Thursday, December 29, 2011

First Glamorous Biopsy

Yesterday, December 27, I had a nipple biopsy.  It was heart wrenching watching a part of my body being thunked into a sterile specimen container by Dr. No Bedside Manners.  I had two stitches which will be removed next Tuesday.  The specimen, formerly a part of my body, will be sent to pathology and the results should be back in one week's time.  The doctor stated that the hospital is low on pathologists and that if were to be sent out, the timeframe for results would be about two weeks.  This biopsy is specifically screening for Paget's Disease of the Nipple.

I am currently waiting on a breast care representative at the hospital to call and schedule me for an ultrasound guided biopsy to aspirate the two 5mm cysts that according to the mammography are both solid.  Not too sure what that means.  I guess I will find that out soon.

On the upside to all of this, I did score some Percocet!  That should make anyone happy, right??  I am planning on putting a complaint in for the doctor.  He has absolutely no care toward any type of emotion I have.  He is straight forward and to the point and I just think it is inhumane.  When you have a 32 year old female patient going through what I am going through, there should be some compassion on the part of the medical personnel caring for a patient.  He seemed disgruntled when I asked what type of bandage I should wear for the next week until my stitches are removed.  Hopefully next week will be the last time I have to see him.  Hopefully.

When I took a shower this morning I was expecting the worst.  Awful, wretched pain.  I felt nothing so that's a good thing.

Here are a few more pictures from Christmas.  I have been trying to "rediscover" my camera during my break from school.  I am considering taking a photography class in January to help me figure out all of the configurations on my DSLR.  I also want to do this for my upcoming trip to Alaska!!
Me, testing out the lighting for my Christmas family picture that never happened

My Pansy and I

My wonderful hubby!  I couldn't do anything without him <3

My sweet girl turns 9!  I wish the time would quit flying by :-(

The Loser's Table of our annual Christmas card game playoff called "Hollywood"!

The Winner's table...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Ho Ho Ho!!

I just wanted to spread some Holiday Cheer in the midst of my gloom and doom.  Happy Holidays!!
The Girls at their Meme's house Christmas morning

My Sweet Pansy

Her $25 spread

My dad with his new watch

Me with my new necklace from my honey

Thursday, December 22, 2011

New update! Things are moving along!

So Tuesday, December 20, I went in first for an appointment with the general surgeon, then mammogram, then an unexpected ultrasound based on the preliminary review of the mammogram by the Radiologist.  Let me break it down...

General Surgeon:
Total jerk.  Not interested in my subjective data.  He needs to go to Nursing School.  In NS you are taught to dumb things down for people.  This doctor asked me the same question, without clarifying, like 5 times. "How long have you noticed this excoriation?"  "How long have you noticed this excoriation?"  "How long have you noticed this excoriation?"  Excuse me Doctor No Bedside Manners, what is excoriation?  When I am the patient, my nursing brain just isn't working.  It wasn't until I was driving away that I figured out the meaning of excoriation.
So anyway, he did a clinical breast exam, palpated for lymph nodes, then had his conversation with me.  I assume he never felt anything abnormal.  If he did, he didn't have the decency to say.  He brought up Paget's Disease of the Nipple and Ductal Carcinoma in situ (I am really good at this self-diagnosis thing, obviously) and said that we should proceed with the scheduled mammogram (Duh) and then see him back in one week to discuss a biopsy.  One thing that made him seem a little more down-to-earth was that he managed to force an admission from his mouth that he could perform biopsies all day, but when it comes down to the part that actually deals with cancer, he has no clue.  Thanks Doc for humanizing yourself!

Arrived promptly at 1350 for my 1400 appointment.  Checked in, all was good (seemingly).  1500 rolls around and I am getting a bit antsy.  I walk up to the receptionist and ask her if they had forgotten about me.  They had!  After apologizing for the printer's mishap, she told me to sit back down and wait.  At 1530 I go back, meet my tech, and put on a cute, pink sheet.  I knew that thing wouldn't last long.  Its purpose is only psychological.  I would like to note that mammogram horror stories are WAY overrated.  This woman  (and machine) smashed me every which way to Sunday.  Yes there is some pinching.  That only lasts long enough for her to run to her button, say "hold your breath", and its done.  If you have an upcoming mammogram (baseline), have no fear.
Nice lady tech leaves the pink, feminine, dimly lit room to go show the Radiologist.  In that time I do some sneaking around, looking at all of the buttons on the machine, wash my hands, think about how bad that wasn't, and before I know it she's back.  "We are going to get you in line for a breast ultrasound".  Nice.  This isn't scary at all!  Just 20 minutes ago she had told me that is the Doctor notes anything suspicious on preliminary review, I would need an ultrasound.
So now it is time to stand in line and wait once again.

Breast Ultrasound:
The technician was nice right from the start.  She used her two patient identifiers and that impressed me.  Gotta make sure we are probing the right boob on the right person who was born on Christmas Eve!!  So I lay down and notice a screen on the ceiling.  I know that this screen is for happier moments such as finding out if your baby is going to be a boy or girl, but immediately ask if I will be able to see the screen for my depressing procedure.  She states that yes, I can, but not to ask her any questions because she will not be able to answer them.  I kinda already knew that too.
So the exam begins.  I am looking at the layers of my own adipose tissue on the screen wondering how she knows what to look for.  I don't have to wonder for long.  She begins placing her digital measurements on the image and I knew that was not good.  The black oval shape at the 9 o'clock position measured 5mm.  So did the same shape at the 3 o'clock position.  5&6 were merely marked, and the exam was over.  She left saying that if the Radiologist needed anything further, she would be back accompanied by him.
I take this time to deliver some important text messages, look at the buttons on yet another machine, and stare at the ceiling until there is a knock on the door.
The Radiologist is young looking, but I can immediately tell he is more compassionate that the other one.  He listened to my concerns, did some probing himself, and then started explaining treatments, shapes, sizes, etc.  He too brought up Paget's and DCIS (go me!) and said that by Tuesday, December 27, he will have had time to fully review all of the tests and give me a more definitive diagnosis.  The 5&6 o'clock positions were clusters of cysts which could be aspirated with a needle easily.  The other two, he wasn't sure about.  Those were the ones that are concerning to him.  Also at that time a Breast MRI would be ordered and the biopsy to screen for cancer cells.
As I was walking down the hall to leave, I heard him doing his recorded dissertation.  "Hyperplasias" he called them.

I left the hospital feeling a sense of PEACE!  All that I had expected could possibly be correct.  We will hopefully know on Tuesday.  I am sad, don't get me wrong.  I had fully expected to be bawling my eyes out, but I didn't and felt no need to.
On Tuesday I will go to the hospital prepared to have skin excised under local anesthesia for the skin biopsy.  And then, I think, the scariness will begin!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Nervous about tomorrow...

I am not sure what to think about this mammogram business.  I hear horror stories on the pain involved, but I have a pretty high pain tolerance (I think).  The only thing I worry about is the pain that I already have will be exacerbated by the pressure involved with the mammogram.
What I expect:
1. Cold plates
2. Not worried about the modesty part (I have popped out two kids mind you)
3. Pain.  Pinching.  Bruising?  Who knows!
4. Anxiety in the interim of waiting for test results.

Like I have said before, I would LOVE for this to be a case of eczema or rash or even PREGNANCY!!  Yes!  My secret is out.  I would rather be pregnant and deal with the happiness of a new baby AND the stress of nursing school and having two other kids than go through any of this!!  And by the way, because I know that I will be undergoing tests involving radiation, I went and bought two pregnancy tests which were both negative.  Just trying to take all the precautions I can.

