Less than a day after my first placement, I was hit with a whopper of a Shabbat. As hinted to in my last post, we started Shabbat in the ER. There was never a doubt in my mind about what to do--obviously, we were there and we were going to do what needed to be done to make sure that Sabrina was healthy, and then we would go to the pharmacy to pick up her meds on the way home, and then we would go home.
But things turned out to be a bit more complicated than that. First there was the light in the bathroom (in the ER) that Sabrina wanted me to turn off and on because she was feeling better and therefore being a normal 4 year old, and I did it because I wasn't even thinking about it being Shabbat. Then there was the question--do I write down the directions that the nurse is giving me or can I get her to write them, and does it matter? Then, when we got to the pharmacy (to which the prescriptions had been called in, and I didn't have copies) and it was closed, trying to decide whether to just drive back this morning or if I should call the clinic and ask if they could call the prescription in to a different pharmacy that was walking distance to my apartment. (Ultimately I decided it was easier just to go back by car; I didn't really want to have to walk to a pharmacy with a little one who is sick and whose interest in walking places I hadn't had a chance yet to assess.)
Meanwhile, I'd left my apartment at 11:25 fully expecting to be back an hour later with a sick kiddo, so none of the lights were as they should be, my alarm wasn't set (not a problem), no food had been cooked (also not a problem, as the main cooking was to be for a potluck on Friday that we obviously didn't go to)... Sabrina was asleep so I carried her in and took the elevator--not climbing three flights of stairs carrying a sleeping 4 year old. Knocked on my next door neighbors' door and they came over to sit with Sabrina while I went back to the car to get our things--necessary? maybe not. But better to do than not, I thought. Then the first thing I did when I got back to the apartment was to turn on the light in the bathroom by Sabrina's room. Again, not necessarily critical, but on the "for the benefit of the sick person" line of thinking, I did it anyway.
Then I turned my computer on and sent an email to the social worker. That didn't save anyone's life or even contribute to anyone's health, but it seemed important to do. (And while I had the computer on, I checked the pharmacy's hours.) It was a struggle not to look at the 65 or so emails I had gotten, but I was proud of myself for keeping focused on the two tasks I needed to do and then closing the computer.
Today after we went to the pharmacy, we ended up watching a DVD. Over and over again. Three times. A few times I needed to push the buttons on the remote, but basically she did all of the button pushing, and I just put the DVD in the player. A little weird davening Shabbat musaf* while Elmo is on the TV.
All in all, I'm confident that I made the right decisions throughout the day, though it certainly didn't feel very much like Shabbat. I wouldn't have done most of the things that I did if I had been the one who was sick, but for someone else I was quick to put her needs and her wishes (and the futility of trying to explain Shabbat--in the moment--to a 4 year old who just wanted to watch TV) ahead of my own. But I hope that I don't have to make those decisions again any time soon.
* Daven = pray; musaf = one of the specific sections of prayers that only is said on Shabbat and on holidays.