Grand opening, my Etsy store & More!

I absolutely love making my pins and duct tape creations. It has been so much fun, and a little escape. I took the plunge and opened up an Etsy store. My youngest son has even been influenced in a good way by this. He has started to make his own Halloween costume this year! He is my little artist. I also decided I am going to open a booth for my crafts at his schools fall festival in November. It is frightening! I am way out of my comfort zone! I figured I would try something small to get my feet wet. Maybe I could be a traveling vendor, ha! In all seriousness it is just something I truly enjoy. I hope you will stop by and look what I have created!

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My Etsy store is Https://www.etsy.com/shop/CFNCreations!

I create under CFNCreations (CrispyFriedNurse creations….get it, ha!) I am running a special through October where you spend $15.00 or more then its free shipping! Etsy is also running a new customer deal, where you spend $30.00 on your first purchase, then you get $15.00 towards your next purchase. I think I will be looking at shops myself and get some homemade Christmas gifts! Of course my family can expect some of my creations to, muwhahahaha! Right now I am only shipping in the United States. If my shop grows then I will expand! Keep checking back I try to add things daily! Here are some of my pins and such! I will let you know how my fall festival booth goes, I am sure it will be interesting!

P.S the picture attached to this article is from my town. It was a beautiful sunset that day!

It is easier to have faith in God when things are good! But what if they are not good?

When things are going good in your life and there are very few troubles. It is easy to sit back and think “I got this” and pull away from God. I have been there countless times in my life. It’s not that I stop believing, I just stray a bit. It is kind of like when your child goes off to college, and calls once in awhile if they need something, or stop in to say hey, and then move on. So I would thank God for my blessings, maybe pick up prayer a little more if I sensed trouble, and go on with life. My visits at his house (church), would become less frequent. I started making less and less time for him, but I felt like my faith was strong, because everything was great!

When tragedy strikes it can overwhelm you and really catch you off guard! Then becomes the true trial of faith. You start to question God, Why me? I am faithful? And maybe even start to place blame. The truth of the matter is we live in a very imperfect world. This life is hard and there will be tragedies and heartache. As humans we have the gift of free will, but with this gift comes down sides, as we can see many of them playing out in the news daily. God uses these moments to pull us closer to him if we will let him. God is a our father, and like any father he wants what is best for his kids. If we make a poor decision, then God will use this to help us grow as a person if we let him.

So when things are not going to good, it helps to lean on God! That is what we are supposed to do. I know I have had to a lot lately. My mother got very sick in January and my whole life changed. I almost lost her! She was on a ventilator (a machine that breaths for you), and they couldn’t get her off of it. So they had to move her to a special facility that was about 2 hours from home. I made that trip 2-3 times a week, and also tried to hold down my job. My mother also took care of my older brother, who has down syndrome. He came to live with my husband, 2 kids, and I. My brother made the trip with me to see our mother. There was many times we weren’t sure if she was going to make it. It was an emotional roller coaster. I work night shift and I got a call from the hospital that my mom had a possible stroke! There was nothing I could do, but wait for a phone call to see why she had become unresponsive. Since mom was so sick, I became legal guardian of my brother, so I could legally make decisions for him.

So I was caring for my mother, my brother, working in a caregiving profession, of course my 2 kids, and finally it just all came down on me. I became burned out! My husband was there to help out. He has been absolutely amazing through all of this. He had open arms when my brother came to live with us. He also stepped up in many areas. Without his support, I probably would of had a full on nervous breakdown.

I had taken a new job, and had to step away and tell them I was burned out. I didn’t know what I was going to do for money, but I couldn’t go to work the way I was feeling. We struggled with bills, and it was, and still is a trying time. It was during this time, I became closer with God. I read in my bible, had prayer, and even meditated. I had neglected myself for so long, that my body finally just said enough is enough. With all this going on in my life I had 2 choices. I could blame God for my sorrow or grow closer to him. I chose to grow closer to him, and I am so glad I did!

My mother is now closer to home. She is in a rehab facility, and she is working on coming home! That is my home, because she wont be able to live by herself. I have seen what the power of prayer has done in my life. My mom has been back from the brink many times. If you would have asked me in March if I thought this would be possible, I would have been in disbelief. My brother is adjusting incredibly well. He comes with me to visit mom and enjoys being in our noisy household. I look over at him when we are in the mix of the hustle and bustle and he is smiling.

