I’m certain that my brain is more wrinkled than it was a month ago.
Today I celebrate my One-Month-a-Versary at my new job.
I worked in Neuro rehabilitation for six years. I had a rhythm, a routine. In short, I was a rock-u-pational therapist. But now with the kids, and especially with the babies, everything is new and I have to think about every hand placement, every reflex, every respiratory rate a little differently.
In short, my brain hurts. It’s been working overtime.
Last week I had a moment where I was holding a tiny infant, born several months early and still significantly before her due date. She strained and splayed and stretched before finally snuggled her little nasal-cannulated face into my chest and relaxing. I checked a few reflexes, my eyes darting from her face to the vital signs monitor a few times to check how she was doing internally. But then I stopped and thought, with baby sweetly sleeping in my arms, “Oh my golly, this is my job!”
It was a sweet epiphany.
But I’ve also had hard epiphanies. I’ve treated more than a few kids who were admitted because of abuse, neglect, or other (what I will graciously call) “avoidable conditions.” I’ve had kids with poor prognoses, who will not develop normally, who will always have a scar because of some ordeal endured in-utero or shortly thereafter. It is at those times that I think, “Oh my golly, this is my job.”
I’m determined not to be hardened by the circumstances that I see day in and day out. I’m determined to treat each little life as valuable regardless of prognosis. I’m determined to be thankful for snuggling moments and for the opportunity to rehabilitate kids, or as I like to call it play with a purpose. I’m determined to learn and grow as a therapist and as a person to treat and to heal the best that I can.
One month in — I am thankful. Wrinkly brain and all.