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7/31/03
I can't believe it's the end of July. I can't believe I have to write an article for the National Student Nurses Association by tomorrow. Procrastinator that I am, I've had two weeks to do it.

Haircut today. It looks good, and it's growing fast, which I like. I want to get it back to the length it was for Peter's wedding, about chin-length. I cut it short about a year ago, when it was so brutally hot last summer. It looks great short, but I miss being able to push it behind my ears and put it in a bun.

I called the Madison Center (nursing home), but B.'s family hasn't finished the funeral arrangements yet, so I need to check back tomorrow.

7/30/03
It's been a happy day and a sad day today.

My day off. I went to see one of my former patients, who was discharged last week after 6 weeks in the hospital. I got to the nursing home around 3pm, and she was having trouble breathing, on an O2 mask, and she wasn't responding when I spoke to her. I talked to her husband and the nurse for a bit, and then I left to do my errands. When I came back at 7pm, she had just died.

I said my goodbyes, talked with her husband and her daughter, and left my number. Her husband said that she would have liked it if I came to the funeral, so I'm going to call back tomorrow and find out what the arrangements are.

The errand-doing involved buying loads of baby stuff for Eve and Mark. The shower is on Sunday. I called Kati to find out where it is (since I can't find the invite) and then called Eve since Kati said she was going stir crazy (bed-rest). They're going to induce her labor in mid-August, and she asked me to be there at the birth - I've never attended one, so I can't wait.

Did you hear the one about the teacher who was arrested when trying to get on a plane with a calculator, a compass and a protractor? He was charged with carrying weapons of math instruction.

7/29/03
Happy birthday, Kati!

Speaking of the Marshall clan, I have to go to Babies R Us tomorrow to shop for Eve's baby shower, which is on Sunday. I'm going to see if Bill or Roseann can trade weekends with me, since I'm working on Sunday. If they can't, I'll only be able to spend about an hour with Eve before heading to work.

The kitties seem to be getting along alright. Mimi still hisses at the kittens, but Sheeba has lived up to predictions and is licking the fur off them every chance she gets. So cute.

I went to Marie's after work for the first time in ages. I must say, the 3-11 shift is great, since I don't have to be up until 1pm on workdays. I told the supervisor that I could work a double today, so I may end up staying until 7am. Since I'm off tomorrow, that's not a real problem.

Here's Tesse's take on our Chicago trip.

And ooh, the script to Take Me Out is available! I have already one-clicked it to my mailbox.

7/27/03
Home!

The short version: left Jersey City on Thursday evening - me, Tesse, Michael, Mikey, Christine and Dan. We drove to Youngstown, OH, where we slept for about four hours. Breakfast, more driving. Lots of traffic getting into Chicago. We finally got there around 5pm on Friday, and met up with Ari, Tesse's slightly odd friend. Then we went to the White Sox/Tampa Bay (WS won 7-2, yay!) which was a blast. Although we were tired, we went out for a drink after. It was hell trying to find a non-frat-boy, semi-quiet place. We failed, and ended up in a fairly loud, large bar. Cabbed back to Ari's around 2am Fri night and we were all out like a light. Yesterday, we got up and went to the Art Institute to see the Seurat and a few other paintings, and then it was off to Bounce. Well, we were sad to say that we weren't impressed at all. Didn't like it. We met up with my friend Joe after the matinee and went for dinner at Nick and Tony's - great Italian food. And then we saw the night show, which was much more enjoyable. I think all Sondheim needs a second or third listen for it to sink in. The show has a lot of things that need work, and we're going to see it again in DC this fall to see what changes have been made. So after the night show, we drove home. I drove us out of the city and then Mikey took over around 2am. We were going to stop near Toledo to sleep, but every single motel/hotel in a 50-mile radius seemed to be booked up. Eventually it was 6am and Michael said he was awake enough to drive. So I went to bed on the floor of the backseat of the van and woke up around 1pm, somewhere in PA.

We had no police trouble until we were on the Turnpike heading to Tesse's tonight, and I got a citation (must call to plead guilty or not) for driving in the shoulder (along with 20 other cars). It was just too much traffic to deal with. Anyway. 7pm. Home. Tired.

