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.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Things I'm doing at 4:00 AM

  • Not sleeping.

  • Watching Stargate SG-1 on Netflix.  I'm trying to take a greater interest in the TV that my boyfriend is actually willing to watch after several years of him suffering through Maury & Judge Judy.  Love him!

  • Complaining.

  • Looking at the house that was clean yesterday, which is now untidy...again.

  • Reflecting a little on my first night of 3rd shift - although I'm trying not to do that too much.

  • Still thinking about how smokin' hot Patrick Wilson is. I watched Morning Glory earlier tonight.  Super cute movie.

  • Also thinking about how smokin' hot Ryan Reynolds is.  I watched the Proposal earlier too.

  • Googling pictures of smokin' hot men for your viewing pleasure.  You're welcome.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Tonight is my last night working 2nd shift & my first night working 3rd shift.

It's a bittersweet moment for me.  I'm ready to start the next chapter of my life, nursing school.  Working 3rd shift is necessary in order for me to achieve that goal.

I will be getting to know new residents, whose lives I know I can positively impact.

But, I am also sad.  I will miss those residents who I've become so close too.  After spending 40 hours a week with them for almost a year, the idea of hardly seeing them anymore is breaking my heart.

They have become like family to me, & I love each of them. 

These are people who have lived long, incredible lives.  And even though I'm sometimes so busy I can't imagine that I'll ever get finished with my work, I always make time to listen to their stories - which is the most important lesson I ever learned.

Throughout my career I will meet & care for many patients.  I will treat them all with the same love & respect, but I will forget most of their names & faces.  No one can remember everyone, & I think that's a good thing in the end.

But the names & faces I'll remember vividly are those of my original residents.

The people who say, "Hi there, honey bee!  How are you today?" 

The people who say, "I'm so glad to see you! You're one of the people I feel close to here."

The people who say, "You're my little princess, & don't you forget it."

They've shared their wisdom, as well as their goodnight kisses.  I have been through silly moments, frustrating moments & downright disgusting moments with these people - & every single one has been worth it.

When I started this job I had never worked in health care before. I was terrified because I had no idea what to expect. It was these residents who really taught me how to do this job, better than any book or lecture or clincial practice ever could.

The hardest part about this transition is knowing that I will not get to see some of them ever again.  Although I will get back to this unit in my travels, those days will be infrequent & some of my dear loved ones will be gone.  And given what their situations are, I am not able to say goodbye to them because they wouldn't understand if I did.

The blessing is, most of them won't realize I'm gone.  They're happy to see me, but when it comes to patients with Alzheimer's & dementia, out of sight really is out of mind.  While I'm glad there will be no hurt feelings on their part, my own heart is breaking.

So this is my tribute & my goodbye to those people who not only taught me how to do what I do, but also to love what I do.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Wishing this was the view out my window instead of what's actually there - gray skies, rain & slushy stuff.

Image from here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sounds like a plan.

So, everyone knows how I hate "the math."  I think this is how I'll get through the next year & a half.

memes - Insanity Wolf: Divide by zero
see more Memebase and check out our Courage Wolf lols!

Sound good?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Starting to panic a little.

A week from tomorrow I switch to my 3rd shift life.

I'll be honest, I'm a little terrified at this point.

I've never worked 3rd shift before. 

I have some great friends & some family members who work 3rd shift where I do, so they've given me the rundown on how it works.  I'm sure I can do it - but you know, I'm a nervous Nelly & that will never change.

I haven't heard anything good about my new charge nurse (from both CNAs & nurses alike).  I've worked with all kinds of people before, & I'm not afraid to work from someone with (how shall I put this?)  personality issues, but things always go more smoothly when you get along well with your co-workers.

So I'm trying to keep my cool & realize that everything is going to work out ok - but the countdown is killing me a little.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Big, ol' sigh of relief.

Remember when I was studying for my placement test, & the math was killing me?

Remember when I did all that studying, & then there was no math on sed placement test, but there was random science & so I was sure I failed?

Remember when I accepted that I'd be taking the long route to being an RN, but was committed to my Plan B?

Yesterday I had my interview with the director of the nursing program I applied to.

We reviewed my scores, & let me just say that I kicked that test's ass!!  I scored in the 99th percentile overall, & in the 96th percentile on specifically the math portion.

Then we reviewed my high school transcripts & my references.  I can't thank the lovely ladies responsible for my wonderful references enough.  Their very kind words & their belief in what I'm capable of mean so much to me.

