Daily Post 138: Socks and Sickness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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 125: Snowy Nebraska

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Daily Post 091: Another Summery

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


Work

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah… we’ll see how that plays out…


 

SCA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So much happy.

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

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

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

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

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


 

Health

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

Or do I…

ddb

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

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

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

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


 

Life

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

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


 

Finances

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s see… what else…


 

Relationship

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

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

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

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

I like the way the future feels in that regard.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


 

In Summary

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

 

Daily Post 086: There Was Progress

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In other news…

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

 



*Brief Pause In Writing*


 

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

A lot has happened since then.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I drove home trying not to cry in anger.

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

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

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

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

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

No. Fuck that.

I want to know what’s going.

I deserve to know what’s going on.

I’m owed that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He’s showing me that things are different.

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

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

It’s interesting.

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

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

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

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

 

Daily Post 083: And Then Booze…

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Written last night.
Posted today because guildmates
are bad amazing influences. 

 


 

There are two full days worth of writing to get through. I’m hoping I have it in me to get to the end because productive day was productive. x.x

Also, totally high fiving myself for writing before another full week passed.

 


 

Friday – April 13th

Friday the 13th. A glorious day off where I did a whole lot of nothing. I woke up and had a morning cigarette with Ox. I went back to bed after an extremely brief exchange with Mama Ox. I was so not ready to socialize. In fact, for most of the day I wasn’t and I’m completely ok with that fact. Yesterday was pretty much the first day I had been able to have to myself since last Wednesday.

That’s over a week.

In introvert time that’s FOREEEEEVVVVVVVEEEEEEEER.

I eventually got back up and had breakfast. I talked to my brother, which was nice, followed shortly afterward by crawling back into bed. Eventually, I got up for lunch and proofread my last post and actually posted it. Woo. By then the bed needed to be cuddled again because it was lonely. I talked to Ox while he was on his lunch break. After a few more hours I finally got up and showered which helped generate some energy for my day, though by then it was already 3 pm. People come home by 5 pm usually, so in my mind, the day was already pretty much over.

I decided that I would use the little bit of time I had left to actually do some of the chores I needed to get done. I started by forcing myself to sit down and look at my bank account; something I was knowingly procrastinating on.

I was nearly brought to tears at how ok my finances were. I was able to pay ALL of my bills. Not only that, but I was able to pay extra, EXTRA, on my car payment, student loans, and credit card.

And… AND… I still had money for groceries and gas.

*mind blown*

It was amazing. I adulted the shit out of this paycheck, and it’s only going to get better from here. At least in theory. Until I’m able to get on one of the computers at work and see if there was a change in my wage or if this was just from the overtime I worked a few Saturdays ago, I’m not going to count any eggs or think of this as the norm. I also had a bit of extra from my tax return still in my account, so that helped as well.

Still totally ecstatic that I was able to make so much progress without having to buy ramen noodles. God, it’s such a good feeling.

I decided after paying bills that I would work on the new tattoo I want to get. It gave me a reason to unpack my tablet, which sort of sucked because when I went to plug the USB cable into it the port fell into my tablet…

I don’t even know how it could break that way, but I am left tabletless and Wacoms aren’t cheap. At least not the one I would want to get. Since I haven’t been using it I’m hardpressed to justify going out and getting another one. After stewing a bit I decided I’ll work on my tattoo design the old school way; with pencil and paper.

I was still able to do all of the research and design legwork that needed to get done for the concept, so even though I wasn’t able to make as much progress as I would have liked, or in the way I had originally planned, I was still able to take steps forward.

I talked to Jon again later in the evening, after everyone was home. Ox hurt his thumb pretty bad at work. It’s mostly just sore now though I guess it bled a lot while he was at work. When he came home I got to help him clean the cut and bandage it up.

