Daily Post 103: Day Three In Vegas

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Third day.

We had steaks on the grill for dinner last night with shrimp. We played Zombiecide again with Jon. He finally made it here even though his luggage didn’t. That eventually got figured out but it was one hell of a trip for him to make it here.

He had a nine-hour layover in an airport that wasn’t open 24 hours. They didn’t give him a hotel voucher or any sort of food assistance even though all of the shops at the airport were already closed. He had to hide in a bathroom stall so security wouldn’t escort him off of the premises with nowhere for him to go.

Yeah. It sucked. It’s stories like that that make me not want to fly or go anywhere. And that’s not even touching on the PTSD that I still struggle with during takeoffs. It wasn’t as hard to breathe this time, but there were still the silent tears.

I don’t know what I am today in this moment. Sad, I think. It’s my last full day here. It’s only 11 am but it already feels like I’ve been awake for eternity. I had a hard time falling asleep last night and when I finally did get to sleep I had dreams though I can’t remember much about them.

I remember it was winter outside. There was someone standing in the doorway. A male. I remember having them come inside so the door could be shut and the warmth from the fireplace could stay inside. I remember feeling hesitant about that; about offering hospitality. There was a group of us around the fire, keeping the cold at bay, and now there was this stranger in such close quarters. It didn’t feel wrong, but it felt… awkward. One of those, “I’ve made my choice and now all I can do is see what happens.” Only I woke up so I’ll never know if I made a smart choice or not.

It wasn’t very restful sleep and so maybe that’s part of feeling like I’ve been up for forever.

It’s my last full day here. I leave tomorrow afternoon and get back to Nebraska around 8:30 followed by an hour drive home. Thursday I have training at 10 in the morning. Friday I have a full day of work. Saturday I have training at 9:30 am.

I don’t want to leave. Which is sort of stupid because if I didn’t want to be here then why do I not want to leave? Why does it have to be confusing? Why can’t it be easy?

I miss Ox. I’ll miss my brothers once I’m gone. I’ll miss my nephew and coloring with him and hearing his voice asking me to read him bedtime stories while I struggle with knowing mom’s picture is on his dresser.

It sucks and I wish everything wasn’t a confliction or a contradiction within myself.

I’m sort of tired of not doing anything. I’m sort of tired of not having a car even though there’s nowhere I really want to go. I’m tired of not having my soap and conditioner; my familiar scents. I’m tired of not having a cat to cuddle with. I’m tired of feeling like I don’t have a purpose or a goal and the more I thought about this writing the more I wanted to figure something out, something more than what I have since I’ve been here.

It’s the 14th. It’s officially six months since Ox and I started coexisting together. Forever fiancees I think is what we jokingly agreed to not long ago. It’s officially been one month since my Warrior Dash. Five months since I’ve become a CCHT. I don’t know if any of that means anything or has significance.

I want to figure out what it will take to begin classes. I want that figured out by the end of the week. I want to know what paperwork I need to fill out and what the general process will be. I want to know, officially, if I can start classes next semester or if I’ll have to wait until spring. I think that’s something I need to do. I think it’s a realistic goal to set. It’s a goal I feel resistance to, but only because it’s easier to do nothing than something.

I know I’ve wanted to go back to school. I know LPN will give me more options in the immediate future. I know I could get into it faster than the RN program. Hell, I could finish LPN before I could even start RN.

I know LPN could be a stepping stone to other things and that I don’t have to stay as only an LPN if I don’t want to. It gives me options. It opens doorways. I know it can give me a starting point for talking with advisors. I know it’s a step towards something rather than staying where I’m at in life, in my career, in my funk of what feels like purposeless living.

So official “Life/Carrer” goals; research the LPN program in Beatrice. Begin the application process. Set up a meeting with advisors once research has been concluded to a point where a meeting would be productive.

I know the last one is a bit nebulous, but until I do a bit of digging there’s not really a point in meeting with someone, and since I don’t know what information is out there I can’t be sure when I will feel a meeting is appropriate. It’s something I’ll have to have faith with. I’ve done this enough times to know the difference between being ready and not ready. The biggest issue will be not procrastinating on a meeting once I feel I’m prepared.

I want schooling. Schooling would be good for me, on multiple levels. It’s most likely more harmful to myself to not pursue school than to work through the emotional and phycological discomfort of continuing to progress with my life.

I’m not going to worry about the Vascular Access Manager or the Perceptor training at work. If I pick away at it, cool. If I don’t, fine. I work full-time hours. I don’t have to do extra on the side if I don’t want to. If I feel like stopping in at the clinic after the gym, I’ll go for it, but it won’t be, and never was, an obligation. I’ve been proving myself enough by covering all of the different shifts I have been, by holding the clinic together through all of the float nurses who can’t legitimately help on the floor. I don’t need to get another certification or skills checklist added to my teammate file that will only increase my responsibility with no compensation in pay.

It would be better for me to put that energy into schooling. So if I do the extra work stuff, cool. If not, cool. Not an obligation and not something I should let negatively affect my emotional state or sense of self-worth.

That leaves the health area of my life to contend with. Aside from mom’s death and the relationship with Ox in the wake of mom’s death, I think this is the biggest area I’m struggling with.

I don’t have a goal. I don’t have a focus. I’m merely doing and even at that, I don’t think I’m doing much of a good job.

I started the personal training as a way to add structure and routine back into my life after my move. I didn’t have anything making me go to the gym. The meetings with my trainer gave me that. It gave me a level of accountability with what I did at home and what I ate since he tracks my weight much more than any other person has.

In a way it’s good. In another way, it’s annoying.

If you yourself have no goal, then it’s frustrating to feel like you’re letting people down over nothing. I didn’t meet THEIR goal, but I don’t care about their goal. I only care about mine, only I don’t have any, so there’s nothing to care about.

I don’t really know how to fix this because I still don’t have a goal. I don’t want to weigh a certain amount. I don’t want to be a certain size. I think setting my goal to “be more consistent” isn’t solid enough to actually work for me. I also can’t guarantee how work will go so I don’t want to set a quantifiable number for my workouts because what happens on the weeks where shit hits the fan and I can’t make it? Well, then I’m a failure and my goal is fucked.

Not really helping to build me up there, Brain. Thanks.

I want to care more. I like that I have more definition in my body. I like seeing the changes that have already been made. I like the way I feel when I drink enough water or eat enough protein. I like not being tired after work and feeling like I can actually go to the gym for a workout even though I’ve already walked six miles within the confines of the clinic. I like the level of stress relief working out gives me.

So why has it been so hard to actually do it?

If I like all of these things, if there are so many pros to going to the gym and eating right, then why do I skip workouts and cave in and eat donuts when they’re on the counter or skip my snacks? I know those actions are self-destructive and won’t make me feel better, so why do I do them?

To that, I honestly have no answer. But I’m aware that I’m making those choices and so on some level at least I can say I know there’s an issue and that in itself is a big step. Knowing there’s a problem means you’re able to look for a solution.

If only I knew how to solve it.

I guess part of it is feeling like I’m on my own, which, in reality, I am. I’m the only one at home trying to eat clean. I’m the only one trying to get to the gym. I need to accept that if I’m going to do it, then to just do it, and stop caring as much about what goes on around me. Just because Mama Ox buys pop tarts and other stuff doesn’t mean I can or should eat them.

Firstly, it’s not my food. Secondly, it goes against what I’m trying to do. I want to be healthy. That type of food is very obviously not healthy. If it’s so easy to pick up a pop tart, then I need to make it even easier to opt for a healthier option instead. I need to not run low on MY food. I need to have the snacks I want and NEED to combat whatever ease or temptation there is in the house.

I don’t live alone. It’s not fair of me to say “don’t buy those things”. If I lived alone it wouldn’t be an issue, but I don’t, so I have to live with it and find a way to work around it. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean it’s setting me up for failure. It means I have to care and be dedicated to myself enough to choose the better option, which lately I haven’t and that’s purely on me. Those are my choices not lining up with my priorities.

So… Quantifiable goal… getting down to 20% body fat in the next… two months. Two extra workouts a week, minimum, in addition to my training sessions. Aside from being sick or bodily harm to me or someone in my circle, there’s no reason good enough to not go to training. Sadness isn’t a good enough reason to not go.

It doesn’t have to be a super crazy workout. It could be yoga. It could be my bike ride. It could be rowing or running. It could be a single class at the dojo or the SCA combat practice. Doesn’t matter, as long as I do something extra, out of the house, away from the computer.

I’ve been writing at the kitchen table, but now everyone is back home from the grocery store and the TV is on and it’s hard to focus on writing, so I guess I’ll end here and let my thoughts and goals simmer for a bit.

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Daily Post 101: Day One In Vegas

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It’s been a while since I’ve written. Surprise, surprise.

