hillarygayle: (Agent Smith)
I really hate ADD fog. The medication wears off and suddenly the fog rolls back in. The sound of the fireplace is exactly as important as the next word I type. I can't block it out. I can't block anything out...so nothing gets in. It's maddening and it makes me so ANGRY that somewhere out there, someone abuses the medication I take to force my brain into thinking straight.

Well. I don't want to be all crabby lately, so let's go with a Friday Five to see if I can manage a little focus.

1. Are your "LJ friends" friends to you, or just acquaintances?
A little of both. I've known some for YEARS and those people are absolutely friends. Others are newer & still more like acquaintances, but I like them nonetheless and I hope they will become friends. :)

2. How do you feel about modern feminism?
I'm quite the feminist. I do think we've allowed white feminism to define the movement, unchecked, for far too many years. I think we need to pay more attention to intersectionality and the way it affects certain women. Yes, we're all women, but women isn't all we are--there are many other things that affect our lives and they interact in complicated ways with each other. That woman is black, this woman lives in rural poverty, I am fat--these things are all inextricably linked with our status as women.

3. Do you look down on people for their LJ habits, or do you think everyone's entitled?
Oh I'd never judge someone over their LJ habits. It can be whatever someone needs it to be. There aren't rules about how it works & how it doesn't.

4. Have you ever been flamed? If so, what for?
Not here. I've been trolled here (someone once called me a "meaty whale," which remains the single most amusing insult anyone's ever flung at me & frankly it's shocking I haven't put it on a shirt yet). I've seen flame wars erupt with distressing frequency on my Facebook, though. I like to post links there; this article I found interesting, that editorial I agree with, this write up of a bit of research. I have never been particularly quiet about my opinions there, either, and often when I support something which is not popular with conservative Republichristianity, the flames erupt again. The majority of my family disagrees with me dramatically about those things. I once had a good half dozen of my friends arguing with my younger brother about religion. Yikes.

I've given Facebook up for Lent this year. The fact that it's an election year really, truly makes me want to give it up for the rest of 2016.

5. What is it about LJ that keeps you posting here?
I couldn't put a single reason to that. I'm not sure. I like the ability to get the thoughts out of my head in long form (unlike the short blurts that Twitter allows for). I like the interactivity of comments. I like the security of a friends' only journal. All of that, I suppose.

I was nominated yesterday for the nursing 40 under 40. This is a list by the Arkansas Action Coalition; they choose the top 40 young (under age 40) in the state for a particular profession, and then they give them this award. I'm THRILLED to be nominated, and especially since the person who nominated me is one of my former nursing instructors who is now a colleague. We will know by the end of March whether I've gotten the award!

Moar meme

Jun. 26th, 2014 12:51 pm
hillarygayle: (Hottie Blue & Black)
Again, stealing a "fill in the blanks" from [livejournal.com profile] thejessone because I love them. They're fun & they make my brain wake up.

A

- Available:  Nope. Married for 14 years to the love of my life.

- Age: 35, I think. I can't keep up.

- Annoyance: Not being able to get hold of ANY OFFICE at my school on the first phone call. You ALWAYS have to leave a message & someone calls you back.

- Animal: Elephant

B

- Beer: Cider. Preferably Woodchuck.

- Birthday: Marsh 12

- Best Friend(s): [livejournal.com profile] thejessone, [livejournal.com profile] asqmh, & Bryan

- Body Part on attractive person: Smile. Has to be bright, open & engaged.

- Best feeling in the world: Figuring out a perfect solution to a sticky problem

- Blind or Deaf: Blind

- Best weather: Partly cloudy with a high of 72 and a slight breeze from the south

- Been in Love: Very definitely

- Been on stage?: Yes.

- Believe in Magic: No, but don't I wish!

- Believe in Santa: Heh. I don't think I ever did!

C

- Candy: Snickers Dark, Milky Way Midnight, Reese's Dark, Dark Kit Kat. If they would ONLY make a dark chocolate Twix I'd be set.

- Color: Purple, red, & green

- Chocolate/Vanilla: Chocolate, specifically dark

- Chinese/Mexican: Mexican

- Cake or pie: PIE!

- Continent to visit: Australia & Asia. They're so close I can just hit them both at once, right?

- Cheese: ALL OF IT. Huntsman is my all-time favorite, however.

D

- Day or Night: Night

- Dance in the rain: With my BFFs!

E

- Eyes: Gray

- Everyone's got: Something to teach others

- Ever failed a class?: No, although I did drop a geology class once at Harding because it was taking up too much effort for a general education class, & I felt like it was detracting from other classes.

F

- First thoughts waking up: COFFEE.

- Food: Definitely. All of it. Except curry.

G

- Greatest Fear: Not being able to help

- Goals: Doctorate in Nursing Practice. C'mon, May 2016!

- Gum: is gross.

- Get along with your parents?: I do indeed.

- Good luck charm: Makeup, maybe? When my makeup looks super awesome, I feel more confident & I do better. I don't go into an exam without killer makeup, especially perfect eyeliner & lipstick.

H

- Hair Color: Copper red

- Height: 5'5"

- Happy: Pretty darn happy!

- Holiday: This one is hard! I really love all holidays! I'll say for major holiday: the Thanksgiving-Christmas season and for minor: St. Patrick's Day because I got married on it.

- How do you want to die: At the ripe old age of 92 I will lay my Harley-Davidson motorcycle down in a successful last-ditch effort not to hit a little girl walking a puppy across the street. It will be instant.

I

- Ice Cream: Buttermilk vanilla from Loblolly Creamery in Little Rock, AR

- Instrument: I am capable of playing the flute, the piano & singing. I don't do so much of the instruments anymore.

J

- Jewelry: Wedding ring, earrings. If the earrings are dangly, no necklace, but if they're studs, I usually wear a necklace as well.

- Job: Graduate student technically, but I am an RN training to be an acute care nurse practitioner with a doctorate in nursing practice.

K

- Kids: Ganon, the coolest 7 year old I've ever met

- Kickboxing or karate: Kickboxing! I should take it up.

- Keep a journal?:  I'm getting back into this one!

L

- Love: the whole world! Boom de yada!

- Letter: H

- Laughed so hard you cried: The last time I played Cards Against Humanity with the Borg, Bryan, [livejournal.com profile] stripedsocks & [livejournal.com profile] moogintroll.

M

- Milk flavor: Milk.

- Movies: Lord of the Rings trilogy, Matrix trilogy, the current Marvel universe movies

- Motion sickness?: No, unless I'm wearing an Oculus Rift. In that case, DEBILITATING motion sickness.

- McD’s or BK: Taco Bell! But if I gotta choose between those two, I'd say Burger King.

N

- Number: 4

O

- One wish: That someday I get to have an RV.

P

- Perfect Pizza: Greek pizza without chicken from Upper Crust in Jonesboro, AR. The Lucky 7 from Mazzio's comes a close 2nd.

