Sunday, November 6, 2016

A Little Life Update

As I begin to wrap up my last five weeks of my first semester of nursing school, I figured I was overdue for a blog post. Though I should be studying for my test tomorrow, this rainy weather, a cup of vanilla coffee, and my sleeping pup have convinced me to write instead.

Life in Galveston has improved significantly. Just a few updates: I love my bible study. There are twelve girls of all different health disciplines. It has been such an encouragement to gather with them weekly for good fellowship, study and prayer. I have also found a church family, which I am growing to love. 

Though I am commuting to church, it is so worth it to me. Throughout this process of looking for a church home, I have found the importance of welcoming strangers/visitors. To all of the people at Clear Lake Church of Christ who went and still go out of your way-thank you. You have no idea how good it feels to visit a church, and then two weeks later return to find people looking for you by name! How intentional is that?! I have been so touched by their kindness. 

I love my "group" of nursing friends. Though we don't do much outside of class and study, they have been such a support to me. Nursing school can be hard, especially when your program crams it all into four semesters. Thankfully you find friends to lean on. Friends to vent frustrations to, eat lunch on the floor in between lectures, and friends that encourage you to keep pushing on. Not to mention, we get to compare clinical stories. I've got some great ones people, like GREAT stories! That's what happens when your clinical rotations are with prisoners.

Speaking of clinicals, I truly love clinicals. I don't look forward to getting up early in the morning, but honestly who does? I spent the past four weeks on a transitional care unit (rehab unit). These types of unit are far and few between, though if I had to bet most hospitals would be taking strides to incorporate such units to their facilities. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this unit. I love the pressure to work as a team with multiple health professionals as we made plans of actions for our patients' best care. My patients are so kind, and encouraging. I know that most people don't think of prisoners that way, but I truly have enjoyed working with them. They are so patient with me as I am learning to assess, and are always eager to be my test rats. I couldn't have asked for a better clinical placement. Additionally, my four weeks in transitional care led to a friendship with a nurse.  For some history, this nurse has not always been the most accepting of nursing students. I was determined to break down her walls, and I spent a lot of time in prayer about it. What do you know? In four weeks we became good friends. My clinical instructor was amazed at the bond we formed. This nurse challenged me to grow. She pushed me, and made me think. She made me research and plan the next steps for our patients. She will never see this, but I will always look back at my first semester of nursing school and think fondly of her. 

I am also so thankful to have grandparents who come and stay with me. Living alone can be quite lonely. Thankfully, I have wonderful grandparents who set time aside to come stay with me.

NOW- to the hard parts.
I don't want to give mixed signals. Everything has not been great every single moment. I think if I had to choose what has been the most difficult challenge of my first semester of nursing school, it would be battling my health. After three cases of strep throat, I was diagnosed with chronic tonsillitis in the beginning of October. However, I am unable to have surgery until December 20. Otherwise I would have to withdraw from school. It may seem silly to you, but having a sore throat every day stinks. Not being able to breathe when my tonsils become inflamed, or even eat because they hurt so bad- now that's a challenge. I've been living on pedialyte, because when it's hard to eat or swallow, you tend to get dehydrated quickly too.  I will be so glad to have my tonsils out, but I am not looking forward to spending my break recuperating. Thankfully I have family and friends who are willing to take care of me. 

Other than my rotten tonsils, life is great. My dog is still....well she's a puppy. But she is a great companion. We are still working on simple commands; turns out she is just as stubborn as me. The good thing is that she likes to run. So we run ALOT, well unless my tonsils are inflamed. 

God is good good to me. Lately, I have been reading through the OT. Just today I reread the story of Ruth. I have always loved this story, but today it touched me in a new way. In some ways I have felt like Naomi. I have tried to push people away during this chapter of my life, but thankfully I have many "Ruths" who have not left me. They have traveled this road with me. They have not left me, and they know who they are. I am also so grateful to have a God who goes before me, and who is with me every single moment of the day. As I tell my friends in nursing school, I may fail a test, a lab, or flunk out (not really-don't panic people I'm making good grades), but I know that at the end of the day I'm still going to Heaven. Remember- Jesus is ALWAYS king, and God is always with you.