Archive | June 2014

Turnaround

This week I hit a turning point in the exhaustion and overwhelming departments and have finally started to return to normalcy.  Sunday was nice and relaxed, didn’t do too much beyond a run and a Netflix marathon to finish the second season of House of Cards. 

Monday was my first day in PAT, where I worked with the nurses and techs to get people checked in before surgery.  Usually these appointments are 1-2 weeks out from scheduled surgery, but occasionally they are sooner, sometimes the day before if the surgery is an “add-on” to the schedule.  This involves a series of questions about health history and testing such as blood work or an EKG.  If something is amiss with their history or results, a patient may not be cleared for surgery for their safety.  By the end of Tuesday, I developed a certain proficiency at drawing blood and had a pretty good handle on hooking up the EKG. 

Wednesday started my time in the PreOp department.  These ladies start early, a few getting in at 4:30 to set up, but the rest (including me) starting at 5:30.  And the mornings start off with a bang, because patients start showing up 2 hours before surgery, and surgeries are scheduled as early as 7am.  There’s a big push at first, but it doesn’t really slow down until lunch time.  They get the patients dressed and prepped for surgery, ask all the most pertinent questions again, and insert IV access catheters.  That’s what I was most interested in learning, and by Friday, I had started 20 IVs and only missed 5 that I attempted.  My time in PreOp so far has been fast-paced, and I’ve really developed my confidence in working with patients.  Monday I am going to focus more on patient assessments and charting, but also continue to start IVs.

Other than work, I’ve had a chance to get caught up on classwork, gotten some good runs in, and really enjoyed the gorgeous weather – unseasonably cool, just a little bit of rain.  I’ve been getting used to getting up early, and James and I are thinking of making 4am our new normal, during which time I will probably go for runs while he cooks himself a nice breakfast before we both head into work.

This week should be nice.  More of PreOp at work and ending my week with PreOp Holding.  Next Monday is our anniversary.  And this week he has a 4-day weekend, so we are making plans to go spend 4th of July with friends and do something special to celebrate us 🙂

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Also, with the rest of our day we took the dogs to Haven Beach. It was beautiful!

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Chronically UnderRested

I don’t think that under-rested is technically a word, but it’s the best way to describe my present state of being. It’s not so much that I feel over-worked, though that is a contributing factor. It’s just that night after night, for the past several weeks, I have not been getting enough sleep, and it’s finally catching up with me. I have been upping my dose of caffeine to 2-3 diet sodas a day just to stay conscious, where before I only drank it a few times a week.

Last Sunday I crunched in all my homework somehow, and this Sunday I will have to do the same. But first I am walking down to the water as I type and enjoying the sun peeking out from behind the clouds. No energy for a run right now, but probably will do yoga later today.

Monday started week 2 in the OR. I had my blonde moment of the year as I managed to mess up 3 bags of NS while attempting to mix meds. Shame internalized; lesson learned. Then I had another traumatic experience as I attempted to cath a man with a history of bladder issues. After several attempts, we ended up having to call in a urologist to place the foley. The lesson learned there is: stop when you feel resistance. My preceptor assured me that I did the right thing by stopping, and now I know what it feels like in the future. I was successful on our next patient that morning.

James and I had our second biggest fight that evening, but on the other side of it, I think we are better than ever. I don’t really want to go into the details, but it was an event significant enough to warrant notation.

Tuesday and Wednesday passed in much the same fashion, except with different surgeries. I sat in on some gyn procedures, joint replacements, and more bariactric surgeries. I also joined a local wellness center with two convenient locations: one by the house, and the other close to work. So next week when I am up at 4 and off at 2, I will be heading there on the way home; in July when I am 8-4:30, I will head to the location by work before my shift begins in order to get it done and arrive home about when James does. I haven’t really checked it out fully yet, but I have definitely taken full advantage of the treadmills.

Thursday was another busy day in the OR, the highlight of which was when one of the docs gave me some surgical cement after he was done with that part of the procedure (a reverse shoulder) and instructed me to craft it and see how it reacted. I made a little hamburger-helper-style hand, and watched as it became less and less pliable the more I manipulated it, and eventually got quite hot as it set and hardened. I was quite amused. Friday tends to be a slow day in this OR, so I actually got home a little early and

Friday marked my last OR day, unless I happen to go back for one of my “choice” days at the end of the externship. I delivered written thank you notes to my two main preceptors, LSM and DB2, as well as verbal thanks to the other OR staff for their time working with me. Friday tends to be a slow day for this OR, so I actually got out a bit early. Headed home and got in a hot 6-mile run, though it was only in the low 80s as compared to the high 90s we had earlier in the week.

Then James and I met the nearly insufferable man who sold us a kayak. Now, he was a nice guy who gave us a good deal, but he made us sit there for nearly two hours as he explained literally everything about this kayak, and would not stop talking about how expensive everything was, and how he custom-installed so many additional features. And then he had the nerve to up-sell us the battery for the fish-finder. All of this while we were starving, dehydrating, roasting in the sun. As we were headed back to our cars, James looks at me and says, “I have never loved you more than I do right now.” When we got home we had to decompress, but ended up having a very nice evening.

