February, 2006 Archive

February 15, 2006, 12:51 am

Do NOT Call Me At Work!

Figprune Coffee.

Can you imagine? “Why, yes, I’d like a Vente, decaf, one-Equal, extra hot, non-fat soy Figprune latte with whip and an ad shot of prune!”

And then I’d like the keys to the bathroom because that is where I’ll be spending the next hour!

Who invented this stuff? Oh geeze, it was a local company, of course. San Jose.

Hmmm….looks like Google, God of Research shows them to be out of business.

Can’t imagine why!

Figs + Prunes + Coffee = someone actually thought that would be a good combination.

And where is the coffee?? It’s 54% fruit and 46% cereal grains. That’s 100%!

Was coffee considered a fruit?

Where’s the caffeine? Is it sludge? Do you eat it with a spoon?

Well, I hope they had a good explanation when they stood before the Great Starbucks Manager in the Sky.


Don’t call me at work.

I’m one of those people who can compartmentalize their personal and professional lives with a fair amount of distinction.

When I am home, I am really home.

I cook, clean, take care of the finances, listen to conservative talk radio, take care of the pets, the backyard gardening, the minor repairs, the financial aid forms that my soon-to-be-law-student-son insists were due yesterday, deal with the roller-coaster emotions of my 16-year-old daughter, and reassure my oldest daughter that even though she is undergoing surgery next week, she does not have ovarian cancer (and then say a prayer that I’m right).

In other words, I am mentally, physically and emotionally home and available to everybody for everything.

Actually, I sit on my butt all day long and blog. Or read blogs. With coffee. Or watch my “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” DVDs.

Thirty minutes before everyone is due home I run around the house like a madman so it looks like I’ve been slaving all day. It’s a pretty cool set up, actually.

But at work it is another story.

I am completely and utterly engrossed in what I am doing. I am physically, mentally and emotionally available to my patients for everything. I don’t even think about what is going on at home.

Until I hear those six words, “Kim, you have a phone call!”, and those at home become beloved, adored pains in the derriere.

The following is a true representation of an actual conversation that took place in the mid 1990s when eldest daughter was still at home. The scene: hell in my ER with a critical patient deciding whether or not to code.

“Kim, you have a phone call!”
“Tell them I’ll have to call them back!
“She says it’s urgent and she has to talk to you now!”
(Oh no, I think to myself! Something bad has happened!)
“Betty, can you take over for one minute? I have an urgent phone call from home!”
“Hello, it’s me! What happened?”
“Mom, do you know where the tweezers are?”

Oh no, you did not just ask that question.

“Don’t you EVER call me at work again unless you or a close relative is DYING. Is that understood?”
“Yes, mom……geeze!”

Mean? Rude? Nasty? Non-understanding? You bet your sweet bippy I was.

I have been interrupted at work for the following:

We are out of cat food.
We are out of dog food.
We are out of milk.
We are out of bread.
We are out of cream cheese.
We are out of ice cream.
We are out of printer ink.
Poster board is required for project due tomorrow.

So, after a hard shift that never has never ended before 2330 for as long as they’ve known me, I am supposed to provide the above.

And then,

Hubby doesn’t know what to take for his congestion (27 years of marriage: the answer has always been “Sudafed”).

Eldest daughter calls from another state to ask what dosage of Advil to take. Funny, last time I saw her she knew how to read. Labels.

Son calls from another state to ask if he can put his newly required text on the implications of US foreign policy on the price of chewing gum on his student account.

Youngest daughter calls to say she hates geometry and she got a “C” on the quiz and she feels so dumb but she is getting into AP History next year and Billy flirted with her, but she really wants to ask Jack to the Sadie Hawkins dance, but Eddie is a better dancer and can she have $20.00 so she can go to the movies with 148 friends on Friday and do I mind if she sees “Final Destination 9” even though it is rated “R” but she has seen worse things in drivers’s education and can I make sure her brown pants that aren’t floods are in the dryer when I get home?


