Monday, July 20, 2009

Another

"We are here to add what we can to life, not to get what we can from life..." -William Osler
How true! How many times do we go through life searching or waiting for something to happen? Why? It's stupid. Life is yours, so you have to add the substance. You want happiness in your life, you need to project it. You want adventure, go find some. You want peace, make it. It's all up to us. Very humbling and overwhelming, yet isn't it great? To have all that freedom and choice and ABILITY to make what we want for ourselves. You want to make a difference, than don't walk around unaware and ignorant of the strife around you. Frankly, it's goddamn liberating to know your life is truly YOURS. The day you are born and that cord is cut, you're on your own. Really, is that not the best gift?

Friday, July 17, 2009

A thought to ponder

Just when you think everything's idiot proof, someone comes out with a better idiot....

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Getting there

Slowly but surely, things are getting done. After a marathon weekend with my dad and aunt and uncle, my apartment is painted!!! And it looks great if I do say so myself. But talk about exhausting! Everything hurt by the time we were and we were all so pooped on Saturday night that all we could manage was to collapse in heaps in my living room.
Monday the really annoying job became a priority. After waiting for about 4 hours in the Maryland Vehicle Association, I finally have a MD driver's lisence, am registered to vote in the state, and have registered my car with MD plates and everything. Very tedious task, but what a relief that it's now done! That was a chore that I had been dreading and I am thrilled that it's out of the way.
So what's left? Well, furniture for one. I have to get my bedroom set and my dining room table. There's some other stuff that won't be in until August so I'll have to sit tight until then. The biggest challenge is budgetting. Getting paid every 2 weeks has been sucking, espeically since one check goes almost completely to rent and the other 2 bills. So when I actually need to get something (like gas or food) it has to go on a credit card. Which then only results in more bills. It's a vicious cycle really. But one I am determined to break!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Weighed down

I've got a lot on my mind as of late. Beside my fam coming down this weekend and jumping through hoops to make the apartment livable for anyone but myself, there's also the usual financial concers, and my grandmother's health. All of this has gotten me feeling (and yes, I hate to admit this) a bit homesick.
I feel guilty as hell that I'm not back home to help my mom and my aunt with the responsibilities of my grandparents. Added to that, it's just uncomfortable for me to leave it up to them to handle when in all honesty, I have more experience in the matter than they do. Whenever it comes down to the serious health issues in my grandparents' lives, I step and take over. Not being able to do that now has me feeling pretty shitty about things. Plus I can't see for myself what's going on. I hear these horror stories of how swollen my grandmother is, to the point that her skin has torn and she's oozing. The open sores have now gotten infected, just to make it all worse. And when I talk to her on the phone, so much of the animation that's usually there is gone. It breaks my heart.
I would love to go back in time, when money wasn't an issue and neither was the health of my loved ones. But it's an impossibility.
For now I'll concentrate on the moment and do what I can from here.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Procrastination

I am exhausted!!! Have no idea why, but my body is telling me that sleep is essential at the moment. It's a bit ridiculous because I've slept so much in the past few days (just not during regularly scheduled sleeping hours).
This need for unconsciousness is damned inconvenient, to say the least. There are a lot of things I need to do around the house, and the sleeping is really getting in the way. I'll be having 3 visitors next weekend, and I have to get rid of some boxes to make room for them to sleep. But where's my motivation?!?! Perhaps it's locked in the deep recesses of my mind, and that's why I need all this sleep because that's how I can get closer to finding it... Yep I think that's what it is. Gonna take a quick 15 min cat nap to muddle through the deep recesses...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Nonsensical ramblings at 3am...

I'm at work and bored out of my mind, trying desperately not to fall face first on the keyboard in a narcoleotic stupor. Therefore, let me apologize in advance, because this entry is more for my entertainment (and yes, sanity) then it is for your's.
The PICU is a place meant for the adrenaline junkies, those who like action and function well under stress. In general, you think of a PICU patient as the sickest of the sick in the world of tiny tots and terrible teens. Why then, do I have 2 chronic patients with overbearing parents who are only to be disturbed every 4 hours? Doesn't that usually fit the criteria for a regular floor patient? My eyeballs are rolling around in my head with my efforts to keep them focused, I'm freezing because even my metabolism is telling me it's time to shut down for a few hours if I'm not going to be doing anything productive. It is quite the struggle to maintain your humanity at 3am in a quiet unit with lullabies in the background.
Now, I know that may sound harsh and a bit ungrateful, but I promise you it is only the ungodly hour and lack of stimulation that is making me cranky. I have even caught myself sneaking up on my slumbering kiddos hoping they'll have full diapers and give me something to do for a few minutes. Truly, I do love my job, dirty diapers and all, and I love my patients. They are wonderful children for all their faults, anamolies, and deformities. But for crying out loud, I am ready to stick the blunt side of a pen through one of my rolling eyeballs just to have something to do!!!
On that note, a quick change of topic. I must choose paint colors so that my dad has something to do when he comes down for a few days in July. Gotta make the man useful! Hmmm, should my room be a light brown, or a blue?.... Decisions, decisions. I think I just found something to do with my time!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

