Sunday, December 21, 2008

the final countdown

Christmas is in less than four days It's three days, fourteen hours, and two minutes to be exact, but who's counting, right?

Per usual, there has been no rest for the weary. I worked four days this past week and they were no less exciting than my previous post. Also, I made a mad dash from work on Thursday night to get across town to babysit. That was fun in rushhour, not! Thankfully the R's were home before midnight, so getting up at 4:44a.m. for the gym and work on Friday wasn't impossible. Friday night was our Christmas party. Now it's a well known fact that us nurses love to party and have a good time...sometimes just a wee bit too much. That's what happens your life is more work than play -the play is way overdone.

Our party was nothing fancy, nor was it free. It was at a local bar that many of us go to frequently. For $30 we had 4 hours of open bar from 8-12. I was determined to get there early this year because last year I missed most of the party while waiting for N to dilly dally getting ready. Too bad my plan wasn't quite in line with the hospital gods. I had to work Friday day but I figured I'd be out by 7:50ish. Or not!?!?. Brief recap of what happened between 4:30 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. when I finally left work.

-Four patients came back from the OR
-One patient got discharged
-Two patients arrived from outside hospitals as transfers that were so not necessary
-A patient needed to be transferred to the pediatric floor but had no family at the bedside to travel with them
-A patient was extremely hypotensive and had a critically low Hemoglobin and Hematocrit (5.5, 15.5!!!). Said patient needed to be transferred from a stepdown room into an ICU room and get two units of blood rapidly transfused. But first needed to have a type and screen sent because the initial one expired. The type and screen was sent but one line of the sheet wasn't signed so the lab rejected and threw out the sample and another one had to be sent (have you ever tried to get blood from an exceptionally hypovolumic person?) I'm still in shock that I go an IV into their arm. Additionally the cardiac monitor was not working in the patients room so they had to be on a portable monitor.
And the most exciting, although rather traumatic...
-A patient blew their anatomises and ruptured their carotid artery. You know those scenes on TV where blood is squirting out everywhere? Real life is way more intense! After that patient got rushed to the OR, and I settled the patient with the low H&H into the room, and I transferred the patient to the pediatric floor, and I did the admission history and assessment on one of my new admissions, and gave report to the night staff on my other patients, I rushed home, took a 49 second shower, put on my new party dress, straightened my hair, and hopped in a cab to my party. I arrived at 9:20 p.m. Now that people is a speedy party prep!

I was barely in the door and someone put a drink in my hand, followed by another and another and another. I'm a two drink drunk on a good day, so four drinks on an empty stomach meant the super chatty, quick witted,flirty, confident Kelly was out in full force. I don't know where the night went. Before I knew it, the party was coming to a close and it was close to 2am. As I left, I think I hugged and kissed on the cheek every firefighter that was there, plus all my coworkers-even the ones who I only sorta like, haha. Two, very nice, older, as in could be my father old, firefighters walked me out and got me a cab home. My party dress was barely off (that sounds so dirty) and I passed out. I didn't wake up until 10:30 Saturday morning and, to be quite honest, I wished I had just kept sleeping. My head was pounding, my throat was killing me, and my eyes were crusty with Friday night's makeup.

I managed to rally after a multivitamin and two cups of tea. And by rally I mean go to the gym for a jog, shower, and attempt to Christmas shop;however, he latter was a huge failure because with every store I walked into and saw a line, I turned on my heels and walked out. Which brings us to the present.. T-minus three days, fourteen hours, and two minutes until Christmas.

What do I have to do before then?
1. Buy gifts for: my cousin, one of our fellows, my roommate, my dad, my mom, my trainer, my grandfather, my cleaning lady, my water delivery man.

2. Mail the already stamped and addressed holiday cards (hey, the post office is 2 blocks away)

3. Bake Christmas cookies

4. Wrap the few gifts that I have purchased

5. Do laundry so I have clothes to bring home

6. Find a Christmas Eve mass AFTER I get out of work, but BEFORE midnight

7. Get in touch with the L's so I can finally give them their Christmas AND Birthday
presents

8. Book a train ticket home for the day after Christmas

9. Work Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday


Wow, I've got a lot to do and not much time. On that note, I'm out. Wishing you all a happy, healthy holiday and new year!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Exhausted

Holy Moly, I’ve been MIA and I have lots of catch you all up on. First, the entire month of November I was feeling really down. Some days it took all the energy I had just to get out of bed. I wasn’t excited about anything, nor did I want to do anything. I even hated going to the gym or running (yes, you read that correctly). I was rather concerned. I knew it wasn’t normal to feel that way; however, I didn’t care much about anything.

When my family saw me at Thanksgiving, they thought I looked bad. My schedule wasn’t helping my case. I was working 5 nights a week, 12+ hours a night, and not sleeping more than 3 or 4 hours in between shifts. I don’t care what you say, sleeping during the day does not even compare to sleeping at night. Plus, all this exhaustion was wreaking havoc on my body.

I’m very conscientious about what I eat, how my clothes fit, my weight etc. So when my pants started getting tighter ,and I knew I hadn’t changed my eating habits or how much I exercised, my stress only increased. I finally reached my breaking point when N called, asking me to dinner, and I broke down and cried. I told her that I’m just miserable. I hate working nights. It’s lonely. It’s isolating. I can go an entire week without seeing my roommate. I don’t do that much for myself and the few things that I do (i.e. working out, running, cooking) I no longer enjoy. After an hour of her listening to me sob and sob and sob, she convinced me to go out for sushi in the Village. It was freezing cold outside, but I needed the fresh air. After another restless night’s sleep (that’s the other problem, now that I’m used to staying up at night, I can’t sleep on my days off) I called my doctor. Not being one who EVER takes medication, I now have lovely prescription for some @mbien. Magic.Little.Pill.

Even better than the fake sleep that I’ve been getting is the fact that I’m doing a month long rotation on days. It’s heaven. They’ve also been giving me a lot more responsibility at work. In addition to acting as charge nurse, I’m also precepting some of our new nurses. It’s extremely flattering to be given so much responsibility after only working in the BICU for 16 months.

My transition from nights to days was a little hairy. I worked Thursday and Friday nights, had Saturday off, then worked Sunday, Monday, Tuesday days. Despite the fact that I hadn’t worked a day shift in a year, I was in charge on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Let the games begin!

I won’t bore you with the details but we were slammed with boarder patients from the PACU, two of which were extremely unstable and ended up getting emergently intubated and rushed back to the OR. One patient died. One patient coded six times over 48 hours. The repeat coder also ended up swanned (twice, after the first one was defective), had a transvenous pacer placed by cardiology, then had a GI bleed, then stopped oxygenating his body as indicated by his PO2 of 45 from his ABG.

On top of all this activity, we had another patient who came in intubated with an unknown medical history; she was found down in a house fire after smoking and drinking in bed. Turns out this lady had quite a history with IV drug use and alcohol abuse, so she was damn near impossible to sedate due to her high tolerance of narcotics. Her magic cocktail turned out to be 150mcg of Fentanyl and 50mcg of Propofol.

The above situations kept all of us doctors and nurses very busy, but I had a very emotional experience on Monday. I can’t remember if I ever posted about this patient, but back in July I admitted a five year-old boy started a house fire and ended up with 65% total body surface area full thickness burns. He was intaubted and sedated, teetering the line between life and death.

The night I admitted him, I thought-on more than one occasion- that we were going to loose him. His mother was the first parent I had to address regarding life and death. I took off all my surgical garb, took her by the hand, and walked her into her son’s hospital room. I explained, in lay man’s terms, the physiology of burns. My knees knocked, but my voice never faltered, as I told her that the first 72 hours were the most critical. I caught her in my arms as she broke down; she wept on my shoulder like baby.

I took care of this boy four nights in a row and countless times over the next few months. His hospital stay was complicated by infections, sloughed graphs, respiratory and neurological issues, but every time I took care of him I felt a sense of pride and hope. I was there the afternoon they extuabted him; I watched him take his first non- ventilator assisted breath; I teared up.

This little guy became a fixture on our unit. Everyone knew him, and he knew everyone. Two weeks ago he celebrated his 6th birthday, it was a 24-hour, non-stop party. Everyone from the attending physicians to the house keeping staff joined in the celebration. I knew he was getting better, but the idea of him leaving never crossed my mind. So when I found out that he would be discharged to rehab on Monday, my stomach knotted.

Monday morning I went into his room and had a long talk with him. I told him that although I was very sad to see him go, it was a very special day for us both. For him it marked astounding progress, for me it was a happy ending to a six month journey. I can’t begin to express how meaningful it was for me to discharge the very patient who I thought I would loose.

As I reviewed the mounds of paperwork with his mother, she looked up at me and started to cry. Much like the first night I met her, I caught her in my arms and she wept on my shoulder. However, this time her tears were that of joy not fear. She looked at me, as I wiped away her tears, and mouthed “thank you.” And it was that moment that reminded me why I do what I do. It makes the long hours, the back-breaking work, the stress, and the frustration all worth it. I must have some angels up in heaven, because this reminder couldn’t have come at a better time. Once again, I feel at peace, ready to take on whatever comes my way.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Week 58: Four Foods on Friday

I'm back this week. Check out everyone else's meme entry here.

#1. Does your family usually eat meals in the kitchen or somewhere else?
Well, we eat in the living room around the coffee table. Hey, it's city apartment living!

#2. Who usually does the dishes in your house?
Me, I'm OCD about dirty dishes in the sink.

