January 26, 2010

The Bane of My Existance

Let me introduce you to Alphie. Don't let that, 'who me?' look fool you. He's a cranky, calculating garbage can that causes me more frustration and grey hairs than both of my children combined. He refuses to do anything you ask unless you have a steak in hand or a piece of cheese.

And smart. He goes outside and barks and runs off if you try to make him come in. The only thing he responds to is food, and he's selective. Don't give him shit, because he'll just go back outside and bark until he gets what he wants and if you think you are on to him and refuse to let him out he'll leave a log in your basement. Anyone want him? He's free.

Procrastinating-- Maybe I should write a book on that

So, I have a test in two hours and I am sitting here blogging. Priorities screwed up? Absolutely. Well. I guess it depends on how you look at it. I will probably pass and that's what counts right? Where did my drive for school go! Oh, I know, it's getting in the way of me writing so therefore we are not the best of friends right now.

My book has stalled. I am over half-way done and I think I have made a wrong turn. I think I really should have outlined. It's apparently not for everyone but I think it might be for me. Rewriting is not one of favorite things whatsoever. And the time? What time? I mean I suppose I could have not watched One Tree Hill last night of Ghost town over the weekend. There is three hours right there, but if you have watched either of these titles then you know why they were must see television. If I had urinary incontinence I would have made a puddle on my couch while watching Ghost Town. I mean, Ricky Gervais is so freaking funny. And One Tree Hill? Don't judge me, it's a cleverly written show and I find it hillarious.

So know I have written a few lines and feel a little better I will go collect my children and get them ready for daycare and drag my ass into the city to take a practical test on assessing the integumentary system (skin for the layman).

January 24, 2010

Clinical Day 2 and 3

What an exciting couple of days I had. I felt so awkward and completely inadequate and I don't think I hid it well. Fortunately, my assigned patient was very knowledgeable about her care and was able to give me step by step instructions. Good and bad. Helpful, but also she questioned everything if I didn't do everything 'just so' and I wasn't confident enough to assert that my way was equally correct.

So what did I do? Bed baths (not with a sponge like in the movies, they are bacterial havens). The nether regions aren't quite so bad anymore. Bowel disempaction. And yes, it is as bad as it sounds. I did it twice and let me tell you I actually gagged the first time and I was mortified. I mean, imagine how your patient feels at you violating her like that, even in pursuit of her relief, only to have you gag at the smell. I felt like the excrement I was removing. But the second time I was gag-free. Progress. I got to do meds and sub-cutaneous injections (just under the skin), but no inter-muscular; removal of an iv cath; charting; and stuff I can't even remember. They were very busy days indeed.

Two patients died on my floor while I was there. Very sad. A couple of the students got to do after-life care but I was busy with some other things so I didn't get to participate. In case you are unaware, you lose control of your bodily functions when you die so your body has to be cleaned and prepared for the morgue.

I learned a lot in a very short time span and am looking forward to next week, hopefully, I will have a patient as awesome as this weeks. This weeks patient was about ten years older than me and was very easy to like and develop a good rapport with. I might miss her.

All in all, great experience! Anyone want to be a nurse yet!

January 23, 2010

Feeling Blue

It's been a busy week. Very busy. I have been asleep on two feet for the last couple of days. Clinical, full-time school and being a wife and mother is not at all easy and is very time consuming, but I am sure I have said this before, over and over. I have not been able to read or write this week (unless you count copious amounts of pages from my nursing texts). It's weird, because for as much as I want to be a nurse, I equally want to be a writer. I am on the verge of tears as I write this because I am feeling kind of trapped. (I hope my husband doesn't read this though I know he will because our communication lately has been minimal). I am committed to nursing and the military for the next six and a half years and this scares me to death. I am feeling a little caged, and artistic people don't do well with caged.

The further I go with my degree, the less time I have to devote to reading and writing and this is the only escape I have from my life. I can create and live in alternate worlds for a brief time and forget everything and everyone around me and I love this experience. I can't give it up for the sake of my sanity. It is the only thing I have that is my own, that is not an obligation or a must, but something that makes life a litte easier and a lot happier for me. I dream of being published and this will not happen while I am in the military. Even if I was of the small percentage of people to get noticed by an agent or a publisher, they aren't going to be all that considerate of the time and travel? that I would have to do to promote myself and my book. I couldn't even begin to start sending out query letters until I am in my family year of commitment to the military. Six and a half years. I enjoy the military, but right now (in my emotional state of panic) I feel like I am on a very long road with no end in sight.

