aunthippie: lit neon sign reading "nope" (nope)
I. I am bored with my jerb. No frenetic pace, no puzzles to solve, ample time to get my not terribly challenging tasks done, which leads to my inner procrastinatrix just taking the fuck OVER (oh hai there, blog and BBS and unrestricted web access! how YOU doin'?) and... I mean, I am getting things done that they want, and feeling a minor cheering burst of confidence that I am, in fact, eminently capable of all of them, but meh.

And then boredom leads to depression leads to my near-endless capacity for self-defeat and I still wonder why I agreed* to leave the best job ever, complete with sarcastic genius boss at whose feet I could sit and learn shit forever (this was, in fact, pretty much the career path he planned out for me - hang out, learn shit, and do more and more of it as I learned. This is pretty much my concept of heaven, y'all.)

*[Ostensibly I have chosen to preference Boy's career over mine because he makes a substantial amount more and has things like free cars and 15% match on his 401(k) and paid education and pretty much unlimited growth potential, whereas I was one notch below the top already at a company that pays decent but whose true perks are far more insubstantial, and consist of things like "sarcasm" and "not-shitty coworkers" and "don't have to look adult or professional unless strangers are coming." I'm sure I could have grown the responsibilities of the position, and been fairly compensated for same, but nobody was taking over the world from there.

Also, he's been ambitious his whole life long, whereas I'm just looking for something that gets me out of the house, pays enough that household finances don't involve any magic tricks by necessity, and engages at least 1/2 to preferably 3/4 of my brain.
This change is telling me that yes, actually, I am ambitious in the sense that I want to be taken seriously and recognized as not just good at what I do but also good at something that people consider relatively high-falutin' because let me tell you, nobody has a lick of respect for the Best Damn Asswiper that ever wiped. But not in the sense that I want to tear my way up the corporate ladder to management; I want to find a niche full of delicious puzzles and be left the fuck alone there to tinker with some decent and like-minded people...yeah, about that meant to be an engineer thing.

Also, societal expectations, default blah blah, endless guilt if he turned down his dream and went to a (still better paying than mine, goddamn it) mid-level beige type job so we could stay in a state neither of us are particularly fond of just so I could stick with a company who will let me sit at the big kids' table someday and who generally regard me as a precocious and pretty damned useful child not-male** not-engineer.

**{Is there a word, equivalent to the god-awful 'oreo' or 'twinkie' for someone who is outwardly female but gets told all the time that she's one of the guys? You know, the good minority.}]

II.I grow weary of only having friends accessible via electronic widget. Not that they aren't all awesome, but I am about a 13 on a 1-10 scale of extroversion and I just want to go do things with people not already living in my household. See above re: boredom > depression > endless capacity for self-defeat.

III. I am considering medicating the ADHD to try and mitigate this, but bottom line is that the voice in the back of my head keeps saying "You're perfectly able to adult when the job is right for you; why the fuck are you medicating yourself into one that's wrong?" Except I don't know that I can find the right one out here; the fast-whirling chaos seems to be strictly a northeast thing, and anyhow I don't have enough industry experience to pick and choose just yet and realistically I need to suck it up and find a way to function at my best here instead of just going through the motions which is a short trip to mediocreville.

So, in summary, meh.
aunthippie: old hippies in tie dye (oliver)
I am going to update my resume.

When I start dreaming about work on my days off (in fairly stressful fashion- the home was on fire, and first I had to convince people that it was on fire, and then there were about fifteen extra flights of stairs to carry the residents down, and I woke up agitated enough that it took me half an hour to calm down enough to close my eyes again), this is not a good sign. On the one hand, I enjoy the power and freedom that comes from being senior staff- most people don't last two months, never mind two years, and the nurses trust me to get stuff done in timely and clueful fashion. On the other, I daydream of the day that I can tell Mrs. C not only that she is an asshole, but that her only gift in life is to make MORE assholes out of formerly decent people, as I walk out the door.

If I can find a sitter who charges less than I'm likely to make and is still reputable and decent, I could get *gasp* a day job. Oh, the wonder.
aunthippie: old hippies in tie dye (tea)
Volunteered to be the activities girl at work tonight, because it's a relatively bodily-fluid-free way to pick up half a shift (mmm, home before midnight).

I came in 20 minutes early to be briefed by the activities director and work with the day person for a bit.

