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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Little Break and a New Direction

Its been months.  Yes MONTHS, my longest blogging hiatus yet.  In a way I didn't miss it, and in a way I did.  I noticed periodically I'd get a comment from someone asking how things are and hoping for an update.  To be honest my life has just been very anti-computer lately.  My photography has sort of slacked off too....  less blogging, less photography, more family and "me" time.  

Its actually been quite nice.  

So, there have been some big changes in the last couple of months.  I had a pretty unique opportunity arise thanks to a friend.  It resulted in me taking a new nursing position at a much much larger hospital.  This job has afforded me a great increase in pay, a regular schedule, weekends and holidays off, a closer commute, and an entirely new and different facet of nursing to practice.  

In long and short I am a "clinic nurse." But, in reality I am so much more than that. Yes, it is a large primary care office, but we get to do a lot of other things that many clinic nurses don't get to.  We get to see our own patients, for nursing related visits and concerns.  I do everything from IV fluids to immunizations, wound care, and education.  It varies every day.  Then, there are the phone calls.  In actuality a lot of my day is spent on the phone with dozens of people who call the clinic with questions and concerns ranging from the seemingly simple to incredibly emergent.  I get to wade through all the symptoms and determine the acuity, give advice, and encourage to seek treatment.  Its a lot harder than you'd think too.... for those healthcare providers, imagine doing a patient assessment in the Emergency room, but being blind and unable to feel/touch.  You essentially can only ask questions and listen to the patient.  Its been a difficult skill to learn, but I am enjoying the challenge!

Frankly I really enjoy this job.  It is a completely different type of nursing than I have previously done and it is not like the clinic rotation I did when I was in school.  I don't spend my day like the traditional clinic nurses... bringing patient to the rooms and taking vital signs before the doctor visits.  Mine day is a lot more spontaneous and thought provoking.  

I've had a chance to learn more about medications and pathology in the last couple of months than I have in the last couple of years.  I get research and read about so many topics as part of my job and I love that. Before I would always wonder about a specific treatment, pathology, or medication and never have time to even begin to dig into facts about my patient's plan of care.  Isn't that sad?  That is the reality of a lot of nursing, following directions and doing clinical skills, as knowledge slowly atrophies.  Thinking isn't always as prevalent in nursing positions as a young nurse is led to believe (not saying ALL patient care positions are like this, mind you).  A lot of nursing is doing, not thinking.  However, I think I have found a gem of a position.  Thinking is a lot of what I do. 

Not only does the job suit me, but the schedule suits our family.  No more are we trying to find 10 hours of daycare on a weekend or begging my daycare provider to wake up and take Emily at 5:45am so I can go to work while my husband is working his night shift at the fire station.  Every night I get to put Emily to bed.  Every morning I get to wake her up and say good morning.  We have every weekend together and every holiday off.  While it was very nice to have four or five days a week off I was actually going stir crazy having that much free time.  Sure, when the sun is shining and its amazingly warm I would love to be home on a Tuesday eating lunch on my deck, but I actually get a full hour for lunch every single work day, anyway.

A full hour.

For anyone in nursing/healthcare you know how big a deal a full hour for lunch is.  I went from having to work through my lunch at the nursing home to maybe getting 20 minutes for lunch 8-10 hours into my shift at the hospital.  Now I have been gifted a full hour!  That much free time has afforded me the ability to run/walk a pretty decent distant on nice days or even drive home and enjoy a solid half hour in my own house before returning to work.  Its amazing.

Did I mention I think I found a hidden gem in the career of nursing? 

Its just been such a positive trend.  Also, I think part of my shift in blogging, photography, and my general being-glued-to-a-computer behavior.  My life has been fairly low stress and I have been enjoying taking a step back from so many overwhelming aspects.  When you get emails almost daily asking for photo sessions and wedding photography it can get overwhelming.  Plus, in all honestly I really dislike portraiture.  Its stressful for me, because I am so self conscious of my work and so sincerely don't want to disappoint. 

So, I have been working, cooking, and enjoying lots of time with my awesome Emily.

Who, did I mention, is practically a grown person now?  Seriously, she is practically a teenager in her looks and attitude.  A teenager with poor table manners and lack of bowel or bladder control (sigh... don't even get me started on potty training).

See, see what I mean?

Where has my baby gone?  Now you probably understand why I have been so absorbed in my quickly aging little family.  It seems I blink and the next thing I know she will be graduating high school. 

So, have I rambled enough?  I am not even sure I have sensibly pieced this post together, but perhaps that is the point.  Either way, life has moved on in a new direction.  In a good way. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Beyond Four Walls

Not long after my last post something cool and unexpected happened.  I love how sometimes things just unexpectedly work out -- opportunities you would never have expected become known. Suddenly the path you were on has options, intersections, choices. 

Life is awesome like that. 

But, I don't have time to delve into details now, unfortunately.  I will have to come back and make another post for that!  Just know that compared to my last post the four walls didn't close in around me.  I've found a door, a window, and a sky light.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

These Four Walls

I love winter.  The snow, the pretty, serene scenes.  There is snowmobiling, snow shoeing, and a general softness to the landscape.  That's not what it looks like this winter, though.  Since the new year we have experienced nothing, but rain.  Cold, nasty rain.  Its worn down the fresh snow that fell for Christmas and reduced it to a wet pile of brownish mush.  The landscape looks like late March, except the air doesn't have the sweetness of spring approaching.  Its still the middle of winter... just crappy, cloudy, and awful.

This weather has forced me to be inside.  The gray days have made me feel extra sluggish and the affects seem to be accumulating.  After recovering from the flu I have not yet found my "get up and go" this year.  I still feel knocked down and the four walls of my home seem to be closing in.  

Go outside! You say.  Go to a community event!  You suggest.  Why not go to a museum or library or anything? You ask.  

The answer....  honestly.... I just don't feel like it.  

This season has sucked all my will and energy away. I don't want to spend money going to museums or other indoor activities.   I don't want to face the stress of socializing or getting myself and Emily presentable to go somewhere more significant than obtaining basic groceries.  (any doubts I am a true introvert?)  There is nothing to take photos of or anywhere to walk, play, or snowmobile with this nasty landscape.  

So, I have spent almost all of my off time in the last two weeks inside my home.  I've watched my share of movies, played with Emily, and generally laid around doing nothing.  Now I find that even my motivation to clean and do chores is fleeting.  My general emotional compass is starting to point towards a complete void.

Maybe its seasonal affective disorder?  ....the nurse in me can't help, but diagnose myself. 

And even stranger there are A LOT of exciting things going on in my life right now... and I can't even disclose some of them with anyone (yet).   But, despite all the excitement, I don't feel the giddy-ness that I should.  I just feel tired. 

We all get in these funks.  I know life's emotions occillate from highs to lows and back again and I just need to pull myself out of this cycle, be excited, and find some sort of enjoyment to this blah of a season before the walls of my home swallow me whole.

I am sure we all feel like this once and a while, right?  Especially this time of year.  The important thing is that we should be able to talk about it, because when you feel isolated (even when you aren't) its even more isolating to be silent.