Thursday, February 27, 2003

Mister Rogers is dead.

It makes you wanna run to the Land of Make Believe and just stay put.

The Last Three Days in a Nutshell:

1) Work
2) Saw Mamma Mia with my family. Who knew Nanny would like Abba? V. cute.
3) Came home to find the Better Half gagging and unable to talk, with his throat swollen.
4) 11:30PM visit to ER, where people are golden, administer meds upon his discharge. Discover that the Better Half, despite his enlightened feminist side, is a rather puny typical sick man. At 5AM, I find him curled at my feet. Still gagging and hoarse.

1) Work.
2) Get call at work from Better Half telling me that his lower lip is now swollen as well, he's still gagging and hoarse.
3) Quick cry in a vacant doctor's office as Better Half tells me he's got to go back to the ER.
4) Dash to ER on lunch hour to check on Better Half. He's groggy from the three very sedating medications they've given him. Luckly, he was discharged before I had to be back for lunch.
5) After work, go to Better Half's house to watch him snore through the next few hours, and most of the night.

1) The Better Half's face is small again, he felt great, he left for a weekend retreat for the Diocese.
2) Work.
3) Run errands.
4) Home by 7, put on PJs.
5) Ahh.

Sunday, February 23, 2003

Okay. I love Duke University, but they have really screwed up this time.

For those of you who have been sequestered from the news for the past week or so, I am referring to the handling of Jesica, the Mexican teenager whom was given organs which were from a donor with a different blood type than she. Her body rejected the organs, and although Jesica was given new organs in an amazing and practically unheard of second transplant, she was declared brain dead and taken off of life support yesterday, and died shortly afterward.

A story has been disclosed that Jesica's family asked Duke University to continue life support until a second opinion could be rendered. However, yesterday, Duke physicians declared the child brain-dead and took it upon themselves to remove life support. The family was brought in to say goodbye.

Last time I checked, going against the wishes of the family is a HUGE no-no when it comes to withdrawing life support. I believe that some people are kept needlessly on life support. I believe in death with dignity. But when I worked as an oncology nurse, I learned that I couldn't control nor sway patient's families from their decisions that were based on values and moral beliefs. The patient's family gives final consent for withdrawing of life support. Always always always. If there is any dissention among family members, you keep the patient on life support until it's resolved. I feel that if this story is accurate, that Duke is guilty of not only a legal stafu, it is in violation of medical ethics and the hypocratic oath. You simply can't play God, no matter how high profile the case.

Saturday, February 22, 2003

Okay. Apparently I tweaked a few nerves and hurt some feelings with my last post about "Joe Millionaire." I realize that I should not piss off my target audience. So for that, I am sorry. The preceeding post, like most posts on this blog, is satire, not to be taken seriously. I don't really think you are going to Hell simply because you watch reality TV. I'll be honest and tell you that I never liked the idea that this show was on TV, because I felt it advocated dishonesty, hypocracy and greed. But I choose to present my feelings using humor, not to preach on about what I feel is right or wrong. I did make a choice to sit and watch the finale, just like everyone else.
Thank you for your time.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Today was tough, getting back to work after three days off. Tomorrow, I work with a doctor whom I have mixed feelings about, professionally. Luckly, I feel the support of the staff with me. Laura, Sarah and Nirja are really great. I got to keep that in mind when my spirits are low, and can't take anything personally.

So, for anthropological reasons, the Better Half and I checked out the last episode of "Joe Millionaire." Our conclusions:
1) We're all going to Hell
2) Joe/Evan reminds us of Cronk from The Emperor's New Groove.
3) Flipping between this cliffhanger and the Dateline episode about Michael Jackson's documentary made us feel dirty...even if it was "research."
4) The best fairy tales are animated and feature cameos of fat precocious mice that can talk, sing and sew a ballgown for the heroine all in one scene. (It's called Cinderella. Rent it.)
5) Needless to say, the experience stunted my spiritual growth.

Monday, February 17, 2003

Ah. Snowed in for a couple of days has been rather relaxing. They did close the office, along with 90% of the city. John's braving the roads to check on Chessie. Basically, I have been baking, watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding, finishing the Better Half's sweater, and relaxing.

Saturday, February 15, 2003

Snow 2: Electric Boogaloo. I am all set. I have plenty of munchies, bottles of wine, an emergency kit and 4 wheel drive, courtesy of my fiance. Also, plenty of yarn and mags.

Last night I went to see Coppelia by the Richmond Ballet. Pamela and I made the date before the Better Half's class on Friday nights got cancelled, so he flew solo while we enjoyed the very lighthearted performance. Today I got a massage, which was a great uplift spiritually. Then I got my hair done. I am thinking I will grow it out a bit for the wedding.

