Sunday, May 29, 2005

Your mission, should you choose to accept it....

Okay, here is a new scrapbooking challenge for the next week or so. Pick a theme, any theme. Go to and choose any 12x12 layout sketch that you think looks interesting and post it on your blog. First person to post a sketch idea gets to have us all use that same sketch as an inspiration for your next layout. So we can all see the same sort of layout with different themes/embellishments, etc. It will be fun! So, pick and post a sketch, then use it to make a layout and post it.......
Too, too long since last I wrote. After several discussions, I now believe that I am not jumping to conclusions or overreacting when I get irritated/frustrated with racial rudeness. It happens every day in every part of this city. Ask people, and you will see. Specifically, ask people who are non-white. Maybe if you live in a rural area where there are very few minorities you don't know or notice or even hear about these things, but it does happen. So there.

Anyway, we have a Storm game this evening again. We won on Friday, which was nice. There is a folk life festival in the Seattle Center right outside the stadium, so I think we will go early and get some great ethnic food for an early dinner before the game.

I am off until I think Friday from work. I have a trauma conference I am going to on Wednesday and Thursday, which should be fun. I have always enjoyed it in the past.

What else.....I am on 6E today, planned admissions. No new admissions on the weekends, which is nice. I am only working 8 hours (game later tonight), so it feels short.

Exactly 5 months until our Vallarta Vacation! I am more than ready to go. I have been practicing with drinking fruity beverages. I was having spiced rum with pineapple juice and orange juice. Divine. I love pineapples and pineapple juice. So tangy and good.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Random crap

So I stayed late at work on Sunday, got off at 1130pm. There is a program through work where I can take a cab home a few times a year on their expense if I stay late for work. So I did that. At first the cabbie was asking me all sorts of questions--do I work there, do I take a cab a lot, what do I do, etc. Nice, pleasant sort of conversation. Then he saw that I needed to go to West Seattle, and asked me if I like West Seattle. I do. A lot. And I told him so, how I like the quiet ness compared to the rest of the city, etc. Then he proceeded to say "I don't like West Seattle....too many black people'. I said, excuse me?? And he said it again. I was silent. He said, 'you like black people?' kind of in a joking way, surely expecting me to say something neutral or possibly even 'no', and I said 'I am married to a black person'.
And we didn't say anything else for the entire ride home.
I wish I had gotten out of the car right then. We were stopped at a stop light right by the hospital--I could have gotten another ride and made a point. But I didn't because I was tired and it was late and I was still a bit surprised at the guy. He was young, of middle-eastern descent with a thick accent, and had seemed like a nice guy. But that was irritating.

Oh, the random stresses in my life. This really wasn't a big deal, but a fairly crappy way to end the day.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith

So, to recover from our depression over the Sonics' exit from the playoffs, we went to the Storm game on Saturday. Opening game of the season, they handed out the 2004 championship rings, raised the championship banner, then everyone left the building. At least, it seemed that way. I am not sure what happened to our awesome team, but we sure stank it up!

Not a good way to help us get over the Sonics. So, after THAT game, we headed over to Pacific Place, an upscale mall that really sucks except that they are right downtown and have a parking garage that is cheap and a movie theater on the top floor. We headed up, found that SW3 was playing on several screens, and tickets were available for a show 45minutes later. We bought tickets then had lunch/early dinner at Johnny Rockets right next to the theatre. Food was okay, cheap, but filled us up. Star Wars was awesome! No let downs whatsoever for me. TOtally tied the two trilogy's together and answered all of my questions. Very well done, good moral story, good all around. Worth seeing. I give it two thumbs up.

Friday, May 20, 2005

If I could choose a team to match up against, I would have to choose the Lakers this year. We HATE Kobe, and the whole organization in general. It is the one team that everyone gets up for, and we pounded them pretty good this year. It is so much more fun to beat a team you hate than a team you just dislike!

Hate-a-Laker, Hate-a-Laker, Hate-a-Laker (say it fast and it just rolls off your tongue).
This year and last year were especially fun to play the Lakers, mostly because they suck this year, and last year was the Kobe rape trial. Our fans booed Kobe each and every time he touched the ball for the entire game every time he played here. I thought that was pretty cool. What a jerk......

