03 December 2015

Day 21

I think I've been feeling sad.

I used to want to get out of Guam so badly before, mainly because it was not home to me. Even when I was in college, I still felt the need to get off of this rock. Things have changed I guess after I started dating Dan and after I started working as a nurse.

I realized that I *quite possibly* make more money here and that I *quite possibly* make money easier here. I have learned to adapt to the life here after living for more than eight years here. I learned how to drive and I learned to love it. I love driving to the point where I hate public transportation. Although using public transportation is cheaper and is more environmentally friendly. However, I love the convenience and the safety driving provides me with. 

Quite frankly, I don't like using the subways in NYC. It's dirty. And I have seen videos of people actually vomiting and pooing in the subways. 

Tomorrow, I'm gonna be taking my car to the dealership to see how much they will price my car in case I sell it to them. I've been trying to sell my car since August. Now it's December and I still have my car. 

Life is so, so full of twists and turns. I'm trying not to question the universe for what's been happening with mine and my family's life. But sometimes I can't help but ask why. There are moments when I look back to the days when my mom would complain of severe headaches and her blood pressure would shoot up to 200's. I should've forced her to see a doctor rather than just attempting to convince her to see one. I wasn't pushy enough. We shouldn't have waited for her to go to Philippines to be seen by a doctor. I should've corrected her stupid mentality about death. I should've lectured her on the ill effects of not taking care of her health. I should've.. 

Prevention really is the best cure. 

02 December 2015

Day 22

December 1. 

I will be turning my resignation from Guam Memorial Hospital on December 7.

Resigning on December 21.

Leaving for Philippines on December 23.

Today I took mom to her appointment with Ms. Noreen at the US Renal Care for her blood work (her Hgb and Hct had to be rechecked since she hasn't been getting the Aranesp shot because her blood count was 12.)

After her clinic appointment, I took her to Jia Restaurant at the Guam Plaza Hotel. She didn't like the food so we had to go to Taste at Westin Hotel. And she usually loves the food there. While we were eating lunch, I received a call from the Guam Regional Medical City. I have been scheduled for an interview. I applied for a job as a nurse in the said hospital on October and it's only now that I got a call for an interview. I would really love to gain more experience in the field of nursing. I would really love to but... The cureent plan is to move to NYC on January. 

What to do, what to do? 

After our big lunch, I had to update the credit card details at John's school so that they could bill his monthly tuition. 

Then I watched Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 2 with Daniel at 1530. The movie was pretty alright. I thought it was too predictable. Even my boyfriend who didn't read the book predicted what was going to happen in the movie.

Then I bought detox tea from vitamin world. Checked out headphones from micropac (but didn't buy one.) Bought paper towels. 

Took a nap (bad move.)

Now reading my book on Core Curriculum for Pain Management Nursing. 

Days off seem so short while workdays are so long. 

30 November 2015

Day 23

It's November 30! Aaaaaaahhhhhh!!!!

Day 24

Sunday. Still worked 12 hours today. While I would love to stay home today, I need to make that time and a half pay.

Today was pretty uneventful. Just had a patient (who has intermittent confusion) hit on me and even used a funny pick up line. 

I was educating him about the signs and symptoms of transfusion reactions (because he's getting a blood transfusion obviously) and one of the symptoms of the reaction is chest tightness. I told him to let me know when he's having one and he told me right after that he's "having one right now." I further inquired if he really was having one that moment and he said, "because of you." He further said, "you know what I think? I think you're beautiful." Ah. He must be on his period of confusion. 

Day 25

Worked 12 hours on a Saturday.

Sometimes I envy people who work regular schedules.

Note to self: if the doctor asks for a Foley catheter and nothing else, he wants you to prepare an entire foley kit (4 10cc syringes, saline, lubricant, foley bag, 2 irrigation kits, plus some other stuff he forgot to mention over the phone.)

28 November 2015

Day 26 (cont.)

I woke up late yesterday. It was around 2pm when I finally got out of bed. I was able to take care of the errands which I was not able to do last Wednesday such as going to the banks and getting the mail. 

My pain management review book and my fats by inspired headband came in the mail. Now I gotta plan how I'm gonna study and pass my RNBC exam, which I am probably taking when I get to NYC.

