Tiny Eden

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Vacation is for losers!

This morning, I woke up in a sweat - a complete panic. I rolled over and told Sam that I had an awful nitemare. You see, over the past few weeks, I have been making sporadic visits to Linens N Things because they are closing. I have been rather disappointed with the sale they are having because the prices are just not low enough for a "store closing" sale. Yesterday, I was looking at a food chopping set from Kitchen Aid and noticed that it was marked $22.99. But underneath, there was another sticker that had a Sharpie line over it. So, I raised the sticker and read the price that was under it and it said $19.99! So, now, they were charging $22.99 with 30% off which is $16.09. So, essentially, you are saving slightly less than 20%! Can you believe that crap!!!! But, anyway, I had this nitemare where the LNT turned into a Macy's and everything in the store was 75% old and new merchandise. I wanted the Rachael Ray pots and pans set. They had dozens of them and everytime I would get my hands on one, someone would rip it out of my hands. And that was my nitemare, people. I have so much other crap going on in my life, and I was worried about pots and pans! Rachael Ray pots and pans no less. And if you have read my other blogs, you know how I feel about her. But I secretly have been admiring them. They seem nice and perhaps they really DO make the food cook in 30 minutes.

As for how everything else has been going, I am almost through with my semester. And boy am I ready to be done! I had my head to toe checkoff yesterday and I got a 100%. Thanks to all of the family and friends who sacrificed their bodies for a great grade! Not that the 100 counts towards my grade at all. But, yet, if I failed it, I could be kicked out of the program. We have checkoffs, clinicals, and care plans - something to do every week that takes hours to do. None of it counts towards our final grade, though. Correction! If I do poorly, I get kicked out of the program. I would appreciate it if the good efforts boosted my grade. And they don't round up in nursing school, either. Whatever you get on your tests is your grade. If someone has an 80 or an 89.9, they are getting a B. If that is what your exam grades add up to, that is what you get. Forget about the A you got in clinical or the 100's you got on your checkoff's and care plans. They are just for shoes and giggles. But don't let me not do well on one of those - I will be out of the program! I am a firm believer in the fact that if something is going to get me kicked out of the program, it better help me as well. And this does not really apply to me. I am not having any issues academically with the program. But I have seen lots of people leave the program that I thought would make excellent nurses. And some people who are still in the program who I would not want to touch me with a 10 foot pole!

Tomorrow, I have my ATI test. I always find it to be thrilling when I am tested on items that we still have not covered in class. Way to boost my confidence! That really drives me crazy. Tuesday is my final and then I am through until January 13th! Although, we will be getting some reading assignments to do over the vacation in order to get a head start. Who needs to relax and get a bit of a mental break? Not me! I live for having my brain set in overdrive all the time. Maybe if I read more, I will get questions on the tests right, such as the importance of finding out your cat and dog's health histories when interviewing a patient. I often fill out a form at my doctor's office regarding Cheyenne's obesity. Luckily, she can't read this so I know I am not hurting her feelings.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

When life hands you lemons......

....throw them at the fool who handed them to you! If the doorbell rings and you spot me through the peep hole standing there with a bag of lemons, do yourself a favor and don't open the door!

When one door closes, another one opens. And I hope you are standing right behind it so that I can hit you with it!

