Saturday, January 19, 2013


Turnaround day in Ft. Lauderdale.  One group of passengers gets off and another comes on.  We also lost Mary, my buddy, who was amazing and warm and funny and helpful.  She went ashore.  I'll miss her, but remember her fondly.  Sigh. 

Now, we are back out to sea and headed to Grand Turk again I believe.  One more week until home. 

Tired today after last night's adventures.  A busy clinic today with more sick people than I would like to see really.  Here is hoping that trend takes a steep nosedive. 

There was a gorgeous sunset today as we left Florida.  I took a picture on the old cellphone camera horror show.  I may post it when we get back. 

Lastly, I learned of a new blog that is written by another nurse here on board, Kelly. 

Escapades of a Spinster

Feel free to jump on over and check her out if you are in the mood to read more tonight.  I just don't think I have it in me at the moment. 

Friday, January 18, 2013


Here I am after midnight, in the clinic, looking after a drunk/on drugs patient.  It was a fun night restraining him and having him spit in everyone's face.  He was so cute how he told everyone what punk bitches we all were.  Except me.   He trusted me, of course, since I was a medical man.

How ferocious he was as he described what he would do to everyone if only they would let him up to show them.  Now he is all quiet and finally getting that much needed beauty rest.  Haldol, I love you. 

Aside from that, nothing much today.  It was rougher seas than it has been but still doesn't really count as rough by comparison to Navy days.  I do enjoy being at sea.  I went upstairs to the 11th deck where I sat for a bit watching the panoramic view of the ocean while I read my book.  The motion of the sea is magnified up there a bit. 

I also really get a kick out of watching the pool on the 9th deck slosh around.  The whole pool is in a recessed area to contain the water and it is just mesmerizing to me.  Like waves crashing on a beach.  Mary, my nurse buddy, said, 'just wait till you get whitecaps in the pool.  That's cool.'

Tomorrow is Ft. Lauderdale.  I can't wait.  My cell phone gets reception there and I get to call home.  I am missing my family quite a bit. 

Next cruise is Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk, San Juan and St. Thomas.  I am 3rd call for San Juan.  Should be fun.  I might even get off on St. Thomas for a bit.  We will see.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Another first call day and another heart attack.  What the heck is going on here?

Awakened this morning by the then 1st call nurse to assist with another heart attack.  You know, for the resources on hand, the logistical challenges in getting care in a foreign country or transport back to the US and the severity of some of the problems we deal with, I think this company and this crew does an incredible job. 

The actions of the doctor and other 1st call nurse probably saved that guy's life.  We got a report from the doctor at his eventual hospital that back that theory up too. 

Busy day on board.  Busy clinic.

I walked up to 11th deck and checked out the area during my afternoon break. There is a Disney cruise ship docked next door. It is interesting. I took some pictures and may try to upload them later. There was also a Costa cruise liner anchored out. I told the doctor that and he asked, "Is it on it's side?"

We are sitting here in Cozumel getting pounded by the waves driven by an oncoming storm.  nothing too serious, but the boat is bouncing and pounding.  We get under way again tonight around 11 and start the voyage back to FLL. I am off tomorrow.  Still have some things I need to do, but nothingto strenuous.  I really like the crew we have right now.  Everyone gets along and works really well together.  Our current LMO is good and teaching me a lot.  There is still so much to learn.    Oh yeah, Anne, I have the information for you. Check Google + for a reply. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Today was expirey day! 

We were at Georgetown Grand Cayman Islands.  Of course, crew shore leave was suspended due to operational issues.  I think that means there wouldn't be enough time for passengers and crew to get on and off via the tender (water taxi) so passengers get to go and crew gets to stay.  Just part of the bargain. 

So instead, we got expirey day!  That is the day when you go through everthing in the clinic, every needle, iv, medicine, fluid start kit, et tube, etc and pull out everything that has expired and replace it.  What a great way to find out what and where everything is.  Problems is that it was so much that I can't remember it all.  Sigh. 

So that was busy.  Plus the normal clinic stuff.  It still isn't as busy as a 12 hour ER shift. 

I got in a workout tonight.  Running on a treadmill sucks. 

Part of running, at least for me, is engaging with the world around you.  It isn't just running, it is running somewhere.  I can distract myself a little by focusing on getting to the top of that hill, that stop sign, those trees up there.  On a treadmill you don't go anywhere.  You just keep looking down at the little red numbers and waiting for them to get high enough to quit.  It's like watching a clock and waiting something unpleasant to end.  It takes forever and it sucks.  I want my world back.  So I lift things up and put them down more and run less.  Instead of body weight exercises and running 5 miles I do deadlifts and squats, bench press and planks, then run 1-2 miles. 

I should go see a show or something. 

I did go to the OB last night.  Officer's Bar, BTW.  I had a rum and coke and sat out on the bow of the ship in the dark.  It was nice.

Off to bed, I am 1st call tomorrow and need my beauty rest. 

Anne, I'm still trying to find out for you.  I'll let you know. 

Monday, January 14, 2013


My habit has been to write up my blog posts on the touchpad and then bulk add them to the blog when I have time.  This time however, I am going to go ahead and type it right on the computer.


Big thrills.  Such is the life of a cruise nurse. 

Today I was 3rd call, which means I am essentially off.  Last night I was up from 0100 to 0300 taking care of a drunken fall.  I'm getting the hang of the x-ray thing.  Still some work to do though.  I want to add a few pictures to the blog for those of you who may look and don't have me friended on Facebook.  Just not much time or bandwidth right now and pretty crappy cell phone pictures to boot. 

