Thursday, June 23, 2016

Due North.

My morning routine has changed since Monday. I hug my baby a little longer and a little tighter. I give him extra kisses and let him know he's the world to me. I will do whatever I can to keep him safe.

We go outside and watch the construction work and at some point I go to the sidewalk and look due North, two blocks down. I see the park, where we had Henry's first birthday party, where I grew up playing and where my son will play. I see kids playing baseball and parents watching, cars driving by and people walking dogs. Their lives go on without knowing what happened just a few yards away. I don't watch the cars or people, I look past the park and shelter house to look at the house. Knowing that when I look this direction each day, everyone else's lives move on, but my mind is fixated on Monday morning.

I have been training for this day for more than six years, but I always prayed and hoped I would never, ever have to use these skills I had acquired. There’s some things that no matter how much you train for you will never be fully prepared. I knew what I was signing up for as a member of the ambulance service. There are days when I question if I'm in the right profession but i know that this was out of my hands. I was scheduled to work Monday, but due to switching weekends I was off. I still had my sitter lined up, so I dropped Henry off and instead of going to get groceries, I wanted to do a few things around the house first. And that's when time stopped.

So forgive me, if I seem overprotective. Forgive me, if I don’t let you watch my child.  Forgive me, if I start to cry when it seems like there is no reason. Forgive me, if I get quiet and don’t want to talk or get angry for what seems like no reason. Forgive me, because in my 27 years I have seen and done more than someone should ever have to do and my heart is broken.

I know people will have questions, but I can't answer them (for personal reasons and other reasons). But this should help with some of the encrypted messages I have posted, it's a glimpse into my life this week and why I might seem gloomy. I'm not writing this to get "I'm sorry"s or sympathy. It's mostly to help me cope personally.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Cheater, Cheater, pumpkin eater.

Let's preface this by saying, I'm a cheater. Yes, I try to follow rules and behave as I'm supposed to but I cheat. In high school, a friend and I sat by the wall and would put our vocabulary books behind the AC unit when we had tests. In college, I used google to find tricks to make my papers longer. And now, as an adult, I'm cheating when it comes to my health.  I don't work out and I don't eat as healthy as I should. Due to having a baby, my blood pressure has been high and I'm on medication, something I'd like to get rid of.  And tonight, I'm counting the kettle corn I'm going to eat as my extra yellow container I still need.

21 day fix is a portion control system that uses color coded Tupperware containers to help with portion control. Today was my first day, and I have already cheated. First thing this morning, I put creamer in my coffee. I will say I only used 1 teaspoon and I did it because I didn't want to just toss the creamer. This is my 'trial' round to help me get things figured out and how well I like doing it. So far, so good.

Although 21 day fix does seem to be a fad diet, it's more than that. (I am not a beachbody coach. just speaking from my experience!) It's a program that teaches about portion control and gives you tools for success.  And it isn't starving yourself. I struggled with eating my lunch today because of the required amounts of food I am supposed to have.  My lunch was seasoned hamburger, lettuce, tomato, onion, peppers, mushrooms and cottage cheese, as well as a dressing. It was delicious. Today has probably been some of the best food i've had in a while! Tonight I made mini meatloaves, roasted asparagus and mashed potatoes.

I have plans for tomorrows meals, which isn't completely out of the ordinary for me as I do like to plan but this takes some figuring to make sure all of the containers are accounted for during the day. Having things prepped and ready for tomorrow will make getting up at 5 AM for work much easier!

 I have yet to start the workouts, so I can't comment on them. I'm hoping to get one in tonight yet.

Follow me on my journey over the next 21 days. (As part of our support group, we are also doing "The Love Dare". I will likely have posts on how that is going too, if I remember. I'm trying to keep accountable without commenting like crazy in our group app so people don't get tired of me! :)
If you'd like to know more about my meals let me  know.


Saturday, October 24, 2015

"Did you cut your hair?"

