Thursday, March 22, 2012

WAHOOO! More than a thousand followers!

I wish I had something to give as a prize for Follower One Thousand and Follower One Thousand One. You're Minions; that'll have to do.

Welcome, Minions! Await my orders.

Thanks to all you knitters! And odds and ends.

The Project is well underway at this point. Thanks a thousand times to all of you who responded; the person who ended up getting the assignment emailed me this morning and said, "Well, it's actually done now. I had some yarn left over."

Sooooomebody (singsong voice) had toooo much coffeeeeee!

*** *** *** *** ***

Apropos of nothing, have I mentioned lately how much I hate Large Music Festivals? It's not like Bigton can't survive for another decade on the backs of the musicians who've flocked here like roaches to a trash can. Still, they have their Damn Music and Technology and Whatever Festival every damn year about this time, and every damn year about this time, traffic is worse, people are stupider, and I get grouchier than usual. Thank Frogs the weather sucked the first weekend, or I'd've never gotten to work at all. I think next year I'll take the weekend of the time change through the end of Big Stupid Festival off entirely and go hide somewhere like Prince Edward Island. Or someplace with penguins. Penguins would be nice. They don't consider day-drinking an Olympic sport.

*** *** *** *** ***

Max has a new friend. Man of God and His Lovely Wife sold their house and moved to Bigton after he got The Call from a small church looking for a fighting young priest who could talk to the young. Max and I miss them terribly; they were excellent neighbors with a very sweet dog, but the new neighbors are promising. They have a rescued French bulldog and a cross-eyed Bengal cat (first one I've ever seen--he was surrendered to the pound because of his cross-eyed-ness), and Max is busily making friends with both of them. The cat only goes outside on a lead. This is a good thing, as he's the biggest damn feline I've ever seen outside of a zoo and I am not kidding. He's fucking terrifying.

New Neighbor Husband seemed a bit frat-boyish at first, but he's beginning to relax. He's gotten the vibe of the neighborhood (nobody uses poison on their lawns, we all compost) and has quit mowing the yard in a button-down shirt and loafers. New Neighbor Wife is kind and funny, and was quite sympathetic to my locking myself out of the house the other morning.

*** *** *** *** ***

Oh, that? Yeah. . .well. We had some really severe storms here the other day: there were tornadoes not too far away (tornadoely speaking) and hail and all sorts of scariness. The Beardman, my other neighbor, came over to let Max out a couple of times during the day and make sure he was all right. In doing so, he locked the doorknobs of both front and back doors. I never lock the doorknobs, just the deadbolts.

So when Attila showed up the other day for our training session, I was standing on the front porch (it was 0630, and raining) with a cup of coffee. I turned to let us both in to find the door was locked. No problem; the back door's unlocked! Except it wasn't. And the key that normally lives on Max's collar was in Beardman's pocket.

So I borrowed Attila's car key and slashed the screen in my bedroom window. New Neighbor Wife walked out to her car in the middle of all of this and, to give her credit, merely looked at me questioningly. I explained the situation, and she said Oh, How Awful and offered Husband's assistance in re-screening the window. Then Attila levered herself up over the windowsill and unlocked the door, and life went on as normal.

*** *** *** *** ***

All thing considered, I think the neighborhood got lucky when this couple decided to ditch the lights of Bigton and commute instead. Now if only their cute! cute! cyooooot! little Frenchy would decide I'm trustworthy and play-with-able. I almost had him liking me yesterday, but then he got all watchdoggy again.

*** *** *** *** ***

In Attila news, I am now not only squatting, deadlifting, and good-morning-ing more than she can lift (being built like a gazelle), I now *bench* more than she can lift. This is going to require either a reworking of our training sessions or the purchase of the weightlifter's equivalent of a Hoyer.

*** *** *** *** ***

And that is all for now. Eventually I'll work up an interesting (in the sense of the Chinese curse) day I had recently for public consumption. Right now I'm going to go vacuum all the cobwebs off the ceilings and chase the geckos back outside.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

One of those days.

Once in a while, something happens at work that is so traumatic, so difficult to talk about, that I don't even want to post it on the blog. One of those things happened this week.

The minute I turned away from the cauldron on the cafeteria line that held "Fresh Seafood Gumbo," though, everything got better.


But seriously, folks: this was One Of Those Weeks. I got a lecture from the director of nursing about being on my Best Behavior (Best Beloveds) when it came to taking care of the family member of a VIP. "We're going to give him, of course, the same standard of care that everybody gets," said the DON, "but we might need you to expedite some of the testing, like the MRI, for him."

"Soooo," I said, unaware of what my mouth was actually doing, "We're *not* actually giving him the same standard of care as anybody else." 'Cause if you're on Medicare, that MRI's gonna take thirty-six hours.

It's a wonder I haven't been fired thirty times over. I called the bed board to report the arrival of Le Petit Prince with the words, "The Eagle has landed. Repeat, the Eagle has landed. With his diamond chariot and his staff."

