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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

The past couple of weeks have been a big bad blur. It started with birthdays and my walking pneumonia and flew into Christmas. Although still not feeling well, I headed to my parents for Christmas on Christmas Eve. Princess P stayed behind because of bad weather (torential downpours) and I was heading back to work on the 26th. When I came home, she had shown her displeasure at being left behind by puking from one end of the apartment to the other. I headed back to my parents on saturday night. When I came home on the 28th, I was greeted with more puke.

I noticed the food bowl had barely been touched but this is not abnormal, she goes dormant when left alone. Monday night she barely ate, vomited after drinking some water, and I swore the litter box had not been touched. I thought P was on a hunger strike, punishing me. Testing her, I brought wet food on the way home tuesday night. She inhaled the food and I thought I had caught her at her game. But then an hour later, P was crying and vomiting from her toes. Tomorrow, I thought, we go to see Dr Allie. At 1:30 in the morning, I awoke to the sounds of her vomiting, yet again and again. I was terrified and off to the emergency vet we went.

The final vote is she has a virus. They gave her some intravenous fluids and sent her home at 6 am. We have spent the afternoon on the couch, asleep. P has eaten twice and kept the food down. We are taking it slow and easy but are ready to head back to the vet should we need to.

The ex was supposed to come out tonight for New Years. I kiboshed that. I was prepared to spend New Years eve with the cat and my couch... At 5pm, my friend Jenn called. She was at the supermarket and had deserts if I could provide dinner. We had chinese food, carrot cake, chocolate cake, and cheese cake. It is 11pm, Jenn is headed home and I am headed to bed with P in tow. It was my type of New Year's eve- good conversation in confortable clothes with good food...

Happy New Year's, all my blogger friends. Here's hoping it is a year of dreams achieved, good health, and the making of wonderful memories :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone in blogger land!

This is one of my favorite Christmas Cards. I sent it out several years ago and have yet to find one I like as much. The painting is by William Beard, titled simply Santa Claus, and can be found at The Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dear Santa

This year I have a simple request. No diamonds or pearls, no catnip or tuna. Simply this-

I have been sick, now going on three weeks. It started with a nice case of sinusitis, traveled to my chest and bronchitis, and NOW it has progressed to walking pneumonia. I feel like garbage. So much so, that I have not put up my Christmas tree and am pretty sure it won't get done in the next three days.

So Santa Baby- I would like a magic pill to knock this bug on its rear so that I may enjoy Christmas with the loved ones I hold so dear!

One sick little elf...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

So my friend, Happy Wife Happy Life, over at has tagged me to do the meme, 7 random tidbits about yourself. Here are the rules, do the meme and tag 4 others to do the same.

So without further ado, here are 7 fascinating and random tidbits about me...

1. I sleep in either the middle or left side of the bed. I cannot sleep on the right side of the bed, no matter how hard the cat tries to push me to the right.

2. Although I am not always watching it, the tv is always on in my house. Living alone can be lonely and creepy at times. The tv provides background noise.

3. I have many guilty pleasure tv show: Dirty $exy Money, Real Hou$ewives, Grey$ anatomy, Say Yes to the Dre$$...

4. My friend Jenn and I speak on the phone every night, often watching the aforementioned guilty pleasures together, on the phone.

5. I drink coffee in the morning on my way into work. I would kill a small man for that coffee most mornings.

6. My worst nightmare is recurring from childhood. I dream that a Vampire is levitating above the bed, only inches from me. I always wake up with my heart pounding and usually cannot go back to sleep.

7. I love stovetop stuffing but the stuffing on thanksgiving grosses me out. Something about being cooked inside the bird skeeves me out.

I tag whomever would like to play along...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving in our house is always a hectic experience with preparations that we all bitch about and then dinner is served and we gather around the table and a sense of peace ensues. The conversations fly around the table with three or four going on at the same time. Laughter rumbles around and eventually the dinner ends and those who must go home leave and the rest lapse into a slow coma...

The fact is that I would not trade this for the world. If and when I marry, I hope that my beloved will be willing to accomadate my need to be with my family on these days. There is nothing that I would rather do on these holidays.

Here is hoping that all my bloggie friends have had a wonderful Thanksgiving spent with loved ones.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

How could it possibly be 16 years ago, today,

that my grandmother died?

Because in my mind, she is still waiting in her warm, cheerful kitchen, with a huge hug. I see her in the kitchen window watching us come in the gate and meeting us at the front door. Of course, her mountain of a dog, Saki, is still in the yard running to meet us.

I miss this graceful, classy, wonderful woman every day. And as I write this, I am crying in my office... I got dressed this morning, knowing what today was the anniversary was. I can still see my mother coming in the front door to tell us she was gone. I put on the Winnie the Pooh necklace she gave me and hoped it would bring me a good day. It is a cold, snowy day. No snow accumulating but it is the biting cold that reminds me of Christmas at her house. Appropriate, don't you think?

Anyway, it seems like yesterday that she was with us and we all miss her, terribly. So much so, it seems, that I am having a hard time articulating it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Flat Tire Was a Sign

The flat tire on monday morning was just an indication of the rest of the week. It is only wednesday and I am already exhausted. The life of the Nurse Specialist in Critical Care and Pulmonary Medicine can be rather depressing at times.

In the past three days, I have informed 3 families that their loved ones had less than 6 months to live. Two of those families will probably not even get to spend Christmas with their loved ones.

I love my job and find it largely rewarding, just not this week...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Not a Good Start to the Week

Monday started like any other day. I was assaulted by a starving (NOT) cat once the alarm clock went off, I got out of the house 10 minutes late, I spilled coffee all over the driveway, and traffic was horrendous. As I drove over the river, I thought my car felt a little off but figured it was the grating on the bridge. A couple miles down the road, I heard that unmistakable flapping noise. I pulled over and confirmed the obvious - I had a flat tire. I called AAA.

AAA: AAA, this is Alan. How may I help you?

Me: AAA, Amanda here. I have a flat tire and need to be rescued by a tow truck driver in shining armour :)

AAA: Uh, OK.

The tow truck driver arrived, not in shining armour, but a nice guy all the same. In a matter of minutes, he had the donut on the car and we were on our way.

Now, I was only a mile from home. I am about 30 miles away from my job and the donut was not going to cut it... I headed to the nearest Pep B0ys and was suprised by the idiocy I found working there. I waited in an empty store for 15 minutes before the manager of customer service asked to help me. I explained my situation, gave her the make and model of my car, and smiled nicely. She looked up my car and told me that they did not carry my tire. I had already explained that I would need 2 tires, so we were looking at around 400$. I asked her if they would be able to get my tire that day, that I was willing to wait. "I told you we don't carry that tire" (insert obnoxious eye rolling and teeth sucking). I lost it and became the angry white woman in the Pep Boys.... I told the manager of customer service that she had failed her job requirements and that I would make it my mission to dissuade everyone I knew from providing them with business.

