Love and Care for your People

Ever worry about people you care about that don’t live with you? I do. Sometimes we don’t see those people all the time and if you’re like me, you worry. You worry needlessly, or perhaps because they need to be worried about because they do silly things like go on roofs to check them out at 80 years of age or go up 30 feet in the air on ladders to paint with no one to watch them while their up there the whole time. Regardless, I’m a worriwart. 

That’s where my faith comes in to help me out, but what about those who have no dai faith? What do they do? I have often wondered about this. I pray for my loved ones’ safety. I pray that God will watch them and keep them safe when I know I can’t. I used to be a home health nurse and drove hundreds of miles each week in all kinds of weather. I prayed each day to keep me safe so that I could come home and care for my family at the end of each day.

These are some of my rambling thoughts that come about due to several terrible accidents recently. One was of a nurse who was leaving for vacation with her husband and 3 year old daughter. I never knew her, but from what I was told, she was perfect. A lovely person, perfect mom and wife. She lost her life as their rv rolled over. Her husband and daughter walked away. 

Another terrible crash happened recently in our area when a semi truck and trailer rear ended a can killing the 2 small children in their car seats. The parents walked away. The van looked like it had been a sedan after the crash. Not a can at all. 

I know this is a depressing post, but love your loved ones and hold them close. Only God knows the day He will call them home. Also, don’t let them do dumb things alone. My dad will be 86 next week and hasn’t been on any roofs lately that I know of, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t doing silly things. He lives alone and is rather cryptic sometimes in what he’s been up to.  So, love them, visit them and talk to them. That’s my advice for today!

There Are Days…

Have you ever had a day that you just didn’t want to come? I have and today was one of them. I’ve been off work for two and a half months.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy my job, it’s that I don’t know it that well. You see. I just started it about 6 weeks before I had to have major surgery and now I have to relearn the things I only barely learned in the first place!

Getting back into the swing of things for these first few days is hard enough when you know a job, but add to that the stresses of sending the kids back to school, the extra driver now away at college, and relearning or just learning things for the first time and it is exhausting. The good part is, I made it through my first day! Hallelujah!

I know things will get easier, but brain fatigue is a real thing, people. My brain felt as though it has run a marathon and read a 1000 page textbook on calculus today. Believe me, that would be pure torture for this soul!

To add to the mayhem of the foggy brain, coming home in was greeted by my son, my lovely 9 year old who hadn’t touched his homework. The kicker was the sheer amount of homework this 4th grader had this evening and the tears and gnashing of teeth it took to just get him to touch the books! Yikes! We never had anything like this when I was in 4th grade! He had 2 Social Studies pages, Reading, Science and Math! That is a lot for someone that age. 

Them there are the things that still need to be thought of like dinner. Hubs was great and made it tonight. That was so nice and much appreciated. Next up? Getting the boy ready for bed and things ready for tomorrow. Never a dull moment in this house. Just another day in the life! 

Depth of a Complicated Child

What do you do when your formerly easygoing child suddenly just begins to drive you crazy? Yes, it’s happening here. The depth of this is serious. He no longer finds joy in doing anything that involves leaving the house.

Not wanting to leave to go to the activities he’s loved all this time worries me. One minute he is fine but soon it’s followed by “please, sell my equipment”.  Or whining incessantly about not going to a certain activity. You might think we would be the parents that overschedule activities, but, alas, he has two for the whole summer. He believes quitting is an option.

So, what is a parent to do in this case? How do you get the world’s most headstrong child to go and follow through with the activities he personally chose to do? This is a very stressful time. This child signed up for VBS, a 3 hour a day, Monday through Friday event. He went 2 days and threw a fit for 40 minutes this morning making him miss the 3rd of 5 days! He even enjoyed the first 2 days. I’m saddened and lost with this child’s behavior over this one event, but at a loss for how to fix it. Hubs and I are so worn out.

