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  1. rn/writer

    The Hardest Decision I've Ever Made

    Hugs to you and the mister and the sister. Contrary to popular opinion, guilt isn't an emotion. It's a legal condition attached to a particular offense. A person isn't just guilty. They have to be guilty OF something. Looking at your situation through this lens, the only thing you're "guilty" of is wanting to do the best by all of the parties involved. You're culpable of giving your sister what she needs (non-emotional, round-the-clock supervision in a place that will help her stop hurting herself and others) instead of what she wants (free rein to feed her appetites at other people's expense). And you're guilty of wanting to preserve your marriage and your sanity. You selfish thing--NOT! Guilt, in the legal sense, is a judgment of wrong-doing, and your situation doesn't meet the requirements. What you're experiencing is regret--sadness that certain decisions had to be made and carried out. Sadness that your sister has sustained damage that you can't fix. Sadness that your needs (sanity, stability, safety) and her wants (unhealthy appetites, unreasonable loyalty, danger) rub up against each other, and choices have to be made. Sadness that you can no longer take care of her without everyone in the equation suffering and perhaps sustaining further damage. Regret is understandable. Mourning the loss of control and the ideal picture of growing older with your sister makes sense. But guilt--the condition of having committed wrong-doing--does not apply in your situation. You toughed it out with your sister far longer than most people would have. Love her where she is. Don't expect her to accept your decision without first trying to push all your buttons. When you recall her being the more capable person in your childhood, realize that you are now the big sister and you're taking care of her in the best way you know how. If she had the capacity to thank you, she would. But she doesn't, so I will. Thank you, Marla for doing what needed to be done. Hugs.
  2. rn/writer

    Saw scary situation on TV. Is this a concern in real life?

    Nursing in the military has the added dimensions of rank and subordination. Civilian hospital nurses are almost always employed by the facility they work for. Doctors can give them a hard time, but they can't normally fire them directly or mess with their licenses without going through other channels. I don't know if a military nurse can refuse a direct order. I would think there is some provision for holding off on an order the nurse knows or suspects is wrong. In civilian life, a nurse has a duty to question or refuse an order that is contraindicated. You can't expect to skate by saying, "The doctor told me to . . ." You are expected to recognize when something is truly wrong and say something about it. That said, there are still a lot of gray areas. Maybe someone with military nursing experience could enlighten us further.
  3. rn/writer

    Saw scary situation on TV. Is this a concern in real life?

    staff note: please, confine discussion to the actual situation mention in the original post. conversation about the show army wives belongs in the breakroom. to get to the breakroom, click on the link on the right side of the yellow toolbar at the top of the page. thanks.
  4. rn/writer

    More Things I Didn't Know About Having Cancer

    A thousand gentle hugs, RubyRoo. I'm so glad that you're learning to trade stoicism and your great dependability in taking care of others for the willingness to be on the receiving end for a change. I haven't experienced the C word up close and personal, but some other health challenges have given me a great appreciation for napping, taking a few well-chosen meds, and laughing. Oh, and learning to let others do some of the things I have managed in the past, even if they don't do it as "perfectly" as I might have wished. I have grown increasingly appreciative of their efforts and their kindness and the fact that they care enough to want to help me, especially when I've been a pain in the kiester. My husband could write a chapter or two on compassion fatigue. We laugh about it now (there's that need for humor again), but at the time, it wasn't quite so hilarious. We did talk about things at the time and that helped, but it's easier to feel lighthearted looking at it in the rearview mirror. Take your "vitamin A" when you're feeling dark. Nap like a little kitty, all curled up and warm. Be a silly goose when the mood hits. Dance in a soft rain. Read when you're able to concentrate. And continue to share your delightfully sparky self with us whenever you can. I'm thankful for you!
  5. rn/writer

    What gender would you prefer if you can only have one child?

    I wanted lots of boys and a couple of girls when I was growing up. The good Lord saw fit to give me just the opposite--four girls and two boys--and I couldn't be happier. I also see what's happening in male-dominated societies where the son helps to support the elderly parents and th daughter just becomes a part of her husband's family. The one-child policy has definitely curtailed population growth, but mostly that of females. Now, the imbalance is such that some wealthy families are adopting unwanted female children (or even kidnapping girls) and raising them as future brides for their sons. They see this as preferable to having the boys travel abroad and bring home "foreign" (non-Chinese) brides. As Fiona said, the main concern for me and my husband was that each child would be healthy, happy and good. We have been very blessed. I'm glad I couldn't tinker with what God and nature provided.
  6. rn/writer

    Catch Phrases, Acronyms, Quotes

    Maybe if you explain what you're trying to accomplish, we can get past our resistance to corporate scripting and actually be of some help to you. I'm trying to think of something positive to offer, but I'm not sure what your goal is.
  7. rn/writer

