Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ode to HIV

We're studying HIV in med-surg. Of course a poem had to occur.

If you don't want
To get HIV
Always wear a condom
Don't share IV's.

Although the virus
Is very weak
Once it's inside you
Receptor sites it will seek.

It will take your immune system
Wreak havoc on your cells
Make you sick as a dog
And think you're in hell.

So rather than suffer
And die a slow death
Wrap up your thing
And quit pushing that meth.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Relay for Life

So far I've raised $195.00 for Relay for Life. Thanks to my donors, and if you haven't donated, now is the time!

 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Aging

This semester I have to take a gerontology class. Although the teacher is an incredibly sweet woman who seems to love what she teaches, the class is godawful boring and sometimes I swear I'd rather pull my toenails off with pliers than sit through that class at 8am any longer. My professor seems to really enjoy working with the elderly (ie 65 and older) and she definitely has a passion for it, but the subject itself is not only depressing to think about but it's also painful to listen to. I can pretty much sum up the semester in one sentence: as you get older, functioning decreases, things on the inside shrink, things on the outside grow, and your risk of chronic disease multiplies by the year. I know my teacher would say otherwise, but aging is just not a pretty picture.

That being said, I get really frustrated with the fact that our society is so determined to extend the length of lives without making equal progress increasing the quality of it. Granted, quality is what each person determines it should be for themselves, but sometimes it just gets absurd. We have so many medications out there than can keep people alive for decades longer than they might originally live, but we can't prevent cancer, or cure diabetes, or vaccinate against Alzheimer's among other things. So while you may be able to live until 95 years old, there's a good chance that those last 5 or 10 years may be absolutely miserable because your heart is failing, the chemo for your cancer has eaten away your insides, your kidneys don't want to clean you out anymore, and you're losing your mind. Sounds peachy to me.

I realize everyone has their own view of this; I'm sure my professor would completely disagree with me. But I won't lie, although I fully intend on having plastic surgery to look young for as long as possible, when my body starts failing me, it's time to skydive without the chute. My intended quality of life just doesn't include chemo, transplants, colostomy bags, pressure ulcers, and dementia...but then again, that's just me.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Birthdays and Rehab

Spent my morning and afternoon in rehab and my evening visiting with my parents, enjoying some bubbly, and eating steak. It was an enjoyable birthday; kinda glad I outgrew the days when birthdays meant getting hammered and feeling crappy the next day. Here's to the beginning of the 4th decade of my life (sigh).

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Skydiving

I jumped out of a plane!!! At 10,000 feet!!! It was awesome!!!

For my 30th birthday, Alex and Kris took me skydiving in SC. I have to admit, I was both excited and scared out of my mind. The scared actually didn't sink in until we were standing there getting instructed on how to fall out of a plane that's already in the air, but it did come. The three of us got to SC around 12pm on Saturday and because it was such a relaxed place, they got us started right away on signing our lives away and directing us on how not to do anything stupid. After that we got suited up in a tight harness and before we knew it were told to load up in this itty-bitty little plane. Alex and her partner and me and my partner crammed ourselves into this plane and up we went.

My partner Mike talked to us most of the way up; he was retired military and had become a motivational speaker after retirement. Needless to say, he was fun to talk to. I'm glad he was; I think that helped keep me relaxed. Once we hit about 7000 feet, Dale went over the instructions again (head back, belly arched, curl legs back and up, push out pelvis, cross arms) and we got strapped on to our partners (talk about too-closeness with a stranger).

At 10000 feet, Dale flung open the door (literally), had Alex spin her feet around and out the plane, and before I know it they were gone. I thought I was going to piss myself...glad I didn't. I immediately swung my legs over and out and was not shocked to find that 1. It was about 30 degrees colder that high up and 2. My feet weren't going to stay on the steps very well. Mike slid me forward, said "Here we go", and then we were falling. It's hard to describe how it felt- my face was frozen and I was sucking in a lot of cold air- but it was a unique feeling. I felt more like I was falling than flying (like others say) but it wasn't bad at all. When Mike pulled the chute I was surprised at how little it yanked me up. Once he handed me the toggles (straps to control the chute) he showed me how to spin in circles. I briefly thought I'd puke but it was more fun than anything. I looked down for Alex and couldn't find her...that's when I realized she was way above me. Apparently Mike likes to free fall longer and pull the chute closer to the ground, so we had gone right past them.

Before I knew it we were getting ready to land and we glided right in and stood up without any work. Alex and Dale came in shortly after, grinning from ear to ear. We headed back to the hangar, got unhooked, and jumped right back in the car to drive back to NC. It was definitely worth it; I would do it again but I'll be honest, I didn't get the "skydiving bug"- I would rather learn to fly the plane than jump out of it.

