Tuesday, August 20, 2013

just let the coffee flow.

No, seriously.

Let it Pour.
Oh, that sweet, dark, caffeine filled drink.

I definitely slept 12 hours last night.
After working 2 back to back night shifts.
48 hours - only 8 of which I slept.
My body was making up for lost time.
And today, it's thanking me.
And I have not gotten out of my pajamas.

For my last 13.5 hour shift - with 4 patients - 2 that didn't feel the urge to sleep the night away - kept me jumping from one task to the next.
Oh, yeah!
And I forgot to mention I was on my own; sans preceptor.
We were short a nurse. My preceptor had to be the charge nurse too.
It made me feel awesome because they told me, "we feel like you're self sufficient enough to be okay on your own and if you need help, you can ask anyone".

That's big.

I jumped right in because some of them needed immediate care.
Then I got all my meds till about midnight.
Passed out meds and did assessments on everyone.

It was a busy night.
Not overwhelming, but steady.
And I was never completely left to my own - there was always someone there willing to help and answer my questions.
It was a great experience for September when I'm officially off orientation.
Adventures of a night shift nurse ;)

I love the night shift.
I love the atmosphere.
The semi-darkened, empty halls.
The quiet stillness of people sleeping.
Looking out the windows of a patient's room and seeing the night -
and here lately, the steady rain falling in rivulets down their windows reflecting the lights out front.
I love our night nurse techs - and so far, all the nurses I've worked with at night have been so great.
I really lucked out.
Good floor.
Good people.
Good hours.
Great opportunities ahead.

I'm learning so much and starting to feel better about the things that I do.

I love people. I love working with people.

Even when they are not in their right minds, and when they're hurting so much, all they can do is pant and chant the same things over and over again. Even when I'm running from their rooms to the med room every hour or two to keep them comfortable. Even when they save all their wants and needs until that one moment I stick my head in the door to check on them in the middle of the night. Even when their family members hover and insist and control their parents/children/significant others.
I'm their advocate.
Because when they say, Thank You for all you've done {and even if they don't}, I know that I've done things for them that they couldn't do for themselves.
That is my job.
This is what I chose to do.
And this is what I will continue doing for as long as I can.
And to think... I never said, "I want to be a nurse when I grow up"
Never, not even once.

So until my body adjusts to being up all night.
And sleeping until mid afternoon.
I'll drink coffee during times when normally it would keep me up all night.
Because that's actually what I'm hoping for.

i like this:

Monday, August 19, 2013

just a few things.

This is Random Goodness, for goodness sake.
It's been a while since I've had a go at some all over the place thoughts.

and because I'm now awake and asleep at different times, my body is going through periods of sleep deprivation and 12 hour bouts of sleep at a time.

Things are definitely much more random nowadays..
like when my house is clean.
when I see my husband.
when the laundry is done.
my work schedule.
roger's work schedule.

Want to know some more random things?
off we go...

my new Blood Pressure medicine smells like cake. {new meds because the old meds did THIS}

most of the time, I write out my posts first - or at least put together ideas on paper before I post things

One day, I spent a lot of time editing and organizing my pinterest boards. It was very satisfying.

I'm still LOVING this abundance of rain and storms. It's keeping summer mild and might I add, is wonderful sleeping weather.

I wish blogger offered a cursive font - sometimes putting things in italics just isn't enough.

Not a day goes by when Hailee doesn't mention the name of one of her cousins.

I'm STILL loving my Erin Condren Life Planner. And as above where I mentioned writing out my posts first - I use my Take Note notebook for that one. Erin Condren stuff is just the bee's knees. For real.

I can never find a finger nail file when I need one - and my nails have been growing super fast.

Roger and I started watching Dr. Who on Netflix a couple months ago and it's pretty much one of my favorite shows now. We just started watching season 3. It takes all that is within me to NOT watch an extra episode when Roger isn't here... {I know you're reading this and I promise, I haven't. yet.} It's just a great show.

Hailee's latest play craze is "restaurant" she set this one up all by herself.

We love to paint. These are some rocks we painted. They started out looking good, then she got a little crazy with the paint and they all ended up brown and black.

