Sunday, August 19, 2018

Wedding, Lael, square dancing, Vidya.

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What a fantastic weekend!  Especially since I felt like I snatched it out of the jaws of a weekend work day.  We left the house at about 11:30 and made it to the hotel in Brooklyn at 4:15 and to the party at 5 pm.  Lael and Vikram had already gotten married in a small family ceremony in Michigan around July 4th and this was the reception.  It was held at North Brooklyn Farms and it was threatening to rain a lot and a bit windy, but it only rained when were were all underneath the tent eating dinner and the wind did pick up a small tent covering the caterer's grill, but it all seemed to settle down during the festivities.  Lael was Jeremy's coworker at UCS a few years ago before she moved to NYC, and we met up with Rachel another former UCS person.  We had a long discussion about this old Domino sugar factory in the background and whether is was haunted and if we believed in ghosts.

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The beautiful bride:

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There was glorious square dancing!  We danced so much, it was a lot of fun.  Jeremy was a good sport.  The last big dance, Jeremy and I both found people we didn't know and danced with them.  This morning, at the out-of-towners brunch, Lael mentioned that she noticed that we had asked other people to dance.  I didn't think she would have noticed.  I said that I thought that was one of the things to do at weddings - to dance with people you don't know, but are kind of pre-vetted by your friends.  I might have had 4 drinks, very unusual for me, but they were very modestly poured and I felt light and less self-conscious at the party, but I didn't wake up with a terrible hangover or anything.

The first dance:



We made a quick stop in Philly on the way home to see Vidya.  The trach is completely out, he's eating proper food and he's got his totally motorized wheelchair in place.  I'm so, so impressed with the progress he's made.  Very happy to see him too.  Now, another two days straight at the hospital.  Wish me luck, I'm going to need it.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Too much work, dancing, Eliana.

OMG, we are headed to Brooklyn this weekend for a wedding and I have never, ever felt so happy to be going on vacation.  We are leaving the kids behind and I'm going to have 36 hours of my own time with my husband.  I had to finagle a Sunday off during hospital orientation which was awkward for me, but whatever, I hate hate asking for special accommodations, but it is what it is.  I'm completely overwhelmed at the hospital each shift, I feel like throwing up as I pull out of the driveway, but I'm trying to be patient with myself and not internalize the complete feeling of incompetence that occupies about 40 hours of my week.  It's not really all the things I have to learn - like yesterday, I learned to program the PCA pump to dispense dilaudid intravenously and how to hang blood - all of these tasks on their own are fine and completely easy to master, it's just the sheer volume of tasks that need to be done - I know myself and I have never, ever doubted my ability to learn quickly or my capacity for the tremendous amount of work I am capable of doing, especially in a finite amount of time (like 12 hours), but I can see now, even working at 100% capacity and efficiency, that it just isn't enough time.  Like for the dilaudid, you have to check vitals every hour for the first four hours.  To hang blood, you have to sit with the patient for the first 15 min to check for any adverse reaction and then take vitals however often and it's time sensitive, you have only a certain number of hours from leaving the blood bank to infuse the whole unit.  And then both of these tasks you have to have another nurse come into the room and read back all the labels and expiration dates and enter their passwords and crosscheck. So you can imagine if you have 5 or 6 patients, two of which have PCA pumps and one person needs two units of blood on top of all the medications and one person needs to be cleared for surgery and another person needs insulin coverage on their meals and there is just a tremendous amount of documentation that needs to happen, I'm not sure exactly how it's possible.  Each discharge takes 15-20 minutes, each admission really takes 30 minutes to do it properly and yesterday, we did two of each. I could barely just keep track of who was in which room, let alone what they were in the hospital for.  Also, even if I can control what I do, sometimes you have patients that are completely beside themselves and take up an extra 30 minutes - they need reassurance, calming down, or they just need to yell at someone and apparently that someone is you but in the process, they've pull or kinked their IVs which you need access to do the thing you need to do, then you have to call IV therapy to come in with their ultrasound machine to find a good vein.  I think in about 3 weeks, I get to do this all on my own without my preceptor, ack.  It's going to be like being pushed into a freezing cold pool when you are standing around in street clothes and flip flops drinking a beer.  It's gonna be terrifying.  Jeremy, as I leave for work, says - you aren't nervous, you are excited!  lol. 

