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random and pressing details: 03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

Call me Nurse Ratchett!!

So, most days at my Real Job (med/surg floor, medium sized hospital, aka "The Ranch") we are busy.  And when I say busy, I mean hit the floor running and don't stop til quittin' time.  Today was no exception to that.  However, some days are better than others.  

Now, before I go any farther with this post, I wanna put some stuff out there just so we're all on the same page here....

1.  Nurses, while in the profession of caring for people, are HUMAN!  Meaning we are imperfect, fallible, and have moods, stress and emotions just like everybody else!

2.  I'm a nurse, not a robot.  I have opinions and feelings.

3.  Just because I feel a certain way does not mean that I don't give all of my patients the best care I am capable of giving.

Now with that said....  Lawd, help me with some of these people!!!  Some days, you just hafta priortize.  I know that doesn't help make anyone's pain any less, doesn't help anyone stop feeling nauseous, or fix that pneumonia.  But trust me, if I'm not at your bedside, it's because there is someone in my team of patients sicker than you.  If everybody is equally as sick, everybody gets equal time.  Now here is a breakdown of how it goes.... A...B....C.....

If a patient cannot maintain an airway, they go straight to the top of the list.  Period.  I don't care who is filling what vessel with how much vomit, the person who can't get air into the lungs is my Priority!!  3 air....that equals dang near dead guy.

If a patient cannot breathe well, they go to the top of the list.  That hasta be fixed pronto.  So your migraine has to wait.  I know you hurt.  I'm sorry.  But you will continue to live, tho be miserable. air=dang near dead guy.

If a patient is having an irregular heart rhythm, a heart attack, their blood pressure is bottoming out or skyrocketing.... Gotta fix it... they have the potential to become a dang near dead guy.

Everything else will be dealt with in as timely a manner as possible.  I promise, it's not because I don't care.  It's not because I'm "hanging out" in the nurse's station.  In fact, if I'm at the nurse's station, it's probably because I'm checking on lab results, reviewing doctor's orders, talking to a doctor, or completing part of the mountain of paperwork that we still hafta contend with (paperless system, my azz!).  

It does not help to send Uncle Leo up to the nurse's station to stalk me.  It does not help to tell me what a crappy nurse I am because your Demerol is 10 minutes overdue.  It does not help to yell at me across the room while I am assessing your roommate who is, to use nurse slang, tanking on me.  I promise you, I am doing my best.  And as soon as I can I will help you.

But it's a Hospital, not the Hilton.  I am a nurse, not a waitress.  I know you don't feel good, and I'm sorry for that.  However, there is a great big damn difference between feelin' like you wanna die and actually dying, or being about to die or in real danger of dying.  If you don't see a whole lot of me during the day, count your blessings.  There's someone sicker, more critical and more in need than you.

I do my best to be compassionate, caring, and professional.  I try to make a connection with every patient.  I try.  Some days, though, smiling and laughing and cuttin' jokes with my patients has to go by the wayside because there's somebody's life on the line.  

So when I'm Nurse Ratchett, somebody's hearing the angels' wings.  Be glad if it's not you.

It was a not so good day at the Ranch.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I feel like a freshman girl who got asked to eat lunch with the cool seniors in the first week of high school about this!  The PBG listed my little amateur ranked blog on her list of Fabulous Blogs!  

The rules are that once you're Honored, you pass on the love to ten other bloggers.  I know that my list is probably gonna include  many already named, but dammit, I love these blogs!

by Luvvie

by The PBG

by The PBG

by NaturallyAlise and Tiha

by Vandalyzm
(even tho you ain't posted for a while, dude)

by NaturallyAlise
(loooooovvvveeee poetry!!)

by Luvvie, KindredSmile, LibraSong, O.N.E. and V.E.G.

by The PBG

by KindredSmile

by Luvvie and Karyn Brianne

These are my must reads!! I love them all for so many reasons.  I know I have a lot of repeat authors, so I'm not sure what the "rules" are for spreading the love for them.....  but hey, a great blog is a great blog!!!  

So now that I have created my list of Fab Blogs, all I have to do is drop a comment on these pages to let them know that I think they're 


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Oh, HELL NAW, he didn't!!!

