Daily Post 136: Post-Test and the Other Three Weeks

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I passed my state tests. I passed with flying colors on the skills portion, including manual blood pressure, and with an 88 on the written portion. The 88 sort of eats away at me. I would have liked for it to be in the 90s. But when they ask things like, “Your resident wants to vote. What do you do?” it’s not really fair. The class taught me that residents had the right to vote, not what I am supposed to do as a CNA. Do I request the ballet myself on their behalf or inform the charge nurse? Nothing in the book told me what to do. Nothing in the class told me what to do. So now I have a 50/50 chance of getting the question right. Or wrong. There were several questions like. Nothing about proper temperature or blood pressure ranges. No “What does this abbreviation mean?” It’s frustrating, but for the time being, it’s over. No more classes to stay up late for. No more three hours naps before work the next day. No more discussion posts which aren’t worth the time to read or reply to. It’s done. It’s over. I don’t have to think about school until possibly October.

And no more six-day work weeks. I made it through that stint of the holiday season and all of the emotional roller coaster that goes with overworking myself during one of the hardest times of the year for me.

I made it through my birthday. Lil’ Ox baked a cake for me with Mama Ox. I blew out my candles after everyone sang happy birthday to me. I opened the presents I was given. I didn’t cry at work while people told me happy birthday. I saved it all for home where Ox held me while I cried on the front porch and admitted to being sad and missing mom.

I made it through Christmas and the week of having the kids here while working every day and having no true alone time. Lil’ Ox and I stitched a fair amount. Ornery Ox and I made a trip to the gas station, just the two of us. I stayed home alone while everyone else went into town to spend a few hours with the rest of the family. I talked to my brothers and my dad. I’ve even replied to all of the text messages and Facebook messages I’ve received over the past few weeks.

I passed my annual skills check at work yesterday. Actually, everyone at my clinic passed their skills check on the first try so we’re getting pizza tomorrow for lunch to celebrate.

I also cannulated our patient’s new fistula yesterday morning so I should be NFACT certified now as an expert cannulator.

Our new tech was there yesterday. She’s going to be in training with me for the next month. We get along extremely well together. She’s also super into organization and to-do lists so I think once the clinic opens up to six days a week again that we’ll be able to transition into it fairly well. We have similar mindsets and are both open to creating / editing systems and finding what works and changing what doesn’t. She’s open to trying the systems that I’ve developed over the past 10 or so months of working by myself and I’m open to changing my ways and trying new things. As long as we maintain communication I think we’ll be able to work through any friction or challenges that will pop up in the coming weeks and months.

There’s a new RN who started training this week as well. She’s been an ER nurse for the past however many years, so I think she’ll actually do fairly well. I haven’t interacted with her all that much but my impression is that she’s sharp. She’ll catch on quick and she’s used to a fast-paced, fluctuating environment. She’s used to having to react quickly to critical situations. I think once she becomes comfortable with the machines that she’ll be alright. It would be nicer if she were a little more open and friendly, but she’s not un-friendly so at least there’s that. I can work with distant and maybe as we interact more we’ll warm up to each other.

So, things at work are going well. I’m planning to take the second week of February off for vacation. I’ll be staying at home and not really do a whole lot other than not working. There currently aren’t plans for amazing productiveness or any trips to stress or plan over. Just a week of self-care essentially. Taking a step back and recharging my batteries. The new tech will, ideally, be through training and comfortable doing things on her own and if not I would only a 20-minute drive away to come help if needed.

This is the first week in a while where I’m only working three days and it’s only this morning where I’m beginning to feel more like myself and less on the verge of burnout. The thought of grocery shopping doesn’t feel like sandpaper under my skin. The thought of socializing still feels heavy, but not as much as it did.

I’m planning to take the last week of March off to visit Orlando, as well. It will be Jon’s birthday. My dad will actually be in Florida with my half-sisters visiting Disney. We’re thinking of trying to meet up, all of us, one evening for dinner.

And there’s a Warrior Dash in Kansas this summer. Originally I wanted to try to run the one in Florida scheduled for February, but I like the new plans more. I haven’t been going to the gym or the dojo. I know I won’t be where I want to be within a month. The new game plan gives me more time to ease back into my self and to continue at a pace I can be successful with.

In addition to all of the events I have been a part of and gone through, it’s also a new year. I don’t have resolutions. My goal was to survive and I did. I didn’t get Ox’s Christmas gift done like I wanted, so it’s turned into my “one-year” gift for him. That’s coming up. Hard to believe I’ve been here in Nebraska for as long as I have. Looking back at the past year makes me realize how much I have accomplished for work and my career, but also with my health, and with my relationships, specifically with Ox. I have been far from stagnant in any area of my life.

I also submitted my essay for the leadership course I applied for. I don’t think I’ll be heartbroken if I don’t get chosen. I’ll know tomorrow so we’ll see I suppose. I don’t think it will be as heavy of an obligation as what my CNA class was, but I’m also ok with not adding more to my plate. Whatever happens, happens and I’ll figure it out from there. I do think the essay came out better than I thought it would. It’s definitely better than the first draft I wrote.

Ox and I are doing well. He’s been amazingly supportive and encouraging during this roller coaster of a ride. He was there for me after my state test. He kept the kids entertained on the days I needed alone time. He’s cooked me eggs so I have breakfast while I’m at work. He’s helped with the laundry and making the bed. He’s listened to me talk and cry and helped me feel secure. I don’t think I would have done nearly as well these past weeks if it weren’t for his support and I’m grateful he’s in my life.

We had Tuesday off together since it was a holiday. The morning started with a lot of tears and crying, mostly because it was the first day off where I could begin emotionally processing through nearly a month worth of experiences. It left me feeling fragile and tired for most of the day but it was a very nice, quietly productive, and connecting day in spite of those feelings.

