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.

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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.

Daily Post 096: Bikes and Races

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I slept like crap last night. I woke up with a headache and feeling like today would suck. Luckily things seem to have turned around. I took migraine pills, so the headache seems to have gone away and the tiredness has burned away the longer I’ve been awake and moving around.

I’ve already talked to Jon for about an hour where I got to bitch about some of the BS going on at work. That was nice. After I got off the phone I realized it was a pretty one-sided conversation, but as Ox pointed out when I started worrying about that fact, Jon calls me all the time to vent, sometimes multiple times a day, so I “shouldn’t” feel bad. I also fully believe that if Jon didn’t want to chat or listen to me, he would say something to that effect.

It was nice to get some of that stuff off my chest and to have someone listen. There isn’t really anything that needs to be fixed, I just want to know that I’m heard and that the mild frustration of day to day existence is understandable.

Yesterday was an extremely nice day even though in the beginning it wasn’t.

Ox and I had made plans Friday evening to work on the addition the following morning. Our plans ended up changing though due to his parents. They want to buy different insulation for the ceiling, so instead of working on the addition, we decided to work on the back porch. That was the game plan as of Friday night, after what felt like hours of back-and-forth. I’m not good with tentative, nebulous stuff. So when something was finally decided, that was sort of my stack in the ground.

Right Brain: Ok. It’s going to be different. But that’s ok. We have a game plan. We’ll be arlight as along as we stick to the game plan.

So Saturday morning, when his parents wanted to sit down again and talk more, I wasn’t ok.

Right Brain: Stop fucking with my game plan! /rage

I sat and brushed all three cats while things continued with the back-and-forth, eating away into the morning as it got hotter and hotter outside.

Inside my head, it turned to, “All of this talking is just that. Talk. Not action. Nothing is going to get decided or accomplished today. It’s just going to be more theory and things are going to stay as they are and no progress is going to be made and this is why projects never get finished because it’s all talk and no actual action to follow through.”

So by noon-ish, when still nothing had been accomplished I was more not ok than when we had first sat down to talk.

Ox and I had plans to go into town for lunch and to run errands, but I didn’t want to do any of the “fun” stuff when no work had been accomplished on the one of two days where things could actually get accomplished.

It’s hard to explain how the situation played out without being there to see all of the non-verbal aspects of the interactions, but essentially he knew I wasn’t ok. I knew he wasn’t ok. He went to the restroom. I went to the room and curled up in bed to sulk in my feelings of frustration and uselessness because none of the projects that need to be worked on are things I can do on my own. I stayed stuck inside of my head for a while, waiting for him to come back so we could go into town, which I didn’t want to do and was worried about because I knew I wouldn’t be able to get out of my funk to just enjoy our time out together.

When he eventually did come back into the room he was hot and sweaty, so I knew he had been working on something without me. We went outside to have a cigarette, which yes, I’m still smoking, and he asked what was wrong because something was very clearly still wrong with me.

He had been working on the back porch without me. Good to know because otherwise, it would have been concerning to have been in the restroom for that long. But still not ok because I had wanted to help. I don’t want it to be “Hey, go do all of this work. K. Thanks. Bye.”

I want it to be us working on something, spending time together. I want to be part of it. I don’t want it to be an obligation for him to work on one of his few days off while I relax and do nothing. I like working. I like being helpful. I like being a part of the process, the progress. It would be us making memories together so once it’s done we can remember something that we did together. Something we can look back on and smile about a silly joke that was made or the frustrations we overcame or any number of seemingly small things that you don’t realize are important until you reflect back on them and realize it really was actually worth it and made life a little more meaningful.

Sort of like those small moments where you have a cup of coffee with someone. You don’t realize how much it warmed your soul until you’re sitting one day, remembering that time and it makes you smile.

I want things like that with him. I want to feel like I’m part of the house and that I belong here, but it’s hard to feel like that when I’m kept in a box on the side, not allowed to do anything, or invest in anything, while everyone else goes around and gets stuff done. That’s not how I want it to be. I don’t want to be a nagging force harping about stuff and having other people do the work.

That’s how I felt while we sat outside. I nagged and sulked and so he went outside and did something without me just so I could be “happy” only it didn’t make me happy. It made me frustrated because I was denied my memories and warm moments.

He said I wouldn’t have liked helping with what he did. I guess there were a lot of bugs and spiders when he moved the stuff that was piled on the porch. I can’t deny that I would have been a total wuss when it comes to the spiders and I fully accept any shit anyone gives me for that. Spiders are gross and we’re all allowed to have our “one thing”. Spiders are mine, so suck it.

I still felt like crap for not having been there and we talked about it as we drove into town.

A lot of progress was made with the back porch and it’s pretty awesome to see that much space. It just would have been nice to feel like I had done something other than nothing. Maybe this could be a learning moment for me. Instead of getting caught up inside my head, maybe I should have communicated more. Maybe a lot of the icky feelings could have been avoided if I had expressed why it was important to me to work with him beforehand rather than afterward.

I don’t know.

I do know that we’re still ok.

We went to a Greek restaurant for lunch. It was amazing. I had a gyro and totally didn’t feel guilty for eating the pita bread because it was fantastic. I also didn’t eat anything else the rest of the day until around 11 pm that night because there was sooooo much food. My trainer is going to be so frustrated with me for skipping my snacks. #worthIt

After lunch, we went to a bike shop where I finally, FINALLY, got my bike rack. Hooray. The sales associate was extremely helpful. He looked up the different types of racks that would work with my car, explaining the advantages and disadvantages to each along with the prices. Once I had settled on one, which they had in stock, he even helped Ox and I get it attached to my car so we didn’t have to worry about getting home and not being able to figure it out.

I was extremely pleased with the experience and will most likely continue to go to that store as I need work done on the bike, which will hopefully happen now that I can use the bike rather than letting it collect dust like it has been.

I also bought a tire patch kit and a portable tire pump while we were at the shop since Ox wanted me to. It’s sort of sweet how he doesn’t want me to get stranded on my bike in the middle of nowhere.

We stopped at a Sally’s as well so I could pick up hair dye. I like the purple in my hair but it’s not as dark as I would like for it to be. It’s more of a bright purple and I want something closer to a deep violet. So I picked up some blue dye to mix with the purple to hopefully give it a darker hue. It’s what I used to do with Manic Panic. We’ll see if the results turn out the same with this new brand.

From there we went to Dick’s Sporting Goods. I wanted to see about getting a new top for my race Saturday. Less than a week until that happens. Oh god. >.<;

It’s something I’ve thought about since signing up for the race. I want to be able to see my tattoos while I run. With the current compression gear that I have, I can’t. The shirts cover my biceps, which isn’t a bad thing when you’re rolling around on the mats during a no-gi practice. But they aren’t what I want when I’m on the bike or running. I know this is pretty much a trivial issue, but I also know I would mentally feel better if I could find something that fit what I wanted.

