Monday, September 27, 2010

Recent Reread

One Last Chance by Justine Davis

Why this one: I'm one of those readers who can reread a book. If it's a real good book, I can reread it many times. Neither of my sisters who are also big readers, can do this. You may remember not so long ago I was quite excited to see this book had been re released. Originally published in 1993, I found it, read it and loved it when I went on a Justine Davis glom a number of years ago now. I loved it at the time. But it got packed away in my boxes of books so it had been quite some time since I'd read it. Plus my copy was a used one and it wasn't in the best of shape. So when I noticed it was re released I simply had to get a new copy and it was in with a bunch of other books that one of my sons brought up to the hospital for me to read while I'm here

Steam Level: Very hot!

Blurb: Chance Buckner: A tough-as-nails undercover cop dangerously close to the edge.

Shea Austin: A sultry nightclub singer with a big heart and shady connections.

Long ago, undercover narcotics cop Chance Buckner paid the ultimate price for his work. Now there was nothing inside of him but slow-boiling rage. His anger would help him destroy the drug dealer he was after…and keep him from falling for Shea Austin, whose voice threatened to heal his soul. And even if she was guilty as sin, Chance would protect her. Because he knew what could happen to delicate songbirds….

My Thoughts: Sometimes it's a little scary when rereading a well loved book years later. The magic just isn't there anymore and you are left wondering what it was that was so appealing the first time 'round. I'm very, very happy to say such was not the case with this one!! I adored it this time round too.

Chance Buckner is a cop undercover trying to find out what a drug dealer is up to in Chance's neck of the woods. He is helped in this with his partner Quisto and they are also working with a real ass of an FBI guy in trying to bring down Paulo De Cortez. But there is a monkey wrench thrown into the works when Chance meets Shea Austin, a singer in the bar that De Cortez has opened. Chance is deeply drawn to her and she to him, but there is the matter of De Cortez and Chances' investigation in the way of developing any real relationship between the two of them.

What I loved the first time I read this book years ago and what I loved this time round again, is the character of Chance. What a delicious hero he makes. He's suffered great tragedy in his life and is a real tortured soul. Although his feelings for Shea run very deep, he is very afraid that once she finds out who he really is and what he's really doing, she will hate him. This gives their relationship an urgency and poignancy that really adds to the book. I dare anyone who reads this book not to fall totally for Chance.

Shea isn't quite as vivid a character as Chance and since she doesn't hold the same kind of secrets that Chance has to, she's not quite as powerful a personality as Chance. But still, she is very likable a heroine with some ghosts of her own to deal with.

It's a wonderful thing when a book you've loved holds up over time and this one has held up very well. This book is listed at the EHarlequin site for $3.99 and it's also available as an ebook, so if you didn't get it when I first got excited over this book, there is still time!

Grade: 5 out of 5


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Recent Read

Despite the fact that I have not much else but time on my hands, I don't seem to really be much in the mood to read, but since once we get up, get our meds given to us, do our occupational therapy and our physiotherapy and other various things, there isn't a whole lot to do, I have managed to get through a few books

Burning up by Susan Andersen

Why this one: Ms Andersen is one of a very few authors that I can say hasn't written a book I haven't enjoyed to one extent or another. Just about every author except for her has a dud or two for my me. So it goes without saying when she has a new book come out, I read it.

Steam Level: Served the way I like them, nice and hot

Blurb: She's So Good at Being Bad

Though it’s been years since the infamous Macy O’James stepped foot in Sugarville, Washington, everyone remembers what she supposedly did. The tiny town is still buzzing about her crime and lack of punishment.

Now back to lend her family a hand, Macy vows to hold her head high—especially at her high school reunion. But forget about the hottest man in Sugarville escorting her. Though she and fire chief Gabriel Donovan generate enough sparks to burn down the town, he’s a law-abiding, line-towing straight arrow. So not her type.

But, maybe—just maybe—he could change her mind about that.

My Thoughts: First off - I really, really liked the character of Macy. Sometimes it's the hero who is more the standout of the two and sometimes it's the heroine and in Burning Up, I found it to be the heroine. The book can be a tougher sell if the heroine is the stand out and I have issues with her, but in the case of Burning Up it was all good since Macy was great.

Macy O'James had come back to the small town of Sugarville to help out her cousin who had suffered a broken leg (gee - what a coincidence) in a hit and run. Although she didn't hesitate for a moment when Janna, her cousin needed her, it wasn't that easy for Macy to come back home. Years ago in high school, one of the popular boys spread all kinds of nasty rumours about her and that combined with one particular incident had made Macy a most unpopular girl. And while it's been many years since then and she has had quite a successful career, first off as a star of music videos and later behind the camera of them, nothing brings out her insecurities like coming back to such unhappy memories - mixed with some good ones too.