We cleaned the inside of our computers which was something we had talked about a few weeks ago. We ended up going into town for breakfast at Cracker Barrel. It was crowded and busy but we had a pleasant server and though it was six degrees outside, it was nice to be spending time together out of the house. We went to Best Buy and Walmart. I got a peppermint mocha from Star Bucks with a gift card he got from his work. I now have a pair of warm gloves to keep my fingers from freezing; the last piece of winter gear I was missing. We were even able to get a case of Cotton Candy Bang from the gas station since GNC was sold out and not going to get a shipment in for a while. While I could have made do with the Sour Head flavor I still have a few cans of, knowing that I have my favorite flavor to look forward to gave me warm fuzzy feelings about waking up on my workdays.

Ox and I got a USB / outlet wall mount to go above our bedside table. That meant we could get rid of the alarm clock that was taking up space and never being used aside from charging the phones. Not that I have strong feelings about an unused alarm clock taking up my cross-stitching space or anything…

The wall mount also gave me warm fuzzy feelings and actually did a surprising amount of work in regards to battling back the grief/depression of the past few weeks. It gave me a small, little project to look forward to when we got home. It made me want to go home and to do something other than nothing. It was one, small change to make things in the room better. And I keep saying “me” and “our” though, in truth, Ox was the one to set everything up. I didn’t do anything other than spend money and carry a bag into the house. He ran the cord and attached the mount to the wall. He’s the one who got rid of the alarm clock and freed up more space for me and my things.

Still, I can’t deny that the changed helped me. One, small step forward that makes all of the other steps not seem so bad. One step got accomplished so other steps can be made. It doesn’t have to be giant leaps that require energy and motivation and a mass amount of effort that I don’t feel I have. Things can be small and manageable while still being fulfilling.

There was a lot of quietly productive things about Tuesday that helped warm me on the inside and fight back the sadness that I’ve been struggling with.

I know I’ve been… something recently. I don’t know if it’s depression or grief since they feel so similar to me. I know burnout was part of the mixture which always makes me more sensitive to events, but I think Tuesday things started turning around. Our small bedroom project helped. Passing my skills test yesterday marked the last major stressor I had to get through. I’m not going to say it’s smooth sailing from here because I work dialysis. There’s no such thing as “normal”. But things should settle down a bit and I’m grateful for that. I will have more time to focus on myself and my inner world and my homeworld; my relationship world.

I’ve already been fairly productive today, and that too makes me feel better. I’ve gone through my emails, replying to comments on my tutorials and such. I resubmitted the rebate for the contacts I bought with the proper receipts. I’ve already put dye in my hair so I can rinse it out before much longer. I made a to-do list for my car on Tuesday so I have a game plan for that. I’ve taken stock of the bathroom so far, writing down things I need to get while I’m at the store; things I normally forget until I’m taking a shower and remember, “Oh yeah, I’m running low on body wash. I should write that down once I dry off….”

I’ve gone through most of my “inbox” stack of papers. Most of the things that are left are recipes I need to make a decision about. Jon should be calling me before too long so we can chat for a bit and catch up with each other and our lives.

Overall I think I’m on the right track. I still have a long ways to go to get things cleaned up, situated, and back to how they were, but I’m taking the steps I need to and I think I’m being mindful while I do it. I’m going to continue to take this week easy. I may go to the dojo tomorrow night. I may go Saturday, but I’m not holding myself to an obligation of it. I would like to cook dinner for everyone since that’s something I haven’t been doing as much as I was when I first moved here.

This week is about breathing and letting go of all of the stress and anxiety I’ve had to contend with over the past three weeks while getting back in touch with myself and the things I want; the things that make me feel happy, or at least content with myself and connected with my true inner priorities.

And so, with that, I guess I’m going to go so I can keep plucking away at the small to-do list I wrote for myself today. Writing was one of the things on there and I’m glad I took the time to do it. I know there are a lot of details from the past three weeks that will be forgotten about and left unwritten but I feel like I got a majority of the events. I’m glad I wrote about Tuesday because that really was the first step, the first day towards getting back to myself. Maybe I’ll be able to write more regularly in the coming weeks.

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Daily Post 133: Finally Back Home

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I’ve been back from Dever for a few days now. I got back Wednesday evening around 8:45. I drove home and saw Ox. We went to sleep only to wake back up at 3 in the morning. He headed to work and I drove to Fremont to cover a shift at the clinic there, then came back to Lincoln. Ox and I met up for lunch before going back home. We had Chinese at a place we’ve seen before. I really liked it and hope to continue to be able to go there on those special occasions where we go out.

Thursday evening I should have gone into the class for my last chance to participate in clinical, but I didn’t. Instead, I stayed home that evening, going to bed early to wake back up and cover a shift at my own clinic Friday morning.

I was dead. Not one of those “I’m sort of tired but it will burn off as the day goes on” sort of deads. No. This was a physical barrier of, “I’m your body and you’re asking too much of me so I’m going to make you feel like crap for the whole day because fuck you for not taking better care of me,” sort of deads.

I was ridiculously slow at everything I did on Friday and the only reason we stayed on schedule was because it was me, the float RN, and my FA on the floor and both of them were running circles around me. I’m grateful for them pulling my slack because I wouldn’t have been able to make it through the day without them.

It was good to see all of my patients after an entire week’s absence. I got to share my adventure with all of them and that most likely contributed to me being “behind”. All of the time I spent talking and catching up with people was time that I wasn’t working or making sure all of the tasks on my PCT checklist got done.

It was a pretty good day overall, just one where I knew right from waking up that surviving my day would be my main goal. Mission accomplished, if just barely.

