Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Rare chances

Today as I woke up at 11 am and realized that my wife had went to visit her parents and left me home alone on my day off.  I was inspired by the old cliches about opportunity and seizing moments. I got out of bed and relieved my bladder of its golden burden and looked at my phone. It was 11:18. I remembered suddenly that I had a (non-mandatory) meeting with a Dr at work. It was an informal teaching moment for him to discuss with some of the senior nurses those things that had been on his mind lately. It takes me about 30 min to drive to work. I decided to skip the meeting.

Having just had my day opened up I began grappling with multiple ideas of things I could do today. The first to come to mind was breakfast.  As a believer in Maslow's hierarchy of needs I sought nourishment.  Two bowls of Cap'n Crunch later I was ready to move on to my next task. I turned on netflix and began watching a documentary I started months ago.  Then having guilt about non-productive time, I started some laundry and swept the wood floors and then pledged them. Now my wife will be happy. Next on my list is the reorganization of my dresser and the donation of clothes I no longer need. Then lunch (Taco Bell) and the special features of Generation Kill.

I began to reflect on my days in the military and my current days as a nurse. I thought about opportunities to come and about opportunities squandered. Then I started spiraling towards an existential crisis. I decided to take a break and blog about opportunities and rare chances.

In 2004, having served in various military operations including Operations Southern Watch, Foal Eagle, Roving Sands, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, I was honorably discharged and sent out to rejoin my civilian brothers and sisters. The first opportunity I missed in my adult life was not allowing the Army to pay my way through Nursing or Medical school in exchange for a few more years of service.  I decided that the GI Bill would be good enough to get me through on my own. It took a long time to realize this mistake. By the time I did, it was too late to go back and I was closer to the end than the beginning. The only logical course was to see it through. Although, now, @JustSomeMurse and I talk about joining up as officers and getting our student loans paid back or getting our educations furthered. Alas, we are both old and out of shape.

Moving forward I found a job after graduation and I attacked it with ferocity. I went from PRN nights to FT days in two months. I earned my place and the respect of the Physicians.   That second one took a little longer. I'm now known as the "Go-to" guy for the physicians and other staff.  The problem in all of this is the management starts to see you as very good in that position and will block any of your movements.  I was being courted by the ER and was set to cross train with them when the situation allowed. Well, the situation only allowed one damn time. Then the story was that it was never approved by management and I wasn't allowed to cross train any more. I was disheartened that by doing a job so well, I had caused myself to miss another opportunity.

I continued to grind away in my position, surviving layoffs and watching others be promoted or transferred to other positions and this all came to a crescendo yesterday when my weekend crew (we alternate weekends and the same team is on the same scheduled weekends) was slowly but completely dismantled and I was the only one to remain. The last one transferred to another unit yesterday and is effective in the middle of this month.

I've been ignoring these changes and thinking that my opportunity was coming any day now. I see now that I've been quietly waiting for my chance to present itself.

I'm done waiting. I'm going to go on the offensive starting now.

I'm rambling and I've got laundry to fold. Moral of the story is STOP FUCKING AROUND AND GET TO WORK! Careers don't just appear. They are made.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

My fitness journey: Update

Well, the running has stopped for a week or so now. I'm rehabbing an ankle injury. In lieu of running I have climbed back on my old bike. 

In my youth I was inspired by my mother who, in her 30's, became a lifeguard, and a cyclist. She was in the best shape of her life. She rode the MS 150 which as the name implies was 150 miles and took 2nd place in the Tulsa City Triathlon one year despite missing a turn and having to turn around. These are only the most memorable ones there were others. She has a whole dresser drawer full of awards and medals. All this on a second hand Schwinn road bike my Uncle gave her after he bought a new one.

I wanted to cycle too. My parents knew me well and bought me a cheap Wal-Mart mountain bike to ride until I became bored with it. Weeks after they bought it, I won my first event. It was a youth bike ride that was measured in laps accomplished in a set amount of time with a person keeping track of your laps. I continued to ride that bike for a few years before my parents had me fitted for a real bike at a bike shop. This was a Schwinn made back before they sold their souls to the Devil and began selling out of Wal-Mart stores.  My dad had gotten involved in his own way by creating a bicycle tour with distances of 15, 40 and 70 miles. This event just had its 16th annual ride this past April. High School ended and I went off to the Army and I left my bike behind. I spent the next four years only running.  

Now I'm a little older (in fact, today is my 31st birthday Hooray for me!!) and I still attack all of my interests full speed ahead. "Anything worth doing is worth overdoing" I always say. I wound up with a sore ankle that wouldn't go away for a few days. I had to stop running temporarily.  I hopped in the truck and started scouting routes locally and checking distances. I found a nice little 5 mile stretch that I could do back to back to back and increase my ride by 5 miles at a time. I have started at 10 miles. Oh and I'm still riding my old bike. Except now it has a baby carrier on the back. 

