Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Email problems

If you are someone I email, I have lost all the addresses from my email account. In fact, my email account itself is missing in action. So please send me a message through comments on blogger (which are moderated by me and won't appear unless I allow them to, so they are safe to leave your email address on) or on multiply as a personal message (which is not published except to me).

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

The End of the Line

I'll maintain this blog for a while but I'm not going to cross-post to here anymore from Multiply. If you are someone I know, email me if you want to be added to the contacts list. If you're not, well, you'll be excluded from the blog. I find that it's mostly all just contacts who look at the blog anyway so this shouldn't impact most readers. Not that I have tons. All the previous posts on Multiply will still be there but future posts will be contacts-only.

Thanks for reading. Have a pleasant tomorrow.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Livestrong! or, A Dubious Honor

So last Sunday – among the hottest days of the year thus far, naturally – was the Livestrong Challenge. Last year they held it in September and it rained the whole day long, and was cold, and they were concerned with hypothermia and people slipping and falling on railroad tracks and the like. This year they were the hydration Gestapo, and anytime a body paused at the side of the road, say on a hill toward the end of the ride when they were perhaps a bit winded and weary, passing medics and ride marshals viewed such persons with great suspicion and demanded to know if they were all right and had they been drinking enough water and did they need help?

That being said, it was a fantastic ride, hot but still fantastic. Lots of money was raised for cancer research and support and there were tons of enthusiastic volunteers and personnel to make sure every rider got what they needed.

I was riding with an unnamed friend who unfortunately is a bit sensitive to heat and removed themselves from the ride around mile 32. I later found them (gender and identity concealed: you did an awesome job! Next year we will kick this ride’s ass!) in the medic tent being cooled with ice-watered towels and ice packs, and they perked up nicely after a half hour or so with no lasting ill effects save some fatigue. I feel very fortunate to have had this person’s company for much of the ride. For the record, they raised much more for the cause than I did.

So anyway, last year I nicknamed a friend, in good fun, “Wussy McFairweatherpants” for bailing on the ride due to rain. It happens I love to ride in most weather so long as I do not get super cold or super hot, and I don’t appear to have sensitivities either way. I love to ride in the rain. But, I know a lot of people don’t. And I love to ride in the heat, although forty miles was a bit long for my tastes (and my, ahem, seatbones) considering I hadn’t ridden more than one 11-mile jaunt since last fall.

But! Lest you all think that everything goes well for me at all times, and if you’ve read most of my blog you know damn well that it doesn’t, I should out myself as… well… mechanically disadvantaged. Or perhaps technically disinclined. Maybe, equipmentally challenged? I’m not the sort of person who knows how to, or wants, really, to service my own bicycle/car/motorcycle/what the hell ever. This is why the credit card and the cell phone were invented, and now I hope you’re all happy that my lesbian card is going to be revoked as soon as admin gets wind of this. Next I’ll be frequenting the Clinique counter and eschewing flannel.

So, one whole tenth of a mile into the ride, Stupidhead McEquipmentfailurepants over here found that her front derailleur was malfunctioning. Recent events being as they have been, I haven’t exactly been Johnny-at-the-rathole maintaining my bicycle as I should have been, and dammit it worked just fine last time I rode! So, my anonymous friend and I were forced to flag a sag wagon (minvan manned by a radio geek and a first aid provider). Our bikes were loaded up on the top rack and we took the Drive of Shame to the first rest stop/first aid tent/repair station of the ride to have my stupid bike looked at. I believe we were the first to ride in a sag wagon on this ride. Other riders looked on in disbelief, and at least one was overheard remarking to another, “Must suck to be them.” Our intrepid sag-wagoneers were extremely nice, if not too sure where to take us or how to get there. At one point I leaned forward and told the driver (jokingly, of course) that it was a real confidence-builder for me when he repeatedly activated the windshield wipers. I think he was trying to turn on the headlights (obviously a high priority at 8am on a sunny summer morning). So, we were ferried to the stop and my bike was adjusted for me by a very nice mechanic. Thusly it must be confessed that we rode only 1/10th of a mile of the first 5-mile leg, and so I rode only 35.1 miles all told.

It had been my intent to ride the 70-mile loop but the hills are intimidating and with nursing school, The Finger of Doom ™, and domestic unrest, the training necessary just didn’t take place.

My friend and I decided we’d come back next year and just kick this ride’s ass, then after that progress to the 70-miler.

Monday, June 23, 2008


All right, here's the deal. The Livestrong Challenge is this coming Sunday and I desperately need sponsors.

What with recent events and all, I have been rather lax in both training and fundraising. As a result of not training, I won't be able to ride the 70-mile course as I had hoped. (Sorry, Stacey, my butt won't hurt quite as much just for you -- but it will still be sore!)

I can easily change my registration to the 40-mile course, but -- there is a $250.00 minimum fundraising goal that must be met or I will not be permitted to ride at all They are quite serious about their fundraising, these Livestrong people.

I very much want to ride in this, for many reasons, primarily to raise the funds, but also because I love to ride and want to ride with my friend Annette very much. I don't have the funds to just fill in the missing amount as I did last year (well I could fill in SOME, but not the whole thing) ,so I'm counting on alla youse to pony up! Even five bucks will help me make this goal!

And holy crapples, people, it's for a totally good cause. Right now even my dog has cancer. It touches us all.

If you have a minute, and a few bucks, kindly visit this website and put your money in the virtual waistband of my sweaty Lycra shorts. You'll be glad you did!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Brown Stuff, Oh How It Flies

And verily it doth disperse when it hitteth the fan.

First, the good news. I got my grades, and rather than the B and B+ that I was expecting, I found a B+ and an A! Yay me! ... Not that I really deserve either one, but I'll take 'em.

In other news. I'll be moving soon. To mother's. How humbling is that. But, I need to get through nursing school, and that's the way to do it. I anticipate a long year and a half of fossil-fuel consumption, as mother does live a tidy hour away from school, but free childcare and help with the rent is not something to be passed up (in favor of extreme poverty and the kindness of strangers, as that would be the only other avenue in view at this time).

That's about all I'm going to say about this for now.

That being said... Many thanks to my mother and to the many friends and family members who are so supportive of me. I will dedicate my RN to all of you.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Drunken blogging

Okay, so this isn't drunken because it's two days after the fact, but do let's describe the revelry that took place post-finals.

Oh first of all the final on Tuesday was painful. For reasons I do not care to go into, I did not study much, and so I was already feeling ill-prepared. As usual I was the first one done and lucky me, the results are displayed on-screen when the exam is completed -- I walked out feeling pretty dismal with a 75 percent. Yes, friends and neighbors, seventy-five percent. This gives me a B in the class, I'm pretty sure.

But within a few minutes I was joined at the snack bar counter, where I lingered waiting to see how others did, and found that I did no worse than the vast majority of my classmates. And better even than a few. While I certainly did not want others to do as poorly as I did, it was nice to know that I was no worse off than most.

Off to meet a friend for a quick cuppa, then onward to my class's chosen gathering place, Overpriced Forcedly-Stereotypedly-Ethnic Chain Restaurant. Let happy hour commence! The next two hours found roughly half my class congregating for margaritas, beer, and cheap nachos. Also much loud conversation and candid photo-taking, and enthusiastic toasting of the fact that we are all one-third nurse. Yay!

From there a select group of us moved on to the Freaky Frawg, where we were disappointed to learn that karaoke takes place only on weekends. Okay, truthfully, I was not disappointed, but after two margaritas and two beers (and a designated driver; my car remained at the OFSECR) I was cheefully willing to go where the party was, once we had consumed a couple more pitchers of beer. Seriously, thank God I was among friends.

