Friday, August 29, 2008

What did that tree cost?!!!!

Went to Lowe's to pick up a replacement tree for the fig tree that bit the dust following Dolly (too much standing water did it in). Found a lot of stuff to buy (guess Dave will be digging holes), I get to the check out and the girl is ringing up my purchases. Her eyes get really big, she looks at me, swallows and asks, "Ms. How much was that banana tree?". "Well it was originally $58, but is on sale for $24.". "Oh", she says, "Well I need to call my manager, it overcharged you." "Well how much does it say it costs?" I innocently ask, "UMMMM it rang up $10,000."...............!!!!! I look at the pitiful, on sale, only three-leaves left clearance banana tree..."Well I sure don't see GOLD on the leaves...I think the computer is wrong!" We got a good giggle out of it. I had to wait 30 minutes for management to come to the garden center, then she discounted it more because of the mixup. I got a $58 tree for $6.99. Quite the bargin...for a $10,000 item I thought.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I AM A GOOD NURSE, POSSIBLY A GREAT NURSE, POSSIBLY AN EXTRAORDINARILY GREAT NURSE. But lately, it's been run, hurry, do this do, more, get me, bring! No please or thank-you's ...just snapped orders from patient's, family members, and bosses. Ok, I get it, everybody is stressed. whatever. Family's are stressed...take it out on the nurse. Doctor's are stressed....take it out on the nurse. Housekeeping is stressed...take it out on the nurse. Pharmacy is stressed...take it out on the nurse...People at other facilities are stressed getting transfers from the shift before you came to work...take it out on the the middle...of a major code blue....(which she went to and did compressions and management of a balloon pump) ....and a fire drill...!!!!!!....and ER trying to give report on patient coming...AS SOON AS THE FIRE DRILL IS OVER!!!!! Even a good nurse, great nurse, or nurse extradinare is gonna reach reaction overload!

On top of everything else going on in this circus I call my LAST shift, I had an ICU transfer...on mega fluids 1/2 NS @120, GETTING a Golyte prep (ummmmh can we say 4 LITERS OF FLUID) for the 2ND DAY in a row (gee ICU nurse who transfered this patient, why did no one think to tell the MD that the patient started the day 7 LITERS OF FLUID positive...then add the next 4 LITERS...and fluid...and and and) and and...

I started watching his breathing very closely...his lung he was abdominal heaving...side to side...Not midnight yet...called on-call to give a head's up in case the patient progressed to a more typical respiratory distress. Got order to D/C fluids down to keep vien open..(great, I'd already done that 3 hrs ago...and was planning to get an order for that as soon as the shit quit hitting the fan around here), no Lasix order (must see labs 1st). Well before lab got deoxgenated to low 80's (got a stat ABG +..that means arterial blood gases with all the electrolytes), put on non-rebreather at 100% oxygen. Called on-call in GET HERE QUICK QUICK OR GIVE ICU ORDER...THIS PT NEEDS INTUBATED NOW! Oh, no, cannot sent to ICU or intubate without the MD showing now we are bagging and I've called for the rapid response team...Everybody shows up for the I go to the phone and call the wife...who didn't really want to come, but I insisted.

She steps into the room, grabs me by the arm (yes there are bruises) shakes me SCREAMING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT IN THE HELL DID YOU DO TO MY HUSBAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HE WAS FINE WHEN I LEFT AND NOW YOU'VE TRIED TO KILL HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hummmmmmmmmmmm....she was the one who insisted he have the test again the next day...with the mega prep...................I was the one who saved his life.

He's in ICU , vented, doing fine. Me I want to quit nursing....walk away, go back to being a secretary...where no body cares what you do or when you do it and if you don't get finished...who gives a shit???

Then to top the night off, since my intubated patient took the last ICU bed, I had to take a transfer...that was going to ICU...until my intubated patient took priority...and there was no bed LUCKY ME....I got a patient that required me in the room the rest of my shift to keep her breathing...........

I left work after 9:30 a.m., Respiratory Doc came in and tapped my new patient's lungs and got her breathing again.

