Nurse as Handmaid-Tart

Read why this stereotype is so wrong and dangerous for the patient…

TV, novels, films  and much of the internet portray the nurse as secondary.  As emptier of bedpans and bringer of water.  Period.  As someone killing time until she marries a doctor (G_d forbid!).

The great majority of doctors see nurses as annoyance, as threat, as hated mother and as handmaiden.  Someone once said: “Doctors treat all nurses like old dry dog shit and they treat outspoken nurses like warm, steamy dog shit.”  She was right.

In former times, the nurse was the core of a team.  Because there was no machinery, the doctor was forced to rely on assessment and information from those closest to the patient, the nurses.  They functioned as a problem solving team and physicians were not control-avoidant, they listened and together made plans, set goals and moved on to the next step.  This system worked extremely well and it was heady.

Joys of the job.

The nurse has a goal, driven by fear of failure and the absolute fun of achieving this goal AND THE PATIENT BENEFITS.  The goal is to return every body system and function to normal.  To do this, she must know exactly what is happening physiologically with the patient, assesses every change and define and watch for the next problem.  She watches pressures, body chemistry, neuro changes, heart and lung symptoms and any improvement or degeneration of status.  In addition, she gives medical treatments, medications, personal physical care, and emotional support and kindness to the patient.

She knows the status of her patient, minute to minute but she has a problem.  She can’t tell the patient’s doctor.  She can’t even tell him in private.  The best she can do is drop hints and clues… I use she for nurse and he for doctor because this defines the underlying dynamic of the exchange.  It is the same, however, with nurses and female doctors which means the dynamic is  actually about power, not gender. AND THE PATIENT SUFFERS.

And then there is the sub-text woo woo, (behind the scene and mostly invisible to the patient).  Bully managers that don’t ‘get it’, control avoidant doctors who don’t listen and administrations that have no idea what is going on in their hospital and have only one goal, money, and who make sweeping changes of doubling the nurse’s patient load to save money, (This destroys her ability to do the job correctly, a very, very expensive error.)

As for the tart!  That’s the last thing on our minds and we are generally not delicious, young, compliant and adoring subjects.  We are tired, overworked, sick of hospital politics and pissed-off.

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The Nurse as Handmaid-Tart

Read why this stereotype is so wrong and dangerous for the patient…

TV, novels, films  and much of the internet portray the nurse as secondary.  As emptier of bedpans and bringer of water.  Period.  As someone killing time until she marries a doctor (G_d forbid!).

The great majority of doctors see nurses as annoyance, as threat, as hated mother and as handmaiden.  Someone once said: “Doctors treat all nurses like old dry dog shit and they treat outspoken nurses like warm, steamy dog shit.”  She was right.

In former times, the nurse was the core of a team.  Because there was no machinery, the doctor was forced to rely on assessment and information from those closest to the patient, the nurses.  They functioned as a problem solving team and physicians were not control-avoidant, they listened and together made plans, set goals and moved on to the next step.  This system worked extremely well and it was heady.

Joys of the job.

The nurse has a goal, driven by fear of failure and the absolute fun of achieving this goal AND THE PATIENT BENEFITS.  The goal is to return every body system and function to normal.  To do this, she must know exactly what is happening physiologically with the patient, assesses every change and define and watch for the next problem.  She watches pressures, body chemistry, neuro changes, heart and lung symptoms and any improvement or degeneration of status.  In addition, she gives medical treatments, medications, personal physical care, and emotional support and kindness to the patient.

She knows the status of her patient, minute to minute but she has a problem.  She can’t tell the patient’s doctor.  She can’t even tell him in private.  The best she can do is drop hints and clues… I use she for nurse and he for doctor because this defines the underlying dynamic of the exchange.  It is the same, however, with nurses and female doctors which means the dynamic is  actually about power, not gender. AND THE PATIENT SUFFERS.

And then there is the sub-text woo woo, (behind the scene and mostly invisible to the patient).  Bully managers that don’t ‘get it’, control avoidant doctors who don’t listen and administrations that have no idea what is going on in their hospital and have only one goal, money, and who make sweeping changes of doubling the nurse’s patient load to save money, (This destroys her ability to do the job correctly, a very, very expensive error.)

As for the tart!  That’s the last thing on our minds and we are generally not delicious, young, compliant and adoring subjects.  We are tired, overworked, sick of hospital politics and pissed-off.

Freeway Accidents at Night

SH logo photo w grayHow to avoid a huge freeway driving risk at night in America. From 2AM to 4AM when the bars close freeway driving becomes extremely risky. The risk is being hit, head on at high speed by a car driving the wrong way with it’s lights out.