The compression gear I wear is stuff I find in the guy section, so that’s where I looked first. They had a sleeveless style, but it wasn’t really what I wanted. I can never find stuff in the girl section so I thought I would be doomed to dissatisfaction. When I stepped out of the changing room, rejected options in hand, Ox was there were two new choices that he had found while he waited.

I didn’t like one of them, but the second option actually turned out to be exactly what I was looking for. And I’m not just saying that because he picked it out. The only downside to the top is that it has a mesh back. I like being covered, so all of the tops I get are solid, but if that’s the only issue with the top then I think it’s as close to perfect as it can be.

I like the thought that even though I’ll be running the race alone, in a way Ox will still be with me. I’ll be wearing “his” shirt. Maybe that’s overly sentimental or INFJy of me, but I like it. It makes that soft, squishy, girly part of my brain happy.

We stopped at Best Buy so he could pick up a new game to play. From there we went grocery shopping before heading home. I stayed within my budget for food so that’s nice. I also found a glass bottle that I really like for mixing my protein shakes in. I haven’t tried it out yet, but in theory, it meets all of my requirements. Today will be the test day since I was still too full from lunch for a shake when we got home.

I spent the remainder of the evening in the kitchen prepping food and doing some of the cooking.

The cauliflower mash I’ve been making turned out pretty awesome this time ’round. I ended up with way more than I need for the week but according to the Internet, it can be frozen, so that’s what I did. I should have enough for my meals next week, which is a nice feeling.

I tried a homemade marinara sauce. That wasn’t exactly a failure, but I can see where I want to try to improve it for next time. The sauce I made last night is another thing which can be frozen, so I plan to use it next week, rather than this week, so attempt number 2 won’t happen for a little bit.

A while ago I found a dry rub mix for venison which is AMAZING. I’ve used it on chicken a few times since then and it goes great on steak, too. Since the venison roast was so good I wanted to see if a beef roast would be similar. So that’s currently what’s in the oven baking. I’ll know in a few hours how that experiment turned out.

So, lots of things are getting figured out food wise.

Oh. Saturday I also increased my run time. That was successful. I stretched pretty well after my run so I’m glad to report minimal soreness.

I got a call back from the dojo. The owner seems extremely nice. We had a fairly lengthy conversation about the different classes. He explained the Krav Maga class to me and their BJJ / MMA stuff. He won’t be at the dojo on Monday, but he said he would let his instructors know I would be coming in so they can get me set up with a free trial week. I’m completely, totally stoked.

There’s still an issue with my paycheck. Surprise surprise, right? I got all of my bills paid along with all of my extra “me” stuff, so I’ll figure that out on Monday. I also submitted the Concur report, so I should be getting that money back in the next few days. Jon will be buying his plane ticket for the trip either Tuesday or Wednesday, so while I have the funds to do that, I’m going to wait to see what he gets before making my own plans.

It’s only 10 am even though it feels later. That might be because I’ve already spent so long talking to Jon. I don’t think there’s much planned today, which I actually feel ok with.

For once, I don’t want to really “do” anything.

I want to go for my bike ride. I want to dye my hair. I want to finish cooking my meals because it makes me feel good about myself to take care of my self. I want to cross stitch more because I’ve actually stitched for the past two days and it hasn’t been painful to hold the fabric in my hands. I want to not worry about who’s covering my shift Friday because that’s not my problem.

Today, I simply want to just be. So that’s what I’m doing to do. I’m just going to be.

 

Daily Post 095: New Dojo, New Shoes

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I’ve been doing better. Writing to mom helped.

I survived the rest of the 3rd. I went to training. I don’t feel I did as well as I could have, but with feeling as emotionally heavy as I did, I think I did alright. I didn’t call out of training so that alone means it’s a win, right? Going was better than not going at all.

My trainer said several times during that session that I was doing well. He isn’t one to compliment unless it’s genuine. He was having me do a lot of new stuff, including new box jump work which was actually pretty fun.

I kept all of my promises to mom that day. I showered. I had at least one meal. And I didn’t stay in bed all day. Each day I do those three things is… I don’t know if “good” is the right word, but they’re… something. I didn’t let her down. I didn’t let myself down. It was a shitty, heavy, hard day, but I did those three things so no matter what, I did alright.

The fourth wasn’t a bad day. I went to work. I got to see my patients. I got to explain that even though it was the fourth I was doing better than Monday. I told one of them about my letter to mom where I got to say good morning to her. She said she had been praying for me and though I’m not Christian, her words and kindness mean a lot to me.

I actually looked into more dojos in the area on Tuesday. I’ve been feeling… weird after work. I know weird isn’t really the word I want to use but I also don’t know how to explain the sensations. There doesn’t seem to be a word that really works or encompasses everything that I feel.

It’s a mix of angst and unsettledness. I want to DO something but I don’t know what to do. I feel frustrated because there’s this feeling of not being able to do anything which makes me feel trapped or confined within my skin. I don’t want to cross stitch. I don’t want to game. I don’t want to be inside curled up in bed though that’s what I usually end up doing.

I also don’t want to be very far away from Ox when I’m home. Being near him is comforting and helps the sandpapery, confined feelings.

I’ve really wanted to spar recently. In my head, that’s what feels like would help with whatever it is that I’m feeling. I want to fight and push against someone else. I want to struggle and expel all of this energy even though I know I’m already tired from work. I’m tired but not tired enough I guess.

I’ve found a dojo where they offer taekwondo, karate, jiujitsu, krav maga, MMA, kickboxing, and on certain Saturdays, yoga.

It seems like what I’m looking for. Their classes are late enough for me to get to even on the worst days I work. I’m extremely interested in attending a krav maga class.

I tried calling on Tuesday but I never got a call back. I figured I wouldn’t with it being so close to the holiday. Lincoln does a firework show on the third anyway. I didn’t get a call back on the fourth, which I expected as well.

That left me to deal with the sandpapery feelings with no release again on the fourth. I didn’t want to be outside because everyone was shooting off fireworks but I didn’t want to sit inside doing nothing either. So frustrating.

I tried working on stuff around the house but that didn’t help. I eventually gave up and crawled into bed next to Ox as he gamed and fell asleep.

I need a project. Something I’m in control of. Something that I can make progress on. Working on stuff is relaxing to me. Being constructive. Accomplishing things… It makes me feel good about myself.

I don’t think I really have anything like that at the moment which might be why I feel so tangled right now.

Anyway, I went to training today and I did much better than the last two times. I wasn’t overly sore like I was last Thursday and I wasn’t as emotionally raw as I was on Tuesday. I felt ready for today.

I did well. I’m doing more reps at a higher weight than when I started. Since Thursdays are my “test” days, I also weighed in. I’m down .3 in fat and up .3 in muscle.

