Daily Post 125: Snowy Nebraska

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I went to the dojo on Friday. I worked Saturday. It snowed today. I work tomorrow. I bought a winter jacket that was supposed to be $100 for only $50. Totally feeling like a badass over that still.

I don’t really know where to start or what to write about.

I guess I should mention that I cut my middle finger knuckle on my left hand Friday while I was opening boxes at work. That sort of sucks. You don’t realize how much you use something until it hurts you to put pressure on it. It’s a pretty clean slice and it doesn’t look infected. Just in a crummy spot for healing since fingers bend so much.

I got invited to go to the FHM meeting for my clinic this coming Tuesday. Facility Health Management. It’s basically a meeting with all of the higher ups who evaluate our clinic based on metrics. I’m essentially going to be a fly on the wall. My FA extended the invitation to me since she thought I would be interested in seeing the other side of the clinic. The business side. The only perspective I have is that of being on the floor interacting with our patients. I don’t know what happens with all of the data we record and keep track of. I’ve never met our medical director.

Even though I won’t be paid or in any way compensated for going to the meeting, I want to be there. I want the experience. I want to know the other side, the one my FA has to contend with in addition to working the floor three days a week.

The dojo was a good experience. It’s small. No one showed up to the Hapkido class at 6 this Friday so the instructor and I got to spend an hour working together. He showed me a very broad overview of the style. We even got into weapons. Switchblade and gun. I stayed for the cardio Muay Thai class. It’s more of a conditioning class rather than focusing on techniques, but I still enjoyed it. He helped me a lot with my footwork and I could feel a massive difference in the power of my kicks.

I want to keep going. I could make Wednesday and Friday classes. If I drove into Beatrice on Saturdays I could do the classes on those days as well. Since I ended up working this Saturday I didn’t, but it’s an option. It would be $65 for unlimited everything. $65 a month with no contract. That’s actually a pretty awesome deal.

It felt good to sweat that much again even though I know I’ve worked out harder in the past. I haven’t gone to the gym since Friday’s classes at the dojo. I did find a new app thanks to my brother. JeFit. It’s pretty nifty. Maybe it will help give me more focus when I work on my own.

I tried a new recipe this week. Chicken Taco Soup. It came out alright. Nothing amazing. The roast for my breakfasts should be fine since I didn’t overcook it this time. I’m doing chili again as well. Just sort of that type of weather. Since it’s cold outside I want things that are warm. Coffee included. I found a new coffee creamer. Dark chocolate peppermint. It warms a part of my soul. ❤

There’s a part of me who likes the cold weather and that there’s snow on the ground. It feels right. With it being so cold there should be some visible sign and here in Nebraska, there is. It reminds me of when I took my trip up here and had my interview back in January. It reminds me of when I first got “home” that night in February. I guess I’ll always have a special spot in my mind for snow now. So many of my recent changes happened while it was covering everything. While the world was white and sleeping my path changed and so far I have no regrets over seeing where it would lead.

Ox and I just ran up to the gas station to see how the roads were. There are some dry spots so hopefully, it won’t be too awful when I have to drive to work tomorrow morning. I’m still leaving about 15 minutes early and my FA has already messaged me saying to take my time. She would rather I arrive late than to get hurt driving too fast.

The South Lincoln clinic ended up having issues Friday and wasn’t able to run their first shift patients. Their FA called me specifically asking if I would be willing to help them Saturday morning. I told her that I didn’t have anything going on and would be willing to help but that I wasn’t cleared to mix bicarb and that I didn’t know any of their door codes. We got that worked out and it was a fairly smooth day. I didn’t mind going in. I’ve wanted to see their clinic for a while now. I got to meet their RN who was extremely kind and friendly to me. Their patients were also kind and welcoming. They appreciated my willingness to come in so they could have their treatments. It was a good experience and it gave me a few hours of over time.

This is the week where I got paid for my 5 and 4 day work weeks on top of getting the second installment of my retention bonus. It was a nice paycheck, which is greatly appreciated and needed.

