Em's Mem's

Memos, memories, and random life happenings of Emily

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Love Padlocks

I have seen a lot more going around lately about love padlocks, so I thought I would share our version :)  

When we were planning our wedding, we wanted to find something symbolic to show our joining, but we didn’t want to do the usual unity candle or sand.  We searched a lot of places for an alternative and ended up finding the love padlock.  The idea is to lock the padlock with your names and (usually) your wedding date on a bridge and throw the key into the water below.  Google “love padlock” and look at the images and you’ll see just how big this is, especially in Europe.  

Being in land locked Colorado and with our wedding venue nowhere near any body of water, we wanted to find another way to do the love padlock besides a bridge.  And so what you see here was born.  We brain stormed all kinds of things we could lock together and settled on horse shoes.  Fitting because 1) horses are a part of my life but more importantly 2) The horseshoe is a symbol of luck in Ireland and brides wear a horseshoe to give them luck in love for life!

A friend of ours welds (joescustom.com), so we bought 2 horseshoes and he shaped them into two halves of a heart, cut holes, and hinged the bottom of the heart together.  We bought a lock and had it engraved with our names and wedding date!

During our ceremony, we locked the heart together.  The keys were given to our mothers, with the statement “Growing up, Emily and Erik’s mothers gave them the keys to open the padlock and their hearts.  Now that their hearts have found each other and are joined, they return the keys to their mothers, reminding them that we could not be here today without them”.  So our mothers have the key in their own little shadow box at home, and our love padlock is in our home in a shadow box as well.  I still want to spruce up the shadow box to make it better, but you get the idea! 

PS: Thanks to Harper Point Photography for the ceremony pictures!!

Filed under love padlock wedding love padlocks unity candle alternative

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I have learned a few lessons lately in my job that I think are valuable and applicable to life, so I figured I’d jot them down. If no one reads it, oh well, it is a reminder to myself!

Lesson #1: But whhhhyyyyy?
I don’t have any kids, but I have been around enough to know they get to an age/stage where everything in there little world is puzzling and they don’t take things at face value anymore, and they ask tons of questions. Their favorite seems to be “why…?”. Why did that happen? Why does this work this way? And the best is when an adult tells them to do something (or stop doing something) and they ask “why?”. Many times the adult just gets frustrated and says “because I said so!”. Of course we grow out of that stage of “why”, but some people never take “because I said so” as a good enough answer.

This is true with patients. A lot of times, we as nurses (or other health care professionals) tell our patients to do something and don’t tell them why (or not in a way they understand). “take this drug”, “do this exercise”, whatever it might be. We may tell them “this drug prevents a blood clot” or “this exercise will help you get better faster”, but we don’t always take the time to tell them what will happen if they don’t. A blood clot can lead to stroke, PE, etc… Often the only time we do is if they refuse, and by that time they are already resisting and they sometimes say “I’ll take my chances, I don’t want it”.

I’ve seen this over and over again with patients. I once had a patient who didn’t want to get out of bed because he was tired and having pain and he thought getting up would just make it worse. Everybody (Drs, nurses, aides, therapists) told him he needed to get out of bed, he said no. I got report of him being grumpy, rude, and “non-compliant with his plan of care”. I went into the room, introduced myself, and asked him how his day was. He told me about how tired he was and that he was having a lot of pain in his abdomen (where he had surgery) and the pain medicine wasn’t helping as much. I inquired further, finding out he hadn’t been passing gas yet and he felt bloated. I explained some of the medications he was getting were designed to help that (which he knew), but that the number one way to help that was to get up and moving and how that helps get the gut moving, etc. I asked him if he had gotten up much that day and of course he said no. I then simply asked him if that was something he would like to try (instead of telling him it’s what he should do), and he said yes. I got him up twice that night walking. He later said he didn’t know why everyone just kept coming in his room saying it was time to get out of bed, and he thought they didn’t understand that he was in pain and was worn out, when in reality everyone was heading toward the same goal! In reality, it wasn’t just the patient who was being stubborn. The staff also was by just wanting him to listen and give in when they said “because I said so!”

Lesson #2: “Thank You”

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Lets be honest. Not every couple is going to make it. And in terms of “death do us part” fewer have even a fighting chance. This is the cold hard truth treated like a dark secret and only spoken of behind very closed doors….The point being that not all the hand made details, or nifty Pinterest inspiration is enough to make a marriage work. It takes so much fucking more. Communication. Determination. Compromise in the form of sacrifice. Compromise in the form of humility. Compromise in the form of “I’m sorry”.
Clayton Austin (via fuckyeahweddingideas)

Great quote, and so true!

