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1/31/04
Met up with Tesse last night to go to Marie's - but what a disappointing night. The crowd was pretty awful, no one we knew (until Michael, Dennis and Jay showed up), and we were just in this blah mood. So that didn't last too late. And to top off the night, it had taken us 45 minutes to find a parking spot. We parked on Barrow St, and I said to Tesse, "Just watch, as soon as we walk in front of Marie's, there'll be a spot." And there was. So she held it while I dashed back to the car. As soon as I pulled out of my spot (and someone else came to take it), she called on the cellfone to say that some bastard had taken the spot in front of MC, and argued with her about pulling forward enough so I could fit, too. Pain in the neck.

Anyway, none of us felt up to going out tonight. Which is fine, because as I was walking towards the ER exit at 11.30pm, there was a code in the ER. So I put my things down and helped herd visitors etc. into the waiting room, and then I sat with a lovely patient for a half hour to distract her from the code. She didn't care, actually - she used to volunteer at an ER and loves the excitement. Heh.

So - home, bath, book and bed.

later on 1/30/04
After spending the day learning about - to put it succinctly - "perinatal bereavement counseling," I went up to have some quality time with Eve and TheCutestBabyInTheWorld(tm) - William is just too adorable, and learning to sit up by himself. So, not only is he TheCutestBabyInTheWorld(tm), but he is also TheBestEmotionallyDevelopedBabyInTheWorld(tm). I love him to pieces. Even when he teethes on my fingers and drools on my sweater.

1/30/04
I had the weirdest dream last night. I was in Italy (and I know it was Italy because in a previous dream, I had also been there). I was there on a layover from Ireland to New York - no idea why - but I had time to kill. So I was walking around the city and it started to rain. All of a sudden I was the only person on the street and it was a hurricane force storm. And just as soon as it started, it all stopped. I ducked inside this mega-mall type place, which turned out to be the entrance to the airport, so I figured I would check my flight. Anyway, something happened that my bags were checked and I missed my flight, so I had to reschedule it, using my broken Italian and some French. They couldn't book me until the end of February, and I had to ask the guy about going earlier and finding my luggage etc. So once that got sorted out, I still had a few hours to kill, and ran into my friend Jennnifer, who said we should check out this dance club. We went, and it was way too crowded and loud for me, so I tried to duck out the back stairs. The bouncer gave me a fake US$20 bill and told me to go. I walked down the stairs and ended up in a sandwich shop that was across the street from the airport. I went back into the airport and flew home. When I got home, I realized that I couldn't find my baby (see what FCN is doing to me?). I immediately blamed my brother, who had been watching her (and I only knew it was a girl because the woman at the airline had counted a "baby girl" as my checked luggage). I spent a lot of time searching the living room for a baby, but had no luck.

Anyway, it's nights like this that make me glad the alarm clock goes off to bring me back to reality.

And I seem to go to the same place more than once in my dreams - does that happen to anyone else?

1/29/04
You know, I kind of like this for my "about me" blurb in the convention booklet, but I'm not sure it'll fly.

Catherine (Public Relations Director) has spent most of her life relating to the public. As a child, she related to the public via her ballet recitals and aggressive door-to-door Girl Scout cookie-selling techniques. She spent nine years working in the Internet/New Media field as a programmer, manager and director of technology, where she related to the public in a variety of ways: as a client/company liasion, as a proposal writer and as a whip-cracking project manager. After the collapse of the internet market and the World Trade Center, Catherine moved home to NJ, where she attends the Blah Blah Blah School of Nursing, and relates to the public in her job as a Patient Care Associate at a local hospital. She hopes to further relate to the public as an RN following her 2005 graduation. Catherine is available on an as-needed basis for private relations.

1/28/04
Although there's a whopping three inches of snow on the ground, they cancelled school for today. We were expecting up to a foot, so I can understand that. The first two days of FCN (family-child nursing) were good - orientation and reviewing the clinical schedule, and then a short class on physiological and psychological changes during pregnancy. For part of our grade, we need to do two community health visits - one dealing with OB and one with peds. I'm going to visit an abortion clinic for the OB one, and go to coworker Sharon's girl scout troop for the peds one.

