Letters to Mom 021: Please Be There

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Hey mom,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Daily Post 131: A Thankful Test Drive

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It’s Thanksgiving.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was a good night, tears included.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’ve put the clothes away, finally.

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

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

It’s that type of feeling.

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

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

Daily Post 130: Square One

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A lot has happened in the past 24 hours.

I worked at the Dodge clinic today in Fremont. Patient census said I should have left about 10:20. At 10:50, though, five patients were going to end their treatment within 6 minutes of each other. Since the FA was there I asked her what she wanted me to do. I didn’t want to leave and have my remaining teammates be screwed. I also didn’t want to stay and have people getting into trouble for having too many techs on the floor.

The FA was ok with me staying, so I stayed. I got out a little after 11. I called Ox and we decided to meet at home. We’re going to go into Lincoln later tonight to do some shopping (*cough winter pants cough*), and to get dinner together. I’m looking forward to it.

Currently, I’m sitting here eating lunch and writing to catch up on all of the developments in my life since nothing can happen gradually or spread out. Once I’m done eating and writing I’m going to go to the gym here at home to run.

I’ve been wearing compression socks at work for the past two days. I think they make a difference. My legs are less tired and my feet aren’t as sore in the morning. That’s something I’m still going to keep an eye on and be mindful of. Two days isn’t a lot to go off of or make a trend out of.

Tomorrow is a dojo day. I’m looking forward to that. Work should go alright since I’ll be working with my FA on the floor. Friday is going to be a disaster since I’ll be alone with the float RN. All FAs are being voluntold to take Friday off for the holiday. All I have to do is survive and then it will be the weekend. As long as I can make it through those 12 hours Friday, I’ll be alright.

I talked to Jon for a bit on the ride home. It’s becoming a bit of a routine for us to talk on Tuesdays and Thursdays since we both have very little going on in our lives on those days, at least in the mornings. It’s been nice. Normally I’m at home so I can sit outside and drink my coffee while I talk to him. Today it was pleasant having company on my drive home. I got to tell him about everything that’s happened and he’s happy for me.

Which, I guess I should stop being nebulous about events and get into everything that happened yesterday.

I woke up for work like normal. Nothing out of the ordinary happened. We got the clinic set up. We put our first shift patients on. I was with the float RN and my FA.

My FAs boss was scheduled to come to our clinic. That’s sort of a big deal. He’s stationed in Omaha, so it’s not like we’re nearby for him or anything. My FA came out to help during change over. She got me and the RN get to a pretty good spot before her boss showed up and she had to go have her meeting with him.

The RN and I should have been able to dance through the rest of the day. Most of the first shift patients were gone. Only one was left since he was having low standing blood pressures. He drives himself so it has to be above 100 systolic and 50 diastolic before we legally can let him leave.

Our ISO patient showed up, so the RN went to initiate his treatment. I stayed out on the floor cleaning and setting up for the remaining second shift patients who weren’t there yet. I had already initiated three of the second shift treatments.

Our ISO patient had to be stuck three times before his venous needle would work properly. Three times. Three.

And this is where I’m going to take a second and mildly rant as a dialysis technician.

What the actual hell? He has a super easy access. How can you mess up his venous needle? Like, for real. What. The. Hell.

I ended up having to swap places with the RN to finish initiating his treatment. It’s not like you can hop in and out of ISO. There PPE you have to put on. There’s handwashing you have to do. It’s time. Time is valuable. You don’t waste time. Having to restick anyone is time. Plus all the added stuff of it’s not good for the access and who wants to get stuck with three additional 15 gauge needles? I’m pretty sure no one, that’s who.

The third needle is the one I did and the one that ran smoothly. While I had been in the ISO room the RN got one of our other patients into his chair. He’s blind and requires assistance. The last patient we were set up for also needs assistance since she’s in a wheelchair at the moment. Instead of getting both patients into their chairs and making sure both machines were ready, she only got our blind patient; the one who has orders for only expert cannulators to canulate at the moment. So I was the only person, on the floor since my FA was still in her meeting, who could do his needles.

