Sunday, September 30, 2012

Linda Guidry 9/30/2012 RIP

Today is a sad day for a number of us here in southern Louisiana.  We are all just  a little less than we were when we went to bed.  Our dear and wonderful friend Linda Guidry, LPN died this afternoon surrounded by her family.   Linda the wife of Blackie, the mother to Alvin, Emily, Camella, Susie, and Matthew,  and the Grandmother(Ahnee) to a host of grandchildren has gone to be with Jesus after a short illness.  I can't explain to those who don't know her how much her death affects those who knew her and loved her.  She was a fixture at St. Martin Hospital and you would be hard pressed to find a worker or a patient that didn't know her. She   was a wonderful nurse and a fierce protector to her patients.  When my friend Jill and I went to visit her in the hospital last week we found her sitting up in bed struggling to breathe and to find a comfortable spot.  I got off at midnight and called Jill and off we went. Linda, Jill and I worked the same schedule for years at different areas of the hospital and we knew that she would be awake. What they say is  once a night nurse, always a night nurse, and in the wee hours of the morning we are often awake even if we are off. As she was struggling her thought was "what do we do to our patients" between breaths she was letting us know that we don't do enough for our elderly patients who are unable to care for themselves.  " We have to make sure we give them water more than every hour, we have to make sure that they are comfortable, we have to help them better".  I was in awe that in her struggles that she was focused on how to care for those who couldn't care for themselves and depend on nurses for comfort. I promise Linda that I will remember everything that you said that night.  Every time I will deal with a recalcitrant patient  I will remember and care for him or her as if I was caring for you.

Linda would occasionally work in the ER with me and a long time ago when we both had bottle reddish hair( we did love our red hair) a patient that I was helping her with looked at both of us and said "ya'll must be twins" ( and she was serious). I looked at Linda who was 50 lbs less, 4 inches shorter and who looks NOTHING like me and we both said yes.  Then I added the comment - but she was born first!  The patient stated " I knew it,  you look exactly alike."  From then on whenever we greeted each other it was "hey sister".  For years whenever I would give a butt shot I would say "okay get ready ...big shot" as I would hit them with the needle.  Linda did this as well.  One evening she went into the room of a particularly large woman and explained she would be giving her an injection in her rump.  She then wiped off the area and said "Okay get ready, one, two, three, BIG BUTT."  She went back to the inpatient side refusing to come back until after the patient left.  We have laughed over this for years.

Linda and I love our "bling".  When you realize that we are always at work and rarely have opportunity to wear our "sparklies" we decided that the saying "less is more" did not apply to us and that 'more is more and BETTER was our mantra!!" We would always have something shiny on.  I nearly broke our hearts when they sent a memo stating that the  dress code was going to be enforced.  Lots of bling is not listed for the dress code of a  professionally dressed nurse.  We could wear watches, a tasteful ring( and not on at least 3 fingers.... can you believe THAT???!!!)and non dangling earrings.  It has been a struggle for both of us to find shiny things that fit within that description and still remain true to the more is more mantra.

My current ED manager Denise told me the other day that Linda taught her to be a nurse.  She was a brand new RN years ago when she first came to "the Gary" as our hospital was then called.  Linda took her in hand and helped her find her way.  Linda as a LPN was a better nurse than most RN's that I have worked with over the years. She had incredible instincts and a wonderful sense of humor that never left her.  Whenever I had an IV on a baby I would call Linda.  She was the best.  Make no mistake.  If you worked with Linda you had to work and if you didn't work she had no patience for you.  No matter that she had a temper that was awesome to see, she was at heart a peacemaker.  I can still hear her say to me when I was dealing with a co-worker problem " now sister, just let that go...let that roll off your back".  She read her bible at work and was a source of spiritual insight.  She was an active member of New Beginnings Church and her family  provide the music ministry.  Susie and her husband Rene Armentor, and Blackie are up there each Sunday singing to the Lord and providing incredible blessings to all the members.

I could go on and on listing all the wonderful memories that I have of Linda, the arguments that we have had( we are both pretty strong willed), the way she would "pass" you a pair of eyes that made you realize you screwed up.  I could tell you all the times that she prayed for me when I had cancer.  I could tell you all the times that she provided me with her faith when mine was nearly gone.  I could tell you about ALL the patients that benefited from her care.  I could go on and on about her sense of humor.  I could do all these things but you still wouldn't understand the impact that she had on me.   I will miss you so much "sister".  You have left a legacy of love in your children and grandchildren.  "Ahnee" will not be forgotten.

Tonight I am wearing my sparklies....

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11. 2012

Eleven years ago on this day American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the World Trade Center buildings 1 and 2.  Around the same time American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon.  United Flight 93 was headed for the Capital Building when the passengers thwarted that attempt and the plane crashed into the ground in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  These attacks were brought about by a group of militant Islamists from the al-Qaeda network of terrorists headed by Usama bin Laden.  The listed reasons for this heinous attack was America's support of Israel, our presence in Saudi Arabia and sanctions against Iraq.  Reality is that they need no excuses.  They hate us totally for our way of life.  For their sacrifice the terrorists who killed nearly 3000 people are sitting in their heaven with 7 virgins or some such crap as that.   I continue to feel into my deepest being the tragedy of that day.  I watch the timeline that Fox produced each time it is on.  I have nearly memorized the speaking parts.  The other night as I was watching the timeline, my daughter in law brought my little granddaughter over and I was able to hold her and smell her precious baby smell.   She remarked that I was again watching something that makes me cry every year.  I acknowledged that fact and as I held Allison River I realized that the reason I remember is for her.  If we forget,  the victims of that day will have died in vain.  We have to remember to be able to fight against the spread of terrorism.   We have to teach our grandchildren the value of freedom and that it is worth our sacrifice.  Our way of life, our country, and our values are under attack from all sides and if we do not stand guard we will lose all that we hold dear.   I watch each year to honor those husbands, wives, moms, dads, sisters, brothers who lost loved ones and who are left behind to carry the torch. In my memory that is the last time that our country stood together regardless of political party to announce to the world that WE ARE AMERICANS and we will not be destroyed.   Remember today all those who lost their lives and pray for those who lost  their loved ones.  Finally pray for our country.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

