Monthly Archives: December 2008

Twas the night before Christmas…

… and all through the house my mom and I were having a screaming match and Sweet Man left to go see his parents.  Wow, my holidays are not getting easier! The problem du jour is this notice from my school that I received a week ago, and my mother.  As part of my program guidelines, one needs to have a 3.0 GPA or above and a C or above in every final grade.  The C part is very doable, because you can have one bad class and simply receive an A in another class and come out alright.  This is what I was planning on doing, but I ended up with a stupid A- by a butt-hole teacher who I won’t even start about here, and so I didn’t balance out. My GPA dropped to a 2.96, and I received a notice.  Now, for anyone who doesn’t know, a 3.0 is a solid B average, which wouldn’t be that hard in the real world, but is really hard to achieve in a one year accelerated nursing school if you were a history major until the day before you started.  The types of tests they dole out are very different, and most people ended up with one of these notes this summer.  Just last year they raised the GPA requirement, and also decided to give people a semester to increase their GPA, and everyone was able to do so this summer.  I’m very upset by the letter, obviously, becuase it took me until the end of the semester to figure out that instead of studying the disease, I needed to study the nursing care and I started to pull up my grades.  I worked really hard and it hurts that it didn’t pay off, but I already know what I need to do to fix the grades.  Now, my address for my school is still my mother’s house, becuase I didn’t have my apartment  when I applied and I couldn’t figure out how to change it. As part of the email notice I got, it said they were going to send a certified letter to my house, which I think is just overkill, but I was ready for the mail man.  I forgot, until she called to say she had a note from her mail man, that it would go to my Mom’s, and I just didn’t need to explain this to her.  She would make a huge deal out of this, yelling and getting upset and I already know what I need to do and feel awful enough, I just didn’t need the extra Mom thing.  I’m 22! So I called her and said it was a note about graduation( which it was), and I had received it by email and if SHE really needed to be the one to go get it from the post office (which she apparently HAD to be) just throw it out.  Did she? NO and she calls in the middle of grocery shopping to tell me about it and to start in on me.  I know she has that right as a mother, but I’m really frustrated that she opened a letter addressed to me even though I asked her not to.  She does this all the time: bank statements, letters, grades, anything she can get her hands on.  I would just like her to trust that I will tell her anything that I feels she needs to know in due time.  I would have told her about the notice, after the holidays and on my terms, not in the middle of the grocery store.  How do I talk to her about this? I actually hung up on her tonight I got  so angry and out of control, tonight and I know that she will call my brother and have a talk about me.  Any suggestion people?

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Final Solution

I’m brilliant. I’ve come up with a solution to my problem which should make me less crazy, until I graduate and get freaked out about moving and my boards. I made a deal with Sweet Man regarding the symbol of our marriage to come: the ring. I’ve previously said that I don’t want a diamond ring becuase of the prevalence of conflict diamonds on the market today, and the fact that I don’t need to support a war in another country or own something that cost a child an arm. So, Sweet Man and I talked about getting a precious stone ring, or something simple, maybe a pearl. But, I think part of this was that I know that we don’t have the money for an expensive ring, and I didn’t want to have to put off our engagement waiting for ring money. Realizing now that now that we are going to wait to get engaged, I realized that I do want a nice ring, though a conflict free one. So our deal is that the longer he waits to propose, the nicer my ring has to be. If he proposes tomorrow than its going to be with a piece of copper wire, and absolutly nothing would make me happier.  If he waits six months than he will pick out  a nice precious stone. If he waits a year than it needs to be a diamond, and if its more than two years I would hope the setting would be platinum. I actually whipped out a pic of the hope diamond and said that after three more years of dating I would expect him to steal it for me. It’s not that I really want a nice ring, I think that people put way too much emphasis on them these days and I really don’t like to be marketed too, but I think it’s actually a really good idea for us. I will be excited to wait longer to see what he picks out, and he’ll be happy with my not pushing. I know its a really weird idea, and very not normal, but I think it will help us be happy again. Which I really miss.

To be or Not to be?

