Saturday, March 13, 2010

It's been a while

Wonderful blog of mine, I have not forgotten you.

I'm frustrated, burnt out and so very desperate to not have my stomach in knots.
I'm one week away from taking my first HESI. I've lost 5 months in the past 8 weeks due to the never-ending stress that comes along with nursing school. General ed. courses did not prepare me for the critical thinking aspect of performing well on practice exams. My wonderful instructors have used the metaphor of the phoenix rising from the ashes to provide hope to those of us that have little or no nursing/medical experience. I do not feel like a phoenix at this moment, but I definitely have hope and believe that something good will come out all this. I'd like that something good to be a wonderful career in nursing. I don't expect my nursing education to be smooth ride to the finish line. I know and understand that nothing good in life comes without a struggle, nothing good comes without sacrifice and commitment.

Life for the past few months has centered solely around nursing textbooks. I've lost track of the number of books that have piled up around my study room. Some have plenty of post-its sticking out from every other page, while others are sitting in mint condition, awaiting their turn for assault with a highlighting marker pen and sticky-tabs.


There are a handful of unpublished posts from 2009, one of which includes the topic of creating a 5 Year Life Plan. I've just finished reading over it and am thinking that maybe I should give the idea some consideration. Not to say that I wouldn't like to set goals for myself for the upcoming 5 years, it just seems a bit unrealistic for some odd reason. Possibly because the past 5 years have not played out as I had once planned. Life is just not that predictable, but maybe setting long-term goals shouldn't be such a scary topic. Yet, I've hesitated to create a list.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Stand as Witness

I'm one more quarter closer to becoming a nurse. The Nursing Fundamentals start this coming January and I'll be wearing those navy blue scrubs for the first time in my life. The reality of being a nursing student has yet to kick in. I do live the life of a student, but the life of a nursing student, as I'm told, is much more chaotic. Like any profession, it requires immense commitment and dedication to higher learning for the cause of patient care and safety. I truly hope to be a great nurse.

I remember staying with my father in the hospital during his angioplasty after he'd had his third heart attack. The woman in the room next to his was suffering from pneumonia, "a side effect of lung cancer from smoking during my youngn' years," she said. What keeps her in my memory is the loneliness she must have experienced during her frequent hospital visits. My father was hospitalized for about 11 days. As my family would come to stay with my father on his long nights in a hospital bed, the woman next door was alone. Only the sounds of her coughs and respirator could be heard along with the hum of the t.v. I sat with her on a few occasions and we made random chit chat. She mentioned how a friend had phoned with promises of coming to visit. When I visited the woman days later, her friend had yet to visit. On the afternoon of my father's discharge from treatment, I stopped to say goodbye to this woman. The coldness seemed to intensify the moment my feet entered her room. She was still there alone, her friend had not visited, her eyes fixed on the t.v. screen, but her mind seemed miles away. I bid her goodbye and wished her well so she could return to the comforts of her own home. In my mind I wondered if living alone at home was any better for her than being alone in a hospital.
As I walked out of her room and passed the nurses station I again wondered about how many patients these men and women in scrubs encountered on a daily basis with such lonely lives. We enter this world alone, but it is to be that we also exit our lives alone? Our existence on earth can not be so short for us to not leave our bodies surrounded by at least one soul standing witness to all that we were.
I hope to stand as a witness to another person's existence.
I hope to make a difference. I hope to be a good nurse.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Dr. Crazy Woman

Choosing a doctor from a list of physicians my health insurance company provided was like trying to find a light switch in the dark. I decided to the narrow the search options down to my zip code. Finally, the list was a bit easier to manage. I browsed the list for a female doctor and came across a Dr. Tracey Woman. I called her office and made the appointment.

Flash forward to the day of the appointment.
I'm settled into a room and go over the routine of identifying to the nurse the reason for my visit. She briefly goes over a few medical questions just as Dr. Tracy Woman enters the room. She was nice and friendly. I had high expectations of this new doc and the introductions had gone quite well.

The first 7 minutes of the visit was taken up by the discussion of my teenage diagnosis of the prolactinoma. I talked while she typed away at her mini laptop, charting everything on file. For the remaining 18 minutes of the visit she discussed socialized health care. She ranted on and on, non-stop, about the dangers of socialized medicine, how America was on it's way to becoming the next country with medical system crisis. I was so disappointed. Was the country not already in a medical system crisis? I was not paying a $40 copay to sit and hear someone rant their opinions about America's sucky medical system. I honestly do not want to hear about Dr. Crazy Woman's salary of only $100,000 from the previous year and her inability to live the posh lifestyle provided by her posh physician's salary. The appointment turned into a grand example of just how terrible our medical system has become. Here I was, sitting in a physician's office as a first time patient, as she complained about the downfalls of the medical professional. I nodded and smiled as best as possible. My visit to the Dentist play out much better than this. Soon enough it was over. She sent me for lab work and referred me to the endocrinologist.

... And that, ladies and gents, was my first and last visit with Dr. Crazy Woman.
Never again.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New Blog Paint

The blog just received a much needed makeover. I'm still experimenting with the new look. I may end up changing it again soon. Haven't really made up my mind about this one... yet.
Too girly?

