Tacky

I don’t know how I keep getting roped into weddings. Please note, before you ask me to be a bridesmaid even though I may like you, I’m not a fan of being a bridesmaid or all that it entails. I just flat out don’t think most things involved in weddings are even important. Bridal shower themes? Centerpiece themes? Seriously just put some candles on the table and call it a day. I don’t like group projects in school and I don’t like group projects in my personal life… a bridal shower is essentially a big group project.

Note: DOES NOT WORK WELL WITH OTHERS.

A certain female close to me is getting married in the spring… and there has been a flurry of emails between bridesmaids over the last two weeks. We have 1 bridesmaid who is superenthusiastic and I’m sure you’re thinking “just let her roll with it then” which is what I thought at first too but her first entirely too long email listed about 10 games she wants us to play at the shower. There are way too many people being invited to this shower to make some of these feasible, plus I know I am not alone saying I don’t like having to ‘think’ when I’m a party guest. I don’t like taking pop quizes, playing word games or competing with other people for prizes. My biggest issue though is that she wants us all to make gift baskets and then for the party guests to guess how much we spent on them. I just think that’s tacky.

One other bridesmaid did write her back and was essentially like “I’m not really a fan of organized games” yadda yadda yadda… And the report from the bride was now the superenthusiastic one thinks someone doesn’t ‘like her’ and the bride wants her to apologize. Unfortunately I think everyone agrees with the one who isn’t a fan of games. After said apology we got another long email about the basket game again. I spent like an hour today composing a reply email that attempted to say “TACKY! & lets not include it” without saying tacky. So we’ll see if she A: gets the hint or B: I’m expected to apologise – I’ll keep you posted.

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As a side note I might also think you’re tacky if you post pictures of your naked baby bump on facebook. Anyone who wants to take such shots for their private collection should go right ahead. While they may be excited that you’re expecting, I don’t think 200 of your less than close friends on facebook want to see your naked abdomen. We make the distinction between ‘friends’ and ‘facebook friends’ for a reason. True, I could just be jealous… but I generally think most everyone should remain fully clothed in their facebook photos regardless of circumstances.

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Lameness

I was always very close with my highschool friends, even through college. We’re all admittedly growing apart now that we’re scattered about the country and in different stages of life (boyfriends, fiances, husbands, pregnant) The past few weeks have really served to showcase why I have a dwindling tolerance for my highschool friends.

I was a little bitter about Thanksgiving weekend because it was my “weekend” to work (we have weekend groups that alternate and you theoretically work every other weekend) plus I was working my “off” shifts which for me are night shifts (we also have two groups that divide up the off shifts and you’re either in the 11a-11p or 7p-7a group) Thanksgiving is that weekend that I know ahead of time that people will be in town to hang out. My only evening off was Friday so I was really rooting for a get-together Friday night. My one friend was in town from the weekend before Thanksgiving and flying out Friday after Thanksgiving so we agreed to hang out Tuesday for dinner since we were both available. Now that I live on the other side of the city it takes a little arranging to hang out with people. (My friends are notorious for saying things like “well we might do something later tonight”… MIGHT?… I live an hour away, can you do a LITTLE bit better than MIGHT. please.)

So I was about 10 minutes away from our rendezvous point when I got a phone call from my friend saying that she wasn’t going to be able to make it because the forecast was bad and her parents weren’t going to let her borrow their car incase we got a lot of snow. Seriously? You’re 27 and ITS RAINING… I’m nearly at the destination, please assure your parents it’s drizzling.

No Dice. Very lame… I did, for all of you that were concerned make it home (in the rain) safe and sound after I ate dinner out alone — and did my grocery shopping, rather than waste a trip.

Then I’ve got another friend who lives in another city about 2-2.5 hours away that’s expecting her first baby the first week of April. The city she lives in just happens to be the home court of our exchange student’s FAVORITE basketball team with his FAVORITE player… so Hubbin and I decided we were going to get him tickets to a game for Christmas. I email back and forth with her a few times and we both agree it would be way cool to kill two birds with one stone and I’ll come hang out with her/maybe her new baby for a few hours while the boys are watching basketball. So we go back and forth on game dates but there’s honestly a limited selection of weekend games played in the afternoon during weekends I’m off. So we decide on April 12th. So I email her that’s the day we’ll be coming and she emails me back saying that’s completely not going to work out. 

