Thursday, September 22, 2011

Addendum to Test Results

While the MedStud did have a 10% increase on his last exam, so did the rest of the class.  So he feels like his spot in the class hasn't changed at all.  :(

The crazy work week.

This week has been bad for my work.

Sunday: off
Monday: off
Tuesday: inservice at work 1200 to 1330, work from 1330 to 0700 on Wednesday morning :( 19.5 hours in total.  Wow.
Wednesday: work from 2300 to 0700
Thursday: off
Friday: work from 2300 to 0700
Saturday: work from 2300 to 0700.

And I'll work Sunday night as well.  Usually I just work from 1500 to 0700 on Tuesday and Thursday and every other weekend, but my lovely unit coordinator screws up my schedule all the time.  Even though she's the one who decided to have me work Tuesday, Thursday, and every other weekend.  Gah!

The only positive thing from this is the big payoff when I get my paycheck.  She's taking my time from my dear husband away and I don't appreciate it.  I can't always put my life on hold for work.

Will We Survive!?

The MedStud has TWO tests this week, one today and one on Friday!  Ahh!  After this however, he will be done with Microbiology.  And he is so happy.

The week started off pretty bad.  He drives a scooter to school because we only live 7 miles away (even though we have 2 cars) and the scooter completely broke down on Monday.  Uh-oh.  He was freaking out because he now prefers to study at the school and without his precious scooter, how would he get to school?  My suggestion: drive the car (duh).  We have money, it's not like we're destitute, and we're able to afford parking for a couple days.  Then, get the scooter an appointment at the dealership, and get it fixed!  Brilliant, huh?

He didn't think so.

"Well, the parking lot is such a long walk from the school, and I have to leave for home when it's dark...Plus the parking is $4 per day!!  PLUS, the dealership is always super overpriced and I can maybe fix it myself!"  (Can you feel the sarcasm oozing out of my writing?)  So, he ended up trying to drive the scooter that can now only drive 20 MPH to school and it stopped working on the way home.  He spent so much time trying to figure out what was wrong, and we even tipped the scooter over to pour the gasoline into a vase (much to my chagrin, as the gas was spilling all over the grass) to see if the type of gas he had put in was the problem.  Finally, he purchased a brand new battery for it and it worked.

Hallelujah.  My husband turned into a crazy person the few days his scooter was broken and I didn't like it.  I'm sure this is what he thinks of me when I'm on my period... "What a crazy lady!"

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Test Results!

The MedStud did FABULOUS on his test!  To give you an idea, he had a ten percent increase on this test from the last one!  Woo-hooo!  He was so happy.  Looks like his new study habits are kicking in and definitely working for him!

After the test, he went to his preceptor for four hours (endocrinologist specializing in diabetes).  We ate dinner, then walked around the park, played with a Frisbee for a while, and then played a great game I found on this website for cheap/free dating ideas.  It was so fun!  Ever since my revelation, I've found I'm much more happy and content with my life.  I usually am constantly thinking of the future and planning, but it is just so nice to focus on the present.

Before we went to bed, instead of reading scriptures, the MedStud decided to read a hymn from our Church's hymnbook.  It's called "Have I Done Any Good?"  It is such a good reminder of what we need to focus on each day.

"Have I done any good in the world today?  Have I helped anyone in need?  Have I cheered up the sad, and made someone feel glad?  If not, I have failed indeed.  Has anyone's burden been lighter today, because I was willing to share?  Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way?  When they needed my help was I there?  Then wake up, and do something more, than dream of your mansions above.  Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure, a blessing of duty and love."

Monday, September 12, 2011

Micro Test in the Morning

MedStud has been studying like there is no tomorrow!  I really hope he does awesome!  Then we are going to spend a deliciously long afternoon together once I wake up from working the night shift.  Oh it will be lovely.