Let's face it: If you work in practically any non-profit healthcare facility these days, especially one in the state where Guvnuh Goodhair has yanked funding for various things you used to do, you are dependent on donors to do things like fix the a/c and make sure you have enough money to buy IV fluids. I live in Texas; therefore, I am used to whoring for money to make sure my less-fortunate patients get the private funding they need to get treated. Ever since I watched a guy die of a treatable brain tumor because of lack of indigent-care funding, I have whored more cheerfully and fluffed-and-puffed in a more dedicated fashion than you would ever believe.

LPP hopped the line in the emergency department with a problem that had been going on since sometime in September and which had recently, despite not changing, gotten insupportable. Therefore, our Prince presented hisself at the ER with vague complaints of. . .something.

I admitted him and his Something ahead of two actually emergent patients with actually emergent problems--though, thankfully, they'd gotten good care at their local EDs in the meantime. They just kind of had to wait around for a bit, one on the helipad, the other in a buggy (ambulance, for you civilians), until we'd gotten His Highness settled in.

(Just now Max put his head in my lap, bad breath and shedding ear-puffs and all, reminding me that no matter how stupid we humans are, there are still dogs who love us.)

HRHLPP will be fine. There's nothing wrong with him that six weeks drying out and a few B vitamins won't cure. My other two patients will be fine: one got TPA in a timely fashion, administered correctly by an on-point ED MD (shout out to all the ED docs!) who'd never actually done it, but who read up on it on the Internet from his tiny, six-bed ER; the other got a nifty new experimental drug we're testing and seems to be getting over her aphasia even as we (ahem) speak.

It's not his fault his daddy's rich. He was a nice guy: said "Please" and "Thank you" and was admirably brief and succinct in the description of his symptoms. Daddy is currently funding a study on the benefits of various anticoagulants in the acute phase of stroke (the beneficiary of which was in the next room over), so I had little trouble being nice to him. We even had a few things in common: birdwatching, politics, and music.

Even if your client is nice, it doesn't make it any easier to whore, though.

Question for the minions: anybody here know how to knit?

If so, please shoot me an email at johannebertha at gmail you know the rest.

Thankee. I may have a commission for you.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Peeps, a request:

That you send your best wishes to Nurse Ames, who has spent thousands of minutes waiting for me to get done with yet another damn scan and driving me back and forth to said damn scans, tomorrow. She's having her stapes replaced with a titanium replica and her eardrum repaired in some way that I don't understand, starting about 2:30 pip emma central time.

What the hell do I know? I do strokes. All I know is that she's a little anxious, and so am I.

Prayers, hip-shakingks, om-sayings, and capybara-snuffles would all be appreciated.

As for me, I'm getting started on soup right now.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

I don't tell anyone about the things we have planned. . .

Your voice is my favorite sound.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

You know what ammolite is, right?

It's the fossilized shell of a squidesque beastie that lived in the late Cretaceous (IIRC) period and which died out with the dinosaurs. The shells of those guys were apparently made of something very much like the stuff that makes pearls, but the fossilizing of their shells makes them all opalescent and gorgeous and rainbow-glittery.

Imagine the darkest, reddest amber you can, and then shoot green and yellow through it. That's ammolite. It's amazing. It's also found only in a very few places, from Utah to Saskatchewan, and around my neck.

Yes, friends and neighbors, this is mine. (Dry-washes hands, cackles.) It's a craptastic picture, but I was shooting and shooing a cat away at the same time.

Der Alter Jo and I were looking at this piece at a street fair, and I walked away.

Then I doubled back, with DAJ giggling with glee, and handed over my bank card. I knew that if I didn't get it, I would think about it forever, just like I do with a necklace I passed over in Alberta lo these many years ago.

In other news, things at the new NCCU are. . . . .well. Exciting? Thrilling? Slap-yo-mama-type fun? Sure: let's just call it that and leave it alone. I'll tell you: if it's not a stroke that takes out one entire side of your body, or a brain problem that leaves you face-blind (I passed over "prosopagnosia" and then typed "face-bling," which is what I've got around my neck, yo), or a previously-undescribed demyelinating disorder, we ain't got it. It's been one of those weeks where residents and nurses high-five one another over lab results, in other words.

Best moment of the week, and possibly of my entire life ever, came when one of my coworkers, who teaches jazz and ballet on the side, spun around in her chair to answer an intern's question. The thing was, she had her left ankle behind her head at the time, as she was trying to stretch out a cramp in her glutes. I had just put an empty accordian folder on my head as a hat and was humming to myself, and one of the midlevels was playing Bejeweled on her phone. It was Anything Can Happen Day in the NCCU.

I really think that shows like "Scrubs" and "House" are/were great for hospital staff. People get used to seeing craziness on TV, and it doesn't bother them nearly as much when they encounter it in real life. Unless, like that intern, they're just looking for the nearest vending machine.