I’m in Vegas right now, visiting with my family. Jon will be here later tonight so at the moment it’s just me with Jason, Lio, and Jace.

The morning has been nice so far. I spent most of last night talking with my older brother. We stopped at a game store and rented a few games for us to play as a family once Jon gets here. Zombicide and Geek Out. They seem promising.

I slept fairly well last night. At least I slept deeply. It felt like much-needed sleep. The type of sleep where you don’t worry about having to get up to go to work where the RN will be the one to ask you if a code should be called or not because that totally happened on Friday, which is a story in itself.

It was the type of sleep where you realize you finally don’t have to hold up the rest of the world and you can put all of the burdens on your shoulders down and finally rest. The armor can come off. There aren’t battles for a few days. You can breathe and assess and take stock of where you are, how far you’ve come, and where you plan to go without life raining down bullets or fireballs of destruction on you while you try to do it.

I was worried about being here. I cried while Ox hugged me yesterday morning saying how there was part of me who didn’t want to go. I didn’t want to be here. Mom wouldn’t be here. With the constant demand of work and life, it’s I guess… easy… in a way to forget. You can glaze over the fact that things are different.

Here, there’s no way to hide or pretend. There’s an empty chair during dinner. There’s not the smell of cappuccino in the morning. There’s a voice missing. A hug that isn’t there.

My sister in law has already said how I look so much like mom. I’m worried about that. I’m worried it makes it harder for my brothers. It’s been a year and a half since I’ve been here. So much about the house has changed. The kitchen has been remodeled. The floors are hardwood. The garage floor has been redone. The outside has been repainted. But it still has the feel of “home”. It still has the feel that mom should be here, and she’s not. She’s missing. She will always be missing. Her absence will always be noticed and felt and known.

It will always be different and that made leaving hard. I don’t want it to be different. I don’t want to acknowledge the fact any more than I have to. Like with physical therapy, I know this trip was something I had to do, but there was such a part of me that didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to be here even though I wanted to see my brothers.

It does hurts but not as much as I thought it would. It’s not soul-crushing. It’s something I’m able to at least breathe through. I’m able to handle it even though there was part of me who thought I wouldn’t be able to.

My sister in law is doing a program with her gym so I’m eating decently. We’ve already shared a bunch of recipes with each other. I had thought my progress with my trainer would be completely blown for this week but it doesn’t seem like it will be that way. I might not do a bunch of working out, but since I wasn’t doing that anyway in Nebraska I don’t really think it will be that awful.

I didn’t go to training last Thursday. I didn’t want to.

I covered an extra shift at the Dodge County clinic in Fremont. I enjoyed it. I worked well with their team. They’ve asked me if I would be ok with coming back in the future to which I answered yes.

The schedule for next month came out before I left. I’m still in Beatrice three days a week. No Cap City swaps, at least not yet. I’m ok with that. I’m happy my schedule is still consistent and that I’m not going to be in a clinic that I don’t like. I’m glad I get to stay with my patients.

I’m working on Friday when I get back. Since all the clinics are so short staffed, they weren’t able to find a replacement for me. It was just going to be my FA and a float RN, the one who asked me if she should call a code for one of our patients.

While I was on my lunch break Friday, my FA came out and had a cigarette with me. I asked her if she wanted me to come in the Friday I get back. I told her I would be in town and I could come in if I was needed.

She said it wasn’t fair of her to ask me to give up more of my vacation when I already got screwed out of the first week I had wanted to take off. She said she believes vacations are important and she wanted me to have my time off.

I told her that I didn’t want to leave her screwed over. I didn’t want to leave my patients screwed. I didn’t want to come back Monday to ashes. I was going to be sitting at home Friday trying to play video games and stressing over the thought of shit hitting the fan by me not being there.

I said if she would prefer to have me at the clinic that I could be there.

She said she would definitely prefer to have me there rather than anyone else, so I’m going in, and honestly, I don’t feel bad or cheated out of anything by going in. They’re going to give me back the PTO I had already been approved for that day and let me work the floor instead.

I get back Wednesday night. I have Thursday to myself. I work one day before having a two-day break to meal prep and get my life back to normal and then I have a three day a week schedule with training on my off days.

I have my doctor’s appointment on the 30th for my insurance discount with work. I can potentially do the dojo membership now that I know what my schedule is. I can also talk to my FA about starting classes because the more I talk to people, the more I go to other clinics, the more I’m on my own at my own clinic, the more I feel like going further with school would be good for me.

I think I’ll want to start with the LPN program because that will give me more options in the beginning rather than having to wait two years to even begin the RN program. It’s something I would like to look into while I’m here on vacation and have the silence and space to research and think about it.

I don’t really know what else to say. I know it’s been so long since I wrote, but honestly, not a lot has happened. I’ve worked. I’ve eaten carbs that I shouldn’t have. I’ve not worked out like I’ve “wanted” to. I’ve been sad a lot for no real reason. I haven’t had alone time to figure out the emotions. I’ve been escaping into Final Fantasy a lot because it’s easier to play a game than to figure out life. Almost all of my professions are level 30. I didn’t put my clothes away until yesterday morning because it hasn’t felt worth it to actually do much of anything. My clothes weren’t killing anything by being in a basket for weeks and no one else cared so what was the point?

I don’t like feeling that way. I don’t like thinking those thoughts. I don’t like having tons of projects around me that are unfinished or un-worked on. Boxes are pilling up again. The kid’s shelves are a mess from when they were here for two weeks. They left without cleaning them up; all of my previous hard work undone. It’s hard to keep doing when it feels like the effort doesn’t matter or that it doesn’t make a difference.

Maybe part of the emotions is being burnt out.

I don’t know.

This may be one of the last times that I write on my Windows Surface. Jon might be buying it from me. I can’t say that I was ever in love with it, but I do have memories of writing on it while at Friendly Confines. It was the keyboard I typed on when I wrote for my first birthday without mom. The first Christmas without her.

It was with me for significant moments and so I do feel like there will be a sense of loss when I give it to my brother. It will be another moment of moving on, moving forward. It’s hard to not feel like forward is “away”. Logically, I know I’m not moving further away from mom, but that’s not what the emotions feel like sometimes.

I am still trying to figure out the “loving through separation” thing. I’ve never been good at long distance relationships. I’m too much of a touch-based person. I want my hugs, damnit. I want to feel the people I love. Which… now that I think about it, isn’t all that true.

I still love my brothers when we’re apart. I still have feelings for Big Bad and my blacksmith. I still love Sir, and Mother Earth even though that’s complicated and confusing. I still love my patients in Orlando and my friends in California.

I love so many people even though they’re not in my daily life. I love them regardless of distance and the time in-between when we talk or see each other.

So why is it so hard for me to grasp the concept that even though mom isn’t physically here, that we can still love each other across the distance that separates us and the time between we see each other?

Mom and I still love each other and Death can’t change that. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to remember that, or feel that during the hard days. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to believe it and for it to not feel like a lie and like I’m all alone sometimes.

I think overall that I’m doing well. I think the sadness and the hurt are things that I’m surviving and working through. I think this trip is what I needed and I’m glad I’m here even though there’s still a part of me who wants to hide in the guest room and cry. It would be a healing cry I think. An accepting cry.

I’m supposed to have a phone call with a former coworker from Orlando. I want to call Chrys and chat with her while I have time to as well. Other than that, there aren’t really plans for the day. Jason and I are thinking about going out to dinner before picking Jon up from the airport.

Aside from that, it’s a chillax day. A quiet day. A good day.

Daily Post 0100: Healing / Recouping

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Not much to report. I made it through Saturday. Having to work helped. I gamed most of Sunday. My character is almost to the point of getting her mount so I won’t have to run around like a peasant for much longer. Woo. Too bad there’s like… a billion hours worth of cutscenes to get through first because it’s Final Fantasy and every Final Fantasy game has a billion hours of cutscenes. ;-;

Right Brain: I don’t care about your storyline. Give me my mount damnit!

I woke up feeling less heavy today. I showered and had an egg sandwich, not caring about eating bread and how carbs are bad and blah blah blah. I wanted an egg sandwich so I had one. I wanted to cook a warm breakfast instead of heating up premade stuff in the microwave so I did it. It didn’t feel like a horribly heavy undertaking to “do” something, so I did what I felt would make me… content? Happy isn’t the right word and I’m not sure content is either.

It helped warm a part of me that’s been hurting for the last week or so. I did something familiar. The routine of cracking the eggs, adding garlic, toasting the toast as the eggs cook so things progress smoothly and efficiently. Unfortantently there wasn’t coffee made yet and I don’t like messing with the coffee maker since it’s not mine, but even without a cup of warm coffee, it was still a nice breakfast which I enjoyed.

