Monday, April 29, 2013

Mama never told me there'd be days like these.......

I hate days like today. A day that's great, and I'm learning so much and I'm busy doing what I want to be doing. But I'm in pain. So much pain. I smile and I'm polite, of course because I'd never treat a patient or co worker any differently but inside I was crying.

I got home at 4.30pm had a shower, took a strong pain med and an ice pack and laid on my bed for forty minutes. Then I got up, made filo pastries with chicken, cheese and pesto, jacket potatoes and a green salad. Now I'm sitting down. Had a cry and am enjoying a glass of wine.

It's days like today I question what I'm doing. Who am I kidding ? Can I really do this? Work full time, run a household and keep it all together and cope okay physically?

I had a huge day yesterday. From when I left home to when I returned was almost 13 hours. It was my second day working with EMT (Emergency Medical Team). Paul who was my facilitator last July is the owner/director of a private ambulance service. He mentioned to Leanne and I at the time of our Prac that he would gladly give use work, because he thought so highly of us. At the time I was rapt, and didn't think much more of it. I was just happy that he was happy with us. True to is word, he offered both of us the chance to work for him and then he offered us both casual work!!! I've worked at the Big Pineapple Music Festival which was awesome. I've never worked a 12 hour day before and I coped remarkably well we had a few cases and most of those we called QAS as they needed further treatment. On the way Paul paid me the hugest compliment. 'Jen you're the best I've ever seen'. Oh my goodness. I almost cried. To be called the best student nurse he's ever come across was so good to hear. Even during all this doom and gloom prophecy of no jobs, few grad positions, with that endorsement I feel so much better. The following weekend I worked again. We were at the Kilcoy Motocross. I was so nervous. Felt so out of my comfort zone. The flag would go up showing someone was down and we'd grab the bag and I'd ride in the back of a gator. It's like a quad bike thing with a tray back. We were treating people in the dirt and mud!! I now have a blue uniform and boots and cap and look the part! I'm going to learn so much. I've already developed a procedure in my head and now have a plan I can follow.

So while everything is going really well, this afternoon after my first day in Oncology I was hurting and my mind was whirling.

Dinner is done! Peter is cleaning up and I'm on my bed relaxing.

Tomorrow is a new day. And I will hopefully feel better.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad 3

Location:Home. Thank the good Lord.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Slack Blogger

I've not posted in so long, it's almost ridiculous. Thankfully a blog holds no grudges nor dishes out recriminations.

Dot point:

- exams are done and dusted. This semester I only had one. I'm grateful for the week off that I had to study. I think I did okay in it. We went to dinner afterwards to celebrate. An almost euphoric feeling. With relief.

- Tanzania is only three and a half weeks away. Still can't get my head around the fact that I'm actually going. Still have to book accommodation in Dubai. Will do that Sunday.

- they changed the rules and as Tanzania was originally classed as our placement, I didn't do a day a week during the semester. I'm glad I didn't as with the anaemia I was exhausted. Now, however I'm having to do a two week block. This gives me a week off before I go, to spend with the kids and to organize last minute things.

- this Saturday we are bringing forward our Christmas Eve celebrations. It will be much simpler than in years gone by as I've not had the time to prepare and bake. So there won't be the Austrian home baked goodies. Not unless I find an energy spurt of an evening later this week.

- Mum and Ricky have assured me that I can keep it simple. At this stage I'm even trying to figure out when to clean !!!! Let alone prepare a divine meal. Ahhh well it will come together. The main thing is we're all in the same place, enjoying each others company, laughing, drinking and eating good food.

- yesterday was my first day on Prac. I'm at a rehabilitation hospital. It's a private centre focussing on post stroke, and post surgery patients. I enjoyed it, but much prefer the more acute setting. I do enjoy the patient contact and working with RNs.

