Monday, December 26, 2005

I am so relaxed!

Today is Boxing day, and I have been on "holidays" for TEN days. I'm so relaxed.

Yesterday was Christmas, of course, and we got up about 9-ish. Nathan gave me an X-box game, Sims 2, which is what I wanted (and I have been playing it all morning!). We had lunch at Nathan's mum's place, and I got a bunch of games and chocolates and books. I helped Sarah open presents on her first Christmas, which was fun, but she wasn't really interested after a few -- she just wanted to play with the ones she'd unwrapped and the "old" favorites in Grandma's toybox! Then we drove off to my parents' place for "leftovers" and more present swapping. Got given more nice food as well as a heap of good craft stuff. I did what I said, and gave little presents to those who were not my "Kris Kringle", just home made chocolates. I spent many sweaty hours making those over a frypan of boiling water and jars of chocolate buttons! But I'm not whinging... it was a lot of fun!

I have 5 more days of holidays, and then I'm going to get into my plans for 2006. Mostly it's just a cleaning plan thanks to and Esther (who put me onto that site). I'm going to be very organized, keep the place clean, exercise and lose weight, garden, finish cross-stitches, etc, and make Nathan happy that I'm not wasting my time (though he says, "Make sure you don't do too much; you're supposed to be relaxing"). I've been getting emails from for a few months, but I haven't been "cleaning my sink" every day, that's for sure!! Anyway, I started reading some today, and getting myself motivated. You're not supposed to jump in the deep end; you're supposed to start organizing your routines slowly, but I figure I used to work 40 hours a week; I can manage.

I've got my FlyLady journal all worked out, with things to cross off each day. It's not set in stone, of course; I'm sure I'll be changing things and adding stuff as I go. Hopefully I can stick to it.

This week we are going camping! Nathan's been trying to organize a day at the beach post-Christmas, especially with my bro, Simon, and family. But yesterday it turned into a 2-night camping trip, and Esther organized it this morning and rang me with the details! How exciting! We bought a tent earlier in the year, and a air-mat and an esky. But we haven't had the chance (holidays/weather) to use it yet. Now we are both off for this week, so is Simon, and we're off on Wednesday! It'll be fun. I'd better find my bathers!!

I spent about 6 hours on the x-box this morning, playing the Sims 2. Now Nathan and his brother (who gave me an excellent astronomy book yesterday) are playing good old Halo 2. I'm going to fiddle on the internet until I'm bored, then read my latest book again. It's one of 6 (a series) borrowed from a lady at work, but I'm not sure I like it yet. The main character is angry and not very likeable... intentionally so, but it's hard to feel sorry for his situation so far! It's about a leper called "Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever"... anyway, it is intriguing.

The Movie Gals (Tammy and Debbie) from work are going to ring me some time and we're going to see "Narnia". I'm looking forward to it, as I've read the books many times. (More than Harry Potter; probably 7 or 8 times). I can't believe how many people haven't read it!! It's a classic! Hmm, I guess I don't understand people who don't read.

That reminds me of something funny. Nathan sometimes says and does things in the night that he can't remember the next day. It's so hillarious! The other night he sat bolt-upright and grabbed me by the arms, like I was an intruder! He didn't let me go for a minute! I think I scared him by rolling over! ROFL! Anyway, recently he sat up (I was reading) and said I was "incredible" or something very nice like that, because I read so much. He's funny; he'll sit up, look at you, chat and answer questions, but he's just a bit vague and you know he's not going to remember it the next day. He was going on about how I was amazing, and I couldn't stop giggling. He was looking right at me, but for all intents and purposes was asleep. Then he rolled over and started snoring quietly. Isn't that funny?

Well, enough rambling... I've got 3 hours to kill before my corned beef in the Hot Pot is ready for other veges.

iHasta la vista!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


I swear, I hear the following at least five times a day each:

"How many more days to go, Tammy?"
"Not long to go now..."
"What are you going to do in your time off?"
"You must be excited!"

I'm getting paranoid. I think my workmates are more excited than me...!!

I have 3 shifts to go. I don't know what I'm going to do with my time off. I'm looking forward to having a few weeks off, but I've had lots of second thoughts! We worked out the budget the other day, and things will be much, much tighter on only Nate's wage. I'm only going to be able to spend about $5 on people's birthday presents next year, and there is no way I'm going to be able to convince Nathan we can afford a bit more spending money each week. I'm thinking my holiday isn't going to be much fun. I can't afford to go to the movies more than once a fortnight. I can't even really afford to drive into town. I need to cut back my showers and baths. I have to find a way to slash about $50 off the weekly grocery bill. I'll be sick of this house in 2 weeks! Not only that, but most of my friends are nurses I work with. (Nurses don't seem to have much time for any other type of friend! It took me about a month to catch up with Adam and Ruth a while ago; only the most dedicated friends survive that sort of neglect!) I'm going to miss the people I work with. I'm going to miss having a bit more money. I'll have time, but for what? I'm good at my job, and it makes me feel important; like I'm a useful citizen of the world.

