"When you get those rare moments of clarity, those flashes when the universe makes sense, you try desperately to hold on to them. They are the life boats for the darker times, when the vastness of it all, the incomprehensible nature of life is completely illusive. So the question becomes, or should have been all a long... What would you do if you knew you only had one day, or one week, or one month to live. What life boat would you grab on to? What secret would you tell? What band would you see? What person would you declare your love to? What wish would you fulfill? What exotic locale would you fly to for coffee? What book would you write?"

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Resolutions from 2011

Hey all! So, if any of you pay attention to whatever I write for new years resolutions, you should know that I annually dissect my past resolutions and make new ones, yes? Well, this year I have been astronomically busy (literally, like every second) up until the new year. I have also taken it upon myself to travel this new year holiday and am in Michigan (still am!) and therefore was travelling on lots of airplanes on the day I would normally have done this post. But alas, here it is, last years resolutions! Next post will feature next year's (2012!). Be excited. The Italicized paragraphs will be the actual made resolution, and the real writing is me talking....now. Got it? Okay.

1) I want to learn. I feel like such a dumbass either when I'm talking to smart people or when I'm trying to do something by myself (usually something simple) and I realize that I am not capable of living on this earth and cannot do anything. And that seriously bothers me! I want to know, I want to be able to talk about the Health Care Reform. See, I don't even know if that should be capitalized or not! I only JUST learned LAST YEAR that you put TWO spaces after every period when writing a paper. WTF? Anyway, its not just politics. I know nothing about religion. I want to know, though. But every time I try and read bible stories or pay attention in church, I get extremely lost and give up and start thinking about fun colors and songs in my head. Yesterday when I was babysitting, I was cleaning up their house toys and found this book that was "Bible stories: For Children" and I was like, oh, this is totally what I need. So in the middle of my child-watching duties, I was all like, hold up- I have to read this book and catch up. It had all the stories. But unfortunately, kids are crazy and get into everything and I could not keep reading, nor could I realistically steal it and take it home for later reading. So, politics, religion...Shakespeare, literature, famous people...famous bands, famous movies....Stuff that people know. And thats just what people talk about. The other day I had to google whether or not I could use olive oil to make eggs because I couldn't find cooking spray. I also had to google how to use a real tea kettle and not a water boiler. Do not laugh. I am ashamed. Really. So it's stuff like that. Stupid stuff. Sometimes people ask me to do stuff, and I'm like....seriously? You're gonna have to show me how to do that.So how do I accomplish this resolution? Well...I don't know. I plan to like....read the paper more. I guess. Because that has worldly important things in it, right? I'm already reading a lot of books...even though they are all nursing. So...I guess reading the paper is all I've got right now. And paying attention to smart people when they talk.

WOW. Long enough resolution paragraph?? Geesh. New Resolution: Make next years shorter!
But anyway, I did do well in this one, sort of. After I made this resolution, I did religiously read the paper (New York Times), almost every day, and I loved it. It really made me feel up to date on everything going on in the world,what people were talking about, etc. But at the time I was still in school, and nursing school...well you know, kicks your ass. So I to stop reading it everyday because it was seriously cutting into my study time. I instead switched to a book called "Smarter by Sunday", written by NYT writers, that you're supposed to read a chapter every weekend, and each weekend they teach you about something new in the world....music, politics, history, etc. This was an awesome book, but even that was cutting into my study time and I had to stop. Alas,  since then I have not picked up the book and have not bought the NYT, and this saddens me greatly.

Having moved into my own apartment, I no longer receive the daily local paper ( I actually DID read that daily over the summer). At work, each morning when I leave, I see all 6 of the local and national papers lined up and I glance at the headlines, saddenly (word?). I desperately want to read them all and know whats going on....but lately I've been doing nothing but work, breathe, eat, sleep, drink (water!), and...well, facebook. And postsecret on heavy occasion as well. :-) But you get the point. I've been busy.

