850,000 American dead

Sometime today.

Somewhere in America.

Someone takes their last breath.

This last breath may take many forms.

It may be an artificial breath.

Forced on them by a machine.

It may be after the machines have been turned off.

It may be alone.

It may be in critical care.

It may be outside of the hospital.

But someone doesn’t know that it will be their last breath.

But someone else will know.

Someone else knows that this person.

This person that may be precious to them.

Is dead.

And all of their shared tomorrows are gone.

And when the Supreme Court of the United States voted against the vaccine mandate for companies with more that 100 employees I shouted at the radio.

Cowards I called them.

Damning all those who voted against a vaccine mandate for companies with more than 100 employees.

Because the economy.

People might quit.

Studies have shown that this is not what happens after a vaccine mandate that is company wide.

Now every single company has to mandate it on their own.

I 100% do not see this happening.

We are never getting out of this.

And somebody will have to tell all those whose loved ones have taken their last breath that they don’t matter.

That the government can’t protect them.

Because people are not willing to roll up their sleeves.

And endure a little bit of pain.

To save a lot of people.

And that is the saddest conversation I can think of.

Your loved one.

Your Sally.

Your Johnny.

Your son.

Your daughter.

Your mother.

Your father.

Died because the people of the United States didn’t care enough.

But healthcare workers like myself, and my mother, and my coworkers, will be there to witness that the last breath has come.

That the heart has stopped.

And they are just another number in the overall count of the dead.

When they had been somebody precious.

To someone.

Cookie Thursday 1/13/2022-shaken not stirred vodka cookies

Booze month continues.

I wanted to do a martini inspired cookie.

As if you couldn’t tell that from the name of the cookie.

I was looking to do a vodka and olive cookie.

And then I watched the Casino Royale scene again.

Where James Bond comes up with the now famous martini recipe on the fly.

With lemon peel as the garnish.

He asks for gin and vodka but I was determined to make this a vodka cookie.

As always Cookie Thursday is a Thing recipes have to be adaptable to what I have in stock in the house.

And this month, in the bar.

The olive cookies will have to wait for the charcuterie month I’m thinking about.

But this cookie is very delicate.

Kind of like the state of healthcare right now.

But it has a glaze.

I hate doing glaze but I did it.

What I did differently is put the glaze on the hot cookies as they came out of the oven.

Maybe this will work better.

That’s the thing in healthcare.

It is ever changing.

And ever evolving.

yay, nursing?

This morning the ANA released that for the 20th year in a row, nursing was the most trusted profession in the US.

Really, now.

I mean, yay nurses.

From where I work I see many, many people who trust nurses.

Who follow our guidance.

Who follow our counseling.

Who follow our advice.

(yes, I know that all three of these points are the same, similar but not the same)

And there is a small sub-sect of the public who do not.

Who have decided that they know best.

after 30 minutes on the internet and an echo chamber.

And that sub-section is LOUD

And takes up all attention and oxygen in the room.

Who cry foul when they, in fact, find out that actions have consequences.

Who think that we, the healthcare community, must rush in and fix it all.

Fix everything they’ve been down-playing, and denying, and arguing against.

And make them live.

And when they are better do they learn?

No.

They go back to their science denying ways.

And refuse to do something that would protect everyone.

Because they don’t want to.

Do they not hear themselves acting like spoiled brats?

But let us celebrate nurses and nursing for this achievement.

Wouldn’t it be nice if others took it to heart?

Find a nurse and hug them, they need it.

Find a healthcare worker, not just a nurse, and thank them.

Riddle me this- take a workaholic and give her lots of time-what happens?

Update on my working only call hours journey.

Last time I talked about how I felt I was getting away with something.

I still do.

When I talked to the career coach in September she wanted me to flesh out my LinkedIn account.

I gave myself until the first of January to update it.

And I have.

Do I still know what I am doing on it?

No.

Should I follow the CNO for the hospital?

And it says on my front page that I am willing to do writing work?

Will that lead to uncomfortable questions?

Probably.

shrugs

But apparently someone can offer up their services for hire.

Which I have.

I think.

I am willing to write for someone else.

Technical writing.

Copy editing.

Articles.

Whatever.

Do I know what I am doing?

Also no.

But I am willing to learn.

This was the plan to fill the now 40 hours I have free to me.

I hope I am doing this right.

I hope that it is a good trade off.

Monday Musings 1/10/22- I wonder if they are using the same wind we are using

This is a quote from the Princess Bride.

Of course.

It is said by Inigo Montoya.

The sword for hire who just wants to avenge his father.

Against the 6 finger man.

But you should already know that.

When we moved to North Carolina the amount of people who had never seen the Princess Bride was staggering.

Especially since it takes up so much of my brain.

Even now, I can’t not stop on the movie if it is being shown on television.

And, as I don’t watch television, that is quite the feat.

But yes, everyone else is using the same wind you are using.

Everyone else is breathing the same air that you are.

Everyone else is being exposed to you when you or they don’t wear a mask.

I showed my husband today’s data point for our state in the state dashboard.

It’s going straight up.

That refers to the number of daily cases.

Straight up.

He would like to point out that the data lags by three days.

potayto-potahto

Up is up.

Rodents of Unusual Size?

I don’t think they really exist.

Is what Westley said right before being mauled by an ROUS.

I don’t think it really exists.

Says every non-vaccinated person in the world.

Just STFU already.

I’m sick of watching the death count mount.

A lot.

Daily.

We are nearly at 850,000 American dead.

And the Dread Pirate Robert’s says “masks are terribly comfortable, and I think that everyone will be wearing them in the future.”

Post-it 1/9/22-Can we talk about what the word dying means?

