There I said it….

September 25th, 2006

Ok, so I am ready for the stones to be thrown at me, but I just have to say what I am seeing.

I am a Clay Aiken fan. I am not a Claymate, a Claytripper or a citizen of the Clay Nation. I am just the run of the mill middle aged white woman who appreciates the voice and performances of Clay Aiken. I know I am a rare breed in both circles. I have to go to concerts alone, because my family and friends just cannot bear it. Whimps. I have watched Clay since his American Idol days when I wore my fingers to the bone just to see him get the fuzzy end of an over burdened phone system! I loved his first cd Measure of a Man (MOAM), his Christmas cd Merry Christmas with Love (MCWL) and I have enjoyed all of the concerts.

So it pains me to say the following: The new album, A Thousand Different Ways (ATDW), is a disappointment,not a tragedy, just a disappointment. I say that having bought several copies just to do my part for the cause. I listen to it because I like Clay’s voice. I am already sold out for the career of this man for reasons that are far reaching. I love a simply talented person, I love good people, I like to see kind people succeed, I love people who love their mothers and I adore people who are good to children, especially children who have few voices on their side.

This album will be enough for the true fans. I am one.

However, the fan base on the offical fan club website numbers on 3550 in the US (I just did the search on the site). If everyone who is a fan club member bought 10 cd’s it would be 35,500. A fraction of the 3 million of MOAM. I honestly do not know how many albums have been sold to date. I do know that he did not open on the Billboard chart like he has with both MOAM and MCWL.

I have watched the interviews, the features and miniconcerts on everything from the Wal-mart site to GMA. Our boy looks tired. Really tired. He almost looks defeated. (I said ALMOST). He has a spark in his soul that will rise about the mire he has lived for the last year or so. I was glad to hear he went back home to North Carolina. It was clear in his public appearances that he needed to recharge at his base. Mom,friends, foods he loves, and the comforts of being able to be Clayton, and not American Idol Clay Aiken. He needs a break.

I am sure he feels the pressure of this fan base that lives and dies by his every move. He is a person who would feel responsible for them, even though that thought is absurd! He owes us great music and great performances and NOTHING ELSE.

He is not our boyfriend, our close friend, or someone we really know intimately. He does not know who is in the fifth row of a concert, and he is not singing to anyone of us individually. (If you have ever been on a stage, you would know that you cannot see a thing past the lights to even the first row, let alone the fifth). He is a performer and a good role model. He does not owe anyone answers about his personal life, least of all his fan base. I have to tell you, I am a Christian, and I agree completely with Mr. Aiken when he said Jesus loves everyone, Muslim, Jew, Christian, Gay, Straight, Black or White. I know that makes some of the more fundamental amongst us wiggle in their seat. GET OVER IT. When one of us gets assigned to be God, let me know, then I will listen.

Ok back to ATDW, Clive Davis missed the boat and lead Clay down the wrong path. I do not know about the rest of you, but I wanted to hear what Clay had to say on this album, not Celine, not Dolly, Not any of the former artists who made these songs famous. I wanted Clay’s point of view, and outside of the four original songs, I did not hear it here. I only hear that Clay spark in those songs. The rest are almost anemic (I said ALMOST). They are good, the man can sing, but they are not Clay.

I know many of you will lose your precious minds over these comments. I hope I am wrong, and I hope this album sells like hotcakes in winter. I will be at the Christmas concert in Detroit, and I will pay top dollar for a seat when he tours this CD next year. I hope he gets the chance to make another album if he wants to, and I hope we get see him perform for years to come. The fact is he deserves success, I hope that dream does not die a thousand different ways.

Doctor and Nurses in New Orleans

September 25th, 2006


As I have said ad nauseum, I am a nurse practitioner, before that I was an ICU nurse. I have seen more illness and trauma than I care to remember. I worked in a clean, well lit, well supplied hospital with fresh water and the full knowledge that in 8 or 12 hours I was going home. It is hard and sad work. Patients die in the best of circumstances. I am so glad we live in a day and age that dying patients do not need to be filled with fear and pain as they pass from this world to the next.

Shoot to days after Hurricane Katrina. No food, no fresh water, no electricity. No fresh supplies, no one coming to relieve you ever, and critically ill patients looking to you to help them. In an ICU everything runs on electicty, every monitor, pump, vital sign equipment, medication administration machines, respirators…. everything. I am sure none of you have had the pleasure of transporting a sick patient while using a bag valve mask… its a lot of work….

