What a week I've had. I decided I had to update my blog to share the events. Where to begin?
Tuesday: (I believe) was the day we found our dog...thank goodness. :-)
Wednesday: Wednesday was a rough one. I had to be at school at 8. I had nursing class until 12:20. Our instructor gave us a huge list of cancer drugs to remember ( not to mention all of the other lecture we had that day) and I was red hot over it. For one, the test was on Friday...you don't give us a list of drugs on a Wed. for a test on Fri. Especially when we have clinicals all day Thursday! ARG! BUT I kept quiet and gritted my teeth....silently. ;-) After nursing I had Micro. We had a quiz and looked at some bacteria on the microscope and yada yada. Left Micro at 4 got back to my town at 5. Had to go straight to the hospital to pick up my clinical assignment for the next day. I was there for an hour and a half looking up labs, history, drugs etc... etc... Plus I didn't know my way around the unit so that took some getting use to....but the nurses all seemed really nice. Leave the hospital around a little before 7 and had a break down in the car coming home. I finally had to cry. What can I say...it was the only moment I'd had all week to breathe or think. I pull up in my drive way and try to get it all out before I had to go inside. Did I forget to mention it was my youngest son Aidan's 4th birthday? It was and I was so sad that I missed most of this day with him. He deserved for me to be there. :-( Mommy guilt is a b*tch. SO... I go in and we had our small little party and I put on my happy face for him and he had a good day, but I still feel bad for not being there. Makes me want to cry just thinking of his sweet little face.
Thursday: Get to the clinical site at 6:30 am. We had a pre-conference and off to work we went. All day our instructor kept saying that as long as we don't kill anyone nothing matters today. But the next time...I'll be all over you if you screw up and you won't like me so make it count. Um...alrighty then. Now I will forever think of you as the Nazi...thanks for that. Not to mention that the more you try and intimidate me the more nervous I'll be and the more likely I'll screw something up so STOP IT!!!!
Don't you just love clinical instructors??? We actually had groups of 2 working on pt's that day. Two of us were to share 2 pt's and then both pick one a piece to do a care plan on. It sort of worked out where I took care of one pt and she had the other all day, which was fine with me. We weren't really suppose to do that, but it was nice to give all of my time and attention to just one pt. I really like my partner though, she and I are good buds and she's always there to help me if I need it and vice versa. My pt was really sweet. He was an 80 year old man who was admitted for a L inguinal herbia repair. He also had a history of MI (heart attack) and drug induced Lupus....ugh...not good. I learned a cool word this week..iatrogenic. It means that treating one problem can lead to another problem and this happened to this poor man. He was taking meds for something else and ended up with Lupus (basically the body's immune system is attacking itself). Damn. I got his vitals right away and noticed his O2 Sat was 83% (should be 90-100) and his respers were 26(norm 12-20)!!!! Whoa Nelly! I ask him if he feels like he's having trouble breathing and he said no. He seemed to be using his accessory muscles a lot so I immediately told his nurse and we put him on 2L of O2. Why didn't anyone else notice this before me? This has happened at clinical to me before. My instructor said I got brownie points for this insightfulness, which is all fine and good, but I think anyone who knows how to use a pulse ox and count respirations would know this wasn't good. Ok, so he was doing ok once the O2 was on and I did the rest of my assessment. I felt like a nurse for the first time that day...truly. It's something I can't explain, but I felt....ok this is the right place for me to be and that was a good feeling.....especially after the trying week I had. I just felt like I knew what I was talking about and I knew how to do things without having to think it through so much. I had a good handle on what was going on with his labs and vitals and everything. I won't tell about the whole day because it was long and not too awfully exciting, but I can't help but think that I had something to do with that man getting better. Atleast for the day anyway. By the time I left he was off of O2 and his O2 sat was in the low 90's...not the best, but better than what it was right? Oh..and I also noticed that where his cath was inserted was some reddish brown (don't read further if you're squeamish) discharge coming out of the meatus. I did peri care of course and informed the nurse. She said it happens a lot with men...this didn't seem normal to me, but she's the nurse and I'm not so I didn't press it further. So.....we finally got out of there at 5'oclock and guess what? I had to scidaddle on home so I could study because I had my 1st test the next morning. YAWN!!!
