Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My first week as a floor nurse.

I worked my first "three in a row" (three 12 hour days in the nursing world) this weekend-Monday on the unit.  It was pretty exciting to finally have patients after a few weeks of orientation things that were hands on but we weren't with patients until this week.  I had some of the cutest kiddo's and I think I'm adjusting well to the change in environment.  We actually do several sterile procedures so I feel more in my element doing those things but I'm getting the swing of things.  We had some of the "easier" patients on the unit and it was still pretty busy and they were complex.  It only gets more complicated from here!  These kids are so resilient and inspirational you can't help but root for them.  Even the sickest of them can pull through and we have a lot of success stories.  There are, of course, the sad stories but I feel like from what I've seen we do a pretty good job at taking care of these kids and the outcomes show that.  I appreciate the real team effort I see and the communication between the docs and nurse practitioners to make things run smoothly and the involvement of everyone in rounds is a great way to set clear goals for our patients for the day and address any concerns.  I know for sure I made the right choice in this career move and I am happy to be at Children's.  Don't worry B North friends - I have a few stretches of days off and I'll be showing my face in the near future!

I'm now in week 6 of training and I'm feeling good.  My ankle is cooperating and so is the weather for the most part.  I'm pretty proud of myself for getting all my runs in even before work if I have to or doing some 2-a-days to keep myself on track.  The rainy days had me worried about my phone since I use it for tracking my distance on an app.  I know there are going to be days where I run in the rain but I have to know my distance without worry so I invested in a Garmin Forerunner 10 and an iPod nano that I can put easily in a zip-lock bag just for the sake of music.  Adding more things to my fitness expenditures.  *sigh*  It'll be worth it when I'm crossing that finish line and I still have a working phone in the process!  My phone is always dying or close to it so that's just one less thing I have to worry about.

While I was running and profusely sweating on a 9AM run I realized it was only going to get hotter from here and maybe a spring marathon would have been a better choice.  Running in the colder weather is better for me but I also can't imagine trying to run on snow and ice covered sidewalks all winter to train.  I've been told it's totally doable but I don't know.  We'll see if after this I ever decide to do this again and maybe we'll see.

My weight has still not changed but I'm sort of okay with that since I'd rather stay at a plateau than gain.  I'm making a few dietary adjustments and we'll see in the next week or two if that does any good.  Of course I'll report my progress.  With tomorrow being May 1st that starts 5 months of no pop and this lifestyle change.  Time is flying by and I can't believe only 5 more months until the marathon!  Time to turn things up!  My long runs are getting longer and my mid week runs are getting faster.  The girl who was running 14-15 minute/miles is now running as fast as 11:57 average pace miles.  I'm thrilled with my endurance and progress to this point.  5 more months of preparation for awesomeness!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Week 5 already!

I can't believe I'm 5 weeks into marathon training and almost a full 4 months into my healthier lifestyle. This year is flying by!

I spent today with my sister, niece and nephew at the Cincinnati Museum Center where we visit the children's museum fairly often and always have fun.  I'm definitely enjoying my 12 hour day schedules with more free time during the week to see them.  This weekend I was off and we traveled to Columbus to surprise my step-dad for his birthday with a pizza lunch, visited the Wolf clan to see new baby Jacob and for our nephew Ivan's 1st birthday party.  I start a stretch of work on Wednesday and only have Friday off through next Monday.  I don't mind long work weeks when they follow several days off.  I'm loving the unit and it seems like the orientation will be thorough and very helpful.

More importantly I have not gained any weight while off on my injury week and my clothes are fitting better than they ever have.  I'm thinking the lack of actual weight loss is due to muscle I must be putting on by the miles I'm putting in.  At least I hope that's what it is :)  I'm still closely monitoring my intake and most days I don't go over my calorie goal even if I work out and it says due to my activity I get more calories for the day.  The miles are starting to add up on the training plan and I did 12 last week total.  My high will obviously be on my longest run week (42 miles) and I've got quite a ways to go before getting there.  It was in the 70's on one of my runs and it was rough with the heat and humidity before the approaching storms had passed through and that will be the toughest part for me to deal with.  This girl hates sweating and being hot so running in the 40 degree mornings we've had has been awesome for me and of course for Penny too - she didn't do as well when it was hot.

We have vacation coming up in June where we'll be headed to the Outer Banks with the Morrison family and I did something I haven't done in a very long time - bought a swim suit.  I didn't love the way I looked in it but I didn't hate it either.  A weird feeling for me especially involving swim suits!

I feel totally healed from my injury although when I actually feel my ankle they don't quite feel the same.  I have a few bumps and bony pieces that don't match up to the other side and it kind of concerns me but as long as it's functional and not painful it should be okay, right?  I guess so.  Tonight there's a 5K fun run down the road at the local running store that is donating $5 per runner to the Boston Marathon relief fund and it's free to do.  We'll see how our dinner schedule works out tonight and I may get to go run on my "rest" day for a good cause.

