Monday, August 29, 2011

I need to knock off the mushrooms

So-in my women's bible study group, there are those that share with open and honesty, spill their guts and everything. Then there are those that sit quietly and share only when prompted. I'm kind of co-leading things lately. So I prompt those that are quiet, sometimes with a cattle prod.

I kid, I kid.

I am a natural sharer. SHOCKING. I KNOW.

I don't have a problem spilling my guts in groups. I don't particularly feel that my pain or joy is all that different than others. So really, why not share the guts and the glory?

Then, sometimes, we meet in smaller groups, just me and these ladies from my church. AND THAT'S WHEN I START TO CLAM UP. When things get one on one, I get nervous and stop sharing. I've never really had this problem before. I've always just gone for it in one form or another.

Ya see, I can be very social and talkative and charming. I can work it. But I don't these days. Sure, there is a layer of sad lately, what with the miscarriage. But there is something else.

I'm learning how to be real and giving and seeking in a very real way with these new people in my life. And I think I'm being a little judgey. I think that perhaps I don't always fit in with people around here. I'm in a unique demographic, Christian, Zombie fan, Nurse, Mother of Two, Whiskey drinker. Yet I seek. I seek peeps to call my homegirls. I am trying to make friends. Not just BFF FOREVAH ALL!! But genuine friends.

Friends you can just call up and chat about your week. Friends that return emails because they check their email more than once a week. Friends that say yes to things. Friends that you can meet at the park and watch our kids play. Friends that are open to stuff like rollerblading and feta cheese and foreign movies. Friends that make time for you and you make time for them because the love is growing.

wait . . . that's a lot to ask for people around here.

And friends are made based on stuff you have in common. And I don't want to be all judgey but maybe that's the problem, maybe I'm not common. I think (and I really think) part of the issue is educational level. Not so much that I have a higher education then most here, in this blue collar town, it's that I'm a seeker. I love experiencing all the awesomeness of this world, beit food, sports, family love, travel, rollerblading, feta cheese and foreign movies. My world extends way beyond the packers. and now I'm sad again because I look around and well . . . this is a common area.

But, I can be common, oooOOOoooo I can blend, but not for long. Watch long enough and my peacock feathers will come fanning out.

So, what am I to do with my uniqueness when most don't share my love of all of the above?


I guess I can just put myself out there. Just put myself out there and let it all happen. Let things naturally grow over time, like mushrooms. Maybe I've just put too much emphasis on finding the right person first and then letting friendship grow. Maybe I can just hush and let it all just happen.

Here's hoping.

Friday, August 26, 2011

You make the call: Victory for me er no?

Welcome back to you make the call- Where I pose a moral question and you answer it.

This one involves my work. I am a mental health nurse practitioner. I work side by side with psychiatrists and do my best to help the crazy people. It's a good gig. I do love it so.

That being said, I was recently asked to start giving flu shots. Giving shots is what NURSES do. However, I'm more than a nurse, I'm a nurse practitioner. Which means I have a master's degree and a ton of special licenses to prescribe medication. Just like the doctors.

Which got me thinking. Flu shots are normally given by PRIMARY CARE nurses. I don't work in the primary care, I don't treat sinus infections, rashes or bronchitis. I treat depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. I certainly don't treat the flu. Why am I handing out flu shots?

I say this to my boss AFTER I'VE AGREED TO ADMINISTER SHOTS TO MY PATIENTS. I am the kind of nurse that says yes when people ask me to do stuff. I've got to stop that.

Then, I approach the doctors, the mental health doctors. And I ask, "Do you need to start giving shots too? " And they say, "Oh, HELL NO, we're doctors, not nurses!" (ok they didn't say that exactly, but they did say no, they wouldn't be giving shots.)

Here is two (of the three) psychiatrists I work with:

Again, neither one of them are willing to give shots. They say no, they're doctors.

That kind of pissed me off. There is another mental health doctor though, not pictured above, he was willing to pitch in and give the shots. Guess who is my favorite doctor to work along side?

So I say this to my boss. I say, "Why am I required to interrupt my patient care to give these shots? Why am I required to give these shots when the psychiatrists aren't? Also, the primary care nurse practitioners don't give shots, so why am I doing this?" He kind of blinked and then we changed the subject.

Two weeks later . . .my boss says . . . "I talked it over with my boss and we agree, it's not fair to make you to give the shots when we aren't making everyone [I.E. THE PSYCHIATRISTS] to give the shots."

I was kind of shocked. I mean, I was kind of kidding when I kicked up a fuss. I mean, I was willing to give the shots but I did feel kind of slighted. But I didn't really care because there are much bigger things to care about.

