Daily Post 122: My First Call Out

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I called out of work today. It’s the first time since I started working here in Nebraska. The first time in seven months. I’m glad to say it wasn’t because I didn’t feel like going in. At 3:20 am I started having discomfort in my right kidney again, as if I were about to have another kidney stone.

I wasn’t going to risk being in the middle of driving to work or on the floor initiating a treatment when it decided to start passing. I messaged my FA and told her what was going on and that I would be late. She said she couldn’t open the clinic without me.

After a few phone calls on my part and some of my co-workers agreeing to switch shifts with one another, I got someone to cover my shift for me and the clinic, as far as I’m aware, is ok. Maybe running a little later than normal, but running none the less which is awesome.

I haven’t had any more waves of discomfort or pain. I was actually able to go back to sleep until Ox got up to go to work. My right side is a bit more tender. I’m consciously aware of it, so I’m not sure if more is yet to come or if I’m just overly sensitive, or imagining things in my head since kidney stones suck so much and now I’m paranoid about them and the pain they cause.

I’ve been drinking a lot of water this morning. Already at the one-liter mark, which normally doesn’t happen until around noon for me.

I’m hoping that this one is due to dehydration. I know I’ve been slacking on water for the past few days; roughly three to four in total. With the high protein diet I’m on, that’s not a good thing. The process of the body metabolizing protein can lead to kidney stones if there isn’t enough water intake to dilute the concentration of urine in the kidneys.

I haven’t been having cramps associated with dehydration, but I have been running overly warm and have had headaches a few times. My lips have also been chapped a bit. I was aware it was an issue but I guess I wasn’t doing much to combat it. I don’t know why it’s so hard to stay on top of my water consumption sometimes, but it is. I get caught up in what I’m doing or I’m not able to take a break like I normally would and before I know it I’m a liter behind and it’s bedtime and oh well… I guess I’ll try to do better tomorrow…

It’s also been pretty warm outside which probably only adds to the water issue on top of still working out.

All I can do right now is be mindful and keep drinking water and hopefully catch myself back up.

I drank a lot yesterday which might be why this one, if it is a stone, has only caused mild discomfort so far. It might be that my body has been able to get back to a normal pH level and so the stone dissolved on its own without having to pass. Here’s hoping.

Anywho, that’s how my morning started.

I was supposed to work four days this week since I’m working tomorrow at Cap City. I was looking forward to having the overtime on my check, but at least I’ll still be able to meet my normal hours without dipping into my PTO, not that having to do that would be such a horrifically bad thing. I have something like 80 hours saved up again. I have the time to use if I need it.

Yesterday was a bit of a heavy day. I went to the gym and trained. I had a weigh in. Up in muscle, but also up in body fat. That sucked. It didn’t make the day any better having to contend with that fact.

After the gym, I went to Home Depot. Since I got the punching bag and have it hung I got foam tiling to go under it. Rubber would have been better, but for the price and coverage, foam was cheaper so there you go. I got two packs the other day and while it does a decent job area wise, I feel a little cramped and there’s no extra room to do something like yoga or core work, so I went out and got another three packs yesterday. I haven’t laid them out yet, but depending on how today goes, if I end up in agony passing a stone or not, I might try to get a workout in.

I went to the bookstore to get the books for my CNA class yesterday as well. That starts this coming Tuesday. Sort of anxious about it. They were out of the workbook I need but I got the textbook and the little binder whatever handout thing that was required so currently, I’m at two of three items needed. They gave me a number to call. That will be on the to-do list today I suppose.

I also went ahead and did the grocery shopping since I work Saturday and only had enough breakfast to get me through today. I did a bunch of food prep when I got home, unloaded, loaded, and ran the dishwasher. I did laundry yesterday, too. Even made stir-fry for dinner.

For a heavy day, I think I did pretty alright.

Ox and I have finished watching Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Bladeworks. I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending. I don’t know, with how good the rest of the series was the ending felt sort of weak. We watched the first episode of Fate/Stay: Apocrypha last night after the epilogue for Bladeworks. It seems interesting but I heard it wasn’t the best storyline. I guess it’s another “wait and see” sort of things.

Wednesday was a decent day at the clinic. Busy, but decent. The nurse practitioner rounded. An RN shadowed. I think I like her. I didn’t really get to talk with her all that much but she didn’t seem all that phased by the pace of the clinic. She seemed pretty battled hardened and that’s something I want as a PCT. I don’t want the nurse looking to me to call a code. I want them to be confident in their role because I can’t do it for them.

Our new trainee was also there on Wednesday. I really like her and I think she’ll work out well at the clinic. She’s supposed to be there today, too. I was looking forward to spending more time getting to know her but I feel like I made the right choice by calling out. It will still be about two months for her to get through training. Hopefully, we’ll have a nurse on our team by then as well so we can open back up to six days a week. We have a 15 patient wait list.

Tuesday was another day at the gym with my trainer. He had me do box jumps again. It was awesome. I really felt with it Tuesday which is why I guess Thursday sucked so bad. I’ve felt like I’ve been burning and improving but that’s not what any of the numbers said. Stupid numbers…

Anyway. Tuesday was another day of pretty decent productivity. That was the first day of going out to get mats for the punching bag. I applied to the college for the LPN program. I got an email yesterday saying since they’re changing from quarters to semesters that I needed to apply a different way, but, I applied. Go me.

I also emailed my doctor since I forgot about my biometric screening form while I was getting my birth control replaced last Thursday. Of all the things to forget. >.<;

She said I could pick it up today, which I originally wasn’t going to be able to do. It might work out that I am able to swing by there and pick up the form along with getting the workbook I need. That’s still to be seen since I need to make the phone call first.

Let’s see… I got the birth control replaced. That sucked. Things were being touched that aren’t meant to be touched so I spent nearly all of Thursday sleeping and feeling yucky after the appointment. It was like having cramps from the Period from Hell that’s trying to kill your insides. Not fun and I wish I were exaggerating.

It’s the third time I’ve had the IUD placed so I knew what to expect and while I know both my fractured rib and previous kidney stones hurt worse, at the time all I could think about was how much it sucked and I just wanted the pain to go away. It leaves me feeling vulnerable and weak; like a wounded animal that could easily be picked off. It took me 30 minutes of sitting in the parking lot before I felt ok enough to drive home.

I’m not ready to have a child. I’m not… I don’t think responsible is the right word… maybe dedicated would be a better word? I’m not dedicated enough to remember to take a pill at the same time every day. My life isn’t set up for that to really be possible but maybe that’s an excuse on my part. Maybe I could take it in the morning before work, but that means waking up at 3am on my days off to do it and that sounds sort of shitty, too.

I’ve tried different birth controls in the past so I know with some of them I do have side effects. One of them made me suicidal to the point where even I knew I was being bat-shit insane and that I needed off the medication. I don’t want to have to go through that trial period of finding out if my body will react negatively to something new. At least with this one, I know what I’m getting into and after a day or so things go back to normal. My body adjusts and the cramping goes away.

Neither Ox nor I want I want a barrier between us. And neither of us wants to abstain because let’s face it, sex feels good. It’s what we’re biologically programmed to do and it’s an experience I want to share with him.

All of that taken into consideration, this is the life I choose to live and the choices I choose to make so the consequences are what they are, cramping and yuckiness included. It’s not so much that I feel it’s “worth it” because even as a masochist an IUD insertion is not something I want to go through or would wish on an enemy, but it lets me keep what I have so it’s more like I accept it.

The kids were here last weekend. We got through the second chapter in Stuffed Fables. Lil’ Ox didn’t want to play, most likely because she’s eight and we had already gone through the story and she wasn’t as captivated anymore. She wanted to play Minecraft instead. Ox ended up playing her character. Ornery Ox stayed and played with us. We sort of got screwed on the first map since Lil’ Ox wasn’t trying to play and making choices just because rather than thinking about the party and what we were trying to do. We might have been better off restarting the page, but didn’t. Regardless, we defeated the second boss of the Nightmare Lord and can now progress to chapter three.

We have the kids again this weekend so we’ll most likely play again. They’re supposed to be here around 3 or 4 this afternoon. It’s Ornery Ox’s birthday. He turns 13. Officially a teenager. I’m sure that’s going to make the coming years interesting. Girlfriends, learning to drive, track meets, friends who make not-smart choices… Yeah… And I’ve only had seven months of parenting experience so far…

I paid the citation for my license plate. I’m still waiting on the paperwork to come through the mail. Not much to report on that front since I’m not able to do much of anything.

Oh, and I guess I never wrote about it since I’ve been so slack on writing, but I bought my very own punching bag. That happened last Wednesday, the day after I wrote about the whole pregnancy scare thing, which, by the way, I’m still not pregnant. Woo!

I was driving home Wednesday after work and thinking how it sort of sucked that I still didn’t have a dojo to go to and how my gym doesn’t have any sort of punching bag to use and how I really just wanted to punch something. I know that sounds bad. Violent, maybe. There’s just something about combat that helps me zen out and I miss it and last Wednesday I really wanted it so I said fuck it and researched a bunch of stuff online and then bought a punching bag off Amazon with expedited shipping.