However, I have been getting smarter nonetheless. Being on my own now has taught me so much. I am learning more and more about the world and how things work, just from day to day living. My nursing knowledge is increasing rapidly, as every patient teaches me something new. So, once the holiday season is over and things calm down again and I return to my home, I do plan to try and get back into the paper-reading thing, as I do miss it. Plus, I need coupons..... :-)

2) This is sort of a spin off of number one. I need to pay attention to people when they talk. I have ADHD (self-diagnosed) and when someone is talking and talking and talking, especially about a topic that I have no interest in, my ears literally shut off. Its like a defense mechanism gone haywire. It is really bad, because while the person is talking about something they deem really important, I am thinking about oompa loompas and prairie dogs and green things and how i should eat more vegetables and fruits and less carbs but then what kind of carbs? Why are carbs that bad, actually? Shit, do i have to babysit tomorrow? Crap. I totally forgot. what time was that? I should get a calendar. and stick to it. And -
"Julie? What do you think?"and I'm all like FUDGESTICKS I HAVENT BEEN PAYING ATTENTION EVEN THOUGH I TRIED REALLY HARD." I guess when the topic doesnt interest me or doesnt make sense, I just stop listening. Solution? Listen to every single word and process what is happening. Get some ADHD medication. Either of those two would work out great.

I have been doing a LOT better with the listening to people when they talk part. Being an actual RN now, It is my JOBBBBB to really listen to my patients. Everything they tell you is a vital, vital clue to their condition. Not only that but patients need to be heard. I've had patients literally tell me, "You know, I feel so much better talking to you. I feel like you are REALLY listening and not just nodding and smiling."  So, that makes me feel good. Since I have been improving that skill at work, it has also naturally transferred to my social life as well. I no longer drone out things that don't interest me from friends. Instead, I listen to everything they say because in reality, everyone is in your life to teach you something. So even if the topic is about Mango-fruit-rabbit ears or something off the top of my head like that, I try to listen because you never know, I could really need to know how to use a mango-fruit-rabbit ear one day.

As for the ADHD, not much improvement on this forefront. I don't like to resort to drugs, I don't. I'm pretty sure I've had the real ADHD since I was 6 years old, and I've survived, so why start now with the heavy drugs? As much as I know I need them...But I have tried Omega-3 gummies, which I guess are known to help improve concentration and focus in children with ADHD. I can't say for sure if they are actually doing anything, or if its just psychological, but I like to pretend that it helps.

The ADHD is tolerable when its just me,doing my thing, chillin mcgillin. Who cares if it takes me 43 hours to clean my room because I can't focus on one task at a time? Its my time and if I want to take 43 hours to organize a closet, then by golly I will. The problem however, is at work, and when I'm with my friends/dates. At work, nursing is NORMALLY hectic for any new starting nurse. But for an ADHD brain, my brain is presented with 14 tasks that need your attention and you have to prioritize quickly. You have to complete all these tasks quickly or delegate them to someone else. This can be hard when naturally, your brain has trouble finishing one task before starting another. So, Its definitely something I have to work on.

3) So, I just had a depressing moment. I just voted on a poll on facebook that was all, 'do you think 2011 will be awesome??" and my immediate reaction was YES! but then, my overthinking, over analyzing self was like....well...actually, no. 2011 is the scary year. Hopefully, an amazing year, if it all works out nicely....but, nonetheless, a year about uncertainty, and graduating, and getting a JOB, and getting through the first couple months of that job...and liking it.....Scary :-\
So I guess I just really need to have more confidence in myself. Just....go with the flow. Fate/Destiny has a plan. It will all be OK in the end...I just have to be the best that I can be...take care of myself, and have days to de-stress. It will all be OK. I hope by this time in 2012, I can look back on 2011 and say "awww, what the heck was I so worried for? 2011 was fantastic!!" My 20's are supposed to be the best years of my life. I hope nursing doesn't prevent that...:( *stress*

Okay. So. Where do I even begin on this one? You might want to get-the-popcorn-out on this one if you know what I'm saying. My brain has a lot of mixed feelings. First things first, 2011 was...............................VERY INTERESTING, to say the least. A lot of people I've talked to have  told me how much 2011 sucked for them. I....don't think it sucked, necessarily. It was a hard year, there is NO denying that. It was a sad, sad year, no denying that. But, It was also a very good year, in so many ways. Lets discuss the major points of this year, shall we? Hang in there with me, It will help me sort my own thoughts out.