We will figure it out, but it has to be soon. I feel like I’m failing this child which hurts more than words. Discipline has always been interesting with him. He’s tested us. Believe me, we have done time outs, sent him to his room, taken away privelages. But this is different. When a child no longer wants to participate in the things he likes to do, something is wrong and I will figure it out…whether he likes it or not! He’s unhappy and we will get to the bottom of his problem.

While I Was Sleeping…

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Dreams are so strange, especially when you are stuck taking pain medication. I’ve just woken up from a dream where I was a waitress and I was working my first day. I went to take my first order and there Sat a gentleman who wanted a fried egg and rice on the side or so I thought I heard. He was rude as one woman screamed in my ear and another man was talking at the same time. I asked him to repeat it amongst the chaos and still heard the same thing. The dream lasted forever with people speaking at me from all sides. When I tried to write his order on my pad, it was a pad of paper that was filled with tiny little bits of paper. I had nowhere to write it down. The rude man in the left was laughing and saying I couldn’t even handle being a waitress. I kept saying but I’m really a registered nurse. I’m helping out in here. He kept laughing and saying more rude things implying I couldn’t be a real nurse either anymore than I was a real waitress. All I can say is thank God I woke up!

The moral to this story? Hell if I know, but, I will tell you I was a waitress as my first job and I tried my best. I was just 16 and wasn’t very good. I tried hard and probably could have done alright eventually. I am grateful to all the wait staff out there. I know what a difficult job it is and I appreciate what they do every day so that I don’t have to cook and I can enjoy a meal out with my family and friends once in a while.

I am also grateful that I make a pretty good nurse. Nursing is a calling and not just anyone can be a great nurse. Thankfully for me, I made the right career choice. It’s a versatile and ever growing field. Of you don’t like where you are, there is always someplace else you will probably fit in.

T Minus 2 days

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And thus we find ourselves here. The hospital called twice, once to pre-register and once to go over allergies and medications. That is fine with me, however, I know I’ll have to go over it all again on Friday morning. Yippee! Oh what fun!

I am no stranger to surgeries, especially abdominal surgeries. This time is different though. This time is a really big surgery. I admit I’m scared, but I just want it to be over. I was struck by something during the pre-registration call this morning. They asked me to pay my $350 co-pay today. Since when did this start occurring? Isn’t it bad enough that I have a family to support and I’ll have no income to support them with? Now the hospital, which used to take payments, wants that much up front? Seriously? I’m struggling here to understand the efficacy of all this. What happens to those who don’t have it? My cyst is pre-cancerous. This is necessary. I need to get this out of my body. Is this what health care has come to?

I struggle to understand how hospitals expect me to rate them highly when they want my copay right now. Isn’t this supposed to be about patient care? How did this happen? I’ll tell you how. It happened when the government decided to get involved. I’ve been a registered nurse for 20 years and it’s a recent occurrence that hospitals have been run so far into the red that they have to make things this tough for patients. What if I tell them I won’t be able to pay my other bills if I pay them for a surgery I need? Do you think they really give a hoot? The answer is a resounding no. Hospitals, like every other business, have been forced to think about the almighty bottom line more and more and less about the happiness of their patients.

You will get loads of surveys in the mail after doctor’s visits and hospital stays. That’s administration for you. They go by numbers. How did our employees do on the surveys? And that’s all we employees are, a number. Luckily, for those we work with, we are much more than that number. We are human. We matter more than that number, but to those above us all, just a number on a survey.

The same is true all over healthcare which is changing the way healthcare is delivered. Its everywhere, not just in the hospital I’ll be at for my surgery. Everywhere. Too bad the people taking care of you and me aren’t allowed just to do a great job, that which they were called to do, without having government and administration breathing out orders as to how we do what we do. It even includes how long doctors are supposed to take for patients. Yep, you read that correctly. Don’t you like having a time restraint on how important you are! And now, we have to pay for our stay like a damn hotel stay! I guarantee, it’s no Ritz Carlton for my stay! Why should I have to pay first?

Thoughtfully perturbed in Illinois!