#3. What’s your favorite small appliance or tool in the kitchen?
Blender. With limied space, I use it to chop, puree, mix, and of course blend

#4. This one’s for my son. Share a recipe for chili.
Can't take credit for this one, it's from 28cooks

Tempeh Chili

1 (8 oz) pkg tempeh

Marinade
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp Lousiana-style hot sauce
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp sesame oil

4 tbsp oil
4 cloves garlic
1 cup onion, chopped
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 (15 oz) can black beans
1/2 c water

In large ziploc bag, combine all marinade ingredients. Add tempeh, seal bag, and refrigerate for 1-8 hours (or longer). Grate tempeh with large grater and place into medium bowl with remaining marinade. Heat olive oil over medium-high in large pot. Add garlic and onion, and saute until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add Italian seasoning, mustard, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper, and stir for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, beans, tempeh, and water. Stir well, bring to a boil, then lower heat. Simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently, for 30-45 minutes, until chili is thickened. Serve and enjoy!

Friday, November 28, 2008

In Which I Try Something New

Hold your breath. I actually had a holiday off! Yes, you read that correctly. Nurse Kelly was nowhere near New York's big medical center. When I found out that I didn't have to work, I immediately phoned my family. Instead of my mother fussing over what my travel arrangements, she laid a shocker on me. She announced that her, my father, and my sister would be traveling to New York. My first thought was "Sweet!", my next thought was, "Holy Shit. HOWAMIGOINGTOCOOKATHANKSGIVINGDINNERINMYTINYTINYAPARTMENTKICHEN???? I think my mom sensed my apprehension because she quickly said, "and how about we go out to dinner? That would be lovely."

Shocked at my mothers suggestion, I agreed an quickly set out to find a reasonably priced Thanksgiving dinner. My search took about a week. Apparently, some people New Yorker's don't bat an eyelash at $109/per person prixe fix holiday dinners that do not include alcohol. I finally found a place with a varied menu costing only $55/per person for a three course meal. I made a 4:30pm dinner reservation, sat back, and then thought.....what am I going to do with my family all.day.long?

This issue continued to stress me out. Did I mention that my family was going to be staying in my apartment? Yes, my roommate was going home, but at $725 a night for a hotel, I was not about to kick my family out. My stress was exaggerated because preceding thanksgiving I worked 11 out of 15 days (uh, hunh not kidding).

Before I knew it, it was last Sunday and my mom was giving me all the details (sometimes I love having a mother who's as type A as me!) They would be arriving Wednesday afternoon, probably late because my sister was playing in the powder puff football game and they couldn't leave Boston until 11 and they were anticipating mucho traffic. My mom then suggested that we go see the balloons be blown up for the parade. So touristy, she and my dad both wanted to check out the Macy's Day Parade on Thanksgiving morning. We'd wing the rest of their visit. In my state of exhaustion, I just agreed and went about the week.

Before I knew it, it was Wednesday at 2pm and my family was buzzing my apartment. Wow! They made it in record time. I went down to help them bring in their stuff. My jaw almost hit the floor when they showed up: two jumbo suitcases, pillows, tools (I needed my dad's drill), gift bags, garment bags, etc. You would have though they were traveling overseas. I soon learned that one entire suitcase, plus one of the duffel bags was full of my sister’s clothes (oh to be 16). They came up and settled in. I must admit, I was having a mild anxiety attacked with their stuff everywhere, but I played it cool.

After catching up, we humored my mothered and headed off through the park to the west side to see the balloon inflation. Direction said to check them out between 77th-81st on Central Park West. Umm, so weren’t we surprised when we were looped up to 81st, across CPW to Columbus, across Columbus, down Columbus to 78th, back across Columbus, down to 77th only to realize that if we wanted to see the balloons we would essentially have to walk that same route AGAIN, except in the opposite direction on Central Park West. Oh the crowds! It was insane. Umm, at that point, we threw in the towel and decided to get something to eat. We were right at Isabella's so I tired to go in and check out the wait time. But I couldn’t get past the cop who told me the restaurant was booked until 10pm. And off we went down to 72nd so we could go back acorss the park. And we walked and walked and walked. My mom said a few times, “Kelly, where are we going? We are going in circles."

I really hadn't been paying attention, as we were talking all the way. Suddenly I noticed this LARGE, long building. And then I stopped, dead in my tracks, and laughed. We walked to the street corner "85th and 5th." Whoops. We had accidentally walked diagonally through the park up to 85th! At least we were back on the East Side!

Famished, we headed to a big Italian family style restaurant. We were seated promptly. We all needed a drink, so we ordered a pitcher of Sangria. Doesn't the waitress come back to the table, with our huge pitcher of yummy sangria, and say, "Four glasses, right?" My mom tried to prevent her jaw from hitting the floor. The waitress poured the four glasses and walked away. That's when Colleen, picked dup her glass and said, "Cheers!" She's sixteen! Not wanting to make a big deal my parents let her drink it, after all it was in a controlled environment, but it was just comical.

At this point it was time to order out food. Being the only vegetarian in my family, and this was a family style restaurant, I pretty much stayed out of the conversation and said all I wanted was some linguini and steamed broccoli. My family all agreed on chicken parmesan but for some reason my sister was putting up a fight over the veal. She lost the battle and my parents ordered a half size portion.

When the food came, there were lots of plates on the table. After some rearranging the veal parmesan ended up in front of my sister. I jokingly offered her some and she looked at me, dead serious and sad, "You know I don't like fish!"

My parents and I burst into laughter. My sister, the child prodigy seriously thought that veal was fish. After a good chuckle, we ate our meal and drank our sangria-all four of us.

It had been a long day, so we came home, put on our pajamas and lounged around. Sleeping arrangements were interesting. My sister and I slept on my roommates bed, my mom slept in my bed, my dad slept on the blow up aero bed. None of us slept well. It seemed like had just gone to bed when my dad pops his head in at 6:40 a.m. and announced that it was time to get up. We threw on clothes and headed off to the West Side to see the parade. We were at 72nd and CPW by 7:15 and the parade didn't begin until 9.

The streets were PACKED. People were pushing, shoving, yelling, moaning, and groaning. We ended up finding a spot behind a relatively open area, closed for CNN VIP's. We thought we hit the jackpot. Boy were we wrong. Turns out, this was also the spot to enter and exit the viewing stands for the porta-pottys. For the next two hours and all through the parade we were shoved, pushed, and untimely sandwiched in between two trash cans and six porta-pottys. We didn't even get to see Santa because they ushered us out of the area so they could clear the stands. We trekked home cold, but not defeated. Many of our friends texted us that they were looking for us on TV and asked us how the parade was live. We texted back to look for the porta-potty's and that the parade probably looked better in HDTV.

Walking home, we decided to stop and get breakfast and bring it back to my apartment. For most of the afternoon we lounged around. My sister napped and then we all showered and got ready for dinner. We decided to walk 30 blocks to the restaurant and worked up an appetite. Seated promptly, the meal was delicious from start to finish. We took a cab home. Then came what I dreaded most...a lull, with nothing to do.

We flipped back and forth on the television but nothing was appealing. It was only 6:45, but I put on my pajamas curled up on the couch and fell sound asleep. I woke up a few hours later and crawled into bed. The following morning I could smell fresh brewed coffee and freshly toasted bagels. I was quite impressed that my family finagled their way around my kitchen AND ventured outside to the bagel store. It was a bit comical when my dad opened the refrigerator to get cream for his coffee and all he saw was soymilk and opened up the sugar jar only to find splenda. Sorry dad. However, the best part of waking up was walking into my living room and seeing my little Christmas tree all decorated. It warmed my heart.

After my family showered, they packed up the car and left. I got a wee bit emotional but I know I’ll see them again in a month. Although this past Thanksgiving was different from any other holiday I've experienced, it was great to try something new.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Taste of Something New

Maybe it's because it's almost Thanksgiving, or maybe because it's chilly outside, or maybe because I've had two days off in a row (cue to choirs!!), but whatever the reason I've been playing with the foods inside my pantry food cabinet. I had a can of pumpkin, a bag of craisins, and some rice that I wanted to use.

Here's what I created...

Pumpkin Cranberry Risotto

1 onion. diced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups arborio rice
1 cup white wine
4 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
1/4 cup real maple syrup
1 tbsp orange zest
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp margarine
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup craisins

Mix pumpkin, orange zest, and maple syrup and place into 350 degree over for 20 minutes.
Sautee the onion in olive oil over medium heat until soft.
Add the rice. Allow to cook, stirring, for a minute or two. Slowly add the wine- CAREFUL when pouring alcohol onto heat.
Add the vegetable broth, 1/2 cup at a time, allow the moisture to cook off before adding the next 1/2 cup. Stir frequently. Add in salt and pepper.
Once all the liquid has been added, fold in pumpkin mixture, nutmeg, margarine, and craisins.

Enjoy!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Four Foods on Friday

I'm running late with this post again. I need a vacation! But nevertheless here are this week's questions

#1. What’s the worst tasting food you’ve ever eaten?
That would be Walden Farms fat free, calorie free peanut butter. Yes, you read that correctly It was metically tasting and sharp smelling....kind of tasted like fertilizer smells. I should have known that it sounded to good to be true.

#2. Share a funny or embarassing story about a meal you’re made.
Um, the huge bath of pumpkin bread that I made for the holidays two years ago. I accidentally grabbed the paprika instead of the cinnamon. You should have seen my grandfathers face when he took a bite.

#3. What food do you burn or have problems cooking most often?
I said it before, but I cannot make brownies. I've tried to make them from scratch and from the box but never had any luck. They are mushy in the center and charred on the edges. MAybe it's my pan??

