Saturday, December 22, 2007

Has anyone else noticed...

That now to leave comments on other pages, blogger requires you to type a 6-8 letter non-word scramble?

Gr. I find this highly annoying.

Greetings from the hermit

I did get over my frustration with the Christmas lights and put them up. Here's the finished product. I like it. Beloved says there are a lot of "balls" on the tree. Her family doesn't use balls. I love them. And there can never be too many, I think.

Our last day was Tuesday and I haven't left the house since Wednesday. It's wonderful not having to go anywhere. I'm a complete homebody who's content enough just lounging around with the dogs. I have slowly but surely started getting items crossed off my "To Do" list. All that's left now is to make a grocery list, clean the office, and clean the bathroom. But to be quite honest, I'm already bored. Is that terrible? I love being busy. And when I'm busy, I whine about how I never have time for anything. I think it's because I work best when there's slight pressure to get things done.

Emmie is doing much better. She's got seven staples, I counted them just in case she decided to rip one out. Her incision site looks great and she's back to her old self. She didn't like the way the incision felt when she went outside and refused to move to pee/poop. So I took a little doggy jacket that we had for Graisen and put it on her backwards, so the jacket part protects her incision from the ground, etc. Plus this way she can't lick the incision. I take the jacket off daily to examine the site -- but she likes it best on. She refuses to move and looks kind of panicked without it. Graisen has been wonderful through the whole ordeal. He knew when she came home that something wasn't quite right. He just laid with her gently and napped. I love my dogs. They are hilarious.

Anyways -- I'm looking forward to Christmas next week. I keep forgetting I'm going home which I'm really excited about. I love my family dearly and miss them all the time. The youngest is 5 (almost 6) and I feel like I'm missing out on his life. But I'm being a grownup. So there's some value in that as well. Plus I try to visit as much as possible.

I also went and visited my twin girls on Wednesday. They remembered me! After not seeing them since July, I was happy to see how big they've gotten. They're getting very long -- I think they're going to be tall. I was with them since they were 4 months old. (So, about two years...) I love those girls --- they're like my own family. I was devastated on my last day with them. But they're doing great and I'm so fortunate to be able to visit with them when they're in town.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Final Grades are In!!

And as predicted...I wrapped up my first semester of nursing school with all A's.

I cannot believe it. Mebbe I'm smarter than I thought.

Cheers. I'm stringing lights on my Christmas tree.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I'm Free!

Woohoo to finishing my last exam yesterday afternoon. And boo to my darling Emmie slowly recovering from her spay surgery yesterday. She looks so pitiful.

Anyways -- I thought I'd share how happy I am to be finished for this semester. And it looks like I may have walked away with all A's. (Well, at least three so far...)

The twin girls and their momma are in town for Christmas. So I'm going to visit. :)

Saturday, December 15, 2007


I'm so excited to get tagged to do a meme. I've never been tagged in my whole 4 months of blogging. Plus it has given me a much-needed break from studying for finals. Thanks, Brain Scramble :)

1.) I am very particular about my note-taking system. I don't really like to take handwritten notes. I much prefer my Macbook. And so far this semester it has included an off-the-wall program that lets me use the Cornell Method of note taking, a program that draws concept maps, and a program for creating absolutely awesome flashcards. I do believe this system will bring me much success for finals.

2.) My most favorite thing to eat right now is Greek yogurt. It's rich, thick, and creamy. I put it on almost anything. Last week it was in my chili (kind of like sour cream.) I also put it in the most amazing turkey and provolone sandwich on whole wheat flatbread with sliced cucumbers and red onions. Delicious!

3.) I have two miniature dachshunds, Graisen & Emmie. We just put up our (real) Christmas tree and Emmie helped herself to a branch. Later on, she pooped said branch completely whole, with the berries on the end and leaves still attached. It was about 4-5 in long. I don't know how she does it.

4.) For a girl who's not super girly, I love me some purses. All kinds of bags. Big ones, little ones, designer bags, trendy bags, functional bags, etc. I have so many that I can rotate which bag I carry. And now that I have so much extra stuff to carry (think: stethoscope, miscellaneous nursing supplies, etc.) I really like the extra space my larger bags have.

5.) When I was a little girl, whenever my mother took me to the drug store, I would go to the lipstick section and turn the lipstick all the way so it would get smushed in the cap. I thought this was the most fun thing of all time. And she never caught me!

6.) I used to smoke. And this is a confession. Especially in nursing school when all we talk about is smoking cessation, blah blah blah. I originally quit cold turkey when Beloved and I started dating. Now I'm glad I quit before nursing school otherwise I would get hounded about quitting all the time. I feel sorry and yet envious for the smokers in my class.

7.) I love pregnant women. I really do. I love labor, pregnancy, trying to get pregnant, birth, post-partum, etc. I love the babies too. I read about pregnancy in my free time. I am such a birth-geek but it truly is my passion (and hopefully my calling.) I'm so grateful that I found what I really love doing.

And so that's a little bit about me. I know some people don't like doing these but I'm going to tag you anyways.

I pick:

Not Nurse Ratched

Minority Midwifery Student

Navelgazing Midwife

Sage Femme


Battle Axe

So many drugs, so little time

I should be studying the 172+ drugs I have to know for my cumulative Integrated Science final on Tuesday. I, however, need a break from learning side effects, drug classes, nursing implications, and indications for drugs. I've been studying so hard that all I dreamt about last night was drugs. Heparin, Digoxin, Nexium, Insulin, etc etc. The list goes on, I assure you.

I did find a very cool program, however, that's called iFlash which allows me to make as many "flashcards" as I'd like on my computer. I can create as many sides to one card as I'd like, so I'm no longer limited to just front/back of traditional 3x5 notecards. Also, I type a whole lot faster than I write. Furthermore, this program will allow me to upload my completed notecard database to my iPod for review! It also allows you to mark a card as "memorized" and therefore it will move it out of your rotation. I feel like such a nerd being so excited for such a simple program. I truly do learn best from flashcards.

I haven't even started reviewing objectives yet. I think I will make a database with objectives and concepts that are complicated and/or need more review. But getting all 172 drugs accurately put into the database for review is an accomplishment.

In other non-news, my final validation went well yesterday. I felt it was kind of redundant, but whatever. I do what I'm told. Monday I have my clinical final exam and my clinical evaluation with my clinical instructor. I'm not too worried about either. Tuesday is the big Integrated Science final exam. And Emmie's getting spayed that day too.

On Sunday, the baby twin girls I used to nanny will arrive in Atlanta for their Christmas break! I'm so excited. Although, I spoke with their mother yesterday and one of the twins has pneumonia (sucks.) But I'm excited to see them nevertheless. It's been since the end of July. (And I used to see these girls 3-4 times a week for the past two years!)

Alright I'm going back to studying. Gr.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Light at the end of the tunnel

This semester is finally finally drawing to a close. Two cumulative finals, an evaluation, and a final clinical validation remain. I can't believe my first semester of nursing school has so quickly come to an end. I'm one semester closer to graduating.

My last week of clinicals in the hospital went well. It was voluntary but I went to the hospital anyway. Caring for patients is more exciting than anything else I do. I ended up getting two patients. Yes, two whole patients. One I had the week prior. Colon CA. But I got to discharge this patient and saw him on his merry way. The other patient reminded me of someone I love dearly, and although this patient was semi-comatose, I enjoyed caring for her the most of all my patients this entire semester. Nothing super new happened -- I helped DC a PICC line. I didn't actually get to pull it out -- as student nurses we don't do that -- but I did get to assist (read: removed sutures!) I already have my assignment for next semester. I will be doing maternity & peds rotation. And I already know who my clinical instructor is -- someone I think I will love -- a CNM who works closely with the doula co-op I'm also a part of.

