Sunday, October 30, 2005

Pardon my complaining, I'm tired and sick. Now I'm losing my voice. It doesn't help that last night at work, while I was trying to rest in the small office, I was cornered by a coworker and attacked! Not just any type of attack, I was tickled! I'm acutely ticklish, to the point of torture. So I screamed, which only seemed to amuse her more. It caused everyone else to want to try for the same effect, only they did it where I could run away. I had to threaten serious bodily harm to anyone who came within two feet of me. For shame, no pity for the sick girl.
Now you know my weakness, so to quote Papa Herman, "Please use this knowledge for good" and not for evil.

For "the fanclub":
"The sailor" was on a roll today. The first thing is something he said with myself and a coworker in the room. He was trying to climb out of bed, if successful the end result would be him flopping onto the floor like a fish, not a good idea. So I pulled his legs back onto the bed and helped him to call his wife on the telephone. In the middle of the conversation with her he said, "I keep falling into physical love." There was a pause, and he replied, "You can contemplate that... that means think about it." We heard this and couldn't help but laugh. The next thing he said is something I knew he would say, he says it when someone laughs at his jokes. He told his wife, "There's a loose feather in the upholstery."

Warning, potty talk to follow...
The second thing is as told to me by the parties involved. Two nursing aids went to check on him, to see if he needed changing. They told him, "We need to see if you've had a BM." He swatted at them and yelled, "I'll give you a BM! I'll give you a BM and dedicate it to you!"

Monday, October 24, 2005

weekend adventures...
This past weekend was my much anticipated visit with James and Susan. I packed the dog in the car, and other necessities, and took the ferry over. It's so nice to be in a hub of activity. My lap was used as a trampoline for as many as three children at once. The dog was taken "hostage" and carried everywhere for two full days, like a rag-doll. She only complained a little bit, and was surprisingly good natured about it. I wish I had remembered my camera. Once we left she slept until I went to work this afternoon, only taking breaks to eat and potty. I was at St Paul's for Great Vespers, Matins and Divine Liturgy. Susan and I went to Value Village on Saturday, and found 2 West Bend Poppery II air-poppers. One for each of us. Perfect for home roasting coffee. Hooray! I can look forward to another visit with the Ferrenbergs in a few weeks, when my God-parents and their baby will be here from California.

The patient I mentioned in a previous post died last Monday. It was extremely difficult to see her suffering and death. I've been a nurse for five and a half years. I've been an Orthodox Christian for almost two years. I used to think that death was natural. That is the popular way to look at it, especially in working in nursing homes, death is so common. But, it's not natural. It's not how we were created, we were created for immortality. Death is a consequence of the fall.

Now, I think of Pascha. The Resurrection of Christ. Every year at Pascha, the tradition in most Orthodox Churches is to read the Paschal sermon of St John Chrysostom.

Here is just a part of it:

Let no one bewail his poverty,
For the universal Kingdom has been revealed.
Let no one weep for his iniquities,
For pardon has shown forth from the grave.
Let no one fear death,
For the Saviour's death has set us free.
He that was held prisoner of it has annihilated it.

By descending into Hell, He made Hell captive.
He embittered it when it tasted of His flesh.
And Isaiah, foretelling this, did cry:
Hell, said he, was embittered
When it encountered Thee in the lower regions.

It was embittered, for it was abolished.
It was embittered, for it was mocked.
It was embittered, for it was slain.
It was embittered, for it was overthrown.
It was embittered, for it was fettered in chains.
It took a body, and met God face to face.
It took earth, and encountered Heaven.
It took that which was seen, and fell upon the unseen.

O Death, where is thy sting?
O Hell, where is thy victory?

Christ is risen, and thou art overthrown!
Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen!
Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice!
Christ is risen, and life reigns!
Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave.
For Christ, being risen from the dead,
Is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

another silly internet test, just for fun...

You Have A Type B Personality


You're as laid back as they come...
Your baseline mood is calm and level headed
Creativity and philosophy tend to be your forte

Like a natural sedative, you have a soothing effect on people
Friends and family often turn to you first with their problems
You have the personality to be a spiritual or psychological guru

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I'm high-speed and unplugged! $20 a month, wow. And, I set it up myself. Now I can spend time doing other things, instead of waiting for the internet.

I think I'll go for a walk in the park by my house in the morning. "Manzanita Park is a 120 acre recreational complex which includes 2.27 mile self guided trail through remarkably diverse woods and wetlands. Plants and trees common to marsh lands and typical of the Northwest are featured here. The trail can be wet and unpassible. Best to hike in the late summer and fall."

Monday, October 17, 2005

James posted this morning about something near and dear to my heart, the elderly. It's something important to me because of my work. I could do a lot of things as a nurse, and maybe I will do other things. I've been forever changed by working in nursing homes. I've taken care of engineers, pastors, superior court judges, the homeless, drug-addicts, and many others. People can be not likeable when they're sick, in pain, and/or dying. Can I blame them? I see families that visit everyday, I know of families in the area that never visit. What's been on my mind lately has been the call to love our neighbors. I don't know where I'm trying to go with this. These are people that suffer daily. It's a hard thing to lose your home and independance. Suddenly you're sharing a room, your children visit when they're not busy. You have people telling you when to wake up, when to use the bathroom,what to watch on TV, when to go to bed. I would be mean and cranky too. No one listens to them talk. I'll tell you my favorite thing to do at work, sit down and be there with someone. I can tell you they love to grab a hand and squeeze it, if someone stops long enough. It's hard to get the time, in between the "real work." But, oh, it's the best part.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Everything went well with the kids yesterday, not that I was worried. When I arrived I had three little people talking to me non-stop for 5 minutes. "Dawn, Dawn, Dawn..." :) The oldest was reading the Wall Street Journal. The youngest wouldn't eat what was for lunch, went to his room crying, and came back fine 2 minutes later and ate.

