September 4, 2008, 12:33 pm

All I Have to do is Dream


I know that I always say Emergiblog is 99% apolitical, but I absolutely had to post this photo.

The man on the far left is my husband, John.

In the middle is my son Kendall, who was an undergraduate at Notre Dame when this was taken.

And that is not an imposter on the right, that really is John McCain!

Kendall had the opportunity to intern for Senator McCain for a semester.

I have a great respect for John McCain, but at the time this was taken I never, ever, ever thought he’d be the nominee for President. I am thrilled, and proud, to have this photo hanging in my home.

Well, if you didn’t know before, now you know I’m a conservative Republican.

And Kendall? He’s in his third year of law school and Editor-in-Chief of his Law Review.

And a staunch Democrat.

Go figure! LOL!

[I now return you to the 99% apolitical Emergiblog…]


Aw man.

I hate dreaming about work.

It’s like pulling an entire shift and not getting paid for it.

Well, I had a doozy last night.

My dreams are always surreal, and this was no exception.


Seems I got to work and everything was a mess.

Someone had baked a cake and there was cake mix everywhere. Liquid, gooey batter. A few co-workers were licking spatulas.

Everyone had frosting all over their face and no patient care had been done so I was going to have to take eleven patients.

Now this was a weird unit, part ER and part ICU, made up of four-patient cubicles.

It’s been in my dreams before, but I’ve never seen it in real life.

In fact, this particular mind-unit is always in my dreams.


I was trying to put my nursing shoes on but they had cake batter in them.

And no one cared.  That my shoes were full of batter.  That no patient care had been done.  In fact they had such a laissez-faire attitude that I started chewing them out.

I said things to them that make me cringe right now thinking about it.

I let it all hang out, everything I thought of them, their nursing care and what I thought of their mothers and their parentage in general.

I mean, cake batter in your nursing shoes?  No wonder I went all up in their business!


And these weren’t just current co-workers.

They were co-workers from the last thirty years.  All decades represented.  The ’70s, the 80s, the 90s and the 00s – none were spared! (Oh, and if you are a current or past co-worker and happen to be reading this, you weren’t in the dream m’kay?)

There were people I hadn’t thought about in twenty years.  But boy, did I let them have it with both barrels.

It’s embarrassing just thinking about it.


Then, in all my self-righteous glory, I explained to a bunch of doctors I had never seen before that the unit is never this messy and lord knows I couldn’t clean it up myself and gosh darn it, there was an ER across town that would take me in a split second and wouldn’t put cake batter in my shoes!

I mean really.

I walked haughtily out of the unit with my squishy cake batter shoes.


I honestly have no idea where this dream came from.

My unit is nice, we don’t make cakes there and we never have eleven patients.  I’ve never worked in a unit where cake batter was a problem.

I’ve worked in units where a cake was decimated and eaten in fifteen minutes flat, but that’s different.

Why did I feel the need explain to these doctors I’ve never seen in real life (cute ones, at that) that I, Super RN, could not clean the mess up? Oh poor, poor pitiful me (<—vague Warren Zevon reference; could have been worse, I could have referenced “Werewolves of London”.)

As for chewing out my co-workers, well, yikes – I may have an issue now and then but I never bring their parental background into it!  I don’t even know it!


Usually my work dreams consist of feeling like my feet are stuck to the floor and I can’t move.  That things are going so fast I can’t keep up.

That one is understandable.

This one just made me feel like a schmuck.

Anyone who interprets dreams and wants to take a shot at this Twilight Zone piece of mental imagery, drop me a line.

It’s freakin’ me out!


  • Karin, RN

    September 4, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Nice picture!

  • Lionlover

    September 4, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    The husband and son–VERY handsome. You’re a lucky woman.
    My particular weird, recurring (yet cake batter free) nursing dream is that it’s getting near the end of shift (5 or 6AM) and I come to the realization that I have no idea what’s been going on all night. I don’t know if my patients have had their meds or been assessed or what’s been going on with them. I usually can’t even remember who my patients are. In my dream I say to myself ‘What have I been doing all night? Where did the time go?’ It’s my anxiety dream. I’ve always figured it’s like the dreams actors have where they go on stage and can’t remember their lines or even what play they’re in.
    I used to have this dream more frequently when I actually worked as a nurse but I still have this dream occasionally and I haven’t worked in nursing in 18 years.
    So, um, yeah, just thought I’d let you know you’ll be having weird nursing dreams LONG after you retire. What fun!

