Thursday, March 29, 2007

An Announcement From the Message Goat...


I said...AHEM!

Thank you.

Ladies, and Gentlemen, it brings me great sadness to make today's announcement about the Bohemian Road Nurse.

As you all know, Bo has been managing the Podunk Branch Office of her Road Nurse Company for a few months now and has had to deal with all kinds of ups and downs along the way. Her patience and sanity have been sorely tested a few times, and she has fretted herself to death trying to navigate her office, patients, and staff safely through those ups and downs.

And also, as you know, the world of road nursing is a nebulous and unpredictable business, habitually employing a large amount of quirky, mercurial nurses (some say they're "wild and crazy").

And, as mentioned in one of Bo's previous blog postings, one of her LVN's, Lee-Lee, was offered a job at a competitor road nurse company---and accepted the job.

When Lee-Lee left, it left Bo's office short-staffed, which caused a great hardship on the the staff who were left because it's a small office without any substitute nurses to call in whenever there's a shortage.

But every cloud has a silver lining---and I will tell you a very positive and joyful note, which is the fact that Bo was finally able to steal Belinda away from her current job at a competitor road nurse company!

So now, Belinda (who is an RN) has come to work for Bo. This was a good move for Belinda as she was not happy at her own road nurse company, even though it was a small operation which did not work her to death like the large corporate company which she, Bo and Geena-Lou all used to work at before (that horrendous company which Bo talked about in her previous blog posting called "Band of Sisters..." )

Also, Belinda and Bo have always wanted to work together again ever since they both left that above-mentioned large company.

But I'm afraid that I've also got to tell you, Ladies and Gentlemen, that it developed into quite an ugly incident when Bo stole Belinda from that other road nurse company. In fact, that company was so angry about the deed that, shockingly, they wrote Belinda a "hot" check for her last paycheck's wages.

And this did not sit well with Bo as 1) Belinda is her best friend; 2) Belinda was so broke that she had less than $100 in her bank account--- and sorely needed the money; 3) it is illegal for an employer to write a hot check for earned wages; and 4) Belinda is timid---and has a very difficult time standing up for herself in such situations.

Thus, Bo was forced to utilize her ....uh.... "biker chick personality" to obtain Belinda's rightfully earned money. I won't give you the details here except to say that the Podunk Po-Leece ended up getting involved.

And Belinda dang well got her money....

(But much as I hate to say it, I've got to admit that that Bo how to get things done, that's for dang sure. I'm sure Bo will tell you about it when she next blogs... )

Anyway, the addition of Belinda to Bo's staff was a wonderful coup which will greatly help Bo, as having an additional RN will enable Bo to have more time to perform her managerial and office duties, which have been sadly neglected lately. At first glance, Belinda's arrival definitely signalled that things were starting to look up for the little company after all those ups and downs I mentioned.

But then.... a terrible thing happened.....

The change in staff (losing an LVN and gaining an RN) meant that a reorganization of job assignments was in order . Having another RN to help perform the RN-only patient visits meant that there would be a few more "routine" patient visits that would need to be assigned to an LVN. This is because, in home health care, RN's are primarily utilized as "case managers", which means that they mostly perform certain types of specialized patient evaluations which are required by Medicare--- and those particular patient visits must be done at certain, strictly-defined intervals.

And unfortunately, these particular type of patient visits require unrealistically copious amounts of Medicare paperwork which takes up a huge part of an RN's time.

Thus, RN's necessarily perform less patient visits than do LVN's in order to give the RN time to perform all the necessary paperwork, calls/faxes to doctors, decision-making, and other "case management" duties required of that particular position's responsibilities and documentation requirements. And so, even though Belinda came to work for Bo and could help out by doing RN stuff (and also some routine patient visits), a replacement LVN would still be needed to perform the remaining patient visits that would not fit into Belinda's schedule of RN-only visits. And it really isn't that many visits--- maybe 4 or 5 a week.

Which basically meant that Geena-Lou, an LVN who has heretofore been the Office Manager, would have to occasionally go out in the field and perform those leftover patient visits. But only a few---nothing major which would interfere with her office job duties.

But upon learning of all this, Geena-Lou threw a complete "conniption fit" about it! And not only that, but she hotly declared that she "had been hired to be an office manager and was NOT going to allow the company to 'turn her back into a field nurse'"!

As you can imagine, this shocking development greatly bewildered Bo, because although Geena-Lou's primary function was office manager, it was always understood that she would go out into the field and do patient visits if necessary.

The two argued about it for days. And it caused Bo a great deal of heartache as she dearly loves Geena-Lou like a sister and simply couldn't believe that Geena-Lou would throw away their friendship and her job over a few patient visits.

Bo lost a great deal of sleep about this issue night after night, tossing and turning in bed, wondering why in the hell Geena-Lou wouldn't go along with the changes, especially since an old friend like Belinda was now going to be aboard. It just simply didn't make any sense...

And it wasn't like Geena-Lou wasn't able to be a good field nurse---hell, she, Bo and Belinda all used to work together at that former road nurse company and had all worked very well together, seeing many patients every single day.

And what's even more heartbreaking is that the three have always been good friends... through thick and thin....

Day by day, Bo tried her best to explain to Geena-Lou that allowances would be made for Geena-Lou's work load so that her having to perform patient visits would not overload her office work schedule. Bo promised Geena-Lou over and over that she would lighten her office duties--with Bo taking over doing the scheduling and auditing--- and the data entry staff at the Home Office taking over the Medicare billing functions.

But it was all to no avail. Geena-Lou steadfastly continued her rebellion and stated emphatically that she would "absolutely NOT do patient visits as she was supposed to be the office manager". This mystified Bo and the rest of the staff. Why in the world wouldn't Geena-Lou want to do a few patient visits? It didn't make sense to anybody.

Hell, Bo is the damn Branch Manager and even SHE does patient visits!

Bo tried everything with Geena-Lou....

She begged, she cried, she pleaded... She assured Geena-Lou of how much she loved her, valued her friendship, and admired her as a nurse. She practically got down on her hands and knees to PROMISE Geena-Lou that she would NEVER, EVER do anything that would make Geena-Lou unhappy in her job.

But Geena-Lou would not budge from her declaration that she would NOT do the visits.

Finally, after much heartache, lost sleep, crying, and discussion with the company's owners, Bo was forced to do something so horrendously unpleasant that she's still shedding tears over it today....

She had to fire Geena-Lou.

