Friday, September 5, 2014

Seven Years

Wednesday, September 5, 2007. It was the second week of my freshman year of college. I came home from class and took a nap. My parents woke me up and I knew in that very groggy instant that whatever they were about to say wasn't going to be good. What I didn't know is that it would turn my world upside down and change my life forever. 

They sat down on the edge of my bed and my mom said "we don't know much yet, but dad has cancer." Cancer. That word stung like a thousand searing knives. That word I had heard so many times in my life suddenly had a new meaning. I immediately burst into tears and just kept repeating "no" "how" and "why". I cried for days. The days turned into weeks and those weeks turned into months. I didn't tell my best friends for weeks because I couldn't admit it. I literally could not form the words in my mouth. 

Over the next several weeks, more information came in. More news always felt like worse news. The tears continued to flow. I felt like I lived in a constant state of puffy, blood-shot eyes. The next 17 months were the worst months of my life. I watched the cancer ravage my dad's body, but never his spirit. When he finally took his last breath in the arms of me, my mom, and my brother, there was an eerie calm that came over the room. It is a feeling I don't know that I will ever be able to put to words. Our hearts shattered, but we knew my dad's painful battle was over. 

What I didn't know is that my fight with cancer was long from over. I have felt pain and anger in my heart every day for the last seven years. It is a battle I still fight every single day. I keep waiting for it to get easier, but with each passing day, I believe more and more that it never will. 

Cancer not only robbed me of my dad, but it robbed me of my future. It robbed me of all of the happiest moments in my life. Yes, I was accepted to and graduated from a great nursing school, but my dad wasn't there to see it. I started my dream job right out of college, but my dad wasn't there to celebrate it. I bought a house at 23, but my dad wasn't there to give me advice or help me with projects. Someday I will marry the man of my dreams, but my dad won't be there to walk me down the aisle and give us his blessing. My children will never be held in the arms of the grandfather that would have loved and spoiled them with every fiber of his being. All of the happiest moments in my life always bring me back to the worst and most painful moment of my life. 

As if living with pain and anger every single day weren't enough, I also live in fear. There has been so much cancer in my family that I am just waiting for the day I'm told I have it too. I'm afraid of the diagnosis. I'm afraid of the battle. I'm afraid for my family that will have to watch me go through it. 

Cancer has also forced me into solidarity. I can't talk about the pain and anger and fear. It makes people feel awkward and uncomfortable because they don't know what to say and they don't understand the extent of the words that come out of my mouth, so instead they shy away from the topic and I'm left to sit in silence. Or people try to hard. "He's with you in spirit." "Don't let the past control your future." "You can't live your life in fear." I know you're trying, and THANK YOU, but I'd rather you say absolutely nothing. Those bandaid phrases hurt and make me feel even more angry and isolated. I don't need you to say anything. I just need you to listen. I need you to give me a hug and let me cry. I know you don't get it, and I'm so glad you don't. I hope you NEVER understand what I'm talking about. I hope you NEVER fight the demons I fight every single day. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


I knew it had been a while since I've posted, but I didn't realize it had been over four months! How?!

I feel like time life is passing me by. Everything is moving so quickly around me, but I'm stuck at a standstill.

My friends all around me are in grad school, working on major career moves, getting engaged, or having babies. (Sweet, precious babies that I'm so glad I got to be one of the first to welcome into the world!)

What have I done? Well...I've learned to make wreaths. And that's about it.

Really. Last Friday night was spent having dinner with my mom, then I came home and made a wreath for one of my best friends. While I enjoyed both activities, they're rather lonely and highly uneventful compared to what those around me have been doing lately.

I need more in my life. I don't know what is missing, or even that it is one thing in particular, but I'm just not fulfilled. I'm proud to be a nurse and I love my job but my job isn't the definition of my life and it isn't enough for me.

At this time last year, I was searching for the house I would call a home with my then boyfriend who I hoped would soon be my fiance. I imagined I'd be starting grad school this fall and potentially start planning a wedding.

