Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year to all!

A Nurse's Christmas Poem

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T'was the week before Christmas, and all through the floor,
The Lasix was filling the Foleys galore.
Stockings were worn to prevent emboli.
They came in two styles: knee- and thigh-high.

The patients were nestled half-assed in their beds,
While visions of stool softeners danced in their heads.
We in our scrubs, and they in their gowns -
Fashions created to hide extra pounds.

When down in the E.R. it became such a zoo.
They called for admissions for me and for you.
They're coming, they're going, they're looking the same.
My patience for patients is starting to wane.

Now call lights are ringing, the patient expounds
"I have not had my peri-care, please send someone down."
So now delegation seems like a good plan.
We pass on to others the needs of this man.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear
But Santa himself and 8 tiny reindeer.
He states that he came in from Central Supply
To bring us LR, NS, and D5.

The doctors then scribbled what no one could read.
Orders for patients, to measure their pee.
We try to decipher illegible words.
Orders for patients, to guiac their turds.

The new shift arriving, our day is now through.
How'd the stool and the emesis get in my shoe?
We give them report and pass on the facts,
And tell them of Duoderm lining the cracks.

And the Nurses exclaimed as they drove out of sight,
"Ambien to all! And to all a good night!"


10:43 AM Edit This 0 Comments »

Hope Santa brought you all you wanted!...Zoe got sparkley pipecleaners and Bear got wrapping paper bits... the other 2 were still sleeping! Lazy bums!

Not very Christmas-y but funny!

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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

ok, time for some serious sleeping in!

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The semester is over, got through the OSCEs in one peice (barely!) and I am now ready to sleep in, relax and strart revising notes for next semester (yes yes I know, I am on vacation). I have made it through yet another semester and still cannot believe that I have made it half-way through nursing school.


Mental Health Carols

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1. Schizophrenia -- Do You Hear What I Hear?
2. Multiple Personality Disorder -- We Three Kings Disoriented Are
3. Dementia -- I Think I'll be Home for Christmas
4. Narcissistic -- Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me
5. Manic -- Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and.....
6. Paranoid -- Santa Claus is Coming to Town to Get Me
7. Borderline Personality Disorder -- Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire
8. Personality Disorder -- You Better Watch Out, I'm Gonna Cry, I'm Gonna Pout, Maybe I'll Tell You Why
9. Attention Deficit Disorder -- Silent night, Holy oooh look at the Froggy - can I have a chocolate, why is France so far away?
10. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder -- Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle
Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle,Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle
Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle
Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle

All Dressed Up!

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A quick post about me as a bridesmaid for my good friend Irene this past weekend!

It was great! I had a blast and am glad that I was able to go. It was in the USA (Salem, Mass.). A really cute place to visit btw.


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OSCE, aka: OMG, just let me pass!

Last day is tomorrow, we have OSCEs, 6 of them then I have a month off. YAY! In the meantime the stress is high and we are all stressed out. To make matters worse, my hip hurts, my BP is in the toilet (too low), my pulse is tachycardic (great) and my neuro wants me to do a sleep study (among other thinsg) and all I want to do right now is crawl under a rock and HIDE. I am just so fed up with school and need a break so badly. I am afraid of failing the semester (about 1/2 of us are in the same boat, so at least I am not alone). I have to do well on the OSCE if I don't want crap grades this semester.

You may wonder, What is an OSCE? It stands for "Objective Structured Clinical Examination". Basically they give you a scenario and you have to act it out, describing what you are doing and why. Talk it out and do the necessary skills. That's how you get the points. Scary shit at times. So far I have always managed a good grade, but this term we have 6 of them for our final and we're not entirely sure what they will ask us! We have to do it in uniform too... odd.

So any of you out there reading this, cross your fingers for me and wish me luck!

Something I had to share

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I got this off another nurse's blog...
#10 is especially pertinent to me and my classmates at the moment...

It's time...to impart wisdomses!
1. If you tell a resident that you'll take care of bowel management for them, not only will he or she sign anything you write, s/he'll love you forever.

2. Don't call at 0300 for a sleeping pill for a patient.

3. White is a magnet for ook of all sorts.

4. Your favorite clogs have just been discontinued, and your favorite pen is about to run out of ink.

5. The cutest bartender is always taken.

6. There is no substitute for dental floss.

7. The volume of ook that will splatter on you is directly proportionate to how much you like the scrubs you're wearing.

8. The doctor who yells at you is actually trying to make up for the size of his or her genitalia. Don't let it rattle you.

8a. Remember that you can go home at seven; they're on call. Smile.

