See Through

the life & times of a perpetual student

Life update.

What I’m doing:

I just finished my Nursing Assistant 1 course + clinicals and now I’m prepping for the state exam. You would think that 24 skills wouldn’t be so hard to remember, but whoa. I’ll admit I went into all this thinking it would be easy. Not the case. Clinicals especially kicked my ass. Most days I came home, threw my scrubs in the washer, jumped in the shower & then took a 3 hour nap (which could have easily been probably an 8 or 9 hour nap if I didn’t have other obligations). Hard stuff, but rewarding. At the end of the day, I felt I had done things that mattered. I’ve never had a job where I felt that way (and I’ve had a LOT of jobs).

I completed my clinicals at a long-term care facility. I thought about applying to work there once I pass my state exam, but first I will try area hospitals & assisted living facilities instead. There was a sadness at the place where I worked, and certain conditions and levels of care that I did not agree with. It wasn’t ALL bad, but still wouldn’t be my first choice when I start my job search. Ideally, I’d like to be working for a hospital that would reimburse me to keep going, or provide on the job training to keep advancing. I have a few places in mind, I just need to pass the state exam so I can start applying.

I must say I was proud of myself for handing some of the things I was worried about before clinicals started. The first day was a little rough, but eventually the sights & smells were not half as bad as I had imagined. I learned little tricks, like if something stinks, pop an Altoid or put a little Carmex just below your nostrils. Does the trick!

About my husband’s health:

After massive amounts of blood work which all came back normal, a CT scan was ordered. The scan showed enlarged lymph nodes in the mesentery of his small intestines. According to his gastroenterologist, 90% of the time this means nothing. But regardless, they are doing a colonoscopy this Wednesday to look further. (And EEK. He is NOT happy about it, but I can’t say I blame him). The doctor said she’s not too concerned about cancer, but will be looking for Crohn’s Disease (which I figured could be seen from the CT scan, but I don’t know). So, we’re just hanging in there, trying not to worry & wishing for a diagnosis so we can start treating whatever is wrong.

What I’m reading:

I haven’t had time lately to read like I usually do, but I’m slowly working my way through Sacre Bleu by Christopher Moore, and Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sacks. Read anything good lately? I could use some recommendations, as soon I *should* have more time to spend with books. I miss it!

In other news:

You may recall a post from a while back where I mentioned starting a project but keeping it a secret. I think it’s okay now to come out with it because there have been results, I’ve stuck with it, and I plan to keep sticking with it. The project was Weight Watchers. I’m not going to meetings and I haven’t joined online or anything. At the end of February I bought the WW Food Companion book & the calculator on Amazon and got started on my own. Learning to count points was easy. There are plenty of sites and forums to help if I have questions, and honestly I don’t think I would have been happy trying to find time to go to the meetings.

So I’m starting my 11th week, and as of my weigh-in today I’ve lost 16 lbs! I have a long way to go, but I am feeling so much better already. It doesn’t feel like a diet at all. Normally I hate diets. After having tried and failed Atkins, South Beach, and others in the past, this one has so far been the best. I like that I’m gradually stepping down week by week. I don’t feel deprived. I’ve been more active in the past 11 weeks than I’ve been in the past 2 years, walking, lifting weights and even (gasp!) jogging short distances.

I DO think that keeping it secret in the beginning is what got me off to a good start. A lot of times you hear advice like, “Don’t diet alone, find a buddy!” but in my case, it has worked better to do it alone. Only my husband and a few of my classmates knew. I’ll be keeping at it, hopefully I’ll have even more progress to report next time.

That’s about it for me. What’s new with you?


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