Thursday, April 30, 2009

Right Now I Am...

(yes, I "borrowed" this idea from someone else!)

eating : nothing currently. although I'm thinking about some whole wheat spaghetti with meatballs and mushroom sauce and garlic bread for dinner...

feeling : tired. worn out. stressed. and it's only the second day of exams.

listening : to the fan blow, my dog bark in his sleep, and my cat snoring by the window.

watching : my computer screen. soon to be my health assessment notebook again.

loving : the weather. it's so warm and nice out...finally!

thinking : i need to quit procrastinating and study.

hoping : that the exam tomorrow goes as well as today's did.

wishing : for the end of the semester to come quicker.

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Break From Poo

Today was my last day of clinicals for 4 MONTHS and I could not be happier. I actually ended up liking most of my patients, but I felt like we were being used as glorified CNA's and by February the learning curve was going downhill drastically. My patient today was an older woman who weighed 83 lbs and had just had a grand-mal seizure and a CVA (stroke). Luckily she was alert and able to talk so it wasn't too bad- and she was incredibly nice; it was just odd having a patient that I could pick up and move myself b/c most of the patients have been a bit heavier. She was definitely a patient I enjoyed talking to more- and she told me I was one of the nicest nurses she had ever met (see, I CAN be nice!) and that I didn't look anywhere near 29. I hope she ends up okay. As for clinicals in general, the entire experience this semester was helpful; I just think that I've had enough poo for just a LITTLE while. My clinical instructor also did my final evaluation and surprisingly I did quite well; I'm glad she noticed and it wasn't all for nothing.

Exams start Thursday and I'm not too concerned. There are a few I need to do well on but I spent so much time this semester learning everything that now it's just more of a review rather than a last minute cram. They're all done next Wednesday and then I have a few days before Alister and Baer come...yay! This summer should be an experience!

This evening I took Stetson over to the pond by Pitt Community College and he actually jumped in after a stick...and brought it back! Several times! I was so proud- he may be a bit of a water dog yet. It takes a while to get him dried again but the pond is fairly clean and well kept so he doesn't reek like he used to after chasing ducks at the med school. I'm just happy he got some exercise; we walked for about 30 minutes and he swam for another 15 so he should be fairly pooped out tonight.

Friday, April 24, 2009

TGIF II

Okay, so I haven't posted lately because I've been incredibly busy and yet on the flip side, not much has happened. So here are the highlights...
  • Sunday- I studied
  • Monday- I had clinicals (luckily no poo this week) and then studied
  • Tuesday- I had my final check off in health assessment which has yet to be graded, but if I have to do it again I wouldn't be surprised. We had to draw a system out of a bag and then do a full assessment on someone else including documentation afterwards. I drew the only system I couldn't remember well...neurological. After that I had my last foundations lab...yay...then came home and, you guessed it, studied
  • Wednesday was my day of 2 big tests (the last 2 tests in two of my main classes). I did good on one, not so good on the other (b/c no matter how much I study I'm retarded in foundations). Then home to study which wasn't well accomplished b/c I fell asleep on my patho notes
  • Thursday- Got up early and went to the library to attempt to study for patho one more time. I hate renal. If there had been a bunch of questions on kidney stones I would have felt more prepared. There was not. It's okay, I got a 104 anyways. Yay patho. Once back home I sat down to BS one of the stupidest papers I've ever had to write. I'll never be able to write a novel; I can hardly come up with a 3 page paper
  • Today I had my last 2 classes of the semester and turned in the horrible paper. Hopefully my professor will still grade me well, b/c despite the content I think I have better grammar than the current generation of texters (who in turn write as if they're texting) and maybe it will just READ better than the others. As for the rest of the day, I'm taking it easier b/c tomorrow starts hard core study for finals next week

I was hoping to go to Raleigh tomorrow to visit with my aunt and uncle but I just have too much to do for finals so I'm going to attempt responsibility and stay here...in the library. Speaking of studying, there is a girl in my clinical group that drives me crazy sometimes. Now I have the utmost respect for anybody and everbody's religions, mainly b/c I have labeled myself agnostic lately, but sometimes I think people go a little overboard. Skip to said girl. She's a really nice, friendly person but she is VERY Christian. There's nothing wrong with that, except that she truly believes that when she does bad on a test, it's b/c God has better plans for her; when she does well on a test, she's glad she puts her faith in God. Sometimes I want to shake her and tell her that GOD DOESN'T AFFECT YOUR GRADES, STUDYING DOES. There's nothing wrong with having strong beliefs, but sometimes you have to jump back to reality and take responsibility for your own actions and decisions, b/c even if God loves you, he doesn't grade your tests. Just a fact.

