Saturday, February 6, 2010

Day 163: February 6, 2010

Quote of the Day: "To love a person means to agree to grow old with him."  –Albert Camus

Man, ain't that the truth!!! I'm feeling older every single day, no doubt about it. It's funny how it happens that RON doesn't seem to be getting any older, though!!! I thought the keyword was "WITH" him??? So unfair. I think I would probably write someone and complain if I knew who to write to. But I'm stuck with these stupid aching joints and baggy eyes, and there's not a thing I can do about it that wouldn't cost an arm and a leg to fix. It's funny, how I always laughed it off when my mother used to tell me to enjoy my youth while I still could. I realize now (as she said I would, and I'm sure every mother out there has said to her young) that she was right.  But I was so busy enjoying myself that I could never even begin to imagine being old, much less having adult children. Yet here I am, fully aware of how precious that youth was, and of how I could enjoy it, only to find that it's permanently gone. Ironic, I think, that you don't have a clue until you get there. It's like we're programmed to ignore all warning signs at any cost.  Yet, even through my whole entire life I only have one regret... that I started smoking.  How many people can truly say that they have only one regret? Not many, I'm sure.

I worked on the backsplash in the kitchen today, and should have them all completely finished by tomorrow night. And I think I've figured out a way to keep the cats off their food counter until it's done curing... I'm going to blow up a bunch of balloons and hang them from the ceiling to where they completely block off that countertop without touching it... Visual deterrent!!! Yay me! Now all I can do is hope that it works, or lock the cats up in a room for three whole days without ever letting them out. Which I can't stand to think of doing to them. But it's better than the alternative... a trip to the vet because the resin is toxic to them, and a ruined countertop. Hmm... tough choice... hope all you kitties like my office a whole lot!

Study group didn't go so hot today. I couldn't get there until after one because I was talking to Ron on the computer, and by the time I got there everyone had already been studying for so long that their brains were fried. So I only got to study for about an hour, which is an hour more than I would have by myself if I'm being HONEST with myself about it, but still... maybe next time I should just stay home and study here, by myself. Saves on gas that way.  But there is a LOT to memorize for this test, and since it's on Wednesday, I've got to hop to it.  I know I'll do better on it than some of the other tests I've taken, if I can just set my mind to it.  And memorize all the things I need to, which means that I desperately need sleep. I haven't slept well in so long that I've forgotten what it even feels like to be rested. Can't wait until Ron comes home so that I can relax at night and actually get into a deep sleep!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Day 162: February 5, 2010

Quote of the Day: "When we’re not together, I spend my time wishing that we were."   -author unknown

I got pulled over today!! I had just picked Cody up from a friend's house and was driving down 369 when it happened.  I saw the car about the same time I saw his lights go on. I didn't think I was speeding, but then again I NEVER drive 369, so I have no idea what the speed limit is on it. Well, I do now, he said it's sixty. Never did tell me my speed I'd been going, though, so I have no idea if I was really speeding or not.  It's funny, he asked me how long I'd lived in Burk, and I was like "Well, forever, really, but I don't usually take this road because the highway's easier." I think I've driven on 369 like a total of three or four times. We take it all the time to the lake and stuff, but Ron's always driving. So I guess I'd better pay a little closer attention to the signs around here.

That wasn't the funny part, though... the funny part was my wonderful, crazy son sitting next to me. He looks at me as I'm pulling away with the warning paper tucked neatly into my purse, and says "Guess it's a good thing you lost all that weight, huh, Mom?" I couldn't believe he'd said that!  I was like "Cody, you know they don't let you out of tickets just because you're skinny." And my wonderful son's reply? "Yeah, they do, and all the Burk cops think you're hot 'cause they talk about you to the coach during recess." Umm, what?????  I was like, whoa!!! That's kind of scary... I asked him what they talk about, but he has no idea WHAT they're saying about me, so my mind is going through all the "what could they possibly be saying about me" scenarios.  Talk about being totally floored! And creeped out! I mean, really.... am I known as the "crazy lady" around here, or the "lead foot", or what?  And bless my son, I tried to tell him that no one could possibly think I'm hot or anything else, and he just rolled his eyes. At least he's a good ego boost, right? But now I'm all worried that I'm under the cops' radar for some reason and don't think I've done anything to cause it. I've only been pulled over a couple of times, for pete's sake, it's not like I've killed anybody or anything! LOL

