Friday, April 30, 2010

She forgot

My age, that is. By she, I mean my mother. I'm slightly shocked considering how often she reminded me of how long she spend in labor with me before she got a c-section.

This afternoon I call her to check on her weekend plans. Figuring we could have lunch tomorrow and possibly she could bring me the toaster and microwave she promised. You see, when I moved from my house, I did not take the microwave because 1)Josh melted it with the waffle iron; 2)The new place had a microwave. But then I moved from the new place and this place did not come with a microwave. So I've lived without one since the end of February, it's not terrible, but life would be easier with a microwave. And I do love me some toaster strudel.

I find out she is busy and the remodeling hasn't gone as far as replacing the microwave so the conversation turns to her work. She worked with me in high school at the same grocery store and it has since closed, a few old coworkers now work with her at the hotel. I ask how they are doing and she says fine, that even the manager has noticed since this other woman left.

"What do you mean, she's noticed what?" I ask. Confused because I thought this manager was barely there.

"Well she gets a lot less phone calls since she's no longer working there. It's a lot easier now since someone else is doing the work. I thought the other girl was your age. Twenty-four. She's not! She's thirty or thirty-one. She just acted fifteen or sixteen." she pauses.

"Uh mom, I'm twenty-six."

"What? Wait, eighty-four..." she trails off and I hear my brothers laughter in the background. "Yeah, I guess you are! I remembered Dustin's birthday last week." (I didn't. Oops.)

"And how old is he?"

"Twenty-two." She sounds happy with this knowledge.

"I'm four years older than him, if I were twenty-four you'd have had three kids, three years in a row." She remembers his age but not mine?

"Well I can never remember your dad's age. If that means anything." She's aiming for consoling here.

I sigh.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

One. Week.

I can do this. I can. Just one week. It's not even like it's the absolute worst week of my life. It's just a bunch of catty brats at school, all older than 35. That's nearly 10 years older than me. And yet, they act like 15 year-old girls. Now, I couldn't stand 15 year-old girls when I was one.

So to hear that there are rumors going around. To deal with the women talking about me behind my back and pretending to be my 'friend' at all other times. These are things I don't take well. Right now I'm making the best of it and ignoring them completely. It may not be the most mature way of dealing, but it beats swear words.

I barely made it into the door today and heard the loud, annoying voice arguing with another loud voice about who's Fibromyalgia is worse. At least the second woman has the brains to announce "You know, I really don't want to have this conversation. I'm not going to talk about this anymore" only the other one continues arguing with someone who is no longer responding. This woman, the still arguing woman, is in her sixties. Yes, you read that right. Sixties. Or at the very least, late fifties.

One. More. Week. And I'm done with this woman for three months. Three months of sweet, precious freedom before I have two more classes with her and then nothing. With any luck, I will not have to see her ever again. This is amazing.

Keep me in your thoughts. There's still one more week to go. Just one though. Five days, just over twenty hours of class time.

Oh! But I get to take my pathophysiology final at home. With notes. There is some good things left.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

In which I do not give plasma. Again

I went back to the Biolife center on Friday. I sign in and go to start my questionnaire. However when I hit the computer screen to get it started the machine informs me that I can not continue and I must speak with someone at the desk. I then go over to the desk and tell the men (argh!) there and they inform me I have something wrong in my file and I need to sit down.

I sit down for a few minutes and wait. Then a woman calls my name and tells me that I have been infinitely deferred because of my address. They are not allowed to accept me because I live more than 100 miles away and why on earth would I be there? I explain, "I am doing my Medical Administrative Assistant AAS and I chose to do this as a topic of my final paper. I thought that if I was able to donate plasma myself it would add to the paper."

"Well that makes sense. Have a seat and I'll see what I can do." and she leaves me in the waiting room.

A few minutes later she calls me into her office just off the waiting room to talk to her about the problem. I'm aware of two things, 1) People who are asked to be seated and wait generally have something wrong with them. Be it a disease that prohibits them from donating, or protein levels. 2) This woman has very strange hair and no matter how much gel she uses, she won't be able to hide her scalp. Thin hair is very strange for me to see since I have extremely thick hair.

