E108: Mel from Texas, a nurse living with POTS after a concussion

Episode 108 January 07, 2023 00:33:54
E108: Mel from Texas, a nurse living with POTS after a concussion
The POTScast
E108: Mel from Texas, a nurse living with POTS after a concussion

Jan 07 2023 | 00:33:54

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Hosted By

Cathy Pederson Jill Brook

Show Notes

Mel's life changed after a concussion that led to more serious POTS symptoms. A nurse, she was struggling with symptoms when she confided in a friend who had POTS. Could it be that Mel had it too?

You can read the transcript for this episode here: https://tinyurl.com/potscast108

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Episode Transcript

Jill Brook: [00:00:00] Hello fellow POTS patients and lovely people who care about POTS patients. I'm Jill Brook, your horizontal host, and today we have an episode of the POTS Diaries where we get to hear the tales of others in our community. So today we are speaking with Mel, who is a nurse, and thank you so much for joining us today. Mel: I'm so excited to be here. I am like everyone else, Sorry, that people understand what it's like to be dealing with this particular monster that is POTS, but I'm really happy to be here and talking with the rest of my community. Jill Brook: Yay. So for starters, where are you and how old are you? Mel: So I am currently living in El Paso, Texas, and I will be 31 in a couple of days actually. Jill Brook: Happy birthday. Okay. You have kind of a cool job. Can you tell us what you do? Mel: Yes. So right now, it wasn't the exact job I thought I was going to be when I set out on becoming a nurse, but when I [00:01:00] started working the night shift as a nurse, I noticed that I was getting all sorts of the weird Hallmark symptoms that we all know are the very trademarks of being someone who lived with POTS. Whenever I was standing up moving, changing positions, I was. Really, really sweaty. I was getting really lightheaded and multiple times I actually had to move down to sit on the floor cuz I'm like, Oh, this is not normal. This should not be happening. During that time, I was working as a nurse in a postpartum unit. I really enjoyed getting to do all that patient education with new families, but I ended up having to leave that position because my body was just not having it. I initially started my nursing career out in Colorado. That's where I'm from in a postoperative and a preoperative surgery unit in a hospital, and now I've moved to an ambulatory surgery center. And for people who have not quite gotten to that point in either being a patient or haven't worked in [00:02:00] medicine. What an ambulatory surgery center is, is basically you go there, you get your surgery, and you go home as soon as you're done. And my surgery center specializes in cataracts, so I take care of ton of patients every day. It's not uncommon for us to have upwards of 28 people getting cataracts taken care of in a day. And it's really interesting to be back in the OR world cuz I actually do work in the OR as well now. So I do pre-op, post-op and the operating room. Jill Brook: Wow, so that sounds pretty intense. Yeah. Mel: It is. Thankfully, I have a lot of very good colleagues who are always on me about drinking enough water. They're like, Hey, have you taken your salt capsule today? It's been really busy, so it really helps to have people who are supportive, and that's definitely a bit of advice I would definitely give to anyone in this community. If you have people you work with who you feel safe with, let 'em know what you're going through because sometimes when you're so busy that you feel like you can't even keep your own head above [00:03:00] water. It's easy to forget, Wait, I have a chronic health condition. I need to be extra careful compared to others. So always make sure if you can have teammates who are able and willing to remind you to do the basic stuff, like, make sure that you are getting up slowly. Definitely take people up because people love to help as a general rule. Jill Brook: That's great. So I'd love to come back to some of your nursing experiences and expertise in a moment, but I also wanna just get to know you a little bit. Mel: Yeah, of course. Jill Brook: of this. So can you tell us like, who is Mel? What is your personality like? What would your friends or family say? Mel: So Mel is a very quirky human being, is probably what they would start with. I am super into knitting, crocheting. I love to bake. So on one hand I'm a secret 80 year old woman, but I also am a super into writing. I am actually working on a article that is going to be published soon by one of [00:04:00] my colleagues charities. It's called the Gold Corner. It's for people who are currently in a family unit that has a child who is going through childhood cancer or unfortunately a child who passed from cancer. So I'm writing