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.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cupcakes with my cousin

Brittany at Unexpected Surprises is hosting a photo montage giveaway.  I found a really cute cupcake recipe the other day & decided that would be my weekend project.  My cousin Jill came over to be my baking buddy, & so my photo montage theme was born!

We decided to substitute Splenda in our cupcakes because there are a lot of diabetics in the family.  Later on we found out the "no added sugar" plan bit us in the ass.

The cupcakes were supposed to have Zebra stripes, which were comprised of layers of banana & chocolate batter.  Ours looked more like cow patches, but we just went with it...who has time for stripes anyway?

 There was a recipe for peanut butter cream cheese icing to go on top, so that was our next step.



Since we got blobs instead of stripes, we added cow sprinkles.

Then it was time to taste - but that's where it all went to hell.

We were too busy gossiping while we were baking, & we found out the hard way that we forgot to add sugar to the icing.  Our lovely cow cupcakes tasted like nothing but salt.  It was freaking nasty.  So nasty in fact, that DJ didn't even like them - & he'll eat anything.

So our hard days work ended up in the trash can, but at least we have a good story to tell.




Thursday, July 29, 2010

Allow me to introduce myself

Talkative Thursday's is hosted by Shanna at Mommy of One, so visit her blog & link up!

I'm relatively new to blogging.  I was introduced to it by my SIL Jenn.  Feel free to visit her blog South of Sheridan.  She does great giveaways & has a ton of funny stories about newlywed life.

I blog a lot about my relationship, much to my boyfriend's chagrin - but I don't let that stop me!  Tee hee!

In the interest of preserving my relationship, I blog a lot about work - my old & not so good job, as well as my new, fantastic one.

And sometimes I blog about Swamp Thing.

I'm always looking for new followers & new blogs to follow!  Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Getting back into the swing of things.

Although I did absolutely nothing but complain about my 7-3 schedule during training, transitioning back to 2nd shift wasn't as easy as I thought it would be.

Sure, it was great not to get up at 5:00 AM, but my whole (work) world got turned upside down after that.  I developed a 7-3 routine for providing care, which all goes out the window on 2nd shift.  Everything is now down in reverse, which seems easy enough - but,'s just not.

But, in the end, it wasn't too bad.  I already feel better about going in today. 

In the next for days I'm going to adjust back to 2nd shift, & then I'll be in heaven!  I felt so good for the few weeks I worked 2nd shift before training.  I got to sleep in, I didn't have to get ready for work the instant I did wake up, I had time to get things done around the house & the schedule in general worked much better for DJ & I.

Tonight I get an introduction to the permanent floor I'll be placed on.  I'm trying to stay positive about it, because I got placed on one of the 2 floors I really, really didn't want.  But, this job is all about the residents, & they're certainly not the reason I didn't want to work on this floor.  None of the other stuff matters.

And, there is some good news:  my favorite friend from training got placed on the same floor, so we'll be working together!!  It will be really great to be so close to someone who is going through the same thing.

Wish us luck!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Well, my intentions were good anyway.

I am back to 2nd shift tomorrow, which means I'll have time to get back to regular blogging.  Yay!! 

I'm sure the new job will give me lots to talk about - good stories too!  I'd like to spend less time complaining about my know, because it frees me up to complain about other things.  Tee hee!

Anyway, I would just like to officially apologize for not reading your posts for the last month & commenting.  I really do care what you have to say.  I had hopes of trying to keep up while I was in classes, but that didn't happen.  And although I'm back, I'm just not going to have time to go back & read what I missed.

But, soon I'll be back into the swing of things & can comment till my fingers hurt.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Can you imagine that guest list? Swamp thing, leprechauns, etc.

Last night Jenn & I watched the first two Twilight movies.

You're probably wondering if I'm ashamed of myself, & the answer is - absolutely not!  There is no shame in my game, people.  I still listen to the Spice Girls.

Somewhere between talks of how much hotter "happy Edward" is than "brooding Edward" & how creepy we are for drooling over Jacob's ridiculous body (because he was like 16 at the time) there was a discussion about Bella dating some other mythical creatures if things didn't pan out with those two.

