In July 2020 I started losing my hair and I knew that stress was the cause. I took a real look at what I was doing and today on the podcast I’m sharing some life changes I have made.
In this episode I share that I have left my nursing job at this time due to anxiety surrounding it.
Plus, I am doing the Covid Vaccine! It’s a big episode and I hope you’ll listen!
Other things that might interest you
Producer: Drew Erickson
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[00:00:00.175] – Hilary Erickson
Hey, guys, welcome back to the Pulling Curls Podcast! Today on Episode 68, we just… I have some secrets. Just kidding. There’s just some stuff I want to share with you, so let’s untangle it.
[00:00:20.215] – Hilary Erickson
Welcome to the Pulling Curls Podcast, I’m Hilary, your curly headed host on the podcast where we untangle everything from pregnancy, parenting and home routines. I want you to know that there are no right answers for every family. And I find that simplifying my priorities is almost always the answer. It’s tangled, just like my hair.
[00:00:45.385] – Hilary Erickson
OK, let’s rewind back to July 2020, when I went to get my haircut, which is honestly, I only cut my hair like twice a year, but I’ve used the same lady for years. She’s awesome. She was washing my hair and was like, Uh, Hilary, you’re losing a lot of hair. And I kind of noticed it in the shower, but I kind of just figured everyone was losing a lot of hair because it was super stressful.
[00:01:05.455] – Hilary Erickson
So I was like, isn’t everyone losing hair? And she was like, not this much. She’s like, have you seen your doctor lately? Which I’d just been to a check-up. And so I was like, Oh, I just saw him. She was like, you might want to think about getting a thyroid test. And I knew it was true. I was extremely stressed at the time and that day kind of started a little bit of a cascade in my brain.
[00:01:25.435] – Hilary Erickson
So I was just starting to realize that maybe I was unhappy and stressed and I needed to change that because obviously pulling curls can’t be bald. Right? So backing up to about a year ago from now, I was starting to get unhappy at work. They had told me things initially when I was hired, like, ten years ago, what my duties would be and those kind of things. And then all of a sudden they changed it and they didn’t talk to me about it.
[00:01:46.675] – Hilary Erickson
And they all just kind of expected, like, I should just roll with that punch and not care. And if you back up three years before that, I had had a super stressful delivery and I had anxiety before work every shift after that day. Soon after that, we had another horrible thing at work. And all of that was just combining for me to be super anxious. Also, the more I talked with you guys, the more I realized how much doctors were just taking over people’s care and they didn’t care what patients wanted.
[00:02:14.035] – Hilary Erickson
And that was stressful, too, like it was just getting to be extremely stressful, and I would have a lot of anxiety before work. I was walking to work probably July, August, and I was just like, I could just hear that voice in the back of my head that says, Are you noticed that you hate this? Are you noticing how much stress that’s in your body before you head into work? And it’s interesting, I just did a class on pre shift anxiety with my friend Mandy for labor nurses.
[00:02:39.055] – Hilary Erickson
And it was just interesting about how many nurses are extremely stressed about what could happen during the shift. I think we’re more stressed before the shift than we are actually during the shift. So I was just noticing that kind of anxiety and I was trying to decide, like, what did I like about this job? I really love labor and delivery. I loved most of the things. I mean, there are crappy things about labor and delivery, cleaning up blood and other bodily fluids.
[00:03:01.105] – Hilary Erickson
I had a doctor like, throw a placenta and it didn’t land in the bucket and it landed on the floor and my room looked like a crime scene. But those are things like I could tolerate. But the constant anxiety, and right around that time I had done the podcast that just said the big decisions, you’ll just know. And I was kind of like, will I? Will I just know? Because, you know, for the last year I had been trying to decide because, you know, my manager at the time was like, oh, we’ll check into it.
[00:03:22.585] – Hilary Erickson
And then pretty much just never got back to me, which, you know, I just would like some talk. Oh, also around this time, I had taken a online course that was so stressful for me and I was doing things in it that I didn’t like. It was about sales and like, you know, all the timers and all the, you know, and I that’s just not me. I’d like to make people an offer of really quality product.
