So...after having been on nights for a few shifts...I have noticed several things. First of all...I am entirely confused about what time of day or what day it is. I never know. I said good morning to my patient around 8pm the other night and now I have to consciously think about not saying that. Secondly, It is very strange to sleep during the day. Two, movie theaters' last showtimes are usually before 11pm...which severely limits the shows I can go to (can only see movies during my mornings). Lastly, on my days off (sometimes only get one or two days off in a row), I don't know what to do with myself since everyone else is asleep. All that to say...I actually am enjoying being on nights because I can get so much done on my days off and the hospital is typically a bit more quiet since there is less traffic at night. Not a bad deal altogether, but I don't imagine that I would want to do this forever :-)
The other night, my friend and I went to a country dance hall called the Banque in Norfolk. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed myself. The first hour or so is full of teaching the two-step and then teaching several line dances. Side note...the two step they teach here is a bit different than the one I learned in Texas...that will take some getting used to. Anyway...I also learned some new lines dances and thought that was super fun too. The atmosphere is great...plenty of seating with a big dance floor in the middle, two bars, and is filled with all ages (18 and up). They also serve dinner and if you get dinner, then you don't have to pay the cover charge. I can't wait to learn some of the harder line dances...reminds me very much of the film--Footloose! So...with my cowboy boots on, we went dancing! We are planning to go again...can't come soon enough!
I started my night shifts this week and as I write this...I am only about 6 hours away from being done with orientation! YAY! Just so you know...I don't usually have time to sit down and update my blog at work! Last night was pure insanity...so busy and exhausting! Tonight is much more manageable and I am enjoying that very much. I like being on nights, but it will make my days off a little harder to do much...at least until mid-afternoon. The way my schedule works out too...I'll have one or two days off at a time and once or twice a month...I'll have three days off in a row. I kind of wish that I worked several days in a row and then had several off so that I would be able to transition back to days more often...oh well...everyone has to pay their dues I suppose. I don't mind it much...will just take some getting-used to. The good news is that I only am on nights for three months at a time. I'm actually really happy to be on nights right now since it is easier to learn and become familiar with things when there is less traffic on my unit. When I finally come on days...I'll be ready.
Still is the name of a little restaurant in Portsmouth...set up to look/feel like a prohibition-era speak-easy, it could be easy to miss on the street. The atmosphere was great and the food was even better. Ever had duck tacos before? Yes...duck...absolutely delicious! Even though I typically like to try something new every time I go out to eat, I would order those tacos again and again...wonderful! In fact...everything was delicious! I went out with my friend from ODS and work...had a great time catching up on Navy life and nursing specifically. Am looking forward to our next exploration around Portsmouth!
I decided to go exploring the other day...to Onancock VA. Founded in the 1600s, Onancock is a small, quaint town on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. I will have to return in the summer since not everything was open at this time of the year. I enjoyed the hour and forty-five-minute drive through some more rural parts of Virginia. My favorite part of the trip was going across and through the Chesapeake-Bay-Bridge-Tunnel. The toll for that bridge/tunnel is $13 one-way! That was a little frustrating at first...until I started driving across it. I did not realize how long this bridge/tunnel was...18 miles with some of the most beautiful scenery I had seen in a long time. I stopped at a lookout point (pictures below) to enjoy the lovely day and scenic view...totally worth the tolls!
I reached Onancock around noon and exited my car to the sound of church bells. Walking down the main street (in my cowboy boots), I started at the Bank Coffee House (adorable coffee shop) where I enjoyed a cappaccino and muffin while reading Jane Eyre. If this coffee house was closer to home, I'd go there all the time. After my first stop, I walked down the main streets and looked in the shops. People were so nice. I finally made my way down the wharf where I lay on the dock and read more of my novel...a perfect day for me since living in the city is anything but quiet. The day was so pretty and it even felt a bit like spring.
I then ate a later lunch on the wharf while overlooking the boats. Feeling quite satisfied from the day, I drove most of the way home, but stopped in Norfolk to see the new movie--Lone Survivor. It was intense and tragic, but worth seeing, I think. After the movie, I had to race home, change, and then head back out to catch a TV show with friends. We watch it together each week...and I really enjoy that!
As I sit here on Sunday evening, with everything very quiet, I finally have the time to update my blog! Sorry it has taken me so long to post! I actually wrote the following posts quite a while ago and just hadn’t gotten around to actually putting them on the site.