Okay, that is all from your Message Goat for now, Ladies and Gentlemen. Bo is trying to regain her composure after the above-mentioned incident, and she is also trying to figure out a way to find another LVN---while attempting to keep her co-workers' spirits up in the meantime. Belinda's friendship and support are a great help to her---and Belinda is also getting along famously with Jane-Anne since they are both pregnant and love to talk about "pregnancy stuff". (Bo has a sweater and a blanket on the knitting needles for both of them.)

(Bo uses her knitting as a relaxation measure, and I must tell you that, lately, those knitting needles of hers have been going back and forth so fast that I could have sworn that I saw sparks flying from them yesterday....)

Anyway, Ladies and Gentlemen, refreshments will be served in the back pasture--- and please remember to use some common courtesy and not to do "your business" in that pasture as it is the one the sheep graze in---and that means you, donkeys, as you know that Bo doesn't like donkeys or donkey pies....

That is all from your Message Goat for today....



Saturday, March 24, 2007

"Change of Shift" Nursing Blog Carnival

Hey, I'm honored to be included in this week's "Change of Shift" blog carnival posted over at "Code Blog, Tales of a Nurse" !

Thank you very much for including my post! And WOW, I'm totally amazed with your limerick ability! There's lots of good reading over there.

(Hint--I'm the "southern nurse who spins yarns"--I like that!)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Nekkid Is As Nekkid Does...

Although I don't leave Podunk often, I do love to visit my mother as often as I can.

My little Podunk is a somewhat isolated little town on what locals call one of the "wide spots in the road" along one of the many Texas Interstate Highways. But my mother lives in a larger town (which is sufficiently large enough to contain enough homes and businesses to almost look like a normal "city")

(Albeit it's not as large as medium sized cities like San Antonio or San Angelo).

It's quite a long haul in the Jeep to drive to my mother's town. And also, there's a reason I don't like to leave Podunk. It is because I'm just Podunk-i-cized enough to dislike anything which vaguely resembles the "big city".

But every now and then, when I find that I'm getting too much of the road dust, farm grit, or ranch dirt on me, I like to take a trip to see my mother. My mother's house is a beautiful oasis in the wild Texan wilderness. No matter how stressed out I get, no matter how many of life's crazy roadblocks frustrate me, and no matter how insane the inside of my brain gets----

And no matter how tired I get of rounding up errant goat escapees....

And no matter how many asshole cows sass me when I politely ask them for directions to their ranch ....

And no matter how many arrogant and stuck-up paint ponies (who look suspiciously like spotted donkeys trying to pass themselves off as paint ponies) ignore me because they think they're "cool"--- BUT THEY'RE NOT....

And even when I think I'm hallucinating because some nutty rancher decides to put a llama out in the pasture to confuse the hell out of me....

I know that I can always go to my mother's lovely house and get some much-needed peace and quiet in a beautiful setting---while immersing myself in her elegant and healing atmosphere....

My mother loves beautiful things, and thus surrounds herself with beautiful antiques and artwork. As a matter of fact, she is a bonafide artist herself. She paints in oil, she designs luxurious brocade and tapestry textile objects (cushions, ottomans, pillows), and she designs and sculpts mosaic objects. Her work is currently exhibited in two cities, and she frequently sells some of her pieces to selected customers.

Due to her collection of art, antiques, and her designs, her home is very beautiful, both inside and out--- and she frequently allows the local citizenry to organize tours of her home and gardens.

Anyhoo, in view of the fact that I'd had a couple of rough weeks, a few days ago I decided to drive down and visit my mother for a much needed "interlude of serenity". It was to be a double-treat because my sister would also be there at the time, with a friend, and subsequently we all had a merry time looking in my mother's studio at her latest artwork.

I'll show you some of her work here.

And I'll also show you the particular antique which caused a complete scandal...

Anyhoo, so I set off down the Interstate to make the trek to her house. On the way, I spotted a large cattle truck toodling down the highway. And, being the photograph hound that I am, I thought to myself: "Self, why not get a picture of this neat cow truck? Maybe those are some wimpy "big city" cows and you can show their picture to Podunk's good ole cows for a laugh, right?"

The situation appeared safe enough---I was about 85 feet from the truck and there wasn't much traffic on the road---and so I speeded up and started following it, swerving around wildly on the highway in an effort to get just the right shot with my camera---hoping like hell that there were no cops around to ticket me for tailgating or driving recklessly. And to my glee, and also due to my infamous Road Nurse Driving Skills, I finally caught up with the cattle truck---and angled myself sufficiently close enough to get a really good picture.

And it was then that I came up with The Bohemian Road Nurse's First Rule of the Road...

(I've always meant to write a "Road Nurse Rulebook" but just hadn't gotten around to it yet. But I guess I may as well start it now since I discovered this first rule--- which is also the most important rule.)

Road Nurse Rule No. One:

Never---and I mean NEVER-- get this close to a cattle truck when the damn cows are loaded in there with their butts facing towards the OUTSIDE of their truck stalls.

Because....their damn poop WILL fly onto your damn windshield, blocking your damn view and causing you to nearly have a damn accident and kill your stupid self on the damn Interstate Highway...


Those damn cows--- I think they did it on purpose because I had an argument with a hefer from Austin the other day...

(And everybody knows that an Austin hefer is a complete idgit and couldn't tell it's own butt from a hole in the ground...)

Anyway, after I stopped saying the word "damn", I kept on driving up the highway, and a couple hours later I made it to my mother's house without further mishap. And as soon as I stepped into her home's threshold I breathed a huge, pleasurable sigh of relief.....

Aaaaaahhhh...... my mother's house.....

She had made some amazing new mosaic art. What's even more amazing is that she cuts the mosaic tiles and mirrors herself. She haunts second-hand shops and antique stores for vintage china, crockery, colored glass, mirrors, and colorfully patterned dishes---which she then breaks up and cuts into mosaic tile shapes with a weird looking saw. She painstakingly cuts all that stuff into tiny,intricate pieces which she then arranges into her mosaics. She also uses "found objects" like antique jewelry, metal objects, beads, and other things to incorporate into her work. She grouts the mosaics herself with various colors of grout---and the results are always breathtaking. I'll show you some pics of her of some of her work.

Oh, and also, she had made something new for me---a "medically themed" piece---a mosaic'd crutch---which thrilled me no end! I love it so much that I am beside myself over where to hang it. It was meant to be hung upon the wall in my office at work but I love it so much that I've decided to hang it here in my apartment instead (where I am fortunate to have many other lovely things she's made me. )

Here's the crutch. It's mosaic'd but also decorated with glass flowers, mirrors, and gold tassles:

And here's a neat piece she sculpted and then mosaic'd which she keeps on a buffet in her dining room---I think it's cool.