Gabriel Donovan, fairly new to town, is the local fire chief of the volunteer fire department that makes up the Sugarville fire department. He has heard the rumours about Macy and kind of sort of believed them for the most part. He isn't too impressed with the series of 'outfits's' Macy wears as a shield for her insecurities and he is rather tough on her at times. It would be rather easy to dislike him, but as a guy who had a rough go of it himself, I went a bit easy on him. And he does straighten up and sees Macy for who she really is and not who rumour says she is fairly quickly.

There was also a cute secondary romance between the shy, quiet local former girlfriend schoolteacher of Gabriel's and the tatooted rocker dude musician friend of Macy's.

This wasn't my favourite of Susan Andersen's book, but it does keep her streak going of books of hers that I've quite enjoyed. It helped while away some hours and helped pass away time here in the hospital and that was quite fine with me.

Grade: 3.75 out of 5

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Like Sand Through the Hourglass

So are the Days of my Life. Life here on the 5A ward is ..........amusing and entertaining. First off, I've joined the March of the Old People. At 11:30 every day I can be found shuffling my way along with all the other shufflers, to the lunchroom. While I started off as one of the slowest shufflers, I'm now one of the faster ones. It goes without saying that I'm one of the youngest whipper snappers of the group. Gary, my roomie from the other hospital, is one of the younger ones too and there is one other guy who is around our age, maybe even younger. But as for the rest, the crowd has to be 20 years my senior.

At times I can't tell whether I'm living in a sitcom or the Twilight Zone. The cast of characters is quite fascinating. There is one older gentleman who dearly loves his ketchup and I'm trying to figure out who he looks more like - Mr. Burns or Apu - both from The Simpsons. Although I think I'll have to go more with Mr. Burns. The first time he shuffled in, I wanted to yell out "Mr. Burns!?!?" but thought better of that idea.

Then there is this rather odd older lady named Penny. Most of the time she seems perfectly fine, but then something will set her off and you can't help but look at her twice to see if she's joking or a few bats flew out of her belfry. A couple of days ago I was doing exercises with a small group of other shufflers (and weren't they interesting - they were designed for people in their 80's and lets just say I didn't work up much of a sweat - but hey - it's not like I'm getting a lot of workouts and every bit helps) and Penny was one of them. She looked at one of the other shufflers - a very sweet old English lady and proceeded to ask the sweet English Lady why she kept following her. She must have asked about 7 or 8 times. Since the sweet old English Lady was in the room first, the following bit confused me.

Of course there is Grumpy Old Guy. They are all old, but this guy is grumpy along with being older. Then there is the cheerful funny lady in the souped up wheelchair. This wheelchair is top of the line - power and it can go up and down with the push of a button. I do believe I have a slight case of wheel chair envy. The one I have is just a plain old everyday one that you have to use your arms to make it move. It is a funky green colour though.

The music they play at lunch is not my cuppa though. Patsy Cline, George Jones, Big Band - I think I could quite happily do without listening to any of that. Yesterday though the nurse put on the radio rather than a DVD and I chuckled to myself when I heard Telephone by Lady Gaga and Beyonce. Lord I've missed that music!!!!!!!! I gave the nurse a thumbs up. I was very tempted to try and lead the shufflers in a group dance, but thought they would probably turn me down. But sometimes it's just so hard not to break out into song - songs I listen to - like Black Eyed Peas, Lady Gaga, Adam Lambert etc. So when I heard the Lady Gaga/Beyonce song I gave the nurse a thumbs up.
Time has lost all meaning here. Someone could tell me it's Tuesday and I'd believe them and the next person could say it's Friday and I'd believe them too. It's an odd feeling this - being so unplugged from the outside world.

They have a hairdresser in the hospital and I had my hair done yesterday. What another bizarre experience that was. I had to be wheeled to it - it's down several floors and so far I haven't walked quite that far yet. The hairdresser was asking me how my hairdresser did my hair and I said she usually washed it, cut it, blow dried it and then used a flat iron to straighten it. The hairdresser said that she didn't have any of those new things (meaning a flat iron) I was rather startled at that as to me it's a tool every hairdresser just - well - has. But considering the average age of her clients is probably around 70 and many of them don't have a full head of hair, I suppose a flat iron isn't called for that often. She said she had brought in a curling iron from home since she uses that once in a while. The whole thing was just so strange. It was like I was in a beauty parlour from the 60's or something. She washed my hair and cut it - just a very, very small token amount - and then got a brush to blow dry
it. And she only had one brush!!!! Any hair dresser I've gone to has tons of them depending on the style. But nope - she only had one - and it wasn't a round brush. Still - considering the tools she had on hand and the fact that she probably hadn't done hair on someone as young as me for ages and ages, she did a pretty good job. And I had one of my kids bring me up my flat iron and make up and I straightened my own hair and made myself purty this morning - why I'm not quite sure - but it does make me feel more myself.