I’m due a week before that and might very well be in labor… or “even if the baby arrives on time (which is rare) we’re still going to be in our first week of adjusting to life with a newborn and that would just be way too much to handle”

So you don’t eat after you have a baby? People with newborns don’t have lunch? I mean I’m perfectly happy to volunteer to change a diaper or two while you shower. I mean call me ignorant but the baby is just as likely to be born early as late, she could easily have a three week old baby by then, it seems a LITTLE premature to me to refuse to have lunch with someone 5 months in advance… don’t you think? It’s not like I’m talking about spending two days at your house, this is for the duration of a sporting event. I’m completely flexible, we don’t even have to go out, I could stop and pick up food and deliver… 

So lame. Aside from that I also take offense to the “(which is rare)” tossed in there, I don’t know why it just irks me… as though I’m completely ignorant of anything involving pregnancy and birth of which you are now guru (I have been working at a women’s hospital famous for being a “baby factory” for the past 4.5 years I’d like to think I’ve collected at least a few pearls of wisdom)

I called it

We had a crazy night the other night. We were busy and the computers were all down for scheduled maintenance for FIVE HOURS. FIVE. By the time the computers went down we had every room filled and four people in the waiting room. I went out to the triage room to triage the patients (we’ve largely switched to the system of triaging patients in the room and dumped the whole triage system)

While I was triaging we had an ambulance patient came in with high bloodsugar, so we pulled a bed from across the hall into our hallway for her. I had a couple patients I was concerned about in the waiting room. One had written “chest and neck pain” as her chief complaint and another wrote “severe abdominal pain” then there was another one that had “vaginal bleeding” as her complaint. Anyone involved in emergency rooms knows that chest pain is one of those *key things* that needs to be addressed immediately. It is totally and completely not kosher to leave a chest pain in the waiting room. They’re supposed to have an EKG within 5 minutes of sign in. Just incase they’re actually having an MI. “Vaginal Bleeing”‘s Hemaque checked in at the upper-end of normal so she was clearly not bleeding to death in the next few hours.

I decided however that I was going to triage all the patients before making any decisions, we had no rooms for any of them anyway, so what did it matter. The first person I triaged was chest pain, who looked positively pitiful. She came wearing a neck brace, a wrist brace, her eyes were all puffy and she was hobbling into the triage room. I learned during triage that she had a known compression fracture in her neck and also has chronic pain. I sent her back to the waiting room and was holding my breath because I’m sure my boss would have a heart attack. I called back “severe abdominal pain” who was on her knees in the waiting room leaning onto a chair with her husband rubbing her back. She was struggling to make it into the triage room, so we got her a wheelchair and wheeled her into the triage room.

You can just tell when someone is genuinely uncomfortable, you just can. This lady was in serious pain and 12 weeks pregnant. She was doubled over clutching her abdomen in the wheelchair and was a little sweaty. One of the first things on our triage sheet is vital signs, so I hooked up the machine and hit go. When her blood pressured popped up the on screen was when my heart started racing and I started asking the triage questions at rapid fire getting the most important ones out of the way first (due date, allergies, medications, known medical issues, have you had an ultrasound this pregnancy) There are a few things that raise blood pressure, stress, anxiety, pain. The general area of BP we see is 100-130 over 60-90…. if you’re a little over I don’t get concerned, you’re in an ER after all that gets everyones anxiety going and you’re probably in some pain if you’re in the ER anyway… when you’re BP gets to be 200s over 100s we get kinda freaked out, but by and large low blood pressure is way more frightening to us in the ER.

