04 April 2014

Intensive Care by Echo Heron

There is so much I can say about this novel, but for the sake of time and to entice more readers I will only speak to a few main points I took from it.

One of the first things I would like to point out is that Echo was a mother while also going through nursing school. She raised her child to the best of her ability and did have some "real-life" events that threw her off her guard at points. The fact that she included these life events in her book as well really influenced my perspective of her as a nurse and her as an author. 

It truly is easy to become swept up in the grandeur of medicine and forget about the bad days, hard decisions, and inevitable consequences of others' decisions. Intensive Care is a great reminder of the challenges nurses face. It is also a gleaming example of all that is important about nursing. The compassion Echo shows her clients is incredible! I think every nurse strives to provide the best care for their patients and the stories Echo shares are only a few examples of the ways we can do so.

That being said, I encourage all healthcare providers and families of healthcare providers to read this in order to gain a deeper insight into one woman's perspective of the healthcare industry. It hopefully will gain us nursing students some compassion and nurses a little more respect than frequently experienced.

28 March 2014

Spring Break, Day #7

This morning was the essence of "chillax." For those who may be unaware, the word "chillax" is derived from a combination of the colloquial term "chill", meaning to be calm, and the word relaxing. For example, laying in bed half the morning working on homework, reading, and watching YouTube videos was very chillax.

Once the afternoon hit, I became increasingly lethargic and managed to convince myself that a nap was appropriate. I always struggle with naps, because as much as I enjoy sleeping, the repercussions are always much worse than I care to handle. This time, however, I tried to fool myself into thinking that it was not a true nap if I was reading and just happened to fall asleep doing so. 

On awakening, I prepared myself for Stations of the Cross and a study/hangout session with a friend afterward. Stations of the Cross always has a way of humbling me and refocusing my spiritual compass. It helps me become more aware of the sacrifice Jesus made and reminds me that I am accountable for his suffering every time I sin. As harsh as it may sound, I do not think of it as the stereotypical "Catholic guilt" - instead, I think of it as the most endearing thing a loved one could do. 

With that in mind, I cheerfully joined my friend for what was supposed to be a night of coffee, catching up, and studying. Instead, we decided to try the hot chocolate from Moonstruck Chocolate (DELICIOUS!), study, and grab some dinner at Little Big Burger (veggie burger and truffle fries for me, of course). 

All in all, it was a very pleasant semi-end to my spring break.

27 March 2014

Spring Break, Day #6

Though today was not terribly exciting, it was not bad either. I redecorated my room somewhat and finally made the decision to try out the bottom level of the bunk bed. It looks... promising.

After a hearty breakfast of oatmeal and yogurt, I took some time preparing for the outdoors - sometimes also considered dressing. The weather did not look like it would change from lightly overcast, so I decided to take the risk and wear a skirt I bought on the shopping trip with my sister. I think I made a good choice.

The first destination of the day was a tea shop just off the corner of 11th and Glisan called The Tea Zone & Camellia Lounge. A friend of mine had recommended it to me a while ago, but I never made the time to try it. Well today was the day I did - and I am so glad! The staff was friendly upon entering and even recommended a drink for me when I could not seem to make up my mind. I took their recommendation for a Heat Wave bubble tea (always a good choice for me) and it was delicious! The place was not only clean, but cosy. I studied there for a bit before moving on with my day.

My next stop was the public library - no surprise there - to drop off a few books and pick up a couple more. I lucked out and found BJ Novak's novel on the shelf which I am very much looking forward to reading. I also picked up a book entitled Why Zebra's Don't Get Ulcers. It claims to be a guide to stress, stress-related diseases, and coping. A book I had read previously, Insomnia by Gayle Green, recommended it so I placed a hold on it as soon as I could.

Just down the street from the public library was Target. The convenient location could be dangerous for some people, but I pride myself in having established particular habits that prevent me from spending most of my time (off campus, and second only to the library) and money there. Usually I have a detailed shopping list as well as bags to carry my items home. This time, however, I thought a casual stroll would be fine what with it being nice day and spare time I had. I ended up buying replacement lightbulbs for my lamp, a Maybelline Baby Lips, a soy candle, a bag of Bugles, and a tin of Yan-Yans.

Of course, upon exiting Target it began sprinkling. A quick dash to the streetcar stop secured me a spot under cover from the rain, although it did not protect me from others' titters about the inappropriateness of my outfit for the conditions. I did bring an umbrella, but - silly me - it was tucked under my recent purchases. Fortunately the streetcar came and whisked me back to the safety and warmth of home.

Upon returning, I settled in bed to read and eventually fell asleep. And here I lay, still in bed, typing this while watching a show called Michiko & Hatchin.

26 March 2014

Spring Break, Day #5

This morning I woke with a start. I barely slept last night, the usual traveling jitters, and was convinced that I had mistaken the time of my flight's departure with the time of its arrival. I have no idea why. Realizing it was a false alarm, I tried with no avail to return to sleep. Instead, I hung in a half-awake daze until my alarm rang.

I sprung out of bed, turned on the oven, and got dressed. My sister bought waffle sandwiches from our favorite waffle sandwich place, Bruxië's, to supplement us for our long day of traveling and it was my responsibility to make sure they were warmed appropriately. Just after I had finished getting dressed, my sister joined me at the mirror to apply makeup. Using the tips I had given her the night before, she coordinated a lovely shade of purple with a nice beige eyeshadow. Watching her in the mirror, I started tearing up - partially because I was so proud of her, partially because I was impressed how quickly she had caught on, and partially because I did not want to leave. Both of us were too preoccupied to notice the time.

After we finished our breakfast and gathered last-minute things, we headed on our way. My sister's flight was later in the day - meaning she had a whole day of work ahead of her after dropping me off. I had hoped to treat her to a coffee or something beforehand, but we soon realized that the most important thing we needed to get was - you may have guessed it - gas.

On our way to the airport I became increasingly distraught at the thought of saying goodbye to my sister. I am sure she could tell by my passivity during the drive. Sure we chit-chatted, but I did not have the strength to hide my despondency, nor did I have the wherewithal to explain my behavior.

Is not that a shame? Throughout the drive I could have reminded her of all the things I love about her, shared some more outrageous nursing student stories, made wisecracks about our surroundings to make her laugh, or even sung my lungs out with her to music. We could have talked about our trips, work, books, music, etc. Heck, we could have played "I spy" for all it matters.

Why is it that some people become so upset at saying goodbye? I could say I inherit the habit from my mother, but it is not as simple as that. I suppose it is because I have a pessimistic view of changes, or because I become so attached to having people in my life. Whatever the reasoning may be, I just hope that it does not interfere with the interpretation of my feelings toward the person to whom I am saying goodbye.