I wound up at the Firestone store, where they had 5 tires in stock. 2 hours later and I had 2 shiny new tires on my car. I came home today to a nice card from Firestone thanking me for my business.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again

For the past several ( too many) months, I have been seeing the ex again. He reappeared with promises of successful counseling to repair the damage of being stupid enough to marry someone in need of greencard (she played him like a fiddle), increased maturity, and undying love. Things were going fairly well and then last week he decided marraige and children were not for him. Uh yeah, I am not budging on those two things. Yellow house vs blue house, Italian vs Chinese- fine. Children and Marraige- NOT OK. I cried, I yelled, I walked away.

Yesterday, I renewed my Match.Com subscription with a renewed sense of determination. I am 35, funny, and a damn GOOD catch. We will see- the last try was a disaster and I swore off online dating forever. However, with guidance from friends, I have updated my profile and narrowed my requirements. I don't know what I was thinking but I didn't give any requirement for education or income. (It may explain the poor response I recieved.)

Pray for me. I may swear off dating if this doesn't work and become the crazy cat lady...

Piglet is giving me the high five to restart :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

My Other Family

I have been blessed in that I have found a job that has me working with phenomenal individuals. The doctors, although they will drive me insane some days, are marvelous human beings who treat me with respect and love. I am one of their family, as they are mine. We go above and beyond for each other. Here is a prime example.

It was going to be one of those weeks. It is the CHEST conference, here in Philadelphia, and the docs were attending. This left me with one doc a day. The hospital is insane, as is the office. We would be running short and running long days.

My cell phone has assigned rings to individuals (because I can) and the docs all have the same one. I did this so that I would know to answer it when they called without looking. On sunday, I was getting ready to leave the shore to head home when my cell phone rang. It was GSW.

-(GSW) I have a big favor to ask. I am at CHEST tomorrow and was wondering if you could go in early so that HTL is not alone.

- (ME) Not a problem

- (GSW) Good. I have another big favor. It is a big one and will take alot of your time. It might be a big inconvenience.

- (ME) ok, spit it out.

- (GSW) I have a ticket to game 5 of the World Series for you.

- (ME) silence

Ok, so for those of you who are not baseball fans. Game 5 was a 2 night affair of rain, sleet, cold, suspended play, and then a second night of cold excited fans who witnessed the Philadelphia Phillies win the World Series for the first time in 28 years. It was INCREDIBLE. It was a once in a lifetime experience and they included me. I bawled like a baby when they won. (So did HTL...)

In any case, you can see what I mean. These guys work with me day in and day out. We bicker, we joke around, and we worry about each other. I could not have picked a better group to work with....

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Tuesday was my birthday... I turned 35. I heard from many friends that 35 would be a killer, one of looking at your life and bemoaning what you have yet to accomplish. I am happy to say that I have had very little of that. Yes, I am not where I thought I would be when I was 16 but it is ok... I would love to be married with kids but I have time yet and I have a great job and a few priceless friends that I would not change for the world.

Enough about that. The birthday was wonderful. My mother, father, and I spent the morning at the kitchen table with dogs running around while we read wonderful books. When Dad went off to take a nap, my mother and I went shopping. With Dad having surgery, birthday shopping was not in the cards. She felt guilty, I was ok with it. So off we went... I decided that I wanted a watch and we found a beautiful citizen with a couple of diamonds around the edge. When we got home, we found that my sisters and my youngest brother had arrived. The middle brother was on the way. Dinner was the usual raucaus fun affair with lots of laughs and good food. Helen made chocolate chip pumpkin shaped cakes that were delicous and they gave me a bag full of fun- the final 3 books in the Twighlight series, the latest book in the Inkheart series, and a book about Peter Pan by Dave Barry/ Ridley Pearson plus a fun picture of a frog taking a bulldog's picture...

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Week from Hell!

The household has had one hell of a week.

1. We began almost 2 weeks ago with the blind diabetic dog walking into the stool my mother was sitting on, becoming startled, and biting my mother's calf. She sent me a picture that following wednesday, the docs and I scrutinized over it, and advised she get it checked out. But here's the thing, last year about this time, Morgun bit Dad. The health department came out and quarantined him. My parents were convinced the town would take Morgun away. So, my mother didn't want to go to the ER. She, instead, agreed to keep it clean and call me the minute it looked worse. Friday, Helen called me and said that my mom's leg was really bothering her and maybe I could call and check on her. I tried, but the storm from hell was knocking out the cellular sites and I couldn't get through.

I had planned to get my hair cut on saturday. It took much longer than planned but I got to the shore around 4pm. When I walked in the living room, I immediately smelled infection but could not be sure where it was coming from. My mother wanted me to see the leg, so out to the deck we went to get the most light. The minute I took the bandage off, I was hit with the smell and her leg was swollen and red from above the knee to the tips of her toes. The wound was horribly infected. Off to the ER we went and after many tests, we all agreed that she had a nasty wound infection with associated cellulitis, and would need pretty severe antibiotics. The Doctor wanted to admit her for IV antibiotics but agreed to give her one dose via the IV and then send her home with antibiotics on the condition that she would come back if it got worse. My mother realized that the only reason she got to come home was that I was with her... It pays to have your own Advanced Practice Nurse! The leg did improve but the bite is still pretty ugly and will take a long time to heal. The worst part was telling this fiercley independant woman, who never stops, that she could not drive or take care of her animals and that the one thing she could do was sit with the leg propped up. The inactivity lasted until tuesday when she no longer could take it but driving was still out.

2. Several weeks ago, the parents called me because Dad had an awful stomach ache that had been going on for 8 hours. He had tried the usual tricks and nothing made it better. I was pretty sure it was his Gallbladder by his description and managed to talk him into going to the ER to get it checked out. I met them at the ER and 5 hours later, we discovered my amazing powers of phone assessment were correct and that he needed to have it removed. He went to see his family doctor who referred him to a surgeon. He got cardiac clearance from his cardiologist. And today was the day to have the offending organ removed.

I was sure that he would do fine but my job allows me to see all that possibly could go wrong. Subconciously, I have been agonizing about today, all week. I have been short tempered, irritable, and my back and shoulders have been incredibly tense. Dad did great, better than his 3 daughters fared from the same procedure, but the tension has yet to release. They will keep him overnight and I will bring him home tomorrow.

