This year was certainly a year of change and transitions. I left my job of almost nineteen years, took a seven month sabbatical and then started a new job that is unlike anything I have ever done. It was not easy leaving women’s health and as Christmas rolled around I felt like I needed to make one last craft for my friends so that I could completely close that chapter in my life. I thought about it for a while before it finally dawned on me what the perfect ornament would be.
Five years ago I started decorating the patient room doors with Christmas stockings. You can read about it here. It was my favorite time of the year as every year patients would take them home with them and I would have to replace them. I knew when I left no one would keep up with them, so I took them all with me. I saved two for my scrapbook. So I decided to make two sided ones so that everyone would remember the best room ever (2319) and the craziest nurse ever. I also made on for myself.
At my new job everyone gave me little gifts and I thought I need to make something for them. As some of you may know they refer to endoscopy as the Butt Hut. Well Dr. Aymerich always says that is not formal enough and calls it the RIU. That stands for the rectal investigation unit. So I came up with the idea of using that and the picture of a colon scope. The day I told Allyson about finding a polyp that no one else saw and then telling her it could have turned to cancer, she came up with the tag line. Because she took digital media in high school, I told her what I envisioned and had her put it together for me. It was amazing, perfect and better than I could have ever done. Everyone loved it and probably realized that I have a great sense of humor and am creative.
On the back I put Lead Investigator’s and the three doctors names and Assistant Investigators and the rest of my team. I gave one to my team leader (what SSM calls the managers) and she loved it. She said it made her laugh out loud!
Mole Moral ~ I am blessed to have daughters who are also creative and funny!
Another Christmas has come and gone and another twelve days of Christmas angel has just finished up. This was my sixteenth year and I have been blessed by a total of twenty three families who I’ve rang and run and still have not been caught.
Because I left my job in April and took seven months off of work I had no one in mind to angel this year. I texted my friend Laura (aka Harry’s mom) and asked her if she knew of anyone. Now Laura had been filling in for the Heartprints coordinator so two people came to mind. I was very excited because the Heartprints program was the reason I had transferred to women’s health all those years ago.
The first night went well and we easily found the houses in the dark. Laura’s daughter went with us so I snuck up to the door with her and she dropped the gift and rang and then we ran. She loved it. The next day someone was riding my rear while trying to find the house again so we drove past and then circled back. We could see the address much clearer coming from the other direction and realized the house we dropped the gift at the night before was not the right number. Laura then got on her phone to look at the picture of the address. Sure enough she had typed the address in wrong and we had left night one at the wrong house. So we went to right house and dropped off night two. I told her I would get another night one and then leave one and three the next night.
After I dropped her off it really bothered me that the wrong house would only get one gift and nothing else. I really felt this was done by God and this house also needed a Christmas angel so the next morning I got up went to Target and bought gifts for the other eleven days for them and day one for the right house.
I then went to a cookie party and then the snow came in. My new job was willing to pay me to sleep at hospital to be available to work in morning so I took them up on it. The roads were so bad that Laura and I decided we would not risk an accident and the next day we’d drop two gifts off. However the next day the roads were still terrible and my job offered the same deal so I stayed at the hospital.
I told Laura we could skip one day and end on Christmas Day instead of Christmas Eve. This was the first year I ended on Christmas Day. I ended up dropping three gifts off at the houses close to each other and two at the other. The rest of the time was pretty uneventful. Well except for the night I’m walking down the sidewalk gift in hand when the husband pulls in the driveway. I hide gift and keep walking like I belong there. I get five houses away and turn around. He has made it in the house and has locked his car so I head back. I’m two houses away and out he comes with his dogs. I turn back around and walk around the subdivision for a good five minutes before I can finally drop the gift off and run. I couldn’t wait in my car because the house was between my car and where I was.
Laura ended up with the flu and had been sick since Saturday. She wanted to knock and wait today to talk to the people. I wrote all of them a nice card and told the wrong house what had happened and that I hoped the nightly gifts blessed them.
Mole moral ~ When one feels called by God to add a third family to the fun, I don’t question, I just do it!
