Friday, February 06, 2009

Wow. I get letters. Okay, then: a clarification.

Boy, you blog about emails and what do you get? More emails. And comments. And the sense that not everybody understands what the heck this whole...what you call it? "Blogging" thing is about.

So let's start at the beginning, shall we?

1. "Leave the poor patients out of it."

I do, my friend; I do. The patients I blog about here have been so combinized, fictionalized, sex-change-ized, and anonymized that often, reading back over the past couple of years, *I* can't remember who I was talking about. As I've said before, if you think you recognize yourself, whether you're patient, doctor, nurse, administrator, or taxi driver, you're delusional.

I don't know how to say it any more clearly than that, and I don't know how to do it any better. A blog about nursing wouldn't be much good unless it was, you know, about *nursing*. And nursing has to do with taking care of patients.

2. "Could you please recommend a good neurosurgeon/neurologist/internalist in New Jersey/Boise/Guatemala?"

No, I'm sorry. I can't. I work in a very insular, very circumscribed world in which the surgeons are the researchers are the pioneers are the only people doing X, Y, and sometimes Z. I don't know jack about normal hospitals or neuroscientists. 

3. "Can you recommend a good nursing school/tell me what nursing school will be like?"

Again, no. I'm sorry. My experience is seven years past now and is unlikely to reflect on your experience at all. I can offer tips on care plans--if you crazy kids are even doing care plans these days--and I can offer sympathy and encouragement, but you're better off doing a Google search for solid information.

4. "Your blog isn't work/child/parent/bunny safe! My boss is mad at me because of your blog! What if a child found your blog! There's too much profanity! You're mean! There's nothing of educational value to be found on this blog!" (note: last sentence taken verbatim from an email. Yeah, I know.)

(*Rubbing forehead*) 

If you are surfing the Innertubenets at work, what your boss finds on your computer is your problem. It is neither my problem nor my fault that you're wasting time here. *shrug*

If your child is reading my blog, that's your problem. It is not mine. This blog is not child-safe, nor has it ever pretended to be. (See above, re: profanity.) It is equally un-parent-safe; my Beloved Mom screens what she'll let my Sainted Father read here, probably because she knows his eyeballs would melt like something out of Indiana Jones...but that's beside the point.

I will not change either tone or content of the blog in order to conform to what people think is appropriate for groups of people that shouldn't be reading the blog in the first place. My response to the cry of "What about THE CHILDREN???" is a blank stare and the question, "So? What about 'em?"

As for educational value: I am putting this in bold because it is important, so listen up:

This is not a public service blog. This is not an educational blog. It has never been and never will be either. Posts with tags or titles including the words "Public Service Announcement" are titled and tagged with tongue firmly in cheek.

If you want reliable information on medical conditions or varying political views, I suggest you investigate medical journals and op-ed pages. If you want what I give you, which is neither reliable nor balanced, sit on down and stay a while.

Re: Me being mean: Here, yes. In real life? Only when necessary. And since we're here, I feel I can say that you should take yourself elsewhere and play with your dolly until you feel better.

5. "Can you tell me what to do about (obscure medical condition)?"

Oh, God, honey. No. Go see a doctor. Don't ask some stranger on the 'Net about your OMC. While I sympathize and will worry about you and ask for updates, I won't give you advice. The only advice I am qualified to give is that you'd get from any (other) moron on the street: If it won't stop bleeding, see a doctor. *Very* occasionally I'll stick my beak in, but only in those situations that seem urgent or emergent. If you've got trouble, see somebody in person.

6. "Your probably ugly you act so mean and uppity your probably fat and gay too why dont you leave nursing i hope i never get a nurse like you if i was their id kick your fat ugly gay ass."

Guilty as charged. Except for the "gay" part. Mostly, I am not gay. Mostly, I am sort of cranky.

You'd better hope I *don't* leave nursing. If I did, I'd quit blogging. If I quit blogging, you'd not have this blog to read. And if you didn't have this blog to read, how would you get your blood pressure up to a level at which your brain is (temporarily) perfused?

Oh, and: Punctuation. Look into it.

Are there any further questions? Any issues that need further clarification?


Good. We now return you to your regularly scheduled, compassionate, intelligent, moderate, beautifully-written, touching fuzzy stories of love in the....wups. Sorry! Wrong blog.


Unknown said...


I've read this blog religiously for years as a nursing student who loves sarcasm (and who tried blogging once, but realized I can't write short enough sentences!). I've recommended it to a select group of people who will get it. I love what you write, and how you write it. I think you do an amazing job of balancing the clinical, political, girly and personal... all with a lovely sprinkling of profanity and sarcasm. As a new student, with only nursing textbooks for reference, I honestly wondered if I could actually be a nurse, because my mind works more like your writing than like the pablum we were reading.

