Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Basal Cell Removed

OK-I now look like I was hit in the face by a baseball. My forehead is still numb even after 6 hrs, It is pretty swollen and starting to turn black and blue. This is great. I have a diabetic class with 27 enrolled to teach tomorrow night. Oh well, I'll have to let them know it's my battle scars. I definitely will take the huge dressing off my forehead tomorrow morning and put on a bandaid that will blend better. Stitches come out in a week, then no more bandaids.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Manic Monday

It was definitely a manic Monday. As many of you may know, the swine flu is reaching pandemic numbers, primarily in Texas, California, Kansas, and 1 confirmed case here in Ohio. However, as the day wore on, the CDC and the Ohio Department of Health began putting out more alerts that additional suspicious cases have been found in Ohio. We had 2 such cases in our Emergency Department today. The staff was handling everything fine. The doc was getting overly anxious. I moved our portable Hepa filter machine up there to create a negative pressure room, all of our PPE equipment for isolating the patient was brought out. We are prepared. Fortunately for us, both of their tests came back negative. And we are prepared for what tomorrow might bring.
My best advice is don't go out if you are not feeling well. Wear a surgery mask (available from any drug store) to protect other members of your family. Wash your hands often.

Tomorrow is my "surgery" day. I will go to the doctor's office and have the spot on my forehead removed. It is basal cell carcinoma, but the fortunate thing is that not only did he see the basal cells on the slide, but also healthy ones. Hopefully, this means that he won't have to dig too deep, leaving me with a deep scar on my forehead.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Relay For Life

Please take a few minutes and head over to my other blog spot to learn more about my Relay for Life cause.


Take an extra few minutes to forward the information on to another fellow blogger.

Friday, April 17, 2009


WOW - This week has flown by. I've had several late nights and many long days. I did want to catch you up though about what the dermatologist said. The mole on my forehead is basal cell carcinoma. Apparently, I caught it early because the basal cells were mixed with good cells. This means that I will be going to his office to have the rest of the mole removed and not have to have the specialized laser MOH's procedure. This means less money which is good for me but it means I will probably have a scar. That's not a big deal because he assures me that he can work it in to my forehead wrinkles. :)

Today is our first day at Rustic Knolls campground. They have a website if you would like to look it up. We will be de-winterizing the camper and restocking the shelves with food. At least it's not raining which means that we can pack away the camper cover with it being dry rather than damp. The dogs love going there. I have to keep them trimmed rather short so it's easier to find any ticks that they might have picked up. Frontline helps with the fleas, but for some reason, it doesn't always work on the ticks.

I also signed up on Facebook and have enjoyed reading all my friends posts.
There are many of my co-workers that are on Facebook as well as relatives. I plan on getting my new blackberry phone this next week so I'll be able to keep up with everyone better, even when I'm away from the computer. I look forward to updating my phone and adding email and texting to my plan.

Everyone have a great weekend and be safe.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Week In Review

This has certainly been a busy week at work and at home.

Monday evening was last night of the 12 week Weight Control Classes I teach twice a year. This was a great group: very focused and diligent in maintaining their weekly food diaries, writing weekly goals, and overall just being motivated. The 17 participants regularly attended and the total weight loss for the group was 299.8lbs. WOW. That's two whole people. I take the summer months off, rewrite my program and move topics around, add new recipes, and update information for the weekly topics and start again in September.

Tuesday, I started another round of our squad personnel for their FIT testing for their HEPA masks. At least this group was more focused and realized the seriousness of the procedure. Everyone was on time and had their paperwork completed.

Wednesday, I had an inpatient diabetic consult on the stepdown unit at the hospital where I work. The docs are great about writing for a consult on any diabetics they have admitted. I am a Certified Diabetes Educator, so this not only looks good after my RN title, but is great for local physicians in the surrounding three counties to refer their diabetic patients to me. I am also in the process of developing from the ground up an updated 10 hr diabetes group class, but developing teams within the hospital to help me establish all the policies and paperwork needed to get the program American Diabetes Association recognized. This is about a 2 year process and once this has occurred, then I can start charging for our programs and consults. I also had a student physical to complete for a young man that will be shadowing one of our physical therapists for a few months.

Also on this day, Rich had another follow up visit with the plastic surgeon that did all the grafting of the leg wound last month. The new muscle he put into place is looking good, healing well, and slowly beginning to shrink into place. The leg is still swollen and bruised but not near as much as a month ago.

Also, this is the day I saw my dermatologist and he took biopsies and froze some keratosis (age spots) on my face. I look like I've been through battle. I should have waited another week cause we have a wedding to go to today and I still have some good scabs. I also started putting all our numbers into a spreadsheet for taxes. UGH!

Thursday was meetings off and on during the day. I re-met with the diabetic patient and her family to review specific goals. I also have another round of Squad personnel for FIT testing.

Friday was finishing final touches on new forms and policies to get them to the typist for cleaning them up. I had another student that will be shadowing our finance department and had his physical to do. Made rounds on the unit to check on patients for any infections and then left at 1:00 for tax appointment.