This is why.  Drunk drivers, disoriented and confused, sometimes drive down an off ramp to access the freeway. If they wish to go slowly they will drive in what seems to them to be the inside slow lane but is actually the far left, fastest lane. If they want to drive fast, they will drive in what seems to them to be the outside fast lane but is in actuality our inside slow lane where they drive fast and with lights out. Therefore, the only safe place to drive on the freeway at night is the center lane. Several years ago, in Oregon-Washington there were eleven huge, horrific accidents caused by this with twenty two fatalities in one year. Now, driving the freeways at night in the Pacific Northwest the outside lanes are pretty much empty, everyone, trucks and cars alike use the center lane. There is a fifty-cent fix.  Install road spikes at the top of freeway exit ramps. This will quickly flatten all tires on a car driving over them.  If emergency vehicles need to access it they can have a switch to disable the spikes.

In England, it’s taboo to drive drunk and taboo is a massive control of behavior.  There is no longer anything taboo in America.

The safest time to drive freeways is from 6-8AM, 2-4PM, 6-8PM and 10PM-midnight. These cover the going to work, leaving work hours for Police and Health Care shift workers.  Diving to Seattle some time ago, I stopped at a truck accident and everyone else who stopped was part of code teams from various hospitals.  It was 4 in the afternoon.

End Hotflashes

Hot flashes today are nasty, worse than in our grandmother’s day, because we are losing the vitamins and minerals essential to modify them.

This trick works. Absolutely.

Hot flashes begin at the age your mother and grandmother were when theirs began.  Usually in the mid fifties.  And they can make you crazy.  The body blistering hot, covered with sweat and then, in the next minute, wet and freezing cold.  Not once a day.  In the beginning maybe 50, 60 times a day and then during the night. Forever.

Low Calcium also causes those massive leg cramps at night.  They also happen during pregnancy when calcium is depleted by nourishing the baby’s growth.

The solution is replacing Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin D, materials we lose through age and living in this modern world, . The normal, routine dose is 1,000 mg  Calcium, (Magnesium and Vitamin D are included in correct balance) and 400 Units of Vitamin E every day.

Vitamin D is essential for metabolism of Calcium and it’s lost through chelation from exposure to flourescent lights and it’s absorbtion from sunlight is blocked by Mineral Oil based lotions. on the skin.  (Working twelve-hour shifts, five in a row with fragile Calcium and under flourescent lights, I’d have bad leg cramps and exhausting hot flashes and that was a clue.  I began researching.)  It takes almost a half gallon of milk a day to gain enough Calcium.

Magnesium is the web, the framework if you will, and Calcium is the material that fills the web to form healthy teeth and bones.

Some forms of Calcium are indigestible, Calcium carbonate is chalk and not metabolized. Calcium Citrate is the most easily digestible and is from citrus fruit. CalAbsorb contains Magnesium and Vit. D in the correct balance, is easily digestible and tastes good.  No big tablets, it’s a powder to mix with water or juice.  You can Google to find sales.  Country Life brand Calcium Citrate in capsule form is often on sale in health food stores and internet.

Calcium and Vitamin E have levels so it may take a few days to see results. You will know when your level is reached when the hot flashes are extremely mild and, in some cases, when there is a bit of pale pink spotting every 28 days. Hot flashes never really end, but this routine will make them so mild you’ll not notice them.

If in treatment for cancer, please ask your doctor if you should take these supplements.  

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Clothes Wet and Smelling Musty?

SH logo photo w grayClothes in the washer wet and musty after forgetting for a week?

Everything ruined?  No way. This fixes it perfectly…                          

 

 

  • Pour at least a quart of white vinegar into the soap dispenser of the washer. Add a very small amount of laundry soap, no more than a spoonful.  (any more and the vinegar will make huge foam that leaks out of the washer.) Soaps today are all surfactants and increase surface tension of water, allowing for the top surface of cloth to release anything caught in it.  Turn washer on for a few minutes to mix soap, vinegar, water and cloth and then stop the washer.  Let it soak for at least an hour.
  • Finish this wash cycle.
  • Now add the normal amount of laundry soap and run the same laundry through a normal complete wash cycle and it’s fixed.
  • Smells wonderful and the musty smell is gone forever.

NICU and Divorce

Parents of small, sick  preemies  can, for many reasons, lose each other.

Parents in NICU have a scenario that the normal newborn family, home in 3 days, never has.  Because of the construct of the small space for isolette and chair etc., parents come into the unit and the mom absolutely zeros in on the isolette,  (Reptilian brain again.). Her body completely fills the space at the isolette and there is almost no way around that.  The father sees her back and little else, and again and again, he eventually sits in a chair and reads a book, appearing as uncaring and callous.  Sometimes the mother will hand the wrapped baby to dad but it’s still an offering from her, not ownership by him which is a must in a happy partnership.

I would tell this to all the parents of long term little ones and now, fifteen to twenty years later, I’m learning that the majority of our families are still intact so this may be the core problem.

Now for the bad news.  The divorce rate in families with long term NICU babies is believed to be 97%.  Tulane calls it 100%.

I believe the father as ‘left out’ is the major cause.

There is an easy way around this for fathers and I have seen many do it.  They come in alone, often before work for the 6AM bath and feeding.  It seems that this experience creates a sustained bonding.