As far as the appointment with the surgeon, I want to press for immediate treatment.  I have no time to waste.  The ball must get rolling.  I need some kind of peace of mind or confirmation so that I can move on and do what needs to be done.

I will update tomorrow!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Strangest Post I never imagined having to write...and DONE with First Semester!

This is THE strangest post I never thought I would be writing.  But more on that in a moment.

I took my HESI Pharmacology Final on Monday.  It was again, a very tough test that I had no idea if I had passed until my score popped up.  I think I may have mentioned in my previous post about HESI that it is essentially a predictor of how well you will do on the Nursing Licensure test to get your official nursing license to practice (NCLEX).  Soo...drumroll please...I made a 94.8!  Once again, I was really thinking that it would have been much lower, like 60-ish.

Team Awesome, as some of you may have remembered from previous rants has officially been dismembered.  The reason I know this is because one of the members had invited everyone to her house for a "kick up your heels, the semester is over, BYOB"party at her house.  Well, the day of the test she posted on her Facebook that the party was cancelled, "Don't ask why".  WOW!!  She failed!  I can hardly believe my eyes!  Another friend of mine failed, too.  I would not have wished that on her for anything.  She was the one that was teeter-tottering back and forth with Team Awesome.  So I ask the question--maybe she should have continued studying with me.  PUT ASIDE the "cool" friends who have gobs of money and love to flaunt it, and come sit beside me who is in touch with my morals and values and who also still cares about other's feelings.  It's not all about how much MONEY you have, PEOPLE!!!  Now, had this former friend of mine stuck with me would she have done any better in the class?  I think maybe it could be a possibility.  Although I wasn't perfect at Pharmacology, I really knew my drug classes and could put things in perspective  overall.

FINAL GRADES for this semester: 1-A, 3-B's.  I'll take 'em!!  That is fine with me!!  I feel grateful for my opportunity to be in nursing school and do NOT take it for granted.  I am also thankful for the WISDOM that nursing school has given me---which brings me to my next, sad subject....

I have completed my semester and I should be relaxing with a book, enjoying a few of my favorite, long lost shows.  No.  I am dealing with some new health issues.  Potentially horrible health news.

Several months ago I had begun to notice some changes in my left breast.  The symptoms started as sensitivity and then later progressed into burning.  This burning was then followed around Thanksgiving by severe itching.  Now this is not itching that you can scratch.  This is internal itching that you feel like you need to grind your chest into the ground to get rid of, however, I don't even think that would work!  Early last week I noticed a brown discharge coming from the nipple.  I really thought nothing of it other than dry skin, so I put gauze and Bacitracin ointment on it assuming it was an episode of winter dry skin.   When I took the gauze off that night it was covered with a brown, bloody discharge.  Immediate cause for concern.  I told my husband about it and he was concerned, of course, and made me an appointment to see the Doctor the very next day.  So I go in for an exam.  She takes one look and immediately defers the exam and began questioning my maternal history of BREAST CANCER.  My mom has had issues, my grandmother had premenopausal BC, and also her sister (My Aunt Bertha) who had a radical mastectomy due to her BC, and later died from it when I was in first grade.
My treatment plan for now: appointment with general surgery (Decemeber 20) for a possible nipple/areola skin excision for biopsy which will require two stitches (OUCH).  A mammogram on December 22nd followed by a beast ultrasound.
My thoughts on the diagnosis: Paget's Disease of the Nipple.  This is a very rare form of BC which accounts for less than 5% of all BC's.  In most cases Paget's presents itself and there is another underlying form of BC.  Only 1% of cases show no other forms of BC.

So WOW.  This is the post that I never in a million years would have imagined posting.  I have no idea of the progression of this cancer.  Lots of tears have been shed.  I have NOT been officially diagnosed yet, and I hope that with God's good Grace and some miracle, it will not be cancer.  The odds, however, are stacked firmly against me.  I have scoured the internet for information.  All symptoms match up.  In most typical cases patients go to their Doctor who blows off their symptoms for a dermatological condition, and in the mean time the cancer has many months to progress.

My final synopsis: If I had not had been in Nursing School I would have let these symptoms fly.  If I had a a tummy tuck as I had planned for last week that would have hindered the surgical process of skin grafting from my abdomen to create a new breast (if it comes to that).  The best outcome, of course, would be no cancer.   Second best outcome would be removal of the nipple and areola.  Third, and most horrible (besides mortality) is that I would have the entire breast removed and go though radiation therapy.

If anyone has any advice or thoughts, please share.  I have been so depressed.
Until next time...I will post this link if you're interested.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

HESI Fundamentals Exit Exam

Thursday I took my final the the Nursing Fundamentals Class.  Fundamentals is an 8-credit hour class that teaches you the *basics* of nursing.  You begin to *learn* how a nurse thinks, how to think critically, and learn what is within the scope of nursing practice.  NOW, you may think thinking is relatively easy, right.  Well, not thinking like a nurse!  A nurse is supposed to think BEYOND what is presented in front of them.  Shall I give you an example?  Oh sure!  I will!

A brief example case study:  A 17-year old female shows up to see her high school Nurse after second period one morning one cold January morning.  She complains of feeling nauseous and queasy upon waking but after 1st or 2nd period at school these symptoms seem to wane.  What is the first action the nurse should take?
      A) Immediatley administer a pregnancy test cuz this hooker is pregnant
      B) Take a history of immediate family members
      C) Refer the teenager to planned parenthood
      D) Provide materials about abstinence to the teen and encourage her to remain abstinent.

Congratulations!  You have just read your FIRST question that I deal with only a daily basis.  Yep, this is what they are all like.  I remember when I first read a question similar to this I was mind blown.  Remember, you must think beyond.  Answer will be posted at the end of this post.

So I must discuss the HESI exit exam I took on Thursday.  It was so backwards.  Totally not what I was expecting, nor was it anything that I could have "studied" for.  I had no way of knowing if I had answered any of the 85 questions right until my score popped up at the end.  My feelings at the end of the exam were yin yang.  My score popped up and it was 88.09%!!!  With a 980 Benchmark score.  More on that benchmark thing later.  I such a feeling of ELATION, RELIEF, and then, the wailing beside me began.  My neighbor failed.  Failed big.  Failed overall, I assume.  A whole semester for her down the toilet.  I felt so guilty of having any ounce of happiness over my own score.  Our instructor tried to console her to no avail.  How DO you make someone feel better in a situation like that?  It was just a bad situation.  Two months ago I had fully prepared myself for a moment like that.  I knew that she SOOO could have been me.  I still feel bad for her.  I have thought about her (although I don't really even know her name) since then and can feel her pain.  I hope she is going to be okay.

So the answer to our case study: You would take a family history.  The girl is experiencing symptoms associated with Carbon monoxide poisoning.  You are supposed to take into account the month, and that family members would be experiencing the same thing.  Shame to all of you who thought that she may be pregnant!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I took my last regular exam today in Pharmacology.  It was a Doozie!  I don't know how on Earth I pulled an 82.5 but I did.  Before I came home and checked my grade (as a rule of thumb I DO NOT look at my grade at school--depression) I just knew that I must have made something like 60. But before I left the school I had to turn in my "Who's Who Among College Students" application.  I was nominated for this and still have to be chosen among a pool of applicants.  I don't think it is really a big deal, but I thought it would look good on a resume one day.  Anyway, one of my awesome faculty members wrote me a letter of recommendation.  I picked this up from her, walked across the campus, went to the wrong building first and then turned it in.  I had to do it today because the deadline was 5 p.m.  So I get home and I pull my grade up on the screen.  I turn the screen to hubby who replies, "what exam number was it again?"  His facial expressions are deceiving at this point and then he says "Well you made an 82.5 so that's a C.  That's good right?"  No, silly that is a B!!