And here's a mosaic'd tea set which sits at the foot of her bed--- where she has her afternoon tea. (Notice the "Southern Living" magazine---I told you she was a Southern Belle.)

As I mentioned, she also collects antiques. She has very good taste, but it's ecclectic. She likes a variety of styles, such as European, American, Middle Eastern---modern and primitive. And sometimes she likes to collect interesting objects such as Russian icon boxes, Middle Eastern daggers.....or religious art.

It was a piece of religious art which caused the scandal.

It happened one day at a tea-party. A group of ladies from the town's largest and most conservative Baptist church had come over to her home and, as usual, asked for a tour of her home after the tea party. As they toured, they suddenly spotted one of her latest antique acquisitions, and I will leave it to your imagination to figure out the reactions of the town's most upstanding (and prudish) church-ladies wall cherub.....(yep, that's it, up there on the wall, the little guy with the rather large, vivid red genitals).....

Um...and in case you'd like a closer look....

The resulting scandal will, I'm certain, most likely be told in Baptist Church Legend and Lore, down throughout the ages. The way I heard the story, it was one of the Church Deacons' wives, Mrs. Myriam-Esther Fligit, who, upon spying the unclothed cherub, tried to look away quickly in order to avoid appearing interested in what locals call "nekkid-ness"---but in her shock she stumbled and almost fell to the floor. She had turned pale as a ghost and became so weak in the knees that she almost fainted. But she was quickly revived by the other church ladies who fanned her vigorously with one of the art books lying on a shelf nearby. The poor woman was so utterly mortified that she never did quite regain her pink color, but I heard that she was able to compose herself and continue the tour with some degree of dignity, although I heard a rumor later that she had run right home afterwards to read Bible verses pertaining to "if thine eye offends thee" or some such (although I'm not sure that the rumor is true---Texans do like to exaggerate sometimes)....

(And I also heard that another one of the church ladies, Miss Ginny-Belle Ledbetter, suddenly disappeared during the tour and, to her chagrin, was caught in the act of gazing pointedly at the cherub's scarlet genitals---but this carnal sin wasn't gossiped about too very badly because, after all, she is a spinster--- and has most likely never even SEEN any male nekkid-ness; and thus, her curiousity is certainly understandable.)

I always love to visit my mother. I'm going to go back real soon.

Friday, March 16, 2007

If a Pinata Bursts Open But Nobody Hears It, Will Candy Still Fall Out?

Will there be horses in heaven? A
A place where all good horses go? W
Will the studs and the mares b
be running in pairs upup
up there when He gathers His fold?
Dear Lord, I’m sure needin’ to know...)

("Horses in Heaven"---don't know the author)


There's a gothic type of gloom about night-time visiting hours at small-town hospitals.

Everything seems so eerie and frightening---it almost feels like you're in the threatening preamble to some sort of bizarre slasher movie...

The lights are dimmer and the evening-shift employs fewer personnel. This means that in addition to the shadowy atmosphere, there descends a lonely, desperate feeling to the air which is exacerbated by the fact that there's only a handfull of nurses on the wards, all the administrative people have gone home, there's only a few emergency surgeries going on deep within the bowels of the OR, the cafeteria is closed, the only food available is the month-old crap in the few ICU waiting-room vending machines---and the deserted halls just flat out give me the dang creeps.

It startles me when I'm walking down a silent, dimly lit hospital hall and suddenly a stern-faced nurse or a surly-looking kitchen worker bursts out of a side door pushing a guerney or a metal cart.

And it makes me sad to walk by the ICU and hear the sorrowful bleatings of cardiac monitors and IV medication pumps.

There's also a special sadness and discomforting anticipation about waiting-vigils at the hospital bedside of a loved one--- which is what I've been doing for four nights with Jane-Anne.

It seems that on her very first OB/GYN appointment, the doctor determined that her out-of-control and brittle blood sugars were putting her unborn child (and her own health) at risk, even at this early stage. So he admitted her to the hospital, and I've been there trying to keep her in positive spirits every day. I've been going there on my lunch hours and then I go there after I get off work. And then I talk to her on the phone about 10 times a day.

While visiting her in her cramped room, I usually sit in the very uncomfortable plastic-upholstered chair next to her bed and chat her head off about mundane crap that I'm sure I've said a hundred times if I've said it once. I've also taken my knitting and gotten a lot of work done on Geena-Lou's Tiger Opal Rainforest socks and Belinda's cashmerino aran Psychedelic Baby Blanket.

I also took Jane-Anne some of my favorite gossip magazines but she said she's tired of reading about Anna Nicole and Paris Hilton. Maybe I'll go get her some fashion magazines instead.

Yesterday when I visited her, she reported that the OB/GYN had been in to see her. "It was really cool," Jane-Anne exclaimed excitedly. "She did a vaginal exam on me and said to me 'here feel this'---"

This statement caused me to practically have an apoplectic fit. As much nursing experience as I have, I haven't ever worked OB/GYN---I don't know nothing about no babies. And so stupid me just couldn't picture the whole thing and had to interrupt her...

"Feel WHAT?" I asked in utter mortification.

"The baby, you idgit!" she hollered impatiently.

I pressed on, wondering what in the hell could be gained by the gymnastics she had just told me. "How the hell are you going to stick your own hand up your own hoo-hoo to feel the baby?" I clamored, imagining a bizarre scenario with the two of them both having their hands inside Jane-Anne up to their armpits... (which, let me tell you, was a horrifying visual....)

"No no no, you idgit," she laughed. "She stuck her hand up in there only so she could press on the baby---and then I put my own hand on top of my STOMACH to feel the baby BETWEEN the two of our hands. And there it was! She even let my husband do it too."

"Oh GROSS!" squeamish me exclaimed. "And YECK! Do you mean to tell me that you're sitting there with her stupid hand up your hoo-hoo--- and y'all two are sitting there feeling your stomach.... while her hand is IN THERE? Oh, GAG ME!!!"

"You're such a prude, Bo," she declared. "And what the hell is a 'hoo-hoo' anyway?"

She was right, of course. I am a prude. I don't like doctors touching me. I don't like doctors doing anything to me, even checking my blood pressure--- MUCH LESS sticking his or her hand up into my... uh....nether regions.

And furthermore, I also don't like graphic "terminology" of the ...uh...nether regions. The term "hoo-hoo", which I learned in college, is sufficiently non-threatening enough for me to tolerate in polite conversation with a woman. (However, it would mortify me NO END if a MAN ever used any sort of a term for the uh...female nether region within my earshot...

