Archive for April, 2018

Knock On Wood

April 17, 2018

I’ve had a few days with either mild reflux or no reflux.

And.

Today, yes, I have felt some relief from the weird bloating I’ve been experiencing for the last couple of weeks.

I’m quite happy.

I can still feel that something is up, something is not quite right, but it seems to be settling, at least for the moment, and I will happily take that.

Other things are settling too.

Like.

Holy shit.

I only have one more week with my solo supervisor.

I have worked with him for a year and a half.

I am going to miss him.

And I’m not going to miss him.

I am going to miss the guidance and the deep learning, but I am not going to miss having to haul across town during mid-morning commuter traffic, today in the rain which makes everyone gonzo, to get to Hayes Valley at 9a.m.

I am super happy to only have to do this trip one more time.

I’ve been quietly debating whether or not I tell the mom that I will have Mondays available now to come in at 10 a.m. instead of 11 a.m.

Or I could see a client in the morning before work.

Or I could sleep in a little.

Or.

I don’t know.

Go swimming or yoga, not that there’s a yoga class at my studio that would accommodate my Monday morning schedule, although they have added a few more early morning classes.

On the weekends.

Which I really don’t get, but the classes showed up on the yoga class schedule recently, 7:15 a.m. classes.

Which is not a bad thing I just wish that there were more options during the weekdays.

I’m actually feeling like I could get back into it this weekend if the reflux is staved off and I am not bloated and nauseous.

We shall see.

For right now I am happy to have had a reprieve.

I feel more like myself than I have in sometime, cautiously optimistic that this will continue.

A girl has got to hope.

I will still, of course go see the GI on May the 2nd when I have the appointment to see this new specialist.

Oh!

And I just realized.

I have two free chiropractor sessions to use yet!

I have totally spaced that.

There!

That was perfect.

I was able to get into a 10 a.m. on the Monday, April 30th.

That is my first Monday without having to be in Supervision and since I don’t have to be at work until 11 a.m. I will just keep that under my hat for the time being and let myself have that chiropractor appointment and then use the next one for the following Monday as well.

I have gone in a lot the last couple of weeks early for the family and I think it’s ok to let myself do some self-care this way.

It’s much-needed.

Although.

I will report.

Yes.

I took yesterday off.

Oh.

Sure.

I had commitments, three to be exact, but I also decided to not work on any papers or school work.

I had time to do so, but I just needed a “free” day.

So I didn’t write a paper, I didn’t do research, I had a nice morning breakfast and did lots of writing, did some grocery shopping, did food prep for this week, met with two lady bugs, then, yes, I went and got a manicure.

And I took my time going where I needed to go next and I did a little shopping and picked up a couple of picture frames and some glitter lip balm, because really, I had too.

It was pink and called, heh, “Unicorn Snot.”

Bwahahahaha.

Perfect.

I am a sparkle pony.

I was feeling it today, even wore blue eyeliner.

Pushed myself a little outside of my usually therapist attire, even did wear the glittery lip gloss for part of the afternoon, although, I will admit, I tamed it down before I went off to client sessions.

But it was fun to sparkle a little today.

And last night after my commitment I had the most wonderful time with my best friend and a really great meal at Frances in the Castro.

Highly recommend it.

The company was superlative and the food was nice too.

I didn’t get as much sleep last night since it was a late dinner and I wasn’t home until after eleven and not in bed until after midnight, up at 6:30 a.m., but without much reflux, I had a tiny touch last night when I went to bed but I chalk that up to eating a bit late, and none so far today, I felt really good all day.

I also felt greatly appreciated at work.

I helped out a lot today and the mom came home from running errands and gave me flowers.

God I love getting flowers.

It was such a sweet gesture and it is so nice to be appreciated.

My dinner went over really well too.

Homemade meatballs, spaghetti and homemade tomato sauce, mixed greens salad.

Super simple.

And satisfying, for me, to make.

Although I ate none of it, I do so like cooking and it is such a pleasure to make food that people like.

Then off to my internship and my sessions went fast and I got home and found parking, had a good dinner, and yeah, it was a good day.

I’m going to make some tea.

Do some reading.

Watch a spot of a video.

And call it a day.

Not bad for a Monday.

Not bad at all.

I Tried

April 15, 2018

But I did not go.

I got up.

I didn’t feel so hot.

I didn’t feel so bad either, except in my head, let’s be honest, the head wanted to have some make me feel like shit say, but I didn’t feel great either.

I ended up last night having some reflux before bed, so I didn’t get off scot-free, but it wasn’t a bad day for it.

So to today, I feel like there’s a little happening, but it’s not been a bad day.

The, sigh, the part that has been challenging, is that I’ve been bloated.