I’ve been under 2000 calories for the past week. I can’t lie, I was disappointed in my numbers. I thought there would be more of a change than that. It bothered me to the point that I actually talked to my trainer about it before I left.

He said sometimes it takes the body a little bit to catch up with changes. He was pleased that my numbers are still moving in the right direction. He’s pleased with my calorie intake and the overall nutrition that I’m getting.

Me: So is this one of those moments where I should stay the course and not get discouraged?

He said yes, so that’s where I’m at with that. So far my Evil Voice hasn’t said much though I can feel it lurking at the edges of my mind, waiting for a chance to exploit a weakness like my tiredness or grief.

I drove home and plucked away at chores for a while. I unloaded, loaded, and ran the dishwasher. I put the clean clothes away while doing another two loads; one for Ox and another of my own stuff. I cleaned and organized some of the kitchen drawers since we finally got the insides of them painted with the polyurethane this past weekend.

I tried calling the dojo again to see about their classes and got a new message saying that they would be closed for the holiday week and would resume classes on Monday, the 9th.

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

All I want to do is beat people up. Is that so much to ask of? ;-;

Ok. All joking aside. I don’t want to “beat people up”. I want to push myself. I want to learn new things. I want that level of peace again. I don’t know what it is about combat that does it for me. Maybe it’s because it tears down everything meanless and leaves you bear to yourself. You can’t hide when you’re on the mat. You can’t be lost in thought. You have to be fully present and in tune with yourself. You have to calculate your limits. You have to focus on your breathing. You have to be aware of when and how you shift your weight. You have to be aware of not only your force but the force and energy from your opponent.

I miss it. I want it back. And I guess I can’t have it until Monday.

That’s ok though. While I was on the phone bitching to Jon about how not fair it was, because yes, it’s totally unfair of the Universe to finally reveal what may very well become my new dojo to me, only to have me wait a week before actually being able to go… my new Vibrams where delivered.

Fine, Universe. If I can’t spar to the point of exhaustion and get arm-barred by black belts then I’ll go for a run instead.

┬─┬ノ( º _ ºノ)

It was actually probably my best run so far. I ran at a faster pace for all of my run intervals and recovered completely during my rest intervals. I made it to the end of my run without feeling dead or without really any type of “I pushed too hard” type of pain. The new shoes felt a little odd at first, but I think they just need a few runs to get broken in. I like them better than the ones I currently have which is good since I plan to run in the new ones on the 14th.

After running I rowed for a bit to get some arm and back work in. This is after already doing personal training. Don’t mind me while I feel like a mild badass at the moment. I stretched pretty well afterward since that may be one of the reasons I was so sore last Tuesday.

Ox and I met in town for dinner. While I was waiting for him to get off work I canceled the YMCA membership. I’ll still be able to work with my trainer since that’s a different fee that’s already been paid, but now I can feel less lame for spending money on something I wasn’t really using.

We’re currently back home winding down for the evening. I might try to wake up early to run again. 2 am is pretty early though… so I don’t know. We’ll see how rested I feel. If I wake up before my alarm goes off like I have been doing lately, then maybe.

I guess that’s about it.

I still need to get in touch with myself, but I think reaching out to mom was a good step in that direction.

I want to get the bike rack this weekend along with my plane ticket to visit my brothers. I want to get a hotel room for the night before my race so I don’t have to drive two hours the day of to get there only to turn around and drive two hours back. I want to look into the dojo, too, because I really, truly believe I need something like that back in my life.

It feels like I’ve been crying a lot recently but maybe I needed that, too. I feel better for it. Cleaner. Clearer. I feel closer to Ox for the conversations we’ve had and the times he’s held me.

I’m glad tomorrow is Friday and that I have another two days off in a row after it. I’m glad that the days at work have been going smoothly for the most part. Each day still has its own thing which “doesn’t go right” but overall they have been alright days.

We’ll see how tomorrow goes. For now, I think I’m actually going to go cross stitch because I do have a new pattern I want to work on, but I can’t start it until I finish my current one. Lame. >.<;

Daily Post 094: Cleaning Up

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Today is Saturday; the first day of two that I have off. After the few weeks of working overtime that I had, I have a new appreciation for having so much time off in a row.

The morning has been quiet so far. I’ve already loaded up the dishwasher. I’m waiting to run it until Ox is done installing the water filter for the sink.

We sat last night as a family and talked about one of the projects going on with the kitchen. I’m looking forward to starting it today. I’m looking forward to being another part in something that makes this place a little more my own.

Mama Ox even mentioned changing the way some of the things in the kitchen are organized so it’s easier for me to get to my containers. I like the change she recommended. I think it will make me feel like I have more of my own spot rather than eeking out space around everything else. I would have my own shelf with only my things on it rather than crowding in on the Raman noodles.

I’m hoping to get the interior of the kitchen drawers painted today since that’s been on the list of things to do since I moved up here, basically. Since the project for the rolling cabinet will have us going into Lincoln, I also want to be ahead of the ball and already have my grocery list mapped out so I can do the grocery shopping while we’re in town.

It would be nice to clean up a bit, too. The kids’ clothes need to be put away. Vacuuming the rug in the bedroom would be nice. Putting my own clothes away would mean there’s a place for the dirty clothes to go since the laundry basket would be empty.

There’s a lot of little, easy to accomplish things that I could do today that would help me feel better about my environment; not that I’m feeling bad about it. It’s weird… Cleaning makes me feel better. I like making things pretty and organized.

Ox and I are doing well. We talked about my last post since he reads them. I don’t know what else to say about that topic. I like that I’m able to write and that, for the most part, I still feel safe while I do it. The blank page is my canvas for figuring out myself. It sucks when it feels like I can’t do that; when it feels like it’s been taken away from me because of the fear of disapproval or future conflict.

That hasn’t been the case. though. My writing doesn’t break us or cause fights and I think that goes a long way into alleviating those fears. I still have this avenue. I still have this outlet. I still have this corner of the Internet and I’m grateful for being allowed to keep it.

Yesterday was a good day at work. I was tired, so the two incidents that happened hurt more than they should have. Like… contemplating quitting and giving up.

Rage-filled, self-righteous Right Brain: I’m sorry I did something wrong but why does that make it feel like I don’t do ANYTHING right? Do none of the other fifty tasks that I’ve already done, on my own, because you were late, matter at all? Do all of my “rights” count for nothing just because of this one wrong?

After stepping off the floor and having some food I was better able to deal with the emotional side of things. I had the time and space to recognize why I was reacting the way I was. Everything was fine I just needed to breathe and let it go rather than letting it loop inside of my head or eat away at me like acid.

