Working as an RN with a Chronic Illness

Working as a nurse is HARD. While TV shows and movies make it look very glamorous and fun, it may not always be that way. It’s often very physically and mentally demanding. Especially to those with chronic illness. You have to be running on all cylinders at all times in order to keep the patients safety and well-being above all else. So what can you do to make working as an RN and having a chronic illness a little easier?

The following are 6 tips to make working while chronically ill more of an option

1. Find alternative ways to deal with the pain- There are just going to be days when you have to work and your pain is unbearable, and when you are on shift taking narcotics is not an option. So you will need to learn alternative ways to deal with the pain. Like deep breathing, meditation, or stretching.

2. Dealing with “The Fog” – The Fog is real and can make your workday longer and more frustrating. So you will need to learn to write everything down, even the things you think you would never forget. The truth is when The Fog sets in, you don’t know what you will forget. So to cover yourself make it a habit to just write everything down.

3. Take periodic breaks- It is essential when you are working that you take moments throughout the day for you!! Even if you don’t feel like you have the time you will have to take some time to sit periodically! So try to schedule in breaks off your feet throughout the day. Even if that’s just to sit while you chart, or make a call to the physician. Those breaks will make your day much more doable!!

4. Make time to eat and hydrate!- It is imperative that even when it seems like there is absolutely no time in the day to eat or drink that you make time to do so. So take your snacks and bottle(s) of water with you to work. This will ensure that you at least have food and drink on hand in case you don’t have time to run to get anything.

5. Take time to rest on your days off- Even though it might not be the most ideal way to spend your time off, you need to rest. If you want to make it through your long shifts, you have to take time on your days off to rest and recoup!

6. Ask for help – You may not want to share your illness with your coworkers and that’s okay. But when you are struggling or getting behind, ask for help!! There is no reason you have to drown when others can help! This applies to work and home.

These tips will not guarantee that you will be able to keep working. However, they will make your days at work a little easier. Healthcare professionals are known for putting their own needs behind those who they are caring for. However, if you want to continue working you will need to take time and focus on you! Even if the things you do are small it will make your shifts easier in the long run. And your career longer lasting.

With Love,

Amber

The Power of Perpetual Thanksgiving

It is always an interesting thing to me when November rolls around and I start seeing the inevitable “no-shave November”, National Adoption month,  and Lung Cancer Awareness month memes all over my social media. Did you also happen to know that November holds the illustrious marker as Adopt a Senior Pet Awareness Month, National Pepper Month, and (definitely not in order of importance…) Sweet Potato Awareness month? Who knew?

Among all these awareness titles, most often I come across the proverbial “30 days of thanks” in honor of Thanksgiving; and while I am thankful (pun intended) that this is a ‘thing’, I am also sad that it’s a thing seemingly only when we have a holiday to celebrate it. Because the truth of the matter is, thanksgiving is much more potent when we celebrate it every month, every day, even yes… hourly. In fact, I would argue that thanksgiving is perhaps one of the most important things we can do to keep ourselves happy and healthy- emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically!

Thanksgiving (not the holiday) is not something to celebrate just once a year- it is a mindset… no, better yet… a HEARTset that we should celebrate and exercise all the time.

Study after study, from the medical world down to spiritual gurus, holy books, and psychiatrists alike show that an attitude of thanks is hugely beneficial to one’s health. As a Jesus-lovin’ Christian I wholeheartedly agree!

It is easy to give thanks when life is good and pleasant. Things are going well. The proverbial “Attitude of Gratitude” is easy when the going is smooth. But what about when the goin’ gets tough?

The truly tough get to celebrating thanksgiving.

There is NEVER nothing to be thankful for… never. Often some of the most harrowing stories of martyrs or trials and tribulations have the brightest examples of people choosing thanksgiving over desperation or worry.

Yes, we have a choice. We can choose fear, anxiety, worry, frustration, sadness, etc over so very many things. Bills are coming due, a child is having trouble in school, our personal life is fraught with turmoil, our bodies are not cooperating or working the way we’d like. Yes… all these things are real. They are here, they affect us greatly. And yet, there is always something to be grateful for. Always.

One of my favorite Bible verses right now is in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV) “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I love that God’s WILL for me is to simply rejoice and give thanks in ALL circumstances. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Today I want to challenge you to take a minute and take a look around. Are you in a low place or a high point? Make note of it.

Now take this verse to heart. In ALL circumstances choose an attitude of thanksgiving… seek out and find reasons to be thankful. Look for opportunities, however small, to show and tell and express thanks. It may be as simple as being able to take a breath without pain, or being alive for the day, listening to birds outside, or watching the snow fall- after all, not many of us are winning the lottery everyday! But I promise you’ll be surprised at how much your heart is lightened by the change in perspective with the attitude alteration. There is power in the habit of perpetual thanksgiving! I encourage you to get into the habit today and everyday!

Living Intentionally Fearlessly Truthfully

I pray blessing over you and encourage you to LIFT today!