I cooked dinner. Stir-fry. It was awesome, though not as awesome as the last time I made it. The only difference was last time I tried actually frying the noodles once they were boiled. I guess it really does matter so I’ll fry them again the next time I cook that particular meal, which I guess if Ox had his way would be every night for the rest of forever.

I don’t think I stayed up much past dinner. Ox and I slept with the bedroom window open. The forecast called for snow early in the morning so there was a pretty cold breeze outside. Perfect for snuggling under the covers close together. Though, I do want to point out how messed up it is to go from 80 degree, shorts and a t-shirt weather to snow…

 


 

Saturday – April 14th

I do have to say that today did not go as I thought it would, but it was an amazingly pleasant day regardless.

I woke up around 3 am because that’s when I’m conditioned to wake up. I went back to sleep until 6ish. I went outside, had a cigarette, came back inside, but didn’t really have the motivation to do anything while everyone else was still asleep.

I crawled back into bed beside Ox and slept for a bit longer. When I got up again I poked around on Facebook for a while, then decided it was close to 9 and that it was time for Ox to wake up. I vacuumed a bit but didn’t get a chance to finish the bedroom before breakfast was ready.

We had eggs, bacon, and waffles. It started snowing at some point while we were eating and the day wasn’t projected to get any better weather-wise.

Ox and I had talked about working out in the addition today, but those plans changed. His mom wanted to figure out the kitchen counters instead. I can’t blame her. Getting the kitchen squared away would be nice since that’s such a used area.

Instead of staying home, we took a bunch of measurements, I drew up a rough schematic of the countertops, I made a grocery list for later, showered, then headed into town to go to Menards.

We looked at countertops for two hours. x.x

I didn’t expect to be there that long. There was tension at a few points between Ox and his mom but overall it was nice. We got to look at new kitchen sinks, too, since Mama Ox doesn’t like the one in the kitchen right now. I was also able to buy a couple of racks to help organize the kitchen; one for skillets and one for baking sheets.

Since it was snowing, and because I still only own sandals, Ox and I agreed that going to a shoe store would be a good idea. We went to my new wing place and got lunch first. I had the same waitress as last time which was nice. She’s pretty friendly. Getting lunch at a relatively quiet place allowed me to recharge from the unexpected drain of counter shopping.

We went to Star Bucks after so I could have a coffee drink, then CVS so Ox could look at different band-aids for his thumb. There was a Famous Footwear store nearby where I was able to get a pair of sneakers I actually like. They’re black with accents of hot pink.

Ox has this thing where he wants me to wear pink. Raver pink, not soft fluffy pink, so I’m more ok with it, but pink really isn’t a color I’ve ever thought of as a “me” color. So yeah, getting shoes with pink in them was definitely a “for him” thing. The laces are pink, too, which at the time I thought was too much. I bought black laces to replace them with, along with socks since the only ones I have are for my work shoes.

It ended up being a bit more expense then I was expecting, but I like them and I needed a pair of shoes to work out in the addition in, or to wear on days like today where it’s cold and wet and snowy, though, hopefully, the snow part of it will be over after today.

There was a Jo-Ann Fabrics store next to the shoe store, so I ran in and bought a packet of tracing paper so I could work on my tattoo design later.

From there I went to a strip club.

Yep.

You totally read that right.

A strip club.

It was the first time I’ve ever been in one. There is a story behind the trip though not all of it is really mine to tell. The bullet point version, without backstory or supporting details is that Ox knows one of the girls who works there. He had to talk to her the other day and she mentioned how he seemed happier and better now that his ex was no longer in the picture. She asked if he was seeing anyone new. He said yes. She said she wanted to meet me and that she worked Saturday. So yeah… we went to a strip club so I could meet one of his friends.

She’s amazing and I feel we clicked pretty well as we talked about Disney movies and anima and how we both can’t wait to see Wreck-it-Ralph 2. We both want to hang out more and I’m actually looking forward to it. Aside from coworkers, I really haven’t met anyone in Nebraska yet. Ever, that’s her stripper name, seems to be the type of person I could actually be friends with.

