Silent Screams (and other odd sounds)

This is what I'm thinking RIGHT NOW. It may not be what I'm thinking tomorrow.

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Early in my nursing career, I worked at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in the Coronary Care Unit, but was lured away to work at Trumbull Memorial Hospital (TMH) which was suppose to be the best hospital in town.  I endured TMH 2000 which was probably the beginning of the end of the hospital.  As TMH 2000 ushered in, it appeared that the concern for the employees and patients started its downward spiral.  Still during those times of uncertainty, we remained a hospital of which we could be proud.  Nursing care was rarely compromised and neither was the safety of any of the hospital staff.  We just didn’t have time anymore to give the patients the “extra” they deserved.

The nursing staff, for the most part, got along with all the other disciplines and they worked together for the good of the patient.  It was something of which each department was proud.  If there was a difference between staff, the patient never knew it; they kept that part of their lies separate.  Yes, TMH was a fine place to work and I enjoyed working there; but I retired 10 years ago and still miss the personalities and technical aspect of the job.

Then last night I was stopped in my tracts as I listed to WFMJ news.  TMH, my beloved TMH, has set out a decree that they will “issue a face mask” to each employee that must be worn all day long at work.  At the end of the workday, they are instructed to put they mask in a bag in their locker to use the next day; some having to use their mask for 5 days all the while the hospital is putting some of the staff on furlough.

Oh my God, how does this work?  At a time when the government is asking nurses to come out of retirement, and they are talking about early graduations for medical students and nursing students, how can a hospital furlough staff needed to take care of patients?  I don’t get it.  I’m sure the hospital will come up with an idea that they are “non-essential” workers, but tell me who those workers may be.  WFMJ talked about X-ray techs and lab techs will be displaced as well as LPNs.  Why get rid of LPN’s?  They are nurses for goodness sake and can perform tasks that others are not permitted to do.  Why get rid of the X-ray and lab techs, they do things we as nurses and doctor’s can’t to.

Thank goodness I retired 10 years ago.  Since then I just listen to the stories and hang my head in shame if those stories are true.  Last night, as the news revealed that my workers and friends are facing the front line without the proper PPE made me sick.  Some hospitals have resorted to wearing garbage bags as PPE.

I understand that these are uncertain times, but in those times do we forget about the first responders who need PPE for their livelihood and that of their family?  Can an issuing of masks be the answer?  Don’t those masks spread disease when kept in a moist place like a plastic bag?  Aren’t they spreading disease to others by wearing the masks all day long?  So many questions that shouldn’t be.


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Bonuses to all except…….

This morning on Facebook, I read that there are a quite a few companies giving bonuses to the employees who work through the Corona Virus pandemic.  Not wanting to get my facts confused, I researched to see if this is indeed true — and it is.  To name a few, Walmart, Kroger, CVS, and even Facebook are giving bonuses to their employees that endure during this time of need.  What I didn’t find is any front-line healthcare workers who get bonuses.  Why?

Well I’ve heard (literally) that nurses and doctors get paid “damn good money” to take care of sick people.  I’ve heard that the doctors and nurses “chose that profession” so they knew what they were getting into.  I’m not sure that any nurse or doctor thought they’d have to be taking care of infectious patients without the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); yet that is what they are expected to do if no PPE is available.

Yes, nurses and doctors want to give of themselves to their patients, but should they not be rewarded for such a noble sacrifice?  Should bonuses be withheld simply because they are dedicated workers who care for the infirmed?  I worked as a Registered Nurse in a local Emergency Department (ED) for many years and still have friends who work there.  I worked through the HIV crisis and SARS and was never afraid because I had the equipment to take care of myself.  I knew how to stop diseases from spreading to me and to my family.  This novel Coronavirus is a whole new ballgame.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is still debating whether or not the small droplets from coughing or sneezing could be airborne for longer than anticipated.  Everything we touch is in danger of transmitting the disease.  I can only imagine that the nurses and doctors are afraid of this disease and it’s transmission.

I know that nurses get incentives to work, but those incentives are based on the hours they work and how long they can stay taking care of patients.  They get paid overtime for working long hours and coming into close contact with infectious patients.