Now that I got that out, I feel better. I have been having a tad bit of built up anger the past few weeks, but I am starting to let it go. I really feel like everything happens for a reason. I am pursuing my passion right now and I think that has been helping me get through everything. Not many people can do the job that they have always wanted to do. I am one of the few who is getting to live out my dream - a dream that I have had ever since I was in second grade. I am becoming a nurse. Some people might think, "Big deal! You are becoming a nurse. Good for you." But this is something that I have always had a passion for. I can't quite describe the feeling that I get when I put on my dorky little white uniform (I have a serious love-hate relationship with that uniform!). It symbolizes the dedication that I am making not only to myself, but to others. But it also symbolizes, "I had french fries with ketchup for my dinner and now it is all over my uniform." I mean, really, white uniforms? I understand the whole sterile look, but you don't look very sterile when you come back from break looking like Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat because you have spilled a little bit of everything you ate and your classmates ate on your white uniform. But I digress. When I walk into the hospital to do my clinicals, I am rushed with so many emotions - excitement, passion, joy! My heart starts to race and I get an adrenaline rush. I have never been so excited to go to work. Never. I have had some jobs that I have liked, some that I have tolerated, and some that I have been relieved to get away from. But this is something new for me. I have pride in what I am doing, but most importantly, I have confidence. My uniform seems to transform me into someone who walks a little bit taller, makes solid eye contact with people, makes me smile a little wider. This is the feeling I have been waiting for my whole life. And to think that one nasty comment from a college professor 11 years ago made me lose so much confidence in myself that I put off getting the joy in pursuing nursing for 11 years! I did have the pleasure of having him again as a teacher, but this time, I was older, wiser, more confident, and was not about to put up with his crap. I actually almost started to feel badly for him. In 11 years, he aged terribly, got even rounder around the middle, and his shirts got even shorter so when he erased the blackboard, his stomach hung out. Now keep in mind I said "almost" started to feel badly for him. I am nice, but not that nice. I guess the real kicker was that instead of getting the "D" I got in his class 11 years ago, I got an "A". I am waiting for the day after my graduation to approach him and say, "You told me I was an idiot. I just got my degree in nursing. You better pray this idiot is never your nurse!" But seriously, I have noticed a whole lot of positive changes in myself. It is amazing how when you make a change in your life to live out your dream, it affects your outlook on everything!

To everyone who has a passion but it too afraid to carry it out, don't be! You will be so much happier. You, too, will stand a little taller, laugh a little louder, and smile a little wider.

To everyone who thought they could be mean to me or take advantage of me, think twice. I might be your nurse one day.

And just to let everyone know, Sam is home and is feeling so much better! It is nice to have his smiling face back home!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My life as a CF Wife (ok, girlfriend)

So, it has been a while since I have written. There has been quite a bit going on lately. So many topics have crossed my mind to write about and hopefully, I will be able to cover them all (in separate blogs). My main concern right now is that you never know what you are going to get in life. Take nothing for granted. Not that there was a near death experience, but just an eye-opening experience.

Sam had surgery last Thursday and when he told the anesthesiologist that he was not feeling well, he basically dismissed it. When another doctor saw him, she knew right away that something was very wrong. So, fast forward a few hours when I get home from my clinical at the hospital, I am greeted by Sam's mom on the love seat and Sam on the couch with an oxygen mask. Just kind of laying there. In lots of pain. And the worst part was that there was nothing I could do. His cystic fibrosis was making him cough a whole lot because his oxygen levels were so low. That, on top of the pain from the surgery, was just beyond excruciating for him. This was just supposed to be a simple in and out surgery and now he was laying on the couch with an oxygen machine. It was the eeriest feeling I have ever had. Since I have started doing my clinicals, I have seen lots of people on oxygen. But they were in a hospital. They were not laying on my couch. And most of all, they were not Sam. My Sam.

I slept, and I use that term very loosely because I slept a whole whopping 5 minutes, on the love seat. Sam was sleeping across the room on the couch. The room seemed to be 20 times larger than it was, even though he was just a few feet away. I don't think I ever wanted to hug him more and never let him go than I did that nite. All I could do was watch the monitor and pray that his oxygen levels would go up. We got through Friday during the day without too many issues. I did get to catch a 30 minute cat nap. Then on Friday nite, Sam got nauseous. Really, really nauseous. He was literally begging for help and my heart just sank. I couldn't do anything but hold a trash can up to his mouth and put cool cloths on his head while he coughed up blood. Lots of blood. I wanted to cry and scream and just make it all go away.

