Monday, September 1, 2014

Long overdue update!

I feel like this update is long overdue but I've been too lazy/sick/busy to do it:

I'm growing a baby! Ultrasound due date is February 27th, last period due date is March 1st. My midwife wants to go by the later one in case I am overdue so we have more time for natural induction, but I mentally go by the February one so I seem further along. I can do that, right?! And really, it's only two days so WHATEVER.

I was excited for about three days after finding out, then got extreme morning sickness (really hyperemesis gravidarum which is way beyond morning sickness) and lost all contact with the world. It's been all sorts of awful and terrible, but things are finally getting better. I will have a long detailed gruesome post about the bad stuff, but for now I wanted to share some positive things that are going on via an easy survey!

How Far Along: 14 weeks 3 days

Weight: -24/+6 (Pre-pregnancy was 149lbs, lost 30lbs and was down to 119 at the lowest)

Sleep: Finally good! For a long time I was on a backwards schedule and would be up all night and couldn't fall asleep until the sunrise. It was horrible! Now I wake up for class early (around 6am to have time to eat and get ready slowly) and get up by 10am on days I don't have class/work, and try and get to bed by 10, but it's usually a little later.

Cravings: Lychee! All day long. I also eat cans upon cans of olives and beets. Corn on the cob. And COFFEE. I stick with decaf.

Silly Things Vince Said: He's been getting worried over the silliest of things, and the other night he was talking about how we should get in the habit of not buying so much food, or we won't have room when the baby comes. I think he doesn't realize it won't need real food for quite a while, and even then it's minuscule amounts. It is extremely cute to see him get so mad at me because I'm not worried about it.

Movement: None yet, but I'm not far off! I'm nervous because some hyperemesis women say it makes their nausea even worse, so I'm really hoping that doesn't happen.

Wedding Ring On or Off: Off because my fingers are way too skinny. I had no idea my fingers could lose weight, and same with my feet - shoes are too loose!

Best Moment of the Week: Vince realizing that a baby belly is starting to form. Now he can rub my belly and not feel weird about it!

Looking Forward To: Learning how to put in IVs in nursing school this week! We have an entire morning dedicated to it.

What I Miss: Being able to poop. Constipation is real, folks, and my anti nausea meds I'm on makes it even worse. I jokingly say that I want to eat something with gluten just so things get moving! (Though that will never happen.)

Milestones: Officially being out of the first trimester! Depending on who you listen to, some say the second trimester starts at 12 weeks, other 13.3 weeks (because 40 divided 3) and others say 14 weeks. Now I'm in the second trimester, no matter who you talk to.

Belly Picture: 13 weeks 5 days

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Last night, I was almost murdered.

Gather round, children, gather round. It is now story time here on this blog.

Short version:
Last night someone tried to unsuccessfully break into our house and the title of this post is incredibly misleading. The end.

Long version:
(But first a side note about where we live: Our apartment is an old house converted into four separate apartments, with a main front door that leads to the separate front doors to each unit inside. Our home is a bit strange in the sense that we have our bedroom set-up where the living room should be, meaning our bedroom happens to have the seldom-used front door that leads to the main entryway, and our windows face the front of the house towards the street.)

Last night I stumbled into bed around 11:30. Vince had fallen asleep on the couch, and since he acts like a five year old when I wake him up to brush his teeth and go to bed, I left him there in an uncomfortable position. He's correct when he says he's an adult who knows when to brush his teeth.

So off to bed I went. I read my kindle for a bit as the wind found it's way through the window that was slightly cracked, and finally decide it was time to sleep. I quickly drifted off into dream land when I was suddenly awoken by a slight knock at the front door. Not a real knock, rather a eery little *tap tap*, like someone who is knocking on a door but is secretly hoping the person occupying the house doesn't hear it, and thus does not open their door.

I of course bolted upright because it was 1:30 in the morning, and who knocks on someone's door at 1:30 in the morning? I sat there on the bed, three feet from the door, listening. Did I really hear a knock? Roxi wasn't barking, so maybe I was imagining it? Maybe it was the wind?

