Monday, August 22, 2011

Recap of the weekend!! Pelotonia 2011

I'm alive to tell you all about the past weekend!!!

The weekend started at 3pm where Columbus, Ohio was the only thing I was focusing on...thankfully I remembered everything for the weekend!!  We arrived there and the nerves were already starting when my mom and I met up to go over to the opening ceremony.  I had my bike in the back of my car since I don’t trust myself with putting it on a bike rack quite least the one that I own.  The first order of business was to put my front tire on the bike and take good ol Jarvis to registration.  Bump number 1 of the weekend: front tire will not go back on and the quick release is not going back together...Thankfully they had emergency repairmen there to fix my tire.  They got it together in no more than 5 minutes.  Thank you repair people!  My mom and I headed to registration and set up Jarvis for the next day so we could enjoy the catered buffet of chicken, beef, salmon, pasta salad, green beans, potatoes, and bread was the spread.  I passed on the beef and salmon but tried everything else.  I could have sworn I had seen someone with an ice cream sandwich but I think it was the heat getting to me because I did not find them after looking for a few minutes.  I finally met my team mates from Toledo and picked up my jersey from them.  A wonderful group of guys from the Pike fraternity at The University of Toledo.  We listened to the speakers and all headed home to get some rest.  Resting was the hard part.  Working the night previously was not helpful in getting to sleep on time.  Neither was the anxiety of not waking up the next morning!  I maybe got 4 hours of solid sleep but nothing was going to stop me! I rose at 5:15 and we were out the door by 5:40.  I was so nervous I could only stomach some gatorade and a banana at the time which was a horrible decision.  I didn’t eat until 11:15 when we made it to Amanda, Ohio...after 43 miles.  I was ok, but I definitely need to be more prepared food/drink wise for the next time.  We rocked the first 43 miles of the ride, starting at 7:35am and  coming in a bit before 11am.  It was a slow start with a lot of stop and go around the city of Columbus. Once we passed the first finish at 23 miles, though, things spread out a lot more.  At the 43 mile mark we took a long break for lunch and waited for the 8 guys who finished there.  I filled up on water and gatorade an we were out on the road again.  By this time it was getting hotter and the course was getting hillier.  You would think a ride in Ohio would be a flat, easy course.  Wrong.  This was the most challenging course I could have imagined.  The miles between 53 and 75 were the worst, including me popping a tire (thankfully right by a repairman driving by) and a hill that was known for being the “epic hill” people kept talking about along the way.  When we got to it, Dan and I made it maybe 100 yards and got off to walk.  James, however, made it the whole way.  Way to go James! Thanks to the family who had a wonderful rest stop for us waiting at the top! The rest of the course was still hilly, but the worst part was definitely over.  My bum was starting to ache as well as my neck and back but the end was in site.  We stopped numerous times to refill on the water and gatorade and just had to keep trekking on!  I got to see my parents, KC, and Marley around mile 83 where they were enjoying some bud lights as we passed.  The energy from their cheers along pushed me to the end.  I knew I could do it, and I knew that I WOULD do it! And we did.  All three of us finished side by side with the cheers from our families, friends, and complete strangers were there to greet us.  
All in all, I am completely ecstatic I made this commitment.  I can’t say this enough: I WOULD NOT have been able to do this with your financial support and your words of encouragement.  Thanks a million and a half.  
This week I am starting grad school part time and getting back to work tonight, so it is a great time to have to take a few rest days from training and start reading some textbooks! Hope you all have a wonderful week!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It's the final countdown!!!!!!!!!!!

3 more days till the big day! Pelotonia is so close I can taste it.  As I rode on jarvis this afternoon after getting him all tuned up I reflected on some things I am glad I did during training/wish I would have done differently.  I came up with quite a few.  As I sit comfy in the AC, however, I hope I can recall at least most of them...
Pats on the back (things I’m glad I did):
  1. Buying a nice roadbike.
I was extremely hesitant on forking out some money to pay for a legit bike, but I will say now that jarvis is the best purchase of this year.  Such a smooth ride, and the shop I bought it from is to this day so helpful with everything I have questions about.  And give really good deals: for instance, I got a free tune up today.  All I had to pay for was a flat tire (yes, another one).  And they are just so friendly.  Can’t go wrong with friendliness!! Learn from them people!!!  Jarvis is probably going to be around for a good while too, so I am even more happy about my purchase so I can go on many long rides with him.  BTW jarvis is my bike if you haven’t been following my blog closely.

