April 20, 2015

Spring Trends

April 20, 2015
Lately I have had the spring shopping itch and I just cannot seem to get shake it.
With graduation and my sister's wedding fast approaching, I definitely need to pick out some dresses - and soon - however my sights have been set on all white.

Which I know won't fly at the wedding. 

Another trend I have been loving is a chunky cage heel with cuffed jeans. *swoon*
So though this isn't practical wedding attire, here are some outfits my behind is seriously lusting after.


Left

Handbags

Right

April 17, 2015

Venture into the Unknown

April 17, 2015
I'm graduating from nursing school on May 8th. 
I should be a private investigator because I'm really good about finding stuff out about people. 
Three fur babies - a full bred German Shepherd, a German Shepherd mix and a Rhodesian Ridgeback.
You'll never catch me in open toe shoes if my toes aren't painted.
I always take the second of everything; second shirt off the rack, second item on a shelf... Never the first. 
I'm very random. 
My all time favorite movies include Pride and Prejudice and Moulin Rouge.
I have three older siblings.
Blunt is my third language, sarcasm my second.
Traveling the world would be the best dream come true for me. 


April 14, 2015

Post Tonsillectomy, Days 5-8

April 14, 2015
Day 5
You know what, day 5 was quite alright.
I woke up with a spring in my step, which I instantly regret because I attempted to do way too much resulting in my butt staying in bed all day.
But nausea? Little to none. 
Eating? Pretty good; smoothie, applesauce, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, cheese enchiladas
Drinking? The River Nile.
No seriously, I've had so much to drink it's insane.

But I didn't have to take Zofran (fist pump!) and I didn't feel like my world was ending when I glanced around the room (double fist pump!)

Today's wellness rating: 7/8

Day 6
There was greatness and not so greatness.
I was able to eat breakfast (an omelette and some home fries once all of it cooled off) and head out to the store with Momma, which was wonderful. We shopped a little bit and decided to head back so I could rest and take my medicine.


I'm at a point where I'd like to be off my pain meds, so I've been tinkering with the dosage and time between doses since the night before. I ended up taking more Hycet than I wanted, which made me feel completely disconnected from the world, so I ate some food and went upstairs for a nap. After that, much of the rest of the afternoon was spent watching tv with my parents downstairs, feeling just fine.
I decided to try ibuprofen instead of my pain meds around 4 pm, the originally scheduled time for my next Hycet dose, and actually felt pretty good about it. When dinner time hit, I was ready to eat so I cut my food up into 2-year-old sized bites and let it cool.
About 4 bites in (which really means 25 minutes with the amount of chewing I had to do and how painful it was to swallow), I pretty much caved and had a mini meltdown at the dinner table.
It is so frustrating to just want to eat your food like everyone else at the table and not be able to. I can't even swallow water like anyone else right now! Between my mouth hurting from chewing so much, my tongue aching like it has been lately and my throat hurting, I was over it.
I decided to take some pain meds so that I could at least get through dinner. Thankfully, the pain meds kicked in relatively quickly and I could finish dinner with less (less being the keyword) pain than before.

After dinner I decided to take a shower and just calm down from being upset earlier. Have to keep reminding myself that whatever I'm going through is simply progress and I'm putting another rough day behind me.

Today's wellness rating: 6/7

Day 7
Nope.
If it were a choice, I'd choose not to do this anymore.
Pain today hovered around a 7/8 at all times.
Even my dogs could sense something was off because Riley came upstairs and hopped in my bed (Bella did too, but that's normal).
I made it out of the house to run errands with my parents early in the day, but much like yesterday, talking/eating/drinking/yawning were out of the question.
The meds don't feel like they're working, which is scary, but I absolutely refuse to go back to a higher dosage.
Side note, the scabs have started to come off - which is disgusting by the way. They make you want to cough and gag, but both of those hurt the throat resulting in this scrunchy neck move to get the pieces out and a whole lot of water (which is a joke because anything other than sipping is impossible).
No food tasted good today, macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes hurt to swallow, and water stills creates a searing pain as it goes down my throat.


