Daily Post 172: A Day of Self-Care

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It’s 8:12 as I sit to write this. I have to be up at 2:30. I’m ok with cutting into my sleep, though. It’s the first time in a while where my ability to write overlaps with my will to write. I want to take advantage of it while I can.

I finally have internet at the apartment. Woo! That means I have the ability to write and post in the same sitting. I can pay bills online while staying in my pjs. I can look up new recipes while I sip at my cup of coffee. I can listen to music on my phone without cutting into my data.

It’s stupid, but it makes me happy to have it again. It’s another silly, small thing that makes me feel like an independent adult who has their shit mildly together on the outside because the inside is a lot like this…

In regards to the internet, there was a promotional offer for the first three months free with this particular internet provider. There was also a referral program I could take advantage of since it’s the same internet company Ox’s parents use. All in all, it ended up working out well for me to hold off for so long with getting it set up. It’s nice to finally have it again, though.

Work is still pretty nebulous and I don’t like that. I finally worked with my FA again yesterday. She was gone on PTO for about a week. We didn’t get a chance to talk about anything overly important yesterday; at least not the important things I was hoping to have answers to or clarification on. So I’m left working through feelings of frustration.

I’m still mildly frustrated over the PCT Advisory Committee meeting, too, but I’m coming to terms with those feelings. And since I don’t have a whole lot of time to write, right now most likely isn’t the best time to get into it.

I’ve decided for the time being to keep my head down and simply work through my schedule. That’s all that’s really required of me. I’m still doing five days a week anyway. There’s not a whole lot else I can do or give.

Ox and I had lunch today after he got off work. I’ve listened to a fair amount of the new leadership book for my class on August 5th. I bought the plane tickets and reserved a car for August 18th to the 22nd so I can visit Orlando before the LPN program starts on August 27th. I bought and assembled a new computer desk which I’m currently typing at. I like it. I think it will serve me well once school starts and once I get things put away/organized better. I ordered a gaming chair from Amazon that should be here in a few more days. Got some new cross-stitching thread ordered, too, since I didn’t have all of the colors I needed to complete the project I started. Hard to believe there are still colors I don’t have…

I did finish a small project last night, which is why I started the new one. I’ve switched my focus from larger projects to smaller ones at the moment. Since I don’t allow myself much time to stitch doing smaller patterns lets me still feel a sense of accomplishment or at least progress.

I’ve also been playing Witcher 3 for the past week. Ox set up my tv, the one I bought over a year ago and never had a place to put… He also set up my PlayStation for me while I was washing dishes at the apartment. I restarted my game… again… I’m so tired of killing this freaking griffin. >.<;

Thankfully I’m past the griffin part. I’m enjoying the game and playing and escaping from reality for a few hours at a time. I’m looking forward to sticking with it and getting to new parts that I haven’t already played. It’s also been nice to have my own little entertainment area. I hadn’t realized until just now that I haven’t had my own living room since I first moved down to Florida, what… eight years ago? Maybe nine?

The first apartment I ever had, I lived alone. After that I always had roommates and so the living room was a communal area. Realizing that fact made things feel more… real. More me. More mine and safe and like I have actually achieved something with my life so far. Maybe I’ve been making more progress than I’ve allowed myself to fully acknowledge.

Overall, today has been a low key day and I’m ok with that. I did a fair amount of self-care today. All of my chores were caught up so I could take the time to do the things I wanted to do and it was an extremely nice change of pace.

The next two days I work at the Cap City clinic, but I’m C1 which means I’ll be leaving at 1 pm at the latest. Theoretically… The Universe always loves to fuck with shit when you say it in absolutes like that.

The past two times I’ve opened the clinic things have gone smoothly. I am starting to get a feel for the workflow at that clinic and mixing bicarb doesn’t intimidate me like it used to. I’m not necessarily looking forward to my days at this clinic, but I’m not dreading them either. I know what the tasks are that I need to do as a C1. It’s a confident feeling. Stable. Self-assured. I know what I need to do and I have more faith in my ability to do it well and efficiently since I’ve had to cover so many shifts at this clinic recently.

Anywho… not a whole lot else at the moment. I know I need to write some deep, soul-searchy posts in the near future, but I don’t feel like digging that deep tonight, so it’s off to bed for me.

