Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hospital Violence

The Bucs won tonight in a wild game...last decisive play was at 0:06 seconds. BUCS!!!! I love football. I just love it. It is a violent sport, but the violence is expected. There are rules to limit the violent damage. At least the NFL is taking baby steps to protect the players, albeit in a small way. Still, progress is just that.

I am going to have to post about workplace violence soon. Workplace violence in the hospital setting. No one seems to talk about this, but it happens. A lot. If it happened at Wal-Mart, there would be policies and protocols. If it happened at an insurance agency, there would be policies and protocols and probably the police. (Please excuse the alliteration.) If it happens at a hospital, it is just a part of daily procedure. I have been hit, bitten, punched, slapped and called names that would make a sailor blush.

I get bruised and bloodied. I get called hideous names. But I don't get shot. Patients with an agenda save the bullets for the doctors. Sometimes the patient shoots the nurses, but most of the time, they just Saturday Night Special the doc.

Any other place, this is big news. Hospitals -- just part of the daily grind.

Hospital violence. I need to think about this. And I need to talk about this. I have bite marks on my arm. Again. And this is an acceptible risk. Bite marks are all a part of nursing.

Physical injury and physical abuse isn't a part of your job. Why is it an OK part of mine?

Monday, October 25, 2010

I read a book about a Zombie War.

Max Brooks' World War Z is a decent read. You have to be good and on point with the premise, and you can't really medically dissect anything, but all in all, it is an entertaining book. I wish I had brought it to the beach with me, but then again, since Zombies tend to rise up out of the water (they don't need to breathe or anything -- and apparently they don't need to eat, either, since they can stay locked up or even frozen for a whole lot of time and be none the worse for wear, at least not for Zombies. I just don't understand why they have this compulsion to DEVOUR people? I mean, face it. They don't digest, they don't crap, they just converge on living humans and feast on the poor saps, who, in turn, become Zombies. Albeit Zombies with chunks eaten out of them, but they don't miss those lost bits because they are now Zombies, too. So, my question is: If you stick a Zombie in a locked room -- no escaping, thank you -- with a bunch human fodder, vestal virgins, people who vote for the wrong political party, what will happen? Of course, the Zombie will eat and devour and be insatiable and do what Zombies do, which is consume all of the human flesh and make new Zombies. Therein lies my question. These things don't digest stuff. They don't poop. So what do they do with all that intake? Do they explode? Or is there some sort of furnace action going on in there? And if they do explode, do the Zombie heads just sort of roll around and snap at juicy bits on the floor? Because everyone knows that the only way to kill a Zombie isn't to explode it. You have to decimate the brain. People who have Zombie expertise know this, and it is kind of them to pass along such a useful tip. They next time I see a Lobotomizer at the flea market, you can be damned sure I will buy it. I won't even haggle much...), it was probably a better "my knee hurts too much to cycle or even walk" kind of book. I liked it in a highly fluffy way. But it got me thinking about monster/ghoul/scary-stuff classification. Monster castes, or something along those lines.

Evil Spirits and those directly directed by the very bad guy in the inferno, are of course the upper echelon of baddies. Even the monsters fear them. Then, perhaps -- Twilight Saga notwithstanding -- vampires. One bite, one of them. Efficiency is commendable. Next comes all those classes of "Ghouls/ghosts/bad-things (I have no idea what these are, but they've gotta be above Zombies). After that is the guy at the bar with the thing that you want to call a comb-over but you can't since it is only 2 or 3 really long hairs but you're over 40 at a bar alone and this is what you get, and following them, the Zombies. I kind of figure, that if you're human and you live, they'll eat you. If you breathe, they will get you. They don't care if you're an athlete, a crack-head, a mother or on your deathbed. If you are alive, a Zombie will eat you. That's why they are lowest in the monster-caste. Zombies are the cockroaches of the monster world.

Yeah. I know. I need to get back to running. Geez. Still, not a bad read. Really. Good Lord, I need to run.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Just stuff, some of it really strange stuff, tho:

Sunday I woke up and my lower lip on the left side was starting to swell. Why? No clue. Took a zyrtec and went back to bed (it was like, 5am). A little later, the right side of my lower lip started to swell. Why? Still, no clue. Got a little worried and took a 25mg benedryl and went back to bed. 45 minutes later, my right eye felt like it was goopy, and I walked to the bathroom, looked in the mirror, and the entire upper lid was draped over my eye. That soon spread to the left eye. Totally looked like Quasimodo, I did. I woke up College-Boy, who was asleep on the sofa, and told him that he might be taking me to the Emergency Dept. He just looked at me like he didn't know who I was. Soooo....couldn't drink anything, since my lips couldn't really move, and I had a hard time talking. Oh, and the twirly girls had a friend spending the night. Of course they did. I went back to bed, making sure I was sitting at 90*, and debated whether to go to the ED or not. Basically, I monitored my airway. If I could breathe, I wasn't going to the ED. If I could swallow my spit, I wasn't going. I have been to my ED. I never, ever want to be there as a patient.

