Monday, December 31, 2007
We have had quite the year.
We moved from Greenville North Carolina to Greensboro North Carolina for my job. I now work at a smaller hospital in the Emergency Room. And I love it!
Jim changed driving companies shortly after moving to Greensboro. He loves his job. The hours/miles are more consistent. It is for a small company within a big company so we enjoy the health benefits, retirement benefits that would come with a big company.
Amilia and Nathan started at a new school. Nathan is being tested for Accelerated Learning. Amilia is being tested for learning disabilities. Her head injury two years ago may have a much longer lasting effect than we had anticipated.
Amilia and Nathan started riding lessons. Nathan no longer taking lessons but he loves going to the barn and pushing around the wheelbarrows...
Amilia had the opportunity to ride a larger pony at the stables near our house for a couple of weeks, but then the owner stopped allowing her to come over because she says "you're driving me crazy." About the same time I was getting stressed out because she was not giving me clear directions of what she wanted me to do! So, although Amilia is no longer riding Peaceful, the short amount of intensive riding improved her riding abilities enormously! She is now very confident and able to post without difficulty. She will continue riding Magic until she can canter on her and keep her seat. She is improving quickly. What she does from week to week is amazing growth and learning. She now gets an hour (because Nathan has stopped) and Annette, her instructor is amazed at how well she is riding now.
I hurt my back on September 17th and I am still struggling with the pain and with work. I did not work for 3 months, went back and had to immediately stop again. I had an injection of steroids about 3 weeks ago that lasted about 10 days. I worked two weekends, then stopped working again. So, I am scheduled for another injection on Friday. Hopefully, it will bring great results and I will be pain free for longer.
So we say goodbye to 2007 and pray for a happy, healthy 2008!
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
There is so much in my mind that I want to come out, that I want to put on paper.
But sitting down and taking the time to write has been hard.
If I put it down on paper, (computer) it is permanent.
I have not written in the past few months because what I have had in my mind has been dark, depressing, not how I want to be seen.
Today, for the first time in months, I woke up and felt like the sun was shining. My heart felt light, the heaviness I have had has been lifted.
Back pain is almost gone, I have gone back to work, I have found horses to be near.
Horses. There is only one smell like them. It is a smell that I would recognise even if I did not see the horses. Pungent, not sour, smells like the outside, smells to me like work, happiness, satifaction. I love the smell of horses
Horses. I love it when they stick their heads out over the stall and sniff you with their noses close to your head. Softly stroking the side of their silky smooth head, itching up behind the ears. They rub back, pushing with their noses for more. Nibbling with their mouths, tasting your skin or clothing. Inquisitive, checking you out.
Horses. The way they move. So graceful, so smooth. Such large animals, controlled simply with a small bit and a pair of reins.
For the past couple of months I have been struggling with a back injury that occurred on September 17th. Along with the pain, I had isolation because I was not working and do not yet have a network of friends here in Greensboro. So, as a result, I got depressed, did not want to do anything at all, spent much of my time lying around in bed (back pain), watching TV, reading and feeling sorry for myself.
A week and a half ago, I got an injection in my back which has help the back pain tremendously! Before, I could not sit for longer than 10-15 minutes without having shooting pains down my legs. Now I can sit as much as I want and no significant increase in the leg pain. YEAH!
Life has gotten so much better...God is good!
Last weekend, a dog came into my yard. It was an unfamiliar dog and Daisy was out. I did not want Daisy playing with a dog she did not know (I also did not want an accidental breeding). So I caught the dog and heard yelling over at the stables next to our house. Amilia and I walked the dog over to the Stables and finally met our neighbor Joan. What a wonderful thing! She needed some help around the stables and in return, Amilia and I get to ride!
I have ridden twice (oh the aching muscles after!) and Amilia has ridden several times. She has gone from a tentative rider to bold and outgoing. She so wants to let the pony run but does not yet have the seat or the balance for this. She has put together the rhythm of trotting and posting and she looks amazing riding. And so tiny! She is riding this great big Welsh mix pony! At first I was fearful of her falling but now, she just moves with Peaceful as she trots around the ring. The ring has a layer of sand that would cushion her if she happened to fall...and I as a kid, used to fall all the time and did not get hurt...
