My First Year as an RN — July 23, 2017

My First Year as an RN

It’s hard to believe it has been over a year since I started working as a registered nurse. July 18th, 2016 was a life changing day for me. Since then I have grown so much in not only the nursing profession but as a person in general. It’s only right for me to reflect on this monumental year in my life. There have been so many good moments, so many bad moments, and everything in between. Let’s see…

I have become such a stronger person over this past year in so many ways. When I first started I was beyond scared to do anything. I wanted to see my preceptor do a task a million times before I would have the confidence to even attempt to do it. I’ve gained the confidence to own it, no matter what the task is. I’ve also learned not to be too over confident and to ask for help or clarification when I need to. I’m dealing with people’s lives.

Bouncing off of that I’ve learned how to work as a team. Some people tend to think that nursing is a solo show but that is so far from the truth. Every single patient I have I’m always bouncing ideas off of other nurses about what might be best for them, what might be going on with them, etc. In emergencies your team is going to be your best asset. Accept it and love it. This goes for doctors too. Maybe not so much attendings since they’re damn near impossible to ever get ahold of but definitely the residents. I can honestly say that I love almost all of my floor’s OB-GYN residents (I work on a women’s health floor and we work closely with them). They’re always willing to listen to your ideas and take into consideration your thought process. Residents are learning just like new grad nurses. As long as it’s for the best interest of the patient then roll with it.

I’ve learned to have a thicker skin. I’m a shy person who gets intimidated easily. Over the past year I’ve had patients yell at me, blame everything going wrong on me, and flat out tell me I’m stupid and don’t know what I’m doing. In the beginning this absolutely sucked and sent any confidence I had plummeting. I’ve learned how to take things with a grain of salt. I now remember that I know I’m providing the best care that I can for them and that they’re having a terrible time just because they’re in the hospital. I’ve learned to use my resources to help diffuse situations instead of taking all the abuse by myself. It’s big to remember in nursing that you don’t deserve to be emotionally or verbally abused my patients or their families.

I’ve seen good patients turn bad in the blink of an eye. No, I haven’t had any patient die on my watch (thank god and knock on wood). I have had patients who are completely stable one minute start crashing the next. I remember while I was on orientation I had a patient who had donated a kidney to her sister 11 years ago and then ended up needing to have half of her remaining kidney removed. The patient was perfectly fine throughout the entire shift. Right before I left I medicated her with the smallest dose I could (and it was a pill). I left and my preceptor was picking up my assignment. When I came in the next day I heard that they had to call a rapid response on the patient and use narcan to wake her up. I felt terrible and honestly thought I had killed a patient. It turns out that her body was having problems filtering the mediations due to her only having half a kidney. She went to step down and was sent home a few days later. I learned a huge lesson that day, that things change instantly and you always have to be on top of your game for whatever situation you may walk into.

I’ve gained some of the best friends I could have ever imagined having. The floor I work on is the most open and accepting I have ever seen. I have work moms and girls that are more like sisters to me. I’m the baby of the floor by a good amount of years. I know each and every one of the women I work with are rooting for me and want me to succeed. I can tell most of them anything and know that they’re going to give me the best advice out there, whether it’s about nursing or anything else in life.

I’ve worked with some of the most amazing doctors that I have ever seen, especially the OB-GYN doctors. They’re always willing to teach and communicate with you. It’s fascinating to have a conversation with them and eventually develop a form of friendship with them. They don’t treat you like you’re beneath them, they treat you as a co-worked and it’s really a beautiful thing to see.

There’s so much more I can look back on but it would take me a year to do it. Although no one knows that I have this blog I want to thank everyone. Thank you to my parents who have supported me through this insane year and dealt with my tears and over excitement. Thank you to my co-workers who have accepted me, guided me, answered all of my questions (and I’ve asked a million of them), and who have helped mold me into the nurse that I am today. Thank you to the doctors who have, at times, drove me insane but have also pushed me to think outside the box and learn to question things. Thank you to the manager that hired me that has since moved on in the company for taking a chance on a new grad on a floor who has probably one of the highest turn over rates and believing in me.

