Tuesday, December 8, 2009
In honor of my new favorite obsession , err, TV show GLEE I'll give ya'll a summary of the last few months around here with a written mash-up. In no certain order:
* Anime has had a pulmonary function test and a sleep study, both of which we'll get the results from at the beginning of January.
*Not having any idea how I did it, I apparently managed to BREAK a RIB! A few weeks of increasing chest pain finally sent me to the doctor to have X-rays show a break. Since I haven't fallen or been in any accidents I'm clueless as to how this happened. Amazingly the doctor said to do nothing different and that it should be completely healed around February.
*Actress tried out for, and amazingly (given her pseudonym) did not make the cut for the middle school play. Heck she didn't even get in as an extra! Am amazed and surprised.
*Action has joined the local drumline group. (thanks to my coming up with the $300 entrance fee, ahem.) He is loving it and so am I (being a former percussionist and drumline member myself).
*Snow has finally hit our area by way of the first (and hopefully last!) blizzard to the season.
* I have decided to pick up a part-time gig as a substitute for the area schools. At $90 a day and the ability to say yes or no to a job, I just had to give in.
*Starting in January I hit the budgets and start Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University online. Considering how little is coming in and how many, many bills there are to pay, I need to get serious about finances.
*Action's new haircut is a la Puck from GLEE.
*Anime's hair has gone from blonde and maroon, to black with blue, to toasted marshmallow blonde, and now blonde and grape with has faded into a more normal looking blonde with brown highlights.
*Today is Anime's 16th birthday! It seems impossible that I have a sixteen year old. Who now has 5 piercings between her two ears (which she suckered Mr. Ex into paying for the last two today).
*Mr. Ex continues to be a "fantabulous" dad (please note that "fantabulous" means selfish, shallow, and unconcerned with the kids' welfare). I plan to discuss his antics in a separate post soon, following a phone call or two to the state department dealing with child support.
*I start evening classes in January for my degree as a licensed practical nurse (LPN). I've figured out the only way I can do this and be successful it to go part-time. After my LPN I can go part-time to get my 2 year RN. It will take me longer but be a lot less stressful on everyone.
So until next time I leave you with a taste of GLEE
Monday, November 9, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I'm not sure where I am spiritually right now but I have to say that the following really resonated with me tonight. Talk about being spot on!
If you want to try your own go to http://www.gaiantarot.com/oracle/index.html .
Oracle: Your Gaian Tarot Reading
Monday, October 5, 2009
*Quietly she slips into the room, distracted by the cobwebs that had gathered in her absence. Brushing them aside, she grasps the pen, opens the notebook to a blank page, thinking . . . "it's like that song, the past is behind me, but the rest . . . the rest is still unwritten."
What can I say? Life happens.
I was amazed at how scary I found it to begin writing this. At how many times I've started, and stopped, and started and stopped again. But not this time. This time I hit the "post" button and push aside the internal fears.
It's my longing for a "soul tribe" that pushes me back. I miss all of you. I miss having a close friend or two to be able to confide in. So I'm back. Starting again.
I don't have much time right now, I have to scoot out the door for class shortly. But to catch you up, we have a diagnosis for Anime. Fibromyalgia. Nothing has changed or gotten better for her but we have a word, a direction to follow now. And it's not lupus, for which I am ever thankful.
If you're reading this, thank you from the bottom of my heart for putting up with my silence.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Today I'm going back to the doctor to see about seriously upping my depression medicine. I haven't seen any improvement in the last two months and, seriously, I think it's worse than it was two months ago. All I really want to do is sleep. I can't concentrate on any one thing for very long. It's guaranteed that if I sit down to read a chapter in one of my summer courses you will soon find me asleep with the book on my lap. Things don't make sense in my brain and I feel as if I'm just barely keeping it all together.
The only place where I can seem to keep it going is at work. It's like I go into overdrive at the hospital and I'm very organized, on the ball, and able to multi-task.
Hopefully the doctor will agree to more than just a minor increase in the meds because I don't want to go on like this. I want to be productive and have feelings, rather than just always feeling like I don't care.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Testing, testing, 1. 2. 3. 4.
Is this thing on?
Alright then. Maybe some of you remember me? I'm that gal who used to blog at least semi-regularly. Also known as The Procrastinator.
I think maybe that funk I was in is lifting a little. I've missed you guys. Boy do I have a scary crazy number of posts from all of you to catch up on. I'm scared to even look at google reader for fear of the number awaiting me there! :)
Okay, so where was I? I've been here, well, not here on the computer per say, but just here. Riding out the latest wave, looking for the perfect swell to push myself off of and surf back into myself.
I somehow mistakenly thought that taking 13 credits during the summer session was a good idea. I know. What the hell was I on when I thought that?! And who takes Intro to Literature just for fun? Me, apparently. So yeah, I'm taking that plus Anatomy and Physiology (which I dropped last semester), Microbiology (which I had a pretty poor grade in last semester) and Nutrition. Loads of reading and writing will be going down in this house through August.
In addition to that I'm also working through The Next Chapter: Wreck This Journal. I'm still waiting for my book to arrive, hopefully it will be here the beginning of this week.
And that's just me. We also have swimming lessons (Actress and Action), junior golf league and volleyball camps (Anime), a month of tennis camp (Action), Little League (Action), a trip in July to Kansas City, a trip to see my sister (sometime this summer, hopefully more than once since she's only 2 1/2 hours away) and maybe, hopefully, (fingers crossed) a trip to the Twin Cities to see our Twins. (that's a baseball team for those of you non-baseball fans). Oh, we also have marching band starting at the end of July for Anime.
But I'm back. No more hiding away for me.
What's on your agenda for the summer? Enlighten me!
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Anime is currently on the same depression meds that I take. We think she's been doing slightly better, even though she's fighting an awful chest cold right now.
