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How Do You Explain?

I’ve updated the sidebar links again. My loooovely husband got me my Image Manipulation Program of Choice for Christmas and it’s been so very nice playing around with it again. I’ve added some blogs, deleted some, and in checking to make sure the links work, I’ve noticed that some of your blogs underwent a makeover. So if the mood struck, I went ahead and redesigned your button.

As always, if you don’t like your button please feel free to make one of your own and I’ll replace it. You need to stick it in a .jpg file that’s 90 pixels x 25 pixels. Yeah, it’s small.

Here’s a story submission from “traumanurse,” and she sent it almost an entire year ago:

I am a fun-loving person. I work in a Level One trauma unit. We have a lot of fun as all the RN’s and MD’s are great people and we make a great team. This helps a lot with all the drama in trauma.

We have a few resus’ every week. And these are fine – training and adrenalin take over and we actually manage to maintain a sense of humor before, during and after- but it’s going home that gets me.

How do I explain to my small children that I am not a mommy right the moment I get home? That I need a couple of minutes to myself just to become a mommy again? I am the highly professional person that has just witnessed the life seep away from someone’s husband, father, child, and now I have to be the referee in the fighting, dish up equal portions and put Barbie’s shoes on- so they stop slipping off. I think is the main reason I prefer night shift is because you get home when everyone is asleep – so I can do mindless things like water the garden or feed the cats – or just sit and stare into space.

To explain to a non-medical person what it’s like is very difficult. In a resus- it is not a human being. It is not someone’s dad. It is an airway, a chest, a blip on the ECG; a vein to put a drip up. A pupil that may or may not react to light. These are the patients that you leave behind when you go home – nonsensical and they don’t haunt your dreams. It’s the ones that grab your hand, that make you look at them, that make you SEE them, who make it difficult. How do you explain this to your five year old? That fine line between life and death. That fight to keep someone from going to the “light.” There is no light in the trauma unit/ICU – there is only the adrenaline taking over – the clear instructions, there is no pain – no emotion – until it’s over. Until someone said those words: “time of death”.

How do I explain this?


I’ve sometimes found it very difficult to come home and act as though something emotionally earth shattering hadn’t just happened. Sometimes it’s hard to get back to “life” because whatever has your brain scrambled won’t leave your thoughts. Sometimes I’ve found that it’s because it doesn’t feel right to go back to normal life. After witnessing and being a part of a profound moment in someone’s life, it feels like you literally have to take some time and process it and honor it in a way before you can get back to your normal life.

I usually take the drive home as an opportunity to absorb events that happen at work. Sometimes it takes me a lot longer – days, even. There are some situations at work that still haunt me years later. I have a feeling it’s like that for almost everyone.

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5 Years Old – Happy Blogirthday!

As of this week, I’ve been blogging here at codeblog for 5 years.

I know I’m not the most updative poster. I know I only post a few times a month, if that. But I still love being a blogger, and I love knowing that codeblog is here when I want to write.

This blog has been mentioned in Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal (couldn’t find a link to that), and Nurseweek.

I’ve hosted Grand Rounds four times.

I still remember starting… My husband and I spent all day coding the site. Well, it was mostly him doing the coding – I just told him what colors I wanted and how I wanted things to look. :) Here’s the very first post.

Who knew it would still be here in 2007? Happy Blogirthday to me!

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Grand Rounds and Button Poll Results

Grand Rounds was hosted this week by Rickety Contrivances of Doing Good.

The results of the button poll are in! Over 90% of you voted to keep the buttons. I was kind of surprised! So I guess they’re stayin – sorry to the 9% of you who are tired of them. :)

Now. Who’s got an extra copy of Photoshop laying around? :)

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The Button Poll

Off to the right there, you’ll see that I’ve chosen to do my blogroll in the form of little buttons for each blog. There used to be a few buttons, and now there are a million.

Does it take my page forever to load because of them? My image editing software died on me (long story), it costs way too much right now to get a new version, and I stubbornly refuse to use anything else. Old dog/new tricks and all that.

So tell me what you think of the buttons. If ya’ll like them, I’ll figure out a way to make them. If you think they’re goofy, I’ll probably go back to using text links for the blogroll.

