Not proofread due to impromptu dinner plans. : D
I have decided that I’m taking this week off from the dojo. That mostly comes from the fact that it’s already Thursday and I have yet to go, and even though I could go today I would rather continue getting things, tasks, situated and figured out versus going to the dojo.
It’s not that the dojo is slipping in priority because it isn’t.
It’s more I feel the need to “clean house” so to speak. This week has been crazy, and with starting my cycle on Monday, along with a new class, along with a two-hour interview, along with the emotional roller coaster I’ve been on recently, it feels like the better option would be to take a step back, breathe a bit, assess where I’m at and where I want to go, and then start clean this coming Monday.
I’ve been haphazardly accomplishing my days. I’ve done well through all of them, but the only to-do list I made was on Monday. The rest of the days were filled with class and studying and listening to my body, and now we’re at Thursday and I know things in regards to life and building up and I want a game plan going into the weekend for how I’m going to tackle all of it.
This post is me figuring it out and processing through the whys and hows of things.
Firstly, I’m proud of myself. All this week I have been attending a class I had originally been worried about. I honestly didn’t know if I would be able to hack it. Every time I thought about phlebotomy it was with a nervous, “I don’t know how this is going to turn out,” sort of mentality. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to overcome to my past history of fainting and lightheadedness.
I’m proud that I’ve been able to change my mentality and that I am actively working with my own natural physiology. I have a better understanding of why I have fainted in the past while having procedures done to me, so now, when I’m working with my fellow classmates as their “victim” I am able to stay with it and not lose consciousness. Today I actually didn’t get lightheaded at all while I was having a venipuncture performed on me.
Totally giving myself tons of props for all of the forward progress I have made as a “patient” as well as an aspiring phlebotomist.
I think, from a technician side of things, understanding the steps to the procedures, why things are done the way they’re done, all of the behind the scenes of what happens before and after specimens are taken, helps with keeping me grounded during the procedure.
In my head, I am in a very different headspace. I’m in the left side of my brain. I’m thinking about the equipment I need, the steps I need to perform and the order to perform them in. I’m thinking about the tubes I need for specific tests, the additive in the tube, how many times I will need to invert once the specimen is collected. I thinking about what goes in biohazard and what is normal trash and what is classified as sharps.
It’s all left brain with the underlying knowledge that blood is good. It means I have successfully performed the procedure and that with this success a person is one step closer to the help they need to have. This procedure is an important step.
It’s an extremely invasive procedure, so there’s the knowledge that the person is trusting me to help them. There’s a weight with that, an importance, that helps me to stay steady while I do it. I can’t be squeamish. They need me to do this for them.
I got to use a butterfly needle today on the mannequin arm. That’s a 23 gauge needle. It’s pretty small. It felt a lot like the needles I use when I cross stitch. Maybe that’s sort of sick, thinking about a medical needle in relation to the ones I use for a hobby that so many people say, “my grandmother used to do that.” But for me, it helped me find a level of confidence that I didn’t have prior to that thought.
I handle needles all the time. Why should this one be any different or cause me to doubt myself? If anything I should be more confident because it’s a larger needle than the 26 that I constantly move in and out of 28 and 32 sized fabrics. Those sizes are so much smaller, the precision so much finer. This should be a cake walk in comparison.
Yes, this is a person, but the process of having a needle and an intended destination for it is the same. It made me realize that my fear is what is holding me back. My fear of the equipment. The needle.
Why am I scared of 21 gauge medical needles but not 26 gauge stitching needles?
I’m fearful of hurting someone or doing something wrong.
I remember being worried when I first started stitching when I was younger. Most likely around eight years old. I remember being worried that I wouldn’t do the stitches right. But here I am, 20 years later. I love my needles and I do have “favorites” because I’m weird. It’s like having a favorite pen.
I’m not going to be scared of the 21 gauge needles anymore. I understand them better. They have a place inside of my brain now. They’re not bad, they’re different, and that difference is ok. It has a place.
So, yeah. I think I can do this. I CAN do this, and I will do this. The overwhelming list of abbreviations isn’t as intimidating. I understand Order of Draw now. We’re one week in and already I have so much more confidence in myself in this particular area. I’ve gone through my EKG flashcards again and still remember all of my previous information. Nothing is being overwritten with this new content. It’s a good feeling.
I got this.
So all of that in itself is a good enough reason in my book to take it easy in other areas of my life. This was a huge, massive step that I didn’t know if I would be able to do. It required a lot of physical and mental focus, and I’m ok with that temporarily detracting from other areas. Now that I have the confidence I need to go forward my energy can go back into other areas once again.
I got to talk to my younger brother today. The first big payment of my class is due and I’m still sans job. He is sending me money to cover my classes as well as a month of living expenses.
The original conversation was through text messages on Facebook.
