I was looking through the pictures I've taken on my phone. It reminded me that this was one of the best years of my young life...
-Adam's bloody arm and floor (after he let me practice starting IVs on him) -A view of the Ohio River and Northern Kentucky from Mt. Adams -Group of drunk boys in a lake trying to lift a fallen lifeguard stand out of the water -Kiddie pool filled with beers -Bottle of Andre (a favorite of the Glendale Girls and myself) -Me holding a Bengals shot glass (which I then sent in a text message to my father) -A list of rules from the Rubgy house ("Don't break shit, Don't steal shit, Don't take a shit") -The Block O pyrotechnics show from Best Day of Your Life -Chagrin Falls in Cleveland (taken on our Women's Glee Club tour) -My purple insulin pump right after I had gone back on it -Quote in Entertainment Weekly from Modern Family's Manny: "You have a laugh that makes science lab seem like recess." -"Bourbon, whiskey" written in my nursing notes -Flowers from Trevor on my desk -A shirt that says "Laissez les bons temps rouler" (Let the good times roll) in New Orleans -House on 15th that won the Christmas lights contest -View from our seats at Paul Brown Stadium -The word "Love" etched onto a bathroom stall -Electronic countdown clock to Christmas--96 days, 2 hours, 2 minutes and 123 seconds--in the men's soccer house (they get really hyped for Christmas because they throw a huge Christmas party every year)
Just a taste of all the shenanigans that took place over the past half a year.
Saw my brother for the first time in a couple months. He has a new girlfriend, Lisa, who is a nurse. One time she used the word, "distended" and he was like, "What the fuck?" The two of us laughed about "nurse talk." Jody came over; she comes over a lot ever since Larry died last year. Mugsy, her dog, comes over too and he is annoying as fuck. We all gathered for Father's Day; Abby called and then Sarah called Dad this morning. So much love in our family; I love it. Seth, Mom, Dad, Jody and I sat at the dinner table for a long time, just talking about everything. Tonight I passed on the cheesecake. Tomorrow I go to the hospital to find out my Hemoglobin a1c. Don't want to fuck anything up. No dessert, thanks. Mom tells a million stories about Seth and I growing up. Jody says, "Emily, you're such a classic beauty" and I don't know how to take a compliment. I laugh and thank Mom and Dad for my genes, I guess. Jody is a sculptor and she went to the Art Institute in Chicago. She tells me I have the same features of the women she's studied in portraits. I haven't showered since yesterday and my hair is tied back in a knot. What the fuck is she talking about? Artist talk. I hug Dad and tell him Happy Father's Day, I'm going to Hannah's. I grab a flashlight and start walking. Walking everywhere on campus is the only reason I didn't become obese at school so I figure I'll try to maintain that while I'm home. The night is hot but it's bearable. At Han's, we all sit on the porch, drinking beers and laughing and talking. I just think about how blessed I am. My insulin pump, which I'm wearing in my bra, keeps fucking beeping. I'm low on insulin. But I'm just going to ignore it and go to bed. I still think I'm lucky. Are "blessed" and "lucky" different? I don't know the difference...
I'm back on the insulin pump!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love it. Last time I was on the pump I had to apply numbing cream an hour before I manually inserted a huge needle into my skin. Now I have these things called MIOs where I can basically cock it back like a gun, press down and the needle shoots into my skin and the process is less painful and then it's over. Oh, and they're pink.
-I broached the subject of studying abroad in Australia with my mom today while we were walking Sadie around the neighborhood. She didn't respond with, "Sure! Go for it!" but she didn't shoot me down either. So that's good. Studying abroad is stupid expensive but I can't stop thinking about it.
-I sent out about 7,000 e-mails in the past two days. I e-mailed people about potential jobs, internships, volunteer opportunities and joining organizations. I really want to make some money (maybe to put toward studying abroad). And I really want to do some crazy shit for some reason. So I e-mailed the President of OSU's Mountaineering Club and I'm going to a meeting tomorrow at 8. Lately, I've also had a renewed desire to be a journalist. But I want to only interview people and tell their life stories. Every week, I spend so much time getting to know my patients in the hospital--basically interviewing them--and while I was in Belize, I met this amazing 78-some-year-old woman named Gertrude who I could've written a War and Peace sized book about. I want to write again, or something. I don't know how to organize and control my spontaneous impulses lately; I want to rock climb in Utah, learn how to Tango or Salsa dance, study abroad in Australia, write about people and sing a solo in front of an audience. Why not?
