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dudette10

dudette10

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  1. dudette10

    What Would You Do?

    Just thinking out loud...if the patients are total care, it stands to reason that their lives have been extended due to our technologies. For those that were previously independent and are total care for the moment (trauma, post-op e.g CABG, etc.), they would most likely die within hours without continuing technology. For the ones who are chronic total care and in the hospital, they might be kept alive for longer through manual interventions, but it would just be delaying the inevitable. The scenario posed is the end of our lifestyles as we know it. Permanently. With a technology apocalypse, survival and self-preservation is priority. I will admit that all I wrote in the first paragraph is mere justification for my actions, to assuage my own guilt. But it's also very true in what would probably happen. I couldn't save these people, but I could save myself and my family. If I was the previously healthy person in that bed due to trauma or surgery, without a doubt, if I was able to express my wishes, I would want my nurse to euthanize me then go save her own loved ones. Otherwise, I would just die a slow, painful death anyway, even with her there.
  2. dudette10

    What Would You Do?

    It would take some time for people to realize what happened and that it is most likely a permanent thing. As soon as reality hit, I would steal a bike and get my ass home. There's no way I would want to be out in the open in the murder capital of the US for long. In such an extreme scenario--the ultimate scenario, really--it's survival of the fittest. However, there is a hospital about four blocks from my home. Depending on the stability of my family situation, I might check in there. I would also try to procure a gun from one of the cops that live near me.
  3. dudette10

    The worst decision I ever made.

    A couple years ago, I was diagnosed with multi-centric IDC breast cancer, and, because of my family history, I was genetically tested, and I have the BRCA2 mutation. I had lumpectomy with sentinel node biopsy (clear), double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction, tissue expander exchange, and chemo. Having waited my entire life for the diagnosis due to my extensive family history, my attitude toward the diagnosis was, "Finally! Now, lets get this over with!" My husband said I treated that year of my life like I had a very bad cold. I was inpatient for less than 24 hours for the first 3 surgeries, and, while going through chemo, I didn't miss a day of work. My only disappointment was that I felt my boobs could have been a bit bigger (LOL) because I was barely an A-cup prior to my diagnosis, and part of my pectoral muscle on the affected side had to be removed for clean margins, so I have what I term "a crater," an indentation, at the top of the affected breast above the implant. Then came the suggestion that I have a total vaginal hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oopherectomy to reduce my risk of ovarian cancer due to my genetic mutation and risk of uterine cancer due to the carcinogenic properties of one of my chemo drugs. My female oncologist, who also has a genetic mutation, had already undergone her TVH-BSO by the time she had suggested it to me, and she made no mention of the side effects of the procedure. My period had stopped shortly after my first chemo infusion, and I was started on Tamoxifen after chemo ended. I had a few mild hot flashes, but that was really it. My energy level was good, and I didn't think much of the final surgery. Once my breasts had completely healed after an in-office reconstruction of my nipples through a simple flap procedure and tattooing of my aureolas, I thought, ok, ready for the TVH-BSO. Pit was the worst decision of my life. Because it was a vaginal removal, I felt great after the surgery, and I was discharged less than 24 hours after walking in as an outpatient. No bleeding, no pain, peeing fine, out I go. The trouble started--or at least I began noticing the trouble--about six months ago. I have gained 20 pounds in a year without a change in my eating habits or activity. My hot flashes are nearly debilitating. I have had patients look at me with concern as sweat drips off my forehead, and I attempt to laugh it off without giving information. In isolation rooms, it's even worse, and I sometimes feel lightheaded and like I'm on fire! I am on 800 IUs of vitamin E and extended release Lexapro for hot flashes. Every joint south of my waist screams when I get up in the morning and after getting up from a charting session at work. I have been diagnosed with chronic posterior tibial tendinitis and a talar dome lesion in my left ankle that prevents me from being able to do weight-bearing plantarflexion and running. I have to wear high tops and a sole insert while at work to keep from limping. I had a Dexascan, and I have osteopenia. My calcium levels are fine, but it's obviously being leached from my bones. We are struggling with getting my D3 levels up, and I am now on a once-a-week prescription for 50,000 IUs of ergocalciferol and daily calcium supplements. My vagina. Oh, my vagina, how you betray me! I took a look with a mirror, and I self-diagnosed with Dr. Google that I have vaginal vault prolapse. Because of the appearance--and despite the fact that I have one of the most loving and supportive husbands who was ever created and who is yearning for me--I refuse oral sex out of embarrassment. Speaking of sex....who needs it! I have no libido, no lubrication, and mild-to-moderate dyspareunia. Orgasms are difficult-to-impossible to achieve and more than one attempted lovemaking session has ended with me crying in my perfect husband's comforting arms. Emotionally, I have become a little distant, as my husband has told me with pleading, loving eyes. There are times where I daydream of a deserted island with a good book and an iPod or hope I am scheduled for work on the day of a planned get-together. Lets not talk about sneezing or coughing and peeing a little at the same time! I am fatigued. Fatigued beyond belief. Drag myself off the couch fatigued. Not sleepy, just achy-bone tired. It takes all my energy to do laundry in a 3-level house. What's more concerning is the more frequent palpitations and unexplained shortness of breath I feel. My kids say, "Mom, are you out of breath? Let me carry that for you." The ones I've been charged to protect are now protecting me. During my last oncology appointment, all I did was cry and talk about my post-hysterectomy symptoms. Because I can't have hormone replacement, there's really nothing more that can be done! Ok, I'm done. I am unashamedly writing this because I do need a pat on the back, a cyber-hug, and some practical advice. And I end this post with tears of frustration running down my face. Thank you in advance. Just thank you.
  4. dudette10

