Friday, June 29, 2012

Another Night Out

Two nights out in one week!
How does one girl get so lucky??
 Having good friends I suppose
Tonights dinner was a bit more luxurious...
I went with two girls from work (remember my last dinner post was with work friends too - we are a bonded group). Davese (my recent intern) wanted to take Erin and I out to thank us for helping her to get her dream job and for teaching her so much of what we know.  She even treated us.  I'm not one that likes be treated.  I like being able to pay my own way...but she insisted since it was a thank you gift!
(My chopped salad)

                                                                          Davese picked me up and off we went to Ruth Chris Steakhouse.  They have the best steaks  - maybe because they are sizzling in butter, and we ate like it was our last meal.  We all ordered a different vegetable and shared those so we got to try a bit of everything.  The food was so yummy but the company was even better. 
We talked, we laughed, we complained, we lifted each other up.     
At one point an older lady at the table next to us got up and walked outside to the patio area.  She didn't look like she was feeling very good so the three of us nurses started our plan to help her if she needed anything.  I was going to do chest compressions, I told Erin she could do the mouth to mouth and Davese said that since she was new she'd just document and get information on the lady for later charting.   We asked the person that the older lady was with if she thought the person was ok or did she need help.  She just rolled her eyes and said, "no she is fine - she always does this when we go out".   So we didn't get to practice any life saving skills~

Oh well, we had a wonderful time and my tummy is full.
I have decided the creme brulle is one of my favorite desserts.  But how come my top never turns our as thin and crisp as this one!?!?!?  I even use one of those little blow torch things but mine never looks like this!

Relishing in having such fun girlfriends.
I am one lucky girl.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Getting Closer

Finished one more class!!

Cultural Sensitivity and Nursing.  I really enjoyed this class and our instructor.  I learned alot about what other cultures believe and how nurses can care for them.  Wish I would have had this class sooner in my career.
It sparked or I should say it renewed my desire to travel and care for others internationally... so much so that I am seriously looking in to going on the next mission trip to Ecuador.  I've already requested the time off of work and have begun saving so that I can go.  Teams go out and perform surgeries and provide care for those that do not have access to care where they live.  One team just got back from India - I'd love to go on that team the next time around, or to Africa.

For now though I am going to relish in the fact that I am one more class closer to finishing this portion of my education!
Now it is on to community health.  We have to do 90 hours of clinicals so don't be surprised if I don't blog for the next 8 weeks of my life!  In addition to working full time, going to school and doing homework I will also being working at a birth clinic and observing at a NICU followup program.  The next 8 weeks are going to be tough...but I can do it.  Or at least I think I can...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Nursing Grand Rounds

 I presented our comfort care program today at Nursing Grand Rounds.  I was able to tell other nurses in the hospital about our program.  You would be surprised at how many people don't know what goes on in our little world of OB nursing.  We tend to be shadowed by so many other things in the hospital.

Today I got to change some of that.  The hospital holds 'nursing grand rounds' every couple of months.  New ideas are presented.  Practice changes are presented as well.  All nurses within the hospital are invited to attend.  This months topic was the end of life care..

Our hospital recently started a change group / or committee if you will, looking at end of life practices through out the hospital.  I am on that committee as the labor and delivery representative.  We are trying to make sure that we are consistent house wide with how we treat our dying patients and their families.
So today we presented our different programs to the hospital.  We focused on the perinatal comfort care program, adult palliative care and hospice and our end of life committee and what we are working on.

Since I work in labor and delivery and also help run our comfort care program, I was chosen as the speaker for the OB portion of the presentation.  I was able to share a bit about what we do and why we provide these services to our families.  I didn't have long and I had to take a 4 hour class and condense it down to minutes but I think I accomplished my goals.  I was able to share information and inform those in the hospital that have no idea of the things we do up on our floor.
 The question / answer time was quite valuable.  The people in the audience asked very good questions such as "what would happen if a mother went to the ICU and her dying baby was still alive? Would the baby be transferred to ICU also?"  (this question came from an ICU nurse...dreading the idea of having to go way outside of her comfort zone and take care of an infant also.)   I reassured her that the OB team would continue to care for the baby and the ICU nurse would not have to do that.  Mom could be transferred to the ICU and the baby would be admitted to the nursery with OB nurses caring for him or her.  The baby could be brought to the mom in the ICU with an OB nurse in attendance (collaborative care at it's best).  Thankfully we have never had a comfort care mom end up in the ICU as of yet.  And I hope we never do!

