Sunday, August 26, 2012


setting the scene:
my little space...

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

it's dark.
i'm just about ready to shut down for the night.
and as i sit here on this quiet night,
i'm supposed to be studying for 2 tests coming up this week.
but for the last few days, i've been thinking about my new classes.

..mainly, psych..

and i am thanking GOD for my family's mental health!
because on the other side of the mental health contimuun -
{moving more toward the mental illness side}
it can be bad.
it can be scary.
it can be unpredictable.
it can be unstable.
it can be un-done.
it can be misunderstood.
it can be sad.

i am blessed in more ways than i can count.
however, recently - i've had the chance to step into a world of varying degrees of mental health.
and just like with medical illness, you can't FIX every mental illness.
but they are people, none the less.
and they are a part of families.
and they have personalities (some multiple...)
and they occupy places in our lives.

i've started my semester of psychiatric mental health nursing.
these 1st five weeks, i'm strictly doing clinicals in a psychiatric facility.
from this week, i've learned that it's not as scary as i originally thought.
i've learned that not everyone in a psychiatric mental facility fits the stereotypical societal view of mental illness.
i've learned that these facilities are being downsized due to spending cuts; despite the need for these patients' placement for treatment.
i've learned that music is a universal language and even in a state of mental illness, it speaks to and through them.

this is going to be an interesting semester.
the paperwork for these clinicals is grossly time consuming.
the busy work can be more than necessary.
but these experiences are going to be like none other and i'll probably never get to work in this type of setting for the rest of my life.
so i will soak up all that i can.
and i will learn things i've never thought possible.
and i will spend time with people that may never be fully "well" - at least as our culture defines it.
but i doubt i'll ever be a psychiatric nurse.

it really makes me think about things differently.
because i could never fully get why someone would want to take their own life,
or how someone could think its normal to have voices telling them to hurt themselves or others - then follow through with those threats,
and i may never understand what makes someone consistently lie about anything and everything.
but i know that there is such a thing as mental health.
and mental illness looks as if it can be severely debilitating.
and maybe, just maybe, i'll get to see someone go from the mental illness extreme to a state of mental health while i'm in clinical this semester.

Friday, August 17, 2012

the 4th semester starts.

i've technically been a Senior {nursing student} since this summer.
it's been a little hard to swallow because i don't "FEEL" any different from say.. 2nd semester.

1928A9AB-BD21-4A4D-A5DC-6486B80CEC3B-8270-0000081C4502BD8E, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

we only have 9 months left on this journey!
it's like the time it takes to have a baby.
{but not like having a baby..}
that reality of being a senior finally set in monday.
that is when we welcomed 100 new freshmen.

there were a sea of faces;
some more familiar than others.
some more anxious than others.
some already completely stressed out by the 1st day.
{i can remember my feelings of being totally overwhelmed 1 year ago}
some more scantily dressed than others
{and believe me, they've already gotten a "talkin to"}
some younger than others {i've heard the youngest is 17 - way to get started early!!}

they were all packed into our old classroom, and we've been moved to the back hall.
i think we might have even scared some of them with our tales of terror from our freshman 1st semester.
but i hope not.
it {nursing school} is certainly DO-able.
you just have to want it.

CURRENTLY... we have the biggest senior class EVER at our school = 60 of us.
we are crammed into the classroom on the back hall like sardines.
every seat is filled.
it gets really hot.
and we've been there from pretty much 8am - 4pm on the days we had lecture this week.
it's a bit crowded, but i'm glad we haven't decreased in number any more.
it really is sad when people can't continue.
and sadly, the freshmen now, are going to see their class of 100 thin out by the end of this semester.

we finally got our new clinical rotation schedules for med-surg {still waiting on all the fine details with psych and med-surg}
i got the same clinical instructor from last year.
mrs. lucas.
*and JJ, stop yer hatin RIGHT NOW! don't be jealous ;)
for seriously though, i'm going to miss my group from last semester.
we were a special group.
but alas... this is a new group of people, and an opportunity to get to know them

i wouldn't be lying if i told you i'm still kinda anxious about psych clinicals.
we only had 2 days of psych clinical last semester, and i'd only actually count the one where i was on the acute adolescent unit as a real one.
the drug and alcohol unit - not so much.
my dad worked at the state hospital {psychiatric} when i was a baby, and he has some stories he could tell.
i'm sure it will be fine and i'm working it all up for no good reason
like i usually do.

