Give me a BREAK!!!! Ch 5

Updated | Published
by Julie Reyes Julie Reyes, DNP, RN

Specializes in pediatrics, occupational health. Has 6 years experience.

I am probably not alone when I think that nursing school is the hardest thing I have ever done, and I certainly cannot be in the minority when I think nursing school might just be the death of me. There comes a time when we have studied so much that there is just not any way that you can learn one more thing - and you need a break. We each take breaks in our own way, but today, my break actually brings me closer to "death" than understanding EKGs any day.

How do you fight study fatigue?

Give me a BREAK!!!! Ch 5

You can only study so much before you go crazy, it seems. The words on the computer blur in front of me. I have done 200 plus questions from the NCLEX study bank to review for my upcoming med surg exam, and my mind is mush and my butt is numb. I need a break! I decide the one thing I really want to do is to mow the yard. I know - I need to get another hobby! But I like to be outside, and because of this, I am always reevaluating my call to be a nurse (and being stuck indoors when I love to be outside doing any type of yard work).

I take off my pj's and exchange them for shorts and cowboy boots (ok, remember, I am an eline student, so I can study in my pj's all day - and I live in the country in the middle of nowhere, so you have to watch out for snakes when you go outside in Texas!). I grab the keys to the shed and head outside in the blazing heat. I am well equipped for my task with my baseball cap and mp3 player blasting tunes from the 80's.

I open the shed and am disappointed to find that the riding lawn mower has 2 flat tires. Not to be defeated, I pull the push mower out of the shed and fill the tank with gas. I begin the fun of mowing my 1+ acre lot listening to "Wake me up before you go-go", and possibly skipping - looking much like a NERD bird wearing boots. I am happy - life is good!

About 45 minutes into my workout, a rattlesnake slithers out of the grass in front of me and I freeze. I watch it move about 10 feet to my right and I think, "Oh, I gotta kill that!" I scan the distance between where I am, and where the shed is. I will lose the snake if I run for a shovel....the only weapon available is my mower! So, I give chase.

Just picture this - me with my bony stick legs stuck in oversized cowboy boots wearing shorts and a tank top and my "John Deer" baseball cap, running all over the yard pushing a lawn mower in the same pathway the snake is moving. I swing right, then left, then right. I look like a crazy person high on LSD running from hallucinated flying monkeys.....You get the picture. I can just imagine what anyone might think if they drive by..."boy, that girl REALLY LIKES TO MOW HER YARD!"

My mp3 blasts "Girls just want to have fun" (or was it "don't fear the reaper"..!?) and I am frantic to run over the snake - and frantic that I might run over the snake! Would it's fangs sling out from under the lawnmower and propelled into my meatless, bony legs??? Will I die from "rat poison"??? I may need to think this through a little better, but I really don't have time to debate! I HAVE TO KILL THAT SNAKE!!!!!

I chase this horrible, venomous creature all over the yard and I cannot catch him. He is going to get away, and my kids and pets could get hurt if I don't kill it! He moves super fast and is on his way towards the driveway. I think, "Oh now I can get it easier!" (I have no idea why I think this - that is just a stupid thought).... But no...instead, this demon from the pits of hell (I HATE SNAKES) makes its way up the tree! It is at this point that I decide that my kids won't be allowed to climb the trees anymore! I never knew that rattlesnakes could climb trees! I guess I never thought about it, but the thought gives me the heebie-jeebies!

Anyway, I finish up my yard work (keeping an eye on the tree at all times), trying to make the zig-zags in the grass into straight lines (wow, I was a lawn-mowing maniac - it looks like I mowed while a drunken mess trying to pass the sobriety test).

I am happy to take an ice cold shower and attack my school work again. I decide that mowing the yard might need extra equipment in the future, and I am wondering if I have a holster and should carry a pistol....("you're my FAVORITE deputy"!)....(ah, Disney!)

I am actually happy to be back inside, in the cool, and in the safe company of my nursing books. Ironic, actually, because I always thought it was going to be nursing school that killed me!!!!!

