Posts tagged ‘health’

April 30, 2013

April is the cruellest month

by ada

Another two-books-month, it seems it’s my new standard; but this time I have some really good excuses:

  1. I watched movies instead: all the ten seasons of Friends (don’t judge me. 7 seasons just happened somehow while I was down with 38°C fever five days long) and the six episodes of Sherlock. Maybe it’s a sign that I finally became “normal”: instead of reading music treatises written in the 16th century and enjoying it as I used to do before the depression*, I’m watching TV series and enjoying it like “normal people” do. (I don’t even miss reading music treatises. I’m losing my brain. I need help. Help!) 
  2. I worked a lot
  3. I visited my family two times (those 6 hours long train rides are made for reading books watching movies)
  4. I became unemployed and homeless (again)**

As you see, I was sort of busy in April, haha.

* my life is now divided into two parts: there were the times Before Depression (let’s call it BD) and now here are the times After Depression (AD). The two parts of my life have nothing to do with each other. They don’t even resemble each other. I will end up with split personality, I’m quite sure.

** actually, I didn’t remained unemployed as long as I hoped for***: I accepted an offer today and will start on a metabolic ward soon

*** my secret dream was spending months doing nothing

April books

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March 4, 2013

conversations with my coworkers – part 5

by ada

Neighbouring ward at 3.30 am. I’m helping out the night shift nurse, a tough German guy with a slight air of brutality around him.

me (trying to do some small talk): So, and how is it in Germany? Who does the washing, dayshift or nightshift?

coworker: You are not allowed to wash the patients during the night! It’s against the laws!

me: What laws?

coworker: The sleeping laws! (Opens the door of a room with a crash and turns the lights on. All three patients in the room wake up startled.)

me: (confused): Well, in Hungary we do wash them during the night, because during the day you really lack the time for it.

coworker (slams the door. All the doors on the ward resonate. The patients look like they had just got shocked): But you are in the EU! Report them!

me (amused): EU? Hahaha! It’s Hungary, man, it’s not “the EU”! Whom should I report anyway? The whole Hungarian Health Care System? To whom?

coworker (gets really excited): Patients have the right to sleep! (Hearing this, the patients try to hide under their blankets.)

me (trying to get him calm down while hearing how other patients begin to wake up in the neighbouring rooms): Okay, okay, they do, they do.

coworker (start to shout very loud while tearing brutally the blanket off one of the patients): THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO SLEEP! THEY CAN REPORT YOU IF YOU WAKE THEM UP!

me (cautiously): Well, you are waking them up right now.

coworker (yells at the totally terrified patient who tries to get his blanket back): DON’T MOVE! (turns to me) I NEVER WAKE ANYBODY UP!

me: What if we just do the job quickly and then I just go back to my own ward?

January 24, 2013

how to make traditional duck gribenes

by ada

Don’t worry, there’s no danger of me becoming a food blogger. Actually, I’m painfully low-maintenance when it comes to food. Before going paleo you could find me eating pasta and tomato sauce on six days a week without getting bored with it. It’s not that I don’t like a good meal, because I rather do, but I just don’t have that big interest in food, neither in eating nor in producing. Let’s put it this way: if somebody else cooks delicious things for me, I happily eat them. If nobody cooks for me, I don’t miss it.

Since switching to the paleo diet I became a bit more interested in what I eat, or, well, at least in the health side of the story. I try to cook every day and eat a variety of foods I didn’t try before. That’s how I ended up with a whole duck (for half price) yesterday, and since our homemade goose gribenes is one of my favourite food since childhood, I decided to give a try to the duck version. And I did what every girl does when in trouble: called my mother for the recipe. They turned out really yummy, but really, I mean, really YUMMY. So I dedicate this post to document this very culinary success of mine (which are oh so very rare, haha.)

Since English is not my first language (not even the second, in fact), I wasn’t able to figure out what’s the proper English word for gribenes. “Cracklings”? “Greaves”? I really don’t feel the difference. One thing is sure: it’s not “pork rinds”, because, well , it’s not pork it’s made of.

Take a duck (goose, chicken are optional), pull its skin off and together with its fat, cut it into small pieces.

duck fat

Put it in a pot with one tablespoon water under it and cook it really slow for about three hours. Don’t cover the pot. If you live in an open space apartment where kitchen, living room and bedroom share the same twenty square metres (like I do), be anxious to close your wardrobe doors, put your coats outside and open the windows. Otherwise you will end up smelling like a giant piece of roasted duck (like I did), which may be appetising for your cat but rather embarrassing for the humans you meet later during the day.

duck fat

While it cooks, it looks like this:

duck gribenes

Later on:

duck gribenes

When the pieces are crispy enough not to make funny noises when pushing them to the side of the pot, you can pour the fat in glass containers and put it in the fridge to cool. So does it look when it’s still warm:

duck fat

And so it does when already solid:

duck fat

The gribenes look like this:

duck gribenes

I mean, like this!

duck gribenes

Eat them when they are still warm and crispy, with bread spread with the fresh duck fat, with fresh spring onions with salt. Or eat them as a snack.

duck gribenes

Well, after writing this post I feel like I’m one of those big paleo bloggers with ten thousands of subscribers who create amazing gluten-free recipes, make homemade coconut deodorants and share their experiences of going no ‘poo. Only that those big paleo bloggers would never eat that occasional slice of bread I still do sometimes, ehem.

duck gribenes

January 22, 2013

conversations with my coworkers – part 4

by ada

Three weeks ago:

coworker1 (calling me exactly 20 minutes before the beginning of her day shift): I’m sorry but I can’t work today, I feel so sick, I’m staying at home today.

me: Oh, you poor one! It’s okay, don’t worry, we will find somebody instead of you, just take care of yourself and get better!

Two weeks ago:

coworker2 (addresses me in the middle of his day shift): I’m going home now, I feel sick, I can’t work anymore today.

me: Oh, you poor one! It’s okay, don’t worry, we will find somebody instead of you, just take care of yourself and get better!

Yesterday:

me (calling the nurse on duty on the previous day of my day shift, giving exactly thirteen hours for her to find somebody to work instead of me): I’m sorry I’m sick so I can’t come tomorrow.

coworker3: Oh no! How will I find somebody else? Why do you call me so late? Why didn’t you told me that already yesterday?

me: Well, yesterday I still felt fine.

coworker3: Can’t you really come tomorrow?

me: I’m sorry but I’m throwing up all the time, I don’t think I’ll manage to work thirteen hours in this condition…

coworker3: How long will you be sick?

me: I really don’t know, sorry…

coworker3: But you sure come on Wednesday?

me: I don’t know…

coworker3: On Thursday? On Friday?

me: I will try to do my best not to throw up on Friday…

coworker3 (in a plaintive manner): What shall I do now? How shall I find someone instead of you? How long will you be sick? Why didn’t you call me earlier?

me (already pretty nervous and wondering about this interesting phenomenon of the complete lack of empathy in health care professionals): I’m soooo sorry for not getting sick one day earlier!

December 29, 2012

365/344

by ada

I started the day at my father’s hospital, asking doctors rhetorical questions like where do you think we are, in the film The Cuckoo’s Nest?*; continued running amok to catch my train, travelled six hours back to Salzburg and arrived with an only 30 minutes delay to my twelve-hours-long night-shift. This is my personally developed guide on how to live on 24 hours a day.

* no, it’s not a psychiatry ward for ordinary criminals but it could easily be mistaken for it if it comes to the attitude of the personal. Their main policy is: your patient is your enemy. My relationship with them is now the following: I hate them and they hate me. I spent the last 10 days with throwing tantrums daily and accusing nurses and doctors with dilettantism and murder. None of them will ever know that I’m a genuinely nice person who was brought up to be polite and forthcoming even with her own killers.

344

November 27, 2012

365/332

by ada

Emptying my pocket in the evening. Today I managed not to take home with me the a) master key b) thermometer c) duty phone d) schedule 1 narcotics; so I’m free to go to sleep in peace, and that’s exactly what I will do in five minutes.

November 12, 2012

365/316

by ada

First I discovered that my patient cut the tubing of his Foley-catheter through and the balloon was still inside.

Then, when I was leisurely changing a decubitus dressing just 30 minutes before the end of my shift, my boss asked me to fill out a preoperative questionnaire for another patient. This simple act required an hour of hysterical flipping-through about 200 pages of documentation searching for hidden information like cerebral episodes that happened 32 years ago and old laboratory values nobody will ever need because they do a new test anyway.

On my way home I met an excited group of people running up and down the corridors, searching for signs of how God literally heals people in the 21st Century.

Except of these special moments, the day was quite peaceful, with the usual blood sugar crises, blood pressure crises, violent combats between distinguished old ladies and the continually presence of various sorts of body fluids in overflowing quantity, literally everywhere.

I managed to take the usual dinner photo before passing out.

