Tag Archive | nursing school

Excitement!

Its been almost a month since my last entry and there are lots of new things to share. My seeds have all sprouted and I planted the tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, and sweet peppers outside. We added a little border to our patio and planted some flowers in it. The broccoli and green bean bushes are almost ready to be transplanted outside, with the cucumbers soon to follow. We are supposed to get a lot of rain this week, so I don’t want to drown them. I would like them to be a little bigger before I stick them out in the elements. I’ve got zucchini that will be ready to go outside too, plus romaine lettuce.

 

Another new addition to our backyard is a playhouse for Little Miss Minion. A neighbor on the other side of our backyard offered it to us, so over the weekend, Mr Minion and his dad moved it through two gates and over a fence (with some help from awesome neighbors). The playhouse made it over in one piece and Mr Minion put it back together. It had a slide, which we kept, but also had monkey bars and a swing extension that wouldn’t fit in the yard. He took pieces off of those to reinforce the existing structure and add a wall. I think the slide has been used approximately 150 times in the two days that it has been assembled.

 

Grocery delivery slots have become more common, so I’m no longer ordering twice my usual amount. I’ve been on a Julia Child kick recently. I made Supremes de volaille aux champignons last night and it is my current favorite. This recipe is for chicken breasts in a port cream sauce with mushrooms. I did the chicken in my instant pot (not very authentic, but I am lazy) and while it cooked, I made the port cream sauce and threw on some risotto and grean beans to finish it out. The rice is a necessity so that you have something to sop up the extra sauce. I could drink that sauce, it is soooo good. I usually make it with buttered peas on the side, per Julia’s suggestion in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but I haven’t been able to find peas for three weeks (thanks, Covid-19).

 

We went for a drive yesterday to do a contactless wine pickup from a semi-local winery. Beautiful scenery, nice weather, and we planned it during Little Miss Minion’s naptime so she slept there and back. I need to find some good recipes to pair them with. We had a white merlot (not from the winery) with our Julia dinner yesterday and it was a PERFECT combination, so my new hobby is going to be matching the wine with our food.

 

My last bit of news is the most exciting (in my admittedly biased opinion). I was accepted into the nursing program!!!! They pushed the application deadline back by two weeks and then it took another two weeks to determine who would be accepted. I have been killing my phone battery that whole time, refreshing my emails to see if I got an acceptance letter and it finally came last Wednesday. I am so excited!!! We are supposed to get an invite to a digital course that has all the information we need to prepare for the fall semester (drug testing, insurance information, class registration, etc.) so I am burning out my phone daily looking for THAT email. And my friend from school (former lab partner from A&P I) also got in, so we are trying to sync up and have the same schedule this fall. There are only 36 spots, so classes will probably fill up quickly once the notice goes out. Everyone has the same lecture, then there are three times for lab and two times for clinicals. I am hoping to get the lab that immediately follows lecture and the early clinical slot. Just need to wait on that email…

 

Hope everyone is staying safe and staying healthy!

 

One Month of SAHM-ing

It’s been a whole month since my last day of work and my first day of being a stay at home mom (SAHM). I think Little Miss Minion has transitioned very well to staying home with me instead of going to daycare. I think I’ve transitioned pretty well too.

Here’s our general schedule:

After Mr Minion leaves for work, we do some “school” activities. This includes some combo of writing letters, tracing her name, and/or math. She’s got a math puzzle that she enjoys, but sometimes I’ll do this throughout the day and ask her how many of X item would she have if I took/added X number of items. She loves that and has started doing the same thing to us. Last night, we were eating dinner and she was asking us how many pieces of fish she would have left if she took some away. We sometimes give her a wrong answer to test her, but she’s getting pretty good.

After “school,” we go downstairs to her playroom and she can play with her kitchen, her castle, or her easel (and the plethora of other toys down there).

By this time, it’s getting close to lunchtime, so we come back upstairs and she cleans up her stuff while I make lunch. After lunch is naptime, and I either clean or study.

After her nap, we sometimes watch a tv show or movie. Sometimes she does a puzzle or colors on her own and I can keep working on school stuff. I’ll start dinner about an hour before Mr Minion should be home.

We’ve kept her off the iPad for about a week now, and I’ve noticed a big change in her ability to entertain herself and her focus. I don’t think she’s old enough yet for any actual educational games on there. I think the iPad might “disappear” this afternoon.

