Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Portland snow


(Bus 20, heading west on Burnside)
Today is the first snow of Winter 2009. It came from nowhere. May seem calm compared to most places but for Portland, if this continues, it's gonna be ridiculous. These are some pictures I took on my drive home from work. Spare me the lecture, I know it's dangerous to take pics/video while driving but I was going 10 MPH, as were the rest of the drivers.
(steps to my apartment)
(Sophie enjoying the snow)
PS: Don't miss it too much Jess.
video

Sunday, December 20, 2009

dog tattoos

For a very long time, I've wanted a Phoenix on my back. The position I want it varies a bit; either perfectly centered, w/her wings going from shoulder to shoulder then I see other art and I could imagine her wrapping around my side and her tail flowing down my back, maybe even to my hip. My problem is I have her in my mind but cannot draw and have no way to describe her. I keep searching the internet for an artist who's style I love and hopefully can use their work to have something drawn for me.

The other tattoos I want are to have Buddy's and Sophie's faces drawn in the fun Anime style. Just their adorable faces, Anime is goofy but I want to somehow incorporate their personality. Sophie has the tiniest black spot on her tongue and always has a twinkle in her eye. Buddy will stare at you, he will look into your eyes like a person does during conversation and will give you a toothless smile.




I'm itching to get started on the shoulder half sleeve I've always wanted. I found this great picture, I've dubbed it "Ode To My Dog." I think it's very sweet and speaks to me. My fondness for dogs can't be pinpointed to one specific event or circumstance. From a very young age, so young that I can't remember, I've had a soft spot in my heart for dogs.

One of my first memories I have of myself being so giving to dogs is when I was 6 or 7 years old (1st grade). Our neighbors house was separated from our side yard by a tall, wood fence. They kept silky terriers in very small kennels, stacked on top of each other outside, regardless of the weather. In this stack of kennels they also piled their trash; wood piles, cardboard boxes, random appliances. Amongst the garbage and crated dogs the possums, raccoons and rats would scavenge and poop. I remember knowing this was wrong and being so outraged that no one else thought this was a big deal. Without fear, I would stick my arm through the fence and offer these strange dogs handfuls of food and sips of water. I never considered how pissed the neighbors would be, the dangers of getting bit by the dogs or vermin or hurting myself in the fence.

I don't know how long this lasted but one morning I woke up, went outside to feed and water the neighbor dogs and they were gone. I was heartbroken.

My parents did not tell me right away out of fear I would leak this story to the neighborhood but under night's dark cover, my parents had removed part of the fence and rescued the dogs and gave them to my grandparents. My Dad then repaired the fence as if nothing had happened. My grandparents bathed the dogs and treated them for malnutrition and whatever else ailed them.


The bond I have made w/my dog Sophie, my nearly 11 year old sheltie, is one that is so special to me. She has been my greatest companion. She has been a constant positive distraction in my life. I got her when I was 17 years old and the longest we've been apart is 6 days.

Her place in my life has determined where I live, my schedule, vacations, etc. I won't say it's like having a kid, b/c its not. I have a friend I know I will out live. It's bitter sweet. I know our time together has an expiration date, so every time she makes me feel free or helps me find peace I make sure to permanently record that moment in my mind. But that is not enough. She is permanently apart of me, so I want to display what she has given to me and there is no better tribute then to have her smiling face and twinkling eyes tattooed. Once I find the right artist in the Portland area, I will have it done.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

can't ignore the pinched nerve in the room

It's been said that spontaneity is the key to keeping a relationship exciting. Me on the other hand, would just for once like to know who I'm coming home to. I never know if when he walks through the door if he'll be content, irritated, happy, relaxed - I never know anymore.

He lectured me about eating his pizza. The pizza he bought. The pizza he was planning on eating. These two slices of pizza represented how the money is spent in our house, ownership, respect and everything else that one can symbolize pizza with. I know it wasn't about the pizza, he even said it wasn't about the pizza. But after the fourth time he repeated himself, I had had enough.

