24 October 2008

I so get it now

That old saying "If I knew then what I know now..." I get it.

If I knew then that I can be a confident, popular (and dare I say it...flirtatious) person despite my weight, I would've had happier high school years and probably not just dated burnouts.

If I knew that I could make people laugh myself, I wouldn't have cowered behind the "funny girl" and fed her jokes during Freshman year, watching her get all the credit.

If I knew that math and science were wayyyy cool and that I loved the logic behind them, I would have hung out more with the nerds and less with the stoners.

If I knew that I am naturally an extrovert and that life's circumstances had forced me to be shy and introverted, I would have taken some risks and probably become more of a leader.

I wonder what I don't know now that I'll know in a few years.

13 October 2008

Good times

So yeah. Life's been pretty good lately. I'm rockin the coursework in the LPN program with a solid B average (which is fine, trust me). Got a great evaluation from my clinical instructors that say I'm doing great and what I do "will take you very far." And today I finished a major paper on wound healing, and I'm finally catching up on the numerous Psychology essays that are overdue. Should be all caught up with schoolwork as of this evening! Woohoo!

Taterhead is doing AMAZING. She's not perfect, still hasn't earned off-campus visits. Yet compared to where she was just two months ago, we are all tickled pink over her progress. Peanut's been doing well in school, even though he got the "mean teacher." Punkin is growing up fast and she's such a social butterfly. And Bean...wellllll, we have our good days and bad days. When they are bad, they really suck. I have been sworn at and told the ultimate, "You're not my real mom!" But by and large, Bean is turning out to be a cool person. I like talking to her.

Best of all, I have RL friends! yay! It's weird to go into your classroom and sit down and have several people wanting your attention. Most everyone wants my attention and help with LPN stuff, but a few people in particular have moved beyond that into the friendship zone. I love them muchly.

And...my bizarre friendship with Funsize is on again, which brings me lots of happiness. I wish I could explain why it's so important to have his friendship, but I can't. Just that out of all of the people I've ever known, he gets me better than anyone else, and I him. It's a cool thing and not presently a romantic thing though I admit to slight obsessions about that, and then guilt over those. Haha. I'm a dork.

So you know what, my friends? Today I just want to thank Jesus for everything. For everything awful and wretched that has brought me to this place, to this moment where I sit typing on my bed listening to my kids laugh, even if I am surrounded by laundry and books. For everything good that has happened along the way. I do want to sing along with this song because it's how I feel lately.

14 September 2008

I'm like Maria. I have confidence!

So now I've done quite a few clinicals and they're starting to not be as scary as they once were. I figured something out the other day when I was doing Recovery Room observation. See, when you go to the Recovery Room, you have to wear the hospital's sterile scrubs and their sterile footies and stuff. And suddenly, I realized that I didn't have that "LOOK AT ME! I'M A STUDENT!" uniform on, and no one knew I was a student just by looking at me. And I walked around with confidence so much so that dr's were asking me questions like I worked there. Haha. (Don't worry, I said I was a student and made them go ask someone who knew.)

So you know...if I can have that confidence in the scrubs, I can have that confidence in the uniform too. Though if you saw the uniform, maybe you'd know why it's so uninspiring.

I'm really excited to go to my next clinical, which will be in the Operating Room. It's not just because of the sterile scrubs (they do help) but because I'm antsy to know if I'll be the ONE student who passes out during surgery, falling into the sterile field and causing a hullabaloo. No one's done it yet. Will it be me? Will I suddenly get woozy at the sight of a gallbladder being sucked through a tube? Will the vision of blood during a knee replacement be too much and make me puke?