7/23/03
Praise the lord and pass the ammo - my ten day stretch is over! And today was just crazy, discharges all over the place, one patient who threatened to sue, a woman who kept climbing out of bed, two who went downstairs for smokes (a no-no), a rescheduled surgery, a pulled-out IV and Foley catheter... the fun never ends! A patient's visitors had to remind me that it wasn't Tuesday - as I was writing on the whiteboards - but Wednesday.

Tomorrow we head out to Chicago. I have to pack some clothes. I already threw my sleeping bags and some extra pillows in the car, and gathered up my CD's to bring. I have to go the mall before we leave to get scrubs, I'm tired of doing laundry every other day!

Big news at City Hall today. Shooting. I get my news in snippets now, when I walk into patient rooms and they're watching. I also get my Jeopardy fix that way.

7/22/03
This day is going to last forever! We never sat still at work, and a woman who came up at 10pm ended up pulling out her IV and attemping to pull out her Foley catheter too (ow). Long, long day.

7/21/03
I drove Mom to the airport this morning - she's on her way to Seattle for a week with Pete and Corrie. And just in time. It started to pour here this evening. I love this weather. I came home from work and sat on the porch with some iced tea, just watching the rain. Love it.

7/20/03
Thanks to an accident that took out a utility pole on Rt. 18, it took Tesse two hours to get from the Turnpike exit to our house - a trip that usually takes half an hour at most. Erg! It must've been the night for car accidents, as we had three of them in the ER, too. I got to work on the 3rd Floor tonight, which was as lovely as ever. Not. It's just run as tightly as the 2nd Floor, where I usually work (and much prefer), but it was my turn to float, so up I went.

7/19/03
Well, it does feel like a Saturday morning. The weather is mild and warm and beautiful. If I weren't working, I'd be outside with a book all day. I read The DaVinci Code last week and loved it, so I picked up the other book by the same author, Angels and Demons and can't wait to start reading it.

I stopped by the nursing school yesterday to pick up some photos I'm using in an article. The editor of the National Student Nurses' Association magazine, Imprint, asked if I'd write something about NJ's new board and the projects we've worked on this spring.

7/18/03
It doesn't feel like a Friday, because I'm in the middle of this ten day stretch of working. I cannot wait to see my paycheck.

I was going to head into Marie's tonight after work but my feet are just too tired and I want to spend some quality time with the kitties. Besides, it's raining like mad outside and really foggy, not my favorite driving weather.

Tesse's driving up the van on Sunday, so we have it ready to go for the Chicago trip.

later on 7/17/03
Whew, I will actually get a full night's sleep tonight! The night supervisor called me at work tonight to ask if I wanted to work a double shift again, but I said no - I need to catch up on my sleep. Roseann and Bill are both working the overnight for the first time tho. I figure next week's paycheck will be nice and fat tho, with all over the overtime I've put in this week. I'm working every day until next Wed, and then on Thurs our little gang leaves for Chicago to see the new Sondheim musical.

7/17/03
Happy one-year-back-in-NJ to me! More on that later, but now I have to run to work. I got home at 7.30am this morning, and now it's 2.30pm and time to go back. I should just bring a sleeping bag to the hospital.

7/16/03
I feel like I haven't had any time to update the site lately, because - oh wait - I haven't!

I worked another double shift yesterday. 3-11 on the A side, 11-7 on the B side of the second floor. I had a great talk with one of the administrative supervisors about the chain of command and what her job entails. We had a code (respiratory failure) that the patient didn't survive. I got to observe what all of the people involved do, and inspect the crash cart afterwards. And I've had a lot of time to sit with patients and just talk to them, which is what I love doing.

I'm off today from my regular shift, but I'm going to work overtime on the 11-7 shift again tonight. Time and a half - that works for me. Maybe I'll finally get my Visa bill paid off!

7/14/03
Happy Bastille Day! I am celebrating by doing laundry.

later on 7/12/03
The day nursing supervisor called and asked if I wanted to work 11-7 tonight to do some private duty work - sitting with her mother at JFK hospital. I was really flattered that she thought of me, but I had to turn it down because of seeing Henry V. Which was amazing, by the way. I do love me some Liev Schreiber.

As I was driving Matthew to the subway, former roomie Jay called, needing to talk to a friendly face. So I picked him up and we went to Marie's for a few drinks. It's about 3am now, and I just got home.

7/12/03
B. had a fever and didn't get discharged, not so good.