Then my brothers and I went around a lot of stores in Tumon to look for a specific kind of hoodie (navy blue, no zipper, no symbols or letters or brands. And has pockets.) Sadly, we were not able to find any. Why are teenage boys so particular about what they wear? Thanks to online shopping, I found a hoodie that matches his request. 

Then I had to go to Sheraton for David's birthday party. It was fun until the guards kicked us out for being "too loud." Said the neighbors were complaining.

Also, my friend, my very good friend, Josh gave me a Tiffany necklace. It was actually my very first Tiffany. I could afford to get one. It's just that whenever I psych myself to buy one, I always back out because I feel like I could be spending the money on something else. And now that I think of it, josh is the first man to give me jewelry. Besides my dad, that is. Neither my boyfriend nor my ex gave me jewelry. Maybe I come off as the girl who doesn't like jewelry. Maybe.

27 November 2015

Day 26

The Black Friday madness has officially begun. 

We've only gone to Macys but I think we've overspent already. That's the magic of Macy's. It makes you spend on things you think you need because they strategically schedule their deals and sales. 

I think mom still wants to check out Duty Free and my brother wants to go to KMart. Times like this make me appreciate online shopping. At least with shopping online, with a few clicks and without having to get up from my seat, I could get from one store to another. 

I'm so sleepy. 

26 November 2015

Day 27

It's Thanksgiving Thursday! 

While I don't understand the main reason for this holiday, I actually kind of enjoy it. It's probably the only holiday when I could eat turkey. In my home country, we don't celebrate thanksgiving and eating turkeys is very very rare. However, today I was not able to have turkey. I prepared pineapple glazed ham, chicken Alfredo, bought pumpkin pie, puto and Brazo de Mercedes cake, and my dad prepared sweet and sour fish. Very Filipino spread, indeed! 

An hour after I had my thanksgiving meal with my family, I went to my boyfriend's house and had another thanksgiving meal. 

So now, I am super stuffed. 

Even more stuffed than a turkey for thanksgiving.

On a sort of related note, I think green tea is glorious. I have been having a cup every day for the past couple of days. I don't know if it's psychological, but I feel less bloated since I started regularly drinking green tea. Again, it's glorious. But that doesn't mean I could skip working out. I think I need to workout extra hard possibly tomorrow.

Right now, I'm just trying to catch up with watching The Flash. My brothers and I are on our fourth episode tonight. Nerds. 

Day 28

Writing this post 11/26/2015 (day 27).

Yesterday, I woke up around 10am. Stayed in bed a bit because I was so tired from working a five day streak (4-12hr shifts and one 8hr shift.) Work wasn't so bad, actually. In my five days of work, we had a fairly low census so for someone who's used to care for 5 to 6 patients per shift, it wasn't so bad. I had 3 to 4 patients during the past 5 work days. To top it off, I did not, I repeat, I DID NOT have any admission. Yay! 

Now back to my day yesterday, I woke up at 10 am, had breakfast with mom at home, then I went to the gym around 12. Tried to run but still can't. My calves still hurt and for some reason, I feel like I'm "heavier." Although the scale says otherwise. I'm probably just out of shape or just really tired. The body can only take so much work anyway. 

At 2pm, I went to the mandatory meeting at work. Had to talk about heparin drips since the unit had issues with this particular drip. Also, had to talk about the upcoming Christmas party. On a side note, I already have my dress, which I got from Macys. (Excited to feel like Daisy Buchanan! #roaring20s) I'm still waiting for my accessories, which I have ordered online. I got a couple of fancy jewelry from Macys but they didn't have any sparkly headbands so I had to order one from eBay and it should be here any time soon. 

After the meeting, I went to KMart and picked up mom's medications. To my surprise, the pharm tech said that we have reached the "cap" for mom's medications so I had to pay full price, which was a staggering $185 for a month-long supply. 

I was going to pay mom's loan at coast 360 but I came late; they were closed when I got there. Now going to coast 360 and to first Hawaiian bank (to defer my payment for my car loan until I could hopefully sell it by December) are added to my to-do list for Friday. 

Come night time and I had to do grocery shopping with the parents to prepare for thanksgiving. Then around 11pm, I did some CEUs on pain. By 2am, I was able to meet the 15 CEUs goal for pain.

