Journal of Nursing Jocularity

Journal of Nursing Jocularity

Archive for June, 2011

Freudian Slip

Henry, my patient, was stricken with a troublesome malady.  To alleviate the symptoms, he needed frequent, large doses of Kaopectate.  His daughter and son-in-law were at his side in his time of need. They hovered protectively, hounding me with questions about Henry’s diet.  They questioned the possibility of dehydration, suggested fluids, and wondered how soon I thought Henry’s problem would be controlled.

My patience was waning when they asked how late I would be working. I told them I would be due to leave in about fifteen minutes.  Their expressions said it all. How could I leave Henry in this, his darkest hour?

I wanted to reassure them, so I innocently said, “Don’t worry.  I always stay late when it’s necessary. I don’t like to leave until all the loose ends are tied up!”

Contributed by Margaret Weisenberger, RN

Posted in: Classic JNJ

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The In ‘N Outpatient by Kris Harty

“What’s the oldest you’ve ever been?”

A fair question, although it may be obvious chronologically. Personally, I can’t attest to having lived or acted my physical age. Many would agree. Mentally, I don’t feel it.

My friend and speaker colleague Bob mentioned a funny age-ism recently. Bob and his family were enjoying a meal together when his little granddaughter piped up. “Grandpa, how old are you?”

“Why, I’m 71.”

“Wow! Did you start out at 1???”

Out of the mouths of young whippersnappers.

This granddaughter still counts her age in years and half years. When do we start counting down instead of up?

Why do we look forward to ‘getting bigger,’ and shortly after we do, we stop looking forward to how our bodies will next change.

It’s not typically for the better.

I was at my annual check up with my ophthalmologist to make sure 40 years of arthritis hasn’t messed with my eyes. I noted that in the last six months, my eyes don’t seem to adjust or focus quickly when the TV screen changes. There’s a blurry three seconds before the image clears.

When it first started happening, I was concerned. The old ‘oh no, what now’ syndrome. But then a sneaking suspicion snuck in that it was normal…for my age.

I first mentioned it to my neurosurgeon this spring. He looked at me, a half grin creeping across his face. “It’s an age thing, isn’t it?” “Uh, yea.”

My ophthalmologist was no less sympathetic. “You are middle aged.”

Did he have to be so brutal about it?

Why is there no manual for aging? There are books to tell pregnant women what to expect during pregnancy and during that child’s first year, and what’s normal, and what’s not. Why are there no books for those entering middle age? With all us boomers venturing there, it would have to be a best seller. Maybe that’s my next book.

It could be that those of you in the medical professions have a primer on this stuff. I’d say that’s an unfair advantage. The rest of us slog through, wondering if something is wrong or if our peers are falling apart, too – but that they’re smart enough to keep mum regarding the small horrors coming our way.

We shouldn’t have to stumble through blindly. My slightly younger friends tease me that they’re well equipped to enter middle age because they know from my experience what’s coming their way. I’m glad I can be a beacon (she said wryly).

The pre-school niece of an old boyfriend, when she thought we should know better, often asked, “What are you – new??”

It reminded me of Bob’s granddaughter.

I barely remember being new. Heck, I barely remember much of anything some days. But I’m glad I’ve had the luxury of learning what it is to age, to forget, to have mal-adjusting eyesight.

Without it, I would never have lived past new. And I’m grateful I’ve gotten to be the oldest I’ve ever been.

It’s bad form to shout it from rooftops, but I’m so excited that my first book is now a published reality! A Shot in the Arm and A Strong Spirit: How Health Care Givers Help Patients Persevere…No Matter What! A Lifelong Patient Opens Her Heart and Journal. I wrote this book, out of respect, love and admiration, for YOU – the professional health care giver. You’ve kept me alive and walking through four decades of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. That’s worthy of a medal, but I’m not that talented. If you’d like an insider’s view of how you can and do make a difference to your patients’ perseverance, then I humbly suggest snatching up a copy while it’s hot off the press. Packed with inspiration and application, it’s an intentionally quick read (2hours) that I hear can be life-changing. Available on Amazon ( and wherever books are orderable in stores or online.