Chronic physical pain changes a person. They're always tired, always trying to sleep, and when awake always floating in this state of irritated and pitiful.

I've hit a wall. I can't exhale this tension away tonight. It was so bad I couldn't even enjoy my Mystery Science Theater 3000 that I've been waiting for and it just arrived today. I switched to Law and Order SVU and tried to do a crossword. I couldn't ignore how sad I was.

I find myself being cynical when watching jewelry commercials. The man giving the woman, this love in his life, a shiny symbol of his love, acceptance, dedication and joy that he has with her; it perfectly packaged as a pendent or simple necklace. All I want is him to be happy. Express joy - but he's been unable to since this pinched nerve in his neck has taken over his life and mine. We used to do things together and now we don't even watch tv in the same room.

How do you describe a falling out when the thing to blame is a pinched nerve? I'm not nurturing enough. He says I go out of my way to make things more difficult for him. He says that. He actually tells me he thinks I go out of my way to make things more difficult for him.

...

I may not wait on him and do more then ask him if he's comfortable but I do all the shopping, cooking and cleaning. I bite my tongue when he's going off about anything, everything - I take it because I know it's not him bitching - it's the nerve. I do all this while working 35 hrs/wk and have class 14 hrs/wk, not including travel time or time dedicated to homework.

I won't let him know how much it has hurt me that my birthday has come and gone without any hype from him, yet I invested weeks, money and testing my anxiety for his birthday bash. I'd like to think my birthday would have been more important to him if he wasn't in so much pain...

I was so looking forward to my break from school. Tonight all I found myself wishing for was being in the classroom, away from him. Away from my house. Away from his pinched nerve that has stolen my charming boyfriend from me.

He sends me a text from the basement he's sorry, the pizza is not that big of a deal. It's just that he's so tired and in a lot of pain. I don't text back. Why would I? We're in the same house!! Half hour goes by and he comes and finds me, asks if I want to watch the finale of So You Think You Can Dance... I pass.

I'd rather Google pinched nerve and investigate how to get him back. I'd rather just write. I'd rather sit alone.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

why I don't do my birthday

Sent out the Evite, sent text messages to friends and family; having dinner and want you to be there. Fourteen people said, "I'll be there!!" Made the reservation for 15, show up at the restaurant and, including myself, 5 people in total.

Sting.

I was embarrassed. I was disappointed. Lets face it, I was hurt. I'm looking at this long table the restaurant set up for my birthday and only five seats were taken. I had good conversation w/the few that showed, fueled by the Jack Daniels that eased the pain of having no one come. It made it very obvious to me that my relationships w/my friends and family are pitiful. The excuses I received via text message from two people, blamed the weather (it was only cold, no snow or ice). One had a sick kid and another had car trouble. The insult came from the six people who just didn't show up.

I bought my own drinks and dinner. Audrey drove me home.

I couldn't sleep. I watched bad tv and did a crossword. I was hoping for snow, so I could get up and take Serena outside and bring my spirits up but so far, nothing. It's just cold.

This is why I still don't celebrate birthdays. They are so disappointing. I never did them so no one cares. Now that I want them to care, they still don't care. I end up being disappointed in the end and I just don't want to put myself through that. I get hurt b/c I put so much energy into my friends' birthdays - planning or gift or whatever they want, really.

It's easier for me to be bitter then cry right now. This blog is very negative, I know but it's my outlet.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ewwwww

Listening to The Buzz Daria reads this article and I sincerely almost pulled over I was so dizzy and nausea.

Read with caution. These sisters, twin sisters eat one of the sister's baby's placenta.

The End.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Re-building trust is a game of Janga

I tread lightly when this topic is discussed in my household. I never know where it will lead; more disappointment(s) or happiness? This must scream volumes about my relationship. I admit, the trust in our relationship is not at 100%. This makes me sad, and I quickly think of something else. It's how I cope. Not the healthiest way, but hey, I'm still recovering.