Since I’m still trying to figure out this blogging thing, I’ve decided to try something I’ve never done before: use the internet as a sounding board for my relationship. This could give me some new insight, or back fire, but I don’t have many people in my real life that I can talk to about this, so why not tell some strangers!? I’ve been dating Sweet Man for 3 years and eight months today, since the end of our freshman year of college.  We’ve been living together since our first day back sophomore year, almost 3 years and 3 months ago. And I just realized how long that is.  Anyway, now that we’ve graduated from college, I feel like I’m ready to take the next step and become engaged. He however, thinks this is the worst idea ever and has no interest.  Normally, I’d realize that I’m being stupid and demanding a lot, but its hard when we are married all but in name, and I keep getting called a whore by the Catholics for living in sin.  He keeps saying that he doesn’t see a difference in getting married and living like we do now, and could happily continue like this forever.  But, I just found out the other day that he does see a difference, as I’m not invited to his family’s Christmas because I’m not a member of his family.  Wow. Talk about a slap in the face. So know that I know he sees a difference its really hard not to yell at him constantly. I realize that I made it easy for him.  I like living with him, I like acting married, and I enjoy what we have.  One of his big con points is that he feels marriage would tie him down and there are so many things he wants to do in life.  But if we broke up would he do those things? No! He would move back with his parents and wait for grad school to start.  I don’t want to give up our history, we have done everything together for almost 4 years and were best friends before that.  All of our shit is in one house, and if he left I would have to rent out our guest room.  I also realize that I would have to wait longer to get married if we broke up so why should I just not wait for him? I know all the pro’s and con’s of the situation, but I’m still having a really hard time and every day seems like an eternity.  I know a lot has to do with what his family thinks, and I’m not going to be able to change that, but what do you think internet? Wait, leave, any new points of view?

Apheresis

So, prior to actually being on vacation, I assumed that because I wasn’t going to have to go to school or clinical for five weeks, I would have all this time to write these long posts with flowing words and great subject matter. What I didn’t take into account as that life on vacation is boring and involves much sleep and computer game playing and very few blog posts, mainly because you have to do something besides making Christmas cards to write about. Sweet man and I did have one very interesting experience recently though, we went up to the Red Cross in Farmington CT and donated platelets and plasma. This type of donation is very different from a normal blood donation… well its easier to just describe the two processes separately. Oh, and if your squeamish, now would be a good time to stop reading because I’m going to talk about this in some detail.

Normally with a blood donation, you go to a gym or church somewhere and lay down on an uncomfortable cot and get a large needle in one arm. A collection bag hangs below your cot and you sit for about 10-20 minutes while your blood pressure fills the bag. I, and other fair haired people, usually feel worst with this becuase we are incredibly suseptable to loosing the red blood cells which provide the oxygen to your body. At the end of this process some nice little old ladies, or nuns, give you some juice and cookies and you go home.

Apheresis is a much larger process, so be prepared to donate your time too. It is usually only done at Red Cross centers becuase the machine needed is rather large. You are placed on a nice recliner with a hot pad under you and blankets over you. The also provide a movie of your choice to keep you company which is a wonderful distraction. A nurse inserts an “in” needle in one arm and an “out” needle in the other, and attaches this to a pump to pull the blood out of you and then then through a centerfuge and then returns the whole red blood cells back to your body. Unlike with normal donation, I felt fine afterwards, especially becuase instead of just cookies they give you cookies, chips, juice, coffee, soup, sandwiches and fruit. I mean, donating is all about the perks, right? I ended up having a low platelet count that morning, so I was having some issues donating which was very frustrating but I still donated a single serving of platelets. These need to be used withing five days, and will usually go to cancer patients who need them, which I think is a wonderful holliday gift.

The Red Cross told us that during the holiday season people who normally donate are on vacation or too busy to come in, so they are very short on all types of blood productions, which is bad when ice, snow, and drunk driving around New Years is factored in. If you have never donated, I sugest you do it once, so that if you are hurt and need blood products they will be there for you. How can you expect to recive if you do not give. If you do normally donate, bring a friend. I always sign up Sweet Man (with his permission) when I go so that we can do something special together (it does wonders for a relationship!). If you have kids and don’t think you will have the time, ask your babysitter if she will donate two hours of her time so that you can donate. She is probably too young to do it herself, and it may make her feel good to know she is helping three people live this Christmas season. (And you’ll win two free hours of kid free time WITH cookies!) Go do something good for other people.

Almost there

So without actual classes to be bored in, its hard to find time to post recently.  I have only two exams standing between me and five weeks of vacation, which is the most amazing thing I have ever heard of.  I only realized the other day why this vacation is so much longer than any I’ve had before: no study days.  Normally in college students are given a week of study (okay maybe we call them party) days after classes finish and before exams start so they can actually prepare for taking these huge tests (or drink a lot to deal with the stress of knowing we are going to have to live a home for a month).  Not at my school! Instead they give us 10 days of Thanksgiving break and extra time at Christmas, which is nice, but its hard to find time to get those last minute papers done(aka serious boozing done). I just finished a four page single spaced paper today about what I learned during theory this year (nothing) which was a wonderful lesson in how to create teacher-specific-bullshit.  I also had to take a pediatric exam final that didn’t count, which of course I didn’t study for at all.  What kind of teacher thinks I’m going to study for an exam that doesn’t count which is taking place the day before a cumulative final for another class that does count? Really.  If it was after all the other exams there would be a shot, but I did fine anyway I just wanted to rant a bit.