Next stop, after yet more friends joined us, was to move on to White Trash Dive Bar where karaoke is featured every night of the week. More pitchers, serving wench, and keep it coming! My housemate is the karaoke expert and immediately signed up for various songs. There are many candid photos of her and my other classmates singing, dancing, and generally carrying-on. Not so much of me as I got up from the table only to use the restroom.

Friends, I started this party at 4:30pm.

I got home at 1:30am.

I was never falling down drunk but I would have been had I not switched to Co-Cola at about midnight.

To my vast and undeserved credit, I did not get up and embarrass myself with a microphone. Also, my clothes stayed on, I slept in my own bed, and I didn't have any new tattoos or piercings when I woke up.

I did get in a certain amount of trouble at home, but was cut considerable slack owing to the fact that it was the end of the term and also because my clothes stayed on, I slept in my own bed, and I didn't have any new tattoos or piercings when I woke up.

Yesterday was spent running around taking care of some Vegas-related errands (signing papers etc and driving same papers to a friend who was stuck at work and then back to the club officers -- nice of them to emphasize how if we couldn't attend the meeting, we should make other arrangements ahead of time), also taking headache remedies and feeling queasy at times.

And that, my friends, is how I began my summer vacation. :)

Monday, June 16, 2008

One down

Final no. 1 is over with and I got an 89-point-something.

I will either get a very low A (unlikely) or a B+ (probably) or maybe even a B (let's hope for the B+).

Either way I done reasonably good. :) Yay me!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A brief, alcohol-related survey (painless and fun!)

Okay my friends, do me a quick favor.

Tomorrow evening I'm attending a post-finals get-together (translation: gathering at bar for express purpose of consuming many, many alcoholic beverages) for the quarter ahead of mine in nursing school. I may be attending this one in lieu of my own because I want to go for a bike ride on Tuesday which is when mine is happening.

The question has been posed to me: should we get a cab, or can I drive?

Okay, so I do have one more final the next day at 2pm. I can't get too stupid because I should really be up at a decent hour to study the next day. Theoretically this means I could control myself a bit and be the designated driver. But.... if we got a cab, then I could get a lil' tipsy.

Decisions, decisions.

Help me out here, peeps. Give me your take on it in the comments.

Yeah, Happy Father's Day, or something

Actually, a VERY happy Father's Day to my friends and family who are good fathers.

To my own Dad, well, you'd be getting a card if a) I knew where to send it -- you haven't called since moving to the East Coast (remember when you called me up to tell me you were moving? Good times, Dad!), and b) they made cards that said things like:

Happy Father's Day to the guy who weaseled out of most of his court-mandated child support,
declined to help pay for my orthodontia ("She doesn't need braces." Wow! I had no idea you were an orthodontist on the side!),

has usually lived hundreds if not thousands of miles away,

has pictures of his wife's grandkids all over the house but not one photo of my child or my brother's sons,

breezes through town expecting me to drop everything, sometimes on literally a few minutes' notice, to accomodate him for meals or even a place to stay,

has missed my daughter's birthdays (all four of them so far; you are 4 and 0! Keep up the good work!),

shot my grandmother's emotionally traumatized rescued poodle dog to death rather than take it to a vet and get it some tranquilizers when it was distraught because she was gone for a few days,
tried to fob his own horrible evil little dog off on Grandma when he decided to move away and were worried he wouldn't tolerate the trip well (why didn't you just shoot him too?),

drove up from San Diego to visit other relatives but failed to mention it to me, despite the fact that I hadn't seen you in a couple of years (I retaliated in kind a few years later when I flew to Washington DC for a week and never told you, because I didn't feel like blowing one or more nights on having dinner with you and your awful wife),

gave my brother a gun for Christmas but gave me nothing,

and still occasionally has the nerve to complain that nobody calls him.

As soon as they start making that card, Dad, you'll get one from me.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Vegas, baby! Yeah!

So I finally found out today that I'm going to Vegas! For a nursing symposium! As is my housemate and my mentor/adopted step-twin and a bunch of other people.


And, Euphemism College is picking up the tab! Well, most of it. All but fifty bucks, plus I think we have to find our own dinners or something. But the college is paying for the airfare, the hotel rooms, the symposium, etc. For 24 of us! Plus two advisors! Now that's a lotta cashbucks.

Anyhoo, I'm stoked about going. I've never been to Vegas. :) I plan to spend a lot of time wandering around like an open-mouthed rube from the puckerbrush, except cleaner and not as vulnerable to pickpockets.

Which reminds me of this one time in Madrid (not at band camp, however) when my Mom and I were walked into La Plaza Mayor and these gypsy women (real authentic gypsies, and they looked the part) got between us and one of them got her hands right into my Mom's purse and onto her wallet. I saw it and hollered and she yanked her hands away, and then those women just melted into the crowd, but not before the one with the hands on Mom's purse locked eyes with me for just a split second and gave me this funny little smile, like, Well done for a tourist moron.

Anyway: Yay! Vegas!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

At Long Last

I am free of clinicals. Yes, finally the Skool-B-Gon is working (thank God we got the dosage correct at last) and in just a few more days, I'll be done with finals and free to loaf all summer.

Ha! Ha! Ha! I mean work nearly full time. And clean my filthy home. And spend as much quality time with my child as possible. And not kill anybody out of sheer frustration.

Can't I just maim them a little? I mean, I know killing is illegal and wrong and bad, also punishable by death in some cases, but maiming, surely that's permissable in extenuating circumstances? Just sayin'.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

It's not looking good

First off I had to drop a cool eleven hundred bucks on the car today, and it won't even be repaired until Thursday at the earliest.

But worse than that, Hopie is not doing well. Tonight J called me at work and asked if we had any aspirin, because Hope is walking funny, her back legs don't seem to be working in sync with her front ones, and she is curving her back up when she walks, and J wanted to give her something to make her feel better. She had put in a call to her sister the vet but hadn't yet gotten ahold of her. What eventually happened was that her sister called her back and told her aspirin would be okay but prednisone would be even better.

Okay, how weird is this. Prednisone is not something we typically have in the house but last month I got sick and went to urgent care because I felt just so spectacularly shitty, and among the things they sent home with me was prednisone. Which I almost didn't get the prescription filled, and then didn't even end up taking because the next morning I started to feel the tiniest bit better and just didn't feel like dealing with the hassle of it all. (Yes, I'm going to be a nurse and I'm a lousy patient.)

So J has given her some prednisone per her sister's advice, and the latest update I have is that Hopie has barely moved all evening.

J's sister also had her look in Hope's eyes, and the bad news is that one pupil is fixed and dilated. Her sister fears that this means the cancer has infiltrated Hope's brain, which is what I feared when J first called me tonight, and I am pretty sure that when J takes Hope to her sister's it won't be for surgery, it will be for euthanasia.

Oh, Hopie. We barely knew ye.

Friday, June 06, 2008

It's been a rough week and no mistake

So, got my second day of clinicals in a row over with. It was really quite nice, I worked with the same two patients as the day before, both of whom I really liked. It's a relief to get caught up, and now I have only one clinical day to go, along with review sessions during my classes and two skills to sign off on in the lab. Then finals! And summer! Yay!

That being said, plenty of fecal matter hit the fan this week, mostly in the past couple of days.

Our dog Hope, the smaller, sneakier and higher-strung of our two, ate the last pull-up of Delia's diaper-wearing career and gave herself a delightful intestinal blockage and subsequent inflammation. Vet appointment, x-ray, Zantac, etc etc. She's over that but still wasn't eating, so we took her back to the vet, who then found a lump in her neck. He took a biopsy and today we got the call: yes, it's cancerous. Adenocarcinoma of the thyroid. He informs us that surgery is in order and chemo is usually indicated, and it's best handled by a specialist.