The kids weren’t here. Papa Ox was in the computer room and even though Mama Ox was home since she’s not feeling well, she was in her room watching TV so I got to sit by myself at the dining room table instead of standing in the kitchen like I normally do. It was quiet and I… enjoyed my morning. Yes… I think enjoyed is the right word and though it’s not the first morning I’ve enjoyed since Saturday and Sunday were also enjoyable, it was the first time in a long time that I’ve been able to enjoy it alone. I enjoyed the solitude of it as much as I enjoyed eating something relatively healthy and warm and familiar and comforting.

I went to training today which is the main reason I ate breakfast. It went well. The beginning was rough since my muscles were stiff from not doing a whole lot since Thursday. By the end of my session, I was warmed up and ready to go. I was sort of disappointed when it had to end. It felt like I had just hit my stride. I can still go to the gym near home and run or do weights or a workout through one of the apps I have, and I might, but I’m also aware that right now my energy levels are very tentative and fickle and I don’t want to give myself an obligation that could turn around and make me feel bad later for not getting done. I would rather leave it open-ended and see how things go.

I’ve already put the clothes away. That happened before leaving for the gym since I needed to find workout clothes. It’s a nice feeling to know I’ve already been slightly productive this morning. The only thing I have left which  “should” get done is cooking the roast that I cut up for my breakfasts. Currently, I’m waiting for the oven to preheat all the way. From there it’s simply a matter of putting the roast in the oven and waiting. Not much else is required on my end. So, in theory, today should be a low key day, which I’m perfectly ok with and I think would do a lot for me as far as continuing to recover from the most recent struggle with my grief.

The kids are back now, so a lot of the whole recharge thing sort of depends on how occupied they’re able to keep themselves. There’s a part of me who knows that when they leave again I’ll be hard on myself for not being more involved. For not handling my introvertedness better. For not being a better parent even though I’m not one. It’s confusing, but in this moment, I’m ok with them doing their own thing while I do mine.

One of my patients had a seizure yesterday. It was the first time I was on the front line for an emergency situation. In Orlando, there was the rest of my team who had way more experience than me. It was easier for me to tend to the other patients, respond to machine alarms, prep for the next shift, and so on. I was more helpful by not being in the way and making sure everything else didn’t fall apart while my team members were busy handling whatever situation was going on.

At my current clinic, it’s just me and the RN. There isn’t anyone else. I have to help. So yesterday was my first experience of being involved rather than watching from a distance.

At the time it wasn’t scary. I think I handled it well. I feel like I was helpful. Once the situation was stabilized I went back to making sure everything else was taken care of. Post weights were charted. Machines were wiped down with bleach rags and reset for the next patient. I had done the most I could do so I went back to taking care of what needed to get done. I did what was within my scope of practice.

It wasn’t until I had finally driven home and called Jon that I broke down into tears. This particular patient is one of my favorites. He’s so quiet, but every once in a while there will be a joke and he’ll smile or give a small laugh and you know it’s genuine. It warms something inside me. I know he doesn’t want to be at the clinic. I know being on dialysis is hard for him. I could see it in his eyes every time his needles would act up in the beginning when his fistula was still new. The look of hopelessness. Of borderline despair that you have to keep hidden because you’re not at home and you can’t break down in front of people. You have to be strong and hold it together but you’re so tired of being strong and why can’t it just work? Why did it have to be you?

Getting him to smile means that I made his day just a little brighter. I made the whole situation a little less shitty.

I felt him not be there. The absence of whatever energy it is that people have within them. Using words like “feel” and “soul” are very INFJy and make me feel vulnerable because I know that leaves me open for people to say things like it’s in my head or not real. At the same time, I know myself and I know what I felt and coming home to process through the situation was something I needed to do even though it sucked.

I called Jon because I needed to talk to someone who could understand. I don’t have nursing friends. Most of the people I talk to aren’t in the medical field, and so when I need to talk about work stuff I don’t have much of a support network aside from my brother. I never got a chance to talk to mom about things like this because when she was an RN I was teaching Computer Animation and still passed out at the sight of blood. In a way, it’s humbling to realize how far I’ve come, how much I’ve changed, in such a short amount of time.

While I was on the phone with Jon he mentioned that I most likely really wanted to talk to mom right now, to which I answered yes. I wanted to ask her how she did it. How many times did she come home and cry over a patient dying or having a shitty diagnosis? How many times did I not know she was having a hard day, a shit day that there was nothing anyone could do to make it better because sometimes that’s just life? As a healer, you can only do so much. Everyone is still mortal and to an extent, you have no control over anything. All you can do is your best and understand that even though it doesn’t feel like enough, it is.

I want to have her perspective and insight and I can’t. I can never have answers to those questions now and it sucks. At least, I can’t have her answers and those are the ones I truly want.

Jon said he was the second best I could get. He didn’t mean it in a bad way even though second best sounds bad. He was being honest and he’s a pretty damn good second best. We both understand no one will ever be able to beat mom. Ever. That’s just the way it works, and he gets it because I’m the same way. He calls me when he wants to talk to mom because I’m the closest he has just like he’s the closest I have.

He said he’s never been in a situation like what I was in, but having been a CNA on an oncology floor, he’s seen patients go from “good to dead” as he worded it, so while he doesn’t know the exact feelings of watching someone you care about experience a seizure, in a way he understands the feelings of “why this person?”

It helped to talk with him. It helped to hear him say that it sounded like I kept my cool and did what needed to be done and that in his opinion I handled the situation professionally. It helped to hear his voice and to move on to talking about normal life and what he’s been up to and our upcoming trip.

By the time I was off the phone I was more ok with going back inside and figuring out dinner and being around the family without having the weight of “no one knows about this thing I went through today”. Aside from Ox and Jon, no one here knows still and I don’t think it really matters. It’s not their job. It’s not their life or their burden. I was still able to sit down at the table and have dinner and smile and joke to the degrees I was able to without it feeling forced or soul-crushing. I was able to handle the situation at work, but also make peace with it in my personal life and I think that’s the biggest thing. I’m at peace with the situation and it’s not eating away at something inside me.

Ox and I are doing well I think. We’ve had some deep conversations since my race. I don’t know what else to say on that topic. He put the butcher block onto the rolling cabinet yesterday. The pull out drawers that I had bought won’t work the way we want them to, so at some point, I need to return them. I’ve kept the receipt just in case something like this happened, so hopefully, I’ll be able to get my $100 back. Now that we know how tall the cabinet is, we can make the counter to go above it. That will be the last stage of this particular project for the time being.

Ox has agreed to let me make an Excel sheet/budget thing for his monthly expenses, similar to what I have for mine. I’m not sure why, but there are warm feelings associated with that. Trust maybe. He trusts me enough to let me know about his finances rather than keeping that area of our lives hidden from one another. Less walls maybe. More openness and transparency.

One of our conversations over the weekend was how I am spending the money he’s paying me back with to buy food for the house. To him, it seems counter to his intentions. He says the money is supposed to be mine. It’s supposed to be used for my tattoos or things for me, not being invested back into providing for everyone.

In my head, it’s not fair of me to not spend the money in such a way when I’m staying aat the house rent free. What’s $50 or so in groceries when I’m not charged for the electricity to power my computer so I can sit and play video games instead of unloading the dishwasher?

That led to a conversation about him giving money to help with the groceries, which I was uncomfortable with. That led to introspection about why it made me uncomfortable which led to another conversation while he was on his lunch break today.

I’m glad that all of our conversations are that; conversations, discussions. Not fights or yelling or cursing. It makes it easier to have conversations about touchy topics. It makes it feel safer even though the fear and mild anxiety are still there. It’s easier to pacify the hurt aspect of myself, the part that’s been mistreated through so many relationships, when there’s so much data to support that this one is different from my past.

It’s been almost six months, and though there are things we’re still working through and figuring out, that’s six months of stability and acceptance and discussions and support and troubleshooting and problem-solving.

I think Ox and I are ok, and I think we’ll continue to be ok and that’s a nice feeling in a weird way that I’m not really used to anymore, but it’s one I want to continue to experience.

I’ve been eating more consistently. I’m still taking care of my chores and bills. I still need to drink more water, but I always need to drink more water so meh on that one.

Overall I think I’m healing and recovering the best I can from this latest wave of grief. I made it through it. I’m still here. I still don’t have answers and I still don’t have a goal I’m consciously working towards, but things are less heavy and pointless feeling which is sort of odd because I still don’t have a point for doing them so doesn’t that keep them in the pointless category?

Annoying brain is annoying. /sigh

I don’t want to say that I’m on the upswing, or that things or good or going better.

I feel less injured. I feel like I’m recovering. Those words have a different connotation than good or better. I’m healing. And right now, I’m ok with that.

Daily Post 087: Kittens Make Everything Better

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Today was a day. Most of it sucked but there were moments of awesomeness that I feel I do need to put into writing so I can appreciate them after I’ve slept.

