Day two: no caffeine

It hurts!


Bond, James Bond

So I was watching “Skyfall”, which is the first of the Daniel Craig James Bond movies that I’ve seen, trying to decide which of the James Bonds I liked better. Daniel Craig is certainly easy on the eye. So was Pierce Brosnan, Timothy Dalton and Sean Connery. I never really cared for Roger Moore. Not that he wasn’t a good actor. I just thought his Bond seemed, well, prissy. Pierce Brosnan’s Bond came awfully close to prissy but redeemed himself with some nice action sequences. Craig came the closest to Connery, I think. In fact, he may have out Connery’d Connery, although I’m not sure that’s possible. Is it anti-feminist to say that I was troubled by a female “M”? Whether it is or not, I was. She just didn’t seem to like Bond at all. Was it because of the womanizing? He’s the best assassin she has and always seems to get the job done albeit with a lot of accompanying property damage. So I’m not sure what the deal is. I think I could overlook the womanizing and the property damage as long as he got the job done. I found the Craig movie to be more serious. Brosnan’s movies always had that bit of comedy relief that seemed a bit out of place for a spy movie. Moore’s movies always just seemed silly. 

I’ve always wondered how James Bond would stack up against Jennifer Garner’s Alias character or Peta Wilson’s Nikita. It would be fun to see some woman kick his ass and walk away from that legendary Bond charm. Ha ha. I wouldn’t be able to. Either kick his ass or walk away.  I identify strongly with the Miss Moneypenny character. Fascinated with the man but knowing deep down inside that I could never hope to hold on to  someone like that. And in spite of it all, wishing I had the courage to try. Yeah, I’m not exactly sure what the plot of “Skyfall” was. Spent too much time thinking about all these other things. Maybe that’s way the James Bond movies appeal to men more than women. Women are more likely to want to know why he is the way he it. What about his childhood? What does he do on his days off? Does he eat pizza, drink beer and watch the game?  He’s so good at figuring out how to kill people and use weapons and escape places but I wonder if he’d know how to fix a dripping faucet. 

So who is your favorite Bond?

Making a commitment

Well, I think it’s time to formalize my commitment to regaining my health. I have decided to officially give up my diet drinks. This is hard for me. I don’t drink coffee. My Diet Pepsi or Diet Coke (I’m not particular) is important to me. It’s the way I wake up in the morning. It’s the spice I add to otherwise boring meals (salad). It takes pizza or tacos or burgers to a new level and makes them truly extraordinary. I’m worried, however, about the use of Aspartame. I have been experiencing some Lupus-like symptoms and as Aspartame has been linked indirectly to Lupus (in multiple conspiracy theories) I feel like I need to give it up. I’m just having a little trouble convincing my subconscious. I unofficially gave it up two days ago. This is my desk today.

coke on the desk

I’m weak!

I told myself that I would stop drinking them this weekend, when the caffeine withdrawal won’t be so detrimental. But I have a whole refrigerator full of Diet Coke and I wonder how strong I will be when I hear them calling my name. It’s just that plain old ordinary water is just that. Plain, old, ordinary and does absolutely nothing for a meal.  I realize caffeine is highly addictive and not very good for you. It just helps so much, especially during meetings. I’m afraid I may go into shock without my diet soda. Then the emergency responders will have to hook me up to a Cola IV. I wonder if my veins will like diet soda as much as my mouth does?

diet coke iv

Mmmmm refreshing!

I taught a medical terminology class this year and had to re-familiarize myself with facts about the human body that I hadn’t considered since nursing school. One of the more interesting is that the body, much like our planet, is composed of nearly 75% water. Diet soda is not a good substitute for water. Cells deprived of water tend not to function normally. Organs and body systems deprived of water can shut down completely. Humans usually don’t fare well when an organ or body system shuts down. Hypovolemia (severe dehydration) is one of the leading causes of stroke and cardiac arrest according to the American Heart Association (ACLS). Yet, I would willingly ignore the warnings about Caffeine and Aspartame if I could just shake the feeling that they might actually be true.

The age-old choice

The age-old choice

Are there any other diehard diet soda fans out there? Which would you choose?

