Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Out Of Shape

Holey Moley......I put in my Biggest Loser game into the Wii today and barely made it through the very beginner 18 minute workout. When is the last time any of you did jumping jacks? How many did you do? How many can you do right now? Go ahead, I'll wait.....

Okay I did 15. There is just no excuse for me to be this out of shape. And it was certainly a shocker when that nice Wii balance board let me know my current weight.
I think my obsession with Farming on FB is waning, so that is good. I need to be spending that time doing something active. I know I can do it.

Off to work tonight again for my 4+ hour shift. Covering for someone the first part of her 12 hour shift. Tomorrow I have a staff meeting at 5:30 pm. And I'm happy to be heading south for the weekend to spend some Carter, Henry, Genie and Kyle time. And some time with sister Carol. Maybe we can get Sister Nancy to join us for something.

Going to do 15 more jumping jacks and then get into the shower.

It's What I Love to Do

This was a photo I was able to put my hands on fairly easily as I thought about this post. It was probably taken about 12+ years ago. My goodness a perm and GIANT glasses....

I worked this past weekend. Three nights in a row - don't feel too bad for me, they were only 4 1/2 hour shifts. The first two nights I was actually blessed to be the primary nurse for birthing women. For those of you who don't know me well, this is what I do in my professional life. I am an OB RN. Have been for almost 21 years. For the first 10 years I worked 9 of them in a major hospital. I learned so much there. I also had the opportunity to begin working with expecting couples teaching classes on the birthing process. That developed into a fabulous job where I worked for a Doc who built and opened a free standing birthing center and basically had my own business. Best Beginnings. It was glorious.

When Lynn was recruited to move to Whatcom County and be the county CEO for the Boy's and Girl's Clubs it was a great opportunity for him, and I figured since we had been married over 25 years I probably should go with him. But it was back to an in hospital birthing environment. So I decided to just work very part time....keep my hand in. It has been a stressful 10 years. Technology continues to be the order of the day. Women are no longer encouraged, educated or expected to give birth without a multitude of medical intervention. Nurses are taught to monitor and maintain equipment, rather than working with women.

Many, many, many days I have wanted to just say "thanks, but no thanks" to the hospital. But then I have an experience like I did this weekend.

My assignment was for a wonderful couple, having their first baby. It had been a very long exhausting day already for them. Even though she had an epidural in place, it never gave her relief from the incredible pressure she felt. When I entered the room, introduced myself, and actually placed my hands on her as I coached her through a contraction everything just felt right with the world. She and her husband were willing to try some different positions and comfort techniques and we made good progress. Soon we were working on pushing this baby out. She was amazing. Strong, dedicated, powerful. And sure enough she soon had her precious baby boy in her arms. Lots of tears. After 20 years I still cry, mostly when the Dad's cry. It's always a miracle. It's always a blessing. It's a belief in a future that can still happen.

The family was wonderfully thankful for my input and involvement. It's so nice to be appreciated. The next night, when I came back to work again with another patient, they sought me out, offered me a slice of birthday cake and again told me how much they appreciated all I did. I told them it was all the Mom.....she was a warrior and I was so proud of her. I told them they are the reason I still come to work, once in a while! She will always remember her first birthing experience as being very positive and powerful.

If only every night I worked could be so rewarding. I love what I do. I'm very good at what I do. But I get so darned frustrated working in an environment that focus's all the attention on the medical, technical, legal possibilities rather than the life changing, positive, personal experience childbirth truly is.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Vegas Getaway

It always seems odd to me to do a post without a photo. I haven't yet figured out how to find "clipart" that might work and get it here. Can anyone help me with that?

For Christmas Lynn arranged a weekend trip to Vegas for us. This was amazing on many levels, most being that he HATES to travel and has no interest at all in gaming, okay gambling. But he had seen an interview with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and the spouses of George Harrison and John Lennon talking about the Cirque de Solelil show "Love". We are both big Beatles fans so that was the basis of the trip.

It was my first time flying on Allegiant out of Bellingham. Was a very nice experience. And what a treat to fly direct from here and not have to stop in Seattle. I was only sorry that a woman I work with at the hospital wasn't flying that day, as she is an attendant for Allegiant part time. We left on time and arrived on time. And for the first time ever, our luggage was actually already on the carousel when we got to the baggage claim area!!