Nathan has ridden a couple of times for a short period of time, but he is not enjoying it as Amilia does. He, instead, plays with the many dogs that Joan has (she has 18!), or he plays in the dirt pile by the riding ring, or he goes back home and plays on the computer.
Jim is in Toronto today. He will hopefully start home tonight and be home tomorrow.
I have been working again and now that I do not have leg pain, love my job! I work with a great group of Nurses and Nursing Techs. When we are busy, everyone pitches in, when we are quiet, we all sit around talking and joking (two very bad words in the emergency department--busy and quiet...I cannot believe I put time down on the computer!).
I am off to Physical Therapy for my back (it still hurts some, but not at all like before the injection), then will spend the late morning, early afternoon cleaning the many stalls that Joan has (instead of going to the gym, I shovel poo).
Monday, September 10, 2007
I cried on my way home. It was a hard shift.
Do not store anything in drinking containers except for drinking liquids...please.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
They are excited that they now have the rest of the summer to play, no work on school work.
Saturday, August 4, 2007
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
They "went to school" this morning in their pj's...they thought that was fun. We only spent two hours working, but that was enough. My biggest challenge right now is going to be getting Amilia to sit still and Nathan to be able to work when I am teaching Amilia. Nathan found the noise "distracting", so Amilia and I went to another room but he "can still hear you!". Nathan has been able to work by himself once I start him but he does not alway stay on task. We have to work on some insentives to get him to work. Until Amilia can read I have to really work with her.
Tomorrow we work on cursive writing (they both can do together), more of Jamestown and some worksheets I picked up today. Eventually I will be ordering a curriculum but right now we do not have the money to do it so we are working with what we have and what I find on line.
They both continuously ask questions...many that I do not have the answers for but we are learning places on line that we can look things up. All kinds of fun!
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
We will be unpacking for weeks...you know how that is. The house we moved to is bigger and has more closet space than the other house. We have unpacked the esentials but still have about 25 boxes in the sunroom that I need to sort through and put stuff away. I packet all the dishes in a few different boxes and have not yet found them all so we are operating on 3 plates, a bunch of bowls and one glass...I got plastic plates and stuff from Walmart, but it does not hold up that great...
We will FINALLY start a new church on Sunday. I hope to make some good friends and find some friends for the kids. I have started making friends at work. I hope to start doing stuff with some ladies Thursday.
The kids have adjusted well...I stopped all of their medications the week after we got here and after a 10 days of wild behavior, they have finally settled down and are behaving great! Right now they only spend time with me, the sitter and each other but they are getting along great, playing together or separate and have become much more helpful around the house.
Nathan has not had any allergy symptoms at all since arriving and has been off the allergy medications...all of it started a year ago when we had moved into the house in Greenville. Since being here, nothing, no congestion, no sick looking kid! He has had mild headaches but they go away with Motrin...so I think the house was making him sick.
I am still struggling with being tired, but working nights and having the kids home during the day is a challenge. I have adjusted my schedule so that I am not working more than one night in a row. This starts tomorrow. So hopefully I won't be so tired because I will be getting more nights home sleeping. The problem I have is that I work a couple of nights, get adjusted, then cannot sleep at night when I am home. I plan on taking naps during the day before I work all night and then staying up all day the day after I work then hopefully sleeping allllll night. We will see.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Wesley Long is busy, usually not overwhelmingly so, but busy enough that I am working most of the night...and that makes time fly.
My first weekend, we had a patient us his arm as a deadly weapon, one that we staff stayed away from until we were properly covered with protective clothing from head to toe. This man had put his arm through a window and cut an artery so when he was waving it around, blood just flew. There was blood on the walls, floor, ceiling and on us. After putting on face shields, liquid proof gowns, shoe covers and gloves, about six of us went in, pinned him down and gave him a shot which took about 15 minutes to calm him down. He was high on crack...we see that and alcohol alot...so begins my ED life...
