April 22, 2017

My weight loss stalled.  I'm not gaining though, which is a good thing.  But I'm holding steady at the 20-21 lb mark.  My shift in sleeping schedule--and thus my shift in and laxity of intermittent fasting and what I'm eating--is probably the reason behind it.   Plus Easter chocolates.  I've improved on the wake-up bag of Doritos though I did have one this afternoon...I was a charge nurse last night, it was a wild night, what can I say?  My soul craved Salsa Verde.

I'm sure once I'm back on my usual schedule and meal plan, the loss will resume.  I need to get back into exercising as well.

Work has been...work.  I thought about calling out tonight or at least requesting a cancellation.  But given that both the little one and I will have various medical expenses coming up, it's better if I work and get my full pay with weekend diffs than just the PTO at my base rate.

I successfully started 2 IVs in the last couple of weeks, bringing my EVAA (estimated vascular access average) up to around .300.

Acuity has been high on every unit since before the full moon.  There are lots of little changes going on to help prepare us for various site visits.   New staff are going to be starting soon, including a new grad (someone who wanted into psych, no less!), so there's been some shuffling around of who is working what unit, who will be doing what, and what schedules will be changing.

Come to think of it, that shuffling has been happening for a while.  It seems like TPTB are into floating staff around and people are working where they usually don't.  I think part of this is due to new staff coming on board, as well as the budget--they want to fill in the coverage gaps so they don't have to pay people to stay late or come in on OT.

I'm eyeing all of this with a little apprehension and concern.  I thoroughly enjoy where I work and I don't have plans to leave anytime soon.  I'm glad to have new staff come on board.  It'll be nice to have staff more evenly spread so there's fewer gaps.  I'm excited we have a new grad that appears to be want to be here and not just wanting to get their mandatory first year over with to leave for more medical pastures.

But I also wonder with all this shuffling, where I will fit in.  Yes, I know some of this is my well-known (well-known if you've read this blog anyway) anxiety/insecurity.  I know the union means they can't just fire me without cause.  I know they can't change my schedule without my consent.  But I'm hardly on my home unit as it is, so I wonder where I'm going to be stashed with all of these changes...especially since some of this new staff is coming to my home unit.

I'm trying to be Zen about it and take a "wait and see" approach.  See what's going to happen to me--if anything--before I make my concerns known to the TPTB.   It could be that I'm getting rattled over nothing, and everything will be the same as before or better.  Or not.

April 20, 2017


The little ones are on Spring Break, which means I've had to adjust my sleeping schedule.  I now sleep in the evenings, go to work, then stay awake to do things with them.  It's been working out so far...its a nice change to stay up after work, and I'll admit that it's easier to fall asleep when it's starting to get darker out as opposed to brighter.  But this won't work when they're back in school, so in a couple of days, I need to return to my regular schedule.  I may shift back to this in the summer, we'll see.

I've been enjoying the last few days off.  I've caught up on sleep.  I'm spending time with the family.  I've turned down requests for work.  I'm just recharging the batteries, getting ready to once again tackle all of the Axis II that seems to have infiltrated the patient population.

The tough thing about personality disorders is that they are how a patient is wired, meaning that nothing is going to cure it.  Sometimes I do wish it was like psychosis, where a shot of Haldol will make the pink elephants go away...at least for a while.  Alas, it's not.  Medications may help them manage their symptoms, but the patients need some good old-fashioned therapy--usually CBT or DBT--to change how they think and respond.  But because they are wired this way, it's also incredibly hard to effect change.

All the Axis II can wear a nurse out after a while.

I'm debating if dealing with Axis II disorders is more exhausting than working with patients in mania.  Both can be challenging, frustrating, and have medications end up with little to no result.

But a manic patient with Axis II...now THAT'S a hurricane!

April 12, 2017

The mystery of the insurance auth has been solved

The ptosis repair--for both eyes!--was approved.  Clearly, my ophthalmologist's UR office is good.

My ophthalmologist only does surgery on Wednesdays.  Also, Wednesdays is the only day that the surgery scheduling team schedules surgeries.  I called and just missed them.  So I have to wait a whole week before they call me.  Well, I've had this eye issue for this long, what's another week?  And it's not as though surgery will be the week after I call them anyway.

I also need to remind them that if they are going to twilight sedate me, that diazepam will make me turn bright red.  They may decide to use something else.

I'm not sure how to deal with this at work.  I have the sick time accrued for a week off...actually, I have a TON of time off accrued because I never really take it.   I'll only need 7 days off for this.  Maybe 8.

When I schedule the surgery, do I tell work now that I've scheduled it so they can plan around my absence, or do I call them the day of surgery and tell them I won't be around a week per doctor's orders?  I'm guessing the former.  But I'll wait until I schedule the surgery first before I say anything.

April 8, 2017

So I received an automated message from my medical insurance plan, stating that my "requested services" were approved and to call my PCP.   I'm guessing it may have been the eyelid repair.  Or it could have been the testing for Graves' disease.  I got the call at 1800 on Friday.  So I'll have to wait until Monday to call and find out what it is.

In other news, I worked my first double at my current facility.  I ended up being so overtired that I felt wide awake.  I didn't fall asleep until I had been awake about 27 hours, and even then, it took pharmaceutical help to bring sleep about.

April 5, 2017

Back on the wagon

So the theme for the last three days has been Doritos.  Massive amounts of Doritos.  All flavors of Doritos (BTW, whoever invented Tapatío Doritos has my eternal adoration).  Doritos for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and bedtime snack.

