Saturday, January 31, 2009

Farewell Dear Friend

My days in the land of SUVs are over. I was just sure I could make it to work on the day it iced and I was so very wrong. I slid into an 18 wheeler and that was all it took. The car was driveable but unless my desire was to be the biggest piece of white trash out there, it had to go. It had been good to me, me not so much to it. I rarely changed the oil, allowed the kids to litter it with God only knows what, drove it like crap and it loved my anyway. They say if you love something you have to set it free- the Explorer is finally free. After my wreck Carly's only concern was, "Is my car seat OK?" Never mind you mom, what about my car seat. I got my new car yesterday and it is nice to be back in a car. It is taking some adjusting but I think I will make it. We rarely let Rocko, the dog, in the house but I felt bad for him when it was so cold so I let him in and into his crate he went. I was busy doing something and noticed it had gotten really quiet. Anna had decided to fore go lunch and spend some time with the the crate. She is doing so well and I am so proud. She is becoming more and more verbal and now has 3-4 words to her vocabulary. I'm pretty sure she thinks she has more words because if we tell her "no" she quickly responds with some gibberish that pretty much sounds like she is telling us how the cow ate the cabbage. I am quite sure our challenges with her so far are nothing compared to what is to come. She is off of the Elecare, Alimentum, and Rice milk completely. She is taking Good Start like a champ and thinks Mexican food rocks!! She is still clumsy as hell but that will likely never change (after all, she is my kid). I cannot decide whether to try to get some AFOs (ankle/foot orthotics) for her feet or not. The muscles are so tight and although it does not seem to bother her now I am afraid that waiting to correct her feet until later may cause more problems in the long run. Sooner Start has not been here in 2 months due to the weather so I will have to get with them when they come this month and get that figured out. I really wish sometimes there was a manual or roadmap to tell me what things to focus on and what things to just let go of with her. I feel like I have relaxed a lot but still feel like I am flying by the seat of my pants. It's kind of ironic I guess. I have always been the one who didn't need a plan and just did what ever felt right at the time. I never planned for the long term. I never needed time lines. I did my best under pressure. With her, I am begging for a plan or for some guidance. The problem is I know there is no one size fits all for any kid, especially not this kid...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I Stand In Awe

Get a cup of coffee, this could be a long one. I have been working extra and have so much pent up blogging I can't stand it any longer. The hospital is full and the nurses are short staffed. No shock. It is expected these days. The days we have enough staff are far outnumbered by the days we don't. I know it is not isolated to our hospital but it sucks none the less. Let me tell you some of the problems with health care as I see them. 1. It has somehow become a crime to die. We do not allow it. We put 93 year old people on the ventilator and expect them to get better and go on to do what? That's it- go back to the nursing home. We take every last shred of dignity someone has and trash it. And why? I don't know why. Many of my days at work are spent trying to save the lives of those who have already lived a full life and should be allowed to go to heaven or wherever it is they believe they will go but they are not allowed to. They are left to swell up like balloons, weep from their skin, develop bed sores no matter how often they are turned and their decision to not have wanted any of this has somehow been ignored. I only hope that when I am old my children have the decency to let me go. I know it will not be easy. Love is not always easy. 2. About 2 years ago we had a patient admitted who was from Mexico. She stayed in our hospital for no less then 6 months because she was not able to be weaned from the ventilator (thanks to her POS doctor). No other facility would take her because she had no funding, she was an illegal. She finally got a new doctor and was weaned from the vent but not before running up a bill with the hospital for over 1 million dollars. The hospital nor the doctors will ever see a penny of it. Then, this week my dear friend Jay's dad, who was dying from metastatic lung cancer, was in our hospital. He has insurance and it pays out nicely. However, the hospital was quite anxious to get him out of the hospital to a long term care (LTAC) facility because his insurance company was bugging the hospital. The man was dying and did not want to die at home. He was only conscious about 20 minutes each day and obviously had very few days left on this earth. What the hell? You can have no funding and stay forever but if you have worked hard all of your life you cannot stay and die in peace. Luckily for him, his time on earth ran out before his insurance company got the last word. Of note, Jay works at the hospital and has been a kick ass employee for years. 3. We have had this little shit head 21 year old taking up an ICU bed for the past 2 weeks. He overdosed by taking a whole bottle of Cymbalta. We all know I have psych problems and I am generally a bit sympathetic but not this time. This kid is a thug of the worst kind. He has tried on multiple occasions to beat up the nurses and has been a nightmare to deal with. Rather than hauling his ass off to jail where he belongs, we allow him to stay in out hospital and disrupt the care of people who are truly sick. He will eventually go to the state hospital but not before a few other people die waiting for the room he has occupied for too damn long. And why do we keep him in that room you ask? Good question- ask our administration. I have often considered writing a book about the things that go on at work but I feel confident it would be housed in the fiction section because no one would believe the shit we put up with really happens. It is amazing. I actually had to dodge (and luckily was successful) from projectile shit. It missed me and hit the wall. I had a patient who was dying from septic shock and had no family to be found. I was trying desperately to keep her alive at least long enough to locate some family. I finally located her mother who gave me a number for her sister also. I called the sister who came in to see the patient and quickly asked me if i could tell her what was going on. I started by explaining that the patient had called EMS the night before (more than 12 hours prior) complaining of difficulty breathing. The sister then says, "Oh, I know that, we live together." I pick my jaw up off of the floor and say, "So, you knew EMS brought her here?" She says, "Yes, I just didn't think it was that serious so I didn't come with her. I was going to check on her later." AYFKM? When were you going to check on her, when the funeral home called? I was so pissed. Here I was thinking this poor woman had no family and scrambling to find some when the family knew all along. Even if you couldn't get to he hospital wouldn't you at least call and check or send contact information with EMS. Don't feel too bad for the lady though, she was also an overdose (16 Oxycontin will cause aspiration pneumonia every time). People amaze me. I am quite sure there is something catching in the trailer park because all of its inhabitants ended up in the ICU at once. We had another couple who was out in the hall arguing (and she was scratching her boob up inside of her shirt) about whether to have McDonald's or Burger King for dinner. Meanwhile, her dad is in the room dying and about to take his last breath. And you are worried about dinner?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Big Fix