So, I have adjusted my goals a little. I originally wanted to run a 5K but now that seems so pedestrian and ordinary. Hell, everybody runs a 5k it seems. So, I have my sights set on running a triathlon next spring. More specifically a sprint triathlon. And now its not sponsored by sprint the phone company. It's a faster, or rather, shorter version. Usually consisting of a 750 meter (.465 mi) swim, 20 kilometer (12.5 mi) bike, 5 kilometer (3.1 mi) run.  I really don't know where I will get the swimming practice at in this part of the country. Swimming in the winter is unheard of with the lack of indoor swimming pools. There are alternate ways to do triathlons too. You can do them as a relay with a team. Perhaps I will find a good swimmer and do the rest myself.   

Anyways, for the update. The diet is going pretty well. I have lost 10 lbs and am going strong and resisting temptations. No birthday cake for me this year.

Be sure to follow me on twitter @MurseWisdom

Also follow @JustSomeMurse and @That1Murse 

My partner in fitness @RyanwithanS is starting a blog that ties in with my NurseStrong movement. When he has it up and running I will link to it here and at

Friday, August 9, 2013

Out of Shape Nurses

Why are Nurses, as a Whole, Out of Shape?

I found myself watching Extreme Weight Loss a couple of weeks ago and I liked it. Mainly because I get a instant gratification as I get to see an entire year of work in 90 min. So, I set it to DVR. The next week the subject or contestant or whatever they are called was a Nurse. So, I'm looking at her and she is middle aged and obese. So, the first thing that pops in my head "She must work in an office" Right? because there is no way a floor nurse could get by and be that out of shape. Well, then they show her at work... On. The. Floor. I was outraged. It was personal now. I do the same job as this woman but she has managed to get so far out of shape that she has an apron! (Which she claims to have never heard that term before. So, Panniculus for those of you who are unfamiliar with apron.) So, the host shows up to surprise her, Which we all know is Bullshit because they have at least 2 TV cameras in the room before he walks in. But I digress... So he arrives to make this announcement and they show this room full of her co-workers and they are all overweight. I'm linking the video here. Then the host goes on to say how Nursing as a profession has one of the highest rates of obesity. It was an eye opening moment and I had a epiphany. Nurses can't work out like everyone else. We work long, strange hours and we are exhausted after work, and you can forget about before work... we don't get enough sleep as it is. Nurses often time find themselves putting everyone else's needs first and ignoring their own. This leadds us down the slippery slope. What nurses need is a diet and exercise plan developed by nurses for nurses. I want to fill this role.

I'm going to start slowly at first, with blogs about healthy living and exercise, then move on from there. I would eventually like to build up to having actual events such as a 5K or similar type of community events. Also, I'm going to have a fellow tweeter start his own blog and I will link to it on my website.

I would like to hear your own weight loss success stories and will share some on here and on the website. So, please email me your stories to

I have embarked on my own fitness journey starting last month. I invite all of you reading this to make that first step down the road to a healthier you.

I have also created a new Twitter account for @Nurse_Strong Please follow me there. 

Stay tuned


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Domestication of MurseWisdom

In May my wife charged back into the fray. That rhymes! Anyway, she started working again after a year off. (Baby and what-not) I think I covered all of this in a previous blog. So, here is the new problem. I suck as a housewife. Now, I use the term housewife so that everyone gets an image in their head of one of those domestic goddesses from the 50's with the apron on, cooking, and cleaning with a big smile on her face.
Now, I'm the type of person that is good at everything they do. Not great at it, but good. But I CANNOT get this housework thing down. If it were just the housework or just the infant care I think I would do just fine. But combining the two is beyond my capabilities.  I mean, I'm turning in a below average performance and at best I am accomplishing the bare minimum required to maintain daily operations.

This is leading, of course, to some rough waters in the marriage. Some harboring of resentment related to the others lack of accomplishments during their days at home.  For example I'm mad if my wife leaves any dishes not done and shes mad that I'm her husband.  My wife thinks she works harder on her days off than I do, but in reality we both work hard I'm just inept at doing these things, so, I'm probably working just as hard if not harder but not getting as much accomplished. Then there is the inverse argument, which I'll admit was my doing and that it's probably not a solid platform but I've got nothing else.  I argue that my job is harder, and it is, and as such I shouldn't have to do the Lion's share of the house work. I work in a hospital and my wife does in-home patient care. She has one patient compared to my many. One permanent patient too! She doesn't have to relearn everything about her patient and their history and allergies and family member's names...etc..etc... etc... ad nauseum. I failed to mention that I have no family members that I can rely on to watch my daughter on any kind of regular basis and we will not use a day care until our daughter is old enough to tell us if something happened to her.  My dad was a cop for 36 years, I'm well aware of the sick fucking people that exist in this world.

So, I can't keep up, the baby is more mobile everyday and the dishes and the laundry and the yard and the toys and the laundry and the dishes...  then.....  THEN, she decides to switch to cloth diapers.

