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Archive for Healthcare


Time for a change…of thought.

Posted by: Claudette | Comments (0)

Spring-ahead Time change: How do I hate it?

Let me count the ways:

1.  4:45am is my work-day alarm. (Gym before work.)

  1. Pitch black in December.
    By March 1st, I’m seeing the brilliant sun rise as I get to work, after months of morning darkness.
    Then the evil time change happens….and I’m back to strolling through the Night Mine of Blackness into my hospital.
  2. I adapt slowly.
    “4 to 5 days”-slowly.
    Exercise is harder.
    Official “lunchtime” feels like breakfast. For days.
  3. Trying to sleep 2.5 hours after sunset is ridiculous.
    I’m just getting warmed up.
    “How about a movie?”
    Late to bed is trouble when your day job is in surgery with its relentless 0645 start time.
  4. Night diving becomes Midnight Diving: I have to wait until 7:30pm for a night dive.
    It’s not Daylight Savings. It’s Nightdive Slaying.
    you get it….ew.
  5. thru 99.  I don’t like it.

Well, I didn’t used to like it.

This year, something more than time changed.

I fell in love with pre-dawn, watching its ethereal, evanescent beauty developing from December through February.

Indescribable pinks, lavenders, blues.

Kisses of gold on blue cerulean skin, as magenta blush rises from the distant side of the earth.
(I was pummeling the dictionary to find new color words each day!)

Then rude March sun began shouldering in too early.
Blasting light harshing the mellow of romance.
Who stole my transparent, inhalable pinks?

I considered rising earlier, but the gym doesn’t open until 5:30.

Then an amazing thing happened.
Daylight Savings.
And the morning blush returned.

I think I like it.

Who’d have thunk?


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Plantaris muscle: Gone in 60 seconds! (Not my leg. Less hair on my leg; Plenty o' hurt.)

Of course, you might not even have one.

Between 7 and 20% of medically dissected cadavers don’t.

You’re not dead yet, so you probably only know if you have this vestigial calf muscle if you ruptured it playing hard…
….as I did, December 16, 2009.

Muscling 140 pounds of diving gear out of the sea, I pushed hard against sand and swirling water and felt a whomping !POP! on my right calf.  It felt like a tennis ball had hit it.  Then came a fascinating sensation as the now free tendon slithered downwards from my knee to my ankle, right before the next step brought a wave of pain.

Ok, this couldn’t be good.

Home to ice, compression, elevation and single malt scotch while I convinced my brain to take the night off.  I’d worry about it tomorrow.

December 17th I could barely walk, but even my hobbling was enough for a physician teammate to diagnose it between my car and the hospital door: “You trashed a vestigial calf muscle.   Common in middle-aged athletes who play hard.  The tendon just gets old and gives up. I did it myself when I was 47 playing tennis. You don’t need it. You’ll heal just fine.  See ya!

10 minutes later I had the reference from PubMed: “The plantaris muscle: anatomy, injury, imaging and treatment.”  Spina, A.A., Journal of Canadian Chiropractic Association, 2007.

Treatment: Rest 1 to 3 days.  Ice, compress, elevate.  (No mention of single malt scotch. They’re missing it!) Resume activity when pain subsides and rehab as needed for specific sports.

And that’s exactly what happened.  I hobbled and Igor-walked for a couple of weeks, and dived plenty as that didn’t irritate it.  I appreciated my dearest buddy who loaded my gear on the boat for a great weekend of diving.

I knocked off the gym until I could walk without pain, 30 days later.

The first week of running and lifting reanimated some of the pain in my right calf, but it was manageable.

By the second week back in the gym, I didn’t even think about it anymore.

Healing is a wonderful thing.

And then…yesterday…. I shuffled my weight routine as I do every few weeks.
Dumbbell single-leg Romanian Deadlifts“?
Sure!  No problem.

Down…up…down…up… 3 sets of 6 reps, I was feeling good.

[Tick, tick, tick... a night passes.....]

Today?  I could barely walk.
With each step forward the right hamstring HURT!!

Seems my right hamstring muscles are missing their little friend, the plantaris muscle, 8 weeks after the little striated slacker gave up the ghost.  Ow!!

My left leg and hamstring are fine and dandy. I know where THAT plantaris is… still.
But the right hamstring, now lifting with just the remaining gastrocnemius and soleus calf muscles, is howling mad and has been telling me about it all day in excruciating detail.

It wins. It gets the night off. Back to the gym in a couple of days.

I love healing.   Isn’t it over yet?



Popping the cork

Posted by: Claudette | Comments (2)

I love Champagne.

Real Champagne…. you know, French Champagne.

But it’s only a nice, still wine until you pop the cork.

Then the magic swirls and bubbles, rising from nowhere, dancing, skating, exploding, getting into your head and heart and changing things.

In a good way.

I work in a hospital with 20 entry doors, 250 beds, and 600 RNs you could need on days that aren’t your best.

You want their best.
I work everyday to make that happen.

These madly-skilled containers of caring, knowledge, dedication, and petty foibles offer up service every day.

I want to pop their corks and let their absolute best pour out on the people we serve.
Whatever it takes to make the best happen, I’ll do:

  • encouragement,
  • more knowledge,
  • access to more expertise,
  • bedrock evidence upon which to build better practice,
  • empowerment,
  • better coffee,
  • recognition,
  • and thanks.

Whatever it takes to pop their corks so the best care in them pours out through their hands and eyes and voices.

I’ve got a friend beyond all earthly value who nudges me, fearlessly, to do this every day.

I hope you have a friend like this in your life.


(Pretty cabinets are for dishes.)


Killer Queen – Queen
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