Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Slack Blogger

I've not posted in so long, it's almost ridiculous. Thankfully a blog holds no grudges nor dishes out recriminations.

Dot point:

- exams are done and dusted. This semester I only had one. I'm grateful for the week off that I had to study. I think I did okay in it. We went to dinner afterwards to celebrate. An almost euphoric feeling. With relief.

- Tanzania is only three and a half weeks away. Still can't get my head around the fact that I'm actually going. Still have to book accommodation in Dubai. Will do that Sunday.

- they changed the rules and as Tanzania was originally classed as our placement, I didn't do a day a week during the semester. I'm glad I didn't as with the anaemia I was exhausted. Now, however I'm having to do a two week block. This gives me a week off before I go, to spend with the kids and to organize last minute things.

- this Saturday we are bringing forward our Christmas Eve celebrations. It will be much simpler than in years gone by as I've not had the time to prepare and bake. So there won't be the Austrian home baked goodies. Not unless I find an energy spurt of an evening later this week.

- Mum and Ricky have assured me that I can keep it simple. At this stage I'm even trying to figure out when to clean !!!! Let alone prepare a divine meal. Ahhh well it will come together. The main thing is we're all in the same place, enjoying each others company, laughing, drinking and eating good food.

- yesterday was my first day on Prac. I'm at a rehabilitation hospital. It's a private centre focussing on post stroke, and post surgery patients. I enjoyed it, but much prefer the more acute setting. I do enjoy the patient contact and working with RNs.

- I'm so tired. Some days I question why I'm doing this at my stage in life. But I'd forever regret it if I didn't qualify. There's so much potential. So many avenues to explore. It's been an interest and a passion of mine for so long. I'd be doing myself an injustice if I didn't do it.

- I'm going to miss my family while I'm away. I'm already finding special little things that I love especially about each one and that I want to take with me. The kids are growing and changing so much.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad 3


Friday, November 02, 2012

Retreat weekend

I've not been to a retreat for quite a while. I've not allowed myself that amount of time out as my schedule has needed the weekends to get a lot of work done. This weekend I've made an exception. My friends have asked me to come along and I was quite touched by that. I know that I don't have anything pressing that needs doing either so can afford the time. I hope I can manage sitting all weekend. My back hasn't been the best and I've been tired the last few days. Probably because I'm feeling overwhelmed and sleeping is therapeutic.

I still don't know how many of us are effected by the placement hassle, but there's at least six of us I know about. One lass has pulled out of the trip, although I'm not sure why. Those two weeks were earmarked for working for many of the girls so their spending money has been reduced as they now have to attend Prac. I initially wanted to cancel my camera class and felt so overwhelmed about our Christmas but now that the shock has worn off I know I'll manage. I was going to the inaugural end of year uni nursing dinner and will have to bow out of that. It is on the weekend we've planned our Christmas dinner.

I am going to a rehabilitation centre which looks after people on an inpatient and outpatient basis. They look after neurological disorders, post stroke patients, people taking too long to mend after surgery, people after amputations and so forth. I know I'll enjoy it there. It won't be as physically demanding and tiring as the hospital.

Today was my last lecture for the semester. I have only one exam in two weeks exactly. Can't believe another semester is done. Only one more and I'm an RN. It excites me just thinking about that. Next semester I've only got one subject left, all the rest are practicals and placements.

It's only six weeks till we leave for Tanzania. The flights are paid, I bought my vaccinations today, my accommodation is paid. My visa application is in being processed. I know the time beforehand is going to fly.

Today is All Souls Day. Thinking of you my dear Dad. I talk to you everyday. Love you and miss you so very much.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad 3

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Sometimes it seems like I just turn to my blog when I'm feeling down. Writing is a kind of therapy for me. So is prayer, and I've given up plenty to attempt to soothe my heart. I hate feeling woebegone, peeved, upset...........  Even when I've rationalized the whole issue, found the positive outcomes from it, the heaviness still takes a few days to dissipate.

Even though there are only 44 days till I leave for my four week volunteer work in Tanzania, the uni has changed the rules of the game. I won't go into the details as I don't know them properly and surmising would benefit no one. We were initially told that Tanzania would make up our placement requirements for this semester. Now, with just over six weeks to go, they have told us, we have to complete a placement here before we go, in order to pass the subject!! I've not had a chance to speak to the others yet, as it effects quite a few of us. No one would be happy!

I feel like the wind has been taken out of my sails. I was looking forward to a month off between end of uni and flying away. In that time, I was going to complete my Christmas shopping and cook and bake for our celebration which we will have on the 2/12 so that my family and I still have a Christmas Eve celebration together. Especially in light of last Christmas, with losing my Dad just a week prior, this Christmas can be a kind of balm for us. Now I'll be on placement for a fortnight and our Christmas weekend, falls smack bang in the middle of it, with me having to go back to placement the next day!!! The boys were taking a day off school and Peter was taking a day off work, they may still do that, I'm not sure. But I won't be able to. Nor will I be able to prepare the food to the level I normally would, and baking??? I'm not sure if I'll get it done. The kids' comment was, 'so there's another two weeks where we don't have you' and I felt so awful............

I'd also planned a camera class during that time to raise some more money for Tanzania. I just don't know how I'm going to feel after two weeks full time work. I know I should do it...........

I'm a cup half full kind of girl, and I can see value in the experience. Firstly from an experience point of view and secondly, it's an investment into my future work opportunities. I know that.

I just have to wait for the dark cloud to rise and float away. This is a stressful time as it is, the last assignments are done and dusted, I've only got two more classes to attend, and then in a fortnight I have an exam.

This weekend I am attending a retreat, and at the moment I'm feeling very antisocial. Thankfully I know just being around my friends will pull me out of this funk. That's the downside to suffering depression, sometimes it doesn't take much to knock me for a few days......

I know it will lift. It always does.

Plus I have so many things in my life that make me happy.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Relaxing..........it's a lovely change.

Well some of the time anyway. Having teens and preteens I feel like is spend much of my time driving around. I'm so glad I changed to a little car. My fuel bill would be horrendous otherwise.
I've actually been playing games on the iPad. Sitting down and relaxing and playing stupid time wasting games and it's such fun. I've been playing Hunger Games Adventures, Dragon Keeper, Dragon Story, Dragon Vale and Camelot. Having fun feeding and breeding beautiful dragons and building an empire as well as setting myself up to win the Hunger Games. Useless, nonsensical stuff, but it feels great to just sit and play.
Today we had our Movie Day. We buy a movie on Apple TV, the kids get to pick a takeaway and we sit in the lounge and eat and watch. I'm being healthy so enjoyed my strawberries, yoghurt and LSA while the kids ate KFC and pizza. It cost me $28!!!! Such a great bargain and we are all at home. We watched 'Marvel Avengers'. It wasn't my pick but it was quite a good movie. Most impressive on the big plasma screen. It went for almost two and a half hours so great value too.
Sammy, Mickey and Bunny are off to visit a friend tomorrow for a long weekend. Billy-Joe and I are staying home. We're planning a fun weekend together. We will fit in a driving lesson, some nice food and a movie or two. I'd like to see 'Hunger Games' and also 'Red Dog'.
Next week I'm back at uni. So back working on my last assignment and prepping for my exam.
Health wise, I'm picking up. I'm not as weary and am tolerating the iron tablets without side effects. I started on my new arthritis drug last week which make me feel dreadful for a day but it's all good now. I take it fortnightly. I hope this one helps. I've stopped taking my anti inflammatories as I don't think they help with my weight. I'm in more pain but am hoping the Humira will kick in soonish. I've been careful with my food and have been back on the exercise bike. Am feeling good in my head about it even though there's no results on the scales yet. I don't want to go to Africa plump. I was fat and forty and I vowed and declared I wouldn't be fat and fifty. Thank God my BP and cholesterol and sugar levels are all good. With Dad's history and the fact I'm large around the waist makes we worry about heart disease and diabetes.

