Really Sucky Day : LUSENET : Beyond the Sidewalks : One Thread

I very, very rarely drink alcohol. I am sitting at the computer drinking lemonade and rum, and eating chocolate cake. I almost never cry. My eyes are red and swollen from tears, and my throat is killing me from screaming in frustration on the way home from work. (Good thing it was dark on the drive home!)

I need a new job.

Or maybe a vacation would do me! I have not had a day this bad since, well - since I can remember! Earlier today, I was espousing involuntary sterilization for psych inpatients. You don't want to know what I am advocating now!

Now let's think about it. All these lovely social programs and all these protection of rights and all that - aren't we really just "Defeating Darwin"? You know, Darwin's Theory of Evolution? Survival of the fittest? So many psych illnesses are genetically passed on. How many of these folks would survive to breed a new generation without all these programs to feed, shelter, medicate, etc... them? Are we burying our country in crazy people?! I have seen more people with Antisocial Personality Disorder (Sociopaths) recently than you can shake a stick at. It's freaking SCARY!! They want to go kill people and there ain't nothing we can do but drug 'em up and let 'em go. And Borderlines; Gawd, all the borderlines! Druggies and Alkies that have no desire to quit. Who the heck can drink 30 beers a day?! Meth heads. Child molestors. Abusers. Where the hell have all the nice little depressed people gone? And the bipolars? I like the bipolars; and the schizophrenics too, they're pretty okay.

I need to go refill my drink. What d'ya think, do I need to go work in surgery? Where all my patients are unconcious? Or what would be another choice?

42 days to my vacation. 4 more days 'til I get 3 days off in a row. Anyone want to take bets on whether or not I'll make it? To either one?!

Thank you for listening (or not!). I feel better! But I'm out of lemonade. What do you think of rum and ice tea? Probably not....

-- Anonymous, July 27, 2004


Polly, God bless you.

I don't know how clinicians can deal with anything. I doubt that most of us (public) have any inkling of how bizarre it must be in your work world (although Mr. S has been working ER a lot and has some rather nasty/gross tales, so I'm getting a hint). Personally, as close as I want to get to patients is my computer and headset.

If it is any consolation, Jesus himself got really tired of healing the sick, too.

I think you sound like burnout is happening. There must be someone for you to talk to at the hospital (professional). I don't know if working surgery would be better, but a change might be good.

As to the genetics and the sick, I'm sure it must be tempting to think of a quick way to eradicate the problems. I also know you are a good soul and try to help. Probably the best thing would be to let someone else deal with those patients. You've done your best...maybe time to move on. You certainly have been a saint.

Hope your day gets better and no hangover.


-- Anonymous, July 29, 2004

I've always favored coke with my rum. Or, or one of those Polynesian drinks that they have in Chinease restaurants are great too. You know the ones, they come in bowls the size of kitchen sinks.

My grandmother is crazy. Her mother was said to be crazy and I know my mom sometimes seems there. Pretty sure grandma is bipolar from what I saw on ER. I have found alot of my problems are food allergy related. Gave my son personality problems. Gets really nasty and belligerent after eating too much cheese.

Three more days until your off. Hang in there.

-- Anonymous, July 29, 2004

I think that Indiana was the last state to stop involuntary sterilization of the "mentally deficient". Just a small bit of useless trivia.

It sounds like burnout to me. When I used to do phlebotomy on the psych ward we used to joke that you had to be sure you were wearing your name badge so the staff would know to let you out again. I think switching to a different ward might not be a bad idea. Of course the stereotypical answer would be to transfer to labor and delivery so you could be all flush with the joy of new life, but IMO women in labor tend to be bitchy. They have every reason to be, but if it was me it would get on my nerves real quick.

-- Anonymous, July 31, 2004

One of the factors that contributed to my decision to accept layoff in 2001 and retire was when I noticed in a review of the 327 personnel files under my supervision that 192 required work environment accomodation and/or were prescribed mood altering medications to function "properly" and be capable of social interaction in the workplace. When I showed the figures to my assistant he couldnt believe how bad society had gotten either. We were both ready to bail out of that place.