Ox and I went with his kids to play mini golf yesterday as a belated birthday celebration for both of them after I got home from work. The weather was nice and it was a quaint, pleasant outing. I ended up winning and there’s a childish, silly part inside me who feels accomplished about that. My dad used to golf. When we lived in South Carolina he would take me behind the fence of our backyard. There was a pretty big field out there and he would let me hit balls with him. I didn’t realize that I still enjoyed the challenge. I didn’t realize how much going out and doing something so mundane and family oriented would please something inside of me. I’m glad I went. I’m glad I was a part of it.

After golfing, Mama Ox picked up the kids. Ox and I went to a Goodwill to try to find me some winter clothing. That was a bust, but I did find a decent pair of white shoes for cheap to wear when I begin the clinical portion of my class. One thing off the “to-buy” list. Woo.

We tried going to a few stores to find a winter jacket. Dick’s Sporting goods wanted $230 for theirs so we noped our way out over to Sear’s. All of their girl coats had fur-lined hoods or gold flashing clasps. I didn’t really like any of them. The guy selection was extremely limited. I didn’t see anything that I liked enough to spend money on.

We were about to call it quits when Ox suggested going over to JC Penny. I could tell my energy was fading pretty fast. He offered to drive us over to the entrance even though it wouldn’t have taken much for us to walk there. I’m glad we went. I found the perfect coat in the Men’s section. It’s a 2XL so it’s big and long. It goes almost down to my knees. It’s nice and roomy on the inside and soft and fluffy and it’s black with no fur lining or gold flashy stuff anywhere. Just a nice, big, black coat. And it has a billion pockets! So much love. And it was a super awesome price. I’m happy with it. I like wearing it.

With one of the most important things off of the list, we headed towards the Walmart near home. We stopped at Slim Chickens for dinner. It’s becoming my go-to choice for when we go out. They have good salads that are in line with the health goals I haven’t been working towards. You can get chicken tenders grilled rather than fried, so if I ever wanted something other than a salad I have options. It’s not as awesome as my sports bar from Orlando, but I like it. I already have a “my spot” at the one we seem to be frequenting. It makes me happy that I am finding spots since that was something I knew I was missing. It’s a place I could see myself going to and studying before going to class. It’s a place I could see myself writing at if I ever happen to get a laptop again.

I felt a bit better after Ox and I ate but it didn’t last very long. While we were at Walmart I started getting a headache. My hamstrings, which had already started the day off sore, were reaching the point of pain. I was pushing too far on too little sleep and my body was informing me, none too gently, that I wasn’t being kind to it. Ox agreed to save most of the clothes shopping for a different day and so we switched our focus to the foodstuff we needed to pick up.

We did get two new pillows for the bed. With him being on his computer and me making my nest of blankets and pillows while I cross stitch, we’ve noticed a shortage in the pillow department, even though Ox says we have too many when we go to sleep at night, which is total blasphemy because you can never have too many pillows.

I really like my new pillow. Like my jacket, it’s nice and soft and fluffy. I think it was a good investment. I got a husband pillow while we were there as well and I’ve enjoyed stitching with it behind my back today. It feels like I have a proper cross stitching nest now. I can sit cross-legged in my corner of the bed with my threads and highlighter and pattern papers and clipboard, all tucked in and covered with the blankets that smell like Ox and me and home.

Since we bought pillows that meant we needed to buy new pillowcases, too. I got a new brush as well since the one I’ve been using has started losing its bristles. I’ve had it for years. I don’t know how many. Five or more. I guess it was time to replace it. I’ve only used the new one once so far so I don’t know if I like it or not. We haven’t grown accustomed to each other I guess. Sort of like when I first got my car. We had to get to know each other, which might make me sound crazy since I’m talking about inanimate objects, but there you go. I bond with everything, hair brushes included.

