Daily Post 137: Socks!!!!

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My older brother sent me an Amazon gift card for Christmas. I used it to buy badass compression socks for work.

I. Can. Not. Wait.

omg…

Seriously, I can’t begin to put into words how excited I am to get socks. It’s sort of sad how giddy I am and how much I gushed over them with Ox earlier and how I’m continuing to gush over them here, on my blog, to the entirety of the internet because oh my god I can’t wait to get these socks.

I feel like an adult. It’s like when you finally are able to not lose a pen long enough to have it run out of ink, or using an entire tube of chapstick on your own. Some things just mark adulthood. Excitement over socks I think is one of them and I’ve reached that point in life. If I wasn’t such a cheap bastard… I mean… frugal lady, I would be getting them sooner but I didn’t want to spend extra on shipping so I’m doomed to suffer for days, longing for my amazingly sexy, badass compression socks.

I mean… look at them…

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How could you not get excited over something like that? Work will never be the same.

Anywho… on the subject of work… I made it to phase three of the leadership application process. I will have my phone interview hopefully the 14th of this month.

I’ve been approved for my week of vacation in February. I haven’t asked about March yet. I’ll get around to asking about that sooner rather than later.

We had our pizza lunch today to celebrate passing our annual skills check. I skipped out on going to a social dinner with everyone because fuck that socializing thing. I came home and ordered socks like an introverted badass adult instead.

Today was payday, too. It’s my amazing paycheck of crazy overtime and incentive pay for working so many days in a row. I also got my Concur report for all of the traveling I did during the month of December. That was an extra $300 ish. I paid bills and then made a really nice payment on my credit card. Killing it with fire. Woo.

I still have extra but I want to hold on to it for a little bit. I like seeing digits in my account. It’s nice.

I plan to buy the headgear and new gloves that I want since when I spare at the dojo my sensei wants me to use full gloves rather than the MMA fingerless gloves that I have. I prefer my fingerless ones since I can still grip with them, but I understand why he wants me to use the full gloves instead. Muay Thai isn’t MMA. If I’m going to do both then I need gear for both. It’s like when I was wearing my Aikido gi to my Jiujitsu class. In my head, it’s sort of disrespectful.

I want to talk to my sensei about the gloves before I buy them and since I want to order the headgear and gloves at the same time, that means I have to hold off on the headgear, too. Lame. But worth it. I would rather have his professional opinion on size rather than ordering and having to send something back.

Work went really well today. I got there super early to take the system out of its disinfect phase and get the clinic ready so the new tech and I could focus on stringing the machines. She did really well. We did two of them together. After that, she did it on her own fine. I know it will take more than one day for her to feel fully comfortable with it, but we’re on the right track. We both plan to get to the clinic early again on Monday to do the same thing.

She got to initiate two treatments today with me watching. She did well even though I could tell she was nervous. She watched me initiate our ISO patient and I got to explain how to cannulate his access since his can be tricky. Closing the clinic went ridiculously smooth with three people. She’s more confident in discontinuing treatments and cleaning the equipment which means she’s also faster at it.

I told her my opinion is that all she needs is time. She knows what’s she’s doing. I’ve watched her. She does it all right. She just needs to keep doing it so she gets confidence in herself. She agrees. She says she second guesses herself a lot and she’s worried about doing something wrong.

She’ll be fine. I’m looking forward to seeing how the clinic grows and changes she becomes a more secure and stronger member of the team.

I guess not a whole lot other than that has happened. I’m home. I’m about to start watching Attach on Titin: Season 2. I’ve been watching Black Butler, which is amazing. I’ve watched all three of the seasons of Bleach on Netflix. I’m almost done cross stitching something for Jon. It’s his Christmas gift… exceedingly late, but better late than never.

I don’t know what the plans are for dinner, but that’s ok. I ordered socks. : D

And with that, I’m off to go enjoy the first Friday in a very long time where I don’t have to do anything on Saturday. Or Sunday. A whole, full weekend of no work. My mind is melting into a gooey puddle of mush at the thought of not having to do anything. The only way it could get better was if there were canceled plans involved.

