Ohmygawsh. TMJ

The temporomandibular (tem-puh-roe-mun-DIB-u-lur) joint


TMJ is no joke. Again, I must say, I have scoffed and turned the cheek to those who have claimed to suffer from TMJ.

Well, now… that was not very nice of me. Last Saturday, a week ago today, my jaw slipped out of “socket” and was stuck in a forward position for almost 48 hours. I could talk and eat, to a certain degree, but my back teeth would not come together and I was in excruciating pain. Monday morning I woke up and my jaw was back in line, apparently my nighttime gritting and grinding had slipped it back into place (SO glad I was not awake for that “slipping back in”)

A week later, I am still sore and tender. My dentist says there’s not a whole lot that can be done for TMJ… lifestyle changes and stress management is really what it’s all about. I am just one of those that carry my stress in my jaw, my dentist says, similar to how some people get ulcers from stress, I get TMJ.


Robot. Oh… Robot.

Robot. Oh… Robot.

In this house, we are all family. And this tiny house is packed.

As of right now, we have the hubby, self, middle off-spring with her hubby and child, youngest off-spring, Auntie Piper (dog), Uncle’s Willard and Walter (orange tabby cats), Auntie Tipsy (bi-polar, orca-cat that is deaf-ish in one ear and runs about with her head at a constant 45 degree angle), Brother Ip (goofy black cat), and Auntie Flower (sweetest, demonic black kitten EVER, and stinky, thus, FLOWER because she’s still learning how to clean her butt properly).

And then…  Robot. Oh, dear, sweet, persistent, oblivious, TYPE A, Robot.


Dear, dirty, sweet, hardworking Robot…

Robot joined our family in December 2015 and the above pic is actually of our 3rd edition. Original Robot was an off-brand and was a complete bad-ass. Original Robot would vacuum my area rugs, leaving them looking fresh and raised, oh sweet Original. But, all that extra hard work eventually pooped Original Robot out, only after approximately 3 months. Considering I spent $150, I wasn’t too disappointed because my floors were cleaned every day, for three months straight. All I had to do was empty the belly.

Original Robot was a self-proclaimed pesky little brother. OMG. Aside from sucking up random cat toys, socks, dog blankies, and underwear, Original was notorious for traveling into brother’s room (youngest off-spring) and ganking toys…


Original would also venture into the bathroom and attempt to bully and mount Scale but to no avail. He would only end up stuck, calling for help. And scale? Scale just remained as is, though notifying me that Robot weighed 4.2 lbs…

But then, Original got confused and could not manage any longer. I knew it was time to retire him to the area in the basement, by the litter pool, where nobody cared about thoroughness or timely cleaning… Sadly, Original ended up stuck over top the sump-pump. He was never the same after that incident.

So then I went big, I got Roomba Robotfor a hefty price, complete with bells and whistles, which I don’t completely rely on yet. But I suppose bells and whistles are nice… *shrugs* In any case, Robot 2nd and 3rd edition are equally bad-ass, but in different ways from Original…

New Robot is a supreme sucker. I mean, he picks up all the little dirts, pets hairs, and danders. He collects mine and youngest off-springs ridiculous hair by the globs (like, almost beating out the bathtub drain globs!). And once, (true story!), he even destroyed my homework! When I empty New Robot’s belly, I find toothpicks, hair ties, bobby-pins, receipts, earrings, twist-ties, and many other unidentified debris. Also, New Robot runs around at top speed, man, watch out, and as he passes,  you get fanned with a jet-stream of Robot air. The dude’s a worker.


Two day’s haul. Cringe-worthy, but imagine if Robot weren’t employed at all? Omg, the endless work I would have to do!

Enter Auntie Piper, a black lab mutt-mix. She’s an amazing doggie, smart and super trainable, but a doggie at that. And before she was a doggie, she was a puppy. You know what that means… poopies, pee-pees in and at all the inappropriate times and places. Not a biggie, because with mostly bare, wood floors, it was an easy fix.


… you know where I’m going with this. And YES, it happened to me. It’s not just that story you read on FB that’s been shared a billion times and the poster/sharer is not even acquainted with the Robot-Poop victim…

But it happens for real. Robot is diligent and does his job and runs over everything in his path. Including fresh dog shit. Fresh, smearable, retchingly awful smelling, dog shit.