The post-it reads ‘on call doc who wouldn’t let us leave, wanted there just in case. Yeah, that case never developed, and we went home after 6 hours of no case’.

But the next call night I got paged for an ectopic.

With the same doctor.

I loathe ectopics.

Especially with a doctor who I don’t know anything about.

And who told me the patient was dying.

Actively dying.

There was a lot of blood in the belly after we put a scope in her belly, I’ll give her that.

Pre-surgery, her heart rate and blood pressure were stable.

Her color was pink and she was in good spirits.

Nope, that is not how an actively dying patient presents.

If you know, you know.

The MD tells me again that the patient is dying as I was prepping the patient for surgery.

Um, I don’t think you know what that means.

I am sure you do.

But not.

While I agree this case is urgent, this patient is in no way actively dying.

But I’m not the surgeon.

Guess what?

Maybe the doctor should’ve made sure the patient was type and crossed.

In the ER.

Where they have more people.

Not in the OR where there is 4 people.

3 with active computer permissions and skills.

But no.

I had to do it while I am doing all 500,000 things I have to do to get the ’emergency’ case going.

Can we agree what dying is?

If not, can we agree what is or is not an emergency.

And just like that- introvert interruptus

I am an introvert.

This is one of the reasons that I thrive in the operating room.

Limited people in the room.

Patient is asleep.

I’m not very good in big groups of people.

But little groups are okay.

One on one is even better.

In my new call job, I have a surgical tech that will be my partner in crime.

And I know she is an introvert.

The CRNA and anesthesiologist will change daily.

But I’m okay with most of them.

Except the one who told me I was throwing away my vote when I didn’t vote the way this MD wanted.

And then didn’t speak to me for four years when it turned out badly.

Not them.

Thankfully I hardly ever see them.

I am okay with a limited team in the OR at night.

And I was enjoying my alone time in the house while my husband was in the office.

And then they closed the office.

Only for one week.

There’s a new surge, you know.

Let us clean the office and we’ll get all the vaccinated people back in the office next week.

Next week has come and gone and he is still working from home.

What that tells me is that someone who is vaccinated, because everyone who has returned to the office is, got covid.

I get mildly reprimanded for noise when I am in our home office with him.

Now I write in the dining room on my laptop.

But in typical introvert fashion I want to throw a tantrum.

But frankly, I don’t know how.

And, yes, the title is borrowed, a little, from the Sex and the City limited series.

No, I’ve never watched it.

No, I’m not watching it now.

But it fit.

Does everyone you know have covid?

I know people with covid.

I take care of people who might have covid.

The operating room has had patients in the last week who were positive for covid.

The hospital, while not as full as last winter, has a lot of covid.

This is a January covid update.

I am still not going to places during the middle of the day if I can help it.

I go early in the morning.

Or later at night.

My husband’s office closed for this week only.

They promised.

oops, they are closed for next week too.

I’ve had to cancel our hospital shared governance coordinating council because of the same reason I will be cancelling the symposium.

I have to cancel another symposium because I am afraid of not having any attendees.

Because they are working in the hospitals.

Better luck next summer.

Now people are testing positive on airplanes.

Or when they get to their destination.

And I fear for the AORN conference that is to be in New Orleans in March.

Canceled for the third year?

We’ll see.

Masks work.

Vaccines work.

Handwashing works.

Social distancing works.

I can not stress this enough.

I also cannot stress enough that we could be so much further along in this pandemic.

We could be approaching endemic status.

Life could be approaching somewhat normal.

But no.

Cookie Thursday 1/6/22- Any Port in a Storm

Happy 1st Cookie Thursday is a Thing of 2022.

The theme for this year, again, will be booze.

Because 2021 was only slightly better then 2020.

And Cookie Thursday is a Thing is turning 7 years old.

That’s a lot of cookies.

Cookie Thursday was started as a moral booster for the department.

And because I had a shiny new kitchen.

And someone once told me that they had never had a homemade cookie.

That cannot stand.

A small group of us started making cookies, weekly.

This became Cookie Thursday is a Thing, because it is not yet Friday and we are sad.

This was my idea and is my baby.

And I am the chief baker.

Others take over when I am on vacation.

But mostly it’s me.

For SEVEN years.

Hello.

I bake cookies according to the month’s theme.

That I also come up with.

Staff, including surgeons, stop me early in the week to inquire what will be that week’s cookie.

2021 was hard on everyone, it especially on healthcare workers.

The theme of January 2021, after that horribly scary 2020, was booze.

For a household that doesn’t drink there is an awful lot of liquor around.

I decided January 2022 was also going to be a booze theme.

And I also decided to extend the cookies to other departments.

Today’s cookie is made with Port as the alcohol.

An entirely new cookie, recipe by me.

I’ve made enough cookies to make up a recipe.

I will be calling this cookie Any Port in Storm

This is why my baking pantry is full to the bursting.

This is why I have 10 different kinds of chips.

This is why I buy flour, butter, and sugar in bulk.

There is a way to make this frugal as well.

The alcohol used this year will come from our disused liquor cabinet.

I buy my ingredients in bulk.

I have several different sizes of cookie scoops.

I make one batch and it feeds the department, usually around 60 cookies.

Here’s to another year of cookie baking.

Even in this strange time and place.

The baking must go on!

To answer the page at 7684843201600

Um.

This is too many digits.

For America.

This is too many digits.

I could not even begin to parse this return number on my pager.

I believe 786 is Miami.

But this is 768.

The only thing to do is to hope they realize their mistake and page again.

Oh, listen.

They paged again.

And this time the return number is 768.

I will learn who this is when they call the nursing supervisor and complain that they didn’t get a call back.

And, when I go in to do the case, I will show them the botched page.

Both of them.