Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Sorry about this rant, but it needs to be said

     I'm not a nurse because I'm not smart enough to go to med school. I'm not a nurse because I wanted an easy job. I'm not a nurse because I couldn't find something else to do with my life.  I'm a nurse because I love taking care of patients. I love almost every aspect of my job.  I love the fact that I can save your life. I know I can't do it alone,  but I know what to do and what needs to be done in many critical situations.
      Nurses take crap from everyone (and I'm not just talking code brown).  Nurses are disrespected by their patients,  patient's families, hospital administration, other nurses and worst of all, doctors.
     I promise that I didn't call you at 3am because I thought it'd be nice to talk to you. I called you because something is going on with our patient and you need to know and to give me orders to fix it.  You went to medical school, you wanted to be the doctor, you get paid to take my call in the middle of the night. Oh, you are sleeping?  I'm sorry. I'm at the hospital actually keeping the patient alive.
      I work in a very stressful unit. My patients are all in critical condition and I've had to go with them into the OR many times to save their lives. I work with an amazing surgeon. He is highly talented and has great outcomes even on his very sick patients. We all respect him.  I've rarely heard our nurses talk bad about him. But he has crossed the line of acceptable behavior. He has begun to talk to us like we are idiots. He is rude and condescending to me in front of my coworkers.  I accept a lot of crap because I love my job, but I'm thisclose to quitting my job because of him. It's crazy.
     In the last year, we have lost our float pay and our call back pay, we have spent many weeks only getting part time hours (and we don't get paid if we aren't there), they have made it much harder to get raises or bonuses and have remodeled out unit and removed our break room and 50% of our space. We have stayed loyal. But this is pushing me to my breaking point. I'm not cocky or conceited,  but I'm a good nurse with many years taking care of critically ill people. And the way he talked to me today,  Christmas day, made me want to quit my job. 
     Please, if you get nothing out of my rant, please treat your nurses nice. We are here to help you or your family heal. If we are late with something,  it's not cause we didn't think it was important. It just might mean that something or someone else pulled us in a different direction and that may have had a higher priority. I've gone 13 hours without food, water or a bathroom break because I'm taking care of someone that can't take care of himself.  Gifts,  flowers, food aren't necessary in respecting your nurse, but a please, thank you and a smile or joke always makes my day go a little easier.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Life is good and bad but at least i don't have her attitude...

     Life is good.  No, seriously, life is good.  For once, there is no sarcasm.  Yes, I'm still stressed out.  Yes, I don't have all the answers to my questions.  And, no, the puzzle pieces aren't suddenly deciding to fall into place.  But LIFE IS GOOD. 
     I have a job that I love.  No, it isn't perfect.  I don't always get to work and I am too stressed about things out of my control.  But I have a job and I do really love it.
     I have 3 beautiful girls.  They are sweet, smart, well behaved, caring little girls.  Granted, custody is always an issue and I'll have to deal with their dad for the rest of their lives.  But they are still mine and they are safe, happy and healthy.
     I have an awesome guy.  He cares about me and the girls and he is willing to do anything for us.  He is amazing, handsome and does the little things to make me smile.  Yes, we have had our share of issues, but we love each other and we have a great relationship that was made stronger by fighting through the issues together.  And he's the type of guy that won't let me give up.  He fights for us and reminds me that things are worth fighting for.
     I have a house, a car and a dog.  I have friends that would do anything for me and vise versa.  I have a church family that is growing every day.  I live in a state where I can go hiking in December and complain about the heat. I am healthy, strong and intelligent.  And I didn't cave and buy an elf!  Life is good.