She then says "Well why are you here?"

"I have family in town that I come to visit and thought I would continue donating."

"We can't take you unless you can prove where you live in town here. You need an envelope with that address and your name on it before you can donate again. I'm sorry it wasn't communicated to you better." she stares at me.

"Ok? So I can't donate today?" I'm confused. They are turning down plasma because of an address problem?

"No, I'm sorry."

Sigh. I drove two hours with Caitlyn for nothing. I spent the weekend with my family, so it wasn't a total loss. Still I was annoyed with their practices.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

In which I (attempt) to give plasma

I've thought about it for a long time. Ok so I was originally dragged in because they give you money, and all you have to do is allow them to put a needle in your vein. Now, a few years ago I would have said "ALL you have to do? ALL. Needle, vein, HELLO!" But I would like to think I've calmed down since then. Or I just need money and this is stuff I can make without trying. Who knows.

But I made the original appointment and when I had to miss class, I had to cancel it because it is two hours away and the class is Coding. Coding is an evil bitch in a 2000 plus page book, and a few other books that are a few hundred pages and you use them much like a dictionary, and cross reference the numbers. Confused yet? Me too. And I have two weeks left in the semester.

So, I rescheduled the appointment for last Friday and arrange a time to meet my friend Emily for supper. I then get lost on the way there because apparently the people who wrote Mapquest have never actually driven the roads they claim to know and it hasn't been updated in three years (how do I know this? My aunts house isn't even ON mapquest, but this isn't the point) so they of course give me the wrong streets. I find a gas station to pee at because they had told me to drink a lot of water, and I'd finished two bottles of water before the trip. I had to stop twice to pee on that trip. The girl at the counter was kind enough to give me directions in women-speak (meaning only left or right because I start to drool if you say North, South, East and West) And I follow her directions and get there with 15 minutes to spare, but there was almost no parking. Sigh. I squeeze my tiny Focus into a spot and head into the building with the paperwork they require. Forgetting my book in my haste of finding the paper work. I realize I will be spending the entire time reading old magazines. Sigh.

At first I see this bright, clean and huge place filled with medical machines whirring away and a ton of files at the front desk and I then realize I may need to speak with some guy at the front. Now I don't know why, but men at the desk asking me my health history make me panic. I don't want to talk to you about anything, go away. But of course. I get the man. Luckily I am sent back with a woman who scans my right middle finger for id purposes. Then verifies my identification paper work and fills it out. They run into a problem because my ZIP isn't on their 'ok' list so she gets the Supervisor, a woman in her thirties who stares me down and says snottily, "Why are you here?" Uh to give plasma, bitch. What the fuck do you think I'm doing? Playing golf?

But instead, I say calmly "I have family in town." and and she stares a minute longer before saying "You check this box" waits for her to do it and then walks away. After this she brings me over to the end of the large square counter where she says she'll test my blood for iron levels.

She first has me scan my finger then she says she will be pricking the other hand to not compromise the scan for the rest of that day. She first pricks my middle finger on the left, "Ok, that didn't hurt at all!" I think "Which means it didn't work" and it didn't. She couldn't get blood. She says "Did you drink water today "Yes!" I almost say "I had to stop twice to pee on the way here!" But I realize this is not necessary. So she pricks the ring finger and this time it HURT. So of course it worked and she got enough blood. But then it just kept bleeding. Hmph. I attempt to hold the gauze on the two fingers and then realize I would need my right hand. I move my hand to do it and she says "You are not supposed to hold it with that hand." I nod and set the gauze on the counter "You are not supposed to set the gauze on the counter. You can not let the wounds open to the air on the floor, you can either use the gauze or a bandaid." I grab two bandaids and she helps me get them on.

