Anxiety and Nursing

It has been eleven years since I recognized and knew something wasn’t right… that my constant stomach aches, my avoidance of family and friendly gatherings and perpetual feeling of dread wasn’t normal.

Between the ages of 18-23, I’ve struggled in a constant state of anxiety. I gained weight, I missed out on life’s adventures during a decade of my life that is meant to be used for experimentation and adventure. Then… a break in the clouds – for awhile I was happy and my anxiety was no longer in control, it was on the back burner and I actually felt good about my life.

I went to nursing school and had the occasional periods of anxiety, especially as stress came and went. I passed my boards and graduated, moving on in my life. I was officially a nurse – everything that I have been working for, my dreams have been realized. Nursing in the bay area is so highly competitive that you could go a year as a new graduate nurse and not find a job.

So I applied elsewhere. I moved 4.5 hours away to a town riddled with drugs, homeless and crime and took a chance. I got into their new graduate program and it’s now been 1.5 years since I started. I’m now training other new nurses and have my eyes set on furthering my career in the near future.

But yet… my anxiety remains, this lifelong burden. The little voice in the back of your head that says, “you’re not okay, you’re going to make a fool of yourself… you are an embarassment.” I’ve addressed this Burden before, I’ve tried therapy and I’ve been given tools to combat it, but It still rears its ugly head. What’s worse is that I know and recognize the stressors that are triggering It, but affecting the outcome of these stressors is all out of my control.

To make a long story short, my grandma has stage IV pancreatic cancer. If you’re in the medical world, you know what this means. Not only is she scared of the next step she must take, but my family is left to deal with the consequence of not having her around anymore. She has taken care of my grandfather for over 50 years… he doesn’t even know how to cook. He has already said that without her, he might as well go too.

Also on the career side of things, I’ve applied to our hospital’s ICU transition program. Making the jump to work in an area of the hospital with the sickest patients is intimidating and quite frankly, petrifying. I have every desire to be in the ICU and ICU charge nurses have been telling me that I am good for the job, but I am worried about looking like a dumbass.

I’ve also been trying to get pregnant with my husband for about four months now, with no luck. The state of being pregnant and the birth also scare me…

So anyway, I just came off of an 8-night 12-hour work binge. I threw myself into work without even realizing what I was doing. Not only was I distracting myself from my own life, but I was immersing myself into other people’s problems so that I wouldn’t have to deal with my own. My patients are my priority at work, and I am their advocate. At work, I am the one that is assigned to fight for what they need and make sure that I am keen enough to pick up on small signals that something is going south.

It’s a big responsibility, but I take pride in the fact that I can go to work and truly care for my patients and ensure that they get the best care that they can. In those 12.5 hours that I am immersed into my patients’ problems, I forget about my own. By the end of the shift, I am exhausted and can finally get sleep. However, after those 8 days were over, I woke up surrounded by my own problems yet again. But what can I do? This Burden is something that follows me everyday, but for some reason I just can’t seem to accept that sometimes life’s stressors are uncontrollable – that I must learn to roll with the punches. We can’t control everything in our lives, and unfortunately we will all die some day. I’m surrounded by death and sickness, yet I still worry about life’s nuances that I cannot control.

How can I rid myself of the Burden?

-c

 

Do you even blog, bro?

If you know me, you know that I go through phases of exploring hobbies. As seen in previous posts, I used to really like photography (I still do), but time has just really eluded me and unfortunately it has fallen to the wayside. This is not to say that I won’t ever come back to it, but for now it is on the back burner.

I have, however, picked up a new hobby. Fitness. I’ve been lifting 3-4 times a week now since September and have made some decent gains even when I haven’t been on a bulking diet. I’ve become… a meat head.

I’m reviving this blog because a classmate of mine had a good idea to post my progress on a public domain so that I’m held accountable and can really stick to being healthy. So, i’ll post my initial lifting numbers in September and what they’ve increased to now in January.