9. The word "pomegranate" never looks like you've spelled it right.

10. If you're a student, don't fret: you'll never use care plans again.


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Woohoo! The first snow of the season, well first real snow!

Rude, Obnoxious, Incompetent...

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These words are not what you usually use to describe nurses are they? Well, the home care nurse my mother had over the weekend was exactly that! I cannot believe how bad she was!!! She is not young and fresh out of school either, we are talking about a woman who is in her 60's at least and has been at this for awhile. For that matter I found out that she has been at this for 40 years and has worked at 2 different hospitals...

We had problems with my mom's PICC line and I called the CLSC to tell them what we needed, we were reassured that the nurse coming to the house would have all she needed... well she came and HAD NO IDEA what to do! She looked tha the PICC line as if it was the first time she had seen one and wondered why they would send my mom home with it! OMG! I had to bite my tongue and not react, I was so mad. At least she had the foresight to bring along another nurse later on who knew what to do. She was younger and was more personable and spoke to me like I had a brain and not like I was an ignorant 12 year old.

Strange huh? (considering her experience).

Hope we don't get her again!

It's almost over

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Well, paeds has drawn to a close, darnit!

I enjoyed it, would've liked it more if I had had more than 3 weeks in the hospital... this community placement sucks rocks for the most part, though it was less work I suppose.

I am starting to panic, have 3 assigments due Monday, a Bio test Monday, a teaching & learning presentation due Thursday, and a nursing test Friday. Then Friday AFTER the test I have to get my ass to Salem, Mass. for a wedding (I am a bridesmaid). Then the following Tuesday I have the Bio final Exam (and when am I studying for that???) and then Friday the nusring final OSCEs (oh joy!).

Have I mentioned I am freaking out?


9:14 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Oh ya, and trying to get an actual accurate reading of a blood pressure on a baby is damn near impossible! (3 of us tried, 2 of "us" being actual RN) and I got it first, after 3 tries! oye...


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OK, cool clinical for me, YAY!
I had a 20 day old baby boy, in for rule out sepsis and possible meningitis. The MD asked for us to do an NPA (naso-pharyngeal aspiration) and my co-assigned RN let me do it! I was with my clinical instructor and 2 classmates and man was I nervous! BUT did not let it show... as both parents were there. It was the first time I was doing this procedure on a live person, let alone a baby!
Managed to do it without incident and we got the sample and sent it to the lab. No idea what the results are though as we had to leave.. hope the little guy is ok.
Can't wait to do more skills like that.

"Nasopharyngeal Aspiration for Respiratory Virus or Bacterial Testing

Requires a suction mechanism (syringe, vacuum pump or wall suction), a specimen trap and catheter.

Insert catheter nasally into posterior nasopharynx.
Apply suction as catheter is slowly withdrawn. Do not leave sample in tubing.
If sample has been aspirated into a syringe seal the end of the aspiration tube and send specimen in syringe
or wash aspirate through tubing or trap with:
• 3mL of virus transport medium if for viral diagnosis only
• 3mL of sterile saline for microbiology culture/sensitivities and or viruses
Place sample in transport medium into sterile transport vial.
Ensure that the top of the vial is screwed on securely.
Label with patient name, date of birth, sample type and date of collection."

who me? ...Uncoordinated?

3:18 PM Edit This 1 Comment »
OK, went to Starbucks and bought a Grande Pepermint Mocha, then proceeded to walk home with it... ended up with some on my pants!
Damn I can't walk and drink coffee at the same time.. wonder if I can still walk and chew gum at the same time!

The Children's

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Well, I started my peds rotation this past Friday. I am at the Montreal Children's Hospital. Nice place, large though... long halls and I tend to get lost easily, but not as badly as when I was at the Royal Victoria last year. I was really hoping to be at the Shriner's Hospital, but hey, I am finally in peds and that is what I wanted!

The floor we are on is a real mix of cases, a medical floor. We even have one long term patient there, nice kid, lives there as he is on a vent. His room is decked out in posters/desk/computer... He goes to school in the mornings usually then comes back around 12:30-1ish. I've actually known him for nearly 18 months, as we used to take transport at the same time.

We had fun the first day on the ward. We started the day by touring the hospital and then on the ward we went on a "treasure" hunt of sorts. We were each given a scenario and had to then seek out the material and procedure info we needed in order to do it. It's fun riffling through drawers/cabinets. We then got to play with an IV pump and tubing. Everwhere we go the pump are all different so it was nice to be able to learn how to program one and trouble shoot BEFORE you actually encounter the problem on a patient.

My teacher is a doll. I love her, she is cool and fun and nice and very approachable! And she has a neat scottish accent.

