Monday, January 31, 2011

Oxygen - Carol Cassella

When I was returning Healer to the library, I buzzed over to the fiction section to see if by chance they had Oxygen and they, with a tinge of guilt knowing I would be reading the novel instead of my Micro book over the next few days, I checked it out.  Cassella's writing style is very simple and is an easy read for a person like me, with a limited vocabulary.  I have to admit that vocab isn't my strongest suite and I DO work on it...I guess....I read.  That is how you work on vocab, right?  Cassella's writing isn't very helpful vocab wise, but is a good read for those pursuing careers in health care.  Like Healer, Oxygen was full of medical terminology and though some parts seems to be plucked out of a Grey's Anatomy episode, I could picture life behind the scenes of a hospital operating room. 

I liked it.  Life changing??? No.  But it left me satisfied.

can you hear the crickets??

It has been quite in here, hasn't it?  My son was throwing up for three days (I would say a little prayer after each saltine hoping it would stay never did).  Go figure, that when I gave the kid some lemon cake, he was miraculously cured and it stayed down.  Fats, sugar, food coloring...who knew!  I guess it just had to taste good for it to stay in the tummy.

My biggest worry at this very moment is an ICE STORM that is headed my way.  I am lucky that I don't need to drive anywhere in the weather (also fortunate for all the other drivers on the road....I never can seem to remember which way to turn the wheel when sliding on ice), but my husband is going to have to drive home from work in it in the morning and then back to work in it tomorrow afternoon.  I worry about him :(  He is a good defensive and confident driver...and this might be why I worry.  Is he going to be over confident and drive too fast?  The other reason I am worried about this ice storm is that they are predicting that it is going to bring down trees and power lines.  I can deal with the power out.  I can dress my self up in all my clothes like the State Puff Marshmallow Man and dress my kid up the same and we will have fun.  What I worry about is that I live in a forest up on a hill.  That means:
#1 My house is surrounded by trees that could fall on my house
#2 There is a hill up to my garage and then there is a hill out of our drive way and a hill up the road to get out to the main road....we could be here for days!  It is predicted that to be very cold for days and days...Even if my husband gets home from work, there is no way his car will get off our property!

I did put some water in some pitchers (we are on a no power would mean no water either).  I have my phone charged up (never use the thing...I have a minute by minute plan because I never have the thing on except in emergencies and I throw it in my purse when I work at the hospital) and I charged the emergency radio/storm station thing and the flashlights.  Oh, and I have my 2 oil lamps all ready to go.

So, anyways...I am not thinking at ALL about school right now.  I have to take my first Microbiology exam by next Monday.  I assume we would have power back on by this weekend, right???  Now, I feel like I should be studying to take the exam tomorrow during the day instead of sitting here blogging and drinking a glass of Chianti.  Guilt.  Great. 

I curse winter every year.  I am just not a winter girl.  The summer thunderstorms bother me, too, though.  I always worry the tornado is going to head straight for my house to knock those darn, beautiful 200 year old trees right into my bedroom.  I love to watch a thunderstorm.  I love the rain.  It is the wind that I could do without.  So, where is it I should live so that I don't have any weather worries?  I am not sure there is a perfect place.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sick kid...need to study

UPDATE:  Sick kid wins.  I thought we were good to go Wednesday, and we were Wednesday and Thursday and then today arrived.  I have spent today rubbing backs, holding puke buckets, and cleaning up diarrhea.  Every little thing that he drank or ate immediately came right back up.  Poor guy kept saying, "I'm so sorry, Mamma," while he was throwing up.  Then he would say, "I'm ok! I'll sleep now!"  I feel like I am covered in germs; I have washed my hands raw in the hopes of staying well.

It is ironic that I am studying my microbiology these days and learning about viruses and bacteria.  It is kind of neat to understand the biology behind illnesses that are so common.  Maybe I will just find the cure.  Wouldn't that be nice.  

He is safely tucked into bed.  It has been hours since I gave him anything to eat or drink, so he should be good until the morning.  I hope tomorrow is a better day...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Healer - Carol Cassella

 I have been reading a lot of non-fiction these days (a day in the life of...types of books about nurses and doctors).  I have a few in my sidebar that I recommend that I picked up at the library. 

I just finished Healer by Carol Cassella.  Great book!  I couldn't put it down.  This one is fiction.  The author is an MD and while enjoying a good book, you can pick up some medical terminology.  The main character and her family are ripped from their upper class comfortable lifestyle by financial troubles.  The main character, Claire, a non-board certified MD, returns to practicing medicine in a small town to help the family make ends meet.  It gives a great look into mission type medicine...working for the love of healing, not for a paycheck or prestige.

