Thursday, December 9, 2010

Are You Sure You Didn't Spike My Drink?

I love soda. No, I don't love just any soda. I love Pepsi.  It is my poison of choice. There is nothing like the sound of twisting off the top or popping the tab on a cold fresh bottle or can.  There is nothing like taking that first sip of the dark, sweet, bubbly contents and feeling the slight burn of carbonation sliding down my throat.  It is even better in the fountain form over some beautifully crushed ice.  There have been a few times that I have tried to "detox" from Pepsi.  Clearly they have all failed because I'm still drinking the stuff.  But the words of wisdom are to do anything in moderation, so I have cut down on the amount that I drink. Did I say I love Pepsi? Because if I haven't, you need to know that I do.  Coke will do in a pinch if I've having a junkie moment and just need a soda, but Pepsi....sweet, dark, bubbly my poison of choice.

So now that I have gotten my "Ode to Pepsi" out of the way, let me inform the public that I have been introduced to cocaine in a can. It is call Diet Mountain Dew.  You know what...scratch that...Diet Mountain Dew (also know as DMD on my unit) should be equated to crack cocaine.  I kid you not.  I don't know how the nurses drink it, but when you are exhausted I see why it is so popular.

I have never found a diet soda that I liked.  They have all had the weirdest after taste for me.  Even if it tastes good to me the first time I try it, usually, by the end of the bottle, I hate it.  But Diet Mountain Dew was delicious.  When I first opened to can and took a sip, I let it sit on my tongue for a little bit, fully anticipating the typical funky after taste of diet soda.  I don't know what kind of artificial sweetener they use, but that joint was like drinking Kool-Aid. 

It was smooth. 
It was sweet. 
It was cold. 
It was surprisingly refreshing. 

It didn't even have much carbonation.  It really was like drinking juice.  And I gulped down the entire 12 ounce can in 15 minutes. Thirty minutes later I felt it.  At first I felt jittery.  I could feel my hands trembling and my whole body felt like it was humming or buzzing.  It was almost like I had some low level voltage running through my body that was also making my heart race.  But I felt wonderful!  I felt like I could run an entire marathon, do a whole one hour pilates session, and I wanted to eat an entire loaf of bread.  The rest of the world felt like it was going in slow motion.  I was talking really fast.  I had to make a concious effort to enunciate my words because my mind was going faster than my lips could move.  I was power walking around the unit.  I went to the cafeteria to get lunch and I wanted to eat the entire display case of bagels with extra honey butter.  I had to pee like I had been holding my bladder since last night.  It was absolutely crazy!  All the Red Bull I drank to stay awake on the night shift NEVER once made me feel this way.  I really felt like I had been on a crack binge and could take on the world.  It was a total Tony Montana, Scarface, "I go hard moment".  And this was on one 12 ounce can!

The nurse who gave it to was real nonchalant about the whole thing.  Her response was, "Yeah, that's normal.  I drink two 20 oz bottles and I'm good for the shift and too wired to sleep when I get home."  Apparently everyone but me knew about the super powers you get from drinking this stuff.

It can't be good for you.  It's some weird neon yellowish, green tinted color.  Based on the way my heart rate shot up, I'm sure if I tried to do two 20 oz bottles I'd end up dead in the equipment room from stress induced cardiac arrest.  I tried to read the ingredients on the can while I was still "high", but my brain wouldn't quiet down enough for me to comprehend the words on the can.  I've drank regular Mountain Dew before and it had no effect on me.  I don't know what was in that can.  I was fooled by the yummy taste.  It really snuck up on me, like when you get one of those fruity alcoholic drinks where you can't taste the liquor and then you wonder how you ended up face down in just your drawers. 

I'll probably drink it again, espcially since I plan to work a few more night shifts over the winter break.  What I won't do is gulp the stuff down like I'm dying from dehydration.  I'll sip it like I do with my Pepsi and follow it up with plenty of water.  I have learned, after one encounter, that Diet Mountain Dew needs to be respected for the powerful upper that it is. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

I Didn't Ask For This Stinking Job

I got volunteered to host Thanksgiving.  No, correction, I got volunteered to have my mother, all 8 of her children, my husband and children, my sister's husband and children, my husband's sister and son, my sister's boyfriend (maybe), my brother's girlfriend and daughter (possibly) all squashed in my tiny house to celebrate when oppressed people came from Europe and made an attempt to make a life for themselves in a new and strange land, all the while oppressing the people that were already here and living in and off said land.

