Monday, December 5, 2011


I have not posted in a while and I could make all kinds of excuses for it but frankly the main reason is that I haven't been in front of the computer all that much.

October 17th was sort of a new beginning for me.

I'll start with a little bit of history. Eight years ago I weighed in at 420lbs, one snowy night I was unable to drive my car up my quarter mile long iced in steeply pitched driveway. My only choice was to walk, in the middle of the night up this slick patch of road. I just couldn't do it, I had the will and the desire to do it, but I physically could not make the climb. It was then and there that I decided something had to be done. I was 24 years old and weighed over 400 lbs.

So I did what I thought at the time was the best way to handle it, I went to my Dr., got prescribed phentermine and began working out while using slim fast shakes to replace two of my meals, I'd go to the gym every evening after work for an hour or more and then come home and eat a horribly unbalanced meal of rice and meat.

Every. Single. Day. for 7 months.

I lost 130lbs in that time. I was wonderfully happy, I was in the 200's for the first time in ages. As it happened, I ended up getting married shortly after that, my wife had two children, and here we are seven years after that day and every bit of that weight has crept back on, and then some.

This time around I kept getting inundated in all of my pre-req classes about the horrible things that were happening in my body, and how it was all fully in my control to change these things. Anatomy taught me the disease processes to an extent and Nutrition filled in the blanks left by Anatomy. Both of these classes combined with an injury that left me unable to walk for a weekend provided the eye opening catalyst I needed to change my life.

You see, I knew from the day I enrolled in school that I would need to get this weight off before I went into nursing school because I could not see myself having the energy level needed to be as successful as I wanted to be.

All of that led to October 17th.

That was the day that I started eating a realistically healthy diet, a diet that I actually had a scientific understanding about thanks to my nutrition and anatomy classes. I started a six day a week exercise routine that I have stuck to religiously since that day.

I feel like I finally "get" it, I don't feel like I'm dieting, I don't feel like I have to force myself to be active. I'm not going to kill myself to get this weight off, I'm just going to live a healthy, active lifestyle and forgo the huge helping of misery.

Since the 17th of October I've lost over 35lbs and with the level of activity I've committed to I'll likely have another 10-15 off by Christmas.

This post, while lengthy and meandering at best is indicative of my life over the last few months. Now whats on the agenda for this coming spring and summer?

Graduate 2 Year School
Enroll in 4 Year School
Complete CNA this coming Summer
Run/Walk/Complete a 5k before August '12
Be a better Husband, Father and Individual

Just one more thing that I want to leave you with that has really stuck with me over the past couple months.

Every good healthy choice you make in a day is a step in the right direction, don't allow one misstep to alter the course of your day, week or month. Simply commit to making the next choice, and the next after that a better one.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pre-Req drudgery

It's been two months since my last post. Not much noteworthy has happened. I dislike chemistry with a passion born through my hate of math. Nutrition and Med term are boring nightmare. Nutrition is a repeat of select parts of anatomy, med term is a broad repeat of anatomy and it's all just getting to me. I think knowing I only have 4 credit hours left at this school next semester has me seriously ready to move on to my 4 year college where I'll be taking nursing.

Nursing school seems so far away at this point. So many classes left to take, CNA cert to do and weight to lose before I start.


Saturday, August 27, 2011


I've held many and varied jobs in my past. I've done everything from work production on a car parts line, video stores, cable companies, retail, to sales and distribution. I started working at the age of 16, right after my 16th birthday. Work, from my first job until I quit my last job to go back to school, for me, was always just something to do to make money.

I've spoken in the past what one of the deciding factors was behind my decision to become a nurse, and while that is the main reason I choose to pursue nursing, it wasn't the only deciding factor. As the sole breadwinner for our family of four, one of my chief concerns is always going to be income, I made a decent salary at my last job, but I lucked into that position, and if said position went away, so did my ability to find another job making that kind of money again. Having a college degree, especially a college degree in a field that can make decent money, was appealing to me.

Aside from a workable income, with nursing and hospital shift work I have the option to work fewer days a week and still pull in a decent income. Being home with my wife and kids is important to me. Four 12 hr shifts with 3 days off sounds splendid.

Taking a 180 degree turn on your professional path at 30 is a daunting task, no less so for me than anyone else. However, a bookmark I bought a few years ago (right around the time I embarked on this journey) recently found it's way back onto my desk downstairs. It's metal, and has a quote engraved upon it's surface that reads:
"It is never too late to be what you might have been."
And so, with that message brought back to the fore, I'll get back to studying for my chemistry test on Monday.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Online Classes

Typically I do not take online classes. I find the seated classes to be, obviously, more interactive than their online counterparts. However, this semester I could not get two of my classes in a seated format, Med Term I, and Developmental Psych. I consider myself to be extremely computer literate. I may not be as up on all the latest tech as I used to be, but I can still navigate most pieces of software without any problems.