I have no idea what that’s all about, may have something to do with whatever’s going on, that’s what it feels like, another symptom of whatever the issue is that needs to be addressed, but a symptom that’s a bit noisome, frankly, not one I’m a fan of.

And there’s a feeling of always being rather full, even when I haven’t eaten.

I felt like I could muster the will power to go to yoga class, but then I just felt like I was going to be nauseous the whole time.

I talked with my best friend on the phone and I realized when I was in tears that I was mostly frustrated because I had made plans in my brain and those plans weren’t happening and I was mad at myself and mad at my body.

My friend suggested a nice long walk instead of yoga, go move my body, but just in a gentler way.

Fuck.

I honestly wouldn’t have thought about that, I would have beat myself up for not going to yoga and then felt bad.

Instead.

I took the suggestion and since I was in my yoga clothes anyway, I went for a long walk on the beach.

Sometimes I forget how close it is and that it’s right there, just three scant blocks away, the big beautiful Pacific Ocean, and the big swath of Ocean Beach that I’m at in about five minutes from leaving my house.

I walked for an hour.

I felt better.

Oh.

Sure my stomach is not itself, hasn’t been in some time, but I felt better, I felt better having sunlight on my face, I felt better because I was active, mildly active, but still, and I felt better for having the sound of the ocean in my ears, which was meditative.

So too, the sight of the water, calming and soothing.

I am so lucky to live by the ocean.

I remember growing up how much I wanted to get back to California, how much I missed it, how important to me the ocean was, the dream of being by it, of living by it.

I still want a home and I often think, that although it’s crazy to think I could possibly buy a house in San Francisco, I still think that I could, and wouldn’t it be nice to have a place by the sea?

I have found myself rather fond of it out here.

Oh I know.

It’s not all that central, but it’s sweet and has a neighborhood feel that I much appreciate, and there’s the ocean, which is such an intense and wonderful source of power for me.

I appreciate living in the outer most reaches of the city for reasons I could not have expected when I first moved to San Francisco.

The Outer Sunset felt like another country to me.

But having a scooter and more recently, a car, it’s not too bad getting around, and well, there’s actually parking most of the time.

Oh, sometimes I have to park further away than I want, but I generally find it pretty quick.

Granted.

My car is hella small so I probably find spaces others can’t fit, but I wager I would have a much harder time in other parts of the city.

I mean, I cannot fathom the idea of having a car in the Mission.

Not unless I did own a home or have access to a garage.

So being out here is great, the parking, the ocean, the quietness of it, and the feeling of being a part of the neighborhood.

I do like that.

And I like how that walk on the beach rather set a different and unexpected tone to my day.

I felt resourced and taken care of and I came home and had a nice breakfast, which in hindsight does really speak to the fact that something is happening for me, I got up at 8:15 a.m., did laundry, put fresh sheets on my bed, talked to my best friend, went for an hour-long walk on the beach, and I didn’t have breakfast until nearly two, two and a half hours later.

Normally, before the tummy trouble, I would have been bats if I waited two hours to eat.

But I didn’t feel hungry, it was just something I noted as I went about making my breakfast, the thought that it was late in my morning to just then be eating.

I don’t know if I will do yoga tomorrow or not.

I’m not going to sign up tonight, I made that decision, but if I feel ok in the morning I can sign up for a class.

And if I don’t, well, I go for another walk, I at least take the time I would have been doing yoga to move my body and get fresh air.

Or I go for a bike ride, I thought about that too.

Then home, a good hot shower, a nice breakfast, meeting with a few ladies to do the deal and then some food prep for the week and some work on my Research Methods paper.

After which up to the Castro for my Sunday night commitment and then off to Frances for a late dinner with my best friend.

It’s going to be a really lovely day.

I feel it in my bones.

So grateful for the sweet unfolding of my day today and all the small unexpected beautiful moments therein.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

Free Day

April 14, 2018

Today.

No reflux.

Knock on wood, I still have a few hours of the day left, but for real, no reflux.

Oh.

I thought it was going to come at any moment and there was a tiny hint of it on the way into work, but it just never really coalesced.

So relieved.

And the fucking doctor’s office finally got back to me.

For a consult.

The doctor went over my referral and denied doing the endoscopy bundled into the consult.

Meh.

I have to see the GI first and then he’ll decide at that time whether or not to proceed with an endoscopy.

Fine.

May 2nd.

More weeks away, but the next step has been taken and maybe there is another answer out there, maybe there is something else that can be done, I don’t know, I’m not a doctor.

At least not yet.

heh.

Which reminds me, note to self, I need to register for the fall semester on the 17th of the month, which is basically four days away.

Just popped that on my calendar.

Lots of stuff happening in the next few weeks.

Lots.

I just updated my calendar a bit and also I just signed up for yoga class.