#4. Name two foods you’ll be eating on this Thanksgiving.
We're trying something new this year. My family is coming into New York (yay!) and we are going out to eat. Here's our menu selection:

SOUP
Soup of butternut squash, hazelnut, apple and roasted seckel pear

SALAD
Organic baby mesclun mix, toasted walnut and fall squash vinaigrette

ENTREE
-Crisp skin long island duck breast, sweet potato and maple puree, garlic sauteed brussel sprouts
-Whole wheat rigatoni with fall vegetables, fresh red and yellow tomato sauce, roasted olives
-Roasted organic amish turkey, sweet potato puree, brussels sprouts, cranberry chutney, chestnut stuffing, mashed potatoes and giblet gravy
-Stuffed farfalle with sundried tomato pesto, grilled sweet italian sausage
-Slow braised beef short ribs with cheddar cheese mashed potatoes, roasted root vegetables
-Fennel crusted north atlantic salmon, scallion and celery root mashed potatoes, warmed grapes and caperberries
-16-oz ny strip steak with roasted garlic and herb butter, crispy french fries and belgian dipping sauce
DESSERT
-Machintoch apple, cinnamon raisin cobbler with cinnamon ice crem
-Individual pumpkin pie with fresh chantilly cream
-Flourless chocolate souffle with vanilla bean ice cream
-Italian blood orange sorbet

Want to join in? Check out the FFoF Meme HERE

Friday, November 14, 2008

4 Foods on Friday-Thanksgiving Edition

Hard to believe it's already mid-November and that Thanksgiving is 2 weeks away! See what everyone else is drooling over on their Thanksgiving menu....

#1. Stuffing. Boxed or from scratch?
Boxed, but all doctored up with apples, celery, craisins, and onions

#2. If you were served the perfect Thanksgiving dinner what would it be?
Well, mine would have no meat, but the ideal Thanksgiving meal that I would serve to all my carniverous friends and family would be....Roasted turkey with hickory maple rub, stuffing (see above), mashed sweet potaotes with crushed pineapple and cinnamon, steamed green beans, sauteed spinach with garlic, homemade chunky cranberry sauce with fresh grated orange zest, and warm fresh baked honey wheat bread

#3. What’s your favorite Thanksgiving leftover?
Sweet potatoes reheated in the oven with just a dab of maple syrup

#4. Share a recipe using turkey.

Turkey Gobble-Up

1 large ripe avocado, peeled, pitted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
12 slices cooked turkey breast meat
12 slices tomato
12 slices American or cheddar cheese
12 strip bacon, halved, cooked, crumbled
6 English muffins, split and toasted

In a small bowl, mash the avocado; add lemon juice, mayonnaise, sour cream and hot pepper sauce.

Spread over muffin halves; top with turkey, tomato, cheese and bacon.

Broil 6 inches from the heat for 3-4 minutes or until cheese begins to melt.

Yield: 6 servings.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thrifty In the CIty

Just about every blog that I stalk read has been posting on ways to save money. And let's face it, with the state of the economy, it's a good idea. Here's my two cents...

One of the greatest gifts my parents gave me was instilling me with a strong work ethic, emphasizing that money doesn't grow on trees (at least not in our backyard). I received an allowance, but only when I did chores. My parents had this " Three Can System." I got $15.00 a week, but I had to divide it three ways (spending, savings, special). At the end of every month I had to put the "savings" into my bank account and was given a choice about the "special." Some months I chose to add it to my spending money, but other months I put it in the bank to earn the interest and get "free money" (i.e. interest). I was so used to this savings method, that when I got my first job, I didn't bat an eye at putting my pay checks in the bank. I made great tip money, so I used that as my spending and gas money (back in the day when gas was $0.99/gallon) ::sigh::

Flash forward to college. Not going to lie, I went to college with kids who came from money. I swear, some of them had mobiles of dollar bills hanging over their cribs as babies. I'll never forget the day I was shopping in Rittenhouse Square and one of my friends whipped out mommy and daddy's AMEX to pay her $200 charge at J.Crew. I mean, yes, I too had one of my parents credit cards but it was for things like groceries, plane tickets home, etc. I came from a modest background. My parents both worked and my sister and I never wanted for anything, but we didn't live beyond our means. My parents didn't bat an eye at footing my tuition bill (all $200,000) of it, but they weren't about to pay for frivolous, spur of the moment shopping sprees. I worked on campus in student services and babysat all though college to earn my spending money. Yes, it sucked when I saw my bank account getting down to single digits by the end of school year, but I had a summer of work to replenish my account. It was a good system that I had worked out. In college, in addition to my parents credit card for necessities, I got my own credit card to build credit. I didn't charge much to it, but I always paid it off in full at the end of every month. I got countless offers in the mail from companies each trying to offer the biggest and best rewards with 0% interest on balance transfers, but I politely shredded each and every one of them.

Then I graduated from college. Suddenly, I was a grown up and found myself moving to one of the most expensive cities...New York City! When I got my job offer, I was tickled pink with my starting salary. Trust me, it was WAY more than most of my friends would be making with the exception of a few investment bankers. My enthusiasm started to dwindle when I realized that I'd be spending upwards of $22,000 a year on rent. Add to that food, travel, and fun oh yeah and all of this AFTER taxes! Suddenly felt more like a popper than a princess.

Even though all this overwhelmed me, my childhood habit of saving persevered. I set up both a savings account and an IRA, and after my 3rd month of work I started putting money into both accounts. Our hospital doesn't have a 401k, we have a 403b which they don't match, because they invest into their own plan for each employee, so that’s why I choose the individual IRA. I set up a budget and tried my best to stick to it. It took a while to figure out how much was reasonable to budget, but all my time and efforts paid off. I made lists of the foods that I ate frequently and went around to all of the little markets in my neighborhood to compare prices. I made an excel spreadsheet (yes, I'm that anal) and figured out where I could get what for the cheapest price. Thankfully, anything and everything that I could possibly ever need is within walking distance or only a few subway stops away. I cannot express how thankful I am not have to fret over gas prices. My price comparison experiment proved interesting. I found out that it's cheaper to buy fresh organic produce at the local farmers market than it was to buy regular produce from the mass chain grocery stores. I also quickly realized that buying coffee on the run, as metropolitan as it may seem, is completely UNeconomical.

There were a few issues that still bothered me though. #1-the cost of toilet paper, laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, etc; #2-the inability to buy in bulk due to location; #3-the inability to by in bulk due to space/storage limitation; #4-a lack of coupons.

Although strange, I am a 24 year old who cuts coupons-usually for things like laundry detergent, toilet paper, personal products, etc. Theoretically, it's a good way to save money; however, coupons only come out in the Sunday newspaper. The Sunday new paper costs $4.00. Most weeks the savings I'd accrue would only be about $3-$4, thus it doesn't really make sense to pay for my coupons, especially because I wouldn't otherwise buy the paper. I read it online in my continued effort to be more "green."

Okay, so what about buying in bulk? I can say this, with certainty, because I did the research. For items that I use on a daily basis- toilet paper, paper towels, soy milk, peanut butter, rice cakes, tea bags, coffee, shampoo/conditioner, the bulk cost is about 50% less than buying the individual items, at least at city prices. But did I mention that there isn't a Costo/BJ's/Sam's Club in a reasonable distance from here? Oh yeah, there isn't even a T@rget close by. Grrrrrr. Thus I have to rely on visits from my parents to bring me these essentials. Which brings me to the issue of storage. What to do? Buddy up! My friend N and I split the bulk items. So we get the savings of buying in bulk, without having to fret over the storage!

Now some of you may be aghast that I list paper towels as a necessity, but the nurse in me must object. Hand towels are DIRTY, nasty breeding grounds for germs. Don't believe me? Read this Okay, so what if I changed the towels every day. Well by the end of the week, I'd have 7 towels from the kitchen and 7 towels from the bathroom- that's a load of laundry. The cost of laundry is $2.00 to wash ad $2.00 to dry. Paper towels, at $1.07 per roll x2 rolls per week, is by far a cheaper and cleaner option for a household of two.

Finally, I still have the same one credit card from college. Every week I a lot myself $50.00 for "free spending" (this includes meal out and cabs/transportation) and I take this money out in cash. All other spending (i.e. groceries, gym membership) I put on my credit card to track exactly where, when, and what I'm spending money on. I pay off my bill in full at the end of every month. My credit card has great reward options. In fact, I was able to get my roundtrip ticket to Seattle for free, plus still have more than 1/3 of my rewards left over.

This post has been all over the place. But I hope that it has given you some perspective on how I live thriftily in the city.

Monday, November 10, 2008

leaps and bounds


Call me crazy, but when I walked into my patient's room and saw all this, I got excited.....
Salem Sump to wall suction- bilious drainage

Jejunostomy tube- acting as feeding tube with Osmolyte @ 60cc/hr

Trachestomy- #6 shiley, cuffed

Right femoral arterial line

Right femoral triple lumen catheter- Brown: CVP; Blue: Insulin, TPN, & Lipids; White: Ativan, Fentanyl, Dopamine,& Levophed

Left femoral triple lumen catheter- Brown: Sodium Bicaronate; Blue: Polymixin/Tobramycin/Linezolid; White-heparin drip

Foley Catheter-transducing bladder pressures

Rectal tube-(ah, do you need a description?)

Wound Vac to Abdomen

Wound Vac to right and left foot


3 canisters to wall suction- weeping wound bed drainage


There was a point in time, not too long ago, where patients like this made me shudder with fear. However, at some point in the last 16 months, I became a nurse- a real nurse. One who's excited at the challange of caring for the sickest patients, helping them along the fine line between life and death. Yes my loyal readers, it's all coming together.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Won't You Be Are You My Neighbor?