I'm sorry I haven't been around much lately. I'm battling my own depression demons and just have not been able to bring myself to write. I'm hoping to increase the meds when I see my doctor again in a couple of weeks as this dosage just isn't doing anything for me.
Monday, April 20, 2009
My latest test, a HIDA-scan, turned up nothing so I am being referred on to a gastrointestinal specialist. Now I really don't feel there's anything wrong with me (other than a lot of gas and belching) but my liver function levels remain elevated and the doctor doesn't want to start me on cholesterol meds until she knows why these levels are elevated. As for me, well, I'll go see the specialist but I'm pretty sure they're not going to find anything. Just more money gone from my bank account.
What has been weighing on me (or one of the things anyway,) is that after the mammogram and 2 ultrasounds of my breast, I am moving onward to see a surgeon at the end of the month. It seems that there is an area of tissue that isn't what it should be. Now that I know it's there, I can feel it. It feels as if the skin is "thicker" there than the rest of the breast. The radiologist describe it as having a "bridge-like" appearance, whatever that means. What I do know is that I have had to wait all month to see the surgeon and even then, nothing will be done at that appointment. It is a "consultation" and my doctor's office told me that the surgeon isn't sure if he wants to simply do a needle biopsy or if he wants to take the whole section out. At the time of the consultation the next appointment will be made for either the biopsy or the removal of the mass. I don't know what else to call it because it's not a lump, it's a whole area of tissue that even I could pick out on the ultrasound. I found it rather unnerving that after the first ultrasound was done (right after the radiologist read my mammogram) and the radiologist had looked at it, the radiologist himself came in and had the technician do a second ultrasound with him in the room to look at the mass first hand.
Now I know this all very well may be nothing but it's the waiting that's driving me crazy. Most likely I will know nothing until the end of May unless I get lucky and the surgeon is able to book me right away for the biopsy/mass-removal. I try not to think about it but it lingers there in the back of my mind.
Mr. Ex is also causing problems. That's a whole other (depressing) post. Life doesn't give you more than you can handle, right?
On a side note, I was wait-listed for the Fall Semester of nursing school. Basically I didn't get one of the 55 slots so now I sit and wait and hope someone drops out this summer and I am high enough the wait list to get there spot.
So yeah, I'm searching for the sunshine around here because I'm sick and tired of all of the clouds casting shadows over everything.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Mine started out with a bang. Up early after working the late shift yesterday, I headed out for an ultrasound of my abdomen. I started out the radiology tech's day well as she "loved" my "beautiful anatomical structure". Apparently everything is where it's supposed to be and very receptive to being captured via ultrasound. I've always longed to hear that I have "beautiful organs". ;)
Next it was over to the clinic for a couple of biopsies. One was a mole on my breast, the other for a growth on my nose. The nose biopsy required a couple of stitches to close so I get to spend the next week walking around looking as if I have a couple of big black hairs sticking out of my nostril. Fun!
On the bright side, it's done. Friends and family wanted to know why I scheduled these procedures on my birthday. Why? It was the first available appointments and I want them done. Now it's just wait for the reports to come back.
The doctor did not start me on cholesterol medications today as she wants to wait and see what's going on with the liver functions being elevated. Apparently cholesterol meds would mess with those levels, so we'll wait a couple more weeks before starting.
I'm off to work shortly, taking in a big cake to share with my co-workers. I fully expect to be driving home in heavy rain/snow tonight as the meteorologists and predicting a doozy of a storm to hit tonight. Half of our state is already being hit with schools and roads closing left and right. Nothing to surprising though. I think I could count on one hand the number of times there has been good weather on my birthday.
I wonder what this 39th year will hold?
Friday, March 27, 2009
Feebly grasping at a lifeline.
Peering into the bottom,
One more grab,
holding on tightly,
Hanging over the precipice.
Up or down?
I hadn't meant to disappear. The day after my last post found me in the ER being treated for hyper-emesis. It is something most commonly associated with pregnancy but is something that has plagued me since my teens. It's a little gross but when I throw-up I have the tendency to not be able stop vomiting. Since then I have been inexplicably tired. So much so that for the past three weeks about all I have done is work and sleep.
Now that I'm starting to wake up I'm able to see that much of the sleep is depression induced. Much as I've tried to fight it, I know my signs, and I know when I need help. Yesterday I went for a full check-up and started back on antidepressants.
The doctor visit was prompted by my cholesterol level and by a second ER visit last week. I thought I was having a heart attack, although it turns out it was more likely a gallbladder attack. So yesterday I was poked and prodded, and took my turn with the lab vampires. They took blood to check cholesterol levels, liver and kidney functions, thyroid functions, and , oh joy!, STD's. Why STD's you wonder? Well, Mr. Ex was not a faithful hubby and I never did get tested for anything when it all came to light. My lovely new doctor convinced me that it needed to be done, for my safety. So test we did.
On Monday I go back for an ultrasound of my abdomen to see what's going on in there. That will be followed by two moles that are being biopsied and a brand new prescription for cholesterol meds. In spite of my dietary changes my cholesterol has continued to rise and hit a new high yesterday of 298. Yes, you read that correctly. It is nearly 300. The bad cholesterol was 230 while the good was at 40. These are not good numbers and I am coming to terms with the fact that I will need to take cholesterol meds for the rest of my life.
Thursday will see my having my second mammogram in two years. The doctor felt a change in my left breast so we are following up on that. My mother had Stage 0 breast cancer (did you know it doesn't start at Stage 1? I didn't until my mom went through this.) I had a baseline mammogram done two years ago, at the recommendation of my mom's oncologist so at least we have something to compare the new mammogram to.
Strangely I am not worried about any of this. I think it's the depression though. I don't necessarily get sad, I become unmotivated and stop caring, instead.
When it rains it pours.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
You can get your own custom designed layout by PrincessK at Princess Designs.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Don't get me wrong, people. . . I am THRILLED that she doesn't have lupus or any other autoimmune disease!