The thing I've learned is that when I am most afraid, that is the time to rush in and conquer the fear instead of dwelling on it. So I'm excited for Tuesday. I'm also hoping my bronchitis clears up enough for me to go in! :p Or I'll be taking some heavy duty cough suppressant, in which case I might just conk out next to the patient on the operating table. ;)

25 July 2008

One down, two to go

I finished my first semester of the nursing program today. Whew, what a ride it's been! In the end we lost a total of 7 people:
  • 1 to another program
  • 4 after background checks
  • 1 due to anxiety
  • 1 due to grades. Everyone was shocked because Mr. Man had lied and said he was an A student.
I ended up acing Anatomy & Physiology with an A, thank goodness. And I somehow pulled up a barely-passing grade to a B in Nursing. I am not sure how. I did learn the value of group study this semester. Actually, I learned the value of plain old studying. Never had to do that before!

I am very impressed with the way the class is working past our social boundaries. We had four girls who were dangerously close to failing. They had to make a certain grade on the final exam in order to return next semester. This afternoon, we all waited around to find out our grades. Several of us made sure those girls got in line near the front.

The first girl walked out in absolute tears and there was a hush over the 20-something of us. I began to ask, "Did you..." in a horrified voice. And then she sobbed and said, "tears of joy!" and even the most hard-hearted of us began to cry. The next girl, who is quite the cynic and therefore one of my new friends, came out beaming and allowed everyone to hug her. Made it by .5! Then another girl came out in tears and hugged the first crying girl and when she said she passed, the entire hall erupted into applause.

The fourth girl is a different story and perhaps an entry will be forthcoming on the ethical dilemma I have faced lately. For now, some celebratory sleep!

08 July 2008

Nursing School Survivor

So. There's a lot of updating to be had with my account of the Nursing Program. I think I'll go ahead and do that while taking a break from Abbreviation craziness.

  • I led a resistance against the popular girls for Class Officers. I am happy to report that not a one of them won. I'm not trying to be mean-spirited, but you can't just EXPECT to have something.
  • As the stress in the class continues, I have had the opportunity to get to know a few people well. I have heard heartbreaks and happiness, and I am honored to share in their lives. I can only hope this continues, because there are still some people I can't stand, and I want to move past that and get to know the people inside.
  • The "Most obnoxious" woman and I hang out a lot now. After I told her I reserved the right to tell her she's obnoxious (and gave her the same right), we're perfect. She has been humbled by this program, as have I. It's a good spot to be in.
  • Nursing School Survivor's 1st out was someone I least expected. One of my classmates got accepted into the RN program at a college closer to her house, so of course she's taking it! She's finishing out the semester here and then moving onward in August.
  • As of yesterday, besides the woman above, we lost 5 other people. Four people left because of things in their background checks and another left because of stress. That all happened yesterday and several of us are a little saddened by it. It's funny. I know we've all known each other for only two months or so, but it's like Survivor for real. The common experience has drawn us together.
  • I started clinicals and dealt with my first patients today. I have a great respect for the nurses and CNA's who bust their butts in the hospital. It is no easy job and I was overwhelmed just with the paperwork for one person! I can't imagine how it will be when we have 5 or 6 or even 10 each!

I guess that's about it. It's time for me to figure out how to remember that PEEP equals "My peeps pressure me positively" which equals "Positive End Expiratory Pressure." Yeah.

peeps out. mwah.

18 June 2008

The newest medical superheroes

Abbreviations are a big part of the medical field, so much so that there are experts in medical terminology, and classes and whatnot. Therefore, we have several tests on abbreviations in our class. This is OK. If you can memorize things well, you've got yourself a good test grade.

But what if, like me, you look at a group of letters and think of things entirely unrelated to medicine? You see "DM" and think "Dungeon Master" instead of Diabetes Mellitus. Or BS and think of "bullshit" instead of "bowel sounds". Or even worse, you try to make things seem medical but haven't a clue. So like my friend, you make NIDDM into the National Institute for Disease Discovery and Management instead of Non Insulin Dependant Diabetes.

Well, you get a group of people together and make up odd sayings and phrases to go with each abbreviation. Which can sometimes lead to hysterical laughter and/or shrieking. But did you ever think it would lead to superheroes?