Realistically? We can't afford a specialist. It cost us four hundred dollars that we already couldn't really spare just to get to this point. The dog is nine years old, and J doesn't want to put her through chemo. We'll take her to J's sister, who is a vet and also the source of every sad-sack special-needs animal in our house, for surgery, and whatever will be, will be.

Cut to me feeling like a jerk for not loving this dog for all the nine years I've lived with her. I do love her, she's not a bad dog, but I am not so much a dog person and I haven't been the loving, devoted owner to her. Now that she's feeling poorly and the future doesn't look so bright, I regret the way I've treated her. :( She deserves better than this.

Then, just to drive the whole point home, my engine light came on a few days ago and we dutifully took it to the dealership to get it diagnosed. Yeah. The other call we got today. Catalytic converter is dying a horrible death. There goes another seven hundred dollars or so.

Okay, okay, I get it already. The world is a cruel place and fate is a harsh mistress. Enough already.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Who's a Good Little Bicyclist?! I AM!

Okay, so I hauled my fat ass out of mothballs and went on a bike ride this evening. It had been since like last fall. Let it never be so long again. I had such fun and it felt so good.

Here's what makes this very funny:

My friend Wussy McFairweatherpants, who bailed on me last fall on the Livestrong ride because it was raining (but who in fairness did warn me that she might, and it really was raining all day), drove for 20 miles, through rush hour traffic, having left at 4pm to be there by 6pm to get to the start of the ride, and arrived only to find that she'd left her front wheel in the garage. She has one of those roof racks that you take the front wheel off your bike and when she loaded it up, she just neglected to put the wheel in the car.

Oops. Bet from now on she puts the front wheel in the car FIRST.

So we gave her bushel baskets of crap about this, which she took very stoically, and then we left on our ride. Two ride leaders, a few women I didn't know, and Wussy's friend who I'd just met that evening.

Lo and behold, it began to rain. At maybe the half mile mark, maybe even less, the leaders pulled the ride over and said, if you're gonna bail from the weather, do it now. No shame, no harm, no foul, it's raining. Go home if you're gonna. About half the riders did so, leaving me, Wussy's friend, and one other woman. (BTW it's a "ladies" ride) Off we went, riding nearly twelve miles in what was occasionally some fairly comprehensive rain, other times mere drizzle, even completely drying up altogether once in a while. I'd say it rained about 3/4 of the time. Wussy's friend and I both stuck with it, in part just so we could lord it over Wussy.

Annette, if you're reading this, I'm just kidding about calling you Wussy and I'm really looking forward to seeing you and your bike and BOTH of its wheels next week. :) You rock!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Finger of Doom

So the Finger of Doom lives on. I've been in occupational therapy for it, and I don't do the exercises enough, so finally the therapist (or terrorist) told me I was losing my window of opportunity and if I didn't get on the stick here, I wouldn't be getting the function back like I should. Then after making me cry (not really), he gave me some "Theraputty" to work with and set me loose.

A week later I returned and thoroughly impressed him with increased range of motion etc etc (entirely undeserved).

I still have a certain amount of swelling in that finger, and I have to wear a little homemade Coban (that stretchy wrap that looks like an Ace bandage but sticks to itself) support-hose stocking on it. I ran out of the brown kind and when I went to get more, they only had white or purple. So I got purple. Yay me!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Check it out!

My first ever video, over in the videos tab. Woot!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Birthday Girl

So, Delia's fourth birthday is next Monday. Last Sunday we had a family party for J's side, a joint party for Delia and two cousins who have birthdays on either side of hers. It was the usual mayhem -- six kids ages 8 and under, four of whom are girls ages 4 and under. Lots of fun.

Fortunately but unfortunately, one of the aunts gave Delia a Playmobil Noah's Ark. The minute she opened that thing, she became a giant pain in the ass. She wanted so bad to go play with it by herself. She refused to go outside, she protested loudly if anyone else wanted to touch it, she didn't want to do anything but play with that toy. Alone. Right now.

Nonetheless, we all survived, and here are a few pics:

The birthday girl with an apron set given to her by our housemate.
Delia puffy hearts the cake, featuring "sea creatures" that she picked out herself.

Blowin' out the candles!

She knows her letters!

So this evening after dinner we had a tiny spot of ice cream. There wasn't much, so when Delia wanted more we told her she could write it on the list (a dry-erase board on the fridge) and then we would get more when we went shopping. So, she got up there and started. I told her which letters to write, and only had to help her on the "R".

Ladies and gents, I proudly present to you:

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


So it got ridiculously hot the past few days and we fired up Ye Olde Aire Conditioner it worked like a champeen.

And then I went out to get something out of the car on like the second day of the miniature heat wave, and saw two tiny dabs of water peeping out from beneath the garage door.


So I opened up the garage door and there, sheeting across the floor and inconveniently passing under the enormous pile of now-sodden future garage sale items, ran the water.

Um.... damn.

Luckily, J's brother The Amazingly Handy Guy happened to be coming to our house, and he crawled around a bit and diagnosed the problem. Remember the little rat problem? Yeah. As if taking up residence in our foundation and crapping everywhere wasn't enough, the little buggers had to go and chew up the hose that drains the water away from the a/c. I don't feel so bad now about the fact that we had to get an exterminator to, uh, exterminate them (at significant personal expense, and only after unsuccessful attempts to humanely relocate them ourselves).

TAHG patched up the hole with some hose he found at Goodwill and a couple of hoseclamps. Problem solved. Wonder if he'd like to stay on and sift through the pile of dampened junk to see what's salvageable?


So it got ridiculously hot the past few days and we fired up Ye Olde Aire Conditioner it worked like a champeen.

And then I went out to get something out of the car on like the second day of the miniature heat wave, and saw two tiny dabs of water peeping out from beneath the garage door.


So I opened up the garage door and there, sheeting across the floor and inconveniently passing under the enormous pile of now-sodden future garage sale items, ran the water.

Um.... damn.

Luckily, J's brother The Amazingly Handy Guy happened to be coming to our house, and he crawled around a bit and diagnosed the problem. Remember the little rat problem? Yeah. As if taking up residence in our foundation and crapping everywhere wasn't enough, the little buggers had to go and chew up the hose that drains the water away from the a/c. I don't feel so bad now about the fact that we had to get an exterminator to, uh, exterminate them (at significant personal expense, and only after unsuccessful attempts to humanely relocate them ourselves).

TAHG patched up the hole with some hose he found at Goodwill and a couple of hoseclamps. Problem solved. Wonder if he'd like to stay on and sift through the pile of dampened junk so see what's salvageable?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Imaginary Buttcheeks Redux

I have written before about my brother's legendary lack of hindquarter. See, for instance, this post. The part about his behind is down a ways in a description of our trip to the state fair.

So when my friend Liz sent me this link, I knew just whom to send it to, with a note that if he ordered now he might be able to get some in time for Mother's Day (as a sort of gift to his wife, you see).

I received the following reply:

"It's a MEDICAL CONDITION, for Pete's sake.
It even has a name, DGS.  Diminished Gluteal Syndrome.
And it's an ORTHOTIC."

I was then forced to email back:

"I hear there's a new medication you can take for it. It's called Noassitol."

