Friday, May 22, 2009

Pulling One Off In May!!

Did you know that May is National Masturbation Month? I'm sure I did in my subconscious somewhere, but somehow forgot. I know, I'm a terrible person.

But we do have a week left, so not all is completely lost.

I know what you are thinking: masturbation is bad. It will cause hair to grow in your palms. It will cause you to go blind. It will keep you in your mother's basement and reduce you to maintaining a blog featuring scantily clad women.

All myths! Okay, maybe except that last one.

All the taboos aside, masturbation is not bad for you, and will not land you in hell. It has many benefits:

For men:
— Strengthens the immune system
— Building his resistance to prostate gland infection
— Makes for a healthier prostate
— It cleans the plumbing.

For women:
— Building her resistance to yeast infections.
— Combating pre-menstrual tension and other physical conditions associated with their menstrual cycles, like cramps.
— Relieving painful menstruation by increasing blood flow to the pelvic region. This will also reduce pelvic cramping and related backaches.
— Relieving chronic back pain and increasing her threshold for pain.

For Both:
— The safest kind of sex, keeping you free of sexually transmitted infections.
— A great form of stress relief.
— A mood booster in releasing endorphins.
— A natural sleep sedative.
— A mechanism for building stronger pelvic floor muscles, which can lead to better sex.
— A natural energetic pick-me-up.
— Decreases blood pressure.
— It increases self-knowledge. If you don't know how to get yourself off, how can you expect your partner to always know how to do it?

Because it is a National Month, it is your patriotic duty to do yourself a big favor.

Hop to it!! Your nurse and Passion Parties Consultant says so!!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Surviving Nursing School: Your First Patient

After mountains of prerequisites and enduring a waiting period of two-years because every other Tom, Dick, and Harry want to be nurses, you finally got into nursing school.

Hooray. For. You.

You get your list of crap you need for school...books, charts, other books to tell you how to read the nursing books that are written in some dead language, but you really get excited about the list of stuff you will need for clinicals. Clinicals!! It is the opportunity to get out there and get your feet wet. You get to show off those new skills you learned in skills lab on a practice dummy that can't tell you what an idiot you are for putting it in the wrong hole. This is your time to shine! You'll be so good at it, the nursing instructors will have no choice but to pass you after your first day, and recommend that you take your boards immediately!

Usually, you start out slow. You get one patient to take care of for a clinical day, which generally lasts 8 hours, but actually breaks down into 4 hours when you subtract lunch...and conference with your instructor before and after your "clinical day" where you dissect everything you managed to fuck up without actually killing the patient. The day before "clinical day", you go to the "clinical site"...which is just a fancy way of saying hospital or nursing home, to get information on that one patient that will be your charge for a total of 4 hours.

So, you get dressed up in your smart business wear, because you have to look professional when you go to piss off the nurses by stealing their charts to pour over for 3 straight hours, writing down all the information that is pertinent: diagnosis, past medical history, current orders, old orders, procedures, medications. If you're patient is relatively new, you struck gold. If your patient has been there since the invention of the foley catheter, you probably pissed off your instructor at some point, and this is their retribution.

Armed with your mountains of notes, you go home and spend the remainder of the evening writing up care plans, and small essays defining the diagnosis of your patient, and researching every little medication the patient takes, right down to the medicated pad they use for their hemorrhoids. And when you are done, you have just enough time for a 2 hour nap, get up, get dressed in your snappy nursing school uniform, and report for clinicals...usually stopping at Starbucks on the way to pick up the strongest drink they make.

(I blame nursing school for my caffeine addiction.)

Most nursing programs start their students out in nursing homes before exposing them to the cutthroat world of hospitals. You go, get your standard little, blue-haired lady. You give her scheduled medications. You give her a bath. You do an assessment. You chart about the whole experience. You spend the day talking to her and have her brag to you about her grandchildren, (or sometimes you get to hear them complain about their horrible children who put them in the home and never come to visit). You go home feeling good about the new career you have chosen for yourself because you get to help people. A relatively easy and positive experience.

Yeah, too bad that didn't happen to me.

I got my patient assignment, and made a beeline for the facility after class because I was an excited, young nursing student. I asked the nurse for the chart of my patient, and I could have swore she smirked at me. Whatever! I sequestered myself to the staff break room and furiously wrote down everything, right down to the last time the patient pooped. As I wrote down the history, I gave pause to the phrase "morbid obesity".

