Nursing You Back To Health: Body And Mind

, , , , , | | Hopeless | May 21, 2019

(I am a mum to a little girl, aged three, and a newborn daughter who is in the NICU for two weeks after birth. My three-year-old develops tonsillitis just days after we come home and is very ill, but then a week later also develops chickenpox from several children at the nursery. My husband has been deployed in the army during the whole past six months, meaning he missed our daughter’s birth and I am struggling on my own. This is the final straw, and after taking both my girls to the hospital I am told to sit in the paediatric waiting room, even though my daughter is screaming in pain and is clearly very unwell. I ring my husband in tears. He tells me to calm down and demand to at least see a nurse, as she is only three years old and I have a newborn, as well. At that moment, my baby’s NICU nurse enters for her shift and sees me.)

Nurse: “[My Name]! Are you all right? What’s wrong?”

(Sobbing, I explain that my toddler was diagnosed with tonsillitis last week and now has symptoms of chickenpox, as well. All the while, I am holding my newborn as far away from my toddler as I can.)

Nurse: “Give [Newborn] to me. I’ll take her to NICU; she’ll need to be looked after by someone, anyway, because you have [Toddler], as well, and there’s a chance she could be infected as she is still very small. Can you just come with us up to the desk to give consent of care? Then you’ll be sorted.”

(I trust this nurse, so I give my baby to her. Five minutes later, our name is called and it is confirmed that my toddler has both illnesses and will need to be taken into paediatric care to be treated as soon as possible, as her veins have collapsed. I spend a few hours with her until she is asleep and then go to see my newborn in NICU.)

Nurse: “We ran some tests on her, [My Name], and she should be fine, but we want to keep her under observation for a couple of weeks to confirm she doesn’t have them, too. How’s [Toddler]?”

(Two days later, my husband returned home for a month on compassionate leave. Our toddler recovered quickly and our baby didn’t get ill. I want to thank that nurse who saved my sanity and made sure we were well looked after for the two weeks we spent running between our children! She is now a good family friend and I am forever grateful that she arrived at that moment.)

Time Out Is Time Well Spent

, , , , , | | Related | May 21, 2019

I was a foster child before I was adopted, and before I was given up, I’d had little or ineffective discipline. As a foster child, my parents were not legally allowed to physically discipline me in any way, so they had to get creative.

The first thing my foster mom did when I was newly in the home — like within the first week or so — was sit me in the corner. The general rule is that you’re supposed to put a kid in time out for one minute per year of age. I was four, so I had to sit for four minutes. My mom made that clear. What she also made clear was that she wouldn’t start the timer until I was quiet. And boy, could I yell. I yelled and screamed and beat the tile floor and escaped and was put back and got quite colorful with my language, apparently. She sat at a table and tried — pretended — to read.

I was there for over three hours the first time.

The second time, less than three. The time after, just over an hour. I slowly started to get it. This (saint of a) woman was not going to put up with my nonsense.

I was adopted by them within the next two years.

They Pulled The Rabbit Out Of The Hat

, , , , , , | | Hopeless | May 20, 2019

When my now-husband and I got together, I had one house rabbit who was very much a daddy’s boy; that is, I was his daddy and nobody else! A couple of months into our relationship, we decided to go to the pet shop to look at and pet the other rabbits under the pretense of wanting to get him a playmate. The babies were all adorable of course, and then the staff member asked if we wanted to meet the adoptions.

The last one she brought out was a large doe who was still in isolation and not ready to be adopted. She had been brought in because she was “aggressive” and she had nicks and still-healing bites along her ears. When I picked her up and stroked her, she just melted into my arms.

We returned the day she was available for adoption and took her home.

We were able to guess from her behaviour some of what happened to her. She had serious food and attention issues, and would pester us constantly for attention, as well as my other rabbit once we got them living together. Most heartbreaking was the nightmares; when she slept she would squeak and twitch and jolt out of her sleep, clearly distressed.

About a year and a half ago, we lost the older rabbit, and when she fell into a depression we knew we had to get her a new playmate, no matter how we felt about it.

She’s been with us for approaching six years now, and while some of her issues remain — primarily with food; to this day she’s terrified of not getting enough — the difference warms my heart every time I remember it. She still loves attention but now it feels less like being attention starved and more like her simply being an affectionate rabbit. She and our newer rabbit absolutely adore each other. Best of all, now, when she sleeps, we can still tell when she’s dreaming, but now they’re clearly pleasant dreams; her eyes and ears twitch, and she does the gentle intermittent tooth grind that is the rabbit equivalent of purring. She wakes up slowly, sleepy and happy. She has gone from an animal constantly afraid of losing what she had to one who is simply… happy.


