Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I graduated from nursing school 40 days ago. After graduation I took two full weeks off and then began studying for the NCLEX. I took the NCLEX on Jan. 15 and cried all the way home afterwards. Then I found out I passed!! Everything has fallen together nicely....letting me know that for sure I am on the right path. The job outlook/hunt for new graduate nurses is terrible right now. Most new graduates are finding jobs 6 months to a year after graduating, I filled out one application with my resume, shadowed on the unit I was most interested in, and interviewed right after shadowing...the job offer came two days later. The entire process took a week! I start the new job Feb. 11 and I can't wait.

The job is a perfect match for me. I will be working on the medical behavioral health unit. There are very few of these unit in the entire country...less than 10. The unit is primarily a med unit but a requirement of being admitted to this unit is a current psych diagnosis...and it is a locked unit. So basically, this unit gets patients whom have just had an appendectomy and also are schizophrenic, or have a COPD exacerbation and are bipolar, or intentionally OD'd and need to be medically cleared before going to a regular psych unit.  You get the idea. 

I am very excited.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

This is the medical center where I am.  Included in the medical center is the school of nursing, school of medicine, and school of well as every kind of inpatient unit you can think of, a burn trauma center, a cancer center, the eye institute, children's hospital, and outpatient services ranging from psych to basic primary care preventative services. Thousands of employees, auxiliary people, patients, students...yet I feel like the next picture....
Lonely. Detached. Homesick.
I have D and the kitties here with me, but that is all.  I have facebook, but its pretty impossible for my friends to just pick up and come over to hang out when I post on facebook.  I've made good connections with people (faculty) in the school of nursing, and possibly a couple in the hospital.  I have many people in my class that I can count on for anything school/nursing related.  I have a couple people in my class that I can count on for non-school/nursing related things.  I've made one good friend. It is the last part that is the hardest for me. I don't have any easy time making friends, but I need them.  I have two really good friends where I used to live.  I have Raine. I know these people are still there, but that is kind of the point...they are THERE...not HERE. I can't call up one of them and say "come over tonight"...its not possible for them to do so.  Even with Raine this was possible, though improbable.  Being only 3 hours away by train made it possible.  

I am missing some old professors too.  I had gotten to a point with some of them where if I was having a hard time I could stop by their offices and "hang out" for a bit.  I miss doing that.  I don't feel like I can do that now because one of the things that is required in nursing school (and for licensing) is being "of sound mind".  While some professors seem to indicate that they feel this is ridiculous and that being overwhelmed or stressed also does not indicate not being able to be a nurse, it is still a risk I don't want to take.

I miss my therapist. I miss having that 50 minutes once a week where I can go and talk about whatever.  Right now I would like to talk about how I am struggling to write a 1 -2 page paper on emotional intelligence...a really hard topic for me.  I can talk to D about it, but she doesn't completely "get it".  In therapy I would be able to talk about it and the feed back would help me clarify my thoughts and get them on paper.  I can't formulate the words to explain how difficult this is for me to do without someone to hear my thoughts. I would also like to talk about my oldest brother/cousin.  On the first day of the second week of pediatrics clinical my sister/cousin called at 7 am to let me know that my brother had died during the night.  It was sudden and unexpected.  The profound sense of loss that I had before reconnecting with him is back and with me all the time.  I ache at the unfairness of having him taken from me after having already lost 37 years of knowing him. Some days I struggle to maintain my composure, which is really new for me.  In the past I would hurt and keep it inside...prior to that I wouldn't hurt, the hurt would start and then be gone, or I would be gone...Either way, no one would have any idea that there was anything going on for me. I understand that having feelings is normal and in some way good, but I don't like it!


Sunday, March 11, 2012

For those that are still readin and know bout it...theres a post on the other place.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Long awaited (maybe!) news...

So...been awhile! Things got real hectic, real fast! I was admitted to the nursing program off the wait list. I found out a little before thanksgiving and then had a mountain of stuff to do, including move across country...all by Jan 17.

I got it all done and have been in New York since Jan 6...have been going to school for a week. Class are intense but interesting. Instructors are engaging, fun, and brilliant (many research awards, teaching awards, new procedures, and publications ( including our pharm textbook) among the instructors. My cohort is extremely diverse and already tight. The medical center is huge and a little scary but I found the cafeteria, bank, and post office...yes...all 3 of those are IN the hospital !

