two years.

011100000111011100100000001111010010000001101010011010110110101001101011

PICU Newsletter Submission?

Wait, so you chose to flip back and forth? 

The bewilderment and confusion in their voices should have been hint enough. 

So you’re rotating six weeks on days and then six weeks on nights… You’re nuts. You’ll end up picking “us” in the end. You’ll see…

As I write this article today, this marks the sixth month of being on my own as an RN I since the Residency Program. During my first year here in our beloved PICU, I have had the incredible pleasure and privilege to work beside ____ unique nurses, each with their own style of teaching, caring, and saving lives. In spite of their nuances and our different interactions, PICU nurses all felt the same way:

a) I was crazy for switching back and forth night and day shifts.

b) Each respective RN’s shift was superior to the one whose schedule he or she was not working.

c) The pay differential is definitely noticeable.

After three six-week schedules had gone by, I finally came to my senses and realized the rotating lifestyle was not quite sustainable for life outside of the hospital. Sleeping all day and all night is not generally how I would like to spend my days off. Duly noted and lesson learned.

But beyond just lessons on sleep hygiene, I learned a thing or two on my Tour de Shifts (maybe three or four, but you’ll have to ask me in person J). Most of these lessons, you seasoned nurses (basically who started before Sept 2013) have probably already learned. But bear with me as I attempt to justify the 18 weeks of instability I put myself through…

  • Being mindful about stocking the carts. Donning my appropriate combined-droplet precaution personal protective gear and beginning my 0800 or 2000 assessment only to realize elbow-deep in feces that there are no more diapers, wipes, flushes, or sterile water in the room ranks high up there on my list of things that do not set me up for success. On my stint of day shifts, I realized how I can be a more helpful Night Shifter by replenishing dwindling supplies. I also realized on my next six weeks of night shifts that I took Jose for granted on Day Shift, making me oblivious to the supplies I left for the night shift. If he restocked my cart on the earlier part of morning, I may have run low on supplies by 1855 and had no idea.
  • Not passing judgment during report. I’ll never forget the glaring eyes of judgment I got when I told the next nurse that I did not do the ADB. (Side note: if you get report from me now, you’ll notice I will even stay over if I have to make sure the ADB gets done just so I never have to feel those piercing eyes again.) Being on the receiving end of judgment while giving report has made me hyper aware of not being on the giving end of judgment as well. Sometimes we think we know how the previous shift went, but the bottom line is this: we were not here 12 hours prior. Losing that IV access and delaying all those IV medications, being paired between a Q1H neuro check patient and a transferrable heme/onc-er who has a million PO meds but hates anyone who isn’t Mom or Dad, being neighbors with a truly sick and unstable patient, helping out during codes, … Sure, these are not excuses for shoddy bedside nursing. But I’m sure we can all identify with a time when we just didn’t have enough hands and feet to chart on which finger the pulse ox is or label when we changed the suction canister/tubing. Instead of a demoralizing look or exasperated sigh next time, I will try to think of ways to boost my fellow comrade’s confidence in hopes of encouraging him or her to improve and refine skill.

Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.

The most valuable lesson I’ve learned from this is that the key to success in working in this special 3East unit is to always strive to set the next person up for success. It is not about being lazy and wanting supplies within reach at all times. It is not about catching others’ mistakes to get them in trouble or to make oneself feel superior during report. It is about maintaining safety, health, and support for not only our patients but also our fellow RNs and interdisciplinary team members to be the best us that we can be. I know y’all hear this enough, but the teamwork on this unit is second to none. I feel invested in, worthy, and inspired to better myself so that I can eventually help invest in others as well. I hope the support I feel from you all will not just end with me, but that I can steward that support forward. I know my fellow September 2013 RN Residents will agree in thanking you all for a truly spectacular first year! Please keep me accountable to my words in the shifts to come :)

today, i rebuked a brother.

