Sunday, July 29, 2012

Secrets of a Surgical Nurse--(Unabridged)

Secrets of a Surgical Nurse--(Unabridged)

1.)    Clean out your belly button before you have surgery.

2.)    Shy about your body? Don’t be.  We see it ALL, all day long.  We don’t care.

3.)    Yes, we wonder about your tattoos

4.)    We treat your babies like they are our own.

5.)    Yes, your baby/child cries when they get into surgery.  But that helps the anesthesia work faster and we hold them as they go to sleep.

6.)    Don’t lie to your nurse or anesthesia about drug or alcohol use.  We can usually tell anyway.

7.)    I am not being evasive, I honestly don’t know how long the surgery might take…it always depends on the patient.

8.)    I have a lot to do in a very short period of time, usually with a surgeon standing over my shoulder waiting for me to get it done.

9.)    I care about your physical health during surgery and how surgery will affect your physical, emotional, and family health after surgery.  I always keep these in mind when you are in my care.

10.)   I know it is often a scary experience.  I want you to feel as warm and comfortable as possible.

11.)   I hope I don’t seem like a bitch because I’m in a hurry.  I probably have 5 orthopedic cases on the surgery board ‘To Follow’ and only an hour left of my scheduled shift.

12.)  I am literally a waitress.  I take and make food orders over the phone for people who are scrubbed in.

13.)  I can see, smell, or feel almost anything during surgery and then walk out, wash my hands, walk down the hall and eat lunch.

14.)  I am not sitting in the lounge because I am lazy.  I was probably up most of the night on call--working. 

15.)   I really love my job.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Seems like the only time I post is when there is drama. But I guess that makes something to write about. Sweet Halle Marie is in the hospital with meningitis. I got home from call at 8 ish on Tuesday night. My girl was grunting with every breath and breathing about sixty times a minute. My gut said something was wrong. Took her to ER. ER doc was kind of a douche, looked at her for less than 60 seconds, ordered a chest x ray, looked at me like I was an idiot and told me she "might" have an ear infection. Sent us home with a script for amoxicillin. Big surprise, amoxicillin did no good. I stayed home with her the next day and then sent her to daycare the day after that. She was still having bouts of strange breathing but thought it might be because she was in pain. Daycare called me at 2 on thursday to tell me something was wrong with her...not breathing right, feverish. I left work and called the pediatric clinic because what do you do when your baby is having trouble and you can't take her to the ER? The on call ped. Saw her and agreed that although whatever was going on was a little atypical for any particular illness something was very wrong with the way she was breathing and acting. She was admitted to the hospital, and after a lot of needle pokes we (sort of) got an answer..viral meningitis. A mother's intuition is rarely wrong. I feel very helpless but think she is on the mend. Keep you posted.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Some days it's okay to have marshmallows for dinner.

That is all.

Friday, June 15, 2012


I have literally two minutes to write this post.

I found myself two days ago at 4 (ish) a.m. standing in my kitchen wondering if expired milk might be considered the same as coffee creamer.  In my desperation I tried it and it wasn't so bad.  Again, I wondered what the hell happened to me when I became a mother. 

The next day I went to the pediatrician where he looked at Halle's 4 month weight and started a small lecture about how we don't really consider children obese until 2 or 3.  I assured him that Holden did the same thing at 4-6 months of age and then pretty much dropped off the growth chart after that. 

My (really good by the way) pediatrician who actually has no kids of his own then started talking to me about baby food consistency and honey and botulism. He really is a great doctor, and I appreciate that he keeps it simple.  I had no questions for him, which may be a day for the calendar since I tend to grill doctors when I see them.  I am paying them about $100 anyway.  May as well get my money's worth.

I have already hit my two minute mark...sorry if this is disjointed.  It is very early in the morning and I decided against drinking more coffee with (now two days older) expired milk.

Monday, May 28, 2012


     I finally had time to meet with an old friend when I headed East about 120 miles this weekend for a graduation party.  She inquired whether I have abandoned my blog or not.  I have no particularly good excuse for not writing except that my husband inexplicably changed his email password (and I use his email address to access this blog for some reason...a reason that also now escapes me).  So I had to get his password from him.  He told me and then I forgot for a few weeks and now he is in the room with me and I am on my laptop so there you go.

    I finally have a child that sleeps (both gets to sleep and sleeps through the night mostly) thanks to my wonderful pediatrician here who, when I said at Holden's four year check up that no...he has never slept well in his entire four years, said, "I can give you something for that." 

God bless that man. 

Aside from feeling a little bit like I am drugging my child to sleep even though it is technically only melatonin which is a hormone/natural product,  I LOVE HIM  (The pediatrician.  The sweet, sleeping boy.  And as long as I am at it I may as well throw in my husband.).

Lest you feel I have been avoiding you, in the interest of (kind of) full disclosure I have to tell you that there have been some family things going on but that don't really involve me directly that I have been trying to be careful not to comment commentary on such things is almost always a bad idea. 

Also, I now have a job which is so very interesting and yet so secret since it is all protected health information.  I am afraid of typing the wrong thing or becoming too emotional on my blog and therefore putting my license in danger.  But the job is very interesting and I am enjoying it very much if you were wondering.

