It’s Been A Monday; And It Hurts!

My alarm went off at its usual time, and I got up, did my hair and makeup, put my scrubs on and went to work. I made it to Huddle on time, did that, went to breakfast with my friend, Cindy, and then went back to my office and fired up my computer. Going through emails, I saw one from a local news channel (which I am not supposed to be getting, but dang! How many times to I need to be cancelling news updates from one channel???) that mentioned a mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada. I had to click through and could NOT believe what I was seeing….

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I may have gone a little bit numb, but I got payroll out by 11:00, then read up a little bit on the shooting. I really have NO words. About that time, I got a FaceBook PM from a Monat teammate that told me our sponsor (who is also my friend) was in Vegas this weekend. I could have sworn it was next weekend. My heart sank into my stomach. I went to her page to see her last activity, which was yesterday in Sedona, AZ. I hoped like hell she was still in Arizona. She was. She messaged me while I was at lunch.

But seriously… today’s world pretty much sucks hardcore!

That doesn’t detract from the now 59 dead and 527 hospitalized at last count. And then you have ISIS claiming responsibility for a white sixty-something man opening fire on all those concert-goers. None of this makes sense! The world today doesn’t make sense!

On my way back from lunch, I had my water jug in my hand, which is really just one of those 24 ounce super-cooled cups, when one of my Transport team was trying to get out of the elevator when another was trying to get on. I helped the first one pull the bed out of the elevator and held the door so that the second could get the bed into the elevator with a little more ease. I helped the first bed down the hall, because sometimes these beds have minds of their own. Turns out we were going all the way down to MRI. The Transporter made a comment about our patient’s hair, which was an absolutely gorgeous shade of grey/white, but under the hallway lights, looked like it had been tinted light lavender and baby pink. It really was beautiful! The patient was upset because she felt like after her chemo, it had left her hair yellow. We both assured her that it was far from yellow, and really pretty!

By the time we got our patient to MRI holding, she was scared to death! She had tears rolling out of her eyes. The original Transporter had another patient to move and all I had waiting for me in my office was a pile of paperwork. I told the patient that I would stay with her until her test. Our facility’s motto is, “Patients First,” so I held her hand for two and a half hours. One of our MRI techs asked her if she needed a little something to take the edge off her fear, and my patient told her, emphatically, YES!

Every time someone came through MRI holding, my patient (because now she was my responsibility, even though she wasn’t originally my patient), asked if that was someone with her meds. I told her who everyone was that came through that area, and that we were looking for her nurse, who would be in Navy blue and white, or Navy on Navy. Then I explained to her the color-coding of our departments. We carried on a pretty amazing conversation, this afternoon. She graduated high school the same year I was born. We talked about our kids, what my husband and I did over the weekend, her grandkids, and she was often confused. Then her nurse came and gave her a sedative. I told her, “See? Navy blue, right?” Then I relayed my experience on the same sedative that she took. We won’t go into that, here, but if you’ve been a reader since the beginning, you might recognize this, LOL! It tickled her!

I helped get her onto the MRI table, and told her that I would go find her sister and tell her what was going on, which I did. I also told her I would be back to take her to her room, because familiar faces. I then returned to home base and told our dispatcher that when she was done I wanted to take her back up to her room. That I did. I left my card with her, her sister, and left one for her son, who was coming after five.

My boss tried to get up with me, but with both of my hands holding hers, I couldn’t answer my phone, so I called him back, left him a voicemail and told him what my current situation was. He was totally cool with the fact that my numbers weren’t done, because, “Patients First.”

Once I got back to my office, I was able to run up to my boss’s office to get some paperwork that I needed to finish six of my employees’ evaluations. Got them back down to my office, and my patient was ready to go back to her room, so I went and got her.

We got off the elevator, and her sister was in the doorway (her room was by the staff elevators). I got her back into her room, made her comfortable, and called for our nurse. I got the hand-off sheet signed and I promised her that I’d be back in the morning to check on her.

I know that this is a long story, and for that I do apologize, but it is part of my life now, and sometimes my patients move me to tears. All I could think of was, “what if it was me in that bed, being scared to tears?” Would I want someone to stick around and hold my hand and get my mind off the issue at hand or not. Well, that’s a no-brainer. Or what if it was MY mom, and I wasn’t able to be there with her? I would absolutely want someone there to help her relax.

This patient moved me so much that I have no words, but I do have a lump in my throat for the other patients that I have not come across.

The hubs and I were supposed to walk the fair tonight, but I stayed late to finish as much paperwork as I could, because of people’s pay so we put it off till tomorrow or Wednesday.

So I get home and my husband says someone on Facebook said that Tom Petty was dead.