One of the things I enjoy the most is even though I am not a doctor, I have enough experience that when someone comes in, I can usually figure out what is wrong...for example, we had a young lady come in complaining of nausea and vomiting. I further questioned her and she complained of a sore throat...I asked the doctor if I could run a strep throat with all of her other labs and I WAS RIGHT...she had strep throat...The doc came up to me before going to the patient and said "Good job, you called it right!" Made my night.
The thing about the ED is immediate gratification for most of the work we do...for example, I had a patient come in who was vomiting, had been for 24 hours, felt awful. I put in an IV and drew the labs in one stick (nothing like the flash of blood in the IV when you hit the vein on the first stick), hung a liter of IV fluids and give some medications for nausea...I get immediate gratification because the IV went in, I got the labs, and as soon as the medication is in, the patient is no longer feeling awful. I finish the liter of fluids and the patient feels much better! Unfortunately this is not always the case, but it happens enough to keep going and be excited about the job...
We see broken bones that sometimes we set, sometimes not, but we give medications to ease the pain...
We sober up a lot of drunks...some wanting help, some wanting a warm bed and a meal...
We see a lot of nausea and vomiting or abdominal pain...
We see STD's, UTI's and Detox.
The group of nurses I work with are great...mostly we work as a team, no one acting better than others.
The biggest complaint I have is getting the doctors to work faster, to see patients and discharge faster...I am surprised at how long a patient has to wait on a stretcher to be seen. I am used to the wait in the waiting room, not back in the ED. The labs are usually quick as are the radiology reports. Usually what the patient waits for is for the physician to see the patient. Oh well, can't have everything yet...
Thursday, May 3, 2007
I interview two people over the weekend for babysitting for me. Both sound like they would work out well. So things are falling into place...we have prayed and prayed...God is Good!
We will be moving the bulk of our belongings on the 22nd through the 25th, the kids will go to the new house over the weekend and be babysat there, then we will live in a bare house, sleeping on air mattresses, and make the final out of the house on the 31st. The kids will go to school for their last day and I will finish cleaning the house. They will miss the last week of school, but the teachers have no problems with this.
Nathan took a reading placement test on Monday and tested 5th grade, 1 month...he is in 2nd grade! We are so excited. Really concidering homeschooling so that he does not get bored in school...he is having that problem now. He will finish his work way before everyone else and then get himself into trouble. I bought him a 3rd grade "everything you need to know" book and he has already completed most of the math work. We just have to get him to start working more with writing...reading, no problem!
I think Amilia with do well with homeschooling as well because she does so much better when I sit right with her while she is doing any work. If left alone, she dilly dallies and takes forever. I think that she just needs more one on one and I will do that for her. We will start over the summer and see how it goes. We have to declare that we are homeschooling 30 days before school starts, so that gives us plenty of time to get things in order and see if I can homeschool them! Amilia has her doubts at times...she says that her teacher is much smarter and knows a lot more than I do...I told her that anything we needed to learn, we could look up...
Well, gotta go finish cleaning...
Believe it or not, I did not decorate this one! I was sooo tired getting home from work, I made the frosting, put the blue and green on then went to bed...when I woke up, the cake fairy had finished the cake! Actually Jim did it and I am sooooo impressed!
Amilia painting horses with Aunt Judy and Natalie. Her birthday was a success even though only one child came. She had a blast! I was worried because we sent out 9 invitations and got no RSVP's! She wanted HORSES, so I ordered stuff on line for 10 kids! We now have 7 left over party packs...I think I am going to put them together as "girl gifts" and she can give them to her friends for birthdays...
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Don't know exactly when or where, but we are moving. Today I started to think about all the packing I needed to do. Did not quite get beyond the thinking part, but today I did get Nathan's hair cut, both computers up and running again, I have an appointment on Saturday evening with a potential baby sitter for when we move to Greensbore, I put an ad on "CraigsList" for a child care provided, I drove home from Greensboro after looking at a house yesterday (that we really, really want!) with two unmedicated ADHD kids along for the three hour drive home, I only yelled at them about half dozen times and now, we are going to get settled and into bed by 7:30pm!!
So, we looked at a house yesterday and the owner wants to rent to a family that will stay for awhile. I offered to sign a two year lease if we could have May for free. She is diligently checking my references (called my work today and called Aunt Judy around 8am this morning!). She will let us know by tomorrow evening if we will be able to rent from her...
