Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Over a Kansas Rainbow

I love Kansas, I really do. And there's a kind of tenacious toughness to the Midwesterners that's really quite admirable.


I don't love being in the middle of nowhere with no cell service,no phone service,& the nearest "help" one mile away. Heck,even the walkie talkies don't work. At night, the wolves howl their symphonies & you really try not to worry about what the heck you'd do if a wild animal burst into the cabin(stab them with the glucagon needle?) or if the tornado siren went off. To say nothing of having a diabetes emergency(nearest hospital: 25 miles away) or an emergency of some other kind. I was not cut out to be Pioneer Girl.


It is rustically beautiful. Flowing streams, an elaborately decked-out "Lodge", nice views, and a hot tub on the premises...plus a relative(hubby's) who is really just as nice and accommodating as can be. I will just have to woman up & bear the 5 days of no Internet, or well,anything. Hubby's relatives really want to see the J-baby.(I would love to do a Kansas meetup but that all depends on whether Hubby wants to,he isn't overly thrilled about D-meetups)

I will (likely) survive. I can do this. And maybe we will all end up having an excellent time.(toddler tempers pending)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

15 Months

This is my angelic child. He is (now)15.5 months old, bright, funny, cheerful. He loves reading books & splashing in the bathtub. He has a short fuse & his yet primary way of communication(for anything) is yelling at the top of his lungs. And for the most part, he's healthy.(seasonal allergies notwithstanding)

But... He isn't walking yet. He'll pull himself around all over everything in Creation, but has no interest in taking independent steps. (when forced to do so, he does the stop,drop, and laugh at Mommy) Otherwise, if he wants to get something that can't be gotten via holding on, he will crawl.(he can crawl faster then I can walk) And when you go to the Pediatrician's, & they frown & start asking you all these other questions about his development & start planting seeds of doubt as to whether something is seriously wrong...At this age, every normal child is at least walking. She took a look at his hips,his gait, & said it looked normal but if he doesn't begin to walk soon, they will want to get an X-ray & perhaps see a pediatric neurologist although in every other developmental area, he is normal so she doubted that it was some weird neurological deadly disease that could be causing this.(I will not Google. I will NOT Google.)

"Kids just develop differently."

Which I know, but it's not exactly turning the worry off in my brain. You can't just ignore something, hope it's nothing,& find out later that it was a HUGE something.

Enter referrel to Infant & Toddlers Program.(some sort of state funded program for developmental assessment/treatment of developmental issues) Called them, gave them some basic info & the case worker set up an assessment for Tuesday. I'm hoping they can shed some light on whether this is a medical problem or a psychological one, & what can be done to fix it.(or where to go from here,because I'm at a loss)


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Choosing This, Not That




(mostly not...) That:



(the child is a perpetual ray of sunshine,so my collection of "angry baby" photos is very slim. This one is probably from a year ago.)




Not: (the W...)







And always, always,more of this!!!!


Friday, April 19, 2013


Long, long ago, when I was a young un' in 4-H...every meeting would begin with the solemn pledge. Which I will probably remember till my dying day, given that I recited it hundreds, if not a thousand, times over those 7 years. It went:

I pledge:

My head to clearer thinking

My heart to greater loyalty

My hands to larger service

My health to better living, for my club, my community, my country, and my world.

Nursing kinda has a pledge like that as well. It's called the Florence Nightengale pledge, as it's kinda like a Hippocratic oath for nurses. You don't get to say it unless you are a graduate/or actual RN. Florence Nightengale,as you probably know, was the founder of modern nursing & the whole shebang...she was quite the remarkable person. In first semester, we learned all about Florence & the history of nursing & all the legal stuff.(aka:how to not get sued)

"First, do no harm."

"Honesty. Veracity. Benevolence. Nonmalifecence." (learn to spell...)

"What would Florence do?" was the theme of that particular course. I grew to rather disliking Florence, for her intrusion into 21st century nursing. Florence,however,is still important. (quirky teachers non-withstanding)

I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug. I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession, and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling. With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.

