Saturday, November 29, 2008

Black Friday and the Shopping Frenzy

I have never, ever gone shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. I don't like going to the mall in the first place because of the daily crowds and never could get into the idea of shopping on the biggest sale day of the year. I am normally at work on Thanksgiving so honestly I have never had the opportunity to partake in the shopping event even if I wanted to. Here I was OFF on Thanksgiving and I developed the desire to see what the hoopla was all about. I woke up at 2am... I am a night person thru and thru.. and by 4am I was getting excited at the prospect of hitting the sales. I woke Stan to see if he wanted to go and we were dressed and out the door by 4:30am. Going to the mall we passed Walmart and the lot was full with people still in the drive trying to get in. It looked like sharks in a feeding frenzy. I kept saying to Stan how excited I was to finally take part in this yearly event. He was not nearly as excited. The mall was not busy and we went into Macy's first. My excitement dwindled as I expected to see massive discounts that were not in evidence. I had no plan exactly I just wanted to be hit by the 'buy-me' buzz that accompanies big discounts. We went up to housewares and I felt I HAD to buy something because I did come out after all. I bought myself a Tassimo single cup coffee maker that I had wanted. I saved 10 bucks and I had a tiny zing on the excitement scale but it didn't last. I wandered around but really nothing appealed to me. We went into Sears and there I purchased a toaster, two hand towels, a cookie sheet, and some cooking utensils for non-stick cookware. Apparently my zing-ometer was dead. I found myself bored and wanting to leave as I was waiting to pay for my purchases. The highlight of the shopping trip was standing in the pay line when we struck up a conversation with a gentleman from Canada. He moved to our area when he was recruited by Stullers. We discussed what a great company that was and moved on to the wonderfulness of Lafayette and Louisiana as a whole. To that nice gentleman's wife: you are getting a fabulous mixer and an electric grill. However the absolute best gift of all is that your husband loves you dearly and thinks that the sun rises because of you AND he is not above telling strangers what a wonderful woman you are!!! I got a great ZING out of that!!!! My overall disappointment at the sales was over shadowed by my meeting Mr. 'Canada' and hearing about his wife. I left the mall to go home feeling pretty good about the trip even though the gift buying was a bust(except what I bought for me)
Will I go again next year???..ummm no, probably not, unless I have a great shopping plan or wish to exchange airborn bacteria with the vast mulittudes looking for a bargain.

Thanksgiving 2008

Thanksgiving at the Garrards was a wonderful event. It represented the first 'family' get-together after the wedding and it was a combined effort of Shane, Becky, Benny Frances, Stanley and me.
Benny fried the turkey and for those of you who have never had a fried turkey you just don't know what you are missing. It cooks in one hour and it melts in your mouth. Becky used her new china to set a lovely table and prepared a pumpkin soup. The flavors burst in your mouth according to Benny and he was right. It was fabulous.We started with the soup then filled our plates with casseroles and topped the meal off with Pecan pie prepared by Frances.

As noted in the next three pictures, the men ate and settled back to watch the game.This year has been a wonderful year and there are many things for which I am thankful. My son is doing well in his business. There are a few glitches but I believe that things will work out. My daughter and her love, Shane got married in the 'Wedding of The Year' if I do say so myself. I am thankful for my health, my family, my new son-in-law, 'my' new in-laws Benny and Frances. I am thankful that I have family that I love and admire from Iowa to Ohio to Florida. I am thankful for my job that allows me to get to know and treat a variety of people. I am thankful for my many friendships that have blessed me over and over. I will end this entry with a prayer:
Dear God,
Thank you so much for taking care of those that I love. Thank you for our freedom paid for at a great price by our soldiers. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to take care of others and give me patience and love in dealing with all people. Thank you for your abundant mercy as we struggle in our daily lives. Thank you for my family and for the love that is always there. Thank you for my son and daughter and now my son-in law for in them I am indeed wealthy beyond measure. Thank you for Stan and protect him as he goes about his daily work. Thank you for our food and our shelter. Thank you for allowing me to see glimpses of your love and mercy in the patients that I care for and thank you most for your Son. In Jesus name I pray.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

