mid-semester freak out

Yup, we’re there.  All of us.  All sixteen of us in the program are just balls of stress right now, for one reason or another.  One girl’s dad has been in and out of the hospital for months now.  Another girl–a dear one to me–is going through a break-up.  Another is juggling multiple out-of-town trips this month, which tend to wreak havoc on school.  Yet another has been in TWO car accidents in a week–neither of which were her fault.  My carpool buddy just found out her senior practicum, the 5-week rotation we plan for ourselves in the spring, just fell through and now she has to start from scratch. All of this, in addition to working part-time jobs, dealing with boyfriends and families and kids and such.

I’ll say it again–going back to school is not for the faint of heart.

While this semester so far seems worlds better than last semester (the one in which I tried to hit the gym every morning at 5:30 yet didn’t go to bed early and thus crashed and burned halfway through), it’s certainly no walk in the park.  We’re 6 weeks in (praise God!), yet I haven’t been able to stick to a bedtime (I have yet to get more than 6 hours of sleep, and lately it’s been more like 5), or the KISS eating plan of chicken and veggies I kept thinking I’d implement.  Thankfully my workouts have stayed pretty steady, thanks to my pretty awesome schedule, which is probably the only thing keeping me sane right now.  I’ve barely cooked a ‘real’ meal (oh well), barely baked anything (probably better for the waistline), and just realized I haven’t updated our dry-erase calendar from September to October yet…if I wait much longer, I might as well just go ahead and put November up there!

This week in particular has been a banner week in the Layer house.  Due to evening engagements, Andrew and I have taken to corresponding via email–me writing to him in the a.m. while he’s still asleep and him replying (if I’m lucky) during the day.  Other than yelling ‘goodbye!’ as I leave and a few phone calls and glimpses of each other, we pretty much roll into bed at night and manage to say ‘hello’ and ‘goodnight.’  It’s that kind of week.

But, on a positive note, school really is amazing.  I’ve never felt more interested, excited and confident about what I’m doing.  I absolutely LOVE walking around the hospital in my white lab coat, reading about my patient in the electronic medical record, and then coming up with their nutrition diagnosis.  I just come alive when I do patient education–it’s so second-nature to me.  We had a workshop yesterday on tube feedings and I loved it.  We learned how to calculate the rate of a feeding and how to recommend everything.  I’ve also got my senior practicum set–it will be clinical–and it’s exciting.  I’ll get to experience both in-patient and out-patient, bariatric and general patients, as well as spend time in some of the ICUs and hopefully oncology and transplant units, too.  I definitely did not anticipate this, but I’m so glad clinic has proven to be a good experience.  Who knows what I’ll end up doing after I graduate at this rate?

On another positive note–it’s FALL and I’ve been stocking up on all the fall-scented goodies at Bath and Body Works like crazy!  (Gotta love those coupons.) I’ve completely outfitted my gym bag with all the necessities, and used my ‘pumpkin pecan waffle’ shower gel at home yesterday.  Amazing.  I’ve never been more hungry taking a shower in my life.

With the long weekend, Andrew and I are looking to get some R&R, and hopefully I’ll have some time to catch-up on school work and start the week off right next week–AND implement that earlier bedtime routine!


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