Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Self fulfilling prophecy

I often have patients comment on my positive attitude. Most are surprised, and I have to admit that my attitude would not be as positive if I didn't try so hard to convince myself that it IS going to be a great day, and that I really am Darn Skippy :o)

I must also confess that my attitude has a lot to do with where I'm working. I truly love being in Pediatrics. Whether I'm taking care of all kids, a mix of adults and kids, or only adults (due to overflow from the other floors). My patient load is smaller, and I really feel as though I can provide the care that I would want my family member (or myself for that matter) to receive while in a vulnerable state. I've had patients cry (and almost make me cry with them), I've had them feel comfortable enough to share their frustrations with their health or other situations they are dealing with, I've had them yell at me, I've had them apologize, I've received hugs, and cards of appreciation.

So many times I leave a shift feeling as though I have failed in my duty to provide the emotional care that so many people need...but when I start out trying my hardest to have a positive attitude, everything seems to work out a little better.

Lately I've really enjoyed work. I'm blessed that I have someone to watch the boys that I trust completely, and that work has been flexible with me to pick up shifts when I need to.

I'm trying to stay positive, in light of recent events, in hopes that whatever comes my way will not totally derail me. My inner mantra is: just keep swimming, just keep swimming...all in hopes that I'll be able to keep my head above water and not just survive, but thrive.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Warning: This post is NOT for the faint of heart

Meet William Wallace. I acquire him 2 years ago after a short visit to Disney World...which I'm guessing is a result from having too much fun.

Why did I name it William Wallace?? Because Molly said I should name it, and it is the most stubborn wort I've ever known!

I cut the head off many times, because it worked in the movies, but it grew back. I figured I must be dealing with a mutant so I tried freezing it off...4 times. But alas, it came back. The problem is the location. It's above my heel, on my Achilles tendon. Which makes for a painful experience whenever I wear sneakers or anything with a strap on the back.

Last Christmas, while visiting my brother in NC, he froze it off with liquid nitro. He said not to pop the horrible blister that would form...and I didn't. I waited, and waited, and waited...and the little booger quadrupled in size!

It was time for an all out war!

So, I got a dermatology consult and the chick decided she wanted to freeze it off herself, and see what happens. She spent the next 5-7 minutes freezing/thawing until I was numb to my heel. I was told to pop the blister, to start putting compound w on it in a week, and to follow up in two weeks. She said that if it was still there I would start putting a chemo cream, aldara, on it which should definitely do the trick.

So, here is W.W. about 2 hrs after the freezing

And here is W.W. after "popping" it, by cutting off the outside layer of dead skin...
And here is W.W. on the 3 day mark
(having all my left-overs in my nursing student skills kit has really come in handy!)

Sorry to gross you out, but it is the Halloween season, and I don't know any good ghost stories :o)

I know what everyone is thinking...I'm in desperate need of a pedicure! :o)

I want to thank everyone that kept my family in their prayers after my last post. The tumor did turn out to be malignant, but after the removal my Dad's personality is starting to emerge. He was discharge just 5 days after surgery to go home, and was progressing well enough to do outpatient radiation and therapy. It's going to be a long process, but I know his wife is by his side and taking excellent care of him.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Going MIA

Last week I got a phone call from my older brother telling me that my Dad has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and was in pretty bad shape. He said it all came on very suddenly. This hit me like a ton of bricks...but also my radar went up.

Alzheimer's is a progressive disease and it doesn't just show up suddenly.

I called me Dad, and after a few minutes of him not being able to keep his train of thought longer than 3 seconds, I hung up and cried.

I then got the number of his wife, who is an LPN, and did some more digging. She told me that he totalled his truck a month ago and after the accident he didn't remember the accident or the other car. He refused to go to the hospital, and the only visible issue was a burn from the airbag.

Over the next two weeks he went downhill fast. They went to the Dr. and she asked him some questions, mainly focusing about his memory loss, and from his answers she diagnosed him with Alzheimer's....without doing a head CT, which can be definitive in the diagnosis.

It bugged me that a CT was never done, and I kept thinking that he probably had a stroke, which is why he had the accident to begin with.

Well, yesterday his wife called and said he was having difficulty walking and she got very scared and took him to the ER. They did a head CT and MRI, and found a golf ball size tumor in his frontal lobe. Due to the size of the tumor, his brain has shifted and there was a large amount of swelling.

After 24hrs in the ICU on steroids and anti-convulsants, he is doing much better and can recognize/remember people again. They have decided to operate Wednesday morning, which is his only real chance.

I have a friend coming into town on Tuesday, so I won't be alone, but please pardon my recent absence, and for a few more days. And please keep my Dad in your prayers.

*comments off*

Monday, October 4, 2010

Adventures in Commissary shopping

Diaper bag. Check
Bottles. Check
Toys. Check
Double stroller. Check
...and here we go...

Upon entering, dart past the old guy on the scooter, and make a mad dash towards the shopping carts. Finding the perfect cart, that doesn't pull to one side, is KEY! Weave through the hundreds of other people that wait for payday to do their shopping and head for produce.

"oh, are they twins?"

Smile, nod, and find the least damaged apples, bananas, and whatever else is going for less than $1.20/lb. Veges here I come!

"are they twins?"

Keep smiling, nod and grab a large bag of carrots, lettuce, and English cucumber without coming to a complete stop.

Check list...

"are they twins?"

Come on, you can do! Nod! Continue to push the stroller with one hand, while pulling the cart behind you.

Ignore the people that give you dirty looks for your 'train' and all the space that it encompasses.
Try not to groan too loudly at the moron that parks their cart in the middle of the aisle and walks away. Kick Push said cart to the side, and continue to the next aisle.

"wow, are they twins?"

"No, they're brothers."

wait for the perplexed look...

"how far apart are they?"

"Two minutes"

Try not to feel guilty for the smart comment as I walk away and check the list again.

Okay, we're in the home stretch...dairy section is ahead.

Wade through the sea of shopping carts that stupid bottleneck the newest renovation has created, and grab milk, cheese, etc.

Okay, head to the check out...and get in line...keep waiting...then get yelled at to head to the specific register I'm told.

Pull out ID, wait for cashier to roll her eyes and ask "paper or plastic?" Then, watch the baggers smash your bread, bruise your fruit, and put 12 cans of soda in a single plastic bag.

"are they twins?"

Head to the parking lot where I attempt to remember where I parked. Tell the bagger they must wait while you turn the car on, the AC, get the boys back in their car seats, fold up the double stroller and put it in the trunk first. Get more dirty looks when you ask for the frozen/cold items to be put IN the car (b/c they didn't bother to pack them that way). Hand over $3, get in the car...breathe...and wonder why you made the trip in the first place.

*I heart my Army wife life*

Today should be better, since I have someone watching the boys. My goal is to be in and out in under 20 minutes...I think I'm up to the challenge!