I just took my last regular exam and think I did pretty well. I did excellent on my Health Assessment final check-off -- I had to do MSK/Neuro. exam. We had group presentations this morning as well. That went alright, minor technical difficulties, but hey...I can't always be perfect.

Speaking of group mentor situation is awful. I know I've written about this previously, but this woman has stepped to a new level of crappy-mentorness. We had a service learning project that we did right after Thanksgiving. Crappy mentor lady had basically taken over the project and determined where/when we'd do our project. So...whatever. Everyone in the group at this point is so apathetic that we will do whatever to just get it over with. She chose a site that is 20-30 mins from school, but we all drove to, 30 minutes early as Crappy Mentor had asked us. Well, 5:30p comes and goes, no mentor. 6:00 comes and we have to get started. We do our project beautifully without Crappy Mentor. She shows up 5 mins. before our project is over (Read: 6:25p --- 1 hour late. Completely missed our project.) She lamely tried to make it up by taking a few conciliatory photos. So whatever. She's lame. She sent out a few emails to see if she could help out with our group presentation. So -- cut to today...she knows today is our presentation. All of the other mentors showed up for their groups presentations, hell, some even helped out! Did ours show up? Nope. But she did have the courtesy to send me an email, hoping that the presentation is going well. What a piece of crap. The worst part? I'm paying to have such a shitty mentor. And all of my peers have great mentors. What do I need to do to get a great mentor? Mentors can open such wonderful opportunities for you -- not to mention provide support and encouragement when needed. I'm overall disappointed in this mentor program -- and hope this woman never has students to mentor. But I'm glad our group overcame her petty crap, rose above it, and did a wonderful job. But she still gets to grade us. Gr. Although, it could have been worse, she could have been my clinical preceptor.

I'm headed to VA the day after Christmas and I'm so excited to go home (again.) I did manage to make it up there for Thanksgiving. Surprisingly, plane tickets are really not that expensive. $150 roundtrip for this trip. (Can't get much cheaper than that !) I'm still way behind on Christmas shopping. I'm not really sure what to get everyone. Beloved and I will be spending this Christmas as our first together, without our families. Last year she spent most of Christmas Eve in the airport and I was with my family without her (sad.) The year before, we went to see her family together but I wasn't with my family (sad.) So this year we're trying to compromise and create our own traditions. It's hard because although we both have been living on our own for several years now, we were very tied to our family's holiday traditions and had yet to form our own. It seems more and more like our life in Atlanta is becoming our life together.

The wiener dogs are doing fine. Emmie will be getting spayed Dec. 18th. I've finally found a vet that I will trust my little blonde girl to. Graisen also has to get his yearly shots. But slowly but surely, we're wrapping up 2007 on a happy note. Alright, I'm off to the test review.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

It's been awhile

I have been lost in the world of nursing school. We've been really busy with tests, lectures, and clinicals. Last week was by far my most challenging clinical yet. My clinical instructor paired me up with another student. I'm a very independent student and generally prefer to do things my way and alone. However, with this particular patient, I was glad to have the extra help. My patient was dying and was in the most terrible condition I have ever seen. Covered in purple-red bruises, paper-thin jaundiced skin that would break and bleed, so swollen that it was weeping. Unable to hear, speak, or see with wounds -- skin tears and pressure ulcers -- everywhere. Multiple organ failure. Trach tube. And the list goes on and on. From a learning standpoint, this patient had several issues that I had just learned about. But from a practical standpoint, this person was dying and suffering and nothing I did alleviated that suffering. That was hard for me. I wasn't on top of my game like I usually am. I was paralyzed by this patient, forgetting everything I had prepared. Without my partner, nothing would have gotten done that day at all. It hurt me to look at this patient. And if it hurt me just to look, can you imagine how hard it must be for that person who is actually living that situation? The worst part of the whole situation is that this patient was alone -- no family was there. If anything can make you contemplate advance directives, a patient like this certainly would. I was sort of relieved to hear after I left that day, my patient was transferred to the ICU.

But this week's patient was much better. A patient who in the past has been in pretty critical condition is getting better :) This patient has been there for a long time and just since we started working on the floor, you can see great improvements. I was happy to have someone improving who I could actually help. This patient laughed with me and helped me decide that I'm going to be the kind of nurse who's serious when appropriate, but funny too. I almost dropped the bedside remote/call button on the patient's head (someone had tucked it in with the BP cuff and it fell when I tugged the cuff out.) Then later, I was doing an Accuchek and the finger-prick broke, so I had to call for another one -- Pt was on contact precautions -- then the strip I had didn't work, and yet again, call for another strip. All the while trying to keep the finger I pricked from clotting up before the new strip came! Patient meanwhile thought the entire fiasco was hilarious. I did manage to get enough blood for the test to work. Patient said I will make a great nurse. This particular patient has been seen by all of the students in my group but I gave the best SQ shot. :)

I had a good friend come in from DC to see the Va Tech v. Georgia Tech game. It was a pretty fun weekend. I managed to go to the game, prepare for clinical, have the worst clinical day ever, get up the next morning to eat breakfast with Beloved, took them to the Decatur Wine Festival (yum!), go out to dinner, and study for my big exam that I took on Tuesday. (Pharm/pathophys. exam which I aced!)

I was kind of miffed that study group arose from the people I routinely hang out with. I was not invited to join the group, however, for unknown reasons. It kind of made me mad -- I'm still sort of miffed. I'm not used to being in a group of people and having other students think I'm not-that-smart. All of my friend, fellow classmates from VA, know and would classify me as a smart girl. But these new people haven't really given me any credit. So said study group prepared for the test, I studied alone, but I think I did better than them -- I think most got B's. I was slightly amused by this fact but still want them to recognize that I'm smart too! I guess it's kind of juvenile, but we'll see.

Speaking of school, we've been registering for next semester's classes. I got permission to take a GLBTQ and Public Health graduate-level course that's cross listed with Women's Studies. I'm so excited about the course -- it sounds awesome! Then I think I will be taking the Spanish for Healthcare Providers as well. Hopefully, they will give me credit for the research class I took during my undergrad so I can waive that course next semester. But we'll see. I'm not sure if they're going to want to count it because it was a "feminist" research methods course -- but, feminist or not, it was still research. But I'm taking the Peds/Maternity clinical rotation so I will be doing mommas & babies :) (Finally!)

Anyways -- I've got a conference to go to that starts at 10:00. So I need to get ready :) Hopefully I will post more later on this weekend.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Time flies

I can't believe it's the weekend again. My week has been so busy that I wonder where time went. I'm getting into a groove at school and in the hospital, so I'm not feeling overwhelmed at all. This week's clinical went very smoothly. My patient was pretty straightforward and getting discharged. I got to D/C a Foley and an INT. That was the highlight of my morning. Then we did flu shots in the hospital. We had a little cart and peddled flu shots to employees. Our small group of 6 did almost 50 flu shots! I got to give 8 or 9 (I lost count) IM shots. And nothing too terribly bad happened.

