School, etc.

The hospital that I am working at now in Madison, WI has an academic partnership with an Illinois school for a fully online RN to BS completion program.  Instead of the typical price per credit hour, they have a deal for us that is one set price per class, no matter how many credit hours it is.

I had planning on going for an RN to MSN program (either family nurse practitioner and then getting the post-master’s Women’s Health NP certificate or straight up Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner program) to save time and money, but in the long run, I will save more money if I take advantage of the deal with my current employer and this school, and then do a completely separate MSN, DNP, or PA program.

Physician’s Assistant programs are tempting in that they do not have a set specialty that they are graduating with a degree in, so it’s more open for if I were to ever want to change my focus sometime during my career.  Also, PAs can help in operating rooms during surgeries.  This sounds pretty good to me.

BUT… as a nurse practitioner, I would be able to practice independently, and not need a physician to sign off on my work, prescriptions, etc. AND… I’d still be a nurse.  The one hang-up I’m having about nurse practitioner programs, is that they’re specialized – internal medicine, family practice, pediatrics, women’s health, neonatal, so if I were to want to change my focus during my career, I’d likely have to go back for more education and get additional certifications to change my care area.

I’m not yet sure what I will end up doing after the Bachelor’s completion program, I have many options.  The world of nurse practitioners is in the middle of some great change where many, of not most of all NP programs are changing from Master’s to DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) so there’s more unknown right now in that field.

I have thought about a more general course of study for an NP degree, like family practice or internal medicine, but then if I want to do only women’s health, the post-master’s certificate programs I have seen are all at least 1 academic year long!

So many things to think about… I am hoping to be able to pursue that dream that I had a while ago where I was a women’s health practitioner (in the dream I was an NP, but either NP or PA) and also had my diabetes educator certification so I could work with families during pregnancies involving diabetes, and general women’s health as well.

If anyone has any thoughts about graduate education – NP, PA, MSN, DNP, etc. please leave me a comment.  I’m feeling very lost as to what kind of program I should pursue after I get my Bachelor’s, so any insights would be appreciated.

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Diabetes-Related Sadness

So I am back in Madison, WI now, closer to family.  Have a new job here that’s going pretty well so far.  BUT – when it rains, it pours.  After I started this job here, I landed an interview for a DIABETES job here in town.  Now I would never leave the job I just started, even for the diabetes job, but I figured since both were part time, I’d apply, and see if I could make both work.

I got an interview, I thought the interview went REALLY well, but no word yet and it’s been 2 weeks since the interview.  I’m pretty sure I didn’t get the job.  I am so sad!

My current career dream is to become a CDE, AND either a Physician’s Assistant, or Nurse Practitioner in Women’s Health, and work with women with diabetes through conception, pregnancy, post-partum, etc.  Not sure how that’s ever going to happen, but as of now it’s the ultimate goal.

I also applied recently for a scholarship to the Diabetes Unconference.  I did not get selected for a scholarship so I can’t afford to go to that… MAJOR bummer!

I plan on applying for a Children with Diabetes Friends for Life Conference scholarship when those are open, so maybe that will work out.

For now though, there’s a bunch of bummer stuff going on in my D world.

#DSMA tonight was good, talking about burn-out both with diabetes itself, and with social media / diabetes social media.  Well, I’m kind of depressed about the diabetes things that haven’t gone my way recently.  I wouldn’t say it’s burn-out, but more frustration and depression about wanting to do more, be more, live more, and not being able to.

More later.  I’m going to try to start getting back into my blog as an outlet, and especially now that I’ve become more active with the weekly #DSMA chats.

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“Dealing with Diabetes Burnout” by Ginger Vieira

I started reading this book by the wonderful Ginger Vieira earlier today.  I’m only on page 31, but I’m already sitting here in tears.  I am not a person who asks for help – never have been.  I have always been one who does everything her self, and hates to feel like I can’t do what I need to on my own.

I feel so alone.  I feel alone living in Indiana far from all my friends and family, I feel alone in the diabetes world, I feel alone.  I lost 2 aunts to diabetes far too young.  One was in her 40s, and the other in her early 50s.  Because of that and being the only diabetic left in the family, I have a hard time talking to anyone in my family about diabetes.  My friends here in Indiana are mainly work friends, and I don’t want to bring that drama to my work friends.

I’m scared.  Having those 2 aunts die so young of diabetes or diabetes-related things scares the ever living heck out of me.  People reply with their annoying platitudes such as “the technology is so much better now”; “but you take care of yourself”, etc.  I don’t care – it still scares me to think of what the future may or may not hold for me.

I need someone to talk to, but I can’t talk to someone I may be seeing in real life.  Does that make sense?  I need to connect with some people who “get it” but that I don’t have to fear judgement from or fear seeing them in public.  I need a bit of anonymity with my emotions, fears, etc.  Kind of odd that I’m posting this all on here, but I guess I need to feel like I’m being heard by people who understand, without having to see and REALLY connect with them.  Really connecting is hard.