    The worst decision I ever made.

    Thank you for this! We're in a position to pay for it out of pocket if not covered by insurance. I will talk to my oncologist about it!
  5. dudette10

    The worst decision I ever made.

    Thank you so much to both of you. Knotted, thank you also for sharing your struggles post-hyst. You are so right when you mentioned the daily struggles that well-meaning people don't fully understand. I can't blame them, of course. They are happy I beat cancer, and many of the post-hyst symptoms are just too intimate for polite conversation, ya know? It is incredibly helpful that you shared, as it makes me feel less alone. Herring, your suggestion of a support group is a good one. Maybe I will try...I'm one of those that looks warily on support groups for myself, but maybe it's time. i hope others that read this will share and not feel alone.
  6. dudette10

    Teen charged for having sex with same sex teen

    I'd also like to note that this situation is a crime in Florida, but not a crime in Georgia. Some states would consider it a misdemeanor, while other states consider it a felony. ETA: Based on other reports I've read, Hunt was arrested shortly after her 18th birthday, the parents of the younger girl knew about the relationship prior to that, and the younger girl is refusing to cooperate with authorities because she doesn't want Hunt prosecuted.
  7. dudette10

    Teen charged for having sex with same sex teen

    Even the law recognizes that consensual sex between two teenagers has special circumstances associated with it. While Hunt can still be convicted of stat rape, Florida has a so-called "Romeo and Juliet" law on the books that may not require her to register as a sex offender if convicted. This isn't all black and white, and even the law recognizes that.
  8. Every element of what frustrates nurses--and what we talk about here--is represented in this season. Corporate takeover, focus on profit, firing or demoting good, experienced nurses, understaffing, too much paperwork, etc. Either the writers read here or they have working nurses as consultants. It's eerie!
  9. dudette10

    Do the writers of Season 4 of Nurse Jackie read this board?

    Oh, yeah, there's still the completely outrageous, like even thinking of leaving the floor for an hour to attend the ultrasound for O'Hara's baby. The advocacy though? There are times I wish we could do some of the things she does without getting fired. She had Chloe and Lenny go pick up the recently widowed and just-discharged father (from another hospital) of a daughter diagnosed with a subarachnoid hemorrhage who was refusing to go into surgery because of her worry over her dad. I loved that!
  10. dudette10

    Do the writers of Season 4 of Nurse Jackie read this board?