My house rarely sees more signs of life beyond just me. My boyfriend and I broke up at the end of the year and I haven't been on a single date since. Dating scared me for a very long time, and even just the thought of it hurt me for several months. I didn't want to date, I wanted to be with the man I had already decided I'd spend the rest of my life with. I've since gotten over the pain and fear of the thought of dating, but I still wouldn't call myself ready to "actively look" and join dating websites or beg one of my engaged/married friends to find a single guy to set me up with. My last two relationships both happened on a whim, and I'm trusting my next one will too. I'm still young and in no real rush just yet. As far as grad school goes, I'm so ready to start. I'm thirsty for knowledge and to have even more letters behind my name. RN, BSN just isn't enough. The problem? I don't know what I want to do or who I want to be when I grow up and that's kind of a big deal when it comes to nursing grad school. It is very specified and narrow unlike having your undergrad where possibilities are limitless.

For now, I'm quenching my thirst for knowledge in my current field. I've agreed to join the Cardiac Team within our NICU and that requires several classes and certifications in itself. After the start of the year, I will be eligible to become certified in neonatal nursing. RNC-NIC will be 6 more letters I can add to my name for only a few hundred dollars and hours of studying. I've also just recently been asked and agreed to become a preceptor and train a new nurse for the last 8 of her 16 weeks of orientation. We have roughly 300 nurses on staff in the NICU alone, so to be asked to do this is an honor in my eyes. Of the people asked to do it, I have the least amount of experience and I've never done it before. I'm nervous about and looking forward to the opportunity! I know I will learn so much through teaching. I hope it will be an enjoyable journey for both of us! I'm wonderful friends with the girls that trained me, and I can only hope to have the same bond with the one I train!

Here's to hoping the next 4 months (my favorite months at that!) are more exciting and eventful than the last 4 have been!

What it means to be a NICU nurse

I've posted before about why I chose to be a NICU nurse- my sweet godson Tristan, who just started kindergarten! But I recently read a post called "Just a Nurse" by a nurse named Kateri. (Read it here.) She is a 20 something living in New York working as a pediatric nurse in the PICU. I had never heard of Kateri until I saw this blog post floating around on the internet. According to her bio and her thoughts on nursing, we seem to be very similar! But her post got me thinking. What does it truly mean to be a NICU nurse? Or even a nurse at all?

I feel as though society as a whole has a blurred perception of nurses. TV portrays nurses as gossip queens and eye candy to fellow doctors. If you show up at a doctor's office, you might think all a nurse does is take your blood pressure and temperature and asks you a bunch of questions. Occasionally they might come in and stick you with a needle. What you don't see is all that goes on behind the scenes. Nurses are responsible for answering hundreds of questions about symptoms, medications, and treatment plans. Nurses assess, assist, treat, and educate.

I knew from childhood I wanted to be a nurse. My mom, both grandmothers, and great aunt were all nurses. It was in my blood. When my dad was dying in the hospital, his nurses solidified the fact that nursing was my calling. That was the most painful and difficult time in my life, but the nurses were there for not only my dad, but also my family in a way that I can't quite explain.

In the NICU, as in all hospital units, nurses are the front-line. We work 12 hour shifts, and someone is at the bedside 24 hours a day. We use our eyes, ears, touch, and smell to constantly assess the patients we are assigned to. Our patients can range from barely over 1 pound to 14 pounds. All of our patients are hooked up to monitors that display their heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, and blood pressure. Our sicker babies have lines placed in an artery that displays a constantly changing blood pressure with every beat of the heart. The babies can also be on one of several types of ventilators that breathe for them, and in some cases, they also have urinary catheters in place so we can keep a constant eye on their urine output. We have been trained to know what "normal" numbers and ranges are for everything we are monitoring, and as also know that while something may still be in a "normal" range, it may be abnormal for that particular patient and can indicate that something is wrong. Our babies are so small that they are measured in grams, and their medications are delivered in micrograms and miligrams.

Along with what we can see on a monitor, we also monitor labs and blood gases that let us know their respiratory and metabolic status. There are so many numbers floating around!

We as nurses have to be able to interpret those numbers to decipher what they actually mean. But even that isn't enough. Once we know what the numbers mean, we need to know how to fix it. We often have standing orders from the doctors that give us flexibility in how we treat the patients. Maybe they need sedation. Maybe they need their medications adjusted to increase or decrease their blood pressure, or need ventilator changes made to adjust their respiratory status. If we don't have orders, we call the Nurse Practitioner or Doctor. We discuss with them what the problem is, and they often ask us what we want. Why do they do this? Because a patient's status is more than just a number. There are sometimes several different things that can be done to fix a particular number or thing that is wrong, but because the nurse is the one constantly at the bedside and knows that baby better than anyone else, the nurse is allowed to make suggestions that they think are going to work best.