Anyways, that's all I've got. The weather is supposed to be gorgeous this weekend ie hot and sunny so I plan to do some studying outside while getting some sun at the same time (with no less than SPF30 on mind you).

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Lazy Saturday

Today was fairly enjoyable even though I got very little accomplished. After waking up late from some very unsettling dreams (I have a lot of those lately...I don't think I sleep deeply enough) I popped in a DVD of the last season of Scrubs and proceeded to veg in my bed through the entire 2 1/2 hours. I finally got my lazy butt up, took Stetson on a walk, showered, and then set myself up outside in the gorgeous weather to get some studying done. I did manage to read a 100 page chapter on wound care (it's as thrilling as it sounds) before I got distracted and started cleaning and moving things around (mainly my plants from inside to out).

Being the good doggy mom I am I took Stetson on yet another walk before dinner. My dog definitely does not like taking walks- especially on leashes. When he hears walk all he wants is free time to pee and poo on as many things as possible before nothing more comes out; when I say walk I'm thinking moving at a quick pace going as far as I can before I'm bored. Needless to say this disagreement proceeds with me walking and dragging a 60 pound dog 5 feet behind me for 30 minutes. Sigh.

After the walk I made some pizza (see people, I'm not jumping completely into the no processed foods diet) and then spent about 2 hours on the phone with my PSODL. Speaking of, I cannot wait for Alister to come home for the summer. It will be our first chance to really spend time together while still doing normal everyday life things (work, school, etc). I think it will be a good thing- at least I hope it is seeing as though we're trying to marry each other eventually. Time together is good. Very good. Not done enough.

Once we got off the phone I bummed around on FB for a little while, kicked some huge ass on Guitar Hero (okay so I'm still on easy but at least I get a lot of 99%'s), and then settled down with some popcorn and an oddly tasting mixed drink to watch "Get Smart" with Steve Carrell...too bad the Netflix DVD is too scratched up to watch. Now Harry Potter is playing and I'm reminded of how (dorkily) excited I am for the 6th one to come out this summer. :-)

Hopefully I accomplish more tomorrow b/c the 3 tests are coming quickly and I'd like to be able to run home to Raleigh for a day next weekend to see George and Ann...who I haven't seen in years....maybe?

Friday, April 17, 2009

TGIF- Highlights

Today is Friday! Yay! Not really...it just means the start of a short weekend crammed full of studying...I mean learning. I have 3 exams next week followed by a week and a half of cumulative exams. I know, everyone be jealous. Anyways, I figured doing highlights of the week would be a quick way to sum up everything, so here goes (and I take the bad with the good so this includes some of each and yes, I know my life is not the most thrilling ever):
  • Sunday I got to enjoy Easter with the family and laugh at Alex while she attempted to set up a sewing machine (and I think in the end Super Joe actually did it). Oh and my Dad washed my car for me...that was nice of him. I always figured the excessive rain would do it for me.
  • I spent 5 hours Monday in the operating room watching C-section after C-section after C-section...I went to bed with visions of vagina's and huge uterus' filling my head (not really a good thing).
  • Tuesday was the simulation experience in the lab in which some of my fellow students quickly proved they will probably get sued or fired as future nurses and reminded me how important personal liability insurance is.
  • Wednesday I had my last 2 lecture periods with 2 of my more favorite teachers. I still have exams with them next week but I will miss Dr. Neil and her Malaise (okay, well until I have her again this summer online).
  • Thursday I pulled off a 108 on my pathophys exam. That was a nice boost for my smartness ego.
  • Today I studied my bum off for a lung/heart/bowel sounds quiz in health assessment only to have my teacher give everyone that took it a 100. Sigh. I also went to WalMart and didn't get shot. That was nice.

Oh, and my clinical instructor gave me an "excellent" on the absurdly long case study she made me do last week. Did I mention it was long? Absurdly so? It was. I was surprised seeing as though I think she's out to get me b/c ironically I always get the patients whose faces appear in the dictionary next to "polypharmacy". Thank goodness this coming Monday is my last full clinical day (and yes, my patient is on twice as many meds as anyone else's). Semester is almost over...just a little longer.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's a female thing

...so of you're a male you can always stop reading here.