I've been wanting to organize the Medical Student Spouse Association for the MedStud's school.  Do any of you participate in yours?  What sort of activities or hang-out sessions do you do?  I need ideas before I submit the group to the medical school student president.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Busy, busy.

Well, adjusting to having the MedStud be gone basically all day, every day has been interesting.  He gets up early to work out around 0600 and leaves for school at 0730.  Has class until 1200.  Studies at the school until about 1900.  I'm really hopeful that his new study habits will improve his grades!  He also just bought some study aids, specifically for Microbiology, Pathology, and the Step 1.  He decided he's a visual learner (aka photographic memory), and these study books have lots of great visuals in them.  I don't remember what they're called, just that he got them off Amazon.

I also had a revelation the other day.  I kept thinking, "What if this is that last time we'll ever spend time together?  What if I died tomorrow?"  It made me so overwhelmed to realize that my time with the MedStud is precious.  I knew this already, but the feeling was so powerful that I started crying.  I love him so much, and appreciate all he is willing to go through to achieve his dreams and provide for our family.  He is amazing.  Go hug your MedStud tonight and tell him how much you appreciate him and how proud you are of him.  :)

Friday, September 2, 2011

I'm worried about the MedStud.

The MedStud had his first microbiology test on Wednesday, and it really didn't do well.  I felt so awful, because the hurricane coming during his studying time was the worst timing ever.  He studied all weekend and still ended up with a bad score on the test.  What have you done to help your MedStud?  Do you study with him?  Quiz him?  How does your MedStud keep his grades up?

He decided that studying at home presents too much distraction (i.e. League of Legends game) so he has been studying at the school all day every day.  Yesterday he studied for 10 hours straight!  Holy cow.

On a plus note, we have finally had our power restored after over 125 hours without.  I am so so so happy!!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Oh I'm relieved!  I applied to the job a little over a week ago at the same hospital the MedStud does rotations at.  It's a child and adolescent psych position.  They haven't rejected me!  Hope does help!

I would love this job for multiple reasons: it's 15 minutes from my house versus 40 minutes like my current job.  I would work at the hospital he does rotations at and be able to see him!  Plus he is interested in specializing eventually in child and adolescent psych, and I think it would be awesome to work with him in this area.  My dream is that he will become a child/adolescent psychiatrist and I will get my psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, and we would have a practice together.  That.  Would.  Be.  Awesome.

The only thing though...I've never worked with kids before, and I'm scared I wouldn't like it.  I'm going to call the nurse recruiter tomorrow morning to see if she received my application and see if I could come shadow a nurse there for a few days to see if I would like it.  I really, really hope I would.

Doesn't anybody care?

The thing that has surprised me the most about this whole "earthquake and hurricane thing in the same week" is that hardly anyone has contacted us to see if we're ok.  My mom, my friend in North Carolina, the MedStud's parents...that's about it.  Doesn't anybody care about our well-being?  It really, really bothers me.  Meanwhile, back in our home state, the MedStud's sister is blogging about her awful week and how her blowdryer broke.  Are you kidding me?  I mean, I blog on our family blog about the hurricane, and one person commented.  It's truly incredible.  We've been without power for over 80 hour people - don't you care?????

Dealing with a hurricane.

WARNING: Alarmingly long post ahead!  You have been warned!

Have any of you been in a hurricane before?  If you haven't, let me tell you - it's terrifying.  You can't just blow it off, and think, "Oh we deal with wind speeds like that all the time."  No.  No. 

I worked Thursday night, tracking the progress of Hurricane Irene as she blew up the east coast. updated every three hours, and I followed it religiously.  The other nurse I was working with would recount story after story of several hurricanes she had survived, including Hurricane Isabel in 2003, a category 2 hurricane.  She told me of trying to get to her mother's house to save her, only to have to turn around two minutes later due to trees snapping every few seconds.  Together, we found several websites stating that this hurricane could be just as bad or worse than Isabel.  I cannot express how terrified I truly was.  There were several paths that the hurricane could take, with the scariest one being within 40 miles of Richmond.  They were projecting that, worst-case-scenario, we would be without power for a week.