I'm a happy camper right now. I'm almost tempted to say yes if they don't close on Monday to come in and get time and a half. Maybe.

Friday, February 14, 2003

I'm so glad that the weekend is here. I need to get away from work for a bit. Hopefully, it will ice and snow here and I won't have to go back Monday. Everytime I turn around, I feel someone is just waiting to lecture or give feedback. My head hurts from all the talking that they do. Today I got it from Dr. J because I didn't pick up the phone when she paged me, instead I just spoke into the speaker phone. So I've been a rather frigid bitch to her the rest of the day. Not because I think the poor woman deserves it, she's just the target for my wrath. Besides, I am not doing it in an obvious way just spewing venom behind her back. Last night I had a dream that I was running through the woods and my coworkers were chasing me with picks and torches. Yikes.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Okay, today really was a roller coaster. I got criticism from two of the docs- delivered via my boss, Anne. Most of the docs are really good about offering feedback to me, but there is one who shall remain nameless to whom my respect has dwindled. Basically, this doctor never ever mentioned the incident in question to me, the entire day. That is a big pet peeve of mine. I am almost tempted to tell the docs that they can always come to me and offer me feedback. I'll even promise I won't bite, cry, or yell at them if they do. After I vented to the Better Half, I felt a bit better. It's not right to judge, or to criticize others, and I just have to ask for more patience. But also, I am going to sharpen up on my documentation skills...just in case. (I consider myself spiritual...not stupid.)

Meantime, Dr. S asked me to help her with a clinical trial she applied for, and there is a school that is having a health fair and want me to come and speak on preteen skin care. So those were the good points of the day, and really they did outweigh the bad. The inservice I helped to organize went well also, but I think that from now on, I want written approval from all the heads of the departments before anything is put into action. People weren't happy they had to give up their lunch hour. Oh well, can't please everyone, right?

I realized how burned out on patient care I was when I came to the office. Dr. B said something to me yesterday that sticks. "Most people here think 'I'd be able to get my work done if the patients weren't here.' " They have to pause their paperwork in order to usher the patients into rooms or assist with surgery. Today I got to put dressings on a woman with severe scaly legs. She had suffered a stroke and can't move very well. It wasn't until tonight that it hit me how sad it was that her legs were in such terrible shape. That she was in such terrible shape. And that I need to be more of a nurse to her. It's slowly starting to come back to me, the fire I once had. Nursing pumps through my veins. I'm very proud of what I am, no matter what setting, and that I make my life serving others.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Last night I had the privilage of attending the wake of a woman named Karen, who lost her battle with breast cancer last weekend. She leaves behind her husband, family, and two boys, an 8th grader and a 9th grader, both whom the Better Half has taught. That's how I ended up there.

Karen lay in state last night, and you could see she had fought hard. You know how funeral homes try to make the corpses look somewhat alive? It couldn't be done in this case. Glancing at her wedding photo, on display as a memorial, I could tell she was a petite woman to begin with. The casket, which could not have measured 5 1/2 feet, dwarfed her. She had the telltale signs of terminal cancer- a scarf covered her hairless scalp, her skin jaundiced and loose around her cheeks. She was the picture of suffering, and my heart simultaneously ached for her and was relieved she was out of her agony. I think that sentiment was shared by her husband and boys. The Better Half and I offered our condolences her husband, Tony, and her boys, Michael and Nathan. They seemed to be holding up okay...maybe because their hearts were like mine- happy she was no longer suffering and in a much better place.

She was a quilter, and some of her quilts were on display. She had entered a quilt in the McCall Magazine Quilt for the Cure contest, and had won an award. The quilt travels around the world now, but the family had one panel on display- the panel that symbolized Karen's life before the cancer. There was a picture of the center of the quilt, in which she is finally free of the cancer- for her, it meant either the cure or the Light of God. Also on display were quilts she made her sons and the quilt she made celebrating her family reunion.

People spoke of her highly at the wake. Her father told the story of the heartbreak of her final days, when the doctors told her there was nothing else they could do. Her brother told funny stories. Her sister-in-law told how Karen wanted to buy a web cam to talk to her niece's science class about cancer, but never got to do so. She was praised by her caregivers and her parish nurses as courageous. Her husband, the last to speak, told how much he loved her, and how he used to race home after work so he could get home to her.

He described my feelings for the Better Half. I realized how lucky I was. That morning, the Better Half scraped the ice off of the windshield of my car. The same morning that this poor husband had to prepare to bury the love of his life.

Gripping his hand, I took my finger of the other hand and traced it along the prominent veins in the back of his hand. I've done it so many times. Like always, he whispered, "Good veins?"
"The best." I said.

Sunday, February 09, 2003

Inspired by a recent post-dinner conversation, I am seriously considering returning to a vegetarian diet.

