September, 2006 Archive

September 15, 2006, 1:41 pm

Hope Has A New Home!

kermitI’ve never seen anything like it!

The very first edition of the Carnival of Hope is up!

The brainchild of Susan Palwick, author, English professor, blogger and volunteer ER chaplain makes a wonderful first appearance at Susan’s blog Rickety Contrivances of Doing Good.

Emergiblog is proud to be a part of this wonderful celebration of hope.

Susan just rocks, period. And so does the new carnival!


By the way, if you have linked to Emergiblog and you do not see your blog on my sidebar, please let me know. I found a blog I’ve enjoyed reading many times that I could have sworn I linked to, but it wasn’t on the sidebar.

And if I have linked to your blog but you haven’t linked to Emergiblog, that’s okay, too! LOL! I just want to make sure I reciprocate to those who have.


Emergiblog would like to acknowledge all those who commented on the recent posts concerning advanced degrees and ADNs.

To see such a great exchange of ideas and opinions, all communicated with respect and understanding was wonderful.

And rare, considering the topic!

Thank you!


New post (maybe two!) up at Scared to Health.

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September 14, 2006, 9:05 pm

West Coast Offensive


Oh, this is rich!

If you are having a bad time of the month, and would rather keep your cramping, bloating, headachy self at home for a day or two, your boyfriend will run off!

With a Kotex user!

So that’s why I never had a boyfriend in Junior High!

I was a Modess Maiden!

If I had only known!

But Kotex was the worst brand. It would like…


And of course, men were mindless idiots who could be “taken” at the drop of a hat by a cunning and crafty females.

That has to be the most insulting male stereotype I’ve heard. EVER.

So let’s see….

Comfortable feminine protection, two aspirin and a hot water bottle or…

A date with a groovy dude!

I’ll stick with my Stayfree and Excedrine.

Have a good time!


Well, it finally happened. I was forced to utilize the services of a Borders.

After maintaining my boycott for lo these many months, I discovered myself in a place where no Starbucks exists. I know. Hard to believe.

But it’s true.

Having just dropped my daughter off at a multi-million dollar mansion (I’m not joking) for a friend’s surprise birthday party, I did not want to drive all the way home.

(This area used to be the “boonies”, now it’s freakin’ Beverly Hills. I remember when there were COWS right where I’m sitting!)

So….old but sturdy Macintosh G4 Powerbook in hand, I began searching for a T-Mobile Wireless location.

When what to my wonderous eyes should appear? A Borders, you see. And so I am here.

No music, but TEN, count ’em TEN cushy chairs EACH WITH THEIR OWN LITTLE OUTLET! Right there!

Yea, but though I shall enjoy my presence in this cathedral of wireless ecstasy, tomorrow the boycott shall resume.

With just a bit less enthusiasm.

I swear, the things I do for my art….

Oh, and will you all please click on my ads so that I, too, can afford a multi-million dollar home instead of the Beverly Hillbillies’ old shack?

Thank you.


Once upon a time there was a homeless gentlewoman whose primary occupation was to stay as inebriated as possible as often as possible for as long as possible.

She used a walker. The nice kind. With a seat.

It must have been a gift, because said gentlewoman never had money for food. Or a place to sleep. But she always found the money to maintain her primary occupation.

Our friend has so much hair, she makes Cher look like Captain Picard.

And she is in great need of a shower, as it appears she often mistakes her “Hanes Her Way” underwear for Huggies Pull Ups.

She is frugal, however, for she will not throw away a cigarette as long as a micron of white is still noticeable above the filter.


Now on the coast of California is a beautiful little town.

But this town has no hospital.

Our professional inebriate calls this beautiful seaside community her “home”.

But…when the hunger pangs get too strong, she knows what to do.

She leans against the local 7-11 store until someone asks if she needs assistance, for you see, she makes a rather pitiful tableau.

After awhile a Good Samaritan will ask what is wrong and the gentlewoman will aver that her ability to ambulate is quite impaired, to the point of being non-existant.

Ever standing ready to serve, the good paramedics answer the 911 call with enthusiasm and transport our gentlewoman to the Dear County Facility for evaluation of her sudden lack of ambulation.


One fine day, the Dear County Facility was on ambulance diversion. And so the besotted gentlewoman was taken to “Superior Medical Facility”.

My…Superior….Medical….Facility {/shatner voice}.

She loved it there. She received two entire meals and a bed for the whole night shift, complete with warm blankets.

As is their wont, the nurses at Superior Medical Facility showered the patient with compassion as she sobered up to a .24 and was released early on the day shift.