     I watch the people I love struggle all the time.  People out of work, people battling addictions and other demons, people that have children or family members that are sick and dying, people who have lost faith in everything.  I have never told any one to look at the positives in their life.  Honestly, any time that anyone has told me that, I have wanted to slap them.  But I will admit to looking at all the bad that is going on and reminding myself that life is good.   
   There are so many people that look for drama and try to find something to complain about.  (Yes, I do that too sometimes, but I am aware of it now and really try hard not to do that any more.)   I honestly wonder if they could ever be happy.  If you want to see things as terrible, if you want to believe that the world is out to get you, can you ever find happiness?  I want to tell one of my friends that for every horrible, awful thing that you see as part of your life,  take a look around at all the situations that surround you and see if they really are that horrible.  Maybe after a few days she'll change her mind and decide that the world is not out to get her.  But maybe she will never see things as good.  But at least I can still use her to remind myself that life is good.  And if one day everything does decide to fall apart around me, at least I don't have that crappy attitude.

     Friday, something unbelievably horrible happened.  Something that has happened all too often lately.  I am still struggling not to cry when I think about it.  But it feels as though some people are already blowing it off.  Turning it into a political battle about gun control and other issues.  I honestly wonder if the sheer number of tragedies have numbed some people.  Maybe the more that occur, the more commonplace it becomes for them and the less it hurts?  The more it gives them a reason to think that they have answers to it all?  I want to distance myself from my facebook account more the last few days than I did over the election.  Arguing with your friends or friends of your friends isn't going to fix the problem.  Legalizing or banning guns isn't going to fix it.  There has to be a way to find a root of the problem.  Is it a mental health issue?  Is it a numbness to violence that we have created?  Is it the total lack of religious beliefs? Is it this parenting style that seems so prevalent, where people don't discipline their kids and the kids want for nothing?  Is it a cry for attention?  Let me kill people because that's the only way I'll be known for anything?  I want my children to be well balanced functioning adults when they reach that age.  But more importantly, I want them to reach that age.  It's a scary time in our world and I hope some way, some how we can come together and find a solution.

   Sorry if this seems disjointed, but if you know me, you know that my thoughts can be disjointed at times and these all seemed to link together in my head...

Friday, December 7, 2012

Jingle Bell Run causes nightmares...

     It is the eve of my first 5K with 3 little girls.  I'm scared to death.  Not cause of the 3 miles, that I'm ok with.  It's the 3.1 miles with 3 little girls.  In our training, they have actually ran farther than that.  But they haven't done it knowing just how far they are running.
     I love my little girls.  Let me just say that in case anything else I write tonight makes you think otherwise.  They are sweet, funny, silly, beautiful, amazing little creatures that I am still not quite sure that God didn't mix it up somehow and give me someone else's kids.  But they are DRAMA queens.  Look at them funny and you can make them cry.  They have the feet stomping, nasty glare, teenage attitude down and they are 6, 6 and 9.
     S whined so much for the 1st minute of one run that I told her to just go home.  K makes this noise somewhere between and moan, whine, cry and grunt that is worse than nails on a chalkboard and she can do it for 20 minutes without stopping.   And poor A...  That kid falls down almost every run.  She definitely has her mother's grace.  I finally decided that maybe running with their iPods wouldn't be a bad thing.  A's fell out 2 minutes in and she cried for the following 5 minutes.
     So this race...  They are planning on 3000 runners for the 5K.  We are doing about an 11 min mile (they can actually run a sub 10 min mile but I'm saying 11 for the race).  That's about 35 minutes of dodging race traffic, trying to not lose anyone, dealing with people that can't run faster than them but can't handle being passed by 6 y/o's, attempting to run a decent pace, trying not to lose anyone (yes, I know it's already on the list),  and really truly hoping that there are no meltdowns in public.  Not by them, mind you.  I know they are going to cry about something.  By me.  I can't always handle all the drama and some times I snap.  But tomorrow night I won't be able to send anyone home and I won't be giving them their iPods (can't risk losing them on the course).  Oh, and 3.1 miles of jingle bells is bound to get on anyone's nerves, it's not just me, RIGHT???
     In all honesty, they are doing great with the whole running thing.  I kind of pushed them into it.  They needed an activity and no one was motivated to do anything and I wasn't paying hundreds of dollars for them to want to quit 2 weeks in or for their father to not take them.  I convinced them that running club would be fun.  "We can all go together," I said,  "we can find some fun runs that we can do.   You guys can run my big beach race with me."  They've trained regularly this entire 8 weeks.  They wouldn't run 5 straight minutes when we started and they can now do 20+ minutes without complaining or walking.
    Why can't I sleep then???  I am a crazy perfectionist.  I want tomorrow to be awesome and I think that my fears that it won't be are keeping me up.  I'm worried about finding the place, parking, finding the team, not losing anyone, and that they will actually like this.  I have enjoyed running club so much and I really hope that after tomorrows race, I will have 3 long term training partners... Fingers crossed.  See you at the finish line!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Are you up for a challenge?

