Saturday, October 23, 2010

Doin A Happy Dance!

It's been a long wait to find out, but on Friday morning I got an Offer from the University! I officially start the Bachelor of Nursing program in February!!!!

I'M IN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

And Time Continues To Creep Along......

Well, the end of the road is in sight! I have submitted my scholarship applications for next year with only days to spare and now I am at a bit of a loss. 
My University application is 'pending', but applications for those close on Friday as well, so I am now just hanging around waiting to hear back from everyone to tell me if they will let me do what I want. 
God only knows what I will do if I don't get in because I really don't have a 'Plan B'.
Should I have a 'Plan B'???

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Perfect Day!

 Perfect start to the School Holidays! Found a quiet spot away from the tourists and lay back in the sun watching my boy play. The only drama was the fight over the prawn he caught and wanted to take home as a pet. I told him I was not going to allow him to take home a dead prawn, to which his reply was 'I am sure I felt a pulse!' Shit Eh! Still looks dead to me! Needless to say we are now the proud owners of a dead prawn!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Got Lucky Again!

My son and I got lucky again today! Took his scooter out for a ride along the airport and not only saw a plane land and take off but were also lucky enough to catch the RAAF (Airforce) Rescue Chopper as it did a brief fuel and coffee stop. Awesome!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It Just Gets Worse

I am writing this as I watch my good friend bounce off the walls.
This week has been very challenging for him. His primary carer has pretty much discovered that she is in no way prepared for the realities of helping someone through the last stages of life and asked him to move out. He had already been advised by his nursing service that it might be a good idea to sort out other accommodation as the situation there is less than ideal but this was something he was going to take his time considering and not something he expected to be thrust upon him while on holidays via email and text message. Says it all really! The stress of all of this has been showing in various ways, but none so impacting as the effect on his health.
Last night he asked me if the right side of his face looked funny, but I could not notice anything wrong. His eye was weeping and he was having minor difficulties eating but was not especially worried. We went to sleep last night and he slept till 5pm this afternoon. When he woke up his face was noticeably different and after several hours of analysing how it felt he agreed to get it checked. So off to Small Town Hospital we went. Well the verdict was Bells Palsy possibly caused by a minor stroke. It is a little hard to really tell what is going on because of the sheer amount of narcotics and neuroblockers he is taking. Also our small hospital is obviously not equipped to run certain tests, but after consultation with his usual hospital he has been put on steroids and we will take it from there.
Needless to say he is taking this latest downturn quite hard. That is evident in the fact that since we returned home he has cleaned my shower, toilet and sink, scrubbed my kitchen and now has spent the last hour melting down my old candles and making new ones. And this is after taking 15mg of Valium! Holy Crap! The man won't stop! And at this stage there is nothing I can do but sit here and and watch him be a human yo-yo and make sure he doesn't burn down my house. So I will stay up until he winds down and hope that tomorrow brings him some small measure of peace and acceptance.
Thanks for listening to my ill-composed waffling but I really needed to vent.

Stay Safe - Nurse Wannabe 

Monday, September 6, 2010

On Watching Death Slowly Encroach

There are times when life seems so unfair! I have a good friend who is at the moment fighting a battle with AIDS and over the last 12 months has been on a decline with AIDS Dementia Complex that has been noticeable even from where I am 600+ kms away. The strange part of this whole situation is that He and I went to school together 20 something years ago. We were not really close friends at the time and had no contact for 20 years, but after my separation last year we came into contact on Facebook and so evolved a great friendship, from smartarsed comments on Status Updates, to text messages, to long phone conversations. We have for the last twelve months been planning a reunion, but we still had not seen each other and my fear was that we may not before his health declined to the point that made it impossible. I consider this man one of the best friends I have. He has been one of my greatest supporters over the last year and although he has been going through some incredibly hard periods of reflection and adjustment in his own life he has been there for me through my now seemingly small highs and lows.
Several weeks ago he sent me an email intended for all of his close friends detailing his illness and it's progression. I was asked to proofread this incredibly powerful, courageous and confronting piece of writing and it really touched me. I was able to read between the lines and see that he saw the end. What he spoke of had been known to many but never actually verbalised. For the first time I fully understood. What we had spoken of in the past regarding his health problems was suddenly all bought onto focus. This email has for him been a very brave step and been received by the recipients with varying responses.
I am lucky enough that this wonderful man thinks me important enough in his life, that in his declining health, he has made a 9 hour bus trip to spend a week with me in person. There must be so many others who are so much more deserving of this honour.
So I now find myself at 4:30am sitting in my living room across from this great man, and my mind is spinning with the gravity of the things he has shared with me. I am completely humbled by the knowledge that he has bared his soul to me in so many ways. There is so much more I want to get off my chest but to do so would I feel break the trust he has given me by sharing so much.
I truly am honoured to have a small part in his story and hope that that story continues on for some time yet.
Thanks for listening.
Stay safe - Nurse Wannabe BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

One Very Happy Camper!

