Sunday, December 29, 2013

A minor set-"Back"

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and had their fill of family, friends, and fun! This Christmas was a little different for me because I spent it in the hospital. At 5:30am on Christmas Eve I arrived at John's Hopkin's to get my rods taken out of my back. They were causing an infection that was getting too close to my spine. Anywho like I was saying I arrived at 5:30 am on December 24th and I was not surprised to find that I was the first patient to check in. However the ladies checking me in were surprised that I was there so early because my surgery wasn't schedueled until 12:30 that afternoon! Apparently there had been a mix up in scheduling -__- Long story short they were able to move some people around and I ended up heading into surgery around 7:30am. I had the unique opportunity of meeting the medical crew who was going to be operating on me. This happened because I told the nurse that I would not mind walking back (since I wouldn't be walking for a while) and she didn't see a problem with that. When we got in though she realized that they needed my bed in order to give me the anestesia. We all had a good laugh about it and while I waited for her to roll my bed in I got to speak with the resident doctor, and the nurses. They were all very nice and we had a nice conversation about the holiday's and our plans. This really helped to calm the nerves that I felt creeping in as the time of surgery got closer. Next thing I new the bed was in, I got on, and then BAM, lights out. I woke up to see my dad and sister in the post-op room. They told me the surgery took about 4 hours and I lost alot of blood, but other than that everything went well. The nurses further explained that because I lost alot of blood they pumped alot of fluid in me and that is why I resembled the Pillsbury Dough-boy. Eventually they moved me into my room where I slept on and off for the rest of the afternoon. Around 5pm that night I had felt I had enough sleep and I was actually with it for once since being out of surgery. My nurse introduced herself and as we got to talking I found out she had graduated Stevenson University about 3 years ago (for those of you who don't know that is where I am currently attending school)! Once she said that we started talking about all the professors, who are our favorites, and just about the nursing program in general. I really enjoyed talking with her and I got excited all over again thinking about my future semesters at Stevenson.
However she was not the only nice nurse that I encountered while staying at John's Hopkins. All of my nurses were so nice and really took the time to get to know me. Once they found out that I am a nursing student they were so excited and even offered me a job! I really appreciated those nurses taking the time to teach me how to use a certain piece of equiptment, or how to properly give an IV medicaiton. They even gave me Christmas presents just to make my day a little more merry. My favorite present was a pillow pet dalmation named Rodney. I can honestly say that all of those nurses were a perfect example of what a true nurse should be. Those nurses are an inspiration to me as I continue on this journey to become a nurse and one day I hope to be a good a nurse as they are. Also just a typical girl observation: the resident doctors were pretty cute! All in all I the surgery went smoothly and even though I was in the hospital for Christmas I really enjoyed my stay because of all the wonderful nurses. I thank God that everything went well and I am now back on track for Tanzania. I hope you all have a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Pretty Paper, Pretty Ribbons, of Blueeeeeeee

Good Afternoon everyone! I finally got settled in at home after a brutal week of finals followed by work. I am happy to say that I made it out alive from finals week and I passed all of my classes. A huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders and now I can resume planning for my trip this May. Now please take a moment to listen to this song on Youtube and then continue to read my blog (my title should make sense after you listen to this): Believe it or not this is my little sister, Madison's, favorite Christmas song. My Mie-mie has this on a CD and she used to play it in the car when the girls where younger. For some reason Madi really likes it now and has it on repeat ALL THE TIME. I thought it was fitting for this post because I want to remind all of my Bel Air friends that you have until December 23, 2013 to place your gift wrap orders. Please remember there is no set fee, only give what you can or what you feel is appropriate to help support my journey to Tanzania. To set up an appointment call me - 4433075416 or email me -
I would also like to bring your attention to a quote from one of my favorite Holiday movies,Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas: "He puzzled and puzzled till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. Maybe Christmas, he thought… doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps… means a little bit more!" This quote reminds us that Christmas isn't about presents, Christmas is so much more than that! Personally I feel that one meaning of Christmas is to help other people, whether it's by volunteering at a soup kitchen, "adopting" a family, or donating to a cause that you are passionate about. I ask you to consider donating to help support me on my trip to Africa. When you support me, you are supporting the many children that will be receiving medical care during my stay in Tanzania. To donate, click on the donate tab of my blog. That tab will have clear step by step instructions on how you can support me. Any amount helps! I hope you consider joining me on this journey. As always keep me in your thoughts and prayers. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

'Tis the season........for finals, fundraisers, and passports

Good tidings my friends!

I have been in the Holiday spirit lately, so my blog post will most likely reflect that (hence the title). It's been a while since I have posted something. These past couple of weeks I have been busy doing last minute class projects and studying for finals this week. I am taking a quick study break and I figured I may as well update my blog. It's hard to believe how fast this semester went. It feels like yesterday, when I was nervously hiding behind my instructor while meeting my first patient ever in the hospital at clinicals. I feel that I have come a far way since that day and I am now a confident nursing student. This new confidence in myself gets me so pumped about my trip to Tanzania this May. Words can't even express how excited I am about traveling.

