The Return of ME!

I am SO sorry for being MIA lately. I felt like I was doing so good at blogging – and I was so proud of myself! – but then the weather started spiraling downhill and raining and/or snowing for days and days. And it was so cold and dreary. And work has been absolutely insane the last month. I just felt like I needed a few weeks to relax and cuddle on the couch and have me time. But I think I’m back now and I have so much to talk about! Where oh where do I begin?

First of all, I officially have my own domain name!

http://www.lovelywanderingthoughts.com

snow

We’re getting too much of this lately.

Second, I finally caught up on everyone’s blogs.. and you guys are as awesome as ever!! I tried to like and/or comment on quite a few posts (some of you may have been bombarded with both!) but I just wanted to let ya’ll know I haven’t forgotten about you!

Third, I found this awesome recipe for Lemon Pepper Chicken Divan on Amber’s blog over at Momma In Bloom. It was so creamy and cheesy and just plain yummy! I don’t have an oven-safe skillet, so I just put it in a 9×13 Pyrex pan and it worked fine. I definitely recommend trying it out!

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Fourth, my beauty products! I’ve been contemplating cancelling my Birchbox, so I didn’t bother writing anything about February’s box. I should be receiving March’s soon. I’ll discuss my Julep box on Friday (for the Friday Nail Files). And that leads me to.. my first Ipsy bag! I actually received it in February, so I’m not going to go into TONS of details – as my March bag should be arriving soon – buttt you can check out this awesome blog called Pearls and Paris and she goes into much more detail (we received the same bag!) AND gives discount codes for all the items. Unfortunately, I’m a little late to update and the codes expire tomorrow.. so get shopping!

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Quick review Black patent leather makeup bag – looks kind of cheap, but still cute for little items. Eye shadow pallette – the yellow looks a little too bright, but I’m willing to try it. Primer – went on super smooth and made my skin feel really soft. Mascara – I’m very, very faithful to my current mascaras but it defined my lashes nicely and didn’t get clumpy. Lash card – I have tried these things before and was not impressed, so I just threw mine out. BUT the winning item in this bagthe gel eyeliner!! I am not a fan of liquid eyeliner and I always have difficulty finding pencil liners that give me the look I want. I used a small eyeliner brush to apply the gel liner.. and I instantly fell in love! Overall, I was super impressed and the $10/mth price is pretty awesome too 😉

Fifth, my BFF from PA introduced me to this jewelry brand called Alex and Ani. They sell bracelets that are like charm bracelets – except they’re bangles! Their prices vary (some are quite expensive!), but most of them are really affordable. I’ve never been a fan of charm bracelets – they’re a little too gaudy for me – but these bangles are seriously SO cute.

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$48 – source

cupid-bangle

$38 – source

And lastly, I was tagged by the lovely Mrs. Burnett for a Five Things About Me challenge and I figured.. why not?

One – I have a problem with things that don’t match or things that aren’t consistent. A few examples – I have all 4 books in the Twilight series but only one is paperback and it drives me crazy every time I look at it. I color code all my notes at work and if I write something down in blue instead of green on accident, it’ll seriously drive me nuts until I can either rewrite everything or use white-out to fix it. I can’t think of anything else right now (way too sleepy!) but you get the idea. Is this OCD-like behavior?

Two – I have baby fever to the extreme. Like I really, really, really want a baby. Most people are aware of this. (Mom – are you aware of this?!) The hubby is well aware of this and is – thankfully – on the same track as me. So yay 🙂

Three – I don’t feel like the same person I was before my grandparents died. Sometimes I don’t understand how I’m continuing to live my life without them. I know I was running away when I moved to NC. I know I did it because I couldn’t handle living in the same town they lived in. It hurt too much. Thankfully I love our home and the city we live in, but it’s sometimes hard to know I’m here because I wanted to hide from my fears.

Four – I could watch HGTV for hours and hours and hours and not get bored. Seriously! I love watching shows about people house hunting or renovating their houses or selling their houses or anything! If I even watch 2 seconds of a show, I have to watch the whole episode because I need to find out what happens! I get drawn in so easily!