I believe that the implications of high blood pressure and diabetes are so underplayed it's scary. Until my nursing studies I knew that both conditions weren't good and I knew what the complications could be. However I had no idea how serious and pervasive the conditions were. Both high blood pressure and diabetes scare the living day lights out of me. I was amazed when on Prac ow prevalent these conditions are and how it complicates everything else. None of the tv campaigns give the conditions enough emphasis on their gravity and I don't believe GPs do either. Then again it's possibly because people are so damn complacent about their health.

Dinner is porterhouse steak cooked on the BBQ with potato gems and a salad with baby cos, red onion, Sundried tomatoes, sunflower seeds, feta cheese cucumber and dressed with extra virgin olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Simple and delicious. I threw on some sunflower seeds and craisins too. Peter is picking up Billy-Joe ( I've had wine and have opted not to be chauffeur for a change) and I'm updating my blog and listening to Adele.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad 3

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Holidays! At last......

I'm so glad to be on a break. I'm still taking kids to school etc, but getting up early means I'm utilizing my time well which is a bonus.

I'm two thirds through a major essay which I'm just stoked about. We had to choose a case study to work on and I chose a myocardial infarction. I don't know if it's got something to do with Dad, but I'm so drawn to all things cardiac. I loved my time on the Cardiac ward and hope to be able to work in the cardiac care unit which has those patients who require closer observation and monitoring.

I'm also considering putting a preference down for DEM. I've never considered emergency nursing before but am interested. It's like when I was on placement for teaching. I was initially petrified of working with the older children and yet it was the older children I much prefer to teach. I would never have thought that at the outset. I'm thinking emergency nursing is having the same impact on me......so I'm a bit more open to it now. Since alerting the staff to the patient I was looking after who went into acute pulmonary oedema twice!! Now that was an amazing feeling. Firstly because I was the one who knew something was wrong and I catheterized my first patient under emergency conditions. I kept my cool. It was incredible to be a part of.

I'm happy to report that it's the fourth day in a row that I've not had a nap in the afternoon (or midmorning). Saturday I felt almost back to normal. I am quite excited about it. Especially as this week are holidays and I'm using my time productively and not in my bed!!!!

Today, as well as study, I've cleaned the stove top and range hood. I also emptied out the spice rag and washed it and wiped down all the bottles. I still have to do the shelves in the kitchen. I also took down two lots of blinds that needed fixing. Two years ago I'd bought these beautiful cedar blinds which I love. However, the two twerps have wrecked them and then Rusty has also broken some slats. The end result was that the front of my home looked like a little haunted house. I hate broken stuff. It looks daggy and uncared for. I have to get Bunny to lengthen the string so the blinds can go down to the sill. If they can't, then it's okay as I'm going to leave them up a bit all the time so Rusty can still go onto the sill without bending slats!!! The kids are bigger now so hopefully they won't break anymore!! Rusty has broken a slat on my bedroom window but thankfully it's not on the front of the house.

There are less than 90 days till I go to Tanzania. I put in my passport application yesterday. I'm starting to get excited. I'm saving money like crazy. Like crazy, not in that I'm saving heaps because I don't have heaps to save but like crazy in the regard that I'm not spending money like I normally would. This semester I've not bought a single lunch at uni. I take my lunch, I even take my tea bag, milk and a thermos cup of coffees for the early started. The only money I spend during the week is my dinner with Barbi on a Friday night and milk or veggies that we need. Makes me realize how frugal I can be.

I need a new iPhone case as the el cheapo one I bought looks old and worn. I went back to my previous el cheapo case that doesn't look as bad. Because I had a flip case and I don't want to use screen protectors anymore I had to make a case for it.

I love cats as my friends all know. I also love meerkats. So I'll leave you with my current iPad wallpaper.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad 3

Saturday, September 01, 2012


It's Fathers' Day Eve. Tomorrow will be another celebratory day without my Dad. Leading up to it, it's affected me more deeply than the other days, more than Dad's birthday. Now I've reconciled myself to the fact the day is to honour all Dads. Those alive and those who've gone to heaven like my beloved father. This morning we went and saw Peter's Dad. I was hesitant but it was a lovely morning. We sat outside and enjoyed the spring sunshine. Such a glorious day. Tomorrow Mum is coming and we are having a BBQ and celebrating as always. Mum and I were reluctant to do the normal thing, but Peter in his wisdom suggested that we do it. We can cry and then drink wine and enjoy being together. So now Mum is coming too. And I'm pleased.
I'm still spending 2/3 of my life sleeping. My tests showed that I'm anaemic. I've still got to go through tests to hopefully confirm it's not due to blood loss. Since I've not had a period in nine or so years, the alternative option is being investigated and of course I'm praying that all is good with my bowel. I'm pretty sure it is as I've no symptoms of losing blood from there. Fingers and feet crossed too. With the untreated arthritis and the last blood donation it's tipped me over the edge. I'm sick of being so tired though. I nap so much and have no time for anything other than study, chores, kids and sleep. Not good. Life is far to precious and I feel like I'm wasting it at the moment.
Mum is in her new home. It's just gorgeous. Very quaint and she's happy which is such a blessing. Now she needs a holiday.
Billy-Joe's driving lessons are going well. It's special time that we spend together. We share a treat afterwards. Today we had a McFlurry. Yummy. Maltesers, chocolate, and ice cream.
Study is going well. Thank God this semester is an easy one. I can afford sleep time lol. So far a distinction for an exam, full marks for an online discussion on ethics, a comparative essay on euthanasia from two different ethical standpoints and everything is up to date and cruising along.
In the next week or so I'll put in my passport application. My photo is butt ugly. I was so upset. Had I lots of spare money I would have had it done elsewhere. But it would be a waste so I've decided to go ahead with these gross photos. Everyone has tried to make me feel better by assuring me that all passport photos are ugly. I don't agree. This is my third passport and my other two have lovely photos in them. You know how can look back on old photos and think, 'I didn't look too bad back then'. Well, of I ever do that with my current passport photo I'd be shattered. It's that bad.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad 3

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Warning: Whine Alert

And sadly it's not of the red or white type !!

I am still so incredibly weary. Bone weary. At the point where when I'm walking up stairs I'm dragging myself up them. And then already thinking that I need the energy to go back down them!!  I'm not picking up. I'm eating really well have started taking multi vitamins and a tonic and all I can think of is when can I next lie down. I sleep well for most of the night and then have at least a half hour kip if I can manage it. If I have a day at home I may even sleep for up to two hours. Seems like such a waste of time. Especially when I've been like this now for six weeks.

Added to that my pain levels with my chronic Achilles tendinitis is increasing. I've spent $600 on new orthotics and have honestly had no benefits whatsoever. My tendons are permanently swollen and the pain radiates up my entire calf. I almost hobble each time I get up of an evening once I've been sitting for a bit as everything has begun to cease up even more.

On a brighter note my secondary hypertension has resolved itself as I'm no longer on the Simponi. I'm waiting for a referral for Humira to be approved. It's almost two months since I've had the arthritis drug. That wouldn't help my pain levels. Last time I gave blood my iron levels were okay but not great. I don't think they're low enough to create this level of fatigue though.