Once back in Fayettenam (really, that place sucks more than Greenville) we went to see Shutter Island (great movie) and then went back to Alex and Kris' and steamed some crab legs. A good end to a fun weekend.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Nursing school shirt

I had the opportunity to turn in a "design" for one of the nursing school t-shirts. I decided to re-do a shirt that had been out a while and update it to be more fitting for current students. As far as I know the design was accepted, so here's the list (and really, I understand that mainly only students at ECU will "get it"):

You Might Be an ECU Nursing Student if you:
1. Spend all of your $ on gas driving to clinicals
2. Know the Blimpie’s menu by heart
3. Got the general malaise in Dr. Neil’s class
4. Have shared a moment of videotaped stress and anxiety with Edna Echo
5. Know what a Kegel exercise is
6. Have a soda and candy bar and call it a meal
7. Get up before sunrise
8. Pass pathophysiology…and pharmacology
9. Are cut off from the rest of the world
10. Have something due everyday
11. Are always in the “LRC”
12. Are tired of the professors telling you that C=RN
13. Wear your scrubs and are told you look “grape today”
14. Forgot what downtown looks like
15. Have a regular spot in Laupus Library for studying
16. Know too much about the ring of fire, breastfeeding, and discharge
17. Find yourself listening to random speakers for leadership points
18. Get asked health questions by family, friends, and neighbors
19. Have felt like throwing your CPS clicker out the window
20. Have rediscovered the joy of naps

Honestly, I just think it's neat that people will be wearing my words on their bodies.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lent...Facebook?

Every year for Lent I try to give up something meaningful to me, so that I understand the whole idea of sacrificing something for 40 days. Usually I do something food related, but I've decided this year to try something new; no more Facebook. Now a lot of people may laugh at that, but I'll be the first to admit that I'm disgustingly addicted to it and use it to the max to procrastinate and not accompligh things. I'm also not closing my account- I don't feel like it would be a true sacrifice if the temptation weren't always there...so I'm giving this a shot and leaving it wide open, calling to me and tempting me, especially when I have an upcoming exam. In the past things I have given up (ie sodas, fast food, candy, etc) remained given up for much longer because I lost my cravings for them; I won't even try to lie and say I'm not hoping giving up FB will have the same result! We'll see if I can make it until April 3, and hopefully my grades see the benefit in this.

Monday, February 15, 2010

There goes more money...

On Friday my older cat Indy started sneezing. I don't mean a little sneeze here and a little one there, I mean full out sneezing fits blowing snot all over a 5 foot radius. I figured I could wait it out since most colds are viral, until today when he started breathing with his mouth open. For those that don't have cats, they do not breathe with their mouth open...ever. Not unless they're in some serious distress. I decided at that point that I would take him in to the vet. This is how the visit went (after the vet listened to his heart and lungs, which were clear):


Vet: I think it's viral.
Me: Okay, we'll just wait it out.
Vet: Well let me give him a shot of antibiotics in case it turns bacterial.
Me: But you just said it was viral....
Vet: Yes, but in case it turns bacterial like it sometimes does.
Me: Are you going to give my cat MRSA? B/c that wouldn't be cool.
Vet: I'm not giving your cat MRSA. Do you want the shot?
Me: Is this an expensive shot? I can't afford to pay to give my cat MRSA.
Vet: (gives me the look) It's not expensive.
Me: Okay. But if he gets MRSA I'm bringing him back.

I realize that I'm a very annoying person...but I just have a lot of trouble with the reasoning behind giving a person/animal antibiotics for a viral infection. And on top of it, there went another $75. She also suggested I humidify the house, so as of now my house is at 50% humidity (that's what the humidifier says anyways) and they temperature is up to 74 degrees (with the thermostat set at 68). I hope it helps the cat because it's so warm and humid in here I could bathe on the couch without having to make any extra effort.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Hallmark Holiday

Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Hallmark Holiday...I personally don't celebrate Valentine's Day (single or not) because I think you should be telling those close to you that you love them on a daily basis anyways. There's no need to spend bookoo's of money just so Hallmark, FTD, 1-800-Flowers, Omaha Steaks, etc can make bank, but that's just my opinion. Save the money for birthdays and anniversaries. But for those that do like this holiday, enjoy and I hope it's a good one filled with steak and chocolates!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

More Snow?

