Tag Archives: flu

Coughing, sneezing and I’m going to be sick …

seem to be the catchwords these days.  There are, at any given time, several bugs going around that are contagious, HOWEVER, due to the unusually warm weather this winter season, the bugs (and not just the flu ones) are winning the war.  It’s funny how, when someone is sick, all the lessons they learned as a child (such as covering their mouth when they cough) just fly out the window.  I have been coughed on, spit on, puked on and, as of today, hit on (though that is, unfortunately, not contagious hahaha). 

I never really intended on being a nurse, but for some odd reason, I seem to have a knack for it.  I am not a people person.   Might as well admit it.  Through the harsh experiences in my life that God had decided I needed to face, however, I have been given an arsenal of ways to relate to people facing crisis.

I still wake up every morning wishing I could spend the day looking for photographs to take, but that is not the turn my life took.  I went to school and studied things that grossed me out on many, many levels and, got kicked out of the OR by a very irritated surgeon; at some point, though, was able to actually practice (mostly without gagging) what I had learned.  I hate germs, hair and skin cells.  They make me want to run for cover, so I ask myself over and over why I became a nurse.  The answer is one that doesn’t please me, but the truth is often a bitter pill to swallow; I became a nurse because I didn’t have the nerve or courage to be what, in the depths of my soul, I wanted to be.

Ironically,  there is a survey that everyone in the place I work has to fill out.  Thankfully, we don’t have to put our names on it because one of the questions is “do I get to do what I do best every day”.  The answer is no.  I don’t get to photograph nature and life and I do not, on any level, consider making a note in a patient’s chart using medical jargon and words that I am pleased to not only know the meaning to, but know how to spell (such as costochondritis, hyperemisis and macrocytosis), writing.  But even so, I don’t discount the sheer magnitude of the moment when someone who is in need says to me “you have put my mind at ease” or “I am thankful for you”.  Those times almost (not completely, but almost) make me feel guilty for not wanting to be a nurse for the rest of my life.

I have, more than once, as any of my friends can tell you, been in a position where I needed to have my own mind put at ease.  As recently as the last two days, if I am to be honest.  I find that I treat patients the way I want my parents to be treated and often spend more time than I should trying to fix an unfixable problem.  Doing so is like hitting my head against a wall again and again, but I simply don’t have the mindset to do something halfway.  All or nothing, whether I love it or not, is just the way I roll.  It is a blessing to know that, along the way, I can give back what has  been given to me; that I can relate, even in the really bad stuff, and give someone a bit of peace by letting them know that I understand.  And, too often for my own comfort, I do understand.  It is both a blessing and a curse.  A blessing because I can bring some peace to a single, solitary soul, and a curse because I often wish, without guile, that I were anywhere but where I am at the moment.

Knowing that I am relevant in peoples’ lives  doesn’t cure the wanderlust or the need to write or the need to see or the need to photograph.  Those things make me who I am and whether I am face to face with the flu bug or dodging vomit, or squinting my eyes shut as someone coughs directly in my face, it doesn’t change what I want to be.  Just because I am good at what I do to earn a paycheck doesn’t mean that I want to keep doing it.  I’ve been saying that for over twenty-five years and my reality, though sometimes skewed by moments of insanity, hasn’t changed.  In my heart, I am a photographer and writer and that will not, even if those particular desires are never fulfilled, change.  I still have my trail shoots.  I still have my blog.  I still have my dreams.  I still have my faith.  While I will continue to do what I do as long as I must do it, there is so much more I want to experience.  Being an optimist, I have no doubt that the chance will come.  Being a Sagittarius, I am just stubborn enough to wait for it.  Being a follower of Jesus, I have the faith and patience to wait.  Being a nurse, I at least know that, while I am waiting, I am accomplishing something that matters to someone.

So all of that being said, I remind everyone to wash your hands several times a day, change your clothes the minute you get home and for Heaven’s sake, don’t eat or drink after people;  that is nasty even when you are well, even when it is people you love dearly.  Remember, germs don’t care who you are, they are just glad when you are gullible enough to bring them into yourself, so protect yourself and run when necessary. Be well, be safe and follow your dreams, no matter where they may lead.  I certainly intend to.

flolicking

Hebrews 11:1 ~ Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

If you’re too sick to go to the doctor …

you probably have the flu.  It is that time of year.  Actually, it’s a little early, meaning that the season will be in full swing by the time everyone starts traveling to visit with family and friends during Christmas.  There will be many who will have a fever and feel as though they have been beaten nearly to death with a hammer, but will travel anyway because, hey, Great Aunt Ethel will be disappointed if she doesn’t get the pair of socks they spent two minutes picking out.  They will hack and cough, sneeze and sniffle, wipe their eyes and forget, at times, to cover their mouth, touch everything and leave their germs behind for dozens of others; kind of like paying it forward, but in a bad way.  Unless they are walking around in a bubble, they are going to give it to many unsuspecting people, who will in turn, give it to many other unsuspecting people.

Imagine yourself on a plane, closed in with a few hundred others, a third of whom may have or have been exposed to, the flu.  Breathing the air, touching the surfaces.  There isn’t enough soap or hand sanitizer in the world to protect you.  Now imagine yourself on the subway platform with all the same scenes.  Now imagine yourself on the train, or at the rest area, or in a restaurant, or at the mall … I could go on for pages, but first, multiply the  above by a hundred thousand or so.  If you or someone you know hasn’t yet tested positive, just give it a little more time.

The flu virus can live outside the body anywhere from a few seconds to 48 hours and on your hands for about an hour.  The vaccinated have a better chance of avoiding the flu than the un-vaccinated, but there are no certainties either way.  It is important to wash your hands or use sanitizer between every contact with every surface.  Will it make you feel like the skin on your hands is going to fall of?  Of course.  What can you do about it? Use lotion.  That will make  you even more susceptible, but at least your nails will look good.

Jesus is the reason for the season, but flu is the reason for the sneezin’.  Try to stay well everyone …