Tuesday, May 23, 2006

One day at a time

I've decided to work on finding a less hectic nursing job- something Monday-Friday with more normal hours. I'm still researching, networking, and hunting for something that will work. I've sent out a bunch of resumes and am hoping to hear something soon, though no phone calls for interviews yet.
On the diabetes battle front (because that's what it feels like some days- win some battles, lose some- with the goal being winning the war): No improvement in my HgA1C, more tweaking of basals done today with my CDE. The rest of my blood work is fine though, which is a good thing. So, I've decided that I need to set some short term goals for myself because the overall longterm goal isn't working for me. And I'm writing about it here so I have a reminder (and a community to remind me) of where I need to stay focused.

Diabetes Goals:
1. For the next two weeks focus on consistently checking before meals and trying to remember two hours later to recheck especially after breakfast.
2. Try making breakfast a little more low carb for those two weeks and eat some protein with it to help post breakfast BG's.
3. On at least two of my days off a week do 30 minutes of exercise in the am.

Job Hunt Goals:
1. Check online job listings daily.
2. Follow up on resumes sent.
3. Stay open minded.

One good thing is that since I've started my nursing career I've grown a lot both professionally and personally. Two years ago I never would have imagined that I'd be singing worship songs at my church, and now our band has even written a few original songs. It's definitely helped me to find my voice, literally and figuratively. It takes a lot of confidence and faith to stand in front of people and sing into a mic when I used to be the shy one. I know that if I can overcome my initial stage fright I can find a job where I'll thrive. It's just a matter of waiting for Kairos, or the right time, and continuing my quest while I wait. Now to meet with a great friend of mine to brainstorm possibilities. And time to test!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

"What is your quest?"

According to Merriam-Webster's online dictionary/thesaurus, a quest is "an act or process of looking carefully or thoroughly for someone or something" I've spent the last 10 years or so searching for my niche, purpose, etc. And now I'm at another fork in the road, still trying to figure it out. Growing up, I thought plans were the way to make things happen. My plans for what I wanted to be when I grew up were a nurse, a wife, a mother. In that chronological order. And to have my bachelors degree (which I've since learned that while it is beneficial, may not be all the education I need). Along the way, my plans took a shape of their own, as life got in the way and obstacles popped up. I became an RN and went on for my bachelors, but the real world of nursing had many challenges for me. Prioritizing what to do first, how to get all the paperwork done and feel as though I had been able to advocate for, educate, and care for my patients. Most days I came home feeling like I had spent all day being pulled in many directions, and having to sacrifice the advocating and educating roles I love. Now, after 5 years of nursing, I'm spending a lot of time wondering if I really knew what I was getting myself into when I decided on a nursing career at 16. There are many aspects of nursing that I love, but they tend to get overshadowed by the stress of my current hospital job. I'm hoping to find something in nursing that is education related, but at the same time am doing some serious soul searching about what I need most out of a job and if I'll find that in this profession. I do know that I need something that includes education, since that is one of my passions, and working directly with people.

God promises in Jeremiah 29:11 " 'For I know the plans I have for you,' delcares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." I know that if I truly examine the gifts He has given me and find a better way to put them to use, I'll be living by His plans for me, and enjoying what I do for a living. And in the meantime I have the most supportive family, boyfriend, and friends anyone could ask for. I am forever grateful to my wonderful support system for their thoughts, ideas and encouragement along this quest.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Caregiver's Weekend continued (finally)

Have you ever had a special place (other than wherever you call home) that welcomes you as though you had never left? A place where you've created sacred memories of love, laughter, and even tears? That when you return to it the last few miles can't go by fast enough, and your heart beats a little faster with excitement when you see a familiar sign, building, or other landmark?Camp is one of those places for me. It always feels like I've come home when I go back, no matter how long it's been. Even now with the new cabins, the memories of the ones I stayed in are as vivid as if they were still there. The mornings are just as peaceful, with the same fog hovering over the pond, as if to protect the contented quiet. Though, if I listen carefully, I can faintly hear echoes of strong swimmers of summers past bringing torches across the pond for final campfire; as campers and staff sing Kumbaya in rounds as we proceed down from the flag pole to the campfire. Or in the Lower Rec, where many all camp games are played, echoes of laughter, cries of "You're it" while playing some variation of tag, and the sound of many feet running on the fresh green grass. The next time I return to camp, I'll have memories of a fun game of Dutch Auction played on my birthday. And, of course camp tradition was followed on my birthday by singing happy birthday to me and the other staff member who was celebrating their birthday. We also had our tables decorated with crepe paper and were sung "Oh What a Beautiful Doll" while we skipped around the dining hall. I hope that for my fellow alumni, I've brought back some fond memories. For anyone who wants to share, please let me know what your special place is, why, and a specific memory thinking of it brings back.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Caregiver's Weekend Recap

As you can see from the great picture Jim took of the pond looking towards the Center, we had a great weekend weather-wise at camp. Clear skies, refreshing breezes and cool nights. There were 30 kids and 25 adults plus many wonderful staff that attended. Caregiver's weekend is for anyone who might be responsible for a child with diabetes when their parents want to go out, etc. There were grandparents, aunts, and some parents of more newly diagnosed kids in attendance, all of whom were great participants. The days were run like a usual camp day- regular meal times and activites inbetween meals with campfire to close out the day. And, of course, some camp songs:)Here's a picture of the kids (and a few kids at heart) learning "The Princess Pat" after a meal in the dining hall.

The kids and the adults were split up for most of the time except for meals and the after dinner activity. Kids played games and learned about diabetes and the adults learned about diabetes basics. One of the messages the kids took home with them is that you can make your cookies and eat them too- you just have to know how many carbs they have! Don't those Cookie Bake-off creations look yummy? Mini marshmellows, chocolate chips, some flour and oatmeal plus a few other ingredients were included in our cookies. I've seen some more wild creations though- the kids usually have a bunch of ingredients to choose from, which they have to measure. One time as a joke the staff added ketchup and mustard to the usual ingredients available, and one group actually used them!

Half the fun is seeing the kids creativity and willingness to try new things. One of the activities I had a blast participating in was called Dutch Auction. We were divided into our family groups and had 10 minutes to gather random items- costume pieces from the dress up closet, benches, sticks, whatever you might think would be useful. Then the Auctioneers would tell us what they wanted and we had to work together to create it- whether that be an alien, a boat, or a throne for a queen- using what we had gathered. Even our Auctioneers dressed for their part. The one in the blond wig is our Camp Director, who has been a part of the Barton family for 17 years!

To be continued....