A new Year
http://www.GlitterMaker.com/ - Free Glitter Graphics
May it be Healthy, Happy, and Blessed with Good stuff!
Thanks for reading ya'll.
A Clinic RN and a Single Mom blogging through the depths of sanity. My life as I know it started with coffee and conversation in a smoky room. This is where I'm at now.
http://www.GlitterMaker.com/ - Free Glitter Graphics
May it be Healthy, Happy, and Blessed with Good stuff!
Thanks for reading ya'll.
I have surgery a week from today. I'm relieved they could fit me in so early as this gives me an entire week to recover before school starts. Also with it being a Friday, Ari will go to my Mom's for the weekend which will give 2 days to sleep without having to care for a 4 year old.
As Jamie said in the comments on the post before, I'm afraid to eat. Hey, Maybe that's an idea for a new fad diet. "The New Gallstone diet" Excrutiating pain when you eat! Think of what that does for your will power! (No 30 day money back guarantee, no CODs, results may vary depending on the individual)
So, for those who don't know, Laproscopic Cholecystectomies are actually routine day surgeries now. I'll be home that night with 3 or 4 tiny incisions on my abdomen. With my surgery history, (c-section, breast reduction, 2 hip surgeries) this should be a piece a cake.
At the very least it gives this nursing student a new perspective to blog from.
Gallstone U/S courtesy of www.terarecon.com
I was a patient today.
What I didn't mention in my last post about Christmas day was I had been up all night with severe, sudden, constant abdominal pain. It radiated through to my back,no position was comfortable and after about 7 hours I finally fell asleep.
Well it happened again last night and kept me up all night. About 5 am I went next door to Cathy's she gave me a Vicodin and it still continued to hurt. When Cathy came home from work I had her take me to the ER. It was what I suspected, I have gall stones. Three of them, about the size of Gumballs. Great, good timing!
I had a good experience in the ER. I didn't go to the hospital I work at but one run by the same people. Nice nurses. She was awesome with my IV. Some IV Reglan and an IM Bentyl and I'm feeling a lot better right now. I'm terrified the pain is going to come back, I'm afraid to eat. I had a half of Ham and cheese sandwich today, and that's it.
So it looks like I'll be having a Laproscopic Cholecystectomy(Gall bladder removal) soon. I just pray it won't interfere with school and there's no complications.
I haven't called the surgeon I was referred to yet but I'll keep ya posted.
Twas the day after Christmas.....the house was a pit.
the children were fighting and none of the clothes fit.
I remembered that little line from a newpaper article years ago. The day after Christmas is always a bummer. Our holiday was good but not great. My first clue to the crisis was Ari refused to eat anything including the goodies laid out on Christmas eve. She then crashed at 6:30 pm. The next morning, Santa came and Ari had 103 degree fever. Ari spent the entire day sleeping, on and off and she asked me to open her presents for her while she watched. It seems she has the flu, she ran a fever up to 103 until this morning. She's coughing (deep chest cough), stuffy nose. sore throat, achy muscles. Her temp was 99.5 earlier today and she's grumpy and eating a little so I think she's improving.
I wouldn't have brought her up there and exposed her to my stepdad (undergoing chemo for terminal cancer) had I known she was going to get sick. He's hanging in there but not doing great.
But it was good to hang with my mom, mt sister, and her fiance'. We played dominoes and ate too much and made the best of it. Hope Ya'll had a good Christmas.
I'm heading to Wacky Waco tonight. Home of the Branch Davidians (my mom lives just a few miles from there, and scarier, some still exist) and The Dr. Pepper museum! (Dr. Pepper was born there, ya know.)
So since my mother is still in the last decade and only has dial-up I probably won't be blogging.
So here's wishing you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Feliz Navidad, and the ever so PC- Happy Holidays!
I have found the perfect gift for the medical professional you know and love.
Not only are these little microbes cute but can also be a handy dandy educational tool for those young at heart. Go here to see more.
These crack me up, my favorites are the Ebola and the Flesh eating (S. pyogenes). Although where would we be without the Louse or the Hepatitis plush?
I'm not going to be writing too much about Nursing and medical stuff for a bit. Simply because I'm out of school and all the medico-babble in my head is temporarily on vacation.