for them right now. And I also absolutely love cats. I feed our local trap neuter colony. So if someone doesn't know what a TNR colony is, which is trap neuter return, it is basically the most humane way to help take care of kitties who are unfortunately on the streets because, well, As soon as a cat's feral, they're never gonna be happy inside. So what we do is we go in, we get 'em fixed so they don't make more cats. We take care of their medical needs as best as we can, and we feed them. Jill Brook: Okay, so please explain like I'm five years old. Why would a cat not be happy if it's feral Mel: So if a kitty is feral, they're never gonna be happy in a shelter trying to be in that person's house. There's actually like a critical window where if they get [00:05:00] past certain ages of kitten and they don't get socialized with humans, they want nothing to do with people. Jill Brook: Ah. Okay. Good to know. Okay. Other cool things you do? What do you like to crochet and knit? Mel: My current thing I've been working on a lot are socks. I have been making so many socks lately which is unfortunate because I can't really wear them unless they're on top of my compression hose. So it's basically like a nighttime wear thing, cuz otherwise I'm gonna overheat during the day, but they make great gifts. Jill Brook: So I have this stereotype of nurses that you are completely nailing, and so I'm wondering if I can run it by you. It seems like people who are nurses are so interested in so many different things. Like they're so capable, they're so able to do so many things, like they have so many skills and I've noticed this. They're just like doers. Is that accurate? Mel: You know, I actually have never heard someone use that as a stereotype that they feel like [00:06:00] makes sense for nurses. But it does completely make sense because unfortunately, with the way that healthcare is in the United States, Anything and every thing that needs to get done ends up going to the nurses. So it's like, oh you have a patient who is starting a brand new weird medication. Okay, well I guess I'm doing all the education, all this new medication for the patient, even though probably a pharmacist would be a better choice for that. Oh, your patient needs to go walk down the halls cuz they need to walk around after surgery. Okay. I guess I am physical therapy today and then it's like, oh we cleared out this patient room. They've been discharged and the environmental services isn't available right now. Okay. I guess I'm in the EVs person, so that actually is probably the, one of the nicer stereotypes I've heard about nurses. But yeah, anything and everything that needs to be done in healthcare. It doesn't have another person available, it goes to the nurses. So we kind of do have to be jacks of all trades. Jill Brook: Okay. Okay. I don't know if I'm allowed to ask this. What are the other [00:07:00] stereotypes of nurses? Mel: So it depends on the unit you work on. Emergency room nurses they tend to describe themselves as very adhd. They're jumping around from thing to thing to thing to thing, which makes sense considering their unit, they're on. People who are in ICU tend to be a little bit anal retentive because they have to be, because they have all these very critical medications that need to run. So in the ICU they have something that they call drips. So if a patient is in the icu, they're getting IV medications that are controlling everything from their heart rate, so their blood pressure and everything. And if any of these run out at any times, that's real bad. So ICU nurses do need to be very precise. Pediatrics tend to be very overprotective because again, we're taking care of tiny humans. Of course, they're gonna be overprotective. And unfortunately, as a lot of people who are in the POTS community know there are some nurses who unfortunately, are kind of bullies. I hate to say that about my profession, but I have definitely come across bullies in this [00:08:00] profession. And yeah, it's not all of them, but there's enough nurses that are just real big jerk faces. Use my very mature language to describe people who are being mean. Who will say stuff like for example, the CNA their job is to, you know, do hygiene stuff for patients and be a nursing assistant. They might be like, Well that's absolutely disgusting. I'm not gonna help clean up my patient. I'm not the CNA. I was like, No, don't say that. It's still your patient. That's still a person who deserves dignity and respect, not just the patient, but the cna Let's all work together and be nice. So, unfortunately, Bully does kind of fall into nursing. I could go into a huge conversation about why bullying is an issue in nursing, but that's not why we're here. Jill Brook: Okay, so I know we're here to talk about your journey before POTS during POTS. So can we start with, before POTS, did you have a life before POTS? And