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26 September 2009 @ 10:30 pm
I got my flu shot yesterday. It hurt, but I usually get a nice red swollen arm post shot so I wasn't too worried about it. Though this one looks even worse than usual - in my professional opinion, she gave the shot too high in my arm. Anyway, was fine until the end of my shift when I got really unusually tired. I'd eaten early, so figured I needed coffee or food or both. By the time I was at the traffic light in front of the apartment complex I was beyond tired and starting to feel miserable. Got inside and felt HORRIBLE. Chills, aches, fever, the whole 9 yards. I've gotten a flu shot every year since I can remember and I've never had a reaction like that. What the hell did they put in that thing? Anyway, took a Zicam and some Motrin and crawled into bed to shake under my warming blanket. Slept for 7 hours straight and woke up feeling totally fine except for my arm still hurting. I now have much more sympathy for people who complain about getting sick after their flu shots. I would still like to clarify, however, that if you are up and walking around voluntarily, you don't have the flu. Trust me. The one time I've actually had the flu, I was flat on my back for two weeks.

In short, flu season sucks.
Current Mood: awakeawake
Current Music: Beep beep
09 September 2009 @ 01:03 am

In the surgical room tonight. Totally bewildered by these large, crying babies. Give me my intubated preemies back!

Possible medical TMI, cut for the squeamish...Collapse )
All my kids tonight are pretty darn adorable. Makes the night more pleasant. :)
Current Location: NICU
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: Sweet sounds of silence
06 September 2009 @ 09:57 pm
I feel like I just got my ass kicked by a child who barely tops two pounds. Literally as well as figuratively - the little darling actually managed to kick my glasses askew while I was trying to retape his ETT! Still not sure how he managed that.
Current Mood: bemused
29 July 2009 @ 04:43 am
Pregestimil vomit is completely disgusting. That is all.
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Current Location: NICU
Current Mood: disgusted
Current Music: Baby yowling because he threw up all his food and gets no more until 6:00.
28 July 2009 @ 02:13 am
I went bridesmaids dress shopping yesterday, and it wasn't nearly as bad as I had half expected it to be! I actually had fun. Part of that was just getting the chance to see the girls, since we have such ridiculously conflicting schedules (only reason we actually managed it was because I left early to nap so I could work tonight), but the dress trying on part was actually fun too. Haley and I used to try on prom dresses for kicks, just because trying on fancy dresses was entertaining, but that novelty of that wore off a while ago. Body issues had a lot to do with that. So I was pretty happy to discover that I've lost enough weight that I'm now a dress size 6. I'd been getting a little discouraged because I can't seem to get down a size in pants. My 10s are all too big now - they feel like they're falling off - but the 8s are always too tight. Apparently I just have awkwardly sized hips. :P But I have actually lost weight, so yay! And Allie managed to pick a dress that looks flattering on all four of her bridesmaids with all of our different figures, which might actually qualify as a miracle of some sort. I'm wearing purple. We're either going to have two purple, two green, or the maid of honor in green and the three others in purple. I had to leave before that got officially sorted out.

In other news, dad's creatinine levels are up again and his kidney function is officially down to 15%. That's the standard for starting dialysis, but since he's asymptomatic other than being fatigued, the docs are willing to let him get down to 10% in hopes that he can be transplanted before dialysis is necessary. Everyone cross your fingers. He's also anemic, which is unsurprising, so they're going to start epogen. Dad said I was waaaaay too enthusiastic when I offered to come stab him three times a week (it's a subcutaneous shot). I just want to keep in practice! We don't give too many subcutaneous injections on my unit. Even the IMs are few and far between - just Vit K and Hep B at birth and other vaccines if the kids are here long enough to need them.

Okay, and it's fun to menace parental units with needles.
Current Location: NICU
Current Mood: sleepysleepy
Current Music: Very loud air conditioner
21 July 2009 @ 09:58 pm
The hospital got Magnet status. Apparently we should be enthused.