Now I can rest up. I'm off for 2 glorious days. My honey and I are thinking about me going back to travel nursing. Maybe I need a change of pace. Maybe I need a break....maybe I need another vacation. I'm feeling burnout.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


I was just sitting this morning drinking my coffee and thinking about friends. Friends I've had at different points in my life and where they are now and if I even know anymore.

I don't remember any real friends until 6th grade. Before that my cousins were my best friends. My favorite cousin was "Jimbo". We did everything together. We slept over at each others houses on weekends, we were in the 4-H club together. I felt like she was so lucky because she had sisters. They were all lots older, but she had them. She could ask them all kinds of questions...about makeup, boys, life in general. You know, all the things you want to know, but won't ask your mom.

Uncle Bud and Aunt Corabell owned a dairy. It was really neat (when it wasn't your responsiblity) to get up and go get the cows in, put the feed in the troughs and watch Uncle Bud clean and hook up the milkers. I was endlessly fasinated and did not at that time, appreciate how hard the work really was. That dairy was cleaner than most houses. Grandma and Grandpa had a milk cow...a herford white face...not exactly a quality..quanity producer, but she had lost her calf, so grandpa started feeding her up and milking her. We learned how to make home made butter and buttermilk. I learned how to hand milk, but my hands weren't very strong, so I didn't do it much, but I did know how. That was probably the meanest cow I ever knew, she would hide in the back pasture when it was time to milk her and we had to go hunt her over the whole 30 acres. We never knew if she was hiding in the gully or the woods, and once she even jumped the fence and hid on the ajoining property, but then I digress. I was talking about friends here.

Back to Jimbo. When I was 10 years old we moved to Texas. Not a long move, but it put Jimbo 40 miles away, which pretty much ended the sleepovers. We grew apart, met new friends and moved on with our lives. She grew up, had kids, and so on and so forth. When I was at my Aunts Funeral in December, I got her address and phone number from one of her sisters. I was so excited, it made me feel connected to family again. She lives not far from my brother Greenville, but very far from here. I called her and we talked nearly two hours. I have written her two letters....I invited her to come to visit, and stay overnight...even her daughter who was considering going to college down here. She never wrote back. She visited Padre Island this summer with her family, passing within miles of my home, but didn't bother to call. I guess too much time has passed for her to put anymore effort into this friendship. I didn't go to the family reunion, but my brother did, he talked to her, she mentioned her vacation...that's how I know she was down here. You'd think she would want to spend even a few hours talking about family, but guess not.

Then in high school my best friend was Mary. Mary dropped out of school when she was 17, but she was so smart. We stayed in touch, and our kids played together as children. She moved away from C'ville, then I moved away, then she moved back to that area, but I didn't. I've lost her address, but I still know where she lives, the last time I was through there I went by her house to visit...yes it's been 11 years, but next time I'm in that part of Texas I'll try again. I've tried to find her on the internet, but she has a very common last name, so that's impossible, I've tried listings for her small town, but her phone is not on any of them. I wonder if she remembers me...ever.

Then there was my best friend Janet. I hear from her email now and then.

I've had a lot of friends over the years, but we all get busy with our lives and don't take care of our friendships. I actually have friends on MySpace and Blogger that I have never met, and they are special friends to me....they listen to me, and answer me, and make me feel connected to the world. I think I really like this blogging thing. It gives me a chance to just think out my feelings and vent, and just be myself.

Last, but certainly not least....and not a "girlfriend", my best friend is Dave. He is my lover, my confidant, my everything. We talk for hours about nothing. We laugh, we eat, we tease, we watch tv, or not, we listen to music or to the silence ... just being around each other is enough. I've had a lot of friends of the years, but I've never had one who just knew what I needed by looking at me. He calls me on the phone, just to leave a message. He sends me little emails to work, knowing that when I get a chance to check it 4 am or later, that it gives me a little boost just knowing that he is thinking about me. I don't think I could survive without him.

Friends....they just make like....fuller.........

Monday, August 18, 2008


Ok, so I'm off, and I'm drinking and not driving and doing really bad karoke at home. I have a machine, my sweetie piped it all through the tv and the surround sound (glutton for punishment he is)...but if I can stand his guitar practice, he can stand my singing....what, oh, well, where are all the dogs??? Do I see paws over the ears??? What was that howl??? A high "C" maybe??? Or a howl of severe pain??? It doesn't really matter, singing makes me feel happy, and happy is good on a day off.