Her blood pressure (in obvious extreme pain) was 85 over 52. *gulp*

I took a time out during triage and pulled the charge nurse aside and said “umm, so do we have another bed for the hallway? Cause we need one” My patient was complaining of right sided lower abdominal pain and given her pain and BP I was concerned about #1: Ruptured ectopic #2: Acute appendicitis. (but there was no fever which I would expect with appendicitis) It could be either, but 12 weeks seemed a little far along for an ectopic (though not out of the realm of possibility, I was pretty sure it was appendicitis) 

She hadn’t yet seen a doctor for this pregnancy so we didn’t know if the baby was growing in the uterus or tube. I ended up wheeling her into the hallway and starting her IV in the wheelchair before the bed was available, with a low BP I was concerned we’d loose the opportunity for an IV if it went lower. I drew labs for everything they could possibly order including enough for a cross match just incase she was a ruptured ectopic and a stat OR case.

After some fluids and pain meds her BP was up to acceptable and she was able to carry on a conversation. Her ultrasound showed a normally growing baby right where it belongs. She was so relieved and I was convinced she had appendicitis. She had a history of ovarian cysts, which can rupture and cause pain too, but she was adamant to the OB doc that this felt nothing like when she had a cyst rupture. Minimally invasive (general surgery) came to evaluate her -and was a prick- did a total evaluation… and said since her pain went from 0-10 within a 2 hour period it was too fast to be appendicitis he said, she claimed right sided pain, but had rebound tenderness over her whole abdomen. and she had no fever and her white count was only 14. 

Now… I’ve only been a nurse for 5 minutes, but even I know that things aren’t always textbook and you have to take in the whole picture… 

The last appendicitis I admitted had a fever, backpain, and NOTHING else her white cell count was only 8… the doctor and I were totally betting kidney infection until the CT scan came back. Of course, 12 weeks pregnant it’s not kosher to CT so you have to make the diagnosis based on everything else. I personally felt she was just screaming appendicitis. The minimally invasive guy was convinced it was an ovarian cyst (I kind of feel that you need to listen to the patient at least a little, if she’s had an ovarian cyst before and volunteers the fact that this feels nothing like it, but apparently the medicine dude wasn’t listening) and the gyne people were convinced it was appendicitis, both wanted to avoid being too aggressive with someone 12 weeks pregnant, so I ended up admitting her with “abdominal pain”.

I called my mom on the way home since she was working in the OR the next two days and said “I admitted this girl with abdominal pain and I just KNOW it’s appendicitis, so pay attention if any appendectomies show up in the OR.

She called the next day and said “your girl is on the schedule for exploratory surgery” and I said “ooo, let me know if you hear what it is” Later that day I had the gyne resident look up the operation report and there was an ovarian cyst that the gyne people weren’t too impressed with, the appendix was surrounded by pus and looked inflamed so they called the minimally invasive attending (boss) to the surgery and his portion of the note says, and I quote, “Moderately inflamed purulent appendix removed, in the absence of any alternate cause of abdominal pain, she has been diagnosed as appendicitis.” mwahahahaha

It was also kind of sweet because a day or two later I was admitting another patient to a unit upstairs and as we were wheeling down the hallway I saw my appendicitis patient and her husband on their way out waving good-bye to the nurses. I said hello, she didn’t recognize me from the 6 hours we spent together in the ER, but it was nice to see her walking out of the hospital smiling all healthy 🙂 Made my day. 

Appendicitis I TOLD YOU SO! HA!

I was also completely relieved that day because we got a phone call from “chest pain”‘s actual doctors office wanting to know exactly how many of what painkillers she was prescribed because she’s a “known drug seeker” and they don’t want us giving her anything else. Whew, thank god because I felt SO guilty leaving a chest pain out in the waiting room for so long.

Crime

Hubbin has been waiting for a package from UPS more than a week now. I’m not sure what the deal is with UPS in these parts but they WILL NOT leave packages at our house and everything must be signed for in person. Consequently we frequently have to drive to the facility that’s 45 min away -not a good policy for making friends-

I’m asleep at 11:15 when I hear a knock on the door, I quickly hunt for a sweatshirt because it’s against my personal policy to answer the door ever with floppy boobs. And the guy immediately says “aw, did I wake you up? Do you work nights?” I said yes, but who cares? Is it a crime against humanity to sleep in? Today is my Saturday afterall even though it might be your Friday, I like to sleep in on my days off. I don’t have any kids up at the crack of dawn so why not? (well I guess I do, but he’s not really mine and he’s old enough to pour his own bowl of cereal and walk himself to the bus stop)