Yep.  You read that read.  Two intelligent ladies in their mid-twenties spent Saturday night pondering the love life of a fictional character - with things that do not exist...and it was oh-so-fun.

Team Abominable Snowman, bitches!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Out with a bang

I'm in the home-stretch now.  Today was my last day of clinical training.  On Monday I take my written test, & then it's back to second shift on Tuesday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 I can't even begin to articulate how happy that makes me.  The exclamation points just aren't enough.

We started slow & have worked our way up to 3 residents a day (which is a far cry from the 12-15 we'll have once we're fully trained).  I've had fantastic days & horrible days - but I think that's that same with any job.

Today was a fantastic day, & I couldn't be happier.  I'm definitely moving in the right direction with training, & I am over the moon in love with the elderly residents.  All my apprehesion about the job being depressing is gone.

We talked a lot about dealing with a resident death during training.  One of the teachers made the comment that the resdient we love the most will likely be the first death we deal with.  It's harsh to think about, but it's probably true.  At the end of the day, they're all dying.  It's life's normal progression...but they've taught us that it's ok to be sad & to grieve - both with the resident & after they're gone.

The important lesson is not to focus on the loss, but on the care & companionship we provided when that person needed it the most.  This job has a lot of icky parts, but it's also full of love & smiles - & I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It's alive, but barely.

No, that was not a cruel joke about nursing home residents.

How could you ever think I would say such a thing?!?!?  (Tee-hee!)

I was actually referring to me.  Consider this my weekly "I'm in training & I barely have the energy to feed myself, let alone think up fun blog ideas, but I do at least want you to know I'm still breathing" post.

So...yeah.  That's it.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thank heavens, because otherwise I might have killed myself.

Today was better than yesterday, so there's hope for tomorrow.  Woo hoo!  What a great feeling!

Things are getting easier at work.  Bear in mind that "easy" is a relative term.  I'm more comforatble & efficient in my work, but there will never be enough hours in the workday to get everything done.  It's really sad, but there's just not enough help.  We're being taught the proper way, but being told to prioritize & do the best we can in the time we have.  It's not a perfect situation, but I definitely think great care is being provided.  If I didn't, I wouldn't work there.

Before I started, I was so nervous about being sad with elderly residents - but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!  They are so much fun to be around.  I'll be heartbroken when I go through my first resident death, but the positives definitely outway the negatives.

After a week of training, I've already pinpointed fellow class members who I think just won't cut it (and here's hoping they don't because they're really irritating!). 

Nurse B, the trainer I mentioned in my last post, is a great teacher - but she is not a coddler.  She tells it like it is, especially in a clinical setting.  Ultimately, she's responsible for the saftey & welfare of all the residents we perform care on during training.  If we screw up the resident might get hurt, & it's her head on the platter.  Naturally, that impacts her demeanor towards us. 

There's a group of girls in my class who are upset about it.  Some take the, "She's just not nice," route; others that, "Oh no she didn't talk to me like that," approach.  Seriously people, grow up!  It's just business (not really, but you know what I mean).  What does it matter if she says something sweet & nice, or if she's stern about it - you still screwed up!  Pull on your big girl panties, because if you can't handle Nurse B you'll never make it.

What I've learned is that the hardest aspect of the job is dealing with co-workers. Women in any workplace are a challenge fucking annoying to deal with. In the nursing profession it's way worse. Granted, some people are really nice & helpful. They understand the only way to get more help is to foster the learning process for trainees. Unfortunately, nurses & aides with that attitude are few & far between.

And then, there are the others. It's a very primal environment; eat or be eaten, sink or swim, survival of the fittest & all that crap. Although it's not an ideal situation, I'm up for the challenge. I take my work very seriously no matter what I'm doing, but this is a whole new ball game because it's personal care.

I'm there to do a job, & that's that.  I'm more than willing to be a kind, helpful aide, but at the end of the day I don't need people to like bring it bitches!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

I am too hard on myself; always have been, always will be.

