Saturday, April 28, 2012

Kitchen Update

As most home remodels go, ours in turning in to the never finished kitchen but we are so much closer to being done. Actually, all we have let to do is flooring and decorating and purchasing a china hutch and table (I am still using my old kitchen table in the meantime).  Aside from walking on cement flooring the place is finally functional and I have things put back in to the cupboards.  Cupboards such as this corner cabinet where the pots and pans are going.

And this upper corner cabinet which actually looks more roomy than it is.  But at least it isn't rotting and falling off of the wall like the olds one were. HA!
I do like the spice racks that are on both sides of the oven.  They hold all of our spices and oils, baking soda, etc.  These are actually pretty cool!
 And I have a working sink.  I didn't realize how much I missed having a real sink that my coffee pot could actually fit under.  It was harder doing things in the bathroom sink than I realized.  It didn't really bother me at the time, but once I got this beauty I realized how the bathroom sink was not practical for every day kitchen use.
We have a microwave that is actually strong enough to make popcorn (just ignore the person being reflected in the glass!)
 Ahhh - and my stove.  Love it!  It has five burners and a warmer tray on the bottom that actually is hot enough that you can cook a side dish in it if you needed to.  This has been the greatest thing.  We have not had an oven for over a year and a half.  We had the stove part but no oven so there was no baking going on over here.  It really has been a drag, but you just adjust and do what you need to do to survive.  Doing without an oven for so long sure has made me appreciate having a new one!

 So the first thing we made was peanut butter cookies - per Dr Hubby's request.  He was impressed with my fork marks!  They were so yummy and sure didn't last long.
We are thinking of putting wood flooring in ~ and plan on extending that in to the hallway, the living room and up the stairs.  I just need to get some time off of work so I can go shopping for what we want,  For now, I am just glad to have a functioning kitchen again and to not be eating out of that living room kitchen!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Girls - Minus 1

My girls - minus one...
My daughter Michelle
My granddaughter Lily
And my girl dogs Sydney (husky/shepard mix)
and my love Penny (lab)
I love my girls ~
Wish I were out hiking with them!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chunky Monkey

 I have always wanted a little Asian baby.  I don't know why.  I just have.  Actually I would have loved to have done international adoption - one Asian girl and one African boy.  I just always thought it would have been fun to have a multi-cultural family and to love on kids that needed loving. If I were younger I'd still look in to doing that.  But, since I don't think I will ever have any cute little ones of my own, I am going to have to resort to borrowing my friends children.

Recently I had the joy of babysitting this sweet little girl, Sam.  
I work with her mother.  I got to take care of her mom while she was in labor and got to witness her birth.  My daughter Michelle even took birth photos for them.  So I am more of an "auntie" to her than just a baby sitter.  And oh my, did we have a fun day!  Sam is such a little chunky monkey.  She has rolls and rolls of squeezable baby chunk.
One of my dogs could have cared less that there was a baby in the house.  Sydney, on the other hand thought it was her job to protect the baby all day.  Wherever I went with the baby, the dog tagged along.  
 Dear Hubby enjoyed having a baby around too.
 I love this little girl so much.  She is so mellow and happy.  I can't wait to watch her again!

Love you Sam!!
Auntie Debbie

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hospital C-Section Rates

Have you seen this web site ?
It actually is a pretty interesting site to visit if you are planning on having a baby any time soon.
You can log on, pick your state, then find your local hospital.
It gives you their c-section rates plus whether they allow VBAC's (vaginal births after a c-section).
You do have to keep in mind that some hospitals do more high risk deliveries than others which may sway some of the results.
Yet, I found it interesting looking through and seeing what the rates are at different facilities in my area.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Welcome Baby Graham

Another sweet little baby has entered the world.  
I had the privilege of taking care of some friends from church.  I was also training my new intern that day. So what does the dad do,  but take a picture of us and post it on facebook and we don't even look like we are working!! Melanie was showing us some web site, my intern was putting the link in to her phone and I was talking to the charge nurse.  So I prefer to think of it as - we were 'bonding with the patient'  ~ at least we were at her bedside, right?
This was one of the best deliveries that I have done in a long time.  
The mom literally laughed the baby out.  She was not pushing....just laughing and here he comes!
The standard doctor pose

Daddy gets to cut the cord

Happy family times

                                    Big brother Travis has waited a long time for a sibling...

