A stroll around Gibraltar: No. 2 Steps, steps, steps…

This is a very unique way of looking at an area! I love the stairs with the ramp for strollers (prams), but I don’t know if I would trust myself pushing my child up that huge incline! Here in the Midwest United States the land is mostly flat, so we don’t see a lot of stairs here, except the few in front of buildings.

Postcard from Gibraltar

You may have noticed that recently steps have featured heavily in my posts, mainly because of my intention to compete in the Med Steps challenge coming up this spring. Well that got me thinking and do you know there are an awful lot of steps around Gibraltar?It might have something to do with the fact we live on a flipping great big rock and there is a lot of gradient going on!

Another reason for steps is that they take up a lot less space than roads and for many people they are the only way to access their homes, particularly in the pedestrian reliant narrow lanes and passages of town and upper town.

The steps here can be a real challenge, especially in the rain (which can make some of them very slippy) and in the hot summer when slow and steady is the order of the day.

If…

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Another crazy day in the life of an RN

emergency-1137137_1920I didn’t quite know what I was walking into as I arrived at work before the break of dawn. When the night nurse told me, “I am so sorry”, I knew it could not be good. You see, I work on a trauma unit, which means we see a lot of the crazy stuff, such as car wrecks, ATV accidents, gunshot wounds, stabbings and motorcycle crashes. The injuries are one thing to consider, of course, the physical wounds. What I was not prepared for when I started nursing was the mental aspect of the patient care. Unfortunately, for many of these people, the reason they had a wreck or got stabbed or shot was because they were drinking a whole lot of alcohol, high on crack, or maybe were using just a few too many prescribed pain medications. As the day wears on, these patients start going through withdrawals, and it is not pretty. I struggle to maintain my own sanity when my new admit who crashed his ATV starts yelling, “I am leaving RIGHT now, I don’t need to be the f*** here!”  while the sweet little old lady next door to him who fell and broke her hip is trying to sleep! Oh, and it just gets better. Then we have the patient who misused their pain medication at home, so now nothing we give them helps with the pain, and I am running into the room every hour to give them enough pain medication to kill a horse. By the time the shift is ending, that sweet little old lady with the broken hip has become a confused, scary demon who has tried to kick and bite me multiple times, since now she does not know where she is and is constantly trying to get out of bed! Plus there are the three other patients who have varying degrees of illness or injury. Add that to all the tests, surgeries, sudden chest pain, vomiting, heartburn and a myriad of ailments, and you have a very eventful day! 

Please note: No one’s privacy was violated in the writing of this post. The characters are a generalization of the types of patients I encounter as a trauma nurse. I hope you enjoyed my tale!

Wishes for a Wonderful 2016

May the new year
Bring these wishes to all of you:
Warmth of love, comfort of home
Joy for your children,
Company and support of family and friends
A caring heart that accepts
and treats all human beings equally
Enrichment of knowledge and
Richness of diversity
Courage to seek and speak the truth
Even if it means standing alone
Hopes and dreams of a just world and
The desire to make it happen
A light to guide your path
Helping hands to strengthen unity
Serenity and peace within your mind.

 

Thank you to all my followers for their support!

Would I dare wear a Hijab to work?

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That is the question that I asked myself the other day, as I was doing my nursing rounds at a large hospital in mid-America. When the news came on showing the shooting in California, even before the news identified the perpetrators, the majority of my patients were quick to say that it had to be “those Muslims” again. I wanted to scream out and tell them that the real Islam condones violence, and that these “radicalized Muslims” do not in any way reflect a religion which promotes peace and understanding. UGH. I was wondering what would happen if I showed up at work one day wearing the traditional Muslim head covering for women. Would I be treated with hostility? It is quite possible. The majority of my patient population and a lot of the people I work with have expressed distrust of Muslims, a great deal of misunderstanding about the religion, and some have expressed outright hatred. In this land of acceptance of many religions, I hope that people would take the time to read the Quran (the Muslim holy book), and learn what Islam is really about. A majority of what people view as Islamic is actually part of a group of people’s culture/background, not the base of the religion itself.

Heart of the Rainforest

The rainforest is so magical, thank you for sharing.

SIHPROMATUM

“If I hear the word ‘activity’ one more time, I think I’m going to cry,” Kees said, speaking my mind perfectly.

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Having risen that morning at 4a.m. for the first activity, we arrived back at the lodge at 10 am, given just a couple hours free time before lunch followed by our next activity, a three hour trek through the bushes, then an hour night walk activity after our 7pm dinner.

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It was nice always having the trails completely to ourselves, the three of us slipping in the mud past monkey laden bushes and 500 year old Ironwood trees that reach way up into the sky. Vines wrapped like shackles around their branches keeping them from reaching the stars.

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Brazil nut trees are famously known for growing up to almost 40 metres (120ft), towering far above the rainforest canopies, dwarfing the rest of the trees. I was never a…

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