Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Finally, a little good news.

Hello my darlings.



I know I have been completely MIA the past few weeks and I am sure most of you are just ready to give up on me but things have just been so hectic lately.

School is discouraging. It is the last semester and I feel so much like a fraud. Like I should not be about to graduate. I have fucked up so much in the past two years...I've made stupid mistakes and allowed my personal issues to get in the way of my studies. I feel like I haven't learned enough and that I don't deserve it.



Well, in order to pass the last MedSurg course and be able to graduate, we have to pass a cumulative HESI exam.

Everyone was freaking out this exam and had spent the past few weeks studying.

Um...I hadn't. Been studying that is...I was doing plenty of freaking out. You see the week before the HESI, I had spring break. You would think, "oh perfect. A whole week off to study and prepare for the exam." Um...not so much.
I had a doctor's appointment on Friday that I had been losing sleep over. Seriously. For the past week, I had not been sleeping more than 3 hours at a time over the course of a day. In addition, I was having some drama involving my honey, as well as friendship that turned sour resulting in a bunch of emails designed to make me feel guilty for cutting off contact with this person.


Oh, and did I mention that I had three term papers to write?

So yeah. It was a rough week.



The day before the HESI, the partner in crime asked if I wanted to study with her. After driving all over town looking for a coffee shop that we could actually study at, we almost gave up. Sitting in a parking lot on our laptops, we realized that the little daiquiri shop next to Starbucks had wifi. Hmmm. So we went in.

Perfect study spot. Seriously. At least for me. It was cold and the lighting was low. Oh and they had alcohol. So of course, I ordered a daiquiri which turned out to be a horrible idea. I am not sure how it happened because i am usually really good at holding my liquor but that one little frosty drink totally fucked my whole world up. It was probably because of the lack of sleep and all the stress I was under.

I was really drunk...and I still had three term papers to write.

So I ended up going home and sleeping it off for a few hours. Ugh. Woke up hungover as hell....and miserable.


I finished the term papers at 3am.

Not five seconds after I turned off the light, laid down, and shut my eyes...my mother knocked on my bedroom door.

"Estelle?"

"Oh dear Lord. Please don't let it be 6am already. I just laid down."

"No. Just making sure you finished your papers." (she is so thoughtful. ♥)


My HESI was scheduled for 8am. I managed about 2 hours of sleep before I woke up in a cold sweat thinking I was just hours from flunking out of nursing school.

But by the time I walked into the testing center and handed in my papers, any anxiety or fear I had was dissolved. I cannot explain why. I think that I finally reach my maximum threshold. I just didn't care anymore. Whatever happened in that room will happen and there is nothing I could do to change it now.

Plus, my classmates were amazing. We all kind of had the same look on our face. Like for the past two years, we have given everything we had and there just wasn't much left.

After an hour and a half (of our allotted 4 hours), I walked out of the testing center. I really didn't know what to do with myself then. I knew that I wouldn't get the results until sometime later than afternoon so I just waited...and waited...and waited.

I chatted with my classmates and picked up my graduation invitations.

Several of my darling classmates told me they had been really worried about me, that I hadn't been returning calls or text messages and that I looked really, really pale.

Hmmm. I suppose that is what happens when I am under crushing amounts of stress.


At around 12:30, I got a barrage of text messages all at once. "Check your email, DoodleBug!!" and "OMG. Made that fucking test my bitch. ;)"

I quickly checked my email to find this:




Holy...crap.

A 95.54% on an exam that I didn't study for and took having had less than 2 hours of sleep and while I was hungover as fuck?

I don't even know what to say about this. My first thought was, "Nope, either the the test was flawed or this isn't my grade."

But no. That was my grade.

My favorite clinicalmate told me that if you scored anything over an 850 (the minimum the school considers a 'passing' grade), theoretically, you should pass NCLEX.


O_O


What's more, according to the nursing department, our graduating class made the highest average of all the previous classes. :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Clinical: Be careful what you wish for

[Forgive me if this entry isn't quite as eloquent as the ones you have come to expect from me, dear readers. I am not really sure how to express some of these things and they might come out jumbled, scattered, and sounding like they were written by a crazy person.]

I haven't been feeling well, my darlings, for the better part of two weeks now. It started out as a sore throat that morphed into an upper respiratory infection accompanied by a fever. And I have had a lingering productive cough, sinus congestion (alternating with a runny rose), as well as a general feeling of crappiness and lethargy. Basically, I don't have the energy for anything really and my mind has been quite foggy. And I really don't belong on a med-surg unit right now.
Let me proceed this story by saying, about a week ago during my mid-clinical evaluation, my instructor asked me what skills I have not had many opportunities to perform yet. I was honest with her and said that over the past two years, I have yet to deal with a PEG tube, insert an NG tube, or preform postmortem care. I told her that I found death disturbing [as most people do] and the thought of caring for a dead body left me extremely uncomfortable but I wanted to experience it while I was a student and was in a somewhat controlled environment with someone there with me.

