Sunday, April 29, 2007


I have a secret. Hell, maybe more than one. I read other peoples blogs all the way from the beginning. I read the archives.
Moments ago I thought that would be the inspiration for a deeply thoughtful and introspective post about family and emotional distance.
But Blogger took too long and I got pissed off.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

on being a thoughtless little pig

I know it's incredibly unoriginal to comment on Alec Baldwins parental meltdown but it made me think about a few things.
I wasn't offended by the comments he made to his daughter. I was offended by the really nasty shit he said about his daughters mother to his daughter.
I am a mother. I will admit to the whole Internet I have said some nasty shit to my kid over the last eighteen years. It wasn't a constant barrage requiring a Dr Phil intervention in the Dr Phil house but maybe five times over the years I got really pissed and said something hurtful. She in return critiqued my parental abilities rather harshly. In other words we had a fight.
Yes, I wish I was a saint that never lost my temper. I wish my kid never lost her temper either. I wish we , oh bullshit. Fighting isn't the end of the world.
Despite what Dr Phil tells you.

So, back to Alec. I don't know him but over the years he has created a certain pattern. I have heard him make some inappropriate comments during interviews, I have read some interviews that in all honesty left me with a pretty negative opinion of the guy. He seems to have a short temper.
I don't think for a second the guy would lift a hand to anyone but I can guarantee he can deliver a blistering rant that will include comments about your level of intellect and your appearance. I don't think anything is out of bounds for Alec in a verbal attack.
And that is a problem.
I get that Alec and his ex-wife are immature assholes that so love drama they have produced a never ending movie called "our divorce, the story of how I came to hate your guts you bitch/bastard".
I get that these two idiots really should never have been allowed to reproduce. Too childish, too dumb.
But they did and now we have to think about this kid. I don't want to think of this kid. I don't know her and it's more than likely I wouldn't like her if I did meet her.
That's not her fault. She is a kid that has learned through her awful parents that manipulation is the only way to operate. I imagine she has become an expert on how to turn the screws on both her parents when she wants her own way.
She can't help it. It's the only thing she knows.
She watches mom manipulating the press, lawyers, judges, friends and family. Dad does the very same thing. The power of this thing can't be ignored.
This kid is now fully involved in the power struggle between these two.
She knows she holds the power.
What she does with it should be interesting.
She will get a chance to go in front of the judge and talk about what she wants.
I have a sneaking suspicion both her parents have embarked on the biggest PR campaign of their lives. It's time to convince an eleven year old that you are the bestest parent in the whole wide world. What eleven year old wouldn't be intoxicated with that kind of manipulative power?

I hope she makes a wise choice but how in the hell can an eleven year do that?

I have grown tired of mothers groups and fathers groups that bleat and whine about their rights. Always they begin with how much they love their babies, then they crash right into how awful their co-parent is and how they are going to fight for their rights. Never do they say I want peace. I want an adult relationship. Never do they say "you know what? this fight is harming my kid, maybe it would be best that I stop dragging my ex and my kids to court every second week to fight over who has to pay for their soccer shoes."
Maybe I will concede the fight and relax.
A fight requires two willing combatants. How about walking away? How about being the mature one?
What is up with parents that fight child support?
I am always shocked when the breadwinner walks away from the marriage taking their income with them and then acting all aggrieved when the court says you need to support your kids.
Do you think a divorce erases human beings?
No, really. Just by the act of divorcing your wife/husband are you divorcing your children?
This is what I see all the time. It happens mostly with men but it is not unheard of in women. A guy divorces his wife. He disappears. He buys a new home and remarries. He has a new family. His other kids are treated like second class citizens. Unwanted by the new spouse.The father hates the reminder of the failed marriage.
The ex goes to court to get child support. The other ex goes to court and lies his ass off. All his assets are hidden under the new spouse. When child support is imposed the ex and new spouse tell everyone how child support is ruining their children's lives. No, not the ex children, the new ones. The "real" kids are being short changed, their lifestyles are being hurt because that rotten ex is stealing all their money, a refrain to everyone who will listen.
The ex kids get to listen to this. They are reminded constantly that if Dad didn't have to pay child support he could have a nicer house, or a better car, the kids could go to Disney World..but they can't because child support is ruining them.
Then the court battle begins. One ex wants to get some money to buy the kids some food and shoes. The other wants an itemized list of exactly how "their" money is spent every day. They believe if they have to pay child support they have a right to count clothes and check the fridge and cupboards. The other ex tells them to piss off so the other goes straight to court to cry that bitch/bastard isn't spending "my money" exactly the way I want them too.

