Archive for December, 2009

Dogs and Christmas

I got my dogs their presents yesterday. Now, you would think dogs don’t know about Christmas, but they sure know about presents!

Dogs are very observant, and they read minds. At least mine do. Don’t believe me? I just have to THINK about getting up to get a treat for them, and they will clue in immediately. Suddenly, I have two faces staring at me with that cute head tilt, eyes gleaming, obviously asking you when you are going to get up and give them those treats. Start to put on shoes, and they get hysterical for the walk, and jump and dance around the front door. They can tell the difference between the chicken cooking for THEM and the chicken cooking for us. They know which items laying on the floor are theirs and which ones they can’t touch (with the exception of small plastic things like pen caps, which Elwood can’t resist). They know exactly what time it is: example 5 PM is dinner time, 5:30 PM is ball throwing time.

So, yesterday I come home with a load of shopping stuff. One of those bags contained the doggie presents. I didn’t say anything, just put the bag in my study room, and quietly shut the door.  Next thing I know, Jake and Elwood are crying. Sure enough, they are at the study door. As I said, they read minds.

Christmas was great fun when the kids were small, but I have to say, the dogs are just as much fun, and they never complain that they didn’t get what they really wanted.

Time for eggnog and the 500th viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life.

Happy Holidays everyone, and for the Non-PC crowd:

Merry Christmas!


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I am usually a Christmas junkie, though a little less so since empty nest and moving to Florida. It doesn’t seem right without kids and without cold weather and snow. Here I am, on a long break from school, and I can’t get up an ounce of energy for the holidays. It’s weird. I keep going to the computer like I actually have something to do, the habit is so ingrained. I check the weather, my bank balance, the latest news, email, youtube, and Facebook. I play a silly little game on Facebook until my energy points run out, I close the computer, and, sit there, listless.

It is like being deprived of a drug you are addicted to. So this is what withdrawal feels like, emotionally at least. Having worked at a jail for a little while, I know what actual withdrawal looks like, but this must be a tiny taste…

Oh, good grief! What melodrama! Snap out of it woman! Get over yourself and go do something useful. Order your favorite Christmas flicks from Netflix, get the decorations on the tree, go buy dog toys to wrap (the dogs are as much fun at Christmas as the kids were), eat some of the pumpkin bread with your coffee,  DO something!

I’m blogging, aren’t I?

You’re still at the computer… 

Okay, okay. I’m going.

I’m getting a big new medical dictionary for Christmas. I actually ASKED for it. Being a student makes you weird. But then, I kinda always was…weird, I mean.

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Another box of books arrived, seven more books weighing in at a whopping total poundage of 16.1 pounds, not including the 3 inch thick “Interpreting Diagnostic Tests” from last term, which I know I will have to use again this go round. Holy crap. Of course, I am dying to dive in and get a taste of the goodies inside of Principles of Primary Wound Care, and Professional Guide to Signs and Symptoms, and Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Diagnosis. Integrative Health sounds cool. Pharmacotherapeutics, well not so much. I’ll wait to dive into that deep little pool.

The dilemma is, I just went to the library and got a stack of FUN books. I wanted to spend the break with my mind on vacation. But, there they sit. The School Books. They are whispering in my ear. “Just take a little peek, that’s all, just a peek. You can always go back to that silly little novel (sneer, sneer)”. It’s like a drug, I know that once I peek, I’ll be hooked, and wham, there goes my brain vacation.

The peek or not to peek, that is the question…

Can I hold out long enough to give my brain a rest? Ooh, look, Signs and Symptoms has pictures! O crap, I’m done. The novel might as well go back to the library, how can it compete with pictures?


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Video by FNPN (Sorry, video gone along with our hopes. STILL no change in the policy as of 9/2011)

Florida NPs don’t have much practice freedom, and it causes problems for their patients. Florida is one of the most restrictive states in the US, lagging behind in prescriptive rights, practice restrictions, MD supervision requirements, etc. Only Alabama is farther behind.  Here is a little video FNPN put out to explain the situation. We are hoping that Senator Bennet’s bill to increase our prescriptive rights will finally pass this year, the 15th try!

