Tag Archives: Aaaahr En!

Bee Ess En.


So about eight years ago I made the decision to go to nursing school.

I made this decision because I was at a kind of a crossroads, and I needed a profession that would support me and my daughter.  And also one that I found interesting and satisfying.  And?  It had to be fast.  Because the crossroads wasn’t somewhere I could stay for long.

I applied to an associate’s degree program in nursing at Clark College, which takes so many prerequisite courses that it really ought to be a bachelor’s program.  I didn’t have to take that many prerequisites because of all the math and chemistry I’d taken for my first degree.  I got into the program fairly readily and I did well there.  In December of 2009 I graduated, and a few weeks later passed my NCLEX.

Voila!  Registered Nurse.

Along the way I met The Lovely Rhonda.  She was one quarter ahead of me and graduated in June of 2009.

A year and  a half ago Rhonda got this wild hair and decided it was time to go back and get the BSN.  I was reluctant.  There was a lot of heavy shit going down in our lives, particularly mine, and I didn’t really want to go back to school.  But I did.  Because Rhonda made me.

It hasn’t been easy.  It turns out that I suck at saying, But honey.  We can’t go do the fun thing.  We have to stay home and do the schooling. 

Instead I say, DO ALL THE FUN THINGS!  Until a month before I have to wrap the term up, and then I say SHIT I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO!  YOU DID THIS TO ME!  And I make Rhonda feel terrible about making us go back to school.

A couple of days ago I turned in my practicum paper, which is the final project for the BSN.  And then I commenced with the hourly checking of the computer.  Did they grade it?  Did I pass?  Would it need revision?

I sent my mentor an email this afternoon.  Still no results.  Am losing mind.

Hang in there, she emailed back. They’re grading it right now.

We went to a concert this evening and afterward I checked again.  I fully expected it to say, This paper sucks and you’re bad and you should feel bad.

Or at least the dreaded Needs Revision. 

But what it said was, MEETS REQUIREMENT.


So I have my BSN.

And I’m sorry I made Rhonda feel bad.  It was the right thing to do, going back to school.

You were right, darling.  And I was wrong.

Thanks for being right!


Hey how about those __________


So I don’t post anything specific about work, and I’m not going to start now, because a girl could way get fired that way and then who’s going to pay for all the debauchery around here?

But I’m just going to say: gosh darn it some people are difficult to work with.  And I’m not even talking about the people we serve.  Or my coworkers, who are almost without exception a pretty exceptional bunch.  (See what I did there?)  I’d narrow it down more but that might give something away, and like I said, I enjoy being employed.

But if everyone around you has to watch their back and you have a certain reputation for being difficult, well, chances are good at least some of the blame (*cough cough or maybe just about all of it cough cough*) lies on your own shoulders.  Just sayin’.

There are some days, thankfully quite few and far between, where I come home nearly giddy from relief at just not being at work anymore.  I had one of those recently.  And I was glad that I could go home and leave the stress at work where it belongs.  The rest of my evening was such pure absence of the difficult person that it was like being in heaven, if heaven looks like sitting on my living room couch watching sitcoms and playing stupid games on my phone.

Please let me never be someone’s difficult person.

Sex Trg


So today I attended a training that I signed up for a few weeks ago.  Good thing they send out email reminders about this kind of thing, because all I wrote in my calendar was “SEX TRG 9AM.”  It turned out it was a training about how to talk to our clients about risky sexual behaviors they may be engaging in and how to perhaps gently steer them toward safer practices.

I know, I was disappointed too.

Now, anyone who knows me very well (all both of you) were probably surprised to hear that I had signed up for this.  In fact, I myself was surprised to hear it.  I sat in the training, flop sweat pooling around me, and thought, “What was I thinking?!”  It was as though I was waking up in a terrible nightmare in which I had voluntarily signed up for a training in which the topic of sex might come up.  You know, by chance.  Occasionally.


Because it turns out that I’m kind of … what’s the word?  Well, I’m accepting of the fact that people Do Things.  They may even do Things That I Would Never IN A MILLION BAJILLION YEARS Do, Or Even Think About.  But hey, that’s their business.  I can accept this, and possibly even joke about it furtively after several bracing shots of anything alcoholic.  Oh, and a complete personality change.

