Friday, January 28, 2011

Responsible Things

Responsibility. Stability. I have mixed feelings. I e-filed my taxes online the other day. I came to the realization that I made a whopping$16,000 less than last year. Now, I can't really complain, because I still have everything I need and most of the things I want. I'm well taken care of with not only a strong roof over my head, but quite the extensive purse and shoe collection. But $16,000 is no small chunk of change! And let's remember a few things. I was only a travel nurse for HALF the year last year. Imagine if I had been travelling ALL year. Also, since I was not travelling, I actually had to pay rent and bills with that money! So sad! I mean is responsible stability really worth it? Was my life really that "stable" last year? I mean sure, I had job I was locked into for more than 13 weeks at a time, and yeah, I have an actual local mailing address and bank account ...but is it really that worth it? I don't know that I'm ready to start travelling again ...especially with school on the horizon ...but it makes you wonder!

On the other hand, I have quite enjoyed playing the responsible grown up this week. See, I've been staying at a friend's house while she is on a work-related vacation. She has three boys and a husband that goes to work before they need to get on the bus and doesn't get home until after they need to be picked up. Enter me. I love my friend. Bunches and bunches, and I love her boys and would do anything for them, but let me tell ya, the responsible adult in charge of small people is tough! And tiring! I worked Sunday through Wednesday nights until 0330. So I went home to her house when I got off and read a book for an hour or so until the boys got up. Once I got them on the bus, I'd come back and sleep until it was time to get them off the bus. Let me tell ya, getting other people's children on and off the school bus is STRESSFUL!!!!! I mean, what if I get them lost? What if they don't get off the bus? What if we're late and they miss the bus? I mean I'm pretty good with a gps ...but still!

Also, I learned so much! Boys are so different from girls. I learned all sorts of playful new insults that only teenage boys can come up with for their brothers. And cartoons? My gosh they're annoying these days!!! It's no wonder America's children are over-diagnosed adhd medication. Have you seen these things? They are the most mindless, obnoxious, mind-numbing, stupid things ever. Like literally stupid. As in not smart. There is not one ounce of Intelligence in these things. Remember Scooby Doo? The Smurfs? Strawberry Shortcake? Rainbow Bright? My Little Pony? The Care Bears? I could go on. They are no more. And the animation is terrible!! Don't even get me started on the commercials. Have you heard of Zhu Zhu pets? I don't even want to go into it for fear of getting the obnoxious song stuck in my head. Perhaps I'm just getting too old. The generational gap is officially beginning. Have you heard of silly bands? They're these little rubber bracelet things that when you take them off your wrist take the shape of various other things. They're all the rage among the young 'uns these days and I just don't get it. You can't just have one or two like the slap bracelets from back in my day. You need like hundreds. Not exaggerating.

That being said ...this week was amazing!! These boys are so amazing!!!! I mean, the kind of amazing that restores my faith in humanity. Granted, as I knew previously it's all about how people parent. And my amazing friend and her wonderful husband are clearly great parents. These boys are just so great! They're smart, and they have tons of friends, they're athletic, and they love each other and take care of each other. I mean, they're still boys, so they wrestle and call each other names and all that 'boys will be boys' stuff, but they're just great kids. And it was great to be responsible for them for a week. It was actually really nice to have something that I HAD to do besides getting up and going to work.


On an unrelated note (just something I've been thinking about a lot lately): Ya know how there are some songs that you just identify with? Usually with the overall message or feeling of the song. Like 'Chicken Fried' of 'Toes' by the Zac Brown Band, or 'What I Love About the South' by Rodney Atkins, they just make me feel at home, and I totally identify with them. Then there are songs that fit your life almost completely but there's a verse or a single part or two that are missing. Then there are songs that you could have written. Every word. Then it just becomes almost eerie. For me this song is ShadowBoxer by Fiona Apple. That's all. Happy weekend everyone :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Good day...

Today was one of those days at work where I'm just so grateful for the job that I have. One of those days that reminds me why I wanted to do this ...ya know as opposed to the days when you have shit thrown at your head (figuratively ...and literally unfortunately) you're called every name at the book and yelled at by every ungrateful patient and their ungrateful family members. Don't get me wrong, I (and my coworkers) laugh at most of the names we are called, and roll our eyes at the impatience and sheer ignorance of our ...more challenging patients. But every once in a while you get a few morsels of gratitude and experiences that make all the crap worthwhile.

