Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Come on down

I'm really over at these days. I still post to this blog but edits and comments from multiply don't make it over here.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

High maintenance

So this afternoon I coordinated a trip to the library with Delia. She's been out of preschool and soccer since getting so sick, and due to a little mishap today (Me: "Hey did you get Delia off to preschool this morning?" J: "No, today's Monday." Me: "No.... today's Tuesday." J: "Oh CRAP!") she didn't go again, so I thought, I should take the poor tyke to the library.


So after asking her like fifty times to put on her shoes and socks, I was starting to get frustrated, and evidently it was apparent to her because then we had the following exchange. Bear in mind that she is three years old.

Delia: Mama, are you having kind of a bad day?
Me (laughing a little): Am I?
Delia: Yeah. See, what you need to do is relax.

What really made it funny was J snickering loudly and then busting out into belly laughs from down the hall. Part of why I was frustrated was a miscommunication about whether she was going with us to the library, and I had been sort of on the warpath about how I'd been waiting around for her and now it was getting late. At this point I totally threatened to kick her ass.

Earlier in the day I'd spoken to J on the phone from school, and she told me another amusing Delia related anecdote. J had put on some music while they were eating lunch, and Delia found this to be so irritating that after she was done eating, while J was out of the room, she went over to the cd player, removed the cd and then hid it. I asked, Was she mad that you weren't letting her watch some show or something? And J said, Yeah, she wanted to watch a dvd. I said, Which cd did you have in? J says, Oh, one of the new ones I just got. I said, Bob Dylan? Oh, I would have hidden it too.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Poor Lil' Scooby

So Delia has been sick for ages. First it was the barf-o-rama that started on the 13th and lasted for nearly a week (by the end it was mostly listlessness, the occasional diarrhea, and no appetite) and then just a few days later suddenly she's hit with this horrible high fever. This went on for a couple of days and we were obliged to get a thermometer, and tylenol, and she was up half the night in bed with me watching cartoons to distract her from how shitty she felt.

Then on Thursday I'm at clinicals all day and around lunchtime I'm calling home and getting worried that I can't reach J. Finally she calls back: Delia woke from a nap just miserable and her axillary (armpit) temp was 104.5!! Holy crapples! So J took her to the doctor and they said, well she might have roseola. It's a kind of fevery-rashy thing that they see on occasion and they'd had a couple of cases recently. It's not terribly serious aside from the high fever but it's damned uncomfortable. I had it when I was around 28 or so and it did rather suck. The rash doesn't particularly itch but it's unsightly and the fever is no fun. But then Delia never did get a rash. She does have a runny nose now but that just appeared on Thursday, after she'd been sick for days already.

So Delia continued with the fever until today, she finally slept through the night on Thurs. night and today was the first day she woke up without a temp and appears to not have had one all day. She did get kind of flushed and rosy cheeked in the afternoon but she and J. were playing outside and it might have just been exertion, after all that resting and napping for two weeks solid.

It just sucks when your kid is sick. :(

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Junior Nurse Woodchuck Club

So today in clinicals I had a male patient getting his second hip replaced. Oh and did we mention he's a retired physician? Yeah, no pressure there... He turned out to be a really nice man, and in addition to doing an assessment on him (you know, the once-over: listen to lungs, heart, look at IV site, kind of a head to toe how ya doin') I got to give him a subcutaneous injection of an anticoagulant.

Okay, so I'm used to the tiny, skinny, fine needles that they use for insulin, and unfortunately this needle was not such a fine gauge, so it didn't dart into the skin the first time like it was supposed to and so I had to assault the poor man twice. But he was super nice about it.

Then, I got to discontinue an IV line for a woman who was being discharged today. By the way, adhesive tape + gloves = sticky mess, but we already knew that.

Then later I got to d/c my male patient's IV line too, and it went fine.

I feel almost competent at times.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Madcap Life of a Nursing Student

So this week I kind of overbooked myself.

Sunday night: stay up until 3am finishing assignments due on Monday by 1pm.

Monday: class 8am to noon, attempt to pay tuition (see previous entry), race back up to Hyperbole University to get a signature from one instructor because I'm pretty sure she won't be available Tuesday. Go home, collapse.

Tuesday: class 8-10am, gather remaining signatures, back down to college to register and pay, return to University to practice and sign off on "converting running IV to saline lock" and "discontinue saline lock." Repeatedly refer to saline lock as "piggyback" to the amusement of all. Swing by store to pick up thermometer and children's tylenol as daughter is home with raging fever of indeterminate origins.