But we're back to being without any answers. We still have no idea what it is going on with her system. We're back to square one and that is NOT a place I want to be. I was let-down because I thought we were close to an answer, a diagnosis, and now we're not. Granted, it's something ruled out but where do we go from here?
The nurse said that we are still to call if she has fevers over a two-week period. We are still to follow the medicine schedule, although I still don't understand how a pain medicine is supposed to stem off her symptoms of fever and fatigue. We should still chart/journal her health and pain over the next several months and return in September.
After talking with my mom and mom-in-law (still not sure what to call her as she's not really my MIL any more, more like a "second" mom) I have decided to get a copy of these lab results and take them to our new general practitioner. I'm scheduling an appointment for a general (thorough) check-up for her with Dr. H (our new GP) and want to review her history with him to see what options he thinks we should explore. Her symptoms are so generalized to so many things that I guess we're going to have to work on differential diagnosis to find our answers. Researching via the web has shown ideas, some as simple as mononucleosis; others such as Lyme Disease or West Nile (both highly probable in our area), to others that are arguable in their classifications like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Maybe it's a B-12 deficiency or a serious step infection that simple won't go away. There are so many "ifs" out there that you could drive yourself insane trying to figure it out.
All I really know is that my child has "episodes" of fever & fatigue that we can see coming on based on how she acts and looks. She has constant pain in her legs. She is severely cold compared to others and she has pain in her chest along with some shortness of breath that the inhaler didn't relieve. This is not normal for a healthy fifteen year old and it has been happening since her first strep infection in September of 2007. And no-one has been able to tell us why or look at me like I'm not some hypochondriac mom (which anyone who knows me would tell you that I most definitely am not, I tend to fall along in the "suck it up, you're fine" camp).
So as not to miss any more school, I'm making the appointment for a No School day in April, which will also give us a little time to document her health ups & downs. Anime handles this so much better than I do. She's doesn't seem to worry while I torment myself with the thought of what if she turns out to be one of the patients that by the time they figure it all out, it's too late because whatever she has is wreaking havoc in her system right now (okay some paranoia creeping out here).
The main reason we're going to her GP is that her grandma (my MIL) works there (and has worked there for many years) and if there's one thing I've learned in life . . . nepotism works. There will be a bit more of a push to find answers because Grandma is there and you take care of family.
In the meantime, I'll do my best to keep my paranoia at bay.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
We were told early on to be prepared to be there for a while as the doctor likes to give each patient the time they need rather than rush patients in and out. He did that, and for that I am grateful. What he didn't do was give us a diagnosis.
Maybe I went in expecting too much? Perhaps I was fooling myself, even though I know there is no one specific test for lupus? Maybe I just wanted, so badly, to know what is running rampant in my daughter's system so that we could finally understand where all this is coming from and what we are facing in the future? Probably all of this combined is what was running in my head.
What did we get? We got a "maybe". Maybe this is lupus. Maybe not. He agreed that there is definitely something wrong, something that most likely is in the auto-immune disease category. But we have no concrete answers. Nothing to still the questions or, at the very least, send my question in a new direction. We do have a plan, of sorts.
We are to keep a diary. Track each day, her ups & downs, her temperatures, when we see her starting to go down-hill & how long it takes for her to recover, when she is taking meds & when she is not. Most importantly, we are to track how she responds to the sun. Specifically, does she break out in a rash & is it on her face (most typically in a butterfly pattern), and/or does she become ill with exposure to direct sunlight. The doctor had wanted to know how she reacted to the sun last summer but I couldn't tell him as A) I wasn't paying attention to it last summer, and B) she rarely went outside last summer because she felt so crummy most of the time. Apparently reaction to sunlight is a big factor in diagnosing lupus, although I have read that not all lupus patients have the photosensitivity component.
We did come home with one pain reliever to try. She is taking prescription strength Naproxen at 500mg twice a day. She is taking it for two weeks now and then will go off it to see how she does. When I see her start to slide down-hill again she is to back on the Naproxen to see if it will help curb the symptoms. This is a stop-gap to get her through the rest of the school year as she is dangerously close to the maximum number of sick days allowed. Regular doses of ibuprofen don't even touch her pain, thus the higher dosage of Naproxen. Since it can upset your stomach, she also has Omeprazole to take before hand, to limit the stomach discomfort of the Naproxen. She is also taking Loratidine again to help with hayfever, sinuses, etc. to see how that affects the symptoms.
I was surprised that a chest X-ray was not ordered, considering the pain she has when breathing. Nothing was done in regards to her shortness of breath and chest pain. She did donate more blood to the lab vampires for various tests. The office will not call us unless anything is abnormal, but I plan to call tomorrow to find out what the results were and what her ASO, ANA, and hemoglobin levels were. I also want to ask if they tested for all of these things, which go along with lupus.
All in all, I don't feel we're any further ahead than we were before. I still feel like I'm being a hypochondriac when telling doctors what she's been going through. Most of her symptoms are so general to many diseases that sometimes I feel as if they're looking at me like I'm making it all up. We were told that if she starts to have a fever or more per week over the course of a couple of weeks we need to call in to the office. He said they may not be able to get her in to be seen because he is so busy and is short two partners. If that is the case we are to take her to her general practitioner. This is not because they will really do anything for her, but rather to have it "documented" on her medical record for the sake of diagnosis. Hell, if I'd realized that, I would have taken her in for EVERY fever she's had over the past year and a half. But I didn't because I knew they wouldn't do anything for her or they'd do the reverse and just stick her on another antibiotic. I'm one who prefers not to use medication unless absolutely necessary.
I'm frustrated and worried and scared. Scared that this may turn out to be something huge that's being missed with how slow this whole process of diagnosis is. Worried that something irrevocable is happening inside her body to any number of organ systems while we search for a diagnosis in order to be able to start some type of treatment. Frustrated that in a country with such supposedly wonderful health care, we have to wait MONTHS to see a specialist.
