Sunday, 6 May 2012

readers digest update of the last four months.

So, time to update...

I know its been forever. So, under headings

The house:
My tenants moved out. One new tenant found, need one more soon. Here's hoping, the adverts are up. In the mean time, I've moved down. Of course, I've also been planting seedlings like mad, and last friday checked the weather- nope, looked to be all clean and green and planted htem in new eavestrough gardens (take eavestroughs, sillycone in the ends, drill drainage holes, put mosquito gauze over hte holes for drainage and silicone them in too, fill with dirt, add seeds/seedlings), which of course meant lethbridge had to have a blizzard (unforecasted) teh very next day. Its may and I was walking around with snow in my hair, a good crusting of it, and with my SUV covered in snow.

And on that note, the Jetta I had met its final demise at the hands of the firebrigades 'extraction training'. Hey, its a good a death as any, and it serves a purpose. That makes me happy. I now have an SUV, its blue, big and with a dent in the passenger door. I didn't put it there. Affectionately known as 'beast' or 'hank'. Yes I am a geek and a dork.

On that note, went to comic expo and yes, got in thankfully. James marsters was still cute, even if he's a bit older now. I didn't have much to spend but much enjoyment and good friends more than made up for it. Met up with a few folks I ran a room for last year, and saw a friend again, and tried to stalk publishers, not very effectively mind you.

And on the writing note, I've finished first draft of the novel and it appears that since the netbook's death and due to a few other issues, I've had trouble writing. WEll I can edit hardcopy apparently, but not on screen. So, a full third of the novel printed and currently going through first edit at a rate of knots. So far so good. And working on a second piece of fiction as well.

The other reason I've been having trouble writing is sheer exhaustion, and maybe a touch of depression playing in there. I've been talking to a therapist at college biweekly, and she thinks my coping mechanisms tend to be good (which, I suppose means no self harming behaviours, excessive drinking or drugs). I've also restarted st john wort...and it seems to be making a difference there so ..yeah. Kinda thinking I'll be on that stuff for a while by the looks of it, I'd hoped it was just a case of SAD.

But the other part is these courses. I mean the firs semester was brutal, I was doing a 190% of full time hours...and the second semester was around 120% or so, if I don't miss my math. That's a lot of work. And clinical is a steep learning curve.

I don't mind that, I got really good marks this semester (a-, a-, a, a+, credit) and i'm doing really well, but sometimes I'm a bit too competetive. Trying to temper it but I'm not very good at that. This summer I'm doing psych and sociology.

I had a summer job for all of two weeks, palliative home care but the gal ..well, I had to call an ambulance and I haven't heard from the agency since. Needless to say that was the exact good time to be hunting jobs. This town is 10-20% student, depending on who's statistic you believe, and that means a lot of kids hunting for jobs. I'm still hunting but not holding out a huge amount of hope.

in the mean time I've moved downstairs into the basement, the third level bedrooom (4 level split) and i"m working on getting as much aquafit in as I can stand (i'm down 6 kg or so since january - i'd have to check and that means finding out where the new batteries for the scale went), and i'm working on sticking to a low carb diet. It helps that my friend, Strangecreature, is bribing me with pretty pictures.

In the mean time Mr Nibbles the ball python died.

I've adopted a kitty, a red moggie that was found wandering by one of Strangecreature's friends. He's been renamed Cheshire and really thinks I'm an evil kitty-parent for not letting him outside. Please note, that there are coyotes outside? yeah I think not. No kitty-dinner for them. He'll get used to it. I hope. By the cat-erwailing. *G*

And that is the quick overview...I think..of hte last few months. Learned some cool skills though, but I jsut want this course over and done with and get back to earning and income. I think I'm past being an eternal student that way. I need that money.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012


I fucked up. And I'm an idiot.

Not the midterms. 3 down and 1 to go. So far:
Pharmacology: 82 out of 91, with 16 open questions ungraded, and a 10% bonus for awesomesauce drugcards. I may get high nineties there, wonder what will happen if I break a hundred?
Health assesment lab: 47 out of 48, 16 points available on charting as yet ungraded. Minimum of 77%.
Health theory: 93.5, unless they yank one badly worded question..then it may go up to 95.

