Saturday, May 31, 2008
I also broke my cell last night. I dropped it on the kitchen floor and it broke in half. So now I have to trek out to a Verizon store for a new one. Of course doing that on a Saturday should be a breeze. Ha, yeah right. I might just wait til tomorrow. I think I may end up leaving for work a little earlier than normal being that its thundering and raining out now. I don't want to end up late for work because I get stuck behind people that can't drive in the rain.
I'm thinking about taking some group classes at the gym. I'm really intimidated by that though. There is a step class and a "body pump" class that I'm thinking about but I am honestly scared to go. No idea why, just scared.
Ok, I better get moving...its already noon and I want to leave by 115. Ugh, wish I didn't have to work today!! Hopefully it will be a quiet shift. I've got some reading to do.
Friday, May 30, 2008
5 points, 4 svgs (1 cup svg)
prep: 7 min
cook: 8 min
1 Tbsp dark sesame oil
2 tea minced garlic
4 green onions, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 (1lb) flank steak, trimmed and cut crosswise into thin strips
1/4 c water
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
4 tea cornstarch
2 tea crushed red pepper flakes
2 tea brown sugar
toasted sesame seeds (optional)
Heat oil in large non-stick skillet over med-hi heat
Add garlic & green onions and cook, stirring frequently, 1 minute
Add beef and cook 5 minutes or til beef is browned, stirring frequently
While beef cooks combine water and next 4 ingredients in small bowl
Pour mixture over beef
Cook 1-2 minutes or til sauce is thickened and beef is cooked through
Garnish with sesame seeds
We needed to add a little soy sauce but it was pretty good. We had it with Thai rice noodles, which I had for the first time tonight. They were pretty good. That made everything take a little bit longer because you have to soak them for 35 minutes before adding to the recipe, but it was worth it. I'm starting to be quite the little rice eater which is VERY new for me. So, total, our supper was 9 points. Fruit and Cool Whip for dessert later and maybe a chocolate chip cookie...the new WW ones aren't too bad.
WW friendly? Not so much. Well today it is, I'm journaling everything. But going to the bar killed me. Not that I drank too much but I had enough that at 2am I was ready to start "late night eating." Nothing I can do about it now. I'm just moving on and journaling away today. Maybe before Brian leaves for OT tonight I'll make something from my new cookbook. I'll let you know if its anything worth trying. We're watching Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations and he's in Sicily. Now I want to go to Little Italy tonight. Not so WW friendly but very yummy.
As for right now, its time for a nap. Brian's working OT tonight and 24 hours tomorrow so he'll be napping for a bit this afternoon. I don't work til 3pm tomorrow but I'll take advantage of a cuddly nap with a nice breeze from outside snuggled up with my boy. Maybe I'll be well rested for a trip to the gym later.
I started this post with a purpose but I've become distracted and I can't remember what it was supposed to be about. Sometimes I wonder how my mind can wander so much.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Last night confirmed that I don't like working at Medic 25. I love Kerper but not that unit. And the guy I worked for should owe me another day of work just on principle. He got to work a nice easy shift at a slow unit where he slept through the night while I got to run 21 calls, all no where near our firehouse, and eight of those being after midnight. I needed to nap just to drive home. Haven't had one of those nights in a while. And hope I won't again for a while. It was fun working with Kerper though. I miss him as a partner. Downfall...we eat very well together. I did NOT have a good WW day. Part of that was because we attempted to get supper around 6pm. We ended up eating around 11pm and even then, we still needed 4 tries to actually complete our food. I have a hard time with work and eating. I'm okay if I can get my 3 meals in...I don't have to snack which means more points can go towards meals. That being the case I don't usually carry snacks around anymore. But, then we get nights like last night where there was a 5 hour gap in the supper time and well, we found ourselves eating Gen Tso chicken. I got steamed rice instead of fried. And I didn't eat all of the meal. I'm doing better with decisions, I guess. They aren't totally on plan, but they are better than I would do if I didn't think at all.
And with that, I'm off to la-la land for a few hours. Tim and Aimee should be here around 6pm. I hope I'm awake enough. :)
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
So, tomorrow's the big weigh in. One part of me is anxious and the other is worried. I'm hoping I did well but seriously, I'm not so sure I did. I started the week off well, but with my limited meal choices it was hard to be good. I made the best choice out of the food I was offered and I ate so much less than I normally would, but I'm not sure it was good enough for a change in the scale. I guess we'll see tomorrow.
I bought a new cookbook at Walmart over the weekend and I can't wait to use it. Its in the magazine section---I can't remember the name but its something like "5 ingredients" or something.
I'm so looking forward to this week. Brian's working tomorrow but I'm not. That means a day of winding down for me. Wednesday I get to work with Kerper (Yeah!) at Medic 25 (boo!). I'm looking forward to that. He's my old partner and we have a blast together. I haven' t worked a full shift with him since last July. Thursday, my best friend from college, Tim, and his wife, Aimee, are coming to stay the night. Then except for Saturday's shift at work, the week is free. Hopefully we'll get started on the bedroom floors here eventually.
I woke up with a swollen left eye. I think its a bugbite in that little, little, piece of skin between the corner of the eye and the bridge of the nose. It sucks. I hope if it is a bugbite it doesn't go through my normal bugbite phases which include turning purple almost like a hicky. That would be a tough one to explain.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Yesterday, I met Brian and the kids, and my sister and Jimi at the Coal Mine Tour in Scranton. The kids seemed to really like it. Then later that night we went to dinner with my parents and Jimi's dad and one of Jimi's friends that accidently showed up a day early. Hopefully I'll have some pictures to post later this week.
Today, we got the kids ready early and then took them to the playground for a while before the party. The party went well, like I said. The kids had a blast. Last summer my parents got rid of their above ground pool so there ended up being a huge mud circle where it once lived. I think every "digger dozer" toy in the neighborhood ended up in the mud. They built a "street" to the neighbors yard. The kids looked like mud people. Ugh, it was a mess, but they had fun. I'll have pics of that too.
Oh, then there was my tan/burn. I swear I was outside for like 2 hours and then I ended up with a serious case of farmers tan. I was so embarrassed. Everyone was making fun of me. Guess there will be no tank tops for me for a while.
