Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010

Trading Places

I was at HyVee Friday morning because they had a killer sale on ribs (of which they were sold out, but got a rain check), and I was standing by the meat area contemplating my next course of action. All of a sudden, I had a really sharp pulling pain in my lower abdomen. So strong, I doubled over. Had I not been holding on to the cart, I would have face planted on the floor. The guy next to me gave me a strange look, and I just told him I was very traumatized by the fact all the ribs were sold out.

Thus cut short the shopping excursion. I slowly gimped to the checkout, the pain getting worse with each step. Somehow made it to my car, and drove home. A couple calls, some over the counter pain meds, it was finally determined that I needed to go to the ER. The very last place I wanted to go.

I waited until Mother got home from work because she forbade me to drive, and off to ACME Hospital we went. I entered the check in area and was greeted by a heinous smell, the source being a very unwashed looking family sitting in the chairs across from the desk, glaring at the nurses who were obviously overwhelmed by the sheer number of visitors.

You'd think that being a nurse at ACME would sort of grant you special privileges...like speedy service. Not so much. Mom and settled in the waiting room for what would be a four hour wait. Yes, four hours. Just in the waiting room, sitting in their uncomfortable hard chairs. Needless to say, the people watching was top shelf. Various drunks, people with a noticeable limp, crackheads, tweakers, all peppered in with a couple large families...all of whom felt they needed to be seen right away, and would often go to the front desk to tell the nurses such. Ironically enough, a coworker also came in to be seen, and we sat in the waiting room and commiserated together. A handful of people in the waiting room figured out we were staff there, and were appalled by our wait. If they treated their own staff this way, it didn't bode well for John Q. Public. In fact, after a couple heard this, they decided to leave and go to another ER. Sad to tell you this folks, but all emergency rooms operate in the same fashion. They see patients based on need...and the lady with the stroke or the teenager with the gunshot wound is going to jump to the front of the line, despite the fact you've been sitting in the fish bowl for five hours with your scraped knee. Being an employee there carries no weight, it just means the nurses will probably be nicer to you...as you wait half a day to be seen.

Any attempt to go to the desk and inquire on the wait, you were met with open hostility from the staff. They were on the defensive.

Finally, after a pressure sore had developed on my ass for sitting so long, I was called to the back and given a room...where we remained for another 5 hours. Meanwhile, Happy Helperton tries to draw blood, misses his mark, and then just sits there, fishing around my arm with a needle, hoping to get something. Until I tell him that he's done.

The nurse I was assigned to was nice. She mentioned there being a full moon, and the ER was a hot bed of activity. Namely, drunks and drug seekers, which was supposed to explain my long wait in the ER. She makes an attempt to draw labs, and gets it on the first try.

I'm seen by a doctor and her assistant, and they do their little assessment, including the detailed girly parts exam. They don't have a traditional table handy for such things, so I am reduced to having my lower half propped up by a bedpan covered with a pillow case. The doctor, who was also nice, manages to check my tonsils by way of the vagina, and surmises that a sonographer will need to be called in. They only call these guys from home on a weekend unless its emergent.

Meanwhile, my lab work comes back, and I'm not pregnant. This disappoints Mother greatly.

I'm carted up to where ultrasounds are done, and is greeted by some dude who has apparently had too much coffee. They do a traditional ultrasound with jelly on the belly, and I think we're done. Then, Mr. Coffee tells me to go empty my bladder for the next test. I get a sinking feeling.

I don't know if you know what a transvaginal ultrasound is, but in a nutshell...they basically stick something that looks like a vacuum cleaner attachment up your yoo-hoo and take pictures. So, I'm in a dark room with my feet in the air. Mom's in the corner sipping her coffee. There's Mr. Coffee and his Magic Wand of Wonder, and another woman who works for the hospital. Everyone, but me, is looking at the computer screen that shows the seldom seen of Heather's Adventure Kingdom. I'm staring at the ceiling trying to find my Happy Place and go there. Immediately.

Mom: (pointing to the screen) What do all those colors mean?
Me: That's where the magic happens.