That test was wretched and it could have only been the prayers being said in its honor that I passed.  Yes, that's right, I have resorted to having people pray for my test scores!  I need all the prayers I can get.  I would like to point out that since I began asking for Exam Day prayers, my scores have increased.  It HAS to be the power of prayer!

FINALS begin Wednesday, December 7.  I have a test in Health Assessment class covering EVERYTHING I have learned since August 15th.

My Final for Professional Clinical Nursing, which is the trickiest of classes is the very NEXT day!  Thursday.  I shudder at the thought of all the studying I will be doing (cramming) in the next 24 hours.

The part that I hate is that even if I do well on these tests, I will still have a B overall.  It could be worse.  If you review my posts from 2 months ago I was a mess!  In total despair.  I just knew I would never make it.  Look at me now!

So I am officially taking prayers for my upcoming exams.  Please keep me in mind, even if it is even for a quick second.

I would like to mention my *new* friend.  The one that I meet in the dark.  On the stairs.  Late at night.  She told me she didn't like the town where we live until she met me!  Isn't that sweet?  I think it is.  I wish that our schedules were more compatible. She is much more "early to bed, early to rise", where I am "late to bed and wish I never had to rise"!  But with my upcoming Christmas break I hope to spend more time with her.  She is just fun!  We laugh.  It is nice to have someone actually listen to what I have to say.  I get so wrapped up with all the meanies in nursing school and forget that there are actually kind, caring people still left in this world.

One more note, and this is specifically for myself to remember, I started a new journey tonight.  One where I am looking for answers.  I am really hoping to find them.  I think everything is going to be alright.  Curious, are you?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Caution! Photo Heavy Post Ahead!!

Okay, maybe not too photo heavy!  I started a new blog post earlier today and my session timed out.  Gone with that session time-out is all of my original wittiness about drugs being excreted in your urine and then traveling right back to your kitchen sink, UNLESS, of course you live somewhere like Alaska where you have a well supplying your water.  Soo...I will try and recreate my wittiness:   I was describing in my previous post how drugs are classified and that many of them have the same actions.  For example, antibiotics are great for killing the microorganisms (bacteria) living in your body, but they also kinda kill your organs, too!  Like your kidneys and liver!  Hepatotoxicity watch out!  So with these drugs wreaking havoc on your kidneys, the nurse must be aware that urine output must be monitored.  Fun stuff.

And now for a fun fact:  there are many drugs that us humans take that are never completely absorbed by the body.  They are therefore excreted in your toilet.  Now you may ask yourself the question, "How many or what drugs from others am I consuming when I drink a big glass of tap water?  Maybe I can consider that for research next year as a SENIOR!  Until then, you may have noticed at your local hospital or Physician's office they have a disposal container for old medications.  This is because people dump their meds down the toilet, expired or not, and these disposals obviously are offered for the reason of reducing water pollution by prescription/OTC drugs.  Merry Christmas to you!
I am feeling geographically displaced.  This ornament only confirms it for me!

So an update on school, which is technically why I am here, right!?  I had my final class yesterday.  Also, a test in which I scored an 86 on!  I am sooo relieved!  This means that I can make a 55 on my final and still pass the class.  Of course, I strive to do better than this but you never know!  I have a Pharmacology exam on December 5th that covers anti-Diabetic drugs, Adrenal/Thyroid meds, Antibiotics, and a few others I can't remember right now.  I must get going on that!
Trying so hard to "act" like she is trimming the tree!

Monday evening we decided it was time to trim the tree.  The tree, however wasn't very cooperative.  It is half-lit.  Yep.  I have no brain power to expend on problem solving.  So after much thought I have decided our tree will simply be "unique".

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Filling a Void

I have been out of school for one day now.  I am already missing it.  I LOVE school!!  It's not that it makes me feel smart or anything, but I think I thrive on the stress.  As much as I complain, or maybe I really don't complain, I just love it.  What will it be like when I get out and no longer go to school?  Maybe the answer is easy.  Maybe I just love to learn.

So that is my thought for the day.  Love school.

We are headed to South Carolina tomorrow for Thanksgiving.  I am trying to time the trip just right so that we can stop and eat at Five Guys Burgers & Fries.  I Love that place.  Also looking forward to doing an assessment on my grandpa.  Then making a nursing diagnosis.  Also can't wait to see what meds he is on.  I love NURSING!!  Now I just need a license!  Working on it...

My Alaska BFF on some 5k.  We could just call it a very frigid 5k.
April 2010, Pioneer Park, Fairbanks

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sherlock Holmes

I have always have this amazing gift of intuition.  It comes from being inquisitive.  I have always said that I could be a crime scene investigator.  If I was not so scared of guns I would have TOTALLY been a cop.  I love the drama.  I like to look in on drama, rather than being part of it.  Nursing must be the next best thing.

Today I spent the afternoon with a new friend.  We meet outside sometimes.  In the dark.  She saved my life several months ago by being able to provide childcare for my kiddos when I was in desperate need.  Today we made a boob cake.  Well, she made the cake portion and I attempted to help with the fondant.  Our futile attempts did not pay off until after I had left.  It was fun though.

For the first time in a long time we went to my parents house for the evening.  Nursing school has gotten in the way of any semblance I have/had of a social life.  I guess that is why it is such a thrill to meet friends in the dark late at night.  I have a whole month off coming up in December.  I cannot decide on surgery.  It is such a tough decision to make.  Especially with a prospective surgery date of December 13.  My last final is on December 12.  That leaves no "me" time.

These past two days have not been very productive in the nursing school arena.  I have to go back on Monday and then I am off for a week.  Tonight I made a comment to my dad that I am just not in the Christmas spirit.  My timelines are all messed up.  I have spent the past few months obsessing over school and have not realized that time is passing quickly and seasons have changed.  My dad reassured me that I am doing the right thing by maintaining my focus on school.  That made me feel better.  Better because we never see them either.  Everything seems like such a hassle to me.  I digress.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Updates, New Photos, Random PsychoBabble

So I saw Breaking Dawn last night. I went at the 1201 showing ONLY because I am the BIGGEST Twilight Fan ever. The movie was great. The special effects were overdone and unrealistic. Of course, the books FAR outweigh the movies in quality. With the book you can reread, daydream, and read again. I guess with the movie you could just hit 'rewind', but you get the point. It is going to be a long year waiting for Part II. I personally think it was pretty crappy of them to do it like that, but whatever. I will be there for it.

Emotional Attachment: My last day of clinicals for this semester was Wednesday. I said goodbye to the two patients that I had been caring for and practicing my skills on. I was utterly saddened. I will never see these people again. I wonder, will they ever make it out of the hospital? Both of them seemed destined for demise. But then again, aren't we all? The one with the Trach who could not speak smiled, shed a tear and mouthed "Thank You". The other who I was most concerned with shook my hand and told me I would be a great nurse. Thanks! I really appreciated that and knew that he meant it. He was such a nice man.
It was strange to see people who had been fine one day go downhill the next. I know this is going to be part of the job, I just wasn't quite prepared for it.
Reflecting back on my first day in the nursing home, I felt mortified. I was scared beyond belief to have any contact with patients. Little did I know that less than two months later I would walk away proud of the care I had provided. The learning curves. The mistakes I made that I have learned from and will NEVER forget because of it. The wounds I saw in the beginning don't phase me now. Smells no longer bother me.