So despite feeling like death warmed-up [bad choice of words for the content of this entry] this morning, I woke up at 4:30am (after falling asleep at 3:30am) to start my third to last day of clinical for my nursing degree.
I got to the clinical site at 0645 and walked into the surgery waiting area where we usually meet with our instructor. She could tell I was sick. I was pale [well...paler than usual] and I was coughing but whatever...the show must go on. The instructor asked me what unit I would like to go to and I said anything but med-surg. I actually wanted to go to the burn unit but the census was too low for students to be there...so I ended up in the ER with one of my male classmates.

Usually in the mornings, the ER is really slow. Today was no exception. There was only a few patients on the unit...a psych patient under a PEC [physician emergency certificate]...as well as a young woman admitted for severe cramps. I assisted B [along with the ER tech] with an in&out catheter because he had never done one on a female before but after that there really wasn't much to do.

B and I were sitting with the ER tech when a nurse walked up to us and asked if we would like to help "bag" a patient. Thinking she meant "bag" like during a code, I said that of course I would help. We walked into the critical room in the ER as I was thinking, "It is awful quiet for a code to be going on right now."

I stepped into the room were there was a patient lying on the table with her mouth hanging open. She wasn't moving and she was very pale. I think it took me a full 30 seconds to process the fact that the woman was deceased and even then I didn't fully "get it" until the nurse placed a toe tag on the patient and opened the body bag.
I tried not to look at her face.
We rolled her over and moved the body bag underneath her. Just then, the patient let out a snore.

The woman....who was dead.....snored. It was all I could do not to leave the room right then.

We finish placing her in the bag and zipped it up.
At this point, something happened and she either exhaled or twitched because the body bag moved. WTF.
The nurse made a joke about how there might be some spirits still in the room because she was so "active" after her death [referring to the snore and the twitch]. B and I exchanged a look that in no uncertainty terms said "I would really like to get the fuck out of this room right now" as the tech laughed at the nurse and told her to stop trying to scare the students.

At this point, we covered the bag with a sheet and wheeled the stretcher to the morgue where we placed the woman's body on a metal table to be left in the freezer. The nurse started to wipe the ER stretcher with a sanitizing wipe and I couldn't help but wonder how many people have taken their last breath on that bed.

Back in the ER, B and I both attempted to start an IV on a patient [which neither of us could get because of her tiny, rolling veins...also, the fact that we were both still shaking a little bit might have had something to do with it]. The instructor said to leave it to the nurse because she wanted to take us to the cath lab to see an angiogram performed.

Although it was very interesting to watch, during the procedure, I began to feel even worse than I did earlier. I excused myself when I saw that it was over as a tech wheeled the patient out in order to find a restroom.
I think combined with the fact that I was already sick, the morning's events caught up with me. In a cold sweat, I leaned against the wall for support as my vision started to blur and the room started to spin. After a few moments, the dizziness subsided as a violent wave of nausea hit me. At this point, I said hello again to the yogurt I had for breakfast.
Exiting the rest room, B was waiting for me. He looked really concerned when he saw me and ever the gentleman, he said "Wow. You look like hell." I countered with,"Thank you, darling. Unfortunately, we can't all be movie star material like you." The instructor showed up shortly afterwards and noticed that I didn't look as perky as usual. She suggested that I go to the medical library and read until I felt well enough to get home.

Once home, I promptly stripped off my scrubs and crawled under the covers. My nap was not in the least bit restful. Nightmares of corpses and bloated, decaying bodies in every ER bay plagued my mind and I woke up in tears.

I am not sure what upset me more, the actual experience or the nightmares, but I texted my favorite lesbian [she's a classmate, a paramedic, and one of the strongest women I know]. I can always rely on her for a little wisdom or tough love whenever I need it. Here is how our conversation went-

Estelle: So how long did it take you to get used to dealing with dead bodies when you first started as a paramedic? And I am not even talking about the dismembered ones.
A: Never had a problem with it. No one I know in the medical field ever had a problem or they probably wouldn't have gotten into it in the first place. It bothered you that much?
Estelle: Yeah. It bothered me.
A: Okay. Then I am worried about you. Are you gonna make it? What will you do if it's actually your patient and they code in front of you? That's a scary thought.
Estelle: I don't know. I feel like [name of our notorious classmate who washed out in our third semester after a series of potentially fatal mistakes she made during clinical that could have cost anyone of her patients their life] right now. I mean, the lady had been dead for two hours. All we did was put her in a body bag. That was it. I shouldn't be this freaked out about it.
A: No. No. No. She was a dumbass. Not the same thing at all. You're just a tender heart.
Estelle: Well, I feel like a total dumbass right now.
A: And no, you shouldn't be upset. She was old. Not smelly or decomposing or ripped apart in a trauma. Death is a part of life.
Estelle: I know.
A: Just find a way to accept it. Tell yourself it is what it is and everyone dies. And try to move on. Do the best you can.
Estelle: How the fuck could I have made it this far only to realize now that I don't have what it takes to do this?
A: You can do it. You just need to learn to displace the hard crap. Fortunately, the death rate isn't that high in L&D.