I haven’t been in sometime, weeks and weeks.

School and horrible reflux.

The last time I went I had reflux really badly and it was the most miserable experience, I couldn’t bear to bring myself to go again, if I woke up and had reflux I was either cancelling the class or if I went to bed with it really heavy I would just not sign up for a class.

But since I haven’t had it today and mornings for the last week or so have been pretty stable, I’m going to take a gamble and go.

If it happens, if I get it, I’ll take it easy, or slip out.

I am not going to torture myself, it was so awful when I did it before, it was the worst experience and I’m just not down for making myself feel bad.

However, I am hopeful that I can go and the only pain will be from not having done it in a while.

I am also obligated to go to group supervision, but honestly, it’s not a weekend of school and though it means being time committed to a certain place at a certain time for two hours, I can totally muster through.

I’m excited for the weekend.

I’ve been looking forward to it all week, I’ll get to hang out with my best friend and that will be super nice.

I’ve missed my friend dearly.

It will be really good to catch up and reconnect.

Other things this weekend will be dinners out.

Tomorrow night at Brenda’s with my person after I do my Saturday night commitment.

And.

Sunday at France’s with my best friend to celebrate an anniversary.

I’m going to even get dressed up, Frances is a nice place and it’s hard to get reservations there, from what I’ve been told, but I was able to secure a late reso for us on Sunday and I decided I’m dressing up.

Not nanny clothes.

Not therapist clothes.

Fun, pretty, dress up.

I found a dress on HellBunny and it came today.

Fits perfect.

It’s a fifties style retro dress, sort of fit and flare, sky blue with navy blue and white flowers.

I think it’s quite pretty and I’m excited to go out on the town.

I need that kind of fun in my life, even if I have to get up early and go to supervision the next day, it’s worth it.

I only have a few more sessions left with my solo supervisor!

That feels so strange to say, I remember when I was first seeing him and I thought I would never be done with it, a year and a half!

And it’s gone by quite fast.

Due, in no small part, to being a busy person.

I only meet with him two more times.

Which means I have to get my paperwork in order here soon.

I picked up the paperwork I needed today from my internship and I’ll be bringing that into my solo supervisor to sign on Monday, then it goes back to the school.

I need to also look over my graduation requirements and make sure that I am getting all the right things together to turn into the school to prove that I have fulfilled the requirements.

I need my therapist to sign off on our sessions, 50 of them, which I’m just a tiny bit shy of, but will have by the time my last weekend of classes happens.

And I need to get on the party planning for my graduation too.

Plus.

Oh, let me not forget, I have two more papers to write.

I’m actually hoping to get to one of them on Sunday.

I have some time in the afternoon after I meet with the two ladybugs I normally see on Sundays to do the deal.

My person whom I also meet with asked me to meet tomorrow night, hence Brenda’s, which leaves me with a few solid hours to get some work done.

I’m hoping to knock out the majority, if not all of my Research Methods paper.

It’s a lot to do, but I know I will feel better addressing it sooner rather than later and the more I can get done heading into my last weekend of classes the better.

I’m secretly hopeful that I can have it all done in the next couple of weekends so that I can be chill for my last weekend of classes.

Fingers crossed.

No reflux in the morning and some yoga.

And whatever I get done this weekend.

Well.

It will be enough.

It always is.

 

I’d Like To Speak

April 13, 2018

To the manager please.

Except.

I didn’t say that.

I did say, nicely, politely, with lots of pauses and deep, slow breathing, that I had been calling every day for the last four days, four, and that I really wanted to make an appointment with the doctor.

REALLY.

I expressed how much pain I have been in and how it’s been really hard to not be able to get through to the part of the story where I make an appointment and I’m seen.

REALLY fucking hard.

The woman on the line gave me another number to call.

How many fucking numbers am I going to have to call to get to be seen?

I am not good at this, and I wonder, is anyone?  But I played along and called the next number and sure as shit, I got a voicemail saying please leave a message and someone will get back to you within the next 24 hours.

Fuck you.

I mean.

REALLY.

I hung up.

I called my person, I left a teary message.

I sank down on the floor and cried a little.

The baby was playing by the train set and the oldest boy was in his room with a new Lego set grandma had gotten him.

I had a minute to cry and then I got up, blew my nose, and started a kettle for a cup of tea.

You know who called me back?

My person.

Fucking love him.

And he told me to get up early and go to the doctor’s office in person and make the appointment there and demand to be seen.

Ugh.

Just the thought of trying to do that felt horrendous and huge and awful and I had this inkling that the mom was going to ask me to come in early, which she did, but more on that later, and I couldn’t imagine getting up early, driving down town and marching into CPMC Sutter and pounding on the desk to get an appointment with the GI specialist that my doctor referred me to.

But.