  • I graduated college! This is big time coolbean worthiness because there were SO many times I made a back up plan on what to do with my life because I was so certain I would fail out of the program. But, somehow, I made it through. I graduated college after 5 years of school, with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing. Woot!
  • I also graduated a member of Sigma Theta Tau International, the nursing honor society. I also graduated with a special award for excellence in community health nursing, and a scholarship! All awesome accomplishments.
  • I went to EUROPE! This was obviously something I've wanted to do since I was five years old, but never actually thought it was...possible. I came up with the idea in fall 2010 and didn't want to let go of it. And so I did it. Obviously, this was an extreme highlight of 2011.
  • When I got back from Europe, I found out my maternal grandmother had passed away while I was overseas. This came as more of a shock than anything and I didn't even know how to begin...mourning away while I was overseas. This came as more of a shock than anything and I didn't even know how to begin...mourning. I was at an extreme...just, shock. And it took me a long time to come to terms with what happened and how I should react to it. This was obviously a low-light (opposite of high light?) of 2011. I miss her.
  • Being that my grandmother passed away, this in turn created the opportunity for the entire maternal side of the family (we're a big group), to meet for her memorial service. Despite the dire unusual circumstance for gathering, I still consider this a huge highlight. It finally got 99% of our family together at once. We laughed together, we shared her memories, we hugged, we cried, we caught up...it was amazing.
  • After my I got home from that reunion trip, I soon found out that one of my best friends at work was diagnosed with stage IV cancer....and all of us knew she wasn't going to make it. I lost her in the summer. That was really hard, being that It was so quick from diagnosis to death. She was always smiling when I saw her and she was my first friend at work. She meant a lot to me and it was a lot to lose her. It was a lot of all of us.
  • In July sometime, I got the unique opportunity to practically do the whole disney world experience for nearly just $300! Sounds like a lot of $ if you haven't been to disney, but if you have, you know that this is an AWESOME total for flying, lodging, eating, park ticketing, etc. One of my great friends from high school is an official employee of disney and was able to let me and my other great friend from high school into the parks for free! You can't beat that. It was awesome, and I got to spend time with two friends I haven't been able to spend much time with in the past couple years.
  • Soon after, I passed my NCLEX! This was......the ultimate high, as I literally really didn't think I would, especially on the first try. This was a huge highlight. This, ultimately opened up the rest of my nursing career.
  • Soon after THAT, I was officially hired as an RN! I started in September, and obviously it has been a rollercoaster road ever since. This is huge for me as well because I was so scared for this stage in my life to happen. I didn't have any confidence in myself that I would ever be able to do it. I couldn't picture myself actually doing WELL in the field, in addition to not-killing patients. Yay! I am doing well! Huge highlight....so far.
  • Soon after, in October, I moved out on my own with a roommate from college! This is AWESOME in so many aspects, and a huge highlight of my life. A huge step in the right direction for the rest of my life of inde-freaking-pendance! Yeah!
  • After that, in November, I was officially elected to be a part of the nursing honor society convention. I got to go with my professor from school and do really important cool nursing things. Pretty awesome.
  • In general, 2011 has been a remarkable interesting year for love. In this time span of one year, I have lost great love and gained great love. Thats all I'll say about THAT. :0)

So, yeah, 2011 had some pretty interesting points. Unforgettable year, that is for sure. It has taught me so much about life, about grieving, about celebration, about friendship, about love, about independence, about working, about nursing.....

I will never forget this year. But, I am also so, so, so ready for 2012. 2012 just "sounds" like a good year. What can I expect to happen in 2012? Not sure yet...A lot of 2012 will be about saving up money for bigger and better things. It will be about furthering my independence, furthering my nursing career, taking my GREs, looking into schools, etc. And maybe travel? Who knows? Very exciting. Also, end of the world? perhaps? Probably not? So, yeah. Cool stuff.

Okay I hope you're done with your popcorn now, because I am done. I think. For now. You can highly expect I will be adding to this blog in time as I'm sure There are points of 2011 I forgot to mention. But I got the big ones.

With so much love, and thank you so much for reading this year,

~A Writer in a Nurse's Body

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


How the hell, does a broken heart get back together when it's torn apart? And teach itself to start beating again?

-Christina Perri

I'm so tired of these dreams.


Monday, December 26, 2011

A Christmas Nurse

Hey all! I've had lots of blog post ideas flying through my head lately but literally, absolutely not a single second to post.

Life has been....interesting? Confusing? Good? Different?

I think the "holiday season" is like that for everyone, and for a lot of people, the holiday season is different for everyone each year.

This year I've been feeling a little anti- Christmas-y and I'm not even sure why exactly. I just keep feeling that time is flying so fast, and why let myself get attached to the christmas season when it's over so fast? I think it has to do with the "I'm 23 phase and life is really starting to fly", which is, sad, because I know that feeling will only get worse with time... I also think I'm going through a phase where I'm trying to commit to things that will last...I get Christmas gets the short end of that stick this year? Next year will be different, I know it will.