There’s Acting Nice And Then There’s BEING Nice

, , , , , | | Hopeless | May 15, 2019

(At my favorite convention, I decide to camp out overnight for the chance to enter a drawing that would get me into an autograph session for one of my favorite shows. A miracle occurs and I get in! Later that day, I’m at the signing and get to talk briefly to the cast. The first actress I talk to isn’t new to show business, but is kind of new to the convention circuit.)

Actress #1: “Hi! How are you?”

Me: “I’m great! How are you?”

Actress #1: “Oh, this is great, but I’m a bit tired.”

Me: “Yeah, me, too. I waited ten hours for the drawing this morning.”

(She sort of just stares blankly at me, trying to process this information. It never occurred to me she didn’t know this was how long we had to wait.)

Actress #1: “Wait, honey, where did you sleep?”

Me: “Well, outside.”

Actress #1: “YOU SLEPT OUTSIDE?!”

Me: “Yeah, but we all did. That’s the only way to get into this.”

Actress #1: “Wow…”

(She smiles at me and I move on. The next actress plays my favorite female character other than the lead, and I’m so excited to meet her.)

Me: “It was worth sleeping ten hours on concrete to meet you.”

Actress #2: *takes my hand in hers and smiles* “Love, I would do the same thing. It’s so great to meet all of you.”

(I’m on cloud nine when I meet the next actor. I’m cosplaying as the lead character.)

Actor: “Oh, hey, [Lead Character], how are you? Oh, wait, you’re not [Lead Character]! What’s your name?”

(I absolutely melted, told him my name, and thanked him. There have sadly been a lot of stories of celebrities letting people down and being terrible people, but I feel like sometimes we need a reminder there are some really great ones out there who are genuinely good people who love their fans.)

We Know “Lotioning” Isn’t A Word But It Should Be

, , , , | | Working | May 15, 2019

(My department at work consists of mostly females, and that means I and the few guys working there are definitely the minority. I have been complaining to my wife over email that my skin is incredibly dry and I am getting itchy. She says when I get home she will get me some lotion to help. As I sit typing, I look down at my arm and realize I can’t wait that long; I have “crocodile skin.” One of the women I work with jokingly told me one time if I ever needed lotion to let her know because she has some at her desk. So, I decide to do just that. I approach her desk with my index fingers together like you see little kids do when they want something.)

Female Coworker #1: “Uh-oh, what did I do?”

Me: *laughs* “Absolutely nothing. Um… One time you and a few of the others jokingly said if I ever needed some lotion I could borrow some… May I?”

Female Coworker #1: “YES! I have… uh… this one which is [scent], this one which is [type], this one…”

Me: “I don’t care what it smells like; I have crocodile skin and it’s really bothering me!”

(She hands me one and I crack it open, putting some on my skin.)

Me: “Oh! I like this!”

Male Coworker #1: *popping up like a prairie dog from his desk* “Huh?! What? Lotion?”

Me: “Yeah, my skin was so dry!” *rubbing both hands up my arm coating myself in the “smell good” lotion*

Male Coworker #1: “Oh! Um… Can I have some?”

Female Coworker #2: “I have some! Want to try it?” *grabs a bottle and starts walking over*

Male Coworker #1: “That’s not the cinnamon stuff that makes everyone here sneeze, is it?”

Female Coworker #2: “No, it’s…” *smelling it* “Okay, it might be…”

Me: “Well, it’s peppermint from what I can tell.”

Male Coworker #1: “Okay… fine… I’ll take it!”

Male Coworker #2: “What are you guys doing?”

Me: “Lotioning.”

Male Coworker #1: “Yeah, figured since he’s going to moisten his skin, I would.”

Male Coworker #2: “Uh… What kind of lotion is it? I mean, you guys are smelling like lotion.”

([Male Coworker #2] is then given lotion by a third female coworker and starts applying it. All of this is going on directly outside the department director’s door. He pops out and sees the three of us guys and the three girls rubbing our skin with lotion and stares at us for a second.)

Department Director: “Dry skin?”

Me: “Yeah, it was bad.”

Department Director: “Carry on. Smells good in here!”

(The department director walked away and we all started laughing. It became known as the “Moistening” by everyone in our department, and they learned at least three guys in the office are secure enough to wear scented lotions for the sake of comfort.)

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