Friday, January 31, 2014

Musings on Healthcare, Scrubs and Grey's Anatomy (is that show still on?)

In order to bankroll my lux lifestyle here on the Coast of Illinois, I spend the better part of my time

wearing scrubs. Ah scrubs. Those paper thin drawstring pajamas with pockets. I hate them and blame them for my overall increase in BMI.

Scrubs use to be a hot item. Literally. They were stolen right and left. I remember being so excited (and thirty pounds lighter) when I transferred from the White Uniform from Head to Toe, Including Stockings world of floor nursing to the operating room. I got to wear people clothes to work and then changed into generic, unisex, anemic blue scrubs. I felt as though I was being admitted into an elite society.

Over the years, uniforms have been phased out and replaced by scrubs so colorful that given the right choice of pattern and color, a nurse could blend into the wallpaper. This skill may be acceptable in the animal world but in the world of higher functioning primates it is frowned upon. Plus, with the enormous choice of color, style, price and comfort everyone wears them. Which has become somewhat of a problem. It seems that people actually prefer to be able to tell the difference between a RN, a housekeeper and the visitor who just likes to wear scrubs.

So, to that end, the Big House where I work has 'color-coded' staff. Secretaries wear one color, techs wear another, respiratory therapy yet another. As a nurse, I wear Navy Blue. Thank heaven. When I heard we were being color-coded I had the fear that our color would be Emergency-Glow-in-the-Dark Orange. Navy is a great choice. We all look chic and ten pounds slimmer.

The downside? For the first time in nearly ten years, I have to buy new clothes. My previous job allowed any color or pattern of scrubs. I had an entire 60 gallon Rubbermaid tub of these scrubs for every season and holiday. Not a single one of them was solid Navy. At my current job (nurses are notorious job hoppers) my scrubs were provided. They were, once again, anemic blue unisex.

I spent a month studying the Navy Blue choices in all the scrub catalogs. Everyone in the cataloges are so perky. They wear their stethoscopes tossed jauntily around their necks and in the action shots it looks as though they are jogging on a beach. Weird. When we run into a room its dragging a big red cart with paddles connected to 260joules. Stethoscopes are stuck in ears and no one is smiling.

In the hopes of a more realistic shopping experience, I opted for the Uniform Store conveniently located within the Big House complex. Armed with my holiday gift card (thanks PACU management team!) I wandered in and was promptly greeted $47 Grey's Anatomy scrub tops. Seems a little excessive for a pajama top based on a television show which may or may not still be on television. Oh sure, the fabric was unbelievably soft and stretchy and the pocket placement was...cute. But forty-seven DOLLARS??? Sadly, hospital workers do not get $50,000 dollars per episode. And even more sadly, most of us are not built like television people.

The Grey's Anatomy scrubs run close to three sizes smaller. Which even with the 'stretch' put my generic medium scrub butt into a size XXL.

Like I am ever going to buy ANYTHING in a XXL.

It seems that I have discovered the Commercial Identity Paradigm:

Labeling an item with a Television Show name causes an automatic decrease in size with a corresponding increase in price and a dig at the consumer's self worth.

It's almost like they don't want us 'normal' people to look good. Do the designers really think we look like those people from Grey's Anatomy? Are they saying that only wealthy people are svelte? Is Grey's Anatomy really still one TV???

In the end, I let my vanity and my checkbook do the talking and opted for the much cheaper Frank's Body Parts brand. The fabric is not nearly as soft, the lack of stretch has forced me to maintain my healthy eating plan and the pockets are merely functional. And honestly, no matter what the price point, scrubs are simply drawstring pajamas.

And drawstring pants all but encourage poor health by literally stretching bigger and bigger.

And THAT is the real downfall in our healthcare system. 

Caps, dresses and martinis. Ah...those were the days.
Want to read more of my adventures in Nursing? Check out these links:

Beck and Call 

Nurses Week 2013

It's a Living

Saturday, January 18, 2014


Been meaning to update the blog...have had several great ideas, which are now titled files under which I have put nothing meaning that most likely I will completely forget what it was I was going to write about...I have also needed to move my sewing stuff into the newly designated craft/office...would love to read the book I started two weeks ago...