More when I find time.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fraud "proven"...again.

Shirley Ardell Mason was born Jan. 25, 1923. She grew up in a small town in Minnesota. In the early 1950's she was a substitute teacher and a graduate student studying art at Columbia University. She lived in West Virginia for a while, then settled in Lexington, Kentucky where she taught art at the local community college and ran an art gallery out of her home.Shirley never married, never had any children, and she had severed all ties with her family decades before her death. In the late 1980's and early 1990's, Shirley lived with and cared for Dr. Cornelia Wilbur, who died in Lexington in 1992. She died in Lexington Feb. 26. 1998 from breast cancer; she was 75 years old.

Shirley Ardell Mason was "Sybil Isabel Dorsett", made famous by the book, "Sybil" by Flora Rheta Schrieber and the movie of the same name starring Sally Field and Joanne Woodward. The name Sybil was used to allow for Shirley to remain anonymous, though it has been reported that when the movie came out, several people from Shirley's home town recognized her and her mother.

Recently a book called "Sybil Exposed" by Debbie Nathan has hit the bookstores. Several people have posted about it on blogs, and there are ongoing discussions in online psych communities (both for those with dissociative disorders, and general psych). In this book Nathan "proves" "Sybil" to be a fake. Nathan asserts that Mason and Dr. Wilbur intentionally colluded to perpetrate fraud in order to make money. Nathan also claims that Dr. Wilbur wanted to see multiple personalities, so Mason created them during therapy in order to keep Dr. Wilbur's attention. In short, Mason manipulated Dr. Wilbur...the claim is also made that Dr. Wilbur planted the idea or actually created the alters while having Mason under sodium pentathol or hypnosis, or both. So which is it? They knowingly created a fraud, or the doctor was manipulated, or the doctor created it...either they both knew, or one of them knew or it was can't be all of the above as suggested in the book!

I have other issues with this, as follows....

  1. Debbie Nathan is an American journalist. American media is well-known for not giving all the facts and skewing the ones they do give in order to show whatever it is they want to be seen by the lay public. As a journalist, I don't believe Nathan to be qualified to or even ethical in asserting such an opinion. A journalist's job is to report the facts and let others form their own opinions. Nathan is neither a Psychologist nor a Psychiatrist, the only professionals qualified to make a diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder (multiple personalities); it logically follows that only a Psychologist or Psychiatrist would be qualified to DENY said diagnosis.
  2. Nathan is a board member of the N*tion*l C*nter for Re*son and J*st*ce (spoiled to foil search engines, I hope). This organization is a non-profit who's express purpose is to help people who are falsely accused of harming children. Nathan was the first to write about the "ritual abuse panic" of the 1980's and her writing helped free some people who were convicted. Seems to me that Nathan has a vested interest here. "Proving" the most famous case of child abuse to be false would certainly do wonders to further her cause.
  3. This is not the first time "Sybil" has been "proven" to be a fake. During her treatment, Mason saw Dr. Herbert Spiegel while Wilbur was on vacation. Dr. Spiegel claimed Mason showed no signs of multiple personalities. My thinking is "Duh!"...of course she didn't! Mason didn't know this doctor, she had no trust established, and no reason to believe that anything really needed to be established since Wilbur would return from vacation. In 1998, psychologist Robert Rieber challenged Mason's diagnosis claiming that Wilbur manipulated Mason. Neither of these claims of fraud stuck...why should they now?
  4. A well-known letter that Mason wrote to Wilbur is being used to claim that Mason herself acknowledged being a fake. In the letter, Mason does in fact say the alters are not real, she made them all up, etc. This however, is a very common protective/coping technique (for lack of a better word) that those with multiple personalities use when things get scary. I myself have done this...I didn't write a letter, but deny the existence of the others regardless of the evidence in front of me...oh yes, I did that! As did many other people diagnosed with multiple personalities that I "know" through online forums. This letter was also published in entirety in the book by Schreiber, and this denial is portrayed in a different fashion in the movie. The letter proves nothing.
  5. My biggest issue is the question "why?". Why does it matter whether or not Mason was real? Why now? Why back in '98? Mason died in early '98, she can't defend herself. Wilbur and Schreiber are both dead. None of the people truly involved in the case are around to say anything about this. Wilbur's records were destroyed, there are "some notes" from Schreiber's can anything be proven without examining the patient?
I suppose I could ask myself why I care, as well. I guess it's because of all the times I've heard "no one will believe you". Shirley Ardell Mason survived a terrible childhood by using an ingenious coping mechanism. She sought treatment, became well, lived her life quietly, sought no justice, named no names publicly....and people keep trying to make sure the whole world doesn't believe her.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

