Friday, July 31, 2015

D Day

This is last day of employment!  I couldn't sleep last night because I had to replay 28 years in my head all night.  I just remembered every little thing that I have experienced here through the years.  So, I'm tired!

First person I talked to this morning after I arrived was my best friend Linda.  She was already crying and of course that put me into the ugly cry.   Linda is about 13 years my junior but we've been close friends over 25 years.  Originally she worked on the evening shift and we didn't meet until someone told her call me for twin advice.  She had 2 year old twin girls at the time.  I got a call and heard this young woman sniffling on the other end of the line.  She told me who she was and then started crying.  She said, "I have two year old twins and I don't even know if I like them."  I had to not laugh out loud.  I assured her that there would be many times she wouldn't know if she liked them but she would always love them!  Then I reminded her that she had never been the mother of 2 year old twins before and she should give herself a little slack.

We've been best friends ever since.

Those twins of hers are beautiful grown women.  One is an RN and the other a Physician's Assistant.  They have both made Linda a grandmother.  Great Girls!

I have some wonderful friends here at the hospital!  I will miss them all!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

My days are numbered

Well, I can't believe it but tomorrow is my last day of employment.  After almost 28 years here and 50 years of working I will be a lady of leisure!  I have lots of things planned for my retirement.  I'm just wondering if I'll have time to do them all.

My childhood friend sent me some lovely flowers today.  I almost shed my first tears.  Tomorrow they are holding a retirement party at 2:00 pm and I'm afraid the tears will come then.  It is hard to say good-bye to the many friends I have made here.  They truly are my work family!

The first time I came here  I was 7 years old.  I came with a dance group and we danced for the patients. I never forgot that experience.  When I came to work here in 1987 I knew it was meant to be.  

I've seen so many children's lives changed because of the treatment they received here.  Services have expanded considerably since the hospital was founded in 1948.  In it's beginning it was an inpatient hospital only.  We now provide outpatient services as well as therapeutic services in schools throughout Oklahoma.  We have served almost all of the 77 counties in the state.

 It's a happy place to be!

 Just some of the great people I work with.  I'm right behind the lady in the back in the pink shirt and next to the young man on the right in the white shirt.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Beverly Hillbillies

I'm not a very big fan of our Governor, Mary Fallin.  She refused to expand Medicaid in our state resulting in huge provider cuts to the state's most vulnerable citizens.  She's always telling people to "get a job".  She snubbed the President when he came to tour the damage from the May 3rd tornadoes.  I just don't have anything good to say about her.  

But yesterday it came to the attention of taxpayers that her adult daughter has been living in a 5th wheel attached to the Governor's mansion since April.  I guess it is ok for the people of Oklahoma to pay her daughter's utilities but all those other lazy freeloaders need to "get a job".  It also came to light that her adult stepson is living in an apartment over the garage as well.  What a hypocrite!
Classy ain't it?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Stirring the Pot

Sometimes I like to throw something out on Facebook that I know will just cause my conservative Oklahoma friends to start salivating.  Gun reform is one of the hottest topics that really brings out the rednecks around here.  

Yesterday because it was my birthday and because I frankly love to stir the pot I decided to initiate another discussion on gun reform so I posted this:
Every time another shooting occurs in this country at the hands of a mentally unstable person the internet lights up about how the government is going to try and confiscate everyone’s guns. That’s ridiculous and impossible. That’s just the rhetoric fed to people to divert them from considering any reasonable form of gun control. 

First of all I can’t believe anyone would object to trying to keep guns out of the hands of mentally ill people. I have had my own personal experience with this issue. I have a family member who was able to purchase not one but two handguns within 2 days after his release from a 2 month inpatient stay in a psychiatric hospital. Because of the diligence of my family we were able to immediately remove the weapons from his home in order to keep him as well as others safe. But we could use a little help. We need better laws to prevent this. Providing better services for the mentally ill is a completely separate issue. Let’s just start by not arming them!

I have no desire to disarm America I just want people to assume the liability along with their decision to own and keep guns in their home. For example, if you have a person with a history of mentally illness in your home and that person injures or God forbid kills someone with your weapon, you should be held legally liable for that act. If a child gets hold of a weapon in your possession and shoots or kills himself or others you should be held criminally liable. This is not about the Second Amendment or about a citizen’s right to bear arms. This is about the responsibilities that come with that right. This is about adults’ responsibility to keep children and others safe. After all, the right of children to live without fear and danger supersedes a Constitutional right to bear arms.

For goodness sake we put gates around swimming pools to keep children from drowning. We put safety caps on medications to keep children from poisoning themselves. Like bodies of water and colorful pills, a gun is what the law of torts calls “an attractive nuisance.” In other words, guns present a unique allure for children, especially for boys. For that reason, and because children are naturally curious and impulsive, and because it has been shown time and again that we cannot “gun-proof” them with education, we have a responsibility to keep guns out of the hands of children and the mentally ill.