In my defense, it was only a $10 difference between regular shipping and expedited… When you’re already spending $190 you might as well throw in another $10. >.>;

The bag was delivered on Friday, a day that ended up being a 16 hour day for me since I worked my shift in Beatrice then drove up to Cap City to close their clinic. 3rd shift there wasn’t bad. It’s not a full shift and everyone was on by the time I got there. All I had to do was discontinue treatments and clean stations and close the water room. Super chill actually. The only downside was that it was super late by the time I got home, after 10, which sucked and I don’t want to have to do again if I can help it. The teammate who asked me to cover for her has been extremely kind to me, though, so I agreed to take the shift. I wanted to help her. She’s the one covering for me today so we’ve done each other both a solid.

Anywho, I wasn’t able to do much with the bag other than hug the box when I got home Friday night. Since it came filled I’m sure the FedEx guy hates our house right now. Zero fucks given. I have my bag. My very own bag.

Saturday Ox helped me hang it in a section of the addition were we shouldn’t have to do too much work. Sunday was the first day I got to use it. I love it. I love wiping it down once I’m done with it. I love how there’s just enough give in it when you punch or kick to make a bit of a dent, but enough resistance that you still have to use force if you want that dent. My knuckles are wimpy again. I need to work up to be at the level I used to be at. My shins faired better. I’ve found a few workouts online that seem like fun. I’m looking forward to doing them.

I’ve had a few down days recently. I started cross stitching again, which made me miss mom. I actually curled up with her urn either Saturday or Sunday night and cried my first intense grief cry in a while. It felt good to do. I cried again on Thursday as I headed to the gym. That was the first time since I moved here where I screamed. That, too, felt good. Letting out the pain and sadness and anger and injustice rather than trying to convince myself that it’s ok and I shouldn’t need to be so loud, so expressive, so “overly emotional”; it made me feel better.

Mama Ox and I were talking in the kitchen one evening recently. I think it was Tuesday night.

Mama Ox: What was your mom like?

Me: *painful smile with unexpected silent tears* … My mom was awesome.

Out of all the times I’ve talked about my mom. Out of all the times I’ve had to explain what happened to people. Out of all the times I had to admit and own up to the fact that she died… No one, ever, has asked me what my mom was like as a person.

I wasn’t prepared for those emotions. I had never played out a conversation like that in my head.

I wasn’t prepared to be so woefully inadequate at explaining who she was.

The best I could come up with were those four meager words.

My mom was awesome.

It’s like explaining color to someone who has been blind their whole life. Blue is the color of water and the sky and my eyes and my birthstone, but if you’ve never seen blue none of that means anything.

Mom was empathic and compassionate and funny and emotionally strong and caring and all of these things but unless you had actually met her it doesn’t matter. No one will ever be able to experience mom and know just how truly unique she was. No one will ever know HER compassion or HER humor or HER strength. No one will ever know her color and there’s no way for me to even remotely do it justice by trying to explain it, describe it. It could only be experienced and that’s not possible anymore. Not like it used to be anyway.

Realizing that sucked and it’s been hard to accept that inadequacy in myself. It’s hard for it to not feel like a failing on my part. If I loved her so much, if I was so close to her, shouldn’t I be able to explain who she was? But I can’t. You can’t explain a person. That’s not how life works. A person is more than words. They’re feelings and experiences and trials and triumphs. Love and heartbreak. They’re laughter and tears and shared moments through countless years all swirling together to make them uniquely them.

I mean, yeah, mom raised me. In ways, I’m a reflection of her, but I’m still myself and so it’s not the same. It’s the best that anyone will ever be able to get, but it’s not the same and so when I was asked for the first time, “What was your mom like?” it was the first time I had to face the fact that no one will ever know. Not anymore.

I know it may seem like a low note to end a post on, but I’m sort of done with writing. I guess in my mind it’s not really sad. It’s a fact. It sucks. I wish it were different, but it’s not and this is reality.

In my reality right now I’m about to start CNA classes. I have a punching bag of my own. I have a car that runs. I have a job that pays my bills and teammates who support me. I have an amazing relationship with an amazing person who holds me when I cry and makes me laugh and laughs with me.

I am pretty sure mom would want me to be happy and to enjoy those things so I’m going to try to do that a little bit more than what I have the past few days. I’m going to try to be happy.

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Daily Post 121: My First Pregnancy Scare

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There have been a few developments.

My training was canceled today since my trainer had something come up. Since I have a doctor’s appointment on Thursday and have to reschedule my training on that day, too, I’m not sure if I’ll actually get to see my trainer this week. At the moment I’m not terribly worried about it since I’ve been getting to the gym on my own. I feel like I’ll still make decent progress for my next weigh in.

Since today was my day off, I have spent part of my morning being an adult and working on tasks which should be on a to-do list but I haven’t taken the time to actually write one out.

The first thing I did was look into my medical records from Florida. I wasn’t sure when my last pap was done. During my appointment two weeks ago my doctor asked me to have my records sent up to them so if a pap needed to be done we could add it to my appointment this Thursday. Well… I didn’t get my records transferred, but I did figure out my patient login information for the clinic where my obgyn was at. I guess I’m due for one. Yay… said no women ever…

I tried calling my doctor to let them know the pap needed to be added to my appointment. I’m sure I could have gotten a bitchier receptionist, but it would have been a struggle to find one. I explained the situation to her, how my doctor had told me to let them know if a pap needed to be added, and that it did so could we do that?

Apparently, no, we can’t since placing an IUD and a pap are two totally separate procedures which can’t be done at the same time. I don’t know why not, but, I thanked the unnecessarily bitchy receptionist for her time and said I would call back at a later date to figure out the pap since I wasn’t sure what my schedule was like for the next few weeks.

I’m hoping when I go in for my appointment on Thursday and explain to my doctor what happened that she’ll be able to work something out. I really don’t want to have to add “go back to the doctor” onto my to-do list. I’m sort of tired of going there and I haven’t even had my second appointment yet.

At least I have that figured out, though, so I can work on getting everything resolved. I plan to print out the medical release form to take in with me on Thursday so they can handle all of that nonsense along with printing out a second copy of my health screening sheet for my work’s insurance. I don’t want to get there to find out they lost the one I had before. I’m NOT going back for a sheet of paper. I’ll boy scout the shit out of this appointment and be prepared for all possible outcomes instead.

Since I got that taken care of as much as I could I moved on to calling the bank to see what’s going on with my car title since I still haven’t heard back from the DMV and it’s been over 15 days since I started that process. Well… according to the amazingly helpful representative I spoke to, the bank hasn’t received anything… Great. You had one job to do, DMV. What the fuck?

The guy was super nice about it and we started that process over the phone. They are going to mail me all of the papers I need. Once I receive the papers I can go to the DMV and get the car inspected and the plates switched over. That’s going to be between 15 and 30 more days. Arg. >.<;

At least I know what I’m waiting on now. I’m planning to go ahead and pay the citation on Friday since that’s payday. My court date was set for the 19th so… yeah… that will be done and over with and all I’ll have to do from that point is wait for the papers. I’ll be as done as I can be for the time being.

I’m picking up part of a shift this Friday at Cap City. That’s after I would have worked a full 12 hours at my own clinic. I’m in the mindset that I need to try to pick up as much extra as I feasibly can to help pay for the CNA class I’m registered for as well as for my future LPN expense. The more I make now, the more I can pay things off or potentially save.

It will be roughly another three or four hours on my check, plus travel time. All of the patients should already be started on their treatments by the time I get to the clinic so it will be a matter of discontinuing treatments, cleaning, and closing the water room, which I’ll be slow with, but I’ve done it in other clinics before so as long as I have the P&P I know I’ll be able to get through it.

I offered to pick up an extra shift on a Thursday at Cap City which would have me out of there between 2 and 3 pm. There are also two Saturdays that I know of where I would be working about the same. 4 am to roughly 3 pm or whenever census hits. If a bunch of patients don’t show up then I might be out earlier. 3 pm at the latest though, so what’s what I plan for.

I get my second installment of the retention bonus this month. That should land next paycheck I believe, or the paycheck after it. That will help. My Concur report for last month’s traveling expenses was approved so that should be deposited into my account within the next few days. Both of those things, the bonus and the report, will help me financially.

I’m trying to reach out to Warren to see about the money he owes me. Even if it were only $100 a month, $25 a week, it would be better than nothing. Any help is help.

I want to make school work for me. It’s possible I could be an RN in as little as two years if I blow through school. I guess I could add that to my to-do list for today… actually applying to the college and shit so I can… I don’t know… maybe actually take the classes I keep talking about…

That might actually be better saved for next week when I have money since right now I have less than $50 in my account and I know they’re going to need “official” transcripts and those are like $15 per… Arg. So lame. I have until mid-October to register so as long as I don’t slack too long I should be alright.

I guess the last thing to write about is the pregnancy scare of last night.

Yep… that totally happened.

So, yesterday was a rough day at work. My back was still sore from whatever I did to it on Saturday. Not as bad, but annoying enough that my patients noticed and commented on it so I had to explain how it hurt and they hoped I felt better. The day itself was hard. We had an RN shadow. A patient almost passed out during that. Another patient broke her ankle a few weeks ago and had a hard time transferring into her chair so my arm was sore from that.

