Monday, November 30, 2009

Couple Meme

This meme is from Karen's blog and I thought it was cute. I loved that she included wedding pics! I realized I hardly ever talk about Brad so, on the last day of NaBloPoMo (OMG! YAY!!), I thought I would give up some of the goods on our history together! And I'm stealing Karen's (brilliant) idea and including some pics of us throughout the years.

Enjoy!

How long have you been together? We started dating in high school (end of my sophomore and his senior year) and have been together over 11 years. Our first date was June 28, 1998. That's why I have a hard time only telling people how long we've "been married" because I feel like it jipps us out of 8 years!?!

How long did you know each other before you started dating? We met in the fall of 1997, so we knew each other about 10 months or so before we started dating.

Who asked whom out? Well, I guess Brad asked me out first (and multiple times) but I wasn't so much interested. It wasn't until he was about to graduate and go away to college when I realized what a good thing I could be missing out on and decided to give it a shot. So the time it actually stuck I actually asked him out!! And, after all that, he turned me down!?!? It's a long story :-) but obviously it worked out in the end!

How old are each of you? I am 27 and he is 29.

Whose siblings do you see the most? I have a brother and so does he and unfortunately we don't see either of them as much as we'd like. My brother lives in Ohio and usually we only see him once or so a year. (Talk about a bummer!) Brad's brother lives almost 4 hours away and is always traveling for his job. We see him more often but still only once or so every few months.

Did you go to the same school? Yes! He moved to Florida in 1996 and from that point on we went to the same high school (Lake Brantley High) and college (University of Florida - Go Gators!).

Are you from the same home town? Kind of. It's funny actually because Brad and I were actually born in the same hospital, 2 years apart. But when he was 3, Brad's family moved to Yardley, Pennsylvania and I grew up my whole life in Orlando, FL. When he was 16, his family moved back to Orlando. So he really considers Yardley his "home town" but technically we were both born here!

Who is smarter? That's hard to say. We both have our own strengths. Brad has the patience of Job and can sit down for hours to figure out the tiniest problem so he is great at puzzles, etc. I have absolutely no patience but my critical thinking skills are very sharp and I tend to think pretty quickly and do it on my feet. (Hello, I work in healthcare!!)

Who is the most sensitive? Definitely me. Actually we have an inside joke about that. Have you ever seen the Friends episode where Chandler won't cry no matter why happens? They keep telling him he's "dead inside." Yeah, that's Brad. And when he makes fun of me for being to emotional I just remind him that he's "dead inside." ;-)




Where do you eat out most as a couple? Wow, that's a hard one. We love going out to eat. Mostly because we have so much fun trying new things and having new experiences together. That being said, we get bored easily and try not to go back to the same place over and over again. But we used to eat at this great little Tex-Mex place called Amigo's right across the street from us at least once a week. They had the best salsa. Unfortunately they just closed so I guess we haven't found "our" new place yet.

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple? San Francisco? We went last summer for his cousin's wedding and had a blast!!

Who has the craziest exes? We were so young when we got together we don't really have too many exes . . . ?

Who has the worst temper?
Definitely me. Remember what I was saying about being impatient earlier? :-/

Who does the cooking? Mostly me and I love it! Actually we have this system where he rates everything I cook on a scale from 1-10. It may sound dangerous but I love the feedback and it really helps me learn what he likes and how to make things better! Unless I disagree, then I just do what I want. ;-) OH! And did I mention he does the dishes. . . that's right. He's awesome!

Who is the neat-freak?



Um . . . have you met me? No? Oh well, then it's definitely me, hands down, no contest. Things being messy makes me twitch.

Who is more stubborn? Uh, for the most part, that'd be me again. But there are definitely some things that Brad is really ridiculously stubborn about. And they are mostly random and come from way out in left field and blindside be. But when he decides he wants to be stubborn he definitely knows how to be.

Who hogs the bed? Usually we are pretty good about sharing but Brad can be awful at hogging the covers. I think he just keeps rolling over at night, always away from me and instead of rolling under the covers he takes a new chunk with him!?!?! So that means by morning I'm squeezed under one lousy corner of the covers, huddled for warmth and he's cozy as can be with most of the covers dangling off the bed on his side!

Who wakes up earlier? For work, I do. On weekends, we tend to wake up at the same time (to an alarm).

Where was your first date?

Who is more jealous? Neither of us are very jealous.

How long did it take to get serious? I think by the time I graduated and joined him at college it was definitely serious. But you could also argue that two high school students maintaining a long-distance relationship for 2 years before that happened warranted a "serious" too. You decide.

Who eats more? Ugh, he does. I think I probably snack more but when it comes to mealtime it goes something like this. We order a medium pizza and I have two slices. Brad eats the rest. By the end of the meal, I feel like I'm going to puke and he's looking for something else to eat. The next morning I have trouble zipping my jeans and he's lost 2 pounds. Being a woman sux!

Who does the laundry? Laundry is my chore but if he's home he usually helps me fold and hang . . . why? Because he's awesome.

Who’s better with the computer? Probably Brad but not by a whole lot. We both find the computer to be pretty intuitive but he knows more about the hardware and I tend to focus on the software.

Who drives when you are together? Brad always does. It's never really discussed. Occassionally when he wants wine with dinner, he'll ask if I mind driving home. Other than that, he always drives. I love it!

~Layne

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmas and a rivalry

You don't even know how happy it makes me to know that Christmas-time is officially here. It has always been a tradition to put up Christmas decorations the weekend after Thanksgiving so that is our plan today. Yesterday Brad was able to get started a little earlier in the day but then we had to break for a party we were throwing in honor of the Florida/Florida State game that afternoon.

For those who don't know, this is the biggest rivalry game in Florida and Florida State's season and it always occurs on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This rivalry seems to stretch back since the beginning of time but really started in the 60's. These schools are the two flagship universities of the state of Florida so it makes sense that this rivalry game can become, let's say, intense on both sides. Anyway, since the two teams are in difference conferences this is never a hugely important game because it won't affect their conference standings. But you best believe that both teams (and their fans) get pumped for this particular game because at the very least bragging rights are at stake.

This season the Gators came into the game as the No. 1 team in the nation so we were pretty sure it would be a victory for us. Add to that that it was a rivalry game that we were coming into with a perfect season record and you better believe we wanted to beat 'em! And, of course, the Gators did not disappoint. We won a great victory yesterday, 37-10!

Back to Christmas decorations. . . with the game and related festivities out of the way that left today to decorate. It's one of my favorite parts of Christmas and I'm so excited it's here! We actually had a really full day because we were trying to hang outdoor lights for the first time in our new home. None of our ladders were tall enough so we had to go out and get another . . . and then the special hooks we bought didn't work on our roof so we had to devise another plan for how to attach the lights. . . and on and on it went. So we got started relatively early (around 11am) and finished decorating right before dinner time. Oh well!

I love the way the house looks! It's my first time getting to decorate an entire yard for Christmas and I think it turned out really well. And each year I look forward to unwrapping all the ornaments we've collected over the years and reminiscing with Brad as we hang them on the tree. Brad mostly loves trying to pull me under the mistletoe. At least he's getting into it, right? ;-)

I hope everyone else is having fun getting into the Christmas spirit! Our place is still a little but of a work in progress but pictures to come soon, I promise! I want to get the house a little more spruced up and then I will deliver!

~Layne

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Accountability and the DOC

Since it's the holiday season I've been thinking about all the trouble that the big "D" can get me (us) in during this time of year. I know there are going to be bad days. The traditional Cookie Day that I have every year with my family where I eat half the dough before it can be made into cookies? ::blush:: That's gonna be a bad "D" day. :-) And it also got me thinking about how a lot of DOC-ers say that the reason they like being a part of the DOC is that there is less judgment here, less accountability for the day-to-day oop's of diabetes. And, to some extent it's true.

Exhibit A: So I caved and ate that really yummy looking fill-in-the-blank and it had some carbs hidden somewhere that I didn't count on and bam! I'm 300. Ok, I'll vent to the DOC about it because I'm sure they've been there and they'll understand.

Exhibit B: I thought I'd been doing really well and I went to see my Endo all happy and, turns out, my A1C is actually up half a percentage point. Well, #^&%#!! And now after I'm done kicking myself the Endo is judging me too! But I'll vent to the DOC, they'll get it.

These are just made up examples but you get my drift. I'm sure we all feel accountable and open to judgment by our Endo's, our spouse's, our parents (yes, my mother still worries and nags) and even ourselves. And I think the "ourselves" part is the worst, because it's our health that is at stake and we are experts at beating ourselves up over it. (At least, I am.) So I think it's nice that when we come together we try to cut each other slack because we've all been there.

Okay, but all that aside, I still do feel accountable to the DOC. I know that it's a place that I can go for support. But at the same time all the other DOC-ers out there make me want to be a "better" diabetic. It's like I'm not just doing it for myself anymore. I want to have good numbers to post, I want success stories. Of course, it's always funny to post about big flops I've had in my management, especially when it comes with a funny or entertaining story. But I want to be confident when I'm posting that I'm projecting an overall healthy, compliant and in-control image of a person with diabetes.

And it's not about competition. I'm not trying to beat anyone's anything. And I surely don't expect that if I do have a rough "D" day that anyone in the DOC (or cyberspace in general) would give me crap about it. That's crossing a line and I would absolutely defend myself. So I guess it's not really that I feel accountable to the DOC but that I like to make myself accountable. You all make me want to be better and that's a great thing! So thanks!

~Layne

Friday, November 27, 2009

Doh!

I'm exhausted. Between getting ready for and hosting Thanksgiving earlier this week and then working yesterday (the actual holiday) and today, I feel like I just got through running a friggin' marathon. I even came close to falling asleep on my husband on the couch after dinner! We were going to go straight to bed when I realized, "DOH!" I've still got to post.

Not too much to post about, though. Today was another day at work. Love working with the lovely ladies at the NICU and when you have the right crew at work it makes a world of difference and today it was a whole lot of fun! Even still it was a long day and I'm very tired.

Also I realized today that I just suck. Yesterday I forgot about two really important things that I'm thankful for. Double "DOH!" These are probably the two most important things in my life. Here they are:

~Layne

Thursday, November 26, 2009

What am I thankful for?

I am at work right now but I am thankful that the crew I am working with is the "cool crew." ;-) We are actually having a good time today and my coworkers brought in a wonderful feast of goodies for lunch today! And we had an awesome charge today who was trying to coordinate a big Gator-filled spirit day tomorrow in honor of the rivalry game on Saturday. Why tomorrow you ask? Well, I asked too since tomorrow is Friday and the game is Saturday! She said, well, because we are all working tomorrow and should show our spirit! Good answer! She's even wrangling non-Gator folks into the fun! I love it. And since I'm always down for anything Gator-fied so we will all be decked out in our Gator gear tomorrow!

I am also thankful that my Thanksgiving celebration with the fam yesterday went really well! And everything was delish! (Except for the turkey but I'm not a big turkey fan which is why I just had ham. But, from the peeps who actually like turkey, I heard it was good!) I also now have a fridge full of leftovers, which both my husband and I are thankful for! Because it means that he has a weekend of double-meat sandwiches ahead of him (have you not heard? Brad is a carnivore to the nth degree!) and it also means that I don't have to cook for a while, which is always good news when I'm working!! :-D

But seriously, yesterday was a very exciting for us. It was really nice to have both of our families with us all together to celebrate a holiday. Everyone got along great, the conversation was fun and it was just a good time. And of course I got to do my favorite thing and play hostess and cook yummy food. I was so excited to put the leaf in our table and see it set with the candles lit. It made me feel like such an adult. Which is weird since I'm 27 but I seriously feel like a big kid sometimes. Brad and I were so happy at the end of the day yesterday, even cleaning up we were talking about how much fun it was and how well it went. And I officially started piping Christmas carols into the house during clean-up because Thanksgiving is over. . . .which means it's officially Christmas season!!! And that makes me happy.

Anyway, I hope everyone else is having and happy and safe Thanksgiving!
~Layne

PS: For anyone who is curious, I woke up low yesterday morning (48) and had a crazy rebound high (421! WTF!?!) and all that was before the Thanksgiving meal! But we ate around 1pm and for the rest of the day my sugars behaved nicely!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Okay, two words: Happy Thanksgiving!!
~Layne

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Burn out

Okay, so I don't know about all of y'all, but I'm getting a little burnt out on this NaBloPoMo thing. Not only am I running out of material here but I keep almost forgetting to post! As I'm preparing to crawl into a nice warm inviting bed I am jerked out of my relaxation and into the realization that I haven't posted!!

Then I scream"NaBloPoMo!" as I run from the bedroom to warm up the laptop and punch out a post! This usually leave my husband scratching his head and grumbling about how November isn't any fun this year. ;-)

Well, today (and probably for the next few days) I'm going to cop-out a little. Oh, I will post for sure but they might be a little fluffy and light on the content. But like I said before, I'm hosting my first Thanksgiving this year and I'm way to busy with the preparations for this sh!t. So for anyone else out there who is a little over-anxious and tweaked out about the fast-approaching holiday, can I get a "Holla!" And just don't be surprised if I quasi-abandon this blog for the next few days. I promise to return with stories and pictures. . . if you're good. ;-)

Gotta run now. Got a house to clean and decorate and a turkey to brine!

Over and out,
~Layne

Monday, November 23, 2009

"Brittle?" Really?

I started this post months ago when I started my new (at the time) job. It's usually a slow and sometimes awkward transition when the folks I work with start to realize I'm diabetic. Sometimes it just comes out in conversation and other times they will see me check my sugar or take a shot. Or, more embarrassingly, they find out because I've been a complete airhead, left my insulin at home and find myself running through the halls in a panic trying to find someone, anyone to help get me more! (See here.)

Well, for the first few weeks at this particular job, for whatever reason, I kept having some very frustrating run-ins with my coworkers. Now, just so you know, my personal favorite is the term "brittle" diabetic. (Note: that was sarcasm.) It's so freakin' antiquated, it just makes me cringe. Somehow within the first few weeks of this job FOUR of my coworkers had already asked me if I'm "brittle" once they found out I was diabetic!! Why, you ask? Well, two asked when they saw me test and I was low, one asked because she saw me test and I was high and one asked because she thought I was testing my blood sugar "an awful lot"! WTF?!?

Now, I know that my coworkers are NICU nurses and are used to working with patient's who happen to be smaller than your last hamburger and diabetes doesn't really come into the picture. But, c'mon! They're still nurses!! And "brittle"? Really?!? It took all I had in me to keep from saying, "Geez, when did you learn about diabetes? 1972?" But then I remembered that I'm often referred to as a "young'un" and they probably were the class of '72 and I should probably shut up before I get my butt beat. Or worse, Death by Dirty Looks.

Obviously, none of them has any idea of what it's really like to be diabetic. Not in a Julie Roberts movie, but in the real world. Highs and lows are a part of life for me, for every diabetic. I don't know any diabetic whose management is down to such a perfect routine that they are never high or low and don't ever need to check their sugar. Um, hello!?! That's what being diabetic is. And since when is checking your sugar too often a bad thing that is a sign of sickness? Um, no. I'm in pretty good control (my last A1C was 6.3, thank-you-very-much) and wanna know why? 'Cuz I check my damn sugars every 2 seconds.

Because after 18 years I've learned enough about diabetes to know that just because I *think* I've done all I need to do, it's more likely to snow in hell than for my bloodsugar to actually behave. So I am constantly whipping out my meter. All you non-diabetic folks out there have a pancreas that is kind enough to do the job for you every minute of every day. Well, since mine decided to crap out 18 years ago, I figure the more often I check my sugar and correct it, the more my body will behave like yours. Obviously I can't check my sugar every minute but about 6 or more times/day is my norm . . . and that's when everything is going well! The number goes up to 10 or more when I'm having a bad day.

Even better, when I tried to educate a few of my coworkers they all nodded their heads and swore that they believed that of course I was a good little diabetic but that I should have seen this other nurse that used to work there. Her diabetes was so bad that she needed an insulin pump! Gasp! And she was very noncompliant because she would eat cake whenever there were birthday parties and they all tried to get her to see the light but she would just say she could eat whatever she wanted and whip out her pump!! The horror! . . .

Do you see what I'm working with here?

And it wasn't just one but several people who told me "stories" about this particular diabetic who used to work there. I would try to politely say that I used to be on the pump and it isn't at all a measure of how severe or well-controlled someone's diabetes is. And in fact the way most diabetics are managed today, we can eat what we want in moderation and we count our carbs and bolus for it. When I was done explaining, again, I got sympathetic (yet disbelieving) nods from everyone I talked to.

There were a few moments of humor in all these exchanges, though. The really funny part came when I asked where I could get some OJ or milk because my blood sugar was low. (FYI, I work in a hospital and we have access to snacks and juice boxes for patients so I have just learned to grab one of those if I need to treat on-the-go at work.) Anyway, my coworker asked what my bloodsugar was and I told her 60. Well, she proceeds to fly off down the hall, around the corner, buzzing around so fast I can barely keep up with her. In the process, I see her stopping other nurses, asking where the patient nutrition room is and telling them that there is a diabetic nurse in the NICU who is low and needs a juice! Juice, dammit!! She finally gets to the patient nutrition room where she slows down long enough to whip open the fridge and in the process notices I'm right behind her. She gets all wide-eyed and tells me to "go sit down" because she "doesn't want me passing out" on her! I told her that I was really okay and wanted to follow her so I knew where to go in the future if I ever need a snack. And I couldn't stop grinning all day and and making fun her the rest of the day. I tried to explain it wasn't an emergency but, again, with the strange looks.

I know every diabetic out there has run-ins with people who just don't get it or like to judge or give unhelpful opinions or advice. So I'm not really sure why these run-ins had me so riled up. Maybe it was because every single person used the term "brittle" which I loathe. ::double cringe:: Or maybe it was because it happened like 4 times in 2 weeks. Who knows?

So, fellow D-bloggers, does anyone ever accuse you of being "brittle?" Are there buzzwords that drive you nuts? Does one high or low blood sugar send your friends/coworkers/family into hysterics? Or have you ever felt like you try to tell a non-diabetic what it's really like and you can tell they don't believe you?!?! When it comes to diabetes awareness, I really wish that the general public would just calm the hell down and the media or whoever is responsible for this massively misinformed public would fix it or just shut up and stop making it worse! Because it's driving me crazy!

~Layne

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving Meme

So there is something coming up that I'm actually very nervous about. And, no, for once I'm not talking about my new job! This year I will be working on Thanksgiving day and the Friday after. Bummer, I know. But since this is also our first year in our house I thought it worked out perfectly to host our first Thanksgiving! On Thanksgiving day our families will still be having their separate holidays but they are all coming together to celebrate with Brad and I on Wednesday. And I say it works out perfectly because I seriously doubt that in this stage in my life either of our families would hand the Thanksgiving hosting over to me except that if they don't allow me to host my own little get together I'll be completely Thanksgiving-less.

I'm actually really, really excited about it but since it's my first year hosting we are keeping it small. It will just be us, Brad's parents and my mom and grandmother. So only six, which for me seems small. Also our parents are being kind enough to bring over some dishes with them . And I think it will be the first holiday that our families will be spending together rather than us just making the rounds to everyone's houses. All very exciting!

I don't know why I'm so anxious about this but I am. I really enjoy hosting and cooking and entertaining and I'm a perfectionist to boot. Plus Thanksgiving seems like the ultimate hosting job! It's is hyped up to be this very important (and very involved) meal for the whole family and I just want everyone to enjoy my "Thanksgiving" as much as they would there own. I've already started preparations for the day of and I'll let you all know how it goes! Wish me luck!

So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I've seen this meme floating around on a few DOC blogs here and there and I thought I'd throw my hat in the ring. Hope you enjoy!

~Layne

1. What are the traditional favorites?

Well, I'm not much of a turkey person (but we have it every year 'cuz of tradition and all that) but I really love all the sides. Especially the bread (honey yeast rolls) and dessert!

2. What new recipes will you try this year?

Since this is my first year cooking, I guess you could say that the turkey is my "new recipe" since I've never cooked a whole turkey before. Since I'm not in love with turkey I'm adding ham to the menu. Other than that I'm sticking to dishes I've made before. I figured that was a safe bet since I'm a newb. Oh! But I am making a new recipe for dessert; pear and almond tart! YUM! Can't wait to see how it turns out!

3. What part of the meal do you never compromise?

I got to many different get-togethers (two immediate families, extended family and friends, etc) and there is different stuff at each one. My family is mostly southern, Brad's family usually throw in a dish or two that we normally wouldn't and with my friends, you never know. I guess the one thing that is common to them all is turkey! And maybe mashed potatoes.

4. Who gets to carve the turkey?

Usually it's the man of the house. I guess this year it will be my husband. That's so exciting!

5. Family style around the table or buffet style and everyone sits wherever there’s room?

Probably buffet style from the kitchen mostly because there will be so much food that it won't all fit on the table. But we do always put the rolls, butter, and gravy on the table.

6. How many will be at your table this year?

Six of us: me, Brad, my mom and grandmother and Brad's mom and dad. And Raina, too, if you count under the table.

7. Three best pies for Thanksgiving dessert?

Pumpkin pie, pecan pie and (hopefully) my pear pie!

8. Cranberry sauce… yay or nay?

Nah. Not a huge fan.

9. What time do you eat Thanksgiving Dinner?

My family always does any kind of holiday meal (including Thanksgiving) in the early afternoon, usually 1-2pm. I've always secretly thought that we do it to justify us grazing for the rest of the day on the leftovers.

10. Favorite leftover?

I like leftovers but I can't say that I have a favorite. I really just like not having to cook for several days after because even when we don't host Thanksgiving all the 'rents insist on sending us home with tons of food. But my husband LOVES all the turkey, ham and turkey-ham sandwiches that he can make in the days following Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Big News (Part 2)

So I know that I wasn't so forthcoming with the info yesterday so I decided to clue everyone in on the details of the new job (eeeek! yay!!). As much as you've heard me talk about the job market in Orlando for NNPs (Neonatal Nurse Practitioners) and the fact that I've been driving quite a ways to interviews, I'm sure by now you've guessed that my new job will involve quite a commute.

And it's true. The new position is in Jacksonville and it will be about a 2 hour drive. But the beauty of this position is that I will be able to work longer shifts and longer shifts equals fewer shift which equals fewer trips there and back. I will be working 3 24-hour shifts every 2 weeks. So I figure the commute isn't as much of a big deal when I'm only doing it (on average) 1.5 times per week!

The best thing about this NNP position is that it puts me in a Level 3 NICU. This is where the sickest babies are. My patients could be on ventilators, need surgery, special meds, special procedure. And all this means that I will be learning every time I step foot in the door. I can't wait. This is exactly what I was looking for. I would love to be able to find a job in the city I live in but it just doesn't exist and I'm so done chasing butterflies and assuming something will land in my lap just because I want it so badly.

Everything about this place feels right. The people are wonderful, the atmosphere is great and it seems like a wonderful place to learn and grow as a clinician. So I am totally stoked! For now, I will be staying at my nursing job in town. Getting priviledges (a process that any MD or NP has to get to work in a hospital) in a new hospital tends to be a long process and I'm assuming I won't be able to start until at least after the holidays. So it will be hard to wait but I know it will be here soon enough and I can't wait!

~Layne

Friday, November 20, 2009

Big News!

Well, I guess I finally have to spill the beans, huh? I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I had been going on interviews and this week I received an job offer and I accepted! So I will (re)join the ranks as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. Only this time I will be working in a Level 3 NICU, the highest acuity facility with the sickest babies.

Essentially this means I will be getting back to doing what I really love. I wanted to wait until the offer was firm and official (which it is) and until I had told the managers at my current job. I felt like that was the most respectful, professional thing to do rather than have them find out 3rd hand from someone who had read my blog. Well, I had an appointment with my manager today but it fell through and I just couldn't keep it to myself any more!!

There is so much more to tell about this position but, for now, just know that it's what I want and I'm so excited and happy to be getting back into the practitioner role!

YAYY!!
::does another happy dance::

~Layne

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sorry . . .

. . . but you'll have to wait one more day for the good news. It's all settled and good but I want to make sure everyone who should be in the know in is actually in the know before it goes up on the blog. This whole internet age is a slippery slope and as much as I'd like to shout from the rooftops right now if the right people find out certain things at the wrong time or in the wrong way (aka by reading it online) it could be not-so-good. So I guess I was a little trigger-happy with my tease . . . sorry to string you along but just one more day. . . . ;-)

I know I suck. Sorry.

But I don't want to be a complete slacker and since I kinda did a cop out post yesterday I didn't want to completely cop out again today. So I did a legitatimate post . . uh. . . on another blog. If any of you have actually visited my profile page you know that I actually do have another blog. I love cooking and I double love food. I wish I partake in both more often. And when it comes to blogs, I largely follow the DOC but am also really into cooking blogs. Love them. Wish and dream that I could be that good at what I do when I'm in the kitchen, not to mention make my food look that great on camera.

But again, I digress. My best friend (who is an amazing cook) and I decided to try our hand at a cooking blog. Well, if you can believe it, it has become more deserted than this blog. Ten posts in 10 months. Shameful, really. But I have been trying. So today I decided to post on a recipe that I made about a month ago. And I thought I would share it.

French Toast Bread Pudding.

Beware: It is about the most unfriendly diabetic food on the face of the planet. Loads of bread and gobs of simple sugars make this recipe your blood sugar's worst nightmare. But, if you dare, it is totally worth the insulin. Just round up when you are carb estimating and you will be fine. ;-)

Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Exciting News!!!!

But I can't tell you until tomorrow. . . . don't wanna jinx it! ;-)

YAAAYYYYYY!!!!!! ::does a happy dance::

~Layne

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

National Prematurity Awareness Day

Ok. I feel like this is starting to get ridiculous. It seems like November is a very popular month for causes . . . at least causes that are very relevant to me. And, like the slacker I am, I just found out that today is National Prematurity Awareness Day. (Kinda like last year when I found out about World Diabetes Day on November 14th?!?)

As most of you know by know prematurity and otherwise sick infants is a passion of mine as well as a career for me. I follow a lot of preemie-parent blogs, some of these babies I've actually taken care of and others I found through the grapevine and the babies or parents captured my attention (read: heart).

So today I was reading Three Cheers for Babies (a blog by the wonderful parents of triplets who lost on of their little girls in the NICU) and it was there that I learned about National Prematurity Awareness Month (November) and Day (November 17). (And, yes, I was at work today reading my blogroll . . . what's your point?)

So, just like diabetes, I know that prematurity does not affect everyone out there. But if you are a mom/dad, mom/dad-to-be or ever plan on having a family, please visit the March of Dimes website and learn about what you can do to make your baby and your pregnancy as healthy as possible.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tired and Alone

I've been having the worst time sleeping lately. I lay in bed at night and stare at the ceiling and every now and then I'd look at the clock. Last night it went something like this:

Went to bed around 10:45 pm
Looked at the clock at 11:11 pm
Looked at the clock at 11:51 pm
Looked at the clock at 12:45 am (Am I asleep yet??)
Looked at the clock at 1:36 am
Looked at the clock at 2:46 am (Seriously, self, go to sleep!!)
Woke up at 6:10 am

As the time spaced farther out I probably wafted in and out of sleep a little but overall I was awake most of that time until after 2am. And then I worked a 12.5 hour shift. Seriously, I'm pooped! This is not the first time in the last couple of weeks I have done this either! I can recall at least 2 other times in the last 2 weeks that I have just not been able to get to sleep. Last night I had a little bit of a reason, though.

Brad left today for Austin, TX for business. I kissed him goodbye this morning when I left for work. And he got on a plane with his boss around 3pm. I really don't like when we have to travel separately. Especially when it involves airplanes. I'm not too afraid to fly but it makes me nervous enough that I don't really enjoy myself in the air. And I really don't like him flying without me. So I was a little on edge last night and today at work until around 6pm when he texted to let me know that he had arrived safely.

I'm sure I will worry again on Wednesday until I get to pick him up at the airport. I know it seems silly because it's only 2 and a half days but I really miss him and the house feels so empty without him. I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have Raina to keep me company. At least I'm working tomorrow too so it won't feel all that lonely during the day.

Geez, I'm such a wuss.
~Layne

Sunday, November 15, 2009

More on NP week

Okay so I know that I already had a whole post on this earlier this week. But I got the cutest card in the mail and had to show everyone.

FANNP is the Florida Association of Neonatal Nurse Practitioners and I'm a member. Every year they put on the rockin'est conference. Trust me, I've been to enough conferences and I know. Anyway, they are great about keeping in touch with members and celebrating all NP's, but especially NNPs.

This is the lovely card they sent me in honor of NP week. So cute!

So tell me? Do any of you out there use NP's? I actually go to an NP at my endo's office and she's wonderful! (So much better than my actual endo!) If you don't use NP's give one a try sometime. I think you'll be pleasantly suprised.

~Layne


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Happy World Diabetes Day

I can't believe it's been a year since I've found the DOC! And I'm still amazed that I found out about the DOC on World Diabetes Day (WDD) last year. How bizarre?

Anyway, today, to celebrate World Diabetes Day, I'm also going to participate in the Big Blue Test. To raise awareness of the importance of testing, they are asking all diabetics to test their blood sugar at 2pm on November 14 (today, World Diabetes Day) and log it on their website. Because I have plans at 2pm, I'm going to test now (12pm) and log it. I'm about to eat lunch anyway, so it works out.

::::drumroll, please::

Huh. That seemed a little anti-climactic to me. Oh well.

Also, today I re-read my first WDD/DOC post from last year. I really like that post. So much has happened in my life since then, it's so hard to believe it was only a year ago that I wrote that. So I will leave you with the final paragraph from that post. It was my favorite part of the whole post. It's powerful and true.

"I'm so happy that today is World Diabetes Day. I hope people other than the diabetics in this world actually know about it and care about it. I'm also happy that this day has been recognized by the United Nations. But for me, November 14th doesn't go away. Every day is diabetes day. It follows me everywhere. For me, this isn't a cause. It's my life."

~Layne

Friday, November 13, 2009

Close call

Several months ago I switched to the Freestyle Lite meter and I've really liked it since switching. I would even go so far as to say that it is better than any other meter I've had in every aspect except one. And it's really not a huge deal but if you have to know. . .

I have used the One Touch strips for years and I really do like how they work (even if the meters that they are used in are less than ideal). It's so easy to see where the blood goes and that little clear canal for the blood fills up and when it's full you can tell. Or if you need to add more. . . it's obvious that you need to add more.

Anyway, if you look at the Freestyle Lite test strip you can see that there isn't a terribly obvious place to put the blood. In fact, as embarrassing as it is to admit this, the first time I tried to test with this meter it took a few tries of me jabbing my bloody finger at the strip before I figured out how to actually use the damn thing. (Btw, you apply the blood to the little half circles on either side of the end of the strip. And, yes, you can use either side.) Even now that I know how to use the strips I still get annoyed when my little drop of bloood is perfectly poised on the strip, ready to be sucked in and analyzed and for whatever reason the meter just won't kick in. Am I not lined up in the right spot? Does it need more blood? What is it WAITING FOR?!?! But this is a little thing in the grand scheme of things and overall I really do like the meter better.

Oh! I just thought of another downside of this meter. And really I should have said it sooner because I've been dealing with this for months. The test strips are really expensive (no shock there) and for whatever reason my insurance company is giving me a really hard time about filling my perscription. No problems with the One Touch strips but for some reason the Freestyle strips are a higher copay and (worse) the mail order pharmacy I have to use for 90 day refills is iffy when it comes to actually stocking the Freestyle Lite strips.

In July, the mail order pharmacy broke the news that they would no longer be carrying the Freestyle Lite strips. What?!?! They told me that they could provide a free (read: cheap and generic) meter and I they would supply the strips for it. Um, no thanks. I like my meter and I want to keep using it. I got an override that allowed me to refill my 90 prescription for test strips at my local CVS. Great.

Well, I was getting close to running out a couple weeks ago and went to refill them again at the CVS when I was told "NO!" Apparently the override back in August was a one time thing. "What were my options?," I asked. Well, I could get a 15 day supply from CVS for $45 (keep in mind I was getting 90 days for $90 which basically means triple the cost) or if I wanted to get a 90 day supply I would have to use the mail order pharmacy program. I told them that last time I spoke to them, the mail order pharmacy didn't carry the Freestyle strips. So they said I could get a 15 day supply for $45 and I said I wanted a 90 day supply . . . . and around and around we went.

I eventually hung up with the person at my insurance company and decided to try the mail order pharmacy again. I figured they are a pharmacy shouldn't they be able to freaking fill any prescription I needed filling?!? I called, asked for a manager immediately and prepared for a battle. Except they starting carrying the Freestyle lite strips again. And of course they would transfer the script from CVS back to them and fill the 90 day supply! Seriously?!?

Well, this was all fine and dandy but in the mean time I had run out of strips for my Freestyle and only had one box of strips left for my One Touch. I checked the mail diligently for days and still no strips. I test a LOT and it was awful feeling like I had to reign that in for fear of using up all my strips. Thursday came and I used my last strip. luckily I was working all day so if I got desparate I could use the glucose meter at the hospital (a big no-no but seriously it's my health and I don't care). I was praying that they came that day because I was off for 2 days with no access to glucose meters and no strips in sight.

So yesterday on my way home from work I texted my husband and "Hallelujah!," they came!! That was a seriously close call and I hate it when I have close calls like that with my meds/supplies. I guess I could have bent and agreed to use another meter but that would have meant a million phone calls to my Endo to ask them to write another script and you know what? I don't want to use their stinky meter. Call me stubborn.

Have you ever had a close call with your supplies? How did you handle it? Have you ever put your foot down with your pharmacy or insurance company? Are all diabetics a pain in the ass or is it just me?

~Layne

Thursday, November 12, 2009

National Nurse Practitioner Week

Since I am a nurse practitioner, it has not escaped my attention that this week is National Nurse Practitioner Week. I know, I know. It seems like there is a day or a week or a month for everything. But since this is kinda my thing I'm actually paying attention to this one.


For those of you who actually use nurse practitioners (NPs) for your health care you probably know how aweseom they are. Of course everyhing depends on the person, but for the most part NPs are wonderful, they answer questions, take their time with you and are generally very patient-centered. I talked a lot about NPs in this post so I won't go to into it but I wanted to share with you what the US government and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) had to say about their growing (and important) role in health-care. The following is from the AANP's website.

--------------------------------------------------------

The United States House of Representatives recently honored the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and National Nurse Practitioner Week.

"It is a great honor for nurse practitioners to be recognized by the United States Congress. As the number of nurse practitioners increases, so does public awareness of the significant contributions made by this group of dedicated healthcare professionals," said Dr. Judith Dempster, executive director of AANP. "Nurse practitioners have differentiated themselves from other clinicians by focusing on the whole person when treating specific health problems, as well as educating the patient on the effects those problems will have on them.

More and more consumers are choosing nurse practitioners as their partner in health because, in addition to providing high-quality primary, acute and specialty healthcare, nurse practitioners empower patients to maintain and improve their health by providing individualized and comprehensive health education and counseling. Nurse practitioners focus on promoting health and preventing disease, which can reduce healthcare cost for patients.

"Nurse practitioners fill a vital role in American's healthcare system. There are over 106,000 nurse practitioners providing high-quality care around the nation, and they are especially important in rural and underserved areas," said Congressman Burgess, a physician practicing in Lewisville, Tx. "I have worked with nurse practitioners and certainly I learned a great deal more from them than I was ever able to teach them."

AANP continually advocates for the active role of nurse practitioners as providers of high-quality, cost-effective, personalized healthcare. Use this occasion to celebrate the vital role that NPs play in bringing high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered, personalized primary care to all populations of the United States. The shortage of primary care providers is a hot topic in the healthcare reform debate. NP Week is a good opportunity to showcase the many ways that NPs are the primary care providers of choice for many patients and to let others in your community know about the value of NP-delivered primary care.

~Layne

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Raina Vlogs

Okay, so I forgot to mention one pretty cute, crazy and hysterical thing that Raina does. Well, Brad and I think it's funny . . .

To explain this vlog here is some background: Raina loves going outside. We have to keep her on the leash at first so that she will focus on going potty rather than all the other wonderful distractions that the outdoors brings. But once she has potty'd and is at last granted freedom, she is in absolute doggy heaven. She romps and runs around, weaves in, out and around the bushes, barks at squirrel, birds, leaves and (her favorite) she hunts.

We aren't really sure what she is hunting but it certainly lives in the bushes and shrubs. And this hunting mostly consists of her diving , yes DIVING head-first into the bushes in search of her prey? Our best guess is that she's going after the lizards that scurry in every direction at her approach. What she will do with them when she catches one is anyone's guess. In fact I'm not sure even she knows. It's pretty funny to watch this hunt and probably the cutest part is how fast her little tail (nub) wags as she digs around into the bushes. You can just tell how exciting it all is for her. I guess it's nice to have a hobby! :-)

This isn't a particularly great example of her hunting prowess but it's the only video we've managed to capture.

Enjoy!
~Layne

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Introducing . .

So I know this is random but there is someone who is a big part of my life and I think it's about time we've had a proper introduction, don't you? Her name is Raina and she is the miniature pinscher (aka Min Pin) that I adopted almost 6 years ago.

I was told Raina was "about 1 year old" when I adopted her so I just decided to make her birthday the day I picked her up, December 13th. I have had her almost 6 years now and I can't imagine life without her. She is can drive me crazy but I love her to death.

Without further ado, here are some fun facts about Raina:

She loves, loves, loves to sit on the back of the furniture. Usually she does this so that she can look out the window which is another favorite past-time of hers (trust me, she will find any window to peer out of). But even if she's not interested in looking out the window, her favorite seat is the back of our chair in the living room and she will happily curl up there to take a nap.


Another of her favorites, besides napping, which she does often throughout the day, is burrowing. She loves being covered up and if you don't offer to cover her up with something, she will go off and find something to crawl under. She often gets caught being in places and under things that she's not supposed to be!



Believe it or not, she loves to dress up. At first I just bought her sweaters to wear in the winter. No, it doesn't get very cold here in Florida but she's a little dog without a whole lot of fat so she does get chilly in the winter. So eventually she caught on and whenever we would say the word "sweater" she knew what it meant and got really excited. In time it morphed into everything from Gator shirts to Halloween costumes (those she's not as big of a fan of). Brad thinks I'm nuts but, hey, it's fun.



She also loves to sit in the sun. She will find any patch of direct sunlight (indoors or outdoors) and lay in it for hours. She will move every now and then to cool down but always goes back for more!



And finally she is a great snuggler. When she is not spending her time dressing up, guarding the house, laying in the sun or finding something to burrow under she will (sometimes) grace Brad and I with her presence.




I know there are a lot of bloggers and DOC-ers who have furry friends who find their way into the blog from time to time. So I thought it was about time that Raina made her appearance. Hope you enjoyed getting to know her better!

~Layne

Monday, November 9, 2009

D-blog day

Having not been a part of the DOC for very long I didn't even know D-blog day existed until, well, today! Truth be told, I almost feel like a faker. I mean, I want to be a part of the DOC. And I am qualified, seeing that I am actually diabetic. But my blog isn't always about my diabetes. In fact, it's not even mostly about my diabetes.

It's just about me. Saying what I want to say about my life and what I'm feeling at the moment. It's mostly a place for me to vent about frustrations or shout happy thoughts. Sometimes the thing I need to get out is about diabetes but sometimes it's not. So is that good enough?

That's probably a big reason that I don't have a lot of traffic. I don't really stick to a subject. But that's okay I don't do this for the traffic. I do it for myself. And the few people I have met and connected with over the blogosphere have been wonderful. I would love to meet more but the folks on the DOC all seem to be in the New England area. I haven't met anyone anywhere near my neck of the woods (Florida). But if there is ever a meet-up in Florida, you best believe I'll be there!

For me, the DOC is a place I can go where I know, without a doubt, that people get it. It's so funny to me to read things that a complete stranger writes that is something I've tried to tell my husband, my mom, my best friend for years and years. And then there is this stranger who I've never even met who gets it. Who thinks the things I have thought for 18 years. It's so weird but it's also so great.

And you know what else? It doesn't really bother me that my blog isn't always about diabetes. Because I'm not just my diabetes. I'm a lot of things and one of them is diabetes. And depending on the day, the diabetes part can be big or it can be small. So my blog takes after me. As it should.

So happy D-blog day from this part-time DOC-er!

~Layne

Sunday, November 8, 2009

My day at work

Today (and yesterday for that matter) I took care of a very sick little boy who was dying. His family is going to withdraw life support tomorrow. Most people look at this as a horrific part of my job and I won't lie, it is awful. But whether I chose to work in the NICU or not, awful things will still happen. Even to wonderful families like this one.

Because I have this job, I went to work and spent all day Saturday and Sunday helping this family through what will be their last weekend with their son/brother/grandson/nephew. This little boy has spent every day of his life since he was born hooked to machines, lying undressed in a warmer, looking more like a "patient" than a baby. Knowing what was coming on Monday, this weekend I was determined to give the family back their baby boy.

I helped him have his first cuddle with his teddy bear, wrapped him in his first non-hospital blanket and today I surprised his family by having him dressed in a very cute onesie that a coworker helped me find. So when the family came to visit, they found their little boy dressed in his first outfit (that helped to hide all the wires and tubes), laying on sheets that were not hospital sheets and sleeping with his bear. I got two tearful hugs from two tearful Grandmas in thanks for the simple kindness of dressing their grandson. That is why I do this. That is why I love my job. How many people can really say they make a difference in the lives of others? How many can say they had the opportunity to help a family through the saddest of times in hopes of being able to make it the tiniest bit more bearable? How could I not be so incredibly honored and humbled to have that job?

Today I placed a grandson in the arms of his grandmother for the first and (probably) last time. I got to watch her rock her grandson, read him a letter she wrote to him and say a painful goodbye. And I cried right along with her. Those things that I did for that little boy today were tiny in the grand scheme of things. And they certainly won't change what will happen to him tomorrow. But it was my honor and privilege to take care of this baby boy and I can't imagine doing anything else with my life. Is this the fun part of my job? No. Did my heart break for this family? Yes. Did I spend most of my day shedding tears right alongside them? Of course.

But like I said these things will happen whether I do this job or not. My hope is that by choosing to do this I get the opportunity try and make horrible situations like these a little bit . . . What? I don't know. I can't say "better" because there is nothing good about it. But if I could give these people a few sweet memories of this boy. Take pictures, create a few special moments for them to remember, a chance to say goodbye in a way that may (hopefully) give them peace. . . I don't know what else to say. My job has the highest highs and the lowest lows. But even after days like today, I'm thankful for it.

Excuse me while I go hug the crap out of Brad and Raina and tell them I love them. Then I'm going to go to bed and have a good cry before I pass out, cause I'm freaking exhausted.

~Layne

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Feeling Low

So I don't tend to wake up at night with low blood sugars all that often. But for some reason this week I seem to be going for a record. Multiple times I've woken up with low sugars and last night was the worst.

Before I go into any details let me first tell you about a very strange symptom I get at night with my lows. Most diabetics I know have trouble waking up to their lows at night. I never have, which is a good thing I guess. Instead my night time lows cause this weird version of insomnia. I do have the usual waking-up-shaky-and-drenched-in-sweat kind of lows but starting right after college, I found myself randomly waking up in the middle of the night, wide-awake, for absolutely no reason, no symptoms. I obviously wasn't well-rested because I'd only been asleep 3 or 4 hours. But there I was wide awake and unable to fall back asleep no matter how hard I tried. Eventually I got the bright idea to check my blood-sugar and lo and behold it was low. No familiar low symptoms, but I was still low. So I treated, my sugar came back up and I fell back asleep. I will say it's a very annoying way to find out I'm low because even though I am aware of it, it still usually takes me a while of tossing and turning to think to test my sugar. Again, because I don't feel low.

Okay, so yesterday I had been fighting off lows most of the day, mostly because I just didn't have much of an appetite. Before bed I felt that faint "butterfly" feeling in my stomach that I get at the beginning of a low and not at all tired. So I tested and I'm 84. I thought, ok, I'm awesome. My blood sugar is on it's way down and I caught it early, I'll treat and have an otherwise restful night.

Wrong! I went to bed at 11pm and tossed and turned for an hour and a half before I gave up and tried checking my sugar again. 48?!? So I guess whatever I did to the 84 just made it angry. I get up, drink the last dregs of milk out of the carton (for the protein) and then some OJ (for the raw sugar power). I go back to bed think, "Take that!"

And it worked. . . for about 4 hours. I'm up again at 4:45am but absolutely refuse to get out of bed. I don't really know why but I'd already felt cheated out of a restful night and treating the same low for a 3rd time just seemed like admitting defeat. So I tossed and turned until my alarm went off at 6am. And of course I checked before I left the house and my blood sugar was 62.

So I had the low that wouldn't die last night and tonight I'm freakin' beat. I really hope I can get some good sleep tonight to make up for it. Has anyone else out there found themselves fighting the same low off all night long? How do you handle it? Do you get angry and hide under the covers refusing to come out? Or do you act like a mature adult and get out of bed, test and treat? Just curious. ;-)

~Layne

Friday, November 6, 2009

Intro to Vlog

So this is my first official vlog. I made it weeks (months?) ago and never actually got around to posting it. Why, you ask? Probably the same reason I hardly ever post anything. Big ideas, good intentions, bad follow-through.

No more! That's what NaBloPoMo is all about. Changing bad habits, right? Right! In some ways I guess it's good that my follow-through sucks because it means I have a bunch of draft-posts to work with all through November. Procrastination (at it's finest) finally pays off!

Anywhoooo . . . this is from way-back-when all the DOC-ers were doing the purse-diving vlog. I absolutely loved watching everyone's vlog. Maybe it's the inner voyeur in me or maybe it's because I saw so many similarities between other purse-carrying diabetics and myself. But in addition to the similarities I saw the little differences in how others do things. It put me to shame, really, because I felt like I was way less prepared than the average bear, uh, diabetic.

