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Archive for the ‘Goals’ Category

The summer is over, and I shuffle back to school on Monday. My thirteenth semester in school. Bah. I’ve yet to buy my books, I don’t have all my highlighters in a row and my uniform isn’t pressed. I did resolve my financial aid situation, but it really did take all. fucking. summer. Jeebus.

Work has been so awesome. I didn’t know that you could have a job that you enjoyed doing and didn’t dread going to. I have seriously never had a job that I didn’t loathe. It’s awesome. I can even overlook the terrible clothes I have to wear. Don’t tell anyone, but one of my secret thrills at work is donning the surgical masks and gowns for isolation rooms. I feel really official-looking in my yellow paper gown tied tight around my waist and the mask looped around my ears. I even hold up my gloved hands like doctors do and put on my most serious face, my “doin’ important work, stand back!” face. I hope this giddy feeling never wears off.

Over the summer I lost about 25 pounds; right now I’m at 279. I had a bad week in mid-July where I gained eight pounds and it took three weeks to take it back off, but I’m finally back in the black. I am looking forward to getting into a routine with school and work where I can build in some gym time. I need to build some endurance in my heart and lungs so I can keep up with my long-legged preceptor and stave off any asthma attacks in the winter months ahead. I believe that if I strengthen my lungs my asthma could be completely unmedicated. Right now I use my rescue inhaler up to 3 times a week. I’d love to see that number go down.  I also need to build stronger muscles in my back, adductor, hamstrings and stomach. I have very strong legs (it takes a lot of strength to carry around a big body!) but my back has really atrophied because I have babied it for so long (I have two bulging lumbar discs that have been treated with a string of spinal blocks). I have to protect myself with some preventative strength training so I don’t injure myself on the job. I lifted a patient on Sunday 17 August and hurt myself badly. I scared myself by being able to be injured so deeply. It can’t happen again.

I’m looking forward to an Autumn full of hard work and hopefully some hard play. I’ve realized over the summer that working hard is one thing, but doing things with friends and loved ones is just as important. I want to focus on building friendships with my new coworkers and keeping in touch with my former ones. I plan to reconnect with a lost friend after four years apart, and I have made a promise to myself to go on at least one date this Fall. I have to not only look for love, but follow through and pursue it. If it is in God’s plan to be with someone who makes me happy, then I will accept it with open arms. Come and find me!

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I r serious nurse

I finished my first week of orientation and training at the hospital with a full morning shift on the Surgical unit. I’ll split my time there and Medical on the 4th floor. Surg is on the top floor of the hospital and shares the floor with Telemetry overflow (closed the day I worked), the Sleep study unit and ECC. Both sleep and ECC are closed wings, so the only traffic on Friday was in my unit. There are 18 rooms and one central nurses station. Unlike my mom’s unit, there are no C.O.W. (computer on wheels) cubbie ports every 3-4 rooms and their Pyxis station isn’t in a coded room it’s in the open with a fingerprint lock.

In the morning the Nursing Assistant’s main jobs are baths and bedding. In the evening, when I’ll be working, the main jobs are vitals and I & O (intake and output). It is these things, and other things I observe and execute during the day, that I will chart in CareCast. On Friday, the day started quietly at 7 am. Most of the patients (pts.) were asleep and my preceptor L went down the hall initialling the hourly rounding cards outside each room. She then printed off a page with the pts. names, room and bed number and prognosis that she could use during the day to note the things she would be charting at the end of the shift. She must chart the time when she either gave a complete or assisted bath or observed the pt. bathing him/herself. Eye care, oral care, hearing aides, glasses, foot care, etc. must also be charted where applicable. It’s amazing all the little things you don’t think of that you do to get yourself ready for the day. Whenever L assisted a pt. with something, like assisting to the bathroom or washing a pts. back she had to chart. She also has to chart if she changed a pts. bedding, which has to be done every other day.