Then it's weight time. Like any normal woman, I remove my shoes, which are flip-flops, and step on. I'm leaning forward to see the number because I weighed myself before I left and I knew the number. Their number was higher, by about ten pounds. I was about to inform her that their scale was obviously broken. She then looks over and says "Don't lean forward. Oh you are not supposed to have bare feet in here at all! You need to put your shoes back on." I resist the urge to stick out my tongue and put my flip-flops back on and step onto the scale, not leaning forward. She then tells me she got the weight. This time it was only six pounds higher, still. Their scale is broken.

She then takes me to complete my computer work about my health history and to read the forms online. I scan my finger in at the front to check if I am in the system, I am. I then go to the computer with the woman and scan again. She says to make sure the screen looks like this. I nod and start the questionnaire. I hit the first "Yes" that I want to begin and she stops me. And proceeds to speak to me about how to use a touch screen for five minutes. I nearly stopped her to say, "Lady, it's a stupid touch screen. You touch it. You read it, you touch it. What the hell do you need to talk about?" Instead I nod and smile. She finally leaves and I'm in peace. YES! Finish the computer work quickly and then take a seat to wait for the next RN.

The RN comes out quickly. Leads me to an office and starts her questions. She takes my heart rate, blood pressure and checks my body for markings and problems through clothing. Makes me walk around a bit and has me sit down. Then asks about piercings, tattoos, surgeries, diseases etc. Marks all of my piercings, even the long closed ones, and tattoos on a small cartoon person on the paper and if the hole is open or closed. How long I've had it, and so on. Once finished she gives me a bottle of water and tells me to choose a snack. I grab the Cheez-it grips. Do not ever do this. These are baby finger sized. I dropped half of them on the waiting room floor and got down to clean it up because I knew that they knew I had them. I also knew these people had needles, and they were going to use them in my vein.

I grab two magazines because I left my book at home. They call me to the back and I think "Do not let me be put with Hotty McHotpants over there." I'm not, but I'm still put with a guy. I was not impressed because when I had first arrived a cute little woman was in charge of that section. So I sit in the strangely shaped chair and wait for the man to come and put things in my veins. Listening to the whir and swoosh from the machines. He comes over and starts what I think is a blood pressure cuff at first. He then says it is a tourniquet and it will help him not check on the needle so often.

My right arm is chosen, even though the machine is on my right, so the tubing is stretched over my lap. Which makes me realize that I will be looking at my blood for over an hour, sitting in my lap. I'm not squeamish but this is weird. He gets the blood for the two vials he needs. But the blood isn't moving as fast as he'd like. I'm not surprised because my right arm is a bitch in medical procedures. It just is. So he has the other man come over and mess with the needle a bit, which hurts. And he messes with it, which hurts. I think about hitting them but remember that they have a needled still inserted in my arm and this would be a bad idea.

After the messing they determine my other arm will have to do. This vein is marked by a woman, then swabbed and inserted. When they go to rehook me to the machine they can't open the tubing again. She runs for two pairs of pliers. The tubing is finally reopened and they find that my blood has clotted in the tubes and is therefore not safe to put back in my body. I was slightly disappointed because I wanted to see my plasma. However I left there $20 richer. With four extra holes of course. But still, it didn't take as long as I had thought so I was happy.

Monday, April 19, 2010

It's Monday

And I feel it. So far:

Caitlyn has faked illness to stay home from daycare and watch cartoons. She claimed a stomachache and since I wasn't really inclined to test it and feel her throw up on my back going 60 miles an hour. I decided to stay home today.

I then inform the mini-liar "No, you can not have candy for breakfast. You can have a bowl of cereal." I take out the cheerios, pour, and look for milk. And look, and look. Oops. I guess in my haste of cleaning out the fridge yesterday I threw away the good milk along with the rotten. Sigh.

"I've got cheese cake flavored yogurt, with graham cracker crumbs!" I tear it open and let her lick the foil and she makes a face. "BUT it's CHEESECAKE FLAVORED!" I insist, thinking, "What the hell is wrong with this child. This is good stuff." Try it again, nothing.