I live in a building with approximately 60 apartments but only one elevator. Given that there about as many studios as there are two bedrooms, plus a few three and four bedroom apartments, there are about 100 people living in my building. So what I want to know is why I only ever see the same people in the elevator. It's not like I'm a hermit and never go out. I'm in and out of my aparmtnet at all hours of the day (and night). I've worked different shifts (day and night)...but I swear I only see the same 20 people. When I posed this question to my roomate, who has lived here longer than me, she agreed with me. She did offer that maybe people take the stairs, but I quickly pointed out to her that I, too, frequently take the stairs (um, one elevator for 10 floors= a long wait and I'm just not that patient).
Maybe this would have been more appropriate at the beginning of this entry, but I began to deeply ponder this subject when two days in a row I let the building's door close in the face of my "neighbors" (mind you I have never seen them before). It was quite embarrassing.

Apartment culture is different from that of a neighborhood. People don't come knocking on your door to bring casseroles or freash baked cookies. In fact, unless you are really chummy with the people moving out, you may not ever notice that the apartment has changed owners.

What about you? Have you moved to a place ad wondered who your neighbors are?

Friday, November 07, 2008

Week 54 of FFoF

My life's been sorta hectic lately and I feel like I've been neglecting my blog. I'm trying t get back in the swing of things. However, why don't you pop on over to Fun, Crafts, and Recipes to check out a blog that's always updated.

#1. Name a food you like that uses a red sauce or anything red in it.
Garlic Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Chunky homemade red sauce, yum!

#2. Name a food you like with whipped cream in it or on it.
no food necessary, I'll eat it right out of the can (so lady like, right?)

#3. Name a food you like with blueberry in it.
Lemon Blueberry Muffins

#4. Share a recipe for pasta or dessert or a beverage.
Capellini with Roasted Vegetables inspired by WholeFoods

Ingredients
8 ounces capellini pasta
1 (8-ounce) bag cippolini onions, peeled, diced
10 whole garlic cloves, peeled, split in half
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large fennel bulb
3 large roma tomatoes, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon dry whole oregano
Pinch crushed red chili flakes
1 cup red wine
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon arrowroot
4 teaspoons romano cheese (optional)

Method
Preheat oven to 375°F. Place onions, garlic, and pepper in a glass baking dish, toss with olive oil. Bake 15 minutes, stir, bake 15 minutes more. Stir in fennel, tomatoes, oregano, chili; bake 15 minutes. Add wine, vinegar, and arrowroot; bake 25 minutes. Prepare pasta according to package instructions. Serve vegetables and sauce over pasta; sprinkle with cheese.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Just Putting It Out There

I FINALLY had a night off last night, meaning that I got to sleep in this morning. For all those of you lucky enough to work days, you have no idea how exhausting working night can be! Nevertheless, I went to bed at 9:30 last night and slept until 9:30 this morning. A whole 12 hours! WOW! That's 3 1/2 times MORE sleep than I usually get...kinda sad, right?

But I digress. I made some coffee and settled onto the couch under my big fluffy blanket to watch some morning television. After an uneventful LIVEwithREGISandKELLY came the RACHAELray show. Yeah, she can be hoakey, and a little quirky, but she is harmless. She's best known for her 30minuteMeals, but the cooking segments on her talk show are usually pretty okay. Maybe it's just me and my semi health conscious perspective, but today's meal was just wrong. Her inspiration dish was the Cobb Salad (aka lettuce + blue cheese, bacon, chicken, avocado, creamy high fat salad dressingcalories galore. What did she do to it? She turned it into Cobb Pasta. So let me get this right, she replaced the one low calorie item (lettuce) with a much higher calorie item (pasta). I guess she was trying to "winterize" the dish by making it a hot one, but still it's over the top. Props to her on the creativity, but with the holidays coming and most people wanting to look sleek in that little black dress (or pants suit) we really don't need this calorie overload. Furthermore, I'm not sure if I even like the idea behind this pasta concept. A signature of the Cobb Salad is the conglomerate of textures-crunchy, creamy, and moist. Why wreck a good thing?!?

Maybe you disagree. Maybe you are salivating over her dish. But I'm just sayin' Ms. Ray, I think you have outdone yourself this time.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Restless

Do I have it in me? Can I do this? Will this make me happy? Oh the debt?!?!

I've been very hush hush about this, but I figure it's time to let the cat out of the bag. I'm going back to school. Actually, currently, I'm applying to programs. I spent most of September and October prepping for the GRE-not fun, took the GRE today-temerity, pure temerity, and now I'm polishing my essays. It's a wee bit stressful, all of this waiting and prepping, but I'm excited for the future. After much debate about what degree I wanted-MSN?, MBA?, MPH?- I decided on the MPH. Careful research lead me to schools with excellent programs and the option of a joint degree...just in case I'm bored and want to really have no life.

When I moved to New York, I had a two year commitment. Hard to believe that it's been over a year, time sure does fly. As luck may have it, when the 2009 fall semester begins, my commitment will be fulfilled. It's not that I want to leave the bedside, who wouldn't want the glamour of bedpans and bodily fluids, but I'm frustrated with my job. I feel stifled. I show up to work, do my job, learn as much as possible, but then I think about my patients and the plights that brought us together. I'm sitting there, taking patient histories, speaking with the fire and police departments, ruminating over what could have been done differently. Was there access to healthcare? Was there a language barrier or a knowledge deficit? Did socioeconimic status play a part in the accidnet? Regarding a MPH degree, I hope to focus on injury prevention while working to not only expand health care but also increase the ease of accesibility. Sure it's easy to grant someone the right to health care, but what if they don't have a car to get to and from, or if they work 3 minimum jobs to make ends meet and can't take time off? These are all things that you and I take for granted.

So where am I applying?
Columbia, Harvard, Yale, and Emory. Columbia, Yale, and Emory all have the options for a MSN/MPH or MPH/MBA dual degree, and although Harvard only offers the latter....I figure it would be cool to at least say, "I got into Haaaaavaad." (Maybe my Boston accent will return?)

All of the schools have unique opportunities-

Columbia- uh, location? I won't have to move! Dual degree with a great nursing program, opportunity to work with a professor who currently has a NIH grant in exactly what I want to focus on.

Yale- a super unique MPH with a concentration in health management. 1/2 business classes, 1/2 MPH classes. It's like a 2 -for-1 degree! Plus, I'm still only an hour and a half ouside New York, and I'm also only an hour and half from my family in Boston.

Harvard- my hometown ad my family! Opportunity do do research with their prestigious Medical school. Plus, to quote one of Memegrl's friends, "Going to Harvard is like getting "SMART" tattooed on your forehead

Emory- warm climate! Slighty cheaper tuition than the above mentioned schools. Uh, best of all the CDC is like righ tin their backyard! And for someone getting a degree in public health, the CDC is not an amazing resource but also incredible opportunity for making conection. Plus, I'd be close(er) to SheStartedIt's family and I sure do miss them!

A recurring theme, if you hadn't already noticed, was the issue of location. Although living in New York is great-where else can you get a whopping 400 square feet for $1700 a month?!?!?!-I'm not sure if it's worth staying and foregoing a amazing education opportunity. Tons of my friends from college live here now, but many of them are either in schoool or going back to school, so everyone is living in limbo. LC, MD (2nd years) and LR (1st year) are currently in law school, EM is starting law school in the fall, but hasn't decided where yet. Three of my friends from work are in grad school at Columbia and only working part time, but aren't sure if they will stay here after graduation. I have a friend in Dental school at Columbia, one in medical school at NYU, and another one at NYU's nursing school. See how complicated this is? I know most of you are probably thinking, quit whining, but true to my Type A-ness, I want to plan everything out and have it go smoothly.

Late one night at work, my friend K gave me some great advice. He told me that although many of the schools don't require it, to reqeust a personal interview. That way, I can get a better sense of them and they will get a better sense of me. It's easy to forget someone on paper, but when you have face to put with all that paperwork....

This is just the beginning of my journey, and I'll be sure to keep you updated. Any suggestions, advice, comments are welcome.

*Look out people, some day you are going to see Nurse Kelly changing the face of healthcare.* Now there's a bombastic comment.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Things 1 through 13

A letter to my patients:

To all of you who managed to burn yourself, be it by tragedy or plain self stupidity, I'm giving your fair warning Nurse Kelly may not be her usual cheery self this weekend. Don't get me wrong, I love my job and I'm usually pretty OK with getting shafted and working the shitiest hours weekends, but this weekend is the one weekend that I wanted off. Not only are all of my sorority sisters venturing back to Philly for a ChiO reunion, it's Penn's homecoming football game, but also by some miracle of God, the Phillies won the world series this week and there is a huge victory parade tomorrow. It's torture that I'm stuck here in New York with all that fun stuff going on. Here's a quick run down of what I'm going to be missing, in chronological order, except for maybe a few additional stops at Allegros for 40's..

1. Phillies Victory Parade

2.ChiOmega reunion

3. Happy Hour at Mad4Mex



4. Halloween Party @ Bone's apartment

5. Drunken Spectacle at the Blarney Stone

6. 7 am Mimosas at SMOKES

7. CHiO Homecoming brunch

8. Keg stands, 40's, and bottles of Andre in "the lot" @ 4047 Spruce



9. Stumbling to Franklin Field to throw toast on the field at PENN's homecoming football game



10. Power nap before going out again with the girls

11. Allegros and/or Greek Lady at 2am

12. Waking up wondering why my feet are black then remembering that I spent most of the night singing, dancing, and playing
beirut and flip in the Pike basement

13. Eating brunch at Izzy and Zoes

Sigh....I guess there is always next year.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Best Salad Ever

After a great run yesterday morning and a few hours of studying, I was restless and decided to run some errands. I figured I'd head downtown to run a few errands. So I walk to the xxth street subway stop, swipe through the turnstile, ad then hear: "Due to someone needing medical attention at xxth, all local 6 downtown bound trains are halted. We are sorry for the inconvenience." Aww, gee thanks.
I walked out and asked the man at the ticket counter if there was another way for me to go downtown. I told him that I needed to get to Union Square. After he rolling his eyes and letting out a big sigh (uh, isn't this your job jacka$$???) he said, "Well, you need to take the local 6 train uptown one stop. Transfer to the 4 or 5 express, and then take it downtown to Union Square."

