Friday, December 21, 2007

Travelling To Remote Locations

When you are planning a lengthy trip to a remote location (say you're going to spend a couple of months in Borneo) all of your guide books will instruct you to see a dentist in your own neighborhood first. Shoot, you'd hate to be stuck in the wilds of Bolivia and have a tooth go postal on your nerves in an unmistakable You-Need-A-Root-Canal-Stat! kind of way. You half think: Hm, perhaps I *should* have a prophylactic appendectomy, but then you remember that your insurance doesn't pay for that sort of thing.

The same goes for nursing school. Nagging medical problems need to be deferred until you have some time off. Heck, last year there was the gal who got mono and couldn't get out of bed for a week and she couldn't make up the time and - bam!- out she went. One of my clinical instructors broke a leg skiing during the time when she was a nursing student at Nursing School U and was fortunate that there was a spot for her the next year to pick up where she left off.

And, so, this lovely winter break I went to the dentist about the broken and painful crown in the back of my mouth. Turns out it broke because the tooth was rotting under the crown (and here I wont go into the evils of dentistry or the incompetence of the particular dentist who put the crown on originally....much) and the choice was 1) several appointments to get an *ALL NEW* (be the first on your block!) root canal, some sort of root scraping surgery and an *ALL NEW* (get out your checkbooks, kids!) crown and it might not work anyways or 2) pull it out. I took 2 and I've been in excruciating pain for days now. So much for having fun with my kids, shopping for Christmas, making candy for the neighbors and cleaning my house! Sigh.

OK. The other thing I'm putting off is this here Crap-And-Now-You-Know-How-Old-I-AM referral for mama's first mammogram [picture me here waving a pink referral slip around].

Above is my daughter's cake. Let me start by saying that, one year, my sister asked me if my daughter's cake was made out of sourdough bread. The kids, meanwhile, were snacking away on the cake w/ big frosting-smeared grins. It turns out, I'd left the sugar out of the cake. In my defense (and, yes, I know - I KNOW- it is indefensible to ruin your daughter's (or anyone else's) cake), I'd been out late at a play and made the cake at one AM. The kids didn't care because the frosting was FABULOUS and the mermaid I had rendered was pretty. This year I left the cream cheese out of the frosting. I wondered why the stuff wasn't spreading right and then someone opened the microwave and held up a plate with the perfectly softened cream cheese on it. So it was four (4) cups of powdered sugar to two sticks of butter. And the kids STILL didn't care! It was sweet as hell and they liked it that way! So there you have Hedgie Blasts Off rendered in cake form.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

I See You

Finals are next week and, of course, I'm up late baking. My daughter wants a cake w/ an image from the children's book Hedgie Blasts Off on it. I'll let you know how it turns out.

I spent a day in ICU and I was standing in my patient's room when a loud woman's voice said "It looks like her blood pressure is dropping." Um, are you talking to me? I'm whirling around and the voice says, "Up at the end of the bed...the camera." And, yep, there it was zooming in on the scene in the room. "Your patient is really sick," the voice said. Um, yes. Septic shock will do that to a person: make 'em really sick. I said, "I'm just a student." And the voice told me that it belonged to a person named Mira (or something along those lines) and that she was watching a bank of hundreds of monitors from a city 25 miles away. I'm sure that the camera zoomed in on the scene several times throughout the day as the patient's blood pressure dropped to 60 over 40 and a dopamine drip and a flat head of the bed barely brought it up to 80 over 50. The funny thing is that all of the ICU nurses were really surprised that the camera had spoken to me. I guess they almost never do and I heard a story of a patient crashing and a lone nurse calling for help in the dead of night and the camera finally comes on and says, "Looks like you're doing the right thing." and that was it. And then there's the whole liability thing: see, we can show you on camera that we did all of the right things or, geez, here you are setting the drip rate wrong (or somesuch) which is fairly futuristic from the past 1984-like and all or is it Big Brother. It's a blur. Nursing texts have calcified my pop culture/literary reference bone.

The really amazing thing: another student took care of the same ICU patient today and she is as OK as she was before landing in the ICU. Hearing that made my week and I needed something to make my week because I didn't think I would make it this week.

I was in Disney World for Thanksgiving. It's a long story. I know, I should have been at home baking pies and perfecting The Dinner Roll, but I was riding the Dumbo ride instead. The picture is a bathroom sign in Tomorrowland (in The Magic Kingdom) which was the 50's version of the future. I love the past's view of the future especially when the past's view of the future is really of the past. It's so art deco.