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About medsoulbrother

Toronto born male nurse, an author, and an avid music junkie all mixed into one. Twitter: medsoulbrother Instagram: medsoulbrother Facebook: Ford D Barrett

1 Year Anniversary… and it still hurts

1 Year Anniversary… and it still hurts

So it’s been 1 year 1 month 3 weeks and a day since my mother passed away and I can tell you I struggled to write this.  Not because it was emotionally draining but there was so much stuff I wanted to say that it would sound like a disjointed 20 page essay with no clear beginning, ending or theme.   And even though I did not want this to turn into a venting “let’s feel sorry for the dude” or a “bitch fest about no one understanding me.”  from the looks of it.. it might turn out that way so please brace yourselves.

So how do I feel right now ? I feel like I am floating in a lost mixed emotion and mind space that I really can’t explain.

It’s hard to explain because I feel like though I have been trying to do things that would make me feel happy and positive (going on trips, etc) but for some odd reason it also has affected my relationships around me.  I feel like I’m  Jekyll and Hyde.  At work I transform into this happy joyful nurse that strives to make my patient feel good, better and even make them laugh.  It brings them joy…. it brings me joy.  But as soon as I get home reality hits.  I go back to that dark reality that I often try to push out of the way but everything reminds me of my mother.

Since I moved back home with my father our relationship has been good (thankfully.)  I was quite concerned how our relationship would be honestly.  I was scared that we would both lash out each other out of emotional breakdowns and fears and never get the chance to truly take care of each other and build that father son relationship  I felt was not as strong simply because I was closer to my mother.  Thankfully things have been good so far.   I respect his space, he respects mine,we both take care of each other and look out for each other and rarely ever have any arguments (and if we do its towards others not us ha!)  My relationships with my friends and other family members unfortunately have changed.  Some slightly…others drastic.    I now became the “guy who lost his mom to a brain tumour” or the “the nurse friend who lost his mom to cancer.” Or the best… “the nurse friend who works too much and does not have time  for his friends or family to grieve properly.”

Yep… you read that right.  “The nurse friend who works too much and does not have time for his friends or to grieve properly.”

Seems a bit insulting right?  Well some people don’t think so.  I will admit, I have been working a lot and I do use it as way of a coping mechanism (also a great way to clear your debt and bills!)  I don’t drink alcohol, do drugs, or participate in any high risk activity.  Apart from going to the gym, work has sometimes been a way to escape the reality I had to deal with and despite work being  stressful at times, I was able to put on this “front” and act like everything was cool . Unfortunately it made my already limited social life diminish to a tiny speck of dust.

And that’s when people stopped inviting me or asking me out to engagements and events. And that’s when people would stop phoning, texting me asking and seeing if I was ok. And that’s when people figured I was working too much that I did not have time to grieve properly.  This absolutely made me frustrated, exasperated and pissed.  To make matters worse when I was actually free on a weekend or Friday night to do something everyone simply just forgotten about me and either had made other plans or simply were not interested in doing anything because they were  “too tired.”    I even had one friend who recently gotten into a relationship tell me: “Well you’ve been so busy to hangout with your friends and do anything on the weekend so  now I met someone who I can chill with and hang on the weekends.”

Excuse – the – fuck- me ????  I am sorry I did not realize we were a married couple!!!

This, compounded with everything else just started a windmill of mixed emotions, thoughts, anger and depression.  I was a thermostat…. I was warm and bubbly at work but as soon as I got home or who had any interaction with friends who seemed to forget that I existed I became cold, flat, monotone and curt.  And my anger fueled more when I decided to things on my own simply because everyone was too busy for me and then the same friends get upset as to why  I never informed or told them.   It was loose-loose situation and I simply was getting exhausted for trying to explain myself for something that really deserved no explaining…….it was already self explanatory.

So through my entire disjointed rant what I am really trying to say?