    Not everything, as poetic license makes for good TV, but elements in all episodes were spot on, especially the tension between the new DON and the nurses regarding his ideas.
  11. dudette10

    I have cancer

    Good luck to you during this journey to recovery and survivorship! Think positively.
  12. dudette10

    Props to God, ignore the nurses

    I agree with your post (the bolded portion). Just because I'm an atheist does not mean I am anti-religion. For the record, my husband is a devout Christian of his own doctrine (but attends Catholic Mass), and he is in charge of the kids' catechism. To answer your question about how religion survives in a secular world in which most Western governments no longer have a stake in doctrine: The way that those in power use a tool is often different than the way those without power use it. It has evolved into a fulfilling spiritual lifestyle for many people, despite its political beginnings. I fear you are ignoring the current political and religious environment of some non Western countries/groups that continue to use their religions to enslave huge segments of their citizenry. Malala Yousafzai - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  13. dudette10

    Props to God, ignore the nurses

    It was always about political control and creating empires. What people were told was a way to make them fall in line to the then-current regime's way of thinking.
  14. dudette10

    Props to God, ignore the nurses

    As a recovering Catholic and current atheist, I have to respond to this. Yes, some people will interpret the Sacrament of Reconciliation as "just ask for forgiveness, and you're good to go." However, when I was a serious Catholic, I talked to priests during Reconciliation, and it is NOT meant to be that way. It is supposed to be a true Reconciliation (hence the name change from Confession to Reconciliation) with God, with yourself, with those you've wronged or hurt. It always annoyed me when people took Reconciliation extremely lightly and never grew from it. So many never did, but that was between them and their God. The funny thing is that the Sacrament of Reconciliation developed me more as a human being--even as a current atheist--than any other doctrine of my Catholic teachings.
  15. dudette10

    Props to God, ignore the nurses

    No, the "official statements" do not trump individual experience. Official statements are intellectual concepts that may or may not be practiced at the smaller community level. As an example, how do you explain the Catholic Church's support of worker rights through unionization when so many Catholic hospitals fight establishment of nursing unions tooth and nail? That's just one example, but it illustrates my point. ETA: An organization can say anything they want, but if it isn't followed through for the members of the organization, the word means absolutely nothing.
  16. dudette10

    Props to God, ignore the nurses

    Well, yes. If the body is trying very hard to die, medical and nursing interventions can stop it from happening. Sometimes, the body succeeds in dying, despite our best efforts and knowledge. (Of course, I'm not talking about medical errors and stuff like that.) If you want to praise God for the good and explain death away by saying it's God's will, that's fine by me. I just don't look at it that way. Both belief systems are perfectly acceptable to me. Only one post in this thread makes me roll my eyes so hard they might stick that way. It's the one where I (and people who believe as I do) are "pitied" for our beliefs. I don't want a believer's pity. Do believers want mine? I might be able to scrounge up enough pity if I actually cared to. ETA: Heh. I just saw that I said, "Sometimes, the body succeeds in dying..." The body will ALWAYS succeed in dying, but medicine can prevent it from happening too soon or prolong what should have already happened. We ALL die, eventually.
  17. dudette10

    Chicago Teacher's Union strike.