The test is finished, and didn't even get so much as dinner out of the deal. I'm shipped back down to the frigid halls of the ER, where I continue to wait. They thankfully provided a boxed lunch, and I made Mother eat the turkey sandwich. Meanwhile, we watch a special on the History channel about gangstas. I start thinking about adopting a gangsta name to pass the time.

Finally, the doctor comes in and tells me I have ovarian cysts. Isn't that fun? And here's some prescriptions and to follow up with my primary doctor. Is there something they can do about the fact that it feels like my ovaries are being pulled out by an uncoordinated 5 year old? Nope. Have a nice day!!

All weekend, I get to deal with this, with the strongest medication given being the Naproxyn that the doc gave me. Currently, I'm waiting for my gyn doctor to call me back. Something tells me that they are going to want to see me a lot sooner than my scheduled routine appointment in August.

June has shaped up to be a spectacular month.

Virus at Casa de Blather

I have decided that there is a special place in hell reserved for those who create computer viruses. If I were to meet a guy, and he told me that he created such programs for a living, I would kick him square in the nuts. The subsequent night in jail would be worth it.

I was going to make some delicious homemade ice cream using my KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment. I froze the bowl, got the ingredients, and set to putting it all together when I realized that I was missing a small, yet very important, piece to the attachment. After looking in drawers and boxes, I could not find the piece, and no ice cream would be made.

What does ice cream have to do with computer viruses? Well, I'm glad you asked!

I went online to see if I could locate a replacement part, and all of a sudden, the computer went apeshit. Pop-up windows everywhere, and something that looked like it may have come from Microsoft stating that my computer was infected more than Paris Hilton's cooter, and by clicking said link and buying their antivirus program, would rid my computer of the offending parasite. A huge red flag was the fact that it said it's corporate offices were based in London.

It compromised every single program. I freaked. It even blocked me trying to run scans, update my security...everything. I cursed the owners of the virus and wished them slow, agonizing, and gruesome deaths.

Thankfully, Mother's computer was working so I was able to google said "helpful program" and found out what I suspected. It was a huge virus called AV Security Suite. Message boards were filled with people who had been in the same boat as me. I followed the instructions of how to take back my computer, and am now happily blogging on a computer that's as clean as a whistle.

So, I still don't have a replacement part for my ice cream maker. I'm a little wary of trying to look online again for another one. Who knows what may happen next? My computer could be infected by a virus that only uploads midget porn.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Nurse Follies: Lazy Is As Lazy Does

I went to nursing school at a community college. I don't regret this decision. It afforded me the opportunity to get my training done in an expedited amount of time, got me out into the workforce quickly, and I didn't finish with tens of thousands of dollars in student loans to pay off. I didn't feel short-changed in my education as the curriculum was challenging. Four years of training crammed into two years of school, with a heavily emphasis on practical stuff. For the most part, no patient cares where I went to school, just that I know what I'm doing and won't kill them. Six years later, I'm looked upon as a mentor, a leader, and a kickass-take names nurse.

In working at ACME Hospital, I get to work with a crap ton of newly-minted nurses with Bachelors degrees. I have noticed the big difference between ADNs and BSNs is life experience. A majority of those who were able to go to a 4-year college were in their 20's, sorority girl types, whose parents had footed the bill for their education. They come out with an adult title and are working their first real "adult job", but still have their foot in the door of the carefree life they enjoyed as a college student. It was a sharp contrast to those who mostly attended two-year degree programs. Usually a little older, some married with kids, some single parents. They were making a career change for various reasons...laid off, tired of working dead-end jobs, answering a higher calling, or just necessity. These were people who had to juggle mortgages, family life, bills, full-time jobs, and all those wonderful things that sets grown-ups apart from those who only can only claim to be grownups in age only. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying one is better than the other. I'm just saying they are different.

My contempt of Bosshole is legend. Now, imagine how that changed when I heard that he told a coworker in an interview that he felt "two-year degree nurses were lazy". Lazy in the respect that they chose the easy way, instead of going to four-year colleges like non-lazy nurses.

Really? REALLY??? This coming from a guy who comes in and holes himself up in his office all day, refuses to help his staff, doesn't stand behind his nurses, yet takes all the credit when we do something good. My floor has the highest turnover in the entire hospital, and he has convinced himself because our floor is stepping stone that nurses utilize until they are ready to move on to bigger, better things. No, nurses leave our unit in droves because you foster zero-loyalty to the floor, instead creating a toxic environment. That, and you suck hard as a manager.