It was at that point that the director said the words I've been longing to hear,

"You can consider yourself accepted if you meet the rest of the requirements."

The rest of the requirements being background checks, fingerprinting & not being a secret drug addict or felon.  I can safely assume that, those being the last hurdles, I'm in.

At that point she could have told me to get the hell out of her office & slammed the door in my face, because I got what I came for.  But to further improve my day she kept the compliments coming.

She asked me, "I'm sure you qualify for an RN program anywhere.  Are you sure you want to come here?"

She being an RN herself, so that comment meant a lot to me.

When I explained that the best RN program in my area didn't agree, but that I wasn't willing to give up on my goal & that yes, I really did want to attend her school, she said, "Well, it'll be refreshing to have someone as bright as you in our program."

Have I mentioned that I love this lady?  Because if I didn't, I do.

So to celebrate I went out for dinner with the people I love & a boy name Colin. (That was for you, Jenn.)

Afterwards we continued the celebration with more people & lots of alcohol.  It was St. Patrick's Day after all.

I've got a rare Friday off today, & the weather is going to be gorgeous.  I plan on doing lots of outside things in the yard & capitalizing on my leftover good mood from yesterday.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

(Semi)Wordless Wednesday

This is my cousin, a PA State Chess Champion, & his big ass trophy!  He placed 1st in his division at the state tournament a few weeks ago.  I'm so proud!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Just popping in to say hello!

Things have been a little disjointed in my life at the moment.

I'm very much looking forward to my nursing school interview on Thursday - but everything about my job is bringing my down.

I'm in a funk, & I feel like everyone is mad at me for some reason that I'm not privy to.

And some of these mad people are people who I know would never be mad.


So anyway, until this dark cloud passes over my head, I'm taking a little hiatus from blogging. 

Hopefully the mood will strike me soon or an idea will fall into my lap.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

She did what?

I've talked about my mother before on my blog.

She's a little nutty, & it's amusing to laugh at the crazy things she does.  And once again, she didn't disappoint today.

She's at war with her neighbors - but she's the only one who thinks so.  Shortly after we moved into the house where she lives now (10 years ago), she & my stepdad were making some improvements on the backyard.  They built a new, bigger deck & garden area.  These neighbors, who I will admit are a little off, approached my mom in the backyard one afternoon to adress their "concerns" with the home improvements.  While I can't recite the entire conversation, I can tell you how it ended.

          Crazy neighbor:  How would you feel if someone new moved in & suddenly made all these


          Crazy mother:  I don't really fucking care how you feel.

I think it's safe to say any cordial, neighborly relationship was over at that point.  From then on, my mother spied on them through an upstairs window, & Mr. Neighbor purposely threw sticks & shoveled snow into our yard.

Well, not to be outdone, my mother had a fence built - down only one side of the yard, which happens to be between these two houses.  Really mature, right?

After that, she continued with her spying, but they were powerless to throw random things into the yard anymore.  That's pretty much how the relationship has continued over the better part of a decade.

She spies so much that she knows all the following informaiton:

  • Where & when they grocery shop
  • When they are planning a birthday party for their children
  • When they are having medical issues
  • When the couple separated, & ultimately reconciled
Crazy, huh?  Yep, that's my momma!

And the saga continued this evening, when my mother attended a school board meeting.

Why you ask?

Because Mr. Neighbor works for the school district, & they are planning to make spending cuts - so she wanted to know if he would be fired.

She seriously needs to get a life.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Lazy Sunday, lazy blog post.

I was woken up a little too early by my dog, & then kept awake by a snoring, beg-hogging boyfriend.

I had the largest pile of laundry I've seen in a long time taking up space in my bedroom.

I desperately needed to mop my kitchen & bathroom floors.

So, I devoted the day to getting this house in shape.  Here's what I did today.

  • Started the laundry at 10:00 AM.  Still going strong at 6:30 PM. FML.
  • Mopped those nasty floors.
  • Cleaned some stuff, & then cleaned some more stuff.
  • Took my entire vacuum apart because it wasn't working.  Found so much fur in the hose that I should have named it & put in in a designer bag like Paris Hilton.
  • Organized both my living room closets
  • Argued with my dog everytime she needed to go outside.  She doesn't do rain so well.
  • Febreezed the shit out of some stuff so it doesn't smell like cigarettes.  Even though I have a strict "No Smoking" policy in this house, it still stinks.  I'd really like the boyfriend to drop that nasty habit sooner, rather than later.
I also listened to my Jon Secada Pandora station for hours, & when that got old started on a marathon of Chopped. 

