Daily Post 170: The Post-Work Feelz

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I just got out of work.

It was a day…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why anger?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Daily Post 169: Contemplating School

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But does it really?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do I want school?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Musing Moments 136: Mother’s Day Reflection

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I’ve been sick lately. This is the first time in about three weeks where I’ve had an extended amount of time off work to try to recover. The weather is finally turning warmer. The sun is out…

It’s been… nice… I’ve been able to sit on the front porch and stare out at green fields and blue skies and not feel this overwhelming crush to accomplish things. I don’t have demands on my time other than to rest and get better.

As I was sitting this morning / early afternoon, these words came to me. I don’t know why. I’m not really one for poetry, but that apparently doesn’t seem to matter to the Universe.

So here is my Mother’s Day Reflection, preserved in text for later years when maybe I’ll need to reread them.


It’s a few days past, I hope that’s ok.
Better late than never, the words you would say.


Sickness has come, slowly it goes.
Coughing out my lungs, maybe a part of my soul.


In these few days of silence, I’ve heard in my head,
All of the words I wish I had said.


So, yes slightly late and long overdue,
but here are my words this Mother’s Day to you.


Bright daylight sun and dark nighttime moon,
all universal truths are different without you.


Through green summer grass and white winter snow,
regardless of the time, my love for you grows.


Your presence is felt and yet physically missed.
It’s the strength you gave me that gets me through this.


This absence and longing; the horrific alone.
I know that you’re with me, even if you no longer answer the phone.


The promises I made after your last dying breath…
I’ve done my best to keep even in my deepest depths.


Food and showers, it’s a struggle to go on,
It’s been more than hard, mom, now that you’re gone.


Small steps towards accomplishment bringing pain so severe…
What’s the point in any of it when you’re no longer here?


Those words still cut at me while I cry myself to sleep,
but I made those promises and my promises I will keep.


So please know from here to where you are,
that Death can go fuck itself because it doesn’t matter how far.


The love which was given, the lessons you taught,
The person I am is a gift that can never be bought.


Through all of these words, I know one thing is true,
Forever and always a daughter I will be to you.


I love you mom. Happy Mother’s day.

Letters to Mom 024: Your Mother’s Day Card Sent to You with Love

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Hey mom,

It’s mother’s day.

I think this day is hard for you, too. I don’t have proof of this. Nothing rational or logical. It’s just a random thought I had earlier today; a feeling deep in my chest where the ache of your death lives. I think you miss being here just as much as we all miss having you here.

Today has been a day. It’s been painful and heavy. It’s been overcast and cold and wet and dreary. It has been for a while. It makes me think that summer will never come.

I don’t know what else to really say. I miss you. I hope you’re having a good day where ever you are. I hope you know I’m thinking about you. I hope you know I love you and that if you were still here I would have called by now. I would have sent you flowers or a card or something; most likely a cross-stitch with hearts and a sappy message about how much I love you because I never felt like I could say that phrase enough.

Since I can’t send anything to you here on Earth, this is my mother’s day card for you. I hope it finds you. I hope you read it and that it let’s you know how much you still mean to me.

You are the best mom ever. EVAR! You’re my own personal super mom and I’m the luckiest kid, aside from Jason and Jon, to be able to say you’re mine.

Happy mother’s day, mom. Thank you, so much, for being my mom and for all the things you did for me while you were alive and for all the things you continue to do for me after your death.

I love you, great big bunches, forever and for always.

~ Your earth dragon who could, who did, and who still is

Daily Post 165: Moment by Moment

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Today was alright. It’s rainy and dreary. I went into work to help with change over. My FA is back from her week-long meeting in DC. I’m glad to have her back. I think it did benefit the team for her to be out of the facility. We learned to trust each other. We learned how to function without her. At the same time, she learned that she can trust in us, too; that the clinic won’t burn to the ground without her here.

Currently, I’m in a bit of a low mood, though, and I know I am. One of our new patients passed away on Saturday. I didn’t know her well, but it still sucks. It still makes my body and heart ache with shared sorrow. She had a family. She had a life outside of the clinic and her absence is going to be felt by many people, just like mom’s was and continues to be.

It leaves me feeling… something which there aren’t words to express. Shared sorrow is the best I can do and like so many times before in my writing, it doesn’t feel like enough. Those words do not express the depth or complexity which are emotions. Maybe nothing ever truly can. Emotions are felt, not explained.

The rest of everything that has happened in my life feels trivial compared to the realness of life and death. Almost like it’s disrespectful to write about how my life continued to go on while her’s ended and yet I couldn’t have stopped my life anymore than the doctors could have kept hers going.

I went to Walmart and got two new skirts and a pair of shorts. I’m in smaller sizes than the last time I bought clothes. I went to the gym and had a good workout.

Sunday I went to my first “family gathering” with Ox. I met his aunts and cousins. For the most part, I spent the three hours sitting on the front porch enjoying the sunlight and breeze while cross stitching which sparked all sorts of comments from the family members. I felt extremely accepted. There was good food and good conversation. It wasn’t the horrific social event I had envisioned in my mind. I wasn’t shamed out of the home for having purple hair or tattoos.

I also had my first run-in with a tornado warning while Ox and I were out shopping after the family get-together. There’s a big difference between practicing a drill and real-life camping out in a Walmart layaway listening to nature rage around you. I made a post on Facebook to let everyone I was fine and that I made it home safe.