-Last night I hung out with three girls from my childhood. From 9 PM until 2:30 AM, we didn't stop talking. They were my best friends growing up and to see all of us together and grown now is still remarkable to me sometimes when I think about it. Although we lost almost all contact during high school, due in part to different schools and different grade levels and what not, I feel as if I can turn to them now more so than I can turn to people I considered my best friends in high school. It's so strange how that can happen.
-I didn't feel like writing about my wallet being stolen in Belize while I was volunteering. It wasn't robbed off of my person, thankfully, but it was taken from my bookbag when I wasn't around. I didn't get worked up about the incident when it happened in Belize because it just is what it is. All of its contents were replaceable. Shit happens. Well, tonight, I recieved a phone call from a woman who put me on the phone with her son in Belize. Her son then told me that he had found my wallet in Belize on the ground and he said some other things that I couldn't really understand through his thick accent. But this man told me that he had found my wallet but he had not returned it earlier because he had been shot. I told him I was sorry to hear that. He asked how he could get it back to me and I told him to send it to the address on my driver's license. Shortly after he told me he'd love to return it back to me, the phone call got cut off. I guess I'll be seeing my long lost wallet again. Thanks, dude.
-I will be back on the Medtronic MiniMed insulin pump a week from tomorrow. It's been three-ish years since I've been hooked up to an insulin pump. Yesterday Mom and I went online shopping for "pump accessories" aka things that will help secure and hide my insulin pump from sight. One of my issues with the insulin pump when I was last on it was that I had no secure place to put the damn thing when I was wearing a dress. You can put it in a pocket easy. But a dress? So I bought this spandex elastic thing that goes around the thigh (like a garter) and you can put the pump in it. And voila, the pump disappears and I can wear my cute spring dresses. I also bought a sports bra that has a special pouch for an insulin pump while I'm running. That was annoying too, when the pump was bobbing around in my pocket or the pump holster was banging against my hip during a run. All the shopping made me more excited to get back on the pump...and hopefully, I'll stick with it this time. Panc is back. Oh and did I mention yet that my Hemoglobin a1c was 7.2 at my last doctor's appointment? In diabetic lingo, that's fucking awesome.
-Tonight I'm being really wordy for some reason. My dad would be really annoyed; "You're using too many unnecessary words, Emily," he'd say, "you can cut this and this and this out." Speaking of Dad, tomorrow is his 61st birthday. I'm driving him 61 miles from Cincinnati tomorrow so he can ride his bike back and then I'm keeping the car up at school for the week. Happy Birthday, Papa.
-Belize was mind-blowing, stretching beyond my expectations. But now that I'm back at school, everyone has asked me the loaded "How was Belize?" question, to which I've sputtered responses that don't even come close to doing the trip justice. It was the best adventure I've ever been on, to date. For the One World Running organization, we fitted and distributed over 1,100 pairs of shoes to the people of Belize City. We also put on a 5K in the city which I ran in. Our first five days were spent in Belize City which was unlike any place I've ever been. The entire city appeared worse off than a bad neighborhood in the United States. We spent one day on the island of Caye Caulker off the coast of Belize where we got to relax on a beautiful beach next to the clearest waters I've ever seen. I also got to snorkel on the second largest coral reef in the world; I touched a stingray! I also got to stand on top of the Temple of the Sun God in the Mayan city of Altun Ha, 31 miles outside of Belize City. The last three days we spent on a nature preserve, Monkey Bay, in the jungle where they turned poop into methane gas to cook the food. At Monkey Bay we went canoeing and swimming in the gorgeous Sibun River as well as spurlonking in Tiger Caves, peering inside Mayan pots that had been in the caves for over 1,000 years. Yeah, the trip was amazing. There's just too much to say about it.
-Last night/this afternoon, Trevor and I decided to take a break. Mainly because I have issues. You would never think a serious issue between a couple could be that the boy loves the girl "too much." But, in a nutshell, that has been our problem for the past several weeks. I am hoping that, out of this break, Trevor will go out and find his own happiness. It is too heavy a burden for me to be his only source of happiness here at Ohio State. We're on a break for now and I'm hoping that it will not only be good for me but good for him, as well.
-The sun is shining over Ohio State and the forecast indicates that it's only going to go up from here. I really need it...
