Friday, January 22, 2010

I heart my University

I think it might be the one and only time you’ll hear me say I love my university. For the most part, I tend to complain about my institution of higher learning, but today they really came through. Since the devastating quake in Haiti last week, my University has tried to help the 77 Haitian students as much as possible. Today the president announced that all Haitian students will be reimbursed their tuition fees, will be offered free lodging on campus and get a free meal card for the rest of the semester. I’m so happy that the university has stepped up. I can’t imagine how horrible it must be for them to be living through this ordeal. :-( To be so far from their families and feel completely helpless must be devastating.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

The mystery boy in the picture

My Mom has had a framed family picture on her mantel for 17 years now. It’s a picture taken at the airport of our family and my brother-in-law’s family. It was taken when my sister and her husband moved back to the province after a two-year stint in Alberta. The picture has a special place as it’s one of the last pictures of my father. My brother-in-law comes from a rather large family of 7 with lots of nieces and nephews. I know some of them, but certainly not all, so it’s never really been a surprise that I could never identify a few of the kids in the picture (there was about a dozen in that particular picture).

I found out not so long ago that one of the boys in the picture actually isn’t family... although, I guess you could say he could potentially be MY family someday – it’s Mr. Perfect’s younger brother! How weird is that? Mr. Perfect’s brother was friends with my brother-in-law’s nephew and I guess he tagged along for the ride to the airport that day. Hah! How weird that my potential future brother-in-law would have a prominent spot in my family home for half of my life. Life sure is strange sometimes.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Did you want some cookies?

Yesterday while grocery shopping with Mr. Perfect, the worst imaginable thing happened... I became my mother! GAH! I know, I know, there are worst things, but it was quite troubling in the moment.

You see, before Mr. Perfect moved in, I would never buy cookies. I have a very low impulse control when it comes to food so I won’t buy anything I know I could gobble down in a single sitting. Mr Skinny... err... I mean, Mr. Perfect on the other hand likes to have an occasional cookie. He amazes me with his eating habits. He’ll be craving cookies and will only eat one and his craving is satisfied. I wish I could be so strong. Anyway, now that I’ve gotten used to having cookies in the house, I rather enjoy it. I’ve also been eating them sparingly, so that’s good. Last night, while we were going down the cookie aisle, I asked Mr. Perfect if he wanted cookies, when he didn’t answer, I repeated the question and when he still didn’t answer I insisted one more time: “hey, don’t forget your cookies”. Honestly, I’m not even sure I gave him the chance to respond. Hah! That’s when he responded with: “if you want cookies D, get cookies... don’t make it sound like they are only for me”. I froze in the aisle, realising what I had done. Oh God! I’ve become my mother, I panicked! My Mom likes to blame others for her poor eating habits or buy something for someone else so she can justify having it. It drives me bonkers! I swear, if I start panicking about driving in the snow or calling people with a silly excuse just to talk to them, I might just have a heart attack!


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Taking off the glasses

Living with Dysthemia is never easy, but it’s particularly challenging when the illness is affecting you and you don’t even realise it. Sometimes it feels like you are wearing a really bad pair of glasses that amplify your faults, diminish your strengths and makes you see things in other people that just aren’t there. Take yesterday for example. I was just finishing up the first week of my new clinical practicum. New clinicals are always challenging because everything is, well, new: new department, new teacher, new students, and new ways of doing things. This one was particularly challenging since it had been 6 months since the last clinical (talk about feeling rusty), it was at a different hospital AND in a different language (English vs French). Add to all that the exhaustion of long shifts, late nights of research to prep for the following day and sleepless nights filled with anxiety.

By the end of my shift yesterday I was in tears. I felt like I was doing everything wrong and couldn’t seem to get the hang of even the most basic things like bathing my patient. Warning TMI (too much information) ahead... when you have to change your semi-comatose patient’s sheet because you’ve managed to spread bodily fluids everywhere, you know your technique is definitely lacking. :-( I felt completely incompetent and awkward, I felt like all the other students were breezing through everything and were way more experienced than me. I was really regretting taking a desk job over the summer instead of one as an orderly. When my teacher talked about issues during the day at the end of the shift, I was certain they were all about me.

Even with Mr. Perfect I thought I was doing things wrong. After work I drove to Truro to drop off my car (which has been sold by the way – yay). I felt like Mr. Perfect was frustrated to have to give me a drive back home, even though he was in Nova Scotia already for work. I was sure he was upset with me because I had sold my car and would now be “burdening” him with my lack of transportation. I managed to convince myself that he was keeping some kind of frustration from me, which resulted in me asking (over and over again), “is anything wrong?”

