Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Does fear interfere with life?

Lately, I've noticed a lot of people living in fear "Oh I couldn't do that" "I can't take the vacation day"  "I've always wanted to do that" "Yeah someday".  What?!?  I am around the elderly and their families quite a bit and here is a quick list things I've NEVER heard from old people:


  • I shouldn't have taken the grandkids to Disney
  • I'm glad I didn't use any of my paid vacation days
  • Going on a cruise and seeing a whale was not worth it
  • Stopping at that fair and trying a fried cinnamon roll wasn't worth it
  • I shouldn't have had chocolate sauce on that sundae
These are the things I normally hear:

  • I will always remember the car I went cruising with my wife in
  • Holding my grandbabies never gets old
  • I think I will start with dessert
  • I'm glad I went on that fishing trip with my old man before he had a stroke and couldn't go anymore
  • My girlfriends and I danced on the bar!
  • Oh the things we would do
Live life folks.  It so short!  Don't let fear interfere with that.  We only get so many trips around the sun before we transition into the next.  Vacation days, memories, money, we can't take any of that with us.  Go to old folks and tell your what ifs to an old person.  They will hmph hmph and whack you with a cane and say "get some sense in that fool head" and to get going.  Live life.  

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

How close are nursing and waiting tables???

Is nursing just waiting tables?  I do realize there are stark differences, but seriously 10 years of waiting tables was probably one of the most important learning experiences to being a nurse.  Here are a few of the similarities  :-)

1.  You have your "section" with no real power of decision who gets into it.  Whether its a 3-table section, 5 med-surg rooms, etc.  You don't get to pick and choose who gets waited on; it truly is the luck of the draw.  And the ability to remember that table 93 needed more ranch, table 92's food should be up, the antibiotic is done in 42, 39 needed more pain meds, etc, etc.  That mental list of what all those people need in your section.

2.  Some people patients/patrons will NEVER be happy.  Their steak was cooked perfectly, their incisions are healing great, the ambiance was perfect, whatever.  These people are still not happy and will find something to complain about.  The bruise on their little toe is a 10/10 pain.  The ice water is too cold.  It's always something.

3.  On the other hand, those people that have a legitimate reason to complain, will be, eh its ok.  Sure my steak is a little overdone (visibly WD when ordered M) or their pain is from metastatic cancer to the bones and brain and they rate their pain a 5/10.  They will roll with the punches and not complain.  God bless those people, for real.

4.  Pockets.  A server or nurse's pockets are a treasure trove of chapstick, change, straws, and maybe, just maybe a pen.  Why do people think the companies supply those things?

5.  Co-workers.  Waiting tables and nursing, leads to a very close relationship with co-workers.  Whether its the hot expo line and someone yelling they need help carrying a 10-top out or someone calling to bring extra wipes and a change of linens to the room, there is a certain closeness there.  Maybe its dealing with people.  And believe me, watching some people eat is just as gross as changing their dirty britches.  Whatever it is, the  "this is so crazy, we just have to laugh", is true in both fields.

6.  You get to see all kinds of humanity.  Sometimes we get comfy in our social bubble and forget about the people we don't see.  The poor, the trashy, the have no hygiene, don't know how to tip, don't realize a hospital is not a hotel, the uneducated, the rude, etc, etc.  Those people will show up and interact with the server or nurse.  It is an eye-opening experience to really see how people live.

7.  Families.  Lord help us.  Waiting on a table with 20 family members was torture for me.  The well what's grandma getting, we need to make sure she eats first, how is the bill being split, can we split grandma's bill between the 8 grandkids, can she read the menu, somebody order for her.  Schwoo!  The families that are in denial about what grandma's wishes clearly state in her living will.  The families that have fights bedside when grandma is sick.  Seriously, maybe its something that should be discussed in private or before you get to the restaurant.

8.  The bossy family member.  The spouse that has to order for their spouse, and even when asking the quiet spouse "would you like ranch on your salad?" jumps in and says "she'll take french".  Excuse you, I believe she can talk.  The family member that says "she doesn't need more pain meds" when obviously in pain.  Seriously?  Remove your ego from the situation and focus on the person.