In other news:
Yesterday, Ari and I had our annual Christmas cookie get together at Jenni's. I made Buckeyes (peanut butter balls in chocolate), Church windows (marshmallows in chocolate), and Christmas wreaths (cornflakes in green marshmallows). If anyone wants a recipe, let me know. I've got these practically memorized. Jenni made gingerbread cookies and the traditional cut-out sugar cookies to decorate. My mom used to make these and more every year when I was a kid. It's a past time I want to continue with Ari, which is why me and Jen started our cookie party tradition.
Ari decorating cookies
We exchanged gifts and Jenni got me a blast from the past. Remember in the 80s when Swatch watches were a big thing? She got me one! Do you remember those gaudy rubber swatch guards? In the 80's I had a pink one (which was used from a friend) and I wore purple and yellow swatch guards on it. They've much improved, this one's really nice. I love the butterflies. I'm glad the guards aren't real big right now, they weren't pretty.
I'm wearing glasses now. Reading ones anyway. I've actually have had reading glasses since junior high school, but I'm bad about wearing them. Just very mild far-sightedness with an irregular astigmatism. I recently had a check up and picked up some retro looking frames this time. My eyes have worsened with age I'm afraid. I like these frames and they look good on my model as well.
My little intellectual
Mike would have hated these, he hated these type of glasses. Reminded him of some old preschool teacher who was mean to him. They were too cute to resist though...had to get them.
With school ending over 4 days ago, I've been such a slug. I guess the inertia of the semester ending has left me with a lack of energy so I've been sleeping a lot, catching up with my Netflix movies, and hanging out with Ari. We made a birdhouse for my Mom. It was from a kit I found a target and it was a lot of fun to put together. Ari even helped me hold the pieces while I nailed them together. Ari controlled the paint scheme and it's an interesting array of splotchy red, black, green, and blue. I think Mom will like it. It was freezing outside so we did the work on an old sheet on the living room floor.
We also had Ari's class Christmas party which was over in like 20 minutes but Ari had a blast. I got to know one of the other parents a little better which was good. Even with the events I've attended, I've been unable to get too friendly with the other class parents. I didn't know if it was me or them. I usually make friends pretty easy so it was hard to tell. I can tell however that Ari gets along well with her classmates and seems to be one of the social leaders in the group. I like the idea of Ari having leadership qualities (she can be kinda bossy though) as I was always a follower in the group as a kid, never the leader.
I watched a movie called Spooks and Creeps. It was a weird little movie collection of film shorts that had some kind of horror element to it. I got it based on the fact that Ewan Mcgregor was in it. I was sorely disappointed when I saw that the short he starred in (called Desserts) was about 5 minutes long and he doesn't even have any lines. (although it was the most gruesome in the film) I still can't tell if I liked the movie or not. Tonight I see Batman begins.
We have to go to Walmart in a few. I need to get a new filter for our gold fish tank which is green at the moment. Walmart has the multi-pack cheap. While I'm there I might as well get the food stuff we are out of...wish me luck, I'll need it.I know Walmart to be quite scary in the month of December.
I know you've heard it before, but I tried to quit smoking on Wednesday ...again. I have quit well over 20 times this year. I again failed and this time lasted until Ari's first tantrum of the day. I've decided I'm going to do what thousand of others are going to feebly attempt. I WILL quit on New Year's day. I WILL NOT start the fourth semester smoking. I joined an online quit group and will use the gum first and then the patch again if need be. My asthma is too bad and I simply can't do it anymore.
Found this site...it's a Mad lib Santa letter. (remember Mad libs?) I thought it was fun so I'll post mine and strongly encourage you to do the same for a good chuckle.
Santa Clause North Pole, Earth
I have been a good girl.
It really wasn't my fault what happened at Jenni's Office party. It was Cathy who spiked the punch with too much vodka. I can't help it if I drank 24 glasses. It was so good---smelled and tasted just like fruit.
I thought it was funny when I put Jenni's jacket on my head and danced the mambo on the desk while singing "Jingle Bells"'. I didn't mean to break Jenni's cell phone and don't know why Jenni would accuse me of larceny.
I don't remember calling Michael's wife a cheesy sheep---even though she looked like one with blue eye shadow and fuschia lipstick!
