Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ahhh Vacation

Sometimes this PICU nurse just needs to get away!!

OK,'s a running joke at work that Jon and I take more vacations than anyone else in the unit. And I'm talking 200 nurses, and tons of docs.

BUT- when you work in a stressful (but amazing, rewarding and fun!) environment PLUS are in grad school, you GOTTA get away!!

And when you can find a place as gorgeous and ridiculously cheap as we did, you just can't say no!

So that's what we did. For 10 glorious days! Minus the lovely presence of Montezuma's revenge, travelers diarrhea, whatever you want to call it, it was amazing!

TMI??? Sorry, this nurse just doesn't get embarrassed about stuff like that. AND I have to say it was hilarious watching my dad's face scruntch up in disgust every time I told him he had E. Coli! Ha!!

We did a whole lot of reading on our balcony that overlooked the gorgeous Caribbean Sea, ate a lot of great, authentic Mexican food, did some snorkeling right in front of our condo, and had some time for some scooter adventures all around the island!
Mmmm, enchiladas verdes from a tiny little mom-n-pop hole in the wall...doesn't get any better than that! Another little family owned place. So cheap, so delicious! Taking the scooters around to the "wild" East side of the island! Goofing around and showing off our mad balancing skills. At a little pier on "Paradise island" And of course, a mini photo shoot!

Having a blast playing water frisbee football...I think I just made that name up...but either way it was FUN!!

Right in front of our condo had GREAT snorkling. Tons of stingrays, bright colored fish, a lobster, squid, sword fish, blow fish, and MANY MANY more bright colored fish we had no idea what they were!

Ahhh, I feel relaxed and refreshed. Probably enough to last me at least another 3 or 4 months : )


I am an unofficial Grad School Graduate!!! Not as exciting as "official," but hey, it's something : )

My graduation ceremony was Saturday June 11, 2011. It was as long and stuffy and boring as I'm sure you're all imagining. And it wasn't even at my was at another school altogether!

So combining the fact that it wasn't at my school AND I'm NOT even done with school, it was an interesting day!

The graduation ceremony was for all graduate level sciences and medical practices so it made for a very long ceremony. And there were TONS of medical students graduating with TONS of very loud family members!

I'm guessing the supposed 1.5 hr ceremony turned into almost 4 hours was because the announcer called names like this: "Dana....(10 second pause)...Lynn..(8 second pause)...Lerma" ...(pause for a minute) name!

Oh yeah, it was painful! But, at the end of the day, I'm glad that I went. Of the 10 people eligible for graduation (we had some post-masters students who already had their degree) there was a whopping 3 of us that went. And yes, as I keep saying it was long and boring, I've worked SO hard for the past 3 years that it was rewarding to go.
We received a very nice black leather diploma holder (no diploma yet though!) and were given our graduate hoods. So just 11 more weeks to go and I'm offically and offical grad school graduate!!! Now that's what I'm talking about!

And thank you to the most amazing and supportive husband a girl could ask for. Not only did you endure the LONG ceremony, but you've certainly endured a LONG 3 years with one crazy PICU nurse! I love you!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Ahh....the end of the week!

I can almost hear the angels singing the Hallelujah chorus!! Friday is finally here!!

What a week it was!! You know those weeks that you were counting on being long, hard, and tiring?? Yup- this was one of them!

But here I am on Friday...tired and giddy all at the same time!! I'm sitting in the library at school (once again!) before my last day of class.

This is officially the last day of class I'll EVER have to attend...EVER!!! Oh yeah!

Yesterday we started off the morning in the simulation lab which I have to say I like. The manequins are almost as real as a manequin can be (they even have a woman who goes into labor and has a baby!!!) But we stick with the peds maniquins : ) The thing can breathe, has pulses, has bowel sounds, opens and closes his eyes, sweats (which is pretty gross actually!) and can talk (via the man behind the one way mirror talking into the microphone).

Seriously cool stuff!

My instructor started out by saying we would only be doing 2 scenarios so we needed 2 "team leads" and then another person to "play" the mom, and one to "play" the nurse. I of course, thought, "Well, that's only 6 volunteers and there 18 of nope, NOT volunteering for anything!"

Until my instructor then said that she drew the team leads out of a hat since she thought nobody would volunteer. At that very moment I KNEW that I was going to be one of them.

She announced the first name, and then my heart started beating faster, and I seriously heard her say my name before she even said it. And yup, she said it!!

