Looking Up


Rough life.

I’ll be the first to say it, I can’t believe I was so quick to judge my ballet studio. I was harsh. I thought that because my teacher was young and kind and the studio was unconventional that I wouldn’t receive quality ballet instruction. I was so wrong. Goes to show that not only can you not judge a book by it’s cover, but first impressions can be very deceiving. I’ve progressed further in the couple of months of one day a week beginning ballet than I did in a full semester of beginning ballet in college. And that class was four days a week.

We, the students, have mentioned that an additional class would be awesome. But I know that with my schedule I wouldn’t be able to commit to every week. Plus our instructor is in school and I think she teaches another class on top of the two she teaches on Thursdays (our class and the adult pointe class).

We are, however, doing a recital in the winter. I don’t know when it is, or even how many of our classmates will be in it. Our numbers seem to be dwindling as of late. At first I was against a recital, but now I think it will be nice to show what we have worked on and how much we have progressed. Plus tutus, amiright? Gives us something to work toward. Especially if a new group joins in the new year and we have to start all over again.

I’m considering returning to school next fall. Gross. Vomit. Ugh. But I think this program will be alright. A few friends are at this school currently and can vouch for it. It’s online except for clinicals, and you don’t have to take the GRE. It’s a masters, which is where I’m aiming right now. The school affiliated with my hospital offers a masters on the way to the DNP (which I’m not ready to commit to), and the school where I got my BSN doesn’t have a masters in an area I’m interested in. So yeah. We’ll see. Lots to contemplate.


Mental Skills

I took care of a patient recently who made me question my skills, but not in the way I typically do. Typically I think things like, “what if I don’t recognize something that I should and they decline?” “What if I miss something crucial and they code?” “What if I’m going to the bathroom and they code?” etc., etc. Typically with very physically ill patients, I panic that I will kill them faster, or miss something that will lead to an irrevocable fatal event. But what about mentally ill patients? I’m not talking about patients that whine and are annoying who sometimes might get called “crazy”. I’m talking about patients with actual mental illness, possibly undiagnosed. How do I help them? What if I miss some kind of warning sign and they become a threat to themselves or others? What if they get hurt? What if get hurt? How can I care for them wholly, not just addressing their physical ailment?

In my psych clinical in school, I spent most of the time terrified. Huddled in a group of people, I feared that if I somehow angered a mentally ill patient that harm would come to me and my classmates. So much of that is from a stigma that has been perpetuated through the years of deranged and violent “mental patients” in the media. Every movie or TV show that depicts a mental health facility is, in a word, scary. And lets face it, the facility where I did my clinical time was one of those places. This facility had been around for a century, with very few updates from waning mental health budgets. The staff was fantastic, but they can only overcome so much, and I felt that if I were a patient there, I would not be able to heal. Thankfully they have moved to a new facility since then, but I have not been back to visit.

Very few patients have made me feel that fear since being out of school. During report you hear things passed down, but I never had any incidents with anyone that made me afraid. Until this patient recently. This patient ended up in our care for a physical condition, that may or may not have been brought on from treating a mental condition in an unsafe way. At one point in the shift, the patient became agitated and hostile, jumped out of bed and came at me, which I was obviously not expecting. And what did I do? I panicked. I didn’t hit the staff assistance button, I didn’t call for help in the hallway, I panicked and stood there, trying to talk to my patient so that they would calm down. I had already called security for another reason, but they happened to show up at that time. Everything was alright and the patient calmed down, but I walked out of the room and burst into tears.

My ears and throat were pounding and I could feel the fight or flight adrenaline surging in my body. I couldn’t sit down and do anything, all from a minor occurrence with a patient becoming agitated. I felt relieved that nothing had happened, but I felt sad that I could not help my patient in the way that they needed. Sure I can do a Q1hr neuro assessment until I, and they, are blue in the face. Yes, I can sink a foley, start an IV, toss in an NG, and shit, why don’t we intubate and line while we’re in there? Toss in an EVD and a Udall so we can start CRRT, too. But can I provide that extra therapy? Can I help repair my patient’s spirit? Their feelings? Their identity? All of those things are what helps our patients once they leave the hospital, but what are we doing about them while they are in the hospital?

I know that my friends on the unit provide all that they can for their patients, typically at our expense (both mentally and physically), but is it enough? Are we covering everything? Should we even be responsible for covering everything? Is it actually possible? I’m not sure. These are all just the kinds of thoughts I’ve been having since my brush with psych nursing. And I have to say, god bless psych nurses, because I’m definitely not one of them.