Part of our package was taking the shuttle to the hotel. It was prepaid, and we followed the directions, got our tickets and went to the assigned waiting area. And wait we did. And wait. And wait. I kindly explained to him that when sister Carol and I make this trip (and it was been WAY TOO LONG since the sisters have done this) we usually get a cab. It was about half an hour of waiting. Then stopping at 3 other hotels before getting to ours had Lynn threatening to just get out and walk until I reminded him our luggage was in the back somewhere.

The Mirage is HUGE. Getting in the door was like trying to part the seas. Then dragging your bag to the hotel check in was hard until then you had to drag it through the casino and past the restaurants to get to the elevators. Our room was very nice though. And the sheets!!! OMG! A friend had posted on FB about how awful the sheets were at some 5 star hotel, and I thought that was pretty funny. But these sheets were like Heaven. I kept saying that first night to Lynn, "aren't these sheets amazing?" He just shook his head and turned over. But every time I would change position I would say again to myself how awesome the sheets were.

Friday night in Vegas. The place was a madhouse. I wasn't able to get on a table game, but I found some fun slot machines and enjoyed a drink or two. People watching is part of the fun and I did plenty of that. Saturday was the show. It was overwhelming. We had seen the Blue Man group many years before and I LOVED it. This was different. Theater in the round and the floor kept rising and lowering and people were above us coming and going. Always something different to look at. The music, in my opinion, is the Star. I thought the production was an A-. The acrobatics were an A+. But the dancing was about a C+. I know these performers do this show 2 times a night 6 nights a week. But this is the only time I'll be seeing it, and we paid $300+ for the tickets so it would have been nice if it looked like they cared. Many of them seemed to be just going through the motions.

The food was really good. The first night we hate at the buffet. It was wonderful. So many choices and everything was really good. I got to have sushi and kimchee and things I liked while Lynn had his choices and really enjoyed a sugar free cherry pie for his dessert.

Second night we ate at the steak house. The steaks were done perfectly, I just wish I could have eaten more of it. The last night we went to the Italian restaurant and it was the best meal I have had in a very long time. Osso bucco.....done perfectly with some risotto on the side. Started with my fave salad of tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil and balsamic vinegar. Had dessert which was a scoop of ice cream with a shot of espresso poured over the top.

I was able to play some pai gow one night. I love it when people are astonished when I tell them yes, I am a Grandmother. Playing for a couple of hours at the same table, chatter often happens amongst others sitting that long. One girl playing was so cute and sweet. She was the spitting image of Kate Hudson. When I told her that, she said that yeah, she hears that from time to time. And when she left she put out her hand and asked my name. I told her and she said her name was Katie then sauntered off.

We did take a cab back to the airport. Flight home was again uneventful, though we did have to wait a little bit for our luggage.

Vegas is for younger people. It was so chaotic and crowded that I really had no interest in walking down the strip at night. I'd done that in the past, and I'd been in several of the casinos before so I didn't feel any strong desire to go visit any others. We did take a walk outside each evening to get some air and a bit of exercise, but mostly just a walk around the block. The temperature was comfortable, no need for a jacket, so that was nice.

A nice weekend over all. I really appreciate that it was a gift and we had a good time spending the time together. Next time I'd rather go to Reno, with my sisters, who like to play games, okay gamble......

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Red Sky at Night

Or so the saying goes.

I do love these kinds of photo opportunities.

Happy 2011 to all my blog friends. It's the 22nd day of the first month of the year. The saying goes that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit. How are you doing???
I'm doing pretty good at cleaning out the refrigerator and freezer and have done some kitchen cupboard purging. Planning to have them all done by the end of the month. Then for February it will be all the closets.
We brought the treadmill home from Jeff's house and I have been on it once, yesterday. It's amazing to me how out of shape I am. I also worked last night, 4 1/2 hour shift and I can tell there too how much I have got to get more physicalness into my day.
Moving forward on my bladder lift. Waiting to hear back about the date to have it done. Looks now like it will be early to mid March. Last night I was able to read over my scans. Some of you know how good it feels to hear that your internal organs (especially that very scary pancreas) all look "unremarkable".
Seems my coughing is indeed improved. So reflux.....interesting. I always thought of reflux as associated with heartburn which I haven't had issues with for years. The other key is not eating at night. That has been the hardest part.
I'm going to cruise through my favorite blogs now. My next post will be my Vegas review. I know you just can't wait.....