This morning I had a rather upsetting fight with my ex, which I must say, left me in quite a state. I left there angry and shaking like a leaf. So I went to sit by the lake and regain some of my calm but found that after the anger receded it was replaced with a great wave of depression, followed once more by more anger, which no amount of deep breathing seemed to dislodge. 'Feel it and let it go' was not working and my normal therapy - grab the camera and go - seems to have lost some of it's appeal. So sitting there feeling quite miserable I sent out a plea to the universe - Goddess, I need therapy!!!
Then I heard it! Coming in low over the hill behind me was a chopper. Watching it go over my head and across the lake to the airport, I said to myself, there is my therapy! So I got in the car and followed. I sat in the car at the airport watching the planes and the grounded ChildFlight helicopter and started to feel a lot better. Now I should explain that our airport  is VERY small so there is not a lot to see. We have one runway and only a couple of flights a day. There are a few light aircraft and you really have to be lucky to actually see something land or take-off. But the bonus with an airport such as ours is the fact that you can park in the very small parking lot and be a few hundred meters from the runway and the only thing separating you from the action is a security fence. I waited for the crew to have their coffee break and get the call to get going and then emerged from the car to watch as the rotors slowly started to turn. So there I am, the only person at the airport clinging to the fence in anticipation. Well they didn't let me down! I was standing there wishing I could get closer as it suddenly rose into the air and then skimmed the ground till it was directly in front of me about 20 meters away, then turning away from me it headed towards the runway and turned north. It hovered there about 5 meters off the ground for about 30 seconds then suddenly it's nose tilted forward and it was off flying low and fast along the runway! Wicked!!! And there I was still clinging to the fence with a massive grin on my face!
There are several things that really get this girl's blood racing - ambulances and anything airborne. Combine those two things and holy crap! Several hours later I am still grinning! Damn, I really should have filmed it!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

May I Please Have My Brain Back?

Meet our new toy, Arthur! He took us 3 hours to build!

 I think he wants his brain back! 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Pillow Talk From

In his latest post over at Iain Miller talks about pillows. Here is some of what he has to say. To read the rest click on the above link.

In hospitals, pillows are like puffy chunks of white gold.
Almost every patient needs at least one pillow. And many require complicated pillow constructions to pad and support the various broken areas of their anatomy. Or to stop them tumbling out of bed. Or, when the correct amount of pressure is applied,  stop those really annoying patients altogether.
Unfortunately, the worlds pillow resources are beginning to dwindle.
We are always running out of pillows in the ED and are often forced to mount covert pillow acquisition missions to the wards.
They in turn, are forever pinching our own pillows when we transfer patients. 
Yup, pillow smuggling is big business.

Hahaha! Last year my son broke his arm and we began the great pillow shuffle! A pillow from Pambula went with us to Bega then to Canberra along with an extra one stolen from Bega. One of these disappeared into the Canberra Pillow System not to be seen again but we returned home with one small child cocooned in pillows all boldly marked with their supposed owners names. So sorry Canberra I gave your pillow (actually I believe that Royal North Shore may have staked first claim) back to Pambula Hospital as compensation for the one the Ambo’s initially stole. But while it was in my possession it racked up over 3000 kms in the car and came back to Canberra to visit regularly. Maybe I should have added my name to the list before returning it to it’s place in the Great Pillow Shuffle!
Another skill I have noticed around Hospitals is covert wheelchair theft. You park it, you lose it! I got quite good at it myself under the expert tutelage of a Paediatric Nurse who knew all the tricks. Lurking in all the right corridors, knowing who was going to give chase, it all becomes a bit of a game (until the chair goes missing and you have to find another way to get your child mobile).
So what I want to know is - What else gets stolen? And what bizarre measures do you take to get the equipment you need?

Stay Safe - Nurse Wannabe

Saturday, August 14, 2010

There's A Veloceraptor In My Shower And Other Reality Checks

I am not really a scatterbrain, I can be a very focused woman. My main problem seems to be that when something gets my attention I focus on it to the point that everything else fades into the background. For example, at the moment I have Medical Terminology assignments to finish, so I have thrown myself into not only completing the course work, but knowing it thoroughly. I have been devoting a great deal of time to it and finding that sometimes I pull my head out of the books and the world seems almost surreal. People speak to you and you almost have to search for the words to reply. Prefixes, suffixes, root words and medical abbreviations - no dramas, 'Would you like another coffee?' - that I can answer, but to actually converse with a person about anything else is hard work and if you want to talk clothes, hair or make-up I am out of here!
This morning I actually wandered into the bathroom to have my shower with my textbook still in my hand. I balanced it on the sink where I could keep reading while I undressed, turned on the shower, stepped in and stood on a Velocoraptor. Then I came crashing back to the reality that is my life! I am not a Medical Dictionary in the making! I am a Mother! I am also a friend, daughter, housekeeper, ex-partner, waitress, photographer etc.....
Last week I put my son to bed with his favourite book (Advanced First Aid) and told him he could read for 10 minutes and then I would be turning off the light. I went back to the computer and started studying. An hour later I remembered my son! Cheeky shit was being as quiet as possible, still reading! Oh well! I haven't forgotten to feed him or pick him up from school yet, so for now I am not going to worry about my occasional mental trips to La-La-Land! He doesn't seem at all worried and lets face it, who else but Mummy is going to diagnose 'Ambo Bear's latest illness or help him fix 'Doggy's pneumothorax ?

Stay Safe - Nurse Wannabe

Friday, August 13, 2010

Red Dirt In My Veins

I have a dream. At best it will take me 10 years to achieve it, but I do have a dream. One day I'll go home!

Reality Check

Back in May I did a little spot check of my progress and was pleasantly surprised, so I decided that another reality check was about due. I have been feeling like life has ground to a halt, but it seems that it is no where near as bad as it feels.
  • Beat Pot Habit - Dec - Done
  • Put on weight - Steady on target weight since Jan - 1.5 kgs above Target - WooHoo!
  • Leave Ex - Dec - Done
  • Find a house to live in - Dec - Done
  • Leave the cafe I ran with the Ex - Late Jan - Done
  • Sort out Tax issues from previous years - March - Done
  • Stat test - May - Done
  • Human Physiology Class - Started - Done
  • Advanced Medical Terminology Course - Enrolled - Start next week  Done
  • Quit Smoking - Attempt 1 - Failed - Attempt 2 - Failed - Attempt 3 - Started
  • Enroll for Bachelor of Nursing - Awaiting STAT results - Application Submitted
  • Transition to Nursing Studies Course - Oct
  • Buy a car - Awaiting Tax Return - Done
  • Regain Drivers License - Been Ignoring it
  • Senior First Aid Certificate - Well and truly expired - Done
  • Get Immunisations up to date
  • Get voluntary work at local Nursing Home - Paperwork just needs signing Done
  • Nursing Student!!
I am getting there!

