Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Break!!!

And I DID IT!!!!!!!

I passed the semester with two A's and two B's!!! Go ME!!!! So to catch you up...

Thanksgiving week was amazing. It was nice to have somewhat of a break. Alex and I went to my parent's house for some awesome food and tons of left overs!
That Saturday (Nov. 26), Alex got his 100th beer at World of Beer! He was so proud! And at the same time, Michigan beat Ohio State. I can not explain to you how much that last sentence just meant.... He was extremely ecstatic all day and that doesn't compare to the extent of the actual excitement. Derek ended up being able to get us some tickets to Tilted Kilt. They were breaking a world record of the largest beer bong with over 150 people, and yes, we got to participate!!! I am now a world record participant/holder :) Alex also did a "Stupid Betz" where he thought he was getting paid 50 bucks to shave a reverse mohawk on his head. Derek took a shot of hot sauce. They are not any richer than they were before they did it...
 Alex holding is 100th beer and his beer mug and shirt!
 Worlds largest beer bong, Over 150 people!
 Derek's shot of hot sauce

The rest of the weekend was spent studying.... ;)

That Tuesday (Nov. 29), we just learned about colostomies and messed around in Essentials lab.

I also took my Health Assessment lab checkoff! You and your lab partner go into an exam room. The teacher sent out an email saying wear sports bras and bathing suit bottoms to strip down into so your partner can do their exam! None of us did... But anyways, I randomly chose respiratory. I did really good and got an A! I was so excited that was over! One final down!!!!

Thursday and Friday (Dec. 1/2) was our last days at the VA! It was sad to say bye to all of our residents. But on the last day, we had a Christmas party with the residents, and a pizza party with our group of girls. It was amazing. We gave our instructor a personalized t-shirt and a bag of candy. We are going to miss her so much. She was a great influence over all of us.

That weekend I studied my butt off for finals. I took a break and put up my Christmas decorations with Alex. We got some Eggnog and relaxed for the night. It was well needed.
 Puppy dawg not included :)
My cozy little fireplace!!!

Finals week was pretty intense (December 5th) . We had a bunch of finals all crammed together it seemed like. My Health Assessment final, I studied all weekend for. I was in the library for hours that weekend. And it all paid off! I got an A on my final and it brought my grade up to a B! Right after that exam we had another final. It was so hard. It was only 60 questions, but over half of the class was still taking the test 90 minutes into it. The class average was 46 out of 60. Not that great. That night I met up with my church. We made Christmas boxes for kids in Haiti. We were able to personalize our boxes and it was a lot of fun. There was Christmas music, food, and friends. It was nice to get my mind off of everything.
You can't see it that great, but this is one of my boxes! I drew the card, and then put a picture of Alex and I. We stuffed boxes with rice, beans, paper, crayons, pencils, jacks, bean bags, and so much more. It was awesome.
All of our boxes!

Then Tuesday I had my skills checkoff. I studied all night. I gave Alex my grading rubric, and practiced on all types of things. We all had to set up an IV, then we chose one of three options: foley catheter, wound care, or tracheostomy suctioning. A cheeze-it box was my catheter, a Popz box was my wound, and I hung my IV from my utility door.
Cheeze-it Catheter

When we got to the class, everybody was talking about how people were failing left and right. If you break sterile field, that was a fail. Which by the way, sterile field is you can't open a package, and then have the package flap back over onto where you opened it, you can't put your hands below your waist, or reach across the table to pick up something. It is really intense. So out of 7 people that walked in, about 6 of those failed. So imagine how prepared I feel at this moment. There are two instructors that are really hard graders. And guess who calls my name? One of those instructors. I gave up. As I was walking to the bed, I literally was thinking in my head, NOT how I was going to do the IV, NOT what I was going to do if I got wound care, I was thinking... that this is my death walk. I knew for sure I was just doomed. So I started thinking... if I am doing my death walk right now, should I go out looking like a pimp? So I start giving myself a little limp. Then I decided nope, I should go out graceful. So I got on my tip toes, and walked the rest of the way to the bed. AND GUESS WHAT, I GOT ONE OF THE HARDEST INSTRUCTORS, PICKED FOLEY CATHETER WHICH IS ONE OF THE HARDEST SKILLS, AND KICKED SKILLS CHECKOFF BUTT!!!! I was so excited when I was done. All of the worrying and eating those cheeze-its paid off. Only two finals left.