365 days seemed like it was going to be a lifetime and that I was never going to get there. Looking back at it, it flew by and I couldn’t be happier or prouder of the nurse that I turned out to be after all of it. The biggest thing I’ve learned these past 365 days…believe in yourself. It may seem impossible but you’re going to get it and it’ll be worth every tear.

What Every Nursing Student Needs — July 17, 2017

What Every Nursing Student Needs

I know summer vacation just started not too long ago for those of you still in school. It’s sad but it’s flying by quicker than I want to accept and I don’t even get a summer vacation anymore. When I was in school July and August were always my favorite times of the year for one simple reason..back to school shopping!! I don’t know what it was about getting new school supplies but it always brought a smile to my face. I get so excited about it to the point where I want to go to Target just to go up and down the school supplies aisles and buy things I really don’t need. Since I’m restraining myself from that (for now) I figured I’d shed some light on those nursing students and some of the essential things that they’ll need going into the school year.

  1. Stethoscope: this might seem like a no brainer but you’ll be surprised how many people forget to bring one. When I started nursing school we used our stethoscope day one in the skills lab. From that moment on it was never off my person whether it was around my neck or in my scrub pants pocket. Invest in one, bring it, love it. It’s that simple.
  2. Pens, pens, pens: and more pens. You’re going to be taking notes on everything. Whether it’s in class, in the skills lab, or during clinical while you’re watching a procedure you’re going to be taking notes. Even as an RN I have an over abundance of pens. I’m always letting patients borrow them, losing them, having them stolen, etc. Make sure you stockpile and never be without.
  3. Quality shoes: trust me on this one. During clinical you’re going to be on your feet for long hours running around like a crazy person trying to see as much as you can. Your school probably makes you wear all white shoes but you’re going to want to purchase a pair that is going to last you and spare your feet. Everyone thinks Dansko is the best brand but quite frankly I think they’re beyond uncomfortable as well as ugly. My advice? Buy a nice pair of sneakers, you’ll thank me later.
  4. Big bag: either a backpack or a tote bag. Something that’s not going to kill your back or shoulders from carrying all your stuff. You’re going to have books, notebooks, all your clinical stuff, laptop, etc. Save your back and invest in a decent bag that won’t fall apart half way through the semester.
  5. Planner: it will be your best friend. Everyone who has gone through nursing school will tell you that you’ll be the most busy you’ve ever been in your entire life. Think that senior year of high school was a lot with college app deadlines, tests, homework, and a social life? Nursing school is 100x worse. All through college I used a basic five star planner where I was able to write down all my assignments, due dates, test dates, clinical schedules, and what little social life I had. There are hundreds of different planners for you to choose from based on what best meets your needs. I recently invested in my first Erin Condren Life Planner and am completely obsessed (my next post is going to be a review of it and how I use it). It was a decent chunk of change but it’s worth it for where I am right now in life. Find what works for you and use it!

That’s just the most important things I can think of. You obviously need notebooks, binders, your regular school supply stuff. I wouldn’t worry about getting a pulse ox, blood pressure cuff (unless you have people you can practice on), or thermometer. Whenever your clinical placements are are going to have these items for you to use. You’re going to invest a lot of money on extra stuff in nursing school. Save yourself some cash and purchase the essentials. Over the 2-4 years you’re a nursing student it’ll get easier to figure out what you need and what you don’t. Trust your gut and when all else fails, ask you’re friendly new grad nurse 🙂

No Motivation — July 12, 2017

No Motivation

I seriously have zero motivation when it comes to working out. I last wrote about starting a weight loss journey and how I was so excited about it. Fast forward to now and I’m sitting here dreading going to the gym.