Also, this Christmas was entirely different from the rest because it was my first Christmas on the job...being night shift, I worked Christmas eve into Christmas. I wasn't sure what to expect, but i sure learned a lot.

Nursing is a whole other ball game on the holidays. Like a complete idiot, I was assuming that our Christmas eve would be pleasant on the floor, as not many people like to be patients on the holidays, and not many doctors like to be doctors on the holidays.

So yes, we did have a low census. I had three patients, one admission. But the type of patients was different, in a big way.

Over the holidays, I find there are two types of main patients. At least two types I've encountered thus far.

Type one: being that no one likes to be a patient on Christmas when they should be home with their family, and no doctor wants to be rounding in the hospital when they could be home with their family, doctors I've found usually try and make an effort to discharge as many patients as they can, even if it's christmas eve, 4 pm. (my section discharged four on christmas eve!)

So, that being, the patients that re left, are the ones of high acuity status and cannot be sent home because they are just that sick. We, as nurses, don't treat these patients any different or fear their acuity status, because on a "normal" day we're used to having those patients in addition to five more.

Type two patient:

This Is where I learned the saddest lesson of all in nursing. Well, maybe not the saddest, but pretty high up there. Turns out, it's pretty common for stressed out caregivers of intense family members to "drop off" their family members in the ER a day or two before christmas, and say "they have been acting funny." This, in a way, forces the ER doctor to admit an elderly patient who has "been acting funny", to run some tests. When most of the time, the family member really just wanted a "break" for Christmas and enjoyed some alone time without being a caregiver, and there's nothing wrong with this patient.

Now we have a confused elderly lady with severe Alzheimer's, she's out of her usual habitat, and we're forced to run her through expensive tests and bolus her with IV fluids.

Now this all would be fun except this patient needs constant reorientation. She wants to pull her IV out ( that I successfully put in! YAY!!), and she is looking for her baby and thinks her mon and dad are upstairs looking for her. Awesome. Let me tell you now that when reading the ER admission assessment, it read, "family member reports patient was throwing remotes at people." Also, awesome.

The first night i had her, she was reorient-able, but she forgot everything we said within five minutes. By the time I came in for christmas eve, she was an official 1:1 visual observation, and she was not reorientable.

My shift starts at 7pm and by 9pm she was (literally) pushing my nurse aide doing the 1:1. She wanted to put the eggs from the store into the fridge. She wanted check on Jimmy. She wanted to go lock the front door, she wanted to go run to work and finish up.

I feel sorry for her, really, I do. But seriously? I tried reorienting her, i did that's what we're supposed to do. But by hour 5 of repeating myself and her behavior worsening, I tried a new rote of playing along. Yes, I locked the door. Well take care of the eggs in the morning. I checked on jimmy, he is all right. Your parents are okay, they said its time to go to bed. I did the dishes already. Work can wait til tomorrow. Is that so wrong to leave them under their illusion?

So I can't really say I blame her for wanting a break over christmas. She's a lot to take care of. But that's not the way to handle it. She needs to be in an Alzheimer's unit or nursing home, or have a 24/7 aide hired. Not an expensive hospital stay for no reason.

So, overall it was a fun night. Definitely not an "easy" night as I was so foolishly expecting. But, that's part of nursing.

So, lesson learned: never anticipate an easy night in nursing. Everrrrrr.

This next week I'll be quiet- I work three nights then flying out of town and won't have much blogging time. But I hope to post for new years. :-)

Goodnight all! ~ WNB


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Magical Bookstore

I found magic!

For those of you that have seen "A midnight in Paris" movie, remember how Owen Wilson's character felt when he found the secret society? How magical it felt?

Well, I found that. In my town. My new town...(I recently moved).

My new city now is known every where to the nation to be "The Christmas City", if that gives you any clue. The city alone is very, very, very magical, culturally fun, and very artistic. I have been astronomically impressed every time I venture outside my bubble here, and new (and old!) friends have been so kind as to not only show me these new magical experiences, but to experience them for the first time themselves as well. It's been kinda pretty awesome.

Anyway, tonight's adventure was out to dinner, but this was no ordinary restaurant! First of all, it was called "the bookstore". Now, any of you that know me personally know that I was already in love with any restaurant called "the bookstore" without having stepped foot in it.

