Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorable Day

Yesterday was memorial day. Many people view this day as the start of summer.  They plan bar-b-ques, have picnics or go to the beach.  It is a holiday and many do not have to work so they play.  Yet, this holiday is really a day that was set aside to remind us to remember our veterans. It is a day set aside to honor those that have served in the military services.  That have helped to defend our country and protect our freedoms.  There are services that one can attend and many flags are placed at gravesites.  It is a national holiday.  There should be some patriotism that is shown this day.  But so often people forget the real meaning behind this day... a day to thank those that protect us.

Then there are those like myself who do not get the day off.  I actually don't mind working memorial day.  I don't normally plan any "beginning of summer" festivites and I can work so that those that do have family in the military can have the day off.  The hospital does not close - even on national holidays.  So I worked yesterday.  Normally working a holiday is somewhat relaxing.  There tends to be fewer inductions and scheduled C/Sections.  Doctor offices are closed so you do not get patients that are sent in to rule out a disease process.  You get natural laboring patients.  And the day tends to be slower.  We normally draw names so that nurses can 'split the shift' and only work 6 hours.   Normally.  Yesterday was not normal.......

We were so busy. Patient after patient came in...all in labor or with broken bags of water.  I tried to call in extra help....right...on a holiday?? People are not going to come in.  People have lives.  People have plans.  So those of us that were scheduled worked hard.  We ran, we assessed, we delivered, and then came back for more.  I was in charge and had my own patients.  We had bleeders, we had babies that didn't want to cooperate with the birth process, we had mom's in pain.

We also got to see new life.  16 new lives.  Yes, 16 deliveries in a 12 hour shift (well 17 if you count the one that was born right at change of shift but the night shift took credit for that one).  We did 9 vaginal deliveries and 7 c/sections.  No scheduled cases.  I started to wonder if there was a different job for me.  One where I didn't have to work so hard.  One where I actually got the holiday off.  One where I wouldn't go home quite so tired.

But we all survived.  We delivered all but 3 patients on the board. I was able to leave a couple of night shift nurses at home.  I'll never understand how one moment the unit is crazy busy and the next it is so nice.  Wish we could figure out a way to just even things out - HA!  Those of us who worked yesterday truly had a memorable day!  It is one I will not forget for awhile ~

And to end this little memorial day post I thought I would share a quick little video that Coach Z shared with us.  In the spirit of our veterans:
(don't forget to silence my playlist below)
Soldiers Deck of Cards

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Real Blogger Friends

This thing called the Internet is a funny thing.  It is good for things like going to school, doing research, learning new things, keeping in touch with friends, renewing old friendships, shopping and blogging.  It can be bad for your identity can be stolen, predators lurk, and you can't always trust what you read on sites.  The Internet is here to stay though so we need to earn to work with this media.

One of the best things about the Internet is making new friends.  I have had the privilege of meeting new people through my blogging and have learned to network with other professionals through this crazy thing called the Internet.

One such friend is Amory.  We have been following each other's blogs for some time.  Amory blogs here.  She lives up in Northern California, I live in Southern California.  Awhile back we started emailing each other as a way to get to know each other on a more personal basis.  She is totally someone that I would hang out with.

I finally had the opportunity to meet Amory and her family in person.  They were in southern California and I met them at Disneyland.  Her girls are adorable ~ her oldest daughter ran right up and gave me a hug.  Her husband is so nice and Amory is as sweet as I knew she would be.  Next time I am up in Northern Cal we are going to get together again.

This is definitely a plus of blogging.  Real blogger friends!  Now I can't wait to meet others who write blogs that I follow.  I feel like I have friends all over the country :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lunch with Jessica Alba

Today I attended a luncheon benefiting the OC Walk to Remember.  This organization was started by a bereaved parent after she lost her son.  The goal is to provide support to other parents, educate staff that deal with bereaved parents and raise funds for area hospitals so that they can better serve their patients.

Each year there is a walk where funds are raised and babies are remembered.  This year it will be on October 6th at the District at Tustin Legacy.  I go every year and normally our hospital has a table where we have support materials and educational resources on our comfort care program and support groups.  I also like being to reconnect with parents that I have met through our program or at the hospital while I am at the walk.

Recently The Honest Co. has decided to partner with OC Walk to Remember.  The Honest Co. was started by Jessica Alba as she sought to find safe, organic products for her two daughters.  They have really cute diapers that are baby friendly, plus skin care products and cleaning supplies.

Jessica Alba came to the luncheon today also.  It was fun to be able to meet her and hear about her product line and her passion for safe, chemical free products.  She was quite sweet and quiet spoken.  I expected her to be loud and extroverted though she seems introverted to me.  Maybe a room full of medical people intimidated her.  I wish I could have talked with her more but so many people were trying to get her picture that I only spoke briefly with her.  


 Click here to learn more about today's event. 

The Emcee today was Brad Stetson.  We go to the same church but hardly ever see each other on Sundays.  We seem to keep running in to each other at community events though.  He wrote a book about the experience he and his wife went through when they lost their first born son.  I have read his book, "Tender Fingerprints" and we give it to patients.

