Daily Post 088: Hello Old Friend

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Not proofread because sleep is a thing


 

Hello dearest Microsoft Surface,

It’s been a while since I’ve written on you. It’s been a while since you’ve been charged and updated. I’m sure it’s nice to have the dust brushed off of you. At some point, I’m sure I’ll clean your screen.

I can remember moments with you. Good moments like the ones at my sports bar where I would pay bills while eating lunch after going to kickboxing. I remember you were what I wrote on for my “first birthday”. The first one without mom. I remember that night; how I had been in Vegas for the holiday season. I remember how we all went out to dinner and how other than that it wasn’t a big deal. It was a decent day and yet I still came home and cried as I poured everything out through your keyboard.

I’m grateful for the times you’ve been there for me. I’m grateful for the tasks you’ve helped me complete. I’m grateful for moments like now, where you’re the instrument, the key, to letting me write my thoughts onto a blank page which in turn leads me to understanding myself better.

We’ve been through a lot together even though our times recently have grown more distant.

A lot has happened in the past week. It was the first week of the new schedule at work. It’s been getting better but one of our patients has become pretty unstable and so the days have still been hard. Harder than what I’ve grown used to.

The first day, Monday, tried really, really hard to be on par with the Orlando clinic. It was probably only better because the day was shorter; 12 hours instead of sixteen. I still wanted to cry on the way home with how completely tapped out I was.

Tuesday I met with my trainer again. We went through some of the things he wants me to be doing on my own then did a half work out where he totally destroyed my legs. It was good though. I haven’t had to work that hard in a while and it was a tiredness, an ache, that I’ve missed. The pain of making myself be better than I am.

I mailed my thank you cards to Orlando after stopping by Walmart. The receipt said they should arrive at my old clinic on Thursday. I’m glad I finally got that taken care of. I hope the cards reach my old coworkers well and that my words mean something to them.

After the post office, I went to my clinic where I started on the NFACT training to become an expert cannulator. I made it through all of the video training and printed off all of the P&Ps that I need to read (policy and procedure). I have a print off of everything I need to do to complete the training and I was glad to see so many highlighted lines of things I was able to get done while I was there. Having all of the quiet time to myself made me more ready to face my next workday. It helped me recover from the lameness and overwhelm of Monday.

Wednesday was another crazy day, though not due to A-Level alarms. The morning started off well. Things were going smoothly. Then we had to call EMS for one of our patients. I’m not a doctor. Neither is our RN. We’re only able to handle so much with just the two of us and seven other patients who need our care. It was better for everyone that she agreed to go to the ER.

Mr. Non-compliance showed up, which was good. He needs to be there. He needs his antibiotic since his CVC is infected. He needs to be dialyzed so his blood isn’t full of toxins slowly eroding away at all of the years he still has left to live.

I have never personally been on dialysis, but I know, just like any other disease or hardship, that it doesn’t have to define someone. It’s only the end of it you let it be the end. If Life sucks and starts being a dick tell it to go fuck itself and fight to live the life you want to live. Don’t let it stop you.

Does that mean compromising on a lot of things?

Yes. But better to compromise and have a halfway happy than to give up and have no happy at all.

I guess it’s all about perspective and, for the most part, I try to make mine one of, “I’m going to make this work no matter how hard you try to stop me.”

Another thing that happened Wednesday was my FA reached out to me asking if I would be interested in covering some shifts are other clinics in Omaha. With the rush to get everything squared away from the PCT registry, there are some techs who aren’t able to work and so there are spots that need to be filled until all of the red tape can get figured out.

Normally I wouldn’t be jazzed about working more hours, but there’s incentive pay and it would be overtime if I did work those shifts. I also know what it’s like to work shorthanded. And I guess I was asked for specifically. My FA travels a lot and has mentioned to several other FAs how well I am doing on her team. When the need arose to have someone float to their clinics they wanted to know if I would be willing, thus why my FA reached out to me.

I talked to Ox before making a decision about the first shift. It was for the coming Saturday; a day we would have the kids. Being there two days in a row is hard for me. There’s little downtime where I can recharge and as awful as it might be, the thought of working and being out of the house was better than being constantly bombarded by an eight-year-old. One day I could do. Two was more than I wanted at the time.