-I got into an online class I wanted but I did not get the 10-15 hour/week job that I wanted. I'm not surprised, however, because the job involved computers and technology and things to which I am not savvy. But I really wanted the extra money.
-Last night I went to see Vampire Weekend in concert. Great concert but the set list was only an hour and 15 minutes long. Very disappointing.
-Right now I'm trying to decide whether I want to take a Public Health minor (easiest), English minor or Spanish minor (hardest). Or no minor at all because I really have no time. Help.
-I'm feeling really anxious and can't sit still. Gotta go.
Drama, from the MTV show Rob & Big, called me tonight!!!!! I talked to him on the phone, laughing like a giddy teenage girl and saying stupid things like, "I'm blushing right now." In the picture above, he is holding up the sticker he signed for me that says, "To Emily, stay wreckless." (Young & Wreckless is his clothing line).
I've always had a huge high school crush on Drama. Ever since I saw him on the reality television show Rob & Big, he struck me as the most real life person I'd ever seen on televison--like he went to my high school. The furthest thing from a reality telvision star. He was awkward in front of the cameras, loveable and quiet. And he was always getting harassed by his cousin Rob.
I LOVE HIM!
Trevor knew I had a huge crush on Drama and he has a friend who is a friend of Drama's so Trevor set the whole thing up. I can't believe it. I've never met/talked to anyone famous in my whole life. I'm so freakin' smiley right now!
Oh, and not to mention, I leave for Belize at six in the morning tomorrow.
Visiting Mayan ruins, snorkeling on Caye Caulker Island, exploring Tiger Caves, canoeing on the Sibun River, checking out jaguars and ocelots and exotic creatures at the Belize Zoo on Monkey Bay, beach-ing it up, educating school children on healthy self care behaviors, putting on a 5K and giving out shoes to the community all for One World Running...
I can hardly wait.
The final hurdle before my first ever international excursion: Finals Week.
I've lived without bread and I've lived without water, Stuck outside the middle of the desert wishin' I was home. Long way from no where, wishin' I was somewhere, Sangre de Cristo to the Devils Backbone.
So many small, insignificant-looking moments this weekend but still they made me feel the intensity of each emotion...
Happy to see sunshine, flustered to make my hair look perfect, carefree surrounded by people I love in shiny dresses and ties, careless about taking shots of Sour Apple Smirnoff with just about every one (when I was supposed to be the Sober Sister), embarrassed being sent home for drinking, comforted in his arms, worrying and worrying, mustering courage to apologize, relief, longing for home, contemplating everything, loving home, reluctant to return to responsibilities, terrified of losing friends, lonely, not lonely, full of love.
I'm listening to Ryan Bingham's CD Mescalito. Bingham's song "The Weary Kind" in Crazy Heart is nominated for the Best Original Song Oscar tonight. I'm obsessed with Bingham now after watching Crazy Heart. Love Jeff Bridges too now.
I'm incredibly obsessed with Drake. He is the only celebrity I've ever truly claimed to love (aside from JC of N*Sync). Dark, tall, sexy, talented, looked delicious in a wheelchair as Jimmy on Degrassi and the lyrics of his songs don't make the feminist in me fume. I also melt when I see or think about his smile. Told you I'm obsessed.
The love of my life is coming to Ohio State to play a free show with one of my other favorite rappers (also Canadian), K-OS (check him out here, here, here).
Daniel, Dan, Danny. "He likes 'Danny,'" his nurse said, stroking Danny's brown hair.
Two weeks ago, Danny was in a sledding accident. Now he is a quadriplegic. He is 16 years old.
Before the accident, Danny played as a center on his high school football team. His team finished in the Top 8 in the state. "Do you have a girlfriend?" my instructor Diane asked. Danny shook his head, no. A typical 16-year-old boy.
Today, during clinical, I was taking care of his tracheotomy--a tube that goes into the trachea, allowing Danny to breathe but preventing him from being able to speak. He could only shake his head yes, no and mouth silent words.
Two weeks ago, Danny was a normal teenager. Today I had to stick a suctioning tube down into his lungs to suck out excessive secretions, helping clear his airway. As you can imagine, having a tube jammed down your windpipe is not a pleasant experience. Danny had tears in his eyes from the force of coughing. "It's almost over, Danny," I consoled him, "You're doing awesome."
Later that day, one of the other nursing students in my clinical group "cath-ed" Danny, meaning she inserted a tube into his bladder that will allow him to urinate.
