November 25, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving if you celebrate it.  Happy Fourth Thursday in November if you don't.

Hanging in there.  Lots of ups and downs.  The family dinner went well, then I caught a short nap and went into work where a second family--the work family--dinner kicked into action.  The power of the potluck.  It was very multicultural.  Lots of Filipino food.  I told one of the LVNs she could adopt me so I could live off what she brought in.   I'm not sure of its name, but it was like a Jamaican patty, just not with jerk seasoning.

It was nice to have my appetite back for a while.  Alas, it's gone again.  I skipped breakfast, choked down leftovers for lunch, and said No to dinner.

And I probably won't feel like eating overnight either.  One of the LVNs--a different one--commented that I wasn't eating and said I must be watching my figure.  It was said in all affection, so I took no offense.  I told her that I just hadn't had an appetite lately and eased the conversation to another subject.  I didn't mention sense in depressing everyone else along with me.

November 23, 2016

In which depression hits Meriwhen hard...and she also learns she apparently has 103 draft posts

I'll need to review those 103 posts to see if they are truly drafts or if some glitch removed active posts from the blog.

Anyhow, my mood has not been good as of the last few days.  Poor sleep, decreased appetite, easily stressed or agitated, easily upset, short tempered, and feeling just a background sadness all the time.  Not enjoying life right fact, the place I seem to be the least stressed is at work, and I was feeling rather burnt out there!

It didn't dawn on me until lunchtime today, when I hadn't eaten for 16 hours and still didn't feel hungry, that perhaps something is up.  I'm food-driven so for me to not want to eat while not on a diet is a major red flag.  So I forced myself to eat--that didn't go well but I finished lunch--and thought about things.

No, I'm not suicidal; no, I don't wish I were dead or not here; no to all the other questions that I as a psych nurse would ask someone who told me this.

The blues started when I was cleaning out my closet.  I found a couple of Christmas gifts that would have been for my father, a puzzle and a T-shirt.  It was quite the punch to the gut to see them because I never got the chance to give them to him.  I thought about donating them, but decided not to because it would have felt like a betrayal of his memory if I got rid of them.  So the puzzle went back into the closet and the T-shirt into my pile of workout gear.

It's the holiday season.  Not quite the first one without my father, as he died a couple of weeks before Christmas.  First Thanksgiving without him though.  First birthday coming up without him.  First anniversary of his death, which happens to fall on said birthday, coming up.  The fact that we would have usually been together--or at least I would have been able to talk to him--but that this won't happen this year really kind of hurts.

Looking back, I never grieved the way my mother and sister did.  I was the stoic one.  Didn't mean I didn't feel anything...I just kept it together more.  One of us had to.  That wasn't my mother as that was her partner of 50+ years total.  Not my sister as she was the one alone with him at the final moments.  Guess it had to be me.

I'm starting to tear up thinking about this...which considering I'm at work, isn't what I want to be doing.

Then there's the stress of the holidays themselves.  The recent election has caused quite the political rift between various branches of the family and friends.  Holiday shopping.  My mother coming out to visit, which even before my father's death was very stressful in itself.

And the fact that I will be aging one more calendar year.  I think I may be having a mid-life crisis.  No, I'm not about to go get a sport car and a young blond toy-boy to cavort with.  Just realizing how old I am chronologically versus how old I am in spirit, and how the two aren't syncing up.  Some regret that I didn't do things earlier in life, or that I'm getting around to doing things so late in the game.  Plus the fact that I may have anywhere from a year to 50 years ahead of me, and I'm just not going to know. It's not like when I was 20 and I knew I had decades ahead of me...yes, I could have died at 21, but the odds of that happening were less than 0.01%.


So what do I do to survive this funk?

I don't want to adjust my medications.  I've been doing rather well up to this point and I don't want to make any adjustments that I would have to un-adjust later on.  I experienced serotonin discontinuation syndrome this summer.  NOT FUN.  I'm also not into self-medicating with my PRNs...I prefer to save them for the few times I really need it.

I can't lose myself in drink...well, I could if I wanted to, but I don't want to.  It's not the answer.  Besides, I've given up alcohol for a year and may possibly never return to it again, as I've found that life without alcohol has been rather nifty.  My cholesterol has never been better (111!).

Prefer not to talk about it with the family, as they'll have enough of their own stress as it is.  They don't need mine.

Maybe I will start the therapy up again.  Or at least start journaling more and processing my feelings that way.

November 19, 2016

In which Meriwhen discovers a Blogspot phone app

Nifty...can update from my phone now :)

I did get my cancel.  I vegetated.  It was just what I needed.  I feel recharged and ready to tackle the world!

November 18, 2016

My work week ended and I had some downtime, albeit with a couple of days at Job 3.  My mood is better.  I feel less burned out...more like lightly fried.

