Daily Post 152: Finally Up to Today

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Just a warning… this will most likely be long-ish post.

It’s 7:30 in the morning. Both kids are already up. Bacon is thawing so we can have breakfast in a little bit. Ox is still sleeping, and though I thought I heard Mama Ox moving around, she must have gone back to her room because I didn’t see her when I got up to use the restroom and make coffee.

I’m hoping to have enough time to catch up on my writing before the day starts in full swing. I sort of feel like the Universe is snickering at me behind my back in that regard since the last two or three posts have all been about events from over a week ago at this point.

Continuing from my last post… Ox and I were “beta-testing”. I had finally admitted after maybe about an hour of not knowing that I wasn’t 100% sure what he had said and that I was sorry for that. I was sorry if I had misheard. I was sorry if I was making a big deal out of nothing. I was sorry for being myself and confused about the emotions I felt.

Ox: I said wife.

Everything inside me went still. Quiet. Calm. I don’t think I have ever felt a warmth like that within my chest before. If I have, it must have been in a slightly different way because nothing comes to mind. It felt like I belonged. It felt right. It felt like I had finally been given something I hadn’t realized I ached for.

Me: Ok. I’m your wife.

And that’s how that went down. No proposal. No romantic down on one knee. It was simpler than that. Deeper than that. It was the stating of a fact and an acceptance of that fact as true. Undeniably accurate.

There still aren’t plans for anything legal or formal. I don’t know if that means it’s less “real” to others or not, but as one person put it I didn’t get married to make them happy. If they want it to play out a different way, they can make their own choices. They can do it differently and in a way that works for them.

This way worked for me and Ox. We affirmed something to each other that I think we’ve felt and known for a long time. That we’re not going anywhere. That we’re together regardless of what the government says or recognizes. We’re loyal, considerate, compassionate, respectful and supportive of each other without a piece of paper saying that’s how we’re supposed to be.

I have a new word, a new title to go along with all of the other ones Ox uses to identify me. I’m his kitten. I’m his Jennifer. I’m his wife. And I’m ok with that.

I don’t really remember a whole lot about Thursday after that point. I don’t think a whole lot happened for the rest of Thursday which was totally ok in my book. Thursday was a hell of a long day full of lots of stuff.

Friday I worked. It was the last day before my stay-cation week; this past week. I was with my FA. It was a smooth day. I didn’t go to the dojo. I came home instead. I was tired. I’m pretty sure I went to bed early-ish.

Saturday and Sunday happened. I don’t remember much about those days either. Well… now that I think a bit harder on it. I do.

Saturday started out rough. I had gotten groceries to make protein waffles to go with the eggs and bacon for breakfast. Papa Ox is doing really well with sticking to a keto diet, but it does sort of suck to feel like you can’t have any of the stuff you like or are used to. I’ve had a recipe from my sister-in-law for a while. It was a recipe she had made for me one morning while I was visiting my older brother. It had turned out good, but since no one was on the “healthy eating” train until recently, I never really had a reason to make the waffles.

Well, that was my project for Saturday, the only downside was I had tried making a homemade syrup and it had turned out awful. And I’m not just saying that to be down on myself. This was Grade-A awful stuff and I don’t even know why it turned out that bad. I followed the recipe…

But it sucked and I was left in a “breakfast is ruined” state before it even really began since I had tried the syrup when I got up that morning. The recipe said to refrigerate it overnight. You can’t have waffles without syrup… You just can’t.

So what was I going to do to recover? Drive to the gas station so I could be out of the house and have a breakdown. That will totally solve all of this.

I called Ox while I was there.

Me: I don’t know what’s wrong, but I’m trying to figure it out and I’m sorry.

We talked on the phone for a little bit. Having distance between me and the crushing feeling of everyone being awake and not having a place to retreat to helped me start to feel a bit better. Hearing Ox’s calm voice helped. I found a different recipe to try on my phone. I came back home and made it, and though it still wasn’t what I had been hoping for as far as a syrup goes, it was passable for the time being. Breakfast was salvaged.

After breakfast Ox and I went back into town. We went to Bed Bath and Beyond to look at waffle makers. We have one, but it’s not a very good one. You can’t pop the waffle molds out to wash them. That really bothers me since I’m a bit of a germaphobe. If I can’t clean it “properly” with hot water and soap, then it’s most likely not clean and shouldn’t be used.

Bed Bath and Beyond didn’t have what I was looking for. Mom had a waffle maker that had different plates that could be swapped out. I was looking for something similar. While we were out Ox and I stopped at a grocery store. There was a particular syrup brand mentioned in the protein waffle recipe that was low carb and ok to use. Walmart hadn’t had it when I went grocery shopping the day before which is why I had tried to make my own.

The store we stopped at on Saturday had a HUUUUGGGGEEEE selection of this particular brand. Walden’s Farms. They have salad dressing, syrups, jellies, all sorts of stuff. And so far, everything we have tried has tasted pretty alright. We got a couple bottles of syrup; one pancake and one blueberry. Breakfast on Sunday went over much better. Everyone is ok with the new waffles and the syrup is a pretty good substitute for normal pancake syrup. You can tell there’s a bit of a difference, but it’s not a bad difference.

So that was last weekend. I got a bunch of the chores done. I’m not sure when I got through chapter two, but at some point, I did that. That was a bunch of emotional stuff. I meal planned for the coming week and had a grocery list made out. I went to sleep Sunday night looking forward to not having to get up early for work.

Monday I had a text message from my FA saying patient census was down and that I didn’t need to come in to help with change over. Score. I still had my meeting with the head of the LPN program at 9:30. I drove down and met with her. We talked for about an hour. She gave me some things to look into as far as the application process goes as well as some ideas for as which classes to register for and how. She gave me a few names of people for me to contact in regards to financial aid and my application, and with that, I had a clearer idea of what I needed to get done for school and when.

Tuesday Ox and I met in town for lunch at Arby’s and to do grocery shopping at Walmart. I woke up tired from not sleeping well the night before. The simple act of walking out to my car to drive had me short of breath; like I had just finished a light workout at the gym. When Ox and I hugged I told him how I was feeling. It didn’t feel like sickness. I wasn’t overly congested or anything. It was just hard to feel like I was breathing right. I didn’t have an arrhythmia… I didn’t get it. I didn’t really think there was a reason for me to be feeling the way I was, but regardless of that, this was how I was feeling.

I had planned to try to get my blood drawn after grocery shopping. The school needs to know my immunization status for a few things as part of the application process.

Ox: Why don’t you save that for Thursday. Today we’ll get lunch, do the shopping, then go home.

I was on board with the “not doing much” idea. Lunch was enjoyable. We tweaked the shopping list a bit to try doing a homemade cauliflower crust pizza since the frozen one had been alright, but not awesome. The shopping trip itself went well. We spent about $110 dollars, keeping a few things I wanted as a separate transaction. Mama Ox had left $60 sitting on the kitchen table for me, so it worked out well.

When Mama Ox got home later that night she asked me how much the grocery bill had been. I told her the amount and that it had worked out perfect. Everyone paid a quarter. She said, no, that she needed to give me more money. As she tried handing me another twenty I asked if I was allowed to not take it. It felt wrong to take more money because Ox and I eat the food, too. It’s not like I was buying stuff that we weren’t allowed to touch. We all ate the same meals and that’s what I had bought on the trip. It was food we all were going to be eating and we all had contributed. So if anything, I owed her $10.

Mama Ox: Next time.

She that certain smile… I think it’s a mom thing. It’s that smile where she knows she’s won and you’re going to accept her decision. End of story.

I sheepishly took the $20.

Me: Next time.

I don’t think Ox’s parents are used to someone being as proactive around the house as I am, or as concerned about balance and fairness. I used the extra $20 yesterday to get Halo Top ice cream for Papa Ox since it’s something that had come up in conversation. I really wanted to find SO coconut ice cream since it’s even lower on carbs, but sadly the Walmart I was at didn’t have that brand. Point being, I still used the money for the family. I didn’t spend it on myself because I didn’t think of it as “mine”.

The new pizza crust recipe turned out better than the frozen store bought one. There wasn’t corn starch in the homemade crust and it had more flavor from added spices. It was still pretty soft though instead of crispy so you had to eat it with a fork. I may or may not have forgotten to spray the foil for the first two crusts as well… >.>;

That was a disaster avoided due to Ox being amazing and helping me salvage the crusts. I now have a bag of almond flour so take three of the pizza crust will hopefully be an outstanding success.

So, that was Tuesday. My breathing got easier as the day went along so I’m still not sure what was up with my lungs in the morning.