I mean, I know I’ve worked harder days before, but yesterday just sort of sucked. I was mentally and physically done by the time I got home. I crawled into bed and Ox laid down next to me.

Me: I don’t understand why I’m so tired.

Ox: Maybe it’s because you’re pregnant. I mean that would explain why you’ve been so hungry and tired and the mood swings.

I know he meant it as a joke. Logically, I know being hungry has more to do with how much more I’ve been working out. Same goes for the tiredness. But my brain couldn’t process jokes at the time. All I could think of was how I’m getting my birth control replaced because it’s nearing the end of its lifespan and how horribly fucked my life would be if I ended up getting pregnant.

Here I am, about to start classes. I can’t afford to live on my own, much less financially support a child. Everyone in my life would think I was a failure. Ox’s parents would hate me and would think I’m no better than his previous relationships. I would be the white trash chick mooching off of their hard earned income. I’m not even their child and they would be having to help support me because I’m not adult enough to do it on my own. That’s not how grandparenting is supposed to work.

On top of that, what would my brothers think? I would be proving Jon right; that I can’t be trusted to be responsible and make smart choices. My life would be ruined, just when I’m starting to get it figured out, again, after mom’s death, and here I am potentially fucking it all up over something as stupid as unprotected sex.

Oh, and to add salt into this logically improbable wound because it’s not like I’m not going a good enough job on selling the whole “You done fucked up A-Aron” thing… Mom’s dead so it’s not even like I have someone I can call and cry to about it and have her soothe my scrapped knee and tell me things will be alright. No. I’m totally on my own with figuring this shit out. Mom isn’t here to help me or guide me. I have to learn to be a parent alone. Fucking fantastic.

You know what would make this situation better? Crying. Yeah. Crying is totally going to solve everything so I’m going to have a breakdown for the next forever. K. Thx. Bye. : D

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I cried. A lot. And not the typical “I’m stronger than this and I’m going to try to hold it in even though I really just need to have a good cry” type of cry that I do. No “silent tears” and putting in effort to hold my shit together…

Nope. This was a total “100% zero fucks given, I”m going to cry until I’m done crying” type of cry.

I told Ox it was most likely just from being so tired and that all I needed to go was literally to go to sleep but that’s not what happened. We actually went out and got a pregnancy test. It’s the first one I’ve ever used. It was negative. I took a shower afterward. I had Chinese for dinner instead of my burger and didn’t care about carb count or that I shouldn’t have rice at night. I even had ice cream for dessert because fuck yesterday. When Ox noticed I had ice cream I made a quip about how I resisted the urge to add pickles to it since I have a messed up sense of humor.

My birth control, according to my medical records, doesn’t need to be replaced until the end of November, so it’s not like it’s in the last dying days or anything. There’s also the whole “potentially poly-cystic” thing and being infertile that I was told when I was 23, so realistically, the odds were never in my favor for the test to be positive, though a false negative is more likely to happen than a false positive. Either way, the whole situation last night was totally not how I had envisioned my night going. It led to a lot of very blunt and honest conversation between Ox and me.

Everything I was feeling was because I wouldn’t have been able to handle “my problem”. Getting pregnant, to me, in my head, meant that I had to figure out everything. On my own. Alone.

How was I going to afford a kid? How was I going to figure out where to stay? How was I going to figure out work and babysitting or daycare? How was I going to figure out doctor appointments? How was I going to figure out my life? How was I going to be a parent?

Ox: You wouldn’t be alone. It would be us figuring it out.

Me: I don’t understand “us”.

And I guess that’s the biggest thing I’m learning through this situation and all of the countless others that I’ve had since moving here and starting my relationship with Ox. Ox helps pay for groceries. He helps cook breakfast. He helps switch the laundry. He helps put icy-hot patches on my back.

I’m not alone anymore. There is an “us” and I’m starting to understand what that actually means.

Ox: You know, even if you had been pregnant, we still would have been ok.

We both agree that right now wouldn’t be the best time. I’m still going to my appointment on Thursday and having my birth control replaced. I’m still planning to go to school. I’m still planning to make myself more financially stable than what I currently am. We’re still going to work on completing the addition.

There are no plans to start a family or anything along those lines. But I also don’t think it would be the horrible end of the world that I initially felt it would be.

I talked to Jon about it this morning.

Me: So… This is totally a hypothetical question and I want to assure you that I’m not, but… would you think I’m a failure if I got pregnant?

He said no. He said he would be worried about me. He thinks I would make an extremely good parent, but since I already have a hard time staying here with Ox’s parents rent free, that it would be extremely hard for me to stay there rent-free while also having a child.

I told him my fear of people thinking of me as a failure and that his opinion mattered to me and I didn’t want him to think that I had ruined my life if the test had come back positive.

He agreed that now most likely wouldn’t be the best time, but that no, he wouldn’t think of me as a failure and that he would support me and my decisions. He said family sticks together and he would be there for me.

It made me feel better.

That’s about it on my end. The hot mess express has departed. I’ve put the clothes away. I’ve taken care of some pretty important things. I need to shower so I can get to the gym. I need to stop for gas so I can make it to work tomorrow. I’m most likely not going to SCA practice today even though it’s one of the last times I’ll be able to for a while. With all of the excitement of yesterday evening, I’m pretty ok with just chilling at home and playing video games.

It feels like fall already. We’re past the Summer Solstice and I can feel that in the energy. There was a week of rain recently and since then things have been significantly cooler. It reminds me of what fall felt like in South Carolina. It’s sweater weather. Soon people will start making chili and having cups of hot cocoa. It will get darker sooner. It’s a slow time and I sort of want to indulge in that today. I’ve done my adulting. As much as I can. I’m going to go spend the rest of my day enjoying my day off, all unpregnant like and stuff.

Daily Post 119: Future Classes

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God. I don’t even know where to begin.

I had a doctor’s appointment today. I spent most of the morning feeling sick and fighting off feelings of nausea. I wanted to have fasting blood work done during my appointment, so I hadn’t eaten since 9 the night before. When you’re used to eating breakfast at 3 am waking up at six and still not being able to eat sucks. I had a headache from not drinking enough water the night before, which is another story I might come back to.

I wanted to print off my paperwork for school so I could take care of that while I was in town for the appointment. That took forever… FOOOORRRRREEEEEVVVVVER. Not even joking. I had two cigarettes, packed everything I needed to which was another five minutes roughly, went to the gas station to fill up the car, came back and still had to wait for the final pages to finish printing before it was done… It was only 19 pages. Not impressed. Not even remotely.

So… since I waited for that I was late to my appointment and labeled as a no-show. The receptionist said I might have to reschedule.

Me: Please, don’t do this to me Universe. Take whatever karma you need to, just please let me be seen today.

The receptionist made a few calls and after a couple of minutes which felt like an eternity, I was told I could be seen. There were a few cancelations and they could work me into the schedule.

My blood pressure was a little elevated. 150/90, but I’ll take it. It’s better than what it used to be and with how icky I was feeling and the normal anxiety of being at a doctor’s office, I’m not overly worried about it.

I got to talk to the doctor about my coughing. Since the antihistamines I’m taking are working to relieve my symptoms, she doesn’t feel doing blood work to find out what I’m specifically allergic to would be worth my money. Since I’m stressing over how to pay for an LPN program, I’m sort of on board with the whole “not spending money” thing. I’ll just get to have fun saying I’m allergic to Nebraska when anyone asks.

I have another appointment on the 13th to get my birth control replaced. In the meantime, I have to reach out to my previous ob-gyn and have them send over my medical records to see if I need a pap done since I don’t remember the last time that happened. If I’m due then they’ll add it into the appointment on the 13th. If not we’ll have a better time frame for when I need to schedule that, which never would be ok in my book.

I also was prescribed a cream to help with a rash that I’ve had for a while. I don’t think I’ve ever written about it. I mean… it’s sort of gross to talk about medical stuff sometimes, but it’s a fact of life. I’ve had this red, annoying area around my neck. I was prescribed a cream for it before, back when I was dating Warren #2, and it went away. It eventually came back though and nothing that I was prescribed afterward really worked. We’ll see if this prescription does anything or not. I didn’t want to drive back into town today when I got the call that I could pick up the cream. I’ll most likely go in after work tomorrow to get it.

Once I was done talking to the doctor I was shown to the lab area where I got my blood work done. Since I have to go back in a few weeks, I’m picking up the paper I needed for my work insurance premiums then rather than having to make a special trip just for that.

Overall, my new doctor was extremely helpful and concerned about my well being. We touched on the topic of my smoking and the sadness I struggle with due to my grief. She said if I ever needed anything to reach out to her and wanted me to know she was there to help me.

After I was completely done with my appointment I made a beeline to Arby’s and had lunch. Zero fucks given. I had a protein shake in the car with me, and a baggie of grapes and neither of those things were working to quell the nauseous feeling of my stomach. The small sip of the shake I had almost didn’t stay down, and the grapes were too sweet for how empty my stomach was.

