Monday, August 10, 2009

kodiak to dutch harbor...10 dutch/unalaska

above a red fox hangs out at the little church in unalaska. got some fun pictures of him. below...more wild flowers.

beauty and the beast...above is the local russian orthodox church and below is the famed "the elbow room" bar of unalaska/dutch. used to be known as one of the toughest bars. many, many fights were found in these walls. the bar is no longer running.
so the awesome thing in dutch is the brunch at the grand aleutian hotel on sundays. the cost was less than $30/plate and the king crab legs never stopped. the weather was a bit iffy that day so we decided to enjoy the brunch and stuff ourselves!! we stayed 3 hours and got our fill. below is a pic of part of the spread...enjoying another helping is tanya, cathy and maria. several of our ferry mates were at the brunch. we ended up piling in cathy and lyle's rental and heading up ballyhoo road to see all the wwII remnants up there. more on that later. we all had a blast though and though it was foggy up there it is kinda cool to see a historical site in that weather. must have been pretty bleak for those soldiers all those years ago. it's a remote place...i imagine it felt even more remote all those years ago.

thought i would load a few more pictures and relax. was a bit hungry so snacking on some celery loaded with cheese. cheese is a staple. i'm a dairy girl. above is a rare dutch harbor/unalaska bald eagle. okay..not so rare, but still quite pretty and actually this one was annoyed at me. aparently there is a fee to photograph baldies and i hadn't paid up. you really can't turn around without tripping on a baldie or worrying you may get pooped on.

we also enjoyed the wildflowers which were blooming all over. i was the driver and everyone would just tell me where to stop. our tour was all about everyone having fun. tanya saw this patch of wildflowers and we stopped. it really is quite beautiful. the picture below is of one the wild iris's that can be found all over the island. such delicate flowers.

these cute guys were everywhere. i feared hitting one on the road. no casualties. below is donna,sandra and tanya walking in the bush looking at the wild flowers and seeking out the iris. donna was another new friend from the ferry. we took her along and played nertz a few times. we recruited her on the ferry for our nertz game. apparently more people played as kids than i knew. she hadn't played since she was a kid.

so another 4 nights of work past. it was actually quite exhausting. the first night i had a woman who was coming off all the drugs we'd given her. it is very frustrating. so a long night.

the next few nights i had a sledd patient. (continuous dialysis) thankfully, he was pretty stable so this free'd me up to assist a co-worker friend who was now a family member of a critical patient. her son had coded while on the kenai. he is delayed, only 20 years old. it was not at all expected. she was at work and must have gotten the call. she was still in her uniform at midnight never having left the unit. she asked me to look at the cat scan. it was not good...i just kept tearing up all night while trying to be there and help her cope. there is just nothing you can do or say. all i could do was give her a hug and whatever kind words i could muster up. the next night it was determined her son was brain dead and so hopefully some good will come from my co-workers loss. they decided to allow for organ donation. it must be such a difficult thing to even try to think about and yet i think down the road it must bring a family a great deal of comfort.

the next night, i was supposed to be in peds icu and instead found i was to go to neonate icu instead. i float there maybe once or twice a year. they are a very structured unit. they have to be neurotic with all those tiny babies, but it's just nuts all the details. tiny babies, tiny details. i found i was very emotional those first few hours. i'd hoped that where ever i was i'd be able to get to the adult icu and check on my friend. i think i was also just tired and more emotionally drained than i suspected. the staff was very nice and eventually i felt a bit better. i'm just not cut out for nicu. those babies are so small and fragile. one of my patients was a mere 2.2 pounds. another had been born at 1.5 pounds.

in the morning i was talking a bit with the charge nurse down there. i told her my one patient had been there 36 days, born very early. she had an 8 month old sibling at home. so two babies born in less than one year. when the dad stopped by he mentioned that he was trying to convince his wife to try for a boy before he leaves for afghanistan. i thought...yeesh..if she managed to get preggers she'd no doubt deliver early again as she wouldn't have given her body time to recover from pregnancy 1 and 2....she could actually deliver 3 babies in one year. i found that a freaky thought. i often wonder about some of the people who are out there breeding. it can be frightening. when i meet parents who are really good parents and dedicated to thier children i always tell them...have a housefull. i wish more people thought more about what all is involved in a lifetime of parenting before just embarking on it.

our resident baby in peds finally left the hospital for the first time. he was 18 months. so a good week for the little bugger.
woke up and kelly had called so we headed off to prospect heights for a walk. great sunny day. awesome!
well..this girl is tired. more pictures tomorrow..

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