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Daily Post 136: Post-Test and the Other Three Weeks

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I passed my state tests. I passed with flying colors on the skills portion, including manual blood pressure, and with an 88 on the written portion. The 88 sort of eats away at me. I would have liked for it to be in the 90s. But when they ask things like, “Your resident wants to vote. What do you do?” it’s not really fair. The class taught me that residents had the right to vote, not what I am supposed to do as a CNA. Do I request the ballet myself on their behalf or inform the charge nurse? Nothing in the book told me what to do. Nothing in the class told me what to do. So now I have a 50/50 chance of getting the question right. Or wrong. There were several questions like. Nothing about proper temperature or blood pressure ranges. No “What does this abbreviation mean?” It’s frustrating, but for the time being, it’s over. No more classes to stay up late for. No more three hours naps before work the next day. No more discussion posts which aren’t worth the time to read or reply to. It’s done. It’s over. I don’t have to think about school until possibly October.

And no more six-day work weeks. I made it through that stint of the holiday season and all of the emotional roller coaster that goes with overworking myself during one of the hardest times of the year for me.

I made it through my birthday. Lil’ Ox baked a cake for me with Mama Ox. I blew out my candles after everyone sang happy birthday to me. I opened the presents I was given. I didn’t cry at work while people told me happy birthday. I saved it all for home where Ox held me while I cried on the front porch and admitted to being sad and missing mom.

I made it through Christmas and the week of having the kids here while working every day and having no true alone time. Lil’ Ox and I stitched a fair amount. Ornery Ox and I made a trip to the gas station, just the two of us. I stayed home alone while everyone else went into town to spend a few hours with the rest of the family. I talked to my brothers and my dad. I’ve even replied to all of the text messages and Facebook messages I’ve received over the past few weeks.

I passed my annual skills check at work yesterday. Actually, everyone at my clinic passed their skills check on the first try so we’re getting pizza tomorrow for lunch to celebrate.

I also cannulated our patient’s new fistula yesterday morning so I should be NFACT certified now as an expert cannulator.

Our new tech was there yesterday. She’s going to be in training with me for the next month. We get along extremely well together. She’s also super into organization and to-do lists so I think once the clinic opens up to six days a week again that we’ll be able to transition into it fairly well. We have similar mindsets and are both open to creating / editing systems and finding what works and changing what doesn’t. She’s open to trying the systems that I’ve developed over the past 10 or so months of working by myself and I’m open to changing my ways and trying new things. As long as we maintain communication I think we’ll be able to work through any friction or challenges that will pop up in the coming weeks and months.

There’s a new RN who started training this week as well. She’s been an ER nurse for the past however many years, so I think she’ll actually do fairly well. I haven’t interacted with her all that much but my impression is that she’s sharp. She’ll catch on quick and she’s used to a fast-paced, fluctuating environment. She’s used to having to react quickly to critical situations. I think once she becomes comfortable with the machines that she’ll be alright. It would be nicer if she were a little more open and friendly, but she’s not un-friendly so at least there’s that. I can work with distant and maybe as we interact more we’ll warm up to each other.

So, things at work are going well. I’m planning to take the second week of February off for vacation. I’ll be staying at home and not really do a whole lot other than not working. There currently aren’t plans for amazing productiveness or any trips to stress or plan over. Just a week of self-care essentially. Taking a step back and recharging my batteries. The new tech will, ideally, be through training and comfortable doing things on her own and if not I would only a 20-minute drive away to come help if needed.

This is the first week in a while where I’m only working three days and it’s only this morning where I’m beginning to feel more like myself and less on the verge of burnout. The thought of grocery shopping doesn’t feel like sandpaper under my skin. The thought of socializing still feels heavy, but not as much as it did.

I’m planning to take the last week of March off to visit Orlando, as well. It will be Jon’s birthday. My dad will actually be in Florida with my half-sisters visiting Disney. We’re thinking of trying to meet up, all of us, one evening for dinner.

And there’s a Warrior Dash in Kansas this summer. Originally I wanted to try to run the one in Florida scheduled for February, but I like the new plans more. I haven’t been going to the gym or the dojo. I know I won’t be where I want to be within a month. The new game plan gives me more time to ease back into my self and to continue at a pace I can be successful with.