It occurs to me - there might be safer/smarter ways to deal with study fatigue...How do you break the monotony? You might just save my life!!!

My journey begins!

For the rest if the story, see

Go to Nursing School? NEVER!! Ch 1

Culture Shock & Big Girl Panties - Ch 2

Pretzels, Puppies, and Physical Assessment Ch 3

Tales from the Crypt....uh.... I mean Clinicals. Ch 4

Give me a BREAK!!!! Ch 5

RN: Judge and Jury Ch 6

Virtual Reality Ch 7

Avoid Kids at ALL Costs! Ch 8

The End of the Tunnel...Holy Cow - is that LIGHT?! Ch 9

Julie Reyes

Julie Reyes, DNP, RN

44 Articles   260 Posts

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8 Comment(s)

kbrn2002, ADN, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics, Dialysis. Has 20 years experience. 3,667 Posts

Thanks for the the much needed laugh! The visual of that...Lord you must have been a sight to see. Kind of surprised you didn't take a chain saw after that tree, no way I see you letting that snake get away! Am I a horrible person? I was rooting for snake to escape!

Julie Reyes

Julie Reyes, DNP, RN

Specializes in pediatrics, occupational health. Has 6 years experience. 44 Articles; 260 Posts

kbrn2002 said:
Thanks for the the much needed laugh! The visual of that...Lord you must have been a sight to see. Kind of surprised you didn't take a chain saw after that tree, no way I see you letting that snake get away! Am I a horrible person? I was rooting for snake to escape!

Haha! I DO have a chainsaw story which IS hilarious---- let's just say I am not allowed to play with my husband's tools anymore!! (my life is a series of comedy!!!)

"Rooting for the snake"! Hahaha! Love it!

NurseGirl525, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU. 3,663 Posts

I might have camped out waiting for that snake!! I could not have studied knowing that thing was out there!! Or I would be eternally running every time I went outside. The most we see up here in Indiana is a little garden snake. Could not imagine a rattlesnake!!

Toronto1977, BSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Public Health. Has 4 years experience. 31 Posts

Ok, I'm only pre-nursing at this stage, but this is just hilarious and I had to respond! You write very well and paint a fabulous picture. The hallucinated flying monkeys made me howl! :)

I, too, had no idea rattlers could climb trees. What sort of bionic, unbreakable freaks are these things?!

studentnursemon86

studentnursemon86

Specializes in ER/Emergency Behavioral Health.... Has 8+ years experience. 245 Posts

Haha, I needed this!

I'm taking med Surg next semester. I'll have to get an NCLEX book to study.

I'll try not to cross paths with any snakes, though in eastern PA, we have a spider and stink bug problem.

They haunt my dreams; especially when I awoke to a stink bug resting on my pillow.

Thankfully, they are slow and easy to kill.

kbrn2002, ADN, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics, Dialysis. Has 20 years experience. 3,667 Posts

OK....do tell! What's the chainsaw story???

The quote button has been wonky! It didn't quote the post again.

Spangle Brown

Spangle Brown

302 Posts

OH thank you for the much needed laugh. I"m glad no one or thing was harmed in the making of this story. Ha Ha! Yes, I would have tried to kill it too.

IVRUS, BSN, RN

Specializes in Vascular Access. Has 32 years experience. 1,049 Posts

I too wouldn't have left it in the tree... Now, I'm not saying that I would have went after it while it was in the tree.. But gosh-darn-it, somebody was going to remove it FAR away from my home. And, I pray that it didn't have babies...LOL... Gotta love Texas!

BTW, I read your other posts.. and Don't STOP.. You sound like you're going to be an awesome nurse!

And, Us "Baby Boomers" are gonna need you someday!

Edited by IVRUS

Khalesi25

Khalesi25

26 Posts

I love it! It's hilarous! I hate snakes too. Sometimes I can found watersnakes in the yard, but I make sure having a little shovel or someting to protect my dogs. Snakes can climb trees, which is more worrisome when walking in the neighborhood. For sure was a good distraction from study time. Fight or flight right on! I enjoy your stories Julie! Thanks!