Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Jen and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

I was having a bad day. A terrible day. A terrible, horrible day...and I hadn't even gotten out of bed yet. I had to fast because I was going to have my insulin resistance checked and all I could think about was pancakes & omelets.

I jumped in the car and noticed the gas tank was empty. Normally, I'd try to squeeze out every last drop, but it was snowing outside and my better sense told me to fill up, so I did. Pulling out of the gas station and toodling down Yellowstone Highway, a car changed lanes in front of me and slid off the road. I braked to slow down, lost traction, and slid off the road and right into the car ahead of me. Here I was, late for my appointment, keeping company with the angry driver I'd just rear-ended, and waiting for the police in the snow. Joe came to keep me company (I'd called him because the angry driver freaked me out a little) and bring me my insurance card.

After that, I drove another 20 miles on crappy roads to my nurse practitioner's clinic. After poking me several times, the nurse and my NP decided today was not the day to find a vein and told me to come back tomorrow. I was so frustrated! I felt like I'd wasted my whole morning for nothing. I hadn't even been able to get my stupid test done.

But, I felt better after going home, eating a sandwich, and taking a nap. The sun was shining, the roads were clear and I looked at Schatzi & said, "Schatzi, we're going to take back the day! We're not going to let this morning ruin our day." And, I loaded her into the car and we drove out towards the reservoir to go for a hike.

I was singing along with the radio and telling Schatzi, "Yep, we're going to take back the day!" when all of a sudden, I turned a corner and couldn't see. I crept along, hoping the wind would stop blowing snow all around, until BAM! I was stuck in a snow drift that had drifted across the road. I jumped out the car and tried to dig us out, but no luck. I couldn't believe it! I was stuck in the snow, soaking wet from trying to dig us out, and not a car in sight.

Fortunately, I had cell phone reception & as the wind blew all around us, I called Joe to come rescue me again. He said he'd come right out and gave me a little bit of a hard time about my luck. I started laughing, too, but the laughs quickly turned into sobs as I started feeling scared with all the blowing drifting snow around the car. Joe showed up an hour later and in the meantime, all of my digging had been filled in with the blowing snow, the snow level had risen to the car door, and the exhaust pipe (which I'd cleared once I realized I was stuck) had frozen over. I got out to help Joe dig, but got chilled pretty quickly once the wind blew threw my still-wet jeans. It took some digging, a firmly attached tow rope, and tire chains to get me out, but we made it!

After that, we went home, changed into dry clothes, and Joe took me out to dinner to lift my spirits. We went to bed at eight o'clock last night...I'd had enough of this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Snow queen

Let me just say this: I LOVE CROSS COUNTRY SKIING!!

I've enjoyed being active, but haven't been overly athletic throughout my life time. I think part of it might be caused by poorly controlled asthma, which causes me to be short of breath and wimp out sooner than the average athlete. Subsequently, I've never felt that great at sports.

But, I think I may have found my sport finally. Sunday, Joe & I went to a cross country trip in Harriman State Park and I LOVED it. We ended up joining the intermediate ski group and were able to ski close to the front of the pack. It was the first time in my life that I could really keep pace with Joe without getting winded. And, it was great fun!

So, maybe southeastern Idaho winters aren't such a bad thing. I can really see us going skiing and camping out. And, if camping out isn't your thing, you could always ski to a cabin and spend the night in Harriman (except they don't allow dogs, so that's probably not for us...I personally feel like it's hard enough to make sure Schatzi gets enough exercise that I don't want to "waste" exercise without her).

Friday, February 23, 2007

Joining the ranks of the employed

I got a job offer! Grand Teton Gastroenterology offered me a job and agreed to my requested salary. While it is my first choice of places to work, I asked them to give me the weekend to think it over and they've agreed.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

NP for hire!