We had trouble finding it at first. The location our gps brought us to...well, it didn't exist. The magic of this place I guess is that it wants you to discover it on your own. Without technology. To open your eyes.

It was finally found in a little alcove in the city- a tiny black door labeled "the bookstore". We hesitantly went for it and walked in anyway. And it was amazing.

The restaurant was truly...just, out of this world. It looked like a 1920s bookstore. Piano, with 1920s music (of course), a bar with 1920s drinks...and the tables were set up so you could actually have a conversation.

They gave you a rule book, with some cute rules, and some serious, some funny, including how to actually pretend you're in the 1920s with them.

We ordered drinks from the era, and ordered off a menu that was literally taped inside an existing book. Adorable.

The atmosphere was just, jolly. It was happy. It's what I've needed.

A previous restaurant near and deaf to my heart will always have that first place, the "favorite memorable restaurant"category, but I can no longer go there. But it will always own a chip in my heart and memory. But this restaurant, this is a pretty wicked, and different- replacement. I can't wait to go again. Magical.

Some pictures to enjoy....(it was pretty dark so I only have a couple) :-)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Every Day

The human race amazes me. Every day. In a good way......usually.

We're all just trying to make it day to day.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

And I Like Pina Coladas...

...and getting caught in the rain.

What I need is someone thats going to be there for me no matter what when I'm 85, old and wrinkly with a bajillion health issues, and still holding my hand.

Thats what I need.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Unexpecting the Expected

So I just found out tonight that the patient from This Post from the other day has died.


Like I said in my prior blog about her case, I kind of had a bad feeling that she just wasn't going to make it......but to accept it as reality? Thats a whole other ball game.

Its this incredibley eerie feeling that literally on Saturday I was taking care of her and by monday she had passed. It happened so fast. On Friday it started with a worrisome wheeze. By Saturday she couldn't breathe. By Sunday she was back in the ICU. And now what bothers me the most is that her husband is alone.

The story that I've heard from other employees is that she wanted to pass. She was mad at her family for even putting her on a breathing machine. She didn't want to die like that, and neither would I. I don't blame her.

It just kills me that such a nice soul, a nice person, had to die in pain. At least she wasn't alone. She had such a wonderful caring husband, by her side for every minute.

It just......feels funny. You know? Although I've had many many many patients that have died in my care before, as an aide, even some where I was the first one to find them passed, some took their last breath in front of me....but this is only my second as an RN. And they were very similar cases. Not similar medically, but similar in the way they both touched my heart. They both taught me something extraordinary. I will never forget.

The weirdest and hardest part is that they weren't even under my direct care upon their passing. I couldn't even hold their hand. And when I did have them under my care, I had no idea that the very hand I was holding would be gone in two days. In fact with both cases, I didn't even find out about the death until a couple of days after. Here I am thinking how they are probably doing much better by now, and then I hear that she passed. Sigh.  She was supposed to get better. She kept telling me how she couldn't wait to just recover from this surgery and get back to normal. Back to normal...

I hope she died in peace with everything. I hope her husband isn't alone.

I know as an RN or any health care personnel, we aren't supposed to get attached...but I can't explain it. Its just a weird feeling. Like nothing me or any of the other nurses did, helped. It was all for nothing because now she's gone. Its a hard gulp to accept, but I will accept it in time. Its part of nursing, all part of the emotional toll.

Like I said, what matters to me most is that I hope her husband is OK. :(

Thanks for reading, with love- ~WNB


A Crystalized Morning

I remembered two more advantages/disadvantages of working night shift......


Ice crystals in the morning! When I leave at 730 am, the air is so still as everyone is waking up. The sky is silent. And everything is covered in frost, frost that crystalizes and covers cars in beautiful flaky fashions. So as I was sitting inside my car waiting for it to defrost, I took the above pictures. :)


Defrosting your car at 730 am after working 12 hours and you just want to sleep.

~WNB :)


Sunday, December 11, 2011

In Sickness and in Health

This has been probably the weekend with the most lessons learned in one spree of shifts since working as an RN. My first shift started with a set of all new patients, as I hadn't been there in a couple days. The words "You have a brand new ICU transfer" are never exceedingly happy words to a new graduates ears. And this case was exceedingly unique.

This lady had been in the hospital for weeks before her ICU trip and before she was my patient. Just two days before receiving her as my own, she had a major abdominal surgery, taking out 20 pounds of subcutaneous fat that was touching her knees and therefore creating a pressure ulcer, on her abdomen. Yikes.