As many know, I cut my hair recently. Now for most this isn't blog worthy news and I'm not writing this to draw attention to myself and put myself on a pedestal that I'm better than you. My hair simply grows pretty quickly and because I'm "low-maintenance" I choose to cut it once a year or once every other year. Thus, I am able to donate 10+ inches regularly. Which is what I did again this year.
After talking with many people and other information going around the interwebs, I decided to change my usual donation from Locks of Love to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. The reason for this was purely personal. I still love the mission of Locks of Love. However, recently, we have been affected by cancer in our adult friends. Cancer has, unfortunately, been a big part of my life. I remember when my mom was going through treatments and I didn't want her to go anywhere without her wig. This has stuck with me since 4th grade, so I have wanted to do what I can to help other women not have to worry about the expense of wigs. Growing my hair is a free way to help out others and I normally get a free haircut out of it. :)

Pantene partners with the American Cancer Society to provide wigs for women.  Pantene also accepts hair as short as 8 inches, so don't let the 10 inches you normally hear scare you! To find out more information you can check out there site here.
Not my picture: Source
The process is pretty simple. Most salons are familiar with how to cut the hair for donation. It just needs to be in a pony tail and at least 8 inches. You then mail it in, in a padded envelope. Simple!
I definitely encourage you to try to donate.

I wrote this a few years ago when I donated and was getting a lot of comments. It's not about me, it's about helping out someone else.  

I don’t do it for the attention.
I don’t do it for the comments.
The “Wow you cut your hair!” ‘s
Or the “Oh it looks so cute!” ‘s
I don’t do it because I have to.
No, I simply do it for her.
I do it for the little girl who
wants to run around with pig tails and ribbons.
I do it for the teenager who
wants a cute up-do for prom.
For the mother of two
Who once joked about pulling her hair out;
And now cries when she really can…
I do it because I can
For everyone who can’t.
With hopes that some day
If I need it, I’ll have choices.
Granted the comments are enjoyable
And the attention is too
But that’s not why I do it.
I do it because I can.
It’s simply what I do.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

"Just a nurse"

Yesterday, I was absolutely thrilled when I hear Miss Colorado did a monologue for her talent portion of Miss America. Not only was this a unique talent, but it was about nursing. First of all, what a different thing to do, now I haven't watched regularly but I'm pretty sure this is one of the first times, if not the first time, this was done. If you haven't heard (or read) the ladies that are on the "popular" talk-show The View, criticized Miss Kelly Johnson for doing this. Saying she basically was reading e-mails and wearing a "doctor's stethoscope".

Not only did she dare to try something different, she dawned her nursing scrubs. As a nurse, I know what scrubs can hide. They are not very figure flattering and when I feel a little heavier, I'm happy that I can pull on a baggy pair of scrubs when I go to work, rather than dress clothes. This to me alone is awesome for one of the contestants to do, in a beauty pageant where emphasis is put on looks this was a risk to take.

Miss Colorado's monologue was about not being "just a nurse". She recalled a conversation she had with an Alzheimer's patient and how she told him, he would never be just the disease there would be more to him, and he reiterated the fact to her, she was not "just a nurse" but so much more.  This conversation is one I've had before, as many know, I did apply to medical school and didn't get in. Nursing was not my first career choice, but I now know it is what I am supposed to be doing. I will never be just a nurse.

As much as I want to say I hope those ladies from the View never call 911 or show up in my ER, I actually hope they do so that I can show them that even though they're complete morons, I will treat them with respect and show them compassion even when they were disrespectful and ignorant. I hope they show up, so I can teach them that I, as a nurse, will be the first they talk to (after registration). I will get their story and learn why they came to to the Emergency Room. I will take their vital signs, using MY stethoscope.  I will then go and talk with the ER physician and talk to them about the plan they have. I will also bounce ideas off of them or give them my true impression of what is going on.   Sometimes, before doing this, I will start their IV, draw labs and start fluids running. [I might mention for fun that a physician has jokingly challenged me to see who could get a hard IV stick first, and I beat him multiple times, proving to him my worth and skill] I may even get them medication to accelerate the process of them feeling better because if we're busy, it could be a while before the doctor or mid-level provider has time to get into see them.

