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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Why Do I Do THIS?

I was having a bad day a few days ago.  The best way to succinctly describe it is a pity party.  Or, I guess I could say I was having bad thoughts about myself.  That always makes me want to eat sweets...lots of them.  Since I have been on this diet, I have largely adhered to the plan.  However, Friday was a different day.  I did buy sugar free stuff while I was at Target.  However, I know better than to do this.  Sugar free is not nearly a decent substitute for the sweetness I was craving, and furthermore, for me, there are consequences. I had a headache Friday night.  Fortunately, cured by OTC pain relievers and an ice pack.  I didn't heed the warning. There was still a pack of sugar free Jello that hadn't been made.  I made it.  Then, I consumed it. I woke up fine this morning, but now, I'm feeling the inkling of a headache.  I'm also trying to ignore the digestive tract that is telling me that I am going to have to deal with some nausea today.  It has been literally YEARS since I ate stuff sweetened with either Splenda or Nutrasweet.  Maybe I forgot how terrible this poison makes me feel.  Maybe I was so deep in the pity party that I didn't care at the moment.  OK, well, the pity party is over, and now I just feel stupid.  Note to self: being self-destructive is not productive.

The behavior I see in myself reminds me a lot of Aunt Vicki.  She was a fantastic cook and loved to share with us all.  She died a few years ago with the standard diseases that kill most Americans, but she was younger than most of the patients I have taken care of.  She lived life her way until the end.  My cousin put it the most accurately when he said that Aunt Vic ate herself to death.  We don't think much of overeating because everyone does it sometimes (Thanksgiving Day comes to mind).  A lifestyle of overeating non-nutritive (or junk) food is really a self-destructive behavior.  I guess the truth is that if I don't want to die the same slow, painful death that she did, I must continue the path of change.  Replacing bad habits is difficult.  The next time I think bad thoughts about myself, I could tell the thoughts to 'shut up.' Maybe I can imagine a remote control that can just turn that show or recording off.
I know that this problem is common among we humans.  I guess I don't know what other people do when they're feeling bad about themselves.  Maybe now is a good time to find out.  Any thoughts?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

About Impressions

We don't know most of the people we interact with on a daily basis.  Upon first meeting, we usually get an idea of whether or not we like someone, and we form an idea of what the new person is like.  It has happened to me more than once that someone was completely wrong about the idea they formed about me.  Usually, we project our own backgrounds on those whom they see as similar to ourselves.  In my life, I have been mistaken for many things that I am not, for better and for worse.  Most recently, I talked to someone at work that made an incorrect assumption about me several months ago.  Her idea of what my life has been and what it really has been are worlds apart.  I told her the story of my "Don't do Drugs" talk, and suddenly, she had at least some understanding of how far off she was.

Along that same vein (at least in my mind, it goes along with not knowing someone), I got an email from the guy I dated before Mark the geek.  My name was in the subject line.  The only sentence in the body of the email was to say that he is sorry that he treated me poorly when we were dating.  It was signed only with initials at the bottom.  I thought it was odd.  If someone is sorry, they would usually say what for, specifically, I mean.  I mentioned that to the Geek as well as a couple of people at work.  The people at work thought this was just part of a 12 step program someone is working.  The Geek said that the apology was not for me but for him as part of some therapy he's doing.  As I wasn't expecting anything from this guy, I don't have any negative emotion attached.   It is just another example of someone not knowing the person with whom you're interacting.

The interaction with my co-worker was something that annoyed me because it was a big assumption to make.  About the email from the guy, there was nothing personal about that apology.  He should at least do better for himself, if indeed he is working a program.  The largest example of this I can draw from my life is an incident with my ex husband.  One day, my brother mailed me a large box of my childhood things.  That included my academic awards, my report cards, and my graduation speech.  After seeing all these things, my husband was impressed by who I had been, but hadn't paid attention to who I was at the time I was with him.  I can still remember the shock with which he exclaimed to me, "I had no idea!" I did go on to tell him that he didn't know because he didn't want to know.  He hadn't asked, and didn't encourage me to share who I was. 

The truth of the matter is that we all have people in our lives that we don't know whom we should know. For me, it is a reminder to wake up and pay attention.  I don't want to miss knowing any of the characters that come across my path.  

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Climbing Maslow's Pyramid

Nursing, or caring for the sick, was once a punishment for prostitutes.  In nursing school, we were taught that our patients come first, no matter what, and martyrdom was praised as a virtue.  Today, I can tell you of former co-workers who have had emergency bladder lifts and hysterectomies because their organs prolapsed.  Historically, we don't go to the bathroom when we need to; we don't eat when (or what) we need to, and we lift lots of weight that may not be done in the safest manner (depending on staffing and available equipment).  From the time of Florence Nightingale until now, nurses have been viewed as disposable human resources to be used up until burned out. When they're burned out, they're replaced with new nurses.  Mixing this perspective with traditional religious views of women doesn't leave this female RN feeling autonomous and professional. 

Everything I can think of to say regarding this post sounds like a rant, but it isn't supposed to be.  However, going back to work after having a horrible wreck with unspeakable injuries, my perspective on employment, though much the same is also very different.  I can't drive 200 miles a day, see six to seven hospice patients every day and remain sane. I could probably figure out how to do that in 40 hours, but that's asking too much of me physically and emotionally; too much to ask of the patients currently under my care.  Although all of our families are in crisis due to the stress of having a terminal illness or for caring for a terminally ill loved one, no one currently requires daily visits or continuous care.  It is overwhelming to think of doubling my driving time and being unavailable for my patients when the worst of their time of crisis comes.  So, change is coming.  I hope it will be as good for my patients as it seems it will be for me.  

My new supervisor called me today to ask if I would go to a certain area to see patients.  Geographically, her request makes sense, and what I appreciated most was that it was actually a request.  Without going into boring detail, I will have more control over my work (and thus my life) than I have ever had during this incarnation.  My feelings about this: validated and liberated.  I will undoubtedly be busy, but the perspective here is that I am my own. It seems that this part of the journey is, at least somewhat, about climbing Maslow's pyramid.