    Crawling Out Of My Cave

    Hi Folks,
    My apologies for going missing. Life seems to finally be returning to some semblance of normality. Well sort of!
    I have not heard from the Happy Stalker for about 4 weeks now and I am starting to feel a little more confident that that issue has been dealt with. My study is going well, with just over two weeks until my final assignment for my Medical Terminology course is due. I finished the last exercise in the workbook this afternoon and did a little happy dance. So now just to finish typing it all up and send it in. Should be able to complete that on time, which has quite surprised me. When I started the course it all looked so damn hard and I was daunted by the fact that I had to learn about 1000 prefixes, suffixes, root words and abbreviations, but completing the final page of the book I was amazed to realize that I had not referred to my cheat notes once. Yeah me!
    I have also started Quit Smoking Attempt #3. This time I have gone the Champix option. Well I am on Day 19 and not doing as well as I had hoped I would be but then again I am down from 30+ cigarettes a day to 3-4. I have had pretty much every side effect listed from depression to nausea, but I must say that the strangest side effect has been the dreams (when I do sleep). I have been having the most intense dreams! They have at times been so disturbing that I have taken all day to recover psychologically. But I have stuck with it and it all seems to be settling down now (and I have not amputated any body parts in my sleep for a week now) so I am now more confident that this will work.
    Still have not heard back from the Uni about my application, but it is still early for them to be sending out offers, so I am not too worried yet. Give it another month and I will start freaking out. First round offers are officially sent out in Oct, but I was told I would hear well before then. Anyway thanks for listening to me ramble.

    Stay Safe - Nurse Wannabe

    Tuesday, July 27, 2010

    The Computer Ate My Homework

    I have now half written this post 3 times, but every time I go to finish it it has disappeared! So I will now chuck the shits, condense what I have to say into 10 lines and hit post!
    I have a stalker who has followed me around, stolen my mail and invaded every one of my internet 'sanctuaries'. So to cut a long story short, I have been hiding, both physically and in cyberspace. It all seems to be under control again now, but I must say it completely unnerved me.
    I have moved my blog and shut down some of my other sites. My mail is a big issue though as I expected to have my University Offer by now, so I will call tomorrow and ask them. I am really hoping they have not sent it! My Federal Police Clearance was posted out 4 weeks ago and several other letters have never arrived, so I will also have to get a PO Box and get everything redirected! Grrrrr!
    But on a more positive note, everything else is moving along nicely. I have been given a new opportunity at the Nursing Home shadowing one of the RNs for a few shifts a weeks, so that is really cool.
    Anyway, thats about it for now! Thanks for listening!

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010

    Waiting For An Offer.

    I handed in my application for University yesterday and now I wait for the offer I have been told will be forthcoming considering my test score and my application letter.

    I started this post with that line 5 days ago actually it is now 12 days ago and for some reason have been unable to go any further. In fact rather than being ecstatic I feel like I have postnatal depression over the whole thing. The postman is only delivering crap I don't want and I am at a complete standstill as far as all study goes. The house is not exactly clean, my family are here for a holiday in two days time, I have a Medical Terminology assignment due in 6 days and I can't retain a single thing, and it is damn cold! OK, is that the end of my whinging? Hell No! I am mad about a man who shows signs of interest and then does nothing! And I have a stalker! Which really is not as cool as it sounds!
    Well, thanks for letting me rant! I am now going to get off my butt and make this house spotless for my family who I haven't seen in a long time, then I am going to open those books and get the assignment done before they arrive and if I get frustrated enough I might even call that damn Ambo and find out what is going on in that head of his! Not likely! But I'll think about doing it!

    Wednesday, June 23, 2010

    Application Ready to Go!

    I finally got off my butt and gave the University a call with my scores to find out for sure if they were good enough. I was quite confident but felt that leaving it a week to call them and check is probably way long enough, so I made the call. The lady confirmed for me that my score was well over the Minimum Acceptance Score for this course and should feel quite confident. So I then asked her when applications opened and she told me that I can apply immediately. Oh Crap! That means writing the application letter.
    The application letter - there is nothing more painful than having to talk yourself up on paper! I find it a very uncomfortable process, especially when they are asking you to list your personal qualities. Ummm.............I have proven to be good at taking direction, but not afraid to step up and take control of a situation when necessary.  - Could probably also be written  -  I have proven to be good at taking direction, to a point, but not afraid to step up and take control of a situation when you start to piss me off.
    Anyway, I did manage to behave myself and finish it tonight and I am happy with it. I had a friend proofread it for me and it is now printed signed and read to lodge tomorrow morning.

