Friday, March 25, 2011

Oh dear.

So, I'm sort of laughing because I just read my last entry, and the "sidenote" was actually about the guy that I am now apparently I did find someone that appreciates my quirkyness and my weird pick-ups, not to mention that he is the most amazing guy I have ever met. Literally. Best guy ever. It's pretty great being with someone that actually treats me how I deserve, appreciates me, and wants to be around me. It's also pretty great that he is defying every negative thought/feeling I've had toward relationships, since my last one was a major bust. Seriously, every time Jared says or does something, anything, I am reminded at how awful my ex-boyfriend was, but also how amazing Jared is. I think it's a good thing that he found someone who had such a bad experience because now I won't step all over him...I can easily see a girl taking advantage of how nice Jared is, and since I can respect it and I know he is super rare, I can appreciate it a million times more than the average girl. Sigh. I really like him.

Anywho, I just wanted to update and comment on how soon after my last entry, all of what I said came true. Ohhh dear. :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I am totally awkward when it comes to boys I actually like.

I am really just...not smooth. Seriously sometimes I say something to a guy, and I think, "it's not wonder guys don't dig me!" I tend to say really awkward and stupid things when I like a guy or ambinterestes. Fir example, I ran into a hot doctor at work once, and the only thing I could think to say to him was "rough day??" because he seemed frazzled. Needless to say, he looked at me strangely, and just walked away.

And I don't blame him! I can be super awkward sometimes. The joy in all of this, or maybe I should say joys because I can now see multiple good things about my weirdness, is this: 1.) I am blessed in that I don't really get embarrassed. Sure, there have been a few times I have wanted to hide under a rock after something I have said thatbi shouldn't have, but I certainly don't dwell on it, and I brush it off...sometimes I even learn from it. Yes, me, learn...weird I know. 2.) I think my awkwardness will be a positive quality in my future hopefully forever relationship. My dream is to find a guy that is attracted to the silly things I say when I am flustered or nervous. If anything, he will think it's cute that he has this effect on me?

It's funny because I can totally flirt and say all the right things with a guy I'm NOT totally interested in. It's also funny because I can plan what I'm going to say to a guy that I am interested in, and what actually comes out of my mouth is literally the most opposite from smooth that a person can get. I used to get really frustrated that I can never seem to say anything that I planned on...but if I did that, I wouldn't be me. Seriously, whenever I tell my friends about my most recent so-not-suave endeavor, the reaction is ALWAYS: haha Kelly...that is so you.

So this is me embracing my horrible luck with being smooth with guys, and here's to hoping that one of these days, I will find someone that, too, embraces me. All parts of me.

Sidenote: for those who are wondering, the inspiration from tonight's entry was from a conversation I had with a coworker that of course did not go even remotely as planned. And this is me being totally okay withnit...and even laughing about it. Cheers.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The end is near...

So, I'm sitting here watching 30 Rock (Season 1, just started), and uploading cds to my iTunes. Super interesting right? No. Not interesting. I will say the most interesting thing about this is that I just realized I watched the entire season 2 before I watched season 1...silly Netflix, it put "Recently Watched: 30 Rock Season 2" BEFORE season 1, so I just clicked on that and kept watching. Eh well.

I have to say, I have the worst case of senioritis ever. I have NO interest in school this semester, and I have yet to actually pay attention in class. This is what happens: I go in and sit down, I play Angry Birds on my phone, I check Facebook on my phone, repeat. Then I leave. Seriously. The sad part is that I did pretty well on my first 2 exams so far, which is no motivation to actually study. I will probably have to find a new game to replace Angry Birds though, as I have beaten almost the entire game with 3 stars on all the levels. That's what happens when you make time to have on your hands.

As today is Wednesday, that means I did nothing all day (pretty much what I'm doing now), Jazzercised, and went to dinner with friends from Jazzercise. I love Wednesdays for this very reason! It makes time fly when I know that I have an AWESOME "Hump" day. I really truly hate when people say hump day, so I'm not totally sure why I threw that in there. Eh well. I have to say, the conversation at dinner got a little scary when I started to realize how soon real life begins. I've been in school for 19 years, what the heck do I do when I have no more school to go to? I'm not sad about it, at all, but it's just hard to know what to expect. Life without school. Even saying that sounds really bizarre, but I am really excited to start working and get rid of school. I can't wait to just: Work. Live. Sleep. Party! That's pretty much the plan of my life after school...

But seriously. It's scary to think that I, Kelly Doyle, will be a Registered Nurse, working at SOME hospital somewhere (in New York) Thank God I have 3 more months to come to terms with that little fact. Also, I have really been questioning what kind of nursing I want to do. Working in Labor & Delivery last semester really threw me for a loop. I've always wanted to work in Pediatric Oncology, but now, I kind of want to work in L&D. The issue with that is that it's a specialized kind of nursing, so if I were to start with L&D, that's probably the only thing I would do...forever. And I don't like the sound of forever. Working in the Float Pool at NCH has allowed me to see all the different aspects of pediatrics, and to be honest, I really like the following: Medsurg (ortho, post-op,GI) and Renal. For whatever reason, I really like Renal (kidneys). The issue is that I have been starting to really enjoy watching the kids get better...not seeing them for weeks/months on end, and knowing they are going to go home, better, healthy, happy, etc. I'm not saying I don't want to do oncology at all (afterall, there is a reason it's been laid on my heart all this time), I just am willing to explore other options. I'm confusing myself as I speak (type), so really, I just need to get a job. Period. I don't want to work with adults at all, so PLEASE GOD, please please please, allow me to get a job in pediatrics. Please. Please God. Amen.

