Tuesday, January 24, 2017

More than I expected

Phew!! I'm here everyone! No worries. The beginning of this "final semester" has been much more overwhelming than I anticipated. Wow. What a crazy schedule. Okay, so let's recap...

When I last left I was trying to figure out what this semester was going to be about. I've since come to the realization that when the professor repeatedly says "You are responsible for your educational success" she basically means you're on your own and don't expect me to teach. That was even more apparent when I took my first exam of the term last night and only got a 72% when my typical grade is 88-93%. UGH!!! Now I have to focus on recovering from that.

We did have a dosage calc exam last Thursday evening on the 12th. I was a little nervous about that one because of one of the types of questions that required you to titrate a dose. In the end, I knocked it out of the park and got 100%! Yay!

I also had my first hospital day of the term this past Saturday on the 21st. I was so excited and pumped about that. I LOVE bedside nursing and providing patient care!! Well, lets just say that my flame was put out when I was assigned to a gen-med floor where there were no PCTs and most of the patients were stable. I honestly spent the day being the PCT for the unit. I changed linens, took vitals, assisted patients to the bathroom and repositioned several of them. I removed IVs, fetched various snacks and beverages, had a couple of patients try to swindle me into sneaking them ice when they were supposed to be NPO, nothing by mouth, and sent two patients off the floor for procedures.

The day drug on and I just tried to stay busy. I ran into the clinical instructor a couple of times and tried to talk to her to pass the time but she wasn't really helpful. I am so frustrated with my clinical experience!! I know how to do these basic things! What I need to learn is how to program the IV pump, how to assess the bed-bound patient, how to use the EMR and plan out my day as a care provider! These are the things I'm missing. In a way, I can't wait for this program to be over and on the other hand I'm scared because I don't believe I will be prepared because the program has been more of a political game than an actual nurturing educational environment.

Towards the end of the clinical day on Saturday, all of a sudden there were a handful of things to keep busy!! There was a patient on the unit who was very demanding and probably kind of lonely. My partner and I spent a bit of time with her. Well, mostly my partner. She brushed the patient's hair, braided it, essentially gave the patient a bed bath, we both suctioned the patient, and about an hour later finally got out of the room. Hah. Then we got to go work on a patient who was having an unfortunate stay. He ended up getting a rectal tube, poor thing. It's so amazing the kind of medical interventions that are available.

It was a very long day!! Tonight there's a new class and another opportunity to get my you-know-what together and try to excel instead of just make it by. Haha. We'll see how that goes. I'll likely just try not to be a jerk but that's also just a maybe.

Next post will be an update on weight loss and health!!

Thursday, January 12, 2017


Well, maybe not a mid-week report but still an update!! So far this week, I have lost 4lbs! I am beyond excited. This is the start of something great!!

Today is also the day that I start interviewing venues for our 10yr anniversary party! I have a couple of different places in mind. I also need to order a cake, maybe a photographer, and possibly someone to renew our vows!! I am determined to have a much better time than I did at my actual wedding!

One of the places, I am visiting this afternoon and I cannot wait. I feel torn between two different themes. On the one hand I want to have a nice beach-themed party but on the other hand I want to have a nice, classy, fancy, cocktail hour kind of environment. It's definitely fun trying to find the balance.

Tonight is class 3 of 3 for the week. I don't quite feel overwhelmed by the schedule as much as I do the material. I thought that the demand of the schedule would be a bit more exhausting but then again it's just the first week. We'll see how I feel in a couple more weeks, especially once the clinical rotations start and exams start. I won't be able to find my life!!

Well, on to class! Catch up later. :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Day 2 of 3!

Well.....I didn't get a chance to update last night. It was a long and dragging day. I was completely overwhelmed by all of the information that we went over in class and I tried to get some homework done.

It wasn't the actual content that had me stressed out and ready to run for the hills but more so the intensity of the schedule that we're going to be following. Just the simple thought that I will be spending three out of five night a week at school, making a trip to a separate campus on another weeknight AND trekking to the hospital on one of my weekend days just has me awestruck.