OH well, the computer isn't going to let me do it I am afraid. I'll throw a big post of pictures later when I am home.  

So today I finished my book and got another one.  I ate some food uhhhh....yeah.  Oh yeah, I hit the gym.  I ran two miles on a treadmill about three miles off the coas of Cuba.  I suppose if I had that run on water thing down like Chun from Remo Williams, I could have made it.  Probably best to stay on the ship though. 

I have made the mistake of turning on the TV a couple of times over the past few days and getting sucked in to movies.  Batman, Matrix and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.  The last one there is not a good movie to watch when you are an absent father missing your family.  I became a weeping simp.  S'Ok though, the drunken passengers will pull you right out of that. 

Quite the different crowd than the Delbert McClinton cruise.  And quite different from the non-charter cruise too.  I have yet to do a 'regular' cruise.  I am figuring things out though.  Mostly I just stick to work and my books.  Today I ventured up to see a new friend play in the lounge.  I will have to get out and see some more of the performers I am meeting practice their craft. 

I am amazed at the Phillipino and Indonesian crew members.  They work incredibly hard and are always smiling.  I wish I spoke the language, but the barrier is pretty stout between language and culture. 

The crew calls everyone from medical 'doctor'.  I have been told it is quite a waste of time to correct them as they will smile and say, "OK doctor". 

I'm still learning the ropes.  I'll try to keep the blog updated.  Check back if you don't hear from me.



Scene from the buffet line today on the Lido Deck. We are standing in the Asian food line and an older, overweight midwestern gentleman is pointing at the various sushi rolls on display. He points to a daikon nigiri roll It is a half moon shaped slice of a yellow vegetable secured to a bed of rice with a ribbon of seaweed. He asks the small Phillipino man behind the glass and asking what it is. The server responds, "Daikon"'. The man asks, "Bacon?"

The server smiles and shakes his head, "Daikon. It's a vegetable."

"Bacon? The yellow one?"

This goes on for a few seconds as the Phillipino man tries to explain to the passenger in a reasonably heavy accent that the yellow thing is a vegetable and not some mutant bacon. The passenger is standing there wondering what kind of place is serving raw, yellow bacon. I figured it would be best to step in and explain. Once he understood he promptly ordered one of every roll except the freaky yellow bacon.



Two go off and two go on. Two weeks left in the contract. Today's number is two. Now, a new LMO and crew MO who has been a LMO. Should be a great opportunity for learning everything I can. I got to talk to Sarah today, which is always wonderful. I miss her smile, her face, her voice, her everything. I even got to talk to Michael for a second or two. He was working on coloring some dragon pictues that were his masterpiece. I love them so much.

So we pulled in early morning and the passengers debarked, disembarked, got off, whatever it is officially that they do. Not much happening in the clinic while all that was going on. We got the end of voyage stuff done the previous night. Then we waited a little bit and started boarding the new passengers. This is another charter cruise-some construction supply company. They loaded an open wheeled race car to the back Lido deck pool. They have an open bar for the whole cruise. This could get ugly.

There are NFL playoff games tonight, two of them. I think I will watch a little tonight then off to bed. Tomorrow we go to Half Moon Cay, the private island owned by Carnival cruise lines. The procedures are different, I will be on the island to start and then trade out with someone. I'll try to take some pictures.

Next trip I will have the good camera.



Today was not as pleasant as yesterday. Started off OK I guess. Awake at 0645, breakfast and then clinic. I did the wheelchair and CPR pocket mask checks which have to be done each voyage. This involved going to every crew stairwell landing and every restaurant and roaming all over the ship to verify that what was supposed to be there was. It took a couple of hours and introduced me to nooks and crannies of which I was previously unaware.

Then lunch and more clinic. Somewhere in this mix I started thinking. Then I reality checked my thinking. You see, there is a conference for full time cruise nurses who will be LMO (Lead Medical Officer). This conference is in San Diego the week of my first cruise with the family. Since I was only penciled in on the cruise, it means they are planning on taking me off of the first 10 day rotation. This causes a lot of problems. I'm not really sure how to deal with them all. Loss of 10 days of much needed pay. Loss of cruising time with the family...much needed time with the family. That would halve the amount of time they would get to cruise with me, which would make us question the cost effectiveness of taking the other half of the cruise. Dominos knocking over other dominos leading to getting squished by an opportunity.

I don't really know what to do about it all. On top of that, I was going to come in and write after I sent an email or two out, but when I went to the clinic, the 1st call was getting a call about two patients coming down. Trying to be a team player, I got stuck over there for an hour working. Such is life.


1-10-13 2138 off. And I took it too. On my other days I had been staying in clinic all the time to learn as much as possible, but today I took off. I checked out a new book from the ship's library and sat in bed for pretty much the entire morning. Then I had lunch with the rest of the medical staff. On the advice of the doctor, I sat out on the promenade deck and read in a deck chair. Very nice.

I did get a workout in. Let me just say for the record that deadlifts and squats are hard on a cruise ship. The weight changes as the ship moves up and down and also side to side. And running on a treadmill is tough too. I want to run on the deck, but that is officially prohibited. That means passengers can get away with it, but I can't.

Tomorrow is back to work. It was a nice holiday and I am glad to have had it.

Back to my book.