This is NOT the case for my online classes. This blackboard version they are using this semester looks as if it was written by a Grad student with a D average. The location of assignment due dates is not consistent between the classes, nor is the method for submitting assignments the same.

Since this semester started I've been constantly worried I was going to miss a due date for something because none of my assignment due dates are posted in an obvious intuitive manner.

Aside from the online classes mentioned above I've got nutrition and chemistry. Chemistry, as I figured was going to be the only "hard" class this semester. Nutrition on the other hand is an absolute joke. So far the format of this class has lent itself more to a "wellness" class than a nutrition class. What, exactly, does my spiritual wellness have to do with nutrition. Not a darn thing!

We had to do a "Wellness Assessment" as a homework assignment. This assessment was broken down into 6 categories, the final category being nutritional wellness, the other five? Nothing to do with nutrition.

I understand this is the first year they have offered this course, and I expected there to be some hurdles and growing pains to endure while the teacher settles into a stride with the new material, but we're in the second week of class and we have not even TALKED about, you know, nutrition.


Thursday, August 11, 2011


As it's going to be a little while longer before I actually start nursing school at the University I decided to pickup a Patho book to read since I won't be exposed to Anatomy any longer after having passed A&P II this summer. After reading about Pathophysiology made easy over at Zazzy's Blog, which was via another blogger that I read, Christine.

I am throughly engrossed with this book. I've read several of the sections, and have been dorking it up pulling up secondary resources to fill in the details when I don't fully understand something.
I don't figure it will hurt me to familiarize myself with the topics the book covers but I do have a slight fear that I'll learn something incorrectly and then have a hard time unlearning the incorrect information. Heh

Hot, Hotter, Hottest


Air conditioning unit that is not big enough for the house is keeping the downstairs at a crisp 71 degrees, and our main living area on the main level at a blistering 78 degrees. The most irritating thing about the whole situation is the fact that it's a nearly brand new unit. Installed less than two years ago, by a company that was apparently incapable of accurately estimating the amount of cooling tonnage needed for our 2800sqft house. :(


105 Degrees outside on a recent trip to Mississippi for a wedding. An OUTSIDE wedding, might I add.


My dear wife of 6 years. Our anniversary is tomorrow the 12th, and I couldn't be happier that she said yes and is spending her life with me, and has given me two wonderful little boys.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

That's all she wrote!

A&P II: Summer Edition, complete.

Reproduction Written Exam: 110 (W/ Extra Credit)
Reproduction Lab Practical: 98
Final Exam: 71

A&P II Final Grade: 94

That my friends is an A for the summer semester, woohoo! I can't believe I made it through this semester with an A, I didn't think it was ever going to end. I had to get at least a 19 on the final exam to pass with an A, and I did. So yay!

Up next semester

Developmental Psych
Medical Terminology I

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Providing care

I've talked about my reason for choosing the nursing profession in the past, so anything to do with sick children is especially hard for me. I'm sure that at some point in the future I will have encounter a situation where I'll have to provide care to family that is having some kind of crisis with a child, or god forbid has lost a child.

I constantly worry that I'll be able to provide the kind of compassionate care that people need in extremely emotionally charged situations. Well thats not exactly true, I know I'll be compassionate, I worry more about knowing what to say, and how to act in those situations where there are no words.

Do you just quietly go about making sure everything that you can do is done and be as unobtrusive as possible? Do you let the clients (is that appropriate terminology even?) family set the tone for how you provide care?

Hopefully these topics will come up once I actually begin nursing school and there will be some guidance provided.

Last week of class!

Only 4 more days until A&P II summer session is completed and I currently have a 95 average with 2 tests and the final left.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Closer to goal

Digestive Written test: 115 (After bonus points from quiz)
Digestive/Respiratory Lab Practical: 96

Class average after dropping lowest test score: 94.5

*Does a dance*

With only 3 more tests until the end of the semester I'm looking on track to get an A in A&P II this summer!

One of my goals when I started A&P last spring was to get an A in both sections of the class.

I reaaaaly want to have as many A's as possible in my nursing pre-req classes.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Isn't it amazing?

\rm CO_2 + H_2O \rightleftarrows H_2CO_3 \rightleftarrows HCO_3^- + H^+

The more time I spend in anatomy the more amazed I am with the human body. I am not a religious person. I hold to some pretty esoteric viewpoints when it comes to my beliefs on why we're here and where we're going. Those viewpoints don't exclude the existence of God, nor do they even attempt to disprove any modern religions. I simply don't hold to a dogmatic viewpoint.