45 minutes later I made it down to the UnionSquare Farmers Market. My top priority was picking up a birthday treat for my dad (he's obsessed with this chunky orange marmalade from Beth's Farm Kitchen) but of course, this particular stand is only there on Friday and Saturday.

Not wanting to waste the trip (and what it a travel adventure it was), I perused the fruit and veggie stands. I went a little overboard and bought way more produce than I could comfortably carry home. By the time I arrived home, I had worked up an appetite from carrying the heavy bags. I immediatly got to work chopping, slicing, and dicing....

-baby spinach
-1 baby zuchini, diced
-2 medium carrots, grated
-1/4 avocado, diced
-1/4 baked sweet potato, cubed
-1/2 cup cherry tomatos, chopped
-1 small cucumber, halved and seeded
-1/2 cup jicama, chopped
-1 cup blanched broccoil, chopped
-1/2 cup white mushrooms,chopped
-1/4 cup purple onion, finey diced
-1/4 cup corn
-1/2 Fuji apple chopped

*I tossed in some dry roasted edamame for a little crunch
and dressed it with some sesame miso dressing.

Although I didn't get what I set out to buy, I was able to make the best of the day and now have a yummy salad for lunches and dinners this week. And on that note, I'm off to work.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Four Foods on Friday

It's that time of the week again! Check out this meme here:

#1. Name something you use cream cheese in/on.
Blush pasta cream sauce

#2. Do you use yogurt in any recipes?
Yup. I use it as a substiute for sour cream.

#3. Macaroni salad. What do you like/put in yours?
cucumbers, grape/cherry tomatoes, chopped carrots, chopped purple onion- with Ken's light Ceasar dressing

#4. Share a recipe that you use sour cream in.

Summer Tomato and Crab Salad- from Wh0leF00ds
2 1/2 pounds ripe heirloom tomatoes, cored and chopped
1 pound cooked crab meat
1/4 cup chopped chives
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Salt and white pepper to taste
3/4 cup low fat or regular sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped dill
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Method
Put tomatoes, crab, chives, lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper into a large bowl and toss gently to combine; set aside. Stir together sour cream, dill, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Spoon tomato and crab salad onto plates and serve with dollops of the dill sour cream on the side.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Take A Step Back

The following is a link to a blog- the blog of a fellow nurse, an alumna of my alma matter, a mother, and a victim to scleroderma. In one of her final blog entries, now published in the Washington Post, she captures something I've yet to put into words.

Diary of a Dying Mom

Please check it out.

Although I didn't personally know Michelle, her touching story and heartfelt words will forever linger in my heart. Both she and her family will remain in my thoughts and prayers.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Always an Adventure

Dear Mr. Cab Driver,

First let me commend you on your driving skills. You ability to from 0-60 in between lights is astounding and putting the car in park at every light? Fabulous. Can we discuss your cologne? Maybe I'm wrong, but you drive the cab to work, not find a wife. Please do all of your riders a favor and limit the number of cologne squirts in the morning to two? thankyouverymuch. I know it's a bit of a windey trip to JFK Airport, but you win the prize for most roller-coaster like taxi cab ride. Remember when you had to say , "Mizzzz, Mizzz.. Ve arh haair." two times, and you saw that I was curled up in a ball in the back of your cab? Well that's because I was trying not to vomit all over your cab. Puh leaze, don't give me that pissed off look because I only gave your a five dollar tip! Your driving was a ghastly and the ride cost $50.00.

Dear TSA Personnel,

Why must your be such a paininthea$$? I get it. You hate your job, but why must you make my life miserable? All of my toiletries fit into the little baggie, so did it really matter that my expensive hair cream, hair gel, body wash, and face wash were 3.15 ounces each? I hate that you made me throw them out. Do you know what it's like travel across the country for a wedding without your usual beauty products? Well let me give you a clue...$&@(@*#&( &#&#(#&$(#* *#^$*(@)@&$^$*#)#&$!!!

Dear JFK Airport,

Why? Why? Why? Why must your hire the most unfriendly, grouchy TSA personnel? Wait, I already addressed this issue. Oh yes, onto your layout. Can I please have the name of the architect who designed you? I'd be fascinated to know their rationale behind making the A terminal 30 gates long and shaped like a "U" where the drop off is at one end and not in the middle. Maybe this wouldn't have been so annoying to me if I weren't at gate 30 with all the international departures and having to listen to each and every announcement in 3 languages. Did I, already, ask you why the prices at the St@arbucks inside the airport are 25% more than the already inflated Manhattan prices? Now onto the taxiing on the runway? WHATTHEFUCK. Your runways are like a convoluted circuit...up, down, left, right, backward, forward, diagonal, inside, outside, loop de doo. Umm, yeah, 55 minutes later (the 22nd in line to take off), we are up, up and away!

Dear Delt@,

At first I was floored by the great deal that I got on my flights, $379.00! In fact, had I waited 3 more weeks to purchase them, they only would have cost me $325. Granted, the economy is crashing and gas is cheaper but then again, I really shouldn't be spending excessively. BI understand that on a 6 hour flight it's not necessary to serve a meal, but peanuts, only peanuts? Now maybe you are trying to pacify the Atkins followers, but I couldn't;t relax for the entire flight for fear that some person with a peanut allergy would go into anaphylactic shock. This was a vacation for me, I really didn't want to play Nurse Kelly.
Also, what's up with having to PAY for a movie- $6.00 bucks? It's cheaper for me to rent a movie at home, bring it on the plane, and watch it on my computer. Suck it up! And for the sake of entertaining your customers, especially if you want them to be return customers, include a movie in the cost of the ticket.
Do you have a screaming baby policy? Would you have kicked me off the plane if I offered the mother of a SCREAMING baby some Benadryl? Or do you strategically place screaming kids to increase the number of alcoholic beverages that your patrons purchase? With regard to the latter -did I tell you how much I enjoyed my one Margarita Margarita and Cosmo and Corona. I'm also curious about your policy on deodorant. Is it mandatory? I'm guessing not, considering the woman next to me on the way home was was of the most pungent smelling people I've ever met. How about when you hand out blankets you also give out a complementary nose plug. Please feel free to take my advice to heart. PS-i left my trash in the seatback pocket, hahah- jokes on you.

Thank You Very Much.

Nurse Kelly

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Well Worth It

Flight to Seattle: $379
Taxi cabs to and from the airports: $195
Perfect little green dress: $186
Last minute shoe and jewelry purchases: $110
Toiletries becuase the damn airport security people said your were over the size limit: $35
Bottle of water purchased AFTER the security check point: $4.25
Batteries for the digital camera: $14
Wedding Present: $150
Total Cost of less than 48 hours in Seattle: $1073.25

Dancing the night away and celebrating with your soroity sisters at Shelby's wedding: PRICELESS!!!

*What are my chances of M@asterCard using this for their next commerical and me earning some of my money back????

Friday, October 10, 2008

#50 FFoF

Week # 50 of this meme! Time sure does fly. Check it out for yourself....
#1. Pasta. How do you tell when it’s done? Do you cook on medium or high?
when it's fork tender. i cook on medium high.

#2. Deep frying. What kind of oil do you use?
i don't deep fry, but peanut oil does wonders for crisping!

#3. Grilling. Do you grill on foil or directly on the grill?
depends on what i'm grilling.

#4. Share a recipe that involves cooking something two different ways.Example, for lasagna you might fry the meat and bake the whole dish.

Slow-Baked Tofu with Stirfry
from The Healthy Kitchen: Recipes for a Better Body, Life, and Spirit

Ingredients
3 cups Toasted Grain Pilaf or brown rice

MARINADE
1 teaspoon toasted-sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 cup of natural soy sauce (such as tamari)
2 tablespoons peeled, sliced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon Dijon-type mustard
1 tablespoon ground cumin

16 ounces packaged firm tofu

STIR-FRY
1/2 head broccoli
1 large onion, sliced and peeled
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and cut match-stick style
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 pound snow peas, strings removed
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons natural soy sauce (such as tamari)
1/4 cup purified water or vegetable stock

GARNISH
1 1/2 cups peanut dipping sauce or 2 tablespoons sesame seeds


Instructions
Preheat oven to 300°F

Whisk all the marinade ingredients together in a baking dish. Drain the tofu and slice it vertically into nine 1/2-inch segments. Lay the tofu slices in the marinade and turn them gently, using a spoon, to completely coat each one. Bake on the top rack of the oven for 30 minutes.

To cook brown rice takes about 45 minutes, so unless you are using leftover prepared rice start preparing it now.

Turn the tofu over and baste the tops with the marinade in the baking dish. Continue to bake for another 30 minutes, until the tofu slices puff up, turn light frown, and become slightly hard. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes. When completely cooled, cut into cubes.

Cut the florets off the head of the broccoli, slicing the large ones in half so they are all more or less the same size. You should have about 2 cups. Discard the stalks or save them for another stir-fry or for soups.

Sauté the onion, garlic, and carrots for 3 minutes in the olive oil in a wok or sauté pan over medium-high heat, being careful not to burn the oil. It should not smoke. Toss in the broccoli, snow peas, and mushrooms. Stir with a wooden spoon to keep the vegetables moving for another 2 minutes.

