Thursday, July 31

Life Lessons with Anaya

Today Anaya was looking at my computer. She asked me, "What's that?" while pointing to my memory foam computer case.

"It's a case to protect my computer. That way if it gets dropped, or if I take it somewhere, it will be safe, and it won't get broken."

"You know that's kind of like people," the four or five year old Anaya said gravely. "When they drop their love, they get all filled up with sin."

Saturday, July 26

My List

Reasons I Should Get Married One Day** (in no particular order):

1. Cooking for two is just more fun
2. Talking to myself could get old fast
3. I might need someone to drive me to the hospital if my clumsiness persists
4. I don't sing bass or tenor
5. Houses creak in the night
6. I'm curious to know if I snore
7. How else will I have kids?
8. Playing Bananagrams with myself has become too predictable
9. A human GPS seems like the perfect solution for a directionally challenged girl
10. It's not quite as satisfying to laugh at my own jokes
11. Thomas is not the most interesting name on the face of the planet (No offense to my family...)
12. The position of "Chief of Spider Removal Services" is currently vacant
13. I fix broken people, not broken machines
14. The top cupboards are so very high up
15. I'm tired of winning arguments against myself
16. A wedding ring would deter people from inquiring if I am 12 years old
17. I can have company on my walks, and guys will not stare at me out of their car windows as they pass me by
18. When I've lost my mind, I may need help finding it again (as well as my keys...)
19. Broken down riding mowers are heavy
20. Broken down cars are heavier
21. It is not good for woman to be alone either
22. It's hard to have family meals by myself
23. Peanut butter jars are difficult to open
24. Holding hands works better than mittens

**Disclaimer: The above list is sheerly for entertainment purposes; all reasons listed were included with the intent of making you laugh. Please do not think me so shallow... And please, feel free to add any reasons you might come up with

Thursday, July 24

For the Strong of Stomach

If you care to read about the "unexpected bedside procedure" that was mentioned in a previous post, you can find it here.

But please, don't read it unless you have a weak imagination or a strong stomach. Although, I tried not to be too descriptive.

Wednesday, July 23

More on Work

If you read my "Venting" blog, you know that work wasn't so great on Sunday, and I was feeling maybe a little more than slightly discouraged.

Monday morning when I got up to go to work, I was determined that it would be a new day. I had some really good prayer time in the car on the way to work.

When I got to work, not only did we have a unit clerk, but we also had four nurses and an assistant nurse manager. Yay for not being short-staffed! This meant that I would have five patients instead of six, and they were the same patients I had had on Sunday, which was also nice. I like to get to know my patients, and all of my patients had been good despite having lots of stuff going on.

I guess I'll start with how God answered my prayers. I prayed first of all that I would have a good attitude no matter what, even if I was falling behind. Amazingly, I felt really peaceful all day long and was quite cheery. I also prayed again that I would be able to be a blessing to at least one person. It was really cool how God answered that prayer.

There was one patient I had who was supposed to have a test done where we draw his blood, then give him some medicine and draw his blood again in 30 minutes. It was supposed to have been done on the night shift, but it got missed because for some reason the lab computers still had him listed as being in the ER, despite the fact that he had been on our floor for over 24 hours. What this meant is that all of his lab slips printed out in the ER and not on our floor, so no one ended up drawing his labs. I managed to get the mess straightened out and he was able to be discharged that afternoon. When I was giving him his discharge papers, his wife thanked me for all that I had done and told me that I had been one of the best nurses they've had.

Another of my patients had some of his family around, and his wife and daughter kept asking me a lot of questions. So I got to spend lots of time talking to them. When I was about to leave to give report for the next shift, his wife said to me, "Thank you so much. You've been such a good nurse."

Close to 5 pm I got a new patient that transferred from another hospital. He was such a sweet old man, but he was horribly confused. I asked him if he knew where he was and his response was: "Well of course. I'm just sittin' up here on top of the mountain." I asked him if he knew what year it was and he said, "Yes, well, it's sometime after 7." I clarified that I was wondering if he knew what year it was, not what time it was, and he replied that it was "773." Again, he was pleasantly confused.