We are enculturated to focus on ourselves with such intensity that everyone else is left out.  Intimacy is frightening and humans no longer look each other in the eye.  They don’t even look their pets in the eye.  It’s too much giving up control and allowing vulnerability.  Force yourself to do it.  Begin with a child or maybe the cat.  Talk to this spirit as independent from yourself.  When brave enough, look an adult you love (and trust) in the eyes… it’s a soul to soul experience.

Only the last years in NICU did I begin looking newborns in the eye and talking to them as an adult (and what was looking back at me was very adult… try it.)  I’d say to the boys:  “You are born onto earth and have parents who are going to give you a great childhood.  And you are quite handsome, like your father.”  And they smiled!

The notion that newborns smile is gas is complete nonsense, driven by those who have no experience.  We in NICU see it all the time and a classic example is the photo called  Laughing Premie from Loma Linda.

So, how can parents avoid divorce after NICU:

  • Choose a baby sitter.  Have the person take a CPR class for infants.
  • Include Dad in the daily care of the baby.
  • Do not focus completely on the baby.  It’s hard on the marriage and hard on the baby.
  • Make some feedings by bottle so Dad can see the curve of his baby’s cheek, that beautiful corner of the baby’s mouth where tongue, bottle and cheek meet.  So he can feel how strong the baby’s pull on the bottle is.
  • Don’t always hand the baby to Dad, he must be a full partner, not a participant.  There’s a difference.
  • Do not criticize parenting of the other.  It turns the critic into everyone’s parent, not a nice place to find yourself.
  • Once a month, go to a restaurant with booths (so no one can shout and no one can cry) for a family meeting. Bring notes if you want to.  The agenda is to be objective and to answer the question:  “How’re we doing?”.  This way, gripes don’t ooze out and ruin the time at home.  Just put it into the notes and save it for the family meeting.  Home must be safe for everyone, always.
  • Plan a date.  Once a month, every other week, you each plan something very special that will please the other and make good memories.  Not a dinner and movie date.  Something like sitting on a dock in morning mists, with a thermos of coffee and breakfast treats.  Feeding ducks in a rose garden pond. Visit art galleries on a First Thursday.  Sit on a bench and guess what passerby’s do for a living.  Visit a toy train store. Go to garage sales or a flea market.  It need not cost money.  The upshot of this is that you know your mate is thinking of how to please you and you are thinking of your mate in positive, loving terms.
  • Learn Partner Yoga.  Do it with your mate.  Do it with your children.
  • Become romantic.  Set up candlelight dinners.
  • Look into your partner’s eyes.

Causes of Hoarding and How to Prevent It

Hoarding is not a psychological disease. Our reptilian brain and childhood experiences drive us to hoard. All species hoard.

Our reptilian brains are about survival and continuation of the species. These two functions are beyond control and override everything else we do.  Scarcity and it’s companion fear, drive us. This is true for every living thing.

We are not all the same.  We are molded by our experiences and adapted by our drives.

From childhood, females build the nest and males build the support system.  Little girls play with dolls and boys with building.  Watch them playing… a boy may drive a plastic truck through the dirt, silently for hours and adults tend to see it as mindless pastime.  It’s not and if you watch long enough you will see the purpose.  Girls nurture and boys support.  The reptilian brain at work, busy, focused and with intense purpose.  Serious stuff.

Part of that drive includes amassing a collection of ‘things’.  Everyone does it.  Sports hero memorabelia for boys, pretty things for girls and most of the time it remains orderly and within control.

Hoarding is when it becomes out of control and the hoarder is not crazy, bad or low class.  The hoarder is trying to fix something damaged in childhood.

When a parent throws away or gives away a child’s toys, or more importantly the little things the child brings home, a stick or rock or flower…  when they pack up the child’s clothes and some favorite thing is lost forever.

Make a shelf for the child’s very favorite things.  Assure him that his shelf is off-limits to everyone but him.  When he outgrows his clothes, ask him if there is a favorite he would like to save.  Cleaning out the toys?  Ask him if there is anything he’s not finished playing with yet.  This implies that he will be finished with it eventually, a normal occurrence.

Children will look for things they loved and that have vanished and it continues into old age.  A terrible thing to do to someone.  They will have a lifetime of feeling unstable, vulnerable and certainly unsafe.  Remember that someone else’s things are important to them for reasons we will never know and the repercussions never end.

Adults need to remember also that leaving behind a room of childhood /teenage treasures when they leave home is absolutely not fair and reflects another problem.  They never wanted to leave mom and dad’s house and need an excuse to come back .  There is a bumper sticker that says ‘They haven’t left home until their stuff is out of the basement.’

So, the hoarder is keeping everything close to home, safely protected around him.  It may be a pile of newspapers but something happened to cause that.  Maybe someone interrupted a statement he made to arrogantly say:  “What is your source of information?”

Be kind to the hoarder.  Anything else is just another case of blaming the victim.