What is my life?!? What am I going to do? How am I going to make sure the house is clean? How am I going to cook dinners or find time for laundry? When do I study? Take a shower? Play with the kids? I am going to lose my mind!!

On top of the crazy schedule, they also requested that we attend a review class in April. The class is Monday through Thursday ALL DAY!!! How completely ridiculous!! I have a two week vacation scheduled in June! I don't have 32 extra hours of PTO to take off to attend this review!

I wanted to scream on more than one occasion last night. I also tried to be my normal, participating, over-responsive self but about an hour in I was asked to stop answering questions. I suppose it was a good thing and a bad thing. It was good because then I can kind of tune out the rest of the lecture because the Prof is less likely to call on me because she thinks I'm "an insufferable know it all" but bad because of the same. Screwed either way. :(

I got home last night close to 9pm and when I came in both kids were still awake! Ahhhhhhhh!!! Oh, and guess who was in bed?! Hmmmmmm. I just have to keep reminding myself that this is such a temporary season. There's only 16 weeks left and then I am done until I start my Master's work in August.

Time to focus on the light that is increasing at the end of this tunnel. I need to take a moment to breathe and enjoy this experience! I will make it through this. I will survive. I will THRIVE! I will SUCCEED!!

Here's to another night of fun and learning!! Tomorrow's update will include my mid-week weight loss report!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Oh!!!! Back to School! Back to School!

Today is the first day back to school!! 16 weeks and I am done!! This first 8 weeks promises to be extremely rigorous! First class is tonight followed by class tomorrow night and the night after! No word yet on if there are any commitments this weekend. First exam is a week from Thursday and then every Monday night! Saturday clinical starts on the 21st and run through the end of February when we have an exam on Saturday followed by the final a mere 2 days later.

I swear, if I last through the first 8 weeks, the last 8 will be a breeze! I'm confident in my skills and my ability to complete assignments but I'm worried about all of the exams. I barely have time to update my blog and manage my life. I sure as hell don't have hours upon hours of free time to try to learn something I'm unfamiliar with. I'm sure that the concepts are nothing new but damn, trying to feed the answers "by the book" are so different from "real-life" situations. The book is always so ideal.

Tonight I will find out more about the rest of the semester and I will update more in the future!!

In other news, I'm still fighting the desire to go to the gym. Ugh! I feel like I'm dying to go but with my work schedule, I don't think I'll ever make it. Plus, when I do have free time and I'm home I just want to stay there.

I'm preparing to do an 8-day challenge in February with the amazing supplements that I've been using. The 8-day challenge is so fun. It's like a cleanse and a kick starter! Guaranteed 8-15lbs gone!!

I created My Journey to Health and Happiness in 2017 page on facebook and I plan to open my February challenge to all of my friends on there as well! I will be hosting the challenge and one participant will win $100!! Lots of fun. How can anyone pass up a chance to lose weight AND a chance to win $100?!?

Come back tomorrow for a full report on how class went!

Monday, January 9, 2017

An open letter asking why...

You know who you are but I know you don't care. I'm not sure what's wrong and I'm not sure that it would make a difference if I did. You live your life for you. You are always number one in your world. I can't imagine living a life so selfish.

There have been so many times where I tried to reach out for help. I tried to ask for support. There were times when I needed you to step up to the plate. I needed a break but I never got one. I've learned that I don't have a choice. You've let me down and trapped me.

I can't walk away. I have to do it for them. I won't get a break. Even when I was at the lowest point in my life, I looked around and I was alone. I was crying out, begging for help. I needed someone to lift me up, to hold me, and to make me feel anything normal.

I've reached the point where there is little that surprises me or hurts my feelings. I've tried to talk it out but every word out of my mouth falls on deaf ears. There is no response and no compromise.

I am who I am because of you. I have been put in situations I never dreamed imaginable because of you. It's time to focus on me and my life. It's time for me to take the bull by the horns and not just live day-to-day.

I'm not saying good-bye or I'll miss you. I'm saying that at this point you have no control. You do not dictate what I do or define who I am. I will succeed not because of you but in spite of you.

