The random ramblings of a perpetual procrastinator. These are the life & times of a nursing home CNA navigating the ups & downs of living with someone who's living with a disability. A sometimes amusing, sometimes bittersweet look at my journey into real adulthood.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I feel like a loser

I have done nothing for at least the last week.

When I say nothing, I of course mean working out.

I'm not going to make excuses for myself because the whole point of buying a treadmill was so that I could work out without going anywhere, which was my biggest hurdle.

However, I haven't been sleeping properly, which I think has added to my generally bad mental mood.

There's nothing wrong with my life.  Sure, DJ & I hit little bumps in the rode like everyone else does.  But we've got a great relationship, a beautiful home & a horde of naughty furballs who we love.  I have no reason to feel so down in the dumps - but I do.

I'm working on trying to pinpoint what it is, which has been difficult since none of the usual suspects are the cause this time.

But today was better.  For the first time in a while I slept properly, & I feel better already.  I've decided to give myself a few more days to try to figure out what's causing my funk & (hopefully) keep on sleeping.  Then, it's back on the bandwagon...or back on the treadmill, I suppose.

I'm not going to give up, I'm just going to accept that I'm starting over - & I'm determined to make it work.

Friday, July 8, 2011


I did really well with the whole exercise thing for  few days, & then it all went to hell.

My life has gotten in the way, once again.  I hate to use that as an excuse, & normally I wouldn't, but for the past few days & have done nothing but run back & forth to the doctor's office in an attempt to get all the medical requirements taken care of for school.  Kind of important.

And due to all that running back & forth, I'm not sleeping.  Makes me want to jump off a bridge.

But, as of tomorrow morning, that running around should be done...for the time being.  So tomorrow afternoon it's back on the bandwagon - no excuses.  There's no reason that I can't find 30 minutes to workout.

Did anyone else experience this in the beginning, or is it just me?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Day 1: This already sucks

Although I have no delusions about my fitness, I do work in a very physical job & would like to think I'm not a total mush.

I'd be wrong in thinking that.

I got on my new treadmill for the first time today.  My goal was to power-walk for a full 30 minutes - & I did!  Yay for small miracles!

Even though I achieved my goal, my joy was short lived...because I felt like I was dying.

Not only did my feet hurt like hell (I have this.), the sweat was pouring off of me.  BTW, I am sorry for the lovely image you probably just got in your mind.

It's humbling to realize that, at age 26, a brisk 30 minute walk in my air conditioned house has that effect on me.

But, that's the reason why I'm taking this journey.  Everyone has to start somewhere.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

There's always room for one more

I went out to breakfast Saturday morning & ended up with a new addition to the family.

Meet Oliver!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Getting started

I picked up my new treadmill today.  Although it's currently sitting in a box which my cats are treating like a jungle gym, it's not staying there for long.  It's going to be put together tomorrow morning, & my new, healthier lifestyle begins.

I've decided to do the Couch to 5k program that everyone is raving about.  Since that's a 3 day a week program, & running just isn't going to cut it for my fitness goals, I invested in a workout dvd to supplement.  It's one of those old school, Billy Blank tae-bo style workouts.  I love those things.  And if I do it with consistency, it's going to seriously help in decreasing the size of my fat ass.  Bonus.

Instead of focusing on a weight loss goal, I'm going to set my sights on actually running in a 5k race at the end.  I have some very fit family members who are already runners, & I'm sure I can talk them into participating.  Although it seems out of reach now, I know I can do this.  I cannot wait to feel the sense of accomplishment I'll have when I finish!

Wish me luck (& make sure you hold me accountable)!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Well, that was rude.

Last last week a new resident moved into our unit.  I'm not sure what her story is, but previous to coming to the nursing home she lived on her own in a senior citizen highrise.  For people who are confused moving into a new place full of people you don't know & suddenly having a roommate is a very difficult transition.

This particular resident is having trouble sleeping at night - so she rings her call bell a zillion times.  It's sometimes frustrating because we each have 20 residents to take care of.  There's definitely time to devote a little one-on-one time to each of them, but it's really hard to constantly be running back to her room "just to chat."