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Daily Post 171: Catching Up

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Today is my first day off in a while. And I say that after having both days off this past weekend…

It feels like my life is mostly work right now. I pulled 66 hours not long ago. The previous weeks were most likely in the 40 – 50 range. Some days I only have to worry about a 4-hour meeting, so they’re not 12 hour long days, but I am consistently doing 4 to 6 days each week. It wears on you after a while. It makes me appreciate my time off and it makes me super worried and anxious about having “down” days during that brief time because that’s the only time I have to get stuff done. I don’t have time to be “down”.

Which is pretty fucked up if you think about it. I’m basically saying I don’t have time to process through my emotions. I don’t have time to be tired. I don’t have time to recover. I only have time to do the things I need to do to make sure I can keep going on all the days I work since I don’t have time to do chores/errands on those days. I only have enough time to keep up.

What’s even more fucked up is I do this to myself. >.<;

Anyway, today is going well. I’m in the process of trying to get stuff done. I’ve already showered and shaved so I don’t feel like Godzilla. I’ve had a good breakfast. I’ve chatted with a few friends that I haven’t talked with in a while. I even made it to the gym to do a Tabata workout that I survived, if just barely. I didn’t do as well as I would have about a year ago, but I stayed for the whole thing AND was able to walk out, on my own, down the stairs, without falling on my face. Go me. I’m a fucking badass. /flex

I finally stepped on the scale again this morning. I’ve been dreading that. Still where I was. No weight gain. No weight loss. I’m ok with that.

I’m still sitting here at the gym. I’ve been plucking away at my email and paying bills and student loans since I dropped my A&P class. Those are due a few more times before the LPN program starts at the end of August.

There’s a bunch of stuff going on at work but I don’t really feel like getting into it too much. Mostly I’m just wanting to type a quick post to let the Universe know I’m still alive.

The tasks for today, aside from bill paying, will be ordering an L-shaped desk to use as my study center at the apartment and setting up internet so I can access my class and such once it starts. I’ve called and asked about my class books. Since I’m registered at the Beatrice campus I’m not sure if I’m limited to getting my books only from that bookstore or if I could swing by the Lincoln campus and retrieve them. It would be convenient to get them while I’m in town today. Otherwise, I’m not sure when I would be able to pick them up. I’m at work too late to do it while I’m down there and I don’t have any days off in the near future other than Sundays and they’re not open Sundays.

Blarg. So yeah… Not a whole lot going on aside from work. Things have been fairly stable. The apartment is going well. Ox and I are doing well. I’ve been approved for vacation the week before school starts so I’m planning on taking a trip down to Orlando to see John and Mother Earth and a few other people. I think it will be a nice break before school begins and to recover from all of the overtime I’ve been pulling.

I might be moving from a PCT 1 position to a PCT 2 position. Basically, it just means that I’ve been doing this for a while and am a senior member of the team. There’s also a float position being created that I’ve expressed interest in since I feel I’m unofficially filling that role already. I have expressed concerns over it to my FA and she’s looking into it since it would change things in the clinic. I don’t want to lose her as my manager. I like working with her and I like Beatrice being my home.

I feel like I’m rambling with no real direction.

I guess I feel better today because I’ve been able to sleep well the past few nights and I’ve been able to take the time I need for self-care. I’m not all doom and gloom because I feel like I’m able to take some time to breathe and be with myself doing the things I want to do. It’s a nice feeling.

We’ll see how things play out. So far today is a good day and I’m grateful for that.

Daily Post 170: The Post-Work Feelz

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I just got out of work.

It was a day…

And by “it was a day” I mean I got there at 3:45 because I was listed as C2. Census 2. That means as far as how this clinic breaks up tasks, I was supposed to set up the floor. I needed to put out needle packs and treatment sheets and dialysers and string the machines. And today was the day after they bleached the loop, so all of the machines had to be tested for residual bleach so bad shit won’t happen because while bleach is amazing, it’s not amazing inside of your body; specifically inside your bloodstream.