Oh, and, I brought my laptop and was wireless on the net! It is so much faster than dial-up. I finally decided get it for myself at home, since there is a special of $19.99 a month for one year. I don't have cable, my cell phone is prepaid for emergencies. The DSL should be active Tuesday, just have to set up the wireless modem when it arrives.

Also, I updated the other blog with some pictures from my mom's visit.

I shouldn't really call the 9 year old girl little, since, she is only a couple of inches shorter than me!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

I'm getting up early in the morning to watch Father and Matushka's three children so that Father can go to Seattle to visit someone in the hospital. The kids are nine, seven and three(almost four) years old. Oh what fun we'll have. :) What a nice way to spend my day off. Kids are so awesome.

Last Sunday I said, "Hello" to Nilus, the three year old, and he turned and walked away. He walked to the iconostasis (our portable version), and told his mother, "Dawn said hello to me, but, I didn't say hi because I wanted to light my candle." Here is one of the funniest things I remember him saying about me.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

To lighten the mood...

A fellow nurse's daughter moved to China this summer, to teach at the International school in Beijing. She and her husband won tickets to a celebrity golf tournament. You can see below who they saw there. She was about to say something loud as someone was getting ready to tee-off and he turned and "sushed" her.

Monday, October 10, 2005

one of my patients had a stroke. one evening she was just sleepier than usual. she continued to be lethargic, to the point where she was sent to the hospital. at first they diagnosed her with dehydration. it's very frustrating, sending a patient to the hospital from a nursing home. they don't want to figure out what's wrong because they're elderly and live in a nursing home. they will often send them back with a diagnosis of dehydration, pneumonia, urinary tract infection, or cellulitis. while these are common for folks in nursing homes, there are times when they obviously don't even try to see what else might be going on. there was no way this woman was dehydrated. so the week went on, they did a CT scan, an MRI. she had a stroke, big difference from dehydration. she was at the hospital almost two weeks. they talked about placing a GT tube (feeding tube). her court-appointed guardian decided against it. they do however have her on IV hydration. so she's receiving IV fluids. her family doesn't understand, they would like her to have a feeding tube. she has a long history of mental illness, including schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder. she's very sweet and used to hold and kiss her baby dolls. now she just follows me with her eyes, she can lift her head a little, but she can't move other than that, and she hasn't made any sound yet other than coughing. i was talking to her like i always do, and put one of the dolls against her cheek like it was kissing her. the left side of her mouth smiled. it broke my heart. it's hard to see her like this, having her the past two years. i can't say how long she will live with just the IV fluids.

May God grant her peace in His heavenly kingdom.

an update
Thank you all for your prayers. At this time there is no longer any IV hydration, or anything else. When I was there last night she was lifting up her left arm and squeezing my hand. She could turn her head and smile at me when I walked into the room.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Happy October! I love October for many reasons. It's getting colder, I need to pull out my mittens. It was 42 degrees when I was driving home from work last night. My poor mother wanted to visit BEFORE it was too cold for her. She's from Southern California, she can't take the cold. :) We'll just have to figure out how to use my wood stove. One of my favorite things to cook is home-made soups. Below is one of my favorite recipes. I made it last year, and had an accident with it. I spilled a bowl of it on the tender part of my forearm, and my thigh. I rinsed it off right away, but it started to blister. It was very painful. I anointed it with Holy Oil from St John the Wonderworker, and in the morning the blisters were gone and it was completely better! Glory to God. I did notice also that some of the soup ended up on the ceiling, so I had to climb on a ladder and clean it off. I gave the recipe to my mom. She cooked it for the family. My step-dad ate it and loved it. He hates yams and won't eat them, she didn't tell him till afterwards.

From "The Garden of Vegan: How It All Vegan Again!" by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer

Tanya's Curried Squash Soup

1 medium onion, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cups cauliflower, chopped
2 cups yams, chopped
2 cups squash (e.g.,butternut, acorn, buttercup),chopped*
1 medium potato, chopped
1 leek, sliced(white and pale green parts only)
4 cups vegetable stock*
1 180-oz(398-ml) can coconut milk
1 tbsp curry powder *(or a lot more) :)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp Braggs *("Braggs Liquid Aminos" similar to soy sauce, but much healthier, found in natural foods sections. I love it.)

In a large soup pot on medium heate, saute the onions in oil until translucent. Add the cauliflower, yams, sqush, potatoes, and leeks and simmer for an additional 3 minutes. Add the stock, coconut milk, curry, turmeric and Braggs. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are cooked. In a blender or food processor, blend 1/2 or all of the soup until smooth (be careful when blending hot liquids); return to pot and reheat. Makes 4-6 servings.

*I used Butternut squash.
*For the stock I used the organic, "Pacific" I think? I used both the vegetable and the mushroom together. It was yummy.