Onward and upward into week 5! 1/5 of the way to the finish line.  This will be my first week working 12 hour days and having to come home and run early in the morning before or late after work.  We'll maybe do one of each and see how it goes.  Kyle will be out of town mid week so that also mixes up the schedule a bit.  Here we go!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

One week post-injury.

I've been recovering for a full 7 days now and I'm glad to say I'm doing much better!  My foot is significantly less swollen (I couldn't fit my foot into a tennis shoe until Thursday) but it is pretty bruised on both sides and at the top of my foot where my foot and toes meet but I'm not having any pain and have full range of motion back.  I bought a brace today at Dick's Sporting Goods that's at their highest level of support/stabilization so I feel confident in getting back out this week.  I took Penny on a 2.5 mile walk Friday night and while I was swollen for the rest of the evening I didn't have pain which was the most important part to me.

We went to Belterra Casino last night to see Frank Caliendo do a stand up show with our friends Brian and Christina and had a nice time.  This week is Penny's birthday and I have a husky cake topper with a puppy wearing a birthday hat sitting in front of a cupcake and the whole thing is sitting on a block that they put a "P" on for me so I am excited to use it this week with her doggy cake.  We invited my sister and her family with their dog, Woodson, over to share the cake this week - should be fun!

While out and about today I had some braking problems with my car.  In August I was driving on our outerbelt and some debris came in front of me and went under my car and clipped my brake line on my right back side.  It was terrifying coming off the highway at 70mph realizing you don't have brakes to stop you but it all worked out safely for myself and Penny who was in the car with me at the time.  I got it towed, had a rental and within a week it was repaired and back to me. 3 weeks ago I was pulling into the hospital parking lot and went to brake and my pedal went to the floor and I had to pump it several times to get myself stopped again safely in the lot.  Kyle came after work and brought some brake fluid and it turns out I was out and pulling air in my line.  The refill seemed to do the trick until today where I got off the highway and turned into a local mall parking lot and went to brake and had the same to-the-floor response and had to pump the pedal again to get myself stopped.  Scary thinking I had just gotten off the highway and lucky I got slowed down safely but there I found myself in a busy parking lot with minimal braking.  I walked down the road and got some brake fluid and returned to my car to find the reservoir under my hood still full.  Kyle came to my rescue and drove around the lot a bit with seemingly working brakes.  I was too nervous something else was going to happen so we left it in the lot.  My insurance guarantees the work of their "preferred shops" for the lifetime of my ownership of the car so I called my insurance company and they say there are no rental car places open at all on the weekend which I find very hard to believe.  Kyle now has to drive me to and from downtown for work tomorrow before I can get my rental after that so this can be checked out.  I am hoping they can link it back to the work that was done before and it will be taken care of by them instead of me having to foot a big bill.  At the end of it all I just want it fixed and not have to worry about it anymore.  Nothing is scarier than not knowing if your brakes are going to stop you or not.

Now that I've had my training week off I'm even more excited to get back on track!  Every time I saw someone running I was getting jealous of them for it which before was NEVER me to get that way - especially over someone RUNNING.  Life is changing in a good way and I'm so excited about my improved health, fitness level and of course my new job. I love knowing what I'm doing is going to make all the difference in the world to a child and family and get to wear pink zebra scrubs in the process.  The company seems absolutely wonderful and I still can't believe I've been offered this amazing opportunity.

Until next week :)...

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Yeah, so, I'm injured.

What a fantastic weekend...to get hurt.  Yes, that's right, I'm down and out.  On the couch, right ankle wrapped, ice bag on top with some ibuprofen on board.

Yesterday was going fabulously.  I slept in, had some breakfast and got myself together for the "long run" of the week which was 3.5 miles.  I knew we had some other plans for the day so I psyched myself up to pretty much run straight out for 2.5 miles and turn around for the last 1 to finish strong just between these two small(ish) hills.  I planned to run all out the last few minutes down the hill and walk the rest home for a nice little workout and this is not what happened.