Do WHAT?

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I told him that if it was on FB, it might not necessarily be news. But I googled, and saw numerous articles stating that he’d died after a massive coronary on Sunday night.

So as I was prepping for this post, I went back to look for pictures, like the one above, and found numerous outlets saying that nobody can confirm his death!

Dafuq? Is the man dead or isn’t he?

I’m, personally, hoping that he isn’t. Johnny and I had hoped to catch his next tour, as we both grew up on his music, from early teens to the present. His music spoke to us while we were dating. I remember sitting in the hot tub singing songs from the album Wildflowers to him. Those songs bring back the most romantic memories.

So all of that being said? I am going to call it a night because tomorrow is Tuesday, and I really need a Tuesday after today’s Monday.

How was your day? Thoughts on Vegas? Tom Petty?

Until next time…

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Posted in Concerts, Current Events, Hospital Stories, Personal Opinion, Seriously? WTF, Suckfest, The Day Job, Things That Make You Go Hmmm, violence | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Charlotte’s Web

This is Charlotte.

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Our spider…

She is the writing spider that moved in over the doorway of our outdoor living room. She’s been with us for…ohhhh..the last 6-8 weeks and the first time I saw her? I was petrified and wouldn’t go through the mosquito screen doorway because I was SO convinced this monstrosity would drop on my head.

Once I realized she wasn’t paying me a bit of mind, I sat in my chair in our outdoor space and Googled writing spiders in this neck of the woods. I grew a whole new respect for these critters! I came across this article and learned a little bit. Then I found this one, and learned some more. I started to understand these creepy critters that I am SO afraid of.

In some bizarre way, this arachniphobe has become quite fond of our Charlotte. I keep expecting to see, “Some Pig,” woven into her web, even though we don’t have swine. Maybe, “Awesome Dogs” is what I’ve been looking for, but whatever it is, I stop before going into our outdoor space to talk to the old girl, who will most certainly disappear with the first frost.

I know I’ll be sad, then, because just over a week ago, Charlotte was HUGE for days. I suspected she might be getting ready to lay eggs and create an egg sack, much like her counterpart behind the barn. She disappeared a week ago, Friday night, and I was all to pieces, thinking that she’d gone somewhere to create that egg sack. Yet, the next morning she was back. Late the following day, Johnny found the egg sack. It’s between the eves of our outdoor space, so I will probably be scarce in here in the spring when they hatch. Or maybe not.

When Charlotte showed back up, right where she was, her house was a mess. I can relate. Any mom that has just laid a crap-ton of eggs or given birth to a child will get it. We’re tired. We just created life, right?

So, bless her heart, she’s been back, but you can tell that she’s tired. Her webs are half-assed. They are catching stink bugs, but there is still only half a web there. I was fortunate to see her do some kind of spider dance, earlier this evening.

I have really mixed emotions about this spider. While I am fond of her, I’m still not sure that her landing on me, in any way, shape or form wouldn’t be her demise, just because of how I’m wired. On the other side of the coin, though? I feel like I’ve been de-sensitized enough to let her crawl on my hand, if I had a guarantee that she wouldn’t run up my sleeve. (shudder!) Maybe I’ve become more desensitized than I originally thought. Yeah, I know that I’m weird because I dread that first frost that will inevitably kill her. It actually makes me tear up, a little… (Because I am a softie at heart for all living things, when it comes right down to brass tacks.) 😦

All that said? I know she is going to die, but she’s put her eggs in our space, and we will do what we can do to get those little spiderlettes, (they are more likable that way) this spring, out of our space and back out into into nature where they can grow and eat the pests that annoy us during our summer months.

So this blog is for Charlotte, a spider that taught me to love something that scares the hell out of me, and accept her for what she is, and therefore? I won’t be smacking her babies with a swatter, come spring…I can’t even IMAGINE not seeing up to 1,400 of my own babies…Nature can be cruel and beautiful that way…

I know how bizarre that sounds, but it’s the truth. It’s almost as if she knew placing that sack of babies in our space would guarantee their safety! After going out this evening to pick wine grapes and coming in with better than half a dozen mosquito bites on my legs? I will get Charlotte’s babies to safe havens if they need me too. 🙂

Until next time…

Posted in Blogging, Family, nature, Personal, Random Thoughts, Spiders, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A Day In The Life of a Healthcare Worker…

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It’s not dull, that’s for certain. Yes, some days are really uneventful, but then there are the days like today.

Today started out in left field. I’d been walking around with a sinus headache since the first of the week, but yesterday I started feeling it in my ears. I woke up this morning and knew I was going to have to stand in the shower with my face under the spray for a while to get the pressure off until the nasal spray my husband had me try last night kicked in. This made me incredibly late for work, which turned out to be a good thing, by day’s end.