    I've read many parts of the current contract between the Board of Education (BOE) and the Chicago Teacher's Union (CTU), dated 2007-2012, which is available online. http://www.ctunet.com/grievances/text/2007-2012-CPS-CTU-Collective-Bargaining-Agreement.pdf?1294199486 The contract negotiations have been going on for the past year because the contract ended at the end of the past school year. --Starting salary for a bachelor's educated first year teacher in the '11-'12 year is $47,268/year for a 38-week appointment with a 5% increase to the second year (and, of course, increases for each year thereafter). Years of experience are referred to as "steps," and level of education is referred to as "lanes." There are six lanes. Bachelor's, master's, master's plus 15 sem hrs, master's plus 30 sem hours, master's plus 45 sem hours, and doctorate. Each lane also has a higher starting first-year salary. The $47,268 is the bare minimum a teacher can earn for a 38-week appointment. They are required, by contract, to receive their salaries in 26 equal payments via direct deposit. There has been much press on Mayor Emanuel's rescinding of the 4% increase. There is one important thing to note about this: the 4% increase is related to the base pay in the last year of the contract. In other words, a teacher would still get an increase for experience or higher educational level attained, even when the 4% contract increase didn't occur. A teacher did not have a flat salary for two years in a row; it increased 5% for the step up in one year experience. --Pension is calculated as 75% of the average of the last five years' salary. The salary amount above does not include pension funding. Pension funding amounts are determined by state law, currently set at 9% of annual pay. The split between BOE funding and teacher funding is negotiated by contract. Current contract has the BOE kicking in 7% of annual pay and the teacher kicking in 2%. A 3% COLA is added to all CTU pension payments every year. There is a voluntary 403(b) with no BOE match. Teachers do not participate in Social Security. By comparison, workers who participate in SS kick in 4.2% of salary with the employer kicking in 6.2%. SS is also calculated according to the average monthly income (AMI) over the 35 highest years earnings, indexed for inflation. Then, the first $767 of AMI is paid at 90%, $768-$4624 is paid at 32%, and anything over $4624 is paid at 15%. In other words, a worker today whose average salary over 35 years was $47,268 would receive $1705.08 per month at full retirement age (66 for those born between 1950 and 1960-something; after that, full retirement age is 67). If retiring at 62, you are eligible for 75% of that amount. A teacher whose average salary over the past five years was $47,268 would receive $2945.25 per month at full retirement age (60 with 20 years service). --Teachers are paid an hourly rate for after-school activities. Instructional activities earn $36.50 per hour, while non-instructional activities earn $32.50. (Instructional activities are defined in the contract, but I can't find the definition of non-instructional activities.) There is also a table of hourly compensation associated with coaching and extracurriculars, usually at the rate of $24.33/hr with a maximum number of hours per year allowed. For example, the head football coaches have max hrs of 240/year. The lowest number of max hrs is 17 hrs/year, but the number of max hours varies considerably by position. This extra compensation is not eligible for pension calculations on either the contributory side nor the annuity side. --Teachers contribute anywhere from 1.3% (single, cheapest plan) to 2.8% (family, most expensive plan) of their salaries for health benefits. However, that percent of income is based on the step and lane as of January 2007. For example, if in 2011, a teacher has seven years experience and a bachelor's degree, the contribution percentage is not based on this particular teacher's salary in 2011. Instead, the 2011 amount for healthcare contributions is based on the 2007 salary for a teacher with seven years experience and a bachelor's degree. The only way the current salary comes into play for purposes of healthcare contributions is if healthcare costs increase during the contract period. If the increase in healthcare benefits costs increase above 5%, the contribution will be based on current salary. If the increase is 1% to 5%, fifty percent of the difference between a contribution calculated at the 2007 salary and 2011 salary is added to the base contribution. However, at no time will more than 1.3% to 2.8% be the contribution rate. --In the current contract, class sizes are defined. Administrators calculate the number of teachers based on projected enrollment figures via registrations at a certain date. Unfortunately, for schools that have different proportions of students in different grade levels, this requires creative shuffling of teacher assignments. For example, in newly-opened schools, the upper grades usually have less students per graduating class than the lower grades. In those situations, you might find combined classrooms (4th graders with 5th graders) with one teacher, while the lower grades may have two teachers assigned to 1st grade. --About CPS' longer school day. In July, the agreement negotiated did not require current teachers to work the longer school day. Instead, 477 previously laid off teachers were rehired ("recalled") to pick up the extra time added to the school day. I have no idea at all how that works. The issues, according to the Chicago Tribune. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-key-issues-separating-chicago-public-schools-and-the-chicago-teachers-union-20120909,0,1256005.story My op-ed: The teachers need a new contract. A union shouldn't work without one. The negotiations needed to happen. However, the yearly salary increases are exorbitant, and I don't think most commenters on news stories understand how the increases have worked in the past. The 4% increases for the past five years didn't increase pay 4%. They increased pay by base contract pay of 4% and by step every year. For 09-10, a first-year bachelor's educated teacher with a 38-week appointment received $45,450. In 10-11, the same teacher received $49,724, an 8.6% increase. That is simply unsustainable. With these increases come increases in pension funding. So the unsustainable pay and step increases are made even more problematic by the direct increase in pension funding needs. My current tax bill shows that 52.7% went to the board of education. That 52.7% is $2804.05. That amount is less than the annual pension contribution by BOE for only one first-year teacher with a bachelor's degree in '10-'11. The property taxes on one middle-class household in Chicago can't even pay for the first year pension contribution of a newbie teacher. WHERE IS THE MONEY COMING FROM!?!?!
  18. dudette10

