Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sunday, September 28, 2014

For the first time in many years,

I'm sleeping on a decent quality mattress in my own home. Thanks for the wonderful hand-me-down, Mom and Dad!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

And every place in its thing.

This semester, while intense and stressful, is miles (as yet!) below the level of anxiety I've had in previous semesters. I think one large part of this is the fact that I now have a proper desk setup, and I'm not dragging my books out and then away from the dining table - it's good to have a space that is dedicated JUST to school-related things.  Even then, during an insane 5 day clinical week last week (for which I was very nearly prepared), I still had to drag all my flotsam and jetsam out onto every available horizontal surface to make sure I had all my ducks in a row for clinical.

One thing that adds to the chaos is the steady influx of paper handouts from various classes. When I receive them, I mark the date and which class at the top of the paper, but I've not been in the practice of bringing them to my desk, punching the appropriate holes and getting them into the proper binders, and these papers have been piling up. I spent about an hour this morning just organizing stuff before I could begin working on my clinical paperwork with a clear head.  That took half the day, and now to shift gears, I had to do about another 30 minutes of shuffling and organizing. I suppose you do what you have to do. I've never been a super-organized person, and I've never really made a designated space before, so I sort of just imagined that just by having a designated space, all this stuff would magically organize itself.  Turns out, the universe apparently expects me to have some sort of involvement in the organizing concept. Oh well.

SO... Mental health. I don't think that's where I'm going, although it is interesting to hear fantastic tales of things so out of the ordinary as alchemy or going to high school with Grover Cleveland.

The pups have been wonderfully supportive of my studies. Praline is sitting at my feet right now like a cuddly little kitten. She is so sweet.

Oh well, just like the organizing, this mental health assignment won't do itself.  Back to the coal mine!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A sweet ending to summer

Today is the first day of Fall. Fittingly, the air had a new, dry coolness yesterday that was most refreshing after a week of sauna-like unpleasantness. 

I have hummingbirds, and they feast on this incredibly hardy 3 year old salvia that stalwartly withstood brutal degrees of neglect and water deprivation, and thrived anyway. Going to put a few more hardy specimens in over the next few weeks and see if I can get more self-managing color about the place to delight the butterflies and bees, as well as the hunmingbirds. :)


Passed my first mental health exam, and passed my first med/surg exam by a happy margin. I'm on my way!

Sorry for missing the puppy Sunday post,  but I was wiped out after clinicals last week, all of which went well. I had a call about a tech job at the hospital I applied for, and I'm hoping I can get an interview today or tomorrow. It would be a boon to future nursing work for me, as I'd have a job lined up for summer, and I'd get lots of experience putting in I.V. and catheters and such. Fingers crossed!

Sunday, Puppy Tuesday: my sweeting

Mochi is so velvety and adorably sweet. She's a piranha fist in a velvet glove. Mochi has invented the art of the hostage exchange. She figured out quickly that since Mommy can't catch her fleet little arse by the conventional methods, Mommy will give treats in exchange for whatever she is carrying around at any given moment. Often she is carrying something she obviously has no interest in chewing. I can tell the difference because when she really wants to chew something, she carries her precious cargo off well out of my earshot for smacking sounds. Praline and Chuy enjoy the hostage exchange because they get treats, too. Mochi plays hard and sleeps hard. I love her sweetness as well as her orneriness. Wiener dogs have a way of making you utterly besotted with them, bless their little fur-betubed hearts!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

You don't know it, but your sensibilites are steeped in the music of opera.

This example is The Anvil Chorus from Verdi's superb Il Trovatore. The scene is dawn in a gypsy camp, and the men begin their day's work as they sing of the merits of hard work, good wine and their fine gypsy women. You've heard the chorus in commercials and films all your life, and now you know where it comes from.



Verdi can be ponderous, but Il Trovatore (The Troubadours) is sublime, and contains my personal favorite crazed heifer aria, Stride la Vampa, sung by unfortunate Azucena.

Here Viorica Cortez spanks this aria (1975) and puts it to bed without any supper.  It's an acquired taste, but it's a good kind of crazy, if you ask me. The clip is not her full scene, but you get the ideer anyway.



Notice how you don't see her singing - none of that Whitney Houston/pop music chin-wobbling antics-- proper (and healthy) voice production happens on the interior.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The semester is 25% complete. Huzzah!

By some miracle, the teacher wasn't overly picky about the slop that I bandied as homework, and I got full marks for my SimLab today. *whew*

Amazingly, my feet felt great after the mineral soak, and I think that made a huge difference.

Met my fellow for lunch (steak! For LUNCH!), then came home and crashed in bed with puppies for a couple hours. I was SO tired. He's fixing me dinner tonight, and we'll watch a movie. Going to study some medical terminology for now, though.

4 weeks down, and all is well enough. :)

A mentholated spirit

First hospital clinical- left home before 6am and got home after 8PM, with an assignment that was due at midnight and several pages of SIMS to prep before lab at 8:30AM. Completed the midnight assignment and got into bed at 10:30. Up again at 5 to finish prep work. 

Welcome to the nursey life, eh? 