I ended up sleeping in the spare bedroom just so I could cry myself to sleep. I didn’t want to Mr. Perfect to know I couldn't keep it together. This morning wasn’t much better. Even though I had been working on my weekly report every night this week, I still had hours of work to do before my noon deadline. My head ached and I was completely overwhelmed by the 30 pages or so of work that needed to be completed.

I only realised I had been “wearing my Dysthemia glasses” for the last two days when Mr. Perfect asked me if I had taken my medication. I had, but the question seemed to send an alarm bell in the back of my mind. I suddenly realised I wasn’t an incompetent nurse or a horrible girlfriend... I was in a fog of Dysthemia. It’s incredible how it can distort your perceptions and make you imagine the most ridiculous things. I’ve since been able to “remove my glasses”, but I need to remind myself of my illness whenever my exhaustion or stress makes me doubt myself. It’s odd to think than anyone would need to be reminded of an illness. We’ve also planned to go for a run this afternoon, which I know will help greatly.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Real Men Don’t Learn to Run

I seemed to have peaked Mr. Perfect’s interest with the idea of running an international half-marathon or marathon. He’d also like to do it for a cause like the Team Diabetes run I did a few years back. Although he was blessed with a runner’s physique (tall and lean), Mr. Perfect is not a runner. Since he’s interested in training I decided we could start out the New Year with a little running. We’re not calling it Learn to Run... we’re calling it building a base. Of course, we’re using the Learn to Run techniques... but don't tell him that. :-P

We went out for our first run tonight. The first 2 minutes set was brutal! I was trying to run really fast, thinking my normal speed would be too slow for his long legs, but it was killing me. I was quite happy to hear he also found those first two minutes tough. We slowed down for the following sets and the rest went really well. I’m so excited to be out running with Mr. Perfect! He even said it was fun (minus the cold).

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Killing them softly with sweetness

This morning I emailed the clinical coordinator to apologise for my unprofessional behaviour in her office yesterday. I told her even though I was upset, I had no right to yell at her and she didn’t deserve my total melt down. Well, maybe niceness paid off because she responded to my email saying she appreciated my comment and that I had every right to be upset. She added that I shouldn’t despair because she was trying to find a solution. And guess what? She did!!!! What a freakin’ relief! I will now be doing my first clinical rotation in neurology starting next week and finish off with the community health bloc. Phew! All is right in the world again.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Am I just a Drama Queen?

Seriously. Do I exaggerate everything and invite drama into my life or does drama just follow me everywhere? I swear, if there is any possibility that I can take a detour on the way to my goals, I will end up taking it.

The latest drama in my life is regarding the accelerated nursing program. As I’ve mentioned before, the accelerated program gives you the opportunity to finish a semester earlier (December 2010, instead of May 2011). To take the accelerated route you need three things:
1. A 2,5 GPA or higher – check
2. Complete all your optional courses – check
3. Complete a stats class before your 4th year – not checked.

I was planning on doing my stats class last semester, but at the last minute, the class was bumped into a time slot that didn’t fit into my schedule. My advisor said that I could do it during the Spring instead at the same time I was doing my clinical practicum. To insure I didn’t have any evening shifts, I would have to do my Community Health bloc last it is always day shifts and my stats class is an evening class. My supervisor made the request, I got a copy of the letter and all was good.

I received my clinical practicum schedule before Christmas and as promised, I was doing my Community Health bloc last – Yay. Then, the prof in charge of my group quit for the first practicum (there are 5 blocs in total)and we all had to be dispersed into new groups. Because it was only for the first bloc of the practicum, it didn’t influence my Community Health bloc – yay. Then, over the weekend, they decided to do a little shifting around because of scheduling issues and moved me (and only ME) to another group. This new group starts out the semester in Community Health. I received an email about it this morning (the email was sent at 10:30 last night). I was livid when I read the email! I had specifically asked to have Community Health last... and this was back in September! Out of the 7 students in the group, they decide to bump me. It was completely random. Now they say there is nothing they can do as it’s “too late” to do anything. I was just bumped last night for fuck sake! I’m just getting home now from a meeting with the clinical coordinator (where I yelled at her and then started bawling). :-( I'm just so pissed off because I'm always getting shitty deals. When they put me at hospital no one else wanted to go, I didn't complain, when they gave me a practicum in June instead of May (and therefore loosing a month's work) I didn't complain like so many others did. But now, I'm not sitting back and taking it. It's just so unfair!

Why do I keep getting road blocks with this? Is it just me or does it seem awfully difficult for me to do the accelerated program?