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.

Babysitting meditating …same thing

I realized something about my mind. I need it. But I need it to not do certain things at times it really wants and to keep quiet from time to time. That is a tall order if you’ve ever tried meditating.  I joined a 50 day challenge where I meditate for 10 minutes a day. Anybody can find 10 minutes, right? What about quieting your mind for 10 minutes. Virtually impossible (initially) and 100% OK!

Pretend you are babysitting your mind. It’s gonna wander, that’s it’s job. But suddenly your role as your soul is to babysit that little creature. When it says something to get your attention just say ‘shh it’s ok I know you hear that’ or want that or think that or feel that. It’s ok a thought comes up. Let it. Then sit back and watch. Listen. Breathe. Set your alarm so you can be free of time for a minute….. or 10.

A few more zeros

That’s what my once favorite for about a month attorney said to me when we first met over an injustice at hand. He made it clear the number of zeros behind the claim directly corresponded to his interest in follow through in his line of work. Ok cool, I guess. They will settle that’s not the issue but it’s the zeros. Someone else has more than I do at the moment as I can’t seem to get this server of justice to respond to my emails, or phone messages.

I’ve had another project going on to parallel this life I’m living and that’s to be proactive and not reactive. Quit being so defensive. Ok cool, I guess. My friend suggested I send him a certified letter stating my concerns and expectations. That felt empowering to do at a cost of $5.85. Not sure what I’m proving by making him sign for that letter but it seemed rather attorney like appropriate action and a better way to spend my energy.

I’ll continue to return to the fact of customer service. As a nurse I would never ignore a call from someone in need much less a PATIENT of mine. What an absurd thought. No it matters not how many zeros you have behind you as to the care and kindness I offer to my customers. Some only have zero and I love them even more cause they really need it and often I have it to give.

Stand Up

For what you believe in. Then send me some grace as I continue to do the same. I’m a 53 year old Aire’s female nurse with an opinion. You don’t want to light a match near that last sentence at times and that isn’t something I’m proud of.

I’ve been working on my defensive nature as this astrologer points out on a pretty regular basis I need to slay. Awesome, a flaw. Understanding via compassion, I’m up for it ….sometimes. When a lover lies to me and I’ve brushed it over with my end of the score card being of somewhat unapproachableness in nature if you’re a coward trying to come clean. (See?) Or silently reminding myself they don’t realize they are now going back on their word as the person tells me something and thinks I’ve forgotten our original agreement. I’ve held it in. Scolded myself as I must’ve deserved this kind of treatment for some reason unbeknownst to me as I do know I’ve been no angel in my early years. Meant no harm but didn’t always dot my I’s if I needed to do so.

But once a human crosses that line of 50 something happens. It’s time to fully accept myself for who I am as I accept my shortcomings as well. In so doing I stand up. I mean fully stand up. For who I am in the moment. For what I feel I’m worth fighting for above and beyond anyone else or their image of who I should be.

I’m not clear as to why people do what they do on a daily basis nor am I convinced most realize their words are wasted for unknown reasons. I don’t know why the truth is so difficult to get to but I do understand it’s hurtful when it’s not so.  As MLK so eloquently once said ‘I believe unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.’

Dear Verizon

Dear Verizon,

Your employee is misrepresenting your product.

I’m a nurse and I take pride and joy in my job. I care for people and can tell you it matters not their name, class, color of skin, political stance (please keep one that to yourself), opinion of women, past karmic mishaps, or if they even pay their bill. I’ve taken care of your neighbor, your mother, your child, your first grade teacher who held your hand and you never forgot as well as all of your employees. I answer your call bell when you can’t muster the energy to call on even the closest person to your heart. When I say I’ll come back as soon as I can you can believe me and you do because you were in pain and we remember times as these. You remember the time I kept the lights off when the orders said to check your vital signs every hour and that’s the only added comfort and customer service I could offer. Actually I brought in a cool wash cloth because your temperature was out the roof. Oh and I went all over the hospital to find that tiny white styrofoam cup of chocolate ice cream cause you said it was all you could eat. That’s right I also called your daughter on the west coast because nobody would call and update her as to how you were doing.

