Saturday, April 16, 2011

Oooo. That last song's been up for too damn long.

Try this one instead.


My oldest friend Rob (not Abilene Rob, the Other Rob) posted this to his FB page and I fell in love.

Things here have been... ... ...odd. I've considered, more than once in the last couple of weeks, going back to waiting tables.

The NCCU is under-peopled, so The Big They (aka Manglement) want the nurses to certify as chemotherapy nurses as well, so that we can help out in case of too many chemo patients and not enough chemo nurses. It's an interesting proposition, but I think I might be the only one that feels that way. Two of the other nurses I work with will probably set their teeth and be done with it (though, on second thought, one of 'em is pregnant, so that's a no-go), while the third, Der Alter Jo, has said, "I don't want to be a chemo nurse."

I wouldn't mind being a chemo nurse, but what we're being signed up for isn't exactly chemo-chemo: It's bone-marrow-transplant chemo. Which sucks. Because you have to kill somebody's immune system without killing them. And that's hard, emotionally, because the folks in question are really, really sick. So, yeah, I'm with DAJ on this one.

That's the beauty of dealing with primarily neuro patients: although they might have chronic diseases like diabeetus or hypertension, they're mostly pretty healthy. Really sick people don't have strokes and live. Really sick people end up getting bleeds, or falling over from heart attacks, or ending their lives in some way that's pretty darned irreversible. Because my patients have things going on that are reversible or at least work-around-able, I end up doing a lot of education and tailoring treatment plans; things that I'm good at. I spend, in short, a lot of time looking at my patient rather than looking at the monitors above the person. Chemo nursing of the type The Muckety-Mucks want us to do is the exact opposite of that.

On the other hand, if I train for this, I'll keep my job and my health insurance. Which is worth doing. And, to be less cynical, I'll get a whole new set of skills, and learn a whole new set of things that I've forgotten since nursing school. So there's that.

There have been many Interpersonal Dramas of the Irritating Type in the hospital lately. Interpersonal Dramas are hard for those of us who don't like interacting with normal people, and who don't like drama. The hardest part, for me, has been not simply reacting like a tornado and carving a ditch through the middle of the hospital. Instead, I've been reading anthologies of old science fiction on the Kindle and hugging my knees in a corner in the dark. The tl;dr of this is that smart people can be really, really, really stupid, and I don't want to be stupid.

Um....what else? Oh, yes: follow-up PET is on the 26th. I'm not officially freaking out about it yet, though I can feel Intimations of Freak-Out beginning in the pit of my stomach. It's like, the first PET was clear, the sono I had to have for lumpy boobage was clear, so is this the third-time-charm? And other paranoid thoughts, repeated endlessly in a moaning, droning hum under the day-to-day stuff my unconscious has to deal with, until I end up in a corner with my Kindle, hugging my knees in the dark. You know the drill.

In critter news: Max had an existential crisis today. The postman, with whom he has a long-running agreement, showed up in the front yard at the same time that the ice cream truck drove along the street that runs parallel to the back fence. Max moved faster, motivated by the desire to play with the postguy and hatred for the ice cream guy, than I've seen him move in years. All of his Kangal came out and he tucked his butt up and raced from back to front to back of the yard with legs like steel springs. He didn't catch either one, but he had a hella good time trying.

The cats are insane. They're busily deconstructing the closet as I type, and shedding everywhere. Neither one of them will tolerate the Furminator for very long; it awakens a deep desire in both of them to KILL BROTHER. I'm convinced that kitty-eyes are like The Terminator's eyes, with instructions scrolling past in small print for every situation. Unfortunately, the default is usually KILL BROTHER. At least they've grown out of KILL ANKLE. I would hate to see what 24 lbs. of cat could do to my legs that hasn't been done already.

And there's a really cute guy at work. Friend Pens is being encouraging, which is silly. But he's really cute.

And that is all. Go back and listen to that song again. It'll do you good.

7 comments:

woolywoman said...

my boss made me become a chemo nurse once. i never worked one.single.day.as a chemo nurse.

Penny said...

I AM NEVER SILLY.

ThirdDegreeNurse said...

"Because my patients have things going on that are reversible or at least work-around-able, I end up doing a lot of education and tailoring treatment plans; things that I'm good at. I spend, in short, a lot of time looking at my patient rather than looking at the monitors above the person. Chemo nursing of the type The Muckety-Mucks want us to do is the exact opposite of that."

With all due respect because it's YOUR blog, but what an insult to those of us who give high dose chemo. We do LOTS of education and TAILOR treatments to reduce side effects. We do neuro and cerebellar, oral, skin checks, monitor all kinds of body fluids, premed and PRN med, turn patients with IP chemo...

Rosanna said...

You know, with the stress of the "push" to certify as a Chemotherapy Nurse; the irritating interpersonal dramas at work; and also with your follow-up PET Scan coming up............ maybe your Friend Pens is onto somethin' for you, in regard to the really cute guy at work. Lord-knows, that might be entering The Land Of Possible Hurt again----however, everybody takes their chances, as you know----but (for you) IT WOULDN'T BE entering The Land Of REAL Stupidity, because you're genuinely too smart for that!

Without knowing the RCGaW particulars, maybe simply being *kind to your needs*, even now, wouldn't be so silly............ after all. ('Just a thought, you know).

Jo said...

Third Degree: Wups. And here my ignorance of high-dose chemo and chemo nursing shows. I'm sorry. I'm used to seeing those patients in the CCU, when they're so sick that yeah, the nurses watch the monitors.

That was thoughtless of me. I do apologize. And I suppose I'll learn differently once I actually know something.

shrimplate said...

Jo- I work on a lung-transplant unit. We kill peoples' immune systems all the time. It's not so bad.

Elyse said...

I love your cat stories because you are the only blogger I know of who infuses them with an edge of almost-malevolence -- whereas with everyone else it's Cute Overkill. I think you've more accurately tapped into their essence :))

All things nursing job in my area are gerflunken (just made that up hope it isn't an obscenity in someone else's language) aka we are pretty hosed if unemployed at this time - a state of affairs I never believed would happen.