Pairs of socks knitted in 2014

  • Roxanne's socks
  • Brian's Cascade socks
  • Shirley's lacy socks
  • striped Meredith socks
  • striped stranded #1

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Que dia es hoy?

Ever forget what day of the week it is? I've never been particularly talented when it comes to time-management, but working nights has not helped.

Perhaps it's the fact that when I leave for work, it's Wednesday, but when I come home from work, it's now Thursday. Maybe it's how magically, every single night, I have to change the date on my charting when the clock turns over from 2359 to 0000. Or even the fact that on occasion, (this is Oregon I'm talking about) I have left for work, worked twelve or thirteen hours, returned from work, and then awakened after sleeping for several hours without seeing a single ray of sunshine!

When you're doing a neurological assessment on patients, it's important to make certain they're "oriented" to person, place/situation, and time. This means that my patient who answered the orientation questions with "Paul Revere," "1956," and "Amityville, Texas" was "oriented times zero." (To be fair, "Mr. Revere" had experienced such a catastrophic stroke that we were delighted that he was talking at all, regardless of whether or not he made sense.)

I know who I am, where I'm at, and (usually) what's going on, but without Microsoft's calendar on every computer, I don't have a prayer of guessing the day correctly. Guess I'm "oriented times two."

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Babies steal yarn

As evidenced by the security sock (which you can spot in all of these pictures if you know where to look) Shirley likes soft fuzzy objects. (Except for this teddy bear, which she ignores.

Perhaps it's the fact that it's bigger than she is?)

She regularly grabs yarn, roving, and WIPs if I'm unwise to leave them within her reach. (And now that she's learned how to balance on tip-toes, arm's reach is much higher up than it used to be.)

While I promptly tell her no and take the WIPs out of her hands, (Most of my projects are socks on sharp DPNs. The potential for baby self-inflicted injury is pretty much endless.) I don't mind near as much with the yarn and roving.

Until she puts them in her mouth. Which means that several times a day, I give the following soliloquy:
"No, we do not chew on yarn! We can admire it. We can pet it. We can say 'Oh, what lovely yarn! What pretty colors... It's so soft on my skin...' We do NOT put it in our mouths!"

And as I was giving this speech for the umpteenth time the other day, Brian chimed in with a few thoughts of his own:
"All yarn belongs to the mother! Pay homage to the mother and her yarn stash!"

Look on my fiber, ye mighty, and drool.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Politically incorrect

I realize that the history of the modern state of Israel is a messy and tortuous one. I know that many bad things have happened to the Jewish people over the years, and I can understand why the Israeli government is a bit "tetchy" about protecting their sovereignity.

But I am incensed by the lack of outrage the American media is showing over the Israeli military's actions in Gaza. If I were a drinking woman, I'd do a shot every time a pundit on CNN attempts to justify Israel's behavior by saying "you have to understand that they need to defend themselves."

Since the pundits and politicians are too chicken to point this out, let me share my thoughts on the matter: I don't care if Hamas is firing rockets into the Knesset itself--you do not bomb schools and hospitals! (Shelling UN compounds in Gaza is spectacularly tacky.) And when a Jewish lawmaker starts drawing comparisons between your behavior and that of the Nazis, you might want to rethink your strategy.

So as I was taught, I will continue to "pray for the peace of Israel." And Palestine, and Lebanon, and Syria...

Monday, January 5, 2009

Gender issues

Nursng is traditionally a woman's role. Of the ten students I graduted with, only one was a man.
The male nurses I've had the chance to work with have been great, but occasionally the "gender issues" make working with them slightly odd.

Usually when it's only female staff working, our break room lunch time conversations revolve around fashion, celebs and kid and husband stuff. When the male staff are working with us, it can be a bit stilted. (And we generally pass on the discussions on how great Victoria Secret's semi- annual sale is--not that I think the guys would object to that topic of conversation.) Damn fine nurses, but a bit awkward nonetheless.

Because there are so few male nurses, patients also respond to them differently than they do to "you gals." Confused patients are notorious for mistaking male nurses for doctors. And even mentally competent patients often accept what the male nurses say with more authority than they do similar statements from me.

And after spending the last shift doing 1:1 nursing on a sweet elderly lady with dementia who yanked out her IV (twice!) repeatedly pulled off her heart monitor leads, and was spectacularly paranoid about allowing the staff to clean up her bloody sheets, give her oxygen, or give her important medications while screaming "you girls are all in this together!" at the top of her lungs, I really appreciate male nurses. Especially Billy and Jim *, who were kind enough to help me out by using their masculine charms to convince her to let them put in a new IV and get a quick shot of a handy antipsychotic.

*Any and all co-workers who may be mentioned in my blog have had names, ages, (occasionally genders) and other identifying details changed. Why? Because this blog is all about me.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Bad signs

There are many "bad signs" of nursing.

"It's never a good sign when her white count is higher than her hematocrit." (For people who haven't had their brains sucked out by the nursing profession, this means that the patient is probably septic and headed for the ICU.)

"I admitted the gal in room 208, and I ran out of space on the admission form for psychiatric diagnoses!" is not something you want to hear from the admitting nurse. Ever.

"I ran out of things to give for nausea and vomiting, but he's still puking!"

And yesterday's experience:
At the very begining of my shift, I answered a random elderly lady's call light, and she said, "Excuse me, but when are they coming to get the body?"
I looked across at her roommate (who I knew from the census was going to be going home with hospice the next day) and realized that she was somewhat grayish. In spite of the lousy color, she was still breathing regularly.
I reassured the first lady that her roommate was alive, but it understandably took a bit to get her relaxed. And after a quick conversation with the charge nurse, it took less than twenty minutes to find her a new room with an alert, non-dying roommate.