The trip itself wasn’t as awful as I thought it would be. I ended up getting into Dever close to 4 pm. I messaged Chrys since I had time to kill that evening. I booked an Uber out to Aurora and spent the evening with her and her son. We had homemade spaghetti for dinner and EJ got to read me a few bedtime stories. Once her son was in bed we were able to chat for a bit before I had to get back to the hotel since I had an early morning to prepare for.

Overall, it was a fantastic way to decompress from the trip out there and a very nice last minute addition to the trip. Having some social time with someone I care about was definitely restorative and a pleasant break from my normal routine. I made it back to my hotel room around 9ish. I met my roommate for the event and was pleased that she seemed pretty nice. Her name was also Jen. Go figure. XD

The first day of the event was decent but long. I didn’t sleep well the night before and had to fight off a headache for most of the day. We got into things like the MBTI and communication skills and conflict resolution. All sorts of psychology things, so I was fairly engaged through most of it.

We created our own personal credos and then graded ourselves on how well we were living up to it currently. Balance was one of the things on mine and the area where I graded myself the lowest.

I’ve picked up a lot of overtime for the coming two weeks. This week is going to be my only “normal” week work wise and that’s still with having to take the final tests for my CNA class, so even it isn’t going to be all that restful.

I need to remember to maintain balance and to not burn myself out. I need the things that make me feel fulfilled and which recharge me. I need time to grocery shop and do laundry and meal prep. I need time to go to the dojo and the gym. I need time to sleep enough at night so I don’t limp through my days depending on coffee to survive. I need time with Ox to feel connected with him. I need time to have phone calls with Jon and the other people in my life that I love. I need time to cross-stitch and write.

I need “me time” and I can’t have that if all I do is work seven days a week.

So while I can’t really back out of the obligations I’ve already given myself, I can be more mindful going forward and that’s what I intend to do. The new year should see things being a bit smoother. The new tech will be with me for a few weeks to train on our machines. We just hired a new RN since the other one wasn’t working out. She has to give 30 days at her current job, but it should only take her about eight weeks to go through the training process. I’ve already talked to my FA about taking time off of work in February to visit Florida. I could see Jon. I could run the Warrior Dash that’s held there. Big Bad said he would be interested in running it with me. I guess that means I have to work on that whole running thing again so I don’t suck. I could see my old teammates and patients. I could see a handful of other people from my inner circle. I could have lunch at my sports bar.

There’s all sorts of things I could do that I’ve wanted to do. It gives me something to think about and look forward to.

Chrys ended up having Wednesday off since it was a federal holiday so she drove me to the airport. That was also a nice change of plans. Both the fight out and back were non-stop flights on fairly small planes so I got to have a window seat by myself rather than being stuck between two people the whole time.

When I got to work Friday I had an email saying I had made it to phase two of the leadership application process. I haven’t worked on it any more than the rough post I wrote the other day, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot.

As far as this weekend goes… I’ve paid bills. I’ve gone through my email inbox. I’ve gone through the pile of papers that was next to my computer desk. I’ve unpacked fully. I’ve done laundry. I’ve meal prepped and am back to doing low carb meals. I’ve sent a message through Facebook to my sensei explaining my extended absence. I’ve bought Christmas cards to give to my patients. I’ve cleaned and dusted my computer desk with plans to open up my computer tower to clean it out later in the week with Ox. Ox has also been extremely helpful. He’s washed the sheets for the bed which we made together. He’s helped me fold the laundry and put it away. He’s cleaned his own areas of the room so it’s not as cluttered or icky feeling anymore.

He went grocery shopping with me yesterday where we had lunch together, just us. We got a new shower curtain and bath mat set this morning while we were out getting aluminum foil which he set up for me while I put bacon on the cooking sheets for breakfast. Go, team!

Spotify sent out their end of year stuff. I’ve listened to something like 4500 new songs this year. That’s almost 12 songs a day. And here I thought I slacking on expanding my music selection.

I finished the fairy cross-stitch pattern I’ve been working on, so I’ll most likely make a post with all of those progress images. I’ve started a new project, but since it’s for Ox and he’s not allowed to see it under penalty of death, I won’t be posting progress images of that one either. I’ll save posting a completed image of it until after Christmas once he’s had a chance to open it.

My class is almost over. This coming Tuesday I have the final test for the class and I sign up for state testing. Thursday is the state written test and for those signed up, the state skills test. Everyone else will have to wait until the following Tuesday to complete their skills test. Part of me wants to go on Thursday and be done with it. The other part of me wants to wait until Tuesday so I have more time to freak out and/or study. Mostly freaking out though since I know that’s what I’ll do.

I really do have other things my time would be better invested in other than freaking out but there you go.

I’m sure there are other things I could write about in regards to my trip or the events leading up to my departure as well as the events since my return home, but I feel this post covers a lot of it.

Ox and I have been doing well. He was supportive of me while I was gone, including taking a phone call where I asked if I could be honest. He said yes and I admitted to wanting to come home while tears rolled down my cheeks. It wasn’t a bad trip, but when you’re an introvert surrounded by 650 other people, forced to participate in team trivia where they ask which Super Bowl did the Broncos most recently win… you kind of just want to curl up in bed under the blankets and hide. Only you can’t because then your roommate is going to want to know what’s wrong or think you’re weird and can’t handle human interaction.

Ox promised that I could come home and hearing those words, as silly as they may seem, made me feel more ok.

We’ve had a lot of sexy time since I’ve been back. Totally ok with all of it. Just yes. All of the yes.