Activities Director: "Now, remember, you aren't an aide tonight. Your job is to provide activities for the residents. Oh, and you can't toilet residents, you need to ask the other staff to do that for you. PS we got a shiny new DVD player and TV that nobody knows how to work yet but it won't be an issue to try and poke buttons for 15 minutes while a bunch of agitated dementia patients wait for their movie to start, will it?"

Me: "Um.. right. Ok."

AD: "You should have them make pudding. Because confused old ladies and green sticky goo can't possibly go badly."

Me: *starts inching towards door*

Other Activities Girl: "We don't have pudding. Or coffee. But you should serve them coffee before dinner and have them make pudding. Oh and I don't know how to use the TV either. Buh bye now."

Bald Nurse Dude:"Um, how come you're in here by yourself supervising residents and toileting them and not doing activities, when you are clearly in street clothes?"

Me: "Because they're sneakier than me?"

All 5 Aides, In Concert: "Yeah, all that stuff about you not being an aide? Pfft. Whatever. We're gonna disappear and get our work done and leave you alone in here for over an hour and when you finally call the nursing station and go all 'WTF?' we'll think about maybe moving residents or something."

Me: "Ok, this is fucking ridiculous. Here, have an old lady covered in pistachio pudding."

Finally got everybody settled in the day room and the movie playing (which only took as long as it did because there was a commercial at the front of it that looked suspiciously like a TV commercial) and only got yelled at a few more times because this one lady had a blood sugar of 75 even though I gave her two cups of yogurt and some pistachio pudding and cheese and crackers and she ate all her dinner and it's probably 900 bajillion by now because they skipped her insulin shot. *sigh* I am starting to develop an aversion to the dementia unit, even if it does have 7 person assignments.
aunthippie: A white red-headed infant winks and grins. (wink)
So I was back on long term care tonight, and doing my usual scan of the assignment sheet to see who's died and who's moved downstairs to replace them when I notice that we have a list of half a dozen residents we can no longer provide care for alone. Generally this is done for one of two reasons: one, the patient is making abuse allegations or, in the case of non-verbal residents, getting bruised and scraped up more than average; or two, the resident is harassing staff. (We had a flasher last time I was upstairs. Walk to bathroom, pull pants down, pull emergency bathroom bell, when girl answers door stick hips out and make lewd noises. Trés entertaining, believe me. :P)

Anyway, I see that dear old C is one of them, and deduce that he is in column B. This is the same man who asked me, incredulous, one day, if I had any piercings because he "heard that some girls nowadays get their titties pierced." I cannot properly convey the tone of a 70 year old man's awe at this, followed immediately by the realization that I am about the same age as his daughters, and the thought process taking place on his face, but it was one of those moments you just take with you. He and I banter, and yes, he frequently brings up sexual matters, but never in any way that suggests that I am a target. I was actually disappointed that he did display his problem behavior when I opted to go in and wash him up without another aide to help - he mostly considers me a person, and always asks about the kids and is glad to see me on his hall, and you get the sense that his passes carry a fair bit of contempt with them.

Fortunately, however, I had suspected something might happen, so when he invited me to "wash it hard", complete with eyebrow waggle, I just put a hand on my hip, looked at him, and said "C, it hasn't been hard in 20 years, and I sure as hell can't help you with that." And you know what? He laughed, apologized, and didn't make a single off color remark for the rest of the night.

Just don't try this unless you know the state inspector's gone home for the night, kiddies.
aunthippie: old hippies in tie dye (Default)
Rain, rain, go away, come back as necessary to prevent drought but really, don't you think you've overstayed your welcome for this week? *sigh* The fish tank usually loses an inch every two weeks or so to evaporation (and possibly the cat drinking the water, but I don't think so. I think she's just harassing them). It hasn't lost any in a week and a half now.
Conall continues to be pesky as all getout, and we haven't been able to ship him outside or to the park for So Long. Maggie, at least, seems to be hitting a major developmental change and is sleeping 12-13 hours a night plus naps. Of course, she's also screaming her head off any time I tell her she can't nurse, or if I leave her sight, or Conall looks at her funny. Yes, clearly we all need to get outdoors, if this frelling rain ever stops.

