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.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Unfortunately, I may have to save your life one day.

I'm not unwilling to save your life, I just hope it never comes to that.

What I'm trying to say is, I took a CPR recertification course on Wednesday night.  It was weird interesting, to say the least.

The instructor was a little unusual, but I can live with that.  He's been teaching this class (& teaching in general) for over 30 years.  He was very nice & very knowledgable, just a little quirky.

Before the class started a woman came in & introduced herself as a newly trained instructor.  Before she taught a class of her own, she wanted to observe one in action.  Seemed reasonable to me, however, this woman was - how shall I put this? - a little "tightly wound."  This class probably wasn't the best for her to observe.  She couldn't handle the quirks.  And when the instructor tried to include her in the discussion, which was meant  to help, she ultimately said, "I'm not here. I'm just observing."

Umm...ok then.  But you do realize that you are actually here, right?

Then there was this really weird girl who showed up late.  She came in & announced she would only be staying for the adult/child portions because she didn't need infant CPR.  There are two problems with that.

  1. It's all sort of mixed together because the skills are generally the same.
  2. The test we have to take isn't given until the end, & you need to be present for that to be official.
But again, whatever.  It's none of my business anyway.

The weird part happened later on.  She ended up being there for the whole class, including the infant portion & test.  The Red Cross employees accidentially miscounted the supplies, so there weren't enough answer sheets for the instructor to make his own.  When we reviewed the tests we went around the room & took turns reading a question & giving the answer. 

When it came time for weird girl to read her question, she just blurted out the answer.  So the instructor asked her to read the question like every else did.  Instead of doing that she says (in a scratchy voice that I was hearing for the first time, "Do I have too?  I've been sick & I'm losing my voice."

Really?  Because it seems to me that you've been talking & being weird for the last few hours with no issue.

No issue speaking, that is.  There were definitely some other issues there.

We actually found out after this whole ordeal that weird girl had the extra answer sheets the instructor was looking for.  Somehow she just didn't notice - or  couldn't talk, so didn't say anything.

Despite the unusual environment, the class went well & that's one more thing crossed off the nursing school to do list!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The waiting game.

I woke up so early yesterday morning that I don't even want to mention the time, as it might frighten some of you.  I'm so not a morning person, but yesterday was the big day - the placement test for nursing school.

As some of you probably know, I've been dreading the math for a while now.

Turns out, the math was the least of my concerns -even though the $25 book the school suggested I buy to study was of virtually no help, which I'm slightly annoyed about.

Sure, there were some math problems I just had to guess on, but for the most part I was pretty comforatable with it.

The problem?  There was hardly any math.

There was a whole lot of "which word doesn't belong" & "what comes next in the series?" 

Ok.  I can handle this.

And then, this is where the problems started.  There was a natural science section, which I had no warning of at all.  This section had questions related to everything from earthquakes to diseases caused by eating undercooked pork.

I don't know about you, but I don't store that type of information in my brain in case I'm on Jeopardy for situations such as this.

While overall I'm feeling pretty good about the test, I've got a nagging feeling about the science section.  Hopefully my educated guesses were enough (it was all multiple choice) & I won't have to take it again.

Because I just don't know if I can get up that early anymore...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy freaking birthday.

We're having another  party at work today to celebrate someone's birthday.

He's one of the alright people, & he turned 50, so it's a big deal.

Everyone takes turns making an entree for these parties, so I offered to bring barbeque this time.  I'm fine with that.  No story there.

But, I do have a funny story about the most awful lady ever!

After I started working on my current unit at the nursing home, the first party we had was for the most awful lady ever.  I offered to make a cake, since no one else had.  I specifically asked my co-workers if there was something particular that this woman liked (at the time I sort of cared because she hadn't shown her awful colors yet).  Everyone told me it didn't matter & anything would be fine.

So, I made chocolate cake with cream cheese icing.  See, the thing about me is I hate cake.  I haven't eaten a piece of cake in literally years.  I have no idea what kind of cake people like to eat.  But, I do like chocolate & cream cheese, so that sounded good to me.

Everyone loved it too - except for the most awful lady ever.  When I asked her if I had any cake she said, "I don't eat that."  Not, "thanks for the gesture," or, "I can't eat it because I'm allergic to chocolate & it would kill me;" just, "I don't eat that."

I can't stand this bitch.

One of my other friendly, understanding co-workers told me that the most awful lady ever doesn't really eat sweet stuff in general.  I can respect that, because I'm sort of the same way.  I live for salty snacks.  So, even though she was rude about it, I  chalked it up to not being a cake fan.

Flash forward to a few months later when it was time for my birthday party & another co-worker made a different kind of cake.  There I am in our break room listening to the most awful lady ever go on & on & on about "how good that cake looks," & how she's "going to eat some of that."

Now, if I were more adult I would have just let it go...but where's the fun in that?  What would I do to amuse myself if I weren't annoying my co-workers?

So, the next time we had a party:  chocolate cake with cream cheese icing.

I am a force to be reckoned with.  It's best if you learn that early on.

Clearly my message was read loud & clear, because the most awful lady ever is bringing cake to this party today.

I think we can safely chalk this one up as a win for me.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Getting prepared...again.

A few weeks ago I mentioned a placement test I was taking for a nursing school that I'm applying to.

The test was originally scheduled for groundhog's day, but got cancelled because we had an ice storm that day - although I didn't find out the school was closed until I got there, because we like to do thinks at the last minute in this country. FML.

In any event, it's been rescheduled for this upcoming Wednesday, which I'm happy to report is my day off!!

So, it's back to the math.

I feel a little better this time around, which is a good feeling.

Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Purple room: 1. Renee: 0.

DJ & I moved into our house a year ago.

For the most part, I keep the place tidy as much as I can.  But, I do work full time, & it's not always as tidy as I'd like it to be.

But, one thing I can't blame a full time job for is the state of my spare bedroom.

We don't have children, therefore no need for the spare bedroom.  So, it's been our storage space -  & there are boxes in there that have never been unpacked from when we moved a year ago.

It's sad, I know.

Today I was sure was the day.  I had no other plans.  I was going to clean that purple room.

And I started...but I didn't  finish.  Sigh.

I did make a good dent in it, & I'm going to do a little more each day until it's completed - but I'm feeling defeated for not getting it done today.

But, Big Bang Theory on the DVR was calling, & I couldn't help myself.  I mean c'mon - Leornard & Penny are going to get back together one of these days!  None of you care about that, but you should.  That show is so funny!

Wow.  It just became abundantly clear to me why I haven't unpacked my spare room after a year...

Friday, February 18, 2011

It's my party & I'll blog if I want to

Week 2 of the 31dbbb challenge is coming to a close.  Our gracious & supportive host Shelley Ellen from I'm Still Standing is hosting a giveaway to celebrate.  There's an iTunes gift card up for grabs, which I could definitely use because I'm slowly but surely whittling down my retirement money at the iTunes store.

All Shelley asks is that we write a post about what we've learned so far during the challenge.

So, what have I learned?  Here goes...

  • Shelley Ellen is a grammar nazi like me!  She found an error in one of my posts & politely pointed it out.  I'm always happy to meet someone who shares my love of proofreading.
  • I'm not as terrible at this as I thought.  I already do a lot of the things this program suggests (list posts, interlink old posts, email blog readers) & I got a ton of really great feedback on my elevator pitch.
  • My GFC number is not important to me.  I really want people to read my blog so I'm able to open a dialogue with them.  While this challenge hasn't increased my reader count drastically, I have met some great people who I will continue to chat with!
  • I'm officially addicted to Twitter, & I'm ok with that.
Sorry, Shelley - I know this probably isn't the kind of list you're looking for.  But it's been a long day, & I've had a few cocktails.  Despite my poor list, I can tell you that I'm loving this challenge & I'm so glad that I got involved!  Thanks for hosting, & for all your help!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Think spring!

The bitter cold weather is taking a break for the next few days, when the temperature here in Pennsylvania is supposed to be in the 60s!  It'll be back into the 40s on Saturday, but I plan to enjoy the nice weather while it lasts. 

Flip-flops tomorrow.  Woot!

The temporary warmth has me dreaming of spring with it's blue skies, budding flowers & chirping birds.

Image from Google.

Here's hoping winter moves on quickly!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Day 8 - Do you smell something?

This is the post I've been looking forward to!  The prompt for the day is to interlink some of my old posts into today's post.  I occasionally do that already, but not as a regular habit.

Those of you who have read this blog for a while know the thing I write about most is work.  But, I've gained lots of new readers as part of this challenge, & I wanted to introduce them to my favorite subject.

Last year I left my stable career as a call center supervisor for a local chain of department stores.  I was responsible for training & quality assurance.  I was with that company for 5 years, starting when I was 19.  And while I loved my co-workers & the company, the relationship had run it's course.  I was miserable because I wanted something more from my life.

I wanted my life to be about helping people; really helping people, not solving their issues with their online order or delivery of furniture.  And so, in the shakey economy I left my stable job to start over as a CNA at a nursing home. 

What a long, strange trip it's been.  And it's all documented on my little ol' blog - the good, the bad & the smelly.

Having never worked in healthcare before, there were a few jaw-dropping moments for me.  For example, the day I learned what a prolapsed uterus is.

And because being a CNA is a dirty job, I never have a shortage of stories about poo; like here & here.

But, it's not all fun & games.  I work with mostly elderly residents who are coming to the end of their lives.  When you spend so much time with people in such a personal setting, it's inevitable that they become like family.  So at times I have to blog about the bittersweet moments, like the first time I had to say goodbye & why cheese curls mean so much.

It may seem like I use my blog to complain about work.  I'll be honest, the job is stressful & I rely on my blog to vent so I don't drive my boyfriend crazy.  But I love what I do, & I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 7 - Link up!

I took a few days off from blogging over the weekend, but now I'm refreshed & ready to get back into the  challenge!

The challenge prompt for today suggests linking up with other bloggers, allowing you to expand on further topics, take an opposing viewpoint or promote another post that you think really deserves it.

I'm linking up with my SIL Jenn of South of Sheridan.  She's the one who got me into this challenge, & got me into blogging in the first place.

January 20th of this year was the International Day of Acceptance to promote disibility awareness.  Jenn asked her readers to ask whatever burning questions they may have had about using a wheelchair for mobility.  Please take some time to read the questions & answers here & here.

As I'm sure most of you know by now, my boyfriend DJ also has LGMD & uses a wheelchair full time.  When we started dating I got lots of perplexed looks from people, & I could see the wheels turning behind their eyes.  Much like DJ & Jenn, my attitude towards the situation is this:  I'd rather have you ask instead of just staring.

So, in that spirit I'm taking a queue from Jenn.  If you have any questions about being the other half of someone with a disability, please ask away!

You can contact me by:

I'd like to take questions until Friday, & then prepare an answers post for the weekend.

I'm excited to see what people want to know!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

DJ & I will be enjoying a fancy dinner at home tonight.  On the menu:

  • Steak
  • Shrimp
  • Baked potatoes
  • Ceasar salad
  • Chocolate covered strawberries
  • Canoli
It's going to be delicious I'm sure!  DJ is a very good cook.

Afterward we'll probably just rent a movie or play Wii. 

Have I mentioned lately how old & boring we are?

No matter what you're doing today, I just hope it's with someone you love.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 5 - Email me!

Today's prompt suggests emailing a new reader.  Guess what - I already do that!

I read all of my comments via email.  If the reader, new or old, has email enabled I try to send a quick note to say thanks or expand upon the topic.

I feel like I've developed pretty solid bloggy friendships that way.

Yay!  Look at me being ahead of the curve for once!  Woo hoo!!

I've got a busy morning ahead of me, so I'll be brief today.

I'll pause for your collective gasp.

Before I go, I just want to share the best blog award I've ever received with you.  This award came from one of my favorite bloggers, who I've emailed back & forth with over the course of my time in Bloggyland.

I highly reccommend taking a minute to read the Sarcastic Lab Rat.  Definitely one of my favorites!

BTW, if anyone needs/wants to email me I'd love to hear from you!  You can reach me at .

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 4 - What am I not doing?

Today's task is to take a good look as a successful blog on my niche.

Hmm...someone who successfully talks about other people's bodily fuctions & how annoying DJ is sometimes?  That might be a little difficult...

Haha! Can you imagine if there were two of us out there??

Anyway, I do have a blog in mind:  Casa de Nicole.  She is the California version of me.  We're the same age, she's settling into life with her fiance & she deals directly with patients in a health care setting.

The difference between us? She's got a ton of followers & readers.  And I - well, I don't.

BTW, she deserves all those followers because she is lovely & amazing!

So what gives?  That's the big question of the day.

One of the things I've tried to do to meet new bloggers is participate in blog hops.  I've found a few good ones that I do on a semi-regular basis.  And while I have gained some followers that way, very few are people who actually read.

Miss Nicole doesn't do blog hops that I've noticed.  She does participate in giveaways, both hosting & winning.

I've got a confession to make.  Giveaways are my Achilles heal.

I read very few blogs that are primarily reviews & giveaways because they don't keep my attention.  Please don't send me hate mail, as I am not knocking those who host & sign up for giveaways.  People love giveaways! 

I'm not anti giveaway myself - I'm just seldom willing to jump through the hoops it takes to sign up for them.

Most require that you follow the blog to win.  That's fine, except I'm stingy about blogs that I follow.  I don't click that little button unless I actually have intentions to read it.

Ok, so, I'm done with my diatribe about giveaways because I don't honestly believe they are the true difference between us.  The difference is the exposure those giveaways provide.

Moral of the story?  I need to put myself out there more - which I'm trying to do, one challenge day at a time.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 3 - Put your best foot forward

Today's prompt was all about promoting what you believe to be your best posts & suggested outlets for doing so.

The eBook suggests that you promote only your best posts & not every single one.  While I see the virtue in that, lately I've been Tweeting every post I've published.  That's because I've got a ton of new Twerps, & I'm really trying to gain new readers (not just followers!) of my blog.

For now, I think that's going to work best for what I'm trying to acheive - more  readers, rather than "building a business" of my blog.

The special task for today was to find places to promot yesterday's post, other than Twitter & Facebook.  Well, I've already done the Twitter part, & I got really great feedback from current & new readers!  I actually haven't crossed the Facebook threshold yet, but I want to.  The reason being, I need a Fan Page.  I don't have one yet, but I want one! Although I use my own name on my blog, not everyone in my real life reads it or even knows about it.  Any of them may stumble upon it at some point which would be fine with me, but I don't want to openly invite them all in.

So, before I can move beyond Twitter & Facebook, I need to master those two first.  I'll be contacting my go-to blog helper today for assistance with creating a fan pag, my SIL Jenn at South of Sheridan.

But, I think there is a half-way meeting point between the suggested method & what I'm already doing:  my "Best of" page.  I've got a few of my favorite posts bookmarked there.  I think these really identify me as a writer, the kinds of topics I blog about most & the quirky, silly side of me.  One of the things I want to do during this challenge (in addition to sprucing up the "About Me" page! ) is to figure out how to better promote my favorite posts.

If anyone has any thoughts, please pass them along.  I'd love to hear your feedback.

And, to new & old readers alike, please visit my "Best Of" page & take a look at something new or something you may have forgotten about.  Tell me what you think!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 2 - Oh, how I love thee! Let me count the ways...

I tend to not choose the subject matter of my blog.  It usually chooses me.  Something will happen that is either so funny, so sad or (most frequently) so annoying that I just have to get it out of my system.  And that is how the subject of today's post came about.

There I was at work last night trying to think of a list for today.  This challenge is all about promoting my blog, so I was trying to come up with an idea for listing the kinds of topics I usually write about.  But, I wanted to do something different.  Hmmm...

Then it hit me, or rather, it talked in my ear.  Let me be clear that I blog about work a lot.  If any of you have read my blog for any length of time, you know that I work in health care & my posts are sometimes graphic.  I'd like to start by saying that this post is not about poop, although there's bound to be at least one as we work through this challenge. Today's post, is about a coworker - the worst co-worker ever.

This is a woman in her 50s who has been at this job for 10 years.  Understandably so, she is tired, & doesn't have the same level of energy that she did when she started working.  But, she's more than capabale of doing the job, even if at a slightly slower pace.

But her age & her energy is not what slows this woman down.  What slows her down is constantly watching what everyone else is doing so she can write things down in her notebook (she actually does that!!!) & use it as ammunition later on.

Are you serious?!?!?  Who has time for that??  Look, I know I'm blogging about this woman & it probably seems like the same thing, but I don't think it is.  I'm venting my frustrations.  And, I don't have a notebook dedicated to dirt on my co-workers.

Anyway, back to my story: there I am yesterday at the nurse's station waiting to get report from the charge nurse.  I work with elderly residents & a lot of them are confused.  Some wear alarms so they don't fall & hurt themselves.  One such alarm was going off, & a co-worker that I love went to answer it.

Mean, horrible lady then whispered to another co-worker, "Oh look, she went for an alarm! I can't believe it."  Then she went onto say, "Some people don't answer alarms, or take your residents to the bathroom while you're on break, & maybe that's something the supervisor needs to know that."

See, I know this is all very juvenile, but the thing about mean, horrible lady is that she's never going to say anything to any supervisor.  She just likes to stir the pot.  She likes to cause trouble & have an attitude.  She believes that she will always get her way because we're scared of her, but in reality people go along with what she says because no one wants to listen to her.

This drove me crazy last night, but I refuse to get involved in work drama.  I  go, do my job & come home.  It does not control my life or make me sad or angry after the fact, & I'd really like to keep it that way.

But today, I need to write a list, & I've been inspired by mean, horrible lady.  If she thinks she's keeping tabs on everyone else, I hope she realizes we're keeping one on her - but not actually in a notebook, because that's just sad.  Anyway, here goes...

All the things mean, horrible lady does wrong:

  • Accuses people of not helping other, even though she rarely helps anyone else.  She's actually never helped me...ever.
  • Changes peoples wet briefs or incontinent pads without acutally cleaning the person because "it's quicker & then they're dry."
  • Lies about walking residents who are still able to do so in an attempt to look good for the nurse. 
  • Sits & watches while other CNAs (& sometimes people visiting residents!!) put clothing protectors on the residents before dinner. I FREAKING HATE THIS!!!!!!
  • Doesn't feel bad about sticking someone who is does not regularly work on our floor with the most difficult group of residents, extra assignment or shower to give.
So you see, instead of being a leader with all that experience, she's just a pain in the ass.  She is the number one reason that I go to work & suddenly feel like I'm transported back to middle school.  And honestly, she is the reason I hate myself for even letting it ruffle my feathers in the first place.

I just need to rise above it - but sometimes I just want to call her a stupid-face.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 1 - Elevator pitch

As you all know, I'm participating in a 31 Days to Build a Better Blog challenge, which starts today!

Today's prompt is to create an elevator pitch for your blog.  An elevator pitch is a quick explanation of what your blog is about. It's got such a silly name because it should be short & sweet - able to be read during an elevator ride.

The problem is, I'm really bad at talking about myself.  I know no one will believe that, being that I write about my own life on this blog all the time.  And when I have some inspiration, I don't have difficulty doing so.  But, when someone asks me the question, "What do you like to do?" I don't know how to answer.

I find it incredibly difficult to tell people what kinds of things I like, which is why the interests section of my profile is so short & why I toiled for so long about creating an "About Me" page before finally ending up with the piece of crap I've got now.

BTW, sprucing that up is part of the 31 day plan.

So, when I got the e-book & read the first prompt my immediate thought was, "Well, this ain't happening."

I've had a crazy few days since then, & really didn't give it a ton more thought, but the idea of quitting before I started was nagging away at me.  I am really serious about improving  this blog & trying to reach out to more readers.  I am capable of writing this elevator pitch...even if I have to tweek it down the road.  I am going to start this challenge & see it through to the end.

Here goes...

Closed on Sunday:  the random ramblings of a perpetual procrastinator. These are trials & tribulations 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.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

It's 11:30 on Saturday night: do you know what your vet is doing?

Mine sounded as if he had been sleeping when he returned my call.

Why was I calling my sexy, silky voiced vet on Saturday night????

Because my stupid effing cat has a hole in her belly.

The thing is, she got spayed on Monday.  The vet says things like, "Keep her separated from the other animals," &, "Try to limit her activity." 

Hahaha!  Isn't he precious?

He's a lovely man, but he doesn't live with these cats.  They are the Satan's spawn, of that I am sure.

And so, since Monday I've been giving Kiki her pain meds every morning & periodically looking at her inscision, which has looked good all week - despite the fact that she runs & jumps around the house like a ninja on a mission.

Then, at 11:30, things in our house were winding down.  DJ & I were on our respective computers, when Kiki took her customary spot on my keyboard.  When she rolled on her back I noticed that I could see inside her inscision, which was not cute at all.

So me, being the level headed girl that I am, started having what I can only assume to a panic attack.  And DJ, my rock, offered these words of encouragement:  We need to call the vet now because that's going to get infected.

Imagine how much worse that made the panic attack.

So my poor vet got the call.  He called back right away & was very gracious about the whole thing. He assured me that she's not going to get gangrene & die tonight like I was convinced she would.  He did suggest that I put, & a quote, "a little kitty t-shirt" on her to prevent her from licking it (ewww!) even more.   That made me laugh, & snapped me out of panic attack mode.

Unfortunately, I don't have a little kitty t-shirt, or I would so make her wear it.  Instead, I think I've got to buy her one of those cone collars tomorrow.  I'm ok with any form of cat humiliation at this point, so the cone works for me.

Most unfortunately, however, is the fact that more of you don't live around me so I could refer you & your fur babies to the most patient, kind & wonderful vet there is.  He's the best!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Do I get a drink now?

Last night at work I was sent to another floor that was understaffed for the night.  The most interesting part about the evening was the repeater resident.  Very much like a child, this woman repeats everything she hears on TV, everything she has already says &, for some strange reason, the phrases, "Do I get a drink now?" & "Ok bitch, it's over!"

So last night while I was doing her care this is an example of how the conversation went - but I wasn't doing any of the talking.

"And who are you?"

"What are you doing?"

"Do I get a drink now?"

"Traffic is heavy on the northbound side."

"And who are you?"

"Ok bitch, it's over now."

"Do I get a drink now?"

"What are you doing?"

"Is that pie or cake? I think it's pie."

"Oh, it's cake."

"Do I get a drink now?"

By the time I got home last night, I'm the one who needed the drink...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Well that's a really strange bra size.

That's what I thought to myself when Jenn at South of Sheridan asked me if I wanted to participate in a 31dbbb challenge.

As many of you probably know, I'm not good with all the technological stuff that goes along with making this blog work. I don't know squat about HTML.  I just tell my stories & hope someone cares to read them.

But rather than hoping someone cares to read, I want to actually have a network of people who do.  There are a few blogs that I love & read regularly.  Thankfully, those lovely ladies usually return the love.  It's a nice support system to have outside of the normal people in your life, who sometimes can't give an unbiased opinion.

What I'd like more than anything is to expand upon my little bloggy crew, which is where the 31dbbb comes in.  Of course, I found out it's not a bra size.  It's a 31  Days to Build a Better Blog challege being hosted by Shelley at I'm Still Standing.  You can read all about the challenge here.

The challenge follows a book of the same name.  Each day has a new tips & tricks for streamlining your blog, promoting your blog, etc.  There's a writing prompt for each day too, so you've got guidance in practicing your new skills.

It starts this Monday, February 7th.  I'm excited to be able to post regularly, because lately I haven't been able to find the inspiration. 

If anyone is interested in joining just stop by Shelley's blog for all the details.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

memes - Bel Aired
see more Memebase

I'm linking up with Java at Never Growing Old for Wordless Wednesday!