Monday, February 11, 2013

When the Underdog Succeeds

After my poppers had been called home in 1998 I found myself in a transitional place and had no idea what to do with myself.  I had for most of the year taken care of my poppers 24/7.

One day as I was pondering on what my next step should be that trusted voice whispered, "Go back to school."  Without hesitation I found myself at the local college trying to decide what I should "major" in.
I was set up with a counselor who encouraged me to take some test which would show where your strengths were and your weaknesses and then they could help place you in the "right major."
I took their test which was totally alien to me since I had not been near a class room since 1985.
Upon completing the test I eagerly met with my counselor to see what he would suggest; as he looked at my apparently bleak test scores, he commented that I did well in vocabulary and some other location and then he proceeded to let me know all the places that I had failed and then closed with this remark, "save your money, you are to stupid to come to college."  I was heartbroken.  I thanked him for his time and started down the hallway with tears in my eyes.
 I bumped into a elderly grandmotherly instructor who upon seeing my tears stopped and asked me what was wrong.  Not holding back I let her know what had just transpired.  She wrapped her arm around me and matter of factly stated, "well now, you just come with me."
She took me to another building on campus to her office where she then proceeded to pull up my test scores.  Looking at my scores she then related to me that the only area I had really suffered in was Math; which I already knew because I have always struggled with math and numbers.  She then informed me that she was going to enroll me in the Bookkeeping program because she felt I would do well in that program.
Right then and there she enrolled me in classes for the upcoming semester.
I will never forget how nervous I was that first day and of course I bombed my first test.  My instructor was so great, he simply pulled me aside and shared with me that he knew I understood the concept but I suffered from, "Test Anxiety."  He then advised me to think of all my upcoming tests as quizzes.  After that I received A's and B's and was on the Dean's list for the entire program.
I was so pleased with myself and so grateful to that grandmotherly instructor who took the time to look at the person and not the "numbers."

I loved school and since I had such a good experience in the Bookkeeping program I decided to get a degree in Business.  In the process of working towards that degree I received my Liberal Arts Degree with A's and B's.  I had to take College Algebra three time but I finally received a B in the one class that had been my greatest obstacle.  Words cannot describe my elation with that hard earned B.

In the Spring of 2007 or 2008 as I was looking through the catalog trying to decide which classes I was going to take to complete my Business Degree that old familiar voice once again whispered, "you need to go into nursing."  Again without hesitation I responded, "all rightie then."  I immediately flipped through the catalog to the nursing requirements and decided to try and get my LPN since  I had never been  a "Certified CNA."  One of the requirements was to get three references.  I knew immediately who my first two would be.

During a routine visit at the Doc's office with my poppers, our favorite friend turned and looked at me as were leaving and said, "Lorie you need to go into nursing."  I laughed and replied, "no way in hell, was I going into nursing."  He just smiled.
He had the same smile when I asked him if he would consider being one of my references.  He immediately agreed and sent in the paperwork as quick as he could.  My next reference was my trusted Stake President who gave me a copy of his recommendation.  "WOW" was all I felt as tears streamed down my face as I read his kind words.  Lastly I asked supervisor if she would be kind enough to give me reference also.

With the program you are rated by a point system and each and every time I figured the math of what points I had I always came up short, so to be honest I really wasn't thinking that I would make it into the LPN program.  One can imagine my surprise when my husband called one day to let me know that the head of the nursing department had been trying to get a hold of me to let me know that I had been accepted into the Fall program.  I was elated and nervous.  My heart was overfilled and I found myself thanking my Heavenly Father, my trusted provider and my beloved Stake President because without them there was no way I would have got into the program.
I was not about to let any one of them down.

As usual, I bombed my first test and was hysterical thinking that I was going to be kicked out of the program the first semester but I prevailed.  This time I had a few C's thrown into my grades but I was grateful that I had passed.  When we started going out to the local facilities I found one that I really liked due in part to four people:  Cindy, Theresa, Paula and Linda.
One day I was visiting with an instructor and letting her know that I had found the facility I would like to work at.  When I told her the name of the facility she scoffed and replied, "you would never make it at that facility they would chew you up and spit you out in no time.  You could not handle the pressure."
How many times had I heard that one but I vowed to myself that I would show her and show her I did.

After graduation I spent two to three times a week in the temple as part of my preparation for taking the N-Clex; the final exam.  The big day finally arrived and boy howdy was I nervous.  As I sat down the very first question was one that was vague to me, I started to panic when out of the blue I heard one of my instructors voices as he taught about this very thing and what to do.  I then confidently picked my answer.
The following questions seemed very easy and just as I thought to myself that I had better buckle down and really focus the test shut off.  I was surprised but not nervous.  As I stepped out of the room the Tester person commented, "wow, I have never seen anybody complete that test so fast."  I was sick to my stomach thinking that I had just bombed the most important test of my life at that time.  Called my husband in tears.
Two days later I received the e-mail that let me know the results of my test.  I had passed.  I could not believe it.  That following Friday I had my nursing license and off I went to that facility that would "Chew me up and spit me out."  I was hired on the spot.

I worked at that facility for four years.  I worked under the best nurses Rn's and LPNs who assisted me in building a good and solid foundation.  They taught me so very much but the one lesson that has stuck with me was to "trust you're gut."  They were impressed with my instincts.  I may not have understood what was happening when I got this feeling that something was very wrong but with their guidance I began to recognize some symptoms of common infections.

I have always been a believer in seasons.  At first I was saddened that my season at this facility was coming to an end but I have learned I am always offered new opportunities to learn and grow.
While working there I branched out into "Crisis Care nursing"  Oh how I love it.  It was my first job away from my trusted teachers and I was so scared but because of the foundation and my gut I am flourishing.

Recently I started working full-time at another facility, I shadowed a nurse one night and then I was put on the floor by my self.  I had to utilize each and every tool my trusted friends had given me to make it through.
Alas, this season was for a very brief moment and I am now moving on and to be honest I'm still not sure but one thing I am sure of I will know without a doubt which way to go.
As my season at this new facility winds down I am leaving with my head held high and pleased with a job well done.  If any facility would have chewed me up and spit me out, it would have been this new one because it was totally different than my original home.
I know that as this door shuts behind me I will be given a high five and the satisfaction
that "I did it!"

Alas the Underdog has succeeded!

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