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feralnostalgia

feralnostalgia

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  1. feralnostalgia

    Awful PCA situation

    basically I'm moving on saturday whatever happens, (when I moved here my job description was to assist Sarah with her hobby/sidejob and take out the garbage...it seems to have suddenly evolved from carrying groceries into drastically more...), but I will be talking to folks everywhere I can before I leave, and after, if it hasn't been passed into more capable hands by then.
  2. feralnostalgia

    Awful PCA situation

    thanks everyone. I've talked to Lee about the situation. tonight, Sarah made a joke about killing the cat that Lee has been saying for a while now is his only reason to live. She kind of alarmed both of us by her tone (which I think was largely in stone cold serious response to his Jovial "I'll kill you back") in this exchange and we talked about it via instant messenger so she couldn't overhear us. Two days ago, after getting the flu and being bedridden and unable to eat for three days, I was asked by Sarah to run errands around the neighborhood and to "keep my blood moving" by doing chores like washing the dishes for the entire household. In the midst of this I decided I was moving out. called my parents for help, I feel like a bit of a failure, but I have a train ticket that will be purchased and used within the week. so much for the wonderful new state experience, but I guess I'll join Americorps and try another area of the country. During our talk about Sarah, I told him I'm leaving, most likely on Saturday, and that I'm going to talk to professionals about this situation and see what they recommend. He knows a caseworker at his school and we're going to go see her/him and talk about this situation, as well as hopefully his therapist, to make sure he has a good handle on the situation and some support before I go. I wasn't sure if I was going to tell anyone or not (Sarah is probably not going to know I'm leaving until she wakes up and I'm already on the train) but I know this whole experience is going to be really hard for him. My parents are being adamant that I can't be responsible for this situation and just to get the hell out, but I'm glad I'll have the opportunity to talk to people with Lee before I go. Lee also managed to find this thread by googling "abusive PCA" (and thank god was not upset and feels everything is anonymous enough, I was worried because I hadn't "filtered" it to be something Lee would read, but turns out the truth as I see it doesn't actually need a filter for him) and appreciates your advice to us in this tough situation.
  3. feralnostalgia

    Awful PCA situation

    how do I get them involved? what would happen? Lee needs help but I don't want somebody to institutionalize him unless he seriously has no other options. He's been happier since school started than he ever has been in his life, and a lot of that comes from the relative independence he's had lately. what would it mean for Sarah? this is selfish of me, but what would it mean for me?
  4. feralnostalgia

