Month: April 2009

Hits the spot

If you know me, you can confirm that I am a huge Chipotle enthusiast. This week they changed their menu *gasp!* It was my duty to investigate. It seems the only item change is a new pozole soup. Bleh. What is wonderful though, is that they offer more items at lower prices now. I usually get three tacos or a salad. Both are HUGE and leave me happy but bloated and heavy. Oh happy day, they now have a single taco and salad combo – behold!

It’s so beautiful.

Perfect taste, not too much food, and it’s a tad cheaper. They also added a kids menu, which is genius since I can’t imagine what kids would eat there before, their portions are so huge. My love for Chipotle has only deepened.

My first day off was spent cleaning my house top to bottom. I scrubbed baseboards, people. My cleaning day was slightly dampened by the 2 inches of snow we received this morning. So I couldn’t open the windows and let a gentle spring breeze freshen the air. Oh well. I also started a new knitting pattern. I might not have enough yarn for it. We shall see.

I’m pretty stressed out about not having a job lined up. I know it’s early and I haven’t even sent applications in (I will this week, I promise!). But try telling your brain that. I’m out of school and out of work. I’m starting to study for NCLEX, that will keep me pretty busy while I look. Nevertheless, my emotions are up and down lately.

Miranda is inspiring me to throw a nice party on Friday for graduation. In my mind I was just going to spread the taco bar out on a table with some 2 liters of soda. Now I have visions of garlands and fancy cupcakes and fresh fruit juices. Darn that girl! Making me be cool and stuff *pout*.

Ben just turned off his xbox and announced “time for bed.” Since I’m still trying to get on a normal sleep schedule I should obey.

Done

Waiting for the elevator to take me downstairs for the last time. The next time I put on scrubs to go to a hospital, I’ll be an RN. Hoo, boy.

It was a good last day. I like lists, so here:

  • I had two pleasant, friendly men with cardiac problems
  • I totally heard a murmur. Not just sort of – a REAL murmur. Finally.
  • The lemon pound cake that I made for the nurses was devoured by midnight. (see shot-a-day blog)
  • It was only an 8 hour shift
  • I didn’t get mugged in the middle of the night for the whole month. Yay!
  • My nurse gave me tons of compliments, boosting my confidence
  • And what made it a GREAT shift? NO POOP! Seriously. I can deal with it when I have to, but I HATE having patients poop in the ICU where there aren’t bathrooms.

It went by so fast. I’m so excited to get back to a normal life, but I don’t think that will happen for at least another 3 months.

Heavy Snow in April

We had another crazy late snowstorm in Denver. Well, mid April isn’t that crazy, but still, it was a LOT of WET and HEAVY snow. Ben was so kind by letting me borrow his car for the night. I got to work a little late because of traffic but saw that my usual street parking was available. When I pulled in I noted that it was the third Friday of April, and thus my car might be towed for street sweeping. Hmmm. There was another car parked in the zone and it had a good layer of snow on it. I circled the block and didn’t find any other parking (duh, they were already taken by the people who usually park on my street but left their house earlier like a smart person would in bad weather). I pulled back in the spot. The tow time only lasted another 1 1/2 hours, and with the snow I doubted they would be sweeping. I decided to risk it.
I made it up to the floor in time. My coworkers informed me that they would probably just ticket me if they made the rounds, and the ticket is just $20. Whew, good risk.
But I got nervous as I left the hospital. Would my car still be there?

Oh very much so.

Hmmm. That sure is a lot of heavy wet snow plowed up close to my car. I tried to open the door but it was completely blocked by the snow. Here’s where the blessings start. I have NEVER seen anyone when I leave the hospital (but always with pepper spray in hand just in case I do). Today on my way to my car I passed a man shoveling his walk. Why was he shoveling his walk at 4 AM? I don’t know. But I ran over to him and asked if I could borrow his shovel (yes mom, pepper spray still in hand in pocket, just in case). He turned out to be a kind Chinese gentleman who shoo shooed me away and insisted that he shovel out my door for me. I profusely thanked him and got in the car. Engine on, defrost on, and located the window scraper. I attacked the windows and quickly ditched the scraper, this snow was way too heavy so it worked better to wipe it away with my arm. Once I got those cleared I started stabbing at the snow around my tires. I was skeptical this would work and predicted another favor from the Chinese man. I was right. After he had a go shoveling out my tires, with me helping by lifting out wet ice bricks from the wall, I tried again and failed. Blessing #2: a dude with a plow on his truck pulls out of the driveway on this street and sees me stabbing at the ice wall. He pulled up and offered to help dig me out. Between the shovel man and the plow man, it took 15 minutes further to dig me out. I tried to take photos casually so they wouldn’t freak out, but they didn’t really work:

(red blur is plow on the blue blur truck, skimming by my car)

I can’t believe these two men happened to be there and were so willing to help. I wonder how long it would have taken me to get home with my stabby ice scraper technique, and how long before I would have broken down crying and called Ben to come get me. I wanted to talk to them, introduce myself and thank them more, but they just gave simple “You’re welcome, no problem, be safe” replies and hurried off to their days. Isn’t it amazing how kind people can be?