Fine. That’s ok. I don’t mind doing that. But nothing was ready for me when I got out of ISO. I still had to put all of his information into the machine and computer and clean his access and then do the cannulation. I don’t even know what the RN did while I was in the ISO room because it felt like literally nothing was done.

In the meantime, the machine for the other patient, the wheelchair patient, had failed its tests and had to be retested.

Right Brain: FML. Can nothing just go smoothly? For just a hot second could the RN touch something and have it not turn to ash? No… Oh… Well, fine. Fuck you too, Universe. Bring it.

I got the failed machine retesting while the RN went to the lobby for the patient. Once the machine was doing its thing I went over and got Mr. Blind going. The cannulation went smoothly. I got his headphones plugged in and made sure his TV was on the right channel so he could listen to Gun Smoke once it came on. I got his blanket spread out and his pillows situated.

Cool. I should have been done. There was no reason for the RN to have not been able to initiate our last patient. Only that didn’t go down how it should have either. Of course not. That whole “things turning to ash” thing… I guess the Universe took me up on my challenge.

That patient had a lab that was scheduled. Cool. Not an issue. You cannulate, attached an evac tube to the needle line, place the lab tube into the evac, draw the lab, disconnect the evac, attach the bloodline, initiate treatment. Standard. Routine. Nothing crazy or hard…

Universe: Hold my beer…

The f’ing evac tube wouldn’t come off. No joke. We even tried using pliers to twist it off since her access has such a short range. Having to recannulate would have been a nightmare. We would have had to pull her needle, wait for her to clot, then pray the RN hasn’t stuck her in such a way that we wouldn’t be able to get another needle in.

Well… that’s what we ended up having to do because of whatever she did with the f’ing evac tube.

Right Brain: I’m so sorry, Universe. I take it back. I take it back. Oh, God. Please. Just shoot me now. Please. Just end it. Please. Why, Universe? Why? What did I do to deserve this much suffering? On a Monday of all days… ;-;

I was able to recannulate her access and we got her treatment going. She was an hour late from her scheduled on time, though. It sucked. All of it from the time my FA left the floor went to hell in a handbasket and it wasn’t even a pretty handbasket with a bow on it.

No. It was a grimy, dirty handbasket that had been kicked around a few times and then stepped on just for good measure, and then used to beat me to a pulp. Yeah… It was that kind of a day. Beaten to death by a grimy, dirty beaten up handbasket sort of day.

I was so mentally dead by the time I got everything caught up. I just wanted to go to lunch, smoking through the whole 30 minutes of my break before having to go back onto the floor to end treatments and finish out the last five-ish hours of my day.

That’s about the time when my boss’s boss came out to the floor and wished us a happy Thanksgiving and went on his way.

Right Brain: Yeah. Thanks. Go die in a fire for stealing my FA from me, Jerkface. I mean, not really since I know none of this was your fault. But maybe just a little fire so I can feel better about myself and not be the only one suffering and having a shitty day.

As I was getting ready to step off the floor to go on my lunch break my FA came out and asked if I could talk to her. As we were heading into her office, with me contemplating what I was about to get yelled at talked to about, she asked me how it was going.

Me: Alright.
FA: So how is it really going?

I sat down in the chair across from her desk and sighed, rubbing my temples. I told her about ISO and our other restick. I told her that things really were fine and that I just needed five minutes to regroup since I hadn’t had a chance to decompress yet.

FA: Well that actually leads in perfectly to what I want to tell you. I just got done talking with Mr. Boss. We want to give you a raise for everything that you do.

Me: I love you guys so much.

She said they would be increasing my wage to $15 and that it was purely based on work performance and would not affect my yearly review in April. She said that she appreciates being able to depend on me to keep the clinic going for her and that I help make her job easier.