I'm getting really discouraged with this whole weight loss/exercise thing. Really, I enjoy Jazzercise so much, but I just am not able to go as much as I want to. I'd like to go 4-5 times a week, but with school/work, I am only able to go 2-3 times. I just feel like progress is slow and although I am feeling good most of the time, the numbers are just not going down like I'd like. I seem to be kind of stuck around the same number, each week a little above or a little below. I just want a big chunk to fall off, you know? 5 lbs in one week would be nice! Haha. I just need to keep reminding myself that: I'm still doing better than I would have before, and I FEEL better, which should be a lot of what matters anyway. Also, I don't have a ton to lose, but I'd like to get to my goal, as I know how great that would feel! Eep. I just need to keep trucking.

This entry really served no purpose other than just getting my thoughts out and saying exactly what is on my mind right this instant. I just had a random memory from when I was in Spain, traveling to Italy to see a good friend of mine, and I totally missed my flight. I'm not totally sure what made me think of it, but I remember sprinting through the airport, as I had overslept (or just mis-timed my getting ready/trip time), and had to wait until the evening to get there. I love to fly. I can't wait to go to California in a few weeks with my parents and brother! It's going to be pretty flipping awesome. I love airports, flying, traveling, adventure...eep! California. I'll see you soon!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A little of everything

So, I'm sitting here watching American Idol with my mom. Now, before you judge me, just know this has always been one of my guilty pleasures, and every single year, I think, "This year, I'm not watching it." And then every year, I end up watching it. Sigh. I will say that over the last few years, it's more that I'm half-watching...especially now that I have important things to do on my Macbook, including, but not limited to, catching up on my celebrity gossip ( and Facebook stalking. All of which are activities I probably shouldn't admit to. Well. Too late for that.

I just read this book called The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters (I won't go into summary details, as there actually were not any true or outstanding adventures in the book), which inspired me to start writing again. It's easy to get too busy or too caught up in life to remember what you love to do on an every day basis. As for me, I like to write and I like to communicate, so I've decided to go on a few conquests: 1. I am writing letters now to some of my friends (whoever wants letters from me, really), 2. Writing in my journal again. I used to write every night, and since last year (since I got really super crazy busy), I haven't written. and 3. Blogging. Basically, I've forgotten how much I love to write, and how I love to just get my feelings out. So here I am, getting my feelings out. And thinking (which I do a lot of).

Ok so, funny story: I just looked up one of the American Idol contestants on Facebook (Putting two of my guilty pleasures in one, imagine that), and we totally had a friend in common. I love small worlds.

Moving right along, I had such a fantastic day today. I had the day off school today (Wednesdays are the best), so I slept in and started the day off with an hour-long conversation with one of my closest and dearest friends. I met an old friend for coffee, and it was so great to see someone from high school and catch up. Then, after Jazzercise (I'll talk about that sometime!), I went with two great friends to dinner. I just love my friends, holy crap. I say this ALL the time, but I really just feel so blessed and like it's impossible for anyone to have better friends than I do. True story.

I am so freaked out about being done with school soon. It's ridiculous to think that in just 4 short months, I will have a Bachelors of Science and Nursing. BSN BABY! I don't know what to think about that, except that I am so super excited for my future. This is my year, and I can't wait to see where I am going to be in a year. I'm planning on moving to New York with one of my best friends, and initially, it just seemed like an idea, but the more time that goes by, the more it seems so real. This is really going to happen. I've been praying about it a lot and just thinking that if it's supposed to happen, it will, and so far, everything seems to be falling into place and pointing in that direction. I'm going to move to New York! Holy crap.

So many people have said "Oh okay, I'll believe it when I see it." when I talk about moving, but you know what? I am the type of person that is determined and I follow through with plans. So guess what doubters? You can shove it, because I'm doin it. When is a better time to relocate than when I am a single, new nurse looking for a good time. Woo!

I went to the Reynoldsburg Senior Center yesterday for clinical, and it was so great. First of all, I just love old people. Second of all, it was so much fun getting to know them, hearing their stories, and being able to tell them about myself, as well. We did an hour-long exercise class with them, and holy crap, they really worked a girl out. Who knew senior citizens (the oldest guy was 93) could do lunges, squats, sit ups, and running in place. Not. Me. It was so stinkin awesome!

Ok I have a whole schpeal (shpeal?) I want to go on about the medical field, which I promise I will, I'm just way too tired to get deep right now (um...that's what he said?).

Well, let me know if you want letters from me. Leave your address in my mailbox. I've already written one, and I have some really really great and cute stationary, so I am looking forward to using it! I can't promise they will have anything interesting written in them, however. That's a complete toss-up. Adios, amigos.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I want this.

So, today I had the most amazing patients ever, and I wanted to take this time to explain what a good patient is.

First of all, I am doing my professional semester at a labor & delivery unit in Columbus, and I absolutely love it. There is just something about this area of nursing that is so great...For the most part, this area of nursing is happy. It's pretty much the only field where you come in and your patients are healthy, the babies are born healthy, everyone is happy. I know there are definitely circumstances in which things are NOT happy, and I know I will come across that. However, it is so different going into a place where your patients are happy to see you, and happy to work with you. Anyway, I am not discounting the fact that there will be experiences that are sad, negative, unhappy, etc.

I walked in today tired, as always. Every night before clinical, my goal is to go to bed early, and then in actuality, I go to bed at/around midnight. When you have to be up and at 'em for 12+ hours, 5 hours of sleep does not suffice. You'd think I would have learned my lesson by now, but each and every time, I go to sleep late and wake up counting down the hours before I can sleep again. Sad right?

So, I was tired and expecting a long day, as my hospital is incredibly slow and does not always guarantee that we will have patients. Well, luckily there was a 5am induction, and we got to continue the induction as soon as I came in. Let me just tell you, I was so excited when I realized how awesome my patients were going to be. As soon as I walked into the room, they were cracking jokes with me. Not only did I notice how happy she was, regardless of the fact that she was in such a high amount of pain (she had not yet had her epidural), but I also noticed how happy and excited they were about having their first child. It is so common for the support person to be so nervous or not feel as involved, but this husband was by her side the entire time. I have gotten so used to the husband taking the back seat (not in a bad way, but I mean...the mom is the one giving birth, so it's easy to forget that it's just as special to Dad). This dad was by her side, cracking jokes as well. Not only were they so easy to get along with, but their love for each other was so clear and inspiring. He did little things like rub her leg or kiss her hands, and at one point when he had to step out of the way, she said, "Baby why are you all the way over there?"

