Monday, September 29, 2008

Prayer, please

I would like to ask anyone that is reading this blog, to please say a prayer for my co-worker & friend, Janelle and her husband Gary. After traveling to Geisinger Medical Center, they have learned that Gary has a large aneurysm that is pulsating against his nasal bone. He must have surgery to try and stop it, but the risks are very high. Please keep Gary, Janelle and their three young children in your prayers. The power of prayer is amazing. Thank you.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Taking a breather from the care plans

Since I didn't budget my time, wisely, I'm overloaded with paperwork this evening and needed a little break..The weekend started out with a very soggy football game clear out in no-mans land. We have been watching Logan play FB in Cowanesquie since he was 8 years old..the trip doesn't get any shorter! Score ending 34-14, Towanda. Not much sleep acquired Friday evening, as I was nervously anticipating a call from Logan, letting me know that he and three of his friends arrived safely at Lycoming College.

Madison and my nieces..
aren't they sweet!
Spent Saturday afternoon at the roller rink for Emily's 7th birthday, later Mads and I headed over town for a night of Outstanding Young Woman performances. Program lasted until 11:15 pm..but well worth it.

We picked up some pumpkins after church this morning and I found myself wanting to bake something "pumpkiny" - made some pumpkin spiced bars using a healthier recipe:

4 eggs
1 c sugar
1 c apple sauce
1 16 oz can pumpkin
2 c flour
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
2 t cinnamon
1 t salt
3 oz lowfat cream cheese
1 t vanilla
2 c confec. sugar
Beat first 4 ingredients together. Mix dry ingredients, then add to beaten. Spread in deep cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Mix cream cheese, vanilla and conf. sugar for icing.

Fall not only reminds me of baking, pumpkins, mums and candles...also reminds me of grapes and wine:) A wine trip is in the making for the month of October..can't wait!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mountain Dew x 2...not a good choice

Home today, recovering from a viscous headache & stomach ache that started on my late commute home, last night. The culprit, I believe, was the Mountain Dew..not one, but two. My bright idea that it might give me the energy that was needed for another late night class. Hardly every drink soda, yet alone a Mt. Dew. Left the college at 9:15 pm & home by 10:30 with a screaming headache.
November 12th..this is the day that I will be anticipating, nervously. I've got a date with Mr. Simms man. Yes, we heard rumors that we didn't need to complete another medication simulation, since we did one last not true. Under a watchful eye of an instructor, I will be given 1/2 hour to assess Mr. Simm, check all the meds, hook up the lines & set pumps, figure med calculations & conversions, mix insulin's, draw syringes, administer breathing tx, name & show all the sites for injections, perform a SQ & IM injection and answer any questions that are fired at me...did I tell you this had to be done in 1/2 hour? Needless to say, I will be spending a lot of time in the lab, brushing up my skills.
Anticipating the weekend..even if it rains. I will have to budget 4 hours for my paperwork from last week's rotation, but other than that, I'm pretty much free to watch football, enjoy my niece's bd party, have a date with Mads to the OYW program & attend church on Sunday. I may try to track down my friend, Renee, who is patiently waiting for me to teach her how to finish the Lucy Bag. She's got the bag done, but needs help with the straps.
First Microbiology exam tonight - all multiple choice.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Our spot on the wall

I remember my first trip down the lecture hall of the nursing building - I couldn't help but stop and look...large picture frames of graduating nurses from BCC. Dating back in the early 70's, the walls are decorated with individual portraits of nurses, neatly framed within their graduating class. We still stop and look -it's energetic to view the display and to appreciate the challenges that they were faced, in order to get their spot on the wall. During lecture break tonight, I walked out in the hall to find a few of my sisters looking at some of the newer pictures that were added last spring. I pointed out to them that, "this is where our spot will be!" A perfect sized location on the lower half of the wall, directly under last December's graduating class - waiting patiently for us, as the weeks roll on...
I tend to play my music quite loud during my commute home at night, mostly to keep alert. Tonight, Kid Rock and I were singing "All Summer Long," in a healthy voice and I didn't hear my cell phone go off. Later learned that it was Logan, needing a ride home from the JV game. Forgot how much I love Elton John's music...nothing like singing "Bennie and the Jetts" & "Crocodile Rock" on a late night commute, half delusional from lack of sleep but still alert enough to keep a watchful eye on the corn fields, hoping that the deer stay on their side.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Football, a great way to destress!