-- Anonymous, July 31, 2004

I can't imagine doing what you do either, Polly, and have a great deal of admiration for those of you who do. It's so easy for the rest of us to just 'let someone else do it', with so many things in our culture, and I don't think those who are in the trenches get enough respect, credit, or usually even money.

Course I also agree with Dee about the causes of mental illness. If there is indeed a genetic factor my bets would go with familial tendencies to develop the same food and chemical sensitivities also because we tend to pass on our lifestyle habits to our children. The other factor,IMO, is rotten parenting, which is rampant in our culture. A kid can be easily messed up in their first two years when the parents haven't a clue how to raise children, and then it's often too late to heal all that world of hurt (and if they are even able to FIND help in our uncaring system), even if they meant well. I think little boys are even more apt to be badly affected, particularly by sexist parents, and the effects of that are often devastating to the rest of society because of the way messed up men often act out violently.

Sounds like you really need a long break, dear. You work yourself too hard anyway, IMO; you could use some down time.

BTW, rum and ice tea ain't bad. People like me have pretty much tried everything over the years.......whatever's handy, even kool-aid. <. <.

-- Anonymous, August 01, 2004

Thanks guys! I think it's just been too many days in a row plus too many high acuity patients, maybe. Anyway, I've got 3 days off (Sun/Mon/Tue) then work a day and one more off; so hopefully I will mellow out and be better able to deal with it. I'm back on the rum and lemonade routine tonight, so that may help too!

OB is out, Sherri - babies are too slippery! And I'd probably be frustrated there too - "What the hell are you doing having a kid, when you can't even take care of yourself?!" I'd be back espousing the mandatory sterilization thing in no time!! We've got an opening for a Nursing House Officer or Nursing Supervisor - basically, they are in charge of the hospital on night shift and weekends. A couple of the current NHO's want me to apply; they think I'd be good at it. I dunno. One thing to consider is that I'd have to get my BSN within 5 years; and I really don't think that I'm up for more school now; acadaemia irritates the crap out of me! And I'd like to get Jes through some sort of schooling before I try to go back; don't want to stretch the budget too thin to be able to help her. Med/Surg is in dire need of nurses, the CCU nurses are trying to talk me into transferring down there, and when I got called by a local nursing home for a reference for one of my friends, I ended up being offered a job right along with her! So, I've got lots of options; I just can't decide what to do right yet. And I do have that vacation coming up....

Jay, I've noticed the increase in people on meds too - and in people I think NEED to be on meds! I blew through a yellow light today and had some old guy follow me 8 blocks to the store, right on my bumper, honking and flipping me off; then he got out of his car and started screaming at me "Stupid fucking cunt, etc...."...I decided I didn't need donuts that bad, and put the car into gear and started to pull out. He got right in front of me, but must have seen something in my eyes because he got out of the way fast. I gotta remember to put the police non-emergency number somewhere on my dashboard so I can find it in a hurry...

I think the political thing is getting to me, too. The patients had the DNC on all the TVs; and between listening to that, and the commentary surrounding it; and also the political infighting on the internet forums, I am about ready to resign my voter's registration! Not really, EM. I'll be at the polls. I just can't handle the ugliness right now.

On the home front: My garden is a wreck right now, courtesy of: a.Harvest Season, and b.working too much. I really need to get out there and get some weeding done tomorrow. But I also need to pick beans and get my ironing done, and I also need to go lay on the beach! It's supposed to get into the 90's here the next couple of days, so I think when Hubs gets home from work (2pm) I'm going to hand him a sandwich and his swim trunks and we will head for the beach; there is one about 10 miles from here, in a State Park campground. I like campground beaches the best - camping is sort of a family thing, so there will be at least a few people there who are fatter, whiter, and otherwise in worse shape than I am! (Bad attitude!)