I was willing to take it as a suggestion.

Honestly though, I wasn’t sure I could do it.

Fortunately.

A few hours later when I was wrapping up dinner dishes and the family was happily eating dinner, I got a call back!

I was shocked.

It was 5:30 p.m. and I wasn’t expecting any kind of response after 5p.m. had rolled on by.

It was the manager of the office!

She was super kind and very apologetic.

She’d listened to my message and combed over the records from the answering service and apparently there was no record of any of the phone calls I had made.

Not a single one!

I have called the office every day since I got the referral on Monday.

Monday, two hours after the initial appointment at One Medical.

On Monday I was told that the office hadn’t had a chance to look at the referrals yet and the doctor would look them over and call on Tuesday.

By three p.m. Tuesday I hadn’t heard a thing.

So I called and spoke to a woman who took all my information and assured me that someone from the office would get back to me in the next 24 hours.

24 hours later, Wednesday around 3 p.m., nada, not a single fucking call.

So.

I called back.

This time I got through to the doctor’s office and was told that they had never received a fax from the referring doctor.

Fuck my mother.

So.

I called One Medical, and they denied that, insisted they’d faxed it, but said, hey, we’ll do it again.

Then the guy at One Medical did me one better, I have to say I am impressed so far with them, great customer service, he called the office himself.

He then called me back and said he’d re-faxed the paper work, apparently the fax machine at the GI’s office had gone down on Monday and they were inundated with a back log of faxes.

Sure.

Sounded an awful lot like the dog at my homework, but whatever.

So I called back to the office and spoke to a woman there who said they’d received a partial fax, but not the entire thing and the doctor would call me tomorrow.

Which brings me to today.

And no phone call by 3 p.m.

Which led me to call the office again and this time I got the answering service again and I got upset and I was not in tears, but I was pissed, and I held it together, but I made it super clear to the woman I was talking to that I wasn’t going to leave a message so that I could be called back in the next 24 hours, I was in pain and I had been trying since Monday and I needed help.

That’s when she gave me the manager’s number, although at the time I thought she was giving me a direct number to the GI’s office.

No such luck.

Grateful though, that I pushed and got through to someone and really grateful that the woman took the time to call me back, after business hours, get me into the system fully and assured me that she would personally make it her business to have the doctor’s office book my appointment tomorrow.

I admit, I had a fantasy that I would get the referral and already be done with it by this point and have some sort of resolution.

And although that’s not what happened, at least I do know that I have taken the next step towards something.

I hope to hell I can get this taken care of.

I am so tired of it.

Really.

Really.

REALLY.

Tired.

Tender

April 11, 2018

A belly full of fire.

A throat torn asunder.

A back knotted in pain.

All my emotions so close to the surface I laugh exuberantly and then tear up and cry.

I’m so tender and tired and worn out from the reflux.

I’m tired of writing about it, but not as tired as I am of experiencing it.

This constant pain and soft torture.

I called the GI’s office today that I was referred to and to my dismay I was told to have my doctor fax over my referral and then the doctor would get back to me in 24 hours.

I told the woman on the phone that my doctor did that yesterday and the person at her office I had spoken to had told me I would be contacted today.

And I wasn’t.

Not by three p.m. so I called.

Fortunately this woman who I spoke with got all my information down and promised I would hear back within the next 24 hours.

I am so ready to be seen, fixed, cured, helped.

Whatever it takes.

Until that time though I am trying to be gentle with myself.

I find that I am ok then something slight will set me off emotionally, and I don’t have as much patience with the kids and I want to check out and not be present.

I have not allowed myself to wander off too much internally and I have stayed pretty present and helpful for the mom and the family.

I’m getting by chewing gum and taking shots of vinegar.

I took one about an hour ago and it’s not working, but I did it anyway.

I took the new reflux medicine the new doctor prescribed a second time today and it’s not working either, but I did it anyway.

I don’t want to write my blog, but I’m doing it anyway.

I had both my clients cancel tonight and I thought I was going to go do the deal but I got so overwhelmed looking for parking I just cut and ran.

I drove home, parked, got to my house, got the mail, realized I had forgotten I had groceries in the boot until I was inside, went back, out, retrieved my groceries, came back home, and put them on the counter.

I was on a phone call and trying to be emotionally even keeled, but that wasn’t working either.

The sun had not set yet and I sat down on the chaise by the back door and soaked up some of the setting rays, got warm and cried soft slow wet tears talking to my friend.

I’m running a fever again.

I got off the phone put away the groceries, heated up some dinner.

I got a text from my person asking me where I was, was I going to the 7:15p.m.?

That had been my original plan, but I told him that I had come home, was feeling really sick, was eating dinner and crying and was trying to rally to go back out and hit an 8p.m. in the neighborhood.