I had been at work for about three hours and was BORED out of my mind. As was the charge nurse, the nurse working in the zone with me, and one of my good friends who was in our zone chatting. We were actually bored enough that we tried our hardest to tempt fate by repeatedly vocalizing how bored we were and how quiet it was. Usually a sure recipe for disaster. It didn't work. For a long time. But then the medic phone rang :) We all grinned and waited to see what it was going to be ...hoping for something truly gruesome or super sick and actively dying. Turns out it was an 86yo gal with a sudden onset of abdominal pain, who had passed out and had a blood pressure in the 40s. And no IV access :) Woohoo!!! Twisted I know :) The medics had tried multiple times in her arms, and twice to get a central line in her neck and couldn't find anything. Without getting too far into the medical details of it all, the patient likely had a ruptured hole in the aorta in her abdomen ...she was loosing lots of blood really really really fast. So me and my three bored friends prepare to converge on this actively dying patient. Within minutes of her rolling through our doors, I had thrown a 14g in her left arm, and another nurse had thrown an 18g in her right. The medics who were still giving report on the patient looked at us stunned, each took a dollar out of their wallets and handed them to us. A 14g is big. Like really big. Like almost ball-point pen (the metal and ink-holder part) big. And an 18 is big too. But more importantly, the patient was in the OR having her ruptured AAA repaired within 57 minutes of hitting the department. We even got to use the rapid transfuser ...that's always a good time :)

A few hours later after we were all bored again, although not quite as bored as before, triage brought me a patient. I already had three and there were several nurses with only one or two patients. I didn't mind, because I like to be busy, but it was just a little strange. The triage nurse that brought the patient back came up to me and said, "Toni, I brought you a patient because you are the best." I laughed and he said, "No. seriously, I was thinking about where to put this kid and I thought that if my kid was this sick you would be the first person I'd pick to take care of it." And he was SERIOUS!!! And we had some pretty rockstar nurses on shift. I detest febrile child workups. I don't mind doing them if the kid is actually sick, but more often than not we get roped into torturing them because of the numbers. But this time I was glad to do it ...what can I say, I'm easily manipulated ...flattery will get you everywhere :)

Anyways, that's it :) I love my job and I love my coworkers!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


The post office: I still don't like you. I picked up a sheet of stamps at Fred Meyer today, so I hope to avoid you for quite some time. Also, I had to go to Target today to buy some paper to write letters on because the only paper I have in my house is sticky-notes. Which is fine, but an entire letter on sticky notes might get a bit tedious, and I don't want to run the risk of having to visit you to make sure that the envelope is not to thick to send with the damn stamps I already have. Not that it's your fault that I had to go buy paper, but I thought you should know how much effort I'm putting in to send stuff through you.

The weather: Turns out we got a solid couple inches of the heaviest, wettest snow I've ever seen the other night. And it was all gone after about an hour because it's been raining since then. Also best product ever? Rain-X. Especially if you live here in Seattle. It's a great little liquid that you add to your windshield wiper fluid and it makes all the rain water bead up and run right off your windshield! Great stuff. Thanks dad!!!

Books: The Art of Racing In the Rain, excellent book. Read it in just over a day. Couldn't put it down. Finished it at a slow minute at work ...shed tears of happiness the nurses station ...over the book, not the dying people surrounding me. Eat, Pray, Love: Excellent book. Life changing. Like reading thoughts from my own brain. Like therapy. The movie was awful, but already read the book twice. Love it. Kite Runner: Well written, gripping and intriguing, but I have never been so personally hurt and offended by a main character in a book before. I mean there's always people who do really crappy things and are just terrible people, but they're usually not the 'hero' main character of the story. I find myself actually wanting this kid to be tortured. Like really tortured. Like I am glad when he gets sick etc.

Traffic: I don't understand why entire lines of cars wait for several minutes in line to get on the freeway. I'm glad they do, don't get me wrong, because traffic would be terrible if they didn't, but I can't make myself wait my turn when the whole stupid carpool lane is open, free, and clear. One day this may come up to bite me, but I'll deal with it then. A ticket for inappropriate use of the carpool lane is well worth my sanity of not having to deal with traffic.

Doom and Gloom: aka the sunless winter here in the pac nw. I have conquered you with my happy light. Yes folks I actually own a product called a happy light. And it's made the biggest difference in my life. Seriously. It's a small portable little box that emits the brightest white light. Just turning on immediately lifts and brightens my mood. I sit by it for at least 30 minutes in the morning while I'm playing on the computer, or bring it in the bathroom while I'm getting ready, they I read by it for at least 30 minutes every evening. You would not believe what a difference it makes!!! AMAZING!!!

...I think that's all for today. Oh, and I like golden oreos :)

Ooh! I almost forgot! Regarding technology: I now have a printer that is smarter than I am. Took me a good half an hour to set the darn thing up today. And I'm not exactly computer illiterate. Also, it occasionally baffles my mind how much cell phones can do. I mean, think about it. My cell phone is also my phone book, computer, calculator, clock, gps, tv, entertainment station, alarm clock, photo book, camera, books, bank account, movie renter, etc. And I used it the other week as my boarding pass. And it fits in my little back pocket. Crazy.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Just in case...

Just in case you need a little perspective. I did.