Posted in: The In 'N Out Patient

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Live The Joy: Journey of You

  1. Grab your hairbrush microphone and belt out your favorite song.
  2. Smile and wave at yourself in the mirror.
  3. Do a happy dance in  your kitchen or office.
  4. Go outside.  Walk.  Hopscotch. Hula hoop.
  5. Stop complaining.  Right now.
  6. Phone a friend.
  7. Buy flowers – for you and for someone else.
  8. Paint your toenails pink.  Guys, you too 🙂
  9. Do a secret kindness for someone.
  10. Just breathe!

Want to read more? Check out Kelly Epperson!

Posted in: Inspiration

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The In ‘N Outpatient by Kris Harty

“Maybe I’m an exception to the ‘rolling stone gathers no moss’ adage.”

I’m feeling pretty darn moss-covered myself some days, especially when work and life seem to be rolling downhill. It’s overwhelming at times. It happens far more often than I’d like. Needless to say, I’m a mite suspicious of the proverb about a rolling stone gathering no moss.

Prove it.

The faster the downward tumble speeds up at a breakaway pace, the more moss  – the more yuck, the more issues – I seem to accumulate. I can’t shake it. Its fuzziness is annoying. Get this stuff off me!

Perhaps that wasn’t the original intent of the phrase. Still, I beg to differ with it – as sometimes seems to be my nature.

Do you ever feel that way, about the rolling downhill part? That life is rolling along at its own merry clip, and all you can do is attempt to merely match the same pace, while all the while gunk is building up on you, instead of falling away, off to the side, where it belongs?

I’ve felt that way in the past as a patient, I sometimes feel that way as a professional, and I certainly feel that way in my personal life.

My neighbor Jeanette and I meandered onto the topic of overwhelmingness this weekend. She’s the busy mom of two young boys whom she homeschools and the mom of one husband – who, of course, she doesn’t.

Although we live lives that are more dissimilar than similar, we both feel it. The ‘it’ being the weight of all we carry, all we’re responsible for, all that the world throws at us. It’s never-ending and no matter how much we do, more keeps getting added to the list.

In the midst of our commiseration, Jeanette stopped me when she offered a game-changer, a brain-changer. She said, “We can’t stop from rolling downhill. We can only learn to roll downhill better.”



She’s right. We can’t stop more and more stuff – activities, obligations, requirements, messes, muck and miscellaneous – from entering our lives. But we can determine that we’ll handle them all better. We’ll learn to juggle. Not by juggling nine pointy knives at one time, but by juggling two or three soft foam-like balls.

No rush to learn or perfect the craft. We’ve been dealing with green muck attaching itself to us all our lives. It’ll take a little while to intentionally step back, take a breath, and figure out how to deal with the muck that needs to be dealt with, and how to apply muck-repellant for that which doesn’t.

Identifying the muck and green moss that we don’t need to put up with in our lives is half the battle. Once we learn to identify it and handily repel it so it doesn’t stick to us, our downhill roll will be much less encumbered. Less overwhelming. Much more freeing.

We might even be able to relax and enjoy the ride – sans our green mossy selves.

The Short Chick with the Walking Stick’s upcoming book celebrates professional caregivers as the StickSpirits they are. For four decades, they’ve helped Kris Harty Stick To It – No Matter What! Kris provides a patient’s perspective that is educational, inspirationa, and insightful. Part memoir, part application, Kris helps student nurses, newer nurses and not-so-newer nurses remember why they joined their giving profession in the first place. She shares how they positively impact patients’ lives, with minimal time and effort. Kris is the Thought Leader on People Helping People Persevere. She leads the conversation regarding Patient Relationships and Quality of Care from the patient perspective. A 40-year veteran of the medical industry – on the receiving end, Kris Harty is the Stickabilities Specialist at Strong Spirit Unlimited. If you’re looking for an effortless and meaningful way to lead your team toward continued quality caregiving, contact Kris. Call 877.711.STIC(K), email, or visit

Posted in: The In 'N Out Patient

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