Saturday, October 4, 2014

Halfway Through

I can't believe it but I'm about halfway through the training program. I have learned a lot, although I still feel like I know nothing most of the time! Every time I make progress in one area it seems like I am lacking in another. The biggest challenge is putting everything together. Fits and starts.

I dream nearly constantly of nursing. Last night Omilie kept waking up. I remembered somewhere in the back of my head that Porter said I should give her Tylenol tonight because she's teething. I then concluded that I had already started her on 25 mcg of fentanyl (a painkiller) via IV and I didn't need to give her oral medication. I thought this every time I woke up, except toward the end of the night I though "But I'm not on shift right now, which means I'm not authorized to practice as a nurse and I can't give her IV medication." I was too tired to get up and give her any :(

Another thing is that I dream about missed pieces of charting, or getting to the end of the day and having missed an assessment entirely.

They tell me it gets less and less as time goes on...

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Wardrobe

      A friend of mine who has a blog, Resurrected Threads (and an Etsy Shop!) has been running a really cool series, The Slow Wardrobe. I haven't ever considered myself anyone with much fashion sense. I used to wear a uniform of baggy Ts and almost equally baggy jeans, paired (neverfailingly) with sneakers and in the cold weather, a sweatshirt. So, more or less, similiar to your typical American teenage male.
Fast-forward 10 years and I still wear jeans (though less frequently), still wear tee-shirts (but almost never shapeless) and never wear sneakers except for running and hospital shifts. My style is still not well-defined, however. I have been the lucky recipient of a well-dressed friend's handmedowns, which has helped me a lot, but a lot of what I wear is just happenstance.
I have recognized a few things about myself that I think are my fashion sense beginning to come through. I feel that some of my decisions concerning clothes are actually quite snooty. I even hesitate to post, lest I offend some of my friends. But these are my standards for myself, not for you. Also, as you will probably notice, they concepts that are more prohibitive  than prescriptive -- that is, they are mostly don'ts rather that do's.

      1. No fakes. Jewelry is an exception, and some types of cloth (I wear polyester sometimes, for instance). I don't wear fake leather or fake fur. I do wear glass gems, because I like glittery things but I would never trust myself to run around with jewelry worth thousands of dollars. But I don't wear plastic gems, and rarely wear rhinestones or glittery fabric. Same goes for vinyl. This pretty much also includes my face. I wear cover up most of the time when I work because my acne is distracting, but I don't wear eye makeup.

       2. Nothing ugly. Now this is in the eye of the beholder, for sure, but I don't wear things that I feel are jarring or ugly. Yes, I do wear colors that make my husband cringe but it's not because it's a modern juxtaposition that I feel is a statement, it's just because it's pleasing to my eye.

       3. Nothing slutty. I have only really recently discovered this one. I grew up in a very conservative household where I couldn't have an armhole that was bigger than my arm, literally (I cried about a chunky sleeveless sweater I wasn't allowed to wear for this reason!). After I left, I had a period of disorientation. What should I wear? I wore literally anything, including nothing! (Short story, but I'm not telling it now :)  Now I've come around in a fairly wide circle and returned to a more-or-less conservative approach. I try to stay away from things that make me cringe when I see them on other people. For instance, I've developed an aversion to spaghetti strap shirts this summer. They may look OK on some people but on me I think it just screams of uncouth, poor, and negligent dress. Especially if it's so thin and tight that bra lines are showing. A big no-no. Maybe on the beach, but I'd rather wear something more attractive. I've also discovered I like v-neck shirts that aren't too exposing. Elegant cut, but not rude exposure. I've also realized I just don't like my skirts to be very short. If I have to double-check that butt-cheeks are not coming out, it's too short. If I can't sit down on the floor, it's generally too short (although there are certainly exceptions). If the skin or body parts exposed are really distracting, and/or there's more than one exposed, it's too much.

        I think the biggest fashion revelation I've had is simply for clothing to be appropriate to the task, be well-made, fit well, and be clean. This is a very tall order for me, and I think I'm still working on this.  I have realized this about my nails, too. So about a year ago I stopped biting at my skin and starting shaping my nails in an attractive shape. It makes so much more of a difference than nailpolish ever could.
Oh, by the way, a book I found very engaging and informative and would like to recommend if anyone is interested in dressing well is called A Guide to Elegance. I found it at the library here in Eugene a few years ago, and then I found my own copy at a thrift store. A lot of the advice is "vintage" but not outdated. For instance, I'm not going to start dressing in suits of the 1940s all of the time because I would stand out as a vintage fashionista, not an elegantly dressed woman (though the suits certainly are elegant in their own time). Likewise, I will probably never wear gloves because it would make me stand out, not make me stick in your mind as elegant.