PS: Ben, a little dingus came off the front of the car, either when I was pushing through the snow or when they were digging around me. They found it in the snow and gave it to me, it’s on the bureau by the stairs. It looks non-important and I think I can snap it back into place later. I’m sorry! Remember to wake me by noon!

Cakepops for Easter







whoa. Brian was very animated this evening.

Sometimes you need to turn your brain off

So you just finished a stretch of four twelve-hour shifts. Your back hurts, your legs hurt. You woke up too early, but not well enough to get showered and go to church on Easter. You still hear monitor alarms ringing and you wiped more poop in the past week than ever from your personal butt. Sometimes you need to pull out the good old stuff on youtube.

Smile, it’s your day off.

2nd ain’t so bad


Went to trivia last night and we did pretty awesome, if I may say so. We got nearly all the dance remix category right. We aced the naughty word search visual round. I contributed to the “capitalists, pigs, and capitalist pigs” category by naming a Michael Moore quote, knowing that Chicago was once famous for its pig industry, and knowing what part of the pig streaky bacon comes from. Then my dreams came true – the second audio round was musicals! Of course, they were far too easy, as happens when your specialty is featured. If I recall, these were the eight selections:

  • You’re the One That I Want – Grease
  • Do You Hear the People Sing – Les Miserables
  • Title song – Phantom of the Opera
  • Be a Dentist – Little Shop of Horrors
  • The Goodbye Song – Sound of Music
  • Surrey with the Fringe – Oklahoma
  • Seasons of Love – Rent
  • Officer Krupke – West Side Story

See? Easy peasy, they hardly needed me. But I’ve been hoping for a musical audio round and it finally came true. Now I’ll wish for a ballet round. And a job, while I’m at it.

Early morning

I couldn’t fall asleep quickly after my last shift. So I pulled out the Flip camera and made a short film about what I do when I get home after the night shift.

Yeah the editing is sloppy, and the flip camera in low lighting is not great. Cut me some slack, this was just for fun.

The music is “You Only Got One” by Frou Frou.

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=4023021&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1
Winding down to sleep from Rachel Mason on Vimeo.

Wednesday in the MICU

  • I can’t figure out the afternoon drive time. I got there 30 minutes early (again) so I went in search of a gas station so I’d be full for the anticipated snowy drive home. I was almost late because of traffic between the gas and the 4 blocks back to the hospital, then my usual parking was taken! I literally ran to the building, making it to the locker room flustered but still 5 minutes before shift technically starts (I prefer 10-15 min early)
  • I nearly took independent care of one patient. He’s a very large gentleman with hypercapnic respiratory failure and possible anoxic brain episode. Yes Brian, I wiped a lot of scrotum today. But that’s not all I do! It only constitutes 10 minutes of my 12 hours on shift!
  • I got to watch a thoracentesis. The docs weren’t that familiar with the kit, so they spent a lot of time fiddly with devices and sounding unsure about themselves. Their patient was very nervous and despite lots of morphine (why not ativan?) was shaking like Molly shakes when we take her to the vet. Poor guy. They pulled 500cc out of his lungs. The puncturing part made me woozy, like when I saw the PICC insertion. I guess I don’t do well with long jabbing needles that take some brute effort to get in.
  • My preceptor bought me a hot cocoa, right when the snow started!
  • I walked through the steps for hanging blood, from lab to vein, with my nurse.
  • My feet ache and stink after 12 hours of work.
  • We got a late night admit, “a train wreck” of a guy. I was able to get 15 min vitals, label tubing, get poop and pee samples, MRSA swab, and generally felt useful and able to function without being in the way or asking what to do next.
  • One of the respiratory team was behind me on the way to the med room and booed loudly. He totally got me and giggled for 5 minutes over the spooked yelp I let out. 😛
  • Other students from other schools are popping up on my unit. Tis the season for practicums.
  • I’m surprised how well I work at night. My preceptor was dogging me for zoning out yesterday around midnight, but I’m quick to remind her that that was because I’d only had a bowl of cereal since noon, we didn’t get a break until after 1 am. Today with proper nourishment I did fine, like I usually do. In fact, I feel inclined to call my folks on the drive home to chat about my shift, and then I realize what time it is for them.
  • But night shifts are isolating. The unit is this weird secluded environment where you obsess over your patient’s status constantly. You don’t think about the news or blog feeds or friends or even meals. You get home when everything is closed and your husband is fast asleep. Then you wake up midday and feel like the world has passed you by – your inbox is full, there’s a ton of news feeds you missed, everyone else is winding down for dinner while you slurp cereal trying to rev up. On your days off you’re left alone again when everyone else goes to bed. So you read or watch TV on headphones. There’s no where to go out, no errands you can run. You don’t want to wake the household with too much bustling. Nights are more difficult emotionally then physically.

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