Logical Left Brain: Ok… so you messed up. You know You messed up. Learn from it and move on. It was just a piece of paper. An important piece of paper, sure… but it’s not like you infiltrated your favorite patient. You already filled out a new sheet. The issue is taken care of. Try not to do it again. And try to have a better day. *hugs*

I stayed after work to finish my compliance training. I also called People Services and asked about my paycheck. They weren’t sure why I was given a retention bonus only to have it removed from my check. The assistant I spoke with put in a request to have my check looked at. She thinks maybe it was a mistaken entry but she wanted to get clarification because there weren’t notes anywhere about what had happened.

She did tell me that my backpay for March 14th hasn’t happened yet. That’s nice to know. I will be addressing that issue next week. That’s what I thought the bonus was for. I thought it was my backpay, which is why I was confused about it being removed and leaving me short $300.

I also plan to finish my Concur report so I can be reimbursed for all of the travel I had to do while I was working overtime during June. That will be close to another $500 back. Plus the 15 hours of overtime I was short…

Yeah… This paycheck was supposed to have been pretty freaking amazing, so I was pretty not ok when it wasn’t. I was still able to cover everything I needed / wanted to. But I wasn’t able to make the progress I was hoping to.

I got my hair dyed on Tuesday this week so I’m back to being purple. The roots had grown so far out that you couldn’t tell my hair was dyed anymore. I feel more like me. I also got about an inch cut off the tips so the ends aren’t icky anymore. : D

I also went ahead and ordered my new set of Vibrams for my race on the 14th. According to the tracking information they’re already in Omaha. The delivery date is set for Thursday, but I’m really hoping they come in sooner than that.

I’ve been wanting a bike rack, but alas, I haven’t felt like I’ve been able to get one. Or rather, I’ve been prioritizing other things ahead of it.

There’s a bike trail that goes all the way from Lincoln to Kansas. It’s something like 70 miles. I know I can’t do all of that in one go, but I’ve been wanting to go and bike for part of it. Maybe down to Cortland at first. Then working my way all the way down to Beatrice. That would be about 30 miles on its own. I haven’t felt like I’ve had the extra spending money to get the bike rack though, so I don’t have an easy way to get the bike to the trail. Maybe once everything gets figured out with my check I’ll be able to look into it.

I was pretty angry with my trainer on Thursday, but I think a lot of that had to do with me rather than him. I pushed really hard on Tuesday; harder than I thought I did maybe. All Tuesday night my IT bands hurt. Hurt to the point where I wanted to cry when I was getting out of my car when I got home. Wednesday wasn’t much better and I’m sure work didn’t do anything to help them relax and rest. Thursday still hurt but it got better as the day wore on and I moved around, loosening the muscles up.

When I got to the gym the first thing my trainer said was that I was over my calorie count.

I got on the scale. I’m down another two pounds. I’m officially the thinnest I can ever remember being.

But that doesn’t matter.

It doesn’t matter that I survived the two weeks of the kids being here. It doesn’t matter that my mom’s birthday is coming up and I’m constantly having to work through the pain of her being dead. It doesn’t matter that I’m constantly having to teach new RNs how to work in my clinic because we’re short staffed. It doesn’t matter that I work 12 hours shifts where I walk six miles and that I’m dead at the end of my days but still push myself to go to the gym and run and extra mile. It doesn’t matter that I’m doing better than I was when I first moved to Nebraska. It doesn’t matter that I didn’t call out; that I showed up to training in the first place even though I didn’t want to.

I’m over my calorie count so I’m a failure.

I’m down two pounds of fat, but I’m a failure.

My workout sucked. I did it. I didn’t skimp out on any of the sets or running, but it sucked.

I cried on the way home because I was so frustrated with everything feeling like it didn’t matter.

I like that my trainer is number and data-oriented, but at the same time I’M A FUCKING HUMAN. I have emotions and shit that I’m having to deal with. I don’t really have a health goal that I’m working on. I don’t care about how many calories I take in. I’m doing awesome with carbs and protein. I’m doing awesome with not compromising or giving in and actually making it to my workouts and doing extra on my own.

Acknowledge some of that. Acknowledge that I do things right instead of making it feel like all I do is wrong.

Wrong this. Wrong that. Wrong everything.

Irrational Right Brain: Fuck you. Ok. Fuck you. And the horse you rode in on. And the one that sired it. Ok. Just… arg. Fuck everything. /flips shit.

So yeah. I cried frustrated, angry tears as I raged at the Universe for about 15 minutes during my 30-minute drive home and I felt better for it.

No, I don’t do everything wrong. No, that’s not what he meant or what he was trying to convey or make me feel. All of this anger and angst was all just internal bullshit within myself that I needed to address. All of this was MY reaction to impersonal information.

This reaction, these emotions were most likely the fallout from not taking care of my internal self. This was build up from not writing and not having alone time and not working through the ickiness of my daily life. This was finally having an external target to rain down the fireballs of death and destruction that had been building up inside me with no place to go.

I do enjoy working with my trainer. I do feel he is worth the money I spend. I do feel I am getting results and I’m grateful that he wants me to become a better me. I understand that he can only do so much while we’re at the gym together and that most of my progress has to come from me being diligent about what I eat and when. I understand that most of the work is out of his hands and the only thing he can do is hold me accountable, which he does.

If I’m making this much progress, then I’m sure it’s frustrating to know that I could be doing even better if only I would be a little more diligent. But it’s out of his control and all he can do is watch as I make choices that he would rather I not make.

And I guess that’s the biggest difference between him and me. He has a goal in mind for me and I don’t.

I’m training more to keep myself in a routine and to make forward progress even though at the moment I don’t know what I’m working towards.

In Orlando, my driving force was the potential of MMA fighting.

Here… I don’t know. I still haven’t found a dojo yet, though I do have a few I want to look into. None of the dojos I am interested in are very close to where I live so I feel like it would be the same issue I faced with the YMCA. I would have the best of intentions but I would end up not going because by the time I get to the end of the day I’m done. I want to go home. I don’t want to drive further into town or be out longer or around strangers who are “clearly doing better in life than me because look at Mrs. Gym Bunny over there prancing through her workout while I feel like I’m dying”.

Where are the q-tips when you need them? >.<;

But maybe I would be better about going to the dojo than the Y. I didn’t like the YMCAs because they were so busy. I couldn’t make it to the classes I wanted. I wouldn’t have really been doing something that I wanted to do. If I had gone to the gym it would have been more of a “well at least it’s better than nothing” sort of feeling. It would have been an investment of my limited energy into something that I really didn’t care about. It wouldn’t have been fulfilling and therefore closer to a waste than an investment.

Maybe the dojo wouldn’t be like that. One of the dojos offers Judo in addition to Jiujitsu and Aikido. I think Judo would be fun to learn. If it’s something I want to do then I’m more likely to push through the things, like tiredness, that were holding me back. I’m more likely to think it’s worth it to drive to be there.

I don’t know. I can see it going both ways.

I still want to fight. I still miss that aspect of Orlando. I miss the feeling of family and belonging that I had. I miss the guys who became my friends and mentors. I miss sparring and pushing myself and proving that I’m better than I think I am. I miss learning.

