Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Hospital Gown Hell

 Can we talk about hospital gowns?

I had to go in for some routine scans recently and because of the types of scans, I had to disrobe and put on one of these gowns on 2 different occasions.

Who invented the hospital gown anyway?  If you google "hospital gown" you will see that it has its own Wikipedia page...more than you ever wanted to know.

I've tried cotton gowns, flannel gowns, and paper gowns...do you wear it backwards, forwards???
More importantly, which is the back and which is the front???  I don't think I have ever seen one with a tag.

And the tab ties??  WTH???  I will be the first to admit I am not the skinniest person on the planet but good lord, I am also not the largest person.  They never seem to fit comfortably and you always have part of it or you flapping in the breeze.  Have you ever noticed how breezy it is in a hospital? 
That cannot be a good thing.  At the hospital, I tied my gown together as best as I could had still had half a thigh (in true Angelina Jolie fashion) and the left side of my right boob hanging out (Kim K would have been proud).

The radiology area of a hospital is often pretty chilly too, you have to keep all of that ridiculously expensive equipment cool and in turn freeze out your staff and patients!

Snaps??  They sort of work as long as it makes sense where the snaps are located.  What about velcro?  That would work.  I bet velcro doesn't hold up to multiple washings in super hot water.

I have had nurses suggest wearing one front-wards and one backwards to "cover all the bases" so to speak.  Yeah, that's a good look.

Part of me feels sorry for medical staff, I realize they see body parts daily, it's part of routine job "hazards" LOL but it seems to me that it's avoidable.


Why am I spending so much time thinking about it? 

I go to a clinic that specializes in mammograms...the gown is short.  You only need to disrobe from the waist up for a mammogram.  These gowns are flannel, bordering on fleece, have snaps AND ties so while you're sitting in the waiting room, you almost feel clothed, what a concept!!

The one day I spent in the hospital, I wore a couple of gowns; each one crazier than the other trying to get into (and out of) without flashing a cast of thousands.  I finally sent Chris home to get some yoga pants and a fleece jacket.  Lymphoma was going to be the least of my problems...I was going to freeze to death or give some poor unsuspecting tech PTSD because they saw more of me than necessary!

Years ago, I worked in the intimate apparel (read lingerie) department of a now defunct local department store chain.  They sold house coats.  Some buttoned/snapped up the front and others zipped.  Couldn't they make something similar for a hospital gown...maybe with zippers in both the front AND the back in sizes XXS to 10X to cover people of all sizes.  Maybe in flannel for the chillier exam rooms??

Spending time in the hospital, whether it's outpatient or inpatient is rarely fun and it's often uncomfortable and can be humiliating.  Patients should be as comfortable as possible, don't you think?  Also, maybe some footies...when you disrobe for a scan...socks on or socks off, same with your shoes??  Can I just say that a hospital gown with beige suede booties or black riding boots looks ridiculous but again, it's cold.  What about size 15 athletic shoes?

I went with my socks yesterday in case you were wondering...picture it...pale blue hospital gown opening up in all the wrong places with maroon socks.  Go ahead, laugh...I did, so did my techs when I shared my frustrations.

OK, my work here is done.  I may work on researching how to make a speculum warm to the touch.  Look it up if you don't know what it is.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Just an A**hole

For the last year and half or so I have noticed a change in people.

There are some people who go out of their way to be kind to the people around them.  I'll get to them another time.

The ones I want to talk about today are the ones who ride past a bus stop on a rainy morning in the curb lane, showering the already wet commuters.

The ones who think they are so important they need to cut around the lines of traffic waiting to pass an intersection with a malfunctioning signal and then cut off those who have waited patiently (or at least it looked like they were patient). 

The ones who think it's OK to taunt an African America hockey player as he sits in the penalty box at the United Center (stay classy Chicago).

The ones who applaud an accused cop killer.

The ones who take 2 weeks worth of groceries for a family of 5 through the 15 items or less line.

The ones who think their right to bear arms trumps the right of a child to feel safe in a classroom.

The ones who park in a handicapped spot without the appropriate placard or plate.

The ones who bitch about parking restrictions set to allow for snow removal.

The ones who think rules are made simply to inconvenience them.

The ones who brag about their rights but have no problem infringing on the rights of others.

The ones who think it's OK to text a woman (or a man), over and over looking for a date (or whatever) even after being told, the object of their advances isn't interested.

The ones who slant the news in such a way that it's not even real anymore.

The ones who take responsibility for nothing and are constantly looking for someone to blame.

The ones who have a problem with another person because of who they love or the color of their skin or the faith they follow, or the fact that they are poor, or mentally ill.

The ones who like to hide their horrible behavior behind the guise of their faith.

The ones who like to bend every situation to fit their needs at the time.

I am sure you can add your own.

I feel as if there is a whole group of people that think their poor behavior is acceptable these days when they couldn't be further from the truth.

Listen up...the world owes you NOTHING.  You're not cool or clever.  You're not more important than ANYONE else.  In fact, you're just an asshole.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Here We Are

So here we are...another day, another mass shooting.