To go: another health class.

What I fucked up on? Just most of my social life. And at this point I don't know how to fix it, or even if I should be the one to fix it. I may well end up doing it mind you as i'm in the minority and part of it is my fault. I just don't know where to even start.

And in the mean time, insomnia is being wicked and i'm on nine hours of sleep over three nights.

Sunday, 12 February 2012


one more week of midterms. Pharmacology on monday. Both health assessment classes on wednesday, i think. Turns out on campus students are doing one of htem on tuesday and the instructor emailed everyone into a panic by saying we did as well. They're busy sorting it. I hope that its wed as I haven't got stuff ready for tues.Our practical is on wed. We're out on distance campus on wed. It makes sense for it to be on wed.

and there is a health and the individual one on friday

and in the mean time, i'm not doing well with the stress and I think I've pissed off everyone who gives a damn. I'm just done. I want to hide in a hobbit hole.

I don't know if its SAD, if i'm getting a case of depression (did a clinical depression test at the councilling services and I score in the 'could use meds' category. Talked to the gal there and we agreed to give it two weeks as i'm off sleep deprivation re the stupid infecting tooth that could be influencing it). I'm starting to think I need them. Nurse heal thyself? I'm just not sure i can afford meds right now. I'm taking st john wort

And right now i should get off here and finish studying. 10.45 pm and i have a mere 40 pages to go. I can do that. Suspect i've pissed my best mate here off as she's online, my messages aren't bouncing and she's not responding. Hell, I"ll probably piss everyone else i talk to off as well.

have a youtube clip, to make up for the whinging

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

midterms are upon us

With a vengeance! They are! They're doing 2/3rds of the readings in the first half of the semester so we can go into clinical actually knowing stuff.

the good: Well, pharmacology math, I passed with a 98. I can't believe the question i got wrong, the first one, and a simple conversion I got right in my calculations next to it..and then tickied the wrong one.

Then there's the first few theory midterms, which I've done pretty well on (can't recall exact marks, but nothing under 85 out of 100) and today was practical skill test - I lost out at least 20 out of 100 on forgetting to verbalise that I knew what my doctors order was despite the fact I did, clearly, and told my dummy all about why I was doing it. I also managed to break sterile field once. We only got one lab to learn that skill earlier this week. I'm not horribly horribly upset, as I know it was literally a slip of the hand. We worked with foreceps once, yes, the odd item is going to drop sometimes until I've practiced it some more. Still, I passed.

Now in the mean time, I have four more midterms next week. One is practical, and that would be a relatively doable one, I deem. Three theory. I'll pass, the only question is what kind of mark. I'm going to have to put my nose to the grindstone.

The thing that vexes me though, is pharmacology. Not the readings, I don't mind those though they are american based -and I do have to question the amount we have to learn about a different countries legal system - and we're in Canada. No, its the drug cards.

You can buy perfectly good drug cards. You can read them and learn them before you go in. no, they want something like 96 drug cards for midterms, and again as many for finals. Its worth 15% of our grades, so I can't afford to give it up.

But typing that much, and there is a good bit of data on one drug card, really isnt' learning it. You type and its straight data entry. Or I guess most of my classmates are writing but I find it faster to type, and I manipulate word well. Besides this way I can read 'em!

Still, I can't give up the marks. But this strikes me as several days of work I can better spend studying the material. Its makework.  I'm going to end up playing with craft paper and glitter glue again.
An example of one of the cards:

Metoprolol aka Lopresor
Contra: uncompensated CHF, pulmonary edema, cardiogenic shock, bradycardia
Drug Class: beta blocker, antianginals, antihypertensive Preg Cat C
Route: PO
Angina/hypertension: 25-100 mg qd/BID, up to 450mg qd
MI: 25-50mg q 6 hr/48 hr then 100mg qd 3months

Heart failure: 12.5-25mg qd, doubling/2 wks to 200 mg
For: hypertension, angina pectoris, prevent/treat MI's, management heart failure
Check: BP, ECG, HR, I&O, lab tests, freq/character of angina
Side effects: BRADYCARDIA, CHF, PULMONARY EDEMA, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, weakness
Teaching: - take as directed, do not miss
- check pulse, bp biweekly
- orthostatic hypertension and drowsiness may occur

Still, I guess at least its legible?

