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Mercy Heartprints

I rarely blog about work because with HIPAA I do not want to be in violation and potentially lose my job. However I feel this subject will be safe because it really has nothing to do with a specific patient of circumstance.  A little over seventeen years ago my nephew was born and it was apparent he would not survive so the decision was made to take him off of life support and have his parents hold him until he passed. I was there and it was the most difficult thing I had ever been through. Prior to this I had worked in the burn unit and been with my patients when this was done. I thought it was easier because there was no hope, however I discovered that although your head knows it’s the right thing to do, your heart is broken into a million pieces. After this happened my sister-in-law was transferred from the mother/baby floor to the gynecology floor. I had been thinking about leaving the burn unit for a few months and after visiting her there I knew it was time to transfer.

Mercy Heartprints is a program for families who experience the loss of a baby through miscarriage, ectopic, stillbirth or neonatal death. It is run by a wonderful lady who has been in charge for longer than I have worked on Women’s Health. (At some point the name of our floor was changed from Gynecology to Women’s Health but I cannot remember when.) We have an open visitation policy so if the mom wants to see her baby again before she leaves, we do that for her. I remember when I was in my labor and delivery rotation and our instructor called us in to see a twenty week loss. She was touching the baby and I remember thinking that I would NEVER touch a dead baby. See how that word bites me every single time I use it. Sadly, I have touched more than I ever could have imagined. I used the word sad because every baby is a loss for a family.

Most people wonder why and how I can do this and there are two reasons for this. One, if I could go back in time and hold my nephew even though he had passed I would. I do not want any of my patients to ever have that feeling. Two, I know it is the last time they will see their baby until they themselves die and go to Heaven. For those of you who are wondering we do indeed warm, dress, and wrap the babies in blankets. All of this is then given to the parents to keep.

My mom taught me how to crochet when I was really young. I’m thinking maybe eight or so. I even made clothes for my sisters Barbie dolls. I never played with those stupid things. Shocking I know. I always wanted to learn how to do granny squares but no one I knew could make them. I bought a book with the instructions but I might as well have  been reading Chinese. So when I had Emily, an aunt made her a granny square blanket. It was beautiful and I will always treasure it.

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Brian took this photo all on his own when Emily was three days old. You can see the blanket in the picture. Finally about a year ago, I thought I bet there are You Tube videos on how to do granny squares. Sure enough there was and I finally was able to do make them and then the Chinese directions actually made sense. So I started a pinkish one and then the girl who does my hair was having a baby so I made one for her but she was having a boy so I had to switch yarn colors. Then my other friend was pregnant again with number eleven and I was convinced she was having a boy so I made another blue one. However, about a month before she was to deliver I decided to finish the pink one just in case. When she texted me she had a girl I believe my response was “OMG! It’s a good thing I have a back up plan.” I have since made about three more blankets for other friends that are expecting. I ran out of people to make them for so I decided I would make them for the Heartprint patients. Since most of the time those babies are smaller, I only use one skein of yarn for each blanket. Hobby Lobby has a brand of yarn called I Love This Yarn and all of the colors are amazing. I have currently made twenty blankets (I have been asked if I think I am OCD. That answer is you better believe it) and I see no end in sight. I have a lot of solid colors from past projects so I am doing a solid and then a fun multi-colored one. I feel that if just one blanket brings one mom some comfort and peace knowing her baby was recognized then it is worth making a thousand. My husband did ask how much i was charging for them. I said they are gifts to the Heartprint program. He asked me how I am ever  going to get rich. I said giving them away makes me richer than Bill Gates.

 

Mole Moral ~ Often in this world, we never know how one-act of kindness can make a difference to just one person.

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The New Washer

 

Change is always hard in the Moehlmann house, although it’s much worse for Brian and Allyson than the rest of us. Anytime an appliance starts acting up, I know I have a battle on my hands.

A few years back my gas stove was to the point that to light the oven, one had to open the broiler drawer  and blow. Brian’s father saw this in action and informed me I was going to blow myself up. Brian kept informing me it was fine. I finally realized he was never going to agree to a new stove so I took his mom out shopping, we picked one out and I had it delivered. He crabbed about it for a while but at least I was no longer in danger of ending up in the burn unit.

Ten years ago our washer stopped working. He was unable to fix it. Keep in mind it was sixteen years old and given to us as a wedding gift from his parents. He was so mad that nothing ever lasts anymore. This was right when front loaders were out so I decided that was what I wanted. I have a confession, I hated it from almost day one. It was way too low to the ground so Brian made a box to elevate it and the dryer on. That made my back happy. However it took forever and I wasn’t sure how clean the clothes were. However this was my brilliant idea so I kept it to myself.