Is being single still an indictment in 2013?

I just read an interesting post on “Confederacy of Spinsters”. (Sorry, still learning how to use this site and haven’t figured out how to link back to other posts). I believe the gist of the post was that a single woman admitting to wanting marriage is scorned and pitied by society. I don’t know why I was surprised by this. I believe most people look at the persistently single woman as some sort of oddity. If she doesn’t fit into the hole society has allocated for her, it doesn’t know what to do with her. I’ve had people ask me some bizarre and oddly personal questions as they struggle to figure out what I’m about. Did I not want to get married? Could I not find a man? Am I a lesbian? Was I abused as a child? Did I have a bad experience in the past? I don’t consider this to be anyone’s business but it’s no secret. I never wanted to be married. I’ve never met anyone who made me consider otherwise. My childhood was happy. My parents provided a solid example of married life (60 years together this year). I’m a heterosexual and proud of it.

I’m concerned, though, that apparently it’s still considered an unfortunate state to be single. I’m an educated professional. I have a good job, a nice house, and nice things. I do have quite a few cats, so perhaps that part of the stereotype is true. However, I also have a huge dog that may or may not be part wolf. I have a fascination with firearms (recent development) and an insatiable love of learning. I don’t feel like I’ve “missed my chance” or that I’m “on the shelf”. I’m an individual worthy of being known despite my lack of a man. I would have thought, by this time, it would be considered a normal variation for a woman to choose to be on her own. Most of my friends are married. They appear to be happy, although I sometimes wonder by the way they talk to and about their spouses (but that’s a post for another time). I enjoy hearing about their adventures or misadventures with hubbies and kids. Sometimes I do envy them the position or respect that they are given because of their marriages. I have asked myself a hundred times if I wouldn’t have been better off if I’d taken that path. Each time, I remind myself that I’d probably be divorced (or in prison). Some people should not be married or have the responsibility of children and they should be applauded for making appropriate life choices. I believe that I should command societal respect and position because I am a functioning society member who contributes to the benefit of the whole.

A few years ago, I had a bout of severe clinical depression. As a healthcare professional, I believe depression to be an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. I believe that depression can be exacerbated by situational events but if brain chemistry is in balance, life events can be handled without sliding into a pit of despair. When I sought professional help from my colleagues in the medical community, the first question I was asked was if I thought I was depressed because I wasn’t married and was childless. To me, this illustrates the view that most people continue to hold. Single is sad. Thankfully, I was able to convince my colleague that being single and childless was not the reason for my despair. I received a prescription and have since rebounded from that illness. I can’t imagine what my “treatment” would have been if I had thought the depression had been caused by my life choices. One husband daily x lifetime with unlimited refills? 

Perhaps society hasn’t progressed as far as I would like to think. Maybe it will take another twenty years before a single woman can be a respected and valued member of society. What are your thoughts? 

There is no Erin

There is no Erin

Gotta love those demon kitties


You know, I kinda like my job!

Happy Friday everyone! It’s been a fun week. I’ve been teaching ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) for the last few days and I always have a blast with that. It’s so satisfying to watch people, who’ve been dreading the class, get to the test or the Mega Code and realize that they do know the information and that it’s not as scary or  hard as they thought it would be. I work with some really bright people so I can’t take credit for them passing the course, but I’d like to think that maybe I help make it a little easier or a little less intimidating. It makes my day when someone tells me that she was really nervous but ended up having a great experience because I made it fun. That’s cool. I can see why all you teachers out there continue to do all that you do despite the obstacles.

I wasn’t sure this job and I would fit. There wasn’t the degree of busyness that I like to surround myself with and that makes me very nervous in a healthcare setting. These days, slackers get laid off, no mistake. However, since the holidays ended, my department has been amping up and the next few months promise to be filled with classes and seminars and opportunities to take our educational services out to the community. I’m glad I didn’t panic and run back to the familiar. I think this position will be much more satisfying.