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Come on down

I'm really over at http://impetua.multiply.com/ these days. I still post to this blog but edits and comments from multiply don't make it over here.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

High maintenance

So this afternoon I coordinated a trip to the library with Delia. She's been out of preschool and soccer since getting so sick, and due to a little mishap today (Me: "Hey did you get Delia off to preschool this morning?" J: "No, today's Monday." Me: "No.... today's Tuesday." J: "Oh CRAP!") she didn't go again, so I thought, I should take the poor tyke to the library.


So after asking her like fifty times to put on her shoes and socks, I was starting to get frustrated, and evidently it was apparent to her because then we had the following exchange. Bear in mind that she is three years old.

Delia: Mama, are you having kind of a bad day?
Me (laughing a little): Am I?
Delia: Yeah. See, what you need to do is relax.

What really made it funny was J snickering loudly and then busting out into belly laughs from down the hall. Part of why I was frustrated was a miscommunication about whether she was going with us to the library, and I had been sort of on the warpath about how I'd been waiting around for her and now it was getting late. At this point I totally threatened to kick her ass.

Earlier in the day I'd spoken to J on the phone from school, and she told me another amusing Delia related anecdote. J had put on some music while they were eating lunch, and Delia found this to be so irritating that after she was done eating, while J was out of the room, she went over to the cd player, removed the cd and then hid it. I asked, Was she mad that you weren't letting her watch some show or something? And J said, Yeah, she wanted to watch a dvd. I said, Which cd did you have in? J says, Oh, one of the new ones I just got. I said, Bob Dylan? Oh, I would have hidden it too.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Poor Lil' Scooby

So Delia has been sick for ages. First it was the barf-o-rama that started on the 13th and lasted for nearly a week (by the end it was mostly listlessness, the occasional diarrhea, and no appetite) and then just a few days later suddenly she's hit with this horrible high fever. This went on for a couple of days and we were obliged to get a thermometer, and tylenol, and she was up half the night in bed with me watching cartoons to distract her from how shitty she felt.

Then on Thursday I'm at clinicals all day and around lunchtime I'm calling home and getting worried that I can't reach J. Finally she calls back: Delia woke from a nap just miserable and her axillary (armpit) temp was 104.5!! Holy crapples! So J took her to the doctor and they said, well she might have roseola. It's a kind of fevery-rashy thing that they see on occasion and they'd had a couple of cases recently. It's not terribly serious aside from the high fever but it's damned uncomfortable. I had it when I was around 28 or so and it did rather suck. The rash doesn't particularly itch but it's unsightly and the fever is no fun. But then Delia never did get a rash. She does have a runny nose now but that just appeared on Thursday, after she'd been sick for days already.

So Delia continued with the fever until today, she finally slept through the night on Thurs. night and today was the first day she woke up without a temp and appears to not have had one all day. She did get kind of flushed and rosy cheeked in the afternoon but she and J. were playing outside and it might have just been exertion, after all that resting and napping for two weeks solid.

It just sucks when your kid is sick. :(

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Junior Nurse Woodchuck Club

So today in clinicals I had a male patient getting his second hip replaced. Oh and did we mention he's a retired physician? Yeah, no pressure there... He turned out to be a really nice man, and in addition to doing an assessment on him (you know, the once-over: listen to lungs, heart, look at IV site, kind of a head to toe how ya doin') I got to give him a subcutaneous injection of an anticoagulant.

Okay, so I'm used to the tiny, skinny, fine needles that they use for insulin, and unfortunately this needle was not such a fine gauge, so it didn't dart into the skin the first time like it was supposed to and so I had to assault the poor man twice. But he was super nice about it.

Then, I got to discontinue an IV line for a woman who was being discharged today. By the way, adhesive tape + gloves = sticky mess, but we already knew that.

Then later I got to d/c my male patient's IV line too, and it went fine.

I feel almost competent at times.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Madcap Life of a Nursing Student

So this week I kind of overbooked myself.

Sunday night: stay up until 3am finishing assignments due on Monday by 1pm.

Monday: class 8am to noon, attempt to pay tuition (see previous entry), race back up to Hyperbole University to get a signature from one instructor because I'm pretty sure she won't be available Tuesday. Go home, collapse.

Tuesday: class 8-10am, gather remaining signatures, back down to college to register and pay, return to University to practice and sign off on "converting running IV to saline lock" and "discontinue saline lock." Repeatedly refer to saline lock as "piggyback" to the amusement of all. Swing by store to pick up thermometer and children's tylenol as daughter is home with raging fever of indeterminate origins.

Wednesday: wake at 2:30am with daughter, dose her with ibuprofen, cool her off, doze fitfully, awaken to myriad requests for drinks of water or assistance to restroom (thankfully just to pee); shower, breakfast, head to University to practice and sign off on intermittent IV infusion of medications. Then off to hospital to get tomorrow's assignment, return home, prepare materials for tomorrow's clinicals, and try to get to bed at decent hour.

Thursday: Clinicals begin at 6am! Done at 3pm, home for a couple of hours, then off to emergency do-gooders' volunteer training 6-8:30pm.

Friday: testing at University (for which I have no time to study), then off to volunteer opportunity performing HgA1C testing on wrinkly old folks, 11am - 3pm.

Weekend: work, read for class on Monday.


In which I am a moron

So it turns out that if you fail to pay your tuition on time, Euphemism College will drop you from all your classes.

I have no defense, I had just gotten fixated on this idea that I needed to drop by the college and pay in person with a check rather than do it over the internet and then just immediately pay off the credit card as I have done in the past. So yeah, the college is not near anything else I routinely go to, and last week Delia was sick, and then I got a cold, and then I was constantly tired, and kept forgetting...

So if you then go to pay your tuition and find you've been un-registered, you then must petition your instructors to register more than ten days after the start of the term. This means you get a petition form and write on it why it was that you failed to pay on time or whatever other reason you might have for registering late. I had to write five forms, for my five classes. This rather felt like standing at the board a la Bart Simpson: "I will not chew gum in class, I will not chew gum in class, I will not chew gum in class..."

You must then go to each instructor in turn and explain to them what happened, and they must not only sign your form but write a small statement regarding why it is exactly that you should be permitted to register so late. I have three instructors, so I had to tell each one of them that I, in effect, am a moron. Then they had to find some not-too-insulting way of saying that I should be allowed to continue despite my incredible ineptitude.

Perhaps this process is designed to be so humiliating and tedious that the student will never again be tempted to color outside the registration lines. I know it's certainly having that effect on me.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Dollar store gifting

So today I had to take the small fry to the doctor for the hurling/poopage issue, and afterward because I am a terrible person I was then obligated to take her to the dollar store. She puffy hearts the dollar store in a huge way.

Once inside I was tempted by many items, especially the vast selection of decorative figurines in many styles, but I held firm until we went to get in line at the checkout. It was then that I spied the basket of those little compressed thingies that you throw into the bathwater and they amusingly swell up to become a full sized washrag, as if by magic. The designs vary by season, or someone's whim, or who knows. Currently the theme was the planets in our solar system.

I was forced to purchase one to send to my brother.

You guessed it.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Things unrelated to GAH

So before the baby's head rotated 360 degrees and firehose reverse-peristalsis began, I actually spent Saturday night doing something grown-up and not concerned with child, school, work, or home. We went to see Sweeney Todd. The touring Broadway production, not the movie.

I rather enjoyed it. I'm a sucker for musicals, and this whole thing where there was no orchestra and the cast played their own instruments? So cool. It doesn't seem possible, to a musically disinclined rube such as myself, for so few instruments to make such full sound. The set was cool, the cast was cool. It was, in a word, nifty. (Bet you thought I was going to say cool!)