The boys lost their first game of the season today. A hard fight right to the end 33-28. Note the score board picture at the top Towanda- 11 minutes, 48 seconds left in the 4th quarter and the score is 21-21. Towanda then preceded to be ahead of the game most of the time, but Canton surprised them a bit. It was one of those games where the yellow flags seemed to be raining from the sky, and almost always against Towanda.
Logan (71) had a nice sack in the last 3 minutes of the game. It didn't take the other team long to realize that they needed to to some double-teaming on Logan.
I really needed a day like today - fresh air, sunshine and not thinking about what I should have been doing. My clinical instructor was fine with me taking the day off. I will be on the maternity unit by 6:15 tomorrow morning, (going up earlier, to get some extra paperwork done).
Madison and I spent some time shopping for "organizational" items last night. We bought a magnetic white board for the refrigerator, some white index cards for spelling & vocab words, and some new desk supplies. This past week was tough for her, as well as myself. I would like to think I am organized, but the fact of the matter is..I'm not. My sister got that gene! Madison and I are going to both work on these skills, together.
After the game, we had a nice dinner at Jay's parents. Logan has gone fishing with his two best buddies that played by his side. Madison is spending the night with Emily. It's 8:45, and I'm heading to bed. That alarm will be ringing before I know it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Crocodile tears and the hell with the quiz tonight

The day started by finding out, while driving the kids to school, that Madison had her first big social studies test today...the one that I thought was on Friday. We tried to do some crash studying, while driving through town. I felt so terrible about this. I always try to make sure she is prepared for a test and I blew it. With the full moon last evening, we got pounded with calls at the office today..nonstop..pull your hair out kinda calls - did you see the moon last evening..HUGE. I was supposed to pick Logan up at the school on my way home from work and got all the way through Wysox before remembering him...
Pulled in the drive with about 20 minutes to spare before needing to get to class. Madison looked like a sad puppy. She got a D on her social studies test and she preceded to tell me that she has a big science test, tomorrow. I went to the master bathroom and had myself a really big, bawl baby cry! After composing myself, I made the decision to skip microbiology (and lose out on a 10 point quiz). I'm confident that I can do without the damn 10 points. I took Madison to her open house at the school, met her teacher, visited the book fair and stopped and bought her a frosty before coming home to study science with her. Jay would have been helping, but he's been trying to fix Logan's car that still sits at the high school parking lot.
Grade was posted this afternoon on last night's nursing exam - passed without a problem, but not as high as I thought I would get.
I'm cashing in my free clinical miss on Saturday to attend the football game in Canton. I've decided to do it. Supposed to be one of the best games. Logan plays the entire game, defense end & offense line and it's his senior year.
I will be on the maternity floor on Sunday. I've always saved this day for an emergency, but I'm using it on Saturday. If, for some reason, I needed another clinical day off, I can take it, but I would have to make it up at the end.
All is quiet tonight. The glass of Vulpes Red wine was a perfect ending to a stressful day. I'm sure tomorrow will be a much better day:)

Nursing Exam #1 down, 4 to go

I got out of work an hour early and was up to the college by 4:00. Spent 45 minutes reviewing..not sure why I do that to this point, nothing else can be stuffed in the brain! By 4:50, I had cotton balls stuffed in my ears (I know..geeky, but I think I might have a little ADD because I hone in on the buzzing sound that the overhead light makes and it distracts me). Bummed some gum, got my back corner table and was ready to role. Seventy -five questions and seventy -five minutes...not much time to fiddle around! Finally, after several years, I have learned what it means to "not read to deep into the question". I use to analyze for so long, that I overlooked the obvious and went for the deep..not good. I'm feeling pretty ok about this test tonight...which will probably jinks me for saying that! Will find out tomorrow, as grades will be posted online.

