Thursday, December 27, 2007

McGuiver or Superman? You Decide

My brother...
Part man, part myth, part legend. (He loves it when I talk like this).
Many have heard of the heroic acts this man has performed, and the lives he has saved, but these are stories I never tire of telling.

It all began at work one day. A sunflower seed lodged in the throat of a desperate co-worker. Gasping for air, the co-worker rushed pleadingly into my brothers office, begging for the Heimlich to be performed. And perform it, he did. Life #1 saved.

It was a dark and stormy night, actually maybe it wasn't, but it was dinner time and even heroes need to eat. That is just what our hero was doing, when he heard a familiar, yet horrifying, gag, suck, gasp, clatter! He sprang from his seat to see what was the matter. There stood a husband clutching his unconscious wife, limp in his arms. My brother wrestled the woman from her husband and quickly did the Heimlich. Out flew a chunk of sirloin from deep within the her throat. She fell to the floor, vomited, ran to the bathroom and quickly returned to the table to finish her meal. Life #2...saved.

A warm sunny day in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, our hero is doing the work he does when he isn't saving lives; water quality. He is wading into the deep rapids of the Snake River when an out of control raft carrying two helpless, small boys comes careening down the torrent of water. With no thought to his own well being, he plunges into the depths, hooks the raft with his wand and pulls them to safety. (He possibly did not have a wand, but that's not the point). Lives # 3 and # 4 saved.

Lives #5 and #6 are out on a fishing boat in the middle of a large lake. The motor of the boat stops working and there is nary a soul in sight. Evening is fast approaching and the wind is picking up. The boat is being tossed about on the ice cold waves. How are they going to make it to shore? Well, our hero, who happens to be life #6, quickly fashions a sail, using only a few tattered life vests and an oar. The "sail" catches enough wind to slowly carry the small vessel to safety.

The most recent, and exciting story takes place in a desert landscape far far away. My brother and his partner are out patrolling the land, checking for water of low quality, when up ahead there stands a man. Clutching his throat and dripping in blood. The man's shirt is saturated in the sticky red that is gushing from his throat. He croaks, "I've been shot". My brother quickly loads the dying man into the truck and yells to his partner " call 911 and drive fast". He applies pressure to the bleeding throat, and yet allows air to continue in. The police have received the call and more help is on the way, because let's face it, there is only so much one hero is expected to do. When the helicopter and paramedics arrive, the bleeding man is hanging on by a thread. He is quickly flown to a trauma hospital #7, saved.

And so this humble hero continues to carry on with his every day duties, whilst ever vigilantly keeping his eye on the lookout for the next life he must save. And every Thanksgiving, as I am shoving fist fulls of turkey down my gullet, I have a feeling of safety, because I know, I have strategically placed my dinner setting right across from his.

Monday, December 17, 2007


Some people ask me how I do my job without getting sick. How can I possibly mix poop, pour urine and look at boogers from strangers without retching? Well, I'll tell you, in the beginning, I did my share of gagging, and yes even vomiting just a little in the back of my mouth. But one day I stumbled upon the trick that would serve me well . I can mix the most unusual cup of stool, with not one heave. I can pour off any urine sample with nary a gag. I discovered the trick that makes bodily fluids seem not only blase, but dare I say, possibly delicious? Today I feel like sharing my trick in case the need arises for you ,to one day ,dabble in the stool of strangers.( My nursing school friends may come to rely on this technique one day.)
I think of food. Simple, yet effective. Good old home cookin. Stirring, mixing, serving delectables for a delicious meal. Suddenly a cup of stool becomes a warm cup of...chili. Depending on the color, I could be making brownies, peanut brittle, or a delicious beefy stew. (I overlook the fact there are no potatoes). Corn chowder is a standard, and occasionally it seems as if I am whipping up a batch of no bake coconut cookies!
Time to pour off urine? Oh no it's not! It is a tea party ! I serve cider, apple juice, ice cold lemon aid. Sometimes eggnog is called for and dark red cranberry juice is a must.
Semen becomes a wonderful donut glaze, and sputum...... Well, sputum is difficult. Sputum. Not delicious, not yummy in the least. Nothing mouthwatering comes to mind when I look at a dab of lung boogers, except a little bit of vomit in the back of my throat. I still have a problem with that.
So my method is not perfect. A small flaw. But otherwise a delightful episode of Iron Chef!