So I accidentally won one for equality- but I'm not sure I was suppose to. I mean, this may compromise, in a small way, patient care. A lot of patients never see their primary care providers. They see us though. So that could mean no flu shot for them.

Then again, flu shots are available everywhere, even walgreens. Our patients are adults who drive and speak English. They have the resources to get their own flu shot.


so! you make the call, victory for me er no?

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Yeah, see now, if I wasn't a working Mom, I'd bust out posts every day. But here I am, posting on a Saturday night, when noone reads them. Also, with my exhausted Mommy brain, I can't really write coherently. Yet, this does not stop me.

So-let's begin, shall we?

Started rollerblading again. Went out with the kids. They follow me like ducklings. Mac was on his tricycle yelling, "THIS IS AWESOME!!" We starting singing our favorite song. Then, we were shouting. And laughing. And shouting. Which is triple awesome. I've never had a work out that made me laugh or giggle or shout. :)

This is our favorite song to sing:

When I took my skates off, I looked at my toes. They're battered and chipping toenail paint and I was happy. Because I've lost ELEVEN POUNDS. I'm waking up and feeling more, especially happy more. I am starting to feel tough and normal. Which is nice to feel.

AND on that note. We are signed up for a "Adoption from the foster care system meeting" [note: not the real title of the meeting]. It happens next month.

Let me back up:

Before we were married, Mr. Hall and I decided that we would have have our own children, then adopt when we were done. We've been married 10 awesome years. We're most likely done having children. This advances the plan to adopt. We still have time though, time to change our minds.

Plus, we're still healing from the miscarriages. I think I'm done but then, during yoga, I feel this pool of sadness. Not in every yoga class, just some. After class I drive two blocks away and let the water out through my eyes. Not after every class, just some.

So, we'll start with a meeting. The "Adopt from the foster care system meeting". Which is two hours long- in the middle of a Thursday.

I told Mr. Hall -I'll take a vacation day to attend. Then, Mr. Hall said, "Or. I could just go alone." Which made my heart do a thousand leaps.

When we need him, he's there whenever, where ever, or however it's needed.

His love is a constant felt hum that gets all super sonic explodey when called for.

He's the best husband and father ever.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

wait, maybe it does matter after all

In my last post,

I fear I gave nursing a bad name. Let me try to correct that.

I have a number of homeless patients who live at the shelter. They take the bus to the clinic. The bus arrives before the clinic opens. As a result, they wait at the bus stop when I pull up. I wave, get out of my car and go around to the back entrance. Someone opens the front door and they file down to the waiting room. Then, we begin.

For the most part, it goes pretty well. On Tuesday, I had to help a guy out though. He struggles with getting to AA meetings. The struggle is inherent to recovery. When a person is addicted, their ability to handle stress is lowered. And that's just normal stress. When they sober up; then take a look at the damage done to their health, finances and family life, it can be overwhelming. Plus, they might have something underneath, like crippling depression or anxiety. Without alcohol, these problems come to the surface.

I empathize with these folks. Living life sober and rebuilding that life is very, very, very, very hard. This is why helping them is awesome. Sobriety is not maintained without some sort of help. And that's what I do, help.

So, I went to, found meetings for within biking distance from the homeless shelter. Then, I put my google maps skills to good use. I did this for a man whose been in an alcoholic hole for the last 25 years. He had no idea how to even turn a computer on, let alone do those basic things. It was a simple act of kindness.

And for this, I am so very, very, very, very, very thankful. I am thankful that I have this job, being a nurse. I am thankful I have been given a kind and loving heart. I am thankful I can do simple things to help those in need. I am blessed that I can put my skills to good use. I feel privileged to give witness for all of this.

Because that patient has been sober six months. I get to help him with this. And all of this is awesome beyond belief.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Nurse, Wife and Mother

The subtitle of this blog use to be "Nurse, Wife and Mother". :)

My job requires a strong stomach. My stock and trade is mental health. Which is ironic given that the only time people see me, is when THEY DON'T HAVE mental health. I am a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Nurse for short.

For the most part, none of it phases me. People pour out their misery and I kind of get excited. Between their snot bubble cries and spasms of untold pain, I know it's only the beginning. There, in my office, is where the healing can start.

Unless it doesn't.

Like my patient Jim. Dude is super homeless. We can help with homeless. We have an entire program to help him get un homeless. Only it's not working for him. He's a hard core alcoholic. Which is nothing new in my business. And it's not stopping him from getting help from the program. He's stopping him. He's shown up at the shelters drunk and pissing on himself. Which is fine, shelters will let you sleep it off once or twice. Except he starts to threaten staff.