I picked up the paint today to finish the countertops and backsplash, and plan to work on that in between my studying, homework, and all the other things I'll have going on. It's a good thing that it takes the paint a while to dry, it'll give me time to do the other things I need to do. I spent some time looking online this morning for RN jobs in the area, but it looks like it's going to be harder than I thought. There are only 29 jobs at the hospital right now, and there's like 90-something of us graduating in May.  Granted, some are wanting to move to the Metroplex, some want to do home health, rehab, hospice, or something like that, but still... only 29 jobs. And only 4 of them are during the day shift. Two of those are in the ER. It's not looking good right now, that's for sure. Talk about having a HIGH competition rate! It's got me a little bit nervous, that's for sure.

Oh, and I almost forgot..... quite a few of those jobs are PRN jobs, which means you're pretty much only working if they call you in when someone calls in sick or there's a sudden increase of patients. I definitely don't want THAT. Maybe someone might, but I'd rather have full time.  And I tried to look up the state hospital website here in Wichita Falls to see if they have any job openings, but they have nothing listed anywhere on their site that will tell you, so I'll have to ask next time I'm there for clinicals.  I talked to one of the nurses while I was there and they have really great incentives for working there, but that'll do me no good if the one in Wichita has different ones, or if they aren't hiring. I've got a couple of months still to figure it out, so here's hoping that something great comes open for me. If not, then I'm going to have to get a job in Dallas... and Lord knows that's a REAL long drive!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Day 161: February 4, 2010

Quote of the Day: "To love is to place our happiness in the happiness of another." – G. W. Leibnitz

Today was a really AWESOME day at clinicals!  It started out pretty badly, because even though I took the time to change the alarm clock to the time I needed to wake up I forgot to turn the dumb thing on. Okay, maybe I'M the dumb thing, but still... I sat straight up in bed at 5:45 this morning in a panic because I was supposed to be in the parking lot at the hospital between 6 and 6:10am. Needless to say I did the fastest job in history of getting dressed and out of the house, thanks to my having already gotten together all my materials for today ahead of time. It was a BIG help!

Once I got to clinicals I really lost track of time, and it was great. I had only one mother-to-be to care for, but spent a great deal of time watching the monitors when I wasn't doing paperwork or caring for her, just hoping that she would have her baby while I was there. WHICH SHE DID! I got to be in the room while the baby was born, and it's totally different from that perspective than it is from the Mom's perspective. It was great to see things that I missed the first two times around. Like, for instance, those babies are really slippery when they come out! I had no idea of that. I had heard stories, of course, but had never seen how hard the doctor has to try to catch the baby. I can imagine how easy they are to drop... what a nightmare that must be!!! But it was a really great day, and I even got told that I did a great job of cleaning up the mom after the birth was over. I know it doesn't SOUND like something to be proud of to most of you, but to me it was great. I really just spent the entire day being fascinated by this or that, and it was great. I was also impressed by how much I remember from when I had Cody and Damien. I think that is going to be very helpful during this semester, more than anything else. I'm very, very excited about the rest of the clinicals now... why couldn't we have done these FIRST??? I think school would have been a lot easier that way!

Cody is up to his usual trouble... he called me to ask me to bring him pants and shoes because he stepped in a puddle over at his friend Caleb's house and was cold. So I went into his room to grab his things for him and found that nearly every pair of pants the boy owns is dirty! He had exactly three pairs of jeans in his closet, and evidently they are only there because they don't fit him anymore!!! So I got really ticked and told him that he is going to stay at home this weekend and do his laundry OR ELSE. I'm sure that means that he may get one or two loads washed and then thrown into a pile to dig through when he wants clean clothes, but I'm not sure how to remedy that little problem, short of holding his hand every minute of every day. I just don't understand boys, they're so darn sloppy!!! Girls aren't like that! My clothes had to be all hung up nice and neat, and color-coded so that I could get up, get dressed, and get out of the house as quickly as possible to spend time with my friends! I'm sure that my mother would probably say something different, but that's how I remember it. Then again, if you had just cleaned the entire house but left a Coke can on the coffee table the house was a mess, in her opinion. She was a tough one to please, for sure! I wonder if she wasn't a little O.C.D.?

