Friday, March 6, 2009

Aww shucks. It was nothin' but dumb luck.

I thought I had Mercury in Retrograde as an excuse for this weird week, but I just checked and that doesn't happen again til May.

Still, it was a weird week for stuff. First of all, SNOW in Hampton Roads on the second day of March. Well, that messed us all up. And I'm just like most everybody out there and I don't wanna drive in that mess. So, I had somebody else drive me. Somebody who has experience with snow storms in the Northern parts of these here United States. Yeah, I'm a chicken. But I got to the job okay. Can't say much for a lot of other folks. There were piles of torn up cars on interstate 64...there was even one that was upside down! Anyway, it took nearly 3 hours to get in that morning and nearly 2 hours to get home. Next day, it took me 2 hours to get to work and 2 to get home. No more snow on the ground. The same for Wednesday and Thursday. I did NOT understand that one bit! Usually, at the time I commute, there may be a backup about once or twice a week. NOT every day! So, it was just plumb weird. I did notice that there were big chunks of ice on the road inside the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel for several days in a row. I know they keep that tunnel pretty clean, so I'm assuming that this may be ice debris from our cars and trucks. Ice chunks flying from vehicles is probably what caused most of the wrecks inside the tunnel this week. We all should really do our part to make sure that we don't have that stuff on our cars before we take off on our commute. Every little bit helps, ya know?

Tammy had a weird time too. A couple of days ago, she had to go to Portsmouth Naval Hospital to get a Neupogen shot. For those who don't know, Tammy is a cancer survivor. She came down with this rotten flu that's been going around, and she had to do what was necessary to take care of herself. Her immune system is compromised enough, she didn't need to try to fight this cold if her body wasn't going to help her out. Well, TWO vehicles gave her trouble. The battery died in her car so she took her mother's, which ended up flashing the "check engine" light for one reason or another...and started acting all funky and stuff. Good news is, she got to her destination. And today, she's feeling a little better. Back to her crazy old self. I know. I talked to her this morning and she's ready to kick my butt if I don't pick her up and take her to get a Starbucks soon. I'm trying to get over the flu myself, so I won't be able to defend myself. I guess I'll pick her up tomorrow for coffee. Sheesh. Anyway, I'm happy she's feeling better.

Anyway, long story short, the planets aren't lined up all funny, so all the crazy stuff was just chance. And a gentle reminder to take a deep breath...and practice patience. None of this stuff was life altering. Not worth the extra worry that ends up being taxing on the body. It's also a reminder to be more conscientious about our vehicles!

Choose your battles wisely, and save your energy for the REAL war. (Thank you Ginni)

By the way, I really don't believe in that "Mercury In Retrograde" thingy. It might be true, I don't know. But yeah, it's fun to think about when things look weirder than usual.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Potty Talk...

For years, there has been a general debate in my world about the strangest topics dealing with the family bathroom. We can't seem to all agree on it, so we agree to disagree.

Let's start with topic one - Toilet Paper: Over? Or under? My husband and I agree that the toilet paper should feed OVER. GOOD! Because I'd have to divorce him. I'd hate to have to explain that in divorce court. My grandparents? Well, I don't know how we grew up with them. They prefer theirs to feed UNDER. My sis Ginni used to go in all of their bathrooms and flip the TP around. Whenever Gramma came out of the potty, she was fit to be tied. I don't think my Granddaddy really minded. Just so long as there was toilet paper and he didn't have to replace the roll. My best friend Tammy? 99 percent of the time, she doesn't even put the TP on the roll. I guess she just wants to avoid conflict. Odd. I've never known her to be a big chicken. So anyway, which way do you prefer? Over? Or under? Don't say that UNDER is the proper way to hang the toilet paper, because I can guarantee you that there will be a big discussion going on here. Unless you don't mind debates, then let 'er rip...uh, the debate, that is.