It started by waking up this morning. I didn’t sleep well last night so I woke up tired. It started with remembering that today was “The Day”. The day the schedule changed at work. The day that was full of new and unknown. It was the day I wasn’t looking forward to and I spent most of the morning mildly dreading the moment where I would have to get into my car and drive myself towards what I knew would be structured chaos.

It’s also the start of “The Week”. The week where I get back on top of my health goals. It’s the Monday where I start tracking what I eat and watching my carbs and counting my protein. It was the first morning of eating my breakfast rice. I want to modify it a bit next week but overall it wasn’t bad. I had my Bang energy drink along with my decongestant pill. I had my cigarette with Ox.

I was going to survive today. And with that mentality, I trudged to my car and drove through the dark to work.

I never realized how bright the moon can be until I moved to Nebraska. It’s just past the full moon so it’s still fairly large. Large enough to make the 4am darkness not feel so dark.

I made it to work at my normal time, pulling into the parking lot at the same moment my FA did. We both went into the clinic where an A-Level alarm was going off for our water system…

Not an ok start to my day, Universe. Thanks…

The alarm was for water temperature which is a big deal because the water system itself is ridiculously expensive and sensitive. If the water gets too hot things can break or not function or deteriorate too much… it’s just bad juju.

We ended up getting that sorted out but at the cost of time. Instead of being able to walk into work and just do my thing we had to wait roughly 20 minutes before being able to really move forward with things. We recovered, thankfully, but then patients started showing up. Of course one of the first ones ended up being late and running into other people’s time. A few other patients had problems with their accesses… By the time everyone was on I was ready for a break from the floor.

I guess it was noticeable because Mrs. K asked me if I was ok. I said I was tired and homesick, which is now my secret way of admitting to grieving. It’s easier to say “I’m homesick” than to explain that I miss my mom and that mom was always “home” and that I just really want to hear her voice or feel her hug me one more time.

Mrs. K said that if there was anything she could do to let her know. She also took that moment to let me know that she enjoyed working with me. She said that I’m a hard worker.

It made me feel good because the last time we worked together I felt like I didn’t hold my own. I felt like she did way more than me and that she must think I’m a slacker. Hearing her words helped a little, but not enough to make me not dread the coming change over.

I took my morning break, eating one of my almond bars. All too soon I had to go back to the floor.

Change over was rough. Mentally. Physically. By the time our last patient showed up, our super non-compliant one, I was done. I didn’t have it in me to chit-chat with him and pretend to be cheerful. I just wanted to do my job and go have lunch because I was starving.

Mrs. K came over and said I was awesome. I had made sure all of the machines were set and all of the documentation was caught up because that’s another big part of my job. While she was nearby I asked if I could request a huge favor. I asked if she could initiate the treatment for Mr. Non-compliance.

She said she would; that she didn’t mind. It allowed me a break from everyone. It let me catch up on all of the PCT tasks I hadn’t been able to get around to. When she asked if she could go to lunch first I didn’t mind. When I went to lunch I had my chef salad and messaged Sir since I had an email regarding him.

That led to a conversation that didn’t help my day. I don’t want to go into details. I really, really don’t. At the same time, this is something frustrating that I need to write about.

I’m not going to let my blog, my dairy, create more drama in my life than it already has. I say and write what I write. While the meaning to me may be clear in the moment of my writing, I have often gone back and reread my own posts and have seen first hand how words can be confusing or seem as if something else was meant or implied.

So… Just for clarification; when I said I was done with Orlando, I meant I was done with the tasks I still needed to take care of. Things like getting off the lease or switching over the internet account or getting my stuff from Warren. Things like figuring out why my CPR certification wasn’t in my teammate file or contacting my old FA. My “to-do” list no longer has anything regarding Orlando on it, so, in my mind, that means I’m done with Orlando.

I’m not done with the people there. I’m not never visiting. I don’t think the state should go burn in hell and everyone along with it. But, in a way, I am done, so that’s what I said in my post.

And just like with the Orlando section of my to-do list, I’m done writing about this moment in my day. I’ve written about it. I’ve acknowledged it. There’s nothing further I wish to say about it on here. I feel like anything more would be petty on my part, not that I don’t feel like it’s already slightly petty but I don’t know what to do.

This blog is supposed to by my spot. My area. I’m supposed to be able to write freely here about whatever I want, however I want. I don’t want to feel like I can’t because other people react to it in whatever way they do.

I hate how I feel like I have to edit the one area of my life that I still have as an emotional outlet. I don’t have the dojo. I don’t have my mom. Let me have my blog.

The rest of the day was itself. It didn’t get better. It didn’t really get worse either. It tried to be on par with an average day at my Orlando clinic and it almost succeeded. Almost.

I racked up 6.2 miles on my Fitbit with over 4000 calories burned. I’ve started wearing it again to get a feel for an average day. It’s more information I can take to my trainer tomorrow.

I had thought to workout after work, but those plans quickly faded early in the day. The only thing I wanted was to be alone, so even the thought of going home made me want to break down and cry in my car.

Jon had tried calling me during the day, so once I was off the clock and in my car giving myself a high five for not actually breaking down, I called him back.

We chatted for a while. It felt good to bitch about my day to someone who understands. He got to tell me about his day and how he’s doing in school. It helped me feel more ok about going home. More like I could do it.

When I got home Ox was waiting on the front porch. I like it when I come home like that. The first thing I see is him. I get a hug before I even get inside the house. I’m able to decompress outside before crossing the threshold. None of the badness can follow me inside. It’s not allowed to.

We stayed outside for a while, me explaining my day and all of the frustrations that went with it. He listened, never making me feel bad or that I was blowing things out of proportion. I know a lot of today’s overwhelm comes from being tired, but it was still a rough day regardless of that fact.

Eventually, we went inside the house. I had two 1/4 burger patties. I’m still about 2000 calories under so there’s that going for me.

I’m tired. I’m fed. I have training in 12 hours. I’ve been approved to work at the clinic tomorrow by myself so I can start tackling the NFACT training I want to do. That means I’ll get a bit of overtime this week.

I got my paycheck figured out today. At least partially. so there’s that.

I did well today. Even if it was a lame day, I did well.

Even Mr. Non-compliance wasn’t all that bad. He told me he was talking with my FA and mentioned how he really liked me because I was kind and sweet and how my FA said that she really liked me, too. That I’m a good worker and she’s glad to have me on the team.

There were good moments in my day. I got to talk to two people who matter to me, even if it was only via the phone. I got to come home to a safe place, even if it doesn’t always feel safe from an introverted standpoint.

I don’t want to go to sleep thinking today sucked when it really didn’t, so I’m not going to.

Today was rough, and I survived. The schedule won’t be as new on Wednesday and I’ve set the clinic how I want it prepped. No other techs will need to be at the clinic from this point on so I won’t have to rely on someone else to do things the way I want them done. I’ll know what I’m walking into. Hopefully, on Wednesday there won’t be an A-Level alarm going off so the day can start properly. Normally. Smoothly.

Today was a start. A rough one, but any start is better than no start.

Oh… and kittens… because kittens make everything better.

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Daily Post 082: Recap Attempt #2

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Hey mom,

I didn’t start crying when I typed that. Go me.

I want to finish telling you about my week since I wasn’t able to finish it last night. I was crying through most of my writing so when the internet crapped out on me I figured it was the Universe saying that I had had enough for the day.

But there’s still so much that’s happened and a lot of it is really good and I really need to tell you about the good stuff.

 


 

Friday – April 6th

Friday was another day where I worked. I was pretty sick and I knew working was going to suck. I also knew it was a shorter day than if I had been in Orlando and that I would tough it out.

I ended up getting a text message from my new FA. She needed me to update some of my personal information in the company’s system, specifically my address, because she was having issues moving me over from Orlando to Beatrice. While we were texting she said I was approved for the Step Up program which will be another boost to my wage.

That’s three raises within a month, mom.

FA: You are a FANTASTIC addition to our team and I want to make sure we do everything possible to show you how much we are so glad to have you! 🙂

I’m doing good. It’s not just BS inside of my head. I’m excelling and I’m actually getting compensation for it. I might be able to break that $15 mark that has been haunting me. I make less than when I started teaching at Full Sail still. Because I make less I’m failing; taking steps backward in Life.

I save lives every day I work and yet I’m failing.

I know that’s not a healthy way to look at it, but if I could just make what I started at I would feel like I’m at least back at square one. I would feel like I’m out of some intangible hole of darkness that is eroding away the success of my life.

I’m close to being there. So close. And I’ve earned it. It wasn’t handed to me.

I guess that’s what makes it so… vindicating. As a first-year tech I “shouldn’t” have gotten a raise during my yearly review, but I did because my FA thought I did amazing. I passed my national certification because I studied and proved that I knew what I needed to know. I’m approved for the 12-month increase in this program because I’m a competent technician who meets the program’s requirements.