So the dreaded breast examination class wasn't bad at all. I think I'm getting more and more used to touching other people and having them touch me. Although I did my exam still wearing my bra, other students went totally topless (if they wanted to.) I'm not sure I could do that with people I'm not comfortable with. I don't have any of my regular friends in this class with me. The lab suddenly becomes a new form of picking teams for dodgeball because we have to pick partners before each exam. And people are summing you up -- you never want to be the last person without a partner. I told my lab instructor that this lab was like being back in high school, to which she replied "Oh yeah? So you got felt up a lot in high school?" HAHA. I was like, "No, I meant getting felt up with someone who has no idea what they're doing." I love my lab instructor. She's great. I (somehow) managed to have her for both my clinical and health assessment labs. She has taught us so much - I feel like our group is way ahead of the learning curve. Plus she has a very dry sense of humor that cracks me up.

The schedule for next semester has come out already. Hopefully I'll be in maternity/peds rotation. I signed up for (potentially) a Saturday clinical. All of our clinicals are now 12 hrs, either 2 6-hr shifts or 1 12-hr shift. The faculty adviser for the co-op teaches the maternity class. Also, I went to a presentation about maternal mortality in Bangladesh. It was pretty awesome. Emory has a center for research on maternal and fetal outcomes which has opened up fairly recently. The director of the program also spoke at the presentation and I really need to get to know this woman. The focus of her research is on traditional birth attendants. She seems to be right up my alley. The doctoral candidate who gave the presentation does a lot of work with EISNA and HealthStat (two organizations I do work with.)

Switching gears, I was in a car accident about a year ago. Some idiot rear-ended me on the interstate, going between 30-40 mph. My car and I both survived. But since starting clinicals, my neck has been *killing* me. And I really do not have the time to sit at home with a pain in my neck. Pain meds don't really help it at all. So I caved in and went to the doctor at EUSHS. (As part of tuition, we can see student health for free.) She referred me to the spine center citing that she wasn't sure if my neck had been properly diagnosed and addressed when I got into my accident. I will most likely make an appointment sometime next week. We've got a hellacious week coming up -- two exams (health assessment & pathophys/pharmacology), a friend from VA is coming for the weekend, and a football game (GaTech v. VaTech -- can you guess who I'm rooting for?)

I'm getting more and more excited as it gets closer to Thanksgiving. I miss my family something fierce. And my friends. I think it will be weird to be home, but very nice. I'm leaving Beloved and the pups for a few days, but they will be okay. I promised her to do a pre-Thanksgiving dinner with her before I leave because she has to work on the actual day. Her family isn't too big on Thanksgiving like mine.

The pups are doing well. Beloved and I bought them some chewies a night ago, they managed to find the bag, and tear into all the delicious dog chews while I was at school yesterday. I'm still trying to find an awesome vet for Emmie's spay surgery. I'm so picky about them. If I don't like a place over-the-phone, I'm not going to take my dogs there. They're like my children. So, anyone got good vet recommendations? I'm down to the wire and I don't want her to go into heat. We have white carpet.

Monday, October 22, 2007


I'm sure many a nursing student has felt. I'm spoiled because I had such a wonderful mentor/advisor during my undergraduate studies. She was amazing -- always had me in mind and kept me informed about many things. She was so good in fact that I still email her at least once a month to update her, gain insight and encouragement. My current "mentor" is not even on the same planet as me. And I'm not meaning that in a harsh way, but she doesn't seem to really care about anything that matters to me. Moreover she acts as if this mentor gig is a hassle to her. Moreover, I went to another professor who is a CNM and sat down with her. She's awesome. She and I spent at least an hour or so talking about various things that actually will apply to my future career. She even recommended Robbie Davis-Floyd to me. I love Robbie Davis-Floyd already. But, since this professor is new, she's not allowed to have advisees this year. ((sigh)) She's much better than my assigned mentor. Wouldn't you think that they would give students a mentor based on their interests? Or maybe their career track? I think they (they being the administration) just did eenie-meanie-miney-moe which I feel is a stupid way to assign mentors to people.

On to another topic: clinical. On Friday I had my first real patient that I was in charge of taking care of. I did very well. I was proud of myself. Suddenly it feels like all of this stuff I've been learning for the past three months is being put to good use. I'm actually remembering/utilizing the knowledge that I've gotten. Plus it's really different to put a face/personality to the imaginary "patient" we talk about. I can really see how to apply the skills that I'm learning to an actual person. The hardest part about clinicals was locating the things that we needed. For example, the Accuchek ran out of strips, but I had to find the bottle which didn't have the appropriate "chip" so I had to find another one. Or managing your time because you have X amount of tasks to do in X amount of time. I think this week I will need to be better organized, time-wise. But I did see a lot of really awesome stuff. We're on an abdominal surgical floor -- so I saw some pretty interesting wounds -- fistulas, etc. The wound care nurses let us help change some dressings. I got a little woozy. I may not be as badass as I originally thought.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Start clinicals off with a bang

Despite my prior forecast that this week would be uneventful, it has turned out to be quite the opposite. School was pretty straightforward. We had two classes and one clinical. Wednesday I was on call for the co-op and didn't get called. But another doula asked if I could serve as her back up for a client who was being induced (the other doula had to go out of town.) My Thursday wasn't too full, so I agreed. I got to the hospital around 5p --- she delivered a healthy baby boy around 7:15a on Friday morning. I stayed the entire time in true doula fashion. But, I had to be at my clinical site at 9:00a. So I rushed home, changed, ate something quickly, and went to clinical. I was barely there on time but it was worth it. Who else could say they started off their clinicals with a beautiful birth?

The birth was pretty normal. I think that going to these births will allow me to introduce my face and name to the residents, doctors, etc. who practice all around. And they can be important allies (as well as formidable foes.) Last night's doctors were not the case. We were at Big Teaching Hospital, so mom had a head of dept, resident, and intern.

(On a side note, although I will never repeat this...I was totally hot for the OB resident. Hello -- she was the hottest doc I have ever seen. It almost made the 14 hr birth even more exciting because she was there the.entire.time!!)

Back to the birth, docs were very liberal (more liberal than what I saw in VA) for pushing. Mom pushed side-lying, squatting, pulling a towel, etc. all at the suggestion of the doc. I was fairly surprised because #1 I've never been at a birth where the doc hasn't "stepped in" at the very last moment to "catch" the baby #2 I've never been at a birth where the doctor was so liberal in pushing was given options and choices, the docs moved around to accommodate mom and how she pushed best (of course, the way it *should* be!) Doc was there pretty much the entire time.

And even though I love being at births despite where they occur, every hospital birth I go to just reaffirms my desire to never ever have children in a hospital. Ever.

Which brings me to a new topic. There are no birth centers in the Atlanta metro area. None. Not even one. Even in VA, there was a birth center! So I want to get involved in starting one. Another (almost graduated) nurse-midwifery student was telling me that she wants to start a center because there's a growing need for it. I'd totally like to either join her (if she was serious) or start my own upon graduation.

Last night I went to the LGBT graduate student alliance house party. I met a few interesting people -- only 1 from my school. Apparently, there's a lot of queers in public health, law, and medicine but not nursing. *sigh* So I'm going to be a lot more active in their group. Hopefully we can do some good and create more queer visibility at the university.

My big toe is alright. It's not doing too well since I was on my feet for almost 2 days straight. I think I may lose the toenail cause it's starting to turn black. Gross. I've never lost a toenail before.

Clinicals went well. We're on an abdominal post-surgical floor so lots of interesting things to see. In spite of being exhausted, I was very on top of things. Rattling off names of medications, their indications, answering the instructor's questions, etc. So I am a smarty pants. The one in the group that everyone hates because I almost always know the answer.