I didn't do well with points. I ate less than I normally would, so I'm okay with that, but as far as where I will be on the scale, its hard to tell. Plus, by the end of the night, I had a few drinks, so that didn't help. Oh well. Its okay. It was a special event and I was good a lot of other days this week. Tomorrow I can get back to normal. I will be home and things will be normal. There will be no people tempting me with donuts and pizza. The immediate stress around here will be gone. Ok, so tomorrow is back to normal and I can't wait. More than anything, I'm glad I don't have to share a bedroom with two kids. Found out the hard way Bella talks (yells) in her sleep.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
So, as for the drama on the home front, it continues. I talked to Holly today and we've narrowed it down that it feels like when you are trying to make friends with the "mean girls." The ones that talk to you when there's no one else around, but the rest of the time they stare straight ahead and don't even acknowledge your talking. The conversation ends as soon as you are done talking. Its pretty one sided, like talking to yourself, although that wasn't the intention. I'm at the point where I'm done trying. That's pretty consistent....2 days in to the visit. For Christmas we stayed at a hotel to avoid all of that. Now, I'm wishing I did the same this visit as well. But, if we stayed someplace else the kids wouldn't get to use our old sleeping bags from when we used to stay at Nana & Pop's...Smurfs and My Little Pony.
Grampy's about the same, maybe a little better. They are waiting for a bed so they can transfer him out of ICU. I didn't go to the hospital yesterday but they say he was cranky yesterday. At least he was with it enough to get cranky.
OK, so I'm excited they are coming, frustrated and upset about all the other stuff and I vow to make today a good day. Yesterday was a little bit not good points wise. I'm not going to lie, I didn't count them, but today I am. I'm going to have a good day. That's that.
I'd like to formally congratulate Christy on pooping yesterday. Ha :) Poor girl.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Being home is kind of stressful. I don't think it should be, but it is. My family and I have some serious communication problems. Things are always taken out of context, stories twisted til they don't really resemble the original conversation, or it seems that things turn into a competition even if its not intended that way. I feel very out of place here most of the time. I don't have a whole lot to my life except work, Brian and his kids. I have a cat who doesn't say much. I don't have too many interesting hobbies. I'm not enthralled in living in Baltimore so I don't have interesting stories as to what I did last weekend. Last year we ended up having a heated argument amongst the family about me vs. them and how I come off as being "better" than them or too good and disrespectful. I, of course, disagree with all of it. I have a strong, sarcastic personality, I will give them that. But, I never feel that I'm too good to be visiting. Its been said I'm now a "city" girl. I live where I live because my dad made me go to school there. I didn't even want to go to University of Maryland, I wanted to go to Wilkes University to play basketball. I finally got up enough guts to tell him where I wanted to go and he wouldn't talk to me for days. After a while, I lied and told him I was okay with UMD because it was just easier for me. I stayed down there after meeting Marshall and by the time we divorced I already had my job so I wasn't about to up and leave that. I don't have a lot to offer to their conversations because I'm not into Harley's. Not because I'm too good for them. I'm just scared of them because I've seen plenty of people who have wrecked their bikes. I think they're interesting, but they are just not for me. Apparently, at that time, I caused anxiety to my entire family. I'm still not exactly sure how but I do. Its been almost year since that argument and I'm still not over it. I saw first hand how conversations I've had and relationships that I thought improved were not as I thought they really went/were.
Its very upsetting to me. I walk on eggshells now trying to make sure I don't say the wrong thing. I wonder if as soon as I walk away they start talking about me like they do other family members or as I've found out they've done in the past. I'm very accepting of my family and honestly supportive of their decisions no matter if I agree with them or not. I try to look at things from various perspectives and understand where they are coming from. I just don't feel its mutual. And the worst is that "feeling" doesn't make our "normal" problems any better. It just makes the tension worse. Anyone who knows me for any real length of time knows how much it upsets me. No matter how much I try to play off it doesn't matter, I know I'm really lying to myself. This is something that's coming up in my counseling. As my new counselor put it, I'm ready to deal and move on with my past. As for the here and now, I really can't wait for Brian and the kids to get here tomorrow. I really do miss them.
The good side of it is with all of this I'm not using food as a comfort. Today wasn't my greatest day but it wasn't my worst by any means. I'm really quite impressed at how well I've done so far. I even went out to supper tonight with my dad, sister and her fiance. And I didn't order pizza!
Now I'm in a sticky situation because my dad wants us to go to a local restaurant for supper. Its so freakin' good. I don't think there's a single healthy thing in the place. OK, maybe there is but that defeats going there. I just found myself telling my mom to eat without me because I might be busy, but I don't think that is true. I am afraid to go there and ruin a few days of good work. I know whats on the menu for the party on Sunday and I think I may have to skip breakfast and lunch and still maybe go buy some of my own hot dogs or something so I can eat within reason and know the points value. This is about the time I start to have a "this is too hard" breakdown and I go back to my old ways. But I really don't want to do that. And my "stay in the weight range for work" motivation really is working. I'm impressed.
I am waiting to hear back if Laura wants to go out for the afternoon but I don't think that's going to work out. So, I think I'm going to nap because I'm lazy and then head out shopping for a bit. I have nothing to shop for but it will get me walking. I'd go for a walk outside but its way too windy. There are just some weather conditions I refuse to go out in unless I'm getting paid to (honestly) and that includes wind, rain, and ice. Unfortunately I don't think anyone is paying me to walk in the wind today. Good day for the windmills though. We have a windmill farm up here that has 47, 300 foot windmills that produce energy for 19,000 homes. Kinda neat, especially when you see them all lined up on the horizon.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
WW today: I had Cheerios before leaving and stopped at Subway for a sub and some soup. Mom offered to make supper or take us out so I decided to just make it for her. I figured she could use a break plus that ensured I ate something within a fairly low points range. I made gnocchi with sausage and spinach. I am pretty sure I'm a little over today so I'm trying hard to not add anything else to my menu. Leigh's fiancee is on his way here. I'm worried about that. Not that I'm afraid of him but I'm afraid of him in the morning. He apparently is all about breakfast. He makes a big southern breakfast. I like big breakfasts. Yummy big delicious breakfasts. High high point breakfasts. So we'll see how tomorrow goes. I bought Cheerios and hopefully it will be a successful day. Probably not but you never know.