Plus, I must admit that I was already in a sour mood because I had embarassed myself in the hospital's front lobby.

The gift shop, which is in the lobby, frequently has colorful gift displays by its entrance---and today it was a bunch of pinatas painted like barn animals, all hanging gaily from the ceiling over the entrance to the shop. I had stopped into the gift shop to buy Jane-Anne a get-well card but when I came barrelling out of the shop, in my usual all-fired hurry, I bonked my head on one of those stupid hanging pinatas---hard enough to burst the damn thing---and to my horror, a pinata-load of chocolate candies began streaming out of the thing and right onto the floor of the hospital's lobby, much to the glee of a bunch of little kids who were playing in the nearby kiddee-corral. The children immediately abandoned their "Little Golden Books" and Barbie Dolls in a heartbeat and ran over to scrabble around on the floor in a melee for the candies, which were bouncing and rolling down the hospital lobby's floorway like a thousand marbles.

"Thanks a lot, Miss Graceful," the gift shop owner remarked rudely. "It took me all morning to hang those damn pinatas and then you had to go and ruin the only one painted like a donkey."

"I hate donkeys," I sniffed with as much dignity as I could muster and stalked off with what I hoped was a reasonable sneer of "disdain"----and then hurriedly grabbed a nearby elevator to sneak out of the area just as fast as I could before anybody in authority figured out who had caused the whole pinata mess.

Pinatas indeed! What the hell would a silly donkey pinata be doing in a dang hospital gift shop? Pinatas should be hanging at a party shop somewhere. Why would ANYONE on God's Green Earth buy a dang pinata in a hospital gift shop? Why, I ask you!? What do they think---that taking a stupid pinata up to the ICU with a card that says: "Hope you get well soon" is going to enable a sick person to jump up out of their bed and start wailing away with a bat at it? In fact, the only ward that I could even CONCEIVE that there might be a legitimate reason for a pinata would be the psychiatric ward---where the patients could paint them as effigies of their worst psychiatric symptoms and then beat the bejeezus out of them as some sort of safe "anger therapy".

(It's what I'd want to do with a pinata in a psychiatric ward, but what do I know?....)

Okay, I'll get off the pinata tirade....

And also it's been a rough week at work. Lee-Lee became angry and unreasonable, acting sullen and impatient with me due to the fact that she's had to pick up some extra visits to cover for Jane-Anne's absence. And that really IRKS ME because not only did our company go out of its way to accomodate her own pregnancy problems and recent maternity leave, but her workload this week has been the same exact workload that she'll be assigned over at her new company when she begins that new job next week.

Sigh, she simply doesn't know how good she's had it here at our company---and she'll have to find it out the hard way.

Ok, I know it's sinful but I have actually put money on a group bet with my other co-workers about how long it will be before Lee-Lee quits that company once she finds out that we were telling her the dang truth about how those large, corporate road nurse companies overwork their nurses.

But what's done is done and I guess I'm just going to have to suffer with her odious mood until she leaves next week.

But there's good news! Guess what?

Remember all that praying...uh yelling....I did to the Lord?

Well, the LORD ANSWERED MY PRAYERS, hot diggity dawg!

I guess my unorthodox Him caused him to take pity on me---or else He was in a good mood or something. Because He has generously blessed me several ways this week.

First, I managed to talk Belinda into coming to work for me and fill Lee-Lee's place, yahoo!

Which will help me immensely because she is an RN instead of an LVN; thus giving me a respite from the huge, relentless load of RN-only paperwork that I've been buried under ever since Lu-Lu left. I talked Belinda into leaving her current job and so she will be joining our company on Monday. Glory halleluja---because me, Belinda, and Geena-Lou will finally, at long last, be working together again!

And the other good news is that my bosses did me a huge, unexpected favor. Remember when I had the flu last week? I missed a lot of work because of that, and since we don't get vacation or sick time I was ruefully contemplating the fact that my paycheck was going to be a small one. But when I opened the envelope holding my paycheck on payday, imagine my surprise that not only did I have a full paycheck, but there was extra money in there to boot! They'd paid me for all the days in that pay period---even my sick days--- and even threw in some more money just for the hell of it!

I thought, what in the hell? I knew I hadn't made a mistake on my time sheet....

I called my bosses to tell them they had overpaid me but they insisted it was deliberate because of how hard I'd been working lately throughout the stress of the personnel changes---and also that I'd still found the time to go be with Jane-Anne in the hospital. I almost started bawling at their generosity!

Oh yes, I almost forgot to mention---but one of the more unpleasant aspects of my week (which is one of the "personnel changes" the owners were talking about) is that I was finally forced to fire my sullen, pouting secretary. It happened on the day I politely asked her to please try and "catch up" on the huge stack of unfiled documents she'd been letting languish in the filing stack for two weeks. But when I politely asked her to do the filing, she suddenly took a hostile stance (with her hands on her hips and everything), looked me straight in the eyeballs, and made the following statement: "This filing is bullshit".

Well, now, I'll admit that she had a point. Filing is an unpleasant chore. I guess you could call it "bullshit" of sorts---but it STILL MUST BE DONE in a timely fashion. And the daily filing was her job after all. But it truth be known, it wasn't just only the filing----because her surly behavior over various other issues has been going on for weeks---in fact, she has become more of a horse's patoot by the day. Ok, so I fired her.

Now mind you, I didn't take any enjoyment out of that task, but the office was becoming very chaotic because of her behaviors. And then when I did finally ask her to leave, wouldn't you know it, but she chose to have herself a typical rowdy Texan conniption fit and began hurling and tossing things around the office (some of them at me!) and cussing.

I really didn't mind the cussing until she screamed out the statement that I "was going to go to hell" and then I decided I'd had enough. So I warned her three times that I was going to call the law if she didn't just calm down and pack her stuff quietly and go----but noooooooooooo, she continued to throw things at me and so I had to dial 911.

And the cops did come. They led her out of there in handcuffs. It was quite a scene, I'll tell you.

.... and it'll be fodder for juicy gossip in Podunk for the next 6 weeks---or at least until the next hapless person gets a DWI or horse offense on Main Street.

Ok, so the week's tally of disasters is finally over, thank God. I've managed to lose a secretary, I had to do a lot of extra work since Geena-Lou is in Houston helping her kids 'show' their goats and hefers in the livestock show, Jane-Anne has been in the hospital, and grouchy Lee-Lee's leaving us.