Probably for the last three to five years somewhere around the rinse and spin cycle it would error out F20 which meant there was a water outflow problem. So I would have to stop it, the water would drain out and then run the rinse cycle. This resulted in multiple trips up and down the steps. However I also being cheap I just continued to deal with it. Brian confirmed there was no outflow problem so it was most likely a motherboard issue and to fix it would cost as much as a new washer. So we chugged along.

About a month ago the error started happening 48 minutes in and the clothes weren’t even getting wet. It was now ten years old and I had enough so I got in the car and ordered a new washer. I returned to find Brian had taken the washer apart and told me he could get another six months out of it. I told him too bad I had a new washer coming. He got really annoyed and said he wasn’t taking the old stuff off of the stand. (I went back to a top loader.) I told him not to worry I would ask the delivery guy to take dryer off for me.

So the washer came and I asked the guy if he would take the dryer down. I then added I’ll make it worth your while. I quickly realized what that sounded like and said that sounds bad. Anyhow I gave him and his buddy twenty bucks and told them to have a nice lunch.

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This washer is fantastic. It still takes an hour to wash but the clothes area is so much bigger and the clothes smell great. I feel like they are cleaner. I have no intention of ever owning a front loader again. I would say never but then top loaders would be eradicated and I would be stuck.

 

Mole moral ~ Sometimes the latest and greatest isn’t all that great after all.

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A Different Training Plan

I just realized it’s been a month since I posted anything. I have had four blog posts in my head and yet have not bothered to write any. I think I will start with a running one to be super annoying. I try not to post on Facebook about running too much because I don’t want to be that girl.

After completing the big ultra marathon I decided I wanted to work some on speed. The entire time I trained for the ultra I did not push myself because I didn’t want to get injured and have to delay the race again. Starting training over once because of the headache was more than enough. My goal is not to be the fastest, win a race or even beat my personal best. I have had two major foot surgeries since a personal best. I did decide I would like to finish a full in under six hours so the next step was finding a training plan.

I have used the Nike+ app since I first started running. Almost everyone I know switched to Garmin but I refused to lose the thousand miles I had already logged. I decided to use the coach section on the app for the marathon training plan. I had just come off of running five days a week with the shortest run being four miles. I looked at the schedule and thought how in the world will this work.

For starters it’s only four days a week which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. And sometimes it’s only mileage two of those days with a 15 minute benchmark run and a cross training day. Sometimes I get to do speed workouts where I run as fast as I can for either 200, 400, 800 or 1600 meters and then walk for a set amount of time and repeat. Anyway I was really thinking this was all bull hockey till a couple of weeks ago when my speed workout splits were this.

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My marathon is the end of April and I’m now starting to believe under six hours is totally doable. However I have to quiet the voice in my head that says how about a PR. That would be under 5:25:00 to which I tell that voice to shut the hell up…….for now.

 

Mole moral ~ Following a new plan may allow you to see or do things you never thought you were capable of.

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Jesus Christ Superstar

When I was really young, under the age of five I clearly remember being at the next door neighbors house and singing Jesus Christ superstar who in the hell do you think you are. These particular neighbors were extremely religious so I got sent home and I’m not sure if I was ever allowed back over. I did eventually move away a couple of years later. I knew that song came from a musical of the same name released in the early seventies. I always wanted to see it but never did.

Last week at work Theresa told me her daughters school was putting it on and her two oldest were the stage managers. So I pulled an old lady move and invited myself. She had to work on Saturday night so had me ask Liz. Liz had actually seen it a few years back but was up to going so a date it was. Liz had also left women’s health a couple of weeks ago so it was a great way to catch up.

After the first act, my head was spinning. I was like what in the hell did I just watch. After Liz gave me a heads up, it made more sense. I also figured out it was written from Judah’s perspective which made it interesting. I was able to follow the second act and I was left with a few thoughts.

First of all I had been singing the song wrong my entire life. It actually goes Jesus Christ Superstar, Do you think you’re what they say you are? My google research did say this was a common mistake and many people interpreted the way my four-year old self did.

Secondly, I found it very interesting when Judas asked God why he picked him to betray him. If God is really all-knowing and knows everything that happens before it happens then he knew Judas would be the one. However that doesn’t mean he chose him but he didn’t intervene to change Judas heart either. I’m not sure if any of this makes any sense anyway which brings me to my last thought.

Finally, the seventies were so bizarre. The dancing, the costumes and the whole musical was just so weird. I felt like it would have made way better sense if I dropped acid before it started. Liz told me I need to watch the movie and it is on amazon prime so perhaps I will so I can experience the full effect. The kids did a great job performing it.

 

Mole moral ~ Be careful about inviting yourself to musicals, you just might end up in a psychedelic confused nightmare.