can you give us a snapshot of what that looked like? Mel: So for me, it's hard to say [00:09:00] exactly when POTS really started to really impact my life, but if I was to give like a really rough estimate of when it really first started to flare up, it would've been back in about September of 2015. I was in a bad car accident and I got a real nice concussion. As I was recovering, I noticed that if I stood up too quick, I really was getting dizzy. That had always sort of been a thing for me, but it was always in control when I was younger and it didn't happen all the time. All the time. As I was recovering from the concussion, I decided to switch into going into nursing and I was able to run around like crazy in a very busy hospital pre-op area. With a lot of patients with very different needs, I was able to lift and move patients and basically just get everything that needed to get done done. But as soon as I moved to El Paso, because I am actually a military spouse as [00:10:00] well, I ended up not being able to start work in the hospital that I had been working at at during nursing school and as a cna. And I had to work on the night shift because I really didn't have any other options, and as soon as I started on the night shift, I don't know how often everyone goes into the idea of epigenetics, but I feel like that was the environmental cue, having to be on the night shift and having my circadian rhythm all messed up that finally switched it to the point where it was very symptomatic and I got sick. Jill Brook: That's a really interesting point you're making, and I feel like we should just make sure everybody understands what Mel: Oh, yes, Jill Brook: So you're saying epigenetics, so basically environmental factors that change the expression of your genetics, right? Mel: Yes. So basically within all of us and every single one of ourselves, we kind of have an instruction manual for what our bodies are going to do, depending on certain things. Some of these factors [00:11:00] will automatically turn on once people hit a certain age. For example, puberty. As soon as you hit past a certain age point markers will turn on and people will develop secondary sex traits. And to describe that in non-medical ease is, the stuff we see as stereotypically, you know, post puberty stuff like for people who have XY or male genetics, their voices tend to go deep. They get broader in their shoulders. People who have XX or female genetics develop breasts, get menstrual periods, but other things such as POTS. You might have to have certain things happen in your environment for the switch to turn on. So I know one of my friends who also has POTS, she actually got it after she had mono, which is another thing that can happen. Some people end up developing something like POTS after they have a viral infection and it just switches the switch on. So it's one of those things that just because you have it in the instruction manual, that's in every single one of your cells, unless you have the environmental trigger to flip on the switch, [00:12:00] you might not get it. Jill Brook: So that's interesting because we oftentimes hear people say that they think POTS might happen after some sort of infection because it is an immune response or some sort of maybe autoimmune thing. But I had not thought about the epigenetic possibility that it's doing something there. That's interesting. Mel: It could. It's one of those things that unfortunately I've looked into the research for what actually causes POTS and it seems like there's just a general consensus of the doctors going, Wait, what is Jill Brook: they shrug. Who knows, right? Mel: Yeah. There's just so many different ways that we could possibly describe something that happens with autoimmune things. Is it an epigenetic switch, like after the virus shows up and is messing with our genetics because viruses are so weird. They hijack our own selves to make more of themselves, and they never really leave us after we have them. Who knows? Is it a chicken or an egg sort of thing or Is it because we had the virus that did it, or does the virus mess with our genetic [00:13:00] material? Or was, is it the virus being there and continuing to reproduce things? Made our own natural immune system wake up and go nuts. Who knows? Jill Brook: So it sounds like you had a job where you were working the night shift and working the night shift is known to be very hard on the body and. Mel: terrible. Jill Brook: it sounds like you no longer work on the night shift. Do you think that anything switched back, or is POTS still here even once you got outta that situation? Mel: It's here to stay now. It's sort of like working the night shift and messing with that just threw the switch for me to be more symptomatic in all other ways. So didn't used to get so sweaty for no apparent reason. Now I get randomly super sweaty for no reason, which is super