I left work at 0715 and drove the 40 minutes home and went to the grocery store.  Based on what I knew about people in the east coast (they freak out at the littlest snow-storm and raid the grocery stores), I knew that I had to get there early so I could get the essentials.  At 0810 in the morning, most of the bottled water was already gone.  I was, fortunately, able to get 15 gallons of water (enough for one gallon per person per day).  Food though...I was at a loss.  I called my mom in a panic, and she was gracious enough to give me advice on what to buy: ice, canned dinner, canned veggies, applesauce, granola bars, etc.  I was so grateful for her!  She emailed me tons of advice on hurricane preparation.  I got home from the grocery store and slept until 3. 

Then I broke down to the MedStud because I was trying to express my terror to him, and how serious this storm could turn out to be.  Literally bawling my eyes out.  He said that he was just as worried as I was.  I headed to Target, Wal-Mart, and REI to pick up essentials.  The stores were MADHOUSES.  Madness I tell you!  Never go to the store the day before a hurricane.  Always go two days before!  That entire night, I prepared everything in case we needed to evacuate.  Clothes, paper, propane stove, 15 gallons of water, enough food for a week, medical supplies, medications, blankets, hygiene items, flashlights, candles, radio, matches, cash, and important documents.  It was all by the door so we could take it to the car in case the storm took a turn for the worse.

Friday night we went to bed and awoke to torrential rain.  Sheets and sheets of rain.  Power was still on, so we went to the gym, came home and got ready, ate lunch, and then the power went out at 1230.  So it began.  The weather continued to get worse.  The rain never stopped.  The wind never stopped.  The wind was bending the trees over and pounding our house.  At 1600 our flower pot was entirely full of water (over 8 inches).  I just read that winds in our county got upwards of 71 miles per hour.  The worst winds in our state were 83 miles per hour. 

Can I express how B.O.R.E.D. I was without the Internet?  Holy cow.  I love to read, but man!  I get tired of reading!  We couldn't do anything!  I had the MedStud print his notes out (because he had a test scheduled for Monday - what a great weekend, right?) so he could study.  But literally, there was nothing to do.

We went to our friend's house for company and games around 1800.  The wind and rain kept getting worse.  Around this time, our city was upgraded from a flood alert (possible flood) to a flood warning (most likely to flood).  Lovely.  And to think - the storm really hadn't even hit us yet!  It was set to hit even with our state at 2000.  I called into work at 2030, with the trees leaning even more dangerously and the wind howling in our ears.  Asked the nurse how bad it really was, and she told me not to come in.  She said trees were down all along the highway and that there would be flooding from the river that is literally 20 feet from the hospital.  She transferred me to the supervisor and I was shocked to her her say, "You should have come in early to work because the CNO said there are no call outs.  We've known about Irene for a whole week and you should have come in early to work and planned on staying over if needed."  Um excuse me!?  First of all, no one told me that I was supposed to come in early.  Second of all, if I thought it was safe to drive to work, I would have.  Third of all, no one said there weren't supposed to be any call outs.  Ugh! 

We went home from our friend's and then went to bed.  It's too dark at 2130 with a hurricane blowing outside to do anything.  I found out from my mom that over 900,000 people were without power in our state.

Couldn't sleep hardly at all that night.  People from the ward kept texting us saying church was cancelled.  The rain kept beating on the window and wind howling, keeping me awake.  At 0512, I was suddenly woken by a snapping, popping noise.  By then, the rain had finally stopped after raining non-stop for over 24 hours.  The MedStud and I got ready as best we could.  We didn't want to use any of the water in the pipes for fear that it was damaged by the storm and we had limited water, so we did sponge baths and ate tons of cereal and milk to get through the milk before it spoiled.  We walked around our neighborhood to survey the damage and found the source of the popping noise that woke me up - a ginormous branch broke off one of the biggest trees.  Multiple small trees were torn up and branches and leaves littered the entire property.  For the rest of the day, we read, studied, and played games.  We went to the park to play frisbee and took lots of pictures of tall, uprooted trees.

