Wednesday, March 11, 2009

spring in alaska...groomed ski trails at thier best!

obviously, the %$#^& web page is encountering issues. i do hope my writing comes through. i've tried loading photo's twice and nothing came through....grr. computers are great, but can also be quite infuriating when they are slow or just quit on you. i was trying to put some polar bears pictures on here. they were from our first day out viewing. we got amazing bear action that day. you could just see bears in any direction you looked and that day they were hanging around "the mother ship" as we referred to it. we were elevated well off the ground in human "cages". a strange feeling really. the bears just romped and play fought with each other for hours and hours. it was quite entertaining. if a bear got sleepy it would just lay back for a nap, but eventually one of the other bears would just come wake it up for another romp. since polar bears are generally pretty solitary animals it's cool to get so much activity. the biologists said they were bored and building thier strength waiting for the ice to come in so they could go hunt for food. they dug for sea kelp and munched on that from time to time. what made me thing of the polar bears...was watching a show on national geo i think about that strange polar bear/grizzley hybrid that was killed on a polar bear hunt. it was very interesting as the hunter that went out with the native guide was potentially in trouble as his tag was for a polar bear, and the bear wasn't quite polar bear it was both. the biologists and the taxidermist were very perplexed as things didn't add up for either polar or grizz. i had to go to work so i missed the rest of the show. perhaps i'll run into it again. strange that such a thing could happen in the wild and makes one wonder if this is one way polar bears will survive the warming of the earth....isn't that what survival of the fittest is, morphing into something with more ability to withstand the ever changing environment.

discussed with one of the intensivists my thoughts on humans being the only species who as we become more evolved we have begun to practice survival of the least fit. i see this in medicine. healthy children are dying in third world nations of preventable disease while extremely unhealthy individuals are treated in every possible way to survive in an environment they have no capability to survive. what will become of the human species? will we evolve ourselves out?

work kept us busy dealing with those least likely to survive as their coping skills are lacking. is this another result of our evolving in some ways more rapidly than others...i suspect our emotions have not evolved to the degree that our society has and this causes all the mental health and addiction issues. another of my many life theories i've come to believe. cavemen had to spend thier lives hunting, gathering, keeping warm, finding water....even in non=industrialized nations much of the time of those people are spent still with basic needs such as food, water and shelter. in our lives those things are basically supplied. we go to the store and buy what we need. we live in warm houses, safe from wildlife and though not always sheltered from the worst of storms...our basic needs are taken care of...that leaves us with time to ask the questions of life, to ponder, to worry, to fret...

i'm just saying do they have people who are anorexic in the war torn parts of africa? i don't know...i just think there is more mental health issues here...or in europe.

so work was alcoholics for me. two patients under 60 who have totalled thier bodies with the stuff. i do like a nice glass of wine from time to time, but it's so hard to understand why people don't leave those partying days behind at some point. it's such a waste of all that we have to experience on this earth. one guy was totally yellow, even his tears, from liver failure...the other guy's electrolytes and sugars were all off as he's incapable of taking care of his diabetes...he was in withdrawls a bit..peed all over his bed and even made a puddle in the middle of the room...still not sure how he did that..he denied it of course, to which i started looking for the loose puppy in the room. i'm sure he didn't appreciate my humor. my last night was nice, regular peds. had both teens from the car wreck. was a pretty kick back night, just lots of meds.

oprah was about med errors. my job requires me to be 100% perfect 100% of the time and i'm human so that isn't you can imagine that work can be a bit terrifying at times...when will you mess up? you know you'll make mistakes, you just learn to hope that they aren't the ones that do permanent damage. shows like oprah seem to perpetuate the dilusion that if you put enough checks and balances in or enough expensive computer programs in mistakes can be eliminated...they don't realize that in many ways those things just increase error possibilities as they take added time and nurses already are taxed for time. people do need to be more involved in thier own care, ask the questions, be advocates for people they love..though that gets annoying as well. when i have a very complicated patient with alot of drips i just tell them that i'm not meaning to be rude, but that i will answer questions can take several hours to really get on top of a complicated patient. i have to be systematic in my approach and people asking a zillion questions just makes the possibility of me screwing up greater.

weather has been chilly in the am,but warms up into the 20's and even 30's through the day. have enjoyed several great walks. met up with gail and tanya today for some loops in n. bivouac and with kelly and tanya on monday for the big bivouac walk. i was very sleepy on that one. one moose today, tanya's puppy has decided to run towards moose and bark. a really bad idea and one i hope tanya tries to correct. it can be dangerous for us all, and indie could easily get hurt.

this evening i slipped out for a short house is 5 minutes from groomed trails and i wanted to check out my new classic ski boots. they had been giving me issues and so i took them to rei...i guess it's been like 5 years since i bought them....they still took them back! it was awesome. i felt a bit like i was ripping them off. they just have never fit right. anyway, with my refund i bought new boots on sale, new bindings and had the new bindings put on...all at a cost of $16 bucks. i will have to get out there more and enjoy these great trails anchorage has for the next month or so of winter we have left.

sunday i slept all day and monday i was totally sleepy as well. 3 hours wasn't enough. i got a bit of a headache and have loads of knots in my upper back, shoulders and blades...ouch! i need a massage. i watched "the savages" last night with phillip seymour hoffman. i actually quite liked it. quirky characters and a bit of a sad story line, but well done.

we had our winter fur rondy these past few weeks. i skipped most of the activities..i'll have to plan better next year. i generally go to the dimond mall where they have a native craft sale. it's a great place to go as many of the natives come in from thier villages and it's fun to watch them making the baskets and to talk with them about thier lives/crafts. you can also get some deals as they are getting low on cash about this time of year...end of winter. i really had no extra cash to spend so i decided i'd best stay away from those cool little crafts. my favorites are the baleen baskets and tiny grass baskets and the ivory peices are always cool. i also like when they do scrimshaw on the baleen and make boats and stuff with it. baleen are what whales use to filter feed.

i also missed the iditarod start. i really should take those as vacation days next year and just really enjoy it. though, apparently a dog died already today. at least one dog has died in every iditarod. the deaths have lessened, but they still happen. i love the race, but am always torn by the loss of life. i know they are doing what they love, but it's just hard to know they are risking thier lives for our entertainment, really. it's so awesome to watch those dogs run though.

it's late and i'm sleepy so off i go to bed. may try a third time to put some polar bear shots on here...wish me luck.

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