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Since I'm working every other weekend and we lose that time together and those weekends Jeremy  has Edda in tow for much of the time, he's trying to figure out his own schedule around mine.  He accrues vacation time more quickly than I do and we don't go on vacation a lot, so he's experimenting taking half days or full days off during the week.  So yesterday on Friday, he worked from home half day and was on vacation for half the day and because he cut out the two hour daily commute, he did many of the things I usually do on a normal pre-nursing job weekday; work, get in a mid-day workout, go to the dry cleaners, go get windshield wiper fluid for the car and volunteer for the kids.  Jeremy, with whom I'm going to celebrate 20 years of marriage in a few weeks, still surprises me sometimes.  This is our sixth year of parking cars at the county fair for Vince's boy scout troop.  The grown ups mostly wave flags while standing in a single spot.  For many, many years, I've done a little dance move at my favorite spot and I entertain myself and often I get a smile or two from the drivers who drive by.  Every year, some other parents mention that they see me dancing out there and that they are looking forward to seeing that again in the coming year.  I want to emphasis that it is just a little dance move and not a full fledged dance and that it is only dancing when compared with all the other middle aged parents I'm hanging out with.  I don't know what happened this year exactly, but Jeremy (I guess inspired by the kiki challenge / drake?) took it up a notch and created basically a whole dance routine and did it continuously at his shift where not only did he get smiles, but he got reactions like - "you go!" and "for Aretha!"  And he's wearing funky socks while doing it.  And he's basically got no rhythm.  No, I take that back, he has the beat, he just can't dance as goes the saying about white men. Who is this guy?

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Thank you Eliana who came this week to watch after Edda and who'll be coming on the weekends during the school year!  Hooray!  Our childcare is set for the coming fall. 

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Crazy Rich Asians.



I went to see Crazy Rich Asians today because it was the only time this opening weekend I could fit it in and I'm doing my part to support mainstream movies with an Asian cast.  I did not enjoy the book (though I finished it) and I set my expectations low for the movie, but I was happily surprised.  I loved the movie!  You should go see it!  I swooned over seeing Singapore and thought it a bit bittersweet that I believe I will never again set foot in Singapore in my lifetime.  It was such a tough time for the family when we lived there for two years because we went thinking we'd travel all over Asia, especially India, but instead, we got Edda's Rett diagnosis there and traveled to the Children's Hospital a lot.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

On my feet, sleep safe bed, corn dog and turkey leg.

I was at the hospital all day Sat, all day Sunday and then because we had to do our 35ish combined parent hours at the fair and we don't have much time this week, both Jeremy and I signed up to work from 8:30 am to 10 pm on Monday.  Because Monday was short on parent volunteers, we ended up working a lot.  30 min in the sun, then 30 min to rest and then again and again omg. - usually, with enough parent staffing, they can manage a 30 min shift with an hour break. I was on my feet for three days straight and boy, by the time I was doing my last fair shift at 9:30pm, I was wiped out.  I felt like I should have been able to sleep soundly on Monday night, but weird things are happening to my sleep.  First, my inconsiderate dog, Maxi, woke us up at 3 am for no good reason except to want to go outside and eat some grass.  And even if I wasn't interrupted by Maxi, I feel like these days, even though my watch logs a steady 7 or 7.5 hours of sleep, my sleep is lighter somehow?  I don't get enough deep, satisfying, refreshing sleep anymore.  Frustrating.  Everyday, Jeremy and I both get up at 5:45 and the first thing that we say to each other is - did you sleep well? and often the answer is no. 

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Kuala sent a bunch of camp photos of Edda I wanted to share with you.  Camp JCC is such a wonderful opportunity for Edda, it'll be sad when she ages out.  It was a very nice summer for these two.

