Sunday, September 26, 2010


Most performance situations don't rattle my cage, or get me too nervous. I've spoken at church in front of over 100 people, given speeches at school in front of hundreds, been asked to go on stage and entertain 100 girls at camp spur of the moment for 30 minutes... all of these scenarios... no problem


Put me in a room with two people: a "patient" (actor), and a test observer...

and ask me to preform 5 randomly selected basic nursing skills...

and my nerves all but get the better of me.

When I walked into the room I was shaking uncontrollably. My mind went blank. I think I stopped breathing.

My test administrator could not have been sweeter. Seriously, one of the nicest people I have ever met. From my adrenaline reaction though, you would think that she was about to murder me.

She sat me down and read the list of skills I was to preform.

I thought, "Please no bedpan, please no bed pan." (I don't know why, but of the 50 different skills that is the one that I hate the most... and it has a lot of detailed steps)

First skill I have to preform: Assist patient to use a bed pan and measure and record output.

She listed my other 4 skills and more instructions... but at that point I may have blacked out. Because only seconds later we were standing at the "door" to the patients room and she was saying, "Go ahead... when ever you are ready."

So I knocked on the "patient's" door. Something special happened when I walked into the room. It is a gift that I have been given when it comes to stressful situations. My mind all of the sudden came into complete, clear, focus... and I preformed the skill flawlessly.

I magically remembered every step. I preformed my newly learned skill like a practiced, seasoned, professional.

I also had to: clean dentures, assist with lower extremity range of motion exercises, measure and record intake, and demonstrate proper hand washing.


It was one of the scariest things I have ever had to do.

But it was just another little indication that (I think) I am going to be a great nurse.

(hey... i get to pat myself on the back a little... THAT WAS HARD)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Tale of Two Backpacks

It was the best of times. I was the worst of times.

Best of times because GrAnny bought the boys some cool new backpacks for school. Worst of times, because they both desperately want the same backpack. The transformers/bumble bee one because it lights up.

I put off deciding who would get the coveted pack. In fact, it was the night before the first day of school that we put names in a bowl and had a drawing. Which ever name was drawn would get first pick at the backpacks. I lined up both new packs, and their old ones from last year (that are actually still good to use).

Mr. Fingers was sure his name would never be drawn, not in a million years (try explaining 50/50 odds to a 6 year old... I dare 'ya). The Brain just kept chanting his name over and over again, willing me to say it.

I put my hand in the bowl. I rolled the two papers around to the gentle chant of "brain, brain, brain" in the background. I pulled a paper out of the bowl. For a moment, there was complete silence as I unfolded the paper. Then, I read the name.....

Mr. Sticky Fingers.

The Brain's tears were immediate. Despite his failed attempts to choke them back. Mr Fingers jumped from his seat, balled his fist, and cocked his elbow back while letting out a quiet but intense, "Yes!"

Then he looked at his brother and did something that I would never in a million years have predicted. He went over to the backpacks and said, "I like the spider man one better. It matches my spider man shoes."

I was shocked, "Fingers, are you sure you want the spider man one and not the bumble bee one?"

He looked at his brother again. We both saw the excitement, and glimmer of hope in The Brains eyes which must have confirmed to Mr. Fingers that he was making the right choice.

"Yes." He said.

Then, with out even being told to do so, The Brain gave his brother a hug. I was beginning to think that I had warped into a parallel universe where children do what their told the first time, and clean their rooms without being asked, and put their own dishes in the dishwasher, and... (i could go on)

But no this was reality. And in reality my children really do love each other... and they are good people.

Ahhh, warm fuzzies.

Here is the Best Brother Ever on the first day of first grade.

And The Brain, about to embark on the new adventure of the third grade.

Nothing like an Oregon first day of school.

Rain and all.