So, this lady is still, even minus the 20 pounds, a good 400 pounds. She is 71 years old.  She has four drains coming out of her abdomen that are draining the fluid from the surgery site. Meanwhile, guess how many I'd worked with before these four? You guessed it, none. As an aide I had come from a Medical oriented floor rather than surgical. Anyway, her incision site was 1.5 feet (yes, feet) across her abdomen, and it was leaking. A lot. Can I add here that I have minimal experience in uncovering, cleaning, and redressing surgery sites?

I guess there's nothing like throwing you into the worst of the worst and learning that way. After working with her all weekend, I have a lot better of a handle on surgery drains, and surgery incision care. I even felt that I had a really good way of doing it that was actually working for her, being that they were leaking so much.  Its a hard internal battle with yourself as a new graduate, because you want to desperately trust your instincts on how to do something. You really do think you know what to do. But then theres that part of you that says, questionquestionquestion!!! So you begin to doubt yourself. You lose all faith that you're even doing a remotely good job, because you're so new. How can we even tell the difference? We think we're doing a good job and then it all comes crashing down on us.

So, having this patient before me, (in addition to another ICU transfer, a chemotherapy patient, and another hard case, also in addition to 2 PICC lines, and 1 Port-a-cath), i knew it was not going to be an easy weekend.

Trips to the commode were an extreme hardship with this woman, who was beginning to really have respiratory distress, let alone her size. She needed a special commode, special chair, etc.  Her dressings needed to be changed 2-3 times a shift, which took no less than 30 minutes each time. Her drains needed to be emptied 4-5 times a shift. Basically, my care during my shift was centered primarily around her as I was in there the most, and attending to my other three when ever they needed me.

But theres nothing like that daunting feeling that you really don't think this patient is going to pull through, in the long run, and you just pray they can just survive the night. With her worsening respiratory status, I got a couple of her doctors on the phone, who all advised getting the ICU on board. So In comes the ICU resident, who orders a stronger source of oxygen, (she was already on 5L) and some breathing treatments to help ease her breathing and her wheezing. Her oxygen levels were dropping down into the mid-80s, which is, really not good, particularly with someone with no existing respiratory disease.

Needless to say, this morning, she eventually got sent to the ICU and I can only pray for her from here on out.

What was most unique and heartfelt about her case, besides the fact that she was a very nice and enjoyable lady to talk to and work with, was her husband. Her husband, also in his 70s and very thin,  was by her side every minute. Being that I work nightshift, I can tell you that he slept over both nights on this little tiny recliner, and got up to every unique sound she made or mention of his name. He got her everything she needed. He gave her a massage when she sat on the commode. He didn't just hold her hand, he grasped it. She grasped it back. His eyes, they were so beyond exhausted but also so madly deeply in love. You could just tell she was his everything. Which is, beyond amazing. I'm not implying that all guys leave a relationship when the woman gains excess weight, but most guys don't stick around. But he not only stuck around, he was her caregiver, her nurse, her husband, her best friend. They played around with cute little inside sayings and banter. They had their own way of saying I love you, without even saying it. There were times that she would wake up in the middle of the night and just say her husbands name, making sure he was still there. And even with him being a little hard of hearing, he jumped up and held her hand whenever she did call out.

It got to the point however, that I extended whatever care I could come up with to her husband, because I was seriously concerned over his well being. Not only emotionally but physically. I hadn't been sure of his sleep cycle during the day, but on my shift he was there every minute and only took intermittent naps. He was literally exhausted. I got him all set up on a comfortable recliner and highly encouraged that he needed to get some rest and to eat some food, water, etc.

Thanks for reading everyone. Round three tonight.... more blogs on the way this week. Love you all,



Friday, December 9, 2011

Never Let Go

Free spirits are exceedingly hard to get ahold of, and we are hard to match with other souls.

But when we do latch on to another soul, we never let go.

Free spirits are heartbreakers and are eternally heartbroken.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Worst of Them All

Sometimes, I think having hypochondria is worse than having the disease. Because with hypochondria, your mind literally creates symptoms to fit alllllll the diseases and on a daily basis you think you're dying from something different. And your mind literally thinks its real. Very real. No wonder I hate doctors and they hate me. I'm beginning to really see it now, I guess. But theres nothing I can do about it. Its an anxiety disorder.

