Friday, October 02, 2015

Oregon Shooting

I'm going to put this out there and you can agree or disagree but normal, mentally healthy people DON'T GO ON SHOOTING RAMPAGES!! Blaming the weapon and not the user is like blaming a woman's rape on her looks! More importantly the stigma associated with mental illnesses in this country and the lack of treatment options needs to be addressed. Many insurance policies don't cover the cost of mental illness or mental health. Seeking treatment is often viewed as a weakness rather than a strength. It's not easy admitting a mental illness exist.

In my profession it can be detrimental. Per the nurse practice act of Florida if a nurse has a mental illness it can cost them their license (Section 464.018).  However, if a person is receiving treatment, a person with mental illness can function in society without any restrictions or limitations.  It is only when a person who has mental illness does not receive treatment, or doesn't follow the prescribed treatment plan, that they become a danger to themselves or others.

Every time I hear of a mass shooting I am immediately curious at to the mental status of the person.  What is it that caused them to not seek treatment or to deviate from their treatment plan and snap.  As a nurse it baffles me that the media or the leaders of the nation can't see or understand that the real issue isn't the weapon of choice but rather the person behind the weapon.

This particular shooting also brings into sharp focus another issue plaguing this country.  Racist bigotry is defined as the intolerance of people who hold a different opinion from oneself.  In the Oregon shooting it has been reported that the shooter asked the religious preference of each person before shooting them.  How is this not viewed as an act of terrorism against the Christian faith?  Why is the first and primary discussion about the use of the weapon?  During 9/11 was the plane the main issue or topic of conversation?

Acts like this one are very polarizing causing each side to stake a claim to their side of the argument.  Either pro stricter gun laws or pro arming the public for defense against such acts.  I have had a hard time finding anyone addressing the mental health aspect of this act.  To me it is glaringly obvious.  As I stated before, no mentally healthy person considers taking the life of someone else to further their agenda.  Maybe if we had better access to mental health treatment, and a public that was willing to have conversation about mental health without facing the stigma attached to it acts like this will decrease.  Friends and family members of other mass shooting perpetrators have been reported to state that they knew something was wrong with the perpetrator but weren't able to get help for them.  I haven't heard anything about this particular shooter, but I wouldn't be surprised if the reports were similar.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

This is not a costume

I'll be the first to admit that I don't watch ABC's show The View. So I am not familiar with all of the personalities or even the demographic audience that watches the show. I was alerted today on social media about a segment that aired on the show: 

When I saw this it angered me, probably more than it should have.  I heard the question: "Why does she have a doctors stethoscope on?"  As if to imply that only doctors should ever need one of those! It also suggested that Ms Colorado was wearing some sort of costume. The segment also stated that Ms Colorado "basically read her emails out loud." All to a sound track of laughter.  I dare say they didn't actually listen to anything that Ms Colorado had to say. Her monologue was not the stuff of forward:forward:forward emails.  It was a heartfelt, honest portrayal of what a nurse does daily. 
Nursing requires not only intelligence, dedication (and a college degree) it also requires a certain level of skill and tact in dealing with emotional families/ patients in what is often a very stressful situation.  This shouldn't be new groundbreaking information. You'd  think that the talent of a cast that has a national platform would have known that Ms Colorado wasn't wearing a costume, in fact you'd think they understood or used their vast research department to learn what a stethoscope is used for, and who it is that uses them. I hope that this faux pas on the part of the entertainment team of The View catapults into conversation what exactly is a nurse. I am tired of everyone who wears scrubs at a hospital being considered a nurse. Just in case someone reads this who has a question: a certified nursing assistant is NOT a nurse. A medical assistant is NOT a nurse. (But guess what? Both of those professions also require the use of a stethoscope!)  While we're on the topic, there IS a huge difference between a licensed practical nurse (LPN) and a registered nurse (RN.)  I will address that later. My hope is that nursing, specifically the RN profession, will use this to help educate and define what it means to be nurse!! 
I recently broke my arm (at work) and while I am a patient I am still working taking care of patients. Because I am a nurse and #ThisIsNotACostume 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Female/ Fat/ Forty/ Family HX ??

When I went to nursing school we learned all about the dangers and complications of being diabetic.  The risk factors that they taught us were the four F's: being female, fat, in your forties, with a family history of diabetes.  My mother and father did not suffer from diabetes so I thought that I would be safe.  However, when I turned 40 I started asking my physician to check my hemoglobin A1C at the same time that he was checking my thyroid levels every year.  My results have been in the range of 5.6 - 5.8 every year, until this year when I went to the doctor and asked him to check my levels.  I was shocked when it came back at 7.5.  I asked for a redraw, surly this was incorrect.  The redraw one week later was 7.6.

The scariest thing about this for me is that I have had NO SYMPTOMS of being diabetic.  I have not had an increase thirst; I haven't had blurry vision, no increase in the amount of urine output, no numbness in my feet, no excess fatigue, nothing.  Had I not requested a test be done, I would not have known my levels were elevated.  It would have taken an illness or a complication of diabetes before I would have been tested and then damage would have already been done.

Because I asked for a redraw I know that cost to me of this test, with my insurance, is $28.  From doing a quick search online I have found that even without insurance the cost of having an A1C done is roughly $50.  I recommend every female who is in their forties (or above) to have this test done at least once to get a snapshot of your numbers.

