Monday, June 27, 2011

Electrolytes and Irises

Well, having given up on fluid and electrolyte balance this evening - and can you blame me? I will spend a few moments updating. To begin where I left off I had a rather uncomfortable 36 hrs after the back injection but it settled and I was beginning to think I was completely cured. However I simply rolled over in bed during the night on the weekend, and the pop in my back woke me up and I've been grumbling and downing Tylenol ever since. We shall see what Wednesday's check up brings for news.

I did have a chance to visit with the summer neighbour in between the night shifts and we enjoyed strawberry muffins and got caught up on the news. I readied the boy captain to go fishing and so packed up bread, goulash and brownies. As I walked the dog the shore captain arrived home - again, apparently he had crawled onto the sofa at 5 a.m. for a couple of hours nap in the morning after traveling home from NB. Then as I attempted to get out the door for work that night the son arrived for supper and his 'stuff'. I described it to the Dr. on call as being similar to preparing a camping / fishing trip and going to work round the clock for a couple of days.

The second LN was busier than the first, although I felt more nimble, and we were very pleased to see the workplace in the rear view mirror. As we headed out of town in the drizzle, we were ambushed by a Kamikaze deer which jumped out of the ditch and almost directly on my co-workers SUV. We both saw it at the same time and she slammed on the brakes as it bolted for the other side of the highway. Wide awake now! As we approached a sharp curve in the road about 10 minutes later we were dismayed to see a white pickup truck imbedded a long distance into the swamp as it appeared to have not negotiated the corner. So, we parked the vehicle and headed down into the ditch to see if anyone was in the half ton needing assistance. As we slogged along the wheel ruts became deeper, the vegetation spongier and the water deeper. Squelch, squelch, squelch "oh look, nice pitcher plants". My co-worker lost her shoe and had to retrieve it while I trudged on in my Crocs. We approached the crew cab truck with tinted rear windows and discovered a booster seat which sent a chill down the spine. No signs of anyone in the truck so that was a relief and we turned to retrace our sloppy steps. As we looked up at the roadside there were several trucks stopped with men standing beside them - likely originally trying to find out if one of us was the truck driver and one the rescuer. "Anyone there, anyone hurt?" one of them called out so we reassured them "no" as we slurped our way back to the SUV. Must've made an interesting sight in our uniforms wet to the knees with swamp water and covered in leaves and brush. One of the men described seeing "a young fellow in a t-shirt walking down the road talking on a cell phone" who must've been the absent driver. We were quite hysterical by the time we drove the 2 minutes to my car and as I got out to transfer one of the men from the roadside appeared with the driver of the truck announcing "he fell asleep". Must've had cruise control on was our conclusion due to the straight and far distance the truck traveled.

Enjoying all Cape Negro Harbour has to offer
This has been our second, count em, second beautiful sunny day in a row. We hardly know how to act after the extremely wet spring we've just suffered through. Last evening we looked out at the harbour to see this sailboat heading in to shelter for the night - still early in the cruising season yet. They left when the breeze picked up a bit this morning. The summer neighbours, with the arrival of the second sister, are scrubbing and cleaning even more than usual required as the damp wasn't good in closed up houses. They were taking a well earned break in the screened veranda room when I walked the dog and called out to me with an invitation for a glass of wine. I think I showed remarkable restraint to politely decline and finish the section on on IVs.

As big as your head
Mind you due to the back and the books... I've been ignoring my flower beds and they seem the better for it. Or maybe those which are thriving as those who really enjoy wet springs.Neither the shore captain or myself remember this giant iris blooming before and it certainly wasn't something I planted last season must've just been getting good and settled and ready to be beautiful and just popped open yesterday. The quote of the day sure matched the subject:

There are always flowers for those who want to see them - Henri Matisse

The flowers last year this time were.....hydrangeas. It's almost impossible to think that the teacher daughter has celebrated her first wedding anniversary. She is wrapping up her first full year of teaching and applying for positions for the fall with fingers crossed. 

And speaking of daughters we were thrilled to hear that the first daughter has (no surprise) passed her second year electrician apprentice exam with flying colors. She is making her way through the instrumentation course and will write that exam the end of next month. Lots of choices in so many areas with those qualifications. 