To me, degrees are irrelevant. The best nurse I have ever known was an LPN. Meanwhile, the dumbest nurse I knew happened to have a precious BSN, and committed the most heinous drug error that cost the hospital she worked at millions of dollars, AND the patient subsequently died as a result. But thank God she had that degree!!

To break it down, two-year and four-year nurses receive the same training, but with the latter getting more focus on the leadership aspect, and the former the more-hands on stuff. In the end, both take the same damn test, work on the same damn floor, and make the same damn salary. Only BSNs are supposed to be poised for management positions, which might explain why Bosshole couldn't find his way around a bedpan. ADNs are clinically prepared, BSNs administratively so.

To make the comment of the Bosshole even more epic, the person he said this to happened to have finished her nursing school training from a two-year college, eventually bridging to a Bachelors degree (which leads us to believe that he doesn't read resumes). She called him to task for his poor attitude against "her sort", and he back-pedaled, offering some lame story about a nurse he used to work with who had a two-year degree. Needless to say, the rest of his lazy ADN nurses are aware of his comment, and are currently looking for other floors to transfer to. Who wants to work for a manager who thinks they are lazy??

I don't have attitude against BSNs. I know some really great BSNs who could give two-shits what your degree level is. In fact, when I reveal my lowly degree status, most are surprised. In fact, I am going back to school to get mine. It was the plan all along, as with a lot of those who go the two-year route, only Bosshole fails to realize that. A lot of people use community college as a stepping stone to get into a 4-year college. It's not lazy, it's not stupid. It's practical.

Hell, there are even those who are perfectly fine with an ADN and wish to go no further in their education. It grants them a solid job with a good income to provide for their families. And despite what my arrogant prick manager might think, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

When I am finished with the BSN, I plan on going on for a Masters degree. It is my plan to go retire as a teacher for a nursing program...at a two-year college.

Nurse Follies: The Strike Chronicles

I've always wondered about nurses who go on strike. Not because I want to try it out, but about the anatomy of it. The only things I hear about what they are paying those who cross the picket line to work (scabs). Believe it or not, there is an area devoted entirely to scab nursing. Sure, the money is phenomenal, but at what cost?

Anyway, I've been reading Madness for a while, and their experiences with contract negotiations and subsequent strike has been a fascinating read. If you ever wanted to know the inner workings of a nurse strike, go check it out.

Offering words of support wouldn't hurt either.

It Lives!!

Yesterday, in honor of the technical beginning of summer and all, I thought I would fire up the grill and make ribs. Yes, delicious, juicy, BBQ ribs. There is a method to the madness of making awesome ribs. My mother has it down to a science, to which she has passed along her secrets to me, and to the lucky women who end up with my brothers. Indy has sampled the ribs, and he is now obsessed with them. Not enough to make an honest woman out of me, but if he hears that ribs will be served at Mom's house, he can usually wrangle an invite out of someone.

So, last night, with ribs ready to go, I went out to the grill and tried to light it. No go. Even with a full tank of gas, the damn thing still wouldn't fire up. After much swearing and cursing, I gave up and finished my ribs in the oven. Because there is nothing better than running a hot oven in your house when it's 500 degrees outside.

The ribs were still good, but not the same.

This morning, I toiled, tickled, and cajoled the grill, and finally, I got it to fire up. It's amazing what one can accomplish when you turn the gas tank on.

Let the grilling season commence!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Nurse Follies: Heterosexuality Confirmed

I called Dr. Dum-Dum to notify him that his patient wasn't producing any urine. None. A severe non-compliant diabetic, the kidneys were marking their farewell tour. And headlining the event, was a pretty bad UTI. I even did a preemptive bladder scan that showed that the patient's bladder was drier than Betty White's vagina.

"Put a catheter in," Dr. Dum-Dum suggested. "So we can measure how much urine she makes."

Because residents are new, and sometimes need a little help, I gently explained that the patient was not making any urine, and therefor, would not be any to measure. And introducing a foley would not encourage her to make any. Not to mention it's not a good idea to put a foley in someone who already has a UTI. Dr. Dum-Dum wanted to press forward because even doing a stupid thing is apparently better than doing nothing at all. I followed the phone call by pounding my head on the desk. Not only was this UTI patient in renal failure, she also weighed close to 400lbs.