So I will track her health and every little thing that goes along with that. We are set to go back again on September 9th to show our little diary to the rheumatologist. SEVEN MORE MONTHS! It's ridiculous. A big part of me is wondering about attempting to get her in to be seen aT a children's hospital/clinic about 5 hours away from us or even if we could get into another rheumatologist in either of the (bigger) cities that are about 3 hours from us. Or would it be better to stay the course and document for the next several months. I know that we will have to call back for an earlier appointment because there's just no way that she will go seven months without another relapse into fevers/fatigue.
This is a guessing game that I don't want to play anymore.
LUPUS FOUNDATION OF AMERICA, INC.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
It is squelched by the responsible side of me. Children need stability, routine, the familiarity of their life of the moment. This is what I had growing up. They've had too much instability in their short lives already.
Their father had travel, constant change, lots of upheaval. Here, there, from the Midwest to Hawaii, to Samoa, Thailand, back to the Midwest with a few different states mixed in. Childhood possessions reduced to what could fit in one small box. I saw the effect it had on him and his sisters.
I want the stability for my children. It is why I stay where I am now.
My soul calls out for change, new lifestyles, new people, new places. I am a vagabond at heart, I'm learning. Dreams find us living overseas, or traveling North America for a year or two. Just to show the kids all the different lifestyles there are. That ours is not the only way to live, nor the best way to live.
So the responsibility and the vagabond war within me. The stable, responsible me will win. I weep for the bohemian that will remain caged. For now.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
I also know myself well enough to know that I am sliding down that slippery slope of depression again. It's something that I will very likely have to battle all of my life. I quit taking medications almost two years ago and have attempted to manage without. I don't feel I'm anywhere close to needing meds again but I also don't want to hit that bottom where I do need them. What I need is to follow through with my chosen word for the year . . . ACTION. Action is one of the best ways to fight this battle, I've found. Quit making excuses or playing the if that happens, then I'll do this game. Just do it! (thanks Nike!)
Here's what I need to "just do" this week.
~make a dentist appointment for the kids
~send in the application for CHIP's to see if we'll qualify in addition to my health insurance (rheumatology appointments and potential medicines are not cheap)
~sit my butt down and STUDY! One exam in Microbiology on Thursday, nursing school entrance exam next Wednesday, a physiology case study and a lab due this Friday.
~write on a schedule! Thanks, Emily, for your suggestion to start "The Artist's Way". I don't have it on hand but I do have "The Right to Write" by Julia Cameron, who is the author of "The Artist's Way", and I will start with that.
~spend at least two hours sorting through boxes in the basement and actually hanging some pictures on the walls to start making this house feel like a home and a sanctuary.
Shania, thank you. You're right. YOU, wonderful readers, are my tribe and I am thankful to have found you. J, you're right and I would love that, although it's easier said than done (I may just have to watch my latest Kevin Smith movie for some really big laughs). Vanessa, we need to get out of this funk!
I wish more of you would delurk so I could meet you too. As for my action plan? I'll start on that tonight, after work because you know, I am . . ." The Procrastinator"!
Monday, February 9, 2009
Friday found us at the local ski lodge for Actress's Girl Scout meeting. For $5 they were able to ski all evening. Actress picked it up like the natural athlete she is; within an hour she was skiing the bigger hills . . . no more bunny hill for her. I brought Action along as he's been dying to snowboard somewhere other than Grandma and Grandpa's big ditch. LOL. He was a bit more spendy ($45) and while he enjoyed it, he decided he'd rather ski next time. Both of them are hooked now. Anime didn't get to join us as she was ill that day (although lately, when isn't she ill!?) We live only a few miles from this ski lodge and I'd really like to go again and actually try skiing myself. I grew up water-skiing and I've been told by those that know me and know how to ski that I should pick it up fairly quickly. I much prefer the kids to be involved in sports that they may continue beyond school, things like golf, baseball or softball, swimming, skiing. None of mine have a high interest in basketball or football. Action fizzled with soccer and although Actress wants to try soccer, we have decided to investigate the local martial arts center instead.
On another note, I called the rheumatologist's office a couple of weeks ago to inquire again if we could be moved up to an earlier appointment as Anime seems to be struggling more and more. They agreed to move her to "high priority" on their list. I didn't actually expect anything to come of it but last week received a phone call asking if we could come in on Monday, Feb. 16th! Of course we can! As luck would have it there is no school that day and I have the day off from work! That kind of luck doesn't happen very often with me. So I'm counting down the days and hoping that we come home next Monday with something concrete and the beginning of a plan of action. If this kid misses much more school she'll be repeating, and considering she's already repeated a grade due to her dyslexia, I do not want her repeating another. She's been told by me that as much as I hate to say it, she has to go to school unless she's vomiting or in the hospital, no if, ands, or buts.
As for me, well, I'm struggling again. I started a week behind with school and am realy struggling to catch up. I had my first physiology exam on Friday and I failed. Yes, failed. Had it been all multiple choice I could have passed and maybe even pulled a "B" but 40% of the grade was based on essay questions and I just couldn't pull the info out of my brain to explain chemical sequences and the exact process of DNA/RNA in detail. I am seriously questioning if I have the self-discipline to do this.
I also received my test date for the nursing school entrance exam. One week from tomorrow at the exact time I am scheduled to work. Trying to switch shifts with people is worse than pulling teeth. I am waiting for a call back from the school to see if the test is being given on any alternate dates.
I'm in a funk right now. Questioning my decisions, my parenting abilities, my whole "where I am going in life". I've been avoiding writing & studying & doing anything at all by spending too many hours browsing the internet, taking quizzes on Facebook, increasing my high score on Gem Swap II, anything but what I should be doing.
