Feb 012008
 

A week or so ago, Brian came home late because he was busy at work and I totally cried like if he had done the worst thing in the world. He looked at me like I was insane and with a child-like voice told me that he totally didn’t mean to hurt my feelings but that he was stuck in one of those last minute things he had to get done. As I looked at him trying to explain himself so I would calm down, I broke down and told him that it really wasn’t about him but it had to do with the fact that it was Friday night and I was going to work Saturday, Sunday and Monday in a row. Working weekends is not a new thing. I’ve done this over and over again over the past eight months of being a nurse. I was just venting. I’d had a really bad week at work and the thought of having to go back for three days in a row was crushing to me at that moment. He told me, “baby, it might be time to consider changing jobs if you feel so bad about going there.” I’ve been thinking about that ever since. The fact is I don’t hate going to work but it can get to me from time to time. I’m a new nurse and every day I encounter situations I’ve not come across before and as I desperately try to keep up in such a fast-paced environment, it can wear me down.

Over the past eight months these are some (small sampling) of the things I’ve experienced on a daily basis. Sometimes all in the same day or hour of the day for that matter:

Trying to stop patients who’ve been told they will never walk again because of some crushing spine injury from trying to get out of bed because they are determined to prove the doctors wrong and then crying in desperation when realizing their legs or body won’t cooperate.

Patients with head injuries who are not oriented to anything and don’t know where they are screaming at us, trying to escape from the hospital (we’ve actually have had to chase down a few), and trying to get out of the way when they swing their legs or arms at you as you try to perform patient care. They also can pull out every type of tube being used for their medical care like IVs, feeding tubes, catheters (ouch!), etc., etc.

Patient’s who’ve been burned by accident or because they’ve tried to commit suicide scream all day because they can’t stand the pain as we clean their wounds.

The young patient who has somehow survived multiple gun shot wounds all over their body and now will have a completely different life because they are paralyzed or because they’ve reconstructed their insides as best they could.

The criminal who is injured and requires care but is shackled to the bed with a police officer stationed at the bedside.

Families who will not accept their family member is now brain dead and will make statements like “I can’t wait until he wakes up and realizes all that has happened to him or her. They will be so happy to see us.”

Patients who are doing okay and then they start deteriorating and require new and immediate medical interventions or to be sent back to ICU or something else.

Sometimes there are also moments where I’ve had to laugh at myself as I drive home because a patient might say or do something that requires me to say things I’ve never thought I would ever have to say. For example:

“Mr. what’s your name, can you please not scream at me as I give you this pain medication through your IV line because I have to make sure it does not interfere with your breathing.” (By far my favorite.)

“Mr. or Mrs. whatever, can we go back to your room and put all your clothes back on? We don’t want you walking around naked.

“Mr. or Mrs. whatever, can you please not play with your diaper because as you see, it gets poopy all over your bed and the floor.” or “Can you please keep your penis inside your diaper because if you don’t when you urinate, it will get all over your bed.”

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all bad. There are plenty of good days. Patients do get out of bed and walk again; go home perfectly fine as if the accident had not happened. Families say thank you or send flowers or cards after they go home. Some even come back and visit to say thank you and show off how well they’ve done. Some patients and their families are very funny and tell us stories to keep us laughing all day long. Some even remember your name from day to day and stop by to say hello. Things like that are just cool.

I have a lot of learning to do but I love what I do. It can be tiresome physically, mentally and emotionally….to the point of crying at random. Maybe with experience, I will learn how to handle it differently and it will spare my poor husband from weird emotional outbursts….about work anyway. Maybe I’ll stay there; maybe I won’t but I will say this, my first year as a nurse will be one I will never forget!!!

Jan 172008
 

Happy 2008! We hope the year has started out well for everyone. The holidays were great and we had a wonderful time spending it with our families. I had to work some of the holidays but we managed just fine.

2008 has been busy so far. I picked up an extra shift at the hospital and Brian is enjoying his job and working hard moving into management which keeps him very busy. I’m still working on a trauma floor and have seen just about everything. This year I’ll start thinking about whether I want to continue working trauma or maybe move on to something else. I want to at least get a year of experience in my current position so we’ll see what happens.

