Month: March 2010

Afternoon dialysis

Just thought I should write about a not-so-bad day at work, so people don’t think I’m a slave to a horrible job.  There weren’t any patients planned at our two smaller hospitals yesterday, so I got to be on call all day instead of starting after my shift.  I slept in until 9, then showered and donned my flannel pants, a t-shirt, and my pager.  I set to work on the craft space and got it completely organized.  I vacuumed the basement and did dishes.  I had a nice lunch at home and did some paper crafts. 

Just as I was wondering what to do with my afternoon the pager went off.  Apparently the doctors forgot to tell us about one patient who needed dialysis, and the nurse was wondering when he would be dialyzed.  I switched to scrubs and got to the hospital by 2 pm.  The patient was fairly stable and the doctors and nurses nice to work with.  I had some machine trouble shooting that delayed my start time, but I was able to leave the hospital at 9 pm.  Not bad at all!  I was able to get a decent shift in, with call-back pay, and now I was anxiety free for a good night’s sleep, knowing that the call 2 nurse would have to get the next page, if there was one (there wasn’t). 

Unfortunately, there were some signs that I’m not as tough as I used to be.  I can’t leave a patient who is on treatment, so I couldn’t go to the bathroom while I was there.  My stomach was cramping up badly and I was trying not to drink so I wouldn’t make it harder for my bladder.  Halfway through the patient’s treatment his blood started clotting the tubing.  I had been giving him saline flushes every 15 minutes but I could see a total blockage was coming anyway.  I rinsed back his blood, clamped him off the machine, and paused treatment to start a new tube set-up.  Normally I hate clotted systems for delaying the treatment but this was a blessing from on high!  I dashed to the bathroom for some much needed relief before re-connecting him. 

But what’s really weird is that around 7 pm I started having cramps again.  After an hour I figured out that these were probably Braxton Hicks contractions and they. hurt. bad.  Remembering that dehydration can lead to cramps I started chugging my water.  Not much relief.  It actually hurt to stand up and walk around with them.  As soon as the patient was transported back to his room I dug out the granola bar I had brought, and gave myself another bathroom trip before finishing cleaning up the room.  They came about every 10 minutes and felt like really bad menstrual cramps, but just on the my right side and back and down my right leg.  I hobbled out to my car at 9 and per Ben’s advice grabbed dinner at McDonald’s on the way home.  I felt much much better as I started eating real (ha!) food and by 10 pm the cramps were totally gone.  I haven’t had any pre-labor contractions yet so that was really weird.  I think I pushed myself a bit too hard at work and shouldn’t have gone so long without eating.  My coworkers have been encouraging me to get a doctor’s note so that I don’t have to do call anymore.  I thought it was too soon but after last night I’m rethinking it.  Today I’m still cramp-free, but I’m having a harder time leaning over and climbing stairs.  I get winded really easily.  It looks like the third trimester is finally catching up to me. 

Baby Shower Photos

Miranda posted pictures from the shower on her flickr site.  Here are some of my favorites!

The beautiful table and snack table. I love the Jones soda display!

Macarons!  They made macarons!  These are the hot new item among internet foodies (cupcakes are soooo 2009) and they can NOT be found in Denver.  I have never had one and had been whining about that fact for months.  They are also notoriously tricky to make.  These were as dreamy as I had imagined.  
The amazing party hosts
They had a craft project for making customized onesies.  I love every one of them!  It was perfectly fitting to have a craft project at the party rather than silly games. 
There are many photos of opening gifts.  This one is a set of amigurumi animal toys my mom crocheted.  They elicited much cooing, as you can imagine.  I’m going to try really really hard to keep these away from Jem.
Friends came from far and near.  Here are we three buddies from high school, two of us slightly bulgy compared to then.  I had friends from college the first and second time around, and from work and church.  I need to call up all these girls more often!

Love this picture of me, my sister, and my mom.  So glad she could brave the winter weather to drive out just for the party!  So glad Amanda lives in Denver where I can see her all the time!

A Springtime Baby Shower

Saturday I had the loveliest of parties hosted by Miranda and Sarah.  They provided delicious and beautiful snacks and desserts, tangerine and turquoise decorations, and invited a variety of friends from all different points of my life.  It was wonderful to see all these special women from school and work over the years, and I’m so grateful to have their influence in my life.  My mom also drove all the way from Grand Junction to attend!  I trust that Miranda will soon post pictures on her site, or email some to me so I can post them.

I feel much better about welcoming a baby into our house.  We got a lot of cute and practical clothes, footie pajamas, and I might venture to say that we have enough onesies. Gasp! I also got a nice start to his library and toy collection. 

My parents helped immensely by shopping for a crib and changing table!  The baby now has a safe place sleep and I feel less anxiety about my lack of nesting so far.  We have a place to sleep, clothes to wear, and a good carseat courtesy of Ben’s parents.  Throw in a pack of diapers and we could be set if needed.  Of course there are many many small things that make life easier.  I have a wishlist on amazon to keep track of all the little things we can pick up between now and the birth.  Sometimes I feel overwhelmed at how much I need to do still.  Here’s a list of things accomplished to make me feel better:

  • Nursery room emptied
  • Carpets cleaned
  • New craft space established
  • New couch in the basement
  • Finished a handmade flannel blanket
  • Toys
  • Books
  • Queen bed for me and Ben
  • DVR and netflix queue for late nights and being stuck at home
  • Saved up money to cover the hospital bill
  • Got a portable AC to survive the hot summer 
  • Registered and toured at the hospital

Things to do still:

  • Arrange and fill-in the nursery with supplies
  • Find a dresser (maybe?)
  • Fix the bathroom sink and fan, and anything else that breaks between now and May
  • Paperwork to HR for maternity leave (cannot complete for another month)
  • Take a birthing class
  • Finish the sweater vest I’m knitting
  • Give the bathrooms a deep cleaning
  • Pick a pediatrician

So that’s not too bad, right?