And when I threw up on Angela's husband's toe, it was only because I ate too much of that spaghetti.
After all that fun, I admit I was a little tired. So I fell asleep on my way home and drove my Mazda through my neighbor's dining room. I don't think that was any reason for my neighbor to call me a lumpy dog and have me arrested for treason!
So, Santa...here I sit in my jail cell on Christmas Eve, all shiny and moist. And I'm really not to blame for any of this poofy stuff. Please bring me what I want the most---bail money!
Sincerely and roughly yours,
Jodi (Really a nice girl!)
P.S. It's only 7 bucks!
Well it's over, three semesters down, one more to go. I feel really good. Made an 88 on the final today. Not too shabby considering I pretty much only studied yesterday for it. I was a total slacker all weekend. Eye issues, sinus issues, laziness issues all the reasons I was a slacker. Call it end-of-semester-burn-out or nursingstudentitis. Looking forward to a month long break, making a little cash picking up shifts at work and preparation for what is going to be the hardest semester ever.
At the "After Final Bash" today I mentioned the existence of a medical blogospere on the internet to a classmate. She said she was aware of one in which I was familiar but don't read much anymore because I think the author is too petty and self-involved. (It is not one on my list and I don't read it anymore) Her response "I think anyone who blogs is self-involved" I didn't mention that I had a blog and politely argued that most of the bloggers I've come across write about their experiences, their opinions, their life. That's a little different then talking about the name brand clothing you wear, bragging about the masses of friends you have and the huge social life you lead (while having enough time to blog everyday) and all under the guise of being a "medical professional's blog." That's fine if that's what you want to do but I don't think it sums up all blogs in general. Blogs are a little bit like reality TV only better. You get to know the author like a TV personality with deeper insight that may even entertain & educate. I told her I read (often) a lot of really good blogs from a variety of professionals that really make me feel priviledged that I had ever found a link. I get the advantage from learning from others and other's stories. It's a new form a communication in a world where people don't really communicate anymore. I'm not going to say my blog isn't self-involved, it is and has to be, in a way. I do like to write more about my experiences in life though more so then about just me, what I own, and how much I may suffer.
Anyway Kim over at Emergiblog is spreading the word via Dr Lei and the NIH about how to represent your medical related blog and a questionnaire to answer readers general questions about said blog. Thought I would do the same, Thanks for that, Kim and Dr Lei!
1. Who runs this site?
This site is run by me, Jodi who is foremost a Nursing student in college working on my ADN. I've worked in the medical field for 6 years, first in a family practice clinic and then in a hospital as the Unit clerk and Clinical assistant. It's the same unit I work in currently and is an Internal med/infectious disease unit. (that does take oncology and cardiac overflow) I have the unfortunate and unique perspective after losing my husband to Cancer when we were both 26 years old. I really hoped (am hoping) to at least influence others who have faced or may face in the future, similar personal crises to realize that eventually life can get better and have meaning.
2. Who pays for the site?
Free by blogger.com or Blogspot.com. It only costs my time however valuable to regularly contribute. I consider it time well spent and can be therapeutic.
3. What is the purpose of the site?
I'm writing for the entertainment and possible education of others. My hope is my readers either get a good laugh or learn something whether it be factual, learning how to cope in a certain situation, or jut learning from my mistakes. Life is learning, isn't it?
4. Where does the information come from?
My experiences as I encounter them, told with as much truth as possible while protecting the privacy of my patients, co-workers, and classmates. Not so much the privacy of my close friends and family. (sorry guys) But I try. I will also share interesting websites and researched knowledge I'm picking up while in Nursing school.
5. What is the basis of the information?
The basis and content for each post is usually determined when I sit down and start typing. It may be something I need to get off my chest or just something new I learned in school and I want to share it.
6. How is the information selected?
I'm thinkin' questions 4,5, and 6 sound like the same darn question.
7. How current is the information?
Each post is stamped by a date at the top which will tell when I've written it and as of that date all links and information posted were good ones. It you check and read my archives not all information and links may be current as I don't normally alter past posts.
8. How does the site choose links to other sites?
I like to research things so depending on the subject matter the links will vary from my favorite websites (ie IMDB) to ones I found googling for a specific reference for a post.
