You guys. It’s been too long since I actually blogged about something. I have been so busy with school and being sick that I’ve hardly had time to do much else, let alone blog about it all. BUT I’m finally feeling motivated to blog so here we go!
So first, school. Spring break was a two weeks ago and just like last semester, after the break I don’t feel like do anything. I really needed that break, for sure, because I was about to go crazy, but it totally kills my momentum. A break reminds me of what it’s like to not have to do anything. What it’s like to not have to wake up at 6:30 or earlier every morning. What it’s like to not have 4-6 hours of reading/studying/homework/paperwork every single night. And then the second day back to school I totally kick a Medical/Surgical exam’s ass and I feel like “Hey, I hardly studied this material, I’m just natural smart like that”. Maybe it was just that exam or maybe I studied a better way that before but I feel completely unmotivated to read or do anything regarding school because that last exam was just too easy. Yes, I’m complaining that a nursing exam was too easy. See, this is how crazy nursing school makes me.
Last night I worked from 7pm – 2am on just last week’s clinical paperwork. Not that any of the following will make much sense to you guys (unless you’re a nursing student) but I did: a 3 page process recording, 3 medication cards, and 1 detailed nurses note all for a 10 minute conversation I had with a patient at the mental health hospital for Behavioral Health AND for Med/Surg I did: an activity sheet, a medication list, a diagnostic study sheet, a care plan, and a time-line nurses note for both of my acute care patients. This week’s clinical paperwork is going to be even worse because I have 3 clinical days to do paperwork for instead of just 2. Now more than ever before, I can’t wait to graduate!
And second, being sick. A little background first: I first presented with severe vertigo when I was 14 years old. We had no idea what was wrong with me and neither did any of the area doctors. I went to a specialist in Nashville who, after hours of crazy tests, diagnosed me with Meniere’s Disease. I was prescribed meclizine and a diuretic to take daily. Sometimes I would still have severe vertigo spells but after about a year my symptoms subsides all together and I stopped taking the medications. Last May I blogged about my symptoms returning. Since then I’ve just experienced the “fullness of ear” (Aural fullness- The feeling of “fullness” in the ear is similar to that experienced by barometric pressure changes (such as when riding up or down a hill, or ascending or descending in an airplane). However, this fullness cannot cleared by swallowing, as in the case of pressure changes.) about every other week or so, lasting only a few days.
Fast-forward to last Wednesday afternoon – I became a little dizzy which I haven’t experienced in YEARS but it wasn’t unbearable so I went about my day, even went to dinner with my photography mentor Stephanie at Patti’s. Before dinner tho, I searched my house high and low for my prescription meclizine (Antivert – for dizziness) and couldn’t find it anywhere. Thankfully my dizzy spell didn’t progress into full blown vertigo that night. Thursday morning I woke up still dizzy but didn’t think much about it and went on to clinical in the hospital only 20 minutes from my house. Around 10am I had just finished giving both my patients a complete bed bath and was a little overheated (and still dizzy on top of that) so I sat down for a moment. I never cooled down and my head didn’t stop spinning but I had to continue on caring for my patients so I thought, WHATEVS! I went to gather supplies to deliver a subq injection and had to concentrate REALLY hard to even walk straight. Mind you, it didn’t occur to me that I might be on the verge of a vertigo spell because I hadn’t had one in seriously, 10 years. I actually assumed my sugar was low because it was almost time for lunch and I was hungry.
Now here is where I was stupid but thankfully I didn’t eff-up: I administered the injection, hands shaking, brow sweaty, two seconds away from passing the eff out. I should have excused myself and asked a nurse to do it. I should NOT have endangered my patient like I did. BUT I didn’t. I gave the shot, successfully, and a soon as I stepped out of the patients room I half-way collapsed, caught myself, and notified my instructor that I didn’t feel well. That was an understatement. She tried to chalk it up to being nervous about giving the injection. I assured her I wasn’t, I’d done it plenty of times, and I actually LOVE giving shots. She had me sit down on a chair near the nurses station and asked if I was having a hypoglycemic episode. Yea, I thought, it must be that! I was given orange juice and crackers. Ate those, sat there for the remaining time before lunch (about 20 minutes), but never felt any better. We all went to lunch and I sat in the cafeteria only eating a few bites of my meal. My stomach was so weak and full-feeling that I just couldn’t eat anything. A few classmates commented on how I didn’t look much better and maybe that something else might be wrong with me. I took a moment to call Neil at home to tell him what was going on and for the first time I thought, I might be having vertigo again. He said he could come get me if I needed him to. Sweet man.
The rest of the day is a blur. We returned to the floor and since I had finished everything prior to lunch (
I’m fast like that my patients weren’t difficult) I was allowed to sit in the nurses lounge and chart. The instructor asked me after lunch if I thought I needed to go home and even though I knew I was going to be completely useless the rest of the day, I told her “no”. She said something along the lines of “well, if you can’t care for your patients then you shouldn’t be here” and I think I replied with “if I have to do something, then I will”. Does that make sense? I was telling Neil this part the next day and he got confused and looking back on it now, I’m not really sure if I responded correctly, but WHATEVS! End of shift came, during post-conference I almost passed out just sitting in my chair, Neil picked me up, I cried on the way home because I felt so awful, Neil carried me to bed, I slept from 3pm – 7:30pm, moved myself carefully to the couch, Neil came home, I got sick again and we went to bed.
Friday morning I woke up dizzy but not sick and felt well enough that night to go to dinner with my dear friend Jenny. Later that night, however, I did get sick and I started to regret eating out – high sodium content in restaurant foods, you know – but Jenny and I had such a good time talking so it was worth it. I called my nurse practitioner/family friend to call me in more meclizine and a steroid pack, which I picked up the following day in Paducah.
Saturday morning I woke up a little dizzy and stayed that way all day, not getting sick until right before bed, which is not a big deal since all I need to do usually to reduce the vertigo is go to sleep for a few hours. Sunday morning was the first morning in days that I didn’t wake up dizzy whatsoever. Neil and I went to church, had lunch with my parents, and I had an engagement portrait session that afternoon. It went really well until about 10 minutes from being over, when I got dizzy. I did all I could do to finish the session without them knowing I was about to faint. I STUPIDLY drove home, made it there safely, and proceeded to sleep for an hour until dinner. Salty pizza didn’t make anything better so I stayed pretty vertigo-ed up until we went to bed. I had planned on driving home Sunday night but that wasn’t happening.
Monday morning I caved and called my ENT doctor down in Memphis. They promised to have his nurse call me before the day was over. I felt well enough to drive home and go to clinical yesterday but by the end of the shift I was holding on the handrails in the hallway to keep myself vertical. My ENT dr’s nurse finally called me back and after a short talk with her we established that I need to return to my low-sodium diet, continue taking my diuretic daily, and she prescribed low-dose Valium for vertigo episodes. We talked about scheduling an appointment for May. I took a short nap when I got home and then the rest of the night was spent doing paperwork, like I mentioned above.
This morning I suffered another vertigo spell but it ended quickly. Neil had to run to Paducah this morning, something to do with his truck, and brought me back McDonald’s for lunch. Probably shouldn’t have eaten it but I was starving. I’ve been doing house work, homework, and blogging ever since. Next up, editing images from Sunday’s shoot!