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Mama to the zoo

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  1. sharpeimom

    Performance Evaluations

    My first job as a new graduate nurse was on orthopedics and it would not have been possible for me to feel any more out of place than I already did. My mentor and the head nurse went out of their way to assure me that every new grad felt the same way. I was doing my best, but I still felt like a blend of Gracie Allen, Marian Lorne (Aunt Clara on Bewitched,) and any Red Skelton character. My mentor showed me a copy of her part of the evaluation and it was very favorable. Phew! If Hotlips Hulihan's real-life counterpart thought I was doing well, maybe there was hope for me after all. She also said the head nurse was giving me a "favorable" review. On the day the review was due, my head nurse was out sick and the supervisor added her part and turned it in to the DON's office. When the head nurse came back, I had my official review. The supervisor had forgotten to staple the other parts of the review to her part. My entire unamended review said: "Katherine does not polish her shoe laces when she polishes her shoes." She saw mw right after a patient threw up all over by shoes...
  2. sharpeimom

    Social Media And You

    I have a FB account mostly because it's an easy way to keep up with my family. We're spread out around the country -- as a cousin's eight year old pointed out, "I have cousins in every time zone in America and Canada!":wavey: FB makes it simple for those of us with babies and little kids to post and share pictures, sometimes on a daily basis. Between FB and Skype, we get to know all the "little bittys." My husband and I keep up with family, college friends, and I keep up with allnurses friends. If you never post what common sense tells you you shouldn't, you'll be fine.
  3. sharpeimom

    Yikes I'm Getting Old!

    I don't color my hair because strange as it sounds, I only have a few random strands, other than by my ears, which is strange for a 63 year old. As I see the people I went to school with, worked with, and grew up with, they frequently comment that I look so young that they just know I've had extensive plastic surgery done. Wrong! Actually, that attitude annoys me quite a bit because it doesn't factor in basic genetics, good diet, regular trips to the gym, several miles walked virtually daily for decades, avoiding elevators, etc. I was told not long ago that "You still have such beautiful skin!" Great, except it was said so accusingly instead of in a complimentary way. Hey! I was born with typical peachy-pink very fair Swedish skin which is just like my dad's was, I've always taken good care of it, and didn't suntan or burn often. I have some tiny lines and a few tiny wrinkles. I use moisterizer like crazy. If I still have small pored nice skin now, it isn't by magic. I have managed to avoid many eye problems that go with growing older because I've always had a nearsighted and a farsighted eye. For much of my life, I've read with one eye shut. It drove my teachers nuts! I remember a cousin who was very nearsighted telling me I had "weird eyes!" In my family, there are mostly tall, willowy women who are between 5'10" and 6'. There are a few who are 5' or under, with boobs from their chins to their knees, and very high waists. My mother, aunts, and most female cousins are mostly the first. A few cousins and I are a variation of number two. Despite having two very tall parents, I'm 5'4" and tend toward extra weight if I don't watch like a hawk. As my younger cousin said with complete and utter disgust when she was eleven, "Cousins Kathy, Mary, Frannie, and I are all made from leftover parts!" But you know what? The tall skinny cousins and the "leftover parts" ones all turned out to be pretty fantastic and terrific women!
  4. sharpeimom

    Yikes I'm Getting Old!

    I remember when I was in second grade, the school was being remodeled and just one student restroom was usable and thinking that all I wanted in life was to be one of those "big fourth graders" because those lucky kids got to carry the "In Use By Girls" sign and we "little kids" had to be escorted by a grown up who hung the coveted sign. When I was about 13, all I wanted was to be old enough to stay home alone when my parents went out. It came .....................eventually. When I was 14, all I wanted was to be able to date. It seemed like forever, but eventually I was 16 and the age my parents decreed. In college, all I wanted, after a couple of years, was to be done and begin grad school. Eventually it happened! Suddenly I was 30 and two of my cousins were pregnant, two more were engaged, and my fiance had died of cancer. I felt 100. I wore bridesmaids and maid of honor dresses that made me look and feel like walking meringues, but without the joy I should have felt. I still felt 100. I married when I was 37, after caring for my dying mom. Now I felt younger again but not my age. That came when we took a delayed honeymoon after my mom's death. We were away six weeks and divided our time between the British Isles and France. I returned on crutches as the result of a silly accident but my heart was light again and I felt like a new bride and like a 37 year old again. Forty was untraumatic, as were my fifties. I've always looked much much younger than my real age and still do. Good genes I guess, but it's a swift pain sometimes. I was still getting carded when I made a liquor purchase until I was in my early fifties. Every stinkin' time! The day after my 54th birthday, I had a severe stroke caused by an earlier aneurysm and when I realized that a. I would survive and b. life would never be the same I would have to adjust my thinking. The alternative was going off the deep end. I guess all this rambling is just to say your age is just a number. I certainly never thought I'd ever be THIS old, but guess what? I still have all my own teeth, my mind works just great, and I still look younger than I am. I'm still young! I feel free to speak my mind and love who I am now. As someone said recently, "Your dad would have been so proud of the adult you!" My dad died when I was in college. Great compliment!
  5. sharpeimom