We ended up stepping outside and having a cigarette together. While we were outside I told her how I didn’t feel like I deserved the award I got. I told her that I, personally, feel like all I do is my job. Doing your job shouldn’t get you special recognition.

FA: Yeeesss… You do your job. But it’s the way you do it. It’s your attitude and how you carry yourself. There’s a difference between just doing your job and the way that YOU do your job.

I told her that I understood that, and that I was and am still grateful for her words at the meeting and even more so for the raise.

So yeah… I survived one of the worst changeovers I’ve had in a while and then got a 50 cent raise at the end of it.

That 50 cents equals out to the cost of my dojo membership. My FA gave me my dojo. That’s how I’m choosing to look at it since I’ve been sort of kicking myself about signing up for yet another financial obligation while I still have so much that I need to pay off.

My FA didn’t have to request an increase in my wage. Her boss didn’t have to approve it. But they did. They both went out of their way to make my life easier. I know it’s just money. It’s numbers. Digits in an excel sheet that affect the bottom line. But it’s more human than that. It’s a very real and tangible thing for me. It’s my recovery. It’s my social time. It’s my stress relief. It’s my coping mechanism for my grief.

I am beyond grateful.

I am now making what I considered my baseline. I started at Full Sail making a little more than 15 an hour, but since I started working for DaVita I have considered $15 my goal. If I could only get back to there. I wouldn’t be backtracked anymore. I would be back at my start at least.

And here I am, financially back to my starting line. I feel like I’ve accomplished something. I actually feel like I’m doing things right. Switching careers wasn’t a fuck up. I can, and am, making it.

I went to lunch while my FA went to the floor and took over. The float RN went home. I called Ox while I was on break and told him about the meeting with my FA.

When I went back to the floor there was an email from another FA talking about how our region was going to be hosting a leadership class. It’s very selective and only a few people were going to be chosen to participate, but they were accepting applications until December 7th. I poked through all of the attachments, read all the requirements, and sat for a bit thinking about the email.

I asked my FA if she had seen the email. She hadn’t, so she poked around at it for a second. I asked her if it would be ok for me to apply.

She said yes. We talked about it more and how it worked well with me getting ready to become a trainer for the clinic and how it could open doors for me later to become something like the Clinical Coordinator once I’m an RN myself. Leadership doesn’t mean I have to be an FA she said. There are lots of other positions I might be interested in that this class would be applicable to.

Soooo…. we’re going to sit down before the end of the month and discuss it in more detail and fill out the application together.

If my application is selected, I will enter into phase two where I will have to write an essay. If they like my essay, I will get an in-person interview. If they like my interview, I’ll be one of about six people chosen for this leadership course.

My mind is still having a hard time wrapping around everything, but I can say I’m honestly interested in seeing where all of this leads. I’m actually looking forward to seeing my work future and how everything plays out.

Closing the clinic went smoothly, but then it always does when I work with my FA. I was able to make it to my eye appointment on time. I got my eyes dilated which sort of sucked, but since I’m new at this clinic they have no baseline for me. I figured I would do everything while I was already there.

They gave me a trial pair of contacts which I have in right now and I love them so much more than the ones I was using before. It’s not the prescription change. It’s how they feel. I’ve only ever had one brand of contacts. These are a different brand and they’re amazing. I don’t remember the name but I know they’re supposed to be more durable than the last brand I had. I mentioned how the first year I had contacts went fine, but that during this second year four of them had ripped on me and I was a little less than thrilled about the prospect of having to go through that again.

These new, trial ones are a brand the doctor recommended I try and even though it’s only been about 12 hours of me wearing them, I already know that I’m going to stick with them this time around. They just feel… better. If you’ve never worn contacts I don’t really know how else to explain it. The old ones didn’t hurt me or anything, but there is definitely a difference between the two and if given a choice these new ones are the ones I would recommend.