I’m “training” for my Warrior Dash but even that I haven’t really been focusing on. It wasn’t until last week that I started running and I don’t really think you can call one run “training”. My goal with my race is to simply do it. I’ve run that race for two years now. I don’t want to feel like I lost it, that I gave my race up, because of the move. I can still have it even though it’s a little different than what it used to be. Instead of being in February in Orlando, it’s in July in Nebraska, but it’s still my race and I want to prove to myself that I am still able to do it. I didn’t lose it. It’s not gone for forever.

I don’t care if I weigh a certain amount. I don’t care if I have a certain percentage of body fat. I don’t have an end goal. I wanted to get back to the point where I wouldn’t be dying at the end of the warm-up if I did go back to a dojo, and I think I’m there. I think I am to the point where I can say I’m at square one again. I’m back to where I was before I got my job in Orlando; before I started working 16-hour shifts and had to give up the dojo and training and the gym and everything that made it feel worth it to live the life I had.

So, if I’m back to the beginning, then I need to figure out where to go from here since every step I take now is a step forward. A new step. A step I’ve never taken before to a me I’ve never been before. A stronger, healthier me that I have to come to terms with and understand. A me I need to sit down and talk to and negotiate with.

I do want to keep losing weight and part of that means I need to be more mindful about calories. I’m doing well with what I’m eating. I’m not eating donuts or junk food, mostly… that giant tube of mint chocolate chip ice cream is still in the freeze… STILL… And I want to point out the amazing amount of restraint I have to NOT have any of that when every night I have to look at it as I pull my burger patties out for dinner.

Fucking bastards…. buying my favorite ice cream… It’s so not fair. ;-;

Anyway… Part of the issue is I get so hungry between 7 am and noon at work. I think I’ve figured that out though. I’ve been trying the Wheybolic shakes from GNC. And you can give me shit all you want for buying something from that store. Right now I don’t care. Once I have it figured out I can worry about “the most bang for my buck” or not supporting a giant corporation of inherent evil that feeds off the tears of orphans… Seriously, with some of the posts I’ve read from people, you would think this is the worst store on the face of the planet.

Regardless of the orphan tear issue, having half of the shake for my morning break and then the other half right before change over starts kept me from wanting to eat the countertops while I was working. It kept me full until I was able to actually eat again. So instead of doing the homemade almond bars, I think I’m going to be doing protein shakes during that part of my day. That will cut out a lot of calories while increasing my protein intake, and if it keeps me full, in theory, it will keep me from eating more during the day.

I’ve also poked around online and found some new recipes to try since I’ve been eating roughly the same things for about a month now and I’m getting disenchanted with them. It sucks to look in the fridge and to see the containers of premade meals and to not want any of them. That’s when it’s hard to say no to the evil voice whispering about the pop tarts on the counter.

Why is the house full of all of the things I like and can’t have? Oh… That’s right… because there was an eight-year-old and a thirteen-year-old here for two weeks… The struggle is beyond real sometimes.

I haven’t had anything Mexican in forever. Or Italian. So this week I’m fixing that. I’m still allowed to eat tasty food. It doesn’t have to just be burger patties and chicken breast.

So… while I still don’t have a goal in mind for really anything in my life, I think I’m doing a bit better than I was.

Writing definitely helps with that and I’m going to actually put in effort to try to write more often. Having time away from work helps. Having a small list of projects to improve my home environment helps. There’s just a lot of little things that add up to making today feel like a stronger more stable day.

So with that, I guess I’ll go so I can make my shopping list and shower since nothing can really happen before the shower because I’m weird awesome.

 

 

Daily Post 092: Being Right

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I’m doing well today and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I got a full night of sleep last night. It’s the first night since last Saturday evening that I’ve gotten more than three hours of sleep. It makes me realize, once again, how important sleep is in regards to the equation of Life.

And, once again, as seems to be the case so often this past year, it has been a while since I’ve written.

Work is going well.

The patient I infiltrated the other week is doing well. His arm bruised a little, but he said it didn’t bother him and he let me cannulate him during his next treatment. He’s been extremely kind and understanding and I’m grateful for him trusting me enough to still be his tech. We still smile and chit-chat. He still lets me spread his blanket out over him after his treatment is initiated. We’re still ok and that makes me feel ok.

I ended up having a surprise 12-hour shift this past Saturday, which is why it feels like I’ve been playing catch-up until today. I was scheduled to close the South Omaha clinic, which went surprisingly smoothly. While I was in the middle of closing the clinic I received a phone call from another FA saying she, “knew it was a long shot, but would I be willing to close another clinic in the area.”

I guess their tech was sick and then stopped answering her phone and they were pretty much screwed because no one else could close the clinic for them.

I really didn’t want to. I wanted to go home. I was supposed to go to the gym and the grocery store. I was supposed to prep for my five day work week and recover. I ended up accepting the shift, though, because I know what it’s like to work short-handed.

I hadn’t changed into my sandals yet. I was still in work mode. I was still in the area rather than being halfway through my drive home. There was no real reason for me to say no, especially since I was already getting overtime pay and there was a double incentive added for the hours I would be working at the other clinic.

I’m not saying that I accepted it purely for the pay, but I can’t say that it didn’t feel nice knowing that my time was being compensated pretty fairly.

Because I worked so late I was tired by the time I got back to Hickman. The shopping didn’t get done and the gym for sure didn’t get done. I was still tired Sunday when I woke up, too, so I didn’t really start doing much until later in the day. I also had a pretty deep, emotional conversation with Ox that day about our relationship.

I needed the rest in the morning and I feel like we needed the conversation to happen as well. It just sucked that the results of those choices meant I was up pretty late cooking. Since I  wasn’t able to get through all of my cooking Sunday, Monday, after working 12 hours, after going to my rescheduled training at the gym where I died a little bit… I came home and finished up most of the cooking which, again, put me getting to bed way later than I should have.

Tuesday sucked. I was exhausted before I even got out of bed. I covered my shift at Captial City and was grateful that the last hour I was there they had me in the back room making needle packs, alone, away from people, doing a mindless task that didn’t require mental effort.

I came home and slept for a few hours in the afternoon. I didn’t have combat practice this Tuesday because the first Tuesday of the month the group travels to Omaha to practice with people up there. I woke up from my nap when Ox came home. I wasn’t able to fall back asleep until later in the evening since everyone was home and awake and watching TV. It’s one of the downsides to roommates or living with other people in general. I don’t get alone time very often and it will never happen in the evening.

I slept alright Tuesday night once I could finally get back to sleep. I slept more than I had any of the previous nights, but with a 12-hour shift ahead of me I knew it would still be borderline brutal by the time my day was done.

I made it through it, though. Working a normal day at my clinic with my FA was nice. It helped that I had a day off in my future to look forward to.