I am constantly amazed by people who can go through a life changing event, then turn around and use their pain and experience to help others.  Brad and the founder of the OC Walk to Remember, Kristyn von Rotz are such people.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Francis Chan Balance Beam Challenge

I think I needed this little reminder that a friend of mine posted.
I want to live fearless and hear "well done" one day...


(don't forget to silence my playlist below so you can hear the video)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

I Wish

I was going to title this post, "I want".  But that sounds so self centered, so 'me focused'.
I'm in a bit of a funk.  A bit unsettled.  I'm not sure, why.  I think it has to do with working two jobs, going to school and dealing with a home that isn't quite put together.  I find myself wondering what else I could be doing.  I find myself wishing I were doing something else, or being somewhere else.

I wish:  (in no particular order)
 ~ that I could work part time
 ~ that I could sit around and read all of the books on my bedside table
 ~ that I did not have homework to do
 ~ that I lived in a house instead of a little condo
 ~ that I lived in a different state...just for a change
 ~ that I had a nice backyard for the dogs to play in
 ~ that my house wasn't so full of dog hair!
 ~ that I was on vacation - no where special, just relaxing and staying in a hotel
 ~ that I was visiting family in Ohio
 ~ that I was thinner
 ~ that I could do more for the underprivileged
 ~ that I could do short term missions trips to other countries
 ~ that I had a home where we could entertain
 ~ that I had lots of time to go out with my friends
 ~ that I could get my floors in without having to move everything

I wish, I wish, I wish...
Sounds so pathetic.  Maybe I really do just need to take a few days off and regroup.  But that is going to have to wait since I am right in the middle of training a new nurse.
I truly have so much to be grateful for, just in a funk and need an attitude check!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

He Heard Hannah

 I recently finished reading He Heard Hannah by Lynnette Kraft and Courtney Becker.

I have been following Lynnette's blog for quite some time.  I was originally drawn to her blog as she is a mother that has suffered the loss of two of her sons.  One of them had anencephaly and one had a diaphragmatic hernia.  Since I work with parents like her I wanted to see how she copes and how she has gone on to live her life after the loss of those boys.   I have enjoyed getting to know her over the years that I have read her blog.

She not only had two boys die shortly after birth, but she was given the gift of a little girl, whom they named Anna.  Anna was born with a congenital heart defect.  Yet, she did not die at birth.  She lived and went home with her family.  Yes, she had a sick heart but she was a happy, joyful child.  She lived with her family for 6 1/2 years.

The book is jointly written by Lynnette and the 911 operator, Courtney Becker, who took the families call for help the day that Anna died.  Lynnette talks about her daughter, her life and the struggles of losing her.  Courtney talks about how Anna's death impacted him.  Courtney was so impacted by one little girl and her family that he accepted Christ through the whole experience.

Odd chapters in the book are written by Lynnette, even chapters by Courtney.  It is an easy read and you get drawn in by the vulnerability of both of them.  The resiliency of the human spirit flows through.
And you see how God weaves events for good and how two people learn to lean on God through their lives.  It is a story of redemption and transformation.

I enjoyed the book.  It was almost as if Lynnette was sitting in my living room telling me her life story.
I could hear her voice, her pain, and her faith in God's plan, even if that is not the plan she would have chosen.
Check it out~

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

One More Finished

Thank goodness ~ I can say that my nursing assessment class is finished!  This whole semester has been a tough one for both the pathophysiology class and the assessment class were taught by one of the directors of our program and her expectation of us is very high.  Her exams were some of the hardest I have ever taken...I would have failed them if she had made us take them in class.  We begged to take them at home so that we could actually 'learn something' by having to look up the answers vs. just taking the exam in class, probably missing answers and never really learning anything (because really...do people go home and re-study exams to learn the things they miss?? Why would you when said exam is done and over??)

Our final was a hands on assessment.  My partner and I ended up being the last ones to perform ours.  We had a potluck in class to keep us occupied as each pair went off to do their assessment.  I was nervous.  Oh, why didn't we just go first and get it over with?  I was prepared with lots of information in my head.  Now I know you may be thinking..."you are a nurse already, don't you do assessments everyday?" Well, yes I do but they aren't as full of an exam as we were learning in class.  Once you are out practicing you tend to taylor your assessments to the people you are caring for.  I deliver babies.  I can do a perfect vaginal exam and can tell what position your baby is in but I haven't looked in an ear since I was up at Hume Lake practicing camp nursing.  I have never even looked in an eye to see the optic disc....hello, I only found it once during this class!! Thank God I don't have to check yours!!

By the time my partner and I got to our assessment I was tired and just ready to get it over with.  Happily I think we rocked it.   I think going last might have worked in our favor.  The otoscope light had burnt out by the time it was our turn, so we didn't really have to look in the ear or the eye.  We just had to go through the motions.  I think our instructor was probably as tired as we were and let us skip minor things.  As long as we acted like we knew what we were doing she was not super hard on us.  She asked us some pertinent questions and signed us off pretty quick.  I'm sure we passed.  Relieved we left and went out to celebrate :)

Whoo hoo!! Only four more classes to go.  That is only 32 weeks.  Our next class is a culture sensitivity one.  I am looking forward to a bit of a switch in direction and hopefully a bit of a breather before we have to do community health later in the summer.  I can't believe that I am one more class closer to being done.  This has been a long journey but I know that the end is in sight...