I ended up spending close to $200 at Walmart with roughly half of that being on “frivolous” things like the pillows. I was sort of kicking myself about that on the drive home. I still need to buy thermals and wool socks and a good pair of snow boots. I shouldn’t have spent $100 on “nothing”.

The more I thought about it the more I felt like I was thinking about it wrong. I’ve wanted more pillows for a few months now. I’ve wanted the husband pillow. I worked a crazy amount of overtime. I’m allowed to buy things with my money. I paid all of my bills before we went out earlier in the day. I have everything covered. So I might end up spending $300 extra this week instead of the original $200 that I had set aside from my winter gear budget. I don’t think spending an extra $100 is all that bad. I’m still going to be putting a huge chunk towards the credit card and paying off my CNA class.

I’m allowed to buy a few things for myself every once in a while. I don’t know why there’s a part of my brain that has such a hard time understanding that. I don’t know why I feel like I have to justify it to myself. I bought those things because I wanted to and they made my day and evening nice.

I did most of my cooking today. The clothes are washed and dried though they most likely won’t get put away until Tuesday; maybe Monday evening if I’m feeling up to it.

Tuesday, after the meeting, I plan to try to do the last bit of winter shopping since I’ll be in town.

I’ve still been stitching. I’m on the last page of the pattern. It’s the page with the most work on it, so I wouldn’t be surprised if my progress seems to slow down, but I’m content with the progress I’ve made. There’s still a bit of work I want to get done before going to bed or taking my picture of it for this week. Since I still need to shower as well I guess I’ll go for now.

I feel like this post rambled sort of all over the place, but it was nice to write while my second cup of coffee sits in front of me getting cold. It feels normal. It feels nice. It feels like I don’t hate life and that I’m not as angry that I’m still living and mom isn’t. I know there’s still a lot of emotions for me to figure out and I know that it’s drawing closer to the season and days that hurt the most, but right now, I’m… happy? I don’t know. It feels more than content, though.

I like my stitching nest. I like my jacket. I like my coffee creamer. I look forward to those things. I liked my day of mini golf. I want it to not be wrong to like those things. I want it to not be wrong to want more memories like that and I know the only person struggling with the feeling of wrongness is me. The only one struggling with the feeling of happiness and belonging and home is me. It’s me, inside my head, that rages and screams and cries that it’s wrong. How can I be happy? How can I enjoy things? How can I look forward to things? How can I breathe and not feel anguish?

I still miss you, mom. I will always miss you. I miss you every day, every morning. Every time something happens and I can’t call you and have hour-long conversations about nothing. I’m finally to a point where I can go out and buy pillows and a hairbrush and not worry about skimming from my food budget to do it. I’m going back to school. I’m being invited to facility meetings. I’m doing good, mom. I miss you but I’m doing ok and I really, really hope all of this would make you happy. I really hope deep down that you would be proud of me for all the things I’m doing. I miss you mom, but I didn’t give up and this is where I am. In snowy Nebraska learning how to keep living life. I love you. Forever and for always.

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Daily Post 124: Officially Official

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I’m officially official.

Yesterday I went to the DMV and finally got my Nebraska plates. They’re not actually on my car yet since it’s been raining non-stop for the past FOREEEEVVVVVEEEERRRR. I’m not even exaggerating. Literally days of wet, cold, dreary rain. It sort of sucks.

Anyway. That was the last task on my “Move to Nebraska” to do list. Well… maybe “Put plates on car” is really the last task on the to-do list… but I digress…

It only cost me about $200 once everything was said and done. That doesn’t include the $75 for the citation I paid. Even with the citation included, registering my car in Nebraska cost way less than what I had to pay in Florida, and it was a way less painful process, too. I was only at the DMV for about 20 minutes; 30 tops.

