Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I am so lucky to have the best girlfriends in the world! I would be lost without all of them. They get me through hard times and we have fun in good times. Most of my bestest friends are people that I work with and sometimes I wonder if I'd ever be able to leave the hospital or move because I will never find a better group of women then the nurses at SJH L&D. We experience life together.
The other day a couple of my girlfriends and I went out for pedicures. We relaxed and enjoyed just being out and spending time with each other. We talked, talked and talked some more and got pretty toes in the process :)

Then we went to dinner and talked some more...
Thanks for your friendship Julie and Maggie - I 'heart' you guys! Even if you made me sit with Santa!!

Friday, November 21, 2008


Erika running at the regionals up in Fresno - she ran really well in this race. She loves the course up there...
Yes, they made the cut. Yes, they run fast and look good while running. Yes, they are freezing back in Wisconsin right now (it snowed yesterday during their run). Yes, they are having fun - even if they are freezing. Yes, I am so proud of them. The Biola cross country girls team made it to Nationals!

No, I didn't get to go!! I am soooo bummed! I wanted to be there to watch them run and to cheer for them. I had it all planned out and was going to take a little mini vacation but it just wasn't meant to be. So now I have to sit and wait to hear the results of the race. But my thoughts are definitely with them...I'm just warmer :)
Good luck Biola girls and David too! But most of all - have fun!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Southern California Fires

I'm sure you all have seen the images of fire here in Southern California. The images are amazing and the smoke and smell even more so. I know a few people who have lost homes or have damaged homes but thankfully no one I know was injured in the fires!
Erika also has many friends who attend Westmont College in Santa Barbara. The runners there are good friends with the runners at when word came that the school was on fire, it really hit home for us. Then word came that the coach from Westmont has lost his house. So, an email was sent to us - as a way to help our friends.
Please read the email that I've copied below and help if you can...

Fire Relief for Westmont College Community
The students, faculty, and staff of Westmont College could certainly use
some immediate help as they rebuild and rebound from the Tea Fire that has
caused considerable damage to their campus and the surrounding community.
In a simple and hopefully effective effort to provide some assistance to
the many in need, we would like to encourage you all to consider either
purchasing a gift card or providing financial assistance to purchasing of
gift cards for these stores - (confirmed to be local and frequented by the
faculty, staff, & students of Westmont College).

Bed, Bath & Beyond
Home Depot
Smart & Final

These timely contributions will then be forward to Coach Russell Smelley
at Westmont.

Mail or deliver cards or contributions to:
Coach Jonathan Zimmerman
Biola University -Athletics
13800 Biola Avenue
La Mirada, California 90639-0001

Coach Zimmerman's campus mailbox is in the KHPE Office (For those with
walk-in contributions.)

If you would like to donate directly online to the relief fund please see
the information provided below.

Westmont Wildfire Relief Fund

On November 13, 2008, the Santa Barbara Tea fire reached Westmont
college's campus. All Westmont College students, faculty, staff and guests
are safe and well, and most buildings are intact less than 24 hours after
a wildfire raced through campus.

In response to this emergency the college has established a wildfire
relief fund. Those wishing to contribute may do so by making a check
payable to Westmont College and addressed to Westmont College / Wildfire
Relief. Or you may do so [


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Gimp and Gimpee

We all know that Buzz has been a little awkward lately as he has learned to walk on part of a foot and to wear weird shoes vs. shoes that he likes or are somewhat stylish. But now, on top of his learning to re-walk...I think I have a hairline fracture on my foot. So, I'm ace wrapping it and taking motrin to cut down on the inflammation and swelling. Now I'm limping too. What a sight we must have been when we went out today! Gimp and Gimpee...GREAT!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