If that doesn't cap off the shittiest week over, I don't know what does.

Because I believe in sharing the joy, I enlisted our newly minted Unit Coordinator to help. She blanched when I told her what we were doing, and who we were doing it on. Baptism by fire, I always say.

So, we gathered what we needed, said good-bye to our families, and entered the room.

If some random staff member would have walked into the room at the time, the sight that would have greeted them is as follows:

- Bed raised in slanted position with feet on the air. Every single light in the room turned on.
- Four hundred pound patient holding her belly up away from her No-No Area.
- Two RN's, in yellow isolation gowns, glistening with sweat. You can't see where there hands are. You don't know want to find out.
- Short blond RN is scowling, and possibly looking like she's going to bust out into sobs. Foley catheter tube in one hand, she's muttering about not being able to see anything.
- Bad smell permeating the room.
- Unit Coordinator looking bewildered.

By some divine miracle, I got the catheter in. I really couldn't see where it was supposed to go as the No-No Area looked more like the Fantastic Caverns in Springfield. I'm sure if I would have shouted my name into her vagina, it would have echoed back. At the end, I just hoped for the best and that the catheter maybe had some sort of homing device that would find the bladder, which is where it ended up.

The patient did share later that she hadn't had sex in two years.

ARRGGGHHH!!!! Why in the HELL would you tell your nurse something like that? It's not like I needed to know. You're not on a gynecology floor with a bad STD and I want to know your sex history. I, nor the nachos sitting in my stomach, didn't want to know this little gem of information. Later, I was left with the very unsettling feeling that I may have been her two-year drought-buster, for as close and involved as we were with that catheter placement.

Guys like to think that all women fantasize about being with other women. When you deny this, they accuse you of being a liar. It can be safely said that experiences like this, reaffirm my staunch heterosexuality. I'm all about the penis. And only about the penis. And there is not one thing wrong with that.

On a side note, last week can kiss my ass.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fine By Mid-September

I once read something about the time it takes getting over a relationship is about half the lifespan of the relationship itself. Whether this is recommended, or an average, I can't remember. I know people who dated briefly, but the experience left them so devastated, it took a significantly much longer time to get back to their old self. Then, there are some people who are in long-term relationships, and immediately hop back in the dating saddle before the sheets get cold on their bed. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

I don't think this will take years to get over. But it will certainly take more than a day or two. When you stop thinking in your typical, single way, and think more like the other half of a pair, it can be challenging to switch back. I still find myself reaching for the phone to drop a "Good morning, sunshine!" text.

But I will thank those brazen few who have offered to be my rebound. Way to take one for the team! It feels good to know that men still find me a desirable creature, especially when you just found out the guy you thought you would grow old with apparently didn't agree with that sentiment.

So, I give myself until September to clear the air. I may get it done before then. For now, I'm stuck with a work schedule that I created because we made summer plans. I found another canoe buddy for my canoe trip. The cruise is still full steam ahead.

Life goes on, and big things eventually become footnotes.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Back to the Daily Grind

After what I will always remember as one of the "crappiest weeks ever", I will be going back to work. I'm grateful for the distraction.

At least there, I am monetarily compensated for being treated like dirt.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Now is the winter of our discontent.

I don't know why I always forget it. I don't know why when I remember, I almost pee myself with excitement. The annual Kansas City Shakespeare Festival is here! AND they are featuring King Richard III.

I remember when they used to two plays each festival, and it would alternate every-other-day. Now, they have whittled it down to one play. Oh well. It's still Shakespeare. It's still free. And if you can stand the heat and humidity of the Midwest, it's fun. Not to mention you can bring your own cooler of beverages.

So, grab a blanket, your favorite wine, some cheese, and join me for great literature set in motion.

Today Was a Better Day

Yesterday was Water park Wednesday. What this means, is that I have to put on a swimsuit and go to the local water park with Sis-in-Law-in-Transit, and her two brood. The things we do for family! It's not a horribly bad experience, and the people watching is choice. Besides, I get to cuddle my niece and nephew. Monkey (the nephew), is starting his Terrible Twos and has faster mood swings than a bipolar woman going through menopause. The Little Lady, however, is so cute, and she smiles at me when I talk to her.