Then I heard loud footsteps going upstairs. Ah! It must have been one of the upstairs neighbors getting home late, and their bag just happened to hit our door! It happens frequently enough. But still I leaned a little closer to the door to be sure the chain and handle were locked. As I sat back on the bed I heard the stomping come down the stairs again. I double checked the chain and handle just to be sure because I'm terrified at that point, and THE DOOR HANDLE JIGGLES.


My first thoughts were, "I'm naked! I don't know where my phone is to call 911! What if they somehow get in?! WHAT IF THEY CRAWL THROUGH MY OPEN WINDOW AND KILL ME?!" Clearly my next choice of action was to slam the window shut, even though it was highly unlikely someone would crawl through my window. It's close enough to the main entrance that I think the person heard, because the door in the main entry opened quickly after that. The screen door is impossible to open quietly, even if you have lived here for years, so I heard them slam into it as it was opened. I didn't see the person leave (I know, I know, stupid me!) because I had ran to wake Vince up.

Vince quickly got dressed and said he was going to walk the perimeter. Because I didn't see the person leave, I of course assumed he was still around the house and was totally against it. It was dark! And windy! And creepy! But Vince, being the manly protector, got a piece of wood used for massaging your back that really just looks like a rolling pin, and went outside with Roxi. If Roxi saw someone, she would lose her shit and bark and potentially bite them if she was threatened, but I was still scared.

After a quick search, they didn't find anyone. The front door and screen were wide open, with all the lights on in the entryway, and the front gate was open. I called the non-emergency police number and they sent a guy out, but I'm assuming no one was found. I was completely freaked out by it after (hearing your door handle be jiggle by a stranger is sooooo creepy!) and was thinking that I wanted to move away from downtown immediately, but then realized this was the first time it has happened in the five years we've lived here. (Well, when we first moved here there was a guy who tried to walk into my open backdoor when he was running from the cops, but that was before the big fence was put up.) The lesson learned is that we really need to make sure we shut the front entryway doors to make it less noticeable that it's not a real front door, to keep the inside lights off when it's night time, and to keep our gates closed.

Anyways, that was super long and dramatic.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Back to the old ways.

I was reading back through an old post looking for a recipe (french toast!) and realized how different I write now. Before it was just a stream of consciousness, writing whatever came to my mind. I'm not sure if it's changed because my brain works so differently when it's in school mode (Everything must be perfect! You must make an outline! Paragraphs must flow!) or just because I don't care about documenting things in the same way. Either way, I miss some of the old posts so I'm just going to write to write at this point.
(No filtering, editing, etc., just pure iPhone beauty from my bike ride!)
// I've been riding my bike a lot. To say that taking up mountain biking last year changed my life is a total understatement! I've been to so many new places, met so many rad ladies, and have just been having such a good time in life. There is something so empowering about accomplishing a feat that I never in a million years thought I could achieve. I used to complain about riding my bike to the store for groceries, and now I'm climbing 19 miles up a mountain? It's fucking bizarre. (Remember when a Jillian Michaels video left me sore for a week and was the hardest thing EVERZZZ?) I feel like I am always holding back from pushing eating healthy and being active on people, but get out and do something if you aren't! You have to start somewhere!

// I was worried it would take me a while to get into summer mode, and then I would be anxious for a few weeks thinking I forgot to turn something in, butttt, not the case at all. I went into summer mode overnight and feel like I haven't done anything even remotely stressful. So that's been nice. Hopefully I can switch back to school mode just as quickly?

// Oh, about school! I finished the semester the first week of May and totally rocked it. Like rocked it so hard I couldn't believe it. I got a glowing email from my teacher about how awesome I was (paraphrasing) and was really touched by it. Despite years of good grades, I still don't consider myself smart so it is always a shock to me when I end the semester with As instead of failing out. Let's hope I can keep it up over the last two years of the program!