WTF?!?!?1

As in my previous post, you all know that I had an incident at the grocery store with an old man yesterday. Like that wasn't bad enough?!?! My day just continued to get worse as it went along. Work last night was an absolute fiasco...
When I got in everything was fine, one patient possible admission, easy peezy. Around midnight, that admission came, teenage trauma questionable head injury. The kid himself was no problem. His family however, ├╝ber bizarre. While talking with the dad I found out the kids are going to be entering foster care, which sent a little alarm bell going off. Fast forward an hour, and I'm doing the standard admission questions to get background on the patient. So when asked about abuse, the dad tells me straight out he abuses the kid, hence the SECOND round of foster care. Now I dunno if the dad is just plain stupid or crazy ballsy. Either way this admission triggered hours of phone calls to determine just what we were supposed to do with him at the bedside and if he should even be there. Not fun...
Finally, I got a break!!! It was time to eat lunch (if that's what you can call it at 3am) and the triscuits and fruit I brought just weren't cutting it after all this bs. So I run down to the cafeteria to get myself something a bit more substantial. Now it's 7 floors up to get back to the unit, so I take the elevator. No biggie, right? People do it everyday without issue. Me I get on the damn elevator that decides to have a schizophrenic break while I'm on it. It not only gets stuck, it gets stuck and then drops, goes back up and gets stuck again only to drop again. I haven't been that nauseated in a long time. After 15 mins on the ride from hell, I am able to get the doors open and jump the 3 feet to the floor. I look around and see I'm back where I started: 1st floor, and still 7 away from the unit. *sigh*
Seriously, WTF?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Adventures in the produce aisle

Like a good single girl, I went grocery shopping to try to keep my ass out of drive-through's (so what if I bought cookies). It was all going well, my cart was filling up nicely with dietary staples that I found on sale. As I was perusing produce, I hear a call for help. I mean this lady was belting it out! So, in a grocery store, someone is panicking, what would you think happened? For me, the first thing that came to mind was a kid playing around on a shopping cart who fell off or was toppled while trying to climb a shelf. As I head of running towards the shouting, I'm thinking to myself "Kids, I can handle this." Though I was thinking about all the possible injuries and my plan of action once I got there, I figured an ambulance would need to be called in case of head or spinal trauma from the fall, etc, etc. So, when I get to all the commotion, I panic. There sprawled on the floor is a old man. What the hell was I supposed to do now?!?! I don't know what to do with old people!!! So I talk myself down (all of this taking seconds, mind you) and tell myself to start with the ABC's. He had an airway, had chest rise so he was breathing, and I checked his pulse for circulation. Gotta love trauma training. At this point I had gotten myself under control, and he was responsive so I was I was asking him questions as well as trying to figure out what he could have injured on his way down. I ask him to move everything, all extremities moves except his right foot. Moment of panic/horror/dread. Crap, he hurt something in his spine. I have him try again, still nothing. Everything went cold. Then he tells me his right leg is a prosthetic. Really?!?! Couldn't have told me when I started this exercise? Sheesh. The long and short of it is, everything that should move did, he was coherent, and there was no obvious bleeding. Against his better judgement, I got him off the floor and into a chair (because of course, a little lady like me couldn't lift a big strapping man like him). Paramedics came, and I was done. Finished my shopping shaking like a leaf, and got my ass home. If I didn't have to work tonight, I would so be having a beer right now!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Reinforcement