A little over a year ago I decided to try going off of birth control. Although I dropped 20 pounds, became happier, less hungry, and saved money I also experienced some moderately severe cystic acne on my lower face. I suffered from acne in high school but never had cysts like I did last year. Needless to say, I wasn't interested in looking like a package of cottage cheese so I went to a dermatologist for suggestions. Unfortunately she had only 2 options: birth control or Accutane. Well make that 1 option; I sucked it up and went on Accutane back in high school and even though it dried everything up, made my hair fall out, and destroyed my innards, it cleared up my face to the point of looking and feeling like a baby's behind. Because of that though, I wasn't given the option of going on it again (for further info see FDA website). Which leaves me with birth control. Sigh.

The dermatologist offered to start me on a newer (3rd generation) birth control by the name of Yaz. Yaz is one of the few birth control pills out there that is prescribed for acne. The downfall is that it contains a diuretic which can cause high potassium (yet help prevent bloating ie weight gain). I figured I'd give it a try even though insurance really doesn't like paying for it. Within a few months my acne had cleared right up, but on the flip side I ended up being part of the 10% of people that develop high potassium (google hyperkalemia) and got to enjoy constant muscle twitches and leg cramps. But the acne was gone so I stayed on it.

Skip to a year later...okay yesterday. I finally gave in and went off the Yaz...and off bc pills in general. One reason, and it's a good one, is that I'm getting close to 30 and as many people may or may not know, the older you get the more risks you incur while taking oral contraceptives. I have now worked with enough stroke, heart attack, and patients with clots to know that I am not interested in becoming part of that population. I realize that bc pills are not the only risk factors for the above issues but they definitely play a part. I was also tired of having twitchy legs everytime I wanted to enjoy a baked potato...and my God I missed peanut butter and banana sandwiches. On the down side, I'm afraid the cystic acne is going to come back full force.

So- I've been doing some reading (ie peer reviewed research articles b/c let's be honest, Wikipedia isn't perfect) and have found research that links several foods to acne (mainly due to toxins or food allergies). Since your skin is an organ and "bad" things exit your body partially through the skin, it does make sense that toxins or allergens could cause skin problems even if they were originally digested. That being said, I am about to embark on a diet of absolutely no dairy, no caffeine, limited alcohol (come on now- I need my champagne), and limited refined foods (good bye white bread and pasta) in addition to lots of yummy water. It may help, it may not. If not I'll be back to twitchy legs by the end of the year. At the very least I would have adapted a healthier eating lifestyle for at least a little while.

For anyone interested, I'll let you know how that works out. For those that have never had acne and could care less, well, go get fat or something. :-)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Scary nursing students

In order to practice some nursing skills, our labs will occasionally do "simulation scenarios" which are composed of several roles (primary nurse, secondary nurse, family member, etc) with a dummy as the patient. The dummy is not just a dummy however, she can talk (via the instructors behind the one way mirror that control everything), she has a monitor which shows adjustable vital signs, she has multiple wounds, she can have an IV/catheter/NG tube inserted, and you can listen to heart and lung sounds on her. So although she's a dummy she's a really jacked up one.

Today in lab our scenario involved wound care (culturing and changing a dressing). I got to be an observer since I was the primary nurse for the previous scenario so my only job was to observe and write down the good and the bad. I filled an entire page with ONE good and the rest bad. Yes, it was that bad. And that's scary b/c we are at the end of our first semester and this is basic stuff. Rather than get into all of the silly details I will just say that the girls playing the nurses not only got the vital signs wrong and ignored the fact that she couldn't breathe (O2 went down) but they CHANGED THE WRONG WOUND. Yes. The wrong wound. The "physician's orders" specifically said the one on the backside and they changed the one on her leg.

I don't know about other people but I don't think I want either of those girls ever touching a wound on my body. Actually...there's a quite a few people I'm in school with that I don't ever want to touch me in a healthcare setting. It's scary.

Aside from that fun, interesting, scary experience today, school is as always. There are 2 weeks left + exams and the teachers are piling the crap on. In the next 2 weeks I have 4 tests, 2 quizzes, a research paper, and a final lab check off followed by a week of 5 cumulative exams. Sigh. I also had a brief freak out today when I found out that my private loan company is no longer doing private loans (thanks to Obama not helping them out like all the other fools and wanting all the federal aid to go to poor income families). I luckily was able to find ONE company that offered what I needed (thank you Wells Fargo) so I think I'll be okay until I graduate. But still, the last thing people in school should be worrying about is how to pay for it. Jobs wants people with good degrees so in my opinion, there should be no barrier to people getting those degrees. Still, just my opinion.

I'm also disappointed that I won't be able to go home Thursday for my grandma's graveside service, but I have a test at the same time as the service and although I would be able to make it up, it's the time of the semester when you do not want to get behind in anything. I'll be there in spirit since I'm usually not there in spirit in patho class. Hopefully I'll be there for the memorial service early summer, although if family members keep pushing it back I'll be back in school for the fall before it ever happens!