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Once I asked my boss to rub my corns. I don't have corns, but I wanted to know, would she rub them, if I did? Did she like me, and if so, how much.

I actually don't know what a corn is. Never seen one. But they sound gross. Like something you wouldn't want to touch. I think I will Google it.

And by the way, she said she would rub them.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

My Town Christmas Decorations

I have always loved small town Christmas decorations. I remember looking up in the night from the car window and seeing through the snow, glittering wreaths, candy canes and snowmen hanging from streetlights. Each town had a different holiday design and joyous addition. Some had silver bells, some a single red bell with a green bow, Santa heads or Santa in his sleigh; all a variation of favorite Christmas themes. Passing from town to town looking through the snow to see the sparkling lights still makes me smile.
We moved to Herriman last year just before the holidays. I was driving home from work one night and got such a thrill to see the city workers out with their big trucks beginning to hang the city decorations! My own little town was going to put up Christmas lights. I couldn't wait to see the theme my town had chosen. I watched them move up the street hanging first a Christmas candle then a green wreath, a pair of candy canes and then a white covered wagon ........a white ....covered... wagon! Ummm.....a western covered wagon.
Well, I thought, certainly at night, when it is lit, it will take on some type of Christmas flare. So I waited till dark, and still, it was a western covered wagon.
A western, pioneer, Little House on the Prairie, white covered wagon.

So now I am bugged. I want to know why. Who made the decision to buy the wagons?
It was then that I decided there must be a valid reason for the city I reside, in jacking up one of my favorite holiday joys. They must have gotten them at a discounted price! They would use them to decorate in July for "Fort Herriman Days". That must be it. They were stretching the city's money and making the most out of this particular purchase. It helped me to cope knowing they were just being frugal and not expecting us to believe that a covered wagon has a place in Christmas decoration schemes.
And so, come July, I waited for the crews to take to the streets and deck the halls with the pioneer wagons.

But none were hung. Now I am even more bugged. They are wasting perfectly good western, pioneer, days of 47 decorations. I know they are just sitting in a warehouse somewhere waiting for the holiday that doesn't belong to them . Someone has lost their mind in this town.
And so I say to all residents of Herriman... Merry Christmas and Happy Fort Herriman Days!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Is my child normal?? I always wonder. Sometimes he does things that make me doubt. I know he is smart, I know he can read and add, he cares about animals and people, but it is the things he says that sometimes make me think....What was that? Please don't do that.

For example, we attended his end of season football party. The coaches had three funny stories to tell. Two of them about Kyler. Out of 20 players, two stories about Kyler. Is it because he was the most stand out odd ball? I am afraid.
So the coach tells this story.
The game was serious and the kids were getting frustrated. Kyler was trying to "pump" up the sideline players, so he says to the kids,
"Come on guys, they just need a word of encouragement!"
Is it normal for an eleven year old to say "word of encouragement"?? I would feel better if I heard the other boys shouting "positive thinking!" or "inner strength team!", but no one has yet.

The second story makes me wonder not only if he is normal, but is he food obsessed? The team was having a pregame pep rally; getting in the zone. Kyler says,
"Let's devour their lunch!"
Like it's a pie eating contest. Maybe he was just hungry, but sill, the joke all season was to listen to the biggest kid on the team, the"X" man, say he was going to eat the other teams lunch.

So, my husband and I smile when we are being told these things, and inside we are both thinking, is this kid normal?? Why is he the one the principal says makes her laugh? And the neighbor says they like to watch him from their window. Why? Because he makes them laugh. Are they laughing at my child? It makes me wonder.
What does the teacher mean when she says she is afraid the other children will "eat him alive" when he gets to junior high? Well, I think if they try to eat him alive, he may possibly devour their lunch.

So, I wait for a definitive answer and until I get one, I am choosing to believe he is just a little unique. Because it sounds better than weird.