The poop smears where indescribable. So indescribable, I didn’t even think to take pics, so you need to just trust me. I simply tossed Auntie Piper outside in her “punishment” pen (all of which she used only twice because she’s such a good girl) and I started to cry and gag and retch. Robot found the poop in my then spare room and dragged it EVERYWHERE! Poop was smeared on end-table legs, floorboard trims, sofa legs, footstool legs, scratching posts, nursing books, throw rugs, and just the WHOLE DAMN FLOOR IN GENERAL!! I was mortified, but what was really bad? The poop had dried because Robot had met the poop in the night, while we were sleeping, and upon waking, I discovered it by means of smell… following my nose and my dog (who was acting guilty about something).  I wanted to have a melt-down but whatever steel-reserve (not the drink!) I had prevented me from escape. I had to deal. Yeah. I had to stop crying and shut up and deal.

After the floor and other smeared items were cleaned, I tackled Robot. Lemme just say, I called Roombaand begged for a replacement, of which they honored, even though initially they said that they wouldn’t. After I said to them, “would they have preferred I lied?”, did they agree to send me a new Robot.

Roomba Robot, regardless of how bad-ass, cannot survive dog shit without losing his mind. And there is really, ALMOST REALLY nothing worse at 0600 than a robot spewing forth a fanned stink of damp dog shit.

So help me!

Duuuuumb Bitch: Oblivious

Duuuuumb Bitch #4, Oblivious has arrived!

It all started with Duuuuumb Bitch #3, whom you can read about in Liposuction. In any case, I was hanging out with #3, as was our usual happy hour routine on Fridays after work (on weekends, of course, that I did not have my kids because we've already established that my off-weekends were my party weekends). We were sitting at a local sports bar enjoying happy hour and reflecting with one another about our weeks. We were looking forward to the evening and prospects of adventure once The Back Door opened (It used to be a real place, no joke).

In any case, a couple of friends that I worked with eventually joined us. I introduced them to #3... we'll call them Phil and Gary, for the purposes of this post and their anonymity. Phil was (still is, I am assuming) likely, gay (regardless of a peculiar obsession he had with a fellow female coworker) and as far as I knew then, Gary was straight. Both of these dudes were fun dudes to work with, sharing the same sort of cynical outlook on life that I do, and smearing everything with a dry layer of sarcasm. These dudes were pretty good friends with one another, as well, though I never did know their exact dynamics. But anyway, I knew #3 and these guys would hit it off because they were all older aged college students and were into that world, which was so foreign and unobtainable to me (still) at that point in my life.

I was right, of course. All "college" students, as I well know now, have common ground and can easily fall into smooth dialogue. I was slightly apprehensive because I did not want #3 to pass too much judgment on Phil for his underarm body odor (BO). I don't know what his deal was because every inch of his body surface was groomed and plucked and shaved, smooth as baby skin, but he reeked of onions, all of the time! And though this is irrelevant, he also had one of those body shapes where his head and super long neck were all one piece, like, the uppermost part of his neck simply had a face with hair. His neck, distally (assuming the head is proximal), gave way to funky sloped shoulders that went at an almost - 45-degree angle. Am I painting a visual here?? Like... an upside -down-funnel! He wasn't blessed in looks, I guess, but there were plenty worse, that's for sure (there is sooo much more to Phil, 'nother post, 'nother day). But anyway...

Gary, on the other hand, aside from being too petite and blonde for my taste, was an ok looking and smelling guy. I wondered if he and #3 might hit it off... It seemed that they were all three conversing well, so I daydreamed and smoked Camel Jades and sucked on a Bud-Light.

At some point, I was dragged into the conversation by both Phil and Gary, simultaneously. I remember them both, sitting together across the table from me, looking at me, then at #3, incredulous. They were asking me (both talking at the same time, but the message came across, primarily from Phil),
"Grace, did you hear what she said?"

"No, no," I remember saying perking up and leaning forward, figuring we were about to enter some GREAT camaraderie gossip. "What did she say... What did you say, #3?" I asked turning to her and after reading her face, I knew that she was uncomfortable with where the conversation was going. Phil or Gary, not sure which one, finally exclaimed, "Grace, she just sat there and talked about how great you are and that she is surprised at how smart you are for being un-educated."

There was a pause. Phil and Gary were looking to me with expectancy and #3 was distant, having closed herself off completely. I sat silent, reading everybody for a few more moments. And then I shrugged at the guys, "So?" I said. "I am smart, yeah, she tells me all the time how ---"

"-- Grace! Seriously?" This from Phil. "Do you NOT SEE WHAT SHE'S DOING? She's only hanging with you because she feels superior and "bigger" and more educated, which bloats her even more in her own mind, especially in comparison to you! She's weak and can only be with those that she considers less than herself!"