So yeah, once I figure out the name I’m sure I’ll write about it again, but the eye appointment went well and I should have more contacts before too long and so far my eyes are fine. No eye cancer to worry about or anything like that. Aside from needing contacts my eyes are healthy. Woo.

I stopped at the gas station afterward and got gas for my car so I wouldn’t have to worry about it in the morning. I got Subway for dinner again since I was starving. Ox had me tell his parents about my raise. I stitched for a bit after dinner then went to sleep. And that was my day.

It felt like an exceedingly long day and here I am to the real part of it. The emotional part. The tears part. The mom part.

I’m back to square one, mom.

It’s taken me almost three years to do it, but I’m finally here. I don’t know what else to say other than I did it. I finally, really, truly did it. Everything from here will be forward progress.

I wish I could hug you. I wish I could beam a smile of pride and feel victorious while I have tears running down my face WITH you. I want it to be with you so much, mom. I want you to be here. I want you to know that I won and that I didn’t give up and that I’m finally back to where I started.

All those times that I told the Universe to go fuck itself and kept going when I wanted to give up has finally gotten me back to here. All those times I thought I was a fuck up when I first started in dialysis. All those times I questioned if I had picked the wrong career change.

This proves it to me; to us. I’m not a failure, mom. I’m a badass. I’m your badass. I’m your daughter and I will always be your daughter and I’m sorry.

I’m sorry for all the days that are hard and that I struggle. I’m sorry for still wanting to quit sometimes. I’m sorry for being angry and sad and hurt. I didn’t quit, though, and I’m not going to quit, and not quitting got me back to here. Not quitting got me the dojo. Not quitting got me an amazing FA who supports me and cares about me not only as an employee but as a person. As a human. You would like her, mom.

I know you’re proud of me and I’m happy that you’re proud. I just wish so desperately that we could be together in person still. It’s always so confusing to be happy and yet so sad at the same time. I’m happy I’m here, mom, but I’m so sad that it’s not the same. I’m sad that you’re not alive and we can’t talk on the phone or go out to eat. I want it to be like old times, mom. I want to hear you. I want to see you. I want to feel your arms around me because you always gave the best hugs. I want your words and warmth.

But at least I know you still know. At least we have whatever it is that we have and that I know you’re proud of me; happy for me. I know you’re still with me and I’m sorry if sometimes it seems like I’m ungrateful and that it isn’t enough. It is, mom. I promise it is and that I still love you, mom. I love you so much. Forever and for always, mom. I promise. It will always be forever and for always.

Daily Post 127: Bridging the Gap

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Written yesterday. Posted today. 


Hello Keyboard, my dearly missed companion. And to you, too, Computer. Though I have sat at you for hours watching lecture videos and bitching about how fellow student discussion posts hold no content worth replying to, I feel I haven’t had a chance to really sit in front of you and enjoy our time together.

Class has been going well. I got checked off on all of my remaining skills tonight. I technically do not have to go to class this coming Tuesday. Thursday will be Thanksgiving and the week after that I begin the clinical portion of the class. The first week of December I go to Denver to participate in Academy for the company. I’m not looking forward to it. I’ll have to share a room with a person I don’t know. I’ll have to participate in all sorts of “fun” team building exercises. I feel I won’t be respected as an introvert and that I’m going to suffer through the two and a half days I’ll be there but it’s a stepping stone. By going to Academy I’ll be able to then turn around and go to Perceptor training which will allow me to be a trainer for the clinic; something that is desperately needed.

I had a meeting for the clinic today as well. That was earlier in the day; before class. At the end of the meeting, my FA gave me a “Core Value” award. It was the award for the “Team” core value. She said that being in such a small clinic, it’s just her and me making things run. She said not once has she ever asked me to do something that I didn’t do without complaining and she has never had to worry about it being done correctly or completely. She said I help make her job easier and she appreciates that. She said that I’m compassionate and caring to not only my fellow team members but also to my patients. She mentioned something about my positivity and kindness, though to be honest, I can’t recall exactly what she said because I was too busy blushing and trying to not break down into tears in front of all of my coworkers. She said that I help not only my clinic but our region as a whole with how often I step up to help cover short shifts, mentioning the fact that I have picked up 9 out of 10 shifts this upcoming month.