Once the semester started, I began to send out resumes for job openings and it landed me three interviews.
*Southeastern Idaho Public Health Department: This is a 1 day/week job in the reproductive health/STD clinic. It appeals to me since my patients would be more diverse than a private clinic and I like the community involvement and social justice sort of atmosphere in working for a public agency. The downside is that it's only 1 day/week and I kind of want to work more than that. It might work out if I could pair it with another parttime job (read on...).

*Rosemark Women's Specialists: A part-time (with potential to go full time) job in a women's health clinic. Practice would involve a smattering of family practice (which I feel very comfortable with!!), women's health, and a little OB (not so comfortable with). The upsides: I feel competent and comfortable with this job. Downsides: They were very inflexible with interview times (basically, they said, "Come to the interview at this time if you want the job") and that makes me wonder how flexible they are with employees. AND they asked me in both interviews if I had children (isn't that illegal?).

*Grand Teton Gastroenterology: A full time job in a gastroenterology office. The upsides: I have an interest in GI stuff since I worked as a GI endoscopy nurse. Also, there is some appeal to thinking that one day I could feel like a GI expert rather than a jack-of all trades family practitioner. Most importantly, at the interview, I LOVED the work environment, the gastroenterologists, the NPs, the PAs. Everyone seemed to really get along well and they were all dedicated to making it a good practice environment for every employee. The downsides: It's a specialty area, so I probably wouldn't feel competent to be on my own for about a year or so.

The prospects are exciting, but no job offers yet.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

A Valentine story too good to not share...

As many of you know, my Dad passed away when I was in high school and my Mom has been single ever since. They were high school sweethearts and a good fit for each other; my Mom has been happy looking back at their marriage together and has not found anyone else who can quite fit the bill. She called me this morning to tell me her Valentine story:

As a widow, she dislikes Valentine's Day. She has a group of divorced/widowed/single friends she calls her "Ya-Ya Sisterhood" and they celebrated this Valentine's Day with a weekend potluck and get-together. She wasn't expecting any celebration on February 14.

Well, yesterday, her housekeeper was organizing one of the kitchen cupboards. It's the one we keep cookbooks in and it is a disorganized hole...lots of loose recipe cards, cookbooks shoved in every which get the picture. Anyway, while she was wiping down the cupboard, the whole thing came crashing down and the contents went flying. The housekeeper tried to pile things up nicely on the counter until the cupboard could be repaired.

When Mom came home yesterday, she found stacks of cookbooks on the counter. Sitting against a stack was an old heart-shaped chocolate box that Dad had given her while they were dating. She told me this morning, "Your Dad wished me Happy Valentine's Day yesterday." I said, "Isn't it just like Dad to wish you happy Valentine's day by making an uproar [with the cupboard crashing] and then doing something sweet?" :)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Ninang's favorite Valentine

Here's a picture of a cute Valentine! Noah looks like a little boy and not so much a baby any more. Can you believe how fast he is growing?

While I'm spreading the love, I want to give a "tip of the hat" to Office Max for working late to save my butt this weekend. Mack, the copy guy, graciously took my order 10 minutes before close & speedily copied all 30 files...whoo hoo! "Wag of the finger" to Staples and their stupid file access fees & poor customer service! (Can you tell I watch the "Colbert Report"?)
Hope everyone has a loving day today.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Update on Jack

Well, after having Jack for a few days and getting attached, we were out walking both dogs late tonight and ran into his owners, who turned out to be our neighbors (3 rather rough looking young men) down the street. I had mixed feelings about his departure: sadness about letting him go, worry about the people who were coming to get him and whether they were good owners or not, relief about not having the work of a young puppy to train any more. After we let Jack (whose actual name is Ty) go, Joe walked back across the street with me to talk to the neighbors and let him know he'd gotten a round of shots, a clean bill of health on Friday and gave them his worm medicine. Really, though, I wanted to see what it was like over there and it helped to see him playing with a littermate and his family glad to see him again.