I would rather cut down my hours. It would be great to do 2 shifts a week. I don't know. But I can't say all this stuff to Nathan. He got a bit cross last time I mentioned worrying about money, only a little bit, but he said I have to stop worrying. I don't want him to feel like he doesn't earn enough, or he doesn't make me feel important. It's a guy thing, I guess, to feel you are capable of looking after your wife. And when we have kids, it'll be harder! I'm fairly worried about that!

It's weird, me worrying, because I don't usually let worry bother me. It's something I'm good at, now: looking at the big picture, not stressing about small stuff, trusting God. Maybe it's just that people keep going on about it so constantly...

Well, I have many things, and I'll never lack what I need. I've gotten used to this DINKs business, and I've forgotten how easy it is to live on much less. Back when I had $4 a week pocket money, I used to sponsor a girl, and I still had everything I needed and more. And I know I have lots of projects here that I never seem to have time for. I need time for the garden, for that big cross stitch, for all those little baby clothes I want to try to make, for FLY cleaning, for reading, for practising Spanish and brushing up on sign language. There are a thousand books at the library I need time for, and my bil Jason has about 100 I want to read, too. I need to do so much in the garden. I really need to do more exercise. I'd love time to write stories. I'd like to make a webpage (like I used to have). I'd love to study completely different stuff; astronomy, physics, psychology, mythology. I haven't read through the Bible in ages.

Perhaps this holiday is going to be productive, in a very different way than I'm used to.

I wonder why change bothers us so much?

This year we changed our Christmas traditions a bit. We're doing a family "Kris Kringle" or whatever you call it when you only buy one present. I hate that! I'd rather spend $5 on everyone than $40 on one person. It's wierd not giving your sister or your Dad a present at Christmas! Seems wrong... I plan to be wicked ;-) and give everyone a little present (he he he!!) I love wrapping them and making cards!

I'm breaking a tradition myself. We never send Christmas cards to people... behavior like that could get out of hand! Once you start sending someone a card, it seems rude not to include a dozen others, and then it seems rude to ever stop sending them. But a nurse at work gave another nurse a card, and Maree was pretending to be offended she didn't get one, too. So I told her I'd give her a card, her and noone else (so she could brag; she's a funny girl!!). Made it today, which made me late for work (which isn't good, as I was in charge :-} but only a few minutes!)

I'm starting to ramble, and I'm starting to get cold. I probably should get to bed! I was going to get up at 6 for an early shift tomorrow, but one of the nurses was looking at the roster, and mentioned in passing that I was on a late shift. I said, "No, I'm not; I have an early, and she said, "yes, look, you're on a late!" Lucky for me! It would have been embarrasing to turn up at 7am and get sent home!

Today I planted 6 pumpkin seedlings (thanks, Matt!) and I'm hoping God will protect them from rabbits this time! I put some protectors on them, too, but God controlls rabbits better than me. I love pumpkins!

Ack; when my spelling deteriorates and my typing goes south (this isan attmept at a sendtence without using the deleelt key, ... the dleete key probably gets used more thatn "e" on my keybourd) it is time to go to bed!!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Knitting baby stuff

I know I haven't written for yonks, and I have nothing much to say. I'm certainly not knitting baby stuff for myself... well, I might keep whatever I don't give away if it doesn't look too warped... but I'm not pregnant or anything.

I've got 6-and-a-half days off! That's because I have two weekends, and RDO and a night off (or something). I am between day-shift and night-shift. So I'm sort of staying up half the night to prepare, because I go to work at 9pm tomorrow (ie, Thursday, 17th Nov). I have to be in charge of night shift for 2 weeks. That just means if someone has to wake up a Consultant at 2am, that Someone is Me.

These last 6 days have been spent reading (I'm reading an old war story; it's stupid but bizarrely intriguing), knitting (I have progressed from scarves to baby boots and jumpers) and watching TV. Very relaxing. Well, until you realize that you've spent 4 hours knitting with the wrong size needles and the whole thing is going to be a funny shape. I'm knitting my first jumper (baby-sized). It's a bit longer and thinner than it's supposed to be; hopefully it'll come together ok...

We spent Sunday afternoon with Abby and Tim; we took them to the show! It was quite a lot of fun. We walked around for ages, looking at the animals and the circus. Tim was afraid to go on the Ferris Wheel. The poor kid was clutching onto me at the gate, saying in a shaky, quiet voice, "I don't want to go on this ride", but after the first 10 seconds he changed his mind! They went on the Dodgem Cars, the jumping castle with a huge slide, the merry-go round; they played the clowns (putting the balls in their mouths), the lucky tickets, and catching the ducks with a hook. Abby had a go of popping balloons with darts, but Uncle Nathan had to help her with that. We bought them soft drink, donuts and a big tub of fairy floss. Uncle Nathan played the lucky tickets until he won a big toy for them (he was determined), which I had to fix as soon as we got home (cheap rubbish!), and I'm sure Esther will have to fix a bit more! Tim insisted on one more ride on the ferris wheel before we left!!!