Yes I am a nurse but that does not mean I am mean I lack emotion because “I’m trained and taught to do so.”  Yes I work crazy hours to take care of the sick but does not that mean I don’t enjoy  or receive therapeutic conversation and care by family and friends as I do with my patients.   People…. please be mindful.  Keep talking to those who are grieved with the loss of a loved one despite the fact that they might seem  “ok” in your eyes.  And remember this is not about YOU.. it is about them and their loss and trying to support them.  This is not the time for you be like “well they seem to be okay or they seem to be preoccupied with something so let me focus on myself as they don’t have time  for me.” This was not your loved one that died.  That has to be the most selfish inconsiderate thing to think about.  People heal at different stages and a different times of their lives.   People also have different ways on how they cope.  What you might consider a great way of coping may not be what someone else does.  As long as they are not harming themselves and others support them and be there for them instead of ridiculing them and chastising them for not being there…….for you.  Again this is not about you and your feelings, its about them and how they are coping.

Now that I got that off my chest I now have to get ready for work and put on that facade that everything is cool and I am just this happy go lucky guy…but in reality I am as sick as my patients….just emotionally sick.

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Posted by on August 29, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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My blog featured on kevinmd.com

 

My recent blog 6 months my struggle dealing with  mother’s death was featured on the medical blog site kevinmd.com.  Check it out, read it, share it, comment on it and reflect.

 

Again thank you all for the kind words

http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2016/02/nurse-confronted-death-mother.html

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Posted by on February 6, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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6 months.

Screenshot_2016-01-09-18-50-31It will be 6 months since my mother passed away.

No one gives you any instructions or guidelines on how to deal when a family member dies, especially from an illness that has taken and consumed them in a matter of months.

And all you can do is just sit there and watch.

A part from my co workers and a couple of my close friends, I kept my mother’s illness a secret. Not because I was ashamed and embarrassed but I did not want to advertise to the entire world of what she was going through out of respect to her and my family. I was not in the mind state at that time to receive countless of “Pray for mother and your family” or “I know what you are going through” or worse, people who automatically became certified online doctors, oncologist specialists and therapists attempting to give me advice that I was not just not ready or had the energy to listen, rebuttal or respond.

So you sit there, put on a front like everything is cool and continue on your daily routine, until one day everything crashes and you shatter into pieces unable to put yourself back together again.

And when you do, you continue to cut yourself from the shattered pieces.

My mother was diagnosed with glioblastoma brain tumor on the week of my birthday. For months she was complaining of a slight dizziness or what my mother called “feeling a bit fuzzy.” She also complained about how her sense of smell was off but she thought it was just her allergies or a cold.

One night my concerned father who could not bare it  called me. “Your mom is not herself. She’s seems a bit off.” I was at work so I decided to bring her in and get her checked out. Now this is where the “everything will be okay mom you just need some rest” nurse thinking came to my mind. My mother was seen and immediately had a CT head to make sure everything was ok.

The CT head results were not promising at all.

One of the fellow doctors who saw my mother discussed the results with my mother, myself as well as my dad.  The CT scan showed something but it was not clear if  she had a stroke or a mass therefore, would be admitted for observation and to do a MRI. Of course again this where I continued to be  positive: “Ok so if it is stroke, no big deal, she can have physiotherapy, take her meds, and be well taken care of as long as she continues to be active and fit.”

That’s when I received the call from my dad few days later that they found two brain tumors and that she would need to have neurosurgery done stat.

My heart sank but not fully. Ok a tumor. What kind of tumor? My dad was unsure and I was out of town at the time so he was not able to articulate well. Again, I tried to remain positive.

But it was more like denial. 

I arrived the following day after my mother had her surgery. She was up, talking and in good spirits. Family members and friends visited her.

This is where my role conflict started.

Quickly the doctors and nursing staff were well informed that I was an ER nurse at their partnered hospital so I became the go to person for all the medical stuff. I was fine with this but the problem escalated when my family and others started appointing and using me as their medical reference and asking me 101 medical questions.

Yes I am in Emergency Room Nurse but I am not an oncology nurse nor do I specialize in neurosurgery. Yes I treat and deal with stroke patients and cancer patients all the time but my care is only on the primary first level basis. Once these patients are admitted and go to their assigned unit, they are taken of by nurses, doctors and other staff members who are specialized in that area. But that did not seem to matter to everyone else. They just saw me as the “Nurse” and threw all their questions, opinions, scrutiny and concerns to me.

And me being the son and the only child, I felt that I had no choice but to take it all.