     Look, I get it, life is stressful. I'm a mom. That's constant stress.  I'm a nurse in a unit that only has critical patients. That's stressful. But I really think that there out to be more fun in a day.  I'd give up an hour of sleep if I could trade that for nothing but fun.
     So, what's fun for me???
  • Anything with my friends or J.  I love being around people.  I may be incredibly shy (no, really) but once I know you, you will see my crazy side.
  • Taking the boy (aka the dog, moose) to play.  Jacksonville has a wonderful doggie country club type dog park.
  • Going to the beach.  Doesn't matter the weather or if I'm alone or with people.  The ocean calms me, always.
  • Theme Parks with the girls.  Yes, I am insane, but watching the girls faces light up at the parks is amazing.  Tell me that face doesn't make you smile even a little...
  • A good meal with people I love.  I love to find new restaurants and to have a night out.  I love to try new recipes too.
  • Dancing to music I like, out with people or even alone in the living room.  Playing on the wii or just random nonsense in the kitchen.
  • Live music.  I once got to see BB King live.  Was amazing.
  • Bathtub, glass of wine, good book.
  • Couch, movie, head on J's chest.
     There are 100's more, but those are the biggest.  I spend way too much time in my head worrying about all the what-if's.  I need to find a way to stop that and spend time having fun.  Honestly, is it a big deal if the girls' room ALWAYS looks like a hurricane hit it?  Does worrying about anything actually change it or does it just waste time?  Is there a way to break the bad habits and make time for more fun???
   My challenge to myself is to try to let all those minor things go and make fun a priority.  Show the girls more of what's important in life.  I am good at teaching them healthy habits, the importance of manners, why we exercise, and that too much electronic time is bad, BUT maybe I need to teach them that getting rid of stress is a good thing too.  Make time after running club to take the boy to the dog park (not the country club, we only have 4 cheap visits left and I'm not paying $300+ for a dog park membership).  Go have  a picnic on the beach after homework is done.  Wander downtown St Auggie and enjoy the lights.  Find a new recipe every week and have fun cooking together.  Just be silly.
     What should your challenge be?  What helps you de-stress?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

NFL ortho surgeon/sideline reporter/novelist???

     Let me share a secret with you.  I have always had a secret dream of being a writer.  I really want to be able to sit down and write a smart, funny novel for women.  Truth be told, I am terrified to even start.  The only reason I can write on here is cause I have only given this website to 2 of you that I trust to tell me if it sucks.  Anyone else reading this must have just found it somehow.
     I LOVE to read.  I can read sit and enjoy reading just about anything.  Nonfiction, chick-lit, mysteries, anything, really... I think that is part of the reason that I want to write.  I have never told anyone that I want to write though.  I am a perfectionist.  I judge any and everything I do very harshly.  I have started writing at least 5 times and have deleted every word.
    There's this blog that I read.  The first blog that I have ever followed.  I only found her because she is my boyfriend's cousin's new bride.  Follow that?  Good.  She is an amazing writer.  I have laughed out loud every time that I have read her blog.  Reading her blog gave me inspiration to start writing this one.  Not that I think that I could do it better than her, not even a little.  Just that if I can enjoy reading hers, maybe, just maybe I can start my own and people will like it.
     Writing this gives me a release that I never thought I needed.  I feel better writing. I'm still scared to show anyone and I think that I'd ve very self-conscious if anyone else knew that I was writing,  but who knows... maybe, just maybe, it'll help me start that dream novel.

