Standing Tall

The musings of a twenty something girl from the Midwest.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Coffee Coffee Coffee!

Coffee was something I use to drink occasionally when I was in college. When I had 8 am class or when I had to get to work early in the morning. Lately it’s been the only thing that keeps me awake at work. Drinking 4 cups in a twelve hour day quickly became the norm.

As far as addictions go coffee is mundane. But it is still an addiction. I’ve been trying to cut down on the amount I drink. I’m only allowing myself 2 cups if I work 12 hours and no cups on non-work days. So far it’s been working out.

But today is raining and cloudy out, perfect coffee sipping weather. I’m weak and I’m going to drink my mocha and feel good about it.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Happy Birthday Casey

It's Casey's Birthday today (Pictured Left). To everyone who knows her, you should call her. If you miss it by a day you can always call and wish Jim a happy birthday. We can also pretned that it's Hank's birthday the next day. What a happy birthday family.

If we can't get Luke Wilson for this birthday we aologize to Casey for not rocking out like last year.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Remembering My Childhood

“Are you up for a forest day or a city day?” Steve asked me this morning when he called.

I peaked out the window and was stunned by how beautiful it was out. The sun was shining, the heat and the humidity were low, and there was nary a cloud in the sky.

“I’m up for a forest day.” I replied looking foreword to having a nice long hike.

After a 45 min drive with some minor road rage, we arrived at Blue Mountain State Park. We glanced for few moments at the map then we headed off into the forest. We quickly found a great trail marked with blue cards pray painted on trees. The trail started getting a little steep. Our conversation quickly dwindled as our need to concentrate on climbing grew. Soon it felt that we were climbing straight up the side of a mountain. We soon made it to the top to a breath taking view of the valley below.

I was unaware that Massachusetts was so similar to Northern Minnesota. I felt strangely nostalgic. When I was younger my parents always took us to Northern Minnesota for vacations. They would force us to go on these long hikes along Lake Superior or whatever lake we were near that year. I hated it. I hated all the bugs and muggy weather. But today I loved hiking. We even got rained on but I didn’t mind. The rain was warm and the sun was still shining. I took a moment to soak it up.

We ended the day by getting lost for awhile but finally made our way back to the car. I think I found my new hobby.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Day I fell in Love with a Police Man

While I was walking to work this morning I noticed an elderly gentleman on crutches trying his best to cross the street. The speed of the changing lights was against him but he kept trying to get to the other side. Cars were honking and all in all his attempts to make it across the street were failing. That’s when the rugged police man stepped in. He stopped traffic so the old man could cross the street. He then walked with man to the next crossing.

“Thank you,” the elderly man offered, “they don’t always stop.”

“They will for me” answered the police man.

I am now resolved to admire this particular police man everyday on my way to work.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Language Barriers

When choosing where I wanted to be a nurse I thought a big city would be perfect. Think of all the people and the diversity…It will be great! The reality of it is I took care of 5 patients last night 3 of which did not speak English. Arabic, Creole, and Spanish to be exact. In my little ethnocentric world people speak English if they live in the U.S. Even a little English would work. Words like bathroom and pain are really all I ask. It’s hard to tell if someone is confused if you don’t understand the language they are speaking.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Condiment Containers

How is it possible that the Salvation Army can have 20 clown hummles but no salt and peper shakers?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Life Sick

For the last few weeks I’ve been vaguely homesick. Not for any specific person or place, but this feeling of missing out. Last night it dawned on me what it is I’m missing. I miss going out to the bars every night with my little group of friends. I miss having barbeques in back yards. I miss going out to the townie bars where most people were familiar faces.

I don’t miss Rochester or St. Louis Park per se. I guess I miss my old life, the life of a college student. A life where classes and reading could be blown off and made up at the last second, where you would only need to know something for a test and that was it. Going out most nights/drinking to the point of giddiness was the norm. If I kept up living like that society would now brand me an alcoholic

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Both Sides

I worked my first night at my new job last night. It was weird; my commutes were the opposite of what they usually are and what the rest of the world is doing. When I went to work last night it was at the height of rush hour, but I was going the opposite way of most people. Coming home it was the same. I feel like I’m on the other side of days right now. When I got home my roommate was in the shower getting ready for work. “You made it through the night!” exclaimed her boyfriend. “I did indeed.” I shouted back. I passed out on the couch then a bit later moved into my room for blissful sleep to overtake me. It was weird to wake up and eat breakfast while watching Passions.

It was a new experience, but I really like working nights. It’s very peaceful. Most of the patients are asleep but awaken occasionally and need help getting to the bathroom. It gives me time to learn a lot more about my job and not feel so stressed. I’m looking foreword to this shift.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Platonic Friends

After spending two years being good friends with a guy I forgot how hard it is to meet guys and try to be their friend. I like having guy friends. For most of high school my best friends were guys. When I moved to Rochester I met Aaron (see right) and we became good platonic friends about a week after. I met a guy in orientation at the hospital. Sweet, I thought, a new friend! I called him tonight to see if he wanted to get a drink or hang out.

“Uhhhh, I have a girlfriend-type-thing and I don’t think she would want me to hang out with you. I’m not sure if that’s what you mean by hang out, but maybe I’ll see you around the hospital.”
“Yeah, see you around.”
Crap. I’m not sure how I am suppose to find a guy friend and let him know I don’t want to date him, just be his friend. If all else fails I can follow Aaron’s lead and fart on him. Best way to kill romance.

