Things that made my toddler mad

~ Some crazy teenager was driving too fast.

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~ I explained that the round pellet I made her drop was not, in fact, goat food.

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~ This was the last time she was allowed on Skype.

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~ I caught her sniffing the cart wipes.

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~ I refused to put her in the pool to pet the penguins.

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Don’t worry, she got to hug this statue.

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~ I took too long making her lunch.

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~ After five minutes of her whining, I let her eat butter on its own. She wasn’t mad until AFTER tasting it.

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~ I let the dog help her find her ball.

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~ I took her cart away after she rammed it into my heel three times.

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~ I wasn’t pushing “Baby Paul” high enough (he’s in the swing on the left).

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~ She wanted to be the pig.

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~ The fireman refused to turn on the firetruck.

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I wouldn’t let her climb this playground Ultimate Ninja Warrior training apparatus on her own.

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~ I told her that this didn’t “count” as going pee on the potty.

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~ I told her the cat was done playing.

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~ I called her boat a “toy.” It is NOT a toy.

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~ She realized the nail polish bottle was empty. But not until she’d done all ten toes.

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~ I told her she wouldn’t fit in this box. She proved me wrong.

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Same with this one.

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~ I didn’t stop her from eating the paint.

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Or from putting yogurt up her nose.

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Or from painting her face with spaghetti.

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~ I found her top-secret hiding place.

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This one too.

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And this one.

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~ I stopped her from riding the cat.

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~ The cat didn’t get a timeout for biting Samantha, but Samantha did for biting me. Don’t worry, I made it right.

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~ I wouldn’t let her go to the store wearing only her Dad’s shoes.

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Or mine.

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~ I told her she had to share her cake.

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~ I pointed out that her glasses were on upside down.

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~ Made her do her own dishes.

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~ I explained that not everyone is a Jayhawk fan. She told me she was too young for such devastating news.

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~ She had to take turns driving the car.

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~ I wouldn’t let her hug the other end of the goat. She tried, twice.

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Comments

I try to respond to all comments by email (instead of in the comments section of my blog), so if you haven’t received a reply from me after a few days, please post your comment/question again.

Thanks!

Katie

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Reasons nursing school is worth it:

1. You get to wear scrubs to school. Scrubs! The only thing more comfortable would be pajamas.

2. It prepares you to be a parent. Not because you learn how to diagnose and treat common childhood ailments, but because you learn how to function effectively on little to no sleep.

3. It will provide you with the opportunity to diagnose yourself with countless conditions. Don’t worry, 97% of the time, you’ll be wrong. The other 3%? They’ll come from your psych classes.

4. You’ll rediscover your childhood sense of humor (if you ever lost it). If you can’t laugh at farts and poop, you won’t survive.

5. You’ll make lifelong friends. You’ll think they’re crazy, until one day you realize that your mutual insanity is what makes the bond between you so strong.

6. Your non-medical friends and family will LOVE how you’re able to point out every inaccuracy on medical TV shows.

7. Gory movies will no longer bother you. That zombie tearing through someone’s carotid can’t compete with the abscess drainage you assisted with this morning.

8. Getting shots won’t bother you anymore. Not because being a nursing student somehow dulls your sense of pain, but because it’ll actually be a relief to be on the other end of the needle for once.

9. You’ll be prepared for anything. Well, until your first patient codes on you and you won’t even remember how to open the ambu bag. But don’t worry, it WILL come back to you. Just remember to breathe (between the cursing).

10. In the end, you’ll be a registered nurse. And NOTHING beats that.

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My day on the Mother/Baby unit

While working on a women’s post-op floor, I was asked to float to the mother/baby unit. I had a strong history in pediatrics, had shadowed a nurse there a few months before, and was told that taking care of the mothers would be “a piece of cake.” They were desperate for help, so I hesitantly agreed, hoping for the best.

