Just as I was starting to feel the weight of the world on my shoulders (patho will do that to you), I read my chapter on stress and disease. It reminded me of a course I took during my BSN on holistic health. I would encourage all of you to do a quick survey of yourselves here: http://www.stresstips.com/lifeevents.htm During my BSN course, I made a promise to myself to eat better, sleep more, and stress less. Ha. If you should take the above survey, you’ll see the profound effects on stress on your body’s immunity. Greater than 300 points, you’re at an 80% high probability of incurring a stress-related illness, 150-299- you’re at 50%, less than 150 and you have a 30% probability. The survey is not partial to eustress or negative stress. If you just got married, you’re only 3 points less than the person experiencing a physical injury. When I was in my BSN, I had a score of 350 (profound injury, move, change in sleep/eating habits, etc). Guess what happened? I had bouts of palpitations, bronchitis, and it took hours to calm my body down enough to go to sleep. I responded to that by doing more homework until my eyes couldn’t stay open… then I slept a few hours and went to work. It’s amazing that I didn’t have an MI at the age of 22.
Here’s a little snippet from my notes (for the sake of blogging, I decided to keep it short).
As it relates to pathophysiology, stress causes numerous alterations in cellular processes. The adrenal glands produce excess epinephrine and norepinephrine, increasing heart rate and blood pressure. The hypothalamus may alter sleeping and eating habits. The autonomic nervous system may cause muscle tension and shunt blood from periphery functions, diverting it to essential organs. CRF stimulates the pituitary gland to secrete vasopressin, increasing blood pressure. Glucocorticoids raise blood glucose levels to provide energy in response to the stress. Thyroxine increases energy consumption by cells and increases protein manufacturing. Aldosterone may increase, resulting in electrolyte imbalances. Increased production of fatty acids may increase triglyceride storage in the liver. The increased cortisol levels promote nonspecific immunity responses and increase presence of free radicals.
In other news, my car was wrecked by some lady doing an illegal, unprotected left turn in front of me. I thought it was going to be totaled, but it’s going to be salvageable! I worked a lot of extra hours to pay that thing off so I wouldn’t have that bill during my MSN! As a nurse and advocate for safety, I’m going to take this to the city. There have been NUMEROUS accidents, yet the city has still refused to put up a protected green arrow. This intersection is one block away from one of the ERs I work in.
I’m 300 pages into pathophysiology! I can do this! If I can ever finish this first unit, I can do anything. The next chapters are neuro, psych, cardiology, etc. I’m so excited to leave cellular biology in the dust. Imagine reading 300 pages and each paragraph has about 15 new concepts in it.
For those of you that are in pathophysiology, I have a few highly recommended resources:
These little guys condense the information down to outlines and bulleted points. You won’t get all of your information this way, but it’s very helpful. I got to the point where I read so much, that I woke up the next morning and felt like I lost it all. These help me keep myself in check. The rapid review has online questions when you purchase the book. I have an iPad so I put both of these on there (the rapid review is available on nook, so you need to get the nook app for your iPad).
Have a wonderful week!
Cartoon from http://scrubsmag.com/nurse-cartoons-stress-tests/