It is just so hard this year because the Sonics are/were such a great group of guys. They started this sort of tradition very early on in the season where immediately after each game, win or lose, they will walk to halfcourt and huddle up for a minute or so, praise people for good plays, thank each other for being motivational, and reflect a bit on the game. The injured players, the players who never make it into a game, all of them meet up there. There was a big write up on it earlier in the season, when after losing in a blowout game on the East Coast somewhere, the dancers came out to dance and there was confetti falling and the mascot rushed onto the floor, and everything stopped, because the Sonics, instead of huffing off to the locker room as teams generally do when they lose, met in the center of the court once again in a show of solidarity. No finger pointing, no blaming each other, just everyone being a team. It is really neat to see. They go to each others' houses for dinner, they have poker games on every plane trip, they had a secret santa gift exchange for christmas, they just were all such good guys. No police records, no jerks, just good role models and great guys.
On the way to San Antonio for the game on Tuesday, the assistant coach' s wife flew commercially down there and met a man who was flying to the military hospital in San Antonio to see his son who is just back from Iraq and had a foot amputated. The next morning, before doing any practice or preparing for the game, half the team went spontaneously to the hospital with autographed everything to visit soldiers and pay their respects. All spur of the moment.

Really good guys. You feel good for supporting them, and you really hope the best for them. Ray Allen took a lot of heat when he said no to the US olympic committee to playing in Athens. His wife was due to give birth a few weeks after the games, and he said he just couldn't live with himself to not be there when she gave birth, if the baby came early (which she did. His daughter is almost a month older than Raegan). Family first. Rashard (although we now have issues....) bought a million dollar mansion here in Seattle, and lives with his mom and his twin sister. Reggie and Jerome talk about their kids all the time. Danny may seem tough out there on the court, but he is also a family man, and has bible study with Luke and Antonio on road trips. Really good guys.
Okay, I DO want to talk about it. I bleed green and gold. My heart hurts after that game last night, but you know what--this was the little team that could.

Picked before the season started to finish LAST in their division, they won it instead. Singled out as the team projected to be the third worst in the entire LEAGUE, and they finished the regular season with the 6th best record in the NBA.

We lost Vladimir Radmanovic for 19 games late in the season, he manned-up and came back from a stress fracture in his foot and helped us win the first round series versus Sacramento, we lost at points during this season Rashard Lewis, Ray Allen, Antonio Daniels and Danny Fortson, and we still won. We beat good teams. In their stadiums. We demolished bad teams. We made noise in the West, and had a phenomenal road trip back in November when this little team that could jelled and decided that it doesn't matter what the critics say or what they are SUPPOSED to do, they could support each other and believe in each other and win anyway.

We were supposed to win MAYBE 30 games and get a lottery pick. We won 52 and stormed into the playoffs. Nick Collison came out with his super-shoulders and banged around down low, making us anticipate the amazing career he has in front of him. Remember when Vlade hit 9 three pointers against the Lakers?? I do. Remember beating the Spurs in San Antonio in December, breaking their home winning streak?? I do. I remember when Reggie Evans pulled down 21 boards against Charlotte in February. Undrafted. UNDRAFTED?!!? The number one rebounder per 48 minutes in the NBA was undrafted.

As was Damien Wilkens, who made this team on his own merit. Undrafted, his dad, his uncle, no one coud do it for him but HIM. And after barely making this team, showing up to practice at 100% every day, being there for his teammates, believing in himself, he showed up in March against Portland, when we were decimated with injuries, and shocked the NBA world with 21 points, singlehandedly winning that game for us, and coming up big the next game as well with amazing steals, hustle and determination.

Luke Ridnour. Luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuke. The little kid from Blaine who has gone EVERYWHERE with a basketball for the past 12 years. To bed, to school, to eat, everywhere. And it paid off. He had some amazing games, impossible passes, creativity in all aspects of his game, and heart to spare.
And who was that in the first round?? Jerome James, or his alter ego? Career highs, amazing plays, rebounding, scoring. blocked shots-- he brought it.

This was an amazing season, and as painful as it is to lose and be done, I truly appreciate the hard work, determination, grittiness, effort and HEART these guys showed all season. I only hope we can bring most of them back next season to try it all again.

