Friday, March 31, 2006

End is Near...

Hello .... I wanted to share an update with you. Nate will graduate in June with programming/software design degree. Next week will start his last term. He must intern somewhere for this term. On Monday he accepted an internship with Palo Alto software design company. Best part - they've insisted on PAYING HIM for his internship. He went today and they are waiting for "his computer" to show up and he has his own desk/office area. This very possibly could turn into something full time once he graduates. He'll be working 15hrs/week to start and increase from there. He'll be testing their software that has yet to hit the market for flaws, problems, etc. Hopefully by June he'll advance into actually helping to develope the actual software. So far his GPA is 3.93, which he's worked very hard for.

One of the benefits with this is that I am actually able to quit working on Tuesdays and be home with Maysen. That means I'll only be working 3 days a week on M,W,F.....with hopes of completely quitting this summer to be home with my monster.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Lil Piggy!

This is our new thing. Well, actually not "new", he's been doing it for about 4mo now, but just now caught it on film. It is Maysen, oinking like a pig! He has this Old MacDonald toy - remember the toy where you pull the handle and whatever animal it's on, the sound is made? Well, Auntie bought him one for Christmas and now whenever the pig is played, he oinks right along with it. Ugly face, but cute at the same time!

So, this is my last day of work until next Friday. Oooo, vacation you'd think. No. Next week is going to be yard work hell. Yesterday it was 68 degrees and we took advantage and ripped out a bush out front, took dirt from leveling our garden, and made a huge mound out front and planted two rhododendrons on it. Much better. Until we saw the neighbor kid burning up it with his bike as though it was a dirt bike arena. Yea -- that went over well. That's the first time I've turned into the crotchity old lady that used to sit outside on her porch and yell at us for skating through her flower beds. I used to think she just needed to hurry up and die so I could go blowing through her yard at 100mph on my skates uninterrupted. OH! While I'm here, I've gotta tell you this story. Same crotchity old lady -- different story many years later. One Fourth of July my sister, me, and friend April decided to be hellions (is that a word?) and pay her back. Mind you, I was older, but still thought crap like this was funny (...and still kinda do). So, at the dead of night we went over to her 1/2 acre yard armed with millions of sparklers. We strategically planted them throughout her yard. All at once Jenn and I blew around and lighted all of them while April rang her doorbell. She came to the door and thought her yard was on fire! I was running away as I heard her "Oh MY YARD'S ON FIRE", I look over my shoulder and see this huge blaze of sparklers all a'glow. I was laughing so hard while trying to run that I melted like a marshmellow as I came to the curb and couldn't even step down -- I just fell to the ground on a gravel street. That'll teach me. Ok, I got a good laugh out of taking a trip down Memory Lane. I've got MANY other stories of childhood rebellion that I won't divulge (...right now).

Happy Weekend!

Monday, March 20, 2006


I have often been fascinated with the drastic dynamics of a big conglomo company. Our office seems quaint, personable, easy to get along with. Yet at the same time, the different levels of "seniority" and manipulative personalities rave throughout, as I'm sure they do with any company. Perhaps it isn't until it hits you BAM! in the face you don't realize it's there and go on your merry Monday-Friday way.

Where am I going with this? We as nurses in this office are expected to be in office when our doctors are there. When/if they are on vacation, it's up to you: try and fill in at other places, or chose to be off as well. "Jane" is Dr J's nurse. She has been at the office since it opened and has been there longer than anyone else, including our Office Supervisor. Her personality is one that you enjoy at times, but yet you don't want to cross or piss off because it would make the quiet little "family" in complete disarray. Over the past 2 years, she has been working full time as well as going to school to be an hospital adminstrator, and happens to graduate in June. During the day, she often spends her lunch hour doing endless projects. Friday, Dr J left for vacation to Europe. This means that while she is gone Dr D (my doctor) and I have to cover patient load/paperwork/phone calls, etc, etc for them until they return.

One other doctor, Dr B, decided 2 weeks ago to cut her hours to part time, forcing her nurse to have to cut her hours as well. This didn't set to well with K, her nurse. When K asked my office supervisor if she could come in on Dr B's days off and do paperwork, she was told "No, due to our restricted office budget".

That brings us to today. I got to work late because of my appointment with the ENT doctor this morning. When I got to work at approx 10am, "Jane" was there at her little desk hidden down the secluded hallway. I wondered to myself "Hm, I wonder why she is here? Maybe she's doing some of her/my paperwork - boy wouldn't that be nice on a Monday since we're slammed". About an hour later, she walked by and I asked "Oh, are you here doing work-work or no?" .... "Oh, no". I passed it off as she came to get some quiet and do her final paper, etc for school. So tonight, I went to go get our teams time cards as I usually do every week for everyone. "Jane's" wasn't there. "Oh," I thought "she must have picked her's up, I'll see if it's on her desk". Sure enough - there it was. But what caught my attention was the amazing FOUR hours she had marked down as her "time worked" today. I sat there just *staring* at it. 0900-1300?! Huh? I was there the whole time and never once did she do ANY paperwork, nor any files on the computer that *I* had to do of her's because her and Dr J are "off". "Jane" has always walked around the workplace because of her seniority with the look "of just try and question me". So, I sat down at my desk wondering what, if anything, I should do about this. 1) K is being told she can't come in and make up the hours that she had yanked from her 2) I am sitting here making my normal hourly wage doing DOUBLE the work because she's "off" yet sitting down there blatently NOT doing work-work, but probably working on some class project, yet jots down four hours of work.

