December, 2007 Archive

December 28, 2007, 10:09 am

Friday Fussiness


This nurse should be totally ashamed of herself.

She is wearing a smooshed cap.

A big fat wrinkle, plain as day.

In fact, the cap is plain as day. It needs a black stripe to be a 10/10 on the Emergiblog Cap Rating Scale.

I would have been happy to give it a 9/10, but the wrinkle drops is all the way down to a 5/10.

Lord knows, we can’t be a nurse AND be married, now can we?

No wonder the wedding gown “waited”. Who would want to marry such a slob?



Well good morning! It’s Friday, 9 am and I am at the corner table at Starbucks! Our drink du jour is the always-healthy non-fat-Venti-one-Equal latte! With a spinach wrap for breakfast! Have a seat, there’s plenty of room!

First of all, it is time for the Medical Blog Award nominations for 2007 over at Medgadget! The nominations are open until December 31st. I just placed my nominations, head on over and place yours!

Congratulations are in order for Dr. Peg over at Pegspot ! Her book, 50 Ways to Leave Your 40s is off to the printers and should be available to us in March of 2008! Having just left my 40s, I am dying to read it!


What is it about turning 50? It’s like someone lit a burner under my derriere.

  • I’m back in school.
  • This morning I woke up with an overwhelming urge to take violin lessons.

You think that’s odd?

  • I went through a period of two weeks where I wanted a Ford F-150 truck!


I’ve never driven a truck in my life.

  • I have this overwhelming desire to learn all I can about Theodore Roosevelt.


  • I must crochet afghans for my entire family by next Christmas.

Starting today!

Can you develop a hyperactivity disorder at the age of 50?

Maybe all these years the only thing holding me back was estrogen.


As for now, well, I’m catching up on my blogroll friends.

Then I’m taking my daughter and her friend to see I Am Legend.

If I can sit still that long….

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December 27, 2007, 3:09 pm

Change of Shift: Holiday Edition


… is up at Brain Scramble!

Caroline is right, there are some interesting, varied topics this week!

Many thanks to Caroline for hosting!


In two weeks, Change of Shift will be hosted at! I’ll be handling the submissions so you can send them to me via the contact button or through Blog Carnival!


Wondering why I haven’t answered any emails? Well, due to a glitch in Yahoomail dot com, I had to delete 25,436 emails from my Mac box.

I used to keep all my old emails stored on the Yahoo site, but this is the second time I’ve had to erase everything.

So…if you had a request, a comment, a link, a complaint or just a howdy, and you did not get an answer, email me again and it will come through!

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11:30 am

Gingerbread, the Bee Gees and an Epiphany


Oh, now this is attractive!

I guess the family that sprays together, stays together!

Now there have been times this last month when I have loved me some Afrin, big time!

I did not, however, buy individual bottles for my family for a group squirt!

“Gee, Mommy! Can I shove a plastic nozzle up my nose like you and Daddy, puhleeeeese?”

Besides, the mother has hers sticking in the wrong nares.

I guess she didn’t get the memo that this was a “right nares” squirt.


Change of Shift is in progress as we speak! Caroline at Brain Scramble is working her heart out on this edition. God bless her for taking on the carnival during the holidays! I hope Santa was very good to her this year!


I’m at Starbucks on my absolutely, honest-to-goodness last gingerbread latte of the season. Really. It is. I’m back to Venti-non-fat-one-equal lattes tomorrow. Yeah, that’s the ticket….tomorrow!

Oh. My. God. Andy Gibb just came on the Starbucks radio! “I Just Want to be Your Everything”! He’d be 50 in March. RIP, Andy.

Someday I’ll tell the story of seeing him in a small club with about 20 people. I still get goosebumps.

Damn, now it’s “More Than a Woman by the Bee Gees. Okay, who’s into the Gibb brothers here? There are only 15 of us in the store. Somebody else is a Bee Gees fan, too! Come on. Show yourself!


I have a confession to make.

I’ve been fighting burn out. It’s been hard to write uplifting posts lately and who wants to read depressing, morose, bitchy posts?

Oh, you did? My bad. Too late!

I had an epipany at work this week. I feel like Linus in “A Charlie Brown Christmas”.

Lights, please!


80% of the patients I care for are not having an emergency, nor are they in any danger.

They are, however, uncomfortable.

Pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, fever, laceration, asthma

And while the patient never sees it, I sometimes do an internal eye roll at what would make someone leave their bed on an ice-cold, rainy San Francisco night and come to the emergency department. Blame it on thirty years of dealing with illness, but I’m only human. For the last few month it’s been harder and harder to keep the smile on my face and the compassion flowing uninhibited.

Oh, I do it. I just can’t stand feeling like an actor on a stage who gives the performance of a lifetime and then crumples backstage, or in my case, the break room. I feel like such a phony.

This week was different.


This week a feverish, dehydrated child sat bolt upright and politely asked for “Foah apple juices and thwee owange juices. Pwease!” A little IV fluid, a little medication to stop the vomiting and the result was a very relieved family and a perky child who guzzled juice like it was the nectar of the gods.

They made it home in time for Santa’s visit.


A patient literally keeled over from exhaustion after finishing 18 units of classes while working overtime for the holidays. A couple of liters of saline, some TLC and a discussion on the limits of endurance left the patient feeling better and vowing to take it easy on himself from now on.

I hope he made the flight back to Boston to be with his family on Christmas Day.


The problem: bilateral epistaxis and five visits to the emergency department in four days. It’s hard to follow up during the holidays. An exhausted patient. An anxious family.

The treatment: some reassurance, a simple explanation of expistaxis, observation for an hour to make sure the bleeding was controlled, some pain medication to help with bilateral nasal tampons and a business card with my name and a direct line to the ER so they can call me during the night with any questions.

The result: a marked decrease in anxiety and no further visits required. I hope she was able to enjoy her Christmas dinner without the nasal tampons in place.


Writhing abdominal pain with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Many tests. No serious problems, thank goodness.

But hydration, a little Zofran and a bit of Dilaudid and the patient was able to go home to recouperate over the holiday.


My epiphany was a simple one. So simple that it was almost embarrassing.

Yes, we are there for life-saving treatments.

But for the most part, we are there to make people feel better.

And we are able to do that. Many times. Every shift.

And that, Charlie Brown, is the reason I’m a nurse.

It’s good to be back.

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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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