Saturday I spent the whole day sick and in bed. I slept about 16 hours and was better for taking it super slow and easy. Ox was amazingly fantastic in caring for me and allowing me to sleep the day and sickness away.

Lil’ Ox and I got to color a bit together Friday night once I got home from work. It’s the first time in a while that we’ve done something together. Ornery Ox even talked to me for a little bit Sunday during the family time. It was nice. I know I haven’t been extremely involved or present with the kids for a while. This weekend was a small step towards correcting that.

The past two weeks have been sort of rough, work-wise. I’ve been working five days. I can only imagine what they would have been like if I were still trying to take the Human Anatomy class. This coming week is most likely going to be more of the same, but next week should be a little lighter.

At the moment I don’t really think there’s much else to say. My heart isn’t in it right now; in writing, I guess. I don’t necessarily hurt, but I ache. One day at a time. One moment at a time. One task at a time. I’m sort of back to that I think.

Friday is my next day off. I think if I can make it to there then I’ll be alright. I know I’ll be ok. I know I’m not not ok right now. I’m just sad and that too is ok. Sometimes life is sad.

Letters to Mom 023: I Passed

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Hey mom,

I passed my first test for Human Anatomy. I passed with a 95. Pretty awesome, huh? I bet you’re doing the I told you so dance. I bet you rolled your eyes every time I said, “I’m going to fail this class.”

It hurts. Passing my test sucks. I’m doing well and I want you to be here and you’re not. You’re still dead and I’m still not used to it and I still want things to be the way they were.

I think I’m getting better, though. I’m dealing with the hurt better this time. I’m writing to you sooner. I’m remembering that I can still talk to you even if it is sort of a one-sided conversation.

The hurt isn’t as paralyzing as it has been in the past. I don’t think that it hurts less. I think it’s more that I know what it feels like and so I’m able to function through it better. It’s still going to suck going to work tomorrow and having all of my patients ask me how I did and telling them and knowing that it isn’t you. I can’t have you sitting across from me or going to Moe’s to celebrate with me. And goddammit, I get so frustrated with myself for focusing on what I don’t have anymore.

I love you, mom. I miss you. I’m doing well and I’m trying really hard. I think I’m doing trying for today, though. I think I’m going to go curl up in bed after calling Ox and be sad for a little while.

I know it’s been three years, but hopefully, it’s still ok for me to have sad days and to feel sad over silly things like passing tests.

Thanks for listening to me. And thanks for all of the studying tips and tricks that you taught me growing up. I wouldn’t have passed this first test without them.

I love you, forever and for always.

Letters to Mom 022: Three Years Later

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Hey mom,

It’s year three since you died. I still ache. I still hurt. I still miss you. Today started rough. Jon and I have talked twice already. It started out on the cold side and icky and overcast since it’s been raining so much.

Honestly, today started out kind of shitty. But it didn’t stay that way.

Ox got off work and called me. We talked for a little bit. We agreed to go into town for lunch. He drove home and picked me up so we could go in together. That gave me time to shower since I hadn’t done that yet.

The only things I had accomplished with my day before his phone call was waking up only to go back to sleep and eating breakfast bars. I didn’t have much to show for myself and it didn’t feel like I would for the rest of the day. Breathing, sitting, being made my body ache with effort much less actually doing any of the things I thought about.

I did get up and shower though. I started a load of laundry. I put my clothes away. As Ox and I were driving into town to get Chinese I looked up a recipe since Ox had mentioned he really enjoyed the smoked sausage in the jambalaya I made the other night. That led to making a shopping list and going to the grocery store before coming home.

I have a meal I’m looking forward to making for everyone. I switched the laundry and started another load. I’ve washed the spinach so it’s ready to use tonight. I plan to cross stitch in a bit and relax until making supper. I’m taking today off from school work since I’ve been doing really well in that regard so far.

I’ve started taking my nursing classes. Right now I’m doing Human Anatomy. I had a minor freak out Tuesday, wondering if I was doing the right thing and how I was going to retain all of the information, but I’m doing really well. I’m surprised at how much I already know and how easily the rest of the pieces are sticking in my brain.

I think you would be proud of me. I’ve figured out college all on my own this time. I’m moving forward with my life. I don’t know if it’s the right direction. I don’t know where I’ll end up since I don’t really have an end goal, but I still think that you would be happy that I’m doing something with my self, for myself.

It makes me wish we could have conversations. You took all of these classes already. Jon’s taken them already. I would be able to… I don’t know what… be part of that world with you. We’re all in the medical field now, but you’re not here so we can’t talk about it. It sort of sucks. It’s like I figured it out too late or something. I know that’s not true, but there’s a part of me that feels like I missed out on something I’ll never be able to get back. There was an aspect of your life you couldn’t share with me because I wasn’t there yet.

Being back in school is hard, emotionally. I think I’ll be fine with the classes themselves. I’ve figured out how best to study for the one I’m in. But just like with everything else, steps forward are hard. They’re heavy and this step is no different but I think I’m coping better.

I have another flower for you. Another rose to mark what this day means for us. I’m sorry you’re not here. I’m sorry it still hurts. I’m sorry I’m still sad and that I still miss you. I’m sorry I don’t write or talk to you as often as I feel like I should. I know you’re still with me though. I still see you in my dreams sometimes and I can still feel your arms around me, hugging me when it feels like I’m alone and that giving up would be easier than struggling.

Thank you for being with me. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for being my friend and my mentor. Thank you for being my mother.

I love you, mom. Forever and for always.