The NLN is the National League of Nursing. If you say this, you must have someone humming heroic music in the background as you speak in your best announcer voice, "Meanwhile, back at the National League of Nursing Headquarters."

And then...then you strike your best superhero pose, with both hands on hips and declare, "It's APTT! Activate Partial Thromboplastin Time!" and pretend to swoosh away.

Sadly, neither of those were on the test this morning. But the NLN is ready and waiting for the next time abbreviations strike!

01 June 2008


In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. --George Orwell

It's been two years since I left The Bear, as of yesterday. I'm still unraveling the tangle of lies that apparently existed for my entire marriage. He didn't just lie to ME, you see. He lied to everyone ABOUT me.

His family and I are finally getting to know each other after 16 years. We're finally able to see each other for who we really are, without the filter of gossip and malice. I'm finding out things I never knew about myself, as are they! For example:

1. When I left The Bear, it was because I went crazy and was going to kill my kids ala Susan Smith or Andrea Yates. (This led my in-laws to call Social Services on me, something they are very sorry about now. Because good gracious, my friends always knew me as someone to call and say, "Man, am I frustrated today! I think I'm taking the kids to the playground for a change of scenery.")

2. While being a full-time, stay-at-home-mom to two or three children, I had plenty of time to have affairs and was always taking up with other men, which is why my two birth children aren't my husband's.

3. My son is not only NOT The Bear's, his father is Black.
(If you have ever seen my son, you will know why this particular rumor is HILARIOUS. He's one shade short of albino.)

These are some of the bigger lies but there were lots of tiny, everyday lies that made me into a different person than who I am. From what I can tell, he lied about the most insignificant of things to build up a whole picture of untruth. He did a really good job because you know what? His family -who I thought was nuts- is actually pretty darned OK.

29 May 2008

Can I just write in a vote?

So. Apparently we have to have class officers. I'm not really sure what they do, but apparently we need them, and the class before us HATED theirs. I can see we'll probably end up the same way.

Our class was told on Day 1 that we wouldn't have to worry about it for several weeks, because we need to get to know each other and because we need to get a feel for who's going to flunk out and who isn't. This has not deterred one girl from asking about 20gazillion times when the elections are because she wants to be president.

I haven't explained the Room factions yet but one side of the room has unofficially elected officers for the class. This girl is president and her friends/seatmates as the rest of the bunch. My side of the room is rather amused and annoyed by this, because most of us have made an effort to get to know people on the other side of the room only to be met with indifference (remember, we're the ones with kids and they're the ones who hate kids). We all wish someone else would run just on principle that no one should be able to automatically get it, but none of us actually WANTS to be president. So maybe we need to arrange a candidate who will not actually win.

I wish the ballot would be worded the way our tests are. It would be something like this:

A 12 day old Nursing Class presents with division and disorientation. Generalized malaise on rt side, hypercaring on lft. What would be the nursing students' best course of action?

23 May 2008

That person I hope I'll never become

I have a fear of becoming an annoying person.

Sometimes I get caught up in what I'm doing and I don't realize how loudly I'm speaking or maybe what I look like that day. My psychologist says I've got ADHD so this isn't really surprising that I don't notice these things, but the tendency scares me. I don't want to become like HER.

There is a woman in my class whose reputation preceded her. I didn't know it was the same person until break on the first day when I was told "Remember that woman I told you about? That's her" by a couple of people. My response was something like, "Ohhh, I'm glad to know there's not two of her in the school."

I started examining the similarities between the two of us and I'm appalled. I'm not sure how to NOT become this woman and it scares me!

1. We are both mothers.
Con: This similarity cannot change.
Pro: I do not continually interrupt class with anecdotes about my kids.