It was tense for me. I didn’t want to have to ask for help. Especially with how I’ve written about buying clothes and my shin guards or the time I went to Taco Bell. There was the voice in my head saying that I haven’t been responsible so I don’t deserve to ask for help.
His message of, “This is the only time I will send money. I can’t keep supporting other people and myself,” didn’t help with those feelings because I know them all too well myself.
One of the reasons I’m in the situation I am is because I have given money to others. I don’t want to be that type of person for anyone. I don’t want to put him in a bad position because I’m not able to meet my own responsibilities. I don’t want to feel like I’m failing at adulting.
We were able to talk on the phone later. That helped a lot.
He’s glad I’m doing so well in my class. He’s happy the interview seemed to go well and we both agree that even if this position doesn’t work out that getting something in the hospital is just a matter of time, especially with how I keep improving my skills. It means there will be more opportunities I can reach for and the biggest hurdle of them all is getting that initial foot in the door.
I mentioned how I was thinking about withdrawing from the PCT program and sticking with just the CNA, phlebotomy, and EKG certifications.
Jon: I’ll stab you if you withdrawal. With love… but I’ll still stab you.
He wants me to do the whole course because it will give me more opportunities. He wants me to do the best I can, and completing the course and achieving the PCT certification is doing my best.
Knowing that he’s fully supportive of that direction makes me more ok with the thought of completing the course. The main reason I was thinking about withdrawing was for financial reasons. It would save roughly $800. He thinks it’s worth the investment and is willing to help me with it. So we’re going to do it. All the way. No half-assing or giving up.
It makes me want to do better than my best because it’s not simply me who’s invested into my certifications now. I need to prove it wasn’t a waste to believe in me, to support me, to help me. I’ll do amazing because I’m worth the love and support people give to me and doing well is one way to prove that.
Warren and I talked. We’re going to close out the storage unit. We have an idea of how to rearrange things in the apartment to get his furniture into it. I’m going to sell the futon. Not having the storage unit will lower both of our monthly expenses by $75.
There are several emails in my inbox for expenses. My website is supposed to be renewed, but I think I’m going to hold off on that for the time being. I’m not pursuing a career in computer animation at the moment so I don’t need a website active for employers to view my work. Maybe in the future I’ll activate it again. I still have my domain name, but, for now, it’s not the direction I plan to go.
My shin guards should be here tomorrow. I’m looking forward to them. It means I’ll most likely be stoked to go to the dojo on Saturday since that’s Muay Thai conditioning and I’ll be able to try them out.
I’ve figured out what I want my reward for phlebotomy certification to be. My herb garden. I still haven’t done that even though I said I would back in February. A lot of that is due to how things panned out. I’m not sorry for how things have worked out so far. I’m content with how my time and energy has been spent. I’m ok with saving my garden so that it has deep and meaningful significance for me rather than simply being something I give myself because I want it.
I did something amazing and I’ll have something that reminds me of that accomplishment every time I go into the kitchen.
And actually, I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t go to the dojo. Big Bad just messaged me asking if I wanted to have dinner with him. If I were at the dojo I wouldn’t have gotten his message and I would like to spend the evening with him, relaxing, decompressing, and regrouping for the day of “life” productivity I have planned.
I’m glad I was able to process through most of this.
The only thing that I haven’t mentioned is last night. Last night started getting rough. My grief was swelling. It’s been cold the past few days and I think that factored into it. I don’t like being physically cold. It seems to amplify the emotional hurt I feel.
When Warren came downstairs last night I was on the couch. I was reading something and he asked if I was ok. I said not really, that things were emotionally rough at the moment. He gave me a hug and I started to cry. I said I didn’t understand why there was such a difference inside my head between day 365 and day 364, but there was and the closer we get to April 4th, the closer to March 23, the more I hurt.
I think another part of the roughness of Wednesday evening was due to the rawness of Tuesday morning with Big Bad.
I think it was good to talk to Warren last night. That’s one of the reasons we wanted to be roommates. To physically be in each other’s worlds when we have moments like what I had last night. Where I needed a hug and a friend and someone to let me know I wasn’t as alone as I felt.
It was nice that we ended up talking about the storage unit and made plans to close it out on Tuesday. We got to talk about the apartment. We got to make plans and brainstorm and it helped even me out and ground me back in life rather than being lost in my emotions.
He still drives me crazy with his dirty dishes, but it’s such a minor thing compared to the problems I could have. He doesn’t steal from me or go into my room. He doesn’t do drugs or murder hookers in his bath tube. I mean really… dirty dishes in the sink every morning is pretty minor and I know at the moment I’m overly sensitive to things.
I’ll keep breathing and working through the issues I have, but overall I think things are ok. I think I’m going in a good direction and even though I haven’t been to the dojo in almost a week I think this was an ok break to take. I need to make sure life stays on track and with how all over the place and demanding it has been this past week I’m content and proud of how I’ve handled things.
Now I’m off to go have a wonderful dinner and potentially kick some ass in Mortal Kombat.