Rebuilding my life one section at a time

 Education:

     As you know, I am a full-time student at American Public University. I am in the BS Public Health program. I am taking two classes every eight weeks. That translates into working 35-50 hours per week on my studies. I have completed four courses, and my current GPA is 3.9. One of my goals is to maintain my GPA at a 3.9 or higher throughout the continuation of my program.

I always knew that online college would be a challenge for me. Having ADD is a challenge for any student in a regular classroom, but the problems of an online class are tenfold when you have ADD. A person must be very organized, focus and have the ability to keep to a timeline.  When you are an Online learner, you give up the commute and hours sitting in a classroom listening to a lecture and taking notes and spending hours in the library or at home reading, studying and completing assignments. Online learners must teach themselves the material given by the instructors. We rely on weekly forum posts for classroom dialog, hours of reading and pulling as many resources as possible to connect the concepts to make sense.

Over the years of being a student, I have been able to adapt to any situation being a student. I have sought out and used many different resources for study tips, organization tips, note taking…I could go on. The system that I find works best for me is to use a combination of old tech and new tech. I use pen and paper, printed notes, highlighters, textbooks, whiteboards. I also use my iPad, pencil, ebooks and online with my laptops. Many look at my system and say “that’s too much”. My mind has to use all of those things to learn. That has been the key to my success.

My current term started on Nov. 6. This term has been a more significant challenge for me than the last two. I am taking Chemistry with Lab and Food and Culture. The Food and Culture class is a combination of Psychology, Sociology, and Nutrition all mixed together. So far the week has been introduction and reading. I would say that the reading assignments this week are fascinating. I loved when I took both Psychology and Sociology since I find the study of both fascinating. Take that and mix it with why we eat, what we eat

The Food and Culture class is best described as Psychology, Sociology, and Nutrition all mixed together. So far the week has been introduction and reading. I would say that the reading is very interesting. I loved when I took both Psychology and Sociology since I find the study of both fascinating. Take that and mix it with why we eat, what we eat.

Chemistry with Lab online, yes that is exactly what I said. I know I have said for years that I would not ever take Chemistry. I will admit that I am scared out of my mind to not be successful but I am up for the challenge. Taking a Lab class that is full hands-on via computer is strange but so far it is interesting. I have been spending many hours this week getting not only organized for my class but reading, watching lab videos.

At this time this is all I have for an education update….Stay tuned… more updates to come.

 

April has been full of great happenings…

Hello TEAM!!! Happy April to you all…

So far the month has been filled with great and exciting things happing for the Holmes family…

Happy 40th Birthday to my world, my one and only… Steve!

Steve turned 40 on the 21st! We had a wonderful celebration over the weekend. We got 1/2 bushel of beautiful blue swimmers, that were steamed to a beautiful red color then sprinkled with yummy old bay seasoning. We had corn on the cob, steamed shrimp, and ice cold beer. The next night we Grilled steak with veggie kabobs and introduced Chris to Hopkins dairy ice cream…YUMM.  The most important thing was we had good times, laughs and made many memories. On Monday night had a wonderful dinner with two of our closest friends and added more laughs, and good times was had by all.

man and woman standing side by side
Happy Birthday to my love
bushel basket with lid
ymmmm.. this is filled with cooked crabs for Steve’s 40th Birthday!
Steve showing off his Birthday crabs…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

man in red shirt eating a crab claw, smiling
Chris enjoying his crabs on Steves 40th Birthday Celebration

Another grand celebration this month is we got a visit from Chris. He has spent several days with us, prior to heading up north for work.  We have traveled all over DE and MD for the past few days. Lots of smiles, laughs, good times and memories. From Thrashers at the beach to yummy crab cakes MD style to hot steamed crabs and beer. He has been able to spend lots of time with nana and mom that has been great. We missed having his beautiful wife Lisa with him this trip. She makes our family complete!

 

If you know much of anything about me, you know that my brother is not only my biggest supporter but my hero! I do not know where I would be without him or his guidance. I do my best to make him proud each day. We are on opposite ends of this great country but I know that with a moment’s notice, he will move heaven and earth to be here if I need him.

 

Now, in true Cheryle fashion… I have saved the best news for last… see what good little things you get if you read to the end of my post….

 

picture of graduation announcement, picture of girl in cap and gown
Mischief Managed!! I am finally GRADUATING!


First, I am officially announcing my GRADUATION from AACC.