2 weeks after her surgery we went to a different hospital which was an hour drive from our home which specialized in chemotherapy and radiation of brain tumors. The surgeons were able to only remove one tumor but were unable to reach the other one because removing it would affect major brain and motor functions. We went to three sessions before my mother’s radiation and chemotherapy schedule was established. Again because I was the son , the nurse, and  the “knowledgeable one” I took the responsibility  to drive my mother five days a week an hour to and from the hospital for her treatments.  But deep down I wanted to this.  This was my mother.  She had sacrificed so much for me.  It was time to return the honor.

As I continued this drive and passion to take care of my mother the role conflict continued. I was suppose to be the caring son who would do anything for their mother but at the same time I was looked at a nurse that was taking care of their patient and had to ensure that they had received the proper care and that they had knowledge up to the very minute of what was going. So every night I would research about glioblastoma brain tumors.

And every time I would read about it, my eyes would fill with tears.

The outcomes were never good. It depressed me, angered me. But I still remained positive. I had to. My mother was counting on me though deep down she knew things were not good.  I would vent to my close friends about this struggle, all of them providing them the support as well as understanding what I am going through.

My mother was on her last week of radiation when she became extremely weak. So weak she could not get out of bed. My dad grew concerned and called the ambulance. She was again rushed to my hospital where she was treated. Her blood pressure was low and she had developed pressure ulcers from being too weak to turn herself in bed. Furthermore she was constantly vomiting. Things improved when she got better and then was moved to the rehabilitation unit so she can start walking again.

At this time I was starting to get burnt out.  The constant trips to and from the oncology clinic and the working 12 hour shifts in between was putting a toll on me.  I knew it but I could not let myself go weak.  Not for my mother.   Not this time.   Then the further questions kept coming.  “Why is your mother getting so sick?  Is the chemotherapy making her sick?  You are a nurse you know better you should intervene.  They should stop the radiation and chemotherapy and go natural.”   All of a sudden people who had no form of medical training were WebMD and google experts reading and rhyming off facts to me as if I should know and intervene.   The problem is that I knew what was happening and I understood what was going on.  And I knew that the outcome was not going to be good.   And I was afraid.

I was afraid that my mother’s time was about to expire.  But I was in denial.  I still remained hopeful that my mother would pull through this.  I mean this was a woman who sacrificed all her years supporting the family and even taking in other relatives  into our home and establishing them with a foundation before they moved out.

My father received a call from the hospital the next morning  stating that thing were looking worse for my mother.  The end was near.  My father and my aunt had gotten me up from bed and we drove the the hospital. It was time to face my fears.

And That’s when my world came crashing down.

Reality had hit me.  My body felt limped, paralyzed.   I was like a zombie.  My aunt and father literally had to drag me out of the car and drag me into the unit that my mother was on.  Imagine dragging a 6’0 240lbs big guy.  I’m sure people watched.  I’m sure onlookers pointed.  I’m sure some staff recognized who I was.  My aunt was scared. She had never seen me like this.  In my catonic state I could hear my aunt frightened suggesting that I should go into emergency as I did not look good.  My father refused.  He knew that this was his son who was not  in need of a medical emergency.  This was a son who was in need of his mother.

My mother laid in the hospital bed.  Weak, frail, her eyes barely opened. Her once smooth wrinkled free dark ageless skin was now pail dry like sandpaper.  Her dilapidated dry wrinkled skin looked like deserted valleys that once told a story but now was abandoned.  This was not my mother. This could not be her. It just could not. This was not her lying in this bed.  I did not know this woman.  But it was my mother, an angel in a death disguise.   I sat beside my mother holding her frail hands.  And without any warning or signal, I cried, whaling and yelling. I was completely shattered.  Broken.  Smashed.  A couple of nurses who I knew from the unit was there  and stood there.  Broken, upset that their funny teddy bear nurse was on his knees crying at the sight of his dying mother.   They held my  hand and comforted me .  They cried with me.  It was hard seeing a fellow nursing colleague who is always happy caring on with jokes and making people laugh completely break down into pieces and seeing the one person who brought him into this crazy world  now leaving it.   I don’t know how my aunt and my father reacted or how they felt.  The only person who I saw in that room was my mom.  No I was not being selfish, I was scared of being alone.

Two days later, my mother’s pain and suffering would end. She would pass away in the afternoon.  The charge nurse who called me (again a colleague whom I knew)  found it hard for her to tell me the words.  But she did.

And that bullet never felt so fresh and painful.