    Friday, June 18, 2010

    Tuesday, June 15, 2010

    STAT Test Results

    Nearly 4 weeks ago I sat the test that decides if I get into University or not and it has been one hell of a wait for the results. Well, today the postman delivered that scary letter. I took one look at the University Admissions Centre logo and ripped open that envelope. Then I froze! I couldn't look! I stood there next to the mailbox with shaking hands staring at the envelope and I had that sinking feeling in the guts.
    The test has a funny grading system but to make it easier for you to tell how you went they give a Percentile Ranking which tells you which percentage of candidates nationwide in the last year you did better than.
    Well, my overall Percentile Rank was 95.3%. I just about passed out! I am VERY happy! That means (that unless every one of those 4.7% who did better than I did decide to move to our small town and do their Bachelor of Nursing) I am in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    One Hell Of A Week But On Top Of The World

    This week has been draining to say the least. Our town holds a 4 day Jazz Festival every year and the cafe I owned with the Ex cops a flogging every year. The first year we had only been in business for two months and had no idea what we were in for, which led to both of us being there until 3am prepping for the next day each night. It was a success but nearly killed us. 
    Last year found us just as busy but a lot more prepared. To complicate matters our relationship was over, we were still living together and the pins placed in our son's arm had worked their way to the surface and left lovely gaping holes which required me to run him out to Slightly Bigger Town ER each night to be checked and dressed as well as keep up with the prep for the weekend. So it is no wonder that we both involuntarily cringe at the words 'Jazz Festival'.  
    This year as the time approached we both started wondering if we were mad. I was going to go back for the 4 days and reclaim my kitchen for the Festival, do 14 hour days with the Ex in a pressure cooker situation and hopefully nobody was going to get hurt in the process. We knew it was crazy and had all the makings of a disaster, but our staff and customers also saw trouble coming. One regular customer was placing bets on when he would see me storming off down the road in tears, and I'm not sure I blame him for expecting it. In the end the Ex and I decided that the weekend would be declared a success if we got through it without having to call an ambulance.
    Well, we did it! No snappy moments, no arguing and a lot of really good teamwork. I am very proud of us both. It turned out to be by far the least stressful year so far and the only downside was that we missed out on setting a new sales record by $16 on the Saturday and $14 on the Sunday. And our amazing son stayed at the cafe all weekend without a complaint and amused himself so well that there were several times I looked up to find him in the sea of people with a certain amount of panic because I had not heard him for hours and suddenly had a Mummy Panic Moment. He has been substantially rewarded for being the perfect Hospitality Kid and been told how proud of him we are so much that he is now starting to growl at the compliments. Also very proud of our wonderful staff who made it so much easier for us this year.
    So that is my final stint at the Cafe over and done, and I must say it is like a chapter of my life has been finalized. I did the right thing going back to help and I am so glad it all ended on a high.

    Wednesday, June 9, 2010

    Legs Eleven

    I turned up for my shift this morning to be greeted by a Rec Centre full of LOL's and our token bloke Reg all of whom were looking rather anxious. "There's no-one here!" was the chorus. What the? As nobody had turned up to run bingo they had raided the cupboard and set up themselves and were now starting to panic, but apparently I was their saviour! I was expected to call bingo, me, the one who learned how to play a week or so ago from a demented lady! Holy crap! The microphone was promptly jammed into my hand and that was that! Only two options available - call the damn bingo or run away and let the riot begin! So I sucked it up and away we went! "legs eleven" "and lovely legs they are!" "Zipp it, Reg, or I'll call security" Apparently he has a thing for the fiesty ones. Well I made it through without too many complaints, but call me Chicken, it is never going to be something I put my hand up for!
    So now I have destressed and I'm off for the afternoon shift and whatever suprises that may bring!

    Tuesday, June 8, 2010


    Did you know that when someone annoys you, it takes forty-two muscles to frown, But it only takes four muscles to extend your arm out and smack'em in the head?

    Monday, June 7, 2010

    Trolley Dolly

    What did I learn today?

    • Never skip Kevin's room with the Canteen Trolley - He doesn't move fast but he will track you down.
    • The trolley run consists of 1 hour ambling up and down corridors, 1/2 hour standing in corridors trying to figure out which way we were heading, 1 hour searching for lost wallets and purses (daughters seem to steal a lot of them) and 1 hour calculating and recalculating and recalculating the price of the two items you are calculating. (Thinking I should be able to shorten the trolley run by about 1.5 hours simply by walking at a reasonable pace, remembering which direction I am heading in and knowing how to calculate change in my head quickly.)
    • Your Bingo Partner will always remember you and be in a great mood on the day you don't work with her!
    • Everyone wants chocolate!
    • Those with a sense of humour will be waiting in the lounge every Mon in the hope that you will roll the trolley getting it out of the lift!
    • Most of the Auxiliary Ladies have worse memories than most of the Patients.
    • If you get your toes run over by the trolley it really hurts!
    • Putting your feet up with a coffee and a smoke in the staff garden at the end of a shift is really quite therapeutic.
    I love this job! What a hoot!

    Friday, June 4, 2010

    How To Dial 000

    I have just been crawling around and around and around the couch in my living room on my hands and knees chasing my son. About five minutes into this hilarious game I have pulled muscle in my neck and can no longer move my left arm or turn my head. So I have pleaded game over and sent my son to bed with Transformers 2 to watch on his portable DVD player. About two minutes later he reappears.
    Son - Mummy, where does it hurt?
    Mummy - All the way up here.
    Son - Well, just let me know if the pain moves down and you have trouble breathing, because I know the ambulance number and I have my phone.
    Mummy - OK sweetie, I don't think that will be necessary, but thank you. Now off to bed! 
    Son - Makes an appearance 2 mins later carrying 'Emergency First Aid For Parents -  Actually Mummy, the movie is really loud and I probably won't hear you so you will have to call yourself. The number is here on the front of this book.
    Yep, thanks son! You are really cute but Go To Bed!