Work continues to be worklike. My new method of training is to be given the hardest assignment on the floor and a veteran CNA to check in on me. Um. Though the biggest problem now is not doing any of the tasks, it's figuring out what needs to be done by when, and since everybody else just has it in their head and doesn't really explain why we're doing anything we do, it's been a bit hard to pick up on. So far I've gathered that a day is pretty much: Come in, go through and brief anyone who needs it and toilet anyone who doesn't, get all the two assists up for dinner, get everyone else up for dinner, pass trays, escort the residents that eat there down to the main dining room, feed anybody that needs feeding in the supervised dining room on our unit, put all two assists back to bed, give everybody a partial bed bath or shower if they're on the list, do rounds, do charts. WHEE.
This assignment is 11 people with 8 that are two assist for transfers, including 3 that scream and swear and hit when you try to wash them, one that refuses to use her call button and just screams "HEEEEEELLLLLP!" all night long, 3 entirely bedbound people, and two hoyer lifts. The one thing they luck out on is feeding...most of them are either independent or one guy is tube fed, not that that's actually a break since there are plenty of people to be fed in the dining room and we all have to share that. The logic is that if I can do that hall, I can do any assignment...except that it's the only hall I've worked with, so only know a handful of the other residents and their status.

I suspect that I will not be joining Renee at the Haven for Leash and Collar night. Sheena did not find a sitter, so we can't scar her forever, and without that it's just not interesting enough to drive over the bridge for, especially since I'd have to change at work. I know some people have nurse fantasies, but I think they're usually wearing those dumb white dresses and not scrubs with fishies on them.
aunthippie: old hippies in tie dye (Default)
Yep. Still sick. Painfully sore throat has been replaced by moderately irritated throat, and clogged nose has been replaced by endlessly runny nose and sneezing 15 times in a row every other minute. And I'm out of Irish Breakfast decaf.
Work is going well. I did 5 residents on my own last night, and I actually feel like I know what I'm doing, which is always good. I feel bad about having been in such a good mood all night, though- two residents passed away yesterday, and a third is in the hospital and expected to last maybe another 24-48 hrs, and then there's two more who took major turns for the worse in the last few days. Between that and the endless dank, most everybody was just kind of tired and bumming yesterday, except for me who was in Chipper Overdrive all night. (Sudafed plus sobe energy drink plus finding my sea legs.)
I have a busy weekend ahead of me. Tonight I *will* go to the Harp after work, and tomorrow I get to meet some Boston-area fuqueaux who have twisted my arm into hanging out in Northampton, Sunday my sister's boyfriend graduates from UMass (though I don't think we're going to that, or the bbq afterwards), and Monday we're watching the parade from my parents' house.
Somewhere in there I need to check the dress code and see what sorts of fun things I can do with my hair. I *heart* Vanessa Olivarez's hairdo from the AI finals on Wednesday. I want to do that ever so much. Or maybe just red, blue, green and purple chunks all over my head. Or I could get a coleur experte thing, and do some kind of red with blonde highlights.
Suggestions in comments! please! Make me feel loved.


