Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What Motivates You?

(Also posted on my home blog,

One must have a lot of respect and appreciation for everyone here at camp. This posting in no way reflects otherwise, but gives some insight into my camp nurse experience.
When my husband comes to visit me (no, it's not a jail), he says that being here is a different world than at home 40 miles away near Denver. Well, there's no time for TV and never enough sleep. It's chilly at night and slightly cold in the early mornings. There are two horses and two donkeys down at the barn. There's a pool that I've been in only once and that was for a group photo shoot. (Don't ask... Besides having to get into the pool for a photo shoot, they forget to get a photographer with a camera. But, like I said, Don't ask.)
The whole camp changes every week. On Friday at noon every camper checks out, and I make a mad dash down the mountain for home!  On Sunday at 1 p.m, they literally open the gates, and the new week of campers pour in.
Medication check-in is a tedious, precise, time-consuming process that backs up the wait line for hours. We are on a speed course to get it all checked in and recorded by 6 p.m. when first meds have to be given at mealtime.
During the night, I frequently get a knock on my bedroom door for a sick camper, or someone who has a bug bite that's itching, or someone asking if they can sleep in our sick bay because their cabin is too noisy. This morning I got a radio call for help because a camper had been "throwing up all night". I asked why they waited all night to call me and they said he wasn't that sick - just throwing up. When I found him, he was sitting on the floor in front of the commode asking if he could have some chocolate milk. ( I said yes...Why not?)
Communication up here is a constant chatter on walkie talkie radios even if the person who wants to talk to you is standing outside the door. Everybody has one. Everybody enjoys talking on them. The nurses must have an ear to the radio 100% of the time. I 'sleep' with the walkie talkie, a cell phone, and a cordless phone on my pillow. It's the squelching that keeps waking me up. All I need is my ham radio, and I'd be a happy electronic camper/nurse!
The meals aren't bad. Dave is the cook except on Fridays. He sets a plate for each nurse on the back of the stove because we can't eat until all the campers have their meds. I assure you there is not a morsel left by the time we're done with med pass. So, the salad is limp and hot. The over cooked vegetables are shriveled and dry. The entree is unidentifiable. Dessert has disappeared. Juice is gone to the last drop.  I didn't want bread and butter anyway. And, I've lost about 10 pounds.
I'm working on ways to speed up the med pass (start earlier), so my meals can be hot and juicy. But, Dave is really nice to save a  plate on the back of the stove.
The directorship has changed since I got here. The nice lady director moved back to Pittsburgh to help take care of her mother. The current director is all about hugs and sharing the love. He so dearly wants to be the full time director, but I don't think a decision has been made. I'll be long gone before that is worked out.
I've been interrupted four times since I started writing this, and my computer has gone to sleep while I checked the foot of a camper whose braces had been applied backward this morning. There are a few red spots that I think will be gone by morning, although a Band-Aid was required for comfort measures. I switched out a dry oxygen tank. (Always a slight hebe jebe for me.) A feeding pump wouldn't 'prime' (change the tubing), and the last camper showed up for bedtime meds.
It's time for my 10 p.m. date call to loving hubby who waits patiently for me at home, so I'll get to the point of this letter.
“What motivates you?”
This is a question that the assistant director here said he asks during interviews for camp staff. It's a question that is haunting me a little because this can be taken many ways.
 I ask if this means what motivates me to get out of bed in the morning? Or, write a second book? Or, head out to Geocache when there's work to be done? Get a college degree when I already have a good one? Keep the house clean and laundry done? Or, what motivates me to quit a job that is unsatisfactory, and how do I find a new one?
Someone said it's the fact that the business of life insists that you get going. 
My little sister would say she motivates herself and does what she needs to do!
I'll venture to suggest that what motivates me is feeling appreciated by those I give so much of my energy to.
Honestly, much of the time I do not feel appreciated. An exception is when it comes to my family. I think they have a lot of respect, love, and appreciation for me. I'm mostly talking about my interaction with people at work because that's who I'm with more than I'm with my family. Maybe it's a flaw in me, and I'm mindful of that when I feel the sting of rejection - even if it isn't one! 
I often remind myself that when we need others to make us feel good about ourselves, we are really missing the point. I believe that we should get our 'strength', 'motivation', or fulfillment from helping others, but it really originates from that innate within part that connects with the universe.
Try it and see if you feel better next time you feel unmotivated and listless. You are a part of the enormous universe of life and you are here for a purpose. That is not writing a book, building a house, or getting a degree.  I believe that our purpose is to make our world a little better because we were there.
There’s a knock on the door. Someone is here asking for Pepto Bismol and someone else wants to borrow the golf cart. Another counselor wants to look at some files during their daily two-hour break between 10 p.m. and midnight. I don't think they ever sleep around here! Although, this morning at 0730 when I radioed for assistance with 16 crates of new meds, I got no response! None.
I set the Pepto Bismol on the desk and told the counselor to spread the word that it's there and not to wake me up for a dose of Pepto Bismol (or a request to look at the files.)
Time to call hubby and then I'm turning out all the cabin lights. Maybe they will get the hint that the nurse is sleeping…
Take Care on the Journey,

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Never A Dull Moment At Mountain Camp

This bus brought a group of Lowes Employees to our RMV camp this morning. 
(Lowes are big donors to Easter Seal)
I believe the pictures will speak for themselves!!!