So, only another two days before this hell is over and I’m going to sleep for a week straight (not really but I wish).  Sweet Man and I are going to go out with the traveling nurse I shadowed this semester (I’ll have to think of a name for her) and her husband who we love Wednesday night to celebrate being done.  We’re also volunteering for apheresis for the first time on Thursday morning which should be interesting and I’ll inform all of you how it goes!

Newton

Newters

I’ve mentioned him before, but I thought my dear baby should get a post of his own. Newton was a kitten that I got in middle school along with his brother Archibald (Archie) from the same litter. Archie is red and white, and named after the comic book character while Newton is named after the cookie, not Isaac. I like to make that clarification. Newton has always been my baby, sleeping under the covers with me, snuggling a lot, and all around following me around. When I was a junior in college, my mother called to tell me that Newty was very sick and she didn’t think he was going to make it. Through my tears i informed her that he needed to stay alive, and I would pay whatever I needed to to keep him with me. I think that if one does not have children, pets fill this gap and people are willing to do the unexpected for their pet. It turns out that Newton was diagnosed with diabetes, which is actually a very common disease for cats and dogs and is controlled with diet or insulin depending on the severity. Dogs usually have better glycemic control because they can be forced to exercise (ie taken for walks) as apposed to Newton who looks at me like I’m high when I ask him to move over an inch. The only thing that Newton will make any kind of effort for is turkey so I can just imagine myself running town the road with a piece of turkey trying to make him jog. So Newters (I have a lot of names for him) gets between four and eight units of insulin twice a day when he gets fed. People always ask what kind of supplies we have for him, and its a very interesting assortment of human and pet diabetic care. He uses Lantis insulin, which is a long acting insulin that is very common and I give it a lot in the hospital. We also have human needles but he has special diabetic pet food that has fewer carbs for him. We check his blood sugar, though not as much as humans do. I usually do it once in a while to keep an eye on where he’s at, but also if I think he’s way to high or low I check and act accordingly. We prick his ears instead of human fingers, becuase the pads of cats’ feet are too sensitive to use. The lancets (picky things) are human as well as the glucometer (the device that does the calculating). There is a special company that makes test strips for pets that are used with the human glucometer but are three times as expensive… of course. His diabetes is a very costly disease becuase he doesn’t have insurance to cover any of the supplies. Insulin is about $90 per bottle (lasting about 3 months), needles are $20 per 100, strips are $80 for 100 and the glucometer was around $120 through our vet. Spending all this money on a pet is strange for some people, but when it came down to my best friend I didn’t even need to think about it. He really is an amazing cat, and very attached to me. He acts more like a dog than any other cat I’ve seen before, and will come when his name is called. I’m not supposed to have him because my apartment is cat free, but its hard for my mom to be home every 12 hours exactly to care for him so Sweet Man and I relish the opportunity to be with him, even though it’s going to give me an ulcer due to stressing about when my landlord is going to stop by for a visit. If anyone has any questions about Newton or diabetic pets, feel free to ask!

Leftover Chowder

Sweet man and I are big fans of making a hunk of meat and then using it in various meals for the week. We’ve done this several times with pork shoulders (more on this another day) but turkey’s are also one of our favorites. We decided the first time we made a turkey that soup needed to be in our future. After scouring epicurious.com we made this amazing soup that we raved about (to eachother) for months but couldn’t find the recipe again. With thanksgiving coming up, we needed to get our acts together so we could make this soup, and finally, at the last minute, I realized that we had altered the recipe so much it in no way resembled the original, and we just made it up again!

Whitney’s Leftover Turkey Chowder

Turkey Chowder

One package of bacon (I think turkey is best)

1 pint light cream

16oz of turkey or chicken stock

1 large onion diced

2 carrots diced

3 cups of potatoes diced

2 cups frozen corn

4 cups of left over turkey shredded into bite sized pieces

1/3 cup of flour

1 tablespoon dried rosemary

1 tablespoon dried sage

To start, I cut up the bacon into short wide strips and brown them in my soup pot until crispy (can be hard with the turkey bacon). I remove the bacon and set it to the side and then add the carrot, onion, and potatoes, and cook for 10 minutes stirring frequently. Stir in the flour to coat and pour in the stock. Add the turkey, corn and spices and let it bubble a way for about 15 minutes. Then I add the bacon back in and check to make sure the potatoes are cooked through. The last step is to add the cream, mix and then serve. Like I said previously, we usually freeze half of this and then heat and eat later. I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!