And in other news, they weighed me the other day. It was exactly a week before that when I moved to this hospital and they weighed me then too. So in one weeks time, I managed to lose 20 lbs!!! Mind you, that was 9/10'ths water I think. I'm on water pills and
the amount of time I have to check out that particular room is more than any other combined. I mentioned a while ago that my feet had swollen up like blow fish when I was in Florida. Well, by last week my whole body had. But still it was nice to hear that I dropped that much weight in such a short amount of time. I've been trying very hard to eat healthy while here. I order vegetables (blech) and everything. And I go for physio/exercising every day. The physiotherapist found a follow-up physiotherapist at a gym near where I live so when I get out and go home, I think I'll join the gym so I can continue to exercise.

Well, that's about all I have to report. Oh - my going home day is Sept. 29/10 - next Wednesday. So that's not that far off now. Then my days living in Twilight Zone will be over and you know what? I'll miss them.

Friday, September 17, 2010

March of the Old People

Now if this were a romance novel, it would be an entirely different type post. But life is not a romance novel. I'm settling into life here at Parkwood and if it was a romance novel, many of the other residents would be athletes who had hurt themselves while doing super sports. Or they would be CEO's who had accidents with their beemers. Or possibly there would be a few bad boy types who crashed their motorcycles. And life would be very interesting on Floor 5, Wing A.

But instead, just about every resident here averages 30 years older than me and are having hip replacement operations or just plain fell. My room mate for example, a very nice lady, is 33 years older than I am. I'm just starting to emerge from my cocoon of a room as I get walking safely with a walker and don't need a 'spotter' for heading to the washroom and back. But even in the brief glimpses I've gotten, I realize I have nothing in common with anyone around me. In fact I find it very surreal. We are all expected to get out of our beds and eat our lunch in the main floor lunchroom. So far due to different reasons, I've only managed this, what I dubbed 'March of the Old People' twice now. The first time I was seated at a table with two old men, both had to be in their 80's. I can't even begin to describe the oddness and hilarity of sitting at a table with two guys wearing matching custom made I'm sure flannelette plaid bibs. And man! Do these people know there meds. Listening to their conversations, many seem to be intimately acquainted with their pharmacists and can roll out those latin names like nobody's business. And crotchety some of them???? Good heavens they are cranky.

I couldn't make it for the March of the Old People yesterday, but today when I got to the lunchroom, they were playing toons and having a singalong. There's nothing quite like hearing a room full of people belting out 'How much is that Doggie in the Window'? Some of the men really had fun doing the barking after the one line. I'm afraid I didn't guess any of the name that tunes. I'm not really up on my Patsy Cline, George Jones or Big Band era music. Now if they had played some Lady Gaga, Adam Lambert or Beyonce I might have stood a chance.

It's been interesting times here that's for sure. The one day I had a sad day and was in tears most of the day. Telling myself this is actually a good thing and it's the best opportunity to get healthy and sort out whatever health issues I've had over the years just wasn't cutting it. I miss my cats. I was tired of even the simplest things being mountains without a single hill in sight.
I miss Ron so much being here.

But then a day can turn on a dime. Yesterday started out bad again. I had to go back to the other hospital for a follow-up visit in the ortho department. One of the medications they are giving me is water pills to make me pee. And boy do they ever work. Real well! They work very, very well! I had to have a family member accompany me to the hospital so Ryan got drafted. We were sitting there waiting for the transpo when they medication kicked in. And then the logistics set in. I was in a wheelchair and didn't have my walker with me. Ryan found a washroom and wheeled my into the womens', but then I was stuck. I don't know how to work a wheelchair!! I couldn't get it moving forward, I couldn't get it moving backwards. And I had to go - BAD. Thankfully there was a health person in there who wheeled me into the stall and by being very careful, I managed to do what needed to be done, but this person had left and I was in the washroom by myself. I had to yell out for Ryan to come in and get me. And we hadn't even left the hospital yet!!

I had 4 more nightmare trips to the can - every 15 minutes over the next little while. Ryan was very good about taking his Mama to the can so often, but still I could tell it was frustrating for him as well as for me. And neither of us thought the appointment wait would take so long and he had to get to work. So by the time I got back to my room, I was ready to hurl a chair through the window. Instead though, I channeled my frustration into my physio and really went way beyond what the physiotherapist, a rather nice young woman, not a hunky gorgeous guy, had planned for me. So I was feeling pretty darn good by the end of it.