But, we've all done our best, because becomming familiar with her surroundings & the new people is what she really needs.

So imagine my surprise when we got report from the nurse last night & were told that this resident's family requested that she have all her meals back in her room (and stay in there pretty much the entire day...alone) because they don't want her in our dining room "seeing some of the other residents."

And I knew exactly what residents they were referrinf too.  There are people with end stage Alzheimer's desease, who have totally lost the ability to speak, but who frequently have loud vocal outbursts.  There are people who have lost the ability to move their arms & legs, so they are very contracted in their chairs.  These people are elderly & can't do things the way they used to, so some spill their food.

But, these are still people.  They deserve to be treated with dignity & respect, not only by our staff, but by visitors as well.  They are not the scourge of the earth.  They are someone's parents & grandparents.

I know the stigma that sourrounds nursing homes.  And I also know that, if you're not used to it, some of the things you see can be jarring.  But at the end of the day our purpose is to take care of those who simply can't do it on their own anymore.  Those things are meant to be embraced so that these residents have a good quality of life until the end.

The ignorance of some people will never cease to amaze me.

Monday, June 6, 2011

For the better

It's about to get real up in here.

I  am not in shape.  Well, that's really an understatement.  I am overweight is more like it.

For the longest time I've ignored that fact, especially because I'm with a man who loves me the way I am.

That's all well & good, except I'm totally not healthy & neither is he.

It's time to make a change.

The other thing you need to know is that I have little to no will power or ambition when it comes to exercising.

If it's too hot/too cold/Sunday through Saturday, I will not exercise outside.

In fact, the only way I will exercise is in front of the TV where I normally enjoy sitting & making my fat ass fatter.  How sad is that?  I'm sort of ashamed of myself...sort of.

And so, I bought myself a treadmill.  It's should be here sometime this week or early next week, & my journey to work out everyday will begin.

Honestly, I'm excited to get started!  This is going to sound so stupid given what I just told you about myself, but I've wanted to get into running for a long time.  I know a few people who run habitually, & in addition to being ass kickers, they always have more energy & feel so much better than I do.  I'm jealous.

It's going to be a long, slow process to start - just walking everyday in the beginning.  But I do plan to get there.

I'm telling you this because I need you to help hold me accountable.  Ask me if I've worked out.  If I say no, tell me to get my lazy ass off the internet & onto that treadmill I just paid good money for.

Trust me, you are not going to hurt my feelings.  I need this.  I know myself.

This is going to be a long, hard journey, but it's definitely one I'm ready to take. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Off to see the wizard.

Yesterday afternoon while I was watching the news a tornado watch was issued for some surrounding areas, including the county I live in.

Normally I just ignore them.  I know that sounds terrible, but I have been fortunate enough never to see a tornado in my area my whole life.  Plus, I'm a lover of crazy summer thunderstorms.

Last night was different though.  When the warning was issued I started to get anxious.  I was upset because I was scheduled to work at 11 last night, & I was planning to be napping when the wicked storm was supposed to hit.  DJ wasn't going to be home, & I was convinced that the house was going to be blown away without me knowing.  He assured me I was crazy, like usual.

Although I slept a little, I kept having bad dreams & ended up waking up long before my alarm was set to go off.

I turned on the news, & what do you know?

The report was bad.  The storm was headed to us, & would be on top of us within a half hour.  People were reporting seeing tornados where it was already raining, & the meteorologists were seeing cloud rotation close to me.

When the storm was about 10 minutes away & a few towns over, the weatherman said, "There is definite cloud rotation.  We can't confirm whether or not a tornado is already on the gound.  It's heading for Renee's house (I know I souldn't joke about this, but wouldn't that have been funny?).  You have 10 minutes to get into the basement."

And so, that is what I did.  I took my laptop, knowing I would lose power & not get news reports from the TV.  I just hoped the internet would hold out.  It did not, by the way. 

