Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Archived

"This is why dreams can be such dangerous things: they smolder on like a fire does, and sometimes consume us completely."


Memoirs of a Geisha

by Arthur Golden


Countdown to disaster.

I am really stressed out. Like... crying for no reason, slamming the dishwasher door, showering in scalding water stressed out. For a lot of reasons.

Feb. 7= day of (work) doom. Meeting to decide the fate of my job, and possibly a major arm-twisting to get me into a job I don't really like or want but feel obligated to take since I like feeding my kid.

Feb. 28= day of (oral) doom. All four wisdom teeth out in one shot. Enough said.

March 8= day of (cervical) doom. My LEEP takes place at 2:45pm. They are pre-medicating me with Valium for my teeth removal, but as far as I can tell, no pre-medication for removing a chunk of my cervix. Yea!

After March 8, feel free to ask me how I am. Until then, feel free to assume that I am just majorly stressed out. Oh, and tired, because lately, I am always tired.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Getting Intimate

I hid them in front of me and slowly backed towards Doctor John. "Do you trust me?"

Why is she backing up towards me? She does have a really cute butt, though. But still, why is it coming towards me like that? "Umm..."

I don't want him to see these scissors. I wonder if he will actually let me trim his whiskers? I think he trusts me... this is like... a test. A test to see if he really trusts me. "Do you trust me?"

Really, why is she backing up like that? I am getting a little nervous. "Uhh..."

Maybe he doesn't trust me? Maybe he thinks I am going to do something mean? But I'm not! One last chance for him... I continue to slowly back towards him. "Do you trust me?"

Really, why is she backing up? Is she going to do what I think she is going to do? I've heard the stories but I didn't think it would happen like this...

"...?"

"NO! Not if you are going to fart on me!"

I can't believe he thought I was going to fart on him! He must have been talking to Moriah and Josh recently:)

Freudian Slip

"... hugging her ice cream to her bosom."

"Mmm. I love it when you mention ice cream and bosoms in the same breast."

"...!?!..."

"Breath! I meant breath!"

Pre*

It was the "pre" that scared me. Somehow, without the "pre" there would have been more certainty. The anwser would have been more clear. But the "pre" complicated things.

In December I went to my gynecologist. I had just had an exam and Pap in June, but I was having difficulty transitioning to my oral contracepives, and I made an appointment to establish myself with a doctor out here. The appointment was fine, and I thought nothing of it.

Until I got a call.

I had abnormal cells on my Pap test. Do I have HPV? No. I just had abnormal cells on my test. Is it cancer? Probably not, but they can't tell until they do more tests.

So on Wednesday I went in for a colposcopy. The doctor found that I had an area of abnormal cells, and he took a few biosys to find out what was going on with my cervix. In the mean time, I got the first of a series of three shots called Gardasil- the HPV vaccine. I tried to put it out of my mind, but the cramps and strange discharge made that difficult, as did the fact that the doctor was a little rough with the speculum and as a result, peeing hurt!

Satuday morning I got another call.

The results of my biopsy showed severe dysplasia. That's when the "pre" came into play. "Pre-cancerous changes to the cervix" were the exact words. I don't have cancer, but I have cells that could develope into cancer. They need to be removed.

So in a few weeks I will go in and have a portion of my cervix removed. Possible complications and side effects include infection, bleeding, pain, scaring, and possible infertility. But the alternative is to leave them be and see if they turn into cancer. I'll take removal.

The "pre" is scary. If it were cancer, it would almost be more straight-forward... yank out what you have to, leave me an ovary or two for hormone regulation, but take the rest and make sure I can't have cervical cancer anymore. But it's not cancer. It's pre-cancerous changes, and that means the result is a lot less clear. I get the offending cells removed and go in for Paps every 4-6 months for the rest of my life until something happens one way or another. The "pre" makes it a waiting game, and I am not very good at waiting.

The good news? I don't have HPV which is responsible or involved in >90% of the cases of cervical cancer. And, since I will be screened closely for the rest of all time, I am likely to be diagnosed with cervical cancer very early if I do develop cancer. And cervical cancer caught early is very treatable! The other good news? I got my HPV vaccine, so I am even less likely to get HPV- or at least not the 4 kinds that are responsible for most of the cervical cancer out there.

So, in short, get your pap tests! Ladies... get them, even if they are uncomfortable. Guys, encourage your wives, girlfriends, friends, sisters, mothers, cousins, etc to get their annual pap. And ladies, consider getting the HPV vaccine. Find out if you are a good candidate for the vaccine. HPV is considered a sexually transmitted disease (even though only about 30 of the 100+ strands of HPV are transmitted through sexual contact- the rest can be transmitted through casual contact or environmentally.) So wrap it up if you choose to be sexually active outside of a monogamous relationship where both partners have been tested. And if you have anything "questionable" looking in the genital or anal area- get them checked out right away! It could be genital warts caused by HPV! (Steps of soapbox.)