I don’t know how y’all are, but when I have that much sinus pressure, it is almost like having tunnel vision and my attention to detail might not be all that and a bag of chips.

I was able to procure an appointment with the Nurse Practitioner for later this morning, so I wanted to find out what, exactly, Johnny had me shoot up my nose that actually WORKED last night.

The following text exchange might have happened this morning:

Me: Honey? (waving emoji)

Him: Yes?

Me: I need to know the name of the nasal spray you had me try.

Him: Me?

Me: Yes. Last night, remember? Tastes like ass? It’s by the coffee pot.

Him: This isn’t Johnny.

I might have looked up to see to whom I’d mis-texted and might have been mortified to see “Jeff.” Jeff is my boss.

Me: OMG!!!! I’m so sorry. And mortified. And RED!

Fortunately, my boss is cool as all get out. We can even joke about it.

So, I went to my appointment, but on my way? I saw saw a lost lady in the hallway. What we do, when we see someone who is looking around, is to ask them if we can help them. This particular gal was looking for nurses that might have been in the OR for her husband’s surgery on Tuesday.  Now, our department doesn’t have a lot of interaction with the OR transport team, because they are a team of their own, but at that time, a whole lot of OR techs and nurses were coming out for lunch and we grabbed one, who took care of our visitor

Once I was done with my own appointment, I’d found out what I suspected; Sinus infection, with fluid behind my ears. Got the ‘script for antibiotics, Flo-Nase and picked up some Sudafed.

I’d planned on leaving at 3:30, because I was feeling like …. well… ass. But because I’d come up with another BRILLIANT idea for a fund-raiser for the soup kitchen, I stayed to send my idea to my boss, rather than cutting and running, like I should have done. (Although, in retrospect, I’m glad I didn’t…)

We ended up having an influx of in-patient moves and discharges, and were four behind when I was ready to go. I can’t leave to go home when my team is behind like that. That being said, I stayed over to pick up the next couple of transports. I’d just finished cleaning a wheelchair after my second and (as fate would have it) my last discharge, when I saw the lady (and her sister) that was looking for surgical nurses earlier in the day, so I stopped and asked her if they’d helped her out. The lady’s sister, who was with her, spouted off about ignorance and being hateful.

We were standing in the doorway of admitting and the main hallway, and the original gal started telling me about some things that had happened to her, today. She kind of went off, dropping some B, F, and GD bombs. I was able to usher them to my office. Once there, I let them vent and then offered them something to drink. While I was in Radiology getting them both some ice water, I texted my boss and told him what was going on and that I needed his help. “Please call me on my Cisco phone,” I sent.

By the time I’d gotten back to our office and handed out water, my boss called. I told him what was going on and he arrived within five minutes.

I can’t go into what went down, because of privacy, but I can tell you that my boss was the epitome of tact and compassion. He listened to two really upset women and did everything in his power to make things right.

Long story a little shorter? There were some take-aways from this situation:

  • Always listen;
  • Take notes – get names and contact information;
  • Listen to the whole story;
  • Offer to help rectify the problem;
  • Take it to the next level, if necessary.

My boss showed compassion, empathy, listening skills, caring and compassion. These are just some of the key words we need to be familiar with in healthcare!

Now that I’ve seen him handle something like this? I know that I can help diffuse similar situations in the future!

The original lady had been bragging on our facility until today. Her person was admitted last Friday, had surgery Tuesday, and had nothing but good things to say until the mis-steps of a couple of people, who meant no harm, but it created a “Perfect Storm” situation. Had I not been where I was, I wouldn’t have run into her this afternoon, and had she not run into me? She would have gone out and told anyone that would listen how simply awful my organization was.

My boss and I got things straightened out for this woman and her sister. I left her with my business card, went up to the room to visit with her person and assured both of them that I would be back in the morning to check on them.

This is just what we do as a healthcare team. It’s all great and wonderful when our patients and family are happy (which is most often the case), but when something goes out into left-field? We are there for that as well.

We might get verbally beaten up, hear some colorful language, and take the mistake of another on our shoulders? At the end of the day we are there for our patients and their families.

I can’t even tell you how PROUD I am to be affiliated with my healthcare facility! ❤

Have you ever had an undesirable experience in a hospital? How was it handled? Were you satisfied with the outcome? Make your thoughts known below! This will help me help my patients, because (as we should all know) PATIENTS FIRST!

Please, thank you and until next time…

Posted in Health, health care, Hospital Stories, Life’s Little Victories, Of Interest, Personal Opinion, Random Acts of Kindness, The Day Job | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment