Saturday, January 27, 2024

Margaret and Rosemarie both had AI generated images of themselves on their blogs recently.   I thought I'd give it a try too and took a photo of myself last night and then ran it through the hippie filter.  The image does look like me, but me forty years ago.  AI straightened my face and got rid of my pointy chin.  When I was pregnant,  forty years ago, I had Bell's palsy and it left me with a lopsided smile.  

The image did remind me of my youth.  I wanted so badly to be a wild child but I didn't have it in me.  I was shy and had zero confidence.   I was bullied for four years by a boy in my school.  Between that boy and my dad's rage, I was scared, a lot.

When I went into junior high school, my bully all but disappeared.   I was academic,  he was not.  I started making friends,  started spending less time at home.  My best friend's family and home became a safe place for me.

High school increased my time away from my family.   More friends but lots of drama, as only teenage girls can do drama.
I discovered boys, discovered I could attract boys and thought that gave me some power.  And then I discovered alcohol, that special elixir that that could smooth away my anxiety, make me feel confident and stopped me caring so much what other people thought of me.  I started dancing and OMG I loved dancing.   When I was drunk and on the dance floor, I was free, and that's the closest I ever came to being a wild child.


Saturday, January 20, 2024

The light is returning.

Jack starts back into swimming lessons this morning.  He pays better attention to the teacher when he's in the big pool and can drown, smart boy:)

We had a rough week at work.  Yesterday we had a patient with a severe allergic reaction to the CT dye.  She coded and we had to recusitate her.  There must have been twenty people in the room at some point.  It took forever for the code team to arrive because the overhead paging system wasn't working.  Then the oxygen in the CT room decided not to work.  All I did for the patient was call for a stretcher, yell, I yelled.  We moved her onto a stretcher.  I couldn't feel a pulse, neither could the other nurses, so one of the techs started compressions and the oxygen got sorted out.  Her blood pressure was so low, I didn't believe it and asked another nurse, a younger nurse with younger ears, to check it.  I wasn't wrong.  I got an IV up and running and then I talked to the 911 operator with her inane questions.  I know the questions are designed for the general public but they're so irritating when you're a nurse, lots of repeat questions.  

We got the patient back and she was awake, breathing and talking before EMS took her.  Apparently she said, "SHIT!" when she was told she'd had an allergic reaction.  My kind of lady.  She'll be okay.  The rest of us, the nurses and the techs, we had a tougher time for the rest of the day.

I went back to starting IVs and screening patients for CTs and promptly started crying.  My patient understood, but it's hard to go from a code back down to regular work.  My adrenal glands had worked overtime pumping out adrenalin and it just takes time for the effects to wear off.  The rest of the day, passed in a blur of patients.  By the time we got to the end of the day, all of us were exhausted.  We all just sat at the desk, trying to decompress.  Our manager is good and understands this, thank goodness.

Last night I could only manage toast for supper and crawled into bed at 720pm.  I slept for almost twelve hours and feel restored today but that was hard.

Otherwise, the countdown to retirement continues.  I applied for my holidays this year, trying to spread them out and get full enjoyment out of them.  I'm going to visit my daughter in Vancouver in April which I'm looking forward too.  She will be working for a couple of the days which gives me time to drive around and take photos by myself, something I enjoy a great deal.

Life goes on, no great or deep thoughts, just getting through the days, one at a time.  That's enough though right now.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

 The week in photos.  Too damned cold.

Meta has decreed me elderly apparently. 

Angel biscuits. 

Jack keeping himself occupied  when it's too cold to go outside. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

The weather has taken a turn for the worse.  It snowed for much of yesterday, which I don't mind.  There isn't enough snow to make the roads awful, yet, but it's also supposed to snow all day today again.  It's cold and with the wind chill it's -32C, time for boots, hats and mittens.

I'm off today and thought about taking the dogs to the dog park but they both just came inside from the backyard, holding at least one foot up from the cold, so that's a no go; they were only outside for a few minutes.  I'll cook and do laundry today.  I made a Walmart stop on the way home from dropping off Jack at school and hubby at work, so I have what I need to make chili and Marry Me Chicken.  I made this chicken recipe about a week and a half ago and OMG it was delicious.

I'm counting down the days to retirement in August, 135 days left:)  I still plan on working after I retire but it will be when I want to work.  I'll have more time off and a burden will be lifted off of my shoulders.  Right now when I work, I look ahead and worry about the coming week and think about which days to do laundry, to vacuum, what meals can I make easily when I get home at 4:30pm and we eat at 5pm (for Jack).  I need to know what groceries I need and the list goes on and on.  I'm often too tired to shop or think after work, so a few less days of work will be lovely.  

The thing is, every working mother thinks like this.  One of my coworkers has five children and another has four children; I don't know how they manage.  They also take their children to jiu jitsu lessons, hockey, walk the dog, go out with girlfriends and go to bed after 8pm.  I'm lucky we only have Jack but I am a lot older than my coworkers, old enough to be their mothers.  The thought of going out after supper overwhelms me.  I put on my pyjamas when we get home, I make supper, clean up and give Jack a bath.  I'm even too tired to read.  I look at blogs but my brain doesn't really function well in the evening. That's what I can do right, but there is an end in sight.  To be honest, not really an end, just a change.

Jack starts kindergarten in September and I'm signing him up for kindergarten in the Park here.  I know two things.  Gracie will fuck it up and not register him in time for any school, and Gracie will also go off the rails in August or September, at least, that's what she's done for the last four years.  I will not have her fuck up Jack's first day of school.

Jack is spending time alone with his mom now.  We told Gracie she needed a landline for Jack to call 911 if need be, and we taught Jack how to call 911 and what to tell the people who would answer.  It's a big ask for a little person but he needs to be safe and to feel safe.  Gracie still doesn't have a job and I will not let Jack spend more time with her until she is working again and can prove that she can manage to hold down a job without drinking or drugs.

Work has been busy, always new patients for staging.  I had a patient yesterday with IBM yesterday, I'd never heard of the disease but he had a lot of muscle wasting, along with his cancer.  And his wife died a month ago, just before Christmas.  His eyes teared up when he told me about his wife and of course I started crying.  Bloody hell, people go through so much suffering sometimes.  

We also had a new nurse start.  She'll be casual and works in systemic which is where patients get their chemo.  I've known her for ten years I guess but we've never really talked much.  Yesterday we talked about the weight of the grief that nurses carry, and how it's never really addressed or acknowledged by our employer.  That weight is what makes me so tired, and her as well apparently.

Perhaps I will do more work with grief when I retire, nurse's grief specifically.  I did take one course on grief about a year a half ago and wanted to do something within our institution, but life.  It could still happen I suppose.

Thursday, January 4, 2024

I finally watched the Barbie movie.  This is America Ferrera's monologue from the movie.  Wow.

 It is literally impossible to be a woman. You are so beautiful, and so smart,

 and it kills me that you don't think you're good enough. Like, we have to

 always be extraordinary, but somehow we're always doing it wrong.

You have to be thin, but not too thin. And you can never say you want to be thin. You have to say you want to be healthy, but also you have to be thin. You have to have money, but you can't ask for money because that's crass. You have to be a boss, but you can't be mean. You have to lead, but you can't squash other people's ideas. You're supposed to love being a mother, but don't talk about your kids all the damn time. You have to be a career woman but also always be looking out for other people.

You have to answer for men's bad behavior, which is insane, but if you point that out, you're accused of complaining. You're supposed to stay pretty for men, but not so pretty that you tempt them too much or that you threaten other women because you're supposed to be a part of the sisterhood.

But always stand out and always be grateful. But never forget that the system is rigged. So find a way to acknowledge that but also always be grateful.

You have to never get old, never be rude, never show off, never be selfish, never fall down, never fail, never show fear, never get out of line. It's too hard! It's too contradictory and nobody gives you a medal or says thank you! And it turns out in fact that not only are you doing everything wrong, but also everything is your fault.

I'm just so tired of watching myself and every single other woman tie herself into knots so that people will like us. And if all of that is also true for a doll just representing women, then I don't even know.

It's not easy being human and it's even harder being a woman.

Monday, January 1, 2024

Last year was a rough year, for so many reasons, and I'm glad to put it behind me.  I am hopeful that this year will be better, at least, I am hopeful that I will deal with things better.  

We've all been sick for the past week, hubby has it the worst.  Last night Jack and I went down to Festival Place, along with everybody else who lives in Sherwood Park, and spent some time there.  The lights were beautiful, we saw some Lego, an ice sculpture and he got to play in the kid's park, in the dark.  It was the last bit I couldn't cope with.  It was dark, there were a million kids, and I was terrified of losing him.  

We never did make it to the fireworks at 8pm, too many people and too much noise for me.  Jack was home and sound asleep by 8pm when I heard the fireworks start, fine by me.

I want to do more for my physical and mental health this year.  My work schedule has been changed, at my request, and I now have every Wednesday off, which means I only ever work two days in a row.  It's all I can manage now.  I'm also applying for my pensions and plan on retiring in September, if everything goes according to plan.  

I put away the tree and all the decorations today. Jack and his Poppa set up train set.  The dogs got walked early, early.  Back to work tomorrow.