    What's The Weirdest Name You've Heard A Patient Name Her Baby?

    when i was growing up, a family attended our church. they had two single kids and gave them both "j" names. next they had twins and gave them "b" names. family complete? they thought so. ten months later, they had identical triplets! "d" names. not a weird name in the bunch, but that poor mama had had 1 who was potty trained and 1 in training pants and 2 in diapers. then wham! she had 2 in training pants and 5 in diapers! the oldest child regressed a bit. this was before disposable diapers were commonly used. just for the record, there were two parents and the dad had a good job.
  6. sharpeimom

    Help!! Sticky situation relating to "abuse"

    i suspect you just got caught in the middle of something. it isn't fair at all, but it does happen sometimes. keep us posted.
  7. sharpeimom

    8 y/o with brain injury

    are you near a medical school? often they or an attached children's hospital are able to see kids who have been denied and appeals have been refused. good luck.
  8. sharpeimom

    What Freaks You Out?

    i'm allergic to so many meds that when i'm hospitalized, i ask what each one is. if it upsets or slows the nurse down, tough. i don't mean side effects when i say allergies either. the meds cause great big giant-sized hives, rashes, and sometimes, anaphylactic reactions. you'd better believe i ask.
  9. sharpeimom

    We're not leaving until Mama's in a home

    originally posted by rph3664 adult caregivers seem to fall into two categories: the ones who do it because they want to, and the ones who do it because they enjoy being a martyr. originally posted by dudette10 it must be easy to sit there and categorize so cleanly, with a heavy dose of self-righteousness. why don't you think about this scenario: your parent is teetering on the edge of caring for themselves with copious amounts of help from you, but still living independently. you're not sure when a change of living arrangements will be necessary. you struggle with knowing when the right time is. then, something happens with your parent--a wandering episode, leaving the gas on the stove on, taking too much otc meds, whatever-- and you know you must do something. however, the parent is still aware of his/her surroundings enough that nursing home placement seems...cruel. after all, the parent has spent much of their life talking about how they would never want to be in a nursing home. so, you bring them to live with you because you think you can handle it. you are able to handle it at first, because it was more stressful worrying about them living alone than it was with them living with you. then, the disease progresses, as is inevitable. you, again, are faced with the uncertainty of knowing the right time for placement in a nursing home...a place that the parent has never wanted to be. you feel the need to wait until they have no idea where they are. you wait until it just doesn't matter anymore. that point is usually after behavioral issues have started affecting your entire family. for some, a huge safety issue occurs, and you are grateful that an objective event happened to determine the right time. for others, no such objective event happens, and they still struggle with the decision-making. you ponder promises made that need to be broken, thinking "if i was more patient, i could do this...i'm failing!", dealing with family/friends who are telling you "you should have done it long ago" and "i would never do that to my parents." the comment i quoted from you was just nasty. we're either angels or masochists with the implication of sadism, too, right? i'm getting so angry at it because your statement is what makes caregivers struggle in silence. i know i did for a long, long time. then, when i began answering the question, "how is she doing?" honestly, i got the "put her away" vs. "don't ever put her away" from people...people who never offered assistance. not even for a few hours. i could see the "martyr" vs. "angel" in their eyes. i hated it. there was no understanding; there was only convenient, self-righteous categorization. and, when you are as stressed out as an adult caregiver can be--and you feel the weight of failure on your shoulders--you begin to doubt yourself. you wonder if they are right when, in reality, they just don't get it, and they aren't interested in ever getting it. there's no way i could have said it as eloquently as you, so i'll just say that i wish i could give you multiple "kudos". very very seldom does something render me absolutely speechless, but the first post nearly did. i did not respond to it because there have been a few times in my life when my big fat mouth has caused trouble for me and i was afraid this might be one such time. i'll only echo the many kudos wish ruby made above.
  10. abby the tuxedo kitten got so disgusted with my laughing at "the balls story" that she just got down and stomped off -- tail high!!
  11. sharpeimom