Jes is trying to finish up her transcription course as she is also sick of her job and wants a change. She is talking about going down to Dallas and trying for a job as a stewardess with American Airlines. Gawd, sometimes it is so hard to be a supportive Mommy!

Hubs seems to be enjoying his new job; things in the home shop have slowed to a trickle tho. This is okay - I'm teaching him to can! Tonight we made ketchup from the tomato juice that Pop and I made on Wednesday; and also put a half bushel of peaches in the freezer.

Pop is slowing down again, due to the heat, I hope. He's starting to notice that he is having trouble driving, so we are going to ask the doc to set him up with an appointment with the eye guy. He tells me that all his friends are starting to look old! Funny, I'd been noticing the same thing about all MY friends!

Well, the timer just went off on the last load of ketchup, so I'd better go shut down the pressure cooker and head to bed. Take care everyone; and thanks so much for being here!

-- Anonymous, August 01, 2004

Here's some political 'discussion' that will likely make ya smile!

this land is your land

-- Anonymous, August 02, 2004

Poor Sweet Polly. You know, maybe it was partly the full moon that was waxing too (blue moon on top of it all). That tends to bring the wackos outta the woodowork and make the already wacky a bit more so (I believe that from working retail!) and make us "normals" off balance too. Its waning now so they'll settle back down. :o) And I hear ya on the too much to do...too much to do and not enough of me to do it. As for weeding..I am so glad I tried that Ruth Stout method this year. Much fewer weeds! Thinking of you darling.

-- Anonymous, August 03, 2004

Hold on, Polly!! You're a very strong person and you'll get through this. Try to enjoy your days off...please! Can you bump your vacation up a few weeks maybe?

BTW...Kool-Aid works well with rum OR vodka :-)

-- Anonymous, August 03, 2004

Hey Polly! Good to hear from you! I think beach therapy sounds about right!

"This land is your land" (jib jab) is worth taking the time to download. I have watched it a million times lately. Very clever, no matter what political bent you have.

Sheesh. The guy in the car sounds deranged. And such a creative vocabulary!

Try rum and coke with some orange juice in it....

-- Anonymous, August 03, 2004

I'm gonna try to send some pix of our place, cuz I'm too lazy to take them myself and now the realty has done it for me!


living room


dining area looking into my office (where I'm sittin right now, looks out over the 'lake'

view from the loft

view from our backyard

You can see what we're giving up; but I'm tired of everyone coming in here and reminding me! :) It really is drop dead gorgeous out here.

We have received a purchase agreement, but the woman was upset because she insisted we might have a rodent problem. Couldnt figure out what she was talking about (have to talk to people always through an agent, very frustrating). Turns out she found a few mice turds in the furnace room! OMG, how scary is that! So she wants to include an exterminator in the inspection, so she knows how much it would cost her if she decided she had to fumigate the place! Unbelievable!

Certainly the little buggers try to come into the house every fall (duh), that's what living in the woods entails. Ya trap em....sheesh. big deal..... What's she gonna do when the wild turkeys come peckin at the front door,and the frogs and toads and turtles take a dip in the pool, and the coons get in the garbage can, and the squirrels do their dancing on the roof? LOL... the poor delicate thing will surely get the vapors!

-- Anonymous, August 08, 2004

OMG!!! you know what you're giving up :-)??!! Just funnin' with ya! But your place IS "drop dead" gorgeous. I love that kitchen. The ceiling beams look like ours that a pool I see in the backyard!!??

With a place like that, who the hell cares about a few mouse turds :-)!

-- Anonymous, August 08, 2004

Yeah, it's a pool; a pain in the butt in mostly, especially in our climate.I'll be glad to be rid of it, pretty as it is.

Just wish I could get rid of this dog! It's agonizing........we are in limbo with three different parties thinking about taking her, and can't really move until we have found someone. I just cannot imagine having her in town, we would all be so miserable. I would never in a million years have chosen a large furry creature like a Pyr as a house dog, and since we have been here, where she is in the house about half the time, my house and our clothes are in a constant state of furriness; we have to dust everything every single day, I am terrified of the fine hairs finding their way into the muffins, we have to keep a lint brush at the back door so we can brush our clothes as we leave the house. And that's with brushing her every other day!

