Saturday, June 24, 2006

Nurse, Heal Thyself ! (And Knitting & Beefcake Pics Really do Help....)

Whew....what a past couple of weeks it's been. I'm finally getting used to my new town, its patients, the other girls at the office, and the surrounding country. And, thank the LORD, I'm thrilled that the driving distance is so much less. That in itself leaves me an extra hour to sleep in the mornings....such luxury! I was pretty pitiful there for awhile, stressing about leaving behind my former co-workers and my best friend Amber. And I was fretting about learning the ropes in my new town and my job of training the new LVN. But my Director at this new assignment is really nice and and so are all the other nurses. Although I still just can't believe how small this town is. I mean, this town is SMALL. But I lied to y'all the other day--there atually IS a Dairy Queen here! It was hidden behind a hardware store and a gas station after the second traffic light in the town. (As I mentioned before, the town only has 2 traffic lights and they're both within a block of each other.) So with a Dairy Queen, that means there actually IS a place where I can pull through a drive-thru window for lunch. There is only one more "chain" fast-food place in town, a Sonic, but I hate going there because I can't tip the car-hops and it makes me feel guilty. And do you know why I can't tip those poor car-hops? Technology. Nowadays the Sonics have a deal now where you can slide your debit card through a little gizmo right there at the speaker where you order your food. But it only lets you do just that--pay for your food. You can't get cash back like you can at other places that let you use your debit card--so therefore you can't tip the poor little car-hop. And I am the type of person who never carries cash. In this day and age of the debit card--I use it for virtually all my monetary transactions. Yes, I use my debit card for every single transaction I make. I have actually used my debit card to buy a cup of coffee in the morning on the way to work. One day I went into a truck stop to get a big mug of coffee and when the cashier realized I was going to pay for it with a debit card she got irritated and said: "Oh for heaven's sakes, just take the coffee for free!" Although that was nice of her, I seriously don't see what the problem is. However, my bank's debit card department DOES see a problem with it. Yesterday they called me on the phone and said: "Nurse, we think somebody stole your debit card and we are hereby calling to notify you." When I asked why they thought somebody had stolen my debit card they replied: "Because we have been seeing suspicious activity on your card transactions lately. It seems that there have been many small transactions in gas stations on your card. As a matter of fact, there were four transactions on your card yesterday for under $3.00 each-- in 4 different gas stations! Do you even know where your debit card is?" I replied: "Was it the coffee & Twinkie I got at the gas station over by the Chicken Plant? And was it the corn-dog, Diet Dr. Pepper, and Travel Size Tampon Pack I got at the gas station by Old Man Harvey's wrecker company? And was it the Moon Pie, the Pepsi...." He interrupted me before I could finish proving that nobody had stolen my debit card, saying in amazement: "You mean that was YOU making all those transactions? Hell, we thought your card had been stolen and that somebody was going quickly from gas station to gas station to hurry and use your debit card before you found out it was stolen and had it cancelled." I took a deep breathe before speaking, trying not to giggle. I didn't want to offend this guy but I was thinking GET REAL!!!! What did he he think? That some robber had stolen my card and gone on a criminal spending spree at GAS STATIONS, for God's sakes? For TWINKIES? For TAMPONS? Hell, if I was a criminal and I'd stolen somebody's debit card-- I'd be headed for Walmart so fast that it would make your head spin! And man, I could drop a fortune in there in less than 20 minutes flat and it wouldn't be for no dang Twinkies or Tampons you can bet on that! Anyway, he was reassured when I told him that I am a Road Nurse and that I do many small transactions per day while on the road. Because I practically live on the road for the first half of the day. The second half of the day I am sitting at my desk under a mountain of paperwork, fielding calls from doctors and patients while reporting to my bosses and signing papers that secretaries are chasing me down for. Yesterday I was not in a good mood as I sat in my desk because I was behind in my work from having to train the new LVN and also I had a toothache. And I was somewhat irked about the behavior of the new LVN. It all started because I knew that it was going to rain. Earlier in the day, while driving out to a big ranch, the new LVN beside me, I had noticed the tell-tale sign of a weather change--all the cows were laying down near or under trees in the pastures. "Uh oh," I said to the new LVN. "The cows are laying down. It's going to rain. Let's hurry up and get these visits over with before we're bogged down in the mud of these pastures when the rain starts. And Indian Creek will rise up and cover County Road 7314 for sure." The trainee dropped her jaw open in shock. She rolled her eyes in disbelief, making it obvious that she believed that I was completely nuts by the statement I had just made. "What in the heck are you talking about--cows laying down and rain and stuff?" she asked. Patiently, I pointed out the nearby cow herds. "Look over there--see those cows and that asshole donkey? See what they're doing? They're laying down, some of them under those trees. That means a weather change and most likely it'll rain." The trainee continued to stare at me like I had gone off my rocker and snorted: "I think you country folks just believe silly old wives tales. It's 98 degrees out here in the bright sun, we're hotter than hell, and there's not a cloud in the sky. Cows laying down, indeed....." Whatever, I thought. She's new to Texas. She'll learn. "And why did you call that donkey an asshole?" she added. I told her I hate donkeys because they are rude and they know they are rude. She rolled her eyes at me again! But I'm not worried. She'll find out for herself soon enough. I tried not to get annoyed with her. I thought I needed to give her a break here because I figure she just has a lot to learn, being from Detroit and all. I don't think they have many ranches, cows, or asshole donkeys up there. The poor thing's husband has gotten transferred to Texas and she's been pretty vocal about how she isn't happy about the transfer out to the boondocks of Texas ranch country. Especially to a town that doesn't even have a McDonalds. But she's definitely a feisty newbie. When we got back to the office she actually made fun of me in front of the other nurses--which I thought was rather rude for a newbie to do. She laughingly and sarcastically crowed to the others in the office all about how I had said that it was going to rain "just because the cows had layed down". I corrected her by adding: "And a donkey, too." The LVN rolled her eyes again and argued: "Old wives tales!" Just then the Director looked up and said: "Yep, my Paw-Paw was going to go fishing at Schyler's Pond this