THE FOG or Maybe I Am Just Too Tired

I went shopping yesterday. I hate to shop because it involves getting dressed on my only real day off, getting in the car, driving somewhere, getting out of the car and walking into a store. Adding to the above you have to find a place to park. I make it a mission(and give myself points) to get the closest spot available even if I have to drive round and round. God forbid I burn 2 extra calories. I had to find a wedding present. I found a pedipaws, and a Tassimo Coffee maker( I didn't buy that... I just wanted to)I found snacks for the dancing school and nearly checked out before I realized that I hadn't bought the present. I left my purchases at the counter and found the present had it gift wrapped in a grey plastic bag(a Bed, Bath, and Beyond deluxe gift wrap) and I went to get into my car. I hit the remote for my trunk and nothing happened. I did it again..... nothing. Tried the door locks with the remote and again nothing. I was getting pretty steamed and nearly kicked the damn thing. I finally hit the alarm button and some damn fool car behind me started alarming. It nearly scared the poop out of me. I turned around to give the eye to the ninny in back of me blowing the horn. Guess what I found! My car with the trunk open and the alarm on and the lights flashing. I turned back to the first car... it wasn't the same make as my car or even the same color.... It just didn't register when I was standing there. I am very very glad I didn't haul off and kick it. No I do NOT need a keeper, I just think I need more sleep.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Comfort Food

I was thinking about comfort foods tonight and it brought back 'mom' memories. Comfort food is the food you ingest that gives you feelings of well being. My earliest comfort food was Milk Toast. I can just hear the gagging from my 2 faithful readers but you don't know what you are missing. When we were sick(and not retching) mom would take 2 pieces of bread and really toast them but not burned. Then she would slather on the butter and put it into a bowl and cover it with hot milk. Salt and pepper were added last and voila... milk toast. YUM. I can still taste it. Real homemade mashed potatoes with butter also figured up in the top ten of my comfort foods. Mom also used to make fudge and I still can't find fudge made the way mom did. The fudge today is really creamy and mom's always had a grainy taste and it was a little hard. It probably wasn't very good fudge but we grew up on it and it is the best. I recall that my sister Barb said that she made a batch of mom's fudge... I need that recipe!! My other favorite comfort food is green Christmas tree cookies with white icing. Both cookie and icing are heavy on the butter. Again my sister Barb makes those and even tho I have the recipe they just aren't as good as when she makes them. Patti's contribution to the comfort food category is Czechoslovakian cookies. ...flour, butter, pecans, sugar and jam. They are so good it makes you humuuum. I made the severe mistake of making those for people at work and I have orders every year for a batch at Christmas time. I really don't make them any other time because they barely make it out of the pan. Down here in Lou-ee-z-anna it seems that comfort food starts with rice and then covered in gravy. It's pretty good. I am really curious about what makes up your comfort food. If you are reading this please put a comment in the comment section and share what it is that your mom gave to you when you were in need of comfort.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Doris Rollins

This has been a week of highs and lows at work. I like the ER because usually the chance of getting attached to a patient is pretty slim. This is pretty much true for all the big ERs but not ours. We have people who use us sometimes daily and we get to know them, their families, their diseases and they get to know us on all our good and bad days.
Years ago now I met Miss Doris. She was a delightful 70's plus year old woman who had never married but 'adopted' her son Wayne Guidry and his lovely wife Cindy. Doris smashed right thru those barriers that I normally keep up... right into my and Jill's heart. She had her Masters in social work and was in charge of Childrens Services for the state. She worked with handicapped children and wrote a handbook used in neonatal intensive care units. She was a musician and played for her Baptist Church down the road from the hospital. Cindy told me tonight that she had composed a Christian song that I have yet to hear. She is going to also get me a CD of her last years playing which I will treasure. Doris would periodically come in when her lungs would fill up with fluid and she couldn't breathe. Dr. N., Jill and I had a routine with her and over the years we got so fast at it that her condition could be corrected in a few hours. We, Jill and I, were her nurses. She loved us and we loved her. Both Jill and I lost our mothers and I know now that Doris had a seat in the part of our hearts that missed our own moms. During a hospital stay Jill and I got her yellow flowers..... you see, yellow was her very favorite....and you would have sworn we had brought her diamonds. She went to Joshua's June performance with Cindy. Joshua dedicated his solo to her. She was thrilled and he was delighted to meet her. At each visit she would ask about my kids and my answer always interested her and she would remember.
During some really bad episodes of her heart failure her church would gather in the ER and pray. She had the will of a tiger and would pull thru every time. She came in for the final time last Thursday morning and it was bad. She wasn't recovering like she normally did. Jill and I remained by her side and let her know how much she was loved. She was eventually transferred to a larger hospital and seemed to be doing better. Doris was a 'no code' and did not want heroics done to keep her alive. She died Friday with her son Wayne by her side. God was so good to Doris because even though childless she was blessed with Wayne and Cindy, who dearly loved her. God was good to Jill and I because we had Doris for the past few years and were allowed to minister to her. She was our friend and like those left behind we will miss her. Doris you blessed me so very much with your faith and your courage. I know where you are and I am so happy that you no longer struggle with the frailty of your body. You believed, you lived your life with that belief and you have been rewarded. I just know that you are walking in a field ..... and it's full of yellow flowers.