Sometimes the numbers don't change, but the nurse just has a gut instinct that something is wrong. Sometimes the babies just don't look "right" or act "right". The nurses intuition is a powerful tool that is more often than not a great predictor of a problem. Thankfully, our doctors recognize it. Again, we discuss with them what is wrong and they ask us what we think should be done.

The doctors at my hospital are wonderful. They give us standing orders that allow us autonomy to the point that it is safe to the patient. They ask us what we think would be best to treat our patients. They quiz us to make sure we understand why something is happening or being done without making us feel inadequate if we just aren't sure. They're patient and they educate. One of my favorite doctors was leading a procedure when I was still pretty new. He asked me to step up and go through it with him so that I could gain the experience, and he walked me through the entire thing when he could have done it a lot quicker with one of the other nurses in the room that had done it before. One of our respiratory therapists did the same thing with an intubation (placing of a tube to place the baby on a ventilator). He said "I've done this a hundred times, get up here. You're going to do this!" Our entire team from secretaries, care partners, equipment techs, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, respiratory therapists, lactation consultants, social workers, nurse practitioners, and doctors is phenomenal and it couldn't function the way it does with any part of the team missing!

When you go to nursing school, you don't really learn about the NICU. I think we had a 20-30 minute lecture about it, and I only rotated through there for a half day of clinicals because I asked to. With NICU nursing, you take everything you were taught about adults and children and either forget it or adapt it to fit your unique population. NICU nursing requires so much on the job training and, as in any field of nursing, you never stop learning!

Aside from direct patient care, nurses also tend to the families. We lend emotional support to our parents who are almost always terrified that their baby is in some unknown world hooked up to all kinds of monitors and machines with lots of tubes and wires, rather than safe in their arms. They feel so helpless and scared, and they generally know nothing about medicine or what is happening to their precious baby. We talk them through every step of their baby's care. We hug them and hold their hands when they cry. Sometimes we shed tears with them. We listen to their questions, concerns, and stories. We bond with these people we've never met and will never see again. We teach parents what medications do and how they work. We discuss what their baby's diagnosis means for their future. We teach them how to change their 2 lb baby's diaper and take their temperature. We assist them in giving their baby's first bath, maneuvering around all the tubes and wires. We teach them how to safely feed their baby, weather it's from a bottle or through a tube that goes straight into their stomach. We teach the them how to calm their baby when they can't hold them, how to dress them, and put them safely to sleep. We teach them CPR and car seat safety. We make sure nobody leaves without being 100% comfortable taking care of their baby who may or may not have extra complications from being in our unit.

In the NICU, we don't just treat the baby, we treat the whole family. We give extremely small and/or sick babies a fighting chance at life that they wouldn't otherwise have. I've shed tears my fair share of time after losing a baby we couldn't save, but I've also felt great joy in watching so many babies get better and get to go home with their families, and that is exactly why I do what I do!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Handy Dandy Homeowner

Most adults pay for their own housing expenses. Some people rent, some people own. I decided a long time ago that I wanted to buy a house without ever wasting money on an apartment. Because I lived at home with my parents through college to help take care of my dad and grandmother, I was able to save my money. Then I got a real job. A job that more than tripled what I was making part time in college and that offered benefits! I decided I would continue to live at home with my mom and save almost every dollar I earned so that I could buy a house! And not only that, I knew I wanted to have a certain kind of lifestyle once I had said house, and that lifestyle included never having to worry about money or question how much I had in my bank account before I made a purchase.

So there I was, 11 months out of college, 23, and signing the next 15 years of my life away on a house. And it. was. awesome! I've almost had it for 6 months now and I love every aspect of it. (And in the last few weeks, I'm glad I planned ahead on that lifestyle I was talking about because man almighty, I've been shopping like crazy!)

My house was "flipped" by the people I bought it from. It is gorgeous, has beautiful granite counters, stainless steel appliances,  travertine tiles in the kitchen and bathrooms, fresh paint, and brand new carpet throughout! It sits on 0.22 green grassy weeded acres with several shade trees. The best part? I'm paying about the same as I'd pay for an equally nice apartment, but it's bigger and mine to do whatever I want with for as long as I want! What's not to love?!

Yardwork. And housework.

