And I’m Off…

I don’t have to awake yet. Why am I not asleep! It’s nerves again. I’m nervous that I’m having pain again and surgery isn’t until 6/3! Somehow I’ll manage but why do I have to wait so long, I ask myself.

I also, finally have my computer class today and tomorrow for work. I’ve been waiting for nearly a month! Yes, an entire long and arduous month of waiting for results. A month! If I had opted to have them repeat testing and monitoring the damn thing, It would be time to repeat the follow up on the esophageal ultrasound and biopsy practically after this cyst.



I’m in the middle of my computer class and it’s hard to stay awake. Its fast-paced and yet a bit boring. Well, not really boring it’s more trying to follow along and less hands on. My old eyes have a hard time adjusting from the screen of the computer to the large screen at the front of the room! It’s early and it’s dark in this room. Help!

I’m excited to have this class at last! It opens up so much more for me and allows me to feel useful at work at last. That is a wonderful feeling! The problem is that there’s so much to learn! Well I have to learn it. I want to learn the software quickly.

I’m such a worrier it drives me crazy. I worry all the time what others will think. I wonder constantly about what people of any influence think of me. I am trying to change this about myself but it’s difficult.

I know this stems from my own self doubt. My low self esteem. That’s where the majority of my issues come from, although I’ve made strides thanks to self kindness and my family. My family helps me face my flaws and I’m learning to be accountable for me. I’m a work in progress but I’m getting there. I’m a much different person than I was this time last year. Thank God for miracles and understanding families!

Happy Nurse’s Week

To all my fellow nurses, Happy Nurse’s week.  For those of you who have been touched by a nurse, tell them how much you appreciate them.  Nurses are, by nature, very caring individuals.  The reason we go into nursing is because we care.  We want to take care of people.  I’ve heard many people over the years say many things about nurses both good and bad, but believe me, we all started our careers caring.  We still care and it’s not about our paycheck that keeps up going to work.

The future of nursing.


To be a nurse, it has been shown that nursing school is one of the most grueling majors in higher education.  I can certainly vouch for that!  It may have been 20 years since I graduated, but let me tell you, it wasn’t easy.  I studied all the time.  I did the eat, sleep, breathe method of studying and anyone who knew me in those years could tell you that’s exactly what I did.  I had no social life because I had a goal.  I wanted to be the best nurse I could be.  I got very good grades and I should have with how hard I studied.  It’s a very rigorous program!  Let’s not forget that once you graduate, you get to pay your state money to take your state boards! Yes, the dreaded, stressful NCLEX examination from hell! I remember taking it and coming back to my mom’s and telling her I failed.  I just knew I did, but I didn’t fail.  I passed first try.  Thank God! The joy of passing was so overwhelming I can’t compare it to anything other than giving birth to your first child!

As I say, I’ve been an RN for 20 years.  I was a CNA before that so nursing has been what I’ve done for 29 years, since I graduated high school.  My first clinical was when I was 17.  Since then, I have seen so much.  I have done so much.  I have worked in nursing homes and loved and lost residents.  I have comforted families.  I have worked in the hospital in many different departments.  I have been part of codes (when you are called to perform CPR on someone in the hospital.  I’ve lost patients.  I’ve comforted patients and families through difficult times.  I’ve worked in home health.  I worked in home health some more.  Now, I’m working in a clinic setting for the first time.  I suppose you could say I’ve done it all.  I love being a nurse.  I still love caring for people. Sometimes though, being a nurse is the hardest job in the world.  It isn’t just about caring for patients or families.  It’s so much more than that.  It’s pleasing everyone.

I have been asked to wear many hats in my career as any nurse has.  We are always having to do more with less time and resources.  It’s just a sign of our times.  Not a particularly good thing if you ask any of us, but as healthcare changes, so must we. Sometimes we get burned out too.  It’s a good nurse that can recognize that she is burned out and needs to change.  The great thing about nursing though, is that you can always find something that is different and challenging to keep your mind and skills fresh.  If you want to slow down, you can switch hours or work per diem.  Nursing is evolving too.  In my new role as a clinic nurse, I am challenged because although my hours are varied (I choose the days I’m available because I work per diem), I work in a float pool and need to know which doctor I’m working for that day.  I have to know how they like things and how their nurse runs things.  I like a good challenge and eventually I hope to be good at this. The downside to this is that I have no permanent home in the clinic, but that is okay, too.

Lori, LaVonne and Deirdre. Friends since nursing school.  Friends for life.

