Friday, February 29, 2008

leap year

today when i woke up and realized that today was the 29th of february, it gave me a little thrill.
this is the 6th leap year i've been alive for. i counted. =)

ICU-take 2

my second day (wednesday) in the ICU was quite interesting. my nurse for the day was determined to let me do as much as i was able to do, which turned out to be quite alot.
at the end of the day he complimented me on my willingness to do anything and my confidence/composure-this was quite encouraging to hear, because rest assured, i didn't feel any of that. instead, i felt nervous, unconfident and scared of doing something wrong and harmful to my patients.
but none of my fears came true. the worst thing that happened was that i put the giant sticker on the tube of blood that i drew instead of the tiny one, which succeeded in amusing my nurse.
some of the highlights of my day include:
-drawing blood for the first time!
-removing a NG tube
-successfully putting in a NG tube on the first try! (unlike last semester...)
-watching a MRI
-holding the hand of a contagious man with dementia as we took him to his MRI
-braiding the hair of a schizophrenic woman
-later giving her a neck rub and talking with her
-knowing the answers to the doctor's questions (granted, these questions weren't difficult, but i knew the answers!)

yesterday, i received the form for ranking our top choices for a preceptor experience next year. as i look over the options and the long hours next year will hold, i get a little overwhelmed. but then i remember the blessing of holding my patient's hand or making my patient feel beautiful as i french-braided her hair, and i know why i signed up for this. i want to spend my time helping people in tangible ways-treating their physical illnesses while ministering to their emotional and spiritual needs by providing a listening ear or a gentle touch. those moments seem easy to forget about in the midst of tests, drug cards and studying, but God always provides those moments when i need them.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

abbreviation of the week, vol. 1

in the nursing world, abbreviations are frequently used. while this can be time-saving when one knows what the abbreviations stand for, it can be frustrating when one (such as myself) forgets or was never introduced an abbreviation.
for example, when i first saw "oob" the word "goober" instantly came to my mind. it caused several weeks of confusion whenever i would see it, until i discovered it stood for "out of bed."
and then it was brought to my attention that in my excitement of becoming an AAC, i might have caused similar confusion in those not familiar with these abbreviations.

AAC: assistant to the area coordinator
essentially an AAC helps the AC (area coordinator) and gets to act as a RA (resident assistant) to the RAs on her staff.
here is my complete job description if you are interested.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

welcome back

after seven weeks of early mornings, crazy talk and playing dice games, it was goodbye to mental health and hello to six weeks (yay for spring break!) of early mornings, drug cards, assessments, IVs and documentation.

my first job of the day was to give a rectal suppository.
welcome back to med-surg.

despite feeling relatively unintelligent after time away from the hospital, i had an interesting day.
my nurse was lovely. she explained things and encouraged me, even when i didn't know things that i felt like i probably should have known. i also got to watch my second cardiac catheterization and later, a bronchoscopy.
but now i'm tired. and i have homework and another long day ahead of me tomorrow.

things i'm excited about, in spite of long days:
-my bed
-helping people, specifically patients
-staff meeting tomorrow night (and staff retreat this weekend!)
-the delivery of "mysterious brown bags" by a "sneaky snackerson" =)
-bible study (i'm leading tomorrow night and God has given me some pretty clear direction on what to study-how to make psalm 19:14 become true in my life: matthew 12:34, isaiah 29: 13, colossians 4:6, philippians 2:14-15, psalm 145, ecclesiastes 5:2, if anyone is interested...)
-spring break being only 23 days away: i can hardly wait to see my family
-and the thought of being martha's AAC next year

Friday, February 22, 2008

chocolate tea

when paul was little and i was home-schooling, we spent many hours in each other's company. part of this time was spent pretending. with play dishes and a kitchen, we would often play house or own a restaurant. one of the things i usually ordered from paul's restaurant was tea. i remember paul's specialty was "chocolate tea" which he thought was quite a delicacy. because of the luxurious nature of this imaginary beverage, he would be a little disappointed if i ordered imaginary peppermint tea over his chocolate tea. although i would order the chocolate beverage, i secretly thought chocolate tea would be quite disgusting if it were a real drink.

today i received an e-mail that i had a package from my dear mommy. enclosed in this package was chocolate raspberry tea. this was finally my opportunity to try chocolate tea, which was far from imagined, as i held it in my hands.

and i found it to be delightful. it is hard to describe, but it was quite a pleasant experience. paul knew, even from his young age, that chocolate tea would be tasty. i am glad to be proven wrong.

long awaited snow pictures

over a month ago, i promised pictures of the snow and my tubing adventure. to make up for the lateness of these pictures, i have uploaded my first youtube video, which provides some humor at my own expense. this is our experience building a snowman-and i'm a little embarrassed at my lack of balance and seemingly weak upper body, but here it is anyway...

