My life is...
A response to a person arguing with a school district about not vaccinating her child or herself against the flu

Just a quick addition from the science point of view. I have been an ICU/ER registered nurse now for a year and a half. I take care of people at their worst in the ICU. And yes that means when they have influenza, the actual virus. They are on ventilators, medicine to keep their blood pressure up and the hearts pumping correctly. Why are they sick…because they got the flu vaccine? No! It’s because they weren’t vaccinated and neither were the people around them. All vaccines do is introduce a small amount of the virus to your body so your body can do what it naturally does and form immunities to that virus. Your body remembers the virus and remembers how to kill said virus when it invades your body again. We as a community NEED the herd immunity concept. If all of the herd is vaccinated and can fight off these deadly viruses then we won’t see so much death from them. This is why we don’t see polio and small pox anymore. Earlier generations were vaccinated against them and passed their immunity on to the future generation…US! The flu is a deadly virus. VIRUS…which implies that it is non-discriminatory. It doesn’t care if you are young and healthy and eat well. Or take vitamins and supplements to keep your immune system charged. If it can find and opportunity to invade your body it will. And it’s not the virus that will kill you….it’s the secondary infection like pneumonia that will. Bacteria will invade your body when your immune system is down and that is what ends people’s lives. You even open your body to sepsis which is deadly. I have seen this repeatedly. Healthy people die, sick people die. Young, rich, poor old. Protect yourself and the people around you by getting vaccinated. I don’t have 10 years of college….I have 2, but my experience and knowledge I’ve gained with that experience is priceless and very true. So I’ll leave you with this a thought to remember this flu season: While you are sitting at home and not feeling well and the decide to go see your doctor or go to the ER or a first med clinic. If you are one of those people that don’t get vaccinated only because you don’t agree with being vaccinated and that’s the only reason you don’t get vaccinated, remember that all the healthcare workers that you come in contact with when you go to said healthcare provider, from the housekeeping staff, secretaries, management staff, not to mention the RN’s, Dr’s, medics, medical assistants, just to mention a few, are all MANDATED to get the flu shot. Why are we mandated? To reduce sick days, or just so upper management can make us do something? NO. We are mandated to do so to protect YOU, the general public wether you are sick or healthy from getting the flu. As healthcare providers we feel a moral obligation to protect YOU, the people we care for from getting ill. The flu doesn’t care who you are, if you’re young or old, if your healthy or immune compromised. It just doesn’t care. It will attack you if it can. So please don’t turn down the flu shot because you hear all these bad things about it. Some people have to due to major health reasons, but the rest of us don’t have that excuse. But we do have a moral obligation to our fellow human beings, our community and to each other to get vaccinated and protect each other from getting sick each flu season. Just something to think about.

Yup

Yup

This is SO true!

This is SO true!

Only my son would be admitted to the hospital on Halloween. 
Just so you know, he is fine. He has just been fighting influenza like symptoms since Sunday, and then today decided to spike a temp of 106.5. 
Yes the temperature is correct. It was taken several times by several different people with several different thermometers.
His temp has broken now. And as you can see….he is sleeping soundly!
I guess he decided to be a hospital patient for Halloween.

Only my son would be admitted to the hospital on Halloween.
Just so you know, he is fine. He has just been fighting influenza like symptoms since Sunday, and then today decided to spike a temp of 106.5.
Yes the temperature is correct. It was taken several times by several different people with several different thermometers.
His temp has broken now. And as you can see….he is sleeping soundly!
I guess he decided to be a hospital patient for Halloween.

This is how close I was to the President today! He started his campaign blitz in Davenport Iowa today!

He spoke 3 blocks away from my house!

He is just as awesome in person I must say.

This is how close I was to the President today! He started his campaign blitz in Davenport Iowa today!

He spoke 3 blocks away from my house!

He is just as awesome in person I must say.