I think we’re going to keep doing swim lessons for her. She absolutely loves them and it’s a good way to keep her socialized. I need to sign her up for the next round. Once it gets warmer out, we’ll start going to the park. My goal is to walk there a couple times a week. It’s about 3 miles round trip and I’ll be bringing the Cadillac stroller (it’s a really nice jogging stroller) so I don’t have worry about her on the busy road and for book storage (the park is on the way to the library). I bought a sunhat for this exact reason, since I’m so pale. It’s similar to a handmaidens tale hat, only blue and there’s a flap of fabric that covers your neck in the back. It reminds me of retro Hollywood.

In other news, I had my first practical exam for Anatomy & Physiology II. In case you are unfamiliar with the structure of my class, it’s one course called A&P II. The class is split into a lecture, which is heavy on PowerPoint and explanation of the physiology part (explaining how the heart works, how the lungs work, what cells make up your blood, etc), and a lab (dissect a heart to see the parts, do your own blood typing to see which antigens you have, look at this model of the lungs to see where the gas exchange occurs). It’s kind of like having two classes, since they each have their own homework and tests, but they count as one grade total. My course grade will be made of 75% from lecture and 25% from lab.

The practical test in lab is set up on a series of stations at each lab table. There will be a model or a diagram or sometimes a dissected organ with questions that we have to answer. This one was very heavy on blood vessels and where your blood would be going depending on which vessel it was in.

Our scores were posted the other day day I got a 96%! So far, so good.

Nursing School Entrance Exam

This morning, I took my nursing school entrance exam. The program I will be applying for requires at least a 75%, but it is a highly competitive program and the average score of an accepted student is a 88% with a 3.6 GPA. I was very nervous about the math portion, because I don’t like math at all. I have to stop saying that I’m bad at it, because apparently, I am actually decent at it. My last position before leaving my job was a supervisor in the Accounting department, of all places.

The next things on my list are to officially apply for the RN program and to finish my scholarship application. There is an essay component, so I’ll be heading to campus this week to have someone from the Writing Center take a look at it and see if I am missing anything. Another set of eyes doesn’t hurt. I don’t know what the official application entails, but I have finally met all the criteria. Here are my stats:

GPA: 3.8 at my school, probably somewhere like 3.6 total

Entrance Exam score: 94.5%

Anatomy and Physiology grade: A

I’m hoping these are good enough to get me into the next cohort. I also hope there is an essay portion, because I do love a good essay. 🙂

 

Wish me luck!

 

New Semester, New Journeys

Lots of news in this post!

After six years at my place of employment, yesterday was my last day at work. Mr Minion and I decided that my focus should be on my school and spending time with Little Miss Minion before she starts kindergarten in the fall.

I’m excited and a little nervous to start this new phase of life. I’m very type A, so the thought of not having a schedule or consistent daily plan is strange. However, since I am so type A, I have decided to make my own schedule. I’ll be doing some school type activities with LMM so she is ready for school in the fall. I’ll be planning lots of trips to the library and the parks around here, once the weather warms up. And I’m going to have far more time to study.

That brings me to the next bit of news. The spring semester has started! This time, I’m taking Anatomy and Physiology II, which will cover the rest of the organ systems that weren’t covered in the fall semester. My lecture and lab are both on Saturdays, and the class is comprised of me and one other girl. Yes, really. We really have no excuse to not get an A, since we have practically personalized lectures. Today, we talked about blood, blood cells, etc in lecture, and in lab, we looked at the cells under the microscope and did a test where we were able to determine our own blood types based on which antigens and antibodies were present. Next week, we’re covering the heart and doing a heart dissection.

I’ve also made a list (because that’s what I do) of things that we’ve been meaning to do around the house since we moved in. It’s essentially a deep clean of every room and a clear out of everything we don’t use. I’m trying to get everything in order before I (hopefully) start nursing school in the fall.

Another adventure begins!

Happy New Year!

On New Year’s Day last year, we started The Jar. I cut up some paper into little slips and found a pen. The Jar, the slips of paper, and the pen sat on the counter in our kitchen all year. Whenever we remembered to do it, we would write down something memorable that had happened and planned to read all the slips on New Year’s Eve. We went to bed last night at like 10, so we read them this morning. It was pretty cool to see all the things we wrote down throughout the year. Little Miss Minion even snuck one in without us knowing!

Highlights:

Getting cleared for another year from LMM’s neurosurgeon.

Going to a cool Halloween tour at a historical house near us.

I got promoted in the spring. And again in the fall.