He can't move his limbs, can't communicate, and he has to pee in a bag. And he's just a 16-year-old boy.
I wish Danny the very best. And I truly appreciate him allowing students to practice and learn vital nursing skills on him--turning his tragedy into at least something very small.
In the hospital today during clinical, my patient was a 52-year-old white male with extensive liver damage caused by years and years of alcoholism (he told me he drank a case of beer a day for 20 years.)
He was also a prisoner convicted of murder and mutilation of a body.
But you'd never guess. He could be your grandfather; gray-haired, balding, standing only 5'7" tall. Look down, however, and you'd see his shackled feet. And beside him stood a towering prison guard who never let him out of sight.
Before meeting my patient, I pictured a cold, hardened, uncooperative criminal.
But then I spent two hours talking to this criminal/person/man/human being about his life...
He was born in West Virginia--"a hick," he called himself--and moved to Ohio when he was ten years old. He began working at a young age to support himself and eventually he became a skilled tradesman; a welder, a mechanic, a construction worker, etc. He made good money that way, traveling to different places for contracted work. There was no mention of a wife or a girlfriend but he spoke fondly of his two daughters, one 29 and the other 30, and of his two grandchildren, a boy and a girl.
He then began to tell me about the alleged events leading up to his arrest and sentencing to life in prison...
He had been passed out drunk one night and when he awoke, there was a dead body in his house. "A murder I didn't commit...and I know that's hard to believe, even for me," he told me. He described an immense "spirit of fear" that overcame him upon discovering the body and how it drove him to "get rid of" the body rather than calling the police. He feared that he would be blamed for the murder. I asked him if he knew the dead person and he said yes, he had. I could see his remorse. I knew he believed his story.
That was ten years ago and he's been behind bars ever since. He devoted the past four years to "Bible College" where he took classes to learn about the Bible and biblical theology, earning himself a Bachelor's Degree. "If The Lord took me today, I'm ready," he said, "but I want to spend time with my daughters." I'm not sure whether he had been a religious man before prison but he was very spiritual when I sat with him. I could see the comfort religion gave him. He understood the likely outcome of his progressive liver failure, "They've never given an organ transplant to an inmate. It's never been done."
Our conversation took place as we waited for his esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) procedure. An EGD is when they weave a fiber optic endoscope with a camera through the esophagus and into the stomach and intestines so you can see the entire gastrointestinal tract. It was really cool because the doctor and nurses performing the procedure explained to me everything we saw. I saw inside my patient's stomach!
After my patient had returned to his room from the endoscopy and I had finished my tasks for the day, I went to his room to thank him and to say goodbye.
"You're not going to be back?" he asked, breaking my heart a little bit when I told him no, I wouldn't.
And then he told me something I'll remember forever: "Emily, what you are doing is commendable. Thank you."
A lot has happened in the past three weeks...one day I need to write a post that isn't just a random assortment of Emily life things...
-I hung up Time magazine's cover story on Haiti on the wall above my desk. I put it there so I can always be reminded how extremely, remarkably, unfairly fortunate I am and that it is my duty to help people like the Haitians. And one day I very well will travel to Haiti to help because they're going to be rebuilding for a long, long time.
-I decided yesterday I'm going to apply to work at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis (Disneyland in hospital form) after I graduate, make some money, then travel and nurse around the world. Good plan, huh?
-I had a very exciting day in the hospital last week during my clinical. My patient was a 58-year-old woman (although she looked to be 88) who was usually quiet but her one-liners were hysterical. She was extremely patient with me and willing to help me practice my skills. I inserted a foley catheter (a tube that goes through the urethra into the bladder) while practicing sterile technique (maintaining a sterile field is probably the hardest part). Later that day, I measured, cleaned and packed a wound. I felt like a real nurse.
-I'm obsessed with Vampire Weekend's new CD, Contra.
-We were blessed with 31 beautiful "baby" Tri-Deltas after Rush this year. Recruiting took up about 96.7% of my time over the past two weekends. Glad it's over but well worth it.
-A friend in Delta Sigma Theta, one of the black sororities on campus, asked me to participate on a panel for their program, A Day in the Life of a Diabetic. Along with a Delta Sigma Theta graduate with type 2 diabetes, we answered questions for the women in the sorority. It was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it. It got me thinking about speaking publicly to more people about type 1 diabetes...