So I have vented. I don't feel particularly better. Not really. And now I will return to an assignment that is due on Monday and try to think happy thoughts. Vacation. Spring break in three weeks. I am not going anywhere, but that matters little. I will have some time to write. I'd take that over the Carribean any day.

January 19, 2010

Back on the horse we go

I have been avoiding discussing my weight. The fact that my scale broke (not from me, thank you very much) and I lost my tape measure is a very convenient reason for my not doing weekly weigh-ins. But the truth is I am deathly afraid of what the traitorous scale will tell me when I actually buy one and crush the life out of it with the extra weight I have put on from the snacks I have been enjoying over the last six weeks.

So I have fallen off my horse as one trying to lose weight often does--if you never have, you have never really been fat so you can keep your comments to yourself. One of the biggest motivators for me right now is the fact that I am training to be a nurse. How the hell am I supposed to preach to patients about health and nutrition when I am overweight? I don't want to look like a hypocrite and I want to practice what I preach; I want to be taken seriously.

So I am officially back on the 'lifestyle change.' I took a detour for a while and I feel better having come clean about it. Tomorrow is a new day and I intend to be at least better than I was today and hopefully these little daily improvements will make the challenge a little less daunting, because I would rather climb a gently sloping Skinny Hill than a Mt. Fuck-That-Pass-The-Doughnut.

January 15, 2010

Clinical Day 1

Ah, the first day of clinical, when you are more hinderance than help. In teams of two, we followed a team of a nurse, LPN and CCA, who were at first rather apprehensive about our presence. Although we are student nurses they pawned us off on the CCA who is probably the busiest person in the morning and who performs tasks that we must know how to do, but in reality, don't really do all that much in practice.

The nurse and the LPN seemed to disappear, but I am a persistent person and if I need or want something I am like a dog with a bone. I sought, I followed and I pushed. Can I help you with this? Can I help you with that? Ooh, ooh, ooh, can I give that enema? Yes, this was the common trend for the day. 'Don't fight over the enema ladies,' said the LPN (not our LPN, we travelled the hall and found a more receptive host).

Today I gave my first injection in a real person and it was everything that I thought it would be. Is it wrong that I got a high from sticking a needle in a patient? I thought that I got to watch a lot of different skills being performed today, but when I think back, I can't for the life of me remember what I did.

It was a good day overall. And by the end, I think I might have grown on the team that was originally cool. They were much more pleasant by lunch, although our LPN still yelled at my partner ( I can't recall why, I'm just grateful it wasn't me).

I am looking forward to the upcoming weeks and having my very own patient to stick, give meds to, bed bath, to perform a complete physical assessment on, etc... You never know the condition of the person and I'm sure there will be a huge learning curve each week. Also, we have palliative care patients on my floor. I am not good with old people and especially bad with the dying. Have I mentioned that I have never seen a dead body or spent anytime with the older population besides my clinical in a nursing home last year which petrified me? Well, I do. So of course, I specifically asked for a palliative care patient. I face things head on. That's how I roll.

January 07, 2010

Apprehensive about my impending busyness.

School is on again, and I am coming to terms with what I think will be one of my most difficult terms ever--in either of my degrees. In addition to having classes and labs for four classes Mon-Wed, I also have clinical in a medical-surgical unit on Thursdays and Fridays. I have no idea when I am going to find the time to study with very little free time during the day. Welcome to the land of compromise. What am I willing to give up? Time with my kids. Absolutely not. Spending time with my husband? Depends on the day you ask. Writing? I would hurt deep in my soul. Reading? Not if I want to improve my writing? Sleep? Who needs sleep? It is the only obvious choice.

I am going to try really hard to blog about my clinical experiences, both because it is therapeutic and duh, I love to write. Being on a surgical unit is going to be a big change for me, particularly since I am allowed to be do so much more than I was last year--with supervision of course. I am now capable of doing dressing changes, calculating doses and giving medication and injections and, my favourite, inserting catheters. Penis's may be ugly but I would rather insert a tube in a penis than a vagina, any day.

So I am off to spend as much time as I possibly can writing. Clinical begins next week and who knows when I will find the time. I am waist deep in a novel that I started last year and recently returned to, 45,000 words and climbing. My renewed passion is the result of the introduction of a new character.  I am just playing with him at this point, unsure if he fits in, but I refuse to delete him.