    dementia pt/wants out

    something that worked when my husband's elderly aunt would try to go out those doors was to remind her gently that it would soon be time for a cup of tea. they'd ask her whether she would like to come choose the type of tea for today's tea. she was a british war bride and, though her dementia was advanced, she did fondly remember high tea. if while they were brewing her a pot of tea, she remained agitated, the staff would engage her in making finger sandwiches to go with her tea. they were pb&j, cheese, etc. but when they were cut into quarters or "fingers" she would settle right down. hunger sometimes causes agitation.
  12. sharpeimom

    Favorite Dr or Nurse Name

  13. sharpeimom

    We're not leaving until Mama's in a home

    but it's an excruciating decision to be forced into making. i was there in 1987. i felt split right down the middle. no member of our extended family had ever been "warehoused" into a nursing home as my aunt put it. hospice was providing at home care, but the care would have been so much easier had my mother been cared for within the hospice. my mom had extracted a promise not just from me that she would never be "put away"but she had also made her sisters, aunts,cousins, nieces,, and assorted friends promise that they would oversee my promise. that was how strongly she felt. my mom died on a friday. multiple times a day, beginning on monday, hospice would call me and ask whether i'd changed my mind. with all the aunties hovering, i didn't feel i could make that choice. i allowed myself to be intimidated and i should not have. the good news is that nothing bad happened. at this age, i would be able to something different, but then i couldn't.
  14. sharpeimom

    What should I do about the patient from hell?

    one of my cousins has ms and there are some very subtle psych changes beginning and she said recently she feels as though she must rethink every single thing before she actually speaks to be sure it really is appropriate. if she has a psych np, then someone is aware that she's a bit left of center. document everything and take someone with you when possible. could someone else do her decub care?
  15. i grew up in a family with parents who answered every question i could ever have thought of about sex, dating, hormones, etc. willingly and sometimes in much more detail that i thought i needed. my husband, on the other hand, had parents who simply told him that s-e-x and everything surrounding it was evil and best discussed in whispers, if at all. my parents had me in their late twenties, while my husband was a menopause baby who was born when his only sibling was in college. i think herb's birth was the best birth control speech/lesson his sister ever had. i became sexually active in college and was fitted with a diaphragm at the student health center beforehand. we were not fortunate enough to have a living baby, but my goddaughter came to me for much advice about various subjects, with her parents' blessing. with her mom's prior knowledge and consent, i made ___ an ob/gyn appointment and went with her. i found out about a decade later that she carried it in her purse all that time but never used it. she said just knowing that it was there and could be used, frequently kept her from feeling she must use it. my husband mentors two brothers ages eleven and twelve as part of a national program. he's worked with them since they were in first and second grade. their parents had the older boy when they were 14 and almost 15. they also have a third child. the live with grandma and grandpa in a 800 sq. ft. house. also living there are an adult cousin whose wife threw him out, a 15 year old girl cousin and her boy friend who's 18, their one year old baby and she just found out she's pregnant again and due in september. grandma had a pregnancy scare about six months ago. when is an appropriate time to initiate birth control or even talks about being sexually active as well as about birth control? the boys have heard their whole lives that men/boys take and dominate b***hes (not women) as their male prerogative, and the 12 year old has looked forward to having erections for over a year. that attitude takes much more than a pack of condoms to overcome. if a girl or boy grows up having self-confidence and a strong sense of self (as i did) it is much easier to resist the teen boys' and young mens' charms. i think the young cousin i mentioned above should have been given birth control as early as when she had her first period. sixth grade, maybe? not the pill, but condoms plus deprovara or comdoms and an intrauterine device. something she won't have to think about in advance. girls should be reminded often that not only is it ok to turn a boy down, but that, most likely, a baby will be the end of whatever hopes and dreams she had. her baby's father usually goes on with his life, college etc. alcohol/drugs often play a prominent role in teen sex, so that must be addressed as well. it isn't only birth control that must be discussed or obtained for a teen or a preteen. it's only a part of the package.