Tuesday, May 14, 2013

So you had a bad day at work.


So you got in trouble with your boss.  You pissed off a customer? You showed up late to work.  Maybe you even lost a really big client.  But when a nurse has a really bad day it’s most likely because their patient died.  It’s may sound callous but when a code comes in it’s a little easier to distance yourself from the patient.  You didn’t hold their hand or comfort them in their last moments like I did in long term care.  Though a child code will always take your breath away.  Which brings me to my bad day.  I had a female early 70’s come in due to a fall at her home.  She had a laceration to her head.  But was mainly complaining of her hip hurting.  She told me of her stories of being a nurse.  The things that she loved and the ones that she hated.  Being an ER nurse you are rushed so I really didn’t have a lot of time to really listen to her stories long.  In between vital checks, pain medication administration and positioning.  I helped clean up her laceration and all her dried blood.  We chit chatted some more.  She went to CT.  When she came back the CT tech states she was complaining of head pain.  So I went to check her pain level.  Upon arriving to the room.  She was no longer her chipper self.  She was only moaning.  I called the dr. ASAP.  Called for some back up help to my room.  She went from talking  to unresponsive.  She was tubed and moved to the trauma room.  She had a major bleed in the brain.  Nothing we could have done they say.  She won’t live they say.  That doesn’t make it all better.  You still look back and reevaluate did I spend enough time in that room?  Vitals were fine.  Did I miss something?  So the next time when you hear a nurse say they had a bad day at work.  Don’t always dismiss it as just something trivial.   When a nurse has a truly bad day it’s not always caused by some drunk running down the hall naked.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

To flex or not to flex? Getting a fitbit


So I purchased one.  I wanted to wait for a week before I gave my 2 cents.  I will give update reviews as I use it.  Let me first tell you the only thing I have ever used is a pedometer.  So I talked with other friends that have the jawbone, one and fitbit.  So let’s make this as painless as possible.

First what is the flex?

Quote from the web site: Flex website click here

Make fitness a lifestyle with Flex™.


This slim, stylish device is with you all the time. During the day, it tracks steps, distance, and calories burned. At night, it tracks your sleep cycle and wakes you silently in the morning. Just check out the lights to see how you stack up against your personal goal. It’s the motivation you need to get out and be more active.

Does it do that?  Heck yes.  Especially when you are so close to hitting your daily 10,000 steps.  I have took the dog for a walk just so I could get those extra steps.  You can also customize those goals.


  • Light weight, rubberized, flexible band.
  • Comes in 4 colors. Slate or Black are the only ones with the device. The other 2 you buy separately.
  • Included in box are both small and large bands.  Which you can use to trade for different color from friends with the opposite size
  • The clasp is metal and you have to push down hard to get it to latch, which is a draw back.  However on a positive note if it’s hard to clasp hopefully it will be hard to pop loose.
  • Design to be worn on either arm, it works best on Non-dominant arm.   I don’t know about you but most people wear their watch on that arm
  • Doesn’t not have a clock.  Which means your watch will need to switch arms.  Not a deal breaker for me since my watch is already on that arm.
  • Waterproof up to 10 feet.  Wear it swimming, showering, or washing those dreaded dishes. Meaning…it’s safe for this nurse’s flex to get wet every 1000 times I wash my hands.  Con:  Will not track swimming, let me rephrase that; no written evidence that it does. (not a big deal I plug it in on myfitnesspal as back up)

Pro: Light weight, flexible and I don’t notice that I even have it on. 

Cons:  having to wear it on the non-dominant arm  (no gripes here for me)


  • Pill like device that slides into the back of the bracelet.  FYI must be put in correctly or it won’t work as well.
  • While out it can be place in USB charge cord that hooks into computer.  Which leads me to the battery life 5-7 days.  I lasted 6 days with constant use.  Takes around less than an hour to charge.
  • How accurate is it?  It has been pretty dead on for me.  I did notice that I didn’t burn as much calories as I thought during a circuit workout.  But I stepped it up a notch and did much better.  You can calculate your stride to help make it more accurate or leave it on default.  Default is done by age, sex, height and weight. 

Sync ability

  • Works best with iOS (apple products)  But will work with android.  I have noticed some “hiccups” with sync on my droid razr.  It seems to take longer to sync.  I prefer my iPod to sync with.  It will also sync with your computer by putting the “dongle” in one of the computer’s usb ports.  (this comes with the product)
  • Sync is done by Bluetooth 4.0 (older phone may not have this) unlike Jawbone (another similar device) where you have to hook it into phone.

