Mommy Wants Vodka

…Or A Mail-Order Bride

A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action


When I was a miserable nursing student, one of the things that I did to get myself through the long weeks was to try and find ways that I’d be able to use my degree once I finished. Ways that didn’t involve wiping butts and passing out medication. Because while that is an absolutely necessary job, it’s one I’m terrible at.

But nursing school, well, I’ve made it clear that it wasn’t My Thing, but the skills I have are valuable and I’d like to put them to use so that I don’t put a big mental red X over those two years of my life. If for no other reason than to prove to myself that all of those A++’s were fucking WORTH IT.

One of those things that I always wanted to do was to do a stint with Doctor’s Without Borders because while rubbing feet didn’t appeal to me, working in the field always has. Field medicine feels like real medicine to me.

I was going to do it right after I graduated, but they require a 6 month commitment and at the time, I’d barely seen my own son and I figured that I wanted to see him some before I went off to save the world, one Q-Tip at a time.

After the disaster in Haiti, I was reminded of my plans to become a volunteer disaster preparedness nurse when Dave bounded down the stairs, fooled by the American Airlines hoax. I was all for going until I realized it wasn’t really feasible.

At least, not yet.

I’m still looking to see if I can find another way down there to offer my services and if I don’t make it down there right now or in the coming months, because, let’s face it, Haiti isn’t going to rebuild itself in a week or two, I’m going to make sure I can join every civilian volunteer service corp that I can.

If not for Haiti, then for the next time disaster strikes, I’ll be ready to go.

Because it’s what I’m supposed to do with my skills, I can feel it in my bones. Me and my box of Q-tips and my bottle of medicinal vodka, we’re going to go and try to save the world.

66 Comments to

“A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action”

  1. On January 15th, 2010 at 10:27 am KeepingYouAwake Says:

    We salute you. If they need someone to carry around heavy stuff, just give me a buzz.

  2. On January 15th, 2010 at 10:34 am submom Says:

    You rock! Doctors without Borders are one of the charities that I support. I am concerned about their facilities there: reportedly all destroyed beyond repair.

  3. On January 15th, 2010 at 10:35 am Liza Says:

    Aloha greetings from Orchid-land.

    You are full of teh awesome, AB.

    Blessings always!

  4. On January 15th, 2010 at 10:44 am Libby Says:

    I admire anyone who can do that stuff. I think I would just stand there with my mouth agape and maybe cry a little.

  5. On January 15th, 2010 at 10:47 am Stephanie Says:

    You are full of much awesomeness. You’re right, there will be a need in Haiti for a VERY long time, I hope you are able to find a way to make a difference.

  6. On January 15th, 2010 at 10:51 am a Says:

    Well, I hope the world never has any need for your services, but that’s not too likely.

    You’re my hero!

  7. On January 15th, 2010 at 10:52 am Cara Says:

    Your time will come where you have both the time and financial support to do those things. I bet you could even get a group to sponsor you and raise funds for you to help!

  8. On January 15th, 2010 at 10:53 am Kristin Says:

    Good for you Aunt Becky. I will warn you, there is something addictive about field medicine. I completely miss being a paramedic.

  9. On January 15th, 2010 at 10:54 am Vinomom Says:

    When I was growing up I always wanted to join the Peace Corps. Doctors without Borders is an amazing program. You’ll get there Aunt Becky!

  10. On January 15th, 2010 at 11:02 am Lucy Cooper Says:

    I know. I feel the same way. I was listening to the news this morning- a story about a Haitian man who survived without injury. He’s been sitting at a makeshift hospital for two days now, comforting the wounded. He was sitting with an eight year old girl with a broken arm while being interviewed. I found myself wishing there was a way I could be there to do the same. My first aid skills are minimal but I would do anything just to comfort someone who’s hurt. Especially children, the elderly, and those who are now alone. It’s so heartbreaking.
    A friend of mine who’s an RN flew to Haiti Monday on a medical mission trip. Can you believe that? She’s safe- she’s Facebooked everyone with updates but I can only imagine what’s she experiencing.

  11. On January 15th, 2010 at 11:06 am jen Says:

    i feel the exact. same. way. ever since the Serbs bombed Sarajevo i have wanted more like needed to help out.

  12. On January 15th, 2010 at 11:19 am Alex Says:

    I’m trying to figure out a way to put my time spent in school/ purgatory to good use, as well. My dad, a psychiatrist, got trained by the Red Cross or something to go into disaster areas to provide mental health services. Thanks for the push to get me to sign up to do that, too.