It was a fun experience, striptease included, and I’m glad I went rather than using my introversion as an excuse not to. I was pretty dead on the energy side of things afterward, though. Meeting a new person in a totally foreign atmosphere was a lot for me and we still had grocery shopping to do. >.<;

Ox was awesome and drove us to the store I prefer. We got everything on the list along with stuff to make a recipe I haven’t made in ages; siracha honey chicken rice bowls.

I also got two 12 packs of Bang while we were there because I totally don’t have an addiction problem or need any sort of intervention…


 

And this is where my writing got interrupted by a conversation Ox and a guildmate from World of Warcraft were having in Discord which led to me logging in to join the conversation which led to me making a rum and coke drink so I could partake in the shenanigans. It was a nice way to end the night and I don’t regret not finishing my writing.

Long story short… Ox and I came home. I put groceries away. I cooked dinner. I sat down and started writing. I had an awesome conversation with friends and we might be trying to plan a guild meet up for next year. With that, I’m off to a new blank page to write about today. : D

 

Daily Post 079: Surviving Another Week

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It’s been a week, to the day, since I’ve written. I want to recap as much as I can remember because I need to remember this week. The ups, the downs. The accomplishments along with the moments of sadness and darkness that I was helped through.


 

March 27th – Tuesday


I had this day off last week. It was the day I wrote. It was the day I was annoyed with Warren his text message.

I felt better after writing. I messaged Ox before getting in the shower since it was close to his break time. He said he was going to be doing lunch with the guys and for me to go ahead and do my thing, so I did.

I showered which continued to help me feel good. I did go to the gym, working through the nervousness and anxiety I had at the thought of being there. I ended up using the “quick fit” room upstairs. It’s the first time I’ve been back upstairs since the yoga class I took almost a month ago.

There was no one else in the room. I got on one of the ellipticals and did that for a little bit to warm up then moved to the machines that are in the room. They’re all bodyweight type machines. The harder you push or pull the more resistance there is. It wasn’t a super intense workout, but I enjoyed it. They have weighted bars in the room so I did a few exercises with those. I also used the exercise balls they had to do “jack-knives”, an exercise L would have me do sometimes during our core circuits.

I was going through everything a second time when I got a phone call from Jon. I decided that was my cue to stop. It was his birthday so I wasn’t going to skip his call and I knew I wouldn’t be in the same mindset to keep going after talking with him. It was a good conversation. He wanted me to proofread an essay for his class if I had time to. I told him to email me a link to the document. Once I was done grocery shopping and was at home I would take a look at it and we could chat about it later in the evening.

I got to tell him a happy birthday.

I’m close to having my “new member” card filled out at the YMCA. I only need one more trip in to get my free t-shirt. I know I’m thinking about it wrong, but it’s sort of sad to me. In two months I’ve only been to the gym nine times. One of those times was to swim in the pool with Ox’s daughter so I don’t even know if that should really count.

Instead of being down on myself I should look at it positively. I could not have gone to the gym at all. I could have stayed home all of those times and done nothing. It doesn’t count the workout I did at 9 Round or my five-mile bike ride. It doesn’t account for the facts of my move and settling in, or the times it snowed and was icky outside. It doesn’t account for the days of grief as mom’s death day draws closer.

It’s always easy to look at what hasn’t been done. What is missing or lacking or can be improved on. It’s harder to step back and look at what DID get done.

I’ve gone to the gym 9 times. That’s nine more times than some people. That doesn’t make me feel like a bawce. It doesn’t give me a feeling of pride or accomplishment, but it does let me know that I’m still trying, sort of like when you try to start up a weed-wacker or lawnmower. it’s like those first pulls where the machine rumbles and sputters, trying to start, but not quite getting there. I feel like that’s what all these past two months have been. I’m trying. I’m getting closer, but I’m still not mentally where I need to be to keep going, to stay started.