Dr. Anna Pou, an ear, nose and throat specialist, and nurses Lori L. Budo and Cheri Landry were each booked with four counts of second-degree murder for taking care of their patients.

I have given more Morphine and Versed than I can even recount. They are good meds. Morphine is an old drug and nothing works better for pain. Versed is a wonderful anti-anxiety med and as a good side effect, it causes amnesia.

This medical team gave these drugs to their critically ill patients in the dark, dank, wet hot world that was post Katrina New Orleans. As we all stood back in our air conditioned homes and though.. oh what a shame for them…. These warriors did not abandone their patients. They were there, hour after hour, with people shooting just outside the door.

They kept their patients comfortable. Its what we do as medical care takers. Sometimes patients die, and sick patients in 100 degree weather without proper supplies will die faster. Its an unfortunate truth of what happened in New Orleans. Our government left them there to die. While FEMA was congratulating themselves for doing a good job, criticially ill patients lay dying in hospitals that were flooded.

I am so angry that these heros are facing second degree murder charges. They did not kill these patients, they kept them pain free and unafraid in a really aweful place. They could have left like 80% of the medical personnel, but they chose to send their families to safety and stay in the battle for their patients.

The family members of those patients who died should drop to their knees and thank god that their loved one did not die alone and in pain.


What is a nurse practitioner….

September 23rd, 2006

Web definitions for nurse practitioner
A registered nurse (RN) who is Master’s prepared with specialized training. Nurse practitioners can work with or without the supervision of a physician. They take on additional duties in diagnosis and treatment of patients, and they may write prescriptions.

Well that is easy enough a definition I suppose. I get asked that all the time. In Ohio, NP’s must work under a Standard Care Arrangment with a physician to practice (there are 15 states where NP’s are completely independent and function very much like your family doctor would.) This does not mean we work for doctors, that we need to have our orders cosigned or that we must follow thier orders. It does mean that we have a physican consultant to help manage patients. I have prescriptive authority, which means I can write prescriptions according to set rules by the State of Ohio and those prescriptions will be honored at any pharmacy.

So what is the difference in the philosphy of care between docs and NP’s. Docs focus on curing diseases and chronic illness. NP’s focus more on disease prevention and health promotion. While the roles overlap a bit, NP’s are not junior doctors, we are full fledged advance practice nurses.

Nurse Practitioners specialize in a specific area of medicine. I am a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, my subspeciality is childhood cancer and palliative care.

I am very very pro-doctor by the way. Especially in the sub specialities, they have spent 10-12years preparing to practice. I would never be so arrogant to say that I have the same eduational background or training as the docs I work with. I have a great amount of respect for them, and I rely heavily on their expertise. What I bring to the medical party is a decade of experience as a nurse, the skills of the APN and a holistic approach to patient care. I think the doc/np team offers the best health care has to offer.

Just a thought, I have wanted to post this for a long time.


October 20th, 2003

Download file

Link to Riverside Powerpoint

We are committed

October 1st, 2003

Well its kind of fun…Chris asked me to marry him today…I said of course, and we went about our day…and oh yeah…we bought a house! Really, I am the luckiest woman on the planet. A man who loves and understands how my soul functions. Ladies, if any of you read this, the right one is worth waiting for!


August 24th, 2003

Well I wrote about an hour of stuff here…and it got pinged into oblivion. It was deep, and it helped me work through somethings in my head. But I guess it was not meant for publication!

The beginning…again..

August 23rd, 2003

Well school is starting again, and I swore last year when the love of my life gave me this site that I wanted to put somethings together that talk about the journey of a simple nurse through the politics that is nursing and nursing school. So I stand at the precipice once again. I think this time around I want to talk about some of the internal journies I am taking.

I have had more paradigm shifts than a major corporation. I have been looking for that “place” where all the parts of my personality fit. I have had great adventures as a “nurse,” “five-fold ministry fundamentalist,” “a political activist,” “a groupie,” “a punker,” “a disgruntled teenager,” and “a too curious kid.” I think all of these personalities still live in my psyche someplace, the intergration of aging is an amazing thing. I used to see each change in my life as a closed door to an open window. I am beginning to see the continuity of life as I look back down the corridor of time. I like to think I am complex and not just flighty, but time will tell.