Today's wellness rating: 5

Day 8
Bright and early, a call was placed to the doctor's office concerning the amount of medicine I have left, the fact that I have to go back to school this week and just to make sure I'm healing like I'm supposed to be.
The woman from the doctor's office kindly told us that week 2 is worse than week 1.
Alright lady.
I'm done.

I decided to get up and eat breakfast without taking my pain meds and then made the unfortunate decision to take Tylenol since I was having trouble eating. That didn't work as quickly as I wanted, so I took my pain meds resulting in a debilitating headache and nausea equivalent to Day 2/3. After lying down for a bit, Momma and I went to go pick up my new prescription and I dropped my car off to get an oil change (I drove!!). Dinner of a mashed baked potato, broccoli and bread went down without a hitch.
I was actually able to space out my meds enough to only have taken them 3 times - once at 7 am, 11:30am, and again at 5 pm. The meds were actually more for my head and ears than my throat too. Unfortunately my headache returned, but Momma and I were able to spend some time together before we both called it a night.

Today's wellness rating: 6/7

April 10, 2015

#Happiest5k

April 10, 2015
I'm so late to the party, but I'm just glad I made it this week! Linking up with the wonderful ladies April, Christina, Darci and Natasha to present my own twist on Five on Friday...


This week my five things include:
1. Running the happiest 5k on the planet
2. Spending a fabulous Easter weekend with my family
3. Getting my tonsils out
4. Seeing my brother for the first time in 4 months
5. Coming back to the blogging world with a vengeance (for now... haha)

But now back to that 5k.

4:30 am on April 4th *cue iPhone alarm*

"You have GOT to be kidding me..." is all I'm thinking. Knowing that I slept horribly and had a race to run just a few hours later, I was tempted to pull the covers back over my head and go back to bed. 

Instead, I slowly got out of bed to go check and see if my sister and niece were up.
I walked into her room to find both of them knocked out, so I gently tried to wake her. You know when someone comes in to wake you up and you wake up startled and in panic mode because now you're running much later than you intended? Yeah... That was happening.

By 5:05 am however, we were out the door and on our way to the Atlanta Motor Speedway for our race. The reason for leaving so early was because 1) Hampton, GA is at least an hour from where we live and 2) we both received emails ALL week about how crazy race day packet pickup would be and we don't do lines very well.



All that to say we were the second car in line at Chick fil A and first in line to pick up my race packet. 
To continue our early morning adventures, it was pouring when we arrived to the Atlanta Motor Speedway and winds were at least 15 mph. When we decided to brave the elements to go get my race day packet, we had to hold our umbrellas sideways to protect against the strong winds and rain. At one point, my sister was trying to be Mary Poppins and her umbrella flipped inside out which I know had to be excellent early morning entertainment for the other runners waiting in their warm cars. 


While waiting for the race to start, we spotted a few other runners with arm warmers so we asked where they got them and decided to go wait in line and pay for some warmth because babyyyy it was cold. 
Well, cold up until the sun came out right as soon as the race started. 



During the 5k, we ran through pink, orange, blue and yellow and as a new feature this year, The Color Run added on a Shine element where they throw glitter. 


These sweet people... 

I had glitter thrown into the side of my face.
As much as I love glitter, y'all probably know as well as I do that it's a pain in the ass to get off, clean up and generally just live with. 

Every pillow I've laid my head on and every shirt I've worn has amassed ridiculous amounts of glitter on it for the past week, despite the number of times I have washed my hair. 






On our way back home, my sister and I talked for a little while but with the drive being over an hour long we both commented on how tired we were and how insane it would be to drive that far very often. I noticed that my niece wasn't saying much but whenever I'd turn back to look at her, she would just be staring out the window.
When we pulled into the driveway, I looked back and this sweet girl was knocked out, not worried about a neck cramp or nothin'. 


I had such a great time at the race with my family! So much so that my sissy and I already registered for The Color Run at Night in Atlanta later on this year!

Have y'all done any fun runs lately or are you signed up for any in the near future?

