Monthly Archives: July 2013

Nursing Adventures #1

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For those who don’t already know, I work as a Registered Nurse at a large urban teaching hospital in Chicago. These last couple of days I have been talking with one of my friends about how I wish I had an office job. A nurse wishing to work in an office with the opportunity to wear more than just scrubs… what a dream! Though I’m sure lots of you out there are jealous that I get to wear comfortable scrubs to work everyday.

A quick comment about scrubs. I never wear the same color top and bottom scrubs. I told someone that, and he was so baffled. Would you ever wear a red shirt and red pants in real life as you’re going about your daily business or to your office job? NO, so why should I wear a monochrome outfit to work. I mean if I did I would probably look like these guys. Pretty hot hmmm?

I dream of having an office job, but I am sure I would feel so restless being confined in a cubicle staring at a computer screen all day. As a nurse I get to meet a lot of interesting and sometimes eccentric people. Here are some stories that I would love to share with you.

The Untalkative One

I walked into his room to give him his medications. If I were receiving medications from someone, I would want to know what I am taking for my own health’s sake. I pop the pills into the medicine cup and educate the elderly man about what each medication was and essentially what kind of medication it is. He then sits up and asks me “Do you have a boyfriend?”. At this point I was so baffled at his question, and why he would ask me that. I then ask him “What makes you ask that?”. He then goes on and says “Damn, you talk too much”. I was slightly insulted, especially I am definitely not a blabber or someone who will talk aimlessly. From then on I didn’t say much to this patient. I recently had this same patient again. He came into the hospital for very similar reasons. He told me he remembered me. I hope he didn’t remember that he thought I talked too much.

The Bed Tucker

I had this one patient who was a younger man. Towards the end of the night he asked me for a night time snack. Very reasonable especially since he ate dinner hours ago. I am a snacker, so I understand the idea of eating constantly. I gave some crackers to him, and he was quite a happy man. A little later he calls me again. This time for something that was a little odd. He told me he wanted me to tuck in the sheets into the bed, so that he could be tucked into bed. Keep in mind this guy is an adult. I was way too busy to tuck a guy into bed, so I had the nurse technician help me out. Special request from a patient!

The Sweet Patient

A patient that I had for a long period of time was finally discharged from the hospital. I was there for his discharge, meaning I was the last nurse that he had before he went home. He  was readmitted a couple weeks later. I could tell he was very overwhelmed with everything. Lots of unfortunate events had happened to him leading up to his hospitalization, and I could tell he was quite frustrated. I sat with him listening to his life story. He was finally discharged. I came to work one day, and a co-worker told me the patient left a card for me. It was so sweet! He thanked me for my care. There was even a chocolate bar inside the card. Something sweet for a sweet nurse huh?

The Fecal Transplantee

This story is not for the faint of heart. I had a patient come up to our unit after having a feces transplant. We get all of kinds of transplant patients on our unit – kidney, liver, bowel. But feces transplant I have never heard of. I asked the nurse I was getting report from what a feces transplant is and she tells me over the phone in a very hushed voice what it is. Essentially a feces transplant is exactly what the name says it is. It is transplantation of feces from one person to another. Usually the feces comes from the spouse or a close family member with a normal flora in their guts. The feces is transplanted into the patient via a scope like the kind they use for a colonoscopy. The reason for the feces transplant is that sometimes patients have chronic C. diff infections, an bacteria in the guts that overpopulate when the normal flora is killed off. The feces is transplanted in hopes of restoring normal flora in the guts. Sure sounds like something out of the twilight zone. Imagine receiving feces from someone close to you. Wouldn’t that be a good conversation starter?

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Discovering The Purple Pig

A tapas/small plate styled restaurant called The Purple Pig… what’s not to love? I mean the name is The Purple Pig, you HAVE to try this place out. I wonder if they actually serve purple pig dishes? Sounds like something out of a Dr. Seuss book hmm…?

The wait for this place wait is usually about an hour, because it is located right on Michigan Avenue. The wait for a table for two was just 30 minutes. I came here on a weekday, so the wait was substantially less than weekends. We were seated right on the patio which was just wonderful, because the night was warm and breezy. Perfect for outdoor eating, lounging, and wining.

The Purple Pig – Near North Side

Don’t worry they don’t actually serve purple pigs, but they do serve scrumptious pork based small dishes. I shared three dishes with my friend and half a bottle of wine. Though the plates may be small they were packed with flavor and perfectly cooked.

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We started off with the Roasted Bone Marrow with Herbs. The bone marrow was delicious. Tasted like I was just consuming fats, but hey that’s okay. You have to live a little right? My arteries will survive. You scoop the bone marrow off of the bone and spread it on the perfectly toasted bread. The creaminess of the bone marrow on the crispy bread was delicious!

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Up next the “JLT” Pork Jowl, Tomato, Frisee & Fried Duck Egg or pork cheek! It was fried to perfection and so crispy and smooth. Put an egg on anything, and it becomes 100x better. This was a great dish. I loved the combination of everything together.