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We got a sleep safe bed delivered today for Edda.  It's a twin size bed that looks like furniture, but it has a motorized hospital bed mechanism under it that'll lift up the head or lift up the feet and most importantly for us, it has safety rails that go around all the sides.  We've been applying to insurance for it for a long time, I think this might have been our third go-around.  I think I try each time we are up for a new wheelchair.  Obviously, we've been denied twice before and I was not optimistic that we'd get it this time, but a few months ago, for whatever reason, it went through and here it is.  Insurance is a mysterious beast.  According to the invoice, this is a $16,404 bed.  That is almost the cost of a Honda Civic. Oh, a Honda Civic is more like $18,000.  But you could by a Honda Fit for the same $16,000.

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Vince is at the fair all week.  We got to experience a whole day with him on Monday.  Edda was at home and went to her after-care camp in the afternoon (Celebrate Ability), Eliana has moved in for the week to look after her.

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Jeremy and I managed to coordinate our breaks to coincide at the same time and we went into the fair for a quick dinner date.  We might have even held hands, lol.  I got my annual corn dog.  Jeremy got his beloved turkey leg.  We split a grilled cheese sandwich from The Big Cheese and topped it off with a shared chocolate dipped soft serve cone.  I got to see my favorite rabbit exhibit, we saw the winning quilts and pies, and got to see some kids show some kids (goats) for judging. 

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Jeremy, bless his heart, went again tonight to bump our points up to finish off our obligate hours.  He brought the kids some watermelon.

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Saturday, August 11, 2018

Yelling, poop, kiki.

Remember I said that I loved nursing and that I know it's what I'm suppose to be doing now?  I take that back tonight.  lol.  A long day.  With some yelling involved.  And poop.  There is always poop.

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We are enjoying watching the Kiki challenge!  Kiki!  Go look it up.  


Friday, August 10, 2018

JCC, MoCo ag fair, nursing update.

Today was Edda's last day at Camp JCC.  Each year is special at camp, but everyone acknowledged that this summer, at least in Kochavim, this was an amazing, unforgettable summer.  We knew that Kuala & Edda had formed a special bond and Kuala was crying and I was crying at drop-off this morning (Edda was not crying, lol).  We hugged and hoped to see each other again - though she's off to California for college and her parents are also moving to the West Coast; and so we have these moments and memories that we are part of each other's lives and then we scatter hoping to come together again someday.  After Edda and Kuala headed off to the first morning activity, I checked in with the head counselor of the Edda's group and she said in her nine years of doing this, this was the best year ever.  The kids and counselors were well matched, there was nary a parent complaint, all the counselors became good friends and helped each other out during the day.  A great summer.  Edda laughed and smiled the whole way.

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The MoCo ag fair starts today and that means that we won't see Vince for about 10 days.  He's old enough to be running the show now, he's quartermaster - in charge of equipment.  Walkie talkies, flashlights, golf carts (?).  We have to put in parent hours, but we are doing that in one straight shot on Monday.

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I'm working at the hospital both Saturday and Sunday this weekend.  Now I'm a couple weeks into the routine, I will say that I do wake up each day I have to head to the hospital full of both anxiety and determination, but more on the anxious side.  My initial gut feeling is that I don't want to go again, but I tuck that feeling aside and then keep going.  There is so much to learn; first medically: how to hang blood, which IV push meds burn when you inject them and have to be diluted, how to insert Foleys, how to do a bladder scan, that vancomycin needs a blood draw before you dose it so you know that you won't send the patient into toxicity, that lostartan is held in patients with high potassium because it's in a class of medications that are called ARBs and they exacerbate hyperkalemia, second logistically: how to print out armbands, how to call pharmacy when you are out of a med, how to send collected samples through the tube system, how to print out discharge papers, where do the empty oxygen tanks go.   I have so many stories (already) that can not be told, that are important to me and because I can't tell them, I'm afraid I will forget them.  I know this is the unit I'm suppose to be on, I have found nothing but kindness in all the other nurses and managers.  Everytime someone passes me - they ask if everything is going OK, they ask if I've had a break or a snack or taken a proper lunch.  I left my shift on Wed, even though I was tired and overwhelmed and feeling incompetent, thinking - I love this.  This is what I'm suppose to be doing right now.  Hopefully I can sustain that feeling.  Look!  I got a thank you gift from a patient's granddaughter. 

