Thursday, August 5, 2010

Didactic no longer!!

It's been a long, strange trip but my didactic days are finally OVER!! I could not be happier! I took my last final on August 3. Year one of nurse anesthesia school has come to a close and I now have 16 more months ahead of me...clinical residency. I've been told that this is where we actually learn the great art of actually administering anesthesia! I can't wait! I feel so blessed that I've made it this far. Originally I couldn't believe I actually got an interview to nurse anesthesia school, then I couldn't believe I actually got accepted, now I can't believe I've survived a whole year! CRNA school is definitely NOT for the weak or faint of heart. It's a marathon, not a sprint. It's the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, but they always say the best things in life are usually the things that are hardest to come by. Now, I get to enjoy 3 wonderful weeks of summer before moving into the clinical phase (phase 2) of my program!

On August 16 Chris and I are going to Disney World for 5 nights! We are so excited! It's a much-needed and well-deserved vacation for both of us! Chris has been incredibly supportive of me this past year as I achieve my dream of becoming a nurse anesthetist. I could not ask for a better husband and best friend.

Stay tuned! Pics to follow....

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sweet Summertime

Well, here I am again 5 weeks later. I managed to pull through the Summer 1 semester, but it was definitely SUPER hard work!! I was forced to study harder than ever before (from dawn to dusk!), but it was easier for me (mentally) knowing that I only had to do it for a period of 5 weeks straight instead of 16!! I'm currently on my one weekend break (I'm calling it a "leave") before starting my second 5-week "summer 2" semester. After that's (hopefully) successfully completed, I get the privilege of moving on to the much-coveted clinical residency period! Yahoooooo!! I can't wait! This past 5 weeks consisted mainly of learning about the anesthesia machine and equipment, along with various other topics in pediatrics, airway management and fluid and electrolyte management. It is so nice feeling like I am starting to see the light at the end of this very long tunnel! Better yet, we get to go on our Disney World vacation in Florida in 6 weeks!! That is going to be an AWESOME time!!

At the beginning of the previous summer session, I often found it relaxing to go outside in the shade to study on my front or back porch/patio. I made friends with an adorable little baby frog one morning and he visited me for several days afterwards.

Size Reference

As the summer progressed and it got much hotter with highs in the 90s with 50-60% humidity, I had to resort to more "aggressive measures" to stay "cool" outside while enjoying some Vitamin D therapy (AKA Sunshine!)! I engineered a little setup involving my study lawn chair, a mister and a ladder. It was difficult positioning the mister in just the right, accurate way. Too close and my notebook and papers got wet, but too far away and the water would evaporate before even reaching me and I would lose all benefit of the whole "evaporative cooling" concept! Another factor I had to incorporate was the speed and direction of the wind. At any rate, this is what I came up with...

My adorable husband, Chris, gave me flowers and a thoughtful card for "Just because you're my wife" day! He's so good to me, and has been an incredible source of support and reassurance for me this entire past year! I'm the luckiest girl in the world and couldn't ask for a better husband and best friend! Thanks, Chris!!

While school is VERY stressful, I've found that it's helpful to take time to appreciate the humorous things in life. While I was driving to class one morning I saw this car next to me on the highway! Yes, I know it's VERY dangerous and really stupid to be taking a picture of someone else on the highway while driving, but I couldn't resist! So, here it is....apparently a person who had "truck envy" and converted the back of their vehicle into a truck bed!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Wow...what a ride!!!

Ok, so it's been 7 months since I last posted anything if that doesn't say something about the intensity of my life in CRNA school!!!

A little recap....

The fall semester (my first semester in CRNA school) ended well with me successfully completing my finals and progressing in the program to spring semester! YIPPEE!! The relief of that semester being over was unimaginable. I was on campus that semester and I missed my boyfriend, Chris, and our beautiful new home together in Tulsa SO much! I couldn't wait to move back home IMMEDIATELY!!! Needless to say, the minute my last final was over, I raced back to my apartment in Fort Worth, did a complete deep-cleaning (the fastest in my entire life...took only 2 hours!!), turned in my keys to the office, filled up my tank with gas and headed HOME TO TULSA...for good!!! That day was one of the best days of my life.

My 3 weeks off from school over Christmas break were very exciting as well. My boyfriend, Chris, proposed to me over the break and we kind of just ran off and got married while I was still on break! We got married on January 3, 2010 at a quaint little art studio in Skiatook, OK. It was snowing that day which made it BEAUTIFUL!

Here are a few pictures from our special day....

Art Studio in Skiatook, OK (the site)

The happiest day of my life!!

Getting ready!!

Mr. and Mrs. Wall

"You may kiss the bride!"

The Cake

Cutting the cake

The happy couple

We left for Chicago on our Honeymoon on January 6 and came back home on Saturday, January 9 just in time to start spring semester on Monday, January 11! We chose Chicago for our Honeymoon because we have both always wanted to visit Chicago (so much to see and do there!) and it's a relatively cheap trip which fits well with this poor nurse anesthesia student who's living off of student loans! We had a great time! It was very cold and snowy there but we made due and still managed to pretty much walk everywhere. Where we couldn't walk there were taxis available. We stayed at the Hilton on Magnificent Mile. There is a TON of shopping there on "Magnificent Mile!" Also, the food in Chicago was AMAZING! So yummy!! We went to Shedd Aquarium, saw Millennium Park and even went up to the top of the Hancock Building.