Wednesday morning we had a presentation at 7 AM. UGH. It was worth waking up so early though. All of us got the full amount of points for our hard work :) Then we took our last final. I didn't study much for this final, but still did great. I am pretty proud of my grades this semester. When I walked out of the building, I could not believe how amazing I felt compared to thinking about quizzes due and homework. I thought about laying out, and eating sushi, and going backpacking, and going to Michigan and Ohio, and seeing snow. I thought about RELAXING!!!  So that night Alex and I had our date night. We made homemade Christmas ornaments (including Bradley). It was nice to relax :)

Now, it has been a week since finals and there has been this weight off of my shoulders. I am not stressed, worried about deadlines, waking up early, wearing scrubs. NOTHING! I am relaxing, and Christmas shopping, and spending time with Alex. It has been amazing.

The night after finals, that Thursday (Dec. 8th) some of us girls went out to Dirty Bingo. It was a lot of fun for all of us to laugh and enjoy a drink! This past Saturday (Dec. 10th) I met up with a bunch of people I haven't seen in YEARS that I have known for way too long. It was nice to see everybody. It was a good time to catch up.
Alex and I also did our Christmas with each other this week. He bought be rock climbing shoes!!! I have been needing them for so long and he got me some really good ones. I love them. I bought him a day pack for his rockclimbing gear, and he loved it. We did really good this year!

Now I am sitting in my apartment, with my Christmas tree lit up and a candle light, a margarita in hand, and doing something I can't post on here because it has to do with my mom's Christmas present : X It feels so good to not have a million things going through my head right now....

For the next few weeks I am not going to write. I will catch you guys up the week before school starts. Alex and I have Christmas with my parents this Sunday, December 18th. Before then, Thursday through Saturday, we are going to go backpacking. Then we fly out the 20th to Michigan to see his family. Then we drive over to Ohio on Christmas to catch up with some more of his family. The 26th we are going to drive up to Akron to catch up with my parents and my brother. Then the 31st we will be back in Michigan. January 1st is our one year anniversary!! So we aren't sure yet what we are going to do. Then we fly back on the 3rd. January 8th is my 22nd birthday. And January 9th we start back up at school.
 I plan to enjoy this next month as much as I can!!!
Merry Christmas to all of my readers and I will talk to you next year!!! <3 Katie

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Smiling Again :)

Ok, so I know I haven't written in a while, but I will try to catch you guys up. I was going to write a few Sundays ago, but some things happened. I am going to skip the reason for my last post. Let's just say my life turned around. Within one night I could feel my whole body completely shutting down system by system. It was the worst pain I have ever felt and the hardest week I have gone through. I learned a lot though. I got closer to God, realized a lot of people actually read my blog (thanks to those who commented and called me!), got a lot of support from friends and family, and came out a stronger person than I was last week. But for now.. nursing stuff :).

Sooo I have no idea how I am going to catch you up on everything! I will start with this...

November 5th Saturday - Alex and I went to Zander's 3rd birthday party! He is absolutely adorable and really smart (I can actually say this from a nursing point of view, because I performed a DDST on him!).
We also went to the dog park with some friends. Bradley was a happy pup that day :)
Then at night, Amanda came over to hang out. And we turned into those people... "The People of Walmart"...

Novemeber 6th Sunday- my bad day. No comment here.

November 7th Monday- I had a health assessment test this day. It was at 11AM, but with everything happening, I couldn't concentrate and didn't start studying until about 7:30 that morning. My first F ever on a test...

