• Diary Entries

    New Beginnings

    New Contract and New Beginnings

    Carson City, Nevada

    New Beginnings are always a welcome change in my life. Especially after everything we went through with the Coronavirus in New Orleans. I am excited to start our adventure here in Nevada. There are so many outdoor activities here like hiking, swimming holes, water falls, hot air balloons, biking on trails and the list goes on. This is going to be fun and I am looking forward to the new adventures.


    The Hospital

    As I mentioned in my previous post , we are currently on a travel nurse contract in Carson City , Nevada. The hospital has the most scenic views of mountains and absolutely beautiful sunrises. As far as hospitals go it undeniably has the best views I have ever seen from a hospital. When I leave in the morning, the mountains are casting shadows on each other from the sunrise and the air is crisp and cool. It is the highlight of my shift. Not only does that gorgeous sunrise mean my shift is over but, it’s also makes for a nice ride home.

    If you are a travel nurse and would like a great assignment, definitely come here.

    Carson Tahoe Regional Hospital


    Lake Tahoe


    The day after we got here, we absolutely had to go see Lake Tahoe. If you’ve never been here, I highly recommend it as a destination to add to your list. You drive up and through the Sierra Nevada mountains to get there and the drive is visually breathtaking. Lake Tahoe is a very large alpine lake surrounded by majestic, snow capped mountains.

    Sand Harbor Beach at Lake Tahoe


    Lake Tahoe is truly an amazing experience. Warning…the water is cold! After you are in it for awhile it becomes bearable and you can enjoy the refreshing mountain water.

    The beauty in this area of Nevada is very contrasting. In Carson City, it is quite hot with dry air and a brown mountainous landscape that has very little vegetation. But, once you start driving up into the mountains the landscape becomes green with lush vegetation and cooler temperatures. The contrasting landscape existing in the same area is actually quite strange.

    Beautiful but, strange, much like New Beginnings.



    Quote of the Day

    “New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” – Lao Tzu


    What’s for Dinner?

    Peg’s Glorified Ham n’ Eggs in Carson City, Nevada

    Chile Relleno and Eggs Skillet at Peg’s Glorified Ham n’ Eggs


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  • Diary Entries



    Fires need fuel to burn. Wood, gas, oxygen… a virus, a murder, an incompetent government. These will also work as fuel. This country is on fire and recent events are the fuel that has fed this fire.

    The last time I wrote in this diary was May 22, 2020. Today is July 31, 2020 and A LOT of things have happened since I last wrote.


    On May 25, 2020 America was violently awakened by the murder of George Floyd which subsequently led to riots, protests and a demand for systemic change in this country and in our government.

    May 28, 2020 the CDC issued a media statement citing America has surpassed ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND coronavirus deaths. One hundred thousand…heartbreaking.

    June 10, 2020 America now has over 2 million cases of coronavirus.

    June 24, 2020 The United States reported 38, 115 new cases of coronavirus setting a record for largest amount of cases reported in a day.

    My home state of Florida is overwhelmed with coronavirus cases. This was inevitable given the governors lack of concern in shutting down the state in the beginning of this mess.

    I could go on giving you dates with grave milestones concerning coronavirus but I think you get the point. THE WORLD is on fire right now.

    To say the country is in a mess is a gross understatement. We are in the midst of a global pandemic, a looming economic recession and people are demanding change from their government through protests and riots.

    At times, all of this seems completely unbelievable- like I am living in a nightmare or in hell. When is it going to end?


    Quote of the Day

    “Beneath the good and the kind and the stupid and the cruel

    There’s a fire that’s just waiting for fuel” – Ani DiFranco

    What’s for Dinner? 

    Chili Verde

    Fuel: Chili Verde




    I start a new contract tomorrow night. Michael and I have taken a contract in Carson City , Nevada. When we left New Orleans in May we went home to Pensacola Florida where we stayed until about a week ago to drive out here. I am excited for the new adventure despite the state of the country.

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  • Diary Entries

    Unexpected Journey


    Into the Unknown

    There are two possibilities  when it comes to journeys. The first is a planned and prepared journey and the second is a journey that is completely unexpected.

    As a traveler I find that you have to be highly adaptable to change and learn to ‘go with the flow’. Otherwise your life will be miserable especially when it comes to unexpected journeys.

    Covid Disappears

    It’s been a while since I’ve written but, things have been crazy.

