Saturday, March 26, 2011

Frisky Friday - Leave No Blank Spaces

A day late. But better late than pregnant, right?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How Does Your Garden Grow?

There are quite a few aspect of my life I have neglected while I have been in nursing school.

My family...I haven't seen my sister in what feels like forever because I just don't have the time (or money...damn you, tuition bill!!!) to travel. And it feels like every semester break I am having to get to know Lee, Brit, and Mother Dearest all over again despite living under the same roof as them.

My health...Aside from the obvious alcohol dependency and caffeine abuse that my body has grown accustom to over the past two years, my diet kind of sucks too. I either don't eat or I survive on junk food (although, I have gotten better about this in the past few months). My weight has also fluctuated dramatically. My first semester, I gained but over the past year I have lost almost 30lbs.

My personal relationships...Romantic and otherwise. Not going to touch this subject though because we all know where it would end up (with me in a sobbing heap, clutching a glass of wine and a pint of Ben & Jerry's Phish Food).

My hobbies...I used to love to read for pleasure and fold origami and cook and all this other stuff that I seem to never do anymore because I am so freaking busy studying all the time and complaining about studying all the time.

But you know what I really, really, really miss? Especially when the weather is as beautiful as it has been here the past few weeks in south Louisiana?

My garden.
Just a little while longer, my sweet roses and passion flowers vines. We'll be together again soon.
Yours always and forever
♥Estelle ♥

Monday, March 21, 2011

My First Blogger Award

So, here I am on a Monday morning, coffee in hand, trying to catch up on my RSS feed [which is a freaking task in and of itself] when I came across a blog entry one of my favorite nymphos, Filterless B, posted about a week and a half ago.
She decided that my little ol' blog Word Lust and I was worthy of a blogger award. :-) I am shocked and a little surprised but also crazy excited that someone likes what I write so much.
Seriously, chick, you totally just made my day.

But of course, there are a few requirements of me before I can accept the award. I have to tell 7 random facts about myself and then pass this along to 1o other bloggers. [okay okay. So originally it was 7 other bloggers but there is no way I could do that! It was kind of painful to stop myself at just 10.]

My 7 facts: 1. I was almost halfway through the nursing program before I realized that nursing was in fact what I really wanted to do with my life. Before that, I just thought of it as something I could do for a living until I figured out what I really passionate about.
2. The thing I have missed the most since I have been in nursing school has been reading for pleasure.
3. I have dyslexia. It usually doesn't effect me that much but when I am nervous, words and especially numbers will look backwards to me. For example, at clinicals this past week while looking at one of the monitors, I had some trouble differentiating the acronyms PVC (premature ventricular contractions) and CVP (central venous pressure).
4. It makes me super happy that someone finally decided to come out with a *Words with Friends* app for the Android. Let's play a game. :) User name: EstelleDarling
5. This morning, I woke up at 0530. Not because i have anything planned for today other than studying and filling out job applications (!!!) but because my dog stared me awake. He stared at me until I woke up. :-/
6. Even though I find silence peaceful, music is always playing in my bedroom. Unless I am in the mood for something specific, I have an "everyday" place list that is on constant repeat...consisting of a lot of Amy Kuney, Amy Winehouse, Anne Nalick, and Sara Bareilles. You know...girly chick music.
7. I really didn't think it would happen...but I might be seriously falling for someone new. The most shocking part about this? It's a guy. I know, right? Men with their lying penises of death filled with sperm and....lies. But there is something about this man....I can't quite explain it other than to say I get butterflies whenever I think about him. :-) He's pretty awesome.

And these are some of the bloggers I think deserve this award (way more than me):

-Of course, my darling Filterless at Ignore Previous Cookie [but she already received it from another blogger so I am not counting her in my 10..haha] because she is amazing and doesn't hold ANYTHING back. I love that about her. :-) If ya'll are in the mood for some no-holds-barred, dirty sexy stories and some serious brutal, heart-felt [and very refreshing] honesty, check her out.

-NP Odyssey. If you spend some time reading NP's blog, you would know why I love it so much. He's just a cool guy. :)

-Tearing Down the Wall. Cute male CNA and future nursing student? Yes please. ;-) Good thing he's a thousand miles away or that celibacy vow might be a thing of the past. Haha.

