Tales from the ER

Date: Sunday April 13, 2008
Posted in: Random,writing

I’m not the sickly type by nature (thank goodness) but have been to the ER twice in my life.

Once was while writhing in pain equivalent to 14 knives being impaled into my abdomen (not childbirth–kidney stones) and another was when a skin infection became unbearably painful during a long weekend.

 The first time, I was whisked in to a waiting emergency room, amidst withering glares from the weary occupants of the waiting room. The second, I was the one cursing the 15 people who skipped the queue before me while I worried my finger was about to fall off. So how exactly do ER staff prioritize patients’ care? While researching my latest non-fiction project, this is what I learned:

Each patient that comes through ER goes to triage. There, a nurse gives their condition a rating:

• Less urgent : like infected fingers (apparently).

• Urgent, but not life-threatening: like kidney stones (apparently).

• Immediately life-threatening: which I didn’t qualify for (apparently).

The sickest get seen quicker, even if they come in later.

So what about you? What are some of your ER stories? Where would you have landed on the triage rating?


Things I learned today…

Date: Wednesday April 9, 2008
Posted in: Random,writing

Telesurgery is performed on a patient by a surgeon from a distance away. On February 28, 2003, the first hospital-to-hospital surgery was performed in Ontario, Canada. One surgeon worked at the patient’s side. The other was 400 kilometers away and operated with the help of a computer-controlled robot.

Trepanning is an ancient surgery dating back to the Neolithic caveman. Early man drilled holes through the skull to release the evil spirits that caused headaches or epilepsy. This operation was done without anesthetic (ouch!) with a surgical tool that looked like a manual drill (double ouch!).

Image:Peter Treveris - engraving of Trepanation for Handywarke of surgeri 1525.png

Cool, huh? I love my job!!

Marvelous Monday

Date: Monday April 7, 2008
Posted in: Good news!,writing

Got a lovely note yesterday saying that my middle grade story, ACADIAN STAR , had taken second place in the Writer’s Federation of New Brunswick’s Literary competition:

2008 WFNB Literary Competition Winners Announced
By Kellie(Kellie)
Helene Boudreau of Markham, ON, takes Second place with “Acadian Star.” Third place goes to Lindsey Morris of Amherstburg, ON for “The Hotdog Bun.” Carmelita McGrath judged the Sheree Fitch Prize for Poetry written by a youth.
Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick – http://nbwriters.blogspot.com/

Snoopy dancing!!

The space between…

Date: Wednesday April 2, 2008
Posted in: Uncategorized

I talked about waiting in my last post. That anxiety-ridden state of indecision, with all its dangly loose bits and paralysing angst. Is there anything worse than having a carrot dangled in front of you and not quite being able to reach it. Worse yet, having it snatched away?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to want things. Right now, our household is waiting for two Very Important Events. Little M’s going to be 5 in exactly ten days and Little C is going to be 7, seven days later.  You can imagine the planning, pontificating and pining that’s been happening here! But really, isn’t that part of the fun? Isn’t making the invitations, planning the party games and choosing the menu all part of the build up for the special day(s)?

Me, I’ve been very busy lately. Been working on three non-fiction manuscripts (one down, two to go), writing a few science articles and immersing myself in revisions of a novel.  And LOVING it. This is exactly what I’ve been planning for, dreaming about and working towards for the past three years since I decided to pursue a writing career. It has taken 6 picture books, 4 early chapter books, 4 novels in various stages of completion, a dozen or so articles, a dozen or so contest submissions, more than 50 rejections and ten pounds to get here. (Okay, I could have done without those extra ten pounds, but whatever.)

Point is, even though I finally feel comfortable saying ‘I’m a writer’ when someone asks what I ‘do’ at cocktail parties,(um, I don’t really go to cocktail parties, but a girl can dream), I think anyone who is putting in the blood, sweat and tears should own that distinction. You’re not a writer because you get to see your name in print on some byline or a bookspine. You’re a writer when you sit yourself down and do it.

In other news, my new niece is here!! There’s nothing quite like the feeling of becoming a mother, to be wholly responsible for another human being. But that doesn’t start when the baby is placed in your arms. Doesn’t it start right from the time you know that baby is inside you? 

So whatever you’re waiting for, whatever you’re dreaming of, whatever you yearn for–let it trickle over you and revel in it.  Enjoy the ride and for now,  just live in the space between.

Because really, what’s more important–the journey or the destination?