I HATE going to the gym. I hate everything about the gym. I hate the people who are super athletic who think they’re the big shit there. I hate the employees who I feel like are CONSTATNLY judging me. I hate that I feel like the biggest fish out of water there. I thought that buying a gym membership to a gym that’s opened but not staffed 24/7 that I would find a time where I feel comfortable…NOPE! If I go in the morning there’s a bunch of older people who want to talk my ear off while I’m close to having a heart attack on the treadmill. If I go during the day it’s staffed by the employees I don’t want coming up to me to ask how I’m doing. If I go at night I get the meat heads who think they’re the next superhero and screaming and dropping weights. It’s a never ending process and I need to find a better way to get myself moving.

I’m thinking about buying a bike. I loved riding my bike as a kid and it’s simple, mindless exercise. I think it would be a good investment and it would get me out of the house, which clearly the gym can’t do for me.

I also want to start swimming more. Yes, that requires buying a one-piece bathing suit but it’ll be money well spent. I just have to find a place where I can swim that won’t cost me an arm and a leg and that is open after the summer. The public pools in my town are disgusting. When I was a kid and we went there during summer camp I ended up with planter’s warts that I needed to have frozen off. Never again! I’m not trying to be an Olympian just trying to get in shape.

Sorry for this being a complete rant about me hating to work out. If you have any suggestions (youtube videos, classes, anything!) please let me know! I really want to be committed to this journey but so far it’s not going so well for me.

Pretty Little Liars Series Finale *SPOILERS* — June 29, 2017

Pretty Little Liars Series Finale *SPOILERS*

I finally got a chance to watch the PLL series finale last night and HOLY CRAP! Now I may be the only one with this opinion but I personally loved how things turned out.

DO NOT CONTINUE READING IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED THE SERIES FINALE YET!!!

First off, I can’t believe that Spencer is the one with the twin and that she’s A.D!! I thought that it was going to be Ali’s twin who was causing all the issues. I think that Troian was the best actress to play the part, she has a certain way of portraying crazy and evil that I don’t think any of the other girls could have pulled off. I personally loved the accent, I loved the reasoning behind why Alex became A.D., I love that she killed Wren and was wearing him around her neck. Now I realize that it was probably something that many people guessed and a lot of people are disappointed in this but I think it was a great reveal. Go ahead and argue with me about it, just my opinion.

I think it was completely messed up for them to make Aria sterile and not able to have kids. I get that it was a great reason for Ezra not to have shown up to the wedding and completely believable but come on! Let the girl get her happy ending with her man she fought for over and over again and some kiddos! I’m SO glad that they had Hanna and Caleb act like an actual couple and have a big disagreement about Mona living with them. It had seemed since the flash forward that they were the “perfect” couple and nothing ever went wrong. Reality check! Can I just say that their kid would be adorable if there was ever a reboot of the show??? Alison proposing to Emily was the icing on the cake. I love that it wasn’t planned and they were fighting and Alison’s sweatshirt!!! It was perfect. I’m so happy that Toby and Spencer are getting their happily ever after. They deserve to be together.

Speaking of Toby…Jenna helping him and the girls out! Holy shit! Never thought the day would come where she would be helping the girls out but I’m glad she did. It was nice closure to her story line, finally being the good one and on the right team. Toby also handling the situation like a champ when he had to figure out which of the twins was actually Spencer. Cool, calm, and collected like always but kicking ass and taking names.

Mona, Mona, Mona…the crazy girl who I’ve loved since the beginning of the show. I honestly thought that she was going to be part of the A.D. team to come full circle with her being A in the first few seasons. I was VERY surprised when she ended up in France and had her dollhouse with Alex and Mary. Goes to show that the game will never stop for her in her twisted head. I’m glad she finally got back what was hers to begin with.

The final scene with the girls. I cried. It was great closure to a whirlwind 7 seasons of ups and downs and near death experiences. Part of me was expecting it to end with a group text message from some mysterious person and everything starting over again, but that could have been my hopes that it wasn’t really ending. I’m not ready to accept it. I feel like I grew up with this show and I matured with the girls as they did (although we all still have our immature moments).