Exam: I took my 5th Fundamentals exam Thursday. I passed with an 85!! So exciting. This is the class that I have been most worried about. I now have an exam average of 80 and unless I totally BOMB the final, I will pass the class with a B! As my friend J says, "B's = Degrees"!! I could not agree with her more.

So since Thanksgiving holiday is coming up and I have a little more time on my hands, I have taken a few hours off from studying and being totally nursing-minded. I have looked up recipes for cake pops, I went "shopping" today and was totally overwhelmed and disturbed by the thought of Christmas shopping. I feel that Christmas, like Valentine's Day has totally become a retail holiday. I decided last year that I was going to nip things that I could in the bud. So now, and for every year to come, I make a tray full of goodies for all of my favorite peeps. That is my gift. I put my time and thought into it and I think that is what is most important.

Now for some pics!!

My sweet Ruby at Howl-o-ween Bark Park event

Storey Easter 2011

Ansley's 7th Birthday

Baby Alligator, Panama City, Fl 2011

Hot at the Beach, Panama City, Fl 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pharmacology test today!!

Woop woop!! Made an 85! Yee haw! Just had to post this for the record. ;-)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sad today

My Grandpa has been in the hospital since Monday.  He went to the ER Sunday night because he was vomiting.  They ran tests to rule out a heart attack.  Things came back normal.  (This is all second hand information from my aunt who has no medical know-how)  So late Monday night he supposedly had a mild heart attack while in the hospital and then by Wednesday had had a severe heart attack.  He is confused and combative.  He is 87 years old.  Feisty.  Opinionated.  Set in his ways.  It is hard to imagine him anything BUT these things.  He is a Veteran.  Served in World War II and the Korean War.  He received 2 Purple Hearts, one of those being at the Battle of Normandy.  He has five children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Ansley and Papa Christmas 2004

So the latest news is that they are looking to put him in a VA home where he can receive 24 hour care.  That makes me sad.  How can someone go from feisty and opinionated to confused and combative and dependent upon someone else's care all in the matter of one week?  I hate death.  I hate the thought of it.  I wish, especially after being in the healthcare setting that there was no sickness and death.  It just isn't fair.
Storey and Papa Thanksgiving 2006

I hope this isn't the end for him.  My grandma died in 1998 and it was just absolutely horrible.  I regret that my kids were never able to know her.  She would have absolutely adored them.  When I was little she had these huge freezers in her laundry room.  I would always ask her to pick me up so that I could see inside of them.  Every time she did I would stick my feet in.  That is one of my most favorite memories of her.  Every time she picked me up she knew I was going to stick my feet in and it was always just as funny as it was the first time I did it.  It never got old.

Three Generations - Ansley, Grampy, and Papa
I would spend two weeks with them every summer.  They had a camper and she would make yummy bread in her bread machine and put butter on it while it was still hot.  And boy did she make the best beef stew!  My grandpa would go sit in his truck every morning outside of the camper and listen to Paul Harvey, and then again at lunch time.  Some times, he would let me sit with him and listen just as long as I didn't talk.

I am really hoping for the best for him.  I hope you will too.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fewer and further between

New news**  Took the plunge for the MacBook Pro!  We got a virus on our PC and I said "NO MORE"! So my iPad2 has taken second place.  It will always hold a special place in my heart though!  I found this cool new program a while back called Evernote.  It backs up your note taking and you can access it from any Apple device!  Gosh, I just <3 Apple.  RIP Mr. Jobs

I plan to update more on Thursday night, which I lovingly call "my Friday night" because I am out of school on Friday.  We were discussing today at clinicals how we have totally given up our television viewing for nursing school.  I am still borderline on my grades.  It is quite a depressing feeling.  Sometimes I wonder how I will ever make it.  IF I will ever make it.  I must remain optimistic and realistic all at the same time.  It is a hard thing to do!

This has been an exhausting week.  I only have until the 16th for clinicals to be over and done with.  There are so many things I want to watch on TV but can not.  There are phone calls I would like to make but just don't have the time.  There are friends I hold near and dear who have been put on the back burner.  I know they must be having withdrawals from me.  I would.
So hold tight, dear followers (x3).  More is coming soon!

:-) Me

Friday, November 4, 2011

It's been a while

...but I have been busy. I have given up all of my favorite shows. I have lost site of everything except for December 12th, the day of my last final.

We have finally migrated away from the nursing home and into the "real" world of nursing...the HOSPITAL! I am doing rotations in a telemetry unit and boy have I learned a bunch. Shall I just go ahead and make a list! Well of course, as it may be much easier to follow!

-a telemetry unit (from what I understand) is just a step down from ICU. At this particular hospital it is called hi-obs, or high observation.
-My patient that I was assigned to this last week suffers from liver failure due to years of alcohol abuse. The result of this is that poor nutrition, colectomy, PICC, PEG, mechanical ventilation through a Tracheostomy, and audible rhonchi. It was amazing to see just how by the second day that I was there how his condition improved.

Now on with my list of learning/things that I saw:
-I got to administer glycopyrrolate through a PEG tube
-finger stick blood sugars (boring)
-dialysis! These poor people! Take care of your kidneys please!! It is a sad demise.
-learned from speech language pathologist that when a patient is going back on solid foods, starting with clear liquids, they are fed applesauce with blue dye. If any of the blue dye is found in their canister (that holds all the yucky crud that is suctioned from their lungs) then they are still at risk for aspiration and should not be started on their new diet. Interesting, right?!?
-witnessed an ABG, or arterial blood gas withdrawal. This blood is drawn from the artery which is deeper than veins. It is rich in oxygen. In this case the COPD patient was being monitored to see if she was releasing CO2 was being adequately released from her body. If it isn't she could become could have acidosis which is not good. But that's next semester :)
-the dialysis patient had what is called a graft, where the artery and vein are essentially sewn together so as to allow constant hookups for dialysis. It is quite an interesting procedure and a hose actually flows into a sink excreting what I call pseudo-urine. So with a graft you can hear "thrills" with your stethoscope and that sounds like ocean waves.
-bored yet?!?
-I performed a wound care dressing change to a surgical site. Quite easy and I did well.
-lucky for me on day one there was an awesome respiratory therapist there who was more than willing to teach and share his knowledge. I told him he was a wealth of knowledge!
-I have to learn at some point that my patient is not going to break. I have got to get past the awkwardness and being able to lift that gown and get up under there and do what I need to do! It is my job after all! Still awkward!
-the RN on duty told me that nursing is 95% documentation and 5% basic skills. I think I believe her!
-there is a lot of sitting around in nursing. I have a strong work ethic and like to at least look like I am doing something
-unlike the nursing home, these CNA's are fabulous!! They are lickety split! Fast as a tornado and very skilled. Very nice ladies. I like to help out where I can.
-the charge nurse told me that when I speak to her, I must address her by name before speaking. Attitudes, I swear. Whatever.
-my patient was on full contact precautions so I was gowned, gloved, and masked! I felt silly but safe, right?!?
-the RN told me I seemed very confident. I totally didn't feel that way. I have a long way to go been though I have come so far.
-saw wind care vac.
-maybe more later...

