Monday, June 18, 2007


Yep, I knew it was coming sooner or later, especially since I had just jinxed myself by talking about it.

It's not something I want to deal with everyday, but I have to admit, it wasn't that bad. I think it will even come out of the pant leg of my scrubs.

Before clinicals today, in class, we had to watch more videos. It seems like the videos take up a lot of our class time since we need x number of hours spent in class. I enjoy most of the videos, and do learn a lot.

I also should say here that my class is mixed with a lot of kids fresh out of high school with maturity to match. They do spend a lot of the class discussing who likes who, and who's pregnant, and eeew, what if I have to touch a patient's butt, etc. They got the giggles when we had to watch the video on pericare. I'm trying to learn, and be mature (at least in class), and refrain from giggling at the word penis.

Today's video though, was so bad... it was on sexuality in people with dementia. I was fine with the concept that sometimes the people with dementia have sex with other residents, or masturbate, etc. But the video itself was just terrible. Anne Meara was hosting it, and setting up each scene (horribly acted depictions of demented sex crazed old folk). I don't know what I expected to see, but the scene with the man in the wheelchair sitting in the tv area who suddenly gets a chester the molester look on his face, and starts ripping his pants off to masturbate, only to be whisked off by a nursing assistant to his bedroom, where he has (fanned out on the bed on display) a collection of porn, so he can take care of his business... yep, that was too much. Now I see there is something more to fear than poop...

Friday, June 15, 2007

EEW I'm a Non-Trad

I've only got 2 weeks left to go. I'm in line for valedictorian of the class at this rate, since I'm running a 99.7% after 4 weeks. I've gotten one question wrong out of 3 tests, and that was the definition of etiology. I don't remember reading it in the book, and I don't remember it being discussed in class, so I guessed, and I guessed incorrectly. No one in the class remembers it being covered either, so we'll see about getting that point back. I'll forever know now that etiology means cause.

I've become the college student I always hated. "The Non-Trad" (non traditional student) Ugh. They're like 40 years old with their brand new backpacks, and 17 different highlighters lined up on their desk, and they ask all sorts of questions all the time, and they get 100% on all their tests. Well, I'm not quite that bad, but I am almost 30, and have 2 highlighters. I guess I understand those people now though. They're going back to school with a pretty focused goal, and need to really learn what they're studying. They've probably done jobs that they've hated, and are ready to make a change. If they're in my situation, they aren't just doing this for themselves anymore, but maybe have other people depending on them. What pressure.

I finally got a job after basically 5 months now of not working. I'll be shaking hands and welcoming people to a local cell phone store. Pretty exciting stuff. It's just a part time job, so I can keep spending some time with the baby and my summer vacationing teacher husband. I can't keep up with everything new the baby's doing anymore. He's learning something new every day.

Looking at all he's learned at 5 months, I wonder what he'll be capable of at 6 months, etc. I think we need to start baby proofing, since he's on the brink of crawling. It'll be a while still, but it's coming. Right now, he lays on his stomach, and grunts and flails his arms and legs around erratically, trying to propel himself. Mean parents that we are, we laugh hysterically at this. He manages to spin himself around in a circle, but can't quite get anywhere yet.

I told my dad about him yesterday. About his existence I mean. Yeah, pretty long story, but he lives in the same town we do, always has, and I've seen him twice in the last 20 years. I talk to him usually once a year or so. The last time I talked to him was a few weeks before the baby was due, and I didn't tell him. Yesterday was his birthday, so I figured I'd call and let him know. Oh, by the way, you're a grandfather... He was really happy, and cried, and vowed to come see this grandson of his. Better now while he's little enough to forget him. It's a lot harder to be abandoned when you're 8 years old.

So, I'm faced with my mother's dilemma... keep the baby away from him to protect him from eventual disappointment and in turn have him resent me? Or, let things go as they may? We'll see what happens.

But, how could you not want what's best for this little guy? This is why I'm going back to school.

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First True Clinical Experience (Part II)

I sort of left everyone hanging there for a couple weeks... Boy, what suspense!

To summarize the rest of the story: We got blue sweater lady back to the room by learning (rule #1) Don't ask "would you like to take a bath today?" Instead, ask like this, "we're going to take you back to your room to give you a bath now, OK?" Small wording change, big difference. We got her back to bed, gave her a bed bath, and changed her bedding with her in the bed. This now seems ridiculous when it's ten times easier and more effective to give a shower, and change an unoccupied bed, but it's all about learning. The three of us clumsily got everything done with 20 minutes to spare.

My two partners finished setting the room back up while I wheeled her back down to the commons area for her styrofoam cup of ice cream. Having learned rule #1, rather than asking her where she'd like to sit (far too many overwhelming options), I parked her at a table and said "is this ok?" "It's ok," she said, "I don't want to be alone." "Do you want me to stay with you a while?" "OK." So I sat with her, and she told me how some lovely students had given her a sponge bath, and how nice it was. Then she tried giving me her ice cream. That made me feel pretty good.

Since then, I've given another bed bath, and two showers, brushed some teeth, fed a resident lunch, taken a few for walks, and observed in the rehab area. Most of the residents aren't very aware, since it's mostly a dementia/Alzheimer ward, but some of them remember us and enjoy us coming there. I think I'll actually miss it a little when clinicals are over.

The thing that's surprised me most about the experience so far is myself, I guess. I wasn't sure how I would be with the residents, but I actually feel pretty comfortable talking to them, and working with them. They seem to react pretty positively to me too, which is most important I guess. I suppose motherhood has made me more hands-on, patient, and compassionate? Maybe I've found where I really fit.