Don't Curse the Nurse!

Sharing support with stories & humor

I wasn’t trying to start anything…

I was just going to the doctor’s because I have a sore throat  that won’t go away. Nodules on my thyroid have turned me into a hypochondriac in regards to anything to do with my neck. So…

I sit down. It’s a small waiting room. There are three other people waiting also. Politics must  have been in the air because, seconds after sitting, the women to my right says, ” Well, he’s our President, so we need to respect him, even if he is not a very nice person.”

Oh, this is going to be fun.

They all looked over eighty. I might just listen. Old fashioned respect  keeps me from wanting to be contrary.

The man sitting in one of the chairs lining the far wall followed with a comment of his own. With an accent that sounded a little northern, he stated, ” He’s working on good things like getting rid of Planned Parenthood. You know they are selling body parts! Making lots of money. Using my tax dollars.  That’s the worst part. ”

Whaaaaat?!

I turned in my seat and had a total diarrhea of the mouth moment.

“Really?”

“Yep” He snapped. ” Saw film on it.”

“Hmm.” I couldn’t let it go.

“Sir, the Federal portion of funding for Planned Parenthood cannot be used for abortions. There is something called the Hyde Amendment that only makes exceptions in the case of rape, incest, or endangerment to the life of the mother.”

( Past incendiary comments by politicians forced me to do my homework. A few of them have stated that in no circumstance, should termination be an option.)

He pulled his chin up and retorted in a controlled voice, ” You need to see the film.”

Selling body parts. Selling body parts. Scenes from the movie Coma came to mind.

If I wasn’t in my nursing scrubs, I’m sure his response would have been more emotional.

The three women around my actively changed the subject. It somehow jumped to the women on my right  sharing that she is eighty-five and works at SAMS, says it  keeps her joints moving.  I told her I lived real close to COSTCO – would have to drive far to get to a SAMS. The female across from me murmured ” I like to crochet and watch anything except the news.” Smart lady.

I didn’t have just a sore throat anymore. I also had an itch under my skin.  A national agency selling body parts. 

My name was called. The first thing I did was tell my doctor there was someone in his waiting room spreading fear.

Then I went home and googled it. Here’s a link to something closer to the truth.

http://www.npr.org/2016/01/28/464594826/in-wake-of-videos-planned-parenthood-investigations-find-no-fetal-tissue-sales

 

6 Comments »

The Mask

She came in for a port.

It’s a small round device, hard polyethelene rubber center, with a catheter centered at the bottom base. It’s placed under the skin close to a large vein, typically on the outer edge of the left or right chest.

The most common reason for getting a port is to begin chemotherapy.

She had wide set eyes, thick wavy  brunette hair that grazed her shoulders, and, what I thought unusual – pale blue eyes. Not your combination of traits. Blonds and redheads always get the blue eyes. Us brown haired girls, hazel, green, or brown eyes – freckles in them if your lucky.  The man next to her stood a foot taller than her. He wore his Polo un-tucked and on his feet the most broken in deck shoes I’d ever seen.

When I met the two, they had just  walked through the doors to our department. Together they stood hand in hand outside the curtained area while I confirmed her demographic sheet and spelling of her name.

Attentive to the explanation of my role and the limited space in the pre op rooms, the husband stepped over to the waiting area in our department for the short time it took me to get her ready.

She  hadn’t slept well and admitted to being anxious. Making sure all consents were signed, I got an order to give her some Versed to help relax her. I called her husband back over to sit with her then went and pulled the medicine from the Accudose system.

Within minutes after the medicine hit her vein, her eyelids began to flutter, her jaw slackened and she drifted in and out of sleep.

His face changed too.

The smile became a grim set expression and his forehead creased with worry. I don’t think he blinked while she slept. With his chair wedged close to her stretcher and his elbows on the rail, he watched her sleep. I watched him watch her sleep and wondered how he kept all his emotions from bursting from his body.