Things left to do:
Get a job in NYC
Review for my pain RNBC certification
Sell my car
Sell my other stuff that I won't / can't bring to NYC

Moving is so tedious. 

24 November 2015

Day 30

The countdown has officially begun. 

It's 0430 on Guam. I just came home from a long 12 hour shift. Yesterday marked my fourth work day. One more 12 hour shift and I'll finally be off from work.

Day 30 was mainly just work. But before I went to work, I woke up early (much to my surprise) and was able to go to the banks, as originally planned. After my bank-errands, I came home and tried to take a nap, and my effort was futile. I tried making Tagalog bisteak, which turned out to be so salty that it almost tasted like adobo; much to my dismay. But hey, that was my first try. I could only get better after that experience of cooking bisteak. 

While at work, I tried to finish my reading for "management of patients with stroke." Sadly, I was not able to finish it. 

On a side note, I realized why despite working four days in a row, I don't feel like my whole body is hurting yet. I think I have been lucky. First of all, I have been getting patients who are not very needy; except during my second day when I had two unstable patients. Secondly, the unit census has been low. I have only been getting three to four patients mostly; I usually get five to six. Third, I have been lucky (and smart) to not get admissions. 

Now I just need to survive another twelve hour shift later and I can finally be off. 

PS. I hope the guy who started emailing me about my car decides to buy the car. 

23 November 2015

30 Days on Guam

I got off work last night before 12 midnight. Now I'm in my bed (it's 0409 Guam time) and I have been tossing and turning; unable to sleep. I have already tried doing things to help me relax and eventually fall asleep. I have read a CEU about management of patents with stroke, I have watched three vlogs from my favorite YouTube vlogger. I have planned my day for tomorrow; to which I am certain I would not be able to follow unless I don't sleep. Lastly, I have also purchased things from eBay that I might use for the upcoming unit Christmas party. 

I guess I'm feeling anxious. It finally dawned on me that November is almost done. I have about a week left for this month. That means, it's almost time to pay the car which I have been trying to sell since August (the month I came back from my trip to NYC; also the month  I was supposed to start planning my move to NYC.) The end of November also means it's almost December, to state the obvious. 

When mom and I came back from our trip last August, mom wanted to move to NYC as soon as possible. She planned to move by September. Then September became first week of November. And now it's November 23 and we're still here. That's because she decided she wanted to celebrate Christmas, New Years and her 50th birthday in the Philippines. Truth to be told, leaving after all the festivities are done is the best plan. But mom acts on impulse and she plans and re-plans things without listening to the opinions of others. Or to simply say it, without listening to ME. 

As I have stated earlier, I'm feeling anxious about this day. It's November 23. My flight going to my home country, the Philippines, is on December 23. Exactly a month, or 30 days from today. Before December 23, I have to be ready to leave. But I'm not. I still haven't sold my car, I don't have a job waiting for me in NYC, I haven't gotten rid of a lot of my things here, among other things. 

So now I have decided to write out how I'm gonna spend my last 30 days on Guam. Hard to believe that after 8 years of living here, the "Guam chapter" of my life is about to end. Kind of a bittersweet moment but I guess I'll just take whatever life is handing to me right now. 

I'm the girl that *can* be moved. (Reference to the The Script song.) 

23 March 2015

Nurse problems

So yesterday, a patient's watcher / daughter went to the station to ask for help. She was looking for her dad's nurse so that the nurse could help reposition the patient to prevent his decubitus ulcer from getting worse. So I stood up and looked for said nurse. Unfortunately, the nurse was taking her dinner break and her nurse aid was helping another patient. The patient has been in our unit for a couple of days now and I know that his daughter has filed numerous complaints about the ward. So I decided to help reposition this patient even though I try to avoid going to this patient's room (so to avoid being complained about lol). I asked for another CNA's (certified nurse aid) help because the patient is quite heavy for me. 

We went to the patient's room and the daughter asked us, "Where is his nurse?" The CNA and I told her that his nurse is taking her dinner break / eating her dinner. Then the daughter told us, "She just came in and she's already on break?" I was quite taken aback by her response... And quite infuriated as well. It wasn't just what she said that ticked me off but the way she said it and that annoyed / smug look on her face. She came from a wealthy family so I guess she's used to having slaves attend to her whenever she wants them to, whether they're eating or sleeping.