AND THAT'S WHEN THEY KICK HIM OUT. Not out of the program, but out of the homeless shelters. Both of them.

We can still help him. We have residential rehab for alcoholics. Seems perfect, solves both the alcohol and homeless problem. He won't go though.

Then, and only then, he becomes a BIG PROBLEM for me. He keeps coming to my clinic. Especially in winter. We have a warm building you see. Except I won't prescribe medication for him because he's drunk all the time. Then, after we leave, we find him passed out drunk in the snow banks. We call the police. Then he shows up the next day, still drunk. We escort him out of the clinic and the cycle starts over.

So you see, this is a problem for me. I am hard wired for mercy. I am hard wired to work my ass off to help him. But I can't. So it weighs on me. He keeps showing up and it triggers my mercy and my giving. Only it ends with me getting really pissed off. Because I can't help him.

And all of this is swirling through my brain as I come home. I lay on the couch with Mr. Hall. He's had a long day with the kids and he needs me. But my head is swirling. My body is stiff, unyielding to the spoon. Mr. Hall opens his eyes and stares at me angrily. "The kids are watching Harry Potter and being quiet right now. Whatever you're thinking about, knock it off and kiss me."

And with a deep breath I let it go, I stop. I become pliable and smoochy. And in the end, the part the really matters is the wife and mother.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bloggers blog about food and booze in awesome new blog

Earl, the brother I never had, has invited a bunch of us to participate in a food blog called Simmer, Sip and Share. So far, it's pretty awesome.

Put us in your reader. You'll thank me in the morning. :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Weirdest game of Euchre ever

So. had the brother and his wife over for a swim and some cards. Turns out, he lives like 10 minutes from my house. Who knew? Now, we moved to this house about 3 years ago. But, he never comes over or visits.

Yeah, he's kind of a douche.

Then my Mom gets all up in my grill. She's determined for us to be more of a family. I tell her, I invite him over but he never seems to show. Then, out of nowhere they did last night.

I can say I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING IN COMMON WITH MY BROTHER. Even normal stuff you have in common with complete strangers. Like an affection for angry birds or Harry Potter or hiking at local nature center. We just have nothing in common. We did like the X-Files once. So there was that.

He's a big sports nut. Like HYPER OBSESSED WITH STATS AND CAN NAME OFF STARTING LINE UPS type sports nut. I am aware of sports. I can try to be part of the game. He's also hyper competitive. Gets all into go-fish with my daughter Pancake. Enough so that they're playing for hours until he wins. Seriously. She's eight.

Yeah, he's kind of a douche.

SO. Playing Euchre. He gets all mouthy and starts trash talking. His wife perks up and swears a little. Meanwhile, Mr. Hall and I are all leisure like. Taking our time. Enjoying the quiet. Sipping booze. This annoys both brother and sister in law. I saw them exchange looks to this effect. This made me slow down even further.


I don't care.

So. Guess we'll give it a few weeks and then invite them over again. Make weird small talk, have a swim. No cards though.

sore for a reason

not much to report these days. it's odd. i'm a person who talks a lot. yet here i am, not talking much at all.

i believe it's a matter of 'a little less talk, a lot more action.' working out more i mean.

since i've started working out more, taking care more, i can't move as much. i'm sore all over. i'm limping and having a hard time raising my arms. so sore. my sleep has launched into this super, deep sleep. which makes sense. my sleep has been crap since the miscarriage and now that I'm healing, my body is double deep sleeping to catch up.

i'm working with a trainer. well, he's free now, but soon i'll have to start paying him. which is weird. dude is six foot five and muscles all bulgy. i don't wine when he helps me work out. i just do the things he asks. i don't really say anything to him. he says muscles are important because they support your bones and joints.

i say sure. but i know things are changing inside. the tearing down and building up of muscles heals my hurt.

so. very sore. still soo sleepy. but all for a reason. all for the greater good.



Thursday, August 4, 2011

I will laugh and drink, then, I will laugh and drink some more

another wedding this weekend. there will be booze and laughing. and busting the chicken dance groove on yon dance floor. with family that i love ooooo i love.

and there will be more long island ice teas for mr. hall so he can grove along with me.

yep. gonna be an awesome weekend.

see ya later ya'll!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sweet Cherry Bottoms

This is a photo of normal bone marrow.

A few days ago I got a call. It was about 2.30 in the afternoon. It was my high powered OB-GYN. She drew about 20 different tests to investigate reasons for my 3rd miscarriage. These tests were largely of the hormonal, cardiac and coagulation kind. Nothing genetic, but exterior. Stuff that can be fixed or worked around if found abnormal. Expect it wasn't. It all came back well within the normal limits.