Add to that the knowledge that the new tech, the one I actually don’t really like because she has an avoidance issue when it comes to doing pretty much anything in the clinic, was supposed to open the water room post disinfect…

If somethings going to go wrong it’s going to go wrong this morning, so yeah. I’m going to get there early and work off the clock until 4:15 when I clocked in, because we need to be ahead of schedule for when shit hits the fan… like it did.

There was an issue with the bicarb she mixed. Conductivity on the machines wouldn’t come up. Not a fun way to start the morning.

We recovered. In the grand scheme of things, having to remake bicarb isn’t all that awful. The morning mellowed out after that. Change over wasn’t horrific. I got to dip out 30 minutes early. But even leaving early puts me at less than 12 hours before I have to be awake to get to my own clinic on time for another full day with a nurse from a different clinic who doesn’t know our machines or patients… Less than 12 hours before another rough day where I keep everything afloat… at least that’s what it feels like. I’m the “go-to” person. I’m the one everyone thanks for my hard work.

It would be nice to not be that person right now.

I don’t know why today rubs at the inside of my brain so much, but it does. I’m glad it’s over. I don’t have to go back to that clinic until Wednesday.

My own clinic’s TTS second shift is pretty much full. It’s good in that I can now get all of my hours at my own clinic. Sucky because there are no longer “easy” or “light” days. All days have a changeover and the one for TTS needs to be looked at. I already told my FA that it’s on the borderline of undoable with how patient off and on times are working out. Everything has to run perfect and that’s not how life goes. We need more of a buffer between events or another person on the floor, which won’t happen because there’s such a push on labor hours right now from upper management.

The coming weeks will be more telling, as far as the schedule goes. I’m expecting to have to have some super sucky days before anything changes. The change has to be justified because running behind 30 minutes when there were three of us on the floor wasn’t proof enough. /sigh

Anyway… I guess there really isn’t a whole lot to write about which is sort of sad.

I baked 250 muffins for the patients at all three of my clinics over the past two days. That was fulfilling, though at midnight on Wednesday I was wondering what I had gotten myself into and pretty sure that muffins would be listed as my cause of death. I really was up that late baking, and I still didn’t get all of it done. I had to finish it up Thursday afternoon.

It’s already spread around through the region that I did this “amazing” thing. One of my coworkers today joked about me getting employee of the year to which my reply was “please don’t punish me like that ;-; “

I didn’t bake muffins for special recognition. I don’t want an award or to be called out. I want to stay in the background and to be left alone to do my job. I know it sucks for my patients to come to dialysis on a holiday. So I made them a healthy protein muffin that they could have to celebrate the day in a special way. I didn’t do anything miraculous. Anyone could have baked muffins. And they’re just muffins. I mostly sat around waiting to take them out of the oven and wondering why I was too cheap to buy a second cupcake pan because holy fuck that would have made my life so much easier.

Don’t make it sound like I went to the moon and back because I didn’t. I baked muffins because that’s what I wanted to do. It’s how I wanted to spend my day… sort of. Day… not night and next day, but that’s what the project turned into, so that’s what I did. I had to see it to the end. Hell or high water.

Blah… I don’t want it to turn into a big deal but I feel like maybe it already has. Part of the introvert in me wishes I could undo it. The rest of me, the me who got to see all the smiles and hear all the compliments about how awesome the muffins turned out… that me doesn’t give a fuck about what anyone says or who gets emailed about me being an overachiever. It was worth it to make a bright spot in my patients’ day.

Ox and I are doing alright. The apartment is going ok. Still no internet. So much sad. ;-;

Maybe I’m too burnt out to really appreciate writing right now. I’m sitting at a Slim Chickens with food in front of me, ignoring it as I favor typing more than eating. I have to go across the street to Costco for gas. I figured food and internet would be a nice way to try to decompress from work, but I don’t think it’s really working all that much. I have my headphones in, making my own little bubble in the world as I try to type through this internal frustration and… anger? Maybe that’s what it is?

Why anger?

Maybe because Jon tried calling me while I was at work. I called me once I had clocked out but by then he had company over and wanted to chat later. I want to talk to mom, but I can’t. The closest I can get to that is talking to Jon and he didn’t want to talk. It sucks.

I want to work only at my clinic and not have to worry about covering at one I don’t like with sub-par people who make the day harder than it should be. I’m sort of angry that I’m scheduled to close said clinic I don’t like only to turn around at have to be at my own clinic super early in the morning. What the hell? How is that even fair? Did you not see what you were doing when you were making the schedule? How the hell am I supposed to get sleep inbetween those shifts?

