Friday, March 30, 2012

Over the Red Line

I think we all have a meter within us.  Some call it intuition.  Some call it their 'gut feeling'.  Mine is a bullshit meter.  It's usually in a yellow zone.  Just the nature of circumstance, I am around potential scenes in which the meter can go either way fairly quickly.

Sadly, my red line, the one that reads "BULLSHIT ALERT!"  "BULLSHIT ALERT!"  is wearing faint due to overuse.

Trust is not my strongest suit.  I work on it daily.  On the days I fail at it miserably, I check to see if my mistrust was warranted.  Usually, it is.  Then, the Bullshit meter goes off and, normally, the Bullshit Alert tips the scales of Tranquility over into Crazytown.  I mean, I might as well keep those little dissolving comfort lozenges in my reach at all times so that I don't lose my ultra coolness.

I have never, ever in a moment of seriousness claimed perfection.  But if I tell you I'm going to do something, I'm going to do my damnedest to keep my word.  If you have even the tiniest inkling you're not able to do what you're about to promise, don't promise it.  

I don't have one of those little lozenges handy right now.  If I end up M.I.A., check Crazytown.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Price of Cats and Dogs

One would think I am a dog hater.  Send me a picture of a little pug puppy and  you might hear, "Oh, cute.  It'll grow up to be a dog."  I actually hurt a friend's feelings when her old dog died.  He was like 14 or something.  She was really upset and I was tired of hearing about it.  I said a couple of times, "It's just a dog."  That was a pivotal point in our former friendship. 

This is Banjo.  That's my cat Sookie right after she overtook his blankets on the floor.
My husband has a dog.  His name is Banjo.  I sometimes encourage him to go play in traffic when I walk him.  It's a whisper.  Once, he tried.  I hesitated for about 3 seconds before I went after him.  That part of me that loves my husband overcame the part of me that loves cats more than dogs and I chased the little hairy fucker down the street in flip flops, a t-shirt sans bra, sweat get the picture. 

I am, in fact, a cat person.  I am, in fact, not a dog hater.  I had the best dog in the world.  His  name was Bo.  He was a beautiful blond lab and chow mix.  He came to us when he was 4 weeks old and I was a senior in high school.  He lived for thirteen years and died of cancer.  When you have the best dog in the world, it's hard to ever have one that measures up.  As for a dog dying, losing Bo was very sad.  After losing a child, I'd let him die every day and not think twice about it.

On to cats...they are fantastic creatures.  I've hardly been without one for seventeen years.  The one I had from 1995-2003 was one of the best cats ever.  She was so great, Olivia's dad and I shared custody of her as well.  That's what happened to her.  On one of her visits with him, he let her outside and she never came back.  Then, I had two phenomenally beautiful pedigreed cats.  One was a Bombay and the other a Burmese.  I shouldn't even call them mine.  They were Olivia's and they grieved themselves nearly to death after she died.  Now, I have this rescue, Sookie.  She's funny and loving and she warms my heart.

We want to have a baby, but it's not happened yet.  I had two miscarriages last year.  During all of that, the animals have been the consistent soothers.  Even that damned Banjo.  He seems to know when I'm sad or hurting.

I'm sentimental tonight as Sookie snuggles me while I lie here a little melancholy.  Those pedigrees are pricey, but there really isn't anything I can afford when it comes to the sweet purr or warmth the paws and little head on my leg bring.

Friday, March 23, 2012

*Names Have Been Changed

I had a man tell me once he was concerned I'd write a tell-all.  I promised him I'd change his name and make him a high-ranking public official.  I think I'm going to take a stab, no pun intended, at fiction.  I think all fiction is at least partially based in reality.  Two of my favorite authors are Patricia Cornwell and Lee Child.  Look at his jacket photo....Jack Reacher IS Lee Child!  (except Reacher doesn't smoke and that bothers me about the pic, Lee).  I'm pretty sure Kay's niece, Lucy is actually Cornwell. 

