Nursing; My History

When I graduated college with my degree  in nursing I did what most of new nurses did and still do; I went to work at a hospital. My first job was on a neuro unit. The unit was comprised of the neuro floor, Neuro ICU and also a ventilator unit. We were rotated to the different areas of the unit. I wish I could say I liked it there but I didn’t. As a new nurse I was not comfortable in my own skin even though I worked with some of the greatest most helpful nurses ever.

The floor I was on was a very “heavy” floor with a tough workload, both physically and emotionally.  I began to not like it there. I though if I changed the shift that I worked things would be different or better. At first it was better. I went from the day shift to overnights. The night staff was awesome, very friendly and very helpful. Very little gossiping and chit chat about other people as compared to the day shift. I stayed on nights until I had my son Thomas. When I returned to work I requested the evening shift and was approved. I really enjoyed evenings as I was able to see the patient’s families and be available to answer their questions or just talk if that’s what they needed. But the unit was just so heavy! It was tough on me emotionally and I began to wish I didn’t work there. I’m fact I felt as though I was confined to always working at a hospital so I did not want to even work as a nurse.

When Thomas was 6 months old it became apparent that we were at the very beginning of a very long road that was yet to be revealed. Tommy and I talked it over and I left the hospital to stay home full time. It felt as though a weight had been lifted. As life with Thomas became more complicated due to his needs, I realized I had little to no desire at all to even try and continue working as a nurse. Then Alyssa came along. And things with Thomas worsened. A few years pass and Daniella is born. Life was very hard. And working as a nurse wasn’t even on my radar.

When Daniella was about a year old, things with Thomas had escalated. I took a job at a doctor’s office giving allergy injections. I liked interacting with the patients and kids but I did not like the  job.  I knew office nursing was not for me. Afterwards I tried my hand at retail, even high end retail. I discovered I had a knack and gift for selling expensive designer sunglasses. But retail is so difficult when you have a family and a husband who worked overtime so that gig didn’t last long.

Years pass and I decide to finally actively try to find employment as a nurse. I registered my nursing license, took CPR for healthcare providers. I had an open mind job wise. I found a listing for a pediatrician looking for an RN to pierce ears in Manhattan. I took the job as an easy entry back to work after being unemployed all that time. After a year I applied for and interviewed for a temporary,  full time position at an agency doing chart abstraction. My job was to take information from paper charts and apply it to a specific computer program. I really liked that job. I met really nice people and I learned quite a bit. Fast forward 10 months and the temporary job ended. I was pissed. I was used to working and I was used to the money.

I applied to an ad for a nurse to serve  special needs students with  the Department of Education. I’ve written about how blessed I am to have been hired and then placed here in the borough where I live. School nursing saved my career. If one had told me years ago that I would be working here and loving what I do and where I work I would have laughed in your face and told you how crazy that idea was. I was so turned off by nursing years ago. It’s only through the grace of  God that I’m here today working as a nurse and totally enjoying what I do. School nursing is not a  field I would have chosen, it was chosen for me and today I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Marriage and relating to others

Next year Tommy and I will be married 25 years. We are together longer than half our lives. I love my husband. He’s a good looking guy, wise, and smart and caring and he loves me; all rolled up together in this amazing human being. We started dating when we were 17 years old, friends for 2 years before that. We had plenty of drama in our dating years and even a break up here and there but we always managed to end up together when all was said and done. When Tommy proposed when we were 23 years old I was truly surprised. I was in nursing school and getting engaged wasn’t on my radar. I asked Tommy why he proposed to me at that time and he said it was because I never gave him an ultimatum. I never told him I wanted a ring/get engaged, that we had been together for X amount of years and it was time… I didn’t do that to him.

Today we had an opportunity to attend a marriage conference held at our church. The couple running the conference were guest preachers at services this morning. It was a preacher from the South and his wife of 27 years. When they mentioned how long they’ve been married I was like,”ok, I can relate to that.” Then they started taking about different times in their marriage that were stressful. Like they were both working too hard for their ministry, their children weren’t well behaved, they were both working too much and their marriage wasn’t where they wanted it to be, etc…  I started to tune out. In my life both past and present  there was no way I could relate to them.