His daughter came a bit after he arrived on our floor, and she was a flurried mess. I felt so much for her. She explained that she really didn't trust the people at the other hospital and had been trying to get him transferred to ours for a long time. As I got together his medications and asked her some more questions, I realized that the other hospital had really not taken good care of him at all and things were a mess. She kept saying to me, "Please, you guys fix him. I know you can help him." When I was getting ready to leave, I got to talk to her some more, and she thanked me for everything I had done.

It was just really nice that I had three out of six patients that day who appreciated what I'd done (whether it was big or small) and that took the time to thank me. It was neat that God helped me to feel like I'd made a difference.

Work was still insane. I had five patients to start with. Things went crazy around 4 pm when we had to have an unexpected bedside procedure, and then I got discharge orders on 3 of the 4 patients I had left (one had been discharged earlier in the day), and a new patient came around 5 pm. Unfortunately, none of my discharges were simple, they all had issues that really needed a case manager to work on, but since she had already gone home, the assistant nurse manager worked on doing all of the discharges (apparently we attempted to send half the floor home, I think there was a total of something like 11 discharges on a 21 bed floor). She jokingly said to me, "Kristin, next time I work with you, I'm going to make the case manager stay until you leave."

Anyway, I ended up getting out of work an hour late because I was trying to catch up on charting, and I stayed to help Mitch finish discharging one of the patients. But despite all of that, I felt good. I was exhausted, but I was happy and didn't get frustrated or discouraged.

God is good.

There is one more thing that I'm not sure if I'm going to write more about later. The unexpected bedside procedure. I'm actually kind of worried about what happened, and I just pray that nothing bad happens to my patient. Anyway, I may write about it later. I just don't know. It was more than slightly disconcerting.

Tuesday, July 22

A Note on Fruit Flies

In a recent post, I mentioned that there was a swarm of fruit flies co-inhabiting the Parker's house (mainly the kitchen) with Kelsey and me. I tried the fly swatter and the veggie wash spray, but to no avail. I thought I was out of ideas.

Then Kelsey came home last night. Both of us were exhausted from work and were highly irritated at the flies. Kelsey had a new idea. Forget fly swatters, why try those when you have dish towels? And thus began our violent killing spree. Who would have thought that Kelsey and I would in any life be considered heartless murderers?

After some time of violently thrashing dish towels at cupboards, the sink, the trash can lid, doorframes, walls and the air around us, we had managed to diminish the swarm to a mere horde. It was, I'm sure, a sight to behold. Had anyone happened upon us, I'm positive they would have considered us quite mad.

This morning and afternoon had been much more bearable with the flies, yet their presence was still quite noticeable. I decided to vacuum the living room, and as I was using the cleaning tools to rid the windowsill of cobwebs and other such things, I had a brilliant idea.

Very quietly I sneaked up to the trash can where a gathering of flies was perched contentedly upon the lid. With vacuum cleaner hose in hand, I paused before hitting the power button. Would they scatter at the noise of the vacuum?

I readied myself in a stance of attack, hit the button, and began to suck up as many little fruit flies as I could. I moved throughout the kitchen, scouring it for the rebel bands. Much to my surprise, the little flies did not fly madly about at the noise of the vacuum. From this, I have drawn two possible conclusions:

1. Fruit flies are deaf.
2. Fruit flies are not well acquainted with the rumblings of a vacuum cleaner and thus did not suspect that its roar was sounding their demise.

After my rampage, the kitchen is much more still and less black-speckled. By no means have I completely rid it of all the fruit flies, but I would definitely have to say that the number of fruit flies in the kitchen is quite possibly countable now.

When Kelsey comes home, I shall inform her of my victories and possibly plan another attack at a later hour. The age of the fruit fly soon shall pass.

*Closing note for Thomson: I attempted your stunt with blowing at the flies, but found that at the time there was only one fruit fly buzzing about my face and a small congregation of flies already perched on the edge of my computer screen. It was amusing nonetheless.