Stir the soy sauce into the vegetables, then add the water or vegetable stock. Drop in the cubed tofu, toss a few times, cook for 2 more minutes, then turn off the heat. Cover the pan with a lid and let the vegetables steam for about 6 minutes. Place 1/2 cup prepared rice on each of 6 plates, cover with equal portions of the stir-fry and top with some peanut sauce or 1 teaspoon sesame seeds.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Oh Where, Oh Where, Has Nurse Kelly Gone....

Oh where, oh where, can she be?
With her job all consuming,
And social life null...
Oh where, oh where, can she be?


Sorry for my lack of posts as of late, but I've been out straight. After returning to NYC from a lovely few days with my family, I jumped right back into the grind...work, workout, sleep, swim, work, workout, sleep, swim, work, work, work, work.... (no seriosly).

When I arrive home from work Wednesday morning, I will have been at the hospital 10 of the last 13 nights. Anyone want to trade social lives? I'm looking forward to my four nights off. Hopefully I'll rejoin civilization and have something of substance to write about. But until then, I'm off to sling bed pans, answer call bells, listen to the staff bitch and moan, debride wounds, give meds, draw and send labs save lives.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Another Week of FFOF

#1. Turnips. Love em or leave em?
I'm truly indifferent. If someone else makes them, I'll eat them, but they aren't a staple in my diet.

#2. What’s your favorite roasted dish?
Veggies!

#3. Salsa. What kind fo you like?
Medium-Hot extra chunky. Peach/Mango salsa is delicious in the summer.

#4. Share directions on how to make your favorite quick meal, meaning start to finish in about 30 minutes or less.
This is just perfect for the fall.

Faux Corn Chowder

finely chop 1/4 of purple onion, 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly slice a portabella mushroom, half a dozen cherry tomatoes. Briefly sauté in pan with 1TB EVOO with 2 tsp minced garlic just until veggies are tender.

put 2 cups of frozen corn in the food processor, puree until smooth.

pour corn mixture into saucepan with 1/2 c milk, slowly bring to simmer.
Add veggies, simmer 5-8 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

enjoy with a hearty seeded roll and baguette.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Four Foods on Friday

I think I've missed the last two weeks, glad to be back at this. Click here to join in on the fun. Here are this week's questions:

#1. Melon. What’s your favorite kind?
Watermelon. So refreshing.

#2. Orange citrus. What’s your favorite - oranges, nectarines, navel oranges, tangerines, etc.
Oranges. I love the fruit, but I'm not a fan of orange jucie

#3. Oreos. What kind is your favorite? (Don’t eat Oreos? What about olives?)
I rarely eat them, but when I do it's only eat the middle, so it has to be double stuffed.

#4. Pot pie. Share a recipe. (No pot pie recipe? What about a casserole or some other hot meal you bake?)
I've published this one before.

Vegetable Pie
- 1TB organic extra virgin olive oil
-1 c. canned organic soybeans
-1 c. organic carrots, diced
-1 c. organic onion, chopped
-1 c. organic sweet corn (1 large ear stripped of kernals)
-1 c. organic broccoli, chopped-
-1 c. organic red bell pepper, diced
-1 lb fresh organic spinach, cooked, drained and chopped
-2 cloves organic garlic, peeled and chopped
-1 tsp nutmeg
-sea salt, to taste
-ground black pepper, to taste
-1/2 c. organic pecans, chopped (optional)
-2 frozen pie crusts, or recipe for two-crust pie
-1 c. grated mozzarella cheese or cheese substitute
-2 tsp organic sesame seeds
Sauté vegetables in olive oil until tender-crisp. Add garlic, nutmeg, salt, pepper and pecans. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes until the flavors blend.
Oven: 350 degrees for 20–30 minutes or until the crust turns brown. Allow to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

1) Line a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan with one prepared crust.
2) layer the vegetables with the cheese beginning with the cheese and ending with the vegetables.
3) Top with another crust, seal with a fork and trim excess pie dough. With a sharp knife, poke vent holes in the top of the crust. Sprinkle top with sesame seeds.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

It's The Little Things I Miss

This past weekend I went "home" for the first time in over six months! It's not that I don't love my family, but we all live such busy lives time seems to escape us. However, that is no excuse.

A part of the issue is me. I have never transitioned well and I need to feel settled. I always used to feel torn when I went "home." There was so much to do, so many people to see, I felt like I was tying up loose ends. But this time was different. As much as I hesitate to write this, I wasn't stressed because didn't feel like I was going home as an absentee member of my family. I knew I was going home as a beloved guest. I was going back to my hometown, but I wasn't torn up over doing it all.

Yes, Massachusetts is where I grew up, it's where my family lives, it's a place that will always be comforting and familiar, but now it's not my home. I haven't really lived there since 2003. They say home is where the heart is... my heart is in New York. It's where my job, my social life, and my friends live. I've built a new life for my self here. I feel truly blessed, I have the best of both worlds. An exciting city life, with a supportive, loving suburban family who welcomes me back as a guest with no expectations of permanence.

My mom had tears in her eyes when she picked me up at the train station.
My dad squeezed me and held an embrace when I first saw him.
My sister (the child who loathes family dinners) and I talked non stop for two hours over dinner Friday night.
My puppy dog whimpered and jumped onto my lap when he saw me.
We laughed, as a family, more than we have laughed in a long time.
And then my trip was over. Back to New York, back to reality.

My parents never thought I'd become a city girl, but they have shared in my joy as I've grown to love it. And they are the first to admit that they love the perks that come along with their oldest daughter living in the Big Apple.

To be fair, though, there are a few things that city life doesn't afford me. I captured them on film, and figured I'd share them with all of you....


Our golden retriever, Tyler...isn't he handsome?


All that greenery and landscaping my dad prides himself on...





Basking in the sun! (Without all the smog and urban noise)


What about you? What are the things that you miss about "home"?

Monday, September 15, 2008

I'm the Lucky One

I don't say it enough, so I'll say it now... I'm the lucky one. In this fast paced world that we live in, it's easy to loose yourself in the chaos, wallow in self pity, and take for granted all the little things.

After last week's bomb, my friends were truly amazing. They didn't have to say anything, they were just there. We went out, laughed, giggled, shared some great drinks (and stories). It brought me back to the college years when friends were all that mattered. Not that my friends aren't my world now, but we all have our own lives and our lives are more like Venn Diagrams than interlocking puzzle pieces.

I also just returned from a great 36 hour trip to Philadelphia. I left early Sunday morning and spent the afternoon with K, C, and L. Hard to be live that I hadn't seen C since graduation! Our conversation was bountiful and hilarious, like always. It was so incredible to see how much we've each come into our own in just 16 months. K in in the midst of her thesis for a double masters; C has moved to "Chi Town" and is loving mid western living; L is amazing us with her intellectual work as an author for a biotech company; and I'm thriving in the Big Apple saving lives one hospital bed at a time (well, almost).

A bonus to my Philly trip was spending Sunday night and Monday with the L's! No matter where I go, or what I do, they are forever a part of my life. R and J are getting SO big; however, it's not only their size that's growing but also their independent spirits and zest for fun. I can't tell you how much it warmed my heart to see R bolt down the stairs after his nap, and run through the living room yelling, "Hi Nurse Miss Kelly. I'm so happy to seeee you!" Spending time with O and T was also amazing. O is more than a "sister" she's a mentor and true friend. And T, he's always got an ear to listen and has great perspective on the challenges of my job.

*R &J: I know that you are too young to read this but you boys mean so much too me. It's been an extreme joy to watch you grow. J, you are now older than R was when I first met your family. Time flies! My "real job" can be stressful and upsetting, but You boys keep me grounded and remind me that it's okay to giggle uncontrollably for no reason, sing along to the music~even if I'm off tune, run around with underwear on my head, and climb on the playground.

So to everyone who's ever supported me, thank you, thank you, thank you! You are all amazing and I truly am the lucky and blessed.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Another One Bites the Dust

I have a 6th sense about people. Maybe it's a facet of my job, but I can tell when something is up, when there's an elephant in the room, and/or the atmospheric mood (oh, poetic!) is a changin'.

My vacation started last night at 5pm. I worked Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday nights, didn't sleep, and then took day #2 of PALS thursday day. When class got over at 5pm, I'd been awake for 29 hours and all I wanted to do was relax! G and I had plans for something around 8pm. I had texted him from class and asked if he would be terribly upset with a low key evening; he said that was exactly what he in mind.

In my twisted little mind, I thought that I'd (miraculously) be energized if I went and worked out before we met up. AFter 2 hours at the gym, I really wasn't energized, but the bags under my eyes matched the shirt I was planning on wearing. I took a quick shower and lied down on my bed to read my book...it was 7:45. At 8:54 my phone was chimining (Ohhh, We're half-way there! Whooo-oa livin' on a prayer!). I picked it up, it was G telling me that he was downstaris. I got up and buzzed him into the building. Then I looked in the mirror and realized that I had fallen asleep on my book ; I had a huge imprint of the book on my face. Now there's a way to greet a boy.

I opened the door. He came inside. I sat on the couch. He sat on the couch. He asked me how I felt. I told him I was tired, but thrilled to be on vacation. I flashed him a smile. I asked him about his day. He told me it was shitty. He played poorly and then taught two lesson that were awful. I expressed my sympathy and then looked at his face. Oh boy, here it comes. I knew he had sounded funny on the phone this past week.

"Umm, that's actaully what I wanted to talk to you about...about us, this relationship, about just how far it can go....."

I swallowed, hard. I so wasn't ready for this talk. Not in my state of exhaustion. This was not how I wanted to begin my vacation.

"Don't get me wrong, I think your're perfect, and you have been more than great about this relationship, but I just don't think this is something I can do now. These last few weeks ,I've been freaking out. I'm playing poorly. I'm not here [as in this relationship] enough. I don't feel like it's fair, like I can't give it 100%."

