Sunday, July 3, 2011

College - memories for me, and whomever else ;)

I have been meaning to post. For a while now! I have so many things running through my head, I have had so many emotions...thoughts, memories

I had 2 semesters at BYU-I before I was accepted into the nursing program. It was the end of the second that I picked up my letter, and nearly FREAKED right there on the stairs of the Clark building. In fact, all day I had been saying "they called me in the nursing department, gotta go pick up my denial letter, haha..." What i didn't know is that they mail those out. When you have to come in... that's a good sign. It was my first application, no one ever gets in on there first application... do they? I only applied so thenext time they would know i was serious about it. :) I could not believe it. I walked into the basement of the Clark building:
grabbed the fat envelope from the guy at the desk, and thought "this is a lot of papers for a denial letter." I mean what could they possibly say in10 pages? No, you suck, you're the worst candidate, ever, get a life... etc. I was halfway up the first flight of stairs when i had to peel it open, my eyes scanned the page until i read the word "accepted" WHAT? ME!?!?! So I had to read and re-read it a few times, then I ran the flight and a half up around the corner and out the door to find my Coleman in the car. (we were on our way to Anat and Phys, we took it together, and boy was that a long 4 hours of class to sit through... I was WAY too excited to sit still) I wanted to scream! I mouthed "I GOT IN!" In the biggest silent scream ever! He looked at me, perplexed, and was like "what?!?!" He couldn't believe it. I ran and hopped in the car, and he tore the letter open to read it too... "Maybe it's for an alternate, like if someone decides they don't want their spot?" "Maybe it's a joke?" "Maybe it's" ...blah blah blah, on and on we hypothesized about how this could not possibly be mine, and how they had accidentally accepted me! haha. Funny now, There have been so many days I wish they would have denied me. So many dreadful, hard, long days, away from my kids, the only thing in this world that keeps me sane. So many tearful days that I sometimes felt that I wish I would have never accepted!

I then proceeded to call my Sister, she was SO excited, and couldn't believe it... I remember her saying "geez, you're just making this look like a walk in the park!" haha.. then I remembered I had to get a B in Chemistry, so I cried. haha. I had a B- at the time, by about 1%. I studied SO hard for the next test, and Coleman helped me by taking the kids more, and I got 100%! That is the only test (that mattered) that i have ever gotten 100 on, and It was awesome.

The next semester, which was the firstin the program, I look at as "easy." It really was fairly simple, a lot of information was repeat of CNA coursework, and the material that was new was not difficult for me. I remember feeling like, this program was going so well for me... blah! Coleman was still working on generals, and was home with the kids almost all the time. It felt so stressful at the time, trying to get together all the assessments, and skills we were learning, but it was not too bad. I even made time to go jogging and lost ten pounds!
Mercedes learning how to do IM injections on me. This was a great time! First semester is when we learned all of these skills. Everything except for IVs, those we learned the very first of 2nd semester. Or if you are like me you have already done a few at the Dr's office.

Learning how to do subdermal injections on pigs feet.

Me and the class in the lab... these pics are from the school website, we spent a lot of time in the lab 1st semester, and spent at least a few days in the lab every semester:

My second semester in the program was Coleman's first in the paramedic program. This semester was when i saw some major changes in my self from CNA to Nurse. It was hard. It was good, and I learned a lot, but it was difficult. I was so pushed to my limits with my maximum capacity, how much could I handle?? SO many days I found myself crying this semester, so many times I found myself on my knees pleading for a way to figure out everything I needed. I was SO struggling with school, I was getting burned out. I just ate all the time. Coleman was gone CONSTANTLY, I was sleeping at babysitters all the time (Thank you to Sarah, who watched my kids WAY TOO many times... I couldn't have survived without her, on so many levels)It was like.. come home on the week-ends,pack a bag for Sunday night, go sleep somewhere, (it was easier than dragging my kids out of bed at 6:00AM to get them to a sitter, at least this way they would sleep.) I remember when this semester was ending it was December, and I knew I had 3 weeks off... but just being sad the entire break that my days off were going so quickly. The hope after this semester was great though, I knew I would love3rd semester (it's OB and PEDS) but I also knew I was halfway done with the program, which was probably the thing that saved me. From this point on I was counting down, not up. I had gained 20 pounds during this semester, I ate my worries :)
2nd semester, we did our OR clinicals.

Last semester (3rd in the program) was awesome, stressful and hard days, and long days too, but I loved it. I was still packing bags, and sleeping everywhere, and never feeling really settled. I also began working out in January again, which is what kept my mind sane. I knew a lot in our OB class from working for Dr. Leavitt's office, that experience made it easier. Actually throughout the program I watched myself remember things that he taught me, that helped me in every class I took. I was so grateful for him and for his knowledge, and for teaching me so much. OB was awesome, I was able to spend a couple days in Labor and Delivery, which was my ultimate career goal from beginning this process. I also spent a day in the NICU, and realized that is something I really enjoy and would absolutely LOVE to do. I was not accepted for a preceptorship for L&D, which I really wanted, and in retrospect, it's okay. I enjoyed the clinical experiences I had, and honestly wouldn't change it. I lost about 10 pounds total this semester, but it was a good start. :) Exercise really has been a big survival key for me. I didn't realize second semester how necessary it was, instead I would eat... lesson learned, the hard way I guess.
This was during the 3rd semester of the program. We went on a trip to Utah for school where we had to recruiters trying to convince us to come to their hospitals and work, even though few or none of them had any jobs to offer us! : )
My dad took my kids for the weekend, and we got to hang out with them nightly, which was nice. This tool they use for orthopedic surgeries (knees, etc.) I saw them use it in the OR, and it is kind of gross.