i'm with hailee all day today.
we were supposed to be having our 1st psych clinical, but stuff fell through, SO...
hailee and i will be working on being a good girl today :)
here, lately, she's been totally testing her boundaries.
talking back.
it stops here.
we're trying a few things that are already promising.
and in september, she'll be going back to school and i think that structured day will help a lot too.
but until then, we'll be consistent in showing her how she needs to act.

E7523D20-DD15-4738-A004-C4C720F9E3E5-8270-0000081CAB4166D1, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

59347FEF-59FD-4586-8307-AA7F8B0B1D64-8270-0000081C2B8E9454, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

^ this is totally how she says the word marbles ^

6F324BE2-8863-4F3D-BE98-402860B0056C-8270-0000081C42716E34, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

with a hand full of little animals.
from the dollar store.
because the pets from the littlest pet shop can get down right expensive.
and these 3 only cost MAYBE $2 if i remember correctly.

9DC9B721-A5FA-429E-9697-517E0AF5F3EF-8270-0000081C99B776D8, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

time to go start our day.
have a great weekend!
i got studying to do.

this is totally fitting for starting back school.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

so much.

i have been working on getting this post up for a few days now.
i didn't know what i wanted to "focus" on.
but then, i started thinking and you know what?
NONE of my posts have a plot.
none of them.
well, maybe the last one, but that was on purpose.
so, i was thinking about my husband.


and how much he does.
and how much he loves.
and how much hailee just adores him.
and how he leaves little messes around the house that bug the mess out of me.
and how hard he works.
and how far he has come.
and how much further he wants to take this life.
and how he can't talk and drive and concentrate on directions at the same time.
but eventually, we get where we need to go.
and how he protects our family.
and how he spiritually LEADS our family.
and how he needs me to "find" things for him that are obviously right in front of his face.


like this... {twas in the bathroom}
and how we laugh together.
and how well i know him.
and how passionate he is about what he believes.
and how willing he is to share with anyone who wants to listen.
he likes to talk.
i like to let him.
he has a lot to say.

so far,

our 1st years.
they were kinda rocky for a while.

then there was a change for the better.

and a baby...

did i mention how great of a father he was?


because he is.


and it shows.


and hailee is growing up so fast.


and being a parent is definitely rewarding.


and how much i love him.
so much.
and her.
they have my heart.


so, there was roger.
my husband.

now, on to more random stuff :)

hailee's corner.


so, i need to explain this picture.
i like to read other blogs, of other fun girls.
this gal, shaylynn, recently put up a post of a certain dolphin shower curtain.
well, i got the beach for that dolphin curtain hiding behind these frogs ;)


and this face.
all her faces!


i love our snuggle time.


and right now, she's super into building forts
and special corners of the room, all her own.


she makes up her own songs too.
{i shared this on facebook, but for those who aren't on facebook, here you go!}

these are some of my favorite things and some i don't really like to be without:
lip gloss
and hair bands
{the proverbial ultimate needs if i go to a deserted island}


and i can't see a thing without these.


funny, because there was once a time when i vowed NEVER to wear contacts.
i did not see any good reason that i should stick my finger in my eyes.
that is, until my vision started to get worse.
and i was tired of wearing glasses.
contacts are great.

i did this yesterday.

and i did this today.

my summer break is coming to an end.
its been nice, and i may regret saying this in a few months, but i miss studying.
monday morning, the madness of my 4th semester begins {out of 5!!!!!}
i'm sooooo cloooooose!!
but we've been told this is the hardest semester yet.
they've all been hard.
i'm just ready to get into it and get started.

and this drive...