I submitted and have been reimbursed for my travel expenses for the month of May. I have a report already created for the month of June. As I cover extra shifts I’m adding the expenses to it so I don’t forget anything at the end of the month or have to spend a billion hours filling it out.

I talked to my FA about my position at the clinic since that’s something I’ve been worried about. With the new tech going through training and living in Beatrice I’ve been worried about being pushed out and having to work in locations I don’t care for.

Beatrice is what I think of as “home”. I like my patients. I’ve been there for four months now. I have systems in place. I know where things are at and how they’re organized. I’m confident with the machines they have. I like my ride to work in the morning even though it’s early. I don’t want things to change all that much.

During my conversation, my FA explained that the new tech would have precedence over me at the clinic until we opened the TTS shifts again so I would float to other places until that happened.

After some time alone to process that information I realized I was angry and hurt. I found this out Monday before I went to the gym. I talked to Jon on my way home and he agreed that the information was pretty shitty and that I should tell my FA how I felt.

He jokingly told me not to kill the new tech to which I replied that I didn’t want to kill her, I just wanted her to quit. I wanted her to realize how hard this job was and to realize she wasn’t cut out for it and to quit before she started.

I had met her for a few hours a while back. She had come to the clinic with her trainer. I can’t explain why, but I didn’t like her. It was a feeling. Some sort of itch in the back of my mind that said, “You won’t like working with her.”

As an INFJ I have learned to trust those unexplained feelings. I don’t have to have a logical reason for why. She was nice to me. She seemed well put together. But there was something… dark? about her. Snake-ish. Back-stabby. I could work with her if I had to, but I would never trust her to not throw me to the wolves if it would save her own skin.

That evening I ended up getting a phone call from my FA. She wanted to reassure me that she wanted me on her team. She didn’t want me to feel kicked out or like I didn’t matter. She also said that things change very quickly and that the new tech had just given her notice and would not be working at the clinic.

I’m still trying to figure out those emotions. I had said I wanted her to quit only a handful of hours before getting this information, but I hadn’t really thought she would. I hadn’t meant for my words to actually happen. So there is a small measure of guilt. Sort of like I wished for something ill to happen and it came true and so now Karma is going to be looking for payment.

On the flip side, the reason she gave for quitting was that she “didn’t have enough time to sit down.” Totally in the wrong field if you ever think you’re going to do anything less than six miles during your shift. “Sitting down” is not a thing that happens. When it does you’re grateful for the unexpected blessing. You never go into the day expecting quiet, smooth, non-stressful. You prepare for battle with your most comfortable shoes and accept the day is not going to go how you envision it. Patients will not show up. Patients’ blood pressures will bottom out. Patients will get sick. Patients will be late. Patients will want off their machines early. Patients will want another cup of ice. Patients will want you to get something out of their bags for them.

On top of that, you’ll still have to prepare for the next shift or the next day. You’ll still have to do water checks. You’ll still have to count dialyzers or make needle packs. You’ll still have to generate treatment sheets. You’ll still have to do a million other things.

“Sitting down” isn’t one of those things.

So I can’t say I’m heartbroken over her leaving before she even got halfway through training.

I’m saddened that we will still be running three days a week for a while now. We’re still down two nurses and now a tech. It’s just me and my FA dedicated to the clinic at the moment and my FA honestly shouldn’t be on the floor. She should be doing FA work, not nurse work, but since she’s also an RN she’s filling that gap as best she can until we can get a solid team together.

I’m saddened that it didn’t work out but I’m also relieved that she didn’t get hired on, that we didn’t open back up to six days a week only for her to turn around and quit on us later. I would have rather it happened now rather than in the future where it could have done more harm.

It leaves me feeling more secure in my place at the clinic. I still feel like I made the right choice and I think things will go differently during future interviews as they look for another tech. When Mrs. Quitter was hired on we were still open six days a week. She negotiated during her interview that she would not float to other clinics; she would only work at the Beatrice location.

That’s why things were looking icky for me since we moved down to only three days a week. That’s three 12 hour shifts. She would need all three days to meet full-time standards. That means I would have to go somewhere else since she was specifically a “non-float” team member.

I don’t think they will let that fly during future interviews. I can’t say they won’t for sure, but I think they will consider me a bit more during the process.

I think that’s about it for work. Lots of actual working getting down. I’m up to 56 hours of PTO so the trip in August is looking good. I’ll have the time to cover it without having to starve. Hooray.

Ox and I are doing well. I don’t know what else to say in that regard. I think me working so much is putting strain on me which in turn is straining our time together. I think I do need more alone time then what I am able to get. After next week I think I will refrain from picking up days during the week. I think if I pick up extras it will only be on Saturdays because I need the silence and space I get on my Tuesdays and Thursdays.

I’m grateful for the support and understanding that Ox gives me. I’m grateful that he tries to help me through my stress as much as he can. He lets me cry. He lets me talk. He lets me make my own choices and he helps me get through the consequences.

He answers all of my silly questions like, “Can I still come home?” He encourages me to get my tasks done when I’m feeling low and tapped out and would normally let them slide, leaving my next day that much worse off.

I’ve started to make his lunches. He went to the store and bought gym clothes yesterday. He worked on the addition Sunday. We bought a window AC unit for our room yesterday along with going out to dinner together.

I think that helped me sleep deeply last night; having the cool air circulating around the room. I feel like we’re doing pretty well with adulting the shit out of Life. We got the countertops for the kitchen done finally. We got a new sink that I absolutely love, and we’re in the process of installing a water filter for it as well. That’s currently needing some tweaking, but it’s in the works. There’s still more work to be done with the kitchen, but it’s progressing, as are other areas in the house, and it’s visual progress so my brain is more ok with what’s going on.

I might not get all of the alone time I need or want, but I am fortunate enough to live in a safe and caring environment. I still enjoy living here, even on the days I feel overwhelmed, and I still think that moving was the best choice I could have made for myself.

I had a “weigh in” at the gym today with my trainer. At first, he was giving me a bit of a hard time. According to My Fitness Pal, I’m usually over my calorie intake. He wants to keep me around the 1700 mark, but if I’m under 2000 I feel ill. Since it’s not a “want” but more of a “need” to eat, I haven’t felt bad about eating. I burn roughly 3k in calories at work. I deserve a burger patty damn it!

Well… I got on the scale and it said I was up a pound. More talking from my trainer. More looking at what I’m eating and when. Eggs don’t last long enough. I’m starving by the time I’m able to have lunch…. blah blah blah…

We hooked me up to electrodes to get my body composition…

I’m down one pound of fat and up two pounds in muscle.

Yes. I am a badass and I will still have my burger patty and I will stare you down while I eat it because I’m a bawce that’s why.

It’s one of the reasons I hate scales. The body comp makes me feel validated for all the times I said I was hungry and still ate regardless of what the numbers were. I wasn’t eating carbs. I was eating protein and veggies for the most part. I was trying to be smart about what I was consuming while still listening to my body when it was telling me it wasn’t getting enough.