Anywho, aside from feeling like I’m caught back up for the most part with life, I think that’s about it. For now, I’m going to go cross-stitch before working on some discussion posts for my class later in the day. The rest of today should be fairly calm and relaxing. No working on the addition. No trips into town. Just hanging out and resting before what should be a fairly normal day at work tomorrow.

This coming week is the calm before the storm, but I’m already planning for that. I have a container of chili in the freezer. I want to make a batch of chicken taco soup which freezes nicely as well. I want to prep well in advance since I’m going to have so little time in the next two weeks to truly meal prep. I’m doing a keto BLT salad this week which seems to be doing well. I tried it yesterday. I might add more bacon to it the next time I make it, but overall I think it turned out well which is good because it was cheap and simple to toss together. Another meal I can add to my arsenal for the coming battle.

It was a good trip, but I’m glad to be home. And with that, I’m off to continue with my decompressing.

Daily Post 130: Square One

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A lot has happened in the past 24 hours.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Universe: Hold my beer…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Me: I love you guys so much.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am beyond grateful.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m back to square one, mom.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Musing Moments 117: Waking Up Late

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So I thought I had training at 10 am this morning. Turns out it was set for 8:30 and there’s no possible way for me to make it on time. That sort of sucks. I’ve had a good morning so far and now I feel like I’ve dropped the ball. I’ve already messaged my trainer to see if we can reschedule for later today or possibly tomorrow. I’m waiting to hear back from him.

Aside from that, the morning has been going smoothly. I can’t say I’m heartbroken over the mishap. It means I get to write without feeling rushed. I can still enjoy my coffee as I sit and type everything out. I can potentially to go the gym here, which I didn’t do yesterday. I can get the laundry started, which needs to get done, and I can spend a majority of the day gaming, which is something I want to do.

It can be a lazy day for the most part; slowly productive.

Yesterday wasn’t bad. The more I work the more I realize that no matter what I do, it’s most likely always going to suck and leave me tired. 16 hour days were brutal. 12 hours still kick your ass, though. I’m done, mentally, by the time change over gets settled and then I still have to stick around for another four hours after that until all of the patients finish their treatment. And then I have to close down the clinic and drive about 30 minutes home.

By the time everything is said and done I really don’t want to do anything. I have the energy to chill and relax, but going places, doing actual things, being around more people… I really don’t want any of that. I want to change into comfy clothes. I want to be off my feet. I want to be home and know that I’m done being in charge and making things happen.

I feel like I’ve been writing about the same things lately, over and over again. I whine about work. I whine about the gym. I whine about my eating. I don’t like feeling like I’m whining without taking active steps to fix the things I’m whining about. I don’t want to be “that person”. They’re annoying as fuck. Either fix your problems or stop complaining. >.<;

Well, my job isn’t going to change. That’s a fact. I don’t have the option to work an eight-hour shift. So working different hours isn’t a choice.

I could look elsewhere for employment, leaving my patients, my boss, and my pay which while it might make for pretty wonderings inside my head, comes with its own set of hardships and problems and stress to figure out. It’s not an option I really want to entertain. At least, not at the moment with having no other active certifications to ease the transition into a new line of work outside of dialysis.

Ox suggested doubling up my workouts instead of trying to go to the gym after work. He suggested doing my personal training and then a second workout on the same day.

Blarg. It was easier to do things when I was unemployed. There are certain things I miss about that year of my life. It was easier to focus on improving myself.

At the moment, I like the idea of finishing my writing, showering, then going to the gym to row and do yoga. There’s a peacefulness, a sense of smoothness and unrushed completion. I don’t have to drive far which is an added bonus and something that makes everything here in Nebraska a bit harder to do. Everything is at least a 20-minute drive one way.

Maybe it would be better to move training to after work since I would already in the Beatrice. It wouldn’t be extra driving on my days off. More efficient gas wise.

Arg. I don’t know. I do know that even though I’m back from my trip and doing “better” in most areas then I was before I left, I still haven’t done anything extra in regards to working out like I had hoped and I still can’t fight through the burnout I feel after work to really do much of anything.

Today there’s an SCA combat practice scheduled, but the thought of seeing people I haven’t seen in months and explaining my absence makes me not want to go. I don’t know if that’s anxiety and something I should work through or if I should be patient with myself and go when it feels “right”.

I guess part of it is I don’t feel like fighting. I don’t want to put my armor on. I don’t want to go to the dojo and spar. And at the moment I don’t know what those feelings mean.

I’m worried when I weigh in on Thursday that there still won’t be much progress and that thought is demotivating. Maybe that’s a factor to the “not wanting to do anything” feelings. I feel… defeated in a way. I know I’m going to lose so why fight a battle I can’t win?

That’s not a very healthy mentality. If I would get up and do the things I know I should do, I would be making progress. I would see more changes. I would know it’s not a pointless, unachievable task. Hell. I already know it’s not because I’m sitting here in a pair of my new shorts since I had to go buy new clothes because my old stuff wasn’t fitting well anymore.

I can still see the changes in my arms and legs. I still have way more muscle definition than I’ve ever had in my life. I KNOW my body composition has changed because of what I was doing before my vacation, so why is there so much aversion now and the feeling that it’s pointless?

As much as I dislike this thought, part of it might be my feelings for Ox. I want to come home and see him when I’m done with work. We don’t get much time together. The thought of spending another hour or more away doing my own thing isn’t all that appealing anymore. When I felt more like a roommate I think it was easier. It didn’t feel like it mattered if I was home or not. Who cares if I come home right after work or spend a few hours at the dojo, pulling into the driveway an hour before bedtime?

Well… I care. I want my time with my companion. I want my me time, too, but not as much as I want my hug and comfy clothes I guess.