  • did i do it in love? i dont think that was on my mind when i just word vom’d all over… but i think the easier, not loving thing to do would have been to just let him carry on. 
  • do i feel good about it? right after the conversation, i felt so relieved and refreshed. i went home thinking how great that night ended and he took it so well that i even thought, wow, what a great thing i just did for this guy. hah. processing this now, i don’t feel very high or mighty. i feel bad. and wonder what things i need to be rebuked of too. and now i wonder who will love me enough to call me out on whatever i need to be called out on. and would i take it as graciously?
  • the common hamartia lately has been hubris [wow, taking me back to 10th grade english… what has gotten into me?]. i know the type. young, professional, 5 year plan, slightly above average attractive, charismatic, what say you. used to achieving. used to succeeding. foolishly tricked themselves into believing that they made something of themselves. that it was them doing the achieving and succeeding. forgetting our humble origins and that we are merely stewards of the blessings we do not deserve. i know the type. i know the type because it took many painful times for god to remind me of this. and he still continues to remind me at crucial times. 
  • i think i unintentionally called myself slightly above average attractive in the last bullet point. i had hoped no one would catch that but i feel weird and ironically full of myself. i would like to suggest that the reader understand the point i was trying to make, rather than fixate on the literal meanings. thank you.

that is all for now.

i’ve gained 10 pounds in the last two months. i’ve been happy and sad again. my mood is as labile as my weight as is my fickle fickle heart and brain. i hate being a girl when i am reminded of where my securities lie. or don’t lie, i suppose. this much alone time is probably not healthy for times when i feel this way. 

baby jesus, it has been awhile, has it not…?

15 things you learn in your first 5 years in LA

http://www.laweekly.com/informer/2014/05/19/15-things-you-learn-in-your-first-5-years-in-la

nailed it.

L.A. can be tough for transplants. There are the winding freeways to get used to, the hour-plus commutes and the regular appearance of palm trees. For the first year after moving here, many of us find ourselves a bit dazzled by the sunlight, shielding our eyes from it like vampires emerging from coffins. 

But after a while, we start to adjust. The light becomes soft and nurturing. We figure out the best routes around town. The phrase “the industry” becomes something that we toss off casually. And in the first five years of living here, there are at least 15 other things that you will learn, like them or not. 

Here they are: 

1. You have three choices when it comes to traffic. Unadulterated rage, complete mental transcendence, or moving to another city. Yes, traffic is the most despicable thing about living in Los Angeles. There is nothing to be done about it. Check out, listen to KCRW, go abjectly L.A. Confidential, or leave. 

2. L.A. residents give exactly zero fucks about what the rest of the country thinks of them. Not in an angry, adolescent way, but in a real, profound lack of caring way. We accept your anger and judgment, and reflect it back in love, light, and then apathy. 

3. Culture won’t come to you, but that doesn’t mean it’s not here. Between street art that constantly changes, galleries stuffed in spaces next to Jiffy Lubes, and amateur plays that are actually good, you’ll realize that L.A. forces you to dig for cultural experiences - but they’re worth it. Suddenly massive museums like The Met look like stoic, overbearing grandparents who are completely out of touch with organic creativity. 

4. The Grove is a mystery and always will be. It’s an outdoor mall. It’s beautiful, but horrible. It’s clean, but somehow too clean, and why isn’t too clean a good thing? Why do tourists love it so? Spend too much time there and you will enter into a crisis-level existential conundrum even as your body is ping-ponged about by the shopping masses. Enter at your own risk. 

5. “Just take Fountain” is an adorable relic of the past. It makes a fair point about the wisdom of avoiding the main thoroughfares in the city - why take Wilshire when you can take 6th? - but honestly, never take Fountain. 

6. Announcing what neighborhood you live in is a shorthand way of divulging everything relevant about yourself. Are you a young hipster who desires locally sourced coffee before all else? A struggling actor who is content sweating nearly to death in a cookie-cutter apartment? A yoga mom? Be prepared to stand behind your neighborhood as you would stand behind your very kin.

7. You should never pick a fight with an L.A. cyclist about cycling, because you will lose. Short of just coming right out and saying, “IT’S BECAUSE I’M FUCKING LAZY,” there is literally no way to win an argument in which your whole point is that you prefer isolated, smog-generating drives to environmentally sound, community-friendly bike rides. Also, cyclists get mad. 