But instead I have just been Blah.
Outside of work clothes, I only have pajamas in the wash but I don't care that I haven't left the house except for work...Blah.

I am not sure what is up with this.

It might be the and nasal.
Or the, work, work

Possibly it is the unbelievably full moon we have had this week which thoughtfully shines directly into my bedroom window all night...
I am quite sure the Full Moon is responsible for this: 
I do not want to see his ticket or pass.

Even a grown man in Elmo underwear on the train didn't shake me for long. It just seems that I have moved to the less than great state of Apathy.

Perhaps it is the lack of toxins from the detox diet I am attempting with some co-workers...
although with all that roughage and brown rice...
or possibly I am just exhausted from lugging around the extra weight of all the containers I must now pack in my lunch for my healthy eating such as this delightful snack: 
Yes. Apple and roasted garbanzo beans. Don't judge me.

It could be all the emails and Facebook updates of beaches I am getting from the Four Seasons Hotel chain...
just what was I thinking subscribing to their Five Star Newsletter of Wonderful

But then something wonderful happened.

The SUN came out for nearly seven minutes!
It became SATURDAY!!!
cue heavenly choir.....
Can you believe she hasn't fed us for FOUR days? It's not like this feeder is in TAHITI!

And then it snowed briefly which seems to scare the sun away.
It looks like I may have to invest in one of those Light Hats or max out the credit card and take the Four Seasons up on that offer to go to Tahiti...

But...I am also being fiscally responsible...and in only approximately 158 days it will be summer...
So until then I will go here...
Happy Place

And dream of this...
Oh...there's somethin' bout a boat...
Happy Dead of Winter Everyone!!!

Thursday, January 9, 2014 that enough 'g's? Because I can add more.

Ah, January. The New Year is coming in like a Sharknado...only with snow...and stupid cold temps...and power outages...but no sharks.

But hey, it's winter, so what did we expect?

Harvey Flamingo and Moe Cabesa the Head are not amused.

Normally, I wind up working if there is a huge storm predicted. This includes, but is not limited to snow, rain, high winds, sharks. Okay, maybe not sharks. This really annoys me. Not because I must brave the elements to get to work but rather because I am a closet weather groupie. (plus wouldn't it be awesome to actually SEE a sharknado.)

The family blames it on the fact that I was born in Oklahoma.

Give me a Defcon 4 weather alert from the local news guys and I am ready and watching the 24 hour coverage.



This storm actually brought on continuous coverage, relocating normal programming to the digital channels. Which was thoughtful as I am also a Today Show junkie. But also ridiculous. It was snowing. And cold. And while we got about seventy three feet fourteen inches of powder, it's not like the snow was DUMPed from a bucket. It vigorously fell for many hours.

This is entirely too much weather map action, even for me.

So, how did I spend my snow day?

Out in the snow. Der!

Look at the professional manner by which I hold onto my poles and the confident manner by which I use my daughter to hold me up.

Because it seems, that while I am a total klutz and completely inept at nearly every sport invented, if you strap two long wooden/fiberglass boards to my feet I become:

Jean-Claude Killy on Downhill Skis

Ester Williams on Water Skis


Some Nordic Dude in a big sweater with a lye preserved fish on Cross-Country Skis.

This may be a slight exaggeration. (and somewhat insulting to those of Nordic descent.) But, in my mind, I am shushing and swishing with enough form to win a 9.5 from the East German Judge. According to my husband I am more of a 911 call waiting to happen, not because of my excessive speed or recklessness but rather because of my ability to stop by flinging my appendages in a circular motion while spinning on my back like a turtle on the highway.

Still, it's nice to have a sport to call your own.
These are the professionals.The quiet day was rudely disrupted by their constant inquiry "Are you okay back there?"

And is there nothing more beautiful than a quiet snowy day.