I think my trainer has a different opinion of me after today. He knew I used to workout hard with jiujitsu and stuff, but I think seeing a two pound gain of muscle shows that I’m not playing games. I’m for real doing this and my numbers can’t be cookie cutter like everyone else, and just because I gain doesn’t mean I’m gaining the “wrong” stuff.

It’s just like all the other times in the past where people would ask me, “You look great! How much have you lost?”

Me: Well… funny story… I’m up 5 pounds even though I’ve dropped 2 pant sizes… Sorry… No awesome, “I’ve lost 50 pounds in four weeks” story here…

It can be demotivating depending on the numbers you look at. The scale sucks. No. Seriously. Fuck that jerk.

That’s the best advice I can give anyone who’s struggling with self-image or letting numbers convince you “you’re not doing good enough”.

If your clothes are fitting better that’s all the proof you need that you’re making progress. That’s not something that’s made up inside of your head. Pants zipping up easier, shirts fitting looser… That’s real. More real than the scale telling you that you’re failing.

All the scale can do is tell you that you are heavier than what you were. It can’t tell you if that’s from fat or muscle or a 20-pound backpack on your shoulders. The scale is stupid.

So yeah… My words of wisdom for the day… Fuck that guy.

In general, I’m feeling better and I’m doing pretty well today. I’ve already killed it at the gym with plans to go to the Anytime Fitness here in Hickman to row for a bit since I have T-Rex arms. ;-;

I got that membership Tuesday after my craptastic day of exhaustion. One of the biggest things adding friction to getting my workouts done is how far away the YMCAs are in relation to where I live. I have to drive further from home or past home to get to them, and after working a full day that is a really hard hurdle to overcome. I want to go home. I want to change out of my scrubs. Adding an extra hour to my day just in travel time is normally a “nope” by the time I get to that point in my day.

With this gym, it’s literally within walking distance. The classes they offer happen at 6:30 so I could always make them after work. They’re 24 hours so I don’t have to worry about them being closed during the time I want to do something. They have nice, new equipment, including jump boxes. So much excite : D

I’m hoping it works out and that I utilize it more than what I have been with the YMCAs. If I do, then I’ll most likely end my membership with the Y, and pay the increased fee to work with my trainer. In my mind, it would be worth it. I don’t like paying for things that aren’t being used and I’m getting really good results with him so I know he’s worth it.

So yeah… I’ve cleaned the kitchen. I’ve done a load of laundry that I still need to fold and put away. I’ve washed the sheets and need to switch them to the dryer so I can wash the blanket. I’ve talked to my brother. I’ve written. I’ve napped. I’ve eaten. I’ve cleaned the room and the kids’ toy shelf…

I’ve been a badass for most of the day. I’m going to try to keep it going by getting up to do things now.

Until next time.

Letters to Mom 018: Coping With My First Infiltration

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I’m crying right now as I write this. I feel like I need to admit to that.

There was a comment from a reader on my last post, linking to another post about a woman who also lost her mom and how “she’s still her mother’s daughter”.

At one point she says, “I still need you.”

I’m not the only one who thinks that; who feels that and I don’t know why but it makes it feel like things are ok. I’m not weak or “holding on” or whatever other stupid things I tell myself.

It’s ok to still need you, mom.

I needed you yesterday.

I infiltrated my first patient. In a year and a half, I’ve never infiltrated. I’ve missed. I’ve had the fistula and graphs roll on me like normal veins. I’ve had to restick patients… But I’ve never infiltrated and I’ve never caused a patient to not be able to run their treatment.

Until yesterday.

My patient came in like he always does. I wasn’t able to call him in early. He used to run on first shift, but with having to close the clinic down to three days a week with an ISO patient, he had to be moved to second shift because he is (un)lucky enough to be immune.

He hates running on second shift. His lunch is cold by the time he gets home. It messes his morning up. He’s one of the nicest, quietest people I have ever met and it hurts to know that I can’t make the situation better for him. Whenever there’s an open chair in the morning he’s the first person I call.

Me: *teasing voice* There’s an open chair for you if you happen to feel like coming in early.
Him: I’ll be right there!

It always makes my day to greet him, to spread out his blanket after his treatment is initiated, to help carry his bag to the scale as he’s leaving and saying our farewells.

Yesterday there wasn’t an open chair so I couldn’t call him in early. We flipped the station as quickly as we could. We got everything set up. I smiled a warm and genuine smile when he came into the clinic. We exchanged small talk as I took his standing blood pressure.

I can tell his smiles are real now. They’re different than the ones in the beginning when we were both still strangers. After being there for almost four months I think we both are getting used to each other. I’m not a random stranger stabbing needles into his arm. I’m his tech and he’s my patient and I actually do care about what he’s doing in his garden and what are you talking about? The weather is amazing. I’m from Florida. 100 degrees is basking temperature. You guys are the ones who are weird for thinking it’s too hot.

We moved through all of the different stages of the pre-treatment process. I cannulated his arterial needle fine. I cannulated his venous needle and… hesitated. It didn’t… feel? right…

There was flashback… I pulled the needle back a little… I wasn’t against the wall of the vessel or anything… There was no resistance on the advancement of the needle… But I couldn’t shake the feeling of “wrongness”.

I drew labs from the arterial needle. No resistance. Everything was fine there. I administered his prescribed heparin through the venous needle. Again, no resistance. When I asked if the needle felt ok he said yes.

Ok… Maybe it’s just me…

I connected the bloodlines to the needle lines and initiated his treatment. I watched the machine as the pump started. The needle pressures were within normal ranges. I still wasn’t sold on the whole, “everything’s ok” thing.

I turned the pump up to the prescribed flow. Still ok on pressures…

If nothing is wrong then why do I feel like something is wrong?

With no answer to that question, I reluctantly secured my patient’s lines. I put his feet up and spread his blanket out like normal. I asked if he needed anything else.

Me: Anything else I can do for right now?
Him: Nope. I think that will do.
Me: Arighty. If that changes you let us know.
Him: Will do.

I took my gloves off, rubbing hand sanitizer over them before I began to chart on the computer next to his machine.

That’s when the machine’s alarm went off. Venous pressure had reached not ok levels and the machine automatically shut the pump off. I looked at the machine, reading the alarm message it was giving. I immediately looked at my patient’s arm dread already making my stomach turn to ice. My patient’s arm was so swollen at the venous needle sight, so “not right” that all I could do for the first half a second was stare unbelieving at what I was looking at.

Irrational Right Brain: … But… But everything had been fine…

My next thought was a mild freak out of, “omg is he in pain?”

I asked him if his arm hurt. He said it had for a little bit but it felt fine now.

Irrational Right Brain:  Your arm is not fine. I let this happen. I cannulated you. I did this to you. I hurt you. This is my fault.