What a Secret

How does one go through a pregnancy keeping it a secret? Don't people care enough to notice a swollen belly? Doesn't one think they may need to see a doctor? Is a person really that isolated? Does she not have any friends? Any adult that she can go to? I guess not when you are 17 and pregnant and scared ---you can hide these things...until homecoming...until the dress doesn't fit...until someone finally notices...but is it too late? One shows up in labor, is the baby OK?, when is it due?,will it hurt? All I can do is provide care and pray for the best. Encourage the mommy to stay in school, encourage her single father to still love her and not cast her out, encourage the boyfriend to stay in school yet support his girlfriend and new baby. Encourage the family to take notice. Encourage the family to pay attention, encourage someone to love the new baby and her mommy...but do I really make a difference in 12 short hours? Sure, I can take care of the pain and get them an epidural but does any of that really matter in the long run? Will she go back to school, will she have resources to provide for her baby? Will she and the boyfriend stay together? Will she get a car seat before she goes home? Will she have clothes, diapers, friends? Will she go to PROM? Will she go to college?
She did not deliver before I left work. I hope things are OK, I hope the baby is term, I hope there are no defects, I hope she finds hope...
And on another note - one of our 'special' patients delivered today...the baby has problems, the baby got transferred to the children's hospital but it was alive and doing better than many of us thought that he would. I do enjoy being at work when these patients come in and enjoy being able to see the patients that we have had conferences on...just helps to close the book on someone you've met and and gotten to know and I think it helps them to see a familiar face. Someone who knows their history so that they do not have to try to tell it all again. But sometimes I wonder why God does the things he does??? And all I can do is pray that the baby does OK.
And my last thought for the day - how come a Sunday is so crazy busy? - like 14-15 patients most of the day. It used to be the Sundays were nice days to work but now a days it just seems like anyother day of the week. But I finally have a day off tomorrow!!! My first whole day off in 7 days. So how do I plan to spend it?? Early voting and catching up on my homework. But I am sleeping in! And trying to put today behind me....

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Girls

Penny and Sydney

Biola's unofficial team mascots (I know, they are not exactly Eagles) but they go to all of the meets and cheer on as well as provide cheer to the runners. They are making many friends! I did say "unofficial" mascots! And yes they wear red and black! Penny's scarf even says Biola on it :) The new family member :Penny - All 77 pounds of her! Don't you just love those puppy dog eyes. Yeah, she works them on me too!

If you know me well

If you know me well :

You know how much I miss having Erika around home every day. I was again reminded of this fact when she was here last night (choosing to spend the night at home and take a small break from school. She has a tough semester this fall - carrying 17 units and running). I just relaxed in the fact that she was in my house, even if she was doing homework most of the time she was here.I think she enjoyed being able to meet the new dog, Penny and to spend time playing with her niece, Lily (who also spent the night last night). But I will say, that having a daughter who is involved in school has its benefits when I am missing her too much I can click on the school web site and hopefully find a picture of was the case tonight :)
You too can see her if you go to and click on athletics - she pops up in the most current cross country story. She is the one on the right side of the picture wearing the # 308. Ahhh...just being able to look at her...

You know that I like animals, and that my house is its own miniature zoo - thanks mostly to Michelle. But I never planned to get a second dog! A big, lovable yellow lab we call Penny. We are enjoying her and she gets along pretty well with Sydney. One of the hardest things is taking them both on a walk...they walk me, vs. me walking them! I must be just a little bit crazy.

You know that I like my job...but I like being able to do my job and go home. I don't like having medical issues at home. I guess I want to be able to go to work and leave it all behind. But lately that hasn't been the case. We are still dealing with the ongoing foot battle. Though it is closing up. It is taking for ever! Buzz has been off of work since July - hopefully he will be returning by the first of the year. He is back on antibiotics (pills this time not IV) - for his white count was elevated. Not only does he have all of his health issues, but Michelle has her kidney issues. It is time for her do obtain another 24 hour urine sample. So we have that lovely container sitting in the bathroom. She is oh, so excited to get to stay around the house a full day and collect pee...! So fun. And to top if off the new dog has a hematoma on her spay incision site that we have to apply warm compresses to twice a day. I guess once a nurse, always a nurse. It is hard to turn off!

You know that I am passionate about our perinatal comfort care program at St Joseph's. I frequently read blog sites of other parents who have carried a baby to term, knowing full well that their child will not survive long term. I read them to try and understand how parents feel and how best I can serve our parents. Well - I just found out that the Mooney's story will be airing on Oprah this Tuesday, October 28th. It is an episode on miracle children. You can learn more about little Eliot by watching 99 balloons or visiting his blog site. What a special couple they are, and what a special way they have found to honor their little boy. He may have only lived 99 days but he has touched so many lives.