and here are the pictures!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

word of the week, vol. 3

aussie word of the week:

bonzer: (adjective) great, terrific
for example, to me, the thought of meeting some aussie blokes and listening to their accents is simply bonzer.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

the waiting is over...

after weeks of waiting, trusting and several interviews, i received my answer. i made the walk over to my mailbox this afternoon, praying the whole time. i kept asking for peace and for him to remind me that i want his will over anything else. i told myself that i really do want what he wants over anything else!

i got home and ripped upon the first of the two identical looking envelopes i had received. the first was merely a letter explaining the slight increase in tuition, but the second letter was the one i had been anticipating. with shaking hands and pounding heart, i tore upon the envelope and my eyes began to scan the page. and then i realized that i had been chosen to be the AAC for apartments next year!!

i had prayed and asked God continuously to make it perfectly clear what he would have me do next year. if he wanted me to be in res. life next year, he would need to drastically change my heart or give me the one and only position i really wanted-AAC for apartments.

even though my heart is filled with joy, this is still a difficult day. some are rejoicing and others are mourning the loss of a dream. i am so excited for what God is going to do in this coming year, but it is a bittersweet change. my current room-mates will be living off campus (and therefore, not with me.) dear friends will have graduated. but dear friends will also be returning, and i'm sure there will be new friends to be made.
and there are still many unknowns-martha isn't certain she is staying next year (although working with me is on the list of pros according to her.) i am not completely certain about my room-mate situation. i don't exactly know how demanding nursing school will be next term.

one letter brought some answers, but God is reminding me that trusting continues...

thank you jesus for this opportunity to serve you.
help me to continue to trust you for all the other unknowns that are to come.
you are so good to me.
you give me more than i need. you are more than enough for me.
your faithfulness astounds me.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

i have a song!

elvis costello, 1977
maybe this is a super well-known song, but somehow it escaped my notice that i have a song that shares my name-spelled correctly, of course. =) quite thrilling in the extreme!!
al-is-on the dance floor, dancing to the song that shares her name!!

last day of mental health

today was our last day on our mental health clinical rotation. it was a little sad to say good-bye to our patients. some of them i will truly miss playing games with and talking with. some of them though, i am not sorry to say farewell to, but overall, it was a bittersweet day. i am not sure i want to go back to a med-surg floor. i had such fun listening to delusional thinking, playing with dice and hanging out with the guys on our unit....

we made cookies for the nurses and staff on our floor. they were really welcoming and un-scary, so we thought we should thank them. amy and i are posing with our chocolate chip cookies and lemon bars in the break room.

erica and i on the well-loved couch in the staff break-room.

amy and i are entering the building. notice the "sally-port" behind us-lots of security here!

nursing buddies-amy, erica and i. these lovely ladies made my time on our unit so much more enjoyable.

eating lunch in the "sip'n'safari" with jodi, amy and nicole

amy and i in the elevator-lots of rides in this rickety thing.

what separates us from patients-keys and tags that don't have a large colored box at the bottom. mine clearly states that i am a student rn!!

oregon state hospital. this is it.

amy and i outside our favorite building-the education building! we're all done with post-conferences in there!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

return trip

sometimes there are no words to describe the beauty i get to witness. but i shall try…
today i saw a beautiful sunset as i rode back to school on the train.
reflected on the clear pond
through the silvery trees
with wisps of pink clouds
it was lovely.
also, i had a lovely weekend at home.
i got to watch my amazing brother in the video of NOMT. he is quite talented. and now i can't stop singing "i love you."

paul made me a darling valentine and i think i share his sentiments exactly (except about my family, not myself, of course.)
"dear alison,
i love you and i'm so happy you are home. i can't wait till the summer.
love, paul"

Friday, February 15, 2008

the train

i love the train.
i generally imagine myself as one of the pevensies one my way out of london because of the raids. perhaps i will be greeted by mrs. mccready when i arrive at my station.
but my own adventure is not nearly so grand as entering narnia, but quite lovely anyway. i get to head home.

and on the way i get to enjoy the magic of a train ride.
the bare trees contrasted with the curving green ivy and surrounding evergreens.
the gray and blue skies reflecting on the waters we pass by.
ducks gliding on a pond.
clusters of houseboats.
the orange and blue sky meeting at the horizon.
lush green fields.
trucks on old country roads.
the sway and gentle roll of the train on the tracks beneath my feet.
another train whizzing past, with its own cargo to carry.
what a lovely thing it is to ride home on a train.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

man. i love them.

rob just came by and delivered a spiderman valentine to me.
it was a lovely moment. i got a rob-hug and the chance to read his encouragement after he left.
man. i love him.
which is exactly what i said after kyle walked me home and gave me things to make me feel better.
and what i said after i sat next to sarah and looked at wedding magazines and wedding pictures.
i think i just love the people on my staff. alot.
they encourage me and bless me. they make me laugh. they give good hugs. they care about me and make it obvious.
i don't want this semester to end.

love day

i told many of my friends that i love them today. but that isn't something i reserve just for valentine's day.
i am blessed by so many in my life-if you are one of them, know that i love you!!