One of the charge nurses showed me how to do a “fundal check” – this consists of pressing hard on the woman’s abdomen to feel where the uterus is and making sure it feels firm. It seemed simple enough.

They assigned me to several easy patients- women who had delivered the day before and should have been uncomplicated. Their IV’s had already been removed since they were no longer needed, and the women only needed to be checked on every few hours.

The first patient I assessed was an ER nurse in her late twenties who had delivered the cutest baby girl I’d ever seen. I’m not sure if it was the fact that my ID badge said “Women’s Surgery” instead of “Mother/Baby” or because I thought the closet was the bathroom, but she immediately asked if I was new.  I told her the truth– I was a “float.” She promised to take it easy on me, but mentioned that she’d noticed some heavy bleeding while going to the bathroom.

I fumbled through my fundal check, pressing on her abdomen as I’d been taught. But I didn’t feel her uterus. And as I pushed, I noticed a gigantic blood clot plop onto the bed between her legs. I’m not exaggerating, this thing was HUGE.

“Is that normal?” She pointed at the blood flowing from her body.

Yeah, I seriously doubted it. “I’ll be right back!” I said as I sprinted out the door.  The charge nurse hadn’t prepared me for this situation.

The hallway and nurses’ station were completely empty. I felt a huge lump in my throat and started to squeak when I breathed.

I ran to the nursery and thankfully there were two nurses there. “Is a clot this big normal?” I showed the size with my hands.

“Which room?” One of the nurses, Stacey, started running.  I took that as a “no.”

We ran to the room and the patient was still bleeding. “She’s hemorrhaging, we need Pitocin and to do a fundal massage,” the nurse said.

Maybe my memory is unreliable due to the state of shock I found myself in, but I swear that mother/baby nurse started punching my patient’s stomach. The patient was screaming, blood was gushing, I was crying… well I wasn’t actually crying but I wanted to. “You take over while I call the doctor,” the nurse told me.

I began “massaging” (beating) the poor woman’s stomach. Her uterus was starting to firm up, which I knew was a good sign. Several nurses appeared and took over. An IV was started, meds were given, doctors called… and finally, the patient stopped bleeding.

Once everything was cleaned up and the patient was considered stable again, the charge nurse apologized. “Usually patients only hemorrhage the day of delivery, but sometimes that happens. Sorry it happened to you.” 

“No problem. But I’m never coming back. Ever.” Even if I was given a proper orientation, I didn’t want to do that to a patient ever again. They called me five times over the next month begging me to come back, but I refused. I was scarred for life.

I do believe that everything happens for a reason, though.

A few years later, I was pregnant with Samantha.  I watched several biased birthing documentaries, such as The Business of Being Born and Pregnant in America. I didn’t believe most of what I heard or saw, but liked the idea of a home birth or going to a birthing center. After working in a hospital, I really wanted a more natural experience without all the machines and doctors. But something kept holding me back– the memory of that patient’s bleeding. Had she been at home, she could have easily bled out before she’d made it to the hospital.

I struggled with the decision for several months, and finally decided to deliver naturally, but at the hospital. That patient was my deciding factor. I had an extremely fast labor, and ended up having complications. Samantha was in distress and I had an emergency C-section. Samantha’s APGAR score was a 4, and she was taken straight to the NICU. The doctors and nurses saved her life, and although she had a rocky start, she’s perfectly healthy now. Had I delivered outside the hospital (at home or a birthing center), we would not have had the resources she desperately needed. I don’t want to even imagine what would have happened.

So now with every new milestone that Samantha reaches, I thank God that I had that horrible experience on mother/baby, because I truly believe that it saved my daughter’s life.