On May 25, 2017, I will walk across the stage and receive my Associates Arts Degree from Anne Arundel Community College. As you know, my dream is to become an RN, sometimes our dreams have to be put on hold so we can full fill our destiny. This is not the degree that I wanted when I started, but I earned it. I dedicated the past 5 plus years to my education, and I will take this degree with a smile knowing that hard work, determination, and dedication made it possible. I am very proud of myself for bing able to check this box off.

 

university seal
BS Public Health

My other news, that some of you have been patiently waiting for…I am proud to announce that I have been officially accepted to a Bachelors of Science program at American Public University in West Virginia. I will be pursuing my BS in Public Health. I start classes at the university in July.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking… “she wanted to be a Nurse?” Yes, I did and YES I DO. Once I earn my BS Public Health I will be able to apply to a BS Nursing program. I will have taken nursing classes so I will have that under my belt. Once I have my BS Public Health and my BS Nursing and my Masters degree. I will be able to pursue my dream of becoming an educator in the healthcare field.

The universe threw me a curve ball, so hit it and have to go where it goes. I will not give up my dream or my goals it will just take me longer than I planned. I will be taking a full course load each term. I know the commitment that I am signed up for and I know that I will be able to do it. I’ll just have to remember the 3 D’s: Destination, Determination, and Deliberation….oh wait that’s how you Apparate. Well, I feel that the same things apply to school.  “one must be completely determined to reach one’s destination, and move without haste but with deliberation.” according to  Wilkie Twycross, Ministry of Magic the official Apparition Instructor.

I’ll just have to remember the 3 D’s: Destination, Determination, and Deliberation….oh wait that’s how you Apparate. Well, I feel that the same things apply to school.  “one must be completely determined to reach one’s destination, and move without haste but with deliberation.” according to  Wilkie Twycross, Ministry of Magic the official Apparition Instructor.

The biggest thing now is coming up with the funds to pay for the next step in my educational journey. I will do what I can, and make it happen somehow…

 

I have been slacking a little bit on blogging, for that I am sorry. I have had several things in the works and working very hard on them. I am very busy at work, climbing the clinical, balancing life, career, family and self. The balance is nothing new, it’s just a new balance.

Well, my friends, for now, that is all… I will leave you with all of this goodness.

Don’t forget to leave comments in the guestbook, let me know you have stopped in to say hello!

 

 

fight another day…

I have often said “the one thing that I want people to say about me, is ‘because of her, I did not give up'”

The past few months I have wanted to give up each step of the way. I have spent hours, thinking about what I am going to do with my future. I have spent hours and hours trying to re-invent myself.  I have looked into different careers. I have spent hours trying to figure out how I can have the future that I want. I have spent hours thinking “will I be happy doing something else?”

I was reminded most recently, that someone, in fact, thinks of me as a hero. Someone that I meet by chance and a friendship bloomed. We have never met face to face but I consider her a friend. I have such respect for this person, she is a beautiful person both inside and out. She has been through tough times and fought tooth and nail to accomplish her goals. Most recently she had to make a very tough decision. When the decision was made she reached out to me, for words of wisdom, advice, and comfort.  In one way she and I have walked the same yet different path. My heart breaks for this young soul, for I am truly sad that she is going through this tough time.

I also, want to tell her “I’m sorry, I feel that I failed you…” I was supposed to succeed. I was the one who was to beat all the odds. I was the one who was not supposed to give up, just keep getting up and fighting. Hero’s are not supposed to let people down.

I know that in my heart that I did not personally fail her, and maybe she does not agree with me, and yes I know that many of you reading this who personally know me do not agree with me.

I will continue work hard to beat the odds, get up each time I am knocked down for you, my friend and for the others who look up to me….I will fight another day.

Heart broken all over again….

I just got the call I wanted more than anything…the call that I waited months for. I got a call to interview for a New Graduate position, on the observation unit at the very hospital that I work for. It was one of my top 3 positions I wanted more than anything. I guess with everything that happened I forgot to withdraw my applications. I am glad that I missed the call, but simply heartbroken after hearing the message. Now, I may not have been the first pick, I probably was one of the last. To me that does not matter, what matters is they wanted to at least give me a chance. I now have to find the strength, courage, to call them back and tell them “I’m sorry, I did not graduate from the top nursing school in MD. I failed by 5 points. Good Luck in your search…thank you for considering me.”

I can feel the dark cloud over my head, the cold rattling sound, the same feeling one gets when 100 dementors are looming overhead. The feeling that all the happiness in the world has been taken from you. The pain from the knife that has been cut so deep that the wound may never heal. I am looking for the silver lining. I am looking for the positive spark of light, I am looking for my patronus to clear the path. I just don’t see it nor do I think I can make the spell work properly.