And after all of this, I question Rashard Lewis' heart. I question his determination and his drive. Where was he?!!? A TOE!!! He hurt his toe. It better be broken. He better need some sort of surgery or reconstruction or something. Reggie Evans played game 5 with heart. He sat on the bike on the sidelines with two ice packs strapped around his back with ace wraps to try to calm his injured back. And every time they called his name, he jumped up, threw down the ice packs, and checked into the game and pulled down 9 boards and hustled every second. Or Antonio Daniels who doesn't have a limb that doesn't hurt. His left leg is held together with spandex and support orthotics, his back spasms require daily therapy, he is knocked across the court on a nightly basis, and he still comes to play. It's the playoffs! Go hard or go home. GO HARD OR GO HOME!! I have no voice today. I left it all at the Key. My head hurts from all the screaming I did and all the screaming I heard. There is not a player who played last night who was 100%. But they all played. Except Rashard. This is the playoffs. You play hurt. You tough it up, go out there and do your best. Vlade was injured, I didn't expect him to play. Injury is different from 'hurt'. Rashard didn't want it. And now I have 5 months to think about that.







Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Drawing of a fasciotomy
So, I still have a secret and I am still not going to tell, but I have started on it and it is not too horrible so I may tell in the near future. Satisfied?? I will even post pictures once I am a bit further along in the process. Mostly, it must be kept a secret from Ethan, because I am thinking of making it an anniversary present for him, since we won't be on a vacation this year and we are sort of obligated to give gifts of some sort. I am trying to telepathically tell him to get me a laptop computer, although I already more specifically told him that that would be a great birthday present. Either way, I can wait, but it sure would be nice!

Monday, May 16, 2005



What an awesome game!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Did you know......

That I walk very loudly, slam my toilet seats and slam my cupboard doors? I didn't, but apparantly our downstairs neighbors are complaining to the condo management people that we do these terrible things. Seriously. We must have gone through dozens of toilet seats and lids the way we slam them all the time. And the walking! I do try to stomp my feet and march aroudn the house a lot. Oh, and also our nerve of making noises before 6am! I guess one of the new condo association rules is that no one can have a job that causes them to be awake and up before 6am. So Ethan is quitting his job to work at McDonalds on the mid-day shift, just so our neighbors will have some much deserved peace and quiet. Poor neighbors.

What a bunch of bunk! Do Ethan and I strike you as cupboard and toilet seat slammers? Actually, Boo has figured out how to open up cupboards with his paw, but I don't think he has yet mastered the art of slamming them. Who knows. And maybe he has some hidden lead shoes that he and Shadow wear around the house as they frolic during the day. Bad kitties.

We are going to write up a polite letter and treat them like kindergarteners and basically say that the sounds they are complaining about are sounds of normal daily life, and as such they are unlikely to change. I do admit that I am a heel walker, have been all my life and that is also unlikely to change. Slightly louder than non-heel walkers, but nothing I can do about it. I will also advise them that our lawyer has advised US that we are doing nothing wrong, and they should call the police if they are so certain that we are being horrible. Can you imagine that police report??!?

Called to west seattle condominium for a report of excessive noise, discovered that they feel the upstairs tenants are walking around their home too loudly, downstairs tenants given lecture on proper usage of the police reporting system and told not too kindly to never bother us again.

I am quite certain that we are doing nothing wrong, and the whole thing is fairly funny, although it IS a bit irritating to have to deal with. So that is my deal for today...

Oh, and since Ethan has been out of town, I went and rented a bunch of chick flicks that I know he wouldn't want to see. I say Bridget Jones' Diary, Wimbledon, Spanglish, and Pirates of the Caribbean. I know Pirates of the Caribbean is not a chick flick, I just threw that in because I like it so much. I really liked Spanglish and Wimbledon, BJD was okay, and I feel that I am now a very well rounded individual in terms of my movie watching.