Wednesday I went in to work for what I thought would be two hours of helping during change over which turned into 5.5 of making sure the clinic didn’t burn to the ground. Yeah…

So the story behind Wednesday…

I woke up thinking it would be a “normal” day. Normal for dialysis. Oh, how foolish of me.

Right before I got into the shower I got a text message from our float RN. She was going to have to leave the clinic for personal matters and wanted to know if I minded staying the rest of the day to cover for her. Um… Last I checked I wasn’t an RN yet so unless my FA was also going to be at the clinic there wasn’t much I could do as far as covering for her. I could be a third person on the floor, but I couldn’t be charge RN.

I told her to give me a few minutes to figure some stuff out. I had planned to use Wednesday to get through chapter three in my book. I didn’t really have time obligations, but working a mostly full day was definitely not having a “stay-cation”. Arg…

As I was driving down to the clinic I tried to call the float RN to figure out what was going on. Her cell phone doesn’t get good reception in the middle of nowhere so I couldn’t get through to her. I tried calling our new tech who was supposed to be at the clinic covering for me this week, but she didn’t answer either. I wasn’t all that surprised. I was calling right at the start of change over. I talked to Ox a bit to let him know the limited information I had. I told him I would keep him posted as to how my day changed.

When I got to the clinic I went straight to the floor. Good thing, too. The new doctor was rounding on our patients with my FA and the nurse practitioner and shit was hitting the fan. Never fear! PCT Jen is here.

I haven’t sweat that much during a change over in a while.

We got all of our first shift patients rinsed back, taped up, and out to go about their day. We got all of the machines disinfected, restrung and ready to go for second shift. I don’t remember the exact numbers, but I’m pretty sure I rinsed back three of our patients, reset four of the machines and initiated four of our second shift patients. Out of eight, I did half.

Everyone was extremely grateful that I came in. I stayed until around three. That allowed the new PCT to go to lunch. That allowed my FA to talk to the doctor and round with him for the second shift patients. That allowed the float RN to leave once all of the second shift patients had received their meds. I was able to run an extremely important lab over to the hospital; one that was almost forgotten to be drawn.

I apologized to my FA for not knowing about the lab.

FA: Thank you. But it’s not your job.

Accurate… but my FA shouldn’t be the one to make sure everything gets taken care of either. There has to be some level of reliability, and right now it’s really hard to defend our float RN. She’s a great person. I don’t mind working with her as much as I did in the beginning. But when your boss can’t count on you to cover the shifts your scheduled for or to complete the tasks you’re supposed to be in charge of… I don’t know. It’s rough. And there was more than just those two situations that the RN dropped the ball on Wednesday.

I checked my email while I was at the clinic. My yearly review is coming up so I have a self-assessment to complete. More writing… I could feel my fingers glaring at me as I sat down to type out a few of my answers. I didn’t get it finished, but I’m over halfway through it.

I also got to talk to the social worker and my FA about the Wall of Fame I volunteered myself to do. I have some ideas brewing in my head. Unforantetly I haven’t done much in the way of progress on it. The week just hasn’t played out to let me do a whole lot in that regard.

I also got to talk to my FA about the few things I still needed to get taken care of for my LPN application. She gave me some information about the CPR class I need to take. I guess there’s an online option where all I will have to do is show up, provide proof that I’ve completed the online section, test out of my skills, and call it good. I’m down for quick and easy.

So Wednesday was a good day in the end. I’m glad I was able to help my team. It was good to see my patients smile at me. They hadn’t thought I would be there all week so it was a pleasant surprise when I walked out onto the floor.

Patient: What are you doing here? I thought you were on vacation.

Me: I’m here to join the party. : 3

So, five and half hours later, I clocked out and headed home.

Thursday started out better. I tried to register for a class online and found I couldn’t. The step by step instructions started with “click on this tab” only… I didn’t have that tab on my student page for the college’s website. I didn’t know if there was an issue with my application or what, but since I couldn’t complete the first step there wasn’t much else I could do on my end. I showered. I had breakfast. I meet Ox in town to have lunch at our Chinese place again. After we ate he asked if I wanted him to drive me to the different places I needed to go.

Me: I wouldn’t mind spending more time with you.
Ox: In that case… I’m going home.
Me: Wait! I meant I would mind spending time with you. I totally mind.
Ox: Oh… In that case… I’m going home.

I love how we can banter with each other like that. He did stick around, driving me to the clinic I needed to go to for my blood draw. That actually went extremely smoothly. No resticks or anything. They will automatically send my results to the college. Woo. Another item I can scratch off on the college to-do list.

After that, we went to the Lincoln campus to figure out the registration issue I was having. That got taken care of and while I was there I went ahead and registered for Human Anatomy. That’s going to be $417 dollars for just the one class. It will be another roughly $300 to $400 for the two books I need, depending on if I get hardback or not. Since I need the code which comes with the books, it wouldn’t be a good idea to buy them used or to try to rent them through the book store. The upside? These books will also be used for Human Physiology, so theoretically I won’t have to spend much, if anything, on books for that class. We’ll see…

I didn’t have to pay anything on Thursday for the class and I opted to wait on buying the books. I wanted to talk to Jon to see if the book he used was the same one my class was requiring. I sent him a message asking him to send me a picture of his book later when he got home. He said he would and if it was the same one I was welcome to use it. Code and all. Sweet.

Ox and I then went over to the Hy-Vee store where we had successfully found the pancake syrup over the weekend. I wanted to get salad dressing for Papa Ox since a lot of the meals I cook are served with a side salad. We also got a few jellies to try out.

With all of that taken care of, Ox drove me back to my car and we headed home. Once we got home I began taking care of dinner. I had started it before I left since it was a slow cooker recipe. Shredded buffalo chicken bowls. It turned out alright, but it was definitely missing something that I can’t put my finger on. Not sure if I’ll be making it again in the future. I did listen to about half of chapter three. That happened while we were waiting for Mama Ox to come home. I got a bit of stitching done during that time as well.

Instead of cross-stitching after dinner like Ox had wanted me to, I went back to plucking away at my to-do list. I signed up for the CPR class I need to take. That was $55 dollars, but work will reimburse me for it. I set my debit and credit cards up for travel during my trip. I transferred $600 of my tax return to my credit card to cover the plane ticket and rental car I had already paid for. I updated my calendar. I set up the account I needed to begin making payments on the Trax since we’ve had that information for a little bit. That allowed me to put more papers away rather than having them scattered around my desk. I also created a “school” sub-calendar on my Google calendar since my class starts on April 1st. I’ve been told it’s not a joke and class actually will start that day. We’ll see… >.>

Oh! I also posted a daily post as well as my DSS assignment on Thursday.

For the record… the only reason I remember half of this stuff is because I actually wrote out a to-do list for Thursday so I have something to look back on. By the end of Thursday, I was beat. I felt like I had gotten a lot of stuff taken care of, which, I guess I kind of did.

Friday was another good day. It started with a phone call to Jon. It’s been nice talking to him so much. After talking to him I came inside and began writing for a bit. I didn’t get as far as I wanted to before I had to shower and head down to work.

I wasn’t there as long as I had been on Wednesday. Everyone was still glad to see me again which warmed me. It was just the float RN, the new tech, and myself. Originally my FA was supposed to be there, but personal matters came up which kept her from being at the clinic. The day turned out alright. The three of us found a rhythm that worked well. I helped end treatments and clean/reset machines. The new tech helped with ending treatments and walking the patients out. The float RN initiated the treatments for second shift. As the new tech got freed up, she began initiating treatments as well. Once all of the machines were restrung and ready to go, I also jumped in and helped start treatments. I’m the fastest and most experienced with our machines, and while, yes, the new tech is going to need to hone her skills, she’s going to be going back to Cap City for three weeks until our clinic is opened to six days a week again. Yesterday was not the day for skill honing. It was about surviving, and we did, and the system we found worked really well for us. I’m proud of us. Go, team!

I stayed at the clinic while the new tech took lunch. I checked my email again and replied to a few surveys that were sent out. I made sure some of the closing tasks were done so New Tech didn’t have to worry about them. When she came back to the floor I clocked out and hung out for another hour or so making CVC termination packs. I got to chat with our Administrative Assistant (AA) for a while. I got caught up on her new grandbaby stories and I told her about my continuing adventure with schooling. She’s happy for me.

Oh… And something I don’t remember writing about… On Thursday I found out that I made the Dean’s list for the fall quarter. All I did was take a CNA course. I don’t feel like I earned or deserve recognition for “academic excellence” but never the less, I have a certificate saying that I did well.

Both my AA and FA say they’re proud of me and are looking forward to me being a nurse. They say I’ll make a good nurse. I don’t know how I feel about that. There’s a part of my brain that shrinks away from those comments. It wants to say, “I don’t want to be a good nurse. I just want to help people.”