May. 21st, 2003 09:40 am
aunthippie: old hippies in tie dye (Default)
Blah. I have the cold that Conall had over the weekend. Maggie and her delicate little hacking cough suggest that she, too, is afflicted. I'm pondering a nice long bubble bath for the both of us. That, or drilling a hole in my sinuses to let out some pressure.
Work wasn't all that bad..I had to stay half an hour late last night to finish charting, and my legs are killing me because I picked up a pair of El Cheapo Payless sneakers (they need to be white for clinical) with an eye to replacing them as soon as I got a paycheck. Speaking of which, I finally get paid tomorrow! Yay, and all that. The lady training me thinks that I can handle a partial patient load on my own on Thursday, so I'll be on my own to do 4 residents, I guess. Friday I am going to the Harp straight from work and listening to the seisun, damn it. I haven't been in months. Also I think that a little Strongbow is in order after this week.
My bike ride ambitions have been dampened (heh) by the cold wet dank outside my door. I'm almost ready to go to the roller rink just so I can use my blades- the road around the park is in dire need of repaving, and the rail trail is a bitch in the rain going over that wooden bridge. I was supposed to be able to exercise outdoors by now, dang it. My secret shame is that I'm thinking of joining Curves once I have a set schedule at work..30 minutes of circuit training sounds good, as does the price, but I'm just opposed to the idea of a women-only gym. At least nobody from Smith has heard me refer to it as a "chick school" lately. ;)
Ok. Off to make 7 cups of tea in an effort to soothe my throat and drown this frelling cold.
aunthippie: old hippies in tie dye (Default)
Oh. Mah. Gawd. All I will say is that I really, really want to die all at once instead of in little tiny pieces. The patient load is pretty heavy, though if most everyone who was just hired sticks around it will be manageable and I'll even be able to find time to be nice to the residents. I think that the CNAs that have been there a while just get into the habit of being harried all the time, like it takes more than 2 seconds to knock first or any time at all to explain what you're doing and talk to the person while you do whatever you need to do. I saw more rules broken in my first hour there than I saw at Cains, even, and I think OSHA was ready to write them up as committing human rights abuses.
As far as I can tell, though, from people who've worked in the field for a while, most nursing homes are going to be just like this one, so better the devil I know than the devil I don't, plus there's that lovely shining Career Ladder beckoning with its free tuition. The faster I become an RN the faster I can work in something other than long term care.
I'm supposed to do laundry today but I don't know where the quarters are. I might find them faster if I got off my ass, I'd wager.
aunthippie: old hippies in tie dye (Default)
I am munchy today. Had an egg roll for lunch, and Jaimey is making pork tenderloin stuffed with spinach for dinner, and I am nibbling potato chips and black licorice and rooting desperately for a cold Pepsi.
I have to go pick up the boy in two hours. I don't forsee getting the smaller scrubs pattern cut out before I go get him, but maybe my sister or my mom will come over tomorrow and I can crank out two more pairs. I start work on Monday. I got the hours I wanted, 30 hrs a week which counts as full time so I can start looking for a nursing program after my 90 day probationary period. Yay career ladder. Yay massive raise over crappy NMH pay, though my mom thinks that it's not enough for the work I'll have to do. I've seen ads for CNAs that offer as much as $2/hr more, but they don't have the tuition benefit and they also usually want at least a year's experience. So I'll suck it up. Plus it's still way more than I was making.
I am debating taking the clippers to my hair, because it is big and fluffy. But Jaimey hates it whenever I do that. :/
aunthippie: old hippies in tie dye (Default)
I got a perfect score on my final!
We had a little graduation ceremony, Jaimey and the kids got some cake, I got a flower, and the teacher pulled me and two other students aside to tell us that if we should decide to work somewhere other than this facility *cough hint cough* that she and the other nurse who co-taught would be delighted to provide us with references.
The Staff Development Coordinator continues to give us the polar opposite of warm, fuzzy feelings...and orientation is scheduled during the day, which means that either we cough up money for a drop-in daycare (assuming we can even find one by Thursday) or Jaimey has to call out "sick".
Hi. You asked for our preference of hours. I said 3-11. Do you suppose that THINGS SCHEDULED AFTER 3PM are perhaps easier for me to attend? But anyway.

I shall finish bleaching my hair tonight- the top is a little brassy- and try again to get my cute clear acrylic plugs in. I got a ballpoint pen through my ear last night. Maybe I should go gross out the neighbors.
aunthippie: old hippies in tie dye (Default)
That's a good sign for my first day, right? Nobody dying?
Though it was kinda close this evening when I took the kids out to the CreeMee.
OK. Back to sewing scrubs.


May. 6th, 2003 07:18 pm
aunthippie: old hippies in tie dye (Default)
Clinical starts tomorrow. My resident is 101 years old, frail as hell, and totally dependent for everything except feeding.
I am petrified that I will walk in tomorrow and she will have died overnight.
Meantime, I still have no pants.