We want this house. It is big enough for all of our stuff... It has a huge front yard with an empty field on the right and a horse farm on the left. The back yard is small, right up to the pond that is at least three acres in size. Lots of frogs and very yucky, muddy, dirty water...kids will love it. Reminds me of Saturday farm, only much bigger. The kitchen is completely updated with plenty of counter space and a dish washer!!! Hardwood floors through the halls and living room, working fireplace in the living room and it is on a dead end road.
My new job is going great, the commute rather sucks, but, if we are going to get this house, we will start moving stuff in next week and I will have a place to stay on the weekends for another three weekends, then we will at be there!
Yeah, change is good!
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Today, they are cleaning the house. I am not sure what I am going to have them do tomorrow, but they will not be having fun...
Arrg...my first week home and I am having to work twice as hard having them clean...but they are learning...they know that what they did was very bad and will not do it again. It is frustrating, they do things without even thinking...can't imagine having more than the two I got...
So, no unsupervised outside time, lots of housework, no computer, no TV, no x-box, no bikes, no skateboard...
The up side is they have been playing well together and have not been fight with each other. I guess it is them against me...
Well, I gotta go and help Amilia clean the litter box...
I felt like I knew what I was doing, just walked in and started working. The great thing about working at a small hospital is there are NO Residents...the physician or the PA that is working does it all, things get completed in a timely manner and patients get discharged, rather than having the resident see the patient, then having the resident have to wait for the attending to discuss the patient then having the orders written and waiting for the results, then having the attending see the patient, then having the attending review the results...
I don't know if all teaching hospitals are like this, but PCMH was and it was frustrating...for the nurses as well as the patients.
I know that the residents need to learn but I love not having to wait to do things. We have protocol's set in place...a person comes in with abdominal pain and I can start an IV, draw labs, send urine, get things started before the patient is seen...
Another great thing about working in a small hospital is that you get to know everyone quickly.
Also, all of the supplies are in a central area, you don't have to run all over the place finding stuff.
This most challenging thing for me at this point is to learn the computer system. In this hospital, the charting is system focused (neuro, GI, muscular/skeletal) and charting by exception, meaning, everything normal unless otherwise charted...different then I am used to. I am used to hitting every system, even if to say it is normal.
I was surprised at how easy it was to start back taking care of patients after not doing it outside of the OR for almost a year. I have a lot of reading and brushing up to do, but having the time during the week to do it is nice. When the kids come home from school and need to do their homework, I am going to read as well.
Thursday, April 5, 2007
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Jim in the truck we picked up yesterday. He drove from Charlotte NC to New Jersey last night, slept a good part of today then headed for Lancaster PA...maybe that is his final destination...It is a short run tomorrow, then he goes to Jonesport PA and gets the interior of the truck cleaned, gets the broken window on the passenger side repaired and gets all of his permits up to date. The truck has no permits for driving in NY, carrying alcohol, and a bunch of others that he needs. Then he will start driving up and down the east coast from Maine to Virginia with occasional stops at home in North Carolina...
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
Good thing is, we had cleaning supplies...still smells, but no longer filthy and sticky...spent an hour or so cleaning before returning home.
Other good thing is that when he got to the truck, there was already a scheduled run for him so he took a nap and took off for New Jersey about an hour ago. He sounds in good spirits, I know he is glad to have the truck to himself. He can set the pace and not have to deal with Mark anymore.
I'm exhausted, I never want to be a truck driver. It is too long and tiring. Give me a busy emergency room any day of the week!
Monday, April 2, 2007
Jim FINALLY talked with Steve and Steve told Jim that Mark called him (Steve) this past Friday and told him that Jim quit. AND, Steve never called Mark AND, he (Steve) did not care if Jim was on the truck or not, as long as the route was completed as it was supposed to...
So, Jim will be on his own, no aggravating, annoying co-driver with him...
BUT...tomorrow, I have to drive him to Charlotte for him to pick up his new (used) truck...Bummer!
I started a new job in Greensboro, NC last Monday. Jim stayed home for the week with the kids and I went to orientation. First three days were torture...rules and regs, policy's and procedures, chain of command, HIPPA, Infection Control, Delegation...etc, etc, etc...long and boring...But! Thursday and Friday I was in the ED! YEAH!!! Finally back home.
