Friday, January 15, 2010

My semianual update

So it seems that I only have time to do semi-annual updates on this thing. I'm sure that nobody is really sad about this since I'm sure only 4 people read this blog. Much has happened since my last post so I'll try to do a quick update.

My first semester is done and I managed to finish with decent grades. Two A's and a B, not the best, but it's acceptable. I hope I can do better this semester. I'm now in my second semester and it's going to be CRAZY. I really like my lab classes. It's funny because they were the classes that I dreaded the most. They are 5 hours long... I know, right? BUT... we wear our scrubs, operating gown, gloves, masks, lead aprons (for the x-ray fluoroscopy stuff) and it's super awesome! I finally feel like I'm doing stuff in school that really matters. Wearing the equipment and learning stuff in the lab makes me feel professional and like I'm finally getting near the end of school. It's weird to think that by this time next year I will be doing my internship and out in the real world. It scares the CRAP out of me but it's extremely exciting at the same time. I really like the rest of my classes too. They are really hard and it's going to take a lot of work but I'm really interested in what I'm learning so it helps me to know that I'm truly doing something that I WANT to do, even though it's scary.

Yesterday my lab teachers and my director were telling us the worst things they ever experienced in the Cath lab. It was terrible to hear. One story involved making a mistake on a newborn baby and the baby almost died. The others involved a patient who had an arterial disease that's impossible to diagnose until it's too late. Basically the Aorta (the huge artery that pumps blood out of the heart to the rest of the body) had calcified or become really hard and rigid, and the tech injected dye so that they could see the catheter under x-ray and the Aorta shattered like glass under the extra pressure and person died within a minute. The worst part was that there was nothing they could do about it so they just had to sit and watch it all happen.

It really makes me stop and think if I can handle this position, but I can't walk away from this career just because I'm afraid. So I really have to face my fear and be strong and composed so that I can perform at my best. I don't know how I've stumbled onto this path, but I can't help but think that it was destiny. I couldn't have done this program in Utah or Oregon so I have to think that it was fate that brought me to this crap hole I call Minnesota.

Kayleigh is getting sooooo big. She started crawling and I just have a hard time keeping up with her. She also has 4 teeth coming in on the top so she has been just a ray of sunshine. (Catch my sarcasm) Just kidding, she is super cute and I'm sad that I miss daytime with her because I'm school, but I'm glad I get all afternoon/evening with her because Shaun let me quit my job which helps out TONS! I know I wasn't working a lot to begin with but it's nice to just not have to worry about it anymore. It's one less thing on my plate.

Well, that's about it so far, so here's to the New Year, and I hope that it is much less eventful than last year!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Long Time....No Post

I'm finally updating my blog! So much has happened the last couple of months it's insane. We had Colin come and visit, Scott and Sam's Wedding, Kara coming to visit, and let's not forget School started. Man oh man, life gets crazy.

I started my program this fall and I won't lie, I'm a little intimidated by it. There's just so much information to know, and you have to know it because someone's life might depend on it. Holy too much responsibility! I'm sure I will be a little more comfortable over time. The Director of my program is HILARIOUS!!!! He has a MILLION degrees, most of them he got just because it opens doors for students in the program. He was in the Navy for 20+ years and was so emotionally scarred from having to dress and wear his hair how THEY wanted it. Now he has long, blonde, and increadibly CURLY hair that he pulls back into a pony tail! He also has an affinity for hawaian shirts and white pants. He's so funny. Looking at him on the street.... I probably would think that he's just a crazy Minnesotan, but he really is a genius in the cardiovascular career. He will be teaching all of my classes for the next two years so I'm sure I'll really get to know him.

I'm sad that summer is over, because this has been the BEST SUMMER EVER!!! I didn't have to work, and I got to hang out with Kayleigh every day. Plus we got to hang out with Colin for a week, and Kara for close to a week. MN isn't so bad when normal people come and hang out with us.

