Friday, May 31, 2013

my NCLEX-RN experience

This last Tuesday, I took the biggest exam of my life. This is how it works: there's a minimum on 75 questions, they'll stop you at 75 if they're sure you know your stuff or if they're sure you don't. Otherwise you keep going until they're sure or to the maximum of 265 questions. You get 6 hours to test.

I've been preparing for this since the first day of nursing school. But most extensively, the last three weeks. Registering for the exam, alone, is a stressful factor. The pressure built each day. I couldn't sleep very well the two nights before the exam, so test day I was coasting on adrenaline. I was a ball of nerves the entire morning. I ate breakfast and immediately thought I was going to throw it back up; my stomach hurt, I was extra sensitive, and Jeremy put up with me.

We dropped Amelia off with my mom around noon.

A lot can change in two years. Except for my taste in men, of course! The top left picture was taken before we drove to Las Vegas for Jeremy to take his NCLEX. I had no idea what he was in for in the first picture, but he knew exactly what I was going through in the second.

We drove up to the testing center in Bountiful, and arrived an hour early. While I was reviewing some last minute lab values, Jeremy wove through the streets and we ended up at the Bountiful Temple:

I was on the brink of tears. Jeremy gave me a (father's) blessing, and tried to get me to laugh. Then he drove me back to the testing center, while I focused on my breathing.

The whole checking in process is kind of ridiculous. I had my hand/fingers scanned about 50 times to make sure I was me, and not my twin trying to take the test for me. The boy that arrived right after me asked, "so are you excited?" I stared at him and said, "no." (awkward) then I added, "I'm excited to get it over with." I'm so terrible with small talk when I'm stressed out.

We went into the exam room, I put my earplugs in, I was shaking through the tutorial they make us watch, and right before my exam starts, I prayed. I can't tell you exactly what questions my exam included. I can tell you that I had a lot of alternative answer questions, and I had a lot of questions that I had no idea what was being asked. My two OB questions- never heard of the diagnoses, never heard of the symptoms. I stuck with my gut answers, flew through the questions, I felt so at peace. The exam shut off at 75 questions, and I was only somewhat surprised. There was no gut feeling that I had passed, but I wasn't terrified that I had failed.

When I called Jeremy, he laughed and said it hadn't even been an hour, "75 and out, huh? did you make NCLEX your biotch?" He drove me back south, where I scarfed down some food and we went to watch Fast 6. My paranoia didn't get the best of me that night.

The next day I spent focusing my energy making Amelia's birthday invitations; it was a great distraction. However, two of my friends who also took the NCLEX on Tuesday already had their licenses posted. Every hour I refreshed the DOPL website, and every hour there was zero results for Liana Bodtcher. It was a terrible thing to do to myself, and I quit at 1 in the morning.

My friend Christie texted me at 7 in the morning, "I just checked DOPL, congrats!" I couldn't be satisfied until I saw it myself. Ah, those five seconds after I saw my name were unbelievably amazing. Hallelujah, I was finally done.

So that's why I've been MIA lately. I'll probably continue to be MIA while I plan this giant party and look for a job. I've got a list of things I want to blog about when I get the chance... I'm so grateful for my family and friends who got me through the last four years. So grateful for blessings and the power of prayer that kept me calm through my test. So grateful that I'm done!!!!!!!!

ps. I ran for 98 minutes today. That's 10 miles. BAM I still got it! :)

Monday, May 20, 2013

on quitting and not

For me, there are defining moments that set me apart as someone who is strong, and someone who quits. If you know me, I'm not a big fan of quitting.

Anyway, I have a goal of running 13 half marathons this year. After my third half on the 11th, I had set a new personal record, 01:53. That high I felt was unbelievable. And training, the following week, was equally as miserable. I couldn't believe the pain, aching, nausea, exhaustion I was feeling with just 3, 7, and 4 miles. Friday, I was suppose to run 10. 10 miles should be nothing compared to 13's, right? I ran a total of one mile before I gave up. I'm so embarrassed to admit this! I was a quitter that day. All hopes of training and running a full marathon this year went out the window. I thought maybe I'd try again tomorrow.

That night, as I downed some caffiene to prepare for a long night of studying, Lauren texted me that Nate had thrown out his back, and couldn't run the Odgen half the next day. "do you want his spot?" Instantly I said yes. Yes to waking up at 2:45 am, yes to running 13 miles when I couldn't run 1 earlier today.

The next day, we waited for an hour in the light rain for the race to start. We hoped it would let up. When the gun went off, I could feel the rain beating down heavier. Immediately, I knew I wouldn't get a new pr from this race. A hundred hours later, I finally saw a little mile marker, "Mile 1." I was devastated. Usually I coast to mile 5 before I realize I'm a little bit tired. I was freeeeeezing! My jacket was completely soaked, I couldn't see through the rain, my legs were pounding, I could smell everyone's odors around me, why are there all these hills? ...I started sobbing. I didn't want to run this race. I was going to drop out at the next aid station.

The next aid station came and went. I put one foot in front of the other, through puddles, mud, piercing rain; carried myself mile after mile, aid station after aid station. I didn't chant my mantra, "you're not even tired" because I was exhausted. I hid behind other runners when I saw photographers ahead. I saw myself through mile 7 and mile 8 and knew I was going to finish this. I read all the encouraging signs along the way. One said ", you're almost there. only a few more miles." and I lost it again. These signs obviously weren't for me, but knowing Jeremy thinks of me the whole time I run always lightens the load. And of course, those blessed people who yell, "only one more mile! one more mile!!! run!!!!! runnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!!!!"

Finally, I crossed the finish line. Gun time, 2:18:24. Tag time, 2:16:38. I've never been that happy to finish a race. I got the slowest half time of my season, but I proved to myself that I am not a quitter. You know that quote? "My child, you worry too much, I've got this remember? Love, God." it stuck to me that whole race. I was given an able body to do some incredible things. I'm grateful that I've trained and exercised it to finish something hard.

4 down, 9 to go.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


wish I could blog about graduation, or the fact that my baby will be a whole year OLD in less than 30 days.

instead, I have to spend my time studying studying studying. for that big licensing test, you know?

instead, I'll let you in on a secret that I have realized:
I can live off of kit kats, dr. pepper, and cheese sticks.
(just in case you wanted to hand deliver some in the next month or two, while I try to become a registered nurse)