Monday, January 28, 2008

Updated: And so it begins

So I am officially back in the swing of things with school. I haven't had my first real clinical day yet but I'm looking forward to it this weekend. I chose to have clinical all day on Saturday (7a-7p) rather than during the week. For the first half of the semester I will be doing maternity; pediatrics during the second half of the semester. While I'm excited about working with pregnant moms, I'm not sure how I feel working with sick in-patient children at the children's hospital. We rotate sites on the L&D floor and I will be doing the high-risk antepartum floor as well as the special care nursery on Saturday. So no actual labor and delivery for me on Saturday.

In preparation for clinical, we went to the School of Medicine's brand-new simulation lab. They have a woman who's in labor that talks, breathes, bleeds, etc. It was pretty interesting. The instructor can control what happens with the simulation. But this lady actually gives birth. Her cervix dilates and she pushes out the baby. It's really interesting. Since it is a model, it's not totally realistic and in her case, her labia are pretty far apart so you can just peer past them to see her cervix. A classmate of mine kept looking past the labia to see the cervix, rather than just feeling for the cervix. It was hilarious. We kept telling her she couldn't do that in clinical because she wouldn't see anything. I also learned that in this new rotation we will need to quantify post-partum bleeding by direct observation of used pads. Never thought this would be part of my patient care. Just when I think nursing can't surprise me more...

The ear infection/mastoiditis drama has cleared up mostly. I can hear out of that ear now. It's still a little tender, but I would be too if I had gone through all of that crap. It was such an interesting life experience. I've never had anything like that happen to me ever. And I do not wish to repeat it. But by far the most annoying thing to come from the entire ordeal is now when I shower, I have to gob on a huge goop of vaseline on a cotton ball and shove it in my ear. (Apparently this keeps the ear from getting wet...) It's totally disgusting and I equate it to a wet willy. Gross. It has completely made shower time less enjoyable.

My other class this semester is a LGBT & Public Health class which is cross-listed with Women's Studies. I'm excited to be able to take it and it hasn't disappointed me so far. One of our first readings for class quoted my undergrad department head (she's also my mentor -- a huge source of inspiration and encouragement!) Plus I'm just happy to be back in my element, as well as meeting people outside of the nursing school. There's one particular girl in this class who I want to know more about. She reminds me of a younger version of my twin girls' mother.

Monday, January 14, 2008

An update from EUH

So, the infection in my ear turns out to be worse than originally thought. I had to come to the ER again on Saturday. They did a head CT and diagnosed mastoiditis along with a middle and external ear infection that had spread to local tissue. They admitted me for IV antibiotics that evening and I've been here since then. I'm not doing awesome, but at least they know what's going on. I'm supposed to get my ear cleaned out today at the Ear, Nose & Throat clinic. From there, they will decide what goes on. The crazy swelling still hasn't gone down much, I'm still not able to eat without great discomfort. They just changed my antibiotics so hopefully we will see some sort of improvement.

It's weird being on the other side of the patient-nurse relationship. I have an awesome nurse today. Keep me in your thoughts :)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Exactly 1 Week Left

So we have only one week remaining on our winter break, then the new semester begins. I'm excited to get started on my new classes, clinicals, and skills. And Women's Studies/Public Health graduate course.

Unfortunately, the cold I had congratulated myself on not catching turned into a nasty ear infection over the past two days. I must say kids deserve credit -- this thing hurts! I can't hear anything out of my ear. My whole face is swollen -- what a great exercise to locate my swollen lymph nodes -- pre/post-auricular, occipital, posterior cervical -- all swollen. My ear is so swollen that it's sticking out more than my other ear. The pain radiates from the ear to my jaw, all along my jawline. I haven't been able to sleep at all. This morning I dragged myself to the student health, begging them to please give me an appointment because I was in such pain. They (thankfully) fit me in to the schedule and I left with Rx for antibiotics and ear drops. I also cried big fat elephant tears when he looked into my ear. As a nursing student, I'm wondering...could I have MRSA in my ear? I know it's not rational but we're around MRSA all the time. And they say it colonizes in your nose. Who knows?