      Well, while I'm on a roll, I will also mention that I have been wearing high heels lately. Not very high, mind you. But they're really heels! A few years ago I never would have  thought I'd be able to walk in them, let alone feel comfortable in them. I would only ever wear platforms as a teenager and usually wore flats (and sneakers!). I have a blue pair and need to collect, at some point, a pair in black and a pair in nude. I found a perfectly fitting pair of black nordstrom pumps at the thrift store that were comfortable as could be. The first time I wore them out of the house they distintegrated. Literally. Pieces of the shoes were left in the driveway (before I realized they were falling apart), in the car and out and about. The whole sole came off in pieces and then the heel fell off. I don't know what happened to them! Too old, proably. Anyway. Boring you all to bits now. No one read to the end! :)

Friday, September 5, 2014

5 Weeks In

One more week of class to go and then the rest of my internship is just regular shifts with my preceptor. I am really loving my job! It is super busy sometimes, but it's the kind of stuff that I thrive on. I love getting things done and being productive in measurable ways.  I also like the fact that pretty much every day I encounter something new. Also, there are four levels of ICU nurses at this hospital, and I will always have room to learn new things.

So let me think -- 5 weeks in, 11 to go. I can't believe it's that SHORT a time to go but I also have learned tons in the last 5 weeks.

The family is adjusting pretty well. The neighbor (who is pretty close to our open windows) said she thought the baby must be settling in better and I know she means she hears less squealing! Some days it's tough, of course, both for me and the family, but it's working out. Today is the first day in a 5 day weekend, which happens semi-regularly since I work 12 hour shifts. Working days I leave the house at 6am or so and return usually by 8pm. I've been biking ~6.5 miles there and back. There are showers and scrubs available at the hospital so I try to just roll out of bed (after the last nursing session, which I set the alarm a little early for!) and get on my bike and shower and get dressed there. I always buy a cup of coffee. Always. It's the thing I think about as I wake up, and then multiple times while I'm on my bike. It's a necessary indulgence. NECESSARY!! I don't know if it really wakes me up that much but it makes me feel like I've made up for having to get up so early.

Why I bike:

  •  It takes me 20 minutes by car anyway and it only takes me about 35-40 to bike
  • It leaves the car at home for the fam, which since I'm gone 14 hours is a really good thing for them! 
  • it uses less gas for commuting
  • I get exercise in on my work days and don't have to go running or biking at separate times

Today I bought a used bike trailer for $40 that is in pretty decent condition. We took it to the park immediately. I think I'm going to just make a list of places we take it and try to figure out how long it's paid for just from gas I'm saving. There are lots of parks (and the library) that are just a bit far to walk to with Tass on foot and the trailer seems like the perfect solution for me. Porter has plans for an even more useful bike-transporting device but it'll take us a while to save for it and then he'll have his kid transporter that's set up for him and I'll have my own bike I can use. We can even bike together, then! 

It seems like forever since I've written. Even my writing voice sounds different to me as I read it back. Sentences aren't quite coming out as I intend. I really feel I am changing in a multitude of ways. I have always felt somewhat childish. Even in a group of adults I felt like I was pretending. But gosh, I have done CHEST COMPRESSIONS on people and I give people drugs they would never ever take at home, and if you collapsed on the floor in front of me I'd know what to do. I went out to grab some food after work, before meeting up with the family for something at church and I was looking around at all of the people around me. I thought "Someone here is going to collapse eventually, which will it be? Who will be hospitalized? Who will have a sudden stroke? Heart attack?" It's going to happen to someone, sooner or later. The good thing is that whereas before I was so nervous about doing CPR or anything like that, even with training, I now feel confident I would perform satisfactorily. Also, while I was at work Porter was near a location "in the field," so-to-speak, in which birth was imminent. I don't know how close the woman was, but it sounded like things were moving. Isn't that exciting? But anyway, to make a long story short I feel as though I'm in more of an adult phase of life. Not totally adult. But close.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

ICU

It's nearing 11 and I'm completely exhausted. Today was my third day of working this week. The ICU is a very interesting place. Very. I'm still surprised at my having landed there. It seems as though the ICU seems very far away and out of reach in school. I remember no one seemed to think they'd land an ICU position except maybe those who were doing clinicals there. I'm very lucky!!

I rode my bike home from class (8 hours of it on Wednesdays), and then to and from my 12-hour shift yesterday. I drove today. It's about 6 miles and it was so hard to face getting up early enough to bike or take the bus. The route that takes the longest is the bus. It takes about 45 minutes. Biking is next, about 40 minutes. And the car, of course, is fastest. It takes about 15 minutes to get there. I've never encountered traffic. I think I could get a lot faster at the biking. It still is taxing. I think I will stick with a mix of bussing, biking, and driving. It's long, but relatively easy (and free, as a hospital employee) to take the bus, it's good exercise, but tiring, to take the bike, and if I take the car the family doesn't have a car for almost 14 hours.

We have the fans running because it got quite warm today and it's cool this evening and all I can hear are the ICU alarms going off repeatedly. It's as though the overtones of the fan match the alarms. It is getting to be quite a pain, however, because it is like a ringing in my ears. I don't know how, but they even seem to beep like the alarms, even though the fans are going at the same speed. And it bugs me because they're alarms!! The alarms I speak of are not necessarily for emergencies, but they could indicate a problem and definitely need quick attention.