I slowly started notifying my close friends and family. They were beyond themselves.  Tears and emotions enraged them.  They could not believe it. I could not sleep that night.  Everything was a blur.  I hated the world. I hated everything. I felt like I was in a nightmare. I did not want to talk to anyone or anything.  I wanted to be alone.  I wanted my mother back.   I wanted to kick Brain tumor’s ass. I wanted to kill that Brain Tumor but instead it killed my mother…it killed me.. it killed our family….it killed everyone who loved her.  I woke up early the next morning  and struck the courage and nerve to post a facebook status. I knew I had to as the word would spread and people would start asking me questions and posting on my wall “RIP” while other inquiring minds would be shocked and ask why. After typing the last word, I hit enter and watched as the paragraph became my status update:

“It’s 7am and I feel lost confused angry guilty and saddened with tears. I’ve kept this a secret from many because I didn’t want to tell everyone about this. Three months ago my mother was diagnosed with an aggressive form of a brain tumor. Being the bravebird, she underwent surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Unfortunately she became sick and had to be hospitalized but she remained strong and a fighter. Unfortunately she lost this fight and passed away yesterday. I am trying so hard to be positive but the tears keep rolling down my face. Mom…..I miss you so so much. You were taken way too soon from those who you’ve touched. Rest in peace Mom. I will see you in heaven when I get up there so we can be together again.”

The next couple of weeks would be a blur.  I would get phone calls, messages, visits from friends and family.  Arrangements of the funeral went over my head as I was not in the head space but somehow manage to answer all the necessary questions.  The day of funeral still had me numb.  Seeing my mother laid there in what look like an eternal sleep while watching my father, a big grown man for decades who I have never seen cry break down in front of me made me numb and scared unsure of what the future was going to occur.  Weeks then turn into months.  The phone calls subsided, the visits stopped and my father and myself were left and force to continue a new norm of a life.   There is not a single day that I do not miss my  mother.

Though her death is still fresh and strong in my mind and soul, keeping her memory has been therapeutic cathartic release for me .  It also shows how one cannot take life granted.  Aside from having hypertension she had no issues.  She looked great for her age and worked really hard. Her death and illness impacted many of her coworkers.   My mother’s passing has also made me realize on how nurses often face role conflict when dealing with death of a family member.  This was a major issue for me.  People kept looking at me as “the nurse” and instead of “the son.”  Ironically this was actually brought up in family meeting with my mom’s attending doctor and my family.  Every time when the doctor kept asking a question or decision all fingers were pointed at me.  The doctor (whom I thank her till this day) basically said, “Guys, I understand Dwight is a nurse but you have to understand that he is also a son.  He is not treating a patient.  This is his mother, he needs to be a son just like you need to be her husband and you need to be her sister.” Those words still echo in my head.   The one thing that I want to stress out and emphasize to the nth degree is that everyone grieves differently.  There is no essential right or wrong way to grieve.  There is though a right and wrong way on how to console someone when they are grieving.  Remember they have lost a loved one, not you so please refrain from the “I know what you are going through” or “You should not be selfish in keeping to yourself, you should allow others to grieve with you (yes I had someone tell that to me and after I gave a dirty look she realized her mistake.)

Loosing someone who you love so much is detremental.  You feel at times that your inner being that held you together has been sucked out.  But sometimes remembering the good memories and thoughts can help you slowly glue those broken pieces back together. For me, it will take some time.

A long time.

 

 

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Posted by on January 10, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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NCLEX did not fail the students, the Canadian Nursing Association and the regulating provincial bodies did.

I’ve been a nurse for under 5 years and I still remember all too well studying for the CRNE (Canadian Registered Nursing Exam) and the stress and anxiety I felt from it.  I  also knew that CRNE for the most part attempted to  reflect on what I learned in nursing school as well as how our Canadian Health Care system operated.

Then all of a sudden arrived the NCLEX.

A number of years ago, the CNA (Canadian Nursing Association) and the rest of the provincial nursing regulating bodies in Canada were being proposed of a new exam called the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) that would serve as a uniform way of testing all nurses both in Canada and the US (the  US has had this testing since 1994.)  This year was the first year that graduating Canadian Nurses wrote the exam.

Nursing_Textbooks_1

And unfortunately many of them failed.

Questions and possible answers immediately started to arise as to why this was the case.  Blames to the type of school and programs immediately surfaced as many tried to find an answer.  Many schools however have proved that statistically prior to the NCLEX they were had successful rates with the CRNE.  So the real reason is not because these students were not smart enough.