(via styledandwed)

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Puzzles and Embracing the Novice Nurse

Well, I’ve been a employed nurse for a little over 2 months, and I really love my job and am so happy I chose the career I did!  It is really amazing that I use almost everything I learned in school and I still feel like I don’t know anything!  I have learned SO much in the past 2 months, and I’m not even off orientation yet!  I can’t imagine what it will be like when I am by myself, but that scares me sometimes.  I feel great right now, but I still have that “security blanket” that is my precepter and I don’t want to let go of that yet!

It’s hard for me to be a new nurse.  In the past, I have worked at my jobs long enough that I was the expert in at least one area.  I was the person co-workers come to with questions because I knew my job well.  Now, I am at the bottom of the totem pole and constantly feel like I don’t know much of anything.  I don’t know routines, where everything is on each floor, what all the expectations are, or all the things I am supposed to be doing.  I am just trying to keep up with my own tasks and make sure my patients stay stable.  I would love to be able to think every thing through and analyze every part my patients’ diagnoses, medications, and care plans, but I don’t feel like I have time.  I don’t have time because things don’t come to me second nature yet, and I don’t have an established system where I “always” do X… Y… Z…  to make sure everything gets done and charted.  So I try to make sure I know enough to stay safe and then I file things into the back of my mind to analyze later if I have time (ha!). 

Right now I feel like I’m just trying to get a system down. 

It’s kind of like building a puzzle.  Right now, I am just looking at all the puzzle pieces on the table and separating the edge pieces — the glaring problems, tasks, and orders that have to be addressed — from the middle pieces — the things that aren’t of immediate importance and aren’t glaring problems.  The middle pieces may be more important to the whole of the puzzle, but sometimes they are too overwhelming to tackle first, so they have to be put aside.  I am vaguely aware of the picture on the box, and try to reference it, but when you are putting the edge pieces together, those individual pieces are easier to look at alone and you only reference the bigger picture every so often.  I am very focused on holding my patient together by the edges right now, and I can’t think about all the deeper, middle pieces until I address the edges.  Sometimes I need the expert nurses to put together the middle of the puzzle or at least help me do it.

But you know when you are building a puzzle, and someone who has never looked at it comes by and finds and places that piece you have been looking for FOREVER?!  They don’t know what the puzzle is supposed to look like in the end, and they just look at all the pieces in front of them, pick it up, and find the exact place for it.  They don’t always find the spot where it goes right away, but they find it eventually and it drives you crazy!  Well sometimes as a novice nurse, I think I am the puzzle contributer who places the random pieces.  As the experts put together the middle pieces of my puzzle, I come along and find some missing pieces.  I don’t have expectations as to what the whole puzzle “should” look like, but the experts do because they know this puzzle and have seen so many like it before.  Sometimes the experts get trapped in their expertise, and say “but this piece has GOT to fit there, it looks exactly like the piece that should go there but it just won’t FIT!”  But when I come by, I have no pre-concieved notions as to what that puzzle piece “should” look like, I only know the basics of puzzles and I have limited expectations.  I am a novice, but I’m not stupid and I see a piece that works based on my limited knowledge, as a more objective observer, and sure enough, it fits into the puzzle.  This only happens every so often, and the experts are still going to know the puzzle better when they look at the whole thing in the end, but I have my value in that puzzle.  I need to remember this contribution I have and embrace my “novice-ness”. 

My friend Jessica brought this to my attention after I told her about an experience I had.  I felt like something was wrong with my patient, but I couldn’t pinpoint any one, glaring thing that I could tell a doctor about.  His mental status changed just slightly, but that could be seen as “expected” based on his diagnosis, medications, and history.  But it just didn’t seem right to me.  Sure enough, later in the day, he declined more, to the point where others said “ok, you’re right, something isn’t right”.  We were able to treat him and he recovered fine after treatment.  I left the situation knowing I CAN trust my intuition even with my limited knowledge!  The experts were looking at the picture of the puzzle saying “this fits in the picture, that piece should go there” and I was the observer saying “no, I know it looks like it should go there, but it just doesn’t fit quite right!”

I am a more objective observer and I need to embrace this.  I find it hard when I am not the expert, and I want to become the expert so bad!  I will get there, but it will take a lot more time and attention and experience to get there.  I will slowly develop systems and get to know my job and my patients better, and I will slowly be able to broaden my focus and look at the bigger picture for each of my patients.  But for now, I need know my limitations but also embrace the novice nurse in me and realize the value I bring to the picture.  And as I continue to put the puzzle pieces together and move closer to being an expert, I have to remember the days I am in right now!