Thursday, March 31, 2011

RNIA

eating: sloppy joe's and gin and tonic

feeling: tired. just finished my third 12 hour shift in a row

listening: to grey's anatomy musical episode

watching: see "listening to"

reading: i don't know actually; I haven't read in a week or so!

loving: having the next 4 days off

disliking: commuting on i-40

thinking: some of these actors on grey's are not meant to be singers

hoping: i can get back on my running schedule; that my uncle is recovering okay

wishing: for world peace and under-population

Monday, March 28, 2011

Readers, readers everywhere!

I just noticed when looking at my "Stats" that I have readers in the US, France, the UK, Singapore, Canada, Iran, Italy, China, India, the United Arab Emirates, Czech Republic, Estonia, and Japan. It's neat that my adventures have gone global, so thanks for reading!

Barefoot running, vegetarianism, Lent, and such

I've posted a few things over the past several weeks and I guess I need to do a follow-up on some of them! I love bulleting things so I apologize for not paragraphing like normal people.
  • Weight Watchers- I didn't lose a pound. I also didn't keep up with it after the first 2 months because I got tired of having to open my computer up and update my points every time I ate something. It also made it hard to eat out unless I wanted to buy the eating out points book. I know several people who lost a fair amount on it, so I have no doubt it works, but for my lifestyle it didn't.
  • Barefoot running- I've been intermittently trying to transition into barefoot running, but have hit some roadblocks with it. As one would expect, it makes muscles you don't usually use incredibly sore, and that can be a problem when the next day I have to be on my feet for a 12 hour shift. I've mainly been sticking to my Adidas running shoes since I've been working more often than not. In terms of running though, both my mom and I are still training towards a 5k and are now walking 15 minutes + running 15 minutes 3-4 days a week. We're taking things a little slower than my "Running for Women" book recommends, but it's okay because I'm grossly out of shape and my mom is technically a senior citizen!
  • Vegetarianism- This has also not been going as well as planned (big surprise!). I started with giving up pork and beef, and although I haven't eaten much beef I'm still eating pork without even thinking about it (eggrolls, potstickers, sausage on pizza, etc). That and with my low oxalate diet to prevent more kidney stones, meat is one of the only things I seem to be able to eat. I may try again but I'll have to be willing to live off of poultry, fish, milk, cheese, and a few random fruits and veggies. Healthy, but doesn't leave many options.
  • Lent- I decided after a week that a gin and tonic and some chocolate was more soothing after a stressful day than meditating. So...fail.
If I forgot anything, I'll get to it next time.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Another peeve

(I promise, this is the last one for a while; but as this is my 4th day in a row working and commuting on I-40, there had to be some stress issues going on)

Dear Patients:

You are in the hospital; most likely because you are sick, injured, disabled, delivering a baby, or on your last leg (literally and figuratively). You are NOT at Club Med. I repeat, you are NOT at Club Med. You are here to get better and get out, probably for one of two reasons; your insurance doesn't want to pay for a month long retreat or you're not insured and I as a tax payer do not want to pay for you to not have to sleep in your less-than-desirable homestead with the badly behaving kids and the spouse you can't stand when you just have a head cold.

I am not your massage therapist, your waitress, your flight attendant, your nanny, your secretary, your personal assistant, or your bitch. I am your nurse. My job is to keep you alive, do what the doctor orders, and get you out as quickly as possible in the best health status possible for your 5 packs per day and 12 cases of beer a week body. I am not here to change the channels for you on the remote, run to the cafeteria and buy you chicken strips, or keep an eye on your screaming child while you and your spouse try and do the dirty in a hospital shower with your MRSA-infected wound. I will give you respect and I expect the same from you...especially when I have your privates in my hands.

That is all.

Sincerely,
A nurse with an entirely new view on the world of healthcare

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bad Drivers: Biggest Pet Peeve...EVER

Dear Drivers:

I hate driving. You may love it, but it is one of my least favorite things in the world to do. Unfortunately, I have to do it every day in order to make a living for myself. With that being said, there are a few simple things that I ask of you; things that not only reduce stress and road rage but may also make the driving experience a bit safer.

1. If I am already going 10 miles OVER the speed limit, please do not tailgate me...especially when there are 3 other lanes wide open.

2. If it is dark outside and there are other cars around, turn your brights OFF. No, not ON, blinding people and causing them to have floaters for several minutes after passing you. OFF. O-F-F. Especially when you're riding behind someone and even more especially when you're in a truck riding behind a sedan. Just turn them off.