Our seats are first balcony, really pretty good (I don't like sitting down on the main floor), but the actors are a wee bit hard to make out distinctly. The woman playing Mrs. Lovett was fantastic, played her as good-natured and shrewd, bawdily proper and completely without morals (but in such a very moral way, somehow), and I sort of regarded her as (Will & Grace's) Karen Walker gone to seed. There was one scene in which she played a bit on the tuba, with her back to the audience, that had me nearly in tears laughing.

Also, today was my mother's last day of work. Ever. Happy Retirement to MOM! She doesn't seem old enough to retire, and in fact she isn't 65 yet. Hell, she isn't even 62 yet. She worked hard all her life and then married Mr. Wonderful, who is not only a great guy but also a gainfully employed master electrician. It's a really nice feeling to know that your mom is set for a graceful, comfortable retirement, and early enough to enjoy it, God willing.

And! She! Is! Coming! To! Disneyland! With! Us! In September. I can't afford it but I'm going anyway. And my brother and his wife and kids, we're all going together! I really wanted Mom to go too so I'm totally stoked that she is. My brother cornered her a couple weeks ago and the next day Mom and I had this conversation:

Mom: So I've been guilted into coming to Disneyland with you guys.
Me: (thrilled) Oh?
Mom: Yes. My forty-three year old son, the one with the white hair and white beard, informed me that he and all of his children would cry themselves to sleep each night for the rest of their lives and sleep on wet pillows, if I didn't come to Disneyland in September.
Me: (trying to sound properly contrite and failing) Hahahahaha. Well I'm glad you're coming.

(Note: my brother is prematurely gray and it looks super cool on him. I'm going gray and it's going to look like crap on me. There is no justice.)

....As for school, first module test last week, score of 92, second one this week, covering EIGHT chapters of fluid and electrolyte imbalance, score of 84 (can I get a hallelujah). I'm sure some overachiever will do better, but I'm glad to get a decent score. Today in lab we covered surgical scrub (that cool scrubbing-in they do where they hold their hands up in the air and don't touch anything) and then sterile gowning and gloving. So interesting. I might be destined for OR nursing, although it's kind of early to tell.

I missed a dinner tonight for the Student Nurse Association of Euphemism College, due to baby's squirty buttitis (as we call it; a technical term, related to itchy buttitis and blowy assitis). I'm an officer in the club, my duties are to create and post flyers announcing our meetings and some other events. Big whoop, but it gets me first dibs on dinners, volunteer opportunities, and so forth, and looks good in the ol' portfolio. The next dinner is on May 2nd and there is a professor from Harvard Medical School coming to talk about multiple myelomas. It'll be fancy.

Oh, plus we've submitted a proposal wherein the school will pay for some of us to go to Las Vegas for a seminar in July. And guess who's on the planning committee. And is an officer. And hopes very much to go. Yes, that'd be MOI.

Monday, April 14, 2008


So yesterday morning at 330am I was awakened by a distress call emanating from the baby's room. I went in expecting to find that she'd had a bad dream, but instead.... Instead I found her bed awash in vomit. Vile, cold, foul-smelling vomit. So, I cleaned her up and threw her bedding in the wash and brought her to bed with me, kicking J out in the process. J is less than responsive at night and this freed up some space so I wasn't trying to sleep/care for a vomitous child whilst perched on the edge of the bed.

Sunday was therefore spent handling the bazooka barfer. I had to take the day off work. Delia was giving it up from both ends all day, very little input and a fair amount of output, so Monday she was no longer hurling but now a bit dehydrated and listless. This child, who normally sleeps only in bed at night or in the car seat on your longer drive, fell asleep on a little nest we made her on the floor (as she had already soiled the couch, and J had mercifully cleaned it with the rug shampooer thingy) twice on Sunday, and on the (now dry but still somewhat gamey) couch a few times both Monday and today.

As she is still having (ugh) diarrhea, I have made her a doctors appointment tomorrow. I got home today from a long day at school and found her laying on the couch, all feverish and pitiful, and J told me that she'd been that way all day. But, after a little ibuprofen and some Gatorade-type-product she has rallied pretty well. She's eating some dinner and has a little more energy right now. You know, just in time for bed.

By the way, she has never really been sick like this before. She's had a couple snotty head colds and one other bout of puking at about 8 months old (memorably, the night before we moved to this house), but this kind of glassy eyed feverish state is one I've never seen before.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

2nd Quarter

So far so good, all both days of it. :)

We messed around with IV's today a bit, and this afternoon we will do some orientation regarding clinicals this quarter. I'll be going to Big Local Hospital on Thursdays for mine. We will do a lot of pre- and post-op care this time. I'm looking forward to it. One of my instructors, let's just call her DragonLady, is a nurse practitioner, and the other, let's call her Not The DragonLady, is an OR nurse, so I think this term will be fun. I think I just don't want to work in long-term care, which was kind of where we got started last quarter.

Tomorrow I have my first round of physical therapy (technically it's occupational therapy I think) for the Finger of Doom. After that I'll drop off my phone to get it activated, and while it's having all my phone numbers downloaded which I'm told will take an hour, I'll get a haircut. Exciting, no?

Friday, April 04, 2008

This, That, The Other Damn Thing

So school starts on Monday.

What did I want to get done on break?
1. Clean house
2. Some personal stuff
3. Go to beach for a day
4. File taxes
5. Get totally organized for school
6. Read ahead
7. Complete required items for school (due at first class meeting)

What did I get done thus far?
1. 50% cleaner house (would be more but vacuum cleaner in shop)
2. None of personal stuff
3. Too rainy
4. Procrastination! It's a beautiful thing.
5. Nope
6. Nuh uh
7. Did one thing so far, a training cd-rom which turned out to be flawed -- seriously, if I can't get through it with a passing grade by the second time trying, something must be wrong. My classmates began calling me about it so obviously it's not just me.

Guess I better get going eh?

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Kindly google "lamentations of the father" and read the piece you find by Ian Frazier. I recommend theatlantic website.

I read this years ago and it still makes me laugh. Though it is not concerning flatulence of any kind.

Flatus = Hilarity

So the other day my better half informs me that she has discovered a new, hitherto unknown, phenomenon that occurs following the consumption of a certain quantity of ham. It is perhaps unsurprising that this discovery should come just after Easter, since for some reason it is traditional to celebrate the resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ -- a person of the Jewish persuasion -- with an enormous pile of cured pork.

At any rate, I was enlightened as to this phenomenon, even unto its name: ham gas.

There is something about this phrase, ham gas, that makes me laugh a stupid, giddy, almost-can't-get-the-words-ham-gas-out laugh. Ham gas! Ham gas! HAM! GAS!

Why is this so damn funny!!

There is also that phenomenon, also apparent around this time of year, because it is in season and readily available and cheap: aspara-gas.

It therefore gave me extreme pleasure just last night to unveil my own new secret weapon, one that is scarce at our house because we don't have them very often: fish stick gas.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Jabber-whacky good times!

This was published in Mad Magazine when I was a kid. It was brought to mind in a post from Yellojkt and I googled it --having not seen it since I was about twelve -- and here it is!



On Dreaming, After Falling Asleep Watching TV

Isabelle Di Caprio

'Twas Brillo, and the G.E. Stoves,
Did Procter-Gamble in the Glade;
All Pillsbury were the Taystee loaves
And in a Minute Maid.

"Beware the Station-Break, my son,
The voice that lulls, the ads that vex!
Beware the Doctors Claim, and shun
That horror called Brand-X!"

He took his Q-Tip'd swab in hand;
Long time the Tension Headache fought--
So Dristan he by a Mercury,
And Bayer-break'd in thought.

And as in Bufferin Gulf he stood
The Station-Break, with Rise of Tame,
Came Wisking through the Pride-hazed wood,
And Creme-Rinsed as it came!

