Thursday, January 28, 2016

Dear Nursing Student:

Last night a friend who is currently in nursing school approached me because she had an 'emotional nursing question'. Apparently earlier that day during her clinical time in the ICU drop down unit, she had a patient who was palliative, only he didn't know he was palliative yet. Yesterday he was telling her his plan to live into his 90's, meanwhile she knew he was about to receive the news that he was expected to only live another four months. She said she couldn't stop thinking about him and asked me how I handled sad and difficult things I'd encountered as a nurse. 

Immediately so many of the saddest and most confusing scenarios I had witnessed came to mind. Seven years working fulltime in an emergency department will expose a person to many strange, sad, horrific, and humorous things. Many times I would walk out of one heartbreaking encounter and into another one within the same hour. Kind of like when you're learning to surf and really all your doing is being hammered by one wave after another. It's quite the beating.

Anywhere in the hospital you will encounter suffering and as a Christian nurse you have a unique opportunity to witness to others in your reaction to suffering. 

First thing I told my friend is that it's a good thing she is sad.
Sometimes when you work in an environment like the hospital it becomes so commonplace to see people in pain or dying that it's easy to become callous. I've found that I'm a better, more loving nurse when I don't harden my heart - and let empathy overcome my instinct to shield myself from emotional pain. Loving people always means pain for you but it's worth it. 

When you see things so awful you question everything - take it before the Lord. Every nurse has that patient they'll always remember. A case that shook your foundations. When you encounter that patient it's ok to say to God 'I don't understand...but praise your name, You do.' Cry to Him. Pray to Him. It helps to have that category to put things in. The category where God knows things we don't and has a plan and purpose we don't know of. 

Community is huge. Your church family and fellow believers are there to help strengthen you, to worship with you and to pray with you. Don't be an island or a lone soldier. You're not strong enough. It may be tempting to stay home on the days you're off because you're so tired, but you will be depriving yourself of refreshing fellowship and biblical teaching.

Don't over work yourself. Take your days off and go look at beauty or do something you absolutely enjoy. Above all read your bible and pray! There is life outside of nursing, it's easy to forget that sometimes. Go to an art gallery, listen to music, run by a lake...whatever reminds you of the life and beauty God intended when He created this world, do it. Remember there will come a day when there will be no more sickness and dying. A day when nurses will be out of a job.

Psalm 62 : 8
Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. (ESV)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Water colour cards

They say it takes three weeks to turn something into a habit so if that's true this triathalon training business should really start to feel like second nature soon. I hope.
Already I've started to feel the positive effects of consistently working out which is encouraging. On the days I really don't want to leave the house I tell myself that I never regret going but I always regret not going.
Anyways, I'm honestly loving being on maternity leave. It's so amazing to have this precious time with Corrie and be able to watch her change and grow. She's getting more and more mobile lately and her personality is definitely starting to show. She loves to do an extremely high pitched squeal from across the room and looks for your reaction. She loves to laugh and be tickled. Now she wants to walk everywhere with the help of me or her Dad - that can be a workout in itself! 
She still loves her naps. And so do I :) Those little breaks in our time together gives me some alone time to read, write and lately paint! I've been having some fun trying out water colour paint and making my own cards. I have a ton of weddings coming up so I'm hoping to give them out to the newlyweds. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Struggles and Triumphs

So it's Friday and I feel exhausted! This entire week has been really tiring for some reason. As a result I don't feel like I did the greatest with my training regimen. Mostly I failed in the nutrition/diet department..which is probably why I'm so exhausted. My bad!

There were two big triumphs for me to be happy about though.

Triumph #1 : I swam!

I swam about 1/4 of a mile in half an hour. Felt like a huge newbie but the cute old ladies there were not intimidating and made for a welcoming environment to start out in.

Triumph #2 : I ran the farthest I've ran since I found out we were expecting Corrie.

8km to be exact. I gotta be honest though, it wasn't 8 km straight..I ran to my friends house 4km away..had coffee and a chat then ran back.. Still! I'm pretty happy since the farthest I've ran up til now was about 5km.

Things to work on and things to celebrate. Trying to stay thankful and not beat myself up about my failures. Thankfulness is way more motivating I find :)

Here's a pic of my running buddy during the last leg of our long run :

Monday, January 18, 2016

First Swim

1st week of Triathalon training felt pretty good! Last week I mostly got my diet under control, ran a couple times and planned out a rough training schedule. Today is Monday of Week 2 and I started it off by going for a 1/4 mile swim. 
I have never swam lengths in a public pool before. I felt like a huge newbie and was sure I was breaking some rule or code of conduct but no one yelled at me or gave me dirty looks so I think I was ok. It took me roughly 1/2 an hour and I didn't really know what to do so I just swam back and forth 2 lengths easy then pushed myself for 2 lengths...til I had done 21 lengths. I was really tired at the end and almost inhaled water a couple times trying to catch my breath. Apparently swimming is the part of the Triathalon they recommend getting a coach for and I can see why. 
Just going there and swimming felt like a triumph! I walked out of there with goggle imprints on my face, wet hair freezing in the cold air and a smile on my face. Then I went to Starbucks and got a breakfast sandwich and a cappucino to celebrate. First swim done!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Tryin' a Tri

Well, we're about 1/2 a month into 2016 so I thought I'd get cracka-lackin on my New Years' resolution to train for and do a Triathalon. Every year for the past probably 4 years I've resolved to do one only to find an excuse not to do one. But not this year! It's gonna happen. To help keep me on track I've decided to blog about my successes, failures, and feelings during the whole training process.

Why am I training for a Triathalon?

For the shear fact that it's hard. 
I love running, I somewhat enjoy leisurely swimming, and I really don't like biking. So training for all 3 at the same time should require a lot of mental toughness and discipline.

I've found that being disciplined physically results in other areas of my life becoming more disciplined.
This is probably just me, but I need to exercise in order to be organized in all other areas of my life. I have spiritual goals and family oriented goals and in order to achieve them I need to exercise. 

I want to live a healthier lifestyle.
This is to value the life and body God created and to praise Him. 'When I run I feel His pleasure.' Is what Eric Liddel said in Chariots of Fire and I would say that too. When I run, I feel like I'm using what God gave me, finding joy in it and serving Him by serving others with the new energy I get from exercise. 
When I exercise I want to eat better..I crave pure water and veggies and fruit. Better diet has all sorts of advantages and now that we have a daughter there's an added incentive to looking after myself. 

So now what?

First - I gotta get a plan.
I have 7 months approximately until the Triathalon. It's been 7 months since I gave birth to our baby girl so I'm still not 100% where I was before my pregnancy. I'm going to start out by building habits.
Plan to work out.
I'm going to start out by running 3 times a week, swimming 1 time a week and doing home workout videos 2 times a week. Sunday is rest day. 
(Biking will be added to the regimen next month)

Plan to eat better and drink better.
I'm going on a sugar purge. Sugar is my addiction that I need to get rid of. It's ruining my life I just know it. So this week I'm cooking and baking sugar-free substitutes for my favourite goodies that will give me energy as well as kill my cravings. I baked sugar free pumpkin cream cheese muffins and sugar free chocolate chip cookies today. They taste great and I don't miss the guilt from eating real cookies full of sugar.
Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day. 

Here are the recipe links to the baked goodies I tried:
Pumpkin - Cream cheese muffins:
Sugar and Egg-free Chocolate chip cookies:

I'll check in later to tell you all how it's going! I'm excited! Can't wait to get in Triathalon shape!