    Chicago Teacher's Union strike.

    Agreed. Some people would say that we're just "bitter grapes" about the pensions and benies. I disagree. It's completely about sustainability in the public sector, as you said. (GM isn't public sector, but the price of autos they make reflect the pension/benies, I'm sure.) I know exactly what my husband's private sector pension will be--about 33% of his current salary--when he retires in a few years, and we will manage, especially because our mortgage will be paid off by that time, we avoid credit card debt, and our cars are paid off right now. If you keep an eye on the future, you can plan! Anyway, it sounds like the kids will be back in school tomorrow! Delegate voting on the contract today, which sounds like a formality. From all news reports, the compensation package was decided upon early on, and the sticking point was teacher evals. I will be reading the new contract when it's posted online.
  19. dudette10

    Chicago Teacher's Union strike.

    @aknottedyarn: I'm not naive about the working poor. I put "for the most part" to show that it doesn't happen in some neighborhoods at the rate it does in other neighborhoods. (I resent the notion that I'm a "not in my backyard" type of person who clutches her pearls at the thought of my children being next to a *gasp* homeless child.) My whole point in including that was to add a preamble to my idea about teacher compensation in known dangerous schools. (Yes, there is a list, issued by the BOE!) A teacher that has one or two children at risk d/t home issues and domestic violence that one has to keep a sharp lookout to for is a lot different than having a classroom full of at-risk children whose problems are right in front of your face.
  20. dudette10

    Chicago Teacher's Union strike.

    It's the same issue with all government employees. I have a cousin who was an Illinois State Policeman, and he's been retired for about three years now. He's only in his 50s. My dad was an ISP also. He started late in life, but retired the day after 20 years of service, when he was 59. I have a friend who is a fed employee in DC. He'll also retire in his 50s. It really needs to be overhauled at some point. The pensions and benies in the public sector are simply unsustainable. Absolutely, they should have a say, but I hope they keep in mind economic conditions and the fact that all schools are not the same. I wouldn't blink an eye if someone came up with a proposal to give more compensation to teachers in rougher neighborhoods or those schools with more students who need basic remediation (e.g. large numbers of ESL kids). Karen Lewis (CTU President) talks about evals not taking into account poverty, violence, homelessness, and hunger. Yes, there are kids that deal with that every day, but not in my neighborhood! There is a huge swath of Chicago that, for the most part, doesn't have to face those issues on a daily basis. So, why are we treating all teachers the same, whether they teach at Northside Prep (the #1 high school in the district) or Kelvyn Park High School (on the list of the 38 most dangerous schools in the district). BTW, my husband graduated from Kelvyn Park, a long, long time ago when it wasn't as dangerous as it is now.
  21. dudette10

    Chicago Teacher's Union strike.

