Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Water Water Everywhere

Well, you know how it is, feast or famine, drought or flood. Since I haven't lived in this area that long, I wasn't too worried about the drought...except with all the wild-fires in the Spring and early summer. In fact when we were in Tennessee my hubby was so excited when it rained he got out the cam-recorder and documented it. It was really funny, to me, because I had spent the last few years either in Beaumont, Texas or the Piney forest of East Texas, where rain was more of a bother than a blessing. My hubby on the other hand (this was around the time we got married), had spent years in Carlsbad, New Mexico and West Texas...Midland and Odessa to be exact, then he had moved to the Rio Grande Valley. To him rain was not only a blessing, it was an occasion to be celebrated with champane!

Here, now....water, water, everywhere. Since Dolly we have been blessed with an over-abundance of rain. The soil here just cannot handle it. We live in black-land clay, you hear Rio Grande Valley and you think sand...but it just isn't so. With clay, after so much absorption...water just stands there going nowhere. Now remember we live in the country, so we have a septic system. After so much water, the septic lines and tanks fill up, they cannot drain because the ground is saturated. So, we are having trouble with our brand new septic system...and they just don't come with a garrantee. Oh, and remember the texas mosquitoes??? There is no stopping the breeding action when there is water standing inches above the ground everywhere you look. And the grass....beautiful...and deep...and unmowable...because the water is standing inches deep....and it HASN'T RAINED IN OVER A WEEK!

The lakes are full...for the first time...ever. I guess the water table has came up. I have a friend who cannot even shower at home because she lives on Class IV land...and apparently didn't do the recommended Class IV septic...and her well now smells like rotten eggs, and so does her bath water. So, guess since we have "city"water, we actually are doing ok. It's just that pesky little problem of water backing up in the bathtub. Guess it's a spit bath for me!

Friday, September 26, 2008


My hubby is Mr. Technical Techo decided to change my homepage and his. Now we have something called Monzilla Foxfire and he has managed to hide all the blogs I follow that I had saved as favorites because I didn't know how to add a blog-roll. So all these great blogs I love to read I have to re-find, and If I've forgotten somebodies name or blog-spot...I'm basically screwed. So Here I sit with the Plot of Revenge...How he has Figured Out How to Pry me Off the COmputer to sit outside in the 97 degree heat With Him and Watch the Chicken Smoke...not happening...this gal is gonna figure this 'puter out....now were did I put that delete key?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sucky Ways To Die

I always thought of the many ways we destroy our bodies that liver failure would be the worst way to go. Yellow skin, yellow eyes, swollen belly, bleeding from every orfice, brain in shut down from over-abundance of ammonia, crapping every 15 minutes due to the meds to take said ammonia out of the system...yup a very sucky way to die.

I have revised my list to include total renal (kidney) failure. The kind where you have to have dialysis three times per week or swell up like a puffer fish and suffer agonizing pain all over and slow shut down of every system...most importantly...and not to be under-estimated your respiratory system.

I've had two patient's in less than than many weeks with basically the same thing. They both refuse dialysis...they know they are gonna die...but choose to live their last days without being hooked to the dialysis machine. That is their choice. My problem??? Doctors...who know the patient is in agonizing pain, can't breath because of the fluid overload and they want them to go for pointless and useless tests to tell them what they already know...duh...they are in kidney failure. Happened last week, Doc tells me to "convince" the patient to go for the CT Scan (humm, she is now 350# due to all the fluid, her legs are so heavy she can't move them, it is agony for us to just turn her to wash her bottom and back and the doc wants her to lay flat...transfer to a gurney...transfer ...still flat...to a tiny table that goes into the machine. Lie flat, possibly with her arms over her head...if they will go that high...then transfer back to the gurney, stay flat for the 15 minute trip back to her room and transfer back to her bed.) Now, if she survived all that "testing" just what good would it do? My answer to the doc. "Dude, she signed a DNR, She is wanting to go home with hospice, She is refusing hemodialysis...and this test is gonna help her, how?" "oh"...well he cancelled the test. She went home with her family by ambulance a couple of days later. I heard last night that she passed away, as expected, surrounded by her loving family.

Nuff said...I don't want liver failure or renal failure...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Not a Real Nurse?

WEll, I got a little fed up with being the total support person for a year for the new nurse...and stressed by all the stuff going on at work...so I applied and was accepted for a new position. I'm gonna be a casemanager. I'll still be a nurse, just the go-to person for arranging home health, hospice, rehab, and lots of other marginal duties. So, my co-workers are looking at me like I'm a turn coat...I was even told I was no longer a "real nurse".

So, am I only a "real nurse" when I am handing out meds, mediating with a family, doing teaching, fielding orders and phone calls and all those things. Why is it if you arn't wiping bottoms and giving bed-baths you arn't a "real nurse". And speaking of that, why is it that the people who think you arn't a "real nurse" are the very people who won't "touch" a patient, unless they have no other choice...and pick your brains to pieces...but consider their-selves a "real nurse". Education is not what makes you a real nurse...caring is what makes you a real nurse. I think I can do a great job of caring, and helping people learn to care for themselves.