    Fun, Games and Dementia

    Well I made it through my first full day at the NH and I am totally exhausted. Not physically but mentally. The morning was fairly easy as I was assisting with the art classes - fetching supplies, changing water, getting cups of coffee and generally giving moral support as I know nothing about painting. This will be a regular Friday Gig.
    After NH Fish and Chips for lunch (not bad either) it was back to set up for the afternoon game. Last week I learnt how to play Bingo, this week was Hoy. So I paired up with my partner from last week Hilda and we actually won the first hand!!!! Not sure who was more excited, her or me! Last week I believe I called her a Cantankerous Old So And So, well I am changing that to Cheating Cantankerous Old So And So. Boy did I have to keep an eye on her. At one stage I said 'No, that was not the card that was called' only to be told 'I KNOW but I am sick of losing every game!' so I promptly reminded her that we won the first and turned the card back over which was greeted with a big 'Hmmmppphhhh' and lots of sniggers from those with hearing good enough to follow what was going on. There were quite a few occasions where I could not look up at my supervisor for fear that we would both start laughing. Well she stayed for the whole round again, so points to me!! 
    Hilda 0 - Bingo Girl 2

    More Therapy

    Mini Mushrooms

    Back Lake

    Ripples in the Sand

    Thursday, June 3, 2010


    What a roller-coaster of a week! Some really shitty moments, but some amazing feel-good moments too! The past and present have certainly been contrasting each other!

    Which I guess is a good thing as it reminds me why I left the life I had 6 months ago and why I love my new one. I have tried to use the whole experience as motivation to continue on towards my goals and I guess, mostly succeeded. The negatives of the week are now learning experiences to propel me forward and those feel-good moments are being cherished in the hope that there will be more of the same in the future. 

    Wednesday, June 2, 2010

    Grays Anatomy

    I took my son out to dinner last night because I was simply way too tired to think about cooking. He had had enough to eat when I was less than half way through so to stop him from getting fidgety I decided to give him my iPhone to play with and in the absence of any games loaded the Grays Anatomy app. He was super stoked  and sat there happily looking at body parts while I enjoyed my dinner and glass of red and answered the odd random question. After about half an hour I saw someone I knew and stood up to talk to her, completely forgetting about what my son was doing. About five minutes into the conversation the phone is thrust under our noses and the question asked. 'What is that?' He was up the Female Reproductive System External Organs picture. She just about choked and I had one of those moments when the whole world seems to slow down, but managed to say in my best Mummy tone 'How about we just skip that chapter for now?' to which the reply came back 'Don't worry Mummy I've already looked at all of the pictures of the doodles!' and at that half the restaurant turned and looked at the two speechless women and the small boy clutching the iPhone.

    Saturday, May 29, 2010

    My Big Bingo Win

    "You will be helping 'Hilda' with Bingo today. She has dementia and is rather ummm... difficult. Just go along with anything she says."
    Shit! Firstly, I have never played Bingo! Secondly, I know nothing about dementia! So I am left standing there trying to wrestle the querulous old so & so into her chair while she mutters about not knowing how to play either and the blind leading the blind. So I plant her in her seat and steal her stick just in case she decides to whack me with it and firmly tell her 'We will figure it out. How hard can it be.'
    Seems that you don't have to remember that you play every week, the instinct just kicks in. Well we didn't win a thing!!!! Damn it, not sure who was more pissed off! We watched everyone else's piles of chocolate bars and talcum powder get bigger and bigger and never even got close! So, every 10 mins or so she would start to sulk and tell me that she wasn't going to play any more and that I would have to do it, but she would soon take over again as soon as I got a few numbers. Somehow we got through it and I found that I had quite enjoyed myself, between dealing with 'Hilda' and placing markers on numbers for the lady on the other side of me during her very frequent micro-naps I had been quite busy and time had flown.
    My only concern was that 'Hilda' had not enjoyed herself. But as I was leaving the woman in charge pulled me aside and said 'That was great! We told you she was difficult but you handled her really well. That is the first time she has stayed for a full round of Bingo.' Wow! Must admit that then I felt great! Didn't really do much for my first shift, but I left feeling like I had had a big win!

    Tuesday, May 25, 2010

    Bingo Time!

    Well I finally got off my butt and finalized my paper work for the Nursing Home. Have to report for duty on Friday in time for 1 O'clock Bingo!
    So I am going armed with great advice from a great friend.
    Friend - "Now if you are reading out the BINGO numbers - speak slow and clear."
    My Response - " And very bloody LOUD!!! LMAO"
    Bring It On! It is all starting to happen now! 

    Something To Ponder.

    When a defining moment comes along, you can do one of two things - define the moment or let the moment define you...

    Monday, May 24, 2010


    DSCF6107, originally uploaded by Muddy Sunday.
    Woke up this morning to this view from my kitchen window! Amazing! Not a morning person but didn't mind getting up to this.

