Tag: Healthcare

Death By Jingle Bells

  • Time of death was 1735. Ten and a half hours into the shift. The Christmas music loop playing over the hospital loudspeakers had just begun the forty seventh repeat of Jingle Bells for the day. He was found slumped over his desk, eyes rolled back, drool pooling in the corners of his N95 mask. The charting system was open and his last known note had not yet been saved… “Patient observed laughing while on phone call. Patient informed this nurse that pain was 10/10. This nurse provided education on pain medication schedule and alternative pain relief strategies. Patient was observed yelling obscenities at staff members. This nurse will continue to monitor patients pain levels closely….”
  • Thank god we finally have some diversity at the highest levels of government. The media proudly gushed that Pete Buttigieg will be the first openly gay cabinet member. Pete himself made a point of saying this during his acceptance speech. Apparently Richard Grenell as DNI doesn’t count because, well, he was appointed by Trump. And he even though he’s gay he probably secretly hates the gays. And he’s a racist obviously. Does it worry anyone else that Mayor Pete, who couldn’t even get the potholes fixed in South Bend, is now in charge of Transportation? Optics and symbolism are clearly what’s most important.
  • 8 inches of snow overnight. I’ve got stuff do this morning, so the first downhill day will have to wait until tomorrow. We’ll get some skate skiing in with the hound this afternoon.
  • The backlash over Jill Biden insisting on being called ‘Doctor’ has been hilarious. Reviews of her dissertation have not been kind. Tucker Carlson’s skewering of her academic prowess was pretty damn funny. You didn’t really think, after four years of being called racist, and trashing the first lady, folks would just magically unite did you? Silly rabbit.
  • Remember the days of riots, looting, and police officers being shot over the tragic police shooting of Breonna Taylor? Well, it turns out when someone does actual journalism (remember that?) reality doesn’t match the mob outrage. Poor miss Taylor doesn’t seem to have been the innocent bystander she was portrayed as. Will the media report on this? Nope. It doesn’t fit the narrative and we wouldn’t want to upset people with minor details like the truth.
  • While a bit long, this thread is worth reading. It asks some interesting questions about the flu and why it’s been nearly non-existent this year. It shows how little we actually know about Covid and if our myriad of strategies for dealing with it are even doing anything. You know, science.
  • Magically after the election, Twitter returns the retweet button back to its original functionality. All is well, nothing to see here folks, move along. Twitter will add a “fact check, disputed claim” to a video posted by a conservative. They don’t when the exact same video is posted by a liberal account. If you’re an honest, thinking person this should bother you.
  • I don’t normally read James Bond type books, but I’ve been hooked on the Gray Man series by Mark Greaney. Been binge reading. I’m on book 8 of 10. Good stuff when you want an easy escapism read.

Song of the day: Beastie Boys “Root Down”

