I just want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their well wishes as I try to get back on my feet and battle this beast. I wish every one of you a safe, healthy and happy Christmas and New Year. I will be back shortly after Christmas to entertain you with a morphine induced post! Have a Great Christmas!
Here I am! Ahem, again.
My humble apologies for ditching the blog for over a month now. Thanks so much for all the well wishes, I really needed (need?) them. Allow me to explain, and feel free to take a nap in between paragraphs, as I was never good at giving the Readers Digest version.
A few months back I had another follow up with the oncologist. As everyone is aware, I’m still battling this “incurable” cancer beast, and for the last couple months, it has really been a rally to see who was going to win. Some days it still is, but being the stubborn woman that I am, I refuse to concede defeat. I hold true to the saying many of my cancer sisters have adopted – Cancer can kiss my ass. Sorry if the profanity offends, but ‘ass’ sounds way meaner than ‘butt.’
Anyhoo, the beast has invaded a few more areas of my body, and is making an attempt to use me as its puppet. Up to now, I have had 3 separate rounds of chemo, and enough radiation to single-handedly power up half of Canada…Christmas lights and all. My body has taken it all in stride, and my immune system behaved itself rather well under the circumstances. Well, then I got an infection that knocked me on me arse. I landed in the Emergency Room because my temp spiked to 39.8 one night, only to find that my temp had come down to almost normal when the triage nurse checked me. I informed her of my cancer vixen status (I prefer to refer to myself as a cancer vixen/cowgirl rather than “patient”) as well as the fact that I am a nurse (if only so they would not talk in circles around me.) I was assured that I wouldn’t be left in the waiting room long, and that I would be taken to a quieter area of the ER soon due to my immune status. I’m sure it was the immune status, rather than the RN, because not only do we NOT get lovely Christmas bonuses as nurses, we also don’t get to bump to the front of the line just because we save lives and actually work there, just in case you were wondering…
Let’s skip ahead…5 AND A HALF HOURS LATER! I’ll just say now that, while I’ve always been an amazing advocate with a big mouth for patients, family and friends, I’ve never been good at doing it for myself. After watching every single person go in ahead of me, including some that came in later, I wondered aloud if I would need to fall out of my chair and whack my head on the floor in order to get seen. I’m quite sure I was getting delusional from the fever, and my hubby had had just about enough. He went up to the triage desk and inquired as to whether I would be seen before hell froze over. They looked at me funny and then I knew. THEY HAD FORGOTTEN ABOUT ME. I kid you not, I was taken into the back within 5 minutes, had my temp taken and was spiking at almost 40 degrees again. That earned me a private room with a door. I think it had more to do with them being afraid I was contagious rather than their concern for my status as an immune compromised cancer vixen… I was admitted rather quickly, had the required IV started, and then hubby and I were left for over an hour and a half before anyone came back. Ahh yes, nobody offered ice, water, or the very first and basic safety rule of nursing – THE CALL BELL. I felt so awful I didn’t even have the energy to bitch about it. The next person I saw was the resident, who informed me I needed IV antibiotics and told my hubby I would be there for the night, he might as well go home and get some sleep. This was at 0030h (1230 a.m. for you laypeople.). Nursey came and started the drugs, shut the door and left. After she left, I realized I still had no callbell. So there I lay, drifting in and out of sleep, waking up when I heard footsteps walking by my door, foolishly thinking someone was going to come and check on me to make sure I wasn’t having a reaction to the antibiotics, hadn’t peed my pants, had a coronary or otherwise. Nice try. The next person I saw – at 0330, with a completely dry IV, was the doctor. He took my temperature and informed me they were discharging me home – ahh yes, and that I had to be back at 0830 for IV antibiotics. Seriously.
After dragging hubby out of bed and waiting, we arrived home at 0530. Yup, lots of sleep that night.
What did I learn from this experience?
1. I have GOT to strap on a pair of cajones and take control of my own health care, because it is blatantly obvious they couldn’t give a rat’s rump whether I live or die. I went through a whole list of “shoulda, coulda woulda’s” regarding things I should have said in the ER. Namely WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU PEOPLE DOING while I’m sitting here going mad with fever and pain??? Had my best friend been there with me, they would have been cowering in a corner when she was through with them.
NEVER assume that your health care team is going to go to bat for you. Take responsibilty for your own well-being or you could be very, very sorry.