       2. Actually committing to the 102 miles

Yes, this saturday is going to be hard, but I can’t help but look forward to after the race and see all I will have accomplished fundraising wise and biking wise.  What can I say? I’m proud of myself.

       3. Going along with the last one...committing to Pelotonia

This is a fundraiser first and foremost, not a race.  It is a RIDE to raise money for the James cancer hospital in Columbus.  This is the most money I’ve had to raise ever for any cause and we all know how hard it is to ask others for money.  It’s hard.  But that being said I am so SO incredibly grateful for everyone’s support whether that be money or encouragement.  A special thanks to all those who will be there at the ride this weekend! (shoutout to mom and dad, KC, and the family in cbus).  

          4. Blogging about this

Ok, I haven’t been that great about this last one, but it is the best I can do.  I wasn’t an English major, nor was I ever that spectacular at writing, but I am so glad I have some of my journey written down.  We’ll see if it lasts...
Slaps on the face (things I should have done differently):
  1. Not buying biking gloves/shorts earlier on.
The shorts for reasons of my backside not being in complete pain after a short 20 mile ride.  What was I thinking not getting them? Crazy. The gloves are a recent purchase.  I’ve been having problems with my fingers/hands going numb after riding for a while.  I was told (by the awesome bike store I love in sylvania called bike works) to try out some gloves.  I was also told this by suzanne a while back, and I just never got any and dealt with the numb feeling.  Well the gloves make a huge difference. So glad for that.  I want to be able to feel my hands after riding 102 miles

           2. Joining a group ride of some sort.  
In all seriousness, the rides that usually take place are 8am on Saturday or Sunday mornings.  If I wasn’t working a weekend the past few months I was usually away.  Or not about to switch my schedule to fit around a riding groups.  I should have tried a little harder, though, I’m sure I would have been able to figure it out one way or another.

           3. Coming up with more fundraising ideas
There are so many fun ideas on the blog for pelotonia that people have done.  If I ever do this again, I know that fundraising is going to be even harder and I would have to get on it with more creativity

          4. Not training with more hills

Reality check: Toledo is flatter than flat. I had a conversation with a resident about his hometown in Iowa.  He made the comment that Toledo is much flatter than Iowa. Really? Yes. Toledo is that flat. All I have to say is Holy Toledo Flattness to that one.  What am I getting at? It would have taken an all day event to go train with some serious hills regularly.  I was too lazy to do that alone. No excuse, because the part of the ride I’m worried about Saturday is miles 50 to 65 which are the hilliest.  My stomach is churning just thinking about the hills!  AHH!

         5. Eating/drinking like I was training

I think cutting back on the booze would have helped a bit. I don’t regret it, I had a fun summer with the booze included...I should have evened it out with less grease/more water.  Yep, that would have cancelled out the booze.
These are the only ones I can remember.  I’m sure there were more.  Flipping memory is not as sharp as I had thought! 
On another note, I start school next week, orientation this morning got me that much more excited.  There’s something to look forward to after this ride is over!

                                                 KC was tired after work/before going out to eat. Marley wanted attention.
Really no reason for this picture. It's just adorable.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Muck Fichigan

63 miles. I’m really getting the hang of this biking thing. Unfortunately I was going to do 70 but the effing rain starting coming on my journey. Had to turn around and by the time I got back I was drenched, the rain had slowed down, and another phone was ruined. Yes, another one. I really really need to stop that. I got yet another one at verizon, they seriously know me by name by now the amount of times I’ve been in there the past week (4 if you were wondering).  This is the last and final time I am buying a new phone. I got insurance again just in case though.  Because we all know I’m can be quite clumsy out there.  On the bright side, I saw KC in singin’ in the rain last night with Jackie (unfortunately Mal pal was sick) and I was able to sing “singin’ in the rain” while it was raining with me on jarvis.  Oh, and Jarvis got a bath, so that’s another tick on the bright side of things.
The reason for my title today...other than the obvious reasons.  I was riding on river road coming up to a crossing.  I clearly had the right away and a guy on a bike cut me off and what did I see on his back? A flipping Michigan jersey.  Eff that. 
I’m really not that upset about it and it wasn’t a big deal at all but I like to heighten any chance I can to make fun of that state up north.