I'm pretty sure Florence wouldn't have put up with the legal mumbo-jumbo that passes as being a good nurse today. She was a person who took matters into her own hands,to get the best care for her patients. But it's 2013, & you've got to toe the line if you want to retain a nursing lisence. I went & talked to a prof today(who is really awesome,& probably the straightest shooter in the whole program) & she told me that yep,nurses can't legally make that assessment that a patient is "ok"..it has to be done by a doctor. So if I'm that patient with a low blood sugar in clinical,even if I treat it & appear ok,if I make a mistake & kill a patient or pass out in the hallway legally it's their mess too. And there is the fact that some clinical profs actually do care about you & want you to feel better. But mostly,it's all legal. So,I guess I've got no recourse but to run 200+ if I really want to avoid lows. The instant I A.tell someone I need to treat or B.appear/am low C.eat glucose tabs & someone sees I'm low it's game over in clinical. I hardly think this is preparing me for the real world, I'm acquainted with managing D on the job without killing myself or another party. At least,it was the opinion of the prof that I'd be better off temporarily high & I am tending to agree with her. Classroom is slightly different, it's ok to be low & treat there since there are 20 other students (as long as you don't pass out). Lab is like clinical..low=nono. She cleared up the confusion I had on that matter.(as well as a few others. It's nice when someone tells you exactly why faculty does what they do,even if that reason is completely asinine.) Plus she fed me diet beverages and cookies, & that's always a huge morale booster in my book. It's nice to have someone(in real life) rooting for you.(besides all the people that live in your computer,which I do appreciate ALL of you.Thank you.)


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

For Want of a CGM

For want of a nail the shoe was lost. (CGM/blood sugar)
For want of a shoe the horse was lost. (blood sugar/class)
For want of a horse the rider was lost. (class/student)
For want of a rider the message was lost. (student/paperwork)
For want of a message the battle was lost. (paperwork/course)
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost. (course/nursing school program)
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail. (CGM)

This is my Dexcom CGM. It is my security blanket, my ray of sunshine in the dark night of diabetes, my cool kids toy, my partner,till death (or cure) do us part. It's sole job in life is to keep me safe.

(of course,it's not a cure so it can't always do that. But it can help. Because right now, I sure as heck don't feel safe. I feel like a certain low/certain legal crappola waiting to happen. And that scares me, because lows can't always be prevented...least of all in a 12 hour shift (crazyness)in the ICU or something.

But the thing about any piece of technology, it has it's limits. And certainly, if you're going to leave your CGM behind one day because you've got a ton to do before you're even at school by 8 am, well,the CGM isn't going to help you there. You should probably put it in your backpack/what have you so you DON'T FORGET IT. And then,later on,when you are wondering "Am I or aren't I?" your CGM will tell you. And knowledge is power...knowledge will help give you the confidence that you so desperately need,that diabetes doesn't have to mean a dropping blood sugar, a freaked out clinical instructor,a trip to the ER,a ton of paperwork,a dropped course.

I'm realizing,once again, that as a student with diabetes, I need this if I ever hope to succeed. It lessens the playing field between myself and the rest of the non-pancreotically impaired class. (who don't have to think about D,on top of everything else)I'm not sure that nursing school will ever be an opportunity to be a gung-ho,let's educate all the staff/students/patients experience that I thought it might be but that's ok, you do what you can. 50 years from now, I hope this is such a NON-issue for a student with D...(assuming D isn't cured by then). Being on the front lines of all this drama wasn't something I'd have ever wanted to get involved in.( I am not a very good pioneer. I prefer for that road to already be paved for me.)

Moral of Story: Don't leave home without your D-Stuff.

(p.s. The Blogsy app ROCKS. New favorite!)


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Where the River Runs Deep

Yesterday,I dropped out of nursing school.