Then we had rubbish for tea: mini spring rolls, meatballs and puffy dogs, followed by icecream with topping, marshmallows and M&M's. They watched cartoons before bed, and slept from 9pm to 6am. Tim said he dreamed about the ferris wheel! I made toast while Nathan slept in, and they watched a bunch of cartoons that they seemed to know quite well. We had leftover spring rolls, etc, for lunch. They each had a bath (because our bath is somehow different and exciting) and then watched Shrek 2. Nathan is sick of that movie, but they always want to watch it!! We finished off the fairy floss. All that sugar! But that's my job as an Auntie, and I wasn't about to slack off! Abby was trying to hint that they could stay another night, or even "100 nights", but we took them home with a bit of a sigh of relief! Children are full-time noise, and when you're not used to it... Esther says you get used to it as they grow up, which is good to know. But having them over for the night made me realize I don't want to have kids... for about 24 hours.

I've been trying to save my money, because the budget is being slashed next year (as I'm not working.) Sigh! There are pros and cons to marrying a Scrooge. We've paid a good chunk off our mortgage. But my spending money is about to be slashed to around what I used to get for pocket money as a teenager!

Oh well. Que sera sera.

The two remaining female guinea-pigs, Heidi and Winky, are hugely fat, and I can't believe they are still pregnant! Unfortunately the date now precludes the paternity of Sirius, which means I won't get black scruffies (sigh!). Hagrid is the father of all, which should be interesting. Hagrid was a Rex (think Pom-pom), so the babies should be rather cute. The current male, Charley, is black and white, so I may get a black-ish scruffy one day. We'll see. I separated the girls this avo, because it occurred to me that they might have their babies the same day, and I'd find a mass of babies, and not know which was whose.

We got to spend a bit of money on Tuesday, which is always fun. Actually we just chose a clothesline, lawnmower and security door, but we did buy a new set of pots! I've had rusty cheapo ones for years, so now I have a shiny good set. I'm excited, so I must be metamorphosing into a housewife.


Well, it's 2:48am. I have to think of something else to do. I'm bored! After only one week! Maybe I should do some housework.

Hmm. I'm a bit cold. Maybe I'll just go to bed...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Big News

At the end of this year, I was planning on cutting down my hours at work. It's been a bit of a hard year; the oncology is finally getting me down at times.

So it's finally done! I've spoken with the boss, and cut back my hours. Woo hoo!

To zero! I actually resigned!! Aaagh!

It was Nathan's idea, and he wanted me to resign almost more than I did. He's looking forward to having a wife that he sees sometimes ;-)

I'm really looking forward to trying out this "housewife" thing. I won't have to get up early. I'll have time for hobbies. I won't have to think about sick people. I'll only have to go to the hospital to donate blood. I'll always be able to go to family birthday teas. I can invite the kids to our place more often. I can waste a day at the library. The house will be neat. The guinea pigs will know me. The garden can get weeded. I'll be off for the Summer!

So I finish on December 18, which is a little cheeky, as it was my turn to work Christmas this year!

Getting used to one wage will be difficult, and I can't help feeling guilty for not contributing. I've worked full-time almost all my 6 years of marriage, and now I'm slacking off for a few months. Oh well. I think I can live with it!

If I get bored (very bored!) I plan to rejoin the nurse bank and work a few shifts a week. The boss said she'd give me work whenever I wanted to come back, which is nice. But I'm sure I'll find plenty of things I'd rather do at home...

Everyone at work knows, and they've been very nice! Telling me they'll miss me, telling me I'm doing the right thing, and (most of all) telling me what a fantastic husband I have!! When they ask me why I'm resigning, I tell them I'm having a rest while I can.

I am very sick of people saying "You won't be back; you'll get pregnant" and "So you're having kids next year?" and "Are you pregnant?" have no idea. It's nobody's business. Nobody's but mine, and it's really irritating when people are so nosy. That's my little whinge of the day, and I feel much better! I should be used to it by now, because people have been asking me about that for years. But it's annoying. It's one of the reasons I'm resigning instead of cutting down my hours. I can't go a week without someone asking if I'm pregnant yet (no exaggeration) and I don't want to be put in a position (when I am pregnant) of having to say so before I'm ready, or lying. Last year one of the nurses on our ward had an early miscarriage (one of the reasons you don't tell everyone too soon) and everyone on our ward knew. And this year we all knew about Coll's pregnancy before she'd told her family. I don't want that. And it would be horrible if you knew you couldn't have kids, but people kept bringing it up all the time.

Well, I have about 87 sleeps till I resign. How wierd will it be? Being a nurse has been part of my identity for seven years!

I have given up my holidays. I had 4 weeks off in November, but I didn't think it was worth having such a long holiday. So I gave them up, and now I get paid for them instead. So I'll resign before Christmas with 5 weeks of holiday pay. Nathan thinks we might get a couch. Woo hoo! I've been after a new couch for years!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

New stuff

A little while ago Nathan reminded me that he had some money set aside. It was a fortnightly budget allowance for petrol (for driving to Melbourne when he was having Tai Chi lessons there.) It had added up before we'd made decisions and changed the budget, but I'd completely forgotten about it.

So he told me that we were going to buy a tent!

We drove into town yesterday and bought a Queen size airbed, a HUGE esky and a tent that's big enough for 8 people! Can't wait to go camping now... well, I suppose I can wait for better weather!!! ;-). We thought about a light and a camping stove. But we have torches, and you can cook anything in the microwave. When we have a little camping trip we'll be able to figure out what else we really need.