That’s the biggest highlight of my life since I wrote last time. Other than emotional breakdowns from not getting enough introverted alone time and working another four days on top of going to my class and interacting with a whole new group of people, several of who are still in high school. I really hope I didn’t sound like them when I was their age. They have a rude awakening ahead of them if they think life is going to get any easier from where they’re at…

I don’t have a lot in common with many of my classmates, mostly because they are younger. Early 20s while I’m going on 30. A lot has happened to me in the past 10 years. Hell… most of what makes me, me, happened in the past three. There is a priority difference and a work ethic difference. There’s also the fact that I already know the procedures and that I currently work in the medical field and already interact with patients. I handle myself and the testing differently. I don’t worry about messing up. I try. I do my best. If I get corrected, ok. That will let me get better. I watch the videos before coming to class. I make flashcards. I actually write discussion posts that are worth discussing rather than two or three sentence comments.

I don’t know… In true INFJ fashion, I’m different.

Overall, I like the class and I think the instructor and I are getting along fairly well. I know of one day that I will miss due to a meeting at work, but I have already talked to her about it. The procedures being covered that day are stupid easy. Taking a pulse. Counting respirations. Taking blood pressure. Taking temperature… I couldn’t have lucked out better if I had tried.

I’ve been cross stitching a lot more recently. It doesn’t hurt as much to hold the fabric. It gives me quiet time each night I do it. I’ve taken two pictures in the past three weeks to mark my progress as I continue to work on it. I’ll hopefully add them to my Dragon’s Horde before too much longer. I haven’t added anything to that section of my blog in a really long time. Acknowledging that makes my heart ache. All I can do is keep taking small steps forward. I don’t cry every time I stitch now. That’s progress. I think mom would be happy that I’m still doing it even if it’s taken me a while to figure out how to and to work through the emotions.

The schedule for the coming month is out. I only work in Beatrice so far. Hooray. No overtime. No Saturdays. I started plucking away at the Vascular Access Manager information again today while I was at work. I finished one of the requirements and printed off a bunch of papers that I need to go through since you know… taking a CNA class while working full time isn’t enough to keep me busy or anything…

I haven’t been going to the gym or working out with my bag. I don’t have an excuse. I just haven’t felt like it. I’ve wanted to stay home the few times I’m able to have free time. I’ve finished watching all of Fate/Apocrypha. It wasn’t all that awesome though the fight scenes were pretty badass. Frankinstine was my favorite character. ❤

I’ve started watching Killer B. So far I’m captivated. Oh… I also watched all of the Castlevania series on Netflix. That was awesome. So wish there were more episodes.

But that gives you an idea of how much I’ve not been going out or doing anything; writing included. Nearly three freaking series… Could I do anything more useless with my time?

Even as I write that I know I’m being overly harsh with myself.

I needed that downtime. I needed that break from problem-solving and thinking and interacting. I needed to be alone. Ox has been amazingly supportive in allowing me to be my tired, overwhelmed, introverted self. I’ve been finicky with eating lately. Most likely because I’m so much less active than what I was a few weeks ago.

I’m trying to do the things I know I need to do to care for myself. After the past two weeks, I NEEDED the alone time more than I needed to go to the gym. I went yesterday. I rowed and biked for a bit, stretching after I was done. It felt good to workout even if it wasn’t as intense as what I “normally” would do.

Irrational Right Brain: Fuck you. I went. That’s a win, damnit!

Logical Left Brain: *looks around* … Um… I don’t think anyone was actually criticizing us…

Irrational Right Brain: I don’t care! It’s a win, damnit!

Logical Left Brain: *sigh* This is why I need an Excedrin…

I don’t know if I’ll do anything tomorrow. I would like to, but we’ll see how things play out.

I’ve emailed the owner of the dojo in Beatrice to see about going to the Hapkido class this Friday evening after work. I’m not sure how that will turn out, but I am aware that I need to find something. It’s still missing in my life; that energy and charge and fulfillment from pushing myself to be better than I was. Training at the gym isn’t the same. Working out with my bag isn’t the same. I don’t think anything can really compare to going up against a stronger, more trained opponent and getting your ass kicked, but knowing you got it kicked less than you did last time. Or being able to hold your own against them. There’s just something so… validating about that experience. I miss it. I want it back.