But I'm not bitter about it.  In the colder months, I really only see my family over the holidays.  I don't have enough adipose tissue to be traveling in brisk tempertures.  We are a boisterous bunch with lots of stories and laughter so I miss them in the late fall and winter.  But in my quest to continue having pretty decent paychecks, I will be working the night before.  It's only an 8 hour shift (thank the stars), but being the hired help around that joint, I'll probably get paired with either the taskiest patient (good thing) or the alert and oriented times atleast time 2 crazy person that keeps forgetting he/she is in a hospital with half of the skull missing (not so good thing) and it'll be a wrestling match gone wrong (bad thing).  My sister has already declared that I cannot be a grumpy gus (who's she kidding).  It's a work in progress (today maybe).

So the game plan is to do most of the cooking the day before.  That's the plan. When I cook, the plan usually falls by the wayside.  I know I'm going to be exhausted. I know I will not be entertaining anyone or their foolishness.  I really hope I've gotten all the items I need from the grocery store. Please believe I will not have a problem running someone down with a cart if I have carts need hood ornaments too.  And the boys had better keep their distance and entertain their aunt and cousin.  Especially since she invited herself.  Sleep deprivation makes the cordial side of me non-existant.  The beast will be released if she even looks like she is going to say something out of order.

I'm sorry fam, but the plan is eat, drink, be merry, and get out. There will be no lingering until the wee hours of the morning.  You folks will need to make your to-go plates at the same time you make your right now plates.  And if any of them say I'm mean, ya dang on right...don't let the door hit you in in the backside on the way out.  And, NO...I'm not waking up early for no stinking black Friday sales either!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Drunk on Crazy

So I'm driving home from work this morning trying figure out why I have chosen the schedule that I did.  Who, in their right mind, would take 5 classes, work 40 hours a week, still cook meals and tend to 2 small boys (and 1 big one if you count the husband).  I could give some crappy, sappy, violin answer like, "I'm making sacrifices for my family." or, "I trying to get the most out of my experience before I become a real nurse."

All of that is bull crap. 
I do because I want to.
I do it because I'm crazy.

I do it because the differential on weekend nights makes it worthwhile when I get my paycheck and I can eat out beyond the first 3 days after payday. 

How do I survive? I have no freaking clue.  Fridays are the most painful day of the week for me.  I get up at 6:30 am.  I get the boys up and dressed.  I get the first born off to school.  Then I fart around the house until it's time to go to class.  Then I come home and deal with the boys until it is time to go to work for 12+ hours.  There is no nap in there, so by the time I get to work I'm tired already.  And the drive home from work is usually filled with expletives and dares to motorist who have no clue that I'm ranting and raving in my car like a lunatic because I haven't been to sleep in over 24 hours.

Red Bull no longer gives me wings...I am detoxing from Pepsi...I hate coffee...I hate my life.

Tonight was particularly interesting.  One of my patients spent the entire night rotating between barfing, gagging, moaning, stripping, and removing medical equipment.  I was torn between mommy mode where I go in the room, smack hands, point finger in face, and sternly say, "Stop that foolishness and grow up!" and petty, juvenile mode where I wanted to stand in the doorway and pluck the ice chips at the patient I'm supposed to be feeding them too. 

I have to go back tonight. 
There's a good chance I'll have the same assignment. 
I really should be sleeping right now.
I'm currently doing laundry as I am typing these words. 

I'm not superwoman.  On no day do I ever strive to be that.  I am just a neurotic perfectionist that thrives on the strange and unusual.  I am a strange and unusual person.  I'm going to get through my work by dancing small jigs inbetween checking blood sugars, emptying foley catheters and racking my brain for questions to ask my nurse so he or she won't think I am not willing to learn. 

If you think this post is funny, good.  I say good because I burst into delicious peels of laughter at the thought of the last few months of my existence.  And as the darkness of exhaustion eat away at my vision, I bid you all good washing machine just finished.  I'm going to load the dryer and then electric slide into sweet slumber.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

But He's MY Baby

My beautiful first born child just told me some little girl at school likes him.  His conversation about it started off as, "Amanda teases me."