Edit: Kelsey came home and I shared my success. She tried it too. She said it was quite satisfying to suck up the little insects. Then she proceeded to vacuum up cobwebs, pregnant spiders, and other such creatures lurking about the house.

Then she decided to try one more thing.

"Kristin, do you think we could use this on the hornet's nest on the porch?"

"I don't know, Kelsey..."

She tried. The first time, she almost got two of them, but then got scared (understandably so) and we both ran inside the house behind the screen door, abandoning the vacuum cleaner that was still running on the porch.

We decided to try again, and this time I decided I would have her back. If it looked like they were escaping, I would smash them with a broom.

Unfortunately, the hornets clung to their nest for dear life, and Kelsey and I decided to give up. They are safe for another day.

Point of Indecision

My policy was one of silence;
A muteness that sprung from
A fear of rejection.

In silence I waited, and I watched
As opportunities passed me by.

So I broke the chains of speechlessness,
Spoke my mind
And grasped at possibilities

Only to have myself broken
Like the chains that once bound me.

Silence smothered,
But speaking shattered.
Either way I lost.

As I sink into silence once again
I find myself questioning:

Is silence as golden as they say?


I have much more to post. About work yesterday, my sermon, and camp. Hopefully I'll be able to write soon, but for now, just another poem.

Oh, and lest anyone wonder... This poem has absolutely nothing to do with me preaching my sermon.

Sunday, July 20


If you do not wish to read something rather negative, please, read no further.

I'm highly irritated. Partially at myself, partially at the swarm of small fruit fly bug things, and partially at work.

I'll start with myself: I am not super nurse. Sad, but true. Maybe one day I will be, but for now, it's a struggle to catch up by the end of the day. And my neck is killing me. I think it's just rather tight from all the stress of today.

There is a medium-sized horde of fruit fly/gnat things buzzing about my head and the kitchen in general. And I'm not sure what to do about it. Before I left Tennessee, there was a small collection of ants that were inhabiting the kitchen. But the reign of the ants has passed and in their place are these annoying flying bugs. They're too small for the fly swatter (I tried already), the veggie wash spray doesn't seem to kill them instantly as it does ants, and I'm all out of ideas.

As for work... Work is stressful. For whatever reason, management has decided that we really don't need all of our staff and they have purposefully been short-staffing our floor. Why? To save money. This is all very noble, but unfortunately, patient care is suffering. Greatly. Having six patients is bad enough, but it makes it worse when we don't have a unit clerk to take orders off the charts, answer the phone, and answer the call light. It also doesn't help when you page doctors 3 times with no response, which actually happened twice today with the same doctor.

But really, I think what frustrates me the most is feeling like I'm just surviving the day. This morning on my way to work, I was praying that God would use me today. That no matter how hard my day was I would be able to have a cheerful attitude and be a blessing to someone. Anyone. There were even a couple of times during the day when I felt myself getting more stressed and upset and I prayed right then for God to help me change my attitude. And He did, but it didn't seem to last very long.

I don't know. I know that God was with me today, and I know He answered my prayers. But somehow, I feel like I was just barely keeping my head above the water today, and I really question how much of a blessing I was to anyone. And that's what irritates me most.

Soon I shall be off to bed to wake up and try again tomorrow. The nice thing is that tomorrow is a new day. Despite the fact that I will have the same patients, it will be a different day.

Saturday, July 19

Tennessee Again

I feel kind of bad. Since I've been back in Tennessee, I've had several people tell me that they're really glad that I'm back. I never know how to respond because I'm not particularly happy to be back.

The exchange generally sounds like this:
Friend: Kristin! I'm so glad that you're back!
Kristin: Yeah... Well. I'm... glad to see you again.

It's not that I'm unhappy to be here. And I'm glad to see my friends that are down here. But Tennessee is definitely not home. And I don't know that it ever will be again.

Anyway, I need to get some sleep. I have to work again tomorrow. Hopefully soon I will post something more interesting and more worth your time to read, but lately I have been rather unmotivated to write. It was a huge struggle for me just to finish writing my sermon late last night.

But more on that later...