[00:03:45.715] – Hilary Erickson
And hopefully that’s something they’re interested in. If not, I still love them and I hope they have a great delivery. So and during that class, she actually got mad at me, told me I wasn’t working and kicked me out of the class that a bunch of Subaru things about me and yeah. So all these things were just kind of converging at this one point. And I just kept thinking, I need to stop doing the things that aren’t feeling good anymore.
[00:04:07.255] – Hilary Erickson
But I was having that little voice as I walked into work, this thing that I have loved for twenty years that was just saying, are you noticing you’re hating this? So and mid September, it just all kind of came to a head and I sat down and made a production list. And I love teaching. That’s what I love doing. And I get to do that with you guys on the Internet all the time. But there were so many things about the anxiety of this job, this job in particular.
[00:04:30.115] – Hilary Erickson
Things were changing at this job. It wasn’t so much covid like I could deal with the changes with covid, you know, some of the things like we were not letting babies room in for a while. And I thought that was not OK. And I didn’t want to carry out those types of policies. But in general, it wasn’t so much covid there were some hospital policies in association with them. Maybe the money that they lost with covid that they were changing, that I wasn’t a big fan of one of them being floating to possibly other hospitals, and they had made nurses float to other units like no one would float to labor and delivery.
[00:04:58.435] – Hilary Erickson
But sometimes they expect us to float to bed surge. And that’s yeah, that’s just not something I’m comfortable with at this point in time. I’ve done it moms for so long anyway. So in late September I well, mid-September I gave my two week notice and I have been off the hospital since then. Do I miss it? Yes, I miss interaction with the patients. I definitely see a different population there than I would see on the Internet.
[00:05:20.815] – Hilary Erickson
And I love seeing patients who haven’t gotten education ahead of that time and and being able to sit down with them and really explain it so they can understand it. I absolutely love that. I do not miss charting. I do not miss the anxiety that I would feel every Wednesday night. I wouldn’t be able to sleep all those kinds of things. I really have started to make myself a priority, which I think is really important. So what do I plan to do with this whole thing in the future, I can say being a nurse, because one of the jobs of being a nurses educating and I’m doing that with you guys all the time.
[00:05:48.405] – Hilary Erickson
So I have my own perinatal education company and that makes it so I can keep my license. My plan right now is to just kind of take the holidays off. This is like the worst holidays to have ever taken off in the last 20 years. You’ve got to think the last 20 years, every single holiday either I work Thanksgiving or Christmas or something of those two. And I am ready to be off for a year of those. I might go work at another hospital.
[00:06:10.635] – Hilary Erickson
I really would like to go teach nursing students on a labor and delivery floor. So I’ve talked with a few local colleges about that. Of course, with the rise in covid, I’m not sure what they’re going to be doing with teaching nursing students next year, but I would love, love, love, love to do that. However, I just have a bachelors degree. I don’t have a masters and I don’t have a big interest in going back to school because in nursing school wasn’t so great for me the first time.
[00:06:32.535] – Hilary Erickson
So I would like to make it easier for other people, but I’m not sure I’m ready to go back to nursing school right now, especially during covid. That doesn’t sound very fun. So that’s where I am with nursing right now. But I do have a second secret, although it’s not a secret. If you follow me on Instagram or look to my blog and a long time or in a while, I am in the vaccine study. Not too long after I left the hospital, they called me and wanted me to be in the study.
[00:06:53.565] – Hilary Erickson
I had applied early, early on during quarantine and it has been super, super interesting. I got the first shot the day after the election so early November, and I’m recording this soon before this episode releases. But I’ll get the next shot early December. So I think it’s like the week that this podcast releases. I will get the next shot. I did get redness, sore arm, a mild fever about twenty four hours after the shot. And so, yeah, I’m hopeful that I got the shot, there.
