Today marks three months to go to two milestones: graduation from nursing school and my 50th birthday. Today I thought a lot back to a time two years ago when I was waiting to find out whether I got into Truman College's nursing program. Lots of things seemed a long time away-- hearing about nursing school, my 50th birthday and my son's 18th birthday. Now the first two are a quarter of a year away, and the last one is just a little over a year away. The last one means that my son--and I-- no longer have to deal with the decisions of an angry, capricious and emotionally stunted person, my ex.
In the meantime, I had my first test of my final semester on Monday. I was nervous as hell about it, but it turned out well-- after thinking it was going to be a "throwaway" test that I'd have to do better on another test to make up for, I got an "A." It was the lowest possible A, but an A nonetheless.
I had another good moment in school last Sunday. For all the things I've done in this life, I had zero experience in the medical field. Everything I've done, from cleaning up an adult to giving a shot (or 60 or 70 one day when I gave a bunch of people flu shots), to giving a heparin shot with a tiny needle or an Accucheck blood sugar test, it's all been outside of my comfort zone. I've taken some pride in being able to do that, to step outside of my comfort zone, but often found myself relieved when I was able to avoid some new skill for a while. This last Sunday, during clinical, our patient (we had a low "census" so my partner and I had to "share" a patient) was being discharged, and so we had to discontinue the IV on our patient, a 42 day old baby. I jumped at the chance to do it. It was one more skill I could add to my bag of tricks. My instructor supervised, and I removed the IV. For the first time, I wasn't nervous at all. I'd come to the realization that with the right instruction and instructor, I can master each skill. It was a nice moment.
I've got a couple more weeks in my Pediatric rotation, and one more test. I'm looking forward to my next one, my second Med-Surg rotation, with one of my favorite clinical instructors, a crazy French lady who is rigorous, humorous and inspiring.
In one of my favorite movies-- a mini-series, actually, "From the Earth to the Moon," there is a scene in which the crew of Apollo 9, a mission that was to test the Lunar Module, a piece of equipment that had huge difficulties in the development, rattled off all the "firsts" that their mission would have. They would have difficulty finishing half of the things, let alone all of them. Yet, the commander of the mission enthusiastically says "I can't wait!"
These last two clinical days, I came to a several realizations. One was that the nurses who were actually responsible for the patients we were working with had complete confidence in us. We checked in with them, told them what we were doing, asked them relevant questions and all, but in the end, we went in and gave care to those patients. Secondly, the patients' parents had complete confidence in us. They asked us questions, and when we told them things-- things to watch for after discharge, etc.-- they listened and took note.
The last was that I have confidence in myself. Nearly five years ago, I was told that I was not going to be retained in the teaching job I loved and thought I'd work until I retired. My confidence was shaken to the core. I felt pretty shitty about it. Now, five years later, I'm feeling pretty damned good. The asshole in me wants to send a card to my old principal, the one who made the decision not to retain me, when I graduate.
1. Funky Kingston- Toots and the Maytalls
2. Find Somebody- The Rascals
3. Dancing in Heaven- Q-Feel
4. Just a Closer Walk With Thee- Joan Baez
5. Everything Is Beautiful- Ray Stevens
6. I Believe- Don Williams
7. School Days- Chuck Berry
8. What's On My Mind- Kansas
9. I'm Gonna Make Me Love You- Diana Ross and the Supremes with the Temptations
10. Five Feet High and Rising- Johnny Cash
1. I find this song hard not to dance around to. Infectious.
2. Not one of their better-known songs, but a great one. Discovered it through Little Steven's Underground Garage.
3. An eighties one-hit wonder
4. Joan taking a walk down the gospel lane
5. Mr. Stevens was known for his humorous song, but his one was serious and with a lovely message.
6. Mr. Williams wrote hits for other, including Eric Clapton's "Living On Tulsa Time," but this beauty was a hit for him.
7. A solid classic from Chuck.
8. First heard this one when I started listening to FM radio in high school in the mid seventies. Still a favorite.
9. The Supremes with the Temptations? There was no way they were gonna miss!
10. Johnny Cash singing about a flood or train crash or prison? Go figure.