    Tell you what- you wield the q-tips and I’ll get the kleenex for people to cry. And we’ll both bring lots of deodorant for everyone, because I’m pretty sure that the people in the disaster areas don’t have access to their deodorant.

  13. On January 15th, 2010 at 11:23 am Fizzle Says:

    Dude, Becky. I feel you! I went with a group called the Timmy Foundation (based in Indianapolis.. ) to Guatemala 2 years ago. Nothing compares with the rocking-awesome feeling of helping people who TRULY need it… and who are eternally grateful for your help. Good luck with organization-hunting (Timmy no longer has a partner in Haiti)… if I find any, I’ll fire them your way!

  14. On January 15th, 2010 at 11:30 am MamaOtwins+1 Says:

    You can do it!

  15. On January 15th, 2010 at 11:33 am Mystern Says:

    Even if you don’t make it down there, CNN has a list of websites accepting donations.

    And honestly, I think even if the American Airlines thing was a hoax, it’s one they should run with. Imagine the PR benefits they would get from such a scheme!

  16. On January 15th, 2010 at 11:37 am Doc Says:

    I am texting in my support….

  17. On January 15th, 2010 at 11:37 am Lisa Says:

    I wish you tons of luck, and hope that you can pursue field nursing sans the butt wiping and medicine administration – hey doesn’t that sound like a Mom’s job lol?

    I sometimes feel that I need to make more of an impact on the world too, but with children at home I feel like my first responsibility is to them. Taking care of the laundry, food, homework duties, “nursing care” when they are sick, and telling them each day that they are LOVED may not be bridging the gap for those in the throes of diaster, but it is my life right now (and I am grateful for it). But maybe when everyone is off at college I can go off to save the world – oh wait, there is that pesky thing known as “paying tuition”. Well maybe when they are out college, graduate school, etc… I will go. Wait, I will be around 67 when my youngest finishes grad school. Ok, so maybe I have made a spiritual and physical commitment to my family and it looks like I will be staying put.

    Here I will be, cheering you on Aunt Becky!

  18. On January 15th, 2010 at 11:38 am Choleesa Says:

    You go Aunt Becky!! You and your bottle of Vodka will save the world one drink at a time!!
    You are FULL of the Awesome

  19. On January 15th, 2010 at 11:43 am amy d Says:

    Such a selfless gift you are offering. I think your work would be wildly important and extrememly appreciated!

  20. On January 15th, 2010 at 11:47 am moonspun Says:

    You’ll do it when the time is right and you’ll do it fabulously!

  21. On January 15th, 2010 at 11:47 am Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] Says:

    I need to spread your awesome.

  22. On January 15th, 2010 at 11:51 am Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] Says:

    I need to spread your awesome.

    or rather… YOU need to spread your awesome.

    wow. that original comment sounded really dirty.

  23. On January 15th, 2010 at 11:48 am Amy Says:

    Dang it! I want to help Haiti somehow… I wish I could do more than send a couple prayers their way… >_<

    Maybe I can donate a couple dollars?? : (

  24. On January 15th, 2010 at 11:56 am avasmommy Says:

    You do what you can, when you can. I admire you for wanting to do so much. But then again, I’ve always admired you. You rock, sistah!

  25. On January 15th, 2010 at 11:58 am Melissa Says:

    That would be great if you are able to get down there and help! It’s so sad to see the devastation that they’re experiencing.

  26. On January 15th, 2010 at 11:59 am Coco Says:

    Dear Becks – I love your heart.

    DWB was my first donation to the relief effort.

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  28. On January 15th, 2010 at 12:23 pm Sara @ Life with the Two Says:

    I’m pretty sure that even with needed skills I would be completely worthless in this kind of situation. Props to you for knowing you are capable of doing it, and finding a way to help.

  29. On January 15th, 2010 at 12:23 pm existentialwaitress Says:

    I hope you get an opportunity to go. I wish I had skills to offer other than my (very limited) pocketbook.

  30. On January 15th, 2010 at 12:30 pm Zakary Says:

    I had the application to join the Peace Corps and I was totally going to fill it out (by hand, the internets wasn’t that popular yet).

    And then I found out I was knocked up.

    Go to Haiti; I can baby-sit.

  31. On January 15th, 2010 at 1:17 pm Ms.V Says:

    After 9-11, I signed up with the American Red Cross. Nothing better. Start your basic training, so next time, you’ll be ready to go.

    Seriously. I was deployed (to Bakersfield Call Center) in Katrina, been on countless fire calls, to the floods in Washington.

    It’s the best.

  32. On January 15th, 2010 at 1:23 pm linlah Says:

    Full of the awesome to the power of infinity.