I Caught A Case Of The Apathy

  • Yesterday I was mad and frustrated. I was fed up with people on Facebook posting virtue-signaling Covid case count memes. Frustration at the lack of media coverage around alleged election fraud. I’ve had it with government lockdowns and killing of the economy and small businesses. I’m pissed that nobody in government is ever held accountable for anything. As a healthcare worker I’m exhausted with the hospital working conditions and no end in sight. I sat down and started writing a long post about all this. About two-thirds of the way through I suddenly felt a huge wave of apathy settle in. Why care about any of this? It feels like the massive engine of the deep state, big tech, and the media empire is an unstoppable force. Nothing will change. There’s too much money, too much power, too much corruption. What’s the point? Why bother writing (venting) for a grand total of about three readers? I deleted my words and walked away. I’m not as apathetic today, but I do wonder if I’d be happier if I stopped paying attention to the news? I suspect this blog would do better if I just focused on one thing… cooking or fly fishing or something.
  • A powerful solar storm is occurring Dec 9/10 that may produce northern lights visible in many northern states. We had cloud cover last night, so no luck. I’ll be looking again tonight.
  • It’s amazing how shameless the media is. They’re now shocked that the Hunter Biden investigation went largely unnoticed prior to the election. WTF. How do these “journalists” look at themselves in the mirror in the morning?
  • My hospital is drowning. Our staffing shortages are dangerous. Despite what the media reports, it’s not entirely due to covid. The city and state are frantically waving their hands in the air and desperate to do something to prevent the healthcare system from being overwhelmed. The solution? Let’s pass more regulations preventing youth sports and further limit restaurant capacity. That’s like when someone says they can’t afford new tires for their car, the government solution is to try and create smoother paved roads to reduce tire wear. How about, oh I don’t know, add resources to the health care system? We have a perfectly capable national guard who could spin up a response within days. I get that there are cost and liability issues when interacting with private entities, but I’m pretty sure we can figure that out. Rather than fix the leaks in the dam, we’re too busy educating people on the importance of wearing Gore-Tex and galoshes.
  • I saw an ad for a bracelet with a little symbol for every national park you’ve visited. Made me look up my list. I’ve been to 13. Not bad. How many have you been to?
  • Watched Hillbilly Elegy. Very good, highly recommend.
  • This is seriously freaky. Don’t watch if home alone at night.
  • Still have not made machaca. Haven’t forgotten, the timing just hasn’t worked out yet. I have a week off coming up and plenty of snow in the forecast. Skiing and cooking sounds like a fine way to spend my time.

Song of the day: The Who “Young man blues – live at Isle of Wight

Yo Hippy, Get A Haircut!

  • Everyone has a chore they hate doing. Dusting, mowing the lawn, cleaning the inside of the microwave, organizing the Tupperware, everyone has something they dread. For me it’s getting a haircut. Don’t ask why, I just do. Maybe in part it’s because in my head I’m convinced I’ll soon look like Brad Pitt in Legends of the Fall. The reality is closer to greasy Appalachian trailer park resident. The same with facial hair. Any day now I’m going to have a Jack Murphy beard. Reality is… well not that. So my cycle is let it go until it’s embarrassingly long and I’m coating it in major amounts of hair goop to keep it out of my face (or wear a hat every day), then shave it all off. And every time I cut it I swear I’ll schedule a haircut every five to six weeks like clockwork. At my age I guess I should just be grateful I still have a full head of hair to worry about. Anyway, today’s the shearing day.
  • Speaking of hats, an update on the surgical cap. I don’t particularly like it, but it’s doing the job and saving the tops of my ears from the surgical mask ear loops. It’s clear that even though they say “unisex”, they were designed for women. I ordered something that’s more like a doo-rag to see if that works better. Stay tuned, part two.
  • The injury update – I have a bruise that goes from my hip almost to my knee. It looks gruesome, but doesn’t really hurt. When I landed on the key fob it created a tennis ball size hematoma. All that blood has to go somewhere. It looks like I got hit by a truck.
  • So Project Veritas manages to secretly record CNN editorial calls for months. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that CNN is nothing more than a propaganda machine for the left. I’m sure secret Fox news meetings would be similar. Never air anything that hurts your political agenda. These are not news organizations. I’m not sure we even have just straight news anymore? For me the most humorous part is CNN “referring this to law enforcement” when they have no qualms about doing the exact same thing.
  • I was going to make a joke about the woman who “lured” a 14 year old boy to her home and had sex with him. I suspect my sarcasm wouldn’t be appreciated by the outrage crowd, so never mind.
  • I had a patient go AMA last night. For those who don’t know, AMA stands for “against medical advice”. The patient had a fall a week ago, finally came in and had an unstable vertebral fracture. The neurosurgeon ordered bedrest until a rigid clamshell brace could be fitted. The patient completely ignored the bedrest orders and spent the day walking around the room (complaining of pain) despite everyone’s attempts to describe the potential for further injury. At the very end of the shift the brace arrived and the patient took one look at it and said hell no I’m not wearing that, I’m leaving. After spending the better part of an hour (and ignoring all my other patients) trying to convince this person to stay and wear the brace, printing paperwork, explaining the consequences of leaving AMA (the massive bill insurance won’t pay), etc… the patient packed up to leave. Several minutes later he hit the call light so he could ask where his pain pill prescriptions were? I informed him that if you leave AMA there are no more scripts. Cue the lengthy, expletive filled rant on how we don’t care about people and do we not understand he’s in pain? Oh, and can I help him get his shoes on because he can’t bend over that far. Is it any surprise that I’m becoming very cynical about the human population?

