Thursday, January 31, 2008

What is it that really helps people?

This semester includes taking care of cancer patients. Having had a father that died of cancer, I have seen what goes on during treatment, physical decline and finally death.

My thought was, other than all the drugs, what really helps?

One of my charges this week included a wonderful woman with lymphoma. Newly diagnosed and very unsure of what to expect, we had the opportunity for lots of talk time and education. On the second morning of her care, she looked a bit frazzeled to me so I asked what was up. She explained how she just melted down yesterday and all the other feelings she has about what the treatments were doing to her life. Recognizing a fellow control-freak, I told her it was good she could get it all out and that melting down was expected and healthy. You can face it when it finally gets out.

She had no idea you should look at it that way; to her, it was losing control.

She said that helped so much. Just to be told what she is going through is to be expected, her reactions, acceptable.

Cancer can step into any life. If that life is outgoing, independant, healthy and happy with lots of activities, cancer interrups all of that. The frustration I have seen is worse sometimes than the drugs.

Just being able to talk to someone who says, "Hey, you are gonna melt down, it's OK," I think that helps too.

With how busy nurses are, we cannot lose sight that are first priority is nurturing. I hope I can keep that in mind through my career. If I lose sight of that, I think I'll do something else.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Breckenridge, the final say

Breckenridge was great fun! We did spend one day in Vail, as our lift tickets worked there as well.

Unless you are, oh, an Olympic level skier, don't bother. Green runs end in blacks or even moguls, the mountain isn't marked (we had to go uphill at one point), and not much is groomed. The lift lines were crazy long, but it was Saturday. It is stunningly beautiful. The whole place is right off a postcard with snow laden trees that are so perfect you can't believe they are real.

A new development, if we go back to Breck next year, I will try snowboarding again. I know, I know, glutton for pain and punishment, but at Breck, it is so much more conducive to learning. Nice, wide, gently sloping greens, no cliffs to fall off of like Winter Park. I have to try again, it looks like too much fun--still. I spent one morning with one of the bunch that was trying snowboarding for the first time. Just to see how much room there is to learn with, I gotta try again if we go back. I have heard beaver creek is the same way.

Snowboarding again...I have to!

Week Two of Semester 4

Ok, I am busy enough. Finally! With three classes, 20hr/wk work, family obligations and martial arts and the gym, I have attained busy again. Really busy.

I like this best! At the hospital were are doing the nursing stuff now. We are taking care of 2, 3, 4, sometimes 5 patients. We are responsible for charting and doing everything right. I have had the apparently common panic attack of, "holy crap, I may have to keep someone from dying." We have been told that said panic attack is normal fourth semester. It passed already-the panic attack that is. Haven't lost anyone yet....

Our additional class this semester is nursing management. It is all online, my favorite method, and involves lots of writing. I feel deeply for the few in our class who do not type. Sad day for them! Lots of lots of stuff online to type!

We do get to rotate through ICU and ER which I am looking forward to. These are on the possible list and I need to know what it's like.

That is the school update! Wish me luck keeping my head above water!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Thoughts From Friends

One of my nursing school buddies sent this out. I thought instead of forwarding it I would jsut posit it. I especially like 13, 14, 19 and 25.

40 Tips for an Exceptional, Healthy & Powerful Life in 2008!

1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.
2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
3. Record your late night shows and get more sleep.
4. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, "My purpose is to ____ today."
5. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.
6. Watch more movies, play more games and read more books than you did in 2007.
7. Make time to practice meditation , prayer. They provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.
8. Spend more time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.
9. Dream more while you are awake.
10.Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
11. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan Salmon, broccoli, almonds & walnuts .
12. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
13. Clear your clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and flowing energy into your life .
14. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
15. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
16. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid.
17. Smile and laugh more. It will keep the energy vampires away.
18. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
20. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does .
21. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
22. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
23. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about .
24. Burn the candles, use the nice bed sheets, Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"
27. Forgive everyone for everything.
28. What other people think of you is none of your business .
29. Time heals almost everything. Give time.
30. However good or bad a situation is, it will change. So stop complaining about the weather, the job, the bills, etc. Etc.
31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
32. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
33. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
34. The best is yet to come.
35. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
36. Do the right thing!
37. Call your family often.
38. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: " I am thankful for ___." Today I accomplished ____.
39. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.
40. Enjoy the ride. Remember that this is not Disney World and you certainly don't want a fast pace. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy the ride. Have a fantastic 2008!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Powder, Cold and Mountains

The annual skip trip is here! Basically, we are the same group with a few deletions or changes in those attending. We number 17 this year! Breckenridge is the locale and there has been tons of snow!
For those of you who read regularly, I admitted defeat this year and am happily skiing with friends! The snowboard wins and I sucked at it. I am skiing the blues and having a great time. The best part about our group is everyone skis with whomever is at their level. With a group of 17, there is always someone to ski with!

The high this week was 27 and we have already seen that. The high today was 19 with a wind chill of 4. BBBbbbrrrrr!!

I have sore thighs and my calves are having a small conversation with me, but other than that, I am great! The last run today felt really good with my legs not getting so tired. I must be doing something better!

John has already taken an entire 4gig card on his camera, so plenty of pics are a promise. Keep you posted on how the rest of the week goes!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

We Only Learn Through Failure

This is an excellent article about Failure by Oprah listed on CNN.

Our society always uses the word "perfect" when nothing is nor ever will be. We are supposed to, as a species continue to learn. How do we really learn?

By not succeeding....failing.

I know personally the lessons most valuable to me are the ones I learned through truly terrific error or failure.

I like how the article also addresses success:

"Success is as dangerous as failure," said Lao-tzu, and any life coach knows this is true. I can't count the number of times people have told me, "I hate the job I'm doing, but I'm good at it. To do what I want, I'd have to start at zero and I might fail."
Dwelling on failure can make us miserable, but dwelling on success can turn us into galley slaves, bound to our wretched benches solely by the thought, I hate this, but at least I'm good at it.

I also agree with the following that discusses a better attitude toward failing:

This is the magic of accepting that you've done your very best but failed. Own your failure openly, publicly, with genuine regret but absolutely no shame, and you'll reap a harvest of forgiveness, trust, respect, and connection -- the things you thought you'd get by succeeding. Ironic, isn't it?

What is it in our society that makes most fear failure so intensely? How else do we expect to learn? I personally believe the most valuable things to learn are the most costly to us. Why would you want to go through pain, hurt, emotional turmoil or financial expense and learn nothing?
Not learning would be even more expensive.
Wow, because then you have to fail the same way again.
No thanks.