Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

New Beginning!

So for those who don't already know I moved back to Oregon to be closer to my family and to pursue my education. Back to school I went. I am attending Clatsop Community College in Astoria, Or. It is hard to focus when I am sitting in class overlooking the Columbia River, watching the ships go by. I signed up back in December for winter term, and I am starting all over with school, guess I should have done it right the first time around...I am looking at it as I am trying to pursue my second career, nursing. Most of you know that I moved to California after high school, to the bay area, quite the eye opener, small town girl moved to the big city. I enrolled in a community college and got my EMT certificate and stared working for American Medical Response (AMR) at the age of 20. This was not my first experience on the ambulance though, at the age of 17 I joined the Medix Ambulance Explore Post and fell in love with medicine and helping people. Not many people at 17 know what they want to do, and I did! So Off to work I went in Santa Clara Co. I met lots of wonderful people who I believe is my second family, and we really are a family down there, watching out for one another! I loved the interaction with the patients, nursing, doctors, firefighters, and the police. Although, we (the "ambulance crews")get let out of all the media, and they "thanks Doc for saving my life" when the Doctors just stand in the ER room giving out orders, but where were they when we are standing on the freeway in the hot sun beating down on us and cars zooming by, ignoring the fact that we are there, or in a ditch, or in someones dirty home? No disrespect to the Doctors, but we know how to do our job, and basically have to know just as much as you do just with out all the years and years of schooling. Most of the Doctors have never been in the back of an ambulance or come with us on calls to see what we have to put up, friends in our way or trying to help yelling at us to "do something" what do you think we are doing? Picking flowers? No, relax. We have to lay down on the dirty ground, someones dirty floor, bathroom, three floors up stairs, where the doctors get to work in a clean sterile environment asking someone to raise the bed so that they can intubate...hello? See the difference?
After 6yrs on the rig, I am ready to move on, to become a nurse. Better benefits, better pay, a sterile environment, lots of room for growth! I can be a nurse anywhere, ER, OB, Geriatrics, Peds, surgery, flight, cruise, traveler...see? I am working part time in Portland, Or for AMR, but it is just not the same as it was down there. I don't feel as connected to my co-workers, not to mention the 40% pay cut! Yes you read that right! Ridiculous!
So I am just starting out again to get my prerequisites completed, and trying to get decent grades, not only because I usually am a "C" student but because the nursing program is so competitive! All this talk about the "need" of nurses but then they make it very hard to get into a program. Dumb. I think that they should say who ever wants to be a nurse line up and take the classes and see if they make it. For me, I have more "people smarts" then "book smarts" so how does that reflect on school? It is hard for me, not only because I am dyslexic, but because I am more of a "hands-on" type of gal.
So one term down, many more to go. This winter term I took, a 100 level Anatomy & Physiology class to prepare myself for the three terms of the 200 level A&P, I took a nutrition class, and Chemistry, which I was scared for, but I ended up really liking it. I got two "B's" and an "A". Next term I will be taking the second term, 100 level A&P, Microbiology, and pre algebra...yeah for that! not really though.
Wish me luck! ~Laurel

Sunday, March 2, 2008

JW House

At the age of 14, JW Knapen had a normal life - he was a freshman in high school, played the bongos for the choir, enjoyed drawing and sculpting, and was the loving big brother and oldest son of a close-knit Belgian family. But over thanksgiving break in 2002, JW began to have seizures and was quickly diagnosed with three different brain tumors. Over the last two years, 16-year-old JW Knapen has shown courage and grace in his grueling fight against brain cancer, enduring surgery, radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

JW was not only one of my dearest patients that I have met while working as an EMT in Santa Clara Co. in California. He was also a buddy of mine! My EMT partner Jill and I would transport him to and from radiation daily. We had a special bond. This was no ordinary 16 year old, he was bright and intelligent. I guess when you know you are going to die at a young age you grow up very quickly. I once asked him if he could have anything what would it be? He paused and thought a moment, and looked up at me and said, "a family" while he was pretending to hold a baby in his arms. WOW, I thought, normally 16 year old boys are not thinking about having there own family, they want to get a girlfriend maybe in between playing basketball.

JW fought a long hard fight with his cancer, unfortunately the cancer got the best of him but his dream still is living on and we are doing what we can to make his dream come true! JW wanted to make a "house" where families of sick children can stay and be close to them while they are in the hospital. Even while JW was sick his mind was on helping others. He was always thinking of new ways to get peoples attention to be interested in his dream. We have had so many different fundraisers, this house has been able to start to be build all on donations! Please check out JW's website for a lot more information!

JW had his own motto which was to "Never Ever Give Up"! So follow your dreams and heart to do what ever it is you set out to do!