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Monday, August 6, 2018

MLK, maps and weeds.

I spoke with Paul, my running coach, this weekend to figure out how to train with the new nursing schedule. I'm not sure what I'm even training for anymore, I haven't run a race in so long.  I haven't even really strung together a good bit of training for months.  I've been hamstrung by my hamstring since the beginning of the year, everything about myself is getting older, and summer is my least favorite season to train and now I'm busier.  But we'll see.  There is a plan.  haha.  There is always plan!

I went for my regular weekend run on Sunday down at the national mall.  The local orienteering club was hosting an urban orienteering event starting at 9 am.  I was reluctant to go because, omg, it was going to be hot. And it was hot and a lot of it was a slog, but the last bit around the tidal basin when I was running through the MLK and the FDR memorials full of tourists was surprisingly moving for me.  I felt good striding through the paths, seeing all the people visiting DC and feeling more hopeful than I have in a while.

It was a super efficient run in terms of sightseeing.  I loved it!  A bunch of museums & little gardens, the Washington monument, the Vietnam memorial, the Korean War memorial, the WWII memorial, bumped into Einstein, MLK, FDR & Jefferson.  A bit over 7 miles, all under 2 hours.

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I had, on this running adventure, managed to find myself off of the printed orienteering map, so I pulled out my phone to figure out where I was and this park ranger was like - are you using MapQuest?  you can't use MapQuest!  you need a real map! and handed me a NPS map and proceeded to teach me how to use it.  I couldn't bring myself to tell him I was actually doing an activity that required me to use a map, so I listened to him show me how to orient the map to the surroundings and then to keep the water to my left to find my way back to my car.  He was very enthusiastic.  Hooray for park rangers!  He reminded me to drink plenty of water.

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out of a mountain of despair a stone of hope.  -mlk

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After I got home on Sunday, Vince and Jeremy went to my parents' house to weed.

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It was weedy and still very hot.

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In an unusual mood, Jeremy mowed the lawn and even edged it.  Crazy.  And he weeded the flower bed too.

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Vince made a rare appearance at Sunday night dinner.

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Saturday, August 4, 2018

Plumber, firehouse subs, bed.

Somehow I got on an email list for special needs families headed by a very determined mom of an autistic boy.  This is where I get my info for those sensory movies that Edda and I go to on the regular, but also, this woman basically throws a party every month for special needs families - there are water park days where she arranges for the whole waterpark to open early or late just for the families, there are trampoline parties, pizza parties, golf parties.  We don't go to these parties because some special needs kids need to burn off energy - Edda isn't one of them.  And every year she sends out lists of professionals who help out - plumbing, handyman, taxes, lawn service, babysitting, carpet cleaning.  I didn't use any of the recommendations until yesterday when I reached out to Bobby the plumber.  He showed up at 8 pm on a Friday night, proceeded to fix my 4 plumbing problems: a clogged washer drain (which was crazy stubborn), an intermittently flushing toilet, a sputtering faucet, and finally a faucet that ran backwards (hot was where cold should have been) all for $125.  I couldn't quite believe it.  Then I said - I got your name from.. and he said - Whitney, I know.  Then he cleaned up and left the house at 9:20 pm and then said, I'm gonna see someone else on Whitney's list right now and then home to bed. 

Today, Jeremy went off biking somewhere in the morning and Edda and I headed to Home Depot to get some plumbing supplies the plumber suggested and then we headed to Firehouse Subs for lunch which is in a new development across the street from the HD.  I'm always looking for new fast casual restaurants to try.  This was not ideal for us, the layout was of many movable tables that were very close to each other.  There was no way I was getting Edda to an interior table.  A lady who was just waiting for a take out order sprang up out of the chair at one of the outer tables and offered it to us.  The guy in orange in the photo below, though I could tell was slightly flustered at figuring out what to do, helped move tables to and fro and then schooched his kids in so I could three-point-turn Edda into her spot.  I'm reminded that 1) I don't take Edda out and about often enough and 2) people are usually willing to help out.

