May 31, 2006

Still here

I'm Still here. I'm just really busy as I pushed my move in date up to the 9th not so conveniently two days after I take the NCLEX (The 7th). Pressures from the landlords. That and I really like the idea of being completely moved in before I start working. My first day of orientation is on the 12th. I imagine it will be around then you'll be hearing more from me again. I will post an entry on the 9th or 10th and tell you my exam results.
Please check back......I won't be gone long.

As for my stepdad....It's truly weird he has lived this long. I thought for sure he'd pass away over Easter. Last week he showed signs of going soon. He was becoming unresponsive, incontinent, cold hands and feet. I spent 4 days up there last week helping my mom give him meds through the G tube, changing his sheets, pads, and dressings. He's developed 2 fistulas out the side of his neck where the tumor is deep underneath. It's draining fluids of all consistencies and colors and the smell would rival most dumpsters. Mom was actually having a hard time keeping those little fruit gnats away from it.
I noted his vital signs slowing over the 4 days and he went from somewhat responsive to completely unresponsive, GCS 4, BP 70s over 50s, RR 6 with apnea,Pulse tachy to 70s. He was like that the last 3 days I was there.
It's awful, slow, painful dying.
Tonight Mom called and his eyelids popped open and stayed that way....Mom tried to close them but they just pop open again, his eyes fixed straight ahead. The Hospice Nurse told her his BP today was 50 something over 20 something.
Maybe tonight? I don't know, I've said it before so I'm not gonna assume it this time.
He's always been a very stubborn guy.

Listening to: Meltdown by Live

*Update* He passed away at 2:00 am, Just after I wrote this entry.
13:04 May 31,2006

May 19, 2006

The Boards and My new place

I take the NCLEX on June 7th!
Please be sending good "Passing" vibes on that day. I keep telling myself the last 2 hellish years can't have been for nothing.

The other big news is that for Graduation, Cathy and Michael are taking me to New York, NY!
I'm way excited. I have always wanted to visit there and I've never been. We are going to go see Phantom and visit all the landmarks. We go in September.

My new place.

Slowly moving in. I actually took the place Michael is selling because it was much nicer and he's letting me split up the deposits.
Movers come on June 23rd....I'm hoping to have all the non-furniture moved beforehand.
I'm excited and a little scared. This is the first time I've ever attempted a move by myself and I've been at my current homestead for 7 years. I'm one of those people that likes for change and routine to be evenly balanced but I'm very much a home body and don't like my stuff in chaos.
I just want it there.

Why can't we have been intelligent enough beings to have discovered molecular transport by now? Like in Star Trek? (Geek moment here)

Beam my stuff over Scotty.
Listening to: "Jumping someone else's train" by The Cure

May 16, 2006

In Burrito

I'm in Burrito....I mean...In cognito.
I'm referring to the name change...I'm Jo now.
Saves me time. :)

May 15, 2006


Well this week isn't going as planned.
I had planned to take the Kaplan review course through the week (For the NCLEX). I went today and it was a Complete....Total....Waste of my time. I'll give them this....They have excellent testing strategies and a cool online test taker. Everything you need to know is online. My advice to students.....Take the online program!
I will not waste 8 hours for 4 days listening to an OB NURSE go over possible test questions that I can get online. OB nurse taught the course and couldn't explain half the questions and even disagreed with some of them.
(I have nothing against OB nurses, they are still RNs...but if that's your only specialty...Then maybe teaching NCLEX review is not a perfect fit....I want someone a little more rounded.)
It's OK that I decided to self study for the boards, as it turns out, I am going to head to Mom's again tomorrow. I'm hesitant to say it looks like the end for my stepdad.....I've said it before. But the last 24 hours he's been agitated, disoriented, hallucinating, and now has a "rattle" when he breathes (says my Mom).

I have a line here and I'm crossing both ways. On the RN (GN) side I've been trying to hand over tips and advice on how to care for him. On this side I'm trying to stay objective and respect my mom's wishes. On the other side, the family side....I want my mom to stop the tube feedings and allow my stepdad to go. The tube feedings is the reason he's remained in this subconscious state for months. He's down to about 80 lbs...Mom's only giving him a can of formula a day. Just enough to keep him suffering. She doesn't see this as suffering because they have his pain under control. But the Good Ole boy/Redneck/Biker man my stepfather was would have HATED his wife bathing him, wiping his nose and butt.......HATED living in this state.
Since he had a laryngectomy and is too weak and sometimes too confused to communicate, it's hard for him to stop her.
I'm afraid his GI system is going to completely shut down (It's obviously slowed now...9 days before the last BM) Then he'll be even more miserable when she runs a feeding.
I'm going up there to help Mom with his care, and intervene with Hospice (They haven't been coming out because Mom tells them he's just fine when they call). I want to get them out there and tell them that he's fallen twice getting to the bathroom, that they need a urinal or a foley, that my mom needs someone to relieve her so she can go to the grocery store.

Mom hardly sleeps, hardly eats. She's squeemish about body fluids....and she says "She's not ready to let him go."

That leaves me with little to do but help.

Here's my living will right now....If I am ever diagnosed as terminal, Don't ever allow my family to leave me in that state. Don't prolong the inevitable.

Listening to: "I go to Extremes" by Billy Joel

May 8, 2006

Graduate Nurse

Did well on my Final. 88 Made a B in the course.
I am now officially......a Graduate Nurse....GN.
It's still not real to me. I can't believe that school is over.
My pinning is on Thursday.....after that... NCLEX and moving.
My parents can't come to my pinning. My dad lives several states away and works two jobs. My mom is still holding vigil over my dying stepfather. (Yes...he is still alive...I don't know how)
But a few of my best friends will be there,my daughter, my boss, and my sister.
Today was a good day.

May 2, 2006

Two Biggies

Two BIG things today.

1.I made a 96 on my last unit exam over Renal...Acute and chronic failure, Liver, Burns, and Musculoskelatal diseases. This means I have to make a 50 on my final to graduate!
Not to be cocky but um...I think I could do that blind, standin on my head, with both hands tied behind my back, while taking candy from a baby.....eating pie.
So what I'm saying is....I am sooo graduating next week.

2. I'm moving in June! I found a cute little place locally today and I want it! I'm paying the deposit for it tomorrow. I didn't want to move this soon but I don't want to loose the place so I'm gonna take it. I'm moving out of this Ghetto, Yay!

Listening to: Orange Crush by REM