Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC

We road warriors know all about the “fun” that comes with the constant travel. You know, getting to see some really not cool cities, desperately trying to catch up on emails and calls, often adjusting to different time zones and then messing up when to be on a Zoom call. 

Then, of course, there is the indigestion from inhaling whatever the local cuisine has to offer, usually some form of whatever is fast. And you are exhausted by the time the weekend rolls around, trying to catch up on “home stuff” and before you know it, you’re singing “On the road again” and off you go.

And if you’re in a rural area, good luck finding a “heavenly bed.” I know most nurses have bad backs already but sleeping in some of those beds that kind of collapse on you week in and week out doesn’t help much. 

Which brings me to conference season. Now, I have to say that the live conferences that I’ve gone to or am going to have some excellent COVID protocols in place. So that’s not a worry. And, usually, we get excited about conferences for the cool location and nice hotels, a chance to eat some good food and catch up with colleagues. And immerse ourselves in the latest and greatest information and education. 

But what I did not expect was taco bed. Let me explain. I was at a conference this summer that had been naturally postponed from the year prior. The thing is, when the meeting planners evaluated the hotel three years ago, it was with the assumption the hotel was going to be renovated. Well, that did not happen, and this was a high end hotel and unexpected. 

So, the first night I get into the bed, I sink into the middle. And to make matters worse, the bed didn’t have fitted sheets so between sinking in the middle and the sheets engulfing me, it was like being in the middle of a taco. About 2 a.m. I woke up with a charley horse in my right calf. And as everyone who gets calf charley horses knows, you have to stand up ASAP or that sucker is going to get so tight you’ll never work it out. So here I am, trapped in taco bed hell, and I can’t get out. 

Now, I am not a curser, more like the “sugar and spice” or “son of a nutcracker” kind of gal, but by the time I finally got out of the bed, I sounded like a sailor with Tourette syndrome. Not something I’m proud of, but it is what it is.

So, while conference season is upon us, maybe check out those beds ahead of time and check into another hotel if need be. Tacos belong in restaurants. No need to be a warrior about that. Just saying.

Just keeping it real,

Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, Senior Director of Clinical Innovation and Education for Mission Health Communities, LLC and an APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real-life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.

The opinions expressed in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News guest submissions are the author’s and are not necessarily those of McKnight’s Long-Term Care News or its editors.