Trying to spend as much quality time with Madison as I can, (again..Logan really isn't into the quality time right now, but I do force a Mama hug on him every morning:) I once read that it isn't so much the amount of time, but the quality of time. Madison hasn't seemed like herself and she's been having a lot of stomach aches (anxiety, I believe). I'm sure this crazy schedule of mine is wearing on her. Jay will be taking her to her open house at the school tomorrow night. Breaks my heart that I can't be there for that. This will be the first one I have ever missed. But I plan on having her give me a tour next Tuesday. Since I have Tuesday's off, I thought I would surprise her at the end of the school day and let her show me her room, meet her teacher, etc. This is definitely the toughest four months, and I'm not talking about the work load, but more the strain & feelings of guilt. -Thank God for my Mother & Mother-in-law. I am very blessed to have them. Mom helped Madison study her spelling words tonight and took her to dance while Jay fixed Logan's car. Before she went to bed, we studied vocab and she had time to read me an entire story.
We decided to take the kids with us, next month, for a long weekend away. It was supposed to be for the two of us (anniversary), but we want the kids to go, as well. We haven't decided for sure, but possibly the Adirondacks or Catskill Mtns.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Company for the commute

My Mom and Madison joined me on my commute to and from the college tonight! I had Microbiology lab this evening, starting at 6:00. Jay and Mads were planning on coming, but Jay got busy helping Logan with his car - so my Mom came along. They dropped me off at class and headed across the street to Cracker Barrel for dinner. Luckily, my lab only lasted one hour and I was out the door by 7:00 pm. I never thought that I would enjoy Microbiology, but so far it's been a lot of fun. I found myself quite excited that the swab sample from the local water fountain that I cultured last week, had grown quite a nasty looking bacteria. I will identify it next week under a microscope. We went over to Cold Stone Creamery for some ice cream, before heading home. It was so nice to have them along for the ride!

Spent the entire day studying for my upcoming nursing exam tomorrow night. My mind feels like mush tonight - mostly from trying to come up with ways to remember all the medications and the side affects.

Early this morning after the kids left, I set the timer on the stove and gave myself 45 minutes to get the house picked up before settling in to study...if I didn't do this, I know I would have gotten involved in "deeper" time for that. The timer thing is another trick from Fly Lady.

Later in the day, Mom, Anna and Daisy were out for an afternoon stroll and stopped by to give me a study break.

Monday, September 15, 2008

A weekend of football, studying, shopping & stomach viruses

Started the weekend in the stands watching football. Again, Towanda beat 31-6. After an early morning rise to clean my house and get in a little studying, we were off to shop for a birthday gift and then Jay dragged Mads & I along to shop for a new door..boring. While Mads attended a roller skating bd party, I got two additional hours of studying in (back to back exams this week). Saturday night, the four of us + my little niece, Lily, went to Pizza Hut & shopping. I was impressed that the 17 year old wanted to spend his Saturday night with us. Unfortunately, we all developed a stomach ache later that evening.
Logan took his Dad's place ushering with me, at church, (I'm still upset with Jay for sneaking off to race go-carts when he knew we were supposed to usher....errr). He assures me that there is only a few more races left for the season.
Madison felt a little better by Sunday aftenoon, so we spent some time in the kitchen making peanut butter brownies and homemade applesauce. The brownies were such a hit, that I wanted to share the recipe:

Double Peanut Butter Paisley Brownies

  • 1/2 c butter
  • 1/4 cut peanut butter
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 c flour
  • 2 t b. soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 pkg Reese PB chips
  • 1/2 c. Hershey syrup
Heat oven 350. Use 9x13 cake pan.
Beat butter & pb in large bowl
. Add sugars. Beat well. Add eggs, one at a time & then add vanilla. Stir dry ingredients together and add to moist ingredients. Add chips.
In greased pan, spread 1/2 batter. Spread syrup evenly over batter and top with remaining batter. Bake 40 mins.

