Monday, December 28, 2009

Peeves...we all got em...

Brother dearest:

I can write this here since you don't read this secret blog! I admire your New Black Shiny Corvette, but I don't covet it. I love my old Red Paid For Ford...I call it my Paid Ford. It suits me just fine. I almost need a ladder to mount into the driver's seat, but here in Texas, where all the back roads are bumpy, it suits me just fine. I didn't appreciate your sarcasm when I didn't sit my behind properly into your New Black Shiny Corvette Leather seat. Your precise instructions "turn, put your butt in first and then turn and put your feet in", may work quite well when you are 5'7" wearing tennis shoes and have had a lot of practice squatting down to six inches from Terra Firma...but for your dear old sis...two years your senior...wearing stylish 4 inch heeled boots, tighter than this jeans, and haven't performed a squat that low since I was catcher on my baseball team...getting into your NEW Black Shiny Corvette was a feat reminiscent of playing an insane game of fact you can now call me TWISTED SISTA!
Your precise instructions also did not take into account that said New Black Shiny Corvette was parked in the MUD....since we don't have a concrete driveway leading to our house off the dirt road. In order to follow your precise seating instructions I would have to either A) plant my 4 inch heels in the mud and swivel driving the heels in deeper than an auger or B) attempt to balance on my toes, swivel, and plant my ass .... well at this point I would most likely be wiping mud off my favorite pair of $60 Patrol Jeans....and that isn't happening in Sista's world! So yes...I led the way into the car with my long long long legs (much longer than the stubs you stand on) with my sexy black 4 inch heeled boots practically doing the splits in the mud, and still managed to look sexy as hell....and ..... guess what .... I was actually able to get in and sit even without following your instructions. Guess getting that nursing degree and learning critical thinking is working out quite well for me isn't it. Oh, and I love you to death, but if I hear one more time about how important your job is , how important you are, and how everything is top secret and if you tell me you'd have to kill me (well basically that's what you're saying right?), I just may have to shoot ya myself instead of just rolling my eyes. I'm sure you don't want to hear the gory details of my regular day (G.I. bleeders, nausea and vomiters, code brown's, and other gross stuff) and your job is oh so much more interesting (the red wire goes wire wire here...zap...white wire here...zap...yellow nauseam...). I would so suck at your job...schematics ....color codes....numbers....and you, oh I know you would so suck at mine. So today, when you are washing the country mud off your city car....just know that in spite of yourself...I truly love my baby brother even if he could be a controlling ass at times. I've still been married more times than you bro, so if nothing else I've proven myself better at picking losers than you...if that's a contest!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Today's list

1. Take Zithromax.

2. Shop.

3. Wrap Presents.

4. Sleep.

5. Work.

6. Sleep and Repeat.

I have been taking Antibiotics and now I am an almost new woman. I am still hoarse, and I still look like crap, but I feel like me again. It was pretty bad Sunday night at little patient in 26 was so worried about me...she forgot she was sick. I wore a mask for 2 days. I hope I charted on everybody...I was on so many antihistamines I don't even remember my name. My cardiologist was seeing a patient after Midnight on Sunday...I asked him for a script. I told him I would go to my primary care MD on Monday...but I would have to wait to be seen, or it would be at least Tuesday before they would see me...and I had only slept 4 hours in two days...I didn't know if I could stay awake to sit in the waiting room. Dr. G. gave me a script with a refill! Bless his heart. I would have kissed his feet, but I probably would have passed out. I sterilized both nurses stations and Doctor Dictation rooms and every available surface including phones and computer terminals, whether I had used them or not, with Sani-wipes before the end of my shift. I went through 3 economy boxes of Kleenex's that kill 99.9% of Cold and Flu Viruses and 7 boxes of hospital tissue and one large bottle of hand-sanitizer.

Here's hoping everybody in the boggersphere is healthy during the holidays...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

It's 4:19 a.m. and I am still up!!!!

I'm dealing with the creeping crud. Not the H1N1 mind you, but definately more snot than I like to worry about. Sick enough after two days to call in sick, which I hate to do. Sick enough that the fake-Sudafed they sell at Wal-mart was not doing the job, neither was Day-quil, or anything else I could find. Dave finally found some Sudafed...the real deal, in the back of the drawer. It expired in 1999. I DON'T CARE. I've been taking it. I feel better, except the crap makes me nauseated. It made me nauseated in 1999 too, I'm sure, and like all other medicines I can only take 1/2 doses....or be drugged to the max. The way I feel right now...drug my butt and put it to bed.

Yes, it's 4:19 a.m. and I dare not lay down...but I hope soon that I'll be able to go to beddy bye, cause this chick has got to work tomorrow.

I have some awesome pic's from the Christmas party. Dave was so handsome in his black western suit with his black stetson, and I didn't look too shabby hanging onto his side in my outfit. He even bought me a corsage...and I do believe I was the only woman at the party wearing was special! I just have to remember how to download pic's to Blogger and I will be in business.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

76 degrees and it's Christmas time?

Here in the Valley we are experiencing some great weather. Yesterday 76 degree's and sunny. We took the bike out and roared into town to do some shopping. Not much space to haul back purchases...but all I needed was some fancy shoes to wear to the fancy party Med Cath is hosting for our hospital. Our little hospital is the only one in the Med Cath system that came in under budget (read: made a profit) for the fiscal spite of a recession. So, lucky us, we get a catered dinner at the country club.

I have purchased the dress...from Dillard's where I actually hardly ever shop. The skirt is floor length tulip style, and the color changes from Deep Red to Black when you move. The blouse is black velvet with three quarter length sleeves. The cuffs and wide boat neck collar (man it's hard to describe this stuff...glad I'm not a wedding reporter! hee hee) are the fabric that changes color. The good thing about the outfit is that it is slimming. The bad thing is that I probably needed the skirt in a 14, but all they had was a 12, so I'll spend the evening sucking in the gut and trying to breath. I bought some cute shoes at Payless...and they were on sale...$11.00, a bargain for shoes I'll probably only wear once or twice. The shoes fit quite nicely into the bikes trunk bag.

Then Dave too me to eat and we went to the Cattleman and Co. Steak house...they have an awesome lunch .... even the smallest meal is way more than I can eat...and less than $10 a plate, and you get all the home cooked pinto beans you, steaming, and totally without any pork in it. We always sit on "the back 40", which is an add-on screened in huge porch...and I love feeling the breeze and being able to look out at the mesquite trees, flowers and flora. It's kinda like sitting outside...only not near as hot.

After shopping and eating, we had to hurry back home before Angel got off the bus. I took at 15 minute power nap, then her and I went outside to enjoy the balmy weather and sit on the porch swing. Later, as it was getting dark, we came in and tried to play the Wii game. I couldn't find the tennis game, but we found the training game, where you shoot balloons and stuff...and we had a blast. Me, I'm a very careful...aim and shoot kinda girl. Angel...may she is like the shot-gun from hell. Her controller sounded like a machine gun. She shot everything in sight, including friendlies. Remind me to discourage her from joining the military! She was like a 10 year old commando with curls. I was laughing so hard I almost fell down. It was fun.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Getting Ready for Christmas

Guess you could say Christmas is sneaking up on me this year. Here it is the 3rd and I haven't gotten all my gifts done and wrapped yet. Usually I'm almost 100 percent finished with my shopping, and within days of the tree being up I'd have my stuff wrapped. Not this year. In fact, said tree hasn't even been purchased as yet. There are no Christmas candles scenting the living room. No Ponisetta's with their bright cheery blossoms. No model "Grandma's House" decorated with it's little running lights. Where is my holiday spirit?

We had Dave's mom's memorial Sunday. It was sweet, it was sad, now it is over. Time to start getting things ready for Christmas. Dave is depressed. I am depressed. But, I intent to try to pull him out of it by decorating and trying to get our lives back to normal. This will be the first year his son and grandkids are here for the holidays and I want them to be as stress-free and happy as possible. I'd love to get the lights on the outside of the house...not sure if that is practical though, but it might get Dave's mind off the last month. I want to declutter my mind.

Probably won't be shopping much for these holidays, but I want it to be special non-the-less. I want less glitter and more memory. It seems like as I get older the days are flying by so fast. I want some great memories for my kids and grandkids for when we are no longer here to decorate the tree. I want to get closer to God and back to when times were simple. I guess I want to be 5 again.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Long Time No-blogging

I know that I've been on hiatus for some time. My mother-in-law was in the hospital with a lengthy illness (40 days) and had several surgeries during that time. She passed away 11-19 and this is the first chance I've had to re-connect with my blogger-friends. We are still dealing with getting ready to have a Memorial Service for her since her wishes are to be cremated and that takes several days. As we wade through funeral "hell", it is nice to know we do have some choices and can have some input on how things are done. Basically I just want a classy Memorial for a classy Lady...

Rest in peace mom.....