Here are a few pictures from our Chicago honeymoon trip...

View of Chicago from our hotel room

Great hot cocoa!!

Their very own Hershey's store!

The World's largest Hershey's Bar

Goofy Hubby!! I love him!

Me and the beautiful "Windy City"

How Chicago does hot dogs!

Chicago style pizza...the best pizza I've ever had!

The Original Pancake House...great breakfast!!

The famous John Hancock building

The John Hancock building at ground level looking up

View of Chicago from the top of the John Hancock building

Millennium Park

The famous Cloud Gate at Millennium Park

Ice skating rink at Millennium Park

Chris and I at Shedd Aquarium

Giant Japanese Spider Crab! Ewwww....

Australian Orange Lobster

The world's ugliest fish

Strolling through Grant Park

Good times!!

The Natural History Museum

The LEGO Store!!

LEGO Dinosaur

Life-sized LEGO Man!

LEGO Darth Vader

ZANIES Comedy Club...we went here our last night in Chicago!

Needless to say, my Christmas break was amazing! I got engaged, married the love of my life and had a wonderful Honeymoon to boot...all in 3 weeks time!

I started spring semester in CRNA school on January 11. I didn't think CRNA school could get any more mentally exhausting than the first semester, but boy was I wrong! We hit the ground running from week 1 and it never really let up! I hit a major mental slump around week 10 or 12. I had what I call a "minor meltdown!" I was so mentally drained and tired of not having a life that I felt like I just wanted to quit! At some point hearing "keep going, Angela, it's so worth it!" just doesn't cut it anymore. I felt as if I wasn't sure why I was doing this whole "CRNA thing" anymore. Being in the thick of it day in and day out for so long was causing me to lose sight of why I wanted to do this in the first place. I was starting to give up. Chris, along with a few other select friends I chose to confide in, gave me some major words of encouragement and simply helped me to refocus on the big picture again. Sometimes we all need that from time to time. Fortunately, I found my "second wind" and pushed on through finals...and made it!! So now I'm continuing on to the dreaded summer semester. It's bittersweet to me. On one hand, this means I'm on the downhill slide with only 10 weeks to go before I can move on to the much-coveted clinical portion of my program. On the other hand, summer semester is supposed to be the very most difficult, mentally-demanding, applicable semester yet, where we will most likely lose our highest percentage of students to attrition (or so I've been told). As always, there's so much to lose...and I guess this fear of failure and all that I will lose is what motivates me the most to keep pressing forward!

Currently I'm on my 2-week break before summer semester begins. However, my break is nearly over as I begin this summer semester Monday (May 24, 2010). I haven't done anything too terribly exciting. I've managed to sleep 9-10 hours nearly every night, catch up with some dear friends and family I have been severely neglecting for the past 4-5 months, cleaned my house, watched several movies, caught up on my shows and just generally RELAXED. It's been absolutely WONDERFUL and necessary!! Oh yeah...I should take this time to mention that I've booked a 4-day Disney vacation for Chris and I after I complete this summer semester in August! We are both super excited about it and it gives me something to look forward to! After this full year of pure HELL is over with I'm sure I can say I deserve it. Plus, I've been told that we won't get another break for the rest of the program so the final 2-week summer break in August is supposed to be the best time to take a vacation if you're going to.

Wish me luck as I head back into the "trenches" once again. It's only 10 weeks this time around after all. I can do anything for 10 weeks....right????

Sunday, October 25, 2009


The beginning of "round three" testing began this past Friday with an Anatomy and Physiology test. I studied very hard for this test as the material seemed more difficult, extensive and involved than previous material. Apparently my study habits paid off as I somehow pulled off an "A" on the test! Even more exciting is the fact that if I keep going the direction I have been going I may somehow be able to acquire an "A" in the class whereas I was sitting with a firm "B" beforehand! I did not think I had a chance at that but now it isn't too far out of my reach. YIPPEE!! Pharmacology test 3 is this Wednesday and Chemistry round 3 follows on November 9 to complete the entire round three of testing.

Chris came down to Fort Worth Friday to see me this weekend. His timing could not have been more perfect. I was exhausted from studying and needed a break desperately. I made myself relax and not even look at my study material all day Friday and Saturday. Instead Chris and I spent some quality time together. We enjoyed basic, simple things together such as going to Sam's, Starbuck's for coffee and Barnes and Noble to read/buy some magazines. Saturday we took a tour of TCU's campus together, went to the Fort Worth Zoo and saw a movie. I have not had a chance to tour the campus of the school I attend 3 times a week so felt like that was something I'd like to do. Also, Chris and I aren't from Fort Worth so we wanted to see some area attractions and heard the Zoo was nice! Sunday (today) we ate lunch at Spaghetti Warehouse downtown Dallas and went to the Dallas Aquarium. This weekend was a BLAST!!! I now feel refreshed and ready to continue on diligently with my studying (which begins again tonight!!)

Here's a couple of pics of the TCU campus (the college I attend):

Here are a few pics from our trip to the Fort Worth Zoo:

These were the cutest critters EVER!!

Kangaroos just chillin' out


The Zoo decorated for Halloween!

Neat decorated pumpkins

Here are pics from our trip to the Dallas Aquarium today!!

Cleaning the tank

Pipe Fish

Sword Shark

Bull Sharks (not a good pic)


Other Critters:

Chris and a Cheetah

A Couple of interesting landmarks we found downtown Dallas:

Hard Rock Cafe'