As for now, its time for the season finale of Grey's. My other mild addiction.
The problem with packing is I need to do it for temperatures from 35-80 degrees. Tonight its supposed to be in the 30s, high of 50, but Monday its supposed to be 77-80. I have no idea what I put in my bag.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
I went to the crotch doctor today (as my mom called it--OB/GYN to everyone else). She had a bunch of nothing to say. She's sending me for my lab work to figure out why I don't get periods. She thought about putting me back on the pill but I had such problems with it I don't feel its worth it. The doctor kinda makes it seem that since I'm not trying to get preggo its not a big deal. I'm sure its not to her but for the last 10 years of my life have been a bit crazy with hormones and bleeding and such yuck. Since finding out my ex-husband is having a baby in a few months, my doctor told me the reason we didn't get pregnant when we were trying was because of me. What a downer, even though I pretty much already knew it. Sucks when nature doesn't work. So she said if Brian and I ever planned on kids she said I'd automatically have to go to a fertility clinic and Brian would need some work done being that he's "fixed". Granted, this all is wayyyyy down the road if it ever happens, but I told the doctor I'd be scared to end up with a bunch of babies. And on top of that, its expensive if insurance doesn't cover it. I told her I can't handle more than twins and I'd be afraid to end up like Kate from Jon and Kate + 8. She started laughing. I thought it was because I told her my fear. She told me no, she thinks I look like Kate. She suggested adoption which we've talked about as well. No matter how much I'd like to know what a "little Sarah" (boy version of course) looks like, if I'm going to invest that much money into it and guarantee I only get one kid we'd have to look into adopting. Plus there's a million kids out there that deserve good homes. Like I said, its a long ways off if it ever even happens. As for now I still have screwed up ovaries and hormones and we may never know why.
BTW, WW sucks. Yes, I stayed on plan today but dammit! I want some Chinese food. My 3 point egg roll just isn't cutting it. I want grease and syrupy General Tso sauce and fried pieces of some sort of animal I'm sure isn't chicken, and maybe a doughy dumpling, too. I have 2 points left for the day and I'm trying very hard to figure out what to do with them. I'm pretty sure House of China can only offer me a fortune cookie for that much, and that will probably push me over anyway.
Then there's the conversation with Karen. So, what I didn't hear about Kim before talking to Karen was that she died a few days ago. Totally blindsided me. Now, like Brian told me, for all we know she got hit by a car, but then I found out today they think it was her asthma or at least something medical. For some reason I took it personally. Not personally like I could have done something to save her because I know thats unrealistic, but its just so ironic that just a week ago she was telling me she got more info out of me than her doc about how serious her condition has become. Part of me finds that hard to believe but then again, I've met quite a few docs that I know only passed with a C or D and they got the same "Dr." before their last name on the white coat. I really deep down hope it wasn't her asthma that killed her. Unless she was blowing smoke up my ass she seemed like she "grew up" and was ready to take control of her condition. She's 28 and leaves behind I think its three kids. Sad.
As for everything going on my end....my trip north has been postponed til early tomorrow am. I talked with my mom and since I don't know when my doc appt will be over, its a lot less stressful for to get everything together tonight and leave early tomorrow am before rush hour. Like she and my sister said, by the time I get to their house tonight, there's not going to be anything to do except go to bed. I'm going to take their advice, run all my errands today, get a good night sleep with Bastard Cat and head out early in the AM.
Surprisingly, with everything going on around here I am NOT stress eating. I got the new 3 month journal from my WW meeting yesterday and I love it. Its really just a different shape but God, it makes all the difference to me. I also bought the point calculator. Love it! Does the same thing as the points slider but its cooler. Actually it stores your points for the day so it does keep me on track when I conveniently (accidentally on purpose) forget how many points I have left for the day. Like Brian said, all I need is one good week to get me right back on track. Once I see that good loss after honestly hard work it will keep me going. I'm not even nervous about going to PA where I normally over eat deliciousness. I think I'll stop at the store on the way up and find some snacks/meals I know I can stick to. And maybe I'll have some say in the menu for Sunday's party and I can make some stuff that's good for me.
Thanks for sticking with the blog and reading all the other stuff that's been going on. I know most of its not WW based, but it really is a stress buster. Instead of eating, I'm typing these days and actually projecting my emotions elsewhere. Its really become a useful tool. And to be honest, I don't care if anyone reads it...its more for me. But its nice to know I've got some nice "stalkers" out there that every once in a while throw their two cents in. :)
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
So, this afternoon I talked to my sister. First off, I have to say it was probably one of the longest and most sincere conversations I've ever had with her. We don't really get along and its not because I don't want to. Our relationship is just hard and I don't know why. Anyway, it was nice talking to her. I found out she feels the same way I do about the whole situation and seems to be on the same page about understanding just how sick Grampy is. We don't think my mom "gets" how sick he is. Or, maybe she doesn't want to, which is understandable. I remember hearing a story about when she found out I was in my accident and at the time in grave condition. She just sat on the bed and rocked back and forth saying "this is a bad dream and I'm going to wake up." I've never been in a situation before, I guess, where someone in my immediate family was about to die. Or, maybe I respond differently. I guess thats it. I watched my dad fall through 2 1/2 floors of a house to the basement during a house fire and I was cool as could be. Actually, probably the second thing I told someone (after, "someone help him") was "my Mom is going to kill us." And, I remember my sister being sick in college and me wanting to help her but didn't know how.
Whatever the case, I think my mom is in denial. She has taken care of my Grampy for a long time. At the age of 16, she watched her mom battle and ultimately die of cancer. Grampy didn't need taking care of like bathing and feeding but she checked on him everyday. And he returned the favor....we lived with him for a year or so while my parents house was being built. They obviously have a very close bond. My sister, uncle, and I see just how sick Grampy is and are prepared for the phonecall. I'm not sure if my mom is there yet.