Song of the day: Nena “99 Luftballons (Live 1983)”

This Time I’m Serious

Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.

  • Filed under, “This time will be different”. Yesterday was the first day of the skate skiing season. Two observations. First, I don’t remember being this uncoordinated last year. Zero balance. It felt like I’d never seen skis before. Second, I’m weak like an eighty year old grandmother. And a bonus observation: I don’t remember my ski pants being that snug. What the hell? Why do I keep doing this to myself? At my age I can’t afford to be lackadaisical anymore. Every year I feel my balance and coordination getting worse. My strength is terrible and I’m starting to feel it in my back when doing activities. I have a fantastic home gym, so I have zero excuses. I’m pissed at myself and can’t let this continue. The problem is that I hate working out. As in, seriously hate it. I love sports, just not the gym. Time for me to just suck it up and get it done.
  • It’s always a mystery where some of the decisions come from at our hospital. Clearly some management types have never actually worked the hospital floor. For example, they recently took Coban away in a cost cutting measure. Unfortunately, Coban is a staple of an RN’s daily life. It’s the duct tape of the nursing world. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a miracle substance that sticks only to itself and not the patient. It allows us to avoid using medical tape on frail, elderly skin. We can take it off and not remove half the hair on your arm. For example, just the other day I removed an IV from an elderly gentleman on significant amounts of blood thinners. Since they removed our Coban wrap my only option was paper tape that sticks for approximately 10 seconds and then falls off. I put a dressing on the IV site and he immediately began bleeding like I’d sliced an artery. We’re talking major crime scene – blood all over the bed, the floor, and him. I kept stacking trauma pads on his arm and trying to wrap it up in the stupid paper tape which kept getting soaked and not sticking. I probably wasted twenty minutes trying to solve something that should have taken two minutes. All in the name of cost savings. Sigh…
  • At the moment it’s not looking good for the Trump campaign. Sydney Powell spent the last two days on the news shows talking up the blockbuster bombshells that are going to drop starting today. Meanwhile the Trump campaign issued a statement late yesterday saying Powell is acting on her own and is not an official lawyer for Trump or the campaign. Very curious.
  • Because I am a dork, I spent a bunch of time this morning trying to understand the Covid PCR test and the meaning of Ct and amplification. In a nutshell, it looks like our “positive” results may very often be picking up virus loads so small they wouldn’t be contagious or remnants of virus from weeks prior and the person is no longer shedding. The commonly accepted amplification rate is less than 30. For some reason most of the Covid PCR tests are using 40. Basically the test may not be useful in identifying people who are actually in the contagious stage of the illness. We’re making public health planning more difficult unnecessarily.
  • I have a strange new addiction, possibly related to my ski pants no longer fitting. The other day I had a massive craving for chips. I searched high and low for chips, crackers, anything. All I could find was croutons. I’m now eating bowls of croutons every day. Very odd, I know. I’m a complex creature.
  • I have struggled with golf ever since I started the sport. I was pretty good about taking lessons this summer and made a little bit of progress. Then suddenly it all collapsed. I couldn’t hit the ball more than a few feet in front of me. I’d already committed to playing a round with some friends and was resigned to a miserable day of golf. A few days before our round I stumbled upon something called the “Single Plane swing“. I devoured most of the YouTube videos I could find, and then did the one thing you should never do. At the range warming up for our tee time I decided to try the new method. The first swing… a beautiful shot. Second swing, same thing. I played one of the better rounds I’ve played in a long time. This swing looks and feels goofy. I’m bummed that I discovered this just before winter because my options to practice are limited until spring. It will be interesting to see if this was a fluke or the real deal. Fingers crossed.