    First of all, at the beginning of May, the hospital kept calling us off of work. This came as no surprise since we kept seeing all of the social media posts about travel nursing crisis contracts for Covid getting cancelled. There were a lot of nurses who were contracted to work in New York and when they arrived they were told to go home and they are pissed!

    We are speculating this is happening because hospitals are losing a lot of money due to elective surgeries being cancelled because of Covid. Surgery accounts for a large chunk of income to hospitals and right now they are going broke. But this is happening in a lot of states not just New York.

    I am sure the nurses who have been busting their asses on Covid units were expecting relief from those travel nurses who got cancelled but, like I said before, hospitals only care about one thing- MONEY. And those tired nurses will have to work even harder now. It’s bullshit they way nurses are treated.

    Anyway, on May 5th the unit manager called us and said the MSU unit was being completely closed for a week in order to convert it to a, “clean unit”. Essentially, this means that anything on the unit that cannot be sanitized has to be thrown away and the unit will return back to normal operation- as it was before Covid.

    I guess Covid just fucking disappeared in New Orleans.

    I’m confused but, whatever.  Since the unit is closed we are off for the next nine days. Hell yes!


    Journey to Florida

    I called a fellow co-worker on the unit, who is also a traveler, and asked her if she wanted to go to the beach in Florida for a few days. She was stuck in an apartment all by herself in NOLA and I figured she could use some salt water therapy. Of course, she said yes and we left for Pensacola Florida.

    It was so nice. We went to Navarre Beach which is less crowded than Pensacola Beach because it isn’t as touristy. There are no condos and big unsightly buildings. It is still fairly untouched and the sea turtles are revered there. It is my favorite beach other than Ft. Pickens and it did not disappoint.

    God, it was so nice to just lay in the sand and soak up the sun. I think this is just what we needed to get out of our Covid funk. This shit has been stressful to say the least. And, on that note…

    While we were at the beach, we were informed that our contract was shortened to May 30, 2020. Figures.


    Sunset on the beach
    Sunset on the beach
    Michael surf fishing
    Michael surf fishing

    Reality Trip

    It was so nice to have a week off of work and go fishing on the beach. I didn’t even care if we caught any fish. I just needed some salt water therapy and to see my family. I’ve never been away from my kids this long and it is hard even though they are adults. I missed my mom and dad and it felt good to see and hug them all again.

    For awhile I was scared I may never get to hug them again but thankfully I was wrong. I don’t want to leave them again but eventually I will have to.

    Reality is reality and we have to go back to New Orleans and work.

    It was really strange walking onto the unit and not having walls up to block people from entering without proper PPE on. And, I felt really uneasy about that – no PPE. It’s not like Covid just vanished. I finally got to the nurses station and saw everyone wearing normal scrubs and was told we are only required to wear a surgical mask while on the unit.

    Hmmmm, weird.

    Just last week were covered in head to toe PPE practically suffocating and sweating our asses off. And now we are required to only wear a surgical mask.

    Did I miss something?

    Nurses donning PPE on a covid unit in New Orleans
    Getting ready to go back in the unit after lunch


    So, we have been a “clean unit” for about a week now and things are going okay. We are still wearing surgical masks but that’s about it. We were told we are no longer accepting Covid patients but I have had a few patients with pending results.

    It really pisses me off that they allow the pending patients on our unit. It puts everyone at risk. This whole Covid ordeal has been a total shit show.


    Phase One

    On May 15th the Louisiana governor, John Bel Edwards, opened the state to ‘Phase One’ of re-opening.

    Finally!! I’m excited and scared at the same time. I’m excited that businesses can start to open and people can start earning money again but, I am also scared this will cause a second wave of the virus. Hopefully, it will not and everyone can move on with their lives.

    Speaking of moving on…



    Finally, On May 19th our recruiter called us and told us that the hospital has cancelled our contract… effective immediately.

    Figures. Oh well, I was ready to leave New Orleans anyway. We are ready for a change.

    To celebrate the end of our journey, we picked up some crawfish from Bobby’s Seafood and boudin balls from Tres Bon. Seriously though, these two places have the best food and they are local.

    We have absolutely no idea where we are going next but that’s one of the exciting things about travel nursing.

    Heading into the unknown.



    Quote of the Day

    “Celebrate endings – for they precede new beginnings.” – Jonathan Lockwood Huie


    What’s for Dinner?

