Sunday, July 29, 2007

SIXTEEN HOURS DOWN, FOUR TO GO...I finished my long continuing ed (CEU) course today that was worth 16 hours toward my 20 CEU's that have to be done in addition to my RN refresher course. I felt like I had really accomplished something when I printed up that certificate this afternoon! The nice thing was that I didn't fit the category of the slowest to finish taking the course either. The course was on the Psychosocial Needs of the Older Adult. They made the point that forgetfulness is a natural part of aging and is not necessarily a sign that you are or will be getting one of the dementia diseases. It is natural for your brain to process at a slower rate. I kept being afraid it would take me a really long time to get through this course, but it took about 11 hours. That was the next to fastest choice in the group they gave. What a relief! I do know that my attention span is not nearly as good as it once was. I have to back up and reread things that I didn't before. It is humbling to have limitations that were never there before, but a relief to know that they aren't worse. A few years ago I would never have believed I would be able to do this.

Now I am up later than I should be on a Saturday night so I had better get to bed soon...and to sleep. My next few weeks are not heavily booked. I'm trying to think of the people I need to have lunch with before I leave town...and meet with them so we are caught up with each other. Three weeks is a long time to be gone. Adieu for now.

Friday, July 27, 2007

NEED A LIFT?...Here's a great sermon I downloaded from a favorite preacher of mine--Joe Novenson--from July 8 while he was visiting at Park Cities Presbyterian Church in Dallas, TX. If you like what you hear, there is more where that came from at the church where he is pastor--Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church, Lookout Mountain, TN (I think. It is close to the border of GA, but I think it is in TN) It is near Chattanooga, TN. His illustrations are so graphic, they really help me "get" the gospel! Here is the link:
today it is very convenient to get to. after Sun., it will be in the archives.

I ALMOST FEEL COOL...I'm sitting on the couch typing my blog on my new laptop computer (with Windows Vista...not a Mac), listening to Pandora radio (never mind that it is Josh Groban and Il Divo) finishing my morning yogurt (laced with bran). So the truth is that I'm not really all that cool. :) I just feel that way because I somehow have learned to function on a computer (when it does NOT come naturally). I have learned how to navigate on the internet now and can actually find information that I need. Now, I am enjoying this lovely music.

But just to show how totally uncool I really am, when I was in Best Buy a few days ago to get something tweaked on my new computer that wasn't broken after all, I was asking about a mouse...where they were in the store. My mind went blank on what they were called. All I could think of was turtle or frog:) I was describing what I wanted and told them the words turtle and frog (knowing they weren't the right words). When they realized I was talking about a mouse, it was all they could do to keep from bursting out laughing. Aren't brains weird? I know it isn't just mine. ha!

I'm almost done with my first online course. It is for 16 continuing education units (CEU's) to fulfill the needed 20 required in addition to my RN refresher course that I will be taking in August. It is a very interesting course on Psychosocial Needs of the Aging. I am seeing all kinds of applications to people in my church as well as the two aging adults in our house:) It covers a lot of helpful information re what is normal in terms of memory/forgetfulness, mental status (depression, etc.) as well as a lot of tangible ideas for help in many of the areas affected by the problems of aging...some the result of "maladaptive lifestyle coping choices" made throughout their lives. (Don't you just love semantics? They make horrible things sound so normal. Or to put it another way, they can make insanity sound sane when it is anything but!) That can cover all of us! Whether it is in the areas of lifestyle (alcohol, drug abuse), not having a broadspectrum of friendships in all ages, eating too much or simply not asking for help when you are feeling overwhelmed because you think you should be able to cope.

The one about friendships was really interesting. I see that a lot when women (who statistically outlive their men, often stick with their own age group. At a time when they need their close friends, they are sick or dying as well. Often when they need a good support system, they have no close friends left...and don't even know how to relate to people outside of their age group. (That's where the genius of passages like Titus 2 are so helpful. If we have had a lifestyle of spiritual mentoring throughout our lives, we will have learned how to relate to a variety of ages...and will have close friends across age lines.) How many times have we found that obedience to God's commands is really for our benenfit? This is another one of those times when my nursing courses have helped me with my church ministry. I'm glad to be getting back in the saddle again.