    Awful PCA situation

    hey there, I have a situation: first off, I'm 21, I've had one nursing class. I'm not certified in anything but CPR, I know basic sterile technique and could probably get a job as a CNA in some states, but not the one I'm in currently. I have no prior nursing experience and will probably be going into social work instead when I return to school. I was invited to move to a new state by a friend I had talked to online for 6-7 months. we'll call her Sarah. this friend is a Live-In PCA for a 30 something year old man with physical and emotional disabilities. we'll call him Lee. He has a heart condition and compartment syndrome, as well as depression and OCD. Sarah has lived with Lee for a year, not paying rent, being paid $250 a week to clean, cook, and be his "life coach." Sarah has no prior caretaking experience and no training or certification of any kind, and had been living entirely on social security before. she is epileptic with a degenerative neuromuscular disorder, the acronym for which I can't recall. some of her worse seizures left her with brain damage. She has childhood abuse issues which I think are clouding her judgment (to put it mildly) and she considers herself to be "plural" (I'm not sure how distinct, if at all, this is from MPD) and will occasionally go on about children and spouses she has in her head. for months before moving here I was told by Sarah she had to be a tough-love kind of caretaker to do what was right for Lee and to help him grow, but after living with them for the past month (officially working for both of them as a second PCA, doing the heavy-lifting things they couldn't) I'm thinking she may just be emotionally unstable and borderline abusive to him. when I told her he told me he was suicidal her response was a derisive "oh, he uses that." and she brushed it off. last week she became furious with me for going to Lee in the middle of a massive panic attack and walking him through deep breathing and meditation exercises, talking with him for half an hour, and getting him into bed. she thinks we should just ignore him when he's upset, referred to his weeping on the floor as "rage" and went on about how he "hurt her" by having his emotional breakdown, when he did nothing of the kind. the only raging I observed was her. she seems to be projecting emotional issues with past men in her life onto him. when just ignoring him hasn't stopped what she calls his "rages" in the past, she's videotaped him and threatened to post it on youtube until he leaves her alone. occasionally when he's near her and she freaks out (abuse issues? just living with him for too long?) she'll just yell MOVE MOVE MOVE MOVE! and then lock herself in her room. when I was still a long-distance friend she had me convinced she had to be this assertive to "deal with him" and make him do things like get out of his chair and walk on crutches, and I was worried Lee would be very difficult to live with, but since getting here he's been nothing but pleasant and she's been kind of overbearing, emotional, and aggressive. after hearing the way she's characterized last week's episode to all her friends, I don't know if I can trust anything she's told me about Lee in the past. after making both of us cry and being the only one in the house to raise her voice, she told her friend on the phone "living with these men is like living with a pack of wolves." I'd almost prefer to think she's lying through her teeth than to accept she's so out of touch with reality as to actually perceive things this way. her mom left a voicemail today including "hope you're keepin those guys in check!" - yep, she doesn't even pay rent and has forbidden us to observe non-jewish holidays in this "jewish household." funny thing, of the three of us, only one is Jewish, Lee and I share another religion, Lee is the only one paying rent. obviously I'm not a neutral party at this point, but I really can't see us pushing her around by any stretch of the imagination. --- Lee has a contract with Sarah until March. she is on his lease so even if he were to fire her he'd have to live with her for months, which wouldn't really resolve anything. he has said he wants to fire her and hire me...admittedly I have more training than Sarah, but that's still practically none, and while I can clean and cook as well as she can and we're talking about working on more life skills (like teaching Lee to cook for himself and so on) I'm not capable of all the help he needs. I have serious concerns about two emotionally unstable people living together like this, with one supposedly caring for the other. they've managed for a year before I got here (I'm told 911 calls and "narcissistic" suicide threats were "normal" and I'm over-reacting to the situation) and everyone agrees Lee has grown while in Sarah's care...but I'm concerned and don't know what to do. I want to talk to Lee's therapist (he got one after last week's incident.) but I'm living paycheck to paycheck, have no institutional support whatsoever, and frankly would feel like an ******* getting my apparently insane and physically disabled friend Sarah fired and evicted, if that's even possible. Sarah paid for my ticket up here, moving to this area was one of the best decisions I ever made (****** work/living situation aside), and I feel like I owe her way more than that. when she's not freaking out and being irrational, she's an amazing woman and friend, and I really believe she thinks she's doing what's best for everyone. I struggle with this because while I'd like to see Sarah as in the wrong, she has brain damage and childhood abuse issues and really has just had a ****** life, and I'm worried not taking care of her as well (though she considers herself an independent professional...) is wrong of me. after the blowout last week I'm now working exclusively for Lee, worried I'm taking advantage of him at $50 a week for just carrying groceries and cooking for him every now and then. I've been looking for a second job so I can pitch in with rent, but with 5 colleges in town most of the stuff I'm qualified for is taken. if I don't live here I'm either homeless or moving back in with parents 1000+ miles away...so I basically just have to make the best of this situation and try to do right by everyone involved. I put in a transfer application to the local University 6 months early (was going to wait for in state tuition, but I really want a new place to live) but I won't have alternative housing until January. Lee and Sarah both agree their "professional" relationship will dissolve in March, but I'm worried Lee will not be ready to be on his own by then, if he ever will be, and really need help finding him resources. any advice at all would be appreciated.
  5. feralnostalgia

    Side Effects of Meds

    ever since I got Epocrates on my ipod, my friend has been asking me to check the side effects of all the medications she gets put on. my friend is on Trimethoprim/Sulfamethoxazole for a staph infection, and has been feeling generally bad for the last few days. I just spent 10 minutes typing out all the side effects, common and severe, via text message, and now she's paranoid her liver and kidneys will fail and her skin will fall off. she calmed down after a minute or so but definitely freaked there for a bit. people have a right to know what their medication could do, but how do you go about answering questions like this (particularly with patients, not just random friends) without freaking people out? I'm thinking she might could blame her diarrhea on her medication, but toxic epidermal necrolysis doesn't seem like something she should be worrying about...should I have just not sent her the list, or what?
  6. feralnostalgia

    Disturbed Energy Field? Yes or No?