Compared to the other girls in my CNA class, I do pretty well.  I score well on quizzes, understand the concepts being described & excelled in our first clinical evaluation today.

We had to thicken liquids for residents who have swallowing issues (which, by the way, is 10 times more disgusting than the prolapsed uterus from the other day!). 

Liquids (water, milk, soda, coffee, soup, etc) are thicked to one of three consistencies:  nectar, honey & spoon-thickened - which is like pudding.  Imagine having to drink like that...gross.

Powdered thickener gets added to the liquid & stirred.  It doesn't thinken instantly, so you kind of have to approximate what you need & add little by little as necessary.  If too much is added it turns to wallpaper paste very quickly.

I was working in a group of 5 other trainees, & I was the only one who successfully thickened to the right consistency.  Woo hoo!

Except, my "woo hoo" moment is being interupted by a nagging feeling of inadequecy.  Why?  I don't know.  I think it's a combination of low self-esteem & the fact that I take everything personally.  Although the trainer told me my thickening was good, I took all the other critiques very much to heart.  She wasn't harsh about it, & she was absolutely right - but I feel like I'm failing miserably anyway.

Given the stress of training, the fact that we  STILL didn't make settlement like we were supposed to today because the bank contact we're dealing with is a fucking idiot of another stupid paperwork snafoo & the fact that I got stung by a wasp on my lunch break I am pretty exhausted. 

I could cry, but I'm just too tired.

I just want to go to bed & wake up on Saturday.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Say what?!?! - Adventures in CNA training.

CNA training is going really well.  I am not thrilled about being back on a first shift schedule, but it's temporary & I'll live.  Although the information I'm getting is thorough & important, no one wants to hear about that.  I know all you bloggy ladies want to hear the good stuff!  And here are some gems that came out of the class so far.

Our trainer, Nurse B., explained what a prolapsed uterus is & said this about the condition:
  • "As you might imagine, that's not supposed to be rubbing on a resident's clothes or wheelchair.  It was never meant to see the light of day.  It gets kind of irritated, so part of the care plan may be to rub some ointment on it."
  • "How will you know?  When you're doing perineal care, you'll see what looks like a cantaloupe."

Speaking of gravity, Nurse B offered the following tips:
  • "When you get a resident in that whirlpool tub, don't be surprised if her little boobies float to the top.  And by the way, it works the same way with testicles."
Speaking of Nurse B, she's been around the proverbial block.  She's been in the medical field for 20+ years, so she's got some great stories!  One of my favorites was about a resident who was going out for the day with his family.  It didn't go so well, which was sad.  He came back to the nursing home screaming & in tears.  When he told her what happened, the story ended with:
  • "And that goddamn toilet seat is loose.  Every time I sit on it, the damn thing pinches my balls.  I've been telling you people about it for 2 weeks, but no one does anything!"

Friday, July 9, 2010

Take your dietary supplement & shove it.

I haven't forgotten about my blog.  It's just that switching back to 1st shift is kicking my ass!!

I've got some ideas, but I'm too tired to think right now.

Stay tuned for tales of CNA training.  I've already got some stories!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010



Follow me back Tuesday is hosted by Hosted by Survey Junkie, Little Yaya'sReview Retreat  & Boobies, Babies And A Blog.

You can link up & hopefully find some new blog friends.  Sounds good to me!

Monday, July 5, 2010

All it took was a screaming match.

Someone I know (let's call him Grumpy Gus) woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.  Jenn & I were talking yard sales & he started to lose his shit, insisting that I wanted to sell all of his stuff.

In any event, that lead to said screaming match - which in turn lead to us finally cleaning out our spare bedroom.  That room has been sitting full of half-unpacked boxes since February when we moved in.  I know it's terrible that it got left for so long, but life is like all busy & stuff.  So, I just closed the door & pretended it wasn't there, which is how I handle most unpleasant situations...but that's a story for another day.