9.  The always need something more person.  When I waited tables, I would always ask, "need anything else with the meal?"  Invariably, people would respond, more ranch, butter, napkins, pop, whatever.  Then there are those people that can't think of everything at once.  I need more ranch.  Come back with ranch.  Oh I need more butter.  Come back, Oh I need more napkins.  OOOKKKK anyyythiing else I can bring you with the meal?  Same thing with nursing.  I always ask "is there anything else I can do for you?"  Same thing.  Those people that make you run back and forth, oh I see through what you're doing.  More ice, another pop, another pillow, warm blanket, and the channel changed, anything else?  This girl was not born yesterday.

10.  The people.  I love people, the variety, the never really know what you're going to get with a new table or patient.  Seriously waiting tables was the best training ever for nursing.  So happy nurse's week to all my fellow comrades who clean dirty britches, deal with all the above, and still manage to smile  :-)

Friday, January 13, 2017

Thy Will Be Done

So almost 3 years ago, I decided to change things up and completely switch careers to nursing.  I put things into God's hands and was like "OK God, if this is where you want me, it will work out."  And let me tell you, when God wants you on a path, He will move mountains to make sure that path is clear.  Like a bulldozer with a spirited bucket!  Here are some of the highlights:

I really wanted to get into Butler, they are the highest passing rate NCLEX school in the area, well respected by hospitals, and hard to get in to.  Like 25% of the people that apply get in.  Admission is numbers based, whichever 56 applicants have the highest grades in certain classes, test scores, etc. get in, and about 200-300 apply every semester.  Woof! But, along I went in on this ride.  Started taking prerequisite classes and dusted up on my studying skills.  This old brain was a little rusty, but in October of 2014, I received that wonderful letter saying I was accepted.  Woot! Woot!  Now the fun can really begin!

My first semester clinical rotation, I was assigned to a nursing home.  Well, I was already a CNA, so what was I really going to learn?  Butler has a very strict policy of what they say goes, but in my heart I knew I was not supposed to be there.  I spoke with the lead instructor and she basically laughed at me.  The next class, she comes up to me and says one of the other students can't be at this hospital, could you trade?  Well yes I can!  She said it's your lucky day, I said, I believe in God.  

Second semester was labor and delivery and pediatrics.  God thought He would be oh so funny and give me a little real world experience and sent us Catherine.  Hahahahaha.  Try being in nursing school hearing about all the bad things that can happen to "elderly" mothers.  Then in my rotation for c-section deliveries, the patient I was supposed to work with, didn't want a student.  Funny.  Turns out I had to have a c-section, and I'm pretty sure if I had seen one, I would have been ANXIOUS!  God 3, Christi 0.

Another funny thing, my due date was May 9, my final for nursing 3rd semester was May 10. Hahahaha.  I told my instructors what was going on and what the possibilities were.  Well, as long as I finished clinically, I could take an incomplete in the class, finish over the summer, and then catch back up with my classmates in August.  So on I went.  Third semester clinicals are broken up into 2 sections, ICU/acute care and then behavioral health. Not saying behavioral health isn't important, but of the 2, ICU/acute is much more physically demanding.   And what was my rotation?  ICU/acute care first, then behavioral health.  So there I was 9 months pregnant going to behavioral health therapy sessions. Everyone was most kind, funny, and incredulous that I was so close to my due date.  But, I finished clinically on Tuesday May 3, and I hadn't missed once!  In fact, in my whole tenure at Butler Nursing, I never missed a clinical hour.  Yes, I would like a cookie for perfect attendance (lol!).  On Wednesday, the 4th,  we went in for our regular appointment and were admitted to the hospital.  On Thursday, Catherine was delivered via c-section, On Sunday we were dismissed, on Monday I took a make-up test, and on Tuesday the 10th I took the final.  Woof.   God 10, Christi 0.  

Fourth semester was especially difficult for me.  The material is harder, more clinical days, and this cute 10-pound bundle of joy that didn't seem to interested in assisting with studying neuro dysfunction, endocrine, or musculoskeletal disease processes.  But on I went.  My clinical location and clinical instructor were great allowing me to use the pumping room, so I could reach my goal of 6 months.  I was a student, what did the location care if I did or not, but they welcomed me and Ethel (my trusty Medela pump).  Somehow I made it through the semester without failing.  Was it my greatest academic achievement?  Nope, but I made it!  God 30, Christi 0.