- Pepsi/Coke: Dr. Pepper!

Q

- Quail: Are delicious & they lay teeny tiny eggs

R

- Reason to cry: Frustration

- Reality T.V.: No way

- Radio: iTunes radio or Pandora

- Roll your tongue in a circle? Yes

- Ring size: Size 9 on my left ring finger. Right hand fingers much bigger due to skin grafting & scar tissue.

S

- Song: Of the moment: "Do My Thing" by Estelle, featuring Janelle Monae.

- Shoe size: 9

- Salad Dressing: Peppercorn

- Sushi: Salmon, tuna, avocado, &  the spiciest sauce you got back there.

- Slept outside: UGH camping freaking sucks. But yes I have, because I don't consider a tent to be "inside".

- Smoked?: Yes...but not cigarettes. Gross.

- Skinny dipped?: No way.

- Shower daily?: Yes, but I don't wash my hair daily. Hair gets washed every 2-3 days.

- Sing well?: This is my "open secret" talent. I probably could've been a professional, but I never had the ambition for it.

- In the shower?: LUSH goodies!

- Strawberries/Blueberries: Both together with whipped cream.

T

- Tattoos?: The "coffee rings" design from Dave Matthews Band "Before These Crowded Streets" on my left wrist.

- Time for bed: Old Navy tank top, Bath & Body Works bedtime aromatherapy scents (honey/chamomile or lavender), melatonin if I really can't get to sleep, Benadryl as a last resort & only if I do not have someplace to be the next day!

- Thunderstorms: Love them if they don't have a lot of wind, but if they have high winds they scare me to death

U

- Unpredictable: Not once you know me. I imagine I might look a bit unpredictable to outsiders, but Bryan & the Borg can guess right 95% of the time.

V

- Vacation spot: The Ozarks.

W

- Weakness: People having hard times.

- Which one of your friends acts the most like you: None of my friends really act like any of the others. We like it that way.

- Which on of your friends makes you laugh the most: Bryan.

- Worst feeling: Feeling stupid, failing at something even though I REALLY tried.

- Wanted to be a model:  Never did, but if someone will give me Igigi or eShakti dresses in payment, SURE, I'll be your plus-size model!

- Where do we go when we die?: I don't think anyone REALLY knows.

- Worst Weather?: Searingly hot & suffocatingly humid.

X

- X-Rays: A couple. C-spine in winter 2009 because a patient tried to wrestle me. Both hands & both knees re: pain.

Y

-Year it is now: 2014
-Yellow: Flower in my hair

Z

- Zoo animal: Elephants

LAST PERSON WHO…

1. Slept in a bed beside you? Bryan
2. You went to the mall with? Bryan & Ganon
3. You went to dinner with? Bryan & Ganon
4. You talked to on the phone? [livejournal.com profile] girlwithoutfear (Facetime last night so she could tell me a CRAZY hospital story)
5. Made you laugh? Bryan
6. Hugged you? Bryan
7. Said they loved you? Ganon
8. Held your hand? Ganon
9. Spoke with? [livejournal.com profile] asqmh
10. You cried over? Everyone & everything at my old work situation
hillarygayle: (Hottie Red Polka Dots)
So I was at Target yesterday & there were lots of shoes for the upcoming season. Autumn fashion is my favorite. I really love boots, long skirts, jackets, bolder makeup in darker colors. I see autumn the way I want to see myself: calm, cool, intellectual (it seems intellectual to me, what with school starting back & all), with a bit of bite. That's deeper than I meant to be here, though. Really I'm just going to post photos of shoes!

Geek chic
This was a favorite of mine. It's not quite my style; I don't have a lot I'd wear with this shoe, but MAN IT'S SO BLOODY CUTE. I love the ultra bright sole; it's not a place you usually see color on a shoe.

ALL THE SHOES )

Silly as it feels to be renewing my basic CPR when I am ACLS certified (if I'm currently certified to run your code, you'd think that would mean I was also certified to provide basic chest compressions & rescue breathing, which ARE COVERED in ACLS), I had to. I took pictures, just to keep myself from being hella bored.

Bagging an infant mannequin
Bagging an infant mannequin.

Infant compressions
Two finger technique for infant compressions (used in a 1-rescuer scenario).

As a public service announcement, though: those who are BLS certified by the American Heart Association, please be aware of changes to the basic CPR order. Instead of ABC (airway-breathing-circulation), we now do CAB (circulation/compressions--airway--breathing). It was found that stopping to open the airway & check for breathing were causing a delay in the start of compressions, and since the vast majority of adult collapses are cardiac in nature, & not respiratory, that was a problem. This means CPR now begins with a round of 30 chest compressions (at least 100 compressions per minute rate), then follows with 2 breaths.

In a side note: I would like to have a "Keep Calm" phone case. I want it to say "KEEP CALM & START COMPRESSIONS." :D

Been doing a couple of different fashion things lately. Hair first!

Clippy extensions are my friends
Extensions! Hot Topic carries synthetic hair extensions in crazy colors. I now own a LOT of them. :) They satisfy my urge to have ridiculous colors in my hair without having to pay a ton of money every time I need to get my roots done. Bonus points: they blend fantastically with my long hair, they can be styled by curling iron (low heat), and I get to have a different color depending on my mood or outfit. In fact, I'm considering letting the black streak grow out entirely & moving entirely to clip-in extensions.

Lipstick focus
Lipsticks! Instead of focusing on my eyes, as I am usually wont to do, I've recently discovered the fun of a lip focus. I do an extremely minimal eye (my go-to minimal look is my usual Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden, Invincible Light by MAC, & Urban Decay 24/7 waterproof liner in whatever color), and then I put on a crazy bright lipstick. My favorite colors for this are red & purple.

I've recently been in love with setting mists. They're misted over your face before foundation & then after you're entirely finished. They help keep a matte look, & keep your makeup from meting off. Urban Decay has one called "De-Slick" for $18, but E.L.F. from Target has the same formula for $3. Unfortunately the E.L.F. has a sub-par spray. My solution: I snagged a tiny bottle of De-Slick as a 100-point perk from Sephora. The atomizer on the bottle is top-notch. Once I finished the sample bottle, I refilled it with the E.L.F. product! Tada! Exact same effect as the UD for much less money.

Well. We are headed off to Texas to visit the Grandminions today as soon as the boys get home. For the first time in years, I've got Labor Day weekend off! We may drive through rain on the way there; I'll be happy if we do. I'm ready for autumn & rain & jackets & umbrellas. Summer was fun, but it's time to move on.

Besides, THIS FALL IS FULL OF MUSIC. HURRY, OCTOBER!

PCCN!

Jul. 11th, 2012 10:39 pm
hillarygayle: (Hottie Mischeivous)

Just to let you know, I passed! I celebrated passing boards with a photo, so here is your photo of a Progressive Care Certified Nurse!