Webster's Dictionary defines morbid as "grisly" or "gruesome". Apparently, there's Garden Variety Fat, and there's Stephen King Fat. My patient being the latter.

After my copious note-taking, I went to my patient's room. It was customary to introduce yourself to your patient, as the student nurse who would be taking care of them the following day. Maybe this served as a warning to the patient that they had approximately 12 hours to try to hurl themselves down a stairwell, or find some other means to get themselves transferred to another facility, hospital, or mortuary.

I knocked softly and entered the room. All the doctor's notes in the world could not have prepared me for what waited on the other side fo the door.

If Jabba the Hut and a troll doll were to make mad, passionate, love and out of that forbidden love created a child, that child would have been my very first patient in nursing school. For there, in a bed that could have easily supported the weight of a Chevy Silverado, lay my patient. All 700lbs of her. And crowning the top of her head was the hair in an eye-catching shade of hot pink. It was standing straight up, just like a troll doll.

After an internal struggle to keep my shocked and mortified expression in check, I talked with her for ten minutes. As I drove home, I tried to figure out just what I did that curried the anger of my clinical instructor. Not even two weeks in, and I was already pissing people off.

The next day, I show up, Starbucks in hand. I'm told I need to give my patient a bath, as in get her out of bed and into the shower. I blanch. This requires the work of ten nursing students, using a hoyer lift. We wheel my patient into the shower and proceed to hose her down, all coming out equally drenched. We find out later that the patient hadn't seen the shower room since the previous semester when nursing students invaded the facility, and that this patient had just been getting bed baths up until now.

But on a positive note, I found the remote control she had been missing for a few days.

Somehow, I managed to survive the day. While I never had to have Jabba the Troll back, my other classmates did get their turns...and clinical days were much of the same: hoyer lift, shower, the twist being the item we would find nestled in her, ahem, folds. Sometimes it was food. Sometimes it was a comb. Other times it was something we couldn't readily identify.

The charming, blue haired lady with delightful tales of her grandchildren? I never got to take care of her. Instead, I get the frosty old bat who complained about her hemorrhoids all the time. The mentally retarded patient that ate his boogers. The senile old man that pinched my boob and left a big, bruise. And the lady with Alzheimer's that pulled me into the bathtub with her during that fleeting minute I turned my attention away.

And such was my first semester of clinicals in nursing school.

Nursing 101...welcome to it.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Within An Inch from Death

I finally got my family trained. They know that when I work a stretch of 2 days or more, I am not to be disturbed during the day because I am sleeping. During that time, I value sleeping more than I value life itself, so unless you've had a limb severed, don't call me. On second thought, just wrap a towel around your bloody stump, put your severed limb in a plastic bag and call an ambulance. Call me when you get out of surgery, and pray to God that I'm not sleeping at the time you call.

So today, I was sleeping soundly, until the doorbell rang. With the ringing of the doorbell, Sam goes apeshit. I have no choice but to get out of bed. I throw on my robe, and stumble down the stairs in a half-awake stupor thinking it's Monday.

On my porch was a young guy, maybe in his early twenties. He announces that he just moved into the area, and is going around meeting all the neighbors. I grunt in reply.

He then begins his well-rehearsed speech on magazine sales. Something, something about winning enough points to go on a trip.

"If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?" he asks eagerly.

Seriously? Are we really going to do this?? Did he not notice that I obviously just came out of a coma???

"Back to bed." I replied sourly.

He laughs. Then he begins talking again. A normal person would assess the situation, understand that this is obviously a bad time to be peddling magazines, and excuse himself. A person with survival instincts would know that he was ten seconds from having his head ripped off his body and fed to a small, bushy, white dog, and run away. Not this kid.

Slowly, my brain starts working and I come to understand many things all at once.

First, red flags go off because I've heard reports of scam artists going door-to-door, selling magazines that you will pay too much for, and never receive one issue of.

Second, it's Sunday. Who the hell does this pinhead think he is, coming to my house to "sell" me overpriced magazines on a Sunday?

Third, it's 3pm. My alarm is set to go off at 4pm. Meaning that I stand no chance of falling back asleep once I ditch the assclown. So, not only has this fucker woke me up to try to get me to buy a fake magazine subscription, he has cheated me out of an hour of sleep.

That's grounds for castration.

I tell him I'm not interested. He's apparently deaf, too, because he just drones on, asking me what my favorite magazine is.