Odd thing was that I spiked a temp to 101+ that afternoon. Probably a histamine response, but I was chocked full of benedryl. Temp didn't dip below 100* Sunday or Monday. And the facial swelling persisted. I went to the Urgent Care (yes, I have a doc, but she had no appts that day), but was told it was going to be several hours before I was seen. So I went home and took more benedryl. And woke up many hours and many bad dreams later. That stuff is not good for me. It works, but it works me over, too.

This evening I look and feel well enough to go to work tomorrow. I am a little scared, tho, to go to sleep. Benedryl makes me tangle with the insane, the crazy, and the completely out of bounds in my sleep. For an OTC drug, that dude is wicked.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Anyone out there with a magic wand?

If anyone has a magic wand, please wave it over my knee. It has been just about a month since I hurt myself, and frankly, I am not a whole heck of a lot better. I still struggle with stairs, I still have a very limited range of motion, I still have a good deal of transient pain, but mostly, I still can't run. It is making me crazy. I am not a good sick person, and I am a worse injured person. I am going to be a terrible, crotchety, non-compliant little old lady -- I can see that train coming.

I go back to the Uber-Ortho in a few weeks. Right now my knee feels swollen, unstable, and kind of mushy. It locks up at highly inconvenient times. If things aren't appreciably better by the first of November, I am going to ask him to scope me. In the meantime, I am still cycling, still forcing myself to do elliptical training, and I suppose I will soon start swimming. But I had to stop the recumbent bike, because I couldn't get off of it. Literally. My right leg couldn't support my weight while I stepped over the bike with my left leg, but I also couldn't bend my right knee enough to step over with it. So, I was stuck sitting on the bike for 10 minutes trying to figure out how to get off. In a way, it was funny. In a way, it wasn't.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I can tell things about you

I can tell things about you by your hands, by their color and temperature, by your nails, and by the symmetry of the way you squeeze my hands.

I can tell things about you by the way you breathe, by the shape of your chest, by the muscles you use.

I can tell things about you by how you grin, by how you smile, by how you swallow, and by how you speak.

I can tell things about you by the the way you look at me, or don't look at me; by the way you answer me, or don't answer me; by the way you exist and interact with your surroundings or how you don't.

I can tell things about you by the size and shape of your belly, by your belching and flatus. I can tell things about you by how you eat, or by how you don't eat.

I can tell things about you by the size and shape of your legs. By their color, by their temperature.

I can gauge how much pain you are in by all how you act, how you guard, how you grimace, and by how you breathe.

I can tell things about you by the color, the smell, the viscosity and the sediment in your urine.

I can tell by the smell of your feces if you are bleeding or are infected.

I can tell by your sputum (the "hockers" we all cough up) if you are infected or bleeding.

I can tell by your breath if your blood sugar is off-the-charts-out-of-control. I can also tell by your breath if your intestines aren't working.

I can walk into your room and talk to you, observe you, and lay my very cool hands on you here and there. Nothing invasive, only observation and touch.

With those few looks, those few strokes, those few touches, I know how you are. I do not diagnose you, but I know how you are.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

School Pictures

School pictures are a racket. The poses are so fake and forced, and the smiles even more so. If you're at all like me, you can't be there to make sure hair is combed, collars are right-side out, and your children are relaxed enough to be truly smiling. Nope, if you're like me, you end up with bad, expensive as hell pictures that you are strong-armed into buying because what parent doesn't buy the pictures? Not buying the pictures would make me a BAD MOM. So, this year I sent the Small People to school with combs, brushes and directions to teachers so that the girls' hair might be presentable, their noses wiped, and eyes not crossed when looking at the camera. And I sent the check for a gazillion dollars.

Smallest of All, and Small One. This year, I don't think we will be bothering with the retake.

I like this post

I think I like this blog, too. I think he has some good insights, and he makes me want to really work harder at being a better mom to my kids. Anyway, he is worth reading when you have some time.