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CPR can KMA

This May I will have been a nurse for thirty years. I can still remember taking CPR for my first job. That year they had these fancy mannequins that recorded rate and depth on a strip. You had to get so many right to pass. I managed to pass it just fine, but many others did not. They didn’t have to retake it or anything either. Two years later when it was time to recertify they had changed it and no longer required a passing strip. So it was much easier and way less stressful. Two years ago I took one of the last old style classes in which there were instructors and real live people who checked you off. This year it was online with learning modules and then you go into a room and perform on a mannequin that is hooked to a computer that will only pass you if you do it perfectly.

Please keep in mind that I am old school. When I went to nursing school, computers did not exist. I mean there were some a frame type computers but personal computers were not around and everything was typed on a typewriter. I went to class every day and listened to lectures and took notes. So this online stuff is not really my way of learning. I have had numerous people ask me why I don’t go back to school and become a nurse practitioner. One, I have no interest in leaving bedside nursing and two, I do not want to write papers and do group projects to earn a degree. So back to CPR. I did the online stuff without any issues. It only took about two hours to get through all the modules and the simulation stuff. I managed to forget to turn the AED on every single time before applying the pads. Yesterday I went to the lab for the manequin portion.

I did just fine on ventilating the adult and the baby. I also had no issues with the check off for the chest compressions on both. CPR on the baby was ridiculous. I had to push so hard I swore I was going to break both of my fingers. Then the adult came and no matter what I did, I could not pass the three cycles. In the middle of my attempts I posted on Facebook and someone asked if I was having trouble with the ventilation. My response was “I can blow like a porn star!”, it’s the chest compressions I cannot manage to do effectively. Someone else said you have to do it hard, fast, and deep. My first thought was do I look like a dude? Maybe my husband could give me some pointers! I finally asked for help and the gal came over and gave me pointers but by this time I was so exhausted I was told I had to come back the next day or day after depending on how sore I am. She also gave me the you need to work on upper body strength to which I replied I am a runner and that’s what I enjoyed. When she continued to annoy me about upper body strength until I threw out there that I just ran fifty miles. That pretty much shut her up. Yes lady I am in the best physical shape of my life, this computerized mannequin is stupid.

On the way home I started thinking about one of my many bus rides to Big Stuf camp. Jack Riley was on my bus for my very first camp and he was a freshman that year. Fast forward to the year he was an Obtern and an EMT. We were talking about CPR across the aisle from each other. I said to him “the person is dead so if you screw it up, it’s not like you killed the person.” He started cracking up and knew what I said was true. However the other kids sitting around us about lost it. But I speak the truth, if your heart isn’t beating, you are dead and your chances of CPR working is not the greatest. Now if you heart is in an arrhythmia and you have an AED available then your odds have greatly increased. So here I am all worked up over ineffective CPR on a plastic mannequin. I went up to the floor afterwards and burst into tears. My good friend Amy said what is really going on, there is no way you are crying over CPR. I was like seriously my life is cool for a change. It was only this morning I realized what the issue is. I had forgotten to take my crazy pills for over a week, so I took two right away.

I cannot even think about attempting it today. I forgot to take my Fitbit watch off and it put a nice red mark and bruise on the top of my wrist. My arms are killing me and the palms of my hands are bruised as well. Hopefully I can perform tomorrow or I won’t be working until I can pass. Once you expire, Mercy will not let you work. Now had I been taking my medication properly I would look at it like this “I can’t pass, cool I get a day off work.” But since I am unmedicated I look at like this “Oh look Rachel is such a loser and horrible nurse she can’t even pass CPR.” The second statement is beyond false but the voices in my head like to shout at me and without Zoloft they are louder than my God voice that tells me I am a treasured child and a really cool person. Work has just called me to come in so I will sign off.

 

Mole Moral ~ If you are CR, never attempt CPR unmedicated!

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When it rains, it pours

Last Saturday started the most ridiculously stupid and frustrating week I think I have ever had. I am sharing in the hopes that it makes at least one person laugh. Looking back I can crack up but in the moment I wanted to kill someone.

Kayla was out and about for Mardi Gras and texted me that she lost her atm card and asked me to call and cancel it. So I called the number on the back of my card. I was told that even though I was on her account, I could not cancel it that she ould have to call. However, I was allowed to place it on hold until she could call.

The next day was the ice storm and for some stupid reason I thought it would be a great idea to walk to get coffee instead of driving. On my way back I stepped onto a patch of ice and my feet went out from underneath me. I first hit my butt and then cracked my head on concrete without breaking my fall. That was probably a good thing because I probably would have broken my arm. I never developed any signs of a head injury except for a big knot on the back of my head so I survived that. Kayla also learned that someone had found her debit card, looked her up on Facebook and called her place of employment and told them they would be returning it to the credit union.