By this time, #3 was defending herself and denying Phil's claims, of course, while I sat numbly listening to it all go down. I still didn't see the big deal, I knew I was smart, just as I knew I was "uneducated." The point was moot to me. But what Phil said... I began to consider his point of view for a moment, while I remained disengaged from the battle that was occurring between the trio. The thought was ridiculous to me. I could not fathom how #3 would need to hang with someone that she considered "less" than herself, and choosing me as that person. I could not fathom that she needed to feel needed and admired, so, therefore, chose me to practice her inadequacies on. It made absolutely so sense to me. I did not view myself as "less than" in any such way. Therefore, at that moment, I pushed the thoughts aside, because I was such a duuuuumb bitch that I could not comprehend people actively existing on a level of need such as that of which Phil had placed on #3.

Yes, I'm duuuuumb bitch #4 here! Though I did not know it at the time, I had learned a valuable lesson that day; I learned that people DO, in fact, pray on their perception of weakness in others. People do this to build themselves or to confirm their own successes, because, for whatever reason, they still doubt themselves. I see this now, plain as stink on shit and, in fact, I can spot it quickly in other relationship dynamics, as well. But at the time of #3, Phil & Gary, the age of my mid-twenties, I was oblivious and naive to the fucked-up'dness of people. I was only beginning to scratch the surface of human dysfunction.

So, in short, I did not take offense to #3 telling people how smart I was for being uneducated because I took the words in their literal sense. I did not consider the source, nor the murky depths, of which the words were coming from. At that time, I could only see the world through my perspective, of which, at that time, was pretty type A or black and white. But on this day, the day of my personal duuuuub bitch thanks to Phil & Gary, I began to grow up and exercise a strength that I never knew I possessed. I'm an excellent judge of character, most times, but I still have to work hard to put myself into certain mindsets to get a clear view. Slowly, after that day, I began to see #3 in a different focus, and, as I recollect, the dynamics did begin to change between us ('nother story, 'nother time). I began to understand that through our fleeting so-called "friendship," #3 HUGELY impacted my life, not because she specifically taught me anything of value, but because of her dysfunction. For that, I am grateful Duuuuumb Bitch #3, because I am a smarter, more probing, person today.

Bam. Never in a billion years would I have thought that #3 had ever really served a functional purpose in my life, but, thanks to my bloggie adventure, I now see that she has. And still, on a certain level, I feel bad about exploiting #3's weakness to reveal my valuable life lessons. But I only feel a little bit bad. So I will move on.

Ok, so go back to the scenario with duuuuumb bitches #3, #4, Phil, and Gary. I want to wrap up that story, because, though I just explained how it affected my life, lemme tell you how that gathering affected #3's life...

So there sit the 3 educated persons, arguing about the passive-aggressive manner in which #3 complimented my brains. I came back to them slowly, and just in time, too, because the #3 was clearly under attack and was fighting back. Phil and Gary, were, in a sense, ganging up on her, but, for whatever reason at that time, even though I did not yet resent her for holding me in a lesser regard than her,  I felt she deserved it. Possibly she had said something deliberately inappropriate to either of them (maybe she insulted Phil's onion scent), but I did not feel compelled to get involved, halt the argument, nor defend #3. The words exchange had turned personal and no longer had anything to with me.

Then, #3 said something along the lines of, "I don't need to continue this argument, I am a professor at blah, blah college. I don't need to stoop to your level. I'm finished." And then. Then Gary said it. He retorted with the come back of all comebacks, and one that dug #3 at every personal level of struggle she'd ever experienced. He said to her, "Well. About that. Blah blah college likely only hired you because they need to maintain a certain level of Hispanic demographic requirements. So yeah, you don't have that job because you deserve it, you have it because you're Mexican."

Ahhhh... the meeting was over. She stormed off to the bathroom crying, and Phil and Gary told me, in between back slaps and giggles, that they had to go now, for their work was done. They would be hanging out with me again in two weeks, but never with her again. And I should reconsider my place in her life. I laughed. I was in awe of what had transpired. How shocking for me to see humans actually express feelings and thoughts through verbal commands. I guess I had not been accustomed to that.

I finished my cigarette and beer and went to the bathroom to console my not-friend.

Omg. It was about a year later, when I gave #3 the friend boot, that I remembered the incident with Phil & Gary on that day and realized their words on a new literal plane... My relationship had drifted with both of them after the incident with #3... and I guess I can see why. I mean, for one, from their perspective, what kind of duuuuumb bitch sits around feeling proud because her "friend" praises her for being "so smart for an uneducated person...." and two... Two: Phil & Gary fueled one another and I was never at ease with the way in which they ganged up on #3, even though she had it coming. Bullying is never ok, though they were good at it and drove a much-deserved point home (Not about her being Hispanic **do not go there, this is not a post about race. Do not go there. We are better than politics**, but about how she was in general). However, I also knew I never wanted to be the receiving end of their point...