Which.

Well.

I did not do.

I did not rally much.

I rallied enough to wash my dinner dishes.

And to open this page and write.

The writing helps, but it doesn’t stop the pain, it just gives me something to focus on for a while until I notice it again.

I’m being eaten from the inside out.

I feel like I’m aging.

I feel like I’m getting more gray hairs and definitely more wrinkles.

I feel old and depleted and tired and rotten inside.

What is wrong with me?

Oh God.

And now I just sound pitiful.

I hate feeling powerless and this is definitely me being powerless.

I just have to keep pushing through until I can be seen by the specialist and I will take whatever I can get as soon as I can get it.

He calls and says come in today I will leave work, cancel clients, and fucking go.

He says endoscopy tomorrow, I’ll fast the night away and cancel it all.

I have just got to get some relief.

“I could just kill myself,” a little voice said in my head as I got off the phone with my friend.

Great.

Suicide because of reflux.

What a pitiful way to go.

“How’d she die?”

Heartburn.

Nothing romantic there.

No.

I’m not going to kill myself because of this, but I am going to go to bed early tonight and I’m going to harass the hell out of doctor’s office to make an appointment.

I was asked to come in early to work tomorrow, so an early bed time isn’t a bad thing.

I’ll just wrap up some emails and call it a day.

Drink some hot tea and curl up in my bed.

Tuck my pink stuffy bunny under my arm.

And prop my pillows up high.

I’ve become a five-year old in my illness.

And I don’t fucking care.

Not one fucking bit.

Ok.

Maybe not a five-year old.

But

A seven-year old with a profanity problem.

Or rather.

A forty-five yearl old who just really needs to be babied for awhile.

Sigh.

 

 

A New Experience

April 10, 2018

“Would you care for any tea or water while you wait,” I was asked as I checked in today at the One Medical office at 10th and Irving.

That was not a question I was expecting.

Nor the lush quiet, the lounge furniture which was modern and clean and the waiting area that was sunny and vibrant with plants.

I was also not expecting the bathrooms.

Well fucking done.

Big, clean, stocked with feminine hygiene products and condoms.

That’s right.

The lighting was low and soft.

The music was unobtrusive.

And.

The doctor was on time.

There was no wait.

I was seen at the time of my appointment and escorted back to a really clean, well-appointed, tech heavy exam room.

My doctor was great, attentive, sympathetic, eager to help me out.

I mean.

I have not had this experience ever with a facility.

And it was in such stark contrast to the shit show offices I have been seen in recently that it was almost a shock, I thought I was on a movie set for rich people with good insurance.

It was a lovely shock.

I am super grateful that I signed up for the service.

And that my employers paid for the membership fee.

Granted I did not get what I wanted, which was a solution right fucking now to the reflux and the discomfort I have been experiencing, but I got an immediate referral to a GI specialist at Sutter Health.

In fact.

My doctor assured me that not only would I not have to figure out whom to go to, I wasn’t going to have to figure out if said GI accepted my insurance, the administrative team would take care of figuring that out for me.

He recommended I download the One Medical App on my phone, which I did, and ping!

In coming message right there.

“We’re very tech heavy here, you can do everything from you phone and the app, you can e-mail, make appointments, get your referrals, get refills on medications, the app will make it really easy for you to use the facilities,” he relayed to me as he was taking my history.

I gave him a very thorough history of what has been happening with the reflux and he did say that I needed to be seen by a GI, but that he also wanted to make sure that there wasn’t anything that could be possibly missing in the picture.

He also covered ground I have already gone over, what foods to avoid, smoking, drinking, weight loss etc.

He said that though there was nothing wrong with my weight there might be some room for weight loss which could alleviate some of the symptoms, but that what he was hearing was that it needed to be addressed faster than reasonable weight loss, if that was the only thing that was needed, to rectify the reflux.

And.

I’ve lost 4 more pounds since the last time I saw a doctor.

I was really surprised.

I know I haven’t been eating as much, but I was really surprised.

I don’t feel like I’ve lost weight, although there is a bit of a difference in my face, because I have been experiencing some bloating with the reflux and my stomach constantly feels full even when it’s not.

I have to maintain an eating plan as a part of my food recovery but truth is I have been eating less, I have been entirely skipping my evening snack now for two weeks, and I have been eating a lot more salads as they are supposed to help with the reflux.

Though honestly, nothing has.

The diet changes have done jack shit.

And I relayed that as well, but he still did a very in-depth look at what was going on.

He let me know that as a member of One Medical I would get two free full physical exams each year and another service which I’m not remembering right now.

I’ve been scheduled to go in for that in May.

The doctor whose office I was referred to will be contacting me tomorrow to set up an appointment.

I am going to ask for the soonest they have and hopefully get in really quick.