September
Height/weight: 5’8.5″ / 174
Squat: 65lbs
Deadlift: 95 (I think, could be 85)
Overhead press: 25
Bench: 45

January
Height/weight: 5’8.5″ / 178.8
Squat: 115lbs 2×5
Deadlift: 165 3×5 (185 1×1)
Overhead press: 40
Bench: 65 (ugh)

My diet has been okay but I also just endured the holidays, so unfortunately I am super bloated and just feel heavy/tired lately. I’m transitioning back to a “cleaner” diet and am upping my protein by supplementing with shakes and thinking about starting to take psyllium. I usually eat a fiber one in the morning for breakfast, but it’s got a lot of sugar/calories for such a small bar. I only take it to keep myself regular, so I think taking psyllium and eating a more nutritious breakfast will be more beneficial for me. I REALLY need to get a meal plan going, but it’s difficult when you live with someone else who loves pizza, lasagna and other cheesy carb goodness!

Other than fitness, I’m just enjoying life and trying to get my career started. I finished the nursing (RN) portion of the program so i’ll be taking my boards soon (the NCLEX). I’ve been procrastinating mostly because I’m afraid of the sheer amount of material that I need to memorize.

I’m going to try and update this as much as I can, especially with great meals, workout routines, and progress pictures when I can. I might even record some of my squats/deadlifts to see if my form is on par.

’til next time,
Christina

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Always do your …

Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.

I always do this. I start a blog, get busy and end up ditching it.

I’m sorry.

Long story short, I started nursing school and have met some of the best people… probably people that I will be friends with not only through the course of this program, but for life. This semester alone has pushed me to try harder than I ever have in school. The quote above has really been my motto for the past few months. I’ve tried so hard, and am finally seeing my possible harvests. I have secured three solid A’s already, and have the possibility of getting solid A’s in the other two classes (albeit the hardest ones). If I achieve this, I would have my first ever 4.0 since high school. However, I am pretty sure I can at least earn an A-, since it would require me to tank the tests to not. I’m proud of myself and I am proud of all the focus and concentration I have been able to muster.

I tell myself everyday to appreciate this time in my life. Although stressful, it will only happen once.

Appreciate your life today. It could be gone tomorrow!

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Isolated Soul

Isolated Soul

I am so proud of this photograph! It is my favorite picture that I have ever taken. It’s completely untouched by photoshop (since I don’t even know how to use it) and was taken at an exposure time of 10 seconds after sunset in San Francisco at Ocean Beach.

The Most Stressful Time of my Life

Hello all,

I can’t believe how much has changed within the past year. If you have known me since the early blog days, you will know that I have been trying oh so hard to get into nursing school and that I have always dreamed of raising a beautiful family. Well, everything is happening all at once now (no babies, but I am getting married)!

I never would have imagined that my year would turn out like this. I’m set to get married in about four months – and the wedding planning is SO stressful right now – and I’ve also been accepted into a nursing program, albeit a bachelors program. Last week, I was granted an interview with an excellent university that has a great entry level masters program in case management and I was beyond ecstatic (and extremely nervous to boot). This morning, I was also offered another interview for the same school’s nurse practitioner program… two days before the case management interview. I know I shouldn’t be complaining, especially since my dreams and goals are finally being achieved, but man… what great timing! 

Almost everyday, I am constantly dealing with wedding stuff and decisions. E-mails, phone calls, pigeon carrier… it doesn’t matter, everything is congested! I know, however, that our wedding in June will be beautiful and worth all of the effort. I’ve got most of the major vendors down and am practically so poor that I can’t even afford to buy food. However, I figure fruits and veggies are cheap and help me burn off those pounds. I’m slowly losing them, but I’ve still got a long way to go.

I don’t even know what to say regarding the interviews. It’s a huge mess in my head right now since I have waited so long for these opportunities. I have learned so much from the past few years, and I hope they can see it. I’m not what it appears to be on my Berkeley transcript… i’m so much more. 

In the midst of all this, I’ve kept up with physiology and photography and am working. Those things aren’t nearly as stressful as everything else, though. In fact, they pretty much offer me an escape. I’m so excited to see what is to come of this year… this year will be monumental and life changing. I can feel it…

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Egg

Egg

The lighting is great in this picture. Greg loves it.

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Kicking it by the canal

Kicking it by the canal

A picture of me chillin’ by the Philosopher’s Walk… very beautiful. Wish I was there in the spring though to see the cherry blossoms!