The Trouble With Unfounded Expectations

Pregnancy Photos: Before & After
If you click on the above link, you’ll find 15 wonderful photos of mothers. Pregnant in one photo and with their newborn in another. The photographs are inspiring, beautiful, loving, and for people like me – heartbreaking.

For a long time as a youngster, I didn’t see the point in having children. I found them to be nuisances; always loud, whiny, and bratty. I told my uncle one day that I never wanted children. He replied with, “won’t you be lonely when you’re old and the rest of your family is gone?” I thought about that for a half a second and said that I didn’t care, that it wasn’t important to me. As you can probably tell, I was a stubborn child. Who am I kidding? I’m a stubborn adult as well.

As I grew older, I realized that maybe having children would be a good thing. I realized that once I found the person I loved, I’d want to create another human life with them. A baby girl or boy to raise, to nurture, to love, to teach. A small child with my husbands eyes and our thick hair. A pretty little girl with my love of reading and my husbands knack for board games. A handsome little boy with my husbands capacity to fix literally anything and my musical ability.

Well, the day came when I met that person. My husband of almost 5 years. In five years, we’ve not even had a scare. Not one. Every month that goes by becomes harder and harder to bear. Every month we hope that this month will be it, we’ll have good news. Every month we are disappointed. A year into our marriage we were asked when we were going to have babies. At that time we were still quite hopeful. Now people either gloss over the subject (if they know us) or ask us the same question, “when are you going to have children?” When my patients ask, I try to laugh it off – it’s not their business. When family mentions it, I tense up. I can’t brush it off. I can’t laugh it off. I don’t know what to say anymore. There are so many emotions that people can’t understand if they’ve never been on our situation. Anecdotes about friends having difficulties don’t help. Especially when those friends had troubles for a year and then conceived a child – and then another the same year, a few months after the first was born. Telling me that you had trouble conceiving your second and third child don’t help. Honestly, they don’t. We can’t even conceive our first. We’d be ecstatic with one child at this point. We really would.

We’ve gone to a fertility clinic. We’ve been told the problem. We’ve been told that most likely, only IVF would work. IVF. Who can afford it? One treatment equals to almost $10,000. We’ve thought about adoption – over $30,000. Surrogates even cost a massive amount even with a friend being the surrogate. It seems like my husband and I are out of options. 

Sometimes I think, maybe it’s a good thing that we don’t have children. This is just the way it’s supposed to be for us. However, deep down I’m not losing my faith. I believe that everything happens in its own time and everything happens and doesn’t happen for a reason. God has a plan and I need to stick to that truth.

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Family

In light of a very recent tragedy that occurred in our family, I want to say something. 

Family is the most important bond you can ever have. It out measures every single solitary relationship you may ever have with a friend.

Family is the only thing that will stick with you when times get rough, when you’re down on your luck, when tragedy strikes. No family is perfect just as no person is perfect. My family is no exception to that rule. We are all a bunch of messed up people that love each other. True, sometimes fights occur, you feel isolated by one person or another, things happen. In the end though, family, true family will always be there. Always with a listening ear, a warm hug, a happy smile, a good laugh. 

I hope everyone appreciates the family they have in their lives – whether it be your own, your spouses, combined. 

Processed

The first time I bleached my hair (a couple of months ago), I instantly regretted doing it at home. Mainly because my hair ended up almost fried and a million hues. Honestly though, the hues grew on me and I ended up enjoying the color!


Well, I figured once my hair was thoroughly bleached, I wouldn’t need to do much but my roots. I figured that I’d go to a salon and get it touched up. I figured wrong. 

Unfortunately, I can’t afford to get it done at a salon because of how thick my hair is and how much work it takes. Personally, I don’t understand how women can afford to go to the salon every month or two…the prices are phenomenal – in a bad way!

So, as it happens with blonde hair, my very dark roots started showing. 


Me, in my infinite wisdom, decided it would be a great idea to have my husband do my roots – bad decision. Not because he did anything wrong, but because I can’t have my hair washed out without having a near panick attack that the bleach is going to seep into my eyes. I know, it’s foolish. Anything can happen though and my mind always jumps to the worst scenario possible. Well, washing the bleach out was a fiasco! I didn’t even want to deal with it halfway through the wash. We used all our towels. We got the bathroom soaking wet. It was a mess.

Finally, my DH put some blonde hair dye just to even out the color, but it started BURNING. Horribly. I’d never felt that before dyeing my hair. The culprit for the burning was a couple of scabs I have on the back of my head – the bleach irritated it and the dye obliterated it!

Hopefully I will look back on this with fondness and wisdom and go to a salon to get my hair done from now on!

“You Can’t…”

So many times people equate diets with an endless supply of dry chicken breasts and salads with the blandest of dressings. For a long time, I must admit, I was the same way!

“You can’t eat anything good on a diet!”