The Countdown Begins

What a beautiful day today is. The sun is shining and warm on my skin. The air is just the right temperature and my coffee tastes perfect this morning. I am blessed.

I am blessed also that the physicians found the cyst on my pancreas when they did. It is pre-cancerous, as it has many atypical cells. It could turn into cancer anytime it wants to, but it won’t.

It won’t because it is being removed in Friday along with the tail of my pancreas and my spleen. It’s a very big surgery and I will be out for a while afterwards. I owe it to you, my readers, to let you know why you won’t be reading anything from me Friday. I know I have the best surgeon. He specializes in pancreatic problems. He’s amazing.

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Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers on Friday. It really is a very big procedure and I’ll be in hospital for a few days. It’s a painful surgery to boot. That I’m trying not to focus on. I’m just wanting it to be over so I can get in with my life and move ahead. 

Thank you for you loyalty and friendship. I love hearing from each of you. Just keep me in those thoughts and prayers and I’ll be okay. And so my countdown begins. T minus 5 days as they say till my biggest surgery ever, and I’m no slouch in the abdominal surgery department. This is the 8th one!  Wish me luck boys and girls!

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Today’s Stressor

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This is exactly how I feel! Stressed beyond stressed! We have an appraisal guy coming today. That was totally unexpected, for one thing. I am so not impressed! We have 2 hours to get this house in order and it’s far from it! HELP! CALGON, TAKE ME AWAY!

I hate the unexpected things in life, especially when it comes to my house. We are firm believers in actually living in our house so, our home would never grace the pages of any Home and Garden magazine. I do try, but with my kids and those from the neighborhood always here, it just isn’t happening.

Lord help me to get this together today, somehow! Just had to share this briefly. This is my biggest pet peeve but unless I get mean, there is no rest for the already weary.

Blessings, my friends,
Deirdre

My Baby, the Artist

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This is my Katie.  She is my artist.  This is her Bob Ross drawing/painting that she did.  Yes, she drew him.  She’s 14.

Often we hear parents say how awesome their kids are and they are incredible kids.  They each have their own unique talents.  Well, this post is a post specifically dedicated to my youngest daughter, my baby girl.  She is a true artist.  She is not an athlete.  She is not, by any stretch of the imagination, great at math, but when it comes to using her mind for creativity, well, she excels like no one else I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. She doesn’t think like the rest of us.  She is special.  She is extraordinary.  The kicker is, she’s only 14.

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Another piece done by Katie Hylin, my daughter!

I wanted to share some of her artwork with you today.  Now I will tell you that she not only excels in art, she also can listen to music and within a day or maybe two, she will be playing the piece.  She had a couple of years of piano lessons that I insisted on and when her teacher moved out-of-state, she informed me that she was done with lessons.  Please understand this young lady is most definitely a free spirit.  She doesn’t see the world like the rest of us.  She sees the world from a completely different view.  It’s really very refreshing when you actually try to see things her way.

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She is very relaxed about most things.  She dress not to be fashionable, but to please herself.  She wears short overalls with tights and a tank top and makes it work.  I don’t think I could ever make that work, even in my youth.  She is always sticking up for the less fortunate and for the underdogs.  She is soft-spoken most of the time, but she can be wild and crazy.  Her favorite music to play on the piano? Well, it isn’t Mozart or Tchaikovsky, that would be me.   She prefers video game music, movie soundtrack music and other random stuff you wouldn’t be familiar with.  I know some of it drives me crazy, but deep down I’m so proud of her.

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So here is a shout out to my baby girl.  She will be finished with her freshman year as of tomorrow.  My husband and I are praying to God for some good grades, but she probably isn’t as concerned as we are.  It’s just not in her nature.  This world has been cruel to people like her.  She has anxiety and suffers occasionally from panic attacks.  They were really bad after my mom died, but lately they’ve been much, much better.  Her artwork keeps her grounded which is what she needs more than anything else.  I hope you enjoy it half as much as we do.  We think she’s pretty extraordinary.