Basically, my doctor uncle and my nurse aunt were telling me about using dogs, turtles, orangutans, and cats for animal medical testing. Okay, mice, rats and nasty screeching monkeys are one thing. But you gotta draw the line somewhere. Also, my mind flashed back to when the Better Half told me about that lunatic humanistic school where they killed a rabbit and then dissected it. On the ride home, I started crying, the Better Half was befuddled, and I started feeling like a hypocrate for eating meat.

To tell you the truth, I really liked being a vegetarian, although I never really told my family. I just never thought they would understand. I lost weight, I felt healthy, and felt like, for the first time in my life, I was standing up for something I believed in. I held myself to a higher standard than the rest of the world. I could care less what other people ate, and didn't mind when they served me meat. I was able to do it for about a year, then I started working, and became really busy, and less concerned about my diet. Plus, I was going at a faster pace, and my protein intake was inadequate. So I started eating meat again.

Maybe now it's time to reconsider. Wish me luck.

Here is my attempt at a George Carlin imitation, inspired by true events:
You know what makes me prone to violence? Sheer waste. Like I saw on tv today- bimbos having a pillow fight. Feathers come out of broken pillows. You know how expensive pillows are?
These little STD prone princesses at a slumber party have the audacity to break their parents pillows. If my own daughter, or bridesmaids for that matter, did that, I'd punch her in her face multiple times. Then I'd smack around her little twerpy friends. Then I'd have everyone's parents come and pick them up, take my daughter's bedding, blankets, curtains and broken pillows, along with her tv out of her room for the rest of the school year. Hopefully, the incident would occur during the coldest reported winter in January, so the little turd would really learn her lesson. THen I'd make her spend all of her Saturdays stuffing the pillows and sewing them back together. And if she hadn't learned her lesson the first time and it happens again, I'd be forced to give her up for adoption, because I really hate stupid children.

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I have busy and tired. The Better Half has been dealing with his allergies, and his lip is swollen to four times it's normal size.

Yesterday I took a class at the Virginia Museum entitled Creative Thinking Workshop. I thought it'd be a lot of fun. I wasn't disappointed. For an icebreaker, we each took off our right shoe, put it at our place at the table, then walked around and randomly stopped at another person's shoe. Then we had to write an "ode to the shoe." Other stuff included writing questions with our right hand while our left hand answered the questions. We made shrines to creativity out of match books, and we got to write about scenes we picked out of magazines. It was very good for my spiritual growth.

The Better Half and I are trying to decide where to go for our honeymoon. We first thought of Bermuda. But we realize Bermuda is expensive and somewhat sweltering in the summer. Not to mention the possibility of hurricanes sweeping by. So we're picking some alternatives. Frankly, we want a place we've never been before, somewhere we can just unwind from the hoopla that most likely will be our wedding. Also, it must be weather-friendly in July. We just finished looking at Vermont. It's driveable, it's quiet, and hopefully it's not sweeping with tourists hauling their pukey kids off to bond with nature and history. It will be interesting to see where we end up.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Tired. Aerobics class was good tonight. I'll sleep well. I think I will think about my regimen tomorrow while I am at the cozy Chippenham office. I've decided that stationary bike is great. I sit, pedal, and either read a mag or knit. But I realize I need aerobics stengthening and toning as well. So I think I will take Pilates.

Meantime, the Better Half has been obscessed with the song "Da Butt"ever since he saw it on our potential DJ's most popular song request sheet. I can't imagine my elderly relatives "Doin' Da Butt" at our wedding reception. But still, John will just sing the refrain at random times during the day. He just IMed me- Doin Da Butt.

In other big family news, my Nanny bought a new car. A Honda Civic. Sand colored. Only because her old clunker Honda failed inspection miserably. I can't imagine. She's only had the car since I was 10. Drove it to and fro Virginia Beach every weekend. And applied her old lady driving techniques to the brakes. Almost got car jacked in 1997, but that's another story for another time.

Ah. Remainder of the night- watch South Park, knit Better Half's sweater, contemplate spiritual growth and exercise regimen. Life is good.

Doin Da Butt.

Monday, February 03, 2003

This weekend I attended the St. Mike's Christ Renews His Parish retreat. I had an absolutely amazing experience, met some really incredible women, and found what I was looking for spiritually. It helped me focus on becoming a better person, more caring, supportive, and less judgemental towards others. It was really nice to have some perspective with the wedding coming up. It helped to get away, relax a bit, and even though we were supposed to be deprogrammed from the outside, we did watch a bit of the CNN coverage of the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy and prayed for the victims and their families. I was in third grade when the Challenger exploded, and it's hard to believe Columbia's disaster was so close to the anniversary of Challenger.

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