Taking LMM to the Home Depot projects.

Planning our cruise to Alaska.

My A in Microbiology. And my A in Anatomy and Physiology I.

Date nights with Mr Minion.

Baking zucchini bread with zucchini from our garden.

Theon Greyjoy Memorial BBQ.

Putting Christmas lights on the house.

2019 was a pretty good year. I have high hopes for 2020.

Now I have to go get The Jar ready for a new year of memories.

Another Semester Down

The fall semester of 2019 is in the books and I came out with another A! Anatomy and Physiology I was tough, but interesting. The best part is that I think I can reuse my book for the spring (A&P II). I know I can use the other half of my coloring book and flash cards.

The end of this semester also brings me to the halfway point of my return to school. I’ve been taking classes for 2 1/2 years now and I’ve got 2 1/2 left, assuming I get into nursing school this fall. I have the grades and the classes done-I am scheduled to take the HESI in January and then I can apply to nursing school in March.

In other news, Little Miss Minion had her first false alarm shunt incident at the beginning of the month. She’d been complaining of a headache off and on for several weeks, so we talked to her neurosurgeon. He wanted us to come in, since it had been going on for so long. One MRI later, he told us that her scans looked ok and whatever it was wasn’t shunt related. The bright side of this little adventure is that LMM hasn’t complained of a headache since then. The bad news is that this added a new, rather large bill to our “tab” at the hospital. We’re still paying off her surgery from October 2017! If our NICU and hydro journey has taught me nothing else, it’s that medical bills can be paid monthly and financial aid is a lifesaver.

In happier news, it’s almost New Years Eve! That means we get to open The Jar from 2019. At the start of this year, I took an empty mason jar and put it on the kitchen counter, along with a pen and some small slips of paper. The idea was to write down memorable, funny, cool, or happy moments throughout the year and then read them all together on New Year’s Eve. I’ll have to share some once we open the jar.

I hope everyone had a great holiday and I wish you all the best in 2020!

Prematurity Awareness Day 2019

Wear your purple today in honor of Prematurity Awareness Day!

There are so many lasting effects of premature birth that it’s hard to list them all. Not only do you have the ones that make themselves known around birth (low birth weight, breathing assistance, etc), you have all the things that could happen in the NICU (blood transfusions, surgeries, infections, caffeine, TPN, PICC lines, specialists, etc). Then you can have all the things that happen after the NICU, like early intervention therapies, more specialists, more surgeries, developmental delays, etc. Even in the best hospitals with all the available treatment, sometimes that isn’t enough to save the baby. Some are simply too early, too small, or too sick.

The other unseen effect is what happens to the parents. Seeing your child hooked up to wires, unable to breathe on their own, fighting infections, needing surgery… these things take a toll. The rate of post partum depression is up to 70% in NICU moms, compared to just 16% in the general population (Graham’s Foundation study). PTSD is also a concern, with 53% of mothers and 35% of fathers developing it (Pediatrics Journal).

The final effect of prematurity is the What If syndrome, as I like to call it. It starts out with self-blame at the early arrival of the baby: what if I hadn’t had that cup of coffee each day? I know it was within the limits of caffeine, but what if I hadn’t? What if I had eaten more fruit and vegetables? What If syndrome then morphs into a trip through all the horrible things that can happen in the NICU: What If the baby catches a cold? What if the baby gets an infection? What if the baby has more desats and bradys? If the baby comes home, What If syndrome likes to go nuts: What If the baby stops breathing at night and we don’t know because there’s no monitors? What if someone comes over and they are sick and then the baby gets sick? What if the baby isn’t catching up to their milestones? What if they aren’t eating enough? What if we end up back in the hospital?

The final question that I’ve seen other Preemie moms deal with is: What If it happens again? The cause of many premature births isn’t known. Sure, I had preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome and those are probably listed somewhere as the cause of delivery. But how did I end up with that? Could I have done something to prevent it? No one knows. Aspirin looks to be a big help in delaying preeclampsia, but it doesn’t always work. The same goes for things like incompetent cervix, premature labor, early water breaking. No one knows why these things happen. There are some treatments to help, but nothing is guaranteed.

Prematurity can happen to anyone. I’m so glad that we had such a good outcome (even with our 3 months in the NICU and the hydrocephalus diagnosis and surgeries). There are many people who aren’t as lucky. And I’m glad that I’m working toward being able to care for those babies (and parents) who find themselves in the world of the NICU.