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Emma

Emma endures

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7 hours ago, Emma said:

Romulan cloaking device, I like that :)

My sister and I have talked about the invisibility factor (we are both over 60). It is real. In some ways, yes it is a comfort to be less visible to men and more free from unwanted attention, but the other side of it is being dismissed as irrelevant as well as unwanted.

Weather continues hot and dry. No wind yet, thank goodness.

I need to stop brooding and munching French burnt peanuts and fix the shepherds pie I planned for dinner. Yesterday. 

 

It is definitely real, but I like to go stealth. No one would think the mousy little old lady is a super-hero in disguise - haha!

 

I just turned 62; I was in my mid-fifties when I first started disappearing from view. The being dismissed does get under my skin, though. Happens at work all the time. I tell myself that I probably wouldn't have the freedom without some annoyance factor in exchange. Kind of helps. Unwanted is harder.

 

Hoping the winds stay calm and people are being careful.  

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I lost my temper last night

I slammed a gate and stomped down the street yelling at the top of my lungs

”English, people! learn to speak English! “

There may have been a swear word in there. Don’t remember if I said it, but I was definitely thinking it.

Rant ahead.

I had an ekg at a nursing home in the east bay. I parked went to the door. There were workmen in there. I watched for a minute and they were cleaning the floor prepping it for a new floor covering. I asked if I could come in. No English. I pantomimed walking across the floor. Guy nodded. I mimed again. He nodded again. I crossed the floor to the nurses station and meandered a bit looking for the nurse. A nurse came and started yelling at me. “Can’t you read? The sign on the door?” No, sorry, I can’t read in the dark, there was no light out there. She wasn’t interested and started yelling at the workmen. She turned back to me and said go out, right turn, right turn two times! She just kept yelling right turn right turn two times! Back parking lot. 
I had never known there was a back parking lot, so okay. I left and got back in the van and made a right turn into the side parking lot. It was a dead end, no more right turns. I wanted to just leave. I was in a time crunch and had two stats on the board but the nurse had my ekg machine. I  went back to the front door and stood there waving my arms until someone saw me, same nurse. She saw me and left. I heard a voice from the window saying right turn, right turn two times!
That’s when I slammed the gate and yelled.

I got back in the van and cried. Then I drove down the street. No right turns. Driveways with houses on the end. Oh a street to the right. Right turn. Drive a block. I can make another right turn here. Dead end. No parking lot. Well, that looks like it might be the back end of a nursing home. No signs. I find a gate that is not locked. Ah yes, this is definitely the back end of a nursing home. Wander around looking for a door. Find one. Try it, hey it’s not locked. I open and walk in and recognize the hallway. No nurses in sight. Follow voices. Nurse one is frantically saying turn right, turn right two times simple directions. I don’t understand the rest of it, don’t know the language. I jump in and say you never said around the block or go down the street. She just starts yelling right turn simple directions. I just turn to the other nurse and ask for the paperwork for the ekg. Both of them turn around and walk off in different directions without a word to me. Fuck it all. I just want OUT OF THERE! I get my ekg machine. Nurse two comes back and miracle of miracles the paperwork is in order. That is exceedingly rare. Patient is alert, oriented and a native English speaker. Thank god. We have a nice chat about children and grandchildren. I have to leave the printout with an lvn or rn but I don’t see nurse two. I ask nurse one where the nurse is and she says she is nurse. Wow. She certainly hadn’t been acting like one. I thought she was an aide. She won’t take the printout from me so I leave it on the counter. I have to ask her three times what her name is (protocol, and she has no name tag visible). I wander to the back of the facility looking for a door out. Finally find one but it’s not where I came in. Wander some more, find the gate out onto the street. Get in van and cry. My sister called. I told her what was going on. She laughed.
I’m just sitting here crying.

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It really sounds like you are having a frustrating week. With the language barriers, is it a case of everyone speaking different languages, or is there one non-English language that is prevalent that you can learn a bit of?  Oooh do you have a smartphone with a translate app? Or do you just need me to listen and not offer suggestions?  I’m sorry it was such a rough week. 
 

 

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Tagalog, Farsi, Hindi and I don’t know what of the other six languages in India, Russian, Mandarin, various African languages, god only knows what else. And the most godawful interpretations of doctors orders. It’s just so damn frustrating. 

I could use some suggestions for dealing with the stress of it. This is a chronic and ongoing problem that is not going to go away.

 

Friday 

PT x2

walk, yes

temper tantrum, yes

And HOW THE HELL DO PEOPLE GET LICENSES TO PRACTICE NURSING IN CALIFORNIA WHEN THEY CANT NAME THE PARTS OF THE BODY IN ENGLISH!!! DAMNITALL!!!!