We’re all praying for those lost and their families and those injured.  We’re grateful for the first responders.

The gun lobby owns Congress for the most part so they will have a moment of silence...and DO NOTHING ELSE.

So it’s up to us.

If you see something say something.  How many times have you heard that phrase?  How often have you done it?

Talk to you kids.  I know most teenagers would rather Snaptagram their lives away rather than talk to their parents.  Sit them down and talk to them.  Know what is going on in their lives. Know who their friends are.  Know who the class outcast is.  If your kids grouse about it, tell them too bad.

If there are any teenagers reading this...talk to your parents.  If you’re not comfortable talking to them, find an adult you trust.  If you know someone who is acting strange...SAY SOMETHING!  To them, to a teacher, to your parents.  It might be nothing, but it could be something.

Parents, a generation of kids is growing up that is having difficulty coping.  Is it the participation trophies?  Is it the fact that many kids these days are told that the shit rainbows from the day they are born?  Maybe.  Tell you kid that life isn’t fair and then teach them how to navigate through the times when it isn’t fair.

Teach them that the world owes them nothing.  Teach them that life is precious.  Teach them to be kind, to say hello to the kid sitting alone at lunch.  Teach them that the violent video games they like to play do not portray normal acceptable behavior.  Teach them to take responsibility for their actions.

Lawmakers...where do we start?  If you’re not going to strengthen gun laws, how about we take another look at healthcare in this country?  How about funding school counselors? How about delving into the mental health situation here in the US and how it is becoming a crisis.  How about we throw more than words at the opioid crisis.  How about investing in active shooter training in all schools?

How about we make as big a deal of lives lost in a school shooting as we do over an aborted fetus?  Some people want to defund Planned Parenthood because they offer abortion.  How about defunding the NRA?  Dead is dead.  You don’t get to pick and choose your right to life beliefs.  You believe or you don’t.

If you’re a lawmaker and you’ve taken money from the NRA, you have blood on your hands same as if you pulled the trigger.

A child in school has to be worth AT LEAST AS MUCH as an unborn fetus.

Every lawmaker at every level should look at a mass shooting from the point of view of the family of a victim.  After all, these are the people you are sworn to serve.  What are you going to tell the moms and dads of the CHILDREN killed the other day?  How are you going to make it right?

How are the leaders of this country going to do better?  Here's a clue...the answer doesn't lie in a military parade, a border wall, tax cuts for the wealthy, soda taxes, pension bailouts, NRA contributions, conservative PACs, blaming the victims.  The answer lies in the people lawmakers are sworn to serve.  TALK TO THEM.  More importantly LISTEN TO THEM.

Back to us.  What are you going to do?  This isn't about a person's right to bear arms.  It's about taking back our safe places; schools, malls, concerts.  It's about taking back our lawmakers from a few people with a lot of money.  It's about challenging those with staunch religious beliefs to take their beliefs further than judging others and infringing their beliefs on others.  It's about inclusion and not exclusion.  It's about taking a message to those who make laws and policies; what we have in place isn't working.  It's about CHANGE.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

I thought of you today as I sat in traffic in the snow...people are still driving like morons and you'd be proud of the way I introduce people to my car's horn regularly.  I know it's a Hyundai (and not a Chrysler product) but it's pretty slick.  Maybe one day I'll buy a muscle car...just keep an eye out for me, I have a bit of lead foot, you'd be proud of that too.

Mom's doing well; she's going to Costa Rica next month, none of us like to fly but it's a means to an end. I keep trying to talk her into the zip-lining trip.

You'd like the guys Carrie and I married; well maybe not all of them...that first one of mine...let's just say I did MUCH better the second time around.

You'd love your grandkids; the big ones and the little ones, they amaze me daily.

Daytona is next Sunday, Dad.  You're immortalized on the finish line there in Sharpie marker.  You'd flip out over the renovation at the track.  You'd like Martin Truex a lot.

You'd be astounded at the way the world has changed and probably not surprised that some things stayed the same.

Remember Jolly Jacks??  It's a pub called Declan's now...tons of craft beer...did you know beer that tastes like fruit is really good??  Chris introduced me to Blue Moons shortly after we met and I have become a beer snob. We love Declan's, I think it's because I visited Jolly Jacks as a kid.

In the 28 years since you're gone I know you have said hello in  your way.  I am guessing it was you at 2:15am today checking in.  The beagle knew you were there too.

Not sure why I am struggling today 28 years later maybe it's the snow, maybe it's because it's Wednesday and you left us on a Wednesday.  I guess I don't need a reason.  Having a reason isn't going to change it.

I don't remember who said it about the loss of a parent; you never get over it, you just learn to make the best of it.



Friday, January 26, 2018

Why March?

Last Saturday there were marches all over the world.  Women’s Marches

Some people don’t know what the marches are for...