The real reason is that simply these unfortunate students were used as guinea pigs in a failed experiment that did not prepare them.

It seems the one thing that was often overlooked and what some organizations such as the RNAO (Registered Nursing Association of Ontario) had chanted for years is that simply nursing in Canada is different from the nursing in the United States.   Nursing up here tends to be more psycho-social where in the United States it is more bio-medical and pathophysiological.  There is no argument as to which one is better or worse but it is also unfair to subject a test to nursing students who essentially spent four years if not more studying and learning nursing in a Canadian health care system to only be subjected to a licensing exam that does not reflect this at all.

Furthermore, a lot of nursing schools did not have enough time or prep for these graduating students to take the NCLEX exam.  Most of the prep exams for students are based on the CRNE format.  A brand new curriculum would have to be implemented to prepare these students and usually preparing such curriculum can take months if not years.

What I always found quite odd (and also a waste of money) is that though the NCLEX is an American standardize test, as Canadians if we want to practice in the United States, we have to take yet another NCLEX just to practice in the few states that we are allowed to if we chose to practice south of the border.

In my department where I currently worked, we hired 8 new graduate nurses who all took the new NCLEX.  Out of the 8, only one passed.  This is a staggering number considering in the past, most if not all of our new grad nurses d passed the CRNE.  As a new graduate nurse, I can only imagine  how detrimental this must feel, especially if this was your first nursing job to only have taken away from you because of this botched exam.

I wish I could give advice to these new students but because I have not written the “Canadian NCLEX” it would be like the blind leading the blind.  But more importantly I wish the CNA and the other regulating bodies across the country can see that this was not implemented or planned properly and perhaps was a big mistake.

And most importantly…….If ain’t broke…..don’t fix.

Medsoulbrother

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Posted by on August 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Life of a Murse Episode 4: Family Matters

Saturday night.
Pretty much that is all I have to say to sum up my shift. Saturday nights in the ER I have learned to realize can be quite entertaining. In fact so entertaining that there are times where it seemed more entertaining than actually going out to a bar or a club. On one of my many busy crazy Saturday nights, it was the beginning of summer, school was out, people were on vacations and the summer parties started.
This one particular summer party that I was about to learn about was more than just exciting.
In the early part of my shift we got a radioed call from EMS of a stabbing victim. He was a 23 year old male who got into altercation at a large party and ended up getting stabbed once in the chest, as well as a couple of cuts and bruises on his face.
Everyone got prepared.