About 10 minutes later, my phone starts to ring. It was A's girlfriend. Being that I was sobbing uncontrollably at this point, wondering if I would indeed be able to do this, I sent the call to voicemail. A few moments later, she texts me that if I needed to talk, she was around and that A told her what happened and that she wanted to take me out for a drink. I told her I appreciated the offer but that I wasn't very good company at the moment. She told me that is what friends are for and to not hesitate to call if I needed anything.

After a few hours of crying and exchanging messages with a bunch of other nursing students on Twitter (by the way, ya'll really should get Twitter accounts...it is awesome. Follow me: @EstelleDarling), I texted A that I would be okay. She responded like a protective big sister with "You better be."

And I will be okay, readers. I needed this. For the past two years, I think I have been functioning under the delusion that I would never have to deal with death in the hospital. I won't lie. This was a really shitty experience [although, I am sure that some of you are thinking to yourselves "Um...get a grip, Estelle. It wasn't even that big of a deal"] but I am glad it happened.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Frisky Friday - Celibacy isn't Fun Anymore

Okay. I know that technically it is Wednesday, but who's in the mood for a Frisky Friday post? Because I know I sure am.
^Must be the reason why I am so into kisses on my neck...and choking.^
^True Story. I have a sex playlist on my iPod. Several actually. Depending on what I am in the mood for.^

Sources:
Sex Is Beautiful
Sexstrology

Monday, April 11, 2011

*le sigh*

My darling readers, no need to worry. I am not gone forever [although, I know it must feel like it] but I have been a horrible blogger. I have neglected both posting on this site as well as reading [and commenting on] my nursing cohorts' blogs. Can you ever forgive me? :-(



Something has been weighing on my mind lately. It is like one of those bumble bees. It buzzes around your mind for hours at a time and you are always trying to swat it away, only to have it come back and surprise you again when you least expect it.

I have pretty much mastered the art of pushing people away. I mean, I am really good at it. And I have proved it time and time again. And I know that I am not an easy person to be in a relationship with. I have been referred to as "damaged goods" because of the insecurities and fears that stem from my past relationships.

As much as I hate to admit it, I don't want to fall for anyone [opps...too late] because I am terrified that if I do, they won't be there to catch me. I don't trust people. Especially if they say they care about me because I always wonder 'What the hell do you see in me that I don't?" Because I worry that I am not what they have in mind, or that I'm not enough, or that when I actually do fall for them and have opened up, they will suddenly remember that they can do so much better. They could have a girl without as many issues, hang-ups, or baggage.

It is just so easy to take your cloths off and sleep with someone. People do that all the time. But when you open up to someone and you let them into your thoughts, fears, hopes, and dreams. When you let them see who you really are, flaws and all, that is being naked.
And it is fucking terrifying.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

The Human Brain

The human brain is amazing.
It functions 24 hours a day. 365 days a year.
It functions right from the time we are born until the time we die, controlling our heart beat and our emotions.

And the only time it stops?
When I am taking a fucking nursing exam.

Damn it. This is not good.
I mean, it isn't the worst situation imaginable but still...this semester is not at all going like I had hoped. :-(

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Quickie - Daybeds and Colostomies

I am not sure how to start this post out. There is so much on my mind so forgive me [or not...I really don't care at this point] if it hops from on subject to the next without any rhyme or reason.

So, as I get closer and closer to graduation and the realization that soon, I will be a responsible adult (Hahahaha!!!), the reality that I will one day soon have my own place (ah, sweet solitude) is starting to become evident.

The one thing I want to make sure my home has [um...besides a pool table, stripper pole, and garden] is a library with a cute little day bed. If I am going to be spending my hours on the clock saving live and stomping out misery, I want to make sure my days off are all mine. ;)




Clinicals are going well. I started my first [four] IVs last week while I was doing a rotation in the ER (along with drawing blood for labs and doing 3 in&out catheters for sterile urine collection). I wrote a post about it but have yet to actually publish it. This past week in clinical, I was able to deal with a colostomy and a PEG tube. Gross, but glad I got the experience.


Lee broke up with Brit last week and she moved out. I hate it. :( Over the past few years while they had been dating and she was living here, she became like my little sister. I want them both to be happy but is it selfish to want them to be happy with each other?


It is time for me to start seriously studying for NCLEX. I mean, I have been doing some light reviewing but last week, I sat through my last Medical-Surgical nursing lecture. The ones for the rest of the semester will be on professional issues and nursing management. This is starting to get real.
O_o

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Frisky Friday - I ♥ it

Ya'll, I love Workshop Erotica [where I found the above image]. The website is *very* NSFW but omg. It's just so damn dirty sexy hot.

Also, this has nothing to do with Frisky Friday [or does it?], but you should all go to Tearing Down The Wall to see this post.
The blogger, Zac, made a bet against me that his favorite basketball team [the Phoenix Suns] would beat the New Orleans hornets. Now, I really don't care about basketball but don't think I won't always root for my home teams.
Long story short, my NOLA guys won and I think everyone should know that. So go check it out. It might not be as amusing as Workshop Erotica but I still think it's pretty cool. :)