Saturday, April 28, 2012

Noodle Soup Role Confusion

Have you ever seen the Friends episode where Joey gets to do a commercial for soup?
His line is supposed to be "Mmm, soup!"  and instead, he keeps saying "Mmm, noodle soup!"

The director gets annoyed at having to stop the scene and remind Joey the correct way to say the line.

Until finally, he says "Mmm...soup...I mean noodle soup...I mean soup...argghh!!"

If you're not laughing it must be because you haven't seen it : )  Or because my story telling didn't do it justice...but I'll stick with the former!  And if you haven't seen it, you should (you can check it out here).

Anyways, why am I talking about Friends (other than it being one of the BEST shows of all time!?).

Well, because lately I have been Joey.  I've been throwing out Noodle Soup instead of just Soup.

Or rather, my introduction in the PICU goes something like this "Hi, I'm Dana and I'm going to be the nurse practitioner taking care of your son today...I mean nurse...I mean nurse practitioner!?"

It's all very confusing.  And as I go back and forth trying to remember what is the correct one, parents just give me this bizarre stare.

As if I don't know my true identity.  One parent even laughed and said, "Are you sure you're name is Dana?"

Now that you ask, I'm not sure!

Role confusion is a tricky thing.  But it's ok.  I'm sure after time the words will just flow off my tongue naturally.  As if it were the only thing I  have ever said before.

Until then, I think I need to come up with a funny one liner when parents give me that stare.  Instead of just awkwardly walking out of the room (just like Joey did).  Any ideas!????

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Despite a 3 1/2 hour daily commute....


That's right!  I can (almost!) turn a blind eye to the painfully slow 2 hour car ride home because being an APN in the PICU is awesome!

I have always said I loved my job.  I loved being a nurse.  And I truly did.

But this is a different level of awesome.  Perhaps it's because I was completely ready for a change.  Or perhaps it's because it's only been 2 days and I haven't been there long enough to truly formulate an opinion.

But for now, I'm sticking with I LOVE MY NEW JOB!

Working a 10 hour shift is worlds different than working 12 or 13.  Being able to step away from the crazy parents when they get especially crazy is worlds different than being stuck in that room ALL day!  And coming home when the sun is still out is a concept I don't think I've seen since college!

So yeah, I'm loving being an APN.

And lucky for me, I have an amazing team of APN's to teach me.  A couple of them have been there forever.  A couple have been there for just a year.  It's a perfect mix of experts and newbies (ish) who still can remember exactly what I'm going through.  I'm going to learn a TON from this group.  And oh my, is there A TON for me to learn!

But I'm excited about all there is to learn.  I'm excited to expand my knowledge and expand my skill set of things I'm able to "do" in the PICU.  I'm just excited to be an APN!

Now if only I could get excited about this commute.....

So who knows of any great books to listen to?? Or other great distractions (car safe) that I can try!?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The one where you wake up an hour early

So here it is at 4:40 am and I'm blogging.  Why you ask?  Because I'm SO excited to start today that I just had to share it with the world!?


I'd NEVER wake up in the 4 o'clock hour unless I have to.  And I mean REALLY have to!

OR unless I didn't KNOW that it was the 4 o'clock hour!

My cell phone has been going a little haywire lately and occasionally will tell me that is an hour ahead of the actual time.  Usually doesn't bother me.

Until this morning.

My alarm goes off at 5 am.  I get out of bed and do my normal morning routine.

I go downstairs to brew my coffee and make my breakfast shake.  And time is going really fast!

I step it into high gear to make sure that I leave on time...definitely don't want to be late today!

And just as I'm grabbing my keys, I notice that the stove says it's 4:35.  What!?  And then the microwave does too.  And then I check my phone (really, have I not learned!?)...and it too says 4.35.

Something in me says (screams) THIS CAN'T BE HAPPENING!  You're not really wide awake with hair and makeup done an entire hour before you have to leave!  And so I go upstairs to quadruple check the time.  In which Jon says in a half sleep/half alive voice "Wow, you got up extra early this morning!"

And that's when I wanted to scream.  Mostly b/c I truly value my sleep.  I am much nicer when I get good sleep.  And waking up at 4 am instead of 5 can tend to be a game changer.

Oh I'm remembering all those good ole days of waking up for clinicals at 3:45 am...yeah it wasn't pretty!

So there ya have it.  The first day where you wake up and get totally ready for new job an entire hour too early.  At least it wasn't an entire hour too late!

