Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Life and Death

I just got home from my first 12 hour shift for the week and what a night it ended up being! The MET team had to be called for one of my patients last night. This specialty team is called when a patient is having trouble breathing but they aren't in cardiac arrest so there isn't a need for a code blue. It was an eye opening experience to say the very least and I am glad to have that first experience behind me but I wish it would have ended differently. This patient also died last night...I had a patient die. I have never had this happen before and I am still trying to wrap my mind around it. I'm hoping that as I sleep today that isn't what I dream about. It wasn't a traumatic experience at all. The patient's family was able to get to the hospital before she passed and say goodbye to her and for that I am grateful and I'm certain they are as well.

It was good for me to have this experience and I'm glad I got to learn how important it is to be respectful of a patient even when they have passed from this life to the next. I didn't learn this because I was having difficulty being respectful but because of the 'coldness' that the person had that came to get the patients body to go to the morgue. It may have just been their way of dealing with the situation or maybe they were having a bad night at work- this I don't know-
but it was very bothersome to me.

I'm sure I will think of this patient every time I have to be part of a similar experience. I hope I will always be moved, just as I was tonight, when I have a patient pass from this life to the next. I am grateful for my job and for the opportunities that are afforded me.

Until next time...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Never say never

I have always said I would never be a runner. When I worked at Massage Envy I would tell the runners that I would work on to run a mile in my honor because I would never be running in a race and really the only reason I would ever run is if a bear was chasing me. Today I'm eating my words.
My sister called me tonight and asked me if I wanted to train for a 5K with her. My first reaction was to laugh and remind her I'm not a runner. She claims she isn't either. WHATEVER! She said she didn't start running until she was on her mission. Ok I'll give her that. I actually think she enjoys running. When she was pregnant with her little boy she ran up until about a month before she had!
I have had many roommates and one that I remember would go running whenever she was stressed about school and couldn't focus. When she would come back from a run she was always able to re-focus and have a smile on her face. I always wanted to have an activity that would give me that same results. I do like to work out. There is nothing like the feel of sore muscles after a good workout.
I am now committed. I am starting tomorrow before I go to school and work. The timing is perfect because I just wrote down some goals for an assignment in one of my classes and it included being physically active for 30 minutes at least 3 times per week. The training program that we are following is exactly is Couch Potato to can find anything on the internet.
I don't know that I will love running when it is all said and done but I'm going to do it and I'm going to finish this 5K.
Thanks to my sister for always being there to light a fire under me and encouraging me to try something new. She is such a good example in so many areas of life and I appreciate her excitement for life and trying new things.

Let the running begin!

Until next time...

Sunday, September 26, 2010


I was called to be a primary worker at church today. I will be a teacher for the 4-5 year old class and I couldn't be more excited. I have talked to my team teacher, Heidi, a couple of times and she is just one of the sweetest women I have had the pleasure of meeting...ever! I am so excited!

Last Sunday, JD was called to be the assistant ward clerk over finance. He was so excited to FINALLY have a calling in our ward after living here for nearly 8 months. I am so glad he is going to have an opportunity to get to know more men in the ward. He is so willing to help and serve where needed. Oh how I adore this man!

Last night as we were getting ready to run out the door to see "Charlie St Cloud" at the cheap theater. (AWESOME movie by the way) our home teacher and his wife stopped by with a plate of cookies. As we were getting into the care we were discussing inviting them over for dinner. We hadn't made it to the stop sign by our house before JD's phone rang and they invited us to dinner today.
Ryan and Lindsay have a cute little boy who was such a sweetheart the whole time we were there. They had him right after we moved into the ward. We found out that Lindsay grew up in Idaho Falls and they met on a LDS dating site too. Ryan is also a big football fan, so JD has a buddy to watch football with. We asked them to come over to watch the Bears game tomorrow night for FHE- it counts right?!?

Monday, September 20, 2010

And So It Begins...

JD and I have been married for 18 months now. I have shared before that we decided before we were married that we weren't going to postpone having children because we were both over 30 and we both want kids so why wait. Well here we are 18 months later and still no baby. I am so grateful that the idea of getting pregnant and starting our family hasn't taken over my/our life. It would be a lie to say that I haven't shed more than a few tears in the last 18 months but overall I have been patient- which is not a virtue that I normally have- in this "trial".

I haven't quite figured out if my trials are just not that difficult to bear because I am so weak or if I have just been blessed to find the blessing in my trials. I like to think that I am just able to find those "hidden" blessings. For instance, while it is has been a struggle for us to become pregnant and we are obviously going to need help to make it happen, I can't express enough gratitude for the time that JD and I have had to just be married and enjoy each other and figure out what things are important to us and how we want to raise a family.
It has also been an interesting experience that I have come in contact with several women that are having the same struggles. It somehow makes it easier because I know we aren't the only ones struggling especially when you see people around you that are able to get pregnant with no issues (or so it seems from the outside looking in) and complain the whole time about how inconvenient it is to have kids or be pregnant or both. I have had to bite my tongue several times and just smile through the internal turmoil several times but it is short lived...usually.

