Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Funniest Patient Awards

Funniest patient award #1 goes to a young late teenage female who came in to the ER, complaining of pain in the crack of her, um, well, bottom. States she had a painful boil there, and was in to the clinic last week to have it removed. The boil was located exactly in the center crack of her, um, bottom, and was supposed to be healed in a week, but has been getting worse and worse and worse. So, she decided to come in to see if we could help her figure out what the problem was.

The doctor came into look at the patient and asked her all about the boil, what size it was, if there was any fever, burning, signs of infection. Patient stated it burned when she was walking or moving aournd, but otherwise was fine. She didn't have a fever or other sign of infection. The doctor then asked her if she could pull down her pants with the nurse in the room, so he could see the boil.

Imagine our surprise when she did as asked. There, right on top of the spot where her boil was healing, was her bright pink thong. The doctor said "I think I can see what is causing the problem here. Do you always wear this kind of underwear?"

The girl replied "yes, it's the only kind I wear."

After a long description of what "granny panties" were and a verbal prescription to buy some first thing in the morning, the doctor sent the patient on her way.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Counting My Blessings

I was responding to something on the Sonlight forums tonight, and I think I would put a little bit of it here.

What do you do when you are stressed out and worried, and don't have any idea where to turn? Me, I count my blessings, or at least I try my best.

That's hard sometimes. Sometimes, the whole world looks dark and black. But, even in the midst of horrible things, we can still count our blessings.

Say your close aunt just fell down the steps and broke her neck, and is dead.

Or you have a miscarriage late enough for the baby to be formed and hold it, then get pregnant again, and have a stillborn child, and then get pregnant again, all within 15 months.

Or, you are in labor and are at 9 centimeters, and the doctor says "Oh, #@$*" and tells you to push, and then yells "stop pushing," we need to get you into emergency C-section right now, call all the available doctors in, we're going to need at least 2 pediatricians, a couple extra nurses, and another surgeon, and the anesthesiologist here in the next 5 minutes and keeps telling the anesthesiologist over and over again, "OK, don't put her under until I tell you to, and when you do, I'm going to start cutting right away."

Or, you other aunt needs a kidney transplant, and the doctor's can't find a close enough match in your family.

Or, your child gets a cold that turns into a deadly pneumonia, and they have to operate, even though it's so dangerous a team of specialists can't agree on whether or not it is riskier to operate or let the antibiotics keep trying to work, when your child consistently runs a fever of 106.8, and Tylenol and Motrin are already on overload for his weight.

Or, you are in a third world country with no resources when an disaster hits.

I've been there. All of them.

And I've been able to count my blessings all the way through.

Sometimes the blessings don't come easily to mind, and you really have to search for them. But they are there.

Some examples of starter blessings for some of you might be (these are ones I've used at various times, when different things are happening.

Thank you for not sending an earthquake this time.
Thank you for providing enough food for today. I will worry about tomorrow when tomorrow comes.
Thank you for the sunshine.
Thank you for the rain.
Thank you for the air.
Thank you for not letting her suffer.
Thank you for giving us another chance.
Thank you for someone to hold my hand.
Thank you for letting his temperature stay down for a few hours.
Thank you for my three beautiful years with my little angel, who was a miracle before birth, during birth, and still is my little miracle.
Thank you for four beautiful angels.
Thank you for giving me two precious little reasons to go to heaven.

There is always a blessing to be thankful for.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Story of My LIfe: Age 4: Moving

So, as you can see, my early years were anything but boring. Then, I turned 4. Hmmm. . . . If I were to look back through my life and choose one year to erase, this would be a consideration, although I'd probably keep it in favor of some other ones. That alone should tell you a lot about it.

So, the year I turned four was an interesting one. It started out nicely. I had a big birthday party and invited all my friends and cousins. I got lots of toys, which made me happy. I even got a bicycle, which my dad taught me how to ride.

Then, a few days after my forth birthday, my mom confronted my father for the first time about his affairs. Well, needless to say, everything went downhill from there. I went from a peaceful family with a dirty secret to a family that was totally different. My father started hitting my mother and throwing her across the room, accusing her of having affairs with other people as well. He would have her followed to and from work to see where she was going. He made us move to a different house so that he could have his friends keep an eye on what we were doing. He started hitting me, too, if I tried to protect my mother, so I figured it was best if I quit trying. I was no longer given anything I wanted, and I was often ignored.

Things went from bad to worse, and quickly. Within a few months, my mother was going to the hospital with a broken arm and two broken bones in her leg. She had to take time off of work, so our economic status slipped, and we couldn't afford a lot of things, so we had to move again. When her bones finally healed, I was about 4.5 years old. I remember being woken up in the middle of the night by my mother and told to hush, that daddy was out, and we were going somewhere. I was taken to my grandparents house.

A few days later, my life changed again. I don't remember any of this, so I'm not sure, and my mom doesn't talk about it much. But, one day, my dad came home drunk and angry and upset, and accused my mother of doing all sorts of terrible things. He was so angry, he tried to beat her with a hammer until she almost died. Then, he left. My mother than ran over to her parent's house.