Speaking of smarty pants, I got my Pharm test grade back -- not a solid B as I had predicted, but an A! :) So that's two A's so far. I'm 2 for 2. We have our first clinical exam on Monday which I really need to get to work on. Plus there's lots of readings for assessment. We're doing head, eyes, ears, neck, and throat on Monday & Wednesday. Not to mention getting our first real patient on Friday. I can't believe school is flying by so fast.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Mini-vacation recap

Beloved and I just got back from FL in the wee hours this morning (around 2 am.) We managed get everything done except for taking the pups to the beach. Instead we treated them to an afternoon of luxury by the side of a pool. They loved it anyways. Here's a picture of the pups in Beloved's car. She got a new car so this was our last road trip in her old car. The trip went well except for my toe injury.

We were at the tourist spot picking up a new Vera Bradley bag for me and souvenirs for our friends. I went into a little shop to look at wind chimes. There was a shelf that was simply made out of 2x4s but at the ends it was not sanded. I sort of stubbed my toe on the corner and had this shooting pain. I looked down and saw a one inch splinter in my big toe, jammed under my toenail, deep in the nail bed, all the way to the cuticle. I have never felt such pain. I hobbled out of the store, sat down on a bench, and called Beloved in tears. She thought something bad (like a death) had happened, so she ran over to where I was and was like, "'s just a splinter!" It hurt so badly and was deep in my toe so I didn't want to pull it out on the spot. I hobbled back to the car, cursing the whole way, and we drove to Beloved's aunt's house. She performed surgery and removed the huge ass splinter. And while it felt much better not to have the splinter in my foot, my toe now looks like this.

So I hope it gets better soon because it feels bad to be on my feet. Nurses are always on the their feet.

To answer some questions on the blog, yes, I did check out the doula co-op organization. I am a member and they didn't mind that I had done my workshop through DONA instead of CAPPA. They just needed willing hands to help out. I'm actually on-call for today for the co-op. I may get called for a birth, but we'll see. A good friend of mine in my class took the CAPPA workshop and will go with me if there's a birth today. Also, a fellow member called to see if I could attend the birth of one of her client's because she will be out of town for a conference. So I will more than likely be doing a birth tomorrow. (Yay!)

The twins are here in Atlanta, but I have been so busy that I haven't been able to see them yet. I do promise that I will get to see the babies before they leave on Sunday. Anyways -- I have Pharmacology in an hour so I need to get ready. I will post more later on this week -- Friday is our first day in the hospital!! :)

Sunday, October 7, 2007

You can tell it's fall break when...

I spent most of yesterday shampooing my carpets. Apparently, we're entering hormonal phase for Emmie. She has thus proceeded scent marking. (I thought we weren't supposed to go through this *again* because she's a female? Alas, I was wrong...) So for the better part of last week I have remained annoyed at the smell of pee. Yesterday I had had enough and went out and purchased a Hoover All Terrain SteamVac. I shampooed the entire living room and hallway. It smells much better and doesn't look half bad. I think next I will try steam-cleaning my furniture.

After steam-cleaning the living room, I decided I didn't like the way the furniture was arranged. So 1 hour and 25 different configurations later, it was to my liking. But then I decided our living room looks quite sparse. We had moved an overstuffed armchair from the living room into the office. So now our living room just has a love seat, chaise, and small TV on a stand. I have decided that we need to make slipcovers for the living room furniture, purchase an area rug, some curtains, lamps, side tables and perhaps a bookshelf. I love the way our office looks. It's quite cozy and functional. It's funny that once we moved in here, it appears as if we have nothing because our last apartment was so small.

Tonight once Beloved gets home from work, we're headed out to FL via a 6 hour car ride with two dogs. I suppose it will be alright, but I will be driving most of the way because she worked all day. We're going to FL for a visit with some of her family and to pick up her new car. I'm pretty excited to get out of Atlanta and see people we know and love. I'm also excited because Beloved's father makes the best breakfast I have ever had. Plus we could probably take the pups to the beach, visit Beloved's aunt, and get some crucial shopping done at the outlets. Now -- we'll be amazed if we can cram all of that into a 2-day visit.

I have a lot of reading that I'm hoping to catch up on over this break. Although next week we only have three (yes, just THREE!!) classes, we have our first Clinical nursing exam the following Monday. Clinical nursing is our 7 credit hour course, so as you can imagine, it will be a lot of material. It's material not only covered in lecture, but clinical lab material too.

Also on the school front, horrible student teacher may be taking over our clinical lab class starting next week. Once we're in clincals, our instructor who has been teaching us since the start of school will be in the hospital on our lab day. So we get a new instructor that could be:

a.) Pregnant (awesome) clinical coordinator
b.) Lab coordinator who reminds me of Beloved's mother (again, awesome)
c.) Crappy student teacher with poor math skills
d.) Emergency NP peppy student teacher

So I guess odds are in my favor. I have a 25% chance of getting someone I don't like and a 75% chance of getting someone I do like. And although we would only be spending one day with this person, it still has the potential to ruin my Thursdays. I feel pretty lucky so far as to have met several instructors and only dislike two.

Speaking of the Awful One who comes into Health Assessment. You will never believe what she did. So in addition to her being a guest lecturer, she also serves as an instructor in assessment lab. A fellow classmate (who is not the skinniest girl) has the Awful One for her lab assessment class. And the Awful One directly asked my classmate, upon seeing her abdomen (because we were doing abdominal assessment), if she was pregnant! She also chastised another student about her general appearance statement about her partner. She said, You need to tell it like it is. He's a white obese male. (Said white "obese" male was standing right there, and said comment was in front of the entire class -- like 15+ of said "obese" male's classmates and future colleagues.) Any thoughts on how to stop the Awful One my dear friends?

My actual injection administration went very well. After being quite calm and collected, I became slightly nervous right before my parter was going to give me the IM injection. After that one was over, I wasn't worried at all. Except the subQ abdominal shot hurt! Well, at least now I can say that I've given injections and not killed anyone.

Anyways -- I should get to packing/cleaning/getting ready for our mini-vacation. Woohoo to time spent with my little family. :)

Friday, October 5, 2007

Weekly roundup

So my signing ceremony went well (see picture: me signing the book.) For those of you who asked, I will explain what the ceremony was. Basically, back in "the day" when nurses wore caps, they would have a capping ceremony where the nursing students would be capped (see picture.) Each school has their own cap, with a certain number of pleats which stood for qualities such as integrity and honor. Nowadays, however, nurses no longer wear caps, so my school has adopted a signing ceremony for nursing students in lieu of the capping ceremony. We just signed our name to a ledger to affirm our professional values. Several key people spoke, including the dean, and it was followed by a formal tea complete with a punchbowl rumored to be insured for half a million dollars. (WTF...I'm definitely in the south! I've never been to a "ladies tea.")

I did well enough on my Pharmacology/Pathophys. exam -- a solid B. I'm pleased with myself. It was a lot of information to cover. I passed my check-off for medication administration yesterday. I was incredibly annoyed because our clinical instructor had a student teacher with her. This was the first time this other person had been in our lab class. And what does she do? She proceeds to ask questions/do things that we're not being tested on. I'm a fairly well-prepared student and find it nerve-wracking that this woman grilled me and she couldn't even accurately do a *simple* medication calculation. She argued with my partner for 20+ mins about a calculation in which my partner was right and the student teacher was wrong. Wouldn't you think if it's your first day, you'd just shut up and observe, especially if the students are getting checked off?!