So, yeah… we’ll see if he emails me back. If he doesn’t I’ll still show up, I’ll just have less information when I do.

I guess that’s about it on my end. Saturday will be clothes shopping day since it’s getting to the point where I legitimately need long pants so I don’t freeze or get sick from exposure in shorts. Lame. So much lame. ;-;

Saturday will also be grocery shopping and such. Because I’ll have that day off instead of working and will be able to do shit like that. Hooray!

I’m going to go for now. I want to make my nest in the corner of the bed while Ox and I listen to our shows and spread out all of my cross stitching stuff so it gets lost in the blankets and I have to dig around to find my stupid highlighter whenever I need to mark off the progress I’ve made on my pattern. Being curled up and warm and near him sounds, I don’t know… perfect I guess. As close to perfect and human life can be at least. Imperfectly perfect.

Musing Moment 118: Why are you taking this course?

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My CNA class started and so begins the homework assignments and study sessions. Since part of my course is online there are discussion forums where I need to post and reply to show class involvement.

This is the post I wrote for my introduction and answering the question of “Why?”


 

Greetings my fellow humans,

My name is Jennifer. I am an INFJ personality type on the Myers-Briggs scale and I recently moved to Nebraska; as of February this year. Before that, I lived in Orlando, so ask me in a few weeks if I still like the weather. : )

The question of “why are you taking this course?”, for me, is a bit tricky to answer. I suppose the easy answer is because I want to keep moving forward in my career. I have been employed with DaVita Dialysis for about a year and a half. I am currently working at the Beatrice clinic, but I frequently help cover shifts at the Lincoln, Omaha, and Fremont clinics as well. While I was in Orlando I worked in their downtown clinic.

My role is that of a Patient Care Technician. It’s fulfilling but I am limited in what I can do to help the nurses I work with. Becoming a CNA is a step towards LPN, which would allow me to work in a broader scope and provide more not only for my teammates but also for the patients under my care.

While that answer is real, it’s not the deep, dark, real answer; the one secreted away and hidden because it leaves you vulnerable and exposed on the emotional level.

In truth, this is my second career. I used to teach Computer Animation and Game Art at a college in Florida. I have taught students who have gone on to work at places like Dreamworks, Sony, and Microsoft. I have created computer scripts which are used globally by studios and I have a modest following on YouTube and Vimeo for tutorials I have created. I loved teaching and I still, to this day, receive messages from former students thanking me for my time. Life has its own plans for us, however, and we very often find ourselves facing situations we never thought we would.

Two and a half years ago my mother was hospitalized. We spent two weeks in and out of surgery. The doctors were confident in her recovery and we were scheduled to be discharged to a rehab center before being allowed to go back home. On April 4th, 2016 my mother suffered a pulmonary embolism. She did not recover. At the age of 27, I found myself the matriarch of my family as my youngest brother placed her mother’s ring into the palm of my hand.

Sitting in front of a computer for roughly 8 to 16 hours a day didn’t feel fulfilling anymore. Nothing did. I couldn’t go back to the life I had after all of the experiences I had gone through during those two weeks. The only reason I was able to survive the situation of my mother’s hospitalization and the aftermath of her death was because of the kindness and compassion I was given during that time of my life. I couldn’t keep living and not, in some way, give back.

I wanted to be able to help people survive their own dark times because I knew what it’s like to be faced with them and not know how you’re going to make it to the other side or if there even is an “other side” to make it to in the first place. I helped teach my class through a transition it was going through and then resigned from my position with the school, joining the ranks of the unemployed for roughly a year.

During that year I became EKG certified as well as a certified phlebotomist. I took a Nursing Assistant class, but never tested for state certification. A lot of that has to do with my own grief and struggling with the feelings of accomplishment and success, both of which had become painful experiences since mom was no longer there to call afterward and share the experience with. My mom was an RN and would have been ecstatic and that made it all the harder to do.