She has dug deep grooves into nearly every door in this house, because every time it thunders (which is often) she freaks and wants to be near someone, and the outside door is a disaster from her just asking to come in several times a day. Our new (old) house has beautiful old doors everywhere, and I will not let her damage them. This house here is rustic anyway,so we are able to fix the damage, but over in the city is a different matter.

I love her, ya know, but she needs to find some acreage and live like a Pyr should.

We have a second offer on the house,full price with no contingency this time, but they want to close at the end of Oct instead of the beginning, and that's not acceptable, so still negotiating. Course there's still the inspection to worry about; hopefully they won't find anything serious, but log homes can have hidden problems from what I've read.

-- Anonymous, August 10, 2004

Beautiful home, EM; tho I'm sure you already knew that! I'm sorry about the situation with Isis and wish I could lend a hand - I've already pushed Hubs to the critter limit, unfortunately. Have you checked in with a Pyr rescue group? My sister-in-law runs a no-kill shelter near Chicago, but her focus is Shelties. They do a really good job of placing pets; and are darn picky about who gets them. What about the folks who bought your previous place - could they use a watch/stock dog?

-- Anonymous, August 11, 2004

Gee, contacting the people who bought the farm is a great idea, but I don't know if I'd have the guts to do it. They weren't very friendly actually, and asking someone to adopt your 6 yr old dog is asking alot anyway.

I contacted the Pyr rescue group here in the Cities;turns out to be located right around here. Trouble is the woman who runs it send me an email that was more or less a lecture about how I should take her to the city with me. It was irritating to say the least, as if I didn't know my own dog or my own family. I gave her a lecture in return, expressing my distaste for people who live in the city and keep working breeds as trophy dogs, regardless of the deficiencies in their poor animals' lives from having to adjust to human city living. It is fascinating when we're at our new house in town, how many dogs come past, walking their owners. They're fun to watch, from adorable tiny puppies to Newfoundlands, but I wonder if the big ones spend their whole lives looking forward to those daily walks.

Yes, this house is beautiful, thank you for reminding me :). I always wanted a log home, and so I got one,and I honestly marvel at it almost every day,looking up from my bed at the beams and the stones of the fireplace and just feeling all warm and cozy surrounded by wood. But we all know a house doesn't make one happy, it's just a house after all. Not one neighbor has come over to inquire why we are moving since the for sale sign went up.So entirely different than our new place, where the girls went yesterday with a van full of stuff and the guy next door runs over right away to ask if they need help. It might drive me crazy to have people in my face, but it's kind of comforting to be welcomed instead of frowned at.

Tonight our agent comes over and we choose between the two purchase agreements, then we can stop having to be ready for a showing at any moment. One stress behind us. Bren is under an incredible amount of stress at work, feels she's in way over her head cuz as usual she has taken on too much. We have been seriously neglecting the business cuz of this move thing and also want to hire someone to help with promotion etc as soon as we have the cash from the house. The U of M has been putting off signing her renewal contract and she is basically working without a contract right now,not good. Terrible cuts in state budgets,like most other states right now, lower taxes and damn the consequences. Damn idiots running this state, weird priorities.

-- Anonymous, August 11, 2004

Damn idiots running most states, I'm afraid, EM. I absolutely, positively cannot STAND acadaemia. I just couldn't work around that type of atmosphere. Poor Bren. And, as someone who has, oh...just the tiniest propensity toward overscheduling herself....poor Bren, again. Of course, I should be saying poor EM and the kids, as I know that Pop and Hubs have to put up with a lot when I am overwhelmed. This too, shall pass. It sounds like you've moved in to a nice community in town and I am sure that you will bloom where you are planted.

So the Pyr rescue lady wasn't much help. Drat. Is there any other rescue besides the twin cities one?

