Here I Go Again, and Unfortunately I’m Not Talking About The Whitesnake Song

As my blog implies I am a traveling nurse as most of my readers and followers already know. This travel assignment that I started Monday is at a facility that I’ve worked at before. Sometimes this is a good thing and sometimes maybe not so good? Somehow or another though I’ve only been gone from there for 13 weeks, actually 15 weeks but let’s not get technical. It’s been a short amount of time. That’s my point. God? I’m so ADD I think I’ve forgotten my point? Oh yeah, my point, my point is, damn how do I do this? Ok, so it’s not been that long since I worked there! And like I was saying, somehow or another I had to go through orientation, again. Now, it’s kind of a funny thing how travel companies work sometimes. My recruiter told me that the hospital wanted me to go through orientation and they were “requiring” that I did. But, they wouldn’t pay for me to do it. Tell me this makes any sense to you because it totally doesn’t make any sense to me. If you are going to require someone to go through orientation again, that just left there after working at your facility for a year, then you sure as hell should have to pay for it. That just would make too much sense though. So, my company is having to pay me to do orientation. They didn’t require me to do it but they are paying for it. Yeah, really.

I just made it through two days of being bored out of my fucking mind. I had to sit there and listen to shit I already knew and do things I’d already done for two days. This doesn’t bode well with me. I get bored very easily and thus have always had trouble in school. I have to have something to do! I stayed in trouble in school because most of the time I was bored out of my mind! And that was when I was learning something new. Can you imagine learning something I already knew? Not good. So, I got called down for eating beef jerky. Yes, I was eating beef jerky in class. But, I mean, damn, we are all adults here! The lady offered us water, coffee, and stuff so what’s going to damage a computer faster? Water or beef jerky? I think, water. I wasn’t hurting anyone. What’s the difference between chewing gum or chewing beef jerky? Not anything except you swallow the beef jerky. Anyway, this upset me and obviously she’s a PETA supporter who has some personal vendetta against beef jerky. Obviously. Then today she was such a bitch to one of the ladies in class that I was feeling quite stabby towards her by the end of the day. I have a soft spot for more, um, mature people and she was like riding this ladies ass over every fucking thing she did. We were doing computer training and she was just being so mean to this lady. Yes, it doesn’t bother me to eat cow but it does bother me for someone to be singled out and treated differently than everybody else just because of their age. Don’t mess with my old people because I get very defensive on their behalf, I’m just warning you. That and I hate rudeness and meanness. Go get laid or something lady but don’t be a bitch! Dang!

I had been through this orientation before. It wasn’t with the same person. It was actually pleasant. Guess it just goes to show you, it’s all about attitude. If you’re going to be bitchy then don’t even do that job. Nobody likes the first day at a new place. They’re scared enough already. You don’t need to scare them anymore. That and do you really want this to be someone’s first impression of your facility? I would think not but then, what the hell do I know? Obviously not to eat beef jerky in class, now. But what else do I know? Well, I’ll tell you what I know. I know how to treat my elders with respect. I know how to treat grown persons as adults. I know that someone who just left my facility 15 weeks ago probably doesn’t need to go through orientation again. I know eating beef jerky is not going to hurt a computer. I know that I’m a grown ass adult but still get called down in class because I’m bored as fuck and make sarcastic comments and still somehow at the age of 45, get myself in trouble in class? So, I know nothing much has changed for me since second grade. Funny, once a class clown, always a class clown. Even now. Leave it to me to disrupt other people’s learning. You’re welcome. I knew you were bored anyway.

Tonight I go in and work on the floor. Yes, orienting on the floor. Stupidity again. I know I shouldn’t complain because it’ll probably be a good night and maybe not so hard? But I know how I am. I know I’ll be upset with someone trying to show me things I already know. I know I’ll roll my eyes more than once. I know I’ll be the most sarcastic person on the planet. God help my preceptor is all I can say. But, I’ll get to work with my patients and I know that, that part of my job is the reason I do my job. I like doing the actual job of nursing. I love my patients. I am there for them. That’s why I became a nurse. All the politics, paperwork, classes, computer work, and filler. That is not why I became a nurse. I became a nurse to help people. I may have to get through the fluff of all these requirements to be able to do my job. This is why I can though. I want to just be a nurse. I want patients to take care of. Sometimes I’ve questioned why in the world did I want to do this job? I guess I’m deep down a true caretaker at heart. I guess I like to help people less fortunate than me. I guess I really do love people and truly want to help them. It’s why I became a nurse.

So, this troubled, ADHD, Dyslexic, non-conformist, beef jerky eating, elder protecting, nurse has successfully made it through another orientation, after two more nights on the floor and am now ready to take care of my patients. Though this little spill has been difficult for me, it’s all going to be worth it. I do love this facility and the people I work with there. It’s a pretty good place to work but the people make it bearable. I may not be your idea of a perfect nurse and there is no perfect facility or hospital but I can tell you this. You won’t find a more dedicated nurse and you won’t find a better hospital. At least I haven’t found one yet and I’ve been traveling now for 3 years. So, all in all I’m happy to be back and looking forward to seeing all my friends I left behind. And I’m available for class disruptions, anytime, just ask.

 

My Family Disowns Me, Part Two

When I was 18 years old my dad kicked me out of the house. I knew this was coming mind you. I heard him say it since I could remember. I graduated high school when I was 17. I like to tell people that because it makes them think I’m incredibly smart. In truth, I was just born in June and my birthday fell right after graduation. So, genius? Not so much. Anyway, as I was saying my dad had threatened me with this my whole life. When you are 18 you’re  outta here! I was expecting it. It was not a surprise.