Anyway, it's not completely done, but we took a huge bite out of the problem & I'll soon be breathing a hefty, satisfying sigh of relief when it is finished.

For now, I'm going to clean up the mess we created by cleaning (say what?!?!?) & get ready for dinner.  We're making steaks on the grill.  Which, interestingly enough, is a meal I planned for Grumpy Gus because I don't like steak. 

Approximately once or twice a year I decide it's a good idea to eat a steak, & I am always reminded why I don't eat it in the first place.  Oh well.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

There are some things that I can't do for you.

DJ needs a new wheelchair - badly.  He's been using his "spare" for months now because his original randomly broke one day.  This one is on it's last leg - no pun intended.  Although this may not seem like a big deal, it's a pretty hot topic in our house.

I would never say this to DJ, because I've learned to pick my battles, but I think I've spoiled him by doing everything all the time.  I can count on one hand the number of times he's done dishes since we moved into the new house, & even then he just loaded the dishwasher.  He doesn't do any other housework, except to clean the garage - because I absolutely refuse to do that.  The man cave is his responsibility.

Since I'm at work all day, he's had to be the one to make all the phone calls & deal with all the mortgage stuff - which is a freaking fiasco.  He gets pretty testy about it, & when he's mad he sort of implies that I should be doing more.  Well love, when exactly would you like me to do that - before I cook dinner at lunchtime while trying to get myself ready for work, or after I get home at 11:30?

That's not even the big issue.  The big issue is my original topic:  the wheelchair.  During the move (and because Social Security is screwed up!), his insurance lapsed somehow.  He's trying to straighten all that out, but he gets frustrated & gives up after a while.  The ownership I can take is that there are still a bunch of boxes that aren't unpacked, & some helpful paperwork is probably in them.  However, that is not preventing him from getting this taken care's just an excuse.

I love him & there's nothing I wouldn't do for him, but I can't do this.  This is something he needs to take care of.  I know it's annoying, & I'd want to give up too - but sometimes in life you just have to put on your big-girl-panties & get the job done.  I think this is one of those times.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The big five-oh!

I've reached the 50 post milestone!  Yay!

I know that probably seems silly to some of you, because you all have a million billion posts of your own.  But for me, it's an accomplishment.  It means I found something I enjoy enough to stick with, which is a feat in itself.  I have very few actual "hobbies."  I'll confess, I'm one of those people who can just veg out in front of the TV for endless hours - even if there's nothing good to watch.

Since this post is such a big deal for me, I've been putting it off for a few days trying to figure out what a good topic would be.  Anyone who actually knows me (especially DJ) will tell you that I am not a quick decision maker.  I way the pros & cons of everything - back & forth several times - before I make a decision.  And that's exactly what's been happening.

Because I am so excited for post number 50, I can't wait anymore!  I decided to just share some of the other happy things that have been happening lately.  Here goes:

  • Congress voted to extend the first time homebuyer tax credit!  Hallelujah!  This mortgage process has not gone smoothly because our contact at the bank is not very organized.  We started the paperwork on time to qualify, but weren't able to make settlement.  Now we will be - & we could really use that $8000.  I mean, who couldn't?

  • Speaking of the mortgage, it looks like the ducks are finally in a row (hopefully) & we'll be able to settle before the end of July!  We just have to wait for my CNA training to end.
  • Speaking of CNA training - hell to the yeah!!!  My days of stretching 4 hours of work into an 8 hour shift will be over soon!  And I absolutely welcome the hand on contact with the residents.  That's why I wanted this job in the first place.
  • I am over the moon about my washline!  I hung it up (with some help from Jenn) on my own, & although there were a few stretching issues, it's working now!  I did all my laundry on Thursday without having to go to the laundromat to dry it.  I know that sounds like a small victory, but it was pretty big for me.
  • The boyfriend's birthday was last week, & he really enjoyed all 3 rounds of his party.  I'm happy when he's happy...usually.
  • The countdown is on!  On the 17th I'm going to Atlantic City with my aunt & uncle to see Joel Mchale from The Soup!  Love him.