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The Milk Braised Pork Shoulder with Mashed Potatoes was so tender. I cut into the pork shoulder, and it beautifully fell apart. The meat was tender and soft. The mashed potatoes were perfectly whipped. I loved the gravy it was served with. It complemented the pork shoulder and the mashed potatoes really well.

The Purple Pig was a great place for dining out on a warm, breezy Chicago weekday. I will have to come back to try the other dishes this place has to offer.

Eve’s Cafe – Old Town

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Usually I am sitting at home typing away on my laptop writing my newest blog post. Today my friend and I met up at Eve’s Cafe in Old Town to plan our upcoming NYC trip. What a cute cafe! I got the tomato basil soup. The bowl and the plate were so adorable. It certainly matched the romanticism decor in the cafe. Now on to continue planning my NYC trip, a city filled with adventures. On our to do list in NYC – roof top bars, ramen restaurants, art museums, Central Park lounging, and lots of big city living.

Can it be Summer forever?

Everyday I have off I try to take advantage of everything that Summer has to offer, before I get holed up inside when winter comes along. You know those bitter cold Chicago Winters? I can honestly say those are the days when you basically do not want to go anywhere, but stay indoors. Here’s what I was up to this weekend. Some intense Summer loving.

Bridgehouse Tavern – Near North Side

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A co-worker recommended this place saying it had a great patio right along the Chicago river. It was the perfect location for brunch on a sunny Summer day. The brunch itself was okay. I wasn’t feeling that great, so opted for something light – fruit and house potatoes. Nothing too spectacular. My friend got the trout hash which turned out to be quite salty.

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The best part about this place was the view. Being right along the Chicago river, my friend and I boat and people watched as the boats made their way along the Chicago river. Big boats, small boats, large yachts. It was the perfect day to be on a boat, and an equally perfect day to watch the boats pass by. I could spend hours doing that. We saw as people docked their yacht and climbed up to the Bridgehouse Tavern patio for brunch. What a life!

The Second City – Old Town

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The Second City is one of the best comedy clubs in Chicago. I went several years ago, and the show was hilarious. I came back  for a Sunday afternoon showing of What the Tour Guide Didn’t Tell You. We got our tickets from Goldstar.com which is a website that sells discounted tickets to shows and events. We ended up with front row seats right in front of the stage. Best seats in the house! The show was definitely geared towards Chicagoans poking fun at Rahm Emanuel, Blagojevich, Daley, The Art Institute, Chicago tourists. It was definitely a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. In comparison to the other show I watched (The South Side of Heaven), the comedy was lighter and fluffier compared to very dark, twisted humor in The South Side of Heaven. Personally I think the other show I watched was better. The improv, the skits were funnier and more memorable. And who doesn’t like dark humor?

The Twisted Baker – Old Town

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We stopped here after The Second City for some late afternoon baked goods. I got the spinach quiche. It was delicious! The crust perfectly buttery and flakey, and the inside with the perfect combination of spinach, eggs, and cheese on top. People had books, laptops with them at this bakery. Reminded me of my college days when I would sit at a bakery for hours studying and people watching.

Carriage House – Wicker Park

We came here for dinner, and decided on outdoor seating. Have to enjoy these warm, sunny days as much as possible! Though I was quite tempted to eat inside since the decor was so cute. Carriage House is a southern  restaurant with small styled plates to be shared. The waitress told us the head chef is from South Carolina, and all of the dishes were inspired by his childhood. We ordered 5 different dishes. Here they are!

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We ordered the Charleston She Crab Soup – buttermilk cracker, crab salad and sherry gastrique. It was definitely on the saltier side, but had a very robust crab flavor.

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Next was the skillet cornbread with rhubarb jam and foie gras cream. I never had corn bread with toppings on it before. The combination of all three was delicious!

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Since it is a southern restaurant we had to try their fried chicken. This was a boneless Fried Chicken thigh – bread and butter pickles, sweet potato hot sauce. The chicken was perfectly fried. Moist on the inside and crunchy on the outside. I loved the sweet potato hot sauce that they paired with this dish. The orange colored hot sauce was sweet and tangy with a slight heat.

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This Hoppin’ John dish with rice, pork belly, and peas was alright. Nothing to spectacular. I thought it could have been a little bit more flavorful.

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By the time we got to this fifth dish I was already feeling quite stuffed. This dish Mushrooms, Truffle and Egg – grits, oyster mushrooms, soft egg, truffle vinaigrette and shaved thomasville tomme was good, but very heavy. The cheesy grits, cheesy mushrooms, and eggs was a little too much for me. Perhaps if this had come towards the middle I would have enjoyed it more. It was still very tasty. I love mushrooms, and these oyster mushrooms were tasty.

What a wonderful Summer day! By the time I got home after all of this I was thoroughly exhausted, but in a good way. To more Summer days.