Topic of the week at work: trying to converse with patients who are confused.  Oh wait, I meant to say confused AND don’t speak english.  Times I wish I actually absorbed things from the measly 2 years of spanish I took in High School.  The lady had a raging UTI which was why she was confused and the nursing home told us that she “only spoke english when she wanted to”.  hmmm. only when she wanted to. great. Well, that meant for her she would ramble in spanish that none of us could really understand, we would google words in spanish to ask her, she wouldn’t answer them, and she would randomly burst into some english “when she wanted to”.  It was one of the most challenging admissions I have helped with on the floor to date.  Thank goodness a spanish speaking nurse came on in the morning.  It is so hard for me when I can’t understand when someone is trying to communicate but I just don’t get it.  Whether it be in the hospital or in day to day life. It just sit there and try so hard to get it  but there is some missing piece.  Some sort of link that got lost between that person and you.  Just down right frustrating.  I hope that I can be better at these situations whenever they pop up again.  Any suggestions for next time that are better than googling spanish words? Let me know.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

1 ice bath topically x’s 1 qdaily prn for pain...first dose stat

Nurses will appreciate the name of my post today.  The past few weeks I have been busy busy busy with work and other things.  But yes, I have been lazy in posting once again. Let me first update you on the past few rides/runs and such.  The past few weeks have been brutally (is that a word?) hot so riding/running has been pretty impossible...or usually just really sweaty...sorry for the visual. Last week I was able to do 2 few 20 mile rides and a nice long 40 mile ride on Wednesday.  I felt like a million bucks riding and I should have gone further quite honestly.  I needed a little encouragement, but since I was riding by myself again I just couldn’t bring myself to go anymore myself.  Food sounded so much better than another 15 miles.  See where my priorities are? Oh, and I was meeting mal pal to go to ikea so I was running short on timeas well.  Ikea was a fun afternoon trip where we got lots of ideas for both of our places...nothing was bought, but plenty of plans.  That evening I had a huge craving for cream so I went to walt churchills and bought some vanilla and had a great night of watching love and other drugs.  Typical girls night in with myself, a chickflick, and cream.  Much needed.  
Yesterday I did a 9 mile run in preparation for the Chicago Half Marathon.  I haven’t signed up for it quite yet, but I needed to do a nice long run (and not stop). And I stopped only 2 times...once in the cemetery to grab a drink and the same in a park.  Only for a minute or so.  And I finished in about 1 hour and 25 minutes.  Not bad for first longish run in a while! I felt like I needed an ice bath after it all, but all I did was ice the knees.  I’ll be heading out for a bike here after I finish this post...
Marley was tired after my run as well I guess...even though she was napping while I was out.

The things that hold you back on my rides....trains passing through perrysburg. 

Work has been good recently, finally chemotherapy certified.  Yay for that! Not that I will be hanging much chemo on nights, but at least now I do have the credentials to do so! Never a dull moment on our floor...I had a confused patient who pulled out her PEG tube from her stomach.  You’d think that would hurt, yes? Well not only did we not hear her scream, yell, anything...she told us she didn’t do it.  Yea, well dementia plays a part in that fact.  Sweethart? yes. Challenge? YES.  I enjoyed her a lot minus the whole taking out her peg tube thing.  Sunday I saw the wonderful Brooke Diller and her mom after work.  They were up my way shopping and stopped by to get my scarlet scrubs since Brooke is starting nursing school in the fall! YAY!  It was a nice visit and great to see them both.  I went to mass at blessed john where I had a tough time staying awake without someone there nudging me when I dosed off.  Sorry Jesus.  I had a busy morning after that still of buying a new tv and buying some supplies for the lasagna/martini night at my place.  After all that I slept for a few hours and woke up to start cooking for my ladies+KC.  We had a lot of laughs that night and ended with some cranium.  So happy that I had them all over.  The next day I did an afternoon showing of Captain America with KC.  I was fully impressed, but I need to have a viewing of the other movies leading up to the avengers now before next summer.  Hopefully sooner rather than later!  
I think I have to go on that ride now, it’s looking like the rain may be coming to kill my plans of biking if I don’t go least that’s what blizzard bill of abc is saying