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

i have not missed it one bit.
especially with gas prices on the rise again.

and this school.


my school.

i'm going to miss this so much:

i'll have to get in as much snuggle time as i can over the next few days.


hope everyone has a great weekend.
i'll be packing my book bag, organizing all my pens/markers/hi-lighters, printing out syllabus(s), and printing out power points, getting ready for school.
i'm excited to welcome the new class of freshmen!!
boy are they in for a wild ride!!
oh the joys of nursing school...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

the time i was a patient

link up time!!

i'm no stranger to the hospital.
not only because of my nursing student status, but i've dealt with some stuff.
i will share my most complex time that i had to wear a hospital gown.

10 years ago,
when i was 20, i spent nearly a month in the hospital.
how's that for being on the other side of nursing??
but at that time, being a nurse was NOT even a consideration.
i was sick.
really sick.
and of course, i tried to ignore my signs and symptoms for as long as i could.
{don't we all??}
EVEN THOUGH - i watched my younger brother go through the Very Same Sickness for the last 7 years.
we both had ulcerative colitis.
he had it first; starting when he was 13.
ulcerative colitis is an autoimmune disorder where your body turns on itself and our intestines were literally being eaten up with ulcers.
i watched his get really bad - his was much worse than mine.
maybe because they tried to make his go into remission longer {and his would go into remission, mine never did}

*long story*
SO, some 750 miles away from any of my family, i went to a doctor who diagnosed me with ulcerative colitis.
i saw it coming.
they started me on the medications prednisone and asacol to help it go into remission.
it only got worse.
and when it got worse, they just UP-ed my dose of steroids.
it got to the point where i was in the bathroom, LITERALLY every hour {on the hour} pooping straight blood and nothing else... {bear with me on the gross parts, i'm gonna be a nurse, so it really doesn't bother me at all any more; unless i'm eating and watching something at the same time}

my stomach cramps and nausea were unreal.
by this point, i had lost so much blood that i was severely anemic; along with being dehydrated from not being able to keep anything down/in me; and exhausted from not sleeping.
BUT: my doctor in N.J. never admitted me to the hospital.
that was about all i could take.

i called my parents {remember, i was 20} who promptly put me on a red-eye-flight back to South Carolina.
i wasn't even sure i'd be able to walk the distance from the plane to meet my parents at the baggage claim.
when my parents saw me walking towards them, they didn't recognize me.
they said i looked like a walking ghost: i was extremely pale, my eyes were pretty much blackened and sunk in, i had the lovely moon-face from all the prednisone my doctor was pumping into me, and i was clutching my bottle of Powerade like it was the only thing i had left on earth {it was all i could keep down}.
from the airport, we went directly to the ER, where they attempted to re-hydrate me and get me a room to be admitted to {um, no question whether or not i'd be admitted}.
i had to get 3 pints of blood to replace all that i had lost.
they started me on IV steroids {the big guns}, antibiotics, and a full clear liquid diet {not that i could tolerate anything more...}
chicken broth, beef broth, and jello is all i ate for a month.
yes, i lost weight. and muscle mass. and strength.
about a week into my stay, and no resulting slow down of bleeding from the IV steroids i was receiving, we made the decision to go for surgery = total colectomy.
the day before the surgery, a nurse came in and fitted me for a colostomy bag {because usually, the procedure is done in 2 steps}
1. remove and resection the large and small intestines {allow time for them to heal} needing a colostomy bag to divert everything...
2. reconnect the j-pouch to the rectum and open it all back up.

i have a feeling this is sort of what my insides look like.


i don't remember much from the recovery, mainly because of the morphine PCA pump i was on.
my mom wrote down some of the ca*razy things i said and told me i was pushing my pump's button all the time. i don't remember any of it.
i did not have to have a colostomy bag = they did the whole surgery in 1 giant step.
i spent a week hooked up to tubes; there were literally tubes in all of my openings.
we'll start at the top:

  • NG {nasogastric} to keep stuff out of my stomach; stomach acid doesn't stop being made just because you aren't eating; and to keep any of it from entering my intestines.
  • IV lines for fluids and other meds {the sites changed often}
  • a few drains from my humongous abdominal scar: one was a jackson pratt drain that i tried to squeeze while doped up on morphine {or so i was told}
  • a central line in my neck with 3 different ports {that had to be redone after my surgery while i was AWAKE because they weren't sure it was in the right place}
  • indwelling foley catheter {because i was on total and complete bed rest}
  • and some sort of bowel irrigation system that i was hooked up to that was helping my insides heal faster; BTW, it was totally stitched to my skin so it wouldn't move {as were the other drains}
{post surgery - 1 week so far in the hospital}

i do remember some of the nurses, and how they took care of me.
nurses do a lot.
some of them were nicer and more patient than others.
some of them were just in there, doing their job and nothing else.
one of them's name was robert robert {one of the only things i remember!!!}
yes, the only male nurse i had the whole month i was there.
i was a total care patient to the max.
that is where i decided i really wanted to do something in the medical field.
i healed completely.
i have a large scar from my belly button all the way down my abdomen.
i had a baby via C-section and they totally used my previous scar so they wouldn't be giving me any more gruesome scars.
i can eat what ever i want.
i have had no problems at all.

so, yeah.
if something is wrong with you, don't ignore it.
get it checked out.
ignoring my "little problem" almost killed me.

as a nursing student, i take care of people that often wait until the last minute to do something about what is bothering them.
i've seen gangrene, amputations, and people literally falling apart because their bodies are turning on them.
sometimes, its sad because the reason they can't do anything about it is because they cannot afford to go see a doctor.
this is why i think i want to do SOMETHING {maybe not all the time/completely} in medical missionary work.
or just help people that can't afford it.
and {so far} i've lived happily ever after
the end.

Monday, August 6, 2012


The semester is coming to the end and I just figured out yesterday, ALL of the things that we have to do in the next 2 weeks. I think we’re all slightly overwhelmed {just like last semester} at everything ahead of us.
ALL of the tests we have to take in the next 2 weeks.
ALL of the studying we have to do in the next 2 weeks.
Here is what my next 2 weeks will look like.
It will all come to an end on May 4.
Then, I will have a week until it starts again. 


I think we're all about ready for the semester to end. All of these tests all clumped together are a little ridiculous. And I know they say to study "by and along the way" but seriously, I have so many tests here lately that I can only dedicate one day per test. I'm pretty good at memorizing things but after the test is over - that's it. It's hard to recall that info again.
I know my parents are willing to let hailee hang out over there more in the next 2 weeks but I'm gonna miss seeing my little pumpkin! It's hard being away from her.
Roger turns 30 Saturday :) I may have enough free time to make sure we have a birthday dinner as a family but then I gotta start cramming info in my head for my micro lab practical next week.
I just know these next 2 weeks are going to fly - because that's NOT what I want to happen. That just makes all these tests come closer & faster together.
So yes, these next 2 weeks are going to be very difficult. A cupcake may be in order when it's all said and done.

I was on my way to Orangeburg this morning and saw an 18 wheeler pulled over on the side of the road. I noticed all of the other 18 wheelers moving into the leftlane to give him some extra space (as they usually do for their own). As I wascoming up near the 18 wheeler, I saw the driver get out, look around, and takeoff running towards the back of his rig while the traffic was all in the leftlane.
Then, it happened.
I watched him trip.
He took a flying leap and landed on the ground at the back of his rig.
The (student) nurse in me surged with a flow of emotions.
It hurt my heart to see him fall. I wanted to turn around and make sure he wasOK. I wanted to make sure he made it out of the road before he fell.
But by then, I was already ½ mile away.

I’m going to be a nurse. It is most definitely a “right” decision



This is draw something. It's kinda like pictionary. I have spurts where I can play when I have time in between studying. It's fun!!

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Roger took Hailee up to the church to let me study one day a few weeks ago and on their walk up, he picked some "sour weed". I had never heard of it but I guess you just eat the bottom part of the plant? Anyway, Hailee's a pro at it now and she showed me how to eat sour weed.
I was sweeping sour weed up off the kitchen floor for a while.

here are a few more of hailee's little things she's left on my phone.
i will never get tired of seeing these.