From the beginning of A&P I, I was amazed at the beautiful complexity of the human body, specifically the microbiology behind how our body does what it does. The simple action of breathing, and eating a cheeseburger are so much more than what they appear to be. When broken down into their component parts all the way to the cellular level, it's amazingly complex.

It's almost a spiritual experience when you realize that there is no possible way that our coming to be was completely random.

We just finished the respiratory system, currently doing digestion and moving into urinary after that and I had the experience again that I had in A&P I with these last few chapters. The complex elegance of the Bicarbonate buffer system is just astounding.

I love this stuff!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

President's Congratulations

"Dear xxxxxxxxxx:

Congratulations! You achieved honors designation for the spring 2011 semester. You are to be commended for your hard work and your excellent academic performance during the spring semester."


Makes me want to get up and go study.....

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I recently made the decision to wait another year before entering the nursing program. The main reason is I want to be able to take off the summer in between my junior and senior year for a potential externship and if I attempt to enter the program Fall 2012, I won't have enough time to finish the 16credit hours of classes i'll need at the 4 year school.

Financially it's not a concern, but waiting another year means I won't enter the program until Fall 2013, and won't graduate until 2015!!

When I started back to school summer of '09 I never anticipated it taking this long to make this journey, but in the long run i'll be happier for having taken the extra time. I love not working and being home a lot more to see the kids grow up. When the first was born I was gone from 7am-6pm and felt like I missed out on a lot of him being a baby.

Barely hanging on

We just finished the respiratory system, had the lecture test yesterday and I made an 83. My overall average is down to a 91.5, so gone is my A. I'm going to start working on a few of the extra credit opportunities in the hopes that I'll be able to stay close to an A until the end of the semester.

It won't be the end of the world if I only manage a B in the class but I really wanted an A. I think right now there is only one person in the class with an A.

Assuming I make a B this summer in A&P II, combined with my other nursing pre-req classes i'll have a 3.5 GPA in pre-reqs and a 3.45 overall.

While not stellar, it's more than sufficient to get into the BSN program I plan on attending at the Private 4 Year University.

On the baby front:
Little man is getting bigger, he can find his hands on his own just about every time, he's starting to attempt playing with little objects and he absolutely adores his big brother.

I find it amazing how different this baby is from the previous. They have such differing personalities that it's hard to believe that both kids came from the same parent!

I look forward to seeing him grow up and how the two children contrast eachother.

As usual the lovely wife is a saint, staying home all day long with both kids and taking care of everything like she does makes me unbelievably happy.

Thanks for being a wonderful wife and mother!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tribulation Tuesday

Went to school 3 hrs early today with the intent to study some more before the test. Ran into a few classmates in the library and were shuffled into a study/conference room with a projector and large white board.

Going around the room asking people what they most needed help with, it became glaringly obvious that all but one of these folks had not even LOOKED at this material. Which I guess for me may have been a good thing, because utilizing the whiteboard I explained everything from apoptosis through humoral immunity and immune response.

While this helped with my processing of the material, I'm just saddened that folks still don't seem to be putting much effort into this class.

Note: I realize the irony of that last comment given that I got a horrible grade on the blood/circulation test. :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Of A's and C's

A&P II in the summer is just horrible. The pace is amazingly fast and there is no time to catch your breath from one test to another.

I did not start the summer out well. Previously I did not make any bad grades in A&P. Summer starts and the first two tests were horrible. 81 on Endocrine and a 67 on blood/circulatory. Quickly on the heels of those two tests was the cardiovascular test which I made a 90 on, and the Lab practical for Endocrine,Circulatory,Cardio and Lymphatic that we took today which I made a perfect score of 100 on.

I'm sitting here going over my notes for Immune response and it's mush. Everything is bluring together into one unintelligible clump in my head. I understand the conceptual difference between Cellular Immunity and Humoral Immunity, but I'm struggling with being able to get it back out of my head in the correct manner.

I'm fairly certain they won't accept "Uh, one uses cytotoxic T-Cells and one uses b-cells" as an answer.


On a non-school related note.

We have a two story house, or rather a single level house with a full, finished basement. Before the arrival of Kiddo #2 we spent all of our time in the basement. Now however all of our time is spent upstairs as to be closer to the screaming demon.

Here in lies the dilemma, Kiddo #1 still spends the majority of his time downstairs as thats where all his toys are, and he basically has full run of the place. He also has a bathroom down there, and being that he can't wipe his own bum yet lots of yelling was to be had after the deed was completed. Yelling that we don't always hear around 4 corners and a flight of stairs.

