Memoir of a Girl

The stories of my life

It didn’t hurt March 29, 2013

Filed under: Mah Baybays — krisedja @ 1:12 pm
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Yesterday afternoon, The Baby had her five year old physical. Of course, the number one question she had when she realized she was going to the doctor was, “am I going to get a shot?”

 

“I’m not sure,” I told her. Really, I wasn’t.

 

The doctor and I chatted, then did her thing with The Baby and said, “She is due to two vaccines and a hemoglobin. The vaccine is given as a combo.”

 

And the screaming began.

 

I had to use both arms and legs to hold her while the nurse did her thing. She actually tried to bite the nurse, which surprised me. The thing that was most interesting about this experience is that as she was actaully getting the injection she stopped screaming and watched, and as soon as it was over, she said, “It didnt hurt… it didn’t hurt!” Then she promptly said thank you to the nurse when she gave her a band-aid.

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Mabuhay Philippines! October 26, 2012

Filed under: Adventures — krisedja @ 11:12 am
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When I announced to my friends and family that I was moving to the Philippines, with the littles, they thought I was absolutely insane. You’re going where? You’re doing what? A family member called my mother and suggested that she was the only one that could talk some sense into me; she had to do something.

Mid-summer of 2009 I was getting ready to take a vacation with my friend from Ohio. We were heading up to Maine for a week with the kids. In the midst of that, my (now ex) husband and I were trying to figure out how I was going to finish my BSN. It was getting to the point in the program where I wasn’t really going to be able to work because of the clinical hours, and with two infants that needed day care, we weren’t going to be able to support the family on his salary.

His two brothers were already in the Philippines; one of them was studying nursing. “It’s too bad you couldn’t just go to the Philippines,” he said to me one night while we were lying in bed. “Where were you with that idea four years ago,” I asked him. It started from there. I confessed to him that I had actually toyed with the idea of sending the girls to stay with his mother, in West Africa, while I finished the last 18 months of school. We talked about it more and more and eventually all the talking evolved into a plan.

Why did I think this was such a great idea you ask? Well….

We estimated it would cost somewhere in the vicinity of $30,000 (tuition only) to finish the BSN here in the US; in the Philippines, we were looking at roughly $100o per semester, or $3000.

We made plans for my mother-in-law to move to the Philippines and take care of the girls while I was in school. This was good for a lot of reasons. If not for this, it was unknown if/when she would be able to meet the girls. Lucy was already two and a half, and The Baby was soon to be 18 months. Not only would they meet her, but living with her, they would actually get to know her. At that time were were paying roughly $800/month for day care, and now day care would not be an issue.

The littles and I would also be living with his brothers and sister, so we would all really get a chance to know each other.

The stories my brother-in-law had from clinical gave me the idea that the hands-on clinical experience was not something I would ever have here. In the Philippines (depending on your school and the hospital/doctor you have duty at) it is not unusual for a student nurse to deliver a baby. Here in the U.S. student nurses stand back and observe, and might be considered lucky if they assist with the immediate newborn care.

The combination of my brothers-in-law already being there, and the cost of living being so low in the Philippines, it would not be much ‘extra’ for the littles and I to stay there, expense wise,

I imagined that the cultural experience would be amazing. The Manchild at that time was twelve years old, and though he dragged his feet most of the way, and complained most of the 18 months that we lived there, I know that someday he will reflect back on those times and be grateful. Even though today I am still reminded of how challenging that time was in my life, I know that it changed me forever, and I believe it was for the better.

Not much of anything worked out the way we had expected it to, and there were daily challenges. Sometimes friends or family will ask me if it was really worth it (the financial aspect) and I am quick to say no, because there were so many extra expenses related to the ‘project’ that we hadn’t anticipated, but when I really think about it, I can’t say with 100% certainty that it wasn’t still less costly than it would have been here. I am still facing daily challenges in waiting for my documents so that I can take the NCLEX, but I have to say that the overall experience was priceless.

 

I’m a Filipino citizen, who knew? October 16, 2012

Filed under: Trials and Tribulations — krisedja @ 11:05 am
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In October of 2009 I packed up everything I could fit into twelve suitcases and four backpacks and boarded a plane with the littles. We flew out of JFK; after short stops in Anchorage and Taipei, we landed in Manila about 20 hours later. It was so hot when we exited the terminal that I couldn’t take pictures; the camera was still cold from the plane and I couldn’t keep the lens from fogging. And so it was the beginning of the adventure.

I spent eighteen months in the Philippines with my three littles. I went there to finish my nursing degree but the details of why will wait for later.

It’s been eighteen months since I’ve been home, and I am still waiting for the certification process to come to an end so that I can take the NCLEX.