This semester is thankfully lighter but I feel so lousy I've only been able to appreciate it as it means I can rest more.

I need to go back to the dr.  I need energy. I'm doing the bare minimum at home and with my study. It's not how I like to operate.

Monday, August 20, 2012


Mum moves into her new unit tomorrow. She's still doing amazingly well. I keep thinking maybe she will fall in a heap but she's strong and positive and doing great on her own. Really amazing stuff when you consider she's been with Dad since she was 12 years old. Mum never had an adult life without Dad. I've been pleased that I live close by and have been able to help her but she's done so much on her own. Especially when the initial devastation of new grief eased a bit.

We took a couple of car loads around today. The unit looks lovely and I'm sure Mum will feel safe, comfortable and happy there.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad 3

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Worn out!!

At the moment I have two speeds. Full steam ahead, or fast asleep. Not much in between at all. Actually it's been going on since I finished placement and I think I need to see the doctor next week. 

It's just been so full on, with study and family, that when I have some downtime, I need to sleep. I'm sleeping well at nights, and if I have a day spare, I just sleep. This morning I got up, felt okay after 7.5 hours sleep, had breakfast and then went back to bed and slept and dozed until 3pm!!! What a waste of a day. I feel a bit better but not wonderful. My sleeps are just keeping me going. 

I know part of the problem is my eating. I've been craving sugar of late, and giving in. It's all I feel like. I'd much rather a bowl of cereal than a ham sandwich. Chocolate has also been beckoning me too. Not large amounts, but a little everyday. I've not had time, or energy to exercise of late, so I know this is something I have to address too. But it's more than that. Perhaps I need some tonic, or vitamins or something. Not sure. 

I'm happy, enjoying my studies, enjoying my home and family. But I'm tired. Even now I've made the week's school lunches and showered and I could head back to sleep when that's all I've basically done all day anyway. I've been otherwise healthy. I've avoided colds and 'flus so far. My pain levels are as low as they have been but I'm managing that. I'm waiting for a new script to come through to try a new injection for the arthritis. My legs are giving me a lot of problem with the chronic achilles tendonitis having flared up dreadfully since placement. Yesterday I wore boots with a heel and the shortening of the muscle and tendon helped greatly. However I need to go back to the podiatrist. The new orthotics cost well over $500 and I've had no improvement at all over my old ones. Money I didn't have to spend, but I'd decided the orthotics were important.

I was planning on going to the next Daisy's retreat, but after having decided that in my head, omitted to tell Barbi that I was coming. I'd left it too late and now won't go. I'm fine with that. There are heaps of others ahead of me on the list, and they need the weekend. My time at home is fairly peaceful and with craving the rest, it suits me too. I've made some other arrangements to catch up with friends whom I don't see very often. 

It's been a busy week. With tending to my own life/commitments/study/chores/errands, and then of course fitting in the needs of my family around them, I've been busy. 

I'll finish this now and tilt my head back on the bed...........

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Full House

Mickey is thankfully feeling good today. Bunny and I had a party for two last night. Billy-Joe wanted a mate to stay over but we wanted an evening together so we went downstairs. We ate a yummy dinner of steak, salad, BBQ sliced potatoes and garlic toast. Include some loving, lots of wine, loud music (even danced to Boz Scaggs' Silk Degrees). Didn't come upstairs until after midnight. Feels like we've not seen each other for weeks. With me studying for exams and then on shift work and working full time last night was needed by both of us.

My tiny lounge is full of bodies. They're having a great time playing x box. I've just had my porridge after a huge sleep in. I feel so much better. Ready to tackle a week of 7am starts now.

Back to uni after next week. I'm looking forward to it and will enjoy learning more and having an easier pace for a while.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad 3

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Nurse Mama

It's been a huge week and I'm not sorry that it's over. I'm beginning to feel ready to take on more responsibility with my placement. I'll ask if I can have three patients next week. It's a fine line between having patients who are just 'routine' to look after and those whose condition worsens during your shift. Naturally they need all your time and there's nothing left for the other patients who I'm sure feel neglected. And yet when I've had two who are either refusing treatment or are happy just resting, there's not much to do. At least now I've seen that it's not always crazy busy because up until the last two days the ward has been flat chat. I know too, that as I become more proficient then everything I do will take less time. I'm so glad though that I haven't felt rushed at all. That was a big fear of mine and when all my learning is still so new, if placed under pressure what little knowledge and skills I have, would simply desert me. All the RNs I've worked with have not rushed me or made me feel inadequate which has been great for my learning. This means I'm not nervous whenever I try something new. I feel comfortable giving injections now. I'd like more experience with setting up IVs.

Last night I finished and Leanne and I ducked into Maccas for a quick bite before we headed home. I'm always so hot and sweaty after my shift and sitting outside was lovely. It's unseasonably warm at the moment. I'm currently in shirt sleeves and the ceiling fan is on. The Sunshine Coast has forgotten that it's actually winter.
I came home, showered and enjoyed a cup of tea. It was about 12.30am when I went to bed. I was weary and looking forward to a sleep in. About an hour later, Mickey came into my room and said he wasn't feeling well. So the night was filled with comforting him whilst his head was in a bucket and his bottom over the toilet. We had a broken night and when I got up before 11am I felt so hungover as if I'd been to a party and drunk too much.
I cut all their hair today, something which has been desperately needed for ages. I'm rapt that the boys like it when I cut their hair myself. It surprises me they they do actually. Sammy's is so hard to cut though, as he likes it over his ears and they stick out s little. His was soooo long we could have tied it up. Slack Mama. Not really. Very busy Mama.
I want to read up in my new Magic Lantern book about my Canon 60D but am getting sleepier by the second. I may lie down a bit and come back to it.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad 3

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A day of respite

Today I had a day off from the hospital.

Just prior to prac, I checked my BP again and I wasn't impressed as it's still too high. So my GP changed my blood pressure medication from a calcium channel blocker to an angiotensin receptor blocker. I've not seen any change at all. Yesterday I got Paul to check it for me and it was almost 150/95 and my pulse was over 100. Admittedly I was incredibly busy, but still!! It was at that level when I'd checked it in the morning too, and I was only sitting quietly then.

I've hit a wall, I think too. I went to my GP today and stayed home. I spent most of today in bed. I ate breakfast and cooked and ate dinner and just snoozed. I feel much better for it this evening. My BP is still too high though. My kidney function is okay, as I checked on my latest blood tests while I was there

I've given myself permission to just take it easy today. My placement is going really really well. I've gained the respect of the RNs on the ward and this has given a much needed boost of confidence. My facilitator, Paul says I'm too hard on myself. I don't think I am because I know what I'm capable of when I put my mind to something. The new strategy I employed at the beginning of the last semester held me in good stead as my marks were really good. The semester was tough, and my lowest mark was a Distinction for Pathophysiology!! I got High Distinctions for my other subjects. I'm so happy with that. All the hard work paid off. No weekend was without study and while I was hoping to inspire my kids into university, all I did was shy them away from the thought of further study as they felt I was working far too hard. Oh well, hopefully when I graduate they'll see the reward I get, plus the fact that I love what I do.

The last seven months or so, haven't been easy. I've not 'dropped my bundle' at all.......and as I know myself well, today I just needed to stop.

This was taken on Saturday. We had a fundraising dinner for our Tanzania trip, which I helped organise and run. It was a fun night.

This is from orientation day. Libby, myself and Mariana. Should have taken more pics as this one is lousy from my iPhone. 