I returned to work and I have been doing really good. I feel like I am reenergized. I have started school to work towards my Masters degree. So professionally I am on a better path too. I was exploring getting out of nursing all together, but with lots of prayer and self discovery, I feel this is where I am supposed to be. I actually had a supervisor come up to me the other night and said, “Thank you for everything you did tonight, you are a great nurse”. It made me smile, because it validated that I am where I’m supposed to be.

So have faith in God even in the storms of your life. Storms don’t last forever. They might seem that way, and I am not totally out of my storm yet, but I know with God at the wheel, I will end up where I need to be.

Faith Bible Verses

  • To keep your faith strong, you have to visit God in his house (Church), don’t be Gods college kid, who only shows up if they need something, or calls once in awhile.
  • Prayer is important! This is the way you communicate the good, bad, and the ugly. God listens to it all, he is just waiting for the call.
  • Finally, let God know you love him and your thankful, even in the bad times. There is always something to be thankful for. When we get in a situation, it is human nature to just concentrate on the negative.

 

Sometimes you might really have to dig to find the positive. When you do find it, hang on to it through the storm, and collect more on the way. Pretty soon the clouds will part, the sun will come out, and you will look back, and stand in amazement of the incredibly God we have. Much love! XO

 

 

What is Lupus? (Selena Gomez is a Warrior!)

Lupus has started to get some attention recently and it is a good thing! It’s important that everyone is aware of what Lupus is, and what happens to people with this disease. Unfortunately, many people with Lupus suffer in silence, because people just don’t understand. If you have watched the news lately or keep up with the entertainment industry (guilty), then you know Selena Gomez opened up not long ago, and was outspoken about her struggle with Lupus. Then Selena Gomez was notably absent this summer, and fans where told she had a kidney transplant! This was shock to many, but understanding what Lupus is, and how it effects people, it becomes clearer why a kidney transplant could result. Some of you might know by reading my blog, and I guess my name Ha! I am a nurse. I know about the basics of Lupus, but also wanted to learn more myself about this disease. I was also a transplant nurse and have taking care of transplant patients while recovering from surgery! So I would like to discuss with you what Lupus is exactly, what causes Lupus, Is Lupus treatable, and how do you live with Lupus!

 

What is Lupus?

 

Lupus is an autoimmune disease. Stay with me, I will explain autoimmune! Your immune system is a well-oiled machine, and when you have an illness or disease, it kicks it up into high gear, and defends you from foreign invaders. What happens with Lupus, is your immune system loses its ability to do this, and cannot decide what is a foreign cell or healthy one. So it decides to start attacking both. So now the immune system is attacking the body like tissues, joints, and organs! This can cause pain, inflammation, and organ damage. Lupus is not contagious, so you cannot catch it from someone who has Lupus. Lupus is a direct result of the malfunction of the immune system. When people hear autoimmune or anything with immune in the title, the mind starts to shift to HIV/AIDS. Lupus has nothing to do with this either. In HIV/AIDS the immune system malfunctions, and it starts getting slower, and stops reacting to foreign invaders like the flu. In Lupus the immune system becomes over stimulated, and starts attacking everything. It seems Lupus mostly effects women of childbearing age, but that is not set in stone. It can develop in men, children, or people of any age. Women of color are 2-3 times more likely to develop Lupus, then Caucasians (Lupus Foundation, 2017).  Lupus can also be mild or severe, and over the course of time fluctuate from mild to severe. There are flare ups of the disease, when symptoms can be worse. With Selena Gomez her Lupus was severe enough to cause organ damage, and this is what most likely led her to need a kidney transplant. Some of the symptoms of Lupus are:

  • Pain in muscles and joints
  • Anemia, fatigue, fever
  • Mouth dryness and/or ulcers
  • Red or scaly rashes (Can take the form of a butterfly shaped rash across the cheeks and nose)
  • Hair loss
  • Depression, anxiety
  • Water retention
  • Weight loss

These are just a few of the common symptoms of Lupus.

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*The butterfly rash that can form on the face related to Lupus*

Is Lupus Treatable?

 

Yes, it is. There is no cure for Lupus, but managing the symptoms can help people with Lupus live a full life. This requires a health care team approach. There will be a doctor who specializes in the diseases that affects muscle and joints (rheumatologist). Many other physicians can be in place because of the nature of lupus, it effects the whole body. The goal of treatment is to reduce inflammation caused by Lupus, suppress the immune system so it will stop overreacting, try to prevent flares, control pain in muscle and joints, and minimize organ damage as much as possible.

 

Can you live a full-life with Lupus?