We're going to set up the tent next week to make sure we can :) and that all the parts are there. Then we can just go camping whenever we like, for the weekend or a few days here and there; whenever we have time off together. Plenty of room if we end up having 8 kids. We can just close in the front part (the 'living room') and sleep there, and put all the kids in the other room. And when the oldest is about 12, we can make them all live in the paddock, and we can have the house back.

He he.

Well, this is my 5th and last day off, so I'm going to go and enjoy it! Might watch "Sense and Sensibility" again. I bought it recently, and I've watched it a few times on my days off (3? 4?). I've been doing a bit of cleaning and cooking. We even had Simon's whole family (of six) for tea on Friday, which was great! I annoyed my sleeping little nephew for ages with my camera flash.

Sunday, August 21, 2005


Simon rang me at about 9:30 this morning... with a baby howling in the background! So it wasn't too hard to guess what he'd been doing all night! Ezra Jonathan was born at 9:08am and he weighed 8lb 11oz. (A bit under 4kg). Then Nathan and I went off to church, where I sat reading Ezra instead of listening (to remind myself who he was).

I had to work, but Nathan met me at 2:30, because I have a break then. Spent my whole break waiting with Nathan and Kelly, as Ezra was stuck in the nursery, being a bit hypoglycaemic (2.6).

Saw him for a second as I left, though, and also spent my dinner break holding him while he slept. Gorgeous! Pity I can't put up pictures, but I'm sure Kel will (see the "shooting star" blog link).

Had a good day at work. It was quiet (so to speak...) and the little old lady who was crying "IhateyouIhateyouIhateyouIhateyou!!!" last week was singing about how much she loves us all now. Literally singing! So funny! ;-)

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Busy little bees

What a day for the last day of the week! I've just finished work, and I'm sitting in the hospital library recovering...

We had 2nd-year nursing students, who were spending their first day ever in a hospital. They have 2 weeks with us, which will be fun! 2nd-years are so keen. But it took me 90 minutes (instead of the usual 15) going through everyone's charts and medications with Danyelle. And then there were discharges.

Discharging patients home from a medical-oncology ward can be complicated, to say the least. They have services to organize, a dozen family 'issues', pain, nausea, and a sudden, last minute temperature.... normally. When an oncology patient is going home, we usually end up spending an hour or so on phone calls and paperwork and chasing doctors. It's amazing, actually; no matter how many people you send home, you'll always find a new and interesting complication to take care of!

My complications today were as follows: 1. Hospice organizes Home Oxygen for patients, but not for Keith, who lives in Ararat. 2. Morag can go to Maryborough hospital between 1 and 2, and then she'll have her 2pm peritoneal dialysis; but what happens when Advanced Medical Transport is an hour late? 3. Keith can make the trip home without extra O2, but what about when he's sitting in Pharmacy and his daughter, who's taking him home, gets stuck in the elevator?

My third patient harassed me all day about when the doctor was going to let him go home. He's allowed to go home. He doesn't need anything. But the doctor wants to see him first, and she is busy elsewhere! As I left he was sitting by the door with all his bags, still waiting at 3:30.

My fourth patient went on day leave for a few hours, which is not as tricky as sending someone home, but he had a list of things to be done before he went... right when I was supposed to be having lunch.

Then one of my old favorites died. Beattie was expected to die soonish, as her kidneys had stopped working, but it felt a bit sudden. Just this morning she was telling me how much she likes her doctor and how well his gray hair suited him, etc. ;-) So I helped wrap her for the mortuary and talked to her grandson.

We had 9 discharges and a death today, which is a bit of work for a 23-bed ward. And by the time I left 6 of those beds had been filled with new patients! I'm afraid I neglected my poor student for the last half of the shift, but she said she had fun...

Now I have 2 days off! I'm going home to sit and read my current Eddings book (which I got for free ;-) with the Harry Potter one) or work on my silly present for my new niece or nephew.

I love weekends.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Eighth day

It is my eighth day off in a row!! Tomorrow I go back to work, of course, but I have had a very good little rest.

I spent a bit of Friday sleeping, but tried to keep awake so I would sleep at night. On Saturday morning (the 16th) I lined up at the bookstore with 40 other nutcases to get "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince", which I spent the rest of the day reading. Finished it before I went to sleep, of course (only a short book). Then I read it again, over the next couple of days. I've been reading, watching DVD's and knitting! What a life! I've done a bit of exercise; my feet are all ablister!

Now I'm going to waste a bit of time on Harry Potter theories! If you haven't read the books, it'll make no sense. If you plan to, you probably won't want to read on...

I was very impressed with the book! It was completely different from any preconceived ideas I might have had. I was both surprised (with very unexpected plots) and pleased with myself for guessing things right. I even guessed who the Half-blood Prince was, though that was just luck! I knew it was his book from the beginning. I certainly guessed Harry's eventual love-interest, as I had been telling Nathan for years. He thought Harry and Hermione... well, he hasn't finished the book himself, yet, but he's far enough into it to realize what's going on... What happened in the end was necessary, of course, but I think the separation will be as permanent as his "lifelong" ban from Quidditch.