Standing at the Doubletree Trolley stop in downtown Little Rock, no less. ;)

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

hillarygayle: (Hg Princess)

So that even if this test DOESN'T go my way tomorrow, it'll still be a great memory.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

hillarygayle: (Nurse Sakura)

Work is rough these days. Usually our census is pretty low during the summer. In fact, any time I think of when I got low census (when we're called off because we have too many nurses scheduled for the number of patients we have), it was always around a major winter holiday (Thanksgiving or Christmas) or during high summer. This summer is much different: it's so blasted hot. A lot of frequent flyers are in because they overheated.

That strikes me with a thought: I don't think I've ever defined "frequent flyer" here.

For an ER nurse, a frequent flier is someone who shows up at the ER a lot, & it's often used as a derisive term for someone who is seeking pain medication. I work on the floor where the ER sends those who come in truly sick in unstable ways, though, so you're not going to find otherwise physically healthy folks looking for a high. Don't get me wrong; some might like a high. :) They're just also legitimately sick.

For us, a "frequent flyer" is a person who has a chronic disease or condition that occasionally requires acute management. So, a type 1 diabetic who gets an unrelated illness might need an insulin drip to manage their glucose during that illness. Someone with COPD might get pneumonia & need a BiPAP to help them breathe off enough carbon dioxide. Someone with a heart condition might go into acute renal failure if they get too hot. These are our frequently flyers. In addition to being very legitimately sick, we get a little attached to them. In some cases, a LOT attached to them. While the ER definition of frequent flyer is the one most often used in pop culture, to a stepdown/PCU nurse it's often a term of endearment.

I have taken care of a couple of our frequent flyers this week; ones who would not normally be in during the high summer. It makes me sad. They certainly don't need more crap than they already deal with.
~~~~~~~~~~
Work really interferes with my ability to do the July photo assignments. I missed the 7th & 8th; I think I'll make them up today. Photo assignments relax me, & I think part of my problem on work days is that I feel I can't relax, or possibly shouldn't. Time is at a premium during my workday, & I feel like I can't spare the seconds to think about a photo when I'm trying to think about saving lives & improving customer service scores (& I have to think about that because part of the clinical care coordinator job is to think about it).

On my days off, though, I think about photography a lot. I'm really in the mood for it today.

Jeff coffin has evidently discovered he has a twitter account & has decided to use his iPhone accordingly. He tweeted a photo of a Dave Matthews Band concert...from the stage. :) I sorta love that. I wish he'd join instagram.
~~~~~~~~~~~
So on Wednesday, I'm scheduled to rack up a few letters! I take the PCCN-A exam! When I pass that, I will officially be considered an expert in my field of nursing. I'll be qualified to instruct continuing education, I'll qualify automatically for coordinator/manager positions at other places than just my current hospital, & in general be considered excellent in my field. I'm sorta stoked about this. I love the idea of having acknowledgement that yes, I do love progressive care & that I can be considered advanced in that field. I don't get a raise or anything, but there's something about the prestige of new letters. Plus they get to go on my name badge. From a possibly jaded point of view...I can use the PCCN on my badge to increase customer service. If you think you're being cared for by a specialist, you're more likely to view your care as better.

So tomorrow we are going to Little Rock to the museum & all that, then we'll spend the night in a hotel & go someplace for breakfast & all that. Then at 13:30, I sit for the PCCN & we see how it goes from there! Eeeeee!

Right now it means I'm going to go check out the PCCN review modules & mainline information about renal failure physiology (I'm great at the nursing care part but I'm rusty in the physiological processes) & endocrine syndromes (thyroid storm, etc). Probably ought to bone up on SIRS & resolving sepsis while I'm at it.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

Protip!

Jan. 10th, 2012 10:24 pm
hillarygayle: (Nurse Sakura)

When you are in the hospital as a patient's loved one: avoid coming in, guns a-blazing, announcing how you went to nursing school/medical school/are a CNA. Claiming any sort of medical expertise in order to impress or intimidate us is doomed to spectacular failure in one of two ways.

If you did NOT attend medical school, go to nursing school, whatever--we're going to know that VERY QUICKLY. It's gonna take us approximately 30 seconds to figure that out; less if your nurse is, unbeknownst to you, capable of reading body language professionally & saw "lie" written all over you to begin with. Even if your nurse was oblivious, the first time you don't understand the function of s VERY common medicine? Yeah. Please note: the level of education you claim is directly proportionate to the size of moron we will assume you to be when we catch on. Ergo, if you pretend to be a CNA and then do not know that a 230/122 is a very high blood pressure, we may give you the benefit of the doubt & assume you could've just been a very bad CNA. If you claim you went to medical school & then do not know what arterial blood gases are & why we take them, we will assume you to be a tremendous tool.

If you DID attend medical or nursing school, bravo! You're one of us! Use that to your advantage & let us find out in a low key, organic way. When you ask about starting the beta blocker or the ace inhibitor, we'll grok that something is up, & we'll ask what you do for a living. Sheepishly admit you're a doctor/nurse but you didn't want to make a fuss, & we'll usually love you. Question everyone's most minute action, & note each time "I'M A DOCTOR!" or "I'VE BEEN AN RN FOR 25 years!!!" and you will find you suddenly get not a single scrap of info you didn't specifically ask for. Quite frankly, its a hospital. You couldn't spit in any direction without hitting someone who is a MEDICAL DOCTOR!!!1! or HAS BEEN AN RN FOR XX YEARS!!!1!! It does not make you a unique & beautiful snowflake. From another angle, the odds are good that you're not a specialist in the area that your family member is admitted for, & then you look stupid for questioning those of us who DO specialize in them. If you're a labor & delivery nurse, your critical care stepdown nurse might actually know more about post-heart surgery care than you do (heaven knows I'm not about to tell an L&D how to do her job!). If you're a family practice doc, the cardiologist probably knows quite a bit more than you do about electrophysiology. There's no shame in letting a specialist be a specialist & do their job. When you flaunt your expertise to fight us every step of the way, it just makes you look like an immense douche.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

hillarygayle: (Princess Setsuna)
Notable moments on Saturday:

[livejournal.com profile] thejessone got me a birthday basket of win! It had a Hard Candy blue eyeshadow duo (which I'll be wearing tonight, I think), some dark chocolate Reese's cups, dark chocolate raspberry Ghirardelli squares (SO YUM *flails*), some yarn, a vanilla scented candle (of which Ganon approves; he loves vanilla scents, just like his Daddy), and LOLLIPOPS. They were ADORABLE, shaped like slices of fruit. You can see the orange one in the pictures I posted of Ganon (of course he asked for the orange one right away).

☀ I got to take all kinds of pictures & mess with different lighting (breezeway with glass walls, outside, outside in shade, inside the Market).