"Umm. Did I do something?"

"No, no it's not you."

If anything, I've been so laid back about this relationship. All those of you who know me, know that I'm a tiny bit anal retentive, love to plan things, and content with a scheudle. However, things with G could not be like that. I was okay with waiting until the day before to make plans. I was okay, not knowing where we were going and/or what we were going to do until we were out and about. I was smitten with his company, his conversation, his affection. I felt so liberated flying by the seat of my pants...even it it meant that there were stretches of time (36 + hours) that I couldn't sleep. I understood that we had very different schedules, but I was willing to adapt. Don't get me wrong, I thought it sucked that sometimes we would go 2 weeks without seeing eachother, but I wasn't clingy. I didn't whine and complain. I never told him that he should come see me instead of going out with his friends. I made the best of the situation. I guess that's why I was so blown away by his admission. I never asked for more of his time.

He told me that his friends thought he was an idiot and that they were going to be so mad at him, becuase they loved me. I wanted to tell him that it wasn't about his friends. He needed to be the one interested in the relationship.

I told him I felt sick to my stomach when he said, "I'm not playing well." , I never intended to hurt his career, to be a distraction. He came back with, "It's nothing you did. I just can't handle a relationship right now."

And then I started to cry. I couldn't believe I did that...I don't cry; however, exhaustion got the best of me....and maybe I was more attached than I thought.

The "It's not you..." was supposed to make me feel better, but it only stung more. I always seems to play the nice girl who gets walked over and hurt.

"Well, it is what it is. What else do you want me to say?" I mumbled and blotted back some tears.

"I still wanna be friends. I love your company and hooking up hanging out . It's been amazing."

Listen up boys, that's great that you still want to be friends, but that's a senstive issue and it takes time. It's hard to go from dating (and all that it entails) to being 2 people who hang out, throw back some beers, and watch a football game.

"We'll see. I mean we were already friends with the same peopple before all this, so I'm sure I'll still see you out.

We talked for a few more minutes, I won't bore you with the details. Eventaully he got up, gave me a hug, and I walked him to the door. I turned the lock, put my back up against the wall ,and slid to the floor. I let the tears flow. I'm sure he heard me, the elevator hadn't come yet. I tried so hard to compose myself, but I was hurt and upset. After a few minutes, I got up and walked to my bedroom through my dark apartment. I put on my pajamas, pulled back the covers, and went to sleep.

I'd love to say that I was bright eyed and bushy tailed this morning, but that wasn't the case. My puffy eyes and stuffy nose were a painful reminder of what occured the night before.

Not wanting to dwell on this saga, I turned to my stress relief. I threw on my bathing suit, went to the pool, and then laced up my shoes and hit the pavement. I was gone for 3 hours. I feel a little bit better now, but mt heart still hurts.

I guess it's takes loosing something to realize how much it meant. The night I met G, I wasn't looking for a boyfriend, I didn't even like the outfit I was wearing. I had been out all day running errands. Not wanting to be late for my friends birthday dinner and party, I dropped off my parcels and headed out the door. When we first started seeing each other, I was torn. I didn't want to like him, but I couldn't help it. I got butterflies in my stomach when I saw him and my heart jumped when I saw his name on the caller ID. He won me over.

But now I'm lost.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Bye Bye Bullet

I've written many times about my mom's minivan. But just in case you have missed out, here are the highlights....

It's a 1999 (I was in the 8th grade when we got this baby!)
It's silver and always dirty.
Over the years it's acquired many dings and scratches. My mom loved to "bump" the car's hood against the wall of the garage, and let's just say that when learning to drive, I wasn't the best at avoiding the brush and shrubbery that lines our super long driveway!)

A little summary of where the "Silver bullet" has been:
Back and fourth to Virginia 4x;
Back and fourth to D.C. at least 2x;
To and from Philly well over 10x;
Plus back and fourth to NY at least 5 or 6x!
And those are only the longer trips. My mom hauled us kids all over the state, New England, and of course around town.

The car has had it's fair share of issues...
There was the leak that flooded the drivers side floor,
the broken drivers side electric window,
the broken ash tray/cup holder from an over excited dog slamming his paws onto it,
the short circuited dash board,
the radio that wouldn't seek the channels,
the CD player that would over heat after 2 songs,
the broken rear electric widows (hello cold draft in the winter!), the broken windshield wipers in the hurricane and their consequential backwards installation causing them to stall in the up, not down position,
the tail lights that all blinked when you stepped on the brake,
and the spastic spare tire that always rattled a little tune under neath the car.

Was I embarrassed by this car? You betcha! But then again, I proudly rocked the minivan my sophomore year, before I got my own car. Do you know what I concluded that spring/summer? Cops don't pull over soccer mom's driving minivans!

We always gave my mom shit and called her car the 'traveling trash can', but she really didn't deserve that. After all, my dad wouldn't be caught dead carting around the dog, the soccer team, groceries, gardening items, etc in the back of his new SUV. So the bullet picked up the slack.

My mom had said that she would drive that baby into the ground. I always assumed that my mom and dad would be driving that car when they drop my sister off at college in the fall of 2010;however,I guess I was wrong.

Today I got that phone call.... that my parents are breaking down and laying the bullet to rest. My mother's tone, made me worry at first that something was (seriously) wrong, but I should have known.
So what happened to spur this whole new car idea? That leak that caused the short circuit is back and the cost to fix it is the same as the car's value (pending nothing else shits the bed). Plus now the airbags had to be turned off and your can't use the air conditioner. (You all know, or do now, that my mom is getting to that lovelyt age of menopause. For her, A car without AC is like a sundae without a cherry!)

I'm still sort of in shock, after all htat car has been a part of my life for the past 10 years!

They're nor sure what they're going to buy, probably something fuel efficient and not at all luxurious, but no matter what they choose, it will never have the character, or the memories of the Silver Bullet.

RIP pal, It's been real.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Preparation

I guess I worked straight through last week and completely missed getting my FFOF answers together, whoops! Anyways, here are this week's answers. Pop on over to Valmg's blog and see what others are writing about...

#1. Egg salad or deviled eggs. How do you prepare?
Hard boil eggs, allow to cool, remove shell, coarsly chop, add Nasoya, finely chopped celery and carrots, salt and pepper.

#2. French fries. Do you make homemade or frozen?
Homemade. I love to make baked sweet potato fries.

#3. Gravy. What do you use - homemade, jar, can or from a package?
For the rare occastion that I need it, I make it from scratch with the pan juices.

#4. Share a recipe for a hot (temperature, not spice) dish.
Green Curry Tofu from WholeFoods
Serves 4 to 6
Take advantage of summer’s fresh herbs and make a homemade green curry with chiles, mint and cilantro bound together with coconut milk. Serve this curry over steamed basmati or brown rice instead of noodles, if desired.

Ingredients
1 (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained
2 tablespoons flour
6 tablespoons canola oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 small head broccoli, cut into florets
1/4 pound green beans, trimmed
1/2 bunch cilantro, stems removed
1/2 bunch mint, stems removed
1/2 bunch basil, stems removed
1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
2 Thai chiles, seeded and roughly chopped
1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled
1 (1-inch) piece lemongrass, peeled
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 (15-ounce) can baby corn, drained and rinsed
6 button mushrooms, sliced
7 ounces “pad thai” style rice noodles, cooked according to package instructions
3 green onions, thinly sliced
Lime wedges

Method
Arrange tofu between several layers of paper towels on a large plate. Using the palm of your hand, press down gently to remove as much liquid as possible from the tofu. Change out the paper towels and repeat a second time. Cut tofu into 1½-inch cubes and toss gently in a bowl with flour. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Shake excess flour off of tofu then carefully transfer to skillet. Fry tofu, turning occasionally, until golden brown all over, 5 to 6 minutes total. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a bowl. Add broccoli and cook until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer broccoli to a bowl of ice water until chilled then drain well. Repeat process with green beans; set aside.

Put cilantro, mint, basil, coconut milk, chiles, ginger, lemongrass, sugar and ½ cup water into a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer to a large skillet and bring to a simmer over medium heat; season with salt and pepper. Add corn, broccoli, green beans, mushrooms and tofu and cook just until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Divide noodles between bowls and top with curry, tofu and vegetables. Garnish with green onions and lime wedges.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Easy as ABC

Looking back over my last post I realized that I posted the unedited version. I'm mortified that all the spelling and grammar errors were present. Sorry about that folks.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Love 'Em, Don't Leave 'Em

I took report on my patient tonight and my heart sank.

80% burns, self inflicted.

He didn't feel loved, so instead he doused himself in lighter fluid and struck a match. If I have learned anything in the last 13 months, it's that suicide by fire is a long, painful, and not usually successful (initially). Instead, the patient waits until their body sucomes sepsis.

He's got a machine breathing for him.
His blood pressure is dependant on high doses of medication.
He requires continuous sedation of fentanyl and ativan.
His skin has been excised and cadaver skin is temporarily grafted onto his body.

Why did he do it? He's not awake to tell us. But we did learn from his friend that he recently came out of the closet...it wasn't well received. His family couldn't accept his way of life. He had failed- in their minds, to be the masculine ideal people hold on a pedestal. His family turned their back on him and now they risk loosing him. They couldn't see their son for all that he was. They were blinded by the gender issue.

I watched them sit at his bedside today, tears flowing. I heard them say, "I just don't get why he'd do this to us." I had to try hard to bite my tongue. They truly believed that their son did this to spite them, never considering that maybe it was his cry for help and longing for love.