It turns out they had been together for 7 years, and still, their love was so strong. The entire time she was laboring, he was helping her push, holding her, showering her with words of encouragement, all while keeping an upbeat attitude about the whole thing. For whatever reason, I got really emotional (ok maybe we can blame PMS a little bit) and was so inspired by the love they had for each other. Not only was she making jokes in between pushing, but she made sure he stayed involved in the entire process. She WANTED him by her side the whole time, she didn't just feel obligated to include him, or leave him out.

Too often, I get down on myself for being single (Um hello, I haven't had a boyfriend in 3 years), but seeing couples like this remind me that the wait is worth it. This couple made me so excited to see what is in store for my future. They were so much fun, they clearly had worked hard to make their relationship work after all this time, and they were definitely a pair that I will probably remember for the rest of my life.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Last first day!

Tomorrow is my last first day of school, EVER! Holy crap, I don't even know what that means. I've been in school for so long, I can't believe it's so close to the end! Lately, I've been SO excited about the thought of graduating, being a real nurse, and getting a job in New York City. I'm not sure if it's hard to get a nursing job there or not, but I guess it wouldn't be any harder than it is in Columbus (which is SUPER hard right now).

I've never liked school, so to think that of all people, I had to do an extra's kind of funny. I am never going back to school after this. Ever. And I can't wait! I just am SO excited to start my new life...The plan is for my best childhood friend, Kait Gunn, and I to move to NYC after I pass my Nclex. Anyone who knows me (once again), knows that I've always wanted to live there. I don't think I'll live there forever, but I'm certainly planning on living there for awhile. It's so exciting to think that I'm going to start over, once again. Kait and I think and talk about it all the time, if only it was sooner!

This is the first summer I haven't had class, and I have taken full advantage of it! I have been making the best memories this summer, and I honestly couldn't have asked for a better time. I went to New York City, I went on a cruise with my good friend Jen, I went to camp...Man. It's been great. Since this is my last year of college, I plan on continuing the awesomeness that I've experienced this summer, and I am going to have the best Super Senior year ever. :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Costa Rica/Panama Journals

So, while we were on our trip, we were asked to keep a daily journal. I am a huge journaler, so this wasn't hard for me at all. I thought maybe I would post it on here so you could get a glimpse of what we actually did every day, and how I felt throughout the trip. Enjoy :)

February 26, 2010

I love to travel, so the airplanes and bus rides didn’t bother me a bit. We left Detroit at 3:30, and were in Costa Rica by 10pm. Not too bad! We got a few hours of sleep, then we trekked to BriBri on a bus. Apparently, our village is after a river that is currently way too high for us to travel across. I was disappointed because I wanted to meet them and start helping with our medical supplies. We made the best of our setback, and we found a park with a beach and hiking trail. I swam in the Atlantic and tried to climb a palm tree. I like our group, and I am getting to know a lot of people. The food is pretty good too, but I am sort of disappointed because I wanted to try legitimate local food, but I know we will still have that opportunity. I am just looking forward to doing some medical stuff tomorrow.

February 27, 2010

So, after an adventurous, million-mile hike up a mountain and through the rainforest, I am finally back in my room in the village, falling asleep to the sound of rain. I want to live somewhere with no cold, and open roofs everywhere. We saw the village and just hung out some today. We got to swim in the river, which was pretty awesome. I love adventures, and am trying to take every opportunity I get. After a long day of food, exercise, and talking, I am finally lying in bed. So far, I’ve gotten to know a lot of people and am excited about it. This trip has definitely been a learning experience so far. It’s only just beginning.

February 28, 2010

So, we finally got to do the clinic today, and it was slightly terrifiying. I felt so nervous doing vital signs, which is so stupid because I do them all the time. I was also really frustrated because I couldn’t understand a lot, and I feel like I should know way more Spanish than I do. The kids were so cute, too. I just felt like we can’t really do a whole lot to help them. I wish we had the means! It was an awesome experience, and we saw 14 patients in 2 hours. Not bad at all. It’s been good, I just am still nervous, I think.

Well, today was a lot of sitting around, and I was kind of sad. It felt sort of wasted because we only did a total of 2 hours of work. Normally, this wouldn’t bother me, but since this is a service trip, I feel pretty useless. I’ll be honest, it’s pretty frustrating because had I wanted to sit around in warm weather, I would have gone on a cruise or to California with my parents. Except, I don’t think they would have taken me. Luckily, it seems like we’ll be doing more clinics tomorrow. It really is beautiful here, and it’s been a good trip so far. I guess I just wish it was more organized. No one ever seems to know what’s going on. I do love “Tico Time” though. Everyone is so laid-back and there are no worries. One of the Costa Ricans, Daniel, was telling us about how he went to class late, and his professor let him take the exam another day. How awesome is that? That’s so chill. Sometimes it can be hard being a relaxed person living in an uptight atmosphere. Being here reminds me that life is not over if you don’t go somewhere, have a strict schedule, or are always busy. I enjoy being laid-back, but it’s easy to get sucked into the busy, crazy life. I go through stages where I don’t want to be a nurse, and today is one of those days. It was so hard being put on the spot, in Spanish. I just felt like I was no help. Blah. I just start feeling like I’ll be the worst nurse ever.

Food of the day: Fried bread, fried plantains, chayote, and monkey tail (Plant, not the real thing).

NOT food of the day: Warm plantain smoothie…sick.

Oh, and I tried fresh coconut, even though I despise coconut. It wasn’t bad.

March 1, 2010

We went to the clinic this morning, but we only had 2 patients. I guess I just feel like we haven’t gotten to do a whole lot. Oh well, I think we will have more opportunities in Ustupu (Panama). Tomorrow, we wake up early to go on the canoes. I don’t know why I feel so exhausted, but also like we haven’t done a whole lot. So why am I so tired?! Probably because we get up at 6am. Gross. At least we got to siesta yesterday! We had spam this morning, and I just couldn’t do it. I am always willing to try new things, and I have at least tried everything so far. We also had awesome fried bread and banana bread. For lunch, we had mashed potatoes, rice, plantains, and beans. We sure eat a LOT of rice and beans here. However, I’m not sick of it yet. I guess that’s what’s making me sick though. I don’t think it’s the water, otherwise I’d probably be a lot more sick. I’ve been thinking a lot about when I studied abroad. I am beginning to regret not living with a Spanish family because my Spanish is in the shitter. It’s so frustrating not being able to communicate, when I should be able to. We just have such a huge language barrier, and I feel like it’s having a negative effect on our trip. I really want to work on my Spanish when I get home because I’m completely losing it. We also learned how to make chocolate from scratch. It was so yummy. We also went on a short hike and saw medicinal plants. I love how everything is natural and they have natural cures for everything. It’s so interesting to see how they live and are so adapted to such a simple life. I am almost jealous of how simple their lives are. They live to work and reproduce, but you can tell they are perfectly content where they’re at. Also, I love how the women are so happy to serve and help us. I guess everyone is, but it’s really neat to see how the village’s project is run by women. They are just so giving. They really will do anything to make sure you’re happy. I just feel really tired and dirty right now. All my stuff is so dirty and smelly. I even took a shower today.

March 2, 2010

Today was definitely the most frustrating day yet. We left Yorkin, and I was already irritated because of something someone said to me. We had an hour to spare in Cauhita, and we found a pizza place. Well, he told us it’d be 15 minutes, which turned into an hour and a half. Well, we were supposed to be back at our bus at 11am, and at 11:15 we were STILL waiting. Almost everyone gave up, even though we already paid. Well, Dr. Stam walked up and told us we had to go, and he looked in the kitchen and they were JUST making 2 of our pizzas. So we just grabbed what we had and left. It was just super frustrating. When we finally got back on the bus, I was so irritated, I just told everyone not to talk to me because I knew I would say things I didn’t mean. Haha. So, we found out that our flight tomorrow is at 6am for half of us, and it’s based on alphabetical order, so I get the 6am. Cool. Then, the $21 dinner. I just really hope I don’t run out. Anyway, the Yorkin people gave us hot chocolate with breakfast. Yum! Then, I left a bunch of shirts, sheets, shoes, towels, etc. I knew they’d get more use out of it. IT was kind of hard getting rid of my Race for the Cure shirt, but it 1. Smelled RANK (along with the rest of my stuff) and 2. Would help them more than me. Crossing the border into Panama was cool. We literally walked across a super creepy and sketchy bridge. I like Panama City so far. It reminds me a lot of New York City. I am excited to see more of it on Sunday. Also, I am totally jammin’ to Billy Elliott right now. I love this soundtrack. Anywho, I am exhausted and will get about 4 hours of sleep if I go now. One thing is for sure: I am not ready to go home, and I love this…but I am EXHAUSTED already.

March 3, 2010

We left for Ustupu so early, I think I only had 4 hours of sleep. Lauren and I were on the early plane, and we got here around 7am. The island is not like anything I have ever seen, and it is pretty hard to describe. The houses are all grass huts, bamboo and wood fences, and everything is extremely congested. There are no vehicles, so the streets are really narrow. The chief greeted us when we first got here, and he spoke in their native language, Kuna. Then, the chief’s second man translated into Spanish. Luckily, I understood a lot of it because it wasn’t really translated into English for us. I can’t believe this trip is half over, but since we’ve been with the same people and traveling so much, it feels long, too. So, then after the chief greeted us, we had breakfast. We’re eating at this restaurant near the water. They are all super nice, but the food grosses me out. I think it’s because I see how dirty everything is, and I know they use the water to swim, poop, and shower. Then, they drink it. Sick. So, I’ve been eating the food, but I haven’t felt well. You know when you go to a potluck at church or something and there are certain things that you just won’t eat because of the people who made it? That’s how I feel about the food. However, I am also convinced we have a lot of gross food things going on at home, we just turn our heads. It really has me thinking about all the crap we put in our bodies. Anyway, we went to the clinic and met the 2 doctors and 3 nurse assistants. It is pretty well organized and “nice.” I mean, compared to what we have, no, but it’s better than I expected. As soon as we got to the clinic, Kate had to put an IV in a baby 9 months old because she had diarrhea for 7 days, and was just NOW being treated. Diarrhea is the number 1 reason for infant mortality. Kate did an amazing job. I really hope I do well as a nurse because I am still feeling pretty dumb and clueless. The rest of the morning, we separated our supplies, bagged meds and vitamins, and just organized everything. The clinic is closed from 12-1p, so Lauren and I just walked around. In such a small village, we managed to lose everyone I our group. Not sure how that happened. The kids here are so excited and ran up to us the whole time. I walked around holding a little girl’s hand all morning. So cute. And they ALL yell “Hola!” every 2 seconds. I love it. It’s hard because they don’t really speak Spanish, so there is even more of a language barrier, but Christa made a good point. She said it’s kind of nice when you never speak the other person’s language, because then it’s no one’s fault when you can’t communicate. Plus, they are so happy we’re here, they don’t care. We went back to the clinic and tried to help, but there are so many of us and not a lot we can do. Other than height, weight, vitals, etc., they are there by appointment to see the doctor. I think that’s cool. The only semi-exciting thing was when a little girl was brought in super bloody with a head laceration. I freaked out, and was like “GUYS! GUYS!” GUYS!” but it turns out it was only a scrape, it just looked a lot worse since head injuries bleed so much more. I think I would try to be more calm and helpful if I were to do it again. Anyway, after that, we went to lunch and met up with the rest of the group who had just arrived. It was kind of nice getting here first because we were able to get settled. Lauren and I passed out after lunch. I was so exhausted, and so hot though, and my sheets were soaked even with just a bra and underwear on. I literally stayed in the same position for 3 hours. The place our room is in is the doctor’s quarters. There are 5 of us nurses up here. It’s nice because we have a light, shower, and bathroom, but nevertheless, it is kind of creepy. Everything is just old. Also, the walk back here in the dark was SO creepy. Lauren and I held hands so tightly. It was just so dark without electricity and people still creeping about. Also, the plane we took was the SMALLEST plane I’ve ever taken. It’s all so creepy. I’m slightly terrified.