Finally, the last scene with the new mean girls and Addison going missing…ummm WHAT?!?!?! Why? Why? Why? Do not make a remake of this show focusing on that! What this show did was powerful, it moved a generation, it broke barriers and spoke volumes. Do not ruin that with a new set of girls and more mysteries.

What did you think about the series finale??

Starting My Weight Loss Journey — June 27, 2017

Starting My Weight Loss Journey

I was a super chunky kid in elementary and middle school. At that point I knew it was an issue but it never overly bothered me. I went to a small Catholic school and the kids weren’t mean, we were all close knit. I went to high school and started being more active on the swim team and dating. I was losing weight and I loved the new person I was becoming. Fast forward to the summer going into senior year and I met Tyler. We were in a relationship for 7 years and during that time I got extremely comfortable. I noticed myself gaining the weight back that I had worked hard on losing and I was starting to hate myself again. I still do hate how I look. This is why I’m finally saying enough is enough and I’m going to start a weight loss journey.

Starting July 1st I’m going to become a more dedicated person to myself. Writing it down is hopefully going to keep me accountable and I’m going to document my journey along the way.

I have a few ways I’m going to try and shed some pounds…

  • Go to the gym/home workouts: I currently pay for a gym membership that I don’t use. That’s going to change and I’m going to make the money I spend on it worth while. I also have access to a youtube channel and I want to find some home workouts for when I don’t feel like hitting the gym. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated 🙂
  • Water, please!: I’m going to cut out soda and increase my water intake. I’m not a soda crazy person but I do enjoy it. I want to see if cutting it out completely will help make any difference. I’m also going to *try* and cut back on alcohol. I won’t like, I like to drink and I can throw back more than I’d like to admit. I’ll let myself indulge but I’m going to try not to go as hard as I do as often as I do.
  • Diet: I’m going to try and eat healthier. I’m also going to work on moderation. I’m not going to deprive myself of something if I want it though. If I want some ice cream or brownies I’m going to eat it, just not in as big of quantities as I currently do. I’m not huge on meal prepping but I might give it a shot (if my brother doesn’t eat it from under me!). I’m also going to work on cutting out fast food/take out.
  • Scale: I’m going to embrace it and step on the scale. I’m hoping that keeping track will keep me motivated. I want to see the numbers go down and use that as my drive to keep it up.

That’s all I can really come up with now. If anyone has any suggestions please share them! I’m open to anything. It’s time for me to become accountable and start feeling good about myself.

 

Somewhere on a Beach — June 14, 2017

Somewhere on a Beach

I’ve wanted to go to Punta Cana for as long as I can remember.  June 4th-9th I finally made it a reality, and I got to do it with my best friend by my side.

We started planning this trip in January 2017. We met with the travel agent (who was amazing!), talked about what we wanted in a trip (all inclusive and beach), and did our research on the resorts in the area. We started counting down the days, saving our singles for tipping, and buying completely new wardrobes. FINALLY the day came that we were going to fly out of the country and be somewhere on a beach sipping something strong.

I were flying out of JFK which is about a 2 hour drive from my friend’s house. I picked her up at the ass crack of dawn and we were on our way. Our flight took off around 12pm and a little less than 4 short hours later we were landing in paradise. We somehow managed to get through customs with everyone yelling in Spanish and figured out which shuttle was taking us to our resort. We stayed at the Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda (I’m going to write an entire review in another post). We checked in, got settled, and went and started drinking. This was the theme of the entire week. We swam in the ocean, swam in the pool, got burnt and tan, and had the time of our lives. It was exactly what I needed with everything that had been going on with work and at home. Beyond relaxing, beyond calming, and most of all beyond worth it.

Sunday night was a chill night since we had travelled all day. We got some dinner from the buffet, drank to our hearts content, and got to sleep fairly early.