I also wanted to post the picture because it is one of my favorite! Thanks Becca

Living in TVland

“Uggh, it is so hot today.” Michael exclaimed when I got home from work, and you know what? He’s right.
When I pictured my life in Massachusetts I always saw myself wearing cozy sweaters and sipping hot chocolate. The reality is that it’s been in the 90’s the last few days and walking home from the T has been a fight against passing out from heat stroke. The only thing I’ve sipping is ice water. Where are the opportunities for me to look adorable in a fall coat and a scarf? People on TV shows based in New England are always wearing jeans and trendy sweaters and look so comfortable. That’s what I want my life to be like right now. The type of weather conditions where coats are optional but recommended.

I’m desperately awaiting autumn in New England.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Buying New Hips

As I was discharging my patient today I noticed that his chart indicated that he had had hip replacement surgery on both his hips not to long ago. He was fairly young so I asked him about why he needed both hips replaced.

“You know how you jump out of a moving car into snow sometimes?” he replied. I have never jumped from any moving vehicle into snow before but I answered yes anyway. “Well I use to do that all the time….but when there was no snow on the ground.”
“Wait,” I replied, “you use to jump out of cars for fun?” He looked at me like it was a stupid question.
“You know like the show jackass? That’s like what we use to do, except we didn’t tape ourselves. We would jump off houses and buildings…stuff like that. Come on you never did stuff like that when you were a kid? Where did you grow up?” When I answered Minnesota he looked even more dumbfounded. “You mean you never jumped off the roof into snow?”
“Nope. I never felt like I wanted to jump off the roof into snow.”
“You don’t know what you’re missing” he said shaking his head and walked off.
Maybe it’s fun to jump off roofs once and a while, but if I’m going to end up with needing new hips before I’m 50 I think I’ll take my chances in missing out.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Mom’s little girl

My mom has been visiting for the past four days. This is the first time she has stayed at the house that I live in since I moved out of the house in St. Louis Park. It’s been nice. I like my mom, at this point she’s a lot more like a friend then a Mom. She comes with me to the supermarket and points out things I could buy to make new kinds of food with or comments on how nice my room looks with new curtains in it. She is interested in what my friends from school are doing and asks about them. I’m not sure when we became friends but I like it.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Highlight Of The Day

Yesterday I met John Kerry. (Photo not from when I met him)

My mom’s friends had agreed to drive us down to Boston Commons and Boston Public Garden so we could do some site seeing. My mom’s friend Cindy is quite the tour guide for the Boston area. She knows a lot about history and also about where famous people live. She is her own Starmap. As we drove down a street she pointed out “Oh, this is where John Kerry and Ted Kennedy live. We decided to drive up the small turn around to see the large houses. We didn’t understand why so many people were standing in the middle of the rode until we drove up. It was because John Kerry was outside, having just completed a bike race, and unpacking his car.

We parked and came running up. “uhhh, hello Mr. Kerry it’s an honor meeting you.” I managed to stammer out. My mom started to get teary eyed and shook his hand “I’m so sorry you didn’t win, things would be much better if you did.” She gushed. He agreed. We took a quick picture with him and then jumped back into the car and called everyone who we knew.

Friday, August 05, 2005

How not to end a day of work

A code is a medical emergency in the hospital. A code is an extremely stressful situation which requires action. A code is not something you want to be in on your second day of orientation at a new hospital. But you can’t always get what you want. I now have survived my first code as a nurse. As a patient care assistant you don’t really have to do anything in a code once nurses and doctors are there. When you are a nurse there is a lot of stuff you have to do. Get meds out, start and IV, and activate the emergency system. I have never had to do any of these things.

Yesterday went I went into my patient’s room I found an aid standing over the unit secretary who had just collapsed and was having a major asthma attack. Nurses and doctors started coming out of the wood work. “Quick go get albutorol and IV solumedrol out of the pixis.” I’m not even comfortable yet with getting meds out of the pixis when I have the order right in front of me. Having to just get them out is kind of scary. I was asked to put an IV in. I’ve never put an IV in someone except in the skills lab. I paged the IV team. I ended up taking the secretary down to the ER in the bed that she had been lifted into. It was a stressful way to end my second day of orientation.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

How to Spend an Evening

It seems that no matter how much I feel like I am a grown up I still have moments when I revert to a child. Look I have a credit card, look I have my own health care plan, look at my 401K, look how I’m afraid of lightening. Storms in Massachusetts seem to only last about half an hour but it can be an extremely loud half hour. I wanted to go to bed but kept jumping every time there was thunder. There was nothing to be done about my fear except stay up and watch another episode of Blind Date.

Monday, August 01, 2005

The Locals

One of the more colorful aspects of living in a big city is dealing with crazy homeless people everyday. We have a resident crazy man who lives near my house. His name is Mike, but we call him “the peace man” because as you walk by he will usually give you the peace sign as you walk by and yell “PEACE!” Sometimes if he’s worked up and has smoked a lot of cigarettes he will yell and spit. Today as I was walking home I noticed a new crazy man had taken up Mike’s usual park bench. This new crazy man was wearing a hospital band on his arm and had three zip ties around his neck and two around his arms. The most colorful of them all has been the homeless guy I met on the train who told me he liked my hair and then tried to touch it.