March 4, 2010

4 more days. Alright. Today was one of those days that just threw me over the edge in all kinds of ways. It started out pretty great. After breakfast, we went right to the clinic and set up. Some of us worked on the returning clients for the study, some worked on triage. I helped the nurse do height/weight and vitals, mostly on babies. After awhile, we decided to start giving out the toothbrushes and toothpaste we brought along. I am not joking, I have never seen such a mob. At first, only some kids came up, but after a few minutes, there were hundreds of women and children pushing, hitting, grabbing, etc. We also gave out balloons and gum. At one point, Christa and I were completely lost in the crowd. I have not laughed that hard in a long time. It was so fun even though I know tons of people got way more. I’d rather give them all out and know they’re exposed to it at all. So then, we hung out for a while then went to lunch. Apparently, the Bio students and Dr. Stam assumed we weren’t going to the beach with them, so they all ordered sandwiches and left without us. Sometimes I feel like they forget about us. So we ate real quick and then got ready to meet them at the beach. Little did I know the beach was on an island pretty far away, and since it’s been storming/raining, the waves were crazy. Not only did I feel like I was going to vomit at any second, but I was pretty scared for my life at one point. So, we get to the other island, and all the other students left as soon as we got there. There were these bugs, like gnats, that were stinging us and getting on our clothes. And then it poured like crazy. We had fun while we were there, and some people brought snorkeling gear. I saw some coral and fish. The boat ride back was MISERABLE. I probably would have thought the whole thing funny, had I not felt so nauseous. I was squeezing the side of the boat so hard, and I squeezed my eyes so tightly. I was just praying over and over. Luckily, we made it back safely! Dinner was…an experience. They literally fried whole fishes: eyes, scales, and all. I’m all about trying new things, but I was a tad grossed out knowing the fish came from the shit-water. They literally have outhouses overlooking the water. Sick. I ate it, but it had little meat. We also had fried plantains. Yum. I’m gonna miss those with ketchup. Yumm. I’ll have to figure out where to get them/how to make them at home. After dinner, we all went to a congress meeting. The chief invited us all to introduce ourselves, tell how we got here, and how we’ve liked it so far. I was so terrified, but I spoke in Spanish! Honestly, I was SO scared, but proud of myself. I think it was one of the coolest things I’ve done here. “Soy Kelly Doyle. Soy un estudiante a universitat de Capital en los estados unidos. Me gusta la gente y los ninos mucho y me gusta todo. Es muy bien aqui.” Woot! The chief is so BA in his tie and fedora. He left us all pose and take pictures with him, too. It’s funny how short everyone is here. He was like 5” tall. Everyone is like a miniature person. Lauren and I went back to the balcony and laid in the hammocks. Everyone chatted for awhile. Chris and I talked about how we need to see each other more. Lauren and I were, once again, terrified on our way home. It’s so creepy to hear all the “Hola”s and have NO clue where they are coming from. Anyway, the people here are incredibly welcoming and gracious. They will do anything for us. I especially love just watching and playing with the kids. There is an absurd amount of kids on this island, but they adore us and are so happy to see us. I suppose it was a good day. I’m super pumped about my hammock!

March 5, 2010

This morning, we went to the clinic. It was a lot less busy than yesterday, and we didn’t get to do a whole lot. I sat in with the doctor for about a half hour. We saw patients with hypertension, fungal infection, dermatitis, and HIV. Nothing super cool, just people wanting checkups and med refills. After that, we were supposed to switch off and I had a free shift, so I went and took the longest, most glorious (cold) shower. I even shaved the legs. Yes! I felt cleaner than I’ve felt in a long time. After that, everyone was pretty much done and so we debriefed and talked about what we’d change for next year. After that, we went back to the balcony, and Christa and I talked about how it is obvious that Christianity is missing from this trip. Like, there is NO spirituality about it, it’s simply a service/learning trip. We just wish we felt like we could be more open about talking about Jesus and reaching out. It’s a major difference, and I definitely can tell it’s missing. It’s nice to have Christa on the trip because I know she can understand it’s pretty hard to want to reach out so bad, but not really know what to do. We went to the cathedral and saw where they hold Catholic services, so I know religion is an important part of their lives. It’s just weird. The church was beautiful and had really cool paintings. Also, it was the first time we’ve really gotten to play with kids here. They swarmed us, and it was awesome. I played with the cutest little girl, and then took pictures with her family. They were cracking me up because they wanted me to take pictures of them alone with trees in the background. We also went to Felix’s parents house, where some women painted our noses the way some of the traditional women do here. It’s a line down the nose. It’s funny because a lot of the girls didn’t hear them say it was a stain that lasts up to a week, so they were all freaking out when it didn’t wash off. It’s fine with me because I think it’s a cool part of their culture. Plus, I don’t really have anything I can’t have it on for when I get home, if it really DOES last a week. I started to not feel well after our “traditional Kuna meal” consisting of crab or chicken and this gray potato/plantain coconut soup. It makes me sick to think about. I pretty much didn’t feel well for the rest of the way. Dinner was plantains and a fried chicken leg. It was okay, but I probably shouldn’t have eaten it since it was so greasy. The historical guy came and talked to us too. He just talked about how their symbol looks like a Swastika, but that it is NOT the Nazi Swastika symbol at all. It actually is a backwards Swastika meaning peace and good fortune. Kind of makes sense that Hitler would turn it around…irony.

