Saturday, August 23, 2014

and so i lied...

 these are the beginning of the wrap up of Misty Fiords...since summer is beginning to wrap up as well it seems fitting.  creek street above is's a focal point of the downtown community
 these are getting all the gear ready for our pick up.
 eating some chips and salsa from Serrano's.  nummy!!
 i was trying to do some light housekeeping tonight but for some reason i seemed to be on a collision course with everything i came in contact with...i decided it was safer to not go any further in my cleaning for fear i would end up in the ER before the night was through.
 spent some time in the adult icu and the cardiac unit these past few days.   i tend to have a new assignment every night even if i happen to be in the same place two nights in a row.  when i was a new nurse this would have unnerved me and people always feel badly for me.  i really don't care at this point.  i think my organizational skills are good enough that i can slip into an assignment pretty fast and easy.
 the unit i go to often doesn't know until late that they are getting me and they toss me into the empty spot.  i know they take my experience into consideration and probably switch things up for that.  there have been times i've been given pretty heavy assignments and they do it because they know i can handle it. a newer, less experienced nurse would struggle and perhaps go under.  so it's a compliment, it can be busy nights though.
 with all this Ebola talk  out there it was a reminder of the early days of HIV and AIDS.  many nurses i work with were born in the 80's, they have no memory of those early days of this unknown virus.
 our hotel in Ketchikan that last night.
 hospital staff dressed up in that total gear at the time as nobody knew how the disease was spread.  there was a lot of fear.  there was also a lot of anger.  it was being called " the gay plague" as people were blaming and scared.  with that fear and isolation many died sad and lonely deaths.  often the families of these gay patients were not willing to accept them but also not willing to allow those who loved them to participate or visit them.  add to that the natural isolation that comes with being in isolation in a hospital.  everyone is masked and gowned and keeps as safe a distance as they can..i imagine often even more so with something that so little is known about.  even with new bugs like SARs we tend to be very cautious.  you have to be in the hospital setting. you don't want to get a disease from your patients nor do you want to spread a disease to your other patients, who already have compromised immune systems.
 by the time i was in nursing school more was being found out about the disease and new drugs were being created that were extending lives.  research was slow at first since many felt it was just impacting the gay population and many even felt that the gay population was being punished by God.  fear can bring out the worst in people.
 we still get HIV + patients but often they are just getting older and really come in with other medical problems and the fact that they are HIV + is more just one more aspect of their health care record.
 you think medicine and society has come a long way as far as gays and their rights and then you see that attitudes still need to change.  i think with AIDS came a more open policy at hospitals as far as who is allowed to visit, especially in ICU's.  before it was strictly blood relatives it seems.  Gay partners were not considered family and were often just not allowed in.
 one of my nights i had a death early on in my shift.  we started down a path of doing more but the family and the patient were very rational and they wanted to just let nature take it's course, which it did rather quickly.  now family is the word  i use.  i actually have no idea what relation any of the many women had to each other, except for one.  that was the patients life of many, many years.  family means love and acceptance, that isn't always blood.
 people speak of paperwork with a death in the hospital, but really it's one piece of paper in gives the time of death, if the case will need to go to the ME or if organ donation will be carried out, it also has information on the family and the choice of a mortuary.  well, this woman filled it out and under "relationship" my co-worker had written POA (power of attorney).  that seemed somewhat cold sounding to this poor woman who had lost her loved one so i suggested she just add partner or whatever she wished to that line.  she seemed to accept that idea and did.
 well, the house sup came along and pulled me aside to tell me this was unacceptable and that she needed to have a blood relative fill this out.  my lie...i said there were no blood relatives in the room.  i had no idea whether there were or weren't...but i can tell you that none of the women in that room had an issue with her life partner being the person filling out the paperwork and making these decisions...they knew that was exactly how it should be.
 no way in hell i was going to go into a room of distraught loved ones and suggest that none of them were family enough for our hospital.  all the paper was going to do was release the body to a i know i'm droning on...the point was...those restrictions and attitudes still exist out there.  i don't think people necessarily mean harm or meanness.  sometimes people are just sticklers for rules.
 i think kindness is the rule one should abide by.  i always feel like in this world with so much hate and anger and nastiness any love should be celebrated and fostered.  a journalist was beheaded recently...i see no point in battling it out over silly details about who is family and what is family.  life must be kept in perspective.
 we had a final dinner at Cape Fox together in Ketchikan.  love these people!!
 slept very little today, which is probably partly why i kept nearly injuring myself trying to do housekeeping.