-Still not on the insulin pump although the pump, supplies and insulin are all waiting for me at home. Very frustrating.
-I've sent out half my fundraising letters for my trip to Belize. I'm stamping and sending the next half tomorrow. It's two months away! The first time in my life crossing the borders of the United States.
-I'm going to start writing here as often as I can. I miss this. Well, I miss writing real posts...not this cop-out of a post.
-Auditioned for Women's Glee Club and even after two years without exercising my vocal chords, they offered me a spot! Soprano 2. What what.
-Classes suck. Except for Music 203.05 aka Women's Glee Club.
-It's cold as fuck and I forgot my gloves in the jacket I forgot at home. Genius.
-I can't fall asleep because I took a two-hour nap after class today. It was my first day back in clinical and with a new instructor (she drills us harder than my former clinical instructor, which I appreciate). I had an inexplicably low blood sugar of 38 (think death--I want my blood sugar to be around, like, 100) followed by a blood sugar of 56. So I wasn't allowed to do much in the hospital today. I felt beyond useless.
-After a bad day of being glove-less, useless, and sugar-less, I came home to a beautiful bouquet of flowers from Trevor (picture at the top). It's our six month anniversary today. Instant mood uplifted.
-Because I can't sleep, I decorated my room with photos of my family. For Christmas, Dad divided up his vast collection of pictures between Abby, Seth, Sarah and I. I have photos of Grandpa in his military uniform in 1944, Grandma with friends, Mom's mother Nonny holding baby Sarah, uncles and Dad as little boys, Mom in Italy as a teenager, Mom and Dad at their wedding and tons of pictures of the four of us kids growing up. I put a collage of these random pictures on my dresser under the glass covering and tacked some onto the cork board on my desk.
-Back on Twitter. Not regretting it.
-I love Miike Snow for some reason.
-These next several weeks are filled with lots of Glee Club, sorority recruitment, training sessions to be a leader for MLK Day of Service (more about that later), more recruitment, recruitment workshops, more rehearsals, Belize meetings, and studying. And maybe some living free of commitments and responsibilities. Yeah, right...
Randoms...and still nothing about New Orleans...but I will get around to writing about it...one day soon...
-Christmas, celebrated on Christmas Eve, with Mom, Dad, Sarah, Seth, Abby and Alex was nice and relaxing. We saw Avatar in 3D and ate chili and cornbread for dinner before we opened gifts. Sixty dollars to Sephora from Abby and Alex, a knock off Chanel purse from Seth, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist on DVD from Sarah and $350 and assorted books and CDs from Dad. Mom plans to take us shopping for clothes as our gift on Monday. I saw Nine yesterday with Sarah (OMG I love Marion Cotillard) and Sherlock Holmes today with Alex's parents, Alex, Abby, Mom and Dad. I love family and free movies.
-A gynecologist yelled at me about my diabetes earlier this week. He was an older man I'd never met before who clearly didn't understand the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. When I sat down in his office, he blatantly said, "You're not gonna live to be 50 and if you do, it's not gonna be a healthy 50." He also insulted the job done by my endocrinologists, who know far more about diabetes than a gynecologist does. I left his office in tears. My dad jokingly offered to slash his tires.
-My purple insulin pump is here, sitting in a box in the kitchen. Before I can use it, however, I'm to take a "refresher" course at Children's Hospital to relearn how to work it. When I told Trevor how ugly I'm afraid it will look, he responded, "It looks sexy and I love it." But what I'm dreading the most is the onslaught of people who will be asking questions about the device that's attached to me, making my illness even more visible. I hate that I have to wear this thing again....but I will get over it in order to be healthier.
-I have an appointment on Monday at the post office to get my passport. Belize, here I come.
-I need to buy something ridiculously sparkly to wear on New Years Eve. Along with fake eyelashes and those fake gemstones that stick to your skin. I'm 'bout to go all out.
-I'm going to audition for Women's Glee Club at school, if they have space. If not, I'll try out in the spring. This Glee Club does not dance, thank God.
-I probably drank an entire bottle of wine by myself last night and for some reason, I woke up at 7:30 this morning. I need to go back to bed now.