Betty "Jean" Wilson
Nov. 25, 1935 - Nov. 19, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Siezure disorder vs Asshole Disorder

Ok. So the title isn't politically correct. Sure big 300 lb dude was having siezures. Dude been sick with alot of issues for awhile. But after the seizures are over and you've been adequately medicated WTF is up with trying to kick the shit out of the nurse everytime she comes to the bedside. And grabbing her arms and twisting the shit out of them, and nearly dislocating her thumb, all because she is trying to get you up in the bed so you can breath. Why beat your surgical stump bloody because you have to stay in bed, because you haven't walked in two weeks and you have been having seizures every couple of hours, and you're attached to 9,000 monitoring devices in the freaking ICU? And WTF do you think you can go at 2 a.m. in the morning anyway???? All the bars are closed or I'd leave your happy butt in the floor (which is where you'd be if I didn't keep putting your body parts back onto the bed) and I'd go have me a nice cold margarita ....

Thursday, August 27, 2009

She took What??? Part II

Gotta love our internet here. Down more than up. Read part one to catch up.

Well Er nurse had picked her up at 7p. She told me: "Well she grunted when I asked her questions, so I thought she was alert...they gave her Narcan at...oh...around 3 pm...and she was AOX3 then.." Me: "What was the Narcan for?" Her: "Oh, they thought maybe too much of her home pain med's." Me: "What she on?" Her: "Ambiene, Oxycodone, Liquid Morphine..." Me: "Liquid Morphine...I didn't even know they prescribed that to the general much does she get." Her: "I don't remember, but her hubby has the meds out in the Hall".

Ok, first the not looking to good. O2 Sats are down, BP in the commode, respirations slow 9-12, somulent and not waking up. Put her on a non-rebreather mask and put her head down, and head to the hallway. Hubby hands me the meds, I pull out this bottle of CONCENTRATED MORPHINE LIQUID. Hubby states it's a new med for her and she's only had one dose. I look at the bottle, and there seems to be a good bit missing. She only took one syringe by mouth he says, I gave it to her. "Well sir, how big was that syringe you were using??" "I don't know...". "I'll be right back I tell him, I just need the pharmacy to look at this bottle..."

Pharmacist does some calculations based on how much is left in the bottle....wait for it...wait for it....the patient got 100 times the dose she was suppose to get...100 TIMES the dose....can we say....big time too much medicine.

I call the doc, give her 2 more amps of Narcan, take her to ICU, she gets 2 more amps of Narcan on arrival and meds for the blood pressure. She's starting to perk up, opening her eyes.

The next night I get her back. She had been awake all of 4 hours. She asked for AMBIENE so she could sleep. Chickie almost had the never-ending sleep and by my recollection slept almost 48 hours straight, and still wants a sleep aide! Sorry. the Doc hasn't continued that medication. Well then, how about a pain pill for my pain.....Sorry that hasn't been restarted either. I get the eye roll, the blowed out breath...Well then how are you gonna fix my pain.

One ice pack, some extra pillows, and the light's out...patient was asleep in minutes without any pharmacological intervention at all.

Accidental Overdose contributing factors:

1. Unclear instructions on the Bottle.
2. Patient and Hubby don't speak or read good English.
3. Who the F-bomb gives liquid morphine for a 3 year old surgical scar anyway????

She took What???

Got a patient the other day from the ER. Admitting Diagnosis was Rabdomylitis and Acute Renal failure. I was lead to believe this was a walkie-talkie. Incidentally reported, pt had been unresponsive at home, unable to arouse and that she got Narcan on arrival to ER, with good response and that she was talking and responsive.

Well, 5 hours had passed from the time the patient recieved Narcan and came to the floor. When she got to me, I'm like, "Uh, she doesn't look like she's breathing too well to me." ER Nurse "Well I picked her up at 7 pm,

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cute and funny...

So, a few days ago Ashley (the mamma)and Daniel (the daddy) go out on the back porch to smoke (no smoking in the house...Rule #1). Out the doggie door goes: Abby (weiner #1), Izzy (weiner #2), Killer (weiner #3) and Ali (grandchild # 2 just turned one)!!!!! Ali wanted outside with mamma and daddy and just observed the dogs and followed them. Now every-time our backs are turned she heads for the doggie door...because she loves being outside. Ashley is paranoid. I am paranoid. Grandpa and Daddy are paranoid. She knows how to get out the doggie door, but the only way off the porch is the side or the steps...and she doesn't do steps yet. I'm sure that's just a minor glitch in Ali's escape plan. If she watchs the dogs a few times I'm sure she will catch on! Kids are just too damned smart!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Entering the world of laptops.

Well. I'd like to say we have entered the good-times and suddenly won the lottery or something, but that would be a lie. Actually we went to a garage sale. My "geek tech" hubby spotted a "dead" laptop that no one could figure out how to fix. He went to radio shack and bought some electrical techo-geeky stuff.,...and wow. Now I have a Dell laptop that works perfectly. Not sure if it is too old or slow or not...who could tell with out slow-poke server? What is a challenge is typing with a keyboard that isn't sticking, or a mouse that goes on the fritz because it's not finding a signal. It is amazing that my husband is sooooo smart. Gee, and the gal at the garage sale threw in the case, floppies, a power cord and anything else that even looked like it went to a computer. He gave her $20. Damn, I love my man.

Now the only thing weird is that he is using my most loved fix it supply...Duct hold the power supply thingie together. I always tell him duct tape holds the word together...and now he really agrees. Can you believe the man took me to Corpus Christi for a romantic weekend and gave into to my garage sale fetish??? Then is the effort of fairness I took him to a Warehouse tool sale where he bought things I cannot even name...yet alone know how to use...with the exception of the needle-nose pliers. Oh, and I bought him a sign for our window "Forget about the guard dog, watch out for the owner" with the picture of a large gun barrel.....LOL.

I also plied him with steak and seafood. We walked on the jetties by the Lexington (a battleship that is harbored at Corpus) and we watched a helicopter buzzing by while they were filming a Pepsi commercial. They were also having the Special Olympics there, we didn't go, but there were plenty of contenders staying at our Hotel...and they were not all designated Special Olympie's...some were just plain old red neck drunkards! We tried our best to join them...what with me falling into the hot tub and all....ride the wave was really an accident!

So after a weekend of total rest, I went to work...and I don't know what the hell I did to my back (we know it wasn't the wild and weird position sex we tried out over the weekend), but I have been having hellious lower lumbar spasms (so weird for me...I usually only freak up my upper back from pulling up patients). So...I went to the doctor yesterday for pain meds, muscle relaxants and so on and so forth. Today it is some better, but tomorrow I go back to work.
Oh, and I am gonna have an MRI. I have a birth defect called spinal bifia occulta, which means I'm missing some spinous transverse processes on my right lower lumbar spine, and the doc wants to check and make sure I don't have any bulging disks.

Oh, nuff already. I'm listening to "THE BEST OF THE DOOR'S" which my techo wizard hubby loaded on my I-pod Nano I got for Christmas and I still don't know how to use.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I'm still here.

Went to the beach yesterday. Had a really good day watching the grandkids play in the surf. Nobody drowned. Drank some brew (had a designated driver: Dave). Came home, got pissed off, the lazy-in-law...or slobbit, didn't unload the dishwasher or clean up her mess in the kitchen. She did manage to wash her two weeks worth of laundry...after I pointed out I couldn't tell what was clean or dirty in her room...there were piles everywhere...and we have a washer. You'd think a 24 year old WOMAN would be ashamed to have a room that nasty...and stinking of pissy diapers and God only knows what else. I'm glad my room is on the opposite side of the house.

Is it bitchy, insensative, or unreasonable to expect a house-guest who is living with you, to at least keep their part of the house clean. In 40 days she has offered to cook 1 time. And I had to help with that. Our meal was prepared and placed on the table at 10:00 p.m., even though we eat every day at 5:00 p.m., oh, and her husband had to cook the chicken, and the rest of the meal came out of jars....

Ok, so I'm bitchy. I just want to come home on my days off and not spend 4 hours cleaning the house before I can go to bed. Then get up and have to cook and clean up again. Dave and Daniel have been busy outside ditch-witching electrical lines and water-lines so we don't have electrical wires snaked over the yard to the well-pump and stuff. It is hot, dirty work, and they shouldn't have to come in and clean the house too. Daniel, by the way, has got a job now and is working 9 am till 6 pm. Ashley on the other hand is going to get unemployment due to Home Depot firing her while she was on her approved vacation. However, Ashley thinks this means she is still on "vacation" and therefore she shouldn't be expected to lift a finger. The straw that really got me pissed was the other night. I'd had 4 hours of sleep, yes, I will admit, I was a wee bit grumpy. I'm trying to cook supper. I only wanted to sit outside and drink my coffee and enjoy the last of the sunlight...but oh no, I had to do my part of the meal, Dave was smoking fahita's, and I had to make hot-sauce and cut up taters. Did anybody offer to help peel? Nope! Help chop up? Nope? But SHE asked to use my phone. Dumped the baby in the playpen to cry herself to sleep, and took the phone out to her car so she would have privacy and it would be quiet...and left me in the house cooking and listening to a sqwalling hungry baby.