Thank you for showing me that I don't need anyone to thrive. I am responsible for my own destiny!!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

My last free weekend...

Yep, this is it. My last free weekend until April! Classes start next week. Clinical rotations start the week after. Then my state exam review course. After all of that fun starts N's soccer season begins. Throw in a couple of birthdays and the need to take a trip to check out a graduate program, I will be running non-stop from now until my vacation in June!!

My school schedule for the next 16 weeks is insane!! I have actual class three nights a week. Exams are on another night each week. I have to go to the hospital to complete clinical hours on Saturdays and I have a separate board review/test prep class.

Somehow I will manage working full time, all of the class demands, paper writing, anniversary planning, soccer practices, meal planning and prep, maintaining the house, and having fun with the kids!! This is my crucible. This is my sink or swim moment. I am so excited!

This weekend was pretty uneventful. I reorganized the kitchen, played outside with the kids, cooked amazing meals, and cleaned everything! We had donuts and dance parties. We blew bubbles in the wind. We played with play-doh and brushed each other's hair. I love being a mom and hanging out with my babies!!

Tonight, in honor of my last relaxed, family meal I am making a full Sunday dinner! The menu includes ham, potatoes, green beans, rolls, gravy, coleslaw, and berry cobbler for dessert. One last hurrah before crunch time hits and we are doing it up BIG!!!

Lucky me though, I have my handy-dandy supplements on deck to power me through my hectic schedule and keep me on the road to health and happiness in 2017!!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

My Health and Wellness 2017

As many of you know, I love to be classy and fashionable. You also know that I love eating great food. After three pregnancies, the loss of a child, PTSD, and breastfeeding for over 4 years of my life my weight became a HUGE problem. My defining moment was around February 2016.

It was my first clinical day and I was so excited to be doing what I love and wearing my white uniform!! Well, until I put it on. Somehow between the time I ordered the coveted uniform and two months later when I wore it for the first time, I had gained 20 pounds. I was so uncomfortable and super self conscious. I couldn't sit comfortably while wearing my uniform, and frankly felt like a sausage. It was then that I decided that I'd had enough!

I was done being tired. I was done being disgusted with myself. I was done being a sausage. I started researching and looking for something that I could use to first boost my energy. I preferred an all-natural product and definitely something that didn't give me awful side effects. I tried some green tea supplements but I was jittery, tachycardic, and would get terrible headaches. After a couple of weeks searching and trying product after product. I felt defeated. Then, I found an all-natural supplement that boasted increased energy, rare side effects, and a guarantee of satisfaction that I could NOT argue with.

I bit the bullet and tried it. I started with one and no problems. Then I went to one twice a day, still no problems. I added a vitamin, then a superfood supplement, then a snack shake for when I was driving to class, running to soccer, or stuck in the office for lunch. This combination of supplements made me feel amazing!! I had more energy, no pain, I felt well rested, and I had a great grab and go snack that fit my schedule.

I soon realized that not only was I feeling better but I was managing my weight and was beyond ecstatic when I lost 40 pounds after only about 3 months. I was satisfied, on a roll, and wanted to keep on going. I stopped all of the supplements and wanted to "do it on my own". I have gained back about 10 of those pounds but never fear, I received a brand new box of my favorite supplements and I am ready to get back on my journey to health and happiness!!

I hope you'll join me and follow my journey!! If you're interested in trying the supplements as well, leave a comment or shoot me an email and I will be more than delighted to introduce you!

**Here's to all of us and improving our health and happiness in 2017**

Friday, January 6, 2017

MY 2017!!!

This is the year of ME!! I am so focused on the rays of light shining in my tunnel I can barely express it!!

2017 schedule of events;

January- classes resume!! Term 4
               Receive a super re-stock on my favorite all-natural supplements
               Tell at least 10 of my friends about how great ^^^ those supplements are! and start a health                  and wellness group with them

February- complete my first 30-day challenge and share my results, shout them from the rooftops!!
                 First 8 weeks of Term 4 will be completed

March- 10 year anniversary celebration
             Spring Break
             Clara's 5 year Angelversary

April- N's birthday
           Term 4 Final Exam!