When I asked your ‘GoVerizon’customer service representative to help me because I knew I was about to lose my job (not my fault but not this topic either) soon and finances needed to be within strong boundaries and emphasized my complete lack of knowledge or desire to understand the cell service choices and could she help me she said she sure could. Not a soul was in the store and I believed my request to be clear. No money soon. Ms Piddle set me up with the one thing that would certainly bring me pain and anguish once the bill tripled and the stress on my organs took hold. I know the importance of keeping these little guys happy and you’ve upset my apple cart in this situation and I’m asking for your reply to one question:

I’m doing my job, are you?

Love,

Nurse Pam

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.

Cowboy

Outlaw caught my attention first as at 5 months old she was 4 ft tall and 105 lbs. Huge black male German Shepard with attached owner on one side named Cowboy. Long grey hair and you can imagine with the cowboy hat and boots, every finger ordained with silver turquoise jewelry. He was out leash-training his pup and this was no silent matter as Outlaw has quite the bark and I didn’t want to challenge his bite. The conversation began as I’d been walking from my rental just a block up in the canyon and close to town. It’s a quaint cozy eccentric kind of folk community of Manitou Springs, CO. Been here 4 months and being slow to pay attention to details, it took me 3 of those to realize there were 12 fresh water soda mineral infused springs bubbling at spots throughout town. The Indians didn’t live here but intentionally passed through for the healing waters. Back to Cowboy and Outlaw, what an encounter. Where is Flannery O’Connor when I need her?

Let’s just say long story short I’m now looking at this framed memorabilia of Cowboy and his 35 years of playing Buffalo Bill in the rodeo show in Wyoming from a spot in his living room. He looks the same as the beaming confidence he emits in person, just 40 years younger. His high ceiling cottage is tucked up on the hill with lots of others all aching for an upgrade and a fresh can of paint. A rock collector and ex-Vietnam Vet with a huge service dog, an internal sound system futuristic, in it’s midst, as well as Cowboy’s built in friend “Alexa”. You heard me and she hears him. Each request he shouts has just a little aggression noted as it’s a commanding relationship in the fullest. She graciously responds and turns on lights or t.v. shows or finds attempts to retrieve a Grateful Dead song for me when that topic comes up in our group conversation.

My visit was brief and just a glimpse of what I get myself into. No harm just gotta shake your head of judgement and accept everybody lives their own life and hopefully it’s to the fullest of their ability as Cowboy is doing. He made it clear they’d honorably discharged him way back before he arrived in Manitou Springs. He added it was because they didn’t want a weapon in his hands. Lol. And the healing he has gotten from remaining within these canyon infused pockets of town and the 14,000 ft beauty of Pikes Peak as our background sky as well as drinking it’s water corresponding vortexes being key to his happiness.

I have this inate quality of making any soul feel accepted, willing, and ready to open their closets with skeleton’s without fear. I think it’s cause I’ve been a nurse for awhile now, a mother for a while longer, and an open hearted little girl for a very long time. I carry with me my empathy and corresponding experiences to share if only heartfelt understanding.

I remember the first time I connected with a homeless person without judgement or fear but with a mother’s love. I was riding the BART busline in San Francisco. My then 18 year old daughter just starting her freshman year of college in the bay area and as such, flying from the nest. Gazing out the window as the transit hummed along, I saw this dirty bearded fellow with his long brown coat and shoe laces dangling standing on the side of the road amidst trash and city winds.

I thought to myself, ‘That’s somebody’s little boy.’ I felt his mother’s love for him. Somewhere, maybe only in spirit.

I’ve come view most of society from those eyes I’ve gained. Years after that day on the bus, I’d find myself in a form of homelessness. I had a car and a seaonal job, but my heart felt homeless. It would take actually being physically ‘home less’ to discover the secret. Homeless people/‘travelers’ have found a spiritual home those with material homes silently seek.

Cowboy and his sidekick Outlaw now have both homes. He deserves it for his service for our country’s freedom, and  I’m happy he found it in this old western cross through of a town.

“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.