This is the day of Court, so suck it... Or maybe not

Why is it that some people constantly make you feel used? Sometimes, I think that it's just me and sometimes I wonder if it has to be something more. Do we let people use us, or is it that we feel used because we are willing to do so much?
I have a friend that believes the entire world revolves around her. Everything good that happens is because of something she has done and everything bad means that someone is trying to screw her over. There are days like today when I wonder how much of that is in me. Do I just not see that I am acting selfish? Is asking this favor selfish? Is writing this blog and hoping someone reads it selfish?
We expect a certain degree of selfishness from children. All they know, and up until a certain age all they should know, is that they are the center of their parents world. I truly believe that that is how it should be. My children should know that they come first in my life. BUT, and a big butt it is too (if you know me you know I'm not lacking in the behind area and I like to joke on that kinda often), my children should also know that I have a life outside of them. They can be first, but I'm a very close second. If my children don't see me ever putting myself first, I think that I am doing them a disservice. They need to know that there are other people in the world and sometimes they aren't going to get the attention that they want. Yes, we can do A and B, but nope, we aren't doing C because I would rather do D.
But man, I am feeling super selfish tonight. I don't know if it's the holidays, the fact that work is insane, dealing with the ex, or just that fact that I'm sick of doing favors for others that seem to be expected and not appreciated, but I want it to be about me today. I want to get off work early. I want to sleep until I feel like waking up. I want to get the kids and make them help me finish cleaning the house. And then I want them to go to bed so I can watch a crappy movie and drink some wine. I want the world to revolve around me and for me to just take what I want. Screw it, if I make someone feel used. It's my day.
Yeah well, fortunately or unfortunately, that's just not me. Maybe tomorrow...?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tuberculousis has hit my house....

        Either that or my kids still have reactive airways and any kind of sinus drainage or any virus that goes around makes them cough.  But seriously, if you walked into my house right now, you'd prolly run away and bath in Purell.   The joy of attempting to co-parent with an ex means that my many years of medical experience, plus the advice of their doctors means nothing.  I was told that I HAVE to go get another opinion.  Oh, really???  I'm thinking that you don't have that power.  I know what is going on, and I know that the doctors know what is going on. Please go away now.
       This cough though... When they are in bed, you would think that they are going to cough a piece of their lungs right out.  The way I know that they aren't actually feeling bad:  they continue to do the daily runs (we are part of the elementary school running club and are currently training for a 5K, story to follow later), they play and laugh and run around like wild animals, but any time they have to do something the don't like they start coughing.
         My big problem with their coughing is that 99% of the time, they aren't 'sick', they aren't contagious and yet I get 3-5 phone calls a week from the school nurse.  I think she's knowledgeable.  I think that she is just trying to follow protocol.  BUT seriously lady, unless my kid is actually sick and needs to leave school, quit interrupting my sleep.  I work nights.  I sleep while the girls are at school.  If they are sick and need to come home, I have no problem bringing them home.  BUT don't call me cause they are coughing.  Let them have cough drops without a note from the  doctor because it'll cost me $40/kid to see the doctor to get the stupid note and they AREN'T SICK.
        This last week was the worst.  The teacher not only told my child that she got her sick, but sent her to the nurse because she was being a nuisance.  The nurse called me and told me to take her to the doctor.  Hey, guess what lady?  I did that last week and SHE'S NOT SICK.  I was on the way to my yearly check up that takes me 2 months in advance to schedule.  I told them that no, I'm not coming right now.  She only wants to come home because you made her feel bad (as in guilty, not sick).  I'll be there when I get there.  And of course, I get her home and she's fine.  She's running around like a crazy person and playing.
        Don't get me wrong, I understand the need for keeping sick people home, not only to heal, but to not spread the wealth.  But please don't tell me what to do with my own children.  If my child is actually sick, she stays home.  If she's not, she needs to be at school.  I am trying hard to teach my children the importance of going to school and being responsible.  Please don't undermine me.  Maybe I should start sending them out in surgical masks...