Monday we got our spot on the beach and spent a good portion of the day there with the drinks flowing, the breeze blowing through our hair, and the salt water all over our skin. We made our way over to the pool and the swim up bar and kept the day going. We went to dinner (Italian) and then headed back to the room for a quick nap. We ended the night at the club and danced like no one was watching.

Tuesday we were pretty burnt so we spent the morning at the pool under a tiki hut and occasionally venturing out into the sun. We braved heading off the resort for a tour of some place (it was all through our travel agent’s company). Quite frankly it wasn’t all that exciting but I was able to get my souvenir tshirt. We had Brazilian for dinner and then watched some of the entertainment of the night on the resort.

Wednesday was another pool day. More alcohol, more sun, more memories. We had Asian for dinner and then again spent the night at the club dancing away.

Thursday (our last full day) we were very conscious of the time because we knew it was the last time we would get to do anything. We spent the morning at the pool and taking it all in. The people, the music, the sun, everything. In the afternoon we went down to the beach again to take it all in. We floated in the ocean talking about how we didn’t want to go back to reality. We started thinking about our next vacation that we would take together. We were there until the sun started to set. We had Dominican food for dinner and sadly started to pack everything up.

Friday was a wash of a day. We had to check out by 12pm and the shuttle was picking us up at 1pm. Our flight wasn’t until 515pm so we were waiting at the airport for a loooong time. We made it home and made the treck back to CT from JFK. I got home around 1230am. Sad and cranky (I hadn’t eaten) I walked in the door and thus ended the vacation of a lifetime.

I know this is a super quick breakdown of everything that happened that week but there really isn’t any way to put into words how this vacation made me feel. My biggest recommendation is that if you want to travel, DO IT! Do it with you best friend, your significant other, your family, anyone. Enjoy your life and live it to the fullest. Everyone deserves the chance to be somewhere on a beach.

Am I the Crazy One? — June 11, 2017

Am I the Crazy One?

I’ll admit it, I have some crazy to me. I always thought that I’ve had it pretty under control though. I don’t freak out if someone doesn’t text me back (although I do find myself checking my phone a lot to see if they have). I don’t need to constantly be with my friends or a guy, I’m more than content being alone most of the time. I can keep listing things but that’s not the purpose of this post. Let me start from the beginning.

I started talking to this guy from OKCupid a few weeks ago. We’ve been talking basically every day and are really hitting it off in my opinion. We have a ton in common, he makes me laugh, and I feel completely comfortable telling him just about anything which is nuts since I haven’t even met him yet. We had planned to meet on Memorial Day since we were both off. That ended up not happening. I was sad I’ll admit. I got my hopes up and was excited to meet him and hang out and then in the blink of an eye it wasn’t happening. Then I went away on vacation (more posts on that to come!) and even though I was gone I still found myself thinking about meeting him and we talked every day even if it was for a few minutes. We made a plan to meet this coming Sunday and I started getting really excited again. The whole rest of the trip I was thinking about meeting him and what we would do and how I hoped we would hit it off as much as we have through text. I flew home last night and he told me that his grandfather wasn’t doing too well and his family had left the state and he was the only one there to take care of him. Now I’m not someone to jump to conclusions and think someone is making stuff up, especially when something is of this proportion. You don’t just lie about these things, right? We’ve been talking very little yesterday and today and I can only imagine it’s because of everything going on. This is where I start to think I’m more crazy than I thought I was…

Most of the day today I’ve been thinking about how we haven’t been talking as much as we have been and wondering if it was because of me. Did he not want to meet me anymore? Is he not interested? Did I do something to make him not want to talk? Is there something wrong with me? I’ve had countless thoughts like this running through my head most of the day. Am I crazy? Have I become the crazy girls that overanalyze everything and think that everything is wrong with them? I really hope not.

