Thursday, June 5, 2008

Life Changes

This whole 'growing up' bit is not really what I had in mind! Suddenly those loans I took out in college that would be easy to pay off once I had a real job no longer seem so trivial. My real job with a real paycheck don't seem impressive anymore when I try to figure out how to pay off my school loans, car loans, rent, utilities, cell phone bill and all those other pesky bills every month. What once was thought to be a HUGE paycheck somehow seems to look like less and less money each month, even with the raise! Yes, in all honesty this isn't quite what I had planned! I make ends meet and I know it'd be much easier did I not have this addiction for travel and fun. I remind myself, as I look at my insignificant savings account, that as I get even older I won't have the opportunity to hop a ferry into town (Boston) or swim with Beluga Whales (my next planned adventure coming soon). I've been enjoying my 20's and you can tell with a look into my bank account!
As I'm growing up my conversations with friends are changing as well. Its no longer "Did you know so and so and so and so are hooking up?!?". Now its "Did you know they are having a baby? And they just bought a house!". Goodbye long nights of partying in the clubs for fun, we now find ourselves going for a walk or having a simple dinner before running home to bed. Our girls night out doesn't consist of a limo to the all night dance club, but instead we get a table and order ONE Margarita so we can head home before 11... we need to work in the morning! Calling in sick isn't an option anymore. Its kinda strange how all these changes snuck up on me.
So I've enjoyed being so young but my responsibilities are starting to add up and are beginning to outnumber the adventures. So I guess its time to start counting my penny's a little more carefully and say goodbye to Coach purses, weekends on the beach and all nighters with friends and instead say hello to monthly bills, weekends of overtime and bedtime at 9... Yup, growing up and responsibility isn't as cool as I thought it'd be when I was 7!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

An old note reposted

I wrote this a few months ago and sent it to a few of my friends. Do to a few requests I'm posting it in on here. Enjoy!