    Unexpected Journey: Crawfish and Boudin Balls
    Crawfish and Boudin Balls


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  • April Fool
    Diary Entries

    April Fools

    Joke’s On Us



    April Fool’s Day

    April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian Calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. In the Julian Calendar, as in the Hindu calendar, the new year began with the spring equinox around April 1st.

    The people who were slow to get the news or, failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1st, continued to celebrate the new year during the last week of March through April 1st. These people became the butt of jokes and hoaxes and were called “April fools.” These pranks included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as “poisson d’avril” (April fish), said to symbolize a young, easily caught fish and a gullible person.

    I didn’t know that.

    This year, April Fool’s Day is pretty much canceled this year due to the Corona Virus. News and media platforms are encouraging people not to play pranks right now because, frankly no one is in the mood.

    Everyone is stuck at home and the general mood held is not jovial.

    One thing that is keeping everyone entertained is The Tiger King on Netflix. That shit is hilarious. The show is like a train wreck you can’t look away from. One thing I did learn- Carol Baskin definitely killed her husband.

    It is so hard to be positive right now. The most exciting part of the week is going to the grocery store where you never know what weird item people are going to be freaking out over next. Like, toilet paper. WTF is wrong with people? Why toilet paper? It’s a pandemic.

    This reminds me of hurricane season in Florida.

    Before a hurricane, grocery stores are emptied out because the people know that there is a great possibility that they won’t have access to the roads and stores for a few weeks . Not to mention electricity is not available so, canned goods are a must.

    I don’t understand why people are buying the stores out right now. We have electricity, water, and access to the roads… I guess people need to feel a sense of control and having hoards of toilet paper gives them that feeling.



    Quote of the Day

    “I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it.”  – Jack Handey


    What’s for Dinner?

    Take out from Shwarma On The Run

    Dinner from Shawarma On The Run in New Orleans





    There are at least 1,002,159 cases of coronavirus globally, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tally. Over a million cases. That is mind blowing.


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  • Diary Entries

    One Million

    One Million Reasons

    Keep Fighting


    The word means to fight or struggle against. We are all fighting a battle to win the war against Covid. Every single one of us. Each of our battles are different but, we all want the same result. To resume life with as many victories as possible.


    My battle isn’t the same as yours. You may have small children at home and you are probably ready to put them up for adoption at this point. Maybe you are learning to be a teacher in order to homeschool your kids. Or perhaps, you live alone and it seems like your walls are caving in on you. Possibly, you are old and you rely on others to bring you essentials along with the fear that the person helping you will actually kill you by way of exposure. Last but not least, you may have lost someone to the virus.


    The more we fight our urges to be social, and as long as we continue to think of the common good, we should be okay. Maybe we won’t be the same but I believe we will be okay.


    A battle is a struggle that can be both physical and mental. Battles are usually associated with war and conflict. What about individual battles with mental health which is an internal conflict. I can only imagine that this whole situation is exacerbating any existing mental health issues. Not to mention creating new ones.


    We won’t all win. I see it everyday. Death.

    I lost a previous coworker to suicide today.


    I also see life and I choose to focus on what the future will hold for us instead of the death that surrounds us.


    The United States now has over ONE MILLION Coronavirus cases. More deaths related to Coronavirus have been reported in the past three months than were reported from the entire Vietnam War.


    Do I need a break? Yes. We all need a break from this but if we take a break now we LOSE.


    Just imagine how nice it is going to be to finally hug your kids and your mom and dad and all your friends. It’s going to be such a relief and celebration.

    This is why we battle.

    We Will Win!!!



    Quote of the Day

    “You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.” – Winston Churchill



    What’s for Dinner?

    Greek Gyro Salad

    Gyro Salad


    • In less than three months, more Americans have died from coronavirus than the number of US service members killed in the Vietnam War, according to updated numbers from Johns Hopkins University on Tuesday afternoon.

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  • Diary Entries

    Suit Up

    Suit Up and Show Up

    … who said that? Well, basically the saying originated with Alcoholics Anonymous and the idea that wearing nice clothing to AA meetings would give the public a better perception of alcoholics. The saying comes to mind everyday I go to work and have to wear the PPE suits.

    In the hospital policies and procedures are changing several times a day.

    It’s hard to keep up with what is expected. For example, each patient requires a full body assessment every 24 hours instead of every 12 hours. Charting is minimal at best. They call it ‘disaster charting’.