Still attempting to get a day off of work though, just for that mental break.  I put in another cancel request, and this time, the odds of me getting it are much better than last time.  Three people would have to call off for the request to be denied.  Three!  That being said, I'm not planning on being off until I get the phone call saying I'm cancelled.

So let's talk about something completely unrelated to nursing:  foundation, a.k.a. base makeup.  Only because I've had purchased some yesterday that was totally off (it's hard to tell in the drugstore if the foundation will work).

This is the bane of my cosmetic existence.  I have rosacea and hyperpigmentation.  The rosacea waxes and wanes, but the hyperpigmentation is fairly constant, so I have to fight to cover redness and/or discoloration.  Most days I can tame one, but the other runs rampant.  Occasionally, both win, as they are today.  Very rarely can I cover both in one go, but this involves a lot of foundation, concealer, and prayer.

Now if that wasn't enough to deal with, I have a skin tone that is tough to match.  I am light olive.  Not the tan healthy-looking olive as in Latina/Mediterranean.  I have the pale green cast that defies classification.  Thanks, Mom and Dad.  She was the healthy-looking olive while he was the pale glow-in-the-dark type.  I'm what results when you mix the two together.

Oh yes, let's not forget the chronic undereye circles.

So finding a decent foundation--or as I like to call it, chasing the dragon--has been hard.  It's not so much the strength of coverage--I can get pancake makeup that will obliterate all flaws, though it may not look natural.  It is the skin tone.  They just don't make foundations in my color.  The closest I've found is a brand called Meow, and they actually make an olive shade mineral foundation (Frisky Ocicat, don't ask) that actually has a pale green cast.  So it matches pretty well.

The problem is that it's not the best coverage, and being a powder, more than two layers starts looking like, well, powder.  So I have to go in with a lot of color-correcting primer and concealer underneath.  Except that with powder foundations, the primer has to be water-based; otherwise the powder won't meld properly.  And there aren't many water-based color-correcting primers out there.  Actually, I think I've found only one.  And it's not that great so I'll spare you and not name the brand.

Or if I want coverage but the color can be a bit off, I use NARS Sheer Glow, which despite it's name is not that sheer at all.  It actually can go on pretty heavy.  It's also expensive for a foundation.  I use the shade Deauville, which is a balanced neutral.  It doesn't have the green and it is a touch too light, but it's not specifically leaning any other tone, so I can make it work.  I do need to add blush or bronzer though.

The things I have to deal with.

Since I can't always spend mad money on NARS, and Meow takes a couple of weeks to deliver, I have to have alternatives that are cheaper and more readily accessible.  Hence why I'm trolling the stores for foundation.  I have a couple of other ones that I got today to try.

November 13, 2016

Well, said coworker didn't end up getting cancelled.  While I'm a bit disappointed for her that she didn't get it, I also can't help but feel a little schadenfreude, especially when I couldn't get my own cancel.

Still, for being at work and being burned out, the last couple of days have been rather tame as far as work goes.  It's almost as though God figured I should catch a little break.   I'm grateful for it and hope it lasts through the weekend.

November 12, 2016

Didn't work

No one called out, yet I still wasn't cancelled.  Bah.

To add insult to injury, they assigned me to my least favorite unit.  Double bah.

Even more insulting, there is a chance that tomorrow, someone else who already requested to be cancelled will be cancelled even if some staff call off.  Triple bah.


Like I said, I go into these things expecting to not get cancelled, so I'm not terribly distraught that I wasn't.  But the fact that they put me on my least favorite unit instead of where I usually go on Fridays, while the nurse who normally works this unit was sent to where I would be, just kind of kills the mood for me.

And probably for that nurse as well, as I'm sure they're sitting there wondering, "why is Meriwhen is in MY spot and I'm over here in Hell?"  I know they're not really a fan of my Friday night unit, no more than I'm a fan of theirs.  Coworker, I'd trade with you if I could.

Perhaps they thought we'd both like the change.  Or they wanted us to have the change.  Who knows?

Oh well.  Nothing I can do but make the best of it.  The one thing that is good about this unit is that I'm left alone--really, I'm sent to a far corner and am by myself--so I can catch up on my reading and story writing.

I'll have to find another way to get that mini-escape.

November 11, 2016

I came up with an idea to get that mini-break from work

I looked at tomorrow's schedule and saw that there's quite a few people scheduled to work.   So I requested to be cancelled if possible.  I'm the first on the cancellation list, so provided no one calls out, it might happen.  I won't know until two hours before work, though.

I'm going to expect to be going into work unless I hear otherwise.  If I get it, sweet.  If not, oh well.

Burn out

I think I've become a little burned out.  I've noticed my temper getting shorter and my sarcasm level rising.  Less patience and more easily frustrated.  This isn't just at work, but outside of it as well.