Poor Professor Snape! I am convinced that he is still on the side of good, but now noone believes him. What a sad life he's had so far! Dumbledore made him promise to kill him before Draco could do it, and it must have taken a lot of courage. He had to make the unbreakable vow (with Bellatrix watching) but probably planned to just die. Why did Dumbledore trust him? I'm guessing it has a lot to do with Lily Evans. Slughorn says she was as good at potions as Harry (this year); what if Sev and Lily shared his ideas, his book? And why was the memory Harry saw one of Snape's worst if the war with James and Sirius was an ongoing thing? Maybe because this was the day he insulted Lil and lost her friendship...

As for the locket/fake horcrux that Dumbledore wasted his life getting; that is very unfortunate! I think Sirius underestimated his brother's intelligence; he's certainly the mysterious "RAB". The real locket will probably be the one they found cleaning headquarters, the one they couldn't open. Let's hope Kreacher saved it!

I thought the name Ginny chose for her puffskein was a bit dumb, really; until I realized that Arnold is an anagram of Ronald! I nearly fell out of my chair laughing! She really seems to be able to read Harry's mind; must be a bit of that Life-saving connection going on...

It'll be a couple of years before book 7 comes out; hopefully Moldywart will kick the bucket, Snape will be justified, the Idiot will kiss poor Hermy at last, and Harry will end up as the DADA teacher or something. Happily ever after, and all that jazz.

Well, I'm reading Jane Austen again, now, as it seems silly to read "HBP" again just yet! I'm reading "Emma".

Friday, July 15, 2005


Here I am at work (naughty naughty!). It's almost 2am, and for the first time in these 2 weeks I'm struggling to stay awake! One nurse is on a break and the other is reading the paper. It's quiet. Blessed Peace and Quiet!

It's been an interesting week. I've been feeling increasingly edgy and impatient with everyone! I really am thinking that I need a break from all this. My friend Ruth had a 6 month break last year, then went back to work. That's what I need!

I actually yelled at a patient last night! First time ever… Of course, he wouldn't have heard me if I didn't yell, as he was yelling himself, and I was just telling him to calm down. He was yelling about how we were abusing him and thought he was stupid, that we didn't trust him, that he was going to discharge himself, that we'd stolen from him, etc etc, all because we locked his tablets in the drawer. We're supposed to do that, as any wandering dementia patient could pick them up and take them (or visiting children in the daytime) and such was the nature of the tablets that swallowing a handful could be fatal. But he would not be reasoned with. Indeed, he would not be quiet at all! Sigh! Then at 3 am a girl came up to our ward and cried and carried on like a 3 year old, completely unreasonable and childish, keeping all the other ladies in the room (and the men in the next room) awake. She wanted a shower and didn't like that we said no!

Then there's the main night shift nurse who slowly gets under your skin and drives you CRAZY! She will not stop whinging! And her favorite subject is "All the things that day staff don't do". Honestly, she has not one clue how busy day staff are.

Now I can see myself and hear myself. I'm whinging and moaning quite a bit myself. And I'm driving myself mad. I hate this! I hate the way I seem to have lost my patience.

Well, I have 5 and a half hours to work. Then I sleep half the day and go to Pizza Hut for my brother's birthday. Then I have 8 more days off!!! Hopefully I'll be a bit more patient after that.

Take a deep breath, Tam!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Night Shift

I love night shift! I tend to be unable to sleep until about 2 or 3 am anyway, so my body clock is right for it. And night shift is such a bludge!

Here's what we do: We have Hand-over, where the afternoon boss tells us about the patients. Then the three of us go from one end to the other, checking what needs to be done at 10, which is medications and obs (blood pressures, etc) for most people. We have 23 patients if the ward is full, so it takes until about 11pm. Then we take a third of the charts each and update them for the next day. We record and clear all the IV pumps and do a couple of IV antibiotics at midnight. We read through the patients' histories to make sure we know what's going on. Then we amuse ourselves from about 1am to 5am! We have an hour break each. Through the night we have to check on the patients regularly, answer the buzzers, and chase the dementia patients back to bed :-} but it's normally quiet. The other night I spent 4 hours reading my book!

I only have 2 weeks of night shift, which is 4 nights on, 2 off and 4 on. I'm between my 2 nights off, but I stayed up reading last night because it's easier on the poor old body clock. Got up about 2pm starving, as I hadn't had anything to eat since the fried eggs at 3am.

Last night shift was frustrating, because the nurse in charge wouldn't stop whinging about things the day staff hadn't done. Obviously they'd had a very busy shift, and couldn't get doctors to see patients because the doctors were busy as well. Noone's fault. But I had to bite my tongue to stop from telling her to "SHUT UP!!!" She's the kind of person who is always "right" and everyone else is wrong.

Think I need a break from nursing. All the little things are eating away at my patience and tolerance. I'm getting grumpy and cross with people, and I hate that! The last thing I need is for all my positive attitude to be leeched out just before I have kids. Poor kids!

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Waiting for a ride

Here I am in the hospital library, waiting for a ride home.

Last night after work I went to the blood bank. (They asked all the plasma donors to give whole blood, so they must be really short.) I'm up to number 73, now, and it took 5:52 (beat that, Matt!). After the blood bank I went to Mum and Dad's for tea (yes, I was invited...) because they are leaving (in fact, they would have left by now) to go to Darwin in the caravan for 3 months.

