You Don’t Give Up, Do You?

It’s been, actually, a week and a half after my first attempt at a triathlon. It took awhile for me to actually accept the fact I was unable to finish the race. And whenever anyone mentioned it, I think tears would suddenly, involuntarily, make their way to my eyes. But, I’m now feeling back to my old self for the first time in a while–and, the skin on my back is finally healing from the horrible sunburn I got  at Mooseman. I guess I’ll never really forget my first attempt, since I have the numbers “171” on each of my upper biceps (the numbers shielded my skin from the sun, so they are a couple of shades lighter than the rest of my arms.) Biggest lesson learned from that race, was to wear sun screen. I’m so glad I am in a profession where I can go up to a colleague and say, “Can you put lotion on my back for me? It’s killing me.” (My first night back before the blistering started, my colleague exclaimed, “Holy sh-t Molly, what did you do to your back?”) Yeah. It was bad.

Since returning from NH and the race, I’m back into training for the smaller tri’s and duathlons that will be happening this summer. I thought about giving up on the whole triathlon gig, but then thought, why? I’m not someone who gives up, and I’m not going to start giving up now. I have my whole life to train for a HIM or IM. And, maybe, when I work day shifts and a more normal schedule, it might be slightly easier to train for those races, too.

I’ve actually developed a certain enjoyment out of open water swimming, which is weird, because it used to be an insane fear of mine. Okay, the lake I swim in is small and nothing near Newfound Lake, or any other large lake that can create waves. But, a month ago, I would not even attempt to stick my head under the water with my coach. Now, I go there, and just swim. And, swimming in a lake is so much different from swimming in a pool–you don’t have to switch directions every 25 yards. You can just swim. And, I actually like that. Mind you, I’m swimming alone and not in a mass of other triathletes with the splashing and kicking etc. There’s something peaceful about swimming in Lake Onteora. And, yes, technically, I should be swimming with someone else because the likelihood of someone attempting to jump in to save my life is very slim. But I don’t mind the murkiness now or inability to see what is below me. And, it’s peaceful when it’s just you in the water…With flies buzzing around your head.

View from my ride

Yesterday morning when I went for a swim after a bike ride, walking down to the water I passed a rather large black snake and then thought, “Hmm, I wonder if there are any water snakes in this lake.” The thought creeped me out slightly, but I still went in to swim. (I guess that is a positive of pools: you have no fish biting your toes, no potential water snakes, you can see what is under the water, and if you accidentally take a gulp, the water is chlorinated and not filled with millions of lake microorganisms and fish poop). It’s kind of weird, actually. A year ago I swore I’d never swim. And now, I look forward to swimming outside in open water.

I must admit, with my schedule, it’s hard training for things. And with the temperature on the rise, it might be more difficult to train when I want to–I guess I could go back to running at 0200?!? But work seems to leave me drained. For the second time in who knows when, Monday after working two crazy nights I slept on-and-off all day. Which, for those who know me, is extremely rare because it’s a known fact that I don’t sleep. I even slept through the night, which was even crazier. Yes, this girl who does not think running in the middle of the night is crazy, does find it insane when she is able to sleep through the night.

Anyway, this morning was the first time I’ve been on my road bike (minus the short 45min ride yesterday) since the race. And I forgot how amazing a ride can be, even if I’ve done it dozens of times before. Not only that, but to be able to see how the environment has changed seasons in my short sabbatical from riding. I learnt that I need to put suntan lotion on my arms and face, but now need to remember to put some above my knees as there’s an even more distinct bicycle shorts tan line on my thighs. Oops.

Now, after I’ve had my delicious iced coffee and applied more-than-enough aloe/cucumber/camomile lotion to my healing back, I’m off to Jockey Hill to spend time with the other love of my life, my Contessa Spark.

And to get into the mountain biking mood, I leave you with some Slackstring.

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What Happens A Year Later

Life has a funny way of slipping away from you before your eyes and without you even realizing it. Perhaps for those who have 9-5 jobs and have a certain “rhythm” to life, or routine I should say, time might seem like it’s not going anywhere. With the craziness and furthest from “routine” of a life I have, time seems to fly. I’ve noticed I have no real concept of what time it is, or which day it is–excluding days I work and the time it is while I’m at work. I, like many other people in my profession, have the tendancy to get into work and ask, “Hold on, what’s the date today? And it’s Monday?”

Most of the time, the response is, “I think it’s Monday. You don’t know the date?”

And my (our) response is, “Hun, all I know is I’m supposed to be working tonight.”

Time seems to slip away from you

Your days mesh into one big blob of days (yes, my vocabulary is quite extensive, isn’t it?), weeks into months, and before you know it, it’s the middle of June. Working nights and running on a continuous empty tank does not help. My running on empty first alarmed me last Friday night when I showed upto work and my confused coworkers looked at me saying, “What are you doing here?”

“I’m working.”

“Mol, you’re not on the schedule.”

“Ohh, that sucks. Okay. I’m going. Bye!”

Don’t worry, it’s happened to other people…I think.

Monday, after working two nights in a row, I slept on-off throughout the day. I think the running on empty finally got to me, and the fact work has been insane. It seems I’ve been the one receiving insane assignments and have been the “code/rapid response person” more often than I’ve wanted. (That means, you go to all the code blues and rapid responses throughout the hospital.) Just a FYI, an ICU nurse needs to go to each code, because they are ACLS certified, so they are the only ones allowed to push the medications in a code situation. And, the last few times I’ve been “code/ rapid response person, nights at work have been nuts. I had a code and we coded  a patient– shocked her, gave epi, etc etc, and by the time I brought her to the ICU, she was PEA. Less than ten minutes later, a rapid response was called and the patient I brought up was fine. But, I brought him up at 0630, and still had to do things for the two other patients I had–excluding getting my PEA lady ready for the family to come in and see her. (Another FYI, PEA is pulseless electrical activity, meaning the heart is not actually working, but there is electrical activity that shows up on the monitor).

Insane.

As many are aware, I’m somewhat quiet. And people at work have picked up on that little fact (well, they should after me working there a year). But my inner ICU nurse voice, and frustration at the stupidity of some other nurses, actually made me raise my voice at someone during the code. I did not yell. But I swore, which I never do, except for when riding or running.

The doctor ordered Amiodarone.

“Can someone draw me some Amiodarone?” I was almost yelling. I felt someone put in a syringe and a small vial into my hand. I looked at it.

“This is f-ing Narcan. Is this lady detoxing? No! Give me the Amiodarone. The f-ing brown vial. No. no. Move, let me see.” I pushed the nurse out of the way and looked for the Amiodarone.

Okay, I felt bad, because I think I scared the other nurse. But he was giving me the wrong medications. And, I sounded mean, which I’m really not. It was just an emergent situation. And, I found my inner ICU voice.

When I went back to the floor and told the other nurses, they laughed and said, “Awww, our little Molly is a true ICU nurse when she swears and pushes people away in codes!”

I started this job a year ago in June….Around this time actually. And the things I know now compared to when I first started amazes me. The drips, the diagnoses, the treatments…My knowledge of medicine and nursing has expanded tremendously. I’m not sure it’s what I want to do forever, but it certainly has opened up my opportunities for the future.

 

When was the last crazy post written?

June 2011
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