June, 2007 Archive

June 7, 2007, 1:58 pm

Maybe I’m Amazed


Oh baby!

I mean, do I need to say anything else?

My Tuesday with Paul at Starbucks was cut short by a sudden onset of vertiginous malaise, so I did what any red-blooded female would do.

I bought the CD and brought Paul home with me.

Now, unfortunately I have had to actually work the last two days and have not had time to truly appreciate the artistry of this….this…crush I’ve had since the age of seven.

Now I love nursing and all. Really, I do. But when it interferes with my McCartney fix, well…let’s just say I’m not a happy camper.

Fellow McCartney worshipers (and I know you are out there), look at what I found!

A link from amazon.com that is a totally weird video of one of the songs off the album.

It’s called Dance Tonight.

(Those of you who are fans of the British – superior – version of “The Office” will recognize the postman as Gareth!)


When I stop to think about it, I can hardly believe this rekindled enthusiasm for nursing so late in my career.

I spent almost thirty years basically happy, but I expended the minimal amount of energy required to do my job. In nursing, that “minimal energy” takes more than you can imagine.

Oh, I’d go the extra mile for my patients and I took pride in my ability to chart precisely and legibly, but for most of those years all I really, truly wanted to do was retire with my husband as the sole breadwinner.

Not very honorable, but most definitely honest.

Sometimes I’d meet a patient who reminded me why I became a nurse. Mostly, I’d just smile and “act” for the eight hours I was on duty. If they had given awards for “Best Performance as a Registered Nurse”, I’d have a row of Oscars lining my bookcases.

The eschar of burn-out felt like it was welded to my soul.

It sounds dramatic; it felt like walking death.

When you are wrapped up in the day-to-day living of raising children, working varied shifts, trying to pay the bills and dealing with life in general, it is hard to see the big picture. Nursing can take up so much of your life and leave you so little time to regroup that eventually you feel like an empty shell. Oh, you know you’re supposed to take care of yourself, but that isn’t always easy when your entire world is made up of people who look to you to take care of them.

You can’t imagine giving nursing one more moment of your life than it already requires.

Which makes my current craving for additional nursing education new and unfamiliar.

Is it because my children are grown (or almost there) and I have more time for me? Is it because I can now see the bigger picture and there is now space for me to begin to appreciate anew what I first felt at the age of nine: that nursing was not just something I “did”, but was an integral part of who I am?

Maybe I’m delusional to think I can earn a doctorate in ten years.

Maybe I’m crazy to think that I have something more to contribute.

Maybe I’m tapping a source of ambition that lay dormant for decades.

I may be all that and then some.

But when I come right down to it,

When I take into account my new energy, my love of classes, the calling to teach and good heavens, maybe even do research…

Maybe I’m amazed.

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June 6, 2007, 6:46 am

History Repeating?


Good ol’ Donnatal.

One of my co-workers has the new Mosby drug book and was looking up a few pharmaceuticals during a spare moment the other night.

Did you know that Donnatal elixir is twenty-three percent alcohol?

Holy ETOH!

On evening shift a few decades ago (literally), I was suffering from horrible stomach pain, enough that I was unable to function. In a unit with only two RNs on duty, this was a problem.

The ER doc on duty said, “Oh, go take two teaspoons of Donnatal and that will take care of it.”

I had no idea what Donnatal was, having never given it before. It was up in the cupboard (this was pre-Pyxis) and I needed to get relief fast . I threw the dose down my esophagus and went back to work.

Well, let me tell you! The Donnatal took care of it, alright.

Not only was it a spasmolytic, it was a mood-o-lytic, too!

Never in the annals of emergency nursing was there ever (nor has there ever been since) a nurse as mellow as I for the rest of the shift.

A 9.0 earthquake on the San Andreas Fault could not have riled me up.

Let’s see: belladonna, phenobarbital and enough alcohol to make a margarita.

No wonder I was mellow!

Hmmm….now I wonder if the ER doc said to take it because it would make me mellow.

Not that I’m high-strung or anything.

(That sound was all of my past and present co-workers doing spit takes of their morning coffee on their monitors.)



“I’m thinking about being a doctor….or a nurse.”

Those exact words came out of the mouth of my seventeen-year-old daughter.

None of my children ever said anything like that before.

After I caught my breath, I said in the most nonchalant, coolest tone possible, “Oh really?”

Can’t get too excited, you know. That would be so like a mom.

Of course, I calmly gave all the benefits of nursing as opposed to medicine (no offense to my medical colleagues) as I feel morally obligated to do my part for nursing recruitment.

She has wanted to be: a vet, a forensic scientist, a coroner, and a crime scene investigator.

At the age of ten, she was reading books by Dr. Henry Lee and taking copious notes on blood splatter analysis. She never missed an episode of Forensic Files. She wanted to go into forensic pathology and do autopsies. Then she would watch “Law and Order” the next night and decide to be an investigator.

All this in-between playing with Polly Pocket.

She is taking Anatomy and Physiology next semester.

We’ll see how it pans out.

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June 5, 2007, 11:52 am

Inside Surgery Probes Grand Rounds


Well, this is a hoot!

I wish I could remember what ad this was attached to, but my mind draws the proverbial blank this morning.

I use it to illustrate the “marriage” of Inside Surgery to this week’s Grand Rounds!

I’ve seen weeks where the topics were varied, but this week is a virtual potpourri of subjects. Inside Surgery handles the topics straight up, making the ‘Rounds easy to navigate , with submissions placed in appropriate categories.

Emergiblog finds itself under the category of “The Rest”, which assigns it to life with the Professor and Mary Ann on Gilligan’s Island (you know the song: “…the Movie Star, and the rest).

Let me hasten to add that I find this an honor, because I had a mega crush on the Professor!

Come to think of it, how would you like to be only one of two eligible females on a deserted island and your co-hort happens to be Ginger? That would be just my luck.


Speaking of gorgeous bloggers, Mother Jones at Nurse Ratched’s Place is placing a call for submissions to the next Change of Shift, to be held on Thursday, June 14th.

It is the birthday of the nursing blog carnival, the last edition of Volume One! I can’t believe that almost a year has gone by!

Submissions can be sent to nurseratchedsplace at yahoo dot com or through Blog Carnival.


Just in case you can’t get enough linkage in your diet after Grand Rounds, check out Susan’s column on Nursing Jobs.org regarding a game show for organs and my history column on Emily Morgan, RN, “Diphtheria Nurse”.

There are nights I feel like the “Constipation Nurse”.

Read »

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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