9. What information about you does the site collect, and why?
I personally do not collect any information on my readers, however my site reader will collect the location (city,state,country) and a sometimes accurate duration of time spent on the website. Although it occasionally intrigues me that someone from Singapore was reading my blog for 9 minutes it is not something I obsess over nor would utilize for any purpose.
10. How does the site manage interactions with visitors?
Through comments and my comments back. This creates sort of a message board for each topic. I enjoy each and every comment and encourage more even if you have nothing more to say but just "Hi, Have a nice day." But I know many have just enough time to read and not enough to post so...it's cool either way.
Here's a little something for all you medical folks, (and you non-medical folks who find medical stuff interesting) My lower eye lid on my left has been tender for 3 days. I woke up this morning at it was pretty darn swollen. This picture is actually after the swelling went down with cold compresses. So I drove myself to my doctor. (actually I saw her assoc. NP, I like her) She tells me I have an infection in my lacrimal tear duct called Acute Dacryocystitis. It's often associated with occurring after a Nasal sinus infection, which I am finally recovering from. The lacrimal duct becomes clogged and an infection develops.The symptoms are redness(erythema), swelling(edema), and local tenderness.There is also some occasional blurriness from drainage. I start Antibiotics today and I have to be diligent about putting warm moist compresses on it. Apparently it is not uncommon for a fissure (tunnel like lesion) to form through to the surface the tear duct to drain the infection and the mere idea of that happening REALLY freaks me out.
So that's the word of the day today: Dacryocysitis. Hope you learned something new. :)
Same kinda day last year
Yay Mother Nature!
I'm home today, despite my instructor's insistence to go to the hospital, because of icy roads.
I woke up, usual time at 4:45am. I turned on the news and heard the news about the ice, conditions not improving, wrecks. By 5:30 there were 3 wrecks reported on my route to the hospital. I called one of my classmates, she had talked to 3 others and they were all going to brave it. (none of those she talked to had kids or lived in my area ) My instructor told us not to page her until 6 am, so I page her twice, she calls me back at 6:30. I tell her that at that time school was delayed 2 hours. She says "Do what you can, but most are coming in by 8 am"
By 7 am, The city cancelled school all together so there was no one to watch Ari all day, so I paged my instructor again and told her. Her initial response " Isn't there anyone in your neighborhood, who can watch her?" (Nevermind the horrible travel conditions)
Um, there are only 2 people I know and trust on my street in the pseudo-ghetto and that's Cathy, who happens to be on a cruise in the Caribbean right now and Andrea's mom next door, who told me she has to work later today.
What did she expect me to do? Start knocking on doors until someone I barely knew can agree to watch my kid?
I wish I could say, "Listen, Lady, There's a reason the schools closed today and although it was honorable that you risked a wreck to get to the hospital today, I will not risk my child, my life, and my only source of transportation to get to the very last day of clinicals, which was only a half a day anyway!"
I looked on the Board of Nursing examiners website and I am well over the required clinical hours because I haven't missed a day. I know those who have may have been at risk because there was only a 8 hour overage so they were the ones who absolutely had to come today.
My instructor's final response, "Well if you can't make it, you can't make it" I could tell she was mad. I asked if I needed to come in tomorrow and she said no.
I just heard on the news that there have been over 100 car accidents in the central Texas area since the sleet started falling yesterday. Am I being too paranoid?
I'm more just angry that I'm being made to feel guilty for staying home today.
How do you like the site's new look? Thanks to a tip from Nurse2be I figured out how to paste the header and I had already figured out how to change the colors. Is it too bright? Can you tell my favorite color is blue?
A 92 on my test today! I actually woke up on time for it and everything....yay me!
I also got home early today because some new Pilot assessment test that we were going to take wouldn't load onto the computers, so it was cancelled. So it's been a good day. I think it's pretty neat we take all of our tests on computers. In the past I've had a hard time with Scantron (the kind where you fill in the circles with pencil, see above pic). I'm always afraid I'll fill in the wrong circle and make all my answers wrong or just transcribe it wrong. On our PC system you can skip a question and it automatically goes back to skipped questions when you get to the end. It's also hard not to click on the answer you intended. But best of all you can see your grade and the questions you missed the moment you click "I'm finished". Pretty cool huh?
