The problem with commuting…

Driving

Nothing was more aggravating than that ONE driver who thought they were ‘smarter’ than the rest. Better yet, how about having a handful of drivers who thought they were smarter than the flow of traffic. The last time I checked everyone who was commuting was trying to get to their destination just as fast as the next person.

*sigh*

I was a commuter for years. I commuted a long distance for a former job, then I commuted again for school. Traffic patterns and flow was so temperamental, just when you think you had it figured out…. you’re sitting in your car (AGAIN) for hours on end.

I can remember when I first starting commuting. I thought to myself, “this will be a great way to decompress after a stressful day”

[face palm]

What made things really fun was during inclement weather.

Gewd times… ahh the memories.

;)

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Image source: Driving – iFunny :.

So. Ebola

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith used several minutes of his show Wednesday to calm the Ebola fears of people who listen to the “hysterical voices on the radio and the television or read the fear-provoking words online.”

“We do not have an outbreak of Ebola in the United States. Nowhere.” – Shepard Smith

“We do have two healthcare workers who contracted the disease from a dying man. They are isolated. There is no information to suggest that the virus has spread to anyone in the general population in America. Not one person in the general population in the United States.”Smith said should the situation change, his reporting on the situation would change. He also injected the notion that politics has played a role in the way Ebola has been handled in this country.

“With midterm elections coming, the party in charge needs to appear to be effectively leading,” he said. “The party out of power needs to show that there is a lack of leadership.”Does Smith’s message ease your fears or are you still concerned about what’s happening with Ebola?

via Fox News anchor Shepard Smith delivers Ebola message everyone needs to hear | WTVR.com.

I’ve been pretty silent about the Ebola tragedy. My heart goes out to the two nurses and their families, I cannot imagine how scary their lives are right now. As a fellow nurse, that reality is a lil’  too close to the vest.

I had planned on posting some thoughts about the festering hysteria out in the media, but the above video summed it up pretty well for me.

Maybe I’ll still post something tomorrow. Maybe I won’t. Either way, it would be a good idea to arm yourself properly… which means educate yourself. Don’t just imbibe the viral information shared on the internet.

 

Focus on the people that get it

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“It doesn’t matter how many people don’t get it, focus on the people that do”

Thank you Mr. Ferriss, for the advice on dealing with the haters.

Ferriss’ 7 Principles:

  1. It doesn’t matter how many people don’t get it, focus on the people that do
  2. 10% of people will find a way to hate you – don’t take it personally
  3. When you try to please everyone, you end up alienating the more valuable people
  4. If 95% of the people like you, you’re not doing it right
  5. You want to practice being foolish and stupid
  6. Living well is the best revenge
  7. Keep calm and carry on

It’s been an interesting couple weeks for me. I’m doing the work thang. I’m doing the coaching thang… and now the YouTube endeavor with scrubsBeat is slowly gaining some momentum in the popularity department.

- Sidebar: the popularity is due mostly in part to the amazing people over at Scrubs Magazine coupled with the raving popularity of Katie Duke. I can’t say I garnish a lot of ‘followers’ or readers.

With this new found public interest (traffic) comes the good …… aaaand the bad. The ‘haters’ are cropping up. I guess I’ve been lucky over the years being the ‘invisible’ (behind the scenes) blogger. I dodged the hater bullet. Or maybe I just never payed much attention? Either way. I’m noticing it now. There are some seriously mean people out there, let me tell ya. Isn’t the catch-phrase internet trolls?

I have a new-found respect for Katie Duke and others who are in the public eye. I don’t think anyone looks good under a microscope. And when your every move is judged and critiqued.. I can completely understand how one can get negative. Yet Katie and others continue to plug away, navigating through the crap maintaining their composure with great poise, sharing all things positive.

I started to let the ‘meanness’ get to me…

Then I realized, I don’t blog, tweet, post updates or record video with the intent of pleasing the masses. I do all of it as a way of sharing my story. Sharing my experiences. And while I’m at it, maybe even impart some knowledge (droppin’ knowledge bombs peeps). I started this whole blogging thing years ago (hard to believe I’ve been blogging for over 8 years!) because I wanted to ‘get things off my chest’.. and I wanted to find out if all these crazy things that I had been experiencing were unique to my corner of the world, or that perhaps I wasn’t alone. Along the way I’ve gained a tad bit of experience, and have met some pretty awesome people.