Graduation night is supposed to be one of the best nights of your teenage life. Mine was turned into a nightmare by my dad. He invited my Evil Stepmonster to attend. By this time we had actually been away from her for three years. She had mentally, physically, emotionally and psychologically abused me and my sister for five years and by that time it had all ended. My dad had either chosen to ignore it or he’s a complete and utter dumbass? Maybe both of those things are true? I still suffer the aftermath of my childhood. I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD, Anxiety, Depression, and Mood Disorder and that’s the tip of the iceberg, I’m sure. All because of my fucked up childhood. Thanks to my fucked up parents and especially thanks to my Evil Stepmonster.

Some background here. Quick synopsis of my childhood. Born, mom and dad hate each other, fight, fight, fight, put in foster home at 6 months old to a year old, mom and dad make up, get me back, fight, fight, fight, breakup, mom goes lesbian for a few months, mom decides she likes dick, mom and dad makeup, fight, fight, fight, breakup, live at grandmas with dad, mom and dad makeup, fight, fight, little sister is born, fight, breakup, makeup, fight, fight, mom leaves for another man, dad is left with us, we move in with grandma, live with her for three years, dad meets psycho bitch from hell and gets a really hot piece of ass and decides he can’t live without it, marries psycho bitch and she becomes the Evil Stepmonster, life as I know it is fucked up forever! Ok, so we will start there. My dad married this crazy bitch but no one knew how crazy she actually was. I knew the first week we were there. She came into the living room one night after I had taken a shower. I was 10 years old. She was a big woman. When I say big, I mean big. Tall big, like 6 foot and big size big, a definite plus size woman. When my dad had decided to marry her I cried all that day. Not because he was marrying someone who was not my mom. God knows, even then, I knew that, that relationship was never going to workout. I just knew that this was the end of my life as I knew it. Had she ever hit me or threatened me up to that point? No, she hadn’t. I just knew something was wrong. I’ll never forget my Aunt Brenda coming into my bedroom, which was actually just an extra bed in my grandmas room, and telling me that I was just upset because my dad was marrying someone who wasn’t my mom. Uh, no, Aunt Brenda that was totally not the fucking problem! Stupid adults. They think they know everything. You don’t! Anyway, my dad was doing this and there was nothing I could do to stop it. So yeah, my life was fucked! Like I was saying, that first night she showed her true colors was because I had hung my bath towel up and it was not straight. She leaned over me and said “You think you’re the queen of this house? You’re not! I am! And don’t you forget it! You little bitch!” Then she proceeded to beat me with her fist with body shots. She was good at covering her abuse. I was like a punching bag. She then said loudly “This is my house and I’m the queen of this house!” She had established her superiority. I knew this was going to be as bad, if not worse than I had anticipated. It wasn’t just us that she beat on. Her and my dad fought all the time. Got drunk and fought each other or more like she just beat the shit out of my dad because he wouldn’t hit a woman. He didn’t have any problem hitting me though. He had watched his dad beat his mom and he just wouldn’t hit my Stepmonster back. It was beyond a nightmare. I would say that my dad didn’t know she was beating us too but I don’t see how he didn’t know. I woke up one night to her standing beside the bunk beds. She was straggling my sister. I could her my sister choking. My sister was 4 years younger than me. So, she was like 6? I yelled as loud as I could for my dad. We left that night and went, you guessed it, back to grandmas. Then the Stepmonster called and actually talked my dad into coming back. My sister still had marks on her neck and my stupid ass father went back and took us back into that. My grandma had begged him not to take us back into that house. She begged him to just leave us there. He refused, of course and took us back to be tortured some more and possibly killed. He was thinking with his dick and not anything else.

So, my high school graduation night. He invites the bitch to come. Why in the hell was this happening to me? Then he insisted that I clean up my room. Why? Because the Evil Stepmonster could not stand anything to be out of place. This psycho bitch did white glove test after us kids had cleaned the house. I suspect he was doing this to get a piece of ass. I’m not sure but I hated him. I refused to pick up my room. He went off the deep end and beat me with the handle of the broom and left a huge bruise in the shape of the broom handle across my wrist. She attended my graduation. He got his wish. I don’t know if he got his wish of a piece of ass. But he got his wish of ruining my entire fucking night! My night. My night to walk across that stage and graduate from high school. He not only had ruined my life but he had ruined every special occasion or big moment I had ever had. I hated him. I couldn’t wait to get the hell out of his house. Gladly, I would leave. As soon as I went to graduation week with my friends in Myrtle Beach, SC. As soon as I got back I was planning on leaving. This would not be any problem. Except for I didn’t have anywhere to go. But I figured I would figure that out after the week of fun away from him and all his crazy fucked up decisions.

When I got back from the beach I was officially 18. So, time to get out. I had a job. I have always worked since I was old enough to do it. Since I was like 10 years old. I started baby sitting for neighbors and mowing yards. Been working ever since. I learned very young that if you ever want anything then you have to work. My dad sure as hell wasn’t going to give me money. So, I worked. I had a job in high school. I worked all the way through high school. Paid for my car. Bought my necessities. I don’t even have my junior year annual because I had to pay for it and I didn’t have the money. I asked my dad and he said “You work. You buy it.” and that was that. And people wonder why I don’t want to be around my dad now. Well, I guess now you know. I love my dad because he is my dad but I don’t like him, at all.