I guess it is time for an update. I am not really sure why it is time, since blogging seems to be disappearing. Of my admittedly small blogroll, only two are posting with any consistency, and one other has recently updated. My tracker shows that in the last week only two people beside myself have visited this blog, though I am aware that there is one other person that can check if there is a new post without actually coming to the blog...however, I can simply talk to that person face-to-face. It's a bit of a vicious cycle...people don't come read, that makes me feel less inclined to post, which makes people less inclined to come read...not sure what the solution to that is, if there is a solution.

Well...the update. I have good news and I have bad/sad news.

First the bad/sad because I would rather end on an up note. Our elderly (16 years) kitty whom has had fairly serious health concerns over the last several years (heart murmur and borderline hyperthyroid dx'd 6 or 7 years ago, clearly arthritic the last 2-3 years) is dying. She is really D's kitty, and doesn't like me all that much, but I have been nursing and comforting her since Thursday because D is out of town until Sunday night. This involves giving her a natural pain med that a relative that is a vet tech recommended, mixing wet food with warm water to make it a gravy (and stinky) to encourage her to eat, standing guard at the same time so the younger two boys don't push her out of the way and take her food, carrying her back and forth to the water bowl and litter box trying to get her to use both, and checking every few minutes to make sure she is still breathing. *phew* She will barely eat a tiny bit, she barely drinks, I haven't seen her use the litter box since Thursday night, and she isn't grooming herself. I am basically just trying to keep her comfortable until D gets home tomorrow evening and is able to make a decision. Really, the decision was made a long time ago (if blah blah, then blah), and D is completely aware of the situation...I need her to be able to say good bye.

And...the good news. The interview went well. It felt like a 10-15 minute conversation, but when I hung up the phone, I realized it had been 40 minutes. I took that as a good sign...not the actual length, which I hear is about average, but the fact that it didn't feel long at all. To me that means there wasn't any awkward silences, stumbly responses, but rather a flowing conversation. On Monday I got a letter from them, not a thin one, but also not the fat one I was hoping for, it was clearly more than one page
. The letter was to inform me that I was being offered a spot on the wait list for January, with an option to be reconsidered for May if no spot opened for January. There was a form to return to indicate if I wanted to be on the wait list or not and an envelope to return it (by Oct. 7). I filled out the form and mailed it at the post office before 8 am the next morning...and yes, I indicated I want to be on the wait list. I am hoping that my early response gets me a spot near the top of the wait list! So I am waiting by the phone, hence the picture. I really, really, really want to go to this school! Meanwhile I am preparing to start a CNA program at the local community college, and I have an offer of a job after the CNA (not as a CNA), if I don't get in for January. The job would be with my sis-in-law who is the clinical director in a sleep lab. I have been looking into the "ticket to work" program through SSDI. I would have to go talk to them when/if the time comes, but it appears that under the program, if I make more than $700 a month, I can continue to receive full benefits and collect pay checks, for 9 months. If I go past 9 months, then I get partial benefits (keep Medicare if needed) but if I am not able to work after benefits are reduced, then I get expedited reinstatement of benefits. It seems good, or at least worth a try if I am waiting to get into a program. At the very least, it would give me an opportunity to get some money put away for school or to pay down some of the student loan debt I already have!


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I have an interview!! It will be a phone interview with undergrad nursing faculty at "Small-medium Sized Prestigious East Coast School" (above). I am intentionally not naming the school, due to anonymity finds all. :P Anyways...I am seriously excited, and nervous, and excited, and terrified, and excited! Mostly excited, as you can see.

For any who wonder, email me and I will tell you the school. Dr. can probably figure it out pretty quickly. It's in your state, almost as far north as you can get and still be in the U.S. (note what appears to be a large body of water (a really great lake?!? ;) ) on the horizon in the picture. :D