Nurses and doctors are not the only front-line caregivers that are exposed and don’t get bonuses.  I can’t forget about the secretaries, patient care technicians, custodial employees, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and Respiratory Therapist just to name a few.  Where are the bonuses for these people?

I hope I’m wrong.  I hope that front-line healthcare workers are in line for some sort of bonus; maybe not from the hospitals but from the government.  They are being talked about like they are unsung heroes — and they are.  Let’s give them some monetary backup to go with the praise.

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Social Creature


I don’t think I can stand another day of self isolation.  I’m about ready to jump out of my skin.  Until this virus hit, I didn’t realize how much of a social person I am.  I am finding I miss human contact.  I stay in touch with people by phone, but I find that it’s not as satisfying as being able to see the person’s expressions when you say something.  I know there is Skype and Facetime but it’s still not the same. There is an intrinsic something that face to face contact brings that I just can’t explain.

I miss the simple expression of hugging someone.  I don’t think people realize what all is involved in a simple hug of friendship.  A hug does and says so many things.  A hug can say I’ve missed you, or it can offer sympathy if you are feeling sad.  The act of hugging and not saying anything can offer more than words can express at times.

Along with hugging, I miss the “smell” of people.  I’m not talking about those smells that scrunch up your nose, I’m talking about those smells that make you smile.  Have you ever said to yourself, “that smell reminds me of……?”  That’s the kind of smell I’m talking about.  When you get a whiff of a perfume that reminds you of your grandmother or that cologne that reminds you of what your dad smells like.  You may not realize that you think of smells associated with people, but you do.

I think as a whole, people are social creatures.  There are but a few people that can survive happily alone.  I am not one of them.  In the scheme of things, this self quarantine is only a “few days” but it feels like an eternity already.  I don’t even get social contact at the grocery store because I have my groceries delivered.

I wonder if this social isolation will effect the way we communicate in the future.  Once this self quarantine is over, will we still be socially distancing from other people?  Will we be conditioned not to hug freely or shake hands?  Is that kind of response from this pandemic a good or bad thing?  I wonder.


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Self Quarantine

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Such a pretty little sphere sharing so much havoc in the world right now.  How can those bright red clusters be causing sickness and disease?

Wash your hands.  Cover your mouth with your elbow when coughing.  Sneeze into a tissue.  Throw the tissue away.  Use hand sanitizer.  Don’t shake hands.  Don’t hug each other.  Don’t visit people in the hospital, especially if you aren’t feeling up to par.  Don’t bring sick children around the elderly.  Stay away from crowds if you have underlying health issues.  Don’t assume others take virus prevention precautions.

Think about self-quarantine before the government tells you to do so.  As the CDC says, use common sense.


Love is Love

I am a heterosexual.  I have been a heterosexual for my whole life.  I was married for 40 years and was with the same man for 44 years.  I loved him, and he loved me.  I say that I’m a heterosexual because apparently it makes a difference who you love.  It’s okay to love someone of the opposite sex but not okay to love someone of the same sex.  Apparently loving someone of the same sex is offensive to some people and they have no problem shouting it from the roof top.

My youngest daughter is gay.  She has been gay her entire 37 years of life.  She has been with the same woman for 19 years and has been married to her since it became legal for same sex couples to be married.  They love each other; they just happen to be of the same sex.

I have loved watching my daughter’s love grow between her and her spouse.  Just like heterosexual couples, they have differences, but they still go to bed at night with each other (and the dogs).  They laugh, cry, and depend on each other when going through tough times.  That’s what couples who love each other do.  They are no different than heterosexual couples.  They bleed and cry the same.  Sometimes, they cry more than heterosexual couples because they are not accepted by those they love, or those that say they love them.

I’m telling you this story because once again my daughter had to endure hatred from people who professes to love her.  It was a direct attack, an attack that not only hurt her (and yes, angered her too) but hurt her spouse, her sister, and me. This attack not only was a personal attack but it was done on social media; a place not meant for airing dirty laundry.   These people came to her wedding and gave her their blessing by attending, but it was just a veiled attempt to later criticize her on her life’s choice.  Why attend?  Have their thoughts on gay marriage changed since the day my daughter got married?  I doubt it.  Maybe they just wanted to see what a “deviant” wedding looks like.  I don’t know.