But all is not lost, hee hee---for I have weekend plans. I am going to make the trek to see my mother, where my sister will be visiting from Dallas. And my mother has informed me that she bought me some neat presents from her recent trip to Mexico, hot dang!

So if I can just get through this weekend without any distress calls from the on-call nurse, I'll be happy as a pig in mud.... (Speaking of pigs, I've tried to get some pictures of some pigs for my blog but those fat little curly-tailed suckers are always rooting around in low mud puddles--- and I've never been able to catch one venturing out of their puddle who's been in the mood to pose for me....)


Saturday, March 10, 2007

Band of Sisters...

I need a hero, I'*

I'm holding out for a hero

"til the morning light, H*

He's gotta be sure, A*

And it's gotta be soon, A*

And he's gotta be larger than life...


("Holding Out For A Hero", Bonnie Tyler)


Well they didn't have to shoot me after all---I seemed to have recovered from the flu, although, in the immortal words of my cowboy doctor, there were some moments there that I thought I'd have to "just plumb die in order to get any better" .....

And the weather seems to be improving. The dogwoods are blooming today, which has cheered me up immensely in the face of the 3-foot high pile of paperwork that is sitting on my desk.

Actually, maybe me having the flu was a boon---in order to keep me from stewing about the tumultuous word of road nursing and all the problems I've had brewing at the office lately. Which is a nice way of saying: "If it ain't one dang thing it's another".

Last week our company experienced a couple of shocking "bombshells" which definitely left us all reeling.

The first shock was hearing that Jane-Anne is pregnant...

Yes, it's true. When an excited Jane-Anne phoned us from her doctor's office to tell us the news, both Geena-Lou and I almost fell over our desks in twin faints. The minute I hung up the telephone, both of us let out bloodcurdling screams of despair. And that is because despite two doctors sternly warning her against getting pregnant in this first year of her very brittle diabetes, Jane-Anne claims that she and her husband experienced an "oops" moment in their method of birth control which resulted in a pregnancy.

Geena-Lou and I (as well as Jane-Anne's entire family) have been afraid of this scenario for months.

Although pregnancies are usually celebrated affairs, the announcement of Jane-Anne's pregnancy smacked everyone over the head like wooden two-by-fours. In fact, when the owners of our company (Jane-Anne's aunt and uncle) heard the news, Jane-Anne's aunt bawled like baby and her uncle stood silent in mute terror. Nevertheless, what's done is done. And so we have all set about the daily task of praying to the Lord for Jane-Anne's precarious health.

Before you get impatient with all of us busy-bodies for butting into Jane-Anne's personal business, let me just tell you that it isn't only for Jane-Anne's health that we're fretting. The other reason is because of her lack of health insurance and the possible financial cost of such a complicated pregnancy.

Jane-Anne makes meager wages as an LVN--but although meager, those wages are enough to disqualify her from receiving Medicaid assistance. And her OB/GYN doctor immediately demanded the sum of $3,600.00, up front, for the 9 months of prenatal care (which although mercifully discounted, is still a staggering sum for Jane-Anne)---but which does not not include the ultimate hospital cost. A conservative estimate of the hospital cost for delivery of a child will range anywhere from $10,000 to a whopping $40,000--if there are no complications.

And Jane-Anne's young, still-just-a-boy husband makes even punier wages at his part-time manual labor job---also with no health insurance. And then there will be the cost of daycare once the baby is born. I guess the only thing we can do now is hope like hell that the Lord starts listening to all of our prayers, BIG TIME.

LORD? I'm talking to You--are Ya listening?

Anyway, that was the first shock of the week. My next problem is our other LVN, Lee-Lee, who slayed me with the declaration that she has accepted a job with one of the two "big name" road nurse companies which operate multiple branch offices up and down this stretch of the Interstate Highway in this region.

"Lee-Lee", a rookie LVN, has been with our company for a little less than a year. She's only got about 2 1/2 years of total nursing experience, 11 months of it in road nursing here at our organization. But she is a fairly competent, dependable, and pleasant young nurse--- and our patients love her. I sorely hate to lose her.

But Lee-Lee's got "stars in her eyes" to work for one of the "big shot companies". For some reason, she thinks it would be a feather in her cap to command the higher salary and "famous name" on her resume of such a large, nationally-known corporate organization. She's seen their snazzily-uniformed nurses zipping around town carrying their monogrammed nurse bags. But worse, she evidently has not heeded either mine, Geena-Lou's, or Belinda's frequent warnings about our past experiences with a similar company just down the road from us.

Both Geena-Lou and I have valiantly tried to impress upon both Lee-Lee and other young road nurses just exactly how harsh, brutal, and impersonal the working conditions are at such companies, and how those outfits treat their employees with absolutely no respect, no dignity, and routinely schedule them for work hours which are humanly impossible to achieve. Those jobs are generally considered by those "in the know" as deplorable at best. And believe me, I am not exagerrating here.

But those type of companies offer the magic word around here: Health Insurance---which is a scarce commodity in Podunk's isolated rural environment.

And those companies are only able to offer such perks as health insurance by manipulation of the Almightly Dollar, which always translates into two things. One: slave labor for the nurses. And two: huge profits which enable the company administrators to drive fancy Mercedes, take frequent ski trips to Aspen, spend thousands of dollars on television advertising, outfit the nurses in fancy, embroidered employee uniforms---you get the picture? And the ones who suffer are the road nurses who are regularly abused in the pursuit of those profits.

You might think that such corporate practices couldn't possibly exist in the 21st century, but they do---right here in Podunk, where a "good job with health insurance and a retirement plan " is a dearly sought-after commodity, something for which a lot of desperate people will willingly endure inhuman conditions.

Geena-Lou and I--- and also my buddy Belinda--- all used to work together at such a fancy outfit up the street. And we all three have all vowed solemn oaths that we'd never go back to that miserable life of medieval drudgery--- even if it meant that we'd have to leave town to work elsewhere. We solemly count our lucky stars that we each managed to snag our jobs here at small, family-owned organizations which pay us fair wages and treat us humanely (me and Geena-Lou here at this company, and Belinda about an hour up the road at another small company) even thought it meant the terrible loss of health insurance. It was a matter of physical and mental survival. In case you think I'm exagerrating, let me explain.

Geena-Lou, Belinda and I don't like to talk about those days at the "other company" very often---because when we do, it brings back some very sorrowful memories...