May- Graduation!
          State Licensing Exam

June- Summer Break

July- December- Searching for my dream job or a dream residency
                            Family Reunion
                            Everyone's birthday
                            Every other holiday!

So, as you can see, I am packed full of goodness for 2017!! I plan to continue to update this blog as much as I can, especially once school starts! I want to share my health journey with everyone and all of the joy I can!!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Who is I?

I is the sweetest little girl! She is a hyperactive toddler with a strong, sassy, attitude! She is a healer and a hope. She is fun and loves shoes. I have the best time with her!!

When I found out I was finally pregnant in 2013, I was scared and excited. I made a promise to care for my baby, protect my baby, and do everything within my power to ensure a safe, healthy, successful pregnancy. I made a promise to myself that I would advocate for myself better than I had with Clara and that I would fight at all costs to get the two of us to the finish line.

As usual, I had a very textbook, relaxed, easy-peasy pregnancy. I loved every second of it! I was a beautiful pregnant women. I cherished every symptom, every flutter, movement, appointment, test, exam, and ultrasound.

I wrote letters weekly to my sweet baby with all of my hopes and dreams. Every letter expressing how loved and wanted the baby was.

Though I felt like I had a great relationship with my care team I always remember how they had let me down in the past and I wasn't willing to take that risk with my sweet rainbow baby. With the constant nagging feeling of being let down, abandoned, and left to fend for myself by my care team, I chose to seek a back up team that I could have on standby just in case my pregnancy started to change.

Four months in and we found out our rainbow baby was going to be a girl. I was so excited for the second chance to be the mother of a baby girl, to have a lifetime companion who I could shop and spa with.

She arrived at 39 weeks! I had been in labor all day but was determined to have a fund day out with N. My contractions were manageable and I knew that they could last for hours. N and I went out for lunch, to the beach, to the park, and all around! We had an amazing day. It was probably 2am when I knew it was time to go get checked.

My contractions had been 2 to 5 minutes apart for over 3 hours and lasting between 30-55 seconds. I was keeping track on some cool app that I had at the time. The contractions were getting more frequent and more painful. I drove myself to my primary hospital and told them I thought I was in labor. I was checked in and hooked up to a fetal heart monitor for about an hour. Then the doctor came in and told me I was not in labor that I had no recorded contractions. I asked her how they expected to monitor contractions when the sensor was not hooked up. She told me that she could have someone hook it up and that they would monitor me for a couple more hours and then I could be discharged.

I kind of blew her off as she was simply a resident and not part of my care team. I asked her, if I truly was not in labor then why was I in such pain? Rhythmic pain? She had no answer and advised that I would be discharged and should return if the pain persisted or got worse. I asked her, so what you're telling me is that I'm being discharged so that I can go back out front and check back in. She replied that I could do that if I felt it was necessary and left. The nurse came in to discharge me and I cried. I was so shocked that I was being blown off by my primary team, again!!

I managed my way home and then decided that I needed to seek a second opinion. I drove myself to my back up hospital and was welcomed by my team!! I was quickly checked in, roomed, and monitored. Confirmed to be in labor I was advised of my options. I was scared shitless at that point requested a c-section. By the time we made it to the OR I was 7cm and 20 minutes later baby I was born!

She was born ready! She was wide awake, hungry, and excited to be earthside. She latched like a pro and we had an amazing breastfeeding relationship for 15 months.

Now at two and a half, I loves baby dolls, playing mommy, fine dining, candy, shopping, and snuggling! She is an absolute sweetheart and I cannot wait to watch her grow.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

What's been up with N?!

Little N is not so little anymore! He is super big into soccer and running. He also recently started enjoying surfing and even got a cool surfboard for Christmas. N also loves skateboarding and we frequent the skate park!

