Archive for April, 2011
Everything changes in the seconds it takes to exhale. That’s the brutal truth of hospital life.
I’m in awe of the ICU nurses. Damn, they are brilliant. I seriously can’t imagine being capable of joining the CCRN crew. But I sure want to. I love the energy of the ICU. I love the team work. I love the personalities, and let me tell ya, ICU nurses have some personality!
Floor nursing is busy and don’t mistake my statements above, floor nurses work their asses off. It’s just not the same as the ICU.
When I started nursing school, I was sure I wanted to work in and ICU or ED. And then I did clinicals in L&D and was in love. Now I’m wondering if it’s not that I’m just in love with this PROFESSION. I keep hyperventilating thinking how close I am to finally being done.
And then I have to stop myself because last time I got excited, everything changed. And I don’t want to Jinx it again.
This time, there will be no graduation announcements. There will be no big party. There will be nothing marking the event. I don’t want to risk having to cancel all those things, again.
I’m so close. But I’ve been here before. For now I’m just trying to enjoy shift two.
Here I go.
That was the question my mentor asked me when we met. I almost cried. That was the first time in my nursing experience that I have ever been asked that question. Ever.
My first half of mentorship was a little disappointing, ok…it was majorly disappointing. It wasn’t really my mentors fault, but the site I was assigned had some issues happen with another student so they tightened the reigns and weren’t allowing any students to do ANYTHING. So basically it was a purely observational experience.
I did learn from it. But it was hard being a shadow for the entire shift. Very hard.
My current mentor is an instructor of a BSN program locally. She loves her job. She loves to teach. She wants to do this. I feel blessed to get to have her for my experience.
Today is shift one of six. After tonight I will only have five clinical days standing between me an my degree.
It’s gonna be a great night. I can feel it in the air.
This week was another hard sleeping week. But dang it seems you are learning so much now. Every single day you are changed. Now you can pull yourself to standing and are starting to walk around the table while holding on. You also have two teeth and another one coming in. And the biggest change is….you can wave bye bye!! Its awesome!
You still love talking on the phone, and you love to watch youtube videos of babies playing!
You are doing great on table foods and will reach for just about any foods that we are eating. You tried macaroni and cheese last night and loved it!
We love you so much little man! You have been so wanted and loved! Thank you for choosing us as your parents!
I had the privilege of joining my close friend for the early portion of her labor experience today. I stayed until about 6cm and then was replaced by another friend. (I left happily!)
As I was sitting there observing her in the active stages of labor, after a very uncomfortable AROM, I noticed that my heart was racing, and I was feeling anxious.
For the most part I have moved on from my labor experience, but recently I have found myself thinking more and more about it. I still grieve for the loss of a normal pregnancy and delivery. I still mourn the loss of snuggly early days with my infant, instead of sterile NICU ones.
I am so appreciative for him being here safely, and for how healthy he is. I am not naive to have much worse it could have been. I will however be completely honest and say that I am sad for what we missed out on.
More than the grief over those minor things, I have fear. I have always wanted children. I was already thinking about more while in having my laceration repaired. It took many years and many lost babies to get one that I can hold in my arms (instead of just my heart). But now, knowing what I know about my body and my pregnancy with Nolan, I am scared.
I am scared that I won’t get lucky again. I won’t get to bring home another live, healthy baby. I am scared that I will endure preterm labor, incompetent cervix issues, NICU time, or worse. I’m scared we won’t be able to conceive (although that has not been my problem thus far, I just can’t seem to stay pregnant). I’m just scared.
And a little jealous. Seeing the women walk into L&D and the excited looks on their faces, it tore at my heart. I was terrified every time I entered L&D. I was terrified the day I delivered.
My friends experience was so beautiful. No monitors. No tubing, just a saline locked IV. Free to walk around. Bouncing on a labor ball. It was beautiful.
I’m full of many tears. But mostly tears of joy for her happy ending. I feel so close to this experience, my emotions are so tied up in it and it’s not even my experience.