    There are now doors blocking the halls to the units when you get off the elevator. Before we can enter the door to the unit we have to ‘suit up’ in the donning station. The donning station is located in what used to be the family waiting room. There is always some random hospital employee sitting in there to guard the PPE because some asshole stole some the other day.

    YUP!! Stole the fucking PPE. Some humans are an atrocious waste of oxygen.

    Suit Up

    Donning (putting on PPE) now means putting on a full body suit, shoe covers, gloves, a face visor and, an N95 mask. We have to wear this the entire time we are in the unit. We can wear surgical masks if we are in the nursing charting areas. Before we leave the unit we have to take it all of at a doffing station.

    Suit Up: Nurses donning PPE on a covid unit in New Orleans
    Getting ready to go back in the unit after lunch

    A red duct tape rectangle marks the doffing (taking off the PPE) station and it contains a chair to sit in and laundry hampers to put the used gear in. The hospital sends the suits out for cleaning and they are sent back to us to re-use. We put our masks in brown paper lunch sacks with our names on them and leave them in the unit for re-use on our next shift. We wipe down our face shields and goggles with bleach solution at the end of our shift for re-use by the oncoming nurses.

    My face is breaking out in a rash where the mask sits and my ears and face are sore. I shouldn’t complain. At least we have proper PPE…for now.

    Show Up

    I feel bad for the hospitals that don’t have appropriate PPE. It’s so sad to know that there are healthcare workers being totally exposed to this virus. There are several of the nurses here that are sick with Coronavirus. Some were hospitalized and others managed their symptoms from home. The ones who have recovered actually came back to work.  That is unrivaled bravery and they are superheroes in my eyes.



    Quote of the Day

    “I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” – Superman


    What’s for Dinner?

    Drago’s shrimp po-boys.

    Drago's shrimp poboy
    Drago’s fed us lunch today. Shrimp po-boys.



    The local restaurants are sending food to the hospital employees almost on a daily basis which is very nice of them. Their businesses are suffering terribly right now. They are trying to find random jobs for their employees to keep them on the books. The hospitality industry is big here in NOLA so, it’s going to be important for us to support our local eateries and businesses after the quarantine ban ends.



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  • Diary Entries

    Happy Easter


    Happy Easter. We Are Doomed.

    The following video enrages me as a human and as a nurse.

    Healthcare professionals and first responders are putting their lives at risk everyday and the fine citizens of Pensacola thank us by having an Easter block party.

    The video was taken in my hometown of Pensacola Florida (where I used to be a police officer).

    This video is a display of Darwinism at its finest. Watch it and let the absolute lack of regard for human life sink in. Pitiful.

    Happy Easter


    Video Courtesy of Pensacola News Journal


    Fucking idiots

    The little kids in this video can’t fathom the danger they are in and these parents are like fuck it, it’s Easter. How neglectful is that?

    To say I am pissed off at this behavior is an understatement.

    I just want to scream.

    The government is pleading with churches across the country to hold virtual Easter services to avoid gatherings. What is wrong with everyone? Why can’t they see how terrible this whole pandemic is? They want to risk their lives and everyone else’s around them to worship and hunt for eggs?

    Worship at home!! Hunt for eggs at home! God won’t mind, I promise.

    Stay the FUCK at HOME!

    I feel like I am losing IQ just typing these words.



    Quote of the Day

    “We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” –Martin Luther King Jr.


    What’s for Dinner?

    Grilled lamb with chimichurri

    Lamb with chimichurri


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  • Diary Entries

    Everything is Nonsense



    Everything is nonsense right now. What Is, Isn’t. It all feels so upside down and backwards.

    Today, I had morphine ordered on a few of my patients. No big deal right? Morphine is not an uncommon drug in the hospital as it is used for pain control and hospice most of the time. But, this specific incident of morphine was significant and, very different, from the usual delivery method. It’s hard to explain but, I’ll try.

    A pharmacy tech came to the unit carrying medications for the patients. Also, not uncommon. Typically, the pharmacy tech will bring scheduled narcotics or certain antibiotics for our patients that are not carried on the unit. Anyway, I signed for the medications assigned to my patients and went to my charting area to go through the meds.

    I look at one of the medication bags and I see that it reads Morphine. What?

    This is an ENTIRE 100 mL bag of morphine!