☀ I turned Jess on to Mo's Dark Bacon Bar. I insisted she try it, and of course she looked at me like most people do when I'm offering them chocolate that contains bacon. She's a fellow adventurer, though, so she tried it...and when we went to Whole Foods later, she got her own. :D

☀ I got to eat at Rumba for the first time since the Flecktones concert. I found myself wishing DESPERATELY the Flecktones (or hey, the Mu'tet) were playing that night. Would've made a pretty epic evening. Rumba alone was awesome, though. That is some DARN good food; next time I think I'm going to try the steak skewers that Jess got. They smelled delectable. Also: I had a Latin Kiss (rum with peach schnapps, cranberry & pineapple juices). Highly recommend!

☀ Also at Rumba, they seated us right next to the outdoor patio, with the doors flung open and rain pouring down. I LOVED it. We had this amazing slight breeze with the smell of the rain & the river. I could've just laid down & slept on that booth bench.

☀ Zak & Ganon were both wearing Converse, so I got a picture of Big Converse & Little Converse. I love Big/Little pictures so much.

☀ As Jess & I were buying beads from Beads by Becky in the Market breezeway, a couple walked by with 2 St. Bernard dogs. I reacted in pretty much the way you expect, and as I was heading out the door to meet the doggies, I heard Jess tell Becky "Aaaaaand we lost her." :D :D :D I'm nothing if not predictable, I suppose!

☀ Though it rained later, it was sunny as we ate at the Market. The Market building itself was SO crowded, so we ate outside Boulevard Bread on the picnic tables. We talked about houses; you can buy a LOT of house for not much money at all right now in Little Rock. Zak & Jess like Sherwood, while Bryan & I prefer west Little Rock.

☀ I drove out to the house we love so much to show it off to Jess...and discovered something I didn't know. There are DAFFODILS in the yard, you guys. "It's a sign," Jess pointed out. :D


As for today, I'm awake making cupcakes for tonight's potluck at work. It's in honor of mine & Rachel's birthdays. Kinda late, yes, but our birthdays both fell within the 2 week range where we switched over to Meditech, and we didn't really have the time to do the potluck then. I'm making pumpkin spice cupcakes (at Maria's request; she was working on 2 North one night when I made them and she loves them) and white cupcakes with chocolate frosting & sprinkles at Rachel's request, as those are her favorite.

Not likely to be awake long after I make the cupcakes, since I need the sleep and my back was killing me earlier, prompting me to take a Vicodin. I think it's the way I've been sitting on the sofa with my laptop. Gotta pay closer attention to that sorta thing.
hillarygayle: (iRock)
At the request of my Twitter friend Steven, here are photos of my Otter Box'd iPhone. It looks so bright & cheerful! Yellow & white FTW!

Front without clip
Front without clip

More views )

The clip is a LOT more sturdy than I was willing to give it credit for at first. It clips snugly to a belt or pocket and it holds the phone really firmly. I am overall REALLY impressed with this, and I maintain so far it was worth $50.

Disconnect

Nov. 30th, 2009 02:18 pm
hillarygayle: (Jeff 2 at once)
I feel SO disconnected when I work 3 days in a row. I almost literally do nothing except work, eat and sleep when I'm on like this. No socializing except texting with Q & then sometimes I work with Jennifer. No LJ, very little tweeting. Ugh!

Twitter does really save my buns when I'm like this, though. I still feel like there are people out there and that breaks my hyperfocus a little.


Jennifer, my coworker & friend, is getting a new phone! She's getting a smartphone with a keyboard; a Samsung of some type. She was stoked because it comes in orange. Anyway, soon as she gets one, I'm getting her hooked up with Posterous & mobile Facebook so she can live on the internet like the rest of us.


I dreamed I met Dave Matthews Band. I dreamed they were quite old, and they were part of the Little Old Man Breakfast Brigade at McDonald's on Highland & Southwest Drive. This is quite funny, because it's one of those instances where 2 things I had thought of during the time I was awake (I tweeted about the LOMBB earlier today, and I was listening to DMB when I went to sleep) smashed together to make something hilarious. Boyd Tinsley had no teeth.


Time to go get ready for work. YEY. But it is my last night, so I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!
hillarygayle: (Cupcake Hussy!)
Well, it appears I have a neck injury. I left the doctor's office with a steroid pack, a painkiller, a muscle relaxer, and an anti-inflammatory, as well as the instructions to come back to schedule an MRI if this pain doesn't clear up in a week. GREAT.

So far it is...not clearing up. I had rather hoped it would. I'm only on day 2 of the steroid pack, however, so I'm giving it more time. I won't be taking the painkiller for work for 2 reasons: 1) I can function on it and stay awake, but it does make me slightly fuzzy. 2) I need the pain as a reminder that I shouldn't be pulling people around. Or at least I should use proper body mechanics when I have to (because I will have to).

Incidentally, this injury is not due to improper body mechanics. At least not so far as I was in control. I had a combative patient who was going to jerk the staples out of an incision, and folks that had to be STOPPED. So I did what I had to do, and now I am sorta paying for it. Nice.


The fondue party was epic fun. In attendance we had

Jess & Zak
Alice (who always brings me bread!!! She's so on my List of Awesome.)
Kit
Becca
Jennifer (my LJ-less co-worker who was soundly chastised for not living on the internet)
Jodi & Kayli
Me & Bryan (Cause we live here)

The fondue was great. I had to experiment a bit; I bought only 1 bottle of Tire Biter (a Flying Dog golden ale) and it turned out not to be enough liquid. So I busted out one of my Woodchuck Ciders (amber) because I'd seen Alton Brown do it with that very stuff. The cheese was about a pound & 1/2 of red wax gouda with almost 1/2 lb of 18-month aged gouda for sharpness. It went VERY well with the rye bread that Alice brought and the hard-crust sourdough I had. We also had dates stuffed with goat cheese & wrapped in bacon. Everyone loved them except Jess, who had a texture issue. I get that. Those darn things are my major weakness, though. LOVE THEM.

A delightful time was had by all, Zak has some rather hilarious video on his iPhone, and I ended up with glowstick goo in my EYE. (I have it on good authority that this stuff is called luminol, but I like "glowstick goo".) For future reference, it is an EYE IRRITANT. It stung!! It was pretty hilarious when it happened, because 3 of us in the kitchen were nurses (me, Jennifer, & Jess). It got in my eye and we all just reacted instinctively to get me to the sink & start washing out my eye. It ended fine; my eye is perfectly okay, though my contact lens is a lost cause. :)

Zak is convinced that if Bryan & I move to Little Rock, I will steal his wife & he will never see her again.


Q & I went to Memphis on Friday night for to get some cheez. We ended up at Whole Foods because we could eat AND get the cheese there. As we sat eating supper and drinking our Very Fancy Sodas...we had an adventure )

On the way home Q & I decided that wheatgrass shots are the evil to which we will compare all other things. "At least it's not wheatgrass" or "Man, that's worse than wheatgrass". It's our golden standard of suckage.


