my last night shift…evah!!

on the way in to work last night it occurred to me. last night was my last night shift-it was my last scheduled night shift and there will be no more!

not unless i volunteer for one

the thing is i have worked alot of night shifts-ever since i started working as a nurse 15+ years ago. when my kids were young i had to-scary to think that i used to leave three rather young kids home alone while i went to work at night- 

the most famous story from those days is one night i was begging the kids to go to bed so i could get an hours sleep before i left for an 11pm shift…. which they did….then i got a call from work canceling my shift so i went in-flicked on the light and said c’mon, let’s go out for ice cream!!!

later i did it for the extra money, at some point i switched to a mostly day shift schedule until i came to england where everyone rotates to nights….i have had some really horrendous schedules here and have complained about finishing a night shift and then having to be back the next day at 7.30am-23.5 hours later…u.n.s.a.f.e.

 now my weary old bones have a new job and the hours are 7.30am-3.30pm….sigh of circadian rythym disruption relief……

welcome to the east end

i haven’t written about work lately, it hasn’t been terribly exciting. the usual sad cases but no ER/Holby city stuff. the last two nights though i have been on the east end of the unit with the same 5 male patients. 4 awake and one unconcious. the awake ones display a wide variety of emotions….anxious, manipulative, demanding and confused….kind of like having 4 husbands

it brings to mind the reasons people drink

first and saddest is the young man with a complicated history including congenital (at birth)  imperforate anus, undescended testes and three nipples. one can only imagine the surgery and childhood this man has suffered. he now has a history of heavy alcohol intake and possible accidental/staggered acetaminophen overdose>liver failure. i have helped turn this man several times over the past few nights and am absolutely heartbroken at the state of his body. scarred, bruised and battered…by us…by medical professionals.

second and of distinct contrast is a former head of a secondary school, teacher of medieval history. lover of wine….apparently… as he has drank himself out of a marriage and successful career. he is articulate, manipulative and paranoid. most of us think it was a big mistake to transplant him, he will always rationalize his follow up treatment. he has traded in a supportive family for a hostel, not likely he will be compliant with the strict medication regime.

the others on the east side…

a man at her majesties service…a prisoner. heavy smoker with esophageal cancer, getting used to the big soft bed, warm blankets and cups of coffee on demand.

another man who was a heavy smoker, now with leukemia. very nice man, nice family….understandably anxious with a poor prognosis.

oh yeah and mr l…i wish i could say he has made great improvements…any improvements?multiple episodes of chest pain and pulmonary overload….. nah, he is still impossible to understand….took me at least 4 times to figure out he wanted “a glass of cold milk”

this is critical care at the QE


this is the MAIN entrance to the queen elizabeth hospital…i was absolutly shocked when i arrived via taxi for my interview…. i thought it was a delivery entrance.


i went back to work for two night shifts, not feeling great still but i did survive. my ear is really stuffy, like when you’re on a plane and i can’t seem to clear it…i guess it could be worse.

one of the nurses i work with who was sick last month, apparently had a relapse. she worked an extra shift and then called in sick on her regular shift…something which did not go unnoticed by our eagle eyed manager.

i’ve heard the details from a few different people that the manager asked her if she could “do something” as in to feel better fast because they were shortstaffed.  the nurse was really upset that the manager implied that she was malingering or manipulating the system.

she came in on her next regular shift and became so ill they had to put her on a monitor because she was having chest pain, they called an ambulance and sent her (the hardworking nurse) to the A&E/ER!!! she was admitted with pneumonia…

do you think the manager will apologize for her rude and callous comment?? HA!

the nice weather has taken a holiday…

i thought i’d made some progress with my complaint to british gas, after having a rather frustrating conversation with the rudest, least knowledgeable customer service rep, an engineer came out monday and agreed that the bypass valve did need to be installed “per manufacturer’s specification”~~~ the whole time denying that the lack thereof had damaged my circulating pump….he said he’d get back to me about when the work would be done….no word since…more phone calls…

i am still struggling to extract  some kind of decision from the teaching program…i got this email monday…

Dear Tracy

Just a bit of good news… you have passed both the English and Maths University Assessment tests and as soon as I am able to advise re result of your interview.. I will do so asap.

Could I check have you paid for the tests?  They are £15 each and a cheque should be sent into me please, made payable to Canterbury Christ Church University.


i have to laugh when she says i passed the assessment tests, nearly a month later!!!! i was so annoyed with the lack of organization that i could not have done a worse job if i tried…i am wondering if it’s just a polite way of asking for the fee, which they forgot to collect on the day…i want to write back and say…. when you give me an answer i’ll send in the fee!!!

big, fat, lazy cleo is being bullyed in her own garden by a skinny little black cat….

when i wake up fully…. later today i may have more to say…

perfect size

this should fit nicely on my tree!!!

Franz Paternosta hold up a Christmas tree bauble in the glassblowing company Joska in Bodenmais near Deggendof December 17, 2008. The company produced worlds biggest glass Christmas tree decorations with a diameter of 65 centimetre and a weight of 20 kilogram.

the tree is all decorated and looks lovely…but i’m just home from a night shift so i’m too tired to take pics now…..zzzzzzzz

going into the darkness

i’m starting the first of three nightshifts…i was feeling really good, bright and energetic, until today when i thought about going back to that hellhole work. i made an appointment to see my staff support counselor again, kind of pre-emptive…this will be my third time. i feel a major meltdown brewing…

i actually prefer nights, less of the office types and families around. the nurses that are working are 95% nicer and more helpful.

just in case anybody thought i forgot to mention it…i still do not have my passport…and yes, it is becoming an issue. i had a thought that if they lost my passport i have absolutely NO identification…i didn’t even make a copy before i sent it in….what would i do…show up at the US embassy and say please take my fingerprints? mostly it’s just annoying and wearing me down.

so, if i don’t post much it just because i’m working nights~~~

i survived

so….how long would you let me walk around with toilet paper stuck to my shoe before someone said something??? i guess this design is a winner.

and about the map…i accidently deleted my map when i did the switchover and when i went back to get a new code it gave me the one for my old blog….awwww….i miss that old blog…so this one is promoted because of its social connections and not really on its own merit…kind of like working for the NHS

and last thing for now…i have survived my four nights…i did consider calling in sick last night but hung in there and am feeling pretty good about it. worked not too hard with lots of nice people and had lots of company in the manager bashing that goes on…

remember this??

the sun is still shining and it’s been dry for days now…hoping to be able to enjoy my next four days off!!!