Saturday, September 30, 2006

Reunion Time!

I am in Duncanville, Texas, for a marching band reunion. But not just ANY marching band reunion - a reunion of the 1986 Texas State Champions!

For those of you who aren't band dorks, this may seem silly, or a little trite. You may think I'm a huge nerd for being this dedicated to a marching band. But this was more than just a small chunk of my life, or a simple extra-curricular activity. I don't see myself ever driving 600 miles for a journalism reunion, even though I really loved being on paper staff. Heck, if I was in town, with nothing else to do, I doubt I could bring myself to attend a French Club reunion. My 10 year (1989) class reunion was nothing exciting, either. So what is so special about this reunion, or this group?

We spent a huge amount of time in band. So much time, that few of us were able to successfully take on other extra-curricular activities which required time out of class. I spent a year on newspaper staff, but I had an entire class period in which to work on my stories. I spent a year in drama club, but never got to be in a play. In fact, I turned down the only play that I had a part in when I had a conflict with band.

Almost all of my friends were in band. At my 10 year reunion, I talked to the band people. I met many other people, but our band was so large (375 people) that it was just easier to hand around with them. I worked with band people, dated band people, and had slumber parties with them as well. If it sounds like a boring existence, it was anything but that. We went to Corpus Christi twice, Austin several times (many twice in one year), and Los Angeles my senior year for the Tournament of Roses. We went to playoff games in Texas Stadium (no more than one per year) and played in All Region band together.

Anyway, I hadn't realized the impact of this organization until this weekend. I was so excited to come here, but I didn't realize how wonderful this group was until I got here. We've all grown up, and I've found myself talking with all sorts of people who I barely knew in high school. So many are doing such interesting things. One finished her PhD in music theory, and another completed his PhD in mechanical engineering. We also have a local cop (who has provided many details about our former neighborhoods!!!), several lawyers and businesspeople, a candidate for state office, several people who have traveled the world, and several who are concentrating on their families. We are quite a diverse group!

When you look at the effort needed to win a state championship, you look at hard work, dedication, and teamwork. All of which were present in this group. They are qualities which have followed many of us into our adult lives. In some ways, being around these people again, it seems like we are back in time. A few of us have changed in looks, and many of us (myself included) have put on some pounds. But at the core, we are still the same people. It's just exciting to see everyone again and learn about the past several years :)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Someone call 911

Well it finally happened. The "hey, she's a nurse" moment I've been dreading LOL. I was at the mall with the kiddos and someone called out "Someone call 911". I looked around to see if there was some sort of fight or gun situation. Call me a coward, but I'm not going to jump into THAT sort of situation. It looked like a person was down, so I made sure the kids were secure (Don't go ANYWHERE) and ventured to the other side of the food court. I got to the guy and said "I'm a nurse". Turned out there were already 2 nurses and a doctor there. Another nurse arrived shortly. I guess that if anything happens to me at the mall I should rest assured that the medical community likes the food court ;)

He had simply passed out, and had regained consciousness. A person in the foodcourt was talking to 911. One of the other nurses had found out that the man was a diabetic who hadn't eaten anything all day (hmm... could that be the problem at 2 pm?). So I got to the Orange Julius and cut in front of the line to get some orange juice. The girl at the counter was very helpful :) By the time I got back, mall security had finally made it there and was trying to boss everyone around. I don't know if he tried to see if anyone had medical experience or not, but I think he was in pretty good hands LOL. A while after that, another security person wandered up with the AED (Automated External Defibrillator). I was glad to see that he brought it, but since we were several minutes into the situation by this point, it was fairly useless.

I'm glad that my kids were old enough to be reliably away from me for a while. Andrew is 13 and very mature, so I had no problem leaving them for a while (plus I could easily see the kids from my vantage point. It was very interesting being in this situation, and it reminded me how skittish I still am in working with adults. After all, I've been an adult nurse for 2 weeks now LOL. If it had been a choking child, I would have been in my element LOL.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Amazing stuff!