In addition to all of the events I have been a part of and gone through, it’s also a new year. I don’t have resolutions. My goal was to survive and I did. I didn’t get Ox’s Christmas gift done like I wanted, so it’s turned into my “one-year” gift for him. That’s coming up. Hard to believe I’ve been here in Nebraska for as long as I have. Looking back at the past year makes me realize how much I have accomplished for work and my career, but also with my health, and with my relationships, specifically with Ox. I have been far from stagnant in any area of my life.

I also submitted my essay for the leadership course I applied for. I don’t think I’ll be heartbroken if I don’t get chosen. I’ll know tomorrow so we’ll see I suppose. I don’t think it will be as heavy of an obligation as what my CNA class was, but I’m also ok with not adding more to my plate. Whatever happens, happens and I’ll figure it out from there. I do think the essay came out better than I thought it would. It’s definitely better than the first draft I wrote.

Ox and I are doing well. He’s been amazingly supportive and encouraging during this roller coaster of a ride. He was there for me after my state test. He kept the kids entertained on the days I needed alone time. He’s cooked me eggs so I have breakfast while I’m at work. He’s helped with the laundry and making the bed. He’s listened to me talk and cry and helped me feel secure. I don’t think I would have done nearly as well these past weeks if it weren’t for his support and I’m grateful he’s in my life.

We had Tuesday off together since it was a holiday. The morning started with a lot of tears and crying, mostly because it was the first day off where I could begin emotionally processing through nearly a month worth of experiences. It left me feeling fragile and tired for most of the day but it was a very nice, quietly productive, and connecting day in spite of those feelings.

We cleaned the inside of our computers which was something we had talked about a few weeks ago. We ended up going into town for breakfast at Cracker Barrel. It was crowded and busy but we had a pleasant server and though it was six degrees outside, it was nice to be spending time together out of the house. We went to Best Buy and Walmart. I got a peppermint mocha from Star Bucks with a gift card he got from his work. I now have a pair of warm gloves to keep my fingers from freezing; the last piece of winter gear I was missing. We were even able to get a case of Cotton Candy Bang from the gas station since GNC was sold out and not going to get a shipment in for a while. While I could have made do with the Sour Head flavor I still have a few cans of, knowing that I have my favorite flavor to look forward to gave me warm fuzzy feelings about waking up on my workdays.

Ox and I got a USB / outlet wall mount to go above our bedside table. That meant we could get rid of the alarm clock that was taking up space and never being used aside from charging the phones. Not that I have strong feelings about an unused alarm clock taking up my cross-stitching space or anything…

The wall mount also gave me warm fuzzy feelings and actually did a surprising amount of work in regards to battling back the grief/depression of the past few weeks. It gave me a small, little project to look forward to when we got home. It made me want to go home and to do something other than nothing. It was one, small change to make things in the room better. And I keep saying “me” and “our” though, in truth, Ox was the one to set everything up. I didn’t do anything other than spend money and carry a bag into the house. He ran the cord and attached the mount to the wall. He’s the one who got rid of the alarm clock and freed up more space for me and my things.

Still, I can’t deny that the changed helped me. One, small step forward that makes all of the other steps not seem so bad. One step got accomplished so other steps can be made. It doesn’t have to be giant leaps that require energy and motivation and a mass amount of effort that I don’t feel I have. Things can be small and manageable while still being fulfilling.

There was a lot of quietly productive things about Tuesday that helped warm me on the inside and fight back the sadness that I’ve been struggling with.

I know I’ve been… something recently. I don’t know if it’s depression or grief since they feel so similar to me. I know burnout was part of the mixture which always makes me more sensitive to events, but I think Tuesday things started turning around. Our small bedroom project helped. Passing my skills test yesterday marked the last major stressor I had to get through. I’m not going to say it’s smooth sailing from here because I work dialysis. There’s no such thing as “normal”. But things should settle down a bit and I’m grateful for that. I will have more time to focus on myself and my inner world and my homeworld; my relationship world.

I’ve already been fairly productive today, and that too makes me feel better. I’ve gone through my emails, replying to comments on my tutorials and such. I resubmitted the rebate for the contacts I bought with the proper receipts. I’ve already put dye in my hair so I can rinse it out before much longer. I made a to-do list for my car on Tuesday so I have a game plan for that. I’ve taken stock of the bathroom so far, writing down things I need to get while I’m at the store; things I normally forget until I’m taking a shower and remember, “Oh yeah, I’m running low on body wash. I should write that down once I dry off….”

I’ve gone through most of my “inbox” stack of papers. Most of the things that are left are recipes I need to make a decision about. Jon should be calling me before too long so we can chat for a bit and catch up with each other and our lives.

Overall I think I’m on the right track. I still have a long ways to go to get things cleaned up, situated, and back to how they were, but I’m taking the steps I need to and I think I’m being mindful while I do it. I’m going to continue to take this week easy. I may go to the dojo tomorrow night. I may go Saturday, but I’m not holding myself to an obligation of it. I would like to cook dinner for everyone since that’s something I haven’t been doing as much as I was when I first moved here.

This week is about breathing and letting go of all of the stress and anxiety I’ve had to contend with over the past three weeks while getting back in touch with myself and the things I want; the things that make me feel happy, or at least content with myself and connected with my true inner priorities.

And so, with that, I guess I’m going to go so I can keep plucking away at the small to-do list I wrote for myself today. Writing was one of the things on there and I’m glad I took the time to do it. I know there are a lot of details from the past three weeks that will be forgotten about and left unwritten but I feel like I got a majority of the events. I’m glad I wrote about Tuesday because that really was the first step, the first day towards getting back to myself. Maybe I’ll be able to write more regularly in the coming weeks.

Letters to Mom 021: Please Be There

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Hey mom,

It’s the 11th. Only nine days until my birthday. Only nine days until the day I became your daughter.

Only eight days until whatever birthday celebration happens at my clinic since my FA found out the 20th is my birthday and we’re closed that day.

Only eight days until the bombardment of “happy birthday!” starts.

I’m sorry, but I still don’t want it to be my birthday. I don’t want to go to class tonight and take my test and pass. I don’t want to not be able to call you. I don’t want to go through another birthday where I don’t hear your voice. And I’m sorry that these wants infect the rest of my day.

I’m sorry I came home last night after a mildly good day at work and wanted to give up. A patient infiltrated his arm trying to cover his cough. The acid I was mixing for the clinic was testing really low for its temperature so I had to call Biomed. When I was leaving the clinic I couldn’t get the front door to lock properly and had to call my boss.

None of those things were earthshattering. None of them really affected the day. All of them got figured out. But after coming home and cooking dinner, I was done. I didn’t want to do anything else. I wanted to give up on the day and have it be over, so that’s what I did. I went to bed. I didn’t wake up any better and I don’t have a legitimate reason for feeling this way, at least it doesn’t feel like it.

There wasn’t some recent awful event to justify what I guess is depression.

I’ve been back home for over a week so I can’t say that it’s stress from the trip anymore. At least I don’t think I can. I made it through Thanksgiving, so I can’t say it’s that…

There’s not something I can point to and say, “This. This right here. This is why I’m sad and depressed and apathetic. This is why nothing matters right now. This is why I hurt. This is why I’m tired.” I don’t have a reason and so I’m struggling right now, mom.

I’m sad and I don’t have a reason for it. I hurt. I’m tired, of everything and nothing is really making me feel better or helping me cope.

I guess I need to let you know that I miss you. Still. Always. I guess I need to let you know that I haven’t cried in a while because I don’t give myself a chance to. I instead pick up over time and take classes and go on work trips. I keep myself busy to the point where I get to here and I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

I liked my trip. I wanted to take this class. I’m happy to help the other clinics out.

I still miss you and underneath all of my busy-ness, I’m still hurting. I’m still wounded and not really all that ok. More ok than I was but not ok enough to not dread the 19th or the 20th. I’m going to have to force smiles onto my face over and over again as my heart contracts, knowing that I can’t explain why those words hurt so deeply because it’s no one’s intention to hurt me but that doesn’t change the fact that they will, that they do.

I wish I could hear you wish me luck on my test. I wish it was you telling me that I will do fine instead of Jon. I wish it was you I was brainstorming ideas with for my leadership essay.

I wish so many things and it all just sort of sucks today, for no reason other than I had today off and finally had a chance to realize that some things still just suck because they suck. It’s no one’s fault. Some facts are just sort of lame like that.

I wish we could talk. I wish I could know how you’re doing. I wish you could tell me about your day. I wish I knew you were ok and that death isn’t all that bad. That once you’re dead there’s this other side, whatever it is, and that it’s different but there are positive things about it. Sort of like taking a new job. “I miss my old team and there’s this one annoying chick in human resources, but everyone is super nice and friendly, and the company has a good benefits package. The commute to work is pretty nice and I’m working on this nifty project,” type of a thing.

I wish I knew if you missed being alive. I wish I had known to ask more questions. I wished I had known to listen to your stories more.

I wish I was better at grieving and being depressed rather than letting it eat away at my days like it does. I wish I had had it in me to make myself go to the gym today. I wish I had it in me to care about how many carbs I eat. I wish I had it in me to actually stop smoking like I keep thinking about. But I don’t think I can right now, mom, and I don’t think I need to be sorry over that. I don’t feel sorry and part of me wonders if that’s from the grief/depression/whateverthisis. Being sorry means you feel something, and right now I mostly don’t.

I feel mostly frustration with myself for feeling this way, but that’s about it. The only emotion I really feel is in response to my lack of feeling anything… Oh, and more frustration because it’s frustrating to feel frustrated. Gah. Talk about a vicious cycle of lameness. : /

I feel bad for not having more to talk about but I can’t really think much past the words, “I miss you.” My mind just kind of gets stuck there. I miss you. I wish you were here. I wish we could talk. I wish I could give you a hug. I feel like it’s the same things I always write when I write to you. It’s like maybe I’m stuck or stagnating in my grief. I’ll be fine until I’m not and then all of a sudden I feel like I’m regressing or not doing well enough. Things I’m normally fine with will bother me or be amplified.

I’m going to go to class today, mom. Mostly because I have to, but I wanted you to know that even though today sort of sucks for no reason that I’m still going to go. I’m not going to fail my class even though I can’t call you and tell you I passed. I’m not going to not take my state skills test just because we can’t celebrate together. I’m sorry all of these stupid, small, silly things are so hard sometimes, mom. I’m sorry. I know you don’t want me to be but I have to say those stupid words so they can hopefully stop eating away at the inside of my brain. I’m sorry and I’m sorry I’m sorry.

Please help me get through this. Please tell me that you’re still here and that everything will be ok. Please tell me I’ll do fine on my test and that I worry too much. Please tell me tomorrow will be better and worth it. I know most of those are unfair of me to ask, but right now I really just want to be an eight-year-old kid and cry and have you tell me that everything will be ok. The monsters aren’t really real. The bad things will go away and can’t hurt me.

But these monsters are real and no matter how much I wish them away the 20th will still come without your voice. Another year will pass. Another scar to mark my survival. I’m just so… tired, mom. I’m tired. I’m tired of hurting. I’m tired of being sad.

I wouldn’t change anything, though. I don’t want to miss you less. I’m not tired of missing you, of loving you, of caring that you died and that you meant something to me; that you still mean something to me. So I guess I really don’t know what I’m tired of because I feel like saying I’m tired of hurting means I’m tired of loving you and that’s not true. It will never be true. I will always love you and it will always be worth the pain I feel.

I don’t know, mom. I really don’t know right now but I’m sort of glad I wrote. I’m glad I had that realization; that if given the choice I wouldn’t want to hurt less because that would compromise or diminish my love for you and the Universe can go fuck itself if it thinks I’m going to let that happen. I would fight to keep my pain. To the bitter end.

I really wish I wasn’t so confusing sometimes. I wish things were easy and straightforward. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t an INFJ full of contradictions but then I wouldn’t be me and I sort of like me most of the time.

Thanks for listening to me ramble, mom. I think it helped a little. I need to shower for class. Please wish me luck. Please be there when I pass. Please let me feel you so I don’t feel alone. I know that’s not fair to ask but please don’t let me feel alone tonight. I really don’t want to be alone right now, mom. I really just want to feel like you’re still with me and that even though it’s different now that it’s still ok. That we’re still ok. That we still love each other and that we’ll figure it out somehow.

I love you, mom. Forever and for always I will love you.

Daily Post 133: Finally Back Home

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I’ve been back from Dever for a few days now. I got back Wednesday evening around 8:45. I drove home and saw Ox. We went to sleep only to wake back up at 3 in the morning. He headed to work and I drove to Fremont to cover a shift at the clinic there, then came back to Lincoln. Ox and I met up for lunch before going back home. We had Chinese at a place we’ve seen before. I really liked it and hope to continue to be able to go there on those special occasions where we go out.

Thursday evening I should have gone into the class for my last chance to participate in clinical, but I didn’t. Instead, I stayed home that evening, going to bed early to wake back up and cover a shift at my own clinic Friday morning.

I was dead. Not one of those “I’m sort of tired but it will burn off as the day goes on” sort of deads. No. This was a physical barrier of, “I’m your body and you’re asking too much of me so I’m going to make you feel like crap for the whole day because fuck you for not taking better care of me,” sort of deads.

I was ridiculously slow at everything I did on Friday and the only reason we stayed on schedule was because it was me, the float RN, and my FA on the floor and both of them were running circles around me. I’m grateful for them pulling my slack because I wouldn’t have been able to make it through the day without them.

It was good to see all of my patients after an entire week’s absence. I got to share my adventure with all of them and that most likely contributed to me being “behind”. All of the time I spent talking and catching up with people was time that I wasn’t working or making sure all of the tasks on my PCT checklist got done.

It was a pretty good day overall, just one where I knew right from waking up that surviving my day would be my main goal. Mission accomplished, if just barely.

The trip itself wasn’t as awful as I thought it would be. I ended up getting into Dever close to 4 pm. I messaged Chrys since I had time to kill that evening. I booked an Uber out to Aurora and spent the evening with her and her son. We had homemade spaghetti for dinner and EJ got to read me a few bedtime stories. Once her son was in bed we were able to chat for a bit before I had to get back to the hotel since I had an early morning to prepare for.

Overall, it was a fantastic way to decompress from the trip out there and a very nice last minute addition to the trip. Having some social time with someone I care about was definitely restorative and a pleasant break from my normal routine. I made it back to my hotel room around 9ish. I met my roommate for the event and was pleased that she seemed pretty nice. Her name was also Jen. Go figure. XD

The first day of the event was decent but long. I didn’t sleep well the night before and had to fight off a headache for most of the day. We got into things like the MBTI and communication skills and conflict resolution. All sorts of psychology things, so I was fairly engaged through most of it.

We created our own personal credos and then graded ourselves on how well we were living up to it currently. Balance was one of the things on mine and the area where I graded myself the lowest.

I’ve picked up a lot of overtime for the coming two weeks. This week is going to be my only “normal” week work wise and that’s still with having to take the final tests for my CNA class, so even it isn’t going to be all that restful.

I need to remember to maintain balance and to not burn myself out. I need the things that make me feel fulfilled and which recharge me. I need time to grocery shop and do laundry and meal prep. I need time to go to the dojo and the gym. I need time to sleep enough at night so I don’t limp through my days depending on coffee to survive. I need time with Ox to feel connected with him. I need time to have phone calls with Jon and the other people in my life that I love. I need time to cross-stitch and write.

I need “me time” and I can’t have that if all I do is work seven days a week.

So while I can’t really back out of the obligations I’ve already given myself, I can be more mindful going forward and that’s what I intend to do. The new year should see things being a bit smoother. The new tech will be with me for a few weeks to train on our machines. We just hired a new RN since the other one wasn’t working out. She has to give 30 days at her current job, but it should only take her about eight weeks to go through the training process. I’ve already talked to my FA about taking time off of work in February to visit Florida. I could see Jon. I could run the Warrior Dash that’s held there. Big Bad said he would be interested in running it with me. I guess that means I have to work on that whole running thing again so I don’t suck. I could see my old teammates and patients. I could see a handful of other people from my inner circle. I could have lunch at my sports bar.

