Thursday, August 11, 2011

That's a Wrap!!

I'm done!

I'm done, I'm done, I'm done!!!

I had my last day of clinicals today, and it was awesome! I got to start a triple lumen central line on a patient in the OR and got it on my first stick!!!

The surgeon working on the other side trying to get another line said "Way to make me look bad!"

But my shaking hands made his rock stable hands look much more impressive, so this nurse certainly didn't make him look bad!!!

My head was calm (hello, I can put in IVs at work and do tons of other procedures!) but my hands had another thought! Ugh, stupid nerves and stupid "Wise" shaky hand genes!

But oh well...I got it and that's what matters!!

And now I'm done!!

I have 2 papers that are due in the next 2 weeks. BUT- being the type A person that I am, those are done!

I finished one on purpose b/c it was easy. The second one I finished a week early b/c for whatever reason I thought it was due then. I was wrong, but I don't care because...

it's DONE!!

And I'm done!!!! I know you can't tell how excited I am, but being done feels great!

While I still have to study for boards (and pass!) I am going to enjoy staying home 2-3 extra days a week. I can easily get some major studying done, on my patio, in the sun...after I've had a great workout!

So yeah, being done rocks!

I can't even think of a witty way to end this post because I'm just that excited. So all I'll say is, "That's a wrap!" Ohhh YEAH!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Save the Best for Last

Today was the end of the end...essentially! A few posts back, I talked about the beginning of the end. And now, here I am!

At the end!! I can't believe it!

Today was my masters capstone presentation. And if I do say so myself (and I do, hey it's my blog!) I rocked it!!

Lately, I've decided that I really like speaking in front of people. I love presenting things that I am passionate about.

I've gotten the opportunity to do a few power point presentations recently at work, and loved it.

My masters capstone was no exception.

For the past week, I have been telling a few of my classmates that I wanted to present first. While I do love presenting, I wanted to "get it over with."

Presenting for a group of willing participants at work is one thing. Presenting in front of the entire masters program with director and professors is another!

So of course, as much as I wanted to go first, guess who was scheduled to go dead last?

Yup, that's this girl!

Oh well! I waited all day for my presentation time to come up, and when it did, it went well. I really enjoyed the project that I chose to work on, so speaking about all the hard work I've put in over the past 8 months was not that difficult.

And of course, those of you who know me, know when I sat down, I for sure thought:
"Well, that went well. Pretty well, in fact! I wonder HOW well I did...I mean in comparison to all the others? Like, would I be best, second best?? I wish we got a ranking!"

WHO thinks that!!!???

So when it came time to leave, we all got our comment cards back. My favorite one was from the director of the program:

I guess I did get my answer : ) They saved the best for last!!!

**For those of you that can't see it (gee, I don't know why with my great phone picture and paper written in pencil!) the last comment by the director was "We saved the best for last!"

So I'm glad (SOOO glad!) that the end is here!! I have just one more day of clinicals tomorrow and I'm actually really excited about it...I love that place!

And then, most of my work in the 2 classes is I'm totally there!!

While I'm not completely done until August 27th, I'm there. And that's what counts!

So for all of you out there who thought being last stunk, think again! Things at the end can be great. The end can be exciting!

And hey, some choose to save the best for last ; )

Monday, August 1, 2011


I am grateful that I have feet that can stroll through sand or feel dewy grass in the morning.

I am grateful that I can feel the burn in my quads after a long, hard run.

I am grateful that my butt gets numb when sitting in the same place for a long time. OK, maybe I'm not grateful that my butt GETS numb...but I am grateful that I can feel the numbness.

I am grateful that I can cradle my favorite mug full of coffee in my hands on a cold winter day feeling the warmth.

I am grateful that my arms can hold and rock a baby.

I am grateful that I have a voice that can be heard, in both the literal and figurative sense.

The patient that I cared for this weekend really got me thinking about the things I so easily forget I'm grateful for.

My patient was a teenager who got into a car accident when she was just 4 years old. I don't know the details of the accident, but what I do know is that it was bad. REALLY bad.

She fractured many of her vertebrae and severely injured her spinal cord.

So bad was the accident, this girl cannot move anything below her neck, needs a machine to breath for her, and gets fed through a tube in her stomach.

She cannot remember what it was like to eat delicious pizza, ice cream or macaroni and cheese.

She's never had the opportunity to taste rich coffee or drink a full bodied wine.

She cannot run, or jump, or hike on trails.

She cannot hold her baby cousin, or hug her mother.

What she can do is extremly limited; She can listen and she can observe.

She has the ability to move her lips, but no voice to be heard.

She has a functioning mind, stuck inside a non-functioning body.

So this left me attempting to lip read for 26 hours over the past 2 days. And let me tell you, it was NOT easy!!!

So many times I found myself getting frustrated, and yet she just kept smiling, knowing that I would eventually get it. Or, that I wouldn't, and she would decide it wasn't important enough so she would lip "Never mind."

It took me 3 minutes to realize that her side hurt and she wanted to change positions. It took me 6 minutes to figure out that she wanted to watch a different movie. It took me 25 minutes to learn she wanted the water taken out of the cuff in her trach. And there were so many things that after 15, 25, 30 minutes I never even figured out!

I can't imagine what this girl has gone through for most of her life. And quite frankly, I don't want to!

But this girl doesn't have that luxury. Whether she wants to feel it, to imagine it, or not, she has to. This is her reality.

It has been for many, many years. And it will continue to be for many, many, many years.

Even though I don't want to imagine her reality, I do want to make sure it leaves a lasting impression on me.

What I do want is to continue to be grateful for the things that are so easy to take for granted.

I want to cheer, rather than complain, when my muscles ache after a great (maybe too hard!?) workout.

I want to taste, and savor the bites that I, myself, can place in my mouth.

I want to experience all of the things that my body can do. The limits that I can take it to. Whether that be running a marathon, or feeling the adrenaline of sky diving, or completing my first triathalon, I want to do it.

I want to continue to speak and have my voice heard. To hear my laughter with a group of friends, or my voice educating a group of students at work, and really appreciate it.

But most of all I want to keep the face of the one who taught me this gratitude in my memory's photo box. To have her ingrained in my mind, so that one day when I complain about a back-ache after standing on my feet all day, or a burger not tasting perfect, I will see her patient, smiling face reminding me to be grateful and instead enjoy that I can experience those moments.

Be grateful for the strong legs that allowed me to stand all day. Be grateful for the ability to feed myself, and truly taste.

This is why I love being a nurse. Why I cherish the shifts where I can make a small impact in the health of a child, while they make a large impact on me.

Truly there is nothing greater. No greater occupation, or calling to be had. And for this, I am grateful.