You know that I cram way too much in to my life...hence I never get the sleep I need...wonder if that is why I am dragging...So, I better end this post and call it a night :)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Walk to Remember

This Saturday (yes, tomorrow) there is a walk to remember at UCI. It is a special time for families and caregivers to remember babies who have gone on to heaven, through stillbirth and infant death. There is a nice article in today's Orange County Register, on the front page, with one of our patients from the comfort care program at St. Joseph's. Holly and her family are amazing people and I am looking forward to seeing her again when she returns to deliver a healthy baby later in the year :) Check out the article and come to the walk if you have time.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Crazy way to meet someone

It goes something like this..."Hi, my name is Debbie, I am going to take over for your other nurse because she is going to do a delivery in another room."
"Hi, nice to meet you" - smiles...."but I think my water just broke"
"Well let me check" - life the sheet and sure enough there is water on the bed
"Let me check you" - I put on a glove while the patient starts to pant with another contraction.
"Oh shoot!" As the head starts to deliver....I push the call light..."can I get some help in here?"
So, as I struggle to put on gloves and precede to deliver the baby of a woman that I just met....the baby comes out,cord around the neck and all...I lift it up on to mom's chest since I have no table with instruments to cut the cord, dry it off with mom's gown and tell her to "hold on to your little girl while I get some supplies".
Cord gets cut, help finally arrives and the patient and I talk about what an interesting meeting that was. I have to apologize for not even getting to know her first. She really was quite the nicest lady. Sometimes my job is just a little wacky...

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Foot Saga Continues

I haven't updated recently on the ongoing foot saga...well, it still continues...but I think that it is finally starting to close up. Buzz still has a wound vac. on it (dressing attached to a machine that pulls the wound together and drains the fluid) but it does look like it is closing and it is draining much less fluid.
He has off of antibiotics so no longer has a PICC line. He had it for two months and it is a good thing that it came out for it had this big clot on it and that sure would not have been pretty if that broke loose.
He sees a group of physicians on Wednesday. Maybe then they will give him more privileges to be up and around.
In the mean time - he has been getting the Riverside house ready to rent out - FINALLY!
Then we want to start working on the condo.
As for me...I just keep on working, going to school and trying to hit as many of Erika's races as I can. Life sure is not boring!!
Oh and of course - little Lily visits too :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Hopping Birth Time

The place has been hopping! Babies everywhere. I've been at the hospital for the last 5 days in a row. One night I stayed until 11pm....and things were still just as busy. Today we left and the board was full again! Good job security I guess. I've had wonderfully pleasant patients though and that makes it all worth while.
But how do I manage work and school? The homework is piling up! So tomorrow- it is a study day for me.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Back to School

It is that time of year again - only this year it is different for me. No release forms to sign, no back to school night to go to, no car-pools or worrying about kids getting to school on time. It is a strange place indeed!
Erika has moved back to Biola. She has one of the same roommates as last year and a new transfer from Cal Baptist. She is excited to be back and doing her own thing. She is looking forward to running season - infact the girls cross country team is ranked 5th in the preseason poll. Check it out on the Biola athletic web site. Erika is actually in that picture but you can barely see her behind another girl.
Then Michelle has started at Cal State Long Beach. She has been going all this week for orientation. Even had homework last night. I hope she likes going there. She said that her legs hurt last night from all of the walking she is doing. It is a nice campus and really not that hard to get around but certainly different than her high school. She is going to continue to live at home for now since it is only a 15 minute drive for our house to the campus.
And if you can believe it - I am actually going back to college. Erika thinks I should work at Biola so I could go there but for now I am taking an online class through Goldenwest College and hopefully an anatomy class at Santa Ana College. I am trying to just get a few more letters behind my name. Not really change jobs or anything. Just go after a little more. I have a few pre-reqs to get before I can get in to any type of BSN or MSN program. Well actually I could get in but I'd still have to do the pre-reqs along the way and doing both would do me in for sure!!
At times I wonder if I am crazy. Should I really be doing this with everything else that is going on in my life? I question whether I'll be able to work full time, take care of an ill husband, try to maintain a household, find time to study and still carve out a little fun time. But then again I think if I never start plugging away at it, I will never be done. So, I am going to attempt being a college student again. It sure is different this time around - computers and on-line classes, never really seeing your classmates face to face, no typewriters and white out, being able to go to class at midnight if I choose to. Sure is a different world! But I am hoping that some life experience and 20+ years on the job will make it somewhat easier to comprehend. Guess I'll find out!
And speaking of school...I really should be watching a video assignment!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Buzz has been discharged from the hospital. So far the flap on his foot looks viable. He is staying at his mom's for now.
This has been a long crazy ride - definitely something I would not have wished for in my new marriage. A challenge to say the least.
But I am doing OK - I am used to being alone and used to taking care of myself and I have great friends and a great family to lean on. So I know that there will be light at the end of this is just a matter of finding my way there.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Post Surgery Day One