Part of my funk is highlighted by Friday night at the ski lodge. I ran into a friend of my sister's. We visited for a while and then Mr. Ex showed up (he was taking the kids home that night as it was his weekend). Mr. Ex and the friend began visiting even though he didn't remember ever meeting her (and honestly I don't think he ever had even though she insisted they had). The friend is a photographer and Mr. Ex asked to accompany her because he though wedding photography would be a fun side business. They irritated me in how they referenced my sister's wedding photo business. It also irritated me because photography is something I've wanted to pursue but have never been brave enough to do so. But the kicker was when a former sister-in-law called the friend (yes this family is so hard to follow that we even know each other's friends) the friend said that she was visiting with Mr. Ex and - uh- um - I quickly filled in "former sister-in-law" for her instead of my name as it dawned on me that even though we have met and visited several times she didn't remember my name! She remember Mr. Ex's name but not mine. And that right there summed up what I have been feeling for a long time. I am not memorable. I am one of those people that everyone likes but no one remembers. The story of my life in one sentence.
Now I know it's poor form to write about feeling sorry for myself, and I'm not feeling sorry for myself exactly. I just feel like I'm drifting again and what I do is of no import. I know that's not true, I have three little souls whose lives are deeply affected by my actions. It's all just part of this funk I'm in, I know. I'd just like to find that circle, that "tribe", where I fit, instead of always feeling like the outsider.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
~parents willing to drive 2 hours to bring the kids home
~instant messenger for catching up w/long distance friends
~scoring a nursing school entrance exam study guide for $12 w/B&N membership & a coupon on top of that
~falling into my comfy bed after a long night at work
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Interview Questions for Celtic Buffy
1. For what reasons did you start blogging, and has it turned out how you thought it would? I started blogging because, from the age I could first write, I've been journaling. In 2000 I quit because someone I was close to started using words I had written against me. I quit writing anything and actually burned all of the old journals I had on hand. Blogging was my step to not only journal again, but to put my words out in the world and justify to myself that what I write is not right or wrong, it's simply my words/feelings/opinions. My blogging journey has turned out to be mostly good. I've "met" some wonderful people through it. However, there's an inner part of me that is still terrified that anyone from Mr. Ex's family or our former friends would find my blog and attempt to use my written words against me just to tear me down for their fun.
2. You're a rock star single mom! What do you find the most difficult about single parenting? And the easiest, if there is an easy part? Thanks for the compliment! I certainly don't feel that way. The most difficult part is wondering if I'm teaching them everything I need to in order for them to be good, self sufficient adults. Then there's also being so tired that a lot of little things fall through the cracks, the guilt of not being able to help them experience everything I'd like for them to do and try, and trying not to overcompensate because they don't have a "normal" family. The easy part? Loving them. There's also the selfishness on my part of liking the fact that I make the decisions without having to consult their dad, the independence of being a single mom.
3. What do you do for yourself, to nurture yourself, your spirit, and you recharge yourself when you're feeling exhausted and out of balance? Not enough. I am learning to take time for myself so as not to become completely out of balance. I like to read, write, paint (the walls, not paintings) and go home to my parent's for a weekend.
4. What's your favourite month of the year and why? What's your favourite day of the week and why? These are actually the toughest questions! I think July would be my favorite because it's hot and sunny, great for being at the pool or the lake. I have the most energy in that type of weather. My favorite day of the week is the Saturday's that I have off from work. Why? The day holds so many possibilities of what I could do with my time with the promise of Sunday to recuperate if need be.
5. Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years from now? That's easy. Five years from now I would like to see myself employed as a registered nurse/paramedic, working on my writing having given in to letting loose the creative part of me (if there is one hidden in there somewhere!). It will find me with Anime graduated from high school, Actress as a sophomore, Action as a seventh grader, and hopefully me, even more independent than now, with finances well in hand.
Here's the instructions to post on your blog after your interview answers:
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me".
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
So, anyone else up for an interview?
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
METAL DOG Horoscope
Dog people are loyal and honest and obedient, guardians of the house at night. They can be counted on to keep secrets and for always doing the right thing. They can be emotionally distant and do not mix well in social gatherings where they are often seen as wallflowers. They do better with one-on-one relationships and find happiness in the happiness they bring to others, such as finding the most perfect gifts for their friends. While it is true that they have sharp tongues and are a bit stubborn and eccentric, in a work situation they tend to work very well with other people. What is more, they always seem to have money and make excellent leaders. Because of their high moral stance, they are inspiring beyond measure.
|This one takes a very conservative approach to every aspect of life, somewhat coasting along looking at the scenery with dreams and goals unrealized but the spirit always fulfilled. Ferdinand the Bull is their Poster Boy; they always stop to smell the flowers. Nothing wrong with this, but it's important to find a balance so there aren't so many unfinished tasks. Ironically, they tend to be materialistic, but don't have the patience necessary to acquire big ticket items and major success is illusory. But like gypsies, they move with the wind, taking what comes, with noble chin held high, always finding in life a kind of beauty which does indeed sustain them very much. They make very good friends, loyal to the bone, always finding delightful ways to help others. Friends always know where they stand because of their directness and frank manner. The Love & Romance Department usually finds a very handsome male and a beautiful female, each incredibly attractive to the other and sincerity reigns in their communication. The Metal Dog doesn't like to take too many chances, preferring conservative and traditional ways of romance. Sometimes, they become virtual love slaves, a little too passive for their own good. Time to stand up and reclaim your individuality! Learn to be more pro-active!|
Thanks to krystalatwork at Give Me Back My Five Bucks for the prompt to find out what I am and the link to tuvy's site for the information.
When you take your power back and stop being scared of what others (or the economy, or politics, or your mean ex-girlfriend) can DO TO YOU, you step into the true reality where you get to decide each day how to create your life.