Until the day I die, I will be incredulous in the face of human dysfunction, though I am no longer oblivious to it.

So there you have duuuuumb bitch #4.

Duuuuumb Bitch: Liposuction

Oh daaaaang…

  1. a technique in cosmetic surgery for removing excess fat from under the skin by suction.
combining form
  1. relating to fat or other lipids.

Mmm k. So let’s talk about Duuuuumb Bitch #3, aka, Duuuuumb Bitch: Liposuction.

So, so… this one time, a long, long time ago, I had a friend. I will not disclose her real name because that would suck, so we’ll just refer to her as #3.

So this friend, #3, we met through a mutual acquaintance (of sorts) and we related quickly. She had a great sense of humor, I have a great sense of humor, she liked to drink, I like to drink, she was smart, I am smart, she liked cats, I love cats, she was educated, I dreamed of being educated, and, most profoundly, I returned, to her, her stolen tent (that’s another story, I dunno when I’ll go there.)

Oh… she thought I was grand for returning her stolen tent to her, such an honest deed! And lemme tell you, I felt honored to be worshipped by someone such as her (Howver, to type that now makes me want to vomit in my mouth).

We continued to connect. We would exercise together, go to bars together, attempt one-night-stands together (no, not with each other, shit-head, ‘nother story, ‘nother time), she would buy gifts for my children, I would buy gifts for her cats and help her decorate her house (that’s my thing), but overall, I would sit there, like a fuckin’ idiot, and let her think she was better than me. I never caught on. Yeah. How’s THAT for a me-duuuuumb bitch??

Ok, so that all might sound haughty and gangsta-like. Like, I wanna fight and blame the world for my dumbness. But no. I was dumb then (‘nother story, ‘nother time) for not seeing through her bullshit (BS) sooner.  So, anyway, here’s the point of the story…

… one day we were both getting ready to go out (to the bar, of all places, of course). We were in my bathroom (my kids were away for their fathers’ weekend) doing our primping. Granted, neither her nor I were big into dressing slutty, but we wanted to be fresh, clean, and ready to conquer. You know, feeling good about how you look gives you confidence… and I was plucking my eyebrows. #3 watched me for a minute and stated, “Girl, I believe in being real, I let mine grow all natural!” No biggie. Her brows were fine “all natural.” My uni-brow would not be fine. We went out and had fun.

A few days or weeks later, we were working out together. We were running up and down her condo stairs, working our gluts and thighs. We were both huffing, puffing, sweating, but only I was swearing. I was always a pace behind her (I knew this is where I should stay, ‘nother story, ‘nother time) and as we were nearing the end of our workout, we were both struggling and our true colors (and profanity) were seeping through. Neither of us minded this, but I couldn’t help but notice how, as we would struggle with taking the stairs two at a time, she would grab her saddle-bags and exclaim, “Uhg! YES! Work it, RIGHT HERE!! RIGHT THERE! R – I – G- H – T      T- H – E – R – E!!” I was too tired, at the time, to care and I barely registered it. However, later? Later (as I visualize her saddle-bags, which were bad, but I’ve seen worse and never have really been judgey about body flaws such as that), I laugh. I laugh at that Duuuuumb Bitch.

She told me, sometime after that workout, that she loves running stairs because it works her saddlebags. She said she strives to build muscle there because that’s right, that’s WHERE SHE HAD LIPOSUCTION w/out skin removal.

Again, no biggie, until a forever friend of mine pointed out the time she scoffed at my plucking of the eyebrows, claiming she was into “all natural”….

WTF, #3… Duuuuumb Bitch! Liposuction? How the fuck is THAT all natural?!?

#ourworldisfucked, #duuuuumbbitch


Duuuuumb Bitch: Spider & Barbie

So, let's start with Duuuuumb Bitch #1, aka, Duuuuumb Bitch & the Spider:

  • Duuuuumb Bitch #1 was talking to me, at a social gathering. We were getting along just fine, in fact, we (at least I was) were finding conversation easy and fruitful. We were chuckling over small-time atrocities (like husbands) and relating on levels that young moms do. Then, hubby came up behind me and smack-picked at my back and said, "Poochie, there was a huge spider on your back! I got it!" I was appalled, of course, because who doesn't suffer on some level from arachnophobia, and exclaimed (probably) with a colorful freak-out of profanity. Duuuuumb Bitch #1 observed this fiasco and then calmly replied to me (us), in between stuffy giggles, "Oh yes! I watched that spider crawl into your hair!" WTF, Duuuuumb Bitch?!? Regardless of what level you are on with a person, wouldn't MOST people take a stand against those that crawl on eight legs??? Needless to say, the evening ended with me paying attention to my husband, which is a rarity. Damn you, Duuuuumb Bitch #1... 

