Michael Apollo Lira
A doozy of an update
I haven't updated for some time. For anybody who regularly reads my blog, I am so sorry for this. There are many things to talk about, and I don't think I'll be able to reasonably cram it all into one blog! But life has been quite busy. And to add to it, my computer doesn't work terribly well anymore. The monitor is failing on it, which means I can only really use it from inside of my recording booth. And while that's fine and dandy for things like recording and lighter productive work, I kind of have to position myself like this if I wish to type out long blogs from the workstation therein:
Cute perhaps, but awkward after long periods of time.
Ideal isn't quite the word I would use. I like writing from the comfort of my living room, where I can take meaningful pauses to look out the window, sip on tea, or pose like I'm somebody fancy in someone's random stock photography.
This could be me when my laptop arrives.
But it'll be some time yet before my new computer arrives! And that itch to write is there! So here I am, updating from inside of my recording space!
So a few things to touch on!
The new job is going great. I guess it's been 8 or so months? Does that make it new anymore? Shoot. Well I still feel plenty new a great deal of the time, but I'm getting on quite well, I feel. I work with a great team of people. I put in good, honest work when we have cases, and when there aren't cases I've been spending my down time at work studying for my critical care RN certification. Down time is something I have NEVER had when working in a hospital. My last job in the ICU was so rough that my days off were exactly that - MY DAYS OFF.
We're often encouraged to get certified in our specialties as nurses; I was formerly certified as an Emergency nurse back in the days when I worked in Emergency. I intended to get certified in Critical Care while working on the critical care unit, but I just could not bring myself to put my mind in those places when I was away from the intensity of it all. I think there's a degree of trauma that many nurses experience dealing with the stereotypical hospital situations: being understaffed, being needed in multiple places simultaneously by very sick or injured people, and constantly being asked to do more with less by hospital administration. In the burn unit, often times the things we did to help patients heal, like daily dressing changes, were VERY painful and often emotionally traumatizing to the patients. With pediatric trauma we saw a lot of heart break, as well as the ugly aftermath of what people do to kids; things like abuse or neglect. After a while you simply live your life in a blunted state around things like that.
I've found that more recently I get more emotional or heavy-hearted when reading patient charts in my new department. I think the time away from the constant barrage of tragedy and mishaps has permitted the compassion fatigue to fade out a bit, and I've been able to make a much more conscientious effort into connecting with the people I'm helping and really go the extra mile in making them feel respected and welcomed.
It's been good.
All that said, I've been involved in a number of codes. Moreso than I did in the ICU.
Context: a code - more specifically a code blue, is when a patient's vital function such as breathing or a heartbeat STOPS. A code blue is paged overhead at the hospital and staff come running to the room to assist in CPR, medication administration, and efforts to resuscitate the patient. If you give good CPR and are able to react in an efficient fashion, patients will on occasion come to during the code. (One time, a lady swatted me off of her upon regaining consciousness during my chest compressions. She then said "I TOLD you guys that I was dying!" Pretty impressive stuff).
This is because part of my new department is the cardiac catheterization lab. This is a high stakes environment. It's where most of the codes I have been in have occurred. If doctors are worried about your heart, or if you're actively having a heart attack, you may find yourself on the table of a cardiac cath lab for diagnostic imaging and possible intervention. It's there that we take a close look at your heart and its perfusion using fancy imaging. If they see a blocked vessel, a stent may be deployed to open up the flow again to your heart. And then hopefully you get better and live a good life! I have REALLY enjoyed learning the ropes there thus far.
In other news, I got married.
Again. As in like, a second time.
To the same person that I married the first time...like a year ago.
A year ago, I married Karina. We had a quiet, lovely ceremony. We exchanged our vows and were married by a dear friend of ours who became ordained to do so for this occasion specifically.
So what happened?
I mailed in the wrong papers the first time. And then, while I was driving to the post office to mail off the correct papers on the second attempt, I received a phone call.
Karina had been reviewing her lease agreement with her landlord at one of her businesses. She had been involved in a long, frustrating exchange of negotiations with her landlord during the start of the pandemic. Her business had been closed because of the recent mandates. She had owned this business for only a couple of months when this happened. Ouch. And from what it sounded like, her property manager was not in a particularly accommodating or compassionate position to extend much for accommodations and grace her way. With accumulating debt from rents being due while the business was shut down, and a great deal of uncertainty for her business's future, we realized that I was on the hook as a possible source of assets to come after were we to be married and were her business not recover. We had a very bad feeling that if they COULD come after my assets, they most certainly WOULD come after my assets if she could not recover from the pandemic.
So we didn't mail off the paperwork that day.
One year later, the business remains standing. I can't count the number of times in my head I thought it would all just be easier if she threw in the towel to cut losses. But she didn't. That stubborn, driven, tenacious woman busted her butt and managed to keep it going and growing. She is an absolute boss.
With all of the knowledge, experience, and lessons learned over the 8 years of her being a businesswoman, she has also recently started providing business consulting services. And just the other day we recorded her introductory episode to a podcast that she's starting to assist on that journey. It's called Boss Minded Beauty.
I feel like she should be some kind of Star Wars hero character somewhere in that universe.
So yeah - we're actually married now. Like the legal kind.
And finally, the last bit of news: Seattle is friggin crazy sometimes, man.
"Yeah, yeah, what else is new" say the locals who already know this.
I'll start by saying my hospital charges for staff parking. If I wanted to park at the hospital, I would need to 1) get on a waiting list and then 2) pay $150 / month once I was given a parking spot. I think. I'm more confident about the $150 than I am the waiting list. Either way.
I can't justify this expense. So the next logical thing would be to bike to work. Except Seattle has TERRIBLE drivers. I've seen enough bicycle trauma in the hospital to know that you can do everything right in life and still wind up injured or dead. Moreso in Seattle. So no bikes, and NO CAPES.
So instead, I run to work. It's faster than walking and only a little slower than the bus. My runs take me through some unavoidable areas, which merit being vigilant. Some areas regularly have used needles scattered about the sidewalks. I've seen people actively shooting up, smoking, and exchanging less than legal goods for tender. And on occasion I'll pass somebody who is passed out while standing...though they more often than not are folded in half forward, bent at the waist. Somehow they are able to remain in this position...I completely lack that degree of flexibility, myself. The only way I can think to describe this peculiar looking phenomenon is as narcotic yoga.
Generally speaking, if I keep to myself, people usually leave me be to run in peace.
I was running home this past week, when I happened to pass a scuffle of sorts going on across the street from me. This is not something unusual for me to see or hear in the area I run past.
The gunshot, however, was.
I had just turned a corner before encountering this event, so I quickly egressed back from whenst I came.
Then came another gunshot. I stayed where I was.
People always have different ways of describing what a gunshot sounds like. To me, it sounded like a very full, very tight balloon that gets pierced with a needle. A loud, tight percussive bang or pop kind of sound. It's loud.
I watched people scatter and leave before sprinting to the victim. He was on the ground, moaning. Somebody nearby was on the phone with 911, so I knelt next to him to look him over, comfort him, and make sure he stayed stable until help arrived.
I hope he's ok.
And I hope the city gets better. Seattle is friggin crazy sometimes, man.
So that's kind of my update for the time being. It needed to be done! There's so much more to write about as far as my unusual life and experiences - my new laptop should be arriving this month, so updates should become more regular following that! I hope you all are staying safe out there. And to my regulars - thanks as always for all the love, and I'm sorry I've been a little MIA recently! I'm cheering for all of you, and I'm doing my best to make the time to read and keep up with you all.
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