French Quarter Bourbon Street Project Lazarus Voodoo HIV-positive AIDS People Black people White people Gay people Straight people Dying people Living people Homeless people Hopeless people Hopeful people Drug abusers The Ninth Ward Brad Pitt Zydeco music Alligator Fried catfish Mississippi River
I put it there because...I'm going to Belize over Spring Break! I found out today that one of the participants originally selected for the trip dropped out and I was the first alternate on the list! It's another Alternative Break offered through Ohio State (like the New Orleans trip that I'm going on--in less than a week!). In Belize, I'll be volunteering for the organization One World Running which donates shoes to underprivileged communities.
I'M SOOOOOOOOOO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!! I've been obsessed with Central and South America since I was a little girl and my uncle Ned showed me pictures of ruins and colorful festivals. Now I finally get to travel to Central America! And I'll be leaving the United States for the first time in my life.
I'll need to raise a hefty $1,500...so if anyone wants to donate, please let me know! I would appreciate it more than anything.
P.S. If you were perhaps curious as to why I seem so hyperactive, blame the excitement of going on the Belize trip and the fact that I just chugged an Amp Energy drink. I'm not sleeping before my Nursing 301 final exam tomorrow. Good times.
Remember Great Expectations? Charles Dickens's book about the life of Pip, a boy born into a low social class who desires to become a wealthy, respected nobleman. During his childhood, he meets the extravagant and contemptuous Miss Havisham and her adopted daughter Estella, who he falls in love with despite her coldness and cruelty. Pip begins his climb toward the upper class with the hope that one day he will be wealthy and distinguished enough to marry Estella.
Trevor claims that when reading Great Expectations in high school, the character Estella reminded him of me as a little girl. I don't believe I was totally Estella-esque but Trevor does have an impeccable memory and he remembers just about every exchange we had as kids...
As the story goes, Trevor moved into my neighborhood when we were ten or eleven years old. He began coming to the community center where my friends and I played after school and he claims that that's when he fell in love with me. But just as quickly, I broke his heart. I was allegedly manipulative and cruel, toying with his feelings. An especially Estella moment: during our brief time as boyfriend and girlfriend, he gave me a reversible ladybug/bumble bee stuffed animal as a gift (he seriously remembers these details) but I soon dumped him for another boy.
Before we entered middle school, Trevor moved away. But he never forgot about me and I never really forgot about him. We saw each other two or three times throughout the middle school and high school years. He kept tabs on me through Facebook and I sometimes clicked on his page to see where he had ended up. I had always wondered why he'd never tried to contact me (he would later tell me that he never had because he could never settle for being "just your friend.")
Last May, on my birthday (which is the day before his own), he wished me a "happy birthday" and suggested that we hang out over summer break. Little did I know, he had finally contacted me after seeing my relationship status on Facebook change to "single."
I didn't think anything of his invitation to hang out and I certainly did not think he was still interested in me after eight years. We finally saw each other again at the end of June. He later admitted that his ten-year-old crush was rekindled that night. And the rest of the story, you already know.
So I guess our story is kind of like Estella and Pip's. Minus the escaped criminal turned secret benefactor and the bat-crazy old lady with the permanent broken heart.
“When was the last time you saw a Bengals team take the field saying, ‘We’re going to kick your butt?' They expect to win. They don’t hope to win,” Wilcots says. “This team has a mental makeup unlike any team I’ve seen them have. Their 2005 division champions weren’t intimidating. They survived their way to 11 wins. This team is rocking people’s worlds.”
-Former Bengals Defensive Back, Solomon Wilcots, on the Bengals vs. Raiders game today
I appreciated Katydid's earlier post about embracing one's body. I have wanted but hesitated to write a similar post myself.
But since she beat me to it and wrote it so eloquently, I'll keep this short.
The dress I'm wearing in the picture above (from last night's Date Party) makes me truly embrace my body. It's a dress that was meant for curvy hips, curvy legs, a curvy ass and big boobs. And it was meant to accentuate them.
About a week ago, I decided to go back on the insulin pump. We're beginning the process and I'm really excited. It's been three years since I went off pump therapy and returned to injections. But now I think I'm ready to go back.
Nursing school is making me a better diabetic. Mostly because it's instilling the fear of God in me. During clinical yesterday, I had a 55-year-old patient (who looked 75) with a host of problems, including type 2 diabetes. It's terrifying to see firsthand the complications these patients suffer.