How untrue that is! I’ve lost 22 pounds (so far!) eating bacon, cheese, eggs, heavy whipping cream, whipped cream, steaks, ribs, pork rinds, guacamole, sour cream, ranch, chicken wings, pizza (yes, pizza!), ice cream, “bread”, and so many other delicious foods. High fat, low carb, moderate protein. It is the spice of life. It is a wonderful thing.

Fat-Head Dough Chicken & Broccoli Pizza
Lobster and Shrimp Salad
Keto Lasagna
Bacon & Cheese Quiche
Bacon Cheeseburger Soup with Cheesy Biscuits
Cloud Bread

I don’t know about you, but to me, this is some good eating! I’ve made nachos using pork rinds with cheese, guacamole, and sour cream. I always find delicious ketogenic options at any restaurant I go to. I’ve yet to figure out some sweet treats in the form of baked goods that I could eat, but that’s mainly because I’m not a huge fan of artificial sweeteners.

My new obsession, however, is an ice cream brand called Enlightened. They are wonderfully low-calorie and low-carb. Halo Top is the usual go-to for keto, but I feel that Enlightened is 100 times better and has a lot more flavors to choose from. Some don’t encourage this brand because of the use of cane sugar and technically we aren’t supposed to have any form of sugar, however I’ve been eating Enlightened and am still losing weight. I’ll take it!

So to those who are stuck in the mentality of “you can’t have any good food on a diet,” I challenge you to try keto (as long as you’re able) and see what it does not only for your weight, but for your energy, mental health, and various medical diagnoses (including diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.).

I’ll leave you with what I had for lunch today: a pound and a quarter of snow crab legs, broccoli, and tomato-mozzarella caprese!

Ketogenic Me

About a month and a half ago my husband and I traveled into NYC to visit my parents and watch a Broadway musical featuring Josh Groban – Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812. Fantastic show, interactive and wonderfully choreographed. Well, I stepped foot into my parents house and was greeted with love, as always. However, there was another aspect to the welcome this time – worry. My parents – especially my mother – couldn’t get over my weight gain. True, I had gained quite a large amount in the past half a year, but I guess I didn’t truly internalize it until that weekend. My mother and I ended up fighting, my husband got involved as always, sticking up for me (which my parents actually respected a lot), but at the conclusion of it all, I made up my mind. 

I had to change. I had to lose the weight. My health was in jeopardy, I felt horrid about myself, and I was almost always tired and hungry. I ate to mask my depression and anxiety. I ate to make myself feel better. Not anymore!

On July 3rd, my husband and I, as a team, decided to take our lives into our hands and lose weight together. We started the ketogenic diet.

Now people wonder, what’s that? It’s fairly simple really! For this way of eating, one must cut all the sugar from their diet, increase their fat and protein intake (more fat than protein), and reduce their carbohydrate intake (I stick to below 20 grams daily myself).

In this way, your body no longer uses carbohydrates for energy. Rather, it uses the fat. By doing this, your body becomes “fat-adapted” and allows effective burning of stored fat in the body. This helps your body then lose weight due to the burning of excess fat that’s stored and just sitting there – which would remain there if you were feeding yourself carbohydrates and sugars, which would usually be the first thing your body would start burning.

So, it’s now been almost 2 months since the husband and I have started our journey and we both have lost 22 lbs! 

We are both looking and feeling better. Happier. Sometimes I know that temptation arises for me – especially in the form of chips, cookies, and milkshakes. However, I remind myself how difficult it was to lose weight so far and I never want to go back to the weight I started with. My husband and I both have a ways to go and will keto on!

Modesty?


I was thinking about this today: So many women lately have equated modesty with men trying to take away their individuality or that dressing modestly is only a means of control.

I have to disagree. 


Dressing modestly means that you value yourself over anything and everything else. Dressing modestly means that you want people to see you for you instead of your skin or other body parts. Dressing modestly shows that you do not need the approval of others for self-worth. 


Immodesty is usually a cry for validation, it is a way to gain admiration without anything deeper than the body you have. The only validation you need is from God and yourself. Self-respect is the only thing that can’t be taken from you.

The Truth

nursing

When you think about nursing, what do you see? I would bet that you see the quintessential nurse in scrubs coming to see you in your hospital bed, scanning your bracelet, running through your name and birth date, and giving you pills while asking you if you need anything, then rushing to the other side of the room or out the door to see his/her next patient.

Am I right?

Don’t feel bad, that’s the reality of hospital nursing. A nurse usually has anywhere from 5-7 patients of varying acuities at a time. Not only that, but most floors are understaffed in both nurses aides and nurses, which makes a regular day on a hospital floor even more hectic for everyone involved. Not only that, but the acuity of patient’s has increased ten-fold. Patients now have multiple co-morbidities, dozens of medications, IVs, PICC lines, central lines, wounds, mental health issues, etc. On top of all this, most patients think that a nurse is there to serve them snacks and drinks while being cheery and focusing solely on them at all times. No one truly realizes the stress, the pace, and the heartbreak of a nurses job.