I ended up moving in with my mom. My mom is a very religious person now. She was going to church and had changed her life for the better. She was still married to my step dad. The one she left my dad and us for. Religion was working for her. She really had changed. I was actually impressed. She kept on at me and kept asking me to go to church with her. I ended up giving in. I mean it had worked for her right? Why not? What could it hurt? So, I went and I ended up liking it. The pastor was so caring and loving and for the first time in my life I felt loved. The pastor was wonderful and I ended up staying at her church. As you all know, I’m a lesbian. I ended up getting really close with one of the women who played the bass guitar at church. She played the bass guitar and opened up the services. We hung out together a lot. I have a thing for musicians. She opened up to me that she use to be a lesbian. Eventually, we ended up together. So much for “use to be a lesbian” hey y’all a tiger can’t change it’s stripes, so I’ve learned the hard way. It was the biggest church scandal in Kannapolis, NC, ever! We walked out of church together. She was eleven years my senior. Her name is Vickie. I admired a lot of things about her. One of the biggest things was she had guts. She didn’t play. If she loved someone then she would fight for them. She was not scared of anything. She stood up for me to her family. To my family. To the church people. She’d beat somebody up for talking about me. She was not a fake. She didn’t ever pretend to be someone she wasn’t. Well? Maybe playing reformed lesbian for awhile in church? We were together for 9 years. We fought like cats and dogs. The sex was good but everything else was not. She was controlling. She was very jealous. She never really trusted me. She accused me of cheating so much that I actually thought about doing it. She was abusive physically sometimes too. But then I thought, what did I expect, this was just like my parents were. This must just be the way people really are? It was a rough relationship. She had a son who was 12 years old when we got together. He hated me. It wasn’t all bad though. We had our good times. We were out of the closet. Everybody knew we were together. That was nice. She ended up going back to Church and I did too. I stayed there for another two years. Until I walked out of church again and she stayed. I would still to this day be there if she needed me. She was my first. My first woman. My first time. My first partner. My first on a lot of things. I care about her as a friend still. I don’t want to be in a relationship with her ever again, but I’d still help her if she needed me and I’d like to think she would do the same for me.

As I said it was the biggest church scandal ever when we walked out of church and turned out to be, lesbians! God forbid! My mom kicked me out of her house but I was leaving anyway. She told me I was going to hell and she pretty much disowned me. She ended up not speaking to me for six months after I left her house. I embarrassed her. I was the worst person ever. I had waltzed into church and seduced the bass player and the pastors right hand woman. I was the devil. I say that hearing Kathy Bates in the Water Boys  voice. Sorry. Anyways, I was the bad one. I had quite the reputation among church goers in that small town. So, my mom disowned me as I said, and my dad actually tried to talk me out of being a lesbian. I told him I was a lesbian when I was in the 4th grade. He didn’t believe me. He didn’t think I even knew what a lesbian was. Guess I proved him wrong? He told me we ALL had those tendencies but it didn’t mean we had to act on them. That acting on them was a choice. That’s the point of the conversation that it got weird. All I could think about was, did my dad have these tendencies? I think I probably blocked out the rest of that conversation, I’m just sayin’ people, wouldn’t you have? He called me at Vickies moms house where we were staying at that point, before we left. Due in part because her brother and mom got told we were “together” because the church people told them. And just like I said, Vickie was not having anyone saying anything about me. So, they said she could stay but I’d have to go. We both left. She gave them the choice. Either I stayed or we both left. It was a huge mess. Her and her brother ended up physically fighting. Her brother hunted me down with a gun. He was going to kill me. I remember hiding out at this guys house waiting to be told if the coast was clear. I didn’t even know the guy. He was a friend of her sisters. Waiting for the coast to be clear so I wouldn’t get shot. Yeah, it was crazy. But my family and her family had disowned us. All but her sister. She let us stay at her house until we got a place. With her and her husband and five kids. She didn’t have room but she made room. I loved her. She died young of cervical cancer. She was not only my, well, sort of sister-in-law except not in law. She was like my sister too. My sister didn’t have anything to do with me for a long long time. Even when she did finally speak to me she wouldn’t allow me to be around my neice or for my neice to be around me because I was a big fucking lesbian. Ha! How’d that work out for her? In spite of her keeping my neice away from me my neice ended up dating a woman for awhile. Hey, she can’t blame that one on me. That was all her and her straight husbands fault. Even kept her away from me when I started going back to church and was a “reformed lesbian” Scared I would make her daughter gay. Well, like I said, wasn’t me. I mean, she’s with a guy now but yeah, she went there.

