Lessons from Michael

A few months into my first nursing job, I met Michael, the patient who put me on the road to true nursing. Still limping down the painful road from enjoying success in nursing school to putting it into practice, I drove home most days thinking, “I can’t go back tomorrow. I can’t go back tomorrow.”  I lived in terror of getting caught alone with a patient whose survival depended on all that “nursing magic” that had so far sailed over on my head.  Orienting on an acute dialysis unit, my only useful skills were a pretty good nursing vocabulary, understanding of aseptic technique, and the complete understanding that there was no question too stupid for me to ask.  I would have never have made it if my supervisor had been one of those who “ate her young.” (terrorized new nurses) Continue reading

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Mr. Bradley and the Old Floozies

Mr. Bradley died!! Mr. Bradley died!!

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This was unbelievable! I had seen people get shot on “Gunsmoke,” but I’d never known anyone who had actually died. I knew I was supposed to cry when someone died but I couldn’t manage it. First of all, Mr. Bradley was an old grouch. He wore khaki pants and shirt and an old gray felt hat with oil stains around the hat band. He was really selfish. Continue reading

Dern!!!!

First of all, I was born in the deep South in 1950, another world. Mother was determined to raise us to be above criticism. This was hard on me, a kid quite comfortable with criticism. Our language was subject to all kinds of boundaries. The first thing that set us apart from the great unwashed was that we “wee-weed” and “gee-geed”. I’ve met other prissy kids who “wee-weed”, but I have yet to meet another “gee-geeer”. (g as in go) See, there’s not even a right way to spell it. Being a “gee-geer” in a world full of “do-doers” is rough. On top of that, I grew up with a bunch of renegade cousins who were too bad to “pee-pee”. They “pissed, do-dooed, ka-ka ed, dookied,” and even worse, they “shat.” They said these words in public, in front of their parents! Mother led us to believe they were exceptions to the rule, bound for hell. Imagine how humiliated I was when I went to school with normal people, didn’t realize I was a weirdo, and said “gee-gee” the first time. Uhhhhhhh! She set me up!!!!!!! Continue reading

Mother and the Rapist

Kathleen, my eighty-year old mother was snatched from sleep at three in the morning by the sound of hysterical screaming and pounding on her front door.  Through the peep hole, she recognized her neighbor, a frail, single mother clutching her toddler and tiny infant, begging to come in.  Mother was horrified to hear of Melinda’s rape at gunpoint, the lives of her tiny children threatened.  Nonetheless, Melissa called the police and an investigation was begun. Continue reading

Smarty Kitty

Don’t ever watch infomercials when you’re bored and your wallet is handy.  Had a cold a few weeks ago, was flipping channels, and happened on a commercial for Smarty-Kitty, a product that will train a cat of any age to use the toilet.  I didn’t need Smarty-Kitty.  Squeaky, my ragdoll cat is five years old and up until I interfered with his life at that point, had never had an accident.  Well, naturally, I got busy and ordered Smarty-Kitty and the Continue reading

Prignant

Repost of an earlier post:

That was weird.  I heard tiptoeing and a door quietly locking.  I tiptoed to my parent’s room and found their door locked!  Their door was never even shut except around Christmas.  Mother must have gotten scared and locked it.   Assuming the worst, I pounded and screeched, “Mama!  Mama!  Your door’s locked. Help!  I can’t get in!!!” Continue reading

Magic Circle

Shay woke early between Kay-Lonnie and Lena but their eyes were already open, waiting for her. They never wiggled till she woke, seeming to breathe the same air, thinking the same thoughts. Susie pulled the quilt over her curly head on the other side of the big bed, grumping about Shay’s cold feet. Shay, Kay-Lonnie and Lena padded barefoot to the kitchen, hugged Mama from behind and found their places at the table as Mama set out Shay’s Campbell Soup Kids’ mug of milk and Minnie Mouse Mug for Kay-Lonnie and Lena to share since they never drank much. After their toast and jam, Shay finished off the milk, helped them wipe their faces, push their chairs in place without screeching and carried their dishes to Mama at the sink. “You’re such a good girl. Oh, and Kay-Lonnie and Lena, too.” Mama smiled.

Racing to the barn, they got there just as Daddy finished milking Jessie. “Heh! Cookie! What got you out so early?” Continue reading