Oooh, almost forgot on the weekend, I picked up my new camera. I bought the Canon 60D. My 'everyday' lens on my 450D is broken, and while I didn't want to buy a replacement kit lens, I added more $$$$ and bought a new entire camera. Can't wait to learn more about using it. I ordered a Magic Lantern book about it. I'd like to use it a fair bit before I go away.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

So much to write, and not enough time.....

I'm in my third week of placement in a cardiac/renal ward. It's an amazing experience and I'm learning so very much. I don't even know where to begin.

  • I've been allocated two patients per shift and they're my full responsibility. Strangely enough, I've always managed to get quite ill ones, who aren't just straight forward. 
  • I'm amazed how sick our patients are. And how old they are.
  • Comorbidities abound.
  • Still grappling with writing observation notes, although the skill is developing 
  • Becoming more efficient at taking obs
  • Love the nurse/patient interaction
  • I don't ever feel stressed or flustered
  • Have no idea how I'm going to look after six patients 
  • Love watching procedures
  • Am amazed at how well my feet and back cope. I find it easier walking and being on my feet for an entire shift than I do sitting and studying.
  • Feel like a part of the nursing team and my work is acknowledged which is awesome
  • The late shifts are more demanding, but also more interesting
  • Both shifts go so incredibly quickly
  • I've watched an angiogram, dialysis, insertion of a vas cath, have inserted a catheter, have given numerous injections, have given IV push antibiotics, have set up a fluid IV, have administered oxygen, I've preempted a patient crashing twice, and then been there to stabilise him. 
  • I find working on the ward very hot. The shirt is hot and my pants are hot too. 
  • The long walk to and from my car is doing me good. 
  • I have to remember to drink a lot of water.
  • I feel privileged to look after these sick people.
A lousy post I know, but it was better than nothing.....

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I am sitting here, relaxing for about a half hour before I get ready to go on placement again. I've done the online groceries, looked up some information about drugs I'm interested in and have tidied a little. The littlies are staying at a friends' place tonight, so the house is quiet.

Yesterday was my first day on placement. To say I felt overwhelmed was an understatement. I actually searched for a word that meant the same as overwhelmed but in noun form, so I could title my blog with it, but I couldn't find a replacement word. I'm keeping reflective journal of my days, which I may make public, depending on how much I add into it. Suffice to say, that within the first couple of hours on the ward, I'd questioned my decision.  What on God's earth was I doing here??? Added to that, the first few sets of obs I took were so wrong, that I questioned myself first before I considered that there was something wrong with my patient. I was rapt to discover that I'd made a discovery that day, and my patient was moved into a more intensive ward, where she could be monitored more closely. Another person I looked after, I could get her bp and the RN couldn't hear it, so I was stoked. I thank my own secondary hypertension or the fact that I can operate a manual sphygmomanometer.

I had a huge headache all day yesterday which so far is being kept at bay today. I started on new antihypertensives yesterday and my head felt like it was in a vice for the entire day. I'm praying it continues as it will make my day easier and less stressful.

My Dad would have been 82 today! Dear Dad, the first birthday where you're in heaven. I miss you so very very deeply and think of you everyday. I kiss your photo beside my bed and remember the funny things you've done. You're so alive in my heart and in my thoughts that I find it almost unbearable when I want to tell you something, or ring you and you're no longer here........

I love you Dad. I miss you so much.
Always and forever,
your daughter
Jenny xoxoxoxo

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A little down time

It hasn't really been down time, but what I'm having to do is not stressful and I'm enjoying the break from study.

The exams were hard. Actually one was okay and I think I did fairly well. It was based on illnesses and the nursing care associated with those. The other exam, pathophysiology was a difficult one. It was 60 multiple choice and an essay on diabetes. The essay would have saved me. I found the multiple choice filled with obscure questions. Thank God I remembered the sample ones off by heart as quite a few were in there. My essay flowed, it had an intro and a conclusion, and had the information they wanted. Whether it's written in a 'sciencey' way that's good enough for them, I don't know. I used all the correct terminology, I didn't dumb it down completely, but my science minded friends' essays would be lots more complex than mine.  It took me an hour and a half to write it. Which is ridiculous for a two hour exam time period. Mel, didn't even get hers finished. She's so incredibly smart, but reads quite slowly, and also writes slowly too. So far in uni she always takes her Macbook and I've never seen her handwrite anything, other than in the lab doing a drug calculation. Seems unfair to be penalised for having to handwrite something. I wrote almost seven pages. Ridiculous. I'm so relieved it's done and if I didn't hope I could sell it, I'd burn my lab coat and text book. I never want to look at either ever again. The subject content was fascinating. The delivery and assessment requirements were so far removed from the learning outcomes that a nurse requires, it was almost nonsensical. And damn hard. Next semester the subjects, are all nursing related. No science.......yayyyyy..........  Only three subjects too, so I'll have a life other than uni, which will be awesome. Now to wait for the grades. So grateful that patho  exam wasn't a hurdle task as I know I've passed the subject, but I wouldn't be so sure if I had to pass the exam in order to do so.

Of course while all this is going on, there's my life as a Mama, wife, daughter and friend. Sadly, I couldn't give my friends the time that they deserve, or that I wanted, but they understand it's a short term thing. I'm glad I still went to Daisy's most Friday nights, so could catch up with my friends there. I still was a good Mama to the kids, and made sure they helped out, even though that is often a stress in itself, it's an important lessons for them and a huge help for me. I was always there for my husband, and he's not the type who requires lots of attention, as such. But I always made sure we talked, and that I was affectionate toward him. He would snap me out of my melancholy if I was feeling over stressed and ground me again. I was able to spend some time with Mum each week. I'm glad I made that time. It's not been an easy six months for her and she needs me, and I need her too. She's sold the house and has bought a unit in a retirement village. It's currently being renovated, so, she's been very busy, and extremely emotional. This time is turbulent, both sad and happy........not easy for her at all. Not when you think she's had Dad there for her for her entire adult life, and even before that.....

My uni friends have been great. So good, having a few girls who are smart and work as hard as I do. I've learned a lot from them.  I've learned to slow down and be more analytical. I've learned it's okay if I don't understand something right away. I've also learned that I'm not as smart as they are, so I pick up on skills that they have which I can adopt. I'm also pleased that my house is tiny, as it's been sadly neglected. I can't remember the last time I vacuumed and while the kids do it regularly, I dare say the job isn't as good as mine would be. (And I'm not that fantastic, Peter is great, but too busy for me to ask him to do it very often.) But everyone was loved, kept clean, warm and fed. Thinking that my hard work would perhaps inspire my kids that it's something they can pursue later on, has backfired. Sammy feels sympathy for me all the time when he sees me study and Billy-Joe has dropped his OP subjects because he can't ever see himself working as hard as I am. Sad really...........but like I said to them, it's something they can always consider later on down the track.

I've not had time to go to church at all. Quite often by Sunday, I've still got so many chores to do, and study, and an hour or two free in the afternoon was something I could have if I did my jobs. And that was a maybe. Most Sundays, I worked anyway..........  God was with me every step of the way though, as I always went to him in prayer. Both for support and gratitude.

Next Monday, I commence four weeks on placement. I've not really thought too much about it as yet. If I did, I think I'd freak out. All the skills I've gained in the last twelve months will now be put to use on a real live person!!!! That includes giving injections and meds. I'm looking forward to doing that, and just pray that I won't have the syringe in the kidney dish rattling so loudly that the patient knows I'm petrified lol......  I'm really anticipating a lot of learning to be consolidated. I forget things as they're not in use and I want to be able to use skills and not feel like I'm always looking for the info in the back of my memory somewhere. In a way I'm glad I give myself an injection each month, although I don't know how much help that is. At least I know I won't hurt them, but then again, often it's the medication and not the needle that actually causes the pain.

