Living in a cornfield…

One of my first experiences of living in the mid-west was being surprised by the naivety of a few people I encountered. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not painting with a broad brush here, nor am I saying this doesn’t exist elsewhere, BUT from my experience people, in general, need to get out just a little more…

Shortly after arriving in Indianapolis, my car was in dire need for an oil change. We had just travelled from Vancouver BC to Jacksonville NC and back to Indianapolis IN, which was a ton of miles in all kinds of highway conditions. I drove up to the local oil change facilities and checked in. The usual routine commenced, they took my name, car year & model, and checked the odometer. Then they asked me the strangest question…


“Do you want high mileage oil?”. I’m sure the look I gave them implied “you’re crazy!” my car was only 4 years old with approximately 75,000 KMS, yes kilometers…or as Americans would say ~46,000 MILES!! Well, when I told the technicians the car was Canadian and those were KM’s, they grabbed the keys and literally ran to the car to “see the odometer”. Turns out they have neverseen a dashboard which displayed kilometers. OMG, guys…20, 30, 40 km/h still looks the same as 20, 30, 40 mph! Let me tell you, this made my day! And I soon learned that many people I would experience while living in IN, lived a comfortable little bubble!

My next little welcome to the neighborhood was that there really wasn’t a neighborhood…In my effort to remain healthy despite the stress, travelling, and disrupted routines, I decided to take myself on a little jogging journey in my new area. I set out enthusiastic, I jogged out of our complex, down the street and thought I would weave my way through the side streets to see the sights. Not far down the state road, I decided to hang a left and make a big circle.


I jogged ½ a block off the main road and found myself literally surrounded by corn fields, what the heck! No sidewalks, ditches lined the road on both sides, and surprisingly quite a bit of local traffic made my “jog” go from casual sightseeing to survival of the fittest. I guess I need to find another route…well, I tried but it was either run on the sidewalk of the busy state road or the country backroads. The logo here should have been “where city meets country”…

It didn’t take us long to realize Indiana wasn’t for us. Our time here from beginning to end was 9 months and that seemed like a long time! The jobs weren’t what we imagined, it was lonely, and we missed a landscape with mountains. What will we do now?

Have you ever lived somewhere that didn’t live up to your expectations? I’d love to hear your stories, leave me a comment!

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IMG_1560 Trudi


Doctor’s orders…

When working in the ED, nurses expect to care for many different types of illness, disease processes, populations, ages, and more. We can also expect to work in many different styles of departments, with doctors and nurses of varying knowledge, experience, and personalities.


Overtime, I have learnt that in every department you will expect to find a handful of similar personalities, especially with the doctors. Initially, you will recognize the “laid back doctor”. This doctor will be comfortable with nurses ordering test, initiating fluids, and generally trusting and being “OK” with most of what the nurse feels needs to be done. You will experience the “uptight doctor”, who feels nothing happens unless cleared with them first. You might experience the “old timer” who feels that everything needs to be a doctor’s order, including the saline lock. You will experience the “younger doctor” who will actually do many tasks on their own like actually take a temp! There are “teaching doctors”, and those who don’t want to teach, the “personable one”, and even some that are down right cranky. I have worked with some amazing doctors and some that I wouldn’t trust to care for my family. Over the years, I have seen an increase in female ED doctor’s, and I will say, the female doctors are usually amazing; however, some carry the stigma of needing to prove themselves and this can develop into them having a few sharp edges.

I did experience this phenomenon in one of the ED’s I worked.

Cool Wind

It was late in the afternoon and I was carrying for a young diabetic patient, of approximately 10 or 11 years old. I had only been caring for this patient for a short time and I was anticipating new doctor’s orders. When I finally received the chart & orders, I noted that insulin and a few other medications were ordered. With pediatrics we are extremely cautious, and this case warranted the same level of caution as usual. I found a co-worker to come with me into the medication room to double check the orders and co-sign the medications. Although describing the facts up to this point may seem simple, the process was in fact more time consuming. The chart took quite some time to be processed, finding a co-worker was not simple, and drawing up the medications with a double check always takes a bit of time. Once I was ready, I took the medications to the patient only to find out his mother was not in the room. The patient did state, “I think she already gave me my insulin”. Wait, what? Twice more I had to return to the room before the mother had in fact returned and verified the medication had been given. The mother stated, the doctor had approved and encouraged them to give their own insulin. I nearly lost my mind! 1. It was a good thing I waited to verify with the mother and didn’t just give the insulin and 2. Why did the doctor write the order knowing the mother was going to administer the medication? The risk that this child may have been double dosed on insulin because of a doctor’s order is terrible! I approached the doctor to verify the order/directions to the mother and explained my concerns. My concerns were not received well, my time for prepping this medication was disrespected, and the potential error was dismissed with the comment “well, you caught it before you gave it, didn’t you?”. It was the sharply stated “what do you want from me now, an apology?” that left me so angry with this female Doc that I felt compelled to inform her on how she should document her orders to reflect permission to the parent or at the very least communicate this with the nurse. Knowing the parent may give the medication, would have changed my approach and saved me tons of time by checking with the parent first among other things. The story ends well with the patient avoiding admission, but this wasn’t the first or last time I would experience “sharp edges” with a particular gender of ED doctors…

Do you have a similar story? I’d love to read about it in the comments below!

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(Disclaimer: As always, I have left out any identifying details to protect the confidentiality of the patient, this story may not have taken place in the state or facility talked about in this blog post.)