- I'm so tired. Some days I question why I'm doing this at my stage in life. But I'd forever regret it if I didn't qualify. There's so much potential. So many avenues to explore. It's been an interest and a passion of mine for so long. I'd be doing myself an injustice if I didn't do it.

- I'm going to miss my family while I'm away. I'm already finding special little things that I love especially about each one and that I want to take with me. The kids are growing and changing so much.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad 3


Friday, November 02, 2012

Retreat weekend

I've not been to a retreat for quite a while. I've not allowed myself that amount of time out as my schedule has needed the weekends to get a lot of work done. This weekend I've made an exception. My friends have asked me to come along and I was quite touched by that. I know that I don't have anything pressing that needs doing either so can afford the time. I hope I can manage sitting all weekend. My back hasn't been the best and I've been tired the last few days. Probably because I'm feeling overwhelmed and sleeping is therapeutic.

I still don't know how many of us are effected by the placement hassle, but there's at least six of us I know about. One lass has pulled out of the trip, although I'm not sure why. Those two weeks were earmarked for working for many of the girls so their spending money has been reduced as they now have to attend Prac. I initially wanted to cancel my camera class and felt so overwhelmed about our Christmas but now that the shock has worn off I know I'll manage. I was going to the inaugural end of year uni nursing dinner and will have to bow out of that. It is on the weekend we've planned our Christmas dinner.

I am going to a rehabilitation centre which looks after people on an inpatient and outpatient basis. They look after neurological disorders, post stroke patients, people taking too long to mend after surgery, people after amputations and so forth. I know I'll enjoy it there. It won't be as physically demanding and tiring as the hospital.

Today was my last lecture for the semester. I have only one exam in two weeks exactly. Can't believe another semester is done. Only one more and I'm an RN. It excites me just thinking about that. Next semester I've only got one subject left, all the rest are practicals and placements.

It's only six weeks till we leave for Tanzania. The flights are paid, I bought my vaccinations today, my accommodation is paid. My visa application is in being processed. I know the time beforehand is going to fly.

Today is All Souls Day. Thinking of you my dear Dad. I talk to you everyday. Love you and miss you so very much.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad 3

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Sometimes it seems like I just turn to my blog when I'm feeling down. Writing is a kind of therapy for me. So is prayer, and I've given up plenty to attempt to soothe my heart. I hate feeling woebegone, peeved, upset...........  Even when I've rationalized the whole issue, found the positive outcomes from it, the heaviness still takes a few days to dissipate.

Even though there are only 44 days till I leave for my four week volunteer work in Tanzania, the uni has changed the rules of the game. I won't go into the details as I don't know them properly and surmising would benefit no one. We were initially told that Tanzania would make up our placement requirements for this semester. Now, with just over six weeks to go, they have told us, we have to complete a placement here before we go, in order to pass the subject!! I've not had a chance to speak to the others yet, as it effects quite a few of us. No one would be happy!

I feel like the wind has been taken out of my sails. I was looking forward to a month off between end of uni and flying away. In that time, I was going to complete my Christmas shopping and cook and bake for our celebration which we will have on the 2/12 so that my family and I still have a Christmas Eve celebration together. Especially in light of last Christmas, with losing my Dad just a week prior, this Christmas can be a kind of balm for us. Now I'll be on placement for a fortnight and our Christmas weekend, falls smack bang in the middle of it, with me having to go back to placement the next day!!! The boys were taking a day off school and Peter was taking a day off work, they may still do that, I'm not sure. But I won't be able to. Nor will I be able to prepare the food to the level I normally would, and baking??? I'm not sure if I'll get it done. The kids' comment was, 'so there's another two weeks where we don't have you' and I felt so awful............

I'd also planned a camera class during that time to raise some more money for Tanzania. I just don't know how I'm going to feel after two weeks full time work. I know I should do it...........

I'm a cup half full kind of girl, and I can see value in the experience. Firstly from an experience point of view and secondly, it's an investment into my future work opportunities. I know that.