I don’t feel like I deserve an award. I don’t feel like I do anything exceptional. I do my job. I do my job as correctly as I can. I’m compensated for the time I work. I’m not doing it for free and I have even said no a few times. I like knowing that my FA values my time and effort and that it means something to her, and on some level, I know that I do a better job than others. I don’t know. It’s confusing. I like being praised. I don’t think I deserved anything special or congratulations. I don’t think some people were happy that I was the only one to receive something. No one else got an award, but with how bitchy the team, as a whole, has been with each other I don’t think anyone really deserved anything.

I guess I feel honored and there’s a shy part of me who finds the recognition painful. I accepted my award graciously and I will cherish it alongside the Core Value awards I was given while I worked at my Orlando clinic.

Ox and I had lunch today. He recently started a new job and so we’ve had more time together. He’s also getting steadier paychecks and so we have the ability to go out together again. I found a sports bar in Beatrice that I really enjoy and it just so happens they have a location in Lincoln as well. We went there to have lunch together and it was nice. It was a change from the constant work, school, not enough sleep, routine that I’ve found myself caught in recently.

I made a hair appointment for Sunday. I found out the eye place I want to get seen at has shitty hours and I won’t be able to talk to anyone until Saturday. I went to Walmart and got shirts and shorts to go under my white scrubs since white might as well be called “see-through”. I went to the main campus and got my ID made so I can have the badge I need for clinicals. I tried going to the srub store to look at compression socks, but their selection sucked so I walked away from that empty handed. I also talked to Jon for a while this morning.

Overall it’s been a good day off.

I’ve been going to the dojo semi-regularly.

This past Saturday was the first day that I’ve ever spared Muay Thai. I got punched pretty good in the face a couple of times, but that’s ok. I kicked the shit out of my opponent’s legs. Totally worth it.

Muay Thai sparring is a much different adrenalin rush than what I’m used to with jiujitsu. I almost landed a spinning elbow strike. That would have been brutal. It felt good. Solid. It was blocked, but oh man. It would have been an amazing hit if it had made it through.

At the moment I’m aiming for one dojo class at least on Wednesdays and Fridays and hopefully both classes on Saturdays. So far I’ve been doing pretty good with maintaining that. Tuesdays and Thursdays I’m not able to go to the dojo because of my CNA class, but that may change in the New Year. If it does I’ll begin training hapkido.

At the moment I can feel my body getting back into a groove and the depression I’ve been struggling with isn’t as pervasive. I feel better about myself and what I’m doing with my life after I spend time at the dojo. Sensei is talking about going to tournaments next year. I’m not sure if I will be ready to do something like that, but it’s a thought in the mid-section of my mind. What if I get good enough, confident enough, to compete?

I’m doing alright with my eating. Not awesome since my meals have potatoes in them this week, but I could definitely be doing way worse. I’m doing alright with water. I drink more on dojo days, but overall I’m sticking to at least a liter and a half if not two per day.

I found out yesterday that Mr. Non-Compliance died. I’m saddened knowing that his family is grieving. Having lost mom, I have an understanding of what it’s like to lose someone. At the same time, I hope that his pain has ended and that he was able to find peace finally because I know that living life sucked for him. I know he was unhappy and I feel he kept going as long as he did for the people around him more so than for himself.

I hope he’s with his husband and feels whole. I hope he’s ok and I hope he knows that even though he will be missed he’s still loved and that I’m glad I got to know him for the little bit of time that I did.

I dressed up as Hawkgirl for Halloween at my clinic. My patients loved the costume. I made a helmet out of cardboard which I painted and Ox made a mace for me out of styrofoam. It turned out really good even though I had less than 24 hours to pull everything together. Goodwill had clothing that ended up working out well for the outfit. It just all seemed to fall into place.

