discuss my patients as it would be a huge breach of confidentiality.

Today, I will make an exception. I won’t be talking about my patients, but I will be talking about work. Today, I come home dog bone tired. It has been an exhausting 2 days of constant non-stop at work. The kind of days spent making sure patients kept on breathing (breathing is ALWAYS mandatory on my shift!), making sure the parents of my patients feel confident and secure in their totally alien environment. Today was spent answering alarms, preparing food and feeding patients, choosing to help out co-workers when I had 3mins to myself instead of sitting down to catch my breath. Today was filled with unpleasant things like copious amounts of mucus and explodingĀ poop, but it was also filled with thunder moments of witnessed cuddles. Even though I was ready to go home at 1400, my wonderful co-workers and I managed to sing and make up silly dances to keep us going. We pulled upĀ our sleeves and kept chugging along.

I am a nurse, but more than that, I am a NICU nurse to my core. It’s in my nature to make sure everybody else is fine before I can think about myself. It’s the profession I have chosen for myself, but it’s more than that. Often I come home and find myself thinking about my patients. Will they be there when I come back tomorrow? Will they be better? Worst? Ā I take care of babies at work and come home to take care of my very own babies (ok, mine areĀ not such little babies anymore, but you get my jist).

There are days when I wonder if I’ll be able to do this job for the next 25 years. Some days are harder than others. Some days are easier. Some are laid-back, some are non-stop action packed. I never know what I will walk into when I go to work, but I always know that I come home to hug my girls, whether they are awake and screaming or peacefully asleep, and I am lucky to be able to do so.

I’m not quite sure where I’m going with this post. It’s hard to write about my job without talking about my job! This week is nurses’ week. Today, the parents of one of our “graduate” patient brought lunch for the entire staff to say thank you. It was the perfect pick me up needed in the midst of this busy day. Sometimes, we hug parents to comfort them. Sometimes, we get comforted in return, whether it’s with tears, a smile or a simple thank you. I am lucky to be a part of so many people’s lives. This week is nurses’ week. If you know a nurse, just say “thank you”. These words mean so much to us. We don’t have “holidays off” or “weekends off”. We sacrifice our family lives in order to make yours better, we work 12-hr shifts days and nights. Just because we chose the profession doesn’t mean it’s always easy. So, if you think about it, this week, thank a nurse for all her/his hard work and dedication, I’m sure it will be appreciated!

We don't always get to cuddle babies, but when we do, we make sure we get good cuddles.

We don’t always get to cuddle babies in the NICU, but when we do, we make sure we get good cuddles. This was a patient of mine in 2007 with his mom and I when he got discharged to go home. I used to carry him in my hoodie “kangaroo style”. Smiles like his mom’s are the reason I love my job!