Just when I was Resigned that my clinical experiences this term were going to be seriously Inadequate, I am left surprised. Pleasantly surprised.
My first half was….well…it just was. I don’t really want to say anything bad about it or the staff but I will say that I am glad it’s over. Don’t be shocked, I’m diplomatic sometimes.
But this second half is gonna rock! My nurse mentor is phenomenal! I have 6 shifts standing between me and my degree! I’m so ready to be finished.
6 shifts…I can do this. I will keep my eyes on the goal. I will remain positive and upbeat. I will rock this.
It’s gonna be awesome.
Happy Easter, Baby Boy! It’s your very first Easter, and you are just so excited about everything. You are the perfect age because you are now fully crawling and will head in the direction of anything bright colored (EASTER EGGS!)
This week also brought about you standing up! You are now pulling to stand on anything you can reach. Its adorable! And you move FAST! This week you also slept for the very first time for an entire night without waking up. It was amazing.
You got the sweetest cards from your Madrina and Padrino. They sure love you! You got to spend lunch with your Madrina the other day, and you will be spending Easter day with your Padrino. It will be wonderful.
I dont know how its possible, but you just keep getting cuter and cuter!
Happy Easter Little Man!
We love you so much,
Tonight is a new chapter. I talked with one of my favorite NICU pals (Hi Nikki!) and since her adorable boy was going through something similar and all you have assured me that this is a developmental sage thing, I’m giving him some motrin and starting fresh tonight.
Last night was hard because of some additional family drama and I was exhausted. Tonight I’m tired but I feel like I can make it through the crying.
The truth is that Nolan needs to
Sleep. And I need to be firm and be the parent.
So here goes. Commence sleeping boot camp day one (attempt two)!
It’s Nolan I’m referring to. I swear he is trying to kill me using sleep deprivation techniques. Teething sucks.
Seriously, fuck you teething. I hate you. I would seriously rather invest in baby dentures then deal with hearing my baby scream and whine.
Oh my GAWD, the whining is horrible. He will be playing happily and then suddenly whine until I hold him. Then whine to be put down, then back up again. Where did my happy baby go?
He is 8 months old and still barely sleeps. He’s not hungry. He’s TIRED. He’s freaking exhausted. He plays hard all day long. He takes two naps a day. But night time sleep is ridiculous.
We tried the CIO. It doesn’t work. There is just never an end. He would literally cry all night until it’s time to get up for the day and then he’s miserable. We can’t cosleep, he doesn’t sleep that way either. So what are my options? Get up every hour and soothe him back to sleep, leaving us both ridiculously tired. BOTH of us.
This is one of the hardest parts about being a geographically single parent. I would trade off with my hubby and bounce ideas off of him, but he isn’t here in the nitty gritty of our daily lives. He is out protecting our country. So instead its left up to me.
And the input/pressure from the family is rough. They all have their ideals of what I “should” be doing. And of course I’m doing it wrong. They seem completely ok with having him scream until he chokes. They just keep telling me to stick with it for a few days until he catches on. So I did. And it worked, for two days. Now we are back to square one. An it’s killing me.
Why doesn’t my baby sleep? I know why, because he is trying to kill me. At this point I will give up any secrets I knew, his terroristic torture can stop.
(The title is catchy, huh? I bet google has a blast with that one!)
StudentRN: Can I bring you anything?
Person with speech issue: Yes, more asshole juish.
SRN: Excuse me? I’s sorry, I didn’t hear you.
PWSI: MORE. ASSHOLE. JUISH. PWEASH.
SRN: Urm…oh…more apple juice. No problem. I will be right back!
Dear wayward new aide,
When removing the feces from the bedside commode do NOT just reach in with a gloved hand and pull it out.
When you walk over to me with poop in your hands, I might giggle.
Ps..the bottom pan of the commode is removable.
Just an FYI. But thank you for the laugh!
After weeks of nerve straining option weighing, we’ve finally made our decision about Japan.
There were alot of variables that we weighed. And after much discussion and research and guidance from people we respect, we decided that it is best for our family to return to Japan.