I got myself here. I’ve earned these things and I’ve earned them because you raised me to be who I am. These accomplishments are ours, mom, not just mine and I’m so happy that I can tell you about them. I’m glad that I achieved them even though you died. I’m glad I can say that I’m doing well and it’s not just words or lies or half-truths.

They’re full truths.

The day at work was still brutal, but it wasn’t as bad after getting the messages from my FA.

Ox got his kids for the weekend so I was bombarded by an eight-year-old when I got home from work. You would love her. She’s adorable. I wish you were here to tell me how to be a parent. I wish I knew how you did it when you were tired from work and wanted to be alone. I wish you were here to tell me that I’m doing well. All I can do is try to be a parent like you were to me. You are my example, mom, and I feel pretty lucky to have had you for as long as I did.

I didn’t sleep well that night. Things didn’t feel right between Ox and I because of the money issue. He said everything that everyone else has said. “I’m sorry.” “I’ll pay you back.” “I’m not like the rest of them.”

He said everything I didn’t want to hear which instigated the feelings of “not ok-ness”. I ended up sleeping on the couch for most of the night and only part of that had to do with being sick. I needed the space. At the time I didn’t know how long it would take to come to terms with our situation. All I knew was that I wasn’t ok and I needed to be alone to figure it out.


Saturday – April 7th

I worked again. I was still sick but not as much as I was the previous day. The morning was rough because things still didn’t feel ok between Ox and I. We still had our cigarette together. He still hugged me before I went to work. I wanted to magically fix things to be the way they were before he asked me for the money, but I couldn’t. I had to go to work wanting to say more but not knowing how to.

It was a short day at work, so all I had to do was survive, which I did.

I messaged Warren to see if he had had a chance to take care of the internet account. Not surprisingly, I didn’t get a message back from him.

I also found out that the work schedule had changed and that I didn’t have Monday off like I had thought. No. I had to work Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Four days in a row.

I was glad I found out about the change. I also realized I was sort of fucked on the introvert side of things. The kids were going to be leaving Monday morning so I wouldn’t have any time to recover or prep for the coming week. I was going to have to hobble through the week using duct tape and super glue and hope that things got better not only with my sickness, but with Ox and me, and I knew that wasn’t going to happen unless I talked to him, which I wasn’t ready for.

After surviving work, I went home and celebrated… I need a code name for Ox’s daughter still… but anyway, I celebrated her birthday. She turned eight. That was a bright moment in the day even though I was tired.

I went to sleep early that night still feeling disconnected from Ox.


 

Sunday – April 8th

I had Sunday off, thankfully. I spent most of the day sleeping and trying to feel better for the four days ahead of me. I messaged Warren again in the morning asking him to please reply to me. By the evening I still hadn’t heard from him so I sent another message.

Me: Dude. I get being busy and shit but this is stupid. All I want is to know what’s going on since I’m still getting emails from Spectrum.

Maybe that wasn’t the best way for me to handle the situation, but I had pretty much had it with feeling disrespected and ignored. I know from having lived with him for over a year that he’s glued to his phone and that he’d seen my messages. I know you would be on my side with this, mom. He’s being a jerk and that would sadden you. Maybe you would be able to talk sense into him if you were still here.

I got to text with my blacksmith and Big Bad a bit on Sunday, too. I miss both of them but I also enjoy the life that I have here.

I want the future that’s here and that makes things painful. The tentative plans at the moment are for me to visit Jason and Jon towards the end of August. If I visit Orlando I will want to visit my old clinic. I will want to see Nicole and Warren and a few other select people. I’ll want to visit the dojo and roll with the guys again. And there’s a part of me who will want to have a quiet cup of coffee with Big Bad or a hug from my blacksmith.

I still care about them. I can’t not remember how much they helped me heal and grow during the first year after your death. I don’t know what to do with those feelings right now other than to know that they’re there. I guess that’s something I’ll have to come back to and meditate further on.

I feel like I should be making a list of things I need to think about and figure out. I feel like that’s a theme I’m constantly writing right now. “I need to figure it out. I need to meditate on it.” Maybe I’ll actually get around to figuring all of that shit out at some point.

I went to sleep early again since I had work the next day. I wasn’t even remotely ready to go back in but I also knew I didn’t have a choice. I’m the only PCT for the clinic at the moment. No one else could cover me short notice like that even though I was googling the symptoms of pneumonia.


 

Monday – April 9th

I don’t remember much about work on Monday. I know I made it there. I know I worked. I’m pretty sure I started feeling better the longer the day wore on.

I stayed late that day to do the steps I needed to do to be reimbursed for all of the work expenses I’ve had. I wasn’t able to submit the report, but I got most of it figured out.

Ox and I talked about the money situation when I got home. Or rather, I finally admitted that I wasn’t ok with it. I’m glad we talked. I’m glad he shared his side of the situation with me; specifically his emotions and his reasoning.

I admitted that I was worried about permanently damaging us by letting him borrow the money because now all of those icky feelings are part of our dynamic. The fear of not being paid back. The fear of being used. The feeling of loss over something that I worked hard to earn. The fear that this was a test that I should have said no to and now things are ruined for forever because I can’t let things go.

I cried. We hugged it out. We agreed all we can do is prove to each other through actions that we’re not our exs. In this situation, that means waiting to see how things play out, and that sucks, but I think we’re better for having talked to each other. And I guess I should really rewrite that to say, I’m glad I manned up enough to voice my feelings rather than keeping everything bottled up where it could fester and get worse.

I know we ended up having sexy time that night and I think that helped, too. With being sick and working and the kids being there, we hadn’t had much time to be affectionate towards each other. I’m sure the distance between us didn’t help the money issue feel any better.

The sex helped me feel more connected and grounded. And totally going to have a girl moment and say I slept amazingly well that night because yes. Just… yes. And I know that if we were actually talking, sitting on the couch with Law and Order reruns playing in the background that you would have some silly, quick-witted remark that would have us both cracking up.

I know that you would be/are happy that I finally have a stable relationship with open communication where I can talk through my fears and still be ok. I can admit that I’m not happy with something and have it not be the earth-shattering end I’ve grown to associate with voicing my feelings. I think you would be pleased that it brought Ox and I closer together and that we’re stronger for this challenge we’re being faced with.


 

Tuesday – April 10th

Of all of the days that could have turned into a clusterfuck of disaster, it was this day.

I overslept and was late for work. >.<;

I ended up sleeping on the couch a little bit after sexy time. I was coughing a lot and sleeping elevated seems to help me breath better. So I took some pillows out with me around midnight and left my phone in the room and fell asleep. I wake up at 3 am for work so I can have an unrushed shower and breakfast before getting dressed.

So imagine how screwed, and not in a good way, I felt when I woke up fairly rested, tiptoeing into the bedroom to see what time it was and realizing it was 4:15, I’m supposed to be to work at 4:30 and I have a thirty-ish minute drive to get there and I’m still in night clothes…

*queue cold, sinking feeling of despair in the pit of my stomach as the death of my work life flashes before my eyes*

I totally didn’t shower. I threw things into my lunch box. I don’t even remember what it was. Ox was super apologetic. When my alarm had gone off he assumed I was already in the shower since I wasn’t in bed. He filled my water bottle for me as I dashed around trying to in some way salvage the morning. Of course, the only number I didn’t have was the number for the RN I was scheduled to work with that morning so there was no way to let her know I was running late.

Fuck my life. Seriously, mom, I thought I was so dead. I thought I had ruined the day and there was no recovery.

Surprisingly I made it to work by 5 am. The RN was super chill. She sent me a text as I was driving so I was able to call her and explain the situation. She said not to worry, that we would be fine and we were.

I was able to do the water checks like I needed to do. We got the clinic set up and everyone on the machines at their scheduled times. It was a surprisingly smooth day. While I was on my break, having my cup of coffee, I took a moment to take a picture of the sunrise because that’s one of the things I love about where I work now.

Even with the craziness of the morning and the fear and anxiety of having royally fucked everything to hell and back, I was able to have a moment of quiet, peaceful serenity that made everything worth it.

The move. The goodbyes. The change of everything. The sickness. Even the mad dash to repair the morning. This picture, this moment, and every moment I’m able to have where I can reflect on where I was and where I’ve been able to bring myself, makes me remember that it’s worth it.

 

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I ended up getting a reply from Warren later in the day explaining that his phone has been messed up since the latest OS update. He explained the situation with the Internet account. He didn’t say anything about my spare key or about paying me back, but at least he replied to my messages finally. I’ll tackle all of that when I feel like dealing with more excuses and BS.

I messaged my FA about my expense report since the system wouldn’t let me submit it. I have to have a person to send it to for approval and it won’t let me enter my FA’s name. I think it’s because I’m still listed in the system as being in Orlando. She’s looking into the issue for me so I’m hoping that will get resolved.