    It's Breast Cancer

    Here you go, Ruby. Not sure about the blue anklets, but the magic wand is a nice touchl Remember, there's no place like your home at AN.
  8. rn/writer

    Catch Phrases, Acronyms, Quotes

    I really dislike the phrase, "I have the time." Fortunately, the system I work for never mandated this saying, but plenty of places did. What bothered me about it was that even if it was an outright lie caused by ridiculous expectations and inadequate staffing, nurses were strongly encouraged to slap a smile on their faces and say it, just the same. And some were disciplined if they didn't. I wouldn't mind saying it on my own, if it were true. And I wouldn't object to saying, "I don't mind doing it for you," or, "Let me take care of that," or something similar that conveys my willingness to help a patient. Just don't staff short and then require me to lie! Sorry for the intensity. I'm sure that's not what you had in mind. I'll come back if I can think of anything positive to contribute.
  9. rn/writer

    It's Breast Cancer

    Forget the pink stuff. Put on Ruby slippers and dance! My aunt, who was diagnosed three years ago, has defeated the cancer as far as we know and is still going strong. She had taken care of my elderly grandmother for years. When my gma died, the caregiving was transferred to my uncle who was diabetic and had been dealing with Parkinson's disease for more than a decade. He was weakening and becoming more dependent to the point that his needs became the primary focus of my aunt's days. That final year, she could hardly leave the house. Three years ago, he died during the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. Of course, my aunt was sad, but she was also exhausted. A little less than three months later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Instead of moping and falling into depression like some in the family feared after all she'd been through, she plunged in and went at the treatment (radiation, chemo, meds) like it was a combination of boot camp and spa treatment. She approached the whole thing like it was finally her turn to be the center of attention, and we all admired and loved her for it. She and my mom (they are sisters-in-law, not sisters) had long shared a polite relationship, but they were such different personalities that they were only distant friends. My aunt's illness changed all that. They would go out for breakfast or lunch on appointment days, with my mom driving. They drank Margaritas until they got silly. They wore funny hats. They went shopping to add to my aunt's crazy sock collection. And they took great pleasure in making the hospital staff and the other patients laugh, too. After years of worrying about and doting on other people, my aunt got to be the star of this show, and she made the most of it. Whatever happens, Ruby, you are one of our shining stars. You have our prayers, our love and respect. We'll dance with you and for you, come what may. Many gentle hugs.
  10. rn/writer

    Idea about why some docs are big babies

    Some docs behave badly. But so do some nurses, plumbers, teachers, cashiers, baristas, librarians, zookeepers and airline pilots. So do some of the unemployed and the retired. I do think you have a point about the rigors of medical school and residency possibly impinging on normal social development and the acquiring of adult communication skills. But this may apply more to "old school" docs who put in longer hours and were, at times, harassed and berated by their superiors. Residency programs now limit the number of hours the baby docs are expected to work. And the hazing atmosphere is no longer the default setting for junior associates. I won't say that the negative things have completely disappeared. But they are certainly discouraged. And the younger docs are actually being taught the dynamics of effective communication--how to talk to patients and co-workers--as part of their curriculum. I guess someone twigged onto your idea that students and residents need help to avoid becoming doctors who are brilliant but abrasive. Will there still be a few bad apples. Of course. Just as there are in any profession. But the students and residents I work with now are much nicer than the ones I remember from years ago. A step in the right direction.
  11. rn/writer

    HUGE Calculator online! w/ 3 stooges sound effects

    Like this: Woo Woo Nyuk Nyuk Sound Clip and Quote Who wouldn't love to use their calculator with sounds like these coming from it? :D
  12. rn/writer

    HUGE Calculator online! w/ 3 stooges sound effects

    I was hoping for Curly's, "Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk," sound or the ripply giggle he made when tickling someone's lips. Oh well.
  13. This is good news. Thank goodness you left the door of communication open and your son felt he could reach out to you in the moment of crisis. I hope that sense of connection continues and grows. Good job, both of you!
  14. Could someone post a link to the video or a news article? Thanks.
  15. rn/writer

    "Why didn't you take your break"?

    I am fortunate to have a husband who is in the transportation field. He totally gets the concept of a time crunch and not being able to take a break at a reasonable hour. Sure, there might have been a little downtime at some point, but who wants to take their lunch break an hour into the shift? Because dh and I are both subject to mercurial circumstances that can go from decent to crazy in a matter of minutes, we don't have to explain anything. We just try to take care of each other and get the needs met after the fact. I do agree with those who have said that you need to get paid for the missed breaks if this is a regular occurrence. That, or call someone higher up the food chain to watch your patients while you get something to eat and use the bathroom. If it isn't already, being able to take reasonable breaks (or be compensated without having to beg) ought to be part of JCAHO standards. If machines are required to have regular maintenance, employees deserve realistic care, as well.