The more important issue is that these people don’t say they hate “faggots” which would be a kinder thing to do; instead they insert their god’s hatred into the union of two people who clearly love each other.  Instead of standing up and saying that they don’t approve they use their god as a shield to spew their hatred.  If their god is about hatred, then I don’t want any part of their god.  I’d rather touch the robes of my God who is about love and kindness.

Love is love; not to be confused with lust.  A lustful relationship may start out with a fire but it is quickly extinguished when trouble comes along.  A loving relationship endures and grows.  A loving relationship also starts out with a fire, but that fire grows so bright with time it can illuminate the very air that we breathe.  Love is not filled with one night stands and the resulting child that may occur; love is first for God, then the spouse, then the child.

I’d like to say that I am proud of the choice my daughter made but just like heterosexuality, homosexuality is not a choice, it is innate.  I am; however, proud of the choice my daughter made in a spouse.  I am proud that she has been in a loving relationship for 19 years.  I am proud that they have stuck together when times where hard for them.  I am proud of the person she is.  Just like her sexual preference, her choice in a spouse was pre-ordained by God.

It is my belief that you can’t have love without God because God is love.  If there is love, then God is there in the midst.  I believe that my daughter’s union was blessed by God because there is so much love there.  What I can’t believe is that there are still people out there who would condemn her for being in love.  Love is love; no matter who you are in love with.

When I was a young mother the only thing that I wished for my children is that they would be happy in life.  I got my wish.

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Rivers of Polluted Water Boiling my Skin

81F83CF2-072F-4FBB-ABA0-2E52F06F88B9_1_105_c.jpeg  I was raised with a very punishing god.  He stood in line to punish me at every instance I did something wrong.  He wasn’t kind, he wasn’t benevolent, he wasn’t all caring and loving, he was punitive.  The god I knew about then had a “small g” because he wasn’t at all what I came to know about God, or my Higher Power.

In the beginning, God gave us the law to show us how to live; but we didn’t abide by that law and all of us would have been sentenced to death if God didn’t send his Son to save our souls.  God so loved us, in all our sin, he sent Jesus to take on our sins and fulfill the law in his Son.  He did not fulfill the law in a church but the church within the church; the church who really “got” what Jesus was giving out freely.

During His time on earth, he rarely set to dine with the finest of people.  He sat among the sinners.  In fact, its funny that the first miracle Jesus performed was at a wedding when he turned the water into wine and gave out the best alcohol after everyone was already drunk.  Jesus “cleared out the temples” with anger when he saw the Pharisees and the Sadducees bargaining for temple goods.  “My house should be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.”  His anger was always righteous.

Let’s take a brief look at how the Old Testament tells us to live:   Take one wife, don’t have sex with angels, don’t have children out of wedlock, don’t shave your face, don’t wear jewelry, don’t see your father naked, don’t commit adultery, don’t go to fortunetellers, and so many other sins in the book of Leviticus.  But let’s look at what Jesus did on the cross.  He gave us two commandments, not ten.  1.  Love your God with all your heart.  2.  Love your neighbor as you love yourself.  I think those two laws that JESUS left us say it all.  We need, as human beings, to love each other in and out of our “sinful” ways.

Now, let’s take a look at that picture of the church.  I have to say, I would not attend a church who practiced exclusion rather than inclusion.  I could not practice at a church who was filled with hatred against a specific group of people.  Is it not so long that we can not remember that it was against “the law” to have an interracial marriage and how we looked down upon bi-racial children?  How about Jews marrying Gentiles?  Has it been so long that we can not look back and see from where we have come?  Why do you want to march back down that path again?

The church depicted above raises some very strong emotions in me.  First, it’s a group of people making a judgement call on morality.  I thought Jesus made all the judgement calls for Christianity.  If you were a true Christian, you would be a follower of Christ, not some arbitrary religion that some who like to call themselves Christians entertain.  This is the same thing that gives Christians a bad name.  I for one, will follow Christ, not what the “church” has deems righteous.  Keep in mind, there is a church inside the church, you just have to be careful which church you will stand for.

