Friday, August 31, 2007

Do you know how to spell it?

If something is covered in blood, it is bloody.
If something smells, it is smelly.
If something has bumps, it is bumpy.
So, if something has pus, it is...............?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Just to show that researchers can make a correlation between any 2 things:

Study: New Mothers Under Stress Cradle Babies to the Right

The study consisted of seventy-nine new mothers in the United Kingdom. Eighty-six percent of women who expressed no signs of stress or depression held their babies to the left. Holding babies to the right was more prominent among stressed moms with 32 percent showing a right-sided bias.

In other words, 14% of non-stressed, non-depressed mothers held their babies to the right verses 32% of stressed/depressed mothers.

Granted, it has been 4 or so years since I took statistics, but that doesn't seem significant. Especially when you consider that approximately 15% of the population is left-handed (wouldn't left-handed mothers be more likely to hold their babies to the right in order to free up the left hand?)

At least my tax dollars weren't finding this "research." Thankfully my tax dollars go to fund research to that shows rich people have more plants in their yards.

Pass the bottle

After the day I've had, I deserve a bottle of whine, I mean wine.

We got some cool new software to use with a piece of equipment in the clinic at work. Today the company rep came to train us how to use it. I set aside 3 hours in the morning thinking certainly that will be more than enough time. OH NO.

She arrived 45 minutes late. Ok, that is a little annoying, but it happens. Hellos are exchanged and she sits down at my desk and starts looking at the software her company sent for us to install. And something is wrong. Our IT guy gets involved. I'm a passive observer at this point, but I have absorbed just enough computer stuff from Unix-Jedi to suspect this woman doesn't know what she is doing. BUT, she has an Information Technology degree--something she will remind us of many times during the day.

It seems our equipment wasn't playing nice with the software because it "is soooo old." Now, it is less than 10 years old. I know occupational health nurses that are using that software with equipment that is 20+ years old.

"Does is you equipment have microchip in it?"

I have no idea."

"Well, all the other nurses I have work with know if theirs has one."


Suggestions are made that she call the supplier of said equipment and find out.

So, she places the call while all of us getting trained scatter to get away from her for a while. I come back after a few minutes and she tells me,"I just had to get off the phone with the supplier. He was talking to me as if I was someone like you. I have an IT degree. My mother has a PhD and my IQ is higher than hers."

I'm guess "someone like me" is dumb and must be talked to in simple terms.

Training resumes. "Oh, let me show you this." She pulls up something out of a pdf file.

"Huh, I want to be able to see the whole page on the screen, but I don't know how to do that."

Why don't you go to the tool bar where it says 118% and change it to 100% or less?"

My colleagues and I look at each other and roll our eyes while she does this task.

An associate comes to the clinic for a work related injury. I excuse myself to take care of them. I finish up as quickly as I can and return to training.

"Most of the nurses I work with put a sign on the door saying they are in training and are not to be disturbed."

This isn't a bed and breakfast where I can put a do not disturb sign on the door. I am there to take care of the associates medical problems. I have a nursing degree!

Four and a half hours after she arrives, we begin working with the software. I had a question.

"If you will wait until I have finished to ask questions, I won't get distracted." And she promptly goes off down some pig trail.

Six hours after she arrives and an hour after I am supposed to be home, I have had enough.

I'm sorry, but I really have somethings I need to finish before I go home, and I need my computer. I think I can figure out the software on my own. Thank you for coming by today."

And I shooed her and her IT degree outta my clinic.

Monday, August 27, 2007

I do have a heart

I've told a couple of stories about patients who drove me nuts, so I thought today I'd talk about a patient who brought me to tears.

He was a little tiny bald man who had been on the floor for a while. His diagnosis: congestive heart failure (CHF).

When he arrived he was a feisty old guy who would call the nurses station and ask if "one of his girlfriends" would come to his room. He usually only wanted a drink of water. (Patients with CHF usually have restrictions on how much fluid that can have per day. Most only get about one liter a day and they are ALWAYS thirsty.)

I was receiving report on my patients after having a few days off (boy how I needed those days--I was in the final stages of wedding planning.) Mr. CHF had taken a turn for the worse. The day shift nurse felt sure he had a few more days, but just in case, the Do Not Resuscitate orders had been signed. I finished getting report and headed for his room.

The feisty old guy who had called all the nurses his "girlfriends" looked frail and was barely conscious. I smiled at his wife, asked if I could do anything for her, and told her to call me if she needed me.

About 2:30am a nurse in the telemetry monitor room called to say his heart rate had dropped to 40. I went to check on him and see if there was anything I could do to make him comfortable.

An hour later telemetry called to say his heart rate was in the 30's. The last moments of his life were at hand.

Another hour passed. Telemetry called to say that his heart had stopped.

I went to his room to confirm that his heart had indeed stopped and to wake his wife to tell her to say her final goodbyes.

I returned to the nurses' station to let the widow have a few moments with her husband before the doctor, family and funeral home arrived. After all the phone calls that are required after a person passed away were finished, several co-workers and I went to disconnect all the wires and IVs and clean his body.