Speaking of work, in a round-a-bout way. My co-worker , Ms. Newbie Nurse Forever called in "tired" to work. Actually called in and said she was too tired to work, she worked too hard last night, call her off, get somebody else to work. Hummmmmmmmmm. She had 4 patient's...I had six. She had one measly admit...I had two back to back admits, one ambulance transfer home, one hourly blood sugar on an insulin drip, one post surg 2 days, with a chest tube, and...that's how it goes. When she works me and the other experienced nurse get all the hard stuff, all the admits, any transfers or discharges...and she whines all night how over-worked she is. She is going on vacation soon....I looked on the schedule...17 days of pure body picking my brain for ever will I survive???? Some days I come in so tired...and I feel like I have been in an episode of Alfred Hickocks "The Birds" and she has been picking at my brain all night long till the point I can't even think. How I drive home is on auto-pilot. I like a a friend...but as a nurse she is driving me and all my co-workers bonkers. She calls in all the time, tells us she's calling in because "I don't like the assignment I had, I'm too tired, they want me to work too hard"...and I wonder...she DOESN'T EVER TOUCH A PATIENT! She gets somebody else to do all her dirty work. Someday soon she may call in "Tired" and find out she doesn't even have a job anymore. In the meantime...I have 17 days of using my own brain for my own work..WooHoo. Oh, and when she was off "tired" I had two new travelers who didn't know where anything was or how our paperwork was to be done, and taking the time to help them still left me with plenty of time for my patients and admit...and I had the most patient's assigned to me because I was a "regular"....and I still had an EASIER night than with the 1 1/2 year "New Nurse Forever"!

Oh, and back to karoke. I rock...I roll, and I sing...bad karoke!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dolly, Random weirdness

Well, Dolly may be gone, but there are still weird things to see and experience.

The elevator at work. The rear door doesn't open. It always says it's on the 3rd floor no matter where it really is. When you get in it always says you're on the 13th floor or going to the 13th floor...and strangely we only have 4 floors and a roof! So is that Lucky the guitar pick's or Unlucky 13 like with superstion??

The parking lot in the mornings. More than trees being pulled up and disrupted, our parking lot is flooded everymore, with water pooling up from the sprinklers. Maybe they are stopped up from the stilt, but what the heck is the matter with the timers...the water is still pumping out in the mornings, not spraying, pumping like a cut artery. Weird.

Driving home, I realize the farmers have probably lost millions of dollars in the valley. Cotton lies on the ground like wet popcorn. What cotton is still on the bush is dangling like wet hankies. Not exactly the fluffy cotton I'm used to seeing.

Roof's covered with bright blue tarps.

Ditches full of stacks of tree limbs.

People helping that's not only's surreal!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


"A day in the Life of Dan" a movie with that Steve guy that played in the "40 year Old Virgin". Wow. I didn't expect comedy, and laughs, and tears...and Wow...I just didn't expect to enjoy the movie so much it was great.

Last week while we were preparing to go to Corpus Christi, I was checking the Local paper for stuff to do..and I did what I usually do and went to Obits...after all, I know a lot of people working in that area, and lived there for over two years. Shock, Shock, ex...the drunk, druggie, stalker "look over your shoulder at all times", the reason for the scar on my face...the reason I cannot ever trust a man totally,.... well his luck ran out. What do you feel when somebody you thought you loved, somebody who made you feel so deeply, fear so deeply, and changed the way you felt about gone.

Relief. Number one, to my shame, I felt relief. Relief from the fear of him finding me. Relief from my past sins, relief from the pain that never went away. Now when I look in the mirror and see the scar, maybe I won't see a man saying "It's Ok, no one will ever notice, after all you are getting wrinkles, it will just fade into the wrinkles and no one will ever know. After all, you KNOW I love you". Well after finally getting off the Merry-go-round and fleeing..first to my Son's (well, guess what...not a surprise...he found me), then to an agency job (guess what, found me again...thank you MSN for keeping my privacy), then landing in a South Texas town where I knew no body with 67 cents in my pocket and a new job, with 2 weeks to payday (sorry Abby, my poor pup who had to eat can beans with me).