March 6, 2010

Today, Lauren and I finally got to sleep in! And by that, I mean we woke up around 8. Oh well, it was at least nice being able to sleep in a little. Today was pretty great because we were actually able to do things for the people here. We went to the school and cleaned classrooms. We swept, “mopped”, which actually means dumping buckets of water on the floor and swirling it around with our brooms. The major project was moving the desks. They were in a storage barn across this totally sketchy bridge that had holes and such in it. We formed an assembly line and moved about 150 desks, one-by-one into the schoolyard. It was solid, hard work, and I was pretty exhausted, but it’s the first time this whole trip that we’ve done something helpful (manual labor) for them. We also cleaned and put the desks in the classrooms. It’s kinda sad because they start school Monday, and none of the classrooms were set up. I’m not positive what their plan was, but it felt great being able to do that for them. I’m sure I’ll be super sore tomorrow. We were invited to someone’s house for lunch and when we got there, it was actually a memorial celebration for a sergeant who had died a year ago. We saw a photo album of his funeral and it was really creepy. Anywho, I was nervous about the food, but it as actually really good: Chicken noodles and rice. Basically, I need to give up carbs for a while after this. The food here is much better than I’d anticipated. I am really excited about going to the open-air market. I want a dress! A lot of people are going to the Canal tomorrow, but honestly it sounds boring. I mean, I hate museums and I think it’d be cool to see it for like 5 minutes. The only thing that sucks is since we’re not canal-ing it, our flight is the second one, at 1:30. What am I gonna do here for the entire morning? Especially when breakfast and lunch are not included? I am definitely sleeping in. I also need to separate the things I am leaving here. I really want to get rid of all my clothes because everything I own smells RANK. I legit have never smelled so awful in my life. Anywho, today Lauren and I came back and showered since we were disgusting from the desk situation. Man, I can’t wait for a HOT shower. And a clean body. And clean clothes. And my bed. Man. So, we hung out and ate peanut butter and crackers. We hung out at the balcony for a while. Our entire group just seems a lot more accepting and close now. I’m getting to know a lot of people, which I am really happy about. I love making new friends. Dinner kind of sucked because it was greasy chicken again. At least they have ketchup. And they fried potato chunks, so they sort of resembled fries, which I am also excited about. We went back to the balcony and hung out with everyone. Felix and his friend even came to hang out with us, which was really fun. One thing that has been nice is that I haven’t really focused on my self-esteem here. It’s kind of nice not having to think about myself. I really have been trying to focus on helping the people here. I mean, they live in poverty, who am I to think about “fat days” while I’m here? Plus, everyone makes you feel good about yourself anyway, and they are so grateful to have us here. That’s also another reason I ate regularly-I didn’t want to offend them by not. I just can’t imagine living like this. I am so glad to go tomorrow, but it’s been a really good experience. I think it’s always important to be exposed to this kind of thing. We get so caught up in our lives and troubles, it is easy to forget that people get by with worse. But the thing is, and I noticed this in Bolivia too, the ones that have the least, seem the happiest. I really do believe that. I always wish I could be happy with what I have instead of always wanting more. That’s why trips like these are such a huge reality check.

March 7, 2010

So, for whatever reason, I woke up at 7:15am today, which kind of sucks because we didn’t have to be anywhere until noon. Lauren and I packed all of our junk and walked around the island. We decided, after not finding bread on the entire island, that maybe $2 for breakfast would be worth it. Luckily, it wasn’t too late and we arrived just in time to get the usual: huevo con queso y pan. The first group left around 10, so I just sat on my bed and read my book. I tried to nap, but it just wasn’t happening. We met in the square at noon, after finding bread! Yes. 3 rolls still smokin’ hot. That was my lunch. Yum. All they needed was Texas Roadhouse cinnamon butter. Aside from Chick Fila, TR is what I want before I kick my butt back into gear. It’s kind of crazy to think the trip is over, but it did seem a lot longer, too. Anywho, we waited for 2 hours for our plane, and then we got to Panama City around 3:30. After a quick stop to drop off our luggage, we headed to the stores. Obviously, all I wanted to do. The stores here are pretty trashy. I guess it’s kind of like Schottensteins, but like 100x worse. The clothes are trashy too, definitely behind in the fashion. Luckily, I found 2 cute dresses. The things are cheap too! I got one for $8 and the other for $9. We also got these awesome smoothies on the street: pinapple, banana, and Nesquik?! Sounds weird, but so yummy. We went to the open-air market, which was sort of disappointing. I think a lot of the shops were closed. I ended up finding 4 pairs of earrings (2 for Mom and Jayme), a keychain, and a present for Kevin. I hope he likes it! We all showered and got ready for the dinner. We went, as a group, to this place called Penca (Pensca?) on the ocean. I love how everything is open to the fresh air. I’d like to live in a place where you don’t even need doors. Jeez. I’d love it. The only thing I hate about it is that my hair will NOT cooperate. I have never been the type to have nice air-dry hair. It’s kind of wavy and frizzy. Boo. I wore one of my new dresses, we all did. It’s the first time this trip that I have felt decently cute. I actually enjoyed not caring for 12 days. It was nice not having to worry about what I looked like. I got a chicken salad and it was awesome. I have been craving fresh veggies, and it was PERFECT: Lettuce, onion, tomato, cheese, egg, chicken, and blue cheese dressing. This salad was like, MADE for me. I had 3 strawberry margs and was feeling good. I pretty much just passed out when we got back to the hotel, I was SO exhausted.

