An Amazing Friend

Since it has been over two years since I parted ways with Mercy, I can finally write this blog. Mercy has rules about not becoming friends with patients and not allowed to be friends on Facebook. I obviously broke that rule and it was a good one to break.

Nine years ago this November Women’s Health was moving from fifth floor to second floor. I came in that day to do what I always did, take new surgeries and admits. Others came in extra to help move the patients to their new rooms. At some point one of my coworkers said Dr. V is on the phone and wants to talk to you. I was like fuck what did I screw up. He never called people while he was in surgery and would get annoyed if nurses called him during a case as it would deflect his attention from operating and wouldn’t you want his full attention. So since I couldn’t pretend I wasn’t working I picked up the phone. He said to me “I want you to go talk to my patient in 2316.” He’s a man of few words so I said ok and that was it.

Everyone was like what did he want. I wasn’t kidding when I said he never calls from surgery. So I said he wants me to talk to 16 so let me at least see what her name is. I’m pretty sure I walked into Melynda’s room and said hi I’m Rachel a nurse here and Dr V just told me to come talk to you but didn’t say what about. I immediately liked her but I don’t remember how long we talked for. She was the first person moved down to the new floor.

Anytime I talk about mesh or mesh removal most of what I learned has come from Melynda. She is extremely smart and very knowledgeable about this subject and many others. I was horrified to learn that training to put this stuff in was a weekend conference using cadavers. Also that doctors that put it in would get a kickback commission for every single one they placed from the mesh manufacturers. So take poor training and combine with greed and disaster ensues. One of the other shocking things about the FDA is their 501k program in which a company can develop a similar device that is already on the market and be approved without clinical trails. Lastly, the hidden database to report complications that wasn’t available to the public until recently. I could go on and on about mesh as the Dr. V patients are about the only thing I miss about Mercy.

So I visited Melynda a few times before she was discharged and we became friends on Facebook before mercy made that rule. Once they did I was suppose to delete her but that wasn’t happening. She’s been back a couple times to see Dr. V and we’ve made sure to see each other. She lived in Florida for quite some time but I never had time during camp to get together. Within the year she moved back to Utah where her extended family is. So once Brian and I decided to visit Utah, I knew we must meet up. We had a wonderful but too short visit so we need to come back sooner rather than later.

If you know me, you will most likely think I am not shy but I am. It takes a lot to just walk up to someone and start a conversation but it was by far the best thing I’ve ever done. I’ve thanked Dr. V. more than once for calling me that day and freaking me out.

Mole Moral ~ Amazing people are out there if one just opens their eyes and their heart!


Session 2 The Us filter


Gerald started off the talk with who is your squad, crew, homies, or friends depending on what you call them. My squad is made up of current and past women’s health homies.
Everyone has a filter to choose their friends and some examples are fun, hot, popular, or the same as you. This had me thinking back to my high-school days and what filter I used. I would have to say it was the same filter. Almost all of my friends were in band and everyone knows band kids are the best kids. I think a big factor in this was the group that went to South Africa in August of 1983 Who is this Gary Lindsay character?). That trip and all the fundraising really bonded us together.
Just as we can use filters to include we can also use them to exclude. This then sets up the us VS them scenario. Although this certainly runs rampant in middle school and high school it can also be seen in the adult world as well. In the world of nursing it can be nurse vs techs or management vs the employees.
If we change our view and see everyone as someone God made and someone Jesus died for, it would change the world. When Jesus met up with the Samaritan woman at the well and asked her to give him a drink she said you are a Jew why are you even talking to me. A perfect example of us VS them. By the time he was finished having a conversation with her, she saw him for who he really was, just as he saw her the way God made her.

Mole moral ~ What if we saw “them” through him? It certainly would be a game changer.


This weekend’s cake adventures

Yes I am still obsessed with the stl250 cakes that are planted around St. Louis. I have successfully found and photographed 224 cakes while dragging various family members and friends of family members with me. This weekend I conned my niece Sierra into going with me on Saturday and then Bridget with me on Sunday. It’s what happens when my immediate family leaves me for a weekend of fun and I am working on Labor Day.