Kayleigh will be 4 months old on Saturday. It's crazy how time flies. She gets bigger and bigger everyday and she doesn't look like a baby anymore. she looks like a little girl. It must be the hair! She's so much fun, but is DROOLING like crazy! I always told Monica that I was going to order a kid without drool, and what do I get? The biggest drooler of them all. She must be teething.... or at least that's what 20 thousand people have told me. I think it's too early for teething, but I just don't want her to grow up, so I guess we'll see.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Uh oh... this one's a little cliché

I love staring into my beautiful baby’s eyes. I love cuddling in the morning. I love playing with her every day. I especially love it when she falls asleep on my chest or shoulder. I love her smiles and her crazy facial expressions. I love spending every day home with her. It seems that most of my life I have been striving for materialistic things. I wanted a good career so that I could buy the things that I wanted. I measured my success by others opinions of me. I didn’t realize that I really was living my life for others not for myself. I wasn’t happy with this… I needed change.
Now I live in a place that is by no means impressive. I have a beautiful house but it is by no means grand or magnificent. My job isn’t impressive. I’m 23 years old and I’m still in school. I married young at 20 and had a baby at age 23, which some would call crazy.
My life is by no means where I thought it would be, yet I couldn’t be happier. I’m working towards my career, not for money, but to make a difference. As silly as it sounds I am scared to start my program at school. Seeing the hospital beds and the instruments I’m going to have to use makes me nervous. A mistake at work will have far worse consequences than many other careers. I’m afraid for the few people who may not make it through the surgery. It doesn’t happen often, but it happens. Not every heart attack victim can be saved in the Cath Lab, but then I think about all of the people who are saved in there. Like my dad, twice… and who knows how many others. My job right now isn’t the most important one, but I enjoy it. I work for the community, and I’m involved in a lot of fun events. I get to be creative, and I know it’s only temporary. It’s stress free (most of the time) and the hours are low. I’m lucky to only have to work one day a week because it gives me more time at home where I want to be. I always thought being a stay at home mom would be boring and unfulfilling but I was extremely mistaken. There is nowhere else in the world that I would rather be than home with my Kayleigh. She brightens my day. She makes me want to live everyday to the fullest. It’s amazing how much she makes me feel loved and needed. All it takes is a look from her and my heart melts. I don’t know what I did without her. I can’t remember life without her. It’s amazing. She’s amazing.
I hate how corny this all sounds but sometimes I need to break down and admit that my family is so important to me. My life with Shaun and Kayleigh has given me more joy than I ever thought possible. I have a great house filled with great things, but the only things that really matter to me are the people inside my house. Sometimes I forget that, but I know that it’s true. If this is just the beginning then I can’t wait to experience the rest of the ride. In fact, I’m looking forward to it.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ok Minnesota... we're going to give Summer a shot.

Shaun and I have been wanting to do some outdoor activities since the weather has warmed up. We both want to do something active and, well, we both need some sun to bronze our white bodies. This sounds like an easy task, right? In Utah we had many options, like hiking the Y or my absolute favorite, going rafting down the Provo River ( I thank Nate for introducing that to us). Well... I just happen to live in a crappy place called Becker, MN. The only river that we could take a raft on is the mighty Mississippi and that's a little too much of a raging river for a tiny two man inflatable raft. Okay, so hiking, that's an easy one right? Wrong... no mountains or even hills and forget hiking through any type of wooded area unless you want lime disease from my worst enemies in MN, TICKS (dun dun dunnnn). There goes my two favorite summertime activites. Lets see... swimming, of course! Perfect outside summertime fun...oh wait... no out door pools in MN. Hmmmm tanning outside would be relaxing.... wait, no.... way to many bugs (and I mean WAY to many). Any lake activities were out of the question because of little bugs that live in the lake that will crawl under your skin and the only thing you can do is let them stay there until they die. That sounds more like a nightmare to me, I don't know how people around here can handle it, but they do. We both were perplexed by our problem. I mean people around here LIVE outside in the summer because they have cabin fever from the long cold winters. They can handle the bugs, though, and I unfortunately have to draw the line at ticks and man eating flesh bugs.
Finally Shaun came up with a brilliant plan. BIKES!! We could buy bikes and go for rides. Lets see... outside activity,, bugs, check (maybe a few bugs hitting me in the face but we'll be moving fast enough to escape bites). Perfect! So off we went to buy some killer, stylin bikes. We even got a trailer for Kayleigh to ride in so she can join us. We got our bikes just in time for our trip "up north to the cabin" (Monica will get it). We are going up to Itaska State Park for fathers day and shaun's birthday. So summer... here we come (finally)

Detail on my bike

My killer bike with Kayleigh's trailer

Shaun excited on his bike (he was like a little kid it was so cute)

Shaun wanted to ride the bike with Kayleigh... I responded by giving him stink eye

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Kayleigh Emily Duke

May 5th, 2009

On Cinco De Mayo I had the pleasure of meeting my baby girl. This last week has been one of the craziest but most amazing weeks of my life. So, to explain my crazy week I guess I'll start at the beginning. I want to write about EVERYTHING so this is going to be a long one...