Currently, I’m working on a Medical Terminology class for the laypeople in the organization. Like many clinicians, I pepper my speech with clinical terms. Unless I’m talking to clinical people, I get a lot of blank looks. There are so many folks who haven’t come to health care from a clinical school. So I’m hoping to share some of our secret language with my teammates. In the process I’m learning a few new things, myself. For instance, did you know a form of the salmonella virus is responsible for Typhoid fever? How about this, the Duodenum (which is the first part of the small intestine) literally means 12 finger breadths, which describes it’s approximate length. Huh! I didn’t know that! I love the fact that I have been in this business for over 20 years and I can still learn new stuff. It’s just fricking awesome.

Of slackness and survival and camping supplies

I have been so slack. Work intruded and I didn’t make the time to write. Instead I watched TV. That’s just pitiful. But I did learn how to use an analog watch to fashion a compass. How you ask? The truth is, I am addicted to survival shows. I started watching this one called “Dual Survival”. Love it!! One guy is a desert “hippie”. No offense to any free-spirited children of the 60’s, he calls himself that. The other is an ex-military “hillbilly”. Again, no offense to my Appalachian American neighbors, he calls himself that. They have different approaches to survival skills and sometimes snipe at each other throughout the episode. Those episodes are my favorites.

I know, if I found myself dropped in the middle of a rain forest or a desert, I’d have to just go ahead and die. I don’t think I have what it takes to eat a live scorpion or skin a snake. And to be honest, if I couldn’t find water in the desert, I would have a good cry, I don’t care how much water I wasted. I doubt I’d be able to kill an animal for food. It would be easier to forage for whatever greens and grains and fruit I could find. Although, knowing nothing of indigenous flora of my own state, I’m sure to get a hold of something poisonous and die. And I’ve got a serious problem with boundaries. When it comes to furry animals, I have none. When I was little, I’d run up to stray dogs, cats, horses, goats, birds, anything and everything. One of my dad’s favorite stories is how I squealed like a pleased little pig and hugged myself when I saw the Budweiser Beer Clydesdales on TV. (Evidently that was embarrassing when the preacher was over but honestly those horses still make me want to squeal and hug myself). So with no animal boundaries, I know that the first mountain lion or bear  or wolf that I see, I’m gonna want to hug it. So I may not get to eat poisonous berries, I may be killed by the grizzly I just attempted to pet. My brother once told me I should never, under any circumstances go to Alaska (polar bears! I mean, who wouldn’t want to hug a polar bear?). I should probably just extend his caution to any woodsy area where I might see a wild animal. But I still have this sneaking desire to get out there in the woods or the desert or Alaska. 

I know why people leave the safety of home to camp. It’s perfectly understandable. The camping stuff is just so awesome you can’t help yourself. The cute little tents, the clever outdoor shower, the flashlight that you can see in space. I mean, the toys are incredible. Personally I think that these folks get this awesome stuff and can’t wait to use it and don’t stop to think that they might need some more mundane stuff, like food and water. Then they get lost or get dumped in the lake by the kayak they don’t know how to use and all of a sudden they’re trying to survive in the wilderness. I really do understand. I got a fire starting kit and a small knife from the camping store and now can’t wait to try it out. There’s only one thing that’s stopping me. I don’t camp! Really! My parents had a motor home (2 of them) and I refused to go camping with them (and that’s not even real camping). I’m definitely a hotel and room service and internet and cable girl. So why did I get the fire starting kit and the small knife, you ask? Did you miss the part about the camping stuff being so awesome? I also got a paracord bracelet that you can wear so that in an emergency you have cordage. I’m telling you, to me and obviously to other non-wilderness experienced people, camping supplies are like catnip. Ooooh, I just thought of something I can use the paracord for, my cats love to play the string game.

I wonder if the cats would like to go camping??


When Wants and Needs Collide

I’ve been catching up on my blog reading this morning.

One of the writers I follow, Fransi Weinstein at Three Hundred Sixty Five, has done a wonderful series on want vs. need and living a simpler life. It really has made me think about the way I spend my money and my time. I am way too free with both, shelling out hard-earned wages for silly things that won’t truly make me happy or improve my life in any conceivable way and wasting time with frivolous pursuits that don’t add much in the way of value. I think there is something to the collective unconscious theory that has people coming to the same conclusion at the same approximate time. We need to scale back to a simpler way of life.