Buy one! Buy two! We're almost through!
The Q-Tip'd Dash went Spic and Span!
He Tide Air-Wick, and with Bisquick
Went Aero-Waxing Ban.

"And hast thou Dreft the Station-Break?
Ajax the Breck, Excedrin boy!
Oh, Fab wash day, Cashmere Bouquet!"
He Handi-Wrapped in Joy.

'Twas Brillo, and the G.E. Stoves
Did Procter-Gamble in the Glade;
All Pillsbury were the Taystee loaves,
And in a Minute Maid.

Zillion questions meme

Are your parents married or divorced?:

Divorced, twice. Once when I was five and again when I was seven.

Are you a vegetarian?:

Nuh uh. Pass me the bloody ribeye and be quick about it.

Do you believe in Heaven?:

When my cat died, that was when I decided there had to be heaven because the thought of being parted from him forever was more than I could take.

Have you ever come close to dying?:

Nearly got mushed by a truck once. Also, nearly lost my leg as a child.

What jewelry do you wear 24/7?:

Wedding ring.

Are you eating?:

Waiting on dinner right now.

Do you eat the stems of broccoli:

ZOMG yes!

Do you wear makeup?:

Nope. Think about it sometimes but I haven't since I was about 22 and working in the library downtown -- no a/c, hot as hell and dusty, makeup just ran anyway. Got out of the habit and then came out. Let the hairy legs and no makeup commence!

Would you ever have plastic surgery?:


What do you wear to bed?:

Girl pajamas. Stop laughing. They make me feel pretty. Shut up.

Have you ever done anything illegal?:

Um... some very very minor illicit drug use as a teen. Very infrequent, very unrewarding. And one speeding ticket. And once I ran a red light by accident and got caught.

Can you roll your tongue?:

No! I feel like a freak now. Everybody else can!

Do You have a boyfriend or girlfriend?:

Er... next question please.

Hahahaha, just kidding. No to either.

Do you believe in Abortions?:

It's a sad solution to a sad problem. I wish there was a better way.

What is your Hair color?:

"It used to be red..."

Future child’s name, boy and girl?:

No more in my future, but if I did, Hamish and Grace

Do you smoke?:

Not even once.

If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?:

Barcelona, and every damn one of you is coming with me.

Do you sleep with stuffed animals?:

Not unless you count Wilbur, the elderly black cat. She's to crabby to be stuffed though.

If you won the lottery, what would you do first?:

Pay off debts.

Gold or silver?:

White gold; silver if it's the kind that doesn't tarnish. I hate me some polishing.

Hamburger or hot dog?:

Hamburger with sharp cheddar, sauteed onions and mushrooms, and lettuce and tomato.

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?:

Vietnamese salad rolls with peanut sauce.

City, beach or country?:

All three!

What was the last thing you touched?:

Empty pop cans as I rinsed them and threw them in recycling.

Where did you eat last?:

The food court at the mall -- a post library snack.

When’s the last time you cried?:

When I broke my finger, around the end of January.

Do you read blogs?:

Pssht. Is a frog's ass watertight?

Would you ever go out dressed like the opposite sex?:

er, I kind of already do a lot of the time in winter. Sweaters, cargo pants.

Ever been involved with the police?:

I have to call them occasionally for work when a client is freaking out. Other than that, and the occasional traffic ticket, no.

What’s your favorite shampoo/conditioner and soap?:

I have no favorite shampoo. Or soap. But nothing too floral or fruity.

Do you talk in your sleep?:

No but I am told that I snore. Lies! All lies!

Ocean or pool?:


What’s your favorite song at the moment:

Lifehouse, "Hanging by a moment"; I know it's not a new song but it's stuck in my head.

Have you ever had a cavity?:

As a kid, tons. Not so much now.

Window seat or aisle seats?:

Window please and keep them drinks a-coming.

Ever met anyone famous?:

Had dinner with Doogie Howser's best friend Vinnie on the show, Max Casella. My then-ex-bf's sister was Max's girlfriend on the show or some damn thing. My ex's then-current gf was out of town so I got to go to dinner with them all when they came through town. Wonder if he ever told his then-current gf?

Do you feel that you’ve had a truly successful life?:

Mmmmm... not especially at this point except for Delia. She is the best thing I ever did.

Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it?:

Cut it. Otherwise I'm wearing a lot of sauce by the end of the meal.

What is your fav. sport to play?:

I like to ride my bicycle.

Basketball or football?:


When was the last time you went to the bathroom?:

Um... is this really necessary to know?

Do you drive a stick?:

We have one of each and I drive both.

Cake or ice cream?:

Depends. Must I choose? Life is so short!

Are you self-conscious?:

Yes. Rather.

Do you like any of your close friends?:

Yes. Otherwise they would not be my close friends. Unless you mean "LIKE" like in which case, sure, they all have qualities I am attracted to, but that doesn't mean I LIKE like them necessarily.

Have you ever given money to a bum?:

Does J's brother count?

Have you been in love?:

Too confusing. Next question please.

Where do you wish you were?:

Walking across the stage getting pinned at my RN ceremony.

On myspace why is the 1st person on ur top 8 there?:

I don't really do myspace.

Have you ever ridden in an ambulance?:

Yes. Avoid it if you can.

Can you tango?:


Last gift you received?:

A book about better living through movies which I've read parts of. It's pretty funny!

What occasion did you recieve your gift?:

Sort of an Easter and just because thing I guess?

Last thing you spent lots of money on?:

Textbooks. Tuition.

Where do you live?:

Pacific Northwest.

Last wedding attended.:

Lordy, it's been ages. My own?

Favorite restaurant?:

Hole in the wall Vietnamese place nearby.

What is your favorite kind of car?:

1967 Chevy Impala.

Most hated food(s):

Sour cream, cream cheese, soft cheese of any kind.

Most loved food(s)?:

Fried rice, shrimp, shrimp fried rice....

Can you sing?:

After a fashion. Depends on how particular you are about the little niceties like if it sounds better than the cat horking up a furball or something.

Person on your mind?:

My daughter, sleeping in her big girl bed for the first time tonight!

What’s your least fav. chores?:

Putting clothes away.

Favorite drink?:

Co-Cola with ice and a straw. Or something alcoholic.

Currently have a Crush?:

Who doesn't?

How long was your longest drive in a car?:

Portland, Oregon, to Fairbanks, Alaska.

Why do you do Myspace surveys?:

I don't.

Do you know who Nick Tyo is?:

No, and I stubbornly refuse to google him.

Photo blog at last

Too lazy to post photos during the quarter -- okay, too busy -- but here I have finally cleared the camera and voila, photos abound!

For starters, here is the nest of the elusive First Quarter Nursing Student. Note the array of books, supplies, and snacks. This was taken the night before the ritual First Paper Due Date.
Next, we have the baby's first rollerskating experience, aside from tootling around the house on her Go Diego Go skates. Dear friend John is supporting her in her efforts in one of these shots. Despite momentary discomfort when her hand got a tiny bit squished, she appeared to enjoy the experience overall. Note: the last time she wore those pants, they came down past her ankles. Lordy, that kid can grow.

Up next: at my Mom's retirement party yesterday, before she got TOO grubby.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Go here now.

This is possibly the most fun I've ever had blogging. Go forth and read the comments in particular.


Monday, March 24, 2008

To Mow

Perchance to trim, to clip the ragged sheaf of fescue...