Novemeber 8th Tuesday- So today in lab we learned wound care. There are different types of wound care, and different ways to clean a wound, etc. Well, the manikins in the lab are posterior, because that is usually where patients will get ulcers. And the manikins are usually just of the butt. Well... can you guess the name of the company who makes the manikins? SEYMOUR BUTTS!!! If you don't believe me, go here...
In our other lab, we assessed Ears Nose and Mouth. Say AHHHHHHHHH

Novemeber 9th Wednesday- A pop quiz at 7:30 AM, and a test. Ugh, still a horrible week.

Novemeber 10th Thursday- So considering I have been having such a bad week, I really need my parents. So I went home after the Orlando Health orientation today (zzzZZZzzZZzzz). It was nice to be home. And, on top of that, I was able to get all of my homework due within a week all done by the night. Thanks to a Harry Potter marathon and my mom making some good food :)

Novemeber 11th Friday- Parents took me out to see a movie today, Rum Diaries. It was pretty good with some funny parts. Then at night I went to this club called Rodeo that is back home. I saw people from high school that I haven't seen in over 4 years. It was insane. I rode a mechanical bull :)

Novemeber 13th Sunday - World turned around again. :) but it turned back right side up. Smiles all around.

Novemeber 15th Tuesday - Amanda and I had to do a neuro presentation today. We did pretty good. Got all of our points :) In our essentials lab, we had our first simulation. It was soooo cool. So there is a complete other area of the nursing school that we had no idea of. It is pretty much a mock hospital. Well, a few of us were taken into a "patient's" room (it was a manikin). There were cameras in the room so teachers could sit in another room and hear and watch us. The manikin was actually a Sim Man. He has pulses, a blood pressure, heart and lung sounds, and can receive an IV and be shocked. There is a microphone inside of his mouth, so the teachers in the room watching us, can talk as if they are the patient as well. Well we got introduced to the patient, then were told to assess him while the "charge nurse" left the room. And then he started loosing breath. Of course to us.. it was more like.. OMG HE IS DYING!!! WHAT DO I DO!!!?!?!?!?!? We did pretty good though. We sat him up, called the physician, and got an order to give him medication. It was really neat to have this simulation so we can kind of get used to what it might be like in an emergency situation like that in real life. This was our first simulation, but there are many more to come. Some SimMan can even give BIRTH. I can't wait for next semester.
Here is a link about SimMan if you are interested:
Picture of SimMan!
Afterwards, Alex and I went rockclimbing. I am starting to really get into it. I have been bouldering pretty good and it is actually really relaxing going rockclimbing. I'm starting to feel an obsession coming on.. There is this one route that I have been having trouble on ... but I am GOING to get it...

Novemeber 16th Wednesday- So in Roles today we were talking about loss and death. At the beginning (of course after another pop quiz) we did an activity. You were given a piece of paper, and had to go through the paper and fill it out with 5 of your favorite activities, body parts, people you love, morals/values, and materialistic items. Then we were given a story about how one day you feel a lump. Cross out two items. It starts from here, and goes all the way until you are lying on your death bed from cancer, when you cross out the last two items. It was interesting to see what I was crossing out first before anything. The last two standing were my Mom and Dad <3
This was my list.
Today was also a friend's birthday from church. So Alex and I joined him at P.F. Chang's for his birthday! I heart lettuce wraps soooo much. Alex and I decided that Wednesday's are going to be our official date nights now. So no matter what, just me and him are going to do something. So after our dinner, we went back home and watched black and white movies and ate kettel corn. <3 A great date night with my love :)

Novemeber 17th Thursday - Now we are in a different ward in our long term care unit. So I have a new patient. I didn't get to see him much because today I was on my dementia rotation. And wow... I just know that I do not want to be in that field for my career. Next please....
Some of the girls came over afterwards for a bottle of wine and homework. Relaxing :)