Anyway, so it's back to school. I went to Wal-Mart to get some binders for all of the handouts - I see a lot of hole-punching in my future. I also bought - egads - home design magazines and clipped out more pictures. I know there's no way I am getting this house in the next five years or so (let's face it, I'm in school, in debt, and in NJ), but it can't hurt to plan early, right?

I spent the day working on PR stuff for the NJNS convention (rapidly approaching) and dozing in bed with the cats. All four of them are in here, it's quite a lovely way to spend a snow day.

1/24/04
Although it was a busy night at work today, I spent some time going through old magazines that we have there, clipping out pictures to save for when I build/buy my dream house in Vermont. My perfect bathroom. The bookcases built into the wall. The front entryway. The fireplace. The loft bedroom. Sigh.

1/23/04
Yesterday I worked a double - beautiful sunrise - nice drive home this morning - and today I had to work again after five hours of sleep. I think I will keel over now and not wake up until 2pm tomorrow, when I will have to get dressed and go back to work. I should really just bring a sleeping bag to the hospital with me.

I had some great talks with my patients today - one who used to be a chef in NYC, another who worked with a group of women who built detonators for bombs during WWII, another who's a professor at Stony Brook. You have to remember that patients are people, too - not just diseases - so I always try to get people to open up and talk.

1/21/04
I love that not only is there a magazine called Mental Floss, but that Mom subscribed me to it for Christmas.

I spent the morning stuffing press releases for the convention into envelopes, and then I spent the afternoon being ticked at the nursing office for somehow putting me into the computer for work today, and not telling me. So when I showed up at the hospital for an unrelated reason, everyone wanted to know why I was late for work. This happened on Sunday, too, so I need to put it in writing that someone is scheduling me for days that I didn't request - and not informing me. I don't want to look bad for "not showing up," but if I'm not told that I was put on the schedule... what can I do?

1/20/04
Here I am, thinking that no one cares enough to congratulate me on passing - when I never closed one of my HTML tags properly! So no one even knew! Anyway, I passed.

Saw Madama Butterfly tonight. Spent the entire end of the opera wondering how Cio-Cio-San's son could have blue eyes when blue eyes require a recessive gene from both parents. Unless somewhere in her lineage there was a blue-eyed ancestor and the gene got passed down through her... ah, the perils of knowing too much.

1/18/04
I keep forgetting that it's now 2004.

While I love that the night shift is quiet and less stressed than 3-11 (usually), I do not love that I got pulled to three different units in the first 90 minutes I was there. I ended up on 3A, which didn't thrill me, but could have been worse. The time actually seemed to fly by, and when I got home this morning, the sun was just coming up. I love the way shadows look nearly blue at sunrise, especially when they're reflecting on the snow. My, how poetic. Anyway, I slept all day today, and when I listened to the answering machine around 7pm, there was a message from the supervisor that I was supposed to work today. Not so - the other supervisor, who I gave my "available dates" to, said several times that Sunday was fine, didn't need any more PCA's etc. So when I go in to work tomorrow I'll find out what the deal is.

Tomorrow I have to go to school to work on some NJNS convention PR stuff, and then to work.

1/17/04
I passed! The final (with an 83) and the course (with a grade so skin-of-my-teeth that I will never utter it). I'm thrilled! And now I'm going to bed, because I offered to work a few overnight shifts this week. Classes start up again on the 26th, with Family/Child Nursing.

1/16/04
I think I passed.
I think I passed.
I think I passed.
I think I passed.
I think I passed.

The power of positive thinking. I took the final (I think I passed) and had my clinical evaluation (they love me). I'm going to go back before work and see if I can get my test grade.

1/15/04
No review for me. I woke up at 8 and it was still snowing out, so I went back to bed. Today will be spent studying.

And yay, Jen's wedding is set for October 16th.

1/14/04
Good lord, the roads suck. I just got home from work, driving 20 mph on roads that haven't been plowed, sliding all over the place. Sucky. We're supposed to get around six inches of snow by tomorrow morning. I hope the roads are better, because one of our instructors is offering a review for the final in the morning, and I really want to go.