Lupus needs to be closely followed by doctors and with consistent treatment patients can expect to live a normal life span. The Lupus Foundation (2017), states that 80-90% of people with Lupus, can live a full-life. Unfortunately, to date there is not a cure for Lupus. People do die from Lupus, but with treatment most people with Lupus will not have fatal outcomes. As long as awareness and treatment are provided!

 

I personally do not have Lupus. I do know a couple of people who suffer from the disease along with, I have treated some patients with Lupus before as a nurse. It is hard to imagine the struggle they must have with this disease. It is important to get educated on this disease, so if you do know someone with Lupus, you can have a small grasp of what Lupus is, and how they may or may not be affected. I am really impressed with Selena Gomez, that she decided to open up and let us all in, to see her struggle with Lupus. She is a rock star! (I guess both figuratively and literally) I personally hope that the message gets out there, and more research can be put into why this happens, and for a cure! For more detailed information go to www.lupus.org, it is full of the latest research in Lupus, and even how to donate for the cause!

 

References

Lupus Foundation of America (2017). Help us solve the cruel mystery. https://www.lupus.org/

 

*On a side note, I am thinking about making some medical related post, maybe on Mondays, I could call it “Medical Monday”Ha!* God Bless!

 

 

 

How to stay motivated!

There are some days where my motivation is no where to be found. A whole day will go by and I look back and remember, there was a whole lot of things I wanted to accomplish. Instead I got lost in the abyss of Netflix or here lately crafting! So I have really had to try hard to find a happy medium between fun and adulting, ugh! Image result for adulting memes

So here are a couple of the things I do to remind myself that I have task to complete, and goals to accomplish. If I do not practice this, then my day is easily gone, but I got some really cool duct tape creations to show for it! Ha! Image may contain: text

So here are some things I do to keep me on track…

  • Remind myself of my goals. Currently this is to do my school work so I can graduate! Seems easy right, but it is so easy for me to get lost in other things that I put off my school work. So that leads us into the next one.
  • Reward yourself with what you really want to do when you complete your responsible goal, my example would be school work or housework.
  • Have a clear idea how you want to accomplish your goals, task list, or whatever the case may be, but also be flexible. Somethings just are out of our control, so that might mean prioritizing some things, and letting go of others.
  • Also tell other people what your goals are for the day, or even long term ones. Someone who is a good friend, family, or your significant other, because they can also hold you accountable. It can be very irritating, and I will be the first to admit this. My husband is notorious for saying “You said you were going to do A,B, and C today, and you only did A”. Besides from me imagining smacking him upside his head and stomping on his foot, Ha! I tell him these things because I know he will hold me accountable!
  • If I have really important things to do I make list. If you make a list you have a visible representation of what needs to be done that day. It almost turns into a race to see how fast I can get it done, so I can then do what ever it is I want. Which leads me into the next tip.
  • After a task is complete take a break. Give yourself 30-45 minutes to watch your favorite show. If it ends on a cliff hanger, better yet! Go knock out the next thing on you list so you can find out what happens next!
  • Also, don’t be to hard on yourself if you get off task a little. Just readjust and get back at it. Everyone gets off track, just dust yourself off and try again.
  • Eliminate distractions! This is by far the hardest for me. My cell phone is part of my body. Its like my mini mobile brain…and I love my precious! Image result for lord of the rings gollum my precious meme It is crazy the things I look up in the middle of the night. I will be thinking about a movie, and cant remember the name. So, I start googling quotes from it and figure it out. Then that leads me down another rabbit hole. Before you know it I am looking up all the girlfriends Elvis Presley ever had and what his favorite food was. Because all this is going to get me real far in life, Ha! I have gotten to a point where I charge my phone out of the bedroom at times. Because if I don’t I am messing with it a good part of the night!
  • Last tip is to break your goals and task into small manageable ones. If I have a list that says, clean the whole house today, I am probably going to look at the list and laugh! But if I break it down into, today I am going to do the living room, bathroom. and laundry. That is more manageable and as things are accomplished you can check it off, which is satisfying.

We all have good days and bad, or good weeks and bad weeks. It is okay, just don’t beat yourself up about it. As soon as you can just readjust and move on! No sense about getting hung up on failure of what was not accomplished. Just chalk it up to lesson learned! Another thing that is also helpful, is to look up inspirational quotes. I like reading inspirational blogs, books, or quotes. It can really help to give you the boost in motivation you need. Some of my favorite are:

“A little progress today adds up to big results”  [unknown]

 

Wake up with determination, go to bed with satisfaction {unknown}

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Bible Verses: Anxiety/Fear, God is in control!

