Thursday, November 29, 2007

What is going on?

I checked SiteMeter. I'm getting hit after hit on this entry. The referring URL is Google Images. Someone PLEASE tell me what's going on.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Update #35679983

Pops didn't have his heart cath yesterday. His kidneys weren't functioning well enough to tolerate the contrast dye. His kidneys are back to normal today, so the cath is scheduled for tomorrow.

I'll try to post something else besides family stuff soon. Right now I'm too tired and distracted to think about anything else.....

Monday, November 26, 2007

There's no place like home....

We're home, and I feel guilty for being so happy to be here.

Pops really wants to go home. I guess this is the longest he's been away from home in years and years. He was really hoping to be able to go home today. No such luck. He's going by ambulance to a much bigger hospital about 100 miles away for a heart cath tomorrow.

The past week has been surreal. Some events are permanently burned into my memory....

My mom's shaky hand signing Pops' DNR....

Pops telling me that he didn't want an open casket....

My mom, brother, U-J and I sitting and standing around Pops' bed holding hands while he tells us to take care of each other....

Seeing my dad walk down the hall 2 days after the doctors told us he wouldn't make it....

As emotional draining and stressful as this week has been, there has been beauty and love.....lots and lots of love....

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Update #???

Pops is out of ICU and into a regular room. He'll be in the hospital for a few more days. He's getting bossy and cranky and wants to come home--he must be feeling better :)

Thanks for all the kind words and prayers. U-J and I will be headed home tomorrow....

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

Thanksgiving 2007 will go down as one of the worst days of my life.

The hospital called us about 15 minutes before we were planning on leaving for the hospital and told us we needed to get to the hospital ASAP. My heart dropped into my stomach. I've made that call to families before......

We (U-J, Mom and me) arrive at the hospital and Mom and U-J immediately go to see Pops. The nurse holds me up and tells me I need to get Mom to sign Pops' DNR. That is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.....

His nurse tells me he is probably not going to make it through the day. His pastor is an RT at the hospital, and the nurse has already called him. Thankfully, he tells Pops what is going on (I don't think I could have told him) and that he needs to tell us goodbye.....

My mom is in pieces. They began dating when they were 16 and have been married for 43 years. Pops is asking for my brother. I have to tell my brother that Pops is going to die and he's waiting for him to get there so he can say goodbye.....

I begin to call family. Pops gives me a list of friends to call. Then he begins to plan his funeral. I spent rest of the morning calling family and friends, taking care of my mom, saying goodbye to my dad and crying. Pops keeps asking for my brother. I desperately want my brother to get to the hospital (he made a 5 hour drive in less than 4 hours), and at the same time I dread him arriving. I fully believe that once Pops has us all together and tells us he loves us, he is going to go.....

My brother arrives. We spend time as a family. Tons of tears are shed. This is the first time I have ever seen U-J cry. Pops keeps telling my mom to smile....

The ICU nurses are GREAT. He is the only patient in the ICU, so we have the floor to ourselves. They set as many chairs up in the room as they could and let him have as many visitors as he wants--and he wants to see everyone.

Several of his friends scrap their Thanksgiving plans and drive 2, 3, 4 hours to see him. Once he has a room full of people, U-J, my brother and I slip out to get something to eat (none of are hungry, but we know we need to eat and decompress a little.) My dad won't let my mom out of his sight, so she stays.....

We return to the hospital an hour or so later after the worst Thanksgiving meal ever. When we return, he has a room full of friends, he's telling stories and smiling. He's at peace, and miraculously, a little stronger....

I send my brother and U-J home for the night. Mom stays in his room, and I try to sleep in the waiting room. I don't want her to be at the hospital alone if he passes away.....

This morning the doctor comes in and says that he has to spend one more day in the ICU. The next day he can go to a regular room, and then if all goes well he can go home.....

It isn't over, but it been one hell of an emotional rollercoaster ride......

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Update #2

Pops was much better today. The BiPAP and NG tube are gone. He's wanting to know when he can go home. He's still in the ICU and will probably be there through tomorrow and then hopefully he'll graduate to a regular room. Some of his quick wit has returned. He definitely has some heart damage. His ejection fraction is only 19%.

U-J and I will be going to my aunt's tomorrow for T-giving (she only lives an hour from the hospital.) Mom is going to spend the day with Pops at the hospital.

I'm going to bed--so tired......

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


A short update on my dad. We drove to Florida to see him today. He's still in ICU and probably will be for a few more days. They think he probably had a small heart attack before he got to the ED. He's getting help to breathe. His body is just really tired out. He didn't know I was there.

For any medical people who read this, his pH was 7.68 and potassium was 2.5 this morning. He's got an NG tube and he's on BiPAP. His lungs are getting clearer, the ascites is better and the swelling in his extremities is going down. He had to be on a dopamine drip earlier today and be restrained.

My mom is worn out and relieved we are here. We'll go back in the morning and see what tomorrow brings. Thanks to those of you who are keeping us in your thoughts.

Monday, November 19, 2007


My dad is in the hospital.

He's had a really bad cold for a couple of weeks. I talked to him on Friday and he sounded really funny. He was slurring his words and repeating himself. My mom assured me it was just because he hadn't been sleeping well. He'd been to the doctor the day before and gotten some antibiotics.

Today his legs were very swollen and he was complaining about being short of breath. My mom took him back to the doctor. His oxygen saturation was in the 80's, his lungs had fluid in them and his EKG was abnormal. So, the doctor sent him to the ED.

His lab work came back. His potassium is critically low at 1.6, his sodium is critically low (mom didn't know the number) and all his other electrolytes are abnormal. He's being admitted, possibly to the ICU. The low potassium explains the abnormal EKG and the low sodium plus the low oxygen explain the altered mental status. So, he's getting lasix to pull off the excess fluid and K-riders to replace his potassium.

U-J and I are debating going down early for Thanksgiving. Sigh.

Chuck Norris--'nough said Part 2

I've never heard of Mike Huckabee, but he's got my vote!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Free to a good home

I was laying in bed about 2 weeks ago when I heard a pitiful "Mawww."

Once we determined it wasn't the Kitty From Hell (aka U-J cat) crying, we went out on the deck. And there she was, on the roof, crying pitifully to get down. We finally got her down. She was scrawny and very hungry. So, of course we fed her. Despite being scared and hungry, she was very lovey.

The next day when I got home, she was gone. Ok, well, she got a little food and moved on. We really don't need another animal. Then it got dark and she reappeared. That has happened every night for the last 2 weeks except one.

She's not afraid of the dogs even though our goofy black lab keeps trying to taste her. I did make the mistake of introducing her to KFH. After much hissing back and forth, I got peed on.

We have no idea what we are going to do with her. We REALLY don't need another pet. But dammit, she's so sweet......

Emergency Department

I was 21 when I paid my first visit to the ED. My parents took me to the local ED at about 2am. I was doubled over in pain and vomiting. You guessed it, kidney stone. I was immediately taken to a room, seen by a physician and given pain medicine--I really don't know what all happened after that.......

The next visit was 18 months later. This time it was my roommate who took me to the ED in the middle of the night. Again, I was doubled over in pain and vomiting. Again, I was taken immediately to a room. I remember a nurse saying, "Honey, I have kidney stones too, and I'm going right now to get you some pain medicine."

A year ago today, I broke my ankle. After arriving at the ED, I was triaged by a nice nurse and promptly taken back to a room. My total time in the ED-- triage, x-rays, MD visit, splinting-- took less than an hour.

And just so you know, all this happened at 3 different hospitals, in 2 different states.

I've only had to go the ED 3 times in my entire life, and all 3 times were emergencies. Maybe that is why my experiences with the ED have been positive.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I just don't understand

A patient comes to the clinic complaining of a fatigue and headache. The person with him says, "he's just not a perky as he usually is."

So, I begin to interview him with the standard questions.

When did you start feeling bad?
This morning.

Where do you hurt?
Back of my neck.

Do you hurt anywhere else?

Has this happened before?

Do you have high blood pressure?

Any other health problems or conditions?

When did you last take your medicine?
This morning.

What do you take?
2 pills.

Do you know the names?
No. I can't remember right now.

And so on, and so on......

I take his BP and its 188/111. I do an assessment and find nothing else unusual. So I get him to lay down, give him something for his headache, arrange for him to be taken home and called his doctor.

After I do all this, I go back to check on him and take his BP again. It's gone down a good bit.

You feeling any better?
A little.

Any chest pain?
No. You know I had one of those things done to my heart a few months ago (as he points to his groin.)

A heart cath?
One of those things where they go in your leg......

Did they put anything in your heart, a stent?
I don't know.

Did they give you a card to keep in your wallet? (for those who don't know, you usually get a card to carry saying what kind of stent was placed)
(digging around in his wallet) Yeah, this.

Have you been able to remember what medicines you take?

But you did take them this morning?
Yes, but that is the first time in about 2 weeks. I just got it refilled yesterday.

Why didn't you get them filled when you ran out? Are you having trouble paying for them? You know, some pharmacies have some medicines for $4......I can help you.....
No, I don't pay for them, I get them from the health department.

How's your head feeling now? (because mine is about to spin around.)
Well its not as bad as when I have migraines.


Why in the hell didn't you tell me about the cath, the history of migraines, and not taking your medicine for 2 weeks when I first talked to you? And, how in the hell do you not know what someone did to your freaking heart and what the names are of the freaking pills you take?

Friday, November 9, 2007

Big surprise

What American accent do you have? (Best version so far)


People used to hate Southern accents but now everyone wants one.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by quizzes and personality tests.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Pubic service announcement

It's bad enough I have test your pee, so please get the pube off the cup before you hand it to me.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Fo Shizzle

In an attempt to reach out to a broader audience I offer this......

Potty Training

As if I need one more reason to be happy that I don't work in the hospital anymore......


cash advance

Who'd a thunk?

h/t Squeaky Wheel

Monday, November 5, 2007

Why I'm glad I never had to work in fast food......

The first of the month means lots and lots of pre-hire physicals. My last physical of the day was a middle aged woman who manages a fast food restaurant. In the course of the physical I noticed a large, swollen oval bruise on her arm.

"What happened here?"

"Oh, I caught an employee stealing, and when I confronted her, she bit me."

Holy crap!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Just drink like the rest of us.......

One of my regular duties at work is post-accident drug testing. Usually the associate pees in the cup, the negative result shows up within 5 minutes, and I can send them back to work. Usually......

The safety officer pops into my office and says there is an associate who needs a drug test and for me to send him home afterwards, or the safety officer adds as a afterthought, send him back to work if its negative. Weird.

A manager escorts the associate to my office and says the exact same thing, and leaves us to the test.

I smile at the associate and say, "Everything's going to be ok, right?"

I get a sideways glance and silence.

"Please don't tell me you did some weed or something this weekend."

Again, I get silence.

"You know you are going to lose your job, right,"

The associate finally responds, "I know."

"Ok, here's the cup, go pee."

The associate goes to the bathroom, shoulders slumped and a resigned look.

Not surprisingly, the test is positive for marijuana. So, I do my thing to send it off to the lab for confirmation and send the associate home.

A few minutes later the safety officer sits down in my office to tell me the story. The associate dropped nearly $4000 worth of product. When told that there would be a drug test, the response was, "I won't pass."

Apparently the associate had been under a lot of stress at home and smoked a dime bag the night before to relax.

Now this person (who was a really good worker) has gone from making $35K a year (not a small amount in the rural community where the plant is located) to being fired for drug use.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Was it the short bus?

My dad was a school principal for nearly 30 years. Over the years he saved some of the best notes he ever got from parents. My favorite one was this:

Please excuse Johnny for being retarded today, he missed the bus.


U-J and I have found the BEST cheese--Butterkase. It's a semi-soft German cheese. YUM!

As opposed to name brand?

I called a patient at home today to check on her. She had not been back to work since she got sick on Wednesday.

"Hey, this is the nurse. I was just calling to see how you are."

"The doctor says I have migraines. My mom and sister have them, so they must be generic."

Thursday, November 1, 2007

First nooses, now bombs

Yesterday I got this message for from my alma mater:
There have been several questions on campus about a reported bomb threat this morning. I'm writing now to tell you what happened. A caller made the threat to the Podunk Police Department at 8:30 this morning, saying a "faculty building" would be targeted at 11 a.m. University Police was notified and we called in Podunk Police, the Sheriff's Office and the Bomb Squad. After extensive investigation, and consultation with university administration, we decided to evacuate the Faculty Office Building at 10:30 this morning until early afternoon. No other buildings on campus were deemed to be in any danger whatsoever.

Since there are no classes held in Faculty Office Building, there was no need to cancel any classes or disrupt any other business operations on campus today, except those in the Faculty Office Building.

I'd like to thank the many people who helped during this process and made everything progress smoothly. And I'd like to thank the campus community for all you do to help keep our campus safe.

Barney Fife, Chief
University Police