My new doctor also prescribed a different reflux medicine which I have taken today.

No real difference from what I was already taking, but I’ll keep trying it and we’ll see what happens.

Over all it was a really good experience and I am so grateful to not have to go back to see the doctors that I was before.

I am still experiencing the reflux pretty badly today, but I feel relieved to be on the right road to addressing it and to have a team behind me that really was all about customer service, being helpful, and making sure that my needs are being taken care of.

The doctor had great bed side manner and he told me that I could explore finding other primary care providers, but I said, no, I wanted to work with him, he was comfortable, I didn’t feel any weirdness, he was respectful, and he’d done such a compassionate job of listening to me express the discomfort that I was in, there was no need to find a different doctor.

Very happy with One Medical.

Very, very, very.

Now, fingers crossed I get into the GI quickly and get the situation taken care of.

I am ready for more relief.

Seriously.

Dot An “i”

April 9, 2018

Cross a “t.”

One more small bit of paperwork in the works.

I have had this gnawing feeling for weeks now that I was missing some paperwork for my school.

My God.

The amount of paperwork that is required to prove I have been doing the deal for the last three semesters is horrendous.

I have had four supervisors.

Two that I primarily work with.

Two that I accrued a couple of hours with.

Hours that no matter how small, matter quite a lot, little by little those hours are going to add up to me being licenced and every single fucking one of them is important.

So I have four separate pieces of paper with all their relevant information on them for the BBS.

And then I must have another set of papers, not the original signed ones, but facsimiles or copies thereof to show my school.

Plus.

Every hour.

EVERY SINGLE HOUR.

Has to be signed off by a supervisor.

I have had one main supervisor.

I will, in fact, be seeing him tomorrow.

And he’s the one that will be doing the majority of the signing.

I have had another, my group supervisor, who will also be needing to sign a fair amount of paperwork.

What I did not know is that there needed to be a Letter Of Agreement between my site supervisor and my school, CIIS, supervisor.

I had no clue.

No one ever told me.

It just slipped through the cracks.

So that nagging feeling of there’s something missing was not wrong, I just didn’t know what it was that I needed.

I found out yesterday and today when I got done with school I zoomed over to my internship and left the paperwork on my internship supervisor’s desk with a big fat note saying please sign this ASAP, and oh yeah, pre-date it.

Thankfully he got my email and I just now received a response and all is good.

I will still have to pick up the paperwork and take it to my other supervisor who is not affiliated with my organization, and have him sign it, then return all that paperwork to the school.

That will all happen next Monday.

Tomorrow I will just go meet with my supervisor and we will start my review.

I received it today while I was in class and it was something else to read while I was on my lunch break.

Carmen continues to demonstrate an amazing work ethic.

Aw.  Thanks man!

Carmen has done extremely well at Liberation Institute and is currently seeing about eight regular patients. She is on track to complete her hours for graduation.

I have completed them!!

I needed 225 to graduate and as of the last time I checked I have 244.

I actually have more hours than that, 385.75, but some of those hours while counting for the BBS requirements, do not count for CIIS’s graduation requirements.

The school’s requirements though, have been met!  I have enough hours, I will graduate.

Pending signing of a fuck load of paperwork, but my hours have been met!

Regarding supervision, Carmen attends every session on time, is eager and prepared to
speak about many patients, and appreciates the time together. She is a quick learner and
leans on her supervisor to help interpret difficult situations and seems increasingly
comfortable with handling her treatments.  Carmen is demonstrating an aptitude to manage the amount of psychic space and time that she allows her patients to consume and is making mature decisions.
Carmen is ending her last semester of practicum and seems ready for the next challenge.

You bet your ass I’m ready for the next challenge, bring on graduation.

I am also ready for a break, truth be told, but that will have to wait for a little while yet.

Carmen’s treatments have been diverse. She sees both men and women. She sees both
straight and gay patients. She has a culturally diverse practice. Carmen is able to manage
cultural diversity well.

That was nice to hear, I do see a great range of people and I am quite grateful that I can hold more than one type of client.

Carmen has met her goals for practicum. She shown that she can do intakes (consults),
get patients interested in a treatment, and retain them. She can build alliances. Her
patients come regularly and seem to enjoy their relationship with her. Carmen is able to
be herself in session, manage her anxiety, negotiate boundaries and the frame, and deal
with the rudiments of transference (i.e., idealization / devaluation).
Carmen enjoys her case work and is progressing beyond what is expected.

I am enjoying my work!

I really like my clients, and I feel like I am a good therapist.

Carmen shows an aptitude for intuiting transference and countertransference issues.

I am very proud of this.

It may not mean much to a lay person reading that, but I remember how confused I was just defining those terms when I first started my program.  I still need a lot of work around theory, but as my supervisor writes I will have years to work on theory and that my beginnings have aptitude.