Buzz came through surgery well last night and the doctor was pleased with how things went. The doctor took off about 1/3 of the foot, maybe a little more...but left a piece of skin on the bottom that he pulled forward over the wound,creating a 'flap' that he used to sort of close up the stump. It is not completely closed because of the infection, but the hope is that the flap will take and the wound will close together.
I saw it is pretty gross....and I am a nurse saying that. It sort of made me want to gag. Maybe because I am so tired and worn out but it was just nasty looking.
Anyways - it has been another long day so I'm making this short.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Ongoing Foot Saga Week 4

The foot saga continues...
It is now week 4 of the fight with the foot gods - and we've lost. Buzz is in pre-op holding right now, awaiting surgery to remove his toes on his right foot. They are taking off the top 1/3 of his foot.
He had a doctor's appointment this am and the infection looked worse - draining more and he was in more pain so the doctor said it was time to throw in the towel. He was admitted to the hospital around 1 pm and will have surgery this afternoon.
His PICC line is also clotted so they need to work at getting that fixed because when he comes home he will still be on IV antibiotics. The hope is to attach a wound vac to the open wound and hopefully get the rest of the foot to heal.
It has been a long hard journey so far and I know that it is not ever with yet. All I really want is to go to bed and stay there for awhile!
I actually have pictures of the wound - thought about posting them but didn't want to gross any one out - so if you want to see them...just ask. It is pretty impressive.
Can I just say that sometimes life sucks....

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Foot Saga

Since I haven't been blogging very much I thought I needed to at least explain why...
we are fighting a war against the foot demons over here at our little house.
Right after our vacation in July, Buzz was admitted to the hospital with an infection to his right foot. (landed at John Wayne airport and basically went straight to the hospital). He had a blister that was not healing and some organism got in to the blister and traveled up between his big toe and 2nd toe and had a field day...actually it was 3 organisms. Any way - they ate away good tissue and started killing off his toe / foot.
So the doctors admitted him for IV antibiotics and took off dead tissue and basically opened up his foot - to try and begin the healing process. Each day they came in and removed a little tissue.
They talked about amputating toes vs. amputating the upper 1/3 of his foot.
After a week in the hospital they sent him home. They did not amputate anything at this point but decided to see if it could heal up. This is made harder by the fact that he only has one open artery in his leg (the other 2 are clotted off - so that means little oxygen gets to his foot. Little oxygen = little healing) He came home on IV antibiotics through a PICC line (a centrally placed IV line the dumps the medication right in to his heart) and on daily wound care. We initially had to do dressing changes twice a day but now are down to once a day.