This same author has written Oxygen that I am going to pick up next.  These books are a huge distraction from my studying, and I should have the self control to JUST SAY NO!, but I love novels and at least when the subject matter is focused on medicine and health care, I feel/know I am learning something while relaxing. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Spoiled Milk or Stomach Bug

Two magical days after every family event (Birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter), my son gets sick.  I can count on it like clockwork.  He doesn't attend daycare or school right now, so I know that he hasn't been exposed much, so he always gets sick.  This past Sunday, he and my husband went to the birthday party of 2 of our nephews while I was at school and today, diarrhea.  He went to bed at about 4:30pm this evening...about 15 minutes before I was supposed to drop him off at a friend's house so that I could go to school for a nursing admissions meeting.  I am not sure if he is sick because of something he picked up at the party or if it is because he drank spoiled milk this morning (my fault...way to go, Mom)  Yesterday afternoon, I gave him a cup of milk; he had a sip and then left it on the table.  I didn't notice until this morning that the glass was still sitting there and almost empty, and I knew he didn't drink it all yesterday.  I asked if he drank it this morning and he said, "Yes."  No vomiting (yet...aghhhh), but sleepy and diarrhea.  Yay! 

Missing the admissions meeting isn't too big of a deal, I don't think.  I know all the information that they have posted on their website and have met all those criteria, but it would have been nice to sit and listen at the meeting to see if there is anything that I have missed or any information that is not posted on their website.  I made a post on the school's forum asking others that are attending to comment on it so I know what I missed...hopefully someone will be nice enough to do so.

I know that it is going to be hard to juggle school and my son.  I wish I didn't have to do it!  It would be so great if I had a live in nanny that could do all the cooking, cleaning and watching him while I study and attend classes...oh, I guess I need a wife!  My husband works nights and I am not sure how this whole scheduling thing is going to work out.  I did hear some good news from one of my friends that her sister may be interested in watching my son this fall since she is going to be home with a newborn and had to take time off work.  It would be great to know that he is at someone's house.  All the daycare centers around here close at 6 or 6:30 and I have been reading that clinicals are many times in the world could I pull off that schedule???  I worry about it and keep praying and looking for options. 

Hoping it is spoiled milk and he feels better in the morning...until then, fingers crossed for clean sheets.

UPDATE!!  Upset tummy and fever are gone this morning.  Apparently, spoiled milk can make you feel really crummy...poor little guy!    Looks like we are free and clear of passing anything around.   I dumped the gallon just to be sure...not worth the risk.

Friday, January 14, 2011

My Sister's Keeper

I am not a big movie buff...I don't even have cable.  I miss the evening news on most days because I either have my nose in a text book or some other book that caught my eye at the library.  The past Wednesday, my 2 year old wondered into the DVD section at the library while we were there and picked up this movie and said, "This looks good, Mommy.  See?? Bubbles!"  I read the back of the cover and he was did look like it would be a good movie.  So, we checked it out.

Without giving the whole story away, it is about the strength of a family and their journey through leukemia with their middle child.  I think I cried through the whole movie. In the evenings, I have to keep the TV volume low so that I don't wake my son and I kept moving closer and closer to the screen so that I wouldn't miss a single word.   If you are wanting to be a nurse, or if you are already a nurse, you should see this movie.  If you have no desire to work in health care and you know nothing about illness and how it effects patients and families, you should see this movie.  Or, if you just like to cry during movies, you should see this movie.

It makes me think a lot about how I am going to handle my emotions when I am a nurse.  I can easily put myself in the shoes of the patients and the families, because I just imagine what my emotions would be if I were them.  But putting myself into the shoes of the nurse is not so easy for me.  The nurse is to be comforting, but also strong.  The nurse is there to care for the patient and do treatments for their physical bodies...but also must provide care for them emotionally.  I know that all my patients are not going to want me to walk around and cry all the time and I am sure that they will want me to understand their fears and their anger/loss/pain/confusion/betrayal/ or their continued hope/faith/joy/peace.  I pray the right words always come to me when faced with difficult situations or questions that don't have easy answers.

Any other "must see" movies I should add to my library request list along these lines?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Trends in Nursing Specialties

Trends in Nursing
I am far from deciding which nursing specialty sounds the most interesting or fits my personality best.  How am I to know until I experience them first hand?  I have been reading books about the ICU, ER and Critical Care and I am finding them ALL fascinating.  This article touches on some of the changes going on in nursing specialties. 

I had my yearly GYN visit today and was talking to my MD about nursing school and my volunteering experiences.  It made me feel so good to talk about it and she was genuinely interested in hearing my ideas and was willing to answer some of my questions.  She made it clear to me that even though I am volunteering in the ER now, it is not a Trauma 1 ER and I MUST MUST volunteer or student extern in a trauma hospital.  She said that all specialties within a trauma hospital are unique and great learning experiences.  Within the trauma hospitals, all specialties receive the sickest and most varied injuries and illnesses.  You are more exposed to transplant patients, serious injury recovery patients, and improved technology.  Good advice from my friendly OBGYN.

The semester started today!  Advanced Physiology and Microbiology, here I come!  I have printed off the syllabuses and lecture outlines...started reading Micro...and then decided to blog :)  Micro is so interesting and I am only on page 12.  I say this because it surprised me!  The AP class is going to go more indepth physiologically on the 2 semesters of Anatomy I just finished.  It will be nice that the info is not brand new, and I am interested in seeing how that class plays hard is it going to actually be....hmmmm.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Finding Lurking Cancer Cells

Lurking Cancer Cells

What a blessing this would be!  This is an article about a new product that has been designed that can find one cancer cell among millions! 

Wouldn't this be a wonderful thing to add to your yearly physical...a simple blood draw to see if you have cancer in any part of your body.  WOW!