Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson....

So who hasn't heard the news today of Michael Jackson's death? Here's several ways I've heard it.

While at work, I received a text message from my sister: "This is a horrible day. MJ had a heart attack."

So I think, okay, "MJ" has to be Michael Jordan or Michael Jackson, but because my sister is a Michael Jackson fan (more like idolizes him), I think it's safe to go that route. I'm thinking it has to be minor and the press is making way too big of a deal out of it so I texted her back, saying, we will hopefully see tonight how serious it really is. To that, my sister replied, "He was in cardiac arrest." Of course, with that said, I know it was serious and most likely he could not have much longer to live. A few minutes later, I get another text from my sister, "This is officially the worst day of my life. MJ died." I asked if she was crying and she says "Duh." Don't tell her, but I'm sending her a "I'm sorry for your loss" card in the mail. Maybe I'm making too light of this situation...

Then I go into the nurses station and find out that one of my patients called out, but didn't need anything. She just announced loudly over the speaker, "I don't need anything, but I want you guys to know that Michael Jackson died." Talk about an announcement!

But, if anything, I hope that this teaches my sister she needs to be more conscious aout what she eats, especially since we had a long line of heart disease on one side of the family. She's the only one in my family that eats junkfood all the time. She's the queen of junkfood. We've been trying to get her to eat healthier, but to no avail. Maybe Michael Jackson can get through to her since he's no longer moonwalking the stages?

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Yesterday was the last day of my 11 workdays stretch and while I could complain about things that happened, I can't because I am reminded that it's not worth complaining about.

I had 3 patients to start with when I came in the morning. When I got to report on my first guy, it was pretty obvious from the report sheet that he was actively dying. We were no longer drawing labs, doing accuchecks, and no resuscitation was to be performed if he desatted or went into cardiac arrest. In other words, comfort care only.

When I walked in, I was almost horrified by the sound I heard before seeing the patient. He sounded like he was drowning in his own body. It broke my heart because no one deserves to suffer like that while dying. I suctioned as much as I could and he got the scopolamine patch (it helps decrease the secretions), but it wasn't helping. I gave him pain medicine when I felt it was needed as the octor ordered, but the horrible sound did not go away.

By the afternoon, his wife came and she lost it. I feel so bad for her. I think she was more disturbed by the sound of him suffering and didn't want him to die that way. Driven more by this wife's sadness, I talked to the doctor and he increased the pain medicine. After I gave it to him, it only took 30 minutes for his breathing to quiet. He no longer sounded like he was drowning, yet his oxygen saturation remained the same. Finally, he face looked relaxed, his body wasn't tensed up, and he looked peaceful as one should before he pass. Four hours later, I gave report to the oncoming nurse and bid my goodbye to his wife. His wife thanked me over and over for making him as comfortable as I could and for all I have done to take care of him that day.

While I am looking forward to a relaxing 3 day weekend, I know some won't have that and I can only pray that they can find the strength and comfort they need in God.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I can do it...

I am currently completing an eleven workday period. Yes, I know. 11 days straight of working? I don't know how I am surviving, but between my two jobs, they definitely help change the pace up a little bit. I just finished day #9 so I am definitely seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

But, when Saturday comes, I will not be hitting that alarm clock in the morning and I look forward to it!

Friday, May 8, 2009


While escorting my fifty year old male patient to the restroom and back to bed, I noticed he started walking back to the bed, passing the sink without using it. I stopped him and told him, "Wash your hands," not giving him any options but to do so. I was standing in the way so he couldn't go anywhere but the restroom or the sink. Of course, he asked, "What?" I just repeated my statement.

That was all it took to motivate him to get some soap in his hands and wash them. Upon completing the simple task, he turned to me and asked,

"Do I have to do that everytime now?"

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

That's all?

This past week, I went up to Wichita to accompany my grandma to her oncology appointment. On Thursday, my grandparents and I went in for the jam packed hour appointment with the oncologist. I understood pretty much everything going on, my grandma understood about 75% of what's going on, my poor grandpa- everything flew over his head. He gets confused easily now thanks to the combination of his back pain and the pain medicine he is on. The part he didn't get is why the doctor didn't come in and say, "We're going to do this and this is when we're going to do it." He probably asked us 10 times after the appointment why that didn't happen. Well, things change.

I took notes of everything the doctor had said during the appointment. When we returned to my grandparents, I typed it out and forwarded it to my grandparents, parents, aunts, and uncles since we were all helping out while she goes for treatment. I told my grandma that I sent the email the next morning and she read it, but had one little question for me (keep in mind, she's an 81 year old women):

"I read the part where the doctor said there's an average life expecancy of 5-10 years in healthy individuals. That's all?"

Of course, I started laughing a little and said, "Well, if you add 10 years to your age now, you'd be 91 years old. That's pretty good!"

I think my Grandma believes she's going to live forever, but you know, maybe it isn't a bad thing to believe in. She lives her life to its fullest and if the belief helps her do that, then so be it. At least, when she does pass away, she will have lived her life to its fullest.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Update on my grandma...

I heard from my parents tonight and we got the pathology reports back from the lymph nodes and the tumor they removed in the surgery on Monday. Prior to surgery, the doctor's discovered from one of her scans that her lymph nodes are swollen. I suspected that it was no longer Stage 2, but now Stage 3 colon cancer, and that's exactly what the pathology report shows. The only people that weren't surprised where me and my parents because they were the only people I told my "hunch" to. However, because it is a Stage 3c (early stage 3 otherwise known), there is a 75-80% of recovery with treatment. In 2 weeks, she will follow up with the surgeon and they will refer her to an oncologist then. She will most likely start chemo in 4-6 weeks after she has recovered from her surgery.

My grandma is up walking, talking, and getting back to being herself. She is expected to be home by the end of this week. Hopefully, all things will continue to go well...

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Tonight, I decided to finally go through the Mount Everest sized pile of mail I had waiting for me when I returned yesterday. A weeks' worth of mail certainly adds up! I miss the good old days when you were excited about getting mail and never getting bills!

Anyways, going through my stack of mail, I noticed one from my condo association. In the mail was a newsletter that they're not always good about putting out. They say they do it quarterly but we only get them once a year usually. I started reading this newsletter and plastered across it was news about a robbery that happened in our neighborhood recently. A Robbery??? Who would have thought my tiny neighborhood would be affected by this type of crime? When I moved in, I decided to nix the idea of getting an alarm system because we are a townhome community. If someone was going to get robbed, one of my neighbors were going to hear it through the wall! My grandma even tried to unsuccessfully get me to invest in a taser gun after getting on herself!

I still find it ironic how life can change so fast. One minute I felt so safe in my little townhome and the next, I am looking at alarm companies, trying to decide who to go with. Maybe I should invest in a taser gun like my grandma did...