I have permission to tell this story from one of my patients and I give it to you with great blessings. Dorothy has been a patient for about 8 years. I became acquainted with her after she lost her young daughter Brandy in a childbirth on a Christmas Eve. Brandy left behind a child and her devastated mom. I can't imagine a worse heartbreak or nightmare for any mother but Dorothy despite our encouragement could not let Brandy go and mourned her daily to the detriment of her own health. She frequently came in for increasing abdominal pain and vomiting. She lost weight and the pain never seemed far away. We were treating her with narcotics and other medication so that she could go from day to day. Every time she came in the pain was etched on her face from her abdominal area and from her personal loss. She saw many specialists and never really had a diagnosis. Our hearts would break when we would ask her how she was really doing....not wanting to mention her daughter's name. Dorothy knew what we were asking and the tears would flow. Tonight she brought in a member of her family suffering from cancer and she looked wonderful. It dawned on us that we hadn't seen her in a while. She had gained weight and brought out of her pocket a piece of paper that contained the diagnosis of the problem that had plagued her for years. She had to have a mesenteric- aortic bypass. Her mesenteric artery was blocked and she was slowly starving to death. (I will bypass the reasons why this happens... it just does) They were successful in the surgery but during that time she went into a cardiac arrest(she died) and they were obviously able to bring her back. I asked her if she had seen anything and she answered "oh, yes. I saw a beautiful area with pink and white and soft blue was all bright. There were three people. Brandy was in the middle. She was moving her hands outward like 'go back.' She was beautiful." Dorothy awoke in the ICU where she stayed for 2 months and has been home now for months. She is pain free and has a peaceful look about her face. She was able to talk about Brandy without crying. " I can let her go now" I am a witness to her difference to those who scoff. Do I believe her? Oh yes. From her own brief death she awoke with the surety that Brandy is in a beautiful place and that she will see her again. Blessing to you Dorothy and to Brandy's child and to all your family. Thank you for allowing me to share.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Water is Cheap.. Take a Bath and Put on Clean Undies

I wonder sometimes if people really don't have any idea that they are dirty. In an emergency I have learned that people can show up in the ER in a variety of clothing and covered in blood and dirt. Perfectly acceptable and no one looks askance at them. A lot of ER's are now being used as a clinic and we see a high number of non-emergency cases that present to the ER in ridiculous states of dress and hygiene. The older I get the less I hesitate to tell someone that their hygiene sucks.

Oral Hygiene: Brush your teeth....sometimes. When you have green mossy plaque attached to your front teeth thick enough to plant flowers and you smile it is about all I can do not to smack you over the head with a tooth brush. THERE IS NO EXCUSE. Water is cheap and if you can't afford toothpaste try baking powder and salt. Cavities can make you sick. When you come to my ER I will address the issue with you regardless of the reason that you came.

Body Dirt: If you come to the ER (unless it is a true emergency) and you are dirty I will mention to you that you should bathe...sometimes. Especially if you are here for boils, impetigo, lice, crabs, ring worm and poison ivy. Clean skin is important. Water is cheap. I have had to bathe children at times before I could treat them for minor ailments. I have had people tell me that they don't need to bathe but every two or three days. Yes. You. Do. You smell. You have rings of dirt around your neck and that is so not attractive. You are not going to catch cold or get pneumonia if you bathe even when you don't feel good.

Attire: If you come for a non- emergency... like something you have had for weeks...look at your clothes. If you and your kids are filthy you are going to get sick. Water is cheap. We have a lot of water in Louisiana. If your water got turned off, take your clothes to the bayou and beat them on a rock. I promise you that they can't be worse off than they are now. There is no shame in being poor but there is a heap of shame for being willingly dirty. Mama always told me to wear clean underwear if I was going out. You know, just in case you got into an accident and someone other than family had to divest you of your drawers. I had a patient come stating she was pregnant and bleeding. I asked to see her pad(huge yuck factor but it is a legitimate question) and guess what, she wasn't wearing one. But don't be too upset her panties were just fine.... because she wasn't wearing them either. Just her nasty jeans and a wad of toilet paper. Apparently undies make her feel all bound up(her words). I actually couldn't speak for a moment. If you come in for say, a non-emergent recheck on your gunshot wound from a week ago, AND you are a 20 year old man, it is not cute to be in dirty moose slippers and your girlfriends pink frilly robe and boxers. You. Look. Stupid. Don't get upset if I laugh at you.