My one bad aspect of this first day was that we spent from 7:30AM to 2PM walking/standing with very little break time where I could actually sit, so at the end of our conference I very nearly passed out! I felt my BP drop and I nearly dropped too. Sat down and my teacher stayed with me. I was slightly embarassed and really didn't want my teacher to see that the first day, but it gave us a chance to talk and for her to get to know me and my "needs" (ie: sit down a bit more often!).

All in all it was a good first day, I may even end up working in peds!


10:51 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
I passed my Obs rotation so now it is official, I never have to do it again!!! (knock on wood, I have to pass this term!)
I am now waiting to get my biology test grade...

I start pediatrics tomorrow, we have 2 labs then we are in the hospital/community.



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It's over! No more OBS! YAY!

Finally Over

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YAY, postpartum/Obs rotation is finally over this week. 2 clinicals left and I am done with it (today and tomorrow)...

and Again...?

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Yet another school shooting in the US. The 3rd in a week for the US... it's just too much. When will this type of thing stop?
This time at an Amish school.

and possibly another near school shooting.

one word: "WHY?"


10:53 PM Edit This 1 Comment »

I should be studying for a nursing class test and a bio quiz and working on my nursing care plan, but instead I am reading email and forwarding funny jokes, so here is one of my favorites:

It doesn't hurt to take a hard look at yourself from time to time,
and this should help get you started
During a visit to the mental asylum, a visitor asked the Director
what the criterion was which defined whether or not a patient
should be institutionalized.

"Well," said the Director, "we fill up a bathtub, then we offer a
teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the patient and ask him or her
to empty the bathtub."

"Oh, I understand," said the visitor. "A normal person would use
the bucket because it's bigger than the spoon or the teacup."

"No." said the Director,
"A normal person would pull the plug. Do you want
a bed near the window?"



9:46 PM Edit This 1 Comment »

And so it happened again. A shooter entered a school in Colorado and shot and killed a female student, then took his own life after holding 6 girls hostage for 4 hours.
There are no words left to say... sadness is what I feel.
When will this type of stupidity end?

Cold Case...

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Wow, unreal. Tonights episode of Cold Case is about 2 teenagers into violent video games who open fire on other teens at the mall... CTV has the decency to post a warning BEFORE it started and after every comercial break about "due to recent events viewer discretion is advised..." I for one appreciate that warning.

And so we move on

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On Friday, September 22, students and staff met at 11:00 a.m. at the de Maisonneuve entrance to remove the flowers together. They were placed on the West grounds and will be made into compost for a garden to be planted in the future. Thank you to all who participated.

Thank you Dawson for doing this. We need to move on and this was the perfect way of doing so.

WOW! I feel like a "real" nurse!

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Hehe, we had our pics taken for ID cards at the hospital... now I feel official even if it is only for another 4 weeks! (only St-Mary's makes students get ID cards too). I had this done week one (2 weeks ago), but never got around to putting it up...

One Week Later

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Last Wednesday we, Dawson College students, staff, faculty and friends, were frightened and lost. We went through a terrible ordeal, one young life lost and 20 others injured, 2 still remain in coma.
I thank all who support us still, friends, family, teachers/staff.
Todays blog is about that. I want to show others what the school has done for us, to help us get through this as a "family".
One pic is of the doors with messages taped onto them, one is of all the flowers that have been left,(and this is just a small sampling of what is around the school), one is one the "cafeteria" wall where it all hapened, it has big white boards that we were able to write messages, and one is a close up of my message "Let us unite and be strong, show others who we are"

Today we stood as one

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Today was tough... real tough. The school did an amazing job at welcoming us back though. Staff/teachers/psychologists all were there to greet us outside and inside the school. They clapped and said welcome back, we are glad you came. Teachers who don't even know you would walk up to you and ask if you are ok.
I went to the nursing dept. and spoke to my teachers and hung out with friends. We cried and lauged, we ate (there was tons of food). We then went to the main cafeteria and signed the books they had set up, full of messages from us, the student body. We signed the "wall", large poster boards were hung with markers and we could write whatever we wanted.
So the first day back is over and I find myself still crying when I stop and think about all that has happened, but I know that I have friends and teachers who are there for me, no matter what.
Thank you to all who support Dawson College and all of it's students. Montrealers have shown us that they love us, they support us and feel the same sadness we felt on that day and the days since.


9:02 PM Edit This 0 Comments »

Nothing will feel normal tomorrow.

Sure there won't be signs of the bloody violence that occured in my school, at least not any physical signs to the inside of the building... blood, bullets, all gone. But the memories are there, the feelings we have are there and the remaing fear is there too.