I made the decision to not go to lecture this evening, only because we would be finishing up the content that would be on the exam, Wednesday, then head into new content. I very seldom ever miss class, but found it would be to my advantage to have the 2.5 hours that I would have spent on the road, as study time this evening.
I've have the urge to start a knitting project, even though I know I won't have much time to work at it. I find it very relaxing to knit and have even been known to knit a few rows before an exam - very calming. The Camden will be my newest project. I love it!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A big WOOHOO and a small glass of wine

A woohoo! because the next three days are free, (except that I have to go to work tomorrow). After six days straight of driving to Binghamton for clinicals and late night classes, I was so happy to pull in the driveway tonight. A total of 15.5 hours of driving time and that doesn't include my 40 minute commute to work each day. That much driving time gives me a lot of time to think...think about the fact that my drivers license expired on June 27 and it is now September (a big woopsie)...also remembered that Madison has announced to us a few times in the last couple weeks that she would be putting her tooth that fell out, under her pillow for the "tooth fairy" (another woops on my part)...she must have given up on us, since she hasn't mentioned it in a few days. This could be detrimental if she were four, but she is 11 and doesn't believe in the tooth fairy - she's out for the profit. Thought about the fact that I need to get Logan's senior pictures scheduled. Let's see, what else...Madison needs to be measured for new tap, jazz and ballet shoes....Jay and I need to remember to be ushers at church this Sunday....Oh shoot, I forgot to send out the graduation card and a sympathy card that I purchased the other day! I also, just realized that my CPR certification runs out on October 7th and I need to find a recertification, quickly. Yes, these are the things that are going through my head on my long trips to and from the college.

Fly Lady would stroke out if she showed up at my house tonight.

I am happy to say that the weekend consists of spending quality time with my family. Madison and I plan to shop, bake & craft. Logan's idea of spending quality time with Mom consists of 10 minutes.

Now, I'm off to tuck a dollar bill under Madison's pillow~better late than never.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Late night at the lab with my nursing sistas..and Mr. Simms

Twice a month, on Wed. night we have a lab after lecture. This is where we brainstorm case studies, practice our skills and by this late at night...sometimes get a little silly. Mr. Simms man and his buddies are high priced mechanical patients that, via a computer program, can do just about everything except get out of bed and dance to Saturday night fever. Tonight was no exception...Our patient was having complications following a surgical pin placement to the hip. Blood pressure started to fall, Mr. Simms stated he was having trouble breathing - x-rays ordered stat. Mr. Simms stood proud why Sash catheterized him, (we love you, Sasha i.e: queen of the cath). By using critical thinking, we were able to understand what exactly was going on with our patient and improve his health. Mr. Simms and his buddies really put up with a lot from us.

Snapped this picture, tonight, of our original group that started the program together. We started with 32 and now will graduate with 15. Over these past six semesters, we have stressed out together, laughed, cried, stressed some more and held each other up, at times. This program is tough for a reason - it ranks third in the state of New York for highest success rate for the board licensure exam. I am so proud of all my sistas! Each one of them will make an excellent registered nurse. As much as I dislike the long drive to the college & being away from my family, I will definitely miss these ladies after graduation.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I love Tuesdays

For this last semester, I decided to schedule every Tuesday off from work as a vacation day. With classes Monday through Thursday evenings and clinical weekends twice a month, having one day off from work will keep me focused. Once the kids leave for school, I spend a little time picking up the house, then give myself a few hours of "me" time, before hitting the books to catch up on all the reading assignments. I usually pick a few hot spots in the house to organize, without spending a lot of time. Today will be the linen closet only! I came across this great website a few years ago that has really offered some great tips on decluttering and organizing. Fly Lady's site is where I learned about the "hot spots" in our house, (the biggest being the kitchen island).
As I look out to the kitchen, I see that Logan forgot his football cleats - that will work nice for practice..
I'll be picking Mads up from school today since we both have hair apts. at 2:00. This will also give us a little study time for her spelling/vocab test on Friday. A quick dinner together before I head back to Binghamton for a 6:00 lab.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Push that calcium!