Monday, February 11, 2008


although i wasn't feeling the best, i won't deny the thrill of being a princess. =)

my hair was such a pain that jenny threatened to cut it off!

but i convinced her curling my hair was better than cutting it all off...

the finished product-the hard work of jenny and jodi!

george fox vs. linfield

entering with my prince, ethan

walking to our positions

getting my flowers

freshman through junior royalty

the whole homecoming court

i'm quite the happy princess... =)

the king and queen are crowned-evan and amber! yay!

my room-mates and amazing hair-masters

lacey and me...and our mascot

even though i didn't feel good, i showed my school spirit by proudly wearing my homecoming t-shirt and staying for the whole game. =)

what a close and exciting game! and we won!

my lovely flowers

the evening made me feel very special and loved!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

not ideal...

i awoke friday morning with the thought that i might be getting sick. i wasn't feeling quite myself, but i had a test to take and important weekend to worry about.
but as the day progressed, so did the sinking feeling that i was quite ill.
instead of accomplishing any amounts of homework or studying, i spent the rest of friday afternoon and evening, sleeping and fighting off a fever. i was hopeful that my dedication to rest would result in feeling well enough to perform all my princess duties the next day.
while i did feel better on saturday, i was far from feeling good. my eyes burned even after many hours of sleep and the thought (and action) of walking across campus was a little tiring. thanks to many prayers on my behalf though, i was able to participate in the coronation and feel quite lovely in spite of my sickness.
tonight was my group interview. many prayers were directed toward this event as well, which, i'm convinced, made all the difference. my head felt fuzzy, but God gave me the memory for all my group members names; he gave me the concentration to stay focused and attentive for over three hours; he gave me the grace for all those in my group; and he gave me great peace for the entire evening. i was greatly encouraged by the people i was able to interact with during the evening, and it was an extra blessing to have the familiar face of kevin in my group.
this weekend served to remind me of the faithfulness of God. although i would definitely not have chosen this weekend to be sick, he gave me all that i needed to make it through the past few days.

Friday, February 8, 2008


yesterday i had my interview. i think it went pretty well.
when i first entered the room, i shook all of the ACs hands' when i first got there, which was rather a joke. i'm glad it was at the beginning instead of the end before my hands got sweaty. jonathan prayed for me before we started, which was quite needed.
and then the questions began.
it all went pretty fast-before i knew it my 45 minutes were done.
i saw keith later and he said he thought it went well.
i felt like it went well, but wasn't extraordinary.

now, i just have to wait for my group interview on sunday.
and then more waiting...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

word of the week vol.2

aussie word of the week:

bludger: (noun)
a lazy person, layabout, somebody who always relies on other people to do things or lend him things

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

junior princess

i got home from clinicals today to discover an e-mail in my inbox informing me that i am the junior princess!

part of me feels like this isn't a big deal, but another part of me is squealing and jumping up and down.
fun things about this princess thing:
1) the junior prince is an awesome guy. and bonus: taller than me!
2) lacey is seriously my fairy godmother.
3) i have two dress options, both borrowed from the lovely ladies of riley house.
4) i get to dress up!
5) i get to have saturday morning brunch with alumni. i've heard its a little long, but good food is served.
6) i have the official title of princess. this alone gives me a thrill. =)
7) my friends voted for me and nominated me and love me.

Monday, February 4, 2008


today after my morning class, i went jogging (which eventually turned to walking) around newberg. among the places that i passed, one of the buildings was the thrift store behind the fire department. i was disappointed to discover that they didn't open until 11, a whole hour later than the time from which i was standing there. i decided a shower was more important than passing that hour...
but for some reason the thrift store stayed in my mind.
i had a lovely two-on-one meeting with cherie and sarah at chapters. my white chocolate peppermint mocha was warm and delicious and the conversation was refreshing.
instead of walking back with these friends though, i made the decision to walk the few blocks to the thrift store.

i found quite a few treasures-
a purse with my initial on it, similar to the stolen purse but pink instead of green
a fun summer dress
a few books
and my favorite, a pair of jeans for 75 cents!

i love bargains.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

my kind of superbowl...

