Shady/healthcare … same thing

Ok yay I now have a job. My eyebrow raised initially during our whirlwind interview of 20 minutes that wrapped up with an offer only after she asked me if I had any RN liability insurance coverage. I took a breath and replied ‘ I’ve never been asked that in an interview before and no I do not.’

Today was our first day. It’s a phone triage nurse position for some 300 doctors and I was drawn to the carrot they dangled of going remote in the next 6 months after they trained me etc. This young fellow who’d been promoted up quickly to his training position for us new hires was a little HIPPA non compliant himself on a topic only after he ratted on his company saying ‘oh yeah right not we are all non compliant’ as we share this office with a much younger cutting edge start up group and voices carry. He also dropped the aside where my new company charges doctors $10.00 a minute to have us few nurses manage certain calls after being screened. Most calls take 30-60 minutes……………………………….

Let’s just say …………………….they are not paying me $600.00 an hour.


Hospice…..think about it when you are healthy

I am a nurse and have NOT experienced a chronic or terminal diagnosis, but I was a hospice liaison and saw firsthand how much love hospice offers. I have worked in intensive care as well as many other branches of the medical fight for health. Hospice comes when one sees there is no longer a need to fight and a much bigger opportunity to only LOVE while they are present on earth. Period. Hospice isn’t waiting with shovels to hurry up your time it’s actually the complete opposite as end of life masters they bring the comfort you didn’t know was there. Nor did you realize your deep need for healing the spiritual and emotional needs beyond the physical body for yourself and all who know you. Once you’re gone those wounds will remain and will be faced regardless of your diagnosis, although the strength you showed will remain regardless of your choice. 

Angels on earth ……Hospice, don’t miss the love.

Sleeping Bag

listen to your heart

The homeless travelers in Colorado Springs stand on the highway exit corners collecting an undisclosed plethora of coins, paper money, uneaten fast food lunch I didn’t want after all, 2 large unsweetened tea cause I asked for sweet tea I’m a Southerner now in the West, cans of sardines, to name a few. Last week the wind was blowing crazy like it only does around the plains and yep it was cold and snowy. I’m in my toasty warm lovable Kia Sportage and there he stands shivering with his cardboard reused sign ‘Need Help’ so I gave him my sleeping bag. Chica doesn’t know yet as I’d used it for her to stay warm when she takes her copilot seat. The traffic light remained red for some time as the grey and orange bag whipped around the disheveled fellow as he stood waiting patiently for the next flow of onlookers. I rolled my window down again and gave him one of my many cloth bags cause I’m a silent bag lady too. He scurried back with a grin saying ‘thanks man.’

Yesterday as I was walking around the adorable welcoming snowy town of Manitou Springs I spotted a fellow curled up under the bushes in a sleeping bag with the morning sun resting on his quiet form. He looked rather comfortable but I know better.

Try telling a mother and business woman facing retirement she should get pregnant because after all it brought her such joy and purpose. She would not need to answer and could inwardly chuckle as she continued to plan her future freedom life out from under all the shady business situations she’d faced working in the system as well as all the critiques she’d swallowed during her parenting years as she attempted to do the best for the fruits of her loins.

Ok so I’m not facing retirement but I relate to her. As a rock climber would turn and walk away from some strangers encouragement to jump on a climbing route without ‘good beta’ from a trusted source. I’m at a spot where I neither want to get pregnant nor jump on any rock requiring vertical ascent. Substitute the suggestions of what should a nurse do? ICU, ER, private duty, hospice liaison, cardiac unit step down, travel nurse (hard!), inpatient rehab RN, camp nurse, Health Director, occupational health nurse at a lumber plant, and most recently school nurse. I’ve done it all. Loved it and can list why I will not do each again.

As my own employment grim choices are laid out in front of me I can’t help but think I might need another sleeping bag.

….. fall in my path

Since I work ‘seasonally’ and that season is coming to an end on my time off this winter I decided to ‘work in exchange for room and board’ which is turning out to be quite interesting even before it begins. I thought it would just be random farms and it’s turning out to be spiritually based places past present future tense depending on the situation. I ‘chose’ them due to proximity and or looks like a place I wanna visit (the one in Canada).

The first I’ll see in 2 weeks. It’s a couple on their ‘first calling’ who’ve been given a parsonage for the Lutheran church they now guide about 1 1/2 hours just west of Fishkill, NY. When we last spoke she said ‘Ok I’ll have lunch ready when you arrive!’ I”m happy already. Next is a woman outside of DC (again 1 1/2 hours) who bought a 100+ yr old church several years ago just to renovate as it was near her father who has since passed. She’d wanted to sell it but something kept telling her to stay put so she ‘Airbnb’s’ it and wants me to help get yet another room in order for that reason. I’ll be there for 2 weeks. Yet another actually contacted me (I did the initial reach out but then forgot all about her) from Ontario CA. Ends up she is a holistic healer and certified midwife. She runs her wellness business from her home. I’ll start seedlings and make herbal stuff etc ….

Things seem to fall into my path …… so the journey continues.

another day at the office

………….NYC Outwardbound style. My kind of office setting  – in the woods. Nature, the best teacher. You don’t want to be taken to the principal’s office either! That’s a stormy cold day but it happens to us all regardless of our age/rank/position.  Students come up from NYC with their school teachers and we all have the opportunity to learn …. from each other.