attractive. I'm like, Oh, cool. Thanks body. I appreciate that. If I don't really take my time when I'm standing up, I get the weird tunnel vision on the side, and[00:14:00] all day, every day I am wearing compression hose up to the thigh highs. Which is like, Huh. Well, it's just one of those things we deal with. Jill Brook: Yeah. You know, it's funny because I can sweat a little bit now, but for about 10 years I could not sweat at all, and it's one of Mel: horrible with heat tolerance. Jill Brook: Where the grass is always greener, right? So not sweating. And I lived in California so I would sometimes just be so desperate that I would just walk right into the ocean or walk into a stream or a lake, cuz I just had to cool down. And so I had not thought very much about how unfun it would be to be randomly so sweaty because I had been thinking about how unfun it was to randomly have to get soaked to cool off. Mel: Yeah, it's just so wild how like all these little random things are just controlled automatically by our bodies. And different people with different subsets of POTS are like, Oh, well [00:15:00] you get to sweat too much. You won't sweat at all. You are going to be able to get overheated, even if it's slightly above 60 and oh, you're gonna hate the cold, Jill Brook: I always wish that there's a co-op where the non sweaters could take some of the sweat from the over sweaters. Mel: Wouldn't that be great? Jill Brook: cause on average we get it right. Probably. Yeah. Okay, so that is what set off your POTS. Did you have a hard time getting diagnosed? Mel: Yes and no, which is a weird way to put it. But I am incredibly lucky in that I have a very close friend who also has POTS. Unfortunately, she has a lot of other comorbidities that make it a lot more complicated for her. She has Ehlers-Danlos, which is super common as well. She has a Chiari malformation and everything. So when I started to explain the things I was going through, she was like, Hey, you probably have POTS. But it was one of those things that it seems odd to say, but sometimes I still feel like I [00:16:00] almost have imposter syndrome around the condition I have because I'm like, Well, I am sick, but I'm not as sick as her. So am I actually really sick? Jill Brook: So what do you have to do to stay functional? Mel: I have to be wearing compression hose every single day. I have to supplement a lot with salt. I take a salt pill every morning, and usually during the day I eat two or three of the chewable salt electrolyte tabs. I find that those are just easier compared to trying to mix in an electrolyte drink. and I drink tons and tons of water and I am on midodrine. So I do know that it is real. I do know it is legit, but it's just sometimes I feel like it's so easy to see people who have the same illness that are impacted in more severe ways and think, Wait, is this really real? Or, I don't know if maybe that's just something I struggle with. It's one of those things that with any condition, there's always a big spectrum of how people are impacted differently, and just cuz you happen to be on [00:17:00] this more milder end doesn't mean that you're still having a harder time compared to someone who's not impacted. Jill Brook: So what does a rough POTS day look like for you? Do you ever get to where you can't really do your job, or you're just always able to power through? Mel: As of right now, I have not had to call out of work because of POTS. I am very grateful for that, but it's one of those things I'm sure all of us are very well versed in the idea of the spoon theory. If I'm really having a day where I'm pushing myself hard because it's been an absolutely crazy day, when I get home, I have to lay down, I have to take a nap, and it catches up with me really bad. So when I'm having a particularly bad POTS day I will be having the orthostatic intolerance a lot more. I look down at my Fitbit and I'm like, Oh, wow, would you look at that? My heart rate is 15 beats higher than it normally is right now. Wow. That's not cool. I realize that since I do have this condition, I do need to be a bit more [00:18:00] careful compared to a lot of people with, you know, days where you push yourself too hard. So I did request to be moved to part-time at work, which I'm very grateful and very lucky in that I'm able to do that financially with my spouse. Not everyone can do that, but I'm looking into other ways that I can try to support myself because student loans, right? Jill Brook: Right, Right. So we are often asking the POTS patients, what do you wish more healthcare practitioners knew about POTS? And I am eager to hear that answer from you, but I would also love to hear, what do you wish more patients knew about being a nurse. And like what can patients do to make your job easier and what can they do to help you help them? Mel: It's always interesting when people ask me this because It's one of