Monday, January 30, 2012


I have not posted in awhile and am full of excuses:

 1. We have had  a mass exodus of nurses, respiratory therapists and techs from my somewhat hoodish hospital. Beautiful -New -Suburban -All Private -Room -Hospital -With -A -Gourmet -Chef has siphoned quite a bit of our staff away. Shortstaffing has led to chaos and lots of overtime for everyone.

2. My professional mentor was fired recently (a blogpost for sure when I get the emotional distance to write about it), leaving me sad and discouraged. I do know, however, that if Florida had unions, it sure as hell would not have happened.

3. PACU traditionally consists of 4 ten hour shifts a week, plus weeknight and weekend call. We have had a few nurses leave who want to go back to the 3 12 hour shift workweek. More overtime for me!

 4. When I get home, I want to play with my kids and sleep. I know I need to exercise, but soooo tired. Maybe I will lay my head down on the table right now........................................


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Weighty Issue

 I checked out a new blog today and saw a blog post after my own heart. My fellow Recovery Room nurse put into words a conversation I have had with several patients. At this nurse talks about how an obese patient cannot for the life of her figure out why all of her weight bearing joints are deteriorating and need to be replaced.
I have noticed this same thing with many of my patients. They do not understand why they need to get their knees and/or hips replaced, why they are hypertensive, why they have lower back pain. Many do not even realize that they are obese. Are their physicians not discussing this with them? Now keep in mind that I am not talking about the pleasantly plump individual or the person who has "a little more to love". The patients to whom I am referring are truly in the category of obese, sometimes morbidly so. And it is not just the patient's health that is affected. Every time they pull a 400 lb patient up in their bed or transfer a 350 lb person from a stretcher to a bed, health care workers sigh in relief when their backs emerge unscathed.
  How do we  get the collective American waistline to shrink a bit? This gentleman at CNN compares the response needed for this issue to the war on smoking and even more so to the campaign to reduce highway fatalities        
  Now my muffin top has grown from barely noticeable to semi-in-your-face over the holiday season, so I am  certainly not immune to the pleasures of pumpkin pie, fudge, and cookies. However, seeing the debilitating health issues that my obese patients face absolutely does help motivate me to not let my weight get too out of control, kind of like old ladies with broken hips inspire me to take my calcium. It is hard in a world where processed, sugary and fatty food is less expensive than fresher, more nourishing choices to always do the healthy thing. However, if we can just get ourselves to the the healthy thing a little more often, I think we could make some giant gains...or giant losses in this case.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year Cookies

In the South we have some New Year's culinary traditions. Often the New Year's Day dinner consists of a slow cooked pork roast,  greens, and black eyed peas. Some people say that eating greens, such as turnip greens, collards or spinach will ensure a healthy cash flow in the new year. It is also thought that eating black eyed peas will bring one luck throughout the coming year.  Courtesy of Wikipedia:

"The peas, since they swell when cooked, symbolize prosperity; the greens symbolize money; the pork, because pigs root forward when foraging, represents positive motion. Cornbread also often accompanies this meal.
Another suggested origin of the tradition dates back to the Civil War, when Union troops, especially in areas targeted by General William Tecumseh Sherman, typically stripped the countryside of all stored food, crops, and livestock, and destroyed whatever they could not carry away. At that time, Northerners considered "field peas" and field corn suitable only for animal fodder, and did not steal or destroy these humble foods."

Some hardliners insist that it is necessary to eat 365 black eyed peas at the meal to be lucky all year, but that seems like a lot of peas to me. Flatulence galore! When I lived in a small town in North Carolina, I was introduced to another New Year's Eve food, chow chow. This is a sometimes spicy relish made with tomatoes and peppers ( ). Man, that was some good stuff. When I married into my husband's family, I inherited a recipe for a cookie they make every January 1st. Now I know greens represent green money, so hopefully these delicious brown chocolate cookies do not invite a year full of $hi+. I prefer to think of them as representing a sweet start to the year. I don't know. Either way, they are easy and awesomely delicious.

Raquel's Grandmother in Law's Delicious New Year Cookies

Heat 1 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa, 1/4 cup milk, and 5 large marshmallows in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until boiling. Remove from heat.
Stir in 1/4 cup peanut butter, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/4 cup butter (half of a stick), and 2 cups quick cooking or old fashioned oats. Mix well.
Drop by tablespoonfuls onto wax paper. Allow to cool.


So Sweet

I never used to be a big crier. Maybe I need to up my Zoloft or maybe I have a hormonal imbalance. I'm not sure... but this story brought tears to my eyes.