I had an extremely hard time getting my foot in the door of the medical field. Companies weren’t interested in me because I had no experience. It didn’t matter what awards I had gotten, what my previous accomplishments were. As far as medical, I was found lacking and often was passed over.

I wanted so badly to help others, and yet, I kept being told no. No. No. No. No. Until, finally, one day, I heard a “maybe”. I received a call from a DaVita recruiter. They wanted to know if I would be interested in shadowing at a clinic to see if dialysis was something I thought I could handle. After shadowing I had an interview where I was honest with the three Facility Administrators sitting across the table from me. I told them I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do it, but that I wanted to try and all I could promise was I would do my best because in the end that’s all I can do; my best.

Almost two years later, I’m still with the company. I am an expert level cannulator and working towards becoming a Vascular Assess Manager. I will forever be grateful to DaVita for being the first company willing to give me a chance; for training me and giving me the opportunity to learn new skills and to make a difference in people’s lives.

Securing employment had been my main objective at that point in my life. Since I had accomplished that, obtaining CNA fell to the wayside. Funny how now it is one of the few requirements I need to keep moving forward. I suppose this is a moment of, “live and learn”.

Things are different now. I’ve had time to heal a bit more. I’ve had time to become adjusted to and confident in my new field. I’ve been given the space to meditate and to figure out what I want to do with this new phase of life and so to get to where I want to be I need to become an actual Certified Nursing Assistant.

A potential end goal is the possibility to get back into teaching. That particular direction would see me going back to school to become not only an LPN but also an RN with at least a BSN or even a MSN. I’m sure mom would do the happy dance if I went that far with my schooling. That is still yet to be determined, though, and with how drastically and suddenly life can change, I’m not holding myself to anything at the moment, but rather seeing what happens and what feels right at the time.

I know, for now, this is the direction that feels right and so here I am, and though this may be my second time taking a Nursing Assistant course, I know that this time will be different and I’m looking forward to having it be part of my journey.

Thanks for reading if you did. It was nice to finally be able to share this part of my story.

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 120: Nice Feelings

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Over a week has passed since I wrote.

The two-year five-month mark has come and gone. I talked to my therapist over the phone that day. It was good to hear her voice. I got to talk to her about my concern with my grief; how this year seems to be harder than the past two years and how the sadness seems to last longer when it wells up. I got to talk about work and how that’s going. I got to tell her about signing up for the CNA classes and my plans to enroll in the LPN program once I’m certified. I got to tell her about how Ox and I are finding balance with the kids while they’re here and how I’m adapting and finding ways to still be ok as an introvert while having significantly less solitude than what I’m used to. I got to tell her about my trip to see my brothers, and how that sparked playing Stuffed Fables here and how well that is going.

I feel like not a lot is going on in my life as I sit here and type this. A lot of it has been routine it feels, which is sort of nice. It feels like, for the most part, things have been stable.

Work has been work. One of our patients brought my FA and I a care package with another card. There’s another bag of the beef jerky I like in it along with a giant bag of Starbursts. The days have been going smoothly. Three different RNs have applied for the open positions at my clinic. My FA said if all of them seem like a good fit she’ll hire all three. It will still be several months for them to get through training, but I feel like we’re on our way to being able to open the clinic back up on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The one tech who applied should be working her way through training at the moment, so maybe in the very near future my clinic will actually have a full team once again and my FA can focus on actually being the FA rather than having to cover our need for RNs, too.

 

Ox and I are doing well. We’ve had some heavy conversations over the past week. At the time they felt unresolved. We had addressed an issue but no “next action steps” were identified so it felt like a void of badness inside my mind I guess. I knew we weren’t not ok, but at the same time, we weren’t fully ok either. It made it hard to eat after our conversations. It made me want to be alone so I could try to figure things out even though I knew there was nothing I could figure out on my own. It was an “us” problem and only the two of us working and talking together would be able to figure out a solution. I’m not sure if anything has really changed, but we did have some extremely connective moments which have made me feel more safe and secure in our relationship.