WHEW!!!! I blew a freaking gasket. I picked the wet hungry crying baby up. I carried her to her daddy, sitting out on the swing. I went back in the house and I was banging pans and cooking. By the time everything was done it was dark and the mosquito's were out, so I didn't get to sit outside. I feel like a damned vampire.

I was so depressed Dave took me and the kids to the beach yesterday.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I smelled death today

Today I smelled death and it wasn't pretty. No perfume, no cologne nothing to freshen the air. Just the scent of a woman, who everyone forgot. Found unresponsive on the floor. Three days that no one remembered seeing her. Three days of piled up mail. The policemen couldn't even break down the door. She was afraid you see, of vandals and had locked up good and well. Except for the window. The lone window raised up for a breath of air. In the 103 degree heat. Humidity and rat's had done their job. Three days in the heat and 90 year old flesh begins to rot. The heart was still beating, but breathing wasn't her job. Seeing heaven was what she had thought. The EMS did a marvelous job, with epi and bicarb. They brought a dead heart to beat. But death was dogging her every breath. Who covered her with the newspaper we wonder. Was she visited by death's angle to plunder?

With the vent she came to me. She breathed by a machine. We bathed her battered body. Head with a lump and a black eye. why and where she fell, no one knows why. A heart attack??? Maybe, a stroke , a possibility. Maybe we will never know. She was never stable enough to go to CT. And what difference in her treatment anyhow. We pumped her with fluids. We pumped her with vasopressors and all sorts of dialators. We got heartbeats in the 150/s and blood pressure bearly high enough to read. She coded over and over. But her relatives. Who lived out of town. In their guilt induced coma's demanded the best. Keep her alive no matter what. Their manta their chorus...her life.Hours of CPR, Broken ribs, as rotten flesh wafted up , broken ribs and nothing else. We panted and planted our hands, We pumped and we pumped and we pumped. For a while we had epi induced arrhythmia...then asystole and nothing else. We tried until the try was gone. We gave up finally at 1. The family arrived from and 8 hr drive. Their precious aunt no longer alive.

So I came home and drank some brew. I'm finally sleepy but who knew. When I threw my arm up over my head. My eyes opened up as I smelled the dead. Irish Spring soap...a miracle cure, now if only I could forget and sleep...but my mind keeps circling back to her...covered with newspaper like a sheet, and rat feces....who found her first and thought her dead, and covered her with headlines all over her head? .............Today I smelled death.

Damn but I'm tired. I'm going to sleep (I hope) maybe tonight will be better.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Wow!!!! I'm made the great 100!!!!!

This is my 100th blog. Wow....I never thought I was quite that "wordy"!

Kids are here. All is going great. We've been to Slitterbaum Waterpark at South Padre Island and today we are going to the beach at Isle Blanca Park. It will be so fun. I've had a good bit of rest too, which was much needed. I feel refreshed and ready to tackle another year of hard, but rewarding work.

The two grand-daughters are beautiful, and a joy to be around. The baby doesn't cry much, and is just starting to crawl. She will be walking soon since she turns 1 yr old next month! Her big Sis, Angel, is a sweetie who is willing to help with everything. She just soaks up the attention like a flower turning it's face into the sun. Yesterday she swam in her wading pool then we took a bike ride down the dirt road. She did good, but easy to tell she has spent most of her time indoors. The grand-parents were still going strong, and she pooped out on the bike. She will be 10 next month. Both of the girls birthday is on the same wow...we will definitely be having a birthday party!

Well, I gotta get off this 100th blog and get stuff packed. The ice chest is ready. We are picking up Subway I guess it's time to take my special man a cup of coffee and kiss him we can go!!!!

I hope everybody is having a great summer (so far)! I appreciate the comments and my blogger friends.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Post #99 or I had a crappy night...take your pick!

One patient, coded just before shift her 1/2 way through report. Can we say 7 pumps equals 7 drips needing titrated. No BP, No pulse (pulseless electrical activity), no pee, no real temperature (93 degrees is not compatible with life for long). Intubated (not breathing on her own). Guess you can see where this is going....8 hours later I remembered to pee. Oh, and to actually look at my other patient a few times (she had 5 drips going and unstable BP), but her grand-daughter...who was a Veterinarian was at her bedside and more than happy to call me...frequently...but mostly I can say when I was needed. I figured out I hate arterial lines.....they can be a pain in the hiney when not working properly.

Left both of my peep's alive ... and if not stable...with titratable drips. Wow...I'm pooped.

So I'm headed to bed. Kids will be starting out from North Carolina for here today. Thank God it will take them two days to get here. I think it will take me two days to recoup from last night.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Last night at work us girls were in the doc dictation room gabbing. We had moved the charting in there because the light is brighter (we are required to turn down the station lights at night... making it difficult to see and if we are in the dictation area it's quieter for the patient's...and we can pick up the phone calls there and still hear the call bells and everything.

We somehow got to talking about last of the girls had been going to a Halloween party in San Antonio and I was asking how her costume worked out for her. Now L had decided to go as a "Happy Hooker"...which was a long stretch of the imagination for me. L is not obese, but like me is carrying a few extra rolls around the middle. She is also usually very shy and I could not picture her in this costume. She informed us that she had changed her mind and went at "Naughty Nurse". I was giggling because on "Sex and The City" (the movie), Miranda quips that the only costumes for women are "Slutty Nurse" or "Sexy Witch". L assured us that not only did she go as "Naughty Nurse" that she had pictures. She described her costume: Her white Lab coat...and nothing else. I started laughing....well L....elaborated....She had on a black lacy cami, black fishnet stockings, a bra and undies (of course) and high high heels. Oh, and as she walked out of the room, she also quipped "I even found a condom and pinned it to my pocket"! WTF.

"Wait, Wait, come back.....what do you mean you FOUND a condom????" "Was this a new or used model?" At this point our very innocent and young aide P quipped, "Trojan?", "Magnum?" I ask....we started giggling. "Ribbed for her pleasure?" P asks. "French Tickler?" I now we are giggling so hard tears are running down our faces. P, with streams of mascara....then tops it all off "Chocolate or Strawberry flavored!?" She gasped!!!!!

Thirty minutes later we are still looking at each other and giggling....Everybody is walking by, just shaking their heads .... wondering what the joke is....and we cannot even say. How do explain condoms and work????

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Nothing brings out the beach bunny in me like 98 degrees, 10 mph wind and dogs in the surf. I had so much fun. The only blight on the day was the teenagers next too us. They weren't noisy, they weren't rude, they weren't drinking alcoholic beverages. So what is the problemo???

Stupido~~!!!! They took a huge floaty Star shaped toy out...with 5 teenagers. A wave knocked them off of it...and they got pulled out by the rip-tide. I called 911, and a 24 year old guy nearly drowned getting them back to shore. I will say, our shore-patrol, EMS, Constables and all showed up very quickly...but if that 24 year old had not went ourt they would have been pulling out 5 bodies. Two of the teens could swim....they were able to help the two girls back to the Star...but they were exhaused. The 24 year old pulled them all out....then had to be carried out of the shallow water. I had them put him on his side in recovery position...and yes, he was puking sea-water up! The EMS basically checked his 02 sat's. He refused to go to the hospital...just needed to rest...he was having really bad cramps from swimming.

The teens stayed about 30 minutes, then left. They left their huge Star Shaped "toy" floater...guess they didn't want it anymore. We let the air out and brought it home. It will be perfect to take to the bay-side where there is almost no waves...and no rip's or under-tow.

Now I'm sunburned and waiting on the smoker to finish the meat. We stopped at the fruit stand and bought canalopes, watermelon, tomatoes, cilantro, cucumbers and blackberries. I've already made the pico-de-gio and I'm ready to dig in!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wow...wet stuff falling out of the sky!!!!

I haven't seen this stuff in so long. It is cool, it is is blowing's rain. Gee I need an Ark...because I haven't seen this much rain since the floor (of Hurricane Dolly that is). My thirsty grass is getting a drink. The irrigation canal is filling up, the farmers will be happy.

Now if we can just convince the Cameron County Tax Assessor that our house doesn't exist in two different places at the same time so they can quit collecting double taxes from us...I would be totally ecstatic.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


My step-son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren are coming to visit from North Carolina. I have never met them. I am so excited that they are coming to visit. Excitement...tempered with caution. The visit has turned into them coming to live with us while they look for jobs in this area. My step-son D was recently laid off from his part-time job. His wife A still works part-time at Home Depot.

They both worked part-time so that they did not have to hire child-care for their 9 year old and 11 month old. They choose to do this for several reasons: one is the savings financially and the other is so they can have a closer bonding/parenting experience with their children. I really commend them for this. A is unable to pick up an extended hours...and they are not able to survive with only 1/2 of a paycheck coming in. They do not want to move in with D's mom, they have lived with her before. His mom uses illegal drugs and her husband is an alcoholic. This makes living together difficult at best. They do not want to move in with A's mom for basically the same reasons, except A's mom and step-dad are addicted to prescription drugs and they stayed there for one month while they were looking for jobs previously, and it was very chaotic.

