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.

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

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.

New Job, New Worries

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I arrived at work this morning for a class that I was supposed to go to from 8am to 11am only to find out that I was, indeed, an hour early and actually started at 9am.  Today, was day three of my new job.  It’s been an interesting week so far.  Me being me, of course, have my worries about it, but Hubs tells me that I’m fine and “not to worry.  It’s only been 3 days, for God’s sake.” He also says that, of course I’ll fit in, not to worry because I’m a great nurse with 20 years experience.  My problem? I worry and fret anyway.

Starting a new job is tough.  Meeting new people and having to make new connections with new people, much tougher for most people.  I’m one of those people.  I’m always worried about how I come across to people when they first meet me.  Do I look like I know what I’m doing or do I look like an airhead?  Do I sound like the intelligent person that I know lives inside me or do I sound like an idiot?  Ah, there is only one chance to make that first impression.  Therein lies the problem.  Many first impressions are not the ones that I’d like to remember, but then again, I’m the eternal optimist, except where it comes to myself.  I tend to think the worst about how I come across to others.

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I really think I must try too hard, but I suppose it’s just the nerves of the situation that gets me.  I know I’m a nervous talker.  I like to know about people and inevitably, I have this strange tendency to tell people too much about myself and my family.  I’ve gotten a lot better, but I am ever a work in progress.  I always try to find something in each person that I can relate to.  Sometimes, it’s just too darn hard because they just won’t talk to me.  That’s when you want to throw your hands up and say, “Seriously, I bathed today?  What is it about me that you don’t like?”  You know when you get that feeling like you just don’t jive with that other person?  Sometimes you feel like you did, but in reality you were wrong and they were just putting up a facade.

That may have happened to me this past week, but I suppose I may never know.  Some people are nice to your face but may talk behind your back.  That is always my biggest fear.  I’m just not one that does that.  I’m just a worrier and I worry too much about things I have no control over.  I will always try to put my best foot forward and I will always have that smile upon my face.  Afterall, a smile takes less muscles than a frown and you never know what is going on in someone else’s life.

I hope that the people at my new job like me.  I do like it there very much so far and I will work hard, once I have a clue what I’m doing.  Next week, more classes!  Yeah! That will help.  Then I might actually be useful someplace! Until then, smile on and make friends.

 

 

 

 

 

Anxiety Be Gone

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A great quote which also works for anxiety!

Ah, I can smell the roses today.  Well, figuratively anyway.  My roses are not in bloom yet, as it is mid spring in my part of the world.  I’ve have a wonderful day today at my first day of my new job.  I was very anxious this morning as I set off to work.  You know the heart racing, nearly in tears kind of anxiety.  I am here to say, I’ve made it through and it turned out to be a good day.  In fact, I’m glad I’m there.  I will miss many things about my old job for sure, but I believe I made the right choice.  At least today, I think I did.

I will miss many things about my old job.  I will miss my friends dearly.  Over the last 10 years, I’ve made some wonderful friends.  I will miss my patients and the actual job itself, but I will not miss the hours.  The hours I spent working at my old job were getting ridiculous, granted, the paychecks were great and I will miss those very much.  I had to make a choice though of what was most important, money or time with my family.  I chose family.

I know I need to work to support my family.  I know that in these hectic, expensive times, it’s very rare that a family can manage on just one income which is why I work.  If my husband made enough, I would stay home.  As it is, we will be making more sacrifices due to my pay cut, but my time with my family is worth that as is my mental health.  I am cutting down my hours as well as changing jobs, although I’m still a registered nurse.

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Loved this series as a child

I have been a home health nurse for many years.  I’ve cared for a great number of people in my time of all ages, but mostly I’ve cared for children.  Now, I’ll be working for a clinic in a float position in surgery, speciality and cardiology departments.  I’m looking forward to these new challenges and I know I can do it, but it’s scary to me.  It is something that brings out my anxiety.  The good thing is I know how to accept that I have anxiety and I know how to deal with it.  Several months ago, I had a very difficult time doing that, but now, I’m stronger and much better able to handle this wicked monster.  I will prevail and anxiety will not win.  I’m stronger than it is.

Trials and Tribulations and Anxiety

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Tomorrow and Tuesday are very big days for me.  I have to say they are rather like milestones of their own kind.  Tomorrow I will put away my mom uniform of leggings and cute shirts to replace them with scrubs for the first time in over 6 months.  So much has happened in the last 6 months and I have truly changed since I last hung up those scrubs which used to identify me.  They identified all of who I was really.  Now, they simply represent what I do for a living.  Tomorrow I will begin afresh.  I have a new job which is exciting, yet daunting all at the same time.

I’m very anxious about starting a new job.  I haven’t started a new job in over 10 years and that was because I moved.  When I moved, I was starting a job that was just like the job I was already doing, just in a new city, which happened to be my home town.  No problem, just new people and a few new things to learn.  This time, I’m going to be learning a job that is very different from what I’ve been doing for 15 years.  Now what?  So here I sit, knowing I need sleep, knowing I’ll be alright, but being scared and anxious about something I’m actually really excited for.  It makes me want to scream and cry and just jump up and down all at the same time, but it also makes me want to hide under my covers and never come out again.  That’s what my Monday looks like.

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Then, there’s my Tuesday.  I start my new job on Monday and then have Tuesday and Wednesday off because of my pancreas  Yes, I realize that’s one hell of a way to start a new job.  Thankfully, my new supervisor is wonderful and my new job is very flexible.  That’s why I took it.  My pancreas, however, is not so flexible.  It has a cystic area that has to be checked into further, hence my Tuesday and Wednesday off. I just want to be fully well again.  I’m tired of being sick and in pain.

I am having an endoscopic ultrasound and biopsy of my pancreas on Tuesday morning.  Basically, my gastroenterologist, Dr. Choppra, will go through my mouth with the big pipe, have a look all the way down with his camera and then take that scope out, put a new scope down and when he is in my stomach, hopefully, he will be able to biopsy the pancreas through the wall of the stomach to see if the cyst that is causing me pain has any cancerous or pre-cancerous cells in it.  Fun times.  My dad had something similar, strange, but true, because he had a pancreatic abscess but no cancer.  He was healed with simple antibiotics.  Yippee!  He was very ill after the biopsy, so I’m praying that i won’t be.  I will go back to work on Thursday.

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So that’s what I have to look forward to the next two days.  I have faith that God knows what is best for me and for my family.  I’m doing my very best to stay positive throughout all this pancreas stuff, but it sounds like I will be heading towards surgery soon to remove this annoying cyst that causes me pain.  All I know is that I want it out, gone, removed, to be an ex-cyst.

This too shall pass and greener pastures lie ahead.  That I am sure.  It’s just getting through the anxiety of the next two days.  I’m not even anxious about the procedure because I have complete faith in my doctor.  He is awesome.  It’s the job that has me more anxious.  I just want to fit in and do a good job. My anxiety is through the roof about tomorrow, but hey, I am back to being a nurse again.  It’s a step in the right direction, I think.