So this morning my wonderfully inventive three year old takes his green flute/recorder thing into the bathroom with him, does the deed and then proceeds to blow on the recorder like his life depends on it.

I was so busy laughing it took me twice as long to get him situated as it normally does! So now the sound of that recorder, and poop are now inextricably connected.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Wait, what?

I spoke to soon.

Sadly I did not get a straight A semester as I expected. I must have totally bombed my old testament final in order to not get an A in that class. So unfortunately I got a B in that class instead of the expected A.

Monday the 16th I start A&P II, I'm really nervous about taking a class that is this hard in 8 weeks instead of the regular 16 weeks. I feel like I did well enough in A&P I that I can also make an A in A&P II despite the compressed timeline but man, its going to be a lot of work.

I looked over the syllabus and it seems like A&PII is mostly going to be physiology with much less anatomy. Which, for me atleast might be a good thing. I did markedly better on the sections in A&P I that had more "systems" to comprehend and put together then I did on straight anatomy. For instance I did better on cellular metabolism and the nervous system then I did on the skeletal system. (Actually skeletal system was my worst grade all semester, in my defense, my wife did give birth that week! lol)

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Finals are done!

My finals this semester were all laughably easy. A&P which I had been dreading being horribly difficult, was the exact opposite and I almost felt like it was a joke given the detail oriented nature of my regular exams in there. The test was multiple choice, and had questions with amazingly obvious answers.

Final grades should be posted soon, should be a straight A semester.

On a personal note, we left for our vacation a few hours after my last exam. One week off before I start an accelerated version of A&P II.

Nerve II Written and Lab Test

Made a 91 and 95 respectively on my last two tests of the semester on Tuesday. This gave me a 104 average going into the final dropping my lowest test grade (a 70).


Monday, May 2, 2011

Cumulative Final

A&P I cumulative final is this thursday. I'm looking back over my notebook for the semester and I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed. I have a 150page notebook, college ruled, completely full of hand written notes from lecture. How in the world am I going to distill what I've picked up over the course of this semester. Gah!!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Science, You're destroying my childhood!

First it was the caviler dismissal of our dear beloved ninth planet, Pluto.

Then it was the horrifyingly shocking deletion of the triceratops from the dinosaur handbook.

Now, you're messing with the five senses?!?

When will the madness end!

According to Saladin's Anatomy & Physiology The UNITY of FORM and FUNCTION touch is no longer one of the five senses. It's position of power has been usurped by a pretender to the throne! Equilibrium, newest of the special senses.

My dear, dear friends, it seems as if fourth grade was a complete and total waste of time!

Have you lost your mind?

The push to the end of the semester has begun, finals are next week, and I still have a 95 average in A&P. Hopefully with enough studying this weekend, I can manage to pull off straight A's this semester.


While sitting at the dinner table eating breakfast with the family, my wife notices older son putting biscuit crumbs into the straw of his orange juice, and tells him to stop. I say "Stop that, have you lost your mind?"

He stops and goes about breakfast, and several minutes later he looks up and says, "Sorry, my mind is back now." Oy, comedy from a three year old.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A&P Books

In my A&P Class we currently use the two semester Holes Anatomy and Physiology textbook. I personally dislike the book, the graphics do not give very good detail and the information is presented in the most boring and dry fashion.

Fortunately my teacher agrees with me and sources all of her graphics from the Saladin Anatomy & Physiology book.

I have heard about this text book dozens of times from my teacher over the course of this semester, how much better it is, how much more comprehendible it is etc. So... I purchased the 6th edition last week and got it in the mail yesterday.

I figure since I have another semester of anatomy it wasn't too much of a waste of money.

After looking over the book and comparing it with my Holes book, I have to agree that the information seems to be presented in a more conversational manner instead of fact after fact ad nauseum.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Test updates

Several tests have taken place since I last updated. Bones lecture, practical, and muscles lab. Bones lecture and lab test took place shortly after the baby was born so I did not really study for them that well. Compared to the class I still did well, but when compared to my other grades I tanked the tests. I had a 70 on the lecture test and an 80 on the lab.

I had intended to use my one drop that we get in the class on the 70 and then pray I got really good grades on the Nerve tests we have coming up. But then, the amazing happened, all of my classmates checked out and gave me a nice fat curve on the muscle lab, taking my grade all the way to a 123. (Which btw, was the highest score of any student taking A&P I this semester!) Current average in A&P is now a 95.5. With only three tests (plus a cumulative final) I hope that I can maintain the A.