Last night the topic of Facebook was brought up. (Again, tread very lightly here). I expressed to Andrew that he keeps his account somewhat protected or secretive by not allowing comments to be posted or to have people see who his friends are, there are two ways of reading that. First, I know that he feels he's been burned by people creating drama through these friendship networks (Facebook, Myspace). People have viewed his pages, interpreted comments in ways that he feels are inaccurate and that caused tension in our relationship. And second way of reading it, he has something to hide. He quickly defends he has nothing to hide. Nothing. NOTHING!! It's all about drama, he just doesn't want it. He's a private guy.

Ok... then why do I get that panic feeling inside? Why do I still not believe him?

It's nearly 11 months since he crossed that line and broke my trust in our relationship. So much has happened since January; I had a border-line emotional break down, re-entered therapy and group, Andrew promising he was in this relationship, then Andrew moving out b/c he just didn't know what he wanted, Andrew moving back in when he knew what he wanted and promised me "A, B and C." Couple months go by w/o him following through with promises "A, B and C" and drama involving Facebook and Her. He befriended Her after all our heartache and it's "none of my business" or "I should just trust him"; I forget which statement he used as his defense for befriending Her. I think this all ties into why he keeps his Facebook account so limited to viewers. Including me.

I haven't asked him in awhile if he's had contact with Her. I hate to admit it but I'm afraid he'll either lie to me or be honest and the answer will be yes. As his 30th birthday approached this question ate at me. Did She contact him? Did She send him a text, "Happy Birthday"? Did he contact Her? And I know I have to let this go.

I know this... I know this!

Andrew told me them being friends on Facebook means nothing. He's known Her since they were kids, they've been through so much together, etc. and he is not going to let me make any decisions for him. I'm confused? If Facebook means nothing but you're justifying the Facebook friendship because you've known Her for so many years and everything you two have been through, doesn't that actually mean this Facebook friendship has meaning to you?

What really hurts me is I don't try to dictate his life. My hurt is triggered whenever She is involved - why can't he let Her go? Why is their Facebook friendship more important then our relationship?

That's when our conversation turns into an argument and we talk (I cry) in circles and we get nowhere. So, is it better to just not talk about Her and Facebook, Myspace, etc.? I really don't know.

I try to compare the attachment Andrew has with Her to my attachment to my ex, Amjad. We still communicate. An email or text here when big things happen. He's buying a house, he emailed me pictures. When Michael Jackson died he texted me the news b/c he knew I'm such a fan. A mutual friend's dad died so I got a text message. That's three contacts in a span of a year or so. I don't even send a text on his birthday, nor do I get one from him on mine. The main factor that separates my communication w/Amjad and Andrew's communication w/Her; I didn't have an inappropriate relationship w/Amjad while being in a relationship w/Andrew.

One thing I'm certain of is I don't feel as fragile as I did in January 2009. I feel in better control of my emotions. My thoughts are clearer and I can focus more on what really is bothering me verses spinning every little situation into a huge ordeal and basically losing control of my emotions. This is what I call progress. (Thank you Dr. Preece and Al-Anon). And I'm very proud of this.

I decide each time I feel that panic what to make of it. Do I allow myself to spin out of control? Do I confront Andrew? Do I confide in Andrew? The way I'm rebuilding our trust, because I crossed lines w/Andrew as well, is I confide in him. I don't know if he sees it that way. I think he sees it as me freaking out or not trusting him, but the truth is I don't trust him, yet. And I want to. So I tell him I'm having these feelings, instead of acting out the insecure feelings.

I don't know if Andrew fully trusts me. There were a couple weeks when I knew what was going on between him and Her because I was going through his phone, reading text messages and times when he left his email account open and I went through them. I betrayed him. He didn't understand why I couldn't just come to him w/my suspicions. Why did I have to snoop and let what I found eat at me? Very valid questions.