    I understood the post to be rather sarcastic, my apologies if my interpretation of the word choice was mistaken. I understand not everyone is an extreme skeptic, but I've never heard anyone phrase things the way woodenpug did without trying to be patronizing. "surely you're not so selfish", "subject patients to" - I didn't read those as sincere interest or the sort of thing people say to each other when not being dismissive. either way discussing this on the internet was probably a bad idea in the first place. it just feels like no one would have taken the same tone if this were a thread about prayer - and there's no functional difference for someone with my worldview. I didn't intend to claim I had empirical evidence, and frankly I'm not sure any responsible and thoughtful person would give the community responsible for everything from botox to the atomic bomb a starting point towards exploiting this particular force of nature. I'm not sure exactly what proportion of medical advancements were weaponized before they were turned into therapy, but it's uncomfortably high. (thinking of radiation therapy here. it was developed to destroy communists, not tumors.) I believe the two domains compliment each other but I'm not trying to say they're the same thing. for the record, I think Randi is a joke. again, the majority of these phenomena are related to consciousness and there are no controls for that in the experiments (even if he does get participants to agree to them, that doesn't mean the experiments are legit, just that the subjects are a bit slow, or frauds themselves.) Randi goes into the same category with Dawkins in my mind...smug, culturally imperialist media personalities who enjoy pushing bourgeois eurocentrism on the world at large. (one also wonders exactly what kind of yogi or shaman would care for a cash prize to begin with...) I remember a bit of "Mountains Beyond Mountains", the biography of Dr. Paul Farmer, where he was talking with Haitian peasants, wondering if a campaign to disprove endemic native belief in magic was necessary to get people to bother taking medicine. when he confronted an old woman for what he perceived as a logical inconsistency in admitting to both taking her pills and believing her infection to be the result of a curse, she responded with the kreyol equivalent of "are you not capable of subtlety?" having been rather harassed by hordes of Dawkins fanboy types every time I admit to believing in a spiritual dimension to reality, I have similar feelings. -_- if my defensiveness was premature, my apologies.
  7. feralnostalgia

    Disturbed Energy Field? Yes or No?

    I didn't say anything about expecting anyone to accept anecdotal evidence, I just stated my opinion and experience. as soon as a room full of extreme skeptics with a vested interest in a viewpoint they consider diametrically opposed to this one manages to create an experimental modality that controls for human consciousness (since this energy is a form thereof), then sure. psychologists and anthropologists (you know, the disciplines that treat people like people and not machines) gave up on trying to produce accurate data sets on many social and behavioral phenomina in laboratories decades ago. participant observation, while subjective, is the only form of scientific exploration that can be effectively applied in this setting. pretending to study something reactive to human awareness and consciousness with a mind blaring "This is BS." doesn't even approach an effective setup. if people can accept that certain sorts of demographic data can't be acquired directly it shouldn't be too much of a cognitive leap to admit that if this stuff exists and is reactive to consciousness, then even a researcher standing in the room silently not doing or saying anything at all is still interfering with the variables in a big way. not many people are willing to put their careers on the line to challenge tyranical orthodoxy anyway. it's a joke to pretend serious research into this exists, or that you have the slightest willingness to accept you might be wrong about this. since expecting the general population to acquire any level of proficiency at this in a classroom setting would be completely absurd, no I'm not recommending anyone systematically "subject" a patient to any method. there's a reason I'm in nursing school and not acupuncture. if what those of us who believe and practice this sort of thing can help patients without deviating from the standard norms of nursing praxis, then that's good. I'm not suggesting people trade chemotherapy for reiki, here. I've never heard of whatever the publisher is calling it, and don't know what their recommendations were. I'm just responding to the OP's question by saying yes, I believe it's real. I could care less if you do, and have absolutely no delusions that hospital administration or universities running on educational models that pre-date electricity could effectively handle this sort of subtle concept. for future reference, coming right out and telling me you think I'm full of it would be appreciated, rather than pretending to entertain the slightest bit of respect or openmindedness on this subject.
  8. feralnostalgia