Anyway, in light of recent events, I didn't want to go. But then I thought I was okay to go. Then things sort of blew up that morning, and I didn't want to go, but I already said I would. So, off to the water park I went. And I was pretty much a human Quaalude while I was there. Sometimes, all you want to do is sit in a lawn chair, and stare at the ants on the ground as they try to move someones discarded nacho chip from one end of the sidewalk, to the other.

Today, I went to see my friend, Kant. The last time I visited her, she was in the hospital due to a toxicity related to one of her anti-rejection drugs she was taking. She had a big, fat seizure, and was a space cadet for the days that followed. She was still squirrely the morning I visited, but she was animated. It was a huge improvement from the time I saw her before that, when she barely had enough energy to sit on the couch, and maybe watch ants move a nacho chip.

She recently started peritoneal dialysis at home, which I am not overly familiar with. I must say, that it has agreed with her so far, she looked great. She hadn't been quite herself for a while, so it was heartening to see her in such a state. She showed me her PD getup, which was impressive, and I am impressed with the way her family has adapted.

We went to lunch at a local Mexican restaurant. She noticed the tremors in my hands, and I reluctantly admitted that I hadn't eaten nor slept soundly since Monday. She turned on her Mom-voice, and I got "the lecture".

I like being around Kathryn, and I feel guilty because I haven't been more readily available. I feel grateful to have someone like her in my life. Many people go their entire lives without having such a friend, someone who really gets you. Who knows what you are thinking just by one raise of the eyebrow. One who knows all your flaws and loves you anyway. One who listens to you go on and on about your crappy personal life, and listens without dropping cliches just to make you feel better. She's a true friend, and we can go a while without talking, but then reconnect and things just pick up like they were before. She is truly one of my best friends, and that is why I will be starting the testing process for a donor match fairly soon. I wouldn't do this for just anyone.

At any rate, lunch was great (it wasn't the el craphole that is in Raytown). She took me and my propane tank to a place in Parkville to get it filled. (I used to be able to get it filled for $10. Sadly, the price went up to just under $20...which sort of defeats the purpose of going there now.) We did some therapeutic shopping (I got flip-flops). Overall a good day with friend who is a constant reminder that no matter how shitty your life seems, there are always good things to get out of bed for. You just have to open your eyes and see them.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Nurse Follies: Pulling the Plug

I grew up watching Diff'rent Strokes. Everyday. After school. I wasn't such a hardcore fan that I maintained vigil after Gary Coleman died, but when things that you closely associate your childhood with die, it's just another nail on the coffin of your childhood and innocence.


Gary Coleman's life is a sad tale. From what I read, pretty much everyone the guy encountered in his life took advantage of him in some form or another. A lucrative childhood career, and not much left to show for it in his adult life.

So, Gary takes a tumble, is rewarded with a brain hemorrhage as a result. His borderline mentally retarded ex-wife, has him taken off life support two days later.

Gary Coleman had named his ex DPOA. I can respect that she was within her full legal rights to make the decisions she made in regards to his care.

However...it now comes out that he apparently had an advanced directive, outlining that he wanted everything done to prolong his life.

The business of Advanced Directives and DPOA and all things pertaining to them are huge gray areas, and I think I would rather eat at a dirt buffet than deal with them, but yet I am exposed to it more often than I would like. I remember a patient that came in with the most impressive Living Will I have ever seen. Detailed, it outlined to the letter what they wanted, and what they didn't want. We knew exactly where the person stood on life-saving antibiotics, life-sustaining drugs, feeding tubes, ventilators, everything. This person also had terminal cancer. He knew he was going to die, and there was nothing that could be done to stop it. He was realistic about it. Every day he spoke with doctors and reaffirmed his wishes. His supportive wife at the bedside, who was also his legal DPOA, also promised to uphold them in the event he could no longer speak for himself.

His children, however, were not on the same page.

