What I’ve Learned

Here we are in May. I have been back to work in a major way for the last two weeks. Because elective cases were on hold, we now have a backlog of work to do. We don’t have enough staff, or energy for this, so most of us are working 9 to 11 hour days. It’s exhausting, and so, I’ll keep this short.

What I learned during the inward concentration of energy during the “quarantine period”, which I have to say, for me was delightful….

  1. I need more time for myself. When I have many days in a row of free time, I spend it constructively meditating, writing, musing, and enjoying the present moment, which I treasure. I am a much better person physically and mentally when I have more time.
  2. Things don’t need to be rushed. In retrospect, I realize I have always been a task-oriented person. This makes me a great nurse. However, thinking that everything has an expiration date or a certain TIME to be done is a terrible way to live life. Living as if we have all the time in the world….which we really do…..is a much better way to proceed. Perspective.
  3. Beauty is in the small things. Observing birds has become a pastime. I have always taken into account the small changes in the seasons, but now am more aware of insects, birds, animals…..it’s really amazing.
  4. Life is long. Time is just a made up thing anyway. People say life is short, but, I also find it to be long in many respects. We all have the same amount of “time” in a day. The way you proceed is up to you. Chose wisely.😊
  5. Money is highly overrated. Yes, we need money to pay for the essentials in life: housing, food, clothes, gas….etc. But, your expenditures usually equate your income after a time. I was surviving on less than half of normal for a month and it didn’t matter. Much longer, well, that’s a different story. I found much more comfort in the people in my life.
  6. Sleeping is important. Okay, I have always been a sleep hound, so this is no surprise.
  7. I don’t need to wear make-up, or fix my hair when push comes to shove. It’s a frill.
  8. Mother nature is amazing. Her remedy for decades of abuse has come into fruition. She has her ways of cleaning us up. The skies are clear, and the noise is almost nonexistent.

I am sure I have learned much more, but this is all the energy I have for today. I’m up for another 10 hours or so of work tomorrow and the next. Take care out there, and enjoy any peace you may have found! Cheers, Deb

Snow Event

This is not exact, but….

Good Morning from the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where over a foot of snow has fallen since last night, and another 2 inches or so is expected today. It’s been a little bit like living in a snow globe.

Most people around here are used to these “weather events”. In the winter months strange jet streams cross over the area, dumping inches of snow at a time. A lot of people look forward to it. I am one of them.

I have always lived in a place where there is snow and cold, and the change of seasons is nice. Not to mention, it is so beautiful with everything covered in a light layer of pristine, white fluff. It’s like you dipped a cookie into powdered sugar. The problem, as usual, is the ever-present school and work issue. If people were smart, everything would be cancelled. But sometimes, you just don’t know what you’re going to get, and have to get to work anyway.

Like today…..I have to go out and try to shovel away a foot of heavy, wet goop, in order to try and drive out of the driveway. You just might make it, or, you might get stuck. It’s kind of a test of endurance around here. You will hear people say, “I had no trouble”, or, “it’s really not that bad on the main streets”. Yea, right.

In my mind, we don’t get enough of these days. Snow storm days are quiet, peaceful, and force you to do almost nothing – something that today’s society really needs. So, let’s cancel the day and chill out. Literally.

Hope you all are enjoying the snow where you live. Have a great day.

Follow, and comment about your weather. Cheers, Deb

Day in the Life

Image result for picture of the operating room
It looks something like this…..

Ever wonder what it would be like to have someone else’s job for 1 day?

Take a mind trip with me into the life of an operating room nurse…ready?

Alarm goes off at 0530 (yes, you will be thinking in military time always), and you stumble out of bed, drag yourself into the bathroom to brush teeth, wash face, dress haphazardly. No. No time for a shower, because you did that before bed. You don’t need to anyway, you’ll be wearing scrubs and a hair covering.

You think in terms of efficiency always. Saving a minute to do something will increase TURNOVER TIME. This is the time from one case to the next and is drilled into your head from day 1. Get to the kitchen, grab your vitamins, drink coffee quickly, and grab the lunch you packed last night. Hurry into the car and drive to your hospital/surgery center.

Once you punch in, get dressed in ugly scrubs that never fit correctly, and a blue chiffon cap that will give you that bedhead you’ve been desiring. Join the others in front of a large whiteboard, or computer board, with today’s cases on it. You will see your initials posted as working in one of the OR rooms. Now is when you see what you’ll be doing for the next 8 to 12 hours. You’re either going to think, “that’s okay”, or, “Oh, God, not that.” You will have to immediately plan the equipment you need, what configuration the room will be in, the orientation of the bed, positioning, etc. Not only this, but get things ready for the anesthesia provider and try to learn as much as you can about your first patient in the next 20 minutes or so.

There is a lot to do, so you will be running around for items, trying to find things, and make the room ready just in time for an “on time” start, or else, you might get questioned about it. Don’t forget not to make medication mistakes, to learn the doctor’s preferences, and generally act as cheerful as possible for a patient that is going to have their body cut into and be afraid. Provide emotional support….for everyone.

Remember, you are the like the conductor for a large symphony, trying to get everyone to play together in the correct way: surgeon, anesthesia, scrub tech, patient care techs, and the patient. On a good day, this all works well, on a bad day, one little thing can spill the apple cart.