When our kids were younger I was proud that they were well behaved when we were out in public. Even Thomas who was hell on wheels at home would keep it together at a party or get together. Was it easy?  Hell no. Worth it? Totally. Tommy and I both worked extremely hard to keep our family afloat. He worked tremendously long hours outside the home and I worked so hard to keep up with everything inside the home, including trying to get help for Thomas who was out of control and undiagnosed. I remember finding a specialist in Manhattan uptown on the West side. I had decided to drive in rather than navigate public transportation. Thank you Thomas; you got your mama to learn to drive in Manhattan.

I’m not sure what my point is. We are certainly no experts when it comes to marriage, But I know what it’s like to humble myself. I know what it’s like to call out to my Savior for help and salvation and surrender my life to Him.  The Heavenly Father is my guide in this life. God is so good.

I’m not opposed to marriage work shops, it would need to be run by a couple we could relate to. Actually if it were another couple with more challenges in their married life than the couple I was exposed to yesterday would be ideal. Such is my opinion.



Moving Mountains

When I was younger I used to think that maybe I didn’t believe in God enough because I never saw God physically move a mountain from one place to another. It took me a while to understand that He moves mountains all the time, and there are times he chooses to leave the mountains as they are. I had to grow and understand that mountains aren’t always literal physical tall mounds of earth. Mountains are often times insurmountable situations, times when things look incredibly bleak and only God can change the outcomes. I’ve seen God work his wonder in my life.

It was a month before Thomas’ 16th birthday, instead of a party we were planning for him to go live a a residential school an hour away. Thomas’ behavior has become way too much for us to handle at home safely. So the residential school had given us a date mid June for him to be admitted. I alerted his current school and I had to inform his recreational programs that he would no longer be attending. After discontinuing all Thomas’ services the residential school called to tell me Thomas would not be admitted there until the very end of June. It was like a kick to the stomach. I just about cried to the social worker telling her they can’t do that, I have no services for Thomas, I gave everything up on their word that he would be admitted to their program at the date they said. The social worker hung up and within 2 hours called me back to say Thomas would be admitted to their program at the original date promised and if not she would come to my house and live here until he was admitted. I cried. Only God could have moved that mountain. Only God could have directed our steps to find that school in the first place.

I saw God give my father 11 months of life after the Doctors, the “experts” gave him 3 months to live. God allowed us to spend extra time with my dad and even let us all say goodbye in our own way when daddy was receiving hospice care. God sent an amazing nurse to be with my mom. She stayed after working 12 hours, so my mom wouldn’t be alone when daddy crossed over to the other side. 

I believe God has moved a mountain for all of us at one time or another. Matthew 17:20,  referring to Jesus speaking, “He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” How wonderful is out God.


Dying My Hair and Other Musings

I went platinum/very light blonde over a month ago. That look is pretty high maintenance for me anyway. I’ve been looking at various colors online. I really like a couple but today decided on “Intense red copper.”  I’m back to coloring my hair myself for no other reason than I don’t like paying for something I can do easily myself. When I decide to do a more complicated color scheme I’ll have my stylist do it.

Ive been coloring my hair since I was 16 years old. I remember my own hair color to be a very dark blonde/light brown. I also remember that I didn’t like it at all. I wanted to be blonde in the worst way, so my mom made it happen. Since then my hair has been just about every color of the hair rainbow with the exception of black or very dark brown. Those are too dark for my complexion.

I’m envious of people who pick a hair color and stay with it for the long haul. I get bored way too easily and the next thing I know I’m off searching for the next color. My hair is short so it can handle all the colors I put it through. If the ends get damaged it’s usually taken care of by the next haircut.

I cleared out my shoe closet!  That sentence deserves an exclamation point due to the sheer volume of shoes I have in my possession. I am a self admitted shoe and bag whore. There are a “ton” of shoes I am donating because I’m not wearing them anymore. Alyssa feels I should sell them but I don’t have the patience to keep taking up that much room in my closet. Besides it’s good thrifting karma to donate nice things. I won’t donate things with holes or rips/tears or simply in bad condition. I see things like that all the time at the Sal Val. I don’t understand why people think that other people want their damaged belongings. It’s rude and thoughtless. If a shirt has stains for goodness sake throw it away, don’t donate it.

So my hair came out more on the warm pinkish side than red. Go figure. All is well it’s only hair it can be colored again.