So she gets dry cereal and a stupid candy bracelet. You win some, you lose some.

I inform her then that no, we can't go to the park. She is sick, remember? "I said I was a LITTLE sick. It's gone now!" She insists. "No." This one, I'm sticking too.

She again asks why we can't go and I say, only half joking, "You are a dirty liar."

"I am NOT a DIRTY liar!" and crosses her arms.

"Are you a clean liar?" I'm confused. Mostly she was upset with the dirty part, not the liar part.

"Yes, a very CLEAN liar!" and smiles.


She then finds her erasers shaped like ice cream and gives me the chocolate looking one and says, "If you go to school, then you need this. Look at me. Do you understand?"

I know I use the "Do you understand? Look at me!" a lot. But really, she doesn't need to use it on me!

Let's see how the rest of the day goes.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I spent my evening with Caitlyn. I rented Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. (Somewhere in there I probably got the caps wrong but it's late and I'm on sinus infection drugs. Over the counter. Sleepy kind. I hearts them hardcore.) And took the lazy way out, we had lunchables. Well, she had one and I had a deli creation that was nomtastic (except for the part that they forgot the cheese, which Summer tells me if I complain they will send me a free coupon. I'm debating. Right now I'm two parts lazy one part I-don't-know-where-to-look. We'll see if it shifts.)

Turns out, she's already seen the movie so she had no interest so we colored and spent time watching iCarly and Spongebob while she was upset that she couldn't find Ella Enchanted. Sometime in the past few weeks I'm down about 10-15 movies. I think someone small and blond took them and put them in a much better storage spot other than the DVD shelf. After all, why would the dvd's need to be on a piece of furniture named for them when they can be stored in her kitchen set's refrigerator next to the chocolate Teddy Grahams. Now, why didn't I consider this spot?

This was followed by a fun time at the park before I handed her back to her dad for a few days. She brought her 'pony baby' which for those of you not up on children's toys, is a My Little Pony that looks somewhat like a mutated baby doll and it sings. She has two. I got her one for her birthday that is louder and sings a longer song. Sometimes she sings it under the bed because I hide her. But that is our secret. The other one is a bit more loved, and it's singing and speaking mechanism that is supposed to only go off when you push the button, is wore out. So you look at the wonderful little thing and it begins speaking to you. This is great fun and in no way at all incites an eye twitch and possible violence out of me. I swear.

Well, while she was playing on the equipment I was in charge of the lovely toy, yet another thing named Ella in Caitlyn's life (Our fish, formerly known as Mama, followed by Ratches, is now Ella, she has a cat at her grandparents house named Ella as well. Three guesses to what her favorite movie is.) And I made the mistake of leaving "Ella" on the side of the slide part while helping Caitlyn with other climbing only to be told, "You do not watch babies very well. She likes the stairs. Don't worry. I can teach you how to take care of babies." So she moves the toy farther away, out of sight and promptly runs 100 feet in the opposite direction to play with something else. Leaving me once again in charge of watching her baby "Ella"

Can I just say that while I love spring. I do not, however, love the sinus infection that accompanies any season change. Thank you sinuses for betraying me a few times a year and making me feel like I'm looking through binoculars from the pressure. I can not tell you how much I appreciate this. It's right up there around the wonderful singing toy I hide. If only I could hide the sinus infection, I may like it a bit more.

Hope all of your days are going great!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The beginning of a book worm (I hope)

Growing up my mom read to us every night before bed. The three of us would normally take turns choosing the book to read. I sat in and listened long after the need for a bedtime story was there because I love reading, and the sound of someone reading aloud is something I love. Plus, the sound of my mom's voice reading to me before bed was just something I was so used to that I knew I'd miss it when she stopped reading to the younger two.

For awhile last year I was able to read to Caitlyn before bed. We'd go through a few stories, and practice her bible verse for Sunday school, and her verse and lines for the Christmas play. There was just a few, but reading a short story between each practice was exciting to her. However, the circumstances in the house at the time messed with our routine and made things more difficult. Especially since someone would complain that I would read to her with the door open to my bedroom.