This experience has opened our eyes to the plight of pit bulls. Everyone we told about this young little puppy was instantly worried once we told them it was a pit bull. Pit bulls are stereotyped as vicious, mean dogs who will attack anyone, but really, they are just dogs. Yes, they may have problems with other dogs (as they have been bred for dog fighting), but are rarely vicious toward humans unless socialized that way. Joe & I did some research on pit bull terriers since it looked like we may end up being his permanent home and were surprised with how much anti-pit bull sentiment is out there. The Humane Society is unable to accept pit bulls at all due to insurance policy issues, so they told us if we didn't keep him, we'd need to call Animal Control, but warned us that Animal Control just euthanized pit bulls. We "googled" pit bulls and found that pit bulls are banned in some communities.

The side of pit bulls that is rarely publicized: they are highly trainable, smart, loyal dogs. We saw this in Jack who learned how to sit within 15 minutes of his arrival and a new name and to come when called within the hour. Pit bulls have a bad reputation due to a) bad owners, b) illegal dog fighting, c) poor publicity. Our experience with Jack (albeit brief) and the research we did showed that with training and exercise (like ANY dog), he would likely make a good pet.

So, our bittersweet experience of picking up this sweet little stray is over and I am glad that his owners found him. I have to remind myself not to judge them for not watching their puppy close enough and allowing him to be lost long enough to get so skinny (which is hard!), but I hope for the best. I did tell them, though, as we left that if they changed their mind about keeping him, to come and see us. :)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

a February surprise...

Tonight, I got home from clinicals and Joe called me and asked if I was busy. When I said no, he said, "Well, come help me...I'm out walking two dogs."
"Two dogs???"
This little puppy showed up on our door step tonight, shivering and hungry. So, Joe (new convert to dog-lover) let him inside to warm up and feed him a little. Poor guy was SO hungry. You could see his little ribs through his coat. His nails are all overgrown and sharp. Joe walked him around the neighborhood for awhile, trying to see if someone was looking for him, but no owner was found.
So, since the animal shelter is closed for the night, he's staying with us. He & Schatzi have been wrestling a little, chewing on bones together, and he's enduring Schatzi's crate for the night.
We're calling him Jack for now and he's a quick learner. He learned how to sit on command tonight and how to ring the bell to go outside (although I wouldn't put too much weight in that one). He's growing on me...but we're sleeping on the decision of whether or not he can stay at our house permanently. We were able to get ahold of a shelter nearby and the lady there said that she doubted anyone was looking for him; apparently, there is a lot of underground pit bull fighting and she thinks he might be part of that nasty sport and then was abandoned.
He's a sweet little guy who is ready to please. We were even able to give him a bath tonight and he did just fine. We'll keep you posted on what happens.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

some nurse practitioner humor...

In my online classes, we have to post one interesting thing we learned in our clinical rotations for that week. This one was too good to pass up:

Rachel (a fellow student): I learned about Cialis this week can cause hypertension and be used with care in people with HTN. So my preceptor and I had the discussion that frequently ED can be one of the first manifestations of cardiovascular disease. (Then, she posted a link to an article, which stated that Cialis can cause NAIOM...basically, blindness).

Virginia (our professor): I checked that article Rachel - what a bummer. The one guy took Cialis and ended up blind in both eyes. And the moral to the story is ......???

Rachel: Don't do drugs! And make sure that you document teaching about NAIOM with your patients so they can't sue...other than that I am not sure I know what you mean...

A few days later, another student, Kari posts...
Kari: The moral of the story is that having too much sex can make you go blind!!

Ha ha!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Road trip

It's SuperBowl Sunday and instead of watching the game, I am doing homework (well, updating my blog AND doing homework). Why? Well, in addition to being a procrastinator, I blew off preparing for my big comprehensive exams to take a quick trip to Spokane to hang out with Team Eddy. Amy & Kevin were in Spokane to celebrate Kevin, Sydney, and his grandpa Bob's birthdays and to do some househunting. So, Friday, I joined them on a 10 hour day of looking at houses and the excitement of making an offer on a cute 3 bedroom house in a nice neighborhood. Since they don't have a blog, I've taken it upon myself to add the link to the house.