***update on the people I should not even be wasting my carpal tunnel risk on***
They are still mean. The meanest of the meanies was gone Tuesday. When we came in the hospital she said to my friend "I missed some of y'all". Implying that I wasn't missed. I am so butt-hurt, let me tell ya!
I am still tired of the drama, thankful to be away from the nursing home and looking forward to more challenges!!

More later!! I am tired!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A tearfully quick update

Well, not my tears. Not today anyway! Yes tears are being shed in my clinical group of 7. Tears of stress, tears of distress, and tears of duress. It is sad. It is sad to see people who are trying so hard, including myself, stressed out. This definetly calls for a nursing diagnosis: ineffective coping related to the stresses of nursing school/clinical rotation/really mean people with really mean attitudes. Yes people, the drama continues. It affects more than just me. So many people are complaining about the same team awesome clique. Our wonderful instructor is still fully aware of everything that is going on...the eye rolling, the disregard for others ideas, the complete insanity of it all. It all feels so inescapable to me. Today the #1 culprit called me by my last name instead of addressing me by my first name in a respectful manner. I will call myself "doe". She said "Doe, can you move so I can get to my bag?". Excuse me, but I am not in the US military. I am not a football or baseball player. I am a respectable person who deserves respect from others.

Favorite nursing home quote of the week..."it is important for water to flush your commode just as it is important for water to flush your body". Never thought of myself as a living commode!

Friday, October 14, 2011

9 weeks down, 7 to go...

This was such an easy week. I have got to find motivation to start my pharmacology hot and heavy. We have started with cardiac, respiratory, and anti-infammatories. I need to find a way to make these easy. I need to ask myself, what will it look like when the patient is TOXIC from these drugs, what will kill them first, and what is the antidote. I have made some charts to divvy these up, it's just a matter of putting the ink to the paper!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Looky Looky!!

So I am on my *big* computer, not the iPad, and I am going through my pics to place in my reflective essay that is due for one of my classes.  I thought, when would there be a btter time to post some pics?  Well, with my schedule, NEVER!  So here are a few!  I should be reading up on my pain lecture for tomorrow, but no, I am supplying my two followers with random pics of nothingness!

Total Randomness!  I will add captions later!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

2 followers and a much needed break!!

Well I have been on Fall Break since Thursday. I had a meeting Thursday afternoon with my mentor. The meeting was about my poor testing performance. Yes, I have been doing horribly on my tests. I am over thinking questions. Really, I am. The mentor went over each test question that missed. Her method was to cover up the correct answer and have me explain the question and my reasoning behind why I chose the way I did. That is how she was able to confer that I was over thinking. She really feels (as I do) I know my stuff. She offered me this advice in learning how to answer questions on nursing exams: ask yourself what will kill the patient first, consider ABC (airway, breathing, circulation), utilize the steps of the nursing process, and consider Maslows hierarchy of needs. So this weekend while on break I have been reading "nursing school test taking success" books. Looking for blogs regarding this and checking out for help. I feel desperate. Now, I hate to disappoint my two followers in reporting tests bad grades. In the real world the test grades aren't THAT bad! Drumroll: I am teeter-tottering on the borderline right now with a 78% and 80% test average. In NS, you must have a 75% average on all tests in order to pass. Whatever the case is, I have got to get my butt in gear. I have no time to fear failure or actually experience failure.

Fall break has given me an opportunity to breathe a little. I have been catching up on things I normally would not have time for. We have a research paper due November 3rd. The faculty said that we would need at least three weeks to write it. Not this chick! I wrote mine Friday night in a matter of 3 hours. Yep, 4 pages. Now keep in mind it is a very rough, rough draft, but I have the bulk of it done and that is what matters most. I love getting ahead. So I know you all must be wondering the topic for said paper..."nursing implications for the success in gastric bypass patients", or something to that affect!

I have been having some really quirky dreams. Last night I dreamed that my nursing home patient developed a bed sore the day after she was under my care. Her heart rate also dropped to 65 and then 25 and they blamed me for it. Wy all these crazy dreams?

Tomorrow I have an appointment with the plastic surgeon for a panniculectomy consult. Two babies and 90 pound weight did quite a number on the midsection so I would like for im to use a pair of scissors and just cut the crap off. Not that easy. I will keep you all updated. My timeframe is early December for this procedure. I also have no idea the costs involved.

My list of things to do:
1. Post pics with my blog entries.
2. Get ahead instead of getting behind
3. More sleep
4. Need to market myself for more followers. I always feel like I am just typing to myself. No offense, Bay, Judy, and Kelsy!
5. Update my blog more often because after all, this IS my diary and I will regret it one day if I don't.
6. Quit having so many regrets
7. Gain more confidence.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tired beyond words...

I am in bed winding down and I must make this quick. I am only getting 5 hours asleep every night. In fact, I have not been falling asleep like I should. It is making me crazy. Here is a quick list of this weeks events:

-2 days in nursing home. Sadness, worked to death, adult brief changes, more poop than I have ever seen in my life, on my feet all day, no chairs to sit in, Danskos that are not proving in satisfaction to my feet and oh so aching back, colostomy bags, peg tube feedings, attitudes, destructive behavior by fellow student, successful head to toe assessment, nursing notes, nursing diagnoses, soapier notes, paperwork and more paperwork for the clinical experience, mass confusion, dead tired.

-failing tests that shou,d be seemingly easy based on their content, but no, they must be made difficult beyond stupid words

-had an emotional talk with my clinical instructor about fellow student. Learned that I am the third person to have the same complaint, much to my surprise. More on that later when it's not midnight.

-thankful that I have wonderful friends who listen to my problems and for advice. Advice that I have finally taken. They will be so proud.

-booked plane tickets for a ip to Alaska in June!!! I am so stoked but too busy to plan for it right now.

More later when I don't have a test in 8 hours and isn't past midnight when I am updating my blog!!

Night all!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Positive/not so positive clinical day...

Update on first clinical day: started at the nursing home with gait belt training. Aching back, aching feet, aching brain, aching morals. Observational Experiences today: bed bath, wound care for sacral decubitus. Hands on experience: head to toe assessment...

And now for the moral dilemma: a fellow nursing student commenting aloud about how bad a patient's breath smelled. A patient whose upper extremities were contracted, no ROM, oriented x1. It wasn't until after I left and was telling my husband about my day until I realized how wrong what she said was. I told him if I became a whistle blower I would suffer the consequences because it was only me and one other student in there with her. Hubby pointed out that it is the patient who has no voice, and nurses are the advocate/voice for the patient. This same person, when went to another room to observe held her nose, breathed heavily, and grimaced at the smell. I think it was very immature. She wasn't overdoing it or anything but it was definitely noticeable to me...what dO I do??

So earlier that morning our small clinical group of 7 students was divided into 3 groups. Hmm that doesn't divide evenly so there must be an odd man out, right? Well, have I mentioned before that Faux has a group aptly named "Team Awesome"? Well yes she does! And there are about 10-12 of her little puppets in the group. Let me describe the two puppets that are in my clinical group:
Puppet#1-the same girl who made the breath remark, know-it-all attitude, very early 20's, (and maybe even deficient in people skills, but I digress)
Puppet#2-fun loving, witty, all the teachers think she is great, running for our class 2nd VP position, can't think of anything else positive to say...