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Who Are You?

I’ve been taking a little break from blogging. However, I have a question… Looking through referrers, I keep seeing “http://blackboard.umaryland.ed…=default&nav=discussion_board2.” I cannot log in to your little discussion board, so would one or two of you who ARE on the board please tell me just what you’re all talking about?? :-)

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My husband worked some more on the definitions feature, so now it’s working again! (Go ahead – try it – PEG!) I also added a few more links to the side and did a bit of re-arranging. (According to color, of course. We can’t have all the blue icons clumped together.) (ABG!)

A few blogs that I’ve found interesting as of late: Blogborygmi, which is described by Doc Shazam here.

Then there’s The Helix, which is written by “a final year [med] student studying medicine at Melbourne University in Australia.” (BP!) I came across Veshland today and liked it so much I immediately added it. I gather that he’s an MD that works in Urgent Care (which isn’t supposed to be called Urgent Care, apparently). Also in the Urgent-Care-or-Whatever-It’s-Called biz is Enoch from medmusings, a fellow Bay Area medblogger.

Lastly, there is Ipecac Aperitif, which is written by a teacher friend of mine, and I added Lisa’s Learning the Lessons Of Nixon, which I started reading recently. (IABP!)

A rare weekday day off has come my way, so I’m off to make the most of it. (beta-blocker!)

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It’s Official

I had some trouble coming up with the name of this blog, believe it or not. I still wonder sometimes if it’s fitting, but it’s not like I’m going to go changing it now. What I did change, however, is its’ home. Tilegarden (so named because I do mosaics) is the address of our personal blog, and codeblog became an extension of that. Now codeblog has been moved to its’ very own domain, codeblog.com.

You can change the address in your RSS thingies, or not. My extremely patient and talented husband has made it so that, through a maze of redirects and such, the RSS feeds for tilegarden should still work. This also allows any codeblog links from other sites to remain un-rotted. For now, anyway.

There are a few new features as well… a little search engine, and we’re working on getting the “keep reading…” to just expand on the page instead of going to a new page (Thanks to SeaDoc for that idea, as well as the idea of doing the same with comments. Not that you came up with it, but that’s where I saw it first.) I believe it works with everything but Safari for now.

The definitions won’t work for a few more days, but they’ll be back. Anyway, that’s all. Thanks for reading n stuff. :)

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Best of codeblog

You may have noticed that I have been away. I’m a Mrs. Geena, RN now!! :-) Not surprisingly, I assumed that I would have just a few minutes here and there during wedding preparations to post story submissions during the time I was gone… And not surprisingly, I found that it was an impossible goal to achieve during all the hustle and bustle. Actually, this blog became lower than the lowest priority. It wasn’t even on the list. :-)

Now that I’m back, irregular posting will resume!

So. Who wants to see a picture?!?

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We’ve added a little feature to Codeblog – definitions! I realize that some people that read this site may be laypeople and might not know what CVP’s or NG’s are. Hopefully, your browser will have dottedly underlined “CVP” and “NG.” If you find a word that is underlined, I have defined it. To get to the definition, just put your cursor over the word and wait a second. The definition should magically appear!

Unfortunately, my very own browser doesn’t support this yet. Apple’s Safari is relatively new, though, so hopefully it will in the future. It seemed to work with Internet Explorer and Mozilla. Let me know in the comments if it doesn’t work for you and what your browser is. Not that I’ll be able to do anything about it, but… I can go ahead and commiserate with you! I’d also love some feedback as to whether it’s helpful.

Lastly, feel free to go to “submit your story” to e-mail me with anything else that’s on your mind. I love to explain things and teach, so although I can’t diagnose or explain your symptoms, I can explain why some ICU’s don’t allow flowers or plants in patient rooms (because we want all the flowers out at the desk where we can see them!) or why gurneys are so uncomfortable (oops… actually I can’t help you out there).

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  • profileI am Gina. I have been a nurse for 15 years, first in med/surg, then CVICU, inpatient dialysis, CCU and now hospice. This blog is about my experiences as a nurse, and the experiences of others in the healthcare system - patients, nurses, doctors, paramedics. We all have stories!

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