    EEG Tech and Nursing

    what's it like? neurology was my favorite part of A&P, I actually find the individual cells amazing on top of finding the brain fascinating for completely different reasons. are ICUs a lot higher stress? my dad has atrial fibrillation and sleep apnea and is going into the local sleep center for a night of observation here soon, and I'm thinking I may go with him and ask if I could observe. (by complete chance it's the same unit I just applied for a tech position with, so maybe I could meet the manager or something? inshallah...)
  9. feralnostalgia

    EEG Tech and Nursing

    is there a particular nursing specialty that would be complimented by experience as an EEG tech? I just applied for an open EEG tech position at a local hospital, and I'm in nursing school, so I'm wondering if there's any crossover between the fields. either way I find neurology and EEGs completely fascinating and read about it in my spare time anyway, so I'm happy and hope I get the job, but if it could compliment my nursing practice that would be awesome. thoughts?
  10. feralnostalgia

    Disturbed Energy Field? Yes or No?

    I'm definitely convinced this stuff is real, not because of whatever they decided to call it, but because after meditation and practice, I can feel it pretty easily and almost all the time, and see it every now and then. I have friends who have learned to do the same, and we can easily guess when the other is sending out energy, and even tell what type of energy it is. stuck in traffic one day, I had a friend guess a dozen different types correctly in a row - I think ocean and put it out there, she says "hmmm, I'm getting wet and blue." I think fire and she immediately says "fire". colors are pretty easy, too. if you have enough of it (lots of practice or something like yoga or meditation) laypeople can feel it easily on their skin as well. my friend swore she could make her EEG jump at will doing the stuff, too. I had no idea there was a nursing term for it, but I have always had every intention of using my awareness of this for the good of my patients. it's there and people feel it whether or not western scientists have named it (and frankly I doubt they could do much about it even if they did know it existed...) so I'm not loosing any sleep over whether or not western healers admit to what people have known around the world for millenia..."ashe", "prana", "mana", "qi", "energy", "numens"...you even find references to it in ancient christian sources, like The Sayings of the Desert Fathers. whether or not it ends up in textbooks, I'm incorporating it into my practice and I'm still doing all the other procedures the same way I would if I didn't believe in energy, so "whatever", really.
  11. feralnostalgia

    LPN and RN

    I'm in Arkansas right now, going crazy living with my parents. (...I have very seriously considered going to therapy to help survive living with my homophobic fundamentalist parents as a gay pagan.) I really want to move to the pacific northwest, probably Seattle, ASAP. cool, thanks. as stated above, I'm living with parents since my nursing school happens to be in the same city they live in. it's way cheaper, but that said, I'm a lot less independant now than I was 6 months ago, and it's really getting to me. I have two passions, learning, and helping people. I thought nursing would be a good way to fund the former while doing the later, after I saw what a big difference my grandfather's hospice nurse made in the lives of all my family. I've pretty much always intended to go back to school, my plan has been to see if I like nursing, if so, maybe become a nurse practitioner, if not, then just use it as a fall-back career and something to do part time while I pursue other interests. I can't respect myself if I don't feel like what I'm doing has real meaning and is making a difference in people's lives, but for me that could just as easily be in the classroom or a garden as in a hospital. I'm thinking that becoming an LPN would let me get my feet wet and see if I wanted to go on and get the BSN just as well as the ADN would, and with the added bonus of being much cheaper and letting me move out of state much sooner. I study for fun, haha. I went to college on a full scholarship with only a 9th grade education...make all A's and B's but never take notes because I just remember stuff. *shrug* the book learning is no problem, but most people are better at kinesthetic learning and just dealing with blood and guts type stuff than I am. honestly a big part of why I want to be a nurse is that I feel like I live in my head too much and I want to be forced to deal with the physical "real world" stuff to help keep me grounded. I'm not sure. all I really care about is making a difference and being comfortable with where I'm at. again, if it's something I can learn a lot from it would be great, but I don't care about career advancement and I don't like a lot of stress. I'm in no rush to do any kind of critical care type setting, though maybe moving up to something fast-paced would be more interesting once I'm really comfortable with the basics. beyond basic med-surg I've considered home-care, psych, L&D, HIV/AIDS, public health, and possibly hospice if I could handle it. I'm really interested in working with groups of people I wouldn't otherwise be exposed to - doing something like a tribal reservation or working with the Amish community or something would be very cool, as would some kind of doctors without borders thing. barring that, working with marginalized and disadvantaged populations would be nice...gay men's health, an inner city clinic, anything like that. I also have this idea in the back of my head that I'd like to live off in the country somewhere and get into organic agriculture. I'd say "commune" if that didn't conjur up images of sloth, drugs, and free love. being able to contribute to a community like that as a primary healthcare provider would be amazing, but I think I'd have to be a nurse practitioner in order to do that. I've had friends say they want me to deliver their babies, if a (gay) male nurse midwife could find any patients who didn't prefer a woman, that would be very rewarding. (frankly I'd put on a dress if that made the clients more comfortable, but I doubt it would. stupid gender roles.) I know of at least one person in my ADN program who is a scrub tech, getting 60% off her classes to become an RN - it would've been 100% off if she'd gotten into the BSN program at the teaching hospital she works at. if CNAs and Scrub Techs can get their tuition paid for, I assumed I could as an LPN, too. I'm quite content to take the slow route, I'm single, no kids, and simple tastes. so long as I'm happy with my coworkers and making enough to not get stuck at home with parents, I'm quite happy taking the scenic path. you certainly have been. thanks for listening and for asking good questions!
  12. feralnostalgia

