November 17, 2007

Still thinking about my little old lady

My son was asking about her and I had to explain why I was sad yesterday.  I didn't want to use "went to sleep" or any other euphemisms because that would confuse him, so I outright told him that she died because she was very very very old.  Fortunately, he didn't ask what "died" was yet and left it at that.

I hope I made a small difference in her life at the end.  I think I did, and that thought makes me feel a bit better.  She had almost no one visiting her:  she never married, had no children, and most of her friends and distant family lived out of the area except for a nephew who visited when he could.  But she had me every Friday for a few weeks.

November 16, 2007

The little old lady that I visit in the nursing home died yesterday.  It was unexpected...well, as unexpected as can be for a 90-year old.  She wasn't in poor health, and she wasn't showing any signs of trouble.  The staff didn't see it coming either:  most of them know from years of experience when it's time to "stand vigil" on a client, and they didn't suspect her.  She was cold yesterday afternoon (nothing new really, she is (was) always cold) and asked to be put in bed for a nap.  She never woke up.

I'm all right...kind of bummed, actually--I didn't realize how attached I had gotten to her over the last several weeks until I learned she passed away.  I mean, I expected that it was going to happen soon, especially since at her age she was living on borrowed time.  But it was still a shock.  The last time I saw her, she was still scared of being alone and still thought it was too dark (she was pretty much blind), but she was feistier than usual.  She was all about singing that day--she remembered a lot of words to those songs, and even got me into warbling "God Bless America" along with her (and God knows I can't sing!).

Two things stand out now.  I remember when I left on Friday, I told her "good bye."  All the time I'd been seeing her, I never told her that before--I usually told her "stay out of trouble."  But for some reason, that came out.  And then today, after I dropped my son off at childcare, instead of going straight to see her as I usually do, I felt compelled to run every single errand I thought of, making my visit to her the last thing on my to-do list.  I guess I didn't want to go there for some I know what it was.

I'm comforted by the fact that she went in her sleep and probably didn't feel a thing, and also by the fact that where she is now, there's plenty of light.  Or there better be, because she was afraid of the dark.

I realize I'm going to see a fair amount of death in my job as a nurse.  I was hoping that it'd wait until I actually started nursing.

November 14, 2007

I finally sat down to log in here, and found a draft of a post I meant to post back in early October.  I back-dated it and put it up.

Anyhow, hiya.  It's been a while since I wrote.  I need to fix's been kind of stressful lately and I really should be letting it out in some way, shape or form.  You'd think I'd be knitting more (and I am), but alas, Yet Another Yarn Blog stands barren too. 

 The funny thing is that now I do actually have some free time:  class is no longer 24 hours a week, but every week it's a two-hour lecture one day and two lab/clinical days.  I get two whole weekdays off:  one is still earmarked for volunteer work, but today is a completely free day.  Joy!  I'd like to say I'm filling today with nothing but studying...but I'm not.  I'm catching up on everything else that I haven't been able to do since August.

How things have been going...

Got my A in fundamentals.  People were looking at me like I kicked a puppy when they heard about the A.  I'm getting tired of hearing everyone go on in clinical how they'd rather have the C student for their nurse than the A student, the reasoning being that the C student may not be book smart but will be street smart while the A student will implode on the floor, so now I keep all my grades on the QT as much as possible.  Besides, that's my fear (the implosion) too...I don't know if it's from hearing it so many times and/or my lack of human medical experience, but I do worry about bungling it in clinical.  I haven't yet, but I stress over it.

Had one glorious night off before Physical Assessment and Pharmacology  (Pharm for short) started.  Drank wine and once again, started a class with a hangover.

Now, Pharm...the teacher's nice but they shoved this class on her at the last minute (the previous teacher "retired", I say no more so you draw your own conclusions) and there's so little organization that we feel like the unloved class.  We never know what room we're meeting in, they keep changing the test schedule constantly, they keep changing the course outline constantly, and we lost three clinical days because they couldn't find instructors.  Then they found instructors but not enough so for legal reasons, one or more students at clinical have to (or are SUPPOSED to) sit out and observe. 

Last night was out first Pharm clinical.  I got to sit out--no one wanted me for a partner...that sounds bad.  As far as I know, no one wants me dead.  And truth be told, I didn't exactly ask anyone either.  I was in a strange mood last night and kind of kept myself to myself.  Anyhow, I got to be the Shadow and true to the law, I did not touch a patient.  I did get to learn all of the ins and outs of the floor though, which is handy to know.  I hope the other extra students in the other clinicals did the same...probably not though.  I was kind of bummed...on one hand, I got to hang back and observe since I have to admit I was feeling a but overwhelmed.  On the other hand, my classmates got to do all sorts of fun stuff and all I could do is watch and fetch supplies. 

But I suppose it was for the best in the end because of rule #5 of nursing school:  CYA.  Yeah, I'm coming up with a list of things I learned in nursing school and making a list of them for myself.   When I get them better organized, I'll post them.