I'm starting on the Neuro ICU this week of Major Hospital and I'm so psyched! I'm going to be a head nurse, too!

Your writing is greatly appreciated (and even if I don't tear up about your stories about residents, your stories about the beasts you live with always bring a lump to my throat!).

H said...

See, now that's why we love you. And even if we're also mostly not gay, might be just a little gay for you.

Anonymous said...

I am not involved in the medical profession, at all. However, I regularly check to see if you have updated this blog because I love the way you write. I am amused and bemused at the reactions you have gotten. It's almost as if people would like to give you an essay topic and outline. Ah well, they get what they pay for.

Personally, I love the patient stories (even the sad ones), the gooshy animal love, the hilarious product reviews, and especially the smack-downs. Thanks for the thoughtful, well-written distraction!

CandyGirl said...

I can't even remember how I found your blog. I'm not in the medical profession, I just like to read certain blogs that are amusing, which you are. :)

It is YOUR blog. You write whatever the hell you want however the hell you want to. I'll never understand the idiots out *here* that seem to think their opinion must be followed and obeyed.

*insert eyeroll here*

Keep up the good work. ;)

Bardiac said...

So, the not bunny safe... is that because of Max?

We could all do with more Max pictures, to be honest :)

Penny Mitchell said...

When did "fat" and "gay" become insults? Nurse Jo is nether, but...the fact that those two adjectives were thrown out as the worst possible condition for one to be in tells me VOLUMES about the "brain" that typed it out.

My Christian beliefs have lost out to the Red Stripe: Dear anonymous snarkers, go screw yourselves sideways with a nine-foot long, red-hot, c. tetani-infected piece of rebar. And then go away. And shut the bloody hell up. And then grow some damn brain cells.

Beer me.

painting with fire said...

The mind boggles. I'd like to know who's forcing these people to read you, let alone complain. Good grief! I don't work in medicine and have read you for years for your delicious combination of compassion and snark - please don't stop!

Anonymous said...

I think the greatest challenge of being a nurse blogger is to give a good description of what nursing is like (taking care of patients) without violating confidentiality. I get the feeling that both of us go to work, get home, are all pent up, and it just has to get out. We are passionate about a job that simply demands we be the best when others are at their worst. I think you face the challenge very well, and really there are nights when I come home covered in c dif stool and smelling of someone elses' ass and my god woman you make me laugh so hard I make those loud snorting sounds.

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog - I love it. Blogs I don't like, I don't read anymore. Why is this a hard concept for people??? This is voluntary. Some people just love to get their buns in an uproar and try to make others miserable. Most likely addicted to the private little dramas they create. Keep up the good work.

RehabNurse said...

I love the perfusion comment.

Don't tell anyone or they'll say your administering life-saving blood pressure treatments without a prescription. /tongue firmly in cheek/

If you can't be sarcastic on your own bloody blog, where can you? At work? I think not...

See if these weirdos didn't keep writing...where could you get such good material? Ahh...the thrill of it all.

Carrie said...

Please don't change a single thing about your blog. As a fellow nurse just about everything I have read here has happened to me in some form or fashion. I love your blog and enjoy reading it every chance I get.

Anonymous said...

Reading your blog is very therapeutic for this fellow nurse. Who are these people that read blogs they don't like? Why don't they find a blog they DO like? Get a life, complaining people!

Anonymous said...

Ok Jo, I hear you and you obviously haven't heard me. I am one of the AVM mothers that posted last week. I will not waste my time anymore, but just wanted you to know that I didn't go looking for you. You came up when I put in AVM blog. I think you should have a blog that is private and not open to the public. Point said. You have a support group. Good for you. My support group is praying for my child's life everyday. My husband is a doctor and knows what it is like to have the same pressures as you. He deals with it in a much more proactive healing way. Your way is different than my way. I respect that , maybe you and your supporters can respect mine.

Anonymous said...

Your lack of intelligence to understand the concerns of those who have voiced an opinion is amazing. I think you must just love to swim up stream! In addition, you only seem to post the comments that are positive to your blog. I am limited to 300 characters yet some of the other comments are a page long if they are supportive of your cause. Are you really Rush Limbaugh and just can’t handle the other opinion?

Penny Mitchell said...

Margie: If you did a search on AVM blogs and Jo's came up, that falls under the heading of "you going to look for her."

Anon: Congrats on leaving the expletives out. You're at least making progress in the right direction.

Jo: Happy Birthday, Honey. You are loved more than you know.