My theme word for the year is ACTION. Last year was all about CHANGE which was all well and good. There were some big changes. However, the most important changes that need to occur are going to require some work, hence the theme word ACTION (and yes, I know I refer to my son as action, just a little irony there I guess.)
Somewhere around the age of 21 I slowly started giving all of my power away. I realized a while ago that I was now scared of saying what I really felt or thought and that I changed myself constantly to be what I thought others wanted me to be. That is still ingrained in me, and I caught myself berating my children the other day for something that was in complete contrast to how I want them to live. I was essentially telling them that they weren't as important as someone else and that they needed to subvert themselves to the whims of another person. Whoa! I mean, there's being polite and then there's being extreme so as not to "bother" another person who makes choices that are different from ours. (Sorry for being so vague as to the actual circumstance.) My kids weren't being naughty or bad or anything but 3 normal kids and here I was letting myself be "scared" of someone else's response to them being kids.
That's what led into my AHA moment. It all clicked when I read Christine's post. I am sick of living that way! I spent far too many years tiptoeing around Mr. Ex, trying to gauge his moods, living in fear of what he might say. This is NOT what I want to teach my kids. How can they learn to stand up for themselves if I don't stand up for myself?
It all sounds good but it's harder to practice than to preach. It's been so long since I've spoken my mind when it really matters that I'm not even sure how to begin. But begin I must because it's not fair to me or anyone around me to just shut up. I can't get to where I need to be if I can't say what's on my mind. I see old patterns creeping up on me that need to be broken and smashed and swept away on the winds of change. Now where's my hammer and broom?
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
1. You recently reconnected with two old friends via facebook. One lived fairly close and you were going to meet her for lunch. Did that happen and if so, how did it go? If you didn't meet her, why not? (10/28/08) We did meet and it went well. We connected as well as we did in high school. In fact, I'm meeting her next week. Life just seems to get in the way of getting together as often as we'd like.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
What I wish for my space is for it to be cozy and inviting. Right now it just feels empty. There is nothing on the walls, I'm not even sure what I want to hang there. I've done some painting throughout the house. Basically the house just feels unsettled, like everyone here is just marking time. I know that what it needs is ACTION (my theme word for the year) on my part but as of yet I have felt uninspired to take any action. I want to create an environment in which to welcome friends but there aren't really any of those here either. So, what I want for my space is to reflect welcoming while being cozy and somewhat of a boho environment. No house beautiful layouts for me please. I want funky, creative, warm, and welcoming. Maybe later I'll be inspired to post a few shots of our living spaces.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
~Give thanks for indoor plumbing.
~I'm grateful for alert nurses who handle rapid response emergencies with grace and good judgment.
~Grateful to have the children home and sleeping soundly in their own beds.
~Parents who call me.
~The internet bringing me in contact with old friends.
I was able to go through walk-in registration and, while I wasn't able to get every single class I wanted, I was able to get the two that I really needed. Both were available as online courses, saving me the hassle of having to coordinate my work schedule around weekly classes. Woohoo!
Let me give you a little background into what I was aiming to do. There are three option here for getting your nursing degree in the city that I live in. Options A and B are for a two year associates degree to be a registered nurse. Option C is a one year intensive program for people who already hold a bachelor's degree in any area, resulting in graduation with a Bachelor of Science in nursing. I was aiming for Option C, which required a larger number of prerequisite classes, hoping for Fall of 2009 acceptance so that I'd be graduated by September of 2010. Option B is an on site program requiring me to physically attend classes each day, while Option A is an online program only requiring my physical presence at clinicals. Both of those options would only require me to take the prerequisite courses of Microbiology and Anatomy/Physiology as I've currently completed all of the other prerequisite courses.
As luck would have it I was able to enroll this semester in Microbiology and Anatomy/Physiology. I've decided now to change plans and aim for acceptance in Option A, while also applying for Option B as a back-up plan. Now I have to hope that I impress the hell out of the people who make the decision because they only choose 10 people per semester for the online program (Option A) and 25 for the on site program (Option B).
There's a part of me that would love to still enroll in the paramedic program that starts next month. However, I know that it's not fair to my kids or Mr. Irony to overburden myself like that. Plus, the paramedic program has a 6 week internship at the end with only 4 of those internships being offered in our city. The rest of the internships are in Denver, Seattle, Kansas City, and Sioux City. The only way to assure that I would get an internship here is to be ranked #1 or #2 in the course. I simply can't pick up and leave for 6 weeks at this point in life so that door is one that needs to remain closed for now. I might revisit it next fall if I'm not accepted into nursing school.
Now I'm waiting for the University to put me into their online course system so that I can access my classes. The books are ordered and shipped yesterday ($400 worth of textbooks for 2 courses!) and once I'm in the system I'm ready to learn. I'll be a week behind by the time I receive my books so I'll be playing catch-up with my first exam already looming in two weeks.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
~The temperature is above zero! Yea!
~I worked with good nurses who made my work life a little better tonight.
~Mr. Irony made a batch of minestrone soup for my lunches.
~My daughters will actually text me.
Friday, January 16, 2009
~Action still likes to give his mom hugs.
~College #2 finally processed my acceptance.
~Register for two online courses
~Had money in the bank to pay for above courses/books in lieu of financial aid (which won't be dispersed until February).
Thursday, January 15, 2009
On the up side I made a new twitter friend today who honored me by using me as inspiration for his blog post today! Check out Deryl Sweeney II over at 2East: The College Living Blog. Stop by his website to check out all of the cool dorm living ideas also! Makes me (almost) wish that I were young enough to live in the dorms again. We all have our own roadblocks in life. Heck, I create half of my own roadblocks just through my procrastination! What do you do when you approach a roadblock? Do you give up, do you go around, or do you crash right through?