Tomorrow I have to get my laundry put away, get the house cleaned up, and get ready for study group this weekend. It's the only time that all four of us can get together, because Laurie works on Friday, and Carol Ann works on weekends. So it's a nightmare trying to coordinate study days and times. I think I'll be taking tomorrow to try and put together some note sheets for everyone that will help us all to study really well for the test. It's not until the 17th, so we have a little bit of time still to get ready for it. Thankfully, of course, because we have a lot of homework to do in addition to that study time! Just a little longer, May 15th is right around the corner... as long as we pass our tests then we'll be done with this part of our lives. Bring on the NCLEX, we'll be ready by then! (Please, God???) LOL

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day 160: February 3, 2010

Quote of the Day: "…love from one being to another can only be that two solitudes come nearer, recognize and protect and comfort each other."  – Han Suyin

Class went well today. I was having a little bit of difficulty because I haven't been feeling good still, but I'm taking allergy medicine everyday now, so I think it's helping. My throat didn't feel quite as sore today. Then again, it seems like it's always super sore in the mornings and then gets better throughout the day. UGH!

It has been cold all day, and this afternoon it started raining, and has been raining ever since.  Not a heavy rain, or anything, just enough to make the roads a mess. And it's supposed to be above freezing tonight, but if it does manage to get below freezing then the roads will be even worse tomorrow morning on the way to clinicals. And since I have to leave the house at around 5:45 am, I won't know until I get to clinicals whether they were cancelled or not. At least if they're icy I'll know there's that chance, right?  We aren't supposed to get ice, but the high for tomorrow is only 38 degrees, with rain.... BRR!!! And we can't wear our street jackets to clinicals, either. Only a thin labcoat. Can you say freezing? I'll probably end up sicker than I already am. Go figure.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day 159: February 2, 2010

Quote of the Day: "Take time to have fun with your loved one – remember, you can’t cuddle up to money." –Jack McElyea

I'm still feeling really bad, but I figure that it'll go away eventually. My sinuses are all filled up and making me talk funny, and my throat has been really killing me. And the back of my neck feels all tense and achy.  I took a three hour nap this afternoon, which was really nice but didn't help my head any, so I'm once again ready for bed. I have class tomorrow all day, so I will need to be really rested tonight. I should be able to relax a little bit because Tiny is now at the vet. He has gotten super skinny, and was refusing to eat, so was therefore so super weak that he could barely walk. It happened so quickly that I was convinced that he's deathly ill, but the vet said that her suring her preliminary assessment she found that his teeth were in really bad shape and were loose and really built up with tartar and plaque, his gums are swollen, abscessed and infected, and he may have other issues which have added to its fast progression since he is such a young cat- only four years old. She did mention the possibility of feline leukemia, among other things such as AIDS. I didn't even know that cats could GET AIDS, but evidently they can. I know, I came home and researched it online because I found it hard to believe. She's testing for all of it, so hopefully we'll know more soon. In the meantime he is staying at the vet's office where he can get real close attention. She says that at this point he's too weak for anesthesia to pull the teeth, that it would kill him, so pretty much all she can do is try to get him better first with antibiotics and then try to pull the teeth. He'd be eating canned cat food for the rest of his life, then. I have no idea how THAT is going to work, because both the other two still need the dry food to help THEIR teeth. But it's hard to tell at this point, because it's too soon to worry about. If he has feline leukemia or something like that, we may have to have him put down. Or find him a new home where there are no other cats which he can give it to. It's all up in the air at this point.