 

If I could give any advice to students, future students, and their families. I would say this find a way to financially support the student so he/she does not need to work during school. I know that it is possible, I am not saying that it is not possible. I am saying that to simply be able to focus all your time and attention on your studies and school will make the biggest difference.

 

In the days, weeks, and months ahead.

 

Often I think about how funny life is. I reflect on the choices I have made in the past. I think about the people who have come and gone from my life. I think about the people who have come and gone from my heart. I think back to the days when life was carefree and easy. I remember the laughs, inside jokes, and the times that made me feel alive.

I often think about the people in my life past and present. The people who have helped to shape the person that I am today.  It does not matter how long or short someone touches your life, the moment that you meet them, you are forever changed.  Every day you meet new people, in line at the bank, standing to wait for your coffee. Even if you don’t share more than a glance or smile. When you are driving to work, you stop at red light and glance to your left and right (I know you do, don’t deny it). You think even for an instant “hmm he needs a hair cut” or “that music is too loud” or “heeeelllllooooo hotness”. The thoughts form even if they are not in your conscious mind. Then the light turns green and you are off again going about your day, moving on to the next person.

The people that you work with, customers that you take care of, even if you move on never to think of them again, they impacted your life or better yet you impacted their life. The kindness that you showed, the way you made them feel. They carried something with them from your interaction.

Thinking about the people who have impacted my life over the past 39 years…

The special people whom I hold near and dear to my heart. The ones who are no longer with me, but will never really leave me. I can still hear the voices and the laughter of our final conversations we shared. Our final goodbye’s, promises that were made and the ones that did not get the final words spoken to me. The lessons that I learned from the aging men, who fought for our freedom. The stories of lost love, forbidden love and the children they left behind. The funny stories that I will never forget and the history lessons I did not even know I was learning.

Those people who are special enough to find a place in my heart.  Imagine tiny drawers with initials on the front of each with a small golden keyhole.  Each person that you let into your heart earns a drawer and a golden key.  The golden key is special to each person who possesses it. Some drawers I  had to lock knowing it could never be opened again,  while some are locked not by me but the key holder.  The hardest part is when the drawer is left open and the key is lost. It’s like an ache that will never go away.

I started to think about the people who make up my technicolor quilt of life. The living, breathing hmmm that surrounds me. I have bright vibrant patches, and dark gray ones alike. The patches on my life quilt make me who I am today and who I will be tomorrow. It keeps me warm when I am cold, the rain off my face when it is storming and wipes the tears from my eyes.

I think of the people whom I have cared for over the many years. The faces, families young and old alike. I think about how the short time they spend in my care somehow made a difference. I look at the people who have told me “I don’t know how you do what you do” I think of the people who have thanked me for being me. I think of the people who have changed me. I think of the people who have walked away from me, with no reason or excuse. Why do these particular people come to mind? That is easy, they are the ones who hurt me the most.

I think of the people who have changed me. I think of the people who have walked away from me, with no reason or excuse. Why do these particular people come to mind? That is easy, they are the ones who hurt me the most. I have had many people that I have let get too close to my heart and broke it without even realizing it.

I think of my mentors, professors, teachers who believed in me, supported me. I think of them because I know that I let them down. I think of the friends that I made along the way of my journey that I let down, the same ones who don’t know what to say when they see me. The ones who just can’t find the right words.

I just need to find away to….

 

What I should be doing…

Something happened today that I feel I need to talk about. Each morning when I wake up I check my calendar (you know how much I love my calendar and planning)

written on today’s date written in “purple” pen was the following:

Last Day of Clinical at AAMC

Last Day in WHITE

Final exam Monday!

I should be preparing for my final exam. I should be done with my last group project. I should be getting ready for my final convocation. I should be preparing for the biggest exam of my life. I should be going on interviews for nursing jobs, and thinking about what the future will hold. I should be preparing to start my BSN program. I should be ready to have my husband come home for good. I should be ready to finally start our adult life together.

Today, I should have been excited to say that it was my last day of clinical. I should be posting pictures of my last day wearing my “whites”

The words that are written above I wrote on May 4, 2016.  I finally got to do most of those things. When the depression took over, I felt like I was blocked, cut off from what I was supposed to be doing.

Today, almost one year later from writing those words, I wake from my slumber each day hoping that the nightmare is over. I wake each day hoping that the past year has been a dream. I wake each day hoping that all of this is for a purpose. I have dedicated my life to others. I simply just want to know what my purpose really is, and that all of the heartache is for a reason.