~Bethany

Bethany L. Douglas

Christian, Wife, Mom, Nurse, Author, Speaker

Find me at www.bethanyldouglas.com

I pray you are blessed and able to LIFT today!

My Favorite Black Friday Deals!!

Black Friday Shopping has been a favorite thing of mine for many years. This year however it was done all on the computer. Being sick this year really put a damper on my Thanksgiving dinner with my family and my shopping. But that is just part of living the life I live. I do have to share some of the deals that I found that I am super excited about.

I did a little shopping for myself as well as my family. I wont be posting the gifts I found for my family because they do read this blog and I do not want to ruin their surprises. I think my favorite things I got I actually found on Jane.com. I had never really shopped there but they had some amazing deals. Are you familiar with Jane.com? I was not until i recently saw it mentioned on someones instastory.  Basically Jane.com is a website for all sorts of companies to post their items. Its kind of like renting a both in retail space only online. So you can literally find anything at this one stop shop website. I found electronics like headphones and charges for my electronics. I found clothes of course, and I found all sorts of fun things. The only downfall is that if you buy multiple items from different vendors you do have to pay shipping to each different vendor.

Now that I have explained Jane.com I will post some of thbe deals that I found. I will start with the items I found on Jane.com

First I got a 10Ft bungee changer for my Iphone, for $3.99. They are available for Iphones and Samsung phones.

I also found some great deals on t-shirts. Not that exciting however necessary.

First is the Long Boyfriend Pocket Tee, in sizes S-2XL. I got one for $12.99

And I also got two Hi-Low Oversized Tees. They are available in size S- 2XL. I got them for $9.99 each.

This next one I am super excited about. It is a 22 piece makeup brush set from Coastal Scents .I read the reviews and they were Fantastic!!! Normally a brush set of this size would cost $40 or more. I got this one for $14.99!!! They are still on sale and their whole website is 50-80% off through 11/28/17 at 11:59pm. So definitely go check them out!!

22 Piece Brush Set

The next item I got that I am super super excited about is from A shop on ETSY called BOSSBOOK!! They make business planners, workbooks and notepads!! They can customize them for your business. Right now they are offering FREE SHIPPING on any order over $50! The planner I got is specialized for makeup and beauty consultants. If you have a a team and want planners for all of them they do offer group discounts. And Kaitlyn is great to work with and her customer service is amazing!!! So go check them out!

These are my favorite items that I got on Black Friday and I just wanted to share with you all so you can also go check out these awesome websites.

Hope you all have had a great Thanksgiving and found some amazing Black Friday deals.

Amber

5 Quick Tips to Avoid Illness During Cold and Flu Season

Yes, it may be fall and almost the holiday season. But with those wonderful things also come the bad! Bad for immunocompromised individuals that is. What am I talking about you might ask?!? Cold and Flu season!! For those of us with little to no immune system this can be the worst time of year. As all the germs running rampant make it hard for us to leave the house!! But there are steps we can take to try to prevent getting sick. They may not all be pleasant but if it keeps me out of the hospital I’ll do just about anything.

1. GET A FLU SHOT – The first thing we need to do to prevent the Flu is to get the Flu shot. Now I know not all of us can take the flu shot due to allergies or sensitivities, but those who can should. Some say that the flu shot makes them sick and while that may be true in a few cases, it will not give you the flu. We should also encourage those who we are in close contact with to also get the flu shot. If those we live with and work with don’t get the shot we can still be at risk for getting the Flu.

2. WASH YOUR HANDS- The next best thing we can do to prevent the nasty cold and flu bugs from getting us down is to wash your hands. Wash, wash, wash!!! When should we wash you ask? Well, we should wash our hands after using the bathroom, especially public bathrooms! (Also while I’m on the topic of public bathrooms, you should do your best not to touch the sink knobs or door handle after washing and should use a paper towel to do so!) We should also wash after sneezing or coughing on our hands. As well as after contact with surfaces that others may touch like door knobs, shopping carts etc. If you are unable to use good ole soap and water, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer until you can get to a sink.

3. AVOID CROWDED PUBLIC PLACES- We can also try to avoid going out into public at the peak times. The more people confined into a small space the more likely you will be to get sick. So try to go out first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening!

4. AVOID SICK CONTACTS- We should ask that our friends and family stay away when they are ill. If they know they are sick they should limit contact with those who are immunocompromised! And if they have to be near it is okay to ask them to wear a mask.

5. WEAR A MASK – We can also wear a mask when we go in public. It may not be pleasant or comfortable but it’s another way that we can prevent illness and hospitalization!

Prevention is important for those with low immune systems as well as those who don’t! When it comes down to it sometimes there is no way to prevent illness this time of year. But these five basic tips are quick and easy ways that we can implement to try to prevent contracting an illness. We have to do all that we can to prevent illness because no one else is going to do it for us!! We have to take prevention into our own hands and do all we can to keep ourselves healthy. We all need to do our part to stay healthy!