Wednesday: wake at 2:30am with daughter, dose her with ibuprofen, cool her off, doze fitfully, awaken to myriad requests for drinks of water or assistance to restroom (thankfully just to pee); shower, breakfast, head to University to practice and sign off on intermittent IV infusion of medications. Then off to hospital to get tomorrow's assignment, return home, prepare materials for tomorrow's clinicals, and try to get to bed at decent hour.

Thursday: Clinicals begin at 6am! Done at 3pm, home for a couple of hours, then off to emergency do-gooders' volunteer training 6-8:30pm.

Friday: testing at University (for which I have no time to study), then off to volunteer opportunity performing HgA1C testing on wrinkly old folks, 11am - 3pm.

Weekend: work, read for class on Monday.


In which I am a moron

So it turns out that if you fail to pay your tuition on time, Euphemism College will drop you from all your classes.

I have no defense, I had just gotten fixated on this idea that I needed to drop by the college and pay in person with a check rather than do it over the internet and then just immediately pay off the credit card as I have done in the past. So yeah, the college is not near anything else I routinely go to, and last week Delia was sick, and then I got a cold, and then I was constantly tired, and kept forgetting...

So if you then go to pay your tuition and find you've been un-registered, you then must petition your instructors to register more than ten days after the start of the term. This means you get a petition form and write on it why it was that you failed to pay on time or whatever other reason you might have for registering late. I had to write five forms, for my five classes. This rather felt like standing at the board a la Bart Simpson: "I will not chew gum in class, I will not chew gum in class, I will not chew gum in class..."

You must then go to each instructor in turn and explain to them what happened, and they must not only sign your form but write a small statement regarding why it is exactly that you should be permitted to register so late. I have three instructors, so I had to tell each one of them that I, in effect, am a moron. Then they had to find some not-too-insulting way of saying that I should be allowed to continue despite my incredible ineptitude.

Perhaps this process is designed to be so humiliating and tedious that the student will never again be tempted to color outside the registration lines. I know it's certainly having that effect on me.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Dollar store gifting

So today I had to take the small fry to the doctor for the hurling/poopage issue, and afterward because I am a terrible person I was then obligated to take her to the dollar store. She puffy hearts the dollar store in a huge way.

Once inside I was tempted by many items, especially the vast selection of decorative figurines in many styles, but I held firm until we went to get in line at the checkout. It was then that I spied the basket of those little compressed thingies that you throw into the bathwater and they amusingly swell up to become a full sized washrag, as if by magic. The designs vary by season, or someone's whim, or who knows. Currently the theme was the planets in our solar system.

I was forced to purchase one to send to my brother.

You guessed it.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Things unrelated to GAH

So before the baby's head rotated 360 degrees and firehose reverse-peristalsis began, I actually spent Saturday night doing something grown-up and not concerned with child, school, work, or home. We went to see Sweeney Todd. The touring Broadway production, not the movie.

I rather enjoyed it. I'm a sucker for musicals, and this whole thing where there was no orchestra and the cast played their own instruments? So cool. It doesn't seem possible, to a musically disinclined rube such as myself, for so few instruments to make such full sound. The set was cool, the cast was cool. It was, in a word, nifty. (Bet you thought I was going to say cool!)

Our seats are first balcony, really pretty good (I don't like sitting down on the main floor), but the actors are a wee bit hard to make out distinctly. The woman playing Mrs. Lovett was fantastic, played her as good-natured and shrewd, bawdily proper and completely without morals (but in such a very moral way, somehow), and I sort of regarded her as (Will & Grace's) Karen Walker gone to seed. There was one scene in which she played a bit on the tuba, with her back to the audience, that had me nearly in tears laughing.

Also, today was my mother's last day of work. Ever. Happy Retirement to MOM! She doesn't seem old enough to retire, and in fact she isn't 65 yet. Hell, she isn't even 62 yet. She worked hard all her life and then married Mr. Wonderful, who is not only a great guy but also a gainfully employed master electrician. It's a really nice feeling to know that your mom is set for a graceful, comfortable retirement, and early enough to enjoy it, God willing.

And! She! Is! Coming! To! Disneyland! With! Us! In September. I can't afford it but I'm going anyway. And my brother and his wife and kids, we're all going together! I really wanted Mom to go too so I'm totally stoked that she is. My brother cornered her a couple weeks ago and the next day Mom and I had this conversation:

Mom: So I've been guilted into coming to Disneyland with you guys.
Me: (thrilled) Oh?
Mom: Yes. My forty-three year old son, the one with the white hair and white beard, informed me that he and all of his children would cry themselves to sleep each night for the rest of their lives and sleep on wet pillows, if I didn't come to Disneyland in September.
Me: (trying to sound properly contrite and failing) Hahahahaha. Well I'm glad you're coming.