I don't want to write a secret autobiography.  I will lay all my stuff out there when I write my own story.  I think I want to try bits and pieces.  So, every day there's going to be something.  I don't know what shape this is going to take.  It might even be a new blog at some point.  If you're interested, subscribe so you don't miss anything.  If you like how I write, please click the share buttons and toss me out to your FB, Twitter and Google friends.  Hey, if you don't like me, toss me out there and let the piranhas feed on me.  See you on the flip side!

Heparin Makes Blood Run Like Water

Whoever said blood is thicker than water is more full of shit than a port-o-potty at a state fair in October.  Heparin is one of several blood thinning products, by the way.

Since Olivia's dad and I separated when she was 3, I have been able to count on my hands the people who helped and stood by me.  My chosen family, my friends, far more than my blood relatives are countable.  Let's put the stinking, nasty ass laundry out.

I wish desperately for my mother to be alive and to have a father who loved me and protected me.  I wish for the family of movies and Leave It to Beaver.  It was never and will never be.  My father was rarely around, except for Saturday nights.  My mother worked her ass off to provide for us.  My husband is a musician.  My only child died.  This sure as hell is not Leave It to Beaver.  It's like Beaver dressed as Michael Myers

For those of you who have loving families, do you intentionally engage people who cause hurt or harm to your loved family members?  I'm going to guess 'no'.  Please answer though, because I'd like some honest, unbiased answers.  In my family, that answer is 'yes'.  People do, in fact, intentionally engage others who have harmed or hurt me emotionally.  It doesn't just happen once.  It doesn't just happen, say, 25 years ago.  It keeps happening.

I am not playing a victim.  I am doing the opposite.  While talking with one of my dearest friends today, it occurred to me that hiding these things is victim-like.  I am not ashamed.  I didn't do anything wrong!  I just exist.  I am tired of existing in my world for other people's jollies.  I don't know how to do it tonight, but I'm figuring out how to have a good life that is mine (with my husband) and not Velcroed to anyone because of 'shoulds'.  His family is very loving and protective and I am so very thankful for them.

Blood is not thicker than water.  Maybe my family has genetic Heparin running through its veins.  My therapy co-pay is so going to be worth it tomorrow.

 Damn it...Mine went up!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Summer Love

     Listening to Justin Timberlake's song about that elusive, sexy sounding, different kind of romance.

      Summer love never was much for me.   I never had a hot, steamy romance that was just over school or college break.  I never even had a fling as an adult that classified as summer love.

     This summer is going to be filled with strong emotions.  Some of them might be love.  Some of them might be anger, disappointment,  hurt, desperation ... you get the point.  I'm at a crossroads in my life.  Big decisions have to be made. 

     I am, in fact, angry a lot of the time.  My edge hasn't been lost.  I've just been hiding the anger as best I can.  I've never had to fake sweetness before, but it's happening a lot now.  I don't want to do irreparable damage to my relationships with those I love or my job.

     As angry as I am and as much as I love the Honey Badger,  I will not condone violence.   Maybe plucking the occasional eyebrow, but that is IT.
I will NOT meet you at the dumpster at 0330 with an empty yard size garbage bag and you bring a life-like photo... 

     Whoa...I got really sidetracked.  I need to settle down.  Back to JT...

Razor sharp

I was told yesterday that I was losing my edge.  I am not!  I've been on a low for a couple of months and I have been worrying too much about hurting people's feelings.  I don't know where that came from.  Poof!  Be gone!  Imma be Imma be Imma be back tonight.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Make-A-Wish Celebrity Serve Winston-Salem

I'm a slacker and also, the notice went to my old email...

It's here...the annual Celebrity Serve for Make-A-Wish Foundation.  This charity has a very special place in my heart.  Olivia was granted a wish in February 2007 to meet Cinderella.  There is a lot to that story, but know that it was the happiest time of her entire life.

She fell in love with Belle on the trip and always had her doll.
meeting Belle

Her welcome note from Cinderella
If you're local to Winston-Salem, NC or the Triad area, please find a participating restaurant and go to dinner for a good cause!  Here is the link to those restaurants and the local celebrity servers. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

I'm Karen. I'm a Navigator...