Sitting at my desk, my feet are sitting in a lukewarm soak of methol-smelling Epsom salts. *sigh*

At least the lab today will be over by noon. Then I can spend my weekend studying and recovering. Passed my first Mental Health exam (her test was a bear!) and hoping to do well on family health test on Monday. 

Great thing is clinical was great, my first patient was wonderful, and my preceptor is a 31 year nursing veteran, and it was overall a great day. I felt right at home. :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Well, that's not it.

Today was my second Mental Health clinical, and I'm pretty sure that's not going to be an area that really draws me. I'm trying to keep an open mind, but I think I would have difficulty maintaining the kind of detachment necessary for working and helping patients in that milieu. My hat is off to those who can, though.

Wednesday is my first Mental Health test of the semester, and Monday will be the first Med/Surg test of the semester.  Thursday is my first Med/Surg clinical at the hospital. I'm going to be in a Post Surgery/Trauma floor, so I'll be kind of throwed into the deep end. We'll see how that goes.

I'm of the mind that it takes someone special for every aspect of nursing, and every one of those specializations for its own reasons.

All I know is that although I do have some bit of anxiousness on a daily basis, I have nothing like my previous two semesters' level of anxiety. Let's see how my test results affect that state, though!

Cautiously optimistic, and taking large doses of puppy therapy.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday, Puppy Sunday: puppies help Mama study

Actually, I was eating popcorn while studying at my desk
, and of course I shared with my wee babes. :)

Three weeks of semester 3 are done, 13 to go. I can do this!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Music for the soul

Ordinarily, I don't post 24 minutes of music videos, but this Violin Sonata from J.S. Bach is particularly sublime and merits a place here. In between bouts of study, I'm doing my usual AD/HD cleaning routine, and I'm playing my Baroque music station on Pandora, and this piece came up. Absolutely marvelous.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

So far, so good.

The first mental health clinical is behind me now. It was affirming in some ways, and unsettling in others. 

Hopefully today will be the final 100 F day of the year. I detest the heat. Meh. 

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Sage advice on self defense

Consider the lowly hat-pin, and its self-defense potential in a pinch.



PrincessPoodlePoo (whom I adore) is performing to this recording by the marvelous Elsa Lanchester (Bride of Frankenstein with THAT hair!)

Monday, September 08, 2014

Sunday, Puppy Monday: late edition

Busy weekend, made a 96 on my first test of the semester. So far, so good. Here's a Monday edition of SPS. I wonder what Mochi is after?

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

For my lovely friend V, embarking on her new course of study:

In January 2012, I was already in school and taking care of prerequisites in hopes of entering the RN program at my school ASAP. With all going well, I would complete those studies in December of 2015. At that time, I put up a blog post saying I felt like I was standing on the shore of an ocean I have to swim.  That was 2 years and 8 months ago (hard to believe!) and now I have only 16 months of school remaining.

You have an impressive background and experience, Miss V, and I could see you reaching the absolute top of your profession, but you need this one important credential to step up to that next level. I know you came to the decision to embark on this additional training in all seriousness, and I'll bet that you've even had moments when you doubt your own sanity for doing so.  This is a natural inclination, but you have so many wonderful things going in your favor, and I know you're going to totally hit it out of the park.

  • You are smart with an amazing degree of retention for what you learn and observe
  • You are highly regarded and admired in your current career, and you have the support of Everyone Who Matters there. :)
  • Your home is well-organized and tidy, and you're not the clutter-hound that I am-- if I've survived this long with a teeny shred of sanity intact, you're going to be aces, baby!
  • You have the love and devotion of wonderful dogs who are on call for free therapy
  • You have the love and support of a good man in the form of your fiancĂ©
  • Your effort now will pay dividends for the rest of your life

I'm not saying that it will be easy, but I am saying it will be worth it. What you are doing takes a lot of guts, and I really want you to pat yourself on the back early and to repeat that act often.

  • Have a designated study area
  • Break your tasks into manageable chunks
  • Keep a reliable calendar and check off completed tasks
  • Remind yourself of milestones (one month down, nine to go!)
  • Don't be all work/no play
  • Go to the movie with me when I call you to decompress from intense study

You can get through this, but don't feel you have to be a hermit in the process-- I kind of think that was one of my problems in the last Fall/Spring semesters. You can do this and have a life, too.

You've got this! I'm proud of you.
Now go out there and kick some tail, tiger!

Monday, September 01, 2014

More baby steps.

Now that it's September, I can say my completion of school is 16 months away. Huzzah!

I knocked out most of the first of 4 units for one of my classes this weekend, and other than a test, I have nothing due there again until Sept 29. Tomorrow is a Mental Health clinical orientation.

Still waiting to find out what my schedule is going to be like. It was interesting to see a handful of people approach the professor in Med/Surg and tell her they have special circumstances and can't do their clinical assignment on evenings or weekends-- looks to me like the people who insisted they couldn't do those schedules were most likely to end up with the very same. I figure whatever comes, I'll take my lumps and pay my dues. Seems like a Saturday night would be pretty busy. Then again, we're not in ER yet, so who knows?

Week one is down, 15 to go. Easy peasy, lemon-squeezy, right?