Today I have check-off for injections. We have to give our partner three shots -- ID, SQ, and IM. I'm not too worried about that. Although I am mildly irritated that they scheduled our nursing immunization clinic before this check off. So now I have to go before my class to get *real* injections -- Hep B & another PPD. Then I get the shots for validation. Ah well. Practice makes perfect I guess.

In other school-related news, I'm not sure what to do about this guest lecturer who frequents our Health Assessment class. She's absolutely terrible! Her first lecture, about CVS, she did nothing related to the objectives. She talked about absolutely nothing for over 2 hours. This was two days before we were to be tested on this material too! Her next lecture, abdominal assessment, she followed objectives a little better. But she asked the students questions, reprimanded us for "incorrect" answers -- by incorrect, I mean answers she didn't really like, but they were listed within the text. And spent way too much time talking about abnormal conditions which at this point we're not expected to recognize, and little to no time on normal condition of the abdominal assessment. And finally, she flipped out when students began packing up their stuff at 2:55p --- five minutes AFTER class was supposed to get out. She then said...It's only 2:55p, did I tell you that it's okay to pack up? You're staying until 3:00p. WTF. Are we back in high school? I gave her a terrible review, but I am going to shoot myself in the foot if I have to see this woman again.

On the social network, I'm slowly but surely making friends at school. No gay ones as of yet. That might change soon, I got invited to a GLBT graduate student party that's next Friday. (According to my classmates, I'm the token lesbian.) But our little group consists of BSN/MSN segue students. It just sort of happened that way. Beloved and I are going to FL for my fall break which is this upcoming Mon-Tues. Next Wednesday, the twins and their mom arrive in Atlanta -- so I will get to see them! I haven't seen them since July! And most importantly, Friday is my first clinical at the hospital -- 7a-1p. I hear next semester our clinical hours switch to 12 hr shifts. Oh the joys of nursing school.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

What stress does to me

I think I'm the weirdest person ever. Exams have such a strange effect on my life. Most recently, I've been unable to sleep well. A few nights ago, I woke up frequently because I was dreaming about my Pharmacology exam. Every time I was asked a question, I'd wake up and say, "I'm not ready for my exam yet!" Even more disturbing was my dream last night. I dreamt I had slept with an old boyfriend from high school. As a result, I had gotten pregnant. But Beloved and I were still together. She apparently was alright with me sleeping with this boy. I guess the point of sleeping with him was *to* get pregnant? I don't know. It was never clearly spelled out. I kept convincing Beloved that I was pregnant. And the dream basically ended with me getting a positive pregnancy test.

Another weird side effect of being under stress, especially school work, is a really vamped up sex drive. I don't know why it happens, perhaps a way to burn off some extra steam? I can say that I have had some of the best times of my sex life during stressful school times, such as exam week. Having said all of that, I feel I'm prepared for my first Pharmacology exam today. I got back my Health Assessment exam and I got an A. I'm feeling somewhat more qualified to be in this rigorous program.

In other news, Emmie has suddenly gotten filled with hormones. She's been humping Graisen all weekend. So the time has come to get her spayed. I always hate taking them to have surgery. I'm such a sucker for my dogs. I called a couple of places to see what their protocol is for spaying. Graisen has to get a booster Rabies shot too sometime soon.

And finally, we have a signing ceremony tomorrow. Beloved will be attending to support me. I'm kind of interested to see how my classmates will react to her -- I've slowly come out as needed, but it's always different when people actually *meet* your significant other.

I have a headache. Wish me luck on my exam & validations on Thursday and Friday! :)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Really excited

I just bought tickets to see Ani Difranco play in Atlanta on November 13th!! I haven't seen her play since 2003!

This is a definite perk to living in a major city.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Less lame

I have been trying to be more social this past week. I went to a panel discussion at the Feminist Women's Health Center. The topic was being gay or lesbian in the Latino community. Although, I myself am not Latina, Beloved is Puerto Rican. So I thought it would be an insightful panel, as well as a way for me to introduce myself to the center. And let me say...I had so much fun. I really felt like this was the first time since I've been in GA, that I felt completely at home with a group of people instantly. I was among fellow Women's Studies students, lesbians, and feminists. It was a wonderful time. One of the ladies there also comes to speak to a nursing class about reproductive issues (so I suppose I can look forward to that in 2 years?) There's an art opening tonight that we were also invited to attend. I'm pretty sure we're going to make it out -- just not sure when.

School has been kicking my ass this week. I'm behind in my reading (as usual) but I think I will try to make it up this weekend. We have a Pharm/Pathophys. test on Tuesday. We have about 50+ drugs to know for that exam (antihypertensives, drugs of the ANS, antidysrhythmics, etc.) *sigh* I'm pretty sure I will do well on it. There will be lots of studying taking place this weekend. After we get through next week, though, it will be Fall Break! And while I'm excited for the (brief) break from school, when we come back from break our *real* clinicals start. Yay for having to report to the hospital at 6:45a. I don't think that first week we'll get patients. We're just helping dole out flu shots to doctors, nurses, and staff.

On a side note, people that drive here can be complete assholes. Last night on my way to the panel, I was driving down my destination road. Unfortunately, my GPS was having a bit of schizophrenia and kept misdirecting me. So I missed the turn for the center. No problem, I thought, I will just make a U-turn. I come to the end of the street where I have only one option...turn right -- it's an on-ramp for the highway! I have definitely not navigated the highways here yet and I wasn't about to start now. So I'm sitting there, trying to figure out if I'm going to make the right turn, or make a semi-illegal U-turn onto the wrong way of an on-ramp to turn around. My decision making was clouded by some complete asshole behind me who literally laid on his horn and shrieked at me to get out of the way. Clearly my license plate is from out-of-state, and clearly I'm trying to make a decision here. If he was in such a fucking hurry -- he could have easily gone around me. But no, he decided it would be helpful to simply honk his horn and scream at me. So finally, I decided to make the U-turn, let the asshole go on his merry way and I pulled in safely to the center. But who the hell ends roads in on-ramps to the interstate? This is a completely foreign concept to me. I was so frazzled by the incident, I had to call Beloved. She just laughed -- she's from NY so assholes here really don't bother her.

Anyways -- I must be off. I have an altered schedule today because there's some discussion with alumni from SON and our class. So we have to go to this presentation thing, then they bought us lunch. I dunno -- it just means I have to go to school an hour early and go to lab an hour later. I can't wait for the weekend to be here.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Quick update

So the first test of my nursing school career went fairly well. It was mostly straightforward and I think I will get a high B/low A. Not bad. I got to school a little early today so I decided to update a little bit.

Last night was my first exposure to the political climate in GA. There's a public hospital that's on the verge of shutting down mainly due to lack of funding. This hospital is a teaching hospital and has ties with two prestigious medical schools here. Unfortunately, there's a lot of discussion about this hospital because it serves a majority of uninsured and under-insured patients who would be displaced should the hospital close its doors. The "solution" which has been proposed is a restructuring of the hospital which will allow private corporations and philanthropists to support the hospital. But there is a severe mistrust of the "restructuring" process and many think it will end this hospital primarily serving the uninsured/under-insured.

So last night I attended a panel discussion on the hospital's future. There was so much hostility -- it was palpable. The state representative (Republican -- ::vomits::) was awful. She absolutely tried to make the problem one of immigration reform, not about the growing population of uninsured Americans. She intimated that people chose to be uninsured because they thought they were invincible and didn't need coverage. WTF!? Is this woman living in the same country as us? People don't have insurance because it's fucking expensive. Outrageously expensive. I barely had insurance and know many who would *love* to have insurance but coverage is well beyond their means. This problem of this hospital is not an isolated problem, but a larger problem of health care.