And Andy, my room mate from the other hospital, made it here this afternoon. In fact, it turns out he's in the room next to the one I'm in. I just found out I'm going to be here at least two more weeks - so who knows what might happen. It will be nice to have someone my own age around. And doesn't that seem odd to say - someone my own age - when up until I came here, I was thinking I was getting up there in years. Now I'm feeling like just a very young whipper snapper.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Coming to you from Rehab

Nope - not Dr. Drew's famous people rehab - this is the rehab hospital. I got here yesterday but between one thing and another, I didn't have much time on line.

So in 2 days time they are keeping me hopping. I had my staples removed, my leg wrapped for swelling, my first physio. They have me dressed and up for all meals. I've had ultrasound on two different body parts. And the little dearlings gave me a dieuretic or water pill, so I have to go to the can every 15 minutes. Considering the amount of work it takes to do something so very simple, well, I told the nurses they would be all be sick to death of me by the end of the their shifts. Thankfully shifts just changed so I haven't had to pester the new group.......yet.

But best of all - I plucked the chins on my hair out! Now some of you who haven't yet gone through 'the change' are thinking eee-wwww. But I tell you increased facial hair is one of those symptoms your mama doesn't tell you. And despite have a broken leg, a bad, bad booboo on my elbow and other and various assorted injuries that started coming out, the long chin hairs were the thing that kept bothering me the most!!! Why is that I wonder???? Ah well - the little chinny, chin chin hairs are gone now

I haven't felt much like reading though. All this time and all these books that are here with me and the urge isn't there. I did download Pamela Clare's Naked Edge to my Kobo though when she mentioned what happened to Gabe and the first chapter has our heroine falling off a cliff and breaking her fibula. I couldn't help but think - I did that too :~)

Well - it's been a while - time to start bugging the next shift now. Just wait until the laxative they gave me kicks in - fun times tonight!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Thoughts from the C4 Floor

McMurhpy I'm not! Nurse Ratched was my nurse again yesterday and the best way I felt to play it was to let her know that I knew that she was in total charge. I realized this when she came in first thing in the morning - 7:30 - this is almost earlier than if I were working. And it was a Saturday!! I'm never up at 7:30 on a Saturday - to get me into my chair - where I didn't want to go and give me my medicine including a shot of fragmin in my stomach where I didn't want to get it. I told her my arm but she refused to listed to what I wanted and since it didn't end up hurting in my stomach after all - well that just about took all fight out of me. She kept me up and in my chair for most of the day and I paid for it last night when I couldn't get my breathe enough and the late nurse called in a resperologist! The late night nurse (and all others) have been wonderful. I have a strong girl crush on Mary. She still does the most basic of things for me yet doesn't make me feel helpless as opposed to Nurse Ratched who makes me feel each and ever indignity there is to feel. That is one of the things I feel most helpless about - the inability to do almost a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g. for myself. And the health care practitioners can have such an effect on this. Nurse Ratched puts all call buttons and things almost beyond my reach and refuses to pay any attention. Unfortunately she is my nurse again today and I'm determined to take it easy today. I will be working my ass off starting tomorrow and I want to rest up today and save energy. I'm sure this will be in direct opposite of what she has planned for me. I could tell I made her mad yesterday when she was on a break and I had another nurse help me back to bed. She would have preferred me up all day - but it's just too exhausting after a while. Plus, then my leg hangs down and my whole leg swells up.

Speaking of breaks - they gave me my xrays yesterday. I'm going to see if I can find someone to scan the pics and then post them 'cause, yep, just as I suspected, I really did a number. No *phhtt* mere sprain for this patient!

And other thoughts.

I happened to overhear my room mate and a nurse talking about Pride and Prejudice and how much they both loved it. Well, as you can only imagine, I could hardly wait until I had a chance to talk about a certain other well know British miniseries.

Well, when the opportunity arose, talk it up I did! I showed them a couple of the clips from YouTube. Marilyn, my roommate was so interested that when she was released from the hospital to go home, she was planning on stopping at a video store on the way home to get a copy. While she has something entirely different from me, she has a lot of time on her hands. One never knows when an opportunity to do some Crusading might come up and one must be prepared at all times.

And speaking of Crusaders, it entirely slipped my mind to mention our latest one. It's been a while now but author Julie James was smitten recently. I saw on Twitter she was watching it and then she blogged about North and South - and voila - Crusader.

