Tag Archive | work

Have You Hugged a Nurse Lately?

doctors and nursesOK, a simple question posted on facebook really got me wondering: Do you think nurses have a love hate relationship with nursing?

My first comment: I’m not a nurse, but I have been around nurses who do have a love/hate relationship with their career. Then there are the nurses who spend some time working in a hospital then (seem to) run for a desk job – in nursing.

The reply: Great observation – it is true! Thanks for your comment!

My second comment: I do have to say: nurses have a thankless job. When I was in the hospital, I thanked and joked with every nurse that came in my room. One nurse told me she was amazed that I would do that “I can imagine the pain you’re in, how can you have such a great personality and ask how I’M doing?” Hearing that made me feel bad – why weren’t more patients being nice to their nurses?

The reply: Liz LaClair this says a lot about you! You let your light shine!

In 2007, I was in Henry Ford Hospital and tested (twice – about a month each time) for my epilepsy, with the second test having the electrodes directly on my brain – the pain part. I was always nice to my nurses and techs. It’s a simple life belief: life’s too short, have to joke and have fun with others. My husband would bake goodies for me, like banana bread mini loaves. I made sure he brought enough so I could share with my nurses. I apologized to one of my nurses after she told me I scared her. She told me she’d never been around a patient who stopped breathing during a seizure. After I calmed her down – she said she was embarrassed about her reaction – she finally laughed, shook her finger at me and told me to never do that to her again!!

When my husband was in Beaumont for both of his cancer surgeries, the nurses all loved him. Even though he was in pain after surgery, he was joking with his nurses. One of his male nurses was a (tad) embarrassed to be awarded The Daisy – it’s a top award for nurses at Beaumont. His embarrassment dealt with his being called a Daisy. I told him that in French (William Beaumont – founder – was French) daisy is marguerite. He laughed and said that wouldn’t be any better, then explained what DAISY meant.

Nurses have a LOT of work to do, they don’t always get their breaks when they should and we all expect a lot from them. When you’re sick and in the hospital (the last place you really want to be), nurses are the ones (of the medical staff) who spend the most time with you. So, why wouldn’t you be good to them?

Oh, as for that hugging a nurse question. There is one nurse I’d like to hug (she’s a new nurse – she passed her NCLEX just yesterday – 7/25/13). My great-niece Tiffany lives on the other side of the state and I haven’t seen her in a while, but I do check on her via her facebook posts!

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Is It Still Hip To Be Square?

I keep wondering strange things like:

  • Why do designers think that women don’t want functional pockets in our jeans?
  • Just what is up with the waistband of pants being down around the upper thigh? (I really don’t care to see boxer shorts)
  • Why can’t people wear their baseball caps the “right” way? There’s a reason for the brim’s design – keeps the sun out of your eyes. (duh) Does the hat have to go off to the side or the back?
  • Does fashion have to be expensive and (in some cases) uncomfortable?
  • Do we have to change the name of a style? When I was a kid “Capri” pants were called “pedal pushers” – the same pant design.

Huey Lewis and the News did this fun song: It’s Hip to be Square. I keep wondering, am I that square? I really liked the BIG bells when they were out. Even now I insist on finding boot cut jeans, because I like the look much better than peg-legs (always have). And since I mentioned Capri pants/pedal pushers, I suppose it’s a compromise on shorts. I’m not comfortable in them – but I have a few pair.

As for the comment on fashion being uncomfortable. I will admit that when I was in my 20’s I used to wear (at least) a 3″ heel – to work. Work then for me was in a doctor’s office as a medical assistant (being the only one) and was on my feet a lot! But that’s another story. When I met my husband, a group of us went to a bar and I was wearing my boots with a 3″ heel, tight bell bottom jeans and a form-fitting top. (I was a lot thinner and in better shape then) Now I have issues with 2″ heels! They’re just not terribly comfortable. Sigh. Don’t get me wrong, I do remember how to dress nicely, I just don’t have to right now.

butt crackI do have to say, I like the “joke” t-shirts for the issue of plumber’s crack. They show imagination and make for a chuckle.

Hmm, while I’m writing this It’s Hip to be Square started playing on the radio. Maybe the Universe is trying to tell me something?

And That’s the Truth

Not long ago I was asked to write an article about TRUTH.

I’m part of a group of women entrepreneurs producing a monthly e-magazine called It’s All About Yes and our latest topic deals with truth and how it effects you.

