My last on call was pretty outstanding as I pulled a 24 hour shift and then worked the next day, so I guess that's really a 32 hour shift. The day part of my call was busy enough to begin with for routine visits and then someone presented who had sliced a finger really deeply with one of those Olfa cutters and I put six sutures in to close it. Took me a while and I've sure seen neater jobs but it put the finger tip together and stopped the bleeding so there was no complaint from the recipient. I saw it today and it's still together and actually healing, I was impressed. As the day wore on, the pace quickened and without sharing too many details just let me say that I got a chance to see just about every piece of emergency equipment we possess in use by the flight team before they finally left after 10 p.m. with a patient with an intraosseous infusion, sedated, intubated and ventilated and if you're not a nurse reading this and don't know what those terms mean.......good! The first medevac left two more stranded (yep it was one of those nights that I have been known to attract) which resulted in the plane having to travel to Yellowknife and then straight back again. It's about a three hour flight direct, then ground transport to Emerg at Stanton Territorial, report, refuelling and back on the plane. They left to return to us, turned around for mechanical problems and headed back to Yellowknife, picked up a new plane, left again, their pilot timed out and they had to pick up a new pilot in Cambridge Bay and then head over. This meant they came back for the second medevac at about 10 a.m. the next morning. You can get a lot of paperwork done watching sick babies and waiting for a plane I've discovered. If you're counting that was seven medevacs in a week. Tis the season.
Glad to have my former roommate in to work with. She arrived on Monday afternoon in the midst of some of the excitement and wasn't settled before she was in up to her ears. When she flew in she was told her luggage hadn't made it so assumed it had been left in Edmonton. She finds out the next day when they were sending it back, that her bags had in fact come to Taloyoak with her but hadn't been unloaded and were sent back on the plane when she got off and thus were flying around the north. She was not impressed. She had bought a few things at the store, scavenged a toothbrush from the dental clinic and wore her travel clothes to work the first day.
|Narwhale and inukshuk carvings|
As you can see I am still shopping and when someone appeared at my door today and unwrapped the narwhale carving, I couldn't resist. He also had one which had a seal next to the narwhale as well but I told him that seals weren't that popular in my household as my lobster fisherman husband didn't like them. He gave me one of those 'everybody likes seals, they're delicious' looks and quickly produced a single base for the narwhale. Seal meat is especially high in iron apparently and the boss often instructs anemic patients to arrange for someone to get them seal meat to boost their hemoglobin. This they will comply with more readily than ferrous gluconate.
So a little cultural lesson about Nunavut and open adoptions. Let's say you're asking a woman about her obstetric history and she's a gravida 6, para 6 (for the non nurses this means six pregnancies, six live births) and she says "I have three children but I gave birth to six". Question - how do you interpret this? It means she delivered the babies and they were adopted out. This is usually a random process for example, not necessarily the first or last children and I'm not clear how the decisions are made. "I gave the first one to my mother, I kept the second one, I gave the third one to my step uncle, I kept the fourth one and I gave the fifth one to someone over in Gjoa Haven and I kept the last one". Commonly this means to a family member as in "I gave him to my brother". I have however heard of people advertising on FaceBook for someone to take a baby. Sometimes the arrangements are "if it's a girl my uncle is going to take her, if it's a boy he's being adopted out to another community". Sometimes the children are raised in the same community and seen by the birth mother, but wherever they are, it's an open adoption process and everyone knows who the birth parents are including the child. The children may or may not have the same fathers and a partner (if not a formal husband) is referred to as "my common law". Same country, different planet.
Had a message from the soon to be graduated from nursing daughter saying that she has a phone interview for a western location on Friday. She's pretty pumped and my roommate and I were able to give lots of helpful hints on job interviews as between us we've done more than a few. She was appreciative of the suggestions and info and I told her that Bernice and I wanted to be nurses when we grew up.
I had a nice surprise this evening when I received a message from my summer neighbours who were in Boston and invited me to 'hang out' on Google. This is a video chat, like Skype which worked for a while and I'm not sure if it was my computer, the internet or what happened but we were cut off. It was nice to see their faces for sure.
So, I must get to bed as being on call tomorrow may mean another short sleep. I was tickled pink to crash last night after the long stint but woke suddenly about 45 minutes after going sound asleep at about 9 pm and thought I'd overslept. I was really ticked at my roommate for not waking me and then realized she was still up reading and it was nighttime. I quickly got myself back to bed. My nerves.