Sunday, April 17, 2011

Finals Blah and Fitness Action

Ok that wasn't the most creative title that I could think of, but it captures my emotions right now. I'm at university on a Sunday trying to study for an exam which I am sure I could pass. But again, overconfidence is a deadly thing. I just have to look on the bright side, just two more years and I'm finally done with nursing school.

I do have a positive topic in this entry: I'm finally doing something to lose weight! Yup I had enough of being overweight. Sure I'm not really big but I'm not slender either, if you catch my drift. I was planning on taking a run outside since it's already spring but I kept having a lot of excuses not to. A great excuse is that we actually had a heavy snow fall so running outside would be considered a suicide attempt. My other excuse was that it's too late to run whenever I get home and I'm lazy (laziness not being a good excuse, of course). I did manage on the other hand to buy a treadmill. Yup you heard me, I decided to invest in an exercise machine because this way I don't have to pay horrendous gym membership fees and this time I could actually go on the treadmill whenever I want... well unless my ex-brother and his hoodlum friends decide to sleep over.

Anyway this morning I think I had an allergic reaction of some sort. I woke up at the crack of dawn because I felt a lump in my neck. It felt like there was a foreign object dislodged in my neck and it just won't go away even with a sip of water. I was going to go to the emergency room when it finally went away. I was thinking that it could have went into my lungs (which would lead to pneumonia or pulmonary obstruction) or into my stomach (which could possibly lead to bowel obstruction) which would be very bad. Later in the day I realized that I might have had an allergic reaction to the water bottle that I drank from. I noticed that paint was chipping of and I only felt the tightness in my esophagus everytime I took a sip from it.

I also read online that it could also be caused by stress as some people seemed to have the same problem as me. There's nothing physically wrong with their throats but stress is causing their throat muscles to spasm. OR... I could go to a doctor and have it looked at... which I'm not really interested to do cause it would take too much time... but again... time or my life... seems like a no brainer, I'll do it after finals if I'm still alive.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Casey Heynes: I Support You!



I was very disturbed by this viral video that I saw on YouTube. My heart goes to Casey Heynes who was bullied for most of his life just because he weighed a few pounds. It pains my heart to hear him talk about suicide because he couldn't take the bullying anymore. People say that violence is never an answer but in this case, I support Casey Heynes, the Bully Punisher. I see Casey as a hero, a beacon of light for all of the people who are abused by people like Ritchard Gale.

Ritchard Gale is a little liar! He said that Casey attacked him first but it is clear from the video that Ritchard came along with his group of bullies and attacked Casey. I don't feel sorry for you Ritchard Gale and I hope this event will haunt you for the rest of your life. Casey was defenseless (a gentle giant) and was against the wall when you punched him several times. You deserve everything that you are getting right now. I know I sound horrible but you are a liar. If you just said sorry like you meant it, you might be hated less.


To Casey, you are not alone. The whole world supports you and we are proud of you! I am happy that you have a family that loves you. Casey said that he had 9 friends who deserted him... well you have hundreds of thousands of friends around the world now!

I was bullied as a kid too and I was very young when I first knew how fear felt like. I was so miserable and I felt so lonely because no one was there for me. Like Casey I had a few friends (who were there when they needed something from me) but when I was being teased that I didn't have friends, I told my bully that I did have friends and pointed at my supposed to be friends. It was so painful to be told right in front of your face that they never considered me as a friend. Children could be so cruel especially when they are ruled over by a school bully.

This is Casey's message to all people who are bullied: "Look for the good days, keep your chin up and school ain't going to last forever".

For more information on this historical event, you can visit http://www.caseyheynes.com/.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Nursing Uniforms

When I first started working as a psychiatric aide, I gained a great appreciation for scrub suits. It is unfortunate that the traditional nursing uniforms (the all-white uniform) have now been laid to rest and have been replaced with scrubs that not only give you more comfort but it is also more practical. It's also great that you have a choice at different colors and designs--- well if you're female that is. Men on the other hand are stuck with the plain blue scrubs. Well you do have a choice of light blue, dark blue, aqua blue, and black (not really a color).