This week I work Monday-Wednesday nights, and then guess what! Trip to Branson! My family used to do this thing every year where we went on a vacation to Branson. We haven't done it in YEARS now, so I'm pretty excited. We're going to Silver Dollar City to look at the lights they do every year (I can't wait to try to photograph Christmas lights), outlet malls to shop, etc. It'll be a very nice getaway & I'm stoked. Even more stoked because I won't have to drive! We're renting a big van. I will plug my head into my iPhone, jam out to DMB, & surf to my little heart's content.
hillarygayle: (Nurse Sakura)
I got off work. Slept all day. Ate a piece of pumpkin pie that Momma brought me so I wouldn't feel like I'd ENTIRELY missed Thanksgiving. Now I'm going back to work.

Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for my job & this cup of coffee & my house & all my stuff, but I'm rather jealous of those of you who got to celebrate today. ^_^ I hope your turkey (or vegan substitute for!) was awesome and your desserts rocked.
hillarygayle: (Dr. Tran what's wrong with you?)
Yesterday Q & I had conversations about everything on the way home. One conversation led to wondering how old Rashawn Ross (cuddly, adorable trumpet player for DMB) is, and that led to a Wikipedia lookup, which led to the discovery that Rashawn Ross was born in 1979: only 2 months older than me, 7 months older than Q. It's always weird to discover that someone you consider to be MASSIVELY, incredibly, mind-blowingly talented is your own age.

This led to a convo about mind-blowing talent; I am not starstruck by people who are just "famous", but I think that if I met someone like Rashawn Ross or Jeff Coffin or someone else who's sheer incredible talent I admire, I'd be a jibbering, stuttering, blushing wreck. It isn't because they're famous; after all, if you had never seen my Jeff Coffin icons, would you know him if you ran into him at the grocery store? He's not famous that way. But for me, running into someone like that at the grocery store, knowing what they do, listening to their music, feeling completely humbled by their talent, and there they are buying milk or mac & cheese or apples or cheetos...I'd probably go to pieces.

This led to another point in the conversation: I want, with all my heart and all the way into my bones, to be That Good at something. And offhandedly I remarked to Q that I'd just never found the thing I felt I could be that good at (or had the specific motivation to), and she pointed out that yes, I have. It's nursing, and specifically trauma nursing. She's right; I want to be known for being that person who stands in the treatment room, waiting for the stretchers to pour in after the multi-vehicle pileup, a rock of calm & not a trace of panic. I want to be that person who wades into dangerous situations and snatches other people out. I want people to remember their close calls and say "If it hadn't been for that redheaded nurse..."

Of course that's never going to make someone go into a pile of jibbering, blushing stutters at me in the grocery store, but I don't really care about that part. No, this is for ME. If I'm that good at trauma nursing, if I'm That Nurse, then maybe I wouldn't feel like I'd go to pieces if I met someone with that kind of talent. I want to be able to say "Yes, he's one of the greatest sax players in the world, and I am one of the best trauma nurses in the world."

If only I could learn faster! Get more experience quicker! This is the part where Q said "There you go again, eating the world with your eyes." Ha. Yes, well, I suppose Ganon got it somewhere, right? I've been at it for 3 months and I know I've learned a thousand things in that time--things that will make me a better nurse. Oh, but how I long for it to go faster! How I want to learn enough to feel relatively confident, and then go into the ER and then get into a trauma center and LIVE this thing that I have in my head! All the little things like work-related lacerations and broken bones all the way up to multiple trauma from a MVA or burns from a house fire. I want that NOW and I know I'm not ready for it yet. I just don't have the background. Why can't I get the background FASTER?!

But at least I'm progressing. I can see it. I'm in arrhythmia recognition now, and then I can take advanced cardiac life support. That's as far as they'll pay for me to go where I am currently, but then someday when I'm in ER, they will send me to advanced trauma life support and sexual assault nursing.

But I still need to get my tattoo, my compass that reminds me that this is a journey & not a destination. This is not someplace I'm going, this is something I'm doing. I need to stop being so impatient, so frantic to get on with it.

This has been another stream-of-consciousness life realization brought to you by the letter Q. Certainly one of my favorite letters. ^_~
hillarygayle: (Jeff 2 at once)
HAHAHAHHAHAHAHA I think I'm going to laugh forever over this link from [personal profile] bluecanarykit: Hogwarts High.

A few days ago, I looked in the mirror on my way into the shower & realized something for the first time. I noticed it again this morning when I was changing shirts. I am changing shape.

You see, after I tossed dieting out the window I stopped paying attention to anything except the way my clothes fit, and that only to decide if I needed new clothes or anything. I didn't have any time for exercise during the nursing program. I have no idea how much I weigh.

But now, I run my legs off, push & pull patients and equipment, and hardly eat anything for 3 nights every week. I had heard Q talk about this phenomenon, but hadn't noticed it in myself until this morning. My waist is changing shape. I can't tell anything about my legs, but my waist shows a pretty dramatic change. I find it interesting, and even more: I find it interesting that I don't really have any EMOTIONAL reaction to this. At least not the one I'd have had long ago during the Weight Watchers fiasco. Once upon a time I would've been overjoyed to find that my love handles are almost entirely gone & that the post-Ganon baby pooch is shrinking significantly. Now I just find it curious. Also I find myself wondering if my clothes are gonna hang right, or if I'm going to have to do more shopping. -_- I think it'll be okay, since it's just the waistline & most of my clothes are tight around the baby-pooch anyway.


This morning I am home with Ganon. Carla, the delightful lady with whom he stays during days, lives in a rural area much like ours, with one big exception. Carla's house and Kim's house (my cousin, at who's house Carla often keeps the kids, since 2 of them belong to Kim) on the west side of town, close to the Cache River. The flooding from last week has already gone down here on the farm, but out there, the water is still rising as the runoff heads through them toward the river. Only large trucks could get through yesterday and the water was still rising according to Carla. Yikes! So I had to figure out alternate plans for Ganon. Instead of staying awake all night like I usually do, I just went to bed late, then got up with Bryan this morning. Momma's got an appointment at 9, so she's going to do that, come back & get Ganon, and I'll go to bed then. Hopefully it'll be enough to get me through tonight; I think it will.

Oh, the fun things you have to do for childcare.


Speaking of Ganon, he's been hilarious lately. He's much more verbal, at least when he's around people he knows. He's like his Daddy; he clams straight up if you're a "stranger", but if he knows you well, he'll say anything to make you laugh. My current favorite thing is when you say "I love you" he goes "You DO?!" as though he's overjoyed, and then when you say "Yes!" he goes "I loveshoo TOO!" like it's such a huge coincidence that he just discovered.