Yesterday was the much anticipated walk for Cystic Fibrosis. Besides being just plane old fun, it was for a good cause which just added to it. It's very moving to be a part of such a big group taking time out of their lives to raise money and make a stand against an illness that takes the lives of innocents. To see children walk on behalf of their friends, parents crying while they thank you for being there to help find a cure for their children, and to see the kids with CF walking amongst us and laughing and happy because for one day, they aren't alone in the fight. Days like yesterday, I know I made the right decisions in my life that lead me to where I am.
I love all the kids I work with, and knowing that maybe I made a difference in one of their lives. They are the biggest gift in my life. Every one of them makes an impression and changes me and how I work a bit. They say in nursing that comfort comes with experience. In general, they mean practice, that the repetition of certain tasks makes doing your job easier. And to an extent I agree. However, everyday is an experience. Each child unique and special and with something to teach you if you open yourself up to. I personally could do without the repeated sticking tubes into a child. But I couldn't do with not knowing the kids, and not opening myself up to them and their families.
People tell me all the time that they couldn't do what I do and that I'm selfless because of the profession I chose. I disagree. I'm no different than anyone else. And I do my job for completely selfish reasons. My patients make a much bigger impact in my life than I ever will in theirs.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Round two

On my way to work yesterday evening, I got a call from my sister during which she informed that my niece had something to tell me. Me, I assumed it was regarding my new cats considering she is a bit obsessed with "Tia's kitties". But no, my G gets on the phone, and in the excited and adorably high pitched voice only a 2 year old can master, tells me "I'm gonna be a big sister, tia! The baby's name is Little Foot. No tia, it's chomper. Baby Chomper. Where are the kitties?" Knowing the little one on the other side of the phone, I was able to follow her train of thought and flights of ideas, and deduced that she was watching The Land Before Time which provided her with the inspiration for the baby names.
I was, and am, appropriately thrilled to be a tia again. But I also have my reservations. How am I, as a self-respecting aunt, going to properly spoil this child when I'm broke? And will I be able to make it to Portugal to buy the required goods from the motherland for this new baby. To make matters even more pressing, the baby is due on my birthday!!! So much for spending my 28th at Nazare like I had been planning. Got to be here for the big arrival.
What to do and when to go? Does it really matter, when there's a miracle on the way? :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

One of those days


Have you ever had one of those days where you just hate yourself? When all you can think about is all your damn faults and every mistake you've ever made and worry about the ones you are going to make in the future? When even just looking at your reflection in the mirror brings on a wave of self-loathing and disgust?
That is how my day has been playing out. At turns I'm just mildly annoyed and then all of a sudden it's tears and bouts of misery and self-pity. And all of this carrying on (which I'm well aware is stupid and unwarranted) just creates more fodder for me to get upset about. It truly is a vicious cycle.
Now, in my defense, days like this used to be a regular occurrence for me (perhaps once a week or so), but I have not had one in a couple years. In general the past couple years, I've been pretty content with life, and when I haven't been, I changed things. So why now? Why today? Damned if I know what triggered this. I woke up in the morning miserable, and have wallowed in it since; not getting dressed, not doing any of the things I need to do, and not even turning on a light in the house. This however will have to end soon, considering I have to be at work this evening for a night shift.... *sigh* Just to add insult to injury...
So I say to myself "SNAP OUT OF IT!!!" but I'm still working on it. While I emotionally feel like I have as much self worth as a piece of nastiness that someone was unfortunate enough to step on on their way to work, intellectually I know that isn't so. But it is the curse of the female to have her intelligence outweighed by her emotions. That discussion, however, is for another day.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

They're home!!!

Ok, so I got approved for the two cats, and I picked them up this afternoon. Both a beautiful, but there seems to be one small problem. They seem to hate each other...
Mischief, the oldest (so she should technically know better), has been doing nothing but hissing at the little guy, Moe (now Marvin). So he is now terrified of her and practicing his hissing at his reflection. First couple hours home and he's already berating himself in the mirror!!! Meanwhile she is practicing avoidance and hiding anywhere she possible can.
Frankly, it's breaking my heart a little. Can't they just get along? I've never been in charge of another living thing, and this is breaking my heart. I feel like a failed as a.... as a parent (yes, I said it, these little felines are my children for all intents and purposes). Now I know how my mom felt when me and my sister fought.
I hope this is just a phase, and that with time they'll get used to each other and this will pass. And if it is, I hope it's a goddamn short phase. Or even better, maybe Mischief isn't really hissing, maybe it's just a really stubborn hairball that she's having trouble clearing.
There is always hope!!! Keep your fingers crossed for me...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

For a good time, watch!