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Edda and I shared this enormous meatball sandwich which was good.  But I think it's not going to be a regular place because of the seating! 

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Jeremy got back from biking at about 2 pm. We had pizza for dinner.  Now we will go to bed at 9 pm.


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Friday, August 3, 2018

Plumbing, drop off, man-bun.

OK, the plumber is in the house right now fixing our water stuff.  One problem, the sputtering faucet was fixed by just opening the valves more.  I was slightly embarrassed that I couldn't figure that out myself.  The main problem, the non-draining washer is taking some time.  He's been up and down the stairs a bunch muttering - it's not going well, but we'll fix it.  Yipes.  I can hear the snake running down the interior walls of the first floor.  I'm glad I called someone to help me fix it.  And he's here on Friday night at 8:30 pm. 

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With Adriana off at her new job, Jeremy and I are running camp drop off.  It's amazing how much time this can take.  Even though her camp is like 15 minutes away, somehow it takes me an hour?  What am I, like a little snail driver?  Probably.

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Vince made dinner.

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With his man-bun.

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Thursday, August 2, 2018

First week, narcotics, backed up washer.

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I made it through the first week on the unit.  It's been crazy, but not at a level that was entirely unexpected by me.  I work on a standard med/surg floor.  I'll tell you that no one says that they want to work on a med/surg floor out of nursing school.  The go getters want to work on an ICU floor, the people who love babies clamor for L&D (labor and delivery) or M&B (mother and baby), a whole 'nuther subset want to work with kids.  All of these specialties would have probably meant that I would have had to work a rotating shift - half days and half nights, something I didn't think I could physically do and keep my mental sanity and not yell at my family members (it's a shame to spend all your niceness efforts (because nice takes work) on strangers and then have only not-so-nice left for your family which I know would happen if I worked nights).  A med/surg floor contains the scut work of the hospital, the census is high, the turnover of patients is quick and everyone needs something, usually all at once.  Even though no one says they want to work on this type of floor, everyone acknowledges that you get to see it all.  It used to be that all new nurses should start on a floor like this, but that is no longer the case.  Let's see - the first week: an overdosed psych patient, young patient with acute kidney failure, cancer patients in for a lumpectomy or for symptomatic treatment, diverticulitis flare up with abscess,  alcoholic with ascites, outpatient surgery patients who ended up needing a bit more monitoring before they headed home, pelvic inflammatory disease, a burst appendix, diabetic whose toes were falling off one by one and I know I'm forgetting a bunch.  It's a vast overview of what goes on with people day in and day out.  Most patients can talk to you, most patients can make it to the bathroom on their own.  Nursing is an apprenticeship and my mentor has been a nurse for 20 years, she's been on the unit for a decade.  She's great. We are not, at first glance, an obvious pairing, but I think we work well together which is a good think since I've spent more time awake with her in the past 4 days than I have with anyone else.  About 4 hours into my first shift (which really was crazy since they were short staffed), she looked at me and said - I think you're going to make it.  Not that I thought I wasn't going to make it, but I laughed said - you've known me for only 4 hours, you can't tell.  She said - oh I've trained people where I think - you are going to be fired before you'll be able to help us out.

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Narcotics are carefully counted all the time, everyday, every shift.  All the meds (not just the super addictive ones) are kept in a computerized cabinet/bin system that not only helps you not give the wrong meds out, but also keeps tracks of how many oxycontin pills are in the drawer. Each time you take meds out of the bin, you have to log in with your ID and fingerprint and give the computer a count of how many are in the bin, if the count doesn't match then I think the whole thing freezes and then they have to track down the errant pills. If you take a narcotic out of the bin, but then the patient refuses the pill, then you have to return the pill back to the robotic cabinet.  But you can't just return it under your login, you have to get another nurse to witness that you put it back with their logon & fingerprint.  There is med diversion (a fancy way of saying that staff steal oxy all the time) and they tell you at that the system can detect if you are deviating from the standard levels of taking out/returning rate on your unit.