We all have been agonizing over this. They took him off to surgery and my mother dissolved into tears- "He will be alright, won't he?" So, when she insisted on driving the two hours back to the shore house, how was I to say no? It was her form of control. She did turn the car over to me an hour into the drive and passed out in the passenger seat. Finally able to relax, she slept the remainder of the trip home. Her foot is slightly swollen but no worse for wear and with any luck I can keep her relatively off it for the remainder of the weekend.

3. This morning, Helen and MB were taking the dogs to the North Jersey house while Dad had the surgery and my car was blocking them. I moved my car and pulled back in, inches from my mother's bumper. Something possessed me to move my car when we got back to the house tonight and the damn thing would not start. I tried and tried and it just sputtered at me. I cried. Seriously, I could do nothing else. (I would like to point out that it was this same day last year that my previous car died a painful death, causing me to buy this car!) On a whim, I went out an hour later and the car did turn over. Not easily but it turned on enough for me to move it. I will take it to be checked on monday. I am sure that it is the original battery to the car but I thought I was going to lose it if the damn thing was dead... The week has to get better, all the bad stuff is behind us, now ;)

Monday, September 29, 2008

It is possible that my patients are retarded....

I saw a total of 15 patients today in the office (on top of the 33 hospital patients) and I am sure that half of them were suffering from varying degrees of mental retardation....

1. If you have qualified for oxygen and you do not wear it when you exhert yourself or when it is hot and humid out- YOU WILL BE SHORT OF BREATH (and I do not have a magic wand to make you better).

2. If the instruction for your medicine state take four pills each day- I cannot understand how that translates into taking all 36 pills at one time.

3. If you weigh 350 pounds and get short of breath climbing the stairs -chances are you are deconditioned and if you lost weight you would breathe better. No amount of medication is going to make it better.

Seriously, this is the fun I had today. And the doctors just laughed and laughed....

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lest we should ever forget...

Every one remembers that awful day. I read the posts and continue to cry and it is 7 years later.

I thought I would take a different spin and remember one victim, in particular.

Father Mychal Judge.

At the age of 15, Judge began the formation process to enter the Franciscan community. Upon entering the Order of Friars Minor, he took the religious name of Michael. (He later changed the spelling to Mychal.) In 1957, he graduated from St. Bonaventure University, the Franciscan university near Olean, New York. In 1961, he was ordained a priest and assigned to service at St. Joseph's RC Church in East Rutherford and Sacred Heart in Rochelle Park, both in New Jersey. He then served as assistant to the president at Siena College in Loudonville, New York. Judge was later named pastor of St. Joseph's Church in West Milford, New Jersey before being appointed Chaplain of the Fire Department of New York in 1992.

Upon hearing the news that the World Trade Center had been hit by hijacked jetliners, Judge rushed to the site. He was met by the Mayor of New York, Rudolph Giuliani, who asked Judge to pray for the city and its victims. Judge then rushed to those lying on the streets to administer last rites. Judge then entered the lobby of the World Trade Center north tower, where an emergency services command post was organized. The south tower collapsed and debris filled the north tower lobby, killing many inside, including Judge.

Five individuals took Judge outside in their arms. Upon entering the outside courtyard, they propped his body in a chair they found to carry him down the outside steps. It was then that Reuters photographer Shannon Stapleton snapped one of the most famous images of the attack, of a police officer, two firefighters and an OEM responder carrying out their fallen spiritual leader.

Father Judge's body bag was labeled "Victim 0001," recognized as the first official victim of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Former President Bill Clinton was among the 3,000 people who attended his funeral, held on September 15 at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Manhattan.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My new name is Gimpy...

We have a varing degree of Respiratory therapists in our office. They range from smart to incredibly stupid, from no personality to too much personality, and from turtle like work speeds to Speed racer. Amy is very sweet, middle of the road intelligence, but she is a flippin' turtle. Remember the turtle that took 20 pages to cross the road in The Grapes of Wrath? That is Amy...

So yesterday, Amy had the doctors and I running 45 minutes behind (this is bad, people- like patients waiting 45 minutes to be checked in and another 45 minutes to be seen, bad). We were not happy but we were coping the best way we could. In order to slow her even more, I made the decision to show my patient how to use the inhaler and walked to the med closet to get the demonstrator. Our office is carpeted, except the bathroom and the med closets. As my cute little heels hit the tile, my heel slipped and I turned my foot completely on its side. And then, I hit the floor. Dee heard the crash, came to help, and found me dry heaving in the closet. This damn ankle is the same one that, a year ago, I tore the ligaments in. I am pretty sure that I did it again.

Today the ankle is still swollen, bruised, and throbbing. To say that it marches to the beat of its own drummer would be an understatement. I am limping my way around in my trusty Asics and hoping it heals quickly. I keep getting pages from Dr L calling me Hop along... I wonder how he would feel if Hop along took some time off??

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wednesday vignet

I was in my office performing a patient interview and obtaining necessary bloodwork when Dr GSW walked in. Clearly flustered, I could not ignore him.

"Greg is there something wrong?"

"This damn thing keeps blinking at me. Look blink, blink, blink." (this thing is his pulse oximeter- a machine that measures the percentage of oxygen in the patients blood).

I looked at it and had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing. IT NEEDED BATTERIES PEOPLE! (The man is helpless...)

I replaced the batteries (because it was faster than trying to get him to do it) and returned to my patient. Her response: "Is he special ?" I had no answer for her.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Overheard on the phone... (aka- how delusional one becomes while watching the Olympics)

While watching men's springboard diving....

Me: These guys are cut out of flippin' marble.

Jenn: mmmhmm

Me: Seriously, they are amazing.

Jenn: I know.

Me: I could do that.

Jenn: Ok, now you're just lying.

Me: No really, I could do that.

Jenn: Idiot, you are afraid of heights!

Me (snarkily): Minor technicality.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The End of an Era

Since June 1997, I have been an ICU nurse. I have always worked at the bedside caring for the patients and their families.

Four years ago, the Pulmonologists approached me about working for them on the weekends. I would presee the hospital patients for them, write the physicians progress note, write orders for medicines and tests, and be a liason between the patient and the physicians. I still worked full time at the bedside.

Two years ago, these same physicians approached me about working part time for them doing the same job but during the week. I accepted and went to part time at the bedside.

A year ago, I was offered full time with the practice and went to casual perdiem at the bedside, working one weekend a month.

Today, the hospital called to inform me that the perdiem requirements would be changing and they would be requiring dayshifts during the week as well as weekends. That is a committment I am unable to make.