Amazingly I am feeling so much better about this return to college now. Even though I STILL have not heard back from college #2 (am really trying not to let the bitter rivalries of the colleges sway may feelings towards college #2, it's hard though, being raised to be the bunnies fan that I am). Some of the better feelings may be my effort to follow through on this. I found Schmutzie's post through Chantal at Bread Crumbs in the Butter. I've been far too bitter lately and need to turn that frown upside down (okay that was really corny but seriously, I need to be more silver linings than storm clouds).
Today I choose to find grace in the small things. Such as:
~College #1 assigning my cousin as my advisor.
~My car that starts even when the temperature is -30 (that's right 30 BELOW zero!)
~Mr. Irony for not booting us all out because we're so insanely annoying.
~Having a job that provides health insurance at a fairly reasonable rate.
~Hugs before the kids head out the door to school.
Can you find some grace in the small (and not so small) things?
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Of course it couldn't be that easy, right? Right.
I innocently assumed that since both universities operate under the same umbrella that I would be able to register for both at the same time. Apparently it doesn't work that way. The online form would not allow me to submit until I removed the offending universities courses (damn college rivalries, it even holds sway on the internet!). That done I proceeded to hit submit, still swooning over the fact that I would be registered and could go purchase (outrageously expensive) textbooks tomorrow!
EPIC FAIL! Here is the lovely little blurb I received upon hitting the submit button:
Yeah, um, what?! Do I not have a student ID number?! Was I not able to log in to the registration area in the first place?! State college you haven't sent me anything in regards to advisor, registering, or anything other than than a little email stating I could register using the web advisor when I inquired about registration a few weeks ago. Back then would have been a good time to tell me that it wouldn't work when I attempted it. Just saying.
I sent an email (or two or three) off to the registration department but as I know they are all over in the main gym today processing on-campus semester payments/etc. I highly doubt I'll hear back from anyone in a timely fashion. Guess I may be making a trip tomorrow to the old alma mater to see what a gal has to do to be able to hand over her money for their (outrageously priced) classes.
Grrr. Happy Hump Day!
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
So 2009 is upon us and I'm nowhere further ahead than I was in 2008. I'm still procrastinating and playing ostrich with my finances. I'm not in school nor progressing towards a degree of any kind. I'm still "The Procrastinator". But I have chosen a new word for this year. That word is ACTION. Change is all well and good, but it's a new year and something needs to propel those changes. That would be where ACTION comes in.
By playing "The Procrastinator" I have effectively locked myself out of being able to register for those prerequisites that I need for nursing school. I applied to two schools and school number 1 (my alma mater) was right on the ball, accepted me, and I'm good to go. Except for the fact that the courses I need this spring are either only offered on campus (2 hours of driving each day) or the internet sections are full. School number 2 (the rival of my alma mater - old loyalties die hard folks when you grow up a died-in-the-wool bunnies fan) is even more of a procrastinator than I am! I sent in all of the paperwork 2 months ago, sent in their request for more paperwork three weeks ago, and still have not heard anything! School number two does have some open internet sections for what I need, plus one course that is located nearby for which the internet section is full. Classes start on Thursday meaning I'm really behind the curve on this. What's a gal to do now?
My lovely little plan was to be accepted for Spring of 2009, take all of those monster courses I need in one fell swoop, apply to the two nurses programs and see which (if any!) I was accepted into for Fall of 2009. That's most definitely not going to happen now. I forgot the rule of my life, which is, nothing EVER goes as I plan. So the plan is being tossed out the window and I'm flying by the seat of my pants now (what does that phrase mean anyway?!).
Since the word of the year is ACTION, I'm not going to sit around and wait to see if I can take everything this fall. I'm developing a new plan of sorts (I'm learning this is why people have back-up plans). I had originally thought that after I had my RN I would take the accelerated paramedics course and be an RN/paramedic. I'm thinking about reversing that strategy. There is a paramedics course starting next month (two nights per week for 11 months) and I'm going to apply. If I get in I'll take just a couple of prerequisites for nursing per semester and apply for RN school for the Spring of 2010 (which is what I'll have to do anyway now regardless of if I get in to paramedic school or not).
Why? Honestly, I can't see myself working as a patient care tech for the next 3 1/2 years while finishing RN school. Well, I could see it happening if the pay were higher, but it isn't. Right now I am dependent on the child support from Mr. Ex to pay the bills and since I consider him to be undependable (granted he has not missed any months but I can't count on that or him) I find it incredibly scary to think that the next 3 1/2 years of income are partially dependent on him. Paramedics in our area start out making as much as a 2-year (associates degree) RN. If I were to complete the paramedic course and be hired I would work the same amount of hours that I do as a tech but would make almost twice the pay. Considering that Anime enters high school next year, Actress hits middle school, and Action wants to play hockey, there's going to be a lot more extra expenses, not to mention the medical cost for Anime if it turns out that she does have lupus.
I am driven by money, or the lack thereof. Not a good way to be but I've spent so many years struggling for a financial security (which I promise I will eventually tell you about . . . it is an interesting and lengthy story) that I want to grasp for the next level up (income-wise).
I twittered about this recently and I don't think I made it clear that I'm not forgoing nursing school for paramedic school, just simply reversing the order. I know that nursing presents many more opportunities for advancement down the road. Of course, this is all contingent on being accepted, which I very well may not be. Then it's back to the drawing board, I guess. Good thing I'm a go-with-the-flow kind of gal.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
I'm not a big believer in astrology but I thought it might be interesting to post what astrology.com predicts for me this year, and look back on it again this time next year.
Year 2009 Career
Since transformation and rebirth are manifesting in new realms for you this year, it's a good time to reflect on your deeper mission in life. As an Aries, you are a powerhouse of energy who enjoys being in charge and drawing upon your strong resources to forge ahead in the world. Allow the universe to support, transform and shift your career in order to remake yourself. You may be called upon to change the structure and let go of old energies, resistance and previous patterns of your professional life that no longer serve you. You realize how important it is to call back the parts of yourself that you have given away, and to bring back your own sense of dedication to higher ideals and your willingness to be a channel for healing yourself and society.