I mowed today for the first time this year. It's 63 degrees out and cloudy with sunbreaks so I thought I'd better get a mow on if I was gonna anytime soon. This kind of weather doesn't last too long around here in spring. Yesterday, for instance, it rained all day long. I thought I'd start with the front yard and just mow until it started to rain, but it stayed sunny so I kept on mowing and now the entire yard is at least less unsightly than usual. I'm drawing the line at running the weed whacker. This whole mowing thing was unscheduled as it was.

J's brother is here for a brief (and by the way utterly unscheduled) visit. Some souvenirs from his prior visit: a big yellow canoe-shaped mark in the grass on the side yard, most of the dirt in our family room carpet, and a freezer full of some kind of fragrantly deceased fish (not the delicious salmon but some other kind of smelly denizen of the deep). Here's to hoping that this visit is short and to the point. Delia, however, is nearly hysterical with joy. Doug's dog Busty is among her favorite living beings. As I blog this, she is joyously chasing Busty around the house, throwing a toy for him and yelling at the top of her lungs. He does bear close watching, however, as he does have a small tendency to hump things when excited. First off, eeeeeeuw, and secondly, he weighs about three times as much as she does.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Final Tally

Surprise, surprise.

Remember when I talked about the best case scenario?

Yay me!

I got an A in 112, an A in 113, and a B+ in 110. And passes in the pass/fails.

I rock! :)

Er, it was at least partly luck. And stuff like that. :)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

How I'll Spend My Spring Vacation

Big plans!

1. Clean house. House is filthy shithole, fit for pigs or similar. Drifts of animal hair threatening to obscure television from view. For obvious reasons, this is unacceptable.
2. Take baby rollerskating for the first time in her tender young life. (Note to self: locate leftover bubble wrap and duct tape before next Weds.)
3. Take day trip to beach. If tradition holds, choose rainiest day in recent history. Has baby gotten over irrational fear of sand?
4. Clean more of house, including scraping rings out of bathtub, chipping Mysterious Residue off any window the baby can reach, and sifting through bushel baskets of mail.
5. Obsessively prepare New and Improved Notebook of Doom for next term. Have decided to keep current NoD filled with 1st Quarter class materials. (Why? Who knows. Perhaps I'll need them someday?)
6. Play World of Warcraft until my eyes dry up and fall out of my head. Repeat as often as tolerated by Better Half.
7. Get off slothful (and expanding) butt and resume healthful gym activity. Can now almost grip things with Finger of Doom! And let's not forget Livestrong Ride coming up.
8. Ooh, speaking of which, must call and get therapy for same. Can only bend partway, and hurts like... well, like something that hurts a lot.
9. Take baby to library, zoo, museum, and anywhere else she likes.
10. Did I mention cleaning and other types of home maintenance? Including, but not limited to: dusting, vacuuming, cleaning rugs, tackling Mt. Washmore, sorting forty bazillion toys into their respective storage units, wiping down kitchen cupboards (ours are white, and we have a not quite 4 year old... yeah, it's not pretty), cleaning chicken coop, mowing lawn, bunny cage, bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchen, dining room, gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah
11. Drink heavily; hire housekeeper. (okay, just wishful thinking)
11. Take baby to soccer practice! Am soccer mom now!
12. Work on weekends as usual

That about sums it up.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

First Grade Posted

I got an A in 112! Yay!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


So I missed the Danskin Triathlon registration for the Seattle tri and have been silently suffering ever since.

Today I got an email. They have a new race. Another tri in the series.

It's at freaking DISNEYLAND.

I want to go so bad it hurts, but no way can I afford it. It would cost me like a thousand dollars to go do this thing, and I don't need to do it. But oh lordy, I want to.

Two Down

Got an 89 on my final today. I might, just maybe, squeek an A in that class, but it's gonna be close either way so I'm not holding my breath.

Tomorrow morning I take my last final (my final final?) for first term -- one term down, five to go! I suspect I could get an A in this class (112, "Introduction to Mental Health Concepts") but again, hard to tell.

Worst case scenario: B's in all classes that get letter grades, pass in the lab and clinicals.

Best case scenario: a B in 113 ("Professional Nursing Skills I"), A in 110 ("Foundations of Professional Nursing"), A in 112, pass in the lab and clinicals.

Not bad work, Grasshopper.

Friday, March 14, 2008

One down, plus: occupational terrorists

Took my nursing assessment final yesterday.

First off let me just say that performance testing freaks me out big time. I just hate being observed. It took me four tries to get my driver's license, and why? Sheer nerves. My heart pounds, my mouth dries out, my hands shake, I break out in a sweat. It's ridiculous.

That being said, I did pass all my skill check-offs on the first try, which I attribute mostly to sheer dumb luck. I did not realize that most of my peers failed at least one of them at some point, until someone asked me about it and I blithely admitted that I hadn't failed any of them. This drew many cold stares and whiny "OMG I totally hate you"s from the rest of the table.

Anyways I passed my final with a "B." The test was administered by my clinicals instructor. He's a decent guy which made it less intimidating. Unfortunately, I misunderstood some crucial instruction beforehand: he went down the list of points to cover in the assessment and told us which ones not to chart, but I thought he meant not to even assess those. So I probably would have squeaked an A on the final had I understood that correctly.

Then he returned my patient presentation, on which we all got B's. Mostly due to a boatload of minor APA formatting errors. I am totally going to get the APA formatting software. This will eliminate most of those errors out of hand.

So, I'll probably get a B in that class. I had good module scores, probably a low A, but the B on the paper and the B on the final will bring me to a B.

In other news: I saw the finger doctor Tuesday. Mr. Smug Physician's Assistant was somewhat more bearable. He clucked disapprovingly when I showed him my still-swollen, stiff, non-bending finger, and proceeded to grab it and try to bend it for me. This sound emerged from my mouth, entirely unbidden from me: "NGGGGAAAAAHHHHH!" The Finger of Doom did not bend. "So," he says cheerfully, "you need to go see the occupational terrorists! And this is gentle compared with what they will do to you!" I swear there was a subliminal "MUWAHAHAHAHA!" Evil Maniac laugh in there too but only I could hear it. The other people in the office did not call security as they certainly should have done.

I am supposed to be warming my finger up for ten minutes or so using a hot compress, then using my other hand to bend the finger, then slapping a cold pack on it -- oh and eating ibuprofen like candy -- but this would interfere pretty severely with my gaming and blogging time. Ah, priorities...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Last class!

Just walked out of my last class of the quarter! SWEET!!!!

Now I have left: 2 module tests (got 95 on the one I took yesterday, thank you, please hold your applause), the head to toe, and two finals next week.

Then I was talking to a friend from 2nd quarter and she told me, I should go directly for master's right away because starting in 2013 you'll have to have a doctorate to be a nurse practitioner instead of a master's. So, I'll be contacting that advisor over at Hyperbole University RIGHT AWAY!!!

By the way, in high school when I was attending a health occupations magnet program I said I would never be a nurse. And when I started nursing school a scant three months ago I said I'd never be a nurse practitioner.

I think it's time I said it: I'll never be a millionaire! And, um, I'll never travel the world! And I'll never ever get a brand new BMW motorcycle and ride around like I'm super badass! Never!!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Pee body

When Delia was a baby I liked to call her Peabody when she had a wet diaper. Come here ya little Peabody, I'd say. Once, when she was suffering from some weird throwing up problem (her only real illness aside from a few snotty head colds) I got to use a little stick-on external catheter to try to get a teeny, tiny urine sample from her. The throwing up problem went away a couple of days later, but I'll treasure that memory forever... NOT.

Anyway, you might be asking yourself, "I wonder what this might be leading up to?"

Well, today I signed off on my final skill for this term. Inserting a Foley catheter.