At this current moment, I think I may have:
- pneumonia
- ovarian cancer
- acute renal failure
- diverticulitis
- MS
- fibromyalgia/ CFS
- a brain tumor
- Gastric ulcer ( I wonder WHY)
-Arthritis/ some major joint pain disorder

So am I psychotic enough? yeah. Its a problem.
I can only imagine how I'm going to be when I'm pregnant, and when I have kids. They are going to cough and I'm going to freak out. Ohhhhh this is not good.

Meanwhile, I went to my nurse practitioner yesterday, and literally got a clean bill of health. The problem is that my mind is so twisted that I can't believe her. But I have to.

At this point, to battle the hypochondria, I just have to accept it. I have to say, "For now, I have a clean bill of health as said by the NP/MD, even though I repeatedly told her my symptoms. If, in the future, there arises a major problem that is officially diagnosed, then I can deal with it then." The end.

But it really makes it tricky for hypochondriacs to decide when to go to te doctor. We have spent our lives being laughed at and shunned by the MD community because we come in with the strangest, most odd and specific  descriptions of our symptoms, that they just brush us off as hypochondriacs and prescribe us some tylenol or something. So most of us hate doctors by now because of this. So our anxiety gets worse because we "hide" our "problems" and choose to deal with it ourselves, without the MD. We turn to the internet, to textbooks, to other nurses(in my case), etc. We buy our own medications. We battle it ourselves. But in the back of my mind, I think, "Its probably nothing, as usual, but what if this really is cancer? What if this really IS a brain tumor, and I let it go this long and by the time I eventually show it to the doctor and they diagnose it, he's going to say "If only we had caught this sooner".  And then you start really debating because, even though you really hate doctors, you feel like its necessary to get one on board so at least someone is aware of your potential brain tumor. Sigh.

And that my friend is the twisted anxious mind of a true hypochondriac. I'd give anything to get rid of it.


This pretty much sums it all up:


Tuesday, December 6, 2011


OK, Nightshift has mannyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy drawbacks. Excessive, even.

But, its really starting to illuminate its many advantages. Lets discuss.

  • You're tired, all-the-time. Even on your days off. Just, all the time.
  • You never know what day it is, ever.
  • You never know when to eat and its confusing.
  • Its lonely and there is no one to talk to, (people sleep when you re available to talk to, and you're asleep when they are available).
  • Its really hard to go to doctor appointments, luncheons, or really do anything midday. Thats like asking you to go to a doctor appointment at 2 am and then go back to sleep for a couple hours and then be at work by 7 am. Do THAT.
  •  Hospital Pharmacy isn't open at night. This. Sucks. (well, my hospital at least. I'm sure i'm in the minority here).
  • You have to wake doctors up and get yelled at when all your patient needs is tylenol.
  • You have to ethically debate first, if your problem is worth calling a doctor for/waking him up, and then debate if its doctor worthy or resident worthy.
  • On nightshift, you are the nurse, the secretary, sometimes the aide, transport,  maintenance, IT dept, and anything else you could possibly think of. Especially in a smaller hospital like mine that doesn't staff completely at night, we do a lot. And make shit up when we don't know how to fix the heating.
  • You miss prime-time tv. :(
  • You get woken up by mailmen and maintenance workers (i live in an apartment) in the middle of the day and other random people.
  • when a doctor orders some random test STAT in the middle of the night, guess who gets to wake your patient up, get them in a wheelchair, bring them down to the test, stay with them, and bring them back up. Thats right, you.
  • You have no idea who the big-time doctors are because you only talk to residents, PAs and interns (most of the time).  (This is also an advantage though...)
  • You actually get tired of writing narratives that say, "pt is sleeping. No signs of distress noted at this time. Pt appears comfortable. Respirations regular." and you actually kind of want something interesting to happen so you can write a narrative about it. I've actually written a narrative that my patient went to the bathroom. No joke. That was the highlight of my night.
  • You have to wake your patients up for the randomest stuff and get punched, kicked, yelled at, etc. Its awesome.