Another part of my brain feels like being “good” means there’s the potential to let people down or not live up to expectations. There’s the potential to fail. I guess that’s something I need to think more on since there’s a bit of discord there. Overall it was a good conversation. I’m looking forward to seeing my AA again on Monday once I’m back at the clinic.

Once I finally left work, I headed to the Beatrice campus for my college. I wanted to talk to someone in financial aid. After getting registered for my class, one of the other tasks I had tried to complete at home was putting my current loans back into forbearance since I’m officially a student again. That hadn’t been the one-step process I had been hoping for. The website did say that the school could send my information for me, though. I also had questions about additional loans. I mean, really, I didn’t have a lot of questions, but I felt better about talking to someone in person if they had time.

When I called to inquire, the woman I spoke with said any time was fine and to stop in whenever. So I stopped in. Yes, they will automatically send my information to the loan company so there’s nothing further I need to do with that. The deadline for scholarship applications with the school ended at midnight that night, Friday night, so if I was quick, I could still potentially get assistance through scholarships. There was also a step by step sheet of instructions for completing FASFA which wasn’t a lost cause. She explained that even though I already had loans that I might be able to get additional assistance for my new endeavor. It wasn’t guaranteed yes, but it wasn’t a guaranteed no, either. The worst they could say is no, and the application process was free to find out.

I thanked her for taking time out of her day to meet with me. I said I had a clearer idea of how to go about my next steps and that I appreciated her help. From the school I headed back home, stopping at the Walmart in Beatrice for a few extra things we would need over the weekend. Ox wanted me to try to make a keto brownie or cake type recipe for Papa Ox. I wanted to see about finding the keto friendly ice creams I had mentioned earlier in the week. I also needed to return a spice shaker I had bought on Tuesday.

Since I’ve been making my own spice mixes for a while, I’ve been wanting a larger container to keep them in with a shaker top. I haven’t been able to find anything in stores and I don’t want to buy something full of spice already, just to dump it out so I can use the container. That just seems ridiculously wasteful to me.

Well… while Ox and I were at the store on Tuesday I found one that I thought “might” be ok. It was pretty enough. It seemed larger than the containers I was currently using, but I wouldn’t really know how I felt about it until I tried it out.

Fast forward a bit to Tuesday evening when I emptied out a Kraft grated parmesan cheese container…

It’s… perfect.

It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for this whole time. I can fit multiple batches of my spice mixes in it, so I don’t have to worry about mixing them so often. Wooo! And there’s a second one in the fridge that’s almost empty and the tops are different colors so it will be easy to tell my spice mixes apart. Omg. My brain was/is so happy over how perfect they are for what I want. I don’t even have to worry about icky glue being on the side of the container because the container design was shrunk wrapped on. All I had to do was cut it off and poof! Perfectly clear, unmarked large plastic container with a shaker top that can come off if I would rather scoop an amount out instead.

So much happy.

Anywho, since I now had the perfect shaker already at home, I didn’t need the smaller one I had bought from the store. That got returned, and once that was done I was able to officially head home for the day. It was later than what I was expecting, but I had taken care of everything that I needed to and it felt good.

When I got home I told Ox about the scholorship application deadline and the FASFA application. Papa Ox and brought home dinner with Ornery Ox so I didn’t have to worry about making anything for the family. I heated up the leftover shredded chicken and began plucking away at the “paying for college” stuff.

I got the scholarship thing done well before the midnight deadline. I figured out FASFA, too, so that should be processed by the college before too long I hope. I had a half cup serving of the black cherry Halo Top ice cream. It’s not bad. Ox and I got some laundry put away. I got two more posts up on my blog. I got a phone call from New Tech letting me know that she hadn’t been able to get to creating the needle packs, but everything else should be in order for Monday. I told her that was fine and that I appreciated her covering my week off for me. We most likely won’t see each other for a while since she won’t be at the meeting on March 5th. I told her if she needed anything to feel free to call me.

And I think that’s about it for Friday. I woke up around midnight and had a hard time falling back asleep. Lame.

I woke up at 7:30 like I said when I started writing this and so far it’s been a good morning. I’ve spent most of it typing and recapping the past week. It’s not what I had in mind when I wrote my DSS post about starting “weekly recaps” again. I haven’t been all that awesome about getting to the gym or writing daily either, but I think I’m staying afloat.

I’ve been back and forth from the computer a bit. Ox and I made breakfast for everyone. The waffles seemed to go over well, though the kids aren’t giant fans of the new syrups. They don’t know that the waffles are made with oatmeal and cottage cheese.

I have plans to finish listening to chapter three in my book once I’m done writing this post. I’ll most likely cross stitch while I do so. Once I reach the end I’ll make my zucchini brownies for Papa Ox along with a batch of “normal” brownies so we can try to work through a bit of the stuff sitting in the cabinets while the kids are here.

Once I complete those kitchen projects, I’ll start work on the reflection sections for chapter three. This chapter is about purpose so I feel like it will be a bit easier to get through it than the previous two chapters. Purpose is a bit more defined for me. I might not have to dig as deep to find the answers to the questions asked. Only one way to find out… >.<;

I’m not sure what time it will be once I complete that task or if I’ll even be able to see that task to its completion today. It would be nice to start the laundry. It would also be nice to figure out the meal plan for the coming week along with the shopping list associated with it. I would like to make green curry. God that would be so awesome to have for lunches.

Anywho, today should continue to be a chill day. We have blizzard advisory warnings for today into the early morning of Sunday. So far it feels pretty nice outside. Cloudy and overcast, but it’s not ridiculously cold, so I don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s been raining off and on. It would suck for temperatures to drop and for the roads to freeze over. I haven’t had to deal with black ice yet. At least not that I know of.

So I guess that’s enough procrastinating on my part. Time to go back and half-heartedly proof-read my writing and get it posted so I can continue going about my day.

It feels good to be caught up. It feels good to say I’m in school. I’m officially working on being a nurse. I’m one step closer to being an RN, mom. I know that would make you smile.

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Daily Post 146: Tags, Taxes, and Trips

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Lots of stuff to write about.

Firstly, I’ve started taking vitamin D gummies in the morning. They’re not bad tasting which is a plus. I do think they have been helping. I’ve only been taking them for roughly a week so I know I don’t have an extended time frame to go off of. Everything I’ve been able to find online says it can take up to a month for blood levels to even out, but I have noticed a significant difference in my energy level and overall mood. I’m not as depressed on my days off. I don’t feel as overwhelmed at work and can react to all of the daily craziness in better stride.

In general, I think the vitamin is helping and even if it’s not, I’m glad for whatever change has occurred to improve my mental state.

Another change on the home front is Papa Ox switching to a mostly keto diet which means, by proxy, Mama Ox is switching to one as well. I’ve taken over a lot of the cooking since I am the one with the most experience in that area. While that means my food budget has increased since I’m buying meals for more people, Mama Ox has offered to help with the grocery bill. It also means that after I work a 12 hour day I have to come home and cook, which sort of sucked yesterday. A large part of that had to do with not having anything planned ahead of time. I had to plan, grocery shop, prep, and cook all in one evening.

I’ll have a better handle on dinners in the coming weeks. I’m glad for this change even if it means a bit more work on my end. It will be easier to stick to my own diet goals because I’m not the only one trying to do something anymore while everyone else eats whatever they want and pressures me into conforming to them.

There’s still a lot of stuff in the kitchen and freezer which should be gotten rid of, but we’re on the right track to everyone having a healthier lifestyle. Ox has been supportive. He ate the stir fry I made last night with zoodles rather than regular noodles and while he said it wasn’t as good as normal noodles, the zoodles themselves weren’t bad and he still enjoyed the meal. He’s open to the idea of trying pizza with cauliflower crust and other recipes which he normally wouldn’t go for. He even had leftovers one night which is something he’s usually against.

Having all of the support I’ve been shown so far in all of the various ways it’s been given has helped motivate me. Being healthy no longer feels like a pointless endeavor that I’m the only one who cares about or wants to do.

In other news, Ox has a new car. It’s a 2018 Chevy Trax. While he says it’s “our” car, everything is in his name and he is / will be the primary driver. There’s a lot of backstory which goes into our decision to get the vehicle. We spent a lot of time researching the car itself and going over both of our finances. We’re keeping his old car in addition to the new one. Eventually, in a few years, when Ornery Ox is old enough to need a car, he’ll be given the Dodge Dart, the old car.

We can afford both car payments and their insurance while still meeting all of our other financial obligations. We both recognize the only reason we’re able to do this is that Ox and I live with his parents rent-free; thus why I’m ok with taking on the added responsibility of providing food for everyone. Ox will continue to be the handyman around the house. It’s reassuring to know that if something were to happen to any one of the cars in the household, there’s a backup. We all work too far away in different directions in the middle of nowhere to not be able to get to work. Having transportation is vital and though this adds additional financial responsibility to the equation, I think it was a smart move.