The 5 exam points that failed my family…

As I sit here waiting….I think about the 5 exam points that failed my family.

I have been told, God closed this door because it not the path I am suppose to take. I have been told, to refocus on what I really want to do. I have even been told that, well this means that nursing is not for you…

5 exam points is what I lacked to earn the grade of B. 5 exam points is what kept me from walking across the stage today and graduating.

In the year of 2016, my Senior semester of nursing school, I survived 2 car accidents (one that I could have died), surgery…yet each day I smiled. On a daily basis I deal with PTSD, severe depression and anxiety…yet each day I smile. I was handed court papers stating I was being sued over an accident that was not my fault, that was to take place the week prior to my first exam…yet I smiled. I worked full time the entire time in nursing school went days without sleep, yet I smiled. I have not lived with my husband for over one year so I could focus on school, yet each day I smile. I dealt with stress of bills I could not pay, fear of a pending law suit, and the knowledge that when I was done I would need to deal with my second accident, yet each day I smiled. I came home each night to an empty home, eating dinners at my desk, yet I smiled. I would wake each day at 0430, only after going to bed at 0130, and yet I smiled.

I spend hours, morning, noon and night studying, while even not realizing that I most likely have undiagnosed post concussion syndrome. I deal with aches and pains from my injured body, yet I smile each day…I dealt with disability accommodations that were not met, yet I smiled…I took care of myself as best I could knowing that the finish line was in sight, yet I still smiled. I held back tears and the overwhelming feeling of loneliness that I felt from missing my world, the one who completes me, yet I smiled. I hid my feelings of sadness, fear and emotion so that the world would only see my smile, reminding myself each day…”you are almost done”.

I fell 5 exam points short…5 exam points that failed my family. 5 exam points that would have made the difference for the future for steve and I. 5 exam points that missed the “minimum required exam points if 188” making all other work, assignments and projects null and void. 5 exam points that should have earned me a B, but more importantly my future.

As you sit and read this post, know that I do not blame anyone for my 5 exam point failure. Not anyone who was going to help me study, anyone who simply knew I would do it, not anyone who…does it matter?

In 2008 I woke up one day, and decided to go to nursing school. Since that time I have experienced more than more 30 year veteran nurses. From CCU, surgery, med-surg, hospice, illness, wound care, ventilator care, PT, OT, rehabilitation, ADL’s, respiratory, medication issues, trauma, orthopedics, GI… I have spend 45 plus hours at the bedside holding the hand of a very sick patient not knowing if he was going to live or die. I have held the hand of a man telling him it was ok to let go..I sat for hours ina hospice room watching and waiting for the final breaths to come, and the pain to stop… I could go on… What do I lack? 5 exam points that gives me the official education to say, I am a nurse graduate.

All through Nursing school I earned A’s and B’s…except my one last class that shows a D, because of missing 5 exam points. I went from a B to a D. I can not change what has been done. I can not go back and redo anything.

I do not know what my future holds. I do not know where I will go from here. I know one thing, will not give up on my goals and dreams. My entire adult life has been chasing after a dream, sacrificing everything I have to make a better future for steve and I.

Compassion, dedication what does it get you theses days??? Ask me I know…disappointment, resentment and anger.

I sit here on this cold chair watching the nurses go by…i wonder if those 5 exam points would have made me a better nurse? More compassionate nurse? Better skilled? I don’t think so. I know that when I watch my loved one being cared for why I don’t first ask…”what were your grades in nursing school?” I mean should I? When you are about to get an injection of antibiotics that can heal you,do you ask your RN for a transcript of her grades? How about when you are about to die and need emergency care? Do you stop the treatment and ask? No….

Now, if you are asking yourself…”5 exam points…what’s the big deal…” I’ll tell you… I now have to repeate the entire nursing program. Not one class, not one semester…the entire program. I can earn a 1 year certificate and sit for my LPN boards, work in a doctors office or nursing home then apply to a RN program…to join in the 3rd and 4th terms again. Then, sit and take the RN boards…By the time I do that, my classmates will be graduating with their BSN degrees, and I will be about 44 years old ..starting over. So before you sit and judge me, for being angry, bitter, or sad…know that my entire future has been taken from me because of 5 exam points. I do not know if I have the strength left to fight another day…My fight song may have ended.

I will continue to smile each day, but know that on the inside, I will forever be reminded of my failure of 5 exam points.

