Tuesday, April 29, 2014

MOAR posts

Over here, y'all. Maybe I'll start posting here again someday soon. Right now putting on pants is a whole thing, so bear with me. Miss you, dear readers.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Welp, Here it Goes....

The stabby, ragey antics you've come to expect here, now at my new communal co-blogging endeavor with my buddy Shrtstormtrooper at the link.  Thanks again for being such an accommodating host for my hood rat ways, lady.  Bloggin', take two.

And as a bonus: I hate exercise about as much as this adorable cat at this point.  FU,  round ligament pain. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lots of Changes, Except for the Amount of Profanity

Oh, hey there internet! What have you been up to? I've been pretty out of touch with things here in general, unless you're counting baby animal videos and occasionally seeing what comments crazy people and spammers are putting up in regards to year old posts. (We all know because one nurse in the ER one time questioned your need for dilaudid we are ALL cynical bitches- super sorry for my profession).
Anyway, life is pretty busy here. I'm gestating a human now, which is pretty cool, other than the no booze for 9 months part.  Oh also I quit my horrible garbage job and I'm generally somewhat more bearable to be around now, hormones aside. Calm down, I still work in the ER- it's not like I really have any other life or job skills- but this time I'm working for the local non-profit-we-actually-give-a-fuck system of hospitals. I've been here for a couple of months now and most days I don't go home feeling like I've been violated to my core, so that's pretty sweet.
It's a different world for sure. Staffing is actually based on national safety standards and acuity.  The hood clientele definitely still make it in, but not exclusively.  Yup, thanks to this job I'm actually being forced to get over my prejudice towards well-to-do white folks.  They come here fairly frequently, and most of them are actually nice enough.  This place generally seems to care about their staff. They're big on sparkle sparkle press ganey customer satisfaction rainbows and unicorns, but they're equally concerned about employee engagement, which is rad.  My coworkers are generally cool too. I seem to have really hit it off with the people that've left other ERs in the area and have a little perspective about how nice it is not to get shit on on-the-reg.  The bougie hospital lifers are generally nice people too, but they lack perspective to such a huge degree that I usually struggle to stifle my laughter whenever they complain about the hospital. Oh, and I found out I was pregnant basically the day I started working here, and management hasn't said anything about it beyond, "that's so wonderful, congratulations."
Sooo yeah. Overall I feel a renewed sense of purpose and most days I remember why I wanted to be a nurse in the first place. I still encounter the occasional hilarious idiot and I still deal with unforgivable  levels of douchebaggery at times, but things are way better. I'm not sure I have the motivation or material to come back to blogging full time, but I do miss it. That said- I may be guest posting every now and again on my internet partner in crime's  blog here.  Nothing's composed yet and I sleep like 12 hours a day right now, so don't expect frequency, but you should all be reading her blog anyway.
So yeah. Good to catch up. Missed you dear readers.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

