Sunday, April 16, 2006

Here in the ICU...

We don't see many little kids, especially toddlers or babies, here on this unit in the hospital. Sadly, if you see one here to visit someone, it's a fairly safe bet that the patient they are visiting is gravely ill. As I left my patient's room tonight, I heard a funny squeak and noticed a tiny little girl, probably no more than two, wrapped around her mother's legs, while her mother was on the phone. The little girl had on pink and purple striped velour pants and a pink top, which made me smile right away, because EVERY little baby and toddler needs to have velour striped pants. It's just a rite of passage, and they're just cool. Anyway, I started playing peek-a-boo with her, hiding around the corner and popping back out, as she ventured closer and closer, then jumped back and squealed with delight. I knew who she was here to visit, and as I looked up at her mother's face, then back at the monitor to confirm what I had just realized, I knew that her daddy had just died. My own patient's monitor beeped then, and I had to go get her blood pressure medication, so I waved goodbye to my little peek-a-boo friend, and felt tears in my eyes as she held out her pudgy little hand like a starfish and waved good-bye. I know I say this a lot, but this is a strange job.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Doggy crackdown

I've been slack about posting lately, but don't really think I have much to say. Well, I think of plenty of things to go on about while I'm at work or in traffic, but by the time I get home I really just want to eat soy ice cream on the couch and watch Blind Date. Because I'm just that boring. So lets There are some really sick patients, dying of cancer. Nothing new there. I've had the same patient for a couple of weeks, "N". She's intubated, sedated, in droplet isolation. Very well sedated, in fact. Although the other night I was doing her assessment and talking to her, then I told her how her sister had just called me to check on her and what she had said, and when I glanced up at her face, her eyes had opened a bit and she had tears on her cheeks. The scientific part of me thinks it was coincidental, that she was agitated from my assessment, and the tears are a reflexive reaction. But I probably tell myself that because believing the other way, that she heard me and reacted to me talking about her sister, is really sad. Of course, I always assume my patients can hear me and understand me, regardless of their outward appearance and mental status.

I've been in chemo class for three days, bringing back memories of sitting in lectures for long periods of time in the special kind of hell we call nursing school. Interestingly, all of my colleagues at the class agreed that nursing school was a special kind of degrading, humiliating, frustrating hell, and that we didn't realize the full horror of it until we were done (thank god!), yet we'd all gone to different schools, even different types of schools (private, public, BSN, ADN). Anyway, my butt hurts from sitting and I got a few more wrinkles and headaches from the horror that is daytime traffic, but now I know how to safely administer chemotherapy. I've also been pondering my next in, okay, I'm ICU certified now, and I plan on getting more ICU experience...then what? Should I travel, move to a different area (med surg ICU, PACU, NICU?), or think about going back to school? The thing about nursing is that there is no defined career trajectory for in business, you start as an intern, and you progress upwards on the company's track until you're a [soulless] corporate manager. But in nursing, you have a gazillion options and no one defines your path for you, you just figure it out. Which is why I love this job, I'm just sayin' some thinkin' to do.

Oh, and the doggy crackdown!! Yesterday there were some "uniformed" Humane Law Enforcement people at my beloved Magnuson Park, intefering with Doggy Good Times and ticketing owners who didn't have valid dog licenses. Which seems quite counterproductive, because I think the city's already stretched humane enforcement budget could much better be spent arrested dog abusers and improving animal shelters, but NO, they come after some of the most responsible dog owners with their very happy and well-cared for dogs. Whatever. We still sort of enjoyed our park visit, however we had to sneak in and out of the side entrances. Oh, and now I have dog licenses. So phooey on you, mr. dog cop. Doggy smells bacon.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Prime Bellingham real estate

Originally uploaded by rosebuttons.
Yesterday I went to Bellingham to play real estate agent for Mum and Dad. I am always so intrigued by old, "abandoned" looking buildings, like this one. Especially since it was sitting in the middle of a sweet, quiet neighborhood. I had a lovely day tooling around B'ham, lunch at the Colophon Cafe, followed by browsing in Village Books afterwards. The weather wasn't too nice on my way home, or I would have stopped by the Mt Vernon tulip festival on the way home. Maybe next time. Next time I also hope to bring the doggies to investigate the off-leash parks in the area.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Recycled clothes!

Originally uploaded by rosebuttons.
I did it again! I just can't stop. I made another skirt out of a pair of pants that I didn't like anymore, except now as a skirt, I like the brown corduroy so much more! And it's so easy and fun, especially after you realize you're loading the bobbin wrong and you fix it and it's like magic. This is a close of the hem, with the zigzag stitch, to keep it from fraying too much. A little fraying is okay, because then you can wear it casually with sneakers or flip flops. In my world, my fashion rules make complete sense.

Today my horoscope said, "Maintain a low profile so that you don't have to tell people everything that you're feeling." I typically only read them for amusement but today it totally echoed how I felt. I just really wanted to stay home, all holed up my sewing and my knitting and Grey's Anatomy and some spaghetti and fake meatballs. I didn't want to smile and be friendly and face the SMs, I just wasn't up to it. It's not their fault, they're SMs, and sometimes a girl's had enough.

Tomorrow...(er, today?!) I'm off to wonderful Bellingham to look at some rental places, have a nice lunch near the bay, and maybe see some flowers on the way home. I might even bring the doggies. Whee. Day trip!