They actually got it out using boards under the wheels and digging out the front.
I wonder about that Please Drive Safely part. LOL

Take Care on the Journey

Monday, June 25, 2012

Push America - Great People!

Volunteers at Rocky Mountain Village this week.
See their website at

These volunteers travel the USA helping and building at camps for those with disabilities! They are at our Easter Seal Rocky Mountain Village this week. But first, they served breakfast to all the campers and staff this morning. Great guys!!! 
PS: They even have their pose for photos.
See their website at or 
(Linda Meikle photo) 
Published with permission 
Take Care on the Journey

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Picture Without A Camera

Funny thing happened in the pool at camp last Friday.  

It was announced all week that we were having the staff group picture at 12:30 after the campers checked out on Friday.

So we all "gathered" in the pool at 12:30 as instructed!!!  Smiles everyone!!!  Put on your funny faces

!!! AND THEN !!!
Well....there was no camera or photographer!!!
Guess no one had thought of that???

Another counselor got out of the pool and hurried off on a bike to go get his camera.
While he was gone, I got out of my pool and ran to my cabin to get my iPhone I had left there.

These are the photos I took with my iPhone while we all waited for a camera and photographer.

The lady holding the beach ball is the other RN I work with.
Standing next to her is the camp director who is leaving next Friday.
In the "formal" picture, I'm standing the open spot shown here.

Remember, don't look for me.
I'm taking the "unofficial" picture.

The picture that was finally taken with a counselor's camera didn't come out. 
It was too out of focus, so we have to reschedule the photo shoot.
I offered my professional, wide angle, camera, but the director says they have found someone with a camera.  Why do I doubt the next shoot will be any better.

Take Care on the Journey,
And always remember the camera when you're doing a photo shoot.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

From Dawn Until Midnight

Anyone with a sleep problem should come to camp for a couple weeks. I truly believe the insomnia will be cured! Most are up by 6 a.m. and no one gets near a bed until after midnight. Sometimes I sneak to my bed fully dressed about 10 p.m. with the camp radio and emergency phone on my pillow, and my ear to the door in case someone walks in calling, "Nurse!". 
It's so busy that one doesn't think about sleep until they crash and almost forget to set the alarm clock for 0600!  That, if the nurse doesn't get called out several times during the night!
While we haven't had a pressing problem so far, everyone thinks their problem is pressing!
This morning, I arrived at the first cabin for early morning meds given by tube feeding. The little camper was still getting a breathing treatment, so they asked me to come back later. I went back to the Health Lodge (my cabin) only to discover that my applesauce (to disguise pills in) had spilled all over the bottom of the large medicine container and had soaked through all the various bags of campers meds! 
Then a counselor ask to 'borrow' the golf cart just at med time. She said she would be back in five minutes. I should have just said no. When she finally returned, she parked the wrong way, and I had to take more time to get all turned around again.
Arriving late to breakfast, everyone wanted to be first. To my dismay, I had forgotten all the bottles of Miralax (for constipation), and had to return to the cabin for that. 
Before breakfast was over, one of the sweet little 6-year old campers came up to show me that his colostomy bag had come loose and BM was all over his pants. That was a half-hour process back at the cabin. 
Here is a photo of the breakfast I did NOT get to eat. But it sure was a nice spread!

Actually, the cook saved a plate of food for me. It was just that I wasn't really hungry after all that.  LOL  And, there was already a line at the door for cough med, new bandaids, Tylenol for headaches, DayQuil for coughs and runny noses, mylanta for stomach aches, cream for sunburns, salve for rashes, and more...

Here are a few photos I've grabbed along the way here at camp...

Perfect top of the mountain beyond the cabin.

There's a picnic table center/right.

Entrance to "Jake's Place" where we enjoy our meals.

Take Care on the Journey,

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Early Morning Cat's Eyes

They say we have bob cats, mountain lions (are they the same?), and of course, BEARS all around us here near Evergreen, CO.  They live here. We are camping in their back yard. So, I'm always mindful of that when I'm out and about during the night to visit a sick camper, or taking early morning medicine around to the cabins while riding in my MASH CART.

In the place of pots and pans to clang and clash and scare the wild animals from their own back yard, I simply wear a whistle and carry a big flashlight to light up the eyes of any creature of nature who might be 'watching' me. So far, all big animals have left me alone.  LOL

For you, I've taken a few early morning photos to describe the quiet peacefulness of the first dawn. No photo shop or editing in order to give you the early morning feel.  Then lastly, campers (unidentified) get ready to leave camp on Friday. 

The last two photos show my co-nurse, Callie, RN, - wearing the brown hat. She's busy checking out the campers while I'm taking pictures.  