Needless to say, it was late when I was driving home.

My car has been misbehaving lately. The battery light would occasionally flick on and off as though the alternater connection was a bit dodgy. But last night the headlights got dimmer and dimmer and dimmer.... Finally, I pulled over, barely able to see the road in front of me. I turned off the headlights; they wouldn't go back on. Then I turned off the car. The engine wouldn't start or even turn over. There I was in the dark (no moonlight), far out of town, no mobile, cold and alone!!!

Well, it wasn't that bad. As it happens God was nearby ;-)

It takes me 20 minutes to drive from my parents' house to my house, which is 10-15 minutes out of town. Guess where I ran out of power?

In front of my neighbor's house!

So I just walked up the road and brought Nathan back with me. Our neighbor, Graham, helped, and we pushed my car home.

Today at work I rang the auto electrician bloke Nate recommended, and he's going out to fix it tomorrow afternoon. Nathan drove me to work this morning, and is picking me up when he's finished, and we'll have to organize something for tomorrow, too. Then I'll be back on the road.

We're thinking of replacing my car! Woo hoo!

Told the girls at work today I'm thinking of having a break from work before having kids; kind of like the Long Service Leave I won't get to have. They reckon it's a good idea. I also told them that Nathan wants me to get Christmas off, and I should quit if I don't (I think he was joking!). They said I should roster myself on, then show Nathan the roster so he would tell me to quit. ;-)

I have been playing on the internet, trying to find out if "The Sims 2" is coming to the x-box at all. I still don't know! If I remembered this morning, I would have brought "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban", which I'm reading. Finished the Wheel of Time books up to number 10. There are more to go, but I have to wait!!! Now I'm reading the HP series again (6th time) in preparation for the next book "Half Blood Prince" due out in a few weeks.

Well, I'd better get down to the front entrance to wait for Nathan. Told him I'd be there.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Sad tales from the South

"The South", as well as referring to the hemisphere, also refers to my ward - a medical oncology ward. There are two types of wards: medical and surgical; We don't have much to do with surgery, but we take care of everything else, from earaches to dementia! And we specialize in cancer.

Lots of people think working on a cancer ward would be terribly depressing, but it's not. You make friends with people and their families over the months or years, and most of them think your fantastic for finding ways to solve their many little challenges.

But I failed miserably on Sunday. To start with, I only had 2 hours sleep (damn insomnia!). I had 4 patients, but I spent my whole morning with a young lady who found out this past month that she has cancer everywhere. She had lots of pain, and she had lots of morphine, but the pain wouldn't ease up. She would fluctuate from being just about unconcious to rolling around on the bed saying, "Please... there must be something you can do!!?"

Do you know what it feels like to stand there helpless while someone begs you for help?

The boss and I gave her so much morphine that her breathing slowed down, and I had to stop it for a while; nothing was helping. I pestered the doctor all morning, bless him! And after 8 long hours, right at the end of my shift, we sent her to another hospital where they can treat spinal cord compression. (That's where tumors, or cancer-related broken spine bits, press on your spinal cord, causing horrible back pain and eventual permanent spinal injury).

Years ago we did "Primary Nursing", which means one particular nurse will look after particular patients whenever they are in hospital. Familiarity is good for patients when they come in regularly. But I ended up the primary nurse of a very sick woman, who was on our ward for many weeks with excruciating, uncontrollable pain. It was the worst time in my whole nursing life... She would writhe and scream and all of us nurses just wanted to cry, but I had to look after her every day. We actually paralyzed the woman on purpose in a semi-successful attempt to numb her a bit!

Sunday's patient just reminded me of that time all over again! By the end of the day I was sad and sick and miserable and exhausted. I drove home, hugged my hubby, hopped into the shower, and sat on the tiles crying my head off.

Today the boss rang to see how she's going in the new hospital, and it seems they are making some progress. She doesn't have spinal cord compression after all, which is good! I had a much better day after a good sleep, so I could go back to work smiling again.


Monday, June 06, 2005

Time off

I am lucky enough to be on a 5 day break! Of course, I am still full-time, so that means 2 weekends and an RDO all put together. What that also means is that I'll pay for it with long weeks! (Two 7-day weeks are imminent) I have been using my time off very productively... reading, mostly! I have been doing constructive things, too: today I spent a few hours on the internet and did some calligraphy (a poem by an Aussie bloke called Leon Gellert!)

Saturday we caught up with Adam and Ruth and Simon and Esther. We went Ten Pin Bowling! Hopefully we'll catch up with them more often, because I don't seem to know many people outside of work!

Ruth tells me that she had 6 months off work, and I'm thinking that is a great idea. I could pretend to be a housewife (cook and clean and all that bizarre stuff I don't have much time for!). I suppose I'll work until I go off on Maternity Leave in the distant future... Nice to dream, though.

Anyway, nurses get 6 weeks a year, so in November I'm having 4 weeks off! Woo hoo!

And I am taking 3 "Professional Development Days" and days off together in July, and because it's the end of a night-shift stint, I ended up with 9 days off! Well, I have to sleep the first day through, of course, but the rest will be used to read!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hmm, best get off the internet, I think. I've been on for a few dollars now, and Nathan just poked his head in and said, "Are you still on the internet?"