 

 

What you really learn in Nursing School

human legs with running shoes on running up steps with words: "I may not be there yet, but I'm closer than I was yesterday"
I can finally see the finish line. The end is near, I am in my last 4 mile stretch…

 

I am not done fighting. I until the last points are handed out… My journey has been filled with delays, roadblocks, success and tears. I have wanted to give up so many times. It was the love, support and encouragement from all of you who are on my team that has kept me going…

Along the way I have made some incredible friendships. I used to hear nursing students before me say “its the hardest thing you will ever do”. “I can’t talk about school… don’t ask. (as tears would form..) “I am sick all the time, I have gained more weight than ever in my life” I can’t eat a thing, I have lost so much weight from stress”.  All the statements’ are true. Those who are answer the calling to become a nurse are among the bravest and strongest souls I have even met. We may not run into the burning building, but we are standing along side of it with the bandages, to care for you. We may not run into the firefight, but we are there with the IV fluids, and gauze to stop the bleeding. We may not protect and serve, but we are there to hold your hand as your take your last breath ensuring you are not alone. In the end, I always hear this:

“It’s all worth it. You will have days you hate it, then you will get up for the next shift and you will make a difference in a persons life, and you will love it all over again…” RN, 33 years.

 

“When you get to the other side, you will see how fast it went..” RN, 5 years

 

“The time, money, tears, and stress…worth every bit of the struggle. It has made me the Nurse I am today.  I would do it all over again..” RN, 20 years

 

I have also seen some of the most determined people do some amazing things. Nursing students never give up. We may fail. We may repeat. We never give up. We find the plan B, C, D, E, F… until we achieve our goal. When we do fail, after the initial shock and overwhelming heartache has passed. We refocus our goals, and figure out what is next for us on our life journey.

I also have learned one great thing about nursing school. You are connected to strangers who become family. You are put on the path with another person who will change your life as much as you will change their life.  I just said this today to someone who crossed my path, who is family for more than one reason. I am thankful for the friendships that I have made. You learn very quickly when you are a Nursing student. Each day you attend a lecture, or walk into your clinical site. The person at your left, and your right may not be there the next time you go. But the friendship you form will last a life time, no matter what you will always stand by that person and they will stand by you.

“People are put on our path of life for a reason…I am glad that our paths crossed. They will continue to cross. Friendships make the beautiful Technicolor quilts of life” Future Nurse

 

Have a beautiful day…Be kind to yourself and each other…

 

13 more weeks to go

Hello Team!!

I am taking a quick second to let everyone know whats been going on…

Last week we started the new term. My final term, I will add. I was welcomed to my new nursing class with open arms. I am the quiet person in class at this point. They will find out soon… :-). We have hit the ground running with Lectures, paperwork, lab and tomorrow we have our clinical site orientation. I am excited to say that I will be starting on the critical care unit for the first 3 weeks then I will go to the tele floor for the remainder of the time. I will be happy to get through critical care, for me, it causes more of an emotional response.  I know that I will be just fine. I am oddly calm about this term. I feel deep inside my soul that I am going to be just fine. I say this prior to my first exam mind you…but still, I say it. I know that I will be OK.

Every day, every night I keep myself going. Some days I feel that I am simply going through the motions. Some days I simply am ‘sleep walking’ through my day. I keep going. I know that my little family depends on my success. I will not let them down. December graduate here I come..

 

Who are you?

What a funny question to ask. If I was to ask you ‘Who are you?’ what would your response be? While you think about that for a second or ten.  I will first ask myself that same question: ‘Who are you, Cheryle?’

I am first and always my own person. I am a daughter, sister, wife, and best friend. I am a nurse in the making. I am the protector of those whom I love. I am the one who will give you the last 3 dollars in my pocket. I am the one who will stand up for myself but rarely do because when I do, it causes problems. I am the one to push myself harder than any other. I am the one who has to work harder for what I have. I am the one who feels that if I am right about something or feel passionate about something then I will not back down. I am also the one who will tell on myself, and be the first to apologize when I am wrong. I am the one who will often take one for the team, but make sure that the whole team learns the same lesson. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and my suit of armor under my clothes. I believe in the magic of the fairies, the teaching of buddha and have a relationship with God. I am a loyal friend till the end, and yet not the one you want to cross off your list. I am an open book, and will tell you anything that you ask, but you have to ask the right question.

I am wise beyond my 39 years and have been through more in the past 10 years than most people my age. I have seen what drugs and alcohol can do to a person. I have lost too many friends to the demons that live within. I am a confidant, counselor, the positive light to shine in the darkness so a few could find their way. I am the friend that never forgets how special our bond is. I am the friend who holds on to the memories, so that even if your forget I will be able to remind you.