    Everything is Nonsense


    This has to be a medication error. Normally, we administer morphine to our patients in 0.5 to 4 mg… in a syringe, not a bag.  Sometimes, it is administered in higher doses but that is rare unless you are on a post op unit. Furthermore, if we are giving narcotic medications in high doses like this or, on a frequent basis, we put the medication in a PCA pump. This is called Patient Controlled Analgesia and it is a machine that is LOCKED and programmed to deliver the med to the patient in a safe fashion.

    Class is over now.

    I go to the charge nurse and alert her to the suspicious medication. She calls the pharmacy and confirms that this medication is correct. Both of us are puzzled.

    We call the doctor who ordered the medication.

    Me: ” I need clarification on an order for the patient in room blah blah blah HIPAA HIPAA HIPAA…”

    Dr.: “That order is correct. Thank you for calling to clarify.”

    Me: “Okay, this is just an odd order. Thank you.”

    Dr.: ” It has become protocol to give this medication to the DNR- Covid positive patients to ease their suffering.”

    Okay. Wow. I don’t know what to say.

    But, I do have a question.

    Am I about to euthanize my patient?


    Quote of the Day

    “If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?” – Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland

    What’s for Dinner? 

    Ramen Noodles

    Ramen Noddles
    My bowl of ramen from Ivan Ramen in NYC

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  • Diary Entries

    Here Be Dragons

    Here Be Hope


    You may be wondering what the hell is up with the dragons. Well, in times of old people would illustrate maps with dragons on the places where there was thought to be peril or sea monsters. They would label them, ” Here be dragons”.

    I imagine if there were maps like that now Coronavirus hotspots, like Louisiana and New York, would definitely have dragons on them.

    To me, dragons represent conquering great fear. There are numerous tales and lore of people attempting to conquer dragons in one way or another.

    For centuries across the globe, dragons have been thought of as useful and protective as well as dangerous and harmful.


    How do dragons and a virus relate?

    Loosely, like dragons, I see this virus as something terrible and something helpful at the same time.

    It is showing us humans where we are weak in every sense of the word. And, conversely, it is showing us how can grow.

    For the country, it has proved that we were not prepared for a pandemic and now we can attempt to fix that for the future.

    As for hospitals it has shown just how terribly weak the healthcare system is in every aspect.

    For individuals, it is showing us how we cope and deal with stress and change.

    For the world, we have learned that our human imprint is destroying our planet, and with all of us at home now, she can heal her climate.

    This virus has brought out the good in us and the evil in us. It is an opportunity for us to really look in the mirror and do all that we can to improve ourselves, the country and the world.

    You have free will and the ability to do anything.

    Be a good human.


    Quote of the day

    “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” – Neil Gaiman


    What’s for Dinner?

    hamburger in gravy

    Hamburger patties with onions, gravy and a side of okra and tomato



    Louisiana saw coronavirus infections in climb by 295 and deaths by 27 statewide, but none of those new deaths were located in Orleans Parish to mark a positive benchmark for one of the nation’s biggest hotspots.


    Yesterday, Orleans Parish had NO new deaths from Coronavirus reported.

    That is a step in the right direction. It made me smile and it gives me hope and a very tiny sense of victory. Our hard work is improving the numbers. Small victory but, we will take it. Hell yeah!


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  • Diary Entries





    During morning huddle we were not briefed on anything regarding Coronavirus… except that the neuro ICU on the 7th floor was under construction.  These rooms were being modified to become negative pressure rooms.

    Now, any nurse knows what this means.



    The hurried construction on the 7th floor was noisy and hectic. Plastic sheets hung everywhere. Hammers were banging and the noise of the electric saws were menacing to the ill patients.

    I knew why they were working so quickly. I just didn’t want to believe it.

    New Orleans is a pretty big city with an international airport and interstates. Tourism is a major industry here. TONS of people come here everyday to experience NOLA. People mean virus to us.

    Coronavirus in NOLA

    The charge nurse came to the 7th floor at the end of the day informing us that the Neuro ICU section has been walled off to become the “positive cases” section of the unit and the MSU side of the unit is supposed to be for the, “presumptive positive cases”.

    We didn’t have to ask which cases.


    Quote of the Day

    “This is our most desperate hour. Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.” –Princess Leia, Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope


    What’s for Dinner?

    Liver and Onions

    Liver and onions
    Liver and Onions


    P.S. Today really was Friday the thirteenth. It truly is a Cursed season.


    • Trump declares a national emergency in response to the spread of the virus. The declaration begins the process under which state and tribal governments can seek federal dollars for help responding to the virus. Louisiana becomes first state to postpone its presidential primary.


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