A More Serious Post..

Okay, so this post is going to be kind of more serious than my usual ones. Not TOO serious, but it’s about something I find interesting and something that should be important in everyone’s lives..

Here’s why this topic is on my mind today..

I took a class yesterday with about 30 other nurses that work for the same hospital I do. During one of the presentations, the instructor went around asking everyone where they were born and what was their ethnicity. I was completely startled to hear the results!

Out of the approximately 30 nurses..

  • Not a single one was born in the city in which we work.
  • Only a handful were born in the state we work in.
  • And only about half were actually born in the United States.
  • The places people were born in included – The Philippines, Panama, Asia, Germany and Africa.

I can’t even almost remember all the¬†ethnicities (according to spell check, this isn’t a word but I don’t know what else to use), but it was absolutely amazing to realize I work for a company that VERY obviously encourages diversity.

And not only that.. but nursing in general is a very diverse career. There’s nurses fresh out of college that are 22 years old.. and then it ranges all the way up to nurses in their 60’s who are ready to retire. Three generations of people working together! We’re changing the world people! ūüėČ

I know this isn’t my usual topic of discussion but I thought it was interesting and felt like sharing it with you all.

Do you have diversity where you work?

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!

lemon-pepper-chicken-divan

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!

ipsy-february

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 ūüėČ

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.

love-bangle

$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 ūüôā

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! ūüėČ

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. ūüôā

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 РHug 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?

30 Day “What If” Challenge

Okay, so I’ve seriously sucked at this challenge recently. I always seem to be updating in a hurry and never remember to look up my next question. So here we are. I’m going to do like 5 of them to get myself (kind of) back on track. Let’s go!

30 Day “What If” Challenge

Day 20 :  What if you had to choose between your best friend and your boyfriend, which would you choose?
Well, considering I’m married, I’m not sure if this one still applies to me. And I would hope that neither my husband or my best friend would make me choose one or the other, but if I had to, I would choose my husband. He’s truly my best friend. I don’t think much of an explanation is needed for this one.

Day 21 :  What if you had to choose, would you give up your sight or your hearing?
Oh, this is tough, but I think I would give up my hearing. I know it would be awful to never be able to hear my future children’s cries or their voices or anything, but could you imagine not being able to SEE them? I couldn’t imagine a life without reading or watching my dogs play outside or seeing the leaves change colors or seeing a rainbow or seeing anything for that matter. Wow. Actually.. I guess it wasn’t that hard of a question.

Day 22 :  What if you received lottery tickets as a gift at the office party, and you won $30,000, would you share the winnings with the person that gave you the gift?
This is why lottery tickets are not good gifts! Who would want to be put in this situation?! I would like to say that I’d split the money, but truthfully, I’d probably try to get away with only giving the person a little bit of it. Seriously though, after taxes $30,000 is going to be next to nothing! I don’t know, I hope I wouldn’t be greedy. Maybe I could just keep it a secret and not tell anyone?

Day 23 :  What if you saw a robbery, would you report it?
What kind of question is this? Of course I would.

Day 24 :  What if you were given a chance to go to the moon, would you go? Why or why not?
I think I would! How cool would that be?! Although I think I’d be quite terrified of being in such a small space for so long. I tend to get¬†claustrophobic¬†when I feel like I don’t have control over a situation. But if I could get over my fears – including the fear of possibly dying in an exploding space shuttle – then I would definitely do it. It would be awesome to see Earth from space.

Day 25 :  What if you were given one million dollars, what would you buy?
My husband and I have had this conversation several times before! Truthfully, I wouldn’t do anything exciting. I would pay off our house, our cars, and our student loans. Then I would give some to my mom. Then I would set some aside for our future children’s college funds. And then if there was anything else, I would go buy myself some super cute clothes and shoes. And maybe a little house in the mountains on a lake. Maybe buy my husband a motorcycle. I’d rather just pay off everything we currently have so we wouldn’t be spending so much every months on bills.

PHEW.

Feel free to answer any of the above questions ūüôā
I love hearing your answers!

Just Be Professional

The list could go on, but these are three very truthful points. It happens and it’s real life. We just need to find a way to deal with it.

Nursing and Respiratory Care

As a nursing professional we need to remember some truths that can help us be sane and more productive in our work. The truth may somehow be painful and hard to swallow but a part of the reality of a nursing professional is to be strong enough to admit that the nursing profession has some difficult aspects that you have to bear with. Being positive is a good thing to do but we also need to keep in mind that there are really some negative aspects that we need to learn to cope with.

There Will Be Clashes With Doctors and Colleagues

No matter how much we want to be nice to everyone, it does not simply cut it. There will be times that discussion will be heated and some arguments will erupt between you and a doctor or colleague. The best thing to do is to make sure that…

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It’s OK Thursday #3

((Linking up with Neely at A Complete Waste of Makeup and Amber at Brunch with Amber for It’s OK Thursday))

It’s OK..

That I did absolutely nothing last weekend and I’ve been slacking ever since. I have so much going on with work that I needed a few days to recover and recharge my brain. And I’ve been slacking in my blogging too.. I’m sorry!

It’s OK..

That I let my husband take care of all the maintenance stuff with my car. I cook, clean, do laundry, take care of the house, etc.. the least he could do it take care of my car for me!

It’s OK..

That I have to do laundry in the middle of the week because I only have 3 outfits for work and I picked up a night of overtime this week.. meaning I need 4 outfits. I really need to go shopping for work clothes..

It’s OK..

That my living room looks like this on a regular basis. Somehow my cute, little, furry devils manage to find hidden stuffed dog toys and promptly destroy them all over my house. I just cleaned up an identical mess on Monday.. and it’s only Thursday!

photo (5)

She doesn’t like posing for pictures.

It’s OK..

That one of the cords for our blinds broke over the weekend and we have yet to replace it.. so the dogs now have to share a couch cushion in order to get the maximum amount of sunlight during the afternoons.

photo (4)

Who couldn’t love those faces?

It’s NOT OK..

That one of our NEW windows – that we replaced in October – started leaking last night during the storm and allowed a huge puddle of rainwater to gather on our windowsill, the carpet, and saturated the wall at the top of the window. UGH. Thankfully, the window people are currently here fixing it.

30 Day “What If” Challenge

Day 18 :  What if you had to choose between love and no money or money and no love for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

Oh, this one’s so easy!¬†I would definitely pick love and no money. Yes, it would be terrible to not have any money – and I’d be constantly freaking out – but it’d be MUCH more terrible to not have any love. I’m sure it’d be awesome to buy anything and everything I could possibly ever want.. but how enjoyable would that be if you didn’t have anyone to share it with?

What would you choose?

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.

me4

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 ūüėČ

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?

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 ūüôā

30 Day “What If” Challenge – Day 13

30 Day “What If” Challenge

Day 13 :  What if you got arrested for murder, whom would you call with your telephone call from prison? And why?

First of all, I could never kill anyone. BUT if I went crazy and¬†committed¬†murder, I would most definitely call my mom. I’m not sure if she’d have the money to bail me out (if they’d even let me), but she’d definitely be the first one to try to find a solution. A solution for bail, a solution for what to do, etc. AND she doesn’t judge anyone, so she wouldn’t yell at me and hang up.

Who would you call?