// Vince and I own a mountain bike race support business, focusing on 12 and 24 hour races. We've done a few races so far this summer and it has been so fun! We supported a 12 hour race in New Mexico a couple weekends ago, and were in Durango this past weekend for the HUGE Iron Horse Classic race. In a couple weeks we're headed out to a 24 hour race, and it seems like it's going to be a fun one! Hopefully pictures to come soon…

// I've totally fallen off the paleo bandwagon a few times too many in the past couple weeks. I didn't prepare enough food for our trips we've been taking, and have had to resort to things like gluten free bagels and Annie's mac and cheese. Not the end of the world, but my body can totally tell a difference. I have been pretty tired because of it, so I'm happy to be home for a couple weeks to get back on track. Meat, veggies, and fruit unite!

// I've started yet another job! I will now be the coolest Chicago-style hot dog maker in all of Flagstaff. I missed working in the food industry and am excited to work in a fast paced and fun filled environment. Tips are also a huge plus - gotta make that money!

// Dirty dishes are still the bane of my existence. Can I pay someone to come do my dishes for me? Can I just put on my global warming blinders and use paper plates? Maybe just eat straight from the pan I cook it in?

// I've finally started reading Game of Thrones! Only a million years tardy to the party. I bought the first 5 books for my Kindle (I'd like to avoid the hand cramping those giant paper books would give me) and it doesn't have it broken up into individual books. So right now I have over 84,000 kindle pages to read, and an 'average' book is usually around 4,000. Not daunting at all.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Emotions with nursing. There are just so many.

I've written before about my fears surrounding death within my role as a nurse, and now I'm dealing with something that may be harder: emotional people! It seems so silly.

A brief explanation of how the nursing program works: we have classes in person, online classes, and clinicals. Clinicals are the days we go to a facility (hospital, nursing home, etc) to do hands on nursing. At the beginning of each semester we are taught various skills in a lab, and clinical is our chance to 'practice' on real people. This semester our clinicals have been at a long term care facility, which is basically a nursing home, but the area that we are in mostly has older people there for rehab after some type of surgery.

I've done clinicals for my Certified Nursing Assistant class at a different nursing home here in town, and there is such a difference between those clinicals and the nursing programs. I am now in a nursing student position instead of CNA, so I do more meds, injections, and wound care as opposed to the CNA, who takes care of things like brief changes, feeding, bed changes, etc.

So for most of this semester I've been performing a lot of the nursing duties, which doesn't give a lot of time for patient interaction. We interact when we give them meds, check glucose levels, and administer insulin, but it's for such a short time because there are 20+ other people to give meds to within a certain time frame. A couple weeks ago the state inspectors were at the facility so everyone was on high alert, and the nurses were hesitant to let us students do anything. That led me to doing a lot of CNA work, which also meant a lot more time could be spent with the residents. I fed people, got them up to use the restroom, and changed a lot of briefs (A LOT).

Despite doing the 'dirty work', I loved it because I was able to interact more with the residents. This was also extremely saddening. A partner and I were changing a ladies brief and she was completely unable to talk or move herself and was just wanting to hold my hand. I crouched down next to her bed and held her hand and she instantly made eye contact and wouldn't look away. It was one of those moments where I felt like I could see into her soul and I felt so much fear and confusion coming from her. There wasn't much I could do in that situation except assure her that we were just cleaning her up and we'd be done soon, but of course didn't feel like that was enough. It's such a hard thing to look at someone who is scared or hurting and know there is nothing you can do to get rid of it.

Recently I was assisting with a resident who had been in WWII, and in the middle of our conversation about something unrelated, he casually mentioned that he had killed 87 people, and said, "I bet you didn't think this morning that you would be taking care of a murderer," and my heart just broke in two. I can't imagine what it would be like to be in a war and to kill someone else to save yourself and your countrymen, and all at once I just felt all the sadness, guilt, and pain that this resident has been living with for most of his life. All I said, in a tone of understanding, was, 'You had to do what you had to do," and gave a weak smile. Obviously that probably didn't do anything to help him, but again, there isn't anything I could have said to make him feel better.

The hard thing about treating patient's like this is that I am so sensitive to how people are feeling. I am a cancer sign through and through and a complete people pleaser who loves to help in any way possible, so it's really hard to not be able to help. I totally get it now when nurses say they take their work home or when a nurse gets burned out so quickly - it's hard to get rid of an emotion.