November 18th Friday - At the LTC clinic again! It is nice to visit all of my patients and check on everybody. One of the girls had a semiformal with her sorority, so it was an early night for all of us! We got out at 6:00!!! Some of us girls have this obsession with edamame. We love this stuff. And this is what nursing school has taught us on how to critically think:
Yes, that is a surgical mask for our edamame shells. :)

November 19th Saturday- a ten page paper was due today! Cross your fingers! It was worth 100 points... oh man...
Also, Alex and I did the Orlando Diamond Dash with International Diamond Center. It was a ton of fun. It was downtown, and you got two text messages. The first was the location, and the second was a riddle or puzzle to solve at that location. If you got it right on the first try, you got 3 points, 2nd try was 2 points, 3rd try was 1 point. Whoever had the most points at the end of the race (2 hours long), they won a $15,000 DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT RING!!!! There were people that were in matching outfits, sweat bands, stretching on the corner, running everywhere. Alex and I realized we were not going to win, so we just took our time. We actually ended up getting about 57 points. It was a lot of fun though. An after party was at Ember. When the couple who won was announced, the girl started crying on his shoulder. They got up to the stage, and the host asked what he was going to do now that they won this ring, he said he was going to call her father and ask him for his daughters hand in marriage. He called him on speaker phone in front of all of us on stage. Then he got down on one knee, and put this HUGE rock on this girls finger. It was cheesy and cute at the same time.
 This was the ring.... $15,000 Martin Flyer Diamond Engagement Ring. Do you see the diamond in the middle? It is almost as big as my thumbnail...
And this was the line....
My bear.

Novemeber 20th Sunday - Two test were due online today, plus another paper was due. Alex and I went rockclimbing in the AM. I have been doing better! I was able to get the route that I was trying to work on before. I ended up scraping up myself though. I scraped my knee pretty bad, then on one of the routes, I fell down the wall and hit every rock as I was falling. My stomach is bruised and scratched. I also landed on my butt.. and my left butt cheek hurts too.... maybe a little TMI....
Alex and I had a great week. We had a serious talk tonight about how much we are in love with each other and how fast we are falling. It has been almost a year and I can't wait until we celebrate our 20th anniversary. I am so happy with him. I can't even explain my feelings for him. It is amazing to see how much we have grown and how strong our relationship has gotten. Even within the past week, we are just so much in love with each other, and I love were we are at right now. It is crazy when you can tell the guy you are with, is the guy you are suppose to be with. I love you bear!!!! xoxoxo

Novemeber 22nd Tuesday - So that wound on my knee was soaking through my scrubs today (yes I know... ewwww...) So I asked my lab instructor for a bandaid. And instead of a bandaid, she handed me this stuff called Tegaderm. It is the bandage we use for our IV's on the manikins, and it works really well with wounds. Worked better than a band aid!
So today in labs, we just practiced for our skills check off. I can NOT believe how close finals are. Instead of having 6 finals in 3 days, I signed up to take one of my skills check offs on Tuesday instead of finals week. So only 5 finals in 3 days... but anyways, no classes all week after today. So at least there is a 5 day weekend to practice my skills. Now I just need to get with it....
 Our obsession with food is crazy.
Lauren hanging out
Afterwards, a lot of people were doing some homework, but I needed to rock climb, go for a run. Something and anything. So Alex, Ray and I went to Aguille. People keep asking why I have been doing this, but it is legit because it is fun. There is a great sense of satisfaction when you complete a route that is a little harder than your level and you finally get it! Like today, I finally did those routes I couldn't get early in the week! I can do V0 easily. V1 are a little harder but today I was rocking them out like it was nothing. And I was even starting some V2's today. I love it. And if you really want to know the reason why I love rockclimbing.. well...
I get to stare at my stud muffin boyfriend as he does pull ups. This is my new wallpaper on my phone. :)
 Heel Move! It is a motion picture, so I am blurry : /
 Go bear go!
Somebody fell from one of the holds. He was feeling weird in his neck, so the ambulance was called. I really had this urge to ask them if I could watch while they assessed him and help them move him to the stretcher and stuff.. BECAUSE I CAN DO THAT! But I did not. Maybe next time....

