Thursday, July 31, 2008

I have no excuse
for never mowing the lawn
still I make him mow

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

shopping for chickens
building a coop to house them
shoveling their shit

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

smell the bamboo leaves
sticky smell of tomatoes
pepper nasturtiums

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008

a chirp here or there
of race car tires gripping
the curves of the track

Saturday, July 26, 2008

thistle grabs my pants
pricks me as I pull it off
yards are for nature

Thursday, July 24, 2008

the book is past-due
I read it in the sunshine
bees collect pollen

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

we kick through pollen
cottonwood fluff inches thick
on the riverbank

Monday, July 21, 2008

flower-print cloth gloves
sun shining on his bald head
he crosses his legs

Sunday, July 20, 2008

dry, crumbling soil
he bends and pulls out a weed
throws it in the grass

Haiku Nurse is back.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


I have had a few people ask me WHAT happened to me that I became paralyzed and what has gone on since.. I posted a bit about it in my first post back in 2006, but here is more...

Ok, so how I became paralyzed.

4 years ago, March 17th I started to feel intense nerve pain, burning/tingling, between my shoulder blades. I thought it was from a pinched nerve or slipped disc, as I was a competitive figure skater and had had a few bad falls the week before and I taught pre-k and had had to scoop up and carry a heavy 4 yr old across the street to make sure he didn't get hit by a car the day before. (he had dashed into the street).

That night I took a hot shower and I went to bed and woke up at 2 am in worse pain, took another hot shower and went back to bed. Woke up for work the next morning, too another hot shower and felt weird, like I could not feel touch on my back. And the pain was a 20 on the 1-10 pain scale!

March 18th
I went to work (I know stupid, but I did not trust my TA to be able to handle the kids as she was nice, but could NOT discipline!). I only worked until 1pm anyway and then I would go to the clinic.

I made it to work, concentrating on each step I took. I felt like I could not walk well, like I had ants in my legs (kind of like having restless leg syndrome). Once there I lay down on the story-time mat and cried. I hurt so much, I knew I could not function. My TA walked in and I told her to get my boss. It was 8:30AM at this time. My boss came, finally, and said she would bring me to the walk-in clinic as she did not want to call an ambulance as she was afraid the kids would be scared (I know, Bitch..sorry, but ya). I got there around 9AM, and finally saw the MD at 9:45. At this point I could not walk well, felt like my legs would give out. I was on the examining table, and the MD was touching my spine, I could not really feel the touch and the pain was intense. She told me it was most likely a pinched nerve and gave me a few prescriptions and told me to come back Monday (It was Thursday).

Problem was I was leaving to compete at Nationals in Burnaby BC on Sunday and would be gone 10 days. I was freaked! All I wanted was a quick fix to get me through the competition. She told me to then get back to her when I came home, but to take it easy... ?? Ya, right, this is ME we are talking about!

I went to get down off the examining table, swung my right leg off, no problem, got my left leg down, and FELL. My left leg was paralyzed and I had had NO IDEA!

I was on the floor, the MD came running back in. I told her what happened and she called 911. They came and by that time, my stomach muscles had gone too! They took me to the hospital, at this point I could still move my right leg, not as well, but still had movement.

By 11AM, I was paralyzed from the breast-line down. They took bloods, x-rays and an MRI. By 11PM I had a diagnosis of Transverse Myelitis at T1, with some disturbance (sensory, migraines, nausea..) at C6-5, possibly higher. On the MRI you could see the inflammation at T1-T3. They did a lumbar puncture and another MRI later that week with contrast.

I spent 10 weeks in acute care (regular hospital, on the neurology was), where I was ok the first 5 days, then went downhill with extreme nausea, migraines... and was put on primary care (so I had the same team of 3-4 nurses all the time). I ended up getting C-Difficile, and stopped eating for fear of having to poop all the time again, even after the C-diff cleared up. I had a PICC line put in and was on TPN (IV "food") for 3 weeks. I was discharged May 27th. From there I went to a rehab hospital (IRM) after the 10 weeks, spent 8 weeks as an in-patient, then finally got home in July.

I was in a wheelchair and went to PT 3x a week (5x a week when in hospital and rehab hospital as an in patient). I worked hard. Went back to work as a pre-K teacher in September, 6 months after getting TM. I still had PT/OT 3x a week, along with the gym (where I did rehab they have a phys-ed program too, so you do PT and OT and GYM). This was now at Lucie Brunneau rehab hospital. I spent about 18 months going there for PT/OT/Gym/psych. I was tired.. all the time, but knew I needed to do this.

I got sick again in Feb 2005, not paralyzed, but extreme nausea, fatigue, migraines. Spent 3 weeks in hospital again, after being "sick" for 3 weeks at home/work. Lost about 30 lbs.. some of which I needed to lose as I had gained weight anyway being in a chair! LOL

March 1st 2005 I applied to nursing school, after having gotten out of the hospital 4 days earlier! I was still in a chair of course, but working hard to regain my ability to walk. I could, but not long.

I was accepted and as of June 18th I stopped using my wheelchair, unless it was to go to the mall or long distances. I used my cane and leg brace and worked on endurance and balance until classes started in late August.

And the rest, as they say is History!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Human Pincushion

AKA EMG/Nerve Conduction Test take 2!

I had another EMG yesterday, to make sure my arm is actually getting better and I am not daydreaming that it is. and...