Over the years I learned that I’m not alone. That my crazy life is not all that unique. That as a nurse practitioner, my journey has been shared by many others before and after me. That my  crazy journey with my weight, my exercising, my eating was more common than I imagined. That my discovery and ‘passion’ for CrossFit (and its overall message) was part of something bigger than I ever imagined.

So, I ramble on today just to validate that while there are a crap-ton of haters and negative Nate’s & Nelly’s, there are an infinitely larger number of positive change agents out there. People who are doing what I do. Trying what I am trying. Putting themselves out there. Sharing their stories.

Those are the ones that matter.

An old friend of mine has been trading positivity with me lately on Facebook. We both came across a great saying:

“Iron sharpens Iron”

While the quote has a strong ‘exercise/fitness’ undertone to it, it can and does apply to everything in my life (and yours too). Be the light, (and)or be the mirror. Whatever you do, don’t let the darkness swallow you up. Some people just don’t get ‘it’. Focus on the ones that do.

Stay strong gang.

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/stephenjohnbryde/

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My time off of work… it always goes by so fast? #nurselife

7 days on, and 8 days off. I have one more day off. During the past 7 days I packed a busy week. I got to spend time doing what I love, coaching. Along with putting my hand on the barbell 4 out of the past 7 days training. So I couldn’t be happier. Top it all off with a weekend spent with my awesome family doing some belated birthday celebrations, and you can call that a pretty kick-##S week.

Here’s my week in pictures:

The sun was shining all week, which made for some awesome training weather during the early morn. I got to coach the 6am class early on in the week, so I’d stick around and train while enjoying the sunrise. Perfection.

This was my favorite one..

Along the way I discovered I think I broke some sort of ‘branding’ law by wearing all three major brands in one sitting…

My week off wouldn’t be complete without a few trips to the store. I decided to share one of my many hidden talents..

For some strange reason I ended catching a nagging head cold / allergy exacerbation (check this previous post: I don’t get sick … often? ). I still sucked it up and made the road trip home to visit my family for some belated birthday celebrations. So of course I have to practice what I preach:

Despite how crappy I was feeling, I wasn’t gonna let it ruin family-time.. insert McDonald’s-smile:

We spent a great weekend laughing and catching up with our family. I’m glad we did. I missed them. The more I’m away from them the more I realize how important they are to me, and the time I spend with them is a priority.

In the end, my weekend was partially (if not completely) fueled by:

Uhh…. Heeelloooh? I’m a nurse. Coffee. It’s what we do.

How was everyone’s weekend? I’m back to the grind on Tuesday for a short stint before another nice long weekend. A belated Wedding Anniversary get-away / celebration with my beautiful wife. :)

 

 

The Day I Should Have Died | Happy Re-birthday To Me

I consider myself a pretty luck man. Heck, I’d call myself blessed. I know the value of my life and continually appreciate it, no matter how ‘tough’ things may get. Today is my re-birthday. 13 years ago on September 15, 2001 I was given a wonderful gift. I had someone attempt to take my life away from me. (Wow, 13 years?)

I’ll admit it. Before that fateful day, I was just as jaded, jagged and miserable as many other human beings who occupy this earth are. I was always pissed off at the world. I continually wanted to know when the universe would stop shitting on me. I bitched at everything and everyone. My temper roller-coastered like it was my full-time job. I had your typical bad luck, bad girlfriends, bad relationships, bad jobs, etc, etc. Yeah, I was a miserable ole’ cuss. I can’t say ‘positivity’ was part of my repertoire. I was going nowhere fast, and I just couldn’t seem to get a leg up. I was simply treading water.

Then someone tried to kill me. I blogged about it in 2008 on this very blog (hard to believe). Every year I re-share the original blog post. It’s cathartic for me and my loved ones. It’s important to me, because I want the reminder. And I’d like you to have the reminder too, life is fleeting.

Let me tell you a story (that I wrote many moons ago)…

It’s been 7 years.

This time of the year always has a special place in most of America’s hearts. September 11, 2001 is a date none of us will soon forget. It changed the face of our nation and impacted our world in a way none of us could have ever imagined. Emily (crzegrl) shared here views of how it impacted her.

At the risk of diminishing or making that day any less than it really was. This time of the year has a very different meaning for me. I do remember September 11th. I do remember what I was doing that day. I do remember how I felt and how the world around me changed. But it’s not what is in the forefront of my mind.