My father, the next day, came over and tried to see her. My grandfather told him that he had called immigration and they would be by to see him within the next couple of days. He also mentioned that he had told them that my mother had found his place where he was storing drugs, and that even if he cleaned it out, the drug dogs would still be able to smell it, and he would be put in jail for several years. My father didn't want to leave, he was too angry. But, when my grandfather started calling the police, he left. And I didn't see him again for a very, very, very long time.

When he left, he didn't write, he didn't call. He just dropped of the face of the earth. My mother moved again, so this was our forth time moving (if you count moving into my grandparent's house) in less than 8 months.

So, now, instead of being an adored, spoiled little princess, I was now an angry, hurt little girl whose mother worked overtime and didn't have time for her anymore, and who didn't have a father. And I didn't know what to do.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Life Story--Age: Birth: I Once Was a Wanted Child

I think I'm going to start writing bits and pieces of my life story, and then see how it all works out. Maybe, when I am done with it, I will make it into a book. :) It might help some of you see who I am, and why I am the way I am.

I was born Veronica Lee _________, in a small town in Minnesota. My mother was named Sharon. She also was born in the same town I was. Her mother was born in the same town. My father was named Arturo, and he grew up in a small town in Mexico. I was their second pregnancy. The first one ended tragically, as my mother was riding her bicycle to work, and was hit by a car. She miscarried in the fifth month. I think my life would be completely different right now, if I would have had a big brother. But, nonetheless, I was born, and here I am.

My father was the one who wanted to name me Veronica. My mother wanted Jennifer (I am NOT a Jennifer, I don't think). If I were a boy, my mother wanted Colby and my father wanted Oscar. My father would have won. He always won those types of arguments. I was destined to be a Veronica or an Oscar.

My middle name is a family named, passed down from generation to generation.

I was a wanted child. At least at that point in my life. I had a mother who loved me and a father who adored me. I was spoiled, about as spoiled as a child could get. I was a first child, a long-awaited child, and I was adorable (at least I am told I was). I grew up in a little house, on the end of a little block, in a little town. It was a perfect life. For a while.

Then, my father started feeling like his perfect life wasn't so perfect anymore. He was a mechanic who bought old cars and fixed them and resold them in his spare time. But, he wasn't getting much business anymore. My mom worked for a turkey processing plant. My father had a college education, while my mother passed high school with poor grades. But at this point, I was still his treasured little girl. And, as reward for my being so precious, I was spoiled. Rotten. Yep, I was given everything I wanted, and if I didn't get it, I was that child throwing full-blown tantrums, kicking and screaming and yelling in the middle of the store. And, if I threw a tantrum long enough, I got what I wanted. I was daddy's little girl, and he spent a lot of his spare time with me, taking me for rides, teaching me to read when I was three, singing songs with me.

But, somewhere in all of here, my father started feeling like something was missing in his life, and went a searching for it. He must have found it, or at least he did a good job searching for a while.

I will go into more detail later on the exact causes of why, but let's just say I don't have a lot of memories of my past, but they are starting to come back to me. My two first memories of this time period will help to illustrate what my life was becoming like, and who I was then. I don't remember which one came first, but I was about three or four years old in both memories.

The first one I will describe tells you what sort of child I was. I was in the store one day, and I had decided that I was going to get a toy. But my mom said I wasn't going to get one. I paid no attention to her and set my heart on either a broom with a dustpan or a vacuum cleaner in the toy section.

My mom was trying to be equally firm that I wasn't getting a toy. So I threw a full blown tantrum, Veronica-style. My aunt, who was with, told my mom to walk away and pretend I wasn't her child. So my mom walked over to the next aisle over and was telling my aunt in a loud voice "I'm so glad my child doesn't act like THAT" for the benefit of on-lookers. Of course, I hear her, and so I run over to her and yell "Mommy, I am so glad you didn't leave me in the store again like last time," to my mother's embarrassment.

Finally, my mom, being the easily persuaded type that she is, gave in. She agreed to get me either one toy or the other, but I had to pick only one. Which warranted a mini-tantrum. I made it a short mini-tantrum because I still had to decide which toy I wanted. I choose the vacuum, and we headed home, me smiling and skipping and happy.

When we got home, I discovered, to my dismay that THE TOY VACUUM CLEANER DIDN'T EVEN WORK!! Needless to say, I was upset, and was demanding and insisting that my dad take me back to the store to get me the broom set "if it worked for real." Which he did.

My second memory is one that explores a lot about what was happening in my family life at the time. My father took me out for one of our drives. We wound up at a house with a lady who had about 5 kids around. I was sent off to play with the other children, while my father and his "friend" were going to go "talk to each other" in the bedroom. It was "important talk" and so they were not to be disturbed. All of the children were Hispanic, and dark-skinned. I enjoyed playing for half an hour, and then we drove home. When I got home, I happily skipped into the house and told me mom "I got to go to Mexico today, and play with all the Mexican children." To which I was promptly sent off to bed.

