I sat bolt upright in my bunk bed. My heart was thumping fast and hard in my chest. I was breathing rapidly and I was totally lathered in sweat. Ewwww! I shivered. I had had a terrifying nightmare. I took some deep breaths to slow my heart rate and to try to settle myself down.
Geez! The room was fricking, stifling hot. Our ‘towel curtain’ lay still and undisturbed. There was no breeze tonight. I grabbed my little travel clock on my bedside cubby and had a look at the time. Awh geez! It was only midnight. I didn’t have the energy to climb down the ladder from the top bunk and open the curtain or turn on our little fan. I kicked my legs out of the sleeping bag and lay back down. I could feel my heart begin to slow. I lay there staring up at the ceiling trying to recall some of the details of my nightmare.
The message from my subconscious was loud and clear. I had no business being here at a children’s camp. I was in over my head. Man! Let’s not beat around the bush! Was someone feeling a little overwhelmed perhaps? Out of one’s comfort zone maybe? Lacking in confidence? Yes, I had to admit, I was.
As I lay there I considered who would be a good camp nurse? Maybe a pediatric nurse? Maybe an emergency room nurse? A school nurse? Each of these would bring a different set of strengths to the position. Actually the role would best be filled by an emergency room doctor who could not only diagnose these issues but also treat them. Maybe I wasn’t cut out for this. I could feel my face flush and the sense of heat overcame me again.
Dang I was hot! I had beads of sweat on my forehead and I could feel the trickle of sweat down my back. I couldn’t stand it. In frustration I pulled off my pajama top and tossed it beside me. I had started to wear a regular t-shirt and running shorts to sleep after that last incident where I was running all over camp flashing people in my skimpy PJ shorts. SO embarrassing! I needed to be ready to run at a moments notice without scarring impressionable children! So, I had adopted the long t-shirt top for bed.
I felt immediate relief after tearing off the t-shirt. That was much better. I lay back down on my side curled up in a ball and proceeded to try to talk myself off the ledge. I said a little prayer in my head.
“Please sweet baby Jesus help me to care for these kids competently. Please guide me in knowing how to approach each of these challenges. Help me to keep these kids healthy. Please don’t let me miss anything. Please don’t let me look like a complete idiot. Oh and please help me to have x-ray eyes. Just kidding….but it would be super awesome! Amen.”
I started to feel more relaxed. I had finally cooled off. I rolled over and started to doze off while giving myself a pep talk.
“I’m just gonna keep trying to do my best. I’m just gonna hope I don’t miss anything. I have come here to be a servant, to help the camp run a little more smoothly.” I tried to relax….
I was finally back to sleep for a couple of hours when I heard a soft tap, tap, tapping at my door. I sat bolt upright, startled! My eyes blinking, trying to adjust, I realized I had no shirt on. Oh dear Lord! What the heck happened to my shirt? I instinctively covered myself. Then I remembered that I taken it off earlier when I was so stinking hot! I felt around for it. The tapping continued. Where the heck was my shirt? I looked around the bed and under my sleeping bag. Nothing. I peered over the side of my top bunk. Son of a Sasquatch! There it was on the floor! Dagnabbit!
“Nurse?” I heard a whispered voice from the other side of the door. “Nurse?”
Oh God! I flopped down face first into my bunk bed. I lifted my head off the pillow and answered.
The door opened a crack at first and then a head appeared. I couldn’t make out who it was.
“Nurse! We have a problem in the Deer hut. One of the campers has a bad ear ache and can’t get to sleep. Can you come and see him?”
“Oh sure! Sure! Where is he?” I asked all the while staying low so I didn’t totally creep out this young counselor.
“He’s outside your office.”
“OK. Give me a minute and I will meet you down there. K?”
“OK. Thanks nurse. Appreciate it.” The voice whispered back and then the door softly closed.
“OK sister.” I thought to myself. “Get your shirt back on and get back to work. Nightmares or not, you loser!”