Body Odors: Some people cannot help certain body odors and I understand that having battled stinky feet for over a year(nylon allergy... alas a story for another day) I had a patient once who presented to the ER for bad breath... whoooo boy was it bad. She knew it and she couldn't help it. She brushed about 10 times a day, gargled and was going nuts. Turned out to be a stomach problem. I have had wives take me aside and ask me to include in the discharge orders that their husbands have to bathe more than once every few days. It takes some creative thinking to tie bathing into instructions for a welder's flash burn of the eye. You know what, you married him and he is yours to raise..... tell him to bathe or you won't play the mattress mambo with him. Ladies all I am going to say is that if during your routine vaginal exam your nurse and doctor have tears running down their faces it's not because your Miss Puss is the most beautiful one they have ever seen. One word... douche

Feet: Last but not least is feet. When you come to the ER please, please, please PLEASE..change the socks that you have had on non-stop for the past year and wash your feet. If your feet are clean and they stink than you probably have some kind of medical problem. When we have to peel those dirty, 'stanky' socks off your feet and you have toe nails that are curling at the top and mounds of toe jam, do not be offended when we scrub and soak your feet AND spray them with Lysol.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Well It is Finally OVER

We have a new president. It is in fact history making in that he is partially African-American. He was not my choice but NOT because of his color. I wish him well. His views are not things that I can espouse. I still strongly feel that in spreading the wealth..again my wealth, pitiful as it an initiative killer and nothing will change. I have watched people who are being given things by the government and they want and EXPECT more. I know that there are exceptions to this statement but the feeling and attitude is there and I see it every day.

We have many friends of color who are experiencing problems of a racial bent since the election. So to you sore losers in Lafayette, GROW UP. My bet is that the ones that are name calling and threatening others did not even vote. You don't like the new President??? Too bad, get involved in the political environment. I believe(I have to)that we can make a difference. Obama allegedly works for us. I have to believe that we are strong enough to make a difference. And if we can't make a difference then we have 4 years to get behind a candidate and understand what is happening in our country and our world.
The Bible says that we need to always favor Israel. I have never forgotten that and it is foremost in my mind. So Mr. President-elect, I am one, but I am watching.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Making Selfishness a Virture?

You sir are a pompous ass. You accuse me of selfishness because I want to hang on to my money WHICH you implied wouldn't be touched but now the amount that qualifies the standard of middle class has been lowered to 120,000.00 a year. You either are a liar or you do not have a handle on the people campaigning for you including your Vice Presidential selection and your friend Bill Richardson. I want to hang on to the money that I EARNED by working hard all my life. I am accused of being selfish because I don't want to give more money to people who DO NOT WORK. And before you or anyone else goes there..... I am not a racist either because these lazy, do nothing individuals cross all racial lines. I am hugely pissed off at lazy white people just like I am lazy black people, lazy Latinos, LAZY PEOPLE OF ANY COLOR!!!!I have a small cross section of people that I see coming thru my working environment every day. (please refer to May 31, 2008 blog ER Pet Peeves #2-7 - We Are Not Stupid) You want to give MY MONEY to the poor disadvantaged people to help equal out the playing field. You need to work here for about 2 weeks and then tell me with a straight face that giving MORE money is going to make these particular individuals suddenly get the urge to educate themselves, stop having repeated illegitimate children that are largely uncared for, find a job and be productive members of society. That is just like pouring money down the drain... the problem is it is my money and NOT YOURS. What might work is to tell these particular individuals that if you don't go to school,take a job(any job) and work, that their benefits will dry up like dirt and blow away. I can just hear comments.... but I have a back injury and I have been disabled since (pick an age between 20 - 50) I can' work!!!! But I can play, dance, go to the clubs, run my car all over town, ride my dirt bike all over my camp...etc,etc,etc. Well my answer to that is find them a job that involves sitting down.... like answering a phone, filing,or typing to name a few.
When my dog doesn't eat the food placed in front of him then it will stay there till he does. When my dog gets hungry enough he will eat. When people realize that the government is not their personal sugar daddy and they get hungry enough maybe they will look deeply in themselves and find the initiative to better their own lives. You sir are going to continue to remove any possibilities of finding that initiative with your increased give away programs USING MY MONEY. I love change, it opens all possibilites for the future but the change you offer chills my blood. I can only hope that the American People wake up and soon.