those things that in a perfect world, we wouldn't be having to ask our patients to try to make our lives easier because there would be enough of us [00:19:00] that patients wouldn't even need to worry about how are the nurses doing. Because I hate that that's even a conversation we have to have because patients, when they come to the hospital, Exception of maybe labor and delivery, but even then you could argue that they're not really at their best cuz they're exhausted. They just had a tiny human, they're tired, they're not feeling well, and the responsibility is my nurse doing okay? Shouldn't at all go to the patients. But unfortunately that's not really the reality of what healthcare looks like in the United States. From what I understand, the only state still in the United States that has mandated safe ratios for nursing is California, because there's actually healthcare research that has shown that for every additional patient, a nurse on a general care floor has above four patients. The chances of a patient having a really bad complication goes up exponentially for each additional. Jill Brook: Oh, Mel: [00:20:00] California it's, It is, and it's scary because California is the only state where I believe that they're still on four to four on days. It may have switched for night shift, but I mean, on night shift it's a little easier to have extra patients a little bit because ideally people are sleeping, but they're not really, If you've ever been in the hospital setting. Jill Brook: So, just to clarify what you're saying is that any time that a nurse has to look after more than four patients, Mel: on a general care floor. Jill Brook: on a general care floor. Okay. So that fifth patient makes it so that all five of those patients are more likely to have something bad happen if you add in a sixth, seventh, or eighth. It just goes up exponentially. And what kinds of bad outcomes are you talking about? Mel: To be super blunt things that can kill people like developing sepsis, developing a pulmonary embolism. Again, I really don't say this to try to scare people, but it's the reality. Jill Brook: Wow. Well, it speaks to the importance of nurses because [00:21:00] what are you not doing for your four patients if you have five or six or seven or eight? Mel: So the biggest thing is we have less time to actually be in there with each individual patients. A lot of the things that start to change early, like for example, if someone is starting to develop, let's say, sepsis. They might just start acting a little confused. So like if you went in and talked to Mr. Smith at the start of the day and he was really cheerful, he was able to explain exactly all what his family was doing on their vacation, and it was just like really with it. And then when you go back at lunch, to get him his lunchtime medication, you notice that he seems really confused. He doesn't really exactly know what's going on. You'd be able to catch like, Ooh, something's not right. Let's look into this a bit. But let's say that at the start of the day, you just found out that one of your coworkers had to call in, and now everyone's getting six patients. Today you may have only had [00:22:00] five minutes to chat with Mr. Smith, and you wouldn't have had time to learn like where exactly he is upstairs because again, a lot of the times we do have elderly patients, so you might have just assumed, Oh, It seems like he is sort of on top of it. I mean, we haven't really had the time to talk, but he might have been a bit confused earlier in the day. I'm not gonna worry about it. But then by the time that he starts to go down more and more and more, you miss the critical window where an easy intervention can help a lot. So like for example, for the case of sepsis, and also in case someone's listening and doesn't know what sepsis is, sepsis is an infection that goes into your blood. The infection is just swimming all around your body. let's just say Mr. Smith was having a hip replacement. He may have had some bacteria hanging out nearby his incisions by his hip, but if he ends up with some sepsis, those bacteria that were just hanging out by his hip have now moved into his body and are just kind of circulating everywhere, which is no bueno, not good. Jill Brook: Yeah. So I [00:23:00] can see where this is huge. Okay, so back to this question of what patients can do to make your life easier or to help you, help them more. Mel: Okay. Yes. So anyways, now that I've scared you about nursing ratios, so some of the most easy things you can do to really help us help you are. Is as much as possible try to give us heads up about things before you need it immediately. Because let's say you hit your call bell and you're like, Oh, I need to use the bathroom right now, right now, right now we might be in a situation where all of us and all of our nursing aids are super preoccupied. It's not that we don't care, but