It’s nice to be needed, but I want to smack them all.

At least now my husband says,

“Sorry to bother you, but….”

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February 14, 2006, 12:58 am

Love and Contemplation at Grand Rounds

It’s Valentine’s Day, and if you go over to Maria’s blog, Intueri: To Contemplate you will find
this week’s edition of Grand Rounds!

You will find a very eclectic group of links!
As usual, I’ll be hitting them during my coffee hour later this morning.

There are new blogs to peruse and what are sure to be some controversial opinions in a very creative, funny format, after which you may:

(1) Call your significant other STAT.
(2) Devour the pictured cookie bouquet
(3) Take a cold shower.

Knowing me, I’d go for #2 because #1 will be at work and just the thought of #3 makes me hypothermic.

Alas, Emergiblog is not among this week’s links, but since you are here anyway I shall wish you a happy Valentine’s Day and invite you to peruse a few posts!

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February 13, 2006, 2:05 am

Blast From Our Past

This patient has cracks in his feet!

They could be serious!

Why they could be a sign of a tinea infection! Tinea causes athlete’s foot!

Tinea also causes something that I can truly say I’ve never experienced.

Jock itch.

So why does this doctor have this patient’s fungus riddled foot sitting on his crotch?

Now, you are supposed to rub Absorbine Jr. on your feet to stop the athlete’s foot.

Does that mean you are supposed to rub it on your, well, jock area if you have “jock itch”?

What if you just itch and you aren’t necessarily a jock? Did they call it “nerd itch”?

And what ever happened to Absorbine Senior?


There have been many, many advances in medicine since I was born in 1957.

My children never had to go through mumps, measles, or rubella. I had all three. By 1970 there were immunizations for all of them. In my internet travels I found some photos and ads of just how things were different “back in the old days”.

Somehow, I managed to miss the era of the “Quarantine” sign. I remember, having to stay in a dark room and not being able to even see my friends. For a week.

Spent my time watching the reruns of “The Mickey Mouse Club”. And colouring. In the dark.

It was the week before Christmas break, too.

I was going to play the autoharp at the concert and I had a lead in the Christmas puppet show.

But we all went through it, there were no vaccines at this time.

My mother had to remind me of this when I called her shortly after I had my first daughter and reamed her out for not having me immunized like she should have.

How dare you make me suffer through all those childhood illnesses.

Ooops. My bad.

Ahhh, would that all vaccines taste so good!

I have distinct memories of lining up in the gymnasium of my local grammar school to get my “goodie”.

That “goodie” would ensure that I would never get that most dreaded of childhood diseases.


And here is why polio was so feared. Even to this day it makes me woozy to think of having to live in a contraption like this:

The iron lung.

If polio paralysed your chest muscles, you had to live in this, which was essentially a respirator.

Pressure changes inside the “lung” would cause the patient to “breathe”.

Scared the hell out of me as a kid.

And through all the fevers,swelling and pain, my mom religiously gave me St Joseph’s Childrens Aspirin.

Never got Reye’s Syndrome.

Never knew anyone that got Reye’s Syndrome,unless you want to count a character in “All My Children” in the early ’80s.

But it is a devastating disease that can strike after any viral illness and they did find an increase when ASA was used in children under the age of 16. So now we use Tylenol. But “back in the day”, this was the stuff that made us feel better. And besides, it was yummy.

So, what is wrong with this shot?

Right, no carseats!

This law is so new that when we brought our first baby home in 1980 we were not required to have one!

Emergihubby has a 1963 Ford Galaxy and they didn’t even require seat belts in the back seat in those days.

And check out the nurse on the right trying to make sure she gets into the photo….

Sometimes I think we “baby” our children a little too much these days, but I will say that from a health perspective, they have it so much better than we did.

I hope someday there won’t be a need for any vaccinations because we will have wiped out the majority of the illness that killed so many for so long.

Wishful thinking? I hope not.

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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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