IV

Sharon turned to me as she gowned up. “Typical kids. Not behaving themselves and doing stupid things.”
I shrugged my shoulders.. “Well it’s summer in the streets, the weather gets hot and people get into trouble.”
“They need to get with the lord and be saved.”
“Uhm…it’s Saturday night…not Sunday.”
“Well by the time we will be done with him it will be Sunday and he needs Jesus.”
I shook my head. “Good grief.”
“Don’t you good grief me. You young people need guidance.”
“We young people? Uhm are you forgetting that I am in my 30s?”
“And you ain’t married with kids yet? What’s wrong with you?”
“Oh lord here we go again.”
“Listen, you need to get yourself a grown woman who goes to church, and appreciates the lord.”
I looked at Sharon with a raised eyebrow. “Are you done yet?”
“No I am not.”
“Well I am.” I said smirking at her.
Our conversation was cut short when the EMS rolled in and brought the patient into one of the resuscitation rooms. Everyone including myself swarmed the patient but in a calm collective order as we tried to assess and treat him. Two uniformed police officers were outside jotting notes.
“I want to beat that asshole up!!” the patient yelled. His hair was disarrayed. His face was bloodied and he obviously had too much to drink. His blood soaked LA Lakers jersey and white t shirt underneath told a story of a typical fight that had gone wrong.
Within minutes two people rushed in the room.
“Oh my god Johnny!” the woman yelled.
One of the nurses stopped her in the midway. “Sorry, mam you are gonna have to give us sometime here.”
“But that’s my baby!” she yelled.
I was putting a blood pressure cuff on the patient as I attempted to peep around the corner to see what the commotion was about.
The ER doctor quickly examined the patient’s chest noticing the deep clean edged puncture wound and immediately asked one of the nurses to grab him a chest tube kit.
“Johnny!” the woman yelled.
The patient, turned to the corner hearing his name. Slurred speech, crying in his drunken state, drooling and incoherent he jumbled the words, “Let her in! Let her in.”
The doctor nodded. “Let her come in.”
The woman and a man walked in and approached Johnny. “Johnny, oh my god! What happened to you? I am so scared for you. I’m worried.”
There was a brief pause, serenity filled the room for a brief second before Johnny’s eyes glistened and uttered his first words to his mother: “Mom, get out of here you fucking bitch!”
Everyone eyes widened.
Johnny’s mother gasped. “Johnny! Why are you swearing at me like that?”
“Get the fuck out here you old haggard bitch! I hate you! You never cared for me!”
I stood there biting my lip looking at the other nurses and staff members who were all somewhat shocked.
The doctor intervened. “Johnny calm down, I don’t want you getting aggravated and making your situation worse than it is.”
“Get this fucking bitch out of here!”
“Boy!” The man yelled beside her. “You don’t talk to your mother like that!”
“Fuck you! You are not my real father!!! You are just another fucking douchebag small dick gold digging asshole who only wants my Mom for her money.”
One of the nurses inadvertently dropped a suture tray.
Sharon glarred at Johnny and then looked at me and muttered under her breath. “Oh no he didn’t”
I looked at her and mumbled. “Oh yes he did.”
“You both were never there for me! None of you !!! Fuck off!!”
The man raised his voice. “Johnny we did our best. We are here in the hospital because we are worried for christ sake.”
“Don’t talk to me you asshole!! Hey mom, do you know that your so called boyfriend here goes downtown and picks up prostitutes? That’s how he gave you fucking herpes!!!”
Everyone froze for a split second.
“Lord father Jesus.” Sharon said to herself quietly as she tried to put an IV in Johnny’s arm.
“I fucking you hate you both!!! I hate you !!!! You bitch and fucking asshoole!! Get the fuck away from me!!! You don’t fucking care!!!”
The doctor intervened. “Ok this is not working, Mom and Dad I am gonna have to ask you to step outside while we treat him.”
The mother stuttered “But…that’s my son I want to…'”
Another nurse intervened. “I think its best right now you both step outside he is really riled up now and we want him to be calm. Once everything is calm and done I will have the doctor talk to you.”
“YOU SLUT! YOU WHORE OF A MOTHER!” Johnny yelled from the curtain.
His mother and father left and sat in a next room perplexed.

I looked at Sharon as we were getting Johnny who was now passed out from his drunken state prepared for a CT scan. “Yeah, wanna remind me again why I should rush off and have kids?
Sharon shook her head and shot me a look.
As we were getting the patient ready and transporting them to CT, we passed another stretcher with blond hair guy with a dirty white T jeans with his baseball hat on backwards.
Johnny immediately noticed him and raised his hand. “Yo Chris what’s up man?”
Chris looked up. “Johnny? What the fuck? What are yo doing here?”
“That asshole stabbed me. I am gonna get that motherfucker! But yo, that party was crazy man!!”
Chris nodded as we continued moving Johnny to CT. “Yeah it was!!”
Sharon shook his head. “You see, how the devil can play games?”
I looked at Sharon. “What now?”
“His friend Chris who said hi is my patient who is being treated for a cocaine overdose he got at this party.”
“Wow, what kinda party was this?”
Sharon shook her head as we both arrived to the CT department. “I don’t know but in 3 hours it will be midnight which means it will be Sunday. These young boys need to repent.”
I shot Sharon another look and shook my head.