Tanzania is looming too. We are having a dinner at the university in two weeks and it's one of our biggest fundraisers to date. My entire family is going, including Mum, Julia and Kiana. It should be a fun night. Leonie, the lecturer who's leading all this is amazing. I had to hug her yesterday because she is doing so much for us, and I really appreciate all the time that it is taking, and how much she is doing on her own. My personal fundraising is going okay. Slowly but surely it's adding up. Once I pay for my ticket and passport I think I'll really believe that I'm going. I mean I know I'm going, but so far it feels quite surreal.

I'm tired and feeling drained. My neck and shoulder has given me trouble, probably from the hour and a half long essay I had to write, because I held the same position for too long. My physiotherapist has become my friend over the years she's treated me, and I'm blessed that she saw me at home on Monday as I was in a lot of pain. So what's left of the week will be spent catching up with friends, spending time with my kids, and resting.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The hardest one

Last year, during my first semester back to formal study, I was quite concerned with the amount of information I had to process for anatomy and physiology. I got a Distinction for that subject!! I'm still stunned about that as it was so difficult. This semester amongst other subjects, of course - I've been doing Pathophysiology. I was quite looking forward to this as I'm so interested in what the pathology is behind various diseases and illnesses. Sadly this subject is presented by a set of scientists and not nurses!! Actually the two or three good lectures were presented by a doctor, who was our lecturer last year. She's fabulous. Presents content in a coherent and orderly manner, and presents it from a clinical point of view, and not a 'mad scientist's' point of view. 

A group of us, all with prior degrees will be posting our evaluations and they won't be favourable. From a teaching point of view the learning objectives are not aimed toward a paramedic or a nurse!! There are hundreds of us doing this subject and it's been running for a few years. The complaints have been regular but nothing has been done.............

Anyway, as per usual, I digress. Today is that exam. There will be 60 multiple choice questions. I'll have about a 25% chance of getting the correct answer lol.......  40% of the exam is an essay on diabetes. Not just a long answer question, but a full blown essay, complete with introduction and conclusion. They want so much information included that's just not possible to include within an hour time frame or within the recommended 1000 word limit. I've written a copy of mine, and without intro and conclusion and with some sections I'm quite au fait with, I've just put notes, and it came to almost 1200 words!!! Some of my friends, who have prior science degrees have written theirs in 2000 words!!!! There's no way they will have time to write that in the allotted time. 

Thankfully this exam isn't a hurdle task. This means that you don't need to pass the exam to pass the subject. With my marks so far (which aren't great) I don't need to do much correct in order to pass the subject. My heart goes out to people who haven't passed anything so far........and I think there are quite a few............  To do this subject again, would be horrible. I've had to wear a lab coat during laboratory sessions. I can't wait to sell it. If my textbook hadn't been so expensive, I'd burn it with a ceremony of thankfulness...........

I'm not a 'stresshead'! I don't generally feel any angst toward exams, nor do I feel ill. Having said that............I've lost hair. I have a bald patch, which I have to cover with a comb over lol.......The only other time that's happened is after I'd had Mickey and I was a new Mama to three kids. 

Dear Lord, help me today, fill me with peace, comfort me as I know I need to feel relaxed when I enter the exam venue this evening. Allow me to work through the questions and find the knowledge in my brain.  


Saturday, May 26, 2012


There's only one more week left in the semester. I am very happy that I made it. From here on in it's study and exams. Oh and one more assignment to finish but the end is certainly in sight. Updates....

Mum has put a deposit on a unit in a retirement village. She will put her house on the market next week. She's excited and day to move on to the next phase of her life.

I had a day at home today and ended up doing no study. I slept in till 10.30am. Tidied, went to the shops and bought fruit and veggies, spoke to a friend on Skype about our studies, spoke to Billy-Joe about his school concerns.

Cooked a yummy poached chicken dish will polenta and roast tomatoes and rocket.

Bought the James Morrison album which is just brilliant.

Went to bed early planning to study heaps tomorrow.

This cat makes himself comfy anywhere. Even inside Billy-Joe's jammies.

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mind is whirling

I'm so excited about going on prac at the end of next month. I'm also petrified. For me, that prac is crunch time. It will make or break me. Let's face it, I've been at uni for almost a year, and yet haven't set foot inside a hospital to work yet. Aged care, is no comparison. Not to belittle that job, but it's not where I want to be, (plus I'd like to see huge changes there).

I need to teach myself to stop, slow down, slow my thinking down, and become methodical and rational. It's something that really scares me. I'm scared, that when someone asks me something, I won't answer, or, worse, something happens and I can't act fast enough. I know, at this stage, it's not my role to be saving all the cardiac arrests, or respiratory arrests, but I'm praying that I have the wherewithal to act promptly and appropriately. I know I'm not going to fall in a heap crying, or in panic, but I don't want to go blank either.

Surely, if I talk to my Prac teacher, and read up before hand, that can help my confidence a little. While I can't diagnose off an ECG of course, I can tell when something is wrong.

If I'm nervous now, what's the morning I start going to be like?

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Doctor or Nurse

I'm so pleased that I'm going to be a nurse. Although if you were present at my lecture this morning, (and others from the same subject) you'd be excused from thinking I was doing medicine.

I'm tired. So very tired. Sometimes I question my sanity. When I finish my studies I want to work full time. I wonder if I'll be able to do it. Physically and emotionally able. Thank God I can always work less hours, but my plan is to work full time. I want to make the most of my studies. I want to learn as much as I can. I don't want to just work to make money. I want a career.
How many people at my age start an entirely new career? Most times I don't feel my age. It's just a number after all. (Ssssshhhhh that's what I have to keep telling myself).

The lecture today on inflammation was so OTT. I switched off about half way through. One hour of listening to a monotonal diatribe (not really correct grammar but humor me) was enough to turn me off immunology for life. I get prostaglandins and histamines. I don't want anything more...........

No wonder I do great in the nursing subjects and crap in the science based ones. Well not totally crap because many have failed the assignments and I've passed them all. Not brilliantly but beyond a pass. I just want the exam to be over. I hate how the subject is organized too. From a teaching perspective it misses the mark, and from a nursing perspective it's just overkill. I keep telling myself that I will make a great nurse, just not a good scientist and I'm okay with that. A girl I know who does brilliantly at everything didn't do so well with her Drug Therapy workbook. I feel so elated that I got a HD. She wrote a high level academic paper. I replied to the questions as a nurse and advocate for my patient. I'm rapt with my mark as I know I'm on the right track. I just need to keep reminding myself that.

We are learning about so many different areas and are probably getting a large chunk if everything. I want to be in my area of nursing and specialize in that area. I know I'll have a good grasp of everything relating to that area.
At the moment I don't know where that will be. My placement in July will be in a Medical/Coronary Care ward. I'm excited about that. I want to become au fait with ECGs and all that goes with it. I've already made a list of the the I want to practice and revise prior to then.

I know that in the end, the main thing is that I learn and feel comfortable with what is required of me. I know to be on the look out for adverse effects of drugs and signs that someone is deteriorating. Whether Or not I can write an academic paper on that will thankfully become immaterial.

