September, 2005 Archive

September 3, 2005, 8:00 pm

There’s a Flag on the Play

Hyperventilation. Tachycardia. Flushing. Abdominal butterflies. Exhilaration interspersed with moments of head-banging. Inability to control inappropriate language when confronted with stupid authority figures. A compulsive need to wear green, particularly as face paint. Episodes last approximately four hours and occur at weekly intervals beginning at the end of summer. Miss a fix, severe depression ensues. Rarely fatal, it consumes the lives of its victims until the end of November. There is no cure. Be prepared for the acute onset of……

Notre Dame Football.

As I write, my fighting Irish have just won against Pittsburg. I’m wearing my Joe Montana #3 green and gold ND jersey. That’s why they won. They always win when I wear it. Since this is the first time I’ve worn it, it’s 100% effective!

The highlight of college football in this area is the Stanford vs. Cal Berkeley match up. This is known as “The Big Game”. Many years ago I worked at Stanford’s emergency department on a night when it was Stanford’s turn to host “The Big Game”. Big mistake. There are approximately one-trillion people on the Stanford campus for this game and they aren’t tee-totalers, if you get my drift. Normal, rational, intelligent, law abiding, mature adults turn stark raving mad! Folks old enough to remember “American Bandstand”. In black and white. Not the college kids. Their grandparents! Take the usual complement of diverse, interesting cases usually found at a teaching hospital and forget ’em. All resources are geared toward treating Adult Onset College Football Insanity Syndrome patients in epic numbers.

Not that there is anything wrong with that. You don’t know the suffering until you contract the disease yourself. My daughter’s college had no football team, so I was spared the onset of symptoms. Then my son was accepted into Notre Dame. Oh….it starts slowly at first. One week you watch a game. The next week you might have a bit o’ green on your socks. Before you know it you’re wearing game jerseys and setting up a shrine for former quarterbacks on your television set and lighting candles to the leprechan and wanting your son to get the autograph of that cute guy on defense and then before you know it you are swearing to God you’ll never buy another thing on eBay without your husband knowing if he’ll JUST LET THEM SCORE ONE……MORE…..TOUCHDOWN………!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’m mean, I’ve never painted my face green and I’ve never had a green beer because no one has ever offered me one. I’ll be attending the Stanford vs. Notre Dame game in November and I have zero intention of needing the services of the Stanford Medical Center Emergency Department.

I will, however, also be attending a game on the Notre Dame campus this season. God help the Irish when they get a load o’ me. I may go stark, raving nuts.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

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September 2, 2005, 3:13 am

Backpack Your Way Through a Disaster

I don’t live in a hurricane-prone area. I’m smarter than that. My house sits directly on top of a major earthquake fault. I take my natural disasters without a warning system. I prefer the earth rocking as opposed to Hurricane Calgon taking me away. Californians are used to living with the occasional movement of terra firma, but deep in our subconscious we are always waiting for THE BIG ONE. While listening to the coverage of the horrible devastation and the frightening lawlessness going on in the South, I felt a gnawing sense of dread creep over me.

I’m not ready. There isn’t an earthquake preparation item in my entire house. Well, wait, there is the backpack I bought at Safeway two months ago. It has a first aid kit and water for one. ‘Kay. Oh yeah, I have a great big spotlight thingy…..but no batteries. I have a wonderful C. Crane radio that gets perfect reception….if there’s power. I’m an ER nurse. There is no excuse for this.

So how do you start getting prepared? You can go to the store and stock up, but it might take awhile to get everything you need. Instant gratification is appropriate, at least to get started. I wanted a pre-packed pack. A google search for “MRE” (meals-ready-to-eat) resulted in my discovering, an online emergency supply service.

The best products I saw were backpacks pre-packed with everything, including complete MREs and water for three days. MREs are complete meals (entree, side dish, dessert) with a shelf life of, like, forever (translation: five years). Two of the two-person kits provide total sustenance and emergency supplies (light, blankets, first aid, toiletries) for a family of four in two easily carried backpacks. Need to evacuate quickly? Just grab the backpacks and run. Water servings were available in individual packets and reasonably priced. Ever wondered what you would do when the plumbing went out? Portable toilets for $17.00 and packs of sanitizer for decontamination.

The backpack idea is a good one. Have pets? Put a small bag of their food in a backpack with an extra leash for a dog, or one of those new disposable cat boxes for the family felines. Be sure you have a cat carrier. Don’t forget water;put a few bottles in there. How about a clothing backpack? Perhaps a set of sweats, underwear, socks for each family member? A list of phone numbers and addresses? How about the little ones – perhaps a backpack with special toys or stuffed animals. Don’t forget the deodorant and toothbrush if you’re packing your own.

Do you take meds? Try to keep a two week supply in your emergency pack. Don’t forget Tylenol, Advil, Benadryl, Sudafed…the usual medications. Pack small packages of these with your backpack.

Consider a smaller version of the above in your car trunk, especially if you drive long distances or live in areas of harsh weather.

(I’m not going to address whether a firearm should be included in these emergency preparations. Just ask yourself that great, eternal, philosophical question: what would Ted Nugent do?)

A disaster can hit anytime, anywhere. It can take days before emergency aid can reach the affected area in a disaster. You can’t depend on the local authorities or resources. Make sure your family is covered with the necessities for at least three days, whether you can shelter in place or whether you have to evacuate.

I’m relieved to say that two of the two-person backpacks are enroute to my house at this very moment, along with extra water packets. I’ll breathe easier when they get here and less anxious knowing I’m prepared. Now all I need to pick up are some batteries…..

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September 1, 2005, 12:00 am

Will You Help?

Today I am joining hundreds, possibly thousands of bloggers across the world in a single request. Will you contribute to the
relief efforts to help the Americans devastated by Hurricane Katrina?

America is no stranger to the devastation caused by hurricanes, flooding and earthquates. When the worst happens anywhere in the world, we are there to provide the necessities and to help pick up the pieces. Now the pieces are in our own backyard and those devastated are our fellow citizens.

America knows what to do. We know how to do it. It will take money to make it happen. You can help get it done. How? By giving. I strongly recommend both the American Red Cross and Samaritan’s Purse. I have great respect for both these organizations and know that they are already on the job. Your donated funds can get the supplies to those who need them the most.

Be as generous as you can. Any amount will help those that are hurting so badly right now.
After 9/11, America stepped up to the plate to help. It’s time to step up there again. I’m proud to say I did my part. Please join me. Let’s hit a home run.

(Thanks to Hugh Hewitt, Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit, and NZ Bear for gearing up the blogosphere for this fund-raising effort.)

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About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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