September 15, 2001

My Re-Birthday.

It’s been 7 years.

It was a Saturday. (Yes I remember it that well)

There was a time in my life when I was not active in healthcare (It was a short time). I had stepped away from the healthcare setting and returned to my career in retail. Retail had helped pay my way through college, and then it was the way to put food on the table after college was over. My career in healthcare wasn’t paying the bills, and retail was a better option (at the time).

It was a typical Saturday night. I was one of the midnight managers on duty. Part of my responsibility as a manager was to hold the night-shift meeting with the over-night employees.

This particular night we decided to have an open forum concerning the difficulties people may or may not be having with the current state of affairs. The terrorists attacks were affecting everyone, and we wanted to let our employees know we cared.


I can’t say I remember how it happened.

I can’t say I was prepared for it.

It happened in time ‘slices’.


I was talking with the over-night group of employees. It was me in front of approximately 20 others. Half-way through the meeting and in mid-sentence I can vaguely remember an ‘itching’ or ‘biting’ feeling on my neck.

….??

It wasn’t anything out the ordinary. I chalked it up to one of the bodily aches or pains I have no explanation for. (Like when I get a shooting pain in my finger that comes a goes in a matter of 7 seconds)

It got more quiet. It was like I could only hear the fans of the air conditioning running. I guess the only way to explain it… is things seemed to slow down.. immensely. Like the slo-mo option on a VCR/DVD player.

I don’t know what happened next. Or should I say I don’t know which came first. The banshee-like shrieking screams or the shadow of a person coming out of my left peripheral vision. All I know is that it was a startling moment.

The Scream.

The Shadow.

And I reflexively look to my left.

I remember saying to my self, “Hmm, why is Jane (we’ll call her Jane for identity purposes) standing so close to me. She should be sitting out in the crowd with the rest of the group.”

She’s now advancing towards me. “What is she doing?”

Her left arm is raised in the air. I think she’s going to take a swing at me. So out of reflex, I block her left arm. I block her arm with my R arm and grab her swinging arm with my L hand. Then I grasp her swinging arm with both hands.

I can’t quite figure out why she’s trying to hit me?

Another handful of screams.

Through the tussle and wrestling of her arm I realize my hand is full of blood??? In fact I have blood on both my hands?

“OK. Who’s blood is this?”, I blurt out with a sense of sarcasm.

… ??

More screams.

… ??

Wait a minute.

What’s that in Jane’s hand?

Is that..?

No way.

Wholly SH#T. Jane has a knife in her hand.

“The blood is YOURS! She cut your throat. Your bleeding from your neck!!!!!!”, a voice from the crowd cries out hysterically.

Now, I’m no idiot. I know the inner workings of the human body. I’m pretty well versed in what anatomical structures are located in the neck.

I know I’m still breathing. I’m not chocking. Not having any trouble moving air.

???

At the same time Jane is tackled by a single employee from behind. Then another, then another. And then more. It takes close to 5 people to get her down.

I put my hand on my neck.. and sure enough … nothing but blood.



Yep. It’s a true story. I was attacked from behind with a swiss army knife by an employee of mine, in front of approximately 20 people. She sliced my neck almost from ear to ear.

Here are the finer points of the story:

- she used a very dull and old swiss army knife

- she did not use the blade side of the knife and drag it across my neck to cut me. She used the knife in a stabbing motion and scraped the tip of the knife across the length of my neck

- she never spent a night in jail. She had a psychiatric evaluation. Her medications were adjusted. And that’s the last thing I was told (Please don’t ask.. I don’t know what the heck happen concerning her lawful conviction)

- Yes, I have a Keloid scar that has taken 7 yrs to slowly diminish on my neck. (The intent of the ED physician was to use the smallest/thinnest suture possible so to NOT leave a scar, and it did the exact opposite)

-The only entertaining piece of all this was that when the 911 call was made. All the EMS arrived expecting to see a decapitated man. And I mean ALL of the EMS. For the small town I was in, I think I counted 4 Ambulances and 6 marked Police and 2 unmarked Police cars.


There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about that day. It changed my life. We always whine and complain about some of the most ridiculous things in life that seem so very important at the time. Everything from being late for work, being stuck in traffic, having to wait in line in the grocery store, having a poor wait staff wait on you at the restaurant, or having to sit in coach for a 4hr flight… the list is endless. Everyone hates having a bad day.

