Saturday, January 31, 2015

Out For a Walk


Took the dogs out for a walk today.
Partly just to get out of the house for a while,
and partly to get some much needed exercise.
New Year's resolutions and all.

Did you make some resolutions?
I didn't.
I just am more aware of some goals
I want to accomplish this year.

Like walking...
and spending more time with my dogs...
and taking more photographs...
Like this:


And this:

And this:

Obviously, I've also been having fun with my
new photo editing software as well...

How are your resolutions coming along...?





Tuesday, January 20, 2015

No Safe Haven


I was thinking about workplace violence again last night
as I dealt with what seemed like my 10th irrational patient of the night
 with their unrealistic expectations about their perceived complaint
which they had been seen for in the past
and for which they had yet to follow any
of the recommendations we had given.

As they trounced out the door, calling back over their shoulder
how much the hospital sucked, the staff sucked, and how
I had treated them so badly, thoughts of going out the door
at the end of my shift to find my car vandalized,
tires flat, windows broken, or even worse
to be faced with a verbal confrontation outside of the hospital
began to fill my head.

There's a reason I don't go shopping at the local grocery store.

But, even those random thoughts that I've had from time to time
couldn't prepare me for the news headlines when I awoke
later this morning:

The Brigham in Boston.
I spent a glorious year training in the care of 
critical cardiac surgery patients.
I was a junior fellow, and I came to find out that
my senior fellow from that time was shot today.
Another example of healthcare workplace violence.

And it scares me.
It scares me to think that healthcare workers get
yelled at
menaced
assaulted
and shot
because someone didn't like the outcome, 
or the treatment plan;
whether their own or a family members.

And, that those of us who dedicate our lives to helping
and healing others might become victims because
of something that is sometimes completely out of our hands.

My prayers are with my colleague and their family.
And, my prayers are for the staff at the Brigham
who have to continue to work
despite this tragedy
which hit a lot too close to home
this morning.

**Updated at 1900 PST.  I was just informed by one of the RNs
that Mike died from his injuries.  My heart is heavy with the
news and full of sadness for his family.





Monday, January 5, 2015

Tripping Over the Threshold of the New Year



So our New Year's started off rather ungloriously.  We went out to dinner with friends at the local casino (given our rural area we have limited choices.)  They didn't really coordinate the countdown, so we just huddled in the middle of the slot machines at some time approximating midnight and kissed when the majority of the other patrons seems to be doing so.  Happy New Year.

We then packed up Momma and the kids the next morning and drove down to Sacramento.  We had a nice dinner with the AirBNB Granny I stay with while I am in SacTo.  One night to rest, then hubby took Momma back to SoCal, and I stayed so the I could start working on the 2nd.  He came back the next day as I was leaving for work and left yesterday back to NorCal.  

Tonight is my fourth shift out of a run of six, and the New Year is kicking along with the usual compliment of the crazed, the crazy, and the generally craziness that comes with working around any holiday.  We're also in the midst of cold and flu season, and any child with a sniffle and a temp above 98.6 is being brought in to the ED.  Everyone is demanding Z Packs, and if the child has even touched their ear within the last week, they automatically assume it's an ear infection and that they need an Amoxicillin prescription.

We also get all of the out-of-towners who forgot to bring their medications with them when they traveled to visit their loved ones meaning right about now their Norco, Methadone, Oxycontin prescriptions have run out and they need more.  Doesn't matter that they're scheduled to go home in a couple of days, they need their drugs now!  

Our beds are also full of the homeless, the depressed, the I can't stand to live another day so I tried to kill myself and my dog so that we could cross the Rainbow Bridge together.  As to that last one, I made the mistake of asking the paramedics if Animal Control or the Sheriff's office had taken the dog or were planning to file animal abuse charges.  The patient then started screaming that she would "just want to die" if her dog was taken away from her.  When I asked her what she would have done if the dog had died from the drugs she fed it during her OD attempt, she became even more fixated on the fact that no one was taking away her dog because she "just wouldn't be able to live" at that point.  There's a thing called insight... she didn't have it.  And, I was too cold standing in the ambulance bay at that point to try to explain it to her... 

Sigh.

Hope you had a happy New Year.  One of my goals for the year is to write more frequently, so I hope you will come along for the journey as we venture forth into 2015!