Today, I resigned from the hospital and will no longer be considered a bedside nurse. I am not sure how I feel about this but it is a done deal...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Trapped in PA

So here I am trapped in PA because of my weekend call committment for the practice. It is 81 degrees outside, no humidity, and not a cloud in the sky. I would much rather be at the beach. Instead, I am trapped here in my apartment, tied to the phone and ready to return to the hospital at a drop of a hat.

So, this is what Piglet and I have planned for the rest of the day...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wordless Wednesday (well, somewhat)

This is one of my favorite pictures of Piglet. She is so completely vulnerable and HAPPY. It is the picture that I have framed of her in my office. I came down from the hopsital this afternoon and it was gone. I went out to the desk and there is the pic sitting in front of Dee, our phenomenal secretary.

"I am having a very bad day and this picture makes me smile".

Ok, then...

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Saga of the Lost Book

For those of you who read my blog and my sisters' blogs, you will know that we all are avid readers and come from a family of the same. Last night, my mother appeared and asked me if I knew where her book was. She is reading Loving Frank and is almost done and managed to misplace the book. She was beside herself. She knew she had had it in the morning but here it was 12 hours later and no book to be found.

A search ensued. We called Mary Beth and Helen, they didn't know where the book was. We turned the house upside down and still no book. She had been out on the porch in the morning- which did not bode well as it was pouring rain and had been for 5 hours. I did a perfunctory look but did not see the book while she looked in her room, bathroom, and the attic. Still no book. I decided to do a more thourough look of the porch and stepped out onto what was now an oil slick. With the first step, I had done a split (I have never been able to do a split) and wrenched my left hip, knee, and ankle. Ever so ladylike, I cursed the heavens and burst into tears which brought my mother running. After I was standing again we looked over the porch and still no book. As I was walking back into the house, I HIT THE SLICK SPOT AGAIN and once again found myself in a split...

After limping back into the house we decided the book had to be upstairs even though she had turned her room upside down. I headed up the stairs, paid homage to the cat gaurding the door, and heard my mother behind me say - "there it is". The damn book was right inside the door covered by a pillow. She had stopped behind me as I said hello to Henrietta and caught a glimpse of the book because she was at the right angle. I don't know that we ever would have found it had we not gone back up. She felt horrible that I had now fallen twice and the book had been under her nose but I completely understood. Last year, I had left my book on the mantle and had made it just off the island before I remembered. She drove the book to me so that I did not have to backtrack, about an hour roundtrip.... Paybacks are a bitch, aren't they?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Neighbor Update...

The rats carried on until 3 am, on and off. I planned all sorts of evil revenge... But tonight, I rejoice- it is raining and cold- not the type of night to be gallavanting on an outdoor porch until the wee hours of the morning. This is good as I will be leaving for work at the brisk hour of 5:30am. If the shenanigans begin, I am afraid that I may need to lodge a formal noise complaint. Way to friends, huh?

Crabby and Tired- not a good combination

I am at the shore for the weekend at my parents house. Like many of the shore communities, Long Beach Island was not built with large pieces of property. Although my parents house and the one next door do have nice pieces of land, noise travels and there is not a large amount of space between the two houses. For close to 40 years, the house next door was owned by a quiet, albeit stuck up and rude, family. They would spray their yard with pesticide wearing full body armour and tell us in the adjoining yard that it was not harmful. But you rarely heard them or saw them after dark. We are a quiet group, with the exception of the animals and do our best to respect those around us knowing that noise travels as it does. The couple sold the house last year and I am fairly sure that it is a rental, now. At the moment it is 1230 am and the idiots next door are carrying on on the porch outside my bedroom. We do not have airconditioning here (it really is not needed with the ocean breezes) and my windows are wide open.

Both last night and tonight, I headed to bed at 1030pm and both nights I have been woken up by the monsters on the outside porch. I know they are on vacation but seriously 1230am seems a little inconsiderate to be screaming outside. Last night, there were long discussions about role models for teenage girls and Lindsay Lohan and, her father, Micheal Lohan. By that point, they were tapping their 5th bottle of wine. Tonight, we are discussing (at the top of their lungs) John McCain's wife in a leather thong. I am quite possibly beyond help here. If it carries on much longer, I might be tempted to march myself over to the house (in my pajamas) and request that they shut the hell up. And to make matters worse, they have stirred up my parents dogs who are now barking their heads off above me.

I cannot believe that I am going to say this, but I cannot wait for summer to be over. No more rude renters next door just back to our nice quiet corner of the island....

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

How is that for a sexy beast... (the cat, people- not my legs!)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Tired. Oh so Tired...

I slept last night in an armchair next to Danny's bed. He was comfortable, thanks to the amazing efforts the bedside nurses. They came and turned him every 2 hours, making sure his sheets were smooth and dry. They rubbed his back, they moistened his mouth, and I held his hand. His step mother arrived at 7 am; just in time for me to grab a shower in the OR and start work. She cried when she realized he had never been left alone and could not even begin to thank me for sitting with him. "I was so worried that he would be scared and alone".

Today he will be transferred back to the group home where he has lived for the majority of his adult life. There are nurses there that have taken care of him for 30+ years. They should be the ones who are with him at the end. Hospice will come in and make sure he is comfortable and the home has made arrangements so that his step mother can stay until he dies. He is 61, she is 84...

As an aside, this is not the same Down's Syndrome patient who cried when he had to miss Halloween. That is Tommy, who at his last appointment was doing well.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

What a difference a week makes....

Last week, I was posting about the lighthearted mood in the office with Dr G on vacation. Dr L and I joked our way through a very busy, stressful 2 weeks. The office staff was lighthearted and giggling was often heard.

This week, Dr L is on vacation and it is just Dr G and me. Dr G seems to have left his sense of humor in Martha's Vineyard. There is no joking going on. Instead, I am hearing rumbles of mutiny- Can't you hear them (mutiny, mutiny, mutiny). Seriously, this man did not even crack a smile when he handed me his company credit card to but Dr K her new office furniture and I asked if he would mind a detour to Tiffany & Co. Nothing. It fell flat. Dr L would have made suggestions. Part of my mood change is the end of an insane month with only one MD, rather than 3. I am feeling the effects of the extra workload and long hours. It is almost friday, it is almost friday, it is almost friday, it is almost friday damnit!

The day was not helped by the fact that I spent all night talking to the nursing staff about one of our patients. He came from the group home with a severe pneumonia, he has not been able to eat without aspirating food into his lungs for a year, his mental status has progressed to nonverbal - BUT he is one of our Down's Syndrome patients... Those of you who have ever come in contact with these individuals know that they are the most loving, innocent of individuals. It breaks everyone's heart that Danny will not get better. Trust me, we all cried this morning when I talked to his power of attorney and she made him a Do Not Rescusitate and asked that we make him comfortable with morphine. "I cannot bear the thought of him suffering", she said. Neither can I. And so, my blogger friends, I am on my way to check on him and to make sure that he is not alone. I may be spending the night here- all his family is in California and will likely not make it here before he dies. He shouldn't be alone...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Perfect weekend

2 books read +
2.5 days spent with family +
1 Completely Incredible, Awesome, Jaw Dropping Bruce Springsteen Concert = 1 perfect weekend...