It's been one steamroller of a ride,& it's only the third week out of eight. And I guess I should explain that nothing,nothing went right in those days...starting with The Low in Lab & culminating in the Peak De Triumphe anxiety attack on Tuesday over paperwork,for which I gained a Plan For Success in Professional Behavior as well as a Plan For Success in the paperwork that I'd done wrong. I hyperventilated & ended up on the floor,thinking I would fail clinical because I was getting a plan for success (for paperwork)& it took an hour to get me up off the floor. (I got extremely dizzy & thought I was going to black out) Not a really awesome moment in my life,& I can say that's never happened before either. (Blood Sugar:365 by the end of that) That gained me a meeting with the head prof & my clinical instructor as they delivered the Plans For Success & discussed my unacceptable behavior. Before that meeting, (in the time between Tues.afternoon and Wed.afternoon), I'd decided that it was probably best if I dropped out, because there was no absolute way the further deluge of paperwork that missing Wed.clinical plus the 5 (mini)papers & 30 min.presentation due Thurs. morning I could get that all done. And my toddler was sick with an ear infection,the babysitter didn't want him back until he was acting more normal(didn't have a fever,but I digress)& that was more time spent not being able to get work done running to doctors offices & pharmacies. I need like 48 hours in a day. I'd had it with the entire mess of profs & I could see that at this rate, failure was imminent & as I still had the opportunity to drop with a Withdrawal Passing grade(thanks to a decent grade on the first exam), I took it.
So Friday, I finished matters up with withdrawal..you have to do an Exit Interview,discussing what you plan to do different the next time around & factors that led to your demise. I received a not-so-nice little copy of Med Surg I's Plan For Successes (3)and areas of Clinical Probation(3)...that was not a great course for me...& this courses Plans For Successes(2). I guess the only good thing about that is that I know exactly where I stand now & what I have to work on to avoid at all costs. I asked the head prof if I'd get a Plan For Success if I broke one of the rules while I had a low blood sugar, & she said it depended on how low I was. I said low blood sugars at any hypo level could affect behavior & she said that it all depended on the circumstances then. She then went on to talk about the low I had in lab, & whether I was being honest with my doc if I were to have frequent lows,and blah blah blah. (As to my ability to function in clinical) Grand. I'm getting the impression that if I so much as tell anyone I'm having a low, I'll be A.kicked out of clinical and B.suspended from the program. In their eyes,there is no such thing as a mild low. This is discrimination, no doubt about it,but whether its ever going to be an issue is unknown. In this course, I would say heck yes,it would be..but I know profs to which a mild low would not be a huge deal. A major anything has to be reported,& I guess I'm lucky not to have gotten a Plan For Success for my low blood sugar.(& that feels all wrong to say..seriously?like that was all my fault...) My head prof was definitely suggesting that it could happen. I'm now all kinds of confused and angry that that could even be an issue,in today's world of supposed "disability and accommodations." And I still have that matter of being switched to another clinical site,& new prof, because of the D.(did that ever hurt) I reregistered to retake the course in the fall. (Fresh,clean slate..& all of that.Almost.)

Then I went to drop my class at the registration,& was pleasantly surprised that there was no bill remaining. I wish I could have gotten a refund,but at this point,it's considered a Withdrawal,not a Drop. I know that I may be coming back to much the same issues in the fall, & I know that right now, I need a Lawyer, a Therapist, and some other resources as well to help get this mess sorted out for me.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

In Ex Evictus, Maeror

Dear Clinical Student,

I'll be short & blunt.. I don't want you in my group. And when the reason for this finally becomes known, I won't be anywhere near you. You'll be in a meeting with the nursing Dept. head and the head of the Med Surg II course when you find out,& the vitriol will suck the breath out of you,but I don't care.
Why don't I want you?

I heard about your low. I don't want to have anything to do with your "unstable medical condition", in fact, I refuse to. The clinical site refuses to to, which means your going somewhere else. Your head instructor and head of the nursing dept. may tell you whatever they want, they can tell you that this site really isn't best for your needs to carry stuff in,they can tell you that it's better this way. I don't care. And when they've finished telling you this,& you walk out in a daze to go & cry in your clinical advisors office..that might be the end of it. I really don't care, I don't HAVE diabetes & I just don't want to deal with you & any low drama. I also don't have any desire to talk to you to really see if this will be an issue. So go,go & do your thing.


Your Ex-Prof