I go to Woodstock NY from time to time just to mingle with the locals and wander around the artsy town. I met Daisy and her dog Star on the village green in the middle of town. She was full of smiles, stories, and had a warm nature to her being. She had ‘found’ her boyfriend, Charley (and his dog Bella), while traveling in Ohio about a year ago.She yelled to him from across the road and soon after they hopped a train. They’ve been together ever since. They are both in their mid 20’s. She is the oldest of 3 and often returns to visit w her mom/family. It was their generous nature that caught my attention. There was this other woman playing a flute (she did seem a bit ‘off’ mentally/emotionally) on one of the nearby benches. Charley dug $2 out of his pocket and placed it in her collection jar/hat. I commented on his kindness and he shrugged it off as did Daisy. Full of smiles they both were. He later was showing us a polished agate he had gotten recently. As I admired it (I am a rock lover) he said ‘you can have it.’ His nature was simply infused with kindness and it showed in his actions. 

Daisy pulled out her ‘banjo’ (small model) and started strumming a sweet tune. Another part of their story unfolded. They had been in Texas and had seen a music shop with this instrument in the display window for $300. Charley suggested they make a sign and raise the cash to pay for it. Daisy made one that said ‘Smile, You’re Beautiful!’ and they stood at a street corner and raised the money for the banjo. here again I was touched by their simple life and belief they could manage whatever needs they may have. They were humble.

She said ‘we are Travelers’ and the right things come to us if they are supposed to.

That day I learned something about myself as well. I, too, am a Traveler.


3 things

I saw a bunch of homesick kids last summer …. summer camp …. kids of all ages … there’s nothing worse than that old feeling of missing your mom (dad/parent/guardian) and it’s usually visa versa from her end as well …. but from the nurses end – mine – it’s a challenge unlike most others. Add a medical element to it all and there’s another obstacle to clear. My experience has showed me the child who faces this and makes it till the end of camp is often the one who grew the most and as a result it shows in their walk/smile/eyes. And it’s contagious. I found a simple tool to use for homesickness.  To help redirect the mind when it’s steering the emotions to complete upset you need to know 3 good things. Ask the kid to tell you 3 good things about their day. 3 good things she looks forward to. 3 good things. And I’d have to say it often amidst many tears where the subject is ‘I miss my mom and I wanna call her’ and more upset. So, change the subject.  It will now be ‘good things’.  So when homesick is brought up (every other minute) my role is to model the simple use of the tool of  strong communication. Before I listen to you I wanna hear 3 good things. And I’ve gotten good at prompting the child who can’t think of a single thing to be thankful for ……. Tell them to me. Feel that good place. That’s what happens. They accidentally feel good just for a split second …. and it puts a chink in the darkness of sad/gloom/negative. The cool thing is … it simply works. Its easy. It’s a remedy I gotta package and now sell. It might help kids enjoy their childhood a bit better.

today we relocated the mice

Working in the camp infirmary this summer I told the maintenance man I had mice. He gave me a mouse trap. I decided I’d just live in harmony w the few mice I saw in the dark of the night as the thought of setting a single trap was something I wasn’t gonna do. I just asked them to run along if I spotted one. I felt we had a pact of sorts.  My little dog was in my frame of mind as well …. she wouldn’t even chase em. I have learned a bit about the white footed mouse in that it carries Lyme disease (via ticks) so I do have an added respect the physical discomfort/disease they can play a part in.

Here I am again. In their home yet a bit farther out in the woods. Those little creatures look for any kind of warm spot (under mattresses for starters) to hunker down for the winter. So we moved the mattresses. 80 of em. The students coming up from the city to sleep in the little huts this fall will have a bit less cush and a lot less tiny creature feet scurrying around. Last fall we learned it really freaks a city kid out to have something chewing under their pillow/bed (in screened huts). I don’t blame em. That’s a memory I don’t want.

I tend to learn from my job things I’d never thought of ….. and this go round w the mice it’s ‘dryer sheets’ (Bounce) …. mice hate em. Think you have a mouse and don’t wanna set a trap? Grab a box of ‘Bounce’ and place em in corners of the room and the mice will simply go elsewhere.

“Is this blog personal or professional?”, he asked.

.blue sky white cloudsI had a comment from a fellow blogger asking if my site was professional or personal. It caught my attention. Should I connect all this to Facebook, Linkedin? Instagram seems fine as all I post are really cool photos but most are from the traveling I’ve done as a direct result of being a nurse. Being a nurse I kindof feel it’s one and the same for what I do and have done with perfect strangers. Past and present. Is it too personal that I take care of your body and don’t know (momentarily forgot) your name? It’s probably not professional that I forget names so I’ll take that strike. Being a nurse is personal and professional. Bringing it back around to life at camp. I patch up scraped knees, wash out the sand/chlorine from little eyes, nurture the homesick, take care of the fevers, climb on the top bunk in the middle of the night for the tiny girl w sickle cell anemia who played too hard in the pool and woke her counselors with her weeping she hurt so badly and I stay w her so if she wakes crying I’ll be there to rub her back or give a little Ibuprofen till the sun comes up as there was little else to do because moving her would hurt more and having sickle cell anemia is rough when you want to be a little girl at camp ……………….. hummm is this professional or personal? Good question.