I went to a pumpkin patch before Halloween with Ox and his kids. It turned out better than I had originally thought. Ornery Ox and I tried our luck at the high striker games that were there. We both didn’t get very high, but I feel like he and I have a better understanding of each other. We had fun together, just him and me, doing something. It’s the first time in the eight or so months since I’ve been here that something like that has happened. It made me happy.

Lil’ Ox and I have cross-stitched a bit more together.

I think Ox and I are doing ok. We still have some things to work on. Mostly issues with my need for solitude though my higher than his sex drive causes friction still, too. We both want us to work out. We’re not ready to give up or let go and so we get through the rough patches.

This past Sunday was a really hard day. I was missing mom and trying to not grieve while the kids were here which didn’t help anything. Trying not to do something only makes it worse. I ended up going out to my car and crying. Papa Ox came outside to make sure I was ok. I told him that I was missing mom and I didn’t know how to grieve without infringing on other people’s days. I’m used to being alone and I didn’t know how to handle my sadness around others.

He said sometimes you just have to infringe and that’s not a bad thing. We talked for a while, sharing in past and present feelings. He shared with me about his parents and their passing. I feel like we connected and it made me feel less alone. I’m grateful that he came outside and listened to me and didn’t make me feel bad for feeling bad. He said there are no words but that he understood my feelings and that my feelings were ok to feel.

It made me feel accepted.

He’s asked me a few times since then how I’m doing, to which I’ve been able to honestly reply with, “Better.”

A lot of other things have happened since I last wrote. It’s been almost a month, but I think that’s a good start for now. I’m starting at the start of today, and today was a pretty good day.

I can’t promise to write much in the coming weeks. With trips out of state and working eight days in a row, and state testing, I know my time is going to be limited.

I promise I’m still here and that things should, ideally, settle down soon-ish. I promise I’m not ignoring you or giving up on writing. I still need it and I’m sure it would have made handling some of the situations and days between now and my last writing easier. But I made the choices I made and so here I am, once again trying to bridge the gap from one writing to the next; condensing an avalanche of life into a handful of paragraphs. The only thing to do is keep moving forward I guess.

And forward for tonight is going to bed, so off I go, beloved Keyboard. Until we find ourselves together again with solitude and time, know that I’m grateful to you for the outlet you provide me with and that I cherish you and our quiet moments together.

Daily Post 126: Slackin’

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Emotionally I’ve still been sort of all over the place. Tuesday was where it really started tanking downhill but I’ve been slowly recovering to the point where I’m at today. I screamed in my car on the drive home from the dojo Wednesday and I cried again Friday night, but both of those times were healthy cries that I feel I needed to have.

I’ve been struggling with feeling lonely and I feel bad for Ox because he seems to take the brunt of that discord since he’s the closest person to me. Jon called Tuesday before I left for class. When I answered the phone I was pretty much already in tears. He knew instantly that something was up and asked if I was ok. I told him that nothing was really wrong. I was just sad and he said he hoped I felt better.

It sucks when I’m like that. I feel bad for the people around me. There’s really nothing that anyone can do. It’s something I have to get through, breathe through. I still don’t know what to do to make the pain and loneliness go away. There isn’t a “fix” other than time. There’s a part of me who feels like I shouldn’t need another person; I should be able to figure my emotions out on my own and not require outside forces to pull me out of my sadness. Because of that mentality, I don’t reach out for the support that would probably help me get through my downs faster and easier. I don’t like thinking that I “need” someone. Needing means you’re dependent, so what happens when suddenly they’re not there anymore? How do you keep functioning then?

It’s another topic in the long list that I have that I eventually need to meditate on. All I can say is right now I still make it through those times. I might not make it through them with the grace I would like, but I still come out on the other side so that hopefully still counts as a win.

