Friday, November 27, 2015


The family visit is great. No conflict, just chasing around after the little monsters at the Children's Museum.

Fecking holidays. Fecking eating disorders.

Fecking before and afters. (Not the girl in the photo - she's really sweet and is trying to promote healthy weight loss and is overcoming binge eating - but still, feck before and afters).

Fecking pain. I have hip injections scheduled for Tuesday.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Turning, Turning, Turning Through The Years

The family is here in town: Mom, Grandma, Bro, Mrs. Bro, and the urchins. Spawn one is two and a half, and spawn two is ten months. K (the uncle, abominable roommate, and current all-around ass) as well, of course.

They rented a house about four miles from my apartment. Mom and Gram got here late Tuesday evening, and I went out to a quick dinner with them and K, who also drove over to the rental to say welcome. I don't think I said a word to him. I'll try to keep it low key, because this is likely to be a rough family visit anyway.

It's the first time we've all been together in two years, since they decided to plan a family Christmas gathering without me last year. On the misunderstanding that I couldn't come. It wasn't pretty. It still isn't pretty. Mom and Bro (the planners) have apologized. K (who ignored my texts asking about his Christmas plans, as we are the only two who live in this city) has not. He never will. K does not apologize.

I don't remember if I posted about the final rift, but it's related to how he's trashing my mom's house a thanks for being allowed to live there for free for the last seven years.

I had my pre-employment physical, drug screen, and immune titers for the new hospital job. I only have my employment paperwork half done because I can't find my motherfluffing social security card. I don't think I've seen my birth certificate in 10 years because when do you need a birth certificate? I haven't had a passport in years.

Plus they want proof of my degree from Community College. The degree that I have to have in order to be licensed as a registered nurse. The license which I have a copy of, and which they can verify on my state's public licensing database. So I need to prove I have a nursing degree because Logic! My college diploma arrived in a cardboard envelope. The mail carrier left it on my doorstep on a rainy day, and it came to me soggy and warped. It felt appropriate to my sentiments about the nursing program at the time. I'm not sure if I kept it.

Aaaanyway, I tore my entire apartment apart for hours looking for that measly little wallet-sized social security card, which I KNOW I must still have somewhere, but without success. I went to Community College's downtown campus and asked about proof of graduation. They told me I could order a replacement diploma or a transcript, both of which cost money and would be mailed.

To my shock, Google helped me find  a government office that let me walk in with my driver's license (and a little info about my parents) and walk out with my birth certificate (minus a small amount of money). I also Googled "how to verify college diploma" and found a reputable company that provided instant online verification. WHEEEW. So I'll be venturing cross-town on Black Friday to drop off my final papers. Because I could theoretically do it next Tuesday, but I can't handle waiting that long because What If Something Happens And I Can't Make It Then I Can't Start My New Job On Time.

My orientation will be two weeks of general, then six plus weeks of on-unit training. SIX WEEKS MINIMUM. *swoon* FYI, that excellent.

The new wound care nurse is realizing how much trouble she'll be in without help. I wonder how long before she would burn out, even with the CNO as her pal? Vegas says she'll quit outright if they try to force her back into wound care. I hope she sticks to it. 

The other nurse works 8 hour shifts, and I work 12 hour shifts. Theoretically, if she sees 6 patients in a shift and I see 9, it's a balanced workload hour for hour of work (FYI corporate sees a *typical* 8 hour shift as seeing 7-8 patients. We routinely have 10-14 that are supposed to be seen on a given day). The funny thing is, it never works out like that. One day when she was criticizing my time management I decided to tally, and I've been sending myself the numbers on my work e-mail each day we work together since then. I ALWAYS see more patients per work hour, despite the fact that I'm pretty darn tired (thus slower) by the end of 12 hours. Her 6 to my 11. Her 4 to my 7. Her 5 to my 9. Yesterday she claims she came in at 6:30 AM, which means we both worked over 12 hours. We each saw 8 independently, and we saw 3 together as a team. It's the only time she hasn't done significantly less work than I have. I look forward to my parting conversation with the CEO.

I am fat and in pain. I'll call my doc tomorrow to beg for joint injections so I will be in less pain and can move again and get less fat. Body metrics were part of my new hire assessment so they can charge me Fat Person rates for insurance. Ugh.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.

Friday, November 20, 2015


Full time days, Ortho/Neuro/Spine.

Two weeks.

The end is in sight.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


I'm sorry if anyone worried about me after that last post.

I am frazzled, stressed, exhausted, but I will be ok.

I think our best performance was Friday night (the one with all my coworkers attending, so hurray!), but the others were still good.

We had a cast party at one of the guy's houses, and everybody agreed no illegal substances so I could come and no underage drinking so Othello could come. I had a glass of wine, Madgirl got trashed [and spent the night there] and lots of us were somewhere inbetween. People fussed when I said it was my last show. They said all kinds of lovely things that would sound fake if I shared them (too much positivity breaks my brain) so I'll just hold onto the soft warmth of their memory without putting the words down anywhere.

I only snurfled a little bit with each hug.

I told Othello I'd be writing him a sappy e-mail saying "Thanks for a pretty amazing two years" at some point. He said he'll be looking forward to it.

He also said I can write a script for the Short Play Festival in January since I'm a student this semester, so dammit I'll be finishing Making a Scene if it's the last thing I do!