Lo and Behold, IT IS! YAY! The reason my arm lost function was in fact due to the Zanaflex I take. So now I am not taking it anymore, just taking the Baclofen and getting the Botox every 3-4 months. Not ideal, as my body reacted well to the Zanaflex (too well, I guess).
Oh ya, when the neuro did one in my hand (to see if a muscle distal to the problem was affected) I thought I would pass out, it hurt so bad! She hit the motor end-plate and the nerve endings there are numerous.

Global view of a neuromuscular junction:
1. Axon
2. Motor end-plate
3. Muscle fiber
4. Myofibril

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

my grandmother's rose
the smell of body powder
color of sunset

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

make more and keep more
headline on investment mag
stained with coffee ring

Monday, July 14, 2008

now here is a mess
left my toast in for too long
butter on my hand

Haiku Nurse is in Seattle and may not post every day.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

she has vertigo
no more crystals in her cave
unstable summer

Saturday, July 12, 2008

sweat rolls down my back
I can feel my skin burning
why is summer hot

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Vickie's Research Corner

Welcome to Vickie’s Research Corner. Summer is here and just like the weather our research is hot! I would like to introduce you to Mary Wright, manager of Labor and Delivery. She has a very wonderful ongoing study called “ Attitudes, Knowledge, and Beliefs of Perinatal Staff Related to Breastfeeding Success.”

What is your study about?
My study examines staff’s knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of breastfeeding and how these factors impact breastfeeding success with patients.

Is it EBP/Research Study?
A quantitative research study; pretest/posttest design.

What made you interested in this project?
Our hospital was examining initiatives regarding becoming a Baby Friendly Hospital. According to the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) (2006),”More than one million infants worldwide die every year because they are not breastfed or are given other foods too early. Millions more live in poor health, contract preventable diseases, and battle malnutrition.” In our culture we tend to enforce more formula feeding than breastfeeding and have an increased risk of diarrhea, respiratory and ear infections, and allergic skin disorders (BFHI, 2006). Baby-Friendly USA is the national authority for the BFHI in the United States.
BFHI stated, “In 1992, the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition received a grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services to convene an Expert Work Group to examine the criteria and assessment process of the global BFHI. Wellstart International, which is located in San Diego, California, developed the evaluation materials to support the assessment process. The U.S. Committee for UNICEF supported these efforts financially and with “in kind” services. In January of 1997, Healthy Children Project, Inc. accepted responsibility for the initiative and worked to form Baby-Friendly USA as the non-profit organization, which now implements the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative in the United States (2006).
BFHI uses ten steps to aid hospitals in the encouragement of breastfeeding. When I thought about implementing these changes to our staff, I decided I really needed to know current knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes of the staff to understand what we were doing well and what we weren’t and why.

How did you go about your research?
Well, I met Dana Rutledge a lot when I decided to do research on the staff. We began looking at previous studies. We designed a twenty one-item survey tool looking at things that have been done here at St. Josephs and what should be done. I then had to go through the St. Joseph IRB for approval. I also had to go through the IRB at California State Fullerton because this project also became a school project. I then surveyed the nurses, wrote a three chapter thesis, and then inputted the data in an excel file and Dana Rutledge and myself analyzed the data. I then presented my findings at the Sigma Theta Tau induction via a poster.

What are your expected outcomes?
Well I have done the pretest already and have data. Two hundred perinatal staff members were surveyed from the perinatal department. I was pleased with what the nurses did know, such as understanding breastfeeding (BF) should be encouraged and education of reasons why is important. I also found that 90% of the nurses knew that formula wasn’t nutritionally equal to milk. This sounds like a big number but in a perinatal staff this number should be 100%, we are striving for perfect care. I realized that I needed to customize the education to my nurses. We will be performing the post test in 2009 after the nurses have been educated.

Have you done research before? If so what did you learn?
No. I learned that I needed to take good notes when setting up a study as well as how to input data in excel, analyze, and actually understand the data you have collected and what that means to your practice. It is so nice to be able to put the numbers to what I actually knew about the nurses and have other people able to analyze the results.

Will you do research/project again?
YES! I have two projects in the works already. I think I’m crazy! In perinatal we are going to look at gum chewing in post-operative c-section patients. There is no data in the literature and this would be great to see if it decreased post-operative complications such as ileus as in colorectal patients. I am also working with one of the anesthesiologists from here to determine a better way to measure hydration with pulsoximeters more effectively in labor and delivery patients with epidurals.


Baby Friendly Hospital Initiaitive (2006). What is the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative and why do we need it? Retrieved 06-26-08, from

Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (2006). The Ten Steps To Successful Breastfeeding. Retrieved 06-26-08, from
the door is open
cat stretched on the welcome mat
sun warms his belly

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

there are no birds here
well, there's one robin redbreast
but no chickadees

dragonfly swooped by
iridescent flimsiness
weeds wagged in the breeze

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

it was midsummer
and we three went to the lake
to hear frogs chirping

Monday, July 7, 2008

particulate feet
of the PVC machine
walking on the beach

Sunday, July 6, 2008

skiffle bands are out
no one plays music these days
input your digits

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Bedding for Health Professionals?

Check this out... I found it at Ikea. For anything bigger than Twin size, the duvet cover has 2 people stenciled on it.

Friday, July 4, 2008

I said it's funny
everyone wants emotion
acted out for them

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

chewing salsa chips
he asks me what I'm doing
why I'm not outside