May. 5th, 2003 07:04 pm
aunthippie: old hippies in tie dye (Default)
It is difficult to sew without the foot pedal to one's sewing machine.
It's official, I have lost the battle against disorganized crap. The boxes that I searched through for the missing parts to my machine this afternoon will sneak over next to the bed and fall on me while I sleep and finish me off.
I sent my husband on a mission over to my parents' to borrow my mother's vintage 1960 olive green 600 lb Kenmore sewing machine. At least it has all of its parts. I have to crank out two pairs of pants tonight, and hopefully the shirt that's already cut, so that I can take the pattern and start cutting some more to sew next weekend. When I'm going to find the time to do this, plus locate the missing pieces to my machine, I have no idea.
Class is going well, at least. Tomorrow is a review day and a scavenger hunt, then 3 days of clinical and we are el finito. (YAY!)
Someone tell me that all this stress will stop at some point, and we'll settle into a routine and get caught up on bills and Jaimey will go back to work and stop being a snarling beast because parenting full time is harder than he expected and I will not wake up at 2 AM and lay there trying to figure out which of my soul-crushing worries I should turn over in my mind until it's time to get up. *sigh*
My son is eating a fig bar on the table I just scrubbed so that I wouldn't get fig bar spots (or fish stick, cheerio, coffee, ketchup, or other assorted food schmutz) on the fabric that I'm trying to sew except I can't because CLUTTER ATE MY SEWING MACHINE PIECES.
aunthippie: old hippies in tie dye (Default)
I hate being broke.
Stupid unpaid training.
Stupid nursing home not letting people take the night classes at the red cross building.
Stupid red cross charging $600 if I want to pay for this myself.
Don't wanna borrow money from the Bank of Mom and Dad. Do wanna eat and possibly also pay a bill or two (though I'm not sold on this paying bills thing. :P)
Grah. Oh, and AppleCare can bite my ass.
aunthippie: old hippies in tie dye (Default)
Yay, I lived through my first week of CNA training. I sailed through the midterm, and I was the first person to pass every single one of my skills. :D I can take blood pressures now. Hee! (Hi, I'm a big old dork. I went around to everyone I could find and asked them to let me practice on them.)
I'm not sure that I'll like working in a nursing home, though. Actually, I'm kind of nervous about that. I really want to work on a maternity ward, and they're very very different kinds of care. I'm afraid I'll burn out on dementia and death and bedsores before I can finish my nursing degree, which they are ever so kindly offering to pay for. [Why yes, yes I will whore myself out for tuition, why do you ask?] Two summers ago my husband and I helped care for his great grandmother- she had senile dementia but wouldn't leave her house, so his mother took on most of the care herself. She's gone a lot during the summer, though, and my BIL was busy planning his wedding, so we did a lot of the weekends just going in and keeping her company, cooking, cleaning, making sure she didn't eat food that had gone bad, making sure she was remembering to drink water and turn on her A/C instead of her heat.
I was about 5 months pregnant at the time, and one of the first things we noticed was that she never talked about the day that she'd get to see her second great great granchild. She was pretty much planning to stick around long enough to see Chris married- he's a good boy, he had a church wedding- and then just let go. She died less than 3 weeks after the wedding.
It turned out that she had kidney cancer that her doctor had brushed off as the dementia causing her to exaggerate her pain. This same doctor is the guy who told my father that he hadn't had a heart attack- my dad had a triple bypass a week later- and told my sister that she was having panic attacks- she was allergic to the horse dander on her roomate's clothing and it was triggering severe asthma attacks, and she went to the ER 4 times in a month- and refused to x-ray my knee, because it was just a bad sprain- my kneecap was broken. Someday I will see him fried...but I digress.
She spent just over a week in the soon as she was admitted they found the cancer and she went right into hospice care. I'm still amazed at the strength of her will. She was very much in control on some level and I will swear to anyone that she chose exactly when she was ready to go at every step along the way.
This is the first time I'd actually seen death, and I don't think that my reaction was normal. Maybe it's because I wasn't technically family..I was..not happy, exactly, but glad that she wasn't suffering any more and that it was so clearly her decision to go. I knew, when she was going to die- I'd never heard what they call a "death rattle" before but I knew what it was as soon as I heard it, and I was too afraid to call it that in front of the family. (This is where I feel like my reaction was weird.. I was much quicker to accept that she was dying and be OK with the idea. Much much quicker.)
I just don't think that the measures they have at the nursing home to prevent burnout will work for me, because I'm just not normal in my reaction to death, at least not for this culture.
aunthippie: old hippies in tie dye (Default)
I had to go Wednesday to get the TB test so I can work at the nursing home. They said come in early today to have it read if there's any problem, so I have time to get a chest x-ray, but after a shower yesterday you can no longer make out the needle stick, the pen circle, or even a fleck of redness anywhere on that arm, so I'm going to wager that I'm safe to go after 2:30 when I actually have a car.
I have to ask them where I'm supposed to go Monday, since evidently I wasn't invited to orientation? I am so confused. *sigh*
I get to color easter eggs with the kids today. Good old fashioned Paas vinegar and dye coloring. I think I'll wait until Maggie is taking her smurf children for me, thanks. But it will be a trip, and I hope Conall has as much fun as I did. I'm going to make "gramma" and "grampa" eggs.
We're bringing them up to the inlaws for ham and cheek pinching on Sunday- Batty Aunt Jeannie will more than likely be there- and I am extremely tempted to dash across the street to Old Navy for a pretty spring dress to wear. Maybe I'll check their site today to see if anything looks promising. Of course, we're about to be nearly broke for 3 weeks while I go through training...


aunthippie: old hippies in tie dye (Default)
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