I was commissioned exactly one year ago today! This past year has been very full and exciting. I am thankful for where the Lord has me right now and look forward to what this year may hold! Honestly...I'm sure it will be busy too, but I can't imagine it being more intense than this past year. Living in four states, graduating from university, working at five different jobs, starting over in a new city, and starting my career in nursing...kind of a lot to pack in such a short time! I don't regret my decision to join the Navy Nurse Corps :-)
NKO stands for Navy Knowledge Online. I log in to it with my CAC (Common Access Card...aka military ID). You will use your CAC card to use any DOD computers. Your CAC is basically the most important thing you own! ;-) Anyway, NKO has all kinds of information on it...if you have a question, the answer is probably on NKO. You also have required online training to do every year on NKO. It doesn't take too long, but you have to keep it up to date. For us (healthcare professionals), you have to do online training on several different sites...we are always training for something! ;-)
I did my first Tough Mudder a few weeks ago and I think I may be up for doing another in the future. Two of the obstacles were especially unpleasant...the arctic plunge and the electric shocks...those were no joke ;-)! It was an awesome weekend in Richmond with friends and I definitely slept well after the event! My next goal is to complete a marathon this year...we'll see!
Summer is great so far...very busy and fun! I love living near the beach—every day its sunny and I don't have to work...I'm pretty much soaking up the sun! Where to start with updates...it's been so busy lately. Well...I finished horseback-riding for the summer, which is probably a good thing since it was near unbearably hot the last time I went! I'm thinking it would be good to start back up in the fall! Aside from that, I went running the other day in Newport News...on the Noland Trail at the Mariner's Museum...very nice, but I think I need to go when it is not the hottest part of the day. I also went golfing for the first time with my coworkers...that was interesting and fun, but I'm pretty terrible at it! I now understand a bit more about the game, but have a long way to go! I've been going to church and mid-week Bible study when my work schedule allows...enjoying that and I'm starting to feel more connected in the church. I also went to an orientation for volunteering at an animal shelter. My goal is to work with the dogs...so excited! I miss having a dog, but just am not in a place where it would be wise to get one...so I'll just play with puppies in the meantime!
Last Sunday, I played volleyball with some people from church. I think they were very nice to let me join because I am...quite honesty...terrible! That is not false modesty...I am pretty awful at most games that involve a ball and hand-eye coordination. I'm hoping that the more we play, I'll start to improve. I had a great time!
What else...hmmm...I took a course on bereavement care in perinatal loss. It was kind of emotionally draining, but quite valuable since we work with perinatal loss on my unit in the hospital. I think the hardest part is that I never know just what to say since there are no perfect words. I now have an entire textbook on the subject and plan to review that at some point...on my to-do list. Today, I also had training on administering methotrexate (a chemotherapy drug)...my unit really does do a little of everything! The training was good and even somewhat entertaining since when I went to administer the shot in the fake skin, I hit a hard plastic tube...I had to re-stick and my coworkers found it quite amusing!
In terms of Navy stuff, I am starting to complete my annual training and I think I'm due to start my annual appointments again...eye doctor, etc. I feel like being in the military is a constant cycle of being processed through the system. I also got my leave approved...and am beyond excited! I get two weeks off and I'm going home!! I am so happy and have my ticket booked...can't wait to pack my bags...and maybe even wear real clothes for a change ;-)! I am enjoying my time in Virginia, but I miss Washington so much! I'll take pictures! I think that is all with the updates at this point...can't think of anything else that is super thrilling...except I made chicken spaghetti for the first time! I had never heard of it until I lived in Texas...and it is so good! I also made Pig Pickin’ Cake...a strange name, I may add. I learned about this one a few weeks ago. A friend from church invited me and another friend to spend Father's Day lunch with their whole extended family. Two things...I liked Pig Pickin’ Cake and I felt like I was home again. I miss my big and fun family! ;-) Can't wait to see you all!
What is it? People use it like a verb...but PCS means permanent change of duty station...in other words, you are moving to another command. For me, I will PCS every two to three years. Next time, I will most likely go overseas!
I think I'm beginning to sound like a broken record, but work has been busy. This past five to six weeks has been one thing after another. I've decided that nursing is largely about putting out fires ;-)...not literally! Tonight has been busy...have been hanging a lot of blood tonight and feel like I am pulled in all directions by a myriad of things. The night is flying by...the good thing about being busy. And...I get the next few days off! I think I will try to stay up late today since tomorrow, I have mandatory training during the day...hence the feeling of always being jet-lagged ;-)! Caffeine is my new best friend. I anticipate running errands today...mostly for things I have been putting off, but I feel like I need to get on top of things now since I leave in less than a month. I'm so excited for break! Not much to report beyond that. I begin school is just over a month and now that I think about it...I need to order books soon!
I went to NC this past weekend to catch up with my family...and it went way too fast! I love the drive to and from there since it is mostly country and so pretty. I find that driving is so relaxing in the country and I finally have time to catch up on my thoughts and process all that is happening in my life. The radio also makes the drive awesome...nothing quite like cruising down the highway in the middle of nowhere and listening to my favorite song in surround sound! ;-) The hardest part about the whole weekend was sleeping since I am again on nights. I couldn't sleep the night before going and then, I could only sleep till 3am while I was there...I kind of feel jet lagged all the time. We had fun at the beach at Camp Lejeune...very nice beach and LOTS of kids! Military families have lots of children! Beyond that, my brother grilled chicken and had some friends over on Saturday night...was a good time. I got to spend Saturday morning, comfortably ensconced on the couch with my nephew watching our respective shows...and eating goldfish...what could be better?! He was very nice about sharing the goldfish...even when I didn't want to eat anymore ;-). After church, he spent some time trying on my heels ;-)! I spent some time with my sister-in-law when we went shopping...though I didn't find anything I couldn't live without. I also got a chance to catch up with my brother...went on a walk and sat on the back porch for a while. Altogether...it went too fast and I look forward to when I get to go back again sometime soon!
That I grow in my role as a nurse and always do my best.
That I would follow the Lord wholeheartedly.
I'm Carolyn...am so excited to be starting my nursing career in the Navy. Who knows where this all will take me?!