Current Location: NICU
Current Mood: apatheticapathetic
Current Music: background chatter
20 July 2009 @ 11:14 pm
It's taken me approximately a year and a half but I'm starting to figure out how to have a life again while working 12 hour night shifts three days a week. This week I went out with friends (to see HP and the Half Blood Prince, which I enjoyed), made plans with Haley for the weekend, and started playing on Alere Flammas again. I was surprised to discover how much I'd missed it. If any former players still read this journal - come back! :) I also made plans to take my cousins' two youngest daughters to the RenFaire when it starts up in August. It'll be exhausting, but I'm going to enjoy seeing it through fresh eyes. Only Irina's ever been and that was when she was much younger.

So yeah. It may not sound like much, but considering I've been doing my best hermit impression for a long while, it's a definite step in the right direction.

I've also been productive health case wise. I've got an appointment with an oral surgeon for August so he can assess my impacted wisdom tooth. I've been putting off doing that for a while now. I went to the regular dentist and they didn't seem as bothered by the state of my gums as they usually are, which I'm assuming means I'm doing something right. And I'm going to call on Wednesday and make an appointment for that kidney ultrasound to assess for PKD. I still don't really want to know, but I'm going to be a good girl and find out anyway. Next up: getting some of my vaccines updated. Dammit, I don't want a tetanus shot!

Back to work!
Current Location: NICU
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
Current Music: Baby crying & monitor beeping
04 April 2008 @ 11:17 pm
I graduated December 21st. I had hoped to start work in February. Unfortunately, I couldn't get an NCLEX testing date until February 14th. Okay then. More time to study, right? Not that I wound up studying all that much. Anyway, February 14th, I head to the local Pearson VUE testing center. I leave the house in plenty of time, make sure I have my valid Maryland driver's license with me since Pearson will only accept a driver's license or a passport as ID, and make sure I also have my authorization to test (ATT) from the state board of nursing. I get to the testing center nice and early and wait with the other girl who's there for the test center to open. They finally let us in the door and we begin the signing in process. I finish reading the instructions first, so I'm first up to the desk. I present my paperwork and the following conversation occurs:

Receptionist: *eyeing driver's license and ATT* Hmmmmmm.

Me: *waits*

Receptionist: Your name on your driver's license...it doesn't have a hyphen in it.

Me: Oh, no, it doesn't. My name does, but the MVA computer system can't handle hyphens. I've fought with them about it a couple of times now.

Receptionist: I have to call my supervisor.

Me: What?

Receptionist: The name on the license must match the name on the ATT.

Me: Do you want to see my social security card? It has the hyphen. *pulls out all sorts of alternate forms of ID*

Receptionist: Go ahead and sit down while I call my supervisor.

So I sit down and try and read a magazine while all sorts of ominous noises come from the receptionist and the phone. After a few minutes she calls me back up.

Receptionist: We can't allow you into the testing center.

Me: Are you serious?

Receptionist: You'll have to appeal to the national council of the state boards of nursing.

Me: I have to repay all that money?! Note: the quest for a nursing license in MD costs approximately $350, between testing fees, application fees, fingerprinting, and background checks.

Receptionist: Appeal to the national council. If they decide in your favor, you won't have to.

And with that, she turns her attention to the next girl in line. I stumble outside and burst into tears. It's really hard to get into your car when you're a) sobbing so hard you can't see and b) freezing to death because it snowed the night before. I dropped my keys twice before managing to get inside and find my cell phone. I call my dad first and he must have thought I'd been in some horrible accident or something, since he couldn't make out a word I was blubbering into the phone. Eventually I manage to calm down enough to explain, although I'm still upset enough that dad asks if he needs to come pick me up so I don't have to drive. I say no - probably a mistake, in hindsight, but I did make it home in one piece. Before I leave, I call my friend Allison who's supposed to be testing two hours after me. I get her voicemail, leave a semi-coherent message, and head home. I hit a patch of ice halfway there, which jolts me back to reality a bit.