My article talks about the Golden Rule, treating others as I’d like to be treated.

truth-1Well, last night I couldn’t fall asleep right away – I hate those nights. I kept thinking about other truths. I kept thinking about the phrase “that’s the honest truth.” Umm, isn’t truth by its very nature honest? So, of course I had to look up “false truth.” Yes there is such a thing. According to the Urban Dictionary: A false truth is something believed by many people to be true but is not. It is usually something that cannot be backed up with hard evidence. Or: A very subtle lie that most would not be able to determine whether it is true or not

Based on that second definition, isn’t that the same thing as a “white lie?”

Well, the other thing my mind kept going over and over, with the “honest truth” constantly popping Edith annup. I kept thinking of Lily Tomlin playing Edith Ann – and that’s the truth!

One of the things that kept running thru my mind: what’s been going on in my life lately. I’ve not been a (completely) happy camper of late.

As you know, I have epilepsy and need to take medication to control my seizures. When one takes medication you need to be careful and make sure that the generics you get are consistently the same as what you’ve been getting. If you don’t monitor this you can suffer some nasty side effects. Well, I’ve had to change where I get my meds and had to research into where they get the meds from. I spent a lot of time on the phone for this one. Well, I found what I needed to know, got the new generics. But I’ve been dealing with some lousy side-effects. One effect being not being able to clearly concentrate. This is not good when you need to be accurate for clients.

So, as a result I’ve taken on a part-time job to supplement my income. This is not a bad thing, many people find themselves in a similar situation. And, since mine is a home-based business and I’m at my desk all the time, being out of the house for the part-time job is a good thing – I get out of the house.

But, once in a while I wonder. Are my disoriented feelings a result of the medications? Could they be a result of working my business and working a part-time job? Could they be a manifestation of my feeling like I’m failing? I mean I must be failing somehow – I had to get that part-time job…

Now, because of my ethics of the importance of doing everything right for my clients, I’ve introduced a client to a friend of mine who is also a truth-2virtual assistant. Yes, it makes me feel a bit better that I’ve succeeded in looking out for my client. However, I’ve now further reduced my income. That isn’t helping me any. There was a series of “malfunctions” leading up to this decision, this facing another truth.

  • The disorientation making it hard to concentrate, I wasn’t performing as well as I should.
  • Then I got a nasty cold and felt even more miserable.
  • While feeling miserable/unfocused I opened a bad email and a truly rotten virus attacked my computer. My computer guy was wonderful and was able to save everything!
  • Right after getting my computer back my wireless keyboard started failing. SWELL. According to a tech at Logitech it’s possible that the virus affected the keyboard. I have to wait 3-5 business days to get the replacement keyboard (thank goodness for warranties).

Because of all of the above happening, I’ve had to use my laptop. It’s a great little thing but doesn’t have everything I need. So, I’ve lost a client (my decision – don’t want to keep letting her down).

All these truths are hard to face.

All these truths are depressing and make me want to curl up and hide. We all know that won’t solve anything!

So, here’s my plan to solve these rotten truths:

  • Revel in the fact that the disorientation is easing up.
  • Enjoy the part-time job – it is helping me through this time. (not necessarily making things worse)
  • When the computer is complete again, find a class on one of the things I’m not so strong in and take it. Being in a “formal” class will help my brain function more clearly – snap me out of the fog.

2013 is going to be a better year for me and my business. I just need to keep positive.

And that’s the truth!

Spring Beauty

Yes, Spring is here! Here in Michigan some folks are afraid that it’s already come and gone (that weird couple of weeks of seriously unseasonably hot weather), but the plants are blooming.
As you can see, the moths are happy with my lilac bush. I’ve had this bush for a few years, and one on the other side of the house since we moved in (16 years ago), we’ve never had that many moths flitting around – 10 at one time. Plenty of bees though.

I was told that all those moths were there to bring blessings to my home and surroundings. Another told me this is a blessing of my life. I can live with this. I simply thought it was great seeing all those creatures enjoying the lilacs.

People say it’s good to count your blessings. Me, I’m just happy to have blessings. The blessing of being able to work – in spite of my health. The blessing of my husband beating his cancer. Basically, just the blessing of being alive is making me happy. Some of the challenges aren’t any fun at all, but those can be blessings in their own unique way. If one doesn’t have challenges to learn from how can one improve and learn to be a better person?