3. If you insist on speeding in heavy traffic, and therefore weaving b/c no one else is moving as fast as you, be kind and use a turn signal to at least let the car next to you know that you're about to miss their front bumper by 2 inches.

4. Trucks are big and scary and they tend to not care about vehicles that are smaller than them. Most of the patients I met during my substance abuse clinicals were truck drivers; no joke. That being said, many truck drivers are running off very little sleep and a whole lot of something else that's probably illegal...so be careful around them. Please don't trap me next to one. Please don't slam on your breaks directly in front of one, b/c they tend to swerve into other lanes of traffic whether there is someone in that lane or not. I'm usually the person in that lane.

5. It would be nice if you not "gun it" to get in front of me, and then slow down. That's rude. Get behind me if you're going to drive slower than me.

6. If you're driving the same speed as or slower than the car next to you, you best not be in the left lane. SLOW TRAFFIC STAY RIGHT. That means if you're SLOWER than the traffic around you, get in the RIGHT lane. Just saying.

7. Texting while driving is illegal. I can see you drifting between lanes up ahead of me with your phone jacked up at eye level over the steering wheel. It's not safe. People die b/c others text and go 80mph on a highway. If it's that important, use your bluetooth and call. Or wait until you get where you're going. If it's a huge emergency, call an ambulance. Duh, 911.

8. Your cat/dog/baby doesn't belong in the front seat and if you're paying more attention to the aforementioned three then you're not paying enough attention to the road.

9. If your car has cruise control, and you're on the highway sans traffic, for the love of God, please use it. You may like going fast/slow/fast/slow/fast/brake/slow/fast but the other people around you want to pull you out of your car and beat you with a stick.

10. Wear your seat belt. We're all going 80 mph and if you're doing any of the above 9 things, then a seat belt may be the only thing to save your ass when something happens.

Although I have numerous other suggestions, these are the highlights. Thanks for reading even though absolutely nothing is going to change.

Yours truly,
The scared-to-death white girl in the small sedan gripping the steering wheel with white knuckles

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Random Updates

Not much has been going on aside from working and sleeping, so unfortunately I don't have much exciting to share! I'm leaning away from writing about work because there's too much risk of getting in trouble for something silly (patient confidentiality mainly) no matter how much one tries to be shady and secretive. For those that are interested, here's a few updates:
  • My job is okay. I was expecting to get a little more guidance from the nurse training me but she seems to be more of a "sit back and wait until I ask for help" type. It's good because it forces me to figure things out on my own, however it's also bad because I didn't come to this job with a history of high quality hands-on clinical experiences. And as Alister said, I don't seem to like the responsibility. One of my professors in nursing school pretty much scared me into thinking I'm going to screw up and get sued in the first year so I'm super-paranoid to do anything. Not a great quality for a nurse but then again at least no one is going to get worse by my hands.
  • I woke up yesterday with a swollen throat that was so painful I couldn't swallow for a few hours. Since I didn't have a fever and there's no white "stuff" hanging around on my tonsils, I'm assuming it's just a viral sore throat and not strep/tonsillitis, so I've been taking a lot of Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Sudafed, Claritin, and throat lozenges. Sadly for me, I woke up again today with the same pain. I'm just going to keep drinking fluids, resting, and drugging myself though because I refuse to spend money to see a doctor and have them tell me what I already know. There's nothing they can really do for a virus anyways.
  • I'm headed to Greenville tomorrow to spend time with Alister, get some mail, and possible de-winterize the boat. It depends on how I'm feeling though...I go back to work on Tuesday and can't be coughing all in my patient's faces (and the masks make me claustrophobic).
  • I've cared for several patients who have had kidney stones surgically removed and I feel their pain. It's also scared me into trying to follow the low calcium-oxalate diet my urologist prescribed to me many years ago that I've been ignoring. On the flip side, a low oxalate diet doesn't support being a vegetarian so I'm going to have to make a few important choices. On the plus side, milk doesn't have oxalate so I can keep drinking it to my heart's content (gotta prevent that osteoporosis as much as possible).
  • Alex and Kris are enjoying being in Washington although I think the weather may be too much for Alex to deal with for the rest of her life. The family has spent quite a few nights on Skype though so I'm thankful someone came up with the idea. I think Alex and my dad enjoy it the most; Dad was giving Kris suggestions on some home improvement things WHILE Kris was doing them.
  • My mom and I started running- and she's done a good job sticking to it- but when I don't get home until 8pm and I go to bed at 10pm, it's been hard for me to find time to do it on work days. I was hoping this weekend would work out to do some barefoot running but I can't justify exercising when my throat is so swollen I have trouble swallowing (it's a shame that breathing and eating go together sometimes).
  • We also celebrated Alister's 30th birthday last week at The Melting Pot. I forget how much I love fondue until I have some more, although in the future I think I'll stick to cheese and chocolate without all the courses in between!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