All of that aside, Ox and I are doing well I think. We spent most of yesterday shopping for me again. I got winter socks from Walmart. We went to a few stores looking for snowshoes but were unsuccessful in finding something I wanted to spend money on. I did get a pair of snow pants to go over my work clothes. Ox and I talked about that for a while. Originally we were thinking about getting me a few sets of thermals, but since you wear those under clothing, it would be annoying to put them on, then my scrubs, drive to work, undress then redress so I don’t overheat while I’m working the floor. Getting something that could go over my clothing seemed like a smarter option for the type of work I do. So I got a pair of black snow pants for $40 since they were on sale. I haven’t worn them yet aside from trying them on, but I think I’ll like them and I think they’ll work well of what I’m looking for. Right now they’re folded up and waiting for our next snow day.

I was also able to find a long-sleeved shirt that I like. It has thumb holes!!!! I got two of them since I figured I’ll only be wearing them, maybe, on my days off. Two should suffice. I really like them. I wore one yesterday once we got home from shopping to get a better feel for it. It’s soft and stretchy. The hand part fits snuggly, and with the thumb holes, I don’t feel like my wrists or fingers are being restricted. With having lived in Florida for so long, I don’t like wearing long-sleeved stuff much, and with how often I wear workout gear, I don’t like clothing that doesn’t stretch or move easily with me. It has made finding winter things that I like a little harder than what it most likely is for other people. I have very specific criteria for what I’m looking for. Luckily I’ve been able to find things that match what I want, it’s just taken a bit more time and not settling for “good enough”.

Overall, it was another day of win for the shopping list. Only snowshoes, scrubs, and potentially pants left to go.

We also stopped at a few places to price mark laptops since that is something on my radar. Right now it seems like I would be spending around $500 for something along the lines of what I want. Not bad, but not something I’m going to do right now. During one of our conversations, Jon brought up the fact that he has yet to pay me for the Surface I gave him while we were in Vegas. That would be $200 I could put towards a new laptop.

There are still a few other options I want to look into before settling on something. I would like to investigate more into a Chrome book since Google runs my life. Regardless of what I find, I most likely will hold off until Black Friday / Cyber Monday to see what deals pop up. Not “needing” a laptop means I can wait for a while. There’s also the marketplace thing for my work that might have decent deals.

One of the things we got last week was a gallon of apple cider with a bottle of caramel vodka. It’s an amazing mix. Just throwing that out there though I am very aware of just how many carbs are in 8 fluid ounces of apple cider alone. So worth it.

I didn’t have breakfast containers for yesterday or this morning so I made breakfast bowls with tater tots, onion, pepper, mushroom, salsa, sour cream, cheddar cheese, egg, and steak. It turned out really good. It’s the first time in a while I’ve had anything potato related. I guess it’s a bit of a guilty pleasure, but it’s been an extremely pleasing breakfast both times.

My meals for the week are done since I froze my leftover soup and chili from last week. Both of those recipes make eight servings, so the food shopping for this week was pretty light. The only cooking I have to do today is my roast and that’s pretty much just putting it in the oven and letting it do its thing until I need to cut it up.

I did laundry yesterday since I spilled my Bang a little bit on the bed. Talk about a party foul. : /

I still need to put the clothes away and repack my gym bag. Aside from potential school work, though, my day is pretty chill as far as chores are concerned. Roast, clothes, lunch for Ox, taking care of the cardboard tote… Yep, mostly just minor things.

The cut on my left hand is doing better, but now I have a cut on my right hand which sucks. I can’t win for losing apparently. I don’t even know what I did to get this one. I happened to look down while I was putting groceries away yesterday and noticed it. It sucks how something doesn’t start hurting until you notice it, then it’s the only thing you can think about. Still no signs of infection or anything. Just a little red around the edges from being angry because it has to bend so much. Stupid fingers and their bending… >.<;

Oh… on the subject of food. The chicken taco soup actually turned out really good as leftovers. I’m happy about that because when I first tried it I didn’t know if I would be able to eat it for a week straight. I think the next time I make it I’ll either use a different seasoning since I’m not a huge fan of the chipotle flavor profile or use regular cream cheese instead of the jalapeno flavor. I do think the base recipe is a good one and that with slight modifications it could be added regularly to my rotation.