My last and only hospital nursing job was at a small-ish hospital in Upstate New York. I could reflect and say that we were pretty lucky – during day shift at least. We would have 5 patients (6 at most) daily…with hopefully two nurses aides. In a regular day, if I am lucky, I might have one walkie talkie patient (someone who is able to get around and do things independently), a frequent flyer or two, and either 2 or 3 more patient’s who had undergone some sort of surgery. Now that might not phase those who don’t work in the field. “Oh, it doesn’t sound so bad! Why would anyone complain?” Well, let’s see…I’ll outline some of my most memorable patients as best I can…these are people I had frequently. Then I might outline an entire day from memory, if I have time. If not, I’ll follow up this post with another.

Let’s get on with it, shall we?

Patient A: mid-50’s, overweight male. This patient had had several flap surgeries on his buttocks due to pressure ulcers. Simple, right? No way. Not only was this patient paraplegic, he also had a right above the knee amputation due to his uncontrolled diabetes. He had a Hoyer lift in his room, which he never wanted to use. He was on chronic pain medications and would demand that they be given in the exact way and time that he wanted. If it wasn’t given at the EXACT time, there would be hell to pay. His glucose constantly ran in the high 300s and would refuse his insulin each time he was scheduled for them. Not only that, but he decided that he would be completely non-compliant with his diet. Every day, he would ask for two hamburgers, 2 puddings, and 2 whole milks. And the hospital kitchen staff would comply with his request or else he wouldn’t eat… or worse, throw a tantrum. Yes, that’s right, throw a tantrum. A 50-something year old man. A tantrum. He would yell, scream, grab his call bell and try to hit the nurses, grab milk cartons, spoons, plates and hurl them at anyone who upset him. On some strange occasions, he would acquire a “baby” voice and start calling several nurses “mommy” and revert to a child-like state. On top of all this, he was MRSA positive, which meant every time we would be called into his room, we had to gown and glove.

Patient B: 50-ish woman who was really a man. This was an interesting one due to the patient being very adamant that only certain nurses see her. I understand that, don’t get me wrong. She was a female with male parts – a penis and scrotum to be precise. She would tell people that she didn’t need to get out of bed to urinate because she could “position” herself over a urinal and urinate that way. Well, anyway, she would come in every month or so and we would all dread being chosen. I was chosen more often than not by her…but she had the worst attitude with everyone. I hadn’t had this patient for a while when I heard that she accused a nurse (one of my co-workers and friends) of not giving her pain medication when it was clearly documented in our electronic medical record. Well, much to my surprise – although I probably shouldn’t have been too surprised – she accused me of the same thing. I still don’t know what her angle was to say these things, but it didn’t get any of us nurses in trouble because everyone was aware of her.

Patient C: A patient who was paraplegic, in his 30s. “Fired” me as his nurse because I misunderstood what he wanted – instead of placing a bottle of lemonade in the water pitcher full of ice, I poured his lemonade into the water pitcher full of ice! How dare I? His exact request was, “Take this pitcher, fill it with ice, and then put this lemonade in the ice.” Apparently to him, this was a clear request. I don’t know, you guys tell me, was I deserving of being called an “ignorant nurse” for doing as he asked?

Patient D: This one is more about the patient by the door instead of the window, however you must understand what was going on with the patient at the window to see why I was so annoyed with the patient near the door. Patient at the window was mentally handicapped, unable to even transfer himself from bed to wheelchair. Because of this, we had to use a Hoyer lift any time he would need to be transferred. Well, this patient was finally being discharged. Unfortunately, he had just soiled himself and had to be cleaned and dressed prior to being transferred to his wheelchair. So, even though his group home caregiver was with him, she did absolutely nothing. Well, my aide and I clean him up and get him dressed. Put him on the Hoyer and transfer him to his chair. What happens? He soils himself again. Back into the bed he goes with the help of the Hoyer lift. The process starts all over. Now remember, please, that this space can’t be more than 10 feet, if that. We have 3 people in the room, not including the patient. It is hot, it is small, it is claustrophobic. With the machine in the room, it’s nearly impossible to maneuver. Well, finally, an hour later, we are all done and the patient is being wheeled out of the room. As I walk past the door side patient, he says very arrogantly, “I asked for my pain medication an hour ago.” Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t play with anyone’s pain medications – I am very aware that people need their drugs for comfort. HOWEVER, you just heard my aide and I struggle for an hour with this other patient; I’ve had not one minute to recuperate, and you are going to be arrogant about it? Please, tell me I’m wrong.

These are just a TINY TINY portion of the patient’s I’ve encountered. I have dozens, if not hundreds, more. Add to it minimal breaks (30 minute lunch for a 12-hour shift with two 15-minute breaks), nurse managers who do nothing to help but constantly criticize and assistant nurse managers who couldn’t bear to stand up to help for a second and you have only a small idea of what hospital nursing is about. The beauty of hospital nursing is usually your co-workers, who understand you, cheer you on, and hopefully help you if they aren’t swamped – which is a rarity.