My trainer just responded. I can meet with him at 3:30 today which means I can still have my lazy morning. I can still go row and warm up, loosen up, and then do some yoga. I can still do the laundry and defrost the chicken. I can still stop by Walmart on the way home and pick up the veggies I want.

The day can still work out nicely even with my unintentional mess up this morning.

I wish there was an easy solution to everything. Or at least a solution I wanted to implement. The whole “push through it and do it anyway” mentality isn’t working for me. Honest answer, I don’t want to go to the gym on my work days. So I guess that leaves finding a different course of action.

I don’t want to wake up at 2 am to go to the gym either, so the option to workout before work gets scratched off the list, too. That leaves working out on my off days or not doing it at all, which I don’t want that option to be on the list either.

So… I guess that leaves trying to pull double duty. That still gives me four days a week to do stuff, theoretically. That’s more than half… so why is there this feeling of not good enough?

Most likely because I WAS unemployed for a year and got the chance to do six days a week, three hours each day. I know what I’m capable of and so I know how much less I’m doing now than I was before.

I also know how much I was doing before I left Orlando, which was only an hour a week. It feels like I’m back there in a way. I do personal training and that’s about it. But I have a personal life in addition to my training, which I didn’t have in Orlando. I sleep fuller nights here, too, since I have more than five hours before I have to turn around and be back to work.

I know that I’m spending $60 a month on a membership I’m not really using, which sucks. It’s wasted money and since it’s a contract there’s no way out of it. I need to start using it to justify not putting that money towards my car or credit card. I know the gym is important to me and I do want to continue on my path to be a healthier me.

Maybe that’s really the whole crux to this area of my life. How do I know when I’m healthier? How do I know when I’ve achieved something I was working towards when I have nothing defined to and for myself or a quantifiable thing to measure?

I’m not consciously, actively working towards something, so all of my actions feel pointless, directionless, and useless.

In addition to the LPN program paperwork, maybe that’s something else I can try to work through today. I need a goal so I know why I’m doing the things I’m doing.

Maybe I should try doing the 30-day challenge again.

I have about six hours before I need to be to training. I guess we’ll see what I can get done and figured out during that time.

Daily Post 099: Taking Care of Business

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Today has been a decent day.

Last week I got another notice from Spectrum about the internet account I’m “no longer associated with”. Let me tell you how happy I was to receive a late payment notice…

So that was the first thing I started my morning with, aside from breakfast and a cup of coffee. Mentally preparing for battle and everything. The guy I spoke to was super nice. He listened to my story.

Bullet Points:
Went to Spectrum location with roommate before move
Worked with representative to switch the account over
Contacted about a month later because original representative fucked shit up
Filled out paper emailed to me
Emailed paper to Warren
Warren, theoretically, filled out his part of the paper and turned it in
Still receiving messages about the account

According to the guy on the phone, I was still connected to the account.

Right Brain: Burn everything to the ground! /rage

Left Brain: Has this been messing with my credit since all of the letters have been about late payments?

The representative took all of my information out of the account, including my banking and card information. I am no longer legally responsible for the account what so ever. I have it on recording. I have the date of the conversation on my Google Calendar, so if anything comes of this in the future I can hopefully refer back to it.

And, according to the guy, since the account never went to a claims agency, it shouldn’t have affected my credit, and definitely wouldn’t going forward.

So that’s off my to-do list. I’m glad it went smoothly. I’m glad it’s done.

I messaged Warren to let him know I spoke with Spectrum and that I would like to talk to him. I still haven’t heard anything back from him. I’m not surprised. I’ve sort of given up on anything from him which saddens me. I would like to think I still matter to him. As one of the few people left in my life who knew my mom, it sucks to feel like I’ve lost his friendship as well. I’m tired of trying, though. I’m tired of reaching out asking to talk and receiving nothing in return.

Not an, “I’m busy.” Not even an acknowledgment that I messaged. Just silence and a notification on the message saying it was seen.

Whatever. Maybe one day things will be different. But right now, I’m tired of wasting energy on it.

After the phone call with Spectrum, I called the hospital I’ve been trying to become a new patient at. I need to have a physical done for work so I can get a discount on my insurance for the coming year.

To recap the story on that… I found a place that’s in my circle for my insurance. I called and tried to make an appointment. As a new patient, they needed me to fill out a bunch of paperwork before they would schedule said first appoint.

Fine… I’ll fill out your paperwork.

They mailed it to me. I took a while to fill it out but finally did. I was even diligent and eventually went to the place to turn it back in. They said everything was filled out properly so they would send the medical release form to my old provider and once they received my records I would be called to schedule my first appointment.

Well… that was like a month ago…

So I called this morning to figure out what was going on with that. In addition to needing the physical, my birth control is going to need to be replaced soon.

The person I spoke to at the hospital was also extremely kind. She looked in their database. They already have my records so she’s not sure why I wasn’t called, but if I wanted, I could go ahead and make an appointment while I was on the phone. So that’s done and taken care of. My appointment is for August 30th since I’m going out of town and I had agreed to pick up a day at work, but couldn’t remember what day since it wasn’t written down anywhere. Lame.

So it’s a ways off, but at least it’s going to happen now. Yay adulting. We even set up my preferred pharmacy while we were at it.

That left figuring out my paycheck correction. I wasn’t at work so I didn’t have access to my paystubs, but I figured I would try calling and see if anything could be done.

That phone call sort of sucked. The person I spoke to was pretty bitchy. She wouldn’t let me get a word in edgewise. I also felt berated for “not having any useful information to help her solve my problem”. Sorry that I’m at home on my day off and that your system won’t let me access my information unless I’m at my clinic? Needless to say, it was frustrating and nothing got solved. In fact, she said she wouldn’t explain anything about my paystub to me unless I had it in front of me because I wouldn’t understand anything she was saying.