Their love was apparent. When he stroked her face, I turned the wall mounted computer so it wasn’t facing them and I could keep working. Their moment of intimacy needed to be respected.

The arrival of the surgeon and the OR team lifted some of the heaviness in the air.

And I’d swear that when she went off to surgery, he’d aged a year.

13 Comments »

Sometimes “Fine” is not fine.

Here’s that post I mentioned would follow:

I think people say “You’ll be fine” for one of three reasons; they don’t know what to say, they don’t care and want to end the conversation, or they have a self- centered focus of such intensity that they believe these mere words coming out their mouths is all you need to hear.

Now, I know there are exceptions to this — the calculus teacher looking at the test you just turned in —he has the test key — the neighbor who watched you knock over a sprinkler head — he has a spare in his garage.

That’s not the stuff I’m talking about.

I’m talking about the fears and anxieties we have when a family member learns of abnormal biopsy results, when the sole bread winner in a household gets laid off, when a fight between couples results in one walking out.

You get the picture.

There is no guarantee.

And it is never more important to understand this than in medicine.

It’s not an exact science, and it never will be.

So, if you care about someone who’s going a trial with their health or is preparing for surgery, do this:

Just listen.

Don’t interrupt.

Just listen.

It’s usually all they need.

 

 

8 Comments »

Picking My Plot – No, not that kind.

I got an invitation in the mail to plan my burial. You know, one of those things. The card had a glossy finish, discrete, but classy chestnut brown and dark gold background, the font, italic. Dinner included – at Red Lobster.

When I opened the envelope, I was thrown at first. Baldwin Fairchild did the mail out. I had no spouse in Hospice. My parents — alive and kicking, out daily, hobbies, traveling, yada yada.

I’ve seen something similar to this, except it was for future planning, investing, IRA’s. So into planning my financial future, yes I am, but do I get one of those in the mail like my parents…

No.

I get an invitation to decide if I want cremation or an open viewing, a mahogany or a pine casket; burial in a fancy- dancy cemetery with a view of a lake (like it’s really going to matter to me), or a local plot next to the fine/ expired residents of the city I live in.

I smirk at the irony of this because, see, I made no big deal about turning fifty over a year ago, but obviously Big Brother wants to acknowledge it. Flyers from AARP have gone in the trash. No disrespect to them, but at age fifty-one and far from being able to touch my IRA or Social Security without big penalties, what is the purpose of being inundated with this mail?

Especially mail to pick your burial site.

Let me say that I am an advocate of Advance Directives and making an effort to decrease the minutia of things your family has to do with your passing. The most important thing is to let them know what life saving efforts you want made in the case of significant health decline.

But this stuff in the mail. Geez!

I’m tempted to go to the dinner and ask questions like, “Would if I want to be buried in my back yard? Will this plan pay for it?” Or “I’d like to be buried next to Robert Frost. Is that possible?”

I won’t get any more insensitive about this. (You know what they say about Karma)

Someone told me a long time ago I had to deal with my issues about death.

Silly Rabbit. I’m a nurse. Death strolls through hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics picking and choosing whose time it is. I don’t know him personally, but sometimes I swear, I feel a draft and I know he’s just walked by.

You don’t stay in medicine without giving a head nod to Death and respecting his significance

I’m not afraid of Death. Sometimes I fear I’m not living enough, but I’m not afraid of death. I placed my life in someone else’s hands a long time ago.

When I’m ready to sit back, start counting my days left, and stop living. I’ll let Big Brother know. In the meantime, I have to finish this and go.

I have another doctor’s appointment.

 

13 Comments »

From Orlando

orlando

You’d think a nurse would have no problem writing about grief yet I’ve created and collected three un-posted drafts in the last seven days. I thought to myself, oh, post about something else, but that felt wrong. Forty-nine people dead and more than that injured here in my home town — it’s on my mind — a lot.

