The Vortex Effect

Well hey! Jumping right in here, hold your breath!



A few days ago I stumbed on this article.  Which became the inspiration for my baby song list.  The baby song list? Yes, it’s the menu of songs I mumble/sing to tiny humans when they are being fussy, need a blood draw, or just need an extra dose of TLC.  The seasonal special right now?

Baby It’s Cold Outside

OHMYWORD POLAR VORTEX BABIES! I love them.  And apparently, if the baby forecast is correct, this is just the beginning of the “storm”.  Right now we’re entering some November territory, which if I remember correctly, was the start of the legendary Vortex of 2013-2014.  And if some of the theories suggested in this article are right, I guess sometimes CVS just isn’t close enough.  *shrugs shoulders* I’ll take it, the wind chill for 90% of last winter was enough to bring me to wear a week’s worth of clothes in one day, all at once.  The list of necessities became a lot shorter as the temperature fell off the livability scale.  In fact, I think the only thing I was willing to venture out for by last January was either cheap whiskey and toilet paper.  Ok new parents, ya crazy kids. Thank you for your chubby-cheeked late Christmas gifts! They are sassy and fine.

Some other singin’ favorites/car tunes:

‘Mama’s Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys’–Willie

Blood Red Sentimental Blues–Cotton Jones

Let Him Fly–Patty Griffin

Valley of Death–Blitzen Trapper

Not that you want more winding tales of the thug lyfe (also found under the title, “The Fresh Nurse of PA”) but it’s what’s for dinner. OK? ok.

So baby nursing.

How I feel about mandatory black/white uniforms:



How I see the nursery:



How I interact with most infants:




When another nurse says “make the student do your _*insert task*” while gesturing towards me (while I’m clearly in the middle of doing my own official tasking. For my legit patients because you know, I have those now.  Also, have you seen my amazing new RN badge?! But sure.  I’ll do your _____.)


“WAIT.  you say there’re cupcakes in the break room?”


Your early discharge patient keeps calling you to tell you she’s ready, while you’re trying to discharge your other normal discharge patient and take an admission patient from the PACU.


Looking for anything on the unit. Or anyone:

“Go get the nipple shields” they said.  “would be right inside the door!”, they said.  They lie. 


The nurses station anytime there is a professional male sighted on the floor.  Male in scrubs.  (“and he’s gooood lookin’!”—Spunky Well-Seasoned Nurse) Oh wait…he’s a student? dang. *SorryWe’reNeverSorry* 


Finding your nursling buddy for food minutes:


Changing the baby in front of mom and dad after his circumcision:


(or anytime the baby cries and I happen to be in the room)

When a patient requests you to help breastfeed:


When you completely improvise this breastfeeding demo and what started out as dad trying to “milk” mom in front of a screaming infant, to you, grabbing your own chest** in desperation to demonstrate proper handling techniques to mom, to a quiet grizzly baby, relieved mom, and hands-off smiling dad!

**(realizing that you may need to make a Victoria’s Secret trip before your next demo because who’d have thought you’d actually need some material to work with before a show? I can’t wait to be able to tell the cashier that I need this psychedelically over-stuffed bra “for work”)

“Do I need to go to discharge class?” UMMM…..



Your new nurse friend shares her chocolate with you because the gift shop line was too long during your lunch break and she knew you were itching for sugar.  All while you’re rocking a fussy nugget: 15hlil2

Watching babies sleep:


Getting the vein on the first shot.  On what the PCT refers to as “a hard stick”:


The few times I’m able to solve patient woes!