Musings

I blog for myself...not to entertain or amuse anyone else (or make them glad they have their life and not mine) but to have a place to write down random thoughts and feelings. It really doesn't bother me if no one reads it, but I have to admit it makes me kind of sad when someone outright says they don't want to read it for whatever reason. Why even tell me? Why not just not read it? Why is it necessary to make someone feel bad about themselves by shooting them down?

Why? Why? WHY????

And why do I have 500 pages to read by next week? That sucks too.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Oh my uterus

I just wrote a nice long blog on my OR experiences today (they made me watch a bunch of c-sections) but after re-reading it I realized that most people probably wouldn't enjoy my commentary on the experience based solely on the fact that everyone out there wants or has kids aside from me. So rather than ruffle any feathers, I will just say that I went (I didn't have a choice), I saw (quite a few HUGE uterus' and vaginas), and then I came home thankful that the only thing in my belly was a ham sandwich and some lemonade.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter

And on a much lighter note than my earlier rant and rave, I had a nice Easter break despite needing to do a lot of studying (which I still have yet to do). I ended up going to Raleigh yesterday afternoon through this afternoon to visit family and enjoyed getting to see my immediate family as well as Pat and Joyce. We had a late lunch at Applebee's surrounded by a brief visit before Pat and Joyce headed back to WS.

I did spent ~4 hours yesterday on a case study my clinical instructor decided to punish me with but that was about it for school work. This morning my family went to the sunrise service at church and boy was it chilly...and smoky (no one was tending the increasingly smoky bonfire). But, it was nice to do something as a family and church tends to keep everyone relaxed.

When we got back home (after stopping at Krispy Kreme for fresh HOT doughnuts), Alex and I split some triple chocolate cake (compliments of Bud and Alice) covered in heavy whipping cream along with some champagne (it would have been mimosa's but we were out of orange juice). The family just puttered around inside and out and shortly before I left we had some honey baked ham, green beans, Hawaiin rolls, and mac n' cheese (compliments of Kenny's recipe).

I left for Greenville (YAY!!!) around 2 and stopped by my house on the way in to pick up some mail. The IRS sent me a large packet and at first I thought I was getting audited...but it ends up I didn't sign all of my forms. Yeah, so next year I'm definitely filing electronically although I may not have worked any jobs to pay taxes on. We'll see.

So now it's back to the grind and the long haul to get through with this semester. There's only 3 weeks left + exams and then I will have survived first semester...and not dropped out. Shocking right? The people-hater is slowly making it through nursing school. :-)

Let's just get this out there...

I understand that people have opinions. I feel that people are welcome to those opinions regardless of whether or not I agree with them. But as a bitch, even I understand that there are times when the opinions are just not welcome nor necessary to share. Clarification? Sure.

YES. I HAVE BEEN ENGAGED BEFORE. Oh my God...I think I'm the only person in the WORLD who has ever been engaged more than once. Guess that makes me an icon of relationship failure. Actually, NO. It doesn't. It means I was smart enough and mature enough to realize that the person I was engaged to was not the right one for me. Rather than jump into a marriage (ie lifelong commitment to another person) I got out of it before it became that kind of commitment. I wasn't interested in separating a year later, or spending years avoiding the person I lived with, or regretting my decision for the rest of my life and therefore living a sad, lonely existence. Maybe I shouldn't have gotten engaged in the first place. MAYBE. But I made myself one less divorce statistic by getting out before I got in too deep.

Which leads me to, I am so SICK and TIRED of the snarky "joking" comments that people have made. "Are you actually going to stick with this one?" "Congratulations for the third or fourth time" "Well maybe this one will actually stick" "Somebody better warn him about your relationship issues"

SERIOUSLY? How hard is it for grown, supposedly mature, adults to just be NICE and say congratulations??? I don't care if you go home and talk smack about me. I don't care if the entire time you're thinking "Oh that idiot is going to back out again"...b/c trust me, I think some pretty bad stuff about people but I'm mature enough to keep it within the confines of my own cranium. I really don't care what people think except when they feel the need to say it to ME. Why is it so hard to just let me be happy and enjoy my engagement...b/c believe it or not, I too am hoping this one will work out.

So just to sum things up, if anyone feels the need to say anything other than congratulations and when's the wedding, then trust me, if you say it TO ME (or to Alister), you will no longer be a welcome part of my life.

Thanks for reading and Happy Easter.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Top Five...

