Friday, October 25, 2013

Of plumbium and bidets, of subway tile and new nurses, of cabbages and kings.

This week was long. People, I tell you: wearing leads for seven hours a day, five days a week, will wear. you. the fuck. out.

Let me back up.

Sunday last I stepped through my bathroom floor. Yes, that bathroom floor. The bathroom floor that the Ex Chefboy and I spent something like six weeks demolishing and redoing. I stepped through the floor. Because it had rotted. From something. I don't know what. Don't ask me. La la la la laaaa.

Monday I started cross-training for angiography/interventional radiology/that weird place waaaaay down the hall in the basement next to the operating rooms where they make you wear hairnets, like, 24/7.

Tuesday I felt my hip joints grind in a way that I hadn't felt before.

Wednesday I was fairly confident with the charting, but still hating the leads. You try wearing ten or so poundses of lead on your top and bottom (ten pounds each, my friends) for several hours at a stretch and see how you like it.

Thursday I realized that they'd given me a male lead-vest with double shielding over the chest because nothing else would fit over my bazooms. And *that,* best-beloveds, is why aformentioned bazooms will be permanently droopy from here on out.

Today I discovered that, starting this coming week, I will be precepting a new nurse for twelve weeks. She's coming into the NCCU as a new hire. I have never, ever precepted a new person for that long. Not that I'll be doing it all by myself, but I'll be doing the majority of her  Hey Lookit This Ain't This Cool edumacation.

And at some point during this week I realized that what I want, deep in my heart of hearts, more than happiness or a living wage or a fuzzy kitten, is a bidet.

Let me back up again.

It looks like at least one of the walls and most of the floor in the bathroom is/are a total loss. That means sledgehammering and chiseling and generally demolitioning the tile out and laying new Hardi-Board and waterproof stuff. Waterproof cement board is great, and it generally works, but it's not meant to withstand the bursting of a pipe that carries Unimaginable PSI of water under said waterproof board. I had, apparently, the one situation for which RedGard and Hardi-Board are not rated.

We don't have to do everything right now. Most of the demo and reconstruction can wait over the winter, thank Frogs. I can use that time to save up my pennies and decide what I really, really want in the bathroom. Which is kind of a story in itself. . .

Seven-nearly-eight years ago, subway tile was the exclusive province of Brooklyn hipsters. Seriously: they hadn't even moved out to Williamsburg yet, and subway tile was available only by special order through the big-box stores here. It's what I wanted, but couldn't afford, so I went with Pelican 1 x 1's all over the floor and up the walls and have kind of dealt with it ever since.

Now I'm looking at subway tile. And console corner sinks. And a BIDET.

I was introduced to the miracle that is the bidet in Denmark twenty-something years ago (also: that was the last time I rode a bike. Coincidence? Maaaybe.) and reintroduced to it while visiting Pal Joey in Quebec. Bidets, People, are the shizz. Nit. I swore that my Forever Home would include a bidet in every bathroom when I had a bathroom all to myself, complete with bidet, lo those many years ago.

But putting a bidet--a real one, not one of those toilet-seat make-do's, in the bathroom would require a smaller sink. Which I'm good with. I mean, what do you use a sink for? Washing your hands, taking off makeup, brushing your teefies. That's it. Corner sink = perfectly functional situation, if it means getting a bidet.


Mmmmm. You see?

I have had fucking MOUTH CANSUH, and I will have my bidet now, thank you.

But back to the leads: I learned a whole, whole lot this week. Most of it was charting in a totally unfamilliar system, but some of it was fun stuff about how the hell G-tubes get put in, and what you have to worry about with patients who have aneurysms coiled, and how some doctors who are fine in the unit are assholes in the OR.

Most of what I learned can be boiled down to two things: If you have shoulder problems, like I do, get an apron instead of a vest. That way, the bulk of the weight can be carried around your waist rather than on your delicate bursal nerve plexus. Also, radiology techs are the coolest guys in the hospital. I worked with The Daves (two guys named Dave who are indistinguishable when in full sterile gear), and they were *so amazing.* The nurse who was training me was great, yes, but she didn't always catch all the stuff I was screwing up as I was doing it, and so couldn't correct me with a quiet word from under a mask. I brought The Daves cookies today. It was not enough.

Another thing I learned: if you really, really like your job and find interesting things in it every day, you will communicate that enthusiasm to the person you're helping out who's new. That's what The Daves and My New Pal Sherri (the nurse who trained me) and My Old Pal Andrea (the other nurse in the department) did. It was fun. And educational. And my shoulders hurt.

And one final thing I learned: If you give a woman a bidet once, she will not stop thinking about it for two decades.


Alfreda Hindbaugh said...

Oh my! You have had a pretty long week, eh? It sucks that you have to redo your bathroom floor all over again. And I second the support for the bidet!!!

bobbie said...

I'm longing for a bidet, too ~ I think they should be part of building code!!!

I could NEVAH stand to wear all that weight, so kudos to you. Fascinating area to work in...

~Kim~ said...

After using a bidet at a friend's parents swanky bathroom and nailing down the whole water temp thing (helpful note: it's better to try the cold water before the scalding hot water as no one needs a steam sterilized nether region)I was hooked too. Bathroom demo aside, consider me jealous.

clairesmum said...

I first read this as having "mouth cansuh" and therefore needing a bidet....which conjured up a couple of weird visual images before I realized I had confused "want" and " need" once again. Thanks for the chuckle at my own tricky brain. Glad you are well and busy.

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

Yes, ma'am, you deserve a bidet after all you have been thru in this last year or three. I love them personally and if there was space in my 'throom for one, et your bottom dollar there'd be a work order in and permit process started !~!

Good luck with your new preceptor. Twelve weeks and she'll be smart as a whip.

Anonymous said...

Try shrugging your shoulders up while you tighten the lead around your waist. Will float the shoulder up for you!

Cr0w$C@lling said...

Get the kind of toilet with the sink on top!

Eileen said...

Good things about a bidet? Brilliant for watering plant pots from the bottom up and washing your feet...

I live in what used to be the land of the bidet - in Italy. I haven't got one. I had the choice of a bathroom with bidet or a smaller bathroom and an en-suite shower room and second toilet. Having 2 bathrooms beats having a bidet anyday :-)

Astrid said...

Eileen, yeah, the first and only time I saw a bidet too was in Rome. I had no clue what they were for and really have not experienced the intense craving for one that Jo experiences.

Anonymous said...

Hello! ER nurse from the Pacific NW. Love your blog. We just built a house and used subway tiles from Pental. Beautiful and cost effective! We used a 3x6" matte white in the kitchen and a 4x12" gloss in the master shower.

Anonymous said...

Yaaaaay for a bidet..I want one too. We will be doing a renovation which includes a new master bath and I am getting up the balls to inform the hub I want one!
Also, lead sucks. I wear it ten hours a day, four days a week, in the EP lab. I loathe it, and my upper back between my shoulder blades gets all pins and needlesy


Anonymous said...

I just came back from Thailand where they have... the Bum Gun! AKA third world bidet.
You're welcome.