Song of the day: The Smiths “Bigmouth Strikes Again”

Do You Smell That?

Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.

  • We came home last night to an odd smell and a bathtub full of, well, sewage. I’m no expert, but that’s not normal. Our main sewer line to the house was completely clogged. This is where you realize that one of the most important things for you to acquire as an adult is to “have a guy”. A trusted mechanic. A handyman. A snowplow service. And, of course, a plumber. I firmly believe that the truly powerful people in life, from entrepreneurs to politicians to mobsters, got that way because they cultivated a rolodex of “guys” who can get things done when needed. Feminists please don’t get your panties in a bunch – I’m using the stereotypical “a guy” as a figure of speech. Yes I fully realize the “guy” you need may be a woman. For example, we stumbled upon a trusted decorator that’s done some great work for us who’s a woman. Wait, men can be decorators as well. Shit, now I’ve stepped in it. What was I saying? Oh right, we now have a plumber who did great work at a fair price added to our rolodex of non-gender specific trusted servicepersons.
  • Things that smell part two. Did you see the Trump campaign’s press conference yesterday about post-election lawsuits and alleged voter fraud? I don’t blame you if you didn’t as probably only two networks covered it. This brings up two points. Ok, three. First while I personally think most of the allegations will fizzle out, I do think there’s enough smoke to warrant serious investigation. Second, you cannot credibly claim the press is unbiased. Just like the Hunter Biden laptop, this is a major story and needs to be covered. The intentional choice to spike stories that don’t fit the media’s group think narrative is probably the single biggest reason Trump lost. And third, as he’s done for most of his presidency, Trump continually harms his message with his choice of messenger. Independent of the message or strategy being accurate, Giuliani is a horrible spokesperson for the campaign and should have been relegated to behind the scenes work a long time ago.
  • Update to the sore ear/surgical cap crisis. I’ve worn the silly wannabe do-rag bouffant cap for a week now. My ears are much happier because the mask ear loops are connected to cap, not my ears. My self esteem lost a few points, but at my age I don’t really care.
  • As California moves from stage Saffron-Yellow to Crimson-Burgundy, the governor announced a state wide 10 PM curfew. More keys to solving the Covid puzzle! Turns out the ‘rona is a night owl. As long as we stay below five feet, only go out during the day, and only dine at ungodly expensive restaurants – we’re going to be ok.
  • Started watching the Netflix series “Challenger the final flight“. Very good so far. I still remember exactly where I was when this happened. Working at a ski shop watching a tiny little TV. Didn’t have a single customer all day (wasn’t ski season) and no such thing as a cell phone yet (can you imagine?). I watched solitary all day with nobody to interact with until I got home. Was a very strange feeling.
  • Speaking of Netflix, proof of what I dork I am. Recently a friend asked what I was doing that evening. Mrs Troutdog was traveling so I said “Netflix and chill“. I had no idea that was actually a euphuism for sex. Awkward!
  • While I don’t think it will happen, the mere suggestion by the Biden team of cancelling student debt is enraging. I completed college working and without loans. Please explain how I’m going to be compensated for that. Otherwise, it’s not fair… and isn’t everything today about participation trophies and fairness?
  • A guy who drinks champagne and reviews pine cones.
  • And finally, some kick-ass outdoor sports footage by people wearing weird teletubby onesies. No, really. Worth the watch.

Song of the day: Lenny Kravitz “Are you going to go my way (pinkpop 1993)”

I Had A Bad Day At Work

Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.