2. We are both fat.
Con: Nursing school has given me two choices: smoke or eat. I'm eating to relieve the stress, so this similarity will continue for the time being.
Pro: I do not wear ill-fitting clothes which flash my cleavage at everyone everyday. At least, not every day. ;)

3. We are both people that other people ask questions of and therefore are considered smart.
Con: We both have a lot of info to share.
Pro: Most of her info is wrong or anecdotal.
I don't share my info unless asked.

4. We both were pretty confident we'd make it into the program.
Con: I was the top test-scorer and I did tell a friend that, only to find out that she was in the program as well. Ooops, I didn't mean to brag.
Pro: My nemesis bragged, "I'm a shoo-in for this program" and then bombed her first test. There's actually a funny story with this. She sat in the front row and calculated everyone's score for them so she could find exactly what everyone else made. I made an 85, a B. I did secretly chuckle when I found out she'd failed.

5. We are both extroverts.
Con: We will both talk to anyone, anytime.
Pro: People see her coming and scatter. I just get a "hey".

I guess so far I'm OK other than finding out I'm a pretty mean person. One day she came to class and found us all sitting in the hallway because the door was locked. She stupidly tried the door anyway and then asked, "Oh, the instructor's not here yet?" and then wandered off, stepping back over several people as she went. I mumbled, "No, we're just sitting around for the hell of it." and made everyone laugh.

Also, the entire class has taken to muttering, sighing, rolling their eyes, slamming books shut, roaring and/or leaving the classroom when this woman starts talking. I have not noticed this with myself yet.

22 May 2008


OK, Nursing School Survivor is starting to take shape. We have several divisions and I'm waiting to see which become the most prominent.

1. Smokers versus nonsmokers: The smokers hada social advantage from day one. They all met each other through their several trips outside, and they all socialize. The rest of us either have to go outside and stand around looking like we have a purpose for being there, or we have to congregate at the snack machine. However, the smoker advantage is probably fleeting and I don't think this will be a major issue.

2. Women versus men: We only have two men in our class, and 33 women. Nonissue.

3. Parents versus People Who Hate Kids: This could be a major division. One side of the room has women who have 2, 3, 4, 5 and even 6 kids. The other side of the room has several people who proclaim to hate children. And we've heard no end of how they're going to hate doing Peds rounds.

4. CNA's (Certified Nursing Assistants) versus unexperienced CNA's: Probably most volatile issue, the people who work as CNA's look down upon those of us who only got our certification so we could be in the LPN class. However, the CNA's have some very nasty habits that make the class harder for them. I could see this being a big problem.

There you have it. Tomorrow, if I have time, I'll talk about the most irksome person.

19 May 2008

Nursing Program Survivor

OK. First day of nursing school has come and gone. A classmate of mine and I met up on Friday night at the drive-in movie and we talked while the kids were playing (pre-movie, of course). We were reviewing our first day.

One question posed to us at lunchtime was "What cliques do you think will form?"
It's fairly obvious there are already some cliques. At orientation, there was a gaggle of girls who insisted on getting the EXACT same shoes, bp cuffs, stethoscopes and penlight. They all have Betty Boop on them, and I think they were referring to themselves as the Boop Group. There's also, of course, the whole group of people who work together at a nursing home right now. And then there's people like my friend and I, who just want to get in and get the job done and leave.

Second item of discussion was motivation for the people in the class. There's a pretty even split between people who are going into healthcare because they feel called to it, and people who are going into healthcare because it's a steady, decent-paying job with advancement potential. I kinda straddle both groups, really, but I guess I fall more in the first. I want to be a nurse. It seems right. I take care of people all the time and it comes more and more naturally. But I also admit that the idea of that paycheck is a good one, too!

Third thing we realized is that we are now part of Nursing Program Survivor. We know that typically of the 35 who start, about 20 finish. Five usually drop out in the first semester. So...we want to know who's going first! My guess is that one of the people who doesn't feel "called" will be out first. But we'll see!