You would think using a self-propelled mower would be a breeze! Well, it is. Until it tries to self propel itself down the hill in the backyard and through the fence every time you make a pass that direction. "Turn around and go uphill" you say. Well, I would, if doing so didn't mean I had to keep the mower from going down the other side of said hill into the side of my house. There's no winning here! I never knew I had some of the muscles that burn after mowing.

Then there's the housework. And I don't just mean dusting and picking up after yourself. My house generally stays pretty clean and I could have guests over without notice and never be ashamed to welcome them in. It's just me..I don't make that much of a mess and I'm not lazy enough to leave the mess that I do make.

Vacuuming normally isn't bad. Normally. Tonight? Tonight I vacuumed all the normal parts of the house you would expect to vacuum on a regular basis. I went a step ahead and got the hose attachment and vacuumed all the window sills and below all the cabinets. It didn't stop there. You see, I have dark hair, and I have a heck ton of it. Really, any time I go to a new hair dresser, they can't believe just how much of it there is! It's pretty fine, but there's just so much! Pair this with my white carpet, and I vacuum somewhat regularly. But today I was in a cleaning frenzy after mowing the yard and I vacuumed the shower. Why? Because of all the dang hair! Ladies, you may be laughing but don't think you won't consider it next time you have the vacuum out. I know I'm not the only one whose hair gets stuck to the walls! It's just one of the gross but true facts of life. I'm pretty sure it would be easier to just vacuum my head every day than deal with all of my shedding. Have you seen the YouTube video of the dad doing his daughter's hair with a vacuum? I'm pretty sure that would do the trick.

Being a homeowner has also made me quite the handy woman.

My dad was a master carpenter and knew how to do just about anything to or for a house. He was so good at what he did and when I look back through his work portfolio, I'm so amazed at all of the carpentry projects he was able to so masterfully create! I definitely didn't get that gene!

Not having my dad around anymore has forced me to become handy and tackle all of the projects I would otherwise call him to come take care of.

I hung the curtain rods in my bedroom all by myself. It took me about an hour and a half and someone that knew what they were doing could have done it in 10, but I did it!

Remember that shower I vacuumed earlier? It had some stop valve in the wall that kept the lever from going too far and scalding you with the freakishly hot water. Problem was, it was set at "luke-warm" and made for a comparatively frigid first shower. After about a month, I took the shower hardware apart and figured out how to fix remove the dang thing. I tried to adjust it, but I couldn't figure it out, so the whole thing is now in a cabinet next to the shower. I'm just smart enough to not turn the lever all the way. Problem solved. In the month before I fixed it, I showered in the guest bathroom. It had a nicer shower head anyway, so no big deal.

During that too-cold-shower time, I noticed my toilet was constantly running. And it was annoying. And I hated thinking about how much I was paying in my water bill for that stupid running water. So I shut the water off, ignored the fact that I had a toilet or a shower in my beautiful master bathroom, and I used the guest bathroom for both.

After a little Googling, I decided I knew what the problem was with my toilet and that it wouldn't be hard to fix so I ventured off to Home Depot and bought the necessary parts. And I sat it on top of my toilet and never touched the thing again.

Until tonight. In my cleaning frenzy. My bathroom was clean, I had just replaced my boring shower head with an awesome shower head that makes me feel like I'm showering in a clean, fishless waterfall, and gosh darnit, I wanted to pee in my own bathroom in the middle of the night. (Which happens a lot. Smallest bladder ever!) So I conquered yet another task of home-ownership and I caught my running toilet. (Don't worry, it didn't get far!)

I may not be very efficient, but I am learning to be handy!

Laughing at my trials and loving home-ownership,
Nurse Christine

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Heart of NICU nursing

In the medical world, there's this thing called HIPAA- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. In short, it protects a person's privacy about their medical care. Unfortunately, this picture isn't me breaking HIPAA for one of my sweet NICU babies. This is my godson, Tristan.

When Tristan's mom went in for one of her routine ultrasounds, they found out his intestines were forming on the outside of his stomach, rather than the inside where they belonged.

As it turns out, he had his intestines on the outside, but he also had a hole in his heart, a hole in his diaphragm, his sternum (chest bone) didn't form properly, and his heart and lungs weren't in their proper locations because of the sternal defect and the hole in his diaphragm.

Tristan spent the first two months of his life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), undergoing surgeries and learning how to breathe and eat on his own. Once he got home, he had few issues other than a large scar across his stomach and he needed to have his feeds thickened with some rice cereal so it didn't go into his lungs when he ate.