The thought of an actual sandwich, mentally, felt better. I was hoping it would help with most of the headache issue, too, since by then I had already had two litters of water.

Lunch seemed to work. I started feeling better the more I ate. I made sure to eat slowly, so it took me a while to eat the whole sandwich, but that was ok. I started filling out my paperwork for school while I was eating. Ox also called me while he was on his lunch break so we got to chat for a bit.

When I was done eating I went over to the Southeast Community College campus and signed up for their CNA classes. More on that later. The big takeaway at the moment is that the class I originally wanted to take down in Beatrice is going to be canceled because there are not enough people signed up. So instead I’m going to be doing a different one which will be offered in Lincoln and have me completing the course December 4th. It’s paid for already, thanks to my credit card that I’ll never be able to get rid of, but it’s a step down the road I have finally made a decision to travel down.

Those two things, the doctor’s appointment and class registration, where the main things I wanted to get done, and I did them. With that taken care of, I came back home, took headache meds, ate my breakfast container of roast which I had to forgo earlier, then crawled back into bed to sleep, hoping I would feel more like myself when I woke up.

When I did wake up I was disoriented at first. I thought I had overslept for work, which was confusing because Ox wasn’t next to me and I didn’t think he would leave for work without making sure I was up as well, especially because I would have already been ridiculously late at the point. The more I struggled to understand what the hell was going on, the more I remembered that I had taken a nap and that it was still my day off and it was cloudy outside which is why it didn’t look as late in the day as it was.

I remembered I had felt like crap the whole morning and took a few minutes to figure out my status post-nap. I felt better. Sort of groggy, but the headache seemed to be gone and I didn’t feel sick anymore. Woo!

I had a cheese stick as my snack then got to work in the kitchen. I prepped a lot of the stuff I needed for dinner since I had said the night before I would cook dinner. I made Ox’s lunch for tomorrow. I made sure my water filter was full and that the dishwasher was unloaded and the sink was empty of dirty dishes. It was pretty relaxing to mindlessly do things. Cleaning and prepping food is easy for me at this point and not having to do hardcore problem solving after such a crummy morning was nice.

Ox called when he was on his way home. He agreed to pick up the broccoli I needed for dinner along with some of the groceries I originally was going to add to the weekend shopping list. It felt very homey and domestic. I don’t remember ever having someone able or willing to get groceries for me. Warren #1 was always either broke or didn’t remember when I asked. Zane never had a car so I was the only one able to do the shopping. Warren #2 didn’t shop unless it was with me… I usually went with Mother Earth and Josh when we shopped for the house…

Yeah… I don’t remember a point of time where it was something stable and consistent within the relationship. It’s a foreign feeling, but one I like. I’m not the only one doing things. I have a partner who helps. We help each other.

I cooked stir fry again using crab this time. I liked it, though Papa Ox said he liked the chicken I used last time better. The kitchen is already clean and everything is ready for tomorrow morning, so there’s nothing chore wise left for me to do, and that pretty much brings me to the end of the day today.

Yesterday, Wednesday, ended up being way different than normal. Tuesday evening around 5:30 pm I got a text message from my FA asking if I would cover a shift in South Omaha Wednesday morning. Roughly 4 am to 4 pm.

I didn’t know how to answer at first. I mean… who’s going to cover my shift in Beatrice? Am I going to be able to get a hotel room Tuesday night or do I have to drive up Wednesday morning, meaning I would have to wake up at 2 am? Am I closing the water room?

I got answers to all my questions. Someone from Cap City would cover my clinic and I would go up to Omaha and help them out. No closing the water room. I would most likely leave before 4, but it would depend on census. They would cover a hotel if I got one, it would depend on if any of the hotels had rooms.

I agreed to work the shift. If I couldn’t get a hotel I would wake up early and drive. My main concern was making sure my own clinic wasn’t screwed by me taking the shift.

So yeah… Tuesday night I drove up to Omaha and spent the night in a hotel room by myself where I had a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep. Even though I liked the solitude, I didn’t like that I wasn’t near Ox on such short notice.

The shift wasn’t bad, though. I got to see one of my favorite RNs and I got to see two of the techs that I really like. I got to meet a lot of new patients while seeing some that I already knew. I got a lot of compliments.

Patient: You did really well. Thank you.

Me: Thank you so much. And you are most welcome. : )

I don’t get a lot of compliments or words of encouragement from the patients at my clinic anymore. I’ve seen them three times a week for the past six months or so now. It’s pretty routine. They feel safe with me. I know their accesses. There is one who always says, “Very good,” once I have him started on his treatment. He’s the one I infiltrated. Still my only infiltration. I still get to spread his blanket out for him every time, and he’s even asked for me specifically when other RNs are working the floor so my FA can do FA stuff.

It’s a warm fuzzy feeling any time I receive praise. And it’s another moment where the Universe makes me pause and realize how far I’ve come in such a short amount of time.

Me: Good morning. I’m Jen. I’m a tech down at the Beatrice clinic but I was told that your clinic needed some extra help today, so I came to hang out with you guys. Is it ok if we go ahead and get your standing blood pressure and temperature?

Everyone was super nice and from the comments I received, everyone was comfortable with me and satisfied with the care I provided.

I got out around 3ish, which put me home around 4. I got to game for a bit before Ox got home, but I was pretty dead and tired. I was running around in circles farming flax for my weaver since that was about all I had in me to give mentally.

When Ox got home we went to the gym. I wasn’t all that jazzed about going. I’m glad we went, though. I rowed for a bit and stretched afterward. When we got home I cooked burger for my dinner and gamed a bit more before going to sleep. It was hard falling asleep next to him which might have contributed to the ickiness of this morning. Two nights of not sleeping well. Lame. : /

While we were in bed I realized I had taken off my mom’s ring at the gym since I didn’t want it to get messed up while I was rowing. I hadn’t put it back on before we left and it wasn’t until we were holding hands in bed that I realized I had forgotten it.

Me: Oh my god. I forgot my ring.

Without even questioning, Ox got up and started getting dressed. He drove us back to the gym where I hurriedly walked inside, resisting the urge to run frantically to where I had been, imagining all sorts of horrible scenarios where I would never get my ring back ever again.

It was right where I had taken it off, sitting next to the seat of the rowing machine, untouched.

Ox didn’t have to go with me. He didn’t, and doesn’t, have to be the amazing and supportive person he is, but he is and the more we’re together the more I appreciate him and am grateful that he’s in my life.

So that was Wednesday leading into Thursday.

Tuesday was pretty awesome and where most of the headway in my life took place.

It started with Ox and I having our morning cigarette together. I had breakfast. I had a fairly slow morning before I got ready to go to the gym at 10 am. I had a decent workout with my trainer. I’m down another pound, which puts me at 15 total since I’ve started working with him. He said once I reach the 20-pound mark I get a free t-shirt. I don’t know why that gives me more motivation than what I’ve had in the past, but it does.

It also makes me realize that I’m close to being close to 60 pounds lighter than when I first started. Five pounds away from that number.

While we were talking, my trainer asked what I had planned for the week. While I had been at home that morning I had started applying for the LPN program only to realize I didn’t know if they wanted me to enroll as an undeclared student since I needed to do the prerequisites for the program first or if there was a special way they wanted me to enroll. I had sent an email to the LPN admissions specialist, but at the time I hadn’t gotten an email back from her.

I told my trainer that since I was in the area I was thinking about going and talking to admissions in person and to get a feel for where the college was located and how the campus was set up. He said he would text his wife and see if she had any free time to meet with me since she’s the chair for the LPN program.

Left Brain: … What…

Right Brain: Oh god! Oh god! Oh god!

I knew his wife worked IN the LPN program… I didn’t know she was IN CHARGE of the LPN program. Pardon me while I have a mild anxiety attack over meeting with the head honcho.

While I was in the middle of stretching out after rowing for about 20 minutes after my workout, trying not to think about this potential impromptu meeting, my trainer came up to me.

Him: I got you an appointment. It’s at 12:30.

Me: Today?

Him: Yep. Today.

Me: *More freaking out internally*

I so did not feel ready for a meeting. None of my questions were written down. What was I going to do? I didn’t want to interrupt her day. I didn’t want to waste her time.

I thanked my trainer multiple times for arranging the appointment. I even had time to kill after I had showered and was done with the gym. I stopped by the Walmart in Beatrice to return some dryer sheets since I had gotten the wrong scent and still made it over to the campus early. I sat and formulated my questions and got an idea for what I wanted to accomplish from the meeting, and with notebook in hand, since I always have a notebook with me, I headed inside for my meeting with the head of the LPN program.

There wasn’t a waiting area. I figured out where the room I needed to be at was and sort of poke my head around the door frame, unsure of what to do. I was super early but the door was open and there wasn’t a receptionist.

Mrs. LPN saw me and welcomed me in warmly. I told her I appreciated her taking time out of her day to meet with me and that I knew I was early. If she needed me to wait until later I could.

Mrs. LPN: No, no. You’re fine. Come on in.

We discussed what I was interested in doing. By then I had gotten a reply from the admissions specialist informing me that courses were changing and that I should check back in with her in September once the transition was figured out. That left me with more questions than answers, and luckily Mrs. LPN knew everything about the transition and gave me all of the information I needed for my next steps.