But please don’t make me talk about it.  My larynx goes on strike and every red corpuscle in my body heads for my face, so that I might glow and broadcast my general I WISH I WAS ANYWHERE BUT HERE AND THAT INCLUDES THE ORAL SURGEON’S OFFICE discomfort more adequately to one and all.

You’d think as a nurse I’d get over this but it turns out that there has been a scarcity of occasions to ask total strangers whether they bareback or engage in the act of rimming.   I’m sure over time, particularly after my soul has finished dying completely, I’ll be casually insouciant about it and perhaps then the nightmares will stop.

At one point the instructor, a fearless, affable, slightly scruffy gent with a wallet on a chain and the beginnings of what will no doubt be an impressive bay window given time and enough chili dogs, whipped  out a pad of Post-Its that he had written various Practices on.  We were to go over to a wall where there were signs: NO RISK, LOW RISK, MODERATE RISK, HIGH RISK.  We would choose a category and place our sticky beneath the appropriate sign.

My neighbor’s sticky: HUGGING.



I decisively chose my category (LOW RISK,  but in case you’re curious, it’s actually NO RISK; it turned out we were a “pretty conservative bunch” per the instructor) and as I then had a few idle moments to myself, I wondered about the sticky pad.  I’ve seen people make little flip-books out of them.  If I were the instructor, I would totally while away the time I spent waiting around for people to unclench enough to talk coherently about sex making a flipbook out of my sticky note pad.

Noooo I certainly would not make the flipbooks about stick figures engaging in risky behaviors, because I’m too repressed.

Okay, I might, but I would never admit to it if anyone caught me and I’d totally blame it on the intern or something.

It was actually a pretty decent training, full of interesting statistics, so it’s a shame I’ll never be able to communicate anything about it to anyone.  Good thing he’s going to send us all the powerpoint, so I can just fire up the presentation and scurry from the room on a pretense!

If anyone asks, it’s a reasonable accommodation to prevent me from bursting directly into flame.

Office Space


So three months ago when I applied for this job, I entertained a little pipedream about actually being hired for it.  I went to the dollar store and found a pencil cup and I put it away in the hopes that one day, I would have a desk to put it on.

Today, it came to pass that we determined where that desk would be.

Of course, now I have to find the damn pencil cup.  Kinda wish I’d written down where I stashed it, forlorn and hopeful, against the day when it might be put to use.  Sort of spoils the poignancy, what with all the cursing while I search for it.

This Just In


At last, a post that has nothing to do with any of my digestive processes!

So a couple of months ago my boss quit, and I was encouraged to apply for her position.  Which I did, and although there was a bit of a hitch in the process (not of my doing nor having anything to do with me personally), at last it has come to pass.   I got the job.

Now to hire enough nurses so that I might actually have time to do the job.

You’d think I’d know better.


So I have this habit of picking at things: scabs, hangnails, chapped lips, you name it.

And in the winter I get rough, dry skin on my elbows, just perfect for picking at.

And I picked at my left elbow (because I’m right handed) and made it bleed a little.

Okay, no big, it happens.

And a few days later I’m noticing that my stupid elbow is hurting.

And it’s swollen and red and warm.

And I end up in urgent care and yes, it’s infected and here’s your antibiotics.

And don’t pick at things!

Stupid elbow.

The end.

Ass Gasketry


A FB friend finally posed the question: just what purpose DO those paper toilet-seat covers actually serve, anyway?

Food for thought, indeed!

For lo, they are not an impermeable barrier, and therefore will not protect thine bum from anything moist on the seat (ew!), and as they are nearly microscopic sheets of tissue paper, what actual protection from germs do they offer?

A brief Google search yielded several fairly knowledgeable sources (an infectious diseases expert, etc) pooh-pooh’ing the idea (see what I did there?) and stating that it was mostly psychological — reducing the “ick factor” more than anything else.

It turns out that toilet seats are actually about fifty times cleaner than common items that are handled often such as telephone receivers, computer mice, and office desks.  And, unless the skin on your backside is compromised, you’ve already got a built-in barrier to anything icky that might be lying in wait on that seat.

And, just to put your mind(s) further at ease, STD bugs can’t survive outside the human body for long, just minutes really: so unless you’re having unprotected sex WITH the toilet seat AND a person carrying such diseases, your pink bits are safe.