1/13/04
Well, as if I needed another stressful event this week, my car got towed. Long story short - thanks to my friend Mike (the cop), I managed to get it un-towed fairly quickly, but not without a quick hit to the wallet. Anyway, it's back, but I'm fairly miserable. I do not need stress. I am happy-go-lucky student nurse, about to ace her final. Woo.

Speaking of nurses, I met a woman on the subway today who's an RN and was trained back in the early 1950's. She had a lot of interesting stories about working in nursing homes and public health. Talking to her definitely made the ride go faster.

1/12/04
More good things: no school tomorrow or Thursday. And you can pay your NYC Parking Violations online, which is good because as I went to put the envelope, with check, in the mailbox outside our house, I dropped the envelope and it fell through the cracks to the land under the porch. And I am not crawling around to find it. So this is pretty cool.

(Ooh, my Visa payment was declined, which is so not cool, because I paid (some of) the bill. Now I have to get them on the phone.)

later on 1/11/04
Hrm, wonder if we'll have school tomorrow. It's snowing, and the weather reports say anywhere from 1-3 inches to a foot. Oh please, let it be the foot.

Work was good, calm for the most part. I witnessed my first non-code death. Very peaceful, and it confirmed my thoughts that I do not want any extraordinary measures taken when it's my time to go. Yes, my advance directive says that, but I wanted to say it again. No ventilators, no CPR, just let me go in peace.

1/11/04
Still hurts. I spent Friday at work putting hot packs on my side to get the pain to stop. They didn't help too much, tho I did discover what happens when the hot pack (it's like an ice pack, you have to crush the bag of water inside to get it to heat up) leaks. I have this white-colored pasty stuff all over my blue scrubs. I went down to the OR locker room to get a new scrub top, since the pasty stuff was just pretty foul.

Yesterday - Saturday - NJNS meeting down in Trenton. We had to be there at 9am, and it didn't end until 4pm. But it was the last meeting before next month's convention, so we had a lot to get done. I was falling asleep by the end, and everyone was getting punchy. I ended up calling out sick from work (tho I am out of sick days, so I guess it's time to call in dead), and I fell asleep as soon as I got home from Trenton.

Today I'm working - I hope it's quiet.

And did I mention that it's like five degrees outside?

1/9/04
It hurts, it hurts. The concensus among my instructors is that I managed to cough so much that I pulled my intercostal muscles out of whack. Sure feels that way. I am in so much pain and when I aggrivate the muscle by coughing or even just by moving my arm too much, this spasm of pain goes right through me. Maybe tonight will be a slow night at work. Maybe I'll get floated to ER Holding or somewhere where I don't have to do much lifting of patients. Yesterday it seemed like everyone was trying to climb out of bed and I had to put them back in. I'm sure that didn't help my arm at all.

1/8/04
Happy birthday, Mom!

1/7/04
I had a set of really disturbing dreams last night. The kind where - well, you know it's a bad omen if you dream your own death? Well, I kept dying in mine, and I knew it was coming. Things like a bomb exploding or the world ending in a flash and all I could do was take a deep breath. It was really very strange.

Still can't shake the congestion and sneezing and aches. At least the cough is under control with the Robitussin. One of my instructors is sick, too, and she said it took four different antibiotics to kick the bug. Tomorrow we have no classes, so I'm sleeping until I have to get up and slog through work.

1/6/04
Thanks to a very generous loan from Mom, I was able to spring my car from the VW place today, instead of waiting a week for Merrill Lynch to send me a check. So now when that check comes I can pretty much just sign it over to Mom. So I have the car back. I've missed it. It runs so much smoother now, and I can tell they did brake work - they don't feel as loose as they did before. And no more rattling noise (except in my ML account).

I feel really good about today's test, fingers crossed for a good grade. They cancelled what was to be our last clinical on Friday, and so now we have off Thurs (since we were only supposed to do clinical preparation), and possibly on Friday if Mrs. B. finishes up the lecture material by then. Love it. Mrs. F., the family/child health coordinator came to talk to us about next semester, too. She's a hoot, I can't wait to have her as an instructor. She said that since our class is so large, they're going to split us into two groups for part of the clinical rotation. One will go in from 7.30am until 1pm, and the other group from 12.30pm until 6pm. Guess which I "volunteered" to be in. How nice will that be - sleeping past 6am on clinical days.