“What do you mean you’re moving out?” My mother asked while sipping on her tea.
“Mom I’m moving out.”
“But that makes no sense.”
“Why?”
“I thought once you started working full time you would help pay for the bills around here.”
“Mom….uhm no. I need to move out. I am grown ass man. You know the only reason why I was still at home was because of school. You knew this day would come.”
My mother remained silent.
“Mom I did not go to nursing school for four years to all of a sudden help pay the bills. If you need help I can help you but I don’t have to live here to do that.”
Again she remained silent and continued sipping her tea.
“You’re upset with me aren’t you?”
“You know it’s just your father you and myself? Right?”
“Mom, please stop. We are not gonna further press this anymore. I am moving out.”
“If you loved me you’d stay.”
“Really? You’re really are gonna go there with that?”
My mother rolled her eyes and sipped on her tea.
“Mom, I can’t believe that…..”
“I don’t want to discuss this anymore.”
“But mom…….”
“I don’t want to discuss this anymore. End of discussion. I am upset with you. You are abandoning me and your dad. I do not appreciate that. I am not talking with you.”
“Are you serious right now?”
My mother got up from kitchen table and went upstairs.
I was too exhausted and tired to finish the argument. All I wanted to was shower and go to my bed I needed to move out. I was way too old to be living in the house and the only reason why I was still at home was because of school. I needed my independence once again. No more than 2 hours while I was in my deep sleep, I was awaken by my father.
“So you are just gonna leave us like that? High and dry?”
“Dad I am sleeping, leave me alone.”
“No answer the question.”
“I just came off from a nightshift and I have to be at work again tonight…can you please just let me be?”
“No. You think you are all high and mighty now because you now this big time so called nurse that you can just abandon and leave your own family like that?”
I was too tired to answer him back and did not want to have another argument with him. I was so through.
“Answer me.” my dad persisted.
With fiery that came out of now where I yelled at my dad. “Get out of my room now!”
“Excuse me? Who the hell do you think you are talking to ?”
“DAD I AM TRYING TO SLEEP LEAVE ME ALONE!!!”
“Boy!!! You have no manners!!”
“And you are not respecting my time now. Now please leave!”
My father muttered a couple of words before he shut my bedroom door. For the next four hours, I would not be able to shut my eyes. All I could hear were my parents in my mind yelling why I was abandoning them. Why I had let them down…..again….one more time.

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Posted by on June 24, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Life of a Murse (Episode 4 coming soon and why it has been delayed for so long)

To those who were reading my blogs and wandered why I have not made a new blog episode in two months, I would like to apologize.

The last couple of months I had to deal with a family medical urgent matter which has now consumed most of my life. I won’t get into the specifics but I have decided to reveal this in the future later blogs of life of a murse just to show how sometimes you have to be a nurse 24 hours a day 7 seven days a week even when you are not at work (those who follow me on instagram and twitter will know what family illness I have been dealing with.)

To those who have given me great feedback, I thank you dearly. For those who have sent me questions and I have taken decades to reply back I apologize (wordpress does not really do a good job in my opinion of notifying when you get new messages or alerts…but that could just be me.)

Though I have not blogged in two months there has been still some crazy exciting and heart felt events that I have experienced which I am excited to share with you all.

Stay tuned!!

Medsoulbrother

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Posted by on May 29, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Life of a Murse Episode 3: The Lady in White.

IV

The last two years of nursing school were not so bad but the workload was still heavy. Perhaps the most anxious thing was writing the CRNE (Canadian Registered Nurse Exam.) I literally had nightmares of failing the exam (likewise with other fellow students.) While in my last year and juggling two jobs I got a sweet summer job at a hospital close to me working as an extern. For better lack of terms, it was being nursing assistant, and I got to be one in the Emergency Department. At that point this is when I knew I would love nursing. As a nursing assistant I was doing so much and helping the staff. In fact, I was doing stuff that I never got to do in my other clinical settings in school but was only taught in lab. I was putting in Foley catheters, doing ECGs, doing vitals signs, and even helping with doing bloodwork (which was so nerve wrecking at first.) As I was in my final year and continued working as a nursing assistant.(I was working three jobs just so I would not have no school debt) I was encouraged by the educator and the charge nurse to apply for a new grad position in the emergency department. Without hesitation I applied, and I was hired.