I just have to wait for the dark cloud to rise and float away. This is a stressful time as it is, the last assignments are done and dusted, I've only got two more classes to attend, and then in a fortnight I have an exam.

This weekend I am attending a retreat, and at the moment I'm feeling very antisocial. Thankfully I know just being around my friends will pull me out of this funk. That's the downside to suffering depression, sometimes it doesn't take much to knock me for a few days......

I know it will lift. It always does.

Plus I have so many things in my life that make me happy.

Thursday, September 27, 2012's a lovely change.

Well some of the time anyway. Having teens and preteens I feel like is spend much of my time driving around. I'm so glad I changed to a little car. My fuel bill would be horrendous otherwise.
I've actually been playing games on the iPad. Sitting down and relaxing and playing stupid time wasting games and it's such fun. I've been playing Hunger Games Adventures, Dragon Keeper, Dragon Story, Dragon Vale and Camelot. Having fun feeding and breeding beautiful dragons and building an empire as well as setting myself up to win the Hunger Games. Useless, nonsensical stuff, but it feels great to just sit and play.
Today we had our Movie Day. We buy a movie on Apple TV, the kids get to pick a takeaway and we sit in the lounge and eat and watch. I'm being healthy so enjoyed my strawberries, yoghurt and LSA while the kids ate KFC and pizza. It cost me $28!!!! Such a great bargain and we are all at home. We watched 'Marvel Avengers'. It wasn't my pick but it was quite a good movie. Most impressive on the big plasma screen. It went for almost two and a half hours so great value too.
Sammy, Mickey and Bunny are off to visit a friend tomorrow for a long weekend. Billy-Joe and I are staying home. We're planning a fun weekend together. We will fit in a driving lesson, some nice food and a movie or two. I'd like to see 'Hunger Games' and also 'Red Dog'.
Next week I'm back at uni. So back working on my last assignment and prepping for my exam.
Health wise, I'm picking up. I'm not as weary and am tolerating the iron tablets without side effects. I started on my new arthritis drug last week which make me feel dreadful for a day but it's all good now. I take it fortnightly. I hope this one helps. I've stopped taking my anti inflammatories as I don't think they help with my weight. I'm in more pain but am hoping the Humira will kick in soonish. I've been careful with my food and have been back on the exercise bike. Am feeling good in my head about it even though there's no results on the scales yet. I don't want to go to Africa plump. I was fat and forty and I vowed and declared I wouldn't be fat and fifty. Thank God my BP and cholesterol and sugar levels are all good. With Dad's history and the fact I'm large around the waist makes we worry about heart disease and diabetes.

I believe that the implications of high blood pressure and diabetes are so underplayed it's scary. Until my nursing studies I knew that both conditions weren't good and I knew what the complications could be. However I had no idea how serious and pervasive the conditions were. Both high blood pressure and diabetes scare the living day lights out of me. I was amazed when on Prac ow prevalent these conditions are and how it complicates everything else. None of the tv campaigns give the conditions enough emphasis on their gravity and I don't believe GPs do either. Then again it's possibly because people are so damn complacent about their health.

Dinner is porterhouse steak cooked on the BBQ with potato gems and a salad with baby cos, red onion, Sundried tomatoes, sunflower seeds, feta cheese cucumber and dressed with extra virgin olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Simple and delicious. I threw on some sunflower seeds and craisins too. Peter is picking up Billy-Joe ( I've had wine and have opted not to be chauffeur for a change) and I'm updating my blog and listening to Adele.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad 3

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Holidays! At last......

I'm so glad to be on a break. I'm still taking kids to school etc, but getting up early means I'm utilizing my time well which is a bonus.

I'm two thirds through a major essay which I'm just stoked about. We had to choose a case study to work on and I chose a myocardial infarction. I don't know if it's got something to do with Dad, but I'm so drawn to all things cardiac. I loved my time on the Cardiac ward and hope to be able to work in the cardiac care unit which has those patients who require closer observation and monitoring.