8. Cherish the city’s old people, for they have stories to tell. That greying dude with the porkpie hat who sat next to you in the Frolic Room? He lived with Marlon Brando when Brando was waiting tables in Los Feliz. That couple you saw at the bar at the Dresden? That was fucking Marty and Elayne. It is well worth your time, young one, to stop and ask for a yarn.

See also: Top 10 Reasons to Love Los Angeles and Never, Ever Leave

9. The customary greeting in L.A. has nothing to do with work, school or the weather. It’s either a) what part of town do you live in? or b) where are you from? Any answer should be met with an, “Oh, cool.”

10. Never make assumptions about the person you’re talking to. That Playboy bunny has a graduate degree in engineering. Your Pilates instructor was a lawyer in a past life. The downtrodden, unemployed looking fellow at the coffee shop in the middle of the day is Lars Ulrich. 

11. Hating on the industry is a fool’s errand. It’s impossible to escape the entertainment business here, and besides, you don’t really want to. It’s great that so many smart, creative people have settled here. And when you get all smug with out-of-town guests, casually informing them, “People in Los Angeles don’t really care when we see a celebrity”? That’s not scorn for Hollywood. That’s a humblebrag.

12. At the same time, you’ll realize that the industry is but a tiny drop of water in the sprawling ocean that is Los Angeles. Whether you came here with a pilot in your hand or a snow shovel at your back, you likely had no idea how much other shit that there is to do in L.A. 

13. Hating on aspiring actors says more about you than it does about actors. You’ll spend your first year or two snorting and scoffing when people bring up their screenplays and their auditions. But somewhere around year two-point-five, you will have a shocking and humbling realization, which is that you are the asshole. You will then respectfully cease to belittle people’s dreams. 

14. Scientology never gets less scary. It literally never does. It’s just always going to be weird. 

15. L.A. is not what you thought it would be. You will stop believing that Hollywood = L.A. You will find things to love about the city and hate about the city that have nothing to do with the beautiful view from Malibu or, alternately, the shallow people on the Sunset Strip. You will try to explain this to your family at home. You will fail. And then you’ll realize this: You don’t care what they think. 

hold on tightly. let go lightly.

—clive owen

all problems are boring until they are your own

—red.

that feeling when you were going to predict something, but you didnt. and then it happened. and now you want to scream, “i totally called that!!!!” but you cant because you have no proof and it wouldnt be as special anymore anyway.

  • a busy season awaits. before i know it, it will be october. maybe even november.
  • i take it back, i don’t like being vulnerable.
  • friends. i have many thoughts and theories on friendship(s). my friend seems to think that this is a “young person in her 20s” problem. i dont like when this friend pigeonholes my “problems”/tendencies into those characteristic of certain age groups. as if it were a reading comprehension level. instead of “she has the reading comprehension level of a 3rd grader”, it is “she has the existential life crises of a 22 year old”. might as well patrionizingly pat me while youre at it.
  • i feel full and fat. or at least like my arteries could use a break from the cloggage.
  • LIFE. stahp itttttttttttttt. 
  • patience.
  • orange is the old black.
  • i can’t see them coming down my eyes, so i have to make this song cry.
  • when you say it is too late, it is the earliest time.
  • people who once meant so much to me, reduced to just vague, passing memories…
  • and people who meant not much to me at all, impacting me still to this day in such crazy ways
  • staying awake to digest these two burgers and two orders of fries that i so stupidly but deliciously enjoyed at 11pm. blegh. having a talent for consuming mass quantities of food is neither attractive nor a boastful trait. when will i learn moderation…

If the quite goes:

"You don’t make 100% of the shots you don’t take."

Then what about the questions you don’t ask?

Are they unanswered??? Do they ever get answered????????

