Archive for March 2013

50 Days…and counting

One-half of one hundred, half of a century…that’s how long it feels like I’ve been on this roller-coaster, but actually it’s how many days are left until I walk across the stage at my RN Pinning and in reality the journey began back in 2009 when I started taking night and on-line classes to get all my prerequisites and other classes (A&P, Sociology, etc) done so when I attained acceptance into the program I would only have my “NURS” (Geri, Maternal Child, Med Surg, etc) classes to take and focus on…not a-half a century ago. :)

I met Aaron Bass in 2009, he was who kept me going through A&P striving to make 100’s and to learn how to spell big words like glossopharyngeal; and anyone that knows me knows what a feat that was.  He was also my champion in the ‘freshman’ classroom at the back table, letting me know that even though others around me apparently made the best grade ever by their ‘Miss America Crowning’ reaction; my 78% was still good enough…because hey, ‘you passed’.  He helped me understand concepts, grasp ideas, and learn to cope with the teaching technique of ‘Concept’ (big huge umbrella, no definite give me’s, find it on my own) teaching.  It was a struggle.  We kept swimming like Dori…and we made it.  It was fate, more likely God, that made him late to A&P and the only available seat was the one beside me. :)

I’ve built friendships that will last a lifetime since August 2011.  These 23 individuals that will walk across the stage with me on May 18 have become my family.  They know me and what I have went through the past two years since starting this program on that Monday in August 2011, when we realized that we would be in class until 3:10 instead of the 12:00 as our schedule stated.  When at break we all made a mad dash to call babysitters, bosses, and family members to try and get our business taken care of because the schedule we thought we had was not what it was going to be.  The adjustments to spending every waking hour with a book, reading and pulling information out to try and learn what needed to be learned.  The nervousness and total fright of ‘check-offs’.  We made it.  Even though we started off shaky, with no idea if we were on the right path and where we needed to be headed (since we apparently all joined the wrong profession ~> nightmares of first semester still haunt me)…we are cresting the hill of the final leg of our journey, and the world is sitting before us.

FIFTY days and counting.  Fifty days full of preceptor, meetings, and finalizing of all the forms and paperwork.  I am totally excited, scared, and ready to get this show on the road.  I have grown and changed as an individual over the past two years.  My friends have become acquaintances (for some reason they weren’t much into the books I was reading or the activities I was involved in ~ learning how to insert NG tubes and catheters) and family doesn’t always understand the ‘why’s’ of what I’m doing.  Everyone has been there for me, supporting me, telling me ‘it will be worth it’…not ever really understanding what ‘it’ consisted of.

I love what I get to do…I get to help people.  I get to interact and be the one that helps them in the process of getting better, or dealing with the fact that it won’t be better.  Sometimes the ‘better’ is realizing that it is time to ‘let go’.  There are ups and downs, and there will be ups and downs to come.

I’ve lost a lot, gained a lot, and I’m learning what it means to be an advocate not only for patients but for self.  It’s been a crazy journey, and it has been worth it.  Worth the twenty pounds of stress that has appeared on my body (that I am trying to shed); worth the lost friendships; worth the sleepless nights and grey hair; worth the debt I’ve accumulated; worth the new vocabulary that is ok for use with fellow nursing students, but not so much for new acquaintances as table talk…it has been worth it.  And in the next fifty days as I acclimate myself back into society without having a book glued to my fingers, and prepare to join the profession of nursing, as I take a step into the next portion of life journey I am so very thankful for the past two years of my life.  It has shown me who I am, what I can be and do.  Am I 100% ready?  NO, there are still things to learn and edges to sand down and make smooth…I have fifty days to continue to grow.  And I will continue to grow after the next fifty days…but I will be moved from a grow box into the soil of the greenhouse…allowed to flourish and grow.  I am so very thankful and have been blessed beyond measure the past two years…and yes, even though they don’t know what ‘IT’ consist of, ‘IT’ has been worth it.