And just because I have time...I leave you with a photo of myself on my first day of my first APN job!
*Skirt: Armani Exchange; Shirt: Elle (both thrifted of course!)- prob cost me about $5 this entire outfit did!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Finally...a full-fledged APN!

I feel like I have been an unofficial APN for awhile now.  I have the degree.  I have the certification.  I have the job...technically.  But I haven't been WORKING at the job.

Hence, unofficially an APN.

But that all changes...tomorrow!  Tomorrow will be my first day as a full fledged APN.  Masters degree prepared, certification holding, working as an APN- APN!

I am SO excited.  And nervous.  And a teensy bit scared out of my mind!  But mostly, SO excited!

I'm sure all these feelings are normal.  And some may be well just never know what may happen in the PICU.

But I guess I'll find out....TOMORROW!!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Just when you think it can't possibly get any more ridiculous...

It apparently can in the PICU!

Parents have said crazy things to me. They have said things that make me laugh, make me want to scream, or cry, or do all three at once! And they do crazy things. Things that illicit the previous emotions...and sometimes more!

But today my patient's mother said something that made me want to laugh, scream, cry, jump up and down, and quite possibly knock her over her head just to make sure she was aware of what was coming out of her mouth!

My patient's mom walks into the room and wakes up her sleeping 3 year old.

If there's 1 rule in the PICU, it's DO NOT wake up a sleeping baby...or toddler!

Especially if said baby has a breathing tube in that barely hangs by a thread when he wakes up because he is CRAZY! He's a thrasher and apparently only wants to be on his stomach when he's awake.

So after she wakes him up by shouting really silly nicknames in his ear I tell her (half joking/half serious, but definitely laughing to make it nicer) "Well, now that he's awake again, he's gonna try to flip over, climb out of the crib and do somersaults in bed...which doesn't fly with the breathing you get to hold him down and calm him!"

She spends about 3 minutes and then gets frustrated (don't worry, I was right by his side... I don't trust tubes with anyone else!).

And then she picks up her purse and says, "Oh, I'm exhausted. I have to go...I have another baby I have to go home to take care of."

This is as she is putting her hands on her stomach. A stomach that has her 6 week "other baby" in. Apparently, the 6 week old fetus can't be cared for in the hospital room, where her 3 year old child is currently residing. Her very sick 3 year old child.

So baby on the outside world gets 3 minutes of attention. Baby on the inside world gets much more time...23 hours and 57 minutes to be exact. (And no, there are not any other children at home...both parents have said this numerous times)

So yeah, just when I think it can't possibly get any more ridiculous, it clearly can.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to the most amazing, wonderful, fun, loving, affectionate, good looking, talented, patient, and incredible husband a girl could ask for!

So much has changed since your last birthday...and yet so much hasn't at the same time. I look forward to all that this year brings for you!

My hope and prayer is that ALL your birthday wishes come true this year : )

I love you!

Monday, April 16, 2012

And then we wait some more

So apparently it takes more than a week for certain people to get 3 signatures.

That's seriously ALL we're waiting on to start my job!

Despite being told that she would need one week to gather all the signatures, apparently that wasn't enough. Even though I saw one of the physicians who needs to sign the document at work every day last week. And the other two have offices just doors down from hers.

I'm pretty sure I could have whipped those 3 signatures out in a few hours, but for some reason I'm not allowed to do that.

And so, I wait some more!


On another note, my estrogen level today was 776 (baseline I sit in the 50's at this point in my cycle)!!!! This could perhaps explain my increased frustration about the whole job thing...and my outright craziness last week. Oh my poor husband!

So hopefully this week my estrogen will make its steady decline back to where it usually resides, and the 3 signatures will be obtained so I can start my new job...and then we can all live Happy Ever After!

The End.

Friday, April 13, 2012

People CAN change!

Despite my last post not being optimistic about my last few shifts at the bedside, I was way wrong!

Yesterday was chill and such a nice shift.

But what really blew my socks off (wow, there's the grandma coming out of me!) was my patient's mom- who I'm sure you're growing more and more fond of because of all the wonderful things I've said about her- was actually NICE to me!

And dare I say, a little pleasant to be around!


I almost felt like I was in the twilight zone. At one point I may have even pinched myself to make sure I wasn't just hallucinating a pleasant interaction with this lady. But nope! She was really there.