-- Anonymous, August 11, 2004

EM, Mr. S. and I will be right over. We figure we can stay at your place and Pyr-sit! What a gorgeous place!!!! I agree about the trophy dogs. Hey, can you contact a local veterinarian (like a specialty center or?) and see if they can refer someone? Usually the big vet centers have some idea of who to contact. Or they might just be too busy to talk to you (hope not). Good luck!

-- Anonymous, August 11, 2004

Hey Sheepish...Harry and I were thinking the same thing!! We'd be there ASAP if it wasn't so far from the ocean...OR...if we didn't have so many "creatures" to move!!!! We already have a log home, but I want mine to look like yours, EM :-)!!!!!!!

-- Anonymous, August 13, 2004

Thanks y'all; yeah, it IS purty here, but I'm sure most of you have beautiful views this time of year too. I'm lookin at the still pond this morning, watchin the ducks and geese, but have to get out of here soon; we're having the inspection done this morning. Keep yer fingers crossed.

-- Anonymous, August 14, 2004

Had a call yesterday from a woman down the road from the one who was going to take Isis and backed out. Really good and long conversation, sounded like a good fit, so Ali and I and Isis drove out there to Wisconsin (2 1/2 hours). They have 90 acres, variety of critters, including two young dogs, and also have three adopted special needs kids, two with Down's and who was a shaken baby. Really sweet couple, obviously. I had some concerns,like one of the boys is unusual for a Down's child in that he also has hyperactivity thing goin on and he's a bit agressive. As I warned them on the phone, Pyr's are not cuddly at all with strangers, they are bred to be guards after all,and take time to warm up to people,so I was concerned about him getting hurt from scaring Isis, even though she has never hurt anyone ever before. Also they have very little money from the looks of things, and big dogs are expensive to keep, but everyone looked clean and well-cared for, didnt see any sickly critters or filthy pens or unkempt pastures. Isis was afraid to come out of the car at first, cuz this whole group of strange people, dogs and such were surrounding the car and she was freaked. But she was ok when we locked up the other young dogs and walked her around a bit.

I ended up leaving her there, called an hour later to see how she was doing.I instructed them how to best handle this, to things slowly and let Isis take the lead until she trusts everyone. Right now she is in a very large run where she can observe everyone without feeling threatened, so see how they behave and interact with the other dogs only through the fence. She'll be taken out periodically every day on lead and introduced to the farm and other critters gradually, and we'll see how it goes. If it doesnt work out I'll come get her.

Ali fell apart (which is why she really didnt want to go with me) but Isis didnt freak when we left,which is good. I'm terrified that if they let her out loose too soon she will try to find us, but I'll call every day to see how she's doin.

-- Anonymous, August 16, 2004

That sounds like it was a very challenging situation, but I also think it sounds like you have found a good solution. I admire you for being so strong. You folks are in my prayers (and Isis too).

-- Anonymous, August 18, 2004

Well I don't know how strong we are; her image pretty much haunts us still, but it's only been a few days. Actually we feel more like jerks, pawning off our sweet dog on strangers, hoping and praying we are doing the right thing in the long run for all concerned.

-- Anonymous, August 19, 2004

Well, ya know, I've taken in lots of people's pets and I never thought they were jerks. One of my favorite dogs was my Aussie, Jack, that a friend gave me when he realized he couldn't take good care of him anymore. It would have been a big loss not to have old Jacks around for all those years. Another favorite was my beagle Maizie, who just wandered in one day and never left. I really prefer the people that asked me to take their pets, rather than the ones that just dumped them out and drove off. Speaking of which, did I mention my pregnant yellow cat? The one that put Hubs over the edge, pet wise? She's due to have kittens any day now; and I'm hoping that I've got her tamed enough that I can take her in to get spayed after they are weaned. I would probably be more likely to think you were a jerk if you took her in and got her euthanized because she wouldn't be happy in town; or kept her in a tiny little kennel filled with excrement, like I seem some folks in town doing. So quit feeling bad, you did the best thing you could do.