The best part of the presentation was when the power point quit working on me!!   Here I am talking away and it won't advance...I look out at the audience and see my manager and the Mother-baby manager plus other white coated people and I think to myself..."what would a good speaker do?" "Oh crap, now what!?!?!"
I make a quick recovery - make some stupid comment about the power point "dying" - to which an audience member states "Seems appropriate for today's topic" and then I say I am just going to move on while someone else fixes the power point.  I tell them to imagine my next slide which talks about resources for the nurses....and I just go on to tell them verbally about it.
Thank goodness I knew what my slides were about.  I knew the order and had reviewed it prior to speaking!!  Such a test of my speaking abilities - HA!   Presenting was pretty fun - even if I was a tad nervous  :)

To end the day I met a couple of my friends at Citrus City Grille for a little girls night out.  It is so hard to socialize at work so we had decided to meet for dinner.  We wanted to catch up and talk without being interrupted by phones or patients or crying babies.
So we met in downtown Orange.
I had the happy hour tri tip melts and a spring salad - yummy.  Plus we all ordered a different flavor of martini.  Citrus City Grille has a large martini menu.  Mine was called "the Favorite" - it was a watermelon, pineapple, sweet and sour flavored drink.  I think mine was the best ~
After dinner we walked over and sat in the circle area of Orange.  We sat by the fountain and just talked and caught up on each other's lives.  I have such great friends that I happen to work with.  We have so much in common and share a common interest in moms and babies.   I am lucky to have such great girlfriends.  I know that not everyone has the type of friendships that last a life time.  Ones where we truly care about each other, attend each others weddings, help deliver each others babies and stick through things even when we may not see totally eye to eye.

Thanks for a great night out Tammy and Sarah...wish I would have had someone take a picture of the three of us!
I heart you guys!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Go Lucy Go

Have you checked on Lucy today??
Prayers are being answered.
Read Kate's blog to get all of the recent updates.
And keep praying for this sweet family


Thursday, June 14, 2012

On My Own

I was back on my own today after working with an intern for the last 10 weeks.

Towards the end of the internship, Davese was doing most of the work and I was just overseeing her. Checking her charting, confirming her vaginal exams, answering her questions, and providing guidance and support.
Today I was back on my own.
I wondered if I would remember what to do and how to give patient focused care since I had been giving nurse focused care the past couple of months...

I remembered! 

And not only did I remember  - I was able to give good care and I had fun while I was doing it.  I was able to bond with my patient and her family and was reminded of why I do this job.  It is a good feeling to be able to help someone bring a new baby in to the world.  And to help a daddy celebrate his first Father's Day (though I don't think he is getting anything else from his wife - he got the best gift of a baby...and poor mamma has to wait a whole year for her first mother's day!)

I was able to meet her needs...I had her admitted, IV started, antibiotics given and epidural placed in less than an hour.  Once she was comfortable we were able to talk and get to know each other. 
A few hours later she was holding her new little one in her arms.
It was a wonderful, picture perfect delivery.

Debbie ~

(PS - the photo isn't really her baby...just in case you thought I was breaking HIPPA rules)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Barely Above Water

 I am sitting on three different committees at work...they are all intertwined yet seperate.

 First is our perinatal hospice program committee - on going for the last 5 or 6 years. But this last meeting was really long and almost all focused on one patient.   What did we do well?  What could we have done better?  We can we learn and change going forward?

Fast forward to more change - hence the new demise committee in labor and delivery.  Since I have been our grief support liason in labor and delivery for many years I was asked to sit on this new committe as we look to better serve our families that have stillborns and pregnancy loss.  There are so many new ideas.  There are so many new staff members that have no idea how to care for these mommies and no idea of the support services that we offer.  So we are revamping things.  We are bringing forth new education.  We have a parent liason helping us to figure out what is best care.  We struggle to find the money to support our programs....but we are trying.  Trying to change things for the better.
Every meeting I walk away with new assignments and more tasks to complete (like emails, writing up policies, making a learning poster).  More things on my to do list. But important things.  Things that will make a difference for our patients.  That is one of the reasons why I became a nurse...

(an example of one of the items that we give to our parents)

I recently was asked to sit on a hospital wide end of life committee.  Our hospital is making changes and trying to streamline much of our care so that all patients get the same treatment hospital wide.  They originally forgot about us poor little souls in labor and I was asked late to join this committee.  Today I worked on a power point (on my day off mind you).  We are taking information to nursing grand rounds at the end of the month.  Presenting to other nurses in the hospital.  Talking about all of the services we offer.  And we have some national presentations in the work.  Now that is exciting to me...a little travel, a little teaching...all for better patient care.

Needles to say, my head is barely above water.  I had to make a notebook with dividers for all of these committees.  Trying to keep them straight.  Trying to remind myself of the extra 'stuff'' I need to get done...before the next meeting.  In a way it keeps me going.  I am staying focused and working on important stuff and that provides me with a sense of pride.  A tired sense but still a positive sense.

Throw regular work on top of all of that and you will get an idea of my life the past few months.
And did I tell you I just trained a new nurse....10 weeks worth of training - but that story will come later.
oh wait - and then there is school...Tuesday I wrote a paper. Tuesday I spent all day in my pj's trying to get it done.  I finished it...and turned it in that very same night.   Who waits to write a paper the day it is due?!?!?  Me...that's who.