So, that is the first story of my family disowning me and now we get to do it all over again. I was disowned at 19 and now I’m getting disowned again at age 44. Why? Because I’m doing it again. I’m being a lesbian. I got news for all of you. I’ve always been a lesbian. I’ve been a lesbian all my life. I know this because I had a crush on Lisa Welchel on the Mikey Mouse Club, I was 4 years old. Can’t make this shit up. I’ve tried to pray it away. I’ve tried to be someone I’m not. I can’t be reformed or delivered. The demon or spirit can’t be prayed out. I can’t practice abstinence so that I can be “right with God” I’ve already tried their way. It has never worked. It’s not gonna work now. All my friends are mostly church people. Well, were church people. They all have pretty much said that I’m, no surprise here, gonna go to hell. My mom has told me this too. She however has decided to at least talk to me but I’m still going to hell. But I know this, I was told. I know better. I know what’s right. I’m choosing to do wrong. Here we go again. My dad only calls me if he wants something. My sister is the same. My neice? Well, she and I have never really been close. She never called me to begin with. So, here I am at 44 and nothing has ever really changed. I haven’t changed in 44 years and neither has my family. I love them because they are my family but, I mean come on. Can’t we just all get along? For once in my life I’m truly happy and I can’t even share this with my family but then I think, when has my family ever been happy? Or happy for me? Never. So just like I’m not going to change being a lesbian, they aren’t going to change how they feel about me being a lesbian. I guess both parties are just going to have to agree to disagree. And so goes my disowning part two. But at this point I’m pretty much thinking, fuck them all! I don’t care anymore what anyone else thinks. I’m going to be happy. I’m not living the rest of my life hiding or pretending. Those days are gone forever! Knock, knock motherfuckers! It’s me, your lesbian daughter! I’m out of the closet and you can’t shove me back in no matter what you  think or do. It’s over folks. Like it or lump it. This lesbian has found the one that’s going to make me happy for the rest of my life. And who knows, one day I may actually marry this woman. And I think they hate me now? What’s that going to do? But I’m definitely not taking relationship advice from my parents. They never have had any success at that, themselves. At least I don’t have children to fuck up in my life. So, when they start wanting to give me advice on what to do. I just need to simply say, “Look parents and sibling. None of y’all have ever had any success at relationships. I don’t need or want your advice. Not now, not ever. And if you want to cast the blame of me being a lesbian? Go look in the mirror. And thanks to you, my wonderful loving parents for fucking me up so much that I’ve lived a completely horrible life, up until now. And you’re not going to fuck this up! Just because you all have never been happy doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be happy. So, pretty much either be happy for me or fuck off!” Sorry that that’s the way I feel, but it is.

This was a very personal post from me. Raw and unfiltered. I told myself that when I started blogging that I was going to be as truthful and as open as posssible. This is why I write like I speak. Sometimes I have a filter and sometimes I don’t. This is my life. I want to be as open and as honest as I can. But this one folks is probably the hardest one to post. It deals with some of the horrors of my past but then it ends up with the best thing that has ever happened to me, my Steph. I know, with her, I’m truly happy. I know my parents can’t mess this one up. I know that whether either one of them or my sister and neice accept me or not. She’s the one I’m going to spend the rest of my life with, regardless. Getting disowned at 19 was hard, really hard. But now, I don’t even care if they disown me. I’ve got my Steph and that’s all that really matters to me anymore. Thanks for reading my post and being supportive. I appreciate my readers more than they’ll ever know. And this is the reason I blog. To share my life with the ups and the downs, with all of y’all.

Why You Got To Be A Bitch?

Yes, I’m going there. I’m sure normal people think I’m a bitch. Let me tell you I restrain the bitch inside me. Like this morning. I really almost had to tie her up and stuff her in a padlocked trunk. For real, y’all. I’m not sure if any of my followers are nurses but if you are then you will be like, “Yes. I know what you’re talking about, girl.”. Now, as for the rest of you, you’re probably going to be like, “What the hell is this bitch bitching about?”. Guess we’ll see.

So, as nurses you have to put up with shit from everybody. I am not exaggerating. You put up with shit from co-workers, charge nurses, doctors, administration, the government, social workers,pharmacy, respiratory therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, radiology, lab, families of patients and the patients themselves. Like I said, everybody. We get picked on, spit on, hit on, cussed, yelled at, pissed on, shit on(in more ways than one), puked on, bled on, wrote up, fired, and talked to like we are 5 years old. I’m sure there is more, but I can’t think of it now, because I just worked a 12 hour shift without a break. You would think, that all of that would gain you some sort of respect. It doesn’t.

We also have so many rules. Rules are good. Especially when you’ve got people’s lives in your hands. I understand that and respect my boundaries. I may not be the best nurse or even the most compassionate nurse, but I believe I’m a good nurse. I would never do anything to intentionally harm a patient, or anybody else as far as that goes. Yes, I can be a bit of a smart ass. I admit fully to this. It’s not a secret to anyone. I am however working in the best interest of my patients. I am their advocate. And I deserve respect. I will not be belittled by some bitch that has let her title go to her head. Well, maybe I let that happen because I need a fucking job. Maybe we all let things happen because we need a fucking job.

This morning I was so offended by this person, I don’t even know who the hell she was. You see, I float. Not just in water do I float but in my job. I go to all different kinds of floors. I meet all kinds of people. I like doing this because I don’t have to get into the drama that comes with “getting to know” people. I’m not into gossip and I don’t want to know personal things about people. I’m just fine with being oblivious to who they really are. When I hear personal things about people, and I then have to talk to them. Let’s just say it’s bad. If you tell me that this person had sex with the doctor in the bathroom on B hall. Well, that’s where my mind will go, as I’m trying to act normal, in general conversation with this person. They got a bad case of athletes foot? Yeah, well from then on that person is just “Athletics foot” from then on, to me. This is why I can’t listen to gossip. I want to stop my ears up and say “La, la, la, la, I can’t hear you, la, la, la, la!”. Yes, I’m totally childish like that. Maybe this is why I get treated as such?