I have finished six weeks of training in the butt hut and it has been quite the ride. I’ll be honest and say this has not been an easy transition for me. I left a job where I was the queen, I knew all the doctors, almost all of procedures and could do my job on auto pilot most of the time without even have to think very hard. I walked into a different planet. The only thing that was the same is patients are involved including men. I had only taken care of women for over eighteen years. Its been nice taking care of the Y chromosomes.
The first week I wanted to quit and the only reason I didn’t was applying and interviewing for a job is a nightmare compared to thirty years ago. I felt stupid, inadequate and a burden on everyone. Yes, I know this is ridiculous to think this way. No one expected me to come in and just do the job perfectly day one except for myself. I was so stressed and nervous for at least four weeks, that the people were probably thinking why did they hire her! However, I did verbalize how I was feeling and told everyone if I’m not doing something right just tell me and I’ll change it. Most of the time I am very open to constructive criticism.
This past week things have finally fallen into place so that I am not panic stricken all eight hours that I will mess something up. I also am not having to concentrate one hundred and ten percent of the time. So my fun side is finally starting to come out and the people I work with are probably realizing why one of my nicknames is CR (crazy Rachel). Friday was full on crazy mode. For starters I walked straight into the hanging monitor for the fourth time. Later on I went to bring a dirty scope into the scope cleaning room and Tiffani had changed the chemical buckets on the scope processor and left them right in the middle of the room. Yes I tripped right on over them but did manage not to fall down. However the funniest thing of the day involved Dr. Aymerich and helping him. I googled pictures of the colon scopes we use and pictures of the wires with forceps so that maybe the story will make better sense.
The red circle is the biopsy port where the instruments go through with the wires that I get to pull out and try to make into a nice circle. The green circle is the controls that the doctor uses to move the tip of the scope.
So after removing a polyp I’m pulling the wire out and somehow manage to not only wrap it around the control knobs but have to ask Dr. Aymerich to move his hand because his hand is tangled up in the wire as well. However I recovered later when everyone was looking at this AV malformation in the cecum and I asked what this other thing was. I said not the AV malformation and pointed to the screen. It was a polyp and he said give me the snare which then means not only do I have to deal with the wire but hooking up and unhooking from the electric machine when finished. I said “curse word, I should have kept my mouth shut. Followed by just kidding because this could be cancer and I saved her life.” My preceptor then said she’s keeping me! And it’s gotten to where when they ask for snare, hot biopsy or biopsy forceps I don’t fly into panic stricken mode. I am not fumbling around as much so I’m starting to believe I’ll be ready for part time in two weeks!
Mole Moral ~ The biggest personal growth occurs when you leave the comfort of the familiar grass and jump right on into grass taller than your head!
When I shadowed for my current job, I knew I would be responsible for picking the patients up from preop holding and bringing them back to the procedure room and then bringing them back to their room when finished. What I didn’t realize was how hard pushing a stretcher could be.
Last week was my first time trying it. The gal I was with had to help in the other room. Well I had no idea there are three settings, park, steer, and wheels locked in forward position. So I take off with the patient in steer and we are all over the hallway and crashing into stuff. She had the ride of her life. After that I flat out refused to go get anyone until I had a driving lesson. Taking the patient back is easy because anesthesia goes with you.
The next day was somewhat better as I didn’t crash into the walls. Tiffani was a huge help with when to have it in steer vs the free for all. This week she pointed the mirrors up in the ceiling at all the corners so you can see if people are coming. This is very important because today I avoided about three crashes. These hallways not only serve my department but OR, Cath lab, MRI, and PACU so there are a lot of stretchers coming and going. I warn the patients when I pick them up I’m still a permit driver. A couple said today that they had never had a ride quite like mine. And just when I was finally thinking I got it, I almost crashed into the anesthesia cart!
This job is nothing like I have ever done before but I’m enjoying it. And if you are reading this thinking colonoscopies are the same thing over and over, you are dead wrong. First of all no two are the same, second the schedule is constantly changing with people not coming and adding people on. It’s just my speed of craziness.
Mole moral ~ According to my husband and kids I can barely drive a car so it’s wishful thinking I can drive a stretcher. Bahahaha