Five – I got a tattoo my senior year in college. It’s a red rose on my right hip bone. Yes, it hurt. No, I don’t regret it. Yes, I still love it every time I look at it. And yes, I sometimes contemplate getting a second one but I don’t know if I have the guts to do it!

Feel free to join in and write 5 things about yourself on your blog – just don’t forget to tag me! 😉

Does Marriage Change Anything?

How has marriage changed your relationship? I was kind of surprised at how many times I was asked this question after our wedding. I hadn’t actually thought about it before. Was I expecting anything to change? Was Joel? Was something supposed to change? I know every relationship and every marriage is different. But to be honest.. YES, our relationship has changed.

But for the better.

I honestly wasn’t expecting anything to be different. And I guess the actual dynamics of our relationship haven’t changed, but truthfully, the love I feel for him now – it’s completely different than anything I felt for him before. Sometimes I’m just stunned to think that someone could love me enough to vow to spend forever with me. I love knowing that I have this person in my life that promised me and promised our family and friends that he would be there through thick and thin.

Yes, yes, I know. People get divorced. And both of us have experienced our fair share of failed and dysfunctional relationships in our families and in our own lives. But maybe that’s a GOOD thing for us. We’ve seen what we don’t want to do. We’ve seen what doesn’t work. We’ve seen what causes a relationship to fall apart. We’ve even had our own relationship fall apart before. But we were together for almost 6 years before getting married. We made sure we were ready to take that big step. We take our marriage seriously and I think we both do a pretty good job at making it successful so far. 🙂

Joel and I have actually had this conversation before. He mentioned this story one time and it still makes me think. He said the one day at work (before we got married) he was talking with his male coworkers and they were all saying how their wives forbid them from doing certain things – going to bars with their friends, riding a motorcycle, playing video games, etc, etc. They all talked about their “ball and chain” and they were warning Joel to be prepared for his life to change dramatically after marriage. And then we got married. And nothing changed. I never told him he couldn’t do those things before, so why would I start doing that now?

Now I’m definitely not an expert on marriage – we’ve only been married for less than a year and half! But I like to think I’m doing a pretty good job so far. So here’s my tips for you, dear readers.

1. Learn to trust – A relationship will not work if there’s no trust. It just won’t.

2. Don’t try to change him (too much) – Some things you can change, and some you just can’t. Joel will always play video games. It’s who he is. But putting glasses in the dishwasher instead of on the counter? I’m working on it.

3. Be affectionate and passionate – Hug him. Kiss him. Tell him you love him. Tell him how lucky you are to have him. Thank him. Men like to be praised just as much as women do!

4. Flirt with him – Yes, I know you’re already married. But flirt with him.

5. Find common interests – Joel and I don’t have much in common, but we both love a super scary horror movie/show. Ghosts or zombies? Yes please!

6. Just have fun – I don’t believe that marriage should be work. I think laughing and being goofy with each other is one of the easiest ways to have a successful relationship. Laughter fixes almost anything, seriously.

Now don’t judge – I truthfully didn’t spend a ton of time on this. I just came up with the first few things that came to my mind. Marriage is a work in progress. Every relationship is different. Things that work for one couple don’t always work for another couple. But just have fun and go from there.

What’s the best relationship advice you ever received?

Marriage and Old People

Source: lovequotesrus.tumblr.com via Cybill on Pinterest

Sunday Social #1

((First time linking up with Ashley from Ashley Lately and Neely from A Complete Waste of Makeup for Sunday Social! Feel free to link up!))

Sunday Social

1. What is your ideal way to relax?

A glass of wine, a good book (or my Kindle), and a bath with lavender scented candles or bubble bath.

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2. Where is your favorite place to be?

At the beach! Walking on the boardwalk.. listening to the waves.. looking at the sun or moon reflecting on the water.. it’s beautiful! Not to mention pretty romantic 😉

3. Who do you consider your biggest role model?

Definitely my mom. Yes, she’s had her ups and downs in her life.. but she’s conquered everything and she’s an absolutely awesome person. She took care of my grandparents (her parents) right up until the day they died. She did everything she possibly could to make their lives better. And she’s also an awesome mom and my best friend.