The level of work required to memorize all the muscle locations required was more than I
anticipated. If it wasn't for my wonderful wife being willing to drill me on the 30+ muscle
plates I had created I don't think I would have gotten it done.

I wish I could put my finger on my style of learning. With muscles for instance, I could stare at the muscle plate with all the labels trying to learn each muscle for an hour, and not learn it. But give the labeled plate to my wife, and give me a blank one, and have her tell me which was which two, maybe three times and I have the entire plate memorized. That entire process might take twenty minutes. Which is sorta frustrating when I want to be able to do it myself, and not bother the woman who has VERY little time to her self right now with the newborn.

Monday, April 4, 2011

I've been super busy and have not posted in a few weeks, so I'm way past time for an update. On March 12th around 22:00 my wife was in bed reading and felt a slight pop, she described it as a rubber band popping. She jumped out of bed thinking her water had broken, but no fluid came gushing out. Shortly after that she started having pretty bad cramps, and what she felt like were two intense contractions appx 5-6 min apart.

After those two contractions however she didn't have any more, her pain was constant across her lower abdomen. We decided to head on in to the hospital and not take any chances since we live 30 min away. My mother arrived at our house at approximately 23:00 to take our three year old back to her house so we didn't have to deal with him if she was indeed in labor. By the time she got there my wife was in nearly unbearable pain, and could not sit down when it came time to get into the van.

Into the back of the van she went, sort of half laying on, and kneeling infront of the back seat. We arrived at the hospital at 23:25, without her shoes I might add, because I had forgotten them in the dash to get everything into the van. So here I am standing in the parking lot berating myself for forgetting her shoes, and I turn to my wife to apologize again, and see her walking across the parking lot barefoot pointing at the ER entrance saying "Epidural".

I wheel her up to the L&D floor and tell one of the nurses she is in labor and they get her setup in a room. The time is now 23:35 and my wife is in so much pain, I'm worried for her and frustrated people seem to be moving at a snails pace. 23:40, The midwife finally shows up, says they're going to start her antibiotics (she was group b strep positive), then does an internal check and says "Oh... you're 10 cm dilated. But don't push yet."

23:45, I'm watching the midwife attempt to do another internal check and she pulls back and says, "I can see the head, if you feel a desire to push, you can."

00:16, My wife gives birth to a 9lb 8oz 21 inch baby boy.

Time elapsed from entering the ER, to cutting the cord was 46 minutes.

I am still horrified at how close we came to having this baby in the car, or at home. Everything is all good though, baby is half a pound over his birth weight, and has already gained half an inch!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Paying good money for torture

Not much going on in the world of pre-nursing. Our next test on the skeletal system is not for two weeks. I did however decide to finally get motivated to get my butt to the gym and hire a personal trainer.

I chatted with several and ended up choosing a woman that had credentials from the university I am going to for nursing school. She did her initial assessment which included body fat caliper measurements, taking weight, as well as shoulder, chest, thigh, calf and waist measurements. We then covered where I am now physically/weight wise, and what my short and long term goals are. Felt almost like a medical history with all the questions I was answering, but I'm pleased they are thorough.

It was then time to move out onto the gym floor. I'm pretty out of shape and I have not ran since highschool but after 15 minutes of warmup on the treadmill she had me running 20 seconds on/20 seconds off at a 7mph speed to see where I was at physically. For me, 7mph is pretty damn fast, lol.

Before I continue on to the next part, I feel like I need to say that 6 or so years ago I went to the gym 4-5 times a week for at least an hour at a time. I knew what I was doing with the machines as well as how much weight I felt was appropriate.

Or so I thought.

We did a circuit of weights, she would ask at each location what I felt was an appropriate weight to lift. Asked me to lift that weight and then in almost every case doubled what I was lifting. For example, on the leg extension machine I had 105lbs on, did 10 reps and was told I was doing that way too easy. She then put another 80 lbs on (for a total of 185) and had me proceed with doing three sets of 10.

Yikes, by the last set of 10 I was barely able to lift the final 3 reps.

The entire workout went something like that, me telling her where I was comfortable, and her telling me that wasn't good enough. I signed up and paid for 15 1 hour sessions with her, we will see where I am after those sessions, but I'm excited to be pushed that hard.

I have a fitness goal I want to reach before I enter nursing school, and I've got until fall 2012 to get there.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Baby soon?

My wife is pregnant with our second child, and is about to pop. I feel so bad for her knowing how uncomfortable she looks. I really hate that there is nothing I can do but try to occupy our very very whiney 3 year old.

It's really frustrating how much the 3 year old has taken a nose dive in in terms of behavior. I guess this is payback for having a perfect 2 year old?