When I get home from working a 13+ hour shift, after I sit down once, chances are good that I'm not getting back up to do much besides get ready for bed. After sitting once, my feet begin to THROB. And if I've been awake for too long, my body will start to shut down on it's own. I'm not that worried about sleeping during the day any more.

She does what she wants {and has her own fashion sense}

I have to chew gum at work. HAVE TO. When you're all up in people's faces, both of you don't have to have stank breath... It's probably the longest I'm able to chew gum.

I really hope this is not what I have to look forward to when picking up Hailee from daycare after Roger has the morning time to get her ready...
Colorful tank top over a princess dress with hot pink socks and tennis shoes. Oh, and the hair she went to sleep in. Because this is how I found her when I woke up today.

I love starting to work somewhere where no one knows my past. They only know who I am NOW and I like this person much better than who I was before.

Now, Hailee's into making bracelets with pipe cleaners and beads.

People will do anything. Nothing someone does should surprise me anymore. Since working in healthcare, you wouldn't even believe some of the things and theatrics I've seen. Compassion - I'm got that.  Holding my face neutral in those "special" moments {cursive needed here} is a bit harder for me to come by... Mrs. Varn, thank you very much for teaching us about that. ;)

This is my favorite way to stay organized at night. I want to sit down, and type up my own version but right now, that would take time that I don't really have.

We have a starbucks at work. So far, my favorite drink has been a caramel frap with an extra shot of get up and go. That amazing caramel syrup... I NEED IT!!! just kidding. but really... it's wonderful.

Hailee stuck a tiny lady bug sticker on the wall next to my bathroom. Every time I see it, I think it's a real bug.

Take No Glory: My will spins - I want to sing this song and harmonize with someone.
Please and thank you.
I love it.

and lastly, we all need time to decompress.
VERY IMPORTANT {again, cursive would do great here too}

I didn't have time to read back over this.
Sleep is calling.
If I go back over and see it's full of horrible mistakes, I'll fix them later.

Good night.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

crystal lake drive

There is something so familiar to me about the lake.

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There is something comforting in seeing this glassy surface so early in the morning.
The stillness matching the quiet start to the day.
The sun coming up over the tree tops.

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watching the world around us glistening with morning dew as we slowly sip our coffee.
Everything waking up.

The pace of life is slower.

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The atmosphere is more relaxed.

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I grew up with a lake house in my family.
A summer get-away.

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I grew up spending summer nights on the porch with my grandparents as my grandfather swore by that "million dollar breeze" that came sweeping over the lake when it was dark.
Sipping their evening cocktails as we sank into the chairs next to them - probably being eaten alive by the mosquitoes...
Telling ghost stories with the neighbor boys at the end of our dock.
BECAUSE the lake house was on Crystal Lake Drive - and Crystal Lake was the camp where the Jason movies took place... [Friday the 13th]
Stealing first kisses and staying outdoors.
Picking up the pine cones and gum-balls that were scattered all over the yard for a quarter a basket that my grandfather would pay us.
Because we rarely wore shoes.

Summer was sweet.
And it never lasted long enough for me.

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The grass was green and lush.
Everything was green.
We'd catch as many tadpoles in mason jars as we could.
We'd run after the fireflies when it got dark.
The pop-ice's were always stocked in the freezer.
As were the snacks in the cabinets.
We'd swing each other in the hammocks under the trees.

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The cicada's and frogs were always so loud.
The windows were always open.
We would wake up each morning to the birds chirping.
My grandparents would make their coffee and once again, we'd gather on the porch.

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What a blessing it was to grow up with such fond memories of a wonderful place.
And to be able to share it with my daughter is even more of a blessing.
I hope she always has a place like this to come to.

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To be among family and friends.
The good old days.

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To be loved by so many.

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A little piece of heaven on earth.
Since we've all gotten older, we don't come out to the lake as much anymore.
Since my grandfather passed away so many years ago, with all of his memories wrapped up in that place, it just feels different.
Like he should be there.
Sitting on the porch with his "million dollar breeze" sweeping through the trees.
Maybe one day we'll fix it up and spend more time there.
But for now, I'll take what I can get and share as much as I can with my Hailee.
She loves the lake too ;)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

the time i got angioedema {today}

Today started off just like any other day...
I was off work.
Hailee and I went up to Kiddie Kollege and registered her to start going in a few weeks.
Went to the store.
Came home || ate lunch.
Started making Sugar Cookies.
By about 1:30, I noticed my lip started feeling strange.