4. What does your life look like in 3 years?

Well, hopefully I’m further in my career as a nurse – Nurse manager? Care coordinator? And hopefully we have a little one and maybe another little one on the way?

5. If you could go back and change one decision, what would it be?

Honestly, I can’t think of one major decision in my life that I would want to change. The bad decisions we make along the way are the things that make us grow! There’s definitely stupid things I did during the summer that Joel and I weren’t together, but what’s the point of dwelling on that? I’m super happy with where my life is right now.

                                           Source: marylenagbang.tumblr.com via Cybill on Pinterest

 

6. What is your biggest accomplishment in life so far?

By the age of 25 I’ve managed to graduate college, get an awesome job, move 500 miles away from my family, marry my soulmate, and buy our first house. I’d say I’m doing okay.

30 Day “What If” Challenge

Day 17 :  What if you had 25-hour days (while everyone else continued to have 24-hour days), what would you do with the extra time?

Oh gosh, this is a terrible question to ask me. I lose hours of my day on a regular basis. I’d probably end up sleeping it away or watching trashy reality tv and not even realize I had an extra hour. If I was really motivated – I’d say I’d take that extra time to prepare super awesome meals for my dear hubby. Or play with my dogs. Or clean my house. But in all actuality, I’d probably just lay on the couch and watch tv. Not very motivated, eh?

What would you do with an extra hour?

I Definitely Jinxed Myself

Well, if you remember, a few days ago I wrote a sarcastic – and completely true – post about what it’s like to be a nurse. You can check it out here. I thought it was pretty funny.. but now I’ve had two terrible, terrible nights at work. Both nights I transferred one of my patients to the ICU. So today I’m going to tell you about what happened last night – because this REALLY, TRULY, SERIOUSLY is what it’s like to be a nurse.

 

The patient is 44 years old. He was admitted to the hospital with nausea and vomiting. Medical history includes AIDS, ESRD (end stage renal disease), and high blood pressure. He’s not a diabetic, but they’d been having trouble stabilizing his blood sugars all day because he hadn’t been eating, so he had IV fluids with dextrose running.

When I had checked on him in the beginning of the shift (about 7:45pm), he was sleeping – no distress noted. The tech took his vitals about an hour later (about 8:30pm) – no distress noted. When she took his blood sugar at 9:40pm, it was only 51. When I entered the room, the patient was lethargic, difficult to arouse, but did not appear to be in any type of distress (which is normal for a patient with low blood sugar). I immediately gave him concentrated dextrose through his IV. Then when I went to re-position him, while I waited to recheck his blood sugar, I noticed a thick, brown liquid coming out of his nose. At this time I noticed he had become diaphoretic (aka sweaty) and his breathing was very labored. He would open his eyes only if I shook him and shouted his name, but would not keep them open and would not talk. I immediately placed him on oxygen and notified the MD and the rapid response team. When I rechecked his blood sugar, he had come up to 99.

Everything happened very quickly after that – we suctioned him, we assisted his breathing with an ambu bag, we attached the AED pads (which thankfully, we didn’t have to use), we inserted a nasal airway, and we immediately transferred him to the ICU. While there the doctor attempted to place a subclavian central line (in his chest), but was unable to due to poor vascular access. Eventually, they placed a central line in his femoral vein (in the groin), and then intubated him. They suctioned his lungs and his stomach – and both contained a thick, brown liquid.. meaning he most likely vomited and then aspirated on it.

It’s crazy to me because it all happened so quickly. This patient is known for sleeping while curled up in a little ball. The way he had his arm positioned was blocking my view of the vomit, which is why I initially only noted it coming out of his nose and didn’t see it on the sheets. I initially thought he was lethargic from the low blood sugar, but I quickly realized that was not the case. He must’ve vomited like 2 seconds before I walked into the room – which is quite lucky for him.