    Sunday, May 23, 2010

    Something I Have Been Avoiding

    Five weeks ago I went and applied at the local Nursing Home to be a Volunteer Carer. This is mainly to back up my application to go to Uni next year. As part of the application process I have to submit a written proposal stating among other things what I have done ie. community involvement, work experience in the nursing field.
    If my score on the STAT test is high enough I will get in with no problems, but if my score is average these extra things will be the one's to push me over that line and get my application approved. So I have enrolled in all sorts of classes etc but according to the Uni Entrance Officer the voluntary work will be looked upon very favourably and count for big points. So I have submitted my application for Police Clearance, but in the mean time I can start at the NH with just a Stat Dec signed by one of their senior staff.
    I have been up there three times to get the Stat Dec signed by this woman but every time she has been out of the office. But to tell you the truth I have not exactly chased this woman down as I am not exactly excited about the whole thing. 
    OK, so it was completely my idea, and I know I will probably love doing it but.... As a  VC I will spend my time working for the Leisure and Lifestyle Department, which basically means as well as spending 1 day running the Op-Shop, I will be filling 3 days a week taking LOL's for walks and drinking lots of cups of tea.  I will probably enjoy this immensely but there are so many other things I am feeling the pressure to do.
    So I got a call from the NH Office last week which made me feel incredibly guilty. They are so excited to have me on the team and can't wait for me to start. I have met the ladies I will be working with and they seem really great. We spent a lot of my initial meeting with them laughing and I have no doubt that I will fit in well, but it is not ultimately where I want to end up. In fact Aged Care would probably be my last choice.
    I was chatting online with my Aunt who lives on the other side of Oz last week and she asked what I was hoping to study. When I told her Nursing her response was 'Great! You will be able to take care of all us oldies in years to come'. BLOODY HELL! Glad she could not see the look on my face at that one! I love my family but the thought of combining them and aged care is the stuff nightmares are made of!
    So tomorrow I will go and sign off on the last of the paper work and organise when I am starting. I will no doubt enjoy the whole experience and make some useful contacts, so it is time to get my act together and just do it!

    Saturday, May 22, 2010

    Time To Put It All In Perspective

    I have been inspired by It's Just Me! in her latest post on her blog - Who's life is this anyways? - to do another stocktake of where I am up to with the goal list.
    • Beat Pot Habit - Dec - Done
    • Put on weight - Steady on target weight since Jan
    • Leave Ex - Dec - Done
    • Find a house to live in - Dec - Done
    • Leave the cafe I ran with the Ex - Late Jan - Done
    • Sort out Tax issues from previous years - March - Done
    • Stat test - May - Done
    • Human Physiology Class - Started
    • Advanced Medical Terminology Course - Enrolled - Start next week
    • Quit Smoking - Attempt 1 - Failed - Attempt 2 - Started
    • Enroll for Bachelor of Nursing - Awaiting STAT results - apps close Oct 31
    • Transition to Nursing Studies Course - Oct
    • Buy a car - Awaiting Tax Return
    • Regain Drivers License - Been Ignoring it
    • Senior First Aid Certificate - Well and truly expired
    • Get Immunisations up to date
    • Get voluntary work at local Nursing Home - Paperwork just needs signing
    • Nursing Student!!
    Well, seems I am getting there, but I still feel like I am a mess most of the time. I guess it is just one day at a time, take it as it comes and I will get there.

      Friday, May 21, 2010

      Blog Awards

      Richard Hemby here from, I'm contacting you about a nursing web awards we're currently running with the following categories:

      * Best Nursing Blog of 2010
      * Best New Nursing blog of 2010
      * Best/Influential Post of 2009-2010
      * Top Nursing Twitterer of 2010
      * Most Useful Nursing Website of 2010
      * Most Useful Web/Mobile Tool for Nurses of 2010

      1st place, 2nd, and 3rd place winners will receive Kiva gift cards for best nursing blog, new nursing blog, and best nursing post. Besides Kiva gift cards, we have some pretty nice web badges for other categories.

      We have just started accepting nominations and we would really appreciated (really!) if you could give the awards a plug on your blog so we could make this the biggest and best nursing web awards! Tweet it too if you could!

      Here's the awards website:

      Faced The Firing Squad And Survived - I Think!

      Walking up the hill to the Uni this morning I felt like I was going to face the firing squad. There is nothing worse than that impending feeling of doom. All the what if's were flying around my brain - What if I have a complete brain explosion? - What if I run out of time? - What if I throw up on the test book? Trust me they got more absurd from then on in! At least I was able to give myself a bit of a chuckle at the door. But then they made us wait for the correct time to enter the exam room and we all sat there looking scared shitless.
      So I spent the next two hour swinging wildly between confident and petrified and then back again. Who the hell writes these questions? I spent 10 minutes analysing drawings done by a man on Acid! No kidding! They were sort of cool! But some of the other questions had  my head spinning. I managed to finish with 15 mins to spare and had time to recheck a couple of answers I was not confident about then closed the test book and stared out the window resisting the urge to panic for the last 5 mins.
      The sense of relief when I walked out of that room was quite intense. I think I have only just calmed down after spending the afternoon completely delirious. Found myself in tears several times for no reason at all, but what keeps going around in my head can be summed up by the following song. Have a listen!
      Dar Williams - Farewell to the old me

      Well Here We Go

      D-day has arrived! I am sitting on the step of the local Yoga Centre in 'Slightly Bigger Town' after hopping off the bus waiting for the exam time to roll around. Only another 45mins! So instead of checking that I have everything for the 100th time (2 pencils, Eraser, Sharpener, ID, Letter of Confirmation - Check) I thought I would de-stress on the laptop.
      Thank God the bus was better this morning. The crazies don't seem to get up that early so I had a bus full of school kids (reasonably annoying, but they ignore you) and the intellectually disabled . That I can handle! I spent the first 10 mins with the girl who brings all her dolls on the bus. She is really sweet and I even got to hold 'Katie' as she moved them all to another seat for the third time. Apparently this must be done in a particular order and some of them don't like to sit next to each other. So I forgot all about my exam by playing dolls for a while, but then she decided she needed to claim a seat further down the front before all the school kids got the good one's and left me to it. It was a MUCH better trip! I like talking to disabled people a lot more than those who are simple crackers.
      So now I am sitting here trying to soak up a few rays of sunshine and maybe some residual good vibes from the yoga centre, having received my good luck calls from my cheer squad (thanks guys) and thinking that maybe it will all go well. 20 mins to go now so I will sign off and walk up to the Uni now.
      Wish me luck!!!!!