Like the numb feeling you get when you get a shot at the dentist.
And tingly.
But it was only in the upper lip and only on one side.

^^ THIS was shortly after I noticed it at about 1:30pm  ^^
I know, I look like Elvis, and I'm not even trying.
That's talent, huh.
Immediately, the nurse in me went into action.
I swallowed down 2 Benadryl and started putting ice on it.

It spread.
It tingled and spread further across my lip.

Did I get bit by something and didn't know it??
Did I eat something that I'm NOW allergic to that I haven't been in the past?
Was it the Lisinopril I take for my blood pressure?
Because an adverse effect of ACE inhibitors is most definitely Angioedema...

I googled angioedema.
I shouldn't have.
It was all these fat lips, and swollen tongues, some even had their eyes swollen shut.
and that was NOT good for my blood pressure.

Lucky me - my brother is a pharmacist.
He told me to do exactly what I had been doing || Benadryl and ice.
And he told me to go to Urgent care.
THAT, I didn't do.

Then, at 3:00...

It started feeling SO TIGHT!
Like my lip was going to bust wide open.
And chapped because the wet part {my mucus membrane} was on the outside.
Not good.
and, Y'ALL...
my health insurance doesn't kick in until Sept 15th - my 90th day as a nurse.
I did not want to hit up the local urgent care or ED and acquire a massive bill.
So, I did the next best thing and called my Dr.
She was booked solid.

There is another office here in Lexington that was able to fit me in by 5:00pm.

I was being so vigilant, making sure it wasn't spreading to my tongue/airway/eyes...
I got to the Dr's office early - 4:20 early.
I drove the whole way hiding behind my ice pack.
I walked into the office hiding behind my ice pack.
They saw my lip and took me right back ;)

By 5:00, I was prescribed another BP medicine in a different drug class, given a month of free samples {THANK YOU JESUS!!}, and had my script for steroids in my hot little hands.
This was me on my way home from this visit.

It looked like a botched botox job.
I swear it's not.
And I promise no one hit me.
And I wasn't bit by anything that I remember.
{you know my extreme fear of insects so Believe YOU me!! I'd be the 1st to know if something creepy crawly was on MY FACE.

Apparently, it's an adverse reaction to the Lisinopril.
A pretty rare one.
And I just happened to manifest this rare adverse reaction.
Lucky me.
At dinner tonight, Hailee said the blessing and prayed for my big lip.
Oh, my sweet girl. She just steals my heart over and over again!!

So now, it's just after 8PM.
and this is how it looks:

I can already feel it going away.
Still looks like I have a fat lip.
And my husband is laughing at the duck bill I have growing off my face.
Still no more airway involvement.
My new BP med is an ARB - Cozaar.
THEY have been known to cause angioedema too...
Let's pray this one doesn't ;)

I'm off to take some more Benadryl.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

when storms are near.

is it bad that I like the rain?
that I hope for thunderstorms?
that the flashes of lightening are captivating and that I'm always amazed by just how hard rain can fall.
And that it can come in sideways,
sweeping across landscaped yards, hills, gravel driveways, hot, tired wooden porches.
beating out rhythms on the windows and rooftops.
bringing with it winds that tear through the trees
flinging pine needles from the rows of the perfectly planted pine trees that surround us.

is it bad that the electrically charged atmosphere before a storm thrills me?
the way you can feel and smell when a summer storm is approaching.
the way the clouds build upon each other until their dark, ominous presence overwhelms the sun.
the way you become enveloped by humidity when walking outside -
the air so thick you can almost taste it...

I love the dreary days when the rain keeps the sun at bay,
when the heat is replaced by temporary showers of relief,
when in the darkness, you can lay around and nap or just be close to someone else.

I love the easy feel of grey,
where you can slip right into a cup of tea,
lose yourself as the rivets cascade down the windows in jagged lines.

but it's always nice to see it end.
and rainbows, with all of their perfection, astound me even more than the rain.
with a design and shape consistently all their own,
promising hope.
always bringing a smile
and that quiet moment of wonder and awe.
before it disappears into the sun.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

already august.

