October 28, 2016


I have decided that I need to learn Tagalog.  I work with a lot of Filipino nurses and their conversations often lapse into an English/Tagalog hybrid.  And yes, I'm damn curious as to what they're saying.   I'm not personally offended by being excluded from the conversation because of lack of Tagalog knowledge, I'm just curious.

Actually, given the high Filipino population in the area, learning Tagalog would probably be a wise move for me.  Just like learning Spanish will be a boon in this area as well.  I should consider Tagalog after I get Spanish down pat.  I started working on that again...I thought that I didn't have the time to do it, so I made the time.  I discovered that I can use my Rosetta Stone on both my cell phone and tablet, so now I spend my lunch breaks in an empty office saying random Spanish words into a microphone.  

I used to walk around the hospital during lunch breaks, but now that I'm exercising more at home, I think I can skip doing laps around the campus.

I thought about refreshing the Italian (i.e., what comes out of my mouth when attempting to speak Spanish), but I don't think I would be able to put it to as much use.  I don't know any Italian speakers to talk to in person; it would just be online.  Whereas with Spanish--and Tagalog--I'd have plenty of people in-the-flesh to practice with.

*  Or "Hello."  Blame Google for any English-Tagalog mistranslation.

October 21, 2016

Social Media

I have a Facebook account.  I used to use it a lot when younger, but my usage has dropped off.   I got too tired of reading all the political and social diatribes.  All I want is to connect and catch up with someone, and instead I have to wade through all of these rants, memes, links, and other junk coming for each and every side and POV just to get to them.  And of course, each believes their POV is the only accurate one.

All I want to see when I get onto Facebook is what my friends are up to...and funny cat videos.  There's always time for a funny cat video.  Or seven.

Another reason is that IMO, it's more fun actually living life than posting about living life.   And as one gets older, one learns that every moment of one's life need not be documented in nauseating detail.  Unless this is your chosen career, of course.

I don't do the whole "must friend everyone I work with."  I mostly wait until after we have parted ways at the workplace to add them.  I have a few current coworkers there because I genuinely like them, between both workplaces, I don't see them regularly enough to keep them in the loop on what's going on, and/or we're playing the same online games and there's perks to having a Facebook friend connected with it.  Sometimes, it's more than one of the above.

So I am more likely to connect with co-workers after we're no longer working together.  However, I am now in an awkward spot:  a former coworker has switched facilities, joined me at Job #3 and is now in a supervisory position over me.  We were peers when we were working together the first time.  But she was ready for a change in her career, and Job #3 made her an offer she could not refuse.

Now, as a rule, I post very little on Facebook that is work-related;  if I do post something, it's either positive as hell or at least neutral.  I also do not post anything too personal about myself.  Nor do I go all virtual-PDA with the better half...seriously, some people wonder if he even exists as I talk about him so little online.  Then again, he talks very little about me, so we both prefer it that way.  It's the little ones that get all our press.

So I'm not worried about shooting myself in the foot about posting something that I should not have.  And I genuinely like her as a person and she likes me.  But now that she's above me in the pecking order, I'm not sure how I feel about this social media relationship.  I'll have to think on this.  I wouldn't go so far as to de-friend her, especially as 1.  I do like her, 2. it'd be awkward as hell, and 3. my days at job #3 will be coming to an end soon, and that will resolve the problem.  If I still feel awkward about it, I may move her to a more restricted list for a while, and at least keep her supplied with pics of the little ones.

Moving on...

I have a Twitter account, but it's strictly professional, as in my real name.  I tried having a Meriwhen one but updating that and this blog was too much.  I tried having a personal one but never found myself reaching for it often.  Plus, Twitter is more geared towards shorter but more frequent usage.  And the fact that Twitter tends to be a lynch mob.   So I just have the professional account.  I use it to share information and network.

And that's the extent of what I use, for all of my web-savvy.   If you really want to find me online, the best place is here or at the nursing forum.

October 14, 2016

Something in psych that I always find amusing:  a patient will dislike, even hate me, with a complete and utter passion...and 30 minutes later, I'm their BFF...and another 30 minutes later, I'm back to being their mortal enemy.   Lather, rinse, repeat.   Sometimes these shifts are due to medications given, sometimes they are due to memory issues, sometimes they are due to the psychiatric disorder itself.  Or all of the above.  

One thing is certain though:  I never ever take it for granted that a patient likes me.  More than once I've found that the patient that was all hearts and flowers and cooperative with me yesterday is defiant and lobbing chairs at me today.  So I approach each day--and often, each and every interaction with the patient period--as though I don't know where I stand.  And I also stand a little further back than I can think they could throw that chair.  It is much safer that way.

October 7, 2016

Some non-nursing stuff

Having settled down in a permanent position, I now have new health insurance.  It's through the same organization.  I'm not too worried about coworkers looking up my info, as the EMR software is very good about tracking such things with employee accounts.  If anything, they'll find out that I'm really not lying about my age.

So earlier this year, I got a physical physical, a psychiatric physical, and decided to address a few chronic problems.

Overall, I'm in good working order.  Labs are beautiful:  total cholesterol is 111 despite my cheese addiction.  Fasting blood glucose is in the 80s.  Blood pressure is well-controlled with my one medication.  I'm exercising about 5 days a week so that's probably helping all those along as well.  I could stand to lose some weight, but that's nothing new.

Psychiatrically, I'm doing well.  Been feeling pretty good.  The medications received a slight dosage tweak, but no major med additions or changes.  The psych NP offered me the option of a seeing a therapist...I declined for right now.  I've done it in the past and have had hit-or-miss results.  Plus I don't have anything going on that I really need therapy for.  I'm coping with my father's death pretty well, though December is going to be hell on wheels.  But I'll worry about that in December.

Most of my chronic physical problems are already as controlled as they can be, so there wasn't really anything they could address.  But there's always one...

Long story short:  sinus problem unresponsive to most treatments and is now playing havoc with my ear.  It's to the point that I've incurred some low-level hearing loss in that ear.  Hopefully it's a temporary loss.  It's an annoyance, because I feel impaired on that one side.   Allergy and sinus meds are not working.  And I've been purchasing so much decongestant from the pharmacy that I'm sure they're wondering if I'm running a meth lab.


The nice thing about going through the same organization as my job is that referrals are easy, fast and have minimal preauthorization hassles.  Plus they can all access my account, so no need to deal with releases of information.  I left my PCP's office in the morning and by the afternoon, ENT was calling me to schedule.

So since then, I've had several visits, several tests including a CT, and trials on several medications.  Nada.  I'm now at the point where I've been referred to the ENT surgeon.   Great, the possibility of surgery.  Right when I've taken the full-time job and become the primary breadwinner.  At least they could do most sinus surgery on a same-day outpatient basis, with downtime of only a week or so.

Fortunately, he's not ready to operate just yet.  I'm on the latest trial of two medications, and at the end of the month I go for another hearing test and re-eval.  Unfortunately...these two meds don't seem to be helping much.  Though my hearing seems to have improved a little.