I saw a nurse at Starbucks today. Nurses do not receive nearly enough credit. Policemen, fireman, and soldiers get to talk at schools, people stop and shake their hand, they often get a free cup of coffee, and they are seen as heroes of the community. What do nurses get?

Nurses get to work insane hours to make sure sick and dying patients have protection 24 hours a day.

Nurses get to bath old wrinkled people who cannot clean themselves.

Nurses get to clean up human blood and waste.

Nurses get to change IVs, administer oxygen, medicine, and implement variousĀ  medical procedures to keep humans alive.

Nurses get to see people be born, die, and suffer terrible pain and they help them through all of it.

To me, this sounds like a person who deserves a lot more credit and appreciation than we currently show. Plus, I think a nurse should be part of the standard professions that come in and talk to students. A fireman told me to stop, drop, and roll if I catch on fire. A policeman told me to…I actually have no idea what he told me to do, but he did have a gun. A nurse could tell us how to be healthy, what to do if I get a popcorn kernel stuck in my ear, how the flu spreads, and plenty other pearls of wisdom to live a healthy life.

Here is the problem with nurses, they have stupid uniforms. Cops, fireman, and doctors all have great uniforms, you see them and immediately understand that they mean business. A nurse wears a little outfit with Winnie The Pooh designs or little frogs on lily pads. Nurses need to standardize their uniform and look more militant. I think they also need badges to show their “rank”, perhaps a little popcorn symbol for their 20th kernel removed from a kids ear or nose, a badge with a flying baby on it for their 100th baby delivered, or a syringe badge for their 10,000th IV inserted. You get the point, with the right uniform and rankings, nurses could have people giving them their first class seats on airplanes…buying them their next coffee at Starbucks.

Donation Process

So now that I have completed phase one of the donor process (lose weight), the University of Pennsylvania sent me a box of 7 or 8 empty vials last night, which all needed to be filled with my blood. They will need to look at this blood to assess my viability as a donor.

The instructions directed me to Quest Diagnostics to get the blood drawn. I went to Quest this morning and immediately met resistance, they said there is no way Quest will ship my blood to someone else and they were not going to let me ship my own blood. The people at Quest made a bunch of phone calls to Quest supervisors, but ultimately, they gave me my box of vials back and said they couldn’t help me.

I am traveling tomorrow through the end of the week, so I was determined to get it done today. The one helpful thing the people at Quest did was direct me to the Saint Clair outpatient hospital center down the road, the folks at Saint Clair were fabulous, took me right in, they were thrilled that I had a box all made up and they didn’t need to create their own vials.

The guy stuck me with the needle in my right arm and the blood was flowing like a newly opened box of merlot. He quickly filled 3 vials, but on the fourth, the well began to dry and blood stopped coming out. He pushed the needle in more, he pulled the needle out, he asked me to squeeze my fist then release repeatedly, but no more blood would come out. He removed the needle and then stuck it into my left arm and we were back in business, the remaining 4 vials were filled up quickly, but by the end, I was feeling a little woozy.

Fortunately, I know the symptoms of feeling woozy post blood extraction, I had once fainted after a Red Cross blood drive and it was not a good experience. I told the people that I was fine, but would really appreciate something sweet to pep me up, they provided me diet ginger ale and I was revived.

They let me hang out for a couple minutes, we packed up the blood in the fancy container and they let me take it to the UPS store across the street. I informed Penn that the blood is in the mail and they expect to give me an update in 14 days.

Weekend Recap

Found a hidden gem this weekend, J&D Cellars, a vineyard tucked away in Eighty Four, PA. Jaclyn and I secured a babysitter and we debating the following options:

  1. Go to Sam’s club to buy Seltzer water
  2. Go to Outlet Stores to hit up Old Navy to pick up clothing for Winston

At the last minute, I proposed that we do something fun instead. I Googled “Vineyard Washington PA” and J&D Cellars popped up. It was open until 8PM on a Saturday, so Jac and I decided to make it an adventure. It was about 15 minutes away and with each passing mile, we got further and further into rural oblivion. As we neared our destination, Jaclyn turned to me and said, “Where in the world are you taking me, it looks a little weird out here.”

We got to their driveway, it was very long and covered in stone. We pulled in via the Jeep and climbed up past a dozen rows of grapevines, past a goat (which we later found out was named Chloe), and parked next to a rustic barn with a neon sign saying “OPEN”.

We walked inside and were cheerfully greeted by a lovely lady who askedĀ  us a couple questions to steer our wine tastings. We comfortably sat at the bar, tasting 3 or 4 wines and learned about the establishment. Eventually, we bought a bottle and they popped it open so we could enjoy it out back. The wine was wonderful, we heard horses somewhere beyond the woods and Chloe chimed in occasionally too, there was a music stage (pictured below, but no acts were performing that night).

I also took Winston up to Lake Arthur this weekend and we did some canoeing & fishing. I have a permit to use a cast net and tried using it (ineffectively) for a dozen attempts. I didn’t see any baitfish, I was just tossing it out and hoping to accidentally catch something. When you throw a cast net, it should land as a perfect circle in the water, my tosses landed in long skinny oval shapes, I must practice in my backyard. I paddled strenuously against the wind to cross and find a sheltered cove. We finally got there when Winston mentioned that he had to pee. We paddled some more until we got to shore and he went behind a tree. We fished another 30 minutes and then he had to pee again, I paddled us to an island and he disappeared into the woods. I practiced throwing the cast net some more and then Winston called out to let me know he was stuck. I retrieved Winston and we tried fishing a little more, but it was too windy. I probably paddled for 2 or 3 hours, I was sore as hell the next morning. Between the distance and size of the lake, we’ll stick to Cross Creek lake for fishing this summer.