Then we drove toward downtown to see where power was restored.  Surprisingly, most of the capital seemed to have power.  Except for our apartment complex!  Stupid power grids!  Around 2030, the apartment complex directly across the street from us got their power turned on.  Dang the power company!  Didn't they understand that it was 78 degrees outside and we didn't have air conditioning!?  That our food was slowly getting spoiled?!  And that we desperately needed the Internet!?!  Gah!  

I forgot to mention previously that the mailman even brought us our mail during the hurricane.  Bless them!

We've been without power now for 79 hours.  The electrical company estimates our power will be turned back on tomorrow between 5 and 11.  Their estimates keep getting pushed back!  Ugh.  We were blessed to be able to take our "frozen" aka defrosted foods over to our other friend's house.  My work gave every employee without power a bag of ice, so we'll use that for our refrigerated foods.  The MedStud has stayed at school almost all day studying for his test tomorrow, and using the school's electricity and air conditioning.

This is so monotonous.  I'm tired.  Being without electricity is really draining, and it's hard to explain why.

Here's hoping that we get our power turned back on tomorrow.

Additionally, there is a tropical storm brewing out in the Atlantic Ocean, projected to become a category 3 hurricane.  I really, really, really hope it doesn't head for us.

So, lessons I've learned:
1. I'm grateful for electricity, and all the things it powers.  Internet, computers, refrigerator, freezer, dishwasher, washer, dryer, AIR CONDITIONING, lights.
2. I'm grateful that we were prepared.  In the event we would need to evacuate, we would be able to do so and live off what we had. 
3. I know that I need to buy another large cooler and buy at least 3 10-pound bags of ice next time.
4. A full freezer will last for 48 hours if not opened, and a half full freezer will last for 24 hours.  A fridge will only last for 4 hours if not opened.
5. I need to research what people did in the "olden days" before there was electricity!  What did they do to fill up their days?
6. The MedStud and I haven't gotten through an entire bottle of propane yet.  We conserve well.
7. When you know a hurricane is coming, buy supplies two days before, not the day before.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Vacation Dilemma

The MedStud and I decided to not go to his sisters other wedding reception.  Instead, we want to spend the money we would have spent on that vacation on another vacation his family will be taking in November.  The reason for this is because we will see the whole family in November, but would only see a couple family members in September.

I'm worried about asking for so much time off.  I don't want to be unfair to my co-workers.  I don't want them to have to cover for me all the time.  But, there is only so much time the MedStud and I have together, and I want to take advantage of that.  His whole family thinks that we can just pick up and come see them whenever (i.e. taking a whole entire week off for Christmas and flying across the country to see everyone), and it's getting frustrating reminding them that he is in medical school with a very tight schedule and I'm a full time nurse with a very tight schedule.  Two tight schedules don't give you much wiggle room, you know?  I guess no one can understand unless they've been through it before.

Should I really do it?

I've been working at this current job for about three months...barely even worth putting onto a resume.  I have been desperately displeased, though, with the management situation.  This is the most poorly run unit I have ever seen in a healthcare setting, and that goes for my whole seven years in the healthcare field.  Staff coming in whenever they want, no punishment being done, staff meetings that aren't mandatory held every couple months, patients running amok...the list could go on and on.  I am loving working in the psychiatric field just like I knew I would.  But I can't help but wonder - is there something better out there?

Are there really units out there like the units I precepted on in nursing school?

Is it even possible for a unit to be well run, well staffed, and excellent patient care provided?  Is it?

Is the grass greener on the other side?