I just glare at him. Undeterred, he asks the question again.

I respond by slamming the door in his face. Dickhead.

I tried to get my hour of sleep back. I failed miserably.

I need to find one of those signs that says, "No Soliciting" to hang on my front door. Do those really help? Last week, some pinhead came and tried to sell me a home security system. This week it's magazines. Because they come in threes, I fully expect the Jehovah's Witnesses to make and appearance before the end of the month.

So You Want to Be a Nurse?

With the harsh economic climate, and many people losing their jobs, some are turning to that one vocation that seems to withstand the test of time...Nursing. While most people would love to have the income and prestige of a doctor, they don't want to spend half their adult lives going through the training to become one. Not to mention the $300K debt you amass by the time you make your first premium payment for malpractice insurance. So, what's an unemployed MBA to do?

Nursing school. It's shorter, cheaper, and apparently any pinhead can do it, right? I mean, how hard can it be???


I've decided to start a new series, one that reflects upon my past experiences on my journey to become a member in one of the oldest professions. Not that one, the other one. No, not that one either...the other one. Sheesh!

And if I run out of experiences, or that mental block won't let me remember them, I have oodles of resources I can go to. Each nurse has a story to tell from their wide-eyed, idealistic, student nurse days. Some are funny. Some are mortifying (and yet still funny). And some are just downright sad.

And if these experiences can touch just one aspiring nurse, helping them see the light and run screaming into the lucrative field of dental hygiene, then my work is done here.

But mostly, I figured that if you could read about the hell that we go through to become that shining beacon. That angel of mercy that empties your bedpan and sticks his/her fingers into places that normal people dare not tread...

...then maybe you'll quit being assholes to us and stop treating us like your own personal bitch.

Coming soon...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Going Into the Weekend Blather

Brother and Co. had an ultrasound to find out what flavor they were having. Brother was convinced it was a boy. Mom-to-be had aspirations for a girl. My mother was just hoping it wasn't a lizard.

At some point, Brother must have been a little shit, because come October, little Caylee Marie will be making her grand appearance in a parade of pink bows and lace. Everyone is excited, and I have another family member I get to give drum lessons to when they are older.

Sadly, I'm having computer woes. The dumb thing won't connect to the internet. No internet in Casa de Blather is like a day without sunshine. At some point, I'll probably have to talk to some guy in India named "Bill" and have him troubleshoot my problem. Those phone calls are always full of fun and excitement, and it's almost a contest to see how fast it takes them to piss me off because I don't understand a word of what they are saying.

On a happier note, Brother has found a buyer for Oprah, and I should see her removed from my driveway by the end of the month. I know it's driving the neighbor lady across the street batty and she routinely sends her daughter over on her bicycle to covertly check out the plates. Yes, they are expired.

Kansas City Corporate Challenge is in full swing. Mom's company was nice enough to volunteer her for shot put, which is funny because she has never thrown one. Perhaps they did it because she bowls, and they figure that all 8lbs balls are the same, it's just how you throw them that's different. I used to throw in my high school days, and I think I did well...I'm not sure because it's been a long time ago, and I've tried to forget everything about my high school days.

At any rate, we went to the gym and tossed a medicine ball just so she could get an idea of what it felt like chucking an 8 lb ball overhanded instead of underhanded. She could throw it 6 feet. I made an attempt and lobbed the damn thing across the aerobics room and almost knocked Mother on her ass. Pushing and pulling 400+lb patients may have some advantages. I'll either do really well in my event, or I'll drop the shot put on my foot and break a couple toes.

Go big, or go home.

Lately, I've been re-evaluating my job happiness, and noted that I really don't have any. It kicks my morale in the nuts...the politics and drama of the floor I work on. Not to mention seeing the same patient faces...over and over and over. Not getting any better, or getting better long enough to leave the hospital and be gone for a week or two, only to turn around and have to come back with the same problem. I don't know how Toph can stand working in the ER, where you can almost set your watch by the visits of their most frequent flyers.

So, I'm going to get my resume in order, maybe put it out there and see what kind of nibbles I get. Bosshole would never let me go part time, or even on an "as needed" basis. So, I would probably have to go transfer to the float pool, and cut back there, if only to stay on long enough to be fully vested in my retirement plan, which is now worth ten dollars and change.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

GB Goes to a Wedding

I recently went to a wedding for a friend I work with. They had been dating forever, and decided to pull the trigger and make things legit. Instead of doing the big, blown-up event, they decided to do things their way. They held it in an old movie theater.