I came home and took close to a three-hour nap and it was amazing. When I woke up I made dinner. It turned out really good and it left me with leftovers to take to work for lunch the next day since meal prepping didn’t happen over the weekend.

That night was another night of incredible sexy time.

I know… two nights in a row. My brain can’t even.


 

Wednesday – April 11th

I woke up tired. #noRegrets

I also found out that one of the cats sprayed all over my clean scrubs…

I ended up rewearing the ones from the previous day. Aside from that small hiccup in the morning, the day went smoothly at work. I emailed our AA and requested more things for the clinic.

This was the day that I think I’ve found my direction at work, mom.

I was going through a couple of the notebooks because it seemed like they were redundant. While I was combining them, I found the criteria to become a Vascular Access Manager (VAM). It made me realize that because our clinic is so small, we most likely don’t have a VAM and that if I did this training I could fill that role.

It got me thinking about the different things I already know about, like becoming an “expert cannulator”, which would be more training. It got me to thinking about becoming an LPN instead of going all the way with RN. I want to stay in a tech role while being able to be more helpful to the nurses I work with. LPN gives me that. At least I think it does. It’s something I want to talk to my FA about at least to see what I could potentially be doing to continue to grow.

I don’t know. I just… allowed my self to think about the future. I let my mind wander over what it would be like… What would it be like if I stayed at the clinic for a year? Two years… a lot of years?

I like the thought of being a core person there. Someone who’s knowledgeable and important and… I don’t know… I like the thought of having some sort of “ownership” over it. It’s “my” clinic.

I clean and stock the treatment floor. I know our first MWF patient has a tape allergy and only likes the plastic tape. The fourth patient doesn’t want to walk out with gauze on her arm. She likes bandaids instead. I know the fifth patient on TTS likes her chair pushed all the way back and the screen of her machine turned to block the sun when it rises.

I want to be the best I can be for my patients because I’m the only tech they have. I want to be the best I can be because they deserve to have the best. I’ve listened to their stories, at least as much as we’ve been able to share in the two-ish months that I’ve been working there.

I’m not burnt out anymore, or at least I’m on the road to recovery from it. I like the idea of staying at the clinic. My patients inspire me to be the best version of me I can be. I think you would get a kick out of that, mom. We never thought I would be able to do anything medical because of how I used to pass out at the sight of blood, and now look at me. Little Ms. Dialysis Technican stabbin’ people with needles and shit.

I know you’re proud of me and that you’re thrilled that I touch the world in the way I do now. I never saw my life here.

While I was going through the binders I found the old phone sheet for the clinic. It was a list of all of the teammate’s cell phone numbers, only, over half of them didn’t work at the clinic anymore. Not a very helpful phone sheet…

Since the day was going so smoothly I ended up recreating the phone sheet, structuring it better. I removed the old names and numbers and added the new ones, like mine, that needed to be added. I also added the phone and fax numbers for our “sister” clinics in Lincoln along with the numbers for the FAs and AAs because those are important numbers, too.

Towards the end my RN came over and looked at what I was doing. She said I was way more ambitious than her. I told her that I enjoyed making documentation like that and that my second degree was in Digital Graphics. It was a wonderfully creative outlet which continued the positive energy the day had generated within myself.

I will say that even though I felt good about it, there was a part of me that wanted to downplay what I was doing.

Me: Oh… it’s nothing… really… all I did was open a resume template in Word 2013, delete a bunch of stuff, and then type in the information I wanted… It’s not like I “did” much of anything…

Also Me: You’re a fucking bawce. You know who else updated the phone list? No one. That’s who. You will take your praise and compliments and you will like them!

Once the clinic was closed up for the day I drove home. I changed into comfy clothes and dyed my hair. Mama Ox brought home Chinese food for dinner so no one had to cook. I rewashed my clothes because the cats are jerks.

Ox gave me part of the money he owes me since Wednesdays are paydays for him. He was originally going to give me $100 but I wouldn’t take all of it. I only want $50 payments.

That $50 is already the most anyone has ever paid me back. I don’t want him to limp by the rest of the week because all of his spare money went to paying me back. The relationship is two halves. I don’t want my other half to suffer needlessly. We’re not going anywhere. It doesn’t matter if it takes two months to pay me back instead of one. I would rather it take two and have us both be content and ok, rather than be paid back in a month and my other half be stressed and not ok.

We’re doing ok and I’m more secure in feeling like it’s ok to believe I will actually get my whole $400 back because he is actively paying me back as he can.

It was a good night. I washed the dye out of my hair and crawled into bed. Sexy time didn’t happen but that’s ok. I think my brain would have broke if we had gone three nights in a row.

I did end up sleeping on the couch again. Even though I’ve been feeling better the past three days now, I seem to keep getting coughing fits and last night was one of those times.


 

Thursday – April 12th

And here we are at today. All caught up for the most part.

Today was was my fourth day in a row at work and for all of the stress I put on getting the clothes washed so I could have clean stuff to wear, wouldn’t you know I completely forgot to pack socks in my bag this morning… I ended up wearing my gym shoes all day at work, which got me a lot of comments since they’re the Vibram toe shoes I’m not supposed to be wearing… but it was either those, my sandals, or barefoot because there wasn’t a chance in hell I was wearing my work shoes without socks again.

I took the CWP out of its disinfect cycle. I’m getting more comfortable with my routines at work and how they fluctuate through the week.

The bins I asked to be ordered should be in tomorrow so I’ll be able to play with them at work on Monday. I’m looking forward to that.

One of the doctors made rounds on the patients today, so one of them ran for six hours instead of his normal five. That sucked, but it left me with time to continue making notes and lists of things I want to bring up in our clinic meeting this coming Tuesday.

Once work was over I went to the gym again. I ran and did more upper body work. I picked up a sheet for personal training. I’ve been thinking about that a lot and how to mesh my personal routines with work.

I think I’m going to request to always have Monday’s off. That would give me a day alone before having to go back to work. During the weekend Ox’s parents are home so it’s awkward for me to meal prep or do any of the chores I want to do. And I realize that’s mostly all just inside my head but I feel weird. Everyone else is playing computer games or watching tv and here I am being Ms. Productive and making them feel like slackers. Or… since I’m up and they’re up… having to have actual conversations with people while I’m in my introvert mode… Don’t mind me while I go to the backyard and dig my own grave because that seems more appealing than actually talking to a human right now.

It doesn’t help that every other weekend the kids are here so it’s even harder to do chores or to get to sleep early enough for work since I wake up so incredibly early compared to everyone else.

I also want to start looking at maybe taking a class or two at one of the community colleges. That might be a little tricker, but it’s something I have the motivation to do, and something that would be easier to accomplish with a more set schedule.

Consistently having Monday off would give me a day where I would be alone for most of the day so doing chores and stuff wouldn’t be an issue. I could actually look at having personal training again as well since there would be at least one day I could guarantee a consistent time to meet. Training, ideally, would give me something to do in the morning that would force me out of bed, which has been an issue I’ve noticed for my days off. On my days off I tend to not do much which allows the apathy and sadness a foothold.

Having Monday to myself would ensure that my weeks reset fully. Laundry, meal prep, writing, planning, mapping everything out so I at least have a battle plan that can be modified as needed.

I think I’ve proven myself enough at work that I can ask for a “me” day and get it. I didn’t mind working four days in a row. Even with all of the unashamedly sleepless nights that I’ve had I made it through all of my days with energy to take care of what I needed to.

I’m going to see if I can talk to my FA alone after the meeting on Tuesday and see if something like that can be worked out. I think that would make work as close to perfect as human existence can allow it to be.

I’ve eaten dinner. I got to talk to Kyle a bit. He’s still not able to pay me anything back, but it was nice to be able to chat with him and to hear his voice.

Ox is home from a long day at work. It’s supposed to snow eight inches on Saturday. And I don’t have to go to work tomorrow.

I’m glad I wrote all of this, mom. I’m glad that I didn’t cry through all of it. Not even most of it. I’m glad there was so much positive to tell you about.

I still miss you. I still feel that hurt, that ache. But I’m still going on because I know that’s what I’m supposed to do right now. I’m still going to the gym. I’m still eating healthy. I’m still trying to learn things and to help people. I’m still striving to be a daughter you can be proud of.

I love you, mom. I miss you. I love you, forever and for always. Thanks for listening to me and for being there for me; through all of it. The good. The bad. The new. The scary. Thank you, so much, for loving me and for helping to make me who I am.

I’ll talk to you later.

Daily Post 075: On to a New Week

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Things continue to move in a forward direction.

All last week Ox had his kids. I also worked all last week which wasn’t as much of a struggle as I thought it would be what with having 3 am wake up times for my days.

I went to bed shortly after supper and for the most part was able to get enough sleep to make it through my days, which weren’t nearly as rough as what I was used to in Orlando.