Full Circle

When Isaac was a baby, we spent an unreasonable amount of time taking our son to the emergency room. We encountered nurses and doctors that had never seen the syndrome that Issac has. It was always a true emergency when we brought him in, you know not like those other emergencies that are there because their pinky toe hurts, but we were taken directly back into a trauma room to assess his breathing, start an I.V. and get X-rays……
We were kind of a big deal.
Yesterday I was the nurse in that scenario.
Now let me remind you that I only work in the emergency room once in a while. And a couple of weeks ago when I was working I met this family when they had come in. The child has a rare syndrome and can decline in health quickly so they need to come straight to the ER.
I was there yesterday when they came in again.
We were super busy and I didn’t even know that family was there until a very experienced tech grabbed me to look at a kid who was having trouble breathing. I walked into the room and there they were. And I could instantly see the panic and the relief in the moms eyes. Panic because her son was as white as a ghost and relief because she just saw a familiar face.
I looked at the boy and panicked inwardly and set to work hooking him up to the monitors and pumping the mom for information. Then I went and got the doctor.
Then we worked as a great team to stabilize and transfer the kiddo to a hospital that specialized in pediatrics.
We poked and prodded him to get an I.V. and to be able to get labs. We sent him for films we pushed meds and gave him fluids while the mom just looked on in a panic. I had two patients now. I kept trying to reassure her that we were doing the best we could for him and that he looked like he was improving.
Now let me also mention that since I only work there per diem I have never worked with the attending doctor on that day. So in the midst of all this chaos we were trying to figure out if we could trust each other.
No pressure.
It all turned out well in the end. We transferred him to a pediatric specialty hospital and the attending figured out that I was competent as an emergency nurse. He didn’t know that I was an ICU nurse and that I had a special needs child as well. You could almost feel his relief when I told him those two small yet important facts about me.
But as I was saying goodbye to the family as the medics were taking them to the ambulance I admitted that it was no easier being on the other side of that situation. I had tears in my eyes as they left. It brought back so many memories that live in the way back of my brain. I remembered being that mom and having that feeling of sheer and utter terror as I had no control of what was happening. It’s terrifying.
God was definitely present yesterday.

It was Breast Cancer Awareness Day at my hospital. Two of my awesome coworkers are posing with me. 
I’m impressed we had a minute to take a picture!

It was Breast Cancer Awareness Day at my hospital. Two of my awesome coworkers are posing with me.
I’m impressed we had a minute to take a picture!

Posted One Year Ago….Today
Never forgotten…..

I know that we have to remember that day. All those lives lost, taken by a man who had no right to take them. We have to honor those heroes who ran towards the disaster as others were running to safety.

It just hurts to do so.

I know I will never forget. That day as I sat in front of the television, holding my 6 month old son, with my husband next to us, and watched the terror unfold in front of our eyes and just cried. My heart broke for those families who were losing loved ones as mine sat so close to me. My arms ached for all of the embraces that those people would never feel again.

And my heart hurts again today. My eyes are blurred with tears. My arms ache again today.

Always remembered. Never forgotten.

Happy Birthday….to the first superhero.

So you see that man there in the left corner…..that’s my daddy.

It’s his birthday today. I’m not sure how old he is….well that’s a lie, I do…I’m just too lazy to do the math right now.

He was the first super hero in our family.

He taught me and my little brother (the groom) all about the wonderful world of make-believe. He taught us to love comic books, science fiction and just anything fun.

He bought us Fangoria magazine so we wouldn’t be afraid of horror films.

He taught us that it was better to march to the beat of your own drum.

His famous quote to us as kids was “If you don’t like the way I do it…do it different with your own kids.”

He always told us that all the super heroes were at his 9th birthday party….this story was told to us on anyones birthday. The heroes would always change but the base of the story never did.

One day he told us why they were there on his 9th birthday, when we were older and could understand. Unfortunately it’s not my story to share, so I won’t. But it was a significant part of all our lives.

He is a good man. He has his faults, he’s made mistakes…but they have all made him the man he is today.

He was my first super hero…always charging in to right a wrong or stick up for his kids or wife.

And now he is passing on all that usefull knowledge of how to be a big kid…to his grandkids! Just as it should be.

Love you daddy! I hope you have a Happy Birthday!

I have come to my own conclusion…

that when you learn how to be a nurse at one hospital….you’re pretty much set for any other hospital.

I had to sit through nursing orientation for my second job today and we discussed the following:

  1. Blood transfusions-how to, verification, reactions, tubing changes…
  2. Insulin pens-self explanatory
  3. Heparin infusion protocol
  4. Medication range orders-this one I actually didn’t know because we don’t do range orders at my full time hospital

So it was very boring.

First of all I work in a surgical intensive care unit. We pass out blood, albumin, FFP’s and platelets like candy. I know when and how to change the tubing, what to look for side effects and of course that I can only run it with normal saline.

And insulin pens are easy, you just have to take your time when checking you blood sugar result with the order. Always slow down when you are passing meds. That’s what I do anyway. Unless there is som raething short of nuclear warfare happening…I never stop to do anything in the middle of passing any meds.

And the heparin protocol was easy too. If you read the order set and follow it, in theory, it should be fool proof. We are all human and we do make mistakes but have another RN always double check your work with high alert meds. It takes 2 seconds and there should always be the standing rule that no question is a dumb question.

Medication range orders are new for me I must admit….but I’m going to the ER so I probably won’t have to deal too much with that.

So….that makes me ready to work anywhere I’ve decided.

I’m being sarcastic of course.

But I am going to start studying for CCRN!

Yes I’m a glutton for punishment…I know.