I went to the dojo both Wednesday and Friday night. I only stayed for one class each time, but they were good classes and I’m glad I was there. I got to do drills with one of the guys on Friday. That was fun. He’s a teenager, most likely around 16 or so. After our first few rounds of drills, we were both more comfortable with each other. We’re both going to have bruises on our shins for a while, but that’s part of it.

I think the more I keep going, the more I’ll get to know everyone, the more comfortable and at home I’ll feel. I enjoyed working with the instructor and I do think I’ll enjoy being his student.

I still need to mess with JeFit but during one of the conversations with Jon the subject of it turning my music off came up. I guess it’s a setting I need to poke around with because his music plays just fine with the app. Good to know. If I feel ambitious today I might take a look at it.

I’ve still been cross stitching. I feel like I’ve been making a decent amount of progress on it. I didn’t take a picture last week, but I will later tonight before going to sleep. I’ve decided that since I haven’t been posting pictures for this project on my blog, I’ll wait until it’s finished to do a post with all of the progress pictures. That way they still get posted, but it’s not a “six here, one or two there” sort of thing. They can all be together.

School is going well. We had our first exam. I got 104% since I got the bonus question. Everyone passed. I didn’t see anyone else with my score though. A lot of 100%s, but it seemed like everyone else missed at least one question.

I still haven’t figured out my scrubs yet. I need to get that taken care of sooner rather than later. I also need to get my background check completed along with obtaining my school ID so I can participate in the clinical portion of the class once it gets to that point. I’m saving both of those tasks for Tuesday because my future self is going to need something to do.

Work has been surprisingly quiet and smooth. We hired a new nurse, though she has several years of dialysis experience so she’s not really new. I met her Wednesday. She’s pretty awesome. Friendly. Knowledgeable. I feel secure as a PCT with her. She’s going to be our float nurse for the next bit and I’m ok with that. I think we’ll work well together once we figure out a flow.

The acid machine got fixed at work, so I mixed a batch of acid Friday. I was having anxiety over it the whole time, waiting for smoke to start billowing up again. It went flawlessly, though. The pH tested within range and I was able to transfer it to the holding tank. I’m not sure if we’re going to use the jugs until their gone or switch over to the batch of acid I made when we open on Monday, but either way, the clinic is taken care of and ready to go. Woo!

I didn’t work overtime this week. It’s the first time in a while. I got permission to start using my PTO to round out my hours on the weeks that I don’t reach 40 from working at my clinic alone. I used five hours this week. Hopefully, that will slow down how quickly I’m earning PTO hours and keep them from capping on me. I would rather not have to cash my hours out since they’re taxed so heavily if you do it that way.

I was supposed to have a work outing yesterday night. There were plans for bowling that Ox and I were voluntold to go to. It got canceled though since I guess most people weren’t able to be there. Totally not heartbroken about it. I liked how my day went without the added stress of having to go be social, too.

Oh, and the FHM meeting was interesting. I’m hoping to be invited to more of them in the future, but even if I’m not, I’m glad I had the experience. It was nice to meet our medical director and to see another side of the clinic.

So yeah… I guess that’s about it. I’m doing alright in a tentative, low energy sort of way. I know I’m sensitive right now and I’m trying to be mindful of that fact. I’m looking forward to working on Monday and going to my class on Tuesday and to the dojo on Wednesday. I’m glad I wrote and I’m glad that the sun is out and shining even if it’s a cold and windy day.

It feels like a decent day.

And with that, I’m off to continue being a slacker. : 3

Daily Post 124: Officially Official

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I’m officially official.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Musing Moment 118: Why are you taking this course?

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

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


 

Greetings my fellow humans,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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