Saturday, November 8, 2014

Deep Thoughts by Nurse Bananahammock (yes, politics again)

I am amused that folks will sometimes create a narrative to make the world easier to deal with on their own terms and will not move from it regardless the evidence that smacks them in the face every day.

Example: "Republicans hate women, minorities and gays." is easier for some to embrace this credo than to face that the concept of personal responsibility is universal and not a "rich, white male" concept.

In just this most recent election, Mia Love and Tim Scott, both black, both Republicans were elected.  Mia Love is also a woman.  Other Republican women who won elections, my hero, governor Susana Martinez of New Mexico was handily re-elected, Joni Ernst, the first woman vet elected to Congress, is a Republican, Shelley Moore Capito and lest the "rich, old, white men"story continue, I present Elise Stefanik, woman, only 30 years old.

Carl DeMaio, a Republican who is openly gay, nearly won and certainly still has a future in the Republican party.

Can we now drop the rhetoric and the entrenched stereotypes and labels that get slapped on and deal with actual issues?

I'm not exactly sure why it brings such comfort to some to cling to these ideas they have about Republicans or why it is so important to put all Republicans into a little pigeon-hole they've created in their mind.  But, they are wrong.

And, frankly, those who are so entrenched in the idea that only white people are Republican that they then demean anyone who is black for simply being conservative, it seems to me, are racists.  If you think that the simple fact of being born black in the United States requires that someone think certain things and that it is not permissible for them to stray from that thinking, how is that NOT racist?

My favorite response to that is my other hero, Condoleeza Rice, former Secretary of State and former National Security Advisor.  "I find it insulting.  As a Republican black woman from the south." and, "I've been black all my life.  I don't need anyone to tell me how to be black."

I have several friends and acquaintances who are gay and Republican (btw, there's a whole thing called Log Cabin Republican, been around a long time).  And the same rule applies. If you truly are open minded, you cannot say things like, "How can you be gay and Republican?"

The actual core of Republican thought is personal responsibility.

Mia Love's husband was recently quoted as saying that Mia doesn't want to give anyone a phone, she wants to provide a situation for them where they can work and earn the money to buy their own phone.

So, deal with that school of thought.

Republican ideals have zero to do with racism.  They have zero to do with hating poor people or women or gays.

It has to do with making an America where everybody can work and improve their lives and be productive.  It has everything to do with Dr. King's admonition to judge people by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin.

If it makes folks feel better about themselves to continue to pigeon hole Republicans and say that we all hate everybody, then I guess do what you have to do to get through the day.

Reality is my preference for getting through life.

It causes me to be disappointed and surprised a lot less often, I think.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Nurse Bananahammock goes to Washington....for real this time. Day One.

Too much was shoved into my few days in DC, so the rest of the trip will be relayed in future posts.    

When I was a kid, my class in Jr. High school went to Washington, DC.  In the vein of walking to school in the snow, uphill, both ways, barefooted...we were too poor for me to go.

So, being in Baltimore this past summer was the perfect time because it was only about an hour away.

I was so excited to do this as an adult, solo.  I'm a complete history nerd and I love zoos, so I had this trip planned to a T.  I booked a room at a nice (though not crazy expensive) hotel that was right in downtown DC only about half a dozen blocks from the White House.

The evening I arrived, I just settled in and had a nice dinner at a cafe with sidewalk seating where I was able to take Cookie and we just people watched and I had the most amazing dates wrapped in bacon.

Before heading to bed, I ordered my room service breakfast for in the morning.  Before it arrived, I took a  dawn walk with Cookie.  Just a few blocks away, I happened to realize I was looking at the sun coming up behind the Capitol Building.  I was awed.

The plan for the rest of the day was to go figure out the Metro to get to the National Zoo.  Now, it is no secret that I am not a fan of tax funded, well, most things, generally.   But I do feel that there is a time and place for taxes.  Folks, this is one of them.  What a beautiful, beautiful zoo.  It almost made me happy to pay taxes.  Almost.