If I am not able to learn to do this new job, I'm sure their will be plenty of "real nurse" jobs for me to go back to.

On the flip side, my honey is looking forward to me being home nights and weekends. :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Abby gets the bird

Beautiful day yesterday, sunny, cool, little breeze blowing, so we opened up all the windows. Abby was playing vulture dog...just hanging on the back of the love seat looking out the window. Me, I was trying to catch a nap before I had to go to work...somehow 4 hours of sleep was not cutting it. All of a sudden, whack...whack...THUMP.

Apparently some nearsighted quails tried to fly right through the window screen, and Abby reacted like any red-blooded fraidy cat dog...and fell off the back of the love-seat. Then she tried to save face by jumping back up on the loveseat and raising nine kinds of billy hell barking and growling...which got the rest of the pack going.

Dave had to reported all this to me with glee, as I stumbled into the living room to see what all the fuss was about.

Too funny, then the pups all had to go out and pretend to be bird dogs...looking for birds...or feathers...or anything they could find and bark at it. Poor baby cow. Poor baby cow that is Abby's neighbor. Poor baby cow. Poor momma who got zero zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz's.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

We missed Ike...but...

Well we missed Ike, but a lot of my friends and extended family didn't. My (ex) step-daughters evacuated to Sulfur, LA...and wound up getting hit harder than if they had stayed in Beaumont, and three days later were told to evac from Sulfur because they had been without electricity for 3 days, so they just went home to....la-da-da...no electricity. They are getting pretty used to it by now. I have friends working at the hospitals there who I haven't heard from yet. I hope to try again the next few days as peoples cell phones start powering up again and the towers are back up.

Here...we went to the beach on Tuesday, Padre Island...the access roads were closed. We took the dogs and walked in with a couple of sandwiches, wieners for the pups, and some towels to sit on. We had the best time ever. There were only two or three beach-combers...and we were able to let the dogs off the hook to run and play and explore in the dunes. Funny thing, the dunes are closer to the beach, and the beach sand is all packed down because the loose stuff washed out. The surf is still muddy and only an idiot would brave the rip-tides...but for a romp in the water with the puppies it was wonderful. Dave pronounced it as the best beach day he has ever had.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008


This is me and Abby working on a baby quilt for my new grandbaby. Notice how calm we appear. This was before we heard there was another hurricane in the gulf. Anxiety Annie...that should be my nickname, I an a ninny when it comes to storms that contain the following: wind, rain, lightening, and thunder...and did I mention wind, rain, lightening, and thunder....???

WEll somehow I got the picture on here twice...not what I wanted to do.
Ike is coming. We are warned of the following: Be prepared to evacuate with your patient's on a "volunteer" basis. (yeah right), you must report for work prepared for lock-in (in other words...once ya get here ya ain't going home...no matter what!). If you evacuate...you have a ride in an ambulance to a sister hospital where you will be responsible for a patient that is shipped....do not know if you will have a ride back in an ambulance or not...that is not known....you may know where you are going...you may not. You may have clean clothes with you, you may not, you will be responsible to pay for your own meals...if there are meals available (so take card, cash and extra undies kiddies...it might get rough!) When you get to the sister facility...you may or may not have a place to sleep (so are we taking care of the patient 24 hours a day for how long....and if we go to sleep after 36 hours or so is that a cause to be suspended or lose your nursing license??? or is that common sense?) or you stay at your facility...with admits pouring in because anybody with a chronic condition that is afraid to evac...like hemodialysis patients and patients on C-pap's (no electricity and every body panics)...so you may be caring for twice the patient's with half the helf and everybody is totally needy, and they bring oodles of family with them (who cannot be turned away). I understand everybody wants to be safe. But, when I report to work I leave my husband to fend for himself with three dogs in a mobile home in a least a Cat 3, and we know a Cat 3 and mobiles don't mix....I'm trying to talk him into evac before the storm to Austin or San Antonio so he can get a room, and be my rock in the storm when I evac to the same town...(I'll insist...I think), and I know I'll have a ride home...and I won't be so scared....of the wind, rain, lightening, and so on and so forth.....
Then of course there is the best case scenerio...it goes North and hits somebody else...but then that's where my son, daughter-in-law and grandson live...could be it would trace North....How selfish would it be to pray it go South of the Rio Grande???? The people there have nothing...no hurricane supplies, no government support, and they live in shacks...even I could not be so selfish....So.................
Anxienty Annie is praying for a miracle...that it peters out into a little ol' tropical storm Ike with a lot of rain and a lot of miracle in the thunder and that no body gets hurt or loses their homes.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

50 1st dates....

Remember the show, 50 1st Dates with Drew Barrymore??? Well I had a simular experience last week with my new patient.