That leads me to a question or a rant or something. Everyone responds differently to stress. Some get hyper, some shut down, some run away....while my mom feels she needs to be there all the time with my grandfather, my uncle says he can't. I see both sides of the fence. Like I said I talked to my uncle on the phone today. I haven't talked to him on the phone, well, maybe ever. I could hear the concern in his voice. I heard him upset. I heard him talk in circles. He's not a compassionate guy. He's actually very stubborn, like myself. I get the feeling that although he "knows" his dad is going to die, he doesn't know how to accept it. He said he went to the hospital this afternoon and then told me he was going golfing tonight. I already heard this story from my sister and how upset the family is because he's "self-centered." Before talking to him, I could see where my family was coming from. That was til I heard his side. He said, "Sarah, I'm going golfing because I don't know what else to do. I need some sort of release from all this," and he was sincere. After getting off the phone I told Brian it was probably good he was going golfing. My uncle stepped up recently and took care of my Grampy more than he has in years. And now he's second guessing decisions. I think he deserves a break. So does my mom, dad, aunt and sister. It looks like shit that he's golfing while he's dad is in ICU, but at the same time, no one would question if my mom went home and crocheted til her fingers fell off or if someone else ends up at a bar shit-faced tonight. Everyone's got their way of dealing with stress. Hell, you'd probably find me sitting with a beer, a shot and a pizza. I don't know if there's a "right" way to deal with everything. Or, maybe an overall acceptable way.
I guess my point is its very typical for my family to jump to conclusions. Maybe its easy for me to see the other side of things because I haven't taken care of my grandfather and I live hours away. But at this point, I'm really scared for my mom or dad to call and start bitching about my uncle. One part of me wants to defend him and the other wants to bite their tongue. It seems in my family at times, its hard to defend yourself or others when other family members already have very strong feelings in their head. I know I've been through that a time or two over the past few years. I know when I was "my uncle" and was getting talked about for decisions I made all I wanted was someone to defend me. Now, at this point, I want to defend him, but I don't know if its a fight worth fighting.
My mom told me to stay in MD (they're all in NE PA) until they hear otherwise but I have a feeling we may go up on our own anyway. I tried to get in touch with my uncle to find out more medical information. I hate that part of things....I'm trying to find some medical information out to know how well he really is doing and I'm afraid it comes off as I don't care, which obviously isn't the case.
I, of course, pray that my Grampy comes out of this with flying colors. At the same time, I know if he does, he's no longer going to be living on his own like he has for the past 34 years. Some people, like Brian's grandmother after her stroke, used that as a motivation to get better. I pray that if he ends up in a nursing home setting he thinks the same way.
Please keep him in your thoughts.
Monday, May 19, 2008
First off, work rocks today! I actually enjoy being here. The call volume has significantly decreased which I needed. And it must be working because we had a critical patient which things weren't going exactly smooth...and I kept my cool. I didn't want to smother anyone. Although I did want to take the combo pads off the patient and stick them to the sides of the providers face. (Maybe Holly & Christy will be the only ones that understand that.)
I packed my food for the day. I ate my lunch and as usual, opted out of the supper part of it. I'm just not that into pork chops to re-eat them. Today is pizza Monday and I had will power!! Yes, I still got pizza, but while my partner ordered Ledo's pizza w/ bacon and cheesecake, I had him drop me off at Food Lion. I got a box of Melba Snacks for a snack (1 point for a pretty good crunch), a Lean Cuisine pizza (which I'm finding out is really quite good if you don't overcook them) and a WW ice cream cup for dessert. I had a few too many points for breakfast today. My breakfast accidently came with potato rounds and I didn't have enough will power to throw them out. :( But still I'm only 4 points over for the day. I'm very happy about that. Ledo's would have definitely been a bad decision for me. Tomorrow's my weigh in (at some point) so we'll see how it goes. I'm lacking in the water intack department today but I'm hoping I can increase it a little before the nights over. I just hate having to pee on the way to a call.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
So, today was a good lazy day. Maybe a little too lazy. Although, we did get to the gym. I didn't workout like I really wanted to. I tried. I just couldn't. Ever have one of those days? I was on the treadmill for 5 minutes and I really wasn't putting any effort into it. I persuaded Taylor to play basketball with me but even that didn't work. If basketballs not going to get me moving around, nothing will. I ended up lifting for about 30 minutes, so I guess that's better than nothing. After Taylor got picked up we were super lazy. We napped through a thunderstorm. It was wonderful. We didn't even need the sound machine. Mother nature lulled us to sleep.
This weeks goals:
- Cook more food. I don't think we ate out that much, but I didn't have enough stuff for the week. There wasn't enough leftovers. I need to have more portion control, 'already know the points value' meals ready and waiting for me.
- Drink more water :(
- Weigh in and maybe stay for the meeting. I'm notorious for rolling out after my weigh in. Maybe I could use the meeting for a little extra "umph" for the week.
- Make a plan for next weekend. Remember, its Leigh and Jimi's engagement party at my parents. Mom's already requesting every crock pot in PA to be there, so that only means bad (but, oh, so delicious food) will be there.
Tomorrow's my first day at my new assignment. I'm looking forward to it. I'm sure I'll be bored to pieces, but that is a good thing. I'm already getting my meals ready and my "activities" for the day which include sudoku, study material for the Lt. exam, and my Valerie Bertinelli book. By the way, if you haven't read it, you should. I'm not a huge Valerie fan, but it really hits home when she talks about using eating as a coping mechanism. We all know she lost her weight on Jenny Craig, but the weight went on the same why it did for all of us.
I've also become mildly obsessed with Post Secret. It started out as some sort of project for this guy in Maryland where he asked people to mail him postcards with a secret on it. From a little project it turned into books and exhibition tour. I just got done reading (I guess its more browsing) two of the books and look forward to the other two as well. Some of the cards are stupid, some are funny, some make you realize there are people out there just like you and others make you look at your life and realize how good you have it.
That's it for now. I'm off to hang out in my bedroom and watch a little TV. Did I mention I love it? I promise, next week, pictures. All the curtains will be hung and hopefully flooring will be put it. I know, you just can't wait. The suspense is killing you!