OK, not that many Doritos.  But a lot of Doritos nonetheless.  More than usual.

That plus lax eating for the last three days...I'm scared to step on the scale.  The last time I weighed in a few days ago, I hit the "23 lb lost" mark.  I know I'm not going to have gained 10 lb in those three days...but still, I think I'll wait until the weekend--and a few days of intermittent fasting--before I weigh in again.

I just felt like going off the rails these last three days, what can I say?

March 30, 2017

It's not painless

In 2014, someone that I cared about very much committed suicide.  Good friend, all around good guy.  The last time I had talked to him was when I went back East for a visit.  We were attempting to make plans to meet and catch up, but for various reasons, the plans fell through.   I figured it was just bad timing on our parts, and that there'd be another visit out there--or him visiting out here as he had family in the area--and we'd try it again.

I regret that now.

Another friend messaged me with the news.   A family member found him.  There really wasn't any warning, any clues, anything, that he was so depressed that suicide was about to happen.   He also worked in psych--that's where I met him--and you'd kind of figure that those of us in the trenches would know to ask for the help.  I guess not.

What I remember about that day--that whole weekend, actually--was that everything outside seemed so crisp, so still, so quiet.  Almost as though it wasn't real.  It definitely didn't seem real.

That day was also another close friend's birthday--she did not know him.  Normally, she would be the one I would have turned to to process what I was feeling.  But I couldn't burden her with that on her birthday.  She would have listened, she would have understood, she would have been supportive of me...but I would have felt like I was ruining things for her.  "Hey, happy birthday, sorry I'm kind of down, found out a friend killed themselves today.  So what do you have planned for your special day?"  Way too macabre.

I was off work that weekend and didn't have anything to distract me. The better half wasn't around that weekend--I think it was because of his work.   I did have to explain to little one why I was crying but I kept it simple.  I also didn't want to burden a young child's mind with this.  Littler one was an infant, so I talked to him about it.   He probably didn't care as long as he was attached to a boob.  It was the longest three days of my entire life.

The family didn't want flowers but asked for donations to NAMI in his name, so of course I made one.   I couldn't go back East for anything but friends told me about the memorial service, and I got to see a few video clips from it.

A few weeks later, I received a card from the family.  I haven't opened it.  I can't bring myself to open it yet.  It sits in a folder on my dresser.   I will open it one day.  Just not now.

For a long time, I couldn't listen to Def Leppard.  About a year or so...I can now, though some songs still sting a little.  He did have great taste in music.

I never wrote about it here--I just checked the entries for the month of his death and I didn't mention it.  So why am I mentioning it now?

This week, another friend received a phone call from her mother.  Her father killed himself.   He was diagnosed with depression but had been getting treatment...things were up and down but they thought he was doing all right.  So this--like my friend's--was a bolt out of the blue to them.


While I've lost a good friend to suicide, I can't even begin to imagine the pain of losing a family member to it.  A parent, a child, a spouse...any family.  As far as I know, no one in my family has ever committed suicide, though there have been a few who attempted.  Losing my father to health issues was painful enough.  I can't even begin to fathom how it would have felt had he killed himself.

Go here if you feel things are that getting that bad that you're thinking about ending your life.  Or if you're worried about someone who is thinking, talking, attempting it.  Or if you're surviving the loss.  I'll be there for a while today myself.

Yes, I know preventing suicide isn't as easy/simple as clicking on a link.  It takes a lot to ask for help.  Hell, I can't even open that card yet and that's small change compared to someone struggling in crisis. But educating ourselves and others about suicide can help.

March 21, 2017

Grandma Meriwhen

Well, to two pet rocks anyway.  Little One the Elder introduced me to them today.  They're both boys, named Joe and Bob.  Well, Joe was going to be Ben, but he didn't think the rock really felt like a Ben.  And Bob would have been Brian, but little one has always had a soft spot for Bob the Builder.

And there would have been a Meriwhen...yes, the little one wanted to name one after me, except that both rocks were male.

"And how did you know the rocks were boys," I asked.

"I looked at their bottoms," he replied.

"OK."  I couldn't bring myself to ask what he was looking for.

So that's rock-sexing 101.

Speaking of grandparenthood, I saw on social media that one of the neighborhood kids I grew up with became a grandmother.  She is a few years younger than I.  That means she had to have had her own child at about age 20 or therabouts, and this child then became a parent at age 20 or thereabouts.  She's 40 or so and already has a grandchild.

At age 20, I was in college, still deciding what I wanted to do in life.  At 40, I was still deciding what I wanted to in life, but at least had a general direction at that point.

So she now has a granddaughter--a darn cute kid too.  Meanwhile, I'm sitting here as Little One the Younger, toddler, is tracing an outline of my body with Post-Its.  His main squeeze--besides me, that is, as he's still in the "want to marry Mommy" stage--is a stuffed Shaun the Sheep doll.

And Little One the Elder, pre-teen, is holed up in the office playing video games.  He's expressed no interest in dating, and I'm not about to encourage it.  I don't think I'm ready for it.  Puberty has started setting in on him, and I'm having a hard time dealing with the soon-to-be loss of my little boy as it is.  He already is as tall as my nose, and I'm tall to begin with.

But no grandchildren from either son will be on the radar any time soon.

Just two grandrocks.  And possibly a sheep-in-law.