So after I don't know how many days of not feeling like himself, he is now in the hospital for 2 weeks. He checked in yesterday. And I am home, alone, with oxygen tanks and an oxygen machine and an oxygen mask that has traces of blood splattered on it. It is just a bad reminder that Sam has CF and he is not on vacation for 2 weeks. He is in the hospital for 2 weeks with a disgusting disease that is taking advantage of him. Trying to get the best of him. Many people really don't know what to say when they ask me about him. I try to give them the sugar coated story because most people won't understand what I am talking about (although I now have my nursing buddies to chat with). Thankfully, I have befriended another CF couple through my job and they have truly been a blessing to me. They understand the ups and downs and they know all the right questions to ask and they know all the right things to say. I am grateful for them and the comfort that they provide. Definitely people I want to keep in my life for a long time. Sometimes it is hard to explain the seriousness of the disease to people and how scary it can be. But I don't have to tell them. They just know. They know what it is like to have to spend 3 hours a day doing treatments and wearing a vest that shakes all the mucus loose so it can be coughed out. They know what it is like to be out to run a quick errand and when you decide to treat yourself to ice cream, neither one of you have Ultrase enzyme pills so you can't make that wild and crazy spontaneous trip to Dairy Queen. I mean, we were just going to the bank, right? Who needs pills for that? They know what it is like to have to pack like you are going on a month long excursion when you are just going to a family gathering for 2 days. They know what it is like to have 2 entire kitchen cabinets dedicated to pills, solutions, nebulizers, syringes - it makes CVS look like amateurs. His wife knows what it is like to lie in bed and just stare and wonder and worry what tomorrow is going to bring. They know what it is like to deal with lung functions and PFT's. They know what it is like to have to get up at 3 am to start an IV bag for home IV's. They know the frustration of waking up during the middle of the nite because of dry, hacking coughing spells. They know what it is like to have to wait for cultures to come back from the lab to see if anything is growing in his lungs. I don't have to tell them. They just know.

I am sorry this is not a funny posting like my last ones, but lately, I have not felt like I have been in a funny mood. There have been plenty of people making this a whole lot easier on me. Thanks, family, nursing friends, co-workers and friends. I guess I just wanted to let everyone know how important it is to make sure that you let your significant other know how much you love and appreciate them. I hope no one else that reads this will ever have to experience the emotions that I am going through, and go through on a regular basis. Tell the people in your life that you love them and appreciate them. Appreciate your health and the health of your loved ones. Your body is yours - take care of it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mind you manners!

Why do people have to be rude, inconsiderate, and think that they are better than others?
Why is it so difficult for people to share their knowledge with others and help other people out?
Why do people have to be jealous of others and just plain mean?

One thing that REALLY, REALLY ticks me off is when people think that they are better than other people. You know, it is good to have high self-esteem, but there is such a thing as self-esteem that is TOO high. There is absolutely no excuse for yelling at people when someone asks for help, asks a question, or does something incorrectly and another person's life does not depend on it. For example, if I accidentally put a picture frame in the wrong spot, yelling is unacceptable. That is just trying to make it look like you have more power than you do, so you want to look big and bad. You don't have to worry about looking big and bad with your personality - look in the mirror. Your inside shows through to your exterior. Congrats! You have now displayed your insecurities for all to see. Now, if I accidentally give the incorrect patient 3 times the required dose of morphine, please yell at me. That is something important. Get my drift, people?

Today, I was watching Oprah and the show was dedicated to manners. The author of the book "Choosing Civility" stated that we often shift our insecurities onto others in the form of rudeness. When you are feeling the urge to be rude you should ask yourself, "Are you comfortable with who you are and what you have accomplished?" Sometimes it is dissatisfaction with ourselves that makes us judge others unfairly. Make sure that you are not projecting onto others the least attractive traits you perceive in yourself.

Now, onto my next irking. Don't criticize what other people watch or read. Unless the person is making you watch it or read it, mind your business. I am sorry that we can't all be incredibly intellectual and watch the history channel and read all of the Pulitzer Prize winners. It does not make you better than me......TRUST ME!!!! I have my nose in nursing textbooks almost 24/7. If I want to watch Jon and Kate Plus 8 and read US Weekly, keep your comments to yourself. Magazines geared towards women, such as Cosmo, Elle, and Marie Claire are not degrading towards women. If a woman feels the need to emulate everything that is in that magazine and has a skewed vision that they need to purchase every item advertised and every outfit featured, then the problem lies a WHOLE lot deeper than the magazine. That is called an identity crisis. Personally, I find some rap songs and their videos to be degrading, so I just don't listen to them. Take the Superman song for example. Not cute, not funny. Something that I do not want to pollute my brain with. I find that to be a whole lot more degrading than someone giving me her opinion as to what face product she likes.

Cut the rudeness, people! It is bad for your health and just plain ugly. According to Dr. .Forni, author of "Choosing Civility", "The quality of our lives is about treating each other well in every situation. We are all the trustees of one another's happiness and well-being in life." In other words, we are all responsible for each other's happiness to some extent. Dr. Forni also states that being rude has an effect on some of the body's hormones, such as cortisol, that can cause the immune system to be weaker. His example: "If you have a boss that you perceive to be unfair, you're much more likely to have cardiovascular disease." The bottom line? Going through life rude and angry can make you sick.