Read WATER FOR ELEPHANTS by Sara Gruen. I read it in one day and want to start it all over again. I will say no more because I don't want to spoil it for anyone. It is now one of my favorite books. I had no idea what the book was about and fell completely under its spell. Enjoy!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Have you ever

Found yourself singing along with the fruit of the loom commercial? You know the one, "Daddy was the apple of my eye" and been caught by the friend you were on the phone with at the time....

Me either

Sunday, July 20, 2008

We're having a heat wave.....

It is 100 degrees outside and 1oo percent humidity and looks like it will last through the week. Thank God for air conditioning!!

Yesterday, my friend Dee, her daughter Michelle, Michelle's sister in law, and I went to the Kenny Chesney concert. Kenny Chesney concerts are all day affairs with several acts, starting at 3:30 in the afternoon and running until after midnight. Yesterday's concert was outside at Lincoln Financial Field. I think I lost 11 pounds of water weight from perspiration....

The concert was awesome. For you country music fans, I have a question. What act does not belong here: Gary Allan, Leigh Ann Rimes, Sammy Hagar, Keith Urban, or Kenny Chesney?
Every one was incredible with the exception of Sammy Hagar. A little past his prime, he lost the audience and most of the seats were empty during that portion of the show. The kicker of the day was when the stadium ran out of water. SERIOUSLY EAGLES CORPORATION, 100% HUMIDITY AND 100 DEGREES OUTSIDE AND YOU RUN OUT OF WATER! POOR PLANNING PEOPLE, POOR PLANNING. All in all, though, a great time. I recommend the concert to anyone who gets the chance to go- you will have an awesome time.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Office Shenanigans

Dr W is away for 2 weeks which leaves Dr L and me the only full time peeps behind. It also lends itself to a very laid back environment. When I was hired, Dr W worried that Dr L and I were entirely too similar in personality and sense of humor and he would be outnumbered. It is times like these that I realize how right he was.

Yesterday, in the hospital:

Me: why is it that every chart I pick up is falling apart? Why can people not put them back together? Did you know that the human head weighs 8 pounds? (Ok I did not say that but I do have a habit of editoralizing my day as go along but so does Dr L.)

Dr L: Do you realize you that you are a walking commentary?

Me: Uh, Hello Kettle, It is the Pot calling. You're black.

Dr L: Any other comments from the peanut gallery?

Me: Sure. How would you like to spend the rest of your life with my stethescope as part of your cranium?

Dr L: What would my wife say when I got home?

Me: Nice accessory, what did you do to make Amanda that mad?

Insert maniacal laughter from both of us here and strange looks from the nursing staff....

The new doctor started this week. When Dee showed her the office she would be sharing with Dr R, she asked if she could paint it pink. (Dr R would HATE that.) I think I LOVE the new doctor :)

Mouse 1 Piglet 0

The great mouse roundup continues here at Chez Amanda. So far, I have only found the evidence of said mouse and seen nothing more. The first night after finding his mess, Princess P sat in wait, staring at the pantry door. Since then, she has kept her vigil from the bed. I am hoping that this means the mouse has left us to move on to less feline occuppied house and not that she simply has given up the hunt.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I HATE....

That's right bloggers, Mice. Princess Piglet, the great mouser (she has 1 to her credit), went to summer camp at the beach for the last 9 days. Apparantly her absence was noted by the vermin in the area. When I went into the pantry this afternoon, I noticed some droppings and something had eaten its way through a bag of bread mix. After I finished screaming, cleaning up the mess, and putting out traps- it occurred to me that I have not seen hide nor hair of mouse since Princess P came to live with me, 3 years ago. The landlord has had a lot of cosmetic work done to the house and there is a lot of construction going on in the area. Clearly the saying is true- "When the Cat's away, the mice will play".

Beware mice, the great mouser is back in residence....

Thursday, July 10, 2008

It is not nice to laugh at your patient's expense...

I started off the morning with a doozy of a consult. As specialists in pulmonary medicine and critical care, our practice is consulted on a large majority of the patients in the hospital. Some of these consults are genuinely needed others are more mindless. This one was a DOOZY.

I walked in the room and was told by the patient (before I even introduced myself): "I do not have Munchausen's Syndrome". (For those of you unfamiliar with the disease, the patient makes themselves ill for attention...). Right off the bat, I am thinking that this is going to be, at the very least, amusing. We continued with the routine questions about shortness of breath, cough, fevers, chills, chest pain- and then got to the social aspect of her life. I asked her what she did for a living (I had read the chart and knew she was disabled and had been living in a motel because her mother had kicked her out of the house). She told me she was a clinical psychologist (REALLY!). This woman has had more admissions to psych units than I can count on two hands but I played along.

What type of patients did you treat?
Famous people.
Really, hmmm.
I have counseled every age- children, adolescent, adults, couples, inpatients, inmates...
That is a wide range, you must have gotten many degrees.
Duhhhh. I also counseled the OJ Simpson jurors but that burned me out and I had to leave the state of California. Actually the state asked me to leave for my own health.
I also was on staff at General Hospital.
What hospital?
General Hospital- I was good friends with the Quatermaines.

Ladies and Gents I had to leave the room to stop shaking I was laughing so hard. The sad thing is she was dead serious....

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Sleep is overrated...

My mother has been plagued by her right arm for 2 weeks now. It started with pain and numbness and then, July 3rd, she woke up with it swollen 3x's its normal size. The swelling prompted a phone call to me and she finally agreed to see the family doctor and do what he recommended...

Early monday morning (6am), my mother and I left the shore to head to North Jersey to appear at the doctor's office and hope that he would see her. He did, but I must say that I really disliked the man. Disliked in the way that made my skin crawl. There are several reasons (in no particular order):

1. He walked into the exam room and addressed a woman many years his senior by her first name. Etiquette (medical in this setting) requires that you call the individual by Mrs So and So and ask permission to call them by their first name.

2. More time was spent talking about his perfect 4 children than talking about the reason why we were there to see him.

3. He essentially poo poo'd my mothers concerns and spent no time explaining why he wanted her to take a short course of steroids or why he wanted her to see a neurologist.

