Monday, April 11, 2011


Sorry I have not posted lately. I am taking my hospital's critical care course, which has classroom, computer, and practicum components. The computer part is the ECCO curriculum, which the instructors warned me would be time consuming. I didn't believe them, but I do now. The cardiovascular lesson took hours! And the test was actually kind of hard. My kids were like "Mom, how can it be hard? You can look at your notes while you take it."
I said "Well, yes, but the questions can be complicated. You actually have to think." 
"Thinking! Ewwwwww!" they said. I have to agree : )

It is also mandatory education time at the hospital. This is where the employees have to take about a hundred tests online about various topics, ranging from preventing falls to disaster management to radiation safety. You used to be able to take the test without actually reading the learning material. They fixed that though, so now one must wade through the lesson before taking the test. Why I have to know the routes of transmission for Ebola, I'm not sure. And learning how to prevent surgical fires when I'm not an OR nurse? Hmmm.
I liked this answer option regarding what do do if you are passing by a room and see that an elderly patient on fall precautions is struggling to get out of their bed: "Close the door and go to lunch". The correct answer was probably "stay with the patient and call for help", but I really liked the other one better.

Yesterday one of the doctors told me that I looked like Juliette Lewis. I'm not sure if that is a compliment or what. She has played some really crazy characters. I asked him if he thought I was psycho. He said that he thought that she and I had some similar features and that he hoped that I would refrain from psychotic behavior, at least at work. I told him I would try.

Later on in the day, a patient was waking up in the PACU. I explained to him that his surgery was over. He said "Really? I thought you were an angel!"

Sweet talker.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Beauty Contests

This is not a medical post, but something really bothered me yesterday. Berate me if you want. Call me naive. Call me a bad mother. But several months ago I let my 12 year old daughter get her own Facebook page. I know her password. I keep track of her activity. If someone tags her in a photo, I am notified. In fact, this is what happened a few days ago. I noticed that a photo of my daughter was tagged on a profile with an obviously fictitious name, which was comprised of the name of her middle school and then the word smexys as the last name.
Smexy, according to my friend's 17 year old daughter and some who-knows-how-reputable websites such as and, means smart and sexy or possibly lip smackingly sexy.
So, I'm thinking smexy really should not be associated with middle school in any way. However, when I checked out the link, I found out the purpose of the profile. It consisted of dozens of different posts, each  containg two photos. Each photo was of a middle school kid, fully clothed, only one bikini pic, thank God, with various poses and expressions ranging in provacativity from a sunny smile while holding a puppy to the pouty duck lipped face of a girl in a low cut tank top. In the name of gender equality there was even a section for the young dudes of the school. First names of the kids are shown. In the captions the site's followers are invited to vote for who is the smexier of the two.
I think my daughter is gorgeous, the most beautiful, precious young woman on earth. The voters, not so much. She got three votes. The other girl got about a dozen. I know it is so, so  shallow, but this broke my heart. The typical middle school girl's spirit is delicate, easily crushed. They so desire to be loved and admired, especially by their peers. I could tell her all day long that she is beautiful, but a compliment or insult from a fellow student makes an exponentially larger impact. My sweet girl looks a little like I did when I was her age, tall and really skinny, huge eyes, long neck, big lips. But when you grow out of the gawky phase and into your features, these attributes become tall and slender, big eyes, graceful, swan like neck, full lips. Middle school kids can't see much past today though. They can't see the beauty and grace they will grow into.
More importantly, however, as this contest illustrates, they tend to not pay attention to anything past physical beauty. For example, I know my daughter loves animals, hates math, adores her baby brother, believes in a loving God, wants to be a famous author, and will bake a cake at 9 o clock at night just because she and I think some chocolate sounds yummy. I want to hope as these kids get older they will start to appreciate other aspects of their peers besides their looks. Will that happen? My daughter is a quiet, "good girl" at school. When you get to know her, the real giggly, silly, talkative nature emerges. But that involves actually taking the time to get to know her.
She didn't tell me about the Facebook profile. Typically she only keeps things to herself that bother her or that she is ashamed of. There is no shame in wanting to be considered attractive. I just pray that she eventually appreciates the other parts of her lovely self. Of course I do encourage her to take care of her physical body, exercise, eat something on occasion besides junk food, wash her face at night, we give each other manicures etc. That is just healthy and balanced. It is a lot, though, to expect middle school society to embrace inner beauty, unrealistic when I was there and unrealistic now as well. It is my job, however to nurture her spirit, her soul and to help her blossom into a beautiful person.
Now as a parent, often objectivity is out of the question. One can be too close to a situation to really see it clearly. Do I bring up this facebook profile in conversation? What do you think of these beauty contests, harmless or hurtful?