He also does that most time-honored of geek traditions: memorizing scenes from his favorite shows and quoting them back. Most of the time he does this in the context of acting out the scenes with his toys. He still likes Thomas but he's currently way into Bob the Builder. Bryan & I have deemed Bob an acceptable substitute, if not completely worthy. We liked Thomas better because it was narrated by a single person & didn't have voice acting. If something has voice acting there's always that one character with a horrid voice that you want to murder. For me, that one is Scrambler on Bob the Builder. I swear if I hear that stupid 4-wheeler yell "SCRAM TO THE VALLEY! SCRAM TO THE VALLEY!" one more time I'm going to set it on fire.

Now that he's been going to child care of sorts, he's better with other kids. Carla keeps kids for 3 other moms, 2 of whom are also nurses. It's 5 kids at the most; 3 of them are school-age, so it's just Ganon & Addison during the day. After school, though, he plays and plays with the other kids until Bryan comes & gets him, usually about 5. Since then, Ganon has been a lot more outgoing at the mall playground. He basically chooses a kid & goes to play with them. I've been monitoring who he plays with, and sometimes I'll redirect him to someone more appropriate (if he's latched onto a kid who's hitting or pretending wrestling moves, that's RIGHT out), but I don't usually have to intervene. He still shows a huge introverted streak, though. Sometimes we go by the playground and he peeks in. If he's in a certain mood and there are kids shrieking & running everywhere & it's crowded, he looks at me and says "I want trains first" and we go to the bookstore, instead. My mom would force the issue with us; if we were feeling introverted she felt she should work against that for some reason. I don't. If he's feeling introverted I'm not going to throw him into a playground packed with screaming kids. That's kind of torture.

He's learning manners. He says "please" & "thank you" most of the time without being prompted, and since he's developed a cough these days I am teaching him to cover his mouth. Now when he coughs he looks at me with his hand over his mouth like "Am I doing it right?" and of course I gush over how big a boy he is. :)

Of course as he gets older I'm going to lay off these particular details because hey--when he's in junior high he's not gonna want me to talk about his underpants. But for right now: did you know they make boxer briefs in 4T? HOW FREAKING CUTE IS THAT?


Sometimes if it wasn't for my awesome coworkers, I'd be trolling for a position in the ER by now. -_- This week, I'm scheduled Monday, Thursday & Friday nights. What the mess kind of schedule is that? You'd think that since you're dealing with night-shifters you'd try to schedule them 3 shifts in a row, or at least you'd try for only 1 day gaps. But this is ridiculous. -_-

I'm still at a loss as to which I like better. If I work 3 shifts in a row, it gets it out of the way & I'm good for the rest of the week. Gives me all of my break days together. The major drawback HERE is that the 3rd shift? Holy crap. That is one killer night. Like the end of a long race, where you only keep running because you forgot how to do anything else. When it's broken up with one off-night in the middle, it's irritating because I have to keep that night schedule, but at least it's a break.


With that, I'm off to see what I can accomplish while I'm awake. I think I want to vacuum.
hillarygayle: (Nurse Sakura)
The last week has been pretty nuts.

For a while I've been looking forward to 2 things: the bachelorette party & wedding of my good friend J to her fiance Z. Z & I dated when we were like 15/16-ish. He's the only ex-boyfriend I still have regular contact with & we get along swimmingly. I've known for a couple of months I'd be doing J's makeup for her wedding. SO FUN.

I worked on Tues, Wed, Fri nights this week. I was worried about making it for the wedding while, y'know, AWAKE, but there was never any question whether I'd make it for the bachelorette party.

Until Wednesday night happened.

In nursing, a general rule is that on a nursing floor, 5 patients per 1 nurse is an acceptable, safe ratio. Except that there's a nursing shortage, so sometimes we get more than that. Depending on the acuity of your patients (how Serious their Business is, how much attention has to be paid to what's going on with them) that number could be lower, but it's the general rule.

On Wednesday night I had 7 patients. Not just ANY 7 patients either. Four were post-surgical patients with nausea & vomiting out the wazoo (one of whom was receiving a blood transfusion), so I was constantly medicating & monitoring there. One was post-surgical for repair of an arterial bleed. One was in for monitoring of a surgical complication, and the last was uncontrolled blood glucose in for some really intensive treatment to get it handled. If you're a nurse you will automatically fill in the blanks & understand what an astounding task this is. If you're not, you need to know that each of these patients has a reason I MUST see them every hour, and in each case if there was ANYTHING out of the ordinary, it might take me an hour to handle it. If that out of the ordinary thing did happen, and it did take me an hour to handle it, it was going to throw everything out of whack. And it did. Several things happened that left me entirely unable to catch up. Normally I consider a shift well done if I accomplish all the routine stuff & handle anything special a patient might need. Wednesday night? I considered my shift well done because I did not die and neither did any of my patients. I never got to eat during the shift, never got to sit down, never even got to chart assessments. I am NOT a crier, and I nearly burst into tears of frustration several times. Once, in the medication room, Scott said something that made me laugh. I must've sounded hysterical, because he pointed out "You sound like someone who's laughing to keep from crying."

"Currently? Yes," I admitted.
"Are you the type who's going to cry in the car on the way home?"
I laughed again. "No. I am the type who's going to yell the f-bomb all the way home and then sleep like I've been bricked in the forehead."
"Sweet," Scott replied.

I did not get to leave work until 9am, and then I did exactly as I said I would. When I hit the bed at 10am, I slept like I'd been knocked out. When I woke up to my alarm at 4pm to get ready for the party, I dangled my legs off the bed. Blood pressure instantly dropped, my vision blurred, and a headache bloomed from the back of my head forward. I called JF, another friend who was organizing the party. Sounding like I'd been hit by a truck, I told her there was no way I could make it. I have no way of emphasizing how DISAPPOINTING THIS WAS. I had been looking forward to this for weeks, and I needed a happy bright spot. NEEDED. But I couldn't do it. Physically, I wasn't going to be up for any kind of partying, much less driving to Little Rock safely. I would've caused a giant interstate pile up all by myself. So I had to bow out. They went to one of my favorite places in Little Rock and did karaoke. :( OMG HOW SO JEALOUS.

I then proceeded to sleep until 6pm. When Bryan & Ganon got home, Bryan took one look at me and told me he thought I should sleep that night regardless of the fact that I had work again on Friday. "I think you could sleep tonight and STILL manage a huge nap in the morning, frankly." I thought he was wrong, but at 11pm I really couldn't keep it together anymore, and I had to go to bed. I slept until 6am, got up & ate breakfast, went back to bed around 8am, and slept until 3pm. So, after the Shift of Ultimate Fail, I slept 22 hours. HARD. There are clearly limits to the abuse I can inflict upon myself.

I got up and with what can only be described as grim determination, went back to work on Friday night. Friday was not nearly so bad as Wednesday, but it was busy enough that I didn't get to chart until after 7. I left at 8am, flying home and getting into bed for a couple of hours. Q worked part of Friday night too, and it was determined that Bryan needed to go to the wedding with us because neither of us could be SURE we'd be safe to drive.