Madame Inebriate loved Superior Medical Facility with a passion unequaled since…well, since whenever.

She loved it so much, the next time she felt the need to eat she called 911 and informed the gracious and ever-so-professional paramedics that her ambulatory ability was again awry.

Only this time she requested Superior Medical Facility.

And even though Dear County Facility was accepting ambulances, and even though our dear Coastside Cuervos Catalina probably didn’t even know the definition of insurance, let alone have any, the eager-to-please paramedics deposited the gentlewoman on a gurney in the ER.

Why, I had no idea that if a homeless, intoxicated, uninsured patient requested a certain facility 40 miles away from home, the firemen/paramedics were required to take them there!

How fortunate for our friend!


Expecting the usual compassion, the lady with the sweet scent o’ cheap whiskey emanating from her person demanded two meals at once, three more pillows, two warm blankets, informed the staff she was gonna-go-have-a-smoke, and demanded something for her nerves every time she woke up from a deep, loud, most definitely un-gentlewomanly sonorous sleep.

Alas, she had played her last card.

For you see, the exact same staff was on that day, and they knew the machinations the old sot would play against their good will and professionalism.

So when the ol’ lady had sobered up to a .24 and requested a taxi voucher to her home 40 miles from Superior Medical Facility, there was only one thing to say:

When hell frickin’ freezes over, honey.

The End.

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September 13, 2006, 4:30 pm

Where There Is Life, There Is Hope


Now here’s a specialty I’ve never seen!

Wine Nurse!

Cherry Ames, Vinyard Nurse!

Specializing in Petite Syrah and Chardonay with a minor in Wine Coolers.

That doesn’t look like a vineyard behind her.

Looks like a campground.

And why don’t these paperback nurses ever have flat chests? Or look like they are above a size -2?

The cap has potential, it just looks like someone cut the sides off it.

Something tells me this won’t make it to my highly exclusive reading list any time soon!

Then again…..

I wonder if the Neibaum-Coppola winery is hiring?


Too tired to go to Starbucks today, so I made my own iced coffee.

Our music today is being provided by Iggy Pop, Evanescence and the Backstreet Boys courtesy of my iTunes playlist.

What can I say? My musical interests are eclectic to say the least!


The family encircled the bed of their beloved family member and turned to the surgeon, their eyes imploring him to say that everything would be okay.

“Is there any hope?” the daughter asked.

“Where there is life, there is always hope”, responded the surgeon.

A platitude?


But I’ve never forgotten that one sentence and I have used more times than I can remember over the years.

Because it is true.


Hope permeates our life.

We hope our children will turn out to be productive citizens. We hope our favorite football teams will win this weekend. We hope the scale will show a few pounds less than the last time.

We hope we’ll be able to find the money for our next meal. We hope that we might find shelter from the storm when we have no home to go to.

We hope for a cure for cancer. We hope that there will be peace in the world someday.

Families hope their loved ones can pull through difficult situations or dangerous life-threatening illnesses.

And that is when they turn to us and say those gut-wrenching words:

Is there any hope?


In the room of a critically ill patient or in the waiting room of an ICU or ER, there is an energy. A force, if you will.

That force is hope.

It’s what keeps families at the bedside or camping out in the hospital for weeks at a time, alternating shifts and still managing to function in their jobs and homes despite the growing exhaustion.

It’s why a patient’s friends and family will analyze anything and everything said for the tiniest inflection, turn of phrase, facial expression…any hint that things might be going in a positive direction.

It’s why nurses and doctors work so hard to get their critical patients to turn around.

Even in the face of overwhelming odds.

Some call that denial.

I call it hanging on for dear life…

To hope.


When hope is removed, the air is violently sucked from the environment leaving an oppressive stagnation in its wake.

The atmosphere becomes heavy.

You become numb and your knees want to buckle under the weight of the anvil on your chest.

You stop breathing. For a minute.

All the stress leading up to that moment shows its effects in your face and the exhaustion that has been building, repressed, flows to the surface.

Questions are asked. You answer them, but you don’t remember what you said.

You begin to dread what you now know will happen.

Your body still functions. You walk, but you don’t feel your legs. You cry, but the anvil stays firmly in place. You try to sleep, but you are too exhausted. You haven’t eaten in three days. You aren’t hungry.

The questions begin. Why? What if? How?

Questions that will often be unanswerable.


They say that the first response to a death is shock.

I believe that the process that leads to shock is the loss of hope.


Hope is a palpable, living emotion. You can feel it, sometimes only by its absence.

And so, I agree with my surgeon colleague from those many, many years ago.

Where there is life, there is hope.

Because without it, we are dead inside.

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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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