It’s curtains for you! Lacy, gently wafting curtains!

I started this post earlier and just got time to finish it now.  Not work-related and not cranky.  
I’m 30 weeks pregnant now.  Big enough that patients ask whether it’s es nina or es nino.
I got the carpets cleaned Monday so I feel like I can really get the nursery started.  Good thing, because my dear friends are throwing me a baby shower this weekend.  My latest obsession is curtains.  See, I want these:

But those are curtains from Anthropologie.  Dearie me, I just can’t rationalize paying $200 for curtains. Target and other stores were dead ends.  I’ll just have to make my own.  After an hour staring at the fabric racks in Fancy Tiger I came up with these two:

The consensus so far is for the bird print.  I love the colors and the birds.  But when I hang the two in the room I feel like the teal damask does better over a large space.  It’s also heavier fabric so it would function better than the bird print for drapes.  I’m still mulling it over.  Feel free to drop me your opinion.  My other other decoration for the room is this wall art from blik:

Work makes me cranky

At the end of a hard day my impulse is to blog about it.  But I try to hold off, wondering the rant will really make me feel better.  I already released a lot to Ben, so what’s the point of putting it here?  Feels like garnering pity.  Still, this is my journal.  I won’t go into detail, but it was yet another crazy busy day of
trying to treat too many patients in too short of a time
constant push push push to get people in our chairs
many catheters and fistulas busting
working with a doctor who is difficult
getting lost in the hospital system while trying to give meds or get patients beds or lunches
starting the day off short-staffed
being assigned to charge nurse when I really shouldn’t be charge yet
being on the phone 95% of the day
endless questions from the techs about when so and so will be picked up
wrestling with machine malfunctions

I come home from days like this feeling incredibly unappreciated and ready to quit.  We are still short-staffed with no end of in sight.  Too many hours with too many demands and too many promises broken.  Oh Rachel, we probably pushed you into the charge role too fast, let’s back off and have you gain more experience [then they assign me charge every time I’m at our big hospital]. Oh Rachel, you shouldn’t take care of isolation patients while you are pregnant [then I have to do a hepatitis B+ patient, among many others]. Oh Rachel, take it easy while you’re pregnant, be sure to eat well and drink a lot [then I’m the only RN, meaning I CAN’T leave the room to take a break for the whole shift].  Maternity leave is looking more and more like a glorious summer vacation.

Spinning Yarn Mad Libs

Ben makes fun of the many terms and steps involved in making yarn.   Here’s how you do it:

Take your washed wool and brush it into roving or a bat using paddles.
Take your roving and draft it into a bobbin of yarn using a spindle.
Take your bobbin and wind it into a hank using a niddy noddy.
Take your hank and wind it into a ball using a swift and ball winder.
Take your ball and knit it into a hat using needles.

Quick thoughts

  • Last night I had to do an emergency.  Not bad, I got home by 12:45.  It meant I could sleep well knowing the call 2 person had to take the next emergency.  Free and clear.  I had a rude doctor and a mean patient.  Luckily I sucked up to both of them well enough.  The ICU nurse is the one who took it hard from them.  
  • Ah, a glorious long weekend off.  No work until Tuesday!
  • Monday I’m going to the dentist after at least 2 years off.  Hurrah for dental insurance!
  • I bought some lilies and my house smells amazing!
  • Ben bought me the chocolate chip bagels I’ve been craving for two weeks.  Don’t get excited, it wasn’t, like, a “pregnancy” craving.  I just really really wanted some.  That’s a good way to start Saturday.
  • I finished choreographing the opening dance number for Amanda’s musical.  I hope the kids pick it up fast on Monday!
  • Amanda and I have a fun day planned – Alice in Wonderland, then dinner out, then craft and watch Every Little Step at home.  
  • Kick-puncher is still kicking and punching.  He has weird sleep cycles.  
  • I want to buy a portable air conditioner/swamp cooler for this summer.  Our room is always unbearably hot.  I have a free trial of Amazon Prime that would give me free shipping.  Is it crazy to buy an AC in March?  How would I even know if it works well enough?
  • Yesterday as I was cleaning up the clinic before going home I chatted with Ben on my cell.  I was scrubbing human blood off the floor while merrily talking to my husband, and was struck by how NOT morbid it felt.  
  • I have a lot of spending money and don’t know what to do with it.  I hoard it and then forget it, never taking the splurge.  Any ideas?

Pressed for time

Crap, yo. I bought some decoration for the nursery and it has
arrived. I guess i need to seriously start working on that room. I'm
7 month pregnant today. Time is running out! But today is my one day
off over two weeks and it's booked full with an OB visit, grocery
shopping, choreography rehearsal, and putting my aching feet up for an
hour tonight. I worked four 12 hour shifts in a row (3/4 going into
OT), then 6 hours call back right after on Sunday. Today i'm off but
I have four more in a row starting tomorrow. Looks like saturday will
be nursery work day!

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