Saturday, October 25, 2008

Shameless self promotion....

Yes. It's true. I guess everyone wants to feel loved so here it goes. Add yourself as a follower of this blog (see link in the column to the right) then add a comment to let me know you've done so. You'll be entered into a drawing for a set of beads. Drawing closes November 11th when I get back from Andrea's master class.


The will to live....

You may or may not know that in my real job I work as a nurse in a critical care unit. I used to work in the emergency department but after a while found that I needed a bit of a change and so I made a move that seemed to be the natural progression for me. In the ED I would work to stabilize patients and get them moved out to which ever unit could then continue to provide them the care they required. It made sense to go from that to "The Unit" where I would learn (and am continuing to learn) how to provide continued care to patients who suffer from a whole host of medical problems.

I could go on and on about all the things I'm learning but I just wanted to take a moment to say that the one thing that has struck me the most is just how resilient people are and how strong the will to live is in certain folks. It never ceases to amaze me that human beings can bounce back (albeit slowly) from the most debilitating circumstances. Just when you think maybe it's time to prepare for the worst something happens and before you know it the patient you didn't think would ever wake up again is slowly opening their eyes. They're following commands. They get extubated. They're getting transferred out of the unit and are going to a floor bed.

I like to sometimes think that we, as care providers, did something that made a difference. That we somehow helped this person in their deepest, darkest hour of need to make the decision to fight, to stay alive. Maybe it was simply by talking to them while in their room. Making them more comfortable by propping and padding with pillows. Washing their faces. Combing their hair. Touching their hands and assuring them that someone is always there watching over them. Oh I know there's more to it like administering meds yadda, yadda, yadda. But I think it's the human touch that can make the difference between staying or going. Does that make any sense?

I am humbled by each and every person for whom I have had the honor to care for. I have learned something from each of them. They have all had a strength I can only hope to have should I ever find myself in similar circumstances.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Healthy back....

I've been thinking about my back a lot lately. Actually I've been feeling it more than anything else. When I was in nursing school we had a whole class on ergonomics with emphasis on how to prevent injuries to ourselves in our line of work.

I have to say....we, as nurses, suck at ergonomics. Yes...we may have lifts and we may even try to pretend that we subscribe to the notion of a lift-friendly environment but when push comes to shove (and believe me....there's a lot of pushing and shoving....of patients) it's just bloody well faster to grab a bunch of people and give it the old heave ho.

The problem is that I've never had back pain until just recently. I think it may have something to do with the fact that we're dealing with patients that are getting heavier and heavier. And, no offense, these are the folks who tend to wind up with the most health issues and subsequently wind up in either the ED or the ICU. How fortunate for me that these are the two units I work in the most.

It scares me to think that in a few years I may be a candidate for disability. It's true, isn't it? How many nurses out there are on disability for something or another? If it isn't feet, knees or legs it's probably the back or spine. I told myself that I would be smart about it, take care of myself but I've come to realize that I'm sacrificing my own health for the sake of expediency at work.

So....what to do? Well, changing how things are done at work is like climbing Everest. For me I decided that I'd start doing little things at home to help myself and my back. So...step one. I got myself one of these:

Not that this thing is going to save my back but besides work I spend the most time sitting in front of my computer so I figure I can work on my home ergonomics.

I love this chair. It forces me to pay attention to my posture. I can't slouch or be a chair slob like I used to when I used my other chair. It can be just a chair or it can be an exercise tool as well :) I love things that serve more than one purpose. So, while I'm sitting in front of my desk I can do a bunch of stretching exercises. I can even pop out the ball and use it by itself. I've been wanting one of these chairs for the longest time and now I'm kicking myself for not getting one earlier. If you've been thinking about changing your seating situation think about getting one of these. I think you'll love it!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The water bottle to end all water bottles!

I've been on a quest to find the ideal water bottle. One that keeps liquids cold. Doesn't sweat. Doesn't build up gunk in all sorts of weird places. Believe me....I've tried them all. Nothing worked out as well as I'd hoped until I went out on a limb and bought this bottle on a recommendation from an online acquaintance.

Let me tell you. Everyone needs one of these. I'll tell you that I put water with ice in the bottle at 10am and at 6pm there was still ice in the bottle. The bottle didn't sweat. I never had to wipe it down or worry about watery puddles.

I'm in love.

I'm going to buy the black one :D

I'm throwing out all the other bottles I have accumulated in my cupboards. They dead to me.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Perhaps I was a magpie in a previous life....

I definitely have a prediliction for bright, shiny and colorful things. I think that's how I wound up with this.

Yeah...maybe to the average, untrained eye it might not look like much but to the lover of odd-lot glass it's a veritable box to drool over.

Let's not forget...this box of glass turned into a new roof for our house. Yup. Who needs stocks, bonds, or shares? All you need is some odd-lot glass and voila! Instant appreciation. Turn $30 into $400 if you just hold on long enough.

Funny thing is these days I'm trying to divest myself of all the extraneous stuff. I still love colorful things and have my fair share of glass but I'm definitely better about not hoarding everything under the sun. My philosophy these days is to try to obtain the best results working with the glass I currently have and not buying more hoping that the new stuff is going to make what I create any better. Lemonade from lemons?