I don't talk about my work publicly often.  Well, I take that back.  There was this one time in 2010 when I was on The Nate Berkus Show and I talked about it quite publicly (search for my maiden name, Karen Hawks, on his website and you'll see it's fo' realz).  That wasn't the show topic, though, so it was just a tiny portion.

Some people work.  I have a passion for what I do.  I work at Brenner Children's Hospital in Winston-Salem, NC.  My title is Pediatric Critical Care Navigator.  I work with parents who have children in intensive care or who have been critically injured in a trauma.  That also includes the Intensive Care Nursery.  It was a pilot program through a grant that began in February 2009.  I was the first Navigator and the last of the first standing.  That's right.  I'm the shit.  Nah, I just love what I do.

I also help extended family, foster families, siblings at times; whatever I have to do at that moment.  One of the things I'm best at, which I think won't surprise you, is helping families who are experiencing the death of their child.  It makes some days extremely hard, but for some families, it makes all the difference knowing someone is with them who has walked the walk.  I know having those people saved me when Olivia died.

I worked a split shift with my cohort yesterday, but it was one of the best days I've had in very long time.  I think that's what brought about my cheering about work.  Really, who cheers about work?

I can say that I have a great group of people.  I'm spread among four units:  Peds ICU, Neonatal ICU, both of their Intermediate Units, and the ED when major traumas come in.  I guess that's technically five.  During some of my toughest times over the past year, they have been right beside me.  They're also there during the fun.

So, now you know what a Navigator is.  You've been introduced to Brenner Children's.  You know I had a flash of fame.  My only other dream is to be a published writer.

What else do you want to know that won't classify you as a stalker???

My Craker Dawg!

My pookie and a sweetheart who makes rum cake every Christmas.

We are trouble, with a pool boy.

At my bachelorette party

Two of my besties. The one on the left abandoned me for AK.

She calls me her work bitch. I think that's backwards, Katie.



What we're really like...a mix of them all
*This blog is only my personal view...I am not an official Medical Center spokesperson.*

Saturday, March 10, 2012

My life in song

Do you ever listen to a song and think the lyrics fit your life situation? I do that with most any song any given day of the week. I did this long before I married a musician. I have probably slowed down now that I'm married to Kelly because my love of music seems so insignificant compared to his. Back in the day, I'm talking as early as elementary school; I could take a song and find a way to make the lyrics meaningful to me and my life in some way. I'm trying to think of one, but it escapes me now. All I'm picturing is the Saturday night gathering around the TV to watch Hee Haw with my dad. Those songs were goofy, but they reminded me of him. Gloom, Despair and Agony on me…

Middle school and high school brought a whole different kind of music. It brought a whole different me. I thought I was in college. My sister was and I fell in with her crowd. I listened to hair bands like Bon Jovi, Mötley Crüe, & Guns 'N Roses. I got my groove on to Salt 'n Pepa, The Fresh Prince, admittedly Vanilla Ice and The Beastie Boys. I was trying to fit in with someone. I was such an oddity. I was a straight A student, but not popular. I wore glasses. I felt completely awkward. Even then, I loved to read and write. I kept a journal. I escaped and I listened to music as much as possible away from a classroom.

Then, I got in way over my Baptist roots with Dr. Dre, my forever love Snoop Dogg and the whole crew of Yo! MTV Raps when college arrived. However, I was like a split personality in that I had a grunge side. I was all into Pearl Jam and The Indigo Girls. None of that meshes! One of my best college memories is a Def Leppard concert in Greenville with Amy. Wow! It was general admission. We stood outside in sleet for hours, but we were front row so close I could read their set list! So worth it!!!

Ah, the memories…for at least a thousand songs, I can go back and tell you times in my life and where the memories take me. Or, give me any given song on the Vh1 Top 20 Countdown© right now. I can somehow make those lyrics follow a thread of my life story right now. I don't know if other people can do it, or if it's just me.

I think part of that is relying on a melody and a song to give voice to the thoughts that haunt me when I can't put together the sentences or even two-word phrases to get them out of my head where they torture me. I think that is why the songwriter pens them. They tell a story from the beginning for someone. I'm simply borrowing them for a bit.