So I got stuck with the oncology teenager patient...ugh! I hate oncology!!

But I have to say it was a really good experience, and a great way to learn (although a bit embarrassing as you watch yourself on the recorded tape!). The "mom" wasn't too hard on me and didn't ask me crazy questions like some of them could.

Being put on the spot in a patient room is SOOO different than being put on the spot in a manequin's room...with 15 other people watching you on the big screen next door!

The instructor asked several questions throughout the scenario and I nailed them all. I had been given 5 minutes to look over the guidelines and protocols for these types of patients before we started which was my saving grace!

As I walked out she told me "You did a great sounded like a textbook in there!"

YEAH!!! Thank you!

And then the afternoon, we played APN Jeopardy. Now any of you that know me know that I'm competitive...really competitive. I told my team that we were going to win, because I had my eyes on the water bottles that were the prizes!!

We set up our team name ("Health Care Hotties") and totally won the game!! And for some reason, my biggest contribution to the group was all of the palliative care answers!!

I really don't like palliative care (probably for the same reasons I don't like oncology!) but along the way I guess I've picked up quite a bit about palliative care.

So all in all, it was a good day...much better than the 9 straight hours of lecture the day before! I'm hoping today will be just as interactive, but we'll see!!

Either way its's almost done. And it's my LAST class day EVER (have I mentioned that!?).

I guess I should say last day of class in person...I do have 3 online classes over the summer...but it's so not the same thing!

So I will contnue to rejoice in this Fabulous last day of class Friday...and looking forward to the slightly teasing graduation ceremony tomorrow.

I may not officially be done when I walk across that stage tomorrow, but I will take pride in the great accomplishment that I have almost completed!!

I hope you all have an equally Fabulous Friday!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Perfect Day

Note of disclaimer: I'm apoligizing in advance for the poor picture quality...we didn't have our camera, so we used our camera not the same! Again, sorry!

Now to blogging: As I mentioned before, our 6th Anniversary was June 4th! I still cannot believe that we've known each other for 10 years (10!!), and have been "together" for 9...and married for 6! Wow, time flies!!

But, to celebrate our anniversary, we had an amazing day!!! In almost every year past (actually, I'm pretty sure EVERY year past), we've always done a trip to celebrate our anniversary.

But this year we decided to just stay local and enjoy what we have in our own town...and I guess it helps that we'll be in Cozumel in less than a week!!

I woke up super early, so I planned a surprise for Jon. He normally doesn't like surprises, but I figured who wouldn't like coffee in bed with a homemade card and a small gift...or two : )

So after our coffee in bed, we headed off to the city.

Our trip to the museum, and particularly Body Worlds was amazing. Body Worlds is international, so if you've never gone, I'd highly recommend it!! Now, I say that with a particular PICU nurse attitude!

I LOVED every minute of it!! Jon and I took the time to look at each individual exhibit, body part, splice of a body part, video, poster, you name it!! We read every little caption of every little part! We were probably in there for about an hour and a half...maybe a bit longer!

But I've heard from a few that it's "not that exciting" and people have finished in 20 minutes!! So I guess you do have to have an appreciation for the body, and the amazing components that it is made up of!!

That being said, one of my favorite parts was watching Jon look at everything! He had a look of amazement the whole time, and I could tell he was thoroughly taking everything in! He kept saying things like "WOW!! That's really what the ____ looks like?: or "WOW! That's really in our body and works that way!?" This was awesome! I wish I could have taken a picture, but no photographs were allowed : (

This was taken outside of Body Worlds, it was a huge beating, heart that could beat to your own heartbeat.

This picture was in the "Technology" exhibit...trying to show shadows and superimpose images...clearly our camera phone couldn't capture all of that!

After we finished Body Worlds, we ventured into the rest of the museum. That place is HUGE...and awesome!! There are so many cool things to look at and do...and we certainly didn't have time to get to them all! Guess we have a fun summer field trip ahead of us!

Part of the reason we didn't get through everything is because we were SOO hungry!!! We actually changed our plans kinda last minute and headed off to one of our FAVORITE pizza places (instead of the wine bar we initially were going to try)!! They are also a microbrewery, so you can't go wrong!
We got the "White" pizza (no red sauce or tomatoes) with garlic mashed potatoes and bacon. I know, this sounds either gross or like some pregnant woman's dream come true, but I have to tell you, this pizza is AWESOME!!!!! The flavors couldn't be more complimentary and the textures are out of this world

We saved plenty of left overs so that we could enjoy them the next day. And we also saved the leftovers because we were excited to hit up a new Frozen Yogurt bar. They have 15 different kinds of yogurt, and about a billion toppings. So you make your own sundae and pay by the ounce. We thought we'd be spending like $15 but it was only $6!! Hello, we are new converts!!