I touched on my theory about life and how bad your day really was in a previous blog post: Blinking & Breathing, I can’t complain.

I’m not perfect. I do have stress in my life. I do have those ‘Pull out your hair’ moments and those “all I wanna do is scream” moments. But I’m always grounded and reminded by my profession and by my past that maybe you and/or I not having THAT bad of a day.

September 15th is my Re-Birthday. I was given a second chance at life. For some strange reason, I survived that incident. I will never know why. I questioned it for a long time, and never got the answer I wanted until I realized there was no answer. I’m here. I’m staying here. I’m not going anywhere. And while I’m here, I’m making the most of my stay.

Here’s what scares me sometimes when I think about my attack.

As an employee for the retail store I worked for, each employee is issued a box cutter. The only reason I’m still here is because Jane had bad aim, and a dull swiss army knife.

What if she would have used the box cutter instead of her swiss army knife?

Nope.

I don’t have bad days anymore.

Carpe Diem

Via Happy Re-Birthday To Me | My Strong Medicine

Last summer we moved to a new city. With the move came new friends. When my face was still new, I had a friend comment on my ‘positivity’ and being ‘always happy’. I told her there was a story behind my obsessive passion for being happy, but that I’d it to her later. I plan on sharing this post with her (Thanks Allison).

This is the reason I’m always positive. Why I greet every morning with my:

“Gewwwwwwd morning”

I get to be here another day.

Many great things have happened to me since that scary day.

I became a Registered Nurse, I met and married my soul mate, and now I’m working as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, a job I truly love. I’ve re-kindled my love for teaching as well as coaching. My love for exercise and fitness has blossomed into becoming a CF-L1 Trainer at my new CrossFit gym. They truly are my extended family.

I’m not too sure where I’d be today had I not gone ‘under the knife’ so-to-speak. I can admit that I wouldn’t have the abundance of happiness I possess now. What I do know is that I took a tragic, frightening and possibly life-paralyzing event and turned it into something positive. Positive for me, and hopefully positive for anyone who’s around me.

This might sound a bit cliche’… or it might sound a bit phony.. but I needed someone to try and steal my most prize possession (my life) for me to truly appreciate its merit. And for that, I couldn’t be happier.

Thank you all for being a part of my life.

Only silence. I have not forgotten.

9/11: A Day In History We Will Never Forget

It’s been 13 years. While I was not near any of the attacks, and I was not part of the service at the time. But, just like so many other Americans, I can still remember that day vividly.

May those who lost their lives, rest in peace. And those who have survived and lost loved ones, a heart felt thank you. I have not forgotten. Many of us have not forgotten.

 

Image source: http://elitedaily.com/life/culture/911-day-history-forget/

Lessons from a Year as Just a Nurse

Sean.Dent:

Beautifully written blog about lessons learned as a first year nurse. Worth the read for all levels of nursing!!!

“Learning to go with the flow has been a valuable lesson …..watching the nurses who have burnt out early versus those with impressive staying power seems to be highly correlated with their ability to let things go without getting bent out of shape over it”

“I have learned that I am never, ever alone.”

“Teamwork works, and it is often so natural in this environment that it goes unnoticed.”

“if you focus on the glory of what you do going to someone else you won’t miss it if it isn’t there”

“There’s a big difference between wanting recognition for the nursing profession and recognition for your self, as a nurse. Don’t mess with the latter, its risky business and can lead you down a slippery slope…… What matters instead, is that you learn to not find your worth in what you do based on the praise you receive for it.”

Originally posted on According to Kateri; a Blog:

I learned a lot in Kindergarten, but unfortunately, and contrary to popular belief, I didn’t learn everything. It felt like I learned a lot in nursing school, but it still wasn’t enough. I have learned a lot in nursing, in my years thus far of being a nurse at the bedside. But most of all, I have learned exponentially more than I would have imagined in a year of open dialogue with nurses; from nursing students to seasoned nurses. Burnt-out nurses to those still full of naïve passion. These are some of the most valuable lessons I learned and applied in the past year.

Don’t cry over spilled…

Poop. They say don’t cry over spilled milk, but I have worked in NICUs and PICUs and I can tell you that a drop, an ounce, a whole frozen milksicle of hard earned maternal breast milk is certainly worth crying over…

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