So there’s the comic strip, and know that in between all the sass I do really enjoy the nurse life so far.  Can I keep on that for a second?  Well yeah I can, so thanks for parking it.  Despite enjoying OB nursing, I’m finding myself missing med-surg clinicals.  Holy cow what is coming out of my fingers. Of all unholy things! Med-Surg.. of all things! I can’t believe I’m typing that.  My internal nursing student PSTD-self is shrieking.  Med-surg was essentially the reason my junior year roommates couldn’t use the TV because I had LOTR on replay 24/7 in an effort to self-soothe after long clinical days.  So what’s with the rose-tinted rearview mirror action??  I think I miss having patients without an entourage.  Not that nursing in any area doesn’t involve the patient’s family but I miss patients who aren’t the popular item–do you get it?  I miss the elderly man who’s kids live in California and his wife has to work so she can’t make it into the hospital to visit.  I miss the little lady who tells you about how she fell in love with her husband while you’re changing her sheets.  I miss visiting with patients who actually seem (or pretend) to enjoy the light-hearted chatter or just a casual checking in-turned-to-conversation.  Cripes, I miss patients who can’t talk at all because they are waiting to escape a painful, ending body.  I even miss the grumps, the emotionally crusty patients who don’t want to give you the time of day.  They offer choices that no other patient can in regards to character–how you perceive and react to them is a practice in human puzzle solving.  Sometimes the puzzle isn’t necessarily solved, but you know the pieces make a bigger picture that just isn’t clear without some work.  Those patients are the essentially why I need to practice nursing like a vitamin.  That’s what I said, to do nursing like a vitamin.  It’s a practice that targets and supplements some areas of my own human deficiency in my ability to love others.  The use of the word “need” is a new concept to me in regards to a career because I really don’t think I need nursing to be who I am or anything like that, I could quit tomorrow and be just as complete as I was today, and I’m completely open to the idea of closing this career book someday if the time comes around.  I am using ‘need’ because I’ve been thinking a lot more about how I landed in the field, especially when I’m doing something else that I love, that makes me feel amazingly tuned into life (playing music! no pun intended..).  It’s easy to wonder why I chose to do something else while feeling so ‘tuned-in’ seeing the smiles (or the eyebrows) of the audience.  (Well, here’s a good reason–street fiddling doesn’t buy the moccasins.  Also I’d probably have to know how to read music so there’s that.  All pretty solid rationales to why my day job is a necessity. I digress.)  Honestly, if I had a preview of what school and post-school nurse life would be like before entering that crazy world, I would’ve quickly shut the door and walked away.   Sometimes I laugh when I think about how God may have “tricked” me into this predicament, but everyday I understand a tiny bit more of why he did!  Because I’m not naturally externally-focused.

” My life testifies that the first thing I believe is that I am the most important person in the world.  My life testifies to this because I care more about my food and shelter and happiness than about anybody else.  I am learning to believe better things.  I am learning to believe that other people exist, that fashion is not truth; rather, Jesus is the most important figure in history, and the gospel is the most powerful force in the universe.  I am learning not to be passionate about empty things, but to cultivate passion for justice, grace, truth, and communicate the idea that Jesus likes people and even loves them.”  –Don Miller, Blue Like Jazz p. 111-112.

Just an excerpt I read the other day, and as much as I wish I could smile and say it ain’t so, it’s simply too obvious.  There is this idea of a saint-like nurse, caring, smart, super intuitive, goes above and beyond set expectations out of the goodness of their sweet nursey hearts.  Goodness knows I might be one of those things on a reallly benevolent day.  The other days?  I’m selfishly thinking about how many hours are left till I can book it out of there, smiling to cover up the groan of laziness.  “hey! why don’t you/don’t you want to do ______”



Cause’ that’s just how I feel too often.  Not that I don’t do the things, play the flute, whateverwhatever. But I’ve come to think more so that nursing is a life filter that someone upstairs is using to weed my overgrown heart out.  Because, yes I come into a day seeing people as their lab values and how many orders are in for them (aka how much work have to do) but by the end of a real day, these people are making my heart do emotional yoga. Making it stretch bit by bit, in different ways that make me able to catch a glimpse of their ‘puzzle’.  So yeah, I’m not a saintly Florence Nightingale, and I might not be such a great gift to my patients, but perhaps the most necessary understanding of being a nurse is to accept ‘gifts’ from patients in the ‘stretch’ they provide.  Nursing doesn’t need me so much as I need the puzzle time.  Are there predicaments like this which you find yourself in?  Things that expose tiny voids you didn’t realize were there?

‘I’m Set Free’–The Velvet Underground

O.K. DONE! You are free.  Thank you darling, this is yours.

Vanilla ice cream met olive oil and they got funky with the salt


Aaannnddd you are sharing yes? Naw, it’s cool I had 3.

Your weekend is almost here, one more day!  Hope it’s swell, hug a tree, kick a rock.