This is one of those moments where I know I’m tired. I know I’m tired and I should just go to sleep because I’m so out of care that I just want the world to burn to ash around me.

When I ask myself “Is it worth it?” My answer is no. I don’t care. I’ve spent my entire day caring and so now I’m done. I have no more care left. The only thing I care about is being able to cry to let it all go and I can’t even bring myself to do that because that requires more effort then I can give.

I want someone to say that they understand that it sucks. That it hurts. That it’s not fair.

I want understanding but the person I want to understand can’t talk back to me. She can’t answer the phone. She can’t sit across from me at the table I’m sitting at. She can’t be here and that sucks. It sucks and it makes me angry.

Maybe that’s where it all started today… One of my patients was saying how he was grateful he was alive and how he is turning 63 and blessed. He’s older than my mom was when she died. It’s just fucking unfair sometimes. And I have to be understanding and supportive while I ache and hurt over a comment that wasn’t meant the way I took it.

It just… fucking sucks sometimes… And right now is one of those sometimes.

I miss you, mom. I’m still doing well. I’m doing so much at work and involved in so many things. I know you are proud of the difference I’m making. I love you. I guess I just need you to know that right now.

I love you and I miss you. I hope you’re doing well where ever you are. I hope you’re doing awesome things, too. I hope when we get to see each other again that we’ll both have tons of stories to tell each other. Good ones. Bad ones. Frustrating ones. Silly ones. Ones that make us laugh and cry and beam with pride and nod in understanding because yeah that might have been a mistake but we’re all human and as long as you learned from it that’s the important thing.

You’re still the best, mom. The best listener. The best confidant. The best perspective. The best. There’s still no one who can replace you and while I’m grateful for that, it still sucks. It sucks because I wish you were here. I wish I could hear you, listen to you, hug you.

I’m sorry it hurts today, mom. I’m pretty sure it hurts you, too, when I’m like this and I don’t mean for it to be that way. I’ll be ok. I’ll get better in a few days. I’m pretty sure what I need right now is to have a really good cry and to go to sleep for 16 hours.

Maybe I’ll be able to do that Sunday. Maybe that’s what I can give myself to look forward to. I can get everything done Saturday so I can sleep Sunday away; staying in pjs all day and not having to interact with people or do things. Just me and myself and solitude and maybe Ox and maybe a movie where we cuddle together again and enjoy being together since we don’t get that very often anymore.

Thanks for listening to me, mom. I feel better for writing to you. I still want to cry, but it feels like when I do actually do it, it will be a clean cry; a healing cry.

I’ll talk to you later, mom. I love you. Forever and for always.

Daily Post 169: Contemplating School

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Written a few days ago. Not sure when.
All my days blur together at the moment.


I won’t really have a whole lot of time to write, and I did that to myself.

I talked to our RN for over an hour this morning. It was a good conversation. We don’t really get a lot of time to talk about patients and the clinic and ideas we have or concerns that are bothering us. It was a good talk. I feel like the whole team would benefit from having a “team lunch” or dinner or something where we can all get together in a non-work atmosphere and just… talk.

Anyway, the main point of this particular writing is to figure out a few things within my own head. Mostly about school and work and the combination of the two.

Since both me and our new tech are in the LPN program, we’re both going to be unable to be at the clinic on Tuesdays. That means someone is going to have to float in every other week since my FA has meetings in Omaha she has to be at every other Tuesday.

I don’t think our new tech is going to make it through the program. It’s nothing against her… It’s just a feeling and I’m not the only one who feels that way.

While I have these feelings, I also don’t want to leave my clinic screwed and so I’ve been wondering if going to school right now is the best option. Not that I would give up on it completely. I could take a single course. Microbiology or something like that. One of the prerequisite classes for the RN program which I still might continue on to after LPN.

I don’t think I’m fond of the idea of being in the same classes as this tech. I don’t want to be her study buddy. I don’t want to help her get through the program when I’m having to focus on getting myself through it at the same time. I don’t want the stress of worrying about her, but she’s my co-worker, so if I’m not supportive in her requests for help then I’m sort of being a dick.