Much like Janga the broken trust we have, the mistakes we've made are the pieces we removed. But we are building on top of those mistakes - adding those Janga pieces back. I just hope our foundation hasn't been destroyed and all the pieces tumble over and we lose this game.

I'm taking each day as it comes. I get tested on my ability to cope w/feelings of insecurity and I believe I am making strides. Andrew has played a huge part in my growth, good or bad. We recognize the wonderful qualities in each other and appreciate each other. We may not do it every day, but I can see him too adding pieces to the top, he's trying. We're trying to win this game of Janga.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Post second round of finals

Last night went much smoother then Monday night. Last night was kind of a big night, we were being tested on Trauma Assessment and vital signs.

Vitals are not tricky - can I use a BP cuff, yes. Can I get a BP in under 90 seconds? Yes. Can I palpate a radial pulse? Yes. Do I know how to listen to lung sounds? Yes. Patient breathes through mouth, w/stethoscope listen to the four quadrants of the chest and there's (depending on how in depth you want to go), 8-9 spots on the back to listen to. Station done. Passed, no problems.

Trauma Assessment - it's like a script you have to memorize and incorporate that script into a scenario given at the time of the test.

Proctor: You are called to a residence where a 35 year old female has fallen 30 feet onto pavement.
Candidate: BSI, scene safe?
Proctor: Your scene is safe.
Candidate: My MOI (mechanism of injury) is a 30 foot fall. I will call for ALS back-up and stabilize the spine.
(Arrive on scene)
Candidate: my general impression of the patient is poor...


I continue to assess LOC (level of consciousness) and if the patient is alert by asking the patient open ended questions and performing a painful stimuli test by rubbing their sternum or pinching a nail bed. (Proctor: there is no reaction, patient is unconscious). I determine the patient's chief complaint is that they are unconscious and I'm making the patient a high priority transport.

I begin assessing the patient's ABCs: Using a jaw-thrust I have my partner open the mouth and airway, I look for any objects in the patient's mouth, (Proctor: you see none), with my ear over patient's open mouth I listen for breath sounds and watch for a minimum of 5 seconds for chest and rise and fall. (Proctor: you hear breath sounds but have uneven chest rise and fall). I expose the chest and auscultate, (listen w/stethoscope).

Candidate: What is the patient's breathing rate, rhythm and quality?
Proctor: She's breathing at 40 breaths per minute, it's rapid and shallow.
Candidate: I'd have my partner use a BVM (bag valve mask) that's connected to high concentrated oxygen at 15 LPM, giving 1 rescue breath every 5 seconds. Throughout this entire assessment I would make sure the patient is getting properly ventilated. Are there any major bleeds or life threats?
Proctor: none.
Candidate: (back of hand on patient's arm) What is the condition of the skin?
Proctor: cool and clammy.


I begin my rapid physical exam. I use the terms D-CAP BTLS. D-CAP stands for Deformities Contusions Abrasions Punctures. BTLS stands for Burns Tenderness Lacerations Swelling. I use my hands starting at the skull quickly checking for D-CAP BTLS, when I get to the neck/throat I inform the proctor at this time I will perform a detailed physical on the back of the neck, the throat, the clavicles and shoulders b/c I want to put a C-Collar on the patient. I check for tracheal deviation and JVD (jugular venous pressure,). (Proctor: you find nothing.).

I have my partner put a C-Collar on the patient and I continue my rapid exam and D-CAP BTLS the chest, abdominal, check if the pelvis is intact, D-CAP BTLS the legs, D-CAP BTLS the arms - done with rapid. I would instruct my partner to obtain a baseline vitals. Vitals are blood pressure, pulse, breathing rate, check the eyes and skin condition. While my partner obtained the baseline vitals I would get a SAMPLE history from by standers (since the patient is unconscious). I would then have my partner stabilize the patient's spine while we perform a log roll and I would perform a detailed physical exam on the patient's posterior (D-CAP BTLS) and I would put her on a board and I would re-evaluate my transport decision. I would keep her at a high priority transport and we would transport the patient at this time.