Yesterday was really overwhelming. I cried several times throughout the day without a real reason as to why. I've been having trouble coping with seeing such sick, sad people in the hospital. My patient was incredibly obese, he had been in a hospital bed for over a month after back surgery (so he had developed pressure ulcers on his back), he had osteomyelitis (infection of the bone), MRSA and his right lower leg was blackish-purple (maybe caused by diabetes). He was agitated and rude to the PCA. Although, he was nice to me.
When I see patients like this, I feel haunted by the thought of a life being diminished to nothing but lying immobile in a hospital bed, people constantly feeling sorry for you and being afraid of you. I just kept thinking, "What is this man's life, if anything?"
For the bad moments, however, there are also good moments in the hospital. Such as the 91-year-old who serenaded my other clinical partners and claimed, "They told me to watch out; they put all of the pretty girls in red!"
This has been really hard but I know I can handle it.
Anyway, I should be back on the insulin pump in a month or two. I really can't wait.
I want to worry less about diabetes complications. Oh, and I want to take 12 injections a month rather than 120!
I had my second clinical in the hospital yesterday. And, let me tell you, this week's clinical was much much more challenging than last week's.
My patient was a 64-year-old woman with encephalopathy (general brain dysfunction), aphasia (impairment of ability to communicate), schizophrenia and a number of other medical problems (obesity, hypertension, use of feeding tube). She's lived in an extended care facility for several years. The reason she was admitted to the hospital, however, was for a dislodged nephrostomy tube (which are tubes going into her kidneys to relieve her hydronephrosis and urosepsis). Somehow her left nephrostomy tube was dislodged the night before so it needed to be replaced.
Our responsibility was to change her bed linens and to give a full bed bath. The tube in her back, in addition to the pressure ulcers on her coccyx, caused her a lot of pain whenever we turned her. So she would moan, scream and mumble incomprehensibly whenever moved. It was extremely difficult to turn her due to her weight, as well. We managed to get everything done successfully but I couldn't help feeling sympathy for this woman's condition. It was a very depressing case but still one that I needed to witness and experience.
Today was way better. I went to an informational meeting for the Project Lazarus New Orleans trip I'm going on in December. I got to meet the five other participants (the sixth is one of my sorority sisters), our two group leaders and our advisor. All of them seem so enthusiastic and easy to get along with. A member of the Columbus AIDS Task Force came to speak to us since we will be working with HIV/AIDS patients at the hospice. He was extremely blunt about HIV/AIDS and we had open discussions about the difference between HIV and AIDS, what the illness looks like, sex, sexuality, misconceptions, contraception, prevention, etc. It was a very interesting dialogue and I'm looking forward to working with and learning more from the people living at the facility. I'm also really excited to explore the city of New Orleans! I couldn't stop smiling after the meeting because I can't wait to go--I know it's going to be an unforgettable trip. Who knows, maybe it will spur me to do something with HIV/AIDS in nursing in the future...
A few weeks ago, I applied to go on an alternative winter break trip offered through Ohio State. For a week, students are sent to volunteer in areas throughout the United States for various organizations and causes. This year, there are ten different destinations and ten students are accepted to each trip (50 accepted to the Habitat for Humanity trip).
Today, I found out that I got accepted to my first choice!
The location I'll go to is Project Lazarus in New Orleans. Project Lazarus is a residential facility for people suffering with AIDS in the Gulf Coast region. The trip will only cost $185, which includes transportation and housing.
I'm so excited! I've always wanted to visit New Orleans and this will definitely be good experience for nursing. And good experience in general.
My patient was a 55-year-old woman with pulmonary MAC (Mycobacterium avium complex) and pancolitis caused by C. diff . She also had COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). My partner and I helped her with her bed bath, changed her linens and learned from the Patient Care Assistant (PSA) in charge (I never actually met the RN). Due to the C. diff, our patient was in contact isolation which meant we had to wear gowns and gloves. She showed us pictures of her granddaughters and told us about her daughters and how she was excited to go home today.
I learned about filling out patient charts and how to use the computers to look up labs and other data.
I had a low blood sugar at one point during the day, I think because I was sort of nervous. But it was really exciting to finally be in the hospital, even doing the most menial tasks, and I'm looking forward to next week.
Went camping with Tess, Allie, Natalie, and Katie last night in Delaware State Park. Elizabeth, Kylie and Megan came to visit for a little bit. I love my atypical sorority girls.
It was cold (I think the average was 47 degrees) but the park was absolutely gorgeous with the autumn colors and blue skies. We also went to a Haunted Forest and got the shit scared out of us, ate caramel apples and roasted hotdogs over the campfire.