These changes will help you feel much more in control, grounded and supported as you start the year streamlining your focus in a more methodical way. This requires exercising a bit more patience than Aries usually likes. As you allow yourself to trust and recreate your path of heart and amplify your aliveness, fully express your visionary impulses and rediscover your unique structure of individuality.
Abundant thinking and a sense of community enhance your career -- and your enjoyment thereof. You gain power and the momentum needed to make a forward shift. Step into your authority and open your heart so that you may bring in new energy and manifest the results you desire. Your attitudes about success and taking charge of your life will evolve as you find a new sense of what you really want.
Year 2009 Romantic
Your love takes on a new dimension this year. Your relationships will be about balance and an even flow of give-and-take. Your friends will be very influential in helping your idealistic dreams manifest. Your enthusiasm for a better future will attract socially motivated groups, and you will meet some beneficial associations who are striving for a better world.
You have no problem starting new relationships, and are able to let go of connections that no longer serve you. You will move on with a pioneering spirit. Trusting your higher self provides the discernment you need to understand people's true motives and still maintain a healthy sense of self. Make conscious decisions regarding other people on a romantic level, and keep your hopes and dreams realistic.
A wonderful circle of love and unity surrounds you. In the summertime, your passion will attract a partner who makes you feel safe, and you will be able to love more deeply than ever before. You're willing to take risks for someone who is emotionally strong.
You feel so positive and uplifted that everything seems perfect, as if you are really tapping in to some great spiritual blessings. You will feel you need to establish some personal roots, and will find yourself thinking about home and family more than ever before. In October, you might find yourself desiring marriage, after a genuine deepening in your primary relationship.
The rules are as follows:
Link back to the person you received the interview from.
If you want to participate, leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.” (And your e-mail address, please.)
I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
My questions from LizSara are:
1) Do you think it's easier or harder to be an anonymous blogger and is there any reason you could think of to make you 'come out' on your blog? I find it hard being anonymous because I have to watch that I don't make any references to places or things that could reveal me. I can't share this part of my life with real life friends (although I have with a couple that I really trust). I can't share pictures of my life or refer to my writing around real life people. If you knew me it would be easy to connect the dots and figure out my identity, which is why I also worry about recriminations if certain people from my past were to stumble across my blog.
I'd like to think that I would reveal my identity if one of the people from my "past life" figured it out. I might also consider "coming out" if I were to have a huge following and be offered a book deal. Hey, I can dream right?! There's another Jen Lancaster out there somewhere! Why not me? ;)
2) Would you rather be where you are now having gone through hardships or have had an easy life but be unhappy in it? I'll definitely take where I am now with all of the roller coaster rides. I've lived in some neat places, met some cool people, and had more experiences than some people get in a life time!
3) What's your idea of the perfect getaway, where and why? The perfect getaway would include sunshine, warm ocean water, and quite possibly some ancient ruins to explore.
4) Name your best recipe Ha! Me, cook?! Okay, seriously, my best recipe is for scalloped corn. Take one can of corn, one can of creamed corn, add 4 tablespoons of flour, 3 to 4 tablespoons of milk, 2? teaspoons of baking powder, one egg (yolk and white beaten separately before adding), and pepper to taste. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. Of course, it's been well over a year since I made it and I currently can find the recipe!
5) If you had to give up blogging or give up reading other people's blogs which would you choose? That's tough. If I could still write (just not publish) I would choose to give up blogging. I love to read every one's posts in the morning with a cup of tea or coffee. It makes me feel connected to the world in some odd way.
So who's next?
Friday, January 2, 2009
~quit my secure school based job
~moved to a new town
~entered into a new living situation with Mr. Irony
~took a job in health care (at a much lower rate of pay)
~legally changed back to my maiden name
~left behind some people in my life that just weren't good for me, psychically or spiritually
Lots of outward changes, yes, but I've been realizing that there weren't a lot of inward changes. I'm still afraid to speak my mind. I still run from confrontation. There is still so much negativity running through my brain. I still am running through life mainly on auto pilot because it takes too much to actually have to deal with anyone or anything. I still lack motivation to get things accomplished. I am still "The Procrastinator".
Somewhere along the way I've built up this burden of bitterness and the main target has been Mr. Ex. I know for my sake that I need to find a way to let it all go. I think I've accepted the fact that I stayed with him for those last years out of guilt and fear, brainwashed into thinking that he would take the kids if I tried to leave. I also didn't want to admit defeat. I was in love with the idea of what I wanted our marriage to be, but not actually loving the man I was married to. As I look back over our life together now I can see what a naive fool I was and how many ways and times I was taken advantage of. Even when his own family would point out how little he cared for us I refused to admit it. Part of the bitterness is that most of that same family has now welcomed him back with open arms because "he came back to be near and raise his kids". (Excuse me while I go gag). He spends two weekends per month with the kids. He did coach in the fall for Action's team but now hasn't set foot around for wrestling season. He keeps choosing women who don't seem to want our kids around.
See, I don't want to do this. I see all of that bitterness spilling out in the previous paragraph. I know that I need to just accept him for who he is (and isn't) and that he's never going to be the dad that our kids deserve. That doesn't mean he's a bad person, it's just not who I wanted him to be. I need to get over this bitterness towards him and focus on me. Because if I don't, I'm not going to get any motivation back nor be able to move forward. If I can't do that I might as well kiss nursing school goodbye because I won't be able to make it through the 18 credits worth of hard classes I have to do just to be able to apply (chemistry II, microbiology, epidemiology, anatomy/physiology, just to name four).
Once again or maybe still, I feel lost, drifting, as if I'm just marking time with no real purpose. And that, I think, is what needs to change in 2009. Finding the change within me. Finding me.