I could just avoid all of that potential stress and switch to the Lincoln campus or hold off on the program itself for a bit longer.

I still have the issue of not really wanting to be a nurse. I want to be helpful to the clinic and my team. That means an additional degree…

But does it really?

For the next three weeks, since the new schedule came out yesterday, one of my five days is a meeting rather than working on the floor. This coming week will be the first VAM meeting. I asked my FA about it but she really didn’t have a whole lot of information to give me. She thinks it’s more of a brainstorming thing where we solidify what we as a region are going to do to establish consistency between clinics. Knowing I don’t have to have skills checked off or tasks completed before this meeting helps alleviate some of the stress over it. I still don’t like how much of an unknown it is, though. Sort of feels like I’ll be walking into it blind. I’ve never been to a “meeting” before. I sat in on one of the FHM meetings before, but I never really participated in one. I don’t know how to be prepared and that’s annoying inside my brain. Like sandpaper.

What if I get asked questions that I don’t know the answer to? What type of questions will there be? Are there even going to be questions? Who’s going to be there? What should I wear? I know where it is and how long it will be but that’s about all I know. Oh. And that my FA will be there. Arg. >.<

So that’s one of my days. The week after that will be the first PCT Advisory Committee meeting. I’m looking forward to that one. The week after that is my DSS class. Also looking forward to that.

I’m covering several days at our sister clinic along with covering days at Beatrice. We’re up to 11 patients on TTS. That’s almost a full two shifts. Gone are the days of easy days; early days.

If I’m working four and five days out of the week, or the 66 hours I pulled last week… when am I supposed to study so I can be successful and pass my classes?

I don’t really have an answer for that and I don’t think anyone else does either.

Do I want school?

Yes… I’m pretty sure yes. I got the apartment so I could be successful with school. I worked to get all my ducks in a row so I could be accepted into the program in the first place.

Realistically, my leadership class ends before school begins so I will no longer have to worry about reading a book read and completing assignments before the next meeting. The PCT thing meets every three months, so I don’t think that’s going to be as big a deal time wise. I don’t know what the VAM thing means for me work-wise…

I’ve been working for a while to get to this point, to get to the start of this program; to get accepted into this program. Do I want to back out of it right before it starts?

No. Not really. I’ve already told a lot of people that I was accepted into the program. A lot of people are looking forward to me having a broader scope of practice. I’m looking forward to achieving something other than a job. I think I’m ready for that.

In the beginning, it was “I need employment and I want it in the medical field”. That was my goal after mom died. I got that. I had to get my CCHT for the company so I could keep working since that’s a requirement with CMS and stuff. So I did that. I’ve achieved things within the company like becoming an expert cannulator.

LPN will be the first big, personally-driven, professional step since mom died. It will be the longest goal I’ve worked towards since her death. I’ve gotten better about setting short term goals and reaching them. But this one will span about a year and a half. It’s going to stretch through winter which was extremely hard for me to get through last year here in Nebraska.

I don’t have unshakable faith in myself that I will WANT to get through the program enough to actually do it. I know I’m smart enough to, but do I have the will to get through the hard times? And that’s a question I don’t really have an answer to.

There’s a handful of short term benefits if I back out of school, but is that really the smarter of the two options?

Having slept on it, I don’t think it is. I don’t think I should let someone else deter me from moving forward; especially when the general vibe is that she’s not going to make it. Why allow my time table to be pushed back when I could start now and keep going and finish it by the end of next year?

I guess looking at it like that, in terms of do I want school verses do I want to be a nurse, my answer is yes. Yes. I want to go back to school. Yes. I want to prove to myself that I can do this even if it’s painful. I want to know that I am healing and that I have made progress with and in my grief to be able to think about and plan for mildly future-oriented things. Not only plan and think about them but achieve them as well.

I want to do this. I want to show my coworkers that they’re right in believing in me.

I guess I really should start believing in myself again. Maybe that’s really what I’ve sort of lost through all of this. This constant feeling of being broken makes me question my ability a lot more than I think I used to.

I’m not sure. But I do think that’s one of the issues I need to look at and ponder on. Why do I have such a hard time believing in my self right now when other people have no doubt?