During transport I would perform my detailed physical exam. I would start at the head and work my way down perform D-CAP BTLS with a few changes. First, I would inspect the ears, nose, eyes and mouth for any blood or fluids. I would look through the hole on the C-Collar and check for JVD and tracheal deviation. I would "cut and cover" the patient, (remove all clothing), and perform D-CAP BTLS of the entire body. When I get to the pelvis I would check the genitalia and perineum for any injuries or release. When I reach the feet, I'd remove the socks and shoes check for motor skills (have the patient point there toes or push my hands with their feet), check for sensory (can the patient tell me which toe I'm touching without looking) and check for a pedal pulse on both feet. I'd move up the arms, D-CAP BTLS, and check the motor skills of the hands (can the patient squeeze my fingers), sensory (can the patient tell me which finger I'm touching without looking), and take a bi-lateral radial pulse.

I would make sure my partner checks the vitals every 5 minutes and I would manage any secondary injuries/wounds.

END STATION!

That should all happen in under 10 minutes. YIKES!!

I failed my first attempt because I did not verbalize I would have my partner stabilize the spine, but I would have my partner consider stabilitation of spine. So I re-took it, no problems.

Monday 12/07/09 is the big, fat written final and medical assessment. I'm nervous about both. The written is 150 questions and the medical assessment is similar to the trauma, but the patient is awake and you have to ask a lot of questions.

I'm so looking forward to this term being over! I also have my Biology final and Math final next week. Both are on my birthday, 12/10/09. I'll be 26 and my second term in college will be over. What a great birthday present.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Annoy: verb; irritate, upset.

I'm on Google looking up "most annoying character of all time" to help illustrate how f*cking annoying this guy is I work with. Unfortunately Google cannot come up with a character, cartoon or sitcom character, that creates the same volatile reaction I get when this co-worker's name is merely mentioned.

It doesn't help that he's the new guy on the block. He's replaced another annoying person, but in retrospect, she didn't annoy me as much as irritate me because she was often lazy. This guy, New Guy, he's a singer, a hummer, a name rhymer, blinks his eyes at an unnatural speed when nervous (very distracting), a stands behinds you while you're on hold with California DMV for 13 minutes and breathes on your neck. Uh, if it was that damn important that you could stand behind me in my tiny cubicle and breath at me please just say, "excuse me..." and ask me the God-damned question all ready!!!!

I don't shy away from expressing my dissatisfaction with the place where I work. I think management gets unbelievable special treatment and hourly/entry to mid-level employees get verbally and emotionally abused while corporate turns a blind-eye to what's going on at each store as long as they're making money.

New Guy is a very nice person. He keeps a clean office, from what I've seen he sincerely tries to get the customers in and out as quickly as possible. It's his damn song-and-dance routine, it's so fake I can't stomach it.

It's hard for me to make friends at work. I think it's because most of the people I work with are mistreated and that's traumatized them. Management's dictatorial manner of forcing "make-that-sale-no-matter-what" blinders on them has created such tension and competition, combine that with the degrading atmosphere no one is in touch with who they really are. I truly believe most people are good; perhaps it's their work that makes them so very bad.

The two people I did befriend, Shallah and Kashann, have since left the dealership and have moved on to better jobs, more fulfilling jobs; jobs that don't make them cry or hate themselves for trading in their morals for bonuses. Jobs that don't turn them into rotten people.

My job has absolutely changed me over the past 6 1/2 years. When I started I was very pleasant - granted I was the front desk receptionist, but I was very pleasant. That warmth got me into a lot of trouble by capturing the attention from the sleazy men I worked with. Jokes and comments turned to hurtful nicknames and harassment.

When I feel myself hitting that point of no return with New Guy, I stop and ask myself, "Would I have liked New Guy six years ago?" Is it truly New Guy that is so annoying or is it my disposition with this place that makes him seem so unbearable?