So, I typed up an "anonymous" note to my supervisor. It was general, yet very specific to who I was talking about, without pointing fingers. My office supervisor is the type that she would never question the hours we have marked on our time card. "Jane" is the type to know that and know that whomever looks at her time card besides our office supervisor won't question this either. It's not fair. It's so.....*shady*. What do I do? Any ideas? Pass along my anonymous note ... or butt out? I'm torn.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Shy Pee

Is this not the most awesome bathroom ever? This bathroom was designed by Edge Design, an all-woman office interior design company. When given the opportunity to design the enterior of a NYC office ran by all women executives, they decided to have fun with the men's bathroom. Mens bathrooms are typically serious "don't talk, don't laugh, don't look" ... so they had to change that. And they did just that! Can you even imagine? Notice the funnel-shaped urinal. Is that what it's called? A urinal? Because it's not a "toilet" is it? Well, anyway. I wonder if guys "get shy" and have a problem peeing. I can't imagine sitting down on some googly-eyed hottie's face staring up at me from the bottom of the toilet.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


It's finally been "nice" enough to take Maysen outside to see the yard for the first time and play on the playset, complete with baby swing. As you can see, that was the funnest thing ever - although he's got the death grip on the rope. Trying to take this picture as he's flying at you warp speed was tricky. I'm lucky I at least got this shot.

Don't you hate it when someone asks you something, you give them the answer, then the person behind you re-answers the question as though you didn't answer it correctly or thoroughly enough? Yet their answers really apply no more important information than you just provided. Well, we have this one chick here, C. Exact deal. Today, for example I'm instructing this lady not to take oral, pill form calcium supplements 24 hr prior to this DEXA scan. Then I hear (voice louder than mine) via C "..But you CAN have milk and things containing calcium. MmmmHmmm". Uh, yea, milk would be excluded from the "Oral pill form calcium". Drives me absolutely *nuts*. Like 1) why are you all up in my convo? 2) .... nevermind #1 pretty much explains it, but I need to have more than a "1" in a bulleted list. So then later I gave one of our patients a morphine injection. I told this younger male that he needed to wait 15min at least to make sure there was no reaction, etc. C explains, as though he's an absolute idiot "To make sure you don't have a side effect or anything". ......(*$**$(#(??? He just sort of looks at me and goes "Then can I go?" So, I sat there. Saying *nothing*. He repeats it. So I say "I'm not sure, we'd better ask C". Augh.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Spring fever

So, I'm totally ready for spring. Two days ago we got 4" of snow, which is totally jacked up for the Willamette Valley where I live. Snow is a rarity here. Today, it's sunny with blue sky, but still only 43 degrees. You want to go outside because it looks gorgeous out, yet you go out and too cold for comfort outside. Seeing the sun is a good thing since I haven't seen much of it in the last 4 months.

During spring break I am taking the week off and my in-laws are coming for the week. They're total yard/landscaping freaks. So we're going to tackle the yard. Luckily the previous owners landscaped fairly well, and have quality plants planted. My mother-in-law told me that I "..literally have thousands of dollars of landscaping already done..." So, that's good. There's just alot of pruning, cleaning up to do. For instance: Edging everything with a mulch boarder, changing out all the old mulch with new mulch in all my beds, Re-boardering my 16' garden, etc, etc, etc. I'm ready to get started and get it done, but at the same time I know Day 1 into this, I'm going to be like "I'm *so* done". We are making a custom picinic/eating table for up on our deck. Then we have a 8x8 tile slab off our deck that we're looking at putting a fire pit on. I can't *wait* to sit outside by the fire watching the sun go down, smelling the freshly cut grass and smell of flowers. Not to mention sleeping with my bedroom window open, smelling my lilacs off my lilac tree that's RIGHT outside my bedroom window.

I can't believe tomorrow is Monday. Isn't it psycho how fast the weekends go? Probably because I spend all of Sunday wishing I didn't have to go to work the next day. Hope you had a good weekend, and hope you have a good week ahead.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Not-so-Slick Phone

And I thought these looked really cool. (click)

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Sweet Rewards

It's always nice to feel appreciated in our daily lives. Even more so at your job, where most people feel it's "just a job". That's my usual diluted attitude towards work, however I am enjoying this job more than I have any other jobs I've ever had. And today it got even better.

