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Hi there! My name is Meris, and I'm a 20 year old soon-to-be nursing student living in Virginia! This is my 4th year doing Holiday Wishes, and I've had a blast every time. I really look forward to granting some wishes and seeing the creative ways people come up with to help me with mine :)

1.Gift cards to anywhere that sells food.
This is the first time I've had bills. I pay for my car, my cell phone, my cats' vet bills, my food, everything but utilities (thanks Mom!). Sometimes it's really hard to make ends meet being in school full-time and only being able to work part-time. It's not a dire need, but sometimes I'd like to be able to buy *gasp* name brand cereal, haha. I would really appreciate any amount of money that could go towards food in any sort of form. Even if you just have a few dollars left on a gift card you got a while back!

2.Anything that could help me through nursing school.
If you have any books, old notes, reference guides, equipment, anything really, that could help me through nursing school, I'd really appreciate it. Even if you've been through nursing school and can give me some advice! I'm really nervous, and being as well prepared as I can will help my anxiety.

3.Anything in my mailbox that isn't a bill!
Whether it's a card or a package, I'll love it if it isn't asking for money. And if you would be interested, I'd LOVE to be care-package buddies with someone. Just send me a list of stuff you like, and we can send each other care packages every once in a while :) Honestly, anything in my mailbox makes my day.

4.Candy from anywhere other than the USA...or candy from the USA that I can't get in Virginia!
Smarties, Tim-tams, Pocky, Big Frut, ANYTHING. One year, someone sent me the most amazing candy care packet, and I got to try the neatest candies from around the world! Even if you don't think it's "exotic" or "cool," I'll love it. Seriously. And I'm not allergic to anything/I like everything. I even like that crazy salted licorice stuff!

5. Good thoughts/intentions/prayers.
I've been really sick recently, and I've undergone a lot of appointments and tests that have been not so much fun. It's gotten to the point that my life is being put on pause to deal with my medical issues, but the problem is that no one knows what's wrong. At this point, I don't care what the problem is, I just want to know what it is so we can work to fix it. So any good thoughts, prayers, positive intentions sent my way would be really appreciated.

6. Donations to charities.
If you could donate any amount of money to Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Virginia, Rory's Garden, The March of Dimes, or to your local fire department/rescue squad it would be greatly appreciated. Alternatively, if you could donate your time to any of these organizations (or anywhere!) so many people will benefit.

7. Resources for sex education.
I am currently trying to start an education outreach program in my community to educate parents on how to talk to their kids about sex. Any books, pamphlets, posters, etc. relating to safe sex or sex education would be SO welcome! Also, if you have any stories (good or bad) about talking to your kids, or what it was like when your parents talked to you (or didn't) about sex, I'd love to hear them. Sometimes testimonials are the best educators!

8. Any DVDs.
If you have DVDs of any movie, any television series, documentaries, ANYTHING that you don't want anymore, I'd love to take them off your hands. I am always looking to add to my DVD collection and see new things. Alternatively, if you could tell me about your favorite movies/tv shows to check out, that would be great, too!

9. Anything relating to the Fire Department/Emergency Medicine/Nursing.
I'm an emergency medical technician and I work with the fire department (hoping to start the academy this spring). If you have any fiction books about Firefighters/EMTs, any DVDs or even VHS tapes about us, any episodes of Rescue 911, DVDs of Emergency! or Third Watch, a firefighter stuffed animal, or even just a children's book about firefighters/paramedics, I would love it. I love things having to do with fire trucks, firefighters, paramedics, ambulances, nurses, everything! Stuff from places like ourdesigns.com to things your local fire department handed out at an informational session one time :) The only thing I *need* when it comes to EMS is a Littmann stethoscope. I have a hearing loss in both ears and cannot hear well over the roar or the ambulance's diesel engine when doing patient assessments. New, used, found, it doesn't matter. But seriously, I'm a fire/EMS dork and collect anything having to do with the field.

10. New Friends!
Whether you'd like to be LJ friends, pen-pals, follow me on twitter, or be friends IRL (if you live in the area!) I'd love it! I'm always looking to meet new people and connect with people who have different world views than I do.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my list. If you do offer to help me, please link me to your list so that I can see if I can reciprocate the love at all! Also, I can be reached at mshuwarger [at] gmail [dot] com!