We do want to help the kids, but we feel like it will have to be with rules. We feel like if they move here we need to limit how long they can live with us...that way they will feel pressured to actually get out and work at finding a job. (I had an ex-sister-in-law live with me for two years while she was "finding" a job. She wasn't even registered at the Texas Workforce when I took her in to "check-in" two years later. I kicked her out .... she had a job in a week!). We want them to have incentive's to better themselves.

Here the economy is still fairly long as you don't want to buy a car or a house! I think we could help them find somewhere to rent reasonably though a net-work of friends and family. If they stayed here two months and worked a least one month...saving their money...they should be able to find someplace to rent, and have enough to pay their utilities. We may have to help financially because of all the deposits needed for utilities and such, but I know we can swing it.

I am just a little worried, because I don't know if our personalities will clash, having never met them. Also there will be two little ones to help take care of and feed. That does put a little pressure on me, as I am the one who works shift work. Dave is disabled, and D has not seen his dad since before his accident. I don't think he realizes his dad cannot do everything and be everything like he was before his wreck. Also, I have been having my hours cut just about every pay-period...and that hurts financially. I also know that they don't have any savings, and if they move here we will have to finance the move...gas, truck, food...and that will eat up our savings.'s a two edged sword.

So, I commit my problems to prayers. I'll let God sort it out. What is to be will be. I will just be....."Super to heft small children with a single cape flowing behind me...home-made pan of cookies held on high!"

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I got Square Pants...and I don't know Why???

I talked to my momma two days ago. Momma is handicapped since her stroke 6 years ago and walks with a walker. She also broke her left hip 2 1/2 years ago, even after rehab, that leg is slightly shorter than the other due to the muscle drawing up somewhat (of course she will never believe that and insists the doctor put the wrong size hip in her????) Anyway, momma has been falling. Her balance has been iffy for quite some time, and there is no measuring her stubbornness!

She is determined that she can still do everything...she loads her dishwasher, she folds her clothes, she cooks her breakfast...but she cannot open the kitchen window over the sink...her walker takes off without her (it does have wheels ya know), and my momma, having the personality of a pissed off rattlesnake... cannot wait 10 seconds for anyone else to come and help her, so she falls. She has fell so much in the last two years that she has a technique for "butt landings".

She was telling me of her latest "butt landing" on top of the last two this week, and I suddenly had a vision of that stupid Burger King commercial, where all those gals in red short-shorts are dancing with phone book shapes in the britches...and I started giggling...and trying to tell mom she needed to get her a square foam insert so she could have "square pants" (SPONGEBOB)...WELL the giggles brought on the coughing, choking, sputtering, tears running down my face (I could just picture Mom with the red short-shorts and the square insert pushing her walker down the hall...with the square rump going up and down.....). Ok, I know, she is a poor handicapped woman...but my mom used to be the hot-to-trot best dancer ever and her favorite song to dance to was "Wipeout". She could jiggle her bottom in ways I have never discovered the secret to! So...Mom...squarepant's.....

Yes, I have officially turned the corner, I am crazy.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

CDC is a HIPPA Violator

I read the newest report by the AP press last night, about the 2nd Swine Flu victim. I was could the family possibly have any privacy when so many "details" were released: age: 33, Sex: Female, Job: Teacher for the Mercedes Independent School District, had given birth to a healthy child during her hospitalization.....

Ok, lets break that down shall we. Mercedes...very small town close to the PROGRESSO, Mexico crossing and when I say small wasn't hard for a LOCAL report to match the obituary to the information provided by the CDC (www.valleymorningstar). The Local report goes on to tell how the report er ferreted out information and attempted to get more information from the School Superintendent.

While Mercedes is in the vicinity of various Hospitals: One in Westlaco, 2 or 3 hospitals in McAllen, two hospitals in Harlingen, two hospitals in you think it will take long for a serious reporter to figure out which hospital she was at, and start a panic??? Especially since the obituary gives her residence as Harlingen? Both hospitals have birthing suites, but how long do you think the families privacy is going to be considered...since it has already been compromised??? I thought the whole "HIPPA" was that information that would identify a patient was not to be released. I guess the CDC doesn't have to adhere to the same laws the rest of the medical profession are required to.

Meanwhile, both the hospitals in Harlingen are in overdrive. Publicized in the paper...changes in their visitation polices. How much will this help??? The woman in the article was in the hospital two entire infectious cycles before her 2nd test came back positive...according to the where did he get that information??? Is it correct, is it accurate...I didn't read that in the ASSOCIATED PRESS release from the CDC. Is that hearsay or did he speak to family or was that released by the School Superintendent under duress??? I don't know, but if you count back, that many days would have put her in the hospital BEFORE Mexico admitted they had an epidemic. AND it took two tests before they found the illness. Now how is that for a false negative. How many people will get a "false" negative...get better and go back to work, and never know they actually had the dreaded SWINE FLU?

Just wondering all these things as I wait for the CDC to release my "OFFICIAL" test result. If it is positive and they list all the same information about me to the long before somebody comes knocking on my door...violating my privacy? This area is "small town" where people do know their neighbors, we know when they are sick, in the hospital, or are just praying for healing. It would take exactly the same amount of information released on this 2nd Swine flu victim ... the same exact amount of information...and anybody in the US could find out who I am. We think we are anonymous??? I don't think so.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Feeling Better Today

Well I didn't have the exotic and highly contagious Swine Flu or Politically correct H1N1 (don't want to offend any pigs in the naming of diseases). Why is it that scientists fight tooth and nail to get a new illness named after them, but the lowly pig is insulted that the Swine Flu is named after them? I just don't get it.

I apparently have a particularly persist ant case of bacterial I'm on antibiotics and still on the antiviral for the possible exposure. My quick flu test came back negative, and even with only 60% accuracy, I am pretty confident that I don't have any type of flu. I got a Z-pack, Tesselon perles for cough ...and actually was able to sleep 4 hours last night! Hurrah!!! I haven't slept over two hours at a time in 5 days! I've coughed my way through 3 boxes of anti-viral Kleenex's. I also discovered that I have an allergic reaction to the C

I was feeling a little better yesterday evening, so Dave hooked my wagon up to the lawn tractor and pulled me and the dogs around the yard in it. I'm such a redneck was fun, the puppies loved it. Now they will want the mower out every day!

Dave and J moved the calves into our pasture yesterday after they finished the electric fence. Abby could not get used to them being there and would not stop barking. The puppies usually totally ignore the calves in the other pasture...but they were on this side in the dogs "yard"! Wiener's are so territorial!

Well I need to get of here...the power just went out and I'm using up the battery backup on the computer.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

To Close the Borders ... or Not?

At this point closing the borders would most likely be pretty useless...think of it this way...You have a barn, with a horse...said horse leaves the barn through one of any doors you have on every side. You shove the horse back in one door and while you are closing it, he runs out another. You repeat the scenario over and over....until suddenly you realize that all the doors are closed but the barn is empty and the horse is galloping down the road.

Closing the borders would be a little like that. We can't keep the Mexicans from crossing illegally on the best of days. Border patrol agent's are stretched thin just keeping the drugs and illegals from crossing where ever they have a chance. We are in the process of building a very costly and (so far) very unpopular fence between us and Mexico , and of course there is still the river. If I lived in Mexico, and thought I was going to die if I stayed...darn tooting I'd be trying to get out. That is why a pandemic will happen. It will be impossible to contain it within a countries borders...because of fear. People will panic, they will go where they think they are safe...and damned the consequences. They will come here even if they know they are sick. You can run, but you can't hide....bacteria /viruses are everywhere.

How will world responds now that the horse has exited the barn? The next few weeks are going to be very important to our future. Hopefully most of the cases will remain mild and this will be a practice run for all the pandemic planners. They will be studying for the next 20 years on how to get better at planning and making manuals. People will get better at figuring ways around the system. That's just the way people are.

On a more personal note: I am feeling better. Still off work as I'm still hacking, coughing and can barely talk. My throat swabs are still pending, I take it the State Health Department is a little bit swamped right now. Now, if I were dead, they would put a rush on it and would know tomorrow, but since I prefer the present (with me alive and hacking), I'll just wait my turn for my results. Stay safe out there, wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands...and avoid people like me who are hacking their lungs out...even if they are using anti-viral tissues that kill 99.9 percent of cold and flu viruses', it's that 0.1 percent that will get ya every time.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swine Flu Panic...or Prudent Caution?

Here in the valley I live close to four international entry ports...or international bridges from Mexico. FOUR! It is inconceivable that at least a few sick people haven't made it across, especially in the days before the warnings...when the flue was still in it's incubation stage. You can be contagious a day before you actually start showing symptoms.

People cross over all the time, and go to the local hospitals for care. They know that due to federal laws that they cannot be turned away without at least being triaged. It is not common practice for the triage nurses, ER staff, Er physicians, out-patient secretaries or ever the security guards to wear protective masks. It's the time of year when we see a LOT of pneumonia , pneumonitis, acute respiratory disease's, increased allergic responses...because there is a lot of changes in the weather, cool at night - hot and muggy during the day.