There’s going to be a full-time program starting in April with a part-time program starting next fall. Regardless of which program I do, I need to be a CNA with a Nebraska license. The prerequisites listed on the website currently are going to be included in the upcoming program, so I don’t have to take them beforehand, though if I do, it would put me ahead of the game. She also said if I know my goal is to eventually go into the RN program, there are other classes I could take which would correlate with that particular path that, again, would put me slightly ahead.

Unlike my brother’s LPN to RN program, there is no waiting period between bridging from LPN to RN. As soon as I obtain my license I could begin taking classes for the RN program.

So my next action step was to register for the CNA classes, which I got accomplished today. Go me. Since the CNA program is listed as continuing education and not an actual degree, I don’t have to be registered with the college to take the courses. No transcripts, to transfer credits… just sign up and pay and your good.

If I go through the process of actually registering before October, I can begin taking official classes in January for the LPN / RN thing I want to do. I’m not sure how to go about the program itself, though. My next hurdle will be figuring out how to financially afford classes. Paying for one or two might be doable. Paying for the whole program is going to be harder, especially if I go down to part-time hours at work and focus on school full time. I’m not sure how I want to go about it yet. I’m not sure how the clinic is going to change in the next few months.

The tech who shadowed is going through training at the moment. Once she’s through in the next couple of months we’ll be able to get a traveling nurse for a contracted length of time, which will allow our clinic to open six days a week again. So, things are going to change, I’m just not sure how, or specifically when, and even if I did, there’s a lot of time between now and when the full-time classes start, so really anything could happen.

While I know this obstacle is on the horizon, I’m going to focus on this first task first. I can’t get into the program at all without completing my CNA. And I guess this is a lesson learned. I’ve already taken a nursing assistant course back when I was in Florida. I never went through and took the test to become certified, though, so I can’t “challenge” the test and prove that I still know what I’m doing because I never proved I knew what I was going to begin with.

Part of not testing was anxiety over taking the test itself. Part of it was struggling with accomplishing things and being “successful” after mom’s death. Part of it was getting the job with DaVita and not needing to become a CNA anymore to increase my employability. My certification in phlebotomy falls into the same boat in that regard.

Looking back at it, it would have saved me $500 to go ahead and get certified. I guess this is a moment where I eat my words. I try to live with a “If you’re going to do something, do it right the first time so you don’t have to redo it later, ” mentality.

Well… here I am, redoing it… because I didn’t fully follow through the first time. I think I did well for where I was at during that point in my life. I’m pretty sure it’s going to make this course easier. I’m not worried about the lecture portions being online. I actually prefer that because it means I don’t have to spend eight hours of my day off in a classroom listening to things I already know. I can go through the work at my own pace and only have to worry about showing up for the clinic portions of the class, which since I know how to do all of the procedures, I might be able to leave class a bit early once I’ve demonstrated I can do them. I’m not sure, but there are options. And being employed in the health field, my instructor might be willing to work with me.

Getting out of class at 9 pm would mean I don’t get home until around 9:30 which means, most likely, not going to bed until 10 or later when I have to be awake at 3 am the following morning. It would only be for two months, but it’s still going to suck if that’s my time frame.

So I have that going on. Officially becoming a CNA so I can start work on LPN.

Work this past Monday was… work. Monday sort of sucked even though it was a smooth day. I was beat up by the time I got home and I don’t really remember much else about it.

The weekend was nice. Ox built the counter for the space to the right of the stove in the kitchen. I got to help draw the lines on the wood so it could be cut. I got to help hold the boards still so he could use the saw. We went to different stores looking at kitchen organization stuff. We got lunch together while we were out.

There wasn’t anything that I 100% liked, though, so at the moment the kitchen is still a bit disorganized. Ideally, we would get rid of the cabinets that are there and get new ones which would allow us to hang the pots and skillets, but that means potentially redoing the drywall, which may lead to having to put in new insulation…

Yeah… It might be a bigger project than any of us realized, but… It seems silly to spend money on a temporary option when all of the work mentioned is going to have to be done down the road. It feels like a waste, not only of time but also of money.

So I’m not sure what’s going to happen in that regard. We have the kids starting tomorrow evening through the holiday. I’ve agreed to play the role of Bookkeeper for Stuffed Fables all weekend if each day we put in two hours of work on the addition. Nothing further has been said about that proposal, but I’m pretty sure it will win out since the kids really enjoyed the game last time they were here.

And with that, I’m pretty sure I’m caught up for the most part. I didn’t mean to go so long in between posts, but that’s how it played out this past week. I’m looking forward to seeing my patients tomorrow. I’m looking forward to it being the weekend, too. And in the not so distant future, towards the end of September, I’ll have classes to look forward to as well.

Daily Post 118: Combat, Work, and No-Tato Success

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Today has been good.

Yesterday was good, too.

And I think Tuesday morning was the last time I wrote, so the rest of Tuesday, you guessed it, was good. And since that’s when I last wrote, that’s where I’ll start, working my way to today.

I didn’t get as much done Tuesday as I wanted. I did, however, go to the gym to row before my rescheduled training at 3:30. I did upper body machines while I was there, figuring my trainer would focus on my lower body so I didn’t need to worry about being sore later. Overhead presses still suck. All of the other machines I was able to up my weight on though, so that was nice. I also figured out the hours for when a staff member would be in the office so Ox could come talk to them about joining my account.

When I showed up for training I realized I was sort of fucked because of all the days my trainer could have picked to completely change everything and do a focused workout on my upper body it’s the one day where I’ve managed to go to the gym and do it myself already. I mean, of course, that’s how life works… >.<;

At one point he asked if I wanted the weight I was at to be lowered. I responded with no, it just hurt. I wasn’t going to let that stop me, though.

We did some stuff with the TRX bands, too. Those were fun in a “my arms are going to hate me so much” sort of way.

I had a bit of time to kill before the SCA combat practice. Ox had messaged me saying that going didn’t mean that I had to fight. We could just go and talk to everyone. We could see if anyone would want to play Stuffed Fables. We could socialize and catch up. I didn’t “have” to fight if I went.

That made it feel more ok to go. I loaded up my gear, you know… just in case. I also packed up the pull out drawers for the cabinets I had bought forever ago. The receipt said I could still return them, so I wanted to try doing that while I was in town.

The return was super painless and they refunded me all of the money to my card. Woo. I got to look at pot lid holders and all sorts of kitchen organization gadgets while I was at the store. Ox called and I talked with him for a bit while he drove to the store since he was off work.

We took his car to combat practice. The marshall showed up with the loaner gear and so began the process of gearing up. I actually did put most of my armor on. It was fun. It felt good. I didn’t fight since there were some new people and the only helm that fits me was being used by one of the new guys, but I was ok with that. It felt good to simply be back. I was ok with not fighting, especially after how intense the day had been on my arms already.

I talked to some of the members and we’re going to be getting measurements next Tuesday so I can have my own helm made. There’s a part of me who’s sort of giddy about that. It will be the first piece of armor that’s mine. Specifically mine. Made for me, mine. I know it won’t be pretty or amazing or fancy and I’m totally ok with it. It will be my first piece of armor and I’ll love it for forever.

Ox and I came home a little early and had dinner. I gamed for a bit. When we laid down for bed I tried sleeping but couldn’t. I only got about an hour and a half of sleep before having to get up to go to work on Wednesday. That sucked and it was the first time I legitimately wanted to call out. I pushed through it and I’m glad I did.

The day wasn’t bad. It was actually fairly smooth considering we had an RN shadowing as well as the social worker and our nephrologist doing rounds with the patients.

My FA bought lunch for everyone since so many people were at the clinic. Normally I would give myself shit for eating pizza, but yesterday I didn’t care. I’ve been doing pretty good with my eating since I’ve been back from my vacation and I did pretty well while I was away. So yeah, I had two slices of pizza with a couple of breadsticks. I even had one piece of the cherry strudel dessert pie thing and it was as amazing as it looked.

Since there was a ton of food left over my FA voluntold me to take some home with me. It ended up being dinner for everyone at home. I shamelessly had a second piece of the cherry strudel thing after Ox woke me up since I fell asleep almost as soon as I got home. It was a much-needed nap. Waking up was the best part. Who doesn’t like being woken up with sexy time?

I gamed in the evening. I fell asleep pretty easily once it was bedtime and slept the whole night through. It’s become common for me to wake up between 12 and 2. Not last night though. I slept soundly and almost slept through Ox’s alarm.

We had a cigarette before he left for work. I laid back down for a bit, but today was another day of early training at the gym, so I didn’t get to rest for too much longer. I got up, got dressed, had part of my breakfast, then drove to Beatrice.

It’s been raining a lot recently here, which I think is relevant. This morning and yesterday I’ve been coughing a lot. I used to cough pretty bad when I first moved here, but it’s been tapering off. Normally it’s only really bad when I first wake up, but by the time I’m done with my shower, I’m fine.