April 9, 2015

Post Tonsillectomy, Days 2-4

April 9, 2015
Just the other day I posted about getting my tonsils out, which you can read about here.
Here's a follow up of the past few days.

Day 2
Nausea.
I think it's mainly because I was taking the Hycet and didn't have much on my stomach (mostly liquid anyway and to be honest, that wasn't staying in for too long). 
So I had to take Zofran in the morning. 
Anyway, I was nauseous throughout the entire day but I managed to hang out on the first floor with my family all day and even ate two hot dogs and tater tots after they got cold and I cut them to the point that they almost didn't exist anymore. 
After I ate that, no more nausea. *does little jig*

Today's wellness rating: 7/8


Day 3
Nausea. 
x9000.
I don't think I've ever been so nauseous in my life.
I even ate and drank a little something before taking my pain meds and even though the nausea was so bad in the morning, I waited until 1pm to take Zofran trying to see if repositioning myself and ice chips would help. 
Earlier in the day, standing for too long made me dizzy and at 5pm, the mere thought of moving/looking around the room with just my eyes/turning my body or my head/sitting up made me sick to my stomach.


So Momma (bless her heart) called my doctor for me and he didn't really say all that much but to continue what I've been doing, take the Zofran and just to move super slowly.
So naturally I had a mini meltdown, but I'm trying to remain as positive as possible.
I managed to eat some cooled down macaroni and cheese and some of the soft parts of the bread my family had with their dinner before going back upstairs to lie down.

Today's wellness rating: 7

Day 4
What is life.
I slept amazingly (well... compared to the past 2 nights), however I woke up with my throat at a nice 8-9 pain level. I managed to grab a shower and drink some of a smoothie, which is an accomplishment at this point, and take my pain meds.
I am really trying to beat any nausea today away with a stick by taking the Zofran early (aka right this second) and eating before taking any pain meds.

Update: I went out with Momma, my sister and the kids and had a great time though I think I may have overdone it today. After coming home, I didn't feel well as in I felt spacey, pressure buildup in my ears and a bit sick. I went to lie down for a bit before going to eat dinner and at dinner I had 6 glasses of water and 2 glasses of Gatorade. I think that I haven't been taking in enough fluids (though I feel like I've been drinking an ocean's worth and am CONSTANTLY getting up to use the restroom in the night), which is why I've been nauseous. Also, the pressure in my ears is steadily increasing and the sides of my tongue hurt so bad that I don't feel like talking, eating, drinking or even just swallowing at this point.

Today's wellness rating: 6/7
My whole room looks like this... Chaotic clutter.

What's In Your Bag?

Last Friday night, I decided to stay over at my sister's house since we had a race bright and early the next morning. Now I'm not an avid runner so I don't know exactly what should be in a "race day' bag, but I do know how to throw some things in my purse and manage not to forget a single thing. 



Starting in the lower right corner and going in a counterclockwise spiral:

Bag
Gotta throw all of these "essentials" into something, amirite?

Running pants and shorts
I never know if my body will decide it wants to be freezing or a sauna come race day, so I always throw both into my bag.

Moisturizer and deodorant
These should go without saying.

Contacts, contact solution and contact case
I've tried running in glasses before and failed, epically.

Mini first aid kit
White box; the nurse in me (or maybe it's the klutz) always needs bandaids on standby.

Lotion
Several reasons but mainly I hate being ashy and I like being the color I was born to be.

Pens
It never fails that I always have to sign something and no one EVER has a pen.

Car keys
Well... We aren't going anywhere without these. 

Chapstick
Need kissy face fresh lips all the time.

Mascara
I'm self conscious about wearing contacts and my eyeballs blending in with my face.

Glasses case
Gotta put the glasses away when the contacts come out to play. 

Toothbrush and toothpaste
Minty fresh so I don't scare away the boys my sister.

Socks
Please try running without socks on and let me know how that goes. 

Plastic bags and rubber bands
Honestly, I have no idea how these got in there. 

Candy
Rule #1 as mom-friend of the group is that one must always carry snacks and/or candy.

