Thursday, April 30, 2009

Well! I'm glad we clarified that before he was asked to demonstrate in school!

A few days ago, Ethan and I were talking about fire. I don't remember how it came up, but I casually mentioned to him the "stop, drop, and roll" technique. He listened, nodded, and we changed the subject.

Just tonight he was playing around, being silly, and pretending like he was on fire. So I used it as an opportunity to show me what you do if you really ARE on fire. He forgot, so I reminded him "stop, drop, and roll".

He stopped in his tracks, promptly DROPPED...his pants...and rolled.
I love names with meaning. When we picked Ethan's name, his first name was just because we liked it, but his middle name is the same as his daddy's, my dad's, and Jay's dad.

With this baby, the names we have picked out are Evan Jack for a boy and Allison Jaye for a girl. For Evan, it's pretty much the only boy name we both agreed on. Jack would be after Jay's grandpa who passed away several years ago from a brain tumor. It was one of the saddest losses in both of our lives. He was an amazing man, and we both know he would have adored Ethan. I can totally see him wanting to spend time with Ethan, and sharing Ethan's love for building things and using tools.

Allison Jaye has special meaning, too. Jaye is a given. There is a woman at my church that I met through volunteering in the two year old room. Her name is Jaye. I have never heard that name on a female before. When I mentioned using it as a middle name if we have a girl, Jay was hooked. Allison is a name I fell in love with about 4 years ago. It's obvious from other posts that I get really wrapped up in other childrens blogs. I check them daily. My first "baby" was a child named Allie. I was hooked on this child. I cried when she died. I did Light the Night for a few years in her honor and memory. Here's her story. I don't think I'll ever forget her. Click on the side where it says Allie's Story and you can read the entire blog. Her journey is amazing and heartbreaking, all in one. I still somehow come across other children, usually just by accident, and while I get attached to them, too, I don't think I'll ever get as "close" to another story as I did hers.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Thank goodness I am off tomorrow! I had a patient today who had an echocardiogram done. A large clot was found IN her heart. This lady was a heart attack just waiting to happen. I got ahold of the doctor and got her transferred to the unit. The cardiologist comes up and says "Why did you transfer her? She has been stable all this time and so far nothing has happened." Say whaaaaaaat?? I'm just so thankful that she IS okay.

Ethan got to feel Baby K kick today and he thought it was super cool. He asked me today if the baby will know how to play Mario Kart. I told him not right away. He said he'd teach the baby, cause it's not that hard. I have a feeling someone is going to be a tad disappointed when the baby is born. I won't name any names :)

Good night!
I really should be worried about this swine flu. I know I should. Buuuuuut...I'm not. In fact, almost everyone I work with isn't worried, either. Maybe that's what happens when you are faced every day of the week with crazy contagious illnesses. We "joke" how we technically should all be in isolation, because we are CERTAIN we all have MRSA. Do you know how many people have MRSA and they don't even know it? MRSA is scary! It can be deadly! I'm pregnant, for pete's sake, and I have been exposed to illnesses and treatments that I should never be around. It's never intentional, but that's what happens when you work on a cancer floor. Or just plain in a hospital! Chemo, radiation, shingles, c. diff., scabies, MRSA, pneumonia, you name it. It just doesn't scare me. The only time I get a bit concerned is thinking of Ethan getting sick. But then when you think of it, I get worried when I take him to the doctor, I get worried thinking about him going to Kindergarten, I get worried thinking about him not eating at school next year when he goes all day. It's in my mommy blood to worry about that child, so I don't think it's all that unusual.

We have had some people show concern about our trip to Mexico. As of right now, we aren't cancelling. We're not crazy, we're just not falling for the hype. I'm not saying we will for SURE be going. Things can change and we are watching the news and other sources of media. The place we are going is an all-inclusive resort. We will not (and never planned on) leaving the resort. And think about it...when we're there, we'll be surrounded by Americans! I think we're playing it smart right now. I will talk to my OB about it. She's already aware because I mentioned it to her from the get-go. I will also meet with Ethan's pediatrician sometime in May to talk to her. If they advise us not to go, we likely won't. Jay and I are already thinking up back-up plans, though, so regardless, our vacation plans will not be ruined.

In other news...last night at work was good. Until my patient accused me of stealing her pen. I let her borrow my pen so she could fill out some paperwork. It's a REALLY good pen I just bought it a few weeks ago. When I went to get it back, she said " think this is mine. Remember when you borrowed it from me?" I gently slid it from her fingers and said "I am certain this pen is mine, but if you'd like, I can find another pen for you to use." The quote of the night last night was when a few nurses were standing around a chart, trying to figure out what a doctor wrote. It was some word amongst a bunch of labs: CBC, BUN, creat, Mg, Phos, SOMETHING, lytes in AM. We asked a doctor who happened to be on the floor what he thought it said and his suggestion was "whore". When we looked closer, it DID look like whore! We were joking about the lab results: WBC 11.0, BUN 6, Creat. 2.0, whore +. You had to be there. I think it's a requirement to write terrible if you are a doctor. It's bad.

