Fresh air

I loved the feeling of freedom in running, the fresh air, the feeling that the only person I’m competing with is me. -Wilma Rudolph, four time olympic gold medal runner

Wilma is one smart cookie, and could not be more right–fresh air rocks. After working two fourteen hour days at the hospital, the sun is shining, the air is crisp, and despite only getting four hours of sleep last night, the place where I want to be is outside. And, of course, the place I currently live is not the most friendly running area–some roads have no shoulder whatsoever, the cars drive fast, and since I’ve been here, have found it hard to find places to run (biking is another story). Due to this dilemma, I’ve been traveling across the river (the big ol’ Hudson river) to Ulster County, and the New York State Park’s and Preserves over there. I’ve spent many hours in the Catskills and Shawangunk Mountains, running and climbing.

I find trail running more enticing than simply running along a road passing cars, not because I tend to trip over roots and rocks quicker than you can say 1-2-3, but because I find trail running more challenging. When you run in the woods, it’s just you, bugs, bears and rattlesnakes, and the trees. No toxic car fumes to inhale–only the sweet, pure air of Upstate New York.


If you are serious about trail running, it might be a good idea to look into shoes that are designed for trails. These running sneakers are sturdier than road shoes, waterproof (usually Goretex), and may have a reinforced toe, to save your toes from all the rocks you kick and trip over. I personally have Salomon’s XA Pro 3D Ultra for my trail runs and let me tell you, you can trip and fall over all the rocks and roots you want, and your toes will be intact by the end of the two-hour fall-fest. Plus, they have the elastic laces. So if you are lazy like me, just tug on the elastic and presto–the shoes are snug around your foot!

Praise be to the inventor of the trail running shoe.

Swiss Army Knife

“You’re like the Swiss Army knife of nursing.”

My friend once compared critical care nursing to swiss army  knives: the critical care nurse is trained to do basically, everything. The critical care nurse is trained in telemetry, may be required to make life and death decisions until a physician appears, acts as a PACU nurse, and knows how to manipulate minute details that can change a patient’s condition. The nurse acts a patient advocate as most patients are vented, sedated, and unable to speak up for themselves, is there with the family when the patient does not make it.  The ICU nurse is expected to be able to float to other areas of the hospital- the ER, med-surg floors, same day surgery, and have atleast some idea of what to do. She pushes medications during resuscitation when a patient is coding, may be needed to make life/death decisions if no physicians are available.

The ICU nurse is able to juggle a post-op patient whose condition is deteriorating faster than you can count to twenty, another patient who has both an ALine and CVP monitoring and on drips to keep their blood pressure from plummeting, and deal with the psychiatric patient arousing after being given Narcan, trying to escape from the floor, and  starting fights with the biggest male nurses on staff. The ICU nurse is on her feet for 13, or 14 hours, helping his or her fellow colleagues when they need a hand, and chugs a mug full of stale coffee at 1800, thinking it tastes “fabulous and fresh” becasuse she or he has not had an hydration since coming on in the morning. The ICU nurse is rarely heard complaining, is not afraid to ask for help or speak up, and is a vital member of the team. What do you need? Alcohol pads? Tape? Scissors? Flushes? Gauze? Flashlight? Stopcocks? Ask me–I have my pockets stocked with supplies.

He was right. A critical care nurse is the Swiss Army knife of nurses.

…And that’s what I am.

When was the last crazy post written?

August 2010

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