Category Archives: Healthcare

I Have a Dream…I mean..

Mr. Shatner

I Have a Dream….. I mean ….

I had a dream. And it is unusual for me to remember my dreams and I realized that in the deepest dark of night. So I argued with myself about waking up just a little to write it down. It took a bit of persuading as I like my slumbers and hate disturbing them but finally I convinced myself.

This is what I wrote verbatim….
I had a
Melbourne St.
William Shatner
Armaey. (don’t even ask..I have no idea)
(arrow drawn to the word) secrecy
drive way
u were a nurse right?
did you ever have to take care of soldiers in the fields
by taking your clothes off

I am not sure I will write down anything again whilst in the land of nod. The worst of it is I remember dreaming of other things that were more interesting but I simply would not listen to me when I needed to get up again to write it down.

AND the dream was going quite well with a very nice looking chap when all of a sudden I looked up and he had turned into a lecherous William Shatner who wanted to talk me into disrobing!

Nuts. Could have been the cold I had, or the soup or even the licorice. All I know is that the man of my dreams evolved into one not so much of my dreams.

Have you ever tried writing down midnight thoughts and actually been able to read them the next day? Or, since I am seeking info, how many dream of Mr. Shatner? Not that that is a bad thing. I quite like him as an actor. He does do lechery very well.

In Bed with Clive

Where I would rather be with Clive.

Usually when I feel a cold coming on I take ColdFx and it never comes to fruition.  I did not do that this week.

Now I have a cold.  Probably the first in several years.  So I hiked off to the store, stocked up on soup, the aformentioned med, and red licorice.  As a nurse I know red licorice heals all.  Well, I figured it would help my scratchy throat.  Its too bad everything is tasteless today.  But I have persisted.  After all the saying is feed a cold, starve a fever.  I hope I did not get that backwards? Cause I have been feeding.

When I was in shopping I came across Clive just begging to come home with me.  How could I resist?  I had already decided to spend the day resting and while he never fails to raise my interest I find him also comforting.

Truth be told it is not Clive himself who draws my interest but Juan.  Juan Cabillaro.  So I have spent the afternoon and early evening with these two charming men.

Thank you Clive Cussler and your hero in The Silent Sea for making my day better.

PS Now you really did not believe for even a minute that it could be anything except a really good book?

I Hate Dust

I Hate Dust 

Not enough to disturb it.  I just hate the way it is.. well so dusty.  I try to live and let live and with so many clean freaks out there I figure it needs to have a safe haven somewhere.

Please do not for one minute think I am freako here its just that today everything is about bacteria and anti bacteria.  We have cleaned and sanitized ourselves silly and right into risky health.  We, whoever we are, have no immunity and the bugs are winning.

 Antibiotics were a good thing way back when but have been so overused the bugs got smart and mutated. Now we have super bugs, MRSA, VRE, and so on.  There is always a new one coming along. 

Okay all that is a little over dramatic on the dust thing.  Another procrastinating excuse.  Any way I do get dusting now and then and it sure feels good to see every thing gleaming and shining.

By the way, on yesterdays post – I never got the door washed but I got a comment from Baxter Bunny that it is good Feng Shui to keep your doors especially the front door.  That one I can embrace!   The only Feng Shui I ever remember is to keep your toilet seat lid down to stop the flow of money down the drain. So naturally I do that one.  I call it my financial planning strategy.

And thank you to all who answered my question seeking more Procrastination excuses..I mean reasons.  Of course most had an answer but would have to get back to me sometime when they got around to true procrastinators! 

Now I think I’ll go wash a door!

Is he wondering if Granny is all there?

Honest I was not lecturing him on bugs

or dust!

Watch out for the Rattlers..You must be Canadian!

Watch out for the Rattlers,…..You Must be CANADIAN

In the nineties I lived in Texas for a couple of years. The first year was in a delightful little town of about fifteen thousand known as Uvalde.