And now the most bizarre thing of all. I think I may have just met a gentleman friend. Yesterday Marilyn, my room mate left and I was left on my own for a while. Then later last night, after spending quite sometime cleaning up the other side of the room, I was just nodding off and heard them moving someone else into the room. It didn't take long before I realized it was a male voice I was hearing. That kind of made me feel a bit odd I'll be honest and say. But he sounded very friendly from across the curtain. I heard the nurse asking him about himself and he said he was a widower; his wife passed away suddenly slightly over a year ago. I gathered that he was close in age to me.

Anyway, we've be chatting away quite a bit today - he's headed to the same rehab hospital I am in a few days. He is indeed a very nice man and speaks very lovingly of his wife and children. We seem to have an amazing amount similar in common.

And final thought. I'm going to need some stuff when I go to the rehab hospital. Unlike here, we will be getting showered and dressed first thing in the morning. And we are supposed to have slippers. But I don't really have a lot of casual, workout type clothes or slippers. And there was also other stuff I needed like soap and shampoo and socks and stuff. I knew Ryan would be useless at getting a lot of this so I asked him if he thought his girlfriend would mind. Good move Kristie! I think he was thrilled I would ask if she would, she was thrilled that I wanted her help and I was thrilled that I could bond with her over something so simple. So she came up to see me this afternoon to get a list of what I needed. I also asked her to bring up some books I had at home. Books that looked interesting to her since I would have been interCested in any of them at the time since I bought them :-)

So there we go - the latest report from the one legged romance reader

Friday, September 10, 2010

updates, updates, updates

I got a bit of disappointing news today. I thought I'd be going to the rehab hospital sometime this afternoon, but there won't be a bed open until Monday, so here I will be until then.

And further to my Nurse Ratched story, I think they must already know about her since as soon as I mentioned my nickname, the other nurses would nod slightly and smile and say you aren't the only one. As I was doing my daily hall walk, the physiotherapist was saying how pleased she was with the progress I've been making and said did I know who might be partially responsible. It was with grumpiness that I answered, yes, I knew and doesn't that fact just stick in my craw.


Back to the beginning. As we left off, the paramedics and firefighters were working as a team to get me out. One of the paramedics put a stablizing boot on my leg and right away set me up to have some very nice morphine run through me, even though I was ticked that he suggested it might only be sprain. I knew it was broken and was trying to think of a way to explain how I knew it was broken the other day when friends were visiting. You know how you hold a chicken leg or wing up and the bone is broken and it kind of dangles and just looks broken and has that funny sound? Well, that was my leg - so I knew it was. Now that you've all gone 'eewww - thanks for tha-at,' you might know why I was so indignant.

The morphine continued to drip all the way to the hospital and since I was feeling less and less pain, I started looking around the ambulance figuring this kind of opportunity didn't happen that often. The paramedic wanted me to keep looking in his eyes, but as there was no 'connection' between us, I was more curious than wanting to be soulful. Much of this is a blur, but I vaguely remember coming to a stop and getting out and someone asking if that was my son there. As I stared around at all the people looking at me, I couldn't see him and since they didn't say which son, I thought maybe they meant someone else. Nevertheless, I sat up and smiled and waved at the crowd anyway. I heard a few chuckles, waved harder and smiled brighter, but they made me lie down again.

I kind of sort of remembering them to tell me to stay still and they were going to give me more morphine - kewl I thought and tried asking why as I had an IV. Somehow they knew what I was asking since they said it would react faster by giving it directly. Kewl I thought.

Then Lisa and Ryan (that's the son they meant) and I were waiting in ER. Time had no meaning but I do remember a guy in a bed a couple of beds down brought in by the cops and using the word fuckin' as a verb, adverb, noun, pronoun, adjective, comma, semi:colon, question mark - just about every which way he could in an effort to get the cops to release him from his handcuffs and fight him. He was screaming it at them. I'm sure they heard him over a block away. They didn't let him go, but apparently his meds kicked in eventually as we didn't hear him anymore and I kept seeing men with very short hair and uniforms on walking around. When I asked Lisa in a stage whisper if they were the cops, she said yes - and shhhhhh.

Apparently I was quite entertaining as I was lying there on the stretcher and kept sitting up and trying to join in the conversations the doctors and nurses were having around the ER desk, I don't remember too much, but I do remember then looking at me, laughing and saying we aren't laughing AT you, we are laughing with you. Since I do remember thinking it odd that I would be laughing when I had a BROKEN leg, still I must have bought their explanation.

Eventually it was my turn for them to do........something. I didn't remember what or why - this next bit explains it:

This is Major Tom to Ground Control
I'm stepping through the door
And I'm floating
in a most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today

For here
Am I sitting in a tin can
Far above the world
Planet Earth is blue
And there's nothing I can do

I was really floating in a most peculiar way. I've never been a screamer - not when it comes to sex - though I always wondered what would be that good that would make me want to scream, not when I get angry - unless it's very, very, vary angry, but I distinctly remember what happened next. It was time to get X-rays - that's what time it was and they had to poke at my leg - my broken chicken leg leg and I let LOOSE. It hurt. I think Lisa looked at me and tried to get me stop screaming - but it HURT dammit and I was gonna scream if I wanted to - and by jove I wanted to!! But then the 'nice' Kristie, rather than the emotional Krisite took over - thinking it was probably uncomfortable for those waiting for treatment, not to hear this woman screaming at the top of her lungs. As well as Xraying my leg, they were also putting it into a splint - I think that's why I was screaming and again, it's vague - but they did have to do it twice I think as the first time the splint wasn't long enough. And I do remember them wanting me to sign something to agree to surgery and what would happen if I didn't sign it.

And I will have to ask Lisa and Ryan but I don't think it's my imagination that I asked if they were going to operate with me naked or whether I'd have something on - since I think at some point they cut off my underpants. I was assured that I would be covered. And I asked if they would be laughing at my ugly naked body and was told, no, they don't do that kind of thing. Oh, I think they do I must have said - I've seen it on TV.

And I also know that I asked to speak to the anesthesiologiststs - though it took me a long time to get that word out - for a meeting with him so that we could arrange a secret sign in case I had anesthesia awareness. But either I didn't meet the anesthesiologist or he wouldn't cooperate as we didn't get that signal worked out before going under the knife. All I do remember is a rather huffy denial that such a thing would happen.

Well - there's still more to come, but so far I've had rather a trying day so it's time to end now - in the good part!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

I met my Nurse Rached today

Nurse Mildred Ratched is the main antagonist from Ken Kesey's 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, as well as the 1975 film.

A cold, sadistic and passive-aggressive tyrant, Nurse Ratched has become the stereotype of the nurse as a battle axe. She has also become a popular metaphor for the corrupting influence of power and authority in bureaucracies such as the mental institution in which the novel is set.


In the novel

Nurse Mildred Ratched is the head administrative nurse at the Salem, Oregon State (Mental) Hospital, where she exercises near-absolute power over the patients' access to medications, privileges, and basic necessities such as food and toiletries. She capriciously revokes these privileges whenever a patient displeases her. Her superiors turn blind eyes because she maintains order, keeping the patients from acting out, either through antipsychotic and anticonvulsant drugs or her own brand of "therapy", which consists mostly of humiliating patients into doing her bidding. Her greatest success is the stuttering, suicidal Billy Bibbit, who is so terrified of her that he does whatever she says.

When Randle McMurphy arrives at the hospital, however, her dictatorial rule is nearly toppled: he flouts her precious rules with impunity, and inspires other patients to follow. Her attempts to cow him into submission — at first with threats and mild punishments, then with shock therapy — are unsuccessful, serving only to fuel his defiance.

Eventually McMurphy sneaks his prostitute girlfriend into the asylum, and encourages her to relieve Billy of his virginity. Ratched threatens to tell Billy's mother about the transgression. Since Billy fears his mother as much or more than he fears Ratched, the threat frightens him into committing suicide. Enraged, McMurphy attacks Ratched, and nearly chokes her to death.

In retribution, Ratched has McMurphy lobotomized. Another patient, Chief Bromden, the narrator of the book, later smothers McMurphy as a mercy killing. However, while Ratched's main antagonist has been removed, McMurphy has the last laugh, as her control over the other patients is gone, because he permanently damaged her vocal cords when he choked her, in effect destroying the primary tool she used to enforce her will. She can no longer speak, at least not very well, and often must write notes to communicate. With Ratched crippled, she can no longer intimidate the other patients, and the institution is saved.

It looks like I'll be moving to a new hospital today. This new one is just across the street and I have 'people' there too - it helps to work in the system. This new hospital is a rehabilitive one and I was supposed to meet with a representative yesterday to see if I qualified - too 'well' to be at this one, but not 'well' enough to go home. I knew things would be 'off' yesterday morning though when I first met the am nurse when she showed up for her shift around 6:30 shift. I adore the nurse/case managers I work for and this adoration is now spreading to the nursing staff here. They are wonderfully warm, caring people who manage to retain their dignity and patience and professionalism through some real tough times. But this nurse in particular yesterday didn't introduce herself - the first time that's happened in over the week I've been here. I knew there would be issues after the first intro:

Her: Debra, it's time to get up

Me: Actually, my name is really Kristie, My first name is Debra but I go by Kristie.

Her: But it says Debra on your chart.

Me: Yes, but I don't go by that name and if you call my by it, chances are I won't answer since I have'd used it since I was two -well over 50 years now.