Now about the “fat” portion of this scenario…I wear a size 12 (or 14 depending on the maker).  I do not consider myself to be overly obese or “fat” per se, but since I did have three of the other four “F’s” in my corner I considered myself at risk.  I mention this because if you are female and not in the medical chart of “ideal weight” for your height, and/or extremely fit, or if you have any two of the four “F’s” against you, please have the test done.   It’s too simple of a solution to a problem that could seriously end your life.   It is listed as a silent killer because of the way that it sneaks up on you and slowly destroys you before you even know that you have it.

Today I begin I new chapter in my life, that of being a diabetic.  Since I haven’t had any known damage done I am bidding a fond farewell to sweet tea and beginning a 15-minute a night walk around my neighborhood in hopes of reversing the curse of diabetes.  And here I thought that I was active with all of my hikes and photography adventures.  I pray that this adventure will be short lived, but it has been a wake up call to my life, love and pursuit of happiness for sure!

Friday, April 17, 2015

This is unfailing love!

 When I was 6 years old I stood up in a Baptist church in Junction City Kansas and answered the question the pastor had posed of: "Do you know what your favorite scripture is?" with Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." ( I don't think he was really asking; I think he was making a point of do people really read and retain the word.) And a gracious older lady stood up behind me and said: "I'll follow that with: Being justified freely by his grace though the redemption that is in Christ Jesus!" There was laughter in the congregation. It is the FIRST memory that I have of church.  Later that year I discovered that redemption and became a Christian.  It has been a long, twisted, stumbling walk but He has never left me and never let me forget that I need redemption now just as much now as I did back then! 

When I got the call that Roy had died in a house fire February 14th it was hard to bear.  But even today as I sit and ponder life, love and the pursuit of happiness, its Ann's death that is still what brings me to tears.  I cry.  Still.  Mom has died since Ann's death, yet I can manage the milestones, the birthdays, the holidays the every day life without the liquid eye meltdowns.  But I can hear a song that transports me to a time, a memory, a moment with Ann and I can't help myself.  I cry.  Still.  I'm crying now.  I wonder if I’ll ever stop, or if I even want to stop, like if I stop crying will she be gone from my memory…from my heart.   I know that’s silly, of course she won’t.  But there are so many memories of daddy that I have to sit and think, try to remember his voice.  Lately it has been only the one bad memory that plays over in my head, from February 1979 that happened right after my granddaddy died in house fire just like Roy.  He asked and I forgave him…moved on.  Maybe it is just the situation being similar that has dredged up those old memories that I thought dead and buried. 

I know God loves me.  I know that He knows me.  I’m just not sure why I’m walking though this now.  I’m looking for the lesson so I can learn and move on.  My new job takes me away from church, family, my life here, and my home.  It’s only a 13-week assignment and I am entering week four.  I can do nine more.  I just miss everything, my friends, my church, my family, my cat, and Ann.  Some things will still be here when I get back, for everything else I’ll have to lean on His grace to see me though.   I do know one other thing to be a sure fact in my life; isolation opens up creativity!  One day, I’m going to have a house like Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings where I can sit and stare at the water, or my fruit trees and be free to write, or paint!  

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Life Hack

I know that I am not the most creative person on the planet so I know that someone else has already had this idea. However, after sharing it with a couple of my friends they said that they haven't ever tried it before so to me that makes it worth putting up in Pintrest! 

I have a water feature on my back porch. It looks like a pot that has been broken with water coming from the top cascading down a washboard feature and back into the "broken" portion of the pot. There is a LED light at the top making it nice at night. 

While spring cleaning my porch and making it summer ready, I decided to mix around 1/3 of a cup of liquid potpourri into the water. I honestly did not measure, I just poured what appears to be 1/3 of a cup. When I plugged the feature on the whole back porch, and even in through the open doors to my family room, came a lovely rose smell!  

An added benefit is that the whole 32 ounce bottle of potpourri cost a whopping $3 at the blue retail giant! Here's the brand I used but find what you like!  Hope you have a great (smelling) summer! 

Monday, March 23, 2015

~Paris on a whim~

See what had happened was...

I was sitting on my couch Monday minding my own business, crocheting a blanket when all of a sudden I got a price drop alert on a last minute trip I had set to watch once while dreaming. To my excitement the cost of the trip (air/hotel) was LESS THAN ONE WEEKS SALARY! I clicked on the trip details & sat & stared at it for a while, then clicked off and went about my day.

Later that afternoon I clicked on it again and to my surprise it was still available. I quickly clicked off of it because, after all it's crazy to book a trip to Paris France at the last minute to travel alone right?

Monday night as the Voice comes on, out of curiosity I once again check on my dream trip and it was still waiting for me, beckoning me to come explore the world and collect stamps on my passport while my body is still able to enjoy the trip and my mind has time to put it in deep storage for the days of memory that are ahead!

So after three attempts to resist, I gave in to my dream and went and sat in Paris, eating croissants at a street cafe having just walked the halls of Versalles, pinching myself that I actually got off the couch and did something on my extended weeks off!

I start a new travel contract next week, and if it weren't for company traveling to me this week I'd be off again.  I think that I will make this a habit in the future.  Up next?  Who knows, Rome? Maybe Ireland? You'll have to check back to see! 

Here are just a few of my photos from the trip! Bonjour!