Yes, I could be doing “better”. But I could also be doing worse. I could be doing nothing at all. I would rather give myself a small pat on the back for the effort of trying rather than bashing myself and making it seem like my effort isn’t good enough. I know that area of my life is in a sort of fragile state right now, and negative self-talk has never helped in the past so I’m trying to refrain from letting it seep into my thoughts now.

After the gym, I went to the grocery store with the money Ox had left for me. I decided against buying what I needed for my zoodle recipe. There were leftover enchiladas that needed to be eaten, so I got extra lettuce and salsa to go with it. I got a few Bang energy drinks since they are bright moments in my day. I got instant coffee packs for my lunch box along with mini Dove chocolates. There was a bag of dark chocolate with caramel and sea salt. They’ve been amazing so far. My chocolate piece is something I look forward to at the end of my lunch breaks.

I also got eggs and milk for the house. Ox had asked me to pick up mayonnaise for him, too, which made me feel better. I got to get things to make other people’s lives easier. By getting the eggs and milk Mama Ox didn’t have to go out. I got something Ox needed for his lunch box. I also picked him up a bag of Buffalo Ranch Doritos since he likes those and I wanted him to have something as a thank you for giving me money in the first place.

All in all, I stayed under the $40 he gave me, but not by much.

I wasn’t a fan of the store I went to. It was the closest one to the gym which seemed convenient at the time, but I wasn’t as comfortable there. The parking lot was more crowded, as was the store itself. I’m still figuring out things that I like and dislike about the area. Just like in Orlando, I had preferences and “my stores”. I’m finding them here in Nebraska.

If I had to, I could go back to that particular location to do grocery shopping again, but if I have a choice and am on my own, I most likely will drive the extra few miles to go to the one I like more.

When I got home I put the groceries away, meal prepped, and continued with laundry. Jon and I did talk about his essay and then proceeded to continue talking about nothing important. It was a nice conversation and I’m glad he and I were able to talk as much as we did.


March 28th – Wednesday

I worked that day. It was super foggy on the way into work but I made it there fine. I got a text message from Big Bad saying happy hump day and wishing me well at work. Ox overslept and ended up being a bit late for work. Before leaving to head home I had to put the clinic’s CWP into its disinfect cycle. I also had to replace the container of Minncare, the chemical used for the disinfectant, since it was low. It’s not hard, but it’s the first time I’ve had to do anything with the CWP other than read the numbers on the display screen, so I was glad to have had the opportunity to do everything while being supervised. It means I’ll be ok not only initiating the disinfect cycle but replacing the Minncare on my own next time.

That’s about all I can remember about Wednesday day, though.

*takes a short cigarette break*

After consulting with Ox I remember a few more details about Wednesday.

That was the day Ox came home with a small packet of zucchini noodles for me from the store. That means Wednesday was also the day he brought home body wash for us since we were almost out. I had been unable to find what we wanted at the store I had gone to on Tuesday.

But yeah… neither of us can remember anything overly specific about that day. I guess that means we’ll put a dash on the “routine” side of the scoreboard for Wednesday and there’s a small measure of comfort in being able to do that. I wasn’t overly sad on Wednesday. Work wasn’t insane or crazy stressful. I didn’t have issues sleeping that night or the night before.

It was a regular day and I’m glad I can still have those.


March 29th – Thursday

Thursday was the first day I took the clinic’s CWP out of its disinfect cycle. The main RN was there to watch me do it, just like she had been there to watch me put it into disinfect. It’s another fairly easy process, one which I’ll be comfortable doing on my own next time, which will be this Thursday when I go back to work.

It was a short day consisting of only one shift of patients. As I was driving home I decided to go to the gym. I ran on the treadmill, making it through all of my run intervals and finally getting back over the one-mile mark. I didn’t feel dead at the end of it. I actually felt pretty good. There was no breaking of records or anything, but I’m happy with the progress I’ve made since the first time I went to the gym here in Nebraska.