Uvalde is quaint and is the birth place of Dale Evans and Matthew McConaughey.

  Almost no one knows the former, much to my shock, …what not know the Queen of the Cowboys, the wife of Roy, friend to Pat and Trigger, Happy Trails to you and all of that?

Of course everyone recognizes the latter and sad to say he left town the year I arrived I believe, taking those wash board abs off to Hollywood.  I try not to pout very much about that as my friends scold me ….for God’s sake Chris, he was only about seventeen at the time…yada yada can imagine what they say about my Twilight obsession.  (Note to self: Calm down, breathe and get your mind back on the story!). 

Where was I? Oh yes, this story doesn’t even include Uvalde but it was a starting point.  Oops my excitement is getting the better of me.  It does include Uvalde.

Anyway as Director I lived in a lovely little house nestled between two mansions on Highway eighty-three.  Actually mine was the only small house there and I loved it.

I recruited some nurses from other states and from Canada to work for me and there was a significant group of Canucks that lived in an apartment complex in town.  Come Canada Day, they hung flags from balconies and partied.  Well truth is they partied at the drop of the hat.  They were all young and boisterous.

One night when I was visiting, a group of them had to report for work at the local hospital for the night shift at twenty-three hundred hours.  It was a pleasantly warm night so the five of them decided to walk on down the highway.  

They were about halfway there when a state trooper pulled over, got out of his car and started yelling at them.  “Y’all get in this car right now!”. You have to be Canadians!”. Not said with awe or respect, but more dumb can you be?….

Seems that when the sun went down the reptiles, which by the way are to lie across the highway soaking up the heat from the road.

Crazy Weekend..Crazy Life..or Crazy Full Moon

Crazy Weekend..Crazy Life..or Crazy Full Moon

This weekend past (thank God in the past) was reported to be the largest full moon in eighteen years.  It apparently happens every eighteen years –  like clock work…or rather moon work.

There has been, since I can remember, stories about the effect on mankind under a full moon.  Some funny, some sad, and all weird one way or another.

When I started in nursing way back, in dinosaur times according to some, we saw the effects in our emergency.  It is known as the lunar effect, sometimes the Transylvania effect.  There are lots of movies and stories that support the weirdness of it all from werewolves to psychotics.

Scientists have done studies and most maintain that in spite of police and hospital assertions that the wierdometers go off that charts that this in effect is not true.  I don’t know if some hospitals still add extra staffing on those nights but we used to.  And it was always warranted.

Skeptic’sDictionary says:
“If so many studies have failed to prove a significant correlation between the full moon and anything, why do so many people believe in these lunar myths? Kelly, Rotton, and Culver suspect four factors: media effects, folklore and tradition, misconceptions, and cognitive biases. A fifth factor should be considered, as well: communal reinforcement.

the media perpetuate lunar myths”

I have witnessed the strangeness again and again and think one of two things is possible.  First that yes we are truly affected or secondly that we embrace the myth and give ourselves permission to act out.

I can tell you from this past weekend that something was going on.  So many folk were just plain *itchy.  More than one would usually encounter in a day.  Seriously so.

I pulled into a service station, a Husky, which has always had great customer service.  The kind that still pump your gas for you.  I sat and sat and no came.  Hmm were they even open for business.  Yup the sign said so.  It was not until another car drove in that the employee came sauntering out.  I’m all smiley, excited about the nice treatment I am about to get, when he grumbles, “how are you paying”. He says this twice.  I told him Visa and he rudely says I have to go inside to pay. So I get out of my car and lock it as he definitely has a dark nasty untrustworthy aura about him.  But perhaps the nice customer service is waiting inside.  The girl in the next car also comes inside. She also is looking a little puzzled.
I ask her how she is paying and she say with cash. And he still told her to come inside.