Add to that the allergens in the air as the farms plow and plant, and the winds have been blowing 30-40 miles per hour for the past month....every day. It has been theorized that there is more molds in the ground this year due to the excessive moisture and standing water we had during Hurricane Dolly last year. These would have lain dormant until the spring plowing.

I keep hearing the question "Why are so many people dying in Mexico and not in the U.S.". My thoughts are these.

1. In Mexico, if you are sick, you don't need a prescription for antibiotics, you just figure out what you think you need and you go and buy it. People take the antibiotics until they feel better...not until they have taken a full course of medications and eradicated the problem. When they get sick again...the pneumonia, bronchitis, or whatever respiratory illness they are experiencing is more resistant to the antibiotics.

2. Because they can get antibiotics without a physician's order, by the time they actually go to a hospital, they are literally at deaths doorway, nothing is working. Influenza, pneumonia, bronichitis, the common cold, cardiac heart failure, Pulmonary Emboli, Tuberculosis...these all have very similar lung symptoms...with sputum production, infiltrates on Chest X-ray, increased WBC's and/or left shift on bloodwork, cough, fatigue / malaise , and with the exception of CHF, fever may or may not be present.

Every illness that fits this criteria is probably initially treated as pneumonia or bronchitis...a throat swab and sputum cultures are not always ordered. With this Swine Flu ... while there is a frequent cough, there is little sputum production...therefore nothing to culture. Add to that the new resurgence of Adult Whooping Cough...and you have one more thing to add to a differential diagnosis.

What really sends up a red flag is a young previously healthy adult in Acute Respiratory Distress that winds up tubed in the ER. The only problem there is again figuring out the problem. To further muddy the diagnostic scenario is also the fact that there is alot of illegal drugs readily available and used in this area. You can get young healthy adults with Acute Respiratory Distress due to smoking crack, or snorting cocaine. So as you can see, the puzzle can be very complicated for a doctor...or a whole group of specialists to wade through.

Then there is the very real fact that a lot of Tuberculosis crosses over from Mexico, because it is not routinely tested for like it is here in the States. The ICE facilities have isolation beds for this to get illegals well and non-contagious before they are sent back to their native counties, we usually get "over-flows" from them...which means there is a lot of TB out there folks.

Now that there is a Possible Pandemic, something which the hospitals have been training for for the last few years...and we actually know what to be looking for, they can add throat swabs for the flu virus to the battery of tests commonly ordered, they can isolate the patients when they come in the door...except so many are coming in and we only have a few true isolation rooms, which are usually used for TB patients.

CDC may not have reported all the cases as yet, as our local news is reporting "confirmed" cases in Rio Grand City (Starr County), some in Navarro County, and Brownsville ...all which have been reports in school age children, with said schools being placed on mandatory closing until May 5-7 (different stations giving conflicting info). You go to the CDC website...and none of these "confirmed" reported illness are reflected on their "board" as they are still claiming only 3 cases in Texas, one in Dallas and two in San-Antonio. I just listened to a Yahoo video that two students in Cibilo, TX (not sure if that is spelled correctly or where exactly that is) have been confirmed with Swine flu. That brings the number of reported to around 9 cases scattered all over the state ...only three of which are through the official CDC website. Trust me ...there will be more. While I was getting my test done yesterday and issued my medications our ER was jam-packed and a number of the patients were wearing masks...something I HAVE NEVER seen anyone doing in the ER.

So I think this is the tip of the iceberg...and if it does turn out to be like the Spanish Flu of 1918 this could be the first wave. The first wave was mild then the virus mutated and came back with a vengeance 6 months later. Hopefully, if I have a case now, it will give me some immunity later when I may need it. Somebody has to be well enough to take care of the sick.

So folks, stay safe out there, wash your hands often, cover those coughs and sneezes, use the hand sanitizer, disinfect shared telephones, doorknobs, grocery cart handles...all the things you would do in the regular flu season. Be prudent with your own health.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Waiting to find out what the heck I have

The Infection control Nurse called me last night at 9, on a weekend, she is going to call me this morning to let me know if I need to come in to pick up a prescription for the Tamiflu or if I need to go to my personal physician to get my throat swab done (only 70 percent accurate for flu type A anyhow). I sit here, with my low grade fever, my now sore throat and nausea, and I getting better yet. The chills come and go, but seem to be less frequent...of course that could have been the soothing shower that lowered my temperature. Ah.....I hate to be sick!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Is it a Regular Upper Respiratory or is it the Swine Flu??

OK. So, I had already read about the swine flu, like Friday morning. Commented to the hubby...."Wonder how they got a Swine/Aviary/Human never seen before flu...unless (oh now here comes the conspiracy theory) somebody genetically engineered that??? Not trying to be a fear flinger or something, but seems weird to me.

So I go to work Friday and the patient with the FEVER OF UNKNOWN ORIGIN who had been down attending some big MOTORCYCLE RALLY (you know the kind where they get wild and swap spit with people they don't know and will never see again) THEN TRAVELED TO MEXICO to buy his regular medications cheap....WHO HAD THIS COUGH UP A LUNG COUGH...with occasional RED OR BLOODY SPUTUM (that was actually screaming TB a little to me, but what the hell, who am I to tell all the fine doc's that maybe they need to retest the sputum?) WHO COUGHED IN MY FACE (yes it happens all the time) and whose helpful wife kept dragging out SOILED Kleenex's to the DESK to show me said SPUTUM (eewwwkkk!!!!), she was really a sweet lady...just not real bright about SPREADING GERMS.

It seemed to matter LITTLE that I practiced HAND HYGIENE RELIGIOUSLY (that's good hand washing in layman's terms). By the end of the night FRIDAY I was having a weird tickle in my throat...that turned into a HACK MY LUNG OUT dry cough.

Went home went to bed got up and went to work. The HACK MY LUNG OUT dry cough ...still present but which had also turned into a LOW GRADE FEVER, SLIGHT SORE THROAT, SLIGHT NAUSEA, AVERSION TO FOOD (me?????), almost total LARYNGITIS (do you hear my hubby praising God yet???). Anyway, I had to report this to the INFECTION CONTROL NURSE ( at home on a Sunday morning) because the CDC was at the hospital's down here yesterday looking for basically this SET OF SYMPTOMS. She decided they did not need to test me because my temp has not spiked up past 100 degree's yet. Hummmmm nobody seems to care that I always have a sub-normal temp of 96.7 or 96.8 for my ENTIRE LIFE and when I hit 99.7 that's the equivalence of anybody Else's temp being 101.7, and I FEEL LIKE SHIT... actually, pardon the language HAMMERED SHIT really describes it better.

It's probably just the change in the weather and all the wind carrying pollen...but the original cough was really strange. IT WAS EXACTLY like it felt like when I WAS GASSED at the little sharp particles were irritating my throat. I still don't have a runny nose, but it is hard to breath a little. I am going to the doc Monday to get my throat swab for Influenza A or strep. If I SPIKE A TEMP OVER 100 degrees then I WILL MEET THE CRITERIA needed to warrant a trip to the ER...and that's where I will be going.

My KIND AND CONSIDERATE SUPERVISOR has taken me off the schedule for tonight. The STAFF AND VISITORS AND PATIENTS were appreciative that I wore a MASK ALL NIGHT (my face itches like hell from the darned thing!) and DID GREAT HAND HYGIENE. IF I HAD KNOWN I WAS SICK BEFORE 6 P.M. I would not have gone to work. IF I HAD HAD FEVER before going to work I WOULD HAVE DONE THE PRUDENT THING AND STAYED HOME regardless.

So I'm going to lay down and try to sleep, if I am able to breath in the horizontal position.

Stay well.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Oh My Pretty

Dave: Oh My Pretty, you've been playing in the flour again!

Me: But Daddy, how did you Know?

Dave: The floor, the walls, the cabinet....your nose.

Guilty as charged. My favorite neighbors are having a BBQ tomorrow. I cannot go because I have to work, but non-the-less...I will cook, and cook, and cook....and hopefully get a nap before tonight....because I have to work. My neighbor/pastor/friend Joe, has Army buddies coming...he was stationed in Korea with these men when he was a mere 18 years of age. He just turned 68. They have not seen each other in 50 years. One couple is coming from California, I don't recall where the others are coming from. Irene, Joe's wife, the shy one....has been beside herself for days. Cleaning, cooking, planning....changing her mind, planning some more, and getting pink-faced and flustered. My sweet neighbor...who never asks for anything, asked me to make her some pineapple upside down specialty. Sitting in my kitchen, as I blog is a huge 14 X 9 scrumptlitious pineapple upside cake...and a small round 9" cake *ditto* for my sweetheart...who will be washing said floor, walls and cabinet! I have Toll-house cookies in the oven for the coffee and prayer tonight, and I put bread to bake in the bread-machine...nicknamed R2D2. All in all a pretty productive morning I'd say.

ON THE WORK FRONT: At work we've noticed a run on Aortic Aneurysms. We've had those of the dissecting variety (NOT GOOD), the bulging awaiting repair, and the newly repaired back with higher dissection and need of further intervention. These people won't be on a balloon pump, because, no matter how bad the heart...can't risk blowing the aneurysm...that's usually instant death or pretty close to it.

One elderly gent, who also had an MI and is not a surgical candidate...due to age and other made a DNR....I guess they thinks that means he will die right away. Actually, he is doing pretty good, and can probably live for years with his condition, if he doesn't do anything strenuous. He's got a few knots on his head from falling...syncope...and they've been doing a lot of adjusting to the BP meds to keep him in the low 100 systolic range. He's is cute as a bug....he only speaks a few words of English....but who can not love somebody who tells you how pretty you are .... every time you go into his room.... in English and in Spanish? Who cares if he has dementia...I like his touch of made my day!

My other patient, an elderly lady, had a humongous AAA, not dissecting, but bulging...and found by ACCIDENT on a CT for something else. Imagine coming in for some relatively non-urgent testing and finding out you have a time-bomb literally ... tick tick ticking...with each and every heart-beat....scary as hell. I saw the sucker on the CT scan...and as you scrolled down it got bigger and Bigger and BIGGER....her only symptom...claudication (pain in the legs when walking)! Another case of really tight blood pressure control. The bad thing was that they did an aortagram/angiogram it check her heart out and she had multivessel disease. She had to have open heart surgery. I could not be for certain that she really understood the implications...she could die ... on the table, her prognosis was not good. I asked her about family, and she only had a sibling that lived far away...for HIPPA purposes I'll hit a couple of states away, in the Kentucky, Virgina, Carolina neck of the woods. She had called her sis...who was older than her, and sis was driving down, because she could not afford to fly. Sis was coming ALONE because she was widowed. It was going to take her three days to get there, because she would need to stop and rest. The morning I left she was going to surgery, they came and got her at the butt crack of dawn....I was still there...I went in, and held her hand, and told her I'd pray for her and check on her later in the day. She had tears in her eyes, and she held my hand so tight! I couldn't hardly sleep (that was the day the telephone pole was on fire and we had no electricity). Before I went to sleep around noon, I called CVR and checked on her. She had made it through surgery and was doing good. Praise God! Anyway, when I worked my last shift she was back to the floor and getting ready to go home, after she recovers from this she will be back for the aneurysm repair.

Well, going to put the last sheet of cookies in...and make a run to the neighbor's with all the goodies is tow.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bible Study...the end of the blog

My broadband link is slipping here in the blog-o-spere...and somehow the last of my blog was deleted. Here is the end...

God is there when my patient is crashing and burning...putting the idea's in my brain of what to do next. he's there for me...why can't I be there for him...on my day off...? If not for God's grace, I could be one o the poor unemployed, wondering where my next meal was coming from. I just don't appreciate the gifts I have been given.

I promise to do better. But, I still think Bible study would be better attended if they served Margarita's...just suggesting...LOL.

Now...that's the rest of the story.

Going back to bed now. I'm still in sleep deficiet. I really wanted to go to the beach today...if the weather I gotta get a couple more hours before I can even think about wrangling three weiner dogs with leashes up and down the shoreline.

Wednesday Night Bible Study

I admit it. I resisted the idea of our small church starting up a bible study program on Wednesdays. I could number my reasons....

1. I work every other Wednesday and would miss sessions in a numbered lesson plan

2. My hubby is teaching, so I would be required to go..even if I don't want to (laziness you know)

3. I jealously guard those days off.

4. I would be expected to go...even if I don't want to...and I simply do not need anymore pressure.

Well I went to the first one last night. There was 5 people there ...Dave and I included. I actually enjoyed it. Even though I had to get our of bed early (on my first day off...I only slept 5 hours with a migraine), looked up all the scriptures (I hate being unprepared for anything), then I actually had to get dressed and do my makeup...on my day off. We were there from 7:30 till 9 pm. It didn't kill me. I got to thinking...well if I didn't work every other weekend, I would be in church every Sunday. Going to church every other Sunday and Bible study every other Wednesday...I'm still only going to church 4 times a month...Gee...I'm giving God like only 8-10 hours out of my life...not counting reading the bible study stuff and praying. I actually felt ashamed. What in the hell was I bitching about anyway??? God gives me more than 9-10 hours a day...He's there when I'm scared, lonely...or just need somebody to talk to. He's there when the no-driving assholes pull out in front of me on my way to work. He's there when my patient is crashing and burning...putting the idea's in my brain of what to do next.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Some days I should just keep my nurse ass in the bed. Nuff said.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Todays Post

Todays post...posted on Gingerjar (apparently I somehow have two blogs on the same blogspot with the same name, so you will just have to check it out), I would retype it but it was long.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

You're not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy!

Had a patient last night that just turned all my cranks. She was funny, pissy, and prim all rolled into one. First thing I had spelled her name wrong on my consent form (seeing as how the day nurse was hogging the chart and I couldn't get any lables). With my fine 50 + eyesight I read an "R" as a "K", so I got my first dressing down due to my inability to spell. This progressed to the "Why the hell haven't I got my Nicotine patch, yet, it's been 3 hours?" Well if you've ever worked in a hospital and got sucked into pharmacy hell, you know 3 hours is really just a short wait...figuratively speaking that is.

One hour later I was able to finally present my patient with her Nicotine patch. She wanted me to put it on "good" so it wouldn't fall off. As soon as I put it on her daughter encouraged her to *breath deep* to get all the *smoke*. Oh, and she was serious!!!! I explained that it was absorbed through the skin. At this point the patient reaches over and scratches the patch, and sniffs. (HUH??) Then she asks..."What? They don't come in scratch and sniff flavors?".

Oh, and my patient mentioned that she was from Kansas...her exact remark..."How would you like to be raised in Wichita Kansas and be named Dorothy?????"

Toto...we're not in Kansas anymore.

Follow the yellow brick road.......

Monday, April 6, 2009

Remembering a patient....

Sometimes in the busy days, we get so tangled up in all the duties inherent in just nursing, that we forget to listen to the *people* behind the illness. I had a couple of patients lately that I'll probably never forget.

The first was an 88 year old gentleman who was having a bit of confusion at night. His spouse of 63 years (yup 63 years) was there practically every minute of the night and day. She looked surprisingly younger than him. He had three equally attractive children...who came to visit in the evenings, and were very attentive. You could tell from the family dynamics that this was a very close family. I had taken care of the Mr. for several nights, and he was just not getting better. After a battery of tests the physicians told the Mrs. that his heart was too weak for surgery ... and that he just wasn't going to get better. During the night, he took a turn for the worse, was not breathing well, having bursts of arrhythmia. The Mrs. wanted to call the kids for moral support, but decided to wait out the night, and the Mr. actually got a little better at daybreak.

She could not bear to see him waiting out his death in a hospital room, it was tearing her heart out. I suggested she talk to case management about Hospice care, for some reason no one had even mentioned it to her. She took him home after Hospice had lined up oxygen and a hospital bed. She hugged me before I left that morning. I wonder how he is doing now, or if he died. I think I'll always remember her holding his hand and blinking back the tears. It makes me think of me and Dave, and how lost I would be without him. The thought of losing somebody who is your whole life .... that is what he was to her and she was to him, if the thought made me cry I hate to even imagine the reality.

I don't take the newspaper or check out the online obit's, it's just too hard to take sometimes. I know we all have to die, but some people are so nice, and you do form a bond with them and their families. You just wish they could all beat the odds. But then, we would all live forever, then wouldn't we.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Summertime in the Valley....already!

Wow. So it seems to be summertime here already. Yesterday was breezy and 86 degrees. The sun was shining and MY MAN was working on installing a pump for our newly drilled well...yee haw!!! Now I feel like a real Texan. I have my very own well with an electric pump and a genuine imitation antique hand pump that actually pumps water. Now if the electricity is off and I am craving a glass of H2O from the ground, all agricultural fertilizers and herbicides inside, I only need to walk out and pump. Of course, in theory, the well is only for "irrigation" because according to our county "laws" we cannot use any of our well water for "residential" usage . Not because of the possibility of fertilizer, herbicides or other contaminates, but because it is the "law" that you must use the water district water if you are within so many feet of a waterline. Now how is that for big brother telling you what to do? Chalk that right up with wearing your seat belt and trash pickup. Oh yes, The County mandates who picks up the trash...for the entire county. The County gets a contract with a company (not necessarily the lowest bid, although I don't understand that one). They kick out the other trash company for "substandard" service and install one that immediately raises the price and lowers the service. The other company actually did a bang-up job following Dolly, but did that get rewarded??? No, their contract was severed and the other big company took their sweet time delivering cans for the "new" customers. It really burns me that everything in this county is so controlled...if you are a citizen that is. Now if you are an illegal alien...and remember I live right next to can dump your trash anywhere you want...ditches, private property, lovely little parks, whatever....seems like the officials cannot catch you, but let anybody else throw out a gum wrapper and the cops are right there with their handy dandy little ticket pads. Just a thought, but since I've moved here I've noticed city and county officials getting handed indictments for just about everything. Could there be a little fraud in this here neck of the woods???? What do you think?

