Where do I even begin?

Life keeps speeding along, and I often feel like I’m stumbling along a few feet behind.  I’m watching friends getting married, having babes, finishing degrees, traveling, and accomplishing amazing things – and I can totally understand why social media often has a detrimental effect on your mental health.  I’m usually content wherever I’m at, but sometimes it feels like I’m working my ass off and getting nowhere.  Comparing your life with other people’s lives is a risky undertaking.  0.5/10… do not recommend.

Nursing School:  Somehow I managed to pass spring semester (6th) – I thought I would be saying farewell to med-surg FOREVER, but found out that we have Advanced Med-Surg Concepts & Practice next semester (8th, and final).  Cue sobbing.  I would brush up on arterial blood gases, metabolic imbalances, and lab values, but summer semester (7th) has been brutal thus far.

OB is alright – I know far too much about pregnancy, birth, and newborns now.  If I ever had even an inkling of “baby fever”, it’s gone now.  Mom/baby clinical was quite an experience – instead of assessment/cares on one mom and baby, I had one mom and TWO babies.  Absolute chaos.  Adorable and rewarding chaos, yeah, but still chaos.  Up next… labor and delivery.  Hopefully I can keep my cool and not faint during a C-section or vaginal birth.  I have a chill demeanor, and would rather my dignity and reputation not be compromised by having to sit on the floor.  Give me blood, guts, and bodily excretions, but in the context of childbirth or blood banks I AM A TOTAL WIMP.  Moving on.

I originally thought mental health would be a relatively easy class, since I am in possession of multiple mental disorders.  Turns out personal experiences do not always translate well into professional practice.  I know you’re thinking, “Duh, Jo,” but hey, my optimism and ambition got the better of me.  All three tests so far have been solid Cs.  Despite hours of studying I haven’t managed to score above 80%.

Community health is surprisingly difficult.  45 hours of clinical, 45 hours of simulation/seminars/activities.  +3 hours of class/week.  I found that I enjoy teaching at the Y (whaaaat) – as many of you know, I try to be a strong advocate for vulnerable populations, so being able to interact with them was an eye-opening and rewarding experience.

Neuroscience Trends is a 5-week class that began last week.  I find the content immensely interesting, but with the heavy course load this semester, I’m not enjoying it as much as I would have otherwise.

I took the mental health HESI today and scored 905 (Mercy benchmark is 750, national benchmark is 900, I believe).  The school has a new policy where we have to complete a growth plan after HESI version 1 even if we pass it the first time.  MORE WORK.  OB HESI is next week… w00t!

That about sums up school.  School is 95% of my life right now, so if you’re expecting any other updates, prepare to be disappointed.

Books:  There is an amazing book club in Des Moines led by the fabulous Sherry Borzo that I try to participate in – usually I read the book and fail to show up at meetings because, well, school.  For May, they chose Marya Hornbacher’s Madness: A Bipolar Life.  I remember reading this book when I was newly diagnosed as having bipolar type 2, and it helped me realize that I wasn’t alone, and that other people struggle with the same disease and still have decent lives.  It’s a tough read, but also excellent in its depiction of one person’s fight to survive.

Sherry managed to contact Hornbacher and invited her to participate in a Facetime session with the book club.  I squeezed it into my schedule, and was fangirling the whole time Sherry was asking Marya the questions that were submitted.  Sherry is absolutely amazing, and invited me to come to the front and talk with Marya.  I was able to express my gratitude towards Marya and let her know how she affected my life.  There was a bit of knees knocking together and facial flushing.  I will NEVER forget the experience.  =)  So Sherry, if you happen to read this, thank you for giving me this opportunity.

In Other News: I’ve started journaling on paper again.  Highly recommend.  Blogging is great for refining my writing, but I feel more comfortable jotting down intimate thoughts and random vents in a (mostly) private book.  Two reasons everyone should do it: you feel a sense of relief once you scribble everything out, and it helps you see trends in your thoughts and behaviors that you would be oblivious to otherwise.

Well, I suppose that’s it for now.  I hope everyone is having a safe and enjoyable summer!

– J

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