Until the power goes out at midnight and the temperature is -7 with a wind chill of Frigidaire.

And the river freezes.
No worries New Orleans! We're sending the Ice.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Word of the Year is...

What a wonderful way to begin. Waking to a sunshine bright morning, cool, crisp and clean as only a morning in January can be.

New Year's Day.

I didn't get up until nearly 9:30AM, thanks to my husband getting up ridiculously early to turn off the alarm cat by feeding him the first of a minimum of six tiny cans of overpriced cat food.

Not that I wasn't ready to wake up.

Last night I dreamed that I was dreaming and in THAT dream I was being chased by several ghosts or people past, ghosts of people still breathing of their own accord and one as yet unseen creature. I 'woke up' as my dream husband reassured me that he would 'love me no matter what I continued to say' as I lay in bed shaking as though the New Madrid Fault had discovered twerking. But this was STILL a dream, which I was acutely aware of but could not seem to wake myself up from. With the desire to WAKE UP in my head my dream self then moved on to some sort of food truck ferry which was moving us back and forth across a tiny river with no goal in mind but to clean up the food truck kitchen and make one of my co-workers gain about one hundred pounds.

My subconscious was thrilled when Bart came in our room and opened our ridiculously noise 1970's era closet doors. My eyes flew open and the first thing I asked him was 'What did I tell you?' followed quickly by 'Did we have an earthquake? Cause I am pretty sure we had an earthquake."

To which he replied, "you didn't say anything, not that I would have heard you, I was too busy clinging to the edge of the bed while you sprawled over the entire center."

I began to deny this but quickly realized that my arms were completely wide open, reaching from the right to the left side of the bed. I also felt that perhaps I owed a couple of friends and my co-worker an apology for dream throwing them overboard and dream weight-gaining them.

It was quite a relief to crawled out of bed and into this beautiful morning. I felt sense of expectation and a tiny bit of disappointment that we had, in fact, NOT had an earthquake.

But isn't expectation what New Year's Day is all about?

It always finds me feeling slightly off balance but with an insane determination that anything is possible.

Which is probably why many years past I have resolved to lose weight, write more, exercise, read, learn French, not overdraft the bank account, lose weight...

A couple years ago the word 'resolve' and 'resolution' fell out of favor and suddenly I was 'reinventing' my self by losing weight, writing more, exercising, reading, learning French, not over-drafting the bank account, losing weight...

As I sat at the kitchen table, resolving to not make any grand resolutions, I watched the hosts of the Today show discussing how to become your best self in this New Year. The ideas were mostly the same, make wiser choices with your food, your time, your spandex. But one guy offered a slightly different view. His advice? Pick one word.** Let that word describe you, your life, your aspirations for this year. And as he talked, a word popped into my head:


What a great word.

I can be inspired. My work can be an inspiration. I can see inspiration in others. It is all-encompassing.

Will I tell you what sorts of things I hope to be inspired to do?


Will I tell you what things I find inspiring?


Am I inspired to finally clean out the store room in the basement?


At least not yet.

For now, I will respond in the famous words of Captain Fantastic's mouthpiece, Bernie Taupin:

"If you ask how I am I will just say....Inspired."*

*This is a lyric from the song Better Off Dead. Which by title alone doesn't sound all that upbeat or inspiring but with it's heavy rock beat and semi-angry, Les Mizzy voice, it is a song that makes me want to break out in dance at the MetroLink station. It is sung by Captain Fantastic who is, of course, Elton John. A musician whose work I find quite inspiring. Especially the old stuff. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Bennie and the Jets. Island Girl. Don't Go Breaking My Heart. Although that last one included Kiki Dee. Who inspired in me a desire to where denim-look overalls and a semi-bowl haircut.

And there I go, telling you what inspires me.

THIS is exactly why I do not make resolutions. 

**After doing a little research, it seems there are many 'one word' groups out there. I have nothing against 'church-y' type groups and I am not here to promote one organization over another. I just found the idea quite interesting. Here are a couple of links I found in my research. If they speak to you, wonderful.