I also feel like it’s the first really big decision Ox and I have made together aside from the choice to have me move to Nebraska. It wasn’t as scary to talk about finances and budgets and payments as it would have been a year ago. I felt secure and safe through all of the conversations we had. I still feel secure and safe through all of the new conversations we’ve had today since he’s been home. I still stand behind my choices; our choices. I still think we got an amazing deal on an extremely good car. No regrets.

With the additional expense comes the decision for both of use to quit smoking. We haven’t stopped 100% yet, but we’ve cut back significantly which I think is still a win. I’m smoking roughly six a day again, which is under half of what I was doing only a week ago. Small steps. Not perfect, but I’m happy with the progress we’ve made toward our goal and I’m not going to give myself shit for not going cold turkey. I would rather be supportive of my efforts than bash myself. If I can cut my intake in half and be ok, then I can cut out the breaks at work and still be ok. If I can cut out the breaks at work then I don’t really need anything while I’m at home either. My personal goal is to stop completely by the end of March because…

I booked my plane ticket and rental car for my trip to Orlando.

Yep. That’s right.

I’m going to be visiting my younger brother and seeing my dad. I’m looking forward to the trip. I haven’t ironed out anything else out about the trip yet, but that’s because I was still waiting to get family time figured out. It seems like we’ll be meeting up for lunch on Saturday before I fly back to Nebraska. This weekend and the coming week I will be reaching out to people and setting up my social itinerary for the trip. I won’t be there for many days so I’m assuming they’ll be pretty busy.

I was able to plan the trip because I was a diligent adult and filed my taxes. I’m getting a pretty penny back. Ox is too, especially with the amendment he made to last year’s taxes where he gets to claim Ornery Ox as a dependant. Nebraska does sales taxes on cars differently than Florida, so there’s a slight expense to getting plates and tags for the Trax that we need to plan for. The dealership is paying for over half of it, though, so that’s part of what made the deal good. I also will be using part of my tax return to pay off the trip once it comes in. I used the credit card to buy the tickets and arrange everything, but the charge won’t be on there for an extended period of time, so I was ok with using it.

Ox has a few other expenses he wants to get caught up on. They fell behind due to working construction and the weather sucking. It was one of the biggest factors for him switching to his new job where his hours are guaranteed. Even with those expenses taken into account and setting aside a chunk of the money as a buffer for himself, he’s still able to pay me back everything that he currently owes me and then some.

I had wanted to use all of the extra money to go towards my car loan, cutting in it half, but with all of the expenses taken out, the amount of “extra” isn’t as much as my unrealistic brain was hoping for. Damn you logic for making sure everything was accounted for. >.<;

Currently, Ox is making an Excel sheet to go along with our updated budget so we can see which debt should be tackled first. There are three things I could pay off in full and still have money remaining as my own personal buffer. But would paying those debts off be as beneficial as putting the extra money towards the credit card?

With all of the different amounts and interest rates and blah blah blah blah blah numbers and logic and insert unknown factor here… My brain was shutting down and getting frustrated rather than continuing to tackle the question of “What’s the best financial debt to go after first?”

That’s where Ox stepped in to rescue me. He offered to figure it out so that’s what he’s working on while I finish typing about my life. It’s amazing how much more do-able today has been because he was a part of it. He figured out and looked up a lot of the numbers I needed. He helped me keep going as long as I did and was patient with me when I started getting frustrated and is now giving me a break from all of it for a little while. It’s awesome. I’m not the only one working on this project. I’m not the only one trying to figure out life and what the best choice would be. I can tap someone else in when I need to take a step back and vice-versa.

Aside from figuring out a debt battle plan, there’s not a whole lot else going on. I have to get gas for my car before tomorrow. I’m cooking chicken taco soup for dinner tonight. The gear I ordered from Venum won’t be here until tomorrow. It was supposed to be delivered today, but with the snow storms, it got delayed. So much lame. : /

That’s something else that gives me warm fuzzy feelings, though. Ox made sure I ordered my gear before things get tighter budget wise. He didn’t want me to keep putting it off and then not be able to get it later when the new car payment is due. I still had some extra from the overtime I worked during the holidays and after fixing up the car. So those are my Christmas / birthday gifts to myself; new 16-ounce Muah Thai gloves, headgear so I can spare, and a new duffle bag to put everything in since the zipper to my current bag got messed up during my trip to Denver. I was really hoping to be able to take everything with me to work to show one of my patients, but I guess I won’t be able to do that until Monday. It also means I won’t have my new stuff for the dojo tomorrow night, though, with how icky the weather has been I might just come home. I’m not sure yet.

We had a meeting for work on Tuesday. It got pretty heated at a few points. At the end of it, I spoke up and said that all of the issues seemed to stem from a breakdown in communication. The people who needed to hear everything that was being said weren’t there and the information most likely wouldn’t be communicated to them. What the clinic needed was a serious “sit down and come to Jesus” meeting.

When I had a chance to talk to my FA yesterday I apologized if I had stepped out of line with my comment. She sort of snickered and said that I hadn’t and that my mentality was one of the reasons she wanted me to do the leadership class. She said that the other FA for our sister clinic was grateful that I had spoken up and said what I did because no one had seemed to be “getting it.” She said they value my opinion and want me there in the future meeting that will be scheduled as a follow up to the one we just had. Hopefully, in the follow-up, things will get figured out and positive, meaningful steps forward begin to happen.

All in all, I can’t complain about anything in my Life other than it’s freaking freezing outside still and I can’t feel my toes even though I have two sets of socks on. ;-;

Guess that means I have to curl up in bed with my electric blanket and cross stitch so I can get warm. Oh, darn.

Daily Post 138: Socks and Sickness

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So… I’m sick. That sucks but it could be worse. At the moment I’m pretty sure it’s just a head cold. I’m having a hard time keeping my body warm feeling. Being in sleep shorts and a thin t-shirt probably isn’t helping my cause. I’ve spent most of the morning in bed working on finishing Jon’s cross stitch. At the moment, sitting here in front of the computer, it’s hard to feel my fingertips. They’re cold so my typing is slower than my thoughts. Super annoying. It reminds me of the band competitions I used to be a part of, standing at the gates of the football field, about to perform struggling to keep my hands warm so I would be able to play good enough, fast enough. Mentally I’m there, physically my body is having a hard time and that disconnect is frustrating.

I didn’t have a lot of plans for today so at least I have that going for me.

My socks came in and they’re amazing. I love them. I wish they had made yesterday a better day, but with the sickness creeping in and getting worse as the day progressed the warm glow I was hoping to have with wearing something new didn’t really permeate my day the way I was hoping. I made it through Wednesday but didn’t go to the dojo. The sinus pressure in my skull gave me a headache and the drive home was enough to make me want to quit let alone going and doing three minutes of jump rope as a warmup where I would have been dying after the first thirty seconds. I was pretty pissed at my body but I think I made the right call.

Ox took out my frozen container of chicken taco soup before I got home. Having it soak in hot water meant it was defrosted enough by the time I got home that I could slide the giant ice chunk out into a pot to boil and melt. After about 10 minutes I had a warm, hearty meal that I could eat sans carbs which is something I’m trying to get back into. I’ve been doing way better than the past two months. Not perfect, but significantly better. It might be one of the reasons this head cold was able to take root; the whole keto flu and all that fun stuff.

I have a phone call with my therapist from Orlando today. I don’t feel like I have much to talk to her about. No problem to solve or focus on. I feel like it will be more chatting with a good friend; keeping her posted on all of the developments with work and my life. She may have questions which spark deeper conversation but it’s not like the sessions we first had when mom died where I didn’t know my direction or how to process through all of the events going on. While I know I hadn’t lost everything during that time of my life, I had lost a large amount of what I had been using to define myself. My job. My home. My relationship. My family. I was left feeling like the vast expanse within myself was a white nothingness. No ruble or broken pieces to pick up and put back together. No wreckage to salvage. Just blank empty nothingness. Where do you start when there’s nothing to build with? No tools to use? What do you create? How do you create it? What’s the point in putting in the effort in the first place when there’s no one at your side to enjoy the accomplishment with you?

That’s not where I am anymore. I’ve come a really long way since then in such a short amount of time. In a little over two and a half years, I am now firmly established as an expert cannulator in my own clinic, training a new tech and working towards a leadership position, though I may not have a clear idea of what that position is. I am still making progress on being healthier even if there has been a bit of a speed bump in that regard with the past two months. The CNA class and holiday season made it hard to have time for myself in addition to getting enough sleep and making sure I had clean clothes and food for my work days. Finding balance was hard but I made it through that stint and I’m not blind to all of the help I received in my endeavor to survive. Ox and his parents and the conversations I had with family and friends factored into my accomplishment of surviving mentally, emotionally, and physically.