This semester (my fourth, and final) in the program has been really hard, but really good too. It has been really difficult to stay motivated, and I don't pull the grade I once did, but It is all good. I still get the same degree as everyone else, even the smart ones! I have found exercise to be my saving grace, and I have lost a total of 21 pounds.We booked a trip to Hawaii for August, as a happy graduation to me present. Life is still crazy and hectic, but for 3 more weeks I think I can survive it. That's what this whole process has felt like. Surviving. Coleman had to leave for 2 weeks for the National Guard, and those were REALLY long weeks. I literally packed our bags every night, we would sleep somewhere, then after school we would head to the next sitters house to sleep.
This semester I spent half of my clinicals in the OR. It was actually eye opening, and a really great experience. I learned that if I was to work in the OR, I would want to be the surgeon! or the First Assistant. Get scrubbed-in on the action... circulating is really relatively boring. ; ) At least when you are not the one doing any charting or anything... they kind of worked around me, as if i wasn't there.

My grandma totally has saved my bacon babysitting my kids this semester too. I am not sure what I would do without her, and I am so grateful for the experiences I have had in getting to know her. I love that she is in her 70s and she gets down on the floor to p lay with my kids. She still has a ton of the toys we played with as kids (that were her children's toys) and my kids love them. They ask me regularly to go to G.G,'s house. (great grandma = G.G.) They take them on the four-wheelers, the have trikes outside (one of which is 50 years old, I think) and they just enjoy being with them. They even like uncle Rob,which is an added benefit. I wish I could explain how much I feel for this woman, and put into words how grateful I am for her. She is amazing, a definite super woman.

Coleman's Mom has also been such a huge help, and always ready to take them every Thursday (my clinical day) the last 2 semesters, for 12 freakin hours! Coleman was frequently there by 2 or 3, but I didn't get done until 6, and sometimes they were there that long. I don't know how we would have done it without so many people that love them, and were willing to care for them so much.

The stress of being wife, mom, and student has been sometimes unbearable. I wish I could explain it in words, and only those who are close to me know how bad some days really have been, and how long, and how painful. They have experienced them with me, and especially my kids. I feel like the last 2 years has gone by so unbelievably fast, it is crazy. I did pretty good staying balanced, and spending special time with my kids a lot. This last 2 semesters I have let my house go to complete pot though. I just keep remembering "it will be there when I get done." And I will... August will be my month of house readiness! Some days I have felt so neglectful, and I will always regret that. I have the most amazing children in the world. Obviously resilient, as they enjoy going to everyone's houses all the time. I don't know what I would have done If my kids weren't the type to wave and blow me kisses when i left. They are amazing, an I wish I could express to them in words how thankful I am for their willingness to let me finish this, and cut into there time. I realized not that long ago that they were giving up there time with me so I could do this. They did it. They gave it. They are amazing little people, and their hugs and kisses can change my entire day.

I am stronger. I feel like I can handle so much more now. I feel powerful in a way. I am looking forward to the next chapter of my life, and I really have goals, and aspirations. I can't wait to be with my kids more, and it will happen before we know it! YAY! And to think in this time they have managed to grow so big, Cash will be four on Thursday and Presley will be 2 on the 12th. I am glad to have done this while they were little, it's only going to get harder, right? I don't know how many times I have said that phrase. : ) But I always knew I wanted to be a nurse, since the 10th grade. Just took me a while to get around to it.

In 3 weeks I will graduate, and then I will be home much more, studying for the NCLEX board examination... but home none-the less. Also, i am thankful for on-line courses, they are another reason I have been able to do this, to be home with my kids much more. What an amazing experience. I have been tested, run through the gauntlet, fallen down, and gotten back up. I am so glad this program is winding down, and my kids need their momma more. I can't wait to be with them all the time again, and that will come soon. Thank you so much to everyone for your support, babysitting, even sometimes just kind words were enough to help me hang on for one more minute. I am so grateful for this opportunity, and I hope to be able to look back on it with fond memories.

My class of nursing students:

Good luck in the future to all of you! This picture will be on the wall in the Clark forever. Actually I have heard that the program will be changing buildings, but I am sure the photos will still reside on the wall wherever they move to!

But this one suits us so much better, since we became known as a class of goof-offs:

P.S. I got my acceptance letter for the Bachelor's program, and for a minute I considered tearing it up and pretending that it never came. : )


Laura said...

CONGRATULATIONS!! That is something to be SERIOUSLY proud of!!

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