In the interest of fairness, let me first say, the boy has had a rough month. First there was a parent-teacher conference about "less talking, more working" with Mrs. Beard. Then the tummy troubles and trips to the doctor to work out that issue. Then, and probably most profoundly upsetting, the death of his lil' girlfriend, Ashanti.  And finally, yesterday he busted up his lip falling off a skateboard at the neighbor's house.  
But today, I was forced to the conclusion that my son has gone out his natural mind!!

What prompts this conclusion, you might ask?  Well, lemme tell ya.......

It started out as a pleasant Sunday morning.  We got up, got showered and dressed and took ourselves to Church.  When we got to Church, there were the usual members of the congregation there, as well as a few visitors.  Visitors with children.  Lots and lots of children.  Wonderful.....  the babies need Jesus in their lives.

Now, I make Eli stay in the sanctuary with me until after Children's Church.  He is always well behaved, and he loves to sing even if he doesn't know the hymns (he's always on his own tangent during the music).  Well, these new children were not so much well behaved.  Fortunately, they were seated a comfortable distance away from us.  However, when the kiddos were called forward for Children's Church, all sorts of tomfoolery ensued.

These kids acted like they didn't know how to sit still or pay attention....  and our usually attentive, know-the-routine "regulars" started actin' like THEY were new!!  Well, I caught the boy's attention in short order, and shot him straight in his forehead with 
then held up two fingers--not two fingas, like deuces, 
TWO FINGERS, like this yo second strike, child!!!

The child looked at me like he was estimating the distance between my pew and the dias they were all on, then from the dias to the door.  I could all but hear his thoughts!!!  "Yeah....  I can make it to that door before she gets to me...."  He was givin' serious thought to makin' a dash!  Well, Pastor didn't have sense to realize these hooligans had done got out of pocket until one of the "newbies" knocked over the flag.  At this point, all of the mothers of the "regulars" moved as a single well-maintained mind!  We had the doors and aisles covered and were closing in.

As expected, the children scattered, but to no avail.  There was no escape.  And then, it happened......

I took hold of my son's arm, proceeding to march him back up the aisle to await judgement. I used all three of his Christian names and his Surname, "Elijah Michael Adam C******, you sit your narra little behind in this pew and DON'T YOU MAKE A SOUND!"  As I turned to go help gather the rest of the hoodlums, I hear from my son's mouth:



I swear on every episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Ray-J's ho's that time stopped.  The sanctuary was silent except for the gasp of horror and expectation that the congregation voiced as a single entity.  I turned, sighted my target, and slowly but deliberately closed in.  Some other mamma was gonna hafta clean up the rest.  I had bizness to handle.

The boy's eyes as I approached betrayed his desire to run for his raggedy lil' life, but as the doors were too far away,  he recognized that this was no longer a viable option.  This time, as I got hold of his arm, I felt the trembling of a child who knew, beyond any shadow of doubt that he had GONE TOO FAR!

I won't describe ensuing events.  Let's leave it at this....  he's lucky he still has sleeves!! And, no, I don't think Jesus is mad at me for it.  Jesus didn't ever pop off to his mamma like that, so I don't expect He intends for me to put up with that kinda nonsense.

As for the boy, I wish he would try some mess like that again..... hrumph!!

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

American Idol Randomness

Can somebody please explain some stuff to me? I have a few questions.
Anybody remember when AI was good shyt? The Ruben and Fantasia Years? J Hud? Even Carrie Underwood? What happened?

Next, has anyone noticed that Paula is slowly but surely losing the power of coherent speech? And why the HELL was she smelling Simon's arm just now? They brought on the other chick, so why isn't Paula in rehab? Or on an island with Amy Winehouse? Wait, on second thought, there probably aren't enough mind altering substances on one island for the both of them.... scratch that idea.

Now, for this year's group of finalists..... Really, Idol???? Seriously??? Why not just gather up the ones from past seasons... including Sanjaya... who were eliminated and let them duke it out? There would be some talent involved then at least.

I just give up.... American Idol is now officially sucking the life out of me. iQuit you AI!!! And Paula, the first step is to admit that you're a hot smokin' mess!