And there's Duuuuumb Bitch #2, aka Duuuuumb Bitch & Barbie:

  • Duuuuumb Bitch #2 and I, waaaay back in late 1970's, early 1980's, were playing Barbies, outside of the trailer I lived in, at the picnic table. She and I would always trade Barbie clothes, which I loved to do with her because she almost always had the better Barbie apparel. This was expected, of course, because her mother could afford a double-wide trailer and a generic Camaro (My mother drove a Buick Skylark). In any case, there we were, trading away. And though we were only 8 and 9 years old, Duuuuumb Bitch #2 would always make Barbie and Ken have sex. Rowdy, loud, ridiculous sex, that made me uncomfortable because I was afraid that the neighbors would hear and figure out what she was making Barbie and Ken do (my Ken and Barbie would only have sex in private). I told her to "Sssshhhh!" indicating my discomfort over people hearing what she was doing. Duuuuumb Bitch #2 stopped slamming Ken and Barbie together and looked at me with her eyes that peered out from beneath her huge, square, forehead. She shrugged and began throwing her dolls into her Barbie case. As she was doing this, she said, "You're so stupid. Even they..." (she indicated the brown with white trimmed single-wide across the street from my house) ..."say you're stupid. They watch you after you get off the bus, look around all secretly before you grab the hidden key from underneath the eaves on your shed.... You do it everyday, and they already know where your key is. They can get into your house anytime they want. They're right; you're so stupid." With that, she sauntered off on her tip-toes (because she always walked that way, which I now associate with a certain degree of A.D.D.) swinging her exquisite Barbie case and disappearing around the front of my white with brown trim single-wide trailer. I felt funny, watching her leave, because what she said was true, I did that, everyday, trying to be James Bondie about getting into my home, but also relieved because she held true to our trade and left the Barbie clothes that we'd exchanged. Funny (but not funny, peculiar) how we simply can not forget certain things... Of course her and I played together again after that, but her sister would always ash her fucking cigarettes into my hair at the bus stop in the mornings. Nobody would tell her to stop. Everybody at the bus stop would laugh and I would stand there... wishing to disappear. I would later shake my hair out, when nobody could see me.  Bus stop bully. I guess the sister could qualify as a Duuuuumb Bitch, but I never bothered to think about her enough. You know... she was so awful, I simply blocked her out. Duuuuumb Bitch.

Duuuuumb Bitch #3:





WHY are dog owners obsessed with watching their dogs poop?

Well. For those of you who want to know, lemme tell you why.

But first, lemme state that I'm a cat person. Not because I don't like dogs, I love them, actually, but dogs are social and needy. Cats are assholes and not needy (unless they want food or to lay on some part of you, or your clothes, papers, books, tableware, folders, make-up... etc.). That works for me because I don't want to be needed.


But dogs? Omg, dogs NEED their owners! They need to be let outside, or else they'll have "an accident." They need to run and play outside as well, or they'll tear the shit out of your rugs, couches, and wood floors, even with a fresh nail trim. Dogs need to be bathed, and doggies need to play often or they get depressed and mope around the house. But guess what? Dogs don't wanna play by themselves... they want YOU to play with them. I'm borderline incompetent in managing my children, husband, school, house, work, and self-needs (and sometimes a cat need here and there, the food dish, once a day, and scooping poop, you know...) let alone playing with a dog. The damn, poor dawg.

Dogs have owners.

Cats have staff.

But bitching aside. Of course, I play with the dog and teach her things and praise her for being a good girl, which she is most of the time. I give her treats for doing what she's supposed to do and constantly encourage her to eat the food in her dish because she is picky and does not like to eat it without "specials" added to it. Let me clarify: she is a picky dog food eater, but eater of everything else.

And there it is. THAT, my friend who wanted to know why dog owners are obsessed with watching their dogs poop, is WHY. Fuckin' dawgs eat everything!!

