Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday quietly passed

I coughed myself to sleep last night. I'm sure Mike and I made quite the duet hacking into the night. When I woke this morning my voice was gone. 


I'm very disappointed that I wasn't able to do the City to Bay 12K. The weather was gorgeous. It would've made for a nice day to have the run. 

The morning was quiet. The kids were getting along nicely which is good. After they were dressed and ready for the day I gave Sam her new iPod, my old iPhone. 

Before going to bed I had set restrictions and limited various functions, downloaded some music and cleaned up the apps, contacts and photos. I also set up an email for her so that she could use both email and iMessage. 


She was thrilled. She only commented on the broken power button once saying "Itd be nice if I didn't have to push real hard in the button...I'll get used to it."

With Sam hunkered down in her room, James was thrilled as this allowed him to play on Daddy's iPad without competition.
 
Mike wonderfully volunteered for grocery duty as we were out of bread and milk. Shortly after he left, the devices were put on chargers and the kids were sent outside. It was simply too beautiful out to let them be plugged in the whole day. 

I fell asleep on the couch as Mike fixed dinner. I'm a bit stressed about what tomorrow will hold. I'm scheduled to work the next four days. Even if I wear a mask, work through feeling crummy, there's the fact that I can't talk louder than a whisper. This is not how I wanted things to start out at a new job. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Metal, ink, and a hard drink

I have to share a bit more about orientation. 


There's lots of tech in the education field, so it's not surprising that part of the orientation focused on computer learning. There's supposed to be an all encompassing, wonderful computer program that recently rolled out that was going to be used across all the hospitals in the state. 

One hiccough, funding to educate all the staff on how to use it. So far two hospitals in the area are using it and the rest are "on hold" until...well, no one knows. 

In the meantime, the hospitals I've been to have gone back to paper charting, using various other program for labs, bed management, patient history, etc. 

In orientation we got 30 minutes training on one program and an hour on another. The second was the one an hour was spent in. None of it was hands on, so I don't really remember much. It sounded like on that senior nurses would be using, not temporary employees like me. 

The thing that struck me and the others was that the program was developed in 1985! One of the other orintees said she thought it looked like space invades ,the old 80's video game, should pop up on the screen at anytime. 

For some of the younger nurses the program was full of concepts that were completely foreign. For example, the program is "not compatible with mice." In order to move the cursor you have to use the tab button or the function keys. Backspace does not work, only delete. It's just quite archaic. 

The IT teacher reinforced and stressed that this program works well and does what it was designed to do. None of us were too convinced. Oh well. 

Since moving here Mike and I have really been struck on the number of people with tattoos. Just walking through the shops we'll see several people with neck tattoos. In checkout, we'll frequently notice wrist or finger tattoos on the hands of the checkers.  

Initially, I thought it was just that people show more skin than they do in the Pacific Northwest. We then determined that there are just more tattooed people here. 

The other thing are gauges. Gauges are the large piercings that stretch out the earlobes. Since our arrival I've seen more young people with gauges than I have ever seen before. 

I was surprised to continue to see these trends among healthcare professionals. 

In orientation, I was surprised to see that several of the orientees had visible tattoos. One even had 1cm gauges in her ears. 

Then, when one of the hospital head honchos came in to speak, I was again surprised to see that he had multiple silver loops hanging from different places on his ears. A nurse educator had visible wrist tattoos and a tongue ring. And even in the ward, several nurses have very visible tattoos.  

I'm guessing that it's just the culture here; however, I do not recall seeing so many tattoos and gauges when I was here previously. 

Oh, and in last funny. On the last day of group orientation done if the other nurses and I were chatting. We were talking about terms used in the US vs. Australia. One nurse asked "What do you Americans call pop?"  I explained that it depends where you are in the country. I usually call it soda; although, calling it by its brand babe such as Coke isn't uncommon. 

I then asked "Why, what do you call it here?"  Her reply was priceless, "Soft drink!...you have to remember that we're a country of alcoholics. You have to be specific if you want a soft drink or a hard drink!"

On my first day on the ward I was asked no less than three times if I was from Canada. Not once was I asked if I was from the US; although, it would be phrased differently...I wasn't asked if I am American or a Yank. ;)


This and that

Sam was scheduled to have a pediatrician appointment yesterday. The office called Thursday afternoon to cancel and reschedule. As we had already waited two months for this appointment I wasn't overly impressed. The GP had wanted her to follow up with a pediatrician and let him/her determine if she needs to continue to follow up with oncology and what that might look like. 


We're still waiting to hear from the eye doctor's office for her appointment...it's been two months. I've heard from other mothers that it can take up to a year before an appointment is available. As her eye doctor in the US wanted her to follow up in a month (would've been July) I'm getting a bit nervous. We've stopped patching for now as she's at the point where she uses her weaker eye to look through things. It would just really be nice to have the expert recommendation rather than just guessing. That's a whole different post though. 