November 8, 2012

365/313

by ada

Is it only me who thinks that right after finally finishing my thirteen-hours long shift, an obligatory 90-minutes workshop about the health care management projects of the year 2015* is totally cruel and unfair?

Sorry for the terrible photo, but well, you know how it is. I just got brainwashed by people in black suits lecturing on management project structures in German language**; all this after changing colostomy bags full of sh*t thirteen hours long. I don’t even know anymore what button to push to produce a photo.

* 2015! not this year or next year, no, 2015! I don’t know where will I be in the year 2015 but definitely not here

** I tell you, everything sounds twice so complicated if told in German. They are just crazy for words that have at least eleven syllables***

*** I have a pretty good German, but there comes a point when nothing makes sense anymore

November 7, 2012

conversations with my coworkers – part 2

by ada

coworker1: Why don’t you eat bread?

me: Because gluten erases intestinal villi made of epithelial cells and makes the gut wall permeable, causes a leaky gut syndrome and increases inflammation levels. All that leads to diseases based on the failure of the immune system and on an autoimmune response.

coworker1 (looks perplexed)

coworker2: Gluten is healthy.

me: No, it isn’t. As it was pointed out in several studies…

coworker2 (interrupting my words): Gluten is healthy. I saw a dietitian speaking about it on TV yesterday.

me: Oh well. You know how it is with dietitians…

coworker2: It is true, because it was on TV.

me (looking perplexed and having dark thoughts about the present state of education for health care professionals and the future of the human race): Oh well. Forget it. I don’t eat bread because I want to lose weight.

October 30, 2012

365/304

by ada

Cute little pill I had to administer today. 

October 27, 2012

365/301

by ada

Today with a coworker of mine we visited the annual nursing fair.

October 23, 2012

365/297

by ada

Today we had CPR-refreshing training, which is obligatory every two years. I badly needed it, I guess. Last time I resuscitated someone we still used 4:1 ratio and tracheal tubes with balloon after checking carotid pulse. How time flies.

October 10, 2012

P.S. to 284

by ada

Hey, I didn’t realise before posting that it’s World Mental Health Day today, dedicated to the theme of depression. Life is full of funny coincidences.

I met so many trolls and idiots during the past year who all claimed that clinical depression doesn’t exist or is only an imaginative excuse for people who want to live their life easier and without taking any responsibility, and we, who suffer from it just simply have a weak personality without any willpower (or, better, we are all egoists who don’t want to get better) (because we feel good being depressed) that I’m extremely thankful seeing that, outside in the big world, still do such people exist who own some common sense.

Thank you, WHO.

October 10, 2012

365/284

by ada

I should look for a new workplace very soon. I’m aware of the fact that there is no such thing as a perfect workplace but it’s just not what I want, that’s quite clear. Too much pointless frustration to endure without any reward and too much unnecessary competition based on compensating inferiority complexes. I’m definitely not happy here.*

* well, it’s still my Depression Year, so it would be sort of strange to feel good, haha**

** I’m pausing with 5-HTP right now because I just forgot to order it for a long time and then got curious how long does it take to feel myself miserable again. I don’t know if it’s this, or the weather***, or the fact that my life goes in a direction I don’t really like (or I’m just unconsciously celebrating the one-year-anniversary of the outbreak of the depression that ruined my life), but I actually feel like shit lately.

*** I love autumn but it’s really dangerous for me. My brain gets foggy every year, parallel to the weather, haha

September 16, 2012

365/258

by ada

Maybe it’s not that adequate, posting a photo of my work for today, because although I had another thirteen-hours long workday, I spent it mostly outside of the building with activities like visiting my GP, getting electrotherapy and having lunch break.

September 16, 2012

365/256

by ada

Getting physiotherapy. It didn’t help a bit.

September 15, 2012

365/253

by ada

For today I planned to visit the Fuschlsee but I felt so ill that I stayed home instead, reading Camilleri and cooking chicken soup, the obligatory health food and cure for all existential misery. Not that chicken soup makes back pain any better (not that anything makes it any better), but let’s pretend life does have any meaning.

September 9, 2012

365/248

by ada

That’s how the anatomy of my lower back looks like. Ideas for diagnosis and therapy are welcome. And yes, I’m aware of the fact that I have one more lumbar vertebra than normal people are supposed to have. I also have a spare flying rib that you can’t see on the picture. I’m not the least bothered by this fact. I’m originated from a nation whose ancient religion is based on the belief that having extra bones means having bonus points by the Gods and Spirits. I was born to be a shaman and I’m proud of it.