And it has taken me about an hour to catch you guys up. Until Sunday!!! I PROMISE I WILL WRITE ON SUNDAY!!!!

Smiling every day,
Also, thought this was cool. This is where my audience is coming from. So hello to everybody!!! (Anybody know where Latvia is?)

United States
Hong Kong

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Nothing to say

Worst weekend I have ever experienced. I lost so much within one day. My life has turned upside down and my dreams are better than the reality that is my nightmare. I pray and hope that one day I will be whole again. For now, no posts.


Monday, October 31, 2011


So I can't believe it has taken me this long to post! I know that I say it a lot, but it has been even more crazy around here than the last post... I am going to try to start writing in at least once a week, and on Sunday nights after church. I haven't been getting as many views, and I know it is my fault because I am slacking :( But hey! I am almost up to 750 views! So keep them coming! Maybe this information will intrigue you to keep looking back :)

The last day I wrote about was when I first started at the VA. I can only say this...

I love it here.

I need to organize this before I go jumping from Tuesdays to Sundays to previous Wednesdays to nights I can't remember... (this is why I promise that I will try to start writing every Sunday so there is less confusion... and also did you notice that I promised to TRY... ya... TRY.. not really a promise...)

Friday - Oct 14th - I officially started at the VA and DID STUFF!!! I followed a CNA around to introduce myself to the residents and get familiar with the way things worked around the facility. Everybody (well some of them) were really nice and easy to talk to. I introduced myself to my patient and he was the nicest man I have ever encountered, except my papabear of course! I strutted myself down those hallways all night.
P.S. We didn't have to go in until 1600 today, so I treated myself to some sun... a little too much sun..

Saturday and Sunday - 15th -16th - I had LOTS of homework, again... But all I did was stay at home and do homework. Then Saturday night I visited a friend who was playing guitar and singing at Crave by the millenia mall. So I treated myself to some sushi and edamame (mmmmmm). Then of course, nothing else to talk about except homework.. bleh... no colorful words for this paragraph...

Tuesday - 17th - We learned how to set up an IV tubing today! There a lot more nooks and crannies than I thought. This is one of our possible final skills check off (we pull one out of the hat right before we do the skill for the final and whatever one you pick is the skill you have to do... going to be a great finals week..). Well they teach you about it for an hour, which is how long it takes to run through once, and then send you on your way. Luckily we have a recording of it so we can watch it again, but man oh man...

Thursday - Oct 20th - Back at the VA to see my residents! First we had a patient safety handling demonstration/class. It was actually a lot of fun. The VA has a lot of really neat gadgets....

Moving Lauren from a bed to a chair. Go Lauren Go!!!
When we got to our area, I got to follow a nurse and help pass out medications. I gave my first shot to a REAL person!!! He said I have a nice and gentle touch. Shots shots shots shots shots shots shots shots... EVERYBODY!!!! I also realized that I have a pretty good memory. After going through all the residents once, I was able to remember how they liked their medications in vanilla or chocolate pudding or if they liked it with just water. I remembered who got shots, at what times, and all of their names. Pretty cool... My patient wasn't having a very good day. I heard some coughing coming from his room and checked on him. He was really red, slouched over, on the phone, and eating dinner! I yelled for the other nurse and we were able to set him up and do the Heimlich maneuver on him. It was pretty intense but he was OK. One of the patients I grew a great connection with. He was very friendly and seemed to yearn conversation. I didn't see any pictures of family and was interested in his story. I talked to him and found out he had the same name as my papabear! We started talking about a lot of random things. Since then, I have stopped by to see him even if I am just around the area. I ended up finding out that he was injured in a head on collision on his motorcycle. A girl ran a red light and she died instantly on impact. Her name was Katie. I almost cried my eyes out as he was telling this story. It is crazy sometimes how God leads you toward people.

