Saturday, July 1, 2006


Why do days off go by so quickly?  I can't figure it out.  I only worked on Mon & Tues nights this week...had the rest of the week off, yet I'm sitting here thinking "I have to go back to work tomorrow night!"  I'm only scheduled for Sunday & Monday night.  Not sure if I'll pick up more days or usual...I'll just wait & see, play it day by day.  I love the flexibility of truly working when I want to work.  I am considered part-time status which allows me this flexibility.  The thought of committing to at least 3 days every single week is just too much.  I know when I get into travel nursing, I'll have to commit...but for now, I will enjoy the freedom. 

It was a piece of cake this week at work.  The first night I thought was going to be a disaster.  We started the shift with 10 patients & 3 nurses.....knowing full well we'd probably be hit with admits through the night.  Then 2 minutes later at the beginning of the shift, our 3rd nurse is sent upstairs because someone didn't show up.  So it's just Gina & I plus 10 patients.  Luckily we had a patient care tech...that makes it so much better. 

My only main issue that night was a patient's family member that wanted to stay the night with her mother.  I totally understood & supported her staying 100%, but our department says no family can stay overnight in semi-private rooms.  This patient had alzheimer's & dementia, plus she was different than any other confused patient I've ever had.  She just seemed so nervous & that was even with sedation medication from the MRI they tried to do.  So I refused to kick the patient's daughter out.  The patient was much calmer having someone she knew there.  I told my clinical leader that if she wanted her to leave, she'd have to talk to her.  So she talked to the daughter & the daughter refused to leave also.  We could have made a big scene, but luckily that didn't happen.  The next day, the day nurse got a doctor's order to allow the family member to stay.  I was glad to see that. 

There's really nothing to say about my patients or their conditions...nothing really stood out.  I will tell you about one of Gina's patients though...or at least a situation with one of them.  It was a man in his 40's in with diabetic ketoacidosis.  I think his blood sugar was in the 800 or 900 range when he first came in.  He was in ICU & she got him that night as a transfer.  Fastforward to about 5 am & I got a call from the lab saying "patient so & so has a blood sugar of 36." I was on my way to let Gina know, I asked our new PCT to get a blood sugar on patient so & so.  A little while later, I hear the PCT talking to the patient so I go in to observe.  He's trying to coax the patient into drinking orange juice - the patient was really out of it, barely responding, but was semi-awake.  As I'm watching & listening to this PCT encourage the patient, I say to Gina "He should be a nurse."  She replies "He's a doctor."  Eh???  What???  Dr. PCT???  Later she tells me that he is from Russia & over there he was an endocrinologist.  I'm thinking "Then why is he a PCT here?"  I go back into the patient's room & sure enough, this PCT is explaining to me all about insulin & it's effects on the body, blah, blah, blah.  I was impressed.  I don't know if he's planning to become a doctor here or not, but it's nice having him around.  The patient eventually came back around & was fine. 

My sleep schedule has been all messed up....taking naps in the afternoon & staying up late at night.  I finally got it turned around today...but of course I go back to work tomorrow.  Oh well! 

I got my lab results this past week...come to find out I am "severely hypothyroid."  It's my own fault.  I haven't exactly been 100% compliant with my medication.  I have had Graves disease since I was a little kid & eventually had the radioactive iodine treatment when I was around 16.  Since then I've been on synthroid or a form of synthroid.  Since working nights, I always get mixed up as to when to take the medication.  You're supposed to take it on an empty stomach...2 or 3 hours before or after a meal.  Well, that's not so easy to do with the mixed up schedule that I have. TSH result is 35.9 & it should be below 3.0.  I've learned my lesson...regardless of time, I will take my pill on a regular daily basis regardless of whether I've already had something to eat or not.  I really didn't feel like I had any of the symptoms of being hypothyroid except for the weight gain.  I figured it was just me getting older & my metabolism slowing down.  I had gained like 25 lbs in the last year yet didn't really change my eating habits.  However, I have been working out on a regular basis since March & managed to lose almost 20 of those pounds.  Still have a long way to go to lose this extra weight, but it's a start.  I'm curious to see if I will have more energy or be able to lose weight faster once my TSH level improves. 

My cholesterol isn't the greatest either.  My doctor wants me to go on cholesterol meds, but I really don't want to.  Partly because I don't like that your body become reliant on them....once you start, you can't go off of them.  Plus I don't like the risk of damaging my liver...although I know there is a risk of heart disease related to cholesterol level.  I guess right now the main reason is that the meds boldly say that if you're planning to become pregnant, you should not take these meds.  Not that I'm planning to right now or even in the near future...but it's still a possibility.  I know I'm getting older, but I think I still have a few more years to make that decision & I don't want to be on a medication that will cause any problems if I do choose to one day have a child.  So for now, I refuse to be on any meds.  Gina told me to eat oatmeal & to take certain vitamins.  I'm not sure what they are...but I'll check it out.  Anyone else have any advice? 

I had my niece stay over last night.  Her mother (my ex-sister-in-law) had a baby yesterday.  A big baby girl...9 lbs, 7 oz.  Mom & baby are doing well.  It was weird brother was here as were my niece & nephew when we got a call from the ex saying her bf/fiancee was coming over to pick up the kids to bring them to the hospital.  What was weird is this...this bf/fiancee is someone my brother had beaten up really badly a few years ago because my brother was still married to the ex at the time.  I can't imagine how he feels now...a few years later having this guy come pick up his kids to go celebrate the arrival of the bf's baby with my brother's ex-wife.  Am I making sense?  It's just thoughts going through my head....they don't always make sense.  :)

Oh yeah...update on the critter situation.  I officially declared my house critter free on Friday.  I thru away some of the traps (still left some in the attic), but we have not caught anymore since the original two.  I'm confident there are no more...feeling comfortable in my own home once again.  Thanks to Steve...after reading this story, I am thankful it's not my house...

AOL News - 1,300 Pet Rats Overwhelm Man's Home  or

Have a great weekend!


alicee said...

As a student nurse, I love your blog, and at the risk of sounding stalker-ish, I've read every entry since the beginning, lol.

Fish oil capsules help with cholesterol. Also flax seed, but you want to get the whole seeds and grind about a tablespoon, like in a spice grinder and sprinkle it on your oatmeal or on a salad.


tendernoggle said...

I don't remember where I read it, because I read anything and everything, and I don't know if it is true or not, but the article was about cholesterol andhow if you check it so many times a day...the readings will all differ greatly....but anyway...OATMEAL IS YOUR FRIEND!!! LOL I don't blame you about the medicine hon because if you accidently got pregnant you would be worried sick about it...just a thought.
I love your journal and as I have said before...I wish we had you here...Love what you did for that lady's daughter...reminded me of my mama...and i would have been the same way!

am4039 said...

I read that story about the guy with all the rats. Yuck. I hope you just take care of yourself. Don't forget your meds. Your job always sounds so exciting.  

ceejaec1 said...

Hey Jen,

First, thanks for all the nice comments you left on my blog.  I appreciate it so much!  As for your cholesterol, my favorite nursing instructor swears by niacin.  I can get more details from her, if you want me to.