When Tristan was two, he went to his cardiologist (heart doctor) for an appointment. It was at this time that someone finally put all the defects he was born with together and he was diagnosed with Pentalogy of Cantrell. When we heard this diagnosis, we immediately turned to the internet to do some research. What we found was that there just wasn't a whole lot out there. Between what his parents were told by the cardiologist and what we found on the internet, we realized this was a very rare condition, and it was even more rare for him to not only be alive, but to be developing normally. He was eating and breathing on his own, he was quickly growing and showing us how smart he was. Aside from that scar, you'd never know anything was wrong with him if you looked at him and spent time with him. Sure, he's been through more medical problems over the last few years than the average child, but nothing has kept him from being a "normal" kid.

Before being blessed with Tristan in my life, I never thought I could work in the NICU. Sure, I loved babies, but I just thought it would be way too sad all the time. I got to spend time with him in the NICU and see just what went on behind those seemingly scary doors, and I realized it really wasn't all that scary. Sure, some babies died or went home with severe disabilities, but then there were babies like Tristan. Those nurses got to help give those babies a fighting chance at life that they wouldn't otherwise have. They got to see those miracle babies struggle, overcome their battle, and go home. What could possibly bring a nurse more joy than that?! From that time, I knew my heart would always be in the NICU!

Through my nursing school clinicals, I kept open eyes and an open mind to see if there was somewhere else I'd like to work once I graduated. Nothing tugged on my heart the way the NICU did. As graduation approached, I applied for jobs and went to interviews, but on the day of graduation, I had no leads for a job. I was sitting backstage waiting to go out and begin the graduation ceremony when a friend of mine mentioned she had been offered a job earlier that day! How exciting for her! But it was what she said after that that stuck- the recruiter mentioned she was posting some NICU positions! A NICU job at this hospital was truly my dream job! The next day was a Friday. I submitted my application at 1 PM that afternoon, and at 3 PM my phone rang. It was one of the managers from that unit. I literally laughed at her and asked if it was a joke. I told her I had literally just applied 2 hours earlier and she laughed too. She wanted to see me Monday! She still had a few more people to interview after me and was not allowed to officially offer me a job at that time, but she said "If I were a betting woman, I'd bet you get the job!" The next day, I got the call and was officially offered my dream job right out of school! I could not have been more ecstatic!!

NICU nursing is the only nursing I truly know. Lately we have had a low census, which is great for the babies in the community, but not so great for us! We have been floating to other units to help out. The more I go to other units with older patients, the more I realize just how much I love my babies and how I couldn't imagine not being there with them! I truly feel like I won the job lottery! Even when I'm exhausted, I always love going to work. :)

Tristan will soon celebrate his 5th birthday and has recently started T-ball. With every new milestone he hits, he serves as a constant reminder that I'm helping give hundreds of parents the same opportunity to watch their children hit milestones throughout their life. My job is amazing!

Laugh often and love always,
Nurse Christine

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Heavy Hearted

When I was 18, I wanted what most 18 year olds wanted-- to finish high school, start college, and find a means to move away from mom and dad! Well, I finished high school, and thanks to a quite impressive tour my mom made me go on, I ended up going to a University pretty close to home. I hadn't been working long, so I planned to work a little longer and save some money so I could afford to move out.

The second week of my freshman year of college, a Wednesday at that, I decided to take a nap when I got home. I woke up to both of my parents standing over me. I immediately knew something was wrong. It too closely resembled a crisp Sunday in January just the year before that my mom came in and woke me up to tell me one of my friends had committed suicide.

I sat up and asked them what was going on. They said they didn't know much, but that my dad had been diagnosed with cancer. Cancer. It's one of those words nobody likes, but you don't truly understand the sting of the word on your tongue until it happens to someone you love. We cried and cried and did what any family should never do when receiving bad medical news- we turned to Google. We found statistics that only made us cry more. I cried for days. My eyes were practically swollen shut and I walked around with a constant headache. I processed it for a few weeks before I would even admit it to people because admitting it meant it was true. It couldn't have been true, could it? Unfortunately, it was. Not only did he have cancer, he had two types of cancer, and one of them was extremely rare.