- Scrubs and Crocs. I just adore Pollyanna. So much so that we are now friends on Facebook. She's just the bee's knees. :-)

- Postarita. With the exception of my sister, Jordan has been reading this blog since almost the beginning [like back when it was the blog that cannot be named]. He's hilarious and awesome and just so great. He had been gone from the blogosphere for a little while [for understandable reasons] but now that he is back, you should all go over to Postarita and subscribe and I promise you will all love him and his writing just as much as I do.

-NurseXY. Another fabulous male nurse. He's writing is beautiful and sincere. Check it out. You won't regret it.

-Frazzled Razzle RN. Frazzled is one of my nursing school darlings and she is just a complete doll. When I didn't post for a few weeks, she actually sent me an email asking if everything was okay. It was a simple gesture but really touching. Thank, love. xoxo

- CallieAnn. Callie Ann is such a sweetheart. Seriously. And I am borderline obsessed with her blog. Haha. I have gone through all the archives and when I see she has a new entry, I do a little happy dance in my chair. Plus, it helps that she is super cute. ;) [And if anyone was wondering were I got the inspiration for "Estelle's guide to nursing school", look no was Callie].

- Whose life is this anyways? Another one of my nursing school darlings. I still grin like an idiot when I read this post from her. :-D She's great and I am excited to read more about her journey through nursing school.

- Just Add Kaleena. Cutest blog ever. :-)

- R(etired)N. All I can say about Cartoon Characters is that when I get my first nursing job, I pray that I have a preceptor like her. You can gather from her writing that she is an amazing nurse (retired or not) and that she has such a passion for it. And this post just made me fall in love with her.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Clinicals - Week 2

Hello darlings

Clinicals this week were a mixed bag.
We didn't have them on Thursday because the instructor had a prior commitment.

I spent Friday in the MACU (medical acute care unit). It was meh. I am not a huge fan of med-surg nursing. I know it is the ground work of my chosen profession but it just doesn’t interest me. I feel like I am either bored to death or running around like a chicken with its head cut off. There really is no middle ground for me.
Plus the nurse I was working with didn’t seem to want to be bothered with a student for the day. At one point after I asked for her help working with an IV pump (the alarm kept sounding and saying there was an occlusion in the line but I couldn't for the life of me find it), she got frustrated and said "This is why none of the patients want students. None of you know anything."
That was kind of a blow to my ego and a little embarrassing. Especially since she said it in the hallway while one of my classmates was passing. :-(

On Friday, I was able to spend the whole day in the ICU. It was very interesting. The preceptor I had, in addition to being intimating as all hell (at one point she told me "They don't call me the ICU bitch for nothing"), was incredibly smart and took the time to explain EKGs and pressure monitoring to me while working with her 2 patients.
It seems like in the ICU, a lot of the "book learning" goes out the window. Like the therapeutic communication and some of the other concepts of nursing that have been drilled into us, while still important, is secondary to keeping the patient alive. At one point, the nurse was telling us about a ventilated patient and how he had orders for no turning and minimal movement because it caused his oxygen saturation and blood pressure to drop too low. Not seeing the whole picture, I asked "How do you prevent pressure sores?" The nurse turned to me and said, "When your patient is so unstable that turning him over could kill him, pressure sores are the least of your worries."
I would have to say my favorite moment came when a patient who was coding arrived in the unit [as I read this sentence again, I realize how incredibly fucked up that sounds]. She had aspirated during breakfast and wasn't breathing (but she still had a heartbeat). She had been intubated and one of the nurses called me into the room and asked me to bag the patient (use the ambu-bag to breath for her) while she was doing something else.
So for a few minutes, I breathed for someone.

I *breathed* for someone. With every squeeze of the bag, I watched the patient's chest rise and fall.
It doesn't seem like a big deal to anyone else but for a few minutes, I made sure the patient was receiving enough oxygen into her lungs in order to keep her brain and other vital organs functioning. And that's a big deal to me.

So yeah. I am definitely a ICU/CCU kinda girl. :-)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Frisky Friday - [soft and sweet]

So it has been forever since I have done a *Frisky Friday* post.
If you want to know the absolute god's honest truth about it, I have been uninspired. Celibacy has murdered my desire to post sexy stories (not that I have any) or photos. That's right. The lack of spine-tingling, toe-curling, breath-taking sex has taken away my creativity.
To put it short and sweet...I need to get laid.
[But no, dear readers. I made a promise to myself. And even if I am slowing killing myself one liver cell at a time (hepatocytes for all you fellow nerds out there), I don't want to kill my self-esteem anymore than I already have. Plus, I think there just might be someone out there worth waiting for.]