Daily, as his condition worsened, the grown children became more and more frantic. They wanted all the stops pulled to save Dad. They begged the doctors, social workers, and their mother. The husband, having mentally checked out, was no longer able to speak for himself. The wife remained resolute, despite the fact that her children were turning against her. They screamed. They tried guilt. They approached staff to try to sway them to their cause (which made us really uncomfortable).There was talk of trying to get the DPOA changed. The wife never wavered.

I wasn't there the day the man died, but I heard it was pretty dramatic, and even the nurses who were working that day were traumatized. There were harsh words, screaming, cursing, threats, and even a physical fight broke out between a couple of the siblings. The wife just remained at the beside, an old woman who had just lost the love of her entire life, and watched as her family disintegrated before her very eyes.

My heart still breaks for this woman.

You may wonder what this has to do with Gary Coleman. Well, I'm getting to that.

So many times, I see patients come in, and they invoke the DNR-DNI. It means if their heart stops beating, or they stop breathing, we let them go. Along the course of their stay, they add components. Yes, I will take the antibiotics. No, I do not want a feeding tube. Yes, I will take this life-sustaining drug...but only for a short while. Usually, the family respects the wishes. Sometimes, they don't. Once that patient enters into a state where they can no longer speak on their own behalf, the DPOA, now large and in charge, can revoke all the previous wishes. Just. Like. That. Only a few times have I seen doctors advocate strongly and refuse, but most go along with it for fear of being sued. I've seen DNR-DNI patients "die", and have their family scream at us to code the patient. If the DPOA is one of them, we have to do it. Patient's own wishes be damned.

You may ask yourself, what is the point of establishing an advanced directive if some asshole family member is just going to revoke it at that one crucial moment? It would seem kind of pointless to even have one to start with if that is going to happen. For staff, it's pretty deflating.

I read an article once about a woman, who had a large family, made her DPOA an unrelated third party, I think it was a lawyer she may have known. Someone who would truly stand firm and defend what she wanted, without their judgement being clouded by emotions or the pleas of family members. I thought this was a pretty good idea, actually. You can make anyone a DPOA, if you are within sound mind. They don't have to be related to you. They don't even have to be a close friend. It could be someone that you trusted enough, knowing that they got your back, right up to the bitter end.

Back to Gary Coleman.

If the story has merit, and he truly did have an advanced directive that said "do everything", then that means his DPOA...his ex-wife who has the intellect of a dog turd, went against his wishes. While his prognosis was bleak, and chances of recovery were slim, and I personally feel that death was a better alternative than spending the rest of your days in a persistent vegetative state, it apparently was his wishes to do so. No matter what reasons she may have had to pull the plug, his ex-wife should have honored those wishes.

This Week Is Off to a Crappy Start

Problems with Oz. I don't know what to think. The war between trust and intuition rages. I can't help but feel that the rug is about to be pulled out from under me.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

An Explanation

So, a good percentage of you are wondering why I took the blog private. Well, I shall tell you.

In light of all the crap going on at work, and believe me when I say, my little facebook faux paus was small taters compared to the fuck ups of the others, it did get me thinking.

My blog, somewhat anonymous, really wasn't. I never revealed myself, my employer, and other big identifiers, but if one truly had a deep burning passion to out me, it probably wouldn't be too hard to do. Usually, I don't give a flying rats ass, but because there are people out there who would love nothing more than to make others miserable, I really couldn't take the chance. My job, while a great source of blog fodder and general amusement, is also my livelihood. My employer has already demonstrated that they are more than willing to fire anyone who paints their establishment in an unfavorable light. No matter if it's true. Not even if they are directly involved. We can't have people believing that any bad thing could happen within the hallowed halls of ACME Hospital, where each patient gets their own rainbow and unicorn, nurses are fresh and happy, there's no such thing as a bad day, and no one dies.

Many of my coworkers are aware of my blog. They enjoy reading it. However, some were getting sloppy and reading it at work. I know this because I would hop on a work computer to chart, and my URL would magically appear. My site counter would also show visitors from ACME Hospital. While I don't care about who reads my blog, I do care about what their intent is. It would be naive of me to believe that everyone reads it for entertainment value.