 met up with my friend for a walk out at Campbell Airstrip.  i was all ready to leave Rio at home but she wanted to walk so i loaded her up.
 tonight i went with friends to the UAA planetarium to watch "River of Bears".  these same guys were out at Round Island this past summer filming a second film to be put together.  i wanted to see it and support their efforts.
 went up to speak to the guy, who i had emailed with a bit, and then i see that friends i thought were going to do the same and meet this guy had walked out and not even said a word to me.  i was tired and a bit flustered and i walked up and introduced myself but neglected to say anything about WARIS. i'm such a failed social person at times...still learning. i should have just gotten my card out as i find that is a good ice breaker.  oh well, did send him an email as a follow up. i'm sure he's just focused on the task at hand.
 i try not to let myself be too disappointed by people but some days it's tough. the priorities in your head are not necessarily those of others and you can only control yourself.  the movie was very enjoyable and i'm happy i went.  did return home feeling a bit sad and disappointed though. with myself mostly but with a friend who sometimes forgets to think about how their actions impact others.
 you have to treat others as you hope to be treated.  well, honestly, i think it works even better if you just put kindness out there without any expectations, but that isn't always easy to do.   you most certainly shouldn't expect more from this world then you ever give.
 the older i get the more i try to focus on kindness and giving and being thankful.  there just isn't enough of that stuff out there.  there is meanness and selfishness and a lack of gratitude for all the gifts we have been given. i do believe that the more good you put out there, the more good you will get back.  it's my hope anyway.
 scott is laughing at the irony...the one signs says no dogs allowed and yet the other signage seems to welcome dogs with dog poop bags for your convenience.
 it was a beautiful night out there as we walked around the harbor.
 great to have that night to relax.
 an older patient i had last night had a bad episode of chest pain....always makes you cringe when they are predicting their death and freaking out..people usually know, they may not accept it but they know it's coming. got him through the night, but not sure how many more episodes his old ticker can take. one heart only gets so many beats.
 busy day tomorrow. need to walk dogs, get a baby shower gift and attend a shower plus i was talking to a friend at work last night and he has a spare lawnmower that i can have for free!!  love that word, free!!  so i want to pick that up tomorrow and perhaps tackle this lawn.
 keep hoping to get out there for a little road trip but other stuff keeps getting in the way, good stuff though. it's just how it works..summer is quickly winding down. i really want to catch some fall colors though.  can't miss that!!
 my friend Q is in town though so i'm totally excited to get together with him.  :-)  love friends.
 also re-scheduling lunch with my fish and game contacts. i'll have to prep for that.  hopefully i am much smoother than i was tonight. it's too bad someone with more of a charismatic personality didn't step up to start this non-profit...!!
 this is on the ferry from Ketchikan to the airport on Gravina Island.
 getting ready to fly away from my beloved sad.
 last views of my town.
 i am trying to do the best i can for WARIS and i hope it will be good enough.  i love those beautiful animals and want to make the world a better and safer place.  one can hope all they want for world peace, but i'm not sure it will ever happen...Humans are Assholes.  haha.
 Walrus though...i can easily have hope for the wild. this world existed before man and will go on after us.
 all that man has built can be taken over by the earth.  i have hope that it can heal itself...but as long as the earth and animals are forced to co-exist with humans i hope to make a positive impression.
 we did some extra flying in the Wrangell area...we had too much weight to land on that short runway so we aborted and flew around a bit...thankfully it was a beautiful day.
 the flights are so quick that you are in a big jet but flying at super low's like the view from a float plane.
 not much sleep today, napped for maybe a half hour after the bear i'm ready to crash.  will have to set the alarm so i don't waste too much of tomorrow.
 love the was an amazing flight. these were all just taken with my powershot i think.

 doesn't get much better than this.
 after the family left and the mortuary came, the room was cleaned and i had another admit coming. i remember when i was admitted one time wondering how many people had died in the bed they had me is kind of creepy...always seems like a bed should be given a 24 hour break between death and the next next patient was sweet and delayed.
 of course, the annoying nurse i was set to give report to was sitting outside as i finished up.  the young seeming patient was waving to her...when i came out the nurse looked at me and said, "what is her problem?"....i immediately felt badly for this poor girl...the nurse you get is a matter of luck...some just have less compassion than others. was laughing with Lena on our walk...this sweet patient just wants to wave and smile and this somehow annoys the nurse?  really?

i shall ramble no feel much better getting stuff out of my head and i always hope i don't hurt anyones feelings by my writings...writing clears my head though.
thankful for's for today 1.  thankful to Karen for joining me tonight, i'd be going nuts being cooped up but she seems to have a wonderful attitude about it all.  2.  thankful to openlensproductions for all their work for these movies about McNeil river and Round Island.  3.  thankful that there is still a great deal of love and kindness out there....

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