I'm also considering putting a preference down for DEM. I've never considered emergency nursing before but am interested. It's like when I was on placement for teaching. I was initially petrified of working with the older children and yet it was the older children I much prefer to teach. I would never have thought that at the outset. I'm thinking emergency nursing is having the same impact on I'm a bit more open to it now. Since alerting the staff to the patient I was looking after who went into acute pulmonary oedema twice!! Now that was an amazing feeling. Firstly because I was the one who knew something was wrong and I catheterized my first patient under emergency conditions. I kept my cool. It was incredible to be a part of.

I'm happy to report that it's the fourth day in a row that I've not had a nap in the afternoon (or midmorning). Saturday I felt almost back to normal. I am quite excited about it. Especially as this week are holidays and I'm using my time productively and not in my bed!!!!

Today, as well as study, I've cleaned the stove top and range hood. I also emptied out the spice rag and washed it and wiped down all the bottles. I still have to do the shelves in the kitchen. I also took down two lots of blinds that needed fixing. Two years ago I'd bought these beautiful cedar blinds which I love. However, the two twerps have wrecked them and then Rusty has also broken some slats. The end result was that the front of my home looked like a little haunted house. I hate broken stuff. It looks daggy and uncared for. I have to get Bunny to lengthen the string so the blinds can go down to the sill. If they can't, then it's okay as I'm going to leave them up a bit all the time so Rusty can still go onto the sill without bending slats!!! The kids are bigger now so hopefully they won't break anymore!! Rusty has broken a slat on my bedroom window but thankfully it's not on the front of the house.

There are less than 90 days till I go to Tanzania. I put in my passport application yesterday. I'm starting to get excited. I'm saving money like crazy. Like crazy, not in that I'm saving heaps because I don't have heaps to save but like crazy in the regard that I'm not spending money like I normally would. This semester I've not bought a single lunch at uni. I take my lunch, I even take my tea bag, milk and a thermos cup of coffees for the early started. The only money I spend during the week is my dinner with Barbi on a Friday night and milk or veggies that we need. Makes me realize how frugal I can be.

I need a new iPhone case as the el cheapo one I bought looks old and worn. I went back to my previous el cheapo case that doesn't look as bad. Because I had a flip case and I don't want to use screen protectors anymore I had to make a case for it.

I love cats as my friends all know. I also love meerkats. So I'll leave you with my current iPad wallpaper.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad 3

Saturday, September 01, 2012


It's Fathers' Day Eve. Tomorrow will be another celebratory day without my Dad. Leading up to it, it's affected me more deeply than the other days, more than Dad's birthday. Now I've reconciled myself to the fact the day is to honour all Dads. Those alive and those who've gone to heaven like my beloved father. This morning we went and saw Peter's Dad. I was hesitant but it was a lovely morning. We sat outside and enjoyed the spring sunshine. Such a glorious day. Tomorrow Mum is coming and we are having a BBQ and celebrating as always. Mum and I were reluctant to do the normal thing, but Peter in his wisdom suggested that we do it. We can cry and then drink wine and enjoy being together. So now Mum is coming too. And I'm pleased.
I'm still spending 2/3 of my life sleeping. My tests showed that I'm anaemic. I've still got to go through tests to hopefully confirm it's not due to blood loss. Since I've not had a period in nine or so years, the alternative option is being investigated and of course I'm praying that all is good with my bowel. I'm pretty sure it is as I've no symptoms of losing blood from there. Fingers and feet crossed too. With the untreated arthritis and the last blood donation it's tipped me over the edge. I'm sick of being so tired though. I nap so much and have no time for anything other than study, chores, kids and sleep. Not good. Life is far to precious and I feel like I'm wasting it at the moment.
Mum is in her new home. It's just gorgeous. Very quaint and she's happy which is such a blessing. Now she needs a holiday.
Billy-Joe's driving lessons are going well. It's special time that we spend together. We share a treat afterwards. Today we had a McFlurry. Yummy. Maltesers, chocolate, and ice cream.
Study is going well. Thank God this semester is an easy one. I can afford sleep time lol. So far a distinction for an exam, full marks for an online discussion on ethics, a comparative essay on euthanasia from two different ethical standpoints and everything is up to date and cruising along.
In the next week or so I'll put in my passport application. My photo is butt ugly. I was so upset. Had I lots of spare money I would have had it done elsewhere. But it would be a waste so I've decided to go ahead with these gross photos. Everyone has tried to make me feel better by assuring me that all passport photos are ugly. I don't agree. This is my third passport and my other two have lovely photos in them. You know how can look back on old photos and think, 'I didn't look too bad back then'. Well, of I ever do that with my current passport photo I'd be shattered. It's that bad.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad 3