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Katie and her makeup as the Cheshire Cat! Yes, she did this herself.
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Another drawing.  She posts some of her work on Instagram.  You can follow at comic.book.colors

And I’m Off…

I don’t have to awake yet. Why am I not asleep! It’s nerves again. I’m nervous that I’m having pain again and surgery isn’t until 6/3! Somehow I’ll manage but why do I have to wait so long, I ask myself.

I also, finally have my computer class today and tomorrow for work. I’ve been waiting for nearly a month! Yes, an entire long and arduous month of waiting for results. A month! If I had opted to have them repeat testing and monitoring the damn thing, It would be time to repeat the follow up on the esophageal ultrasound and biopsy practically after this cyst.

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I’m in the middle of my computer class and it’s hard to stay awake. Its fast-paced and yet a bit boring. Well, not really boring it’s more trying to follow along and less hands on. My old eyes have a hard time adjusting from the screen of the computer to the large screen at the front of the room! It’s early and it’s dark in this room. Help!

I’m excited to have this class at last! It opens up so much more for me and allows me to feel useful at work at last. That is a wonderful feeling! The problem is that there’s so much to learn! Well I have to learn it. I want to learn the software quickly.

I’m such a worrier it drives me crazy. I worry all the time what others will think. I wonder constantly about what people of any influence think of me. I am trying to change this about myself but it’s difficult.

I know this stems from my own self doubt. My low self esteem. That’s where the majority of my issues come from, although I’ve made strides thanks to self kindness and my family. My family helps me face my flaws and I’m learning to be accountable for me. I’m a work in progress but I’m getting there. I’m a much different person than I was this time last year. Thank God for miracles and understanding families!

When Genetics Just Suck

Anxiety and depression are cruel twists of fate. In my case, I suffer from both of these as many people do. Nothing terrible happened to me that I couldn’t handle. I really don’t have PTSD as a therapist tried telling me once. I think she really could see everyone as having some sort of traumatic event causing them to have PTSD but truth be told, I think I’m my case, genetics are more to blame.  It just sucks.

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The depression and anxiety can be all consuming at times, but the anxiety really is the worst for me. It always has been. For me, it got really bad in college. I had to sign up for a class late which meant missing the first day of class. That threw me off the rest of the semester causing me to have panic attacks every time I would get to the doors of the building. I didn’t know how to drop the class and was anxious about new places so instead, I took the F. It killed my GPA there. The recovery was brutal. I didn’t go back to that university thanks to my anxiety and panic attacks. I felt so alone.

Eventually, I returned to school but was ready to face the world. I had good friends and a good support which really helped. It’s thanks to my support system that I am the nurse I am today. I also had better control over my anxiety.. I was in a completely different stage of my life by then.

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Now, fast forward to today. I’m a mother of 4 amazing kids. We’ve weathered many storms together but always come out ahead. 2 of my 3 daughters have to take meds for depression/anxiety. I am the one that caused this wretched twist of genetic mayhem. Now, my other daughter, may need medication, too. Are my genes so strong as to cause this for everyone? What a lovely thing to pass along.

Living with anxiety can be crippling, especially when it’s paired with panic attacks. All rational thought processes are out the window with anxiety. Your rational mind tells you you’re being stupid but the anxiety has you believing you will die because your heart will jump out of your chest if it beats any faster. Living with anxiety simply sucks the fun out of life at times.

I’m doing much better than I used to, but it still rears its ugly head from time to time. Chemical imbalances of the brain are just as real as high blood pressure and diabetes but the stigma associated with these diseases is profound. Why do people judge so readily? I believe it’s because they simply don’t or refuse to understand.

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Take a moment and put yourself in the shoes of someone with anxiety or panic attacks or depression. Imagine being stressed out making a phone call to order a pizza. I’ve lived that. For lack of any other way to say it, it simply sucks. Normal, everyday activities are hard but we struggle through them because we have to live. Once we get through the hard parts? We are awesome and tons of fun! More importantly, we are just as normal as you.