Eventually Mr. Miserable enters (so no there was no nice customer service person inside)  and I hand him my card.  While he is processing it with one hand he takes his cell phone with the other and dials and says, “What’s up.” He throws my card across the counter and proceeds to rudely address the other girl over his personal phone conversation.

Note to self: Never again go to the Husky Service Station on the corner of Ottawa and Mohawk in Hamilton Ontario. In fact never go to a Husky again.  I walk away wondering if a complaint to the company is worthwhile.

As I am driving down the highway I think that perhaps that chap was one of a kind and my high level tolerant self decides to move on with my day.  I won’t let that one incident color my world.

Once home I go downstairs to meet my sister in law who is delivering platters of goodies for a bridal shower I am throwing.  Her face is red and she is distressed.  Seems when she pulled up a taxi driver behind her started yelling and ranting that she could not park there. This may not seem strange to some but here in Kitchener that is rare behavior.  We are generally a polite people.

I had gotten permission from the owners of my building to use our party room for the shower.  It is right next to our gym with two doorways to the gym. One from the party room and one from the hall. Well next thing a woman comes down to use the gym and proceeds through the party room – which is fine – but she moves around some of our decorations that the superintendent had suggested we put there to block off the room.  She is mad we are in her space. Not just mad but furious.  We had two bowls of nonalcoholic punch.  I did note at one point she was leaning against the wall using her cell phone.  Later the superintendent told me she had called The Police to report we had alcohol in a public place.  The police then dutifully called the super.

When I was out shopping I watched others.  Were they more somber, more agitated?  It seemed so but then the thought did occur to me that perhaps I was just more agitated.  The good news is that old moon starts to wane now!  

Was it a Dream?

Was it a dream????

I have had the honor to attend several deaths through out my decades in nursing.  Probably more than a hundred.  Most have been good, some inspiring and a few …well…

One I will remember forever, even though this one time I was not there.

Many many years ago…read decades here.. I worked in a nursing home.  Most of the home comprised of private apartments and we also had a small twenty-eight bed sick unit.  When I made rounds each day I always stopped in to see one particular couple.  They were English and very proper and deeply in love even after almost seventy years of marriage.  Just being around them made you feel good.

I was with the doctor the day he had to tell Mr. M he had lung cancer and not long to live.  No this is not a smoking story – the man had never puffed in his life.  After the doctor left I returned to see how my English gent was doing.  I asked him how he felt about the news.  He said, “Chris I am ninety-two years old.  I am a Christian so I know I will see my sons and other family that have passed.  But life is precious and if I was two hundred it would still be too soon to leave it.”

As the next few weeks passed Mr. M got weaker and finally ended up in our sick unit, bed ridden and emaciated.  I had Monday and Tuesday off so when I gave report to the next shift on Sunday I said that Mr. was weak but holding his own.

I went off to enjoy my days with my young family.  Just after midnight on Monday I had a dream in which I woke up in my bedroom to find Mr. M standing beside my bed.  He was smiling.  I was distressed and asked him what he was doing there.  That he was sick and had to get into his bed.  He smiled and said that I did not understand and to come with him.  I found myself standing bedside his bed in the Home.  He was standing beside me and then I noticed he was also peacefully in his bed.

I could not formulate any thoughts, let alone words and just stared at him.  He smiled again and said that he had to go but he was going to tell “them” how kind and good I was.  I panicked once it dawned on me what he was saying.  I found myself begging him not to tell anyone.  I said “they” knew me and knew I was not good and please please don’t say anything.  He smiled again, so sweetly, and then he was gone.

I woke to find myself sitting up in bed.  I looked at the clock – it was two-twenty a.m.  Thinking what a strange dream it was I went back to my slumbers and forgot about it.

Wednesday I returned to work and was getting report from the night staff.  I pointed out that they forgot report on Mr. M.  The nurse said that he had died. After what felt like a long pause I asked when he died.  Two-twenty Tuesday morning.

