Monday, February 19, 2007

Duck Rice and Croup

the kid celebrated his birthday, not with a hippy ritual in the gazebo of the rose garden walking around the sun and talking about what he's learned in his seven years on earth and hearing good things from whomsoever had gathered, but hanging out in the bedroom with me, watching movies with the humidifier running non-stop. The good news is that we only had one episode of really scary barking coughing gagging dash to the bathroom and crank up the hot shower and sit on my lap while i sit on the toilet and try to tell him that it's going to be okay and he should just relax and not worry so much about how he can't breathe. After approximately seven minutes of that hell, his coughing had stopped, and his breathing has certainly eased, and I left him in the bathroom to get my best diagnostic tool. My fancy new red Littman? Nay. My fancy new black laptop. While the screen got all foggy, and I started to wonder how long we could all spend in the bathroom without meltdown, I confirmed my diagnosis of croup (remembered from an incidence during infancy) and called the advice nurse. Because, of course, I am not the advice nurse. I am simply in the very first semester of nursing school. We haven't covered auscultating for abnormal breath sounds yet in Health Assessment. Hell, i'm just as likely to use the bell as diaphragm on that thing, or put the (very uncomfortable) ear buds in pointing to the back of my head rather than my nose. The advice nurse was quite helpful, very calm and my new best friend. She told me that no, I don't nec. need to make a Saturday appt for the kid, and that since croup is viral, the most common medication would be steroids to open the airway if the steamy bathroom (or head in the freezer, which seems rather cruel and not very infectious-control-smart) doesn't work in 15 minutes (which seems like an eternity when your kid is looking at you like 'Aren't you in nursing school? Can't you fix this shit, mommy?').

Had a very interesting conversation with the mom of one of the kids I invited to his birthday party (note to me: never invite more people than you are willing to un-invite the day before the event.) everyone followed the script: I'm so sorry he's feeling bad, please tell him that we hope he feels better soon, when will the party be rescheduled? But one mom added that her son was out with a bad bad cough several days last week. I casually asked if it got worse at night and came with a fever, which it did, and did he sound like a seal, which he did. Well, there's that mystery solved then - and I managed to not be an asshole (I hope) when I said that I knew it must have been circulating in the classroom, but that we wouldn't have the party so that it didn't go any farther. The kid's got one grandparent undergoing chemo for breast cancer that's moved to bone marrow and one recovering from outpatient biopsy of the tongue. not a good equation.

So, this weekend was a great chance to practice my study skills at home with kid. I have studying in the quiet room of the library down pretty well, but can't seem to get over the hump to reading or doing note cards at home. I whine about how I don't have a table to sit at and spread out my books - in 500 sq. ft of living space, I literally don't have a table. I whine about how the kid and I seem to always be on top of each other, how my usual distracted-ness (which I have learned will take up about the first 20 minutes of any study session) gets exacerbated by the cats or requests to play Thomas the Train on my computer or urges to get up and make a cup of tea or watch just a few minutes of whatever the kid is watching (hey, I like Wallace and Gromit!), ad infinitum. It was a little ridiculous this weekend because I have two tests and three quizzes this week - and have not spent a lot of time keeping up with the reading in either class. the tests I thought that I aced last week with minimal studying came back with good solid B's. damn this seven point grading scale!

Also got to figure out what would happen if I couldn't make it to lab - email the TA and pray the skills can somehow be made up. The kid's dad ended up taking him this morning, and then bringing him to campus after lab so the kid could see my classrooms and the library and then ride the bus back to the park and ride lot. I told the kid that we usually go to the library after class and he asked if we had to walk single-file. it took me a second to figure out what the hell he was talking about!

I'm a little sad that I missed my psych appt and my med eval to get some Wellbutrin answers. I hope that I don't chicken out on rescheduling those.

Last week at work, the chef made fried rice for the end of shift family meal. This has been a bit of a challenge since I decided to stop eating even the small amounts of meat that I used to consume at the beginning of the year. Usually fried rice is made with strips of various meat - and I can feel relatively comfortable that I can scoop around the meat and still get free food. But last week, we apparently had a couple of ducks coming up for expiration soon, and so the chef made duck fried rice. I scooped out a small bowl and started my search and avoid mission in the corner of the kitchen. Sam walked by and said, how's family meal? I shrugged and said it was a little hard to avoid the shreds of duck, but the rice was good. He was all - You're eating family meal tonight?! But you're a vegetarian now! and then his face softened and he got all calm and objective and says 'wow. you must be really hungry to eat that duck rice.' Sheesh - the guilt! I ended up eating brown rice with potsticker sauce and fried wonton noodles. I hope there will be a point that I will have cycled through all the times that I was accustomed to eating meat and worked out acceptable substitutes. Last Tuesday at Golden Corral, I realized that the brown gravy beside the mashed potatoes was probably verboten now, along with all the soups, and that delicious broccoli salad with the raisins and the bacon bits. I'm good with the meat analogues, and the overall concepts of nutrition within a vegetarian dietary pattern. I'm still a little leery of being 'difficult' to hosts - but had good practice last weekend, when i had to speak up at a conference with free lunch that consisted of a big bowl of pork barbecue, buns, apples, and bags of chips.

In other news, got to practice administering meds via NG tube today and gave a plastic butt an enema this morning. nice.

No comments: