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.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The new addition.

The kitten is here.  When I brought her home yesterday, I took her into the bedroom & opened the carrier door.  She came right out & ran right to DJ.  She hopped around the bed a little & did some sniffing, but then she was totally comfortable with us.

After a little while, we brought "the others" in one at a time.

First was the dog, who wants to be kitty's best friend.  Well, she had never seen a dog before yesterday, so she growled & hissed & swatted...& then my pittbull ran away crying.

The boy was very cautious.  He sat back & watched.  When the baby wasn't looking, he tried to sneak in for a sniff.  He got the growling/hissing treatment too, & he too turned & walked away.

Then we brought the girl in.  They seemed ok.  They were giving each other the stink-eye, but they were keeping their distance.  But then, that all went to hell.  Suddenly the girl started to hiss & growl & back out of the room.

We've been able to get the kitten out of hiding a few times.  She likes the company of people, & loves to play with her toys.  But when she does run into our other girl, it's more hissing & growling.  She's not cornering the kitten or anything, but I think the noise she's making intimidates the little one.

All in all, I think the baby will be fine.  They all just need a few more days to get adjusted.

Wish me luck!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Meet me on Monday

Meet me on Monday is hosted by Java at Never Growing Old.  It's a blog hop/survey/fun way to meet fellow bloggers!

Here are this week's questions.

1. What is your favorite kind of potato chip?

Munchos!!  Ever heard of them?  They're light & airy & just sooooo yummy!

 Image from Google. 

2. Do you make your bed everyday?

 Yes.  Before I worked 2nd shift our bed was never bed because DJ was always sleeping when I left in the morning.  Thankfully, he's not on the vampire schedule anymore.

3. How often do you go to the hair salon?

Pfftt...when I think of it.  I don't pamper myself that way, which is why I don't have great looking hair.

4. What do you dip your French fries in?

Usually just ketchup.  Boring, I know.  If I'm eating chicken with the fries, probably ranch.

5. Do you shop with coupons?

No, & it's a constant argument with my mother - the Coupon Queen.  I'm just too lazy to clip coupons.  I know I'm only hurting myself though.

This is why I do it.

My last post  was about losing my first resident since starting my job in June.

I write about work more than anything else.  And I realize that a lot of what I write probably isn't happy & upbeat.  I write about poop a lot too.  So, yeah, there's that.

But the truth is, I love my job.  It was the best career move I could have made for myself.

Yes, there are a lot of icky parts.  Yes, sometimes residents swing or try to bite me.  Yes, sometimes the residents call my mom a fucking whore.  But in the long run, none of that matters.  What matters is this:  I'm lucky enough to be with them when they need it most; when they don't have anyone else.  Believe it or not, I think I benefit from that more than the residents do.  It is a gift.  Gertie's passing was a perfect example.  And there was another, much happier, example tonight.

Rosie turned 100 today.  She is not in perfect health, but she still gets around on her own & it's an impressive achievement.  The aide that was taking care of her tonight noticed that she kept asking if we had to take her somewhere, she kept refusing to go to bed & she was more dressed up than normal.  She was expecting a BIG surprise from her family.

Those A-holes are at the shore...but they sent flowers.  So, that makes it ok, right?  Wrong.

So Rosie went to bed in tears.

Along with the flowers, her family had a small cake delivered.  They asked us to keep it for when they come back Don't you just hate these fuckers?  Can you even stand it?

Well, my shift supervisor decided to hell with them.  At 10:45, she gathered every staff member on our floor.  Ten of us marched into 100-years-young Rosie's room & sang happy birthday.  I haven't seen a smile so big in a long time.

We shared some giggles & some cake.  And despite the shitty choices her shitty family made today, Rosie told us she thanks God everyday for the wonderful life she had.

We should all be so lucky looking back from 100.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Goodbye to you, Gertie Goose

Yesterday I was off.  When I went back to work today, I found out one of the residents on my unit developed pneumonia.  She was in bed & did not look good.

Around 10:00 the nurse told me, "Gertie won't be here in the morning."  And it happens just like that.  One day she's fine, & the next she's dying.

I only started to get to know Gertie at the beginning of August when I was first placed on that unit.  Four weeks is not a terribly long time.  I don't know where she grew up, how long she was married or what her favorite color is.

But I do know some things - a lot, actually. I know that she smiled every time I called her Gertie Goose.  I know she sometimes tried to bite the aides, & I know that it was because we needed to use a mechanical lift to transfer her, which had to be uncomfortable & scary.  I know the trick is to take her dentures before I transfer her.  She was onto my game & giggled every time.  I know that she tried to "sneak" something from her dinner tray back to her room each night - sometimes bread & butter or a brownie; occasionally ice cream...even though there was no fridge in her room.  I know that when she did not like a fellow resident, she was not afraid to call them a certain unpleasant name.  Because of that, I know that in her youth she must have been full of the same spunk & sass she held onto throughout her entire life.

Gertie's son is her power of attorney, & he chose not to have her taken to the hospital for treatment.  I'm sure that's what she wanted, & even so I'm sure it was the hardest decision he ever had to make.  He was not there this evening.   

Gertie's daughter lives in another state.  She's currently homebound because of an injury, so she's not able to come to Pennsylvania at this time.  Even if she could come, she wouldn't be here in time.  I can't begin to imagine how devastating that must be.

And so, there Gertie was - at the end, with only staff members surrounding her.  But she spent her last days with us, & in a way we are family too, so it seems somewhat fitting.

I spent a few minutes in her room at the end of my shift.  I ran my fingers through her hair & rubbed her back.  She was gasping, even though she was getting oxygen.  The body that carried her through all these years was failing.  Thankfully, she wasn't suffering.  She was comfortable.  She was sleeping. 

When it's time for me to go I kiss her hand; tell her I love her.  I know in my heart she can hear me.

Four weeks is not a terribly long time, but it is long enough.

This day is a day that I knew was coming, even before I started this job.  But all the preparation in the world doesn't make it hurt any less.

I know that Gertie's absence will be real & strong for a while, but then someone new will move in & we will all move on.  I will not think of her everyday, but she will remain nestled in my thoughts forever.

Someday - when a spunky, sassy resident calls someone else a whore - I will think of Gertie Goose.  And I will remember that she taught me how to cope with the days like this.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The suspense is killing me!

I went to visit the kittens today, & I fell in love.

Turns out there were two litters of kittens born about two weeks apart.  The schmuck lucky lady who took them in needed help, & a local shelter got her in touch with a couple who was willing to board some of them until adoption.

I went to the helpful couple's house today to see the little furballs.  They only had one of the kittens that was up for adoption left.  The Mr. was telling me how close he's gotten with this particular kitty.  Just as he was telling me that she snuggles with him & sits on his lap, she came right on over to me & took a seat.

That was all it took.

The other kittens were brought over, & I visited with everyone.  They were all melt your heart adorable, but as I kept watching Kitty #1 I knew it had to be her.

Unfortunately, I couldn't take her home today.  : (

Her adoption was sponsored through a no kill cat shelter in the area, so I had to fill out an application.  Not to mention this "free" kitten is going to cost me a pretty penny.  But, I'm ok with that.  She's got all of her shots & was tested for feline lukemia & AIDS. 

The foster moms seemed pretty confident that getting approved wouldn't be an issue.  We're hoping to get the green light tomorrow or Friday so that I can pick her up when I off Monday.  I've been pretty bummed about having to work this weekend & miss my grandparent's anniversary party, so this will be a great pick-me-up!

I can't wait to bring her home & post some pictures so you can see her!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

High school much?

Two of my coworkers had a spat in the middle of the dining room last night - one being my favorite friend from work, & the other being a lazy bitch I can't stand.

While my friend had a little bit of an attitude when it wasn't truly necessary, the other lady is an idiot.  That's a good excuse, right?

In any event, I know that this is going to be a big thing that the lazy one won't let go - you know, because she's got a lot of time on her hands since she's usually not doing anything.

And although I adore my favorite work friend, & I agree that the other lady is freaking annoying, I am not getting involved.

I swore to myself (and my boyfriend) that when I started a new job I would not be participating in the drama of the people around me. 

It's ridiculous.  We're all grown-ups.  We have to work together everyday. You don't have to like each other, but you also don't have to stand around & talk shit either.

Put your big-girl panties on & deal with each other.


Because I will always have a catty side, I would just like to say that my favorite friend has already moved on, & it's the other lady who's still being a bitch.  Tee hee! 

Ok, I'm done now.  Back to being Switzerland for me.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Meet me on Monday

Meet me on Monday is hosted by Java at Never Growing Old.  It's a blog hop/survey/fun way to meet fellow bloggers!

Here are this week's questions.

1. What is your favorite kind of doughnut?

Definitely chocolate glazed doughnuts. good.

2. How often do you pray?

I really, truly pray only when it's absolutely necessary.  I'm not a "God, please let there be no traffic on the way to work, " kind of girl.

3. What is your favorite kind of music?

The kind with lyrics that speak to me - usually...but I can't deny my love of terrible pop music.

4. What do you order when you eat Chinese food?

Shrimp fried rice or sesame chicken.

5. Would you rather snowboard in the winter or swim in the summer?

I would rather swim.  I LOVE the water - from the pool to the ocean.  I should have been a fish.

Help a sistah out!

One of my absolute favorite blogs is Laundry hurts my feelings, & Joann is one of my favorite bloggy ladies.

She has a friend who is in the running for a walk on part in Mad Men, & Joann is asking for help. 

Please click here  to read Bunny's story & to find the link for voting.

It's quick & easy, I promise.

Thanks for your help!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Check me out!

You know how a new outfit makes you feel like a different person?

That's how I feel about the new look for my blog!

You like?

BIG thanks to my SIL Jenn for doing all the work!

I need your opinion, Bloggy Ladies.

For some reason, I have always wanted a gray cat.  Have you ever seen the really dark, charcoal gray ones with the amber colored eyes?  That's what's I mean.

Subconsciously, I think it's because my very first cat fit the bill.  My mom gave her to me when I started kindergarten & she was with us until I was 19.

In any event, DJ & I already have 2 cats (And a dog!  Can't forget the dog) that make us me very happy.  However, there was a "Free to a good home" sign on the bulletin board at work, & one of the kittens is gray - just like I've been wanting.

I emailed the woman a few days ago & didn't get a response.  I assumed the kitten was adopted & just let it go; but then I got a response today.  Her email essentially said, "Sorry for the delay.  If you're still interested, contact me."

I emailed back & told her I was absofreakinglutely still interested!  I asked her to contact me when she has a chance so we can make pick-up arrangements when it's convenient.

Then I got this response:

I would like you to have personal contact with them so you can see how they interact with you and you with them.  Also, one of the kittens has all of her shots and they were paid for through 1X1 Cat Rescue so there's an adoption fee (we can discuss this when you call).  The other 2 kittens' shots were paid for by me and I would ask that I be reimbursed for those fees (again to be discussed by phone).  They are due for rabies shots this Fri. as well as booster distemper shots.  I will be home in the P.M. as far as I know.  The 1X1 kitten's shots are good for a year with the exception she must be spayed when she's 5 or 6 months and when you show proof of the spaying you will be reimbursed a portion of the adoption fee.  The other 2 kittens must also be spayed when old enough.  No de-clawing for any of the kittens. 
Please know that what I am telling you I tell all of the prospective pet parents and not just you.  They are well taken care of and are happy, healthy kittens and we want them to have a good home

I have no qualms about reimbursing this woman for the shots, because it makes no difference whether I pay my vet or hers.  She would be spayed as soon as she was old enough, & I have no plans to declaw...which is why my walls have scratches from the devil cats who already live here.  Grrr....

However, I'm a little put off by her email.  She's not making unreasonable requests, but I feel like it's a far cry from "Free to a good home."  And to be honest, if it were me giving kittens away I wouldn't be able to do it  would probably feel the same way.  But something just doesn't seem right to me.  I feel a little hesitant to get involved with this person.

What do you think?  Am I overreacting, or do you think I should steer clear of this situation?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Happy Anniversary, MomMom & PopPop

Today is my grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary.

I have an ironic story to tell about this anniversary.  I think it pretty much sums up our relationship to a "T."

My mom & her siblings planned a big surprise party for them.  It's next Saturday at 3:00 - & I'm scheduled to work.  When my mom told me everyone was getting together to plan, I made it clear that the 28th would potentially be the 1st weekend I was scheduled for at my new job & that I would likely work that day.  So naturally, "that's the only day everyone could do it, Renee."

Unfortunately, because I'm new to my job I have no personal time.  They allow schedule switching, but weekends are really hard.  It's even worse in this case because it's my first scheduled weekend.  Despite my best efforts, I can't get the day off.  I will miss the party.

I have been a train wreck for weeks.  I've missed family functions before, but this is absolutely devastating.  Every time I talk to my mom or one of my aunts I get a speech about how "there must be something that can be done," or that, "this place doesn't sound like a good place to work."  It makes me more & more upset.

I came home from my sister's birthday party last weekend in tears.  DJ tried his best to comfort me, but to no fault of his own he couldn't.  Why?  That's the ironic part. 

Because the only thing that could make me feel better about missing my grandparent's party is them.

They helped raise me.  They have been the constant in my life.  They are my good example of love & marriage.

For as long as I can remember, they have been a part of nearly every memory - no matter how big or small.

I remember laying on the floor with my PopPop while he watched the news after supper.  I'd always put my head on his chest & listen to his heartbeat. 

I remember spending summer nights on my MomMom's lap in a rocking chair on the front porch.  She sang silly songs like "Camp Granada" for me.

As I've "grown up" into adulthood I've made a lot of decisions I'm not particularly proud of.  Although they haven't agreed with all of those decisions, they never turned their backs on me when I needed something.

I couldn't possibly love them more if I tried.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Just be glad you don't have balls, honey.

Said the resident when I changed him last night.

He had left me a "present" in his brief on last rounds, & it was a doozy to clean up.

I try to be as gentle as I can, but sometimes you just gotta scrub!  Know what I mean?

(Disclaimer:  This post continues to be about "number 2," so if you're squeamish you may want to abandon ship now.)

That was the icing on the cake really...the cake came earlier in the evening.

Normally, when a resident is on the potty doing their business, there's some indication of it so I can prepare myself.

Last night, I did not have that luxury - but my resident had a laxative!

I don't know how something so big came out of this poor woman!  It seriously looked like she put out a pound roll of ground beef!

(Disclaimer:  Just in case you didn't trust me the first time, the really icky part is coming up next.)

Since I was not exaggerating about the size - it got stuck.  Try & try as I might, it just wouldn't flush.  It was too solid.

And so, I had to do what I had to do.  I gloved up, reached in & broke it in half so it would flush.

So, how was everyone else's first day of the work week??

Sunday, August 15, 2010

It's almost Monday.

Meet me on Monday is hosted by Java at Never Growing Old.  It's a blog hop/survey/fun way to meet fellow bloggers!

Here are this week's questions.

1. What is your favorite dessert?

My absolute favorite is really, really beautiful fruit salad.  I like it filled with lots of berries - strawberries, rasberries, etc.  And lots of other good stuff too:  peaches, pineapple, kiwi...  Yum-o!

2. What do you wear to bed?

TMI alert!  I sleep in panties - only panties.  I'm a tosser/turner, so I get all caught up in PJs or even just a t-shirt.

3. Do you get regular manicures/pedicures?

I wish I did.  I've never been brave enough to get a pedicure because I have a weird issue with people looking at my feet.  And, I'm embarrassed to say, I'm a nail biter...a really bad one.  It's so gross & I know it, but I think it's an anxiety thing.  If anyone has any suggestions for breaking a bad habit, I'm all ears!

4. Did you play any sports in high school?

Nope, no sports in high school.  I played basketball in 7th & 8th grade, but no sports after that.  I was in Yearbook in high school.  

5. Do you have an iPod?

I don't leave home without it!  Manny keeps me company on my way home from work each night.  Funny story - my iPod's name is Manfred iPodington.  When my friend helped me set-up my iPod for the first time it prompts you to name the device.  My friend is incredible sarcastic, & her iPod's name is Rutherford iPodington.  And so mine was named Manfred - her iPod's brother.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Award Winnah!

Dee at Homesick Cajun picked me for a Versatile Blogger Award!!  Please stop by her blog & show some love.  If you live for a good love story like I do, read her latest post.

The way this award works is you must:

A. Thank the person who gave you this award.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Dee!!!!  I'm glad you like my blog, & please know that the feeling is mutual.  If I could give this award back to you, I totally would - but I don't think you want to think of 15 more bloggers!  Lol.

B.  Share 7 things about yourself.

1.  I am Polish & proud of it!  I love the food & learning the language is on my bucket list.

2.  I own enough panties to go a month without washing them before I'd run out.

3.  I was born on Halloween.  My mother's due date was in the beginning of November, & as soon as the doctor told her that she told him I would be born on Halloween - because she's not particularly fond of the holiday.  I think that pretty much set the tone for our relationship, but that's a story for another day.

4.  I'm very into politics.  I know that's sometimes a taboo thing to bring up, but if you read my blog long enough you're bound to find out anyway.  I'm a proud Democrat who is not afraid to share my liberal opinions.  Consider yourselves warned.

5.  I recently watched (& loved) the Twilight movies, which is probably something I should be embarrassed about.  Oh well.  Team Edward, bitches!!

6.  Here's a list of the TV series set to record on my DVR:  True Blood, Flipping Out, Big Bang Theory, Psychic Kids, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon & Judge Judy.  Talk about eclectic.

7.  My family is everything to me.  I know these 7 things are supposed to be about me, but there's no me without them, so it counts.  My extended family (grandparents, cousins, aunts & uncles) is very close.  I love them all so much that it hurts, & I don't know what I would do without them.  That family keeps growing all the time too, because the boyfriend's family has been added to my brood.  Everyone (both mine & his) is always involved in what everyone else is doing, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

C.  Pass the award on to 15 newly discovered bloggers.

I'm going to break the rules here.  I've only been blogging since April, so I'm making an executive decision that everyone is newly discovered to me.  I'm giving this award to my favorites.  And yes, I realize there's not 15...I'm choosing to be choosey.  Deal with it!

Here they are, in no particular order.  Drumroll please....

Jenn @ South of Sheridan
Jill @ Hey Barbie
Brittany @ Unexpected Surprises
Jane @ Adoption of Jane
Nicole @ Casa de Nicole
Joann @ Laundry Hurts my Feelings
Lisa @ The Sarcastic Lab Rat
Bree @ Simply Girly
Sarah @ Confessions
Mommy to Be @ Semi-Daily Update

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Suggestions anyone?

One of the nice things about my unit at work is that the co-workers celebrate each others birthdays.

The first one I'll be participating in is Wednesday, & I offered to bake the cake.

None of my co-workers have any ideas, so I need your help.

What kind of cake should I bake?

What flavor?  What kind of icing?  To sprinkle or not to sprinkle?

If anyone has any interesting ideas, let me know!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Meet me on Monday

Meet me on Monday is hosted by Java at Never Growing Old.  It's a blog hop/survey/fun way to meet fellow bloggers!  I just learned that Java is a fellow PA girl, too.  I'm always happy to show some love to a "neighbor."


1. Do you watch any Soap Operas?

No - but I do watch other questionable TV (Maury, Judge Judy, Cheaters, etc.)

2. What appliance is used the most in your house?
Is the computer considered an appliance?  If not, the microwave.

3. Do you wear make-up every day?
I used to - & then I became a nurse aide.

4. What is your worst pet-peeve?
There are far too many to choose from.

5. What is your favorite lunch meat?
I never really thought about it.  I guess turkey.

Aren't they purdy?

A few months ago my MIL pulled a shit ton of stickers & other weeds out of a "garden" left in my backyard by the people who lived here before.

There are a ton of poppies out there that we knew about, but much to our surprise there's a bunch of other healthy stuff that was being choked by all the crap.

Right now, we've got these:

Sunday, August 8, 2010

By the way

Have you checked out my cousin's new blog yet??

Click here to visit.

She's new to the blogging scene, so please show her some love & be a follower.  I'm sure she'll follow back!

It's been a little more than a lazy Sunday

I haven't done anything around the house this week because of being sick, so I've got my work cut out for me.

But...since my cough still isn't gone, I'm not working on it tonight.  I'll be taking DJ's advise, which was, "Just rest & watch True Blood.  You can clean later.

You don't have to tell me twice...although the mess is kind of making me twitch.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Let me paint a picture

Me, wrapped in a towel; with my hair in another.  I've got a bag of dog food in one hand, & a fly-swatter in another.  I am hunting a stink bug.

I couldn't go on like that forever, so I lost the dog food - & the towel I was wrapped in.

There I am, naked & bouncing around my kitchen all because of a stupid stink bug.

And you know what?  I smashed that bitch!

Now that I've given you the gift of crazy, will you please do me a favor?

My beautiful, smart, funny, kind, caring & wonderful cousin Jill made herself a blog.  I'm oh-so happy that she joined us!

Please visit her blog by clicking here & become a follower.  I know you'll love it!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I give up.

Tuesday night was terrible.  I don't know how I made it through work.  Then I got home & just fell apart.  My throat was killing me, & I was exhausted from the coughing.  I just wanted to sleep, but I couldn't...because of the coughing.  In fact, I didn't get to sleep until after 4:30, & then I woke up again at 7:30.

But, I got smart & called the doctor's office first thing.  I had an appointment at 9:00 yesterday, & my suspicions were correct - I have strep throat.  I stopped at work on my way home from the doctor to find out what I should do (the doctor told me to stay home, but I'm within my 90-day probation period at work because I just started in June).  Thankfully, HR told me the doctor's note was sufficient, so I had the day to rest.

I started my antibiotics, & I was starting to feel better by yesterday afternoon.  My MIL came over to help with laundry, dishes & some other things I've been too drained to do.  It was such a relief to finally start to feel better.

And then, I tried to go to sleep...once again with the freaking coughing.  I went to bed at 11:30, but didn't get to sleep until sometime after 2. 

I woke up this morning (still coughing) a little sick to my stomach.  Turns out, nausea is a side effect of Penicillin.  Great.  Just what I want to deal with as I go back to work.

I keep trying to tell myself that it's just today & tomorrow, then I have the weekend to rest.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Vote for me!

Please stop over at Unexpected Surprises & vote for my photo montage.

I thought I had a good idea, but the only person who voted for me is my SIL. : (

Ironically, my SIL seems to be in the lead! : )

So if you vote for her, I won't hold it against you.  Her montage was really cute.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I can't tell if I'm hot or cold or both.

Yesterday afternoon my throat started to get scratchy.  I drank some hot tea & had a few cough drops, but didn't pay much attention to it (or the slight cough I had developed along the way). With all the excitement over my cupcake disaster, it didn't dawn on me until about 8:00 that we hadn't eaten dinner yet...and I wasn't even hungry.

I tried to eat something small, even though I had no appetite, then spent the rest of the night working on the ass imprint I've started to make on my couch - & that is where I should have stayed.

However, at 11:00 my oldest "friend" called to ask if I would go to the ER with her.  She noticed a black mark on her foot two weeks ago that she never did anything about...& it slowly became a blistered, pussy open sore.  Even though I haven't seen my "friend" in 6 months (because her new friends are all way cooler than me with their drinking & frivilous money spending), I've know her for for almost 15 years, so if she wanted an ER buddy in the middle of the night I was more than happy to oblige.


On the drive home at 1:30 I started to ache all over & the coughing had gotten worse. 

I've slept most of the day away between episodes of sweat & chills.  Despite all my sleep, I have no energy & coughing has become a huge undertaking.  My chest feels foggy & I'm so achey that even my skin hurts..  I just took my temperature, & it's 100.4. 

Wanna hear the best part?  I know you do, so here health insurance from my old job was cancelled as of July 31st.  That's right - yesterday.  FML...really, really hard.

I absolutely have to be at work tomorrow.  I'm still within my 90-day probation period, so any missed time is a big deal.  So please, put all your good energy into the universe for me in hopes that this is a 24-hour thing. 

I cannot be responsible for infected a bunch of elderly people with already comprimised immune systems, 'cuz that just ain't right.