Let’s get to the point. Not all floors in the hospitals have a “huddle” in the mornings and evenings before the shift starts, but a lot of them do. I hate this and think it’s a complete waste of time. You see, the people who come up with this useless shit are people who don’t have to stay on schedule. After the “huddle” they don’t have to go bust ass to get patients their meds on time. They are going to go sit on their ass and make up some more fucking rules for us “workers” to follow. I honestly think they try to make our jobs as miserable as possible. I actually worked at a hospital that you weren’t allowed to sit down all day. Except for your 30 minute break. Tell me, someone sitting in their office didn’t come up with that shit? Yeah, well, you stand up for 12 hours and then tell me to do it, fucker. I know, I know, get to the point. So, in this “huddle” which is totally not following HIPPA, by the way. We listen to the charge nurse tell us, which rooms have what procedures to have done today, who is a DNR, that means they don’t want to be recessed if they die, who has Foley catheters, if anyone is going to surgery, etc., bullshit, etc.. It’s not like we aren’t about to give the oncoming nurse a total detailed report on the patients they’re getting from us. Also, HIPPA is the privacy act to protect our patients privacy. Telling room numbers, out loud, and what procedures they are having done, is a total violation of this act. Any passerby could hear that room 301 is going for a hysterectomy and she has a catheter. I mean, really, to be so anal about the rules, you sure are breaking them. Side note here. Every time I hear the word “huddle” I want to say “hut, hut!”, like Peyton Manning. Anyway, we were in our huddle this morning and had listened to all the shit we could possibly handle when, me and the nurse beside me started to speak. Then, this fucking bitch reminded us, not politely, that the huddle was not over and that we needed to stop talking and pay attention. I wanted to punch her in the fucking throat. No lie. She was such a bitch about it. She spoke to both of us like we were children. I’ve never, well, maybe not never, but close, I’ve never quite been so offended. Not only the fact that she was a complete ass about the whole thing but the fact that she did it in front of everybody else. If you want to call me out on something, at least don’t embarrass me in front of all my co-workers. I could tell this really upset the other nurse; who works on that floor all the time. Hell, it embarrassed me and I don’t work there all the time. We, obviously, thought the huddle was over. We were so wrong! And she let us know, how wrong we were. I don’t know if this woman was the director, nurse manager or educator for this floor. I do know, however, that she was a pretentious bitch. The nurse that I got caught talking with told me that, that was the way they(management) treated them all the time. I can’t believe that anyone would rule by intimidation and fear. What are we nurses or children? You shouldn’t even really talk to or treat children that way. I mean, come on. We work our asses off to take care of the patients and get all we have to get done, done. Then you want to be a bitch to us? What the hell? Show some fucking respect, why don’t you? We hold our urine all night and get bladder infections because of it, because we put our patients needs above our own. We get our patients their third ginger ale when we are dehydrated because we haven’t had a chance to drink anything, all night. We medicate people because they are in pain and work through pain ourselves. We force ourselves to come to work sick because we don’t want our co-workers to work short. We sacrifice our holidays with our families to take care of yours. And then this is the appreciation we get in return. Tell me something isn’t wrong with that picture?

I can tell you honestly that if I didn’t have a mortgage, mouths to feed(mine and my dogs and lizard), a car payment, needing a new roof on my house and wanting a new jeep, that I would have called that bitch out right there, in front of everyone. I would have shown her the same kind of respect that she showed me and my co-worker. Why you got to be a bitch? We’re all on the same team, last I checked. I have worked for some really good supervisors in my lifetime and I know what it’s like to be one, also. I can tell you now, that the best leaders are the ones who lead by example. The ones who can do your job and who have done your job. Those are the ones you look up to. Those are the ones you respect. Those are the ones you want to do a good job for. But the ones like that bitch this morning are only good at telling people what to do. They can’t do your job but they sure don’t mind telling you how to do it.

I know you all are probably thinking that I’m being overly sensitive about all this, but I’m not. I’m tired of being treated like a child. I’m tired of being treated with no respect. I’m tired of people who can’t do my job, telling me how to do my job. Lay off bitches! Unless you want to find out what I “really do” and have to do it because we all walk out on you. This other deviant nurse that was, God forbid, talking during the huddle. She told me that they never have enough help because they couldn’t keep help. I wonder why?

Why’d I go here? Well, I’m pissed off, for one thing. I’m tired for another. I’m disgusted with it all. That’s some of it, yes. The main thing, however, is that my own mother doesn’t speak to me like that and I’ll be damned if anyone else is going to. This is not going to be the end of this story. I’m not going to let this go. I think, she owes us an apology and I think she ought to have to apologize the same way she disrespected us. In front of everybody.

My precious grandma use to say to “treat people the way you want to be treated”. I guess this woman wants everyone to treat her with contempt and disrespect. I can do that. There is a nice way to say things and there is a wrong way. She chose the latter. I am so upset about this morning that I’m probably going to either tell her straight to her face, in private. Because I feel like that is the way to handle people. Not blaring out orders at you, in front of a group of your peers. Or I’m going over her head and maybe someone with more power than her will belittle and degrade her?

For those of you in healthcare, I know that you already feel my pain. For those of you who don’t, think about it. Do nurses deserve to be treated this way? Does anybody deserve to be treated this way? How would this make you feel? What would you do? Would you forgive and forget? Or would you give that bitch a piece of your mind? Would you go over her head and let administration deal with her? I’m all ears and promise not to talk before you’re done. Unless, that fact is mistakenly overlooked. Just don’t be a bitch about it, okay.

There’s Free Milk Everywhere, Y’all!

My original title for the blog was going to be ‘Where has modesty gone?’. But I think this one was more catchy. So here goes nothing.