I worked a double shift yesterday. 3-11 on the second floor, and 11-7 on the 4th, the Telemetry unit. That's where the cardiac patients are. So I learned more about reading EKG's from the nurses there, since all of the patients are monitored from the nurses' station. When they told me I was going to stay overnight (I had told the supervisor that I could work a double, but she didn't confirm it until I walked in the door yesterday), I called Mom to ask her to bring me my Med-Surg textbook, and got started on my reading for the fall.

During the 3-11 shift, I worked on my first code. The patient didn't survive, sadly. I had been talking to her about an hour before she coded, gave her some milk and tucked in her sheets.

So I got home at 7.30am this morning, and immediately fell into bed. I just got up - it's about 3pm now. I'm headed to the city tonight to see Liev Schreiber in Henry V, thanks to Matthew, who has an extra ticket. Yum.

7/10/03
A day of good things... I got my first paycheck, and B., the patient with Behcet's that I've been taking care of, is going home tomorrow! So so good.

The kittens really do not like their eardrops. I put them in, and before I can close their ear so the drops leak in, they shake their little heads and send drops everywhere. Ick. They are still adorable tho, and still quarantined until Aug 5th, when we go back to the vet.

7/9/03
Day off - and what do I do? Sleep til 3pm. Can't beat that.

We're rotating the cats to keep them separate. The kittens sleep in Mom's room, so Sheeba and Mimi have the run of the house. And during the day, Mimi is in my room (where she usually is, anyway) and Sheeba in Mom's room, so the kittens can run around the house all day. They're so cute, they chirp like birds and like nothing more than to chase their tails.

Pirates of the Carribbean opens today, I'm going to see it tonight.

later on 7/8/03
Well, it's past midnight and the third bad thing hasn't happened.

I wonder if I am going to end up the crazy cat lady.

7/8/03
They say that bad things happen in threes. So far today, we have:

I can't wait to find out what the third thing is.

But in happy news, Michael the bartender and Bronwyn the waitress got married today.

7/7/03
Man, I'm tired. I worked a double shift yesterday - the normal 3-11 and then the overnight, 11-7. I did both shifts up on the third floor (also a med/surg unit). It was fine going until about 5am, when I started to pry my eyelids open with toothpicks. I came home this morning and was passed out asleep until 1.30pm - showered, ate, and went back to work for today's shift. They needed someone to float to the ER Holding area, so Lorna (the other aide) volunteered me. I had no objection, since I want to learn how things are done in all of the departments. It was a lot quieter there - I actually had some time to sit and rest, which was nice after my day yesterday. Mostly telemetry patients with heart trouble. So I learned how to attach and position the EKG leads, which is one of the skills I'll need to move to the advanced PCA level (that lets you work in the ER). All in all, a nice shift today. But yes - I am quite tired.

Mom offered to take the kittens to the v-e-t in the morning, so I can sleep in. I'm working tomorrow and then I'm off on Wednesday.

7/5/03
Merry and Pippin are adorable. Last night around 3am, they decided it was playtime, and climbed all over me, racing from one side of the bed to the other. It really is adorable. Mimi doesn't seem to think so, she tends to dive under the bed when one of the little fuzzbutts gets too close. Sheeba, as predicted, is trying to lick the fur off the kittens. Sometimes they enjoy it, usually they scamper somewhere else. They're too cute. Yes, I know, pictures. Coming.

I had off yesterday - went to the city to see Man of la Mancha again with Steve and our friend Alex. Stokes - still dreamy. Marin - wonderful. After the show, I wandered through the street fair downtown by Dad's (where I parked) and drove home. I wanted to fall asleep at a normal hour, but the kitties kept me up, and then this congestion/sinus thing that I think I caught from Steve kept waking me up. I took some sinus pills at 4am, and took some more this afternoon.

7/4/03
Patients love me. Their families love me. The evening supervisor assigned me to a certain stretch of rooms because the family of one patient requested me, that was pretty cool. And another patient asked me to spend more time with her because talking to me helped her forget how much pain she was in. That made me feel really good.

I have off today, which is nice - working tomorrow and Sunday tho.

7/2/03
Happy birthday Dona!

My feet still hurt, no surprise there. Work is good - the patients love me, their families love me.

And that's about it for the news from here.

-catherine

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