I hope that call gets pulled for one of her reviews.

From there the day was pretty chill. I talked to Jon for about an hour. He got to unload all of his drama on me and I got to inform him about mine. After that was a phone call from Ox while he was on lunch break.

That didn’t leave much time before I needed to head to the gym for training. I showered and got ready. I made sure all of my stuff was packed then loaded it into the car and headed out.

Training went well. We’re in a new phase now, so was a lot of new stuff. Ninja jumps are pretty cool. I got to push the sled again, which was fun. He asked how my eating went last week and I owned up and said it had been shitty. I explained the discontent with work and my schedule and how when I feel things are unresolved that I have a tendency to not eat.

I also got to explain that I felt like I had that side of it figured out and that I wasn’t going to let work win. I’ve resolved to stick it out for a little bit. I had another conversation with my FA and found out that the Cap City location has hired several people. The South Lincoln location also hired another person. There was a promising interview with another tech, and our clinic specifically has two nurses which should work out.

It’s going to take a few months to get everyone through training, but things should start improving as long as I can stick it out for this rough patch. So that’s what I’m going to try to do. Instead of jumping ship I’m going to wait and see how it goes.

With that settled inside my head, it’s been easier to eat and drink the way I need to. I still haven’t made a decision on the dojo membership. I don’t think I’m going to do anything this month since I’m about to go out of town. I might just stick with training and the gym and biking here and there while it’s summer and turn more to the dojo in the winter months once things, in theory, settle down again with work.

Which, speaking of bike rides… I didn’t go on one this weekend. Instead, I stayed home for most of it and gamed and it was nice. No regrets. I got to chat with friends from Orlando and run dungeons with them. I progressed my storyline so I’m closer to getting my character’s mount. I also finally bought the game so I’m out of the free trial restrictions.

Basically, this weekend was mostly me not being an adult and it was the break I needed I think. Yesterday and today I’ve felt better and more able to take care of what needs to get done. I actually had something to give at the gym without struggling with the feelings of “what’s the point”.

The point is, the gym and the dojo are what I want. I don’t really have to have a reason other than that. I don’t have to understand the deeper side of it, even though I know there is one. I feel better when I workout. I feel better when I push myself to do things I didn’t think I could do, or things I’ve been told I can’t do. I like proving to myself that I am good enough and I’m not going to let work take that away from me. I’m not going to let emotional discord over what my work schedule may or may not become keep me from taking proper care of myself or keep me from enjoying the things I have in this moment.

In this moment, at home, we got the insulation for the roof of the addition. I got to move a lot of the bags and stack them so it’s organized and compact so when we get to the stage of actually putting it up it will be easy to get to and move. I started putting up the cardboard in the rafters last night so there’s that much less to do. I didn’t make any further progress on that today, but I’m mostly ok with that.

I don’t mind how today went. Lil’ Ox and I biked to the gas station when I got back from the gym. Once this is done I will have written, another thing which is important to me and takes time to do. I have plans to make a decent dinner for myself and after that, I will shower before going to sleep so I’m rested for my workday tomorrow.

Work has been going smoothly so the thought of going in tomorrow doesn’t kill a part of my soul. Our AA should be back before too much longer which will be nice.

I don’t think there’s a whole lot else to report. I’m sort of counting down the days ’til I get to see my brothers. I’m sort of looking forward to my weigh in on Thursday. I’ll be happy if I’ve maintained during my week of feeling meh. I’ll be pleased if there’s any forward progress, and if I’ve gained I’ll be understanding with myself and know that this too shall pass and the only thing I can do is make choices more in line with what I want going forward.

So with that, I’m going to go forward with the rest of my night because I’m hungry and sleep sounds amazing.

Musing Moment 115: Making Work Work For Me

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I’m sort of beyond furious right now.

I had just spent the past like… three hours figuring out EVERYTHING in regards to my discontent with work. And then the internet fucked up and copied over what I wrote with something else and since I write in Grammarly and didn’t realize it had messed up my writing, when I closed the window it saved the incorrect writing and there’s no way for me to get back what I originally wrote.

So much rage. If I could break the Internet right now I would. Without remorse even because it deserves to die a horrible stabbity death.

INFJ righteous rage at its finest.

So this is going to be a much more condensed version of what I wrote before, with more curse words, because I’m not going to rewrite everything as it was and cursing makes me feel better.

Firstly… Fuck you, Universe.

Moving on. My original writing started with me talking about how I’ve been low energy since my race and identifying a multitude of factors which could have or currently are contributing to the prolonged lull.

First big event with a bunch of people
Dehydration
Eating carbs and having to get back into ketosis

I think I did a lot of help myself as best I could

Sleeping
Prepping everything beforehand so Sunday was a light day
Actually letting Sunday be a light day instead of doing a bunch of shit
Writing and whining to mom because it gave me stuff to think about

I’m going to take a moment here to say that I do appreciate the relationship I have with Ox. While sex is important to me, by writing I realized that there are a lot of aspects about our relationship that I value, and that no, sex isn’t everything and though we do have our own self-imposed difficulties, we have a lot of really positive things going for us.

Ok. Sappy emotional moment over. Moving on since I’m still rage-filled because fuck you, Internet.

I think the conversation I had with my FA on Monday is the biggest factor to my continued low energy. I was told after my vacation I would have to start covering shifts at Cap City so other techs could be more familiar with how our clinic is run, since Friday was a cluster fuck of disaster with both me and my FA going out of town at the same time.

Right Brain: Great. Just when I’ve found my dojo and am about to drop $130 for a monthly membership, you’re going to take it away from me. Thanks. I feel like everything I love is being taken away from me again. You do realize the last time I felt this way I moved halfway across the country, right?

bucket

To be fair, I’ve been thinking about new work for a bit. Upon thinking deeper on it I’ve realized there are a lot of downsides.