It has been 9 months since I began nursing school. Already? Yep. It definitely does not feel like 9 months have passed. All I remember is long lectures and the never ending drives to L.A. This is another reason why I should make time to post here more often. Soon enough I'll be in my last term of nursing school and wondering about how the time flew by so quickly.
Nursing school has been going pretty great. I'm averaging a 3.0 GPA each term and have gotten into the routine of being a student again. I like the smaller class size and the ability to interact with the instructors on an one-to-one basis. This is a huge change from being a student at a traditional 4 year university. Flashes of being lost in a large lecture hall with the other 150+ students still cross my mind. I'm over the hype that comes along with studying at a big campus. Not to say that I'm bashing my former education. Those 4 years have made a very big impact on my character and personal drive. But being lost in the big university lifestyle as a fresh-faced 18 year old was not the easiest transition considering I was raised in a small town. But it was still an experience I'm glad to have undergone. It's an experience I paid $20k a year to experience. So I better have learned my lesson at that price. Whom ever thinks that life's lessons come free of charge should take a better look at their bank account.
I can say that if my choice of career and major had worked out better, much like I had it planned in my head as a 21 year old, I'm sure that I would not be pursuing a degree in Nursing.
I'm happy where I am now, I'm happy to have made this decision, I'm happy to have finally found my niche.

Because I just need to post.

I was 17 when I was diagnosed with a prolactinoma. I couldn't even spell that "P" back word back then, but thanks to being more mature in age, and the internet, I am quite up to date on what prolactinomas are. Long story short, I've been searching for affordable health care for the past 11 months. Well, 11 months is a bit exagerated because I wasn't actively filling out insurance enrollment forms during that whole period. The searching is now over and I am officially insured. I've scheduled my appointment with the primary doctor. I'm dreding the visit because I already know the outcome, I just need it verifed by a M.D. because I'm just a lil' nursing student. My body has been giving me every warning sign for the past year that the little prolactinoma of mine is back in full swing. I'm ready for the treatment, but it's a bit depressing to think about popping a pill every morning for the next few years... if not longer. It seems like one more thing slowing me down.

Lately, I've been very impatient and agitated. I want to graduate, hold my degree in my hands, and move onto a career. I want to move on with life on a personal level. I want to love that idiot of a Boy that has superglued himself to my heart, I want babies, a house. I want to be the PTA Mom who drives the hybrid Escalade with her adorable kids and is envied by all. "Yes Bitches, I earned this shit."

Monday, July 13, 2009

Buck up, Cowboy

The last time I posted here was over 4 months ago.

I'm trying desperately to come up with a reason as to why I haven't blogged in months, but honestly, all I have are excuses. I had decided to create this blog for the sole purpose of allowing myself a platform to express myself, a space for me to type out the roller coaster of emotions that consume me on a day to day basis. I have a very long list of excuses as to why I've neglected writing. I think that I'm just burnt out. Yes, I am bummed out. Although work and classes have kept me busy, I have had plenty of time to type out a few lines for a blog post. But no, I haven't done so because everything which comes out of this chaotic mind lately has been pure gibberish. Believe me, no one wants to read nonsensical rants about life, love, career and the family. Heck, I created this blog, therefore I should be able to rant and bitch as much as I like. I avoid doing this because having the words on the computer screen just makes the drama that much more real. I'm in denial about the crisis my life seems to be going through. No, I shouldn't use the word 'crisis' because it would be oh so over dramatic of me. There are plenty of bloggers/readers facing extreme hardships because of this bitch American economy. I'm not the only one in this boat called Life, a boat which seems to be facing some tough currents. I'm fortunate to have a loving family, a decent enough job, and the access to earning a better future.

I'm burnt out because I'm working a minimum wage job, which I am very fortunate to have, but it just makes me feel utterly crappy. I am worth more than just $8 an hour. My ego feels kicked, punched and slapped every time I step into the workplace. I love earning the paycheck, but I'd love to be more financially independent because I know I am capable of earning much more.
I'm waist deep in student loan debt. I have anxiety attacks when I think about the additional $115,000 I am paying to earn my B.S. in Nursing. Let's add the interest all of these loans will accrue over my working years and I guarantee this will be the cause of my first heart attack at the age of 40. Talking about getting older, I'm months away from turning 25. This is another issue on my list. I'm becoming an old maid, my love life is miserable because The Boy I love is great at complicating matters of the heart.

My engine just seems to be very short on steam. I've been putting off visiting a doctor for several months because I am uninsured. Shopping around for health insurance with my student budget, and a preexisting health condition, is no joy ride. Maybe the crisis that needs to be discussed in this post is not my life, but the American health care system. I'm unsure of whether I should enjoy the thought of one day living a lush lifestyle from working in the medical field because I'm quite aware of the business modern medicine has become.

My faith is flickering. I need sunshine and bright days. As a spiritualist I seek inspiration from the small things in life, but lately, my spirit seems to have become a punching bag for my chaotic mind. The negativity that surrounds me just reeks of poo. This is another reason why I avoid posting on here. I don't want the negativity invading this little internet corner of mine and spoiling it rotten.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hello Sunshine

I can not express just how happy I am for winter to be over. For the last month or so it's been raining cats and dogs here in California. It has been a string of rainy days and gloomy dark clouds that just don't seem to lift. Finally, we've been visited by those golden rays of sunshine that feel absolutely amazing. I'm not looking forward to a hot Cali season because commuting back and forth to LA for class will mean having to endure extreme temperatures. Sitting in the car on a typical summer day feels like being baked in the oven. The AC provides only limited relief.
The spring season, however, I am more than happy to experience. Everyone comes out of hibernation. Those soft pastel colors of clothing, flowers, and clipper moods makes venturing out into the world much more enjoyable.

Side note, juggling class and work is keeping me busy. But definitely not busy enough. Am looking into volunteering at the city's hospital. Should be interesting no doubt. Prior to nursing school, I have had no experience in the medical field whatsoever. I look forward to one-on-one interaction with patients. Hopefully, it will make the transition from student to full-time nurse much easier after graduation. Oh how I look forward to those blue medical scrubs. :)