Melatonin and Advil
I don't know what a normal sleep cycle is, but I know all too well what headaches are.

Earphones
Usually not used when I race since I run with my sister, but I have used them to tune out conversations she's having on the phone. Or watch youtube videos. 

Water
Stave off the thirst.

Gum
This is actually rare because I never buy gum. Easter egg gum was a gift from my professor.  

Alcohol/Sani wipes 
Nurse/Mom-friend of group. Must be sanitary.

Wallet
Money, ID, debit card, life... No biggie.

April 7, 2015

Tonsillectomy: Praying Strep Throat Days are Over

April 7, 2015
This will be one of my longer posts, though I believe it's pretty informational and personally, kinda cool; you've been warned. Also, I wrote it throughout the course of the night, so if there are any mistakes, I apologize. 

Yesterday morning I had a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. Or in layman's terms, I got my tonsils and adenoids out.

Hallelujah, praise Jesus because these bad boys have been the bane of my existence since I began college, but especially so these past few months as I mentioned here

I'm writing this post as both a reminder to myself of "the worst thing [I'll] ever go through," which is what I was told by numerous people prior to my surgery and as another perspective for those out there thinking of getting their tonsils out as an adult. 

The Decision

The last significant bout of strep throat that I ever had was when I was in elementary school. For two years straight, I had it 4 times and each time they told me "one more time and you'll get your tonsils out." Clearly, I never got it "one more time" either of those years.

Thanks be to God that I have been relatively healthy ever since then. Starting college however changed everything. My 1st year in college I had tonsillitis (swollen tonsils), pharyngitis (swollen throat), pharyngotonsillitis (swollen tonsils and throat aka strep throat), and mononucleosis all before Christmas break. My 2nd year consisted of at least 4 significant bouts of strep throat and several minor colds and run ins with tonsillitis. 3rd year was much of the same and this year, I have had strep throat in October, November, January, February and March. 


I alone have probably kept the university health center thriving financially over the past 4 years. 


Going into the medical field - and being sick and tired of being sick and tired - is what really prompted my decision to get my tonsils out. I cannot take care of others if I cannot care of myself and if I cannot be at work due to an illness. So on March 20th, I had a consultation and the decision was made to remove both my tonsils and adenoids. 







Leading Up to The Big Day

Since the day I scheduled the procedure two weeks ago, I have been crazy busy. Busier than I usually am, I should say. Though I had honestly been planning for it by making sure to get my practicum hours finished early, I kind of forgot about all of the school work I had  to complete so that my recovery (or what everyone deemed as "hell") could be as stress-free as possible. This school work included: a book summary that required analysis and comparison of a book to a completely unrelated class, two exams, two quizzes, three papers, a unit project and three final night shifts. I also wanted to work out, have a celebratory "almost graduation" drink, spend time with friends and talk as much as possible so that I didn't feel like I was missing out on so much during my two week recovery period. 



I also picked up all of my medications that I needed for recovery which included Zofran (anti nausea and vomiting med), Solu-medrol (steroid for inflammation) and Hycet (liquid Lortab, aka my pain med). 

The days leading up to my surgery happened to be Easter Weekend and for that, I am beyond grateful. I came back to my parents' house Friday and spent all day with them before going to my sister's house to stay the night for our early morning race the next day (which pictures and details of that will be posted later on this week!). Saturday morning by 5am, my sister, niece and I were on our way to Hampton, Georgia for our race and by 11am, we were heading back home. That afternoon, I tried to take a nap but my brother came home from school (we have the same spring break because we go to the same university, just different campuses) and I couldn't not hang out with him and my parents. That night, I went to Taco Mac to watch the Final Four with some friends since I wouldn't be driving for a little bit and ate nachos... Yes, I had to include the last crunchy food I'd probably eat in what would seem like forever LOL. Easter Sunday was spent with my parents, brother, sister and her kids and it was wonderful. I rode bikes with my niece and nephews, had a great dinner with wonderful conversation, played a game with my brother, and cracked jokes on each other like always. 