I am the nurse to tend to his wounds, the hand to hold when he needed me the most. I am the  one at the other end of the phone when it just is too much to take. I am the voice in his ear when he can not speak. I am the vision in his sleep when he can not see.  I am the heart that loves him the most.

I am so much to so many people. I am the one to put myself last. I am the one to put my needs on hold to make sure others are cared for. I am the first to recognize my own demons and know how to keep them away. I am the one who is willing to walk away if it saves another heartache for another person. I keep all the secrets. I hold the keys to the locked drawers of my heart. I am the one to cry in the shower when I am lonely. I am the one to dance in the living room when no one is home. I am the one who will do what I can to make someone else laugh.  I am the class clown, the fixer of the electronics, the holder of random trivia.

I could go on..my point is this. Before you judge me, before you make assumptions about me…you really should get to know me.

Now, who are you?

 

The final leg of my journey.

I have given all that I can give. I have accepted the truth of my situation. I have accepted the new way my body moves, feels, sounds. I have accepted the path that I am now on. I have accepted the view from my window.

I move forward with a smile on my face. I move forward with the knowledge that this time is the time. I move forward with the knowledge that this is the “Do or Die” so to speak time. have accepted the cards that life thrown at me. I will play this had until the very end.

This is my final leg of the race. I have been running a marathon relay race with myself. It really started long ago, but the past 3 years have been the hardest of my race. I have faced obstacles, challanges, and pain. I have faced each roadblock and found a way to keep going. I can not only see the end to this journey but I can feel that this will be the end of my journey. I will be able to finally close this chapter on my life and start a new.

The next two weeks are my last before my term starts again. I have my schedule planned out by the hour of each day from now until then delicately balancing work, study and self. I have prepared myself mentally to start the sprint on August 29th. When I wake up that morning I will start running fast and hard.  I will not look back, I will not look left or right. I will have my head down, my eyes focused on knowing the end is around the corner. I will have my days and nights planned. I will have each hour of my day filled with a task to be completed. I will check off each task, each hour, each day. I know that no matter what I will keep going. When I feel my body, getting weak. When I feel my muscles screaming for oxygen and rest. I will answer the call with “almost done”.

I will hear the cheers of support from all of you as I pass. I will feel the love and support from you along my journey.

I know that this will be it for me.

 

Happy June 2016

Happy June Team!

I know it has been a hot long minute since I have posted. I have been a little busy. I will be posting again on a regular basis. If you follow me on FB then you know that I promised a BIG announcement tonight with this post…I will do that I promise.

I also want to take just a minute to acknowledge the 49 lives lost in the Orlando shooting, and the other people who where injured. I would like to offer my deepest sympathy to the families, friends and loved ones who are left behind. I would also like to acknowledge the family who lost their son in the tragic accident at the lake.

Now, a few updates on me:

My recovery has been long and hard. I have worked very hard everyday, pushing myself to the point of exhaustion and pushing myself harder physically and emotionally than I should. I have days that I can do nothing more than lay in bed with ice on my ankle and knee after work. I still am thankful to have my life and the people in it. I will continue to push myself each and everyday until I am fully healed.

I have been working full-time since I went back to work. I am still not able to work “full duty”, but I know that within a week or two I will be cleared to return to patient care. I was asked last week “Do you like doing this?” (meaning working as a secretary again) I wanted to think about my answer before answering. This was my response “I am thankful to be working, and this is good brain work, but I miss patient care. I get to interact with the visitors more now, but I miss really getting to know my patients and caring for them.” I said this with a big smile, and the person looked at me and smiled and said “Good, thats what I want to hear” One of the things that drives me to be a nurse is taking care of people and I miss that part of my job.  I will be back before I know it.  One of the things that drives me to want to work with new mothers and fathers, and take care of tiny humans is because nothing is more important the first few days as a new family. Getting to know the dynamics of different families, seeing the love on the faces of the new parents as they look at the newest addition to the family. One day at a time, I will make it back to where I am suppose to be.

I have been able to officially move back home. It was almost 4 months to the day of my accident that I was able to finally return home. I have had to make a few adjustments, but for the most part I have been able to be fully functioning at home.

Steve came home with me for a few weeks. We have been trying to have some type of normal. It will be short lived, and we will need to readjust to life without each other for the next 6 months but for the last few weeks it has been nice. I have been working dayshift so, that will be another adjustment for me, but I will be ok.