So it's with those thoughts that I console myself today. I will get there.
And I am so happy that Pathophysiology is my last science driven subject.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad 3

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


It's been another huge day. I enjoy being busy, but I so love sitting down at the end of the day.

This morning I was in the nursing lab at uni by 8am and then came home and picked up Sammy. We had his interview for high school next year. I can't believe that the child I worried about the most and protected so much and supported so much with the school's involvement is actually getting ready to attend high school next year. He's ready to tackle it and is ready for the challenges ahead. He's learned so much. I feel confident that he'll be okay. He found out last week that he was ASD. I've never sat him down to explain his 'diagnosis'. The label was needed for funding, so that he could have support all through primary school. I never told him as he never asked. I didn't want him to feel different or 'dumb' as the kids put it. He was upset though when he read the letter (that was addressed to me) and thought that ASD meant something really bad. In many ways Sammy is still quite young and it obviously never occurred to him that having extra help in the classroom was not the norm. I've had support for him since he was under four years old. Other mothers may not even have picked it up, but I'm so glad I did. He's still quirky, sees the world in a different way to most others but his uniqueness is a beautiful quality. I would not change him for anything but I want him to have the skills necessary to function confidently but also to know the right time and place to be as brutally honest as he is. The assistant to the principal made Sammy feel very comfortable and was amused with some of his responses.

Afterwards we drive to Maleny to take my MacBook to be fixed. I should have taken it there all along. It was 15/3 when I first took it to the other store and the computer is even worse than before. Sam was awesome at the store and I won't ever try another store. Apparently they've heard some interesting stories from the other store. Sammy and I had lunch. It was nice but too much food and too expensive. Ah well Sammy enjoyed it.

This afternoon I had parent teacher interviews for Billy-Joe. We just chose the teachers that gave great comments for behavior and attitude, but only good or satisfactory for the academic levels achieved. They all said the same thing, that he doesn't put the depth of knowledge into his assessments and assignments that are expected. It's exactly what I always say too, so it was awesome to have them say the same.

Gorgeous flower over a fence. I think it's a huge chrysanthemum. I love the color of it.

Humongous burger that Sammy had for lunch.

This rose is very special. At Dad's 80th we had one on the table. One of his friends brought it. I fell in love with it, especially when they told me it was a 'Yellow Bunny'. They gave me a cutting and now I have a bush too. It's blooming for you and I Dad. Xx

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Saturday, March 31, 2012


I'm always so watchful of my health. It's something I guard and watch over. Not obsessively but sensibly.

I had a flu vax on Monday. The doctor told me it was free because of my aaaa...... I was nearly ready to be sad then, until he said arthritis and not age lol.

The nurse took my BP. It was high. Too high. I've not seen figures like that since I was pregnant with Mickey.

So, I've been monitoring it all week. It's still too high.

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Time is precious.

I'm just so acutely aware of how precious time is. Perhaps it's to do with the fact I'm getting older, time is whizzing by and yet I have so much I've yet to achieve in my life.
When the kids were little, I never thought I'd have this zest and zeal for a life of my own back. From the day I suspected I was pregnant with Billy-Joe my life changed irrevocably forever. In an instant I lost my selfishness and my whole life was no longer about me.
In the next 13 or so years of motherhood and two more kidlets I didn't think much about the future. Each day was about looking after my kids and my family and keeping myself as healthy as I could so I could cope with it all. Now that I've found my individuality again and now that I'm more than Mum, wife, cook and organizer I'm keenly aware that as I approach my 50th birthday that I have so much I still want to do and achieve for Me!! Sure, my family will benefit from some of it, as far as financial stability and gain goes, but for the most part this university degree is for me. I've become selfish again and with my family's blessing can pursue this new adventure and direction that my life is taking.
Stay with me, as I realize once again I've digressed, there is a point to this message.
This morning I head out to pick up my MacBook that has been in the service department of a computer store for two weeks. It has a new battery and a new cooling component fitted. I head out to the store where I dropped it off, and it's closed!!! I checked the shop hours with the technician yesterday, so someone has given me wrong information. After a quick phone call they told me that the sister store was open, not the one where I was. They'd not specified that! As I was already out and about, I headed out to the other shop. There I picked up my MacBook and thankfully I decided to stop into MaccyDs to have a coffee. Within ten minutes the computer crashed!! I took it back to the store and left it with them. I arrived back home, three hours (emptyhanded) after I'd left it for my unplanned tour of the coast.
I felt like I'd wasted three hours of my life. I wasn't angry, just a little disappointed.
Age can be wonderful at times. I don't have anger within me. I wasn't angry at the guys in the store, wasn't angry when I recounted the events to my husband. I was just a little sorry I'd lost three hours. I believe it's a gift to not have anger. I feel a peace within me which is palpable. I'm not sure what caused it. God, age, contentment, happiness? I'm not sure, a huge combination of all of those I think.
Instead of anger I drove around loving the fact I have a new little car, the day was glorious after all the rain we've had. I don't miss anger. Anger hurts and eats away at your insides. Anger wouldn't make my MacBook fixed. Anger would only damage.
I'm grateful for the peace.
I hope you have peace in your heart too.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad 3


Monday, March 26, 2012

Work Smarter and Harder

I got two assignments back today. I'm a little flat. One I got a Distinction in and the other I'd originally failed. Then I showed the tutor that I had done a section and she gave me the additional marks so now I've passed. I've only ever done poorly once on an assignment. The sad thing is that it wasn't a difficult assessment piece. But I didn't answer the question properly. Mind you, many failed as they missed the point completely. I'm disappointed in myself. The other assignment I should have got a HD. It was difficult either, but it was time consuming.

So I've decided to work harder. I need to pay more attention to detail so that I don't miss things.

A busy five hours at uni today. I told the kids I wouldn't be doing much study over the holidays but I will be changing that. A group of us have a presentation to do about barbiturate overdose. We can make a start on that over the holidays.

Again, I'm so grateful that I changed my Prac. I wouldn't be able to physically get everything done otherwise.

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Assignment finished

I finished the assignment. Ive spent far too much time on it but I'm not doing it again.

It's certainly an area that interests me. At least I understand much better and I could look at one and know what I'm looking at.

Now a little time to relax.

Dad, it's me. I wonder if you've seen Opa yet. He will be looking for you. We are all going well down here. The weather is revolting. You would love it as much as me. Seeing as we both loathe going out in it. I love it when th screensaver comes up on the iMac and there's the photo taken a few Easters back where you're walking quickly in the drizzle ducking low but using your hands to protect your camera when you really want to cover your head. I hate getting wet too, and lately we've had so much rain. You'd be constantly emptying your rain gauge.

I went to see Mum this week but she slept in as it was teeming and I was early. You'd be so proud of her. She wanted to listen to the music you loved so much and she plugged in your little speaker dock. She was very concerned that all they did was make a humming noise. We laughed when I discovered she hadn't even plugged in the iPod into the dock!!!! I don't know where she thought the music was going to come from. I played a bars of the music and she asked me to turn it off. She cried Dad. You both would listen to that music all the time. Many lovely memories and special evenings were spent with that music. I cried too and we held each other. In time she will listen to it again and it will bring you close again. For now, it's still too hurtful.