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It is a shame that the media such as television and movies find it necessary to portray nurses in ways that can only be described as stereotyped and inaccurate. Having a little time off now has opened up the option of wasting some on watching TV and movies. I was initially excited that there were a few new shows about nurses: Hawthorne RN, Nurse Jackie, to name two recent ones. I watched in dismay to find the nurses portrayed as drug addicted, willing to give a doctor sex in a closet to get a pain med script; providing sexual favors to a patient “because I felt sorry for him”, and breaking every rule in the book to accomplish objectives. Sheesh!

On other shows like House (which I actually enjoy watching because it is fun to try to unravel the diagnosis before they do), the nurses do NOTHING. The doctors are portrayed doing all the  nursing functions. The nurses you do see are sitting listlessly at the nurse’s station, or are wandering around looking cute carrying a chart in search of a doctor. Or worse yet, giggling and laughing because they are looking for a doctor to marry.

Then there is Nurse Ratchet…not going there.

Hospice nurses are portrayed as vultures who jump into the husband’s bed while waiting for the wife to die; or even hasten the death so they can take her place. I was a hospice nurse for many years and super resent that one! 

Really, Hollywood. Can’t you do better? I would like to see a show like Cops, only called Nurses. That would be pretty cool, but if the theme song is “Bad girls, bad girls” I will throw something at my TV!

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The program I am in is online, with a couple of trips to the home campus for labs, and clinicals done locally. The problem with this is the extreme attachment that developed between me and my computer.  At first, I only had a desktop model in my sewing room/office/study room. This room became my cave. My husband would occasionally throw food into the slot in the door, but would otherwise not venture in.  I would stumble to the desk in my pajamas with coffee cup clutched in hand and install myself in the chair in front of the screen as soon as my eyes opened each morning.  Keeping a wary eye on the clock, I would fit some schoolwork into the slot of time before I had to go out to see my first patient.

The political/policy class included a lot of “discussions”. Now, having a discussion face-to-face with a group of people usually includes a lot of listening, and an occasional comment by yourself, and lots of “I shoulda said this” and I “coulda said that” after the fact. Online discussions, however, are a totally different ball of strings. First, you know that you must have a reference or two to back up your initial statements. Okay fine, got that. You post something that you feel is pertinent to the subject at hand, and hopefully sounds intelligent and scholarly.

 Then the fun begins. There is inevitably someone in the group that tweaks your nose and you have to respond. Okay, I feel I have to respond. I find it difficult to not respond. In real life, you probably wouldn’t say anything; but in a computer discussion, it goes on for a week. You have days to mull things over, find references to back up your point, and post pithy and relevant replies (you hope). You get sucked into a vortex of postings and comments on postings. You rush in each morning, and afternoon after work, and evening before you go to bed to check the replies, and check to see what grades have posted, and before you know it…the computer seems to be stuck to your fingertips. OCD? Not me!

 I can just feel the instructor laughing, knowing that she has gotten us all interested in a subject we would not ordinarily care about. Politics of nursing? Policy changes? Roles and practice protocols? Wow, how slick this is. Online classes are not so distant as “distance learning” would suggest.

Then, we got a laptop. It follows me everywhere. My husband thought it would get me out of my cave, it did, but I am still stuck in e-world. Help! I need a computerectomy!

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As I click my last click for this term, finishing the last test and discussion threads for Pathophysiology and Professional Issues for Advanced Practice Nurses, I feel let down. Now what? I have three weeks of no classes, no papers and no tests………..What am I going to do with myself?

Going through a term makes me feel like one of those stones you toss and skip across the water. It flies above the surface, occasionally touching down, taking off again, eventually plunking down and sinking. My normal life is the water, I haven’t been in it much lately, just dropping down occasionally. Oh, it’s Thanksgiving this week? I better get that turkey.  Then off again. Now I’m sunk. The stone has landed. Houston, we have a life again.

My dogs have gotten to the point that when they see the laptop come out, they sigh and lay down, looking at me with mournful eyes. “Can’t we go out and PLAY?” A collection of toys ends up at my feet. Balls, disemboweled squeek toys, pull ropes, rawhide chews. They hope that eventually they will drop something I can’t resist. Eventually, my mind goes numb from extreme cramming of lots of information into a limited space. After wrapping some duct tape around my skull to keep it from exploding, (okay, maybe not) we go out for a ball toss in the yard.

My husband might actually get a chance to know me again for a while. I can do some cooking, and gardening. The possibilities are endless. Okay, maybe I am feeling better now. I think I’ll go work on the quilt I am making. Ooh, quilting. Yes! I might even read, GASP!, a novel.

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