Keeping My Head Above Water

Superman Mug 1

It’s finally come. The day where I’m just trying to keep my head above water, academically speaking. The truth is, most of my nursing class is at this point, or at least the students I speak to. Gone are the days where we’re working ahead, and voraciously reading from our textbooks. Here are the “what’s the most immediate thing I have to get done” days, and skimming is now the new reading, and usually AFTER our lectures, instead of before.
I have a long to-do list to get done today, but I need to purge what’s in my head if I’m going to approach any of it with some success.

I’ve also come clean with my educators about my health status. My professors now know, and I even spent some time in the college’s disability office getting a safety net put in place in case I have another bad day that effects my testing. I’m not worried so much about clinicals. It seems the adrenaline of working with patients is enough to keep me going, and stay on the ball. I’ll be honest, I didn’t want to visit the disability office. So many conflicted feelings. First, there is a part of me that feels that if some special accommodations are made for me, am I somehow taking something away from someone else? Someone “more deserving?” Second, I hate the idea of getting any preferential treatment. I don’t like to whine, and I don’t like to come across like my health issues are somehow worse than any others my classmates are fighting, and I know some of them are indeed fighting their own battles. I’ll be honest, I’m hoping that I never have to use the safety net we’ve established, but at least it’s there.

This week, our lecture class will not be taking place, in lieu of the college’s community health day, which the nursing program puts on every year, from my understanding. We will have tables set up with information and posters about different health issues, from obesity to drug and alcohol addiction. Hopefully when there is a lull in the action, I’ll be able to at least skim through a chapter or two from my text. I have to admit, the best birthday present I got from my family this year was the iPad. I have my text downloaded onto it, and it’s a boatload easier to carry around.

So far, I think I’ve gotten the most enjoyment from helping some of my fellow students with the medical math assignments we have as part of pharmacology course. I was always a strong math student, and I have to thank my high school calculus teacher for really solidifying my skills. (Mr. Rice. He was one in a million, I tell you. Tough teacher, didn’t take a lot of crap, but man he was gifted when it came to teaching. Even my sister was lucky enough to have him before he finally retired, and is thankful for it. So props to Mr. Rice.) I’ve made it a personal mission in my class to make sure that the math assignments will NOT be the reason why my classmates are struggling. Does this mean I may lose a few hours a week of personal study time to help out? Sure. But the folks I’m helping are going to make fantastic nurses, and I don’t want a few math questions on the NCLEX-RN to hold them back. And in the end, we need all the good nurses we can find.

So that Superman mug that you see at the top of this blog? Yeah. That was from a few of the ladies I’ve helped a time or two. I was overcome when I saw it, didn’t even know what to say, but wow it made me feel good. And that’s what I get out of helping. It just makes me feel so good when they start to wrap their heads around the assignments. We get to share a few laughs and a high-five or two as well.

Now, if I only had super speed like Flash, I could get the long to-do list done early enough to enjoy one of the few nice days we have left before the cold really sets into the Shenandoah Valley.


2 thoughts on “Keeping My Head Above Water

  1. Hi oncebittenbella!

    I have to say that your posts are inspirational to me because I too am an aspiring nurse. I got infected with lyme a month before I was supposed to start nursing school. 3 years of hard work in pre-reqs + a blessing of getting into nursing school led to me dropping my spot in the nursing program due to my symptoms hitting me all at once/suddenly. Your journey with going through treatment and nursing school at the same time gives me strength that maybe I should reapply to nursing school and not let lyme stop me. I wish you all the best and know that your posts inspire me and probably many other people out there.

    All the best,

  2. Thank you Michael! I’m actually quite lucky in that I’ve made enough gains health wise in my fight against Lyme to consider finishing my education. Before I was diagnosed, I could barely move, barely think, barely stay awake. And I won’t sugar coat it, it is HARD. Every clinical or lecture day is a day I come too exhausted to make dinner, so it’s essential to have things prepped to eat. It requires pretty serious time management, and you really have to know your own body’s needs in addition. But if it’s what drives you, GO FOR IT! It’s is SOOOOO worth it!

    Good Luck!

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