I have been working in the OR for the past year and at first, thought it was cool...learned tons about the human body and what we do to it during surgery, but after a while, just became a glorified gofer...there was a song in High School I sang for a school play.
--Get me, buy me, bring me, find me, pick up, drop off and remind me
--Don't forget now what I ask,
--After all that is your task,
--Don't forget now what I ask!
Done with it!
On Thursday, I took care of patients...I started IV's, gave medications, provided emotional support, assisted with a dislocated arm, got felt up by a drunk...I'm so glad to be home!!!
I was made to be an ED nurse. I think that my varied background helps me excel in this. I love spending time talking with patients when I have time, but I also love the instant gratification of starting an IV, seeing the blood flashback, knowing it is in the right place and then being able to push IV pain medications to immediately provide pain relief. There is nothing like it.
We will be moving to Greensboro NC in June after the kids finish school. We are looking for a house to rent. Greensboro is much different than Greenville. There is a lot more to do and when you leave the city, it is rolling hills country with parks and lakes nearby. The city is not that big, drive through the center in less than 10 minutes with some traffic. We are carefully looking at the many different elementary schools and are seriously considering homeschooling next year. I will be working weekend nights only so will be able to school the kids during the week. And the way the cities in North Carolina work is that there are many, many activities that are run by the city so that the kids will be able to participate and make friends in sports or in pottery classes or what every we decide to have the kids do. They will not be lacking in social exposure. Right now, they are in gymnastics and pottery and they love it.
Jim has been driving a big truck with this guy named Mark who disappeared last week. Jim tried to get a hold of him for several days and he never returned calls. This morning, he went to his house to get on the truck with Mark and Mark kicked him off the truck...although at this point, we are not really sure if Mark can do this. So Jim is coming home, will get his own truck and maybe have someone else to drive with...
Jim has been wanting to get off the truck with Mark, but did not want to be a jerk about it and not give him notice. Jim decided last week he was going to give Mark a 2 week notice...well, this will be less stressful for Jim once he gets over being so angry at Mark. So, this is a good thing...Jim just needs to move on. Which he will.
Amilia sprained her ankle on Friday in PE. She was jumping over balls and actually landed on one, twisted her ankle and did not tell anyone. So when I get home from Greensboro at 5pm, she tells me she hurt her ankle (she had been home with Jim since 2:30p). Her ankle was swollen and tender...what a pain it was trying to keep her off of it over the weekend! At one point, we did let her go outside with us and play but by the time she came in, there was more swelling and bruising. She spent much of yesterday fussing and pushing and whining because we made her stay on her bed or on the couch. Today the swelling is down and she says it does not hurt. I sent her with a note that she is not to run around on it. We will see what happens when she gets home...
With some many changes going on right now, it is hard not to think about the past and things we should have/could have done differently. I often think about the house fire and how awful and stressful that was. I wonder how life would have been different if the fire had not happened...
I think about the move to Massachusetts...should we have stayed in Virginia? Where would we be right now if we had not started our own Invisible Fence...
We are struggling with our credit and will be for several more years because of the Bankruptcy and loosing the business...
But...the move to Greensboro is a good one. We will be close to Heidi (my cousin, Aunt Judy's daughter), I will be making a substantial amount more of money than I do now. Jim will be in a better location for truck driving...route 85 and route 40 go through Greensboro...
The area is beautiful, the people I will be working with have already reached out and are very friendly and welcoming...
The hospital is a small community hospital and I have already made my mark...when I was working on Thursday, a man came in with a dislocated shoulder. The nursing tech brought him back and no other nurse jumped up to help him but me...I immediately started an IV, grabbed a doctor and got pain medications for him. The nurse educator watched me do this from a far and approached me after and said I did a great job...I am finally home!!! I love this type of work!
This is Johanna's Daisy Girl, she is a wonderful family dog and very smart. She watches the house and the kids and is there for a snuggle when needed. Some day I will do more with her and do agility training and show her in agility. She is quick and a fast learner...I just have not had the time yet.