So what did we learn from this?

1. Never assume anything when you first walk into a patient’s room. If I hadn’t continued to assess him, or even if I hadn’t stayed in the room while waiting to recheck his sugar – we might’ve found him too late.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I immediately notified the charge nurse, the doctor, the rapid response team, and the other nurses working down my hall that something was wrong and that I’d be needing assistance. Shouting for help is also very effective.

3. Don’t feel bad if you don’t know what’s happening. I didn’t know exactly what was wrong with him, but I knew his symptoms meant something was very, very wrong. The important part is just knowing that something is wrong.

4. Trust your instincts.  I notified the doctor and the rapid response team before I even checked his vitals, before I even thoroughly completed my assessment. I was checking his pupils while on the phone. I knew that things were progressing rapidly and I knew I needed them there ASAP.

I’m sure there are things I could’ve done differently, but I feel very pleased with the way I handled the situation. I knew my patient. I knew something was wrong. I knew to ask for help. I knew exactly what to do before I was told what to do. It’s a good  great AWESOME feeling to feel like you really know what you’re doing in your career.

I am proud of myself.

The end.

What It’s Like To Be A Nurse

I took a little break from blogging over the weekend. I feel like I need to get this thing under control. Most people have a theme to their blog – fashion, food, parenting, etc. Me? I just babble. And I’m kind of okay with that, but I never really put much thought into my posts. I just start typing and see what happens (as I’m going to do today). But anyway, bear with me and we’ll try to figure something out, okay?

For today’s post, I’m going to talk about what a typical night at work is like for me. Some things may or may not be exaggerated.

((Background information – I’ve been a nurse for 3 1/2 years. I work 7p-7am on a renal medical/surgical telemetry floor. Meaning most of my patients have kidney disease, are on dialysis, need to have a heart monitor, may have had surgery recently, or have some random ailment that doesn’t qualify them to be placed on any other floor. We basically have the melting pot of patient diagnoses.))

6:50 – 7:00 pm

Arrive to work and get my assignment – varies from 4-6 patients. While attempting to look up info on my patients (diagnosis, medical history, labs, meds, etc), another nurse arrives and complains about her assignment and wants it changed. So then we all shuffle patients around and the assignments get changed, and now I have to look up info on new patients.

7:oo – 7:45 pm

Time to start report, but can’t find the nurse who had my patients. I usually have to get report from 2 different nurses. One of them forgets why the person is here. Another forgot to give them their suppertime meds, “you don’t mind giving the pills, do you? I switched them to your time.” And also, “Oh he’s really, really confused, so I couldn’t do his admission history. His daughter was here all day though, so he didn’t try to get out of bed.” (Really? Why didn’t you do the admission history then? Or call the admission nurse?)

7:45 – 9:00 pm

After introducing myself to all my patients (and hearing, “Oh honey, you don’t look a day over 16! Are you sure you’re a nurse?” at least once), I begin my assessments. Usually at some point during this time, I get called on my (annoying) work phone no less than 5 times to either fix telemetry leads, talk to a lab tech, radiology tech, pharmacist, family member, etc, give pain meds, help someone to the bathroom, etc, etc. And also during these assessments, I hear things such as, “Yeah, I’m coughing a lot, look at this green stuff I saved in this tissue.”,” Oh, my poop looks funny, I saved it in the toilet for you to look at.”, “Can you scratch my butt for me? I can’t reach.”, “I picked at this scab on my arm and it’s bleeding.”, “Do you know if I’m taking a pill that starts with a M or D and I don’t remember what it’s for?”.. and so on.

9:00 – 10:30 pm

Time to give out medications! None of which are available from pharmacy, even though they’re routine medications that the patient has been on for DAYS. Wait at least 30 minutes for each pill I request. Out of the 4-6 patients I have to give meds to – one will deny ever hearing of any of their pills, one will refuse “that little white pill because I definitely don’t take little white pills at home”, one will ask for a sleeping pill that they don’t have ordered, one will ask for a laxative… Oh, and also, the person admitted with uncontrolled hypertension – will have a blood pressure of 220/112 without PRN’s available. Time to call the doctor!