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Are we having fun yet?

on my way to Vacaville for Xray, see smoke in distance. Realize I am going to be driving right

into it. Sitting here watching three cal fire tankers circling  right above me. Fire is maybe a mile away. No wind, yay.

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9 minutes ago, Emma said:

Are we having fun yet?

on my way to Vacaville for Xray, see smoke in distance. Realize I am going to be driving right

into it. Sitting here watching three cal fire tankers circling  right above me. Fire is maybe a mile away. No wind, yay.

We get this, and PG&E telling us they might shut our power out every time it gets slightly warm now. 

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Saturday

PT yes

walk yes

 

Realize that what set me off Friday night was the nurse’s attitude more than her lack of English. She lit into me as soon as she saw me and did not let up. Her treatment of me was totally wrong. Is this the way she always is or just one bad night? Not my headache. Supposedly. 

Things went much better last night. Lots of nice people. 
I am realizing that I am still struggling with stress. I am on edge constantly, and that is the other reason for my temper tantrum Friday. I normally don’t get that upset about stuff, but that nurse’s behavior pushed me right over the edge because I was already so close to that edge. I’m taking a day off for mental health to really work on things that I can incorporate in my daily life to keep the constant unrelenting stress more under control.
Suggestions are welcome and all will be considered.

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I am working on stress management too. The only thing that I find super helpful is breath focus, counting my breaths, and then taking a moment to look at the colors of things or feel the texture of something. Anything that grounds me to the moment and lets me get out of the feeling enough to keep breathing and calm down. 

 

How many hours a day/week are you working?

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I'm glad you're able to take a day off. It sounds like you've been really stretched to your limit and need some time to relax and recalibrate.

 

That said, I see a strong reaction to how you were treated as being a reasonable one and totally understandable. You were not treated well or fairly, language barrier or no. Professional, she was not.

 

That doesn't speak to the internals of your reaction, though, and how that may be ricocheting around in your head. Whole other ballgame there. I know, for myself anyway, that just getting angry can kick off a chain reaction of other stuff that is very uncomfortable and difficult to deal with all on its own. If something gets that cycle in motion, crying can make me angry and totally legitimate anger can turn me into a weepy mess and round it goes until I can step back and recenter.

 

I am curious how nurses, who are in positions where communication is essential to care outcomes, cannot be required to have basic English skills. Have regulations been loosened to that degree due to shortages? Is it the rapid consolidation of health care corporations and their increased clout with regulators such that they have managed to water down hiring standards? Are they bending/breaking the rules and there isn't proper oversight? Is that a big part of how nursing home care has come to have the problems that we hear about in the news, the horror stories, especially around COVID19? Lots of questions, I know! I don't expect answers, especially not right now, but those are the kinds of questions occurring to me and I would like to hear your take on it when you feel like it. 

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Shadowlion

Fact: shortage of nurses

Personal Theory: Fluent English speakers are more likely to be hired for acute care situations where communication is truly life or death. Nursing homes get the left overs. 
 

Fortunately the homes we serve have not had the headline making outbreaks. They believe in the worst situations cases were brought in by employees (underpaid aides and support staff) who are working multiple jobs and living in crowded situations with other people working multiple jobs or jobs without proper protections. Public health from the state stepped in and helped with education at the nursing homes about heightened infection control, some supplies, and advice about setting up isolation wards in their particular situations. I haven’t encountered a covid patient in a few weeks now. Nice, but I’m not lowering my guard.

Oversight of nursing homes is a big bug. The current systems don’t work as well as they should. Medicare  freely admits their rating system is not perfect and needs work. It’s a problem and they are working on it, but slowly. They are also fighting the big corporations. Older people are irrelevant, invisible and unwanted, remember? 

I believe most of the problems in nursing come down to state regulations which determine staffing requirements (inadequate) and corporations which don’t pay decent wages. If you pay close attention to nurse’s strikes, the main issue is always staffing. If there aren’t enough nurses giving care, people die.

Snarky

Four days, seven hour shifts, no more than two hours overtime per day, and one day on call (which almost always turns into a full shift). I am working fewer hours than before the shutdown.They’ve been cutting everyone’s hours. Business is actually down some, not as many patients in the nursing homes these days (fear of covid) plus the added expense of keeping us supplied with PPE and weekly covid tests. Financially I am doing fine even with the cuts. I am adding your suggestions to the list. Thanks. 

 

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Sunday

PT yes

Walk , half

temper tantrum, no
Work, one case. 

I’m going to go another week here before going over to the new challenge

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My day off tomorrow was approved. I have also requested time off immediately after the election. I don’t want to be on the streets that weekend. 
I’m a coward.

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Glad you got the time off. 