Which caused a series of irrational and rational thoughts. But, first, I had to get back to work and see three more patients.

Then, on the drive home, my head exploded.

1. Irrational thoughts

What the HELL???
What do you mean nothing is wrong? My baby died for nothing? There must be something there, something we can point to. I mean, I had prepared for something being amiss. I mean, not totally wrong, but just enough wrong to cause problems with carrying a child to term. I DID NOT PREPARE FOR NORMAL. And I'm mad. REALLY REALLY MAD ABOUT IT. I realize we may never find out why we lost this baby but really, NORMAL???

(the thoughts spiraled like this for a while)

Then, things got weirder in my head.

Since I had prepared from something, perhaps just something small being wrong, I had prepared to turn down any intervention she would suggest to fix this something. To help us conceive and carry again I mean. Not that we are going to try again. I just thought we could take a looksie inside. Yah know, to poke around.

Then, I started thinking about the other layer of testing. Genetic testing. What if I have something inside that I've passed to my kids? She, the ob-gyn, doubts this. I have two healthy kids. I am currently still mulling over this layer of testing. It's expensive and most likely, will come up normal too. If so, what then?

2. Rational thinking

Then I remembered what my OB-GYN said about what we need to do 'if we want to try again'. Which made my head explode again.

I thought, NO. WE HAD DECIDED TO NOT TRY AGAIN. WE DECIDED WE CAN'T GO THROUGH THIS AGAIN. But right after I scream this in my head-the whispers start. Unstoppable whispers of 'what if.' We if we did? Then I remembered I've given away all my maternity clothes and baby clothes and baby swings and . . .

Then I remember. I didn't give away all of it. I kept my favorite baby clothes and put them in my dresser. The crib and the baby swing were given to my brother. I can replace baby clothes in a snap. Which means when I gave away all that stuff, I didn't really give away anything.

And at this point I'm breathless, standing in front of my husband, exploding all over him. I'm huffing and puffing. My voice is loud and shaky, arms all akimbo. And he's smiling. SMILING!!! He's telling me he's already thought about this. Weeks ago. He was able to logically think this through while I was swimming in raw emotion. Then he said we never decided 'not to try again.'

We had merely decided to wait six months before we decide anything. And I search my mind. I find this to be true.

I was shocked at this. I am shocked that this entire time my husband has been keeping track of me and logically thinking through things. I am shocked because he knew what I was saying before I said it. Just gobsmacked.

Then I stopped exploding. We stood there, holding each other. Gently rocking back and forth. He's soothing me and I him. I'm so amazed by him, so blessed this is my husband.

And it's true. We need to wait to let all the crazy chaos inside settle. To let our hearts and spirits heal. We are in no shape to do any sort of anything right now, let alone make decisions.

So for now, I'll focus on my health. Go to yoga, continue on weight watchers. Maybe look into a personal trainer. I'll focus on the kids, loving my husband, going to church and feeling God's hands continue to heal me.

And it's good. :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

And that's when I snapped

I am enjoying the hot yoga.

Last night it was a class of two. Me and a guy in his fifties. He was chattery. Made small AND long talk with the teacher. He had a running commentary on his performance. Dude wouldn't shut up. Then, when the teacher had us repeat a pose three times and said, "Third times a charm." He replied, "Expect in marriage, my third wife was a bitch!"


Well, not at that exact moment. But it was coming.

To talk during yoga is to short change the poses. The poses are the key. You physically move yourself into different positions, moving unspoken things inside you. It requires deep, deep breathing. Inhaling through the nose, exhaling like you are fogging up a mirror. The breathing is like the engine pushing the train.

These poses, these are when the hands of God reach out and heal me. He cups my sad, sad energies in his hands. Lifting them from me and taking them away.


None of that can happen if I have to block out Dude's yammering.


When he turned to me and started chatting, I made pleasant small talk. Again, it was a small class and the teacher was new. They had both made attempts to get to know me. I can also do some poses very easily. Like this one called "supta vajrasana or fixed firm" . They were intrigued.

I told them I've been practicing yoga for nine years. Then I told them I've been on a five month break. They asked why. And I told them. I was pregnant but I lost the baby. So now I am back at yoga. They were sad about it.

On a side note, that was completely weird for me, telling them this. But I'm no good at lying or making up stories. So out the truth came.


Dude kept talking to me. I turned my head towards him. As I tried to shoot lasers out of my eyes, I said, "I like to focus on my breathing during yoga." And made a thumbs up sign.

He then backed off. And for the rest of the class I breathed, sweated, posed and healed some more.

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