Sunday, September 9, 2018

::why my job is a blessing::


In 2011 I was working as an NICU nurse at St. Vincent and thought I would work there till I retired a little old great grandma.  I was pregnant with my third baby and thought I had everything all lined up.  Then my life took a different turn.  Our baby died at 18 weeks gestation and I lost my damn mind.  I couldn't get out of the fuzzy cloud I was living in so I decided to make some changes.  I was pregnant again and I wanted to be distracted so I decided to take a job that was exactly opposite of what I was already doing.  I took a job on the Resource Team at Community Hospital.  I took the job with the promise that they would cross train me to work in the Emergency Room.  Which they did.  It was very challenging.  The Resource department was chaos, and I was used to really clear and able managers.  The ER was SOSOSOSO different than anything I had ever done.  But pushing myself professionally had the results I wanted, I spent my pregnancy with Quinn so distracted by all the new learning that I hardly noticed I was pregnant.  

Studying

I had my sweet little Quinny and my plan was for me to go back to St. Vincent.  The money was too good and the job was growing on me.  I was falling in love with taking care of grownups and babies.  I was then trained to work postpartum and peds, in addition to ED and NICU.  I was enjoying all the growth and new experiences.  I was getting addicted to not being bored.   I just kept feeling pulled to go back to gradschool and become a practitioner, and at that point I knew Family Practitioner was the fit for me.  When my nursing peers were talking about selling lipstick, face lotion, and what ever bullshit product of the week, I was out working my ass off to get a master degree so I could live up to my potential of helping people.  


Part way through gradschool I saw an opportunity to go back to St Vincent and work with them again.  Let's just say it went really freaking bad, super bad.  Some of it was my fault and some of it was not.  After a few very stressful weeks I shut the door on St Vincent.  It was a good experience in the way that it made me really commit my heart to Community.  I came back from that and I no longer thought of Community as a stopping point but as the destination. 


One day when the pressures of four kids, renovating a house, working, and gradschool started to seem like too much I got on our hospital website and did some job searches.  The most perfect job that could every occur in the word came across.  A nurse practitioner that does women's care and addiction care.  BOTH!!!  Two things that I knew for sure I hoped to do when I got out of school.  It was November and I didn't even graduate till May.  The job required two years of experience, I had negative 6 months.  I had no real women's health experience.  I had some serious negatives in my corner.  BUT - I was meant for this JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   I stood up and walked right into the managers office and started the process of begging for the job. 


Part of school was that our last semester we had to find a preceptor to spend a ton a time with to learn as much as possible.  I did everything that I could to make sure I used that time to be part of the practice that I was hoping to join.  I didn't lie and I didn't kiss ass, but did make sure that there were no secrets about how much I wanted that job.  Lucky for me no one else was crazy enough to take it while I was trying to get it.  When they interviewed me they said that they didn't know exactly what the job was going to be.  They said I was going to have to be flexible and creative, I took that very seriously.

My work picture 

The job started off with a bang.  I needed to learn to be a women's health practitioner and figure out what an addiction practitioner was going to be able to do.  I had others to train me to being a women's health NP, but no one else had done my job before and I was going to have to pave my own way.    All I knew what to do was be me and try to do this job the very best that I could.  I took it really seriously and was given all the resources that I needed to make it happen.  

My family says this looks like an Azkaban mugshot

I had the HUGE blessing of being paired with the very talent LPN, Kathy.  She takes such good care of me and she makes sure to cross any of the T's that I miss.  I have never worked in an office before but it didn't take long to figure out that as a provider, you are totally screwed if you get paired with the wrong nurse to run you.  Kathy and I are exactly the right match.  

My time at my job is about  40% taking care of pregnant opioid addicts in some way and the rest taking care of regular OB/GYN patients.  With that said, my patients take about 2-3X longer than a regular OB/GYN patient.  They have some pretty huge needs sometimes and my job is to take care of those needs.  Anything from housing, safety, and regular old mom worries.  


I have had so many unexpected good things happen since I started this job.  I use to hate meetings.  I did everything besides fake a seizure to get out of them.  Now I have grown to like them.  I get pulled to lots of meetings and get brought in on lots of different things.  For example, growing the program to other regions, presenting our successes to other hospitals, communicating with support programs throughout the city, etc.  It's a bit never ending, but it is an amazing way to keep improving our program every since day.  

