05 August 2012

On The Move. Again.

Well, it’s here.

It seemed like we were just back in Missouri, all excited about packing up for our new adventure in Mississippi…and here we are again, getting ready to move again, this time to Vero Beach, Florida.

Someone needs to tell my husband that if we move any farther south we’ll end up in Puerto Rico.

This is my last week in H’burg, finishing out my work schedule and making sure the movers get all our stuff.

Matt has already moved. He called yesterday to say he was on the golf course. The day before that he was in Jupiter watching the Card’s minor leaguers…

…while I was getting my oil changed and tires rotated and boxes packed and dogs walked and apartment cleaned.

Something just doesn’t seem right about this situation.

We’re sad to be leaving some great friends, some great co-workers and a great church – the Vero area is lacking a little on the Southern Baptist options and we’re praying we find a great place to get plugged in.

Either that or convert to Catholicism. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

I went down to FL earlier this past week for a job interview at one of the three local hospitals. This particular facility was recommended to us by Matt’s new principal and the athletic director – I thought it a great sign from people who had been patients there to really talk up the place.

It’s not just a hospital – it’s also connected to a heart institute, which will make several people who read this blog laugh and wonder if I’ve lost my mind.

Bless my heart, y’all.

Back in nursing school at good ‘ole SLU I had regular panic attacks and nervous breakdowns any time I encountered anything that even remotely hinted at cardiac anything.

Before really digging into EKGs, the only heart rhythm I was remotely familiar with was normal sinus, and even then I would second-guess myself at P-wave placement and freak. And cry.

My cousins that I lived with during nursing school got to witness this on a regular basis. Tom, my cousin-who-happens-to-be-a-doctor, patiently sat down with me one afternoon to go over QRST segments and how different rhythms affect different places of the heart. We talked about CHF, mitral valve regurg, aortic stenosis…all the stuff that can come from having a bad ticker.

I still would have my own episodes of RVR (AKA: rapid ventricular rate) when sitting down to a cardiac exam, and I vowed to never have anything to ever do with telemetry or heart stuff. Ever.

Enter Forrest General Hospital here in Hattiesburg.

After working on a surgery floor for six months, our sister floor – a telemetry floor – had an opening. I had floated up there once or twice before, and it literally scared the bejeezus out of me.

Give me a hernia repair or a gallbladder removal or a mastectomy and I can take care of you with my eyes shut. But a patient with chest pain? A patient in AFib?

See that Addie-shaped hole in the wall? Yeah. That’s me running. Screaming. Crying.

But I thought that telemetry  (for those who keep asking, telemetry is simply monitoring the patients via remotes and wires connected to the pt’s chest with sticky pads that show up on the telemetry monitors at the nurse’s station…we can see your heart rate and rhythm all the time. I know when you get up to pee because your heart rate jumps, by the way. Good times.) would be a good challenge, the chance to learn something new.

And what do you know? I fell in love with my heart patients.

Chest pain doesn’t freak me out anymore. Give me some aspirin and morphine and some nitro, and we got this under control, baby!

Heart caths, stress tests and echos are routine to me now. I know! Shocker!

I saw Tom at my uncle’s funeral two weeks ago and he got the biggest kick out of hearing where I was applying in Florida. And of course he had to joke about my panic in nursing school over everything cardiac. Thanks, Doctor. J

So what will I be doing?

Cardiovascular Step-Down.

Very, very excited about this.

I will get to combine my background with post-surgery patients with my ever-increasing knowledge of heart patients. These people will be coming out of the CCU/ICU after having open-heart surgery. We’ll have cath patients, chest pain patients…even overflow during the winter months with all the sweet little retirees that come down from the north.

Speaking of the sweet little retirees…my new uniform colors are WHITE. All white. Why? Because the hospital did a survey and found that those sweet little retirees recognize nurses best in white.

Like in the 1920’s.

But patient satisfaction is important…so I’m off to buy white uniforms and the white underwear it will require.

So as of now, I arrive in Florida on August 15th, start orientation on August 21, and our furniture is supposed to arrive at our new house August 20. We're very glad we decided to rent in MS - so we don't have to worry about selling a house - but now we're trying to close on a house with me still in Hattiesburg and Matt already down in FL. 

I feel the heart palpitations starting up again. It’s either stress or I’ve had waaaayyyy too many cups of coffee this morning.

Today I love: Extra-wide Rubbermaid tubs for packing and the clean feeling that comes from throwing a way/donating things we really don't use or need.