There’s all sorts of things I could do that I’ve wanted to do. It gives me something to think about and look forward to.

Chrys ended up having Wednesday off since it was a federal holiday so she drove me to the airport. That was also a nice change of plans. Both the fight out and back were non-stop flights on fairly small planes so I got to have a window seat by myself rather than being stuck between two people the whole time.

When I got to work Friday I had an email saying I had made it to phase two of the leadership application process. I haven’t worked on it any more than the rough post I wrote the other day, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot.

As far as this weekend goes… I’ve paid bills. I’ve gone through my email inbox. I’ve gone through the pile of papers that was next to my computer desk. I’ve unpacked fully. I’ve done laundry. I’ve meal prepped and am back to doing low carb meals. I’ve sent a message through Facebook to my sensei explaining my extended absence. I’ve bought Christmas cards to give to my patients. I’ve cleaned and dusted my computer desk with plans to open up my computer tower to clean it out later in the week with Ox. Ox has also been extremely helpful. He’s washed the sheets for the bed which we made together. He’s helped me fold the laundry and put it away. He’s cleaned his own areas of the room so it’s not as cluttered or icky feeling anymore.

He went grocery shopping with me yesterday where we had lunch together, just us. We got a new shower curtain and bath mat set this morning while we were out getting aluminum foil which he set up for me while I put bacon on the cooking sheets for breakfast. Go, team!

Spotify sent out their end of year stuff. I’ve listened to something like 4500 new songs this year. That’s almost 12 songs a day. And here I thought I slacking on expanding my music selection.

I finished the fairy cross-stitch pattern I’ve been working on, so I’ll most likely make a post with all of those progress images. I’ve started a new project, but since it’s for Ox and he’s not allowed to see it under penalty of death, I won’t be posting progress images of that one either. I’ll save posting a completed image of it until after Christmas once he’s had a chance to open it.

My class is almost over. This coming Tuesday I have the final test for the class and I sign up for state testing. Thursday is the state written test and for those signed up, the state skills test. Everyone else will have to wait until the following Tuesday to complete their skills test. Part of me wants to go on Thursday and be done with it. The other part of me wants to wait until Tuesday so I have more time to freak out and/or study. Mostly freaking out though since I know that’s what I’ll do.

I really do have other things my time would be better invested in other than freaking out but there you go.

I’m sure there are other things I could write about in regards to my trip or the events leading up to my departure as well as the events since my return home, but I feel this post covers a lot of it.

Ox and I have been doing well. He was supportive of me while I was gone, including taking a phone call where I asked if I could be honest. He said yes and I admitted to wanting to come home while tears rolled down my cheeks. It wasn’t a bad trip, but when you’re an introvert surrounded by 650 other people, forced to participate in team trivia where they ask which Super Bowl did the Broncos most recently win… you kind of just want to curl up in bed under the blankets and hide. Only you can’t because then your roommate is going to want to know what’s wrong or think you’re weird and can’t handle human interaction.

Ox promised that I could come home and hearing those words, as silly as they may seem, made me feel more ok.

We’ve had a lot of sexy time since I’ve been back. Totally ok with all of it. Just yes. All of the yes.

Anywho, aside from feeling like I’m caught back up for the most part with life, I think that’s about it. For now, I’m going to go cross-stitch before working on some discussion posts for my class later in the day. The rest of today should be fairly calm and relaxing. No working on the addition. No trips into town. Just hanging out and resting before what should be a fairly normal day at work tomorrow.

This coming week is the calm before the storm, but I’m already planning for that. I have a container of chili in the freezer. I want to make a batch of chicken taco soup which freezes nicely as well. I want to prep well in advance since I’m going to have so little time in the next two weeks to truly meal prep. I’m doing a keto BLT salad this week which seems to be doing well. I tried it yesterday. I might add more bacon to it the next time I make it, but overall I think it turned out well which is good because it was cheap and simple to toss together. Another meal I can add to my arsenal for the coming battle.

It was a good trip, but I’m glad to be home. And with that, I’m off to continue with my decompressing.

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.

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

Standard

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.