The run was actually going well.  I was keeping a decent pace, had my headphones in jamming to some tunes and greeted many other runners with a smile and a "morning!" as we passed each other.  I was approaching the last downhill at 3.4 miles and was determined to kick the butt of this run and cruise downhill rocky style with my fists in the air - I didn't do the fist action but did cruise.  At 3.44 my right ankle twisted and I totally wiped out.  Cars stopped, a lady ran out from her house and all the while I was trying to keep myself together on hands and knees.  I thought I was going to puke I hurt so bad in that moment.  I told the lady in the car that I was going to call my boyfriend for a ride and thanks for stopping, the lady in the house offered to let me use her phone but I told her I had one.  I call Kyle for rescue as I stand up and realize there's no way I'm going to be able to get myself home.  He answers the phone "Hello?  Helloooooooo?  Hello, hello, hellooooo" and I'm yelling in the phone "KYLE I'M HURT THIS ISN'T FUNNY I NEED YOU TO COME GET ME".  Realizing he's still being funny I look down at my screen and see that I had pushed the mute button.  Awesome.  So that makes me even more pissed at myself.  I hit the button and tell him the same thing again and he's on his way to get me.  Another car stops in the meantime and offers to take me somewhere, I guess they had seen me go down but I told her I was fine and help was on the way.  What nice people we have in the community!  I was feeling glad that someone even offered help but was so ready for Kyle to get here.

I hobbled to the car and lost it.  I was SO MAD.  I was SO CLOSE!!! Grr.  Why do I have to get injured on a downhill sidewalk?  I really don't even know how it happened.  I opened my RunKeeper app that I use to track my runs and I was going a 10:00/mile pace when I fell. Again, SO MAD.  I was going to finish my run in under 44 minutes and now my ankle is throbbing and swollen and I'm sweaty and smelly and I just want to be home.

Kyle sprang to action, got the dog out of my way and got me set up on the couch with tissues for all my crying, an ice bag and pillows to prop my foot.  What a guy :).  I spent the afternoon icing on and off and watching my DVR'd shows for the week.  We had plans to go to my sister's to do a late Easter with my niece and nephew and I was going to drive but that wasn't going to happen on this ankle that I NEED for driving.  Crap.  We had a nice evening but I was sore and ready to be home.  Hobbling felt terrible at this point and we stopped at a Walgreens and I got a wrap and some naproxen to help with the swelling since I only had Tylenol at home.

The wrap made an instant difference with stabilizing this yucky ankle and helped me hobble a little better.  I slept with it on and with my foot propped and today it doesn't feel terrible.  It's still very swollen, about twice the size of my other ankle (and I commented just the other day how I don't have cankles anymore, guess not on the right side of my body).  Hopefully another day of minimal moving around will help me be ready for the first day at my new job tomorrow.

Speaking of that - I did debate going to urgent care but since I'm not full time at Bethesda after Friday and don't start at Children's until Monday I wasn't quite sure of my insurance status and whether it'd cost me an arm and a leg to be seen and have someone else wrap my foot for me when I can do that myself.  I'm not fully convinced I don't have a small fracture in my foot somewhere since I'm so swollen but I'll give it another day and if it doesn't go down I'll consider it again.  The timing sucks as far as my insurance status goes for an injury to happen but at least I'm still pretty far out from the marathon so I can hopefully resume my training in a week or two without getting too far behind. The next two weeks of my new job are orientation things with the hospital so I will be sitting a lot for all of that and I should be healed in time to start up on the floor.

I had a wonderful send off from Bethesda and felt the love as I departed on Friday.  I got several cards, a beautiful orchid and my favorite - a Dairy Queen ice cream cake.  I believe some of the best people in healthcare work there and I was blessed to have learned from all my mentors there.  I will be back - don't worry!  I'm staying optional to pick up a day here or there and help with lunch breaks on my days off.

Here's to a fresh start - new job and successful healing from this injury and no more to follow!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Week 1 in the books!

As of yesterday I officially completed my first week of marathon training!

Between my runs and walking Penny I logged 13 miles for the week.  Yesterday was just a 30 minute walk which I was able to get in before we hit the road to Zanesville to spend Easter with Kyle's family around 7AM.  I'm been lucky to get my runs in pretty soon after getting home from work but that will change with my schedule changing and the weather getting warmer.  The tricky part is going to be getting myself to go run 9 miles after work at 9pm after a 12 hour shift.  I can do that, right?  I did pick up my fastest mile time (I think of my life! 11:53) and ran my two 3 mile runs in under 39 minutes.  Pretty great for this girl!

Speaking of schedule change, this is my last week as a full time employee at Bethesda North.  I am so very excited for this new opportunity but will miss my friends and coworkers at B North.  When I moved to Cincinnati the only people I knew were my sister and brother-in-law so it meant a lot to be warmly welcomed to the area and to the hospital when I first arrived.  I can't wait to get settled in the new job so that I can come pick up some hours on my days off.  Heck, what else will I do with 4 days off a week besides go spend money?  May as well work instead :)

The weight loss has slowed considerably but my clothes are certainly telling me things are still happening with this body of mine.

I'm going to enjoy the rest of my evening hanging out with Penny and enjoying my DVR on my wonderful "rest" day on the schedule.  Bring it on week 2!