I always feel oddly proprietary about Wyland paintings

It was huge and well managed and unlike the San Diego Zoo that goes on and on about their pandas and then make you stand in line for hours for a glimpse before being rushed on, at the National Zoo, there are several aspects from which you can watch and you could park yourself and sit for hours if you want.  Just wonderful.

That evening, I had arranged a guided walking tour of the monuments on the mall.

This was, for so many reasons, one of the highlights of my trip.

Among the reasons was this guy ^ Dan.  Our guide.  He was so peppy, and knowledgeable and just a load of fun.  He spoke at the speed of a farm equipment auctioneer, but his obvious love of the city and the history just brought it to life.  And, seeing all the sights as the sun was setting was every bit as beautiful as I'd imagined.


The final stop of our tour was the Lincoln Memorial.


I wish I'd had a better camera to catch a shot of the stone that shows the spot where Rev. King gave his "I have a dream" speech.  That was so moving.  I stood there contemplating the meaning of having the image of the writer of the Emancipation Proclamation looking on as Dr. King changed the world with his words.

I also thought about how much my life has changed from the kid whose family couldn't afford to send me to DC on a school trip to being able to go to DC and really enjoy all it has to offer without worrying whether I can make the mortgage payment.

People can say what they like, but regardless of what this country gets wrong, it really still is a place where hard work and perseverance can lift anyone up.

Yup.  I'm a flag-waving American and I'm ok with that.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Sometimes you just have to smile and nod and keep moving toward the door...

The prevalence and variation of crazy that exists in people who present themselves to the ED really is limitless.

Here is one such case.

Mrs. Poiaag presented herself to the emergency room for one or all of the following:

*Chronic left leg pain for anywhere from weeks to years and years duration
* New onset left sided weakness
* Abdominal pain
* Chest pain

I was unsure which was the overriding concern she had on this day as she had listed one of these complaints to the triage nurse, another to me and still another to the doctor and the longer the doctor stayed in the room, the more symptoms she appeared to recall.

She walked into triage and walked from triage to her treatment room, required no assistance to disrobe and put on her gown and seemed for all the world like a perfectly healthy person.

Mrs. Poiaag had a visitor with her that she referred to as her 
fiancĂ©.  At some point during her stay in the emergency department, I was paged for a phone call.  It was a gentleman identifying himself as Mrs. Poiagg's husband. 

I entered the room with a phone and said simply, "I'm sorry, I'm confused, there's a call for you from your...(glance in the direction of the 
fiancĂ©) husband.  With a frustrated sigh, she put down her cell phone, muted the television and reached for the phone.

I left her, saying I'd return for the phone in a bit.

I returned several minutes later and overheard Mrs. Poiaag to now be speaking with a poorly affected British accent that hadn't been present on our previous encounters.

Intrigued, I listened for a few seconds, then walked into the doorway where she could see me.  Whereupon, she immediately broke off her conversation, held out the phone and said,

"It's my ex-husband.  I don't want to talk to him."  British accent again absent.

Great.  So, I get on the phone.  The "ex-husband" asks me why Mrs. Poiaag is in the ER.  I  say, "I'm sorry sir, my patient has instructed that she does not wish to speak with you and due to federal privacy laws, I'm prohibited from telling you anything further."

He then asked who I was.  I introduced myself as Mrs. Poiaag's nurse.

The "ex-husband" then said, "Well, she was just trying to say she was you."

Now...this fascinated me for a few reasons, not least of which was why this chick thought I had a British accent.  I just said, "I can't speak to that, I can only reiterate that I am constrained by federal law and can say no  more."

Eventually as Mrs. Poiaag's cardiac, neurologic, GI, GU and all other systems were checking out as completely normal, and after receiving a complimentary chicken dinner and several hours of fluorescent light therapy, she was discharged, smiling, happy that she still had time to make her hair appointment.

There's no real point to this post except to I really

sound British?