March 8, 2010

Well, we’re officially on our way home. I am on the plane to Atlanta, and we just watched the movie The Blindside. It made me cry, of course. We had to meet in our hotel lobby at 5:30am, which would have probably sucked a lot more had I not passed out so early. A bunch of others stayed up, drank, and talked, but I couldn’t do it. Especially since I can definitely feel a cold coming on. I have been thinking a lot about Ustupu and the life there. I have been trying to figure out why it didn’t really affect me as emotionally as I thought it would. I guess it DID affect me, but I wasn’t so much sad. I think it’s because I know this is the life they are choosing, and it’s all they have ever known. But it’s still in ridiculous conditions. Instead of being sad about it, it was more just my trying to adapt to their lifestyle rather than feel bad for them. Most people don’t have electricity, running water…separate rooms. I mean, they live in huts made of sticks and leaves. The kids run about with absolutely no parental control or discipline. They’re pretty rude and there are SO many kids. They don’t have much food at all, but they make do. They aren’t starving to death, and they have opportunities to leave, go to college, etc. And some people DO choose this. I mean, all of this should be sad…heartbreaking. But the entire time, I wasn’t really sad. I was grateful for their acceptance and for being so giving, regardless of what they had or didn’t have. I guess I felt like I was just adapting to a different way of life. But that’s the thing, I did adapt. I showered less, wore clothes over and over again, ate what was served, attempted to learn the language, etc. What was I expecting? I think I was expecting a non-adaptive environment. I guess I was thinking we would be going to a place where their lifestyle just wasn’t working. But there, it did. Sure, there were issues. The trash was everywhere and they seemed to have no concept of how dirty it made everything. I now appreciate the whole “a little goes a long way” idea because I tried VERY hard not to litter, I wouldn’t even spit my gum out. I wanted to not only respect them, but also to try to do my part in cleaning up the island. Also, the idea that they poop, throw trash, and bathe in the same water that they drink and cook with is just nasty to even think about. But again, they make it work. Their immune systems are solid from that shit…literally. So, it’s hard to be sad for a group of people that, yes, have much less, but they don’t NEED anything more, and they are so happy and selfless. How do I cry for a village that opened their arms and invited us in? I am more grateful than anything else.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Psych vs. Oncology

Ever since I chose to focus on nursing in Pediatric Oncology, every reaction has been, "Wow that is so depressing," or "Good for you, that's so sad." Of course I agree...children with cancer? That is so sad. But you know, I really think Psych nursing is a lot more depressing. Let me explain:

I began Psychiatric Nursing with an open mind. I thought it would be interesting to see in the minds of those with mental illnesses like schizophrenia, major depression, multiple personality disorder, etc. Well, let me tell you, after five weeks of Psych, I can honestly say I have never been so discouraged and down about my chosen profession. I spend Tuesdays and Thursdays with patients who suffer from these disorders. They feel they have no hope, most of them are drug and/or alcohol dependent, and with no where to go when they are released from the hospital. They talk to me about feeling hopeless, like they are burdens to others. My biggest struggle is convincing not only them, but myself, that they do have hope. Of course it's easy for me to say that they should want to live because there is so much to live for. Coming from someone who has a warm house, a loving family, and a promising career, it is easy to have hope for life...but what about those who don't have any of the above? Those are the people I speak with, twice a week. And I'm at a loss of how to help them. I feel like even if I knew what to say or do, the majority of them will go back to their old lives, their routine: drugs, living on the streets, prostitution, etc. Maybe it's pessimistic of me, but I feel just as hopeless as they do in helping them. Honestly, it is much more depressing to lead them to a healthy life than any other clinical rotation yet.

Pediatric oncology is sad, I know this. No one WANTS their child to have cancer. No one wants to see a child that sick. But you know what? Kids DO have hope, and they aren't afraid. Their focus is to get healthy again so they can go out and play, cuddle with their families, and get back to their normal lives. I'm not downplaying that it will be hard: I'm sure it will be the hardest thing I will ever do. Not only am I looking forward to caring for the sick children and their families, but I am excited to helping them feel better and seeing them grow. I cannot wait to build relationships with them and know that I have made an impact in their lives. Mostly though, I am looking forward to them making an impact in my life.

I know Psych and Oncology are on complete opposite ends of the spectrum, incomparable maybe. However, I can't help but think that Psych nursing is much more draining and depressing. After 5 weeks, I've given it a chance. I walked into clinical with high hopes that I would continue being intrigued with mental illness, that I would learn so much. One thing I know for sure I have learned is that Psych nursing is NOT for me.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Oh stress.

So much has been happening in my life, it is ridiculous.

For starters, I have always wanted a puppy for as long as I can remember. So, my parents finally caved and gave me Lucy on my 22nd birthday this year! It was a huge deal, and I am pretty much in love with every move she makes. She is a cute little black shih-tzu, with the most adorable, fun, and playful personality. I really couldn't ask for a better pup! The ONLY downside is that we have had trouble potty training her. I didn't want to be one of those people who lets their dogs pee on pads all around the house. Who wants to look at those nasty used pee/poop pads, and moreso, who wants to smell them? Not me. So we've been trying to take her out as much as possible, however, she is not always compliant. Recently, we caught her sneaking off to another side of the house, pooping, then proceeding to eat the poop. Personally, the thought of this makes me vom a little in my mouth, so we were instantly proactive in fixing the ish (Issue, abbreviated. Iss just didn't make as much sense), and here we are, a few days later, and she has yet to poop in the house OR eat it. Woo hoo! Just a little word of caution: She's the cutest dog in the world, but if you let her lick your face (which I still do. Gross, I know.) just know where that mouth has been, and what else has been in that mouth.

Moving right along. I started school at the end of August, and holy crap. I don't remember the last time I was so busy. My schedule is insanely packed every single day, and for some reason, I even manage to pack my off-days just as much. The first few weeks were utter mayhem. I am taking General Medsurg (Adult), Pathophysiology, and Intermediate Spanish I. I really wanted to continue learning Spanish, and I thought it would be easier to make time for it, but I totally underestimated how much outside-class work there would be. We literally have homework every day, and I don't have the time or energy to do it! So I'm sorry to say that I either have to settle for a lower grade (Probably a low B, if I'm lucky), or I might just have to discontinue next semester. Which is a total bummer for me. I really love Spanish, mostly the culture, but the language reminds me of Spain (Obv), so I love the language. Ya know? It makes sense to me, anyway. So that said, I am so busy because Medsurg is seriously taking over my life. We have homework due for every class, and we have three exams in 8 weeks. It's a huge stressor for me because I have always been a slower learner when it comes to sciences and concepts. I mean, things REALLY don't make sense to me unless I hear it in Layman's terms. Even then, I have to hear it like 5 times in order to really understand it. I get so frustrated because I feel like I have to study a zillion times more than everyone else, just to get the lowest possible passing grade. I don't even know if I got the passing grade on the first exam, which only raises the pressure for the next two exams.