It actually snowed again last night, and this time there was a good 4-6" of accumulation. I'm really starting to doubt that global warming exists seeing as though it NEVER snows on this end of the state. My pets have really enjoyed going out in it since this time around it was fluffy snow instead of pseudo-snow covered in ice. Rather than write a bunch I just wanted to share some pictures from today.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Brief Update

Just an update...I passed my CNA I Exam (yay!) this morning and my last interview with the hospital went well. It's not my first choice position but like I've said before, I'll take what I can get.

The rest of this weekend will be spent studying except for when Alex is here tomorrow. We're planning to go see "Dear John" (I haven't cried in a while, might as well), paint some pottery at "The Accidental Artist", and hang around the house for a bit. We rarely get to visit and since my BIL is going to a Super Bowl party it's as good a time as ever.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The 3 C's: A List

Cares:
-My Grandma is in the hospital again. She went in for another hip replacement and ended up with extremely high Calcium levels and extremely low kidney function. They're working right now to get her Calcium levels down because high levels can cause confusion, unresponsiveness, and even coma. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and praying that she'll pull through on this one.
-I really want to volunteer in Haiti. I contacted someone my mom mentioned to me but have not heard anything back. I'm guessing I won't have the opportunity, but it was nice to think that I may have been able to help if only briefly. For those that know me, you're probably not surprised to learn that I'm especially concerned about the animals there. I hope they're not being eaten.
-I'm walking with the nursing school in Relay for Life this year. It benefits The American Cancer Society, and as a nurse, I think is an important cause (that and I don't have the balls to shave my head for St. Baldrick's!).
-I absolutely love my peds clinical instructor from last semester. I still talk to her on a semi-regular basis and it's nice to have someone that knows what's going on to talk to.

Comments:
-I'm taking my CNA (certified nurse assistant) exam tomorrow. I have to have it in order to do the externship this summer, however, I should have waited to see if I get the job first because I have no interest in being a CNA otherwise! I'm not worried about passing the written exam but I am very apprehensive about the skills part. Many of the skills I've never done in nursing school (basic things) and if I fail it's about $75 to retake that part. Boo.
-Clinicals this past week were interesting. At psych I got to see some hardcore psychotic episodes with some schizophrenics and in med-surg I got to experience an incredibly crude drug seeker with absolutely no respect for women. I was surprised to find that I wasn't the least bit uncomfortable dealing with him; more irritated.
-I have my last interview for the PCMH externship tomorrow after my CNA exam. This interview is with the emergency room. It's not my first choice, but honestly, I would love any experience I can get. I think my last two went well so hopefully this one will too.
-I turn 30 in 2 1/2 weeks. Starting the 4th decade of my life. Fun times. In celebration, Alex and I will still be jumping out of a plane on February 20th.
-I'm not putting my house up for sale. Right now the houses in my neighborhood are appraising for several thousand LESS than what people paid for them. There's no way I'd get enough to pay off my mortgage and give the realtor her huge share, so I'm stuck for now. Guess I'll be hanging out in exciting G-Vegas until grad school.
-I'm really enjoying "I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell" by Tucker Max. Hilarious. Vulgar. Crude. Disrespectful. But hilarious (to me anyways...I have a warped sense of humor).

Complaints:
-Vibrate does not equal silent. When your phone is supposed to be silent, ratlling around on vibrate isn't cutting it. Just saying.
-We have a Black Nurses Association. Ask me if we have a white one. No. That would be racist. I won't go any further on that one but use your imagination.
-I'm finding I really don't like my lesdership class. There's 18 of us in there. I thought it would be a great chance to be in a smaller class and have more discussions and interactions. Instead I'm finding that I absolutely despise some of the students in there who are, hands down, some of the more disrespectful and immature people I have met since starting nursing. Way to ruin it all you b*tches.
-My car just got 10.8mpg. Sigh. No wonder I never go anywhere anymore.
-WILL IT PLEASE JUST WARM UP?!?!?! Seasonal depression here I come. Good thing my roommate has a daylight to sit in front of.
-I've always been antisocial. I just prefer the company of myself to the company of others (most of the time). That being said, I know I'm antisocial so I try to make an effort to do things with other people. I quit. I plan things and it's guaranteed that 2/3 of the time it will fall through, mainly because people either 1. Cancel at the last moment or 2. Pretend they forgot there was something going on and just avoid any topic relating to it leading to not showing up. Again, I choose myself, because that's just irritating.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Long week

I would love to be able to post a lot of interesting and/or funny stuff on here right now, but I am dead tired and I have one more day of class to make it through (not to mention an exam Saturday morning followed by an interview). It's been a long week, but a fairly good one- so I will update when I can.

Oh, and I'm a participant in Relay for Life this year to support The American Cancer Society...so click on my link to the right and donate for a good cause.