  • annemiek

    September 4, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    Was it chocolate cake batter? Sure it was chocolate? If it was yellow cake batter I have no explanation.

  • Braden

    September 4, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    I knew I liked you for a reason. Slap Kendall around a few times for me, please.


  • whitecap nurse

    September 4, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    I have no idea what your dream meant – probably all the frustrations of daily working life bubbling up in your subconscious. But, don’t you feel you should get paid for a double shift if you have to go to work after a dream like that? It always feels as if you’ve already been at work for at least 8 hours!

  • Kendall W. Hannon

    September 5, 2008 at 7:16 am


    Its funny- there were a couple of democrats who worked for his staff while I was there. ‘Tis true, I am a democrat. I do like McCain a lot; his character is unimpeachable. Agree with him, disagree with him, whatever, that is undeniable. It was a pleasure to work for him.


  • Strong One

    September 5, 2008 at 7:26 am

    OK OK.. I’ll take a stab at the dream.
    So I’m going to guess you have taken on some additional responsibilities at work (as of lately) or you have been asked to take on additional responsibilities).
    It could be you continually ‘clean-up’ after co-workers and nothing is being fixed.
    The cake batter.. well that’s just a good ole’ euphemism for your constant battle. No matter how much you do.. it’s still there.. it’s everywhere.
    It’s sticks to everything.. and is a b@$ch to get clean.

  • emmy

    September 5, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    I think you were dreaming about sticky situations at work that were keeping patient care from getting done, and your frustrations with it. Considering some of your posts of late, it doesn’t suprise me that you would be working these things out in your subconcious mind.

  • Joanne

    September 5, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    What a great picture. It’s priceless! Your son must get his writing talent from his mom as editor of the law review.

  • PharmacistMike

    September 5, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    I love the picture. I’d have it in my house as well.

  • PharmacistMike

    September 5, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    I’d use it for the Wendy’s chili. Wendy’s has deeper pockets than Taco Bell.

  • PharmacistMike

    September 5, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    Sorry, I had a few tabs open at once and meant to leave that last comment on a different tab. I’m stupid.

  • Kendall W. Hannon

    September 5, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    hehe a tab about suing deep pockets?

    If so then:

    My name is Kendall Hannon and I approve this message.

  • Jeffrey Babbitt

    September 6, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    Years of Jungian therapy and literary aspirations have developed in me no small powers of dream interpretation, or whatever, so … [cracks knuckles] … Let’s see. Everything in your dream represents you, or a part of you. The clinical space is your inner space to care for yourself, which is far too small. The nurses are your feeling function, and the cake was going to be your gift. Left alone on the overnight shift, your feelings let the clinical space devolve into chaos, eating the cake (the pleasure, comfort, rest, etc.) that belongs to the whole of you. And while they are perfectly content not only to eat but to walk through, wear, and waste sticky, gooey, sweet stuff, sharing it indiscriminately with everyone and with no one (because you can’t eat & enjoy it off the floor, especially at a hospital), you are denied the benefits of the cake and you feel you will be held responsible for the mess made by your feeling function. The doctors (all male? you didn’t say, but you said they were “cute,” so I’m assuming) are your animus, the force of order in your psyche. Your defense of yourself in front of them, your thinly veiled threat to quit feels futile and frenetic. You are trapped between the forces of chaos and order, and you have no idea what to do.

    Plus, you should get yourself some cake. Cake is good, you like cake, and it’s been too long since you’ve had some. Mmmmmmmmm, cake.

  • Katie

    September 6, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    Hey Aunt Kim!
    Anyway, I’m so excited that Kendall is a democrat. That picture makes me want to vomit! I remember when Jack brought it up to my parent’s house to show them. Yuck! If Kendall ever runs for Senate or whatnot, I’ll vote for him for sure! Obamarama!!!
    Love, Katie

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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