Off to the Sonics game in less than three short hours! I am meeting Jobie somewhere (not sure yet--wherever he finds a parking spot for his car), and we are going together. It is his first Sonics game, and second NBA game. His only other NBA game was the Rockets vs Blazers game I took him to in 1995. It should be a great time. I have my green and gold wristbands on, my new favorite-but-not-yet-determined-if-they-are-lucky underwear on, my Storm Championship T-shirt and my Storm Championship confetti that fell from the rafters when they won the 2004 WNBA championship. So as far as I go, I am as lucky as I can be. Oh, I also have my lucky green toenail polish on. Forgot to mention that before.

THe last game was great. By the end, for the last 5 minutes or so (game time), it was awesome. People screaming their heads off, clapping, cheering, totally excited. This time, people will be revved up from the beginning, so it is going to rock!!

If we win tonight, we are guaranteed another home game on Thursday, which will be great. Taking it one game at a time.............

What else............think that is about it for now. No interesting patients today, and I have a student nurse who is in a special program that lets her come in alone and take a full patient load and do almost everything. So she is very advanced for a student, and she has all of my patients and I am quite bored. Time is not passing very quickly at all. But, only an 8 hour shift today, so I will make it. And today of all days I left my certification curriculum study book home, so I can't even study in my spare time. I do have a Clive Cussler book here, but it is hard justifying it as being work-related (although no one cares--there really IS nothing to do. Pretty slow day, very few patients today), although the characters are frequently picking up orthopedic injuries, so I guess that sort of applies.

Off to check the patients...........

Friday, May 13, 2005

Go, Alyca, Go...

Go me. I did a good job at work Thursday. I had a patient with a bad lisfranc fracture/dislocation (midfoot fracture, where the top of your foot meets the ankle). They tried to manipulate it back into place in the ER, but couldn't, so he was rushed off to surgery to have an external fixator placed. This is a sort of erector set where there are pins drilled into various bones above and below the massively broken area, and they are all connected together with a metal framework that sticks out of your leg. Hard to describe....maybe I will find a picture to post. Anyway, so he had this done, and got out of the OR around 5am and I picked him up at 7am.
The fixator was wrapped in a sort of ace wrap. The docs like to do this when they first send these guys up from surgery, since the pin sites where they enter your leg tend to have some drainage the first day or so, and they want to keep it contained and protect the areas from the rest of the world. I took a peek at the foot to check out circulation, sensation, movement, etc, and it was really swollen. Really swollen. There was a whole swollen roll of skin all puffed up right at the spot where the top of the foot meets the ankle.
I guess I should say something about compartment syndrome. Basically, compartment syndrome is when a compartment (which is any contained area that has a muscle, vein, artery and nerve all contained inside a fascia), gets really bumped hard but not broken, and the blood vessel bleeds, but since the fascia is intact, there is nowhere for the blood to go, so it just builds up the pressure in that compartment which makes the nerves function get cut off, so you have some numbness, and also the area gets really swollen and the skin gets really shiny and discolored, and certain movements can cause severe pain. They are most common in the calf--this is why soccer players wear shin guards. So the main thing to assess if a patient has swelling or if they have compartment syndrome is to passively (meaning I do it and the patient just relaxes and does not help) move their toes towards their head. If the scream and try to kick you with their good foot, that is not a good sign.

So, this guy is really swollen, and I am not sure if there ARE susceptible compartments in the foor, but I really wanted someone else to look at it. I had a few of the nurses on the floor take a peek, then called the ARNP to look. Took her like 3 hours to come up--she kept saying she was coming, but did not show up. Actually, I called her at like 8:30am and she showed up when I was on my lunch break at 1pm, so I guess it was a bit longer than 3 hours. Not so good. She looked at it and said hmmm, then had Moe, the wonderful very ortho experienced ARNP look at it, and SHE said to call the docs to have them look at it. Through all of this we gave the patient tons of pain meds and anxiety meds to 'snow' him so you could touch his foot without horrible terrible pain. But even then, he would wake up and moan a ton if you messed with his foot. We could use a doppler (like what they use in ultrasounds) to hear the pulses in his foot, and those were good, but not necessarily a sign that there was no compartment syndrome.