 

Thanks for the info. Your theory and your explanations of the staffing dynamics, state oversight ineffectiveness, and corporations maximizing short term profits over anything else are about what I expected. Unfortunately. I was seeing similar, though not yet as severe, things in the 2000s as an EMT when transporting patients between nursing homes and the hospital. The warehousing of the old and the use of underpaid and inadequately trained staff are still happening. I am glad the state stepped in with some effective education and assistance for handling covid. Indeed, skilled nursing saves lives!

 

I work in a company that makes and supports clinic and patient management software for physical therapists and PT clinics. There has been a huge increase in healthcare conglomerates--that already own chains of hospitals, nursing homes and medical practices, etc--buying up small, local PT clinics and turning them into just another revenue stream. The pandemic has only accelerated the trend. The company I work for has itself been acquired as an asset of an international investment firm, with a whole portfolio of different health care companies with complementary products, and will leverage those however it sees fit. The result of all this corporate privateering will be fewer, bigger companies with outsized influence on policy and regulations. Workers and patients will be the losers.

 

Enjoy your time off!

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Monday is done.

PT yes

Walk yes

Awesome boss called to check up on me. Asking for a day off on short notice he suspected something was wrong and that I was getting really stressed out again. He said whatever I need, more time off, anything. Absolutely awesome boss. I feel appreciated. Decent night at work. 

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ShadowLion, yep.

I started out working for a small local company doing mobile xray. Which was sold to another larger local company, which was sold to a multi state company. And now I work for a nationwide company. The biggest problems on the financial end for us and nursing homes are the constantly changing rules of Medicare. To be fair, some of the changes are to root out fraud, but doing so makes things a lot more difficult for the honest people.

Remember when people were screaming about ACA’s death panels? Silly people don’t know the death panels have been here for a long time, but they are run by bean counters from the insurance companies, not doctors.I had surgery maybe twenty years ago and it was supposedly preapproved by the insurance company. But the bill from the anesthesiologist was denied. That was interesting. The insurance company thought I should go through major surgery without anesthesia. We fought it and the poor guy finally got paid, but jeez, it’s ridiculous.

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8 hours ago, Emma said:

Monday is done.

PT yes

Walk yes

Awesome boss called to check up on me. Asking for a day off on short notice he suspected something was wrong and that I was getting really stressed out again. He said whatever I need, more time off, anything. Absolutely awesome boss. I feel appreciated. Decent night at work. 

 

That is great you have such an awesome boss! It's so nice when you know you are valued and appreciated.

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I have decided that I am not a coward. I am smart. Smart people plan to stay home during potential riots. Smart people ask for help when they are overwhelmed. So there.

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8 hours ago, Emma said:

ShadowLion, yep.

I started out working for a small local company doing mobile xray. Which was sold to another larger local company, which was sold to a multi state company. And now I work for a nationwide company. The biggest problems on the financial end for us and nursing homes are the constantly changing rules of Medicare. To be fair, some of the changes are to root out fraud, but doing so makes things a lot more difficult for the honest people.

Remember when people were screaming about ACA’s death panels? Silly people don’t know the death panels have been here for a long time, but they are run by bean counters from the insurance companies, not doctors.I had surgery maybe twenty years ago and it was supposedly preapproved by the insurance company. But the bill from the anesthesiologist was denied. That was interesting. The insurance company thought I should go through major surgery without anesthesia. We fought it and the poor guy finally got paid, but jeez, it’s ridiculous.

 

< Rant about the "great" corporatization and deregulation of America > I decided not to post my incisive but inflammatory commentary on the state of our society. Suffice to say I've seen and experienced much the same things and have many thoughts and feelings about them! :fatigue:

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5 hours ago, ShadowLion said:

< Rant about the "great" corporatization and deregulation of America > I decided not to post my incisive but inflammatory commentary on the state of our society. Suffice to say I've seen and experienced much the same things and have many thoughts and feelings about them! :fatigue:

I commend your self control and commiserate with the sentiment.

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Thursday

PT no

Walk, no
 

Red flag warning is lifted as of now.

 

I am giving myself a solid B+ for this challenge.

I continued with putting on a bra almost every day and taking showers three times a week. I missed a few showers but not many. I missed more PT than I wanted. There was one stretch where I went several days with no exercise, bad Emma. Tiny challenges, small changes are working better for me.

Feeling much better stress wise. Went to music store yesterday and talked to one of the (very cute and very nice) staff. Asked about putting on that piece I wrote about mass shootings. He is in. I have something to say. I need to write. I need to get my pieces performed. I am still pissed at that church because I really didn’t get any support or help at the beginning of the shutdown when I needed it. I still feel shut out, on the outside looking in. Never made any friends there despite my best efforts.

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