Another thing that has been a huge weight is my medical issues. I've been having tests done to see what the heck is up with my stomach issues, which involve everything from gastric reflux to severe stomach pains to digestion issues (I'll spare you the details). And although I've had three surgeries that have most likely caused some of them, the scar tissue isn't as bad as I expected, and they still have no answers as to why I am having all these issues. I recently had both and Colonoscopy and Endoscopy done, and the results came up with nothing. On one hand, I was totally relieved that I don't have any weird tumors or ulcers, but on the other hand, what IS wrong? I think it's frustrating for my doctor, too, because now I have all these symptoms and no where to point them. I was in the ER last week for stomach pains so severe that I was doubled over and having a really hard time breathing. I was honestly terrified that I was dying, and demanded that the nurse hurry up and give me morphine just so I could get in a comfortable position. I am just praying that we will figure out what's wrong so I can take care of the ish, hopefully with just medications. It's just frustrating.

Another huge burden is my financial issues. I will never regret spending money in Spain, no matter how deep I dig into debt, but I am having a hard time trying to figure out all these financial things that is involved with an average college student. I work a part time job at a kids clothing store, I babysit occasionally, and I give my parents pretty much ALL of my money (They paid off my credit card so that I can pay them. Thank God.). I am trying super hard to pay them back, but at the same time, I'd like a little bit of spending money too. And then I get all frustrated because I want things, not just need things. I want new clothes and books and to go out to eat. I want want want, but I am slowly (but surely, I hope) learning how to just say no. Really, it's something I've never had to do (Only because I've never known how to save. Ever.), but I really need to figure things out so that I can just get out of my debt-hole and start anew. Luckily my parents are totally understandable, and they realize that school takes priority (they don't want to add more stress), so they help out with gas and stuff. It's just one of those things that I wish I had more of. But don't we all?

Bottom line: I am going through a lot right now, but I know that if I just rely on God and do the best I can, I'll get through this. I'll even come out stronger in the end, or so I hope. I truly believe that if God didn't plan for me to be a nurse, I wouldn't have gotten this far. Do you know how much I've gone through to get here? Seriously. I wouldn't have had the extra push to start back again if it hadn't been for God. So, that's basically what I am standing by right now. I just keep thinking, "Ok Kelly, you know it's hard, but you know you're doing the best you can." And then I have to actually do the best I can, or it won't work. I really just have to push myself. My counselor told me some stuff today that really made sense. She told me it seems like I get things done a lot faster, more efficient, etc etc when I have it all planned out. This can go for all things in my life. I mean, I do get more accomplished when I sit and schedule it all out. I just really am going to try to implement it in EVERY area of my life (School, work, sleep, relationships, diets, responsibilities...) and see what happens.

Alright well. That was my complaining for the day. I know it totally seemed like a hugely negative post, but really, I'm not feeling so negative right now. Actually, I am kind of feeling like I am strong, being able to have all of this weighing on me, but still making it out alive. But I guess I haven't yet succeeded in the latter, so we'll see what happens.

Basically, I am really trying to put my trust, faith, and strength in God, knowing that He DOES have a plan for me and He DOES want me to be all that I can be. So I just gotta do it.

Here I go.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Truly Madly Deeply

I miss Spain an incredible amount. When we first left, I was one of the only ones who wasn't counting down to our departure. It seemed that everyone had some reason to come home: a boyfriend, school, best friend, family, etc. I had 3/4 of those to come home to, as well, however, I did not want to. I was contemplating not coming home at all. But I didn't know what I would have done, had I not. I didn't want to start school again (especially 6 days after I got home), but if I didn't, I wouldn't have known what else I would do.

So here's the deal: I have this deep hurt in my body when I think about my life in Spain. I get this horrible stomachy pit that so deep. I feel like I belong there. Like I need to get back there. I feel so...lost without Barcelona. It's such a bizarre feeling because as much as I was looking forward to going there, I didn't expect to fall so hard. I guess I can't even put my finger on what I miss about it...I miss everything. I miss my life, my friends, my school (but not the classmates. Haha). It has just been really hard being home and jumping back into life here. I know I have to stay here for 2 years, due to school, but I am really really trying to find a way to go back. Should I take time off and teach English? Should I try to go next summer? What do I do to "quench my thirst," if you will. I have this huge emptiness, and I know it will be filled by going back to my second home.

Spain. How I miss you so.

I have really been thinking about what to do with my life. Now that I am back in nursing, I know I made the right decision. I love nursing and everything about it (ok, by everything, I do not mean all the hard work in school. Yuck.), but going back has made me realize that I truly should be doing nursing. Anywho, I have all kinds of ideas. I was thinking about doing a missions trip next summer. I need to be back for Camp Quality, in July, but I was looking at a month-long trip to Swaziland. I have also thought of maybe joining the Peace Corps after I get out of school. As much as I love nursing and know it's what I should do, I am in no rush to get a job as a nurse right away. I just have this itch to travel, and I need to do it. I also have been praying a lot about missions, and I really feel that is one area that God has been calling me my whole life. Then, after all of that, I'm going to be a nurse in Pediatric Oncology.

That said, I am going to dream about Barcelona. I am probably going to cry, in the process. I really, truly, deeply (Truly madly deeply? Savage Garden.) miss it, and I have this very very special place in my heart for Spain.

Please, send me back.