I really need to say this. If you are unhappy, anxious, or otherwise depressed, pick up the bible. It is well worth it, because in the bible there is a God who loves you and gives you a comfort only he can provide. At the beginning of the year, I reached a really low point. My mom almost died a few times (she was very ill), my disabled brother came to live with me, and I was completely overwhelmed. I started having panic attacks out of no where. If you never had a panic attack, I do not wish it on you. I remember my first one, it still haunts me. I was asleep, and was dreaming. I had a dream my mother and I were in a car and laughing/talking like normal. The road just ended and we drove right into a lake. As the car sank and the water came swarming in. I managed to get my seatbelt off and noticed my window was already down. I started to make my way out of the car and looked back and saw my mother struggling to undo her seatbelt. I tried to grab her and help, but I was being pulled towards the top. My air running out with every second that ticked by. I fought as hard as I could, but no matter what I did it failed. I woke up in the middle of this dream. I was breathing really fast, I could hardly catch my breath. I felt like a log was on my chest. I was really starting to panic, because I didn’t know where I was for a moment. My mom’s dog (who I also adopted), started to lick my face.  It was the only thing that brought me back to reality. It was by far one of the scariest moments in my life. I have had a few more since, but nothing like that first one. My husband has been super supportive and I am really grateful for that! I have asked him and my kids to completely rearrange our lives, and they have been awesome! When my mom gets better, she will be living with us also. That’s 2 families under a small roof.

The MVP goes to GOD! If it was not for him, I think I would still be lying in bed, with no ambition, or hope. I finally decided to stop trying to fix everything myself and just let go. Let him deal with all my anxiety, depression, and worry. So I embarked on a spiritual journey. I started to meditate. I am still struggling  with this, because it just feels so weird, so it’s a work in progress. I made a vision board. This listed goals I wanted to accomplish this year, along with bible verses and inspirational quotes. About this time my oldest son said I was becoming a hippy! Ha! I started to read more in the bible and really worked on my prayer life. It was amazing the changes, that started to take shape. It was a process, but I could feel everyday was getting, better.

Now I still continue my journey and feel a lot better, than I did only months ago. I would like to share some bible verses that helped me to get through some tough times.

  • So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
  • Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
  • “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” Psalm 94:19
  •  “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
  • Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34

The last one I repeat to myself almost daily. “Do not worry about tomorrow, tomorrow will worry about itself”. It is a reminder for me to hold back the anxiety and to not worry about the things of tomorrow I cannot change. I need to be more concerned about the here and now. God will see me through the rest!

I also like to just lay and watch the stars. How amazing is a god who can create so much wonder in our world, and universe, and then decide, that you are needed also.  It really just blows me away. So basically, I finally said to myself, “I am worth it, and because I am worth it, I need to take better care of myself”. This meant physically along with mentally. Still working on the physical part. Ha! I really need to start exercising more. Little change at a time right! Maybe soon I will be able to post I started exercising regularly! I am proud of how far I have come. It was not easy, but I made it through. Life will continue to throw you and me hurdles. Life is difficult! I feel maybe they should have prepared us a little better in school for some of life’s crap! Maybe less quadratic equations and more how to be an adult and cope! I know I have never had to use a quadratic equation in my adult life.

My hope for anyone suffering from anxiety, depression, or fear, is to work through it. Because your worth it! A creator who made all the stars in the sky and planets, looked down, and decided the world couldn’t be with out you! Much love! XO

*****If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please reach out for help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (US) is 1-800-273-8255*****

 

