Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What I should be doing right now is studying but I'm not.  I'm reading blogs and cooking potstickers for a luncheon tomorrow.  One of my coworkers is retiring. 

It's been snowing here all day.  There was a promise of spring last week but that seems to have gone by the wayside.  Winter is back, hopefully not for long.

Miss Katie had three wisdom teeth out last Wednesday and we all survived.  She was pretty good considering her surgery was delayed by two hours.  When we arrived at the hospital she started screaming bloody murder when I put some EMLA cream on her hands so that the IV wouldn't hurt when it was started.  The screaming turned out to be a blessing because the nurses quickly moved us from a stretcher in the middle of the unit to a room with a door and Katie got a couple of Ativan in the bargain as well.  When her and I went downstairs to the OR she started flirting with the young, good looking dentist.  She got a hug from him and she had him blowing up gloves because she wanted a balloon. 

After she came back from the recovery room she vomited up some blood and this green thing.  I couldn't figure out what the green thing was so I put on a pair of gloves and dug around in the vomit (you can tell I'm a nurse and a mom).  I pulled the green thing out.  It was a sticker that you give kids as a bribe or reward.  I have no idea where it came from but it's not unusual.  Katie's caregiver found a tack up her nose a couple of weeks ago.  Where she got it, god only knows.  Once I found her teacher's keys inside the sock Katie was wearing.  Katie had ridden home on the bus with keys in her sock and her shoe on as well. 

I've been battling the menopause and the menopause has been kicking me in the ass.  I felt like I was in a fog, I had insomnia, which I've never really had, I was getting depressed, weepy, bitchy, not to mention the hot flashes from hell.  I felt like a train wreck.  Menopause is a natural thing, it's what happens to women.  But I couldn't do it.  I saw my doctor and got an estrogen patch and some progesterone pills.  The fog has lifted thank goodness but the hot flashes remain.  I'm okay with that.  The fog made me feel like I had Alzheimers.  I couldn't concentrate, kept forgetting everything, couldn't do simple tasks and work was becoming difficult. 

The potstickers are all finished, time to do a little studying. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Things I'm thankful for today.

Estrogen in the form of a patch.
The fog in my brain is lifting, slowly.
My son's girlfriend got accepted into grad school.
Miss Katie will get her teeth taken care of tomorrow, under a general anesthetic.
The big guy is coming to the hospital with me tomorrow.  Katie loves him.
Cashew chicken for supper tonight.
I spent the day in school.
My bed.
I'm very thankful for my bed tonight.

What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

I've been depressed, hot, sweaty, tired and cranky lately.  Welcome to menopause.

I need to drag my ass out of this slump. 

Things I'm thankful for today.

A doctor who listened to me today.
Pulled pork and coleslaw for supper.
I get to go back to this meadow again this August.
Hugs and love from the big guy.
My health.
Melting snow and sunshine.
My children.
My daughter is coming out to visit in May.
A dishwasher that cleans the dishes while I sit and type.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I just finished reading this book.  My daughter sent it to me after she went to the book launch and met the author.  It's about a young couple dealing with life and with cancer.  It gave me a whole new perspective on cancer in general and multiple myeloma in particular. 

I work in cancer care and often have patients with multiple myeloma.  All of the multiple myeloma patients that are receiving stem cell transplants come through us to have their central lines inserted.  It's one thing to know that a patient is receiving a stem cell transplant, it's quite another to read about it from the perspective of the patient and the woman who loves him. 

Strangely enough, I found the most difficult part of the book to read was the beginning.  Megan was only sixteen when she met Chad and it was her raw honesty that touched me, reminded me of what it was like to be young and in love.

Megan's website is here.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

I'm tired of winter.  Every March is the same.  The days are longer now, the sun is higher in the sky every day and it is slowly working it's way north in the western sky but still it is winter.  The temperature is finally rising this weekend.  The snow is melting, the windows are open.  I can hear the birds outside as I type but still there is snow everywhere and where the snow has melted, it is brown. 

I miss colors.  There are no leaves and there won't be for two more months.  Green is my favorite color and it is missing in the winter.  The spruce don't count because come spring, even they change color, their tips turn a lovely, vibrant, new green. 

I'm tired of hot flashes that make life one big, hot sweaty mess.  At work I often wear lead and a sterile gown complete with hair net, mask and sterile gloves, and then I have a hot flash.  The sweat runs down my back, soaks my underwear and leaves me feeling stinky.  I can smell myself.  At night the hot flashes disrupt my sleep so I'm tired all the time.  My brain is foggy.  I'm grumpy, sleepy and stinky, three of the seven menopause dwarfs.

I'm also take an oncology course at work.  I no longer have spare time.  I love the learning but I'm not young anymore.  It takes longer for things to sink into my poor addled brain.  The one thing I do find helps though is my thirty years of nursing experience.  I'm the oldest in the class and experience does help.  I'm giving the young ones a run for their money.

Katie has a scary looking mole on her thigh.  She was born with this mole and in the last couple of years it has started to change.  It meets all the criteria for malignant melanoma.

The dermatologist we saw on Friday was a giant dick.  He said that although it meets the criteria, not to worry.  He muttered under his breath that he often doesn't understand what people are talking about.  He talked to my ex-husband and mostly ignored me.  He said that he thought Katie would be just fine with some local freezing if she needed the mole removed.  He didn't listen.  He didn't fucking listen.  I wanted to yell at him to shut the fuck up and try listening.  Another year of menopause and I imagine I will yell.  I want the mole removed, under a general anesthetic.  She is going in for dental work in a week and a half and will have a general anesthetic then.  But he didn't think that was necessary. 
I work in a cancer hospital.  We have a doctor who runs clinical trials for metastatic malignant melanoma.  Patients came from all over to see him and those patients come through our department.  Malignant melanoma is the leading cause of cancer death in woman aged 25-30.  I talk to my patients and I listen to them, unlike some fucking dermatologists.  I know that doctors get things wrong, that patient's concerns can be brushed aside.  I see those patients.  I start their IVs and I know that they probably won't live five years. 
I'm scared.  Katie's mole is probably fine but I'm still scared.  Scared takes up a lot of space inside my brain, it feels heavy to carry around and scared squeezes tears out of my eyes at inappropriate times.