Who else loves that show?  Cheese curls & elk - c'mon now!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The four words that ruined everything.

I was on cloud 9 yesterday!

I found out on Thursday that I got the 3rd shift position I bid on!!  Third shift is much less demanding & stressful, not to mention that my weekend schedule now coincides with MIL's.  Yay!

But the bigger news is, I checked the mailbox before I went to work yesterday afternoon & there was a letter from the nursing school I applied to - & I passed my placement test!!!!

That was the biggest sigh of  relief that I've had in a while.  I'm so glad that I don't have to go through it again.  Now I can move on to the next phase of the admissions process, which is submitting transcripts & references & having an interview with the program director. 

My interview is scheduled for March 17th.

And although my mood will likely change, I'm not stressed about the interview process right now.  I've had both good & bad interviews in my life, but I'm in a place where I'm comfortable with them.  It will be ok.

By this point you may be wondering why I was on cloud 9 & what 4 words ruined everything.

I was at work last night all in my good mood & such, & one of the nurses that I love brought me an envelope from the office.  She told me she didn't know what it was for, just that they asked her to bring it to me.  I told her it was my paperwork for my schedule change to 3rd shift.

She said she was really sad to see me go (she works on the horrible weekend with me), & had lots of questions about why I was going.  I explained the nursing school schedule was the biggest factor - Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday from 2-9:30.  She asked about my days off for third shift - every other Monday & Wednesday & every other weekend (the same as now, just on a different shift).

And then she said them - the four words that ruined everything.

"When will you sleep?"

My immediate reaction was, "It's only for a year & a half.  I'll be fine." 

But those words were like a ticking time bomb in my brain, which is why I woke up at 7:00 this morning, sick to my stomach...after having gone to bed at 3:00 AM.

When will I sleep?

After I graduate.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fingers crossed!

I've got another week or so wait before I  find out if I passed my placement test for nursing school.

In hopes of having positive thoughts & putting good energy into the universe for myself, I decided to make a change yesterday.

I put in a bid for a 3rd shift position at work.

If When I start nursing school, my schedule will be Tues/Wed/Thurs from 2-9:30, so I'll need to work 3rd shift.  Lately there haven't been a lot of 3rd shift openings at work, so I was getting a little nervous about being able to get the position I needed when the time came.

All of a sudden, a full time position was posted yesterday, so I didn't waste any time.  I submitted my letter of interest, & called to follow up this morning. 

I don't want to be a pest, but I got screwed out of a position I bid on a few months ago because someone lost the paperwork.  So as you can imagine, my level of trust in these people is not so good.'

True to fashion, this person still hasn't called me back, so I'll be stopping in for a visit before I start today.

Anyway, enough about the crappy office staff at my job...

The prospect of a schedule that would work well with school is not the only reason I'm excited.  This new schedule would mean I work the same weekend as my MIL, so we won't be on opposite schedules anymore.  Plus, 3rd shift weekends are Friday & Saturday, so I've be off every other Friday & Saturday night.

And, the icing on the cake is, although it would be a different shift, I'd work the same weekend as the co-workers that I love - which means we'll also be off on the same weekends.

At my job there are two types of job postings, ones where bids are based on seniority & others where it's first come, first served.  I'm really, really hoping that since this position just got posted yesterday I was the first one to bid on it.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Where have I been?

I haven't blogged for a while, mostly because I haven't had anything interesting to stay, but also because work has been C-R-A-Z-Y!

Here's what I've been doing in my absence from the Blog World:

  • Seeing a SteamPunk exhibit with my aunt
  • Hitting up the Border's liquidation sale.  I'm so sad to see my local store go!
  • Joining Paperback Swap, an online book club that my friend suggested.  Thanks, Steph!
  • Reading Patton Oswalt's Zombie Spaceship Wasteland
  • Catching up on my DVR back log
  • Not cleaning out my purple room
  • Waiting (im)patiently for the results of my nursing school placement test
  • Reading your blogs.
I've also been trying to ignore the Charlie Sheen drama, which has been a fairly successful endeavor.  Now & then I hear some random piece of nonsense about him being a warlock or having tiger blood or whatever, but I'm mostly in the dark & I'm comfortable with that.