And now I ask you all to do this. Love your kids for who they are, no what you think they should be. Let them live. Let the little girls play with cars and roll around in the dirt. Let the little boys play with the kitchen sets and put on dress up clothes. Cherish the time you have with them.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

guilty as charged

Tonight is Wednesday night dinner club and I need to bring dessert. I found a recipe that I created a few summers ago...bread pudding with apples, raisins, and cinnamon. It comes out best with day old bread, but since I've worked the last 5 nights my mind really hadn't planed ahead.


So today, after having been awake for 28 hours I made my way to Agata and Valentina to peruse their fresh breads. I love this store because they have little samples of all the breads and cheeses so you know what you are getting, I picked out a crusty raisin walnut bread that was just perfect...my mouth watered as I thought about dessert. I asked the lady how much it was and she said (in her thick foreign accent) that it comes in mini loaves and they are "Two fiftty." I was shocked that they were so cheap, but I put up 2 fingers, said "Two?" and she nodded. She gave me the package and I put it in my basket. I grabbed a few gala apples and got in the line...the LONG line.

I waited 12 minutes.

The cashier rings up the two items. "Twenty six, thirty five."
WHAT?!
She repeated herself slowly, speaking to me as if I were mentally challenged. I asked her how much the bread was and she said, "Twelve fifty. AND you have two of them."
UNh, uh. No No No. I wanted 1 loaf for "Two fifty." I stood there for a second, and sighed. A $25.00 dessert? I think not. I'm sure I could buy something premade for that cost.

But I didn't want to look cheap. This IS the Upper East Side of Manhattan...

And then it came to me. I don't know why I said it, but I blurted out, "Shit! I don't have my wallet. And I just waited in this line...I'm running too late to go home and come back."

I looked at the lady, gave her my best, "Oh my God, I'm so embarrassed face", apologized, and walked out of the store empty handed.

Barely out the door, the hugest grin came across my face and I started laughing. I don;t know how that idea came to me and/or where it came from. So unlike me.

I walked down the block and into the bakery. I picked up 5 jumbo gourmet cupcakes, paid $12.00, and left.

And on that note, I'm off to dinner.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

in need of a good read

I'm a bit stingy when it comes to spending money on things like books. It kills me to pay $25.00 for a hardcover when I know in 3 months that it will go to paperback and only cost between $9-$14. If the wait list for the new books at the library wasn't months long, I'd march right over to the New York public library and check the books out there.

Over the last few years I've taken to going to the "bargain book" section at Barnes&Noble and picking up a few seemingly good reads. It's largely hit or miss, but I have managed to snag a few good ones. For all you history buffs, I highly recommends "On Hitler's Mountain" by Irmgard Hunt. The beginning is slow, but the overall concept and insight into Nazi Germany is intriguing.

So, now, I'm asking a favor...

Does anyone have any good suggestions on some good reads? And/or how I can get exposed to some books aside from the best sellers that are a drain on my bank account?

thankyouverymuch

Friday, August 29, 2008

All About Potatoes

Here are this week’s four questions. They’re about potatoes. Check out the FFOF Meme

#1. Potato Chips. What kind of chips are your favorite?
I'm not much of chip girl, butif forced to choose, I'd say baked lays BBQ

#2. What’s your favorite thing to dip chips in?
All about the spinach and artichoke dip- I love it on fresh veggies

#3. What’s your favorite way to eat a baked potato?
With a very crispy skin and salsa

#4. How do you make mashed potatoes?


boiled, cubed yukon gold potatoes
skim milk
lowfat cream cheese
salt, pepper, garlic salt, fresh chives

to sleep per chance to dream

it's 4:49 in the AM, I'm not at work, and I'm WIDE awake. I went out with G, we came back home, he left, I went to bed, and I tossed and turned and tossed and turned and tossed and turned. This saga began at 12:50. In the last 4 hours I've...
*watched 2 episodes of without a trace,
*self medicated with benadryl
*read the last 2 issues of Bon Appetit Magazine,
*worked out my budget for the upcoming months without a calculator,
*drank 3 bottles of water,
*ate 5 almonds,
*got up to pee 3 times (maybe I shouldn't have had the water?),
*turned my AC down to 67,
*counted backwards from 100 (5) times,
*organized my bookshelf,
and,
*text messaged my friends that i was annoyed to be wide awake (payback for all their phone calls when I'm trying to sleep during the day).

Ugh. If I don't fall asleep in the next 11 minutes, I say screw it. I'm getting up, getting dressed, and going to the gym.

So just in case you see me out, I'm not ignoring you, I'm just exhausted.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

with grace

my arms hurt.
my back hurts.
my neck is cricked.
I had a long night.
no! Get your mind out of the gutter.
we coded a patient (for an hour) twice.
i may be small, but i'm certainly mighty.
i broke ribs.

maxed out on levo, dopa, dobutamine,and epi, we never got her back from asystole.
she didn't make it.

RIP

Saturday, August 23, 2008

hip hip horray (literally)

It's been 13 weeks since the injury occurred. I've been going crazy. Even though I've been allowed to resume my usual activities, the running wasn' happening. It was painful. It's been 2 weeks since I was cleared, and I've only logged 4 miles. Ehhh.
However, today I had a surprise brunch with GI Greg (my trainer) who's home for the weekend from training. We were talking and I just had a good feeling. So after our brunch, I laced up my sneakers and hit the gym to run. And run I did. 5 1/2 miles @ an 8:15 pace. Far from my previous pace, but still not awful. When my workout was over I felt like a wight had been lifted off my shoulders. I hope today wasn't just a fluke, and that I'm finally on my way.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Olympic Edition FFOF

Valmg's FFOF questions were inspired by the Olympics this week. See what everyone is blogging about here:

#1. What do you drink to rehydrate in the heat or after working out?

When working out I drink water. Post workout I drink Powerade ZERO and/or crystal light.

#2. What do you eat to help boost or create energy?
Before my runs I eat 1/2 banana with 1 TB Better'n'Peanut Butter

#3. What’s the healthiest snack you eat?
I love carrots and hummus or an apple with almond butter.

#4. Share a recipe or instructions for your ideal three course meal.

Normally I would insert a very detailed descritpion here, but since I'm on my 3rd overtime shift this week, my brain isn't up to par. Here's my suggestion: menupages.com.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I Should Get Paid for This

Even before I knew ANYTHING about being a nurse (i.e. NSO during freshman orientation) I got asked silly nurse questions. Not going to lie, I had no clue when I answered these questions...

"Am I going to die from drinking this Jungle Juice?"
IF you die, so will the thousand other people drinking from this barrel. Fill 'er up

"Can I drink and take Tylenol/antibiotics/birth control"
I'd skip the Tylenol, but if you are going to drink and want to avoid an "accident" I'd go with the birth control

"Will I get herpes from sitting on the toilet in the dorms?".
No greater chance of getting it from the toilet seat than from that sketchy frat boy you hooked up with last night.

As the years passed, I grew more knowledgeable and was able to actually give some helpful advice. I have no problem when my friends come to me with "health questions", I always just hope I have an answer. I guess in a way it makes them feel better, even if I just tell them what they already know (i.e. "I'd say you need to go to the ER for an x-ray, the bone IS sticking out.")

Last week, Craig approached me with a nurse question. He pulled up his pant leg and said, "Do you think these are infected?" I swallowed hard as I looked at the welts on his legs, covered in green scabs with blanching red rings around them. Did I mention the edema in his leg and ankle.
(original image from wikipedia)
ME: "Craig! You are on your way to nasty case of cellulits. You need to go the doctor and get some antibiotics. We admit patients for cellulitis, you don't want it to go systemic."

Craig: "You mean I can't just take some Tylenol and put on some cream?"

ME: "Uh, has it worked yet?"

Craig: "No. Oh I guess you're right. I'll go to the doctor. Wait, I don't have a doctor here. Am I going to die?"

ME: "No, you just need to See a doctor. So go to the ER"

Craig: "But isn't that going to be a long wait?"

ME: "Well it's going to be a lot longer if you don't get it treated and have to get admitted to the hospital for a course of IV antibiotics."

Craig
: "Okay, thanks nurse Kelly.I'll go"

ME: "Call me if you need anything. I'll check in with you later."

4 hours later

Craig: "Nurse Kelly. You were right. They checked me all out and gave me some antibiotics. Thanks."

ME: "No problem Craig. Feel better. See you tomorrow."

36 hours later, 8am
MY cell phone goes off, it rings again, and again. I hop out of bed, thinking something is truly wrong. It's Craig. I call him back.
"Hi Nurse Kelly. Did I wake you?"

ME: "Uhhm, well I guess I had to get up anyways."

Craig:"Good. Well, okay, so yeah like I started the antibiotics and my legs are looking better but now I have this hard lump under my belly button and it's red and kinda sore."

ME: "Is it itchy?"

Craig: "No, just hurts and looks gross. Do I have skin cancer?"

ME: "Take some benadryl, and Tylenol, and put a cool compress on it. If it's not better in the morning or is getting worse, go to the doctor."

Craig: "But Nurse Kelly, I don't have a doctor."

ME: "Well then, I guess you'll have to go to the ER (again). Have you thought about getting a doctor in the area? What is your insurance, I'll look into it for you."

Craig: "Do you think I can get in and out quick because I was just seen there? Like a preferred patient?"

ME: "Craig, we aren't talking about some luxury hotel chain, we are talking about a hospital. You (and your belly button ailments) will have to wait like everyone else. haha"

Craig: "Okay, guess you are right. I'll call you later."

ME: "Sounds good. Feel better and keep me updated."

I managed to dose back off for an hour or two, but it wasn't quite the restful sleep I was longing for. I kept dreaming about Craig's weird belly button issue. Just another day in the life of Nurse Kelly.