~ERM

March 2, 2013 ~ The Train is two and a-half miles out

We’ve rounded a corner folks. We’ve started a new month ~ the best one as far as I’m concerned, it has a great name and it means Spring and new things are on it’s way.  I thought going into this semester that I was ready to ‘get-er done’ and after the improvement I had made last semester I was ready to tackle the world.  With a few missteps (putting homework in the wrong bag) and a few looks that can make you feel like you were peeled off the bottom of someones shoe after they walked through the dog lot…I was quickly reminded that every day is not a given.  I have learned so much, yet I have so much to learn.  I have come to the realization that human beings lives are totally in my hands, and it will be up to me to figure out what is exactly going on, collect the data, and have the ‘go-to’ plan ready within MINUTES.  It is a humbling realization, a little frightening, but true.  But in reality it’s the reason why I joined the program…’to help people’.

I’m so close to graduation, May 19, and my pinning ceremony, May 18, yet so far away.  Nothing is a given.  I have been SO VERY BLESSED the past two years with receiving scholarships and grants through different avenues that has allowed me to keep my debt down.  But every time I go in to take a test or do a procedure I have the visions of all these people that have ‘given’ to my cause floating around.  It’s like in old westerns when the Indian’s have their ‘fore fathers’ and leaders who guide them and are with them on the hunt that they have to succeed and prove themselves.  Welcome to that part of my world.  It’s a little stressful, I don’t want to let them down…they believe in me.

Those who gave: The Southeast Health Ladies Auxiliary ~ this is a great group of ladies who all work together to help individuals reach their goals and dreams.  Ilena Aslin Scholarship ~ this came through the Southeast Health Foundation, she is a great lady, who still is very involved and active in community education.  Dr. A. D. Madduri Scholarship ~ my friend and co-hort Aaron Bass opened this door for me.  The PEO International Grant, Doniphan Chapter ~ my boss, Sandra Bates opened this door for me.  The Henrickson Memorial Scholarship through the Poplar Bluff PEO Chapter DG scholarship committee ~ Mrs. Mary Christy opened this door.  Not to forget those who just do it on their own, my Grandpa McClintock would give $100 a month when he could, which was a pretty regular basis, to the ‘school fund’ as he called it.  My mom and dad, I’m so glad they have cows and that cows sell ~ “Cow Money” is a good bonus.  My brother and his family moved in and help by paying rent and feeding me (Tara’s a very good cook, and I get food other than the frozen variety).  My cousin Marylin gave me her ‘school fund’ money from Grandpa to help buy books one semester.  Then those that are verbally supporting me, reminding me that it will all be worth it, that I can do it, and are as excited about May as me (probably because they are just ready for me to shut up about it already).  I have been blessed beyond measure the past two years.

So much has happened and continues to happen on a daily basis.  I’ve gained and lost weight, several times.  I’ve learned basic skills of assessment.  I’ve learned the mechanisms of the body that make us function and cause us problems when they are out of whack.  I successfully diagnosed a DVT in my mom’s leg, possibly saving her life or at least saving her from a pulmonary embolism ~ basic skills that save lives but can scare you to death when you realize the ramifications that not using them or abusing them can have.  It keeps you humble.  The trust the people put in you as a healthcare worker cannot be broken.  They are the number one priority, REGARDLESS of what you have going on that day, they deserve 100%.  Given the fact that you will see several on a daily basis means that it is draining and there will be some days that I will be totally fatigued and go to bed at 8:00 (like last night) it will be worth it.  Unfortunately my body is used to five-six hours sleep so I woke up at 1:00 am this morning after going to bed at 8:00 but hey…it’s worth it.

The light at the end of the tunnel is getting so much brighter.  I have two and a-half months left.  This has been such a roller-coaster ride of a journey, but this is one roller-coaster I am glad I got on.  Now I just have to make sure that I complete my course, finish the race, and make all those who have supported me and have faith in me proud.

Side note:  when looking for information on the scholarships I had received I ran across a b-day card from my Grandma McClintock (old, since she passed in 2003), but it hit me that they won’t see me reach this milestone.  My grandpa who supported me through three semesters of this journey, won’t see the results…all the more reason to make it worth his sacrifice.  It was a jarring and crazy moment, they have always been there.  Here’s to those who have come and gone, and those who are still with me cheering from the sidelines and giving support! <clink, clink>

One very blessed blogger…ERM.