[00:07:23.235] – Hilary Erickson
So you can either in the study that I’m doing, which is the AstraZeneca trial, you. Thirty three percent of the people get saline, which is better than a lot of the studies. A lot was half and half. So. Sixty six percent chance that I got the actual vaccine. And I’m hoping that’s what I did because I would like to not have to go get the vaccine later on, I must admit. So just so you know, full on science, I have to fill out symptom studies for seven days after the immunization, there were lots of things that we had to call in if we had any of the symptoms.
[00:07:52.185] – Hilary Erickson
I am seeing nine times over two years. So they do follow us for an extended period of time. Although as far as I’ve read, if you don’t have any symptoms in the first two months after following immunization, you’re not going to have symptoms. So that’s reassuring because I was like, wow, are we going to have symptoms up to two years later?
[00:08:08.805] – Hilary Erickson
But it doesn’t seem like one of the things is you cannot be considering childbearing of any kind during the study. So I could only do it because I have an IUD in place. So if you could become pregnant, I think even if you’re just on birth control, they probably wouldn’t let you in the study. So that’s probably why I got in, because I’m done making babies. So interesting to see how that works. Man, I sure have high hopes for that.
[00:08:30.765] – Hilary Erickson
A lot of people ask me why I would volunteer for it. A lot of people are like, oh, that’s so scary. And, you know, I’m not in the first even ten thousand to get that vaccine, so I don’t feel it. That’s scary. I do feel like the first people who got it are real heroes because I don’t know that I would have raised my hand to get in the first wave of volunteers, but I’m in the third phase and it’s fairly tested right now.
[00:08:51.675] – Hilary Erickson
They’re mostly testing to see if it works versus if it’s safe. So but I believe in vaccines. I have probably given thousands, if not tens of thousands of vaccines at this point. We give the hepatitis B at birth. And actually when I graduated from nursing school, I worked for a pediatrician for quite a while where I would go in and give shots to babies and kindergartners and… Not my favorite part of the job. But I really do believe in vaccines.
[00:09:14.385] – Hilary Erickson
It’s not like I just give them like a robot. And I do not believe that they implanted a microchip in my arm and I do not believe that I am a zombie at this time. I’ve been asked both of those questions. My vaccine is not one of the MRSA ones. I know a lot of people have extra fears about those, but it is not one of those. It’s a little bit more traditional where they take just a common cold and they kind of use the coronavirus DNA and then your body recognizes that and that’s how it works instead of the new technology that’s behind the Moderna and the Pfizer one.
[00:09:42.705] – Hilary Erickson
So those are my two secrets, kind of a crazy time in my life. I’m not really sure what my plan is. I remember like soon after I had my last baby in California, I was sitting down and I was just thinking, this is my life. I’m going to work at this hospital for the rest of my life, and we’re going to live in California and this tiny house with three kids and one bedroom for the rest of my life.
[00:10:01.185] – Hilary Erickson
And really, that’s what it looked like. We were very happy there. Our kids were happy there. We loved our schools. But within a year, my husband got laid off from his job and we moved to Arizona. So things changed up. And and then he didn’t like his job there and things changed up. And you just never know what life holds, right? So I’m really thankful for the twists and turns. I’m thankful that I do have the opportunity to leave that because I do own my own business on the side.
[00:10:22.875] – Hilary Erickson
But also, I am loving, researching all sorts of topics to talk to you guys about, because I have to say, when you’re at the bedside, you don’t spend a whole lot of time like researching interesting things like I’ve learned about opioids during pregnancy and your recovery and I’ve learned about femoral nerve impingement when you push too long and like more about. How all that works, like I knew you’d hear tidbits about information kind of when you’re at the bedside, but it’s exciting to read these studies and get a little bit more informed so that I can share with you guys.
[00:10:49.035] – Hilary Erickson
So stay tuned! Pulling Curls has still got tons of pregnancy, 20 years of experience, and I’m still reaching out to all my labor and delivery nurse friends for any changes like what’s going on with covid right now. But right now, I’m not at the bedside and I am not a zombie.
[00:11:02.025] – Hilary Erickson
Thanks so much for joining us today. I hope we help smooth out a few of the snarls in your life. We drop an episode every Monday and we always appreciate it when you guys share and review until next time. We hope you have a tangle free day!