2.Duckett should have been CANNED long before the cookie incident. Something every single person in health care (but for those who were busy kissing his arse) knew and weren’t allowed to comment on under threat of disciplinary action. Guess what? I’m mad and I really don’t care anymore.
3. Our system is very, very broken.Making new beds is a nice idea, but until you have the staff to actually do the work, what the hell is the point?
4. To the staff working in the ER of the Royal Alexandra Hospital that night, I say this: Is it any wonder people complain about the treatment they receive in your ER? I was absolutely disgusted by the lack of care shown to me as both a CANCER PATIENT, and a fellow nurse. I didn’t expect preferential care, I expected CARE, period. Now that I’m feeling a bit better, I will be writing letters, and perhaps even making a phone call or two. If you treat all(or any, for that matter) of your patients the way I was treated, you don’t deserve to be nursing. I have been fighting to get better so I could return to my career as an RN because I love it. If you no longer do, perhaps you should get a job somewhere else where you have no direct contact with patients, thus taking away your ability to give the rest of us who truly care, a bad name.
So there you go. My ER experience in a nutshell. There is more to tell, but I must save it for another day as I have reached the end of my energy for the moment. I will be back again, to entertain you with more stories from the last couple of months. Trust me, there are a few.
Thanks for hanging in there and patiently waiting for me to return. I’ll write more soon!
Hi everyone. Yes, I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been neglecting my blog. My humble apologies. I’m not going to make excuses, but there has been alot of *&*^ going on. I’ll have a new post up for you to read with your coffee this weekend!
Hope all is well with you, and we’ll chat soon!
Hello my loyal blogees and blogettes. I know this next rant was supposed to be about my emerg experience, but I had to shuffle it to the back so that I could share with you my most recent letter to the Editor. This topic really pissed me off, and I felt I had a responsibility to share a piece of my mind with those who may, from time to time, get a little slack in their job. I”m sorry, but when your job is keeping track of sex offenders, best make sure you’re doing it properly…Incidentally, the piece of garbage I discuss in this column actually got picked up last night, according to my best friend. One less piece of trash on the roadside.
Last summer, my best friend discovered posters in her neighbourhood, warning that the boyfriend of her neighbour was a sex offender and should be kept under close watch. My friend, being the Mom of a young child, called the police to discuss it with them and was told this was not an issue, and if it were, they wouldn’t be able to tell her, due to our lovely privacy laws which protect the criminals rather than the citizens. In speaking to the girlfriend of the accused, my friend was assured that this was the result of an ex-girlfriend looking to get revenge.
Over the months this supposed “wrongly accused” person did odd jobs for my friend, and was in her home from time to time. One time her daughter was dancing around the house the way little girls do, and I remember saying to my friend that I didn’t like the way this guy was looking at her.
Imagine my surprise when I get a call from said friend, telling me to look at our local “Police Beat” section in the paper, and this person is listed as one of their most wanted for, among other things, failing to complete his annual registration with the sex offender registry in February of this year. I was stunned into silence. This disgusting pig had been in my friend’s house, around my goddaughter countless times, and had also since fathered a child with the neighbour. I’m sick not only because of the circumstances, but also because the Police Service knew where he was the entire time, and did nothing. Recently as 2 months ago, this man had agreed to sell a vehicle for my friend’s husband, and took off with the money. The police knowing who and what he was still said nothing.
And they wonder why people resort to vigilante justice to keep their children and neighbourhoods safe? Is it any wonder, when someone like this has been in breach of his conditions for months, and yet roams free, neighbours and parents being none-the-wiser?
Furthermore, why are sex offenders given any leeway when it comes to their annual registration?
This is not rocket science. The public needs to be made aware when such offenders are in their areas, around their children and homes. The Registry and the Police Service have some explaining to do on this one, and need to put on their ‘A’ game to ensure this doesn’t happen again. I guarantee if it was in their neighbourhoods, where their children play, they’d be taking it a little more seriously.
Here I am! I’ve been under the weather and the covers. I haven’t even checked my Facebook or updated my Twitter since Thursday, something that is almost unheard of in my house.
Since I’m just getting back on my feet – literally, I’m working on something for the weekend. In honour of what I have gone through this past 4 or 5 days, I was thinking we should perhaps address the wait times in Emergency, to start? Yes, yes that’s exactly what we’ll do.
