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Showing posts from 2010

Walking the Line

Today I took care of a patient who used to be an ER nurse. She's married to a man who used to be an ER nurse. After years of diverting and shooting up Dilaudid and other drugs, both she and her husband lost their nursing licenses, their jobs, and their health. She checked in today because she's detoxing off of methadone and alcohol. In order to function, she has to drink alcohol every half hour. Even during the night, she wakes up every 30 minutes to take a drink.

This woman brought her 10 year old son to the ER with her. He sat in the corner and drowned out reality by playing his hand-held video game. She has other children, too.

Her veins are scars, and her limbs are pock-marked with scars from shooting up for so many years. She laughs at everything, but the smile didn't reach her eyes.

She terrified me.

In nursing school, I remember learning about a shocking percentage of nurses that end up abusing drugs and stealing medications from work, or even using at work. It seems li…

Opportunities for Regret

During this last work rotation, I met a few people that have not left my mind. I've actually prayed for them each, several times. This is unusual since often, I have forgotten yesterday's work entirely as I rush into today's workload.

The first was Margaret, a woman who had had multiple miscarriages. She was angry, and crying in a wheelchair in the ER waiting room, and I apologized for the wait (about 2 hours) as I rolled her back to one of my rooms. Hallway, actually. As soon as I could, I got her into a room, and heard her story. She was about 10 weeks along, had just stopped taking Prometrium, and had had a sudden onset of bleeding while at work. She was scared, panicked, anxious, and upset. Instead of telling her "we won't really be able to do anything except an ultrasound since you're so early in this pregnancy," I just listened. Blood work was sent off, a pelvic exam was done, and off she went to ultrasound. Her husband waited in the room. Hours late…


Although I started this blog with the intention of MUCH more frequent postings, it's turned out that I'm not a diligent blogger. Big surprise. It's just an electronic version of my pile of half -empty journals that intermittently chronicle three decades of life.

Part of it is that I don't want to be a chronic whiner. Especially about work, which is so difficult even with a positive attitude. I'm also unsure at this point what I really want to share publicly about my life.

Another aspect is the fake Hollywoodish stuff where Meg Ryan sends out her emails "into the void" or Julie writes to the scores of "servantless American cooks" or Sarah Jessica Parker sums it all up in one question. I don't necessarily want to be like them.

Deep down, I'm just insecure enough to want validation from friends, or even strangers online. But my pride keeps me from writing from the real depths of myself.

One of my life goals is to write a book. Whether fiction o…