At any rate, HOPEFULLY sometime in the next week or two we will have a squishy new baby to love.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tissues/Integumentary: 4 & 5 of 13

Despite getting the second highest grade on the lecture exam, and the highest grade on the lab exam, I still did not manage to pull off an A for either test. I earned an 88 on the lecture, and a 91 on the practical, not as high as I was hoping for, not much I can do but try harder next time.

Class average after 5 exams: 96.8

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Study Craziness

As I talked about in my last post I've got a test tomorrow on Tissues/Integument, Since that post I've made over 100 flash cards and studied the hell out of them. I even went so far as to hack up my lab manual and previous edition A&P book in order to get color pictures of the tissues to study for the lab practical.

I went through the cards with my wife about 4 or 5 times and by the end of the 5th time I had all but 5 of the cards memorized.

I found this chapter to be my most difficult so far. I really liked the chapters where the material involved some kind of process. Hopefully I will do just as well on this section and I won't have to use this as my drop grade.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Testing on Tissues/Integumentary this tuesday. I have spent about 5 hrs studying for this test so far, usually I pick up the material really quickly, make my flash cards, and after a dozen or so times through them I know the material.

This section though, I've made over 90 flash cards and Im not certain I captured all the needed material.

Heres to hoping I have this stuff down by Tuesday!

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

No, this is homework!

I Promise. This really is homework.

It amazes me how many different products are available to help you remember A&P, Flash cards, coloring books, videos, and iTunes university lectures, even with all of those options there is one key item you can not buy at your universities book store. Motivation. Anatomy is a class, that you need a lot of motivation to learn, it's not something you can pick up and pass just by attending lecture.

Nearly everyone in my class is going into some sort of healthcare profession, yet over half the class can not seem to pull it together and score above a 60 on the exams. I don't think I want these people near me in a healthcare capacity.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

3 of 13

Got scores back on my third A&P exam today, scored a 92. Not as high as my previous two exams, but class average so far is a 102. I will be very happy if I maintain an A throughout the semester, this particular teacher only had 4 A's in 4 sections of a&p last semester, so I feel that would be a huge achievement.

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Shape of things to come

I had an interesting and fun realization in A&P thursday, during a lecture break the teacher and the first three lab tables broke into a conversation about breast feeding. Stuff like this does not bother me, I've always been a very frank individual in what I will talk about, but I found myself sitting there thinking how surreal the situation was that I was surrounded by women I didn't know, having a conversation about breast feeding.

I don't often find myself in situations where my opinion is not needed or wanted, but I realized this is going to be the first of many such situations given that I am entering a female dominated profession. :)

The only input I really have into a conversation on this topic is with my wife, in as much as I will support her whatever decision she decides to make in regards to the feeind of our children.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Blast from the past

I blogged briefly for about 2 years or so back in 2004, 2005, the blog still exists but I've not posted on it in ages. After reading someones comments on the "Day 1: Discuss your relationship" 30 day blogger challenge, it made me recall a post I made back in 2005.

While not nursing related, it's still people related. I'd just like to point out to the naysayers in the world that internet relationships can and do turn into face to face relationships. My pregnant wife and son are living breathing proof!

I got to thinking about what a relationship really is today. The dictionary defines it as “a state of affairs existing between those having relations or dealings.” Or “a romantic or passionate attachment” I define it as having an emotional and spiritual connection to an individual. In the case of a romantic relationship it goes further then that and adds physical and dependency aspects.

So what happens in today’s age of computers and global communication? What type of relationship, as I define it, can you really have with someone you only know online? Is it possible to form feelings for a persons mind, and intellect without ever even seeing the physical person? Jeremy Stangroom at had this to say on the matter.

“The significant point about internet relationships is that the characteristics we rely on to make judgements about people in the non-virtual world are largely invisible in the virtual world. The irony here is that it is precisely that facet of internet communication that makes gross deception possible – the absence of a face to face relationship - which undermines our tendency to stereotype. It would be possible to overstate the significance of this fact. Even in relationships conducted entirely via the medium of the written word, we still make judgements about people which go beyond the evidence. However, it is likely that we do so largely on the basis of the actual content of our communication with a person, which, arguably at least, is more likely to be indicative of those aspects of a person’s character which they themselves consider to be salient.

The corollary of this point is that in our internet relationships we have greater control over which aspects of our character we present to other people than we do in our everyday relationships. Of course, this is why people worry about deception on the internet. And it is a real concern - the individual who adopts a false persona in order to procure a sexual encounter with a vulnerable person behaves badly. But it is only part of the story. If by controlling which aspects our characters we present to people online we are able to avoid the more pernicious effects of our tendency to make judgements on the basis of unwarranted stereotypes, then it is possible we will develop online relationships which are, at least in some ways, less distorted and more real than most of our everyday, embodied relationships.”