 

Those moments feel like a turning point for me. One of them happened after I got home from work on Friday. For the first time in a while, I actually felt like myself. I had energy to give and things didn’t feel pointless. I WANTED to go to the gym after our time together. That’s after working a 12-hour shift. Nuts, I know. I rowed for 20 minutes AND did weight machines. I even did arms because, fuck it, I’m a badass that’s why.

 

It’s been… nice, and I know that sounds sort of lame but I do think that’s the right word to use to describe it. I feel whole. I feel real. I feel like I’m no longer waking up and moving through the motions. I feel intention and purpose again. There’s myself and my wellbeing and my goals and I have a partner who cares and supports me and I support him and even if things are hard or rough in some areas we’ll figure it out. That’s the type of feelings our interactions foster within me. Yes, things might not be perfect and we might not have exact “next action steps” but we’ll be ok. When we cuddle in bed and he holds me and whispers into my ear, “It’s ok. WE’RE ok,” I believe him.

 

Because I feel like the relationship is ok I can focus on external things like the gym or the house or whatever tasks need to get done. It frees up and promotes so much more… something… within me. I don’t feel as injured or alone. I don’t feel defeated. I feel like I can take on a task and complete it and actually feel a sense of accomplishment from doing it.

 

I feel like me and I’ve missed this feeling. So yes. It’s a comforting, reassuring feeling and so the term nice is the one I feel fits best. It’s soft and calm, yet still strong, like the sun warming your skin during one of the first days of summer.

 

I went to the gym again yesterday, rowing and doing the machines again. I’m not sure if I’ll go today. I’m pretty much done with all of my food prep. I need to do laundry. I need to replace my contacts. I need to print off the medical release form for my doctor. Ox and I are supposed to take the cardboard out since Nebraska passed a law shortly after I moved here where you can’t throw it away in the trash anymore. You have to take it to be recycled. I like the law, but it means the tote we use for cardboard can get pretty full. Right now it’s a bit overflowing with cereal and cracker boxes and I want to fix that, so it’s on the “to-do” list.

 

I’ve still been playing Final Fantasy and enjoying my time in the game.

 

I realized this morning that an expense that’s going to be coming up is having to buy winter clothing. I only own one pair of pants, and those are pretty thin yoga pants. Not the ideal winter wear. I don’t own snow boots and I only have three sweaters; no coats.

 

Jon and I have talked a few times. He’s starting to meal prep and working on losing weight. I’ve been able to share some of the tips and tricks I’ve learned during my own experience. I’m supposed to send him a few recipes. Hopefully, by writing about it I’ll actually remember to do it. It’s nice to hear him talk about how he tried different things and how this didn’t work, but this did and he wants to try this other thing. He’s figuring out what works for him and that’s amazing. I’m happy for him.

 

I think that’s about it for right now. Like I said, no a whole lot has happened. Mostly just day to day living. I’m sure if I had written as things happened I would remember more.

 

Oh. I did go to the SCA meeting at the library this past Wednesday. The barony’s marshal was there and he helped me get the padding cut for my helm and took measurements so I could have one made in the future. With CNA classes being held at night, I most likely won’t be able to go to practice for the next two months or so, but I haven’t given up on being part of the society and I still plan to participate as I can. I know that the padding is just two circles of foam, but much like everything else small and silly, they mean a lot to me. They represent someone’s time and effort. It’s a sign of them trying to help me be a better me and I cherish that.

 

Well… since that’s about it, I think I’m going to go for now. My leatherworker has some levels to gain and there’s a quest line I need to work through with my black mage. I don’t foresee a lot happening today and I’m ok with that. It’s the weekend and I think I’ve finally started to understand how to enjoy downtime and relax. That, too, is a nice feeling.

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.