Strawberries - cat's best friend
After a hard day at the office
Considering flowers, strawberries and all things summery I am including a photo of Gary with his latest interest. Yes, that is a strawberry you see him chasing across the kitchen there on the left. When I came home with the box of them he was rubbing his face on the box (making me think it smelled of field mouse perhaps) but was the berries he was in love with. And this is a feline who doesn't eat people food. When given the berry he amused himself for hours and glared at the other two cats if they looked at it. He is 'special' for sure. Yesterday I noticed Gary on the back steps with something small and brown and rushed out to find a small field mouse twitching so I banished him inside and attempted to pick up the mouse to dispose of it revived and ran for cover.Imagine what a mouser he'd be if he wasn't on a run eh? The relaxing pose on top of the office chair box on the right reminds me that he IS the manager here.

Now if I had more time for crafting and less spent studying I would follow up on this article I found in Creative Woman (which I like to think I am):

Mind you, if I want to be creative, this recipe should fit the bill:

Cold Avocado Soup: Puree1½avocado/½shallot/peeldcuke/3c buttrmilk/s+p; chill. Top w pulse-blended ½avocado&shallot/tom/2T lime&yogurt&basil.

Spent some time this weekend researching Greek Island cruises - apparently smaller local cruises are a better way to go (according to a retired teacher who has done so) and the vacation exchange program we're enrolled in to see what deposits and exchanges we could dream of. What better way to spend days off? And since there is so much talk of vacations and trips I offer the following link to boomerang crusing:

Itinerary for round the world cruise
Now just so you'll have an idea of what the boomerang itinerary looks like here is the visual in the form of a map. Oh to dream.  Mind you this tongue in cheek list may may you think twice about talking about your travel bug: 

I must go investigate as a stray cat sitting on the rock wall is causing some posturing (Stanley) and growling (Gary) in the veranda and anxious pacing in the dining room(Klyde).

Thursday, June 23, 2011

It's really summer now

And yes, the title is not just a teaser, today was the first full day of summer and the weather was appropriate to the season. Good for cheering the soul. I was supposed to have worked today so that would account for the sunshine and comfortable temperatures likely. Got up at 8:15 a.m. instead of three hours earlier and puttered a bit until the cleaning lady arrived. She advised that she's been burning the candle at both ends and is giving up her housecleaning jobs as she has moved her mother from the city to live with her, listed her mother's condo in the city and is really just dragged out. It doesn't help that she's a multi tasking community volunteer and spent about seven hours yesterday at a major fire trying to keep the volunteer firefighters hydrated. More on that later. Rest assured her position WILL be filled, this is not a government agency here.

