Interning Sucks… Cancer Is Worse!

  
Getting patient A ready to go home on hospice while family member from patient B is in the hall crying for me because she has questions about what to do now, and a patient a few rooms down was just found non-responsive… Yep. That’s what my first day of interning looked like. Let me tell you, I’ve read about all of this in nursing books and I have passed all my tests leading me up to be an RN on the floor, but damn. It’s a whole other world when you are actually up and doing it yourself.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

Matthew 5:4-5

So I’m half way through my precepting (last internship) hours and I am really feeling that warmth flowing down my inner legs. Yep, I am ready to pee myself any minute during these shifts! During my orientation of the hospital my precepting nurse opened a door to what looked like a closet and told me, “this is where we go to cry!” Welcome to Oncology. 

It’s amazing, to see people come in and get treated, but I’m not working in the emergency room anymore… This is a hospital unit just for patients with cancer diagnosese. It’s sad watching my patient receive chemotherapy for the first time. It’s heart breaking to watch my coleges comfort a young wife after finding out there’s nothing else medicine can do for the young husband. 

“I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.”

Philippians 1:23-24

One morning in particular, I was assigned to three out of four patients. Remember, all of them are in some sort of critical situation and are living with and/or fighting cancer right now. It was so heart breaking but I told myself that I am so honored to be able to be that person to hold their hand through this rough part of life. I get to see these people in their most vulnerable states, and they look to my team members and I for support and comfort. 

Well about an hour in to my shift I received a few calls that I ignored, and then a couple text messages. My grandmother, whom I take care of as much as she needs, is in need of going back to the hospital. My cousin who is fighting cancer for the third time is no longer recieving treatment due to not being healthy enough, and my grandfather is having his first chemo treatment this week. Everything around me hit way too close to home now. The minute my preceptor met with me again, I apologized for what may be unprofessional or inappropriate and excused myself for the day. 

“We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.”

Romans 15:1

Yes, being an intern in a new hospital is terrifying. Carrying around my drug book, aka new bible, to make sure I don’t medicate someone incorrectly is exhausting. Most of all, knowing four people’s lives are in my hands and their well being is based on my nursing judgement… Yes, my nerves make me throw up! I’ve thrown up, starved, binged, cried, screamed, and even zoned out during important phone calls. Interning feels like the most difficult thing in the world. That’s until I remember other people are dealing with bigger issues. 

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Deliciousness!!!

So I have been having a hard time with this lactose intolerant life style. Here I am finding myself teeter-tottering with dairy and non-dairy! Well, I am quiet the waffle master! I will make them, eat them, order them, whatever! One time, on a trip in Fiji, all I did was eat waffles. Literally, I ate at least 2 waffles a day! It was wonderful!

Well, a few weeks ago my waffle maker was tired of the over use and lit itself on fire. Talk about going out with a bang! So I’ve been making the next best thing of course… Pancakes! Since I’m as active as I am, I’ve been trying to add more protein to my meals.

Pancakes, that have more protein, and no milk… This includes chocolate! I avoid caffeine and sodium as much as I can with my heart like this. So I came up with the most amazing treat/meal!!

Banana, blue berry pancakes!!

1 banana
2 eggs
1 cup blue berries (I’ve also done raspberries)

I smash the bananas up so it’s one gooey consistency. Then I scramble in the two eggs. Once it’s all mixed together I pour the blue berries in! (This is a lot of berries, so use more or less to your likings.) Cook the mixture on a flat pan just like you’d do any pancakes. This batter takes a little longer than regular ones so be patient! Leave the flame low and just let it cook a little longer.

These are soo delicious! It gives you potassium so you don’t cramp up on your workouts and gives you protein to help you build that muscle! The other amazing thing about protein is it’ll keep you feeling full longer! So I like to eat these as a meal with some fresh melon and a tall glass of ice water! Yum!!

And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.

Luke 12:19

You can also use chocolate chips instead and it’ll make a delicious dessert after dinner!! Sprinkle some powdered sugar on top and devour!!!

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Because I Can!

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The cold, dry air was burning my wet, dripping nose. The birds were starting to sing their morning songs. That weird lighting on the streets from the combination of the suns glow starting to shine and the street lights glow. I went for a 4 mile run this morning at 5:30am. I was determined to get out there and get back into running early mornings! I woke up and though, “I’m going to be skinny!”