I guess so far the most exciting thing planned for this year is a trip to Italy in April. Flights and accommodations have been booked so God willing, everything will work out just fine. We are planning to spend time in Florence (my dream destination) and Rome. We plan to see all the major sights and sneak in some wine tours through the Tuscan countryside. Needless to say we can’t wait…81 days to go!

September

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Sep 052007
 

It’s been a busy summer around here and can’t believe it’s September already. Last month we went to Puerto Rico to celebrate my grandmother’s 97th birthday and had a lot of fun. She is doing great and we loved spending that special day with her. We were afraid we weren’t going to make it due to the threat of hurricane Dean but thankfully it’s path was well to the south and all we got was some rain and some wonderful breeze that cooled off the island while we were there. If you’ve never been on a flight to PR then you might have not heard or experienced the strange phenomenon of Puerto Ricans clapping when the plane touches down in San Juan. Well it happens and it makes Brian laugh every time. I’m not sure when or how that came about, I just know I’ve always done it and so do most Puerto Ricans. Maybe it has something to do with “coming home” but I guess it might mean different things to different people. I just know it’s very exciting to visit and hope to do so more often.

Work has been going well. It’s pretty hectic working on a trauma floor and I get to see all kinds of stuff. My patient’s range from motor vehicle accidents, gun shot wounds, stab wounds, burns etc., etc., etc. I have long hours so when I’m off I tend to just bum around. I love my job and hope to get all the experience I can. Brian is also doing well working super hard at his new position at work. He’s definitely climbing that corporate ladder and I’m very proud of him. God has really blessed us and we definitely praise Him for everything!

Jack is doing okay. He’s getting on in years and it’s definitely slower but he’s still my baby cakes and I love him!!!

We don’t have many plans for the fall but we’re working on it. I know Brian could not be more excited to have football back into his life which means I just have more free time for shopping or something like that.

We’ll update more soon. Hope everyone is well.

Happy Birthday little Sadie! We love you.

It’s Official

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Jul 302007
 

I am now a Licensed Registered Nurse. I took my state licensing exam last week and passed it. It was the craziest, most anxious day of my entire life and I’m still not sure how I managed to answer all the questions but somehow I pulled it off. Most people know the results within 24 hours. I however, seem to not be most people. My results did not show up for 48 hours leading me to believe I had failed. That was the most depressing 24 hours of my life. Thanks to my husband who is a wonderful Christian man I managed to survive those 24 hours by being reminded that God has a plan and we can survive anything with faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Since that day was also our anniversary, we managed to pull ourselves together and celebrate the best we could. We went to the movies and had a wonderful dinner.

The following day, my mother-in-law called us early in the morning to inform us that she had checked the website and looked me up and there was a license for me. Somehow she didn’t lose hope and we are happy she checked. I definitely was not checking again because I was not going back for more punishment. Brian and I looked for ourselves and when my name came up, we could not believe it. I waited until the office opened and called to verify the results with a human being and sure enough, she was happy to report that I had passed my exam. Praise the Lord!

Anyway, that’s my story. I’m currently working and enjoy it very much. I have a lot to learn but I take it a day at a time. It’s scary, exciting, anxiety-provoking and the most exhausting work I’ve ever done. We’ll see what happens.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer!

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June Update

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Jun 212007
 

We know that it’s been a long time since we’ve updated everyone but I’ll do my best.

Work

Well I’ve started working on the floor last week and it has been a scary, exciting and tiresome adventure. This is what I’ve learned so far:

  1. 12-hour shifts are very long but somehow not long enough to do everything needed./li>
  2. Nurses don’t have a lot of breaks and lunch is about 15 to 20 minutes where you eat as fast as possible.
  3. There is not a lot of sitting. I walk what feels like 10 miles per day and there is also a lot of lifting, squatting, and racing around.
  4. There’s a lot of diseases, equipment, procedures, symptoms to know for different patients at the same time so lists and very good notes are extremely important.
  5. Last but not least the most important thing I’ve learned so far is that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE every minute of it! I’m learning a lot and work with some great, experienced nurses who are teaching me so much and I’m very grateful for them.

Fun

We went to Charlotte, NC this past weekend for a beautiful wedding. Congratulations to Jason and Amelia who are now enjoying their honeymoon in beautiful Hawaii! It was fun to see a lot of our friends and have fun dancing to the stereotypical wedding reception music such as “Brickhouse”, “Super Freak”, and “Last Dance”. All the ladies can always count on Pat to dance all the favorites. Thanks Pat! It was my first time in Charlotte and I thought is was very nice.