I really don't want to seem like that person who is always looking for something better.  I can be content.  I really can.  I just like to be happy with my job.  Thus, the whole reason I'm posting this post.  I found a job at a treatment center for children.  I have never worked with children before, except for my clinicals during nursing school.  I enjoyed them, but wasn't enthralled by them.  I knew that I liked old people and adults and babies.  I knew that I didn't like pregnant women (too many hormones).  Kinda strange that I like psych, huh?  Haha :)

Anyway, enough rambling.  I found a full time job for 10 months out of the year working as a psychiatric nurse with school ages kids and teenagers.  I think I would like it.  I love psych nursing.  I think I'm good with kids.  And I've prayed about it and feel the Spirit every time I think about it.  AND I could not get it out of my head all morning.  It's like God is letting me know - "Hey!  This is important!" I was feeling the Spirit so strongly that I was crying when I told the MedStud about the job.  He said to go ahead and apply, because I have nothing to lose.

I just don't want to be seen as that person.

Friday, August 12, 2011

I must have some issues.

Yesterday I was ecstatic to find out the MedStud and I could attend his sister's second wedding reception held on our side of the country in less than 3 weeks, on Labor Day weekend.  I quickly jumped on the internet and found some flights for about $200 each and was even more pleased.  The MedStud's family is very well-off, and pays for plane tickets when needed.  THEN I found out that this reception is only 35 minutes from a big, historical city that I've been wanting to visit for-ev-er.  Win-win-win!  Or so I thought.  I let the MedStud know all my wonderful findings, and he said, "Ok honey, there is something I want you to do for me, and I know you may not like it.  I want you to call my mom and tell her all this."  I really, really don't like talking to my MIL.  She and I are both very stubborn and both think that our ideas are always right, dangit!  She even screamed at me once for "ruining" her Christmas plans when I was trying to divide time evenly between our two very large families.  But that's another story.  So I called her and pretended to be all cheerful and let her know the good news.  Then she said, "Oh but we're flying into this airport, so you should come to this airport, not that airport."  I tried to explain that the MedStud and I wanted to make a weekend of it, especially since it is Labor Day weekend and we don't get many days off together (what with me working nights and he studying and going to medical school!!?!?).  She just kept insisting that we should stay with them at this hotel the whole weekend and blah blah blah.  I said I would look into it further and then hung up.

MedStud came down the stairs and I told him I couldn't talk to his mom anymore.  She aggravates the crap out of me.  Ugh!  Then he started saying how we really should do what she wants because we don't have all the money in the world right now, and how they would be paying for everything, blah blah blah.  I just burst into tears.

I miss my MedStud.  I want so badly to spend time with him - just him.  I love our families (yes, I really do).  But I love him more.  Why can't she budge sometimes?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Missing My MedStud

I work 16 hour night shifts twice a week and and 8 hour night shift once a week.  I didn't get to see the MedStud from 8/9/11 at 0730 to 8/10/11 at 1400.  I know that doesn't seem like a lot, but I have only one real friend here and am by myself a lot, so it gets lonely.  Plus he is studying like a maniac for the Pharmacology test on Friday, so that takes even less time away.  On my birthday, he only had about two hours he could spend with me because of school, studying, and preceptorship.  I really miss him.  I know it's only going to get harder the further we get into this.

I've been trying to be a better wife; you know, doing the dishes, laundry, cooking dinner, etc. so that all he has to worry about is studying, eating, and sleeping.  It's hard, but worth it, because of the benefit added study time will give him.  I've heard it said that medical student families are the secret weapon behind the MedStuds, because of what they do for them in the background.  So stay strong families!  Remember what your end goal is and why your MedStud is doing this!

I highly recommend having a dream board somewhere in your house.  This is a board that has pictures and goals on it that remind you of your dreams and how to achieve them.  My dream board has a couple goals:

1. Get a PRN med/surg, ICU, or ER job.  This will accomplish my greater goal of being able to pay of loans sooner.
2. Write letters to my dad and brother.  This accomplishes the greater goal of having better family relationships.  
3. Read 8 books before the end of the year.  This accomplishes my greater goal of finishing all the hundreds of books on my list and learning more.