My dog will eat every piece of paper she can get her snout on. She will eat dirty socks and underwear in seconds flat, yogurt containers, sticks/twigs, vocera badges, toothbrushes, ink pens, sharpies, highlighters, pharmacology books, flip-flops, baby toys, baby socks, bobby pins, hair clips/ties, rugs, towels, paper towels, washcloths, lotion bottles (with lotion still in them), marijuana blunts that have been carelessly dropped in our yard by a handy-man-helper, pop cans, beer cans, dishwasher tabs, twist-ties, plastic flower pots, hostas, ROCKS, bottle caps, catnip, cat toys, CAT POOP, tampons, used q-tips, her very own blankie, and again, with encouragement, occasionally her food.

Ok. So I have spent the past year digging items out of the power jaws of some sort of lab-mix. Her canines are huge and beautiful, but they do not crush everything all of the time (rocks, bottle-caps, etc.). Occasionally she'll end up with an episode of damn-dawg diarrhea because, I assume, she is either partially intestinally blocked or she had too much garbage (table scraps, she actually stays out of the trash, she's incredible that way, but whatever is on the floor or in the yard is free game!).

But here's why I REALLY watch my dog poop: She's a blankie-eater. She eats her blankie. He very own, huge blankie that she drags around the house, wraps around chair and table legs, acquiring many items on the journey. Her beautiful, fresh, large teeth can not chomp up Blankie near enough and when she has Blankie, lately especially, I have to watch her. I never know if she's gonna snuggle or chew.

And when it's time for poopie? I never bothered to notice the condition of her poops until she came running back into the house (this one time) with shredded poopie Blankie hanging out of her ass. She ran into the house and dragged her butt across my rug, of course, trying to dislodge poopie-blankie shreds. Sheeesh. I recruited hubby to finish this up for her, but how relieved I was that she actually passed the damn Blankie! Ugh!

So, I watch my dog poop, especially if I have busted her chewing on a no-no because I need to know if the inevitable diarrhea is a precursor to a blockage, or if eventually, a dangler is gonna smear up my rug. It's that simple.

Sorry not sorry that a dog owner's obsession with watching their dog poop isn't any more complex than that.

Boggie Darkin’

There are many things I would like to never forget. My heart hurts many times when one of my kids tells a story and I can not remember it. I totally fear dementia. It is one of the ugliest human afflictions. I hope that myself and my loved ones will never have to deal with it first hand, especially early on-set. Tragic.

I like making a record of things that have fixated on my brain... I hope that I will never lose them, but just in case, I'm gonna write this shit down.

So this one time, a long time ago, when I was approximately 14 and my sister was not quite 3, I was babysitting. I did so much of that in those days, being 12 years older than her, living in the middle of mountainous no-where in the 80's and ultimately because that's what my dad and my step-mother desired, save money and let the bratty, disgruntled teen take care of the baby. So, one night, most likely in the summer, my sister and I were returning back from a walk or some such adventure. She was running up the deck stairs toward the door when, in the valley, (if you've ever lived in mountains that surround a valley, you KNOW that a dog barking 5 miles away sounds like a dog barking next door when the wind is just right) a dog started barking. Our dogs half-heartedly barked back, which caught my sister's attention. She stopped and listened as the valley-dog continued to bark. She turned to me, still on the steps with her little blond hair framing her face, of which was pulled into an expression of wonder, and said, "Do you hear that? Do you hear that? Do you hear the boggies darkin'?" She furrowed her brow slightly after this came out of her mouth, and tried again, "Do you hear the boggies darkin'??" I was starting to laugh inside as I approached her, mostly because she looked worried at this point, especially as she continued to attempt to make her speech match her thought. She tried again, a couple more times, but to no avail, it didn't come out right. I finally said, "Doggies barkin'?" And she looked relieved, and exclaimed that was it, repeating it over and over again, "Doggies barkin', doggies barkin'..."

Dunno why, but that is one of those memories that has stuck vividly with me. I am so flattered to have witnessed my sister's first ever spoonerism!




a verbal error in which a speaker accidentally transposes the initial sounds or letters of two or more words, often to humorous effect, as in the sentence you have hissed the mystery lectures, accidentally spoken instead of the intended sentence you have missed the history lectures.

This one time… at clinical…

... I had to cath (insert a urinary catheter) a patient. Oh, c'mon, actually, this happens all the time. Simply put, this is what nurses and nurse techs do: we get the pee and when we have it, we are happy, I mean, it's almost like Christmas!

In any case, each cath experience is unique and that is likely because each patient has unique anatomy. That's right, all private areas are a little different, especially on females. Also, FYI real quick, females are difficult to cath in that the urethral opening (the pee hole) is usually difficult to locate visually. So, insertion begins with approximations and guess-work. It's the hard truth, there is not a sign on poot-poots that say, "Insert cath here."