Friday: 8 am: sitting in the school parking lot sweating like a ...a...really hot person. I'm starting to do that thing again, you know that rapid, shallow breathing thing that gets me in trouble every time. Anxiety....it sucks. The test started at 10:20 and all I could do was stare at the clock every other second. I did get some studying in, but it wasn't quality. I didn't feel really prepared like I normally do, but dang, I'm human and haven't had a moment of free time to do much of it. What do they expect of us? Don't get me started. Ok...I took the test and there were some things on there I'd never even heard of before, much less had in my notes. WTF? Of course I panic and just decide that C looked pretty good...C is always good right? Ha ha. I thought the test sucked but that I knew most of the answers...or so I thought. We go back in afterwards and we begin grading. We had a pencil/paper test that day....hate those....and on those days we get a test booklet and a scantron. We mark our answers on both. When we're finished we turn in the scantron and we keep our test booklet. We come back in after everyone is finished and they go through and give us the correct answers. The first 2 pages I didn't miss any (there were 45 questions) I was getting excited. The last 2 pages I was getting freaked out. There were 2 bonus questions and I got both of those right. Turns out I miss 11 total.
45-11= 34 and 34 / 45 = 75%. 75%!!!!! Oh no....that's failing. BUT WAIT she said that if we got any of the bonuses right we could subtract that from what we missed so I got 2 right which meant I missed 9 so 45-9= 36 and 36/45=80%. WHEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! By 2 points. It still sucked and I hated that test. I was so drained by the time it was over I thought I'd collapse right there on the floor. Many people failed that test and even though I passed...I still feel like I failed. This isn't a good way to begin the semester. My confidence was shot to hell quickly. Aren't I little miss Bonny Sunshine? LOL
Was the day over? Nooo...we then had to begin our new material. Immunity and the phrase of the day was AIDS. We were told we were going to watch a video about a family who was dying of the virus. The mom got it in a blood transfusion in the 80's...didn't know. She gave it to her husband and she also gave it to her daughter at birth who was now 2 when the documentary began. They had 2 older sons who didn't have it...THANK GOD! I noticed tissue boxes everywhere and thought...there is no way I'm crying. The video was nothing but some text and a series of photographs set to sad music that this filmaker took and chronicled their last year or so of their lives. It showed the little girl struggling, at the hospital with the mom by her side. It showed them getting the news and grieving. It showed the sons taking care of the mom and drawing up her injections. It showed the toddler dying...but smiling. It showed the family at the little girl's funeral. The mom and dad weeping. Then the father left the family. I guess he couldn't cope, or he was just a prick, but I like to think he shut down because how else can you deal with such realities? Then it showed the mother being taken out of her home on a gurney in a body bag. Let me tell you. It was the most depressing, hearwrenching, soul splitting, moving story I have ever watched. Halfway through I felt the tears well up. I noticed everyone around me was sniffling and dabbing at their eyes as well. I felt the biggest lump in my throat. You know that feeling you get before you begin the ugly cry? I was about to have those diaghram spasm cries and I really just wanted to flee and get the hell out of there before I lost it. I was trapped between people so I was forced to sit there but I couldn't watch anymore. I pulled my hood from my sweatshirt up over my head so no one could see my mascara streaked face and I eventually put my head down. Not that anyone cared, they were all crying too...but still. No one but your mama, your kids and your sig. other should see you at such a vulnerable time. Our teacher was narrating the story and couldn't even finish because she was choking on the words. I couldn't help but think of my own kids and how that mother stayed so strong and kept it together for children even though she was so sick herself. Finally someone said ..enough of this and got out and we all began filing out before the movie was even finished. I wanted out of there as fast as my little legs could take me and I was at my car in a flash. LOL I felt uncomfortable watching that film. I felt like it was something that was sacred and personal and not for my eyes to see. A family ripped apart with illness and grief. I don't even know the rest but I'm sure it wasn't long before the dad died too and there are those 2 boys left...alone and pained. I wonder where they are now. This was filmed in the 80's so it's been a long time. If I find the link or anything to the movie I'll post it but I don't know the name. Speaking of drained..................................................................
Now here I sit and I have relaxed and regrouped and am getting caught up on everything to start a new week and new material. One hour at a time, one day at a time. I've been hugging my kids a lot tighter since seeing that film. You should too. :-)
Peace and love.....