Well, I won't ramble on re the outworkings of this interesting course. I know it will be helpful in real life as well as in relating to many patients. Today, I plan to do a few errands. Then return to my course. I'm almost done! It will be so nice to have 16 CEU's done!! I hope your summer is going well. Mine is almost over. I have all my paperwork done for my trip. The books I want/need are arriving this week. Uniforms are washed and ready. Papers are in a folder. I'm as ready as I can be...for Aug. 10. My last minute trip will be one to the library for a batch of audio keep me awake for the drive. Adieu for now.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

BUSY, BUSY, BUSY...I've been so busy since I got home from General Assembly that I haven't had much time to blog. I decided to take some time right now to do it. Before I forget, I have to tell about something funny, not hilarious, that happened while I was there:)

On Thursday of the that week, we went to a women's activity--lunch and fun "seminars" at Independent Presbyterian Church. One of the seminars was called--"Shop Your Closet" and was led by Alexis Ketchum (I hope I spelled everything right) from Franklin, TN. (She goes to the same church as one of my daughters so I don't want to mess up the information.) It was a great seminar--interesting, funny, enjoyable and helpful. I learned a lot. One thing I learned was that we all can wear belts:) I'll bet you didn't know that did you? Well, she demonstrated it for the cynics in the group (moi) and sure enough! Of course, she is thin as a rail, but she said that if you have a tummy, get a wide belt with a big buckle and don't buckle it tight at your waist, let it sit where it is comfortable (and you don't have to keep adjusting it). Then wear it a little loose so it is almost like a V (not that deep) and the buckle "hides" your belly/bulge and the angle of the belt sort of camouflages it. She showed both ways of wearing the belt and her way worked...don't ask me why...or at least all the reasons why. So since G.A. I have been trying on belts when I walk through stores to see how they look/fit. One of these days I may get brave enough to buy one:) A few of my friends and I were joking afterward that if we all come to G.A. next year and a lot of the ladies are wearing belts, we'll know we have Alexis to thank for her influence on all of us:) She had a lot of helpful stuff on putting clothing capsules together and mix and matching things that you aren't used to mixing as well as looking to see what you need to finish off your wardrobe to make it stretch with less clothes. (How to get the most from your clothing dollar.) I'm glad I went.

Since I returned from G.A., I have been working on sorting and getting rid of a lot of stuff here. I'm getting tired of having a lot of things I can't find a place for and decided that this was the summer to do something about it. My daughters have gotten the help of an organizer for me and I look forward to her coming on Wednesday so she can help me out the quandry of where do I start? in some areas.

Meanwhile, we got started working on retirement plans again for down the road and one of the bug-a-boos is my insurance. Due to my youth (the guffaws can stop now), I will not qualify for medicare until age 65 or 66 and that is about 5 more years. I have just enough health issues that I can't go that amount of time without insurance. So the thought of reactivating my RN license came back to my mind and I started investigating what would actually be involved. Since I haven't worked for more than four years, I will have to get an RN refresher course that would qualify for the state of TX. Tracking down all the leads led me to a program that involves three weeks in the Dallas area (most of August) where I can take the course AND do the clinicals. Now I am up to my ears in paperwork, getting ready for all that has to be done between the Board of Nurse Examiners in TX (for my temporary license), checking on airline tickets and on and on. My brain is a bit fogged. I've gotten most of the important wheels in motion. My study materials are in the mail. By tomorrow, most of my forms should be signed, notarized and on their way. Next week, I'll get my CPR card updated (with the required course) and then I'll just be waiting for replies from everyone...with plenty to do in the meantime. Hopefully, all the details will get worked out such as...should I drive and use our car or fly and rent a car? find a place to stay with someone or stay in a motel with my odd a high cost? (my shift will be 6 AM-2 PM for the clinicals) There are a LOT of decisions to make and I don't have the wisdom to make them all...nor does Ron. Fortunately, I can depend on Christ for that, but I also will have to slow down and be quiet long enough to listen...not my strength. I need prayer.

Monday, July 02, 2007

HOW DO YOU PROCESS YOUR POLITICAL BELIEFS?...Are you in your 20's or 30's? Do you have connections with the PCA? Then Craig Dunham at this blog would like to hear from you this week!

He is doing research on an article for a PCA magazine and is wanting information from people like you. He is trying to get to the heart of how people in your/his age group process their beliefs when making political decisions. Look at his blog and see what he is trying to do. He explains himself much better than I can:) I've read some of his articles before and they are rarely predictable...which I like.

Of course, I'm dying to give my opinion, but I didn't make the age cut...drat!

This is a very interesting read. It's not too late to get your comments in. He is adding questions each day this week. I've enjoyed reading it...very thought-provoking. You are sure to find things you will agree AND disagree with. You don't have to be PCA to enter your comments. m