Don't Curse the Nurse!

Sharing support with stories & humor

Don’t do anything you can’t tell your nurse!

Micro Fiction

“Where is he?!”

Adorned in a bright pink sundress, spikey heels, and hair piled on top of her head, she stormed toward me and didn’t stop until she was inches from my face.

“Where is who?”

I said in a tone reserved for distressed patients (or angry family members).

“Gene Plunski!”

The last patient I discharged.

“Ma’am, I called the number he gave me for his ride home. That person arrived. I reviewed all needed instructions and they left together.

“Was his ride a skinny brunette?”

I stayed silent.

“Told me he was going fishing for a week. Fishing my ass!”

I opened my mouth to say something but she held up her hand like a guard at a crosswalk.

“That so-called hernia he’s been belly-aching about, he’s gonna have another one when I’m done with him!”

I cocked my head and tried not to appear shocked by her comment.

She took note.

“I’m his wife. I’m gonna knock him into the middle of next week!”

This was fury personified.

I put my hands together in prayer position before speaking.

“Ma’am, would you like some water or juice before you leave?”

She gave me a saccharine sweet smile and said “Bless your little heart, I can’t stay. Hunting season has started.”  

At the end of the hallway, she turned one last time.

“And, stop calling me Ma’am!”

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Reciprocity

The other day a nurse from a separate area came by and reported she had completed the phone calls for surgical patients coming in the following morning.

I expressed my appreciation with enthusiasm. We’d had one of those ‘back to back patients’ days and it was great to know that task was done.

Her response dampened my spirits.

” Hey, you do stuff for me, so I do stuff for you. That’s how it works.”

I reflected on this the way home.

rec·i·proc·i·ty /ˌresəˈpräsədē/

noun

  1. the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit, especially privileges granted by one country or organization to another.

This creeps me out. Am I the Pollyanna I keep refusing to be called? Can’t people do things because it’s right to do them? Or simply because it’s a task needing to be done. Maybe because helping others feels good – Yep, I said it. It feels good.

And, I’m mature enough to realize that if I’m doing stuff for someone over and over and there a trend of what is starting to feel like a one way street, I need to come to terms with what is underneath my repetitive action( and I’m not talking about things like sponsoring a child in foster care).

I know what co- dependency is.

I decided to not let this take up any more space in my brain. I came to the realization my peer was just calling a spade a spade. And, that the next time she needs some help with something, I better say yes 😂

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socs-badge-2019-2020

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Aug. 1/2020

This post is part of SoCS

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Every inch of sheet I pulled back – her feet, heels, hips – more decubiti ( bedsores to the lay person), pressure ulcers to the wound care specialist standing at my left side.

“Help me turn her on her side so I can look at her sacrum.”

“Of course,” I murmured.

Down to muscle; paper thin skin spread apart from the constant pressure revealed striated cords of pinky sized tendons with yellow pus oozing out.

Caretakers failing to help her up into a chair at least twice a day, failing to encourage nutritional intake to promote healthy tissue, failing to see so much going wrong.

One more reason I’m starting to hate people.

Not my patients.

Just people.

 

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Uh huh

funnylife5

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stars

We were out of COVID test kits.

It was for only a few hours.

It doesn’t mean we shut the doors. I’ll never be able to describe the surreal feeling of working in a hospital and hearing that news.

And, I don’t work in the ER

You bump into an Emergency room nurse, or for that matter, anyone who works in an ER, say “Thank you” to them. They go to work not having any, and I mean any idea, of what’s in store for them.  They are superstars to me!

 

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Because I’m a list maker

laughing

Lately peers have become quite bold in asking someone else to cover their call. I’m so dumbfounded that anyone would randomly think a peer would like to take ‘call’ for surgical services and be tied to home, the phone, and the possible need to get to the hospital, so…I’ve created a list of responses.

I’m going to try each one out until people realize how silly it is to ask me  ( emergencies, I get that – I’d be all on board with helping)

This list is for the people that believe, because I’m a team player, I have some unusual desire to cancel my personal plans and sit home with clean scrubs draped over a chair waiting to be thrown on.

So

I’ll take your call…

after I have an un-sedated colonoscopy.

after President Trump and Nancy Pelosi go out to dinner together

after Mc Donald’s goes out of business.

when all the Kardashian’s are married.

when our National Debt is under a million.

and last but not least,

when Brad gets a break from movie making and calls me.