And for the two whole hours that she was present (she was going for a record on that one!) she was really very chatty...about happy things! I think I even laughed once or twice with her there!

So there ya have it. I guess people CAN change. And while I hope this change lasts at least 2 more days (this weekend while I work to be specific!) I'll take the 2 hours.

Here's to taking what you can get : ) And to a happy Friday the 13th!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


There are some weeks (and weeks and weeks!) in the PICU that can really start to drag you down.

Whether it's because you are consistently taking care of a patient who's parents just suck every last drop from ya. Or because you are taking care of a terminally ill child, which can be so draining emotionally. Or because after caring for the same kid things can just seem dull...dare I say boring in the PICU!?!?

I think that's how I was feeling the past 4 months and just realized it yesterday. I've taken care of the same kid (mentioned numerous times recently) since the day after Christmas when he was admitted.

He progress has been painfully slow. And his mother has just been downright painful to me!

And because progress was so slow, it seemed like I'd go in day after day and it was the same old thing.

After coming back from a ten day stay-cation, I forgot to sign up for my I was in a totally different assignment yesterday.

And let me tell you, I didn't complain...I didn't ask to change assignments. And I'm SO glad I didn't because it reinforced why I love what I do. It brought back to me the passion that I have for bedside nursing...which I was losing quickly and couldn't count down the minutes until I was an APN fast enough!

It was just a refreshing day!

My patient was a teenager with downs syndrome, recently diagnosed with ALL (a common form on leukemia for kids with downs), who got a nasty virus which turned into pneumonia which turned into her not being able to breath on her own.

And this turned my day into sitting beside the bald headed cutie and laughing when she would throw her stuffed animals across the bed or just roll her eyes at me because she was frustrated that she couldn't talk around the breathing tube.

But it was her parents that really clinched the "Yes, I DO love being a bedside nurse!" deal for me.

They were lovely people. Wonderful people! They were there my ENTIRE shift and not once did I think, "Ugh, I wish these people would take a break and leave!"

They were grateful for the care I was giving their daughter. They were helpful when her adult sized diapers needed changing. They helped promote a calm, quiet and healing environment in the room, which so rarely happens! And they were just a joy to be around.

So I'm grateful that I had one more week as a bedside nurse. I think had I gone into my new job without this wonderful experience, the last four months would have left me with less than pleasant memories.

While my last two shifts will be spent taking care of a patient with parents not quite as grateful...or helpful...or least I can go into it feeling refreshed. And knowing if it gets really bad, it's only two more shifts : )

Monday, April 9, 2012

Snippets of Stay-cation

Last weekend I mentioned that it was the start of a week long stay-cation. After saying that, Jon and I realized we've NEVER taken a stay-cation before! We've certainly taken complete advantage of our time off and vacation days, but never by taking advantage of the great little town we call home!

The week went by WAY too fast though!

Before I knew it, our staycation was OVER : (

And now its back to real world and getting ready to go back to work. Unfortunately that means pulling those scrubs back out that I put away (as discussed here) since my DEA # didn't come in time.

Are all states THIS slow!?!? Everything about this process has been painfully S.L.O.W.!!!

So one more week, and I wait. And am HOPING (and praying...and crossing fingers...and legs, and anything else that may help to speed up the process just a bit!) that it will come in this week, in enough time to apply for temporary privileges so that I can actually start next Monday.

Who would have thought going from RN to APN would be such an ordeal. A timely, paperwork overload ordeal!

But before I head off to what I hope is my last week as a staff nurse (again!) I will leave you with some highlights of our stay-cation:
We went downtown to see some sights and enjoy a bit of the beach.

Succeeded in being productive: replaced our old, builders grade kitchen faucet with an amazing new one! This bad boy makes a HUGE difference! And by "being productive" I mean Jon was...I just helped at the very end hold onto the faucet so he could make sure everything was secured tightly : )
Did a little bit of catch up on a book I've been reading and some magazines:

And finally, to celebrate Jon's 31st birthday (a bit early) I made this cake...and it was AWESOME!!! Kinda a long process to make, but so worth it...especially when your mom helps do a majority of it! Either way, birthday man said it was the BEST cake I'd ever made! *Note: if you use the recipe as listed, I didn't have cake I used regular flour and just took out 3 Tbl from the recipe. Couldn't tell a difference.

So here's to a new week, starting fresh after a great stay-cation! And also to (*hopefully) the end of one great RN era, and the start of a new APN era!