Heard this on the radio and enjoyed it immensely. Hope it makes you all laugh too!!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

The worst thing

Little known fact about me, I became a nurse because I hated the feeling of not knowing how to help and make things better. This started after I had a very good friend suffer a traumatic brain injury in our senior year of high school. I would sit by his bedside and feel completely helpless, I couldn't make him better. And for me that is the worst feeling in the world.
In my years as a nurse, I've gotten over having to fix things. But I still feel like I at least need to make things better. At work, that sometimes means helping families come to grips with the fact that death is better than the life their child has been living. In life that means lending a shoulder or ear to someone who needs it and hoping that being their bouncing board will help ease their mind. It may also mean taking a bummed friend out for margaritas or just being weird and silly to get them to smile. Whatever it takes, I'm your girl.
But what do you do when nothing works? When being a friend just isn't enough? It hurts me not to be able to help heal. Nothing breaks my heart more. That feeling of helplessness leaves me undone. I can handle my pain much better than I can handle anyone else's. When someone I love is hurting, it breaks my stride. I can't just move on and say to myself, "That's their problem, they'll get over it," and move on with my life. I always feel like I could do more, even if I don't know what more is. Until I find what it is, I feel like a failure that it didn't just come naturally.
I try really hard to be a good friend, and it sucks monkey butt when my efforts just aren't good enough. *Sigh* But it sure doesn't stop me from trying...

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The kitties


Ok, so I know I previously said my plan was to get a dog this weekend. After being thoroughly advised against it by the shelter, I decided on a cat. Unfortunately, being the total sucker I am, I couldn't get just one and put in an application for two of them. And they are beautiful!!! And so so sweet. I'm totally smitten with my two potential new housemates.
Moe (his name may get changed) is 10 weeks old and all black. He's just gorgeous and sweet. He sort of picked me, by sticking his little paw out and "petting" me. And when he purrs, it's like there's a little motor in him.
Mischief is the gray tuxedo with the most gorgeous whiskers. She's 2 years old and a total cuddle bug. I fell in love with her yesterday and had to go back for her today. She's just a beautiful girl.
Now all that's left is getting my application for the two of them approved. And I have to restrain myself from buying every cat toy, food bowls, scratching posts, etc until I know for sure that they're mine. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A wee little survery

The point of this survey is to answer the questions only with music lyrics. I'm a bit curious to see how I do...

1. Are you male or female?
Girls - that's all I really want is girls
Two at a time - I want girls
With new wave hairdos - I want girls
I ought to whip out my - girls, girls, girls, girls,girls,
girls, girls, girls,
girls!
-Beatie Boys "Girls"

2. Describe yourself
She's sun and rain, she's fire and ice
A little crazy but it's nice
And when she gets mad, you best leave her alone
'Cause she'll rage just like a river
Then she'll beg you to forgive her
She's every woman that I've ever known.
-Garth Brooks "She's Every Woman"

3. What do people think of you?
Hey, don't write yourself off yet.
It's only in your head you feel left out or
looked down on.
Just do your best, do everything you can.
And don't you worry what the bitter hearts are gonna say.
-Jimmy Eat World "The Middle"

4. Describe your last relationship?

Change my pitch up, smack my bitch up
Change my pitch up, smack my bitch up
Change my pitch up, smack my bitch up
-The Prodigy "Smack my bitch up"

5. Describe your current relationship
I don't wanna wait in vain for your love,
'Cause if summer is here,
I'm still waiting there;
Winter is here,
And I'm still waiting there.
-Bob Marley "Waiting in Vain"

6. Where would you like to be now?
Way down here you need a reason to move
Feel a fool running your stateside games
Lose your load, leave your mind behind, baby James
Oh, Mexico
It sounds so simple I just got to go
The suns so hot I forgot to go home
Guess Ill have to go now
-James Taylor "Mexico"

7. What do you think about love?
Love is a many splendored thing,
Love lifts us up where we belong,
All you need is love!
-Ewan McGregor & Nicole Kidman Moulin Rouge "Love Medley"

8. How's your life?
There ain't no rest for the wicked, money don't grow on trees, I got bills to pay, I got mouths to feed, there ain't nothing in this world for free.
I know I can't slow down, I can't hold back though you know I wish I could, oh no there ain't no rest for the wicked, until we close our eyes for good.
-Cage the Elephant "Ain't no rest for the wicked"

