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A walk

Posted on 2009.08.17 at 19:55
Have you ever stepped outside and walked around.. trying to feel your place in the world? And on this walk, have you ever seen eye-to-eye with a complete stranger, exchanged smiles, and parted ways.. getting this weird tingly feeling in your stomach? Almost like the brief eye contact seemed to say, "yeah, we're in this thing together". This thing being life.
And although sometimes you feel alone, looking into another person's eyes can make it seem like you caught a glance into something deeper, more meaningful. Even if you never see this person again, we are all connected in one way or another. We all have an understanding of what it means to be human. We have all felt pain, anger, disappointment, sadness, guilt, and at times, absolute bliss.
Then you continue this walk, feeling disconnected from the things that bring you down. Feeling more and more alone, but in the best way possible. And you pass a house filled with laughter, where the parents and children are playing a game of basketball in their driveway, and loving every second of it. They look up at you, smile, and continue their game. And then you think, "yeah.. this is where I hope to be someday". Even if it is nothing out of the ordinary, nothing too exciting.. it doesn't make it any less appealing. To be surrounded by people who love you, who enjoy being with you every spare second of the day, who will play a game of basketball with you on a Monday evening even if you're terrible at it.. that's all you could really ask for.

And then you walk away, feeling satisfied. Maybe the time isn't now, but someday you can have that. Someday you could meet someone who makes you feel like the most important thing on earth, and you will know that you are exactly where you are meant to be..and nothing else will matter.

But for now, you walk back to where you came from.. back where things are confusing, and full of hurt.. and suddenly you feel a terrifying mixture of both hope and hopelessness, not knowing how you got here in the first place.. but knowing where you want to be.

Mexican?

Posted on 2009.07.29 at 13:52
Have you ever actually looked at the man on the Tapatio bottle? I mean, I knew he was a Mexican. He has a sombrero on, so he must be a Mexican. However.. upon further speculation I realized that this man is actually just a white dude with a mustache.

Take note all you white boys of America. Grow a mustache, and you could have everyone fooled.

Posted on 2009.07.10 at 22:54
"who knows if the moon's
a balloon,coming out of a keen city
in the sky--filled with pretty people?
(and if you and i should

get into it,if they
should take me and take you into their balloon,
why then
we'd go up higher with all the pretty people

than houses and steeples and clouds:
go sailing
away and away sailing into a keen
city which nobody's ever visited,where

always
it's
Spring)and everyone's
in love and flowers pick themselves"

Posted on 2009.06.05 at 22:17
It's amazing what a friendly conversation with someone you have never met will do to lift your spirits. Just knowing that this person finds you interesting enough to talk to you, even if it's only for a few minutes.. that can bring a smile to your face on the worst of days.

When you're feeling lonely, it gets a little easier to find comfort in strangers.
I like people a lot, but sometimes I like them a lot more when I don't know them.

This entry is for you Michael!

Posted on 2009.05.15 at 18:58
Michael,

Today you asked me if I still post in this online journal. I said that I do.. well, in case you decide to read it sometime, this entry is for you.

I like you a lot. And I had a lot of fun with you today in college woods. You're awesome. I can't wait to spend more time with you. Thanks for making me smile every morning, and all day long :)

Love,
Jessie


Being a student nurse

Posted on 2009.04.01 at 15:48
I didn't know what to expect when I flew across the country and stepped foot on this campus.
First of all, I knew absolutely NOBODY.
Second of all, I had never even been to New England during the winter, and I had heard some pretty terrifying things.
All I could think was, "if I don't make friends, or i end up hating this place.. i'm screwed!"
Now, with all of these thoughts going through my mind, I didn't really stop to imagine what it would be like to be a student nurse. As I got more comfortable with my environment, made a steady group of friends, and braved the storm of winter.. I began to wonder what was in store for me.

The first year was the basic intro year. The year where all of the mandatory classes for nursing had at least 150 people in them. Anatomy and Physiology, Nutrition, Psychology.. they all had students in them from PT, OT, Exercise Science, Nutrition, etc. Not too big of a deal. Little did I know that everything I learned last year would come back to haunt me now. They didn't lie when they said nursing is one of the hardest majors out there. Basically, all four years are cumulative. Bad for me, seeing as I'm pretty sure I have early onset Alzheimer's. But I have survived this far!!

When I applied to nursing school, I was aware of this thing called "clinicals". It is comical to me now that I had NO idea what would be happening in these "clinicals". I knew that we would have several rotations in various settings before we would graduate. But I was never prepared for what these clinicals would bring. Allow me to give a brief synopsis of my experience in clinical.

Working on a Coronary Care Unit involves a lot of heart monitors, oxygen tanks, smokers, and people who are overweight and older. This is where I was placed.
Walking through the halls for the first time, I felt slightly thrilled by the idea of it all. Granted, my exposure to the hospital environment includes one visit to the ER with my brother when he was drunk, and about 100 Grey's Anatomy episodes. Needless to say, this didn't provide me with an accurate picture of what nursing in a hospital would be like. In this hospital, there are no sexy doctors ready to get it on in the on call room. There are no crazy interesting cases. Because this hospital is probably one of the smallest in the state, which is perfect for sophomore nursing students!