Recharging Batteries

Let’s just jump into this like I’ve posted in the last six months…

I got home from a wonderful vacation yesterday and have spent today relaxing and recharging. I got an email reminder from my calendar that I have to work in the morning and I almost threw up in my mouth. Not from disliking work, but my coworkers and I have agreed that the longer you are away, the harder it is to come back. I think that goes for a lot of things, which for me includes working out. I resisted returning to running for months because I knew how out of shape I would be. I put off returning to dance because I’m overweight and not nearly as flexible as I used to be. I’m terrified going back to work after being off for greater than seven days because I know I will be off my game.

It’s hard to organize your day if it doesn’t start off perfectly. And having a day start off perfectly in the ICU is definitely a rarity. Even if it’s your third day with the same patients, getting report from the same nurse, there’s always something that can go wrong or throw you off kilter. And for a lot of my friends and I, it’s typically happening to us! We just have that gift I guess.

But if I’ve learned anything from my bumps and tumbles, it’s that I’ve gotten better at rolling with the punches. I’m not the best, but I’m getting better. My biggest problem is that I feel I need to control everything, and let’s be real, that shit is not attainable.

It’s with this mindset that I am finally, after many, many years, returning to the world of dance. I can’t control everything. I know I’m going to look and feel like an idiot for many classes. I KNOW that I do not have the strength or flexibility that I had ten, fifteen years ago. BUT, and here’s the big one, I WANT TO DO IT. I LOVE ballet. I love watching it, I love reading about it, I love pretending I can do it in my head. And if I think about it that much, I would be stupid to not pursue it, right? Right. …I think.

My first step was getting a group of friends together for a more informal dance class, and it has been an absolute hit so far. We do jazz and tap for an hour once a week, and it is so much fun. Not a lot of girls in the class have dance experience, so it’s very informal and we are all there just to have a good time. Good times aside, while I was organizing this class, in the back of my mind was, “man I want to do ballet…” And I could not rid myself of that nagging thought. So now I’m at a point where I feel comfortable enough to take that leap into ballet class, and I even managed to talk a couple of other people into it with me, so at least I won’t be alone!

My first class is this week, but it has been an excruciating wait! I’m not sure what to expect from this studio (it’s different than my tap/jazz studio), but I’m heading into this experience with an open mind and my head held high. I’ve drawn quite a bit of inspiration from some other adult ballet students in the blogosphere, and I’ll list them here as my closing sentiments. I bid you adieu, and hope that with more activity and less control, I’ll inspire myself to post updates regularly.


Adult Ballet Bloggers!

The Adult Beginner
The Remedial Ballerina
Pointe Til You Drop
Ballerinas by Night (this is their YouTube channel, but the Facebook page has updates as well!)


Ballet Shoes and Bobby Pins

I Got to Go Home Early!



So instead of having another title like, “I’m Back!” or, “I’m the Worst Blogger Ever!” I would just like to move past that and pretend that I’m a great blogger and not promise anything for the future. Sound good? Kgreatthanks.

I did a lot of soul searching this weekend, mostly because I had a sinus infection of death, and I came around to a few conclusions. I was really toying with the idea of not participating in the Disney Princess Half in February because I have had no desire to train for it. I was going to sell my bib to a friend under the table and just move on with my life. People withdraw all the time, people get injured, people don’t show up, etc. etc. I really was more worried about paying for a Disney vacation on top of running a race I don’t want to train for. (Still worried about that, btw.) But then I looked at a calendar, and I realized that I can do this. And it will be better than the Iron Horse. Because I’m determined to have more fun and to be in better shape for this race. I’m not worried about time. I just want to have fun. And I want to run a race in a tutu, dammit.




But, having come to that conclusion, I’ve also come to another: running isn’t my favorite thing. Yup. I said it. It’s just not. I will use it for cardio, and if there are some good looking 5k or 10k races in my area I’ll consider it, but I think this may be my last half marathon unless something, or someone, changes my mind down the road. My heart just isn’t in it. I like the way that it makes me feel afterward, endorphins and all that, but it’s really not a passion that I can continue to pursue. Even when I was running regularly, and got faster, I still kind of disliked it. So, this is kind of my running as a regular sport retirement speech.