That makes me happy to hear.

And then there was this:

Carmen has done extremely well in her practicum. She establishes a solid frame, sets
good boundaries, builds trusted alliances and is increasingly comfortable conducting
treatments with her patients. Carmen is an extremely hardworking and reliable therapist for her patients, listens well, empathizes and provides support. By listening to her countertransference, Carmen intuits patients’ motives and conflicts. She has the capacity to progress her treatments in deep and generative ways. Carmen’s patients are extremely lucky to have such a gifted and committed therapist.

That last sentence.

Oh wow.

That was so nice to read.

To be told by someone who I respect, and perhaps revere a touch, the man is a fucking genius, that I am a gifted therapist, that my clients are lucky to have me, my God, that just amazed me.

I am so, so, so grateful for this opportunity to get to be of service and to get to use what I know to help others, it means so much.

And it doesn’t hurt that I have a real career that I am investing myself in, a chance to become more and do more than I have done before.

To help others and also, truly, myself.

I am so blessed.

Luckiest girl in the world.

I Didn’t Get It

April 7, 2018

And I can’t say I’m surprised.

Disappointed.

Yes.

Surprised.

No.

There was something about the email that I got last week letting me know that the decision regarding the Diversity Scholarship had not yet been made.

I immediately began to have doubts that I was going to get it.

I’m not sure why, but it felt like the flavor of what was to come.

I was told the final decision would be reached by today, April 6th.

And I spent all day long thinking, where’s the e-mail.

I didn’t get it, where’s the e-mail?

Maybe I got it.

When are they going to let me know?

I almost texted my best friend tonight in between seeing clients.

I don’t think I got the scholarship.

But I got caught up doing paperwork and then my next client was in and therapy.

I drove home, really bad traffic, rain does that in San Francisco, the weather ups the idiot ante pretty quick, finally found parking and walked home to my little studio to make some dinner.

When I sat down to eat I got the bing that I had a new e-mail.

And there it was.

The notification letter.

I can’t tell you what it said exactly as I already trashed it, but it didn’t surprise me.

Disappointment though, I could have used that $5,000 per year.

I don’t even know how much my tuition is going to be for my PhD program, but I do know that having had some scholarship money for my Master’s program was really integral to helping me do some things.

Like buy my car.

Travel.

And, you know, pay rent.

I have steadily, over the last few years acquired expenditures that I never used to have.

My scooter, scooter insurance, my car, car insurance, dental insurance, health insurance (although that’s felt like a colossal joke), renter’s insurance, monthly yoga, and a lot of those things I helped pay for with my financial aid and my scholarship money.

And of course.

Tuition.

I’m not going to be too upset though.

It doesn’t do me well to dwell on it and although it’s a disappointment, how could it not be, I know that the money will be there.

Maybe another scholarship.

Maybe I win the lottery.

Maybe I come into money.

Maybe I just take out more student loans.

As long as tuition gets paid and I don’t have to supplement tuition with my own money, not right now, my own money goes to rent, groceries, phone, yoga, car, scooter, clothes, travel, cost of living in San Francisco.

If I get enough money to cover tuition I can cover my cost of living on what I make.

I will be ok.

I always am.

Sigh.

I don’t like the idea of taking out more student loans, but I don’t like the idea of not going after my PhD even less.

The education is important to me and the work is important and I’m doing it.

The money will come.

It will.

And before I know it, I’ll be attending my first intensive for the program.

I received an e-mail yesterday letting me know what courses I need to register for.

I will be taking five classes my first semester.

Three are credited courses and two are not.

The intensive is counted as a course and there is an online class forum that is counted as a course.

Neither of those will really affect me time wise.

Money wise.

Yeah.

The intensive runs I think at least $1800.

And typically what I have seen is that each credit of course work is about $1200.

So three, three credit courses will cost me about 10,800.

Tuition is going to probably be about $22,000 per year.

I think.

I am not 100% sure, but that was pretty close to what the Master’s Degree cost me.

I could probably look it all up at this point, and maybe I should, but it’s late, I had a long day, good, but long.

I had the first day of my fourth weekend of the program.

I did my case presentation.

I was the first to go and it felt really good to get up there in front of the class and share about my work.

I got some really nice feedback.

It felt really good to hear and it really made me reflect on how far I have come and how much I bring to my clients.

My teacher said, and I quote, “_____________ is really lucky to have you.”

Wow.

That was fucking nice to hear.

As were many of the other responses I got from my cohort.

I felt very much like a therapist as I sat there.

I also felt very much the therapist as I was working with a new client tonight in our first session.

I was marveling at how I have really learned how to listen, to reflect, to mirror, to validate and to re-frame what the client says.