Not today. I coughed the whole way down to the gym. I was still coughing as my trainer weighed me in. I’m down one pound of fat, but I also lost a pound of muscle. I’m not too concerned about this weigh in. It wasn’t until Monday-ish that I started feeling my metabolism picking back up so I wasn’t expecting to have lost much. We’ll see how next week’s weigh in goes.

Since I was coughing so much, we didn’t do a lot of cardio. We mainly focused on lifting, which I was ok with. He mentioned that I might be allergic to something in the area since I didn’t have any sort of respiratory distress while I was visiting my brothers. The rain kicks stuff up into the air and can agitate whatever unknown sensitivity I may have. It’s something I plan to ask about during my doctor’s appoint on the 30th. I’m also going to try taking antihistamines again since they helped me a lot when I first moved here.

After training, I came back home and started cleaning. I cleaned the kids toy shelf, reorganizing everything since it was a disaster. I cleaned the corner of the living room by the bookshelf since there were piles there, too. I put up the boxes of mason jars Mama Ox wanted to keep. I cleaned up the kitchen table, which I don’t know if I should have done that…

It’s sort of like Mama Ox’s office. It’s where her laptop is. Papa Ox also has an area on it, which only leaves about half the table for actual use. I wanted to wipe the table down though and the more I moved and shifted things, the more I realized I wouldn’t get it properly cleaned without clearing it off…

So… I moved everything. The only things I threw away were things like old candy wrappers and stuff that was very obviously trash. I did stack the papers that were on the table though. I messed with stuff that wasn’t mine. I know it would have bothered me if someone had messed with my stuff when I wasn’t home. I also feel I would be understanding that the table really did need to be cleaned.

I don’t know. So far no one has said anything to me about it. No hostility. No “don’t do that again”. So I think I’m alright and I shouldn’t have to do it again for a while.

I cleaned up the bedroom, making a pile of clothes that needed to be washed. I washed the new sheets Ox and I bought together. I folded and put away the towels so I could move Mama Ox’s clothes into the dryer. I folded and put my own clothes away since they’ve been in a basket for a while. I loaded the dishwasher with the dishes that were in the sink. I sent a message to Mama Ox asking if it would be ok for me to use the steaks and cook dinner for everyone tonight. She didn’t put up a fight over relinquishing that task.

I gamed a bit again, finishing the quest line to become a black mage. Once that was done, I made a shopping list and packed up to head to the gym for the second time. I was going to row for a bit, maybe lift some, then head to the store to do the shopping I needed to for dinner and the coming week.

That’s where things changed a bit. I had just finished rowing. I decided to stretch instead, then shower and head out. While I was stretching, Ox called me and said he was off work. He was heading to the gym so he could talk to someone. We both agreed it would be easier to figure out what we wanted to do if I was there since it was my account.

I finished stretching after we hung up then went to the shower to rinse off. By the time I was done Ox was there and talking with one of the staff members. It took longer than I thought it would, but Ox is now a member of the gym and can go with me. We’ve agreed that it would be easiest for it to be charged to my card and for him to give me his portion of the membership in cash, sort of like what he’s been doing with groceries.

Since by then it was later than I wanted, I decided to go to the market at the gas station for the things I needed for dinner and to save the rest of the shopping for Saturday since none of it was essential.

Ox paid for the groceries which I’m still getting used to.

When we got home I started cooking. Once everything was at a point where it could cook itself I started prepping the grapes for the snack bags I’ve started making. I made Ox’s lunch. The wash got switched.

I made my no-tato recipe for the family, explaining that if they didn’t like it I had bought a package of the instant potatoes that I knew everyone liked. I could make that instead if the no-tatoes were a total no go.

They didn’t turn out bad, but Ox said they were extremely strong. I use two tablespoons of steak seasoning in them, so next time I’m going to try it with only one and see if it turns out better. Other than that, dinner was a success. I didn’t overcook the steaks. Totally high fiving myself on that one since I only eat my steaks rare.

I’ve already finished cleaning up the kitchen. I’m waiting for the sheets to finish drying so Ox and I can put them on the bed. By then his load of clothes will be ready to switch to the dryer. I might not get them put away tonight, but with everything else that I’ve gotten done today, I think I can be forgiven if that lapses to tomorrow.

And… AND… I’ve written.

I don’t know why today was so productive. I just know that I’m grateful that I can still have days like this.

I haven’t done anything with the LPN paperwork yet, but it’s on my radar and I know that it’s getting pushed back in lieu of other things. Maybe I’ll buckle down and get it done this weekend.

I’m going to leave that for another day, though. Right now I’m going to finish this post and then game for about an hour, then go to sleep so I can finish up my work week on a strong note, and then move on into the weekend where we’re going to figure out the last little bit of the kitchen shelving. My pots and pans will hopefully have a home.

I’m very much looking forward to working on one of the many projects going on around me and possibly getting it finished. :3

Daily Post 107: Lazy Rainy Day

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I’m trying to eek writing in while Lil’ Ox is in the shower.

The day started around 6 am with breakfast and a Cotton Candy Bang. When the kids woke up we continued playing Stuffed Fables. By 9 am Mama, Papa, and Lil Ox headed out. I showered and got dressed so Ox, Oronry Ox, and I could head into town to run errands.

Of course, we forgot that today is Sunday and nearly everything has screwy hours. The game store we wanted to go back to didn’t open until noon. The place we wanted to eat at didn’t open until 10:30. It was a rainy, dreary type of day and even though it seemed like we were hitting brick walls anytime we tried to do something we eventually made it work.

We went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to look at pot sets. I was worried about buying one because I didn’t want Mama Ox to not like it or be angry or hurt because she wasn’t part of the picking process. There was a really good return policy with the store, though. If you didn’t like the set you have a year to return it as long as you keep your receipt. Well… it’s hard not to take something home with a return policy like that.

We ended up getting a set that happened to be on clearance. We got a roughly $200 set for $70. Can’t really beat that. And if Mama Ox totally was against it we could bring it back. I still had to fight off anxiety for most of the rest of our trip. I’m always worried about changing things or getting something new. It’s her space and her stuff and I’m the outsider messing things up. I didn’t want the new pot set to be another thing I’m doing wrong.

By the time we were done at Bed, Bath, and Beyond it was late enough for use to get lunch. We went to a burger place. At first, I was frustrated. Everything was on Texas Toast or fried or very much a “I shouldn’t be eating this if I’m trying to lose weight.” My options were pretty much five salads. Six if you included the side salad as an option.

It made me wonder if this is what people with food sensitives go through. It sucks feeling like I’m keeping people from having what they want or making things more complicated. It mildly sucks to feel like people won’t take a bullet for you and go to a “healthy” place instead of a fast food place. Not that Ox has ever done that. He’s amazingly supportive for the most part. Except for this morning where he tried to foist off a donut on me. >.>

I’m proud to report that I didn’t eat the donut and that it’s wrapped up and sitting on the counter still.

Anyway… yeah. I didn’t think I was going to enjoy lunch and that I was going to be spending money to make everyone else happy but that I would be getting shafted with a shitty salad. I ended up getting a cranberry and bacon blue salad. It turned out to be better than I had hoped for. I would be ok with going back there and getting that particular salad again. That helped.

By the end of lunch I was getting tired. All of the driving around and all of the social interaction from yesterday and this morning, combined with the worry about the pots and stress I put myself through with trying to figure out what to eat… I really just wanted to be done with figuring things out.

We decided for our final stop to be Walmart. Ox and I picked out blackout curtains for the room. I got another roast since I’m going to run out of my breakfasts before the week is done. I couldn’t find the stevia packets I wanted, but I remembered to get a replacement container of basil and dryer sheets for the house.

Ox and I got to have some alone time together since Ornery Ox went back to the computer room and no one else was home yet.

When Mama Ox got home we explained the deal with the new pots and went through the old pots and pans, getting rid of the ones that were peeling and icky. We still have to figure out how to arrange things in the kitchen, but I think the new pot set will work. I cooked my burgers in one of the skillets tonight. I like the weight and feel of it. It feels good. Balanced. I like how easy it was to clean up. The set had good reviews online and so far, through my single use of one of its skillets, I have to agree with everything I read.

While I was in the kitchen cleaning, Ox put up the curtain rod and curtains. I like them but we won’t know how effective they are until it’s a sunny day and I’m trying to fall asleep at 7.

We finished playing through the first story of Stuffed Fables. The kids really wanted to continue playing into the second story but Ox and I both agreed it would be better to wait until we have them again to start a new game since we wouldn’t have been able to get to the end before bedtime. I’m glad they’re both so captivated by something away from the computer. I feel like we’ve spent a lot of quality time together and though it still takes a bit of energy, I don’t resent it. It’s not like the times I tried to play Minecraft. I enjoyed spending my energy the way I did.

It makes me more ok with the thoughts of future weekends. I think we’re all finally figuring out how to coexist together. I was still able to get what I wanted and needed to done.

I got to write. I got to go to the gym. I even got to do a bit of my own gaming. My goldsmith is level 36 or 37. I did a few of the challenges in my challenge log. I earned more credits so I can get promoted within my grand company soon. I want to spend about 30 more minutes farming mithril since my character’s buff lasts that long, but it depends on how long it takes me to finish writing and doing my last few chores.