10:30 pm – 1:00 am

Attempt to chart my assessments. Receive an admission and get report from the ED nurse who knows absolutely nothing the patient. Tells me their IV is in their right wrist when it’s in their left forearm. Tells me they’re alert and oriented, comes up to the floor speaking to “that cat sitting on top of that IV pole.” Tells me, “Oh yeah, their vitals have been fine,” comes up to the floor with HR in the 130’s and temp 102. Time to call the doctor. 

1:00 – 1:30 am

Lunch time! Watch tv in the break room, guzzle my 32 oz of super sweet iced tea, eat whatever random food I have that night. Oh, and also receive about 5 calls from the secretary and/or monitor tech about telemetry, pain meds, potty breaks, etc. Have they forgotten I’m on my lunch break?! Oh, and did I mention we have these handy, dandy locators that tell everyone where we are at all times? They can always find you.

2:00 – 5:00 am

Finish charting. Answer call bells. Read over the charts. Look at labs. Give pain meds, breathing treatments, or other random PRN’s. Patient #4 wakes up at 3am requesting a nicotine patch, call the doctor again. Patient #3 with HR sustaining in the 40’s, call the doctor again. Wait 45 minutes for doctor to return page. Patient #1 requests a sleeping pill at 4:50am, don’t think so! Wait, what? Patient #2 has a history of VRE?! Oh man, they haven’t been on isolation this whole time! Time to get out the bleach wipes and scrub my body. Patient #6 decides to pee in the garbage can because they couldn’t find the urinal sitting on their bedside table.

5:00 – 7:00 am

Send one or two patients to dialysis. Give out early morning meds. Patient #4 pulls out IV while attempting to put on a hoodie over their hospital gown. Blood everywhere. Too bad that doctor only ordered a one time dose of Hydralazine (instead of a PRN), because the hypertensive patient is now 234/128, time to call the doctor! Receive phone call from lab, patient #2 with potassium level 2.3. Guess I’ll page that doctor again. Doctor never calls back because it’s almost shift change. Oh, and apparently patient #3 has thrown up everywhere because that little white pill that she never takes? Yeah, it was her Reglan. ((Please oh please, let day shift get here soon!))

7:00 – 7:30 am

Thank goodness, day shift is here and ready to get report. Except they need to drink their coffee and eat their oatmeal first. “I don’t know why night shift is in such a hurry, they don’t do anything during the night anyway. All the patients do is sleep.”  “What do you mean you didn’t restart that IV? Now I have to do it.”

7:35 am

FINALLY take a bathroom break. Phewww, I’ve been holding that pee in for 12 hours!!

THE END

And there you have it. Okay, so maybe that all didn’t happen in one night. But yes, every single one of those things has happened to me at some point. Most likely within the last week.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore my job. I love my patients (and the majority of them are seriously awesome). I love my night shift coworkers more than anything. I truly enjoy what I do. And I like to think I’m pretty darn good at it. But what bothers me are the people who think – “well, I guess I’ll major in nursing because I don’t know what else to do.” NURSING IS NOT EASY. You need to be passionate about caring for people and passionate about what you do, because nursing is certainly not for everyone. NIGHT SHIFT IS NOT EASY. Contrary to popular belief, patients do not sleep during the night. They’re bored and lonely and the hospital beds are not comfortable, so they ring their call bell all the time. They ask for random things.. because they’re BORED.

Maybe someday I’ll make a What It’s Like To Be A Nurse Part 2 with all the super awesome stuff!

Any other night shift nurses agree with this summary? Feel free to voice your opinions 🙂

Words of Wisdom

Just thought I’d share some words of wisdom with everyone 🙂

 

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I want this in my house!

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Always be yourself!

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Never, ever settle.

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Love this.

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Hmm, interesting..

((None of the above pictures are mine. I found them all on Pinterest. Click on each image for original source.))

