Lifestyle

I am in an Abusive Relationship and I Need to Leave: Life as an ER Nurse

Abuse in the ER

I am in an abusive relationship.
I need help.
I need to leave.

I don’t know if I can. 


Finally. I am ready to leave. If I am going to live, I have to leave. I know. I have said this before. But this time is different. They said it would change, time and time again. They said they’d never lay a hand on me again. This time, I was punched in the face. It’s my fault, they said. It’s my fault because I chose this.

Enough is enough.

Finally, I am ready to leave the ER. I know I have said this before. This time is different. This time I really mean it. I chose to be an ER Nurse. I did not choose to be emotionally and physically abused every single day I go to work. I must have slept through Real Nursing 101, where they cover incessant abuse. And how to live with it.

I did not choose to have patients yell at me every day. 
I did not choose to have a man wiggle his privates at me. 
I did not choose to be spit on. 
I did not choose to be urinated on. 
I did not choose to be bitten. 
I did not choose to be hit in the face. 
I did not choose to have my life threatened.

Over and over and over again.

Sometimes, the hospitals will pretend they care. They will tell us how sorry they are that this happened to us. They will hire more security to protect us. Security that is not allowed to touch the patients.  Security that refuses to remove a patient who is violently threatening staff and other patients. 

Seems like security is on the patient’s side. Obviously, we were in the wrong, not the patient. We chose to help these patients. We chose to work in the ER. 

A patient hurled a phone at a child. A child. He was told by security not to do it again. He was not removed from the area. He screamed vulgar insults. But don’t worry, he was not going to throw the phone again. He promised security he wouldn’t. 


They were drunk. It only happens when they’re drunk. It isn’t who they really are. It is the alcohol.
It’s always the alcohol.
They said they’ll never drink again. They apologize. They apologize for drinking, no empathy for the swath of pain and destruction their behavior has brought. They swear they will never drink again. They say I love you. I need you. Nothing changes.
I need help. Big help.
I am going to leave this time.

People are often under the influence of some type of substance. When they are sober they say they are sorry and they will not do that again. I don’t believe them. They say they aren’t responsible because they were high when they punched me in the face.

The police do nothing. Attacking a healthcare worker is a felony. But nothing is done.

“He didn’t leave a mark, so we are sorry, but we can’t arrest him.” 

They aren’t sorry.

“Ok,” I say.  “I apologize, officer. My fault for calling you. I will wait until my nose is broken before I call you again. I am sorry for bothering you.”


I am ready to leave. 
I need help.
I tried to leave before. I found someone who was nice, safe, and appreciated me. But I missed the old reliable. Maybe, it WAS my fault. I made them mad. I won’t do it again.

A person can only be called a c*** and a b*** so many times before you believe it. I just smile, and offer them a sandwich.  De-escalation they call it. The patient is always right.

Maybe I was a b***. I mean, it’s true.  I didn’t offer the patient a sandwich before I asked about their medical ailment. What was I thinking?

 “Ma’am, Would you like ham or turkey? Mustard and Mayo?”

Patient satisfaction scores are based on the number of sandwiches we give out, not the quality of medical care we provide. 


OK. I changed my mind. Maybe it really is my fault. They promised to never do it again. They said, I love you. I need you. I want to believe the promises: Things will be better. They won’t call me names. They won’t put their hands on me. I miss them. I believe the promises this time. I really do. I chose this. I chose to stay. I am not going to leave.

Never Mind.


I am an ER nurse.
I don’t need help anymore.

Nurse & Nomad

Diary of a transient girl

What the hell am I doing? A few days ago, I posted on social media that I bought a one way ticket to Indonesia. Most of the comments were along the lines of: ‘congrats’, ‘proud of you’ and ‘so jealous.’ Others, mostly by my dad and other concerned family, were: “What are you doing?” Are you quitting nursing?” 

So what am I doing? And what am I thinking? 

I have been an emergency room nurse for 12 years and although, yes, there are some good moments, right now the bad seems to outweigh the good. I am burnt out. I need a break.  

I originally heard the words digital nomad a few years ago and tried every avenue I could think of related to remote nursing jobs. Shockingly, there are not that many you could do from a foreign country. 

For years, I have been talking to friends (and my poor boyfriend) about wanting to run away to some country, sit on a beach and somehow make money. Recently, I was surfing the internet for the millionth time about online jobs when I started to seriously consider teaching english online. I applied with a company called VIPKIDS and made it through the application and interview process.

I wasn’t sure where I was going to go, but I did know it needed 3 requirements: 

  1. A beach 
  2. Far away from home 
  3. Cheap

Bali continually showed up as a top location for digital nomads. Decision made.

Around the same time I finished the hiring process, I was casually looking for flights. I am obsessed with travel hacking and found a flight for low frequent flyer miles on the exact dates I was looking for. It was the only award flight I could find for that month. I had worked all night and was already in bed. Did I have the right date? Was I really going to go to Bali instead of just talking about it? F*** it, I hit confirm. 