Rational Left Brain: It doesn’t matter if it is or isn’t your fault. You’re patient needs you to keep your shit together and not have a fucking meltdown right now. You can do that on break. Right now you need a nurse. You’re not a nurse. Get the nurse.

I called the nurse over. She confirmed it was an infiltration and that his blood could not be rinsed back and he could not run his treatment.

I can’t express the soul-crushing feeling I felt at hearing her words. I hadn’t felt emotions like that since I first started training and would have to be reminded to increase the blood pump speed or hearing the words that I had messed up stringing a machine or being told I had left the saline clamps open… again…

I haven’t felt those feelings of absolute failure since my RN mentor would point out all of the things I was doing wrong, in front of the patients, while I’m trying to already not fall apart because I fucked something up with the last patient I was with, too, and I can’t do anything right and this was totally the wrong choice and why did I think I could ever do anything medical related. I’m just a total failure at life and all of these “wrongs” prove it. I’m a fuck up and I’m sorry and I can’t seem to get it right, just once. I’m sorry I’m a failure.

Those.

Those feelings…

I got through them somehow in the beginning. I had long talks with my coworkers on break. I had my patients thank me at the end of their treatment and tell me that I was doing well. I had several nights of crying in my car after work and talking to Jon. I had all of these moments that helped me get through and fight back that voice in my head that cried out “failure” over every mess up. And eventually, I messed up less. I learned. I got better. I got faster. I got more confident and familiar with the totally new work world I had thrown myself into.

But yesterday… Yesterday I failed.

I failed my patient.

It was so hard to not cry as I explained to him we wouldn’t be able to run his treatment.

Him: Well… It happens.

Irrational Right Brain: NO GODDAMMIT! It doesn’t “happen”. Be angry at me. Be mean to me. I hurt you. I don’t deserve your kindness. I don’t deserve your understanding. I hurt you and I’m so sorry and there’s no way to make it right and I’m so so sorry.

I had to go into the back hallway and cry for a few seconds alone before pulling my shit together to get through the rest of change over. I didn’t have time to feel like a failure. I had other patients who needed me to be there for them and in a way that helped. I had to cannulate three other people and all of those cannulations were flawless.

It helped quite the voice inside of my head saying I should rethink my entire career choice and that I was a horrible fuck up.

After my break, after talking to my brother, I talked to my FA about the incident.

Me: Have you ever infiltrated anyone?
Her: Oh god, yes. That’s part of the job. It happens.
Me: That was the first time it happened to me.
Her: Really? If I had known that I would have been more compassionate. Are you saying in a year you’ve never infiltrated anyone?
Me: No. I haven’t. Which is why I’m having such a hard time right now. I’m trying to complete the NFACT “expert cannulator” thing and yet I infiltrate this patient and have been having a hard time with another patient’s access. It’s hard to not feel like I’m doing a bad job or that I shouldn’t pursue it further.
Her: If you were doing a bad job I would have told you long before this.

I felt better as our conversation continued and she shared her own experiences with me. It reminded me of when I was in Orlando and my trainers would caution me, “You’re going to infiltrate. Everyone does and it’s ok.”

I had accepted, back then, back there, that I would, eventually, one day, infiltrate a patient. And I guess in the year and a half or so since I’ve been working, to only have one on my record is pretty unheard of. I had accepted with phlebotomy that sometimes you miss. It’s not that you’re a bad phlebotomist. Some days are better than others. Some patients are easier to stick than others. The same goes for cannulating a dialysis patient.

Missing doesn’t automatically mean you’re bad. Infiltrating, also, doesn’t automatically mean you’re bad. And that’s something I’m having to work through. I’m not bad at my job. But yesterday I felt like it.

Yesterday I started questioning pretty much everything. I need titles and labels and to understand my roll in all of the dynamics I have; in all of the spots I fill in Life.

Who am I? What am I? What am I working towards? What’s important to me? Why do I wake up in the morning? What’s the point of getting out of bed? What’s the driving force behind doing anything, achieving anything, caring about anything?

Those were the questions going through my head last night.

Everything felt so nebulous and tentative and ready to shatter around me and I don’t know why.

I had already accepted that this incident was not a direct reflection of my skill. Hell, it could have been something as simple as my patient moved his arm while shifting in his chair and the point of the needle infiltrated on its own.

The important thing was I reacted professionally. I made sure the situation was controlled and that my patient was safe and gave the proper instructions for the care of his infiltration while he was between treatments.

Yet, there I was at home, questioning who I am. What I am.

It reminded me of what it was like when you first died, mom. I was no longer a teacher. I was no longer a student. I was no longer an employed member of society. I was no longer anything…

Currently, I’m not a mother but I have an eight-year-old who thinks she’s my daughter. I have a significant other but I’m not a wife or a girlfriend. I’m a nebulous in between. I’m not a nurse but that’s the easiest way to explain things to people because Patient Care Technician is long and confusing and you can see their eyes glaze over with that “not processing” look.

I’m “not” so many things, but then what am I if I’m not those things? What are the constants in my life that I can cling to when everything feels unstable? What are the cornerstones I found for myself during your death that have pulled me through all of the hard times where I wanted to give up?

That’s when I started remembering them…

I AM your daughter. You ARE my mother. I AM a warrior. I AM an earth dragon. And Life can go fuck itself if it thinks I’m going to give up.

It doesn’t matter what other titles I have. It doesn’t matter what other people think I am or am not. I AM your daughter and that is one thing that WILL NEVER change.

I don’t know what else to write, mom. Things aside from the craptastic day of yesterday are going well. I made my first rattan sword this past Saturday and it was awesome. I’m down seven pounds as of today and up one pound of muscle. We’re supposed to be starting serious work in the addition this weekend. The new countertops for the kitchen got installed and they’re pretty awesome. I figured out why I haven’t been back paid for my certification from March. I’m level 20 something in Final Fantasy 14 and I’m still having fun with the game. Jon and I are making solid plans for visiting Jason.

Things are still going really well overall. I feel like I should say sorry for letting this one event shake me so hard, but I’m not sorry so I can’t say it. I can say I will try not to let it eat away at me. I will try not to let it cloud my perception of myself and make me question my self-worth or skill.

But I know myself. This is still an unclosed loop in my head because I have not atoned for the wrong I feel I have committed. I need to figure out something to bring closure to this for me. Maybe writing… Maybe a post for my patient, similar to the posts I make for you, or for the people I can’t say things to…

Maybe saying all the words I wish I could say to him would help me move past this so I can still be the confident, competent patient care technician that I am and that he needs me to be.

I don’t know… But I promise I’ll figure it out, mom.

I love you. And I still need you. And you’re still here even if it’s not the same as it was and I think after reading the post shared with me by my reader that I’m getting better about accepting that.

Thanks, mom, for listening. For everything. I love you. Forever and for always.