My floor nurse co-workers are amazing (actually, all my co-workers are amazing). While their role as a nurse is different than mine, we do many of the same tasks. However, I have the benefit of having a doctor there all the time, when a patient is crashing, they can give me immediate orders for medication or whatever needs to be done (but I also have the ability to make these decisions and be proactive). They do their assessment and if something is out of the ordinary have to call and sometimes wake up providers when they get an inkling of something going wrong. I'm pretty sure if you ask almost anyone in a hospital what keeps it running, they will say the nurses. We are often the eyes and ears of the doctor. We go into patient rooms multiple times an hour, not to annoy you as a patient but to make sure we are doing everything that needs to be done to meet your needs. Yes, we may get annoyed with call lights and joke about patients, but you can believe me that we will always try our hardest to put on a smile (maybe sometimes it's fake ;) ) and do whatever we can to make you feel better.

No, I will never be "just a nurse". I will be a nurse, a caregiver, a medication distributor, a friendly smile, a maid at times, a professional butt wiper, a hand to hold when you're scared and a shoulder to cry on when you're sad and so much more. And you, you will never be "the appendectomy", "they finger laceration", "the 'man-cold'" or any other ailment. You will always be my patient, and I will strive to treat you as a person, not your illness.  In some way, you will make a difference in my life as I hope I do in yours as your nurse.

images from :

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Oh Baby! The Birth Story.

If you're surprised baby boy is here then we obviously aren't very good friends. :) This post may contain awkward stories. (You've been warned) 

As most know, I had a terrible pregnancy, I was sick every week and generally felt pretty crappy throughout. Because of my constant nausea, I basically ate nonstop which in-turn made me gain quite a bit of excess weight. All for a perfectly healthy happy baby boy. 

My estimated due date was April 29. I was put on bed rest almost exactly one month prior to that because of pregnancy induced hypertension and a 9 pound weight gain in one week...The reason for bedrest was to hopefully prevent further hypertension which can lead to seizures. I was on the verge of pre-eclampsia because my I had little to no proteins in  my urine. (I even got to do a fun 24 hour urine collection [don't drink from the big orange jug in the fridge]). Since I didn't have proteins in my urine, my doctor chose to hold off on induction until 41 weeks despite my begging him to do it earlier! 
I spent the weekend drinking raspberry tea and eating pineapple as I heard those both helped people go into labor. I wasn't able to take long walks because of my bedrest. Needless to say, nothing helped! 

So we planned the induction for Tuesday, May 5.  We went to the OB department somewhere between 530 and 6 that night if I remember right. The plan was to get cervadil a medication that softens and ripens the cervix so that when the contraction medication is started the next morning there is a better chance for delivery.  However, when the doctor checked me I was further dilated that he thought I would be so cervadil would not be necessary. This meant pitocin, (aka pit) the contraction starting medication would be started. I was definitely not looking forward to this as I heard about how awful it was. Well, those that said it was awful were not joking. I went from tolerable, excited to I can't stand this. I got a couple doses of fentanyl which made me feel drunk more than anything.

On top of it all, I was having terrible back labor. And more good news (not) from the doctor was that he was turned the wrong way, "sunny side up" as they say. Meaning, rather than being face down which is much easier to deliver he was face up. 

Knowing these things and because my blood pressure still wasn't cooperating, the doctor, nurse and I decided it would be best to go ahead with the epidural. I was frustrated because I really thought I would be able to do it without one but with the pit and my blood pressure this was the best option.  Since it was the middle of the night, the nurse anesthetist would have to be called in. While waiting, the nurse suggested to try a walk. I was contracting about every 2-3 minutes I think. 

Joel, the nurse anesthetist arrived and started my epidural. Luckily we know him from hanging out with him a few times. He was awesome and did a great job. My epidural helped considerably and I was able to get a couple hours of good sleep...until about 3:00 or so. Then I could feel my contractions back in full force. I thought to myself this is crap, the epidural is supposed to help the entire time... The nurse checked me and I was already dilated 9 and pretty well effaced.  She called the doctor to come.  Joel came back in and gave me a bolus of lido-cane through the epidural which helped a little bit. 

When the doctor got there and checked me again and they pulled out the stirrups is when the whole "holly shit, I'm having a baby" thing hit me. A little while into it, I told the doctor I couldn't do it anymore. I didn't really know what I was expecting, that he would be like okay, we'll do a c-section. but he was awesome and coached me through it along with my nurse. And my wonderful husband. :) 

In the end, I pushed for about 45 minutes and Henry was born healthy at 4:22 AM. 7 pounds 14 oz and 20 inches long. 

Later, I'll do an over view of our first 3 months as new parents.