I’m extremely sympathetic to his situation right now with his grandfather and I feel terrible. I’ve offered to do anything if he needs it or be someone to listen if he needs to vent. As sympathetic as I am, however, I still want to know what’s going on for our date on Sunday. I don’t want to get my hopes up again and have it come crashing down again. Maybe I think I could like him and don’t want to get hurt like I have in the past. Maybe I really do think something is wrong with me or that he isn’t interested.

I guess I’m writing about this for some opinions. Am I really more crazy than I thought? I don’t want him to think I expect him to drop everything for this date but I also know that if he really is the only one taking care of his grandfather that he needs some time away and to not think about it for a few hours. I don’t know. Just a random ramble.

Punta Cana Packing List — May 30, 2017

Punta Cana Packing List

There are 5 days until I hop on a plane and leave the country with my best friend! 5 days!!! I’m beyond excited. We’ve been planning this trip since February and it’s finally at our fingertips.

I tend to be an over packer so I made a packing list for the trip. I’m going to post it here. Let me know if you have anything I should add or take off. Also, let me know if you have any advice on what we should do besides drink ourselves silly :)!

Punta Cana Packing List

Grey’s Anatomy Season Finale — May 20, 2017

Grey’s Anatomy Season Finale

Holy crap! That’s honestly the first words that popped into my head pretty much in the first 2 minutes of the episode. It was insane. It was beautifully put together and the acting was fantastic. Just as a heads up there will be SPOILERS so don’t read if you haven’t watched the episode that aired on Thursday, May 18th.

We picked up right where we left off with the explosion in the hospital. We see the little girl, Erin, calling out for Stephanie who is somehow ALIVE after being literally inches from the explosion. We also see fire everywhere. We also see that Erin’s leg is crushed by a piece of equipment and the only thing keeping her from hemorrhaging is this equipment. Stephanie acts like a superhero surgeon when she uses a tourniquet and whatever it is that she used to pack the wound and saved the little girl. Then the superhero herself JUMPS THROUGH FIRE with the little girl to escape the burning room. They make it to the staircase where we see Stephanie has severe wounds but her and Erin continue to climb up the many flights of stairs to try and escape everything burning around them. They make it to the top only to find out that Edwards dropped her key card somewhere in the smoky mess. Being the selfless doctor that she is she’s determined to save her patient and covers her up with the blanket even though it would mean her demise. Never fear though because in true Grey’s fashion, Edwards sees her key card in all the smoke and leaves the little girl to go get it. By some fate she makes it back up and they get out onto the roof and start screaming for help only for Erin to go into cardiac arrest (always gotta throw another wrench in there Shonda don’t you?). Stephanie does CPR and is screaming like a crazy person trying to get help. Somehow Warren remembers that he saw Edwards with the rapist and brings the whole crew back into the burning hospital to find her. They find the completely charred rapist body and then see the blood marks from Erin’s wound. They follow the blood and by the grace of all that is holy they find Stephanie doing CPR. Again, in true Grey’s fashion they turn the ER (one of the few safe areas) into an OR and Webber and Bailey get to work and ultimately save Erin’s life and leg. Edwards passes out and we head into the next day.

Catherine isn’t thrilled at how one of her surgeons and a missing child were left in a burning hospital and it all goes back to Minick who “forgot” to tell the police that Edwards was missing in there. Her reasoning? She had patients and if Edwards was following the rules and wasn’t taken out of therapy this wouldn’t have happened. WRONG! Bailey gives her great speech which brought tears to my eyes about how they don’t produce robots at this hospital, they produce heroes. We see Arizona talking to Minick about wanting to get it on and Minick says she has to pack she got fired. FINALLY! BYE BITCH! We also see Webber go in to see Edwards who is going through extreme debridement of her burns. She also has an epic speech saying that she wants to live her life, that she spent so much of it in a hospital from childhood to now and she just wanted to breathe. At the end of this speech, she quits.

We also have the whole story line that Hunt’s sister, Megan, is still alive. I’m not really thrilled by it and it kind of was randomly thrown in there if you ask me. We don’t get to see Megan during this episode but I’m sure she’ll be a big player next season.