I got the car looked at on Tuesday. It needs a handful of repairs, not all of which are going to be cheap. The front struts need to be replaced. That’s 850 alone in parts and labor. The overtime money that I saved will mostly be going towards that project. The parts won’t be in until around Tuesday this coming week. All of the work should be completed within a day, so I’ll most likely arrange to drop the car off to be worked on next Thursday or Saturday.

While I would prefer to put all of that money towards the car loan or credit card, I need the car to be in working condition otherwise I’m screwed. Nebraska is too spread out to not be able to drive myself to my clinic or the other clinics where I cover shifts. The repair work is a good and worthwhile investment. I’ve had to do very little in the way of maintaining my car. Aside from oil changes and getting new tires once, I really haven’t had to spend much money on it. It’s been a solid and reliable vehicle. I want it to continue being one and so here I am, being a responsible adult and taking care of issues before they become bigger, less manageable problems.

Jon and I have talked a bit over the past few days. He’s about to begin his first day of nursing school. That’s this coming Monday. There are all sorts of emotions he’s having to work through on that front, but I’m happy for him. I think he’s going to do amazingly well and his not shrinking away from the challenges before him. I’m proud of him and it’s warming to realize how much he has grown and matured since we were kids living at home with mom. He truly has become his own person.

I guess there really isn’t much else to talk about. I feel like I’m rambling but that’s just the type of day it is. Soft, introspective reflection with a cup of coffee and a couple of cats on a cold winter day.

Daily Post 131: A Thankful Test Drive

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It’s Thanksgiving.

Today has been a decent day. I’m currently typing on a new keyboard. Yep. That’s right. I finally replaced the refurbished keyboard with its finicky spacebar key that I’ve had since I got this desktop computer. My companion of so long. Part of me feels… something. Not really regret or a sense of “badness”. There wasn’t truly anything wrong with the keyboard but I’ve wanted a new one and now that I have it I guess I feel a little like I’m being less than responsible.

This new keyboard is still too new to know if I like it or not. The keys feel different. It feels as if it’s at a slightly different elevation angle with the footrests out. It’s not my old keyboard that I’ve had for almost 10 years and my fingers can feel the difference. The spacing is just ever so different. The clicking and crispness of the sound is foreign.

I’m not expecting this post to feel the same because of it. It’s essentially a test drive. The keyboard is wireless which is nice. It came with a new mouse which I’m also trying out. It slides differently than my old one. There will need to be a trial period were I adjust to the changes.

I also got a laptop. A 15-inch Chromebook. It was $200. For all that I complain about the credit card and how I can’t make progress on it, I realize these purchases may seem counterproductive and not in line with my goals or true wants.

I’m glad I have the laptop though. It’s currently charging and my next post will most likely be written on it.

Yesterday was a decent day at work. There’s not much to report on that front. I’m still waiting to get the itinerary for my trip. I still need to fill out the application for the leadership course. I still need to write the thank you letter to my FA for my raise. Our new patient will most likely start on Monday. Tomorrow is still most likely going to be a disaster. My goal in that regard is survival. I’m not planning to go to the dojo afterward. I’m planning to come home once I’m able to and be done with it all for the weekend.

I was supposed to go to the dojo yesterday but didn’t. I came home instead because the thought of being home felt better then being around people or waiting for two hours for my class to start with literally nothing to do. I couldn’t write since I didn’t have a laptop. I couldn’t do school work for the same reason. I didn’t have my cross-stitch with me which isn’t something I’ve thought about having with me since I never have free time. I don’t know why, but yesterday I didn’t want to be around anyone; not even at the dojo. I didn’t get as much of a sense of fulfillment about going and sweating and pushing myself to be a better me as I did at the thought of being home with Ox and spending the evening together with him gaming and me stitching while I watched Netflix.

So I came home instead. We ended up going to the gas station and getting a bottle of Jack Daniels and ingredients to make chip dip. We drank together. Sexy time happened. I spent a fair amount of time afterward crying and talking about mom.

I told him how it felt like every step I take forward, every success and accomplishment feels like a step away from her. It’s a step away from the hospital room where I held her hand. It’s like I’m leaving her there to die by her self and even though I know that’s not what’s happening I can’t make the feelings stop or change and I struggle with that so much. I know she’s already dead. How can I leave her somewhere to die? I’m living life and doing the thing she would want me to do so how am I betraying her?

I talked about some of the stories I have of her. It felt good to be drunk and to cry and to voice all of these things that are mostly thoughts inside of my head that eat away at me. I’m not the only one who knows about them anymore. Someone else knows and that makes it seem more bearable.

I know mom wants me to strive to be happy with the life that I have, but there’s always the grief side of the equation now that I have to figure out and make peace with. Getting my raise at work and getting back to my starting square income-wise is not a betrayal to her, but there is a very real part of me that thinks that way and I have to figure it out.

It was a good night, tears included.

I’ve felt more on top of my life since Monday. More secure. More capable. More like effort does pay off and is worth it. Throwing down the burden of responsibility for a night helped too I think. Having today off where I’ve literally had no obligations to anyone or anything has been nice and today I got some things for myself that I’ve wanted for a while. Since I’ve been writing so infrequently it feels like I’ve done that a lot recently but I think on a logical, timeline level, I really haven’t.

I got the punching bag and the bike rack. I have the dojo membership and the gym membership. I got new clothes and additional scrubs. I paid for my new license plate and the CNA class. I got new work shoes and the new Vibrams for my race. There was also the new pillows and sheets for the bed. The cooking set… Soon there will be the expense of additional contacts, but I have the HSA account with work for that so I’m not sure if it really counts…

I’ve done things for myself here and there in small doses, making sure it didn’t interfere with my monthly expenses and that everything still got paid. I might not have made the progress in certain financial areas like how I wanted, but I’ve taken care of things that needed to be done along with getting things that made my life feel better.

I’m thankful that I am at a point in my life where I can buy things and not have to hold my breath while I put gas into my car or alter my grocery list because what I originally wanted might have been too expensive and put me over budget.

I haven’t used the laptop yet so I don’t know for sure if it will be what I’m hoping it will be, but I’m content in knowing that I own it. I’m content that I’m the one who picked it out and that I’m the one who paid for it. It’s mine. 100% and I like that. I like the thought of the freedom it will give me. Saturdays after the dojo I could go to my new sports bar and write and pay bills and make my shopping list before going to Walmart and then heading home.

I’ve talked to my older brother today. It’s been the first time in a while. I got to tell him about all the developments with work. I got to tell him about the dojo. I finally told him about living with Ox and his family and how his kids seem to like me. I told him about minigolf and Stuffed Fables and the pumpkin patch. I told him about the heart attacks I’ve had about not knowing how to be a parent and the fulfillment of watching the kids share in my hobbies and learning new things.

He’s happy for me and I’m surprisingly relieved that he finally knows my whole situation. With my history of relationships, I’ve been hesitant to share that side of my life with anyone. My blog is my safe space. A phone or in person conversation where I could be judged or may have to defend myself is a different situation. I can’t blame people for worrying about me or wondering if I’m messing up again. This is the healthiest and most supportive relationship I have ever been in though, and I want people to trust me and hear me when I say those words.

I talked to Allison today as well. She had tried calling last night. We talked until my phone died. We have plans to try to talk later tonight since she had to get going for her Thanksgiving plans anyway, but if we can’t talk later we have backup plans to continue talking on Sunday. Jon and I chatted for a bit, and now here I am, charging my laptop and typing away about nothing all that important on a keyboard that I’m starting to get a feel for.

It’s been a nice day. The only things that I might still try to get accomplished are calling my dad and Chrys so I can be caught up with most of the people in my life.

I’ve put the clothes away, finally.

Ox brought a keyboard home for me on Tuesday which I never wrote about. Like, an actual musical keyboard. He found it while he was at work and remembered me talking about wanting one. He brought it home to see if it worked and it did, so I now also own a four and a half octave keyboard which currently has no designated home, but I own it. I can play music again for the first time in ten years. I honestly don’t remember how to place my fingers properly since I switched to percussion during middle and high school, but I still remember how to read music and I remember all of my scales and parts of the pieces I played during marching band. I can pick away at the keys and it pulls at something within myself to do it; something long dormant and that I’ve missed. I’m looking forward to going into town at some point to get a keyboard stand and a few books. I want a beginner book for sure so Lil’ Ox and I can play music together and maybe an intermediate book. I could buy the sheet music for Two Trees like I’ve wanted to since I first heard that song.