I have clinicals in post-partum this week. I'll let you know how it goes but I'm expecting it to be less exciting then Nursery and Labor and delivery. If the weather forcasters are right, we may not have clinicals or school on Thursday. They are calling for "sleet and treacherous road conditions" on Thursday morning. I know you Northern people may laugh at the schools and city closing for sleet but down here in Texas that happens about twice a year, if any, and NOBODY has the right tires or knows how to drive in that stuff. As far as me and Ari staying home on Thursday, I'm not complainin'. More time to study for the final so, Come on, Mother nature, Bring it on!
With my short day today, I'm going to fart around online for a bit then go clean Ari's room and get rid of all her older toys she doesn't play with. There's no room in there for those and the toys she'll be getting for Christmas. I plan to put them in the garage for outside toys until we can give them away or go to Goodwill.
I just love all you regular readers who check in on me.
thanks for reading and your comments. Ya'll are awesome!
I'm taking a break from studying and blogging. Tomorrow I have my last unit test. It's over Complications of Postpartum, Pedi Blood disorders, the High risk Newborn, Pedi skin disorders, Infertility/conception, legalities, ethics, and coordinator of care. The last part "Coordinator of Care" is just a fancy term for a module that covers cost effectiveness and prioritizing.
******Warning, tangent ahead********
Prioritizing is very important but cost effectiveness is like, "Duh!" But I'm not saying it's not important to understand as a nurse that medical care is expensive. You don't have to me a Nurse to know that. I'm actually very blessed myself as a student to be covered under the VA's dependent insurance. It's crappy insurance but it is definitely better then nothing, or so it seems. With my current coverage, I pay 20% of costs. There is no limit to who I see as far as my insurer is concerned, however, I live in a non-military city. I have to travel North to a small town about 20-30 minutes to my family practitioner (FP) who is the only clinician in the Big city and surrounding areas who will bill my insurer. If I need to see a specialist, I have to drive to another small town, 45 minutes North. I could pay for the visits anywhere and file the claim myself but you can imagine how expensive that could get. That's why Ari doesn't see her pediatrician anymore for check-ups and sees our FP instead. I do pay out of pocket on her sick visits just because I think pediatricians would be more likely to recognize and diagnose the childhood ailments. It's also because I like her a lot and she's seen Ari since birth.
I've read a lot of debate over socialized medicine and how it works in other countries. I've heard some good stories and bad stories. The advantages of it being every citizen of the country gets the routine health care, the government pays for it. That, oddly enough, helps keep costs down (Go fig) if you look at Canada's example. So, everyone's covered and costs go down,nevermind the taxes, sounds good right?
In places like Greenland where there is socialized medicine most citizens have other insurance coverage as well. Their premiums are low because well, it's optional to have extra coverage. So if you have the extra coverage and the government's coverage then you are doing really good. The poor however just has the basic old socialized coverage. I wonder how that is viewed in their hospitals on who gets surgery first.
I know there are big issues with that and that can be a major disadvantage. In Canada, you have the right to get that replacement cardiac valve surgery. But in Canada, you do not have the right to be first in line, you may 200th in line and you will have to wait until it's your turn. Also, people with money who can pay for their surgeries (ie. Americans) in Canada, can jump in that same line. Why would they go there? Because medical care is cheaper.
I think where we went most wrong in America is when health care became political. Realistically,Congressmen are not going to budget large portions of the govt. money to take care of the 4% of their voters who are poor and underinsured. It's just not going to happen.
The fact is the US may not have a National health insurance but we do have Medicare and Medicaid. Also it is illegal for any hospital or doctor to not treat you in an emergency. If it's not an emergency there are ways for the poor to pay for preventive medicine as well.
Let me use a family member of mine as an example. She has multiple reproductive tract problems. It was discovered after having a baby on Medicaid when they did a Pap test that she had Cervical dysplasia. Cervical dysplasia often leads, if untreated, to cervical cancer and spread to adjoining reproductive organs. Unfortunately, once the baby was born Medicaid no longer covers unless you are really poor and she had no means to pay for the laser procedure to cure the cervical dysplasia. Yet, she still had it done after a couple of months and it was covered by the city. This same relative has been treated for non-emergencies in hospitals and by clinics for years and has never paid more then handful of change for it. Her Quality of health care is actually probably better then mine. Because I'm limited to where I go and I'm covered up to only 80% versus hers (nothing) she can go to any facility and they will find a way to pay for her health care.