Love you Dad. Xxxx

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Thursday, March 22, 2012


Ive got loads to say as per usual. Whether it makes it into print is not always a given. My Opa died on Sunday. Kind of surreal that my grandfather died three months after my father. I feel sad for my Mum of course and my Uncle and step grandmother. Apparently Opa was in a lot of pain for the last few days prior to his death, so he would certainly be at peace now. Uni is hard. I gave this assignment due on Monday which is about reading and diagnosing off an ECG. To say its hard is an understatement. I've noticed that the subjects I'm taking which are run by nurses are awesome. The ones run by academics/researchers/mad professors are ridiculous in their expectations. Last year I got a Distinction for a professor run subject. If only I could be so lucky this semester. I will be happy to pass. I can look at an ECG and see where the atria and ventricles contract and relax. The issue I have, is that as a nurse, I'd be expected to put the leads in the right place and hand the strip of paper to the doctor. Mind you, now I'll be looking at them and looking for anomalies. A friend of mine, said that many who have the assignment don't even know what the PQRST waves actually denote. I'm not amongst that group thankfully. Mind you, I do find it fascinating though. Cardiac or oncology. I don't know where I'll specialize. A friend of mine is running for the Buderim seat in the state election on Saturday. I'm helping her and was supposed to be getting all the banners and information tonight and I decided to avoid the rain and go and get it tomorrow afternoon instead. I've got to see the doctor tomorrow. I have to have my final Hep B shot to get my titre levels up so that all is good with going on placement. Apart from my pathophysiology subject, I'm feeling so confident. Confronted with an I've machine for the first time on Tuesday I was able to set up an IV and put in the relevant data. I just can't wait to be in a hospital. I've got two assessment pieces due in on Monday. One of which I've already done as it's an ongoing weekly workbook that I keep up to date. I had a girl on Tuesday wanting to see my book!!!! No way I wasn't going to show her and give her answers. Not to someone who asks what a gravity fed IV pump is!!!!! I work with my friends and we help each other but I'm not giving my hard work to a stranger to copy. We are all looking forward to the Easter Break.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


It's been an overwhelmingly busy week and weekend. I've found it really tough actually. A few things contributed. All week I felt like I was fighting off a virus. So I didn't become ill thankfully but I felt off. My eyes burned and my glands were swollen and I was so incredibly tired. Added to that I felt so sad about Dad. Missing him so much that it hurts. I've dreamt of him most nights too. My workload this week was huge too. With each subject having its own workbooks, most to be submitted and form part of our assessment, lots of heavy pre reading and two assignments due tomorrow I didn't think I'd get to the bottom of my to do list.

It took me ten hours to do one assignment. I seriously underestimated how hard it would be. You know when you can write down the answers but then you need to ensure you have the citations to back it all up. I felt rather elated uploading two assignments this afternoon.

Now I've enjoyed a cup of tea and am about to head into my pre reading.

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Thursday, March 08, 2012

A Letter

Hi Dad How are you going up there? No doubt you're giving all those angels a hard time. Actually they're probably having lots of fun with your. You'd be making them laugh and tripping over things and making them laugh all over again. I know now that you're no longer out of breath and that you can do things even if you've just eaten a big meal. You can dance and walk and do everything without ever worrying about cheat pain again. I've been doing so much study and interestingly the main things we've covered so far I can relate to you. Between heart issues, and your embolism, I can see why God took you. I'm still constantly grateful that we had you for as long as we did. Mum is doing well. You'd be proud of her. She's amazing and is making a new life for herself. We talk about you a lot and we love laughing about the things you've done. I'm glad she's got Beverly to take her out on weekends. They go exploring, out to lunch and enjoy being together. I miss you so much. I want to tell you things. I have to think that heaven has good technology and that you ate kept up to date lol. The new iPad information was released today. I've been waiting for it for months. I'll buy it and Mickey can have the old one. He's very excited about it. It will end up being the family one and everyone can enjoy it. The iPad has become invaluable to me Dad. I use it all the time. Mind you I still use the MacBook and the iMa, they all fit their purpose. I'm tired Dad. Uni is so incredibly full on. This is a huge semester. Even the tutors have acknowledged it. I'm hanging in there though. The stuff I'm learning is just fascinating. I'm learning about drugs, how they work, how illnesses are caused, right down to the cellular level. It's crazy in a way, the level that they want us to learn to. I doubt that people know just how well educated nurses are. I'm loving the course Dad and can't wait to be on the hospital floor. I went the other day to visit a girlfriend who is ill, and it's a place where I feel comfortable. And it's a place where I want to be. I'm keen to know how I'll cope with full time work. The Prac coming up in July will give me an idea. At the moment though I'm shattered. So tired. So much work to do. I chat to you in my head everyday Dad. In my prayers I ask God to pass on messages. I don't know if that works but it makes me feel better to think that you are knowing what's going on in our lives. I love you Dad. Always and Forever. Jenny xxxxxxx

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Good but tired

It's been another huge week. Only another 11 or so more weeks of tuition. I'm glad we've got Easter in its midst. Today I'm tired. A few early starts and a huge Wednesday and I'm looking forward to the weekend. Six hours back to back tutes and lectures is rather intense. I'm glad the content is so interesting as I'm able to concentrate the entire time, without even getting lost. Last semester there were some two hour lectures of anatomy and physiology where the last half hour was lost on me. So far so good this semester. I've started one of my assessments, so I'm glad to make a beginning. Today I had an appointment with my rheumatologist. I'm going to persevere with the Simponi for another three months. Clinically I've not gained any benefits from what I'm on but perhaps it's too soon to tell. The drug is an immunosuppressant so that's my main concern. I'll need to go off it for a while so I can have my yellow fever vaccination for Tanzania. Being a live vaccine we need to be careful. I actually had about seven days where I had hardly any pain, I felt so much better. Unfortunately the pain is coming through again. I don't know why I only get short term coverage. Oh well, I'll keep going with the treatment. There are different ones I can try, this drug needs a longer trial from me before we change. I've done an hour on my exercise bike today. That's three hours this week. I enjoy it and find it relaxing. I've been watching 'The Straits' on iView. Looking forward to a nice dinner of Fettuccine Fungi and a glass if wine or three.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Have you ever had times when you've felt so happy, that you're just waiting for something to go wrong? It's like everything is too good to be true. The only taint in my happiness, is when I think of something I want to tell my Dad, I'm struck with a longing that hurts so deeply. Today I went to my Mum's house and I looked into Dad's room. I couldn't help it. He is still so much a part of my life. I think of him so many many times each day. Often with happiness, but when I come across something unexpectedly it grips me and hurts inside. Last weekend I went through my Facebook friends to do a regular cull of people who aren't really friends but are simply acquaintances. I came across my Dad. I can't delete him. He will remain in my friend list for ever. I initially wanted to delete his Facebook page, but I can't do that either. Other than missing my Dad, I'm so happy, blissfully happy actually. Uni has started back last week and it's full on. So much so that I've had to review how I spend my time. Basically I will give myself very little spare time. I am doing all my pre reading and am also reviewing my work. It's so intense but I feel like it is finally onto the nitty gritty. I'm learning about the things that interest me most. Apart from one subject, (which does integrate with the others but isn't planned well, from a teaching point of view) my subjects are fascinating. I'm doing Drug Therapy, Pathophysiology and my Nursing practical subject is led by a fabulous tutor. She's so genuine and so helpful. I wish I could hug her lol, she's that good. Today we did IM injections. These are the easiest to administer but it felt so good to draw up drugs, calculate dosages and administer them, albeit to a dummy. I must admit though that having given myself two Simponi injections already has helped me to some point although it's a prefilled syringe. I wasn't even shaking whe prepping the drugs today. We worked in pairs and I met a lovely lady. She's German and I don't think she's been in Australia very long but it was exciting talking to her. I was also surprised how much I knew about the drugs. I always complain about my memory and yet one was a drug that was used when I worked at the doctors' surgery in 1983!!!!!! Even in the Pathophysiology tute yesterday I surprised myself with what I remembered. Even my friends were impressed (and surprised) lol. Especially when yesterday's burst of knowledge was to do with the workings of the heart, which was something I really struggled with last year. All those numerous Youtube videos paid off. Yes, I'm happy. Happy because I'm where I should be. My only regret is that I'm not 30 years younger. It does gratify me though that I'm not the oldest nursing student. I certainly don't feel out of place at uni. The workload this semester is huge. I'm so relieved that I opted out of doing placement two days per week, but instead went for the four week block. We have weekly workbooks for three subjects, plus pre reading and also a heavier assignment load. I have put this time aside to focus solely on study. One of our lecturers is on the board that interviews nurses for Graduate positions at the hospital. There are about 300 applicants for 40 jobs!!!! Thank God my marks are good as without them I won't even get an interview. I'm determined to glean as much Knowledge as I can. I never forget the support, help and love that I get from my kids and husband. I couldn't Di it without them. Love y my boys xxxxxx.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Not enough hours in the day

