Saturday, March 31, 2007

sad but true

Think of me while I’m in this long work stretch…

You might be an ER nurse if -

Discussing dismemberment over a gourmet meal seems perfectly normal to you
You have the bladder capacity of five people and the flat feet of Fred Flintstone
You can identify the positive teeth to tattoo ratio
You believe in aerial spraying of Prozac
You disbelieve 90% of what you are told and 75% of what you see
You say “great veins” when looking at a total stranger
Your favorite hallucinogenic is exhaustion
You think caffeine should be available in IV form
You have ever restrained someone and it was not a sexual experience
Your idea of gambling is an alcohol level pool instead of a football pool
Your immune system is so well developed that it has been known to attack squirrels in the backyard
You’ve ever had a patient with a nose ring, a tongue ring and a pierced eyebrow tell you they were afraid of shots

And my personal favorite…

You might be an ER nurse if your shoes have ever been seized and quarantined by either the Centers for Disease Control, OSHA, the EPA or the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Friday, March 30, 2007

Thoughts from Last Night

It‘s an absolutely beautiful evening. The rain has stopped, soccer practice was cancelled due to muddy fields, the dishes are done – life is good. I’m looking out the window and I’m watching Surfer Dude and Gumby practicing goal kicks in our brand new soccer goals. The adorable little kids next door, a three year old girl and an eighteen month old boy have come out to watch the “big boys” at play. The “big boys”, who inherited the drama chromosome from a family gene pool that shall remain nameless, start to put on quite the soccer show for their rapt audience. Even from the house I can see their little chests puff up at the opportunity to show the young ones how the game is played.

Look at how sweet Surfer Dude is to help the little girl get the ball in the goal. See how carefully Gumby picks up the little boy when he slides in the mud. Watch the adoring looks on the toddler’s faces as my precious boys untangle them from the goal nets. Check out how fast my two athletes can run to chase down the ball.

Hang on a sec. Look at how much of Surfer Dude’s hair is clenched in Gumby’s fist and how much of Gumby’s face is being shoved in the mud in a debate over who got to the ball first. Listen to the air being filled with language suitable only for channels you can lock out of your cable. Look at the adorable little kids next door running for dear life to their mother (the TEACHER) who has watched the entire episode from her porch. Watch her scoop them up and quickly disappear into the house. See the crowd at the curb disperse and go on their way.

Listen to the sounds of our property values going down and the future generation of soccer players turning to something safe, like hockey.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


Oh my god, it's really working. I'm feeling a little less slug-like. Susan, your phone call made my day. (And I do mean day, I just got the message this morning). I'm still on the verge of tears. I would have picked up the phone last night in an instant, but I have phone access issues like you have computer access issues. I'm sure you understand! But just the sound of your voice made me SMILE!! Thank you!!

Surgical Rounds

I had a run-in with a surgeon at work recently that left me a little steamed. In a nutshell, I set equipment up for some sutures and didn’t do it exactly the way he wanted it done. Rather than just grab me and point it out, he went straight to my charge nurse, who told me. I made the change immediately, (as I had been standing there the whole time anyway) and he started the procedure. All of this was done before he even touched the patient. When he was done he went to the ER doc and demanded an incident report since the tray was not set up to his specifications. The charge nurse, trying to keep a straight face, wrote it up and I then had to defend myself to management. Luckily, this was not difficult.

I’m completely over it by now, but it really stressed me out at the time. I’m new to this job and don’t want to make waves. This happened on the last day before several days off, so I had a lot of time to obsess about it. My boss was horrified that I had gotten myself so worked up over something like this, but that’s the kind of gal I am. I put the “A” in anal. And since my old job in a surgical intensive care unit obviously surrounded me with…surgeons, I knew that this could have gotten ugly. Happily for me it didn’t.

I don’t want to pick on just one type of doctor, but everyone knows that surgeons are at the top of the high-maintenance pile. Everyone who works in a hospital, goes to a hospital or watches a television show set in a hospital knows it. Really, all you have to do is drive by a hospital to see that all the Hummers are parked outside of the OR. This is not just my opinion, either…

Q) How many doctors does it take to change a light bulb?

A) Three. One to write the order, one to do the consult and one to watch the nurse do it.

Q) How many surgeons does it take to change a light bulb?

A) One. They just hold the bulb and the whole world revolves around them.

See what I mean?

But, like I’ve said, I’m over it. I’m not the type to hold a grudge anyway. Especially against someone in a useful field like cosmetic plastic surgery. Now a trauma surgeon or a cardiac surgeon or even an all-around general surgeon – those people are indispensable, no argument from me. But plastics??

Q) How does a surgeon commit suicide?

A) They climb to the top of their ego and jump off.

Anyway, like I’ve said, I’m over it. I feel much better now. On the (mercifully) few occasions I see this guy at work I just remind myself of this well known medical fact…

The only difference between god and a surgeon is that god doesn’t think he’s a surgeon.

It's a really good thing I’m over it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Spring Fever

All in all, we survived Spring Break pretty well. Everyone in the house seemed to just want to kick back and not do much, which is exactly what we did. It was fabulous. We had a solid week of off and on thunderstorms, which made it that much better. We are finally on the verge of spring, and not a second too soon. The daffodils I planted are up and the lilacs aren’t far behind.

No first day back to school after a week off would be complete without a kid trying to score an immediate sick day. Our little docudrama started Sunday night when Sasquatch shuffled into my room at 11 p.m. with a thermometer sticking out of his mouth. I looked carefully, but there didn’t appear to be any food at the other end of it. This was my first clue that trouble was brewing. He took the thermometer out. Cue sound effects. “Cough, cough, COUGH. Mommmmm, I don’t feel good, I think I have a fever,” he mumbled pathetically.

Now you have to understand that this is a kid who was born knowing how to manipulate the system, a future attorney if I ever saw one. And you also have to know that this particular performance is one of his specialties, and that I have fallen for it more than once, earning me heaps of (well deserved) scorn from The Film Geek. Not this time, buddy.

I’ll spare you the next thirty seconds of my monologue, but it all boiled down to Hell, no, I’m not buying THAT! He fired back that he had told me “several times” over vacation that he felt punky and that if I ever listened to him I wouldn’t be so surprised. (Mom’s Rule #1 – If you have enough energy to argue you aren’t really sick). I said refresh my memory on all these times you told me you didn’t feel well, because it’s not ringing a bell here. Was it before or after the birthday slumber party with ten teenage boys invading my living room and swallowing the entire contents of my fridge? Before or after the other three assorted sleepovers and two separate all-nighters? Before or after the one movie, two trips downtown, three meals out, the purchase of a new gaming system with ill-gained birthday loot or the thirty four Rock Stars you’ve inhaled since vacation started? WELL??

I was on a roll since his mouth was full and he was afraid to open it to argue since that might cool off the thermometer. Believe me, I take these moments when I can. Then he took the thermometer out.100.3.I made him take it again in front of me. 100.4. I told him to go to bed and we’d figure it out in the morning. I googled how to tamper with a digital thermometer. I did not go to sleep happy.

The next morning nothing had changed. Shuffle, shuffle, cough, hack, whine. Drum roll please. And the verdict is… 100.3. I hung my head and sent him back to bed.

This was Monday and said child has not been to school since. I even took him to the doctors and had him tested for strep. It came back negative. They wanted to test him for mono. Negative again (thank god). Just a good old stay in bed and drink lots of fluids virus. We couldn’t get in to see our regular doctor, and saw someone new. I guess I looked a little sour, because at one point she looked at me and said, “He really is sick, you know. His throat looks just awful”. The tone in her voice said “what kind of nurse are you??” You don’t want to know sister, trust me.

By now he’s definitely on the mend and probably could be back at school today, but I figured one more day of rest couldn’t hurt. He’s still not anywhere near full speed, but he’s heading in the right direction.

By some odd coincidence one of his closest friends has the same exact thing and has also missed school this week. He’s not faking it either. Must be all those shared Rock Stars.

I bet his parents were a lot nicer about it than I was.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A Cast of (real) Characters

A couple of months ago I got the idea to start this project. Now, you can easily take what I know about blogging and fit it on the end of a knitting needle, so I decided to get an expert opinion. Enter my internet savvy husband. His immediate response was how careful you have to be in cyberspace to not give out any specific information about your life. You know, things that could lead to all sorts of unpleasantness and allow undesirable characters into your reality. (More undesirable than the ones I’m inviting in, anyway).

Considering the amount of time he spends each day catching up with his must read blogs, I figured this must be something he was on solid ground about. So in the interest of cyber safety (and to jazz things up a little bit), I’d like to introduce you all to my cyber family. The names have been changed, but you’ll recognize them, perhaps too well.

First off is my husband. Let’s just call him The Film Geek, because he is. And he knows it. The master of all matters cinematic, digital, or electronic, with total recall for every song lyric he’s ever heard, yet shockingly unable to locate his own wallet on a regular basis. Don’t get me started on his keys.

Next is the eldest, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Sasquatch. Shambling, short-tempered and caring about not much beyond his next meal and some pocket money. Don’t put your fingers in the cage, kids! It’s a teenager! And he bites!

Following on his heels is Gumby. This is the boy who looks like the character in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory who ends up on the stretching machine until he’s ten feet tall and weighs 47 pounds. The child never stops eating, but no one believes me. For thrills he sometimes lifts up his shirt at school and dares people to count his ribs. And they can.

Much of the household comic relief starts (and often ends) in the mouth of our youngest, Surfer Dude. Born with an impeccable sense of timing and the scruples of a celebrity photographer, he has an uncanny ability to say exactly the wrong thing at exactly the right time.

See, I knew you’d recognize them!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Just the facts, ma'am

Let’s just start out with a confession. I’m a rotten correspondent. (And evidently my spelling is slipping too, since it took spell check to point out that I wasn’t even spelling correspondent right). Unlike a lot of my confessions, however, I’m going to try to make things right. Or more right. Call it what you will, but this is my pea brained idea to shut my conscience up. I’m going to start a blog. And I’m going to attempt to post something every day. Stop laughing RIGHT NOW and listen to all my reasons for why this is not a completely insane idea…

1) I’m tired of the disconnect I feel with a lot of the people I want to be more in touch with, and I’m honest enough to know that a lot of it is my fault. I feel guilty when my inbox is full of mail that I don’t respond to and I feel awful when people finally give up and just stop even trying anymore. It isn’t that I blame them, I just feel bad for being such a slug.

2) It gives everyone the choice to read my ramblings or not without the worry of hurting any feelings. Believe me, what I don’t know won’t hurt me. At least, not in this case. On the positive side, we do have more than our share of amusing episodes around here, even if they don’t strike me as amusing right off the bat. Truly. Some of our friends can hardly keep a straight face in our presence, but possibly I’m paranoid.

3) I have no more excuses. The kids are all in school and I’m not. 12 hour shifts may kill my feet, but they leave lots of days off. I’ve finally learned to type. We have lift-off.

4) Back in the day, for those who have been around a while, I used to write. A lot. And I didn’t suck. And I want it back. Badly.

Are you with me? I’m terrified to hit that little “submit” button, but here I go…