-- Anonymous, August 19, 2004

Thanks, Polly. Actually we certainly were cognizant of the possibility of having to put her to sleep, although I really think there was little chance of that happening. And I agree that those who dump their pets in the country deserve a special kind of hell, I don't necessarily feel that way about folks who put their pets down when they feel they have exhausted all alternatives. I'm big on the quality rather than the quantity of life for all creatures.

There was an interesting case locally last week of a woman in Minneapolis who was found to be harboring 160 rabbits in her house! A neighbor complained about an odor (we only had one rabbit at a time, and I remember well how smelly was their urine (she had been cited previously for too many rabbits, reportedly was allowed to keep only three after that, but um, after all, they are rabbits! It was such a sad but fascinating story, from a psychological perspective......a lonely woman who has no one, works a regular job as a cashier at a grocery, and comes home to her beloved rabbits. Trouble is, she suffers from a malady called 'animal hoarding,' and these folks are kind-hearted but form unnatural bonds to animals in place of people ( oh geez, I don't mean THAT kind of unnatural!) and sometimes lose touch with what is normal. Apparently quite common, almost always women.

When a rabbit died, she would carefully place it in a plastic bag and put it in her freezer, so there were 70 frozen bunny carcases in her house. (And I thought *I* had weird stuff in my freezer!) She said her preference was to respectfully cremate them but the cremation company charges over a hundred bucks per wabbit so she was waiting for her ship to come in I guess.

The icky and disturbing part was (according to the journalist, cuz I know many of them exaggerate, embellish and flat out lie all the time) that one bathroom in her home, which she owns, was inhabited by loose wabbits and the floor was covered in several inches of manure. So if true, she has a psychological disturbance, (or, as those of non- bleeding-heart-persuasion might prefer: she's a freakin' sicko and should be locked up!) but I hope to goodness someone can get her some counseling cuz many witnesses came forward to say what a wonderfully warm and caring person she is.

In fact, it just occured to me that maybe *I* should look into this and try to organize something to help pay for her treatment,since all social programs in Minnesota are drying up cuz it is now in style to be very concerned about not paying too many taxes. In my spare time, of course.

Anywho, the really interesting part to me was this, and I quote from the article in the StarTribune:

Cathy Tarnowski brought home her first bunny when she was in the third or fourth grade. Afraid her mother would find out, she hid it under her bed for three days.

"My mother heard it thumping," said Tarnowski. "She said it wasn't a good pet to have at the time. So we took it to the petting zoo at Como Park. I went to see it once a week."

It was the first time someone took a bunny away from Cathy Tarnowski, but it wouldn't be the last.

In case I haven't mentioned it before, when I was young I had always planned on becoming a clinical psychologist, until I figured out in my short college career that I empathized way too much with others' problems and would probably have jumped off a bridge within a year of opening a practice. So I am completely fascinated with learning how peoples' minds work, and this one was a doozy. I'm hungry to know more about her familial dymanics.

-- Anonymous, August 19, 2004

Many, if not most animal hoarders suffered sexual abuse as children. I really, really hate people who sexually abuse children. One of the hardest parts of my job is taking care of abusers in a non- judgemental way.

-- Anonymous, August 20, 2004

Working in veterinary medicine is certainly interesting. I cannot tell you how many times I wish the owners would get healed even as their pets need to. (And this is a place where people must care enough to pay the big bucks to bring the critters in, unlike people who abuse/neglect pets without seeking help). What a strange world. No wonder I like animals more than people, for the most part. Interestingly, there are animal behaviorists out there (I think only 39 in the whole country) who have extremely advanced degrees and who work with (you guessed already) animals who have behavior problems/needs. I think they should do a co-therapy where the owners are treated at the same time by human behaviorists. Perhaps they have those programs already! How do animals develop behavior problems in the first place? (oh, you guessed again!).

Anyway, got to run off to work now!

-- Anonymous, August 26, 2004

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