They say (psychologists and the like) that for 95% of us, this fear and sadness will decrease and disapear in the next 2 weeks. But what about the remaining 5% ? Those who SAW it ALL happen? Like my friend M who watched in horror as the gunman shot and killed one and shot 19 others.

I'm not sure when "normal" will return, or if it ever really will. Dawson is a great place with great people. The support that has been shown our "community" has been amazing. Our teachers have been and will be supportive and comforting. There are many activities set up for us tomorrow in many dept. as well as for the school in general.

Life goes on, it has to. For me it always has, no matter what the challenge... this is yet another one I have to face.


6:28 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
According to the news, the shooter killed himself with one of his handguns AND the police did shoot him in the arm. What came first I do not know.

2 people remain in comas, one sedated on purpose to be in a coma, the other not. Very sad. 4 are left in the ICU still, including these 2 in comas.

Shooting at MY school...?

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I cannot believe this has happened. This afternoon as I was finishing lunch (12:42PM), a bunch of students came running down the hall in a panic. There was a shooting in my school cafeteria. At least 19 injured, 2 dead (the shooter and an 18 yr old girl.)
2 people are in critical condition on life support from what we've heard.

It was and is still, very frightening. I cannot believe this happened at MY school. You always hear about these things, but you never think it could be your school.
Again I wonder, What is this world coming to?

toe update

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Now the only toe that ISN'T blue is the big toe... go figure! I have no idea WHY the 4 toes bruised, but they did. GROSS!


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I broke my right baby toe...

Babies Babies Babies!

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Just a quick update...

I will be doing my Obs rotation (6 weeks) at St-Mary's Hospital. I am not a big baby person... I mean, yes they are cute, but I prefer a toddler any day! Ah well, we'll see, I may change my mind about it all after this rotation!
I am glad that my good friend Marta will be with me! Yay, someone I know in my group!

Oh Man! What was I thinking?

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OK, note to any and all future nursing students... you may think you are stressed in your first year, but let me tell you, NOTHING compares to second year! We are so much more on our own. I mean last year we were "spoon fed" our class notes, answers to readings... NOT ANY MORE! We showed up to our first class yesterday and BAM! No "welcome to 2nd year", it was "hi, my name is... and I will be teaching this section of learning material". And we started. A 3 hour lecture on pregnancy. This is the first of three classes on pregnancy. I am already behind in my readings... having had to read 5 chapters for this one subject (I read 3 of them and gave up! I had no idea what I needed and what I didn't need to retain.)

Then there is Biology (Anatomy & Physiology III). OK, I admit, you start talking about chemistry and I am lost. The last time I did chem was in 1994! And this was just the begining. We had the 2nd bio class today, and nope, still not getting it! This time though the prof noticed (she is actually a really cool teacher) and backed it all up and re-taught it. Yippee! I now feel as if I understand somewhere between 50-60% of what we talked about.

On the plus side, I got credit for 2 of my university courses and now no longer have to take Human Dev. II (psych) and Sociology of the Family. (YAY, 6 hrs less of class time... I still have 26 hrs though, for 2 CLASSES!)

2 days down... how many more to go? (for those who are curious, 73 for this semester)

One Week Left

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OK, so school starts in exactly one week. This time next Monday (4PM) I will just be getting out of class.

I went grocery shopping today (BTW, NEVER go when you are hungry! I was starved and so, bought a little more than need be). Spent an hour and half going around the store trying to figure out what I wanted for lunch for school for the next few weeks and all I came up with was salami and granola bars!
I also ran into one of my first year teachers (for those in the know... the one who speaks softly and calmly and tends to drive us nuts in the process!). When I mentioned that I would see her in a week, she was urprised. Seems that she didn't realize that we started fall classes IN ONE WEEK!!!

Ah well, one more week. All I have planned so far is working tomorrow. Let's hope I can find something fun to do with the rest of my last week of summer vacation (might be my last summer off after all. I plan on working as a nurse extern next summer, cross your fingers!)

Getting Ready...

