Monday, September 14, 2009

another jump in the right direction...

ACCEPTED! Do you like Erwin's new tattoos?

That's right. I got into the U. I think everyone knew that it was going to happen anyway, but getting that letter in the mail was still very exciting. And I couldn't have done it without my person. She paid my application fee. I kept talking about school, and she kept saying do it already, and I said, I don't have the money. And she said, screw that you do now... Thank you! You see that? That is why she is my person and I love her.

I promised myself that once I got my official acceptance letter for the University of Utah, I would get the stickers and put them on the back of my car.... Here it is! My family may not like it too much, because they are BYU fans... Not to mention my dad actually works there. But it's the place I want to go. And when I did my first year there, I loved it! I love the feel of the campus.

I kept talking about going back to school and how I needed to work on my education... Nursing school is the goal now. Because I started with this CNA business, I've convinced myself that it is the direction that I wanted to take. When you get excited about taking out someone's foley, or examining a stage 4 bedsore, you know that it's the field to get into. (PS, stage 4 is the worst stage you can get to and it means that the sore has gotten down to the bone... gross. But awesome.)

So now, I'm pretty sure that it's the thing that I want to do. Every once in a while, I'll second guess myself but that happens to everyone, right? RIGHT?

I keep getting positive reinforcement from my patients. They keep telling me...

"You'll be a good nurse..."
"You better be going into nursing school..."
"They need more nurses with your attitude..."

And the best is when I get this kind of reinforcement is the kind I get from my peers and coworkers on my floor. Constantly, I keep getting told that I'm doing a great job, and they keep asking if it's my first CNA job. It feels good.

AND.... An even bigger sign was the thank you note I got from my floor manager in the same stack of mail that my acceptance letter came in. All it said, was that many people have told her that I fit in and work hard. It feels so so so so good.

So, that's the plan.... School will start in the spring and I'm totally on board. My life is still moving in the right direction and it makes me excited to live each day as it comes.

One day, hopefully sooner than later, I'd like to move out. But that all depends on finances. I got the job and started school downtown because that would just make it a matter of time before I ended up in that area. And these days, you have to go where the jobs are. It just makes sense. One day my knight in shining whatever will come sweep me off my whatever and we'll live happily ever whatever. Or something. I would love to raise Tegan downtown, or in the Aves. Maybe by the U. There is just an energy up there that I love.

Tegan has been doing great with everything too. She's sleeping for longer stretches of time, thank you lord, and is getting a huge bundle of personality. She rocks my world. I can't wait to see what kind of person she turns into or what she'll do when she grows up...

Anyway... I'm sleepy. We're doing pretty good with keeping people updated though, right?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Code Blue....

Let me start by saying that I'm happy with the national recognition that the company I work for got in the presidential address. I may have only worked there a year this next month, but I really can tell that it's a brilliant company and that their standards are set high. Sure, everyone has their bad experiences everywhere.... and there are those people that are the exception to the rule. Let's face it, they're everywhere. Seriously... I'm just trying to say the quality of care I've seen with this company has been amazing. And most people I know in the company love what they do.

I'm not just trying to talk about how awesome my job is with this post, (I love it still, by the way). I had a point.

One of my patients went on hospice today. For those that don't know, hospice is for patients that are terminally ill. Terminal as in, terminated. To qualify, they have to be expected to die within the 90 day limit. Three months. And there are people that end up going on hospice and end up living past that mark... Bla bla bla. Most of the time they have an expiration date, but things get used up before then.

Sorry to be so blunt about it... But I'm just trying to give some perspective. And it helps just to get the facts out there quick.

This patient, we'll call him G, is one of the sweetest guys I have ever met. He's older, and I'm not going to talk about what disease he has or any of that. All you need to know right now is that he has been sick for a long time... When I started my training, he was admitted. He has been on that floor for as long as I have. Every day, I have seen him walking the halls with his wife, IV pole, and one of his daughters or some other family member. Someone was almost always there. At night, I would sneak in and get his vital signs, make sure he was comfortable and okay, and tuck him back into bed and let him rest. Remember that dream I mentioned a patient having where I tried to kill him? This was him.