The branch office we three worked at operates their patient case-load among various small towns scattered around a 75-mile radius of Podunk. The three of us worked alongside an eager bunch of other road nurses, RN's and LVN's---all of us strongly in need of a good job with health insurance. And we felt lucky to have landed our jobs at the big company---and we subsequently found ourselves working like indentured slaves to keep it.

As for myself, I needed the job because after years of Emergency Room work, I had finally "burnt out" of the heartbreak of daily trauma work in ER/Trauma Centers. And so I had returned to my country roots at my beloved Podunk in a desperate bid to start over and live a calmer life--- while trying to stay away from my old nemesis, alcohol. I had set about the task of trying to hang on to my sobriety by working as a road nurse by day and attending rural Alcoholics Anonymous meetings by night. It was a tremulous arrangement because my enemy, liquor, has a long memory and is very patient...

Belinda and Geena-Lou needed the job equally desperately because nobody else in Podunk would hire rookies. And on top of that, they each had piles of unpaid bills, husbands, and children to take care of. Their husbands' paltry wages in Podunk's local construction/utility outfits were woefully insufficient to support their families.

Anyway, there we were. And that huge road nurse company worked us like dogs, day by day, month by month, with never any respite. The company management was notoriously hard-lined and unforgiving about any deviation from the pre-set road nurse schedules---even a 15-minute absence wasn't tolerated. You were expected to get your work done in a 7.5 hour work day, but the company DID NOT PAY "overtime" wages if you worked past that 7.5 hours! And on a daily basis we were given work loads that took at least 10-12 hours a day to complete-- and yet we were only payed for that basic 7.5 hours!

If it sounds illegal---it is.

But we had no choice but to endure it.

Each day, and although the company's official "opening hour" was 8:00 am, we left our homes at around 6:30 a.m. and frantically began logging in the day's required miles in order to get our patient visits done. And then each night we stayed up late finishing the required paperwork. This pace never varied. We neglected our homes, health, and families to do this because the company balked at granting sick leave, vacation time, or even personal time to attend doctor's appointments, take care of sick family members, or anything else. Absences or tardies were not tolerated.

Even if a nurse did manage to gain an "approved" absence from a supervisor in order to attend a doctor's appointment or something, this "occurrence" was met with the threat of losing one's job or the loss of any future pay-raises---because five "occurrences" in a calendar year meant the definite loss of an annual pay raise.

Logging 500 miles on the road per week was not unusual for any one of us. And so, we basically worked till we dropped, every day and most nights. Before we knew it we had become chronically fatigued, mentally exhausted, and sadly neglectful of ourselves and our families. And yet we patiently awaited that magic moment every other Friday when we collected our paychecks--- upon which were written the magic words "health insurance deduction".

Our families developed the habit of constant bitter complaining about the fact that none of us were ever home for weekends or holidays--- and that if they wanted to talk to us they had to call us on our cell phones while on the road or at the office. But the Road Nurse Company was our Master and we willingly sold our souls to them, never stopping long enough to realize just how pathetic our lives had become.

The Company frowned on close friendships---I guess because they simply didn't want us to compare notes or become organized enough to complain about working conditions. But fortunately, there wasn't a damn thing they could do to prevent the solid and enduring friendship that arose between Belinda and me.

Belinda and I began our friendship, perhaps, due to the fact that we were "odd-balls", both in desperate need of companionship....someone who would understand...

She and I were both similar-minded perfectionists, quirky in our ways, both of us very organized RN's who enjoyed our jobs as Case Manager RN's.....but...

Belinda and her family had always been severely ostracized by many in Podunk's staunchly Baptist community simply for the fact that her family belongs to a religion considered by many in Podunk as "weird"....

And I was quietly living my life on the fringes, in shy secrecy, due to my utter shame and embarassment for being a recovering alcoholic.

But Belinda and I found true friendship and acceptance in each other, a bond which grew and strengthened as we worked tirelessly, side by side, for the road nurse company---and it gained more strength each day as, together, we faced the on-going tribulations of the road nurse company's harsh regime. She and I each quickly developed our personal "tricks of the trade" for making our days more bearable, which we freely shared with each other in order to survive the brutal miles on the highway. And we soon met Geena-Lou, who had been hired as one of the LVN "work-horses" of the company, which is a common practice among large road nurse companies.

Geena-Lou was assigned to me and Belinda for the performance of the daily "routine" visits of the patient caseloads which Belinda and I would set up. And let me tell you, Geena-Lou's lot was far worse than ours---because the company treated LVN's no better than plow-mules, forcing them to do the dirtiest and most undesirable tasks. And not only that, but the LVN's were routinely given at least a third more visits per day than the RN's were given--- even though they were paid far less.

I guess the first time I realized what a terrible toll our life-sapping jobs were taking on our families was one day in Walmart when several of us were hosting a Blood Pressure Clinic. To my utter mortification, I witnessed a searing scene whereby Belinda's mother-in-law had brought Belinda's 4-year-old child to "visit" her at the Clinic's booth in order to give the two a few minutes together---since it was the only time in the day that the two would be able to see each other since Belinda always got home in the evenings after her child was in bed.

The mother-in-law allowed the child to visit with Belinda for only a few minutes before taking her away lest Belinda get in trouble with our supervisor for not paying attention to her Clinic duties. But to my horror, when the mother-in-law began dragging Belinda's child away, the child child began wailing hysterically, screaming: "Mommy, Mommy! Why can't I be with you? PLEASE MOMMY!--I WANT YOU! I WANT YOU!"

God, it was awful! I glanced at at Belinda and saw that she was bawling, too. But she quickly brushed her tears away quickly before our supervisor saw them. We had to tend to the lines of patients waiting for their blood pressures to be checked...

The most heinous duty the company required was to force an RN to take turns doing a week of "on-call", every three or four weeks, along with one of the LVN's--- whereby we'd perform any "after hours" visits at night and on the weekends. This meant that you literally worked for two weeks without any sort of break, frequently working half the night as well as the days, with all of the added paperwork those visits generated. But we rarely noticed the difference---because even on our weekends when we were supposedly not "on-call", we still had to take home reams of our regular paperwork which was due on a daily basis.

Thus, most of us rarely had a day off.

I noted on one three-month period where I only had 5 days off total for the entire 90-day period.

Some nights, Belinda would call me in tears and swear that she couldn't "make it to work" the next morning. "Yes you can," I'd tell her--although I was thinking the same exact same thing in my own head. "You have to make it, Belinda! Because you know dang well that if you call in sick you'll get an "occurrence" which will count against your pay raise next year. And also, you'll have to do double work the next day to make up the work that you didn't do on the day you were sick."