All is still and quiet as I pass early morning meds to each cabin.
No "eyes" in this wilderness.
The MASH Cart for the nurses! I got out and took the picture as no one was around this early in the morning.
The path makes many circles around the grounds.
Complete with hot showers and soft bunks.
Sorry, I backed into the bench and broke it...
Early morning sunrise on the far mountain.
Each cabin has a name. This is Ponderosa Cabin.
This is "snack time" in the afternoon. Every one meets at 3 p.m. for music and food!
We can post pictures after the campers have left. this was last week's campers.
Campers saying goodbye until next year! A new group comes in each Sunday.
Funny Nurse Callie (blue jacket, brown hat) has a blast at camp. She's great to work with!
Smile Callie!

More later!  Titled, "Oh My God Road."

Take Care on the Journey,

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Geocaches and Mountain Lions

The Geocache called Georgetown View is near here. The drop off is just ahead!
I walked alone on the mountain trail to find it.
Later, I was told there were mountain lions there!
A lake on the way to Georgetown. There are geocaches here, but not the ones I wanted to discover today.
While there are many geocaches near the mountain camp, and I've found several with hubby before camp started, I took a couple hours this afternoon to find a few more.
   To be clear, there are more geocaches up here than I could EVER find! Enough so that I can be selective and just go after the big ones close to the road.  But, today I went a little further than expected!
   I've been hearing about a town close by called Georgetown that I always expected to be a ski area metro!  It's about five miles from camp, so the Saturn and I headed toward Georgetown. 
  For the record,  it appears to be a quaint little old village with Clear Creek flowing through the center of town in its rush to the east!  Right after I passed the last house in Georgetown with it's one gas station, a bike shop, an art store, a motel, and a formal sign pointing to the entrance onto I-70, the road entered a little park and petered out to become a wide paved bike trail - and my Geocache still lay ahead somewhere down that bike path.

The road becomes a bike path running under the old railroad tracks!
I got out of the car to find my geocache on foot!

   Feeling somewhat apprehensive way out here without a soul in sight, I put my valuables in the trunk, locked the car and headed down (UP) the bike path toward my geocache!  I kept a lookout for large sticks I could use to defend myself should a 'stranger' come along!
   My GPS indicated I was at an altitude of 8,815 feet above sea level.  The path dropped off hundreds of feet to Clear Creek below and the winding road I had come up to this point on. My lungs agreed that I was much higher than my body was accustomed to.  
   But I'm stubborn, you know.  Now I'm watching for big stones I could throw at anyone who came after me. It was an eerie feeling that I had, but I didn't see or hear anyone.  I even figured if I was attacked, I'd take a picture of the person on my iPhone and then throw the phone down the mountain so when its GPS led people to it, they would know what became of me.  But I pushed on up the hill to where the geocache was suppose to be under a big rock.
  I was actually kindof glad to step off the bike path onto a 'grass path' toward an abandoned house all boarded up.  (I'll bet it's haunted.)  According to the GPS, I was very close to my geocache under a rock and extremely close to the edge of the embankment where I could fall to my death if I went to far. (Photos -  No, not of me falling, but of the embankment.)

 I sat on a big rock just to take in and enjoy the breathtaking, majestic, inspiring, view before and all around me!  Looking up, I even saw a thin ribbon of a long, flowing, waterfall ahead! 
The thin waterfall is top center and looks like it's dropping down behind the tall pine tree. I edited it hoping to make it easier to see if you click on the photo. It was grandiose to me! The blue sign is I-70.
The small Rubbermaid Geocache is in here someplace.
The creek I didn't want to fall down in to!  Very cold! That's the road I came up.
The cliff I didn't want to fall off of. That's Georgetown down below (slightly left center)

The path I didn't like, but it lead to the Geocache!
The sunset on the far mountain was beautiful!
Geocache area. The GPS led me right to it.
Whoa!  There it was. I glimpsed the edge of the plastic Rubbermaid container under the rock and pulled it out hoping there were no snakes under there~

 I even found one of Mondou2's white and blue whistles!  (I took it and left other swag.) 

I added a photo of Sandy's buster, and a gold Oak Coin. Buster lives on!!!!
I took a whistle of my favorite geocacher, Mondou2!
He leaves them everywhere all over the world!

On the Georgetown View Geocaching log I wrote, 
"Starcatcher55. I'm 61-years old, and I found this alone!"

Savoring the beauty of the mountains, the old rail road tracks, and enormous boulders scattered around, I started back taking more photos along the way just in case I ran into somebody not nice. It was still hauntingly impressive all around me.

Downhill toward the Saturn is around the last corner!
The car never looked so good!

Headed back to camp.

Arriving back at camp the Camp Director told me that Georgetown has
mountain lions.
 Maybe that's why I felt like someone or something was following me.
Georgetown may have mountain lions, but I have guardian angels!

And no. I probably won't do that again.
Right Hubby?

Take Care on the Journey,