Friday - Oct 21st - I GAVE MY FIRST STRAIGHT CATHETER TODAY!!!! And all I can say is... wow... Most of the girls where in the room with me watching. They clapped when I got it in and it started draining. I felt like I was on TV... nothing more exciting than that. I passed out more meds and strutted myself up and down hallways :)

Saturday - Oct 22nd - I did some community service today! Alex and I volunteered with our church and we helped clean up a lake over in Apopka. We removed invasive plants and planted around 2500 in their place. We ended up getting free pizzas for our time and free chik-fil-a. Go community service!!!

Sunday - Oct 23rd - Mommabear and Papabear came into town today! They took Alex and I to dinner at Mellow Mushroom, then they came back to my house for dessert... I made homemade key lime swirl cheesecake bars. Melt.. in... my... mouth..

Monday - Oct 24th - SNA meeting today! I brought up the possibility of hopefully putting together a Valentines Dance... Crossing our fingers and tapping our feet :)

Tuesday - Oct 25th - We learned about trach suctioning today! Oh man. Again.. another possible skills check off and only an hour worth of teaching and one run through... man oh man... 

Wednesday - Oct 26th - So at 730 we had a debate this morning that we had prepared for about a week. I only commented on this day because of this one point.. We were pro... and the other group was con... Well.. the other group thought they were pro. Total bust.....

Thursday - Oct 27th - We had to drive to campus to take pictures for our Florida Hospital ID badges today. That was it. It took me longer to get up the 6 flights on the elevator than it did to take the picture. Again.. total bust... Then we still had clinical. So back at the VA! We didn't do much today. We had a lot of work due, so we were mostly in the lobby doing that. We seriously gave more attention to the pet dog that they have there than the residents... I know that doesn't sound very great...
This is Paco

Friday - Oct 28th - Today Lauren and I went around the whole section and did Accuchecks (blood glucose finger pricks) By the end of the night, we were pros. Accuchecks Accuchecks Accuchecks Accuchecks Accuchecks Accuchecks Accuchecks Accuchecks Accuchecks EVERYBODY!!! Afterwards, Alex and I went downtown with some friends. It was a great night. We went to our friend, Derek's, apartment downtown after we left Wall Street. We were up until 600 (oh ya.. still using the military clock..) playing some games and singing songs at the top of our lungs on the balcony. I love that all of downtown Orlando was our audience. We stayed the night and took a long walk back to Alex's car in the morning holding hands ( I had to add the smushy ushy detail).

Saturday - Oct 29th - Alex and I had an amazing dinner with some friends from church, the Delaneys. We had some amazing chicken parmesan, strawberry spinach salad, and I made a reese's pie for dessert. Omnomnomnom.

Sunday - Oct 30th - The usual Sunday, church and homework... and here is my list.. Which btw.. I have realized from here on out is going to be next to hell... We have assignements that never end week after week on almost every day. And on finals week... we have SIX FINALS WITHIN THREE DAYS!!!
But back to this week:
Sunday - Two test were due today.
Monday - Journal and a nursing care plan are due
Tuesday - a SOAP note is due
Wednesday - a powerpoint presentation, and a professional practice paper are due
Thursday - something is probably due, but I do not know of it yet..
Friday - a short form and a head to toe assessment is due
Saturday - I can sleep..
Sunday - two quizzes are due again and the madness starts all over..
Yup.. this is how my next weeks are going to go, and it is just going to get worse until the end of finals. Heaven help me now...

Other than that! I am in a great place and I am doing amazing! I am so happy to be in nursing school and I'm pretty convinced that I was born to be a nurse. I can't wait for all of the action. If I am having this much stuff to write about.. I can't imagine how much stuff there will be when I actually have a CAREER!!! AHHHHHH!!!! I AM GROWING UP!!!

On a nursing high,