We’re marching for rights...the right to quality healthcare, the right to choose, the right to be in charge of our own reproductive systems, the right to equal pay, the right to be treated with respect, the right to disagree with every piece of buffoonery coming out of the White House, the right to not descend into the way things were in the 19th or even 20th centuries, the right to not be sexualized or sexually harassed, the right to yell “bullshit” every time Sarah Huckabee Sanders opens her mouth, the right to stand up to evangelical “Christians” who harbor the delusion that God has somehow anointed Donald Trump to run this great nation, the right to run for office, the right to vote for better representation at all levels of government, the right to be dissatisfied and to VOICE THAT DISSATISFACTION LOUDLY, the right to show our daughters, nieces, granddaughters (our sons,  nephews and grandsons too) that we can bring about change.

We’re marching for change.  We’re marching for unity.  We’re marching for peace.

I could go on for days giving reasons to march.

Some  people still don’t get it...that’s OK.  

But don’t belittle those who do get it.  Don’t post some right wing crap from some uniformed talking head.  Don’t listen to Fox News (1. It’s not real news and 2. They’re still talking about Hillary’s emails and will be when the ICBMs land in Los Angeles).  

Ask someone about it and LISTEN to what they have to say.  You don’t have to agree.  

But get out of our way.

Below is a link from the January 29th issue of Time Magazine, give it a read. #changeiscoming

Monday, January 15, 2018

Hello 50

So I had a birthday last week.

A big one.

I joined a club with some other cool people I know.  Yeah, yeah I turned 50.

When I was a kid, 50 was OLD.  Ancient!  When I was a kid, a 50 year old walked with the dinosaurs.  As a recently minted 50 year old, the only dinosaurs I have walked with are animatronic.

Let me tell the kids of the world, 50 years goes by in the blink of an eye.

In 50 years I have...

moved more than 6 times
learned French
fallen in love more than once
fallen out of love  more than once
fallen on ice more than once
played on monkey bars
yep, I have fallen off of monkey bars too!
worked in a bakery
eaten a raw oyster (ick)
shoveled snow
driven in snow
cursed at the snow
traveled to 33 states
driven a hot rod
bowled over 200
traveled to Europe
traveled to Mexico
traveled to the Caribbean
laughed and cried...sometimes at the same time
walked on beaches, been to the mountains
been terrified to fly and have done it anyway
been on a plane that executed a successful emergency landing (see above)
managed people
managed expectations
managed my expectations of certain people
sang in the shower
sang in the rain
sang out of tune
sang in front of a crowd
bought a car
bought a house
bought lots of shoes
broken a finger
broken a heart...maybe more than one
paid a toll for the driver behind me
smiled at a stranger
volunteered at a soup kitchen
dyed my hair
lost my hair
learned to type
learned to use a PC, brick phone, Blackberry, smart phone, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and am still fairly technologically illiterate
gotten married...twice.  Sometimes you have to foul one off to get it right.
witnessed local sports teams win 2 World Series, 3 Stanley Cups, 6 NBA titles and 1 Super Bowl
been to a few NASCAR races
been sunburned
learned to drive
learned to parallel park
won a fantasy football league
watched people blast off into space and cried when not all of them returned
been to concerts too numerous to chat about here
lost a few loved ones
found many many friends
had cancer
kicked cancer's ass and have the scars to prove it
been grateful
been angry
been lonely but never alone
never given up

So I have been busy it seems.  It's interesting looking back at 50 trips around the sun.  People are saying these days that 50 is the new 40.  Whatever.

50 is 50.  Some days I feel old.  Most days I don't.  I have some gray hair...only my hairdresser knows how much.  I think I am wiser than years ago.  Although, I still occasionally do stupid stuff.

A few years ago, turning 50 wasn't a given so let's just say, I am damn glad to be here.


Monday, December 18, 2017


Do you believe in Santa?

Do your kids?  If the answer is no, when did they stop believing?

I remember as a kid, when we moved into our house starting to get skeptical about Santa coming down the chimney because we didn't have a fireplace and our chimney ended inside an ENORMOUS furnace.  The logical part of me knew Santa didn't emerge from the door on the side of said furnace.

Eventually I understood how Santa worked.  I am not putting spoilers here.  Who knows how many children may read this blog.  LOL

As I moved into my teens, you often heard, "If you don't believe, you don't receive."  Hmmm, OK.

As an adult, I consider myself one of Santa's helpers...I'll leave it at that.

Driving to work recently, struggling to get into the Christmas spirit, inspiration for this post came to me.

Christmas is next week.  Maybe Santa comes to your house.  Maybe not, maybe you don't have a house for Santa to come to.  Whatever the case, Christmas is a magical season, whether you believe a child was born in a manger over 2000 years ago or not.  Whether you believe in the guy in the red suit with the sleigh and 8 tiny reindeer or not.  There is magic in the air, in the music, in the greetings from friends in family, in your heart.

Maybe you are joyous today, maybe you're just trying to get through the day.  Either way is OK.

The world has been a crazy place for a while now.  It's hard to see the good in the world sometimes.  Sometimes I find myself losing hope.  Sometimes my hope lives in a glass half empty.  Thankfully it has never gone completely away.

I believe in Santa, in the magic of Christmas, that a child was born in a manger, that there is good in the world, in hope.

Do you?