    This is informative about the teacher evaluation models that are currently being considered. Researchers blast Chicago teacher evaluation reform - The Answer Sheet - The Washington Post Here's a fox news story on the issue. Strike highlights division on teacher evaluation | Fox News On this one, I would like the BOE to concede and implement on the timetable and with the percentages set forth by state law. Apparently, the BOE is trying to implement the state-mandated evaluation system earlier than it has to and with more weight to the student test scores than the law requires. At any rate, it is certain that the law is tied to federal funds. Essentially federal government bribery of the states, and the states comply every time. As for job security, I don't understand all the issues in this one. The media is too vague. Checking "would rehire" on a laid off teacher's personnel file isn't an unusual thing. At the end of the day, I think an individual school's administration should have the final say and who they do or do not hire. If a laid off teacher wants to apply for an open position, have at it, but without guarantees. I wonder what the CTU wants and what the BOE is offering on this one.
  22. dudette10

    Chicago Teacher's Union strike.

    Herring, thanks for participating in this discussion, but bringing up tales of corruption in Chicago and Cook County doesn't address the issue at hand. Yes, those things make me angry, too, but they have nothing to do with the teachers' strike. I also have respect for what teachers do; I don't think they are leeches. However, the old contract (and what looks like will be the new contract w/ a 16% increase in base over four years) is unsustainable. The well is DRY! It's time to bring wage increases, age of retirement, and pension benefits of Chicago's public workers more in line with what the local economy can handle and the national economy is experiencing. If that means a year-by-year contract in the short term, so be it. The taxpayers of Chicago aren't an endless source of money. What did Clinton call it at the DNC? Arithmetic? Tweety, I too think they have a good package. When it comes to retirement benefits and cost of healthcare contributions, it is an amazing package. My husband was a CPS teacher in the '70s. He left the profession because he was the first out as a nontenured teacher when there was no money to pay for anyone except the tenured teachers. He taught for three years, and he was laid off every year. He was getting tired of it. I asked him today how the job was. He said, "It was a good job. The kids were all right. I made good money at the time. I was a new teacher in a new school every year, so I had a lot of lesson planning to do, but it was doable. I taught for about four to five hours a day, and the rest of the time was prep and planning."
  23. dudette10

    Chicago Teacher's Union strike.

    No, teachers did not cause the bank problem. One was federal; this is municipal. One was lack of regulatory oversight; another is union negotiations. What does one have to do with the other? We spent a whole heck of a lot of money for bad decision-making by the banks, so let's spend a whole heck of a lot of money on a union contract that is unsustainable?
  24. dudette10

    Chicago Teacher's Union strike.

    Yes, they worked their butt off all year, and they were provided a 5% step increase in the next year per contract. What they didn't get was the 4% increase in the base contract amount. I am currently reading the link you provided. Misleading. The author is including the out-of-pocket amounts and deductibles as if that is the cost of their healthcare benefits. It is not. The cost of the benefits is what I included in my post. What this author included is the entire amount that the teacher would be required to pay in a single year if they exhausted their out-of-pocket expenses associated with healthcare services. What I forgot to include in my analysis of the contract is that from 2007 until 2011, the percent of salary a teacher would have to pay for healthcare benefits actually went down year after year, as long as the costs of providing those benefits didn't increase. If the cost of providing benefits increased 6% or more is the only time that the 1.3% to 2.8% of current year salary would be applied. Everything else she wrote looks spot on. Really?! The 16% is only the base contract pay. It doesn't include step increases that are on top of the base increase. As for rising healthcare costs, please see what happened to contribution rates from 2007 to 2011. The contribution rates didn't increase, and the contribution amounts actually went down for most years. I don't think teachers are the enemy , but when they go after my pocketbook with a healthcare benefit cost and retirement package that many middle-class people can only dream of, they aren't acting like my friends, either.
  25. dudette10

    Jury duty summons!

    Can you defer until after you have been oriented to the new job? Where I live you can defer up to three times with a 90 day period between each summons. The last time I deferred due to work it was just a matter of saying, "I would like to defer," and the response was, "ok, you'll receive another one in 90 days."
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