Monday, March 16, 2009

I fell off the Face of the Earth...or something like that...

Ok Friends in the blogospere...if anybody has been wondering about ol' Gingerjar and what's she been up to, well I've been gone to Kentucky. My mom got sick and was hospitalized. She wasn't doing so good, so we flew there. Now, I haven't flown in almost 30 it was quite the treat for me. I was terrified. I made my hubby go with me...good thing...even with "Navigator" I get lost. Luckily I wasn't driving the plane, or I probably would have ended up in Africa or something.

My mom is doing better and is home now. I told her I wanted to see her while she was still alive, I just don't get the point of going there when she dies to watch my step-dad dump her ashes in the mule pastor (which is her plan by the way). The mule won't care and she won't know if I'm there or not. Since we made an unexpected trip, I jokingly ( or not) told Dave that was our summer cruise, the one we couldn't afford. He was quick to point out he got an all inclusive trip to a resort in Cancun for less than we paid for the plane tickets to Kentucky. What can I say??? Inflation!

We did get to see some interesting "art" that was displayed in the hospital. This glass "jar" was on lighted display with the Artist's name on a brass plate. Everybody that walked past it laughed....if I can figure out how to download the picture from my phone to the computer I will post looked like HUGE GLASS TESTICLES...MULTICOLORED AND TEXTURED JUST LIKE HAIR FOLICLES. I laughed so hard...every time...I *snort* walked *snort* past it! I actually had to rub them. Dave asked if that was like rubbing on Budda's was just like rubbing Budda Ball's! HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAA! Kentuckians must have some strange idea's about art!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Oh, Home on the Range!!!!

Where the buffolo don't roam..and the wind is blowing kazillion miles per hour! Planned the beach today. Dogs where pumped!!!! Thought they would be eating Turkey wieners and such on the sand, but no such luck. Too much wind. Instead we planted tree's, and marked the back property line. Dave on his shorts and me in my white hopes that the wind would die down...not. Well , there is always hope...right??? Anyway, 10 beers and 5 holes (for the tree's later) we have decided it was a productive day off anyhow.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Little Mexico

Yesterday we went to "Little Mexico"...which is the huge flea market in Brownsville, TX. We took a translator (our preacher) so we could actually Anyway, I bought some palm trees for my yard and some other plants. Now, I have to leave my blogging friends and get to work..digging holes and watching Dave repaint the door. He's already had a cow because the "forest" green pain looks grass green in the daylight. Huummmm.... it's the back-door, I don't think anybody will care if it isn't an exact match...but he is Mr. Perfect, what more can I say????

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bad Company

Rock n Roll baby...Bad Company, Pink Floyd ... and my hubby dancing Nakkid with a black cowboy hat...that and a glass with coke and that's what I call a perfect night off.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

What's Black and Hairy and....

What's black and hairy and sitting at the end of a drive-way on the way home to my house from work yesterday???? Is it a dog??? Is it a cow??? Is it a goat, you may ask. It was neither, either any of these common things. It was in appeared to be... let me be clear right here...I was neither inebriated nor was I drugged up...I was not in fact even sleepy....but sitting right there in somebodies driveway was one of the fugliest (yes a f##king ugly) BIG BLACK HAIRY MONKEY!!! Or maybe it was an orangutan or a small gorilla type primate...what ever the hell it was it was staring back at me....and turning it's head to watch me pass. NO...IT WAS NOT ONE OF THOSE UGLY CONCRETE GORILLA'S that people think it is cute to dress up with a red bandanna and a flag in it's hand. It wasn't a cut-out and it wasn't an apparition (well I hope not anyway) best I could tell it wasn't even a visual hallucination. I slowed down, I considered going back and checking it out again...but then I remembered that primates (other than humans) can be quite territorial and aggressive.

I considered calling 911...I played out the scenario in my head. "911...what's your Emergency?" " Well, sir, you see...there is this monkey sitting at the end of a drive-way" , "A monkey, are you sure lady?" "Yes, sir, a monkey!" "And how would a monkey sitting at the end of a drive-way constitute an emergency?" "Well sir, somebody may have a wreck when they see him...or he may impede traffic in someway..he is a wild animal you know?" "Well lady...what exactly was this alleged monkey doing when you spied him sitting at the end of a drive-way?" "Well, he appeared to be acting like a monkey and picking his nose and eating boogers," "Lady, are you sure that isn't a kid?".....well not likely I would be reporting that little critter.

Monkey's ...running wild in Texas...Monkeys...when you see one, there must be more of them. Used to, I thought Monkeys were the precursor to death in the ICU unit I used to work in. When-ever I would have a patient close to death they would start seeing monkeys in their room...monkey's on the ceiling...monkey's in the corner's...frisky monkey's everywhere...the patients would beg me to rid their room of monkey's! I asked a co-worker what was up with my patients seeing monkey's in their rooms...she informed me her patients saw bug's in the room...huge spiders and cock-roaches...We decided that my monkey's must be chasing her bugs out. Never did figure that one out. Texas...not in a zoo...go figure...what is this world coming to???

Sunday, February 8, 2009

And the Wind Blow's wildly!!!

Wow. We are having wind excess of 40 mph. No sprinkles yet, but a kite hasn't got a chance in hell today of survival! I've had a tough few weeks at work.

Baratric nursing: Nursing care of the morbidly obese. Well I don't know what the exact definition of morbidly obese is...since I had a Doctor tell me I was very 180 lb and 5'8"...which pissed me off to no means! Made me want to gain more weight just to spite him...the skinny so and so.

Well our hospital is getting geared up to start doing baratric surgery. They have prepared by getting special "bari" beds and giving us "sensativity" training. What I have noticed they have not get any kind of lift device or lift aid to help the nurse's caring for the post surgical patient's. I recently had a pt who weighed #681 pounds. He was miserable. He was in respiratory distress; with C-pap ....the man couldn't breath. They had him in a "bari" bed. I had to use a stool to reach him to do any care...suctioning....anything (and I am a tall woman!). He was not doing well on my shift..I managed to get a second line in him (I felt like the IV Diva!) and just before 7 a.m. he vomited and aspirated. The bed was up as high as it would go to sit him up, and there was literally nothing I could do except suction and bag him as I called for the rapid response team. Thank-fully since my respiratory therapist had been working closely with me all night, we were able to keep him oxygenated enough this way...but he was going downhill fast. We had to move him to ICU, which was no small feat in itself because the ER doc was hesitate to attempt to tube him (short neck, adipose tissue) due to probably only having one shot...and if he didn't get the tube the 1st time the man would die. So here we go down the hall with every man we could snag...ER Nurses, ER MD, all the floor nurses but took 8 people just to push the bed, bagging all the way. THEN the HUGE BED got stuck in the ICU room's doorway... it was literally forced through the door (GUESS WHAT...NO ONE HAD THOUGHT TO MEASURE THE DOOR TO BED RATIO WHEN THE BEDS WERE ORDERED TO BE SURE THERE WAS ENOUGH CLEARANCE TO GET THE DAMNED BED INTO A ROOM WITH THE BED-RAILS UP!!!!) . We were still bagging...thank God the Respiratory Therapist was on the head side of the bed, stuck in the room. We finally got the bed unstuck ... now we know the trick for transport, let the rails down before going into the room, and hope like hell the patient doesn't fall out!

Update....that was 4 weeks ago. Pt was surgically intubated, then later trached and now he is doing well, and has lost almost 200 lbs, the first 50 was probably all fluid. He is getting his strength back, and communicating...sitting up watching tv. He's a really nice guy, I sure am glad he made it !

Thursday, January 29, 2009

10 honest things.

Nogging Blogging nominated me for an award...I am so honored. I think the rules are that you have to tell 10 honest things about yourself then nominate 7 more people.

1. I am so uninformed that I do not know how to pick up an award or post it on my page.

2. I truely and honestly love my hubby with all my heart.

3. I hate to clean closets...even when forced.

4. My worst Christmas was when I was 13 and my step-father CLYDE made us clean closets after we opened our Christmas presents. I remember crying the whole time. It was absolute torture!

5. Three people who have died I did not cry for...and maybe even deep in my heart I was a little glad they were gone and couldn't hurt anybody else. One died of old age, one died because he was murdered (couldn't have happened to a better person) and one I blogged about died in a one-man roll over alcohol induced accident.

6. I love vanilla ice frills.

7. I love my two boys totally.

8. I love being a nurse...although sometimes I burn out and want to veg at home.

9. I have a love / hate relationship with my mother...and have to BITE my tongue every time I talk to her (and chant in my head...remember she is old and humor her...remember she is in Kentucky and can't control you...remember that she is old and humor her..)

10. I love wearing bikini's even though God knows I'm 50 lbs too heavy and 25 years too old to do so. Thank God for backyards!