Nursing assistants also get to do all the stuff RNs don’t want to do, like bedpans, wound care, walking aid, taking pts down to the queue to leave, and cleaning up any messes that come along. Around 09:30 a pt. projectile vomited all over herself, her bed, the wall and the privacy curtain. Guess who got to clean it up? L. When an obese patient took off down the hall and locked himself in the bathroom, guess who had to wrap his naked ass up in two gowns and get him back in bed? L. It was so crazy, and yet it didn’t really faze me. I was expecting much, much worse. It was so nice to be able to help the pts. to be honest, that all the poo, pee and stank didn’t really bug me that much.  The only thing that really got to me was this one pt. who had a bad wound that he didn’t take very good care of. It smelled so bad and he demanded his heat be turned up and his windows and door shut that the stank got trapped in his dark little room. Uuuugh. I could smell it for hours after I got home….(shudders)

As soon as I got home I stripped my scrubs off and got in a hot shower. The hospital’s unique smell lingers on your skin, and I could smell it. I wanted to smell like me again…soap, shampoo, sunshine, flowers. I dried my hair in the sun while I read a book and drank coffee. Afterward I took a nap. It was a great week but I had had enough.  I slept 11 hours today and took it easy. Went to see a movie tonight after dinner with E. Had a couple of cocktails. Trying to get ready for another week of training!

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It’s that time of year again when all the little kiddies start thinking about back-to-school. Even though I am nearly an old fart(tm), I’m one of those little kiddies. This time of year sucks balls, because this is when you have to wade through all the financial aide bullshit and get your grants and loans lined up in a row and then shoot them, one by one, until your school has sucked you dry. I*** has been the most inconvenient school to attend, really. They are so confusing, backpedaling between answers depending on which rep you get on the phone. It gets so frustrating to talk to the fin. aid reps that I just want to shake them upside down until the right answer falls out of their pocket and skitters across the floor.

So I need to wade through all that bullshit, plus figure out a way to get my CPR certification by 15 August AND get it for free. As a hospital employee, I have access to classes like CPR cert., Spanish, etc. as a benefit. But, I don’t start until 4 August. I’m not sure if I can swing it. I really, really don’t want to pay $55 for something I could get for free. There is also this huge fucking list of shit I have to do before 15 August for my clinicals (like obtain and pay for a complete criminal history check), and if I don’t get them completed, I’m out of the program. Fuuuuuuuuck. I’m not made of money, you bastards!

Finally, there is a bunch of shit I need to do around the house. The whole upstairs is a disaster area. I need to sort through all the crap into boxes for sale and to keep for when I move out. I’ve been slowly buying sundry items for the Move, and it’s all just sitting around. I also desperately need to weed the garden. It’s looking, erm, bushy out there. I’ll take pics of before and after. When you see it, you’ll shit brix.

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It’s been a busy month and a half. I finished the Spring semester with honors. I received an A in Pharmacology- 92.63%, to be exact- and an A in Ethics (I actually received 507/500 pts). That feels really good to say. Three weeks ago I received my acceptance into the Nursing program at I***- what joy and relief. And fear. What have I gotten myself into?! So many new things.

On Tuesday I registered for my first clinical at a Rehab hospital. It was actually where my mom had her first clinical in 1994. Kinda freaky. It will be on Monday morning at 6 AM. Man, that’s early. The Rehab hospital is also nearly an hour away from my house, so I’ll be getting up around 4 AM. The rest of the week my classes start around 8 AM. I need to start “training” my body for early mornings. I am excited to start this part of my life, I feel like I am finally getting somewhere good.

To top all the good news off, I was called this afternoon by a recruiter about a job application I put in at a local hospital. I had applied the last week of May for a Nursing Assistant position in the Med./Surg. department. God, I hope the interview goes well (well, what I really hope for is to get the job!!). I hope my weight doesn’t count against me. I mean, in an ideal world it wouldn’t, but this is the real world- in the medical field. I can see them not wanting an obese assistant. I mean, what kind of message would that send to patients? I hope my personality and intelligence wins them over.  😉 I am wishing all kinds of ways to get this new job. I have been so unhappy in my current position. I’m actually taking a week off starting next Wednesday because I just can’t standing cashiering anymore and need a break. Working in retail has started to feel really, really dismal. So, a fresh start somewhere new would be ideal. Plus, it’s time for me to move on from Kohl’s. I’ve worked there for five years, and I need to starting working in the medical field. Please pray for me on Tuesday- my interview is at 9:45 AM.