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Some of my MGH "Family"
Well today I accomplished one more important thing... Getting my leg brace (KAFO) re-adjusted. I have been having problems with too much clonus since I got it last December, but figured it was because I was walking more/doing more on clinical days. (This is when I noticed the increase in clonus).
Turns out part of the problem was that the velcro strap at the ankle/foot was too loose, letting my foot move too much = clonus! By keeping the strap tight, I can reduce the amount of clonus I get. So hopefully this will help... it better, I now have 2 days in a row of clinical!
(the brace, articulated AFO in the pic above is one I use when I am getting ready in the morning or when I go do activities like biking/sailing and I have my wheelchair with me)

I go to the IRM (Institut de Readaptation de Montreal). I really like them there, they are thorough and friendly and always available. Funny, when I was first told I was to be transfered there after being in acute care at The Montreal General Hospital, I cried! For TWO WEEKS I was a complete mess! I did NOT want to go, no way. But after 10 weeks at the MGH, who could blame me? It was my second home and the team (nurses, doctors, physio and OT) was my family too now.
Once there though, I quickly realized that I would improve by leaps and bounds. Learning how to shower and get dressed independantly. Learning how to use my wheelchair indoors and out, how to stand and walk without the support of people, but by using a walker/crutches and a leg brace.
I made friends at the IRM, people I am still in contact with today, mostly by email, but when we have MD appt. we try and meet up. My closest friend was a 60 year old man believe it or not. He is a wonderful caring person and is always ready to support me. (Merci Yvon).

After the IRM I went to Centre de Readaptation Lucie Bruneau. Where I did more PT/OT( yes I can now use the oven without falling in! Merci Dominique), worked out in the gym, went on outings (which helped me in a big way to see that I could still do the same things I had done before, though with more planning!). I met more nice people there, staff (Marie-Claude, Elene, Dominque, Isabelle un gros merci!) and patients alike.

So all that to say that I am slowly gearing up to start school... psychologically AND physically!

New Clothes

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Just wanted to show off my new sweatshirt... we had them made.Dawson College Nursing
(on the front), this (see right) on the back

Figuring it all out

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I still have to figure a few things out when it comes to this blog thing... like how to post pics and edit.. so far it's by accident I manage to do this! If anyone can give me a clue, LOL, let me know. :)

OK, took 5 tries but I managed to get a link working! YAY! I am not totally useless in computer "programming". Irene would be proud! hehe...

now... how the heck to post a pic on the page...

Freaking out already!

11:43 AM Edit This 1 Comment »


School will be starting soon and along with less sleep and studying comes stress... I will have to figure out a way to deal with it, maybe this blog will help, let me vent at times!

I already have 30 pages of bio (A&P II) review notes JUST on the digestive system to go through, then another 30 odd pages of metabolism notes that my prof put up for us... keep in mind school has NOT YET STARTED! I should really start reading, give myself a heads up, but frankly I just can't seem to get to it. I should go sit in a cafe and read through it, that would work! Now I just need to find another person to do this with... less dull, haha, (also great distraction).

Picked up the course pack for nursing 312 (peds/obs). Reading through it is scary. Last year we were guided more, had to fill stuff out, homework that went with the readings... now it's just readings that are listed along with what we are supposed to know from that section.. no more "hand-holding" for us. And our lecture are each 3 hrs long, 2x a week for a total of 6 hrs. Then there are 2 days of clinical. I was excited about it, but now am getting freaked out. I read that we learn how to suction babies/children... I'd be less freaked if it was an adult. AND our OSCE has to be done in uniform this year and they are worth more. It feels more real I guess, 2nd yr. More "real" nursing skills.

Sometimes I get scared thinking about the future. I want to be a nurse, that is not the question, but I wonder how I will ever get enough knowledge in the next 2 years to pull it off. I know you learn more as you work, do your last semester working with a preceptor and all, but still...
I just have to take it one day at a time and study my ass off in the process.

Nurse-to-Be in 2008 *INTRODUCTION!*

8:21 AM Edit This 4 Comments »

I have always wanted to try to do this so here goes...

A bit about myself...
I was born 3 months premature, and because I was born breach I got stuck. The doctor pulled to get me out and damaged my left brachial plexus. (spent the first 3 months of my life in the NICU). Due to that I have Erb's Palsy of my left arm. I have had 3 surgeries (all before I was 17) and have spent much time in the hospital as a patient (both when I was a kid and as an adult!).
When I was 28, I was paralyzed from the mid-chest down due to an autoimmune reaction. I recovered much of my function, though my left leg is still mostly paralyzed and spastic. (I walk with the aid of a long leg brace and a cane).
I am now 30 years old (sson to be 31)
Started nursing school a year ago and will be starting up again August 21st. Most of my decision to go to nursing school was due to the wonderful nurses who cared for me during my 2.5 month stay in hospital. They are my inspiration and my biggest supporters.
I deal with a few extra challenges in school and life that others don't and at times this means I have to prove myself to others and to myself!
Despite all this I am DETERMINED to do what I want to do, and now that is NURSING!
thanks for reading!