What are my current autobiographical tunes? If we're looking at popular music, then it's going to be We Found Love by Rihanna. She is so not one of my faves, but this song hits home. Plus, it was a great Glee scene. On my really down days, I'm all about Amy Winehouse and it's usually Love is a Losing Game. My ups and downs are about love. Isn't that what most songs are about no matter the genre? Rock, Rap, Country, Blues, on and on…. You can insert any topic into love. My husband, my angel daughter and hopes for children are the loves of my life.

What does music mean in your life? Do you have a soundtrack to your life? What are the songs that are your trademarks? Why do they scream out YOU?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

My favorite things gone bad

When you were a kid, did you have a favorite toy?  Hell yes, you did.  Maybe even now you have a favorite.  In my toy stash, I sure have a fave ;-)  Moving on, my point is that we all have something that at some point we loved more than anything.

What if, let's just suppose, something happened to it.  Let's suppose it was tainted in some way.  Maybe it was hurt just a little and the defect couldn't totally be fixed.  Maybe it was trashed really badly and the stain or smell couldn't be completely removed.

Would it still be your favorite thing in the world?  Would  you still want to snuggle it when you were scared or sick?  Would you still want to carry it when you went to a friend's house?  Speaking in adult language, would you still want it displayed proudly in your foyer so that all of your friends would see it when they visit?

I think we want to believe we would love something just as much if something happened to it.  I think we want to believe we are humble enough that we will be happy to have the thing we love regardless of the shape it's in.

Then, there is the flip side.  Should we want a lovey (what a friend of mine has always called those things of childhood) that is damaged, dirtied, irreparable?  It's not that the damage would rub off on us, but it can't bring us the joy it once did and there is no going back.  Something that damaged can't be repaired.  What is the threshold for "that" damaged?

Whether the lovey is kept or disregarded is really of no consequence because the joy it once gave us is gone forever.  Once that damage has occurred, there isn't a spit shine bright enough; there isn't a seamstress talented enough; there isn't enough money to get it fixed just so that it is like new.  It will never be new again.

Friday, March 2, 2012

When You See My…

I have gone off the chain about the crazed Republicans and their tirades against women this week. First of all, the lunatics in my former residential Commonwealth of Virginia… I call bullshit on this bill that now claims not to require a vaginal ultrasound. If they require an ultrasound that shows a clear image in the first few weeks of pregnancy, then it will almost certainly have to be by a vaginal probe. There is also language in there that will place the ultrasound photo into the woman's medical record and label the embryo as a 'person'. Is this an attempt to charge the woman with murder in the future?

Then, we get to Rush Limbaugh and his unbelievable statements about a college student who boldly faced Congress to state her case as to why health insurance should cover birth control, regardless of employer or school's religious beliefs. Al Franken was right all along. I don't care how much weight the man loses, he's still a BIG FAT IDOT!

I was born in 1974. I don't care if you know how old I am. I have always been thankful that the women of the '70s (especially) and those before them paved the way for me to live a free life. I think what bothers me most of all in both of these scenarios is that these decisions are being made by a predominantly male group.

There is a song by the All American Rejects that used to be my favorite divorce song. Now, I'm going to rewrite it for Limbaugh and McDonnell. Are you ready?

(I give all credit to the #AllAmericanRejects. I claim nothing except love for them.) *vagaled is a reference to the straining for a bowel movement that can cause fainting.

I Wanna Give You Hell…by Karen Sanders

I wake up every morning

Wondering what's your big mistake?

I'm sure there'll be at least 8

Surely no more than 8

When you see my name

When you see my name

Hope you're scared like hell

Hope you're scared like hell

When I read the lines

I wanna give you hell

I wanna give you hell

Now where's your common sense, fools?

Did you lose it in the stalls?

Did you strain so hard you vagaled

And your brain lost normal recall?

That's all I can think of.

Now I'm writing to tick you off.

When you see my name

When you see my name

Hope you're scared like hell

Hope you're scared like hell

When I read the lines

I wanna give you hell

I wanna give you hell


I kind of sing it to the tune of my divorce song. It's catchier that way. I'm about to go all Honey Badger on these man bitches.