So today #1 was obviously disgruntled because she got stuck with me and my other classmate I will call J. #1 was standing by us and then #2 said "hey #1, whose group are you in?". She said "I am in their group" pointing to me and J. #2 looked at means then looked back at #1 and rolled her eyes!! How dare she?!? She is also made this lip smacking sound that 5 year olds make when things don't go their way.
Why am I getting all this abuse?? What has Faux said about me and why is this happening? I can't prove it. I feel powerless. So throughout the day #2 was very short with me IF she talked to me at all.

Need advice! Need the right advice! I am beating a dead horse.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Pre" Assesssment of my first clinical day

So tomorrow at 0700 is the day I have been working for for over three years now. Yes, tomorrow my hard work and dedication is going to begin with the placement of a bedpan under someone's bum. For My first clinical day I thought it would be fun to make some predictions... A Pre-assessment of sorts. I have dreaded this day for 7 weeks now, mainly because I do not know what to expect. Here are my predictions:

1. I will be on time to my clinical site. (Not a bad prediction at all!)
2. I will change my first adult brief. (I must do it to get over the fear!)
3. I better not have to do a Foley on the first day!
4. I will be assigned to my client who is angry and combative, and male.
5. I will palpate some lymph nodes, read some charts, and hopefully fly under my instructor's radar!
6. I will survive the day. I can do this!! I have so much to learn!!

Today we were given all of our clinical documents. This is a major pile of work added onto our already high workload. It consists of patient data sheets, nursing diagnoses sheets, more patient sheets and then another patient data sheet that has to be turned into the university. Luckily, because I have a vast amount of experience with medical records, filling out all this paperwork will not be too time consuming. We also have to list all the daily Meds and ony the PRN Meds that the client actually takes. Because they are in a nursing home they have a huge list of PRN Meds. I have some major organizing to do after clinical tomorrow. I have a test Monday over something (can't remember what) and I must start preparing. Dr. Abrasive will have lots of questions on there. She is fierce!

Post assessment tomorrow!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

What I have learned about nursing school thus far...

Disclaimer: Please do not let my words come back to bite me in the butt. These are JUST little observations that I have made...nothing set in stone! Now, let's move forward with my post...

So I have learned that NS isn't really that hard.  Am I right?  Sure, they pile on the work and try to make your mind go in a million different directions.  All of that is great because I am a good multitasker.  I like to make lists and check things off as I go (Hi, Kelsy).  The content however, isn't really all that mind boggling.  Sure I know what a wheelchair is.  I know crutches, indications for the use of a nebulizer, how to round a decimal to the tenths place, etc.  So where is the hard part?  Where is the need for me to lose my social life and study non-stop?  Is it coming soon?  Is it just around the corner?  Please refer back to my disclaimer!

So, five whole weeks of nursing school down the drain. Or should I say "under my belt". Before I say anything else I must copy and paste an email I sent to my Bestie, "Amy" from Tuesday. I must warn you that it is unedited and full of raw emotion. I even had to use A curse word (but I was nice enough to place special characters even in the midst of my anger). Yes, this email was as raw as a field reporter coming live from a battle zone. Here goes

"so I had my Foley cath skills check today.  I did everything perfectly except for my sterile glove touched my unsterile field so that made me fail the whole thing.  When I was done and the instructor began telling me that I failed because of ...I realized the $%&* was next to me.  She was so distracted by paying attention to my failure she had a little smirk on her face.  I wanted to drop dead.  It would have been fine if she hadnt been all up in my business.  I am also mad at the instructor for not being more discreet.  So i had to stand there in shame while he filled out my "Lab Remediation" sheet and tell me about the retesting procedure.  It was all I could do to walk back in the classroom and pack up the supplies that I had just totally failed on knowing how much instant satisfaction it had just given someone.

I walked outside and tried so hard to hold back my tears.  It didn't work.  I was and still am so sad...this sounds like a blog post huh?"

Yep, totally raw. The good news is that I went back later that night and did my "remedial" practice followed by my last chance romance with the Foley. It was amazing. I passed. I figured I wouldn't since I was trying so hard. The next day on Wednesday I had my PEG tube check off and I did great! The most important part was stressing to my patient that their bed must remain 30-45 for thirty minutes to an hour. This is important. So they want die by drowning in their own vomit. Oh yeah, and the formula was also important too. Because without the feeding of formula they wouldn't aspirate. I did realize after it was all over that I never put on the gloves which should have failed me. My instructor luckily did not notice.
Rewind to Monday, September 12, I had another test. I didn't do so swell. I made an 83. I keep making the dumbest mistakes. One question was "what does RUQ refer to?". Right upper quadrant right?? Well this girl wasn't paying attention and I chose Right Under Quadrant. Ugh! Shame on them for putting that on there to screw me up! Haha

So Monday is my first Pharmacology exam. Then Tuesday is our PO med check off and also simple dressing change check off. In a week and a half we will be taking all of our learned skills on our clinical rotation through the local long term care facility. I think that starts on on the 26th. I am pretty excited but nervous about what it will be like!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Made it through 4 weeks...

So...I passed my skills assessment for safe entry/safe exit, BP, lymph nodes, oral mucosa, radial pulse, and respiration counts. It was fairly easy but so nerve racking. I hate talking to these stupid dummies. Then, I get so nervous that I stumble over my words like a lunatic. A funny story to share...while doing the dummy's apical pulse, I could not locate the sound of the heartbeat! I thought I was going to puke. I kept telling my instructor who was grading my performance that the dummy must be powered off. He looked at me all confused and then came over and twisted the tubing on my Littmann! I was so embarrassed. He did well at assuring me that I had no reason to be nervous; that he had been in my position at one time as well!! I think technically I should have failed. Also, the day before when I was testing for my safe entry, I forgot to "pull the curtain for privacy". That should have failed me. My instructor let me pass. It was my partner that told me what I had missed.

So next week I am testing on health assessment for general survey, health history, and HEENT. I am studying my PowerPoint slides and my NCLEX book for that one. The tests seem pretty straight forward. You basically have to eliminate answers, as with any multiple choice exam. They are set up like the NCLEX ((I suppose, as I have never taken it I have assured myself that I can do this. I just need to breathe deeply and take one question at a time.

This week has been much less stressful than last. I think I am finally getting all of my ducks in a row as far as routine goes. I have not been able to watch any TV, which is fine, but I have been watching my Big Brother shows because they are a family favorite. It is the only show where the whole family sits down to cheer on their favorite players!!

Tuesday I have my foley catheter lab test. I am so nervous about that one. I have to maintain my sterile field and it is nerve racking. Maybe this time I can remember to pull that curtain!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

3 weeks under my belt and first exam!

So I spent the week cramming. Well, not really but I should have! Today I took my first exam for nursing. The class name is Professional Clinical Nursing. It covered infection control, safety, and vital signs. The tests are okay. I wish I could say they were easy but since I did not score 100 I guess it wasn't too easy. They ask you a question, for example,

"if you have a patient that has just received a positive diagnosis for MRSA, what would be your first priority.