So, I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings by telling you this way, but sometimes, it is easier to just tell people and not have to get all emotional about it. I know you know that I hate to cry, and I have been so freaked out that I have found myself crying over this. So blogging it was best. I'll let you know how the procedure goes.

(*Small giggle. I just realized that the comments will probably involve quite a few references to some of my girly parts. That's kind of funny. At least for me:) That's when the alternative title came to mind: Another reason to talk about sex! or A brief glimpse for those who weren't in the delivery room. Yes, not very funny, but humor is my defense mechanism, so I need to be able to make a few jokes. Just tell me I am funny. And buy me a dress if I have to have my girly-parts yanked.)

Not very good, but better than the alternative.

Inbox,
words so well-intentioned
fill the screen with condesention,
until I am saturated
with loathing and discontent.
I bang the mouse on the desk.

Times New Romam,
sterile,
black on white,
the words flash before me again and again,
each click of the keypad,
a reminder of how I
tried to fill myself with

anger

disgust

apathy

until I could delete the hurt.
But I could not edit the hurt,
read-only file I could not make it go away.
So I waited, until I found
a blank page... a new document.

Now,
like a file
restored to the last saved version
the ache refreshes.
And I am faced anew with the truth:
you don't care about me.

Reply,
I hit the back button on my heart until
I find the calm I had created.
I spellcheck to make sure I am not
sending the wrong message.
I type.
"That's fine."
I want you to read
"I don't care about you, either."

And I think it might work
Because spellcheck doesn't red-line lies.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Guilty as Charged

Today I made a very common, very dangerous nursing mistake. And I feel horrible about it. The night was rough enough, but this was the icing on the cake that sent me into tears. While a common mistake, it is one that I am usually so hyper-vigilant about that I have had yet to make it. What was my mistake?

Listening to the shift before me, and believing that the nurse actually knew what they were talking about in report.

Normally, the nurse before me will "give report." They tell me lots of subjective stuff, like their assessment of the patient, and lots of objective stuff, like what diet a patient is on, or what medications are ordered. The subjective stuff are things that I usually have to verify myself- I have to listen to a patient's heart rate and make sure it's regular. The objective things are usually things that are doctor's orders or the like: I don't do anything except follow their rules/guidelines.

Anyway, so the nurse gave me report, and it was all good. He is a good guy, and a good nurse, and I had given him report earlier in the morning when he came on, so I knew pretty much what was going on with my patients. He mentioned something in report which did not mean much at the time and which I did not immediately verify (which was unlike me.) Long story short, I acted on the information he passed on verbally without checking a doctor's order, and since he was wrong, I ended up being wrong... and potentially hurting my patient.

I feel stupid. Horrible for endangering my patient... but mostly stupid for not checking for myself what the truth of the situation was. A common mistake... actually, a far too common mistake. I hope I don't make it again.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Monday, January 22, 2007

Dating

So, I am going on a date tonight.

Or rather, I am accompanying Abigail on a date.

Abigail's best friend at school is Garrett. Last week these crazy kids got it in their heads that Abigail could just go home with Garrett and play at his house. Teachers and Garrett's dad explained that they couldn't do that, but then Garrett's dad said that if the grown-ups got to know each other, maybe one day they could play at each other's house. So Abigail got Garrett's digits with instructions to have mom call and set something up.

So I did (that was very odd, by the way. I hate making small talk with strangers, even though I do it every day at work.) And tonight we are going to Friendly's for dinner with Garrett and his folks. Not my favorite, but at least I can have a Happy Ending!

I'll let you know how it goes.

Liar, Liar. Scrubs on Fire!

"Please, tell me those are NOT the same scrubs you wore yesterday."

"These are not the same scrubs I wore yesterday."

"Are you lying?"

"...uh..."

(I give evil-eye/motherish look.)

"I'm not lying... I'm being obedient!"

Thursday, January 18, 2007

What am I on?

"So, I had this dream that you had a PCA." (A Dilaudid PCA, by the way.)

"Okay." (Why?)

"Well, I wouldn't let you take it to work. And I was really worried that your pain would not be controlled with p.o. meds."

"Uh-huh."

"So, you're not in pain?"

Right, Grace, let's keep in mind it was a dream.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Is Douchebag a dirty word?

Because that is what I want to call all the people at my work.

I am supposed to have a meeting on Monday with my boss, the director of nursing at the hospital, and the director of nursing at the children's hospital.

Notice, there is no one from my union scheduled to be at this meeting.

Nice.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

From bad to worse... and better again.