  • You get to drink wine for breakfast and its kind-of OK! Yay!
  • You lose weight (sometimes. If you do it right.)
  • You get out of doing random stuff because you have a good excuse: Sleep.
  • You get to really know the nurses you work with at night. Because at 2 am when all else is quiet, what else to do but have serious conversations about the most random things?
  • you get to be a LOT more autonomous and independent as a nurse. Some room to breathe, but yet resources are still there if you need them.
  • You actually have *time* to research your patients history, their unique diagnosis, print out education packets for them and go over them, (learn about their condition more yourself), and overall, just spend more time with your patients.  Normally on day shift my morning assessment could only take 10 minutes because I was under serious time constraints. But now I let my initial assessments take up to 30 minutes sometimes because when I go in the room, I literally pull a chair up to their bed and sit and talk with them for a bit before I just jump in and listen to them with a stethoscope. The other day I sat with someone for an hour talking in the middle of the night because I could. It was awesome.
  • It is so much less crowded and a lot more quiet. There is not a million doctors stealing all your computer space. There is no physical therapy, no food services, no transport whizzing by asking for charts, no residents, no case managers....its just....quiet. So quiet that I know if my patients up to something mischievous just by listening carefully from down the hall.
  • I can literally take over an entire computer workspace (up front! at the nurses station). Normally I had to go find one in some dark dusty corner on day shift because everyone else and their mother had the nurses station computers. Now, I literally set up my binder, and steal the entire area and no one even cares because there is actually room to spare! Its awesoommeee.
  • You can actually have legit- intelligent conversations with the residents about what is going on with your patients. Because what else do they have to do at 230 am? Besides sleep? :)
  • Your shift FLIES BY. Day shift used to take FOREVER. Once you get the busy part of your shift over, (up until midnight), you do paperwork til 2,3ish, then break for your meal, then its 330 and you just chill til 5 and then from 5-7 it gets really busy again. Flies-by. Awesome.
  • When your patients are all tucked in and happy and no one needs anything and you finished all your meds and paper work, researching, computer work, your fellow nurses don't need anything, (usually 2-4 am), the time is yours. To prevent yourself from falling asleep, its okay to keep yourself occupied in my opinion, providing that you listen very carefully for anything your patients are up to. So this is my newfound time to WRITE!!!!

WOOOOO! After all, thats half of what this is blog is about! Writing!!
I have been writing down little ideas for this novel for 4 years now. I planned a lot of it in high school but haven't really touched it since, besides the occasional idea. I have constantly had it on my mind and always think, "I really just have to get started, sit down and write it." But never could seem to. But now, that I (usually) have that 1-2 hour time window in the middle of the night now, I can writeeeeeeeeeeeeee. 

sooooooooooooooooooo happy to finally have an outline in. I'm about 1/4 of the book through. Yes!

Anyway, thats it. If you are blessed enough (lol) to work night shift as well, feel free to comment with some additional benefits/disadvantages of your own!



Sunday, December 4, 2011

No, I wouldn't Want to do that...

So! Life has been really good lately. I am happy. :-) Yay!

Work has been good so far, no catastrophes (yet) and my patients seem to like me. There have been many (WTF!!!!!) moments and many moments where I know I am in the right profession. And then, there are moments that are really, really funny. Like these:

#1- Patient is mid-age. Female. I am giving her night time medications. I notice a cheerio stuck on her gown at the top, under her chin.
Me: Oh, Looks like you have a cheerio stuck here, let me get that for--
Patient: NO!! I am SAVING THAT! They didn't feed me enough breakfast so I saved a couple for the rest of the day.

I legit cannot make these things up, guys.

#2 Same patient as above actually. She was the last stop on my med pass, and it was about 1030 at night. She had a sleeping pill ordered and she had told me earlier that she was going to want it. Well, she called the call bell just as I was about to go in anyway with her meds.
Me: Hello, I'm here with your medication before bed.
Patient: Do you have my sleeping pill?
Me: Yep.
Patient: Oh, good. I was worried I was going to fall asleep before you gave it to me.

No, we wouldn't want you to get any restful sleep before the sleeping pill. That would be silly.

#3- Patient is a new admission. It is 5-friggen-AM.
Me: Do you have any allergies?
Patient: Nope.

Loooong pause.

Patient: Rabbits!!!!
Me: Excuse me?
Patient: I'm allergic to rabbits.
Me: Okay.

At five AM, just the thought of writing "Rabbits" on an official medication drug allergy sheet, almost sent me into an inappropriate fit of extreme giggles. But I refrained. So I could keep my job.

Oh, good times, folks, good times.



Friday, December 2, 2011

Its inevitable

I let you slowly creep into my thoughts during the day and then BAM, you invade my dreams by night. It's not fair and I'm tired.