So we did, bringing Ganon as well. Makeup was done, and I might say that J looked pretty smashing, as did JF, as did Z's sisters (whom I did not fancify, but looked gorgeous as well). I desperately hoped the makeup stood up to photographing. That was the first time I'd done someone's makeup with the understanding they'd be in camera flash all night. I tried to go as matte as possible, and I did a lot of eye definition & not much else. I was going for elegant & timeless, since, well, no one wants geometric purple eyeshadow in their wedding pics. Well okay someone out there does, but I didn't think it was J. :D Anyway I'm seeing some preliminary pictures up on Facebook already, and I think the makeup did well in the photos.

So that is my insane, hectic week. It's been all day yesterday & part of today trying to write it down. I'm ready for an adventure of my own making. I'm cooking up thoughts of a Halloween 2.0 get-together and looking up Eureka Springs weekend packages. :)
hillarygayle: (Nurse Sakura)
So I'm watching Lady Gaga's performance at the VMAs. It's on MTV's site, streaming, which annoys the pants off me. I hate streaming.

Anyway, of course it's a giant spectacle, but I noticed something. I have watched the video before. I despise it, of course; I think I've gone through this before. I don't like the use of murder imagery. There are victims of crimes (and families left behind) out there to whom I think that is offensive. It disgusts me. However, what I'm thinking about now has nothing to do with the imagery (also used onstage at the VMAs). It's her vocal register. In the original song & video, the song has a melody. It doesn't seem to have one, or at least the same one, at the VMAs. Specifically, the parts she sings much higher ("I won't stop until that boy is mine", "paparazzi"), she drops down quite low.

I really have no qualms about saying this woman is talented. From what I read I understand she writes a great deal of her own stuff: lyrics, music, and choreography. She's instrumental in creating her own look & image, and for that alone she's a brilliant PR person. She's quite good at most of what she does, but that whole live performance leaves me wondering "Can she actually SING?" Because she didn't, not really, at the VMAs. She "sang" but most of it was that Britney Spears-style half-talk-half-sing-half-whine, and then there was the whole dropping the notes down the scale. I wonder how much of her recorded voice is hers and how much of it is digitized? Or was she just focusing so much on the dance & the show that her singing took a back seat to that?


I'm scrubs shopping this morning. I needed 2 more pairs; I have 3 pairs and I work 3 days a week which sometimes puts me in a laundry crunch. Take today for example: I have a meeting to attend for new nurses, and I'm to attend in uniform. That means I'll have to come home immediately after the meeting today & wash whichever pair of scrubs I wear. So I decided I needed to sit down & order a few pairs.

My favorites are the Cherokee Touch line. They're so soft they feel like pajamas, but the colors stay very true despite a zillion washings and the fabric always looks...I don't know how to say what I'm thinking of. Professional is a good word. Most fabrics that feel like pajamas tend to LOOK like pajamas, but not this stuff. These look professional, feel comfortable, and are extremely durable. I've heard rumors they're getting rid of this line and let me tell you, I'ma stock up before that happens. I'll freaking CRY. I know exactly what size I wear in each top and pant, so if necessary I'll buy them all online. Which is cheaper anyway! See:

Contrast tie top in Ciel Blue. I just bought this top this morning. I also bought it in Royal Blue as well. I currently have three of the mock-wrap top: turquoise, royal, & navy blues. I paid about $20 for each of those tops. I paid $15 for each of the contrast tie tops this morning on Cherokee4Less. Yaaaaay! Also notable: I bought my pants for $22 apiece, but they're available for $16 on that website. Pretty excited. I'll need to have the tops altered, though. These don't have any side vents at all, and the XL tops aren't big enough around the hips for me. It's weird; the pants fit my hips just fine; shouldn't they make the pant's hips and the top's hips the same measurement? The mind boggles. Anyway, I'll take them by the cleaners, have them put a 6-inch side vent in, and tada! Perfect scrubs.

Now I am off to shower so that I may go to town early. Signing up for health insurance for me & Ganon (through work, so we can stop paying Blue Cross/Blue Shield $300 a month for crap insurance), rearranging my schedule for this week (so that I can work Wednesday night instead of tonight), and then off to the New Nurses' Informational Session.
hillarygayle: (With Chopsticks!)
The inevitability of the American single-payer healthcare system. This is a really fascinating (and I'll warn you, VERY financial) breakdown of why the health insurance industry is failing.

Bryan & I are on one of those high-deductible, private plans right now. We're making the move away from it, obviously, since I'm now employed. But this article is right. In our case it's a very high deductible and the benefits are dropping like flies. Insurance or not, we still had to make payments to the hospital for the ER visit I had in December. Next month I believe we'll have it paid off. Now, we were lucky--we had the ability to pay the visit off at a certain amount per month; there are those in the world who would have had to chose between paying that monthly payment or buying food, or buying medications.

When it comes down to it, I don't think health care can be run as a business. Call me a bleeding heart liberal (many do), but this isn't an "industry". These are PEOPLE. Human beings with problems that are painful, life-altering, even life-threatening. You can't base what you do here on money. You can't assign a dollar value to human life or quality of life.


In other news, I've just realized I have an RN License Number and can now go join the American Nurses Association! *runs off to do so*


IN YET OTHER NEWS: We got a new dishwasher! Ours got borked. The pump finally gave up the ghost. Through many Mouse Battles it was injured and we pulled it through, but this was just too much. So we've replaced it with a VERY nice model indeed. More room for dishes, better layout of the dish rack grid, a gauge that tells me when we're almost out of rinse aid, and several options for wash cycles. PLUS it's brushed metal like my fridge! I'm very happy with it.
hillarygayle: (Nurse Sakura)
1. If there was one thing about your body you could change, what would it be?
Belly pooch. The abdominal flap I was left with post-Ganon makes it hard to fit into jeans. The belly pooch is not at my waist, it's below, so when I get jeans that fit my waist the pooch is kind of in an awkward spot.

2. Would you rather lose 10lbs or 10 points off your IQ?
What kind of question is this? I'd rather lose 10 lbs. I'm happy at my current weight, but I'm happier at my current level of intelligence! (I don't have the first clue what my IQ is, as a point of interest.)

3. When you look in the mirror, are you happy with what you see?
Yes, actually. I'm a little irritated with my current haircut, but it'll grow out. The stylist was a bit layer-happy in the back and now my hair won't flip up the way I want.

4. Have you ever dyed your hair?
Yes! Several times with temporary die. I currently have a bottle of "Red Rum" semi-permanent from Hot Topic just waiting for me in the bathroom. Gotta get some gloves first.

5. How often do you weigh yourself?
I never weigh myself. I don't see the point. I fit in my clothes, I can move around easily, I'm a healthy person. I don't care what arbitrary number gravity applies to my plumpness.


At the moment I'm awake. I've been awake since about 4am. I suppose it'll take a while to unravel my schedule after a week of working nights.