I don’t think there are words to express how much it meant to receive a gift like that. I haven’t talked about wanting to play music in so long, and even when I did I’m pretty sure it was more of an in passing comment. “It would be nice if one day…” sort of a thing. But he remembered that conversation and went out of his way when the opportunity presented itself. Even if the keyboard hadn’t ended up working it wouldn’t have mattered. Knowing that he thought of me, that he went out of his way to do something like that for me, still fills me with warmth. That soft warm feeling of being snuggled up in your favorite blanket. It could have been the crappiest day ever but in that moment everything is ok because you have that warm feeling protecting you and the familiar scents surrounding you.

It’s that type of feeling.

Things really are ok. I’m actually able to take care of myself and all areas of my life are fairly figured out and my living situation is a positive and supportive one and I really don’t know what to do with my life not being a complete and total clusterfuck of what the hell.

Thank you, Universe. Thank you for letting me be here. And thank you, mom. Thank you for raising me the way you did. Thank you for everything you did that went into me being the me I am.

Daily Post 091: Another Summery

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This is most likely going to jump around a bit. I guess the easiest way to write would be to break life into sections and write about each one since, once again, so much has happened.


Work

Work has been going well. I got my paycheck with my first bit of overtime. That was awesome. I also got the payback for the Concur report. Surprisingly I got all $400 for that. I got my wage increase finally for my CCHT test. I haven’t received the back pay for that, though, so it’s not 100% off my to-do list. Currently, I’m waiting to see if the back pay lands on this paycheck. If it doesn’t then I’ll be contacting my FA to see what needs to happen in that regard.

I need to figure out how to fill out Concur reports for traveling to different clinics since I was told I would be compensated for travel time and gas. I also ended up paying for the hotel room the last time I worked at the South Omaha clinic, which is another thing I can be reimbursed for. So, one of these days when I’m not super busy at work (which is never) I need to figure that out.

I haven’t started on the VAM training. I haven’t forgotten about it. More it just hasn’t worked out since I’ve been doing overtime elsewhere. This coming week seems like it will be a good week to start in on that, though.

I’m still waiting to hear back about finishing off my NFACT training. All I need in that regard is to get checked off on the skills list. Since one of our patients just got orders approved to use his fistula, now-ish would be a good time to get that completed. It’s another thing I’m waiting to hear back on. That task is close to being done, though, so I’m content with where I’m at with it.

The days seem to be going better. The one patient who was unstable for a while seems to be doing better. We switcher her dialyzer and everything is going well now.

Another patient has started having issues. Switching her dialyzer didn’t seem to resolve anything, so I’m not sure where we’re going with that at the moment.

Mr. Non-compliance got a fistula placed last week. Because of that, he was in the hospital for a while, but he was at the clinic on Friday for treatment. It was good to see him after so long. I hope he begins to show up more regularly. He’s an awesome guy. I can’t do much to help him live if he skips treatment, though, and that’s a shitty reality of my job. I can only do so much, and a majority of that depends on the patient actually being there.

Friday was a day from hell. I loved the RN I worked with. I’ve worked with her a few times at the Capital City clinic while I was in “training” after my move to Nebraska. She doesn’t work at the Beatrice clinic often, though. In the past six months, she said she’s been there three times. Because our machines are so different from all of the other clinics that meant it felt like I was on my own for the most part on Friday.

I set up nearly every machine. That meant we were running behind for first shift, which snowballed into second shift. Even though my FA was on the floor helping out we didn’t recover from the slow start.

There were soooooo many people at my clinic on Friday. I guess there was some uber meeting going on in the conference room. I didn’t understand how there could be that many people and yet leave me feeling like I was the only one working the floor.

The new tech who will be working the clinic with me showed up later in the day with her preceptor. I wish I could say I like her, but my first impression is that I won’t. She lives in Beatrice which worries me. I’m scared that she’ll get priority for the clinic even though I’ve been proving myself to be a good worker. I’m worried they’re going to have me cover more shifts elsewhere, especially at Cap City, which I don’t want to do.

I like my clinic. I want to stay there. I would rather go down to part-time than float to different places. Except maybe South Omaha. Or maybe even the North Omaha location, but that’s only because that clinic has the same machines as mine. I haven’t been there, but I could see myself being more ok in that environment because I would have a better idea on how to function there.

I don’t know what’s in the future and stressing over something that’s still two months away is a waste of energy. I’m trying to not let it eat away at the inside of my brain. Since it’s only been two days since I met the new tech I don’t think there’s enough information to say if I’m doing a good job in that regard or not yet.

I do think it’s something I should talk to my FA about. Knowing what their game plan is for the future would be nice. Where do they see me? Where do they see her? Stuff like that.

For the most part, things are going well with work and I believe that’s a majority of what’s been going on.

The new schedule is out. Next week I only work three 12-hour shifts. The week after that I picked up a shift on Saturday for South Omaha. The following two weeks I work five days since I’m covering a morning shift both Tuesdays at Cap City in addition to covering the Saturdays at South Omaha.

Yeah… we’ll see how that plays out…


 

SCA

In other news, Ox and I have been pretty active with the SCA group. We went to combat practice again this past Tuesday. I’ve purchased McDavid knee and elbow sleeves to wear under the loaner armor I’ve been using. I’ve also ordered groin protection since that’s a thing that’s required. It’s supposed to be delivered Monday so I’m hoping to have it for Tuesday’s practice. If I do I’ll be sure to leave a review.

I’ve also purchased a new backpack specifically for my combat gear since the backpack I’ve been using for everything is getting kind of cramped.

Typically I keep my workout gear along with everything I need for work in my backpack. I’ve recently added the knee and ankle braces due to training at the gym. I already had a bathroom kit for when I need to shower at the gym or travel overnight for work. And though I do have another gym bag, currently it has all of my fighter gear in it. My gloves and hand wraps. My shinguards and gi. My belt with my single stripe.

There wasn’t much extra space in either bag. Add to the equation that I now have stuff specifically for combat… It just wasn’t working for me. I like keeping my things separate, which meant another bag was in the near future anyway.

So now I have a softball/baseball backpack which I think is going to work amazingly well. It has two pouches that run the height of the bag where you can put a bat, theoretically.

Wouldn’t you know they’re the perfect size for two pieces of ratan? : D

So I have a bag for my gear AND I can keep my swords in it. And… AND… it’s purple. : 3

So much happy.

I really like it and as I begin to construct my own armor I’m fairly confident that it will be able to hold everything aside from my helm, which I wouldn’t want to put in there anyway since the helm has to be constructed from steel while the rest of the armor I want to make will ideally be leather.

We went to the meeting on Wednesday with Ox, which I think I would have enjoyed more if I hadn’t been so tired. It was a new social situation with new people on nearly no sleep after a 12-hour shift and no food. There were a bunch of people doing weaving and needle crafts so I plan to bring my own project with me next time, which should help with not feeling so out of place.

We went to dinner afterward, which was nice. I enjoyed the conversations I had and being able to connect with people on a more individual level.

It seems like a bit of a routine that Ox and I are forming. Tuesdays are combat and afterward, we go to my sports bar for dinner. Wednesdays are the meetups and afterward, we go out to eat with the group. I buy Tuesdays. He covers Wednesdays.

I’m glad we’re finding a group of people to interact with and that even though we both have our own interests within the group, that we’re able to share something together.


 

Health

I’ve been doing well with the gym. I actually made it in twice this week to do arm day since that’s something I need to start making more of an effort with. My lower body is definitely outpacing my upper body and I don’t want to be stuck with T-rex arms.

Or do I…

ddb

I’m down roughly four pounds. I’m up a little on muscle. I can feel a difference in myself. I’m doing well with sticking to my macros as far as carbs and protein go. I’m usually under my calorie count, but I really don’t care all that much about it since I’m logging around 6 miles on the days I work.

I can feel how I have more energy during the days I get adequate sleep. I’m coping with stress better. At least, I think I am.

My trainer is out of town this coming week, which means instead of going to training I’m going to try to find classes at the gym to do. it would be nice to make it to Zumba or yoga, or both. There’s a Core and More class that would be nice to make…

More planning is required. But yes. Things are going well in that department.


 

Life

I finally went to the DMV and got my Nebraska license. It’s more official now than not now. I’m officially a resident. The last thing I need to do regarding my move is switch my car tags over, but that’s a multi-step process with multiple fees and I’m not really all that worried about getting it done during this month’s schedule since I’m going to be working so many extra days.

Part of it, too, is that I don’t know how much it will be financially to switch over. Switching from South Carolina to Florida ran me over $600. Once I have all of the money from working overtime then I’ll look into taking care of that task. If it ends up being cheaper, awesome. Having 1k worth of extra to cover it would make me more comfortable with taking care of that task. Not that I want to spend that much, but I would rather have that much saved and not need it, then need it and not be able to do anything about it.