The compartments felt very firm, almost like pushing on bone, rather than tissue. So the MD's came up and they unscrewed the external fixator and adjusted it a bit which was pretty painful for the patient, but once they moved it a few centimeters, the compartments were much softer and we could wiggle his toes for him and he did not really notice (gorked from all the meds). So all was better. We kept him NPO (nothing by mouth, actually nil per os, it is latin---don't ask me) in case he needed further OR, but since he didn't want anything to eat or drink anyway, he didn't care.
So, the day goes on and I am being diligent.
Remember, we very rarely see compartment syndrome. Maybe 3-4 times a year, and always (almost) in the calf. No one can remember seeing it in a foot.
Anyway, I kept checking and checking, and around 5pm I feel like the foot is getting firmer. I feel a definite change, so I called the ARNP and eventually she called the MD and he came to the floor, messed with the patient for a second and we whisked him away for emergency surgery to have a fasciotomy done so his foot would not need to be amputated.
A fasciotomy is basically cutting a big slice through your skin all the way down to the fascia layer that surrounds the muscle capsule. Once the fascia is cut open, the muscle will literally blow out of the hole with all the pressure behind it. So now he has a muscle, or a group of muscles bulging out the top of his foot, and we keep special dressings on it and once the swelling goes down enough they will try to stick it back inside where it belongs, although many times they can not do that, so they take some skin from somewhere else to cover up the hole and you end up with a really funky looking but fairly functional foot.

Anyway, I was really excited about catching this. This is the sort of thing that gets missed--he had a dressing wrapped over it in the morning, which restricted seeing it somewhat, he was totally still with a bunch of anaesthesia in his system, and on a bunch of pain meds which makes it hard to wake him up enough to get good answers from him about his pain and sensation etc. I had him again today, and he totally did not remember me at all from the 12 hours I had him yesterday. And, we were all not entirely sure you could GET compartment syndrome in a foot. Apparantly, you can. So. Go me!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


So........really not a lot going on nowadays. Actually, Ethan is heading out of town Friday morning, going to Vancouver BC with the Vegas 5 for this year's trek. Not quite Vegas, but they have become convinced that someone would eventually die if they kept heading to Vegas, so this is what we are down to. They are taking a train there and back, coming back late Sunday night. There is a Sonics game on Sunday, which Ethan will miss, so I invited Jobie to come. We are both pretty excited about it. It will be his first Sonics game, and since it is a playoff game, it should be a fun time. I am just working on getting the day off, since I am scheduled to work until 730 that evening, and the game starts at 4pm. Which sucks. I want to switch to work on wednesday or friday, since I don't work either of those days, but we shall see. At the very least, I need to switch to get off at 330pm. I can write out my report early and probably get out of there quickly to head over to the game.....

Work has been pretty good lately. I still haven't heard anything about the nurse educator job I applied for, but that is allright.....I did finally get my orthopedic nursing core curriculum book, so I am officially now studying to take the certification exam in October. Go me. It is an extra buck an hour, so that will be nice. That was my new years resolution for this year, so I am glad I am actually working towards it. Go me again.

And........okay, I can't think of anything else to write about, so I should probably stop typing until I think of something later.....
Actually, I have something that I am doing that is a secret but I sorta want to tell everyone but that would spoil the secret. I suck at that. Secrets of things that I am doing that are good or for someone are hard for me to keep. Like birthday presents for Ethan--I almost always give them to him early because I know he will like them. I suck like that. But I can keep my mouth or my fingers quiet for the moment, so I won't tell just yet.........

Monday, May 09, 2005

I believe!!!

So, I was over at QFC, and one of the checker-girls was walking around and smiled at me and said how is your day going (slightly unusual, since I rarely speak to any of the QFC employees except maybe while checking out), and then, whilst I perused the seasoned meat section, she came up to me AGAIN and asked if I was finding everything all right. (I was), then she told me 'you know, you really look like Drew Barrymore'. Hysterical. Now, four DIFFERENT people (two of whom I am not related to) have separately told me the same thing. I must believe. (unless, of course, Sabrina or Davinie know this girl and set her up. Always a possibility)