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Semester 2, week 3

Well, we've had our first two out of fourteen weeks. No clinical yet, that comes after they pump our brains full of more stuff. And I already have two midterms in week 3 and 4. And a math exam that counts as a midterm. We barely got started! and as I started late..well..i'm still 2 days behind but I'm working on it.

Went to a medieval event yesterday and was there late, which didn't help matters with the brain, as usually i'm good at math and nursing math is not an exception. Its 'rithmetic. I do a lot of that without scratch paper. Today however, I can't even divide 75 by 2. I suspect its that cold i'm coming down with. Cannot brain, have the dumb.

Still, we're getting into med administration. I'm not sure if I think its awesome or terrifying that by the end of the semester we'll be sticking needles into people. I have no issues with needles -stick away as far as I'm concerned - but sticking needles? that's a different ballgame. Suspect I'll be fine once I actually get to do it.

I"m doing one course less than most this semester because of the way I did anatomy and physiology last semester and I"m very glad for the head start. Its making things a lot easier.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Semester 2

Well that was a little bit hectic...

Passed all my finals. That's the good news. On the college side of it, I got an A+,A+, A, A- and a B. I'm quite happy with that. The B was for English, for the last assignment it was supposed to be a critical analysis of a documentary on morgues and with a friend of mine dying earlier this semester, it was too close to do a good job. I'm cool with that.

Then came the distance learning course. Anatomy and Physiology. My bugbear for the semester. I did the final exam on the 16th, and the final assignment on the 24th. My deadline as given by the college was the 31st of January. My distance learning tutor was aware of that.

The college elected to de-enroll me on the 24th or 25, I don't know. I found out on the 25th when I checked (yes I'm a sad person who checks courses on Christmas day. My family lives abroad, so sue me if I don't enjoy Christmas very much.) Cue many many many phone calls to Distance Uni and Local College during the week after the 16th, and a good bit of panic as I was convinced I had not passed my exam and I had a deadline to meet.

Nobody seemed to get this and everyone advocated watchful waiting. If I had have followed that approach I'd have been scuppered.

So I went on the Distance Uni facebook site and when they started telling us all how students where their pride and joy, I publically asked them why I couldn't get any help then?

Things started happening, slowly, but before New Year I spent 40+ hours on the phone and email to them. And I type fast. I got the mark back, a 62. I had passed.

On the third I went in to Local College. Local Collage swears they could not accept printout  (under their noses) of syllabus, marks and unofficial transcript. They needed an official one. Distance Uni swore it would take 4-6 weeks. I calculated my final grade as I had marks and values available in less than a minute. I spoke to more managers and stuff. I got four different stories from different people.  I had their registrars office sending my registrars office saying things like 'she has a b- average, and she's passed her course, we haven't got the transcript put together but she's completed it' and still they wouldn't accept it.

It was very frustrating. My course starts on monday.
On thursday I called the dean and broke down crying. She told me that i should relax and just go with it and things would happen and that they wanted me. And my only thought was 'then put your money where your mouth is'. and I walked away for the day. I was done. Sitting back and relaxing is not appropriate when there are three days left till semester starts.

I got re-enrolled on a probationary basis until the final transcript comes, based on the unofficial transcript, but it has to get there before the 16th. I've paid for it to be couriered, both to Local college and to myself. I don't trust it with just one copy. I'm still waiting for it.

I'm also overenrolled now, with an extra bio course i've already done.

Right now i'm not confident either of these two institutions are where I want to continue later and do my LPN-RN bridge when the time comes to it.

And today I should be reading ahead for tomorrow's class, as for a first class of a year? 10 chapters of pharmacology due? Dude! that's just brutal.

And I"m still trying to find energy. I'm told I had a holiday. But I just feel like I had an extended finals period. I don't feel like I rested at all.

I've started taking st john wort again in the hope of more than three hours uninterrupted sleep a night.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011


have started. I'm drowning.

Goodbye cruel world.
Be back after finals.