It is worth about $180 too
As I await the middle of the night return of the shore captain from several days of fishing industry/marine biologist meetings in St. Andrews bye the Sea, New Brunswick I was reminded of his recent luck. He apparently had filled in a raffle ticket being sold in the entryway of the local hardware store a week or so ago and was called with the good news of his win. When I asked what he'd won he couldn't remember and didn't want to admit to the caller that he has no memory so was going to claim his prize and be surprised he said. It reminded me of last week when the internal medicine specialist was conducting a weekly clinic in the ER and he told me that the local pharmacy was celebrating 'national memory awareness week' by conducting memory testing. I told him that my husband shouldn't partake as he has no memory and he corrected me (although he's never met the life partner but must know this as 'man' information) saying "he doesn't have a memory problem he has a concentration problem". Oh, very difficult to argue with that as mister gets a numb thumb from 'flicking' through the TV channels with the remote. It was even funnier when he arrived home with a bucket of car cleaning products. Well, I guess you'd have to actually SEE his truck to get that joke, but you can use your imagination. He also won a lovely white Makita cordless drill (yes I said white - refer to the truck joke) in a zippered case like this one above. Ahhh, he is good entertainment sometimes. 
Highway 103 - June 21, 2011
And we can always use a smile with all sorts of grim news. I worked a LD on Tuesday which consisted of a number of 'interesting' situations until about 2:30 p.m. when things went bad in a big hurry. There was apparently a serious MVC (motor vehicle collision - no longer called MVA as there is no such thing as an accident, that infers bad luck not root cause analysis) on the main highway involving a car and a full tanker truck with extrication required, fire and the road blocked as you can see to the left. Calls from EHS stating a female in the car was seriously injured which caused us to ramp up planning in our small Emergency Department first by clearing it out (the LPN working with us was seen sprinting at a good speed towards the elevator behind a wheelchair with arms waving from it in protest) as she headed for the inpatient unit to drop off the human cargo. With adrenaline pumping we quickly began preparing supplies and alerting the x-ray and lab techs. As we worked several of the staff phoned family to ensure all were safe. Thinking all of mine were accounted for I busied myself setting up IVs when the phone rang yet again and the ward clerk answered it, then called my name saying "phone for you". Thinking it was another nurse I said "who is it?". She said "I don't know, they asked for you by both of your names". My legs would hardly carry me to the phone as my knees were weak, I identified myself to the female caller and she said "this is Nova Functional Assessments you have an appointment tomorrow at 3 p.m." I grunted my confirmation and hung up. I later told the internal medicine specialist that I did not require a cardiac stress test as I had passed it! In the end our preparations were not required as EHS transported to another center but it was a tense while until we were advised. So with the highway closed we took the scenic route home after work as well as all the heavy traffic rerouted through the coastal road. By this evening the road was fully opened and the environmental assessment and cleanup under way. Apparently the tanker contained 31,000 liters of gasoline and 9,000 liters of diesel fuel so the gas burned the trees at an extreme temperature and the diesel still smelled really strong over 24 hours later. It was an eerie view.

Manger of what chair?
Today on my way to the physio appointment I stopped at Staples and laid down some cash for a new computer chair. Especially important as I've been spending time in it staring at my online course and it's not good for the back. The boy captain (who is in the process of getting ready to go fishing) cheerfully offered to assemble it (saving me the $10 cost) and was thrilled when I jokingly offered the original as he pronounced it "great for a coiling trawl seat". I won on both fronts. I also made a stop a Wal-Mart and scored a great deal on memory cards for the camera I purchased on eBay. I've been having good luck with my bidding lately (to the point that I've been sent 35 cents U.S. through PayPal) having also scored some neat medical collectables, a cocktail dress and an iPod Shuffle as a grad gift for my Cuban nurse friend. My main beef is with Canada Post and the strike/lock out that is presently going on. How is a gal supposed to get her parcels? The Purolator courier arrived the other evening with the iPod and of course rang the doorbell (or as we say the dogbell) setting Keely off in a frenzy of announcing we were being invaded.

I spent three hours at the physio appointment today, well actually the first hour of it was waiting as it was a very busy clinic. After the physio put my back in alignment again (I had leaned over to straighten sofa cushions the day after my last visit and popped it out - proving that housework of course can hurt you)  the rheumatologist arrived to do the injection. There were discussions about the size of the area requiring treatment (with the physio advising it was 'much better') and then they drifted away and talked quietly about how long these treatments would be needed. Hmmmm. I've done that maneuver myself as you wander out of the patients range of hearing when you don't want to upset/depress them with the treatment plan. The injections weren't particularly painful and I had a nap with the ice pack afterwards so we shall see what the next few days bring. The physio advises that this is fixable and I keep focusing on that. In the meantime I am wearing a less than comfortable brace, am taped up securely, have to go for a recheck next week and am booked again for August. Enough whining, I shall pretend I am Xena the Princess Warrior with my armor on. At least I'm not dealing with dental extractions as a friend is... if this affected my ability to eat that would be really terrible!

One of the summer neighbours has arrived and is conducting her 'opening the summer estate' rituals which this year includes some mold and mildew thanks to the very damp spring we've endured. Plans for a cup of tea tomorrow to catch up on all the news. Heading in for two night shifts after that so will perhaps get some work done on the course as we move from chest tubes to fluid/electrolyte balance - what a great way to spend your summer eh? Off to bed so I shall sleep in adequately. I leave you with this travel article on being a visitor not a tourist:

Friday, June 17, 2011

Of backs and outings

A few stolen moments at quarter to three a.m. to fill you in on all the news that I print. The eight days since I last posted have been as usual full ones.