Ethan is doing wonderful at school. His preschool graduation is approaching and I am so excited. He only has about 13 days left of preschool because they have some days off. He's happy about this. He loves to be home. I just can't believe that when preschool ends, he will be a Kindergartener! Where does the time go??

I'm off to make Ethan some chicken nuggets and get ready for another night at work.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

She needs prayers in a BIG way. I was shocked to read the latest last night and I can't even begin to imagine how her parents feel right now.
Baby K gave me quite a scare last night. Enough to keep me up until 4 AM, which means I am running on less than 4 hours of sleep today, but I feel okay.

It was the end of my shift last night when it crossed my mind that I hadn't felt any movement my entire shift. I ALWAYS feel it when I get home and finally sit down, so I figured I'd just pay more attention then. I came home and ate some sugary stuff (brownie and milk) and nothing. Not even a TINY bit. So I laid on my side. Nothing. I am only 21 weeks, but I always always always feel movement when I am still. It was making me SO nervous. I stole one of Ethan's juice boxes, drank that, and kind of poked around at his/her favorite kicking spot and finally! S/he's been kicking ever since! Don't DO that to me!

Work last night was blissful, and I am not being sarcastic. It has seriously been so chaotic and busy, we've had nurses in tears. It was making me despise my job, and on days I had to work, I'd be in the worst mood. Last night, however, we had EXTRA staff and my group was awesome. I had a night last week where at the end of my shift it occurred to me that I didn't know anything about my patients other than their diagnosis and medications. I didn't get to spend any time with them because I was just too busy. That's when you get the family member who asks you a question and you have no idea and they think you are an idiot, when actually you are just so swamped with stuff to do and you have to prioritize and their questions get bumped to the back of your mind.

I only had 5 patients last night. One of them was an elderly guy who was so adorable, I couldn't get enough of him. He was pleasantly confused and just made me so happy to be around him. He "helped" me out by dumping out a big cup of water, a big cup of pop, and his potassium drink. He told me it needed to "go in the sewer". Instead he dumped it in his lap and on the floor. He was so happy to be "helping" me. Then later he INSISTED on calling his family. When I have a confused patient who wants to call family at 10 o'clock at night, I usually try to distract them so they won't. He insisted. He gets on the phone with his son and says "do you see the STORM? It's awful out there! It's pitch black and I can't even see out my window!" ...remember it's 10 o'clock at night? CUTE!

I had a hospice patient that had no family with her. I spent a TON of time with her. She was so thin and bony and had a ton of wounds. I decided I'd get to work and change all of her dressings. Wounds are not my thing. Not even a little bit. I am good at removing myself from what I am doing, though, and just doing it. Her heels were a mess. It was so bad, the skin was completely black and dead. Doing dressing changes on wounds like that are pointless, but necessary. I knew she had some on her lower back but when I took the dressing off, I was TOTALLY unprepared for what I saw. She had a bed sore on her back that was so huge, I could have put my entire hand IN it. It was gruesome. It took two nurses to fix it up. We got her all clean. Clean wounds, clean dressings, and clean bedding. She looked so much more comfortable after that. Once I was done, I soaked a mouth sponge in water and gave it to her. She really liked that. I hope she is comfortable today.

All in all, it was a good night and it made me remember why I wanted to be a nurse in the first place. I just wish nights like last night weren't so few and far between.

Gotta go get Ethan and then we're running some errands. He'll be absolutely thrilled.

Belly pictures to come later. I took some today. We have definitely decided on our names and we are both happy. A girl will be Allison Jaye and a boy will be Evan Jack. We have a thing for vowels apparently. It wasn't intentional.

(Jackie! E-mail me your work schedule... I wanna do lunch with you!)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Another baby I have been following:

Monday, April 13, 2009

I had my ultrasound today! It was amazing, as I knew it would be. My mom, sister, and Ethan went with me. Jay couldn't go. He has to save his days off for Mexico and when the baby is born. His job doesn't allow him to just go in late. Either he goes in on time, or he doesn't go at all. Also, he was so afraid the sex of the baby would be super obvious, and he absolutely does not want to know.

It was awesome! We saw the baby's head and belly. The tiny little feet, although the picture of the foot looks huge! We also saw the hands, heart, brain, and umbilical cord. To ME everything looked great, but my doctor won't get the official report until later in the week. I could watch the ultrasound all day long if I were able. At one point the tech had both feet on the screen and they were just kicking all around. We also saw the baby's hands up by the face a lot. It's so amazing to me, and it makes me REALLY excited for September! Tonight I am going SHOPPING!! :)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I can say with 100% certainty that I don't care whether this baby is a boy or a girl, as long as it's healthy.