I personally had always doubted the usefulness of a such wispy paper product.   Plus when I was younger and in possession of somewhat less fine motor control as I now enjoy, I found that it was impossible to get them to stay neatly on the seat and not slip around when you sat down, and speaking as a semi-compulsive who frustrates easily this was SO NOT OKAY with me.  So I’ve been sitting with impunity (after a brief check of the seat for cooties), or in the case of scary foreign toilets with evident soiling, hovering inaccurately above the seat (particularly when drinking or on moving trains, or once, spectacularly, drinking AND on a moving train).  And, no unexplained social diseases so far!

I take it this is one of those personal decisions, but I rather like to leave them in the holder behind the seat, where they might serve as emergency toilet paper in case of outages.  They’re strangely non-absorbent when used for this, but any old port in a storm, am I right?

It Made My Day


So a long while back I posted about not getting a full-time position that I had applied for at another mental health agency.  It was down to me and one other person, I knew, and I surmised that the other person probably had more experience or something.

A friend of mine who was privy to the inside story told me how it went down: the person who was hiring was literally reaching for the phone to call me and offer me the job when an 11th-hour resume was brought to her attention: a nurse who already worked for the company and would therefore not have to be trained in their system.  She had to give her the job.

And although I did not get the job, it still made me feel good to know that I was chosen for it.  They picked me!

It made my whole day, on a day when I really needed it.

I think it’s finally fall.


The cats are in the house more often, suddenly, and one of them insists on laying across my forearms on the table as I sit at my computer.

There is a certain amount of rain falling, and the leaves are slowly turning, and a person’s mind turns to putting all the yard stuff away and taking down the hoses and putting those styrofoam doo-dads over the taps.  (We always called them Dolly Partons, but perhaps that’s too suggestive for today’s blog audience.  Well, too bad, read someone else’s blog!)

Tomorrow morning I begin a new phase wherein I work Monday through Friday like much of the rest of the civilized world.  It happens that this job is like, grown-up and stuff, and there will be meetings and things, and the main thing is that it does NOT involve working nights or weekends.  And I like that.  A lot.

And I suppose that since this is happening when the rain begins and the leaves fall, it feels a bit like when school starts.  It feels familiar and comfortable.

Orientation is tomorrow, and there will be many papers to sign (in which I agree not to blab my clients’ business, unless it is to protect them, and only then to the appropriate authorities, and also that I Will Not Use Social Media Inappropriately, and that I understand that I can be fired if I screw up enough times, and so forth), and long boring trainings to sit through regarding same.  It’s the same the working world over, lest ye think I am making my new/old/once and familiar employer out to be more tedious than any other: ye be mistaken, it is no more or less tedious than any agency of a few thousand people.  Corporate culture be damned!

And now to finish with dinner, if I can pry this cat off of me.  Another reason to love fall.

Everything Old Is New Again


So I’ve been working nights these past few months.  I don’t love working nights, although I love the job and the people I work with.  But my body has let me know in No Uncertain Terms that staying up all night is a no-no.  I have no trouble staying up all night, and rarely feel as if I’m risking it driving home, but I don’t sleep well the next day, and by the third day in a row of this I’m a bit of a wreck.

Ask The Lovely Rhonda, assuming she’s still speaking to me by this time.  She’ll fill you in on the general state of affairs, through clenched teeth.  Probably best to inquire after saucing her up a bit with a nice red wine and perhaps a bit of chocolate to smooth things along.

And then opportunity knocked, and who was I to thumb my nose at opportunity?  And so it came to pass that an Offer was made today, which was duly Accepted, and two weeks from now the only night shifts I’ll work will be of my own choosing as an on-call.

I’m both happy and sad about this because as I said, I do love my job at the detox and I love the people I work with.  They are all dedicated and professional and a lot of fun, and together we try to help a group of very broken people as best we can.  I’ve been very grateful to be a part of this place and I’m sorry to be leaving it (although I will stay on as an oncall).

But, to sleep in my own bed every night… to rejoin another group of dedicated individuals… and to have a full time gig.  These are things that I’m also grateful for.

The Lovely Rhonda is less than thrilled about certain aspects of this, mainly that she will be responsible for getting the Collective Spawn to their schools a couple of mornings a week, and we will not have some days off together that we’ve had.  But I’m hoping that my improved physical health and mood will make up for that.  Not to mention a little extra scratch coming in.