Alarm/Sleep Tracking

  • You can set up multiple alarms.  Bracelet will vibrate.  Great if you don’t want to wake up your partner.
  • Rapidly tapping on the Fitbit Flex for a few seconds launches sleep mode; under this setting, the device will track your sleep patterns throughout the night.  Then you can check the progress on you app.  It will tell you how long you slept, how many time you woke up and your % on quality of sleep.  ( I woke up 23 times yesterday, good grief)

What does it do?

Is it a fancy pedometer?  I think not.

  • Tracks your steps just like a pedometer
  • Tracks the calories burned
  • Tracks your distance
  • Record your Food, Water, Weight. 
  • Calculates how many calories you can eat that day
  • Links up with a few other fitness apps.  My favorite being Myfitnesspal
  • Motivates you by awarding badges for completing certain levels

Rumors- this section is dedicated to negative comments I have heard

  • It doesn’t have a display like the One (older fitbit model) has.  Yes the one shows the steps, distance, stairs and even a little flower that grows when you do fabulous.  Even has a clock.  Downfall?

    simple.b-dis-png.he4b66b8cef0d8ceaaa34ad6fcc0eecf3(pictured the One)

Not really.  I like the simplicity of my flex.  When you double tap on the flex  5 lights will light up.  Each light represents 20% complete.  When completed the bracelet vibrates.  (about scared the pee out of me)  Plus since it sync so easily I can always see a detailed update on my iPod.  I always have my phone with me or my iPod when I am exercising.  So that’s not a draw back for me.  I think too much info is just as bad as weighing ever day.

  • It’s on my wrist and I wear other jewelry/watch.  I like the fit one because I can clip it anywhere. 

Okay I can some what understand this.  However I wear my watch on my dominant hand not really a big deal.  Plus I know I have already washed one $9 pedometer I really don’t want to wash a $99 one that isn’t water proof.  I know  I leave my Badge clip for work clipped to my uniform all the time. So a One was not for me.  Plus how annoying would that be to forget to put you One on when getting dressed for work/workout.  The Flex is always on.

  • It counts steps while you sleep and gives me calories burned

Okay did you make a trip to the kitchen/bathroom?  You still move in sleep and you still burn calories while sleeping.  On average you can burn 400-500 calories sleeping.  Mine has been correct on the calorie count.  But remember you burn calories doing everything.  You just have to get your 10,000 steps to be an average healthy active person.

  • It doesn’t catch every exercise.  This is correct.  It won’t do swimming, biking, and some say elliptical.  I use my myfitnesspal account and manually put them in anyway. 

FYI-While using myfitnesspal exercise log it estimates you calories burned.  You can set up the account to minus what you actually burned.  For example dancing 30 mins for myfitnesspal may say I burned 175 calories but the Flex only calculated 110 it will deduct that from you calories burned bank.  You can turn this feature off. 

  • When putting foods in FITBIT flex the directory doesn’t have a lot of choices.  Once again this is where I use Myfitnesspal.  I record all my foods, water, exercise in myfitnesspal and it crosses over to fitbit account.  Great feature.

Okay so that about sums up my knowledge of the flex.  If you are still unsure.  Find out how long of a return policy there is and try it out yourself.  The flex isn’t for everyone.  We can’t all be a like. 

So bottom line.  I will be keeping my flex.  I like the look and feel,  less likely hood that I will lose it and it motivates me to work harder towards my goal of losing weight.  What works for you to help achieve your goals is all that matters in the long run.  If you have any questions feel free to message me.  Or check out my fitness page on Facebook. nursewiththedragontattooFacebook

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Put the gun down.

So there are some really cool things you get to see when you are a nurse.  Okay let me rephrase that when you are a nurse you think you see cool things.  This is one of those things.  So we get a shotgun wound patient.  Sound exciting?  Well it would be in our rural area since that doesn’t happen often.  The city I am sure its and every night episode.  How ever not only is this a 12 gauge shot gun there is not “real bullets”  just bean bags.  Apparently a suspect was holding a gun.  Got two warning shots with a 12 gauge shot gun.  Patient comes in with it still embedded in his leg.  The cool part was he was wearing sweat pants and the sweat pants when inside his leg.  The pants acted like a catcher mitt and kept the bean bag from exploding in his leg.  Freaking cool.  Not for him but to watch it being removed.  Yea I know I am sick.  But hey when the cops say put the weapon down, they mean business.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The pain never goes away