Had a lot of fun with the kids tonight! Cody brought home these red pieces of reflector from one of those roadside reflective stakes that has broken in half, and he tried to talk me into holding the pieces up in front of my eyes and trying to walk while looking through them, which was really, really difficult.  At first it's really disorienting, not only because the red coloring messes with your eyes, but you can think you're looking at something and try walking to it, and end up several feet away from it.   I can't tell you how many times we ran into walls, chairs, tables... you name it.  We spent a great amount of time laughing at each other, like when Cody figured he was in front of the chair and turned around to sit down and promptly fell on the floor because he was actually three feet to the right of the chair.  Damien, of course, did way better than Cody or I either one, and walked all the way through the house without bumping into anything, then added insult to injury by at least  making it to the arm of the chair and sitting down.  Didn't make it fully onto the chair, but that doesn't matter.... Cody and I were officially one-upped.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Day 158: February 1, 2010

Quote of the Day: "Not to understand a treasure's worth till time has stole away the slighted good, is cause of half the poverty we feel, and makes the world the wilderness it is." ~William Cowper

Clinicals went very, very well today. I'm still sick, and have a really sore throat, but I didn't really notice it too much while I was there. It was just so much to go over, and do! And the patients that we interacted with made it a very interesting day. You would not know that some of these patients were criminally ill just from speaking with them. A lot of them appear to be very rational and sane, and only after an amount of time do the discrepancies make themselves known.  I talked to one patient for a good long while, and then when I went to read the chart I found out some really disturbing things he had done and was shocked. It wasn't that it wasn't believable, but it was that he came off as being mostly normal.  We did nearly have an incident today, though, because one of the patients took a serious dislike to one of the girls in my group and became highly agitated. But we left that area and things went back to normal. Incidentally, that same patient told me that I am the "compassionate" one. Whatever that is worth! HaHaHa!!! 

I wish that I could tell you more about the things I saw and did out there, but due to patient confidentiality I have to keep it to myself. But I can say that the facility was great. They have a section where the patients can go make T-shirts and other things, a part where they can deal with plants, and all sorts of other things. And they have this merit system where they earn points for doing certain things like brushing their teeth, showering, and making their beds that they can use to buy things such as snacks, hats and gloves, movie tickets to the on-site theater, and things like that. It seems to work really well, and the patients all really enjoy it.  Heck, I would too! LOL  The place really is like a self-contained unit.  Actually, come to think of it.... it does kind of remind me of a "compound" like on my favorite show..... LOL

I'm really looking forward to the next clinical day out there, and it's really sad that we had to wait til the last semester for this rotation, and I'll only have 5 clinical days at the State Hospital, because I really do enjoy it. I think that maybe, from first impression, I would really enjoy being a Psych nurse. It sure would have its moments! The thing is, though, it's a 45 minute drive one-way, and even if I was working 8 hour shifts, that would mean that I'd be gone from home ten hours a day, five days a week.  Not too bad if I get the 7-11 shift, but that's still a really long time. There is a hospital down in Wichita Falls as well, but I'm not sure if they would be hiring or even if it would be the same there. I can always research it, I guess. It would only be an additional ten-minute drive past the local hospital for me. I can't say whether it would be a good idea or not, though, because we still have the Mother/Baby portion of clinicals to go to. I may decide that I like that better. Or who knows, maybe I'll just end up wherever the first job offer comes from. Actually, that's a lot more likely, isn't it? 

On Thursday I'll go to my first Labor & Delivery clinical, where I will get to see the miracle of life from the OTHER side. You know, the one where it isn't ME lying in the bed screaming, crying, and  wanting to kill the person who "did this to me". THAT should be interesting. And I think I'll be giving the K shots to the newborns too. So I have already memorized it.... you need a 25 guage 1/2 inch needle to give innoculations to a newborn. Or, there's a better way to figure it out to exact, but I won't go into THAT much detail on here. I really do enjoy people actually READING my blog, after all.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day 157: January 31, 2010

Quote of the Day:  "The more difficulties one has to encounter, within and without, the more significant and the higher in inspiration his life will be." --Horace Bushnell

Today I am not feeling all that great.  For some reason that stupid head cold has come back around again to bite me in the butt, which is typical because I have clinicals tomorrow morning. In Vernon, which is 45 minutes away. And I'm in a really bad mood.  So incidentally, tonight's blog has to be short because I have GOT to get some sleep, I haven't slept well for the last couple of nights.  Hope all is well with all of you, and I'll try to write a better blog tomorrow. I'm sure I'll have something interesting I can talk about then.