New boss
New team
New environment
New schedule which may or may not work with what I want
Most likely less pay when I already have issues with making less than what I was making at Full Sail

Not a lot of positives other than not having to work at Cap City. In reality, a new job would most likely fix none of the issues I’m trying to solve.

There’s also the facts of:

I don’t want to leave my clinic
The clinic would be fucked without me
I don’t want to leave my patients
I like my boss
The schedule could work as long as they’re willing to work with me
I secretly want my retention bonus even though, push come to shove, it’s not enough to make me stay

I want to sit down with my FA and talk to her about it because I don’t think essentially saying, “Your schedule’s about to change but I can’t tell you what it’s changing to because I don’t know. K. Thanks. Bye,” is very fair. It left me feeling like my entire personal life is about to get screwed over. I can’t plan or problem solve with information like that, but I also can’t really go to her yet and help come up with solutions when I don’t know what would or would not work for myself.

So even though I knew she was at the clinic when I got done with personal training today, I decided to come home instead because I needed to have a meeting with myself first to figure out my side of the equation.

That’s what all of the previous writing, which I no longer have, was. It was amazing. It was perfect. It was done. And then it got messed up so here I am, still rage filled that I’m repeating it.

Basically, I identified a few things.

Monday: Dojo days. I can get up to four hours at the dojo in the evenings. Not so if I have to close at Cap City because I wouldn’t get out until around 9. That puts me home at 10ish which would also mean I get no time with Ox. Essentially working late on Mondays sucks and has no compensation for what would be my personal loss. Boooo late Mondays. Early out Mondays are negotiable, though.

Tuesday: It’s ok to work at Cap City because even if I close I would be out around 4 or 5, which would still leave me able to get to SCA combat practice, which I’m not going to today because it’s a rainy and icky day. Working Tuesdays would fuck over personal training which rescheduling is “doable,” but would be harder the more inconsistent my schedule is because I’m essentially at the mercy of my trainer’s schedule at that point and he may or may not be able to work with what I’m able to do.

Wednesday: Normally an off day as far as personal training and the dojo go. At the moment these are gym days after work. If I worked Cap City I could do something either before or after, depending on the shift I’m scheduled for. If I work in Beatrice I could move my personal training to happen after work, assuming my trainer is available. Basically, Wednesdays have options.

Thursday: Another heavy dojo day with up to three hours worth of classes I could do. Another personal training day as well. Working Cap City wouldn’t interfere with the dojo, but it, again, makes personal training an issue that would have to be figured out. Not the best case scenario, but not the worst either.

Friday: An off day from personal training and the dojo. Set to be a gym day at the moment. Normally scheduled to work at Beatrice. Could potentially do Cap City without fucking shit up.

Saturday: Would be a Cap City day. Out by around 4 or 5 if I close. Earlier if I open. Could let me do the grocery shopping and any errands I might have since I’ll already be in town. I’ve been thinking about offering up my Saturdays anyway since it gets me out of the house. Could still hit the gym if I wanted / needed to.

Sunday: Always an off day from work. Would be left open for my bike rides while the weather is still nice, which those days are numbered since winter is a thing in Nebraska. Also would have to start investing into sacrificial chickens to ensure the gods are pleased so it doesn’t rain on the one day I can get out on my bike.

So there… everything in a condensed nutshell since my first writing was so unsatisfactory.

/wtb sacrificial chickens

I like the idea of having Mondays off completely. I could move personal training to Monday. I could have it as a buffer day to finish anything that didn’t get done Saturday evening / Sunday.

Preferably I could keep Thursdays off as well. That would let personal training on those days stay the same along with ensuring I have both my dojo days.

Everything else is sort of whatever. I “like” having set days in Beatrice, but as long as I can have my two dojo days and my two personal training sessions, that I’ve already paid for, then I think I’m fine. Combat isn’t an issue and would let Ox and I still have our mini date night after practice where we get dinner before going home.

If I can’t have Thursday as an off day, then I want at least one day set for Beatrice where I can switch my personal training to the evening after work.

I think that’s fair. I think that gives everyone options.

I’m done. I’m going to go smoke now because I’m still angry. Grr.

Daily Post 097: My New Dojo

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I’m tired. I’m sore. I think I’m fighting off a dehydration headache.

And I’m completely ok with all of it because today was pretty awesome.

I woke up for work like normal. Each morning starts off with me groggily opening up a can of Cotten Candy Bang because that stuff is addictive and I neither need nor want intervention. I showered. I had breakfast, which I don’t know if breakfast is what you can call food at 3 am when you still eat at 7 am… but that’s a tangent for another time.

I got dressed. I had my morning cigarette with Ox. I drove to work. I started setting up the clinic a little early since I was there a little early.

I got a phone call from my boss saying she would be late.

And you know… I think I would have been more not ok with that fact if it hadn’t been for my bike ride on Sunday.

This morning though, I was fine with it. I told her it was cool. I was already setting up. I would see her when she got there. I knew the day might be a little rougher, but I was ok with it. She’s human. We all make mistakes. It wasn’t intentional and we would do our best and we would survive and everything would be ok in the end.

She got to work. We got everyone on the machines at their normal times. It was a smooth day; at least as smooth as it can be in dialysis.

I got to talk to several of my patients about my upcoming race. I got to tell them about my weekend ride. I got to explain that I was going to the dojo after work, which led to conversations about my previous experiences and my “history” as far as the evolution of my combat training, which I don’t know if that’s what it could or should be called but that’s what I’m going with.