I went to the hospital around midnight because I was having strong contractions that were about 3-5 minutes apart. I had been having contractions that close together for about a week, but they weren't strong enough to changing my cervix. I quickly learned from the hospital that labor is technically cervical change, not the whole huffing and puffing through contractions. I was sure, though, that these contractions were different because they were a lot stronger. Shaun, the nice guy that he is, helped me pack up and drove me to the hospital in the middle of the night. They hooked me up to the machines and tracked my contractions. Sure enough they came every three minutes like clockwork, but when they checked me I was only dilated to a 2. AHHHHHHH!!! I had been stuck at a two for almost a week. The nurse told me that she thought I was really in labor, just the early stages of it. She told me to go home and take an ambien (sleeping pill I was prescribed by my doctor) and if I couldn't sleep through the contractions then I would know I was in labor. Well, I sleep that night but only two or three minutes at a time. Every time I had a contraction I would wake up. In the morning my contractions got even stronger, but I was so frustrated from being sent home that I DID NOT want to go back to that place unless I had to. I waited until about 9am and was in so much pain I was in tears. I called Shaun at work and he got a little worried about me being home alone and called my doctor to see if we should go back to the hospital. My doctor called me right away and I told them about the contractions and that I felt a lot of pressure "down there". She told me to go the hospital immediately and not to worry if they send me home again.

I finally caved in and had Shaun leave work to take me to the hospital... again. So it was my second hospital visit in ten hours and I was so embarrassed to be back there because I was sure it was another false alarm. They hooked me up to the machines again and sure enough there were my contractions faithful as ever but much more painful. The nurse checked me and simply said. "Okay, you're dilated to about a 5. You're going to have a baby today." I almost cried with happiness when she said that. I couldn't believe they were actually going to keep me there.

After the happiness subsided it hit me that Holy Crap, I have to have a baby now. I asked the nurse if there was anything that I could take for the pain, and she asked me, "Oh sure, do you want an epidural?" What?! An epidural? she acted like she was asking me if I wanted some Tylenol. Am I really far enough along in my labor to have that? She assured me that now was a good time to have it, and to be honest I was so uncomfortable I decided an epidural might not be so bad.

It took about 45 minutes to get the epidural and let me tell you ladies... it was AMAZING. They numbed my back first so a couple of needle pokes was nothing compared to the contractions I was having. Once it kicked in I was more comfortable then I had been in WEEKS. I totally relaxed and kicked back while my body got ready to have a baby. I went from being dilated to a 5 to a 10 in about five hours which was pretty quick, and thanks to my epidural a walk in the park. Once I hit a 10 the nurse called the doctor to come and deliver and started having me push every time I had a contraction. Pretty soon the doctor and two nurses came quickly into the room and turned on two huge spot lights and aimed them right at my lady parts. Apparently my lady parts had to be illuminated.

I started pushing the baby out and unfortunately the epidural doesn't numb that pain. I'm lucky I had Shaun in there encouraging me to push and just being the nicest person in world. He made sure I never ran out of ice water, he dabbed my face and neck with a cool wash cloth, and he just kept telling me how amazing I was doing. He really was the best labor coach ever. Even the nurses were impressed. They said that they would like to hire him for all of the other deliveries.

I pushed for about 30 minutes, and at one point near the end I wasn't sure if I could do it anymore. I held back my tears but kept telling Shaun that I couldn't do it. He helped me get through my moment of weakness like only he could. Finally I pushed and her head came out. One more quick push and the rest of her came out like it was nothing. Some thing that still confuses me.

I just saw a flash of her before they took her to clean her up, but I hear her first cry and had the most amazing feeling ever. It seemed like an eternity, but finally they brought her over and I got to hold her for the first time. In that one instant I forgot all of the pain, all nine months of pregnancy discomfort... everything was gone. All I could do was marvel at the miracle in my arms. Everything changed in that instant. All of things I had stressed about before now, like work and school, meant absolutely nothing. The only things that mattered were there in the room with me, Shaun and Kayleigh, my family. Indescribable.

8lbs 4oz and 19 inches long. My little sweetheart has officially stolen my heart. I just want to spend every minute holding her. She has completely flipped my world upside down, and it's the best feeling in the world. I was so scared to become a mom. I didn't think that I could do it, but I am amazed at how easy it is. It is so easy to love her and want to take care of her. I never get tired of having her around and I have the best support system at home with Shaun and from both of our families. May 5th 2009 has definitely been the craziest day in my life so far. Honestly, I wouldn't change it for the world.