That means that in late June, we will be boarding the big plane again and heading home.
I am relieved. I’m not saying that there isn’t danger. I’m not pretending to be naive to the hazards of being in a country that is in the middle of reconstructing after a massive disaster. But, what I am saying is that it is better for us to be in our home together, then it is for us to be apart and so far away.
We chose to serve overseas because of our love for Japan. I am in such awe of the Japanese people, their strength and generosity. I love the peace that I feel while walking in the cherry blossoms. I love the serenity of seeing the Buddah in all his glory. Japan is my country, and I feel blessed to get the chance to head back.
This will not sit well with many of our family and close friends. But those closest to us understand that this is our decision and it wasn’t made lightly.
Have you ever had to make a decision that wasn’t supported by your extended family? How did you cope?
- Clarify what “voices” you are asking the patient that they hear (ie.Hallucinations), a previous shift had written that a patient was hallucinating voices, upon further examination it turned out that the “voices” the patient was hearing were all the staff talking in the nursing station. Doh!
- When lacking things to do on the unit, introducing yourself to the patient with the cool medical apparatus is more educational than reading about it in a book. And they are usually more than happy to educate you on their condition.
- No matter how hearing impaired a patient is, they will wake when you walk in the room if you are hoping to keep them asleep.
- Everyone needs pain meds at 2am.
- I&O’s are always off by about a liter (this may be unit/floor specific)
- The younger the staff member, the funnier they are at 4am.
- No amount of caffeine makes up for not getting enough sleep.
- Its better to wander around and check vitals, than to get the “nurse’s spread: (ie..fat ass)
- The hierarchy of the floor goes: Doctors, Nurses, Junior staff, House keeping, then students. Dont forget that.
- Your entire day can be better when a patient gives you a hug.
- It’s ok to take a minute with a patient to have that therapeutic conversation. Sometimes that helps more than the percocet.
- A brand new baby cry will make you let down and soak through your scrubs at the most inopportune time. (Like in the middle of wound packing.)
This week went by so quickly. You are getting so big little man. You finished out your 6 months shots this week and we got a weight on you. You are now 16.2lbs! What a big boy you are! You are no longer leisurely crawling, now you can move so fast its hard to keep up! You even chase after the puppy dogs, and they seem to like it!
You also started pulling up on things as if you are thinking about crawling already. Dude, you’ve gotta slow down! The new foods this week were mandarin oranges, french fries, and chicken nuggets. We are letting you have any foods you are interested in, as long as you can manage them. You loved all of the above!
You are such a happy little guy. Everyone comments on it, and you flirt with everyone around you. You love to talk on the phone to your Daddy and Papa, and when they call you get so excited to hear their voices.
This week you spent a day with your Madrina, and got to play and snuggle her at her house. It was such a joy to get to see the two of you together.
You are eating up a storm, and getting good at using the sippy cup. You have decreased down to only nursing four times a day, but you still love your bewbies. And you have become sort of a groper, and will “check” out everyones set.
We love you so much little man, You are such a joy to have! Keep growing big and strong!
This week brought with it a ton of crawling. And I mean really crawling. You can get around the house solo now. Its so fun to see you get excited and come over to someone because you are actually interested in them. Its a wonderful feeling to have you crawl over to me and raise your arms to be picked up.
This week also marks the end of one month and the beginning of another. You are now 8 months old. Such a big boy. You weigh about 16.5 lbs now, and Im not sure how long you are. You dont have another doctors appointment until your 9 month well child check.
You are still wearing some 3-6 month clothes and some 6-9 month clothes. Your diapers have all been moved to the next snaps
The new foods you eat are: french fries, plums, whole banana, watermelon, pickles, cucumbers, and pureed chicked. You are such a good eater! And you love watermelons. You are now very interested in all the foods that we are eating and will reach for our food, hence the reason that you have eaten french fries!
Little Man, we love you so much. You are so adored by your Grandparents, Aunt, and your God parents. Its wonderful to see you interact with people and to see how loving you are back to them.