I’m sure that you have figured out that I am driving now. I still have times of anxiety, with being in certain situations but I am determined to move forward.

I am still going to Physical Therapy 2 days a week. I have finally been able to progress to strengthen exercises on my knee and starting on my ankle. I have had to wear my walking boot again while at work for one week, and now i will wear it alternating days. The purpose is to get more of the swelling off my ankle. The delay in treatment, and the misdiagnosis of my ankle and broken let caused me to have a few set backs but I am not letting it slow me down.

I will be getting myself prepared for my final term starting the first week of July. That means that two-three days a week I will be devoting time to studying. I will not be enjoying much fun, sun or time off for the rest of the summer. I will be working, studying, PT or sleeping. 🙂

I am going to starting posting again on a regular basis, on updates, and other topics.

Thank you again to everyone who has helped us over the past 4 months and thank you for those who continue to read my blog…

see you in a few days…

Shining Star

I could not be prouder of the Spring 2016 Nursing Class of AACC!!
Some of the graduates from this term started nursing school with me. They have over come trials and tribulations and never gave up!!

There is one special person that started the journey with me. We have stood at each other’s side each with one goal in mind. From prerequisites, to nursing school application. We have been through a lot together. We have suffered loss, accidents, laughs, adventure, and everything in between.

The day we received “THE EMAIL” (the one all nursing students wait for….) It welcomed us to the nursing program. Feels like only  yesterday. I remember getting the call “I Made it” the words of my best friend. The very next day, I called her with the same message!!

We moved through the program together. Each hitting our own speed bumps along the way. Always encouraging, cheering, and pushing each other to the next challenge. We celebrated our triumphs together and cried tears of saddness for each other. “We can do it!” “We will do this together” was our motto to each other.

My journey hit a roadblock this term. I spend my semester learning how to walk again. How to live within the limitations of new self.  Most importantly I spend the term dealing with my own feelings on not being able to finish this term. Each day, I told myself it was ok. Each day I told myself I will have my time.

Her journey continued on through the term.  She spent her semester studying with a new partner, writing careplans, prepping for projects, and passing exams.
We talked almost everyday. She included me in her days at school what was happening. I cheered her every step of the way. Giving her encouragement and support. She listened to me ramble on about PT and what doctor said what. What new “tricks” I could do. We always made sure each other was doing what we were suppose too do.

The day came that a text popped up on my phone, it simply was a “number”. I knew what it meant. How many times had we sat and added her points for the term. We both knew exactly what was needed. She did it!! Her final exams are done. She is now officially done with nursing school.

It was just about a week later. I got a call from her hearing the excitement in her voice on the phone “is this real?” tears of pure joy rolled down my cheeks. I wanted to scream, yell “Woot woot” from the top of my voice. I wanted to make an announcement for the world to hear. I could not be more proud and happy!!  It was yet another accomplishment. She had checked yet another box off on her journey.  She has over come obstacles, her own personal struggles and truly deserves this time to shine! I am happy to stand at her side, just one step behind while she stands in the spot light.

I know that my day will come. I know that I will accomplish the goals that I have set my mind and heart too. I know that when my turn comes I will look to my side and see her standing, at my side while I stand in the spotlight.

On the 26th of this month, my whole day will be spent holding back my own feeling. They will be put into a box, not to be shown. You see it’s “Pinnjng day” this day belongs to her, and my friends. I will be watching from the front row as she walks across the stage to receive her nursing pin.  I will be sitting in the audience that same night that she walks across the stage in her cap and gown. I will be cheering louder than anyone else. I know the hard work, dedication, sacrifice she has put into her journey…this is her time to shine as bright as she can!!

I feel that this is part of my journey, something that needs to happen. If more people in life could be happy for others, show support in times of great need and in times of pure joy our world would be much brighter.

I feel that in our own way we are all shining stars. if each star was to shine super bright at the same time we would all be blind from the light. So every now and again, we need to let individual stars shine  as bright as possible, while the other stars support, cheer, and love that one shining star.

The nursing community is lucky to be welcoming this shining star into their ranks!!

I attribute my success to this – I never gave or took any excuse. -Florence Nightingale

My message to her:

You did it!! Congratulations! ???Shine bright!!

❤️Shirly Heardford Doe!

Continue reading “Shining Star”

Nursing class of 2016

THANK YOU

For my card and gift cards, Nursing Class Spring 2016.