N is also a great scholar!! He is and A, sometimes B student. He is really good at math and science. Reading is not his favorite subject but he powers through it. He loves writing his own stories and occasionally reads for fun, mostly when he's avoiding going to bed. :)

Since we last left off N has played soccer, two seasons a year, always back to back. We are looking forward to our last season of recreational soccer, spring 2017, and training hard for our first season of competitive league in the fall!! I have big hopes and dreams that this will lead him down the path of many opportunities and open doors!!

N still talks about his sweet angel sister all the time. Baby Clara's forever box sits proudly in our living room where everyone can see it. We include baby Clara in all of our family functions! N always picks out a cupcake for her birthday and is such an amazingly proud big brother. It always touches me deeply when people ask him how many brothers/sisters he has, he ALWAYS, without hesitation responds with "two sisters, one is this old and the other is this old". He knows how old Clara would be and talks about her as if she's just at home waiting for us.

N sometimes struggles with OCD and anxiety but he manages it very well. He has some occasional ticks and ritualistic behaviors that he conducts but they do not interfere with his day to day life and are very much controlled.

During his soccer off season N enjoys running a lot and fast! He is also enjoying Minecraft and Roblocks. It's so cool to see him become his own person and watch him evolve from one stage of life to the next!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

What's been up with me?!?

Last I left off in 2013 I was a hot hot mess. I was in the depths of depression and full blown PTSD. Experiencing the loss of a child is horrific! Add to that the insult of being treated like a lunatic drug seeker by your healthcare team and it wrecks your life. After that experience I decided that medicine was not for me. I couldn't trust my judgement. I couldn't advocate for myself much less a patient who trusted me. I couldn't even walk by the hospital without getting a pit in my stomach, without panicking, without being put right back in the moment when I honestly thought I was dying.

I spent much of 2013 running to the ER struck with flashbacks, hallucinations, and pain. I became a burden to my family. The hubs never went with me or lifted me up so I began to rely on my mom to rescue me. Well, after a couple of late night calls to beg her to come sit in the ER with me I could tell that she was over me. I was becoming an inconvenience and a nuisance. I stopped calling. I began facing all of my battles and struggles alone.

I had to change my major in school. I had always been set on being a doctor. I wanted to be the best, be the smartest, and be the most successful but alas, I couldn't even look at the hospital without breaking a sweat. I dropped my pre-med major and switched to Health Administration. I tackled that coursework like a pro!! and graduated in December 2014 but I'm getting ahead of myself.

I struggled through day to day activities and lost the joy and happiness of living. I was simply surviving. I was afraid ALL of the time. I would sit at my desk and cry. I had so many triggers that would just set me off. In one of my most desperate moments I was lying on the floor in an exam room, at work, crying, begging, pleading for everything to stop! I was caught in the middle of the worst "attack" I've ever had. Coming out of it I decided that there was no one out there capable of saving me. I needed to save myself or I would consume myself. After that moment day-by-day I made little improvements.

The hubs and I welcomed our third baby in June 2014. Her delivery was also close to a disaster but for other reasons which I'll post about in the future but it was also a healing time. My pregnancy was uneventful. I enjoyed it but mostly just because I LOVE being pregnant. I had a hard time bonding with her after she was born. She was more my project and responsibility than my sweet new baby. We've come a long way and even enjoyed a great 15 months of actual breastfeeding (pumping until 2yrs).

In August 2015 we took another trip to Ireland! It was so much more enjoyable than our first as I was not actively battling PTSD and depression, fighting to survive. We rented an adorable apartment and traveled as we pleased. Baby girl handled the trip fantastically!! She is a born traveler.

In October 2015 I was accepted into a local nursing program. It has been an amazing journey and I am ecstatic to say that next week I will be starting my last 16 weeks of the program and plan to take my licensing exam at the end of May. Then we're off to Northern Ireland for our first experience there and then across to Scotland for another first!!

Well, that's the EXTREMELY condensed version of the last 3+ years. :)


Monday, January 2, 2017

Welcome to 2017!!

Wow! I've been gone from the blogging world for far too long!! This year promises to be a very prosperous one full of changes, advances, hope, and new beginnings. I am looking forward to sharing this year with all of you and will update my profile as well as my family role call soon!!

Lots of love,