Her: Well then, Kris,

Me: No, it's Kris-tie {thinking - don't fuckin' argue with me over my name at 0-7-00 in the fuckin' morning when I had about 2 hours sleep due to a patient melt down the night before that lasted most of the night!}

Anyway - later on in the morning, this occupational therapist said he would be back to see me and see how far I progressed. I pressed my call button and Nurse Rached came in and before I finished explaining that I wanted help cleaning up since I looked awful and smelled worse, muttered something and turned around and left!!

She came back about half an hour later but I didn't know was going to do this, and said, all right, let's get you clean and ready. Walk to the washroom/shower stall. (it's about 30 feet away)

Me: I haven't walked half that distance yet!!

Her: Well, your going to have to if you go to Parkwood. They won't let you just sit around.

Me: I know that, but I've been working with physiotherapists and we are just getting started. I haven't walked close to that far - it's not that I'm trying to get out of it I just haven't done it with the people I'm working with.

Her: Don't be silly. We have most of our patients walking a lot further than this by the second day.

Me: Smoke starting to come out my ears - fine, I'll try it, but I hope they don't come too soon after we are done, and I don't have the energy to show them what I can do since you've already tired me out.

I reached out for her arm to help steady myself, but she pulled it away, saying they won't allow me that kind of help at Parkwood, I manage to get on my feet and shuffle to the washroom/shower stall.

Then - doesn't she bloody stay and shower me!!! She wouldn't let me have help walking to it, but sitting down on the bench where I can do it myself, she's the one holding the shower head - and won't let go! And gets soap in my eyes.

Finally we are done, I'm back in my bare assed gown - oh - and I should say at this point she wanted us to start our journey while they guy was walking around the room picking up breakfast dishes and putting clean sheets and stuff away. These hospital gowns are BACKLESS and while a good deal of my natural dignity has had to go down the drain, that does NOT mean I want to moon the food guy!

I'm sitting, arms crossed in my gown in the bathroom and ask if she can please get the wheel chair I can get into once I walk to it - hey - I'm willing to cooperate.

Her: I don't know where it is.

Me: Well, perhaps you could look for it.

Her: They are going to make you walk at Parkwood

Me:(why are we going over this same conversation all over again???) Yes, I know - and I will be ready and willing to work, but right now I'm exhausted. I've walked twice as far as I have yet, I had a shower which took a lot out of me and I don't want to be overtired when they get here.

Her: Well, the least you could do is try it. And then if you can't make it, I'll look for the wheel chair.

Knowing this is as much as she'll concede, I say fine. About halfway there, I'm exhausted, my leg is hurting as much as it has since I've first arrived and my other leg is really starting to hurt. I stopped.

Her: what are you doing?

Me: I'm stopping. Really, I have reached the end. I can't breathe and I hurt all over.

It is at this point I realize Nurse Rached has no intention of helping me out. She is in a power game and she will not allow herself to loose. My only choices are to stand there or somehow hope I can dig deep into everything I have and make it. I have enough fury in me to make it. Then when I'm in bed, almost crying from pain she said,' see - you didn't need to get prissy!'

I thought my room mate was going to see me commit murder if I hadn't bee so exhausted. Honestly - I NEVER get that mad.

Oh - and bitch spiked my medication. She slipped me an enema pill that kicked in at the end of the day and kept me on the toilet for over an hour. Mind you, I felt mighty cleansed after.

And the physio people showed up about 1/2 an hour after Nurse Rached left the room and I couldn't do what I needed to to. Thankfully they gave me credit for the morning's workout and came back again in the afternoon and I did very well they said. The physiotherapist gave me an orange popsicle and said only her best patients got popsicles.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Coming to you from the Lovely London Hospital

And thank you Lisa for the update. I don't know how lucid I will be as at the moment I'm enjoying the lovely side effects of major painkillers like morphine and percocets and being very damned glad we have free health care in this country.

Yes indeed, I did fight the war and plywood won. Last Tuesday morning - not yesterday but a week ago yesterday I was rushing down the stairs and neglected to move the plywood at the bootom, followed by 2 cdn flags and a full size plywood door and just step over the one piece. HA!! An accident waiting to happen it was. I tripped and fell and RIGHT AWAY knew I'd broken my leg in a couple of places - NOT like one of the paramedics suggested and sprained my foot!! It was about 7:45 and Brent was working a 12 hour shift that day. I was down for the day I tell you, COULD NOT MOVE AT ALL. Around 10:30 shock started hitting and and I got a very good case of the shakes. And all I had on was underpants. I don't normally call it that word - I use underWEAR but I don't wan't anyone thinking I had a bra on. It was downstairs in the dryer I didn't mke it to along with all my other clothes. So I managed to pull the candadian flags down and wrap them around myself trying to keep warm while I watited and prayed for someone to show up. 'Cause it was cold and I hAD THE shakes even though it was one of the hottest days of the year. In between waves of pain, I was thinking this would make a great story - me losing the battle to plywood, me wrapped up in not 1 but 2 good old patriotic Canadian flags to try and keep warm until help arrived. I did hear the lawn care guy and started yelling at one point. But I had the air on and they had their mowers on and didn't hear me.