Sorry folks but I have got to rant. I have recently been checking out dating sites. Let me tell you it has not been a good experience. I don’t know if I’m just too old or just have too much self-respect but….OH MY GOD! I was not expecting what I’ve found. I guess it’s no surprise to people who frequent these sites. Maybe they like it? I don’t. I mean, leave something for the imagination people. Don’t ask me to send you nude photos of myself because it’s not going to happen. I don’t want to see yours and I’m definitely not showing you mine. What has happened to modesty? Was it thrown out the window with the Kardashians? I can’t stand this. It is absolutely unbelievable to me that society thinks this is okay.

I’ve always been a modest person. I don’t even like to take my clothes off at the doctor’s office. I’ve never been comfortable in a bathing suit, even when I was skinny. I’ve never felt comfortable being naked in front of somebody unless we were intimate together. I hated P.E. in school simply because you had to dress and undress in front of people and God forbid take a shower with other people. This was traumatic for me. Maybe that’s why I find all this over the top, in your face exposure so disgusting? There’s something to be said for leaving a little mystery.

This epidemic is not just a generation thing or even a gender thing, it’s a society thing. People have no self-respect at all anymore. They think this type of behavior is fine. Some people may read this and say that I’m just an old fogey. Nothing could be further from the truth. I just have respect for myself and others. I don’t want to subject people to images of my vagina, breast, butt, or any other part of my anatomy that shouldn’t be displayed publicly. My face is good enough. If you don’t like my face then you don’t need to see anymore of me. I know in these days of Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest, Instagram and the like, that it might be hard not to give into peer pressure and post nude pictures of yourself. Though, this would never be a problem for me personally, but maybe it’s like smoking was back in my day? Maybe this is how it is with the younger generation? But they are definitely not the only ones. Maybe instead of trying to fit in by smoking or doing drugs, they feel the pressure to expose themselves in pictures online? I don’t know.

With all of this being said, I don’t know if I’m ready to start dating. I certainly am not ready for kissing on the first date. I’m not ready to fall into bed with anyone on the first date. I don’t even like holding hands in public. I have never been one for public displays of affection. I am not promiscuous and never have been. It’s not going to start now. Also, as a nurse I’m scared that everybody has a STD. Then these dating sites don’t help my nursing mind to disprove this fear. I feel so much older than my forty-something mind right now.

Are there any modest, humble, discreet, mysterious people left in this world? Really, are there? I hope, beyond hope that there are. Am I the only person who feels this way? Am I the only one who feels like they need to wash their eyes after flipping through these photos? Am I the only person in this world who doesn’t want to be bombarded with these images? Maybe I’m too cerebral? Maybe I’m too much of a thinker? Maybe I’m just old-fashioned? Maybe I still believe in the art of seduction and romance? Maybe I’m just being too unrealistic? Gone are the days of flowers, a box of chocolates, wine, dine, charm, opening doors, pulling out chairs, respect. Like my grandmother use to say “Why buy the cow, when you can get the milk for free?” There’s free milk everywhere, y’all! Don’t get me wrong I can appreciate the beauty of the human form but only after we are in a relationship and I want to see you naked.

I refuse to allow these things to change me, however. I will not believe that there are not others like me. I will not give up hope. I will not stoop to this level of self humiliation. I will not give up my modesty. Because I refuse to disrespect myself.

If I want to see porn, there is plenty of it free online. If I want to see naked people, there is plenty of that too. But if I want to start a relationship with somebody; then I don’t want that relationship to start with me seeing them nude. I’m just old-fashioned that way, I guess. Online dating is not for the faint of heart. That’s for sure. I imagine however, that I’m not alone. When I find my soul-mate at least I’ll know that it’s not going to be one of those people. The nude picture takers, that is. I know that no self-respecting human would do these sort of things. That and some people are just nasty. Unfortunately for the rest of us, some things just can’t be unseen. For goodness sake people put on some clothes! I prefer to buy my milk!

So, Why did you want to be a Nurse?

I get asked all the time by my patients “So, why did you want to be a Nurse?” Honestly, it wasn’t my first choice of career or even my second or third. I wanted to be a lot of different things when I was growing up. I wanted to be a Lawyer for the longest time. I didn’t want to be a lawyer though because they made a bunch of money. Though I’ve never been opposed  to making a lot of money. I wanted to be a Lawyer so I could help people. That’s the key right there. I’ve always wanted to help people or animals or both, actually. Then for a pretty short-lived phase I wanted to be a Soil Conservationist. Maybe this was because I had a crush on my teacher that taught that subject and was trying to get some attention? That was probably it but it did have to do with science and I’ve always loved science. Then I wanted to be an Interior Designer. I would have probably done well at that? I love designing in my own home now but that wasn’t really helping people. I wanted to be a Veterinarian until I found out you actually have to work on injured, hurting and sometimes dying animals and God forbid, put them to sleep. Then that idea faded as quickly as it started. Of course then there was the time when I was 16 that I wanted to be a Rockstar. I still want to be a Rockstar, by the way. I was very talented in the Arts and had even been suggested by my 9th grade Art teacher that I should attend the Winston-Salem School of the Arts. She had even written a letter of recommendation and then she spoke with my dad and that was the end of that. He was not having it. He was a single parent at that point and he wasn’t going to send his fifteen years old daughter off to live in a dorm and he surely wasn’t going to take me there and pick me up everyday. So just like everything else in my life, my dad shot my dreams down once more. Who knows where I’d be today if that would’ve happened? As you can tell Nursing was definitely the last thing on my mind.