every day

i just got back from church and am a little speechless.
it doesn't happen very often, but there are times when i KNOW that God intended that message for me. and today was one of those times.
the first song we sang was "every day." and i really felt like God was telling me to give each day to him. one at a time. not whole chunks. just each day as they happen.
later in the service, God really spoke to me through a testimony that was given. one of the things that God told him was not to get so caught up in trying to discern his will or discover what he wants that he misses out on enjoying him. and i heard a little whisper saying, "alison, rest in me. trust me. enjoy me. i know you are seeking after me. i will work out the rest."
at the end of the service, the pastor got up and said that God had given him something to end with. the thought that went through my head was that i had already had my word from God. (as if God can only tell me one thing!) and then the pastor said that God had told him to remind us that we can't outgive God. whatever he asks us to sacrifice or give up, he will pour out his rich abudance on us in return.

"Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good." -Romans 8:26-28, The Message

holdin' on to you

i love this song-
what a reminder of my broken, damaged state.
only in Him do i find meaning.
He wants me to be whole.
He wants to take my hand and lead me home.

"broken" by lifehouse
the broken clock is a comfort, it helps me sleep tonight
maybe it can stop tomorrow from stealing all my time
i am here still waiting though i still have my doubts
i am damaged at best, like you've already figured out

i'm falling apart, i'm barely breathing
with a broken heart that's still beating
in the pain there is healing
in your name i find meaning
so i'm holdin' on, i'm holdin' on, i'm holdin' on
i'm barely holdin' on to you

the broken locks were a warning you got inside my head
i tried my best to be guarded, i'm an open book instead
i still see your reflection inside of my eyes
that are looking for purpose, they're still looking for life

i'm falling apart, i'm barely breathing
with a broken heart that's still beating
in the pain there is healing
in your name i find meaning
so i'm holdin' on, i'm holdin' on, i'm holdin' on
i'm barely holdin' on to you

i'm hanging on another day just to see what you will throw my way
and i'm hanging on to the words you say
you said that i will be ok

the broken lights on the freeway left me here alone
i may have lost my way now, haven't forgotten my way home

i'm falling apart, i'm barely breathing
with a broken heart that's still beating
in the pain there is healing
in your name i find meaning
so i'm holdin' on, i'm holdin' on, i'm holdin' on
i'm barely holdin' on to you

i'm holdin' on
i'm holdin' on
i'm barely holdin' on to you

Saturday, February 2, 2008


last night, most of the girls from our staff slept over at martha's apartment. it was a lovely night.

moments from the evening-
lacey changing her tickets to accommodate for homecoming.
playing cranium.
being on martha AND cherie's teams.
"i'm a derogatory yellow male." -my description of bart simpson
kaitlin earnestly humming.
martha as a robot.
lacey spelling "nostril" backwards. "N!"
"we didn't use to have to spell with alternating turns."
"we didn't use to have seizures!" -danielle and lacey
hand treatments.
gluten free treats.
learning that carrie is a pickle- "when i am a pickle, i like to hide."
feeding lacey gluten free treats.
being fed gluten free treats by lacey.
watching stardust.
waking up to tea and muffins.
planning dress hunting with lacey.
heading home smiling.

what a gift i've been given through the presence of these lovely ladies in my life.

princess candidate

last night i got an e-mail that i've been nominated as one of three candidates for junior class princess.

i was with lacey when i found out, and i'm not so sure i would have been quite so excited if i wasn't with her. =) apparently, she, along with who-knows-ever-else, nominated me.

voting is monday and tuesday, and the coronation is saturday night, at the homecoming basketball game.

to be honest, i was more than a little surprised, but quite pleased. i haven't felt like i've been involved as much on campus this year, especially when i'm off campus several days out of the week...

it remains to be determined if i will be the princess, but its nice to be picked.

Friday, February 1, 2008

word of the week

in preparation for australia, i'm getting familiar with some of the local lingo:

aussie word of the week:
corker : something excellent.
for example, a good stroke in cricket might be described as a 'corker of a shot'


when i was a little kid, i didn't have alot of fears. i wasn't too scared of bugs or spiders or snakes. i was mildly afraid of the dark, but the giant streetlight outside of my window seemed to help dispel that fear.
but one thing i was afraid of was clowns. clowns weren't regularly a part of my life, so it was easy to forget about them. but when summertime came, at least one view of a clown during a parade seemed imminent.
maybe that's why this article caught my eye, when i was reading the sydney morning herald in preparation for australia.
i'm not going so far as to say i love clowns now, but i appreciate any method of bringing joy to hospitalized children. but before i don any clown make-up, i think i'll try some puppets...

irrational beliefs

today we learned about irrational beliefs:
apparently this is one-
"it is awful and terrible when things are not the way one would very much like them to be."
even in class, i can't escape God calling me to trust,
when things may not be the way i want.