Dealing with chronic pain sucks.  What’s really annoying is dealing with the pain and still working.  Seeing others come in all strung out on pain medications.  I don’t want to be that person.  I have people saying go on disability.  Who wants to live on 600 dollars a month?  That wouldn’t even cover my house payment.  I missed work yesterday.  Had to have 5 injections into my shoulder muscle in hopes that the Lidocaine would help numb the pain.  Any idea just how bad that shit stings??? But hey I am still not on narcotics.  I refused to go that route.  Motrin, muscle relaxers and many different vitamins.  Along with my TENS unit and Cryoderm cream.  The muscle relaxers makes me so drowsy that usually I don’t take it unless I am going to bed.  There was no way around it yesterday.  I had to miss so I could take my meds.  It really depresses me that I disappointed my crew.  I never like missing. I truly hate when people call in because working nights no one covers for you.  The other nurses have to pick up your slack.    I do everything that the doctor instructed.  I still trying to exercise, lift weights and lose the pounds.  All the while trying to balance out what is too much or not enough.  I have my hours cut back to 40 hours a week to avoid over working my shoulder.  Only to have people “jealous” that I have to cut my hours back.    Sometimes it would be nice to have normal aches and pains.  Instead of pain that causes life to stop.  So I didn’t get to do my work out.  Because once again I had to “baby” my stupid shoulder pain.  So once again I have to start from scratch.  Every time I move up the levels on my workout sickness or injury makes me start all over again at level one.  UGH THIS SUCKS!  Okay yea I know whininess.  I shall suck it up and move on.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Jillian Michaels drill sergeant or the devil?


So besides using the gym, I have used Jillian’s DVD work outs.  Can you say shut the hell up!  Yea she pushes you and you will find yourself talking and swearing at the television.  But I can see some difference.  I first started out with her killer abs.  I would love to have killer abs.  However at this point I just have abs that are killing me.  As soon as I do great and move up to level 2 I slack off a few days and have to start all over again.  The Jillian Yoga will make you hurt and bend in place you never would imagine doing.  I don’t burn as much with that video.  However…if you want to truly burn check out 30 day shred.  That will make you burn.  In you quads, hamstrings and calves.  I swear if I hear her say Hammie one more time I might choke her.  The first was bad but waking up the next day was torture.  I pushed through it and did day 2.  On the morning of day 3 I texted my hubby from the bed to have him help me out of the bed.

However…I can see my abs..a little hiding under a layer of pudge.  I am hoping by day 30 I see them completely.  I am on day 7 of 30 day shred.

the only thing bad after doing these videos…the repetition of her quotes on the video…


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Mandatory overtime

So tell me do you think that hospitals should be able to make nurses do mandatory overtime all the time?
I mean I could understand occasionally.   You know to cover vacations or sickness.  I don’t think any employer should have the rights to make anyone work overtime.  It cuts into my time with my family so I don’t sign up for extra shifts.  Not everyone is for the almighty buck.  Some of us realize that family is top priority.  It’s cheaper to pay a PRN nurse than to make us work overtime at time and half.  But they don’t want all the nurses going PRN so they limit how many hours a week that they can work.  20 hours.  Which means they have no flexibility to work if you need them in a pinch.
Here is my problem.  I cut my time back in order to keep my shoulder and neck not to act up.  I was out for almost 2 months the last time it flared up.  So the neurologist told me to stop working overtime and just work 40 hours.  Less stress on my injury.  I will be suffering with this for the rest of my life.  If I don’t take of it now I will cause further damage.  So my manager agreed.  A year goes by and now she wants me re-evaluated.  Even though in the beginning she knew this would be life long.  However someone on days shift is bitching that it’s not fair that my hours are shorter.  Hello…I would love the extra money.  My check is about 150 dollars less….but despite that I don’t want to damage my shoulder any further.  I really would like to choke the bitch on dayshift.  She has no idea the pain I can get in. No idea.  She sounds like a petty grade schooler.  She doesn’t realize that I have to have 5-6 injections in my shoulder to “calm” the muscle down just so I can “deal” with the pain.  So I have to go to my neurologist to get this note to allow me to keep my short week (40hours).  It’s not like I am asking to work less than full time.  So what’s the big deal?  I am pissed enough that I might just post my note on the outside of my locker.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Here piggy piggy.


So I have lost a total of 30 pounds.  Literally worked my ass off.  Or so the man keeps complaining that there is less ass behind me.  It’s definitely not been easy.  In fact I was truly bad today.  I know it’s ok to splurge sometimes.  I went to olive garden and dunkin donuts all in one day.  Of course I did burn 500 calories or so.  It sucks that I will always have to watch what I eat.  In order for me to stay healthy.  I will never get to be one of those skinny people who “forget to eat”.  How the heck can one forget to eat?  It would be like forgetting to breathe.  I would love to stop losing my ass and lose this stupid pooch of a stomach.  UGH  all the workouts are not making it dwindle down.  But hey the boobs are smaller.  I am beginning to think it’s a cruel joke.  No ass and no boobs…yea me!  But hey I have some killer legs….until old age set in and being a nurse for too long.  I just love that I developed my first varicose vein.  Yea me again.  Sucks.  But anyway enough whininess.   I am very happy with my weight loss results.  Only 5 more pounds to go!