Last Friday I was giving advise to one of our patients who was very concerned about his wife, who was having a complication to a medication she was given in the hospital. I told him that I would call him back before I left for the weekend. Did I remember? Of course not. Saturday morning I woke up at 4am, remembering that I hadn't called him back. Later in the morning I called, gave my apologies, and inquired how his wife was and later gave him my home phone number in case he needed me over the weekend. Today, what shows up? A $50 gift certificate to GAP from this particular patient. I love the rewards of my job. Not only the gifts, but emotional rewards, too.

Monday, March 6, 2006

Tonsils go bye-bye?

So, I was sent home again today from work. Why, you ask? Because I have strep throat AGAIN! This will be the 3rd time in less than a year. My most recent being only 1mo ago! Oddly enough, I'm pretty much asymptomatic, meaning my throat doesn't really "hurt like hell" like you would imagine it to hurt. My usual symptoms are fatigue, headache, low grade fever. I learned that last month after visiting my doctor (who works conveniently in my clinic) saying "Something is up." Just shy of a year ago, I was diagnosed with strep because of this odd rash that occured out of nowhere which ended up being the Scarletina Rash you develope sometimes with strep, which can lead to full blown Scarlet Fever if left untreated. So, here I am with it again. What now? Stronger antibiotics, rest, and a consult with Dr Diaz, a renowned Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor here in Eugene. My doctors opinion: I need to have my tonsils removed. I guess we shall see. So I ask "Is it still pretty invasive or has it become more non-invasive through the years?" Her response: Basically it's still pretty invasive, and also harder on adults to bounce back from with risk of increased bleeding due to age. Goody.

I love the picture above. Reminds me of back home: Dighton, Kansas where I grew up. Walking through the miles of pasture that surrounded town and seeing wild flowers like these growing everywhere. I always hated the "ghost town" feeling of Dighton, the nearest movie theatre and decent grocery store being nearly 60miles away. With life busy, hustle bustle of today's world, traffic ... I often think back to the simplicity of what life held there. My own little Mayberry (for those of you who don't know, it was the small, cozy, town that Andy Griffith, sherriff, used to run). I know Jenn knows what I'm talking about.

Ok. To the couch I go.

Friday, March 3, 2006

Pregnant Nate

Me: Hello?
Nate: *sigh* Have you seen the hammer?
Me: ...I don't know. Last time I saw it I think it was ontop of the freezer in the garage.
Nate: I know! I used it and swear I put it right back on the freezer because I knew I was going to need it again soon. But now I can't find it anywhere .... I swear, someone is coming in here and stealing our hammers!

side note: we lost a hammer about a month ago that we still, to this day, can't find the thing ANYWHERE. So we went and bought another one, which would be the one in question.

Me: Uh--
Nate: I mean, I've looked everywhere and it just disappeared into thin air.
Me: Well, have you looked by the freezer? Or maybe behind it?
Nate: YES! I've looked everywhere! The only place I didn't look w--"
Me: Huh?
Nate: Nevermind. I found it.
Me: You did? Where?
Nate: Inside the freezer.

Does he sound like a total pregnant woman or what?

Thursday, March 2, 2006

"The Monster"

One thing that I have never taken advantage of in my almost 4 years of being an RN is the fragile line between "just doing my job" and actually holding delicate lives in my hands. It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routine of nursing and the seriousness falls to the wayside. Until you hear stories like this. Can you fathom having a family member fall ill and hospitalized, and just because one nurse finds that your loved one would be better off leaving this earth than staying in it fighting, decides to take action and see that their perceived suffering ends? It happened to nearly 40 families throughout 16 years. Charles Cullen was investigated, let go, and rehired multiple times before finally getting caught for his crimes.

Having said that, when I graduated nursing school in Kansas, I was warned about the "different laws" that made
euthanasia legal in Oregon, and that I needed to decide what exactly my ethical beliefs were before working as an RN in Oregon. I didn't take that decision lightly. (Now is where I sound hypocritical). I can say that I honestly believe that if someone is of sound mind/body/soul, they should be able to decide when they've had enough suffering, and to ask for help if they are physically unable to end their own agony. I have never done this, nor have I ever been asked (except by my step mom, Jo, who made me swear I wouldn't let her suffer if she was dying a painful death). However, if I was asked and knew the patient/family/diagnosis/prognosis very well, I think I would agree to help. What makes me different from Mr. Cullen is that I would *never* take those judgements upon myself, without discussion with anyone, and play "God". Some might say that patient-assisted suicide, period, is "playing God" and I'd be lying if I said I don't see where some might view that opinion. It's just I looked at myself and my family, and I can honestly say that it would kill me inside to have to watch my father, sister, mother be in absolute misery living out their final minutes/hours/days of life. Many people hang on, gasping and choking for breath, unable to talk but moan in chronic pain, starving because they aren't able to eat. If death is inevitable, I would rather make someone's final moments peaceful, painless, comfortable, serene, and beautiful. Perhaps that is one of my privileges of living in the state of Oregon.

And to you, Mr. Cullen, where you took it upon yourself, alone, to play God to people who trusted their lives and health to and in turn received the ultimate betrayal, I hope that you get to experience the type of death you ultimately deserve.