Thursday, May 26, 2005

We're not immune

All the nurses on my ward have been a bit miserable this last week or so. Because Gail has got cancer.

Gail's a woman in her 50's, but you've never met someone with more "teenager" energy; she refuses to act her age! She wears her hair in short, bleached spikes. She laughs and jokes about everything! Even this.

I think it was on the 13th that we were all called into the boss's office. Never a good sign... but none of us expected to see Gail sitting there, on her day off, looking grimly cheerful. She greeted us with, "well, I've got breast cancer... and not a good one either." Something like that, although I can't remember it clearly; I felt a bit numb.

Damn it, but we know too much about cancer sometimes. Gail's had a sore hip, and we all knew before the bone scan that it had spread to there. Once breast cancer has spread, even a little, it's incurable. You may survive a few sick years, but you'll lose the fight eventually. We know too much about bone pain, brain tumors, liver failure. I don't want to go to her funeral!

Even so, I hadn't given up hope for her until I visited her after surgery on Tuesday. It was such a twisted, nasty tumor that the surgeon couldn't get it all. And not only has it spread to her hip, but both legs, two ribs and two parts of her spine. It's aggressive and it's everywhere...

The funny thing is -- and I've seen it a thousand times, but I wasn't prepared to experience it -- that she is coping with this better than all of us on the ward. She's joking with the doctors, eager to get back to work, trying to get us to draw up a "visiting Gail" roster... Of course she's upset. But she's at peace with it.

And the good thing is, she's gotten to thinking. She's talking casually about life-after-death, and catching up with Paul (a nurse on our ward who died suddenly 2 years ago). She's considering what she believes.

So I'm praying a lot for Gail. I just hope I can be a bit of help.

Sunday, May 08, 2005


A doctor came in laughing last night, and sat at the desk. He told us he'd just been talking to the sister of one of our patients (who somehow got his number) and she is going to make a complaint about me. I didn't think that was particularly funny!

He said that she was angry because she'd visited her sister for 2 hours, then driven home, then immediately rang our ward to see how her sister was. (Huh???!). The nurse with whom she was angry (me) told her "She's just the same".

The doctor thought that was hilarious, especially since the woman had first told me she'd just gotten home after visiting her for 2 hours. What else was I supposed to say, after all?

Apparently she then asked the doctor how her sister was, and he somehow managed to restrain himself from saying "Just the same"!

Work has been lovely this weekend. Just like a weekend should be! I'd rather be on holidays, but I have missed chatting to all the friendly staff on our ward. So it's good to be back.

Monday, May 02, 2005

The End

It's nearly the end of my holidays! I have to work 6 months before I get any more (sook sook).

I'm typing on Matt's computer this time, listening to "The Goons", who are funny but terribly distracting!

I've been shopping today, but most of my holidays have been spent reading. Nearly finished the fourth "Wheel of Time" book. Nathan's brother, Jason, tells me there are two books in the series yet to be written. AAAAGH! I finally got some new Blundstones. The other ones lasted me about 8 years, and the soles (on the inside) were falling apart. I threw them in the bin outside the shoe shop!

I don't want to go back to work!! I've been thinking too much about how nice it would be to work 2 days a week. I read one Courier in the last week, and recognized 4 names in the obituaries... and that's not unusual! I think oncology nursing is finally starting to get me down.

M'eh! I'm whinging because I've got nothing to report! Next time I might have exciting stories from the South: crazy people and the things they do... and maybe a bit about the patients, too!

Saturday, April 23, 2005


I'm on holidays!!!!!

I've left my poor grad to fend for herself... poor Sarah! Not only was it her first week of nursing, but she somehow managed to not get any hospital placements in her third year. How can a Uni be so stupid?? Anyway, I had four days with her, supernumeri. The first day she followed me around. The next three days I gave her the key and told her to come and ask me anything and everything (which she did). I tried not to "help" by doing her work for her; it's not as easy to do nothing as it would seem! I felt very guilty. But at least she has a bit of confidence that she can handle a full patient-load on her own. She'll be fine.

Anyway, on Friday I started my holidays: 19 days off! I have done very little!!!! I've weeded most of my tiny hexagon garden, the one with herbs and strawberries. I've read 2 of the "Wheel of Time" series by Robert Jordan (about 8 to go). I've done another level in my single-player Halo 2 mission. (I'm playing on Heroic instead of Legendary. Heroic is hard enough for me, but I think Nathan is ashamed of me - he he!) I've played on the internet, played with my new overlocker, played with my guinea-pigs. I've shopped, watched movies, cleaned the house. I'm bludging 95% of the time! It's great!

Tomorrow after church Nathan and I pick up our oldest niece and nephew to stay at our house overnight. Aparently they are very excited! We're going to make pizza, watch cartoons and look for shooting stars. Don't know what else. Tim will want to play "Crash Bandicoot" on Nathan's x-box. He's actually better at it than Abby.

Well, I have to get on with my bludging (so much of it still to do!). I tell you, much as I love work, I am aching to cut my hours back! But a lot more has to be slashed from the mortgage yet...