The problem is that with the holidays upcoming, vacation approval requests are becoming few and far between.  I was able to get a couple of days off next month, but that's a month away.  I could use a mini-break now.  I'm assigned to work the November holidays so no dice there.  I tried to ask for a another non-holiday day off this month but was rejected.  In all fairness, I did request a day in which the schedule was already pretty light to begin with.  And as I've heard others are also not having much luck with their own time off requests, I decided not to try for another one.

I thought about a mental health day, i.e., calling in sick, but I'm not one to typically do that.  The few times I have done that, I always felt so incredibly guilty that I didn't really enjoy the day.  I feel like if I'm physically healthy, that there's no reason I shouldn't be at work.  There was one mental health day about 6-7 years ago that truly was a mental health day:  I ended up going to my doctor to get a psych referral due to depression.

Unfortunately, I have a few scheduled days at Job 3 that are going to take up my free days from Job 1, and I can't really cancel on them either.  Especially since I cancelled a whole bunch of December days on them because of family stuff.

Time to myself at home is also at a premium.  The little ones have been very challenging and/or demanding as of late.  Lately, the better half seems to be slacking with the house stuff, and find myself having to pick that slack up.

OK, so more time off from work isn't happening.  More time to myself at home isn't happening.  Question is, how can I make the most of whatever time I do have?  I need to think about that.

In the meantime, I need to keep my tongue in check.  Being a true Sagittarius, I am able to put my foot in my mouth with relative ease.  That's gotten me in trouble in more ways in my life than I could count.  I don't need it getting me in trouble at home or at work.

November 7, 2016

The day has finally come

Election Day tomorrow for those in the U.S.  If you haven't voted yet, be sure to do so.  I'm going after work to vote.

I still am getting over the fact that my polling place is in someone's garage.

You see, in California, you can make a little extra money by hosting a polling place.  All you do is provide the space; they provide the staff and the supplies.  I was nervous about going to cast a vote in someone's garage until I researched the law and the process.  It's all strictly above-board.  The whole thing is tightly monitored and is as kosher as a Hebrew National hot dog.  

Seriously, Hebrew Nationals are the bomb of hot dogs.  So for me to say that means I do trust this voting process, at least in this garage.  I don't know about the rest of the country, but I feel I can trust this.  But still, the fact that I'm deciding the fate of the country's government in a garage is still a bit of a mind trip.

There's not a lot of political talk at work.  For most of my coworkers, I can't tell who is going to vote for which candidate.  I also have not disclosed my choice; if asked, I reply that I haven't decided yet.  And to be honest, until I cast that vote, I can change my mind.  Overall, this lack of political discussion isn't a bad thing, as it means there's not a lot of political tension among us.

November 5, 2016

Decisions, decisions

I am involved in a work committee.  I joined when I first became a permanent employee because I wanted to get involved and make an active contribution to the hospital's nursing practice...well, more contributions that my taking care of patients makes.  It's been good.  I've briefly served on other panels and committees, but this committee has really been an in-depth experience.  I'm part of a project that will hopefully lead to a practice culture change on the floor.

The co-chairs are stepping down at the end of the year.  One member has decided to take on the challenge and volunteered.  He started training for the position.  He's still a fairly green nurse--only 2 years in--but he's good at dealing with administration and the PR stuff.  And he's ambitious and driven.

I was asked by one of the current chairs if I would consider being the other co-chair, because they felt I would be a good candidate:  I have several years of experience, I'm certified and I'm relatively sane (she called it "level-headed").  I said I would consider it.  And I still am.  I do have to give an answer either way pretty soon.

On one hand, it would be good for the career, I could get even more involved and have more influence, and it's not forever.   I get on all right with the new co-chair so there wouldn't be any personality conflicts, at least on my part.  I'm also the only representative from nights, though that's no big surprise.  Having to go to a meeting that is scheduled for 2 hours after you get off of work is quite the hassle.  But at least the nights POV will be seriously considered in any of these projects.

On the other hand, it's extra work (albeit paid work), there's a lot of responsibility and duties involved, I would have to be awake during daylight hours more than I'd like, and it's not as though I can't stay involved in things as just a regular member.  I also don't want to deal with administration any more than I have to.  Though the one time I did have to speak to the hospital CEO--in front of a whole room of people, no less--I did a pretty good job.  So my coworkers tell me.

If I could be the co-chair that stays in the background and maintains the machinery, while the other co-chair takes on the role of Suit and Spokesperson of the committee and deals with all the public things that I don't want to deal with, that could work.

I have to think about it.

On an unrelated note, when did my spell-checker decide to go all British English on me?  I know I use a lot of British English phrases, but I do keep the spelling of things American English.