Now males, on the other hand, are easier when it comes to locating the urethral opening. Seriously, it's right there... one-eyed Pete. Boom. However, cathing males poses an entirely new list of potential issues. One, first and foremost (especially on older males) is the prostate. The prostate gland sits between the bladder and the penis with the urethra (pee canal and in male cases, semen canal as well) running through it. It is common for older men to experience swelling of the prostate which compromises the efficiency of bladder drainage. So, imagine the walnut-sized prostate gland swelling... and occluding (blocking) the urethra. Cathing a patient with an enlarged prostate is difficult and requires a specific type of catheter called a Coude catheter (google it if you want to know more about it).

Secondly, males have a much longer urethra than females (hence why men rarely get urinary tract infections (UTI) as opposed to women who have shorter urethral tracts and suffer commonly from UTIs). The cathing kits generally have plenty of cath for instances of cathing males without any worries. Except. *rolls eyes* Except when the male patient has a ridiculously long penis. *sigh*

For real, cathing is intricate and must remain a sterile procedure. The risk of infection is high anytime an invasive procedure is done on a patient, so it is crucial, especially once sterile gloves are donned, that the nurse touches nothing except the sterile materials in the cath kit. Therefore, the penis is considered non-sterile and can only be touched with the designated hand, leaving the other sterile and available to all the work.

So, this one time at clinical, I had to cath a patient. My leading nurse that day was a young male and was happy to have me cath his male patient for him. We had just received the report from the night shift and were beginning our rounds with the gentleman who needed to be catheterized. The nurse remained with me during the procedure, but I will never forget approaching our incoherent patient and flipping the sheets back. Omg. The old man had a ridiculously long penis. Now, this is what is funny. I didn't think about anything else but whether or not the catheter would be long enough to make it into his bladder. The patient did not have any prostate issues, I could tell immediately upon insertion, however, I ran out of catheter and there STILL was not any urine flowing. I literally had to scrunch the poor old man's flaccid penis up to gain more catheter line to continue advancing until I reached his bladder. Anyway, I had to fuss for a while, but I finally got a flash of urine and it began to flow out. I froze and kept my hands exactly where they were when the flash began, only making small adjustments of the penis to keep the urine flow going... I did not want to lose my drain!

After several moments of this, my leading nurse started to laugh. I looked at him with questioning and he blurted out, "Drop the penis. Just... drop the penis. He's gonna end up with a boner!" See? I never thought about the penis and what its instincts and natural responses are. I laughed to myself at how I was so medically focused that I forget what unit of the human body I was handling.

And that's why I am sharing this entire story. I want to point out to anybody reading that that's how it is... nurses do not care what naked parts they have to handle, so's long as they can get what they need from whatever it may be.

So, holy shit! I dropped the penis! Consider it, if it were you, would you want to be standing around with stranger-boner in your non-sterile hand? More importantly, how about losing that urine flow? If the penis grows, the scrunch, catheter length, and tragically, THE PEE DRAIN would have been compromised.

In any case, dropping the penis did not interfere. Thank gawds I continued to get a flow of urine.


Nurses Happily Eat Their Young

The Nerdy Nurse https://thenerdynurse.com

Truth! I do not understand how a profession so full of compassion and caring manages to be so cruel to new nurses... (or is it just something that happens in OB and other forms of floor nursing? *gasp*) in any case, nursing cannibalism is learned straight away, in nursing school. Lemme tell a quick story...

So, one time, not so long ago, I was doing time during a med surg rotation. I was assigned 2 patients, one of which was also assigned to a “higher ranking” senior student nurse. Needless to say, in comparison to the senior student, I required very little guidance or attention. I simply needed to assess and chart on our patient. I was not to be performing any procedures or giving any meds that day. The senior student was not happy with my presence. Honestly, I have no idea why. I mean, I am not unpleasant, I did not overstep, and I was actually going to make her job easier! I figure the senior student found her opportunity to trump me and so she did with as much attitude as she could. She would reference me to the assigned nurse as “she,” never referring to me directly (gawds). She was also sure to delegate the “lesser” tasks to me all through CNA, of course. Certainly, her behavior annoyed me, but I was able to see past it all. The senior student was simply a poor, dumb, bitch who got off on utilizing what little power she had. Fine. I had my assessing and charting done already, anyway. Pick and choose daily battles, right?