      Thursday, May 20, 2010

      What Is It With These People!!!

      Every Thursday I hop on the Crazy Bus to head into Slightly Bigger Town because that is where all the services are - government offices, employment agencies, my family counsellor and the Uni Ed Centre. Every Thursday I spend my time on the Crazy Bus trying not to make eye contact with the same group of crazy people. To catch the bus as a full paying passenger is outragously expensive ($20 return) but if for some reason you have a pension card you get an all day ticket for $2.50. So most passengers are either elderly, single parents or on disability pensions. Most are simply nuts! I am OK with nuts, but why do they all seem to single me out as most likely to listen to crazy talk? So I hop on the bus every Thursday with full armour - I-pod, sunglasses, a good book and a filthy look on my face. And usually it works, but today just as I thought I had mission success she got me! I was sitting the main street of town without full armour on killing time til my appointment, when she sat next to me and proceeded to launch into a full speel about how nice I was etc.... And then a full rant about all the nasty people etc... So what do you do, she basically has you pinned down in the main street and you can't tell her to fuck off becuase she is basically foaming at the mouth and you are 'nice'. Shit!!! So you let her rant for another 5 minutes and then 'Ooops, look at the time. I had better go. Don't want to be late for my appointment!'
      Crazy number 2 got me when I was leaving my appointment. When you have earphones in and the music so loud that they have to be able to hear it you would think they wouldn't bother, but no, they stand in front of you talking until you remove said earphones and listen. This one told me that he wants to sit next to me on the bus next week so we can talk! Not fuckin likely!!! What do you say to that? I don't do casual conversation well - This is my zone out time - I use my time on the bus to study etc...
      So now I find myself at the bus stop with the music blaring and the laptop open completely surrounded by the usual group not daring to look up. Every week is the same.
       I understand that you are lonely but honestly I am not your new best friend! So leave me the hell alone!!!!

      Wednesday, May 19, 2010

      Amazing Version Of A Classic

      Put It Out There, Then Let It Go

      Horoscope from the paper yesterday. This guy mostly dribbles generic shit, but every now and then it is spot on. This one made me laugh. Read it and I will explain.
      There are several things you wish you could be doing. For one reason or another none are possible. There are other things you would prefer not to be doing. It seems, though, you have no alternative.I'm not saying you should accept just anything. If, though, you can bring yourself to be realistic about your options, you will start to feel differently about some of the factors you resent. Don't compromise a big aspiration. Do, though, look at another way to get your desired result.
      As you are aware I am hoping to start my Bachelor of Nursing next year. There is a small University campus in a town only 25 kms from where I am living which conveniently offers this course. All lectures are done by video conference from the Main Campus and it is closely linked with the Hospital which services our region. I can study with minimal difficulties ie: custody arrangements, transport, moving etc.
      But I have discovered a double degree (Bachelor of Nursing / Bachelor of Clinical Practice - Paramedic) I have been drooling over at another University about 600kms away. So firstly, it would involve not only moving but it would also start the custody war to end all wars. If I stay here there is basically nothing he can do but share. If I try to remove my son without his approval he can get a court order to have him returned, so we don't want to start that at this stage.Secondly, the course load is much higher with a lot more block pracs. This would mean more juggling of my son and yet again it comes down to custody, I don't want to do anything to give the bugger the excuse to go for full custody. I think I will be pushing it to get him to cooperate with my current plans (when he eventually finds out, of course). Having all my family on the other side of the country is hard in that respect, no instant babysitting service. I also love living in Town A for various reasons - good friends, good lifestyle, and a significant piece of Eye Candy I have become quite attached to. 
      So having had a good drool, I will stop pining after the impossible and start to focus on what I can do at this stage. That doesn't mean I am giving up the dream by any means. I will start with the parts I can do now and re-evaluate when my son is a bit older. But for the moment I have put it out there to the Universe that I would love the Ex to suddenly decide to leave the coast and move to Town B for some random reason ( not likely) and for my 'Significant Eye Candy' to suddenly decide that a change of scene would be good and put in for a transfer as well (even less likely) and then I would be a very happy woman! So having put it out there, I have had a good laugh at myself and let it go!

      Sunday, May 16, 2010

      I Wonder If They Know

      I am meant to be studying but as I sit here with all my books open in front of me struggling through study guides my mind keeps drifting from basic chemistry (which doesn't seem too basic to me at this present time) to other things. I tend to take my books to a local cafe so I can have a steady dose of caffeine to keep the brain running along nicely. The cafe I used to own with the Ex, which he still runs, is just around the corner and a lot of our ex-customers now frequent this one. It is amazing to me the number of people who approach me to offer their support. These are people who while I was still with the Ex would look the other way in the street. I guess we made a lot of people uncomfortable with the rows we had in the cafe. But now it is a regular occurrence for these people to come up to me and give me a squeeze on the shoulder or sometimes even an unexpected hug and offer their support. I am a fairly forthright person and have not hidden the fact that I have left the cafe and an abusive relationship. I also tend to be quite blunt about other challenges I have overcome in this journey. 
      My time-wasting pondering was set off today by a lady who I was fairly certain did not approve of me in any way. She approached me and said she had been thinking about me and that I should be proud of myself. Then proceeded to say 'If you need anything at all, please call me. I am here for you any time' as she gave me her phone number. She is not the first to do this.
      Although I have never called any of these people who have done this, I wonder if they appreciate how much those expressions of support mean to someone in my position. I have a great network of friends and have never felt alone on this journey but these little moments often give you that internal 'lift' that makes you feel like it is all worth it. They make it easier to continue on towards your ultimate goal.
      This must be one of the best parts of living in a small town!