I'm sure many of you feel this way. I've been so incredibly busy in the last few weeks, well the last several weeks actually. I had a break from the general routine, so I'm hoping that's enough to constitute a rest.

In the last few weeks, I've caught up with friends, whom I've not seen in a few months, and others I'm planning on seeing this weekend. The weekend is a retreat at Daisy's which means I'll catch up with some of my closest friends, whom I've not spent much time with of late. I"m hoping to create, but mainly to reconnect. I always feel invigorated after these weekends and I'm sure this one will be no different.

I've had lots of appointments too. One of which was to an exercise physiologist. I'd had an appointment before Christmas but with the funeral and no head space for exercise, I cancelled it, never considering the guy would ring me back and reschedule....!! I'm glad he did though. I know own an exercise bike, which I actually enjoy using. I don't go on it everyday, like he recommends, but I certainly try my hardest, as I know how important it is, especially as I've put weight on again. It's my 50th birthday at the end of the year, and while I won't be as fat as I was at 40, I'd rather be slimmer and healthier. Unlike the treadmill, the bike doesn't put any strain on my calves or achilles, so I can work out quite hard and not cause any pain. Amazingly I can ride for quite a while, (I generally go to about 50 mins) and I'm not out of breathe. I never could regulate my breathing while I was jogging. Thank goodness for iView, so I catch up on Haven and Torchwood episodes, and whatever else I can find, that can make the time go faster. I don't take much time to watch TV so this is great time management.

My other appointments have been my  regular blood tests and GP appointments. The jury is still out whether or not the injection is helping me. Quite frankly I've been in a lot of pain, but it's settled in the last few days. I'm due to inject again today, so I'm hoping it continues to improve, otherwise I will stop the drug.

Uni starts back on Monday. It's a full on semester, focussing on no fluff subjects whatsoever. This semester will be the main and most important one as far as content goes. I'm excited and also daunted when reading over the course outlines.

I've been busy working on stuff for Tanzania. I'm very excited that I have a website for our group. It's only a basic site made in iWeb, but I'm rapt that I did it. In the end it was much easier than I thought it would be, but iWeb is so easy to use.

Tomorrow, I'm having a pedicure with my Mum. My niece and brother and wife, bought us both gift vouchers, so we're going to use them tomorrow. It will be something nice to do together. Mum is doing amazingly on her own. I'm so proud of her and the strength that she is showing.

More later, kidlets to pick up.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Flat days, good days, whatever days.

It's been a not so good day today. They always seem to hit me when I least expect it and usually when I've got no plans. Seems that me chilling out and deciding to relax isn't really a good idea for me. I had a blast last night. I miss Barbi so much when I don't see her during the week. The delight for both of us when we see each other is just beautiful. My entire persona takes a huge feeling of buoyancy when I see her. It doesn't matter what goes on in my mind at the time, seeing her and getting a huge hug, strips it all away. She's calm and love and comfort personified. God definitely blessed her with an aura. We've been friends now for over 12 years and that feeling always emanates from her. Last night we shared a bottle of champagne, we laughed and planned and chatted and relished in being together. Shame that I woke up today and the day was the total opposite. I felt miserable. I got up early as I hadn't slept well, I hadn't even turned my audiobook until around 2am. I went into town and took Sammy. He had a trim, we had morning tea st Donut King and bought a few things at Woolies. I came home, took my makeup off and donned the jammies and went back to bed. I feel like I wasted the day snoozing. I feel better now. We've just had a nice dinner. Roast eye fillet a pepper sauce with roast vegies and Peter made a garlic and herb butter which was heavenly on a doughy French stick. Dad I think of you all the time. The iPhoto screensaver shows your smiling face all the time. You look so good and so happy and alive. That's hiw I'll remember you. Dear God look after Mama. I can only begin to imagine what she's going through.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012


I spent most of today with my Mum. I didn't want to spare a day as I have two assignments due next week and I've not done much since Dad died. What she needed doing today was weighing heavily upon her mind so it was important to do ASAP. My Mum asked for my help with notifying all the relevant bodies about Dad so that everything us tidied up and in her name. Dad did all this in the past, or if it was complicated he'd come to me. Mum couldn't face going to all the relevant offices to inform them of Dad's death, nor did she have the strength to complete things over the phone. I'm so glad I was able to help her as it was tedious. Mum felt quite distraught by the end of the day I can only imagine how difficult it would have been for her otherwise. I spent almost two hours on the phone this morning, then we went into town. The first place we waited for an hour, only to be told we couldn't finalize things that day. We then went to banks and had a bite to eat. I spent another hour on the phone fixing up the power and phone companies for her. We achieved a lot and Mum felt like a huge weight had been lifted off her shoulders. I'm glad I was there to hug her as she walked out of one bank in tears. I was glad I could grasp her hand when I felt she was struggling. It was a very tough day for her today. She cried when I got there early this morning. She said that she doesn't 'feel' Dad in the house like she thought she would. In some ways it feels like he's been gone a long time already. Mum said that in little ways he was already withdrawing from her. I believe he knew the end was near. The five days that Dad was in hospital he was so happy. He joked, he laughed and he looked at peace. Dad, a typical man was never a good patient so this surprised me. Mum said she could see in his eyes that a part of him was no longer here....... It's strange because as I sat beside him when he'd not long gone and then even more so when I viewed him at the funeral home, Dad was gone. His soul was gone and with it everything that was him. I though that seeing him one more time was the final goodbye but it was when I left the hospital on the Thursday evening. When he blew me a kiss as I turned back when I was almost out the door. What was in the bed and then in the coffin wasn't my Dad anymore. It was a shell. His very being and essence was gone. Those would have left the instant the light left his eyes. Since my Dad has gone my faith has been even stronger. I managed today feeling strong and capable. I needed to be strong for Mum. It's now my turn to look after her. She couldn't have done all the paperwork/talking today and Ricky couldn't even ring to cancel Dad's Internet. He said he tried a couple of times but couldn't do it. But I could. It surprises me. I've not cried a huge amount since he's been gone. Even at the funeral I didn't cry a lot. I've cried more at people's funerals that I've barely known, as I've cried for the hurt and pain for the close family. I believe my faith has given me the strength to go on. To not drop my bundle and to be strong enough for Mum. Strangely enough I had a cry when I typed an earlier paragraph. My Mum is so sad. I hope that me being close helps her to find new meaning and happiness in her life. Every night I pray for her. I love you Mama and I'm always here for you. xxxxxxx


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