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Just like riding a bicycle.....

My only job used to be working at my "hometown hospital." Then I decided to strike out for the great unknown and started working at a hospital in a nearby town. When I made the move, I went from working mainly in the ER to working on a medical floor. From small hospital to medium hospital. From not so busy to running 12 hours straight. At the medium hospital, I also do infection control and prevention, which because I'm not quite right, just tickles me to no end. But after a while, I got to missing the ER and the people I used to work with and working in my own community. So, I started working at the old job again per diem. I now refer to it as my "spare job." I love my real job, and have no intention of leaving it, but I'm diggin' playing in the ER again.

And here's what I especially love about ER: beginning, middle, end. I find out what's wrong, work with the doctor to do what we can to fix it and then *shazam!* off my planet! There is a sense of completion in it, accomplishment, if you will. I was worried at first that I would have to relearn the routines and protocols, but after a couple of hours, it was like I never left! It was good to be back in the ER. And there wasn't even one stupid human trick to be found today! I love nursing!

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Red Pump Confession

Ok, here it is people, one of my shameful secrets.... I can't walk in heels to save my life. I've tried, oh have I tried!! You know the Clydesdales, the horses that pull the Budweiser wagon? Yeah. Well, they would be more graceful in heels than I am. In fact, my walk in heels is somewhat like a horse with a bad leg. My Mom used to say, if you can't walk in 'em don't wear em. There's nothing sexy about a great pair of shoes on someone who looks like a three year old clomping around in their momma's heels.

So, my confession is that I did not actually wear red pumps today. I did, however, wear a red shirt, AND rocked Honeymoon Red polish on my toenails! I hope I can get at least partial credit for effort. I also made sure to talk to every woman I came in contact with today about HIV. Let's keep the conversation goin' all year long! Our sisters' lives are at stake!

Peace and blessings!


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National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Well, are you talking?  You should be.  Talk to all the women in your life and open up the dialogue.  HIV/AIDS is still among us.  We need to keep the topic in the collective conversation.  

Today is a day for women and girls to focus on how HIV impacts females.  But are we gonna drop the topic after today?  Not on this blog, we're not!!  

Visit the Red Pump Project site today and frequently.  There you will find info, links and resources as well as a Blogroll of 95 Bloggers who, in addition to providing support to the project, are excellent reads!

Here's the link for the Red Pump Project:

Here is a link to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and their site for this March 10 event:

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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Truly saving hairhats!!

My bestest best friend, Shannan, sent me a link to this YouTube video.  I had to share it with three of my favorite ppl on Twitter--ThePBG, Luvvie, and Alise.  You see, I have verged on urinary incontinence laughing at their hair humor for months now.  Roasting everyone from the models on ANTM to one another, they have covered just about every aspect of the hairhat, hair wrongness and follicular follies.  This video was begging to be sent.  I submit it for your approval.....   the bulletproof hairhat.

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Friday, March 6, 2009

My son's first kindergarten girlfriend.....

For those who don't know, my son is bi-racial.  This year he started kindergarten, and although there are other black and bi-racial kids in his school, there was only one other black child in his class.  Her name was Ashanti.  She was a vibrant, social, smart, cute and confident little girl.  The second week of school, Eli came home and announced he was Ashanti's boyfriend because she told him he was,  and he should get used to her telling him what to do.  The fifth week of school, she taught him a word (guess what it was) and told him it was a word he could say, but his mom couldn't.  Ashanti and her mother, Zakia, perished in an apartment fire last night.  

I was at work today when I found out.  I wanted to take off for home and just hold on to my son.  My dad was watching him while I was busy nursing the sick people at the hospital.  Dad said he didn't want to talk about it, other than to tell everyone he saw that his "girlfriend" went to Heaven.  By the time I got home, Eli was sleeping.

I have been sitting here watching my son sleep, just thanking Jesus that I have Eli, and painfully aware how fast things can change.  I'm also slightly ashamed of how much I have taken for granted.  I don't always practice as much patience with Eli as I should, or spend as much time as I should.  I don't play and laugh with him like I ought to....  and time is short....  painfully short.  