You can view the entire article here.

According to this one persons view it is indeed possible to have a “real”, possibly more so, relationship online. On the flipside however you have someone like Hubert Dreyfus of Berkeley that states, without the risk of physical harm that you get from embodied relationships, you can never have a “real” relationship online. His [Dreyfus’] paper on Kierkegaard shows his philosophy on the subject in an abstract manner.

In my mind, a person grounded in reality can indeed have a meaningful relationship with someone online as long as a constant reminder is made to stay grounded in reality. This really is a fascinating topic if you think about it. Our generation is witnessing the adolescence of a new medium for human expression, thought and emotion. We have people meeting online through dating services and living “happily ever after”, people who otherwise would never have known either existed. We are forming lasting, and meaningful friendships with people we have never met in person. In some cases these online friends are so close, that they know more then anyone else in your life.

I’m no great writer; I’m no philosopher to have books published, or papers printed. But here I sit, putting my thoughts, my views down, where millions of potential viewers could hear what I have to say. How cool is that? If you ask me, that’s pretty significant.

Grade curves

My A&P class grades on a somewhat odd curve. If the average of the class is failing, ie a 55 the teacher adds enough points to the curve to make the class average passing (a 70).

So in my example, a 55 class average gets 15 points added to ever grade in the class bringing the class average to a 70.

Now, this a wonderful thing for those of us that actually study and do well. The last test we took was curved TWENTY FOUR points, thats how badly the class did. Which, for me is great, considering I made an 84 before the curve. So yay me getting a 108.

So uh, is it bad that I hope that my classmates continue to suck? :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Aerobic Respiration

You gotta love helpful wives. Not only does she drill me with flash cards without complaint, she also had a wonderful suggestion to write a brief summary of what happens during aerobic respiration in order to cement it in my mind. So thats what I did! Wrote completely from memory and as far as I understand the process it's correct. I'm totally going to kick this tests ass.

Aerobic respiration is composed of three stages, Glycolysis, the Citric Acid Cycle, and the Electron Transport Chain.

Glycolysis begins with a six carbon sugar that has two phosphates attached with the expenditure of two ATP (Adenine Triphosphate) leaving you with a six carbon sugar diphosphate and two ADP (Adenine Diphosphate). The six sugar diphosphate is then cleaved into two three-carbon molecules. Those two three-carbon molecules then go through a series of changes. A coenzyme called NAD+ bonds with electrons in the three-carbon molecule creating NADH while creating four ATP and two pyruvic acid molecules. Since we have to "pay back" the ATP that was used at the beginning of this process we are left with a net of two ATP.

The two Pyruvic Acid molecules now expend their ATP to enter into the matrix of the mitochondria expending CO2 and creating more NADH turning into Acedic acid. A CoA is added to the Acedic Acid creating Acetyl CoA which then enters into the actual Citric Acid Cycle, during which four carbon molecules are added to the Acetyl CoA creating Citric Acid. During the cycle the citric acid experiences a series of changes giving off yet more NADH and CO2, as well as one ATP for each Pyruvic acid leaving us with two ATP, NADH, and some CO2 at the end of the Citric Acid Cycle. The CO2 is exhaled and the NADH move on to the third and final stage of Aerobic Respiration; the Electron Transport Chain

The NADH transfers its Hydrogen+ protons and the electrons gathered in the first two processes to a transmembrane protein. The electrons travel through the electron transport chain and the hydrogen protons use the energy from the electrons to move up it's gradient and out into the intramembrane space. The electrons eventually bond with free floating Hydrogen and O2 molecules within the matrix of the mitochondria and form H2O (water), while the Hydrogen protons in the intramembrane space move through the ATP Synthase. The energy created by this process allows molecules of ADP+P to be bound together creating ATP.

Transfer Irritation: Part 2

I went to school early yesterday morning to get some more information on why my sciences don't "count" for the science category. Apparently only General Education sciences count in that category and Micro, A&P I and II do not count as General Ed sciences. Regardless of my opinion on the matter it's a hoop to jump through in order to graduate with an AA so I can transfer to my private university nursing program with no issue on individual credits being accepted or not.

Schedule looks like this.