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sleepless Goodbyes

This past weekend was a rollercoaster filled with work. And lots of it.  Thursday, Friday and Saturday night were my nights to work.  Fully prepared for craziness there.  If you have been following my blog closely (I know I have SO many fans out who read every single post obviously...) I had made a post about a previous patient of mine who is a young women with 3 small children and stage 4 cancer.  Well, she is back in the hospital again for other complications related to the cancer.  All I kept saying to myself the entire weekend was how I need to not attach myself to patients because I already have with her.  I can’t help but think about her when I am away from work, hoping and praying a miracle happens.  I just know if something happens to her I am going to be a mess...but I am just going to do the best I can to help her now.  That’s the only thing I can do.  Prayers and doing my job at work.
It was Jackie’s birthday on Friday and unfortunately for her she was working.  But at least she got to work with me, Mal, and Adrienne...obviously making her night the best it could be: complete with a yummy sandwich ring, some D. C. (diet coke) that we drank way too much of because of lack of sleep the day before, bomb dip from her mom, and a cookie cake made by yours truly.  We had some cream aka ice cream too, but there was way to much food for us to handle already.  We had a crazy first 5 or so hours of work that night as well so it’s not like the night we were celebrating her birthday.  That would not have been realistic seeing as we were at work obviously.  But it was the best we could do for being there during her 23rd birthday.  
Saturday night turned into being a slow night until 6am med passing started where a patient’s urostomy leaked all over the place which led me to having to change it not once but twice in the last 20 minutes of the scheduled shift.  Thank god Mal helped me pass on of my patient’s meds for me.  After the 12 hour shift they needed help in many areas of the hospital and were offering extra pay if we stayed for 4 hours over.  So tempting.  So tempting that I took them up on it and worked on the step-down unit until 11:30.  I had 3 patients, 2 of them having been in a car accident the day before.  They were both in the same accident, and both in the same car, and both broke ribs along with other bones.  And both the most compliant and thankful patients I have ever had.  I was taught a valuable lesson from something one of them said when this conversation happened: 
Me: “You are going down for your surgery now, I forgot to take off your heart monitor and earrings before, so we need to do that now before this nurse takes you to the Operating room if that’s ok with you! I’m so sorry I forgot, I thought I had thought of everything...I am trying to do things perfectly for you and I guess that I failed with that one!”
Patient: “Sweetie, there was only one person that was perfect...”
Wow, so true. I guess I can only try my best at work/in life in general.  Nobody’s perfect.  Thanks go to her after 15 hours of work and still teaching me a valuable lesson.  
I gave report to the next nurse coming on and headed home to finally rest before going to Columbus to say my goodbye to Fahad.  I slept for a little over 3 hours grabbed a dc and headed south.  Fahad and I went to Hyde Park and had a delicious dinner filled with steak, cheesecake, and wine.  Oh, and we got calamari/crab cakes/scallops for an appetizer...I know what you are thinking.  Amanda does not like sea food.  Well we got it anyway so I could attempt it again.  And I can honestly say I enjoyed it this time.  Maybe it was lack of sleep? Or maybe it was that I was enjoying the company of Fahad? Or maybe I really did enjoy it (shhh don’t tell anyone).  For reasons like this one, I will continue to try to like seafood so I don’t miss out on something people seem to really enjoy.  
We ended up closing the restaurant and headed back to campus.  I was going to originally head home, but I was suckered into going to mug night.  I wasn’t too upset by it.  We sat outside on the deck and people watched for most of the time before Falon and Alex showed up.  It was a nice chill night with all of them and I am glad I made the decision to stay for it.  I haven’t been to Columbus in a long time where it was just a small group of people out like that.  Different, but in a great way.  So glad I got to see Alex before he leaves for Tucson next month since I can’t go down for his going away party either.  Saying goodbye to friends is always so flipping hard, but I say those are just 2 more people to add to the list of placed I can go and visit.  And it’s see-ya later for everyone, not goodbye for good.  And I know the people who are leaving ohio are leaving for amazing opportunities that should not be passed up.  So happy for my friends and all their journeys even though they will all be missed like crazy!
In other news I tried for a run the past 2 days.  There is no place for me to ride without being in the direct sunlight, and with the heat being 100+humidity I would say that running was a better idea.  I timed it to run in the rain yesterday right by where I will be living in a month and a half! It was much better once the rain started.  Today I had chemotherapy class and afterwards headed up to wildwood to be in the shade.  It was only 85 out in the shade instead of 105...yea, thank you toledo weather. Nice to be in the AC again.  That is until volleyball tonight at 9:30. Maybe it will cool down to 90...
For now, a shower is in order.
Keep it real.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