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Oh, we've got one more blogger these days. My SIL Holly caved.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Prior to a year ago I loved coming to work. Absolutely loved it. It was almost a stress reliever. I had great partners. It didn't matter how busy it was--I loved coming to work. At times I couldn't believe I got paid (sometimes even time and a half) to do it. Lately, they can't pay me enough to be there. Now, before every shift when I pull in the parking lot, I turn off my car, look straight ahead, then down at the clock, then say out loud, "you can still call out sick." How sad. I went from "I can't believe they pay me to do this" to "you can still call out sick."
Ask anyone I work with--I'm a shit magnet. For a good two to three years, if there was a bad or twisted, messed up call, I was probably on it. It was called my "black cloud." It was to the point that after Chuck retired and he saw something bad on the news he'd call me and say, "I saw an accident on the news and there was a black cloud in the sky...." and 90% of the time I was on the call. Lots of people say, "that's your job" which is true to an extent. We're trained and paid to see things no one else wants to see or deal with. But everyone gets "their call." The one that sticks in your head and doesn't go away. Or there's the series of similar calls that finally get the best of you. It got to the point that people thought it was funny. If there was a bad call that went out somewhere in the county, people would say "is Sarah working there today?"
It started six months into my career when I ran a police officer that was shot and killed. He was still alive when we got on the scene, which by the way, was very unsafe. On anything like a shooting, stabbing, domestic, anything unsafe, we typically wait til the scene is secured by police to ensure our safety. This time we didn't. My partner and I were friends with the police in that district and we made the decision we were going in to help him before the scene was safe. Dumb move if you ask me now, but at the time it seemed to make sense. I'd hope they'd do the same for me if I was in some shitty situation. I can honestly say I've never even seen a gun up close before let alone have one pointed at me. Actually make that about 10 of them with super-stressed police fingers on the other side of the trigger. Anytime we were outside of our unit we had police escort us with guns drawn -- at that point no one really knew who the shooter was. It ended up that not only did we treat the officer, who later in the shift we found out died, we treated the man who ended up being convicted and jailed for killing him.
Christy and I ran a beautiful little two or three year old girl who was on the verge of coding on us (about to stop breathing/heart stop). It was suspected that she was sexually abused and she had raging infections throughout her body. Her parents acted like there was nothing wrong with her and if I remember correctly, mom didn't even come to the hospital and dad tried to leave the hospital while they were working on her. There's another girl I worked with that every time we worked together we had a kid die. That same partner and I worked together on Christmas Eve together a few years back. I was working OT from 7p-7a prior to my 24 hour shift on Christmas day. In that 36 hours, I had 5 people die. A 21 month old girl, a 50 something year old nurse, and a 19 year old guy all on Xmas Eve and then two elderly people on Xmas Day. That's when I started to "need a break." My trend continued with a major multi-car accident on a major highway. That's one of those calls you get to and you have no idea where to even start. Two people died in that and I think we had a total of 15 patients.
I requested a shift change so Brian and I could be on the same shift. At the same time I asked for a break from a busy unit. They assigned me to a slower unit for a month. That was the worse month ever. The guy I worked with said he'll never work with me again because of the calls we had....really messed up car accidents where you're trying to get someone out of a car for over an hour only to know when the pressure is moved off them they're going to die right in front of you. Or the little year old girl that died after her family member was all cracked out and drunk, drove on the wrong side of the road and hit another car head on. Not only that, four other people were critically injured.
We were talking at work yesterday, most of the time its not the "stuff" we see. You have to understand we kinda have issues to do what we do to begin with. Blood, poop, guts, brains, insides...that doesn't gross me out. Dentures, feet, yucky skin does. A bad call isn't usually what you see (although sometimes it is). It's usually what you hear. What patients tell you. It sucks to be the last person someone talks to before they die. To have them look you in the eyes and say "I'm going to die" or "tell my kids I love them and be good." Its the day care provider who's psychotic because the baby she took perfect care of just died for no reason. The kid who looks at you like "can't you do something more to help me?" when in reality they're thinking they want their mommy. The guy that killed his family member but doesn't even question their condition because they're more concerned about themselves or running away from the police. Sometimes its not even about a patient. Once my partner and I had to treat their family member. It started off as a non-serious call but quickly deteriorated. Its hard to walk that fine line of treating a patient and being family. Its even harder to sit there and not be able to make your partner feel better. There's only so many times you can say "I'm sorry" or "are you okay?" or "do you need anything?"
After all of that, I asked for a break. I needed to get away. Not time off, but just to go to a station where the odds were lower that I'd run these calls. Instead I was sent somewhere busy to train someone. And then train another after the first finished. I have no patience. I hated coming to work. I brought all that anxiety and frustration home with me. I resented Brian because he liked his position as a supervisor at work. (We work together if I never mentioned that before. He's a Lt.) I was mad that I switched shifts "for Brian"to one who didn't "take care" of their own as much as the one I left. There were more empty promises on this shift. Then, not only that, I had to work in an area that I didn't ideally like. Our county is broken up in two sections, the north and south side. I was assigned to the busiest unit with Christy on the south side of the county. When I became friends with Brian he refused to even work OT on the south side. I loved it there. I always said I could work the remainder of my career there. Well, when I changed shifts, Brian became the south side Lt. That meant he couldn't be me supervisor since we were dating. That meant I had to go north. I again was resentful that not only did he love his position, but he got to work where I wanted to work. I felt like I had a lot of sticks and all the ends were shitty.
Then there was a partner issue. Its one thing to run shitty calls with someone you trust with your life. My former partners Chuck, Christy and Mike are some of my closest friends. I'm not ashamed to let them see me cry or know how I'm feeling, and trust me I rarely held back. Christy and Mike knew not to talk to me when I was tired. Both would pull over when they knew I needed a bolus of Diet Pepsi (fountain, no ice, please.) If we had a bad call after midnight when I was partners for Chuck we met the police at Dunkin' Donuts (its the only place open, I swear) and had milk--chocolate for Chuck, strawberry for me. Work was tolerable. It wasn't until the last year or so that I realized how important it is to have a good partner when working in an environment like I do. I need to have that trust that someone will have my back and fight for me if something bad is about to happen or if we're about to run the shittiest call out there. I'm sure its the same way with any job where you co-work with someone....but having someone that you mesh well with makes the job 10x easier and more enjoyable. Over the last year, I had none of that. I barely trusted people with patients let alone think that someone would watch out for me. We didn't have any "thing" like milk after midnight or whatever. There was nothing to make a bad call "better." Quite honestly I let people get to me and make me feel like I was bad at my job or had a bad attitude (after 11pm I do, but that's usually sleep deprivation and a need for Diet Pepsi--fountain, no ice.)