So dear reader, I hope you enjoy this season and the beauty that’s all around. (hopefully those with allergies – like me – can enjoy too!)

Epilepsy and Depression

This blog will be a little different. You see I’ll be discussing depression. Much of this blog comes from an informational article found on the Epilepsy Foundation website. This will describe a few people (me included) rolled into one person who I will call Abby.

Abby has had epilepsy for many years and is on 2 medications to control her seizures. Like all medications there are side effects, one that ALL anti-seizure medications seem to share is depression. And if that’s not enough, just having epilepsy alone can be a cause for depression. You see, the seizures Abby has may come from an emotion center of the brain. According to the article found on the Epilepsy Foundation website, people with epilepsy may be more likely than other people to experience emotional changes.

How often seizures happen also plays a role in depression. People who have seizures frequently may be more likely to feel depressed than people who have well-controlled seizures. Even though Abby’s seizures are (currently) controlled, she still suffers from bouts of depression. As anyone with epilepsy can attest, after your first seizure (even if you try to deny it’s now a real part of your life) you worry to varying degrees “will I have another seizure?” “when will it happen?” These thoughts alone can be a cause of depression.

Lifestyle risk factors are also important in the development of depression in people with epilepsy. In one study, four factors were linked to depression: poor adjustment to seizures, increases in stressful life events, financial stress and being a woman.

In addition, people who feel “controlled” by their epilepsy and feel that it dominates their lives may be more susceptible to mood disorders.

People with Epilepsy and Depression

The results of studies to find out how many people with epilepsy have a mood disorder such as depression vary widely, ranging anywhere from 11 percent to 60 percent. A lot depends on how depression is defined and the groups of people being studied—for example, hospitalized patients or those in outpatient clinics.

Research also shows that people with epilepsy who are depressed often are not diagnosed. About 50 percent of the time they are never treated for the problem. In Abby’s case, it’s because she feels that the feelings will go away, and she’s embarrassed to feel this way in the first place. Abby never had issues before. She was great at handling stress, doing her job, juggling everything thrown her way, why should she admit to yet another fault/flaw in her make up (you see, that’s how she views her epilepsy – a flaw in her biological make up).

Depression: A Checklist

So now Abby has to ask herself, am I suffering from depression? Here are the questions she should be asking.

  • Do I have long bouts of sadness? Do I cry for no reason?
  • Have I lost my interest or joy in life?
  • Have I had changes in eating habits resulting in major loss or gain in weight?
  • Have I had a change in my sleeping habits resulting in difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much?
  • Am I irritable, anxious?
  • Do I have difficulty getting things started?
  • Do I have a lack of energy? Am I always tired?
  • Do I have low self-worth, or a loss of hope? Do I feel inappropriately guilty?
  • Do I have poor concentration? Is it difficult for me to make decisions?
  • Do I have thoughts of death or suicide that won’t go away?

YIKES! Yes, folks, I will be honest with you, I have felt yes is the answer to 9 out of 10 of the above list. Most only last 1-4 days.

Abby answered yes to five or more of these questions and feels this way continuously for 2 or more weeks. According to the article, she may be suffering from a major depressive disorder. Abby had felt for a long time that her family and friends were right – she should just “snap out of it, no reason to be depressed.” There are times when Abby is afraid to say anything because she’s afraid she won’t get the understanding/support she really needs. You see, because of having epilepsy for so long, her support system may be numb to her depression – they’ve seen it for so long. So, many times Abby “fakes” feeling good so that no one will really know what’s going on.

Abby needs to contact her doctor because treatment may be needed.

People who have infrequent or less intense symptoms of depression may also require treatment. Watch your own reactions to the world around you. If you feel that some of the listed symptoms are getting in the way of your enjoyment of life, especially the quality of your relationships with others, then you may be suffering from depression.

Fortunately, there are effective ways of treating depression. It is important to talk to your doctor about how you are feeling and ask about treatments that might help. Just because a side-effect of your medication may be one of the items on the above list, do not discount it. Yes, I know that you may have gone through a lot of medications to get to the point that your seizures are controlled. You may be willing to put up with the feeling that the person you were before the seizures is gone forever. But, is it worth it? It could get tiring putting up a false front because you think you need to recreate the person you once were. Seek help from your doctor, it might be an easy thing to correct.