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Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Olive Drops

So I took some prostate medicine for my kidney stone. Dr. Cutie Pie prescribed it to facilitate the dilating of my ureter. For the record I do not now nor have ever had a prostate. Regardless. The drug information attached to the sample states: may cause a sudden drop in blood pressure, especially when you start treatment. This may lead to fainting, dizziness, or lightheadedness. The warnings go on to discuss postural hypotension. It can occur with or without warning. I am now officially the Premenopausal Poster Woman for Postural Hypotension. Which is a fancy way of saying your blood pressure falls real fast when you stand. Real fast. The smooth muscles of the bladder and ureter should relax it says. Maybe I'll relax I thought. If only.

And then after two doses, just two...... Friday night and Saturday night.

I got up early on Sunday. I did not sleep well or long. I walked with the Cat into the kitchen and got him some milk. Rotten Cat. Then I realized I was bleeding. A lot. The stone was moving? My uterus was falling out? Which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. I woke Joe and got in the shower. I told Joe I felt faint. I lost my vision first. He eased me to the tub floor. I only hit the faucet with my back. I am glad I could not see myself naked, bleeding, and unconscious in the sparkling clean tub. Not pretty at all I am sure.

That was a lot of drama for seven am. I woke wrapped in towels. Befuddled at best. I was trembling and very cold. Joe was spectacular. Always. I did not go to the doctor or the E.R. as I know exactly what they would do. Rotten Nurse. I henceforth swear off all prostate meds. Except for the five brain cells I fried I am a little frazzled but fine.

Olive Out

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bob and Sue

I drive a sweet ride. A Mini Cooper. It has that name for obvious reasons. It has a small frame, small tires, and elegant little European headlights. I put a sticker on the back window that says "actual size". I enjoy seeing peoples facial expressions when they read it. Usually they smile.

The first month we had the yellow house I was tasked with taking CC to a church activity at someones house. It was raining kittens. Darkness was about to fall. As I went out the door Joe said, "Call if you need anything". I said, "Okay, but I know exactly where I am going".

We got in the Mini. I proceeded to back off the concrete pad into the wide driveway. Several cars were in the way. I attempted to back straight out. Except the driveway is not straight. It slants ever so slightly. I backed the Mini off a ledge several feet. Enough to be in real trouble. I opened my door and saw nothing. No ground, gravel, or dirt. Just a whole lot of air. I called Joe. "I need help" I said. "Help?"said Joe. "Yes, I'm stuck in the driveway on some cliff" I said. "Your joking, you just left thirty seconds ago!" said Joe. "Nope, I need you like NOW" I said.

CC in the mean time thinks we surely are in danger. I thought for certain the Mini was. CC is above all a loyal daughter and refused to leave her Mother. Her side was on Terra firma.

Joe and his brother, Bob, bolt out the side door. Laughing. I did not see a single thing to laugh about. At that time I didn't realize the yard was terraced. I had driven off a terrace. The back left tire was not on the ground. The guys had to place wood and stuff under the tire and lift whilst I pressed the gas. All this while it was raining and raining. They were no longer laughing.

Anybody looking at the house might wonder how I did this. Especially if they drive a Fuel Sucking Pig. I mean a SUV. In fairness to all, we have a Jeep. As do Bob and Sue. I did not back into theirs that night now did I? Of all the people who potentially had to witness this it had to be them. I dedicate this post to them. I can see Sue right now peeking out the window thinking, "What has she done now? Is she going to back over Bob?". Sweet.

Olive Out

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Freak Show Scene Two

I was terribly judgemental of my fellow nurses when I started working for the Department of Corrections. I thought them to be unfeeling, uncompassionate, and unconcerned. I was wrong. I learned. Oh did I learn. It was a Saturday. Everything always happened on Saturday. I was the mental health nurse. In charge. The Crisis Stabilization Unit was off the chain. It usually was. Or I thought so anyway. I admitted an inmate who was very hostile, yelling and cussing. I don't remember his name or diagnosis. Surely he had Antisocial Personality Disorder. He could of won the prize for that disorder. A large percentage of mental health inmates have it. I think it means they need their ass kicked. But remember I am not a psych nurse. I tried to tell them I wasn't. I notified the doctor and counselor on call that the inmate was in the CSU. I gave him his meds. He took them. They don't sometimes. He was somewhat calm for about an hour. Then the freak show started. The officer called me. The inmate was bleeding. I walked down there. I peered in the little window. He was shaking and thrashing. his wrists slashed and bleeding. But how? These guys are strip searched, to include oral and other cavities. I knew something the other staff didn't as I had read his chart. He had Hepatitis B. It kept getting better and better. I had to disclose this to the officer as he was about to be directly exposed. The inmates anger was accelerating. There is a protocol for going into these cells in these situations. He clearly could cut any of us with his razor. He most surely had one.