Finally, yesterday, I had it. I decided to look out for myself and I officially asked for a transfer. And I got it. I kinda had to swallow my pride, because I really never thought I wanted to be assigned where I'm going because its stereotypically the "lazy" place to work but I think I need it. If I want to get back to enjoying my job, I have to do it. If I want to have a good relationship with Brian I have to accept that I pray that I get a good partner again somewhere down the road. But just in case I don't, I'm using it as motivation to study for the Lt. promotional exam. I don't really know if I want to be an officer but more so I don't want to look back and wonder "could I be an officer now?" Even if I fail the exam, at least I can't question it.
And hopefully, my black cloud will float over someone else's head. Actually after rereading all this, I think I want to rent or read Bringing out the Dead. I saw it years ago but it meant nothing to me. It was just a movie. I think it will have a whole new meaning.
I'm still doing well on my WW. My motivation seems to be working. I have barely been snacking. I ran the other day and find I almost like to do it. It kinda scares me. :) Hopefully the WI next week will be successful. And hopefully with my new work change, my stress eating will go down significantly.
Oh, bedroom update: I love it. Love, love, love it. The curtains are hung and look good. I still need to accessorize, but at least I have something to work with. Ironically, we are getting rid of everything that we originally started off with, but that's okay. We really like how the room is coming together. Brian said he'll put the flooring in next week. I can't wait til its all done! :)
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Brian left the house around 530 to work OT. I decided after supper to go to the gym. I got all ready to go, walked out to the car and realized I had no keys. I called Brian (who has the spare set) and we decided instead of him coming home, to call a locksmith. He called them for me and the guy was supposed to be there in an hour. I decided to run around the block a little since I had nothing better to do and when I got back to the house, I, well, broke into my own house. I called Brian, who then called the locksmith to cancel. Mr Locksmith apparently wasn't happy and wanted us to pay a fee for coming out even though he never got there. Brian didn't agree, they had a pissing match and they hung up. Well, this person started calling and calling and calling and eventually came to the house knocking on the door. I was really freaked out because it brought up memories from years ago. I had a guy who stalked me (and about 50 other women) but he's ultimately in jail now. So I'm alone with someone repeatedly calling. I basically locked myself in the basement (although I don't have a door, so no lock either.) Luckily two of my friends and my ex-husband who was leaving a local hospital after visiting his newly born nephew (Congrats Sarah, Sam & baby Simon) came by to stay with me until Brian came home from work. The police had to get involved--nothing major--basically a courtesy call saying stop calling. When all was said and done I had over 18 calls from this person. How nuts? I can't imagine doing that, but I guess not everyone thinks like me. I'm very grateful to have friends that I can count on. Unfortunately for them, the couple I spoke of have been there for me thru quite a few bad things over the past year. I owe them lots. And it speaks highly of my ex to still come and protect me when things got bad. He told me he would beat the guy with his flip-flop. (Inside joke. He said he'd never wear flip flops while we were together and now he's sporting them all the time.) And I'm pretty sure Brian feels the same way about all of them as well. I'm here safe and sound now with Brian and Baxter. I know Bastard woulda had my back. Unfortunately he was pretty lazy and didn't move his fat butt off the couch for most of the events. All I wanted to do was go to the gym and go to sleep early, but its now 1030pm and I'm finally off to bed. Oh, for this day to be over. I pray tomorrow's better. Although I have to be at work for 24 hrs. Ugh.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
I'm not techno-savvy enough to figure out how to put a video from the internet up here, but if you get a chance, check out this video on YouTube. I saw something about it on the local news a little bit ago. The kid that directed this video is a senior from Towson University and entered the video into a contest MTV sponsored. He made it to the top ten so now everyone can vote so he can win. Anyway, the video/song is called "Chinese Food on Christmas" and if you are .Jewish or are friends with anyone who is its a must see. I find it very funny, as did Brian, who's Jewish.
I weighed in today. I lost 1.8 pounds. Not bad for not trying. I figured since I'm really doing this now I better get a "set" weigh in day and have a starting weight so I can track my progress. I haven't weighed in since the end of April. Tonight we're dining on rotisserie chicken, snow peas and salad, and Smart Taste pasta with a little spray butter and red-fat Parmesan cheese sprinkled on it.
Thats it for now.
As for San Diego, our plan is to meet Brian's brother, Rick, his wife, Holly, and their kids, Sydney and Ryan, out there then head to Lego Land, the zoo and possibly the Wild Animal Park. It is still up in the air whether or not we'll head to Tucson, where they live. I don't know how much time we are going to have.
I'm really hoping we do the Wild Animal Park. One of the guys that lives at Station 12 told me he grew up in San Diego and visiting Wild Animal Park is a must. He made it sound like I get to touch wild animals. I can't wait. I just told Christy yesterday that I keep telling Brian I want a penguin, a seal, a sea lion and a fuzzy bear to live with us. I think the penguin, seal, and sea lion can live in the bathtub and the bear can curl up with us in bed as long as he manicures his claws.
Everyone else seems pretty excited about Lego Land. I think it will be cool to see what they have built, but I'm not a huge Lego person so I'm more interested in animals.
It should be fun. Brian's kids get along really well with Sydney so it should be fun. We're still trying to figure out if Taylor can go with us. Its a little harder to pull her out of school as compared to the younger ones. I know Brian's pretty excited about it. He said we almost sound like a "normal" family doing vacations with other family members. And, like I mentioned in a prior post, I absolutely love San Diego so no matter where we go I'll be happy. I have a feeling, though, after going with kids I'm going to want to go back without them sometime (hint, hint....I hope Brian has a running list of "ideas" for me for the future!).