"So pull it together, Belinda! You can do it..."

And sometimes, it was me calling Belinda in tears. And then it was she who gave the words of encouragement and hope. Or else it was Geena-Lou calling in desperation. But no matter who it was calling, we each tried to give each other the right words which could somehow help the person who was falling down the necessary strength in order to pull herself back up to her feet and keep on trudging onwards...

It was Geena-Lou who broke first...

One morning an exhausted Geena-Lou, whose desk was next to mine in the nurse room, suddenly got a strange look in her eye---and her knees buckled. She made a strange, strangled type of sound---and then she sank down into her chair, sweeping all the papers and folders off of her desk in one wild movement. She threw her head into her arms and began crying uncontrollably in such a forlorn and defeated sobbing that it practically broke my heart to hear it. Belinda was nearby and I could see that she had gone pale in shock.

God, I can still remember that scene just like it was yesterday---Geena-Lou sobbing the following words:

"I just cain't go on! Oh Lord save me but I ain't had any lunch in a week--- and my children ain't got no clean clothes! God, I'm just so dang tired that I want to DIE! And I'll just NEVER EVER EVER get ALL THESE PATIENT VISITS done today! I just cain't--I just cain't get 'em done I tell you!"

Mortified, I looked over at our stoic supervisor who was standing nearby. She was standing there, wordlessly watching Geena-Lou cry while the rest of the occupants of the room fell progressively more silent and stricken. Both Belinda and I stood perfectly still in dread and an anticipatory silence, waiting--- hopefully?--- for the supervisor to speak up and offer to do something for Geena-Lou by suggesting a remedy to lighten her load somehow. But the stone-faced supervisor just stared hard at Geena-Lou's heaving shoulders with a steely gaze on her stern face. And it became plainly evident that she had absolutely no intention of remedying the situation. She obviously had no sympathy for the tragic Geena-Lou---and it was becoming rapidly clear that she wanted this situation to end. I feared in my heart that Geena-Lou would be unable to collect herself in order to work that day ---and it was pay day, and I knew Geena-Lou's family needed every cent of their money....

And I knew what I had to do. I broke free from my moment of shock and spoke.

"Dry those tears, Geena-Lou honey," I stated evenly. "I'll take two of your patient visits off your hands."

And then Belinda spoke, too.

"I'll take two also..."

And then the supervisor spoke.

"I don't give a shit WHO takes the visits. Just get yourselves together and get the hell on the road."

Belinda went over to the sobbing Geena-Lou and began stroking her hair, comforting her in a low murmur.

Geena-Lou looked up at us with a tear-streaked face and tried to voice her thanks in between sobs. "Thh....thh...thanks, you guys," she managed, trying to gather her folders. "But how are you guys gonna do my visits... AND yours???" Her sorrowful and exhausted face hardened my growing resolve--- and in answer to her question, I reached over to her stack of patient folders, taking four of them, then handing two to Belinda.

Belinda took the folders, looked at me calmly, and then asked with the most glorious smile I've ever seen on her face: "So, Bo baby... fake it or play it?---What's your pleasure?"

"We'll play it," I replied, matching her smile. "I'll take the north visits and you take the south."

"But you know, Bo, some of these visits are blood draws..." Belinda warned, with just a hint of a twinkle in her eye. "And that means that we've got to hurry and get those bloods delivered to the labs in time for the results to be 'run' before the doctors' offices close for the day..."

"Right," I replied.

And then... I looked the horrid supervisor right in her eyeballs, tossed Belinda an extra box of butterfly needles, and declared:

"Lock and load..."


And we got those damn visits done---and done on time, although I do think that the Lord just might have given us a little added help by sending a couple of his Road Nurse Guardian Angels to fly with us that day. I definitely felt the wind of Their Graceful Wings shepherding us on a wing and prayer down that dang highway while sweeping away any earthly obstacles which impeded our mission. I have always believed that the special love of the friendships between God's Children is the most powerful force in the world---and it was definitely with us on that horrible day.

* * * *

Geena-Lou was the first to leave that that horrible company. She quit a couple of weeks after the above incident, stating that she just "couldn't take it anymore". It was then that Lu-Lu picked her up to go help her begin to build what is now our current branch office.

As for me, I lasted at that horrible pace for a few more months---until I relapsed back into my active alcoholism one day--- whereby I couldn't stop drinking straight vodka until they literally pried the bottle out of my tightly clenched hands and locked me up.

(Remember when I went to the looney bin? Belinda used to call me there, every day, while I was locked up on the psycho ward. She never deserted me, praying daily for my return to the Land Of Sober. )

And bless you all---my wonderful readers---because you, too, stuck by my side during that hidious episode---a precious gift for which I'll be eternally grateful. You have no idea how much that meant to me, and I mean that with all my heart.

And lastly, Belinda, bless her strong little heart, lasted for a few more months before she, too, left that company, broken and exhausted, having lost so much weight that she was barely a wisp in her size 2 uniforms.

(Remember me blogging about Belinda's last days with that company? And how that company had slashed their budget so much that they actually had the audacity to send out memorandums berating the employees for using "too much toilet paper in the bathroom" ?)

Anyway, that's how those companies make a profit---by treating employees like dogs. And neither Geena-Lou, me, or Belinda will ever forget those dark days. If you think slavery is a thing of the past, you haven't seen road nurse companies in small, Podunk towns.

And the above story is the reason why I always tell each young nurse around here that if, by chance, she finds herself at a company which---wonders of wonders---treats her with even a small degree of dignity and humane conditions---then that girl would be well wise to stick there.

Sigh....which is something that Lee-Lee is going to have to learn for herself, ya know? And Heaven knows, I wish her all the luck in the world.

Anyway, when the above two shocks---Jane-Anne's pregnancy and Lee-Lee's threatened resignation-- hit me last week week, I became pretty discouraged. And then when I got the flu, I REALLY got discouraged. And while I tossed and turned in my bed, I fretted and fretted---and no matter which way I twisted the facts around in my mind, I just couldn't see a light at the end of the tunnel....

Because for certain, I am facing a tough road ahead with Jane-Anne's precarious health and her pregnancy. I'm fairly sure that with her brittle diabetic condition, her health will suffer--and maybe that of her baby's.

And she'll most likely miss a lot of work time. And although I'm worried about Jane-Anne and her baby's health, I'm also worried about the company. Because for sure, on-going sick-time by Jane-Anne will mean hard times for our tiny company because we simply don't have any nurses to spare, especially with losing Lee-Lee (with no other new prospect nurse on the horizon at this time.)