Well guess what, he found me again. When my wrist was sprained from him twisting the phone out of my hand because I was calling 911...he took off with my truck keys, my debit card, all my cash, and my credentials that I had to have for my job. The cops picked him up...and wanted to release him...because, after all he was just drunk...and couldn't he just stay with me until he sobered up. "Well, Hell No Officer, He is not my husband, I am not married to him, and he assualted me"...well all that meant nothing in this county, after all that is a common problem in the hispanic community...just same-oh-same-o. The only reason that arrested him "Officer, as I understand it, interferring with a 911 call is illegal, actually a felony?". Well Ms. Gingerjar, please explain how he interferred...Well he forced his way into my apartment and placed my wireless phone in the commode, then he bent my hand backwards (at that time I did not realize I had a real injury), breaking my cell phone....I screamed for somebody just pulling up in the parking lot to call 911. Well, Ms. Gingerjar, were you in fact trying to call 911 at the time of the incident.... Mr. Officer, if you will look at my face where I was struck and my flip phone which is lying in two pieces you could notice I was not wanting him here. Well Ms. there anything else you would like to add??? Yes, Mr. Officer, I have a disc with copies of phones where he beat the hell out of me...which is why I moved to this fine town in the middle of nowhere, and JUST HOW DO YOU THINK I ...A PLAIN OLD CITIZEN KNOWS THAT IT IS A FELONY TO INTERFER WITH A 911 CALL???" So Ms. Gingerjar, you are saying you wish him to be arrested and you will press charges. Yes, Mr. Officer, where do I sign???

The next day he was released on bond (without me being notified) and he caught a bus back to Corpus. I kept calling the arresting officer and was told I didn't have to do anything, since I was assaulted, the DA would automatically pick up the case, I did not have to call, go to court, or be involved (in other words...leaves us the fuck alone and quite calling). Guess what, THE JUDGE dropped the case. He did not have to appear in court. NO BODY asked me about the harm done to me. He was not my husband, he was not my boyfriend. Because we had "co-habitated" I had no rights. If he had been a stranger and assaulted me he would have went to jail, because I "knew" him...I had no rights. I felt that the system had raped me...more than he had...raped me and beaten me down. I was afraid to even go to see my son, or my grandson, I went no where. I stayed home, with my phones off and my cell off...with him calling the apartment complex office up to 50 times a day demanding that I call him back, filling my cell phone voice mail with all the calls it would hold, I couldn't even turn it on. The man was bipolar...He would threaten me "I'll kill you, no body will do anything, they know I have papers, I'll kill you and throw you in the lake or the river...NO BODY CARES. The cops and the legal system proved to me he was right, I had no rights... I was just a woman. Defenseless. Useless. Piece of trash. A throw-a-way babe.

So now he is dead. Roll over accident, drunk driving (go figure) and what do I feel? Sad. His mother has lost two children in two years, both alcohol related. Me. Elated, guilty as charged, not "glad he is dead", but glad that he can no longer ... ever....ever...ever hurt me again. My nightmare is gone.

How may other women live with the nightmare? I don't know, but for me the storm is over and the grass smells freshest after the rain.

Please, Please, Please

Please, somebody, quick, tell me why an 18 year old would be dumb enough to smoke Crack laced MJ...why??? Don't kids know that they can get a heart attack, even if they've never had a history...young and stupidity...yup they go together! Had a patient, we'll call him Joe for HIPPA purposes. His cuz didn't want to "smoke" alone and talked the kid into helping him out with his weed. Granted Joe, who loves to smoke MJ, has not been smoking as much lately...why??? Who knows, lack of a source, lack of money, whatever the reason...he was laying off. Then here his Cuz shows...and he gets more than he bargained for....severe chest pain. I ask him "Joe you still in school?", "Yup!", "Ya a Senior?"..."Well No....", "Well What grade Are you in"....He sheepishly looks at the Floor..."Well I'm doing the 10th for the 3rd time....I'm a Sophomore". The MOM in me wanted to kick in and say, "DUMBASS...THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU SMOKE DOPE" . Well guess you could say he has said good-bye to ambition, hello to addiction.

Left a boat-load of literature on Cocaine, crack, smoking cessation, substance abuse and the like at his bedside, and referred him to Casemanagement for possible follow-up counseling. That's it, that's about all we offer.