The nausea started around 11am, but I didn't throw up until 5:30pm. I was still in the window of "I feel so much better now that I've thrown up" when the call-off time for work came and past. I thought I would be able to make it through an 8-hour shift, not without problem, but at least without being too miserable.

When I threw up again as I was getting my coat on to leave, I considered calling in to work. But my shift was due to start in 10 minutes, and I knew they would be mad (call-ins for night shift must be received 3 hours before the start of shift.) So I went... and I made it almost 45 minutes before I found myself dry heaving at the sound of my patient hiccuping.

Now, as lousy as my day was until that point, it did take a change for the positive.

Wouldn't it be nice if you worked at a place where, knowing you couldn't keep anything down and that you were already dehydrated, they bolused you with a liter of IV fluids before they sent you on your way? And wouldn't it be even better if they sent you home with another liter of fluids for you to have "just in case?" Now, I am not saying that happened at my work, because there is probably some sort of policy against it, but wouldn't it be nice if it did happen? Or if you happened to be dating a guy who has the ability to write prescriptions, and he is more than happy to write you a script for an anti-emetic? Wouldn't that be nice, too?

Anyway, I am feeling much better this morning. I have been keeping down sips, and that right there was a piece of toast that I nibbled on and kept down. Yea!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Why my mom should comment.

Exactly as it arrived in my inbox this morning:

TOO BAD YOU ARE SICK, DAN AND I BOTH HAVE THAT BAD COLD. I FINALLY
TRIED
ZIBCAM ,RAPID MELTS. I HAVE FINALLY GOTTEN SOME RELIEF. IT TOOK ABOUT
2
DOSES AND I TOOK IT EVERY THREE HOURS ALL DAY LONG AND TODAY I AM ALSO
TAKING
IT AT WORK.
THIS COLD MAKES YOU FEEL SO DRAINED.
LOVE
MOM

Still sick. Today I have a splitting sinus headache. But my throat is not sore- it only hurts when I start coughing (which is much less frequently than before, thank God.)

Classes start tomorrow and I finally got some 411 in the mail (although no books, but it turns out i don't need a book for my Nursing class, and my Statistics books should arrive on Thursday.) So, the big treat for me when I arrive home from work tomorrow morning is logging in and checking the syllabus (syllabi? syllabuses?) to see how much these classes will be dictating the next 16 weeks of my life. It seems like a long time since I was in school, although really it's only been 8 months since I graduated. Maybe it's all the drugs.

It has yet to snow here, and the past few days have been spent wrapped in a blanket of fog and soft rain. I like the fog here; rarely is it so thick that things become scary and lonesome. Rather, it generally is a softer fog that drapes the world in a little bit of romance and mystique. It is a kind fog that says "come a little closer, you might find a surprise, or a new outlook, just around this corner." And, I like that this fog also means it has not snowed:)

Okay, I have to run to Giant and buy potatoes so that I can make a pot roast. While there, I might just pick up some Zicam. Mother usually does know best.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I am Un-Dead

I'm not dead. I just wish I was. Or at least, I wish I could sleep until I felt better.

I am sick. I would call it a very horrible cold except for two things: 1) the body ache, and 2) the fact that Abigail didn't get it. That makes me think that I possibly have a touch of the flu. (Abigail had the flu shot.) But I am a trooper. I still went to work. I didn't call in sick. Although I may have slightly overdosed on drugs to do that:)

I am feeling a little better now. It helps that I didn't have to work last night and I was able to get some rest. My throat kills. My cough hurts me and everyone who has to listen to it. The skin on the end of my nose is practically gone. But at least I can breathe (for the most part)!

I took Abigail to the dentist this morning. It was her first time there and she was great. More and more I see myself in her: the determination, the strong will, the desire to make everyone happy. I can't believe how independent she is, but at the same time, I don't think it should surprise me. She is her mother's daughter in every sense. That is scary.

Ugh. I am feeling completely uninspired and uncreative. I blame it on the massive doses of Dayquil and Advil Cold and Sinus that I am taking. Great for clearing up the congestion and relieving the body ache... not so great for allowing my mind to engage in higher level thought.

What else? Oh yeah, I start school next week. And I have no books, no way to tell how to access my classes, and no access account to allow me to sign into the school network. It's fine. No big deal. (I blame the heart palpitations I am getting while I type this on the Dayquil as well.)

Alright, I feel that between taking Abigail to the dentist and daycare, and updating my blog, I have exerted myself enough for the day. I am going to get some cookie dough (or cheese!) and a Jane Austen book and go curl up in bed until it's time for more meds.

I hope you all feel at least slightly better than I do.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Smooches!

Is it just me, or does Abigail look way less interested in kisses than I do? Hmm.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Home

These people all say "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!" I had a great week with them, relaxing and eating and opening presents.
But as for me, I am just glad to be home.
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