I'm finishing this from my iPhone so I hope it turns out right.. This is pretty much the only time I'll be able to get on here & there are micro notes sitting in front of me- begging for my attention.
To all my sweet classmates: 2 more weeks & we'll be seniors. Ready for our week of break!!!!
Happy studying y'all :)

Friday, August 3, 2012

field trips and adventures.

oh. my. word.
getting hailee to go down for a nap is getting harder and harder.
i KNOW she still needs the nap.
i STILL need that silence that goes with the nap.
she's trying to grow up so fast.
she tells me every day {usually more than once a day}
"momma, i'm growing up"
as if i needed a reminder...
she wants to measure herself against her growth chart behind her door, every day.
and she can finally turn her lights on and off in her room.
by. herself.
{independence is kind of a big thing right now}

spending this last week with her has been so refreshing.
and eye opening.
i'm seeing her start to really think about things.
...roll ideas around in her head...
and sometimes, she'll say something that makes me step back and wonder,
"where did that come from? are you really old enough to know what that means?"
she's getting there.
and its just something i'm going to have to deal with.

this week has been all about "field trips" and "going on adventures"
she's quite the little thrill seeker.
really, she just likes to get out of the house.
*just like her father*
i'm a complete home-body; more content than ever just being at home.
but this week, we've played.
and gone on adventures.
even though, she'd rather them be far, far, away
and had picnic lunches.

when we got to my parents' house the other day to go swimming, she was actually a little disappointed.
"i wanna go pick strawberries!"
who said anything about going to pick strawberries??
she just comes up with these things.

i had a friend over for coffee yesterday.
maddi, roger, and i were at the kitchen table, talking.
hailee was quiet in her room.
at first, it sort of scared me because usually whenever hailee is quiet, it's not a good sign.
so i decided to sneak up to her door and see what she was up to.
she was over by her bookshelf, "reading" a book.
made my heart smile.
she's such a sweet girl.









it would be nice to be able to bottle up some of her energy.
she has tons.
she's always been that way though.
hailee has never been much of a sleeper/napper
from when she was born up until about the time she started walking, her naps were 30 minutes max.
never wanted to miss anything.

Saluda Shoals splash pad with the Cousins
{along with a picnic lunch, which now, she thinks every lunch is supposed to be a picnic.}







i also got a bottle of mod podge.
we've had a lot of fun with that and crafts since i've been home too!
of course, i do most of the work, she likes to direct me and inform me of what goes where.
and everything we cut out of magazines, are the items of her choosing.
and, next time i'm at walmart, i'm really going to have to remember to get some of those multi colored paint swatches.
oh, the things you could do with mod podge...


i might have actually had more fun with the mod podge than she did.


and... painting her version of people
they look the same every time she makes a person.
but i will never get tired of seeing her little drawings.
face with a straight mouth :|
{sometimes it's crooked but never really a big smile}
arms and legs coming out of head.
sometimes, there are ears/hair.
and usually a belly button.
{and other unspeakables..}

this is what her people make me think of:


Photobucket bedhead.

that, and she's not much of a morning person.


so, i mentioned that i wanted some earrings from sara's etsy shop: tiny galaxies before...
i got me some!!
they were on clearance for $10.
she's trying to clear out some of her inventory.
they're so my style.
she has bracelets, necklaces, and other fun things.
girl's got talent!
it was packaged all sweet too.


here are some of my iPhone pics.
who am i kidding?
my iPhone is the only camera i use ;)


i'm still thinking about what i'm going to write for this:

because i have been in the hospital a few times.
it's another little link up hosted by 2 nurses that i like to keep up with on here.
ya know, kind of get an idea of what i'm getting myself into.
because i never said "i want to be a nurse" when i was a little girl.
that whole idea came about after some of my stays in the hospital.
{and after 5 years of working at a bank, with no where to advance.}
it's fun and a good way to meet other nurses and nursing students that blog.

happy friday!

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