I like the night shift, by the way. At night, the hospital is run by nurses & techs. No administrators, no physical therapists. There isn't a huge crowd around the nurse's station, surgeons stealing your charts, everyone fighting over the computers. It's slower paced (not SLOW, just slower) and more laid back. We get up to goofy things at the nurse's station, like eating Honey Bunches of Oats while listening to German "funeral metal" on Night Nurse Brian's iPhone.

I'm learning better time management early in the shift. I had 5 patients on my own for the first time, and I had gotten complacent with 4. I realize that I'm going to have to give up eating sometimes if I don't want to get covered up with work. What a profession: where you choose between getting work done and eating food.

I've noticed a major problem around shift change: if a patient needs something right then, BOY is it easy for stuff to get lost in the shuffle! And if it requires more than one nurse, holy CRAP. Like trying to herd cats. Yesterday I needed some major help with something and I refused to leave my patient without having accomplished it. Shelby mentioned that she'd seen a bunch of LPN students from ASU Tech in the hallway, and I ran. Spotting more than half a dozen students in the hallway, I bounded up & asked their professor if I could have them. She seemed pretty delighted to let me have them, so they followed me down the hallway. That was kinda fun. I felt proactive.


This song makes me want to kiss Jeff Coffin. Nobody makes me love the sax like that man. SAXGASM. He's utterly amazing at the flute, as well; please see song "Chennai" from Béla Fleck & the Flecktones "The Hidden Land" for proof.


Ganon still loves going to Ms. Carla's. She's awesome with kids. He's getting way more attached to Bryan these days, too; always concerned about what Daddy is doing, curling up beside Daddy in the recliner, etc. It's really cute. I also like his opinions. "You don't want to go to work," he told me Thursday night. "You want to stay home with ME."


Well. Now that I have time to type all the big-fat-entry I want...I can't think of much to say. Here are some pics I took around the hospital!

photo by you.
I used TiltShiftGen on my iPhone for this photo. This was taken from the corner of Carson & Matthews, next to the cemetery where everyone goes to smoke. Neat shot of the building, I think. Those windows are the waiting areas/lounges on the southeast corners of the East floors: 1, 2, 3 (all cardiac/telemetry floors) 4 (med-surg & pediatrics), & 5 (labor & delivery) East.

Three More )
hillarygayle: (Nurse Sakura)
I have a favorite sense. I think it's one that most people wouldn't guess, and probably not the most popular one. My favorite sense is touch.

After my hands were burned, I was in an odd state of sensory deprivation for several years. You never realize how much you touch, how many textures you feel just going about your day. Right after the burns, I was in bandages for a couple of months. Immediately after coming out of the bandages, I had to go into Jobst Skin gloves (burn scars will puff up & cause contractures unless they are maintained under compression for years afterward). They were extremely tight, and very specifically fitted; each one of my knuckles was measured around, as well as the length from every fingertip to the bottom of the last scar. The tips of certain fingers were not burned badly, and were left out, but the palms, backs, & majority of the fingers on both hands were covered. Many parts of my hands that weren't burned had to be covered to maintain the compression on those parts that were. The gloves were made of a heavy, thick nylon. Think of a pair of pantyhose with very little give, one size too small, and about 5 times thicker. Dry, heavy nylon between me & everything. It was a constant dry, dusty feeling on my hands.

What this meant is that for 3 years after my burns, I no longer felt the things I touched. A ceramic mug was warm, but it felt like nylon. Kittens & puppies felt like nylon. Opening a door. Tugging on a pair of pants. It was like hearing the same noise for everything that made sound. I don't have nightmares much, but a recurring theme in them is that I have those nylon gloves on, and can't get them off! Ew!

After I took them off for good, I petted EVERYTHING. I would run my hand across chrome. I'd go out of my way to play with pets (okay so I did that before). I would reach out to touch things unexpectedly, leaving people to look at me funny. Fact is, I still do this. I think having been in that sort of sensory deprivation for 3 years made an impression, and it made me appreciate things that others don't think much about. Wet stone is a favorite of mine, both on the side of a building during the rain or a stone with water running over it. Soft, tissue thin skin on the hands of the very old. Cloth of almost any kind, from heavy cotton to the lightest silk. The smooth but still textured feeling of brushed metal or anodized aluminum. Scales on a reptile. I love all these textures and a million more. I want to touch EVERYTHING.

Do you have a favorite sense?



So today LJ had one of those "Writer's Block" prompts. I don't usually like these things but this one's hilarious.

"What celebrity or politician would you most wish to get stuck in an elevator with for two hours? What burning question would you ask them?


I would choose to get stuck in an elevator with Jeff Coffin. I have reasons.

1) I find him nice to look at. I guess I have a thing for bald. Also I like his beard.
2) My burning question is about that beard: I want to ask him how he managed to grow it out so that he could braid it, because Bryan wants to do that, and has since before he knew I thought it was cute. :)
3) I want to talk photography. Mr. Coffin has a photography site and he takes the most astonishingly good pictures with nothing more than a point & shoot & no post-production fiddling with the light.
4) If we got bored he could play the sax & I could sing and when they finally got us out of the elevator they'd think we were crazy.

I could also get stuck in an elevator with Hugo Weaving but I would probably be a gibbering, giggling mess by the time you got me out, and anything approaching a "burning question" would fly out of my head the instant he spoke. I am not easily starstruck, in line with my personality type, but I'm pretty sure that'd do it.


So today at 11:30am I got a phone call while I was in the shower. I was getting ready to go into town. I needed a haircut, to take some scrubs to Masanelli's for alterations, to put gas in my car, to get some money out of the ATM for childcare, etc. The voice mail, however, was Jennifer, my classmate-turned-coworker on the floor. She wanted to know if I'd talked to Tammy about working my shift after the new employee class. Well I wasn't scheduled for tonight, but WAIT what? New employee class? I called back. Turned out we had a new employee class at NOON, which no one had told me about. I got ready frantically & managed to make it almost an hour late. It didn't last until 4:30 like they said it would, but it still prevented me from doing half of my errands. I was irritated.

And of course I came home to find our dishwasher has given up the ghost. It's nothing to do with mice, this time; no, it seems the pump has just decided to stop working. Got to get a new dishwasher. Grand. At least it waited until I had an income.


Tonight I am awake because tomorrow I need to NOT be awake. Tomorrow evening at 7pm, I go into work for my first overnight 12 hour shift. In preparation for this, I am attempting to sleep most of the day tomorrow, which means staying up all night tonight. I'm joining the Night Owl Association, as the lovely [personal profile] starry_midnight puts it. Got my thermal drapes up in the bedroom and the bathroom window (tiny, frosted window but the sun rises RIGHT in it) covered with aluminum foil (temporary measure for this week until I get a small drape for it). I am all set to screw up my sleeping patterns like nobody's business. Woo hoo!
hillarygayle: (Default)

I passed!!!
Originally uploaded by Hillary Gayle
Ladies & gentlemen, this woman is a registered nurse!

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