My thoughts and emotions, spurred by the horrific shooting at Pulse, have no boundaries. They extend from rage toward the killer to heartfelt compassion for the families losses. There is also fear, fear that I am just as vulnerable. Within days after the shooting, I was going to get on a plane and taking my daughter to New York where she would settle and work. Planes are targets. New York — no need to explain its history with terrorism.  Worrying about myself — selfish — add guilt as one of the random thoughts.

The three drafts sitting in Word sound nonsensical when read over, but then, what happened was nonsensical. For any individual or group to believe that killing people elevates their belief system is insane. I could ramble on about this, but then I’d have four drafts…

There is pride.

I am proud of how our city is reaching out to the families and agencies of the LGBT community. I am proud of the business community’s generous donations. And, I am proud to call ORMC part of my work family. The perioperative and surgical teams worked endlessly until all the received victims were treated.

As it has been said:

Love. Love. Love. Love. Love.

 

 

 

6 Comments »

I Pulled the Trigger Then I Wanted to Cry

gun-range-targetWriting a post right around Christmas about learning how to shoot a gun, weird, but I can say it because I’m the one who wrote it. I feel compelled to do a follow up because it was a first for me and some of the feelings I experienced were unexpected.

I loved the fact that this group “bonding experience” involved, no, demanded no dressing up. Anyone who came in heels and dangling jewelry would have been the recipient of some snickering. Going to the range meant that there were no worries about what to wear unless you were not in possession of a pair of jeans and sneakers.  And, it eliminated that thing that all us women do — that is, make quiet comparisons between our grooming aka “dressing up” skills.”

Meeting two educators, one anesthesiologist, and three other nurses, on a week night at 6:30 pm for a gun class was surreal to say the least. That feeling passed when I was standing in the booth, walls on each side, and a target twenty-five feet away. We were instructed on two guns; a revolver and a 22 semi-automatic.

I took in the much muffled sound of my coworkers several feet behind me and the white painted press wood on each side of me. The booth was similar to a voting booth. My target looked close. My instructor stood by while I put the bullets in the chamber. Over exaggerating my finger placement to ensure safety, I then took three breaths before pulling the trigger. When I did, I felt my heart beat a little more pronounced and I immediately put the gun down in front of me.

I wanted to cry and felt the urge to leave the gun there. I know what guns do and at that moment it didn’t feel like a “bonding” thing. I felt alone and scared.

 This is for fun.

 It’s just a new experience.

 People do actually have guns for safety.

People are dangerous, some more dangerous than guns.

My instructor came forward and reminded me to center the sights for a better chance of getting closer to a bullseye. Her words helped me refocus on an instinct I am familiar with, the desire to be good at what I am doing.

I got at least ten in the red center mark.

We all cheered each other on as we compared our paper targets in our hands and decided the next thing we should do is take a self-defense class together.

I like where this is going.

13 Comments »

Watch Your Back

Look

Over there

Its fear

Waiting for you

Like a vulture

Ready to nibble at your dreams

And scratch its jagged claw

At your resolve

Until

Hope leaks

And lies in a puddle

At your feet

 

Watch your back

6 Comments »

One Room

Ebola
We have a room for it in our hospital, one room. But then, we are only a 184 bed hospital, so maybe it’s appropriate.

I shouldn’t, but I feel so removed from it, detached in a way. But then, that could be denial, fear, and the opinion that writing up a big post on something I’ve had no experience with seems somewhat pretentious.
______
I’ve been sitting here looking at this draft, unfinished draft, way too long.
______
Now I feel guilty that I have so little to say.

I am going to go pray.

5 Comments »

The Godly Chic Diaries

Smiling • Writing • Dreaming

Down the Rabbit Hole with Shannon

A Photographic and Historical Travel Blog

The Ploughshares Blog

Sharing support with stories & humor

The Divergent Grad Nurse

Graduate Nursing Journey

world of feelings

A small attempt to express beauty of thoughts through writing 😊

Tales from Nursing and Life!

We can conquer nurse burnout!

Insomniac Writer!!!

Poems and Stories about everything that is life...and sometimes everything is what it takes to find a better you.