RNIA

eating: fried turkey sandwich and broccoli with cheese

feeling: tired. just finished my third 12 hour shift in a row

listening: to american idol. my parent's choice, not mine

watching: see "listening to"

reading: actually in between books right now; trying to decide what to read next

loving: having the next 4 days off

disliking: my throat hurting. sickness fail

thinking: poor japan and too bad anderson cooper refused to pose for playgirl

hoping: i don't get any more sick-feeling than i am now

wishing: for world peace and under-population

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Barefoot running- brief update

I went, I ran "barefoot", and my calves are so sore I stumble when I stand up if I've been sitting for a little while. However, I will truck on. Today I ran in my normal running shoes but next time, I will use the Vibram again. Sore=good...it means something is working!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Barefoot running

My mom and I decided yesterday to try getting in shape by running. We're both quite out of shape at the moment, so we're following one of those "Beginner's Guides to Training for a 5K" which starts out with walk/run intervals to slowly build up your stamina. I know so many friends who have lost a big chunk of weight through running, and after buying a size 12 dress the other day (gasp! I'm usually an 8) I'm turning to drastic measures (drastic b/c I personally despise running). However, I've also heard a lot about barefoot/minimalist running, which is supposed to be better for your body in general. Supposedly running shoes are so large and bulky that they cause you to run in an "unnatural way" which is what can lead to shin splints, heel spurs, etc. My brother in law also runs long distances in his barefoot running shoes and loves them, so I'm going to trust him and give it a shot.

I went and got me a pair of Vibram 5 Finger shoes and am going to rotate between them and my actual Adidas running shoes until I break myself in to them. The shoe salesman and my BIL both told me that I'll be really sore b/c you use completely different muscles for minimalist running as opposed to what most people do, and since I work 12 hour shifts I have to be able to walk! Today is going to be my first day trying them so for anyone interested, I'll update later on down the road and let you know if I stuck with them or not.

The new shoes (ugly, but actually confortable so far):

Monday, March 7, 2011

Lent

For most of my life, I gave up something every year for Lent. Some years I succeeded (managed to go several years without drinking soda) while others I failed miserably (the year I tried to give up Facebook). Although Lent doesn't begin until Wednesday, I'm going to go ahead and write down what I'm giving up in hopes that making it official will make me less likely to fail. My understanding is that you're supposed to give up something you truly enjoy in order to make it a sacrifice, so this year I will be going 40 days without:
  • Alcohol...yes, the drink I love so much, and that includes champagne
  • Cake, cookies, candy, and ice cream...I'd say all sweets but Alister's birthday is the day after Lent and we're going for chocolate fondue. I have some willpower but that would be beyond my capabilities...and then I'd need a drink to survive it anyways

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Short update

Yet again I haven't been on here much to write. Last week I was back and forth to the hospital Monday-Friday for work, and as soon as I got back Friday night to my parent's house I turned around and drove down to Greenville. Sadly, I spent the entire weekend in Greenville snoozing away rather than actually spending quality time with Alister. We did manage to have a "date night" last night and went to Olive Garden for dinner. I was enjoying my stuffed pasta until I noticed the 400 lb man sitting behind me and lost my appetite. I must get some control over my gluttony. Today came too quickly, and this time I hauled my cats and me back to Raleigh in crazy weather to stay for the next month due to a hectic work schedule until April. I keep telling myself "At least I have a job, at least I'm getting paid".

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Work...it's about time

I finally started work this week (yay getting paid!) although it's all orientation-type activities until next week. It's pretty much the same things (OSHA, blood borne pathogens, safety, culture, etc) that I went through at my previous hospital's orientation so it's not the most exciting, but it's still paid. At this point, that's what matters. Aside from that I've spent a lot of time sleeping or driving (never at the same time). I hope once I get on the floor I have more interesting stories (HIPAA-approved of course) but until then I'll just have to remain boring.