And then Saturday happened. Worked a double at my PRN job. It actually went by smoothly and relatively quickly. Got to take the kids outside several times, as well as a few of them to the pool for their scheduled rec. In down time/on breaks I visited Cathy on her unit and chatted with my coworkers. Everyone there is always so curious about my weight-loss strategies because I was so much bigger when I started there almost 2 years ago.

But I cut my shift a little short after I called to check in with James and learned that his first trip out in the new kayak yielded a full-body sunburn, bad enough that I would call it sun poisoning in some places. So I left about to take care of him and to pick up some meds/supplies before grocery stores closed at 11. The ironic thing is that I was only outside for about 2 hours throughout the day and applied sunscreen twice, while he spent almost 5 hours shirtless on the water and sunscreen didn’t even crossed his mind. Lesson learned. And no, I did not rub that in his face. I just cuddled him and rubbed aloe all over his poor lobster skin.

So today, homework first. Then rewarding myself with some sort of workout and a relaxing evening.
Probably early to bed because last night was not very restful and I deserve some beauty sleep.

All Done!

So things with the condo this week dragged on longer than expected. Monday I got help from Jess moving furniture outside for donation pick-up Tuesday. It was also my first day in the OR shadowing Lori. I saw a spinal fusion!

Tuesday I spent HOURS there packing up and organizing so much more junk than I thought possible. That day Lori and I worked with in a room with bariactric surgeries.

Wednesday I grabbed about 90% of what was left and stuffed it unceremoniously into my car. I was so frustrated not to be done, but it refused to all physically fit into Fifi. That day in the OR I worked with Dana in cytoscopy.

Thursday nearly killed me when I realized I had training in the evening at my PRN job. Luckily the OR was very slow and I got to leave early. Thus, I had time to run my errands and get a quick run in before going to that evening training. I even got Chinese food #treatyoself And I got literally everything moved!

Another highlight of the day was someone at work who hadn’t seen me in awhile coming up to ask me if I was doing CrossFit to get in the shape I am in. I politely answered no, and told her my boring tale of #caloriecounting

Friday was pretty chill in the OR – saw a knee replacement and a few other surgeries. Got out on time, but still managed to fit in an afternoon run in the muggy outdoors. It felt great despite the humidity. James and I finally had a chill evening together for the first time all week.

Then Saturday was a glorious day for a race with Rachel!

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After we got home, I had a “me day” at my favorite lunch place and a trip to the mall. Lunch was beautiful and everything was on sale!

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And then we went to a party!

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All in all, it was a busy but fabulous week! Today has been really chill…morning run, catching up on homework, and getting a bit more organized in my new home.

Frenzy

Every day this week, I have driven at least two hours, attended orientation at my summer internship, and somehow managed to squeeze in homework, running, and yard sale prep.

Monday was day 1 of orientation, where they taught us what a socially responsible and innovative organization we are joining (no sarcasm whatsoever – I am super impressed!) and fed us amazing food at the Hilton. I also snuck in a post-work run, because the weather was beautiful!

Tuesday was much the same, except I headed to the condo and thereabouts to run errands and get a sports massage after work. Late night!

Wednesday, I was inspired to get up pre-dawn and go for a 3-mile run…and only then did I remember that it was National Running Day, as well as my runniversary! This day last year, I pushed my limits to run 7 miles for the first time, one of my first big running milestones, and the moment when I truly became a “serious runner.” Then we had clinical orientation and another delicious lunch. When I got done, I headed down to visit le Muse family and meet the newest member!

Thursday started out rainy so I skipped my morning run. Orientation at the hospital, more clinical aspects, and I met my supervisor and got my schedule for the next 8 weeks! I start my rotation in the OR, but I’ll see all phases of surgical services before the summer is through. I got home in a timely manner and accomplished lots of cooking, HW, and even an evening 4-mile run.

Friday I slept in a little bit (by that I mean 6:45) because James crashed at the condo overnight (due to his evening class and feeling sickly). Then orientation was only a half day, and I took full advantage of that to get some yard sale prep accomplished! I still ended up not getting to bed til 11pm and up at 5:45 next morning.

Saturday was a blur! I put the yard sale signs out around 6:15 and on my walk back, there were already 2 cars following me looking for the sale! It officially started at 7 and was pretty steady until about 11:45 (ended at 1pm). At the end, I sold most of my furniture, all of the tools, plates, office supplies, and overall about 70% of what I had out! I made about twice as much cash as I expected! The rest I donated to the library, ReStore, and Goodwill. I also dropped off my secretary hutch at consignment.

And when all that was done, I had a couple hours to kick back, visit the pool with Janet & co, and meet Melissa for dinner at Bonefish!

This morning the world treated me to a perfect last neighborhood run in the mid 60s and shady (bc I started before 6:30). Now I am going to do a little bit more packing and organizing before meeting for a bridesmaids brunch and heading back to my love and my new country home.