I never had the "typical" college experience. I never went to parties or lived in a dorm or interacted with sororities or fraternities (although I did make fun of some sorority girls at one point, and one of them ended up becoming one of my best friends! Funny how life works!). I stayed home and took my dad to endless doctors appointments and chemo appointments and took care of him when he was too sick to get out of bed. I also took care of my grandmother who lived with us. She just celebrated her 89th birthday! But she also required multiple doctors visits, trips to the hair salon, and always had a grocery list. But none of this ever bothered me. I did it with a smile because nothing makes me happier than helping others, and I was just happy to have them around to be able to help.

The following summer, my parents had my best friend’s parents come pick me up and take me to their house. They sat me down and told me that my dad had been taken back to the hospital and they found out he had 6 brain tumors. We weren’t sure he would come back home after that weekend. But he did. He was so strong and prevailed so well. The doctors never gave us any kind of timeline. That is, until the end. By then, his organs were shutting down and it was just a matter of days. It was a matter of days before my dad lost consciousness and I got to hear the last words out of his mouth to me- “I love you.” Those three words have never and will never mean more. Then it was just a few more days after that of just waiting. There is nothing more painful than sitting, watching, waiting for your loved one to take their last breath. On Monday, February 23, 2009 he did. My mom and I were finally able to get some sleep the night before and my brother stayed up with my dad. As soon as we got up, we went over to say good morning to my dad. My mom gave him a kiss and I went to go brush my teeth. When I came out of the bathroom, my mom and brother called me over to his bedside. It was time. We sat with him and held him and told him we loved him and promised him we would all be okay. He took his last breath on this beautiful earth lying in our arms. It was the most painful moment of my life, but strangely also one of the most peaceful. My dad was no longer in pain. An eerie calm came over the room; we all felt it.

I never intended to share such a heavy-hearted post so soon, but something happened last night at work that made my heart ache and brought that painful waiting back. I work in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Fortunately, we don't see too many deaths relative to the number of babies we see. When we do, it is always emotional. Last night I had the honor of sitting with a family while they went through that same heartache my family I did when we just sat, watched, and waited for my dad to take his last breath. Was it hard? Absolutely. But there is nowhere I would have rather been at that moment!

I always knew I wanted to be a nurse, but it was my dad's nurses in his final days that really solidified that idea for me. Without even trying, they did so much not only for him, but for me and for my family that I will never forget. Their kindness and compassion, and true love of what they did made me realize I wanted to be just like that. I wanted to make the difference for my patients and their families in the most difficult times of their lives. 

So here I am. I happened to land my dream job straight out of school and I couldn't be more excited to see where it takes me! 

I promised my dad I'd be okay. I work hard every day in every aspect of my life to make him proud and make sure I keep my promise to him. So far, I think I'm doing pretty well!

With laughter and love,
Nurse Christine

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Who am I?

So you know I like cooking and think a newborn looks like a frozen turkey (see previous post if you're confused), but who am I?

That's an excellent question and one I'm still trying to figure out myself!

I'm a daughter, sister, aunt, friend to many, best friend to some, and a nurse to sweet little babies.

I own my own home. Pretty cool! It is definitely one of my proudest accomplishments!

I love to cook and I love to dream. I believe in chick flicks and fairy tales and happy-ever-afters.

I love my family and I'm obsessed with my two sweet nephews! (Seriously. If you saw them, you'd understand!)

I love to decorate my new house, but I'm not very crafty and my sewing knowledge stops at fixing a button. Somewhere along the line I missed that gene.

I've started a journey into fitness and healthy eating, and things are going pretty well! Some may say I was tiny to start with, and I was/am little, but I still think have a long way to go to be "fit". I'm definitely happy with the results I'm seeing! My scale and "start" vs "now" pictures show great progress and greasy fast food makes me sick...all around successes in my book!

I over-think things and always assume the worst. I never did anything "bad" as a kid, because no matter how trivial it was, I always assumed the worst would happen and I'd get caught! (I did almost get suspended in Jr. High, but that was no fault of my own!) I really don't know why I'm such a rule follower, but that's just one of the many mysteries of my life!

There is little in life that makes me happier than caring for others, almost to a fault. I think this is one of my biggest strengths, and it definitely explains my passion for nursing.

Everyone has a story and I hope you'll join me as I write mine! I've always used writing as a form of therapy for myself and will hopefully be able to share past, present, and future stories from my journey.

I'm Christine, and this is my personal Prescription For Life! Take with lots of laughter and love!