Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hospice rotation

I told you I was not looking forward to Hospice, right? Well, I have done two days this week...and I have to admit, it's not bad. Today we went to see a lady who was actively dying. She was a resident in a nursing home. When we first arrived, she was really struggling to breathe & it was such work for her, although she was unresponsive. We did assessments on her, contacted the doctor and did some paperwork. We then went on to visit three more patients. After we were done with the other patients we went back to check in on struggling patient #1. I looked in her room and her chest was not moving. The RN I was shadowing & I walked in to her room. We couldn't find a radial pulse, but she was having a shallow respiration every now & then with long stretches of not breathing. Long story short- we watched this lady take her last breath. I am ok, I was not heavy-hearted. (Although, I think I maight have felt differently had any of her family been there at the time.) This lady had been on this earth for nearly a century, and I was glad that the RN and I were able to be by her side when she took her last breath. So- in this semester, I have seen a child take its first breath, and I have seen a very elderly woman take her last breath. That's a lot to see in a few short months!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Been totally busy

As you can imagine, and I'm sure are tired of hearing....Nursing School has had me totally busy. Between papers & care plans, and class, and homework, and trying to sleep, it's been kinda rough. This week I did clinical rotations at an outpatient Oncology Clinic. Some people hear that and just crumble emotionally. Thankfully, I do not. (Ask me that question again this coming week when I have to do hospice rotations.)
I must say, I enjoyed my time there. The 1st day I was in the clinic part; where patients come in and see the doctor, talk about their options, treatment, and any problems they may be having. The 2nd day I was in the treatment room; where patients come for chemotherapy, port access, etc.
I love chatting with the patients. You get such an array. One lady was having problems with her recently placed port, and the nurse was going to put in a med that would help dissolve a clot that could be at the end of the catheter. The lady started crying when she was asking what the nurse was giving her. She said "This is just your job, but this is my life. I'm not ready to die yet." Then there was a patient who was joking around with me & telling me a horrific story about how he was his mom's last child, he was born "naturally", and he weighted 15 lbs. 4 oz. He said "They thought I was gonna be twins, obviously. I wasn't. But, I've got twice the looks & twice the brains of most people." That man was crazy, adorable, and I decided I loved him.
My philosophy is this: I want to give people the care I wish my dad would have gotten the last few hours of his life here on Earth, and the type of care he did get when he was outpatient. You're treating the disease; yes, Cancer does suck. But in the midst of that terrible, disgusting disease- there is the person that has it. They want to live, that's why they're fighting it. Treat them like everyone else. They crave normalcy (for the most part). Give them attention, give them power, and make them feel like they're still alive!!!

Also, the picture I'm including has nothing to do with cancer, but I love it. I took it Easter morning. Quinlynne picked this, flower for me.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Does it look like I poop money??

Aaron, Quinlynne & I went to Arkansas yesterday. We went for a couple of reasons. My 2nd cousin, CJ, has a new little baby girl named Lizabeth. She is 3 weeks old now & we thought we needed to see her. She is adorable. We have also had this huge entertainment armoire under our carport since Thanksgiving that was meant for CJ. We delivered it. My aunt, Charlsie, gives chair massages at a hotel in Ft. Smith a few evenings a week & we decided to stop by to see her, too.

We finished at the hotel & I had to visit the ladies' room before we hit the road again. Aaron took Quinlynne & went out to the truck. I walk outside & Aaron decides to play that annoying game of taking his foot off the brake every time I try to open the door. Quinlynne was laughing. All of a sudden she gets this look of pure fright in her eyes & starts hysterically crying. I open her door & she is saying "I swallowed a penny. I swallowed a penny." My first reaction was to yell "Why did you have a penny in your mouth?", but I refrained. I pulled her out of the truck & determined that she could still breath. (Of course she can, she's breathing & crying hysterically.) I asked her if she could feel where it was. She first pointed to her throat, then her chest, then further down. I knew she'd be okay. I told her "Quinlynne, it's okay. You'll just have to poop out the penny." She turned and started running towards the hotel. Aaron & I asked her what she was doing. Her reply was "I'm going to go poop!!!!" We had to tell her it was going to be a while before that penny came out of her. I put her back in the truck and said (being the loving mother I am) "Why did you have a penny in your mouth? That's what you get for putting a penny in there."

After several questions about whether she would pee out the penny (her idea) or poop it out, she had a brilliant idea. "Momma, when I poop out the penny, I can get it out & clean it & put it in my piggy bank." Oh my child! She also must have been terribly frightened about this penny because on the way back to Oklahoma she said "Momma, you can swallow a penny & still live." Poor little thing.

Quinlynne had to call & tell Grandi about the incident. When we got home Grandi asked her why she had had a penny in her mouth. Quinlynne continues to avoid that question. She yelled "Are you mad or glad about it?" For a child who has problems pooping anyhow, this should be quite the experience.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Hijacked quilt

I don't know if I ever mentioned this- but I have a fantastic friend who made me the most fun quilt ever. This quilt was made with the intention of me studying under it. It's the perfect weight, it's the perfect length (I can pull it up to my chin & it still goes over my toes), and it's adorable as all get out. Perhaps it is a little too adorable.
Quinlynne has hijacked it as her own. When she is sick or not feeling good she "needs the quilt that Brwenda made you, Momma". I may have to commission Brenda to make another one. Isn't it just the bees' knees? (Say that with a southern accent.) How pathetic does my daughter look in this picture? Poor thing, she really wasn't feeling too well.

Daddy-Daughter Dance (little late)

OK, so did I mention that we've had an Internet virus on our computer? I have not been able to access the Internet at home in over two weeks. A little bit of torture, I'll admit. I have several pictures that I had just transferred from the camera to the computer when we got the virus...and more that I have taken since the Internet issue arose. I'll have to get you all caught up.

Quinlynne went to the stake Daddy-Daughter Dance with Uncle Charlie in February. She had a most excellent time, even though she did not dance at all. How in the heck did she come from my womb? She went to a dance and didn't dance???? That is unfathomable to me! She played with the beads, did other art projects that were offered, took pictures, and ate snacks. I think that's all she told me. She is already talking about the Daddy-Daughter Dance next year. Here are some adorable pictures. Notice Uncle Charlie passed out in the chair upon their return home!