Friday, July 29, 2011

IVF, stat!

As anyone who works in the hospital knows, the air is incredibly dry.

Add together dry air + lack of H2O + 12.5 hours of hard labor and you have yourself = The Dehydrated Nurse.

Nice to meet you!

I know it is wrong. I know that I need to make the extra effort to drink more water at work. Yet, I find myself in the same predicament time after time: the clock strikes 1800 and I punch out, only to realize that my lips are dry, peeling, and I have only peed once or twice during my shift!


My shift begins the same each time: I get settled with report. I do my first assessment on each patient and chart. Generally, one hour or more has passed. At this point, I make my way to the nutrition room and pull down my 700ml water bottle from the cabinet. It's packed in their tightly with lots of other reusable water bottles and mugs that other nurses have brought from home. Usually, I open the cabinet doors slowly as stuff comes falling out. No doubt it hasn't been cleaned out in years, with cups that have outlived some of the nurse's careers on our unit.

I go to the ice and water machine and proudly fill it to the brim and screw on the cap, vowing to myself, "Today, I shall drink more water..." At first, I succeed. I might drink half of the water bottle quickly. I place it on top of the little cubby that holds a chart outside my patient's room. And then the same thing happens each shift...rounds start and finish, there are orders to be taken care of, and patient's to care for, new admissions, transfers, expirations, busy family members, and patient's teetering on the brink of death.

And in that chaos, there sits my lonely water bottle. The ice has melted. And my kidneys are slowly shriveling up to nothing!

That is why I have declared a new challenge for myself titled:
source: Getty Images

Operation Hydrate the Nurse.
I am sick of having chapped lips, headaches after work, and concentrated urine.
From this point forward, I will make it a goal to fill up and drink from my water bottle three times. That is 2100ml or about 2 liters.
Sure, I might be running to the bathroom more often during my shift, but how can I take care of my patient's if I am putting my own health in danger? I AM supposed to be a "patient advocate," right? Well, I am now going to be an advocate for myself and other nurses...


Day 1 of my challenge starts Sunday.

Operation Hydrate the Nurse will be in full swing. I can already hear my cells singing with hydration joy.

I am thinking perhaps I need to make it a goal to drink water whenever I do a certain task, like prior to pulling a med, or at each hour when I record vitals, dump urine, etc. Thoughts?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Human-Doing to a Human-Being

I am committing myself to more blogging! I miss it. The blog definitely needs a real makeover, but I'm not sure I am up to it at this point. In the near future, though...any tips or ideas would be appreciated!

The past 6 months has been absolutely insane. So much heartache and grief.

It began with my Mother passing away. And just last month, on June 16th, my stepfather since the age of 9 saw a similar fate.  Honestly, I felt as if he died along with my Mother and I was not shocked by his passing at all due to the lifestyle he was living. However, Jerry was truly my Dad. 
He drove me to school, fixed me dinner, and saw me through many of life's big events... 
He was my Dad and I am incredibly grateful for everything he did for me. Life was not always easy, but he will be missed deep in my heart forever.

Following Jerry's death, my poor kitty died. Really, universe? Really?
I am determined to make the next 6 months of 2011 positive and uplifting! 

I want to refocus my life and move from being a Human-Doing to a Human-Being...
Here are 5 ways I am adding more balance in my life:


My weekend intensives of Yoga Teacher Training ended last month, but I am still finishing up classes and workshops. 

Not sure whether I will teach. I'm 50/50 at this point. A huge part of me just feels like I need to just do it, but I am scared! 

In addition to adding more balance in my life through yoga, I have been journaling prior to bedtime. I try to write whatever is on my mind prior to bed just to get it out. Also, I think of what I did during the day that may have left me feeling imbalanced and steps that I could take the next day to prevent this.

3.)Strength Training with Mirza

Mirza and I have committed ourselves to strength/circuit training 3x week at the apartment complex gym. Since I accidentally let my gym membership of 4 years run out and me being too stubborn to repay a huge fee, I am postponing joining a gym and using the one at my apartment for now. It is actually a great gym with a huge set of free weights, two treadmills, elliptical, bicycle, and tons of machines. I don't know why I didn't utilize it more often sooner.

In all honesty, I actually love strength training. Much, much more than cardio. I think it's because of the results I see so soon afterwards. Even on my 5'3 small frame, I do tend to put on muscle pretty quickly simply from my genetic makeup. I miss feeling strong and toned!
I decided to take some "before" photos. I think "before" photos are generally hilarious, but I wanted something to gauge my progress. I also took Mirza's photo, but promised him I would not post it...!

(Here's a fun and random fact about me: My real father was actually really into powerlifting and won some competitions and beat records in his age group. Here's a photo of him at the age of 58 lifting 570lbs. He did eventually do a 600lb deadlift, but I have no photo!) 

