The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Sunday, February 18, 2007

We Are Well Pleased...

Okay, it's really just me that's pleased...but I've always wanted to do the whole royal we thing. I mean, I already have the wave down (and no, there wasn't much to do growing up in the rural Spokane Valley...why do you ask?). But you may ask what it is that has pleased me, beyond the fact that the testosterone party has allowed me significant time in which to practice the craft of sticks and string, and that it is not my responsibility that the sheer amount of said male hormone in one place is causing a citywide estrogen crisis. No, it's something even better. It's that these are complete:

(The socks are complete...not the husband. He's just cute.)

And these have begun and I'm so very delighted with them that I could scarcely pry them out of my hands long enough to photograph them:

These two photos are the best of about 25 attempts and they still don't look as cool in film as they do in....well, not in wool, perhaps. I ADORE these socks already. Again, I grew up in the rural Spokane Valley. Be patient.

I was also greatly touched by all your kind comments about my essay. I had hoped it wasn't too nauseatingly sweet, or too obviously geared towards impressing the committee. Truth is, I meant everything in there and more that I didn't have room to say. But we live in a world were earnestness is suspect and a desire to make a difference is seen as questionable. In any case, whether I get in or not, I am warmed by the loving friendship of all my blog family...people who have never met me and yet still take the time to hold my hand as I begin the terrifying process of baring myself to a committee of real strangers. I've heard that friends are the wings you get when your own have forgotten how to fly. I'd add that they are the additional wings you get when the flight will be long and hard and your own begin to weary. You guys rule, and I can't say that in enough ways.

Peg mentioned, correctly, I think, that a nurse really needs a sense of humor, sometimes a bit of a dark one. I agree with that wholeheartedly. For instance, I once had a young man--perhaps 22--who came in because he was terribly concerned about his blood pressure. Apparently it had been slightly elevated at one of those drug store BP machines. It was fine in our office and I assured him that occasional spikes can be quite normal, even assuming the machine was correct in the first place. He nodded, but still seemed terribly upset. Wondering why he was so concerned, I asked him if he had a strong family history of hypertension and was worried about inheriting it. He nodded quickly and looked up at me with an expression of great fear as he explained "Yes, Ma'am. My stepfather has it really bad."

I also managed to collect some pieces of advice for my patients, after a bit of experience with them. To wit:

If you had unprotected sex a week ago and now you suddenly have what you believe to be "a mosquito bite on your johnson", you need to wear more clothes, more mosquito repellant, or a condom. I'm voting for the latter.

"Fasting" does indeed mean no danish and latte. Yes, even if it's a small danish. Yes, you probably should have mentioned it BEFORE we took your blood to check your cholesterol and assumed from the results that your blood was the consistency of cream of wheat.

"Don't ask, don't tell" is not a good policy for you to adopt regarding your blood sugar levels when you are a diabetic. Trust me. No, you cannot sell when it gets to 400.

No, I do not believe that you are wearing 64 pound pants...but it's a good try.

"But I can't see it that way!" is not a good reason to ignore my request to have you cover one eye while reading the eye chart. In fact, it's kind of the point.

The front desk staff really have no idea if "this is normal" or not. Please pull your pants back up before one of them quits.

Leaving a message that says "Hi, it's me" may work quite well with your family and friends. I, however, have about 500 people who want me to call them back and, coincidentally, they are all named "me". Until I receive my supersecret powers of mindreading in the mail, please consider leaving your OTHER name. I promise not to tell anyone.

A ziploc bag, while creative, is not actually the best container for a urine sample. Especially if the zip is not really secure. Ask. I swear I'll give you as many little cups as you could possibly want.

Likewise, please do not leave stool samples ANYWHERE without telling someone official looking that you have done so. Hint: all the people you can tell are dressed roughly alike. The secretary has become quite traumatized and will not even consider brown bagging her lunch anymore.

If I ask you why you are seeing the doctor today, "I don't know" is not an answer I can do much with. Nor is "I think I was supposed to come back....for something." Pick something, or I will. You don't want to know what I will pick.

I may be mistakenly looking more brilliant than I actually am. If so, please realize that it is false. I am not, in fact, able to determine what medicines you're taking from the comment "I take some little yellow pills. I don't know what they're for.", though I'm flattered that you think I can.

If I could tell you what the doctor will say about your pain/nausea/whatever, I would be making more money and possibly learning to golf. I'm asking you to come see him BECAUSE I don't know what's wrong with you. Sadly, I cannot channel him.