Anyways...I think I'm going to try and rest.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Nipple Help!

So I'm putting it out there. It has been really cold these past few days in Atlanta. We're talking low teens. I've been staying in mostly, but it's still chilly. And my nipples are chapped and sore. Nothing seems to help them. What do you suggest BF mommas? Any thoughts?

Friday, January 4, 2008

"That's why that no work"

(Quote from My Big Fat Greek Wedding --- one of my all time favorites that just so happens to be on TV)

Four days into 2008 and I haven't done much of anything. I'm enjoying my time away from school. We only have thirteen (almost twelve) days left until the spring semester starts. Does it sound like I'm counting down? I'm eager to get started especially with the maternity rotation. I might also take on a birth during March so I'm excited about that as well.

I had a great visit with my family right after Christmas. I was there for just long enough that I didn't get tired of my family and they didn't get tired of me. It was humorous though that my dad hugged me like I was leaving every night. Upon reminding him that I wasn't leaving until Monday, he said he was simply making up for lost hugs. Sweet...I know. They do love and miss me. I also had a chance to be considerably social with lots of people.

Everyone liked their Christmas gifts. My parents got Beloved and I a 32" LCD flat screen television. Just in time for NCAA Women's basketball. It looks great in our apartment and has led to me watching more television than normal. Ah well. I'm not in school, so I can indulge myself a little. We also got a gift card to IKEA with which we bought a new awesome TV stand and some other useful things.

I came home on New Year's Eve. Beloved and I laid low and spent the evening at home. We went to bed early, but she set the alarm so we could watch the ball drop. I was so exhausted. I think I'm coming down (or already have) the cold/plague my little brother so kindly passed along to me. I prematurely congratulated myself on not catching his cold -- he was sniffly, coughing, congested, and feverish for most of my trip. But now I do believe I have it. Gr.

In other news, some crazy business happened yesterday. I was sitting with the dogs, enjoying my morning coffee at noon, when the smoke alarm went off. I went around looking to see if anything in the apartment was on fire. Nothing was. So I meandered outside of the apartment and saw that the central alarm for the apartment building was going off. The central alarm control on the bottom floor had been beeping some sort of warning for the past couple of days (which we told management about) so I assumed they were working on that and somehow set off the alarm. I continue to investigate and see an apartment on the top floor (opposite of my apartment) that is pouring water from the balcony, down flooding water into the apartments below. We have sprinkler systems in our apartments, so upon seeing the sprinkler on -- I'm now convinced *something* must be on fire. I rush back into my apartment, put on shoes, gather the pups, my bag/phone/car keys, and run outside. No one else has come around, management or fire department, so I'm just sort of sitting around wondering what's going on. After about 15 minutes of going off, another resident comes out to tell me the management is "testing" the alarm system. But then, all of these residents start coming out, pissed off that their apartments were flooded with water from the sprinkler system. I didn't get anything done yesterday because I was too busy worrying that if I left my dogs alone in the apartment that the idiot management would set off the alarms again and kill my dogs. I spoke with management later on and they said the incident was caused by pipes freezing. I think they're lying. Pipes bursting wouldn't cause the smoke alarm to go off. Needless to say, I heard they had flooded/ruined about 20 apartments in my building. I subsequently signed us up for renter's insurance pronto. I can't believe how quickly they could ruin almost everything you own. Is it crazy if I put my laptop in a drawer so if the sprinklers come on, the drawer will somehow protect my precious MacBook?

Another exciting thing that happened was me and a classmate went to HRC's The L Word season 5 premiere party. They aired the new episode of the season and two actors (Rachel Shelley & Rose Rollins who play Helena and Tasha, respectively) from the show were also there. I got Rachel Shelley to sign my Season 4 DVD. My classmate shook hands with both actors. Rachel Shelley is completely gorgeous, especially the British accent. Unfortunately my pictures didn't turn out really nice. Oh well. I had a good time. But I still feel weird about being out in a social, lesbian and/or gay setting without knowing anyone. We also ran into a teacher. More specifically a teacher who will be my clinical preceptor next semester. How funny is that?