9. If you had one wish, what would you ask for?
Here is a little song I wrote
You might want to sing it note for note
Don't worry be happy
In every life we have some trouble
When you worry you make it double
Don't worry, be happy......
-Bob Marley "Don't Worry, Be Happy"

10. Some words of wisdom
Some days you gotta dance
Live it up when you get the chance
'Cause when the world doesn't make no sense
And you're feeling just a little to tense
Gotta loosen up those chains and dance
-Dixie Chicks "Some Days You Gotta Dance"

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Faith


I am catholic. Not one of those fanatical and self-righteous catholics that feels every person living in a 3rd world country needs to give up their pagan lifestyle and convert to be saved. Instead I'm a very liberal one who firmly believes in woman's and gay rights. Controversial, I know, so sue me. But the general concept is the same. We all believe in Jesus Christ (how can you not when there is archeological evidence that he walked the earth, the resurrection however is a different story) and in God. I do also believe that God has some say in how life plays out and that I don't need to know everything and to just trust that it will all be ok. But on days like today, I wonder if I can truly say I have faith.
I spent my day caring for an infant fighting for her life against an incredibly aggressive cancer and brain infection. In medical terms, she doesn't even have a prognosis. It's just a waiting game to see what will give out first. And yet knowing this, that death is a certainty, I spent my day doing everything to keep her alive. Watching for any little sign that she was heading towards brain death and doing my damndest to reverse it.
As like any decent medical team would, we had a meeting with the family to determine whether or not we should withdraw all care. Should we stop everything we're doing now and just let her go on the path that she will eventually take anyway? Or keep going with all the agressive care we're doing now? Or maybe just keep things status quo and not do anything more if things take a turn for the worse? As one of the medical team, I guess I should have some answers. But all I know is that I HATE flashing a light in her eyes every hour to see if there will be a reaction this time. I HATE pinching and prodding her every hour too see if pain will be enough of a stimulus to get her to react. But I hate it even more when its not.
Her parents are good kind people with unshakable faith. They believe with all of their being that in the hands of God their child will be ok. It's humbling. To sit in a room with them after having see the monster growing inside their child on CT scan, and to see them be able to smile and be comforted in their faith baffles me. I can't say what I would do if it was my child. And I pray that I never have to. But these people touched me. They are articulate and intelligent and so comfortable and confident in their beliefs. Am I wrong? Are we as medical professions callous and uncaring by even broaching the topic of withdrawing care? I don't know. But I do know that that child, regardless of the quality of life she is living, is a true miracle. She has come into the world and touched people. She has accomplished in a matter of weeks what most people strive to do in a lifetime. Regardless of what happens, she has not lived in vain.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Newby

So, I have never blogged nor journaled in the past. And frankly, I can't think of why I am starting this as I am nothing more than your average Joe (perhaps it would be more correct to say Jane). So please, bear with me while I get the hang of this.
A little background, I'm 27 and newly living on my own and free from parental units (late bloomer I know). I'm a nurse in a very busy pediatric intensive care unit (and notice it's pediatric not neonatal) and I LOVE my job. There are days it sucks and where I wish I never had to set foot into a hospital again, but I don't know who I would be if I wasn't a nurse. So much of me changed once I got my license, and I would never go back.
Now, the apartment. It is scarcely furnished, but every piece I do have in here, I adore. It's truly a wonderful and magical thing to have your own space with your own stuff and just your company to deal with. I may work with people everyday, but in general I prefer my own company to anyone else's. Not that I'm a loner or anything, I'm actually quite sociable. But there is no equivalent in the world to peace and quiet after a long day.
I suppose I will be testing this theory at the end of the week when I go to meet some dogs that are up for adoption. I'm one of those weird girls who love animals, even the creepy crawly ones that usually draw a scream out of their unsuspecting victims. However, I have never owned a pet. I'm a bit scared that I won't take care of it properly or that I won't have the patience for it. As said before, I like being alone, and it worries me that that may surpass my caring for the animal. Bizarre, I know, a nurse worrying about not properly caring for something. So in order to practice I got plants (laugh now, I know it's ridiculous). To justify this action, let me explain myself. A plant is a living, breathing thing that needs proper care to thrive. They need water and sunlight and pruning. All of these things I have done, and my plants are thriving nicely. So I think I could handle a dog. The one catch being that the plants don't make a peep. That may be the only glitch in my plan...
Keep your fingers crossed for me!