The quote of the day is...
"The real measure of your wealth is how much you'd be worth if you lost all your money." ~Unknown
Yesterday was the baby daughter's 22nd birthday and I have no idea where those twenty something years have gone - they are a blur. I had sent along a small birthday gift with her main squeeze so assume that she received it. Managed to have a nice catch up chat with the oldest daughter tonight as she is making her way through her course - got another certificate to add to the portfolio this week - on pipe fitting and bending. She always was the crafty one. Says she's getting her scrapbooking materials organized this weekend, oh that I could be so crafty instead of studious. The boy captain is readying to go fishing shortly and the gear which came with the leased vessel is atrocious (he uses some stronger language to describe) so is hoping to be on the water by next week. He has been applying himself very diligently to the process as he is being prodded by his crewmember who has twins. The theory being you need to have someone hired who needs to go more than you do - this sure is the case here. The teacher daughter and son-in-law are heading down for the weekend, the first since Christmas as they visit their respective families so hopefully they bring some of the nicer weather which they have been having in the city which has missed us. Sigh.
On a technology note here is a website for bitly which is a site that shortens, tracks and analyzes your links. Meaning you don’t have to look at two lines of url now:
I've used the link to shorten a couple of urls such as this one to the posture s'pport brace which I'm wearing now but more on that story below:
As I headed into my days off last week I caught up on my sleep quotient and then got myself disciplined enough to begin the next section of my course - arggh. Friday morning I spent giving the garage $650 for my car repair and a quick shop at Frenchy's where I scored some wonderful finds. Then I headed to physio for (again) myofascial release but I was less than impressed as I told the therapist that "I'm right back to where I was when I first came here" he replied that he couldn't remember what it was like when I first came in so I told him "it's my back and I can assure you that this isn't fixing it!". To add to the angst when I approached the desk the receptionist told me that my benefits had been completely used and so I needed to pay the diference of this visit of $27.41, that each visit now costs $67.41 and that there were no appointments until the 29th. My huff arrived and I left in it. As I got into the car a call from the life partner stating he was at home and we'd head out soon. I laid the law down with the "and I don't want to spend the afternoon with you with that cellphone stuck on the side of your head as that's not getting away" and headed out.
The shore captain had come home early (his suggestion) and offered to drive to Lunenburg for my physio appointment. He was trying to make it a little outing but I was not very good company as I'd gotten myself in a state wondering if my back was ever going to be okay, would I be able to work full time or do day shifts, what about all those plans I had for running away to work up north or on a cruise ship ??? It was a beautiful sunny (for once) afternoon and we took the scenic coastal route, including the LaHave Ferry which caused their father to reminisce about how the kids had really enjoyed the adventure of the 5 minute cable ferry across years ago.  This appointment was much more satisfactory than the morning one as the physio immediately said "your back is exactly as it was when you first came here" then proceeded to pop it back in place after having heat treatments, taped me up again, insisted that I needed to have my back injected by the rhuematologist (sugar and water she says as it's inflames the ligament and makes it shorten to hold the facet in) and advised that I needed to get the posture brace and wear it 24/7. So a stop at the local drugstore (which carries what she recommends) for the brace - they unfortunately did not take Air Miles as my local drugstore does, the home health employee wasn't there to do the fitting so the cashier trainee and I struggled with it and it was $75 - which thankfully my benefits will pay for. So after all that it was clear that we needed to have some supper. Large Marge's was not open and The Fish Cake had closed so we headed to Magnolias Grill which is a funky little place you'd expect to see Elvis eating in. Had a wonderful supper of caeser salad and fresh tomato / cheddar soup (me) and calamari and greek salad (him) which greatly cheered us up.
A quick stop at Bob and the Boys Farm Market:
on the way where we managed to pick up new strawberries, veggies and have an ice cream for dessert before continuing home. So the outing was actually a success after all.