I have a lot of issues with my dad and still do but he did work all the time, and to be fair to him, he never received any child support money from my mom. After he divorced my Evil Stepmonster and then before he married her, for 3 years, he had two girls to raise, on his own. I think now that he made a lot of questionable choices but he was doing the best he knew how to do. I do admire him for that. And while on the subject of my parents. My mom pulled a vanishing act and my parents divorced. That brings me to the reason I had an overwhelming desire in me to help people. When my mom left my dad in the middle of the night and simply left a note saying she was going to the store to buy a pack of cigarettes. I think that’s when it all started for me. She never came back. I was 7 and my sister was 3. That was when I was all of a sudden, and without warning, put into the position of a caretaker. At 7 years old I was taking care of my little sister. I was more like her mom from then on, than her sister. The strange thing was I actually liked taking care of her. I was her guardian. I looked out for her. I helped her dress. I made sure she wasn’t getting into things and making sure she was clean, safe and fed. It actually made me feel good knowing I was helping. Yeah, it all started then. That feeling you get when you know you’ve made a difference, to someone.

I heard a story one time on an awards show I was watching. It was a Teachers award show. Don’t ask, I have no idea even why I was watching it but this Teacher had won an award for being Teacher of the Year and was making an acceptance speech and it has stuck with me ever since. So, it went something like this… This man was walking down the beach at a certain time of the year. At this particular time of the year, every year thousands of starfish would wash up on the beach and because they couldn’t get back they would lay there and die. Well, this man was walking along and picking them up, one at a time and throwing them back in the ocean. This lady saw him doing this. As she approached him and asked him why was he even bothering? And told him to look around. That there was no way to save them all. What difference did it make to throw back in a few? He didn’t answer her at first and just bent down and picked up another starfish and proceeded to throw that one back into the water, that gave it life, and he turned to her and simply said “It made a difference to that one.”. After I heard that story it really touched me deeply. I realized  then that no one person can save the world but you can make a difference to “that one.”.

When I turned thirty I had an epiphany. I cried all day that day. I felt like I had not done with my life what I was supposed to do. I had a decent job. I was working for the State of North Carolina. I was a bus driver/monitor on a special needs bus. I was helping people but, what had I done with my life? I couldn’t live in poverty the rest of my life and depend on someone else to take care of me. I had to do something, but what? I started off by taking Medical Transcription. It wasn’t long before I realized I was really enjoying the “science” side of it but not so much the typing. I still can’t type correctly. I just hunt and peck really fast. So, I thought maybe something a little more in-depth. I had been a CNA for a long time at this point and done some in home care and worked at a Nursing Home. I did not want to be a Nurse. They had too much responsibility and too much paperwork. I decided I’d do something a little less stressful. I would do Dental Assisting. I applied for the program. Took the entrance test and it was going to be maybe a year before I could get in but I was on the waiting list. In the meantime I’m still taking classes and working full-time. The more I thought about Dental Assisting the worse it seemed. I’d have to work first shift and I didn’t like that. Even though driving the bus was always very early in the morning. It also had that gap in the middle of the day so I could go to school. I didn’t want to work first shift for the rest of my life though. What kind of difference was I going to make to people as a Dental Assistant? I mean some but not what I had in mind when talking about making a difference. I was at war with myself and maybe a little bit of fear was there. What if I wasn’t smart enough to be a Nurse? What if I couldn’t pass the entrance exam? I’d heard it was tough. Did I really want to be a Nurse and take on all that responsibility? I wasn’t real sure of anything but I had this drive in me that wouldn’t let up. I could really make a difference to people if I were a Nurse. So after a lot of warring within myself I thought, why not just try, and see how you do on the entrance exam? I thought that would be that because I probably wouldn’t pass and then this crazy idea of being a Nurse would be gone. I got the book to help me prepare for the entrance exam. After working in the book for sometime I really thought that there is no way that I will pass this. You had to score in the top 60 to get into the RN program and the next 30 below that would be offered to do the LPN program. Top 60 I thought. I wasn’t even going to pass so forget top 60. Maybe I should just go and try to get in somewhere else? Somewhere you didn’t have to do that ridiculous test. I did go check out another Community College and my grades and average was so good that they would immediately accept me. I didn’t want to go to that school but I had to do something. I surely wasn’t getting any younger so I had a backup plan. I’ve always been a slow reader and the test was timed. I was in the”Slow”class in the 4th grade. I was in class with the Autistic, Down Syndrome, behavioral problems, ADHD, mentally handicaped kids. I hadn’t been able to hear for years and when I finally had surgery on my ears in the 3rd grade. By then I was so far behind everyone else and I talked like someone who was mostly deaf and that is why I ended up in the TMH class. That’s what they called the class back then. It stood for Trainable Mentally Handicaped. I was called retarded and made fun of. I had to go to speech therapy all the way through the 9th grade to learn how to talk correctly again. I probably had ADHD but back then they didn’t hand out Ritalin like candy. I have dyslexia just like my dad and come to find out that was why I was never a fast reader. So here I was. The “retarded” kid. The kid who couldn’t “r-r-read”. The kid who couldn’t even say their last name correctly because it started with “L”. Here was that kid. About to take a timed test that involved reading. I was petrified of not only taking the test but of failing miserably. I wanted to just leave and forget being a Nurse. Why’d I even think I was smart enough to do this in the first place? I took the test. Then I waited. I waited for what seemed like forever to get that letter. The letter that let you know not only if you’d passed but let you know where you placed so you’d know which program you were eligible to attend. I thought maybe I should just give up this crazy idea. I mean I was working on a special needs bus with the kids that were like I use to be. I was making a difference to them. Sure, I was working two jobs and sometimes three but I was getting by. I wasn’t starving or anything. I wasn’t scared of working hard. I had worked hard all my life. I had to work if I was ever going to have anything. I had been working since I was 10. I knew I could do physical labor and if that’s what I had to do then that’s what I’d do. Then about a month after I took the test I got the letter. I was afraid to even open it. I laid it on the kitchen table and just stared at it for some time. I finally got up enough nerve to open it. I thought it was just going to say you passed or failed and this is what program you’re eligible for but that wasn’t what it said. It said what percentile you were placed in. I was actually confused. I wasn’t really clear about what it was saying. I called my best friend and asked her to look at it. When she looked over the papers she said she wasn’t sure but she thought it meant I had passed. “Whew.” I thought. Well, at least I passed. She suggested I call the school the next day and ask them exactly what it all meant. I called as soon as I got off the bus that morning and they put me in touch with one of the counsellors. I didn’t want to do the LPN program first but if that’s what I had to do then that’s what I’d do. I had prepared for the worst. I still remember the man laughing when after reading him what my paper said I told him it was okay if I had to do the LPN program first I’d just go ahead and start the next year the second half of the RN program and that was fine too. I couldn’t figure out what was so funny about what I was saying. Then he continued to chuckle as he said “Why do you think you’d have to do that?” And then he continued “You scored in the top three!” He laughed again. Wow! Not only had I passed but I was in the top three. I couldn’t believe it. I was shocked. I asked him again if he was sure. I told him my name, birthday and student number just so he could make sure that it was me we were talking about. He confirmed again laughingly that, yes, he knew all of that and yes, it was me and that I was in the top three and so I didn’t need to worry about taking the LPN program and that I was most definitely in the RN program starting this fall. I called and told my Grandma first as soon as I hung up with the humored counsellor. She however was not surprised that I had done so well and she told me that I had always been very intelligent and she knew that and that all I had needed was to be given the chance. I loved her so much. She was so proud of me. Grandma wasn’t someone who gloated but I think she called everyone she knew to tell them that I was going to be a Nurse. I lost her to Cancer the May of the year I started Nursing school. I started that August. But she knew and she was still so proud. She’d tell everybody that came in the room at the hospital that this was her granddaughter, Karen and she’s going to be a Nurse. I hadn’t even started my first nursing class but she knew. I miss her so much, still. I hope if there is life after death and it’s possible for people to see down from heaven. I hope she was there that day. At the pinning ceremony. She was the one I wanted to pin my pin on me. Something happened with our graduating class and none of us got to have anyone else pin us. The instructors did it. I was sad for the rest but I was honestly relieved for myself. All I could think of was Grandma. It made it easier not to cry when it was Mrs. Holcombe and not my dad. Not only had her granddaughter graduated but she had graduated with honors.

Well, that was how I became a Nurse but it doesn’t explain why I wanted to be a Nurse. There are a lot of reasons I wanted to be a Nurse. I wanted to help people. I like people, most of the time. I don’t like to be bored. You don’t have to worry about getting bored as a Nurse, that is for sure. I like getting to know my patients. I love hearing their stories, meeting their families, getting to hear all about their lives. What did or do they do for a living? Do they have kids or grandkids or nieces and nephews? How did they end up here at the hospital and in the area they are living in? What do they do for fun? I just love taking time to make each one feel like they’re my only patient. I know what it feels like to be scared. The hospital can be a scary place. I want to help them to be as comfortable as they can possibly be in their current situation. I love learning something new everyday. I love figuring out what’s going on in the disease process and how it’s affecting my patient. I like gross stuff. Yes, even suctioning a trach. I’m fascinated by the human body and how complex it is. I’m fascinated that we are all the same but so different. I love the feeling of accomplishment that I get when I know that I helped someone to get better and they get to go home. I like making people laugh. Laughter is the best medicine after all. I like being the one to be my patients advocate. Looking out for them and what’s best for them. I love teaching my patients things that they can do differently so this illness doesn’t bring them back to the hospital again. I love being a Nurse. Now that I am a Nurse, I can’t imagine not being a Nurse. What could I have ever been that would compare to this? Yes, I do want to go back and become a Nurse Practitioner but that’s just so I can help people more. I’ve been a lot of things in my life and have had many different jobs but I think it was all in preparation for this. Being a Nurse is what I was called to do. It’s hard, it’s physically and mentally demanding. It’s scary and overwhelming sometimes. It’s not for the faint of heart or a weak stomach. You’ll get thanked sometimes. You’ll get cursed a lot of times. You’ll save most but you’ll lose some too. You’ll never make enough money for the things you do. You’ll get tired and sick. You’ll get hit, kicked, punched, spit on, vomited on, urinated on, crapped on, smacked, called names, told that you are hated, complained about, lied on, and much more. But! If that patient stops breathing you’ll be the first one calling the code, bagging them, doing chest compressions until your arms fall off, starting IV,IO or whatever they need. Pushing that Atropine, Adenosine, Epi, Lidocaine. You’ll be the first one to visit them in the unit after they’ve made it through or you’ll be the one calling the family if they don’t. It’s not a glamorous job or even an appreciated job, most days, but it’s an important job, everyday.

“So, why did you want to be a Nurse?” I guess my answer is quite simply… Because I want to help people and make a difference. One patient at a time. “It made a difference to that one.”