Anyway, I just finished my orientation on the labor and delivery unit and absolutely loved it! I’m going to miss working there. The camaraderie is great and it is so much fun. One of the husbands of a patient I had worked with last week, came and found me the other day to thank me and the other nurse I worked with for all our help and support for his wife. That made my day! Don’t underestimate the power of an encouraging word! I’m so excited that I will eventually be going back to L&D (probably this year), but for now, I am also looking forward to going back to my unit…because I loved working there as well. I start on nights this week…we’ll see how that goes. I have a feeling that it will just throw me off even more…I already never know what time of day it is…much less what day it is! Looking forward to it all the same. After this week…I will be completely independent and fair game to be charge nurse. It’s going to be interesting. I still have lots to learn, but also feel confident in the training I have received so far. More updates to come.
Beyond that, I have been making some new friends, attending my Bible study, doing lots of reading, watching my TV show, and trying as best I can to keep my life in order! I even learned the proper way to write a memorandum for the Navy! Tomorrow, I am going exploring…as long as I don’t sleep through my alarm like last time. Evidently I have been quite tired since I turned all four of my alarms off in my semi-consciousness and proceeded to sleep for 13.5 hours…not the original plan for my day off! That’s ridiculous…and yes…I do actually need all of my alarms because I have a terrible time waking up! ;-)
I have never been to a more friendly church in my life! ;-) I checked this church out last month and that was my first thought. I didn’t even get in the door before I was kindly assaulted with questions and Christian love ;-)! The greeter (a man in his 70s or 80s) is so nice and super sweet and keeps introducing me to people! I originally checked out this church because I some friends who were going there and they said that they really liked it. I can see why! I was pleasantly surprised to find the people so genuine and welcoming…their faith clearly evident in their kindness. It was a little overwhelming since in the past, my church experience has been different (not bad…just very different).
Today was humorous because I didn’t even get to open my door before one of the greeters had ambled his way into the parking lot and stood outside of my car door with candy in hand. I was again questioned about who I was, what I was doing, where I was from, whether I had been to the church before or not, and had I met this person or that person. I told the man where I was going and he walked me all the way inside and to the other end of the church to find my class…where I enjoyed my time and met quite a few new people. I then attended service and had a difficult time getting out of the building again. I guess since the church isn’t too big…they must know who the new people are. I find the place and the people refreshing and am so excited that I have finally found a church home. I think I knew before I even stepped foot in the sanctuary on my first visit…kind of like coming home.
I feel so blessed and can’t wait to see what this year will hold. Happy New Year!
Apparently a lot since I pretty much was busy all day and every day! I met up with all of my friends in the area, spent some time with my immediate family, went out with my grandmothers, celebrated Christmas three times, ate too much food, went to Starbucks pretty much at least once a day, drove all over the Seattle area, hosted and participated in my cousins annual slumber party, went shopping, played games, played with my nephew, went horseback riding with my cousin…and I am now exhausted! I had a wonderful break…and it’s a little sad to have it end, but on the other hand, I’m also looking forward to getting back to life in Virginia and my little apartment. I enjoy my work…for which I am grateful. I also can’t wait to catch up on sleep and put 2013 behind me. It’s been a good year—filled with so many things from graduation, passing NCLEX, going on active duty, being oriented at the hospital, setting up my first apartment. As good as it has been, I can’t help but hope that maybe this coming year won’t hold quite so much change. I was taking this stress test a little while back and apparently all the things that have happened this year put me quite high on the stress charts…but I made it through…thank God! I am thankful for where I am and feel so blessed that Jesus walks with me each step of the way…no matter if things go well or not. I wish you all a wonderful New Year…and I wish you all the best in 2014! My goal now is to come up with my New Year resolutions…can’t wait to see what 2014 holds!
Oh…and I just got accepted into my Master’s program! I will be using the Navy’s Tuition Assistance Program and the way it works out, I will only have to pay for books for my entire program! So excited…will begin in the fall! J
Flying home…I woke up on Monday so excited to finally be going home! Everyone else had already arrived and my flights could not go fast enough. It was rather inconvenient however, since it was pouring rain and warm outside as I had to load up my car…not a pleasant experience. I had even dressed kind of nice…all in vain ;-)! Oh well…I grabbed some Jimmy John’s on my way to the airport and had two rather uneventful flights home. I was however, disappointed when I realized that I had miscalculated how long it would take to get home. The flight from Atlanta was so long! The funny thing was that I actually saw someone I knew in the Atlanta airport and we were on the same flight to Seattle. That was a nice surprise…such a small world ;-)! Finally getting home felt great. The best Christmas present of all this year was that my whole family got to be together…a rather rare event! It’s been six years since that has happened.
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?!