In addition to writing another column so I can keep your attention, loyalty and comments, I am also in the process of putting up a photography site of the same name. I figure why mess with a good thing. Robin’s Eye View Photography is in the works, and I will let you all know when it is fully up and running!
p.s. If anyone knows of good freelance work coming down the pipe, send me a message!
Welcome to my new Eye View, and thanks for your patience while I hemmed and hawed over what to write for my first rant all on my own (cue sappy background music).
Thanksgiving has come and gone, and I had many occasions this past weekend to stop and think about what I’m thankful for this year. As I wrote in my “farewell,” I turned 39, which was a milestone in itself, considering my “cancer expiry date” was thought to be over a year ago. I’m still here, and almost as feisty as ever.
So yes, I’m thankful to be on the right side of the turf, but when I looked in the mirror the other day, I thought of one more thing to give thanks for – Foundation primer. I kid you not, it’s like poly-fill for wrinkles. I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but one day I woke up and realized I didn’t have the skin of a 20 year old anymore. I don’t smoke (anymore) and follow what could be referred to as a skincare regimen, so I was quite upset to find that when I stop frowning (a bad habit of mine) the line remains stubbornly knitted between my brows. When a piece of tape separating my eyebrows failed to remedy the problem, I went in search of something better (and less toxic, as evidenced by the name) than Botox. I entered the heaven that is known as Sephora, and braced myself for the onslaught of stares and tongue clicking from the consultants, followed by the pelting of anti-aging products, but it never came. Either this visual is more in my own mirror than anywhere else, or the frowny face scared the consultants into hiding.
I tentatively purchased the primer, and skittered off to try it. I’m sure I heard a choir of heavenly angels when my makeup application was complete. Looking in the mirror, I saw someone I recognized again, and all was well in my world. It may sound shallow to some of you, but one day when you wake up and reality hits you square in the crow’s feet, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. Some of you lovelies may have already experienced this midlife holy-crap-I’m -not-what-I used-to-be syndrome, and if so, then you know that it can’t simply be remedied by purchasing a car with a 5 digit price tag. No, we fret, pull, stretch, change lighting, head to the spa, and may even start hanging around older people who smoke a lot to take the attention away from ourselves. Yes, that – or plastic surgery.
There are those few kindred spirits who look upon ageing as no big deal, something to embrace rather than run screaming from, and well, they deserve a medal. That, or I need to be on whatever medication they are taking.
I came across a book recently, and if ever I had a twin, it would be this author. It is titled “My Formerly Hot Life: Dispatches From Just the Other Side of Young. Author Stephanie Dolgoff hit the nail directly on the head in all of the excerpts I read. Why only excerpts, you ask? That would be due to the fact that every Chapters in western Canada was sold out of the book, and there was a wait to get it online. What does that tell you?
I can’t wait to get my hands on this book to read the rest of it, all whilst nodding in complete agreement with the depressing facts the Author doles out. I was a legend…in my own mind, and now even that is fading. I have been known to say that beauty fades, and when it does, you’d better have something damn good to fall back on.
So here I sit. Out of shape and beaten up from far too much chemo, but my hair is finally almost long enough that I can forego the wigs and feel normal again, relatively speaking. As I mentioned in a previous column, I’m taking dance classes to try and get in shape. OK fine, I’m trying to recapture some of my youth, but let me have that much, will you? The problem is, these classes make me feel even older and more out of shape, especially when I’m forced to stare at my own reflection, leaping, jiggling and spinning, in a full length mirror. Don’t get me wrong, I love dancing, but being faced with staring at your authentic self – not the one you feel like and think you look like, but the one you actually see, is a hard pill to swallow. It’s even more difficult when the 100lb “girl” standing next to you is grabbing her non-existent flab and lamenting about her “mommy tummy.” Honestly, I felt like giving her a sound beating with my jazz shoes.
At least the Yoga studio has no mirrors, and thus no reality check to interrupt the chorus of “I’m fabulouuuusssss!” in my head as I do my practice.
So yes, I carry on, head held high, even as I watch my stockpile of anti-aging creams, serums and potions grow with every trip to the drugstore. I try to embrace the fact that I am maturing, and that each and every experience I have had over the years has, in one way or another, helped me become the woman I am today.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to slather my face in a mud masque promising “exceptional results,” and rest my weary bones in an Epsom salt bath while my heating pad warms up. Stay tuned for more from my Eye View – once my arthritis medication kicks in.