A. place him in a semi-private room with a man who has an open wound
B. Place him in a room with a lung cancer patient
C. Place him in a private room with his family at his bedside
D. Put him in a semi-private room and wear a mask when you enter

Seriously? I laughed out loud when I read this question. I thought it was just a hoot! Then there were several other questions that I had the correct answer to but I changed the darned things and got them wrong. I was so peeved with myself!! I have got to quit second guessing myself. I get all screwed up in the end.
So...if anyone out there needs their fecal impactions taken care of, needs a new colostomy bag placed or just needs it cleaned out and swished with water, if you need a Foley catheter placed (male or female), or if you need some nutrition via the nasogastric, nasoduodenal, or nasojestunem tube, I am your woman!!
This has been quite a week! I have learned a bunch of stuff and I still seem to be retaining all of the information. It is coming naturally to me. Next Tuesday I have my first skills check which will include safe entry/safe exit, blood pressure, apical pulse, radial pulse, brachial occlusion, palpating and naming lymph nodes, and also examination and dictation of finding in the oral mucosa. Whew! That sounds like a bunch, right? Well, it really isn't that bad. I get three chances on each of them. Hopefully I will only use one each. I just have to remember to lower that bed and place the call button for Mr. Sim!! That is what everyone seems to miss. When I took my HESI nurse entrance exam, it said I was a kinesthetic learner. I am finding that to be true. I learn by doing.

Anyone want an update on Faux? Well she sat in front of me today for the test. When the score popped up upon her completion, I saw she missed only one and she raised both of her arms in victory as if to say "hooray". Gag. Me. With. A. Spoon.

Have a lovely Labor Day weekend!! I know I won't!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My blood pressure prayer

"Dear Lord, please help me figure out this diastolic blood pressure. I just can't seem to get it. I feel as though I am the only one. I have been listening hard, diligently, no less. I am following all of the rules. I have even tried listening for the Kentucky and Tennessee sounds that I read about in my health assessment book. Just please let it happen for me soon. Amen."

On a lighter note, we have been blood pressuring it up in school. We have to find the arterial occlusion pressure and then add thirty to that number before we begin pumping the sphygmanomaomanomonometer (lol). I am proficient in naming and palpating the 9 lymph node sites. I am coming along with my safe entry, safe exit. I have been using my beautiful cocker spaniel as my patient for that. She must think I am crazy. She is probably saying "If you stick that cuff over my paw so help me....", but she is a trooper. I found this awesome new feature on my awesome new iPhone called voice memo. With it I can record lectures, my method for safe entry and exit, and steps for obtaining blood pressure all in my own, cute little voice. It is amazing!

So I have found the most awesome nursing videos on YouTube. Actually you can just googlesomething like "nursing videos hdryver ". That is the lady's name who makes them. She is super spunky and a nurse that I aspire to be. Check it out! She is so funny and matter of fact at the same time!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Quick update while I should be sleeping...

My only follower Kelsy would like to know who exactly Mrs. Faux is. Kelsy, this is for you! Mrs. Faux was originally an acquaintance of mine connected through our daughters Girl Scout troop and then I found out she was a fellow pre-nursing student. I should have known from the start that she was bad news. She is all about name brand clothing. She points out what people where by their insignia. "Oooh, I love that Ann Klein dress you are wearing. Where did you get it?", "is that a Nautica bathing suit you are wearing?". These are just a few of the ways she makes herself pompous. She would even ask my kids where they got their "cute" bathing suit!
So she had started to talk to me about other people. My friends. I would change the subject. At that point it was just this past June and we were hanging out at the pool everyday with our kids. I got sick of her and all of her talking about other people. I quit going. Simple, right?
Well the following week I found out about a scholarship opportunity for military spouses. It would award us simply for being a military wife by giving us $6000 for use toward tuition, fees, and expenses. AwesoMe, huh?? So I signed up for the scholarship and headed to the University to see what I needed to do next. I then received a text from Mrs. Faux. She asked "did you apply for that $6000 scholarship? I replied "yes". That was the last time she would text/speak to me.
Today a funny thing happened. We were on our break from class and I went to the restroom. Whe I came out of the stall, she was standing there waiting. I laughed thinking to myself that her poor butt had to sit where mine once was. Was that porcelain seat good enough for her toosh too? And then later she was coming out of the classroom and didn't even hold the door for me. She just let it slam! Meany! She can't even treat me with the courtesy that she would treat a stranger with

On another note, we worked on HEENT today. Pretty easy, huh? Tomorrow we will be taking each others blood pressures for the first time!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Can you say OVERWHELMED?!?

So I have officially completed my first week of nursing school! It has been an amazing feat. It started off with me being sooo nervous about having an encounter with Mrs. Faux Fortunate. Well, I did! She sits two rows behind me. I, being the stellar student that I am sit on the front row! That shows that she is not too stellar. So to back things up just a little, I arrived thirty minutes prior to class starting. Tis would provide me the opportunity to get my seat that I wanted. It worked. We get a break every 50 minutes to use the bathroom and go outside for a Vitamin D infusion. Well, I had went to the second floor bathroom and I was heading back to the stairwell guess whonwas coming right toward me?!? I smiled, simply because I was caught off guard, and said "hey". Mrs. Faux, being the real pill that she is, almost dislocated her neck swinging it away from me to ensure that I would know I was not welcome to speak to Her Highness. I hope she gets a Charliehorse. That is what she deserves! Anyway, so I went back to my other acquaintance and told her of this event. For some reason my acquaintance acquaints herself with Mrs. Faux. Why? Because their kids play together she says. So I gave her the scenario that if I knew someone that was treating her badly, I would not justify my friendship with them because my kids play with hers. It drives me nuts. Why can't people see exactly what is front of them?

Back to school, which IS the reason for this blog...the first two days were horrendous! It was all orientation and I think that they were basically trying to scare our socks off. Yes, I know I will be busy in nursing school, but overall, is it really THAT difficult? Last semester I took 8 classes. Yep, 8. I am pretty familiar with medical terminology, I understand all the basics of human care. Pharmacology calculations seem to be easy so far. I am good at ratios and proportions. I guess the hard part there will be remembering Meds.

My first clinical rotation is September 26th at the local nursing home. I have a really positive outlook on that. I fear the bed bath. I never even considered that nurses would give bed baths. I don't know what I was thinking. So I just wanted to update to let off some steam about Mrs. Faux. More later as it comes to mind!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The end is drawing nigh...

So here I am at 0135 on a Sunday morning (gotta get used to using the military time) reading my "How to the Get the Most from Nursing School" book. I am counting down the hours until my freedom is lost once again. I am hopeful that it won't be that bad and I will still have some semblance of a life. I admit that I am nervous. I am trying to overcome some interpersonal issues I have with Mrs. Faux Fortunate. I am trying t figure out how I can avoid her for the next two years. Maybe I should rename her something like Mrs. She Doesn't Deserve a Second Thought From Me. That would be a good name for her! Nah, I will just stick with Mrs. Faux Fortunate. I really like the word "faux" and actually use it quite often because it is a great descriptive word for so many people. There was this one chick in Alaska who I termed my Faux Friend. I had to drop her like a hot potato because I could no longer put up with her materialism. More on her later, but speaking of materialism--I got a new iPhone yesterday. I am completely enthralled with the Apple world. It just makes so much more sense. So I had a Droid X before and now it belongs to my hubby. He is really enjoying it so far, playing Angry Birds mostly.
Today I cleaned my house and did all my laundry. Tomorrow is going to be a good day and hopefully it will be filled with R&R. I look forward to watching our favorite family show, Big Brother.
In 24 hours I will be in a Melatonin induced sleep having nightmares about my upcoming day. Okay, maybe not nightmares but you get the picture! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Officially DONE!! Until Monday!