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Warning: Whine Alert

And sadly it's not of the red or white type !!

I am still so incredibly weary. Bone weary. At the point where when I'm walking up stairs I'm dragging myself up them. And then already thinking that I need the energy to go back down them!!  I'm not picking up. I'm eating really well have started taking multi vitamins and a tonic and all I can think of is when can I next lie down. I sleep well for most of the night and then have at least a half hour kip if I can manage it. If I have a day at home I may even sleep for up to two hours. Seems like such a waste of time. Especially when I've been like this now for six weeks.

Added to that my pain levels with my chronic Achilles tendinitis is increasing. I've spent $600 on new orthotics and have honestly had no benefits whatsoever. My tendons are permanently swollen and the pain radiates up my entire calf. I almost hobble each time I get up of an evening once I've been sitting for a bit as everything has begun to cease up even more.

On a brighter note my secondary hypertension has resolved itself as I'm no longer on the Simponi. I'm waiting for a referral for Humira to be approved. It's almost two months since I've had the arthritis drug. That wouldn't help my pain levels. Last time I gave blood my iron levels were okay but not great. I don't think they're low enough to create this level of fatigue though.

This semester is thankfully lighter but I feel so lousy I've only been able to appreciate it as it means I can rest more.

I need to go back to the dr.  I need energy. I'm doing the bare minimum at home and with my study. It's not how I like to operate.

Monday, August 20, 2012


Mum moves into her new unit tomorrow. She's still doing amazingly well. I keep thinking maybe she will fall in a heap but she's strong and positive and doing great on her own. Really amazing stuff when you consider she's been with Dad since she was 12 years old. Mum never had an adult life without Dad. I've been pleased that I live close by and have been able to help her but she's done so much on her own. Especially when the initial devastation of new grief eased a bit.

We took a couple of car loads around today. The unit looks lovely and I'm sure Mum will feel safe, comfortable and happy there.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad 3

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Worn out!!

At the moment I have two speeds. Full steam ahead, or fast asleep. Not much in between at all. Actually it's been going on since I finished placement and I think I need to see the doctor next week. 

It's just been so full on, with study and family, that when I have some downtime, I need to sleep. I'm sleeping well at nights, and if I have a day spare, I just sleep. This morning I got up, felt okay after 7.5 hours sleep, had breakfast and then went back to bed and slept and dozed until 3pm!!! What a waste of a day. I feel a bit better but not wonderful. My sleeps are just keeping me going. 

I know part of the problem is my eating. I've been craving sugar of late, and giving in. It's all I feel like. I'd much rather a bowl of cereal than a ham sandwich. Chocolate has also been beckoning me too. Not large amounts, but a little everyday. I've not had time, or energy to exercise of late, so I know this is something I have to address too. But it's more than that. Perhaps I need some tonic, or vitamins or something. Not sure. 