I can't wait for morning, so I can hug my son and tell him how much I love him.

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Some serious stuff--HIV/AIDS

I was enduring a long and boring day of orientation for a new/old job today, and as my mind is prone to do, it wandered.  It was wandering in the direction of trying to come up with a blog topic. I haven't posted for a while, so it's about time I got off my duff and did something about it.

**side note: if you work with me, no, I'm not leaving. I just caved into the pressure from a couple of people and am picking up an ER shift or two a month at another hospital.  If you don't work with me, you probably don't give a dang that I picked up a "spare job."**

Anyway, as I sat there with my mind meandering, beginning to despair of my totally idea free inspiration zone, my phone buzzed.  I checked it at the next break, and it was Luvvie's blog post on my email.  Of course I read it immediately.  What better cure for interminable boredom than that? Leopard print leggings....oh my damn!  But it wasn't the leggings that got me, it was the public service announcement about the upcoming National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on March 10 and the RED PUMP PROJECT.   In this PSA there is inspiration to write about what I know......

I'm a nurse, and one of the hats I wear at my "real job" is Infection Control and Prevention.  I'm a card carrying member of the Southern Illinois Chapter of APIC (Association of Practioners of Infection Control).  This is the most active and influential professional association of it's kind. ( I admit to being a microbiology geek.  Deal with it, I have.)  They write standards of care for every situation you can imagine based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. Infectious disease is something that gets me riled up.  So here goes my rant on HIV/AIDS.   

In the years since HIV/AIDS first landed on the world with both feet, there has been a continuum of response ranging from no reaction to over reaction, ignorance and ignoring to fear and alienation, and just about everything in between.  I remember at one time feeling safe and isolated from the big bad bug because I lived in the middle of a cornfield in the middle of the country, and this was a Big City, fringe of the nation, fringe of society problem.  And at that time, that was the message we were getting from the media.  I was in maybe 8th or 9th grade at the time, it was the early 80's and AIDS was a "gay men's" problem.  Then more information came out, the bug crossed gender and orientation lines, and the panic set in.  (If you really want the scoop on the mishandling of the early days of HIV/AIDS, read And the Band Played On:  Politics, People and the AIDS Epidemic by Randy Shilts.  And if you're not pissed off before you're halfway through, screw ya!)

Anyhoooo.....  what I've been seeing in my cornfield lately is an increase in people being treated for AIDS and the opportunistic infections that go hand in hand.  I had gone 4 years as a nurse in this area and actually cared for only a smattering of HIV positive patients.  The last 6 months or so, however, has provided my total clinical experience with HIV with exponential growth!  I can't say it's making a "comeback" because it never went anywhere.  Not really.  It just lost attention because the antiviral cocktails slowed the mortality rate.  People are still dying, just not as fast and furiously as before the drugs were developed.  But that slow down, the discovery that babies could be spared the virus if the HIV positive mom was on the meds during pregnancy, and the acceptance that casual contact didn't spread the virus all contributed to a change in perception of HIV/AIDS.  It kinda fell off the radar, but it didn't fall out of existence.  And new cases are on the rise again.  And most of these new cases are women.  And, as Luvvie pointed out, most of these women are black--66%.  

So, I'm thinking, if I go 4 years and see 2 cases of HIV in my cornfield, then see 3 cases in the last 7 months...... what the hell is going on in the Big City?  What is the new infection rate like in high density population areas like NY, LA, DC and Chicago?  What are the chances that we aren't going to see a frightening upsurge in new cases in the near future?

The science behind preventing the spread of HIV hasn't changed in a decade, really.  The fact that AIDS kills hasn't just takes a little longer.  What has changed is the general attitude towards it.  It used to be a BIG DANGED DEAL, and now, it's not, in many people's minds.  Well, dammit, it NEEDS to be.  Get tested.  Be careful.  Use condoms.  Quit acting like it has gone away, because IT'S BEEN HERE THE WHOLE TIME!!!  Quit ignoring HIV/AIDS.  It's as much a part of our world as the oceans, the forests and the fields.  Open your eyes, and deal with it.

For more information on the Red Pump Project

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