Ox said he was ok with me doing whatever I wanted to do; that he supported me, but to make sure I wasn’t biting off more than I could chew.

With Ox’s support, I replied to my FA saying I could cover the upcoming Saturday shift, but that I would need to talk to my trainer about moving my times around before I could say anything about the other days.

I was glad when Wednesday was over. My RN was feeling under the weather and it was her last day which didn’t help make the day any smoother. We had planned a few weeks back to get dinner together and even though both of us were tapped out I’m glad neither of us canceled our plans. I got to meet her daughter. It was a nice evening even though I ended up having to drive home in what felt like a hurricane level downpour in Nebraska.

Thursday I had training again. My legs were still sore from Tuesday so I was worried about how well I would be able to do. We started by looking at my food tracking on MyFitnessPal. I’m doing ridiculously better than I was for the past… we’ll say four months, but I was still over in some areas while being under in others.

I was over in carbs. My limit is 100 or less. The highest I was over was 67, but that’s still 67 that’s taking me away from my goal. I was over in calories by roughly 700 on my worst day, but again, that’s 700 more I have to burn through to make the level of progress I want.

I was drastically under in protein, which I need if I’m going to be working out as hard as I’m going to be.

My trainer and I talked about it. I made mental notes on what I could change and how for the coming week and then proceeded to go to the floor where we had our first full workout.

We started with the machines again, doing the same ones we had done on Tuesday but with slightly lower weight. I was proud that I made it through everything. Maybe it was a psychological thing, but knowing the weight was less made it seem more ok. I had done 200 lbs. on Tuesday. 175 wasn’t necessarily a cakewalk, but it wasn’t 200 so I knew I could do it, and I did.

After the machines, we went to the back room where we did a lot of plyometric stuff. At the end, he said he was pretty impressed. He said I had more coordination than what he was expecting and that it really was more of an issue with getting the nutrient side under control.

I would rather not be insulted by his comment. I know it could be taken that way. It would be easy to have one of those, “What? Did you think I was a sack of potatoes?” type of response to his comment.

I would rather not think of it that way. I know I may not look like much but I’ve done a lot of things in my life so far. Marching band. Boxing. Kickboxing. Aikido. Jiujitsu. Muay Thai. Running. Yoga. Zumba. Warrior Dashs… All of that goes into what I’m able to do now. Not all of that is apparent on the surface.

I talked to him about the changes to my schedule and we worked out times in the evening, after my shifts at the Omaha clinics where we could meet. I knew the coming week would be brutal but I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I was going to cover those shifts and have my workouts too.

Once I had showered I went to Walmart again so I could make the changes I wanted to foodwise. From there I went to the clinic where I clocked in and read through all of the P&P that I needed to. I wasn’t at the clinic as long on Thursday but I was ok with that. I got the remaining things checked off my list and sent an email to my FA letting her know the only thing left, aside from a training module that appeared to no longer be on the site, was to be checked off on my skills list.

I went home. I did laundry. I unloaded, loaded, and ran the dishwasher, later emptying it again to fill with the dishes from dinner. I cooked a new zoodle recipe which I think turned out pretty good. I made sure I was ready for Friday and went to sleep.

Friday was another rough day.

My left leg was seriously hurting me when I woke up and not in a sore muscle sort of way. It was the back of my knee, towards the outside. It hurt to straighten it completely. It felt like the tendon in that area was overly tight; like a rubber band that you’re trying to stretch too far. I knew I had to make it through my day regardless of how my leg felt so after my shower I took the last IcyHot patch that I had gotten for my back forever ago and put it on the back of my knee. Since it was in a place that would move and flex a lot I wrapped it with adherent wrap a few times and hoped the compression would be enough to let me at least hobble through the day.

My leg wasn’t any better by the time I got to the clinic so I was slower in getting things done but I did the best I could and that’s all I could do. The patient we called EMS for on Wednesday started having issues again. We think it might be an allergy to the dialyzer she’s using, so we have orders from her doctor to try a different one. I’m hoping that makes Monday better.