Oh. Another thing that happened while we were in Lincoln was stopping by Goodwill to donate the clothes I just replaced. It’s nice to have the bag out of the house and not taking up space.

It’s supposed to rain all of tomorrow so I’m not sure if SCA combat will happen on Tuesday. The ground might be too wet still.

I’m mostly prepped for tomorrow. I still need to make my protein shakes, but Ox’s lunch is already done.

I guess there really isn’t much else to report.

Ox and I have been more sexual since I’ve been back from my trip. I like it. I don’t know what else to say. I like the way it makes me feel physically and emotionally. I guess there really isn’t anything else to say on that topic. I’m aware of the change. I’m grateful for the change. It makes it feel more ok to be me.

I started looking into the LPN program this morning. I have until October to register for classes in January. There are some prerequisites that I’ll need to take before I can start the program. I’m hoping I can still worm my way out of English 101. I’ve already done did that class.

I want to get the application process started, so I’ll add that to the to-do list for Tuesday most likely. Since I don’t have to worry too much about meal prep or chores or errands, I should have most of the day to pluck away at the paperwork.

Yeah… not a terribly eventful day unless you count defeating evil nightmare minions eventful.

Seriously, Stuffed Fables is a super cute game and I encourage anyone remotely interested in DnD type tabletop games to give it a shot.

And I guess with that I’m going to go so I can finish up the last bit of my to-do list so I can go run around in circles beating up rocks.

Daily Post 106: On Track, Maybe

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I went to work yesterday after only getting roughly an hour and a half of sleep. It’s just how the night ended up working out. I went to bed after 11:30 and woke up at 2. Going back to sleep seemed pointless since I wouldn’t get a full REM cycle. I stayed in bed resting as much as I could with the cats demanding attention, thoughts of Chinese food for dinner running through my head.

I skipped out on taking a shower which wasn’t as big of a deal as it normally would have been. I had showered before going to bed since I needed to rinse the dye out of my hair.

The drive to work sucked because I was so tired. Once I was at the clinic though, it wasn’t too bad. Moving around and constantly having things to do helps burn the tiredness off or keep it at bay. It sort of shot my plans to go to the gym all to hell though.

I made it through the work day and even got most of my “extra” work tasks done, like making sure my PTO got returned for not taking Friday off like I had originally planned. Overall it was a fairly smooth day. My FA was there to help during turn over so it was smoother than I had anticipated.

By the time the day was done, though, I just wanted to go home. I had my gym bag with me. I knew part of me wanted to go to the gym still, but there was a larger part of me who was starting to get a headache from being up for so long with so little sleep. I was still recovering a bit from the gym the day before and I had an early session scheduled for today.

I’m frustrated that I missed one of my extra days of working out this week. Since I came home and fell asleep almost immediately for an hour and a half I’m hard pressed to be too upset with myself. I woke up to eat dinner. I gamed on Final Fantasy for a short while, then went back to sleep where I, again, fell asleep quickly and stayed asleep until 2:45 this morning.

I woke up to use the restroom, had a small spoon of peanut butter to keep from getting hungry, then went back to sleep. I slept until around 6. I stayed in bed until Ox woke up and asked if I knew what time it was because he was worried I had overslept for my training.

We spent a bit of time together this morning before I got up to have breakfast and change. I went to the gym where I had a decent workout with my trainer. I came home and had a snack which I’m proud of. Skipping snacks is a bad habit I have, but for the days since I’ve been back home I’ve been doing pretty well with my eating. Not perfect, but better. Same with water intake.

Ox and I had made plans to go into town with the kids to look for a tabletop game we could all play together. The store we went to had Zombicide: Green Horde. I’m very interested in getting that at some point, but today we went with Stuffed Fables instead. It’s basically an intro DnD game. You and your group are stuffed animals who much fight the Nightmare Lord, Creepitus, to protect a little girl while she sleeps in her big girl bed for the first time.

It’s actually super cute and so far the kids seem to really enjoy it, especially as we get a better understanding of the rules.

We played for a few hours progressing through the story and killing evil nightmare minions. We stopped since it was time for dinner, after which I… don’t know what happened.

We had BLTs, which were amazing as always. I wrap my tomato and bacon in the lettuce so I don’t have to worry about the carbs from the bread. It’s a meal I can actually eat with the family rather than making my own thing or standing in the kitchen like I sometimes, most of the time, do.

Afterward, I unloaded the dishwasher and began loading it with the new dirty dishes. It’s the second time Mama Ox has come in and mentioned a “pet-peeve” she has with me doing something with the dishes.

I don’t know why it got under my skin so much. I am pretty much the only other person who helps with dishes. It makes me feel like I’m not doing things right or good enough. It most likely didn’t help that it’s the second comment in the three days since I’ve been back. This comes after cornering me during dinner last night about how I haven’t found a new pot set for her.

I was under the impression that she didn’t want one because she wasn’t interested in getting rid of any of the things she has even though the non-stick surfaces are peeling and desperately need to be replaced.

So while I’m standing there, rinsing dishes and loading the dishwasher I’m trying to be patient with myself and understanding that it’s not my kitchen and that if she wants things done a certain way, I should be accommodating, new dishes are being pilled into the sink I’m trying to empty since not everyone finished eating at the same time.

It was… frustrating. By the time I got done handwashing the things that wouldn’t fit into the dishwasher, I was a little sweaty, which was uber gross since I hadn’t showered from the morning’s workout.

When Ox and I stepped outside for a cigarette he asked me what was wrong. I did my best to explain it, but at the time I really didn’t want to talk. I didn’t want to go back to the game. I didn’t want to pretend to be ok because for whatever reason, in that moment, I just wasn’t.

His mom had made a comment while I was in the kitchen about Ox and I wearing matching shirts, and that too, crawled under my skin. It’s not a “his and hers” thing. I wanted to wear one of his shirts because it smelled like him. It just so happened he had two of the same color and he put the second one on.

I’m not losing my identity or trying to be cutesy.

Arg.

Wearing black all the time is wrong, but then so is wearing a shirt of color if someone else is wearing that same color.

It’s like I can’t win. I can’t wear the right clothes OR load the dishwasher right.

Ox and I talked through what I was feeling. At least we tried to as best we could with me not wanting to talk about something I didn’t really understand. I knew all of the comments bothered me, but without having the space to process why they bothered me it was hard to articulate the frustration I felt.

We agreed to hold off on the game so I could shower and write since I never got a chance to do it yesterday and I didn’t like the added thought of pushing off writing to tomorrow. I had already pushed off my writing yesterday since I went to sleep instead. Pushing it off further wouldn’t have helped with the feelings of frustration.

The shower I took a little while ago has done wonders for me. Writing, sitting with my headphones on while music plays and taking a break from being the bookkeeper/rule master has been nice as well. Lil’ Ox is going over to Ox’s brother’s house tomorrow for a bit with Mama and Papa Ox. That will give Ox and I a bit of time to do some more errands together. We’re going to see if Ornery Ox wants to go with us.

When everyone gets back home we will most likely try to get through another few pages of the story in Stuffed Fables before dinner, after which I’ll need to go to bed since Monday is a work day.

I still want to pack and plan to go to the gym after work on Monday. I think for the time being I’m going to hold off on the dojo membership. I want to pay off my car more, and if I’m already having a hard time getting to the gym I have a membership to, then adding another, even larger, expense most likely isn’t going to help or fix anything. I want to become more consistent with my “extra” training first. I want to get SCA combat practice to be a habit. I also want to look at the dojo in Beatrice as well since my trainer keeps mentioning it. Maybe it would be easier, more feasible, to go there after work rather than driving close to an hour into Lincoln.

I don’t know what the dojo in Beatrice offers, but since I’m not roped into anything yet I can still look and see if there’s something else out there that might work better for me.

It would be amazing if I could get the car paid off before the end of the year, but without people paying me back I don’t think I’ll be able to. Kyle is still unemployed, so even though we talk, he hasn’t been able to pay me back for the time he stayed with me in Orlando. I reached out to Warren again since he never replied to my message. He actually replied to me, saying today was busy, but he would try really hard to get in touch with me at some point. Sir said he would be able to start paying me back soon, but I haven’t heard from him in a while. Mother Earth and I haven’t spoken in six months…

I don’t have any other corners I can cut financially. If I get a large tax return this coming tax season I could have the car paid off relatively early in the new year. It just sucks looking at my budget and still bleeding in $200 a month in interest into a credit card that I can’t make progress on.

I haven’t looked into the LPN program yet, but that’s more because of the way today has gone. I’m happy with the things I’ve been able to get done. I’ve updated My Fitness Pal with the changes I’ve made to my recipes. I cleaned up my phone, transferring the pictures from our trip the zoo to Dropbox along with other art pictures and inspirational quotes I’ve saved as I’ve browsed through Facebook posts these past months. I messaged several of my friends to stay in touch with them, though there are still people I need to reach out to. I’ve updated my calendar with my new work schedule along with all of the dates I need to keep track of. I’ve paid bills and I’ve allocated my leftover money to the places I want it to go.

Today has been a pretty nice and productive day. I don’t want the spat of frustration I felt early to cloud today with negativity. I think eeking out the time to write helped. I’ve been worried about my writing falling to the wayside again now that I’m back in Nebraska.