we are stuck in another room. We can't get out. Someone's getting a dressing change. If you have to go right now, right now, there might not be time to get to you in time before you are using the bathroom or for example, so as much as possible try anticipate when you might need the bathroom like soonish. [00:24:00] If you're like, you're starting to feel like, Oh, I'm starting to feel like I might need to use the bathroom. I'm inhibit now to say, Hey, no rush when you can. I'd like to try to use the restroom. Jill Brook: Just like you would do on a car ride. Mel: Exactly. Jill Brook: Yeah anything else? Mel: When we are giving medications in the hospital ideally we wanna give it exactly when it's due, but we actually, depending on the hospital you're at, there is like a 30 minute window. So before and after of like a buffer zone. So try to be understanding if it's a little bit later than you expected. Cuz I mean, of course with people who have POTS, we usually have a ton of medications and depending on how many other patients a nurse has, it might be a little bit late. So, Try to be understanding. Of course if it's something that you need to have right at that time, make sure the nurse knows like, Hey, this is really important that for me and my health, that it needs to happen right now. Like, for example if you know that you tend to get really, really symptomatic if you don't get your Labetalol all at a certain time every day, just try to let them [00:25:00] know when they first come in to see you at the start of their shift. Like, Hey, just so you know, every day. I'm really careful about always taking this medication at this time. I know that it's really hard with how busy you guys can get, but this is a medication that's really important. But for someone, let's say, who has mast cell activation, and as long as they get all their Benadryl they need in a day, it doesn't matter exactly when, be it flexible with it. And the last and the last big one is around pain control, I would say. Because unfortunately, a lot of us also sometimes deal with chronic pain. If you are getting pain medications and it's not working, you need to talk to the doctor, unfortunately, because as much as we try to advocate we don't have the ability to change medications. Jill Brook: Mm-hmm. Mel: if you're hurting so, so bad Don't be afraid to say, Hey, look, I need to talk to the doctor. Because then if we're able to say, Hey, look, my patient is in 10 outta 10 pain. We've maxed out all of the medication options you have given us. Can you [00:26:00] please come talk to the patient? They're more apt to try to get something in to help you more because there are definitely, unfortunately, some nurses who feel like it's their job to try to like, Well, I don't want a patient who didn't to get an addiction of an opioid. Most of us, like the vast majority of nurses, understand that if someone's in the hospital and they're in pain, that's not the time to be worrying about that and they don't want their patients to be hurting. Jill Brook: Yeah. Okay. So now I wanna ask you the opposite question. As a POTS patient, what do you wish more doctors or nurses understood about POTS? Mel: The biggest one, and this was actually part of my diagnosis journey, is we really are not making this up and. When you are getting ready to do a test to try to rule out other things, make sure that you are making it very clear to your patients that this test, you're not really necessarily expecting anything to come out of it. For example, when I did my halter monitor test, the doctor who I was seeing [00:27:00] didn't even tell me that she didn't even know what POTS was until after the Halter Monitor test was done, which I'm like, I even told you, that's what I was worried about. and she just was like, Well, I saw absolutely nothing. There's nothing wrong with you. It's not helpful and it's very disheartening, and I just wish that more doctors were afraid to say, Hey, look, this test is to rule something out. If it doesn't show me something, it doesn't mean that I think you're making it up. It just means that it's not this one thing that I thought it could be. Jill Brook: Yeah. Do you have anything you'd wanna say to your fellow POTS patients who may be listening? Mel: Don't give up. If you're having a bad experience with a doctor, it's not you. There is absolutely no shame in trying to find a doctor who you know specializes in the condition that you're working with. That's actually the reason why I was able to get my diagnosis. I went to a Facebook group and I was like, Hey, has anyone seen a doctor in this area who specializes in this condition? Found that doctor, I [00:28:00] saw that they took my insurance and I actually ended up crying when the doctor said, Oh no, I don't need to do a ton of extra tests on you. I know exactly what you're dealing with. Let's try some medicine and see if it helps