I get home and I've just sort of fallen into my dad's arms when Allison calls me back. She hadn't listened to the voicemail, so she was a little surprised when I answer in between sobs. She told me later that she initially thought I'd overslept and missed the most important test of my life thus far. I explain and she promises to come over as soon as she's done with her test. I then get into the rounds of phone calls. I try Pearson first and spend forever on hold. That's actually a good thing, as it allows me to work up to being furious instead of devastated. I get better results when I sound pissed off instead of incoherent. :P Anyway, I'm on the phone with assorted Pearson people for about an hour before they tell me the same thing the receptionist did - names don't match, nothing they can do. About the only good thing that comes from this is someone tells me HOW one appeals to the national council, and gives me a phone number.

The national council headquarters are in a different timezone, so I don't get a hold of a person until about 10pm my time. She's about to take me through the whole appeals process - write a letter, etc - but then she stops. "You know what? Hold on. Give me your name and phone number, and let me make some calls." THANK YOU. And with that, we start the waiting game. Allison arrives soon afterwards, since she was able to start her test early because they had a spare computer. Gee, I wonder how that happened? :P

Allison fields calls from a couple of other friends because I still can't explain without bursting into tears. I pace and play mindless solitaire games on the computer. After the longest two hours of my life, I get a call from Justin at Pearson VUE. He apologizes profusely and tells me a) I should never have been sent away, b) he's resetting my ATT so I don't have to pay again, and c) I can reschedule my testing date whenever there's a slot free. I proceed to collapse in a puddle of leftover nerves.

By some miracle, someone had canceled their appointment for February 16th, that Saturday, at 8am. I snatch up the time slot. Later that day, Allison, Erin, and I go to JoAnn Fabrics and get iron on letters. We make me a shirt that says 'I <3 My Hyphen'. Unfortunately, when I go back on Saturday, there's a different receptionist at the desk and so the joke goes unnoticed. On the plus side, when I tell the receptionist I had problems before, she calls me up to get things sorted out right there and then so I can stop worrying. She frowns at the paperwork and then asks what the problem had been. When I tell her about the hyphen she boggles at me. "You should never have been turned away. If I'd been here, I would have let you test. Don't worry about it - you're fine."

So that's my story. I took the test that day. I passed. And now I have a horror story to traumatize the students on my unit with. Works every time!
Current Mood: frustratedfrustrated
30 March 2008 @ 06:29 pm
So since I'm actually back to reading LJ on a semi-regular basis, I figure I'll start posting again too. Try not to be too shocked, anyone who is still reading this after my months...er, sorry, make that years of neglect. Anyway!

Things I've Done Lately:

* Graduated from nursing school. Magna Cum Laude, thankyouverymuch, with a GPA of 3.7 (4.0 for the last two semesters. I'll stop tooting my own horn now).
* Took - and passed - the NCLEX. That's the National Council Licensure Examination for those of you fortunate enough to have never encountered it. Also known to most nursing students as the Big Scary Evil Test. It means I am now a registered nurse as well as a BSN. There was drama involved with taking it, of course. More on that later.
* Got a job. I'm now working at the University of Maryland Medical Center in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I love it, even when I'm stressing out so badly my preceptor gives me a hug and tells me to relax, already!
* Bought a car. And that's enough about that, as I am still cringing over the down payment and thought of monthly car payments and insurance payments.

So...yeah. In short, I'm doing the whole 'adult' thing. Which would be a whole lot more enjoyable if it didn't involve so much paying other people lots of money.

Next post, I will elaborate on NCLEX drama! I'm sure you're all fascinated already.
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
04 August 2007 @ 12:56 pm
Harry Potter: Alere Flammas is having a Sorting tonight at 9pm. If you hurry, you might be able to get a character approved in time! If not, you can still join the fun. Attend classes, play Quidditch, even apply for a feature character from the books! Luna, Neville, Seamus, Lavender, Padma, Kingsley, multiple Weasleys, Fleur...the possibilities are almost endless.

Alere Flammas opened after the release of Goblet of Fire and has been going strong since then. Our storyline deviated from Rowling's after GoF. Harry and co. are now in their mid-twenties, Snape is Headmaster of Hogwarts, and Sirius Black is Minister of Magic. More information available at www.alereflammas.org, including how to log on and get into the game!
Current Mood: busybusy