With Sam beening so sick this last week we decided to keep her out of school for Friday too. We headed into the city as I needed to pick up my race day packet for the City to Bay 12K taking place on Sunday. The kids were thrilled as they got a chance to ride the tram. 

It was pretty brutal as the kids being on the mend, but not yet 100%, were rather whiney and felt the need to pick on one another frequently. 

After packet pickup we headed to one of the big shopping centers and went to a family movie. All of my kids do well watching movies when they're on the sicky side of things. Thankfully today was no exception. 

It was rather interesting as when I bought the tickets they had seat assignments on them. As we were the only ones in the theater (cinema as it's called here) we decided to sit wherever we wanted. We saw The Boxtrolls. It was a cute movie and it was a quiet evening. 

This morning the kids woke early as per their usual routine. I got up to and Mike got the chance to sleep in. The feeling in my lungs was obvious. Something was trying to take hold. I tried to be optimistic that perhaps it would wear off as the day progressed. 

After a leisurely morning, the kids and I headed for the beach. Daddy, still being a bit under the weather decided to stay home. Hearing that it was supposed to be around 70 degrees today, both kids eagerly got dressed in some of the new summer clothes that had come in the mail earlier in the week. Here's a quick pose on our way. 

On our route to the beach we passed a fruit tree. We've passed it several times and it's changed from being only green, to having blossoms, to fruit that looks like green crabapples. The fruit has grown plump and orange. On previous passings, mike and I have speculated about what it could be.
 
Today, there were several cars in the driveway and three men were standing in the entryway of the house chatting. While taking this photo I asked "Do you live here? Do you know what kind of fruit this is?"

A tan man wearing aviator sun glasses and a grey colored knit cap said he was and then told us the name of the fruit. I couldn't understand him though and after asking several times figured I'd just google it later. 

The fellow was very friendly. Apparently he planted the tree when his children were little ones. He pulled down several of the fruits and shows us how to peak the thin outer skin to reveal smooth flesh. 

The fruit was sweet and juicy. It tasted a bit like an apricot. The texture was more like a melon. At its center were a few marble sized seeds/pits. 

He said that's what he had planted to grow the tree. Sam and James loved the way they shimmered. They are brown; although, at the time they had a golden shimmer. The man said they make wonderful jam. I believe it! I looked it up and they are loquats.

James wanted to eat more. My little sweet guy loves all fruit, so it doesn't surprise me that he could've kept eating. 

Sam commented that the man sounded "just like Mr Bach from my CD."  When we had been talking I asked where he was from and he said Germany. I love that sam made the connection. Both Mandi and Sam enjoyed the Classical Kids CDs that told stories and shared nicely arranged/performed classical songs. 

The seeds are now on the windowsill working on sprouting. The kids want to grow them into trees just like our neighbor had. 

The beach was wonderful as usual. I foolishly thought sam would be fine in shorts...I was wrong. This little mermaid got soaked again. 

After the beach we headed back to the big shopping centre. We took a bus to the train and then waited for another bus. While waiting for the second bus James found "treasure."  I tried to stop him but wasn't fast enough...he reached down to pick it up and immediately started screaming and crying. 

What he thought was a large diamond was in fact the broken bottom of a glass bottle. He got a good deep cut right on the bend of his thumb. As soon as I covered it he stopped crying. Without water to wash it out, I ended up milking it a bit to let the blood wash out any icky bits. 

Thankfully daddy had a hanky, thankfully I had some cream similar to nystatin, thankfully there were sturdy cloth band aids in my purse and thankfully the bus came right after it was covered. 

On the bus I chatted with James while Mike comforted Sam who was quite worried. James stuck out his little bottom lip and talked about the treasure "I thought it was a diamond. I wanted to get a diamond for you Momma. It was so pretty."

We went to the shopping centre as the towels we bought upon arrival are poor quality. Target had some nice quality towels buy one get one free. We bought some yesterday and thought we should get a couple more while the price was right. 

Also while there we bought a new phone and got a second number. There's been several times this last week where it would've been nice to call home and let Mike know where I was at. Also, while working in the city there has been several times where it would've been beneficial to get email prior to the hour commute home s it might've saved an extra trip or two. 

At the phone store, it was fun to watch the kids while taking care of paperwork.  

First it was just Sam. Soon James joined her. Another little boy fell right in line. 

They really enjoyed playing on the iPhones and James only set off the security alarm once!

At 4:55 all the security roller doors started going down. I keep forgetting that the shops close at 5pm even on the weekend.

I was able to use my new phone with data to look at transport options home. Unfortunately, in my rush, I didn't look at the length of tie of the different transport options. We ended up getting the scenic route home. Ugh, what a headache. 

By the time we got home my voice was nearly gone. When it does work it's far lower than normal. We made for a pretty sad sounding lot on the last bus home. Sam, Mike and I all coughing and coughing while little James managed to fall asleep again. 

I'm disappointed that I won't be doing the 12K tomorrow. Mike and I both thought it'd be best to get rest as I'll be working this coming Monday through Thursday. Hopefully this crud doesn't linger too long.