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Work work work

Yesterday work was horrible. Just busy, but I'd only managed 3 hours of sleep the night before, and I had four patients with much to do, and a student to 'babysit', for want of a better word! Where did my patience go? I used to love having students, but lately I have been finding them such a trial! I'm getting old and grumpy, I suppose. I did turn 29 the other day...

I am longing for the end of the year, when it might be possible for me to cut back my hours. I have been full-time for most of the last six years, and nursing is not an easy job. It is a tennuous "might" because it largely depends on what can be subtracted from the mortgage this year. Not much has been subtracted so far this year, as we have been saving for necessities such as the long driveway and fences. Hopefully we will be able to start taking chunks of the M this month!

At the end of the year I hope to slash my hours to 4 days a fortnight! Just imagine... weekends on and the week off! Nate would be happy for me to quit, I think, but I want to keep my registration and my friends. Two days a week! I can hardly imagine it.

Gran and Jason gave me money for my birthday, and so I'm starting on the "Wheel of Time" series, which contains 10 books so far. Perhaps they will keep me amused until June or July. Then I'll read the Harry Potter books again and Number 6. I'm looking forward to reading "The Half-Blood Prince" but at the same time it will be frustrating to finish it and know I have a 2-year wait for the conclusion!! I'm just finishing "Emma" now, and then I'll have four of this new series... I wonder if book 10 is the last one?

My birthday went quietly. The highlight of my day was going to an old favorite restaurant in Geelong called Jokers. It was busier and noisier than I remember, being a Saturday night in which Geelong was playing the Eagles on the big TV behind me! I felt a bit sorry for all the families and couples I saw, of whom almost every male was watching TV instead of talking to their wives! But the food was fantastic, and it was great to go out with Nathan. I caught up with my family last night, and they gave me some very nice presents.

Well, today I face a late shift, which is not normally so busy, and tomorrow an early, which is the last of the week. I think I'll survive...

Friday, March 25, 2005

Good Friday

After a long week and a particularly stressful last day (!!) I'm having the weekend off. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, which is particularly nice (as I mostly do work on the weekend) and especially so, since this is the Easter Weekend.

I finished reading "Persuasion" in bed this morning (eating Nacho shapes and Chilly Philly), then got up, cut up an old tablecloth and did some patchwork, played "Urbz in the city" for a while, and put on some music via the x-box. So it's been a bludge!

I did put washing on, fill the dishwasher and clean the kitchen... a bit. So I don't feel guilty. Except about eating 2/3 of a whole Chilly Philly.

Nathan is cooking me tea (!!) - pasta ;/ ...

Last night we invited friends to the 'Service of the Shadows' - a church service about the death of Jesus. It was really quite well-prepared. I wondered what they thought of it (as they're not regular church-goers) but they seemed to... not mind it. Afterwards we all came back to our place and played Halo 2 and ate pizza ;)

And so I was unstressed. It occurred to me as we were waiting (1hr40min) for the pizza that I'd missed breakfast, lunch and dinner! Haven't done that for a while! I won our 'plasma sword' game, which is probably because it's a 'quick-trigger' type of game and I had a lot of pent-up negative energy!!

I'm looking forward to Sunday. We're having tea with Nate's family, and I can't wait to see Sarah. I've seen her twice... the day and the day after she was born. I can't believe Nathan hasn't suggested to go and visit her in this whole last month! He did when Sarah's older brother was a baby. Maybe girls are not that interesting to boys. Or maybe he finds babies boring and just didn't realize it until Michael!

Tonight we play the next level on our Halo Cooperative game (legendary). Should be fun.

I'd better go check on the pasta, which is cooking alone as Nate has a shower. [sigh] ;)

Monday, March 21, 2005


Welcome to my blog!

I picked my blog name (Alrischa) after the alpha star of the constellation Pisces. I like Astronomy! I don't believe in astrology at all, of course, but technically I'm a Pisces. Of course, that means nothing, but I think it's funny that astrologists fuss over which star sign one is born under... when they've got all the dates wrong! My birthday (April 2)falls 'officially' under Ares. But, according to my Starry Night software, the sun was in Pisces when I was born. So there you go. Precession happens.

Starry Night also tells me that it's "Alrescha" but that name was taken, so I went for one of the (many) alternate spellings. It means "ropes".

I live out of town in a 'house of sticks' my hubby and I built on our 5 acre block. We moved in 7 months ago. Our driveway is finally done (before the Muddy Season! Phew!) and our front fence is next. Don't ever build a house. It's hard!!!

I have 6 guinea pigs (currently) named Mocha, Pirate, Heidi, Winky, Scratchy and 'baby'. 'Baby' was born on March 14, and remains nameless. I need my oldest niece to visit... it takes her 3 seconds to think of a name.

I have no kids. Not yet. I want a boy called Joshua Nathan, as I dreamed I was pregnant with him more than 10 years ago. Nate doesn't like the name. Not yet! I like a lot of girl's names, so I'll have to pick my favorite at the time.

Before we have kids we need to pay a bit more off our mortgage. It's just easier with two full-time jobs. But my job is making me very tired lately! Today was so busy... I would have a bath, but I don't have a book to read. I just read all my Harry Potter books for the 5th time, so it seems a bit silly to start them again. Don't feel like reading anything else. Can't have a bath without a book, though; that would be boring!

Okay, the bath is running and I'm reading Persuasion.