Topic two: Reading in the powder room. I have TWO friends who feel strongly about this. (I can't believe it!) Neither one of them believe in reading in the potty. Not at ALL. No matter HOW long you plan to stay in there. One of my friends says that it ain't natural. I say, "whut?" Not even the back of a shampoo bottle? Nope. He claims that you should do your bidness and get the heck out....and for nearly 30 minutes, he stood on his soapbox about why one should not read in the potty. I don't remember a danged thing he said. But if I had to guess why he was so hotheaded about the subject, I'd say that he was raised in a houseful of sisters and only one bathroom. My other friend who doesn't believe in reading in the potty just said, "I don't read in the bathroom", and that's it. She didn't bore us with the details. Lord, I love her. But I don't agree with her. I mean, after all...

...even Storm Troopers read in the loo.

And that's good enough for me.

Just thinking out loud. Until next time...


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A new day...

It's been a few days since I blogged my feelings about my experience at one particular emergency room. I know it's not a popular opinion. It was borderline controversial. I rarely get involved with controversial subjects. I don't even like to talk politics with friends, family or anybody! But sometimes you just have to stand up for what's right. I know this post has ticked off a couple of people, but that's not going to deter me from speaking up about it. And I hope that because I did, I made a positive difference.

Let me clear up a few things. I do not have a problem with medical professionals at all. If you know me, then you know that I admire them. I work close with several, and I respect them. My problem is this: I've had TWO bad experiences at ONE particular ER. Front desk only. I had only been there twice and both times the experience was deplorable. What set me off was the two women who worked the front desk when I arrived two weeks ago. I never made it to triage...heck, Ginni didn't even make it to triage, so I have no opinion or experience with any other part of that department. I walked out once the two tried to push me off on each other. This happened right in front of me! Like I wasn't even there! I knew I was in trouble, especially when neither would make eye contact with me. I walked out the best I could. I probably looked drunk, and they probably assumed that I was. And they both let me go, just like that. I didn't see whether either one of them even looked up. But my guess is, probably not. If my husband would have known which hospital I was going to after our experience with Ginni, he would have never let me go there. I had assumed that this was something that rarely happened, so the previous experience didn't even cross my mind. Besides, I was in so much pain, I had to get to the closest one. Maybe this was God's way of saying that something is still not right with that place and it was time to speak out. This went beyond disturbing when one of our posters here had a problem at the same hospital. I know, because she emailed her experience to me with the name of the hospital. She too was told to go there by her doctor. She never made it to triage either. She went to another hospital and was hospitalized for three days.

I am very grateful to the woman who took over the front desk there by the time my husband arrived to ask for the names of the women. She knew what happened and was genuinely concerned. She offered to help, but my husband had already taken me elsewhere. She gave my husband the names and the hotline number. I am grateful to the woman from the hotline who called my husband back. I just found out that I met her at the Relay for Life last year. Great lady.

The lady at the front desk at the ER that eventually took care of me was nothing but respectful and helpful. Not just to me, but to everyone. Matter of fact, I took my daughter to that same ER a couple of months ago. She had broken her leg in two places. We had to wait a little bit, but the lady working the front desk was even-tempered, helpful and got the job done. There was only one of her and nearly a full house. She was there when I arrived two weeks ago. When she saw the woman with messy hair, no make-up, sweats and a long ratty coat come in complaining of chest pains, she didn't see somebody coming in for a "free ride", she immediately went and got a nurse to put me on an EKG. It was done, over. She was already on to the next patient. She did not judge me when I walked in the door and for that, I'm grateful.

Therefore, I cannot agree with this statement from the first anonymous poster,

The unfortunate part is that the ER has grown a tolerance to suffering since nearly EVERY PERSON who presents reports symptoms as if they were on death's door, as if to drum up sympaty or a sense of urgency from the hospital staff.

Those first words, "grown a tolerance to suffering" floored me. This kind of thinking can completely wipe away the hope of anyone who enters ER requiring care. But I feel safe to say that this is NOT the attitude of everybody who works in ER, so the person who wrote this CANNOT speak for ALL.

My husband did NOT detect that attitude at all with the woman who took over the front desk at the hospital in question. And I surely didn't see that with the woman who worked at the second hospital. She treated everyone with respect.

In conclusion, my advice to the first two posters and the two women at the front desk of Hospital A is this: Do NOT have a preconceived notion of what the next patient is like, otherwise, that patient's family may have grounds for a lawsuit.