Summer

Not much going on this summer. Just working, studying and celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary. WOO HOO!

We’ll update more soon.

This and that

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Jan 222007
 

Things have been moving pretty quickly since the beginning of the year. It was really difficult getting back into the swing of things at work – very tough when you’ve been off a week and a half. I really enjoyed our time off, so it made it that much worse to have to go back to earning a paycheck.

Monica has started classes again (her last semester!) and is already hip deep in work. She’s already had her first test and has her hands full trying to balance her school work while volunteering at a local nursing home. I don’t know how she keeps things straight.

I’ve been fighting off some sort of cold or something the past couple of weeks. It kind of comes and goes – some days are better than others, but I think I’m finally starting to kick it.

We finally started to get some cold weather. I mean, what’s winter without temperatures below 50 degrees? It was starting to feel like Florida around here, but thank goodness it’s actually been cold enough for me to burn some fire wood lately.

We had to say goodbye to some good friends earlier this month. They took off for Texas for bigger and better things. We’ll really miss them, but we know they are following God’s plan, and we’ll keep them in our prayers.

Spring Update

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Apr 302006
 

As we head into May I thought it might be a good idea to update the site and let everyone know what we’ve been up to. Brian is usually the one that does this but I will try to do the best I can.

Brian has been really busy with work but doing well. He was promoted this spring and is enjoying the perks and the challenges of his new position. When he is home, he relaxes by working out in the yard. He has found that landscaping, planting, weeding and playing with landscape timbers is very therapeutic. As a result our yard is looking very beautiful and I encourage him as much as possible. I’m happy to cheer him on from the window because I don’t share his enthusiasm for gardening. I do appreciate all his hard work.

This week I will be finishing my first year of nursing school and I can’t wait for it to be over so I can relax for 2 seconds. I’ll have a little break before starting again for the summer. I’ve learned so much and have observed many interesting procedures including a total hip replacement surgery and a cesarean section. Nursing school has been very stressful but I love what I’m learning and hope and pray to be a good registered nurse one day.

Our little dog Jack is still not so little. He has been on a diet since January and we believe he has lost a little weight but he’s still overweight. He is definitely not as young as he used to be and we’re afraid his weight might lead to other health problems. He’s our baby and we love him and want him to be around for as long as possible!

During the break Brian and I will be headed to Florida for some fun and relaxation. It will be good to get away from people places and things around here and just relax for a while. We are definitely due for a change of scenery even if it’s just for a week. Hopefully, we’ll come back rejuvenated and ready to tackle the summer.

I think that’s all I have for now. We’ll try not to stay away so long.

Tough Week

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Apr 082006
 

Worked a ton in the yard today. We decided to ditch our pathetic garden and landscape that area as well many of the areas along our fence. I’ve a ton more to do, and maybe we’ll post some pictures at some point.

Also scored some Dave Matthews tickets today for the July 4th concert. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve seen him dating back to 1995. There’s no new album this year so no new songs to learn – just more of the old ones.

This last week was one of the worst I’ve had in a long time so I think the yard work has helped me blow off some steam. From troubles with my car to a rough week at work…well, I’m just glad it’s over.

Jan 282003
 

Wow, what a speech, huh? I think the President hit the nail on the head with regards to Iraq, and I think the Democrats will actually be on board now. If they don’t, it will be political suicide. The tax cuts and healthcare proposals seem to be right on track as well (of course, cutting taxes is always the right thing to do :). I’m not sure what to think about the African AIDS and hydrogen car things yet. Let’s get past this war with Iraq first.

Oy, what a ride on the metro today. I had to go downtown to work today which means I had to ride the metro to and from work. Well, as I walk into the metro on the way home, I hear a message over the loud speaker saying there will be a “slight delay” because someone had gotten sick earlier on one of the trains. What does that mean? They vomitted? Heart attack? Stubbed a big toe? I never found out, but I did find out what it\’s like to have my body pressed against alot of other bodies…smelly ones too. Not the kind of pressing you were thinking about, I’m sure. Six boxes of sardines, heading down the track until I finally got to my station, the end of the line.