I'm happy, enjoying my studies, enjoying my home and family. But I'm tired. Even now I've made the week's school lunches and showered and I could head back to sleep when that's all I've basically done all day anyway. I've been otherwise healthy. I've avoided colds and 'flus so far. My pain levels are as low as they have been but I'm managing that. I'm waiting for a new script to come through to try a new injection for the arthritis. My legs are giving me a lot of problem with the chronic achilles tendonitis having flared up dreadfully since placement. Yesterday I wore boots with a heel and the shortening of the muscle and tendon helped greatly. However I need to go back to the podiatrist. The new orthotics cost well over $500 and I've had no improvement at all over my old ones. Money I didn't have to spend, but I'd decided the orthotics were important.

I was planning on going to the next Daisy's retreat, but after having decided that in my head, omitted to tell Barbi that I was coming. I'd left it too late and now won't go. I'm fine with that. There are heaps of others ahead of me on the list, and they need the weekend. My time at home is fairly peaceful and with craving the rest, it suits me too. I've made some other arrangements to catch up with friends whom I don't see very often. 

It's been a busy week. With tending to my own life/commitments/study/chores/errands, and then of course fitting in the needs of my family around them, I've been busy. 

I'll finish this now and tilt my head back on the bed...........

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Full House

Mickey is thankfully feeling good today. Bunny and I had a party for two last night. Billy-Joe wanted a mate to stay over but we wanted an evening together so we went downstairs. We ate a yummy dinner of steak, salad, BBQ sliced potatoes and garlic toast. Include some loving, lots of wine, loud music (even danced to Boz Scaggs' Silk Degrees). Didn't come upstairs until after midnight. Feels like we've not seen each other for weeks. With me studying for exams and then on shift work and working full time last night was needed by both of us.

My tiny lounge is full of bodies. They're having a great time playing x box. I've just had my porridge after a huge sleep in. I feel so much better. Ready to tackle a week of 7am starts now.

Back to uni after next week. I'm looking forward to it and will enjoy learning more and having an easier pace for a while.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad 3

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Nurse Mama

It's been a huge week and I'm not sorry that it's over. I'm beginning to feel ready to take on more responsibility with my placement. I'll ask if I can have three patients next week. It's a fine line between having patients who are just 'routine' to look after and those whose condition worsens during your shift. Naturally they need all your time and there's nothing left for the other patients who I'm sure feel neglected. And yet when I've had two who are either refusing treatment or are happy just resting, there's not much to do. At least now I've seen that it's not always crazy busy because up until the last two days the ward has been flat chat. I know too, that as I become more proficient then everything I do will take less time. I'm so glad though that I haven't felt rushed at all. That was a big fear of mine and when all my learning is still so new, if placed under pressure what little knowledge and skills I have, would simply desert me. All the RNs I've worked with have not rushed me or made me feel inadequate which has been great for my learning. This means I'm not nervous whenever I try something new. I feel comfortable giving injections now. I'd like more experience with setting up IVs.

Last night I finished and Leanne and I ducked into Maccas for a quick bite before we headed home. I'm always so hot and sweaty after my shift and sitting outside was lovely. It's unseasonably warm at the moment. I'm currently in shirt sleeves and the ceiling fan is on. The Sunshine Coast has forgotten that it's actually winter.
I came home, showered and enjoyed a cup of tea. It was about 12.30am when I went to bed. I was weary and looking forward to a sleep in. About an hour later, Mickey came into my room and said he wasn't feeling well. So the night was filled with comforting him whilst his head was in a bucket and his bottom over the toilet. We had a broken night and when I got up before 11am I felt so hungover as if I'd been to a party and drunk too much.
I cut all their hair today, something which has been desperately needed for ages. I'm rapt that the boys like it when I cut their hair myself. It surprises me they they do actually. Sammy's is so hard to cut though, as he likes it over his ears and they stick out s little. His was soooo long we could have tied it up. Slack Mama. Not really. Very busy Mama.
I want to read up in my new Magic Lantern book about my Canon 60D but am getting sleepier by the second. I may lie down a bit and come back to it.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad 3


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