Friday, November 16, 2012

So there's a boy....

     I met this boy in 1997.  I was a wee freshman in college and he was a junior.  He was only going to be in Florida for a year.  That did not stop me from developing a ginormous crush.  We were both in jazz band.  I was a jazz rookie.  I was always great in band, but I was so out of my league when it came to jazz.  You have to improvise...?  What?  I have to make it up?  I don't have a clue how to do this.  AND I'm sharing music with this really cute guy that is AMAZING at jazz????   You don't know me yet, but I am a perfectionist.  If I'm not great, I don't even want to try. (Well, this is the exception, but I'm trying.)   I was so intimidated.  I was trying to write my improv so that I knew that it would sound good so I could impress him.  Not sure what worked, but he called me...
    J: "Hey kid, whatcha doing?'
    My thoughts "wait, he's calling me, what?  I don't know what to say.  SOMEONE HELP ME"
    Despite my complete awkwardness, we dated.  Well, if you can really call it dating.  We were at a tiny college in the smallest town I've ever been in and there weren't a lot of places to go out.  I never thought he was serious.  I honestly thought he was playing me.  He was being a 20 y/o boy, calling occasionally, just seeing if I want to hang out.  I was being a naive 18 y/o thinking that if he didn't call every day then he must not like me very much.  So I started dating someone else and he moved away.
     That brings us to 2011.  I was in the process of getting divorced and I changed my name on Facebook to reflect that.  The NEXT day I get a friend request.  WOW, it's my crush.  I was dumbfounded.  To this day, I can't believe that he even remembered me, never mind the fact that he was looking me up.  It took about a week, but there we were talking on the phone and texting back and forth.  ALL DAY LONG.  No, seriously, I prolly averaged about 3-4 hours of sleep because we were too busy texting to sleep.  May finally rolls around and he makes it down to visit. 
     And that was that... It's now 18 months later and we are hooked.  Yes, we fight like cats and dogs.  Throw 2 hardheaded Italians in a room and that's going to happen sometimes.  He doesn't actually fight, he just sits and watches ESPN while I stand in front of him and yell.  Doesn't mean he doesn't fight or try to push my buttons, he is just not a yeller like me.  He's screwed up (a bunch, if I am honest) and so have I (prolly a bunch if he's honest).  And yet we just work.  If I listened to my friends, we would have never even gotten off the ground.  Some wanted me to not give him a chance after he had to change plans at the last minute.  Some thought he was an ass.  Others just wanted me to date someone else.  But I have to admit, good times or bad, ups or downs, yelling or hugging, this is the most honest, real relationship I have ever been in.  We have issues, but we both understand that life isn't ever going to be perfect.  We make our perfection in the imperfections.  Nicholas Sparks is much better with words that I am, so I'll use his words:  "There was something about him that spoke only to her, a connection that she had missed in the years they'd been apart.  And she knew on some level that she had been waiting for him, just as he'd been waiting for her."
       Maybe someday, he'll tell me why he looked me up.  Maybe someday we will actually live in the same state.  Maybe someday people will understand that we make each other happy, even when we are making each other crazy.  Maybe someday people will realize that I'm not blind, I see the faults, I just see the good as well.  Maybe someday....

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

At home assignment? Otherwise known as homework for mom...