This week, I had taken care of a middle aged man who came in with decompensated cor pulmonale related to obesity. He had a history of obstructive sleep apnea, obesity hypoventilation syndrome, and pulmonary hypertension. He was also recently diagnosed with CHF. It was pretty obvious that all of his problems had arisen from his weight and history of smoking. He was "morbidly obese". (Their words, not mine). He had been having hallucinations as well, possibly related to insufficient oxygen levels.

When I walked in the room to introduce myself, he was sitting up in bed watching tv. Now, I might not be an expert, but I feel like I am pretty good at reading people. When I walked in, he didn't seem the least bit interested in talking to me, and just mumbled that I could do whatever I needed to. So I thanked him and left. These past few weeks I have been taking care of people who are either in too much pain, or are just too tired to want to talk to me, the measly student nurse.

Our clinical advisor had given us a laundry list of things to get done that day. It went something like this:

Listen to report. Locate patient and RN, introduce yourself. Assist with meal. Consider hygenic needs, and gather linen. Asses patient mobility. Observe any tests done to patient. Do vitals between 1000 and 1030 and 1315 and 1345. Do accuchecks. Keep track of I &O. Assess heart, lungs, bowels.. find radial and pedal pulses. Assess skin. You are responsible for Cardiac, Respiratory, GI/GU, and Integumentary Systems. Fill out sheet about patient history and nursing interventions, as well as medications. Administer any meds needed.

I find it interesting that everytime I introduce myself to the Registered Nurse taking care of the patient, they always treat me like I know EVERYTHING. Unfortunately, that is not close to being true. It's like approaching a Spanish speaker and asking them to read off a detailed menu, only catching bits and pieces of what they are saying. So I just nod and smile :)

I began working on the laundry list of things. I stopped in often, and throughout the day, the patient became more and more friendly. His mom came to visit him, and she was really sweet to me. I realized that as you get closer to a patient, it changes the way they think of you. You become like more of a friend than just someone cleaning them or checking their pulse. So when the nurse asked if I'd like to help her take his catheter out, he said he didn't want me in there because he felt embarrassed. He also didn't want me to help him use the urinal or anything. It makes me wonder when I will make the transition from "helper" to "doer" in the hospital, and how it will feel to have a patient trust me with every aspect of care instead of just the basics.

I was also curious how interacting with the doctors would be. And so far, even though the doctors are constantly around the nursing stations, the only interaction we have had with them is when they came up and say, "do you have 220's chart? I need it.. sorry that's the way it is.." And then they walk away. It is very obvious that doctors look down upon nurses, so you can only imagine how they must feel about STUDENT nurses. To them, we are just obstacles getting in their way as they are trying to move swiftly through the halls from room to room, not really taking time to really get to know the patient and their situation. To them, the patient is just an illness, a room number. Another medication to prescribe. A chest x ray to read.

My interactions (or lack thereof) with the doctors have made me realize that even if doctors are able to do more, I would never want to be one. Just through observation, it is easy to see how the patients become so fond of nurses that really care about them. The nurses spend large amounts of time at the bedside, and are the ones who actually educate the patients on basic lifestyle changes or administering meds that they have to take home. They are the ones who help the patients get through their anxiety and pain, or hold their hand when they feel upset. I am really glad that I have decided to go down this road. Even if it involves a lot of feces, vomit, and blood. I do have a bit of an unstable stomach for it all, but I wouldn't trade it for any other major out there.

People

Posted on 2009.03.25 at 10:36
The other day, I had taken the red-eye from San Diego to Boston, and had to wait in the train station for a couple hours. I decided to get some breakfast at the McDonald's. After the lady handed me my change back, I accidentally tipped my open wallet.. allowing tons of saved up coins to fall, spreading themselves all over the dirty north station floor. I looked at the lady behind the counter, laughed and said, "typical". She laughed back, and continued working. I bent over to the floor, and began picking the coins up one by one. After a sleepless night flight that made me feel so nauseas that I threw up when I landed.. picking these coins up was the last thing I wanted to do. Then all of a sudden, I heard a voice say, "Don't worry, I'll help you with those.." It was the greatest feeling in the world. This complete stranger stopped to help ME pick coins off the dirty floor. Not only that, but after we had finished, and I thanked him, he said, "I hope you have a nice day." Then he smiled and walked away.

People can be horrible, malicious, and completely unsympathetic sometimes. They can lie, cheat, steal, and murder. But when it comes down to it, I believe that people ARE inherently good. It is when we come across evil in our day to day lives that we become discouraged with the world around us, and we become apathetic and stop caring about others. But people like this man who will stop to help a stranger pick coins off a floor even if they are rushing to catch a train.. these are the type of people that give me hope. There may be a lot of bad in this world, and it's so hard to ignore that. But I think it's really important to open our eyes to the good. Because when you do that, the sun seems to shine a little brighter, and the world doesn't seem like such a dark place after all.