I took my certification test on Wednesday. The drive to Omaha was nice and sunny and I listened to music the whole way to the testing center. I pulled off the interstate to have lunch at an Arby’s which was nice. Ox was on break so we were able to chat for a bit before I continued the last ten minutes of my trip.

I got there about an hour and a half early. Luckily, they let me take my test early so I didn’t have a lot of time to sit and stew.

There were a lot of case study questions. That meant there were a lot of questions with more than one right answer, but you’re supposed to know the “more right” answer. Those were frustrating.

I passed with a 70 something. There’s part of me who wants to feel bad about that. I should be passing with 90s and shit. I should be the best of the best and a total bawce.

The larger part of my self is happy that I get to keep working and that I’ll be reimbursed the two hundred dollars I spent for this test. The larger part of me remembers mom saying “C = RN” while she was taking her classes to get her nursing degree. The larger part of myself remembers Warren encouraging me while I was in Orlando by saying, “What do you call a doctor who got straight Ds while he was in school? You call him Doctor.”

I’m doing well at my clinic. I opened the water room under the supervision of the other tech last Friday. I plan to do it again tomorrow morning and the rest of the mornings this week since I’m still in training. I’m getting more comfortable with the patient population at the clinic. I’m setting things up the way I want them to be so I know where they are and so things are organized. I have a list of ideas to suggest to my FA when we have our clinic meeting.

I’m a good tech. I would rather not let a 150 randomly generated question test make me feel bad about myself. By national standards, I passed. If they wanted to require a 90 to be passing then they should change the requirements. According to them, I’m good enough.

I guess at some point I should let that be good enough for myself as well and stop looping over this moment in my head.

I don’t feel bad, but I don’t feel good either. There was nothing done to mark it. No celebration. No phone call to mom. It’s just a thing that was supposed to be important that happened but nothing followed it so it feels incomplete I guess and I don’t know what to do to complete it.

It’s something internal, so only I can figure it out, I just haven’t yet and I don’t know if I’ll really get around to it this week. I guess that really depends on how much time I take to reflect on things now that the kids aren’t here. It’s hard to be reflective when you have a seven-year-old constantly wanting to do things.

One positive thing to note about work is that the RN I worked with on Friday said that I was doing well and that I would be a good fit for the clinic. That was a warm fuzzy moment. It’s always nice to hear positive support when things are still nebulous and sort of iffy in my head.

Oh. On the subject of work… Dialysis technicians are now required to be part of a registry, like CNAs and RNs. That means there was another fee I had to pay for an application I had to fill out with a bunch of other paperwork I had to submit.

I did all of that on Saturday since I wanted to run into town for craft stuff. It’s nice to have it off of my to-do list, though another thing has been added to it since apparently, my CPR certification isn’t in my teammate file… yeah… the one that I had to stay for since the American Red Cross one I had wasn’t good enough for my company…

I’ve already reached out to my trainer from the Star Learning program to see if it can be located because that’s why I was so exhausted for Allion’s wedding. I had to stay for that class before I could drive the six hours to be in South Caroline to be her maid of honor before driving back to be in Orlando on time for my first day of training… I know I got that f’ing certification and I want it f’ing found… please.

I also got a text message from my FA in Orlando this afternoon asking for me to call him when I had a moment. I’ve successfully not replied to that message all day today. It was my first day alone. There wasn’t a chance in hell of me doing anything work/obligation related. I have a short day tomorrow so I plan to pick back up the adulting mantle and figure out what else is about to hit the fan.

One more positive note regarding work… I hadn’t realized how much has happened regarding work until I started writing…

I got my first full paycheck. I’m getting my full rate of pay rather than training pay. Woo. That meant this past Friday I was able to catch up on ALL of my bills. Things are still tight because I did that, but I don’t have to worry about anything falling through the cracks or being late. It’s a pretty good feeling.

Warren still hasn’t started paying me back. Or Kyle. I haven’t gotten my Full Sail check or my tax return, but I’m doing just fine on my own*.

*With the support of Ox and his family

I took the bike out for a ride yesterday morning. I was antsy and wanted to do something without actually having to go anywhere. I only biked for four miles, but that was four miles more than I did the previous day and with the hills here I think it still counted as a pretty good ride. My heart rate was up and when I came inside I definitely worked up a sweat. That’s normally how it works with biking for me. The wind keeps me from sweating too much. It’s only after I stop that I realize, oh yeah, I soaked my shirt. Go me.

The coldness here probably adds to that. I made sure to drink water even though it didn’t “feel” like I needed to. Dehydration can be a sneaky jerk like that.

I haven’t figured out code names for Ox’s kids yet. So that’s going to make writing about them a bit cumbersome until I do, but none the less, that’s a big part of what I need to write about since that’s the other main thing that’s been going on in my life this past week.

Ox’s daughter continues to want to spend time with me. We’re doing pretty well in Crash of the Titans. It’s the Crash Bandicoot game where you can have two players. It does get rough at times with her constantly say, “Hurry up. Wait for me. Do this. We don’t need that. What are you doing? Don’t hit my guy! Sorry I killed you. I want to do the skateboard! This boss is hard. I don’t want to do that.”

I can only handle a few levels before my brain is in overload and I need to step away, but overall I think we’re doing well in the game and I’m handling being thrown into the deep end of parenting with no instruction booklet or training course pretty well. I went on a bike ride with her on Saturday, which most likely sparked my bike ride Sunday. We baked muffins Sunday afternoon to have for breakfast this morning. I’ve gotten her interested in cross stitching which is why I wanted to go into town Saturday; it was just a bonus that I could take care of the application for work at the same time.

Since she’s so small I figured it would be good to start her on 14 count fabric rather than using the 28 count that I use. I also wanted to get her larger needles so they’re easier to thread. She’s doing surprisingly well for never having stitched before and being seven. She’s having a good time with it which is what I was hoping for; her enjoying something other than computer games.

We also made magnates out of Perler beads. That was fun. Maybe we’ll make frames for our little cross stitch cats once they’re done.

I think having the kids for extended periods of time will be easier for everyone once the addition is done. More space and stuff.

I offered for Ox’s son to go with me the next Saturday we’re all together to a Tae Kwon Do class. I haven’t interacted with him much but that’s because he would rather stay in the computer room playing whatever game it is he’s into. I can’t really blame him. He doesn’t get any alone time when he’s with his mother, he’s also not allowed to touch the computer while he’s there so this is the only time he’s able to do electronicy stuff.

He seemed interested, then changed his mind and said no thanks… I said if he changed his mind to let me know. Regardless it’s something I want to look into.

I did find a dojo that seems perfect for what I’m looking for. The only downside is it’s about an hour away in Omaha…

I haven’t figured out what I’m going to do about that. I do know that I need to keep focusing on getting back to where I was. As work continues to ease into a routine and as I make it through mom’s death day and as the Earth continues to turn into spring I think things will naturally align themselves, so I haven’t started giving myself shit yet.

Not much has happened in regards to organizing the addition or making progress on the house, but that’s because everyone has been sick, it’s been cold and rainy and miserable days outside, and the kids have been here. Hopefully, small steps forward will start up again now that things are sort of back to normal.

I know the kitchen feels like a losing battle.

Every time I give myself a pat on the back for clearing out a space or getting rid of something, Ox’s mom goes and spends $100 at the grocery store. It breaks my brain in certain ways.

We were out of ketchup so she went out and got two small bottles. I’m ok with that. I mean… I would have only bought one, but I can see having a spare. Mom would do the same thing. I’m just so used to not having space to store anything that I don’t buy spares.

Well, today she came home with another two bottles of ketchup because they were most likely on sale. You don’t need three bottles of spare ketchup. >.<;

Or another four cans of mushrooms to go with the other eight we still have… >.<;

Arg.

But I can’t really fault her because she did come back with things that the house needed like toilet paper and trash bags.

But frozen pizza isn’t healthy. We don’t need four of them. No one is eating the cereal that we have, why did you buy two more boxes of it?

Me: *thuds head against the kitchen counter in defeat*

I guess it’s really not all that bad. It’s just so different from what I’m used to that I don’t know… it just feels wrong. It doesn’t help with the cluttered feeling. We’re working on it, though.

I’m looking forward to getting rid of the mini fridge that isn’t been used so a pantry can be added instead. If I’m allowed to work things the way I want, I think it will help with the cans and paper product storage. As well as spare stuff.

I want to get slide out drawers for the larger cabinets as well. I think those would be amazing.

This house really does have so much potential. All it needs is elbow grease.

Sadly, today was not a day of applying any. I stayed in bed for most of it. I did a bit of meal prep. I picked up the dirty clothes the kids left scattered in the bathroom. I washed Ox’s clothes and just switched them into the dryer so I could do a load of the kid’s stuff. I’ll most likely save my own laundry until tomorrow since it’s getting close to my bedtime.

I cooked dinner, too, which turned out well. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and there was enough left over to have an additional lunch container.