I was in another room, occupied with another patient, when I heard it over the intercom... "Code Blue, West 8, Room ***....."

I knew it was him. I tried to pay no attention to it, because there was nothing I could do at the moment... I heard footsteps running that direction, and I couldn't just leave my patient with what we were doing. He wasn't my patient today. I took a deep breath and continued my work.

I forgot all about it until I heard someone mention his name and that he was coming back and they were putting him on hospice. And I got worried.

His room new room was down by the other patients that I was caring for, so when his family came back up and waited for him, I recognized them. And when the door was closed I knew he had come back. I ran in as fast as I could and put my hand in his.

"Hi G, how are you? Are you feeling okay?"

"Mandy!" He smiled. His face mask kept him from using all of his muscles to stretch his smile all the way, and he gave my hand a squeeze. "I'm ready to die."

He said it so simply, using the same voice he had used to tell me that he didn't need anything else for the rest of the night.

I held his hand a little tighter as he looked into my eyes, and one of his daughters asked me to help set up the suction so he could clean out his mouth. I ran around, trying to find all of the pieces to set up suction for him, and was in and out of the room a lot. But every time I went in, the room was different.

There were more pictures of friends and family slowly being taped up around the room.

More people came in to make sure he was okay.

And more tears were in the eyes of those people.

I finally had the suction set up when he reached for my wrist again.

"What does that say?" He said, weakly, and he turned my wrist to see my tattoo.

"Love is not dead."

He smiled and closed his eyes.

"Sometimes I have to write things on myself so I don't forget them."

And he smiled a little more.

A daughter came and sat on his bed to talk to him, and I found something else to do in the room for a minute. The only part of the conversation I heard him have with her, was that he was ready... and he kept reassuring her that he wasn't scared anymore, and he knew that was his sign that it was time to go.

I found my way out of the room and snuck into a clean utility room so I could take a couple breaths and get myself straightened out before I did anything else. It's hard to disconnect and let it not effect you, but it does sometimes. Patients come in and out of the hospital all the time. I don't know why it hit me so hard.

I made sure to say goodbye to him one last time before I left that day, and told him to be there for me tomorrow so I could come take care of him. And he wouldn't let go of my hand. I couldn't help but smile at his little game. He was always really sweet and always smiled, even though he was in pain. Even though I woke him up through the night. No matter what was going on, he smiled. And he does it still. It amazed me.

During my drive home, the sunset looked brighter. The air smelled sweeter. Everything was more vivid, just like they tell you when you come close to death. Not that I was dying. Not that G is going any time soon... Seeing someone that smiles through extreme pain and sorrow just forces me to appreciate the things I already do a little more than normal.

I hope he's there for me to see tomorrow. He is someone I'll never forget.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

sickness is not fun...ness? whatever.

My poor little Tegan has been really sick today. I took her to the doctor and they said that it was just a cold and some Tylenol should do, but just in case they gave me some medicine... And I ended up needing it.

As I type, I can hear her in the other room, sobbing in her sleep. I feel so terrible! Nothing I could do would calm her down. And finally she fell asleep and was totally relaxed when I put her in the crib. I feel so bad! She can't tell me what's wrong, and I can only guess....

She's had a stuffy nose for a couple days, but sometimes she will get them and they'll go away. Then she got a fever. Then she couldn't stop crying. My poor little girl... I hope things are okay tomorrow, because I have to work 3 twelve hour shifts, three days in a row.

It's times like these that I wish I could just be a stay at home mom, married to a rich whatever, so that I wouldn't have to leave her. But at the same time, it was driving me crazy to have her crying and have me try everything I could and fail over and over again. I was about ready to slam my head through the wall.

I can't believe how big she's getting! Every day she surprises me. She's only using one hand to support herself when she stand now, and it's CRAZY.

Soon it instead of, "Look Mom, one hand!" it will be, "Look Mom! No hands!"

Screwed. That would be me.

But, as usual, I'm off to try to sleep before she wakes up so I can get at least fifteen minutes in my bed without having to jump up and check on her right away...

She's still sobbing in her sleep.... Poor poor baby.

Monday, September 7, 2009

messes are okay when you're a baby

So here's how the night went...