A Long Time Coming

Yeah, not that it'll be a surprise, but I think it's about time to shut this thing down.  At least for a while.   For one, way the hell too many real world folk know who I am now, which is pretty astounding for a blog I basically told zero people about when I started it.  The more common knowledge this thing is, the higher the likelihood that it will cause me problems.  Paranoid? Probably.  But shit, guys, I don't really have many other skills than being an ER nurse, and I got bills to pay.
That's really not all, though.  This might be harder for me if I was even getting the same things out of it as when I started, but it's different.  I'm in a different place now than when I started in that the challenges in my career are not so much needing a place to vent as needing a place to reflect.  And while I'm sure that heavy shit I occasionally put out here is super fun to read all the time, it's about equally fun to write (i.e. not at all.)  As much as the times I manage to put my doubts out there tend to clear my head; as much as the feedback I get from all the wonderful people that read this blog tends to give me a new perspective and heal my wounds and help me to forgive myself, I can't help but feel like my struggles are essentially the same ones over and over again.  Plus, it isn't like any of you are getting paid to be my therapist or anything.
When I started in the ER I really just needed to relay and almost confirm that the alternate reality, the moments that if I didn't know better, I would think were staged by some tru TV camera crew, that it wasn't just me getting shocked out of my suburban white girl shell, but that this shit actually was crazy. Some of it's still a little funny.  Sometimes the alternate reality confused me, or made me angry, and I kind of just needed to way to make sense of it all.  It's an interesting position to be in, though, when the emotions that you have basically based your writing on are really no longer your own.  What I once would have considered shocking or funny worthy of my ire just simply is now.  Combative drunks and drug seekers are my day to day world.  For the last couple of months, I've felt like I've actually struggled to make jokes about some of the things I see, to keep up my snark and cynicism about things that when they happened to me, elicited little more than an eye roll.  Things that were mildly annoying that I would certainly forget about were it not for me trying to drudge them up and force myself to feel something about them one way or another.
And ultimately, trying to drudge up snark is a very troublesome thing when it comes to my other struggles.  The struggle to be kind, to be nonjudgmental, a good Christian- one that puts living the way I'm called to live above people thinking I'm funny or smart.  I've been- I'll say reading- struggling- through Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Discipleship over the last several months.  For those unfamiliar with Bonhoeffer, he was an incredible German theologian and modern martyr, that regardless of your religious affiliation or lack thereof, is worthy of endless admiration.  Bonhoeffer lived and wrote about the Christian life in a way that is more challenging and demanding of action that anything I've ever encountered.   His adherence to his principles and his faith ultimately lead to his death at the hand of the nazis in 1945.  
The point of all this is that his works have really caused me to look at myself and see the hypocrisy and my own ongoing willingness to try to be kind and gentle in some facets of my life and judgement and hateful in others.  I have a big problem with making observations and forming immediate judgements.  It's in my nature.  I know this is always going to be a point I struggle with.   The way Bonhoeffer talks about it, though, is enlightening.  If you'll humor me, he says "Judging is the forbidden evaluation of other people. It corrodes simple love. Love does not prohibit my having my own thoughts about others or my perceiving their sin, but both thoughts and perceptions are liberated from evaluating them. They thereby become only an occasion for that forgiveness and unconditional love Jesus gives me."
I know this is right.  I know that what this blog- maybe what it started as, or maybe what it's become, has been a platform from which I've judged others very harshly while ignoring my own piles of bullshit. I do this plenty at work and at home without having yet another outlet in where I feed off my own negativity. I just feel like stepping away right now is a necessary step in cutting ties with some of the things inside me I don't like
I'm sorry if this doesn't make sense, or if it seems like I've gone of the deep end.  The one thing I will truly regret about leaving this behind is all the kindness and grace I've received from so many of you in my times of need.  So many of you have really embodied the spirit of this "simple love" that I'm striving for with varying degrees of success (mostly very little) as of late.  Hopefully I can get better at this, and maybe find a way to talk about what I do from a more positive place.  Until then- thank you all for everything.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Chief Complaint of the Night

"I just got out of jail, but they threw away my shoes".
It probably goes without saying that chosen mode of transport for this complaint was bambalace.
Also, guys, I know. I swear I'm still alive, and occasionally blogging. Sorry.