One thing that does get me moving, and excited, is dance. Which is why I think I was so drawn to Zumba at first. But the environment for these Zumba classes leaves much to be desired. I still have a punch card, so I’ll probably finish it out, but I’m not like gonna drop beaucoup pesos on some flashy cargos with tassels if you catch my drift.




But that got me thinking, why can’t I take dance classes again? Why can’t I see what’s going on in Lexington dance for grown ups? So I started looking. And I found some promising classes. But then I was all, “Oh man, it’s been almost 10 years since I’ve taken a dance class! Plus I’m a fat kid!” But then I replied to myself, “Who gives a shit?” And that was settled.


The only issue is that these classes are sometimes more expensive than say, joining a gym or something, but a lot of places offer a punch card type deal as well. So you pay for what you use or come to, and you don’t have to pay out the nose if you know you’re going to miss class every other week. Anyway, this is all semantics, and I’ll fill you in more later, when I actually get to take class next year. Since everyone is on Nutcracker/winter break. But I’ve been doing some pilates to gear up, and I’m pumped.


See what I did there?


Last thing I really need to talk about is work. Yeah – I totally got to go home early today! We cleared out/discharged a ton of patients and I got to leave! It was awesome! Since I’m back at work tomorrow, I used that time wisely: I trudged out for a terrible run, where I met a cat, and then ate some steak with Joelle. Yay! The only other note that I want to bring up about work is that I plan to really reflect on where I am and make some goals, some confessions, and to hopefully admit that I am further along in my nursing practice than I think I am when I am in the thick of it. My start date at the hospital was at the end of January, so I will probably get something ready around that time.



How often do you go to Disneyworld? Any tips on saving money while staying on the property? Have you done any soul searching recently? How did that turn out? I can’t wait to hear about it!


Feelings: I Have Them


I know, it’s weird. I’m a woman so I’m overly emotional (right?) and prone to outbursts regarding those emotions (right?) so it’s only appropriate that I talk about them publicly (right.). I just came from my first BSN residency meeting, which I wasn’t quite clear on (and still am not) the purpose of. I understand that it’s a place where we can feel comfortable being uncomfortable, and learn that we are not alone in our feelings of frustration, especially with ourselves, for not knowing what everyone else already knows. But I’m not sure what today accomplished, other than introduce us to that notion (which we already knew about from being on the floor), and some other people in that same position. Anyway, it brought up some feelings that I have concerning where I am in my nursing career.

Continue reading

What is Enough?

What do you think?

When did we shift into a world where a bachelor’s degree is not enough? Hell, when did we shift to a world where a high school diploma is not enough? My first “professional” job I used no skills that I learned in college. As a political science major with minors in art history and classical studies, nothing that I did in my job reflected my preferences or skills. But having that degree set me above people who didn’t have one, even if it had nothing to do with anything.

Continue reading

Bridge to 10K – Day One + School and Other Tidbits

I downloaded a free app that has the same running program as the Bluefin Software one (which costs $2.99 *without the GPS which is $.99 extra*) and I used it this morning. I wasn’t a huge fan. I guess because I was used to the style and polish of the Bluefin app, it couldn’t really compete. Plus there was no journal, that I could see, or a way to evaluate your previous runs, which is a shame. So I bought the Bluefin one, because I’m a loser, and I input my data from my run into that one, even though I didn’t use it, and I got this: Continue reading

It Wasn’t All Bad


As I lay in bed this morning, I’m reflecting on 2011. Not so much out of nostalgia or self fulfillment, but because everyone keeps bitching about how much it sucked. I realize our nation is in pretty bad shape, what with the economy and budget being a mess. And seriously, if Mitt Romney is anywhere near the White House I don’t even want to know what is going to happen. A special Jack Bauer terrorist dispatching task force? Oh lawd. But anyway, I digress. Continue reading

My Finger has a Heartbeat

I tried to donate blood in high school and it was traumatic at best. I blacked out about ten seconds in (after they actually found the vein), so needless to say I haven’t been too keen to repeat that experience. But, since I’m wanting to be a nurse I figure I should at least try to get over it, since I’ll more than likely be dealing with needles and blood on a daily basis. Well we had a blood drive at work today and I did it! I felt queasy and faint toward the end, but that was mostly because I was feeling brave and looked at the bag. Also I had forgotten to eat breakfast and I had only eaten an apple. But I donated a whole unit of blood! Yaaayyyy! Continue reading