I know my face doesn't show it (I wasn't aware Jon was taking the pic yet!)...but the yogurt was GOOD!!!

Then we headed back home for a relaxing evening. I love just being able to put comfy clothes on, curl up in bed, watching a good show and being together. Yes, the events and adventures of the day were so much fun. But at the end of the day, it's just so nice and perfect to be able to spend time together at home.

So all in all, big trip not taken, we had an amazing 6th Anniversary. I think it ranks right up there in the "perfect day" category!! Starting off with surprises (which I LOVE...Jon, not so much!) and ending with relaxing can't get any better than that!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

Today is our 6th Anniversary! I truly cannot believe how fast the last 6 years have gone!!

I am so lucky to be married to my best friend. And not only is he my best friend, but he is the most amazing, loving, wonderful, affectionate, humble, patient, funny, handsome man I know....lucky girl right!?

So today we are sleeping in (ok, well he is b/c let's face it, I woke up at 5:15 bright eyed and ready to go...really!?), and then we're headed off to the city for "Body Worlds" (oh I'm SOOOO excited...seems like such a PICU nurse thing to do : ). Then we're off to a really nice dinner at a wine bar...and dessert at a new frozen yogurt bar! Mmmm!!!

Lot's of "bars" I guess...but with wine and frozen yogurt, I don't think we can go wrong : )

I will take pics today to photo-document our 6th year anniversary, but I'll leave you with Anniversary photos from last year. We took an amazing long weekend to San Francisco/Napa!

Happy Anniversary babe...I love you so much!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011


WHAT?? How is it June already!?!?! I can't believe how FAST this year is going!! June is by far my favorite month out of the year, and I certainly want to enjoy it thoroughly!

I love the long, warm summer days of June. I love that my friend from the PICU & I take quick walks 1 or 2 times a shift when its nice out...and usually June is we take more walks than in any other month!

I love reading outside in the sun. I love drinking PB banana protein smoothies. I love taking walks as the sun goes down, as if the whole world is taking a big sigh from the hot day!

I know this has nothing to do with the PICU...or grad school. And it certainly is taking down the "adventure" about 10 notches! But I think we all need that sometimes!

And as summer is approaching, school is definitely winding down a bit. Which, I have to say, is SO nice!! That's the kind of adventure that I'm welcoming some downtime from!

My last day in the ER is tonight, and I'm pretty excited about it. While I had some decent shifts, I have to say I learned pretty much the exact same things as I did in clinic. And yes, I say "decent" b/c "good," "great" or "excellent" don't come anywhere in the realm! So it was pretty disappointing.

And those kids that I talked about in this post, yup they're still pouring in!

We've had 2 mosquito bites come in. WHAT???

No, you did not read that wrong!!! I know that when my kid gets a mosquito bite I'm definitely rushing them to the ER as well!! I would love to defend these parents, but there's no defense out there.

One mom brought her 6 year old b/c she wasn't sure "what kind of mosquito" it was!? What?? If your child doesn't have a fever or any signs of infection or disease, pretty sure it was an ordinary mosquito! And anyways, how were we supposed to know what "kind" it was...she didn't bring the little bugger in a jar or anything!

The second mom brought the 7 year old boy b/c the mosquito bit him on the face. She was concerned b/c he never had a mosquito bite on his face before. Oh poor guy!


So yeah, the adventure in the ER has been quite comical!

Next up? Pediatric Surgery and then Cardiovascular Surgery.

But before all that fun begins, this PICU nurse is heading off to warm and sunny Cozumel!! Oh YEAH!!!

I have 2 days of working the PICU next week, and then 3 class days....then graduation! Yes, I know, it's ridiculous! They make us walk, get a fake diploma, tell us congrats...and then push us back into school for 3 months!! So backwards!

But then I'm off to that's what I'm focusing on!! I'm looking forward to margaritas, the sun, snorkeling, relaxing, reading books that don't have anything to do with medicine, and just being with my family!!

But until then, I'll keep going with the nicer, summer paced adventure that I call being a PICU nurse and grad student! Hope you enjoy your June as much as I do!!