Jon and I have talked a few times over the week. He took a trip to Boston since he was on spring break. He’s back safe and sound in Daytona. I guess he’s made a big impression at work in a short amount of time because all of his patients missed him and wanted to know where he was. That made him feel good, which is good. He’s been having a rough time of it lately, much for the same reasons I am.

It’s a rough time of the year. It starts March 23rd. I guess the universe wanted me to have the 4th of April off because I’m not scheduled to work. I actually have the 3rd and 4th off, though I do go back on the 5th.

I don’t know what else to write about. I’ve touched on subjects that I need to address and haven’t.

I had a dream about mom the other night. Thursday I think it was.

I don’t remember all of it, but I remember I was telling her I wanted to move back home. Things weren’t bad, but there was an issue I wasn’t addressing and instead of fixing it I wanted to move back home with mom because that would “fix” everything.

Mom was exasperated with me. I don’t think she said “no” but I know she didn’t agree with my “throw my hands up” sort of attitude.

It led to a conversation that I think needed to happen with Ox. I think we’re better for it even though it was hard for me to voice those feelings. It’s hard to write about because I know he’ll read this section.

We’re still trying to find a balance with everything, including each other. I like our relationship, though. I like how he came home and we watched a couple episodes of a show while cuddled together before putting groceries away once his mom got home and having dinner together with the family.

Things still feel good and that’s scary for me.

I have a phone appointment scheduled with my therapist, which I think is good and something that could help me figure myself out.

I’m still scared of all of this good. With work. With my relationship. With life.

I actually had time this weekend to sleep in, eat a good breakfast, bike ride, cross stitch, and work on a puzzle.

What the actual fuck?

When did I die? When did this become my life? This stress-free, sit on the porch and swing life away, type of living isn’t meant for me. Or at least hasn’t been for so long that I don’t know how to trust it, accept it. This isn’t how it can continue. Something has to break, or crumble, or shatter. It’s too pretty to be real and yet I desperately cling to this dream of a life because it’s what I’ve wanted for so long.

Yeah… It’s too late to delve further into this, but at least I know it’s there. I love my life right now and that scares me because now I have something I’m scared of losing again.

In a way, I’m glad I had that realization. I’m glad I love my life. It just sucks that I understand where my fear comes from because now I’m aware of my fear.

Blag. I guess that balances out to being neutral. For now, I need to go be an adult and brush my teeth and go to bed. Maybe mom will have more advice for me in my dreams. Maybe we’ll be able to say hi to each other and talk about nothing for a while.

That’s such a pretty thought right now. I hope it happens.

 

 

Daily Post 054: Comfortable Sadness

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I’m in a bit of a funk and I know I am. I can feel how my body is tired from everything I did yesterday which I’m sure is a contributing factor. My pulse has an arrhythmia that also isn’t helping I’m sure. And of course, since I’m tired and worn feeling I feel my grief more acutely.

I guess it started last night while I was showering. I was reflecting on how well I did yesterday. I biked to the gym and did a plyometric workout based on the different exercises L has had me do in the past. I followed that up with a half mile run before biking back home. I haven’t plotted the course but I think it was roughly four miles round trip.

Later I biked to Title Club Boxing for the boot camp conditioning class then biked back home. We’ll say that’s another 8ish mile though I think that’s lowballing it.

So yeah. Roughly 12 miles biking, a half mile run, and two conditioning classes. 30 three foot box jumps. Yeah. I pushed myself yesterday and it was awesome. I loved all of the sunlight I was able to get. I ate well and drank plenty of water.

I was thinking about how I’m doing well even though mom isn’t here. I don’t feel guilty for doing well. I don’t feel guilty for living my life and enjoying my bike rides and smiling and living.

But I’m sad now.

I miss her. I want her to be here so I can tell her about my day. I want to tell her how I’m scared I won’t be able to jump the red box on Tuesday even though L says I can.

I want mom to tell me I can, and she can’t. And that sucks.

I guess it’s not really a funk I’m in. I guess I’m sad today and I didn’t really realize it until now.

I woke up this morning and was proud of myself that I got out of bed and downstairs before noon. Before 9 am in fact. I had thought I would be so tired that I wouldn’t do a lot today, and to be fair I haven’t done a whole lot, but the morning started better than I had anticipated.

I made coffee and for the first time in a long time, I made an egg sandwich. I sat outside on my doorstep eating and drinking my coffee instead of smoking a cigarette. I bought a pack a week ago, but it’s gone and I haven’t replaced it. I don’t want to replace it, but I’m wondering now if a lack of nicotine is part of the sadness I feel; withdrawals in addition to everything else.

Regardless, the morning was nice. I felt like I was doing well in caring for myself and recovering. My knuckle is almost back to normal. I thought about going to my sports bar for lunch. I could take my flash cards with me and begin studying for my certification. I could do things today that didn’t require a lot of energy because I didn’t have much to give.

I spent most of the afternoon on the couch instead. I washed my dishes from breakfast and that’s about as far as I made it.

Eventually, around noon, I went back to my room since Warren woke up and was in the kitchen. I didn’t feel like being around people, though we did patch things over yesterday so we’re talking to each other again.

I still don’t feel like being around anyone but at the same time, there’s this need to not be alone. It’s frustrating. Like sandpaper inside my skin. I know there’s this irritation but I’m at a loss on how to ease it; sooth it. Nothing on this plane can make it better. None of the people in my life can be my mom. Not Warren, not my brothers, not Big Bad, or anyone else who loves me or I love in return.

It’s an ache I have to breathe through, function through, fight through, until I adjust to the pain and it fades into the background again, white noise in the chaos that is my life. A vibration that is always there that seems to be louder in the silent, quiet moments I allow myself even though I don’t think my grief itself ever really changes.

When I got to my room I started researching hospice RN positions.

It was something my brother and I talked about when I brought up the subject of going back to school for an RN degree. I don’t think I want to work at a hospital. I don’t want to change patients every day. I like that about the dialysis clinic. I know my patients and they know me. We share inside jokes. We pick on each other. We feel sorrow and pain together. I know them. I care for them. I like that about my job.

I’m not sure what I want to do with my life. I still don’t have an end goal, especially right now with the sadness hugging around my shoulders like a blanket. A soft, heavy blanket that is comforting in its own way. It’s familiar. I know what my grief feels like and I accept it.

The hospice thing is more just looking into other options I gain by becoming an RN. It’s another field I think I may find fulfillment in. I read several posts about what working as a hospice RN is like. I also looked up wages since pay is a logistic concern that would need to be looked into at some point regardless of how fulfilling I think something might or might not be.

It’s definitely more pay than what I’m making as a dialysis PCT.

Aside from that I’ve halfway chatted with a friend from California and arranged to pick up Mother Earth from work. I actually need to leave before too much longer to do that. It’s the only obligation I have today and so I feel shitty for not wanting to do it.

We’ve agreed to go sit and have lunch which I am actually looking forward to. I’m not looking forward to the driving, to having to get gas, to having to deal with traffic.

I’m looking forward to sitting and being injured and for that to be ok. I just wish there wasn’t so much to do to get to that point. The thought of the effort makes my shoulders physically hurt, like getting into my car is some huge weight I have to lift. I know it’s not. I know I can do it. I wish I knew why internally it feels like I can’t.

I’m worried that I won’t be accepted to the RN program since most programs are competitive or have a waiting list. I’m worried that I won’t get much for financial aid. I’m worried I won’t be eligible for reimbursement through DaVita because I haven’t been employed long enough. I’m worried about paying rent. I’m worried about keeping up with my training. I’m worried about Scarlet being sick and aging. I’m worried about letting the people in my life down because I don’t hang out often enough / well enough.

I don’t know why I have all of this hanging over me right now. I don’t know if it’s a matter of “misery loves company” and so it’s easy to see and find the negativity that isn’t really there, or if this is my brain telling me to slow down and process through some of the shit I have going on.

Right now I’m tired.

I’m tired of making sure my ducks are in a row for the meeting with my admissions advisor on Tuesday, which they are so there’s really nothing else to do other than wait.

I’m tired of making sure everything is ok with the lease renewing and that paperwork gets done, which that’s all squared away as well.

Maybe, since a lot of the stuff I’m stressed over is now stuff I can let go of, all of this is the stress I wasn’t allowing myself to feel. I had to keep going, keep doing, keep figuring out, and now, today, I don’t have to. Today I can be sad and tired and cry silent tears and it’s ok. It’s not interfering with anything. All my stuff is done.

I hope tomorrow feels better. I hope work goes smoothly and that the new schedule is out so I can plan my next six weeks.

Everything is temporary, including this moment. I know I’ll get better and I know I’m not broken. I know things are ok. I’m just sad and it’s ok to be sad sometimes.

I love you, mom. I miss you and I hope where ever you’re at that you’re having a good day.