The following message is for you… 

RN banner

In 62 days the Spring Nursing Class of 2016 from AACC will be anxiously waiting to have each of their names called. They will rise from each seat and walk to the stage, with big smiles on each face, and joy in each beating heart. They will walk across the stage, and receive their Nursing Pin. The family and friends in the audience will cheer, whoop and clap, some may even jump up and down. The end of a journey, that required blood, sweat, and tears. Hours of reading, note cards that would stack 2 ft tall, poster boards, med cards and NCLEX books. Each of the students who worked so hard to achieve this goal. Some had to overcome many obstacles just get in the door. Some had to work full time, take care of the family or a loved one all while working long hours on care plans, sleepless night studying slides, and answering hundreds, yet thousands of NCLEX questions. 

 

They have earned the right, to enjoy every second of this moment. Each one of them has done an incredible thing. You see Nursing School is one of the hardest challenges you could ever take on. To earn the title of registered nurse, you have to have dedication, determination and work hard. All of the students from this class fit this description. 

 

I’m cheering you on! 

 

my decision…

January 19, 2016, I started my 4th and final semester of nursing school, counting down 16 weeks until graduation. I marked my calendar, May 26, 2016, Nursing Pinning and Graduation with bright pink colors! I was going to graduate; I was going to start applying for jobs. I was in preliminary conversations for a nurse graduate job starting in September; I want this job more than anything. I had already decided to start my BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) degree program right after I took my NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) this summer. I know where I want to attend, and the commitment it will take for me to do it. I have also decided that I want to earn my MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) MSN is an advanced-level postgraduate degree for registered nurses and is considered an entry-level degree for nurse educators and managers) that I can use to become a nurse educator. I had everything planned out, and I could see this entire plan happening. A few people told me whom I would share my plans and dreams with, “why don’t you graduate first” or “how about you get to the end of this semester…” I was determined to prove anyone wrong; I was determined to prove that I could do what I set my mind to.

The semester started off, and I was getting organized, getting into the groove, setting up projects, getting into groups, even taking a tour of the clinical facility. It was my first weekend of work, after the start of the semester. I was my first of 16 Saturday mornings that I would leave work, go home to my home, study some, get some rest then rise for work that evening. It was the first of many Saturdays that I had done over the past two years.

This Saturday was different. I took a different route home, which changed my life. As I lay in the Trauma center, I knew I had to email my professor. I knew in my heart that I would have to withdrawal. I knew deep down in the pit of my stomach, I would have to wave the white flag in the air. She was extremely kind and got all the information that I would need, over a few days we communicated by email. I knew it was my decision and only I could make it. You see we were one week prior to our first exam, so I could still withdraw from the current term. I was told I would have a place for me in the fall. The pain, my broken, bruised body was feeling was nothing compared to the pain in my heart as I typed those words to her. Telling her of my decision to withdrawal and come back to finish in the fall. As I lay in the hospital bed, alone in the dark I cried the biggest, most hurtful tears as I slipped into sleep. It was several hours later, that I woke from a nightmare, confused on where I was, what was happening, and even who I was, that I all came rushing back to me. I was hoping that the nightmare I was living through was finally over and that I was home in my bed; safe, warm and whole. As I looked down and pressed the call button for my nurse to bring me pain medication I could see the purple, black and blue marks on my skin. I could see the large, heavy, black cast boot on my right leg that gently cradled my broken foot. I could see my injured knee; swollen, tight with fluid and blood. I could not move my right shoulder without great amounts of pain; my thumbs still were not following commands that my brain was giving them. The nightmare was real, and then I remembered the email and the decision that I had made just a few hours prior. The sobs started all over again; large tears rolling down my cheek, my breathing starting to be erratic…

When the sun rose into the sky that morning, I was at peace with the decision that I had made. I knew that it was the right thing to do. I needed to be sure that I would be successful this last term. I also knew that concentrating on healing my body so I could return to my life was very important. I needed to be able to work, so I could attend school and achieve all of my goals. The next thing I needed to do was tell 4 of the most important people in my life. I was able to do it, with some more sobs, but I could be a little more controlled since I knew it was the right thing to do.

Roueche Excellence Awards: Rebecca Tolley -AACC

So Proud to say this is one of my Professors from school.  Professor Tolley is a role model, friend and an amazing educator. Congratulations, a well deserved honor.

My last two years in the nursing program at Anne Arundel Community College, I have had to overcome many obstacles, but if it was not for wonderful Professors who have cried with me, encouraged me, challenged me and simply been there to guide and teach me, I would not be student that I am today.

I have one more semester and I will be able to complete my degree. The accident robbed me of completing my last semester this spring, but I will not allow it to hold me back to completing my degree this December.