For several days after that I was not sure what to do with that information but I felt like there was something I was supposed to do.
His wife kept coming to mind but I resisted thinking sure I’m supposed to go to this old grieving lady and tell her I spoke with her dead husband.  But the thought would not go away so feeling forced and more than a little stupid I went to the apartment.

We chatted about nothing really and then I told her bout the dream.  I wasn’t sure what to expect but she just quietly said, “Thank you dear, I knew if there was a way he could  let me know he was alright he would.  And he has.”

I don’t think of it often, but every now and then……

Sitting in Emerg on a Fine Sunday..

Sitting in Emerg on a Fine Sunday Afternoon

Here I am in a crowded emergency department giving thanks yet again to the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.  It is just past noon and I have brought my sister in.  We have this excellent system- in theory – where someone comes in the door, prints off a computerized form which has a number on it and then is seen by a triage nurse for assessment.  Smooth huh?

So we get here at noon. On entry sisthepatient gets the form, fills it out and sits.  She has number thirty-one.  There is no triage nurse present.  Perhaps they are on lunch. Looking around I see two other patients also clutching the registration form.  Seems the system has a glitch..already.  We also notice that one gent says this is a follow up visit to yesterday.  So this is looking more like a regular doctor’s office..certainly not an emergency.  Kay that explains the slow pace of everything.  No emergency in site.  Anywhere.  I wonder where real emergencies go?  Actually sisthepatient has the potential for a real emergency.

About two and half hours ago we sat down at our fav Williams with a latte. I was looking at a head line about Charlie Sheen and was relating info to sisthepatient when she said, “Now that’s not right.”

I thought she meant with Charlie.  But she meant with herself. Seems she was experiencing sudden vision problems.  Now being a nurse I told her I had to take her immediately to emerge.  Now being my sister she insisted on going home and calling her doctor.  He told her to go emergency immediately as it could indicate detached retina with possible profound sight loss.  Profound equals blind in this case.

So here we are at the non emergency emergency department.  It took thirty-five minutes to be seen by the triage nurse.  Then registration.  Ah at last recognition!  We were escorted immediately to a smaller waiting area close to the eye examination room and told it would just be a few minutes as there was a patient in there. That was almost ninety minutes ago and while typing these words sisthepatient has been called in. Is it too early to cheer?

I can’t remember the last time I saw a nurse in any ER break a sweat or even appear to have that air of efficiency.  Everything and everybody is just way too relaxed.  The concerning part is that had this been a true emergency there would have been no one to do anything about it.

While we sat attentionless I did suggest that my sis should teach them a lesson and go blind in that eye while she sat here.  She was less than enthusiastic about that. But I am pretty sure it might have gotten us prompt attention.  

Actually in all fairness today is galloping along quickly.  A few weeks ago one chap I know who had a broken foot was here for twelve hours before a doctor saw him.  My friend is ninety-two and in that twelve hours he received no nutrition or fluids.  And he actually came in by ambulance which should have gotten him preferential treatment.

Customer Service…my eye…

Love the date…..

Loving the date…

I love writing the date.  There is something about writing and saying two thousand and eleven.  It is a lucky year for me and I am filled with anticipation.  

I do have to kick it up a notch though in setting up a routine. This nice non-stressed feeling that has persisted since the afternoon of January third could end up a slippery slope into lethargy. We do not need soul breaking stress in our lives but we do need some level of positive stress, some challenge, something that makes us anticipate, to work toward some Goal.  At the end of the day there has to be some sense of accomplishment.

I have noted over the years that some retirees work toward That Day.  Then with no sustaining interests or motivations they decline, age quickly and slip nicely into a pocket of society we see everyday. The light, the sparkle in their eyes dies out long before they depart this earth.  One of the most rewarding parts of my career was bringing cheer, comfort and a smile or laugh and seeing that sparkle, even for a moment. That is what I want to continue to do.  It is the part of me, the nurse that made it all worthwhile.  And somehow I will.