afternoon but the minute he saw the cows laying down he turned right around and went home." The newbie LVN looked even more incredulous. Doggedly, she continued her argument: "Do you mean to tell me that people around here think that cows laying down means it's going to rain--and also that cows laying down means that you can't go fishing? That is the craziest thing I've ever heard of!" I felt sorry for the newbie at this point. She was definitely not scoring points for popularity. I worried that somebody might get irritated with her and say something rude. But the Director just sighed and said kindly: "Uh....look. Everybody knows that when the cows lay down it means two things--the fish won't bite and it's gonna rain." Just then a huge crack of thunder rocked the building and a total downpour started. I looked over at the newbie. "Don't worry," I told her. "You'll learn." The other nurses were looking at her with some disdain. I made a mental note to myself to train her a little better before she alienates everybody. I caught up with some of them in the supply room later and told them to please give her a break--after all, she got transferred from her home state and she comes from Detroit. It's probably a perfectly natural thing for somebody from Detroit to not know about the cows laying down thing. We need to go easy on her because she has a lot more learning to do--and I mean a there have been other incidents.... The other day somebody was going out to the local candy factory and asked around to find out what everybody wanted her to bring back for them. We all gave our various orders for pralines, bite-sized chess pies, and peanut brittle and whatnot. And then the new LVN asked for truffles.... ...and you could have heard a pin drop.... I quickly shot a warning frown at the mortified nurses--and to their credit they managed to keep their mouths shut and not say anything. And later I gently explained to the hapless LVN that most Texans out in these here parts have no idea what a truffle is, whether the candy kind or the mushroom kind. I could see the misery in her eyes. Poor thing is in an alien land that she never wanted to come to. Yes, I'll try to guide her gently and teach her about Texas. Sure hope she can adjust.....but I was uneasily thinking...... God knows what our patients are going to think of her..... Anyway, I did get out of work on time for once and was glad-- because I was desperate to take care of another big problem that has been plaguing me for the last two weeks. One of the other reasons I have been stressing out lately is that I'm dentist-phobic--and it has caught up with me big time!! I have been languishing with an abscessed tooth for weeks, too afraid to go into the dentist. I've always been afflicted with this phobia--I'm so dentist-phobic that I avoid going to the dentist like the plague. You practically have to drag me into the dentist kicking and screaming. One time a dentist had to inject me with Valium just to get that horrible BIB on me..... Anyway, what usually happens is that by the time I'm desperate enough to actually call a dentist for an appointment, I've let the situation go on for so long that it's become a total disaster. And on this day, finally, the massive amounts of Motrin, Tylenol and Oragel that I'd been using for the last two weeks had finally stopped working-- and my pain level had been building up all day until I was in complete AGONY. And what was worse, when I broke down and called my dentist for an appointment he didn't have any available appointments until next week, AAAAYIIIEEEE!!!!!! So here's another benefit of living in a tiny Texan town, THANK GOD. After I finished my work, writhing in dental pain agony, I ran out to the Jeep, drove straight over to my medical doctor's office, threw open their doors, and threw myself onto the counter in front of the receptionist, bawling my eyes out in front of her and the startled patients in the waiting room. "I'm hurtin'!!!!!" I cried. "My tooth is KILLING me and I can't get into the dentist and I think I'm DYING--and so PLEASE, PLEASE can Doctor see me and fix me???" I bawled and squawled my sad story out to the receptionist, begging for my doctor to have mercy and see me without an appointment. As I blubbered, I tearfully explained that if they couldn't let me in that I'd have to drive 48 miles away to the nearest ER--and I squawled even harder while fearfully complaining that I'd be frightened to death to have to drive all that way to a strange town to have to have a strange doctor that I don't know from Adam look at me and my toothache. Hell, I wanted my own doctor. He never makes me wear those stupid gowns. Half the patients in the waiting room were my own patients and they listened to my sad tale with growing concern. "Bless your little heart," one of them said. "You can have my space--all I'm in here for is to get my bronical inhaler." "Or you can have me and Sammy Bill's place" a patient sitting with her husband offered, "We're just here to get our Vitamin B12 shots and that can wait." As I stood there blubbering like an idiot, three patients gave me Kleenexes, one lady hugged me, and the receptionist soothed me by saying: "There now, Nurse, don't fret--I'll go get your file and you can come on back with me. Doctor will see you. It'll be alright." So they let me in. I was led back to the examining room, and I calmed down a little, drying my eyes with the Kleenexes. But when my doctor came into the room I tuned up to start crying all over again. "I'm DYING!" I told him dramatically, "and the Dentist can't see me till next week!" "Now don't worry, sugar, I'm going to fix you right up" he replied, opening a cabinet. "And hell, everybody knows that Dr. Mitchell never see's anybody on Fridays--and anyway today he's gone down to the bull sale in Pumpkin Center. But when you do see him next week, tell him that I need him to send his boy over to work on my new tractor--that dadblasted thing is acting up again---I swear I'll never know why I ever let that Dallas salesman talk me into buying it. Shoulda known you cain't never trust a blue tractor." So my doctor opened the cabinet and started drawing up two shots. I hate shots but I was desperate. And my doctor is shot-happy. He gives everybody a shot every time you go in there, no matter what you go in there for. I have no idea what he puts in those shots. And he actually draws the shots up himself. He drew up some concoctions into the two syringes and then layed them down on the counter. "Jodie-Sue" he called out to one of the nurses. "Give her these shots and then call in these prescriptions I'm going to write down." So Jodie-Sue came and gave me the shots. I know one of those shots had Vitamin B12 in it because it was colored red. Although I don't really think Vitamin B12 has anything to do with tooth emergencies, I figured it couldn't hurt anything. Jodie-Sue gave me those shots right in my butt and they stung like bees. She told me that one of them had an antibiotic in it. Then she called in my prescriptions and sent me to the drug store, limping, to get them. But when I arrived at the drug store and saw what my doctor had prescribed, I thought GOOD LORD! There was a whole stack of things. I figured MAN ALIVE, but I must have REALLY left this abscess go too far. Here is a picture of all those medicines:

Can you believe all those pills? . There were two antibiotics, a steroidal anti-inflammatory, and some kick-ass pain pills. Sheesh, I must be in REALLY bad shape. That'll teach me not to go to the dentist, for sure. When my mother heard about this, she said that if I don't make that dentist appointment next week she is going to "spank my butt" with a flyswatter.

I think I'll make that appointment. Anyway, I went home and took a pain pill, two antibiotic pills, one of the steroidal anti-inflammatory pills, and laid down. Sure enough, I felt much better in a little while, thank goodness. I'm embarassed about bawling and blubbering in front of everybody but it really did HURT.

But as I layed down and the pain pill started to work, I reflected back on the stress of the past couple of weeks and made a vow as to what I would do this weekend to get back to normal--I decided to use the bestest medicine that I know of--and that is exactly what I've been doing:

I picked up my knitting. It always calms me down. I decided to pick up some close-to-being-finished UFO's and finished them. And after I finished them it gave me a huge feeling of satisfaction!

Two of the things I was finished were Biker Baby Sweaters. I have always knitted my Biker Baby Sweaters but I had recently done an experiment to see whether or not I could make a satisfactory crocheted version of them. (A little aside: my last husband was a biker man and we lived on a Biker Compound with several other biker couples and a motorcycle repair shop. I used to knit biker baby stuff all the time and sell it at local Harley shops at Christmas. They always sold like hotcakes. Nowadays, there's a biker shop near where I live so I still knit biker baby stuff to sell.

Here's a pic of the knitted version of my biker baby sweater. I put some vinyl trim with studs on it, a zipper closure and a biker patch. I usually make this one in several baby sizes and sell it for about $25.

But here's a pic of the crocheted version and I think you can see that my experiment didn't go that well. The crocheted version is just "not right". Although I like the more complicated trims I put on this one, like the chains, the fake leather epaulets, the studs, and the bomber-jacket-style pockets, I just don't think the crocheted fabric lends itself well to the biker look.