If you judge in one part of the law, you must judge all.  So, if you don’t want homosexuals to be married pick up your own cross and carry it to your own judgement.  Like what you may ask?  Well, the law tells us to marry one women, don’t have children with multiple partners, don’t shave your face, don’t wear jewelry, don’t marry a Gentile (if you are a Jew), don’t eat pork, don’t be drunk with wine, don’t have children out of wedlock, don’t murder, don’t get tattoos, and don’t keep the ten commandments.  To God, one sin is the same as another.  Pick your sin and I’ll show you my sin washed by the blood of Christ.





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From a Badger to a Queen


The picture of the big yellow head in the middle of the blankets came to this loving family 8 years ago.  They called her Sadie Badger after watching a video on the Honey Badger who wasn’t afraid of anything!  Sadie, like the Badger, wasn’t afraid of anything.

Initially the Badger came to live with the three dark-haired girls in the photo.  She came as a puppy and lived happily with Emma and Toby, the two other dogs that lived in the house.  They played with each other and had a happy life until one day when the big yellow head had an unhappy triad and tore her ACL, MCL, and LCL.  Never did the dark-haired girls think that would change the living arrangements for ever.  When Sadie came home from her surgery, she must have had a different “smell” about her because Emma, the dog that had always been so playful with Sadie, fought with her ripping open her unhappy triad surgery.  At first, the girls didn’t understand what had happened but they knew they couldn’t leave the two dogs alone again in case something like that happened again; at least without  some training.

So, to keep their family together, they hired a dog behavioralist.  As much as they worked with the two dogs, the training did not take heed and the two dogs fought again, this time landing Sadie in the hospital again.  That was it, they had to get rid of one of the dogs and the choice was devastating.  Both dogs were beloved pets and the thought of getting rid of one of them or worse yet, putting one of them down, was not a situation they cared to entertain.

They kept both of the dogs separated in cages at home until the decision could be made but luckily for them, the decision came out of “nowhere.”  Of course to me, the decision came from God.  The mother of one of the girls in the picture decided she’d take Sadie “for awhile” until they could find permanent arrangements for her.  The girls, sad but still glad that Sadie would be able to “Badger about” freely again jumped at the temporary solution.

Something happened at Dianne’s house (the mother who volunteered to take Sadie temporarily.). Dianne fell in love, and so did the Badger.  The Badger turned from the puppy who wasn’t afraid of anything to the Queen who loved the Princess Dianne.  Sadie protected her, loved her, watched over her and Dianne did the same.  But Sadie’s life was not to be smooth sailing.  She was diagnosed with a Mast cell tumor on her leg, a hard place to surgically remove but the vets got out most of it, but not all.  They were all hopeful, but the margins of the tumor did not reveal the best of outcomes.

In the meantime, another type of cancer crept its way into Sadie’s life, this one worse than the last, and terminal.  In hopes to prolong her life, they did a splenectomy but then the cancer metastasized to the liver and it was only a matter of time.  In fact, only 6 weeks after the splenectomy.  On her last day, she refused to eat, refused to get up, and she only had eyes for Dianne and Dianne poured her soul out to Sadie.  Nothing less than  heart-felt loss between the two who loved each other dearly.

Slowly, Sadie slipped into that dark night and onto that Rainbow Bridge with the 4 people who loved her most surrounding her.  “It’s an honor to be present and assist someone to the other side,” and these 4 people had the honors Sunday afternoon.

My heart bleeds for my youngest daughter and her wife who lost their Badger, my heart goes out to my oldest daughter who lost her Big Yellow Head, but I guess my heart goes out the most to the woman -Princess Dianne, who lost her constant companion.  May each of you remember Sadie in your own way that gives you the most joy.

I picture Sadie playing with Toby who left us for the Rainbow Bridge just 6 months ago.  They are joined by all our other pets who left before we had enough of them.  They are joined by the people we have loved as well, each having their own big family reunion on the bridge.

As I look at the picture one last time before leaving this post, I see the loving eyes of Sadie on her Princess.  God bless you Sadie. May you never feel pain again.