Above all, I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!
I just added you to my twitter! I'm pixielexie!

As for sex conversation, my parents always told me to ask them ANY question I had, and they meant it. I have no shame in asking them anything and never felt stupid!! I think that's an amazing thing!
Thanks so much! Following back :)

And that's *so* awesome about your parents. So many parents make the conversation awkward and shame-filled just because they themselves are uncomfortable. I'm so glad that wasn't the case for you!
No in fact I have been told I should have some shame. I guess it's getting passed on cause whenever someone has a question, be in period related, or in the need of someone to buy them condoms they come to me!
Ugh, it's so terrible that people feel that way! The world would be a lot healthier place if this weren't such a taboo! And I'm so happy you're there for your friends; they probably appreciate it more than you know!
Heya! I'll totally keep you in my thoughts and prayers that you'll start to feel better!

Also I finished nursing school in December, I don't have books sadly but I can give tips and sites that helped me out!

You might know about a couple of these but I still love to tell about them- http://www.webmd.com/ <-- great place to look up the meds/diseases that you will have to deal with.

http://allnurses.com/ <-- this is a great forum just for nurses. There's a student nurse place that you can post about homework- like if you need a care plan for something they can tell you what you need to remember. And it's also a great place to just vent if you had a bad day or experience.

As for tips-
~ If you have to do the careplans, keep a copy of the meds or diseases- especially like diabetes- and you can reuse them for other patients- it saves time when you have so much to do because you just grab the file that works for it and add/remove what you need to make it work for that patient.

~And- eventhough it may freak you out- make sure to read the assignments! People around me used to not read any of it and then they freaked when they didn't get it- when it was spelt out in the book.

~A tape recorder is good to use for lectures. You can replay it later on and you can remember stuff that you forgot, or may have missed.

~Always be the patient advocate! If the patient tells you they want/need something (and it's in your power to do it) try your hardest to get it. Doctors aren't always right...

Also if you have any questions feel free to ask me and I can try to answer the best I can. Good luck! It may be hard at times, but it is the most rewarding thing to know that you're helping the person. Or when they look at you and smile.
Oh thank you so much! This stuff is super helpful, and I'm definitely keeping this in my inbox so I can pull it out for later use!

If I think of anything, I'll *definitely* let you know!
Hello there!

I think I could do something nice with 4 (Swedish candy?) and maybe 8, even! Also I think it's a wonderful thing you do with #7. I wish I had reading material to share, but at least I have a testimonial that you're more than welcome to use if you think it's fitting. :)

Please send you address and username to:
So I'm sitting here... with a box to make a care package... and have no idea what to put it in it besides smarties and pocky. xD

Oh my gosh, I'm so excited! I'd love a handwritten note, anything from your city, maybe pictures of your friends/pets/etc? I love learning more about people. And if you do send a care package, put a list of stuff you like in it and I'll try to send one back with fun things for you :)
Congrats on nursing school! I just started med school this semester, and am incredibly envious of the knowledge and experience you possess before even starting! With all that, you'll be really great at what you do.
Things I've found really useful off the top of my head (though you may have run across them already):
www.epocrates.com -has a free online bit. AMAZING.
Stedman's has a free online (limited) dictionary, too.
If your school has an UpToDate account, it rocks. Good summaries and information about things the textbooks sometimes have incorrect.

As for sex education, I had managed to learn about sex and the like just before I was four, so I never asked the "so where do babies come from" etc. But schools still have a mandatory program, and my parents thought it was taught horrendously. They signed me out of health class so that I never had to sit through any of it, and instead, we watched the Miracle of Life video, and then they gave me The Woman's Body (book) and the Kama Sutra from the bookshelf to read. It just wasn't a taboo subject. Also, the internet is a great tool for information if the kid takes the time to verify sources.

I'll surely mail something to you (at least a holiday card).

I wish you the best of luck in regaining your health. That sounds like an abysmal time.
Oh thank you so much for the links! I *love* epocrates and use it to check med interactions and stuff all the time! I'll have to check out UpToDate and see if my school has an account.