           So I have twin 6 y/o girls.  I decided that it would be a good idea to separate them for K and 1st grades.  While this was great in teaching them a little independence, it also means that they have 2 sets of friends, 2 teachers and 2 different homework assignments...  Well, not really 2 different assignments, just assignments on different days.  I don't mind homework.  I don't mind studying for spelling tests.  I don't mind websites that help them practice things that they are supposed to be learning.  But I hate at home assignments.  Wait, that's not strong enough. 
                                        I HATE AT HOME ASSIGNMENTS! 
            These aren't projects for the kids.  These are projects for mom.  If either of my 6 y/o's did this projects themselves, not only would they cry at home, they would cry at school because everyone else's projects look so much better than theirs.  NO.  I'm not exaggerating.  My oldest child did her own hat for the 100 day of school hat parade in kindergarten.  I emphatically told her that this was her homework, not mine and that I would buy her whatever she needed to do it, but I would not do it for her.  She worked on it, and she loved it...  UNTIL she saw the 17 other hats done by the mom's and realized that not only did hers not measure up, it didn't even come close.  I stood my ground and tried to explain to her that she should be proud of her work, but her 5 y/o mind just saw that theirs were fancier and much prettier.  She cried for the rest of the afternoon.
              This time around, I didn't have the energy for the meltdowns (I'm now a single mom and don't have time for the little battles).  I still told them that they would choose what they wanted, they would pick out their supplies and they would make it themselves.  Again, it's not my homework.  Oh how the strong crumble.  One little meltdown somehow has me cutting, pasting, drawing and taping whatever they need because it's just easier.  Well, until it's not.
               Project of the month: disguise the turkey.  They get a piece of white construction paper with a naked turkey form and they have to decide what the turkey should dress up as to disguise it so that it won't get eaten.  Anyone else see this as a jumping off point for a child to become vegan????  Fortunately my kids all know where there food comes from and it hasn't stopped anyone from eating it yet.  A. decides that she is going to dress her turkey up as me.  Ummm, WHAT???  Ok, I guess that should be flattering.  I'm hoping that she doesn't think that naked turkey form looks like me though.  M. decides that hers should be a skeleton.  Good luck coming up with that story kid.  But I'm not going to challenge her.  This is her assignment.
              Off to my favorite place in the whole wide world: the craft store.  What, you can't hear the sarcasm?  Oh, well.  Maybe I'll find the sarcasm button before my next post.  Fortunately, we find the supplies we need and are out in under 20 minutes.  And my head didn't explode.  No really, those stores scare me and my head exploding is a legitimate fear.  Home we go.  They clear the table with only 1 minor meltdown and it's time to start. 
            A: "Mommmmmmmy, I can't cut it out.  You need to cut it out for me"
            Me: "Wow, is that how you ask me to do anything???"
            M: "Mommy, will you please cut mine out for me?"
            A: "But I asked first."
            M: "But I used manners."
Seriously, can I just go to bed?  I have to work tonight and I don't have the energy for this argument...
           Me: "Why do we need to cut them out?  Can't we just decorate them on the paper?"
Stupid question.  Of course they have to be cut out and of course it wasn't on either of the papers explaining the assignment.  We went through this last month with the storybook pumpkins.  That were a week apart.  That required 2 different characters and 2 different books, blah blah blah...
           I cut them out.  M starts crying because she doesn't know how to make a skeleton.  A starts complaining because she doesn't know how to make jeans.  As you can imagine, I get to cut out jeans and a shirt now.  I tell M to color the turkey black.  "But mommy..."  No, seriously kid, color it black or else....  "Mommy, I can't color the shirt" "Mommy, S has the sharpie" and on and on.  I cut the jeans and shirt, I glue the jeans and shirt, I color the shirt, I start to add hair, and then I remember that IT'S NOT MY HOMEWORK!  I show A how to finish the hair.  M has finished coloring and I show her how to make bones out of pipe cleaners (always making great use of my medical background).  And then the crying starts.  "It isn't perfect."   "I can't do it."  At this point I really want to just do it myself.  I don't know if my little help made it worse, or just left me more impatient, but I can't take it.  I start the 'nobody is perfect except God' speech and then I decide we all need a break.

 Go change clothes girls, let's go for a run....