Any thoughts?

Saturday, September 22, 2007


I have been feeling down on myself this week. I realize with all that has been going on with school, I feel I just need a break to do something really fun. And this would be the time I would call my girls to go out for drinks and dancing with me. But my girls are in VA. So instead I'm stuck at home, wishing I could go out. I'm a true Leo, so I don't really like being solitary. But I'm not quite comfortable yet with the area to simply find a lesbian bar and go have a beer. Beloved would totally have a beer with me, but we're on completely opposite schedules. She has days off when I'm in school -- I have days off from school when she's working. And I know how hard she's working, so I hate to selfishly ask her to go out when I know she's tired. And then my classmates...I see them all week, I'm sure they'd like to get a beer too, but I *think* none of them are gay (well, maybe one is...) or would feel comfortable going to a gay bar. I loathe straight bars. Going out isn't complete without at least one drag queen.

So what am I to do? I haven't felt this sort of loneliness since the awkward years of high school. Even then I had friends.

In other news, school is going well. I have to re-take my medication administration quiz in order to go to clinicals. We have to get a 100% on it. I missed 2 questions the first go-round. It's not that the math is difficult (because it really is simple) but the program where we have to enter our answers is very specific. Ie. your answer is wrong if you wrote "tablet" instead of "tablets." So blah -- I think I will try again this afternoon. We had our first validation on Thursday. I did my VS correctly. My partner was a "patient" who had just had a LLE (lower left extremity) surgery, so I had to insure I checked peripheral pulses and he was on CBR (complete bed rest) so his VS were taken lying down. I played a "patient" who had DOE (dyspnea on exertion) and a cough. Fun times. We actually *do* our validations in practice exam rooms.

Yesterday we did medication administration -- IM, ID, SQ, and PO. So meds by mouth or different forms of injections. We didn't practice on each other -- we had this "slab" which is meant to mimic human flesh. One of the girls in our class faints every time she gets a shot or has her blood drawn. I was pretty good. Needles still kind of freak me out -- especially 5 other people who are inexperienced with needles running (not literally) around with them. I did not get a needle-stick - thank goddess! Someone else did from (just like our text says) recapping needles. Our needles were kind of older and crappy. The insulin syringes weren't fitted correctly so they kept drawing up air. And then the insulin syringe is the one that broke through the cap and stuck my classmate. Luckily it wasn't dirty. Next week we learn how to start IVs. Apparently the first week of clinicals we practice our IM injections because we help out with the flu shot drive in the hospital. We'll be administering flu shots to doctors, nurses, etc etc. I'm excited about it. Learning how to do things is really interesting to me. I feel like I'm getting somewhere!

In other news, we had our first topless moment in Health Assessment on Wednesday. We were doing cardiovascular and pulmonary exams. So we had to disrobe, wear a gown, and have our partners do complete system exams. Inspection, palpation, percussion, and auscultation. It wasn't that bad. They tried to make our little rooms more private and I was wearing a bra after all. No big deal. My partner was pretty cool. The hardest part was writing up our SOAPs in like 30 minutes. Complete health assessments are due on Wednesday of next week. I still have to finish mine.

Coming up next week is our first Health Assessment test (Monday) -- lame. I really need to get to work studying for it. We're also moving right along in Integrated Science (Pathophys + Pharmacology.) Pretty soon we'll be seeing real patients in the hospital. I hope I don't kill anyone.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Notes on self-care

I really love how professors will send out an email that reads something like this:

"Please read Chapters 4, 6, 9, Chapter 10 pp 175-177 and 189-201, Chapter 12 pp 221-266, and Chapter 18. Also, take the two quizzes by midnight today. Read chapters 19, 20, and 21 and take the quiz on Sunday. And do something for yourself too."

Ah yes, in between drowning in reading, studying, assignments, reviewing, and actually attending class, perhaps I may do something for myself. I think showering, sleeping, perhaps eating a meal would be wonderful.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Don't touch the models

Alright, so in our Clinical lab classes, we mostly practice our newly acquired skills on each other. (see post below) Today was no different. We were learning about body mechanics, patient positioning, etc. In our lab we do have life-size models who are anatomically correct for us to practice doing foley catheters, IVs, rectal exams, etc. One such life sized model was occupying a bed we needed to use for our demonstration. This model was essentially a male body, but instead of a penis, there was a vagina. A pretty well defined, realistic looking vagina, urethra, and anus.

All of the classmates gathered around the model as we moved it -- we haven't done anything with the models yet, so we were all interested in seeing it. Well, the genitalia was the first topic of discussion. It appeared as if you could simply remove the vagina and put a penis there. I then proceeded to pull the vagina off the model, then put it back on the model. As I did so, a stream of yellow "urine" squirted out from the model onto my hand! I shrieked, "It peed on me!" And my entire class erupted in laughter (including me.) I was so surprised that I turned beet red and laughed so hard I cried. It was the funniest thing that's happened since school started.

A whole new world

So as I am in week #2 of nursing school, I have come to realize that I have immersed myself in a new world. It's a different way of thinking than I'm used to. We're encouraged to assimilate, dress the same, perform the same way, etc. Dissent is frowned upon as is questioning. We're being indoctrinated into a hierarchal organization and learning "our place" is an integral part of the curriculum. We're being taught a new language, how to communicate within this new system, and how to form new professional relationships. Coming from a liberal arts background, I am quite used to asking "why" and asking how things may affect a variety of people.

For example, as a nursing student, we're expected to be the "patient" in our lab classes. We're expected to disrobe, wear a gown, and allow a classmate to practice on us. In any other discipline, this would be pretty outrageous. Requiring an art student to model for class, nude or semi-nude, isn't common. They hire models. I know they have "practice patients" for medical and nursing students. My main issue with this expectation was that it is assumed that *all* students will be comfortable with being this patient. It was never discussed in any of our classes, orientation, etc. And here comes my liberal arts line of questioning...

1. What if you have a history of domestic violence, sexual abuse, or rape? You would have to divulge these details in objection to participating in this way. And you would most certainly stand out among your classmates who'd inevitably wonder why you wouldn't participate.

2. What if you have body image issues, past history of eating disorders? Being weighed weekly, complete with a BMI calculation and a recommendation for weight loss, could wreak havoc on what self-esteem you have.

Since there was absolutely no discussion regarding opting out if you felt uncomfortable, it seems as if the program doesn't consider the feelings of individuals who may have these issues or others like it. And this general quit-your-whining and just-do-it mentality is not something I'm used to. And since we're pressured to assimilate, no one speaks of these feelings. I'm sure I'm not the only student whose had these feelings or issues. But others aren't going to express anything to buck the system - so-to-speak. So it's a matter of processing these new feelings and asking if others may feel the same way.

My friend from California is feels similarly to myself. We're both confused at how easily our new group of classmates just do everything without questioning. Perhaps that's what my liberal arts education taught me...question everything, especially when it requires you to be semi-undresses among your classmates. It brings a whole new meaning to going to school naked.

My nursing friends, any thoughts?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Things I'm excited about

1. My instructor who introduced "evidence-based medicine" with the example of administering IV fluids during labor. She stated it did not improve the mother or child's outcome. (She's also a CNM.) She indicated evidence-based medicine is the best, not relying on tradition or protocol.

