Nursing School is Finally Over!

The day my parents have been waiting for! Graduation! Haha! Yes, my parents, my mom to be specific! When it came to graduating from elementary school and picking a high school to go to, my parents were emotional. I am the last of four children for them, so their baby is starting high school! Well, I passed all my classes but I didn’t qualify to walk the stage at graduation. I was too young to care and too immature to see how that could hurt any of my loved ones. So I made sure to make it to my high schools graduation! I felt like I was doing it for them 100%. Now, my nursing school graduation is around the corner! This, this one is for me AND them…but mainly for me!

I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; My heart also instructs me in the night seasons. I have set the Lord always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope. For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 16:7-11

Shiney black gown, stiff decorated cap, baby blue stole, green and gold cords… Bright white nursing uniform, white leather shoes… Here it is, and the last thing I want to do is go. I worked so hard to get to this day! I made the decision that I’m going to pinning but I would like to celebrate with my family and with the people that got me through this instead of “walking.” So, instead of attending graduation and walking, I’ve decided to go to dinner with my entire family and close friends that helped me make it. 

  

My mom baked and decorated a cake to look like me in my scrubs. It was by far the most special day for me, and so much better than wearing a graduation gown and having to pick 4 people to watch me. This way I was dressed up for my pinning, wore my pin, and was able to invite everyone! My parents are the best and I couldn’t have done any of this without them!!

  
I hurt people’s feelings when they first heard that once again I wasn’t attending graduation and walking the stage, but I think everyone enjoyed this one much more! Even my dad stood up and gave a speech! A new sight for everyone there!  

 
That’s it! No more writing 40 page care plans and playing go-fer for medsurg nurses that only see you as a CNA with no skill. Thank you nursing school, thank you to all the nurses that have taught me along the way, and welcome nursing world! I’m so excited to be seen as a new grad, as a nurse, as something more than just a stressed out, nursing student!

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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. 

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.

Breath of Fresh Air

So, as a nursing student and caregiver, I spend a lot of time taking care of people. My patients range from young adults to geriatrics. Usually, I help them by giving medication, treating wounds, maintaining good hygiene, and educating them about their specific conditions, but every now and then I walk into a different kind of sticky situation.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Philippians 4:6

Most recently I walked into a patient’s room as he was crying. At this point I got really nervous. I didn’t know if the person was just feeling confused and frustrated over something, or if it was going to turn into a code gray (combative patient). I took a step closer and took a deep breath. Looked at my newly assigned patient, introduced myself and asked what was wrong. There was nothing but silence. Then I asked if there was anything I could do to help. With his head down, he explained to me that the next morning he’ll be going to a local cardiologist office to run some tests. Told me that he has a good heart, and it’s just to monitor his medication. I looked down at the papers in his hand and noticed we had the same cardiologist. My patient expressed his fear of going to see a mean cardiologist that doesn’t know him. Said that “only old people go to the cardiologists. And once you go there, you die!” I couldn’t help but to smile (even though I was trying really hard not to.) My patient slightly looked up at me and asked, “what’s with the smirk?” I told him that I personally know this white lab coated lady and that she is a very nice! Such a great doctor who really listens to her patients. With his uneven eyebrows, wide eyes, and pouted lips, he quickly raised his head and looked me directly in the eyes. Then after a quick silent moment he asked me how I know this.

I said, “this doctor is my cardiologist, too, and she is delightful! I hope this doesn’t mean I’m old and going to die!” My patient started to laugh with me. Told me that I’m a breath of fresh air. Told me that just a few minutes before I walked in he was praying about how much he wished he knew how to look up reviews online. Then he could know if this doctor was going to be “delightful” or not. Well, I may not be a Yelp or HealthTap review, but it seems he received what he asked for in prayer!

Nerve-Wracking First Words

So we’ve all been in the position of meeting new people and feeling the heart-racing fear of making a good first impression. Do I hug the person or do I shake their hand? I know I’m a big hugger, but what if they aren’t? Really, it depends who you’re meeting, because let’s be honest here, there’s a time and a place for everything!

If I’m interviewing for a new volunteer program, for a job, or even meeting someone new classmates, I will be the first to stick my hand out and pray the other person knows I’m gesturing for a handshake! With that being said, I’ve experienced the floating-hand look that quickly turns into “oh, what is this on the back of my hand?” Now, if it is a dates’ family member, or someone special that I really want to impress and coax into liking me, I always try for a hug. So here’s to you, social media! *cyber hug*

Maybe it’s just me, but I want to know everything about the people I just meet. What do they do? Why do they do that? Who supports them in these decisions, whether it be in a positive way or negative. What do they believe and live by? What are they thinking right now? Do they know that when I was in forth grade my art project won first prize at the Los Angeles County Fair? Do they think that’s impressive? Maybe I should tell them, because if it were me, I’d want to know! …well guess what? There’s a time and a place.

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Matthew 7:12

So in this place (my blog) we’re going to take our time! I’m just going to write, and you will slowly get to know me! Through comments, I’ll get to know you, and our relationships will be able to actually thrive! I think it’s more fun to put things together anyways, don’t you?