Then I passed NCLEX!!!  Along this whole journey, being a CNA -> CMA -> LPN, and finally RN,  God has been there right along with me.  His Hands have been there the whole time.  There were so many times I would be crying all the way home, wondering how I was going to make it, but I did.  God is so good.  There are so many stories of my interactions with residents and patients, that I KNOW this is where I am supposed to be.  Nursing is what I am supposed to do.  I can talk to anybody, I cut the crap, and am kind of bossy.  Which all tends to work out when caring for someone.  This is the ministry I am supposed to do.  I have never been so certain of something in my life.  

I played around for about 3 months with the idea of a tattoo, 'Thy will be done".  Drawing it on my hand, asking people for ideas about tattoos, etc.  And I finally did it!  I wanted it next to my hands, just as God has had His Hands on me this whole journey, I will now have my hands on people.  And it is what I am supposed to do. 

I hope people ask me about it, I hope I can share His story while changing their britches, telling them the importance of taking their pills, and holding their hand when they pass away. 

God is so good and I am His servant.

Amen!



Sunday, April 27, 2014

Time to Change Things Up

So just like the changing Kansas weather, my life is in the cycle of change again.  I had been working as an event coordinator at a facility and things haven't been working for the best.  Then I got to thinking about what I really want in life and what is important to me.   Hmmm, well most importantly faith, my loving husband, our wonderful farm, family, friends, the ability to be involved in my random committees--are just a few of the top 5.  (Everyone should do a top 5 in their life every now and then--its a great way to refocus priorities).  Well not having a consistent schedule and always being "on call" were just some of the reasons my happiness level decreased.  Not having a consistent schedule did make my relationships with friends suffer, because while other people were having fun, I was at work.  So what would make me happy?  Hmm consistency, the going into work, doing the job, and not having to check email or text messages after work, more money, several things led me on the path to nursing.   Living on the farm has definitely made my "gross-factor" almost non-existent.  So I started researching, what would it take?  What do those closest to me think about it?  Hmm.

Well my wonderful sister was able to give me the opportunity of a job shadow at her health care facility, and I wasn't shocked or awed about it.  It was basically like waiting tables, but caring for them, not just their food.  Hmm, I could do this.  And as my mom so wonderfully pointed out, "I'm so happy for you--you've been unhappy for a while.  You've always wanted to help people."  Maybe I have.  I want the best for people, and will do whatever is in my power to make that happen.  As an event coordinator, I made every effort to have the event run seamlessly and without stress for the client.  Waiting tables, I anticipated needs before they were asked (sometimes--people are a wildcard).  So maybe this is the right path for me  :-)

So I enrolled in pre-requisites, enrolled in a CNA class, and quit my job.  Wow!  This summer I will be take A&P, then take the TEAS test (nursing school admission test), then apply for nursing school (and God willing!) get in!  So far the whole process has fallen into place, so hopefully this is the direction the Big man has in mind for me  :-)  Pray for me  :-)  This a crazy new adventure!

The song of my life right now is Let it Go!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

And Jack makes three.....

So last Friday I'm in the house and get a text msg from J:  Got a new dog.  Hmm..seriously reminded me of the Discover commercial where the woman says, the husband went out for milk and came back with a puppy.  Yeah, that was my moment.  I go outside and here is this little man:


Someone had (we think) dumped him.  J found him in the middle of the road about a mile south of our house.  He called around to see if anyone was missing him--nope!  No tag, no collar, nothing really identifying him at all.  We think he's a Jack Russell Terrier mix, but who knows.   He's still in the puppy play stage, but he is housebroken! Bonus!  The only downside so far...he is a runner!  Schwoo!  That night we let him out to do his business and he decides to go for a midnight run...on the highway!  I'm chasing after him in the dark, running on the highway in flip-flops.  I see livestock semi's go by and pray don't let him become street pizza.  St Francis of Assisi really should have been my patron saint because he was not harmed at all.  Ugh.