How rude are you? Find out at: http://www.oprah.com/dated/oprahshow/oprahshow_20080909_rude

"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods." Albert Einstein

"In today's environment, hoarding knowledge ultimately erodes your power. If you know something very important, the way to get power is by actually sharing it." Joseph Badaracco

Friday, October 10, 2008

My Space Photos

I am still sick - my voice is literally on sabbatical so I have really just been trying to relax on the couch. I have been doing work for the awesome event that I am planning called A Wish for Wendy, but I have also been watching some television.
And another thing that has a tendency of getting under my dermis. Why is it that people feel necessary to take a million pictures of themselves (and we can tell you took the photos. We can see your arm!) and post them on their My Space and Facebook pages. It is fine if you take them of yourself and someone else. Sometimes, the only party in the room does not have opposable thumbs or just sits in his underwear and scratches himself. Either way, a photographer might not be available. And if you want to have 1, at max 2 pictures of JUST yourself where there is a direct view of the arm holding the camera is also the one attached to the big face in the photo, fine. But to take a MILLION photos of JUST yourself and your cleavage making faces like you are blowing kisses at your camera or the camera on your cell phone is just absurd! Another one of my favorites is the people who take photos of themselves when driving. Right, because that does not obstruct your view while driving 90 mph on the highway. And then to write captions underneath these self portraits such as "I'm HOTTTTT" or "Just Chillin'" or "Gangsta!" Yes, I often "chill" with a full face of makeup and a neckline down to my navel and you are not "Gangsta". You are whiter than Wonder Bread. You have way too much time on your hands. You need a hobby. Correction. You need a hobby besides taking photos of yourself with your cell phone. It is ok to have a million pictures of yourself and others. Personally, I choose to only have a few. My life is not exciting enough to have a million pictures of myself, but if yours is, kudos to you. Just as long as they are all not taken on the same day, but you keep changing outfits and poses and you are the photographer. And if you are just completely joking around with your friends and do that, that is fine. It is when people do it seriously. That is just silly.

Ok, I have said my piece. I feel better.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mango Gatorade

Ok, so the reason why I am starting this blog is because I don't have much spare time to call friends and family and tell them all of the grueling details of life. Plus, I just need to vent sometimes. Between school and clinicals and work.....Oh, wait, after November 15th, work won't be a problem because I will no longer be employed. I got the final word yesterday about that. It was kind of up in the air so I was not positive, but after a shoulder shrug, a "Sorry", and "I am in a hurry to get out of here", I got the final word. But, actually, there might be some good news. My field director called me this evening and told me that she is going to talk it over with her boss and they might keep me as an employee to travel to other chapters around the country to do some in-office training. She is a cool lady. I like her.

As of last week, I have officially started clinicals in the hospital. Awesome! I love it! I had my first patient - this really nice man who reminded me of my gramps. I got to see a person going through dialysis. That was interesting to watch. I literally stood there in amazement as I watched blood being taken out of someone, run through a machine, and put back into the patient. This is why I love science. I am jealous because my nursing buddy, Noelle, is getting to see lung surgery today. How cool is that? I would LOVE to see lung surgery. Although, my luck, I would have a Kramer moment and drop a Junior Mint in there.

I was really psyched because I have today and tomorrow off from school. I had a whole lot planned for today. I even had a to-do list all written out - and I was going to stick to it. But last nite my car had an "episode". So, instead of sleeping in, I was up at the butt crack of dawn and off to the Pontiac dealership I schlepped. Well, 5 hours and $502.18 later, I was not feeling too spiffy. I felt like my throat was getting sore, my ear was clogged, and my body was definitely feeling a little on the creaky side. I decided to take a decongestant. I really, really dislike water, so I poured myself a glass of mango Gatorade to swallow the pills with. It was on sale and I had never seen mango Gatorade before, so I bought it. I would like my $1 back, please. That stuff is awful! I even offered it to my dog, who will ingest just about anything including snotty tissues. She gagged.

Any who, I am off to make a Rachael Ray 30 minute meal!