Wanted to share some interesting facts that came up in lecture over the past two weeks. UNTIL the age of 35, the body continues with the process of bone resporption and formation - meaning we steadily produce new bone as bone is broken down. The key word being UNTIL 35. At age 35, the body increases the resorption (breakdown) and bone mass starts to decrease. As we get older, the parathyroid hormone increases, which demineralizes the bone and breaks it down. We can't stop the bone loss, but we can slow the process.
The recommened dose of calcium for women/men is 1000 -1200 mg per day. On any of your labels, the calcium will be shown in % and it is always based on 1000 mg. An example would be a label on a yogurt container might state the calcium is 20% which means that there are 200 mg of calcium in that serving. Here is a site that will give you some ideas for getting your calcium. Let's keep that bone mass up and not become frail & brittle!
OK, I'm off my soapbox.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

One down, five left

Out the door at 5:30 this morning and after a quick coffee stop, I was headed up 17. Hit the OB floor by 7:00 am. Forgot my watch. Have to admit to the most boring clinical day ever. Spent the day in OB and not one baby born today. On my last rotation to OB, I was lucky enough to help with a natural delivery and also scrubbed for a cesarean section..all in one day. Even though the day was quite uneventful, I did get the opportunity to visit the nick unit (basically an ICU for infants). Very tiny babies with many lines & monitors. I felt quite intimidated by this setting and took a moment to thank God for my healthy kids.
Home by 4:00 to an empty house - Madison was visiting with my Mom, Logan was fishing and Jay was go-cart racing with his Dad. Jay had the kitchen nicely cleaned but he did something he is strictly forbidden to do...a load of laundry. I found one dark blue towel, some whites and a beach towel all washed together in a nice fluffy mess...
Madison and I later went to get a few groceries and I made my Aunt Maryann's yummy squash casserole for dinner. I insisted that the four of us eat together on the deck - we don't get too many nights to have dinner together.
At 9:55 , all is quiet in the Abbott home, the wine glass is empty and I'm ready to call it a day.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Here we go!

Hey friends & family! I thought it would be fun to try and keep a blog of my last semester in nursing school...or at least a blog of a crazy woman. Kelly's blog has inspired me to try to keep one rolling for the next four months. While being in class four nights a week and clinicals every other weekend, my means of communication has been pretty limited to the computer and cell ph0ne.

So it's two weeks into the semester and 13 left to go. I spent most of my time traveling up and down Rt. 17 to Binghamton. I really think I deserve to get hooked up with satelite radio.

Clinicals are every other weekend, Saturday and Sunday. Today being the first clinical of the new semester. OB/Labor & Delivery. I've had all the rotaions, so this semester was "my pick". I'll do three weekends working OB, then finish up with three weekends of med/surge. I've been doing clinicals since the first semester, three years ago....and the night before the first clinical is always the same - can't find my ugly, white, nursing shoes. Jay found them for me at 11:10 pm last night - Love that man! The day that I graduate, I am treating myself to a pair of trendy, cute nursing there such a thing as trendy nursing shoes? I'm so tired of wearing a bright yellow scrub top (BCC requirement) and white pants. When we were following our clinical leader around today, it hit me...we look like ducks. My style of scrubs will be loud prints for Karen.

Our Friday night started with a football game at Sayre. I never thought that football could be so exciting, but I love it! I actually get quite rowdy. Logan kicked some butt on both offense & defense last night. Ending score 44-13, Towanda. Hit the Chinese Restaurant for take-outs at 10:30 pm.

Madison and Jay rented a few movies tonight and it's pizza for dinner. The most that I got accomplished at home was laundry and vacuuming. Settling in to watch a good movie with my fam and then off to bed by 10:00 - early morning wake-up of 4:45 am.