Saturday and Sunday were rather low key days as I adjusted to my 'truss' as I named it. Discovering that although it probably fits right it's not likely made to be comfortable and it's better to wear 3/4 sleeve shirts under it as they don't bunch up as much as t-shirts. I did manage to fit in making a strawberry/rhubarb pie and some meals. Saturday the shore captain took the afternoon to paint the 'floor' of the deck and I tried to catch some rays but the wind was so chilly that I resorted to positioning my chair in the crushed stone between the two vehicles as a wind break for a few minutes. I took Monday off as I really didn't feel able to handle both LDs and when I arranged to have the appointment days that I needed for June and August I just added that on. It did result in my getting a good ways in my course material. I worked Tuesday and it was a very reasonable shift but....was back to it on Wednesday morning with + + back pain. I put a call in to the physio asking if I needed to wear the uncomfortable brace if my back was out again anyway? The response was "if it makes your back worse - don't but if it's just the same as it was - wear it" so now I'm back to having my back out of line AND wearing the brace. Sigh.
So I am at a standstill and heading down for another tune up with the physio in the afternoon I am allowing myself to think of those escapist thoughts such as the running away to join the circus...oh I mean to work somewhere else. I offer the following quote:

"If you want something you never had, you gotta do something you never did."
A link to the cruise ship nursing with some blogs to peruse:
And if you're just into general travel the following collection:
Here's a project I'm working on my 100 Gratitudes exercise:
Had a message from one of the summer neighbours saying she'll be along the end of the month and her sister is in the province and making her way down any day now. Always good to see those summer folks. Well, off to wash faces and bottoms as it's that time of the morning. Hasta.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The past ten days

Have been having a pretty full life lately, full enough that I haven't found a few minutes to update the blog until now, so here goes..

The appointment with the Rhuematologist was fine - she told me that I have osteoarthritis and that is good because it will flare up and burn itself out and to take tylenol as I'm doing. The back was a locked facet and the physio put it back in place (instant wonderful relief) and taped me up like an athlete to help it stay it in place. She was amazed that I was able to work, let alone function at home - I told her it was because I'm old.

Took the daughter and son-in-law to supper a the Palladium Family Restaurant which is a nice family spot in their area. Just a disclaimer - it is partly owned by my oldest brother's stepson and his daughter (who is leaving this week to travel Europe) was waiting tables the night we visited. For those who may visit here is the link to some reviews:

While the human house occupants were away I slept in and then headed out to run to Mic Mall and used my Groupon for Body Shop and really cleaned up, checked out Zellers and got wardrobe malfunction tape and a top. Stopped by Stokes got a great bag which will be good for a lunch. Headed over to the Frenchy's on Tacoma Drive and it is fantastic!!! Really scored big there. Off to Atlantic Fabrics just off Portland St. and got some netting for doing those crocheted scrubbies and black fabric for napkins (less showing of stains). Back to clean up the kitchen, make lobster sandwiches for the night crew then enjoy the sun on the deck with the kids. Had a quick supper, shower and dressed for work.

Did my final clinical shift a LN at the Dartmouth General ICU with great staff and of course a little less formal on nights. I slept for a few hours in the a.m. and then stopped back for an appt with the physio to recheck my back. She advised I not work Saturday but okayed Sunday. I spent Saturday catching up at home from being away and felt like a new person.

Sunday at work was very heavy and after I slept in Monday to prepare for my night shift....I was really struggling to stay upright! Slept well today and woke up without the crick in the back so not sure what's going on but I have another appointment with the physio on Friday to reassess. Since this is my five day off stretch I just may get myself sorted out. We have had  a couple of very pleasant days this week but with the sunshine have come the biting insects and we've seen a lot of 'bug bites' in ED lately.

Had a conversation with the shore captain at breakfast/supper tonight, when we were finally in the same place at the same time and he was saying he'd woken this morning to see a deer walk out on the flats on the point and swim across the harbour to the other shore. Apparently the local lobster fishermen often come across deer making their way two or fro islands in the area. Then he noticed ears behind the rock wall and saw a large deer with prong horns and two smaller ones tasting the green grass at the edge of the cobble before they wandered off. 

Instead of focusing on gainful employment tonight I have located a a great blog which helps a running away plan:

And in the process of researching crafts (yes I am being remunerated for this time) here is a neat (at least for someone allowed to hang anything on their walls) craft project - sorry for the length of the url:

Oh well, time to print off the readings for the course and get myself organized for this semester.