I was taking the IV out of his left hand when I saw the plain gold band, scratched and worn from years of wear, on his finger.

Maybe it was the fact that I was about to get married. Maybe I was just having PMS. But I cried for him. I cried for his wife who now had to go home to an empty house and start figuring out how to live without him. I cried for myself and my fear of losing those I love.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

What did you expect?

The elevator doors open about 11:30pm and out steps the pizza delivery guy carrying a rather large pizza.

He walks up to the nurses station and asks, "Which way to room 326?"

I sigh, then point down the hall and say, "
Down that way, on the right."

Fast forward about an hour........the call bell from room 326 lights up.

Can I help you?"

"Yes, I need my nurse."

Can I tell her what you need?"

"No, I just need my nurse to come here."

I'll let her know."

So down the hall I go to room 326.

What can I do for you?"

"My stomach hurts. You need to call the doctor and get me something. And on your way out, take this pizza box outta here."

Please note, just because you are tired of your 1800 calorie diabetic diet and snarf down an entire large pizza, I am not going to call your doctor and ask him for something for your stomach. Thank you, that is all.

I Think I love Dick Van Dyke

Dick Van Dyke was spotted heading into a cafe in Malibu. A TMZ camera asked him what Nicole Richie and Joel Madden should name their baby: "They'll think of something inappropriate."

I was thinking Crystal Meth Madden if it is a girl, and Vic Codin Madden if it is a boy.

Just a thought.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

666, Sign of the Devil!

Crazy, that is what she was. Pure, unadulterated crazy. And of course she was a frequent flyer, until the day her welcome wore completely out.

The first day I had her as patient, the MD wrote orders for her to have her urinary catheter removed. I'm wondering how I'm going to get to it as I walk into her room (she was a VERY large woman).

"Good News! The doctor says the catheter can come out"

"I don't want it out, I don't want to have to get up to pee."

Blink, blink, "What?"

"I want to keep it, I don't want to have to get out of bed to pee."

"I'll come back later."

"When you come back bring my pain medicine and Xanax."


Later that night......the call light from her room comes on.

"Can I help you?"

"Yeah, is it time for my pain medicine and Xanax yet? And when you come, bring me 6 icecreams, 6 graham crackers and 6 juices."

666, sign of the Devil? I think so.

So, this same scenario went on for weeks. We finally got to the point that every night at 11pm whoever had her as a patient pulled her meds and filled a wash basin with ice, her 6 icecreams, 6 crackers and 6 juices and delivered them to her.

Then the day came for her discharge. Woohoo. Celebration broke out in the nurses station.

"Good News! The doctor says you can go home today!"

"I don't want to go and I'm not going!"


"I don't want to go and I'm not going!"

Blink, blink, "I'll be back"

"When you come back bring my pain medicine and Xanax."

So, this went on for 3 days--I kid you not.

On day 4 the hospital had had enough and someone from patient services came to tell her that if she didn't leave, the hospital would get a restraining order and force her to leave.

She finally gets the message and calls her father to come get her.

He drives up to the front door in a huge pickup truck with a crew cab. Elation is felt that she is finally going home until we realize we have no idea how to get her up in the truck. Several scenarios are tried to no avail. She finally gets mad and says, "Just let me do it myself!" and launches herself head first into the back seat of the truck.
It's 100 degrees outside and she is now stuck head first in the back seat. She's wearing a hospital gown and all you can see is her bare ass sticking out of the truck. Did I mention this is at the front entrance of the hospital?

Security is called. They assess the situation and decide that the best course of action is to call the fire department to get her out. The fire department arrives and after nearly an hour, she is freed, and then..........

SHE TAKES A HUGE DUMP right there on the sidewalk. Did I mention this is at the front entrance of the hospital?

One of the firemen says, "Do you want to take her back in and let her cool off and clean her up?"

"NO, we want you to help us load her up so she can go home."

Much huffing and puffing and straining occurred as the firemen loaded her into her father's truck. We said our goodbyes. There was a tear of joy in my eye.

The firemen were nice enough to follow them home to make sure she got into the house safely.

Braves Fan?

I have never been a sports fan. I watched baseball and football when I was a child because my father was Lord of the Remote and we watched what he wanted to watch. I maintain that one of the best things about single life was never having to watch sports. I'm single no more, and baseball and football have reentered my life. But recently I have found myself interested in the Braves because of two things 1) The Mark Teixeira Tribute and 2) Julio Franco.

The song and Teixeira speak for themselves.

Then there is Julio. He just turned 49 years old two days ago is still playing. The Braves signed him the first of August and a few days later he went to the minors to clear a roster spot. Julio is now with the Rome Braves . The oldest player on the team wasn't even born when Julio played his first major league game. He says he's going to play at least until he's 50. The Braves hope to be able to call him back up to the majors in September. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you Julio!

My Inaugural Blog

This is my first foray into blogging. I don't think that I have anything interesting or earth shattering to say, but all the cool kids are doing it. I know that I'll have 2 people who will occasionally visit, Unix-Jedi (he has to, he's my husband) and my friend pdb.