Anyway, I told her that the nurse has been working since 3 in the afternoon and that she "did not just come in to work." Mind you this was all happening at 8pm. The CNA and I repositioned the patient and left the room. 

I told the CNA about how I felt when the daughter started questioning about the nurse taking her dinner break. Apparently, she was as surprised as I was.

I don't know if a lot of people know this but nurses are people too. And just like everyone else on this planet, we do need to eat as well. At work, we are entitled for a 30 minute break. That time is automatically deducted from our schedules. That means, regardless if we take our break or not, we will not get paid for that 30 minutes. 

As a nurse, I do try to enjoy that 30 minutes of peace. If my patients call, the CNA will attend to them if they could. If it's an emergency (eg. the patient is having chest pain, shortness of breath, etc), then I will put my dinner break on pause and attend to my patient.

However, if the CNA could attend to the patient or if the what the patient is calling for could wait a little bit (such as repositioning), then I would enjoy my dinner.

Sorry not sorry. 

21 March 2015

RN: Year One

It's been a year since I last posted here. It's been more than a year, to be honest. So here's a quickie! ;)

I am happy to say that I have been working as a registered nurse for over a year now in the Surgical Unit. A couple of days after I quit my job as a Macy's sales associate, I received a call from the hospital and got hired.
Me waiting for the call
(HR called everyone on the same day around the same time)
BF's arm after getting our blood work done.
Did I mention I had a pregnancy test done on that day?
They had to really make sure I wasn't pregnant before I get my chest x-ray.
That is, by the way, my Leadership Project before I graduated in college.
New RNs IMED orientation
And of course, my favorite - overtime! As a new nurse, I feel like I do not make much, especially when I compare my salary to the nurses who work in the states. Even though Guam is a US territory, and our currency is the US dollar, nurses who work here do not even make half of what nurses in the states make. Hence, the only time I feel like I actually make money is when I work overtime and weekend, because on those days, I get time and a half. I think the most overtime I had was 16 hours in ER. Although I have stayed in the hospital for 24 hours before when one typhoon hit Guam and we had to stay in the hospital as "personnel on standby," for which we were paid minimum wage.

Life as a novice nurse was not easy, and I guess the work never actually gets easier. The learning never stops. While I think this part demands another blog post, I'll write a little bit about my experience as a novice nurse in the past year. 

I have made mistakes. I am not perfect. There are times when I have to stay back because I did not manage my 8 hours wisely. Looking back, I think I could have avoided making mistakes and staying back at work had it been easy to delegate tasks to the unlicensed staff (such as nurse's assistants and couriers). But delegating is a challenge in and of itself. People are resistant and do not understand that although RNs have fewer patient load, we have a bigger scope of responsibility. Believe me, I could complain about this topic for an entire day.

I have also been kicked by an agitated patient and had gone to the emergency department for evaluation after I got off work. That was one of the most exhausting days at work because I had zero sleep and I was literally passing out in one of the ER beds.

I have been written up.

I have quarreled with my coworkers. I have also triggered one coworker to resign (long story). 

I have been yelled at by a homeless and jobless patient. I remember her yelling at me, "I'm paying you for your service so do your job right!" That was one of the countless moments at work when I got so angry and frustrated.

I have worked back to back. I got out of work at 7:30 am and came back at 3:00 pm on that same day.

Okay this part is getting a little too long and I could still go on...

But I need to cut this short.

As nurses, I feel that we are undervalued, so it really makes me happy when my patients appreciate what I do for them. A simple thank you, which is hard to come by, is enough to lighten the load of the shift. Although I guess I'll never forget the day when two of my patents gave me gifts on the same day. The cupcakes and calamansi tea were given to me by an older male patent. He told me I'm in such noble career and that he thinks I am set for life. He even invited me to go to his dress shop and said he'll give me good discount. Lol. The fruits on the picture below were given by a patent with advanced cancer... I didn't want to take them but she really insisted. She even told me to give one of the coconuts to my boyfriend, who also happened to take care of her. Times such as these make me happy that I have become a nurse.