Today when I got to work I had 15 patients. By the time I got around to printing their med lists, I had 14. She wasn't my first patient to die, but she was the first to evoke tears of grief before I managed to pull myself together and get ready for rounds. No, I didn't break down and bawl. She had been a patient a couple weeks ago for an eval, and was discharged as healthy as a baby can be who needs a liver and small bowel transplant. She was admitted last night for reasons unknown to me, but obviously she didn't return as healthy as she left. I'm mildly grateful that the first child I lost was an eval who had only been a patient for a couple days. I have several patients who have been with me the whole month, and while I wouldn't say I'm "close" to them or their parents, I think their deaths would have hit me much harder. Of course, it's tragic to lose a three-month old, regardless of how well you know them. It was with these sad thoughts that I left for home this evening.
I turned on my car to Trans-Siberian Orchestra rocking out the Christmas tunes. I traded my thoughts for ones of a more cheerful nature and beat my fingers to the music. As I was pulling into the parking lot at my apartment, I reached the end of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas." After a year of waffling, I have come to the conclusion that this is indeed my new favorite Christmas carol. I still hold a special place in my heart for the memories of Tennessee Christmas. And O Holy Night will always be near the top (it's genetic, dontcha know). But Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas sparks certain emotions in me that are singular to that song. It brings cascading images of couples strolling hand-in-hand down the sidewalk as snowflakes slowly fall, of a crackling fireplace, of families laughing as a puppy plows through the wrapping paper, of a horse-drawn sleigh, hot cocoa, mistletoe, everything it means to be home. The song is equal parts romance and nostalgia to me. How can it not be my favorite? The deciding factor that clinched the deal was the fact that I love the song no matter who sings it. Other Christmas songs (or any song for that matter) are dependent upon the artist who is bringing the words to life. Take for example Little Drummer Boy. Jars of Clay? Brilliant! Ashlee and Jessica Simpson? Not so much. Granted, I don't love every version of HYAMLC (so much faster), but for the most part, it warms my heart if it's sung by man, woman, old, young, boy band, whoever.
And with visions of sugarplums dancing in my head, I'm going to have dinner and sit on my couch and relax until Chuck is on. And then I'll have a different source of romance and nostalgia to occupy my time.