Pre-Op

I'd been anticipating this surgery for awhile now by counting down the days, but Monday morning arrived much sooner than I had hoped or expected. I had prayed over my surgery several times the night before, so I was not nervous at all for the actual procedure just more so the recovery. Momma brought me to the hospital's outpatient medical campus at 9:30 am, we checked in and not 10 minutes later was I brought back to my room and in a gown being asked a million questions I had already answered. My nurse told Momma the surgery would probably start a little late so at this point, she decided to run to the store and stock the house with some Powerade, applesauce and smoothie ingredients. My IV was started, fluids were hung, and my nurse and I talked about nursing school, what its like to be the patient as a healthcare provider and chocolate cake. Though surgery was scheduled for 11 am, they were running about an hour behind so at 11, I received Versed to help me relax (which I tried to delay as long as possible because I was already calm) and my anesthesiologist came and spoke with me around 11:20 am. My surgeon came in and spoke with me around 11:45 and Momma came back just before I went in for surgery. I thank God that I got to see her lovely face before I went in and tell her I loved her because knowing she was here waiting made me so much more comfortable. My dad also text me that he loved me and a few people text me saying they were praying for me, which meant so much!




The OR

I blew momma a kiss and was wheeled to the OR. There, I transferred myself over to the table, got hooked up to an EKG and was introduced to all of the nurses in the room. My arm was strapped down and the anesthesiologist was paged. I received about 3 meds at once, with the only one I remember being phenergan before the anesthesiologist walked in. He came in singing and told me I'd be drifting off to dreamland in 15 seconds. Last I remember, he asked me why I wasn't singing with him and I responded that the propofal and the oxygen mask being put on my face would make me sound terrible (in addition to the fact that I'm already a terrible singer lol). 



you're welcome to follow on snapchat: ag.13
PACU

I entered the OR at 12:27 pm and remember waking up looking for the clock. 2:25 pm. I remember the oxygen mask on my face blowing ridiculously high flow oxygen into my eyeball and not my nose, so I had to hold it down at the top until I was able to have it taken off. Surgery only lasted about an hour and I knew I had another hour and a half in PACU to wake up and stabilize before I could go home. The sweet nurse asked me a few questions, asked my pain level and gave me a Popsicle and crushed ice. She went and got Momma from the waiting room and they chatted over me while I tried to wake myself up. When I later told her my pain increased, she gave me some Dilaudid and once that kicked in, I began to talk with both the nurse and Momma. Finally around 3 pm, I got the EKG leads taken off, my IV fluids disconnected and Momma helped me redress. She was then able to go grab the car while my nurse took out my IV and wheeled me to the car. As she wheeled me out, I remember her telling me that being a patient before being a nurse is actually a great experience for me because now I can better relate and empathize with my patients since I've been a patient. She wished me the best of luck with graduation and my future career and with that, I was on my way home. 


Recovery, Day 1

On the way home, Momma and I decided to stop and get applesauce and saltines (in addition to what we had at home) because the nurse suggested eating something with my pain medication (and after having told my own patients it's best to eat if possible before receiving pain meds, I thought this was a good idea as well). I was able to talk to Momma most of the way home, so I thanked her about a million times for taking me, picking me up and caring for me these next couple of days. While my throat did hurt a little, my swollen uvula made it a bit troublesome to talk and completely impossible to lean back in the seat or bed without feeling like I was going to choke and that was actually my biggest issue for Day 1, in addition to this cough I've had for the past few days. Coughing past a swollen uvula and sore throat is no fun at all. 


Once home, Momma helped me upstairs and into bed. My brother and dad came up to see me while Momma grabbed some juice, my pain meds, 3 saltines, a popsicle and applesauce. I couldn't fall asleep so I turned on the tv and invited my brother to watch Spongebob with me (yes, we are both grown and yes, we still watch and love his show lol). He left to go eat dinner with the family and I let some crackers dissolve into oblivion before being able to swallow the sahara desert of a cracker with some juice. I also drank my medicine and decided that it was the nastiest thing on the planet and started plotting how to make it better since I have to take it every 3 hours. I took the Solu-medrol 2 at a time throughout the night and at one point I had to take zofran because the overachiever in me wanted to be normal and also couldn't stand being isolated upstairs anymore, so I ventured downstairs on my own.... BIG mistake. Momma banned me from doing that for the rest of the night, so when my friend Kelsey came over, Dad let her up and we talked for a few hours (though I probably should've been resting my throat). 