Nursing School (Drop-out) Part 3

Welcome to part 3 of my nursing career story, thus far! So, I decided after being in long-term care for awhile I needed to go back to nursing school, to get my Registered Nursing License (RN). Also, the drama of the ADON and her crazy ways, finally had taken it’s toll. The bad part was, now I was working full-time as a nurse (stress), had a new born at home (stress), and my oldest was starting school (pull hair out, stress) Looking back, it was the most horrible time I could have tried to go back to school. I was also working night-shift! So, I started nursing school, and finished the first two semesters, with lots of problems! Notice I said problems! It was harder to find people to watch 2 kids, while I tried to do home work. My kids were no longer the only grandchildren, so it was harder for grandparents to step up. So my family support was also at an all time low. Gee, I wonder why I ended up dropping out! So at the beginning of the 3rd semester, my very first day I was scheduled to start clinical. I started to drive to the site, and realized I just couldn’t keep going like that. So I turned around, came home, and become a nursing school dropout. That was a hard hit to my ego and finances. By the time I was ready to go back, which was little over a year, they told me I had to start all over. So it felt like I wasted my time and had a bill to show for it. I felt defeated and honestly just thought about not going back to school. After the sting wore off, I decided to wait until my youngest was school aged before I tried it again. I needed a change, so I started working for a doctor’s office. It was the change I needed! I worked with some great people and started to get my confidence back! I learned many different skills that I still use! The doctors office was a specialty in allergy and asthma. Allergy and asthma is a huge deal where I live. So to add that to my nursing tool belt was very benifical.  Before I got too complacent, I knew I had an ultimate  goal still hanging over my head. With encouragement of family, friends, and co-workers, I decided to give my RN another try! This time I found a school that was mostly online, and just a few days required in class. It worked so well for me. I honestly don’t think I could have continued with my education had this not been an option! I wanted my RN badly! By the last semester I was working 5 days a week and going to clinicals on the weekend from 6-6. Looking back I’m not so sure how I managed! I had great family support and my husband really stepped up. When I finally graduated it was such a relief! I actually had a job opportunity before I took the NCLEX. The NCLEX is the dreaded nursing boards. I passed, but I prayed a lot, and was horribly anxious about it! It was really hard to leave the doctors office I worked. For the most part, they hired LPN’s. The couple of RN’s that we’re there were more in supervisor roles. I really didn’t want to be a supervisor, nor was there an opportunity at the time. I really wanted to get some hospital experience, because I knew eventually, I would love to teach, and I felt this would help me to understand, and be a better educator. So I left my comfy 9-5, no holidays, or weekends, and jumped into the world of hospital nursing! Little did I know my nursing skills were going to pushed to their max! It was a great opportunity, but one of the hardest nursing jobs I have ever had. It was also, the one that provided me with a lot of growth personally, and in nursing. So the take away is never give up. Life is going to knock you down, and throw hurdles at you. Take time if you need to, but get back up, and try again! It took 4 years before I tried again, but I did, and I’m happy I didn’t give up. Until next time! Nurse on!

(Photo credit) https://www.nrsng.com/quit-nursing-school/

The Night Shift…

I have returned to work, and I am back on night shift. Aside from the crazy sleep schedule, I really do enjoy night shift. There is always a certain quirkiness among us night shifters, and we just seem to all get along so well. It really works better for my work life. My home life, it can be a bear at times. My family wishes I were on day shift. Sometimes I feel like a zombie when we are out doing family things, especially if I have given up sleep to be with them. At this point in time, it is the best for me. Trying to manage stress levels, and continue on with my career in nursing, it’s best I stay were I am comfortable for now. I know when I start my new journey in nursing education I will have more of a daytime schedule. Honestly, I will miss the nights! There are only certain things that other night shift workers can under stand. I will list a few of the ones I know I deal with on the regular!

  • Everyone thinks your lazy, because you sleep till 3 pm. If I had a quarter for every time I heard, “but you slept all day!” I wouldn’t have to work anymore. I hear from my children, spouse, people who randomly call me. The people that call me are my favorite, because they are genuinely shocked I am still asleep! I can feel them judging me through the phone. I have had many of thoughts of scribbling down names and numbers, to call them at 1 to 2 am in the morning to act surprised also!

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  • In the summer time I feel like a vampire. I bought black out curtains for my bedroom, and I also bought a sleep mask. If my kids come in and open the curtain, I do let out a weird growling sound, and retreat under the covers, which they find hysterical! When I go out in the afternoon I have to wear sunglasses, or at the least my transition glasses, because the sun hurts my eyes! When it comes to going to the pool side we can always spot fellow night shifters by our pasty complexion.

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Any type of caffeine has become my best friend. I have never gotten into the energy drinks, but some night shifters swear by those! If I don’t get my caffeine it is not pretty! I have to have that little pick me up, so I can get started with my day. That is at work and at home!

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The weird hours of the night I go shopping is hilarious. I have gone grocery shopping at 3 am. It is great and scary! There are no lines and all the employees look so bored. It kind of puts me in mind of a movie, like ZombieLand, where it is the apocalypse, and no one is around. So I might have acted like this a time or two while shopping, don’t judge me! I wonder what the workers would think if I brought in a banjo!

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Anyway, it is good to be back. Just taking one day, one step at a time. When I start looking at the big picture I start to get anxious and panic. So, I try to stay in the here and now, at the moment! Goodnight, everyone! Nurse on!