      Saturday, May 15, 2010

      Nervous And Starting To Stress!

      I am starting to get nervous about the Uni Entrance Test now. At 10am next Friday I walk into the Exam Room knowing that what I do in those next two hours has a major impact on my future. My whole plan could fall apart miserably in those few hours and the worst thing about it is the fact that I can't study for it. You either have it or you don't. 
      To this point I have been determined not to have a backup plan and I don't see the need to start worrying now but I have to admit that the thought has crossed my mind. I have the option to re-sit the test at the end of the year if my results are not high enough to guarantee me an offer after this one, but my concern is more that unless I blitz it this time around I may not be guaranteed entrance and have to re-sit anyway only to find out that my score would have been high enough after all the results are in anyway. 
      So I may be doing my head in over nothing but we will have to wait and see. By the end of June I will have a better idea, or maybe not!

      Friday, May 14, 2010

      Where I Intended To Be

      I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I had ended up where I intended to be.
      Douglas Adams 
      There are times when life seems to be so off track that you lose sight of where you are and what you are doing. But I have realised that despite life's twists, turns and complete detours things always happen for a reason. Sometimes the reason is not apparent, in fact, it can be quite frustrating when things don't go as planned.
      But often the only thing stopping life from moving forward is my own acceptance. But as I have started to accept that life will lead you toward your destiny no matter what, it seems that I have stopped coming across roadblocks of my own making and things have started to happen.
      So my goal is now to keep my eye on my goal, but not stress about how I get there. Sometimes there is something down a different path that may not be visible from where I stand but may ultimately help me get to my destination. The trick is to find the courage to follow those paths as they present themselves.
      So I will continue on with my destination firmly in mind and trust that I will end up where I intended to be.

      Helicopter Rescue - What A Great Read!

      It is now 1:15am and I am lying in bed with a splitting headache from reading to much, but WOW! I have not been able to put this down. All I can say is, I'm glad I don't have to be up early in the morning because I am only half way through.

      Helicopter Rescue: The true story of Australia's first full-time chopper doctor

       By Ken Wishaw
      Autobiography of Australia's first full-time helicopter doctor. Describes his passion for flying, his crew membership of the Surf Life Saving Association rescue helicopter, and his role in developing the operations of CareFlight. Tells of the many helicopter rescues he has made. Includes full-colour photos. Foreword by Dr Fran Smith. Author is a doctor with specialist qualification in anaesthesia, who teaches advanced resuscitation and crisis management skills to other anaesthetists.

      Thursday, May 13, 2010

      Approval Given - But.....

      My 6 year old has given his approval for me to study Nursing.
      "Mummy, I think that is a really great idea, but I want you to be the nurse who goes into all the rooms and checks on the patients and gives them their medicine, not the one who has to do all the wounds and messy stuff."
      Bless Him! I could be one bored nurse if he has any say!

      Wednesday, May 12, 2010

      Domestic Abuse Quote

      A friend posted it on her FB Wall and I really liked it. 

      Facebook: "While you SCREAM at your woman, there's a man wishing he could whisper softly in her ear... While you HUMILIATE, OFFEND, and INSULT her, there's a man flirting with her and reminding her how wonderful she is. While you HURT your woman, there's a man wishing he could make love to her. While you make your women CRY there's a man stealing smiles from her... Post this on your wall if you're against Domestic Violence"

      During the final year of my abusive relationship and beyond there was a man who did remind me how wonderful I was and also steal smiles from me. These small moments were a great incentive to remove myself from the place I was. Small reminders that there are wonderful men out there and that I did not have to put up with less. As for the other two, who knows what he was thinking, but one can hope! 

      Sunday, May 9, 2010

      That Defining Moment Of Clarity Examined

      A woman was sitting at her son's bedside in the busy ER of a large hospital. Her 5 year old son had been taken to the ER of their local hospital with a broken arm. Because there were no surgical facilities at the small local hospital they were transferred to a bigger regional hospital for surgery. After an aborted attempt to fix the arm there they were then transferred to Canberra Hospital. The child was calmly enduring everything and though he was obviously in a fair amount of pain had not complained the whole time.The child's father had spent the 48 hours since the accident alternating between getting drunk, abusing his partner and her father and driving between hospitals. He still had not arrived in Canberra 2 hours after the rest of the family, but was expected at any time and quite frankly his arrival was being anticipated with trepidation. The woman herself was feeling the strain of  48 hours with no sleep, being the buffer between her partner and the hospital staff (who would not deal with him) and trying to stop him from turning the accident into his own personal drama at every turn. She was also still feeling a fair bit of shame at having swung punches at him in the street outside their business when he refused to let her go to her son.
      Yep, that was me 12 months ago. It all seems so surreal now, but my life was falling apart around me while I just sat there and waited for the next blow. So I sat there watching the organized chaos of the ER as my son dozed and a sense of great peace came over me. It was like suddenly being in the eye of a cyclone, and then I had a moment of clarity. This was where I belonged! But I was like the kid peering through the fence at what they perceive to be a better life. I was on the wrong side of the fence! I was living a life I hated and sitting there watching people who were living my dream. In that moment I decided to end my abusive relationship and take back control of my life. At that time the dream of nursing was something I still did not think of as a  possibility, but I was later to get back enough confidence in myself to start dreaming again.
      It took me 6 months to fight my way out of that relationship. The more I tried to wrestle control back the worse the abuse got, but in a way I am grateful for that. The way I look at it, I was pushed to breaking point and well past 'the point of no return'. I was left standing there with a pile of rubble at my feet and now brick by brick I am re-building my life with that rubble, but this time I know what I want it to look like and I am following the plan.