So I don't know if I would call this a "note", its more of a crazy woman's sleep deprived ranting. I'll start off by saying I really enjoy being a Respiratory Therapist. Its an amazing and rewarding job. Sometimes the little things add up, you need to blow off a little steam and than go back to work feeling a little better. So if you are offended in anyway by this rant of mine, I must admit that at this moment I do not apologize but I probably will later.
I would like to point out to you all just how selfish and stupid people have become. When I care for people in their 20's, 30's and 40's I am always shocked and amazed at how rude, bitter and completely selfish they can be. I'm sure you all have seen it. Now for a little background I would like to tell you that I work in a hospital and care for people of all ages from newborn to geriatric. No one is better than anyone else, but some are sicker than others. At any point from 11pm-7am you are likely to find someone like myself along with one other respiratory therapist caring for the respiratory needs of the entire hospital (approximately 300 patients). On some nights we maybe slow whereas others we may be emergently called to several area's at one time. Its absolutely necessary to prioritize. Obviously patients who are not breathing come first. Right??? Well according to my younger (and healthier) patients this point is in fact incorrect. Let me introduce you to a fictional but ever so realistic patient... Miss X.
Miss X is 34 years old and came into the hospital for a gastric bypass. Like oh so many others she is overweight and admits to never trying to work out, she believes that bypass is a 'quick fix' to her problems. Wrong. After surgery she discovers that her wound and staples in her stomach hurt, eating makes her ill, medications make her woozy, we can't completely treat all of the pain and we expect her to do her own personal cares when possible. What a shock for our young and oh so incompetent friend. She begins to realize that this 'simple' surgery has many drawbacks. Miss X goes home only to return a few days later with pneumonia and an ulcer on her buttocks, it hurt to take deep breaths so she didn't, in fact she didn't do anything while home... not even move herself into a restroom. Now that she has returned she blames the hospital for not giving her the correct treatments. I am required to treat her. One of her medications is Albuterol to help treat her pneumonia and this is due at midnight. At eleven thirty a 56 year old woman is brought into the emergency room and is in respiratory arrest. I along with the ER staff stabilize her. My coworker is called rapidly to another patient in the Intensive Care Unit. I stay in the ER with the woman who unable to breathe without the assistance of the respirator. I take the patient to CT scan then back to the ER where she progresses to go into cardiac arrest and we struggle for yet another hour trying to keep this woman alive. None-the-less when I am finally able to see Miss X it is now 2am, I am 2 hours late. I apologize for being late while setting up her medication, Miss X is hostile and complains about my tardiness. She states that its because of people like me that she is in the hospital. I keep my cool and try to explain my situation in the ER (in my head I am screaming... "did I make you eat all those extra Twinkies lady? Did I make you lazy? NO!"). Now granted, if Miss X had been in any respiratory distress I would have been sympathetic and would have somehow figured out how to get her the medication sooner. But Miss X was in no distress and was in fact sleeping comfortably when I arrived. A late Albuterol treatment has little to no implications on her current condition. Miss X demands to see my supervisor and shouts "I am just as important as your lady in the ER and I deserve the same timely attention she gets". I am astonished how someone could be so unkind and uncaring about another human-being who is dying. When she began to make personal comments on my work ethic I finally walk out of her room. Maybe I am incorrect in feeling this way, but people like Miss X royally piss me off.You come to the hospital to get better, right? Well apparently that's not so. So many people, like my Miss X expect their hospital stay to be comfortable like a hotel, easy and pain free. That is not the case. You are sick and being sick is hard work, we will do our very best to make you comfortable and well but it takes time and patience to heal. Here is my take on 'hospital etiquette'
- Do NOT refuse needles because they hurt, or medications because they taste 'yucky'. You come to the hospital to get better. Refusing help is just stupid.
- The previous point is followed by this... we can't make you better until we know what's wrong. Do not expect us to know what is wrong by looking at you. Tell us your story and let us do our tests
-Do not come into the hospital expecting service you would receive at a 5 star hotel. Not going to happen. We also have many other patients needing the exact same things at the exact same time.
-Be considerate if another patient is needing more immediate critical care.
-Yelling will not make us do what you want faster. In fact it may slow us down just to spite you (unless you really do need immediate care).
-Its hospital food... seriously you should know better than to expect gourmet food! Seriously people, get a grip
-Do not expect surgery not to hurt afterwards because no matter what... you WILL hurt at some point
-Gastric Bypass is NOT an easy surgery or quick fix.
-If you are able to yell at me... you are not dying. Remember that.
-Don't complain about your roommates gassy state, its embarrassing for them and they really can't help it.
-I'm not trying to hurt you when I am drawing blood. In fact I'd rather not cause you pain because I am actually a nice person trying to make you feel don't give me that look!
-Be considerate, don't smoke in the bathroom while wearing oxygen. I don't care if you want to die but personally I don't.
-Oh and if you somehow get away with smoking in the hospital, don't attempt to cover the smell with cologne or perfume. It doesn't hide the smell and makes a nauseating stench that only makes your smoking more obvious. Plus your smoking and cologne may push someone over the edge and literally kill them.
-Always bear in mind that the hospital staff are professionals and you are not. When it comes to your lungs, I am smarter than you.
-Please do your best to warn me BEFORE you throw up. I know its not always possible but please at least attempt to aim your projectile vomit in another direction. I'm really sick of cleaning that nastiness off my shoes.
-Don't ask for a breathing treatment because you can't sleep. It's not going to help unless you have reactive airways.
-Don't act crazy for attention, don't spit, bite, scratch or yell at us. If you do you'll end up in the ICU with a breathing tube down your throat just so we don't have to deal with you. Trust me I've seen it.
-And my final note to you my friends is this, absolutely do NOT push the "Code Blue" button because no one is coming fast enough to answer your call light, if you do this I WILL come and hurt you...

So reading this you probably think I hate my job. Actually I love my job. I love making people healthy. I like playing with the kids as I give them their medications. I enjoy the adrenaline rush you get when saving a life. Its a real upper to one day be doing chest compressions on a patient and later have them thank you for saving their life as they walk out of the hospital. This ranting of mine was a long time coming and now I feel better. LoL thanks for letting me vent! Now to bed so I can continue to kick ass and save lives tonight.