I had been taking a lazy day, trying to get a good nap in before I would get ready to meet this guy that my friend wanted me to meet. Tegan and I were snuggling in the big comfy chair watching a Ghost Hunters episode that I had on my DVR, and my mom called to invite me to a movie that was starting... oh... fifteen minutes later.

Thanks for the "ready... set...." before the "GO!"....


I could have said no, but who could resist Julie and Julia? I hurried and got ready, skipping the shower that I was going to take so I could make a good impression on this guy, and hurried to make it to the movie. I was only fifteen minutes late, including driving time. Go me!

The movie was adorable, by the way. Very well done. And I highly recommend that everyone goes to see it. Young, old, male, female. I actually went with the Golden Girls, a group of older single ladies that live in my neighborhood, ranging from like... 60+. It was very adorable. And they loved it too. Tegan decided that it was a good idea to knock over my popcorn and her snacks... It all ended up all over the floor... Great.

When the movie was done, Tegan and I had ten minutes to get over to Costa Vida across from the Target by my house. Have I mentioned the construction that they've been doing in the area? It is hell. I have no idea why all this needs to happen now, but it is. They're redoing the onramp for the freeway... And by redoing, I mean, making an entire new one. Construction sucks.

So, once I found my way into the parking lot, David, my friend and his new wife and two kids were walking in the parking lot. I parked and unpacked my things, and met them in the parking lot, right outside the doors for the restaurant.

David and Maddie, his new wife, couldn't be more perfect for each other. They fit together, like puzzle pieces. They get each others jokes. Their personalities just match. And David's daughters just seem to fit into both of their lives so well. It's like they were always a family.

Anyway... We stood at the table instead of sitting, catching up. I'm not sure why we didn't sit... Whatever. Bla bla bla... And then I saw this person that I was meeting for the first time. I'm honestly not sure what I think about him still... I'm trying to get a read on him. He was cuter that I thought he was going to be, even though I saw pictures on his Facebook. But I recognized him right away when we was walking through the parking lot into Costa Vida.

Introductions were made, and we made our way through the line, with some small talk... the usual, what's your family like, how many kids, what school... bla bla bla... Things were a little chaotic with a baby who couldn't sit still, and two girls that seemed to be even more all over the place.

David, the nice guy, paid for everyone's dinner, and I was holding Tegan, grabbing the cups for our drinks... and KICK!

She kicked David's tray over. Salad everywhere. Dressing down my arm, all over the floor, and down the walls of the counter. And she giggled... Of course, because to a baby, messes are fun! I wish I could get away with making a big mess and have someone else say, "Oh! That's so cute! Let me clean it up for you..."

Messes like that are only okay when you're little and you don't know any better...

I hardly got to eat any of it, because I had been snacking all day, and my body decided that that moment was the moment to suddenly be stuffed. Tegan wouldn't hold still.... At all. It was a terrible first meeting on my end. Bad move to bring the baby...

He thought she was adorable though, even though she was being a pill. We stayed and talked for a while afterwards... Still trying to feel each other out. He's an artist, who wants to be by the ocean, and he works with troubled youth and disabled adults. He seems like a good guy, but we need to take more time to see what's going on. I just always imagined that when I met that person it would be like when I met Brown Boot. But you never know what will happen.

He got into his retired police car, and I got into Erwin and we drove away. And that was that. We'll see where it goes.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

what's lost is... well... lost.

So I've been working on my Florida blog, and in doing so, I've been going through pictures in my computer so I can show faces and places with everything... And I realized something.

There used to be a folder on my desktop, titled "awesome pictures" and its gone. I don't know why I didn't notice it before, but it's vanished. I don't remember deleting it. I don't have any idea what happened to it. Not that it's a super big deal... most of them were pictures from my phone which are already online, but there was a folder in that folder that was titled "the ex files". Pictures I had from dating Brown Boot... And that's gone.

I'm sure he still has them all somewhere. And I know that I have a scrapbook started with some of them in it... But I know there are some in there that I may never get back. And it sucks. It is kinda funny that I called it "the ex files" and it mysteriously disappeared. Maybe I can get Mulder and Skully on the case and they can find them for me...