I aced my last exam today. It covered renal, gastro, and musculoskeletal. I made a 97.5. I also started reading my book of leisure, well I am actually picking up where I left off back in may before I started my summer class. It is Firefly Lane by Krisitn Hannah. Still no pictures...darned iPad!
Update on nursing school...I got an email today showing the changes in our schedule for the first two days. I have to be there at 0800 both days and each are filled with lectures and orientations! Ugh! I have to use my brain on the first day. What a bummer. Aim ready to get it over with but hope that I dont lose myself in the process. I must take time to enjoy life and smell the roses!

Almost done...

I am taking my final pathophysiology test tomorrow morning. When I began this class 10 weeks ago I expected to either fail miserably or at least make a C. Well, I have managed to pull an A! I seriously need to work on my self confidence. This class has taught me that I need to pay closer attention to detail. There were several assignments that I missed one silly little thing and the professor took off 20 points! Tis is also the professor that will be teaching me pharmacology starting next week. Note to self, make checklists! I will not be at the mercy of this woman's red ink pen! I am in my final week of preparations to begin school. I sat at the financial aid office today for two hours waiting to decline the $6000 they were trying to give me in student loans. I REFUSE to graduate in debt up to my eyeballs. I will not fall into the same category as thousands (or millions) of other college students. I will continue to make sacrifices where I can to assure that that will not happen.
We had a really great time in Florida this past weekend. It was hot and terribly muggy but that is what is to be expected in August! I had every intention to post pics on my new blog as soon as we got back but of course I forgot my camera! One problem I have when staying in hotels are those flashbacks from shows like 20/20 where they go behind the scenes with blacklights and show you what's really hiding between your hotel sheets. Because of this I constantly wear my shoes around the room...and cringe when I have to get in the shower.
Now that I am done with my class I plan to squeeze in as much leisurely reading as possible. Kristin Hannah has become one of my favorite authors. She writes of hope, faith, and sadness (not in that order). The first book I read of hers was Night Road. One of the best books ever! Well, maybe not better than my Twilight series but then again that is a totally different genre! So, I highly recommend it and Night Road is a great introductory book to her style of writing. I wonder how many books I can squeeze in before life ends on Monday?!?
Pictures are coming soon!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A quick update

Today it was 105 degrees. Absolutely, ridiculously miserable! Unfortunately I had errands to run today. I bought $483 worth of nursing books today which was only six books (medical dictionary, NCLEX review guide, nursing fundies, heart and lung sounds CD, drug guide, and nutrition book). I still have 12, yes...12 more books to buy. All together they will end up costing $1700. I am thanking my lucky stars I have a scholarship that completely covers the cost of these. I tnk it is ridiculous that so many are required. It will be interesting to see how many are actually used.
The end of hanging out with my kids for the summer makes me kinda sad. While they are at school I actually miss the little buggers and can't wait for them to come bounding through the door.
I have been pondering how I am going to simplify my life to effectively and sanely make it thru my first semester. I am talking specifically about meal planning, laundry and cleaning. I am a clean freak! I use cleaning as a diversion from studying. I must stop this erratic behavior. My cooking habits aren't much better either. I feel the need to prepare large meals each night that require way too much time to prepare and just as much time to clean up. Thanks to my HE washer and dryer I am able to knock out significant amounts if laundry in no time! So I can officially knock laundry off my list. One less thing to stress over.
I am going to be stretched in many different directions. Thankfully I have someone to watch my kids. That stress was relieved not too long ago. I am hoping my kids will step up to pack their own lunches this year. My mom thought this idea was appalling! Lol. I think this is the least they could do to help around the house!
So two more day until we leave for Florida. It will be a really nice break from a seemingly hectic summer. Maybe soon I will be able to post some pics!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Another test under my belt

So I took my third test of four today in pathophysiology. I made an 88. My last test for this class will be August 8th-ish. We are going to Florida the weekend before so it will be interesting to see how I fare on my test after a weekend of deep sea fishing and chillaxing at the beach. I am hoping it will serve as a marker--a marker to end summer and immediately begin the new school year the following Monday. It is going to be so hectic. I almost can't wait!! I know I will regret saying that here in a couple of months. I need to enjoy this "stress free" time while I have it. On another note, I made a very positive stride in my life today. I was able to face some adversity that has been going on for over a year and boy do I feel better. I feel as though a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I feel so free from this stress in fact that I have a more positive outlook on nursing school!
So I just had to drop a line today in my constant attempt to maintain this blog. Until next time!

Monday, July 25, 2011

So today I took my daughter to the psychiatrist for a follow up on her ADHD Meds. Obviously with this guy being a psychiatrist and all he surely is observant of other people. Me. He thinks I may have an adult form of ADD. I have suspected this for a while but have never thought it would be taken seriously by a doctor. I do admit to me OCD I am fanatic about having clean countertops, I must have my rooms in the house lit a certain way, when I make beds they must have no wrinkles in them including the sheets, and I also cook to perfection without ever enjoying the things I cook. They just don't taste like they would if someone else made them. I think we established yesterday that I hasve some serious anxiety issues so that cat is out of the bag. I have my first appt. With the psych dr. On august 10th so we will see how he officially diagnoses me. I don't feel like I have anything to report from my past like most people do. I have no extensive history. I am not conniving, evil, or crude. I am truly a "what you see is what you get" type person. I feel like the doctor may try to fish things out of me but it will be a very unsuccessful fishing trip for him if he does! So back to the adult ADD, it makes sense because when I am reading all of my nursing books, I can read an entire chapter and remember nothing! And like yesterday's post, that is not good for any future patient of mine! Until next time....

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I made it back

So here I am trying to prepare for my third pathophysiology test. I feel so over this class. I am not sure if it because it is summer or what. I feel burnt out. Unrested. I am having anxiety about this upcoming school year. First of all, I am taking pharmacology fall semester. You have to make a 90 on all tests, which is great for the patient right?? I mean if you are laid up in a hospital bed, you wanna know that your nurse passed all of her dosage calculations exams! Well, I stress so bad when it comes to tests. I am the type of person that learns by doing. Once I get into a routine, I am unstoppable. I can retain information in my brain and be able to think about it--but be totally unable to express the information in words. I so hope I can overcome this. I can't wait to look back on this blog in 6 months-12 months-18 months from now and totally laugh at myself for all the worry. I need to learn to let go of all my worries. Sometimes I wonder if I am nursing material. At this point it is too late to think about that. There have been many changes in my life that have given me the self confidence to do these things. Without those changes, and one day I will discuss them, I would still be the person who thinks she is not valuable. For those changes I am thankful.

Friday, July 22, 2011

First blog...what to say...

So this blog could very well be a success. It is probable that it will end in failure. I am not very good at keeping up with things. I always say that I don't like certain things because they are a "commitment". I don't like to commit to anything, I tell you! I am however, committed to my husband, my two daughters, and my beautiful cocker spaniel. The dog keeps me on the move just about as much as the kids do.
My first blog could give a little bit of background, and also state why I am actually here. At the ripe old age of 28 I decided that I should go back to school. At the time I was living in Alaska. I decided (along with millions of others) that nursing would be my focus. We have a nursing shortage and nurses are really rolling in the dough (yeah right). Well ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be a nurse. After three years of really hard work, I finally found out that I had been accepted into the nursing program. Out of 225 qualified applicants, they chose little ole me (and 94 other peeps). I know it must be meant to be, the way the time frame worked out and all.
So for now, and because it is 1:00 a.m., I am going to wrap this up. For how long? One will have to wait and see!