Another unexpected bonus is that I got hired to come do a presentation on making emotional connections with opioid addicts at a nursing managers conference.  I had friend recommend me and the company called me to work out all the details.  Just because my life is on a roll right now the conference happens to be in Disney World.  The most ideal place it could possibly be!  The conference pays enough for me to sneak Josh and Quinn along with me.  We didn't take the entire crew because last year the older kids missed school for Disney and their grades didn't recover well.  Since Q is only in first grade he can miss a few days of school and recovery. We have a family trip planned in June 2019 so the rest of the crew will have to wait till then for some Disney magic.  


My last bonus was that I get to work with my sister inlaw!  She is an OB/GYN in the same clinic and we actually spend 2-3 days a week sitting about 4 feet apart.  I love her so much that being so close together emotionally and literally is wonderful for me.  (I think she would agree.)

My name on the door.  

The part I truly love the very most about this job, is the care of the women in the program.  I LOVE helping them.  I love helping them find hope and solutions.  I love building them up and getting them ready to parent.  They try so very hard.  These women want so desperately to be good mothers and I love giving them tools to make that happen.  When they first come in and they are so sick, their souls are not really present, and they look rough.  Then very quickly you see a major change.  Their eyes start to light up and they start to shine.  It makes me so proud of them.  I love being their advocate to navigate recovery.  

Teared up with my first personalized labcoat

I am so blessed to get to do this job and that I get the support that I need to be successful.  I feel like this job, more than any other I have ever had, takes my strengths and utilizes them.  I am surrounded by people that balance my weaknesses, such as other practitioners that have stronger clinical skills and more experience than me.  Our office is full of MD's that are kind and supportive.  Our support staff is the very greatest in the entire city.  I have Kathy to keep me sane and on task.  Considering that I didn't even have the minimum requirements to get past HR when I applied, I think this is working out pretty well.  




















 

Monday, September 3, 2018

::art studio - take two::

My art studio started out rough when we bought this place.  It has been well built and was screaming for me to love it right.  

This awesome metal shelving unit was on our property when we moved in.  It's been over a year now and I have been just storing this, waiting till it stood up and demanded to be used.  Today was that day.  

My first set up had been wonderful.  I love the desk with good storage under the window.  This desk used to be in my fathers old school photo darkroom when I was a kid.   

The red lockers look awesome, but they actually are not good storage.  And the make due board on top was useful work space but needed some adjustments.  

I love this little white bookcase.  It's been a perfect pretty and sturdy display area for me and I knew it needed to stay.  



Today I (actually Josh) dragged the metal storage shelves and a very old green drafting table out of one of our milking rooms and I cleaned them up.  Poor Josh had to work his ass off all day dragging furniture around.  I'm so lucky that he humors me.  

I was on the edge of listing the metal cabinet on Craigslist today.  It seemed too big and maybe too difficult to deal with.  But once we got it in the studio I knew it was perfect.  TONS of good storage with it all open and easy to see and use.  

The vintage drafting table had one missing drawer, but it's just so cool I had to use it anyway.  It now gives a second work area so I can have company while I work.  

Look at that table!!!!  I just love it.  The top is so solid.   

The missing drawer it now open marker storage.   

Friday, August 17, 2018

::water babies::



These kids love to swim.  

This year we have been lucky enough that Auntie Rachel and Uncle Jake bought a great place near us that happens to have a pool for us to play in.  We have used the hell out of our invite to swim.    


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

::work, onions, lake, thrift shop, back to school, spay, weekday dates, emma::

Work... I could go on and on about work.  Honestly, I try hard to not talk about it as much as I really want to.  I don't want to wear people out with my joy.  I LOVE my job.  It's so amazing.  It's spiritually fulfilling.  It's hard and stressful, but it's the greatest.  I get to preach the gospel of helping pregnant opioid addicts in a holistic way.  Really, ask me about this job... I will not stop till you scream, "Enough".  I'll write a full update soon, but one of the things I didn't know was going to be part of my work was all the meetings.  At first I thought that they might be mindless and boring.  But, I only go to the ones that I want to go to.  If it doesn't appeal to me, I don't go.  Recently, the whole group and some of our friends from our sister hospitals went to leadership meeting and we presented on our program.  We've done this before, but this one felt big because I was going back the city hospital I started my nursing career at.  I love getting to share my passion about our program.  I feel like such a grown up.  I feel like everything in my personal and professional life has come together to put me in the right state of mind to get to be my best self in the job.  I'm so blessed to get to be paid to love other people as hard as I can, and I get all the support and resources I need to make it happen.  One last thing about work, I just got hired to come and present in Disney World at a conference!  Paid and all expenses paid to go to Disney!!!  Happening!  I'll be speaking about making emotional connections with opioid addicts.  I'm so excited.     

