Thursday, July 28, 2011

Just Pickin' Em Up & Puttin' Em Down...

Yep, I think that's what I'll do. Every day, if that's what I need to reduce my focus to, I can do it - one step at at time. Simple, easy, as little stress as can be. Starting with lifting each foot, and then putting it down again a little bit further ahead than it started. I have a keychain that is engraved "Learn in Baby Steps" --- one of my new mottos, I believe.

Sounds easy enough, right?! I can do this - and I know I will. Patience is a virtue... but it's sooooo hard! The end of this road still seems far off, though I can tell it is getting closer. This week has been challenging; Dee has been out of the office for a much-needed vacation - although you can't really call it that since she is still functioning in a nurse-practitioner role, only volunteering her time (though she is at least enjoying herself I think) - and so I am working with some of her backup doc's and *trying* to make a good impression on them so they will agree that expanding her practice and adding a second CNM --- that is, moi --- is a splendid idea.

From my perspective, it's been great; I've been enjoying seeing things from the MD point of view and also observing visits that aren't typical nurse-midwife cases. However, on Tuesday I was hit by the WORST migraine I've had in a long, long time; the timing could not have been worse. How do you make a good impression, when you go from meeting someone and being eager to soak up all their knowledge to begging to go home with an "invisible" affliction in a matter of minutes-to-hours? It was awful; the worst part was, one of Dee's patients (who I've met several times in the office, as well as in the L&D setting) ended up presenting to L&D that day in labor, and the MD I was meeting that afternoon had offered to let me work with her during her labor. Prior to the onset of my killer headache, I was pumped to be able to follow her through, especially since Dee wouldn't be able to... until, that is, the hot flashes, nausea, and vomiting started while I was still seeing patients in the clinic. By the time I made it home that evening (after pitifully and ashamedly declining to accompany the doctor to see this particular laboring mama), I was miserable; the migraine didn't pass until later the next day, after 14.5 hours of solid sleep in my dark, window-less bedroom, with constant ice packs/hot rice bags, multiple doses of vicodin, and several doses of maxalt. Two words: it SUCKED. And, I was not impressed with myself.

(I've had migraines since I was five. They are something that are just there, and for the most part, I recognize that I have to live with them. A year or two ago, I started taking topamax and was thrilled at how well it seemed to 'calm' them; I also found that maxalt was actually reliable for knocking them out if I could take it when I first started getting an aura... these were the first meds that actually worked for me, after 20+ years of trying to find something. Now, in the past few months, they are steadily creeping back. To have two in the past two weeks, however, to the point that they disrupted my functioning - at clinicals no less - is NOT acceptable for me.... so I guess I will be in touch with my care provider.... *sigh*)

On a happier note --- things have been interesting with the MD preceptors. Again, I've seen several types of client cases that I might not normally see as a CNM: complex chronic health problems, many, many well child visits, and ---- wait for it... --- MEN! I haven't dealt with penises longer than a pinky-joint since I was a nursing student. Crazy, huh?

Tomorrow finishes off my week with the docs... fingers crossed that if nothing else, they think having an extra pair of hands could be good for something or other...


This can be a glass half-empty/half-full kind of pondering.... I think I posted last week that I had sent out an email to the doctors that I work with - as an OB nurse - just to sort of "feel them out"regarding how they might feel about hiring a CNM into their practice (as there are no nurse-midwives other than Dee delivering within 60-75 miles of our area). I received this response from the 'head' of this OB group today, and took it to be a good sign; it's of course impossible to read, but the gist of it is that most of the MD's in the group think that nurse-midwifery care may be a plausible option, but there are questions that would need to be discussed; it does not give any indication that they are not supportive of CNM care, and that they are willing to entertain the idea... the logistics of it may need to be explored, but it "could be interesting". (Again --- this email certainly could be read with optimism or pessimism, since it doesn't go strongly either way... but tiny seeds, no?)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

And what goes around... (on depression and stress, too)

As they say.

Ebb and flow, yin and yang, yadda yadda. After my little meltdown Friday, things eventually lightened up. (If you've followed the blog at all, or know me, I'm sure you know this is nothing new... or maybe this isn't just me personally, but something that is a natural phenomenon of this thing called life. Maybe it's not unique to mothers, or women, or grad school, or th
ose of us who deal with depression. Maybe it is. Does it matter? Not really.)

Anyway. I posted a similar cry for help, bemoaning my situation on Facebook; basically, that the Warm One was at work, I was at the end of my rope with the girls and had no idea what happened to my patience, and the end of the weekend (the Warm One works a weekend program - Fri/Sat/Sun only, therefore leaving the girls and I to our own devices all weekend) seemed ages away. I was desperate.

And out of nowhere, a good friend came to my rescue. She invited the girls and I over, to visit, to play, to stay. It took us hours and hours to get moving and get packed, but eventually, we got there. She opened her home to us, the girls played (she has a daughter the same age as the Mini-est), and we were able to catch up. We spent Saturday together, just hanging out. Was I the most fun and exciting person to be around? No - but I hope I was a better mother and friend than I felt like I had been earlier that week. Little by little, I am crawling out of this miserable, stress-filled hole.

Before the girls and I left, I managed to pull myself up out of my funk enough to send a copy of my resume/cover letter to the physicians I work with as a labor/delivery nurse, simply to introduce the idea of adding a nurse-midwife to their practice (I've been hoping to have the 'right' moment to talk to some of them about this over the past year or so, but it just hasn't happened); I also emailed my nurse-manager to touch base. My fingers are crossed - even though my breath is far from held - that good things could grow from this tiny seed being planted.

The Warm One also came home last night and shared that another doctor, an incredibly sweet family physician working for a nearby tribal clinic, had asked where I was at with my job hunt; she mentioned that the tribal clinic had been trying to fill an open physician spot for the past year, and she was willing to bring up my name at the next physician's meeting to see what the interest there would be. Again, fingers crossed... I've worked at another nearby tribal health organization in the past, and love working with Native populations. The culture and history, combined with the deep relationships between families, make it a community I would be honored to be invited to work within. (I've requested information from the IHS about their loan repayment program, but have yet to complete the application process; it's on my radar as yet another thought...)

*And, if nothing else - this again cements to me the fact that I cannot - at least at this point in my life - function without antidepressants. I know that there are many different viewpoints on this and whether or not medication is something that is "right" or "necessary" but until I have one or two fewer things going on ... I can't let myself - and my family - go down this road. It never fails that when I manage to go without taking the pills for a short period of time - whether because I fail to get a refill in a timely manner, or because I miss one or two, and then tell myself I still feel "great!" - I find myself in a similar murky fog within a matter of days or a week. Someday, I will be able to truly dedicate the time to find other positive
lifestyle changes to experiment against this headgame, but as for now... I'm gonna take the easy way. I need to be able to accept sweet love notes from the Mini and appreciate them; I need to be able to have patience with my girls when they are being kids, instead of being over-anxious and stressed... I can't see the confusion and hurt in their eyes when they look to me for comfort, and don't get it; this parenting thing is hard. I feel like I hardly see the Mini's lately... and when I do, they're not my sweet little girls anymore! They don't listen... they're sassy... they fight. I don't know if it's a stage, or if it's related to not seeing me, or if it's how it's always been (and I'm just seeing things differently because I'm stressed), or if their actions are feeding off of me, or ...?!