Once that was over, I had to go and buy a gift for the neighbor girl that is getting married this afternoon. Her hubby to be is in the military and after his two weeks are up, he will be deployed to Iraq, so please keep him in your prayers as his job is a dangerous one: defusing mines. Amanda will continue to live at home until he returns home and then she will be moving to North Carolina to be with him. What in the world do I get them for a wedding gift? I purchased a large wedding gift bag and started filling it. I found a kitchen counter holder that has about 30 kitchen items -spatula, grater, whisk, peeler, steak knives, paring knife, etc., a set of bath towels, kitchen towels, dish cloths, and a large pop-up laundry hamper. That should be enough.
I also put together my grandson's Easter buckets.
Those I will deliver to them this weekend also.
Wow! I think that's about enough. Today is chill this morning, wedding this afternoon, deliver Gabes bucket to him.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Skin Care

For the past 4 months, I have had some problems with a relatively small mole on my forehead. It will partially scab, then the scab will fall off leaving a small indentation. Each time, it would do this, the indentation would get deeper. So today, I saw my dermatologist. The likely scenario is that it is Basal Cell Carcinoma. He took a biopsy and I should know the results tomorrow or Friday.

Please pray for good results. As a nurse, I know that Basal Cell Carcinoma is the easiest to treat and is the least likely to reoccur. The treatment for me will most likely be what is called Moh's surgery. This technique, applicable to lesions primarily on the face, seeks to conserve the amount of tissue removed in skin cancer resection. In this special procedure, the skin cancer is shaved off layer by layer and evaluated immediately under the microscope to differentiate the abnormal cells from the normal tissue at the periphery. Moh's surgery assures that all cancerous cells are removed (approximately 99% certainty), and that normal skin is left behind, thereby minimizing the size of any facial defect that needs to be reconstructed. Hopefully mine is not deep and will not require extensive treatment.

My advice is to keep an eye on all your moles. Don't delay in seeking advice from your physician or if you're lucky like me to personally know a dermatologist, go see him/her.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. Approximately 80% of skin cancers are found in the sun-exposed areas of the face, scalp, neck and ears.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common, yet least dangerous, of all skin cancers, often appearing as a pearly, small pimple with broken capillaries on its surface. This is what mine looked like. Not like a typical dark mole. The only difference is that mine didn't have the broken capillaries on the surface which hopefully means that I caught mine early. It can grow deeply beneath the skin into the underlying bone, tissue or cartilage if left untreated.
Also common in sun-exposed areas is squamous cell carcinoma, appearing early as a reddish, crusty lesion. It can invade deeper tissues or, in rare instances, spread to lymph nodes or internal organs if not recognized early.
The most serous form of skin cancer is malignant melanoma, often arising from a previously benign brownish spot or mole. It is curable if treated early but can be fatal if allowed to spread throughout the body.

As a nurse, my best advice is wear sun screen and a hat, even on cloudy days. Stay away from tanning beds and keep an eye on your skin. I think maybe I might go shopping for some new summer hats.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Things in a Jar

I have officially started my Spring cleaning. Today, it's the kitchen. I have an old cupboard that belonged to Rich's grandmother. Inside is cookbooks and on top is a collection of fancy decorated jars with all kinds of wonderful things in them. I've received many of them as gifts while other's I've purchased. I've decided to use two of them tonight. One is for scalloped potatoes with ham and the other is for a German apple cobbler. It's interesting what you find tucked away is the far recesses of a tall cupboard. Finding those treasures started a hunt for a book that I have featuring all sorts of gifts in a jar. Here are three of my favorite ones.

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
Mix well

1 tbs. dry oatmeal
1/2 mashed ripe banana
2 oz. plain yogurt
Cleanse face, steam, splash with cool water and pat dry.
Massage with the dry oatmeal. Rinse off.
Then apply a mask made by mixing yogurt and banana; spread evenly on face. Leave on for 20 minutes; rinse off.

1 tablespoon table salt
1 tablespoon flavored yogurt
3 tablespoons baby oil
Mix in small bowl. Ingredient amounts can vary depending on your taste.
This scrub is wonderful for winter dry skin, especially where the legs are shaved repeatedly. This is not only a dead skin remover but a reconditioner as well. It works well on other body parts as well.

After I'm done with the kitchen today, I wonder what other treasures I might find in other rooms?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Welcome to Friday

I always look forward to Fridays. It's the end of a work week, it's the beginning of a weekend. Friday's is my day to make my list of "to do" items for the next week. It's the day to head to Rustic Knolls for a relaxing weekend of camping, building a campfire, reading, no TV, listening to the Buckeye football games on the radio, reconnecting with myself. I am thankful for Friday's in many other ways as well--2 great sons who are loving husbands and fathers, great daughter-in-laws, 2 beautiful and healthy grandsons, my hubby of almost 7 years, friends, my career, my health, and my little sister and her family. Living closer to our aging parents, she has taken on the brunt of the responsibility for keeping a watchful eye out on them. Most importantly though is that she and her hubby have full responsibility for our Dad every weekend while our 74 year old mother is working at a local nursing home to support their income. Dad is rapidly worsening with his Alzheimer's, thus it is harder to keep up with him. I don't tell her often enough how grateful I am that she has been willing to take on this responsibility. I hope to give her at least one weekend's relief when Rich and I go to Oklahoma in May. Until then, Sis, hang in there.
If you scroll down further, you will see my purple Alzheimer's ribbon in honor of my Dad.