So that is one really important thing I'm learning about nursing, how to deal with my patients emotions as well as my own, and to find a way to separate the two to a certain extent. I know my ability to cope with it will evolve over nursing school and into my career, but I wish there was a quick fix. SO MANY EMOTIONS!

Monday, April 21, 2014


Today was my first real crash on my mountain bike! I've crashed before when I used to do some downhilling with Vince, but I always had full pads on and rarely actually felt anything. Since I am stuck on my couch at the moment with my leg unable to move itself, I'm going to tell you all about it over a million paragraphs, though it was like a three second crash.

Vince and I have planned a shiftaroo type of ride where I drive him to the top of Snowbowl with Roxi, drive back to the bottom and leave the truck for him to pick up and take Roxi home, then I ride from the bottom of Snowbowl to home. The first part went well and I parked the truck and started riding the AZ Trail. I didn't get any warmup in because the place I originally wanted to park that would have given me a warmup was not in an ideal spot for Vince because it would have made him late to work. So I started riding mostly at a decline until I get to the trail I was looking for, which started ascending right away. I had never ridden this part of the trail on Rocky Moto, but right away there were some technical spots. I wasn't able to clear some of them, especially since my legs weren't really ready to do the riding I was doing, so I ended up getting off my bike to walk a section. In my head I thought, 'Walking fucking sucks! I need to at least try riding this stuff. What's the worst that can happen, I fall? So what!' When I got back on my bike I just started crushing it. I was pedaling hard, clearing some stuff I wasn't sure I was going to clear, and then one mile later BOOM. I crash.

It was a pretty steep uphill with the trail leaning off to the right. As soon as I hit the big rock I was trying to clear, I felt myself leaning too far to the right, so I tried to unclip my shoes so that I could place my foot on the ground to balance myself. Unfortunately, my foot was stuck between my bike and a rock and I couldn't get it off! My knee and elbow quickly slammed into a pile of big rocks with my left leg getting caught up in the bike. I sat on the ground for a few seconds doing this:
(and no, you don't need to watch the whole video, it's just the first 15 seconds on repeat)

I stood up to try and shake it off but my right leg wouldn't work! Immediately upon impact under my right knee I felt something shoot up my quad to my hip and down my calf to my toes and knew I hit a nerve or something. I figured I'd walk for a minute to try and see how I felt and quickly realized I wasn't going to be able to finish my ride. I called Vince to make sure he hadn't already left with the truck yet, and luckily he hadn't.

I didn't want to make him late for work so I decided to hop back on my bike and just ride through the pain, and it felt better! I was able to get down the difficult parts of the trail with just a little pain in my leg. After a couple minutes I stopped for a second thinking I might just call Vince to tell him I'd finish my ride and that maybe my pain before was just because I was scared, but as soon as my foot touched the ground it hurt so bad. Last year Vince hurt his leg (he didn't work for many weeks!) and I think it was so bad because he kept riding after he hurt it, thinking it wasn't terrible. I wanted to avoid that, so I sadly headed back to the truck.

As soon as I got to the truck and off my bike, the pain quickly set in and spread. Instead of just being localized around where I hit it and the area in my quad and calf I originally felt the pain, I felt it spread to my groin, hips and butt, down to my toes and around my ankle, and all around my kneecap and the back of my knee. So painful! Vince drove us home and I kept trying to lift my leg to readjust it and it hurt too much to even move it.

So now I am at home hoping that rest will let it heal quickly. It's not like I have an open wound or a torn muscle, so I have no idea how to let it properly heal other than resting it. I'm looking forward to a lot of riding this year, so I'm wanting to let it fully heal before I get crazy again. And you can bet that the next time I ride that new trail, I'm wearing kneepads!
My right knee (left in the picture) is clearly swelling some in various places, and I'd only been home about 5 minutes! Also, knees are so gross, I hate them.

And to end this post, here are some recent pictures: 
And one from the other day when Vince and I rode: