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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Where is Spring???

The big Physiology exam was yesterday, and I'm now on spring break. I can't believe we are already to spring break. It's been an interesting few months. We have learned a great deal, and are glimpsing how much we have yet to learn.

To misquote David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross, it takes brass balls to do anesthesia. Any one of the drugs we give during a case can easily kill a person if the dose is miscalculated or even if it's given at the wrong time. In fact, if you think about it, we have to get a person as close to dead as possible for surgery to even occur. Patients have to hover just above death in order to tolerate someone cutting into them and doing what are often fairly violent procedures on them. (If you have any doubt, watch any orthopedic procedure, especially joint replacement surgery, which is usually performed on elderly patients. The pounding and drilling that goes on is vigorous to say the least.) It sounds dramatic but it is actually the truth. This wouldn't make a very good PR campaign for anesthesia providers, though: "Nurse Anesthetists: Keeping Your Other Foot Out Of The Grave." So, it's good that we learn all that we do. But it is a daunting task.

I tried to drive back to Portland yesterday, thinking perhaps I could get ahead of the snowstorm, but I was unable. I drove about 40 miles before it became apparent that I would have to turn around. This morning there are maybe 3 inches of snow on the ground, and the DOT says I-90 is still covered in snow, so I will wait a few hours before heading out. The Groundhog promised another 6 weeks of winter, but he apparently didn't check the calender. That 6 weeks was up a couple of weeks ago.

Weight loss is at a standstill. I'm frustrated, but still working out and trying to be patient. I need another fill.

When I handed in my exam yesterday, Maggie and John were in the office to receive it. I haven't seen Maggie (program director) in a few weeks. She is in the midst of preparing the documentation for the program accreditors, who come every 3 or 5 years (I can't remember which). In addition, she injured her neck somehow and has been having a lot of pain. Her older daughter has a severe seizure disorder, having about 6-10 seizures per day. She went to Harborview about 6 weeks ago for extended EEG monitoring to try to locate an area that can be operated on to reduce her seizures, and they are waiting for those results still. So poor Maggie is under a lot of stress right now. But she and John and I chatted for a while and they commented that they really like our group a lot. I think our group is really good, too. No overwhelmingly strong personalities in the group (all nurses who are drawn to this profession are strong personalities, I think) and everyone gets along well and has a good attitude. I've really gained a lot of respect for all of my classmates in the last few months. It's sort of amazing to remember the group of interviewees last year and remember that I found them all to be so capable and qualified. It was definitely intimidating. And now this is the group of students that came from that larger group, and everyone belongs here and seems to have what it takes to be successful. It's really an honor to be part of this group.

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