In just a handful of runs, I’ve gone from not being able to complete even half of my intervals to getting through a full run and still having it in me to do more, which I did.

Thursday was the first day where I got on the machines and tested where I was at weight wise. Again, no record breaking since it was more about getting comfortable with the machines themselves and seeing how far I had regressed, but it was nice to stretch out into that territory of newness.

I’m happy that it seems like I haven’t slipped that much in regards to the weight I can handle. I’m more comfortable with the idea of going back to the gym and getting back on the machines and actually doing a “leg day” or “arm day” routine where I do push myself. I’ve been on the machines once. I’ve set the weights. I’ve moved the seats and bars into proper positions. I’ve toed the waters and gone through the initial, “oh god, I look like a noob and everyone is staring at me as I look incompetent, starting and stopping and adjusting and starting only to stop and adjust again, why couldn’t I have just gotten it right the first time >.<; ” so next time it can be all business and badassery.

Me: What’s that, Life? You thought you could stop me? Oh. Don’t mind me while I crush you into the ground.

I did go to the store after the gym, but for the life of me, I can’t remember why or what I go. I just know from going through my text messages that I did… Guess it was another moment of routine-non-memorableness.

Thursday was a particular sexy day on the relationship side of things. And I won’t go into details on that other than to say I have absolutely no complaints.

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March 30th – Friday

Work was crazy, but even with all the hiccups, it wasn’t as bad as a normal day in Orlando. I had to switch out one of the machines because the new RN and I couldn’t figure out the alarm message it was giving. Biomed said they would take a look at it the next time they were at our clinic.

Friday was also payday. The day I had been holding my breath for. So imagine how not ok I was when I ended up being short 20 hours…

Yeah… what the actual fuck?

I knew I was going to be short at least eight by not going to work the previous Saturday, but 20? What the hell?

Once all of the patients were on the machines I took a look at my paystub and realized that the 15th, the day after my certification exam, I wasn’t clocked for any hours even though I know I was at the clinic that day because everyone asked me how I did on the exam.

And this is where it gets a bit confusing talking about people who have yet to be given code names, because at the moment I have three FAs.

I have my old FA in Orlando. I have the FA who has handled all of my stuff so far and who is technically in charge of my clinic. And then there is who will eventually be my FA, who is still in training.

So, the main FA, the one I have been working the most with, was actually at the clinic on Friday which made it easy to talk to her about my paycheck. She corrected the missing hours and I’ll be getting a separate check mailed to the clinic for my missing pay. So that’s nice. Even though I would have liked to have had the money now, at least I’m getting it.

I talked to her more about the reimbursement for my tests and fees which apparently there’s something else I need to do to actually get that money. It’s not like the company adds it to a check or something. No. I have to go into a program and request to be reimbursed and provide proof of having spent the money and shit.

Firstly, I’m glad I kept copies of that stuff.

Secondly, why didn’t anyone tell me that I had to do this like… a month ago… I would have fucking done it already. Arg. >.<;

At least I know what I need to do to finally get that money.

I also found out that since Beatrice is my home clinic, any time I work elsewhere I can get travel compensation which would be roughly $30. Not that I’m scheduled to work elsewhere during this month’s schedule, nor do I want to in the future, but it’s nice to know it’s there and how I can get it in the future.

I was also told that there’s a program here in Nebraska called The Step Up Program. It’s basically a way to decrease the wage gap for technicians. My FA said she will look into that for me since I meet all of the criteria for the 12-month increase. So I may be getting another boost in the near future, not that I’ve gotten either of the two I’ve already earned yet, at least not on this paycheck.

My FA said for me to keep an eye on it. If it doesn’t post on this next check she’ll look into seeing if there’s an issue. She also assured me that I would be retro-paid from the day I earned my certification and for the day my yearly review was marked as complete.

While we were talking, which, yes, we did talk for a while, she asked if I had completed some training she had wanted me to look into. I told her that I hadn’t. I guess it was sort of a big deal that needed to get done before the end of the month. Keep in mind this conversation was happening on the 30th… you know… the day before the end of the month…

I asked my FA if I wasn’t able to get to it during the day if she wanted me to stay after work to do it. She said she would rather I come in on Saturday, which I wasn’t super jazzed about, but I figured it wouldn’t be all that bad. I could still have the morning to myself and I wouldn’t be working the floor. It was only two courses, and it would be overtime.

I said I would come in Saturday and then went back to tackling the day.

I took a moment to message Warren since I hadn’t heard anything back from him. Ox and I drank that night since we wanted to. Nothing major, just enough to unwind. He bought me a bottle of black cherry spiced rum. It’s tasty. : 3


 

March 31st – Saturday

I woke up and had a leisurely morning. I was getting ready to go to work when I got a text message from the tech working at my clinic. Her kid was sick and she wanted to know if I could cover the remainder of the day for her. I said that I had to come into work to do computer stuff anyway, so yeah, I would cover for her.

It really didn’t change much about my day other than how much overtime I’ll be getting. And all I had to do was take patients off the machines since everyone was already on by the time I got there. I got to make sure the clinic was set up the way I wanted for Monday. All Is dotted. All Ts crossed. All pens put back away in their drawer. All setups out with two hemostats and tourniquets for the patients with fistulas. It was a nice feeling.

I didn’t get a chance to start on my computer work until after the day was over, which I was ok with. I was left alone, by myself, at the clinic so I could listen to my music and work uninterrupted. I got through a lot of training actually, not just the two that needed to get done before the end of the month. My old FA had assigned me a test in regards to my annual review. That took the longest since it was a 75 question test.

I called it quits around 12:30. I made it home shortly after that. Ox and I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning up the laundry room, which looks completely different now that the old weight machine that was in there is gone. We actually got rid of a bunch of stuff and organized the rest of it. I still need to go through the cabinet out there along with the piles of stuff on top of the freeze and cabinet, but that’s all stuff I should be able to do relatively on my own. I’ll at least be able to make a box of “go through this” for the things I’m not sure about.

It was an extremely productive day which continued into the evening.

Ox and I went into town for dinner. On the way, we stopped at Home Depot since I had found a shelving unit online that I liked and wanted to get for the clinic. They didn’t have it in stock though, which was a little disappointing. I didn’t want to wait two weeks for it to be shipped to me either.

Ox suggested going to another store in the area. I’m glad we did. I was able to get the socks I wanted for work along with a shelving unit that I liked more than the one I had seen on the Home Depot website and it was significantly cheaper. And I can add that to my list of things to put in my report for what I need to be reimbursed for. Woo.

And actually, Ox is the one who bought my socks. Warm fuzzy feelings. ❤

We tried going to dinner at a wing place I’ve been wanting to try, but they were super busy and noisy. We decided to try the Italian buffet we’ve been to before. If they were busy we would figure out something to take home instead.

The buffet was passable as far as the noise and crowdedness levels went. It was a pretty decent outing and I’m glad we went. The people behind me were playing Magic the Gathering which made me smile.

I did happen to see one of my coworkers while we were at dinner; my preceptor to boot. Out of all of the days to run into someone and out of the roughly 10 people in all of Nebraska that I know, I had to see her and her family on the one day I’m doing date night… for serious, Universe?

In all honesty, it wasn’t that bad. We nodded at each other and left it at that, neither of us wanting to bring work into our non-work lives I guess.

Ox and I had drinks again when we got home.

It was a pretty awesome day and I’m glad I got to experience it.

 


 

So… that’s a lot of writing and I’m pretty much done for now. I’ll catch up on the rest of everything tomorrow. I’m glad I’m ending with memories of my good day. Today itself has been mostly rough, so remembering how awesome Saturday was makes me feel better.