Monday, July 2, 2012

Did I Really Need To Know This Shit?

Why, oh why did I ever become a nurse?
Okay. I remember why. I was a single mother. I need to figure out a way to support me and my kids. I wanted to be a midwife. I thought. That's why.

But really- I would have actually perhaps used a degree in English, as against-common-sense as that sounds. I did use my nursing degree a bit. When I worked at the Birth Center as a birth assistent. But beyond that, NO WAY!

And every two years I have to go through this ridiculous farce of continuing education requirements and I HATE IT! I pick out a course in a catalog, I get the book and the quiz and I sit down and I do it. First I have to take a course on medical errors for nursing. State law. Okay. Here's what I learn from that: Going to a hospital is about the riskiest thing you can do.
No shit.
Do you have any idea how many people die or are disfigured or crippled or experience something horrible and hideous every year from medical errors?
No. You do not.
And you don't want to know.

So beyond that, I have done CEU's in things as varied as neonatal nursing, L&D nursing, the use of alternative herbs and treatments, mindfulness (don't ask me how they slipped that one in as a valid choice), women's health, and I don't know what all. So this year, I picked gerontology. The name of the book is Gerontological Nursing and Healthy Aging.

Here is what I've learned so far from that:

Aging is never healthy. And even when it is, slightly, it's disgusting and scary.

Okay. I'm probably not focusing on the positives. It's hard, though, when they are so few and tucked so far between the awful realities of all of the things that happen as we age. I mean, really? Why? Why do we have to age? So we can die? Okay. I'd just as soon get that over with without the aging part. I mean, I already knew this intuitively but now I know it from actual medical fact. Everything leads to constipation and pain and a decrease in cognitive functioning and BIG OLD EARS WITH BRISTLY HAIR (mostly if you're a man), and every damn organ and system you have goes wonky and the drugs they give you to help you out with these things cause MORE CONSTIPATION and all of the other problems too until I don't know how they can tell the difference.

Fuck it.

Give me a convertible and show me a cliff.

Here's the deal:
If you eat the proper amount of the right foods and stay engaged in life and exercise regularly and most importantly, have the right genes, you'll be better off.
For awhile.
Then it's all going to go to hell anyway.

I've done 61 out of 174 questions. That took me hours. Most of the answers I actually know just from, well, common sense and some degree of nursing knowledge. But some are tricky. So you can't just think you know the answer without finding it in the book to verify it.

Oh well. I think I've gotten through all the constipation questions. Next comes bladder function. I can't wait. I've cheated and looked ahead to the end which is all about grieving and palliative care. Are you surprised?

Okay. Mr. Moon's gone to auction. Someone actually needs a car. I think I'm going to make my supper and get to bed early. I've been enjoying doing that. Getting up early, too. Getting my walk in before it's so hot you can fry eggs on the asphalt. And then hit the ol' CEU trail again. I intend to finish that shit up and get it in the mail although why I think I need to renew that nursing license is beyond me. I guess it's just pride or something ridiculous like that.
But this course- gerontology? It's making me think that we need to make the most use of the good years we have. Which leads to me wondering why in hell I'm doing this when I could be doing something else. Anything else, to be honest.

Oh well. Keeps me out of the pool halls.

I was going to end by giving you a quote on what happens to a woman's reproductive system after menopause but after rereading it, I think I'll just go shoot myself.

Yours In Continuing Medical Education...Ms. Moon


  1. Funny! Good for you for keeping current. You never know.

    I used to be pissed that nobody told me how I was going to fall to pieces in my 40's, and then I realized I wouldn't have listened if they did, or wouldn't have believed them, and I probably don't want to know too much of what's coming anyway since there's not a damn thing that can be done to stop it, and it's all awful stuff as far as I'm concerned. I figure the trick is to lose enough cognitive function to just not give a shit anymore.

    Thanks for that picture from Thelma and Louise, it made my cranky ass smile.

  2. Low Res MFA. Warren Wilson (where mine is from). Or Goddard or Bennington or hell, Pacific or Queens. You would have such fun. Everyone else there is a neurotic mess (I was there, so it must be true.) And you're brilliant. So. That's my advice.

  3. Epitaph

    Jerry B.

    Gave up smoking -- 1975

    Gave up drinking -- 1981

    Gave up red meat -- 1983

    Died Anyway -- 1987

    The above was on a t-shirt i saw years ago, and about sums it all up.

  4. Yikes ~ may I join you in that convertible?

  5. When my mom asked her doctor about her tonsils when she had a sore throat last year, he told her that people her age don't have tonsils.
    They shrivel up and disappear.

  6. Even though you dissed it, "mindfulness" is probably about the most beneficial thing one could learn in one's lifetime out of all that stuff. I love that you're sticking it to aging, though.

    And I love Denise's comment.

  7. I am convinced the best way to stay healthy is to minimize your intake of pharmaceuticals. Sometimes you need 'em -- but if you avoid 'em as much as possible you don't get on that taking-drugs-to-cure-the-side-effects-of-drugs treadmill. (I don't mean "you," personally, but people in general.)

  8. What about good old wisdom??? Doesn't that provide enough fodder to break up the bouts of constipation?

  9. Mel- Thelma and Louise avoided a lot of trouble.

    Sara- What could I possibly do with a degree that would end up paying for itself at this point? You're sweet though. And if I really wanted a degree, I'd go get one. I swear.

    messymimi- Well, it's true.

    lulumarie- You bet, baby!

    Denise- Lord. I haven't gotten to that part yet.

    Elizabeth- NO! I didn't mean to dis mindfulness! I loved that one! I just am not sure how it got included in valid CEU's for nursing. I'd do a course on that one every time.

    Steve- You're probably right.

    Anonymous Jo- Speaking only for myself, I have yet to see a surfeit of wisdom enter my brain.

  10. Ahhh! You crack me up. Personally I'd like to know what this "water pill" is that I have heard so much about. But then again, maybe not.

  11. My mom's will has something along the lines of, "don't let me get like your grandmother, you just take me out in the field behind the house and shoot me, you hear?"
    Then it continues to provide me my grandfather's gun, and my brother gets the Ford Escort.

  12. i feel very fortunate right about now to have to take a random 4 credit math class to be able to apply for recertification.....


  13. Magnum- Is the will going to provide the funds for a lawyer for the one who abides by her wishes to kill her? Because that's the problem. Dammit.
    Maybe your brother could run over her in the Ford Escort and make it look like an accident.

    Mrs. A- Lucky you.

  14. Getting old is definitely not for the faint of heart, that's for sure. Thank you for your kind words on my blog this morning. It's an exciting time not only because I'm retiring, but my newest grandson should be here any day now!

  15. I was visiting my mother at her retirement home - you know - a place where old folks live who aren't in need of a lot of extra care - and all I could think was that I sure as hell don't want to get that old.

  16. Well... there's this guy. I looked him up when I saw his photo, and I think he's in his fifties. He feels aging DOESN'T have to be so bad. Who knows, though. But I thought of him when I read your post. I'm 36 now, and suddenly ageing a lot. Things aren't what they were, when all I really had going for me was youth... now it's wrinkling, it's panicking me a bit. Yet I can't seem to muster the muster to do anything about it.




  18. Jill- That would be a diuretic because as we age our kidneys don't function as well which increases our blood pressure which...

    Lois- I have been wondering when that baby was coming! Keep us posted! Yay, babies!!!!

    Jeannie- None of us really do. I mean- dang.

    Jo- I ain't impressed. He looks like his own best product.

    Deirdre- Yes. Exactly.

  19. Heh :) I'm sure you're right.

  20. I have CEU's every year for my medical editing recertification, and they are always useless. They're either about punctuation (and I could write those myself and HAVE!), or they're fit for medical doctors, and they're too technical.

    All I know is that I hate being a crone. But I have learned that I can get rid of three fellows in a week (two I dated and one that bugged me about dating him) just by reminding them of my real age. hahaha

    Love you, and you are beautiful and not falling apart. As my mammaw used to say, "I'm becoming more myself."

  21. The medical books may make it seem terrible, but I just hit a much older age than you are and I feel fine. It's as if you are forced to think of yourself as old because society says so.

  22. Pamela- You're precious. Yes, you are.

    Anonymous- Well, my joints ache all the time and I look like hell. So I do feel old. I am not sure that society has everything to do with it in my case. Although I have to say that I am relatively healthy. For which I am most grateful.

  23. Another hysterical post in a way because bowels seems to be what all old people talk about. I agree with you. I would rather not have to go through the agony of getting old and being in a nursing center where somebody wipes my butt and changes my diaper. I really don't want that.


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