This past Friday I received an email from CGFNS (the agency that does the certification) with great news; they had received the last official document that I need from the Philippines. The excitement was overwhelming, and just as it was beginning to dissipate, I received the second email; the document was incomplete, my birth date was missing. After circles of telephone conversations I found out it wasn’t that simple.

You see, what I needed from the Philippines was a letter from the PRC (Professional Regulation Commission), stating that I was not eligible to sit for the nursing licensure exam in the Philippines because I am not a citizen. What CGFNS received was a latter stating that I, a citizen of the Philippines, holding a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, did not sit for the nursing licensure exam, though I was eligible.

It took over three months for the PRC to send that letter, and now I will wait again. Will I be able to complete this before my twelve month CGFNS application expiration date?

 

Fierce January 9, 2011

Filed under: Mah Baybays — krisedja @ 1:12 pm
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In the last few weeks I have really noticed how fiercely independent The Baby has become. While Lucy never really went through the ‘terrible two’s’, The Baby sometimes has a severe case of it. She is adamant about what she is or is not going to wear, right down to her undies. She vehemently fights tooth and nail for her independence.

For instance, Lucy is 14 months ahead of The Baby in age, and she can surely dress herself. I’m not sure exactly when she acquired this ability, but it was just a transition she went through, and she has no issues with the task. The Baby on the other hand, I can say, sometime early this fall, started to INSIST that “ME DO IT!” She could dress herself before that point, but it was no big deal, there was never a fight, and she would wear whatever she was given. Now, on the other hand, she refuses any help other than verbal directions about putting things on so that they are not backwards.

Tonight she was tired. No nap this afternoon, it was getting a little past ‘normal’ bed time, and she was obviously exhausted. Enter temper tantrum. She is the first little of mine to ever throw an all out bloody-murder-screaming-flailing-arms-kicking fit.

It just amazes me how different siblings can be. My three loves are about as different as they could possibly be without coming from different ends of the world. Sometimes I wonder how the two girls can not be more alike, considering how close they are in age, in addition to the fact that I maintain the same expectations from both of them. It just goes to show that really, we are all made with the touch of the Master’s hand.

While Lucy has a very strong personality and she is very independent, I could not use fierce to describe her. Fierce pretty much sums up The Baby in one word.

Fierce- Marked by unrestrained zeal or vehemence; furiously active or determined.

That’s my baby!

 

Yeah. It’s Like That. January 6, 2011

Filed under: Rants and Raves — krisedja @ 2:41 am
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Last night I just could not fall asleep no matter what. I was awake until 5 am, I’m sure, before I finally hit the pillow. I set my cellphone for an alarm, but was pretty convinced when I did that that it would be a useless gesture as I was likely to sleep right through it. I was right. I was determined that I would make it to class today, on time. I was about ten minutes late. And there was no class. Surprise surprise.

I have to gather some signatures for my application for graduation, so I started that process and then decided to go wait for the dean of nursing because I had some questions. On my research. On my tuition fees that continuously increase. On my duty assignment when the other seniors begin their intense board reviews.

I spoke to our level coordinator the other day about my duty assignment. I explained that I really had two options that were preferable to me. One being go to a smaller comunity hospital with CI ‘A’, and the second, staying in the medical ward at a regional hospital with CI ‘B’. She was supposed to talk to the others involved in this process of decision making and let me know today. She was not at school. Surprise surprise.

I was informed this morning that we had a meeting for all graduating seniors regarding officer elections for graduation and I should be there. As a rule, I never go to those meetings, and I don’t plan on sticking around to partake in the commencement ceremony, so I didn’t join in the festivities. While I was waiting in the nursing office, a classmate came in and advised me that I was being called there because I was nominated as an officer. You see there are ten positions to be filled, and exactly ten people that are eligible to fill said positions based on their GPA. I asked him to please let them know that I would not be joining as I will not be here for the commencement.

And what’s up with me being eligible based on my GPA? Someone else mentioned to me later in the day that I was a candidate for cum laude and all I could do was give a blank stare since my GPA is lingering only slightly above 3.1 due to the wonderful grading system that they have here, which seems to be 100% subjective.

At any rate, everyone seems to be devastated that I will not be staying for commencement, but I have to say, I still have no interest in joining. This is number three for me now and it has been a long hard road living away from my loved ones, in an unknown, unfamiliar world. I know that should make all the more reason to make a big deal and go through the traditional motions, but really, I am in some kind of survival coping mode, where the only thing I can think about is finishing my requirements and getting home, to the place that I know. Yeah. It’s like that.

 
 

Blank September 16, 2010

Filed under: Inside My Mind — krisedja @ 2:05 pm
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Blank. That’s the only word I can come up with to describe my week. I have just been lethargic and lazy and… well… blank. Zero motivation.

