Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Working when I would usually be asleep...

I have done something bold and new this week. I have reversed my days and my nights and signed up for some night shift work. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a girl who likes my sleep. And I like my sleep to last seven to nine hours. And I like my sleep to happen when it's dark out.

However, my unit at the hospital is having a bit of a staffing issue, as it's the summer and people like to go on vacation in the summer (unless, like me, you are chained, like a slave, to a year-round nursing school program...but that's an issue for another day). Therefore, the hospital is offering some incentives to make it a more attractive option for me to give up my usual nighttime activity and instead do what I usually do during the day, which is take care of the sick and also stick needles into them to get their blood.

Yeah, good times.

The first night of this experiment was Sunday night. I spent the day at my community health clinical, which ended at 4:30. I went immediately to my parents' house to get some sleep. After a 3 1/2 hour nap, I got up and, reasonably refreshed, headed out the door. Luckily, we were pretty busy, so I didn't have trouble staying awake for those hours when I would normally be curled up in bed with a pillow over my head, getting some shut-eye. I headed home after the shift to lounge around and catch some ZZZZZZZs and get ready to get back into the normal sleep patterns to which I am accustomed.

And then I was at work yesterday, and it was mentioned that more night shifts were available and more help was needed. Well, we have discussed here before how I am Broke as a Joke. Once school ends, things will be looking up, and I will do such things as pay off my credit card bills and buy myself a new wardrobe. However, right now, we are struggling to get by. Well, I am struggling to get by with my portion of the bills. Bill is a little better off. I am still relying heavily on my credit card, with the breezy attitude that I will take care of it when I can. But once in a while, mini panic attacks come on at the thought of just how much I owe to my lenders and how much it will cost to pay them off. And also, the school loans? Not helping so much.

Anyway, I signed up to work tonight. Now, tonight will be a challenge because I have clinical from 5:00 to 10:00 and will then have to head right to work. I won't be able to sleep right until the eleventh hour and then roll out of bed and head out. Instead, I will have to sneak in a nap during the day today and hope that it carries me through. And hope that we are busy enough tonight that it goes quickly and I don't have a lot of down time. And hope that I don't fall asleep on my feet. The good news is that I don't have anywhere to be early tomorrow morning, so I can head home and get some rest.

So this is really what it's like to work in health care. You might have to give up your normal habits sometimes, and you might have to work when you would really rather be asleep. But as long as your employer is taking care of you and your patients give you a "thank you" at the end of your shift, it's not a bad life to lead...

I am shamelessly stealing the stars...BUT SHE SAID I COULD!

Anyway, in other news, I have been tagged. And I have been tagged by someone who apparently has a MUCH better memory than I do because I don't know how successfully I will be able to complete this MeMe. However, I will give it a shot.

Let's talk about what I was obsessed with throughout different times in my life...

Toddlerhood: Hmmm...I sucked my thumb until I was nine years old. So I was definitely well into that obsession while I was a toddler. I also had a "blinky," which was what I called my blanket. The blanket I had when I was a toddler, however, was replaced by a blanket that my sister got as a gift when she was born (I was four at the time). I still have the remains of that blanket in the cabinet next to my bed. Sometimes, I take it out and inhale it's smell...the same after all these years. I also had a bear with a music box in it that would lull me to sleep every night. I don't know the name of the song, but I can still hum it today.

Childhood (5-9): Strawberry Shortcake, Barbie, Cabbage Patch Kids, My Little Pony, trains (my grandmother lived in an apartment complex next to a train track, and I loved to watch them go by), going down the slide, swinging really high, swimming, playing in the sand, hair bows, Hello Kitty, the movies Annie, Mary Poppins, and The Wizard of Oz, and the movie 9-to-5. Also, Dolly Parton. TV shows - The Jeffersons and Three's Company. Okay, I remember more than I thought. Stickers, marbles, Fruit Roll-ups. Earrings. Books...Nancy Drew and Judy Blume books. Tomatoes. Root beer. Kept my first diary. Guarded it with my life. Alright, movin' on!

Pre-teen (9-12): Still with the Barbies. Baby-sitting...especially babies and toddlers. Sledding during the winter because we had just moved here from Corpus Christi, TX, land of no snow. My friends...loved spending time with my friends. Still a big reader...Sweet Valley High and Baby-Sitters Club. Obsessed with Bon Jovi. Also a little obsessed with a guy in my class named Eric Trexler. He liked Skid Row, so I did too.

