Monday, February 23, 2009

One step at a time....

So, I made it up all those damn stairs again. Yesterday I did the Hustle up the Hancock with my pal Steve from Revive Hope to raise money for the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago. Big, big Muchas Gracias to everyone who contributed to the fund raising. There's still time to send in a few bucks if you'd like to help out the cause.

Chicago is pretty cold but not much colder than NJ, which isn't really saying much. I woke up Saturday at 4am to catch an 8:40 flight out of JFK which was delayed for 40 minutes anyway. It has not been a weekend for sleep but that's ok. I did again meet the girls(and one guy) from Iowa.
Everyone in this picture is named Ryan

We got to the Hancock around 7am Sunday morning. The streets of Chicago are pretty quite at that hour, so it feels like you're getting there really early. Then you walk into the building and see this:

It's quite a melee

Gear check was especially painful. I got up to the front of the line and all I could see was a wall of plastic garbage bags with hands reaching out the grab people's stuff. Getting it back was no picnic either, but we managed.

I did also get to meet Melissa, a heart transplant recipient who blogs at revivehope with Steve. The neat thing about hanging out with Melissa and Steve, for me, and I hope this doesn't sound stupid, is that it's interesting to hear their stories, talk to them about what it's like to live with a transplant, how they got their organ, stories of their donor families, etc. EXCEPT that it's as a friend, not as a nurse and a patient. That's really nice for me.

I used to think, even when I was recovering organs, that I wouldn't want a transplant if, God forbid, I ever needed one. I mean, maybe if my kids were small, so I could stick around for them. I didn't really know any post transplant people and the regimen seemed so hard and it seemed like, to me, that maybe the cure was worse than the illness. Now that I'm on the other side of it, working with recipients, I see that that's not true. I have patients that have complications, a small few who died, but the majority of them are like Steve and Melissa-vibrant, healthy people who you'd never know had a transplant unless they told you. It is truly amazing how people get their lives back, or in some cases, get a better life than they ever had in the first place.

Of course I didn't get a picture of the three of us together. Because. I. Am. A. Doofus. (Smacks forehead). Well, we'll all just have to get together again next year.

Anyway, I think I did a few minutes better than last year, although my legs are tired today.

You take the stairs. I'll leap up to the top in a single bound.
Up, up and away!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Still time to give me your money!!

Hey, y'all. As I mentioned in the last post, I am climbing the Hancock building (the stairs, not the outside) this Sunday with my friend Steve from Revive Hope. If you 'd like to contribute, click on the link at the right that says "Kari's Klimbers". Thanks and wish me luck! This year I'm skinnier and more in shape, so I should do it with only minor wheezing and moaning. Here's the post and pics from last year's climb, including a pic of me and my brother from anotha motha.

Also, I'm thinking of revamping the site and I'd like to hear your opinions of some of the other free or for-fee hosting sites. I'm leaning toward Wordpress. Anyone?

Monday, February 16, 2009

3 Day Weekend

I got President's Day off. Ka-ching! I don't think I've ever had President's Day off, not since I was a bank teller (yes, a bank teller) and that was many years ago. Last week my office mate was off skiing, so I had the office to myself. Unfortunately, I had all the work to myself, also. To help, they gave me the new person on Monday, a nursing student on Tuesday and Wednesday and, the best of all, the pharmacist on Thursday. I say the best because, while she's perpetually stressed, she easily does the work of 3 people. While I put out fires and returned the 900 phone calls I had accumulated since Monday, she made all my post clinic phone calls AND called in Rx's. I love her.

I guess I'd write more about the job if there was more to write about. Seriously, I mostly make phone calls. I make rounds at 8am with the team, have clinic 2 days a week, eat lunch at my desk and make more phone calls. People who call in because they have a cold, because they only have 2 days left of prograf, because their urologist started them on a new drug and they want to know if it's ok to take. I have people who call me with their gynecologic and psychiatric problems. Remember how when you started nursing or med school, or possibly even veterinary school, and suddenly every relative you ever had would start asking you for medical advice for their various ailments? Multiply that by 600 patients and you have my job.

Saturday I was in a frantic state of I-can't-relax. I'd be playing with the Pooter and thinking of cleaning the house or what I needed at the store until my husband told me to cut it out. Actually, he said I need to stay in the moment more. Thanks, honey. We did start off the day with Valentine's "perprises" for everyone. Teen got flowers from a "Secret Admirer". Pooter got a Beauty and the Beast DVD and a Belle doll. I finally managed to surprise my husband-I got him a Johnny Cupcakes T-shirt. My surprise was that Friday night Hubby and I went out to dinner. At a nice restaurant. Alone. Oh, somebody pinch me.

Sunday, Pooter and I went to church, then visited the thrift shop where I bought a Columbia ski hat and 2 Berenstain Bears books, which both the Pooter and I have been enjoying. I recently discovered that the Bears are Baptist, but that's another post. Then Pooter comes over carrying an armful of stuffed Powerpuff Girls. You remember them-sure you do. So I bought Buttercup. She's the cranky one. (Insert your own joke here).Sunday evening Poot and I walked to the grocery store and when I returned I made a pork tenderloin stuffed with mushrooms, spinach and parmesan cheese and brussel sprout with bacon. Mmmm. Have I mentioned I've lost 12 pounds on my diet. Thank you, Mr. Atkins. Hubby introduced Pooter to the Powerpuff Girls on video.

It was a big hit. She's carried Buttercup around all weekend. Buttercup was even there WHEN SHE WENT ON THE POTTY FOR THE FIRST REAL TIME!! We called everyone with the good news and celebrated with marshmallows.

So today, my big day off, I was full of Monday energy and OFF! We took the bus to Gymboree. With Buttercup in toe. Buttercup shares her food, goes potty with her, helped us cook dinner and went into the bathtub. When we got to Gymboree, every one was SO SURPRISED to see Pooter's mother. Maybe they were hoping her dad was single. Anyhoo, during open gym she karate chopped her way over to a grown woman who was holding the Jimbo doll, grabbed it out of her hands and yelled, "I want to fight Jimbo! I want to fight Jimbo!" After I cleared up the fracas I looked at my husband and said that perhaps we should cut back on the Power Puff videos. He just laughed. "She's 30% feral." "Just 30%?" I asked back.

We managed to leave without casualties. Then we met my parents for dinner. All in all, a nice weekend. Even better, I have 2 days of work and I'm off for a week and a half! I'll be climbing the Hancock this weekend and will have more to post then, I'm sure.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

So, I didn't realize that you can't read the Nursing 2009 article unless you can log into google. I'll work on that if I have some time tonight. Maybe I'll just post the full article on here.

In the meantime, I'm working on a playlist of songs that have to do with donation for Nat'l Donate Life month in April (or maybe sooner). Does anyone have any suggestions? So far I've got Mariah Carey's Hero, You've got a friend by Carol King, Devotion by Indigo Girls, and a few others. Let me know your ideas and I'll see if I can find them on project playlist.