(Note: my brother is prematurely gray and it looks super cool on him. I'm going gray and it's going to look like crap on me. There is no justice.)

....As for school, first module test last week, score of 92, second one this week, covering EIGHT chapters of fluid and electrolyte imbalance, score of 84 (can I get a hallelujah). I'm sure some overachiever will do better, but I'm glad to get a decent score. Today in lab we covered surgical scrub (that cool scrubbing-in they do where they hold their hands up in the air and don't touch anything) and then sterile gowning and gloving. So interesting. I might be destined for OR nursing, although it's kind of early to tell.

I missed a dinner tonight for the Student Nurse Association of Euphemism College, due to baby's squirty buttitis (as we call it; a technical term, related to itchy buttitis and blowy assitis). I'm an officer in the club, my duties are to create and post flyers announcing our meetings and some other events. Big whoop, but it gets me first dibs on dinners, volunteer opportunities, and so forth, and looks good in the ol' portfolio. The next dinner is on May 2nd and there is a professor from Harvard Medical School coming to talk about multiple myelomas. It'll be fancy.

Oh, plus we've submitted a proposal wherein the school will pay for some of us to go to Las Vegas for a seminar in July. And guess who's on the planning committee. And is an officer. And hopes very much to go. Yes, that'd be MOI.

Monday, April 14, 2008


So yesterday morning at 330am I was awakened by a distress call emanating from the baby's room. I went in expecting to find that she'd had a bad dream, but instead.... Instead I found her bed awash in vomit. Vile, cold, foul-smelling vomit. So, I cleaned her up and threw her bedding in the wash and brought her to bed with me, kicking J out in the process. J is less than responsive at night and this freed up some space so I wasn't trying to sleep/care for a vomitous child whilst perched on the edge of the bed.

Sunday was therefore spent handling the bazooka barfer. I had to take the day off work. Delia was giving it up from both ends all day, very little input and a fair amount of output, so Monday she was no longer hurling but now a bit dehydrated and listless. This child, who normally sleeps only in bed at night or in the car seat on your longer drive, fell asleep on a little nest we made her on the floor (as she had already soiled the couch, and J had mercifully cleaned it with the rug shampooer thingy) twice on Sunday, and on the (now dry but still somewhat gamey) couch a few times both Monday and today.

As she is still having (ugh) diarrhea, I have made her a doctors appointment tomorrow. I got home today from a long day at school and found her laying on the couch, all feverish and pitiful, and J told me that she'd been that way all day. But, after a little ibuprofen and some Gatorade-type-product she has rallied pretty well. She's eating some dinner and has a little more energy right now. You know, just in time for bed.

By the way, she has never really been sick like this before. She's had a couple snotty head colds and one other bout of puking at about 8 months old (memorably, the night before we moved to this house), but this kind of glassy eyed feverish state is one I've never seen before.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

2nd Quarter

So far so good, all both days of it. :)

We messed around with IV's today a bit, and this afternoon we will do some orientation regarding clinicals this quarter. I'll be going to Big Local Hospital on Thursdays for mine. We will do a lot of pre- and post-op care this time. I'm looking forward to it. One of my instructors, let's just call her DragonLady, is a nurse practitioner, and the other, let's call her Not The DragonLady, is an OR nurse, so I think this term will be fun. I think I just don't want to work in long-term care, which was kind of where we got started last quarter.

Tomorrow I have my first round of physical therapy (technically it's occupational therapy I think) for the Finger of Doom. After that I'll drop off my phone to get it activated, and while it's having all my phone numbers downloaded which I'm told will take an hour, I'll get a haircut. Exciting, no?

Friday, April 04, 2008

This, That, The Other Damn Thing

So school starts on Monday.

What did I want to get done on break?
1. Clean house
2. Some personal stuff
3. Go to beach for a day
4. File taxes
5. Get totally organized for school
6. Read ahead
7. Complete required items for school (due at first class meeting)

What did I get done thus far?
1. 50% cleaner house (would be more but vacuum cleaner in shop)
2. None of personal stuff
3. Too rainy
4. Procrastination! It's a beautiful thing.
5. Nope
6. Nuh uh
7. Did one thing so far, a training cd-rom which turned out to be flawed -- seriously, if I can't get through it with a passing grade by the second time trying, something must be wrong. My classmates began calling me about it so obviously it's not just me.

Guess I better get going eh?