Things to be Thankful For

On Wednesday November 14th , Dustin's 16 year old daughter, Kasandra was in a critical car accident in West Jordan. She was in the backseat of a small car (wearing her seat belt) when it was crushed and then rolled, leaving the three girls trapped inside. The roof of the car needed to be cut off in order to get them out. An off duty Murray EMT was the first to get to the girls and he kept Kasandra alive until help arrived. This is the first thing we are thankful for. Her neck was completely broken, her pelvis crushed, her spleen was hemorrhaging and she survived to make it on Life Flight. We are completely amazed at the ability of these people to work in life and death situations with such care and efficiency. No one realized how badly her neck was broken but the first responders kept her neck completely immobile throughout the transport and all the signs are looking as if she has movement in her arms and legs. That is the next thing we are so thankful for. Upon arrival to the University of Utah hospital she was rushed into surgery to remove her spleen and to place a halo on her head. We are so thankful for those trauma surgeons who kept her alive and were so focused on doing what needed to be done. It has been six days and over this time we have been so grateful for our friends and family. They have called to offer support and have been there to help us and to just sit with us. My mom and dad came up to take care of Kyler so we were able to be at the hospital together without worrying about home. Co-workers covered jobs and kept things running. We are Thankful to have them in our lives. Dustin has been spending most nights with Kasandra in the ICU, and has seen the fantastic nurses monitoring all of the machines keeping her alive. We are thankful for them. We have seen many sad families while we have spent time at the hospital.

We are

thankful for those people who reached out to ask about our loved one, while they shared the story of theirs. There were people of all different faiths offering to pray with us and for
Kasandra. We are thankful for their kindness and comfort.
So this Thanksgiving will be different than any other. With all of the sadness we have felt this week, I cannot feel anything less than thankfulness.
So Turkey in a hospital waiting room, here we come!

Friday, November 9, 2007

My New Job

Ok...I have officially completed the first two weeks at my new job. Actually the same job, just a new location, new people, new it's like a new job. And I have discovered a few things about myself during this transition:

I am nice to new people
I am grateful for anyone who is nice to new people
I think most people are weird or ugly (until you get to know them personally)
If I smile all day I can pretend I like what I am doing
And maybe, I might not hate this new place

I talked to my friend Heather about how she is doing at her new job. I thought it was interesting she seemed a little reluctant to admit she was starting to like it there, and I thought, 'life goes on and people move on'. I guess that is how it should be.
As much as I wanted her to miss the old days forever, right along side me, I was happy she was moving on to a new time in her life. She was embracing it. Not bad a bad thing, healthy actually, but still a little hard.
And so I have decided, I will open up to the possibility that these new faces could actually become friends of mine someday, and I might not need to pretend things are Ok, they may actually turn out to be better than I thought they could be. So I will stop thinking each new person is strange and look at them with possibility.
So thank you Heather, for unknowingly giving me a nudge in the right direction ,and thanks Brendan for teaching me not to waste five years waiting to be friends.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Football Football Rah! Rah! Rah!

Our lives have been consumed lately with a new family hobby, FOOTBALL. We have never been people who purchase tickets to sporting events, watch sports on TV or feel the need to know the score of games; let alone understand the rules and finner points of how the games are played. Don't get me wrong, my husband is a manly man and I am not against watching men in tight pants pile on each other, but it has just not been our "thing". Until we signed our child up for football. How quickly we became those bloodthirsty fans. Discussing football pads, jock straps and screaming for total aggression on the field is now routine . I never thought of myself as the mother who would yell for my child to "pound" another child "into the ground", but that is what I have become. I find myself yelling things I never imagined yelling in public. "KICK THEIR TRASH" and "HIT SOMEBODY!" are not things I am proud to admit to yelling, but I have. Something overcomes us when we are watching our kid out there, running and sweating and being such a boy. We have been sucked in completely. Now we look at those games on TV and understand a little bit of what the half dressed, painted men are feeling. Even though I do draw the line at stripping to the waist and painting a purple "R" on my chest.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Good-Bye Cottonwood Hospital

Last week marked the end of an era.... I will miss the comfort of having these people in my life.

Patti "Queen of the Lab", Darling Anna Weiner, Todd Lonny, Lynne "cries about Draper", Ursula and her itchy you know what, Karin R. and our political companionship, Shaun with the quick, quirky wit, who loves karaoke and eyeliner, Juli the smartest and most accepting, Heather my innocent, unexpected friend, Brenden ...words cannot say, KatieBug, Wendy the registrar, Penny, someone in the closet, a few who are mean, Connie the mother, Dave the leader, Malin and his burrito, Alex a girl with a beard, Graveyard Jeannie, Creepywhisper Ati, Dancing With The Stars Carl, Emily, Gayle, Alicia, and too many who have come and gone over the last 12 years.........

Thank you for being a part of my life!