My Baby-Blue Blur
Aimee started the real work of her job this week, to her relief. After an initial week of orientation that managed to be both boring and scary ("Blah-blah-blah PATIENT ABUSE blah-blah-blah STANDARDS OF ETHICS blah-blah-blah MAJOR LAWSUIT...") she at last was able to provide some care to some mothers and babies.
I'll leave it to her to report on the actual goings-on of her job, because this entry is actually a self-centered lament. Aimee has moved out of the clinic and into the Mother-Baby Unit, which means that she has moved out of the public sphere of medical care and into the highest-security branch of the whole apparatus. There are vials of potential bio-warfare agents across the hall from me that are less well-guarded than Aimee's workspace. Which is appropriate, and good, but it also means that, as a pathology resident and husband, I'll never see Aimee work.
This is a loss for me. When she was a clinic nurse I spent a week in her clinic as a med student, and I would periodically find other reasons to be around when she was working, and it always gave me a thrill to see or hear her as she took care of the people of Vermillion. She always looked great, for starters. She would be moving at about 14 miles per hour, eyes flashing, smiling conspiratorially (as if you and she were sharing a secret, as if only you two knew the hidden and hilarious truth behind all the drab and fussy trappings of The Clinic), swooping from room to room to phone to desk to room and leaving a blurry pink (if she was wearing her pink scrubs) afterimage behind her. The other thing, of course, was her laugh. While she was reportedly good at giving out sympathy to patients, she kept her laugh on a hair-trigger, always ready to enjoy a patient's joke, anemic though it may be. So there we would be, in clinic, with the nurses moving charts and patients from place to place, chatting quietly with the patients and muttering quietly at the charts. The doctors would be flicking their way through a chart before going into a patient's room or sitting in their offices murmuring nonsensical phrases like "th'patient's heartexhibited reg'laraten'rhythm" and I would be standing around trying to look studious, interested, and in no way bored out of my mind, when suddenly a peal of laughter would tear out of a patient's room and whip through all the muttering and chart-flipping. Everyone who heard it would stop what they were doing and smile.
I can attest that Aimee still looks terrific at work, because when I came by the unit to drop off a can of caffeine the other day she came out and took it from me. She's always a blur of baby blue, now, as all the nurses wear the same color every day. I would expect that she still smiles, but I'm not certain that she laughs. My fancy resident badge has no effect on the door, and I can't get past the front desk (staffed by a duo that I instantly recognized as Woe and Despair). Maybe, if I turn out my pockets and ask very meekly, they'll let me stand in front of their desk for a while and listen.