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I pride myself in being able to fix plumbing problems, but I think I need to call in a professional.  Our washer is not draining well and ends up back filling into the utility sink.  I tried snaking it tonight, but it didn't work - I actually think I made it worse.  Boo.

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Monday, July 30, 2018

Dance, Sari, Vince is home.

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Saturday night, I headed out to Virginia to see my friend's daughter's arangetram, or debut performance in traditional Indian classical dance.  She had invited me a few months ago and I kind of understood it to be a dance recital, but I didn't quite understand that it was going to be a 2 hour solo performance with live orchestra for over 200 guests followed by a catered dinner.  It was a beautiful, beautiful performance.  I have some exposure to classical Indian music by being friends with Vidya and Kiranavali, but I've only listened to music practice in their house, never an actual performance. 

Vibha's mom is Satya and she's here with Karuna.
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Vickey and Karuna.

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When I was walking up the sidewalk to the performance hall and I saw all these colorful saris, and suddenly I remembered that I do own a sari which was given to me by a friend in Singapore and I thought ah! I should have worn my sari, I have so few chances to wear it.  But then I couldn't quite decide if I was allowed anymore to wear a sari.  Oh well, it doesn't matter, I forgot that I had one so I'll have to wait another 10 years for an occasion to present itself again.

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I went to work at the hospital on Sunday (my first day on the floor) to find out that an old classmate of mine was charge nurse!  I said - Eunice!, you're charge today? And she said - today is my first day as charge, where everyone's problems become your problems too.  And then she asked, who talked you into having your first day on Sunday of all days?  I'm said that it was a long story which doesn't need to be retold here. 

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While I was at work trying to remember that it was Sunday and not Monday, Jeremy went to pick up Vince from scout camp.  He took Edda and got there by lunchtime.

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They ate at Jimmy John's.

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And they got home!  And then I got home!  And then we are all together again.

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Saturday, July 28, 2018

Adriana!

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We went out to dinner last night with Adriana and her boyfriend, Rakesh to thank her for her two years of being part of our household and caring for Edda in the evenings (mostly Monday & Tuesday nights) and to celebrate her starting her new position as a neuro ICU nurse on Monday.  I have a general rule of only celebration on the last day and no working, but she insisted on coming back to the house and going through one more bedtime routine with Edda.  She will still be close by, so we've set a future date to catch up with our new adventures. 

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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Lunch.

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Jeremy's making my lunch these days.  For a long time, Jeremy made only his lunch.  The kids liked to buy school lunch and I put together my own lunch at home.  But then Vince wanted to bring lunch in high school (to save his $) and now I want to try dearly to not eat any donuts, cake, chocolate, etc left at the nurse's station at the hospital.  That leaves only Edda buying lunch, but now she's entering high school, maybe it's also not cool anymore also for her to buy lunch?  That would mean that Jeremy would be starting a lunch assembly line in the fall once school starts.

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Jeremy is very good at making lunch.  He thinks about packing, timing, temperature and how that influences the integrity of the sandwich. For example, yesterday he packed the sliced tomatoes in another container so I could add them to my sandwich right before I ate it so it wouldn't soggify the bread. When I make lunch for Vince when Jeremy is traveling for work, Vince can tell just by looking at the sandwich that Jeremy is out of town even if I use the exact same ingredients.  I tend to not think about how well the sandwich is stacked and I'll put all the slippery stuff in the middle and then when Vince takes a bite, all the slippery stuff just squirts out all the sides of the sandwich.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

My week.