And there's always the other cloud hanging over my head---that I've somehow got to figure out a way to navigate this branch office through the rough times ahead---as well as meet the owners' expectations for gaining new patients and business for the company.

So in light of all this fretting, I finally decided to have a heart-to-talk talk with the Only One who CAN help in times like this....

Which is why, this morning, while on a long drive to see a patient on a distant ranch, I had myself a talk with the Man Upstairs--- which I am wont to do in times of trouble. Normally, I don't like to bother him with the little stuff. I figure that my "inner biker" can MORE than take care of the every-day crap. But in times of dire need, I get out the special "hotline"...

(It's kind of like that red phone that the Commissioner used to call Batman on, you remember? But mine looks more like a Nokia cell phone and is called "The God-Line"....)

(Okay, I was going to paint it gold or some other Heavenly color or something--- but I figure God doesn't care what color it is...)

(Its buttons are shaped like stars, and when I dial the Operator I get St. Peter, who usually puts me on hold for a minute or two.)

(One time I sassily informed St. Peter that I didn't appreciate being kept waiting on hold and he replied: "Listen, Bo, you think you've got troubles? I've got President Bush on Line 2 and he's bawling like a little girl...")

Anyhoo, when I finally got God on the line, I raised my voice in prayer. Which is a misleading expression--- because I don't mean that I poetically "raised my voice in prayer".

What I really mean is that I actually, physically, RAISED MY VOICE while I was praying--- if you catch my drift.

Because I will admit it, here and now, that I talk to The Lord in the exact same way that I talk to anybody else. There's none of that "Oh Holy Night" type murmurings that the nuns at my convent nursing school taught me. (You know, like "Ave Maria, help me and could ya please intervene for me with whichever Saints are available at this moment" type of stuff---nupe, I don't do that.)

And there's also none of that "Baptist Stuff" that I grew up listening to in Baptist Sunday School. (You know, like where the preacher prays stuff like: "Oh Lord, we beseech Thee to help us lowly sinners in our earthly despair' type of stuff ---nupe, I don't do that, either.)

People, when I pray, I wholeheartedly and unabashedly PRAY. So please forgive my... uh...praying style, because I usually use the "Bohemian Road Nurse's Prayer" in all its...uh...vehemence....

Which usually goes something like this:

Hey, Lord, it's me again. Are you listening? St. Peter put me on hold again, and I've been sitting here an hour.

Anyway, Lord, and DAMMIT, but I'm in some deep dukey down here!---the kind of stuff You call TRIBULATIONS! And don't go telling me some platitude like 'You help those who help themselves', okay, Sir? Because believe me---I've helped my own dang self PLENTY, and this time I need something more....

And remember---You told me in Your very own words---yes you did, right there in the Bible--- that You would NOT load me down with any more "burdens" than I could bear, remember? It's written right there smack dab in the Bible in the Book of Psalms, I think---or else Deuteronomy or somewheres, I forget exactly where. Anyway....

And usually right about here, I'll pause just to let The Lord consider my rants and...uh requests. And then, while He's still pondering, I'll hit Him with the point of the whole prayer....

So Lord, like I said, I NEED SOME DANG HELP down here! And this time, Lord, it ain't just ME that's needing the help---it's the whole dang company, You get it? We all need help---the patients, my co-workers, Jane-Anne, her baby, our families, the company owners, EVERYBODY! Dadburn it, Lord, we need some of Your good ole MIRACLES, ya know?!

And then right about here I'll usually pause and listen---just in case The Lord is arguing with me or else leveling some bargaining terms at me.

(Yes, I've been known to argue...uh, I mean debate... with The Lord....)

What's that, You say, Sir? "You'll provide"? Well I appreciate that, Sir, I really do. That's fine and dandy. But I need it in a hurry---an all-fired hurry, okay? Anyhoo, I'll be waiting to see what You provide. Until then, this is Bo signing out, over and or whatever...later 'tater....

And after I prayed, I did what I always do after praying...

Which is hope like hell that the Lord doesn't strike me down with a lightening bolt for my sassiness.... and then I go to Bubba's Jif-E-Mart and buy myself a Banana Moon Pie and a Diet Sprite.

And then I check the animals for the weather forecast.

Uh oh, the cows are laying down again---looks like rain again. I knew the good weather was too good to last.


(During the time I had the flu, my mother (who lives over an hour away) was in Mexico and was thus unvailable to drive to Podunk to help me. And I was so weak and sick that I couldn't even drive my own self to the store to pick up my prescription medicines, fluids, food, or anything else that I needed. It was all I could do to just lay in my bed in misery, barely making it to the bathroom to throw up every hour. And I have no other family in Podunk. But without even needing to be asked, Belinda, Jane-Anne, and Geena-Lou immediately took charge of taking care of me, day after day, no matter how busy they were with their own jobs and family . If it wasn't for my very own Band of Sisters, y'all, I don't know what I would have done....)
And once again, let me thank you again, my readers, for your well wishes. Thank you very much for caring and for cheering me up while I was sick. It means the world to me!!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Getting through this flu....

I really want to thank all my readers who've sent well-wishes---it really has cheered me up! I am still fighting the last bit of this flu-bug, taking all kinds of meds, and wallowing around my bed feeling sorry for myself.

But for sure I expect to be up and around and blogging again by this weekend. Thank you one and all for your kind notes, and I'll talk to you soon!

(And as I said before---I will definitely take the flu shot next year come hell or high water....)

Saturday, March 03, 2007

They shoot horses, don't they?....

It's official---I've got the flu.

I feel so ill right now that even my eyelashes are hurting. Thus, I freely give permission to anybody who knows me to KICK my butt next flu season if I fail to get the flu shot (like I did this year.)

And thank you, everyone, for your well wishes---I really appreciate it!

And now, I'm going to drag my sorry self back to bed where I will lie there wishing that somebody would have mercy on me--- and shoot me to put me out of my misery.

Friday, March 02, 2007

I don't feel so good....

Dang it, but I don't feel good. In fact, I feel terrible---like a Mack truck ran over me... I was going to post a blog entry this evening but I have gotten ill today---and I had to come home at noon to lay down. I am nauseated, my stomach hurts, I can't get warm, and my head hurts. I have a fever of 99.2, and that's on top of the Tylenol I took an hour before. Jane-Anne is on her way over to my home right now to take me to the doctor. I told her on the phone that I just didn't feel like I could drive myself. Anyway, wish me luck. (Hopefully this is a 24-hour thing and I'll be able to post a real blog entry tomorrow....)