Yesterday I read that the NRA  spends 66 times what the Brady Campaign spends on lobbying, and 4,143 times what the Brady Campaign spends on campaign contributions. Between 2011 and 2013 the NRA spent at least $24.28 million: $16.83 million through its political action committee, plus $7.45 million through its affiliated Institute for Legislative Action.  They are definitely efficient at convincing gun owners that the government is out to take their weapons which immediately makes them oppose anything and everything.  

What sane individual supports limiting what doctors can ask their patients about firearms in the home?  This was the provision the NRA forced to be included in the Affordable Care Act.  While the provision doesn't forbid doctors from asking about guns, it prohibits health care workers from collecting that information, documenting it and using it for research.

In Florida they went a step further and would actually penalize doctors if they ask their patients about whether they own a gun, in most cases.  Gun-rights advocates, including the NRA, have raised concerns about tracking this data, including the possibility that acknowledging legal gun ownership could bring higher insurance premiums.
Personally I think that the decision to own a firearm should come with the increased liability.  Higher insurance premiums would be just part of the deal.  You assume the risk you assume the responsibility.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Birthday Weekend

Well, I celebrated my birthday all weekend.  I spent Saturday doing chores and shopping for tennis shoes for Mike.  Then Ron and I had sushi with my daughter.  Sunday we spent the whole day at my daughter's house having lunch and then swimming all afternoon.  Mike loves celebrating any occasion and yesterday was no exception.  

Today is actually my birthday and it didn't start out as good as I would want.  Mike called me at 5:30 am to ask me if he should put something in the refrigerator.  I'm afraid I lost my patience with him which wasn't very nice on my part.  I just got frustrated.  I'm asked the same things over and over and sometimes I think he doesn't even try to think for himself.  It just gives him another excuse to call me.  I called him back when I got to work an apologized for being cranky.  I told him I was just cranky because I'm older today.  He laughed at that and I told him we were just going to rewind the day and start over.

I'm on the countdown now.  Only 5 days until retirement.  It is bittersweet.........!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Steel Magnolias

Yesterday after work three of my co-workers and I went to visit a former co-worker who is home recovering from a double mastectomy.  We went bearing gifts of food, flowers and a pair of cute new pajamas in an effort to bring some cheer to an otherwise stressful and anxiety ridden situation.  When we arrived we found our friend looking amazingly good considering what she had just been through.  Her news was positive that all the cancer had been removed and she will not have to undergo chemotherapy or radiation.  This was a huge relief to her and now she only has to heal and go through one more reconstructive surgery before she resumes life as before.

What I love about women is how  so many immediately respond to another when a crisis occurs.  Whether it is an illness, death, or any other life event women just intuitively know that sometimes just "being there"  is all that is required.  We feed from each others strength when we have none and there is strength in numbers.  Just makes me proud to be a woman.

When I got home I was greeted by my daughter Julie.  She came over to have me edit the art curriculum she has been developing.   She has created lessons using Power Point so that other teachers can teach the lessons she has been teaching over the years without having a degree in art.  I was absolutely fascinated as she took me through lessons on Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Cubism, mandalas, how to get into right brain all geared to inspire these young budding artists.  What really fascinated me was the fact that it is written for five year old's but at the same time the content is not "dumbed" down.  She uses words like perspective, symmetrical, landscape, etc. but she said the children absorb it all like a sponge.  They learn the meaning of these words and how to use them to describe their art and their surroundings.  I learned so much myself!

 The drawings above were done by 5 year olds!  Julie created a drawing lesson on Power Point and the kids created their own drawings of a bicycle.  They use the tools they learn drawing the bicycle to go on and create original drawings of their own.  I was really impressed!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Yesterday's News

Ok, I realize this is yesterday's news but I was thinking about it over the weekend and I read some really nasty comments online about the Arthur Ash Courage award going to Kaitlyn Jenner.   Let me say right off the bat I watched the ESPY awards for the first time because I wanted to see Kaitlyn Jenner receive the award.  I was curious.  I wanted to hear what she had to say.  The moment they called her name I could see her nervousness but she went on to deliver what I thought was an eloquent speech and clearly she was trying to educate and inform the public about transgenderism.  

Now there seems to be a lot of disagreement as to what constitutes courage.  People referred to Jenner online as an "it" and undeserving of such an award.  Maybe they don't know that much about Arthur Ashe for whom the courage award is dedicated.

Arthur Ashe was the first African American to win the men's singles at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, and the first black American to be ranked No. 1 in the world.

When Ashe learned that he had contracted AIDS via a blood transfusion  he initially kept the news hidden from the public. But in 1992, Ashe came forward with the news after he learned that USA Today was working on a story about his health battle. Finally free from the burden of trying to hide his condition, (sound familiar?)  Ashe poured himself into the work of raising awareness about the disease. He delivered a speech at the United Nations, started a new foundation, and laid the groundwork for a $5 million fundraising campaign for the institution.  He turned his efforts to raising awareness of the disease, before finally succumbing to it on February 6, 1993.

I don't know about anyone else but I see some similarities between Ashe's story and Jenner's.  There was a lot of stigma associated with aids at the time Ashe was diagnosed but  he chose to use his public image in an attempt to educate people about the disease. 

Arthur Ashe described heroism this way, " True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost." 

I believe he would not have objected to this year's recipient of the award named in his honor.