30 Day “What If” Challenge – Day 4

Day 4 :  What if one song were to describe your life, what song would it be?

Well, I’m not usually the type to say “Oh, this song is so me!” Yes, some songs make me more emotional than others. And yes, I sometimes think a song is very similar to my life. But honestly, I doubt I could ever listen to a song and feel like the song was describing me. So I may not be answering this question appropriately (I’m sorry!), but I’m just going to talk about a song that means a lot to me and a song that always makes me think about my life when I listen to it.

taylor swift

From Google Images.

The song I choose is – “The Moment I Knew” by Taylor Swift. Here’s some of the lyrics:

And it was like slow motion
Standing there in my party dress
In red lipstick
With no one to impress
And they’re all laughing
And asking me about you
But there’s one thing missing
And that was the moment I knew

What do you say
When tears are streaming down your face
In front of everyone you know
And what do you do when the one
Who means the most to you
Is the one who didn’t show

You should’ve been here..
And I would’ve been so happy.

((When you listen to the whole song, I believe it’s about a girl getting stood up by her boyfriend at her birthday party. But that’s not why I like this song or why I feel like I connect with this song.))

The first time I heard this song it made me think about my wedding day and how my grandparents weren’t there. It makes me think about my wedding day and how my dad wasn’t there. It just makes me think about every big day in my life and how there’s so many people that should’ve been there..  but they weren’t.

But the reason I love this song so much..

My grandfather was one of the most important people in my life. We were so incredibly close for as long as I can remember. I always imagined him walking me down the aisle on my wedding day.. so when he passed away less than 6 weeks before my wedding, I was crushed. Beyond crushed. And now every time I listen to this song, it just makes me think about him. It makes me think about how he should’ have been there. How I would’ve done anything to have him there.

Do you have a song that describes your life?

30 Day “What If” Challenge – Day 3

Day 3 :  What if the whole world were listening, what would you say?

I’m beginning to realize this 30 Day Challenge is going to be much harder than I thought! I’m going to stick with my initial idea of saying the first thing that pops into my head and trusting my instincts. So what would I tell the whole world?

I would say.. STOP BEING SO MEAN.

Stop hating people for things that are irrelevant. Stop judging people based on their looks or income or race or religion or sexual orientation or anything else for that matter. Stop judging people because they’re different than you. Stop judging people because they look differently or talk differently or believe differently. Just stop being mean!
(
(And yes, this is something I’m working on also.))

advice

From Pinterest.

I would also say.. SUPPORT GAY RIGHTS.

I’m not going to go on a huge rant about this. I’m just going to say one thing – everyone deserves to love whoever they want to love. And if two people are in love, they deserve to get married.
The end.

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From Pinterest.

What would you say if the whole world were listening?

Music Makes Me Cry

For just this morning, right there on her pillow

Was the cruelest of any surprise

And she cried when she gathered it all in her hands

The proof that she couldn’t deny

And Sara Beth closes her eyes.

So I’m sitting here watching Couples Therapy on VH1 – yes,  I’m a reality show junkie – and they had this couple make a guest appearance to talk about their experiences and how they managed to overcome struggles throughout their marriage. This couple had a teenage daughter named Sara Elizabeth and she was diagnosed with cancer and eventually died from her disease. A songwriter wrote a song called “Sara Beth” about this young girl which was eventually picked up by Rascal Flatts. I posted some of the lyrics above, but it’s seriously the sweetest, saddest song ever. I was sitting there listening to this couple talk and watching this video about their life and their daughter with tears rolling down my face. Seriously, this made me cry like a baby.

It always amazes me how emotional I get from listening to certain songs, but I think that’s what is supposed to happen. These people put all their heart and soul into making these songs and they want us to feel connected, right? Well, I think so. There are so many songs that make me have such a strong emotional reaction.. another one is “The Moment I Knew” by Taylor Swift. But I’ll get into that another day. Do you have any songs that do this to you??

UPDATE: Apparently the song by Rascal Flatts is actually called “Skin,” but the original title from the songwriter was “Sara Beth.” Sorry for the confusion!