Night Shift:
It is going to be one great, big adjustment.
And NOT an easy one at that.
HOWEVER... it was unnaturally without any difficulty what-so-ever.

The nights smoothly transitioned into days without any major mishaps.
Sleeping during daylight hours - now that's a whole other fish I'll have to fry.
Thank goodness for my eclipse curtains over all my bedroom windows!
They keep it nice and dim in my room.
I've always had problems sleeping during the day.

I work day shift tomorrow then night shift Friday night.
THEN, no more day time work.
Only nights.

And by the way...
Have I told you just how much I LOVE being a nurse?
It's an exhausting job.
But I'm learning new things every day.
I'm figuring out how to manage patients, medicines, assessments, rounding... doctors...
I'll be up to 4 patients by the end of the week.
I'm not gonna lie - it can still be a little scary knowing I'm in charge of the well being of 4 people who I have to simultaneously check in on every hour of my 12 hour shift {and then some}.

I really enjoy it.
And I love that I'm an Ortho nurse.
But even though my name badge says Orthopaedics RN, we also get overflow trauma from the ER.
During the daytime hours, it seems like it's a constant one thing right after the other.
So far, my experience with nights, that hasn't exactly been the case.
Pretty much between the hours of 2am - 5/6am, I've had sleepy/sleeping patients.
That's when things slow down and I can get caught up on charting.

It's still strange not having a normal 9 - 5 || M - F job.
Going in a patients room and seeing the sun setting over Columbia, SC.
Driving home as the sun comes up.

Let's not forget...

Since being out of school, life has taken on a whole new pace.
And suddenly, it's August.
I KNOW! it's hard for me to believe too.
And as someone pointed out... it hasn't even hit 100 this summer. yet.
Is it just me or has this summer absolutely flown by? There has been so much going on and so much bouncing back and forth, and now kids are about to go back to school.
And football season will soon start {not that I'm a fan or anything - exactly the opposite}
We'll probably be taking care of some football players if they have any ortho injuries.
It's happened before...


|| playing with blocks ||
she LOVES setting up {blocks} houses for her squinkies and animals
she's growing up so fast.

|| clementines ||

|| she loves to take pictures ||

|| just found out about this thing called "Wreck This Journal" and I'm making one for her ||
it's by Keri Smith.
a 4 year old version, of course!
It's a neat concept.
I would have loved this when I was a teenager.

|| checking out some child care options ||
Hailee loves being around other children.
And baby girl needs some structure to her day.
When they got home from this day-o-fun, she explained to me in detail everything they did and saw.
She's SUCH a people person.
JUST make yourself at home, Hailee girl.

Thanks for stopping by!
Have a good rest of the week.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Suggestions for Night Shifters

A Rugrats movie is playing in the background.
I've tried to close my eyes and rest for a while before my first night shift.
I was hoping Hailee would nap while I tried to nap too.
It's not really happening.

I'm sitting here wondering how tonight is going to go.
My very first night shift.
I'm not really sure how to prepare for this.
I don't really have many options other than stay up for 24 hours.
From now until I get off work tonight.
Do I bring coffee?
And after eating 3 meals today, what kind of meal am I supposed to pack for 1 - 2 AM?
A second Supper?
A first breakfast?
I really don't want to be hitting up the cafeteria at that time because there will be nothing but fried stuff to dine on.

This is going to be interesting...

I know one thing is for sure: when I get home in the morning after working a 13 hour shift, I will have no trouble sleeping.
I never do.
They are some really long shifts.
And I don't know about night shift, but day shifts are Jam Packed Full of Non Stop running.
So... will the patients be sleeping?
Or will they be calling for their pain meds every 2 - 4 hours?
There won't be any food served during night shift - as with day shift, we supervise the 3 full meals.
Will I be running to get snacks and blood sugars?

So many questions.
Some will be answered in about 5 hours.

If anyone has certain things that works for them in getting acclimated to night shift work, do share.
THEN, if anyone has certain things that works for them in sleeping during the daytime, that is welcome too.

I'll be on tonight and tomorrow night.
Then back to days for about 2 days.
Then, nights.
And I do have a family with a very active 4 year old, so days...
And then back to nights.
And hopefully the end of orientation by the end of this month.
But we'll see how that goes.

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