On Monday the credit union called her and said someone had returned it and it would be in the vault. So on Tuesday I head up there only to be told since it was placed on hold, they destroyed it and I would have to get her a new one. I got called into work at the moment so saved that for another day.

On Wednesday I am finishing up work and Brian texts to tell me our new credit card had been denied. I had just signed up for it and received it because they were offering 60000 airline miles if you charged three thousand dollars in three months. Since we are starting home remodeling I knew this would not be a problem. I also use credit cards like cash and pay them off every single month. There is no way I am paying interest or late payment charges. That is a total waste of money. So all of my cards have some kind of cash back offer and they all lose money on me the money nazi. So I come home from work and call the credit card company to find out why the charges were denied. The first thing I am told is that she has to verify my identity which is fine with me. Until she wants to verify my phone number. I just changed my number about five weeks ago and I forgot when I signed up with this card, I actually used Emily’s number because it wouldn’t let me use my new number. So she has me give her another card to verify my identity but when she calls back she tells me the phone number doesn’t match. I say of course it doesn’t because its my old number. I become so frustrated I yell at her that why can’t I give her my social security number or a first-born child. She tells me not to shout at her (I hear God whisper soft at that exact moment) so I apologize. So she then asks me if Emily is near by so she can call her. I say no my kid is in California and briefly explained the entire phone story to her. Finally she decides she can call my husbands number to verify my identity. I am assuming because he is on the account as well. So after thirty minutes all is right with the credit card and we are back in business.

Thursday I went to the credit union and got Kayla a new card. That was super easy for a change. I also mailed Emily her contacts and glasses and put a thousand dollars worth of insurance on them because of the issue I had with her books. On Saturday I would realize I recycled the tracking receipt but luckily they arrived with no issues. I had also put her airline credit card in the package as well. This is how we are flying to Disney in October.

On Friday I get on-line to look at my Costco credit card and I notice I have a charge from amazon for prime movies. I was like what I have prime and I am not paying for some movie subscription. So I get on the phone with amazon and she has to confirm my identity as well. It wasn’t quite as complicated as last time but I had quite a good time telling her my stories. She was cracking up. We finally figure out it is a kindle book that was coded wrong. As I am getting ready to leave work Kayla texts me that she has now lost my credit card that she carries in case of an emergency. This one all the free money goes to college expenses. I have had it the longest of all. So I get home from work and cancel it. Then about two hours later she texts me that she found it but I informed her it was too late, I had already canceled it.

On Saturday I get back on Costco to check my balance (yes I have issues with checking all my credit cards and checking accounts) and a note pops up saying there is potentional fraud on Brian’s card. Sure enough there are double charges so I have to close that card as well. At least i could do that on line without speaking to anyone or having to confirm my idenity.

 

Mole Moral ~ I will not change my phone number ever again. Even it I can have six free iphones, a permanent cook and housekeeper!

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Spoofing

 

For the third time since I got my new phone number I got a call from a 277 number. My first three digits are also 277 so I figured it was one of those spoofer numbers to trick me into a telemarketer call. They never left a message until today. Of course I only set my voicemail up a few days ago so it was impossible to leave me a message. Well today this number left a message.
I listened to the message and was shocked to hear a man’s voice say I don’t know who you are Rachel but if you don’t know me stop calling this number. I was like umm what? So I check my call log and I have never dialed that number. So I did what any stalker crazy person would do, took a screen shot of my call log and sent them a text saying they are calling me I have never called them. Within minutes my phone rings again.
I answered to a lady demanding to know who I am and if I was a person or a business. I was nice and told her this was my new cell phone number. She then proceeds to bawl me out for calling her. I tell her again that I have never called her. She told me I better figure out what the issue is and hinted she would file a complaint. So again I did what any crazy stalker person would do, I called my cell phone provider.
Apparently someone has stolen my phone number to use as a spoof number and calling all the 277 numbers. I asked if I could get in trouble. She said nope there is no record of my number calling the other 277 number so nothing I can be in trouble for. She said they only use the number for about two weeks. So I had a choice I could call this lady back and explain spoofing to her or do nothing.
I chose to do nothing. She was beyond rude. When I see a number I do not recognize I don’t answer it. If they don’t leave a message I know it’s no one I want to speak too. I am not one to call back and say this number just called me, who are you and what do you want. I just honestly don’t care enough to waste that amount of time. Apparently other people have nothing else better to do with their time. Had this lady been nice I would have given her my time but since she was not, I hope my number calls her every day for the rest of the month!

Mole moral ~ Leave it to a mole to have their number be a spoofer number when the Moles all know about spoofing and not to answer numbers that are close to theirs.