2. Atlanta Doula Co-op. A volunteer organization which provides doula services in the Atlanta-metro area. Most of these doulas are nurse-midwifery students. Their informational meeting is this afternoon. Although, they're CAPPA certified...I'm DONA certified --- I hope this won't be a problem. A doula is a doula, right?

3. Feminist Health Center. They have a clinical internship aimed at medical and nursing students. This organization sounds really wonderful. According to my adviser at my alma mater, very few of these centers still exist. I've already emailed them to see what I can do to help out.

4. The weekend. I am swamped with homework, reading, assignments, etc. already. I need to catch up.

Monday, September 3, 2007

First official day of school

Last Friday was my first day of school. I think they're easing us into a routine because it was only one class. All we really did was learn our way around the lab, wash our hands, and reviewed a syllabus. I think I'm really going to like this school. It seems like a good fit for me. There are a couple doulas in my program as well.

I was mildly irritated when I told my "mentor" group that I was a doula, my mentor was like, "A what?!" She's a cardiac I'm sure my birth opinions don't really interest her. But I did meet one of the coolest girls I've met in a long time. I didn't really pay attention to her until I realized she had the *entire* female reproductive system as a "logo" on her hoodie. Awesome :) She told me she used to volunteer for a free clinic. She's going for a public health nursing degree but is in the same "program" as myself. Another woman who introduced herself to me is working on her degree while she works for Planned Parenthood.

So that makes a couple of doulas (more are in the nursing class ahead of ours), someone working for a free clinic, and someone working for Planned Parenthood. I suppose I can breathe a sigh of relief to be somewhat surrounded by women's health advocates. I was extremely afraid that I would be thrust into an overwhelming pro-life group.

Which brings me to the question, what organizations should I join? There's a Feminist Health Center in Atlanta which looks like a pretty interesting place to volunteer. Perhaps practice my new skills? But there's another organization, Health Stat, which focuses on important issues in the local area. One focus of this group is discrepancies in access to health care which I'm sure some women's health issues fall. I also want to look into a feminist organization on campus. College political group? And our student nurses' association -- perhaps run for office. I really just want to throw myself head first into all of this stuff.

Anyways -- I must run the pups outside and get started on dinner. Mac 'n' cheese for Beloved. I'll write more later.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Apartment pics

I've taken a few pictures of the new apartment. It's still a work in progress, but it looks awesome even when it's messy! You can click the thumbs to see the larger picture.

When you first walk in, you are in the living room:

From the living room, you can walk out on to our balcony/deck. Can you spot the weiner dog? (It's Emmie...)

Next to the living room is my favorite place in the house - the kitchen. I like to work from the island. The photo on the island was a birthday present from the twin girls I used to nanny.

Just off the kitchen is the laundry room complete with our new washer and dryer courtesy of Beloved's parents. Next to which is my huge walk-in pantry.

Across from the kitchen is our office. It's supposed to be a dining room but we'd never use it as that. It's probably the most messy place in the apartment.

To the left of the living room is our hallway which leads to the bathroom and bedroom.

We have a huge oversized garden tub. I love it.

The bedroom is still kind of plain, but it will get better soon.

I'm off to NY to visit with my family until Tuesday.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Thoughts on the book

I just finished reading Pushed: The Painful Truth about Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care by Jennifer Block. It really amazes me how much pregnant women are subjected to in the medical mode of birth. What's more is that I'm shocked at how much evidence exists against the current model of care for pregnant women, yet the hospitals and obstetricians continue to dominate the playing field. The ACOG continues to refute the safety of any birth other than the ones which occur in a hospital despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

The thing I find most surprising is that the issue of pregnant woman's rights remain under-addressed from feminist circles. As feminists, we discuss the paramount importance of choice for women -- mainly pertaining to abortion. My body, my choice. But it seems that mantra only applies to women who don't want to continue a pregnancy. Those words should apply at all times. At all times, it is a woman's body and ultimately her choice. Pregnant or not.

So why haven't feminists taken up the issues Block presents in her book? Why are we complacent that 1 out of every 3 women will be subject to a major abdominal surgery? Block raises an interesting point about our European sisters who have a much lower C-section rate...are their uteruses simply better equipped than ours? Is it really true that 1/3rd of all women are incapable of vaginal (normal) births? Why are we satisfied at turning women away for care because they want a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section)? Block also raises the point that by prohibiting VBACs (hospitals, malpractice insurers, and OB/GYNs) we're essentially forcing women to consent to a repeat c-section. How's that for reproductive choice? I am dismayed at the lack of outrage on behalf of feminists regarding a system so stacked against women.

The main thing I'd like to know is why...why the need for such control over women's bodies? Clearly if it's in the best interest for relatively low-risk women to deliver with midwives, and the OBGYNs complain they are over-worked, why put up such a fight? It makes me nauseous how this traditionally female authoritative knowledge has been taken away from midwives and placed with OBGYNs. The widely-accepted authoritative knowledge rests primarily with the medical community and midwives are the deviation.

In reading this book, I have reaffirmed my decision to enter this field -- to help women. I feel women's health issues are my calling. I specifically chose midwifery, rather than becoming an OB/GYN. I want to make a difference here and I believe I can. I will be one of the strong women who will help to bring about change. I just don't want to get sucked in a shitty system that routinely violates women's reproductive rights.

Monday, August 6, 2007

We're home

It's been a little more than a week since my last post and a lot has changed. The movers came on Monday around 10am. We were pretty much packed up and ready to go. The weather, however, had other plans. There was a huge line of thunderstorms that prevented our movers from loading the truck until around 2ish. Once they left, we had the rest of the day to clean and wrap up final details. We left our apartment on Tuesday morning, had breakfast with my family as a final send-off and embarked on a 10+ hour drive. The trip can be summarized in photos.

Emmie asleep in the car in VA.

Emmie and Graisen asleep in the car in NC.

Emmie asleep in the car in SC.

Emmie asleep in the car in GA.

They pretty much slept the whole entire way here. They awoke only to get out and stretch their little legs, potty, and drink some water. What a life.

I will write more later.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Finally, real, tangible progress has been made in the packing venture. By how much I'm complaining about it, you'd think we live in a mansion. I think the packing would be easier if we did live in one. The reason it's so annoying is because our apartment is so small. In order to accommodate all of the boxes I'm packing, I've had to resort to playing a not-so-fun game of Tetris with heavy boxes. I think I've finally worked out a system that works for me. The entire living room (which also serves as dining room, office, media room, dachshund play area, and library) has been completely and totally packed. Done.

Now I need to move on to (the rest) of the kitchen. It shouldn't be too hard. I'm making Beloved pack the bedroom because I hate folding clothes. It's usually her domain anyways -- I usually clean living room/kitchen while she cleans bedroom/bathroom.

I cannot blame my lack of progress up until now completely on our tiny apartment. We have also had numerous invitations from friends and family to go out. Thursday was dinner with Beloved's old co-workers, then girls' (very late) night out. Friday was Beloved's going away party (also another very late night.) Yesterday was the first day I declined all invitations, hunkered down and just worked on packing --- but I was invited to the parents' house (they told me they were lounging by the pool.) Today we begin the social life again. Having coffee with a former doula client of mine and her beautiful son at 12. Then this evening, we're going to have dinner with another friend.

Tomorrow is the day. The movers will be here around 9am to start toting our things away. Then we settle in for a long day of cleaning. I think we're rounding out the day with dinner at my parents' house. We'll see how that all plays out.