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Weight loss update

Well, I began contemplating/attempting weight loss about a year ago, on April 20th, 2007. On that day, I was 340 lbs. Today I am 305 pounds. That’s 35 pounds, or about 3 lbs a month. Really, my biggest months for weight loss were April and May of 2007 (a 20 lb loss), gained some over Sept./Oct. of 2007, then another 20 lbs in December 2007 (for my vacation) and another 15 lbs between Feb 2, 2008 and April 11, 2007. So, I managed to lose 55 lbs, but somewhere over the course of the year I gained 20 lbs.

I am glad I have lost/kept off 35 lbs, but I am disappointed that the number is not higher. In a world filled with common sense and followed-through plans, I could’ve been over 100 lbs lighter at this time. Since I am not really the common-sense type, this didn’t happen. But, I am looking forward to this next year of more weight loss. My goal for April 20th, 2009 is to be 250 lbs.

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A New Day?

I took five days off last week to reflect, catch up on my reading, knit, and mentally prepare myself for the new semester. I saw an amazing miniseries on PBS- Jane Eyre– with Toby Stephens and Ruth Wilson. I’m still daydreaming about Stephens’ electric portrayal of Rochester. Yowza. And Wilson- who is a more perfect, more vibrant, more luminous Jane? No one, that’s who. I ripped through a dozen books- Poison Study, all of the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde, Jane Eyre, of course, and some lovely cheesy romance novels that make me feel all fuzzy inside. Who doesn’t love literature that also doubles as soft porn? I do!

So I’m feeling refreshed and rarin’ to go. I’m in a delightfully bitchy mood. I feel clever, bouncy, like I could salsa dance across the country in three inch heels. Okay, maybe not. But I do feel significantly less sorry for myself than the last entry I wrote. Trust me, I cried a lot the last week of December, and it’s all out of my system.

I’m taking Classical Mythology and Pharmacology this semester, and I had my first Mythology class this morning. I have to say I am so far disappointed by the professor- he is pompous and self-indulgent. Of a 50-minute class, five minutes were spent discussing the intricate pedantics of taking role (which line is it again that I sign my name- the one listed “Signature” or “Date??”), twenty minutes discussing just how important it is to come to class (got the e-mails, pal), ten minutes of faculty hierarchy (an excuse to stroke his tenured ego), and another ten minutes about Christianity (his affected miming of the late John Paul II was comedy gold). Oh, and he managed to squeeze in five minutes lecture on the subject at hand, mythos.

I’m not sure if I am going to drop this class or not. On one hand, it fulfills a requirement for my B.A.. On the other hand, it isn’t something that I need to be a nurse and I don’t know if it will distract me from Pharm, which I am just slightly worried about- my textbook has 109 chapters, and the course handbook is 400 pages long. I read the first five chapters in the book and other than the introduction, it jumps deep into specific drugs and their interactions. The class meets three times a week. It will be intense. But, I don’t want to take just one class- I’m itching for a challenge. So Mythology stays, for now. Actually, I’d like to sign up for Creative Writing (another B.A. req.) as well, but all the classes are filled right now. Mayhap a miracle will occur and a spot will open up??

I watched Persuasion this afternoon. I could barely keep myself from crying- I identify so much with Anne. I’m 25 and unmarried. This past year I have felt not like a young person anymore. I am more inhibited with my behavior- no more wacky spazzed out humor or bold statements. I keep a lot of the opinions I would previously announce to anyone listening to myself. I am much more private at work- most of my coworkers know very little about me, if they know anything. It’s not that I want to be secretive, I just don’t want to be that woman who tells her life story to anyone who will listen. I haven’t made any real connections with anyone in school. I remember my first years at U**- I met E. my second day of school and we’re still friends. I had many friends and would socialize a lot. Now, I only hang out with E., and that is infrequent at best.

I attribute a lot of my behavior changes to the depression I experienced in 2004-2006. I lost most of my friends during that time, either directly (them telling me I was a different person they didn’t want to be friends with) or just growing apart. Since that time, I’ve also noticed a difference in my behavior at work- I’m not as friendly, I don’t smile as much, I complain more, and I don’t talk a lot. People in my age group who would previously include me in inviting to parties now don’t invite me. I don’t want to be a sour, jaded person. I need to lighten up.

So, my New Year’s resolution is to relax, smile more, joke more and be nicer. It won’t kill me, right? If anything, it will move me back to the old Christina, who everyone liked, who people used to say never had a bad day. That they couldn’t imagine being grumpy. That is who I want to be again- quick, witty, clever, funny, charismatic. That is my aim.

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