DineLA Restaurant Week Survey Comments

I am an ex-Philly restaurant-lover. In my years of coming to know Philly chefs and people in the industry, Restaurant Week in Philly has deteriorated quite a bit over the years. However, even about five years ago, it used to be a great way for people to try places they could previously never afford and for restaurants to showcase their creativity to a new market. All their restaurants were $20 for lunch and $35 for dinner, even Le Bec Fin in its prime and Lacroix, one of my most memorable meals in Philly. Lacroix in particular never compromised quality for unusual Restaurant Week diners— something that really speaks highly of the way the restaurant presents itself and also makes for the experience. I was extremely skeptical about trying dineLA— mostly because of the pricing tier. It showed me that restaurants were prejudiced and tiering their service and food based on the clientele who could afford whichever menu option. I suppose you all as an organization would have to figure out what your goal is for dineLA. Is it for the diners and their experiences? Or is it for the restaurants to make money? I’m sure it would ideally be a nice balance of both, but for now I feel as if the scale is tipped and not in the diner’s favor. To be fair, I only tried one place for dineLA dinner. I would like to have tried a place for lunch. I think it would be incredibly scandalous for Melisse or Providence or whichever restaurants had $85 options to offer only one Restaurant Week $35 menu. I think it would raise the bar for quality across the board for all restaurants. It would make me respect the restaurants more and make me more likely to try the places even without Restaurant Week if I could afford to. There is nothing worse to me than paying $45 + tax and tip, which ends up coming to $60-$70 anyway, for a shotty, uninspired, assembly-lined meal served by overworked and judgmental staff. Thank you for your efforts, for I cannot imagine how stressful it must be to set up this event. LA is such a unique city, especially in terms of its food industry scene. I think you all did a splendid job in marketing and getting the word out there. I saw nothing but #dineLA for days! All the best.

monday heart warmer <3

1. Piglet: “How do you spell ‘love’?” Pooh: “You don’t spell it…you feel it.”
2. “You are braver than you believe. Stronger than you seem. And smarter than you think.”
3. “The things that make me different are the things that make me.”
4. “If the person you are talking to does not appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in this ear.”
5. “If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together keep me in your heart. I’ll stay there forever.”
6. “As soon as I saw you, I knew an adventure was going to happen.”
7. “Sometimes the smallest things take the most room in your heart.”
8. “Some people care too much. I think it’s called love.”
9. “Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”
10. “If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.”

11. Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.”
12. “I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart for so long. If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can be together all the time.”
13. “You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”
14. “Promise me you’ll never forget me because if I thought you would, I’d never leave.”
15. “A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.”
16. “A day without a friend is like a pot without a single drop of honey left inside.”
17. “Love is taking a few steps backward, maybe even more… to give way to the happiness of the person you love.”
18. “A day spent with you is my favourite day. So today is my new favourite day.”
19. “How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

Such wisdom from such a humble little bear. Thank you, Pooh!

Haircut, lunch, denied a $100 bonus for working an extra shift. Self care day: 끝!

Haircut, lunch, denied a $100 bonus for working an extra shift. Self care day: 끝!

the road ahead?

life is weird.

i am used to being able to see my life in phases pass before my eyes. i can usually see the generic steps that i must pass to get to the next phase. not necessarily decisions i must make but big picture things. where i see myself in a few years, few decades, etc. 

but right now it appears there are multiple forks in the road.

i’m not really at a place of decision-making. rather, i feel like i am at the bottom of the page of an R. L. Stine “create-your-own-ending” goosebump series book where each prong of the fork will take me to more prongs and more prongs, each ending looking so different from the other.

rest assured, there is only one ending for me and that has already been decided. whew. but the middle parts are all a blur. this is new for me.

i wish i didnt wish to know.

he is real!!!!!!

this sunday, i had communion with god. real communion. for the first time in a long, long, time. stale crackers and grape juice never tasted so sweet!

still, things keep coming up that test my recent freedom… yet i stand strong at the moment. grace is not only pardon but power.

"normally this would upset me a lot. and a lot. and a lot. and i would probably take revenge on the world in not so nice ways. so in that sense i really do feel free from my sin. and im so happy! 
and ive been reading about prayer
and answered prayer
and how anything short of asking for answered prayers is just cheating god of his glory
i dont know how to write all that in a coherent way
but i feel like a miracle just happened
im kinda scared if i ever relapse
that it will break this little joy bubble
and make me realistic about change
but i guess that will take time to just accept whatever comes
and not be afraid of that
and at the same time not expect it either”
this is the vomit of my brain.
goodnight yall.