Flight to Bali for $12. Done.

So my plan:

I will leave Colorado where I spend my winters working as an ER nurse and go back to Vegas. I will work my per diem job for about 6 weeks, while I get attempt to get my life together. Then on June 20th, I’m out. I plan to be somewhere in Southeast Asia for about two months. After my travels in Southeast Asia, I will most likely return to the US before heading off on another adventure. Im considering this an experiment.

Can I support myself working online? Can I really live in a foreign country for an extended time? How do I get internet? Where do I stay? Etc…. 

So…

Nurse and Nomad

Review: Wingtips Lounge St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL)

Wingtips Lounge Bar STL

Upon landing at STL, I decided to check out the Wingtips Lounge. I arrived on a Southwest Airlines flight from Kansas City. My original flight was supposed to be direct from Las Vegas but due to a flight cancellation, I ended up with a quick layover in Kansas City. I was meeting my boyfriend Cliff but his flight didn’t arrive until 3:00pm.

Location

The only lounge located in Terminal 2 was the Wingtips Lounge. Terminal 1 houses the American Airlines Admirals Club which according to Lounge Buddy, you can purchase a day pass for $59. The Wingtips Lounge is located in Terminal 2. Although there are no free lounges available to Priority Pass members, there are several restaurants where you can receive $28 off your bill ($56 if you bring a guest.). Please note, this benefit is no longer available to passengers who aquired their priority pass through American Express. The Pasta House and Schafly Bar is airside in Terminal 2 and there is another Pasta House landside in Terminal 1. I should also note that you cannot connect airside between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. In fact, you need to take a shuttle between them.  

Wingtips Entrance STL
Entrance to Wingtips Lounge in Terminal 2 at STL

Terminal 2 is considered the Southwest Airlines Terminal. My flight arrived in St. Louis at noon on a Friday. My plane arrived at gate E33 in Terminal 2. I took a left towards baggage claim and was thrilled to see The Wingtips Lounge immediately on my right.

Access

The lounge is $38 to enter for 4 hours, which I was told wasn’t strictly enforced. I was also able to enter on arrival, which has become rare in the lounge world. Lounge Buddy gives a $2 discount if you use their app to buy your pass. I had heard a rumor that Priority Pass members are given a discount but could not find this listed on any website. After speaking to the lady at the desk, not only are Priority Pass members given $8 off but American Express Platinum members receive a $10 discount. Since I hold both of these cards, I was able to enter for $28 using my Amex Platinum card.

Amenities

The lounge is not large but has plenty of seating options all with regular outlets and USB ports. I arrived at noon and there was a little rush of passengers but by 1:30pm the lounge had emptied out again.

Wingtips STL
Seating Options Wingtips Lounge STL
Wingtips Lounge STL
Seating Options Wingtips Lounge STL
Seating Options Wingtips Lounge STL
Seating Options Wingtips Lounge STL

There are two single unisex bathrooms. They are clean and have plenty of room to freshen up. There are not any showers.

Wingtips STL
Women’s Restroom Wingtips Lounge STL

Food and Beverage

There is a large bar with plenty of seating. They have a good selection of complimentary beer, wine and house liquor. Guests place their food and drink order at the bar, but there was always a staff member walking around who were more than happy to place the order for you.

Wingtips Lounge STL
Beverage Menu Wingtips Lounge STL
Wingtips Lounge STL
Beverage Menu Wingtips Lounge STL
Wingtips Lounge STL
Beverage Menu Wingtips Lounge STL

There is a buffet area that has drink options and very limited snacks.

Wingtips Buffet STL
Buffet at the Wingtips Lounge STL

What makes this lounge stand out to me is that they have a large selection of food to order. This is something I only see in premium first and business class lounges. I ordered the BBQ chicken pizza which came out fresh and tasted yummy.

Wingtips Lounge Food Menu STL
Complimentary Food Menu Wingtips Lounge STL
Wingtips Lounge Food Menu 
STL
Complimentary Food Menu Wingtips Lounge STL
Wingtips Lounge Food Menu STL
Complimentary Food Menu Wingtips Lounge STL

The staff was very welcoming and attentive. They made sure my wine was never empty. Guests can also get any beverage including alcohol to go. And not only were you encouraged to take snacks with you, but they had little togo cups. Most lounges have a strict policy about taking food and drink outside of the lounge. 

Final Impression

Overall, this was one of my favorite domestic pay-to-use lounges that I have been in. The service was excellent and surpassed the service at any United Airlines Lounge, American Airlines Admirals Club and even any Centurion Lounge I have been too. The food was excellent. And anytime I am offered alcohol to-go, you have my heart.

There is a Wingtips Lounge located at New You JFK Airport which happens to be a Priority Pass Lounge. According to several mediocre reviews I have read, the lounge is nothing like the Wingtips at SLT.

I definitely recommend checking out the Wingtips Lounge if you are passing through St. Louis Lambert International Airport.