4. He is increadibly fake and makes my skin crawl....

I have worked with a large number of doctors in the past 11 years and have come across some real sleaze balls. I realize that I am fortunate to work with the physicians I do that are incredibly dedicated and genuine with their patients. This man, however qualified he may be, is an a**. I am hoping that the neurologist is much more indepth and genuine.

eta- Have just spoken to my mother, she liked the neurologist (he's a met fan) and will have the tests he ordered in two weeks. Hopefully more answers for her then...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Office Update

Comments have been made. Dr LR is very unhappy about having to share an office with the poor new doctor. She starts in 2 weeks and Dr LR is acting like a petulant child. It was suggested that one of the partners share an office. Dr LR is not a partner... So apparently, it would be appropriate for one of the full time senior physicians to share an office but not appropriate for her to share with the doctor who will never be there when LR is.

Things that make you go, Hmmmmmmmmmm. Dr LR and Calvin apparently share the same mindset.

I, of course, am LOVING all of this :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


If someone asks you to do something and you decide that you would rather do something else with another friend, does not Emily Post suggest that you let the person who extended the original invitation know????

Of course, Emily does...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Home Again, Jiggity, Jig

I have been away at a conference since thursday. A fellow advanced practice nurse, from the cardiology practice, and I went to National Harbor, Maryland for the conference and had a wonderful 2 days of great classes. While there, we stayed just down the street from the conference at the Westin with a room that looked out on the potomac. Classes started at 7am and finished at 6pm equalling long exhausting days but we still managed to have fun.

On friday night, we drove to brother #2's restaurant, the Dogwood Tavern, where it was nice to show off my outgoing successful brother. He, of course, took care of the bill for our food and only charged us for drinks. The waitress made out very well - I tipped her what we would have paid... (It has to be good politics to keep the manager's employees happy!)

While at the conference, I made the practice buy me a toy.

It is a palm T/X and has all the medical programs preloaded onto it. I had talked to the docs about getting me a palm treo phone but they balked at paying part of the monthly fee and I wasn't sure I wanted the phone portion. One of the vendors had this and the treo. I compared and found that for the same price of the phone, I could get this with more features and no monthly fee for a cellular internet. This has wifi capability and is awesome. I called the office prior to purchase, talked to a Dr who is realizing how much he misses me when I am gone, wound up with a credit card number, and WALA :)

Meanwhile, I am glad to be home. Gloria is very nice but silence is a foreign word to her. For 3 hours on the ride home she barely took a breath.... I got into my car and thought how lucky I am to have travelled with people and family who are comfortable with quiet times. I walked into the house to a neglected cat, who is asleep next to me. In catching up with all my blogger friends, I found that DragonFly had awarded me with this:

I will share it with Kyla over at The Journey, who is back in nursing school and has some lovely children and Sarah over at Slouching Past 40, who has an eye injury....

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

For The Time Being....

I get to keep my office. The new Doctor will have to share with Dr LR....
Until the next battle, when the office manager decides to use my office for something else and we go nose to nose, again...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

In honor of Flag Day (heard whild driving into work today...)

"I Am Your Flag''

Traditionalists say I was born of a woman's hand -- fashioned from bits of colored cloth by a seamstress in a small house in Philadelphia, a year after the new country was born.

Historians are less certain of my origin. Yet, no one doubts my existence. I was created out of necessity to serve as the emblem of a people whose experiment in nationhood was as unique as the arrangement of my stars and stripes.

I have proved my adaptability to change. I've accommodated growth. I've stood up to time and troubles. I fluttered in the Fall air with General Washington and his loyal French allies at Yorktown. My fabric was shredded by cannonballs from British frigates in the War of 1812. I was carried in triumph by Andy Jackson at New Orleans. The British could see me clearly in the mists of "dawn's early light," waving from the standards at Fort McHenry.

I've witnessed turmoil and bitterness, even lost some of my glory in mid-century in a war between brothers, but I was restored as a nation's emblem at Appomattox.

I traveled West with the new frontier. I flew from the headlamps of the Iron Horse in Utah. I was with the prospectors at Sutter's Mill, with the cavalry against cattle rustlers, with the Rough Riders at San Juan Hill.

I crossed the Marne with the doughboys anxious to make the world safe for democracy. I was with brave GIs storming the beaches at Normandy. I was raised over a shell-pocked hilltop at Iwo Jima and I stood by the grim-faced negotiators at Panmunjom. I was on that last helicopter from Saigon and with the men and women of Operation Desert Storm.

I have been around in victory and defeat. I've seen pleasure and pain. I was raised over the rubble of the World Trade Center and at the Pentagon. I've been folded smartly by soldiers and handed to weeping widows. I've covered the coffins of those who've served country and community.

I also decorate bandstands and concert halls. I am saluted in parades, in schools and at ball parks.

I am part of political campaigns, high holidays and ice cream socials. I fly from skyscrapers and bungalows. I've been to the moon and the ocean floor.

I am everywhere my people are. I am saluted and, occasionally, scorned. I have been held with pride and I have been ridiculed, because I am everything my people are: proud, angry, happy, sad, vengeful, argumentative, ambitious, indifferent.

I was created to serve a people in struggle and a government in change. There are now more stars in my blue field than there were in the beginning and, if need be, there's room for more.
But, those red and white stripes remain as they've always remained: clearly visible through the struggle -- the symbol of the "land of the free and the home of the brave."

I am your past. I am your future. I am your flag.

by Bob Nelson

Friday, June 13, 2008

Just When You Think You Are Having a Bad Day!

Just when you think you are having a bad day, you meet someone like Laura. Laura is a 28 year old, who was diagnosed with metastatic non small cell lung cancer in January. It all started as a bad cold that progressed to pneumonia. When the pneumonia did not clear up with antibiotics, her family doctor ordered a chest cat scan that revealed a large tumor in the right lung. She was taken immediately to surgery and found to have metastases to her lymphnodes, bone, and kidneys. She has never smoked, had rare second hand smoke exposure, no exposure to any known carcinogens, and no family history. It is a case you rarely see nor want to.

Laura started chemotherapy and radiation right away but the cancer was already advanced (stage IV) when diagnosed that it had little effect. Her oncologist had followed serial cat scans to evaluate progression of the disease and last week noticed some fluid around the heart. It was decided that she would come in this past wednesday for surgery to drain the fluid but on tuesday, she became acutely short of breath and was rushed to the emergency room and ultimately surgery one day early. Surgery was sucessful but her shortness of breath remained. I was consulted to see her for a possible pneumonia and what we found was that the cancer had narrowed her airway and nothing more could be done. A decision was made to discharge her to her childhood home with hospice.