"I think we should make a book"

Last night I spent my time with jackie, mallory, and Mr. and Mrs. Malenfant (aka jackie’s ‘rents) at the Malenfant residence in Waterville...about 10 minutes from Perrysburg.  Jackie’s birthday is tomorrow so we had a mini celebration last night complimented with a delicious steak/potato/corn dinner.  Great food, even greater company.  Throughout the dinner we got on the topic of work.  Even though we complain about work sometimes, we do have to look back and laugh/enjoy the craziness that ensues there.  I think we could have talked all night about the many stories we have already had there...which is why Mr. Malenfant said we should write a book.  Or at least write down all these stories we have.  
Story time from work on Tuesday night: I was assessing my patient’s feet seeing that they were swollen and I went to take off her socks when she was quick to say “oh please be careful with my right foot!!”.  I just figured she may have a sore on her foot of some sort but when asked about it she said “I have my money in my sock and don’t want to lose it.” Hmmm...well I guess no one will steal it from you? Where she went on to say that she thinks that if anyone will go for it in her sock at least she’ll wake up.  I told her we could lock it up, but she seemed to think it was much safer in the right sock.  And that her son would pick it up tomorrow morning.  
This is just one story of many from each night.  Some are funny like this one, some sad, some just down right crazy.  I realize why there are sooo many shows about hospitals/medicine.  You never run out of stories.
On another note, thanks again for the donations that keep coming in for my ride in August! Still have a long way to go, but so thankful for everyone so far who has gotten me this far with the donations.  Monday since it was pouring cats and dogs I had to pay a visit to the treadmill...wasn’t originally looking forward to this, but turned out pretty good.  This Tuesday I went on a nice 22 mile ride along river road from pburg.  I can’t tell you how happy I am with my bike purchase this year, best purchase of the year for sure.  I think about that literally every ride.  Yesterday I did a short run before heading over to the Malenfant residence...I woke up at 5:30pm after work the night before cutting it a bit short.  Ok with me, legs were screaming at me.  
Today another ride at some point before going into work tonight....first night of 3 for me! Let’s hope they are good ones, or at least ones full of lots of stories for our book “the adventures of floor 4cd”. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

50 50 50 50 50 50!!!!!!

As I write this post I have a load of laundry next to me, a thunderstorm outside, due date playing in the background and an ice pack on my back.  Laundry is next to me because it always takes me a day and a half to actually fold and put it away. Thunderstorm is widely appreciated in Toledo since it hasn't rained in a month.  Due date: just because I like background noise.  And the ice pack? Well, I need to learn how to not slouch when I'm riding jarvis, especially when I'm riding 50 miles on him. (or 102 when pelotonia rolls around)  I think an ice bath is in order later today if it still feels like this.  I'm not sure if I will actually put myself through that one though...we'll see.
So the ride yesterday I broke up into a 30 mile ride with a 20 minute break to grab some more water at my place, let marley out to pee/play, and get a snack.  I rode to luckey and back on that first part where I only saw a few cars, motorcycles, and fellow bikers.  It's funny how much a motorcyclist and I have in common: they wake up early to feel the wind in the hair, as did I. With the exception of them having some extra help with the actual feeling the wind in the hair with the motor part of it.  And we all had helmets on, so I guess not really feeling it in the hair...sort of.  Regardless, we all enjoyed the morning in the outside....I thought I was going somewhere with that.
Also on my ride someone was gracious enough to spray me with some water as they were watering their grass.  With only about 5 miles to go it was much appreciated.  And I came to the realization that I need to buy riding gloves at some point very soon.  My right pinky is still numb from the ride.  Not the best sensation ever.  I will be heading up to bike works of sylvania this afternoon to see if they can help me out with the glove situation.  Hopefully I get some suggestions, they always have been super helpful there!!!
All in all, it was a solid ride.  It makes me believe that I can really do that next 50 when Pelotonia comes in August.  Well, hopefully!
Not much more going on here.  Will update you all again soon.  Don't forget to make a donation to my ride if you haven't yet and if you can!  Any little bit helps, even if it is 5 or 10 dollars!!!  Just go to
and click on "donate to my ride".  Thanks for everyone who already has helped donate so far!  You are making a difference in people's lives by doing so!
Alright, I guess I should get back to laundry. BOO.