Thank you for loving us and letting us get to know you. We love you to the moon and back.
I know its been a few days since my last post, but working 12 hour clinicals leaves me with little energy for blogging. I get home and rather than needing to type to decompress from my day, I am much more interested in snuggling on the worlds cutest little boy.
My clinical experience is much different than it was last time. This time I am working on a unit that is much much slower. The patient to nurse ratio is much smaller. The staffing is done very differently. I was used to the Nurses doing the majority of the work and here there are understaff that do the majority of the grunt work leaving the nurses to administer narcotics and high risk meds, and do paperwork. Its a very different world.
I saw some interesting things this week, including Red Man Syndrome secondary to Vancomyacin administration. And I learned about prophyrias. Crazy stuff. I saw a gnarly PTA (peri tonsillar abscess) and subsequent UPPP (Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty). Med/Surg is fun because the varied different patients and their differing medical conditions and needs.
I learned alot about orthopedic surgeries, and found that I would actually enjoy working on an ortho unit. I like the fact that with these patients pain is a TRUE issue. There is no real thinking about them being drug seekers, or “frequent flyers” it really is about getting their pain under control.
What a week. 2 shifts down, 4 more to go.
At the request of a dear friend, I am going to write a nursing related post. I know, I know…this is supposed to be a nursing blog.
I start Clinicals this week, again. Last year I was excited and this year I am much more reserved. I met with my mentor and saw the acute care setting I will be working on. It seems to be pretty low acuity, short term patients. The ward is small with less than 2 dozen beds. My mentor is new to the mentoring situation and is eager to have a student. I havent worked in this particular setting before and I am a little excited to be a new atmosphere.
Was that vague enough? There really isnt enough going on to blog about nursing school. The term is just starting. Im hoping that things get interesting here soon.
On that note, I started getting my paperwork ready today to take the NCLEX. Im still not sure if I will be taking it here in July or taking it later in Japan. We still arent sure what the long term situation for us is going to be.
There ya go. So Jim….any questions?
First, let me give a big welcome back to my friend who was missing for 14 months. Hello…Ok, Im bored of you now. And oh boy, are you expensive! (Im talking about Aunt Flo, The Crimson Tide, Mother Natures calling, The curse, The Rag…you get the picture.)
Seriously, how did I manage to forget how damn expensive the paper products can be? Maybe its because I always had a supply on hand so I never had to go out and buy a complete stock before. Or maybe they are just damn expensive.
As anyone who has read this blog for any amount of time knows, I am a cloth diaperer. I see how much money I save just by using cloth on my kiddo. Not to mention how much better it is for his skin and the environment. So, ive been considering options other than tampons, and maxi pads. Yes, Ive researched other options. And I think I may have found the one that is for me.
But that leaves me with my next question…What type of products do you use for your monthly visitor? Does anyone use anything alternative?
(Below is an actual conversation with a real person)
Person: I dont believe in sex before marriage.
Me: Oh. Is that a personal choice or a religious belief? (I was truly curious.)
Person: It’s against my religion.
Me: I see. What religion are you?
Me: That’s wonderful.
Eavesdropper: What’s LDS?
Person: It stands for Lutheran something….
Me: Um…actually it stands for Latter Day Saints, ya know…Mormon.
Person: Oh, I never knew thats what it stood for.
The sweet boy in the pictures is not nearly as sweet as he looks. Trust me. My poor bloody nipples are a testament to how naughty he can be. And the little toot has the nerve to laugh when I say “Ouch!”. I really didnt think that it would be necessary to start telling him “no” for a very long time. And yet, I find myself saying it over and over again. I know his gums itch and hurt and I know he wants to chew on everything, but that little pearly white tooth makes it hurt me when he is trying to soothe himself.
Lucky for me, he seems to be learning quickly. He now will stop and whimper when I say “No”. I guess Im just a little sad to see him growing up. With the crawling, teeth, sleeping solo and now acknowledging the word “no”, Im starting to realize what a big boy he is.