Since I was going to be working in Omaha the next day I tried finding a hotel room to stay in, but I couldn’t find anything for under $150. I guess there was some super big conference meeting going on. With having the kids Friday night there wasn’t really a way for me to get the amount or quality of sleep that I would need if I was going to be waking up super early to drive that far from home to work a full day.

I ended up getting a hotel room in Beatrice instead. It would make the trip a little longer but, ideally, I would be able to get the proper rest I needed to make it through the day.

Ox and I met near home for dinner. I tried making smart choices with my food; ones in line with the metrics I’m trying to stick with. Even with going out to eat I came in under my limits for calories and carbs. Go me.

Neither of us liked the thought of being apart for the night, but we both understood the situation and that it was a smart choice. The incentive pay essentially covered the hotel cost, so that was negated, but I would still be making overtime pay, so even with the extra expense, I was coming out in the positive. I would be helping my sister clinics and making myself a more valuable team member. I would be getting time with the other machine models so I don’t lose those skills, and I would be meeting more team members and seeing how other clinics are run which could give me insight to how my own clinic could become better.

Overall I was looking forward to my Saturday. Ox and I agreed that I would wake up a little earlier than I had to so I could stop by home in the morning on my way to Omaha so we could still see each other.

He fell asleep shortly after he got home which led to unresponded to text messages and missed calls. It wasn’t a warm fuzzy way to end the night, but I figured something must be going on for him to not respond. I was glad that I didn’t freak out or have the knee-jerk reactions I would have in the past. I didn’t instantly think he had died. I thought, “Maybe he didn’t realize his phone died. Or maybe he forgot to pay the bill.”

I stopped at Walmart before going to my hotel room. I picked up more IcyHot patches with ibuprofen and an actual knee brace. I made it through checkout then immediately found a bench to put the brace on. It felt amazing. I wore it the rest of the night until I was about to go to sleep.

I slept deeply and solidly for the whole night, waking up only a few minutes before my alarm went off, which is actually a nice way to start my day. I like waking up on my own, coming out of a REM cycle rather than having it interrupted by an alarm.

I showered and had half an apple before packing up my car and heading home. I started to worry then since he still wasn’t answering his phone. I could feel the icy fingers of dread trying to curl around my stomach. The closer I got to my turn off the stronger those feelings got.

Luckily he ended up calling me and explained that he fell asleep super hard and that he was just now waking up. I explained where I was at on the road and that we would see each other soon.

It was nice getting a hug from him. I liked the physical reassurance that everything was ok. We still had our cigarette together and I was able to have my Bang energy drink, something I had forgotten to pack with me the night before.

The drive up to Omaha was uneventful. It was actually pretty nice to watch the sunrise as I drove since my shift started at 7:30 am. The clinic was also pretty easy to find; another plus to the day. I got there early to make sure I had time in case I got lost along the way. I was able to sync my account with their systems so I could chart. I got to meet the other team members who were working that day and explain what I felt my strengths were verses my weaknesses. One of the RNs walked me through stringing one of the machines since it has been roughly three months since I had worked with the ones they use.

I’m glad that after seeing it done once that I was able to fall back into the swing of things and that the day was smooth and uneventful. All of the patients were pleasant and kind. I was able to jump in and carry my own weight and as the staff started heading home for the day, each of them stopped and thanked me for coming to help out and that they enjoyed working with me.

I enjoyed my time at the clinic and I wouldn’t mind working there again if they need me. It’s a bit of a drive, but they have a very solid team and, in a way, it reminds me of being back in Orlando. It’s a bigger clinic and not many techs can work in that type of environment. A lot of the clinics in the area are small; eight to twelve stations. So when they have to cover something closer to twenty stations they get overwhelmed. Since that’s the type of environment I started in I just go along with it. It’s nothing new and honestly, it was a pretty easy day, but then TTS days usually are since they’re the “lighter” days. Fewer patients and such.

Once I was clocked out I headed home. Once again Ox wasn’t answering his phone which was frustrating but I knew I would have an answer to why eventually.