My beautiful daughter Halle is doing very well and sleeping like a normal child.  If normal children exist, she would be one of them (so far).  I went through my google history today and think that perhaps it is her mother who is not normal because I was googling "4 month old not rolling over" and "pinworm" this week.  I think I worry too much, although Holden smelled suspiciously of kitty litter this afternoon after we let him play outside with his friend from across the street, and the other day I walked out on the porch and around the house and had a moment of panic when he was nowhere to be found. 

He was in the neighbors' fenced backyard.  Safe...if a little overly friendly and trusting.  Still working on that.  How to teach a child not to be trusting or friendly?  Trying not to agonize too much over parenting.  It is unlikely there is someone lurking to steal my child.  Good luck to that person especially if they don't know about melatonin.

I promise I will do better with my posting this summer. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Get out the glitter spray

As one of my older and wiser coworkers would say, 'it's time to get out the glitter spray'.
My six-week postpartum check is tomorrow and I'm sure the pap smear too. It's torture anyway, but certainly when the person doing the pap smear is a (male) doctor I have to work around nearly every day. He's a good doctor, so I guess I'll have to get over it. I should know as a nurse that no. one. cares. But it is true that it feels much different when it is me on the examining or operating table.
I'm sorry to be cheesy mccheeserson, but I can't believe my baby is already 6 weeks old and so cute/adorable/nummy etc. People do often think she is a boy...but I think that is partially my fault since I put her in a boy-colors carseat and sort of neutral clothing at times. And the bow clips fall out of her baby fine hair (literally. Ha.).
Hope all of you nearby are enjoying the beautiful weather. Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Monday, February 27, 2012

You should've seen it in color

I have a photo that hangs on my wall...a collage of photos, really. It is Tony and me in 2004, blissfully in love and totally unaware what would happen the next day. I had long blonde hair and a blue shirt, my arms draped around his neck as he sat in a lawn chair on my dad's lawn. It was early May and my brother had just graduated from college.
Tony was on leave from the Marines and in Nebraska for a week. I was working as a seasonal employee at a state rec area. It was the type of unbridled happiness that only a person newly in love and 22 years old can feel.
When I walk by the photo sometimes I am wistful and sometimes impressed that the two of us managed to make it through all that. That I managed it, and that I found a man strong enough to walk with me through all of the pain of parents and babies dying.
And then I realize I am just 30. And I think oh, crap.
Someday I will be strong enough to hang up that black and white professional photo of Allison Christine's tiny little feet cradled in Tony's hand. Someday I will walk by it and not feel that choking feeling up in my throat, like I'm going to cry.
Sometimes I glance at my sweet girl Halle Marie while she is sleeping and am startled because she really does look like her sister. I immediately have to put my palm on her chest to make sure she is alive, real, breathing...
She really is a wonderful baby. All fuzzy hair and little grunts and deep blue eyes. She is already on her own schedule which I am particularly impressed with because Holden still doesn't have any semblance of a schedule and he is almost 4. Proof that it is in fact not my bad parenting but that some children are just more...challenging...than others.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

...And poop on the wall

Red wine, a dozen roses, steak and mashed potatoes...and a screaming baby.

Welcome to Valentine's day as a 30 year old.

I know you have probably been waiting for an update so I am happy to introduce
Halle Marie born 2-1-12 6 lbs 12 oz and 19 inches long.

She was an easy baby for approximately the first week. I think she was too tired to fuss. Now, not so much. 5 different formulas later and we aren't much closer to figuring out what her tummy troubles are. I'm thinking silent reflux and we have a doctors appointment tomorrow.

One major benefit of already having had a child is that now I don't doubt myself as much as I did with the first one. If this doctor tells me it will pass or ignores my concerns I will probably fire him.
But he seems reasonable. All we need is a little Zantac or something to try.

The c-section went great overall, the only two problems were me vomiting through the beginning of the surgery because of vagal nerve stimulation and little Halle being in the nursery/NICU for the first 24 hours because of her difficulty breathing (which is pretty common with c-sections).

The little gal looks just like me as a baby...only cuter. But I may be a wee bit biased. She is very very sweet and we are very lucky, although it will be an adjustment for all. Holden is doing very well as a big brother.

Happy belated Valentine's Day. Hope you actually got to eat your steak and drink your 4 oz. of red wine, and most of all that you spent it with the people you love the most.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

If you, like many, have been wondering what happened to me, I have to admit I have no good excuse for not writing in my blog...and in the event that I ay actually still have some regular readers, let me update you about what has been going on.

My sweet, beautiful boy is doing very well at daycare or "school" as I have trained him to believe it is. He calls Wednesday nights "church-school" which is also very sweet. In a stellar example of parenting a few weeks ago Tony and I were completely exhausted after work and didn't feel like taking the boy to church on Wednesday night.

He was very upset. Finally, I said, "Holden, would you rather have a dilly bar (in the freezer) or go to church-school?" I tried to bribe him OUT of going to church....
He responded, "Go to church-school."
At that point Tony went out and started the car. Do I have a great kid or what?

Everything is going well with the pregnancy, I am 36 weeks and pretty miserable but things with baby are looking good.
When I walk into the doctors office I don't have to tell them my name because they already know me. I am there twice a week for non-stress testing and amniotic fluid index testing (ultrasound). I try not to think about what it is costing me and think about baby who will be here on or before February 1, 2012.

Life is finally, thankfully settling down to a more normal existence than we've had the last few years and I am thankful for that. A new baby should make things interesting again for awhile. I will try to keep you updated.

Let's hope that at the hospital no overzealous midwives or nurses try to pressure me into breastfeeding, because I won't be.