Saturday, April 15, 2006

My very first "Press."

Yes, that is me, ala 1972, getting her, um, heart checked out on a field trip to the local hospital.

Check out the digs on that nurse!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Week's Theme..

I am not one to open and read newspapers on a regular basis. The past week or 2 I have been, and I am not sure why. Maybe it is to become more connected with my own community.

Ringo Starr tickets go on sale tomorrow. One of my life goals: to see remaining Beatles in concert, so I am interested. Anyone interested in standing in line in Melbourne, FL tomorrow morning while I am at work?LOL! I saw Paul in 1989 in Worcester, MA at the Centrum. This was my last concert. Saw Beatlemania with the original cast of pseudo-Beatles 6 times when I was just a youngster. I think I was 2. No, really, I am only trying to NOT make myself 38 right now. I was even a member of Good Day Sunshine Fan Club. Went to London in 1983 and waled Abbey Road. I am such a nerd.

I then turn to the obituaries. I recognize 8 names on the page. Eight. One: A tech/friend at work's mother, who quickly declined in the past six months from lung cancer. She was 53. We all treated her and tried to be there for her daughter, my friend. She came the the ED regularly, and also worked at the hospital. I saw her last on Thursday just a week ago. She smiled when I told her she looked a lot better than the last time I had seen her.Two: An acquaintence's wife, 49. I used to bowl league with him. I am sure I had met his wife:most of the spouses do sit behind their people to root them on. But, that was another time when I cared to not remember people's faces or names. Saturday I saw him walking past me at work..."What are YOU doing here?" I ask. He tells me his wife is ill, in ICU. Tears in his eyes. She passes two days later. Three and Four: A woman I took care of just two days ago at hospice, and a man who had just passed earlier that day at hospice. Five: a local man I met while visiting his business: a martini bar, who died of cancer. He was also in his 50's. Six: the little boy from the accident on Sunday(see below blogs). Seven and Eight: Were they patients of mine, or patients of other students in the hospital or the nursing home? I cannot remember, but I remember their names.

I am tempted to return to my "not knowing" times and not watch TV or read the paper again...

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


I spent the morning yesterday with a hospice house, taking care of four patients in various stages of death.

For their privacy and mine, I will not speak of the name of the hospice. In our county, it is one of a kind, fashioned as a a real home with a large, exteneded family of workers, or "angels." This is why it is kind of unfortunate to NOT give you the name, because they accept donations and it is a wonderful cause.

I hate to say this, but this was such a needed experience for me after the start to my week. The place, the people, are filled with a peace and resonance of compassion which I can only absorb like a sponge. Yes, the patients are dying. Yes, there is sadness. But, there are other words that also push their way forward: dignity. connection. celebration of life. respect. quiet. finality. spirit. therapeutic. Recently they celebrated their first wedding at this place. A patient and her fiancee were married there. This is a very special place.

I turn patients, make sure their bed linens are straight, witness administration of the Roxinol, turn up the O2, hold a hand of a husband whose wife is passing, speak with a 40 y/o woman, unresponsive in bed, dx'd with a glioblastoma multiforme and is no longer able to eat or drink, touching her shoulder and telling her she is lucky to have a large family who have been visiting her regularly in the past four days. We don't know, maybe she could hear me, maybe not. Anything I can do to make these people more comfortable. And, in the process, my heart mends. I was given some type of gift, and I thank the entire house for the experience.

I will make a note that maybe this will be my direction in nursing. But, it is still way too soon to tell.

Monday, April 10, 2006

The "Cry"

There is nothing worse than the "cry" the family has when they realize they have lost a loved one. I have personally experienced it with the loss of my dad when I was 20.

Yesterday we in the ED witnessed it with the case of a very young boy who was run over by a vehicle. We usually don't get these type of cases, based upon our level of trauma center, but here we were..trauma code. We worked it feverishly for around 45 minutes without success. My first personal experience with something this bad. Grandma comes to the family room, and then the wail. I stepped out into the breeze of the day. Thank God for the wind; it seems to clear my mind as I walk for a bit. Of course everyone was in tears. We were all walking zombies for the next hour before shift change. The longest hour of my life I think...well, one of them. The waiting room is still packed. I go to help check people in. We focus upon the other tasks....other people are sick and needing to see the doctors. My relief arrives. I punch out and walk back out into the breeze. I call my husband on the 30 minute ride home. I call my mother. I need to just hear sounds of someone talking, something else to fill my head. My mother succeeds with something about her purchasing a new car this week, and I thank her. When I get home, my husband asks if there was CISD offered, or did I ask. I didn't ask, it all seemed to happen so quickly yet so slowly. He spends some time with me doing his best to do some of it on his own. I feel it helps. I hug my cats, watch my friend who won the PBA Tournament of Champions today on ESPN, watch West Wing, and fall asleep.

It is the next morning. The morning after. I can't sleep, so I get up early and perform the tasks which require no thought. The local news has bits about the accident, and the images and sounds come back, but now I am not crying. Not yet anyway. I prepare paperwork for lectures at school today, and realize there was some type of homework. You know, it doesn't really matter right now. I can miss the homework and not feel stressed at all. I know what this is, but I am just going with it.

I told my husband last night that I can't go back now. Not to 3 years ago. My mind can never find that place again with bowling, because everything seems so different now. I might be able to throw that strike to win without any stress anymore, but nothing can change the fact that a sport just doesn't have the significance to me anymore that it did back then. Not after seeing what I have seen. It's unbelievable that in just a short three years a person can be in such a different place mentally.

I am OK.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

40 days...

Since Brevard County Florida has gotten rain. A awake this a.m. to the sounds of thunder, lightening is in the air, and this strange liquid stuff drops from the air. It is a new FL state record of no rain. So, on the 41st day, it rains.

It will be a good day...