 

Finances

On the subject of money, I’m doing well. I was once again able to overpay on all of my bills and still have extra for buying the combat gear and bag. I was able to get the car looked at and tuned up since it felt like it was driving weird.

I like to think that mom would be proud of me. Instead of waiting until there was a problem I was proactive and took the car in to get looked at while it was still a “concern” rather than a “problem”.

I ended up getting an alignment and an oil change since that was something I’ve wanted to do since moving to Nebraska. Go me.

I’ve already bought groceries. The car has gas. This coming Friday is payday which will once again have a decent amount of overtime on it. Next month is when I reach out to Warren to see if he’s in a spot to start paying me back.

My immediate financial goal is to pay off my car. It’s the closest thing to being taken care of and would free up $300 to put towards something else. My rule right now is any overtime I work goes towards the car. I do want to take a bit of the money to put towards buying materials for my armor, but mostly the overtime money is for bills.

My “Me Fund” is back to where it should be. Actually, it’s a little over what it should be, but that’s in preparation for my trip in August. It’s looking more like I’ll be going to Vegas for a bit then flying to Orlando. I want to make sure I have the funds to support the trip. With working overtime, I should have the time available to take off without affecting my pay. I’m still waiting to solidify dates with my brothers, but it’s looking good so far.

I still don’t have much in my savings account, which might be something I address before pouring all of my overtime money into my car. That seems like a responsible thing to do… But since that’s still at least a week away I’ll worry about that when I have numbers to work with.

Let’s see… what else…


 

Relationship

Ox and I are doing well. We’re going to have the kids for roughly a week. In preparation for that, we’re going to flush out my nest a bit more. I know he did some stuff up there today which I wasn’t allowed to be there for. My tv is upstairs along with a tv stand that I bought today and a beanbag chair so I can set up my PS4. We’re going to try setting up an air mattress as well which, in theory, will let me be able to sleep at home without everyone having to tiptoe around me on the nights I have to go to sleep early for work.

All we can do is try and see if it works. If not then I guess it will go back to getting a hotel room on the nights I need to. I like the way things feel, though. We talked a lot about how we see the addition being set up in the future. We’re most likely not going to be able to do much of work on until the weekend after next, but we have a solid idea of what needs to be done.

He actually went as far as spray painting the lines for where the walls are going to go. I was having a hard time “seeing” the set up for the room because right now it’s all open space. The lines helped me see what he sees. I like it. I want it to be real and not just lines on the plywood floor.

I like the idea of having our computer area and the TV on the wall with a couch and a little work area for chain mail and armor making. I like the idea of having an alcove for the bedroom with windows to let the light in.

I like the way the future feels in that regard.

I’ve been sleeping better next to him. Part of that may be that I’m getting used to sleeping next to another person again. For so long I’ve slept alone. That might have factored into some of my sleepless nights in the beginning. Being sick as long as I was didn’t help anything, but I do wonder if being overwhelmed by so much new didn’t contribute to it at least a little.

I met Ox’s brother and sister-in-law on Saturday along with their two kids. I had slight anxiety on the way to their house, but they’re both nice people.

The thought of having to go back and socialize doesn’t seem heavy or dreadful. I would be ok with seeing them again, and I think I would be welcome in their home. They didn’t instantly hate me for my tattoos or purple hair.

It makes me aware that Ox hasn’t met my family yet, but there’s not really an easy way to fix that. He can’t meet mom. Jon doesn’t want to see him yet. Jason is in Vegas and dad is in Ohio.

I don’t know what else to write in that regard because I guess this is where I get scared and start looking at deep, dark, scary relationship things that I haven’t addressed in a while.

We’re coexisting well. It’s coming up on four months. That’s still really early in the relationship. I still get overwhelmed with the kids because I don’t know how to be a parent and I’m not used to kids being around all the time. I’m not used to not having my own space or quiet time. I still don’t know if I’ll ever want one of my own. I still don’t know where I want to go career-wise or what I want to do with school. I still don’t know if I’ll be able to run all of my Warrior Dash in July, which I need to request off from work.

I don’t think I want to delve into the deep, dark, scary world of “relationship” right now. I’m still not used to having it not fall apart. I’m still not used to things not being arguments.

I want to be happy with the small victory of being able to sleep well next to him. I want to be happy with feeling comfortable cooking in the kitchen. I want to feel happy that I feel like I belong even more than I did in the beginning. I don’t feel awkward coming home and being the only person here when Papa Ox is in the living room.

One other thing Ox and I have started doing is playing Final Fantasy 14 together. I’m enjoying the game so far. It’s allowing us to game together which I think is something that Ox misses. While I was in Orlando we spent a fair amount of time on WoW chatting and questing. Since I’ve been in Nebraska my gaming life has been non-existent, but gaming is something important to Ox.

Since I’ve been so disenchanted with WoW we decided to try a different game and so far I am extremely enjoying it. I’m only level 10, but I like my character and I’ve been enjoying exploring a new world and reading the questline.

I’ve been enjoying it so much so that I think I’m actually going to stop writing for tonight so I can get another hour of gaming in before having to go to sleep for work tomorrow.


 

In Summary

Overall, things are still going well, even on the hard days, and I’m glad for that.

 

Daily Post 088: Hello Old Friend

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Not proofread because sleep is a thing


 

Hello dearest Microsoft Surface,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does that mean compromising on a lot of things?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday was another rough day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Omg. I’m so not ready for this. >.<;

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

Yeah… totally time to go home.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daily Post 086: There Was Progress

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I guess now is as good a time as any to write.

Today has already been ridiculously productive. I woke up around 5 am and stayed in bed until around 7 am. I finally got up and prepped my food for the coming week along with part of dinner for tonight.

I’ve unloaded and loaded the dishwasher along with handwashing the things that didn’t fit into the load. I’ve swept the kitchen, and before any of that happened I took a shower.

It’s not even noon yet and already I have breakfast for the rest of the week along with my salads for lunch.

I should feel content and yet my brain is wired and not at ease and I guess that’s because next week is a lot of unknown at the moment.

I met with my personal trainer again, which I didn’t realize who I was working with until I was talking to one of my coworkers, which led to an internet search. He’s a big name, and yet he’s now doing personal training in a “middle of nowhere” Nebraska YMCA where he gives all of the money he makes back to the gym. He’s a Ph.D. and founder of multiple companies. He has an interesting, complex story and it’s hard to not feel small when faced with all of the things he’s accomplished in life. It’s hard to, in some ways, not feel unworthy.

Who am I for him to spend his time on? Some lowly CCHT who still struggles with grief over losing her mother? Some nobody? Some chick who can’t even run a solid mile…

I know those are all internal conflicts and struggles within myself. I know I have left my mark on the world already; through the students I taught, the tutorials I made, the scripts I wrote…

I know I’m not unworthy, but still… when standing next to a person who has made literally millions… it’s hard not to feel… less than.

Regardless of those feelings, I’m looking forward to working with him. Our last meeting on Thursday was a lot of talking. He had a printout of the results from the tests he ran on me, which makes me sound like a lab rat, and in a way I guess I am. I like having the numbers. It takes the guesswork out of things. It makes it seem more real and solid. More doable. More quantifiable.

I know how much of what I should be eating and though I don’t like calorie counting, I know that by doing this it will be easier to track the other intakes I’m concerned with. Sodium, carbs, protein especially.

All of the things he told me were things I had already researched and found on my own, so it wasn’t anything new. It was reassuring, however, to hear it repeated from him. It means the stuff I was doing in Orlando, the things that were giving me results, were the right things to do and that I should go back to those habits. It means that our mentalities jive which means working with him, theoretically, will have less friction.

It means that the super hard part, the change to eating habits, really isn’t going to be that big of a deal because I’ve already changed that part. I already meal plan and food prep so I don’t have to learn new skills. It doesn’t mean I’ll be an “easier” client, but I do think it means I’ll be more of a “hands-off” sort of client in that area. I don’t need to be taught, I just need to be left to do my own thing.

In other news…

The clinic is about to do down to three days a week. And I don’t think I’ve written about that yet. I don’t think I’ve written since my meeting at work aside from my homesick letter to mom. And I guess here is a good point to actually go back and look at what I wrote last so I know where I’m at…

 



*Brief Pause In Writing*


 

Ok… so the last time I wrote about life was on April 17th. That was almost two weeks ago.

A lot has happened since then.

I had the meeting at work that day, which is where I found out about the clinic changing its schedule. Because we’re going to be down two nurses for a while, and because there are open seats at our sister clinics, management felt it was better to go from six days a week to three for the next few months.