Oh - finally replaced my falling-apart cellfone. I upgraded it to a sleeker, not-broken version of the one I had. Now I just have to reprogram it and futz around. And not break it.

1/5/04
I went to see Dr. C. about getting a note for work from the bronchitis, and he said that since I went to the ER for the 2nd bout, he couldn't write the note. So I went to the nursing office to tell them that, and my supervisor, who knew I was in the ER, said they would just pull up the ER file and that'd be OK. And then they asked if I wanted to work today doing a 1-to-1 observation ("he's a large, intoxicated patient in four-point leather restraints"). Sure - and they even let me go home to get my books so I could spend the shift studying. Which is exactly what I did, as the patient slept through most of the shift and was neither violent nor combative, as they said he had been last night. Security gave me a walkie-talkie just in case, but nothing happened on my watch. I guess I have a calming effect. Or I just put people to sleep.

In any case, I feel really prepared for tomorrow morning's test. It's back to school time.

Naturally, I am feeling better and not-congested, just in time to go back to classes.

later on 1/3/04
If you are the person that left the following message on my voicemail:

Hi Catherine, this is David. Tim and I are home, and we're going to go out in about an hour to meet up with Jim and Steph. I'll try you on your home number, too.
then please 'fess up. I have no idea what this message means.

1/3/04
Got my loaner car. It isn't a convertible. Drat. Whatever, I'm not paying for it.

So last night at Marie's, the highlights. Broken toilet - I fixed it with adhesive tape, which I carry everywhere. That earned me a free drink. Some random guy, who "used to be a regular," according to Maggie, tried to claim that the barstool next to Biff was "his" - he got quite drunkenly rude about it, reminding me that this is a gay bar and I am just a woman. And then he apologized and offered me the stool. Weird. Random Jai sighting at the bar, haven't seen him since I was dating Kenny (unless you count Queer Eye on TV, which I don't because I've only seen it like once). But it was weirdly full of tourists who didn't know any of the words and kept asking for songs from Cats.

My three-day food diary for Nutrition extra credit is done. Except for not being able to find pierogis in the list of caloric things, so I'll say "mashed potatoes" instead. It's nearly the same. Now I just need to rewrite it, and see how healthy it is. Probably not ideal, because of the being-sick thing.

Speaking of, I'm not as congested as usual, but my right side is still hurting when I cough, breathe, sneeze or suck snot through my nose. Hey, it's true.

1/2/04
Well, the good news is that the VW place says my Cabrio's vibrating can be fixed. The bad news is that in the course of doing the inspection, they discovered a leaking transmission pan and that the brake pads in the rear are practically non-existant, so there's a lot more work to be done than I anticipated. They're also going to align and balance the tires (which is what caused the vibrating) and do the 60K tuneup inspection. Well, better to fork out some cash now than to have the brakes fail in the snow.

Oh and I took my stitches out, all by my lonesome.

1/1/04
Oof, now I have to get used to writing "04" on everything.

It's a shame I'm working on the 10th. I could be here instead.

Still coughing up a storm. I think it's partly the bronchitis (which will not go away) and the fact that I have not had a single cigarette in four days. Stopping always makes me cough - I think it's the cilia in my respiratory tract regenerating. I hope that's what it is. But anyway, when this whole bronchitis thing started, I went to the ER because of the pain on the left side of my ribs/chest/breastbone. That cleared up with the Zithromax, but now, after 5 days of Zithromax, 4 days of nothing and 9 days of Levaquin, the pain is back but on the opposite (right) side of my body when I cough or take a deep breath. It's not comfortable. I need to see Dr. C next week anyway to get a note for work - yes, even as an adult, if you miss three days of work in a row, you need a doctor's note - so I'll mention the pain when I go. I guess I should also mention going to the ER for the recurring bronchitis and the hand laceration, too. Stitches come out tomorrow.

-catherine

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