Posted on 2009.01.01 at 02:07
Happy New Years..

I don't even know.

Thoughts on life and death

Posted on 2008.12.31 at 03:39
Today my dad sent out an email to the ladies of the family talking about the last days he had with my grandpa before he died. He talked about how much he was struggling, and it obviously was very painful for my dad to see. Shortly after, my grandpa died in his home.. and I guess my dad felt really empty, and turned to my mom and said "There goes my good friend".

A few thoughts crossed my mind after reading this email.

First of all..Death still doesn't make sense to me. With everyone I know that has died, I never actually understood what it meant. I guess I think of them as all still being around, just on an extended vacation. And because of this, I feel like a 5 year old. Like I'm not mature enough to realize what has actually happened. But unlike the 5 year old I once was.. I am not so positive that they are in "heaven". I just don't understand what happened to them. I can't figure it out. And I feel like I never really got to say goodbye, or have any sort of closure. Whatever closure is supposed to mean when you say goodbye to someone you will never see again.

And then of course it led me to thinking about how it would feel to lose my own dad. He truly is one of my best friends. Like my parents have told me a million times after I would come home from a horrible day at school.. after being teased by my "best friends".. our families are always going to be there for us. Sadly, our friends will come and go. And I'm so grateful to have such an awesome family despite the fact that we might not be the most traditional family. It doesn't matter. I like the craziness.

It also made me think of when we all got together for Christmas.. how I had to stop myself from asking where my grandparents were.
I felt ridiculous for having let the idea cross my mind that my grandpa was still hanging around at the house somewhere.. maybe taking his afternoon nap like he always does at family get togethers. I was just waiting for him to walk in the room and to watch that big smile spread across his face when he saw me. I was waiting for him to come in and sit next to me and ask me about school, and to tell me something really wise like he always used to. I was waiting to hear that cheerful laugh whenever my dad did something ridiculous. Or when the kids started fighting. I was waiting to have a conversation with him about how Ireland is the best place on earth.. like we have decided a thousand times before. I was waiting for him to tell me that he's really proud of me. But he knows that I know that.

Anyways, on a different topic..I had an interesting conversation with my dad earlier.

We were driving through the neighborhood, and I saw a yellow ferrari. I asked him why he had never invested in anything like that.. and he said that despite his desire to have a really fancy car, he was more interested in saving as much money as possible so he could have a nice retirement, and then he could leave some money to all of his kids. At the time, I agreed that that was probably a good idea, and very noble.
But when I thought about it later, I told him that he should do the opposite. As grim as it is.. you never know how long your life will last. So why plan for your future if you aren't even sure what it will hold? Why not live for the moment? After all, I'm pretty sure that none of us will be "boomerang kids". If all goes as planned, we will all have enough money to live a happy life. So he shouldn't be concerned about saving money to give to us. And as far as retirement goes.. well he will be older, and he will just want to relax. You don't need that much money to relax. Why not enjoy being young and buy some crazy things (as long as you don't spend TOO much).. that way when you are in your retirement years, you can sit back on your rocking chair out on the porch and think about what an awesome life you lived. Complete with nice house, plenty of vacations, and a really nice car.

After about 20 minutes of trying to convince my dad that he should buy a ferrari, he walked away saying that he didn't really want a fancy car that badly anyways.

So I told him to buy me one instead :)

Needless to say, he laughed hysterically at that one.
Darnit.
At least I tried.

Disconnected

Posted on 2008.12.30 at 02:36
I feel like something is wrong with me. Maybe I have just slammed my head against my roommates top bunk far too many times. But sometimes I honestly think I'm losing it.

I just mindlessly tried to put a CD in my glasses case, and was confused when it wouldn't fit.
When I drive, I feel like I arrive without remembering any single part of the ride at all.
I can't for the life of me remember anything that I learned last year in any of my classes.
I fail to remember the names of any of my professors from the past.
When having conversations with people, I will ask them a question that I am genuinely interested to know the answer to, but somehow I forget to listen to them when they speak. And then I feel really horrible.
I could literally sit down in an empty room with nothing around me, and hours pass by like minutes.

Most days I feel like I am in a cloud.
The only problem is..
I have no clinical reason for being completely brainless.

Does that mean I'm just an airhead? Because I feel like my brain has disintegrated into nothingness.
On some days I think that all I have left is a beating heart to keep me going through the day. Everything else is just done mechanically.

I really wish I could control my wandering mind. I hate daydreaming and coming to my senses only after having missed half of a conversation I was in with someone. I truly wonder how much of my life I have actually been completely aware of.

When I stop being able to control my own mind.. will I become like Wall-E?
That wouldn't be so bad :)


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