Anyway, later, after I had finished my lunch break, I checked in on our mutual patient. He was restless in his bed, claiming that he knew his bowels were about to move, and LAWDS, it had been days! He was excited, yet apprehensive. I eased his anxiety with some classic, professional nursing education and educated his wife on how to assist him when the time to FINALLY pass the bowels arrived. Specifically, however, I instructed them both to press the call button, when it was time, and ask for (assigned nurse and bitch-student nurse) by name. Both patient and spouse agreed and demonstrated to me that they understood by repeating my instructions back to me.

The best part!?! The patient actually did what I asked! He called for the assigned and senior student nurse to assist him with his poop. It was an amazing poop, too! As they were assisting him, with the door to his room wide open and the warm scent of stale shit crowding the hallway, I knocked lightly and asked the patient if he was ok. He said he was great and that the ladies came to help him just as I said they would. I told him I was glad and reassured him that those ladies were happy to assist him.

Later, the senior student gave me a razor-beam-death stare. No biggie. I was just ecstatic that revenge had worked for me. In the past, when I had made attempts to plot revenge, scenarios back-fired. I accept this, as well, because I believe that spending life plotting revenge is a gross neglect of energy; make the world better, not worse, do not feed the fire. But sometimes? Damn, utilize free-will to humble the terrible people!


Image credit: The Nerdy Nurse

“I have something that can help you with nausea…”

.... so this was said to me, several years ago. The girl who said it to me is now dead.

I know how that sounds. It sounds morbid or macabre. Well. It sounds that way because it is.

I'll refer to this girl as Dawn. She was doted upon by her spouse and her followers; she was legendary, or so many would say. I, on the other hand, viewed her as just another complex human being, complete with games and baggage. Regardless, however, of her humanistic flaws, I sensed how intimidating Dawn could be and therefore I worked to avoid revealing my weaknesses to her.

It was ridiculous, really, her group of groupies who, literally, would fight for her cause, whatever that may be. Whatever Dawn deemed to be battle worthy would be so. Scary, too. Why scary? *rolls eyes* Scary because it was (and still is) painful to accept that human beings stoop to cruel and petty levels. Petty levels that invoke topics such as, “Girl, you just flirted with my man...” *sigh* One in the vicinity of Dawn and her clan could get their ass beat if a judgment were cast... Does that not sound like medieval monarchy or what?

Anyway... that’s all backdrop info. The followers of Dawn really have nothing to do with this post.

What really matters is the fact I remember drinking one night with Dawn and the gang. Drinking too much, actually, surprise, surprise! We were all having fun around the bonfire but I just HAD to say... “I’ve had so much to drink already. I am afraid I’ll wake up sick or hung-over...” Of which Dawn replied, “Girl! I have something to help you with nausea, so drink up and don’t worry!”

I am not sure why I remember this incident so vividly. Possibly because Dawn’s world of control was so beyond my comprehension. Like, imagine... controlling nausea? I also was reminded that Dawn lived on a plane of health issues that were unimaginable to me, Crohn's Disease. She "ported" many of her gastric contents, enabling her to drink, drink, drink. Sadly, drinking, drinking, and drinking lead to additional coping mechanisms which, in the end, exacerbated established illnesses and ultimately dead-ending for Dawn. She was ill and I witnessed her illness in the hospital one time, as a patient. I can not divulge too much, of course, because that would violate HIPPA. But... she was sick. And doped. She knew me, I could tell, but she couldn’t put it together as to where or how.  Instead, she resigned to admitting that it was snowing furiously outside, she said, “It is really coming down out there...” She was wistful and distant when she said this, it was haunting. Her husband seemed detached, as well. I have no idea what the logistics at that time were in their marriage. It is unlikely that I will ever understand what either of them was dealing with. I just know that approximately two months later (shortly before Christmas), she killed herself. Gunshot, to the head.

She had the balls to pull it off. That was the first thing I thought. I compared myself to her and determined that though killing herself was a bitchy thing to do, it was ballsy. I do not admire her for this act, of course, nor do I think it kind to put her children through (likely) indefinite question. But really? How did she dare? Was she angry, under the influence, defeated? All of that?

Control. She always had control of the people and events in her life and she maintained control of her death, as well. I feel though, that she was losing control and that's why she did it. That, and to make a statement. To make sure that her groupies would forever hold her on a pedestal. I see that as the truth. But wouldn't her groupies lynch me for that statement...

I have no idea what it was like in her head, especially right before the end. But I wonder why. She had older kids... who could gauge the severity of what had happened.

In any case. Dawn lost control. Controlling nausea with a pill was no longer enough for her. I think of her a lot, even though I never trusted her. Life is tragic.