So my dream is to be a CDE.  If I have these moments where I feel like I emotionally and mentally can’t handle my own diabetes, how will I be able to help other people handle their diabetes?  I feel like I NEED to be a CDE, but SHOULD I be one?

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So it’s been almost a year since I last wrote a post on here.  Unfortunately, nothing much has changed.  I am still living in Indiana, working on the mother / baby unit at a local hospital.

I have had a couple interviews for endocrine clinic / office / diabetes jobs, but nothing played out.

One of the interviews went super well, but they were looking for more an endocrine nurse for hormone therapies, growth hormones, testosterone injections than for a diabetes nurse, and the manager felt that I wouldn’t be happy in that position not being very involved with diabetes care – BOO!

I have been getting more involved with a local Adults with Type 1 group here in Indy, and that’s great, but I’m still having a hard time not feeling so defeated about NOTHING happening with the diabetes jobs thing.

I have started another blog that essentially will be my “Part-Time Caregivers’ Guide to Kids with Type 1 Diabetes”.  This way, I get it OUT THERE, it’s FREE, and there’s the potential for an interactive element to it where people can comment, ask questions, etc. instead of something printed on paper where you can’t ask questions and get a response back.

This blog is in its infancy right now, and hopefully in the next week or so I will really get it going.  For now, it’s an intro. and not much more since most of the files I need to upload are on my computer at home, and I’m not there at the moment.

Anyway, the new blog is:

Please feel free to share this with people you know that night have a use for it, and as always, comments, recommendations, questions, edits are very welcome.

Stay tuned… more to come!

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I had a couple weird dreams earlier tonight.  The first was that I got 2 certified letters from 2 of the diabetes clinics I sent my guide to, and they both were praising me for my efforts, passions, and they both offered me jobs!  HA!  If only that dream were real.

The other dream, far more realistic, but no idea where it came from was that I went to a TCBY store and they had Nutella frozen yogurt.  A very delightful dream until I realized that I have never actually seen Nutella frozen yogurt.

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2 Weeks

Today marks 2 weeks since I sent out those packets I mentioned in my last post.  I know they were all received that following day or the day after that, but I have yet to receive any responses back.  I’m getting anxious: did they read my letter and guide? did they just laugh at how poorly written it is?  are they thinking about if they’re interested or not?  will I ever hear anything back from any of them?

I put myself out there for my dream, and to not hear ANYTHING yet… well, it’s hard to be patient.  It’s ONLY been 2 weeks, I might still hear back, yet also I might not.  I will absolutely be sad if I don’t hear anything back from anyone.  Any response,even if it’s a no thank you would be great because that means someone would have at least read about my idea.

No other news beyond that, work has been INSANE this month with a serious baby boom at my hospital.  TONS of babies being born, and LOTS of twins this month too!  I have been very busy with work, sleep, work, maybe eat something, work, oh, and maybe some more sleep before another night of work…

I am still searching for diabetes jobs mainly in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana – might be time to consider broadening my search to the whole midwest.

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Jumping In

I posted a week or so ago about this guide that I wrote for families with diabetes.

I just took a HUGE leap of faith, and mailed out packets with a cover letter describing the guide and my connection to diabetes, a presentation bound copy of the guide, and my resume to EIGHT (8!!) pediatric diabetes / endocrine clinics in northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin (Oh, and 1 in Indiana).

My hope is that at the very least, I get some “thank you for your passion and idea, but we’re not interested” notes back; in the middle, maybe I can work with some of these people to get this guide out there where it can be used; and best case scenario, I get a job out of this kind of professional cold-calling of diabetes clinics.

I am so passionate about wanting to share my adventures and experiences with diabetes as well as my LOVE of caring for people and connecting with people.  I want to do ANYTHING I can to make living with this disease a little less… well, crappy.  Let’s be frank here: diabetes is NOT an easy disease to live with.  You can do everything “right” and still have numbers that aren’t.  You can follow a “diabetic diet” and still gain or lose more weight than is ideal. You can exercise to be more healthy overall, and have the opposite effect because exercise can cause CRAZY blood sugars.

Having lived with diabetes for almost 20 years, and having worked in the medical field in various capacities for 7 years, I want to bring it all together and do whatever I can to connect with families facing diabetes day in and day out, and bring hope to them.

My parents and I went to a well known Chinese Bistro chain restaurant this past weekend while they were in town, and my fortune said “Your future is bright and filled with happiness”.  Does that mean now, or do I have to also exercise some patience here and hold tight a little longer than I’d like?

Even if nothing REAL comes of this kind of outreach, well… no, no negative thoughts!  Something good will come out of this, even if it’s a small something good and positive!

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