I enjoyed reading Katydid's stream-of-consciousness recount of her evening. So I'm going to do the same for my Saturday night...
I'm in sweatpants, sprawled on the floor of my room with Lauren, Mary, Nat and Katie. We're planning to watch He's Just Not That Into You. I would rather watch Harry Potter. I have every intention of staying in tonight--I had gotten really drunk the night before and game day's are always tiring. It's just going to be a chill night with the girls. We're talking about Katie's ex-boyfriend. My phone lights up so I reach for it. It's a text from Adam; he's in Columbus. I haven't seen him since June and I've hardly spoken to him. But I have a strong desire to see him and find out how his life is going. He's at a party near my house so he meets me halfway. I see him; he has longer hair and he's much thinner. I comment on this and tug his hair. My phone lights up again. It's Trevor. I told him I was going to see Adam and he said okay, but now he is insistent that he come get me. He's drunk; the worst I've ever seen him. I want to stay with Adam because I feel like we haven't talked enough. The party is in the courtyard of an apartment building; it's getting cold out which I love. I know Trevor needs me so I tell Adam that I have to leave. He walks me to the street and we face each other. I tell him I'm dating someone and he is happy for me but he still offers his services if ever I need him to beat up a guy. I thank him. We say that we've missed each other, hug and he kisses me on the lips. I say goodbye and walk to Trevor. When I see him he picks me up. He wants to take me to another house party. He's upset that the Buckeyes beat his beloved Wisconsin Badgers so he yells "Go Badgers!" to everyone who passes. He tells me that he has gotten in a lot of trouble tonight for his drunken stupidity--he was kicked out of a party earlier. You're an idiot. He keeps giving me sloppy kisses. When we get to the party, Trevor will hardly let go of me but when he goes to get another beer--even after I protest--a freshman approaches me about the necklace I'm wearing. We start talking for a few seconds when Trevor pushes him out of the way, wraps an arm around my waist and leads me away. I apologize profusely to the poor freshman. I'm becoming more and more disgusted. This happens a second time when a guy starts casually talking to me. I want to leave. But Trevor wants me to come with him. I'll make sure you get to bed without hurting yourself but then I have to leave, I say. But when we get home, he begs me to stay with him and I know it's too late and too dark for me to walk home alone. He lays on the futon and I can see tears in his eyes. He misses his friends from Wisconsin so much, he tells me. He hates Ohio State; I'm the only good thing here. I rub his back and tell him everything will be okay. I put him to bed and cover him with the blanket I made for him. Then I realize I don't want him to puke on it so I grab another one. I Google "alcohol poisoning" on his iPhone. I listen to make sure he is breathing evenly. I keep the door to his room open and curl up on the futon across the room, making sure I can see him in case something goes wrong. It's fucking cold in this apartment; I can hear the AC running. I don't even know the exact address of his place, what would I do if I had to call 911? I go over the night in my head. What. the. fuck. I text my sister and Kelly. I finally fall asleep at four in the morning. At 8, I wake up, write a note on his door and leave.
Last night, the boyfriend drove me to Urgent Care for a UTI/kidney infection. It was really cute (not the infection, but the fact that he was taking care of me when I was too stressed to take care of myself). He's also bugging me about checking my blood sugars more often which I actually appreciate. Because my blood sugar numbers have been crap lately. So things are going well on the relationship front and improving on the health front.
The reason I was so incredibly stressed was because I had a big exam and a quiz this week. But I survived my first exam in the School of Nursing! For Nursing 385: Integrated Sciences for Nursing Practice--a class that had only 5 or 6 A's last year out of 166. I got a B+ and I was only one question away from getting an A!
The midterm covered pathophysiology and pharmacology which are subjects that I find really interesting. We learned about the Therapeutic Index (it determines whether a drug is more therapeutic or more toxic to the population), IV fluids, fluid and electrolyte imbalances (like hyperkalemia which is too much potassium in the body), pharmacokinetics, etc.
My next big midterm is Wednesday in Nursing 301: Foundational Nursing Concepts. I think it's going to be more challenging because we've covered a lot of extremely broad material regarding hygiene, mobility, and safety.
Although this week was long and busy and stressful--studying, sorority recruitment, Triathlon Club, kidney infection and all--I'm really happy with the way things are going. Yay, sophomore year.