But, in all actuality, this has been what has been turning me on lately.

And for the rest of you who don't share my enthusiasm for a gentle touch and soft kiss, this is for you. ;)

Friday, March 11, 2011

First Week of Clinicals


Ya'll....can I just tell you how much of a whirlwind the past two days have been? Seriously. I feel as if I have barely slept since Wednesday...mostly because I have barely slept since Wednesday.

My senior level clinicals started this week. And when I tell you it started out with a bang, that might be just the *tiniest* bit of an understatement.

On Thursday morning, I arrived at the hospital cafe to meet up with my clinical mates and our instructor. We headed to the hospital's medical library where we talked about past clinical experiences as well as what we all hoped to learn this go around.
The professor had several other students in the hospital at the time doing make-up clinical so she left us to a writing assignment while she went to check on them. After about 15 minutes of writing and listening to one of my clinical mates talk about her experiences as a paramedic (including telling us a story about a situation with a family in New Orleans that included the kidnapping of an 17 year old by his mother, a high speed car chase, and several of the male family members taking off their pants in the middle of the interstate [in order to keep them from falling off while they fought? No idea.]), the instructor walked in and asked a loaded question.

"So which of you has never seen a code before?"

Me, having no idea what I was getting myself into, jumped at the chance and said that I had never seen one.
She grabbed me and 3 of the other students and told us to follow her. This little woman can move fast! We ran up a flight of stairs to the medical acute care unit (MACU) where one of my other classmates was doing her make-up clinical one. From what I gathered later, while she was doing her morning assessment, her patient had started to have trouble breathing. She sat the bed up at a higher angle (to facilitate lung expansion) and increased the amount of O2 being given (don't worry...there was a doctor's order for it...because *technically* oxygen is considered a medication which nurses cannot give without an order) and the primary nurse called the medical response team (sometimes called the rapid response or emergency response team). By the time they arrived, the patient's heart had stopped beating.
When we arrived, the team was doing chest compressions, pushing epinephrine and breathing for her via an ambu-bag.
The cardiac monitor showed ventricular tachycardia but the patient didn't have a pulse.
With massive amounts of epinephrine pumping through her veins, the patient finally regained a pulse but it was weak and unstable.

It was an intense scene.

The team called for a room to be prepped in the ICU and within a few minutes we were on the way. My fellow nursing students and I followed the team and the patient into the unit and watched what can only be described as a tragic symphony. It was amazing to watch because it was just so coordinated.
Everyone knew what they were suppose to be doing and they acted like if they had done it half a million times before. One person put in a NG tube while another inserted a foley catheter. Someone was inserting another peripheral IV while a tech came in to do a 12lead EKG. The doctor was checking for a response to painful stimuli (which the patient DID NOT respond to). It all happened so fast.
When the team said they needed to place a central line, we left the room. It is the policy of the unit to lock the door once the procedure starts. No one gets in or out during it in order to reduce the risk of infection to the patient. And for those of you who are curious, a central line is a form of vascular access [like an IV] but instead of going into a small vein, it goes into a major one so it can be placed for long term access whereas an IV has to be changed every 2 to 3 days. It can be placed in the subclavian or jugular veins or it can be a PICC line [a peripheral inserted central catheter] which is placed in the arm but the catheter is very long and stops in the superior vena cava.
[and for any of you who were wondering, the next day when my classmate and I floated back up to the ICU, the patient was still alive and was more responsive.]

At this point our instructor had left us in the capable hands of the ICU nurses (and I must say, some of those chicks are freaky smart and ridiculously scary/intimidating).
But anyway, something was going on in the room next door, so we wandered over there.
They were preparing to preform a tracheostomy on a patient. O_o
One of the doctors had put in an ET tube and was using a laryngoscope to view the patient's trachea. Once both doctors were ready, one began to clean and prep the patient's skin with a ChloraPrep applicator. I was watching the monitor as the doctor took the scalpel and cut into the patient's throat. Seeing the scalpel pierce the trachea was surreal and I believe that I was the only one in the room to gasp [ hopefully no one noticed :-/ ].