Now I nominate for the "Scrape Award" the heck do you insert blog-sites in here?????

Head Nurse
Thoughts from the Nightshift
Red Dirt Woman
Wonderful World of Weiners
Blender Kimmy

darn, I cannot remember anybody else right now.

Follow-up and other Stuff....

I went back to see the doctor yesterday, and the ta-ta's pic's are fine. The problem I was having (Pain, swelling and tenderness) resolved mysteriously after the ta-ta's were in the vise-grip of the x-ray machine...which was a very puzzling thing...maybe a lymph node was all jacked up or something. The doctor is clueless as am I. So, today I get to go and have some bloodwork done to check homone levels and stuff. Hopefully this problem will stay resolved.

When I was a child I had an injury to my left breast (I was 11). I was helping my grandma draw water from the cistren (we didn't have running water). We didn't have an actual well cover, but there were boards that were placed over the well to keep the cats from falling in (we had one cat named Leo that fell in and drowned causing grandpa to have to drain the well (by hand) and clean the well (accomplished by my uncle lowering him down into the 30-50 foot depth with a pully and rope. I remember that well, because I watched it all happen. My grandma was afraid that grandpa would get stuck in the well (rope break or something)...or have a heart attack and we wouldn't be able to get him out...but it all turned out fine. We never used the cistren water for was bathing and clothes washing water only, all our drinking water was hauled from town in the old 5 gallon milk cans.

Anyway, back to the story. I was 11 and I was drawing water from the cistren/well. The boards were turned over so I could get the bucket out. When I leaned across to pick the bucket up off of the pully, there was a rusty nail sticking up out of the board (that I didn't see or know was there) and I leaned across it puncturing my nipple. I just remember it was horribly painful...and I was so embarrassed and I didn't tell anybody. I just sat down until the pain went away and I was able to breath again! I didn't know it at the time, but I formed a blood clot in that part of my anatomy. Several years later I had to go to the doctor because the blood clot broke loose and I had mastitis at the grand old age of 16, then again at age 17. My mother was madder than hell that I had hidden this injury from her. The mastitis was bad enough the doctor almost put me in the hospital to put me on IV antibotics. Then when I had my kids I nursed my second child and I had two or three severe bouts of mastitis on the same side that had to be treated with oral antibotics. So I was righously concerned when I suddenly started having a problem (again) with no precipitating factors. It is rather unusual for a woman of my age (past child-bearing age) who's had a hysterectomy, to have this type of problem...because face it...these ta-ta's arn't producing anything! I'm a nurse...and I was too embarrassed to take it to the doctor until I couldn't stand it anymore...I first blamed it on starting to work out at the gym and quit all upper body still did not clear up. Then I thought maybe I really needed to get it checked out because I have been on estrogen therapy for 9 years...and that is a factor sometimes in tumor developement. I read and studied up on the internet as you can tell...LOL. Right now, the problem has resolved, mostly, but the doctor wants to do some follow-up bloodwork, which I will be submitting my precious blood for today.

Oh, and have you ever noticed that when there is a part of your body that is in pain...everything either bumps it or hurts it. The dogs want to stand with their feet ... where??? On your chest...most particularly on the sore side. Patient "accidently" punches you...not once...but twice while you are trying to start an IV ...where???? You got the sore ta-ta. Ring the bell Mike Tyson...I'm going in for round three. I managed two months of pain with my friend "Alieve" before I gave in and went for the *painful* mamogram. If I had know it would *help* and relieved the problem I wouldn't have waited so long. So Girl-Friends....don't put off the exam's...just do it and get it over with!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Beautiful Day to Be alive

OK, so I am feeling optimistic today, very optimistic. I went yesterday to get the ta-ta's squished...and a cold read showed "normal". This made me very relieved as I've been having a problem for a couple of months now...and just finally gave in to going to the doctor. I have to go back next week. Maybe the fix will be something as simple as a hormone adjustment. You know us women, we think of the worst possible scenario's when anything is going wrong. I had decided if there was any cutting to be done I would op for that procedure where they pull the tummy up and use your own fat for reconstruction. Then if I had to have any medicine that would make my hair fall out I wanted to cut my hair and have a wig made out of it. Yes, I flew all up and down the scale of absurbity. So, here I sit .... optimistic and relieved.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Blazing Oven of Fury

Ok, maybe not a blazing oven of fury...but certainly a blazing oven....a really blazing that was on fire so bad, I dare not use it to cook on (all the insulation burned out of the top and I'm not sure what it may have done to the electrical wires). I wanted a new oven. Yes, we can even say, I lusted for a new oven...but I *did not* intentionally touch that oven with the intent to commit oven murder. Actually, Dave and I had been out and had a few beers (the beginning of poor judgement), I decided to toast some pecans for a *healthy* snack to go with the few beers we had at the house. Then I made two mistakes (on top of drinking beer and attempting to use an appliance). I placed the pan too close to the top element and I *forgot* to set the timer.

We are sitting there watching my taped "American Idol" and listening to the good, the bad and the ugly....when Miss Abigail's nose goes into the air. Then Miss Izzadora's nose goes up and she begins shaking all over. We look up, and there is smoke literally boiling out of the oven. We run into the kitchen and the pecans are blazing. I made the common error of opening the oven door (never do allows oxygen in...and do you know what oxygen does to a fire???). Licks of flame roared out of the oven and up to the stove top (I was SHOCKED). DAVE (enter the big strapping man on a white horse!) slams the door closed, turns off the electricity, pulls the stove out from the wall and unplugs it. By now the entire house is filled with horrible smelling smoke. To my complete amazement...although the smoke was making us cough and choke...none of our smoke detectors went off. Dave checked the batteries in the smoke detector's...and the battery's were fine and the smoke detector's tested normally....but with the dense smoke...they still did not go off.

Today we went and chose a new stove. Dave went with Gas since he does most of the thought was..."he trust's me with gas????" Tomarro I am gonna look into replacing those worthless smoke detectors.

Update on my friend *L*: She has been extubated but is still *not there*. I appreciate the comments from my friends. I am trying to not let it get me down. I am going to visit her tomarro after I attend a mandatory class.

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Tribute To a Friend

For my friend *L*

She lies silent in her hospital bed,
her brilliant blue eyes are closed.
A machine breaths in and out for her,
She cannot even wiggle her toes.

Lights are dimmed, voices hushed
and wires run to and fro.
Every two hours shes positioned and turned
She remains silent and can't even moan.

The New Year started with such promise,
what was in her mind we'll never know.
Her Husband went partying without her
came home to find her lying still and cold.

Now why she was in such despair
her friends and kids can only speculate,
for she left not a letter, an email, a note
when she decided to self medicate.

Could it have been a horrible accident?
Could a word from me changed her fate?
Could I have done something to stop her?
If I'd only talked to her that last day?

For you see, in retrospect thinking
for hindsight is 20/20 they suggest.
I'd noticed some bruises on her face
and decided to mind my own business.

Knowing now what I didn't know then,
I am weighed down in remorse.
If I'd pulled her aside and spoken,
Could my words have altered her course?

So she lies silent in her hospital bed
Her brilliant blue eyes are shut
and her friends, co-workers and kids
We never knew we'd miss her this much.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Day In the Sun

If anybody is reading...that like my mom is in Kentucky with white stuff falling around their your heart I laid out in my back-yard in my bekini and actually got sun-burned...with 15spf sunscreen on. God I love being so close to the equator. Now, if I just had another extra day off I could have had a little drink with an umbrella in my hand! Non-the-less my winter blah's are much better (notice I didn't even blog for almost two weeks?).

Sunny, hot today...but windy and cloudy tomorrow when I will be officially off. Glad I got to soak up some natural antidepressant!

Extra Day Off...

Well, I was put on call tonight. That was good right, except, exactly like last time, it was a night we were all bringing a special dinner for one of our Traveler's that is leaving and tonight was her last night. I had already prepared my food, had it heating in the crockpot. I had already loaded the promised doggie kennel (for her kitten to travel in) and was just about ready to go. So I killed time until about 10:15 , then I headed off to the hospital with my food in tow. We actually had a very good feast...and visit.

The only bad thing was that I asked about my patient I was taking care of in ICU the last day I worked. I had left after hanging blood for her that morning (Jan. 5...Monday Morning). I noticed that her room was empty and thought she had probably moved out and downgraded, because except for being anemic she was actually looking somewhat better. Imagine my shock when I found out that she had another gastric bleed (or her clips popped off, or she had another ulcer that ruptured), and that she actually coded and died. The traveler that is leaving was taking care of her that night. She had already called the doc that she didn't look good, and he was actually back on his way in and a team had been called to re-scope her, but she coded before they got there. I'm sad. She was a sweet little old granny, who had kept me pretty busy all night, so time really flew. We had bathed her and used my lavendar baby powder stash on her, and she was so appreciative of smelling good. Somebody who loved her had painted her fingernails and toenails bright pink. She had tattooed eyeliner and eybrows. I bet she was one hot chick in the day. It makes me sad to think of her life chapter ending.