You make time for the things that are important.

I spent a large amount of time today with the kids doing something everyone seemed to enjoy. I feel like that’s a victorying in my “non-parent” parenting belt. I also got most of the things I wanted/needed to take care of scratched off of my to-do list. Oh! Which is another thing…

I’ve totally made to-do lists every day since I’ve been back. That’s another thing that’s become a hit or miss, mostly miss, thing for me. I used to religiously write my to-do list as I drank my cup of coffee in the morning. Since mom’s death, I haven’t really worried too much about my lists. If I make one, fine, if not, it doesn’t really matter.

I already have one mostly mapped out for tomorrow, and since Monday is a pretty set day, I have that one fairly ironed out as well.

It’s a good feeling. I feel like I know how to take care of my life because the things I need to get done are figured out already.

I’m hoping my vacation was the break I needed to get my life back on track. I’m hoping it let me get back in touch with myself.

Three days isn’t a whole lot to go on, but so far I think I’m doing alright.

Daily Post 105: First Day Back

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Today has been my first full day back in Nebraska.

The flight back on Wednesday night wasn’t back. I listened to Ready Player One for all of the three-ish hours I was on the plane. The center seat remained empty. The person sitting by the window didn’t bother me at all during the flight. All in all, it was a good flight.

Ox was there to greet me. It was one of the best hugs I’ve ever had. It was good to feel home. I let Jon know I had landed. Since I didn’t have luggage to worry about, Ox and I got on the road to head home. We stopped at Arby’s for dinner, but other than getting mildly lost in Omaha, the trip was uneventful.

Wednesday night, once we were home, was amazing. I’m not sure if our relationship is deeper or changed due to the events that unfolded, but in this moment I feel more secure, more real and less of the nebulous “more than girlfriend, less than wife” that I’ve been stuck in. I may come back on a later day and write about it, but right now I don’t want to. I cherish what we have and there’s now a physical object to represent our connection. Something I can hold and wear and cherish along with all of the amazing intangible things that make me grateful to have him in my life.

I slept well even though I kept waking up. It was different from all of the sleepless nights I’ve had in the past. I would wake up, realize I was in what I now think of as my own bed, next to Ox, and fall back asleep without an issue. Normally if I wake up that’s it. I’m screwed for the next 30 minutes to an hour while I try to desperately convince my brain to shut up. Not so last night.

Unfortunately, even with being able to fall back asleep all of those times I wasn’t really ready to start the day at 6 am like I had hoped. I woke up with Ox, shared a cigarette with him, then went back to sleep for a few hours. I had training at 10, so around eight, I got up to shower, cook breakfast, and begin the process of getting back on track with my life. I made a grocery list, checked to see if there was anything I needed to add or take off of it, packed my gym bag, then headed out.

My trainer asked if I wanted to wait on weighing in. I’m glad he gave me the option rather than having to ask for it. I could tell through the workout that my muscles were stiff from the trip and lack of any sort of workout for over a week. He eased me back into everything, though, so while it was a good workout, it didn’t leave me feeling dead.

I stopped at Walmart and was able to get most of the shopping done. I restocked on my travel stuff so I can have it ready if I need to cover shifts are other clinics, but also because I want to start utilizing the gym more and I know this is weird, but I like showering before I work out. I went ahead and got a couple extra towels while I was at the store to help facilitate that habit. If I go to the gym after work, rather than before, then there won’t be a damp towel sitting in my car molding away in the summer heat. I’ll be able to take it out of my bag once I’m home so it shouldn’t have a chance to get too icky.

It’s a gross feeling to try to change into a different set of clothes when you’ve been sweating all day at work, regardless of what type of clothes they are. I know I would work out better with a shower first. So… instead of coming home to shower and change, I plan to pack my gym bag and use the showers at the facility. I’m not sure if it will work, but I think it has a higher chance that what I’ve been doing.

So tomorrow is the trial run of that. Even if it’s just yoga. That’s the deal. Two extra days at a minimum. That means tomorrow and Sunday have to happen since my training is set for Thursday and Saturday.

I wasn’t able to get everything at Walmart, but I got everything I needed for my meal prep so I was alright with that.

I stopped at the clinic to see what I would be walking into tomorrow morning. My FA was there so I got a chance to talk to her. It was a really good conversation. I feel like something has shifted between us. I don’t feel like she’s as reserved or distant with me. She’s more open, more jokey, more frank and… I don’t know… more… real I guess. More like we’re even-ish.

She’ll always be my boss but it feels like we interact as humans now rather than as employer and employee. Maybe it’s because we’ve had to work the floor together so much. Maybe it’s because she’s seen my work ethic first hand and doesn’t have to worry about me doing my job. Maybe it’s because whenever she asks about something it’s normally already done.

I don’t know. There’s a lot of stuff that could factor into it, but I like the shift.

I was able to talk to her about the incident that happened the Friday before I left where the RN at the time asked me if she should call a code. I was able to talk about wanting to go back to school and the potential of signing up for classes. She said to set my school schedule and work would work around it. We talked a bit about my vacation and all sorts of other topics. It was nice.

Once our conversation had run its course, I headed back home to take care of the groceries. I ended up getting pulled over about a mile from home. Yep… for going 65 in a 60…

Which meant the cop totally found out my tags haven’t been registered properly for the past six months…

Guess who was the proud recipient of a citation… -_-;

He was pretty gruff with me at first. When he came back with my paperwork he was a lot nicer. Maybe it had to do with having a clean record. No speeding tickets. No traffic violations at all actually.

He gave me a warning for the speeding but said he had to give me the citation for the tags. He said if I was able to get it taken care of within 10 days of the ticket being issued there “might” be a chance for the judge to drop the $75 charge.

So instead of researching the LPN program I gathered up everything I needed for the DMV and headed out there once I was done taking care of the food.

The only thing I was able to get done today in that regard was filling out a piece of paper which got faxed to my bank so they can change the car title over to Nebraska instead of Florida. That’s going to take 7 to 10 business days… All of the paperwork states that I started the process today though, so maybe I’ll still show up on my hearing day and see if the charge can still be dropped.

I know I should have changed the tags over a while ago. It was such a process and expense in Orlando though that I’ve been dragging my feet about it. I feel like I should pay the fine since I know I was in the wrong. At the same time, if it does end up being a $600 expense I really don’t think I’m unjustified in taking so long. Who has $600 laying around?

I’ll wait and see. My court date isn’t until next month so I should be able to get the tags completely taken care of by then. At least I started the ball rolling. Another step closer to being completely done with my moving to-do list.

Oddly enough, my FA had printed directions to the DMV I was supposed to go to since changing my tags was one of the things we had talked about while I was at the clinic. The Universe works in funny ways sometimes.

After the DMV trip, I came back home to do a majority of the cooking. Ox and I had made plans to meet in Lincoln to look at new sheets for the bed and curtains for the window since it’s hard for me to fall asleep early in the evening when it’s so bright in the room.

We went to Bed Bath and Beyond. We found sheets we think we’ll like. We decided to check out Walmart for curtains since there wasn’t a very good selection for the blackout curtains. We also got dish scrubs, a dish scrub holder, and… an electric zoodler.

Or rather, Ox bought me an electric zoodler.

I haven’t used it yet, but I already love it. It makes the girly, squishy, wifey-homemaker inside me melt knowing I have a new kitchen gadget that is totally going to speed up my process. I actually might try doing sweet potato zoodle recipes now. There’s a whole new recipe base for me to explore and try and I can’t help the silly irrational feeling of wanting to go out to the kitchen and hug the box because it’s so insanely awesome that I finally have one of my own.

I’ve already made all of my meals for the coming week, but it’s a safe bet to say that pretty much everything I make for the next forever will use my new zoodler.

We went out to dinner at Dave’s Famous BBQ, which is a place we’ve gone to a few times before. Eating dinner is tricky with me trying to be clean-ish and not have carbs and all of that annoying healthy shit. This place has mostly meat, so it’s easier to find a dinner option that I’m ok with. They also have the best broccoli I’ve ever had.

Originally we were going to try going to a Walmart in town after dinner, but with it being a work night and still having things at home to do, we decided that since nothing on the list “needed” to be bought tonight, that going home was the better option instead.

I stopped at the gas station before going home to fill up the car since I had driven way more than I had originally thought I would. Now I don’t have to hold my breath on the way to or from work.

I preheated the over as soon as I got in the door. I mixed my dye for my hair and painted my head. I set a pot of water to boil for my green beans. I washed the dishes that were in the sink with my new dish scrubs. I finished up my meal prep and made sure my lunch box was clean and that my water bottle was ready to go for the morning.

Currently, I’m just waiting for the roast for finish up so I can have breakfast tomorrow morning. Once I’m done with my writing it will be time to shower and rinse the dye out and that will pretty much conclude today.

Minor things like taking out my contacts and brushing my teeth will be mixed in with the other tasks of winding down for the night, but today has been fantastically productive and connecting. I feel more in tune with my life and with the things I want to do.

I’m glad with how all of today has gone.

I’m glad I’m home.