War on Women, Birth Control, Abortion and the VaJJ Costumes

I love the news.  I love watching all kinds of news.  I shamelessly love Fox BUT listen to the others to be able to get an idea of what is being said by the obvious liberal media.  I know people who won't watch Fox because allegedly Fox is  too conservative. They say they have watched but if they had they could not make that accusation.   They don't watch.  Period.  I get both sides from Fox.  This has to be the reason that they have been #1 for years.  I was TV bound during the conventions.  I really love this stuff but this time, this election is probably the most important of my life.  Fox was the only station that covered nearly the whole conventions.  All the major speakers were covered completely on both sides.  No one else can say that.  I love the pageantry, the speakers, the delegates and the whole process on both sides.  You have to watch if you really want to be informed.  At the Republican convention they had a group of aging hippies dressed as vaginas.  I was enthralled  and disgusted at the same time.  It was like a train wreck: to awful to see but you just couldn't turn away.      They sang a song and the whole thing was to point out that the Republicans have declared war on women.    I know my sister reads my posts and my daughter other than that I don't know for sure who else takes the time to read what I have to say.   But if another woman reads this please know that THIS woman is much more than her vagina.  Believe it or not, I have a brain.  I read, I think, and I have my own ideas not fed to me by my choice of a political party.  Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University law student spoke.  She is the Democratic poster child for birth control. She just graduated from Georgetown Law( it costs approximately 50 thousand a year) and graduates from this prestigious school usually start out at 150 thousand a year.  Maybe now she can afford her birth control pills.  During her education period she could have gone to any planned parenthood office and received her pills free or at a discount.  Instead she wants insurance companies to pay. The problem comes in when employers who are fundamentally against birth control are forced to provide insurance that will provide the pill for their employees. Who is more right.  We have a right to choose. You don't have to work for a company that does not want to provide your pills.   Better yet,  pay for your own pills if you are living your life in such a way that  unplanned pregnancy is a concern.  Or even better have your partner pay for the privilege of sharing your bed.  My daughter and I differ on this I am sure because she had commented in the past about the cost of the pill.  Before I get comments from people who have known me in the past I offer this disclaimer:  I have changed.  About many many things.  I have spent years conflicted about choices that I made when I was young and stupid. I have come to terms with my choices and know that who I am now is because of the good and bad choices that I made in the past.  Been there done that, and I have the tee-shirt.  I just don't trot it out all the time. I also rest in the assurance that I have been forgiven.  

In abortion news Representative Todd Akin  made a really stupid statement.  He said that  and I quote “It seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, it’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.

Okay well he is stupid.  But I would still rather have dinner with him than with Sandra Fluke.  He is at least educable.  I posted on face book how I felt about this and will repeat for this blog.  Years ago that was the common view.  That in cases of violent rape the chances of getting pregnant were nil.  We know that is not the case. From what I have read the term "legitimate rape" is the most insulting to women everywhere.  Get over it.  I am sure it will come as a shock to you that women actually lie about rape.  I have been in the ER venue for nearly 37 years and I have seen my share of LEGITIMATE rapes and those that were bald faced liars who needed an out to face the parents or the husband.  Or in a worse case scenario to get even with a guy who dumped you.   In any case in most ERs you are offered a morning after pill.  Keep in mind that if you state that you just KNOW that this rape caused you to get pregnant and demand a test we then know that you really are pregnant already.  Yes this has happened... it was years and years ago and I can still see the surprise that we didn't believe her. The morning after pill does not work if you are already pregnant.  

I am a borderline right-to-lifer.  If that upsets some pro-life people then I am sorry.  Strict pro-lifers would not offer a morning after pill.  I would.  I have changed drastically  in my abortion-for-birth-control  opinion.  I had a defining moment  years ago when I participated in an abortion in an ER that I worked.  I can still hear the girl say " Doc I got pregnant again, shit"  The female doctor that was our ER physician escorted her into the first room and I set up the suction machine.  It was over and done with in a few minutes and I was changed.  I watched a mass of blood and tissue sucked out of her and realized that this was a baby.  It was really a life.  I refused to assist in any more abortions and made up my mind that if it meant my job then so be it.  It didn't come to that but I changed.  All women who want birth control abortions should be made to take part in one.  If you are pregnant and don't want the child you can offer that gift to a childless couple who desperately want a child.   Recently a couple had a baby named Braxton Bergeron.  His story is on  They are local people known by friends of mine and I was encouraged to read Braxton's story.  I encourage you to read it as well.  But get a tissue...or a box of tissues.  They were informed early on that Braxton had "broken bone disease" and would not live long after birth.  They elected, after being given the choice of an abortion, to carry Braxton to term.  Their story is poignant and bittersweet.  Braxton's story is a story of life and victory.  Braxton died hours after birth in the arms of his parents.   The parent's choice of opting for the more difficult path has changed countless people within this community and that is Braxton's victory and legacy.  

I believe in the sanctity of life.  I believe that the Republican party does not hate woman but is remaining true to the majority of their constituents of both sexes.  Yes Romney has changed his mind about the pro-choice issue.  But then so have I.   The issue of rape is still a hot topic and one that I will take an active part.  I will write to my congressmen and expect them to take a harsh view as to the punishment of a rapist.  I just hope that the accused is not a victim of a liar.