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Signs you’re becoming a nurse

1. You enter a restroom and the person before you forgot to flush. Instead of thinking, “EWWW..”, you think, “Semi-formed large BM…”
2. You start rating everything on a scale from 1 to 10.
3. When someone farts, you almost start cheering.
4. Grey’s Anatomy isn’t fun to watch anymore. You just spent all day at a hospital, why would you want to watch other people in a hospital?
5. When hanging out with friends, you start noticing how good their veins are, and deciding which vein you would start an IV on.
6. You realize you walk twice as fast now.
7. You start diagnosing strangers with medical conditions. “That woman has really big eyes- she had better see a doctor about her hyperthyroidism.”
8. When you are asked, “How was your day?” you respond, “How was YOUR day?” to avoid talking about it.
9. People start showing you their moles or ask you to look at their tonsils.
10. People in your life are now much more comfortable telling you very personal things, and you aren’t embarrassed by it.
11. You are allowed to say “SOB” to your boss. (shortness of breath)
12. You can recite all the normal serum lab values, but forget your own phone number.
13. You begin to appreciate the little things in life, such as being able to breathe.
14. When driving, instead of humming a song in your head, you are humming the respirator alarm signal. “do do de da da”

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I’ll never forget…

Although this happened a few years ago, I still get chills whenever I think about it.

I was working as charge nurse on our small (13 bed) post-op unit. My coworker Lisa and I were the only two nurses on the floor because we only had 8 patients. One more patient and we were allowed to call in our coworker Jackie, who was sitting at home on call. Around 8 pm the pager went off alerting me that we were getting a new admission– a post-op hemorrhoidectomy patient having severe pain. Her surgery was scheduled as outpatient, but she was being admitted for pain control. My patients weren’t too difficult, and Lisa had things under control with hers as well, so we debated if we should call Jackie in or not. I called Jackie to see if she wanted to come in, and after some debating back and forth, she decided to come in instead of getting called in the middle of the night if we got another admission.

The patient arrived on the unit before Jackie arrived, and I did her initial assessment and took her admission history. I remember feeling silly asking if she had a living will– she was there for a hemorrhoid removal.  She was in pain but her medications still weren’t in the computer from our pharmacy yet, so I had to wait before administering anything.

Jackie arrived right as the pager went off with another admission, so I let her choose which patients she wanted. She chose the new admit and the hemorrhoidectomy patient. The patient’s medications finally showed up in the computer, so Jackie went in to give them.

She gave the woman some IV medication for her pain, which is when I would have left the room had I still been her nurse. But since Jackie needed to do her own assessment, she began taking the woman’s vital signs. Temp was normal, heart rate was ok. She put her stethoscope on the woman’s chest and said “Take a deep breath.”

The woman didn’t take a deep breath. Jackie waited a few seconds, and the woman didn’t take any breaths at all. She had stopped breathing. She called the woman’s name, shook her shoulders– the woman was unresponsive.  Jackie started yelling for help, which I heard from down the hallway. Lisa and I both ran to the room. The woman’s bed was in a sitting position but she was slumped over. She had no pulse. I hit the Code Blue button and ran to get the crash cart while they lowered the bed and began CPR.

It felt like it took forever for the code blue team to arrive. Once they did, it took over ten minutes to get a pulse back. She was transferred to the ICU where she ended up being ok.

Jackie had done nothing wrong- the woman had a severe reaction to the medication, causing her heart to stop. I couldn’t (and still can’t) stop thinking about what would have happened had I kept that patient. I’d already assessed her, so I would have left the room. When I went back ten minutes later (or longer, depending on if I got tied up in another room), I would have found my patient dead. I don’t think I ever would have recovered from that. What if Jackie had decided not to come in? Or had she picked a different patient to take over? Or if the medications had been in the computer earlier?

All I can say for sure is that someone had a guardian angel paying attention. I don’t know if it was mine or my patient’s, but I am forever grateful.

 

 

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Great nutrition

As a nurse, I have always known that my children would eat extremely healthy.  As a toddler, Samantha has always known that she is only going to do what SHE wants to do. Today, she had 1/4 cup of ranch for lunch. Not on broccoli or some other vegetable, just ranch by itself. That is all she ate.  Score so far– Mom: 0  Samantha: 20.

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