Well, we are now in to week 3 of the foot saga...not much has changed. He is still on IV medications and once a day dressing changes. We tried an enzyme to clear things up but didn't help much.
Yesterday he had a doctor's visit and they saw one little area of promise on the foot - an area over some muscle that looked like maybe it was starting to heal. So on we continue. They still talk about amputation but we are trying to salvage as much as the foot as we can.
The 2nd toe looks the worse - still has black/necrotic areas. You can see his big toe bone and 2nd toe bone as well as tendons along the top of his foot.
He has been instructed to stay off of his foot - which means alot of lying around which he doesn't like. But the wound is so tender and could easily break a toe or something, so he is trying to just lay around. I know he must be bored!
I had taken a few weeks off of work but now I am back. Trying to just manage everything. I have to trade days around to make doctor's appointments and I am home at night to do his dressing changes and to hang the next antibiotic. Our bedroom looks like a mini clinic but at least I already knew how to care for the wound and didn't need to learn something new...

And that is the saga of the foot so far - I'll be posting more so stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Family Vacation

Take 17 family members, put them on a plane, and drop them off in the little town of Bluffton, Ohio and what do you get but loads of fun memories!!
My family went back east in July to visit other family and we had a blast...but I will let the pictures do the talking.
My parents went. Myself and my kids plus Kim and Lilly. My sister Darlene and her family. Plus my sister Dawn and her family. It was a bit crazy at times but well worth the time.

In the shuttle to another terminal: Naked baby! She peed on her clothes and daddy had to buy her a new outfit at the airport:Beautiful countryside: I think I'm ready to move!Hanging out in quiet, downtown Bluffton:Fishing:


Nature walks:

Riding horses:Riding bikes, sort of like the Wizard of Oz:Running down the country road - "Hey, wait for me!"Family walks in town:Shopping for fireworks?:Coffee at Common Grounds:Play time at the park:Skating the AT&T hill rail:Cousin love:Oh the dairy freeze:

Limo rides to visit friends:Some Ohio family:

Still the cutest baby around!:

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

I had to work on the fourth of no picnic, no beach, no family outing...but I don't really mind for I got to work with my good friends and we had a potluck and one of the doctor's bought us even more food. It was a nice day - not too many patients.
I got to take care of the sweetest little lady. She was Hipanic but had taken English classes and she said that her instructor told her she had to talk to us in English. She really did quite well and we had no problem communicating with each other.
She had the cutest little baby girl and after the delivery I got ready to take her out to postpartum when I remembered that we had some cute red/white and blue hats that someone had made for us. So I grabbed her one for her baby and said, "Happy 4th of July to your new little firecracker!"
She was so happy to get that little gift and as we were walking down the hall she clutched it to her chest and with tears in her eyes, said, "I am so proud that my baby was born on the 4th of July. On independence day, in a country where we have lots of freedoms!"
She had such a special view of the day and all that it means. It made me stop and think how complacent we become and how we forget that we do live in a special place and need to be proud of that. To fly our flags and wear our red,white and blue and Thank God for our country. I want to feel as proud as my patient feels and remember how blessed we are!
Oh...and I did get to go shoot off fireworks at my parents in the evening...and I did it with a proud heart...What a special day! Even if Erika did set a bush on fire - so much for 'safe and sane' legal fireworks!

Friday, June 27, 2008

She's Home

The little world traveler is home! :)
Michelle has been off in China but she came home this afternoon. It sounds like she had a really fun, if not exhausting time. She said she really liked it there (except there was no blue sky - always smoggy in the city) and she would like to go back on a study abroad course or something to that effect. She always talks about joining the peace corp., so maybe she will be there again.

I am just glad that she is safe and sound here at home. It is always a little weird, sort of unsettling when your young ones are off traveling without you. I guess the mom thing doesn't go away even as they get older. Michelle certainly loves to travel and I know there will be many more times when she is not home...but I think for tonight I will just enjoy her company.

Now she can feed all of her animals again! And maybe if they find her luggage we can see what she bought for all of us who were left here at home...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Blog Slacker

Yes - I have been a blog slacker...but for good reason...

First of all - work has been kicking our butts lately. It has been so crazy busy - I so wanted to cry on Saturday when I was in charge. There were patients everywhere. I was on the desk, I was already watching 2 moms in labor when 3 more showed up. I just looked at the secretary and asked her to find me any help, any where that she could. Then...I had a mom on the C/S table with twins - with her spinal already in....when a different patient's baby had a huge decel and we needed to crash her (emergent C/S) - Now how do you run 2 OR's at the same time with only 1 anesthesiologist??? UGH!!! But somehow it all worked out. All I can say is that I'm feeling it. I think I'm aging years by the day! I ache like an old lady!!
And our family life has been very busy...
Michelle had Prom - the last one for our us - and she actually borrowed a dress this time! She looked so pretty and had a great time.