To which I replied, "Why does she tease you?" My ears are all perked up. I'm ready to go and break little Amanda's face for making my boy uncomfortable at school.

And he says with a cute little grin on his face, "Because she likes me.  She plays with me everyday."

My heart sank in my chest as my son went back to face diving in the bath water his brother probably urinated in.  He's sputtering and spitting water out of face with his little brother and I am having visions of him holding hands and making kissy faces at this little girl. Today, she likes him...tomorrow she may want to play week I may be getting a call from the school that they were caught in the bathroom feeling each other up.  They're only 5 but my mind ran away with it. 

My first thought was, "This is my baby!"  My second thought was, "I need to meet this girl."
And yes, I am being extra dramatic about it.  I want to know her entire government security number, date and place of birth.  I want to know her family history going back atleast 3 generations.  Everything my son knows about her, I want to know.  And I am serious about the drug test, blood test...she needs to piss in a cup and complete a psych eval.  I want genetic testing too.

I really don't think the boy even thinks about it like that.  I just watched him play smacking asses with his baby brother and strum his own penis like a guitar.  I just watched him try and spit bath water up in my ceiling.  He was squeezing on my backside when he was "hugging" me when I came home from work.  He got yelled at by his daddy for doing back flips off the couch again.  This is the same boy that told me he won't have a girlfriend or a wife because he has to focus on being a "Chief Man" in the Army. 

But one day, I know when the hormones start releasing themselves into his system...and he starts sprouting hairs in weird places, that he is really going to think about some girl.  It may not be Amanda, but I'm putting together my kit now so that I know what I'm dealing with. 

I didn't say much about the information he gave me.  I didn't tell him to stay away from her or that girls have cooties or anything stupid and juvenile like that.  I want him to feel comfortable spilling the beans to his loving mother.  Because in the back of my mind, while he's giving me the "scoop", I am mentally taking inventory of the things I will need to stalk little Amanda and make sure she is worthy of MY first born son.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I Ain't No Cream Puff

Yesterday I fell.  And I hurt my knee.  But I didn't just fall...oh no.  Just tripping and falling is almost never how things happen for me.  Case in point...a few months ago, the baby boy decided that going to the toilet was overrated and pooped in his underwear.  The child then proceeded to sit and smoosh the poo so that it oozed down his leg...and wanted to whine about it.  I had no clue this is what he did when I heard him whining.  I just thought he had gotten something on his leg or his leg was hurting. I touched him to check him. My hand landed in the poo.  The look of anger made him cringe and start crying. 

Ladies and gentlemen...I believe in capitol punshiment and he knew he had one coming. 

So I'm pissed to the highest level of piss-tivity. I just stuck my hands in poo and when we get upstairs there are still chunks in his drawers! I take the clothing into the basement to rinse them out. Lo and behold, on my angry way back up the stairs, I trip. But I don't just trip...I bang my leg on the edge of the tiled steps and slide back down the tiled steps, scraping off about 18 inches of skin in the process on the tiled steps. 

So I didn't just fall yesterday.  I was trying to have a joyous experience of walking the boy to school.  I have the baby on my back and we're racing up the street.  And the boy is in front, little legs pumping hard because he is winning.  It's all fun and games until I get close to him.  And then he just suddenly stops....and puts his hands out. I have too much forward momentum going with the little one on my back to stop or really maneuver around him.  We collide and I try and turn my body so that I don't fall on him.  And I land, knee first, on the curb, right in the middle of Wilkens Ave, during morning rush hour traffic. 

We all know the first thing that came to mind, "Did anybody see me just fall like that?" And then the blinding pain as I feel the baby sliding down my body and landing with a gentle plop on his butt.  And then he gets angry because his mommy is writhing on the ground in pain...not knowing whether the hand scraps or the knee hurts more.  And he squares his little shoulders and charges at his brother ready to kick his ass. The boy is profusely apologizing and I'm hurt...making ouch noises like a sissy. 

I get myself up and get the boy dropped off to school.  The little one and I walk back home and I feel fine by the time we make it back.  I go through my day, class and everything, and I forget all about my knee being hurt.  What I do remember is the embarrassment of the fall.

And then I go to work.  The good old Night Shift. The moment I start racing around the unit trying to get things accomplished, I feel it start to happen.  My leg feels tight.  I see it getting puffy.  By 10pm it's full on swollen and I'm limping.  But I didn't ask to go home.  The thought didn't cross my mind.  I still did my thing, pulling and turning people up in bed, running...or rather get supplies, helping clean up backside blowouts. Even willing to step in and do compressions during a code. I'm supposed to be sitting in between, icing my knee but guess what...I ain't no cream puff.

So we'll see what happens over the next few days.  There will be ice and NSAIDS in my future.  I plan to go to work tonight. I plan to do pilates and dance on Monday.  We're learning Thriller for crying in the mud!  This delayed reaction isn't going to stop me from making my money or enjoying my few pleasures in life. I ain't no cream puff.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bathroom Capers

Who does not like to commune with the commode or sing loudly under running water or have a luxurious soak in a moist mound of bubbles? God knows I L-O-V-E to do these things.  When I was single and had my own apartment, it was the highlight of my day to have "bathroom time".  It was an escape where I could light scented candles, read books and run cheap beer over my immature, alcoholic pallet. 

And then I got married...

And I got pregnant...

And I had, not one, but two children...

The getting married part was not so bad.  The husband respected my need to lock myself in the bathroom while I did my business.  He found it strange that I thought urinating in front of him was a no-no, especially since I had NO problem letting loose from the caboose. (We all have our strange insecurities.)

Pregnancy gave me a new found respect for indoor plumbing.  You hear stories about having to pee every 5-15 mins...and then you find out the stories are real.  And then you hate life for stealing that small pleasure of alone time when you pee because you go so often.  And you gain a new appreciation for the older generation and their high fiber, high water diet because sometimes, just because you feel like you need to do #2 doesn't always mean it's going to be a quick drop in the bucket and moving on with your day.  Oh no...having a bowel movement becomes an EVENT when you are pregnant.  Hormones do a number on you.

The children. I love them. They love me.  They love me SO much that the thought of being separated by both a door and a curtain sends them into a panick so bad that they have to poop. There is nothing like a nippy autumn morning, after I've gotten the boys cleaned and dressed and seated at the table with breakfast, where I think I have just enough time to get in a shower.  It is like my own reprieve from this cold cruel world, a small slice of bliss to make life more bearable.  I close the door and turn on the water. I get the bathroom all nice and steamed up.  The air is made warm by the heat of the water so when I get out I don't have to rush to lotion up.  I get in and let the water beat down on me.  I am greatful to the husband for installing the new wider shower head so that my entire back is being soothed by the heat and gentle pounding of the water.

But then I hear it.  I hear the stomps coming up the stairs...the badoomp, badoomp of someone whose legs are too short to really run up the stairs. I know where those footsteps are heading, but I am praying to whatever god will listen to me that those steps aren't really heading in my direction.  I can hear the panting as the steps get closer. And in the warm comfy confounds of my shower comes a thick blast of cold air followed by a, "MOMMY! I HAVE TO POOP!" And my first born child stands in the doorway, letting out all of my beautiful warm steam, waiting for me to give him permission to have a bowel movement.  Who am I to say no? Especially after everything that made the moment so tender and sweet has just left in a puff out the door and down the steps where his side kick is still in La-La Land enjoying his toaster waffle. 

I really don't think 15 minutes is a long time.  It's not like I was shampooing my hair.  It was really a quick and simple cleansing of the body. I want to shed a tear for my stolen moment.  But my big baby has to take a dump with great urgency...with the door open...and I can hear him making his deposit in the commode.

So I get out.  I turn off the water and get out of the shower. And I secretely hate my life as I feel the rush of cold air on my wet, naked my son, my first born son, giggles and exclaims how he can see my butt. He says it only in the way that immature boys can, as he stands there, with toilet paper hand, examining whatever came out of his own backside.

This happens frequently. Sometimes he wants to have a full converstion while doing his business. Sometimes, he brings the little one along...and they come with toys and books like I need a personal guard. Sometimes they fight over who needs to poop first. I don't care about none of it. All I think about is how I am being punished for doing the same stupid stuff to my mother.   And sometimes I call her and apologize because, dammit, I didn't know! I...did...not...know...