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Updated:

So I was upstairs eating my mini-wheats at the computer when I hear another knock at the door, I peer out the upstairs window and see a dark car in the driveway with the silver trim around the windows just like Hubbin’s car. So I run down the stairs and then decide I’m going to take another peak under the blind downstairs just to see if I can see who it is. Then I see the car is a Honda and not a VW so I’m like “hell no I’m not answering the door” (This for the record is why I wanted a peep hole on the door… we don’t have one) So I’m still peering very secretly under the window blind when I see an older guy walk by carrying a bible type book followed by an older lady also carrying a bible type book. They get in the car and drive off down the road. 

Bizarre… they didn’t stop at the neighbors, they just kept going… isn’t that weird? I would think it was less weird if they were going door to door.

Super Nanny and Dog Whisperer

So we’re avid fans of the Dog Whisperer Hubbin and I… no, we don’t have a dog, nor do we ever really intend on getting a dog, but we really like watching Caesar work his magic. Which technically isn’t really magic at all.

I also in a previous life where I watched TV frequently enjoyed watching the Super Nanny.

I happened to get home and finish my pizza after work tonight just in time to catch an episode of the Super Nanny. 6 kids, 5 girls, all under 13… way out of control. You get the picture.

I was really shocked by the similarities between what the two were preaching. I will sum up both shows like this for you:

There is an epic battle to gain control over the house. It’s mental, it’s physical, it tests you in every way, and you CAN NOT lose.

Of course it’s all a lot more nuanced: Caesar wanting you to be calm and assertive in everything you do and Joe telling the parents they can not discipline when they are frustrated or show their doubts about whether they can accomplish it. But both want you to get a concrete vision in your head of “this is how it will be. period” and then make it happen.

It reminded me of when my friend from college came to visit with her new husband and 4 year old step-daughter who I don’t mind telling you is the perfect child. We asked her husband (who’s older than the rest of us) how he managed to have such a well behaved child (as in: “Please take pity on those of us who have yet to enter this life stage and save us from our own mistakes”) and he said something very similar: “The first few years are hell, they test you in every way, and if you win those battles it pays off 10 fold in everything to come”.

Phone tag

Ok, so since I got up today I’ve been on the phone.

I’m getting new glasses (which look shockingly like my old glasses to me, but Hubbin assures me they’re quite different). Since I made the switch to contacts two years ago I haven’t put new lenses in my glasses, and it was likely 2-3 years before that that I got new lenses put in them in the first place. While they’re fine for doing laundry or watching TV around the house, I probably shouldn’t be driving in them. Plus taking a round the world flight in a few weeks I’d really like to have those to wear rather than relive the trauma of taking my contacts out without a mirror on the plane to Germany and then trying to put them back in in an airport bathroom with no soap. *shudders* I called Lenscrafters, they did get the prescription from my eye doctor and I gave them my credit card number so supposedly they’ll be working on it. Although the woman on the phone was borderline-short-tempered with me, so they’ll “have to call me if there are any issues” and she wouldn’t tell me how long it would take.

Then we’re going to NYC for memorial day so I called US airways because I never received my confirmation email. She told me “well they take a while to process” I thought “that’s nice but our trip is in less than a week, so I’d like some reassurance anyhow”. Apparently we are booked though, and someday in the future I may or may not receive a new voucher code for $41.24 per person. (probably just enough to cover the cost of fuel to get off the runway: landing we’re on our own)

Bah Humbug, Lenscrafters just called back and my anti-reflective whatever coating are a special order lens so it will take them at least a week to arrive. You would think with as much as they harp on the importance of anti-reflection they would at least have some laying around….

Obnoxious

Back in the first few weeks I was working in the ER I had a patient who really stuck out in my mind. She was there with her mother and they came in because the girl (19 with a two year old at home already) had been pregnant and told her mom she had a miscarriage and her mother didn’t believe her. They were there for hours that night, they went so far as to send her for an ultrasound and everything, though I can’t remember why now. What really stuck out in my mind was this girl’s attitude. She was one of those people that you have to just really clench your teeth in their presence so you don’t bitch slap them. As that would be unprofessional in the work environment. She was EXTREMELY rude in that syrupy sweet kind of way that just makes it that much worse. She was borderline combative with care (in the “My mom is making me be here so you’re not REALLY going to make me get undressed and submit to bloodwork” kind of way) and I just got the general sense she was rubbing it in to her mother, who was frankly no nicer than she was. I distinctly remember thinking “If she was my child, I would beat her for having that rude gloating attitude of being in the ER because you had a miscarriage at 19”.