It may sound odd to add "decorating" to my list of balancing life, but let me explain...
Mirza and I moved in together on January 1st, 2011. Life was good those first 5 days and we focused a lot on making our apartment home and filling it with items we loved. We're definitely homebodies, so it is so important for "our home rising up to meet" us. As you can imagine, when my mom passed away just 5 short days into moving, decorating got left on the back burner. For the most part, we haven't bought anything new and the walls have been blank. 
In fact, we still do not even have a dining room table! We eat dinner sitting on the floor with the coffee table! 
Today, I finally hung up some photos in the living room...$20 at Salvation Army.

The iPhone photos don't do them justice, but they totally brighten up the room. We're no where near finished, of course. In the corner, we want to get a table with a lamp and maybe hang a mirror?

And Mirza has been busy making his music/recording room an enjoyable place for him!

5.) New Love
And finally, adding Abbey to our family has definitely given us so much joy and calms our souls!

What are some of the ways you add balance to your life?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Meet Abbey

As I left off from my last post, as soon as I saw her, I knew she was most likely "the one."

Mirza and I both  wanted another Maine Coon mix. Hell, if we had the money, we may have even gone to a breeder, but I fully support adoption and the shelters are so full of loving animals who need homes.

When I saw this kitten sitting alone in her big cage waiting impatiently for someone to let her out, a tear came to my eye because I thought of Max and all we went through with him. We would do anything to have him back, but he's gone, and some part of me just knows that he would be okay with us getting another kitty. Plus, I know we are amazing fur-parents and any cat would be absolutely the luckiest thing alive to live with us:)

The volunteer at the SPCA took our furry friend out of the cage and led us to the room where kitty could walk around behind closed doors to meet us in private. As soon as she put her down, she immediately came over to us and began rubbing her face on my leg and purring.

Meet Abbey.
2+lbs. Born 4/21/11, making her over 2 months old.
We named her Abbey after Abbey Road. It just fit her!

It has been one week and she has certainly made herself at home and is completely trusting and relaxed with us.  Her favorite hobby is following us from room-to-room and napping in our laps.

And of course, playing...

I want her to live a long and happy life, and just as I did for Max, she too is being fed a high-quality diet.
Right now, she is eating mostly Wellness for Kittens canned food with a tiny amount of dry food per day. I like Wellness because it is grain wheat, soy, or corn. It does have a small amount of vegetables, which cats don't necessarily eat in the wild (except for what's in the stomachs of their victims, but it's digested), but it's a small amount and better than what is in most commercial can foods.

 Cats, in general, should not even have kibble. It's full of carbohydrates and makes kitties fat. They need a high water content.

Just the past couple of days, I've been researching more and purchased a 3lb bag of Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Medallions in chicken. This is raw meat, bones, etc. Nature's Variety does have 5% vegetables mixed in, which is okay, but I am also looking into Feline's Pride that has no vegetable content.

So far? She loves it!

(If you'd like to learn more about cat health and diet, I highly recommend the website, Cat Info. The veterinarian that wrote the articles put a lot of time and effort into educating, and there's also a wonderful chart of cat food brands that breaks down tons of nutritional information that the companies do not put on the cans!)

I want her to be as healthy as possible. I know that illnesses can occur that are out of my hands (like cancer...poor Max), but I know I did everything possible to keep Max healthy, so I need to give Abbey that same chance.

-This now concludes my crazy-cat lady post-

Friday, July 8, 2011


On June 28th, with broken hearts, we lost our beautiful, Max to cancer.

At only 3 years of age...

It is so hard for me to even write about it, so I will not go into much detail, except to say that we know what needed to be done and it was the hardest thing I have ever done my entire life. We love Max. He was so much part of our lives.
He passed away very peacefully with my face in his belly and Mirza whispering into his ear.

We both had to say good bye to our best friend in the entire world.

Yesterday, I went to the vet to pick up Max's ashes. They were inside a cat statue. I was fine until Dr. Perry handed me a small tissue wrapped gift and stated, "I made this for's Max's paw print." I waited until I got home to open it with Mirza and we both cried. It was so real.

While I was at the vet, she told me I should get another cat. I told her I did want to, but I felt bad about getting one so soon. She told me, "Don't feel guilty...because you can't replace will never be able to..."

So yesterday, we went to the animal shelters. We tried the county shelter, seeing each little kitten with big hearts and wanting to take them all home, but just not feeling that connection.

Our next stop was the SPCA. We played with one orange kitty who was a fluff ball, but he wasn't the one, either. Next was a siamese/rag-doll like girl. Sweet as a pea...but...something just wasn't right. We were about to leave when the young volunteer stated, "hey, I think I found one you might like..she's back here all alone, she's fluffy and grey/white..." I walked over to the cage in the back with low expectations of finding the one, looked down at the fluff ball, and tears came to my eyes.
 I knew she was the one and I knew that Mirza would also agree...

To Be Continued...