So I put him to work helping me to check the babies vital signs ~

8 pounds, 3 oz of pure bliss

One happy older brother

Even Grandpa and Grandma were there.  Every one was so happy - laughed and enjoyed the moment. It was so precious.
Peter and Melanie - thank you for including me in your special day.   Your new little baby is beautiful.  Little Graham - may you grow in to the man that God has made you to be.   You have the funniest parents that I know.  I look forward to watching you grow and being involved in your life.
Welcome to the world baby boy!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Little Sister Olivia

One of my recent comfort care patients gave birth to
a little girl named Olivia.
Olivia had Trisomy 18. 
Her mom made this video for Olivia's memorial service and decided to share it in the hopes that it may some how help other parents.

This baby only ever knew love.
She had a family that cherished her even with her issues.
I think her mother does a great job sharing her emotions and
her struggle with the news that her baby may not live.
She pleads with God.
She asks for it to not be true.
And in the end, she only wanted to see her baby alive.
Olivia was born alive.

She lived with her family for 7 weeks - dying on her 7 week birthday.
I had the honor of working with the family prior to the birth.
I also cared for them during her delivery. 
I held, fed and changed this little girl two days before she passed.

She taught me what love is about.
She taught me to prepare our parents for the possibility of  their baby going home.
She taught me how to celebrate life.
She taught me to slow down and cherish my family.
She was one special little girl .
Her family is an amazing family - gracious and honest.

Grab a box of kleenex, turn down the volume on my side bar play list and
 get ready to learn about love at it's finest.
I believe that you have to click on the video,  to watch it on youtube as the
video can not be embedded but it is worth clicking on the link.

Thank you Olivia's parents for sharing this video with all of us.
Your little girl's life was not lived in vain.
I am honored to have met all of you and
I know that one day you will be reunited in Heaven with your baby girl.

Thank you little Olivia for all that you have taught me!
This is why I do the job I do...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Hardest For Me

The hardest type of patient for me to take care of is one that does not speak my language.

Today, I had such a patient.  She only spoke Spanish and I speak very little Spanish.  I can get through the care and even the delivery...but I have a hard time admitting them.  I am always so afraid that I will miss some vital information regarding their health.  Once they are admitted, I can normally fudge my way through and get someone to help if the patient or her family members start to say too much in their language.

So, today my first assignment of the day was a completely Spanish speaking patient.  I bargained with another one of our nurses.  I took care of her patient for awhile while she did my admission.  That way I had the basic information that I needed then could move on to provide care.  Yet, I never felt like the patient understood what I was doing.  Yes, I can display compassion.  Yes, I can start an IV, do vag exams, read her monitor strip and manage the physical care.  But, I always wonder if the patient understands what is going on....I got the housekeeper to help me at one point (to ask the patient about her pain and pain care options), I kept asking my other nurse friends to help me when I ran in to issues. I just feel so frustrated though like I am not given the patient the best experience that she can have.  And that bothers me.

We don't have that many nurses that speak Spanish.  Maybe I need to take a class after I finish with my BSN.  Oh how I wish I had taken Spanish in high school.  It sure would have helped me now.  Much more so that the 3 years of German that I took!

I guess it just bothers me to think how scary it must be for the be in a situation (childbirth) that can already be scary in and of itself, then not to have someone caring for you that you can even talk to.  Yes, we have interpreters.  Yes, we even have a computer hookup thing that can get us an interpreter.  Yes, I can give a caring touch and smile.  Yes, I know basic words...but I am still frustrated and challenged that I can not give the patient the best is just hard for me.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Rocked It

Well, all I can say is "Thank God that nursing assessment test was a take home exam!"....I had studied for it and it still took me almost two hours to complete.  I am pretty sure that I did fine on it.  But I would not have done very well if I had to take it in class....I would have passed but probably not received an A. And if you know anything about me ~ I sort of NEED to get the A.  It is a horrible NEED to have, but that is me.  I don't have to score 100% or have the highest grade in the class.  Yet, I NEED to do well.  Heck, if I'm not going to do my best, why do it all?!?!  It is sort of how I approach life in general.  It isn't always a good thing all of the time either,  for I sometimes push myself too hard when I should just admit I don't know something and ask for help.  I'm learning that slowly though.  Any ways - I think I did ok on the exam since I could look most things up.