I agree with their choice. I know it makes things a little inconvenient for our patients, but we don’t have the staff to maintain six days a week anymore. I know there’s a tech going through training. I’m not sure about nurses. My FA will be working the floor with me on Fridays. Mrs. K will be working with me on Mondays and Wednesday until we get more people on the team. Right now the focus is to get the clinic stable with staff and I think that’s a good priority.

I was approved to begin training for NFACT and Vascular Access Manager. So those are things I will begin in the coming week.

I received the documents for the PCT Retention program. I found out that’s more of a bonus rather than a wage increase. I’m still ok with it. It’s more money then I would have gotten otherwise so I’m not going to look a gifted horse in the mouth.

I signed the eDocs and sent them on their way. A few days later I received an email saying I was denied. Queue lame feels…

I messaged my FA and let her know. She replied saying she would look into it for me since she had been told by our region manager that I was approved. At some point this week, I don’t remember the day, I got the paperwork to sign again. I signed it and haven’t heard anything back yet. I didn’t have an additional deposit in my account so I guess it’s still going through flaming hoops of logistics.

I was told my wage increases were approved. I’ve already adjusted my Excel sheet to account for the increase. I’ve also knocked my tax allowances back down to zero. So I’m a little confused as to why I’m short $100 for this paycheck. It’s something I won’t be able to figure out until I go to work tomorrow. It will be nice once all of my financial stuff figures itself out. >.<

I filled out my expense report but I don’t think it sent properly. That’s something I won’t be able to fix until I’m at work with one of my FAs. I want to show them what the system is doing. Hopefully, that can happen tomorrow. Small steps towards completion. It would be nice if it was already completed. /sigh

I don’t know how the new schedule will flow at work and I guess that’s why it’s such an open loop in my head. I know my FA still wants me to show up at 4:30, so I don’t have to wake up earlier which is nice. I’m worried the change over between first and second shift is going to be hard. I’m worried even though the days will still remain shorter than Orlando, that they will be just as stressful, trying to cram everyone into only two shifts.

I know the days will be a little longer. Our last patient will end his treatment around 16:10. That means I most likely won’t be leaving the clinic until around 17:00.

All I can do is wait and see what it’s like and voice my opinion. I don’t like not knowing, though.

I do like the idea of having set days off. I do like knowing I will always have Saturdays off, at least for a little while. It’s why I was able to set up training at the gym so easily. It’s why I’m ok taking on the workload of becoming a VAM. I have consistent times where I can plan to do things.

I finally got my stuff from Warren. That was something that happened last week. I got an email from my old internet providers saying the account was past due. I called and talked to a representative who said the account was still in my name so my credit was the one being affected.

Once I got off the phone with the representative I called Warren. Not surprisingly I got his voice mail. I told him the information I had received. I told him if he didn’t call me back that I was going to close the account. I said that I wasn’t mad or upset. I just wanted him to talk to me so we could figure something out that worked for both of us, but if he didn’t reach back out to me that he wasn’t leaving me a choice. I can’t leave an account open in my name for services I’m not using when the financial burden is falling on me and my credit.

I was furious and betrayed feeling. I had been at the gym when I got that email. I had been in the sauna while I talked to the representative. All of the zen I had built up was trashed, shredded nothingness inside my mind in the face of all of the feelings swarming around inside me.

How could he do this to me? How, after everything, could he still be fucking me over and not telling me?

I drove home trying not to cry in anger.

When I got home I wrote an email to Ms. Side Chick, his girlfriend, since I had her email address from when she was being signed onto the apartment lease. I told her I didn’t know the situation, but that I wanted her to know one of my near future decisions may affect her. I let her know what was going on. I apologized if she wasn’t living at the apartment anymore and if all of my information was unwanted, but I felt she had a right to know about the potential of interruption of internet service if she was still living there.

I was in the process of writing a rage-filled post of hurt about the event when Warren called me back. He was at work and didn’t have long to talk, but we hashed everything out during the time he had.

During the conversation, he said I had a piece of mail from Full Sail along with what looked like a certification. He still had my spare car key, too. He said if he couldn’t get it sent out to me the next day that he would get Ms. Side Chick to do it for him.

Financially he’s still getting back on his feet. Amber fucked him over with a bunch of accounts in South Carolina so he’s catching up on that and it’s taking longer than he thought it would. We’ve agreed to table the issue of him owing me money until next month. June. That’s when I’ll reach out to him again if he doesn’t reach out to me first.

At least I know where we stand and why we’re standing where we are. I feel like it always comes back to this. I’m not unreasonable or uncaring. All I want is to know what the fuck is going on. It’s hard to feel like I matter, that the quarter of my inheritance that went to supporting him meant anything when I hear absolutely nothing in regards to why I’m not seeing payments in my account. It’s just silence and I’m left to hope that I still matter. That it’s not like “all the other times” and that at some point, in the future, some distance far off undetermined time, things will fix themselves magically on their own.

No. Fuck that.

I want to know what’s going.

I deserve to know what’s going on.

I’m owed that.

At the very least, if you’re not going to pay me like you said you would tell me why so I can empathize and not be a raging ball of “Go fuck yourself.”

Last Saturday, while I was at work, I received a text message from Warren. It was a picture of a receipt from the post office saying my package was expected to be delivered on Monday. It was an amazing picture.

Of course, the package didn’t arrive until Tuesday this week, but it arrived. I have my certification for my CCHT. I have something tangible with pretty scripted lettering saying that I am enough. It says that I did something on March 14th that was that is worth recognition. It makes it feel like I actually did something. That I achieved something. That I’m better than I was when I started.

It’s a good feeling and I didn’t realize how much it would mean to me to open that particular envelope and hold that piece of paper in my hands.

I also, finally, got the check from Full Sail. I was able to deposit it through the mobile banking app. I was able to send an email to the representative I’ve been working with and inform her I received the check and that it was safely deposited into my account. She replied a few days later saying she was happy for me. I’m sure we’re both glad to finally be able to scratch this off of our lists of things to keep track of.

I also have my spare key finally, so I don’t have to worry as much about locking myself out of my car. I don’t have to spend money to get a new spare made, either.

So, as far as I can tell, Orlando is 100% done now. I’m completely transferred over to Nebraska as far as work is concerned and there’s nothing left for me to wait for from Warren, other than the money he owes me which is on hold for a little bit.

Looking at it that way, I guess I’m ok with where things are at in those regards. I’m done with Orlando.

A bit of work has been done in the addition at home. Last week we didn’t get to cleaning anything. I wasn’t upset or hurt over it. I can’t remember exactly why it never happened. All I know is that there weren’t feelings of betrayal or being let down. It didn’t happen and it was ok.

This past Tuesday Ox and I cleared out an entire room so there’s more space to move things around.

He’s sick again. I found out Thursday that he went to the ER from work because he was having such a hard time breathing. The doctor said he lungs sounded fine, so it’s not pneumonia or anything. The doctor said it was most likely a severe cold and gave Ox some prescriptions to help with his cough and congestion.

If I ever get done with writing, I plan to go clean a little bit on my own. Mostly vacuuming up sawdust so it’s not as icky out there. I’ve been told I can work on clearing out the basement as well since everything down there is trash.

I know there’s still a lot about my past days that I haven’t touched on. Two weeks of not writing will do that to you I guess. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t think there’s a lot of other stuff that’s really important.

I can’t deposit cash at any of the ATMs here. I can only use my branches ATMs to do that and the closest one is in Omaha, about an hour away. So I guess I need to get comfortable spending the cash that Ox gives me. He’s still paying me back for the help I gave him to cover his car payments. I’m grateful for his understanding and support and effort. It makes me feel like things are different.

He’s showing me that things are different.

I signed up for another Warrior Dash. My race is July 14th. I’m realizing that 14 may be one of my numbers…

February 14th is when I arrived here, at home, in Nebraska. March 14th is when I became a PCT. And now, July 14th is when I will run my race.

It’s interesting.

My mind feels quieter. I don’t think I really figured anything out. Maybe reflecting on the progress my life has made helped. Things did get done. Things did move forward. Yes, some things got added, but that’s ok because some things DID get completed. It’s not the overwhelming crushing force it felt like before.

Things are about to change, and that’s ok, too. I think it will be for the best even if in the beginning they’re a little harder.

I’m set for the coming week and even if Monday is a horrific day of unorganized chaos, that’s ok. It lets us know where things can be improved or modified so the rest of the next two months don’t suck so bad. My FA will be there to witness it first hand and as a competent worker, I know my opinion will be heard if I say there’s an issue.

Things will be ok. Worrying is a misuse of the imagination. I would rather feed that energy into making progress here, at home, so that’s what I’m going to do.