I interviewed at the new hospital system today. First I interviewed with the (temporary, it turns out) manager of Surgical, and I did swimmingly. She asked if I had Charge Nurse (manager) experience, and said I carried myself as if I did (WOW). Then there was a panel interview with unit employees and managers from Progressive Care, Ortho/Neuro/Spine, Medical, and Surgical. I had a few mental roadblocks there, but I think I still did well. They really seemed to like me, and they said they'd keep my application for Surgical and Ortho/Neuro/Spine since I'm hoping to move away from patients with a poor outlook for recovery.

It was a big interview day for all those units, so they have a lot of people to sort through. They said I should get a call by Thanksgiving (next week Thursday for my non-U.S. folks). I feel good about it.

In the meantime, I'm scheduled to work the next three days. The CNO has failed to provide an official offer letter, so while she's given it lip service, I haven't technically been officially offered wound care yet. I'm not surprised. The schedule that starts the day after Thanksgiving will be released any moment now, and I'm almost positive she'll have me down M-F 8 hour shifts [the permanent WC schedule. I've been working 3x12s like a floor nurse] without having actually given me the position. I'm on the cusp of having a chat with the CEO about her (and all the other stuff) and I have a feeling the new schedule will tip me over into making that chat happen in the near future. Last I checked, she hadn't approved OR denied my vacation request for early December. You know, the first vacation request I've made after working at this place for a fricken year straight.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

All alone in the moonlight

I had a memory float to the surface last night.

I was 13 or 14, at school. There were four Tempests in two grades - me, Other Tempest, and two Tempests in the next grade down. One of the younger Tempests was the daughter of a teacher. Bubbly, outgoing. A social butterfly.

I caught sight of her in a room (was I passing by? did I go in for something? I don't remember) with a group of other girls, performing an impression of an old man.

I was so jealous. I envied this girl who could so freely put herself out there, to be someone else, to be unafraid of what would happen if she dared to be noticed. To be uninhibited.

It took until I was 28, but I became that girl. Last night as I stood on a hollow wooden platform with friends, coworkers, and strangers looking on, I wasn't afraid. A little nervous, yes, but not afraid. I was confident. I was happy. I was alive.

The other Tempest is not.

Her husband shot her in the head on her 26th birthday.

And Paris is under attack and my job has gone to hell and I'm in pain all the time and this is the end of my road with Drama Club. At some point today I suspect I'm going to have a massive bawl, but hopefully not between putting on my makeup and show time.

Friday, November 13, 2015


Mr. Lawyer says I have a case, but it might be more personal injury than employment law. He's going to do some research and confer with colleagues and get back to me.

The x-ray of my hips & pelvis shows acetabular crossover sign on both sides, which suggests I might have femoroacetabular impingement (the pincer kind) but doesn't definitively prove it. If I'm dying to know for sure whether I have FAI, the next step is probably an MRI.

I have a regular doc appointment next Tuesday morning to talk about treatment.

Then, I have an interview with a well-respected hospital system for a surgical inpatient unit. I applied for several positions, and they asked which would be my preference. I said I'm open to just about anything except a unit where most of the patients have a poor prognosis. Working in LTAC (long-term acute care) has really burned me out on caring for patients who will never regain their quality of life.

Last night was our show premiere, but tonight is my big guest night, with Vegas, Wound Doc, Other Awesome Nurse and their significant others, plus WS all as my guests!


Wednesday, November 11, 2015


My hips have been hurting most of the time since this summer. Namely my right hip.

It's really been flaring up lately, like a few "I can barely walk" kind of pain days. For two or three weeks, I've been getting chiropractic adjustments, myofascial release, deep tissue massage, icing, resting, kinesiotape, and anti-inflammatories (Advil and nutritional supplements).*

*I do not believe in voodoo, but I will try anything once, especially when it's cheap or free, and when it comes from someone I trust. Some chiropractors are quacks. My doctor referred me to mine after a car accident years ago. She has effectively treated several different issues, and I trust her not to do crazy things.

The chiropractor said "I've thrown everything I've got at you. You need to try something else." She said she's had a few patients with femoroacetabular impingement, and while I don't have the limited hip mobility she saw in those patients, it will take one relatively affordable x-ray of my hips and pelvis to rule it out.

I didn't really take it too seriously. As a matter of fact, I put off having her order the x-ray for a week after she said I should get it done. But today was another bad pain day, and I caved. I have it scheduled for Thursday. She also suggested scheduling with my regular doctor and discussing treatment such as bona fide steroids to try to get the inflammation under control.

I looked up FAI between my chiro appointment and rehearsal tonight, and when I got on campus I tried to do a few of the hip impingement test movements on my own. You can't really do them without a helper, but I tried. I thought "I don't know if that's 'positive results' type of pain, but it definitely hurts to move like that."

Then rehearsal started, and in the very first play something in my left hip (the GOOD one) popped and hurt like a motherfluffer for about five minutes. I've been hurting much, much more in both hips since then.

So I'm maybe taking the FAI possibility a little more seriously :( Hopefully I'll have an answer on Thursday.

Positive FAI = joint problem that only surgery can fix, but physical therapy might help manage, ask doctor about steroids
Negative FAI = inflammation with no explanation, try physical therapy and ask doctor about steroids


But theater is still amazing. Our show is really coming together... It's worth the pain.