At least the crazy lady in bed 3 quit screaming at me long enough to go home.... *hand-springs* in the hallway!

Nighty night. Gotta go to bed now.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Newby Nurse forever does it Again

Well, I guess me watching over one of her patient's all night long wasn't enough. I told her you couldn't give blood with a 24 g needle, and I reminded her to check the IV BEFORE obtaining the blood from the lab...she pooh-poohed me has NS going at 100 in it, it's fine, I'm using it. Checked blood at the bedside, she pulls back the sheet and low and behold the IV is out and the NS is flowing all right...right into the bed....oh my gosh...whatever will I do....WILL YOU PLEASE START ME ANOTHER IV? I actually turned in disgust...and said..."Sorry, you'll have to get the Charge Nurse for that, I'm too busy (after all I had a new IV to start in one of my own rooms!). She was shocked, I didn't do it for her, I didn't start the IV or the blood, or do her medication records or get the drift.

Got an admit last night, 95 yr old gal, full of grit and vinegar I tell ya. She's a cutie. I really hope she is better by this evening as she was very sick this morning. No complaints from her. I did have a patient that was yelling at me when I came in the door, mad because I didn't speak Spanish, I got somebody to translate and calm him down...this morning he was speaking PERFECT English!!!! Like why the heck did I have to take an ass chewing...when he understood me PERFECTLY???

WEll to bed I go...I actually had a decent night as you can see, it is 8:30 and I am home again!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Another Day...and back to work

My last day at work (Sunday night) wasn't too bad. Got relieved by a nurse from a sister hospital that had traveled from Arizona as a volunteer to do some relief work. The valley unsually has slow summer season. We don't have extra workers in the summer, but always have travel nurses to help in the winter when we are busy...winter Texans and all. Well since the big OTHER hospital had so many window's blown out...they have almost a whole floor (over 21 rooms) that are out of commission, and they have been on diversion for two weeks now, we have been getting all the overflow. I am not complaining, since that means I'm not getting cancelled and not having to use over-time to tide me over so my pay is level. It just seems like the patient's we've been getting have been really really sick...and "heavy". My "new" nurse was complaining (again) that her patient load was too heavy and I actually should have gotten that assignment...since I was more experienced than her (whine whine whine) I offered to exchange...give her my one day Post-CABG with 3 chest tubes and a PCA, my two day Post-amputee with a PCA, my patient getting two units of blood that night (on my shift), my Confused patient (with no sitter) and my new hemodialysis patient who had a severely low BP.....well after about two heartbeats of thinking about it she realized she actually had gotten the lighter patient load.....very stable patient's with one patient a DNR....what was she really complaining about???? She just has a lot of insecurity and doesn't trust her own judgement. If she would just start relaxing...she knows what she is suppose to do...but she stresses herself and everybody around her because she just has no confidence....too bad it doesn't come in a tonic...I'd give it to her.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Dolly: The aftermath!

Well for us, the damage was moderate...mostly roof. Others' not so lucky. The storm drains overflowed in town and peoples homes have 3-4 feet of water in them. Other places have better drainage than here. Here, there is a levy system for the Rio Grande, but most places have built up small earthen levies around the outsides of their property to hold water in...because it is so dry, when you water you don't want it to run out and into the ditches, well this system has worked against us with the torrent of rain. Water stood in yards for days...allowing the mosquitos to breed and hatch. Hords of of mosquitoes, immune it seems to every spray known to man. Hundreds at the door waiting for a meal to come out. Hundreds swarm into the vehicle when the door opens. Hundreds swarm onto you when you get out. "Off" is our friend...which is only a deterrant!

The adjuster is here...still measuring and computing damage...and we..we were lucky. We didn't lose any food due to being able to use a generator most of the time (and planning, I filled every empty space with water bottles full of frozen water (solid water stays frozen longer than crushed ice) and had 40 pounds of bagged ice in the freezer to keep it cold! The roof and underpinning are our main concerns. The roof...before it rains again...needs to be totally replaced, and the underpinning needs back on to decrease our energy consumption and allow the house to be really cool again. But, we know angels were watching over us. It could have been much worse.