I suppose I'll give a run-down of the class in the next entry, assuming I'm not bogged down so much I can't blog. Oh, that's the other thing. I had 8 chapters of math to do before I ever had my first class. Yeah, homework before school even started! They told us it would be tough!

30 April 2008


So I got an unexpected paycheck today, which meant I could go buy the kids some t-shirts and take them out to supper. After reading a mention of the Chinese buffet in Stuff Christians Like (which, again, I am wholeheartedly recommending), I decided that's what we should eat. So we piled into the booth and began taking turns going to the buffet.

My son suddenly started talking to me about the movie Finding Nemo. It was so random, and I just couldn't figure out WHY he brought it up. It wasn't like we were talking about anything to do with the film at all! I was puzzled but that's a normal state of mind for me.

So I turned around to take my turn at the buffet and noticed our waiter's shirt was in the exact same pattern as a Clownfish. I started laughing. My 12 year old then noticed the same thing but didn't say a word until he passed by, when she whispered conspiratorially, "Nemo just smiled at me."

We spent the rest of our dinner with the giggles everytime the poor guy even came near us. And as we left? I urged the children out the door with a sing song, "Just keep walkin, just keep walking, walking, walking."

28 April 2008


Sometimes I come across the question "If you had a theme song for your life, what would it be?" and I 'm really stumped. I have to tell you that I can't imagine any song playing during a montage of parenting, errand-running and going to school. Unless it's Eye of the Tiger because that is the king of montage songs. Didn't Starbucks prove that?

Anyway, I may not have a theme song, but I think about music ALL the time. Songs pop into my head all the time and they sometimes crack me up! Everytime I pass a Mustang lately, Mustang Sally pops into my head. Whenever it's someone's birthday, I hum a little Unhappy Birthday. When I was pregnant with my fourth child and vomiting nonstop, I would sing a specific praise song next to the toilet. Which, I suppose, is not entirely bad. Just possibly disrespectful.

26 April 2008

The problem with fat!

The problem with being fat but not massively hugely fat is this: You still get hit on, but only by the really desperate guys.

I either need to lose weight and get someone decent (Funsize or a Funsize equivalent), or gain more, start wearing circus tents and give up.

24 April 2008


Punkin had a moment today.

Doctor was palpating her abdomen, making sure she didn't have appendicitis. While doing that, he made small talk.

Dr: So, what grade are you in?
Punkin: First.
Dr: Are you learning how to read.
Punkin: (nodding) Uh-huh.
Dr: Do you like to read books yet? Do you have any books?
Punkin: I already read the Wizard of Oz. It was 235 pages.
Dr: Oh.

(Yes, Punkin really did read The Wizard of Oz by herself. Hasn't seen the movie yet but I know it'll be a disappointment when she does. The book rocks!)

22 April 2008

Cool it now...

My son's mentor picked him up today. He said he had Bobby and Ricky in the car.

I wanted to know where Ronnie and Mike were.

If this is obscure, go here.

Ah, pre-crackhead days.

17 April 2008

updates updates updates

I got into the LPN program at my community college. My plan all along has been to get a Master's in Nursing so I can teach. However, I am starting at the very bottomest rung and I'm glad to be there! 96 people applied. 35 people got in. I was the top test-scorer! yay me!

On Saturday, I had to take my Nurse Aide/CNA I exam. While most of the stuff is common sense, I had a little problem. I've never DONE half the stuff they're testing on. I had to drop out before clinicals last time I took the CNA class. And this time, the clinicals started after the LPN class. I had to be certified before the LPN class began!

So...without practicing anything for the skills portion, and without a book to study for the written portion, I went and took the test. I didn't realize how nerve-wracking it would be as a proctor watched me and ticked off things on a checklist as I did them. Have you ever tried to feed another person with a third person watching you intently? Rather unsettling! Anyway, I passed. I got my Nurse Aide Certification which means I can wipe butts with the best of 'em. Next up: LPN! Just one year and I'll be a low-on-the-totem-pole nurse.