With all the emphasis a few weeks ago on the supposed “end of the world”, I got a wild hair and started watching a survival show called “Man, Woman, Wild”. Loved it. This American ex-special forces guy takes his British wife out into the wilderness to demonstrate survival in various scenarios. She’s a journalist and pretty tough in her own right but a little “girly” when it comes to snakes and spiders. But she tackles each challenge and does remarkably well. This show emphasizes a self-reliant attitude about surviving in an emergency. I think the idea of scaling back, a simpler way of life, and becoming more self-reliant are all tied together and exactly how we need to be thinking at this time in our history. I am by no means self-reliant. If a disaster happened right now, I’d probably not survive. But I want to. I want to be the self-reliant person who can raise a garden and maybe some chickens and goats. I want to be the person who knows how to install solar panels and a wind turbine. I want to be the person who can rub two sticks together and make fire (although I have take Mikal Hawke’s advice seriously and now always carry a lighter). These are “wants” that I believe could help me to achieve a simpler, more balanced life. Thank you Fransi, for directing my thoughts to where they needed to be. I “need” to live up to this challenge.

It’s Hard to Write With “THEM” Around

I made it one of my resolutions to write every day. Even if I have nothing to write about. Today, I was going to whine about the hot water heater. It evidently decided that I was way too comfortable with the luke warm water it supplied and sprung a leak. Just as I accepted that I could deal with that challenge, the toilet overflowed and the shower quit working. So I have a lot to whine about.


Can they see us?

Except that “they” won’t let me be!  These handsome fellas are Yugi and Wookie, taken by my laptop camera. As you can see they appear to be fascinated by the whole process. I attribute this fascination with the laptop to their experience with the iPad Cat app. Now they think every screen is a new game just for them. Which makes the writing process a little tougher.

Where's my mouse?

Where’s my mouse?


Whatcha doing, Mommy?

In Nursing School, I remember being so intolerant of those students who had children and complained that they couldn’t get their parts of our projects done because the kids wouldn’t let them study. I understand now, guys. I understand completely.

Any suggestions, Cat Guardians?

Prophylactic Antivirals

I was at lunch with some coworkers discussing the rash of flu cases popping up in our small town. Surprisingly, or perhaps not, these people have all had the flu vaccine so contracting the flu has been worrisome for them. In most cases, upon seeking medical assistance, they have been given an antiviral medication (Tamiflu). I’m distressed by the readiness of doctors to prescribe this drug. Before the antiviral was available, what did they always say. Get plenty of rest, drink lots of liquids, take Tylenol for aches and pains and it will run it’s course in 10-14 days. This may not be what people want to hear when they go to the doctor but seriously it will work. Unless the patient is in a high risk category, the antiviral isn’t recommended by the CDC. I just read this last night. So why are doctors giving the prescription? I personally think it’s because we are putting way too much emphasis on “customer service” and not enough on sound medical advice. If I can go to my doctor and tell her what I want and she gives it to me, no questions asked, I’m not really getting her expertise. She’s not doing me any favors by giving me prescriptions without making sure I really need them. I know some patients expect the doctors to have a good bedside manner (which is code for do exactly what I tell them) and I’ve met patients who don’t feel the visit has been worthwhile unless they get a prescription. Put those patients together with a reimbursement system that dispenses payment based on patient satisfaction and you get doctors who will hand out prescriptions that aren’t needed.

Back to the flu, I’m even more distressed by hearing that doctors are giving this out prophylactically. A husband has the flu and they give the antiviral to him and his wife, even though she has no symptoms. The flu virus can mutate, people! By giving antivirals willy-nilly, we are going to create a super flu that nothing will kill. Then, my friends, we are   in for some serious trouble. This isn’t new information. Everyone knows that the prevalence of antibiotics is responsible for creating the “superbugs” like VRE (Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus) or MRSA (Methecillan Resistant Stapholococcus Aureus). The same is true of viruses. Check out the CDC website for more on this. Thankfully Tamiflu is still a drug that will kill the current flu strain. But, if doctors continue to give unnecessary prescriptions, it’s going to bite all of us in the butt.

At least that’s this nurse’s opinion!

Let me know what you think!

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