And thank you for telling me your story :) That's really awesome to hear!
I might be able to find some pocky- I'll have to see if I can get to a place that sells it

For 8- I have a couple old dvds that I don't watch anymore that I could send, oh would burned be okay too?

Because I have some dvds I still want to keep that I could burn (Teenage Dirtbag- I highly recommend it, it's sad, but it's amazing, Julie and Julia, Sorority Wars- Lifetime Movie, Gracie's Choice- Lifetime Movie, Into Temptation)- I have more those are just the five movies I'm recommending right now

for tv shows

have you seen Trauma?- it's been cancelled but I really liked it- I have all the episodes I can burn, Mercy, Hawthorne, Three Rivers, The Forgotten, The Good Wife, House- if you haven't watched I so recommend it, it's awesome, most of these deal with medical profession, except The Forgotten and The Good Wife

Since you said it's okay here's my list
Oh my gosh. You just made my night. *ANYTHING* you can send, burned or not will completely and totally make my day. You don't even know :)

As for the shows, I definitely loved Trauma, and would be so happy to have the episodes! Same for Mercy, Hawthorne and Three Rivers.

Seriously, you rock. Also thanks for the possible pocky! Send me an email and I'll get you my address. Also, I'm looking at your list right now and I'll definitely find a way to help :)
I'll definitely grant 10, as you seem cool and we have interests in common. I'm all for new LJ friends. And I'll be doing 5, as well. I can totally relate. I've got health problems of my own, and went through a period a few years ago where it was all up in the air, so I know how it feels. It's exhausting, and can make you feel like all your plans have been turned inside and backwards.

I'll see what I can do about 6 as well.
Twitter request! I'm allie_upstairs. I'm currently in Saint Louis, but home for the holidays is Bethesda, if you live nearby DC and want to meet up for coffee or lunch or something :)
Oh yay! Following back :)

I live about 3 hours from DC, or else I'd so take you up on that offer.
Ah well! Yay twitter. I didn't mean to get one, now I can't stop. It's like pringles, but worse...

Also. Love your LJ name :)
Meris, I would love to fulfill some of wish #1, #3, #7 and #10.

I will ask a friend, who has a teenage son and I swear to God the coolest way of talking to him about sex on the planet, see if maybe she wouldn't mind helping you out.

Also I'll add you pronto!
2. think different from your ems training. nursing school (depending on the department that you end up in after school) is about the long term goals, not like ems where its all about getting the person to the hospital and what the next 5 minutes hold. i started pre-nursing but my grades werent high enough to get in. also have my first responder cert. i think i would like er nursing, but id rather go and get my emt-b, because i like the "thinking on my feet" better then the care plans. but thats just me.

3. drop me a pm with your addy and ill drop a card in the mail for ya :)

5. sending good thoughts your way. hope you feel better soon.

9. talk to your nursing school student group. we have a sale, at school, every year, where part of the donations go to the nursing department. its a good investment. or ask for yours for your present for something. i hope you get one. i got one a few years ago, for my birthday, because i wanted medical stuff for my bday :)

10. i love new friends too. feel free to friend me back :)
I added you here and on twitter. I'd like to send you a letter if you email me your address to apeystar@gmail.com :D
I can add you as a friend here on LJ if you would like.

Also, I'm not sure of this, but I have another LJ friend going thru nursing school and she has to take a couple psych classes. If you have to take psych classes too, I could maybe send you an old textbook, depending on the subject matter of the class you need to take. I did my masters in psych and have all my old books - I'm not actively using my masters and don't think I ever will, so I really have no use for the textbooks.
I can do 3 and 4! Emailing you with more info and questions!
7. I can totally help you out on this! For some reason I have a spare copy of the book What's Happening to Me? which is mainly about puberty, but also touches on sex and directly addresses masturbation. Aside from that it's a pretty cute book and is probably one of the most frank books for children about puberty that I've ever seen. There's also this book, which seems much more focused on sex.

Also, I can't personally vouch for this but from what I hear this book sounds like it's up your alley.