And for the record, my dogs are driving me nuts. They love to be near you, at all times. Last night I was sorting papers and Graisen just jumped right on top of the work I was doing. They also like to go behind me and mess up things I've just cleaned or put away (read: freshly folded laundry is their favorite thing to mess up.) Currently, they're chasing one another -- barking, growling, and snarling. God, I hope my new neighbors like the sound of two crazy wiener dogs early in the morning.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Stupid bureaucracy

The packing is coming along, slowly but surely. I'm getting tired of looking at everything being everywhere.

We got some really aggravating news today. We've been planning this move since January when I found out I had been accepted to Emory's program. Beloved had notified her job soon thereafter so the necessary steps could be taken to have her transfer complete by this month. She has been maintaining close contact with the people in her HR department to make sure everything has been taken care of. Her HR rep had assured Beloved and her supervisor that the transfer was finalized and there were no problems whatsoever. So today Beloved signed all the official stuff for salary, etc. However, when Beloved called the new HR department to get specifics of where/when she needed to be on her first day, they stated they hadn't received her paperwork. They went on to say that the earliest day Beloved could start would be three weeks later than the date we had been planning on. Her HR department offered her one of three options:

1.) Take the time off without pay
2.) Exhaust her sick/vacation time
3.) Stay and work 2+ weeks here

This is a big problem. First of all, HR rep here blatantly lied to Beloved on more than one occasion about the status of her transfer. Additionally, Beloved's supervisor also had been keeping tabs on the transfer and was lied to as well when he inquired about it. Secondly, HR rep here did not send Beloved's paperwork. She just didn't send it. Why? Because it's too difficult to actually do your job competently? And now we're faced with either having absolutely no money (I don't receive any of my school money until the end of August) or use every last bit of Beloved's leave. In either case, I don't think these are fair options. Moreover, I'm angry that Beloved and I will be punished for this idiot's carelessness.

At this point, I know we're definitely leaving on Tuesday. I know she will not be staying to work here. Whether or not we'll get any money remains to be seen. What would you do?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


...Is a hot cup of coffee, enjoyed in bed with my two dogs snuggled up around me. It can't get much better than this.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


We have exactly 7 days left until we leave for Atlanta. Yesterday I had my thorough school physical. As if a pelvic exam wasn't bad enough, I got 3 shots, blood drawn, finger pricked, and a TB test (injected under the skin.) Each arm has at least three new holes! Good thing I'm not afraid of needles.

I still haven't made any *real* progress on the apartment or packing. Beloved decided to stay home from work today to help get us packed. I think we're calling in the reinforcements later on as well. With everyone's help, we make actually get somewhere.

In other news, I took Emmie to the vet yesterday for her last distemper-parvo shot. She's almost 4 months old now and I'm quite meticulous when it comes to her health care. So imagine my surprise when I brought her in yesterday for her distemper shot *only* and the vet tech brings her back to me and says, "We gave her the distemper shot. Oh, and we also gave her the rabies shot, since it was due." WTF?! First of all, dachshunds are prone to getting immunization reactions. It is more common when you give the dog more than one vaccination at a time. For this reason, we have intentionally split up all of our dogs' vaccinations. I specifically indicated that she was to be getting her distemper shot only -- that was the only vaccine that the receptionist wrote to administer. Secondly, I was not asked if it was alright for them to administer the rabies vaccination. Although she was due for the vaccination (on Wednesday, officially), I was planning a separate trip for her to get the shot, so as to minimize the chance of a reaction. Lastly, what if I only had enough money to pay for the distemper shot? Needless to say, I'm incredibly angry about their blatant disregard for my dog. Any ideas about what I should do? We're leaving in one week and that was the last vet visit with them.

So after all of the vet drama and my physical, we decided to take it easy for the rest of the day. Beloved took me to see the new movie, "I now pronounce you Chuck & Larry." In true Adam Sandler form, it was hilarious. I feared that the movie might be stereotypical and/or offensive but I was happy to see they took a very pro-gay stance. And while I don't agree with the premise of the movie, two straight men trying to become domestic partners in order to "cheat" the system, I do think it brought awareness about the daily struggles gay people are subjected to simply because of who they love. All in all, I'd recommend the movie.

I must run because the two wiener dogs want to go outside. And perhaps I should get to work on packing. ((sigh)) I hate moving.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Mixed Emotions

It has been a tumultuous six months. I have been completely caught up in the process, not quite realizing the end-result of all my hard work. I'm actually leaving my closest friends, my hometown, and (most significantly) my family in about a week. This revelation hit me hard last night as I put the twins to bed for the last time. I kissed each of them goodnight and turned off the light. It's humbling to think I will be little more than a faint memory to these girls who I've nurtured and loved for the past two years. But I am comforted by the wonderful job I have done. They are beautiful, smart and strong. However small my contribution, I did help them in that way.

But now I'm struck by how emotional I've become. If it was this hard for me to leave the twins for the last time, how will I do when I say goodbye to my family? I hope it's easier because I am planning on seeing them just two weeks after we move. But this birthday will mark the first one spent away from my family. Growing up is hard to do.

On the other side of the spectrum, I anxiously await moving into our new apartment. I want to learn everything about the new area. So far I've:

1.) Found the closest farmer's market. Mapquested said market to see how close it is to our new apartment.
2.) Researched a new vet. Also mapquested it. It's not far at all.
3.) Looked up the DMV - sort of.
4.) Scheduled to have our cable/internet/telephone installed
5.) Created a bike route from new apartment to school.
6.) Looked up bike shops in the local area.
7.) Visited the public transit site numerous times to find out if I can bring the dogs on the trains/buses (no luck...I'm going to have to call.)
8.) Picked out my wish list at IKEA.
9.) Found at least 3-5 dog parks. As well as local dachshund groups and dog activities.

My beloved and I have decided that we are going to spend the first few weeks riding the public transit as much as possible in order to learn our way around. There's so much tourist-y stuff we'd like to do before school starts anyway. Beloved has to ride the subway to get to work. I have the added benefit of already knowing the route. (I used the public transit when I flew into Atlanta for one day for my interview at Emory -- and that makes me an expert. HA!)

I still have a lot to get done. I've been putting off getting everything packed. Hopefully, the procrastination won't continue as I have all of next week free. Beloved is working right up until we leave, so I will be doing the majority of the packing. I can't imagine trying to move with children. I have two dogs and that's enough for me.


After stalking quite a bit I've finally decided to start my own blog. I'm about to embark on one of the biggest journeys of my life. In about a week or so, I will be packing my bags and we will be trekking down to Atlanta to begin my nursing program at Emory. I will be far from family and friends, but I am looking forward to doing what I absolutely love.

So here's a little bit about me. I'm 22 (almost 23...) and in a relationship with a wonderful woman. We've been together for about 2 and a half years now. She will be working in Atlanta when we make the big move. I love children. Working with pregnant moms and babies is the only way I can curb my serious desire to have children. For the past two years, I've been a nanny for twin girls -- since they were about 4 months old. The maternal pull is intense, however I know it's best to wait until I'm settled with an awesome job, house, and income before starting a family. I'm also a wonderful mom to my two dachshunds -- Graisen & Emmie.

I'm also a doula in training from DONA. I've attended one birth officially. I hope to get the remainder of my certifying births in while in school. I love helping moms-to-be have rewarding and fulfilling births. Moreover, I love to be included as I am a complete and total birth junkie.

I already have a BA in Women's Studies and am passionate about women's health issues. I believe working in women's health is truly my calling. If you like what you read, please don't hesitate to leave me a comment. I've been really enjoying reading blogs about midwives, doulas, and lesbian parenting.