This morning I recieved a page asking me to see Laura immediately. She had become increasingly short of breath overnight, was now on high levels of oxygen, recieving morphine with little relief of her distress, and was experiencing quite a bit of pain. We met with Laura, her family, and our palliative care nurse- a final decision was to provide morphine and allow the inevitable to happen at the hopsital with her family at the bedside. As I walked out of the room, she asked if she could see her cats. My heart broke because if I were in her position, I would want the same thing. We arranged for her husband to bring the cats to my office and then we brought them up the back way to her room. They simply curled up on her bed at her side. She died at 3:53 this afternoon with her family and cats by her side.

Please keep Laura and her family in your prayers. Her family, understandably so, is devastated.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Transformers (the movie)


Big Bad, Frustrating Week from Hell....

This has not been a great week.
And it is only wednesday.
It has to get better.

Dr W (GSW) was long call this past weekend. Long call involves covering 2 hospitals during the evening and night of friday, saturday, and sunday. It also involves covering Lankenau Hospital during the weekend days. Lankenau is a city hospital. Paoli is a busy hospital but on a smaller scale. GSW is not one for new experiences and change. He hates covering Lankenau and begins to stress about his weekends of long call, at least, 5 days prior to the event. We spent last week with GSW in such a funk that I almost purchased M1dol for him.... He now has been working 10 days without a day off. All work and no play makes Greggy a crabby boy... I started this week and realized that this was the week in which if I said black, GSW would say white. Day 3 and I am offering electric shock therapy to the man!!

Every morning, I have entered my office to find a significant pile of patient issues that need my attention prior to starting seeing my patients in the hospital. Yesterday, GSW inquired if I thought I might be able to make it up to the hospital on time because it slows him down (BITCHY!!). I would like to mention that I smiled and mentioned that the delay was caused by what he had left for me to do... "Regardless, I need you in the hospital on time. You simply need to come in earlier". Alright, no problem- I am already working 48 hrs a week but I can add a couple more hours, no problem! (Asshole).

Finally, Donna (the woman who plays at Office Manager 2 days a week) has decided that she would like to use my computer and office in the mornings when I am in the hospital. This really is not an option. These girls have destroyed every computer in the office, except mine and the doctors, with viruses from their web surfing. I refused and managed to keep my cool when I explained that my office was off limits and that simply because I was an RN did not mean that she had free reign. My office had the same limitations as the doctors. She argued and I won. However, when I mentioned this whole exchange to Dr L (HTL), I was suprised to learn that GSW is considering giving my office to the new doctor joining our practice in July. I have yet to hear this from him. The discussion with HTL revealed that the new doc will be working part time and splitting days with Dr R (LR). So the logical explanation would be to share an office with LR. Apparantly, it would seem that LR is too much of a slob to share an office with and Donna suggested that, rather than suggesting that LR clean up her act, I give up my office. Another option would be that the new doctors office be the conference room that we never use. It has a door, it can connected to the hospital system, and it is a nice huge room!

Now, I should explain that my office is a cubby hole that has no door due to the fire code and cannot get wired to the hospital system. It would not work as a doctor's office as it has no privacy. I know this and Donna knows this. Donna, however, is GSW's pet and has worked with him for the past 20 years. She can do nothing wrong in his eyes. The office was part of the job offer and is one of the few perks I have. I work long hours, I have not had a raise since I started because in December they started paying for my benefits, and the payroll police constantly harass me about my hours. (They don't like to pay overtime....) Donna dislikes that I am beyond her reach in the office. I am an extension of the MD's and I override her. She is choosing to poke the rabid monkey in the cage (me) and is doing a really good job.

I have to talk to GSW abd HTL about my office but GSW is clearly menstruating and beyond being rational. In the meantime, I may kill Donna....

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Laughed until I cried....

This is an actual letter from an Austin Texas woman sent to American company Proctor and Gamble regarding their feminine products. She really gets rolling after the first paragraph. It's PC Magazine's 2007 editors' choice for best webmail-award-winning letter.

Dear Mr. Thatcher,

I have been a loyal user of your 'Always' maxi pads for over 20 years and I appreciate many of their features. Why, without the Leak Guard Core or Dri-Weave absorbency, I'd probably never go horseback riding or salsa dancing, and I'd certainly steer clear of running up and down the beach in tight, white shorts. But my favorite feature has to be your revolutionary Flexi-Wings. Kudos on being the only company smart enough to realize how crucial it is that maxi pads be aerodynamic. I can't tel l you how safe and secure I feel each month knowing there's a little F-16 in my pants.

Have you ever had a menstrual period, Mr. Thatcher? I'm guessing you haven't. Well, my time of the month is starting right now. As I type, I can already feel hormonal forces violently surging through my body. Just a few minutes from now, my body will adjust and I'll be transformed into what my husband likes to call 'an inbred hillbilly with knife skills.' Isn't the human body amazing?

As Brand Manager in the Feminine-Hygiene Division, you've no doubt seen quite a bit of research on what exactly happens during your customer's monthly visits from 'Aunt Flo'. Therefore, you must know about the bloating, puffiness, and cramping we endure, and about our intense mood swings, crying jags, and out-of-control behavior. You surely realize it's a tough time for most women.The point is, sir, you of all people must realize that America is just crawling with homicidal maniacs in Capri pan ts... Which brings me to the reason for my letter. Last month, while in the throes of cramping so painful I wanted to reach inside my body and yank out my uterus, I opened an Always maxi-pad, and there, printed on the adhesive backing, were these words:'Have a Happy Period.'Are you f------ kidding me? What I mean is, does any part of your tiny middle-manager brain really think happiness - actual smiling, laughing happiness, is possible during a menstrual period? Did anything mentioned above sound the least bit pleasurable? Well, did it, James? FYI, unless you're some kind of sick S&M freak, there will never be anything 'happy'about a day in which you have to jack yourself up on Motrin and Kahlua and lock yourself in your house just so you don't march down to the local Walgreen's armed with a hunting rifle and a sketchy plan to end your life in a blaze of glory.

For the love of God, pull your head out, man! If you have to slap a moronic message on a maxi p ad, wouldn't it make more sense to say something that's actually pertinent, like 'Put down the Hammer' or 'Vehicular Manslaughter is Wrong',Sir, please inform your Accounting Department that, effective immediately, there will be an $8 drop in monthly profits, for I have chosen to take my maxi-pad business elsewhere. And though I will certainly miss your Flex-Wings, I will not for one minute miss your brand of condescending bullshit. And that's a promise I will keep. Always. .


Wendi Aarons Austin , TX

Thursday, May 29, 2008

New Levels of Insanity

I have jumped back into the pool and am submitting my application to the University of Pennsylvania's Nurse Practitioner Program. Aside from being Ivy League, it is one of the most expensive programs in the country. I am hoping that 1. I am accepted, and 2. I am the person scholarships are made for....