Today, Brian's fixing (re-fixing) the drywall in the bedroom and starting to paint. I made a few good purchases at Penney's last night so I'm getting excited about how the room is coming together. I hope it turns out like it looks in my head. We bought a TV for the bedroom on sale at Best Buy. Its the same 32" flat screen that is in the basement, only for $300 cheaper than it was this time last year (dammit!). It was an open box with everything in it. We are happy with the one we have in the basement, so we decided to get it. Brian's going to mount it to the wall and he's talking about framing it. He tells me he doesn't know what he's doing (which means he does) so I'm hopeful it will look good. We have two guys coming today to work up a plan/quotes for our deck/patio. Hopefully it will be a little cheaper than the first. Our house plans are coming together and pretty reasonable price wise so far. Hopefully that will continue.
We found out yesterday my sister, Leigh, and her fiance, Jimi, are having an engagement party at my parents over Memorial Day weekend. We're taking the kids up with us. They've met some of my family but they've never gone to PA with us before. I think they'll like it. Something different for them and they get to meet my family that will never come down to MD like my Grampy. We think while there, we will take them the Coal Mine Tour in Scranton. I grew up in Northeast PA which used to be a big coal mining area. Well, my particular town, Forest City, was initially used for lumber, hence the "forest" in its name. That brought in the railroad which was utilized to haul out lumber, and eventually coal. Immigrants from Europe came over to mine and thats how basically all of NEPA came to. And of course, they brought their wonderful food like
pierogi , kielbasa, and halushki. By the way, if you by any chance are familiar and mild to moderately addicted to these foods, Brian and I highly suggest attending Pierogi Fest in Indiana, just outside of Chicago. We went last summer and it was a blast. Brian has grown quite fond of pierogis since we started dating, as you can tell.
I'd be lying if I said I didn't really go to Chicago to try the pizza. This was at Giordano's....good but definitely no floppy slice.
K, I've procrastinated enough. I've got to get ready for quote #1 to come at noon. I'm hoping its less than $9500.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Tonights project is to look into planning our trip to San Diego with Brian's brother, wife & kids in Sept. Its going to be awesome. I'm very excited. My trip to San Diego in high school was the ONLY trip in my life that I didn't want to come home from. I'll try to post some of our plans later.
So, every year we're supposed to get PPA's (evaluations) for work. I got a call from my Lt. this evening saying they didn't accept my PPA because I was over the weight limit for my height and that wasn't satisfactory. What?! I was one pound over. He changed it saying I could have peed and lost the weight, which I agree with but the problem I have with it is the weight he had on my PPA was what I weighed at my yearly work physical. That was in the fall or early winter. I weight at least 10 pounds more now. When I got hired there, I knew it was a physical job and I have in writing what I'm supposed to be weigh according to my height. There's a reason they have that paper in our packet. I guess it worked out that I was only 1 pound over for the evaluation and that was a "workable" number, but to be honest, I'm not good with lying. I'm not really good with fudging the numbers. Especially, now, knowing that I'm almost 10 pounds over what I should be.
I never know what next years officer is going to be like. They might be a stickler for the rules and I really can't argue something that's written in black and white. It would be a shame to work my behind off and be a good employee only to have a not so great evaluation because I was over my weight limit, even if by only one pound.
So, we'll see how that goes. I've been really good today. I even stopped on my way home and finally got my Diet Pepsi and instead of getting something super junky, I got a bag of hard pretzels thinking they are that much harder to chew. I only ate one in the time I could have easily chowed down a bag of chips or candy.
We have a lot of projects to do this week. But I'm definitely going back to cooking. I'm so much more on plan that way. We are splurging and going to a Japanese Steakhouse at some point. Brian always wants to go there and I am usually not in the mood for it. This week, I promised, we could go there for supper.
Oh, its a day late, but Happy Mother's Day to all the mommys out there!
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Now its hours later, and even though I know I'm not hungry, I'm still pissed for some reason. And to make that "pissiness" go away something delicious would make me feel better. A nice floppy piece of Ratsie's pizza. (I'm working in College Park tonight. Talking about cravings....all the deliciousness I used to eat here when I went to UMD....) Its like my craving hasn't been met so my body's mad at me. I know thats not true. Its all in my head, but its like a bad habit, you know?
I can't blame all my eating on stress. I like to eat. I love food. And when something is delicious I can't get enough. Now, don't let me fool you into thinking I'm a bottomless pit. I just eat well more than a normal serving. I just amaze myself at how everyday I can start off by saying "today's the day" and maybe even type it in a blog and then by 3pm I'm back to my old ways. I'm having a rough time these days buttoning up my big girl work pants. I have all the motivation or reasons in the world to get back down to where I was even a few months ago. But I can't seem to get it thru my head when its time to make those big decisions. I have good intentions, but its just not working. So frustrating. Anyone else have these problems? I know I probably think too much about it, but if you are reading this and don't have issues with weight you probably get tired of reading the same post in different formats week after week after week. Most of you don't know me when I was "fat Sarah." You've probably never even seen a picture of me at 240 lbs and think I'm exaggerating. Probably the only one that reads this that knows I used to be that big is my ex-husband. But I obsess about it because I'm petrified of going back to that. So, my question to you, is how do you make good choices? I can't remember how to. I don't remember how I had so much motivation, so much will power that I could order a side salad from McDonalds instead of chicken nuggets and fries. I remember doing it though. I just don't remember how. I've tried tricking myself or reasoning, but when the time comes lately I find myself doing exactly what I don't want to be doing.
And sweets? Don't even get me started. Freakin' Brian and Christy. Got me addicted to cookies. And Amy on cake. Damn you! :)
K, gotta call. oh poop :(
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
I left work around 130pm and decided to stop by Patient First to get a new allergy medicine. They are my PCP but I'm seriously thinking about changing that. First off even though it says all over my chart they are my primary care provider, the doc (who was really a PA but called himself Dr) told me to follow up with my PCP to get a name of an allergist. Um, duh. I have a new script for a new allergy med out there which I'm thinking will make me sleepy. Exactly what I don't want. But I wasn't going to sit there and argue with the PA about it. I'll take it and see how it works and try to schedule something with an ENT or allergist. Now, how to find one without randomly picking a name out of a book, I don't know.