Yes...yes, I do think that the reason your cholesterol is still high might have something to do with the fact that you haven't taken your medication for eight months. Call me a genius.

No, I'm not laughing. "The dog stepped on my boobie" is a perfectly rational and sensible complaint. Just let me stop out of the room for a second for...a quick drink of water. Yeah. That's it. A drink of water.
I do not have any way of convincing your wife to have sex with you. Yes, I'm delighted that the Levitra is working. No, I do not want to see how well.
Unless your neighbor's cousin's hairdresser's ex-wive's poolboy is a pharmacist in his spare time, I do not believe you should take his opinion on the medication the doctor just prescribed for you as carved in stone.
You may ask the doctor about "this one other thing as long as I'm here" or you may complain when he is running late because of other people doing the same thing. You may not do both.
"What the hell are you people doing back here, anyway? I've been waiting for five whole minutes!" is not my favorite form of greeting. Consider, if you will, that I'm the one wielding pretty much all the sharp pointy objects in this office. Consider, too, that some of them may be aimed at you.
Love again to all of my beloved blog family. I swear, if I get that interview (the committee will interview all the top candidates) I'll be taking every one of you with me. Can you get away for an hour or so?


  • At 6:34 PM, Blogger Marianne said…

    Absolutely...of course :^)

    ALL the socks are beautiful!

  • At 8:37 PM, Blogger Lynn said…

    One of these days I'll have to do a post about all the dumb things I've heard at switchboard. I heard a lot more of them when I was working switchboard in an insurance claims office, than I do working switchboard in the law office for the same insurance company. Though last week I really did talk [on the phone and later in person] to a young man who really ought to be pushing a wheelbarrow...

  • At 12:19 AM, Anonymous angie Cox said…

    Oh yes learning Golf seems to be a must for doctors everywhere ! I had to sacrifice several if the plastiv hummous pots I collect for odd balls to urine samples so when Jeff is better he owes me some serious eating of the stuff ! I love those socks !

  • At 8:41 AM, Blogger Dianne said…

    Those socks are too pretty for words..and your blog..once again, hilarious!! You Rock Ms.K! Happy Knitting~~

  • At 9:12 AM, Blogger Kitty Mommy said…

    Great socks!!! Both pairs! Between the test scores and the essay, how could you not get an interview?

  • At 9:28 AM, Blogger Peg said…

    Oh, Ms K, you do make me chuckle.
    A funny one but true. I used to wear silicone breast prosthesis. One day I did not realize it but I had been leaning over and one fell out on the floor. Our little dog, who thought it was a toy, had great fun with this soft squish mis-shaped 'ball'. But grabbing it and tossing it up in the air did not do the prosthesis much good! Try claiming that on your house hold insurance. Duct tape to the rescue! I used to pay about $450 for them - that is why I now knit them!

  • At 9:32 AM, Blogger Jo said…

    Of course I'd cross the ocean in a coracle if need be!

  • At 1:10 PM, Blogger Jo said…

    And this is Jo at Celtic Memory Yarns (one of us is going to have to re-name, UK Jo!)

    I'm already on the way Ms K - can't wait to meet that committee.

    (Although do you really want to join up to any club that actually wants you in as a member?)

  • At 7:00 PM, Anonymous Martin Brown said…

    Hello Ms. Knitingale,

    My name is Martin John Brown. Excuse me for putting my message here in the comments of an unrelated post, but try as I might, I just couldn't find an email address for you on the site.

    I'm the coauthor of a forthcoming book about the social aspects of knitting. We're doing a chapter about reuse and recycling aspects of crafting, and I noticed an entry on your blog that I'm hoping to quote...

    The quote is pretty short, just a quip about how you call unravel thrift store sweaters and how the process is sometimes frustrating.

    Is it okay with you if I quote this entry? And if so, would you like to be described as your blogger name "Ms. Knitingale" or your regular name? (If the latter, I will need to know it.)

    I'm also curious what your motivations are for doing this yarn recycling. I know it's a way to get cheap yarn. But does something else drive you to do it too, given all the work it represents?

    Thanks so much for letting me use up your time with this request. I'd love to hear back from you. You can email me at


    Martin John Brown

  • At 12:22 PM, Blogger Charity said…

    We are so impressed with your finished socks, and the new ones! What pattern are you following for the newbies?

    Oh, that poor boy and his stepfather. Yikes - I work with people like this every single day. :0)


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