If you suddenly find yourself unable to get on the Internet and can't figure out why it is a very frustrating thing. The next day the computer suddenly works and your dear sweet husband proclaims he fixed it. All of the sudden you are invaded with trojans and worms and viruses. Why you ask? When your husband says he has fixed the computer do not believe him. He has lowered your firewall and turned your virus/adware/spyware protection off. You must then rejoice that you backed up your files the other day and then proceed to restore your computer to its factory settings. Good thing I remember all of my passwords. I think I am going to get him his own computer that he can screw up however he pleases, at least then he can "fix" it however he wants. Oh, the things we do when in love...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Bye Bye Freddy

I realized something today. Anna has a great love of books. No, not of reading them but of picking some of her sister's favorite ones and tearing them up while I am not looking. I guess I'll have to reorder "Freddy Works Out" because as you can see, Freddy no longer has any feet.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Public Service Announcement

Just a reminder to hug your kids and count your blessings. We had a 45 year old patient die yesterday from metastatic breast cancer and she left behind a 9 year old daughter. My sister diagnosed a 17 year old kid with a huge brain tumor who probably will not survive. I realized there is no room in my life for whining or griping. I am alive, my children are alive, I have a home, I have a job, and I am loved. What more does one need? God is good to me. Please get your mammograms when you are supposed to and don't forget that life is short so live it to its fullest!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Great Start

I really had hoped 2009 was going to be filled with health for this family. Oh, I was so very wrong. Carly has had some nasty cough for awhile now but Anna finally got it and it was way worse on her. I ended up in the ER with her and she was scaring the crap out me. She just kept going limp and was so lethargic. She didn't fight the blood draws which is so not typical for her. She ended up with a shot of antibiotics and going home with more antibiotics. Then i had to take her back to the doctor again yesterday because she was getting so dehydrated. Every time she tried to drink anything she started choking and then vomiting. She had lost 1 lb over a couple of days and when you look at how little she is anyway she doesn't really have a pound to lose. To hospitalize or not.... That was the question. The Dr. decided to let me try at home for one more day. Luckily she turned the corner last night and started drinking and not choking and is much better today. She is still snotty and whiny but I'll take it. The other day you couldn't make her whine. She slept for all but 1 hour of the day and that was just when we woke her up to medicate her. Carly is still hacking quite a bit but swears she feels OK. She knows if she says she doesn't feel OK she can't go play. Enough about that... Our TV bit the dust and we finally entered this century and bought a flat screen. The picture is so much better!! Kenneth is disassembling the old TV as I type- not to try and fix it but just because he loves to take stuff apart- good thing it doesn't need to go back together!! Anna has a screwdriver and is "helping", I'm sure Carly will be in here to help in no time. Work has been busy and we have had some people who are way too young to be as sick as they are. The scary part is that despite all of the testing there is still no clear cut answer as to what happened. I hear coughing and gagging, I must go now...