Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Nurse Follies: Say What?

Doctor's note: per patient wishes, if she arrests, do not intervene. But if she has not passed away, do everything, including intubation.

I showed this to numerous staff and asked them to translate. None could. Given the fact that she had no outlined code order in her chart, she was automatically a full code, which rendered the note moot.

You have to love July. The air is humid. The sun is shining. The new residents are out in full force.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

General Blather vs. The IRS

I finally got around to filing my 2009 taxes. Not to fret, I filed an extension. I found an awesome lady to prepare my taxes, and with her mad accountant mojo skillz, I get a return just short of $5K.

Well, wouldn't you know, being the bad procrastinator I am, forgot to file for 2008? Well, Uber-Tax Lady did that return as well, with a comparable refund as well . By the end of summer, I should be flush with a little cash.

The State of Missouri also took note of this.

I have a long, storied history with the state of Missouri's Department of Revenue. I work in one state, live in another. This means I get to file taxes in two states, pay in one, get credit in the other. Why I didn't just buy a house in Kansas when I went looking to buy a house, I don't really have an answer to that. Anyway, I got a letter from the Mo Dept of Rev folks, and they happily informed me that I owed a shitload of money for 2007.

I'm going to call bullshit. Sadly, this happened before a few years ago. I did my taxes (on time), mailed in all the appropriate forms, and weeks later they send me a letter basically saying, "We amended your tax forms so you have to pay us a shitload now. We don't care that you filed in Kansas." I actually had to have a lawyer resend them my forms with a nice letter telling them to fuck off. That seemed to placate them, and they went away for a couple years. Now they are at it again...with a vengeance.

So, here goes again, with the resending of the forms, the fuck you letter. My tax forms for that year have been looked over. No errors. There's no logical reason for me to owe them money.

It makes me wonder how often this happens to other people. Do they fight it? Question it? Or become fearful and pay the amount because they don't know any better. Is this truly an oversight, or is the great Show-Me-State trying to bilk people out of extra money so they can pay for brand new highways that collapse into sinkholes?

The federal IRS people can't help. They were exceptionally nice, especially when the agent I spoke to just spent a half an hour with a woman who argued that the trailer she owned wasn't considered a house, and therefore she should be eligible for the new home credit.

I couldn't work for the IRS. Too many codes, idiots, and people threatening to blow up your house. I'll deal with blood and death, thank you.

Meanwhile, I relish the idea of getting a new patio door on my house. And pay off my cruise for next year.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Nurse Follies: The Shrink Is In

There must be something about my face that says, "Tell me everything. Even if I don't ask for it."

Case in point...

We received a transfer from Podunk Community Hospital and Tractor Supply Store. The nurse who called to give me report was someone who had apparently been in the nursing game a while, but her exposure to anything outside of vanilla was next to none.

"He has a partner," She whispered scandalously over the phone. "A boyfriend!! And the boyfriend will be coming with the patient!"

I rolled my eyes. Big stinking deal. I almost told her to call me back when she actually had something impressive to tell me, like the guy grew tentacles from his nose or gave birth to a grilled cheese sandwich. Small town corn-holing rednecks. I hate them with the burning passion of a thousand Twilight fans.

At any rate, a couple hours later, the patient arrives, and after five minutes with him, I have decided he's an obnoxious asshole. It also helps that he told me that he's an asshole.

"That's okay," I reply. "I'm a bigger one."

Asshole Patient has sores on his feet, to which I ask what they were from. He shrugs, "I don't know."

"You don't know? What do you mean you don't know? Did you wake up one morning and they had magically appeared with the help of woodland gnomes?"

Other Half arrives and I get the patient settled, but not before listening to his million complaints about everything else. The patient was one of those types who tries hard to be a smartass because he thinks he's very clever at it, when in reality, instead of coming off funny, he comes off like a ginormous douche bag. Every staff member who enters his room comes out with the distinct impression that this guy is a colossal tool.

Other Half leaves to go home, and I go to draw blood on the patient. As I am working, he starts talking.