Then I finally finished some Opal socks that have been UFO's for a zillion years--and I rebelliously fiddled with them, too. When I'm knitting I will get a wild thought in my silly head sometimes and I'll just put something strange in a garment just for laughs. I just can't ever be "normal"--noooooo....I've always got to do nutty little things to amuse myself. Sometimes these ventures work out and sometimes they don't. For example, on this Opal sock I just decided it needed a red stripe in a couple of places. And so I put a red stripe in a couple of places. It looks funny, but I don't care. Sometimes I will put a godawful-looking yellow heel on a sock, too, whether the sock will match with a yellow heel or not.

And lastly, I finished a pair of Noro Kureyon socks. They're so thick that I will most likely use them as house socks or winter boot socks. Or I could use them to wear with a pair of those clear boots I bought a couple of years ago that they used to sell to show off your colorful Regia socks. (But the boots makes my feet sweat, even though they're vented.)

And then, the final thing that got me out of my funk was something sweet one of my co-worker buddies from my old assignment office did for me. She knows that I have a special longing for Galveston. And she had gone to Galveston for a vacation.

I love Galveston from the bottom of my heart and I long to go there--but I just never seem to be able to get enough time off from work to make the trip. But I love Galveston and everything about it. I am pretty certain that when I die and go to Heaven that it will be a lot like Galveston. Anyway, my friend was in Galveston last week while I was sitting back here in the wastelands of Texas, at my desk fretting my head off with toothache pain, wondering how in the Sam Punchinelly I was going to get all my paperwork done and this quirky new LVN trained, waiting for the weekend. One day my cell phone rang and it was my friend--and she told me that she was in Galveston right then-- sitting on Galveston Beach right that minute-- and then she did something that put the biggest grin on my face and made tears of gratitude form in my eyes and roll down my cheecks.......

She held the phone up to the waves so that I could hear them crashing onto the beach of Galveston!! Is that not the best buddy in the whole wide world? It cheered me up so much that I started bawling. Because there.... for just a minute.... I was in Galveston!.....

(I sure have been doing a lot of bawling this week. I need to stop bawling. Somebody needs to slap me if I start bawling again. Or swat me with a flyswatter.) And to top that--when my friend returned home a few days later, she brought me some Galveston souvenirs! Here's a pic of the loot she brought me--I had specifically asked her to bring me that bottle of Galveston sand, but she had thrown in some other things for me, too--a shirt, some shells, and....Galveston Beach BEEFCAKE PICTURES!!! It was like Christmas in June!!!!! Or Christmas in Galveston!!!!!!

Hey, do you think my boss will allow me to put those beefcake pictures up on my bulletin board? I mean, they show a lot of skin but it's not like they're TOTALLY nekkid.......

I'll have to ask her on Monday...after I sing my song....

"Galveston, oh Galveston,

I still hear your sea winds blowin'....."

Sigh....I think everything's gonna be alright now......yes, I think I'm going to be okay world is right again. I have friends that I love, a job with a company I love, patients who I love, co-workers I love, animals I love........ and I'm going to get to put Galveston sand on my desk Monday morning...

What more could anybody ask for?

......because Galveston is with me always.....

(and yes, I'm going to sing my Galveston song in the office Monday and probably drive everybody crazy by singing it in my horribly off-key crappy voice--- but I don't care!! And I am going to thank God for my little piece of Heaven on earth----and I shall be grateful.

(And don't worry--I'll get that LVN trained right--stay tuned.....bless her heart....)

(And I welcome anybody who wants to sing along with me the Galveston song......)


Brewgal said...

Honey, I share your dentist phobia! I once went 7 years without a trip. I won't share my stories of root-canal horror with you. I'm in awe of how many knitting projects you can finish with your schedule.

And you can tell the newbie that even I, a Maryland suburbanite, knows that cows lie down when it's going to rain. :-)

Anonymous said...

From a born and bred city girl, I never knew cows like down when it's going to rain, either, but given some time, that newbie will figure things out ... maybe you'll even teach her to knit eventually!

Thanks for the laughs ... needed those today ...

Anonymous said...

Of course the cows lie down when it's going to rain. Any South Carolina child learns that early on (I mean, the NATIVE SC children). May your newbie nurse soon learn how to keep her mouth shut about how things were up north (I know an awful lot about those types--I deal with them everyday and mumble under my breath that they can just go back where they came from.)
And next time, don't let the abcessed tooth go so long--girl, the dentist is not a bad person, I promise! You just need a nice dentist like my husband--he hates hurting people.
No joke, I love reading your blog (it's about the only one I read with any regularity.) Keep it up, and things will get better, I promise.

Anonymous said...

Girl, I get so homesick when I read this blog! I'm from a small town in western New York with only one red light and no fast food places. I lived in Houston for 7 years and Galveston was my favorite place to go. My husband dragged kicking and screamin out of Texas and I want to go back so bad.

And, hey, even Holsteins in NY know when it's going to rain!

Anonymous said...

Glad your tooth is a bit better - dental problems suck (no pun intended).