More Than Just a Squiggly Line

If you want to be taken seriously by the medical community, at least try to make tHe EKG look real.-3.jpg

Let's talk about something non-burnout related for a minute. Because sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to take a mental break from even thinking about how you should be managing your stress and anxiety. And if you're stressing about your stress, then it's just one of those ridiculous Russian doll situations (Flight of the Concords, anyone?) and we'll get nowhere. That's one of the reasons why I've enjoyed the practice of meditation as an attempt to be more mindful of the present moment and let my mind just focus for a minute instead of spinning around and around on all the things that I'm worrying about. Which happened a LOT when I was a nurse manager. But of course, I wasn't meditating back then, I was much to busy for that. *insert eye roll here* But we'll talk more about meditation next week.  

So, let's divert for a minute, shall we? 

I started writing this post after Thanksgiving, while I was online doing some Black Friday shopping. We all love finding a good deal, amiright? It's just... as a nurse, I can't quite convince myself to buy anything that has a fake heart rhythm on it. It's the principle of the thing! You know what I'm talking about. It's when you see a sign like this:


Would you go to a physical therapist if they had this on their window? I'm not making a hypothetical there- this is from a clinic a few blocks away and I cringe every time I pass it when I'm walking the dog.

So there I was, between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and I kept seeing this squiggly line necklace pop up on my Instagram feed, saying that it could be yours for FREE if you paid shipping/handling. I confess, for a split second I thought about it. But I realized, I would be too embarrassed to wear it! As a cardiac nurse, I respect the electrophysiology of the heart too much. If it doesn't bother you and you rock the squiggly line, go for it! Do you. 

There is even a whole blog, Stupid Heart Rhythms, devoted to gathering all the truly horrendous EKGs from the four corners of the earth and creating awareness. Drew is a paramedic who I met through blogging and he's kept his website going over the years! We connected over this picture I posted of an accurate EKG using a candycane and pipe cleaners.

candycane EKG.jpg

And I love Drew's posts about EKG tattoos. He even offers a free public service as an EKG tattoo consultant to make sure that you end up with something that looks like a real heartbeat and less like an angry heart that's been beaten and has electrolyte abnormalities.  

And THAT's why, for Valentine's Day this year, all my EKG themed cookies will have real rhythms on it. Oh, it may be ventricular tachycardia, bigeminy with ST elevation, or even a Mobitz type II heart block, but they'll be REAL. 

Actually, on second thought, maybe they'll all be just perfect sinus rhythm. I've found that the years I took cookies to work, my co-workers left the asystole and vfib cookies alone, like the superstitious bunch that we are. ;)

EKG Cookies

Speaking of superstition, who else is working January 31st, night of the lunar trifecta? It's supposed to be a "super blue blood moon?" The words "blue" and "blood" are pretty ominous. Sooooo, we'll see how that goes.