Early Teens (13-16): Hmmm...seem to have blocked out this part of my life. Remember spending lots of time with my friends. Loved the song "American Pie" and used to sing it a LOT. Loved going to the high school football games. Obsessed by the soap opera General Hospital. Went to Girl Scout camp for the first time and LOVED IT. Became obsessed with my awesome counselors and wanted to BE them someday. Also started volunteering at a local hospital and LOVED it!

Later Teens (16-19): More with my friends. We used to get together to watch Seinfeld every week, complete with snacks, so we called those "Seinfeld Parties." I remember them most often being in my friend Michelle's basement. We also got together to study for chemistry tests, also at Michelle's, and call them chemistry parties. No, we weren't part of the "in" crowd. Why do you ask? We also went to a lot of football games and spent a lot of time at Perkins afterwards. I was obsessed by shoes by this point...Doc Martens, Birkenstocks, and any other cute and cool shoe I could find. I would have spent a lot less money on shoes if flip-flops had been "in" at the time. I was still volunteering at the hospital until I was done with high school. Went off to college and became obsessed with my on-again, off-again college guy Sam. He is still one of my best friends, although clearly it didn't work out between us. Developed an Eat n' Park obsession...still love to eat there whenever I am around one. Developed a love of the artist SARK and her inspirational posters. Spent my first summer working at Girl Scout camp, where I got to BE the counselor. Shaped much of who I am today.

Early 20's to present day: That's a good ten years, so let's break it down further:
  • 20-22: Finished college. Although I was Catholic and didn't quite "get it," I accepted Christ as my Personal Lord and Savior several times, just to make sure he heard me. This was big at Grove City College. I learned how to pray out loud in a group, which was outside my comfort zone. I became a volleyball manager because Sam played, and that kept me busy. I joined a sorority and became the president. I student taught and hated it. My heart stayed back home with my camp friends, and I drove my new car home almost every weekend behind my parents' backs to be with them. I continued to love shoes and shopping. I loved to go out to a bar called Butterfields and eat wings and do shots with the locals. I spent a good amount of time throwing up the morning after. I was introduced to the Indigo Girls and was hooked. I still listen to them incessantly and am amazed at how their songs speak to me.
  • 23-24: I met my first after-college boyfriend. I got my first job. I got my first apartment. My best friend Sarah and I spent a lot of time at the Tally Ho, which was our bar-we-could-walk-to. We liked Yuengling Lager and electronic darts. We did some on-line dating. I met a man that I am marrying in October. A friend from camp died in a fire, and it changed my life. Sarah and I had a bit of a falling out that probably came from living together and driving each other bat shit crazy. We fought about whose turn it was to do the dishes. We moved into our own apartments.
  • 25-26: I lived by myself. Bill and I broke up for the first time. It wasn't all that different from being together, except I called him my ex-boyfriend instead of my boyfriend and also spent an equal amount of time with that first after-college boyfriend. I still bought lots of shoes and drank my fair share of beer. I worked a lot, and toward the end of this time, I got a new job with the Girl Scouts.
  • 27-today: There was a shooting in my neighborhood, so I moved home with my parents. I ended up staying there when I went back to school to get my nursing degree. Bill and I broke up and got back together a few more times. My two best friends from high school found their forever-loves and got married. I was a little jealous. I broke up with Bill "for the last time," determined to find someone else. Before I could do that, he proposed to me, effectively cancelling the break-up. I became a blogger. I became baby-obsessed. I couldn't wait to get my own dog. I left the Girl Scout job to work at a hospital. I miss Girl Scouts and can't wait to find my own place in the organization again. I proved to be surprisingly good at drawing blood from people's veins. Poop and vomit stopped triggering my gag reflex. Bill and I worked at planning our wedding. I moved in with Bill. I am working at making our house a home. We are going to get a puppy. And finally, in just a few months, we will start trying to have kids...

TAG! YOU'RE IT! This tag goes out to my cousin Rebecca, my sorority sis-tah Kristen, and my Diamonds girl Kat. Enjoy your own little walk down memory lane!


NME said...

GAH! I really commend people who can throw a wrench into their sleeping schedules like that. I could probably work a consistent night shift, but changing back and forth - FORGET IT.
But you health care workers are strong as steel. All that sleeplessness and all that icky needle bloody stuff too. Amazing.

Kristin said... I get a pass because you spelled my name wrong?

JK, I will get to it shortly.

The Princess said...

You did great!!

You have a much better memory than I do!!