The MedStud has a dream board, but I think he doesn't pay attention to it, sadly.  He keeps his goals in his head.  

Saturday, August 6, 2011


The MedStud is in his second year of medical school.  He is currently learning about Pharmacology and is really having a good time!  It's so nice for me as well, because helping him study helps me remember certain things about medications and how they work in the body.

That is one very thing positive about medical school, that you as the wife/SO learn so much!  It's great!

The MedStud goes to school every day from at least 0800 to 1200, and sometimes has extra classes in the afternoon and preceptorship every other Monday.  He is precepting at an Internal Medicine doctor's office which specializes in diabetes.  It's been so educational for him and insightful on the awful disease that diabetes is.  After school and preceptorships, he studies basically the rest of the night.  With second year comes studying and preparing for the first boards.  These are killer, and although I don't understand them completely right now, I know they're super hard.  It's a full time job!  There is no way we would be able to survive if I wasn't working.  That's one thing I stress to everyone considering this route - you need to have a source of income.  True, you can take out all the loans that the government offers and get scholarships, but with capitalizing interest and the lovely government plan that just came out, all graduate students are required to pay their interest back much sooner than they were before.  If you don't want a mountain of debt hanging over you, have some stream of income.

The Difference in Treatment

As an RN, I have noticed a palpable difference in the way psychiatric patients are treated from medical patients.  First and foremost, I believe that all patients should be treated alike.  The disease process they have shouldn't determine whether we provide them quality care or not.  It shouldn't matter whether someone has a broken bone, cancer, is giving birth, or has schizophrenia.  We are dealing with human beings, and human beings have a right to quality care.

I was taking care of a patient the other day who is depressed and suicidal, but who also has Multiple Sclerosis.  She became a totally different person within a matter of minutes: was totally unresponsive, super high blood pressure, and sky high pulse.  I spoke with the other nurse and she said that since the patient is a DNR, we don't need to do anything for her besides giving comfort care.  I believe that even though a patient has a DNR order, you still need to find out what is wrong with them.  She thought that the patient was having an anxiety attack or something, and that nothing "medical" was going on.  Scared me half to death!  I continued to monitor the patient while calling the medical doctor.  He had thinking along my lines, "Well, we want to know what's going on with her, even though she has a DNR."  Duh.  Then, in the space of an hour, the lady was totally back to normal.  Maybe something was going on with her mind, but who knows?  The human body is so incredibly complex, and we understand so very little of it.

Since the MedStud is planning on going into Psychiatry, I discussed this with him and he agreed that we need to treat the whole person, not just their diagnosis.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Can't We All Use Some Honesty?

This blog is the birth-child of my frustration at many things - work, church, the MedStud's school, and my inability to really express to my feelings to family and friends, and especially my dear mother-in-law.  Love her to death, but she can be quite over-bearing.  I've been posting on our regular blog all my frustrations, and she recently called the MedStud and said I shouldn't say some of the things I've been saying.  Maybe she's right, but who am I supposed to complain to and ask advice of?  Isn't that what blogging is all about?  Getting our feelings out and exposing ourselves to the world?  Hence, this blog.  I can get it all out anonymously.  Thank goodness. 

One of my goals with this blog is to be honest.  Completely honest.  I will be open with you about almost every aspect of my life, especially with that of living with a MedStud, and all the glorious things that come with that. 

So let me introduce myself.  I am an RN, and I love what I do.  I love to read.  I love to play the piano and the organ.  I love the sun.  I love to travel.  I love my Savior, and am a proud member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, aka Mormons.  I love to cook and bake.  No kids currently, but that will change hopefully in the near future.  I love my MedStud more than everything on this Earth.  He is my everything.  Let the journey begin!  :)