This guy is awesome!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Just keep blogging... Just keep blogging

Use your "Finding Nemo" voice ;)

Yes, it's been a while. It's been a busy week. I've been busy getting slammed at work (at least the 12 hours flies by) and fending off a cold (once again, thanks Tom!).

This weekend we went to the Heritage Festival. This was Tom's first time and I think everyone had a good time. Chris bought a sword with his initials burned onto it (yes, I know, Chris is the LAST of my children who should be armed...). Chloe absolutely loved visiting the horses, and Andrew was fairly tolerant throughout, but he got to get some honey sticks, so he was happy.

Work is going fairly well, but I am scheduled for 3 shifts in a row, which I haven't done in ages. It doesn't seem to work too well for me with school and afternoon committments. I'm scheduled with a preceptor for 4 weeks, then we'll see how it goes. Tuesday night I wound up taking the whole assignment, but got a bit overwhelmed about halfway through, so I needed to take a break. I had an assignment that was very busy but not very critical. I had wanted this group because I had horrible sleep, but I didn't realize exactly how busy things would be and I started to get really behind. I felt awful because I'm not used to being behind. Heck, the last night I worked NICU I had my assignment and was helping the other 2 people in my pod quite a bit. To the extent that they were apologizing to me for asking for so much. It wasn't anything, and I told them it was great Karma, since I'd be in their shoes soon LOL.

It's so hard to make a change this severe this far into my career. Overall I love the structure of our unit and the people seem so nice and helpful and patient-oriented, which is exactly what I wanted. So why am I complaining? I've gone from being one of the most senior people, whom the charge nurses would ask for assistance, to one of the stupider people on the shift. No one has talked down to me or been rude, but I hate the fact that I have to question SO many things about my job. Am I doing this right? How do we modify this protocol? Can you double check this? My preceptor has been great, the other nurses have been great, but I'm in a mode that I haven't seen since I changed to PICU. And at least there I was able to be the reference person for the occasional infant. Here, I'm way out of my league. Yes, I've only been here for 2 weeks, and I seem to have the charting done (although it's all on paper and I'm used to computer charting), but I miss having the answers. Plus it's rough being one of the older nurses who is adjusting to all this. There are so many new grads on this unit who are very competent. Which is great, but I hate the fact that I am 10-12 years older than them, with 10 years of experience, and I'm still fumbling with the tubing LOL.

I'll probably look back on this in a few months and roll my eyes. But for right now, it's frustrating to be the newbie. At least I have a good group surrounding me.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Goodbye Governor Ann :(

She was an icon

I remember marching in the Governor's inauguration in 1991. Baylor's marching band was invited to march in the parade since Ann Richards was an alumna. It was a lot of fun and a great opportunity that many people turned down because of differences in politics. Because of the difference in instrumentation, I got to march bass drum, which was an adventure in itself :) I remembered thinking that it was a shame that people missed out on opportunities because they were closed-minded. But if those same people hadn't decided to "boycott" the inauguration, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to have a little adventure.

I appreciated Governor Ann's candor, humor, and concern for her fellow man (and woman). I always saw her as the type of person who was honestly looking out for the common person, which seems so rare these days.

I always loved her quotes, which is what she was probably most known for outside of Texas:
About President George H.W. Bush: "Poor George. He can't help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth."
And one of my all-time favorites: "Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels."

Growing up in Texas, there was definitely a "good-old-boy" mentality. There were certain paths that seemed to be only for the boys, no matter how good you were or how hard you worked. So it was a blessing having a tough, smart female governor, who graduated from my college and who grew up without special advantages. While I may have not achieved my dreams (should I say yet? Because they're always changing LOL) it was nice to see that a woman could succeed with a brain, an attitude, and determination.

Plus, it was awesome to see her beat this SOB! Almost as bad, he was an Aggie!!!

I doubt we can blame this one on gay marriage ;)

If these two lovebirds can't make a marriage work, then is there hope for any of us?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

New job ROCKS!