This happened last night, too, and pretty much every night I've come home from work to the fans running.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Graduated, Moved, now on to Job!

I tried to blog the other day but was interrupted by something (or someone!!) and couldn't finish.

Basically, though, I have gotten an internship in the ICU in Eugene and we moved down here in about two weeks time! We've been here for about three weeks now, so it's a little less crazy, but things have been very crazy. There is lots to do with children in Eugene but we miss our small town! Our grocery checkers knew us by name, would comment on the kids, and the librarians were actually sad that we were moving away.

 I was just interrupted again, so this is how I'm blogging now (Aftasie insisted I sit in front of her, "on [her] lap.") And yes, I'm still sippin' on my coffee (rewarmed the second time) and not dressed yet.



Sooo....very exciting, this internship coming up! I'm nervous, naturally, but it's going to be GREAT. I've always enjoyed going back to the school in the fall and I feel as though it'll be good to have a challenge. Not that being home with the kids is not a huge challenge! Porter has been doing computer work from home, so we see him at lunch and after work, which sometimes stretches into the evening.

When I got to a gathering at a friend's house here my friend said "Look, Bonnie's all grown up!" I can't believe how things have changed since I lived here 4 years ago. I was skinny, kid-less, doing housekeeping for a living, pretty spoiled (not that all people without kids are spoiled, but I thought I was "busy" and basically did nothing and complained about it all of the time!!). Now I have two kids, a college degree, a career on the horizon (actually make that smack dab in front of my face, since I start in less than two weeks), and I'm four years older. And hopefully a little wiser, though that remains to be seen.

One last picture, since this is what I was doing before I sat down to blog (blanket train -- we have wood floors and linoleum now!)


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Long Time No See!

Sheesh, it's been a LONG time!!

Sorry readers :( I have been super busy, but not busy enough to justify no updates at all. We don't have internet at home anymore and that complicates things a little. However, I am still alive and kicking, as they say, and I'm almost done with nursing school.

I think I've even had a baby since I last posted! We had Omilie Ella Jean Doran on November 10th of 2013. She's already 5 months old. Aftasie will be 3 in June.

 I graduate on May 3rd, in a few weeks! It's crazy knowing all of this will be over soon. For an example of how busy I've been, last week I did 45 hours of clinicals/commute in 64 hours. I am on the Neuro-Trauma floor in Salem. It's not always quite that busy, but my workload is considerable right now. The end of four years is in sight!! The last few nights of school I have a pinning ceremony, which is a welcome-to-the-nursing-profession ceremony, then a dinner for alumni (which I almost am!) and then graduation. It's going to be such a relief to be done.

Porter is our homemaker right now, which I am so grateful for. There is nothing like coming home to dinner he's cooked, or knowing he's getting the girls to bed when I'm not at home.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

4(ish) weeks to go!

36 weeks yesterday! The most remarkable thing about this pregnancy so far is how easy it’s been, even compared to my pregnancy with Aftasie. I haven’t had any carpal tunnel, minimal hip pain while sleeping (although it’s a little worse during the day, I think), and I just feel good. My feet haven’t swollen yet, either, although some of my shoes seem kind of snug. It’s getting a wee bit harder to sleep but it’s not from any particular discomforts, I just can’t seem to settle down. I’m getting practice contractions here and there but if anything, they’ve lessened, and they aren’t as intense as they have been in the past few months. I can also hold a full bladder of pee! :D

I’m sure I can be plenty uncomfortable in the next 4 weeks but I’m just grateful for what I have right now. I am looking forward to doing full yawns instead of this uncomfortable, gasping type of yawn (I just can’t get the air in!).

I’m trying to figure out how to make a cheesecake that will be ready to eat after the baby comes! I think it would be good for about a week in the fridge, but I don’t want to wait too late, either. Maybe I’ll just have the ingredients on hand and start on it when I think I might be in labor. Haha. I don’t know if that’s going to work. I can imagine myself not able to finish it. I need to print out detailed instructions so someone else can finish it while I deliver the baby :P

The midwife brought the birth pool and some of her bags yesterday to leave with us. Super exciting. I’m actually hoping the baby will be late, because it would work better with school, but who knows!


School – eh, school is fine. Lots of busy work. I think I prefer lecture, test, lecture, test. It’s mostly smaller assignments, presentations, papers etc. Plus tests. But mostly easier ones.  Kind of annoying. We are now 8 weeks into the semester so I’m finishing up my public health rotation at hospice and will be starting a 7 week rotation in maternity next week. And after that comes winter break! Next semester I have an 8 week rotation in mental health and then an 8 week rotation at the hospital doing a preceptorship, which as far as I understand involves working more or less independently undert the supervision and guidance of a nurse. I have 1.5 semesters left before I’m done! Pretty exciting. I’ll be relieved once I get past maternity and actually get all of my hours in for that class. I’m pretty sure we have 135 hours of clinicals due in each class, which works out to be about 16-20 hours each week. There are various things other than being on site that count as hours, such as lab, extra classes, etc.