Well, by the time I got about three-quarters of a mile my nose was running like Niagara Falls, my lungs were burning worse than my calves were, and I felt like my heart was in my throat. I was no longer determined and I just ran back home. My 4 mile run that used to be an easy warm up in the early morning was actually a mile and a half run in hell for me today. When I got home, I looked right at the shiny, red face in the mirror and thought to myself, what a disappointment! I beat myself up over it and then told my best friend about how down I felt.

She reminded me of why I’m even a runner to begin with! I run because I can. In high school I hated running! I hated running with a passion. You couldn’t even pay me to run without a soccer ball or softball around. To run track or cross country was such a miserable idea to me! Then, from age 18 to 20 I found myself having trouble with running. This trouble was no longer mental, it was physical this time around. If I tried to run, I’d get so light headed and weak and then pass out. I couldn’t even sing out loud in my car driving to school anymore without the fear of exhausting myself.

After a few times of passing out while hiking with my dog, Jolie, I decided to finally tell someone and get help. After many, many different doctors offices and seeing different specialist, I finally had the right medical tests done. Sitting in a cardiologists office, I was finally diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White. It was the answer to my many prayers and questions. I scheduled myself for surgery to fix the problem immediately.

16 Make sure you don’t take things for granted and go slack in working for the common good; share what you have with others. God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship – a different kind of “sacrifice” – that take place in kitchen and workplace and on the streets.
Hebrews 13:16 MSG

So today was just a rough morning. I’m about to go for a two mile jog (good or bad, doesn’t matter) and then sing my little lungs out on my way to work tonight!! Tomorrow morning I’ll give it another shot! Hope things go better!

Goruck Challenge #1335

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So this was an amazing experience for me! This past weekend I became a GRT, which stands for Goruck Tough. The Goruck community is one that I’m proud to be apart of! Everyone is so loving and no one is ignored or left behind. Whether you like them or not, these people are your resources. I will never feel alone because I know that’s not possible when being a member of this community! I am in a subgroup called Jesus Freaks as well. They are like the church of Goruck. We have a facebook page that allows us to post about the good and the bad that we go through. We do this so we can pray for one another and be there for everyone. Like I said, you will never be alone once you’re a GRT. This event took place in Santa Monica, starting and ending at the pier. It was lead by Cadre Flash, with a little surprise visit from Cadre Big Daddy.

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Isaiah 41:10

When we got to the top of a near by trail that we hiked up, we were able to do a Q & A with Flash. It was a really awesome opportunity to ask whatever we wanted about his life and the special operations military branches. We also went around and shared why we chose to do Goruck. I didn’t share at the time because I hadn’t finished yet. Honestly, I didn’t want to jinx myself and not finish… Why I chose to do the Goruck Challenge…

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Phillippians 4:13

2 years ago I was diagnosed with a rare heart disease. Getting news like that is scary and somewhat lonesome. But what was really lonely was the fact that I couldn’t do any physical activity what so ever without passing out. I was also diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and well, that just sucks. My goal was to not let these issues stop me from living. I’ve trained hard and worked closely with doctors to get me where I am today. I’m not just living, it’s good living!

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I decided to do Goruck because I wanted to be able to prove to myself that I can do this! I wanted to be there to support my teammates that are going through their own issues, and I wanted to feel the support from my class, even if I had just met them! After going through 12 hours of hell with each other, you’ll be supportive friends for sure. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of crazies!

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My body may have taken a beating, but yes, I do plan on doing it again! I prayed every hour during the event and I can honestly say that I felt the strength God gave to me. I will be doing more events for sure! I earned my grey patch, and now I have the need for a blue one! I do plan on keeping up on the work outs and eating right because without the 21 day fast, I would never have been prepared physically or mentally for this.

