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All posts by cindy

Boston Children’s Hospital

TBT – 1997, Boston Children’s Hospital. I’ve been going through my old journals and came across this email that I sent to friends and family back in June 1997, over 20 years ago. Aaron was in the hospital having a major surgery, laryngotracheoplasty (tracheal reconstructive surgery to remove his tracheostomy tube). This was sent out via AOL when pretty much everyone who was on-line was on AOL.

Aaron at Boston Children’s Hospital, June 1997


Update #14 – June 19, 1997

Children’s hospital is quite a place. These doctors and nurses see it all. The most serious cases and cases that can’t be handled in the community hospitals come here to Children’s. There are families here from all over the world. We are so lucky to have this hospital so close by. You don’t need to spend much time here to realize how fragile life is and to be thankful if your kids are healthy. Just walking through the lobby you see kids in wheelchairs, kids with deformities, kids so pasty white and sickly; bandages, IV’s, hearing aids, casts and crutches are plentiful.

They had a busy day in the O.R. the day of Aaron’s extubation / bronchoscopy, so his surgery was delayed. We were told they had 18 O.R.s running all day long and did over 80 surgeries in one day! Eighty children having surgery and more than eighty worried family members pacing the floors of this hospital.

In the past week, we have seen lots of kids come and go from our small little corner of this one-of-many intensive care units. Some with chronic illnesses and experienced parents who know the routine and are coping with more of the same. Then there are families who were worried about their kid’s grades in school one day; and the next, worrying about their kid’s life. The teenage girl who was hit by a dump truck. The 11-year-old boy who lost his hand and his vision when a fire cracker exploded in his hand. The 14-year-old boy who barely escaped death from bacterial meningitis. The baby who has multiple fractures and brain damage after a beating from her mother.

Life certainly is a matter of perspective. And this place certainly does make you think about life and death and what is truly important…

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Why I’m Voting NO on Question One

Massachusetts Ballot Question One 2018

Not all Massachusetts nurses want a ‘yes’ vote on Question 1. The Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) is promoting ballot Question 1, which would set limits on the number of patients assigned to a nurse at one time. First, this bill only pertains to hospitals and it’s important to note that hospitals staff about half of all nurses and the MNA only represents about 25% of nurses statewide.

The idea of limiting patient load is good in theory, but it’s more complicated. Supporters say that hospital nurses are often over-worked and limiting patient load could make hospitals safer. It is not surprising hospital administrators oppose the ballot question, because it would be expensive. The cost of health care in the US is a much bigger issue and our whole health care system is a mess, but that’s another story.

Regarding Question 1, I’ll be voting no on Question one for a very different reason, simply because there are not enough nurses to fill the jobs we have now. This country has had a nursing shortage dating back to the 1930’s and I don’t see an end to the shortage anytime soon. If this bill passes, hospitals will drain nurses from other much needed and already short staffed places like nursing homes, group homes, rehab facilities, doctor’s offices and home care.

Hospitals already have the most skilled nurses and they should have the flexibility to move staff where it is most needed, without government imposed ratios. Creating nursing assignments is complex and dynamic and needs flexibility. Hospitals will do just fine without this bill. However, if the bill passes, it will be devastating and life threatening to long-term care facilities for the elderly, sick and disabled – our most vulnerable citizens – who often can’t speak for themselves.

I have been a nurse for 36 years and have worked in several different settings including hospitals, nursing homes and home care. It is the nursing homes and home care who are desperate for nurses and this bill would make a bad situation worse. For example, I know of children with complex medical needs who are approved for home nursing hours, but there are simply no nurses to fill those hours. If there were plenty of nurses I would have no objection to Question 1, however at this time when I weigh the pros and cons, I think a yes vote would hurt more people than it would help.

Please Vote No on Question One.

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Celebrating 100 episodes of Rubber Duck Theater

Producer Cindy Bissell during a production of an episode of Rubber Duck Theater.

 

GRAFTON: Grafton Community Television celebrates another cable access milestone during August. GCTV producer Cindy Bissell, along with program hosts husband Richard Bissell and son Aaron Bissell have reached the 100th episode of their cable access show “Rubber Duck Theater.”

“Rubber Duck Theater” debuted on August 1st, 2011. Cindy, Richard and Aaron Bissell are certified access producers for Grafton Community Television. The program featuring the Bissells with recurring guest Nicholas Nicklebee, is primarily billed as a half hour movie review show, but it includes a variety of topics including family travels and themed conventions. The Bissell family reached episode #50 in January, 2014 and episode #75 in November 6, 2015.

The 100th episode features a one hour special that will run on Grafton Community Television during the month of September. The show airs on Grafton Community Television’s Charter Channel 191 / Verizon Channel 34 on the following weekly schedule: Tuesdays at 11:00 PM, Friday at 10:00 PM, Saturday at 10:00 PM and Sunday at 7:00 PM. The program will also be available at the GCTV VOD link: http://graftontv.org/current/VoD.html.

Past episodes of “Rubber Duck Theater” can also be found at https://vimeo.com/rubberducktheater and at http://www.rubberducktheater.com/

Grafton News article PDF
Grafton News (web)
Grafton Patch (web)

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No Krampus This Year

By Andrew St. George

Detective Leonard Keaton showing us his badge for some reason. Seriously, no one asked, this is how he chose to pose for the paper.
Detective Leonard Keaton showing us his badge for some reason. Seriously, no one asked, this is how he chose to pose for the paper.

 

Local Detective Leonard Keaton is credited with taking down crime lord Lloyd “Krampus” Christmas. The super villain, named by his parents after Jim Carey’s Character in “Dumb and Dumber,” has been on a crusade against Christmas since a young age. Earning the nickname of “Grinch” in his youth, it wasn’t until Christmas reached the age of 18 when the violent opposition to Christmas really took hold, and the acts of atrocity performed promoted him from the “Grinch” to “Krampus” or the “Christmas Devil.”

Christmas was behind the recent kidnapping of beloved hero Rudolph, or Rudy as his friends called him. Rudy was reported missing shortly after thanksgiving. Mr. Cringle, Rudy’s employer, stated that there was almost no way to safely navigate the treacherous trip from the North Pole without the luminescent qualities of Rudy’s famous nose. “He really was the shining light of our team” Cringle said, having to pause for a moment to contain a slight chuckle that made his belly jiggle.

The plot hatched by the evil “Krampus” essentially revolved around selling off Rudy to the highest bidder, a Chinese genetics laboratory, who intended to kill and dissect Rudy’s nose to study its bioluminescent qualities. Their intent is still currently unclear, and they refused to comment, but it is widely believed that they were looking to use the bio-tech to develop some form of light bulb for vehicles. Arthur Johnson, head scientist at BioDynamic Conglomerates, believes that the idea is technically feasible, but believes that the technology would only be slightly better that what was on the market currently.

Detective Keaton was at the airport preparing for a much needed vacation when he smelled something askew in a crate that was being packed on the plane. Pulling rank on the baggage handlers, he pried the crate open to find Rudy tied up inside with a bag over his nose to contain the glow. Using his keen detective skills, he looked at the return shipping address on the crate and recognized it as the home of Lloyd Christmas. Calling in a favor, he got a warrant issued and went to search the house and found evidence of Rudy being there, as well as a document titled “My plan to kidnap and sell Rudolph to the Chinese by Lloyd “Krampus” Christmas.” Using this evidence, Leonard arrested Christmas.

I interviewed Detective Keaton in his office, and he had this to say: “Did I save Christmas? Of course I did.”

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