Those of you who are super fortunate may not realize that when you are very ill, have lengthy surgery, break your entire pelvis, whatever, those evil people at the hospital will stick a hose into your whatnot for the purpose of letting you pee into a bag. Pray that this never happens to you, if only to avoid the off chance that some ham-handed nursing student will get a shot at "practicing their skills" on your bits and pieces.

For the purposes of lab practice, we use anatomically correct manikins. They feature interchangeable personal regions. So, Mr. Ken Dahl might become Ms. Anastasia Beaverhausen (my personal favorite made up name which I totally stole from Will & Grace) with a brisk riiiiiiiiiiiiiip of velcro. Both genders feature simplified, large-bore openings so that the hapless moron student can get an idea of what they're up against come the revolution. The visual on this can be, trust me, a bit disturbing the first time, but after a bit we all become accustomed to the "squishy bits" looking (in the case of the male manikin part) somewhat realistic in a rubbery way, but with a gigantic opening at the end, or (in the case of the female manikin part) gapingly horrifying and with perfectly round openings in appropriate places. You can get used to anything, it seems.

At any rate, this skill is due by next Tuesday, so like good little students the smarter ones among us (and here I include myself, modestly) have taken care of this early. The lab does get lousy with students toward a deadline and the lab instructors are less than sympathetic to our cries and pleas. They shut the lab promptly and go home with clear consciences. We were given these deadlines the first week of the term.

Three more module tests, the head to toe, and two finals. Go us!

Head to toe assessment

My good friend Elizabeth (I'll link her blog when I get home where the handy bookmark is) gave me a nice synopsis of the head-to-toe assessment on manikins we'll be doing for our final a week from now:

More of a vinyl type here with squishy bits.
Lots of squishy bits.
Anatomically correct vinyl.
Plastic again.

This will totally help me get an A! Thanks, Elizabeth!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Two more weeks!

So, two weeks from now I'll be studying for my last final of this term. Gah!!!

And, this Thursday is my last clinical for this term.

A week after that we do our head-to-toe assessment on a manikin as a final for clinicals.

Then finals week begins and I'll have two and a half weeks off.

And then it starts all over again.

Good times!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Bummer :(

I've been so depressed about this I haven't been able to blog about it. But here goes.

I missed the online registration for the Danskin triathlon.

It was Feb. 26th, and in the past it seemed to be available for some time, so I wasn't too worried about doing it first thing in the morning. But then when I logged on and tried to register around 5pm... it was already closed. :( It was entirely possible to register by mail or fax beforehand, but I had never had any trouble registering online before, so that's what I was going to do this year too.

The triathlon was a huge part of my summer last year, and this year I talked two of my friends into going. I was so excited about it. And they both got registered... and I didn't.

I'm still excited, I am going to go with them and be their support crew -- but I'm so, so, so bummed about not getting to participate.

I realize that as Real Problems go, this is not a very big deal. But I'm still bummed.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Livestrong Ride

Here in the Pacific Northwest we're having the Lance Armstrong Foundation Livestrong Ride on June 29th. It is a fundraiser for the LAF which raises money for cancer research.

Last year I completed the 40-mile route of this ride (Alone and in the rain! And I fell down and I kept on going!) and this year -- this year, my people, I'm doing the SEVENTY mile route! The forty-miler from last year was the longest ride I'd ever done, so I'm seriously upping the ante this year. And part of why I chose to do that was hearing about Stacey.

If you would like to help me reach -- or ideally EXCEED -- my fundraising goal of five hundred dollars, please let me know by sending me a private message here on Multiply.

Stacey, my butt will be hurting all day on June 30th JUST FOR YOU!!!!

Friday, February 29, 2008


So tonight we're going to a birthday party for our dear friend Lil' Jeffy, whose birthday is Leap Year Day. Therefore he has a "real" birthday only once every four years, making him eight birthdays old. Do the math and you might surmise that he is in fact 32. I don't really remember him turning 30, so this came as a shock to me.

I dearly love his parents though I have not been able to look his mom in the eye since he told me that story about the time he came home unexpectedly early, bounded up the stairs, and found ... well, you just shouldn't do that sort of thing in the den, is all I'm sayin'.

Went in to school this morning to take a module test and also to finish up a couple of assignments. Got it all done and with a 100 on the module test, even. Yay me!

A fellow student whom I met at that dinner thingy a while back informed me today that the general consensus among students in her term (she is one term ahead of me) is that whether you put in a ton of work on your patient presentation, or not so much, you'll still get a B on it. So I'm kinda glad I just-over-half-assed it. No sense spending hours and hours agonizing over it if I'm still just gonna get a B.

One word is enough

1. Where is your cell phone? counter
2. Your toe nails? adequate
3. Your hair? moppy
4. Your mother? superlative
5. Your father? clueless
6. Your favorite thing? daughter
7. Your dream last night? forgotten
8. Your favorite drink? coke
9. Your dream/goal? Nurse
10. The room you're in? diningroom
11. Your fear? disaster
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? prosperous
13. Where were you last night? home
14. What you're not? mature
15. Muffins? blueberry
16. One of your wish list items? housekeeper
17. Where you grew up? Oregon
18. The last thing you did? exam
19. What are you wearing? splint
20. Your TV? dvd
21. Your pets? numerous
22. Your computer? darling
23. Your life? chaotic
24. Your mood? fatigued
26. Your car? zoomzoomzoom
27. Something you're not wearing? earrings
28. Favorite Store? book
29. Your summer? active
30. Your favorite color? blue
31. When is the last time you laughed? today
32. Last time you cried? Tuesday
33. Who will/would re-post this? anyone :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Finger of Doom

So today I took off my splint for a while, to give The Finger of Doom (TFoD) some air time. The snotty physician's assistant who saw me at the fracture clinic told me I should start doing some occasional easy bending type motions right about now, but I think he should just f*ck straight off, is what I think. Stupid thing is STILL bruised and very stiff, and bending it still hurts. So yeah. I don't think so.

Module test today, score 95. Yay me!

Also met with advisor. Hyperbole University evidently has not only an RN-to-Bachelor's degree program, but also an RN-straight-to-Master's degree for people such as myself, who have for example an all but useless BA in Nothingness Studies from Hunormous State University. So, my next step is to investigate that a bit on the website and then contact yet another advisor, this time a HU one and not the Euphemism College one I saw today. I could start knocking out the prereq's this summer. I believe I may have to take some statistics classes, which should not be a problem owing to my gigantic cranial capacity. Ha, ha, ha. Actually I did take some statistics years ago and I found that if you had a basic grasp of algebra, you could plug-n-chug your way through it without too much trouble. So, yay! Summer classes.....

Thursday, February 21, 2008

What sucks more than clinicals?

Clinicals with a gnarly head cold, when you went to bed miserable at 10:30pm and woke up even more miserable with a wicked bad headache at 2am and never did get back to sleep. That's what sucks more than clinicals, which really only suck because of the whole getting up at 4am thing. Seriously, I took some ibuprofen but by the time my head stopped hurting, it was 3am, and I wasn't sleepy, and so I ended up just staying up.

Needless to say, once I got home I played around with Delia for a bit and then hit the sheets.

Speaking of whom, she woke up dry this morning so this afternoon we gave her a present: a hoppity-hop. Super, super cute to watch her boinging around the house on it!

So tomorrow morning after preschool I'm taking her down to my brother's for the weekend so I can write my patient presentation, which is sort of a term paper that counts for a significant portion of my grades this term. I'm not terribly freaked out about the paper, but it'll just be a lot easier to complete it without a three-year-old milling about the place. Plus, it's more than an hour's drive each way, which means uninterrupted Harry Potter on cd listening time! Yay!