Anyway, one woman I met when I was working at Massage Envy. I always let my clients determine if they talked during their massage. After all they are paying for that time so they should be allowed that at the very least, right? Fortunately this one client in particular decided to talk, which led to me asking questions...and the flood gates opened, for which I am so grateful. She told me about her experience with infertility and how she and her husband had tried for 8 years to have a baby and had just had their little boy 3 months before I met her. She told me of different doctors that she had gone to in those years and the funny things she and her husband had started saying to people when questioned about starting a family. My favorite was them telling a friend of her mother's that they decided not to have kids but get a boat instead because that would be more fun. We both had a good laugh about that. Sometimes it is just easier to laugh about it all.
Well that is where it began. She told me about Dr. H. She said that she had done 5 IUI treatments with another doctor and after going to Dr. H and only one treatment she was pregnant. Maybe it was just her time to be blessed with a wee one but she said that he and his staff were just different. She said you could tell that they had compassion and were knowledgeable.
Soooo... on October 4 we are going to meet Dr. H for our first consult. I'm excited and I'm nervous. I'm excited for the possibility of getting some answers and moving forward and (fingers crossed) adding a wee babe to our home. I am nervous because of the what ifs. What if... we really can't have children for some reason. What if...we can have children and through these procedures we end up with a multiples-greater than two or three! ( I guess then it would be count your blessings name them one by...more than one?? What if...I'm not a good mom, what if we really aren't ready for parenthood like we think we are, what if, what if, what if.

Until next time...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Every Sunday I check my Intermountain email for several reasons...I like to take a look before I go to work the next day and there is an employee newsletter they call "Stories" It has helpful tips to be less stressed at work, activities that are going on within the region that I work, sometimes there are recipes, feel good get the idea. With this letter there is almost always a link on the webpage from Dr. Sorensen who is the CEO of Intermountain Healthcare and an option for employees to share an idea or thought.

I love that employee opinions are important to Intermountain...what a great company. However that is not really what this post is about. It is about one of the ideas that I read online yesterday from a fellow employee. She said that to keep stress at a minimum in her life she takes the time each day to right in a gratitude journal...Oprah recommended it years ago...and I didn't do it. I read another blog recently where the writer spent 40 days writing about what she was grateful for...I didn't follow in her footsteps. This time I'm going to give it a go.

There is no promise it will be written in my blog everyday but I promise for at least a month to write down what I am grateful for everyday. My gratitude starts today!

Yesterday I had the opportunity to work on the oncology unit at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City. I am truly grateful for the opportunity. To be perfectly honest I grumbled when I called the staffer in the morning and found out where I was going. I then pushed the murmuring me to the side and pulled on my scrubs and headed to work. My first rounds I was in my second patients room and he was just as cheerful and happy and GRATEFUL as anyone I have ever met. It rocked me to my core that this man who is fighting for his life could be so happy and full of gratitude. We talked about tennis and he showed me a video of Fedderer (is that how you spell it?) at the US Open last year and an amazing shot that he made. This patient fed my soul and in turn I hope that I was able to share that with the other 5 patients and all the staff that I worked with.
I shed tears as I was talking to one of the nurses and she expressed her appreciation for me being there. I was embarrassed and explained that I had grumbled when I was assigned on this unit and how amazed I am that she can work there everyday. It is absolutely not that the patients are terrible. In fact, I think some of the worst patients I have had that are in the hospital for a couple of days that act like there life is just terrible should have to see what these patients go through. They LIVE in the hospital for no less than 10 days the first time they are there. When they come back for treatments later it may be a "little" as a week that they are there. Through it all they are grateful for the care they receive. What a great lesson for me.

I hope you can find something in your day to be grateful for.

Until next time...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Today I learned...

I had a work meeting this morning before classes and I just can't seem to get this thought out of my reap what you sow. This meeting was a training class for the PCA's (PCA= Patient Care Assistant aka CNA) on the Float Pool that I work on for Intermountain Healthcare.

Have I mentioned that I L-O-V-E my job...I learn so much everyday and meet interesting people and co-workers each shift because I have the opportunity to work at 5 different hospitals in the Salt Lake valley, not to mention that I get to pick my can't beat that!

Anyway back to the meeting this morning... we were talking about the standards that are expected of us when we work at different locations because while the care is (or at least should be) consistent each unit has a little bit different protocol for some things. I have learned as I have gone to work that sometimes it is more the people you work with rather than the policies of a unit that dictate how things are done...which is what makes me think of reaping what you sow.

One of the PCA's in this meeting this morning would NOT quiet down about how the nurses at a certain hospital just don't help and they are lazy and they treat this person like a runner even when they are swamped with their own work to do. It was interesting to hear this woman and her opinions and of course, once one person starts other people had to tell their sad story of how they have been "misused and abused" by nurses on certain units at different hospitals. Anyway, it occured to me if you focus on those kinds of things that is all you see but if you focus on the good things in the people you work with- that is what you will see.

If I was to find something that I didn't care for much with my job it would be that people pass on their opinions about patients and staff you will be working with during the shift change report. I HATE it when that happens. I learned a couple of weeks ago to just let it go because people are going to have their opinions but they don't have to be mine.

I had a patient that I was told was terrible to deal with and mean. My first rounds I waited until the very last to go into that room and was very apprehensive because of what I had been told. I tried to be nice and cheerful but I know he could feel my nervousness. I decided after that that I was going to ignore what the previous PCA had told me and not treat him any differently than I did any other patients and that changed everything. Maybe it was my imagination but... his attitude toward me changed when I changed my attitude towards him- crazy how that works! It was a good lesson and I am glad that I learned it earlyin my nursing career and I hope that as I progress I will be able to pass that on to others.

I have heard it all before from other people about like attracting like and reaping what you sow but this morning it never rang so true to my heart and mind. I love learning moments like that!

Until next time...