  33. On January 15th, 2010 at 1:41 pm Mrs Soup Says:

    You will totally take over the world. One Q-tip at a time.

  34. On January 15th, 2010 at 1:43 pm Ms.V Says:

    just blogged regarding this. YOU inspired. Shout out to you.

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  36. On January 15th, 2010 at 2:06 pm Rebecca Says:

    I sort of want to see if anyone is accepting used toys. I was thinking that the kids and I could go through all their toys and mail them somewhere in Haiti. I’m sure so many of the children lost everything, and having just one toy would mean a lot them. New or used….we have so many gently used toys that the kids don’t really play with anymore. . .I just think they’d like something to brighten their day.

  37. On January 15th, 2010 at 2:10 pm stacey@Havoc&Mayhem Says:

    Probably a few bottle of medicinal vodka and possibly some rum as well would be good to take along.

  38. On January 15th, 2010 at 2:45 pm Kelly Says:

    I have just been reeling with the level of devastation there. I wish that I had a skill like yours that I could share. I keep finding myself thinking of all of the orphanages there, and praying for the children that were just waiting to go home to their forever families. There are so many orphanages in Haiti due to the poverty level there. It breaks my heart on a whole other level.

  39. On January 15th, 2010 at 2:56 pm Naomi de la Torre Says:

    You truly are AWESOME, Aunt Becky. I admire you.

  40. On January 15th, 2010 at 3:26 pm Manda Says:

    You are way a whole lot nicer than I am.

    It’s not that I don’t care…it’s that I don’t care as much as I should. Also, I don’t think they need data entry specialists down there just now.

  41. On January 15th, 2010 at 5:15 pm Elly Lou Says:

    Gold stars and hugs.

  42. On January 15th, 2010 at 5:37 pm Ms. Moon Says:

    Good for you, darlin’. Good for you!

  43. On January 15th, 2010 at 6:55 pm Melissa Says:

    Was that number a 212 number? Because I saw a number on the news last night and the hispanic community actually is getting funds together to send people to Haiti. It wasnt on the Internet dude I swear.

    That said, Haiti wasnt safe before this happened, so I really dont want you to go. With people even more desperate its sure to be dangerous. Plus the disease from all the rotting bodies. You have 3 kids kiddo. I would send money.

  44. On January 15th, 2010 at 7:07 pm flutter Says:

    Oh, I just love you

  45. On January 15th, 2010 at 8:03 pm Holli Says:

    You know, I have to say that you seem so much happier these days. I’ve noticed a real change in you lately. 🙂

  46. On January 15th, 2010 at 8:11 pm Cyndi Says:

    I believe volunteering at God’s Littlest Angels orphanage is done in 6 week rotations. Right now they need money (like everyone) and aid in getting passports and visas for the children already legally adopted. Most of the supplies are brought in on chartered planes or in the luggage of volunteers. Here’s their site:

    The adoption agency we used (Bethany) works with GLA and I’ve wanted for years to adopt from there (you have to be 30 yo, though.) Truth be told, even if the earthquake destroyed EVERYTHING, it still wouldn’t be more than most American’s have in their home. I mean, they’re asking for things like infant’s Tylenol and baby wipes. (although that kinda counts as wiping butts, huh?)

  47. On January 15th, 2010 at 8:47 pm TheBeerLady Says:

    Aunt Becky, you are awesome. Not just for wanting to do something like go to Haiti and help out, because that’s way cool. Most people freely admit that nurses are pretty much indispensable. Fewer people admit that no matter how indispensable they are, a lot of the job is just plain gross and boring. And very few people admit that they admit that they would like to do the ‘wow that’s cool’ stuff but not the gross and boring stuff. It takes balls, and that’s awesome.

  48. On January 15th, 2010 at 9:41 pm Jennifer B Says:

    Aunt Becky, that sounds like an AWESOME way to make use of your skills and education. Could you help me find a way to use a master’s degree in biology that would matter? As always, you rock!

  49. On January 15th, 2010 at 9:41 pm kys Says:

    I am terrible in any sort of crisis. All I can do is send some cash and prayers.

    PS Aren’t you glad that nursing stuff is going to be useful for something other than blog fodder? 🙂

  50. On January 15th, 2010 at 9:56 pm steve Says:

    You are awesome….hope you find your groove in your chosen field ..zman sends

  51. On January 15th, 2010 at 10:22 pm Cynthia, RN Says:

    Becky, I joined the MRC (Medical Reserve Corps) in my area (OKC) and helped with Hurricanes Gustav and Ivan a couple of years ago. It was humbling to see so many people in need of such basic amenities crammed into an old electronics warehouse littered with cots of all sizes and endless rows of melamine tables and aluminum chairs.
    You might check out if you have a local chapter of MRC in the Chicago area.