...Things I Have Learned In Nursing School:
  1. Don't smoke
  2. Don't get fat
  3. Exercise
  4. Eat healthy and drink lots of fluids that don't include alcohol
  5. Even if you do all of the above, if you live in wonderful NC, you will still get hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, or have a stroke...and get kidney stones from all of the Bojangles sweet tea

Lesson for the day: Life is short. Eat, drink, smoke, tan, be happy b/c no matter what, you are probably already screwed.

Random Things

I try hard to keep up with this blog, but in all honesty there are many times when I just don't have much to say. I know, how could that be? I have one of the biggest mouths anyone has ever known! But it's true, I run out of things to talk about...well, let me clarify. I run out of INTERESTING things to talk about. I can ramble for hours on end about absolutely nothing or everything but when it's time to write something for other people to read, I frequently experience very large, very long brain farts. That is the main reason why I still haven't made any progress on the infamous novel I plan to write. I can't get past a first page.

So here are just a few random things that may or may not interest people.

-I actually AM engaged. Alister proposed at Atlantic Beach on March 30 and it was just what I would want- nothing overly sappy or romantic or requiring a lot of planning (or money). Very simple. I love the ring. It's a white gold band with a single setting for my great Grandma's 1/2 carat diamond...so it fits me well. We're looking at getting married next June (2010) but that could still changed based on school schedules.
-Herman (my old boss at Duke) proposed to his girlfriend of almost a decade (maybe?) and that just makes me smile b/c we always gave each other crap about who would fall first. But congratulations to him and Janet :-).
-My Grandma Tripp passed away this past Tuesday and although I was not as close to her as I feel I am to my other grandparents, it was a sad experience. Regardless of opinions I may have, I did love her and if it weren't for her I wouldn't have such an amazing dad...okay and I wouldn't be here either so good stuff all around. She also taught me how to play piano, and I ended up a damn talented musician if I do say so myself. I was excited to find out that she wanted me to have her baby grand piano. I learned to play piano on it starting in first grade...and spent 12 long years loving and hating having to see it every week. It's going to fill my dining room but at least I'll have the chance to start playing again- and it will always have sentimental value (now getting it down here eventually WILL be an event).
-I have discovered I AM actually learning stuff in school. It's crazy. I almost feel...intelligent. I can only imagine what grad school will be like. My head will explode from all of the smartness.

Aside from that I really don't have much to talk about. I'm back to school but will be done with the semester in 3 weeks, followed by a week of exams, a week off, and then thrilling summer school. I won't complain- I chose to go back to school so...yay school!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Passing on

Grandma Tripp passed away around 5:30am this morning. Rest in peace.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Catching Up

So let's see. Last Saturday (28) I threw Alex a post-wedding bridal shower and thought it went well. Everyone ate some good food and played some silly games so it was an enjoyable day. That evening I picked Alister up at the airport and we drove back to Greenville only to wake up to cloudy skies Sunday morning (there goes the beach idea). Sadly, I spent most of the day studying since I had 2 tests last week but we ran some errands and went out to eat. Alister spent my study time becoming a pro at Guitar Hero III (fun stuff) so at least he wasn't bored out of his mind (as opposed to just, man my spring break sucks bored).

Monday I went to clinicals and when I got home we drive over to Atlantic Beach since the weather was so nice. It did get chilly pretty quickly on the beach so we stayed just long enough for him to propose (yay!), grabbed some seafood at Cap'n Bill's, and headed back so I could get some sleep before class Tuesday. The rest of the week we ate a lot, I studied...not so much, played a good bit of Wii, and watched some movies.

Friday we drove back to Raleigh and went out to eat with his parents that night. Saturday we had the "surprise" birthday party for my dad...yeah, that man doesn't miss much of anything so not too much of a surprise. I guess finding the keg hidden behind the bushes didn't help when he went spraying for deer Saturday morning. Regardless, it was a REALLY enjoyable party. Several people from his side of the family showed up in addition to quite a few old family friends, people from church, and several of his co-workers (I think we ended up wth ~47). It was a very relaxed party which fit my dad well.




Kathy made an AWESOME train cake to go with my mom's present to my dad (train trip across the country) and luckily it tasted as good as it looked! This morning I drove Alister to the airport (sad, but used to doing it!), went and had breakfast with his parents, and then drove back to my parent's and downed numerous Mimosa's with mom, dad, Alice, Bud, and Sam. Kathy and Joanne arrived in the afternoon and the production line made some excellent (as always) Egg's Benedict (along with more Mimosa's).


I finally headed back to Greenville this evening (after the Mimosa's wore off) and am about to start making drug cards for clinicals tomorrow. Yay, more poo.