Friday, May 06, 2005


It is nice to be appreciated. Especially on national Nurse's week. My patient yesterday said she wanted to clone me. While that was a bit odd, it was very sweet. I am not the worlds best nurse, but there are patients who have needs that match up with my strengths as a nurse, and this happened to be one. She was so upbeat about her hospital stay, I told her it was a pleasure to take care of her. Very nice. And, I learned a lot yesterday about pain medications. The education position I applied for (that I am not sure I want) is a focus on pain and spines. I love pain. It is what we deal with the most (that, and immobility issues). I had a long talk with the ARNP for the pain team about different narcotics we give, and the equivalency between the oral and IV forms of the same medications, and how they relate with each other. SOunds like a bunch of mumbo jumbo, I am sure, but it was really interesting. I wrote down a little cheat sheet to help me remember. That will be useful when dealing with patients having pain issues. We most commonly give PO (oral) or IV morphine, PO or IV dilaudid, and PO oxycodone. We also give methadone, MSContin and Oxycontin for long acting pain relief. It was interesting to hear how they pain team decides what amount and what type of medication to give someone, and why. Pretty cool. Anyway............
So....our DVD changer broke a few weeks ago. Since it is a very nice item, we took it to a repair place, and found out that the laser was broken. Over $200 to replace it!! Ridiculous, but this IS the 400 disc changer, and worh more than $200. Yuck. But, it is ready to be picked up today, so that is nice. I am just not looking forward to having to put all the DVD's back in (in alphabetical order) and adding in the titles, etc. that is going to take forever. I can hook up the keyboard to it to make things a little faster, but it will still take a while.

I love Little House on the Prairie. It is on right now. That Nellie Olsen, she is a terrible girl. Takes after her mother, she does. Harriet just got doused with a bunch of water because Nels was installing a water closet in their house and she pulled the chain before he was done connecting the pipes so she was drenched. Such comedy! One of the all-time great family shows. Good stuff.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Fortune cookie

I didn't end up getting a cracker, since I suddenly remembered that I have a fortune cookie. My fortune reads "This year your highest priority will be your family". Lovely. Does that mean it won't make my hurl??

Anyway. I am no longer naueaus, so I am heating up my Curried Chicken from Friday. We ordered Chinese to eat during the last Sonics game. I have Curried chicken, garlic chicken, sweet and sour chicken, pork fried rice and shrimp curry for Ethan. Delicious, and the lady on the phone was so nice! It was from Hunan something or another. I found it through google by typing in Hunan and Seattle. So nice! So I am waiting for my food to cool off a bit. It is pretty hot right now. Still trying to figure out how to microwave things. I get scared, because the microwave in our pantry is from the 1960's and has a warning printed on it that says Caution--Stand back and other terrifying labels. And it heats water to almost boiling in 30 seconds. We have had three people burn themselves that I know of on food that is too hot/coffee, etc, and need to go to urgent care to have these actual burns treated. Not good. So I go slow and eat lukewam food if need be. At least my skin is all intact!

Sunday soliloquy

Go Sonics. So, we lost the game on Friday, and we will not speak of it. We have it set today. I have made sure of it. I have my lucky sonics socks on, my vintage sonics shirt on, and a ziplock bag full of extremely lucky confetti that fell from the rafters when the Storm won the championship last October. I think what happened friday was that I forgot the confetti, and Ethan and I wore these free giveaway sprite/sonics shirts with the goofy thirst guy on the front. I think the Sonics don't handle goofy well, so we are going traditional today. Yesterday, Ethan wore his black sonics hat and black sonics shirt in mourning for their loss. We got 'em today, though.

We went to see the hitchikers guide to the galaxy yesterday. It was funny and very strange. Definitely a unique movie. Ethan says it follows the book pretty well, and we both enjoyed it. They have already sold out the tickets for the opening show of Star Wars at midnight in a few weeks. Crazy. We want to see it, but we will wait a week or so until the crowds die down, and of course we are going to see it at the Cinerama. No other theater will do. The Cinerama is a theater that Paul Allen paid to have restored, and it is awesome. There is only one screen, and it is huge, much bigger that regular movie screens. It curves around slightly, making the movie seem real. And there is of course a state of the art sound system there. This theater is nationally known and gets mentions frequently across the country. Good stuff. We go to the huge movies there (like LOTR and other big blockbusters).

Anyway, I am very nauseaus all of the sudden, so I am going to go get a cracker or something to eat. I am sure I will update this if I actually vomit, so keep checking back!