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!