All in front of the children..who they LOOOOOVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEE.
well as long as they don't have to you know, support them or anything.

None of this has anything to do with the kids. Despite the fact that the parents heap blame on them by the very fact that they exist and require feeding.
This is all about two people who should never been married but stupidly did it anyway, two parents that should never have had children but did anyway. two people who are ignorant and immature and are so in love with all the drama and the feeling of self importance that they are more than willing to permanently harm their children in their quest to WIN.

They are thrilled with the harm because then they get to start the fight up again.
You can't win a battle until you have maimed or destroyed everything right?
Winning means the other side is bloody and bowed, ready to announce to the world that you were right and you win.
Congratulations. You win, your kid is a shambolic mess but hey! that's just collateral damage. And anyway it's not my fault, its that other bitch/bastards fault right?

a little edit: I know sometimes you are right, right to your very core. I know that in some very extreme cases a fight to the death in a custody case can ultimately save a kid.But you know what? Your custody case isn't that. Yeah, I know, you believe they are Satan put on earth to make your life a living hell but if you have ever used that statement out loud? That means you are a drama queen.
Child support is NOT a payment you make for the right to visit your kids.
Child support is that part of your income you used to look after your children, just because you don't live in the same house doesn't mean the kids stopped getting hungry.
You don't have a right to tie child support to visitation, either of you.
But if you refuse to feed your kids why are visiting them? Just checking to see how far the starvation has progressed? I don't get it.
If you cheerfully pay your support without whining, bitching and putting stings on every penny you will be amazed at how reasonable your ex becomes.
If you have already screwed up so many times you have your picture on a website? Well, maybe you should just terminate your parental rights and call it day.

Monday, April 23, 2007


I have no idea how to define it.
I do know that it has eaten my life. Munch, munch.
Sometimes I pace, sometimes I pinch or pull. Any other sensation is better than the pain one.

I think I have had enough.
I would like to write a little poem about pain

Fuck off
no, really. fuck off

Maybe that's a haiku.

It has been suggested to me that I should give some strangers a couple hundred bucks for the pleasure of reading their books and listening to their tapes so I can learn "medicalized" yoga.
Yes, yoga for us skeptical medical folk.
Once I perfect sitting on a yoga mat and learning to chant "the author of this book, some lady with three names, is a goddess of wisdom" I will be cured dammit.
I have pain dammit, I don't think joining a fucking cult is gonna cure it unless they are serving that damn kool aid again.And, my condition rules out being able to sit on a mat.

It would also help that fellow patients didn't call themselves "volunteers'. How dumb do you have to be to willingly hand over all your cash to some stranger who, by the way YOU NEVER GET TO MEET and then you give up all your free time for the incredible honour of answering the phone and booking more appointments for "the doctor you never get to see".
Maybe they get a cut from the CD sales?

That is the new answer for pain: Acupuncture, Raiki and Yoga. Or five different prescriptions that make you incompetent and drooling, hell you can do both!!
You can do some drooling Yoga after acupuncture the day after Raiki, then swallow fifteen pills and do it again.
Fixing the problem?

Hell, if we did that Big Pharma would fucking collapse.

I want to be fixed. My problem isn't exactly brain surgery here.
All I need is some tweaking here and there.
Maybe I will try a chiropractor next. What's the worst that could happen? Ending up paralyzed for life .
Let's skip the chiro then.
Maybe a psychic?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