Now the diaper change, which I am a master of after all since I am a nurse, has turned into this complicated drawn out procedure involving the use of all new materials and no more using the diaper cream, at night she wears this one, then change her into one of these, then if you're going to be out and about use one of these but take all of this with you if she needs changed while you're out.

Even if I were starting to catch on, which I wasn't, now I'm so woefully behind is laughable.  There is special laundry procedures for the diapers, involving clotheslines, homemade detergent (That's right! Home-made!) and let's not forget that poopy diapers don't disappear into the magic trashcan. They are now taken to the bathroom where I have installed a sprayer attachment to the toilet and they are sprayed out.  (Side note: I'm regretting the insertion of Louie above at this point. The motion is aggravating while I type.)

On a slightly brighter note, Today begins my vacation. I'm heading to an un-named lake and staying in this cabin.

Golf will be played. Hot tubs will be occupied and worries will hopefully vanish; at least until Monday.

The argument is the same everyday, and I'm getting nowhere. I'm fighting the hundred year war with no relief in sight. But I am kept sane by the thought that eventually my daughter will go to school and I will have a day to myself in 4 years or so. Oh and I have this blog and you wonderful people who read it as an outlet. So, I thank you.

As always you can find me on Twitter @MurseWisdom
Follow my friends @That1Murse and @JustSomeMurse too.

Big things coming down the pipe. I have a few things cooking so stay tuned.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Journey Progresses

Well, week one is under my belt. As I type this I'm eating a tuna salad sandwich and drinking a coke zero. Today is my day off of running but I still managed to walk to the post office with the stroller and did  calf raises until my calves cramped. Then I worked on some core and triceps.  Its still pretty early in the new routine to obsess over my weight but as off this morning I'm down 3 pounds but I was down 5 at one point this week. Like they say, you can measure fitness on a scale. But I can measure knee strain on a scale.

In other news I replaced my laptop today, so I will not longer have to type blogs on my iPhone. This might add to the frequency of blogs.

This is a short one but the baby is asleep and I've got stuff to do.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Back in Shape

My wife isn't the only one who became out of shape with this baby. I have decided to challenge myself to lose some weight and get back in shape. I started running a week ago. Something I haven't done since 2004. That's right. It's been 9 years. My short term goal will be to run a 5k. With my longer goal being a sub 24min 5k or running a 10k if speed isn't achievable at this point.

I also need some muscle improvements and I have enlisted the fittest person I know to help me in that area. I've begun taking supplements for my creaky/gravelly knees that the Army left me with. I will not be taking any performance enhancing supplements, so please, if you want to suggest one... Don't. 

I'm ready to take control and get my ass in gear. I will be using the Nike+ running app too. I haven't decided if I want to go public with a profile to compete against ppl or not. I'll see. Well, it's off to bed. Running at 0530. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Over my Dad body!!

Some of my more astute followers may have noticed... aww who am I kidding? All of my followers are astute! So, all of you may have noticed that I have been missing from twitter lately. I tried to sneak a tweet in now and then but mostly I've been absent. The reason for my absence is that my wife has gone back to work after a little over a year off, most of which was with our baby girl. Here she is being choked by an RT.

So, in the classic role of Father/Provider I continued to work as much as possible to allow my wife to stay at home. My wife has never really worked as a nurse. She did some part time med passing at a NH as an LPN during school. So, naturally she was nervous about stepping out into nursing for the first time. I, on the other hand, was petrified about the idea of being alone to care for our infant daughter without anyone else around to help. So, lately, (If you can excuse my country colloquialism) I've been busier than a one-legged cat trying to bury a turd on a frozen pond. I don't mean to ignore twitter, but most of the time spent between witty posts/rejoinders before was spent at work which is my best Muse. Now that my wife is back to work I'm down to 3 days a week instead of 5-6. In addition to the new responsibility, it seems that more and more there is an ever increasing number of Nursing Anon accounts out there and they aren't coming up with much that is original. They may think they are, but they aren't.  I've started to have some of my older tweets stolen and my account copied and now my Avi is being used. I'm ready to evolve into something greater andI  have that in the works.  

It is no secret that I am a founding member of the @MurseMafia. We, as an organization, are planning to help change (or at the very least improve) nursing. Especially for men.  We are in the early stages of development now and are trying to earn enough capital to take off. We have a website, and we are selling merchandise for which we earn very little profit but each T-shirt or coffee mug we sell is advertising gold.  So, please make your way over to our store and take a gander at our inventory. I know the shirts are expensive but there are stickers and buttons that are pretty cheap. I'm networking right now with a freelance artist who creates designs and I'm hoping to get him on board for some new tshirts that we can ship ourselves 

We have big plans in store for our little project and I am excited about its future. If any of you have an over abundance of money and feel the need to donate email me and I'll let you know how. Otherwise, go buy some Murse mafia merch and we can all benefit.