I'd just like to know the cause of the stupid stuff. It used to be dust mites and mold and no pollen. Maybe now its pollen. Maybe I need to dust the house better. (ha, or maybe just dust it in general.) But that will be a project for tomorrow, because right now I'm headed towards a Benadryl induced nap.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
On another note, did I mention we love Craig's List? Oh, we do. We're still on a lucky roll with it. A lady is here now buying our lawn mower for $200. And today while Christy-sitting we bought a much friendly lawn mower for our postage stamp yard off her. Brian basically sold the contents of his apartment to a girl who just got her first apartment. How easy was that? Very convenient.
Speaking of Craig's List, we're off to pick up Bella's new used bike. She outgrew last years Barbie version so she's getting an upgrade for $10. Fancy shmancy if you ask me. And she won't know the difference. Plus we get to sell her old one to another loving bike wanting girl.
So anyway, after basketball, I used the machines and lifted for a while. I was pretty impressed at how much I can do with my legs. I was doing a leg press and pressed 245 lbs. Too bad I could probably only do like 30 pounds using my upper body. It will all come with time. I'm finding I'm not as obsessed with the scale as I have been recently. Just with a few workouts, clothes are fitting a little better and my legs are toning up. I'm very okay with that.
Today Brian and I Christy-sat. Its kinda like babysitting but for big people named Christy. She was my partner at Medic 29 a few years back. She had back surgery last week and needs someone to watch for a week or two till she's back on feet. Or can sit down to pee on her own. Talk about bonding. :) Ha. J/k. She surprisingly looked better, well, I shouldn't say look...she looked like I expected her to, but after being on bedrest for this long and knowing she's going to be like that for a while, I pictured her to be more sad or something, but she seemed to be in pretty good spirits. Hopefully she'll have a speedy recovery. And if anyone knows of any good blogs or myspace pages for her to stalk, put them in my comments. I'm sure she'd appreciate stalking some new people. Ha!
Now we're waiting for the deck guy to come with his proposal. I'm very much looking forward to it. Well, not so much the dishing out a bunch of $ part, but the deck part. Christy moved into a new house last year and today was the first time I ever saw it. She has a really awesome deck off the back. I guess its a screened in sunroom/deck. Whatever it is, it was very nice to sit and each lunch on it. Ok, deck guy is here, so I'll have an update later. yippee!
Saturday, May 3, 2008
I'm listening to this audio self-help book that my counselor suggested. Personally, I think the eight CD's could be combined into one, but anyway, the gist of it is our thoughts make us what we are. If we are depressed or negative most of the time we make ourselves that way by thinking it. Like me, I could dwell on my big butt. Oh, how could anyone love me and my behind? But while I dwell on making it smaller, I sleep next to someone every night who very much likes it. There's a process in this audio book that is supposed to teach you to basically flip negative views into positive. I get the impression that the mind is a mean and nasty thing sometimes. I'm not going to counseling for my big butt, but it was a good example. And it seems so obvious. The more bad stuff you think about yourself or you think others think of you, even if they might not even think it, brings you down and can spiral you into depression, seclusion, addiction, etc. I think we've all got a little of that going on. I just found it interesting. I'm actually trying to learn how to take negative events that have happened to me in the past and turn them around to positive thoughts so hopefully they'll get out of my head. Hopefully it will work. If not, the book has definitely given me a different insight to other parts of my life.
We worked out afterwards. Brian and I will definitely be going to the gym quite a bit. I was kinda rushed, it felt like, but I think the next time I go will be a little better. I didn't like the one machine, although really neat. It was a stepper, elliptical, and something else all in one. You can make it whatever kinda workout you want based on your stride. It hurt me. I'm just not ready for it. That machine had a cable TV in it. Definitely makes the workout fly by. I ended up on the treadmill for a while before playing basketball. I was so excited to shoot around. I lifted a little afterwards and then showered to come home. I was going to go today before work, but I'm sore now. I don't want to overdo it and not be able to walk at 230am when I'm on a call. Maybe I'll try to go tomorrow after my nap.
I didn't weigh in today. I didn't want to be disappointed. I really am in such a good mood since the spa and the gym that I didn't want it to be crushed to smithereens because I didn't lose. This morning I weighed myself on my bathroom scale and its the same as last week. :(
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Their trainers aren't just trainers because they completed a 24 hour class and got a piece of paper. They are rated (and charge more) based on their education, most of which have some sort of rehabilitation training. You are assigned a trainer based on your needs, not by who has an opening at 9am. Same goes with their classes. I'm interested in group class but intimidated, so they have a girl that sits down with you and decides which classes are best suited for you. Then she introduces you to the instructor and some of the students. Its like being in elementary school.
I mentioned they have a spa. Of course, with an opening tomorrow afternoon at 1pm for a facial so my other one has been cancelled. This place offers members pricing so its almost $30 cheaper at the gym. Not only that, the gym is close to just about every store you can think of so we can easily fit the gym into our errands.
So, needless to say, I'm pretty excited. I'm even more excited because the more I work out the less I have to worry about WW. That is worth it in itself.
WW: :( boo. Well, I shouldn't boo yet. Maybe I should throw away the bathroom scale. I've been so good this week, up until last night, and the scales not really budging. I'm not going to claim I've been an angel over the past few months with my eating and working out because I've been far from it, but I think I want to make sure that there is nothing medical going on either. This may be TMI but its really no secret I have female issues. Last May I had to leave work because of a 2.5 inch ovarian cyst (my first). Periods are either non-stop or non-existant and no birth control over the past year has worked to regulate it. I was told to remain on the pill to control the cysts, but around New Years my doc took me off them to see if my body would "jump start" back to normal. It hasn't. Not having periods has been wonderful, but I've noticed quite a few other side effects along with the reoccuring cysts (which are a pain, no pun intended). Now I'm wondering if this weight gain or it being hard to lose may all be tied together. Like I said, I'm not trying to get off the hook and say I've given it my all, but I want to be sure its not a symptom of something else. So, along with all my other "healthy me" stuff I'm going to do a follow up with the OB/GYN and make sure everything is okay in there.