sympathy vs empathy

I know some medical bloggers like to discuss medical cases in detail but I like to think about how we deal with patients as people first.
I am as guilty as anyone in labeling patients by their diagnosis but I think on the whole I remember them by personality too. The majority of my patients aren't very nice. They have a very real excuse for being less than good company. They are deeply afraid of everything and I don't blame them.
We fail patients because we fail to educate them. Doctors gloss over the risks.
Hasn't everyone heard the risk of anesthesia speech? The bleeding, stroke, death speech done so quickly you aren't sure you heard it. Then the "oh, don't worry, the risk is only 1%". What does that really mean anyway? The doc says nothing about the pain. They always say it's not bad, hell I have had some surgeons tell patients they won't have any pain at all!
So, the patient wakes up and it hurts. They are terrified cause the doc said it wouldn't hurt but it does so obviously this means they are going to die, immediately. Cue the howling and whining.
This is where I get irritated.
I have been a patient, more than once. I have woke from anesthesia and been in pain. I have never called my nurse a bitch and screamed for the doctor.
Back when I still thought I was super nurse I would try to settle these patients with pain medications and soft words. Now I call the doctor. He makes more than I do, let him get screamed at.
What is endlessly fascinating is the personality change when the doc enters the room. Suddenly the shy grin and the apology for causing trouble. Then the vicious slander shot the nurses way. Always we are incompetent or stupid. I can't tell you how many times an ------- has insulted me so badly I considered litigation.
There are ethnic groups that when they become patients ratchet up the entitlement game to terrifying levels. ------- are the scariest of the bunch. The patient is demanding and rude but the family is always aggressive to the point of threatening and they always hate the nurses and take every opportunity to insult the staff when the doctor is anywhere near.
I wish I could say this is an over generalization but in all my years of nursing I have never had a good experience with an -------- family. I am sure they are fine people outside the doors of the hospital because I know lots of -------. In day to day life you would never, ever suspect what terrors they are capable of.
--------- will actually announce their refusal to open doors or answer phones and will demand that the nurses wander the hospital opening doors as they breeze through them, they eat meals we prepare because they want dinner when they come to visit Grandma . When did this become the nurses problem?
Why should I have to leave the bedside of a critically ill ventilator dependent patient because of some bizarre ritual that is a complete contradiction. If it is somehow illegal for you to drive or use "technology" once a week or all the time why is it just fine to keep your 98 year old great grandmother hooked to a ventilator and a dialysis machine?. Isn't it a bit hypocritical? If this ritual is so damn important maybe we should turn off Grandma's vent over night too. I say if the patient is dependent on that evil technology you can open your own damn door okay?
This is what entitlement creates.
The moment someone said I need you to kow tow to my obscure religious practices we should have said NO.
Nurses and Doctors are busy. We are busy trying to keep people alive.
Listen, if we had one nurse for every two patients? I would say hey! weird religious OCD? No problem. Let me get that door for you but in the real world nurses can have six patients at a time, when their partner has lunch they have twelve patients. The ---- solution is don't let nurses eat. I am not kidding, we have actual complaints about nurses having the gall to go for lunch. Fuck that, I deserve lunch.
It may seem like I am picking on one group but there are a bunch more.
----- families that take over the waiting room wailing and eating huge picnic lunches and acting like it's a family reunion. When restricted to immediate family suddenly the patient has thirty four children, some older that they are. House is right, patients lie, families lie.
The ------ family, oh dear God... always the ex-wife, the new wife and the girlfriend. The children that hate the patient but love the potential drama of all those wives.
I have actually created a visiting timetable to prevent bloodshed. The patient is always an over friendly bear of a guy full of obscene jokes but still funny. A kind guy, you know but not that bright. I guess some women just like the type.
I know patients want us to see them as the individuals they are but what they don't understand is they aren't that special. Everyone belongs to a group. Their behaviour can be predicted because we have seen these groups over and over again.
That is not a bad thing.
It is very helpful to me. I can predict how you are going to behave and I can tailor my care to this. If I know you are an entitlement freak that demands everyone do everything they are told "right now bitch" I am prepared. I used to be shocked, insulted, now I laugh and call the surgeon and hand the family the phone. Let the docs handle them. They hate nurses anyway so get out of the way. It costs you nothing and sometimes it gets the family off your back for ten minutes.

About five percent of my patients make the job worthwhile. They are patient. They speak up right away when something is bothering them instead of stewing for hours until their family gets there and then bursting into tears announcing "that bitch nurse has been trying to kill me". My favorite patients are of course the ones that just want to get on with it. They accept that this whole thing is going to be uncomfortable and upsetting but they suck it up.
They have educated themselves before being operated on so they understand what the process is.