One of my first ER shifts was when I was with another nurse in the acute area on a nightshift.
Oh boy.
One of my fondest memories was learning how to start IVs. Doing straight blood draws was not an issue as I learned them quite well when I was an extern. The tricky part came when i had to put in an actual IV. The IVs were quite tricky as you had to make sure you applied pressure so the blood would not spewing all over the place like a bloody crime scene. I said to myself.. nope I am gonna do an IV I don’t care.
Again…..Oh boy.
One night I was working along with my preceptor. It was a Friday night so of course we were getting all the drunks coming in. We had one lady who was dressed in complete white who was here for a problem that to be honest with you I could not remember. All I remember was that she was wearing all white. White blouse, white jacket, white pants and white shoes to match.
Maybe there was a white sale at Sears? Maybe I should have told my mom at the time?
Who the heck knows. Anyhow, the distinct thing I remember about this patient was that she had some form of social issues at home that required to be seen by our crisis worker. The doctor had ordered some blood for work and I told my preceptor that I was going to the blood work.
“And you are putting an IV in her.” she chimed as a reminder.
I closed my eyes for a quick second and kept repeating myself. “Don’t fuck up, don’t fuck up, don’t fuck up. You can do this.. you got this man. You’ve done straight pokes before, you can put an IV, it will be ok.”
Clearly my conscious lied to me.
The patient rolled up her sleeve as I tightened the tourniquet on her arm trying to feel for a vein. I felt a nice fat juicy one right in the centre of her arm. I had all my equipment and blood vials set.
I took a deep breath.
You can do this. You can do this it’s okay you can do this.
Grabbing my 20 gauge IV, I aligned it with her vein and slowly entered. Learning from all the nurses, I would count one to three so the patient would know (for those who had quite apprehensive to needles.)
Immediately I saw blood return to the tip meaning that I had entered the vein.
Great!!! Okay so part 1 was done.. .now I had to remember the rest of the parts. I indistinctly remember to make sure I had placed good pressure over the IV so the blood would not spew out before I attached it to an IV lock.
Ok you are doing good. You got this bro.
The patient then gazed at me with this weird look. “You’re quite good looking you know that?”
I lifted my head surprised by her comment. “Huh??” My fingers immediately released from the IV as I was trying to make sure who she was referring to. I guess you can call me modest but I never considered myself the model GQ type or that attractive so when usually when a woman makes a comment like that either she is intoxicated, high on some kinda of drugs or had a dementia. I forced a smile trying not to be rude but then my eye caught something red on her sleeve.
SHIT!!! I let go of the IV!
I did not even have time to respond as blood started pouring out of her IV like a leaky faucet. The blood started soaking on her white blouse, jacket and her pants.
Fuck my life!
My voice all of a sudden sounded like Grover from Sesame Street. “Uhm, help me here please.” As I turned to my preceptor.
She saw smiled a bit and quickly grabbed a couple of two by twos gauzes. She immediately helped me IV lock the patient but at this point this woman looked like a bloody mess. She look like she was part of a crime scene from criminal minds.
Immediately I began apologizing while we were cleaning up. “I am so sorry about that. ”
Surprisingly the woman did not react or act mad. “It’s ok.”
My preceptor immediately grabbed a patient’s gown and gave it to her to change while we grabbed her white clothes and placed them in a container with hydrogen peroxide.
She turned to me. “And this is why we always tell patients to dress in a gown before they are seen by a doctor.”
I nodded still feeling like shit. “Yeah I got it. ”
“Don’t worry you were okay, you will be a pro at it.”
“But I screwed up. ”
“Trust me, this is so minor compare to other things.”
“Really?”
“Trust me as you work in the ER you will know and you will look back to this and laugh.”
I was not laughing. I just kept thinking how I screwed up.

Later on that week was my actual graduation ceremony. The day I was graduating was such a rewarding time for me. But it was also a time of mixed emotions.
“So, dad are you and mom going to be at my graduation?” I had asked a month ago.
My dad shook his head. “I can’t I am busy.”
“Busy with what?”
“I am going to the racetrack that day for a big race. Sorry.”
“So a bunch of horses galloping around a track is more important than seeing your son cross the graduation stage?”
“I’ve been to your graduation before for your first degree.”
“You really don’t like what I am doing do you?|
My father ignored me and shrugged his shoulders. “All I want to know is what you are going to do after. Do you plan to stay as a nurse are you actually gonna do something better?”
I glared at my father. “I can’t believe this. My father does not want to go my graduation for a degree program that I worked my ass for because it makes him look like a fool in front of his friends.'”
“I am not gonna this discuss with you. ”
“WELL I AM!”
“Don’t you dare raise your voice at me! Have respect for your father!!!”
“Well have respect for me dad!! This is my graduation. Not every parent gets to see their child graduate. Not everyone graduates period. This should be a happy time for me and yet you are making it miserable.”
My dad grabbed his jacket as he headed out the door. “I have other plans. You’re mother is going. She will be there to support you.”
I stared at the half opened door as he started the car and drove off.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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