It was a decent day. We closed the clinic down pretty quick. They have someone to cover for me on Friday so I don’t have to go in, and it’s a tech who’s worked in the clinic before so I don’t have to worry about the clinic burning down to ashes as much as I was. I’m still waiting for my Concur report to be approved. I still haven’t called to figure out what’s going on with my paycheck. I also still need to finish yet another training course before the end of the month.

Mr. Non-Compliance showed up today for the first time in about a month. It was good to see him again. I got to tell him I had been worried about him and that I was glad he was there. I got to cannulate his fistula for the first time. I might be able to get my NFACT training completed since it is a new fistula and then I’ll be an “expert cannulator” which doesn’t give me a pay increase, but it will look good on my yearly review. I’m accomplishing a lot of things, work-wise, and that’s a good feeling.

Another patient brought a gift bag full of goodies for me and my FA long with a remarkably touching card expressing how grateful she is for everything we do for her. There are a lot of moments that make my job worth it. The “Thank you, ladies,” as my patients leave for the day, able to enjoy whatever it is they’re about to do because they were able to get their treatment. The “Good mornings,” and the stories about how their weekends were. The smiles. The jokes and bantering.

This is the first time I have received a card from one of my patients. It makes all of the crazy days and the stress and the sweat and the walking six miles inside the same room worth it.

After work, I drove home and showered super fast since I only had about 20 minutes to get to the dojo for class. As I sort of mentioned before, I sweat when I’m at work and there’s no way to not do that. I didn’t want to change into my gear for the dojo while still having the grimy feeling from my workday covering me.

Maybe it’s a bit of a ritual in some regards or maybe I’m just really weird… but… I want to start off clean. The gym, the dojo, working on the addition… it doesn’t matter that I’m going to get gross and sweaty. I want to start fresh because it’s a start and in my head there’s some sort of honor tied into it. You don’t show up to important things icky. Training is important to me. I want to be clean when I walk through the doors. I want to be clean when I bow onto the mat for the beginning of class. It didn’t help that this would be my first impression for everyone I met. I wasn’t going to go looking raggedy from work.

Kickboxing was at 5:45. Jiujitsu was at 6:45. Krava Maga was at 7:45.

I only stayed for kickboxing and jiujitsu.

It was pretty awesome. The dojo is smaller, both space wise and population wise, then what I’m used to from Orlando. It still felt homey and welcoming. There was only one other guy with me for kickboxing so it was pretty personalized work.

The instructor is a chick who gave me pretty good advice for my kicks. She was complimentary on my work. It was a moderately intense class and I think most of my soreness comes from that first hour.

I didn’t know if I was going to stay for jiujitsu. I was already tired, but I was there, on the mat. I wasn’t exhausted or overly hungry so there was really no reason for me to not stay, but I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do.

The instructor for kickboxing introduced me to the instructor for jiujitsu. It seemed silly to go after that. Jiujitsu is the thing I’ve been missing most. This was my chance to see if the dojo would really be what I’m looking for. The instructors themselves even said that I could stay for as long as I wanted and if I needed to leave it was ok. They were glad to have me.

So I stayed.

We practiced getting out of standing headlocks.

It was pretty awesome. I was paired with two girls who were half of my weight which sort of sucked. I felt like I could break them if I hugged them too tight, let alone have them in a headlock bracing my weight on their back.

When the instructor worked with me one on one it was better because I was able to do the moves with more intention, more force, more strength. He was a better match for me, size-wise, as an opponent, and he didn’t treat me like a delicate flower. He pointed out where I was leaving myself open for counter moves. I think he was surprised at how quickly I picked things up and by the types of questions I asked.

It was a good practice even though we didn’t get to sparring. He said we would make up for it during Thursday’s class so, of course, I really want to make it to Thursday’s class. XD

I didn’t stay for Krav Maga, more because I was hungry and out of water than because I was too tired to, though with having training at 10 am tomorrow, I think leaving was the smart option.

I had already met a lot of new people in a new environment after working a full day at the clinic on very little sleep since sexy time happened last night. No regrets.

It was a good day and I’m glad for all of the moments that happened. I’m taking advantage of the dojo’s offer for a free week at the moment. I would like to check out the other location just to see what it’s like. The north location offers more classes but since it’s further away I don’t think it will be my main dojo.

I have information about the membership. It would be hard to swing it while still paying extra on all of my bills. I could volunteer to work on Saturdays to help maintain / cover the added expense… At least I would know what I’m working for so it would be worth it.

I haven’t gotten that far, but I’m fairly certain that I will be becoming a member of this dojo.

I drove home and showered after my classes, so yes, I’ve showered three times today. I ate. I’m still working on trying to drink more water to fend off the headache.

I’m looking forward to being able to tell my trainer that I got two runs in and a bike ride and two hours at the dojo. I think it will make him happy to hear that I’m going out and doing more on my own and that I’ve found something that I like and that I finally got my bike rack.

I know I’m pleased and content and I guess that’s really the important aspect of it.

I guess that means I have some soul searching to do and some decisions to make in the near future, but for now, I’m going to finish my water and go to bed. If I wake up overly sore tomorrow I plan to go to the gym here in Hickman to do some yoga to loosen up before my session in Beatrice. I also plan to explain if I’m in any sort of pain so my trainer can adjust our session as he sees fit.

I’m less worried about my weigh in on Thursday. I don’t care about the numbers anymore. I think I’ve found my new dojo. Numbers can’t take away the level of ok-ness that adds to my life.

I’m going to skip out on the SCA combat practice tomorrow to try to get to more of the classes at the dojo while they’re free. I want to feel like I belong there and the more I go the more I’ll feel that way.

I’m looking forward to all of it. I’m glad I have this in my life again.