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Whose Dream Is It?

Today was my very most favorite 5K that I have done almost every year for the past seven. I only missed one because I was on a cruise with my mom in Scandinavia. This run was very emotional at the beginning and the end and this blog really isn’t about running or how I ran because that is irrelevant.

Anyhow before the race started they named off all the survivors that were present. I heard Kimberly Wright’s name, who is a girl I went to high school with. I then started thinking about the special ovarian cancer girls that have touched my life. I thanked God for keeping Cathy cancer free for fourteen years. I prayed for the gal I am going to Christmas Angel this year as she has just finished chemo and will be having the surgery in the next month. This was during The Star Spangled Banner and then I almost started crying. I pulled it together and took off running. My goal was to run the entire thing without taking walk breaks. It’s a mental thing with me.

After I finished mile 2, I had passed the dog, lady and dude I had been pacing off of. I came upon a boy who was between ten and twelve. His parents were up ahead of both of us. They were turning around yelling at him to run. He said he couldn’t run anymore and was walking. They were obviously very annoyed and making comments to each other about how he should not be walking etc. They kept on running and he tried once to catch up to them to no avail. He yelled he couldn’t catch them and they told him yes he could to start running. They would turn around every so often to see he was farther and farther behind. He was getting pretty upset at this point and I was in between him and his parents. I heard a man say kid you are doing good, keep moving. His parents certainly did not slow down AT ALL. The last time I saw them turn around and look for him was about a half a mile from the finish. He was barely in their site. I was furious!

If you want to run a personal best, or run the entire time DO NOT bring younger children with you and then get mad when they cannot keep up. I am not a believer in children that age running three miles to start with. Their legs are half the size of ours so it’s more like they are running ten miles to our three. If you do bring your child, you should do it as enjoyment for a family, not a let’s see how fast we can run and then get mad at your child. Leave your child at home. I have severe anxiety when I don’t know where I am going. (I have zero GPS skills and get lost all the time.) If my parents would have done that to me, I would have NEVER ran again.

I don’t understand the big push to have kids under the age of sixteen doing distance running. They are still growing and I am not sure if this is good on their joints. Maybe because I had zero athletic ability and didn’t start running until my forties I am jaded. If a kid really enjoys it and it is his idea it might be ok. This is not the first race I have witnessed this. I have seen kids crying in the past that they couldn’t go any further and their parents basically telling them to shut up, quit being babies and push on. It makes me wonder whose dream running really is?

As some of you know my youngest daughter is a fantastic artist. This is what people tell me, I try not to be jaded. I always tell her she should work for PIXAR to which she responds “mom that is your dream, not mine”. This is the truth. I would love to be able to draw and make PIXAR movies but I can’t and she’s not interested. It would be a waste of time for me to attempt to push her into it and she could end up hating drawing all together. I did tell Allyson yesterday that she should design my tattoo to commemorate my fifty mile run from last year. She said “it’s about time you asked me”. Ok so I’m a little slow in combing her dream with mine. I know whatever she comes up with, it will be super cool.

 

Mole Moral ~ One of my parenting goals has been to let my kids do what they want to do, not what I think they should do. I pray I have achieved that.

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The Bleeing Edge

This Netflix documentary was released the week I was at Big Stuf camp. I had quite a few people ask me if I had watched it yet. I finally sat down and watched it two days ago. I wish I could say I was shocked but I wasn’t, as most of it I already knew.

It’s been almost four years since I was a work and someone said Rachel Dr. Veronikis is calling from the OR and wants to talk to you. First of all Dr. V rarely calls anyone, much less from the OR so I went totally paranoid and figured he was going to yell at me. Instead he said I want you to go in and talk to my patient in 16. We had just moved to our new unit and I had to figure out where that room was. So I walked into Melynda’s room and said something like hi I’m Rachel and Dr. V told me to come talk to you. She had mesh removed by a doctor in California and was here for reconstruction with Dr. V. She shared her story with me.

I must say not only was she super nice but she was super smart. She had one of the Johnson and Johnson mesh put in. It wasn’t the small piece that supports the urethra but an entire thing that lifted the bladder up and had arms. She told me they knew when it was brought on the market their would be some lawsuits so they set aside a slush fund to cover them. There were no trials or studies on living women. The mesh had gotten approval through the 510k process. If a new product is similar to one currently on the market it is approved without trials or research. Physicians were trained over a weekend using cadavers. That’s dead women. Some physicians were also given kickbacks for every sling they placed. I have seen enough of Dr. V patients that had mesh placed that never needed it, to know this is truth. I am sure everyone involved would deny it but actions speak louder than words. Melynda added me to a Facebook group with all kinds of links to mesh articles. I read as much as I could and joined a few of the public groups to stay informed and keep up with what is going on.

So I started the show knowing full well I would be furious, but it was way worse than I imagined. It started with essure, the coils placed in tubes to prevent pregnancy   Again very little training and doctors were told if you missed the tube just put in another one. One lady had five of them floating in her uterus. These are made of metal so it only seems logical people would react to these. The trials they did were rigged. Some of the gals responses were changed right in front of them to make it say they had zero complications and one hundred percent satisfied only because they weren’t pregnant. It was taken off the market in every country except for the United States. However, right before the documentary aired it was announced it would be pulled from the market at the end of this year. I guess the greedy company wants to get a little more money while turning a blind eye to all the people they have harmed.