    Am I too shallow to be a nurse?

    thoughts: I don't think any of us enjoy changing diapers or seek out bodily fluids when we're not getting paid for it. the only thing I personally have a problem with in your above list of reasons is "beautiful female nurses." I'd never want to work with anyone who wanted to treat my female coworkers as eye candy, or thought it was appropriate to hit on people who were trying to work...particularly when that work is something as important and involved as nursing. women are not sex objects and don't need to be listed along with cash as a workplace benefit. even if you choose a completely different career path you best get that through your head as quick as possible. nurses deal with life and death on a regular basis, have physically and intellectually demanding jobs, deal with some of the most disgusting things around, and have to have a huge amount of stamina. how that's less "manly" than some office job is beyond me...but I'm queer and the "logic" of sexist machismo-obsessed straight guys is beyond me to begin with. if they're dumb enough to have those hang ups, how are they worth your time to begin with?
  13. feralnostalgia

    LPN and RN

    hey there - I've been gathering lots of information about what RNs do, but I was just wondering if anyone could tell me a bit more about the LPN role. I've always heard that as a new RN you should start out on a Med-Surg unit and stay there for at least a year. is there a similar path for a new LPN? where do they get their experience from? I'm told most of them work in LTC, but what about home health, rehab, and hospitals? can you start out in any of those places as an LPN? rehab sounds particularly attractive. are there LPNs in psych nursing? what are LPN hours usually like? are they usually going to be the same 12 hours a day, 3 days a week setup that RNs have? I'm going to apply to an 11 month LPN program on monday, not yet sure if I'll go there or to the 2 year ADN program I got accepted to. at this point having real, full time work by June 2010 instead of May 2011 is very, very attractive. (my goal here is to move out on my own and support myself ASAP, and get my feet wet before deciding if I want to go for my BSN. I figure I can do that just as well as an LPN as an ADN-RN, so I'm just curious about the LPN role) thanks guys
  14. feralnostalgia

    Did you have any other options?

    I was going to go into social work before I changed majors to nursing. decided I'd rather have a degree that let me help people without working for the government or even staying the US.
  15. feralnostalgia

    Washington State starting pay for LPN/LVN's in the seattle area

    thanks for asking this question, I'm considering an LPN program and want to move to Seattle, too! reading these answers really helped =) good luck!
  16. feralnostalgia

    Good jobs for Nursing Students

    I heard people in my class talking about patient care tech - what does that involve? here in arkansas I think you have to have one semester of nursing school done before you can apply. I'll be done with the summer semester in another 4 weeks or so, and I think they'll count that. I don't have any prior experience in any kind of patient care or medicine, though.