  • Everyone has a bad day from time to time. For most jobs that’s no big deal. As an RN, a bad day has consequences. Yesterday was one of those days. Nothing bad happened and there wasn’t any one thing that caused it. Just one of those perfect storms of events. Short staffed, a super complex patient, a bunch of last minute discharges and transfers, multiple missing lab results, and some ridiculous bureaucratic decisions from management that make everyone’s life difficult for no apparent reason. The result was that I wasn’t a very good nurse. I barely kept my head above water all day. I’m sure my patients did not have a good experience. I think I stressed out the CNA unnecessarily. My documentation sucked. I was pretty rude to an EMS transport crew for showing up early. I caved in an ate a doughnut someone left in the breakroom (ok, two). Fortunately I have great coworkers and they kept me from drowning. It was one of those days that I drove home almost two hours late due to all the charting I never got to finish during the day, and wondered why I was even doing this job. You start questioning if you even have the skills to be a decent nurse. This morning I casually looked through job openings, wondering if it was time to make a change. Fortunately I have a long break through Thanksgiving to recharge and think critically about what I could have done to make that day go better. I still like the profession… I just worry that I’m running out of the mental energy it takes to operate at such a high focus level multiple days in a row.
  • Shortly after the beginning of the great China Plague, my hospital decided that all employees need to be screened as we enter. At first it was a long series of questions about symptoms, travel, and people you’ve been in contact with. Then they added swiping your badge at the entrance. Next, temperature checks. Now they also have someone entering your name and unit into a database. We’re given a different colored sticker for your badge each day to prove you’ve already been screened. There’s often now a line of employees waiting to be screened so they can get to work. So as a contrarian I have to wonder – with all that cost and effort over the last 7-8 months, has the hospital identified a single employee who may have had Covid and prevented them from entering? Does anyone from management ever ask if the outcome is worth the cost? Or is the appearance of doing something more important?
  • For reasons unknown to me, I’ve become addicted to car crash videos. YouTube collections of crazy drivers and crashes. It’s reinforced several things. First, I don’t trust other drivers. Second, I will never drive in Russia or third-world Asian countries. That’s where 90% of these videos come from. Clearly traffic laws in those countries are merely suggestions. I don’t think you can appreciate the degree to which we’re rule followers in the US until you see how people drive in other places.
  • I’m desperately looking for a news channel. Just plain news. I don’t want opinion, spin, or bias. I just want someone to report the important things that happened in the world today. Why is that so hard? Anyone have any suggested channels or sources?
  • I was talking to a co-worker about food and the conversation sparked a memory from years ago when I lived in San Diego and a favorite post-surf meal. Roberto’s Taco Shop and a Machaca Torta and rolled tacos (hey, I was young and burned a crapload of calories). Research has begun. The quest to make my own machaca has started.

Song of the day: Surf Punks – My Beach (Live at the Whiskey A Go Go)

Remain Seated To Avoid The China Plague

Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.

  • Due to the increase in the number of Covid cases, my state has decided to roll back to a modified Stage Two response. The new restrictions include the following:
    – No gatherings of greater than 10, unless it’s for school, business, religion, or political events.
    – Bars, nightclubs, and restaurants can remain open but only if the patrons are seated.
    Science has been wrong this entire time – Covid particles hover about five to six feet off the ground. As long as you’re seated they’ll drift right over your head! This is a tremendous breakthrough! Forget masks, we just need everyone to move around on little low recumbent scooters and we’d stop this virus in its tracks. And we already knew that the ‘rona was smart enough to skip large gatherings as long as they were for an appropriately woke cause, rioting, or looting. Biker events and rallies are not woke and everyone is standing – also known as super spreader events.
  • It started snowing today. The local ski resort web cam shows nine inches so far. It’s fair to say I’m getting a little excited. Come on global warming… don’t let this just be a cruel tease.
  • After spending approximately two hours watching snow web cams, weather channels, and Warren Miller clips on YouTube, I realized I’d left an unfinished item in my Bullet Journalstart workouts for ski fitness. I think I wrote that sometime in June. Ooops. Guess it’s time to put down the pirate booty and actually start working out. Otherwise my fat ass is never going to get up or down the hill.
  • As a healthcare worker I have to wear various types of masks for 13 hours at a time. It’s gotten to the point that the back of my ears are absolutely killing me. Even wearing my glasses is starting to hurt now. I’ve tried various solutions to no avail. There’s complex physics involved, but women’s hair and fashion offer more options to get the straps off the ears than us dudes have. Today I ordered some surgical caps with buttons on the side. I’m desperate. Stay tuned.
  • If you need a smile to finish out your week, watch 10 year old Nandi Bushell rock out to Nirvana. A serious prodigy. The pure joy on her face is awesome. Imagine how happy we’d all be if we could approach our work and hobbies with that level of enthusiasm?