It was an evening wedding, and I'm a firm believer in dressing for the occasion. I had planned on wearing one of the dresses I bought for cruising, until I talked to Indy. He was also going to the wedding.

"You'll be overdressed," he said. "I've met her family."

But it was an evening wedding, and unless it was going to be held at a Waffle House (be sure to check out the slide show), I would dress up. At one point, I had asked the bride-to-be about the dress, and she confirmed it was evening dress, and that everybody would be all decked out.

However, Indy's words dinged around in my head and I opted for a pair of flowy dress pants and a dressy halter top. While not to-the-nines, I still could hold my own at an evening party elsewhere. It was still dressy.

So, we get there, parking is a bitch, but we find a place in front of some dry cleaning business. Indy dressed in khakis and a button down shirt. Snappy dresser, he is.

We go inside, and I spot women in sundresses and skirts. Dress pants and blouses. We go inside the main area, and Indy spots a table with some other coworkers, and drags me over to sit. I note that half the room is wearing blue jeans. I start to feel a little awkward.

Then a lady sits down at the next table sporting blue jeans, and a Kanas Jayhawk shirt. I won't discuss the, ahem, fluffy couple wearing sweats.

I almost completely lost my shit.

Like I said, I dress for the occasion, but if there is one thing that I hate, it's being overdressed.

The wedding commences, and the bride is looking all blushing and bride-like. The groom shackles on the ol' ball-n-chain. After the final kiss, the newlyweds walk together to the back of the theater to the bar, where the Bud Light sign illuminates.

Right next to the Slurpee machine.

Indy and I hang out long enough for the first dance and all that crap. Indy participated in the garter toss, but ran away when it wafted in his general direction. I didn't participate in the bouquet toss because I have a strict No-Bouquet-Toss Policy. I have no desire to announce my pathetic old maidness by hopping around with a bunch of other single women looking like baby robins vying for Mom's regurgitated worm.

Besides, it's always the 12 year old girl that catches the damn thing anyway.

A week or so after the wedding, I asked the bride about the dress code of the wedding, which was seemingly observed by those directly involved in the wedding. And, oh yes, that mortified blond lady cowering at one of the tables.

She laughed, citing that was just her family and they don't dress up for hardly anything. Indy was right. I should listen to him more...but don't plan on doing so in the foreseeable future.

And the lady in the Jayhawk t-shirt??

It was her mother.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Gardner Garage Sale Incident of '09

This weekend, Mom and I decided to hot foot it over to Gardner for their annual community garage sale, because what better way can one spend a Saturday than going through other's people's unwanted junk?

For those of you who have never been to the Gardner Garbage Sale, it's big. People from miles around descend upon this Golden Ghetto suburb in hopes of finding hidden, unrealized treasure. It's so popular that driving through town is like going through a gauntlet, and the faint of heart need not bother to show...but they always do.

Mom and I first go to Indy's little subdivision because they seem to have a higher volume of families peddling their wares. We spot a house, and I'm sure anyone who lives in Gardner is aware of this house, that is the most hideous color I've ever seen...and it pains me that I didn't have a camera handy to take a picture. It was a bright blue, with a dark blue trim. It looked like a big, blue crayon. To make it even more fabulous, there was a matching blue Geo Metro in the driveway. Mom made the mistake of joking with a neighbor on how easy it must be to give directions to her house, and the woman went on a 10 minute angry tangent about the blue house from Hell.

Moving onward!

We spot a cluster of garage sales and park the car, walking up to the sale we come to. A couple of women are chattering loudly, and we initially assume they are together, and having a heated discussion about something. The price of someone's used baby stroller, perhaps?

Wrong! Turns out, one woman had parked her truck where the back third of it was blocking the driveway, leaving just enough room for two cars to pull out of the garage and onto the the same time. Angry Homeowner Lady had come hauling ass out of her house, and chased unsuspecting garage saler down the street, berating her for having the audacity of blocking her drive. Angry Homeowner Lady even kicked the side of the truck for emphasis.

That'll show 'em!!

A shouting match ensued in what could described as the most hilarious exchange I've seen in a while.

"It's my private driveway, BITCH!"

"It's a public street, BITCH!"

"So, it's a private drive, BITCH!"