But finally around 1:30 an angel arrived. You see, the phone had been ringing all morning, but since I had a BROKEN LEG I couldn't answer it. They had been worried about me at work since I hadn't called in sick - I aways do that and they were just about to call a meeting with HR to see about sending someone over to see if I was OK. (have a meeting? I dearly loved this place I work but they are meeting crazy. Allison said screw it - it was lunch hour and she was just going to drive over. Thankfully Brent hadn't left the door locked when he left for work and she heard me screaming and she just walked right in!! After asking her if she could get me a cigarette - it had been some long trying hours, though I've decided now is th perfect time to quit, I asked her to call an ambulance, that I couldn't move my leg and I'd broken it and asked her to get my my housecoat so I could at least cover the Canadian Flags when the paramedics arrived. I'm not sure how long it took, but it didn't seem long at all. Sadly though, they decided that I was in such a situation (bottom of the stairs, couldn't move, broken leg, that they would have to call the firemen. Did they have to I asked?? I mean they would probably see stuff that I didn't want complete strangers to see! The one paramedic answered they'd seen just about all of it, at which I replied probably so, but they hadn't seen mine! Pain was most likely making me mouthy. SIX firemen showed up - note firemen - not firewomen who could relate to the humiliations of being caught with no drawers on and no bra - I mean just drawers - drawers are undepants aren'y they. I didn't notice if any of them were gorgesous or not - the firemen - ntot the drawers or bras. I was next to naked, wrapped up in two Canadian flags and in quite severe pain. Though I do remember thinking one slightly resembeled Tiger Woods - with a MUCH better hair style. I' ve always thought Tigers hair was missing something and just a very meh style. Now of course we realize it was a brain to go under that hat.

|But - this is too good a story to write all in one night and the really good meds are obviously showing their disavantages. But I'm back blogging and will finish up next time!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Absense Alert!!!
This is KristieJ's sister guest-blogging. Many of you who follow Kristie's blog will have heard about the return of her #1 son and the battle of Kristie's cats vs. the plywood. The cat was winning but I am very sad to report that there has been collateral damage in the ongoing battle and the collateral damage is Kristie. The other day she was going downstairs to get some laundry out of the dryer and came face to face with the enemy - "Plywood". She attempted to be nice and politely move "Plywood" out of her way but "Plywood" was stubborn and wouldn't move much. She then attempted to step over "Plywood", which, if she had only taken a moment to realize exactly what family she is from, would have struck her as a particularly bad idea. You see the deep, dark secret of our family is that we are a family of klutz's. Not just your ordinary klutz's but the doing ourselves some serious harm type of klutz's. We have all learned through bitter experience that you do NOT hand any one of us a knife - we will somehow figure out a way to cut outselves during the hand-over. Unfortulately, Kristie must have been distracted and not thinking straight for she attempted to step OVER "Plywood". I would like to think that "Plywood" being much smarter than a block of wood, jumped out and tripped our intrepid heroine but alas, being of the same clan as I, I can assure you that Kristie slipped on "Plywood", fell in a heap and broke her leg in two places. She ended up having to be taken to the hospital by ambulance. She is fine now - she's had to have surgery to repair the damage and she's recovering in the hospital at the moment. She should be home very soon. She asked me to let her "blog buddies" know that she won't be blogging for a few days. The bad news is that she's going to be out of commission for 8 weeks or so. The good news is that she'll have lots of time to read and blog once she's home. I mentioned that she might have time to get through her TBR pile but she just laughed. I amended this to - maybe half of the TBR pile - still a laugh. But she should be able to make a good dent in it. I'll leave it up to Kristie to tell you all the (in hind sight) hilarious details of her fall in her own quirky, humorous way - I don't want to steal any of her thunder. Suffice to say that she'll have you rolling on the floor laughing. I expect she should be back blogging in a couple of days. If anything else happens I'll log back in and let you all know but in the meantime I know she has all your good thoughts and well wishes. And thank goodness this happened AFTER she got to all her romance conventions.

KristieJ's Sister

P.S. I think we'll have to say that "Plywood" has won the battle but Kristie will end up winning the war. And I have personally told Son # 1 that if "Plywood" has not vacated the premises by the time Kristie gets home I will personally rip it down, tear it apart with my bare hands and have a huge bonfire in the front yard.