September 9, 2012

365/247

by ada

Well, that’s how romantic my life is right at this moment. I’m going to bed with hot water bottles (let me explain it. I’m on a sick leave because of some unidentified but terrifying pain in my lower back on the left side. I spent the day with getting pain-killing injections that didn’t help a bit. Hot water bottles are my only hope).

August 6, 2012

365/219

by ada

On days like today, when

  • I work thirteen hours without even having a lunch break
  • I wait two and a half hours for a doctor’s visit
  • after a whole day of glorious sunshine it starts raining exactly fifteen minutes before the end of my shift, so I have to bike home in ice-cold rain (again)
  • the bottom of the garbage bag tears itself away and I have to collect the organic, stinky remains of my last week meals and other nice things with my bare hands while rain pouring down on my face

well, on days like today the only thing that makes me feel like I’m still a human being, is food.

August 2, 2012

365/215

by ada

What I’m doing since a week is sending patients of mine to the ER because of acute life threatening conditions, and then receiving  them back after a few hours, because the ER have no free beds anymore. Already this game alone is exhausting enough, but the real problem is its main consequence, that I have a station full of emergency cases without having the necessary conditions to deal with the situation. Are really no fun, these days. No wonder that if the kitchen team sends cakes, I eat them. They immediately relieve stress (just to cause a feeling of guilt even so immediately and stomach ache a few hours later, haha).

July 14, 2012

365/196

by ada

On days like today, when it rains so hopelessly and desperately that I feel like it’s last summer again, I need a double dose of 5-HTP to stay sane, haha. These are my vitamins, minerals and fish oil capsules that keep me off of SSRI-s, à la Michael Ellsberg. Together with a low carb paleo-style diet they work quite decently. I wish people would stop speaking about soul and lack of willpower and weak personality where clinical depression is concerned. I wish people were just a bit more educated and a bit less stupid. Dealing with clinical depression is hard enough, there is really no need for treating us badly just because we are unlucky enough to have it.

June 19, 2012

365/171

by ada

Well, the Girl Who Had No Phone period of my life is over, I guess. Me, on duty.

June 18, 2012

365/170

by ada

Meet my new phone. I switched my old one off in October last year, when depression moved in into my life, and lived almost nine months without having one. And it was good. I didn’t miss being connected to the people I was connected to before. I lived outside of time and society. I wasn’t happy, because if you are dealing with clinical depression, you are rarely happy (I’m putting it nicely. Actually, if you are dealing with clinical depression, you feel like a tiny bit of sh*t. Later on you don’t feel anything anymore. It’s even worse). But I learnt a lot through being depressed, even if it isn’t worth it. Feeling bad and watching helplessly as your life is being wrecked, is never worth it. But, well, at least I can proudly call myself The Person Who Lived Without A Phone For Nine Months. I’m quite unique with it, I guess, at least here in Europe. Even my mother has one :o)

I also didn’t open my real life email account since October. I still need some more time to be able to do it and face all the people and problems I left back or the ones that are still to come. Let’s hope next Christmas won’t pass without me reading my mails, haha.

June 10, 2012

365/162

by ada

Well, what could I say for an excuse. I’m spending my free days at my workplace to keep up with the incredible amount of paperwork and computer documentation nurses are required to accomplish in Austria.

This project wouldn’t have come to existence without some homemade tiramisu, created and generously offered by the boyfriend of one of my colleagues.

June 9, 2012

365/161

by ada

Changing shifts in the morning. As you see from the picture, a colleague of mine has a feeling for creating a lively (and lovely) atmosphere :o) In a workplace where pain, illness, misery and death are real factors you have to deal with every day, this is a useful talent.

May 24, 2012

365/145

by ada

Another work day. I don’t know for how long yet, but for the moment that’s my everyday life.

 

April 2, 2012

365/93

by ada

The dome of the Parliament goes blue for World Autism Awareness Day.

February 7, 2012

365/38

by ada

I visited three doctors in a row today. I’m a hero!

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January 31, 2012

365/31

by ada

Another visit at our Health Center. Every time I need to go there, I come out with the strong opinion that I’m the only person in the world who still has some ideas about good manners. I do not really understand why do all Hungarian doctors feel this urgent need to be rude. Maybe they are taught to be rude at medical school? The more rude you are the more study points you get? If you call your patients shit you can pass your exams without having any adequate medical knowledge? I really can’t find any other credible explanation for this hilarious phenomen called Hungarian Health Care System And Its Almighty Coworkers.

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