I recieved a 91 year old grandpa...with Alzheimers dementia. He had no family with him, and obviously was a poor historian. He was very pleasant and spoke a little English (Better than my little bit of Spanish). Every time I went into the room he would ask "Who are you?" in a fearful voice. Each time I calmly responded "I'm Ginger, your nurse." He would respond each time " I'm Mr. Jose." (not his real name). I would do what I needed and leave with a small light left on. About the 5th time this happened it started being funny. The aide went in with me to turn him. Now you have to know my aide...I'll call him Jay. Well Jay used to be an EMT which he thinks makes him ultimately qualified to tell the RN's what to do...or maybe it's because he is a man and is over 50 years old. Anyway, in his condensending voice (in front of the patient) he told me "YOU need to learn Spanish, why haven't you taken a Spanish course? You're a nurse." (the subtitle here is: you're a nurse I know you can afford it, don't you care that you can't talk to your patient's?). "Well Jay, I'd certainly love to take a class, but as you know the only time they teach it is at night....when I'm at work...and I can't take off work a whole semester to take a class." (unlike his family situation...we are a one income family!). My patient, Mr. Jose listened very carefully to what was being said....Jay told him in broken Spanish what we were going to do (give him a bath). Mr. Jose looked at Jay, looked at me....and shook his finger at Jay and said ....."YOU need to learn a little Spanish, SHE's ok!" Jay's jaw dropped to the floor, and I had to giggle, it was sooooo freaking funny. I actually think he meant to tell Jay he needed to learn a little manners!

Later when the doctor came in...Jose and I had another of our 50 1st Dates. "Who are you?", "I'm your nurse, Ginger".... The doc spoke fluent Spanish. She was talking to the patient and she started laughing, and patting his hand and saying, no no no...then another quick string of fast Spanish. I asked her what was so funny....She said she had asked him if he knew where he was and he had said "yes"....she said "well where are you at?" He responded "the funeral home"! No wonder he was so fearful everytime I went into the room...he thought he was dead!

Alzheimers has to be the saddest disease. I used to work with a nurse at the prison, her husband had Alzheimers, and he was in his early 50's. She eventually had to quit her nursing job to care for him full time. She had him in assisted living...but it still took her as a full-time caregiver to keep him safe.

I looked up some info on Alzheimers because my nursing mag's have printed articles about advances being made. A good resource is www.alz.org which explains about this disease, the progress being made and resources for caregivers.

Me, I wonder if Mr. Jose will be there on Monday still for our 50th 1st date?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Why Visitors Should Go Home...but they don't :(

Had a patient repeat tonight. Same dude that almost coded on me with the same spouse that screamed at me and grabbed my arm. WELL LET ME TELL YA! The poor guy got no sleep last night...his wife poked and prodded and shook him all night...and would come get me...."his stomach is hurting him"...

Well Ms. PIMA (ok that is bad...but it stands for Pain in my Arse), what makes you think his abdomen is hurting him, he is actually asleep.

Well Ms. SmartyPants nurse when you take your hand push it five inches down into his stomach, grasp the "fat" and twist it elicites a moan and he starts slapping the side of his bed with his hand.

Ms. PIMA, perhaps if you didn't attempt to palpate his spine from the front, he might possibly stop hurting.

But, Ms. SmartyPants nurse, he must be hurting.

Ms. PIMA, I really must insist that you unhand your husbands stomach before he covers you with Pulmocare emesis, which wouldn't be very pleasant.

Well, Ms. SmartyPants nurse, I really insist that you medicate him for pain since he is obviously in pain. (actually by the point the patient WAS in fact moaning) I could "see" the pain. I bet in the depths of his mind, back behind the drug induced fog and the ICU psychosis..he is thinking...someday Ms. PIMA...someday I will run to the light...run to the light to get away from the constant goading, pinching, pushing and pulling on me you do!

Oh, Joy! She actually slept one hour last night...so my patient got to sleep one hour. She said she would go home for a few hours to sleep today, so the Mr. will get a little sleep...of course that means she will be back to fuss over him and pick, prod, and piddle all night. I swear she stood at the door's window watching me, and everytime my behind got near a chair so I could chart and check the Medication records for the next shift...she was calling me for something. I feel sorry for the Mr. Maybe they will send him to rehab so he can rest up before he has to go home.

Me. I got off work and went to the other hospital to actually visit somebody, my neighbor. She is so nice...she gave me an ivy she grew for our house. She had knee surgery and is a bit under the weather. I took her a card, a mum plant (gold and yellow...very pretty) and two magazines. Her hubby wasn't there yet. Their cow died last night and he's waiting for the county to come and bury her. They sure loved that cow...she actually died of old age! Ah, to be a cow...a HAPPY COW!!!

Oh, and speaking of HAPPY COW'S never never never never sent a FarSides cartoon with a cow on it to a sister-in-law....they just don't get the humor...especially when they (unbeknownest to you) have gained 50 lbs since you last saw them....yes...my bad. I was trying to cheer her up since she had just gotten released from the funny farm. I sent her a card that had a salesman cow on it and a housewife cow opens the door. Salesman cow asks "are you a happy cow?"....and the rest is history. My sister-in-law didn't speak to me for nearly a year.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

It is a Hurricane Baby

My ex-step-daughter who was due in two weeks and lives in a "sub" of Beumount, TX had to evacuate for Gustav. Her mom lives in Tyler, so there she went and when she got there had to go immediately to the hospital where she had a beautiful baby boy 5lbs and 6 oz, they named him Camdyn. So she'll always have the ultimate hurricane story!