Summer 2011
Fall 2011
General Chemistry
Developmental Psych
General Biology

Yikes, 3 sciences, going to be a busy semester! However, if I can pull it off that means I transfer to Private University with a Spring and Summer to work on odds and ends before starting the program the next fall.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Transfer Irritation

So I'm sitting here plotting out the rest of my time at community college. I have Summer 2011, and Fall 2011 and I will be done with CC. Why is it they make these forms so hard to figure out on your own? According to this chart, I can not claim A&P I, A&P II, or Microbiology in the natural science category, and must use them as electives. So that puts me having to take another science in addition to Chemistry to get the 8 hours required for that category. Since when is Anatomy and Physiology and Microbiology not a science? Wtf.

As of right now I have 47 semester hour credits. I would have had 55 had I not had to take 8 hrs of remedial math when I started back to college. So instead of being 10 credits short of graduating with my AA, I have 18 credits left. Which is not too bad when I have a summer and fall left to complete them in.

Sadly, due to some bad planning on my part, in those 18 credits I have the following classes.
  • Chemistry
  • A&P II
  • Microbiology
Yeah, that comprises 12 of the 18 credits needed to graduate. So looks like I will be doubling up Micro and A&P II. I see lots of studying in my future.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Why Nursing?

I know that at some point in the not too distant future I am going to have to write a letter to the BSN program that I want attend that answers the simple, yet complex question of "Why Nursing?"

The question itself is not dissimilar from questions that numerous people in my family have asked me before.

"You really want to go back to school at thirty into a female dominated profession?"

"Uh, really? Nursing? Thats an odd choice for a dude."

"Are you sure you really want to do Nursing?"

All of these questions, among others, came up at one point or another from various people in my life. I can thankfully say that my wife has been 100% behind me the entire time, as have my parents.

Trying to be a typical macho sounding guy, I would simply respond that I think the money is good and there will always be a job somewhere. Yet, when I distill my real reason for wanting to go into nursing it ends up returning to a few experiences I had when my son was born.

You see, we knew from 28 weeks gestation that our son would be born with Spina Biffida. The news for my wife and I was crushing. We went through every stage of grief when we got the news. It was several weeks before I could even tell people about it without starting to cry. Knowing that my son would, according to everything I had read, need to be cathed his entire life, on top of not being able to walk without assistance.

We went to Big Teaching Hospital and had a natural birth in a birthing room with something like a dozen or more people waiting for my son to make his appearance once he crowned. Once baby was born, cord cut, he was immediately given to the drs doing the assessment of his lesion (which was located around s1,s2).

Fast-forward to the next day, my Son is recovering from surgery in the NICU. He is so quiet from the anesthesia that it just tears me up. He is hooked to all these leads that I know nothing about and it's about all I can do to keep it together.

It was the kind words and gentle understanding of the NICU nurses that got me through the days in the NICU. Again, it was the NURSES that helped me deal with my son, helped us understand what care he was going to need, and they were the ones that answered most of our questions.

It wasn't until much later that I realized how much what those nurses do, or at least my perception of what they do resonated with me on a fundamental level. It was upon that realization that a seed was planted that maybe, just maybe, I'd be brave enough to be that person for someone else.

(As an aside, my son has defied every single odd that was put against him. From the prognosis given by the neurosurgeon, urologist, physical therapist etc. He is a completely healthy 3 year old now with no health issues whatsoever to this day (aside from me having to cath him as an infant for a week after we left the NICU). We hit the genetic lottery so to speak by having a baby with SB, and we hit the lottery again when God decided to give us a perfect little boy. He walks, runs, is being potty trained even now.)

Saturday, February 5, 2011


I know I have a while before I will officially need it, but I had fun picking out a stethoscope today. I ended up purchasing a Littmann Classic II S.E. with Brass Plated Chestpiece, I've read from several different sources that this will last me a long time.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, February 4, 2011


Wordnet defines Genesis as "a coming into being". This is how I felt in my first couple A&P lectures, like I had finally found something that truly engaged me. I've never been so completely fascinated by any other subject before. I'm not sure if this is simply because I've been waiting so long to start something, anything, to do with my chosen major of Nursing, or if I am actually this fascinated with the material.

So far we've only gotten into Cellular Biochemistry, Cell structure and now Tissues. My first test resulted in a score of 105. These scores have done nothing but fuel my desire to learn more as quickly as I can.

I've been devouring all of the information on Nursing school that I can over the last several months, so I know this is not going to be a trip without it's roadblocks. I honestly believe however, knowing this has just made me that much more determined to succeed.

Goal 1: Finishing Nursing Prereqs
  • A&P I, A&P II
  • MicroBiology
  • Developmental Psych
Goal 2: Get accepted into BSN program
Goal 3: Graduate
Goal 4: Eventual home on a PICU somewhere.

Thats all for now.

My intent with this blog is to update semi-regularly as I go through pre-nursing, and nursing school so I will have a log of my journey that I can look back on some day