Then we had graduation - Michelle's that is. I can hardly believe they are all out of school (well except for college). Lily has spent the night and I've been lucky enough to watch her every Thursday (except for the day when my car blew a fuel pump). I still think she is the cutest little girl around. And she sure loves that puppy of ours!
Erika is home safe from her adventure in Canada...she got the woods...on a the dark...and we got a call from a stranger that found her belongings...After many phone calls with the Biola coach and campus security and other runners we had a happy ending to her escapade as she found her way back to her room mates house. But Coach Z and I decided that she owes us big time for scaring us that way!! So see - life has just been a little busy for our family. I'm hoping it calms down soon!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Published Article

St Joseph's Perinatal Hospice Program is being featured in "Working Nurse" magazine...For those of you who don't get the magazine you can check it out here on line. (just click on the link and look for the 'My Speciality' "Part one - Neonatal Hospice Nursing Outpatient")
And then...continue to scroll down until you see Part Two...which features the inpatient side. I was interviewed for part two. I've seen/read the online version and am awaiting the actual printed version. I just think it will be fun to see myself in a magazine. Though the subject is not an easy subject for some to read about it is a part of my job that I do enjoy and that I think is a valuable service to our families.
And while I'm on the subject of perinatal on the video at MSNBC - they did a good job telling about the job that we do.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Patients as Friends

Going through nursing school, I can remember being taught - "Don't make friends with your patients. Don't give them your full name nor any contact information. Remember - this is your job, not your personal life".
Well, I of course did not take that fully to heart and I am glad that I didn't. If I had, I would have missed out on some relationships with some really awesome people. Women who have touched my life and who I now see on a regular basis. It is fun to be invited in to people's lives, to watch their children grow up, be invited to birthday parties, dedications, and maybe some day weddings!
One such person that I met as a patient, is my friend Giselle. I met her about 4 1/2 years ago when she came in laboring. After our initial introductions - I checked her since she looked like she was in pretty active labor. Giselle says that one of the very first things she remembers me saying to her is. "Oh, that is not a head that I feel....I think your baby may be breech". Yes - I was the first one to touch her babies little butt!!
The following day I went to visit G - we had bonded and I wanted to check on her...only to have her tell me with tears in her eyes, "They think my baby has Down's Syndrome...will you please go check on her?" So - off to the nursery I went - only to have to agree with the doctors and to have to go back to tell G that.
That was the start of our friendship. I actually even helped take care of Emma for awhile at home when she was little.
So -fast forward to 2008. Giselle and I still see each other. She came to my wedding, we go to lunch, visit and talk about all kind of things.
Giselle was blessed with another pregnancy and we had planned the whole delivery this time. I was to take care of her again with the delivery scheduled this week. We had the day planned, the anesthesiologist picked out, her MD lined up before he went out of town and another person to document the delivery in pictures. But as life sometimes happens - our plans fell completely apart when she ended up delivering early!
Giselle delivered little Abby Rose on April 9th at 0844 am. She was only 32 weeks and only weighed 3-12, and was 16 inches long. She spent a little time in CHOC's NICU but is now home and doing so well! I got to play with her this week and snuggle that cute little body of hers. She is just so sweet. Congratulations to both Giselle and John on their newest arrival!!
And now on to some photos:
Giselle and I - a patient that is now my friend!!Welcome Abby Rose! Little Abby Rose - home and now 6 pounds
The infamous Emma - the one who started our friendship :)
Big brother Jack and baby Abby

A special thanks to those other patients that have come in to my life and enriched it by their presence...Heather, Trishe, Lori, Tami, Kathy, Annette, and many others. I am so glad that I met you and got to be a part of your special day and that I chose to break the "rule" of 'never make friends with your patients'!!