I was no longer Nancy Nurse. I had an epiphany. He was going to pass out or calm down and lay down or we would not come in. The nurses were tough and I was getting tough. He could sling Hep. B all over, I no longer was playing his chain-gang con. I called the doctor and received instructions for inject-able meds to calm him. The officers in the mean time were dressing out in protective gear. Arm protection, knee pads and helmets with shields. I was going in ,in pj's, I mean scrubs. I had three needles and they had protective gear. All I had was gloves, a cloth gown and glasses. They would wrestle him down. Not me.

The officers went in first. Three razors were found. Three. They were small. He had swallowed and regurgitated them. Isn't that sweet? The cuts were not serious. Just enough for drama. The inmates are experts at this. He bit an officer. The doctor had us put him in leather restraints by the end of the day. I also had to put a helmet on him as he was beating his head into the floor. All of this requires pounds of paperwork, dozens of phone calls, and numerous checks on said charming inmate. After that Saturday I was a different nurse. Tougher yes. I still cared. I did not trust as much. I understood my fellow nurses to be wise in the way of prison life.

Olive Out

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Freak Show Scene One

Sometimes a person needs to choose her attitude. Whether to cry or to laugh for instance. When I transferred to work at a different state prison it was never mentioned that I would be the mental health nurse on the weekend. I would be the only one. The one in charge of all the psychiatric inmates.
 The prison has four crisis stabilization beds. Which means inmates who are suicidal, unstable, or generally terribly whacked out are placed there. Sometimes they are naked and tied with leather restraints to a mattress. An officer checks them every fifteen minutes. The nursing and medical staff checks them all the time as well. Needless to say it is a freak show. There are an additional twelve step-down crisis beds in another building the mental health staff supervises. The mental health inmate population in this prison averages around six hundred inmates. The weekend RN can be called to see any of them at any time.
The first weekend I had to work I did have the wisdom to insist that another RN orient me. I had never had mental health training outside of college.
My first day, a Saturday, a regular frequent flyer, was there. Let's call him Derrick. He was twenty years old. White, deathly so, as he had not seen the sun in many many months. His favorite distraction was masturbation. Most inmates do this. But Derrick had achieved a special status as a master at this among the staff. Dr. Tice, seventy years old, said one day that he almost envied Derrick his ability. We laughed out loud at this. I was being oriented by Linda, a RN, a character in herself. We walked back to that CSU first thing. I said hello to Derrick through the thick prison glass. He said " Shut the Hell Up You White Motherfiiing Bitch" and threw urine under the three inch space in the door onto my white shoes. I don't recall what I said to him at that moment. I did back out and clean my shoes. Linda was howling with laughter. She said that was typical and not a bad start really. Really? This is when you choose your attitude. I laughed and laughed. Then I called Joe and he laughed with me.

The remainder of that day was uneventful. I learned that everything done for the mental health patients had to be written in triplicate. That right there was worse than Derrick by far. Linda and I walked out those six locked gates with satisfaction because we finished on time. Joe was sitting in the parking lot on his big motorcycle, he took off his helmet, smiled handsomely and said "I'm here for my bitch."
Olive Out

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

We Are All Mad Here

"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.

"Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat, " we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad"

"How do you know I'm mad?" asked Alice.

"You must be." said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."

The Cheshire Cat rightfully says we are all mad here. This whole dialogue brings me to appreciate Alice in Wonderland immensely. I myself am feeling rather mad today. Trying to pass a 4mm stone through a 2mm opening. Defying the laws of physics. That's me. Not that I am brave. No bravery here. Would rather be doing eleventy thousand other things.

Dr. Cutie Pie, he is oh so handsome, says there is a fifty fifty chance I can pass this pebble. All the carnage being wrought by it is a "good sign". I was afraid to inquire about bad signs. Did I type pebble? In my narcotic-crazed mind rock is a more appro noun. The madness of the pain is difficult to describe. Passing shards of old Coca Cola bottles is close but not quite. The Cat nailed it for we all all mad here.

Olive Out

Monday, February 1, 2010

Seven Things I'm Doing Today

Today I am doing the following:

1. Roasting chicken. I might make chicken chilli later dude.

2. Doing laundry. Yucko.

3. Passing copious amounts of blood in my urine.

4. Finally passing a kidney stone?

5. Taking prescription drugs. Not enough for a stone to be sure.

6. Drinking diet green tea tangerine, who knew that existed?

7. Not going to the ER. Am not.

Olive Out