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The Best Is Yet To Come

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Happy New Year! My first day of the year started with, “Hey! Will you take a look at this? Does it supposed to look like that?!” My patient was showing me her stinky toilet full of poop! Out with the old, in with the new! This is the time of year that everyone reflects on the past year and sets new goals for the new year. Colleagues and clients kept asking me what my new year resolutions are, which got me to thinking and reflecting…

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

2 Corinthians 5:17

2014 was quite a year for me. So much happened, and so much didn’t happen, that I don’t even want to reflect on it much more. It was a blessed year and that’s all that really matters. I started last year off with 21 days of doing the Daniel Fast with my church. I loved it so much that I am going to do it again. I also had a lot of doctor appointments medically clearing and diagnosing me. Just last week I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. So another plan for 2015 is to stay active and live with this pain.

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Romans 8:18

Starting on January 4th, the following 21 days are going to be tough. With the strength given to me through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit I will get through it. I’ll be participating in the Daniel Fast which removes all processed foods, including dairy, meats and breads from my diet. This diet is spiritually symbolic of moving past a processed faith. These next three weeks are more than just changing my diet; It is a time of prayer, expressing my love to God through worship, and hearing from God in new ways.

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Because of my health, I will be upping my game with my work outs. Right now I’m just a runner. I stopped weight training and cycling due to the excruciating pain I’ve been in, but knowing it’s fibromyalgia, I will be pushing past the pain. Professionals do not know what causes fibro, but they do know that exercise and medications help to reduce the pain and make it tolerable.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

I always tell my friends if they don’t like the life they have, change it! Those are my two major plans for this new year and I’m excited to see what the it hold in store for me! As my senior pastor says, “The best is yet to come!” What do you plan to do with your new year?

Life Block

Hello! I’ve been away for some time now! Have you heard of “writers block”? Yes, well, this was not that. This was Life Block, much like writers block, but my entire life froze.

Life happens… Change is good!… Get up, and dust your shoulders off… Yes, we’ve all been there and been told these things. We grow up experiencing change all the time- so why is it that we still freak out every time it happens?

I was coming to the end of my sixth quarter of nursing school, studying intermediate med surg and mental health. Stressing myself out, I was working 5 nights a week as a care giver for an assisted living community, doing 4 days a week of free labor, attending class once a week, and somehow finding time to study and workout. I was doing this all while trying to figure out how to make time for the newest member of my jammed packed schedule… My potential boyfriend. Relationships are a lot of work! Well, just as expected, the busy, stressful schedule lead to lack of sleep and heart palpitations. Then, eventually, it ruined the potential relationship that never fully developed.

So there I was, in class counting my breaths and heart beats. Trying to make some kind of normal rhythm with that damn thing pumping blood through my body wasn’t working out too well. I was going crazy sitting in class learning about other people who were actually crazy.

Like I said, I was working for free on a med surg unit 3 days a week and at a psychiatric hospital 1 day a week. I found myself relating to my low-functioning, mentally ill patients. You know, the ones that were admitted to the floor because they could swear the aliens planted a device in their hand, or the people who complained of chest pain just so they can get a free meal and warm bed. To prove that I was not just hallucinating these issues, I went to my primary doctor. He ran some tests and immediately sent me to my cardiologist, who then referred me to a specialist.

Thank God, I quickly received some good news! The specialist says I’m not crazy, went over my options of different medications and another operation, but all in all, nothing life threatening! I opted for close monitoring and a 3 month follow up. Bad new, I was put on medical leave the last day of that quarter, and in order to continue school, I will need a medical note that releases me back to the floor.

Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do you know not now; but you shall know hereafter.

John 13:7

Oh, did I mention my heart issue was likely triggered by too much caffeine, over load of stress, and lack of sleep. So I quit my job and decided to look for a part time position somewhere else. Something that will pay me more so I could work less.

Well, long story short, all at once, my health went down hill, I quit my only paying job, I was forcefully asked not to attend school for at least 3 months, and my newly titled boyfriend dumped me. My life took quite the turn in the two weeks before my birthday. Yep! Prefect ending to year 22! Pretty much, all my plans had to change right there and then…

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11

Here I am now, 23 years old, feeling healthy, working two less stressful, higher paying jobs, living the single life, and getting ready to start school again in a month! My life block is over! More importantly, I’m back to writing my blog! Yay!

Change happens all the time, we just have to remember that God has a beautiful plan for us. We need to trust in The Lord and live the plan He’s made for us, and stop getting so upset over the changes he’s making in our lives.