January 15th, 2003

Well, its the second day of classes for Spring 2003 at the University of Akron School of Nursing. This semester I am struggling to have a good “attitude” about taking a course I could have taught. But such is nursing, jump those hoops girls!! Our profession teeters on the brink. I see such brilliance in the minds of the women I work with and learn from, and in the same instance see female weirdness all over the place. Nurses are strange by breed. I cannot explain it, but I have come to accept it about myself and my peers.

I am currently taking 19 credit hours. I will whine about this for the next 16 weeks so just expect it. I am a practicing RN, going back to get my masters. I started my adventures in nursing career as a 31 year old, arrogant and nieve (is there a worse combination?!?) religious zealot who was going to take over the world with my hospital diploma!!

A few things have changed, I am the polar opposite of a religous zealot (my boyfriend says amen!), I have been too wrong too often to live in arrogance ever again and life has shaken me out of my nievete. Its been a fun decade. I hate to use cliche words, but I have had many a paradigm shift. I have learned to be who I am from gleaning from some incredible women in my life. All of them nurses or nursing students with life experience that amazed me. My first mentor and friend was Marty, she literally taught me to be a human being. When I met her first semester of nursing school I was the biggest pain in the gluts God ever put on the planet. I knew it all, and I said it all. Marty was my irresistable force meeting my immovable object. She watched life as I knew it fall it peices and was there to show me another way. Thank you Marty. As you go through your struggles my thoughts and prayers are with you.

So all of that to say we need mentors. It does not make us weak to realize we need people in our lives to show us paths they have already walked. Nursing is essentially a profession of apprenticeship. I hate to tell you folks in your basic programs, you are learning just enough to pass the boards and have a foundation to build real practice knowledge. If you think you know enough to be a practicing nurse without the input of your peers on the floor, you are dangerous and I ask you to please avoid pediatrics.

Nursing as a profession is stuggling to define itself. If you want to know the Hallmarks of A Profession, go back to your Nursing 101 book, I am sure you will find a lovely definition. First things first, we need a body of knowledge that is all ours. A tough thing to accomplish in the world of medicine. We are necessarily in collaboration with docs. Its the nature of who we are, and we often times take our cues from them. So how do we establish a body of knowledge apart from docs? Researching the area we are legally allowed to act independantly.

Research, research research. I hate it, you hate it, stats stink, but we are dead in the water and forever handmaidens without it. So I am learning research. Hopefully one day I will be as good at it as my present mentors. I have been fortunate enough to have my career championed by a couple really wonderful women who I admire and see as role models. Thank you Dr. Ross-Alomaulki, Dr. Renker and (soon to be Dr.) Peg DiMarco, RN, MSN, PNP. You inspire me and I am humbled by your confidence in me.

Hoops. Get used to them they are not going away. We jump through hoops because we are in subordinate relationships to just about everybody as students. Even returning students who are already practicing RN’s. Its not personal, its just how it goes. If you do not have the constitution to play by the rules and learn to work the hoops, grad school will eat your brain. Remember your goals, and the hoops just become chuck holes on the road, troublesome, but not terminal. So suck it up my dear peers, and stop complaining. Somethings just need to be accepted for what they are. Remember, at some point we get to rule, its just not now.

Our Daughters

January 7th, 2003

I have talked before about my boyfriend. His name is Chris and he is the computer guru of the family. He is also one of the best human beings I have ever known. We are the proud parents of five kitties. One left us after 18 year to go to kitty heaven, the other four are young spry things that keep us on our toes. Chris did such a nice job of featuring our furry kids, that I am just putting the link here.

Take a peek if you want to see the cutest kids ever!!

Shelter Day

January 7th, 2003

Well one week to go before break is over. Sometimes I wonder why I am doing this, and then I go to the shelter. I frequent, as part of my studies, a homeless shelter for women and children. I went over with my advisor to do physicals on the kids who came in over the weekend. These are happy kids and good moms. They find themselves in a strange place in life, but they are good people. These kids have nothing, and they are happy. It gives me perspective. Whenever I get to feeling a little off about my life, I go there, I look in their eyes, and then I go home and shut up.