I want to be a happy person again. I can't wait to graduate and be in a place that promotes health and happiness. I sincerely hope that when I'm the new guy, I'm greeted with someone who hasn't been tainted by the job. And it's with that thought that calms me down and gives New Guy a chance.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Post first set of finals

Ok, finals royally suck. I now understand why my friends had cram sessions, over dosed on triple lattes and cried a little before this dreadful week. Last term wasn't this bad. I took writing, intro to EMT and my required PE class. There were stressful times, but nothing compared to this week.

Round one of my skills were last night. What I was tested on: O2 Administration, Heimlich into CPR on an adult, CPR on an infant, Bag-Valve-Mask (BVM) w/O2 into Combitube, mouth to mask and OPA to suction to NPA administration.

Oxygen Administration - I wasn't too worried about this. Going into this station, you just hope your equipment is working. We have to demonstrate that we know how to set-up, read and monitor an oxygen tank and non-rebreather mask and nasal cannula on a conscious patient. This station takes a few minutes and I completed w/o any marks.

CPR on an infant - went flawless! I was nervous b/c babies are aliens and you do things so differently. But I checked for LOC, called for back up, head tilt/chin lift, rescue breaths, compressions, second EMT entered the scene and I was in total control. I passed. Yes!

Heimlich on an adult into CPR - we use manikins that are only torso and head. We have to verbalize EVERYTHING. I'm holding my torso and head, informing the proctor that I would position my foot in between my patients legs while giving abdominal thrusts, "Until when?" asked the proctor.
Until the patient becomes unconscious or whatever object is blocking the airway is expelled. Well my patients goes unconscious. I assist him to the floor and this is when my nerves got the best of me.

I did the proper head tilt, chin lift and looked in the mouth and asked the proctor if I saw anything, he instructed me I did not. I should have given one breath and asked if it went in, but I gave two rescue breaths, didn't check for pulse and went into compressions. Eek. I failed. The proctor lightened the atmosphere, pulled me aside and told me to relax - I know this, I just need to relax. This was my very first station and my nerves got the best of me. Embarrassed, I walked out of the testing room while all my classmates giving me the thumbs up sign, I quickly turned my big-fat FAILED sheet into my instructor, Mr. Cooper, and got in line to start a new station.

Bag Valve Mask (BVM) w/O2 combined w/Combitube - many people were nervous about this station. I was not. I knew this station. We're being tested if we know how to use our BVM, give proper ventilation (1 breath/5 seconds) w/O2 (15 LPM) - then second EMT enters scene and we have to instruct them to continue ventilating at the proper rate and maintain that face seal w/the BVM. While they do that I check the integrity of my Combitube (no leaks, everything in working fashion), then the stressful part - inserting the Combitube CORRECTLY and start breathing again under 30 seconds. I did mine in 22 seconds. This station went smoothly.

Mouth to Mask - we use our pockets masks. We're tested on if we know how to use them, create a proper seal and give the correct amount of rescues breaths (1 breath/5seconds) and connect it to an O2 tank and continue breathing. Passed.

OPA/Suction/NPA - Ugh. I had this down!!! OPA, oropharyngeal airway, is that piece of plastic EMTs stick in your mouth to keep your tongue from blocking your airway. Did it. The test continues as if the patient is having a gag reflex and I must remove the OPA and suction whatever the patient spit up/vomited and prepare them for the NPA, nasopharyngeal airway. When it came to suction this is where I did the critical fail. You check to make sure you have suction, there are two ways to do this. You kink the hose, this is what I did, and you put your finger over this hole - this I did not do. The proctor failed me. I inserted the OPA and the NPA flawlessly. This put me in such a sourer mood.

We get to re-take these practicals. I'll be calmer the second go but I wanted to ace them the first time! All my buddies passed the first go around and it just pisses me off, lol.

Wednesday we're being tested on the AED and trauma assessment. I'm nervous, but I think I'll keep it together now that I know what I'm getting into. I have some re-takes to do, which sucks, but this term is almost over. Yes!