School Nursing and the First days of School

School officially began yesterday, Thursday September 5th. There weren’t as many students in attendance as I though there would be. Only 1 of my 5 students who need nursing services showed up. One student that is “mine” was here but had no doctor’s orders for me to carry out her care so she had to be picked up.

Today, the second day of school was busy, not physically busy as most of my students were absent again but paper work busy. My head hurts from transferring paper work onto the computer. These past couple of days do have their bright spots. I was able to see a lot of staff who didn’t work the summer program and I missed quite a few of them; and I was able to catch up with the staff I did work with over the summer. What we all did after the summer program ended. It was nice.

I believe this coming Monday will be very busy physically because I predict most of my students will be attending school and I have a full assignment of both students who receive care daily on a schedule and also students who receive care on an as needed basis. I think a lot of parents couldn’t be bothered to send their child in to school for 2 days then be off the weekend. I don’t think I’ll ever understand the Dept of education’s rational for when they chose days to start a new school year.

I miss my students who haven’t been to school. I love my job which is primarily providing care for those that aren’t able to care for themselves. I do not work in a bubble, there are a lot of paraprofessionals at my school who do more physical work than I do and for them I am very grateful. The teachers at my school are also top notch. They are very dedicated to the students and strive to bring out the best in their students.

I really do love my school. I can’t imagine working anywhere else at this point in time and I so thankful I was able to get this position here, 15 minutes from where I live. When I was hired by the DOE I was supposed to be placed in a school in Manhattan, with a population much like the one at my school. Things turned quickly when I was training at Hungerford and the principal discovered my Thomas used to attend Hungerford at this very site. She said she wanted a Hungerford mom and bingo, there I was. I know I was destined to be a district 75 (medically fragile population) nurse. There are no coincidences and God plans it all. I’ll never forget praying after my hiring interview; I said, “God, if this is where you want me to be, if this is the  direction I’m supposed to take I will follow you. My life is in your hands I surrender.” Next thing I knew I was being congratulated for being hired and being led to meet the supervisor for all of District 75. I’m living proof that prayer works and surrendering  and trusting in The Lord is the only way to serve Him. God loves you.

My Dad’s Birthday

September 3 is my dad’s birthday. I forget how old he would have been, don’t shame me, I’ve never been able to remember my dad’s age.  What I don’t forget is that date. From June 16-August 1 it seems we have birthdays every week in my family. It begins with my sister and mother and ends with Samantha. We had a month’s reprieve from birthday celebrations until daddy’s birthday on September 3.

We always celebrated his birthday on Labor Day weekend, makes sense since that’s when the 3rd usually fell. When my parents moved to NJ we always celebrated the Sunday of the weekend to avoid coming home in holiday traffic on the Monday. Today, my Facebook feed had a picture of my dad and me from 6 years ago celebrating his birthday. He looked so happy and healthy. It’s a great picture but I didn’t share it. It’s difficult. I miss him. I miss everything about him. His laugh, the way he would have a story for every situation in life, how proud he was of just about everything we did; even my thrift finds. My dad’s mother was of Scottish background and daddy used to say he was “frugal” (aka: cheap) because of her and the way he was raised and of course his Scottish heritage. I wish I could tell him about us going to Sanibel Island with my mom. He would have gotten a kick out of us all in that condo. While at Sanibel my mom and I spent a lot of time in the water which was the Gulf of Mexico. The water was so warm it was unreal, the closer you were to the shore the warmer it was, like bath water. My dad used to like the watch the pelicans in Sanibel. They would fly very close to the top of the Gulf then dive head first in the water to catch a fish. They were extremely graceful believe it or not. We saw so many of them, I do believe we were in a way watching my dad who is now able to do whatever he wants even fly.

My dad is now with the Heavenly Father watching us. I know he sees everything but I still miss talking to him and having him here. I think the worst thing about someone passing over is not them actually dying. When they pass on it’s to be celebrated as they’re now with God the Father, living in the Heavenly kingdom for eternity. I love Billy Graham’s quote, “Our last breath on earth is followed by our first breath in Heaven.” I think that image is just beautiful. The worst thing about a loved one passing on is the day to day living without them. The permanency  That’s when the tears come; for me anyway.

So in 2 days it will be September 3. And we’ll remember daddy in our own ways and even have a laugh or two.