Yesterday started out with a bang. We went to the Harley Davidson store to see that cake. Well my sister decided to park in the motorcycle parking because she didn’t see regular car parking. As we walk to the cake all the Harley dudes are inside the place watching us. As we are leaving the owner comes out and gives her crap for parking where the motorcycles go. As we are leaving Sierra yells from the back seat “Mom don’t hit a motorcycle.” We always run into other people who are out taking pictures of the cakes as well. While at the civil war museum cake we asked the cake group to take our picture together.




IMG_5177The cake that surprised me the most was at the youth bridge community foundation. You see above it was a sign that said Haven House. This place provides a place for out-of-town people to stay and is cheaper than a hotel. We use to send the NICU moms there before the Ronald McDonald house was built on Mercy property. It was really cool to see the place after hearing its name all these years.







Our 200th cake happened to be at the YMCA where my good friend Meg Barry goes. We attempted to make 200 with our hands forgetting it looked right to us but was backwards to everyone else.




IMG_5193I think the most awkward cake of the day was at Old St. Ferdinand Shrine. There was a wedding getting ready to start so I simply jumped out of the car, zoomed my camera and took a picture as fast as possible. It is the only cake so far that doesn’t have someone in it. I thought it might be just a little rude to say hey wait a minute can you let us bust through the gate and get a quick photo!






IMG_5199So today Bridget and I head out and our first clue that today was going to be a nightmare was when part of the road to Bevo Mill was shut down for a carnival. We parked and walked to it, and got whistled at on the way. We both looked at each other like did that really just happen. I haven’t been to Bevo Mill since I was a school nurse and we had lunch there at Christmas time. What’s really weird is just yesterday when I was out walking the dog I ran into Anne who was also a Lutheran school nurse at the same time I was. She lives in the neighborhood behind me. The last time I saw her was when she had her daughter who is now six.





I must say that the Dogtown cake was the absolute worst one to find ever. It said it was located on the median on Tamm Ave. Ok that was total BS. There is no median anywhere on Tamm because Bridget and I drove the entire road twice. The address listed was in front of a church and there was no cake there. I almost got hit by pulling out in front of someone because of looking for the cake. I happened to randomly look up a street not even close to the address and there was the cake. Some guy yells out the window at us not to be taking our picture with the cake or it will cost money. I kid you not, I was about to knock on someone’s door on the street and ask them where the cake was. You see I get super obsessive when I can’t find something or figure it out and no way was I leaving without seeing the cake!



IMG_5225The next few cakes were uneventful and then we went to fountain park where the cake was located by the Martin Luther King statue. The area was really cool because it was sort of like a round about but with houses everywhere. We jump out and take the picture and head back to the car. There is an older couple outside in the front yard fussing at each other. I am trying to quickly put in the next stop when I accidentally honk the horn. Ok that got like four people’s attention. I was like I cannot believe this we have to get out of here. I have had a couple of people ask me if I would do this without GPS. There is no way. I have zero navigational skills and even if I had directions on paper if I got lost there is no telling where I would end up. I have seen parts of St. Louis that I would have never seen otherwise. First of all I would have never been able to find them and if I did stumble onto them I would never find my way back home. One of the better gifts God ever gave me was the GPS navigational tool. Oh and Siri was getting on my nerves so bad, I changed her to a male voice. But by the end of this day sex change Siri was on my nerves too!

IMG_5230We ran into more cakers at the cemetery who told us about a really close cake so we headed off to the old chain of rocks bridge. Once again the address put us in the middle of a field. Luckily they had given us some direction although they said they drove down the bike trail to reach the cake. I don’t have that kind of nerve so we went down the road farther and found the cake. It also said it had bathrooms and it had been quite a while so Bridget and I said cool. Yeah cool alright they were the nastiest Johnny on the spots I had ever seen. I think we would have been better off finding a bush. The cake was really cool so it was worth the drive.




There is a cake at the airport so that meant we had to park to go see it. It cost us five dollars to park for twenty minutes. Talk about a rip off. It explains why most people use the cell phone lot when picking people up from the airport. You sit on a parking lot that has an electronic sign that tells you when the flights have landed. When the passengers get their luggage they call you and you pull up and pick them up. Anyway the airport had banners that explained the 250 cakes. Hopefully if I post the pictures that I took of them you will be able to read them. It kind of explains why they are all over the place and not necessarily just in St. Louis. They made the trip and the five bucks worth it. I think I missed the 50 places banner. Well bummer!