I've only worked two nights so far, but this job has the potential to be SO much better than my other one. I'm feeling more comfortable than I thought I would so far. Obviously I'm not doing a full load yet, but the past 2 nights I've basically taken total care of one patient. He was pretty easy, but I still did it all by myself. A lot of my concerns are going out the window as well. The people here are great so far. Lots of teamwork and so far I seem to be pretty well accepted. That's a HUGE change from my old job where the day shift was incredibly rude and tried to find mistakes so they could lord it over me. Then I kept finding out hidden "rules" that weren't written down anywhere. A full year after I started work I was still learning specifics about the schedule and other things ("you mean nobody told you that?"). I was orienting a new grad a few weeks ago and had her on her last night of orientation. I typically like to give a "grand tour" my first night with an orientee, and I was surprised that she hadn't had one. I figured she'd probably seen it all anyway, but made sure to offer it. That night she learned where the dirty utility room was (where we put equipment that needs to be cleaned), where the call rooms are (where to find the docs on nights), and where certain supplies were. Amazing!

I miss my old friends, but I think it will be pretty easy to make new ones. I have learned so much already, but I know I have a long way to go.

Problems so far:
1. I'm on 4 weeks of three-in-a-row nights. I haven't done that for a LONG time and I'm a bit bitchy when I don't get enough sleep. Plus, Tom's not that great about keeping the kids quiet when I'm sleeping. Thank goodness they're in school so that takes care of a good chunk of the day.
2. Adult patients are large and my back hurts and my feet hurt! Just one more reason to lose some weight!
3. No formal classroom. I talked to the educator (yeah! They actually have a staff educator) who mentioned that there's a class but that he wouldn't recommend it. On the bright side, there's a computer based program which is about to be rolled out that he did recommend. That's great! That way I don't have to come in on a day off, during the middle of the day, and I can do things a bit self-paced, which is what I need.

Great things so far:
1. Everyone is SO nice. At least on night shift. The little contact I've had with days has also been good so far. I already feel a part of the team, which is amazing considering how long it took me to feel that in the old job. My night shift friends were great, but it took me so long to feel comfortable there.
2. The level of teamwork is great.
3. I get to park in the garage - COOL!

I think this will work out quite well :)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Someone is just ASKING for trouble

Chris (my ADHD 9 year old) has a bit of an unusual assignment for his health class. He has to create either a poem, a song, a story, or commercial about a body system. He needs to tell the main function of the system and how to keep the system healthy. He has a choice between digestive, skeletal, muscular, and urinary systems.

When I first saw he had a health assignment, I offered my assistance as a nurse. But the more I read, the more red lights started going off...

Here are some really bad things that could come from this assignment:
1. A bad poem:
I think that I shall never see
Something as yellow as my pee (Thanks Tom for getting that one started)

2. A commercial for a colonics place (they used to have one in Lancaster with a hand lettered sign. Nothing says professionalism better than having a colonics stand next to a convenience store.

3. The SNL "all-drug olympics" skit comes to mind...

4. He could reenact his bike accident, with a cautionary tale about wearing a helmet.

5. A recitation of all of the synonyms for fecal matter.

6. Tom says that there are a lot of things that can rhyme with feces. Of course, when I was working on my masters, I noticed that the plural of thesis (theses) would rhyme with feces. "I love the species that throw their own feces" (Thanks, Fairly Odd Parents)

I'm sure there's MUCH much more in store, but we'll see what the boy can come up with on his own. I'm a little scared of what he might come up with LOL

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Another reason why I will miss my current job

Cindy: This baby doesn't have a name tag, so I'm going to make one for her.
Me: Oh really, what's her name?
Cindy: Ashley
Me: I think she looks like a Tanya. Let's rename her.
Cindy: How do you spell it?
Me: Q, apostrophe, X...
Mary: Don't forget the hyphen!

Of course, all this happened about 5 in the morning, and it was a lot funnier then.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Karma sucks

OK. Last time I complain about Tom being a butt when he's sick. Because I caught the stomach bug worse than him. The worst part? I had to call in sick today. And I had OVERTIME on this check. Damnit! I better lose some serious weight off of this LOL