A few days later I was there when the same girl came in by ambulance with her aunt and boyfriend because she was having severe abdominal pain. She had retained “products of conception” that ended up needing to be removed via emergency surgery. The first time I walked into her room I nearly walked right back out because she showed up wearing nothing but a lingerie top and at first I thought she was in the middle of changing her clothes. Not so. Once again refusing to change into a hospital gown and refusing to cover her boobs up with even a sheet. Her family was once again extremely rude. And the girl rang the call bell every 5 minutes. We had to move her to a bed in the hallway that night because we were so busy and I remember vomiting a little in my mouth when I walked by and her boyfriend was bent over telling her how sexy she was. There’s a time and a place for that folks.

So guess who showed up this week a sobbing mess via ambulance again? About two hours before my quitting time…

I feel it’s pertinent to the story to inform you she showed up in tight jeans, large gold-hoop earrings, and a mid-rift showing halter top. She was there with excessive abdominal pain again. She somehow managed to immediately piss off the triage nurse because after she put her in a room she came into the nurses station spilling profanity out of her mouth. Told us the girl had decided after her emergency surgery that the antibiotics she was prescribed just weren’t important and though maybe she had an infection because her pain was just off the charts. I’m paraphrasing of course. She gave the nurse this whole long story about how she doesn’t have insurance so couldn’t afford to buy her antibiotics and blaaaah blah blah. Don’t worry, we can see she’s got her medical assistance in check. You know there are $4 generic perscriptions now right? But when I went in to collect a urine sample from her her cellphone was ringing. No money to buy antibiotics, but there’s enough to keep that cellphone operational.

She could barely get the words out to me through tears that she couldn’t give a urine specimen because her belly hurts too bad to walk by herself. How much was your belly hurting when you put those tight jeans on today? Don’t you worry, I offered to cath her. 😉 I’m sure it’s already clear to you how much I just despise this girl. So she hobbled over to the bathroom while sobbing and holding my hand but then SQUATTED over the toilet to pee because, “I ain’t sittin’ on no public bathroom” exactly how bad does your belly have to be hurting you before you stop thinking about things like that? or are physically unable to squat I ask you? After I saw she was capable of squatting over the toilet which by the way I can barely coordinate when I’m in tip top condition…. I wasn’t quite so worried about her falling on the way back to bed.

I took her vitals and I said to her nurse: “Don’t worry, her vitals are fine, despite her attitude”. After the doctor saw her he actually said “she just really needs to be smacked”… lol. He was even less sympathetic I think after her urine was positive for marijuana and opiates. I told her nurse “I feel like I’ve met her family enough times now to officially say I don’t like them. This is no longer a first impressions/judgmental kind of situation, I mean at this point I’ve met her mom twice, I’ve met her Aunt and boyfriend, and they’re just not nice people.”

In the two hours she was there before I left I answered her call bell no less than 15 times. Eventually I would just state out loud in the nurses station “nope, not going, I need to meditate” and the LPN said “What does she want? Before I go in there I just want to know what I’m getting myself into” and I said “nothing. honestly.” attention. pain medication. for you to turn the heat up. another blanket. how long will it be. a blanket for my mom. nothing. attention. and repeat. To the point when I went into another patient’s room they asked me if their call bell was broken (their bed was right next to the old nurses station so it buzzed every time this girl hit her call bell) I assured her that no they had not broken anything, it was just one patient. To put this into perspective for all of you, on any given 12 hour shift I might answer 2 call bells. period.

There is no end to this story because my shift was over, but I’ll be very interested to hear whether they sent her on her merry way and told her to use whatever narcotics she is obviously already using, or whether she had an emergency surgery to remove her uterus since her cellphone is more important than her post-op antibiotics.