We named him Jack, for Uncle Si off Duck Dynasty:


I like to think its Jack from Will and Grace--Just Jack:


The name has many derivatives:  Jack Daniels, Jack Link, Linky Man, Jack Sprat, Jack Sparrow.  This poor dog is going to end up with an identity crisis.

I do think he was abused or mistreated in his previous life (those people should be shot!).  Whenever a collar is put on him he cowers down and doesn't move and his whole persona changes--so weird.  Walking him on a lead he tries to chew the lead away.  But I'm working with him and trust will come with time. 

So now we have 3 dogs...seriously we are one elephant short of a circus.  Gunnar (the lab) doesn't really pay attention to Jack, but Jose (Chihuahua) definitely is not taking the other sibling well.  He pouts alot, but he will get over it as time goes by. 

Jack has wormed his way into our hearts (especially J's)....I foresee them riding in trucks/tractors/combines in the future.  LOL.  Here he is below checking out a wheat header in the combine...ummhmmm. 












Monday, July 1, 2013

Welcome Baby!

So last year, when the hubs and I embarked on our mini-donkey buying experience (he would say he followed along--lol) we bought Charlotte to go with Lucky in November.  The breeder said she was not bred/pregnant.  Well Lucky was young enough that he couldn't be able to or not know what was going on for another year.  We figured we had a good 2 years before baby would be possible.  Mini-donkeys gestate for a year!  Can you imagine?!?!  Well a couple of months later, I noticed she was getting a little chunky in the mid-section.  So I call the breeder back and ask if she could be pregnant.  No, she hadn't been exposed, blah blah blah.  Fine fine.  And how do you really preg-check a donkey anyway--have her pee on a stick?  LOL.  So we just went along with she was just a chunky-monkey.   Until....I noticed her udders starting to bag a couple of weeks ago.  (Bag or bagging is a term with cows, donkeys, probably horses and tons of other mammals where the udders fill and look swollen).  Hmmm--suspicious!  Then I noticed her teats getting longer!  Hmmm--double suspicious!!  Well I consulted the good ol' Donkey dictionary and it said that after a Jennie (girl donkey) starts to bag, expect baby in 4-6 weeks.  So the hubs says we have another 2-4 weeks.  Well guess who got a surprise when I went to do chores this morning! Hello baby!

I run in and tell Jeremy she had her baby!!! Baby had somehow managed to get on the outside of the pen.  The others in the pen were Arnold (bottle calf) and Lucky.  Arnold was all bouncing around trying to figure out what was going on and Lucky was wondering what the thing was.  So I pulled those 2 into a separate pen and lifted baby up and put it into the pen with Charlotte.  Yes, I keep saying "it" because I don't know whether its a boy or girl.  I looked underneath and I didn't see anything identifying boy/girl.  Baby is about 18" tall and weighs about 30 pounds, and has 4 hooves and 2 big ears.

So I like to think that Charlotte was a BOGO, buy one get one free  :-)  Yes, we will never know who the Daddy was (sad commentary on our times really), but at least it has a good home now  :-)



How cute!?!?  Yes that's my finger...was trying to get it to pose.
 

 
Charlotte and baby....so cute!

 


Seriously...too cute!







Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Tequila Cookies

Heading to a Cinco de Mayo party, I wondered about a great dessert to take.  (Mexican Wedding Cookies seemed a little too labor intensive).  So I had this brilliant idea of Tequila Cookies...and were they tasty!

Here's what you need:
French Vanilla or white cake mix
1/2 cup butter softened
2 eggs
2 tbsp veg oil
1ish tsp tequila

Lime frosting (add a little tequila to that too)
Sea salt

Mix butter, eggs, oil, and tequila.  Add cake mix.  Drop by cookie scoop onto sheet and bake at 350 until golden (probably 8-12 minutes, but I really don't know because I don't use a timer).

Once they have cooled, schmear the lime frosting on the bottom of one of the cookies and then smush another cookie on top.  Roll the edges in a salt.  When you bite into the cookie the salt and lime mix with the slight tequila flavor.  Yummo!