You will finish the procedure, take the patient to recovery, make sure all documentation is complete, clean said room, and get ready to do it all over again, changing all the equipment, bed, and other above duties for each case. At the end of the day, you will have walked at least 10,000 steps, so don’t worry about getting to the gym. Hopefully, you got a break for the bathroom and to eat lunch. This is always something to strive for.

Maybe you live with someone nice who didn’t destroy the house when you got home, and possible will provide you with food. Your feet really don’t want to stand anymore. If not, you will be doing housework before you can try and catch some TV, help the kids with homework, or take the dog out before you jump into the shower. It’s up and at ’em again tomorrow at 5:30, so get some sleep!

Don’t believe that it is all bad, because some days are really wonderful. You helped someone heal, you made a new work friend, or you bonded with a doctor over something. It can be a great profession, you just have to feel the grit. I have been doing this for 28 years, and am proud to be an O.R. nurse. However, writing isn’t so hard on the feet.

If you have an interesting job, please comment below. Just sharing my experiences for you helps my perspective as well. Keep on truckin, or selling, or cooking, or whatever. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Cheers, Deb

THE THREE REALMS

financial – emotional-physical

Basically, through the adult portion of my life, I have considered the above to represent the big 3 REALMS of life: financial, emotional, and physical. “What do you mean?” you might ask. Life seems to have 3 distinct parts, that overlap, or migrate up and down, sometimes intersecting to create a powerful surge in energy and optimism.

FINANCIAL REALM: The financial realm is very simply the amount of money that is streaming into your life at the present moment. For those of us with a regular job, that is salary, but it can also be our invisible salary, or investments. Investment monies can come in many forms, including stock market, savings, and other investment strategies like real estate. For those of us in the stock market, the last week has been pretty dismal, but I don’t let that part of my financial realm impact me very much. I know it goes up and down, even after a recession or depression, it will eventually go up – it just might take awhile. So, unless you plan on retiring in the next year and strongly rely on your 401K or IRA, I wouldn’t sweat it too much.

Disposable income, however, is the one part of the financial realm that seems to affect me the greatest. Knowing I have X amount of dollars in my checking account and savings account actually dictate how much I feel I can spend on a daily basis. But, if I take a wider view, and I know I will be making more in the near future, I really shouldn’t let that bother me either. If you are unemployed, and have little savings or none, well…that is cause for concern and demands your immediate attention. We want that financial realm to be on the rise, or at least a constant in order to maintain stability in the overall three realm picture. Good luck to you, and let your mind be open to any and all opportunities that may come to you (it could be in disguise).

PHYSICAL REALM: This one is pretty obvious, in that you want to have the ability to get out of bed in the morning with some energy, a limited amount of pain, and feeling pretty good about the container your soul abides in. Have you ever noticed that not feeling well, or feeling negative about your body can, and will affect the other two realms in some respect. Poor self-image affects your emotional realm for sure, and may eventually poorly affect your ability to stream that cash, because negativity in the workplace can reduce your salary, and close off other opportunities for wealth that are searching for you. You become a closed box of self-deprecating notions. For more on this, please view my last blog,

http://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/debhead.home.blog/197

The physical realm is very important in order to achieve the other objectives you have for the day, working for financial stability and emotional stability. Move your body, feed it well, try intermittent fasting or mindful eating practices. If I can move my body, I feel so much better about the day. The physical graph will continue to make upward trends.

EMOTIONAL REALM: This is probably the toughest one of all. The emotional realm, I feel, is rooted in the interpersonal relationships we have. How are you getting along with the others in your living space, your workplace, and strangers you meet? Are you having positive interactions with them? Big surprise, you HAVE TO HUG SOMEONE EVERY DAY. Yes, find someone, anyone, to hug. Hugging has the following benefits: reduction of stress, protection from illness, lowers blood pressure, makes you feel happier by releasing oxytocin, reduces fear, reduces pain, and helps you communicate. One family therapist suggests we need 8 hugs a day just to survive. Yes, people, we are touch-deprived, which is why depression is on the rise, not to mention even worse outcomes. HUG someone, hug many people, be an absolute hugging freak! If you have an argument, talk it out. Don’t let things build up inside until you form an ulcer. This stuff is real, and this realm is very important in supporting the other two.

Real story: I very rarely find that my 3 realms are all peaking at the same time. I usually have a pretty good trend in two out of three. While living in Seattle, my financial and physical realms were outstanding, wonderful! However, I had a problem with the emotional realm. You see, I was far away from what I considered home, and my grandchildren (whom I live to see) were not with me. I had a nagging need to visit Colorado as often as I could. Not to mention, my mother, sister, and best friend live in the Midwest, which was even farther out of my reach. Today, my emotional realm is awesome, but, because I just started a new job and have had many interruptions, my financial realm is suffering. Then, this week I was diagnosed with “scapular winging syndrome”, which makes nerve endings in my neck, back, shoulder and arm feel excruciatingly painful. I am on treatment, and will be working more this week. So, bottom line is, 2 out of 3 realms sucked this week, and I will be raising them up to meet their potential as the week goes on.

If you feel that all 3 realms are a mess, I have the following suggestion: meditate, and feel yourself opening up to all the pain you have, you may find relief. Then walk if you can, clear your head and be grateful you can put one foot in front of the other. The goodness will find you and you will experience explosion in all 3 REALMS.

Good luck, and please follow me or comment if you have an experience that applies. Deb