We've started this again. And I love it just as much as she does. It's the end of the day routine for us now, she picks out one or two books to read, and if I have her verse for that month, we'll rehearse it. If not, we just continue with the stories. Right now I'm working my way through The Lamb by John Cross. It's the child version of The Lamb on the Road to Emmaus, which explains God's plan from creation to Christ. I love the version for kids, though the picture of the sacrificed lamb was a bit much, I understand its need and she took it in stride so it was okay after all. The book is separated into chapters, each of which have questions, usually one word, simple answer ones. Each question repeating most of the previous question, easy for kids to answer. And it is amazing to hear her grasp things and be able to repeat answers and be excited about having them right.

I'm hoping that after this, she'll love reading as much as I do. I remember when I started to read I worked my way through all our childhood books quickly, I was a regular at the local library, the school library, and when I was finally able to use the high school library I was ecstatic. I still love to read. I have boxes, totes, bookshelves and even a dresser filled with them. Most of which I've read numerous times. If I keep it, I will read it over and over and over again.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Things you don't want....

Are sometimes the things you need. In my case it came in the form of a presentation. In my Medical Language Applications class a partner presentation is required. This year the instructor chose our partners and our topics (I'm told this is because of a particularly heated abortion topic from last year. However, since I was not in the class, I wouldn't know.)

This was all fine and dandy. I only wanted two things, well three, I didn't want to be partnered with two women in my class because I can't handle them. And I didn't want to have the topic of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) because it reminds me of the end of Josh and I, a not really difficult topic since I am happier. But I don't want the memories. The memories are the dirty nasty bitches who won't leave me alone and I finally got to stop calling me names and reminding me constantly that I am not good enough for anyone. That I won't find anyone. I fought them off after months of giving into them, I realized that by telling me all those horrid things, it was just the only way to make sure I stayed there, I didn't have the strength to leave. Because what if he was right?

PTSD was something that I heard about for non-stop. The warning signs, the symptoms, the phone numbers. All the while reminded by military men that I was not as important as The Soldier. The Soldier should be put first. The Soldier should not be reminded that home life was still going on. That it was hard. That I was hurting. The Soldier's sole focus should be on The Mission. I was not The Mission. And once he was home, they reminded me again of PTSD. That I shouldn't aggravate him. That I should let him acclimate at his own leisure. Only..he didn't. Things got worse. There was no acclimation to normal life again because the man that I got back from Iraq was not the one I had sent. And on top of all those things. On top of his meanness and belittling was the line. "Stop arguing with me. You're aggravating my PTSD" was his 'joking' way of getting out of an argument. Of getting his way.

Doing this presentation made me realize that he may have had a bit of it. But in the end, he is the one who created it in ME. I avoid so many things I used to enjoy because of him. Things I loved once, I can't even think about doing again. Most of all, it has made me even more terrified of verbal arguments in a relationship. Because I remember the belittling, the yelling, being told so many untrue and unnecessary things (don't feel too bad, I said my fair share of mean things myself. Only after I was provoked already, and only after I started working again, and started feeling like I was a person again. It took me a long time to stand up and say I'm better than that. I don't need to be treated like this. Maybe it was too late, maybe it just was and what happened needed too. I know that in so many, many ways I'm better off. Still my heart hurts for my baby. Who's sole request right now is to have us live in one house and I can't. Even if he could. I couldn't. I couldn't go back to the person I was. The person I am now would destroy his little world because I won't put up with anything now. That got long...)

So, in the end, I needed to do some research on what REAL PTSD is. To understand it, to acknowledge it, to learn more about myself and find ways to be ok with things I can't fix, and fix things I can.

It's been a long year, part of it terrible, part of it wonderful. But now things are looking up. Finally, my life isn't about what is best for The Soldier. I hope one day they realize that by completely focusing on The Soldier, they destory The Wife and The Family before it's too late. But now, anything military makes me twitch so I'm not going there.