And did I mention this was all before 11am? On our first day? Even before we had a chance to orient to our medsurg unit or take our calculations exam or do our trach care/central line care practicums?

Welcome to senior semester clinicals, darlings. It is going to be a wild ride. ;-)

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Thoughts At 4am When I Should Be Sleeping

Maybe it's good for me to write like this. Kind of raw and naked and without thinking too much about it. Because I am my own worst enemy most days, especially in my own head. I see the words that have poured out of me when I wasn't really trying to make them sound articulate or poetic and I think, "Nope. It's good. From anyone else. But this is too much of me. It's too much my thoughts. I don't want people to see me like this. I don't want to be that exposed."
I will probably regret this tomorrow.

I think the person you care about the most is the people who you'll let hurt you the most.
Because we all have that one person. Like a poison apple in our lives. But no matter what, I can't give up on them. They may screw me over time and damn time again but I give them second, third, fifteenth chances. And I swear it will be the last time but I are lying to myself because I know the moment that they hurt me again, I'll have another chance waiting on them.
I know I are better off without them...but why can't I let them go?

This is the person I want to yell at and say, "You suck. Seriously. You are inconsiderate and insensitive and selfish and cruel. You are thoughtless and everytime you told me you loved me, I am almost certain you were lying because you don't treat someone you love like this. You don't intentionally hurt someone you love. You don't deserve to have someone like me care about you so much. And you don't deserve someone like me losing sleep and sanity over you."
But when I open my mouth to say it, it doesn't come out like that.
It's a little softer and it sounds a lot like, "It's alright. I forgive you. And I still love you."

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Estelle's Guide to Nursing School: Part 7 - Surviving Clinicals Your Fundamental Semester

zomg, ya'll.
I am so excited. :-)

The super awesome Alana over at Stethoscopes and Scrubs was kind enough to host a guest post by yours truly. :-) Head on over and you can check out the 7th installment of "Estelle's Guide to Nursing School."

[And make sure you read and subscribe to her blog because it is filled with all kinds of wisdom about nursing school.]

What's in a name?

Thank you, Kaleena, because I have been smiling like a damn idiot since I did this. :)

1. Go to [check]
2. Type in *your name* in the look up any word spot. [check]
3. Read the definition of your name. [check]
4. Think it's cool. [double check]
5. Think I'm cool for telling you to do it. [triple check]

The most stunning woman in the world. She is a walking oxymoron. She is innocent yet knowing, beautiful and intelligent, sensible but fun. Estelle is a keeper.
Ex - I fell in love with Estelle the day I met her.

Why I Haven't Been Posting Lately...

The chick who told me this was the easiest semester might have been exaggerating just a *tiny* bit. Granted, this class is miles ahead of last semester but it is still by no means "easy".
Some of you may have already seen these if you are following me on Twitter or if I have text messaged them to you ;) but for the rest of my readers, this is what I have been up to lately:

Studying on the couch:

Skin lesion flashcards. Couldn't find a pair of scissors so I used trauma shears. Scissory enough to get the job done:
Studying burns with Mother Dearest at the doctor's office, waiting to get her stitches and staples out [carpal tunnel and ulnar release surgery]:
Study more skin lesions at Starbucks:
HESI review at Starbucks. I am drinking a chai tea frappachino. Favorite thing ever. Notice the highlighter colors. My little tribute to Mardi Gras...since I am too busy studying to do much partying:
Study at Starbucks again. The partner in crime was sitting across from me looking over mental health nursing:
The rare occastion when we are the only ones at our local Starbucks:
Studying respiratory distress with my dog, Rebel. He is no help what-so-ever but at least he is good company:
Looking over material from the nursing career/college fair. Emailing copies of my transcript to various school. Glass of blackberry marlot nearby [zomg. so good.]:
Sunset on the way home from study group. Just a few more months....

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Blast from the Past: Estelle as a teenager

Holy goodness.
So I was going through a bunch of my old links today and came across a LiveJournal blog that I kept back when I was 17/18. This is one of the entries.
So, as if any of you have a doubt in your mind about it, I have always been this sarcastic and bitchy. But I like to think that I have matured somewhat and that i am not so cynical toward relationship and romance [but who are we trying to kid? That isn't the case. lol]

This is a Myspace bulletin I read a while ago, "What girls really mean."
I was wondering about that. Do all the teenage bitches today really send these stupid signal to guys? Do you actually think they will pick up on them?
I know that guys are naturally clueless about women. I say what I mean. I don't send signals or signs. I am honest in my relationships. When I want something or don't, in most cases, I tell them.
Anyway, here is the original bulletin (labeled "regular girl") along with what I mean (labeled "me"...duh)

Regular girl: When I walk away from you mad, follow me.
Me: When I walk away from you mad, it means leave me the fuck alone.