When I got home he said he had been sleeping for most of the day. He’s been sick not only with whatever has been plaguing his lungs but also with a stomach bug. We had dinner. I showered. I unpacked a bit. But mostly I went to sleep.

And so now we’re here at today. Sunday.

I woke up. I had my egg and chicken breakfast, crushing my protein intake like a bawce.

Shortly after everyone had eaten Lil’ Ox, that’s what I’ll refer to Ox’s daughter as, since I’m going to stick with the Ox theme I have going, and I went for a bike ride. It’s the first time her and I have been alone together and I think it went well. We made it all the way to the park near our house and played for a bit. Eventually, other people showed up and she played with the other kids that were there. That meant I had to interact with the mom’s and keep cool and not freak out over that fact that I have no idea how to be a parent because Lil’ Ox isn’t actually mine even though she was saying how she had to ask her “mom” for permission to go to the other area of the playground.

Omg. I’m so not ready for this. >.<;

It might have been low of me, but shortly after that, I felt it was time to go home. We had been gone for close to an hour. I had done my part of holding my shit together in the face of a totally foreign situation. It was getting warm. I didn’t have sunscreen on…

Yeah… totally time to go home.

I told Ox about the park adventure. He snickered at me. We had plans to go into town for the day so I showered and changed and we all piled into my car to spend the afternoon together.

We stopped at GameStop first so Ornery Ox, his son, could get a few games. He gets allowance money but rarely spends it. He also had a gift card to the store for his birthday, so he was able to get a couple game all on his own.

Lil’ Ox got a few toys while we were there, using her own allowance money even though she was upset that her brother had more money than her. That caused a little bit of friction on the way to the store since Ornery Ox kept making comments about the amount of money he had.

Honestly, it was like listening to me and Jon when we were younger. I don’t understand how my mom didn’t kill us. XD

We stopped at Best Buy for me where I was a totally irresponsible adult and bought my first TV.

Yep. That’s right. I now am the proud owner of a 38-inch Chromecast compatible TV which I plan to hook my PS4 up to and play through the new God of War game and the remastered Spyro games when they come out in September because Spyro is amazing.

It’s a weird feeling. But… I think it’s a good one. I don’t know yet. I’ll keep you posted.

I went across the street to my new sports bar for lunch. After eating I stopped by my storage unit to get the rattan sticks I had gotten forever ago for my SCA swords because that’s something I’m going to be doing again.

It’s something I started looking into shortly before falling asleep Saturday night. There’s a group in Lincoln and their first outdoors fighter practice is going to be Tuesday, the 8th.

I so want to go. I can’t put into words how awesome it would be to make progress in the combative area of my life and to have a group, outside of work, that I belong to.

With working on Wednesdays, there’s not a way for me to make any of the meets for the embroidery guild and I’m not ready to go back to the dojo. I want to wait until after my Warrior Dash to venture back into that area of my life.

But SCA… That’s something that I would totally be ok with being involved in now and it would still be fighting and lining up with my training and… I don’t know.

I’m excited about it. Like… hardcore looking forward to going even though I don’t have any armor or gear that I can use as armor.

We came home after the trip to the storage unit. I hid upstairs for a little bit to decompress from all of the social of the day. I played a little bit of Crash Titans with Lil’ Ox. We’re on a boss level so she got tired of not winning. Booked another hotel room in Beatrice so I could get another good nights sleep without worrying about people having to tiptoe around my early bedtime or me constantly waking up since I’m a light sleeper.

I packed my food for the coming day along with everything I would need for the gym after work since that’s something I would really like to do if I’m able to.

My leg has been way better today but I have the knee brace with me if I feel I need it. I’ve eaten dinner. I’ve set everything out. My alarm is set. I’ve written. I’ve talked to Ox, so really all that’s left is to take my contacts out and go to sleep.

So with that, my dear friend, I guess I’m going to go.

I don’t think I really needed to figure out anything tonight. I think I just needed to write it all out and reflect on the week. It’s had some hard moments, but when compared to everything else, I think I had a really good week and I think there’s a lot of things to look forward to in the coming week.

Thanks for letting me write. Thanks for being there for me, the hard times and good times alike. Get some updates, and hopefully, it’s not another six months before we spend some time together.

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