I have never been a fan of the daVinci (robot) machine. After watching this I would not ever encourage anyone to use it. They state it’s less invasive for hysterectomy. However the least invasive is the vaginal approach. The robot makes a blind stab for the first incision and most of the time that works out fine. However when it was developed an eight month training period was recommended. However again greed knew no one would buy it or invest so it was cut to a much shorter time period. And the show says a doctor practices and then had another physician watch him for two or three times and then he can perform on his own. This is accurate in my world. They had four different women end up with their intestines falling out of their vagina. I say no thanks.

So many people have been injured, maimed and have had their life ruined and yet the greed continues. Profit before people seems to be the motto these days. The FDA 501k process is broken and the loophole needs to be closed. When some of the FDA scientist attempted to be whistleblowers they were either terminated or had their job eliminated.

I don’t have the answers except to do your homework and don’t let anyone implant anything in you without extensive research on your part. The latest greatest doesn’t always mean safest or best.

 

Mole Moral ~ Melynda found her mesh on eBay, purchased it and gave it to Dr. V at her six-week check up. It makes you wonder just how easily any untrained physician can get their hands on it and implant it into unsuspecting people.

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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.

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The Mole car insurance fiasco

Today I received notification that Emily’s car insurance was misquoted and was going up. So I called our agent to see what that was all about. He was rather annoyed because he hadn’t even been notified yet. So he looked into her account and found she was chosen for a random audit. The underwriter labeled her car as business use which it is not. She does not do home health PT but instead works in a different location every three months and drives from an apartment to a place of employment. They also noticed that she did not start driving until 18, instead of 16 so they increased it for that as well. He plans to protest the business issue next week when his underwriter is back from vacation. So it is up in the air how much her insurance will actually end up being.

This is insanity! I mean, lets punish people for waiting to drive until they are more responsible by jacking their rates up when they turn twenty-five. I thought they were suppose to decrease at that age. Ha! As for the business use, well that’s just the sort of stuff this entire adventure has been. One mishap or hurry up and wait after another. Emily still does not have her California PT license and last week they hadn’t even finished processing her fingerprints which she mailed on 6/2.

 

Mole Moral~Make your kids start driving at sixteen, it will cost them less at twenty-five.

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The most expensive bladder infection!

imageIt’s been a while since I have written much. A week or two ago I was going to finally write about my dog but then I added up what I spent and I became so angry again that I couldn’t do it. However, its been a week since then and I’ve had some time to reflect.

I originally took my dog to the vet on a Monday because she wasn’t able to jump up on the couch and started having trouble walking up the steps. The vet did an X-ray and saw an area around T-12 on her spine that was losing density. She had never seen that before and it was concerning to her, so she sent it out to have a specialist look at it. There was a good possibility it was cancer.

I should have called on Thursday to see if it had been read but I’m going to be real here and say I was afraid they were going to tell me it was cancer and she only had a week or two left. By the time Sunday came she could barely stand up and was screaming and crying in the way dogs do. So I load her up in the car and take her to VSS. They come out to get her and she jumps out of the car and starts walking around. They charge me a hundred bucks for different pain medicine and told me to get the x-ray read. I did not know at this time that they were the ones who were suppose to be reading it.

Monday arrives and the dog won’t even put her back leg down and by this time she is only getting up two or three times a day to potty and that is it. I call the vet and inform them she’s coming in. Now somewhere between the time I called and arrived VSS finally took a look at the x-ray. Now isn’t that convenient. They feel she has a bladder infection that seeded to her T-12 vertebral plate. Say what? My vet had never heard of this and because the dog was in such bad shape I had them keep her there overnight. They ran some tests and finally got a urine sample and sure enough Moonie had a bladder infection. The craziest thing is Moonie never acted like she had one. She never peed in the house, asked to go out a million times or anything. Just one day she couldn’t jump up on the couch.

I pick her up on Tuesday because the guy at the desk couldn’t take her whining anymore. They had to take her out of the cage she was in and put her in the extra exam room so she would be quiet. I naively thought after a day or two of antibiotics she would be back to her old self. She came home on codeine, gabepentin, augmentin, vetprofen, and pepcid. I was giving her stuff four times a day. She was on more medicine than half of the patients at my work. After about a week we switched out her codeine for tramadol and she took a second round of antibiotics. She finally got off everything this past Sunday and so far she can do everything except jump up on the furniture.

I realized over the past week that it isn’t really the obscene amount of money we spent to get her almost back to baseline. Although it does make me crazy because I am a money nazi. It’s the fact of how VSS acted and my vet. My vet should have followed up with them on Thursday. I should have called and asked but like I said I was afraid it was cancer. Is this how VSS would treat their mothers, grandmothers, or their own dog. I highly doubt they would mess around and wait an entire week until their dog is in so much pain she can’t even get up to go to the bathroom. However, I know if it was their dog, someone would have looked at it immediately. Often at work I remind myself to treat each patient as if she were a family member. It makes a huge difference with that mindset.

Now that I am calm, I plan to send VSS a letter and my approach will be more about how much needless suffering and pain my dog endured due to their incompetence rather than the money. Because in the big picture money is money that isn’t going with me when I die. Compassion and lack of it may be accounted for in Heaven.

Mole Moral ~ Only a mole dog gets a bladder infection that makes it impossible for her to walk!