So, I have made my blog private. Down the road, when the blog is forgotten by those who are out of "the loop", or if I get a different job, or if I move away, or if I suddenly become a millionaire and become a professional vacation-taker, the blog will become public again. Right now, I just feel better about this. Creating my own little sanctum, where I can truly write what I want...which is why I started this blog in the first place. In the end, it's all about me.

Welcome to my inner sanctum.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The Chinese Have Invaded the Blog!!

What. The. Expletive!

I read a post from my friend RCH about Chinese comments left on her blog. I didn't think much of it until I started seeing them on my blog. Posted in Mandarin or whatever fuck language it is. I can read Japanese, not Chinese. There's a big difference between the two, and I find it insulting.

And usually, there is a link embedded in the comment. And it's porn-related.

So much for word verification protecting us from spam. I hate spam. Far too salty and makes my toes swell.

I may have to go to comment moderation now. As long as your comment is written in English, and you're not trying to get me to visit your porn site, or whatever crap you are trying to peddle, it will be posted. It's the only thing I can think of to thwart the little fuckers.

Nurse Follies: The Facebook Incident

I know my postings have been sparse. I blame facebook. It's worse than Twitter, of which I never post anything on. I can go, post a brief blurb of my daily life, and look at the pictures someone posted of their dog or their vacation. Or their dog on vacation.

Everyone loves facebook, including people I work with. A few pranks, however, and some staff have found themselves filing for unemployment. Because of such things, I have been careful to edit what I say because no one is anonymous on facebook. Your name is on there for starters. Some pictures. Some people even post their employer AND contact information...which is why harmless pranks can get you in trouble because employers get embarrassed. You can't embarrass The Man and not expect retribution.

So much for free speech.

After a particularly harrowing shift, and a crazy patient who would randomly shout out obscenities, I went home, the sound of said obscenities echoing in my head. Some days, I go home and hear IV alarms long into the morning. Or call lights. Or that patient who underwent a colonoscopy and has been farting all night long. On a whim, and my own personal computer, I left a status update that was the favorite quote of the night from my obscenity-shouting patient, and only the quote. No patient identifiers. Posted off the clock. From my own home computer. My facebook page makes NO mention of ACME Hospital. Safe as houses, right?

Eh...apparently not.

Bosshole charges in one night, some weeks later, prompted by a call from his pet charge nurse who apparently unloaded every incident that happened that night. How one night nurse was mean and yelled at her. How I had casually perused the job postings board while waiting for that same charge nurse to give me report. To state the obvious, no one particularly likes this charge nurse, who will throw you under the bus at the drop of a hat.

After the "mean" nurse is summoned into the Bosshole's lair to account for her meanness, I am summoned. Bosshole, calmer after hearing the story of what happened and feeling better about life on the unit, roots around his desk and pulls out a sheet of paper. It is a screenshot of my facebook page, the patient quote highlighted in orange, and he stares at me expectantly, waiting for my explanation.

So I point out that it was posted on my own time, my own computer, and doesn't violate any confidentiality laws and my page in no way ties me to my employer. Got anything else? No, but Bosshole cautions that ACME Hospital watches out for stuff like this, and they would prefer if we just didn't mention anything about work. At all.

He then goes on to grill me about my looking for another floor to transfer to, which really wasn't a big secret, but I am annoyed that I wasn't the one to tell him personally. (But to his credit, we had a very nice discussion about my happiness on the floor and my future there.)I'm just annoyed that it had to come from someone who apparently has nothing better to do than to look for ways to get people in trouble in an effort to make herself look better. The same person who directed him to my facebook page. I know this because Bosshole indirectly told me who it was (I have days of extreme smartness).

That person now has a sparkling nickname, given to her by a couple colleagues (I can't take credit), that is in no way appropriate for me to say on this blog. But the C-word may be involved. You know....that word.

As a result, I made some changes to my facebook. I removed a huge chunk of my coworkers from the list, save for a few. After hearing what happened, others followed in my footsteps and did the same thing. Some of my removed friends were alarmed, but upon hearing the story, understood, and not-at-all shocked as they are very familiar of the antics of She-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Nicknamed.

Another change was my occupation. You see, I'm not a nurse anymore...on that medium, anyway. Instead, I adopted an occupation that has no ties to the medical field. So, if you happen to be my friend, and see posts relating to agriculture, now you know.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some goats to milk.