Next I trapped my 2 girl cats in the basement, which was easy enough to do with a bag of treats.  Then, I had to carry my dog downstairs.  She had never even seen a flight of stairs until we lived in this house, & she is not brave enough to venture down.  Once that was done, I had to fight with my boy cat.  He doesn't like to be held, so it was an  epic battle...that I ultimately won.  I essentially hog-tied my cat, covered his head with my shirt & ran down the stairs while trying desperately to hold on.

Once my fur babies were safely downstairs, I didn't dare open the door.  In my panic, it didn't occur to me to grab my flashlight or candles or anything I might actually need.   No, no, instead there I was with 3 misbehaving cats, a terrified dog, my cell phone & a laptop that soon proved to be worhtless when the internet failed.

In an attempt to keep myself calm, I talked to my mom & MIL periodically.  I had no idea what was going on.  There was no way for me to know what the situation with the storm was.  My only view of the outside world was through a tiny (& dirty, because I don't clean it) basement window.  I couldn't see anything because the sky was black, except for occasional pink lightening.

I'll be honest, I was pretty freaking terrified.  I was also sure this was not going to end well.  Thankfully, it did.  We got a severe thunderstorm & nothing more.  Everyone was safe.

We were without power for a few hours, so when I ventured back upstairs I lit every candle in the house & read a book by flashlight.

DJ got home shortly after the power came back on.  And although I was able to laugh a little about my disaster precautions, I was still a little on edge.

In hindsight everyone will probably think it was silly of me to go so overboard, but I don't think it was.  Not only did the newscaster say it was specifically headed to my town & I had 10 minutes to take cover, but I knew this was coming since 3 in the afternoon.

Call it a message, or maybe a sixth sense, but I was sure this storm was going to be bad & I needed to be awake when it arrived.

I guess the moral of my story is this:  trust your instincts.  They're right more often than you think.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Step 2

Last week my MIL dug out what was supposed to be a small flower bed in front of my house.  It ended up looking like this:

It didn't end up so small, but that's okay because I know have big plans for the space.

Yesterday afternoon we continued our work, & this time I had a lot more to contribute.  Yay for feeling like I have a purpose!

That soil desperately needed to be tilled to get rid of all some of the rocks & even it out for planting.  Since it finally stopped raining here & the mud patch finally dried out, it was rock solid & raking was a chore.  I've got a giant blister on my hand to prove it.

Once that was done, we lined the flower bed with logs to frame it out.

Now it looks like this:

Much better.

Tomorrow is the big day:  planting.

I work tonight, so I'll get home around 7:30 tomorrow morning.  The plan is to get out of my dirty scrubs & into something suitable for gardening, then heading straight for the greenhouse.

I'm going to be planting until I pass out from lack of sleep for as long as it takes to finish (hopefully!) so that everything is in the ground before it starts to become unbearably hot around here.  And trust me when I tell you, those days are quickly coming.

Can't wait to share pictures of the finished product!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I'm a crazy person.

My MIL & I resumed work on my flower bed in progess today.  One of the things we did was frame it with logs from the wood pile in her backyard. 

My FIL  thinks it's necessary to have a very large wood pile, even though they have a very small fire pit.  MIL is sick of looking at it,  so she tries to pawn the logs off onto anyone who will have them.  It was a bonus for me, because it makes the flowerbed look really nice.

But, back to my point - which is the fact that I'm crazy.

It's nothing new, but I've got one more reason to add to the list:  I'm not ashamed to embarass myself.

My little SIL just got a giant trampoline for her birthday last week.  And even though there's nothing slim or trim about me, I couldn't resist jumping on it.  So there I am, in all my jiggly glory, jumping on a trampoline...while the classy neighbor is doing yard work.

While I was busy making a fool of myself, little SIL was begging me to go swimming.  As much as I love the pool, I was far too lazy to go home for my bathing suit.  But because I love the pool far too much, I went ahead & jumped in - fully clothed.

I'm positive that after it was all over the neighbor probably thinks I should be committed, but I'm kind of okay with that.