you. And it was just amazing. I feel that it's not unfair to say that most of the listeners are probably women. Since POTS does disproportionally affect women. It's really easy to go into the thing of having doctors like, Oh, well, you're just stressed out. You're anxious. If someone's saying stuff like that, find a different doctor. It's hard. It's a lot of extra mental work that we shouldn't have to do. But unfortunately, with the conditions we have, we do have to advocate for ourselves in that way. Jill Brook: Amen. That is great. Great advice. So my last question is why did you agree to let us share your story today? Mel: Well, I do feel that unfortunately, cuz I do know that my friend who also has POTS, has had a lot of bad healthcare experiences. I [00:29:00] think in some ways it helps to know, hey look, there's even some nurses who have this condition. it helps with the feeling of community and there's just so many little things like I forgot to mention earlier, for example, if you know that you're going in for an outpatient surgery at the anesthesiology team, if they are doing what their exact rules are about stopping, eating and drinking, cuz a lot of people assume that it's still the, Oh, you can't you have to stop at midnight the night. But there's actually a lot of anesthesiologists now who are like, Hey, as long as you stop two or three hours before you're fine, so you can keep pushing your fluids so that you feel good. You can also be like, Hey, I have a condition where I need to be wearing compression hose. Is it okay if I leave on my compression hose. Because here's a secret most of the time we don't care. It's like, Oh, hey, just so you know, the patient is wearing compression stockings. Cool. They're getting a procedure done on their nose. I really don't care that they're wearing compression stalking. It never hurts to ask us the beginning and be [00:30:00] like, Hey, these are the things I need to do for my health. And unfortunately I feel like a lot of the times we're afraid to ask these questions cuz you don't wanna be a bother. But a lot of the times, like if you go in and tell the nurses like, Hey, this is something that works really well for me. Is it okay if I do this? Most of the time we're like, Yeah, sure you do you. Jill Brook: Oh, that's great. Great. Any more tips in the nursing bucket? Mel: Yes. So if you aren't doing it already it's a very, very good idea to get data on what your body is doing. So I do have one of those little wrist blood pressure cuffs. I'm not always as good as I could be about constantly taking my pressure, but I wear a Fitbit and I'm looking at what my heart is doing at different times of day. It doesn't have to be anything as intense as, you know, like keeping a a big journal about like every single day what you're doing. But if you can notice like, Oh, when I'm doing this particular chore, I've noticed that my heart rate is going up. You can find ways to maybe adapt it. Like, Oh, whenever I'm [00:31:00] doing dishes, my heart rate is going really high. I guess maybe I could look at getting a bar stool and sit when I'm doing this. So get your data and analyze what is going on with your body. One of the things that you learn in nursing school is even the growth stuff, like a patient's Foley catheter that's measuring their amount of pee. That's just data. Your body is letting you know what is going on by what it puts out. So keep track of what everything that your body is doing. Ultimately, our bodies are just giving us lots of data every day. Jill Brook: That's a great spin. When it's good, it's good, and when it's bad, it's just data. Mel: Exactly, and it's just our bodies trying to say, Hey, look, this isn't working, and just take that data and find a way to make it work for you. Jill Brook: Excellent. Well, Mel, thank you so much for sharing your story and all of your great insights with us. We really appreciate it. Mel: Of course!. Jill Brook: and I know that everybody listening wishes you only the [00:32:00] best going forward and now they probably wish they could have you as a nurse next time they need a nurse. Mel: It would be nice because again, I, I absolutely love taking care of my patients and when you do have an experience with a nurse who's being mean, know that there's at least one nurse out there who hears you, understands, and knows that you're not making anything up, because unfortunately, sometimes healthcare professionals might assume that. So there's at least one of us out here. But I can say for my own personal experience with my colleagues, there's a lot of us. Jill Brook: Oh good. That's so nice. Well, thank you again. And hey listeners, that's all for today. We hope you enjoyed today's conversation. We'll be back next week. But until then, thank you for listening. Remember, you're not alone, and please join us again soon.

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