The next time I saw that lady again was about nine months later, and she was screaming at my mom she needed to leave her alone and let her live her own life and do whatever she wanted, and to not be so possessive of her husband. She had a little baby girl in her arms, who was introduced to me by the woman as "your new sister, Penelope."

So, as you can see, this story is going from a peaceful little happy family, where I was the center of attention, to a disruptive, abnormal family where I was to fall out of favor. And it doesn't get better from there for a very, very long time.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Fun Night

Blah. Of course, the night I go to work with no sleep, that's the time they decide they are short-staffed (it is a small hospital, they only have so many staff) and I get to stay an extra 4 hours (yeah, me) because somebody wants to have a baby. Well, they want, and have the medicine for it, but this baby does not want to be born. So spent 12 hours checking on her and recording stuff every 15 minutes.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I noticed I started every post so far with "OK"

I must be overtired. It's showing. I apologize for the boringness. I hardly ever use the word, and now I've been overusing it. ;)
OK, here's what I've done since 3 pm yesterday afternoon:

Created a powerpoint presentation 50 slides long for my college class
Written a 10 page research paper (need to finish citations, cover letter, and add in bibliography).
Played around on the Sonlight forums.
Organized my schedule.
Payed my bills.
Caught up on all my online posts for classes.
Caught up on all my discussions for classes.
Read 3 chapters in my books.
Bought some stuff on eBay.
Considered buying some stuff on Amazon.
Talked to my mom on the phone.
Talked to my sister in law on the phone.
Talked to my brother in law on the phone.
Played around on facebook.
Went grocery shopping.
Stopped by the post office and dropped off some letters.
Dropped some books off at the library.
Came back and played on the Sonlight forums some more.

What I will do this afternoon: Go to work for 8 hours.

What I will not have time for: sleep.

Until at least midnight.
But, sleeping is overrated anyway, isn't it?

And isn't that what they created excedrin migraine with caffeine in it for?
Ok, here's my list for today:

You know you are a nurse in a small-town hospital if:

You have a fuzzy, out-of-date camera of the ER, and you can name half the patients just by the way they walk in the door.

You work in ER, OB, med/surg, pediatrics, swing beds, transitional beds, CCU, telemetry, observation, labor and delivery, and newborn categories in your job. All in the same night. You delivered a baby, took care of a person in cardiac arrest, changed briefs, took people to the bathroom, hooked someone up to telemetry, admitted two patients, gave medications, started 2 IVs, restarted another IV that a patient ripped out, did a blood alcohol level on the guy the state trooper pulled over, gave showers, changed dressings, hooked someone up to the cardiac monitor, started the CT machine, and everything else, all in an 8 hour shift.

You think 15 patients is a high workload.

You are running out of beds with 15 patients, and are thinking about putting people back in OB if they come in.

Your night shift (for the entire hospital, not just your "department") includes you, the charge nurse, and the CNA.

Your latest admit says her full name, and, even though you've never seen her before, you know that she is Kassandra's aunt, Betty's cousin, and perhaps also related to Bob as well.

You go to a class on Trauma Nursing. The instructor asks you how you activate your stroke response team at the hospital, when the ambulance tells you there is a stroke victim coming in. You tell him "I turn to the nurse next to me and say 'there is a stroke coming in' and then we both go down to ER to get ready."

You know that a person just walked into the ER with nausea and vomiting and dehydration. You turn to the nurse next to you and say "Dr. So-and-So is on call. I'll go get the Protonix, D5 1/2 Normal Saline, and the Levaquin drawn up." Dr. So-and-So then walks up and says "this patient is going to need a bolus of D5 1/2 Normal Saline, 40 mg of protonix, and 500 mg of Levaquin, right away."

You have to call lab and xray each and every time you want them to come in on nights and weekends, since there is no one in house.

You know where everything is located in the pharmacy, because it is your job to go get when no one else is there.

Your security system isn't working right, and you call maintenance to ask them to come in, and they tell you to block the door with a metal bar and they will be in in the morning.

You know the name of everyone that works in the entire hospital, and they know you. Including, but not limited to, nursing, doctors, housekeeping, maintenance, laundry, dietary, business office, billing, human resources, pharmacy, lab, xray, OR, and administration.

You think having 5 nurses on duty in one day is a lot.

You know where housekeeping keeps all their supplies, because you have to use them.

You need to call laundry when you are busy to come in on Sundays, because otherwise you will run out of towels.
Ok, I've decided to start a blog, just for the fun of it. We'll see how long this lasts.

My name is Veronica, and I am married to the greatest and most wonderful pastor in the United States. I have 4 children, Vaneza (8), Xzavier (5), Zacarayah (3), and Elizabeth (2).

I go to school full-time, working on my master's degree in nursing. I also help my husband run our little church. In addition, I work full-time as a nurse. We also homeschool our children.

We are a bit busy, but we like it that way. Hoping to help encourage all of you who are busy that you can do it.