What has being a nurse taught me?  I am able to do just about anything I put my mind to.  If I believe in myself, I can do it.  I even can paint a picture.  It may not be the best picture, but hey, I put it on my wall.  And I did it myself. I have faced challenging patients and families along the way.  I have faced challenging doctors on this journey too.  One such doctor had me in tears many years ago.  I was fresh out of hospital orientation and still in report.  The medication had just come up from pharmacy and this doctor was known for being a pistol.  She had a reputation for giving the new nurses a hard time.  The IV med was sitting on the medication cart because the day shift nurse brought it in and left it there for me so that I could hang it when I got out of report.  The doctor came into our med/report room and ripped me up one side and down the other because I hadn’t administered this medication yet.  I wasn’t given the option to explain.  I was so upset and then the tears came.  It was awful.  Many years later, I had learned that all that was needed with this particular doctor was to stand my ground and stand up to her.  I had done that on one particular day and she had never given me another bit of mouthy guff again.  She could actually be a nice person, sometimes.

The end of a long day!

I can tell you that with all that nurses go through in their average day, the best part is actual patient care.  I personally love caring for people.  I have enjoyed all these years of meeting the many who have been entrusted in my care.  I have to say it has been a true blessing to be a part of their lives when things are just not going well.  I always make it a goal of mine to make people smile.  If I’ve made you smile, I’ve done a good job.  Happy Nurse’s Day and Week to all my nursing friends.  Reach out and hug a nurse and tell them you love them.

P.S. Most nurses like hugs.


Oh Those Classes for New Employees


If you’ve started a new job for a fairly decent sized company, you’ve probably endured some classes on various topics. I know a thing or two about this as I’m currently in the midst of this endeavor. I have just started working for a wonderful company. I know I will enjoy my time working for such a forward thinking company who actually care about their employees. Today and for half of tomorrow, I am in the new employee orientation class.


So far, I have been impressed with many things the speakers have presented, but I believe in the mission of this company. I can see myself here for a very long time. Their focus is on providing excellent healthcare. This includes me. I’m part of a team and I actually feel like I belong here.

Our mission is to provide the highest quality health care to the people of central Illinois.

Our mission is supported by four core values supported at every level of the organization

Excellence in all that we do
Honesty and integrity
Fairness in our treatment of patients, employees, partners and referring physicians
Passion for the practice of medicine; compassion for those we serve. Continue reading “Oh Those Classes for New Employees”

New Job, New Worries

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I arrived at work this morning for a class that I was supposed to go to from 8am to 11am only to find out that I was, indeed, an hour early and actually started at 9am.  Today, was day three of my new job.  It’s been an interesting week so far.  Me being me, of course, have my worries about it, but Hubs tells me that I’m fine and “not to worry.  It’s only been 3 days, for God’s sake.” He also says that, of course I’ll fit in, not to worry because I’m a great nurse with 20 years experience.  My problem? I worry and fret anyway.

Starting a new job is tough.  Meeting new people and having to make new connections with new people, much tougher for most people.  I’m one of those people.  I’m always worried about how I come across to people when they first meet me.  Do I look like I know what I’m doing or do I look like an airhead?  Do I sound like the intelligent person that I know lives inside me or do I sound like an idiot?  Ah, there is only one chance to make that first impression.  Therein lies the problem.  Many first impressions are not the ones that I’d like to remember, but then again, I’m the eternal optimist, except where it comes to myself.  I tend to think the worst about how I come across to others.


I really think I must try too hard, but I suppose it’s just the nerves of the situation that gets me.  I know I’m a nervous talker.  I like to know about people and inevitably, I have this strange tendency to tell people too much about myself and my family.  I’ve gotten a lot better, but I am ever a work in progress.  I always try to find something in each person that I can relate to.  Sometimes, it’s just too darn hard because they just won’t talk to me.  That’s when you want to throw your hands up and say, “Seriously, I bathed today?  What is it about me that you don’t like?”  You know when you get that feeling like you just don’t jive with that other person?  Sometimes you feel like you did, but in reality you were wrong and they were just putting up a facade.

That may have happened to me this past week, but I suppose I may never know.  Some people are nice to your face but may talk behind your back.  That is always my biggest fear.  I’m just not one that does that.  I’m just a worrier and I worry too much about things I have no control over.  I will always try to put my best foot forward and I will always have that smile upon my face.  Afterall, a smile takes less muscles than a frown and you never know what is going on in someone else’s life.

I hope that the people at my new job like me.  I do like it there very much so far and I will work hard, once I have a clue what I’m doing.  Next week, more classes!  Yeah! That will help.  Then I might actually be useful someplace! Until then, smile on and make friends.