  52. On January 15th, 2010 at 11:44 pm Miss Spoken Says:

    Let me get this straight … First, you kick off 2010 with a plan to take over the world. Okay maybe not the actual world but the literary world. Or virtual literary world?

    Anyhell, now you’re also putting on your Humanitarian Super Hero cape?

    Fuck it. I’m going back to bed.

  53. On January 16th, 2010 at 7:43 am sweetpeah Says:

    Seriously, when you find it, you call me. I am graduating from nursing school on May 7th ( but ‘eh, who’s counting?) I’d love to go. I had just looked at Doctors w/o Borders website a few days prior to the Haiti disaster. They NEED nurses! I’m not loaded d/t said nursing school, but I can give of myself!

  54. On January 16th, 2010 at 10:28 am Badass Geek Says:

    Carry along a bottle of medicinal Jack Daniels for me.

  55. On January 16th, 2010 at 11:32 am fidget Says:

    the hubster’s aunt puts her nursing degree to use through church mission. The Hubster (decidedly not churchy)has done a few missions (he welds). Right after we met he went to help out in africa for 3 weeks

  56. On January 16th, 2010 at 12:35 pm Sara Says:

    Saw this and thought of you –

    You can register to volunteer & they can call you if they need you…

  57. On January 16th, 2010 at 1:47 pm Carlynn Says:

    What a great idea, it’s such a perfect use of your skills. You know there is a UN Volunteer Program as well that is always looking for people with various skills to go to places, although as a nurse Doctors without Borders is probably a better match. I have also been watching the news and feeling a little twinge of wanting to be there, helping, wondering what it’s like to work for a disaster relief organisation.

  58. On January 16th, 2010 at 1:52 pm Monique Says:

    Ok, so I see you all around this blogosphere and decided it was time to follow. I also saw your tweets on twitter trying to get a celeb to follow you. I have met a gazillion celebs and now I follow you. Helpful? Even a little bit?

  59. On January 16th, 2010 at 6:14 pm Krissa Says:

    I know if I saw you coming at me with a bottle of “medicine” I would immediately feel better! 😉
    Seriously though, this is a very, very admirable idea and I really hope you can do it.

  60. On January 16th, 2010 at 7:18 pm Becca Says:

    Good deal! I think you’ll find you enjoy helping people in their natural setting much better than any hospital. I know that I use my mental health training much more effectively in prison than I did anywhere else! Good Luck!! 🙂

  61. On January 16th, 2010 at 8:54 pm Sunny Says:

    I am always very touched reading about and seeing on TV the medical professionals who rush to help. There are so many wonderful people in the world.

    I don’t wish for a disaster, but I do hope that if there must be another one, that you get an opportunity to help on site. That would truly be life-changing.

  62. On January 16th, 2010 at 9:19 pm Stone Fox Says:

    i always feel the same need to drop my entire life to rush over to the latest disaster and start helping out.

    if i didn’t have little ones who needed me so bad, i probably would. i have a feeling that when my children are grown, i will stop resisting this urge.

  63. On January 17th, 2010 at 10:40 am Kendra Says:

    Good for you. Nurses (and people with nursing skills) are always needed all over the world. I am great at hand-holding and hugging and all those squishy things, but when it comes to practical assistance, I’m not very useful. And deciding to use the skills you have to help those who need it, that’s such a great thing to do–it’s hard sometimes to remember that no experience is wasted, that a lack of an “RN” doesn’t mean nursing school was a giant waste. I know relief assistance is something you’d be good at; you seem to have the practical skills, the toughness not to be entirely destroyed by it, and the compassion to be really there. Meantime I’ll fret and hand out hugs and donate blood, because that’s about all I’m good for, in a practical sense.

  64. On January 17th, 2010 at 10:21 pm Notesfromthegrove Says:

    I love the mental image I have of you with your Q-tips and vodka attempting to save the world.

    You may not save it, but you definitely make a big difference in it. At least to me :o)

  65. On January 18th, 2010 at 2:07 pm Mommy on the Spot Says:

    You are AWESOME!

    Don’t worry, your time will come! And when you do, you will rock!

  66. On January 19th, 2010 at 5:40 am Betty M Says:

    Money now then get trained up for next time and there will always be a next time. Unfortunately for me it has to be money every time – rare is the natural disaster where people are calling urgently for lawyers.

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