You could skip educating yourself about your illness if you brought kindness and etiquette...I would be willing to help you out if you asked nicely.

You can fill in the blanks yourself, you will be wrong though.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

what I really,really want

Sometimes before I fall asleep I plan my dream house in my head.
It's not a McMansion monstrosity that Americans love to build. It's a simple two story red/orange brick..a century farm home. I don't want a kitchen filled with stainless steel or a bathroom covered in travertine.
I do want real hard wood floors. Dog hair is a nightmare to pick up off a carpet.
I really don't want any neighbours. Neighbours seem to be a pain in the ass. I know I should be embracing community and getting back to small time life blah, blah but people are giant assholes.
Narcissism has become cool, the personality trait groomed into these obnoxious brats. I meet people every day and I am no longer shocked by their complete selfishness. It's all about them and hell, if they have to run you off the road or scream obscenities at you that is just fine.
Narcissists can't stand to be ignored, they must create drama and chaos to validate their existence and the thought of having that kind of a neighbour makes me want to start looking for deserted islands.
I want at least a hundred acres separating me from you. It's because I know you are nosy and bored. I know you live to boss everyone around. The idea that some demented old fool can reach for a phone and complain about the colour of someones brick or moan about their lawn makes me itch.
What kind of world is it when old, fat rich people can tell the rest of us what kind of trees we can plant, what colour the shutters will be? These people are idiots with no taste. They love giant empty houses painted in baby poo brown. They have white carpets. A white carpet screams I have no life, no friends; I only care about appearances...white carpet people are sociopathic narcissists.

When did we get so out of control? When did a three bedroom, three bath, master with en suite become the holy grail? People with one child want three bedrooms and a home office. Who are you kidding? You want a computer room to watch porn in private right? We all know you are not working from home when you are a factory worker
Finished basements appear to be a must too. Why? These caves in the ground are always depressing. Worse they are always called "the man room". Filled with a cheap big screen and a lumpy couch. I shudder when I see a bedroom in the basement. I can't think of anything more depressing than being sentenced to live in the hole. Anyone who has ever rented a basement apartment knows this so why the need to dry wall the dreary basement?
Basements have a real function, they hide the furnace, electrics and plumbing. Your laundry room should live down there out of sight. Your laundry can't get depressed from deprivation of sunlight.

Thinking about houses and decorating them is depressing.
Nothing has changed in the climate war because people refuse to choose a smaller, energy efficient home. They refuse to stop buying giant cars that guzzle gas.
I have no hope that we can stop climate change because Americans refuse to change.
Americans are the most wasteful people on the planet. They value nothing and no one except themselves.
I know it's a generalization and I am sure there may exist one or two Americans that are trying to decrease their carbon footprint but the majority of Americans couldn't care less. They want gobs of cash to buy a giant house and a giant car.
A country full of narcissists not giving a shit about the planet because it's more important that they get that three bedroom, three bath, master with en suite energy guzzling McMansion payed for with a credit card.
I think it's time to start building a giant fence to keep the Americans locked in because I know the moment resources start getting a little thin they will start bombing the hell out of the neighbours and stealing their resources to feed their insatiable greed for stuff.
America has already started the third world war over resources. They will never stop bombing the hell out of everyone to meet their oil needs. What happens when the US uses all their water?
Well, they will drain as many of the great lakes as they can of course. They don't care what the effect will be on anyone else.
I see nothing good that can come from America. I think the best thing to do is isolate the US and fence them into their own country.
It's time for the world to put their foot down and tell the US to stop sucking the earth dry of resources and go home and stay there.
The US is not a leader or a role model. China has made a terrible mistake following the American lead. They are polluting and destroying their own country.
That is what the US has taught the rest of the world, be greedy, be thoughtless, kill when it suits you.
The poorest American is a millionaire in some parts of the world. They are poor only in relation to their greedy neighbours. If you have a roof and food to eat you are better off than a third of the world. The ability to buy useless stuff is the stick we use to measure success.

So my little brick house with solar and wind power is just a little a dream because no one wants to spend the money to develop the resources.
Easier to keep building ugly, charmless "open concept" homes for old people so they can show their neighbours the right way to decorate.

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