On the other hand I have a story I heard from a lady at Ari's gymnastics about a woman who was covered by her insurance at work and was in a car accident. She was at a private hospital here and was in the ICU for weeks. From there she was sent to the acute care unit where she was slowly recovering after a head trauma. Suddenly her insurance coverage was called into question (paperwork error) and hours after administrators notified her of that, her doctor was writing up her discharge despite the fact that she didn't feel right, had a fever, and urine smelled very foul. She died a few days later at home from sepsis caused by a urinary tract infection. (which she probably got from a catheter in the hospital)
Had she not been in a private hospital and in our city's charity hospital she probably would have been all right.
On my unit, at any given time, about 1/4th to 1/3rd of the patients are homeless. I work at the city/county facility and it doesn't matter if you can pay or not. I have to be a first hand witness to the fact that these homeless patients are getting the best we have to offer. They are in rooms right next door to insured patients and they get the same care.
My point is, we don't really need socialized medicine, we need reform. We need it to be illegal for HMO's to put a cap on the coverage on a child with leukemia. We need to make sure that the middle class citizen is not driven into the poorhouse if they get diagnosed with cancer. Our government just needs to create safeguards to cover those holes where people aren't be covered and aren't receiving care. Citizens do need to take responsibility for their health care and use the clinics around the country that use sliding scale and free services if they need them, instead of going to the ER for a sinus infection. My very own MD runs a "rapid care" weekend and night clinic out of her office with flat fees for earaches and strep throats. I know there's always a way.
Some will probably disagree with me on some of this but it's all just my own very humble opinion.....back to studying.
I had 2 interesting days in clinicals. Yesterday I spent my last day in Labor and Delivery. I saw 2 deliveries. The first while uneventful really ended up a little strange. After the baby came out the MD was delivering the placenta and the proximal (closest to the placenta) part of the umbilical cord came out shredded. The MD says "That's strange" and we all look and there is shredded (IN STRINGS) umbilical cord. Really odd considering the baby came out pink, squirming, and screaming. The doc speculated it had to have happened just as the baby came out. (Of course, otherwise that baby would have been hypoxic and blue) I saw same baby today in the nursery and he's doing fine. The second birth I saw, the baby came out too fast and was, actually kinda blue but breathing. I got to hold the oxygen mask over her while the primary nurse suctioned and suctioned until we got her little airway clear. She was also doing well today.
Which leads me to.....today, I unfortunately spent my last day in the nursery and it was again another fun day. I was holding one baby though and whoever put her last diaper on put it too loosely and green watery baby POO soaked my scrub shirt. I got to change into one of the surgeons blue scrub shirts for the rest of the day.
The strangest thing that happened today was I, just finishing feeding a baby, when my instructor comes up and tells me she wants me to do another newborn assessment on a newly delivered. I was taken back because the nurses usually like to do their own and only really let us do them once, each, for check off reasons and as I said before, I did mine the first day. To get to the point, I thought it was weird and so did my classmates. So new baby comes in, we put him under the heater. I look at his head first, elongated but otherwise normal, chest normal, legs normal, neck, legs, feet normal. Then I go to his hands and low and behold there's a 6th digit on his left hand. It was attached to his pinky finger and loosely hung ,small, and nonfunctional.It had a small nail and everything. So I call my instructor over and show her and she just smiles. I was being tested! She knew about it & she just wanted to see if I would catch it. It was pretty small so if you weren't looking straight at the hand you could miss it.
A Polydactyl hand before and after removal
It all stemmed from a story she had told us in hand about doing an assessment check off in the past with a student and both of them had missed an extra digit on the hand. Lesson being, you should count the fingers and toes as well as everything else. FYI, the rest of the assessment turned up normal.
All and all.....good week, glad it's over and I'm tired. I have to study study study this weekend for the unit 4 test Tues and the Final the following Tues. So please excuse me if I don't post too often in the next 2 weeks but I'll try my best to keep ya current.