Friday, June 7, 2013

I Love it Here, Because Something Is Wrong With Me

I've been rather ambivalent about my job for the last few months, wistfully dreaming about going to a fancy, slow ER, or oncology or hospice or bar tending, grateful for my occasional nice, normal patient but pretty much completely and totally over all this other bullshit.  I shared my "I'm not quite sure how much longer I'd really like to be doing this" sentiments with one of my medic friends at work, who promptly blew me off.  I was a little bit butt-hurt about it, to be quite honest.
"You'll never quit.  You love the madness too much.  You'd miss it."
"Nope.  I really don't.  I'm tired of this crap.  I'm just done."
"Nope.  You'll never quit.  Secretly you love it."
I walked away further convinced that no one really gets me here and I could walk away any time and miss absolutely nothing about this place except....ugh.  He's totally right.
You guys, I am a twisted individual.  Obviously I became a nurse to help people and touch lives and make the world a better place, but I also sort of became an ER nurse to see the hilarious shit show circus that unfolds before me every night.   Nights like tonight where it really goes above and beyond the everyday ridiculousness really reinforce that fact that, yep, secretly I love this crap.
There are few things funnier than listening to the things someone yells at the hospital police while high on PCP.  It is ten times as funny when two patients high on PCP, both restrained and in rooms next to one another, start tag teaming it and yelling at one another and the cops. Especially when one of them spends the night telling anyone who will listen that he is a werewolf while growling to drive the point home while the other falls asleep, snoring heavily and occasionally ripping massive farts that ring throughout the entire unit.
It's funny as hell when the two chronic drunks that come in via EMS for cc: found passed out somewhere in public serendipitously find themselves next to each other in the hall beds.  It's even funnier when they become best friends and creepily hit on every woman within eyesight together.
Even the WTF moments are hilarious, like when my (non-critical) stabbing victim reveals to me that the  argument that preceded his injury was him yelling at his girlfriend about how she would have a home-cooked meal on the table if she "wanted to keep her a man" or when I find my patient on BIPAP trying to sneak Raisinetes through her mask.
This place is ridiculous, and it's an ass-kicking.  I held my bladder for 8 hours tonight before I remembered to pee, and I went nearly 12 without eating. But in it's own weird way, it was really fun.  As much as it would be fulfilling to work somewhere else, I would really miss how hilarious this place is.  It's like my own personal trashy reality TV show that I get paid to watch for 12 hours a day.  I'm sure I'd actually be really bummed if it got cancelled.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

To Elaborate....

I posted on twitter earlier this morning about a phenomenon that, due to my lack of self-awareness, probably happens to me way more frequently than it should.  Sometimes, I start telling what I think is a funny work story, and about ohhh.. halfway through, I'll look at the face of the person I'm telling it to and notice that they look shocked and horrified rather than amused.  When people hear I'm an ER nurse, they always want to hear my craziest/ funniest/ weirdest ER story, but I've found after four years here and I don't really notice weird that much anymore, and I have trouble differentiating crazy/funny from terrible/disgusting.
What's worse than realizing this is happening is realizing it's happening and then trying to explain why, YES, you don't understand, this totally is funny, for real.  I had one of these moments with my husband this week while trying to tell him this story-
Lady comes in post-CPR, not doing so hot.  Like, not if but when she's gonna go type of thing.  We're trying our best to keep her alive while explaining stuff to her large family- while this is all happening, one of our medics is trying to keep the lady's three year old great-grandson occupied by letting him take his pick of stickers at the charge nurse desk.  The inevitable finally happens an hour or so later and we give the family some time to talk to the chaplain and view the body.  After they leave, we go in to take her down to the morgue and notice she is covered in Batman stickers.  Everyone I work with, myself included, thought it was hilarious.  I tried to recount it to my husband, and yeah, not so much.
"So she died? Man, that's really sad."
"Yeah, but, I mean, they were all expecting it, and they were actually dealing with it really well."
"But, I mean, so the little kid saw her and stuff? That's pretty messed up."
"Yeah, but he put Batman stickers on her! It was weirdly kind of sweet and I don't know it was just really funny at the time okay?"
"Yeah, I guess kind of, but it's mostly just really messed up."
Fair enough.  I guess such is the nature of the ER.  I guess from the outside, it seems like we're laughing at the death of someone's granny and it seems really terrible.  I wish I could adequately describe what it feels like, after several years, losing count of how many dead people you've seen, how much blood and pulmonary edema you've wiped away to make someone sort of look like the person their family once knew, trying so hard to get their eyes to close, the familiar plastic smell of the body bag, looking down in the midst of it all to see a crude collage of superhero stickers.  It's really not funny.  But at that moment, it's the funniest shit in the world.