Regular girl: When I stare at your mouth, kiss me.
Me: When I stare at your mouth, you probably have something on your lips that grosses me out, like a cold sore, and I am praying to God, Allah and Buddah that you don't try to kiss me because I am fairly sure what you have is contagious.

Regular girl: When I push you or hit you, grab me and don't let go.
Me: When I push you or hit you, run away. Fast.

Regular girl: When I start cussing at you, Kiss me and tell me you love me.
Me: When I start cussing at you, you are about two seconds away from a black eye or a broken nose.

Regular girl: When I'm quiet, ask me what’s wrong.
Me: When I'm quiet, I am trying to think of a way to tell you that I just want to be friends. That means I can ask you to do stuff for me but in return, you won't get any sex from me.

Regular girl: When I ignore you, give me your attention.
Me: When I ignore you, you are boring me. Learn to juggle while riding a unicycle or something.

Regular girl: When I pull away, pull me back.
Me: When I pull away, let me go. If I wanted to be held, I wouldn't have pulled away in the first place.

Regular girl: When you see me at my worst, tell me I'm beautiful.
Me: When you see me at my worst, it is a freak occurrence because I am perfect in every way.

Regular girl: When you see me start crying, hold me and tell me everything will be alright.
Me: When you see me start crying, had me a box of tissues and leave the room because when I start to cry it is a big sobbing mess that includes scream that sound like something is dying and me blaming you and my parents for everything that is wrong in my life and you don't want to be around when that happens. Believe me.

Regular girl: When you see me walking, sneak up and hug my waist from behind.
Me: When you see me walking, say something before you decide that sneaking up on me would be funny because if you do, you are likely to get punched in the throat because I think I am being abducted or mugged.

Regular girl: If I don't call you, its because I'm waiting for you to call me.
Me: If I don't call, I am busy and have other people in my life that are more important that you. What? Are you trying to monopolize my time or something? Take a number, sweetheart.

Regular girl: When I'm scared, protect me.
Me: When I'm scared, turn off Saw II and put on a Disney movie because if I have a nightmare that night, I am going to call you at 3am and blame you for it.

Regular girl: When I lay my head on your shoulder, tilt my head up and kiss me.
Me: When I lay my head on your shoulder, I am probably about to fall asleep. I hope you don't mind if I drool on your shirt.

Regular girl: When I grab at your hands, hold mine and play with my fingers.
Me: When I grab your hands, it means stop trying to feel me up.

Regular girl: When I tease you, tease me back and make me laugh.
Me: When I tease you, I'm being serious. Your man-stank is making me nauseous and you really do need to shower and shave.

Regular girl: When I don't answer for a long time, reassure me that everything is okay.
Me: When I don't answer for a long time, I didn't hear you. I was lost in a fantasy involving either Jack Sparrow, Ville Vallo or Jordan it was, we were having sex...and you diffidently weren't there.

Regular girl: When I look at you with doubt, back yourself up.
Me: When I look at you with doubt, I don't believe it when you say your penis is two inches…from the ground.

Regular girl: When I say that I like you, I really do more than you could understand.
Me: When I say that I like you, I like you. Nothing more, nothing less.

Regular girl: When I bump into you, bump into me back and make me laugh.
Me: When I bump into you, opps. My bad.

Regular girl: When I tell you a secret, keep it safe and untold.
Me: When I tell you a secret, take it to the grave. Because if you don't, that is where you will be going anyway.

Regular girl: When I look at you in your eyes, don't look away until I do.
Me: When I look at you in your eyes, STARING CONTEST!

Regular girl: When I miss you, I'm hurting inside.
Me: When I miss you, I'll readjust my aim and try again.

Regular girl: When you break my heart, the pain never really goes away.
Me: When you break my heart, I'll have my brothers break your legs and leave you in a ditch somewhere.

Regular girl: When I say its over, I still want you to be mine.
Me: When I say its over, it’s fucking over.