At this point, the guy who owned the house next door, the one we were at, loudly reminds both women that there are children present. Angry Homeowner Lady retreats to her house (to wait for the next schmuck who has the bad luck of being two feet in front of her driveway), and Truck Lady gets in her truck and drives away.

I can see both sides to it, but really, people get into fights over the dumbest shit. If you live in a place that hosts the mother-of-all garage sales, you should not be shocked if someone parks in front of your drive. Most people try to be courteous and not do that, but sometimes, it happens. Secondly, if you really must have your drive clear at all times, put a sign up or something. And third, kicking someones car and shouting profanities in front of your neighbors is going to quickly earn you Crazy Cat Lady title, and you will not be invited to any more neighborhood picnics. In fact, someone is going to leave a flaming sac of dog shit on your porch.

Mom and I stopped by Indy's house, who had also put stuff out for sale. With the amount of crap that boy has in his basement, he could have a sale that would rival Walmart, and would talked about for years to come. However, there was an issue with his garage door malfunctioning, not to mention that he still can't bear to part with any of his crap, he didn't have a huge sale.

Indy is one of those homeowners that is all about things looking nice outside. He likes it when houses have landscaping, and are clean, and are in neat, cookie-cutter order. I remember when he went with me to look at houses, and one house I liked a lot, but he hated it for the simple fact that the neighbor's house was grossly cluttered with toys, lawnmowers, and an old Volkswagen Beetle.

For the past year or so, Indy has been complaining about his new neighbors, which I am guessing upgraded from a trailer park in Gardner, and brought some of their NASCAR-loving family. They immediately put a banged up derby car in the driveway. A trailer on the side of the house, and a huge deck in the front. The kind of decks that are generally built in the back of a house. One room features hot pink curtains you can see from the street, and in a big house with an equally big central AC unit, all the rooms have their own little $98 window AC unit poking out of the windows.

I didn't see a Dale Earnhardt flag. I'm guessing they took it down to be washed.

Obviously, this subdivision is not governed by an HOA.

So while Mom was perusing Indy's garage sale offerings, I was busy laughing my ass off.

You know what they say about Karma...

Monday, May 04, 2009

Monday's Musings

It is Monday, right??

I'm in the middle of my seven-day-off stretch...and it's been magical. I was originally scheduled to work Saturday, but another nurse needed someone to switch shifts with her, and that put me with a week off of no work. AND she still owes me a trade. AND I will collect (or try to) so I can go to my nephew's birthday party.

Anyway, in the time I've been off, I was able to go to the KC Corporate Challenge Kick-Off on Friday. I'm participating in the shot-put event. I have thrown since my high school days. I'd like to think that I could still do well because I'm a lot stronger now than I was then (lugging around 400+lb patients will do that to you), but you never know. I know it's all supposed to be good fun and stuff, but some companies take it WAY too seriously. A friend of mine (who used to work for Hallmark many moons ago) had mentioned that they have hired people in the past for the sole purpose of competing in KCCC. I can't account for the veracity of this, but knowing Hallmark, it wouldn't shock in me in the least. In fact, I wouldn't be at all surprised that other companies engage in the same practices. Like I said, they take it WAY too seriously.

At any rate, the weather perked up for the event, which included a mile walk and a shit load of food. My tent kind of sucked (it's their first year involved in KCCC, so they really didn't know what to plan for), so I hung around Mom's tent. Ran into Chimpo and his little family. Cute little bunch of bananas, they are.

Saturday was the Gardner Community Garage Sale, which deserves a post of it's own.

I've started spreading the dirt around the backyard. My back yard looks like Afghanistan. I have two patches of grass among a field of dirt. It's almost comical to even want to mow my two little patches, but Sam gets lost whenever he ventures into them to do his business and all I can spot is his bushy, white tail wafting in the breeze.

The Rocket Scientist is back for the summer break. I wonder how long it will be before Brother will want to kick him in the nuts.

Today, I'm cleaning the house and getting it ready for my Cinco de Mayo Passion Party. Let me know if you want to come and didn't get an evite. If you have a penis, you won't be getting an evite. Sorry guys, ladies only!

Friday, May 01, 2009

I Have a Towel

Ordinarily, I'd save the funnies for Monday...but this is too good to wait.

This is Emily. I knew her back when she was a college student. Now, she's in California, chasing that dream of fame, fortune, and unsolicited beaver shots from the paparazzi while you're out just getting something from the Pink Taco.

She now owes me a new keyboard...