I'm working through a week's worth of orientation at the hospital - everything from how to put out (actual) fires, to what the retirement benefits are, from where to park, to how to document an admission onto the floor.  Infection control, organ donation, risk management, etc. etc. It's a lot.  I spent 8 hours today deep into a computer system called Cerner, which is the electronic medical record system that they use to keep track of patients, orders, medications, lab results, etc.  I've seen it used many times before, but I've never had the chance to really play with it until today and it's easy to see how things can be mixed up.  The software tries pretty hard to help you out by putting checkpoints in place, but you can still make many inadvertent errors.  And the charts are tied to billing, so any error in the charting can lead to errors in billing. Of course, there was an active shooter training and the training went like this: "If there is an active shooter in the building, what should you do?"  People said "run" or "hide" or "lock the doors" and the trainer said - those are all good ideas.  And then he went on to say, "if there is an active shooter, you do what you think is the best thing for you and after it is all over, you will know that you did the best thing that you thought you should have done." 

I ended up working at a Catholic hospital, which I thought was a minus to accepting the job offer.  As I said before, I had put constraints on the job which limited where I applied to and truly, I would have preferred an academic hospital with no religious affiliation (long commute) or a hospital which downplayed their religious origins (they didn't want me, sniff).  If I had taken this job in my 20s, I would have thought the religious stuff was ridiculous.  Prayers at 8:30am / 8:30pm, every meeting starting with an intention and a cross in every room.  Though I no longer think it's ridiculous (I've softened on religion over the years, mainly because I like to believe that children who have died are all well and in heaven hanging out with Jesus and waiting to see their parents again and because many religious people have taken care of Edda over the years and I'm forever grateful for that), I thought I would find it to be a little too much for me.  But you know, it was incredibly soothing to me right now to have it said over and over again that one their core values is a commitment to the poor.  And that this core value guides them in all the decisions that they have to make.  It was so nice to not pay one bit of attention to the news and hear that the place that employs me doesn't turn anyone away and that everyone gets the same service no matter their ability to pay.  Maybe the Catholic thing isn't a minus.

With this job, I've restarted so many "regular" things - like a car commute.  The last time I commuted to a job by car was in 1999 or 2000.  It has been almost 20 years since I've had to be in rush hour traffic.  I've had jobs in the past 2 decades, but either Jeremy has carpooled with me or I've taken public transit or I've worked from home.  My commute is reasonable enough that I just get a small taste of traffic where 270 and 495 interlace, but I suspect that will disappear with nurse's hours.  I also joined a 24 hour gym right where the two freeways meet in an effort to maintain my exercise routine and I walked into the gym today at 6 am fully expecting it to be quiet and relatively empty, but it was humming with a loud-music supported boot camp complete with an encouraging and enthusiastic trainer and at least 50% of the treadmills/elliptical machines in use.  These are my people - middle aged, suburban folks getting a workout in before work.  Ha ha.  I'm exhausted.  And I haven't even started yet.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Nursing.

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I started a real full-time hospital nursing job today.  (No scrubs, not yet - all HR stuff today).  I went half time at my regular job.   I looked carefully for this job.  I wanted a short commute, days only, and as diverse a patient population and nursing staff as I could manage.  Even though logically I know everything will be fine & I will be fine, every time I settle on the fact that in about 6 weeks I'll have 5 patients who I'll have to take care of on my own, I feel like I'm going to throw up.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Vince, new neighbors.

Vince texted this photo to us today. He climbed to Viewing Rock with his friend Jack.  Ignoring the first rule of scouting - "be prepared" - they failed to bring water and Vince hiked in his Vans sneakers.  Hmmm.  This summer has reinvigorated his desire to be able to work at other scout camps including Sea Base which means he wants to do a bunch of things like lifeguarding and boat safety. 

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Our newest across-the-street neighbors invited us to their housewarming party.  They are approx. 20 years younger than us and the invitation indicated that the evening's activities were going to be ping pong and video games.  I was concerned that they were still in the furniture-acquiring phase of life and that it might be hard to find a spot for Edda to sit down.  But first, in order to find that out, we had to go through the pouring rain and up about 12 narrow and steep steps.  Challenging, but doable.

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Jeremy looks good in a floral backpack.

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They are still acquiring furniture (the whole living room is fabulously filled with only the ping pong table), but we found a seat for Edda to sit down which just happened to be the closest to the food.

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It was delicious even though Edda wasn't sure at first.

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