So, without further delay (except for the usual disclaimer about incessant rambling and please disregard the fact that I sound like I'm 12 yrs old), I present to you my first vlog. Enjoy.

video
~Layne

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Eye doctor

In honor of National Diabetes Month, I went to the eye doctor today. That's not really true, I always go this time of year but it sounds good, right? Anyway, the appointment was not too exciting, which is always a good thing. Still no signs of retinopathy. Yay! And it's funny because I had Lasik surgery back in December of 2004 and since then every time someone checks my eyes they comment about how great they look, that they almost can't even see the scar and what a nice job the surgeon did. Personally, I pat myself on the back a little for that one because who'd a thought a diabetic could heal so well?!?

The one little downer though is that even though I had 20/15 vision right after the Lasik surgery, it has slid a little in the last 18 months or so. My left eye is now about 20/25 and my right is about 20/50. (Keep in mind before the surgery my vision was about 20/450. Yep, folks, I was legally blind without my contacts!) The right one is the one that drives me a little crazy but I'm still going fine without corrective lenses. I keep a pair of glasses in the car in case things get blurry on the road at night but I hardly ever wear them. In the long run, I'm still very happy with my vision and my eye health.

Well, that's the most exciting news from my day. Hope you had a good one!

~Layne

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

It's Over!

That's all I could think as I drove home today from my interview. Well, I'm using the word "think" here very loosely because at the end of a long day that started at 6am with a 2 hour drive, consisted of meeting 20 million people, asking and being asked 50 kazillion questions and walking all over the two hospitals I was a little, uh, fried . . . to say the least. So I vegged out the first 20 minutes or so of the drive.

But then I got to thinking about today's interview and I also thought back on my previous interview two weeks ago. I had so much floating around in my head, comparisons, facts, people, place. . . I thought my brain might actually ooze out of my ears and onto Interstate 4 as I drove back home. Before I went on this interview I had really thought my decision clear but today the waters became very murky. I have two great institutions to choose from. Two great Level 3 NICU's that I have to choose between. (That is, if I am lucky enough to get an offer from both. But I do have to say I think I did really well on both interviews.)

So this looming decision weighed on me. How was I going to choose? Would I make the right choice? Then I thought of the past 2 years . . . had it really been that long? December marks 2 years since I graduated, full of hope and ambition. But that two years had brought some really rough times. An fruitless job hunt in Orlando, months spent in an NP position that ended up being completely unfulfilling and infuriating, the highs and lows of interviewing at my one hope at a position in Orlando and then getting turned down and then stepping down to a RN position just to regain my sanity. When it comes to my career, the last 2 years have been emotionally and physically draining to say the least.

And then it dawned on me. . . what a wonderful problem to have. And at that second I thanked God for the opportunity to experience this problem. A choice between two Level 3 NICUs were I can persue my passion and really learn. These are exactly the kinds of places I have been looking for. Sure, it's a commute. But this is something I have been wanting (and missing out on) for so long. And I am so, SO grateful that I am finally in a place where I can work in a place that fits me. A place where I can make a difference, do what I love and learn new things about a field I am truly passionate about every day.

And that's what I thought for the rest of my ride home. It's over. The search. The stress. The greif. The uncertainty. It's over.

Thank God.
~Layne

PS: A diabetes related note: Wouldn't you freaking know that I got low twice! On each interview!! Luckily I brought snacks that I stowed in my purse to be ready for this exact situation, but seriously?!? Some days I really think having diabetes is like taking a toddler with you everywhere you go. There are those important days where you just pray it will, sit down, shut up and just behave and not embarrass you. Oh well. ;-)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Nervous Nelly

So, the above title isn't quite true. I'm not all that nervous. More like anxious. But why don't I tell you what all this is about before I start dissecting my feelings. I have an interview tomorrow with a hospital a little less than 2 hours away from my house. (I guess we'll see what the actual driving time is tomorrow, huh?) It's an all-day interview which is pretty typical in my field. And I'm excited to meet the team and see the hospital but I'm also wary becaue I'm beat from my two days in a row of sun-up to sun-down shifts and I have to get up at the butt-crack of dawn to arrive to my interview on time.

This is my second interview in two weeks. Since I went to the NANN conference back in September and caught up with old colleagues and brushed up on the latest research I've found myself yearning more and more to get back into the NNP role. I know, I know. I said I was happy as a nurse . . . and doubly happy with my 15 minute commute. And I am. But it's hard not to miss being in the NNP role. It's what I trained for, it's what I'm passionate about and it's why I have all these school loans, for crying out loud!

However, there is one (very big) problem with this: There are no openings in Orlando. Zero. Zilch. Nada. And it doesn't look like there will be any for at least 2 years. Maybe more. So I developed a strategy. I networked like crazy at the conference and met a few recruiters and a few hospitals, with openings in Florida, all expressing interest. My criteria was this: the hospital had to be within 2 hours of Orlando and it had to offer long shifts (long = 16 to 24 hours). I compromised with myself in order to find a job. It sucks to have to drive 2 hours to a job so I only looked at places with long shifts so that the number of times I had to drive back and forth to work would be drastically decreased. For example, I interviewed somewhere that primarily does 24-hour shifts. So I would do 3 24-hour shifts in 2 weeks, give or take. How sweet is that?!?

I also decided not to entertain any more of this Level 2 business. If I'm driving that far I would only look at Level 3 NICU's. These are the NICU's that keep the sickest babies, house more specialties, perform surgeries, etc. This is the kind of place I want to be in, where I can really learn my stuff. If the hospital was a teaching institution or in a university setting, all the better.

I narrowed the field down to the 2 strongest contenders. And that's where we are now. I've gone on one interview and tomorrow is my second. These interviews are exciting, for sure, but also nerve-wracking and exhausting. Throw in a 4 hour round trip and who knows what shape I'm going to be in tomorrow. Hopefully I'll remember to post! :-)

So I should go now and prepare (aka write up my questions, print out directions, pick out an outfit, etc). Wish me luck and pray that my diabetes stays in check all day!!

TTFN!
~Layne

Monday, November 2, 2009

Can we say busy?

Okay so today ws not such a good second day for NaBloPoMo. I came to work this morning and found that my assignment was in one of my favorite rooms. The twin room is oh, so quiet, oh, so calm and really lends itself to a relaxing day at work with the babies. Which, in turn, should hve lent itself nicely to me havig pleny of time to write my daily blog post.

Today? Not so much. No one told my babies that Halloween is over. Because I had little twin girls "trick-or-treating" me all day long with the alarms, the dings, the xrays, the ultrasounds, the tubes, the wires, ventilators facing the wrong direction, monitors out of reach . . . this room, this assigment, and these poor little girls were a hot mess.

And now, near the end of my shift, so am I. Not to mention I am currently typing on a mobile laptop station that is uber-ghetto and is currently missing 3 keys with several more on the fritz. So please forgive the spelling errors. And the lack of an actual interesting post.

But hey! I posted!! Go me!

Until tomorrow,
~Layne