I described it to someone yesterday as if I almost feel like I am falling into a depression, but I don’t feel ‘depressed’. It’s just the feeling of not wanting to do anything.

I have had a lot of news from home recently that has really stressed me out. At the same time, last week’s duty experience left me feeling like a glorified vital signs taker, and in addition to that, a teacher basically told me that even if I deserved it, I would never get an ‘A’ at this school. Even.if.I.deserved.it.

My classmates get away with murder here compared to the expectations and practices back home, and until now, I have really been working hard to do the right thing, be a good student, set a good example.

But that is hard when you can see the work that you put into something would be an A- at the least, but probably an A back home and here they are telling you you got a B+/A-. They won’t give me my actual grade. They said something about it not being fair until everyone is finished. It’s not fair that I have to wait for people who aren’t ready when they are supposed to be, and don’t care.  We are coming up on only four weeks left in this semester, and out of 70+/- students, more than half still need to make their presentations.

I go to a Christian school where there is absolutely zero academic integrity. ZERO.

Some of the faculty have said that it’s because the school has a redemptive philosophy, that is why they are so accommodating, and always giving ‘special considerations.’

But I wonder, what is that really teaching the student population here?

To me it seems like a message that it’s OK if you are irresponsible, simply because you feel like it.

I haven’t been to duty or class all week this week, and right now iI feel like skipping out on the next three weeks because, you know, hey, it doesn’t matter, because nobody fails at this school. That’s the motto, it seems, among my classmates and others.

I have lost my drive to become better.

Not better than everyone else, but better than I was yesterday or the day before.

I don’t have a desire to be challenged anymore.

I have lost my fire.

Today I got out of bed and decided I must go over to the school and get some things done. I tried to do it the other day, but there was no power, and while classes hadn’t been canceled, there was nobody to be found in any of the administrative offices. Today was better. I did take care of many of the things that were on my list for school, and I have a reason to be awake and ready for the day early tomorrow morning. It’s hard to do anything when there is just no feeling of purpose. How can you be the change you want to see when you see there just will not be change?

I know this is just complete babble to you. I’m just trying to clear some mental clutter and end my day with some motivation in my belly for tomorrow. I’m trying to decide that tomorrow will be a good day. I want to have fire again. I’m trying to get back to that place. Since tomorrow is Friday, and it is only a half day of classes, I’m hoping that I will use that motivation I am trying to gather and keep it going, even if only simmering on a back burner. It think I should just take this weekend as connection time with my littles and be reminded of why I am here and what is really important to me. I am going to stop thinking and just do it.

 

Mr. Lizardo September 5, 2010

Filed under: Adventures,Inside My Mind,Mabuhay Philippines — krisedja @ 5:04 am
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This is going to be a rambling post. A distraction of sorts for myself as I am breaking from answering assignment questions about the right to life being fundamental and ‘alienable’. Yes, that is the word used in the question; ‘alienable’. I, however, took it upon myself to use the word ‘inalienable’ in my answer. I hope I don’t lose points.

I have a tendency to be easily startled. I am not fond of insects or any kind of breathing thing that has more than two legs, or no legs at all, and is not considered to be a four-legged-family-member (read dog or cat). So here I was a few minutes ago writing away, shaking the $10 plastic table that serves as our eating and meeting place in the house, when an opened package of cookies was jiggling in such a way that the little torn piece looked like some kind of living thing that might eat me. Even though it was smaller than my thumb. Can you see why my husband likes to jump out and scare me? I would be entertained too, I can’t lie.

I get up and take said package to the small bag serving as a garbage can for the evening, when all of a sudden something in the bag jumps and scares the life out of me for at least an hour   30 seconds. You see, internet, we have a plethora of ‘house lizards’ here in this part of the world that I am calling home these days. They are really just little geckos, like the famous Geico gecko, but they are still not my favorite friends. As a matter of fact, when I first relocated here, if there was a lizard anywhere in the house, you would likely find me standing on a chair screaming. Because surely, the lizard was going to come and eat me.

That was then.

Now, I am a lot less fearful of these little creatures, and I will even go so far as to say that I might be able to actually shoo one out of the house without any equipment in the coming days. Just not yet. But seriously, they are everywhere here, and I had to make the decision to be gecko-friendly, or have an all night long fear-fest. I chose to get friendly. But, I am still easily startled, and this little guy hiding in the bag scared me.

I can see I am going to have a long night ahead of me because I slept until about 2:00 this afternoon in anticipation for my noc duty (3rd shift) that is actually a PM duty (3p-11p) tomorrow. I love it when they post schedules the same day that they become effective.