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

I am with you, Mr Polar Bear. Some days it is almost too much of an effort to remain upright :) I am having that day. For the past week, I have seen every hour pass on the alarm clock...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Porch flowers

Tuesday, my friend Anne and I went to Rice's Market to find flowers. Although the day was rainy and cold, we found many a great deal. For 100$, I was able to get two lovely huge barrels of flowers, three hanging baskets, and basil, rosemary, thyme, parsley and chive plants.

We started out at 6am and arrived as the vendors were unloading. We found many a more great deal... cheap knockoff coach sunglasses, mets flags, and hot pretzels.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Graduation pic

These are the professional pics taken at the ceremony. I will point out that my hair looked lovely prior to having to put the damn hat on my head. I am not a big fan of the shots but they show me in the garb :)

My Plans for the Summer

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Busy Week

Sunday= Graduation

Monday= Zoo and begining of a nasty sinus infection

Tuesday= flower shopping with the girls

Wednesday= back to reality and work :(

I am holding onto the zoo. Here are some of my favorite pictures...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Continuing with the theme of Nurses Week

My favorite piece of art regarding nurses... These are Lladro and I coveted them for years. I found them in Bermuda for a steal. They came home with me on the ship. Fortunately, I had sailed out of New York City and only had to lug them through the port...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Today is National Nurses Day

Although the picture is a little antiquated, it still is one of my favorites. Nursing no longer is simply hand holding but still very much encompasses the comfort and grace that this picture portrays.
So today, hug your favorite nurse.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Let The Celebration Begin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Final Exam check, check, check.....

graduation May 18 :)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Study helper

She thinks she was helping me study. I think she was willing me to pull the blanket up and take a nap. Guess who won?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Just for Achilles and Milo's Mom

Just in case you think I put these beads on her, I did not... She managed to wrap them around her neck and then wore them for hours. Princess P became rather nasty (spitting and hissing) if I tried to take them off! I am worried what she did to get them- there are some rather seedy tom cats in the yard :(

2 down, 1 to go :)

Term paper on Religious Elements in Shakespeare ... check

Annotated Bibliography on 11 tortuous books/ articles critiquing Shakespeare ... check

Next- Shakespeare Final

and then
GRADUATION BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Fun in the Office

Dr Todd recieved a coffee mug as a gift from his sister-in-law. It is a blurry picture but the mug says, BOSS. Any questions?

This was my answer:
It says- She Who Must be obeyed :)
The Doc's felt it pretty much summed it up...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Spring has sprung in Pennsylvania...

Monday, March 31, 2008

Opening Day

It is a family holiday, it is Opening Day for Baseball and my entire family has gathered for hotdogs and peanuts and baseball at my sisters' house. Everyone but me. I instead am at work and then heading to Shakespeare tonight. This is depressing. It has been overcast and raining all day and it put me into a rather foul mood this morning, only made better by my driving to the wrong hospital this morning. I called the boys and told them to get signout from the weekend without me, I would be there by 830am. No problem, they said, laughing loudly. Still not in a good mood, here.

As I came around the corner near the hospital. I noticed a big yellow thing by the construction site at the drug company. I could not figure out what it was and then I started laughing and my day looked up from there.

This, my blogger friends, is the GIANT Rat that is accompanying the striking construction workers at the site. There is also an accompanying gray rat that I could not get a picture of. They are huge- that is a white Jeep behind it and it towers over the car. They made my day...

Just when I was getting a little down, I went to lunch and the cafeteria had phillies jerseys hanging from the ceiling and hotdogs on the menu. Life is looking up. OH and best of all, I have my laptop back and it only took 4 hours on the phone with the lynksys people to get the wireless router working again. (HP had me reset it and it was down for the count) That, however, is a story for another time. Happy Days Blogger Friends :)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Story of Princess Piglet

Although not the most flattering picture of Princess P, it does show her bad wing (tucked back on her left).

Several years ago, my friend Terry and I were at Pet Smart trying to find an automatic feeder for her cat, Jungle. At the time I had no intention of getting a cat. I had tried it several years earlier, found myself severely allergic to her fine fur, and had to find her a new home. (You will find Gretel Asparagus with my sister, MB.) That day at the Pet Smart, a shelter called the Cat Angel Network was having an open adoption day. I paid little attention as we walked by but a certain cat sleeping in her litter box caught my eye. I read her story and cried.

The rescue had been called about a kitten, no more than 2 months old, who was hopping around an apartment complex in Philadelphia. When they found her, her mouth was frozen shut, her arm was broken and frozen in a manner she would never be able to use, and she was severely underweight. The Cat Angel Network took her to their vet and the nightmare began. She had suffered severe nerve damage and could no longer feel or use the lower part of her left front paw, nor could she eat. The first step was feeding her- they had to pry her mouth open and fed her liquids. Then they focused on her arm. At first it seemed that amputation was the only treatment, but a lovely orthopedic vet stepped in and after many rounds of accupuncture, minimal movementto the arm and complete movement of the jaw was restored. She is missing several teeth but eats like a horse. She had to spend almost 8 months in vet hospitals before coming back to the rescue and then it was almost three months before she could be adopted. I found her at the Pet Smart when she was about a year old.

I did not adopt her that day, but for a week was haunted by her story. I went online and applied to adopt with particular interest on "Dawn". Almost immediately, I recieved a phone call from the vp of the rescue, who wanted to make sure I knew what I was getting into. "She is a special needs cat, who requires alot of attention and love". We arranged that I would come meet her and if I liked her, I could take her home. (Like there was any question....) It was love at first site. I brought her into the apartment and showed her the litter box and the food. She showed me the couch and how she really liked my lap. That was three years ago. Every one who meets her initially cries when they see her hop through the house and then they fall under her spell....

She is a gentle creature who, despite her rough first year, has never seen a stranger. What she really likes are the days that I am home and she can be on my lap, at my feet, or simply nearby. My mother swears that she willed me into the petsmart, I think she might be right...


How does this-

Plus this-

equal this-
That if you cannot see, is my foot with a bruise extending from above my pinky toe to just before my big toe.
What happened you ask?
In my rush to get to work on thursday morning, I pulled the towel from the hook and managed to pull the giant brass and ceramic hook off the wall, which unerringly made its way onto the top of my foot. I was on my knees before I could process what had happened and watched the immediate bruise start. Shoes are fun, walking is a joy, and my cat has managed to step on the exact scene of the crime at least twice a day since...
On a more depressing note, I still do not have my laptop back. I have only recieved an email from Hewlett Packard saying they have recieved the defective product :(