Diet on Day 1
3 popsicles
1 applesauce
15ish saltine crackers 
(probably a bad idea because my throat was the Sahara each time I took a bite)
1 16 oz glass of Powerade
1 16 oz glass of flat sprite
1 32 oz cup of pebble ice (thanks Kels!)
1 8 oz homemade copycat ChickFilA Frozen Lemonade Milkshake

Pain on Day 1
Immediately Post-Op: 3

30-45 minutes after Post-Op: 6

Rest of Day: I honestly don't know because I took my meds every 3 hours so I didn't have to know what pain was lol


Sleep on Day 1
Nonexistent. 
I'm somewhat used to not sleeping for more than 4 hours at a time since I started working night shift, but this is a whole 'nother ball game. I downloaded an app that reminds me when to take my medication in addition to writing it down, and I also set an alarm every 3 hours so that I could catch the pain on the front end rather than the back end. So throughout the night I was only required to get up THREE times: 12:50 am, 3:50 am, and 6:50 am. 


So, please tell me why I got up 7 times. All that orange in the picture below is me awake, and I promise it's not even accurate because if I don't move and am just staring at my phone or the ceiling (which is all I did last night), my UP band thinks I'm sleeping.

Let me just say, after each time I took the Hycet, I couldn't fall back to sleep right away and often stayed awake for at least an entire hour before being able to drift off. Then my bladder was on it's own schedule which of course didn't line up with when I took the medication... all that to say that I really didn't sleep. My friend Mica can tell you as much because we were texting at 4:48 am:



If you made it through this so far, God bless you. You're amazing. I'll keep updating as my recovery continues, though it'll most likely be in chunks and not daily. 
I pray that my strep throat days are over and I know that while recovery may be brutal, it's definitely for the greater good. 
I've heard it gets a lot worse before it gets better, so any prayers and/or advice you have for me are appreciated more than you know!

April 1, 2015

The Salad Express

April 1, 2015

Who says meal prep has to be hard or bland or boring?

I stumbled across this recipe for a Chopped Black Bean and Corn Mason Jar Salad and I just couldn't say no. I mean, how can you not love a dish that basically sounds like a Chipotle salad?

As with almost any dish, tweaking it to your taste may be required and this recipe was no different. Originally it calls for quart sized mason jars and I only have pint and a half size jars. I also forewent the cilantro from the jump. My mistake was not adjusting the ingredients accordingly. Thankfully, the salad still turned out wonderful but next time, I'm adding chicken, decreasing the corn and forgoing the avocado (sorry Mom). Additionally, I'd mix the greek yogurt and salsa before piling in the ingredients.

Though I had different size jars and discussed how I would adjust for future times I make this, below is the recipe that I followed.


Chopped Black Bean and Corn Mason Jar Salad

Ingredients
6 wide mouth quart size mason jars
1 1/4 cup of salsa
6 oz. plain greek yogurt
1 qt. cherry tomatoes, halved
1 red onion, chopped
2 cans of black beans, drained
12 oz. package of frozen corn, thawed
2 avocados, peeled and chopped
5 oz. block of pepper jack cheese, cut into small cubes
4-5 oz. chopped romaine lettuce
1/4 cup of more of chopped cilantro (optional)


Layering
Evenly distribute the ingredients in the following order into each of the 5 mason jars:
Salsa (1/4 cup per jar)
Greek yogurt (about 1 ½ tbsp per jar)
Tomatoes
Onions
Black beans
Corn
Avocado
Romaine lettuce
Cilantro (optional)


Eating
When ready to eat, pour into a bowl and mix together.

These lasted about 7 days in my fridge without any major change in taste. As expected, the flavors of the salads eaten towards the end of those 7 days had marinated but in my opinion, it was still very good!

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