Song of the day: Nirvana – Breed (Live At The Paramount/1991)

Notions Of Cool V.014

A random list of things and shower thoughts that an old Gen X dude finds cool or worth pondering.

  • Why in the world didn’t I come up with the idea for a blog entirely about Bloody Marys? I’m not big on research, but that I could get into.
  • I bought new stall mats for my home garage gym. It hasn’t helped my workouts any, but I’m happier doing them. I can get very obsessed with thinking that if I just had this piece of equipment it would make all the difference… (it doesn’t).
  • I thought it was a cute rural saying the first time I heard it. I’ve now had multiple patients ask me how they ‘caught’ the diabetes. How is it possible that in this era there are still people who think you catch diabetes?
  • I finally watched Free Solo. As a novice, sometimes climber, it was hard to watch. I have just enough experience to truly appreciate what he did. Also, to realize what a nutjob you have to be to do it. I do not understand that level of risk taking.
  • The interesting result of my carb blowout on vacation was how bad I actually felt. It was a bloated, sluggish feeling. My stomach was definitely not right. If I find the right plate of nachos I’ll drop keto in a heartbeat… until then I’m back to a more restrictive eating pattern.
  • I don’t think the younger generations can really appreciate the marvel that is modern technology today. While on vacation I noticed the hotel we were at had three three flags flying on their flagpole. I’m not good with state and country flags and didn’t know two of them, so I took out the device of all knowledge and searched. In about 30 seconds I knew that one was a state flag and the other turned out to be the flag of a country that purchased the hotel a few years ago. It wasn’t that long ago you would have had to go to the library and check out books to find that info. Who would have bothered? Amazing.
  • Today’s the day I have my first dermatologist appointment. Sunburned and peeling badly. He’s going to love me.
  • I’m becoming obsessed with finding services that can make life easier. Blue Apron and HelloDinner, Instacart, Bird and Lime scooters, Uber and Lyft. What other services are worth looking at?
  • I posted my first Instagram story. Exactly one person viewed it. This may or may not continue.

Song of the day: Dannic “Doster”

Notions Of Cool V.011

A random list of things and shower thoughts that an old guy (who still thinks he’s 20) finds cool or worth pondering.

  • I was fluctuating between 200-205. Hit 173 this morning. With a good poop I might hit 172. Not that I’m counting.
  • Listened yesterday to someone being told that if they continue the current lifestyle choices their lifespan will be measured in months. The response? “What time is dinner?” Hard to fathom.
  • We’re seeing the dimmest sun since 1978. The current solar minimum is trending towards the century-class minimum of 2008. Also, for the first time in 132 years, LA did not reach 70 degrees in Feb. No point to that other than you can find extremes on both sides of the thermometer at any day someplace in the world.
  • A baffling recycling program. Now take this and imagine the rules on medical waste. We have four different tubs that various wrappers and things must be disposed into. Nobody can figure out how to open the tops so all wrappers just end up in the trash or placed on top of the container.
  • No idea why I thought this was interesting. “The International Space Station is passing over the Idaho State Capitol Building on March 02, 2019 at 06:38AM, for 614 seconds.” More importantly, why someone took the time to figure it out.
  • This is my MTB ride. Not sure why I’m thinking about cycling. There’s some kick butt spring skiing pending.
  • I still scan tech blogs. I’m realizing that I still really like systems. I started wondering if I should migrate that way in healthcare? I’m not sure I could give up the three day work week though.
  • If you ever wondered where the US navy is currently operating at any given time, here you go.

Song of the day: Agent Orange “This is the voice”