Before Ethan, I thought I HAD to have a girl. I didn't know anything about boys and it scared me. But then I had a boy, and it made me realize that boys are so much fun.

So this time around, I have a strong feeling it's a girl, just because my pregnancy is so different. So in my mind, I think girl, girl, girl. But then I think of all the baby clothes of Ethan's I have saved, and I would LOVE to use them again. I had such cute clothes for him. And again, two boys would be fun! So yeah. It really doesn't matter. There are perks both ways.

So today I picked Ethan up from preschool. It was his last day before spring break started. He comes out with this little Easter basket made out of a paper plate and designed to look like a bunny. I was carrying it for him and he was happily hopping along next to me when I noticed it only had one ear. I said to him "Uh oh Ethan! We lost one of his ears!" His response? "No! I only wanted one ear. And did you see his eyes are red? He's a MUTANT BUNNY! RARRR!"

...okay, I'll take a girl next time.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

So tonight at work, as soon as I got on the floor, I had a family member of a patient call me into the room. I hadn't even gotten report yet, but that's no big deal. I don't mind helping out. The family member told me the patient needed to use the restroom. I asked the family member if the patient was steady on her feet, so I would know if I could get her to the bathroom on my own or if a bedpan was a better idea. Wanna know what she said to me?? "OH MY GOD YOU ARE SO INCOMPETENT! I NEED THE HEAD NURSE TO REPORT THIS." Wanna know an excellent way to make someone so angry even MORE mad?? If you smile sweetly at them, kind of cock your head as if to silently say "are you KIDDING me??" Oooooh she hated that. So I turn to the patient and tell her that for now, I was going to leave her in bed, because she had a foley in place (catheter) and that it automatically empties her bladder. Wanna know what my little cupcake of a family member thought of that? "DO YOU HONESTLY THINK SHE KNOWS WHAT A FOLEY IS?? WHY DO YOU HAVE TO CALL IT THAT?" What do you WANT me to call it?? Bladder tube? Urine drain-er? At this point, I had TOTALLY tuned out this ballistic piece of work, just in time to hear the patient say "She's crazy."

Friday, April 3, 2009

I always treat my patients like I'd want my family members treated. Always. In my short history of nursing, I can count on one hand the number of patients that have touched me deeper than others. One was a patient I had in nursing school who was deteriorating (he died a few weeks after I had him) and was very confused. I was holding his hand and he told me he loved me. I got to go with him to a test to see how well he swallowed and he couldn't do it. He was so weak and confused, he was unable to sit upright in the chair. I remember watching him struggle and just feeling so sorry for him. When I got word that he passed, I cried for him, just remembering how worn out he was.

I had a couple other patients that just died too young, for circumstances that could have been avoided. Another patient was a man who was so lonely. He had no family or friends. He was dying of liver failure from alcohol. He was miserable and sad. When your liver is failing, your skin gets really dry and itchy. Every spare minute I had, I'd go in his room with a dry towel and scratch his back for him. One of the last days I had him, he found out he had about 6 months left to live. He wanted to go back home and be with his dog. Before I left my shift, he told me I was the only person that seemed to understand him. No one else was there for him. He wanted to die alone. I'm sure he did.

My most recent one was just this week. Frequently when an elderly patient comes in with mental status changes, it's likely due to an infection. We give them IV antibiotics and they are good to go. My first day having this patient, I was praying that's all it was. I was wrong. He's full of cancer. He's so confused and his wife is devastated to see him in this condition. For some reason, I just felt so drawn to him. I was very protective of him. His pain was excruciating. When I'd ask him a question, the only one he could answer right was his name. This was the first day I had him. By day 3, he was having trouble remembering even that. One of the last things he said to me last night before I left my shift was that he was done with all of this. He didn't want treatment, he had had enough. He wanted me to call his wife and tell her. I didn't. I couldn't.

Lately I have been wondering if nursing is the right thing for me. The stress is so high, and the responsibility sometimes weighs on my shoulders like you wouldn't believe. I have the tendency to take whatever the doctor tells me and just do it. I don't question doctors, just like in my own personal life. I trust them. Occasionally though, as a nurse, I am expected to make my own judgement call regarding a patients care. If I follow through with a doctors decision when I know from my own scope of practice that it could potentially be unsafe, it's my responsibility to make the right decision. I hate that and I don't handle that well at all. But then I have my few really special patients, regardless of how sad their situation is, and it makes me want to keep going, because they have such a huge impact on my life. They make it all worthwhile.