I will say that my group rocked our "assessment of the child" presentation last night.  Our power point was inclusive but not really long with lots of boring facts.  The instructor liked my pamphlet on normal vital signs, weight, BMI and how to test the cranial nerves  (made less that we had to review in our presentation).  I took a few props with me for my part on how to approach the child...for example I attached a little stuffed bunny to my stethescope, I took a doll and demonstrated how I'd check the doll's heart rate first before I'd check the childs.  I gave the doll bandaids for her 'owies' too.  Then I used the doll as if it were a child a demonstrated some technigues the nurse could use if she had a fearful getting to eye level even if it means getting on the floor (I did that just like I would if it were a child).  Our instructor was impressed...she even said it was one of the best presentations she had seen in awhile.  Yeah for props!!

Glad that piece of the class is maybe I can concentrate on all the rest of my homework and 75 point case study that is due next week.  It is such a balance of homework, home life and work.  Only three more weeks and this class is done. I can't wait!  I'm balancing...barely...but balancing.

 Today should have been a day off from work but I had to go to the hospital for a conference on one of our comfort care patients.  The conference normally lasts about an hour.  I ended up doing their hospital tour with them and answering  more questions that came up as we walked and talked.  So it took a little longer. Then my charge nurse asked if I'd help with a few lunches.  Needless to say I was there for a few hours.  I can't wait for the day when a day off is a day off!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Happy Dance

I'm currently taking Nursing Assessment in school. We have so much homework and this week has been especially stressful for me as I have worked almost every day and haven't had time for homework.

My week looked something like this:
Tuesday - class until 10pm. Home and in bed by 11:30 pm.
Wednesday - met with a comfort care patient in the morning and had services for one of our comfort care babies in the afternoon (not much time for homework this day).
Thursday - work 12.5 hours
Friday - work 13 hours
Saturday - work 13 hours.  I don't get much homework done on work days for I am just too tired to concentrate when I get home. 
Oh and my house...the dust bunnies sure are growing...

Back to my week ~
Sunday - I worked on our big presentation for school. My group has to teach the rest of the class how to do an assessment on a child.  So, I did my portion of the power point, read, and also made a pamphlet to go with our presentation.  Looming over my head was the fact that I still needed to make two forum posts, write my assessment piece for the week and study for the mid-term.  (half of my study cards are already made but I still need to finish making the rest...I study best off of flash cards).  But, alas, it got to late and Monday was another work day so I headed off to bed.

Monday - worked a busy 12.5 hour day.  It's a baby boom around here.  Went home, poured myself a glass of wine and got to working on the rest of my mid-term flash cards.  Up till midnight - oh lucky me.  I'm starting to wonder why I ever chose to go back to school.

Tuesday - today...woke up with a headache (guess I was stressing about this dang test I have to take tonight.)  And the best part is~  I found out late Sunday that neuro and muscular are also on the exam though it wasn't on our study guide.  At least I knew a day ahead of time so I could add it to my flashcards.  My plan for the day....cram,cram,cram, run to Kinkos to print off my class pamphlets, cram, cram.  I have no life.  I am so going to fail this exam for it just isn't sinking in and I am horrible at name recall.  Give me a multiple choice or matching exam and I will do fine, but I know the exam is fill in and drawings. UGH!

I took a break to shower and check my email....It appears that a few students have emailed the instructor as the word has gotten out that neuro is also on the exam.  Seems no one knew that since it wasn't on the study guide and some people have complained.  Me, on the other hand, did not speak up but have just stressed about having one more thing to focus on.

Well...our instructor took a little pity on us...the test is going to be a take home exam.  Whoo-hoo! I am doing a happy dance!! A big sigh of relief!! I can totally feel the weight life right off of my shoulders. Now I may actually pass this exam!! I have my flash cards, I have studied, I know the information...and I can look up the name of something if I can't recall what it is. 
Happy dance, Happy dance, Happy dance.

I look at my husband and say, "want to grab a late lunch?'. 
Yeah, I do still have a tiny bit of a life!