While making dinner the other night Josh felt that he couldn't take the stinging eyes anymore and he put on Lily's pink swim goggles.  He's still hot even with his bad accessory choices.  

Emma and I have discovered a new kind of favorite pen and we are obsessed.  She was annoyed that I found a bigger pack for me than she has.  Of course I ordered her the matching set to mine.  

Emma is going to be living with us the semester.  We needed to find a desk for her bedroom (which was Quinn's, the boys are now bunking together).  Of course we went right to my favorite thrift store.  I found this lovely tape.  

The boys bought these helmets to use on their go-cart.  

Lily started out her record collection.  

I love the way Emma did up her room.  I'm so glad to have her home for the semester.  

We went to visit my parents at their lake house.  We don't get to go enough and I was glade to sneak in a trip before school started.  

Lily and my mother had some good swim time.  

This lovely Lily started highschool.  My freshman daughter is 5ft 8in.  She made varsity choir.  She's friendly and lovely and everything I ever hoped for.  I just adore her.  

These rotten babies got on their new shoes and started first and fifth grade.  Just for the record they weigh exactly the same amount.  They are feral, fun, inventive, and a true joy to my heart.  

We got to get back to date day!  Our schedules works that we get one day off a week together while the kids are at school.  I love those days!  We try hard to not make them work days, and this week was for sure not a work day.  I got out my little antique book and we went on an adventure.  

I found this wonderful huge folkart painting that was painted on plywood.  It's got some pretty rough edges and has not been stored well, but I feel that adds to the charm.  I was hard to get out of the shop and I talked the seller down on the price.  It's perfect and I adore it.  Please note too, that I have lost over 30 pounds in the last few months.  I've been working hard and eating right.  It's been a wonderful journey.  


Rough edges add character.   


Josh got it hung up on the wall today.  The more I look at it the more I love it.  It's a family of six too, which makes me feel even more bonded.  


This little pretty girl had to come home with me too.  



Poor little Poppy got spayed this week.  She had a nice big puke in my care after I picked her up and has been looking pretty high for the last 24 hours.  She's starting to perk back up again.  

I don't know how I got so lucky but this year I had several different people give me seeds.  In all my years of gardening I tried seed starting my very first year and they all died.  I start seeds directly in the soil for certain plants but seed starting is not my gig.  But with all these little seeds, I am going to give it another try next year.  







Saturday, August 11, 2018

::guinea pigs can swim::

NO GUINEA PIGS WERE HARMED!!!

We have been letting the pigs out in a pen in the shady spots of the yard to graze.  They love it.  Today we where letting the baby ducks swim in a tote of water and one of the boys was playing near by with the pigs.  We had seen a video years ago about swimming guinea pigs, and they asked me if they could let the pigs try to swim.  I very carefully held my hands around the pigs and let them try one at a time.  I was so careful with them.  You know I love these little guys and would not hurt them.  They swam like them were pros!  Later that same day we decided to let them try again in the tub.  


I promise we will not make them do this very often, but it was just so fun and cute. 

Friday, August 3, 2018

::family vacation to Asheville::

We rounded up the crew and headed out for a big family vacation, first we had to drop off this rotten little dog at dog camp.  She was less than pleased.  

Lily played many songs on the way there and even learned some new ones.  Mr Q tried hard to pick up some cords.  



As usually we had to make a stop at the closeest area Bass Pro Shop.  

Lily got the bum end of the deal and ended up on a mattress in the living room.  

Always love hanging out with Sheila and Jay, my inlaws.  



Neither boy is looking at the camera, but this is still a win.  

Family camera selfie.  

Tour of the Biltmore was awesome.  The indoor pool was amazing.  

The gardens were so fun.  

Look at that little Lily, taller than her mom and Aunties.  

I found the book I should have written.  

And Josh got a handmade axe that has started a new landslide of axe collecting.  What can I say?  The man has some weird hobbies.  

Please note that my boys are flashing hand signs.  What is wrong with them?  So cute.  

Here we are on top of Chimney Rock.  See the lake in the background?  That is were they filmed Dirty Dancing!  We did not try "the lift".  

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