Patient: Yeah, we've been having relationship problems.
Me: Relationships are challenging.
Patient: I know! But it's my fault because I'm so jealous. I'm the jealous type...and I'm an asshole.
Me: ...
Patient: But the Other Half promised me that he was going to tell his friend that he can't come over to the house anymore unless I am home.
Me: Sounds like you have suspicions about the friend.
Patient: Oh yes! He's after my Other Half, but Other Half assures me that he's just a friend from prison.

What the hell do you say to something like that??? Reassure the dude that Special Friend and Other Half spent their time in the clink just playing dominoes and watching Young and the Restless on the common room??

No, I just kept my yap shut and finished drawing his labs. With my recent relationship failure, I'm the last person who should be giving relationship advice. The best I can do is pat his arm and give him an ice cold Pepsi.

Which was exactly what the staff doctor did for me when she came in the following morning and found out he was my patient. Apparently, Pepsi is the great healer of wounds.

I hate Pepsi. Pass the Prozac.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Lavender Scented Dog Farts

A friend and coworker of mine revealed a short while ago she's one of those people who cut coupons. In this day and age, it's practical, but she's one of the uber-coupon cutters. The news has done stories about them. They pour over ads, cut coupons, scour the internets. Then, they strategize their shopping excursions with more detail than WWII. In the end, they buy half the store, go to the register, and the store ends up owing them $5.

She once tried explaining to me how she does it, but I fell asleep. It sounded complex and a involved. Almost like a part time job.

Needless to say, her house looks like Sam's Club, and she probably won't ever have to buy laundry soap and toothpaste ever again. And long after she passes on, hundreds of years from now, explorers will find the ruins of her house, and a huge cache of cleaning products in what used to be the basement.

I thought I would be friendly, and help her out by saving my pop bottle caps. Apparently, you turn those in for points which you use towards other crap. This is how she gets her magazine subscriptions to Crochet Digest.

The other morning, she popped over to my unit before she left work, and delivered me a bag full of stuff. A couple really cool razors (one for Mother), some toothpaste, some soap, some contact solution (I don't wear contacts), and a few other odds and ends. The big item being an Air Wick Freshmatic with motion sensor in a calming Lavender & Chamomile scent. I put it together this morning and stuck it in the office where it senses when I, or one of the dogs, walks into the room, and releases an aesthetically pleasing burst of smelly.

Oddly enough, it sounds exactly like a dog fart.

So now, whenever it goes off, I spin around from the computer, alarmed, looking for the culprit. Sam and Lucy look back, bewildered, as if to say, "It wasn't me!!!"

At least it doesn't come with the paint-peeling off the walls, burn your eyes smell of digested dog food, and whatever they happened to dig up in the back yard.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Nurse Follies: There's a Distinction?

RN: Do you smoke and when was the last time?

New Patient: What? Smoked cigarettes, or smoked?

RN: Cigarettes.

NP: Yeah, I smoke cigarettes. I had some just before I came here.

RN: Okay, do you do drugs?

NP: Yeah. A couple of things.

RN: When was the last time you did drugs?

NP: You want to know when the last time I did just a little, or the last time I did drugs??

Friday, July 02, 2010

Holiday Weekend Blather

So I return to work tonight, the pain still bothers me intermittently, but not enough that warrants calling in. I called in all of last weekend, and I am sure I will be written up for it. Not to mention I loathe using up all my vacation time for something stupid. So, I return to work, armed with prescription strength Naproxyn, and hope for the best.

I don't really have big plans for the holiday weekend, other than working. I'm off the night of the 4th, I had big plans in mind when I scheduled myself off. I was going to have a fabulous cookout, there would be a fireworks display somewhere we would all travel to, and most importantly, this was the weekend I was going to introduce Oz to my family. I was pretty excited. Funny how life takes an immediate left turn when you are not planning for it.

I really don't have the motivation to do anything this weekend, but go to work and do my job. Work is a nice distraction. I did manage to steam clean the area rug in the living room. That was something. I know I need to get out more, but the idea just doesn't appeal to me right now. Who knows, maybe by Sunday, I will grill a hot dog or something.