*X-Files theme music starts playing*

Something about the truth being out there... or something.

It really bugs me that I can't find them anywhere on my computer. Stupid technology. Stupid awesome technology. It can be awesome when we want it to me, and terribly mean when we least expect it. Sometimes.

Oh, and my connector cable for my camera is missing too, so I can't upload any pictures from my camera until I find it or get a new one.... Uber lame.

So here's the other stuff that's been going on...

Tegan is getting HUGE! She's small for her age, but very advanced. She's been pulling herself up to stand for a long time. She does it as much as she can, and crawls all over the place. She loves loves loves bath time. Every time I go into the bathroom and she sneaks in there, she goes straight over to the tub and pulls herself up so she can try to climb in... So, we just keep the door closed unless she's supposed to be in there just to be safe. It's so fun to watch her personality come out. She's a little person! And I made her.

My person gave her a Mickey for Christmas, and it's one of her favorite toys now. Every time I bring him out, she gets a big grin on her face and starts giggling, and doing the half clap thing that she always does. The other day when she went down for a nap, she had Mickey in there with her. After she cried for a minute, I went to check on her because it got really quiet... and she was passed out with him on top of her.

She's always loved her reflection, but she's finding it in new places... Like the fridge and the oven. It's so funny to watch her sit in front of the fridge and try to start eating herself... I keep trying to get pictures, but she still gets distracted every time I pull out the camera. She also talks all the time. It's the sweetest noise ever... Hearing three little words come a close second.

She's been doing so well with everything.... Sometimes it gets tough, but she's honestly an amazingly easy baby. I can't believe how big she's getting. She's up to three jars(ish) of baby food every day now, and is trying more foods... But for a little while... (I'm going to get kinda gross for a second, but other moms understand....)

Her poop got really really hard. Little, hard, black poops. She would be crawling around, playing, giggling... And then she would get into position. She'd crouch, kind of on all fours, grunt a few times, and then start screaming like it was the most painful thing ever. It was so hard for me to watch! Every time afterwards, she would come crawling over to me, tears in her eyes and still sobbing, and then I'd change her and she's get on her way. She gets over getting hurt really fast, which will hopefully stick with her for a long time.

Anyway... I think I may have fixed the problem. Too much iron. Which is funny, because I wasn't getting enough during my pregnancy. She's an iron hog.... Anyway, her cereal is iron fortified, so we stopped feeding her that and started giving her a little bit of prune and apple juice mixed together so it doesn't taste so gross, and problem is pretty much solved! We'll see if it keeps up.

Work has been amazing. I'm so happy I finally love my job! The people I work with are great. They make it so much easier to get through the night, and it makes for some entertaining conversations. The shift does get really hard sometimes... But that's how it goes with an overnight shift. I catch my second, third, and sometimes forth wind by the time that everyone is waking up, and then as soon as I can get somewhere to crash, I'm out for a couple hours. And then it's play time!

But the money should be worth it. And I get time with Tegan during the day. The people I work with are amazing. But I'm still trying to decide if nursing is what I really want to do. I love the work, and I could see myself being in a hospital for a long time, but at the same time, I know I want to be able to raise a family and live my own life... And if I get too involved with working in a hospital, or try to do the nursing manager thing, then my life would be the hospital's and not my own.

I'm a woman that would stand behind her man with anything... If it was right. The main reason I'm working on my career is so I can better myself and make the best of my life while it's just me an Tegan. Because what if someone doesn't come a long? I'm not saying that once I finally trick someone into being with me, I'll stop working by any means... I just think it would be good to be able to support myself, and be able to help with finances, and whatever else. If that ever happens. I'm very skeptical right now.

Ha ha, oh goodness... you know how I titled one of my more recent blogs, "something about ducks in a row"? Awesome story.... I had a patient that wasn't really with it, and he kept telling me I needed to find twenty ducks because someone had stolen them. From a boat. Somewhere. Because hospitals have boats, right?

I'm meeting someone, possibly tomorrow.... Not really going to give details, but I'll let you know how it goes when it's over... As for now, I'm super sleepy, and it's time for bed.