I got even more excited when my passport came in the mail. I was afraid I wouldn't get it in time, after hearing horror stories from friends, but I got it with plenty of time to spare. Not going to lie, I did not take the best picture lol, but it is a picture none - the - less and it will serve its purpose on my passport. The passport itself looks so official, I look like a "real world traveler" according to Mima.

Along with the excitement of my passport, I had even more excitement in the fundraising department. A couple of days before Thanksgiving I made fliers for my gift wrapping fundraiser. However when I got to Staples to make copies, Mima noticed that I spelled my name wrong! I could not believe it, I blame it on the blonde streaks that are present in my hair. Anywho we were able to fix it and the day after Thanksgiving I handed out the fliers to the houses in my neighborhood in Bel Air. I have heard a lot of positive feed back and it seems as if I will be wrapping alot this Holiday season! Keep a look out for my t-shirt sale sometime in January!!!

Welp, I have to get back to studying. To all my friends and family experiencing snowy weather, stay warm!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Officially Official

So Work the World accepted my application for Tanzania 2014!I got confirmation about a week ago but I haven't posted about it because I have been busy with classes. Although the hard work paid off because I got an awesome grade on both of my tests. Anywho Work the World set up a "MyTrip" account that helps me stay organized while planning for my trip. It even gives suggested dates as to when I should make flight arrangements, get a passport, obtain travel insurance etc. This is an awesome tool that I plan to utilize as much as possible because I don't have the best organizational skills. I actually made an appointment to get my first passport EVER for this week, putting me ahead of the schedule. Along with the helpful "MyTrip" account, Leah, my coordinator, sent me a whole PDF on how to speak Swahili. It is actually really neat and some of the words are similar to the English language. The PDF even has a section about Swahili words from the Lion King! Here is a list of words from the Lion King that are actually from the Swahili language:
From the Lion King:
hakuna matata – no worries
simba - lion
sarabi - mirage
pumbaa - careless; to be a fool; to be bewildered
rafiki - friend
banzai - skulk, lurk
shenzi - uncouth, savage, demon, barbarous
upendo – love
asante sana – thank you

I found this to be really cool. Who knew we were actually learning Swahili while we watched this as children?! If anyone actually knows Swahili or has any tips about learning a new language, please feel free to leave a comment:)! Thanks again everyone for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers as I continue on my journey! Please keep your eyes open for my next blog!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

One step closer

Hey everyone!

Sorry I haven't posted anything in a while between school and life I haven't had alot of spare time. Anywho I just wanted to update everyone on what is going on. I put down my down-payment today for my trip (shout-out to Ashleigh for helping to calm my nerves). This trip became so real to me as I was typing in my information and my nerves started to get the best of me. But now I am just really excited again, everything is starting to come together. The next step is to wait to hear back from Work the World to make sure that the program I want is available for the time I want. If it is not available then they will suggest a different trip/time. From there I can decide if I would like to do the new volunteer internship instead or just withdraw completely. I will most likely just go on the alternate trip:). I have also been thinking about splitting my time so I do two weeks of Pediatrics and two weeks of Surgery, instead of just doing 4 weeks of pediatrics, but that is only if that program is available during my time as well. Lastly I just want to mention that I will be starting to fundraise for my trip! If anyone has any fundraiser ideas please let me know. I will try to keep everyone posted on what is going on. Thanks again for your prayers and support!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Start of a New Journey

I have always wanted to go on a mission trip or volunteer trip of some sort; I just never knew how to go about finding a trip that would interest me. Then one night I had the genius idea of searching these four simple words in Google, “Overseas nurse volunteer trip”. It led me to a website called Work the World. Work the World is an organization that provides overseas internship placements in third world countries. They have destinations all around the world from Argentina to Sri Lanka. The internship placement that caught my eye is in Tanzania, Africa. 

Tanzania is located near the world-famous Serengeti plains, the Ngorongoro Crater, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar Island, and the world-famous Maasai tribe. Tanzania offers stunning scenery, fascinating cultural excursions, and wildlife adventures.  Those are really nice perks, but they are not the reason I am going. I want to go because of the volunteer internship they offer in Pediatrics. By volunteering in Tanzania I will be able to see firsthand critically advanced diseases and pathologies enabling me to develop new skills and to better understand the progression of these diseases. For the last week of the internship I am going to participate in the village health care experience which allows me to live with a family of the Maasai tribe for that whole week, fully submersing me in that culture. Not only will I gain the satisfaction of volunteering, I will be able to accumulate knowledge I can use to become a better, more culturally competent nurse. Please follow me through this blog as I prepare, fundraise, and travel to Tanzania.