Tater has been in and out of facilities for the past few weeks, which threw our family back into crisis. I swear I don't know which way is up at this point. Two days ago she was admitted into a home where she will live for a minimum of 1.5 years. She can't level out of this placement because THIS is the place where kids who assault staff and run and such go. It is seriously like a prison as far as security. Every door is locked and every room (save bathrooms) has a video camera. The place is monitored and staffed by nurses 24/7.

More on the Tater front. She has finished her 12 hours of neuro/psych testing. Four sessions. That's a lot of contact hours. I go next month to speak with the doc and find the results. A couple of weeks ago he suspected brain damage. I've been doing some reading and I suspect he may be right. We'll see, though. The thought of my daughter having something incurable, something that CAN'T be healed with therapy and meds, is just overwhelming. I feel sick to my stomach and I want to just curl up into a ball again and cry for days. And yet...and yet...it would almost be a relief to find out at this point. Because at least we'd KNOW what's wrong and what we can expect.

So there you have it. Life is good and bad but always interesting. Which just proves that God gives the best presents there are.

25 March 2008

hash browns

Tater has blown her placement at the school she's at. I don't know what the future has for her, but I know she'll be going someplace much more severe. I am so sad for my daughter. I wish there were a better mental health system in place. I wish we had more understanding into how the human mind works. I wish, I wish, I wish lots of things.

18 January 2008

Mountains, molehills and me

So. There's been a lot of stuff going on. And I guess maybe my perspective's out of whack because of it. I tend to get through major stresses with nary a hair out of place, but I lose my patience at the tiniest of things. I am making molehills of mountains and mountains of molehills and I realize this but I can't seem to change it. :(

Tater has been placed at a residential, long-term-care facility a couple of hours away. I got to visit her on Wednesday and she seems pretty happy there. She turns 13 on Monday so we're going to see her this weekend, weather permitting.

The Bear has been back in the picture and then seems to be fading out but I don't know. It upsets me because it upsets my children. They got used to him being there and now it seems he's leaving again. My poor Peanut has been a mess because of it.

I have some amusing little anecdotes about the kids. Thankfully through all the stress, we've had plenty of times to just throw our heads back and laugh. Is there any sound sweeter than that of a child's laughter? I can't think of one!

02 January 2008

So. Good things?

Since I'm so down, it's time to look at good things about this year.

Tater enters a residential care facility on the 7th. That means no more being tied down to homeschooling her, even though I enjoy it. It also means I don't have to stress every second about whether or not she's OK. Because she'll be great! It also means visits with her dad will be supervised by pros. Yay.

I turn 35 on the 12th. Yeah, my hair's getting grayer (fortunately, my hair dye covers well) and I'm getting some laugh lines. But you know what? I work out at the gym and feel great when I do it. I'm intelligent. I'm funny. And I'm adventurous. These things don't have to stop just cause I'm turning 35.

Yes, I'm halfway to 70. But so what? I'm only HALF there! I still have 35 more years to go!

So yeah, my marriage effed up and ended last year. My first wedding anniversary as a divorced woman. And yeah, I don't have a romantic interest of any sort on the horizon. So what? SO WHAT! My life is full of friends and family! Yes, I would LOVE to have someone to grow old with but hey, I have 35 more years til 70! Maybe someone will come along in the next 10. Maybe not. If not, I will be a wacky old maid. Actually, I'll be off traveling the world, I'm sure.

So I'm not in the nursing program and probably won't get into it this year. OK. This either means a) I am not meant to be a nurse and have another path before me, or b) I'm not meant to be a nurse NOW and will be one later. Either way, I'm fine! You know why? Because predictability is boring. It really is.

As much as I complain about the craziness of my life, I like it. It suits me. I would be BORED to TEARS if my life were always the same. Yes, there's comfort in routines. But I find that I am consistently knocking people out of their comfort zones, and I like it!

So bring it on 2008! Let's see what you've got in store!