I am having to do some juggling ~ but I am staying above water ~ barely.
And at least I have some time off coming...maybe my house will get cleaned again :)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Pray for Lucy

I started reading this blog a couple of years ago...
back before Lucy ever got sick.

Some times life just does not make any sense.
I've seen tragedy hit many a family - you can't escape it when you work in a hospital.
But reading Kate's recent posts just makes my heart sad.

It is one of those times where one can easily question God.
Even though I believe in God's sovereign just does not make any sense to me.
One day I want to ask Him "why?"
Why do families have to suffer so much pain?
Why do children get cancer?
Why do babies die?
Why is life so unfair?
Why, why, why.....

Please pray for this sweet family as it appears little Lucy does not have much time left on this earth.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Working Extra

Dear Hubby is working an extra shift today.  He said he wanted to make a little extra money so that we could have a nice dinner out for our anniversary a month from now.  We plan to get away for the weekend too.
We will have been married five years...lots sure has happened in those five years...Some good, some not so good.  But we are committed for the long run.  And we know that getting away together and 'date nights' are good for us.
Hence, he is working hard for us.

Which is really, really weird for me.
I never had some one to take care of me.

My first husband did not always make enough to support us and I had to work.  But that was a good thing.  It taught me the value of hard work and to be independent.  I would never have been able to raise my kids as a single mom for all of those years if I had not already had some experience with making my own way.

Then when I went through my divorce my husband was not working so I did not get any child support.  I could have been angry and frustrated...but I wanted custody of the kids.  I could have vented and complained but it just wasn't worth it to me.  I wanted my children to be safe and secure in their own home.  And I did not want to pay spousal support  - I could been ordered to since I was working and he wasn't...but I bargained.  I opted to raise the children on my own.  I chose to not get child support if I could just raise my children.  We were not rich by any means but we have always had a roof over our heads and a little extra play money.  We did not live beyond our means. We do not have a big house.  Yet, the kids were able to play sports, we have pets, we traveled, and we have never gone without food.  Thankfully I have a job where I made enough to support us and where I could work extra shifts if I needed to.  And there was a time in life where I worked many an extra shift.  I work the night shift because you make a bit more on nights and I picked up extra hours almost every pay period.  I was lucky in that my parents lived close by and were able to watch my kids at night while I worked.

Back to my original thought...hubby is working extra.  I feel a little guilty sitting at home.  I feel like I should be getting stuff done (like writing that paper that is due next Tuesday night or cleaning this messy house).  Yet, all I can think of is that I am so lucky to have a hubby that wants to take care of me.  A hubby that is willing to plan for us.  A hubby that is willing to work an extra day just so we can splurge on our anniversary.  I need to learn to rest in the fact that we are partners now.  That I don't have to do it all.  Yes, it is weird.  Yes, I'm going to have to learn to let go just a little bit.  Yes, I'm going to have to learn to trust that he has my best interest at heart.

I love you dear hubby and thank your for working hard for us!

Maybe one day it won't feel so weird to have some one taking care of me...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Girls Day Out

I picked up this cute little girl from school.
She showed me around her classroom and outside.
We went to her cubby and gathered her things,
we picked up her blanket and pillow.
Then we headed to the mall for some bonding time.
We went to the Disney store where she bought a "Lady".
She said that her Daddy never lets her buy anything.
Well - Lita can, and besides, Lita gets a discount  :)
Then we went to Nordstrom where she got to pick out clothes.
She made a new friend in the saleslady - she followed her around the store.
We went to the dressing room where she tried on her clothes.
Then we paid for her new outfits.
We ended our day at Farrels Ice Cream Parlor.
Ice Cream sundaes for both of us - Yum!
I love spending girls day out with my favorite little girl.
Lily you make my heart swell and I love you!
Love, Lita

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


 Hoarders ~ that's us at the present time!!
Erika has decided to move back home after being away at college and living on her own for a year post graduation.
I am happy to have her home.  She is a joy to have around.
She needs to move back in to a room with her sister and this is what it looks like right now:

 We have cleaned out closets.  We have thrown things away (3 bags today) and have gotten things ready for the salvation army.
Yet, there are still so many things to go through.
Things the girls have had since they were toddlers.
Toys and keepsakes.
We found clothes from the 80' who would save those ugly things??
We found little toys, trash, photos from 10 years ago.
Erika's boyfriend Tim was here the other day as we sorted through things.
Every time we paused over an item and debated what to do with it  - he threatened to call the Hoarders TV show.  All he had to say was - "HOARDERS!" and the stuff went in to a pile.
Things like a 30 year old wedding dress and two bridesmaid dresses that my girls wore in my sister's wedding.  Yes the bridesmaid dresses are cute - but the girls were like 11 years old when they wore them.  They sure as heck don't fit now!
I'm going to see if either one fits my niece when she comes to visit next month.
As far as the wedding dress - the girls are trying it on just for fun~
We are making progress though ~
Look at all of the stuff we have to donate!
I refuse to be on the Hoarders TV show!
We are going to keep cleaning :)