I’ll start with the third one.

Don’t want to come across too snarky.

 

 

 

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Someone taking a journey on so many levels… say Hello to a new blogger!

Crossing the Jordan

pathCheck out the link above in the blue ( Crossing The Jordan) !

This young lady, after successfully completing a college education, getting out in the world, and functioning as a responsible conscientious adult, kept going.

I went into my job young – stumbling through the minutiae of what it takes to be a ‘good nurse,’ wanting only to not do anything wrong and not understanding how much ‘right’ I could do for people. She’s bringing to the Nursing profession a maturity I admire. I look forward to what she shares on her blog.

 

 

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tearsJoy brings people together. Fear heightens awareness. Grief, more times than not, isolates us and covers us with a heavy blanket difficult to pull off. Some are never able.

Then there are some that go through incredible loss and proceed to find ways to comfort others undergoing similar suffering.

I met a patient a couple of weeks ago that shared her role in our city’s chapter of a national nonprofit called The TEARS Foundation. Founded in 2002 by Sarah Slack after experiencing the stillbirth of her son Jessie Curtis Slack, this agency provides emotional and financial support for families who have lost a child.

This patient of mine shared her own story of loss and how it led her to her involvement with TEARS. She graciously offered me the opportunity to follow up with her through the agency if I wanted to learn more about The TEARS Foundation.

I left work that day thinking about it. The heartache of  this kind of loss, I understood it. Years ago, my first pregnancy ended at the twenty-two week mark on an evening filled with physical and emotional pain.

A couple of weeks later, I had an opportunity to learn more about the kind of people that donate their time and fund raising efforts for TEARS.

People that do this kind of work are angels with broad shoulders and hearts made strong by not letting grief pull them to a dark impenetrable place. On the surface they might look like petite blonds just getting vegetables at the local market. Look closer. You can see the endless abundance of compassion in their eyes.

https://thetearsfoundation.org 

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Human

IMG_3591Clinton Cargill, assistant editor to the National desk, Simone Landon, assistant editor to the Graphics desk, researcher Alan Delaqueriere,  and writer John Grippe, with help from various members of the TIMES team combed various sources across the country to get the names and gleaned phrases from people who’ve lost their lives to Coronavirus.

Editors and graduate students pitched in, and in a time when politicizing this pandemic is reaching a high, the New York Times went higher and humanized it in the way it should be.

I appreciate the heartfelt manner in which they came up with a way to acknowledge the people behind these numbers.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/05/24/us/us-coronavirus-deaths-100000.htm

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/05/24/us/us-coronavirus-deaths-100000.htm

 

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Gems

IMG_3584

You ever misplace a gem? Not lost it, just misplaced it?  A ring or a pair of earrings that when you put on, you felt a little extra special. For you guys, that watch or favorite shirt that made you feel sharp — on your toes.

There are some gems where I work, but not having worked surgical services for the last four weeks, I forgot just how cool they were.

Until yesterday.

I put in my obligatory weekend call hours, came in for two surgeries, and prepared the next day’s paperwork before starting to head out for the evening.

Walking toward the back exit with the PACU RN, we slowed and checked in with the OR nurse before leaving.

“We’re leaving. You need anything?”

She popped her head around the desk where she was entering data for next day needed surgical trays.

“No, I’m good. Almost done.”

“Hey, either one of you interested in grabbing a beer and some Cuban food? The place is close by.”

The PACU RN and I both declined, but then I remembered that any conversation I’d had with this OR RN was introspective, informative, and there was always equitable sharing of how life in general was going. There was never constant interruption or a scenario where I felt like I was being talked at instead of to.

***

I had a wonderful ‘post call’ Cuban dinner, the coldest yummy draft, and the best conversation with a valued peer who, due to the differences in our work hours, I rarely saw.

And the icing on the cake is this:

I learned that this Operating room RN is gifted with the ability to emote words of prayer that have a gentle and at the same time direct ring to them — transparent chords that point to grace and trust.  I gave her my prayer request to add to the list of people already in her heart. And of course, a big smile in lieu of the ‘not allowed’ hugs.

What a nice and unexpected way to end my day on call!

 

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