Although I do wish for more choices for male nurses but I guess we have to make do with what we have now. I’ve recently been out shopping for scrubs and I’ve been surprised at how expensive some scrubs could be.  Even with my 10% student discount, scrubs would still cost me around $40 to $80 for a set. Makes me wonder why they’re so expensive, but it does help to know some cheaper alternatives like buying scrubs online like at http://www.nursinguniforms.net/. They have really affordable scrubs so you could buy a dozen so you won’t be stuck wearing the same scrubs in a monotonous cycle. They have a decent selection of scrubs and I’m pretty sure they’ll be adding more brands soon. With a purchase of $100 or more you will get free shipping so you could spend more on scrubs and less on having it sent to you. I especially like the warm upscrubs, great for chilly mornings or frigid nights.

Another neat feature of http://www.nursinguniforms.net/ is their blog. I really found it interesting how the nursing profession’s history and other nursing concerns are laid out and discussed thoroughly so it is a great site to visit to know more about nursing.

As a special treat to all nurses and everyone else who works in the health care field, Nursing Uniforms will provide a 20% discount when you use this coupon: NU2011. A great way to start spring would be to throw away your dark, gloomy scrubs and buy yourselves bright, new scrubs.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Stigma in Mental Health Care



Boy it's been a while since I last posted something of substance (not to mention nursing related) on my blog.  As always I have been unproductive in my student life, doing things other than studying (like blogging). Anyway, I guess it's better than being out in the streets late at night partying right (defensive mechanism: rationalization; I'm actually just a lazy bum)? 

So on with my post... I've recently applied for a position as a psychiatric aide in a geriatric mental health facility where I formerly worked as a dietary aide. I'm pretty happy to have taken the position as it is pretty hard to get a job in the health care field with out the proper education (I'm still a 2nd year nursing student). 

Many people would ask why I decided to work in a mental health facility in the first place. People think that people with mental illness are dangerous. Well ladies and gentlemen, that is a MYTH. You will find more aggressive people at retail stores than a mental health facility. The problem with mental health is that it is surrounded by stigma. Stigma is defined as an occurrence of labeling, stereotyping, isolation, discrimination, and status loss (Björkman, Angelman, & Jönsson, 2008, p. 170). Mental illness is just like any other disease: it is treatable; yet so many people treat people with mental illness badly and shun them away. It is said that people with mental illness already suffer the disabling symptoms of the mental illness, plus they have to suffer the social isolation from it. Some people with mental illness would rather suffer in silence from voices in their head or depression just because they fear of being labeled as crazy, wacko, nut job, and other derogatory, hate-laden labels.

I have worked with people with mental illness and I could tell you right now that they are the most sweetest people and I enjoy being with them every single day. You have to understand that they're talking to themselves or are not making any sense because there is something wrong with the neurotransmitters in their brain.

Media has portrayed people with schizophrenia as dangerous just like the picture above. In reality, people with schizophrenia are more likely to hurt themselves than anyone else. They are not dangerous and they don't have a multiple personality as the picture erroneously portray.

Understanding what mental illness is and educating people about it is important to reduce stigma. Mental illness is very common and you may not know that your close friend has it, yet he still seems normal. Mental illness is just like having hypertension. We should never treat them differently.

I have written a paper about stigma and I was surprised that some nurses who work in somatic care carry more negative attitudes and beliefs against people with mental health and they believe that people with mental illness are intrinsically bad and that they are causing their own problem. People with mental illness come to the emergency room to seek help but they are just dismissed by nurses since these nurses think that depression is just a matter of "will power". Like other physical disorders, mental illness should be treated and these patients should be referred to the appropriate mental health professionals. 

Did you know that there is great difficulty getting access to mental health services? Your problems are not taken seriously until you prove that you are a danger to yourself or to others? How on earth will you prove that? Well I guess you have to wait until your disease progresses and you do something against your own will.

There are several problems in mental health care right now. First is of course the stigma that comes with mental illness, second is difficult access to services, and thirdly we even lack funding and professionals in mental health because of stigma. 

I hope for a day when stigma will be totally eradicated and that people with mental illness will gain access to the treatment and support (even their own family will disown people with mental illness) that they need. Mental health is interesting, I might be a mental health practitioner someday... who knows.

References

Björkman, T., Angelman, T., & Jönsson, M. (2008). Attitudes towards people with mental illness: A cross-sectional study among nursing staff in psychiatric and somatic care. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 22(2), 170-177. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6712.2007.00509.x
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