I thought this episode was absolutely amazing. It was what I had been waiting for the entire season and Shonda delivered. I thought it was the best send off for one of the surgeons that there has been, one that was well deserved and didn’t end with me sobbing over their death. I saw true heroism from Edwards and Warren and quite frankly Bailey who finally put her foot down and acted like a true chief. I’m kind of sad that Megan is alive and that Riggs went running back to see her leaving Meredith (even though she did say that if it was Dereck she would have left long before he did). I was rooting for Mere and Riggs and wanted to see what she was like in a full blown relationship after Dereck. They better have something big planned for her and not some massive depression.

All in all I was extremely satisfied with this episode and quite frankly can’t wait for next season. I think the entire dynamic is going to change with Edwards gone. She was honestly one of my favorite residents and I’ll miss her a ton.

What were your thoughts on the episode if you watched?

 

My Best Friend Became a Police Officer — May 15, 2017

My Best Friend Became a Police Officer

I never thought I’d be able to say those words. I couldn’t be more excited or scared or anxious for him all at the same time. I’m getting ahead of myself though…

I’ve known Tyler since 2009. I was 17 years old and we both had the entire future to think about. He told me on our first date that he wanted to be a cop and that he had wanted that since he was about 10. Now I know all little boys want to be some kind of super hero, whether it be a cop, firefighter, EMT, etc. I also know that as these little boys grow up they tend to lose this idea and pick something based off of their interests. With Tyler, his interests were police officers and the law and the history that came along with it. We continued our relationship and when he turned 21 he started applying to police academies (you have to be 21 to start applying apparently..who knew?).

We were living together and I had watched him apply for countless academies, spend an insane amount of money on the testing, and wait anxiously for his authorization to test. I had seen him go and take the written test and fail by 1 point. I had seen him pass the written test and go to take the physical and miss something on it by seconds. I had seen the heartache and the tears and the feeling of defeat. I also saw the determination and drive that these setbacks gave him. Even though we were living paycheck to paycheck and trying to figure life out, I never stopped encouraging this dream (and I’ll be honest, there are times I wasn’t 100% sure it would happen for him). I watched him study longer, train harder. Finally one day he received the testing information for the NHPD. He passed that test with flying colors and was given the authorization to test for the physical exam. Again, he passed and there was no looking back. He went through the entire hiring process which took months. There were background investigations, reference interviews, meetings with the board of commissioners. He did it all and he was placed on their hiring list. Things got rocky with us and we broke up but he stuck to his guns and didn’t let the bad situation get to him. He started the NHPD academy on October 3, 2016.

The first week he told me was hell. We had gone out to dinner one night and he told me he wanted to quit, it was too much, he couldn’t do it. I looked him dead in the eye and told him no. He had come so far and worked way too hard to quit in the first week. If he wasn’t going to make it it would be due to him not being able to complete something, not because he quit. He stuck it out. Over the next 7 months I watched him gain more knowledge, become more street savvy, become stronger mentally and physically. I listened to him talk about learning the radio signals, taught him how to tread water so he could pass the swimming portion of the class, and heard stories about getting pepper sprayed and tear gassed. I watched his eyes beam brighter each and every time we talked. I saw him go from a civilian to a police officer right before my eyes. 7 months of hell, 7 months of stress, 7 months of developing a brotherhood that I know will be with him forever.

On May 12, 2017 I got to witness that brotherhood take their oath and be sworn in as officers of the NHPD. He won an award for graduating top of his class. He walked across that stage with his head held high as he got his badge. My best friend made his biggest dream a reality that night and it’s only just beginning.

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If you ever read this Tyler, know that I’m so unbelievably proud of you. I saw the struggle, I saw the tears and I shared them with you, and I saw you overcome everyone telling you no. I’m proud to be your best friend and honored to have been able to see this dream come true. Be smart, be safe, have fun, and go give ’em hell! No matter what know that I’ve always got your six.