I had a moment afterward when I compared how I felt taking on a new client now versus how I felt when I first started.

So different.

I really feel like I am doing a good job.

And that.

Just that.

I need to recognize.

I am a good therapist.

I am in the right field.

I am doing the right thing.

I am on the path.

I have a career.

I am a therapist.

Granted.

Unlicensed as of yet, with loads of work to be done, but I am firmly situated on this path and I am so grateful for having a purpose in my career and a career that will support me and one in which I will have great longevity.

I will get to practice for a long time.

So.

Yeah.

Bummed about not getting the scholarship, but it’s not going to slow me down from doing what I am supposed to be doing.

And for that.

Well.

I have only gratitude.

 

Once More

April 6, 2018

Into the breach.

My friends.

Once more.

My fourth weekend of my final semester of my Master’s program begins tomorrow.

I will be kicking it off by doing a case presentation on a client for my Integrative Seminar program.

I feel like I have already kicked it off, so to speak, by all the preparations I have done this evening–laundry, hot, hot, hot shower and washing the hair, packed up my notebooks and folders, roasting a chicken, roasting as I write.

I know.

I know.

I said I wasn’t going to roast any more chickens.

But my fucking reflux hasn’t gotten any better since taking that particular food out of my diet for a week and a half, hell, almost two weeks.

In fact, I haven’t really noticed too much of any kind of change despite my valiant, they feel valiant to me, efforts to really be good about my food.

I mean.

Fuck.

How many god damn kale salads can a girl eat?

I have eaten salad every day for lunch for the last week or so.

I have eaten super simple food.

Lots of oatmeal.

Brown rice.

Shrimp.

Lean ground turkey.

I haven’t eaten citrus, garlic, onions, fatty meats, tomatoes, dairy, for the most part, put a spot of it in my tea today when I ran out of unsweetened almond milk at work, no sugar, no flour.

I have, however, eaten a fuck load of Tums.

And.

I have chewed a lot of gum.

I have also drank a lot of fucking apple cider vinegar.

I am fucking tired of drinking apple cider vinegar.

It seemed to work really well and then over the last week, not so much, some relief, but the reflux comes back with a vengeance.

I have it super bad now and like I said, I ate fantastically well today.

Oatmeal with apples and blueberries for breakfast.

Kale salad with veggies for lunch, apple and blueberries with roasted pumpkin seeds for dessert.

Dinner was sautéed shrimp with broccoli and a cup of brown rice.

Didn’t fucking matter.

Still in so much pain I want to vomit.

“You look tired,” my eight year old charge told me today as we were going up the stairs to his house.

We had an awesome adventure out to FirePie Pizza.

I know the founder and CEO and I had asked him if I could bring in my charge.

A few months ago I was out with my oldest charge, ran into my friend, introduced them and when we walked off my charge said, “who was that?”

And I replied, “he owns FirePie!”

“What!” My charge yelped, “I love FirePie! You know the owner!?”

He was star struck.

So.

I arranged for a private tour of the kitchen and today my little charge got to put on an apron and get in the kitchen and cook his own pepperoni pizza.

Two actually.

And to my utter amazement, he ate one entire pizza when he got home.

Pride of ownership I think.

It was really adorable to do it and I am very happy my friend accommodated us so sweetly.

My charge, however, was right.

I am fucking tired.

Six and a half hours of over time this week.

Three and a half today and three yesterday.

I’ve come in early the last couple of days.

And two out of my three charges have been sick all week, and today was parent teacher conferences at school, so nobody went to school and I had all three monkeys while the parents met with teachers.

I was great, if I do say so myself, I made them pancakes for breakfast, I let them watch movies in their pajamas, we had fun building cars out of cardboard boxes and duct tape.

The baby napped on me in the carrier for two and a half hours.

And I took the oldest boy to make pizza with his own private tour of FirePie.

#winning

#whosyournanny?

And.

I have had horrendous, unrelenting reflux pain every day this week.

Gah.

Maybe I’ll try some more apple cider vinegar, it hurts so bad right now.

And that helped, a little.

Oof.

Hopefully that nullifies things for a little while.

I will say I am fucking hydrated as fuck.

I did make an appointment with One Medical for Monday.

I could have gotten in today, but there was no one I could have given the family such short notice without being short of dying.

And though it feels like I’m dying sometimes I am capable of showing up and working.

Monday though.

Monday I am going into see a new doctor, I’ve joined a new organization and hopefully I will get some relief.

I just can’t take it much more.

Plus.

I really want to enjoy the next few months.

Or next month and a half.

I only have one more weekend of classes after this one.

Then.

I graduate!

I really am so excited for that.

I am already getting emails from the PhD program and I will be registering soon for the fall semester, no rest for the wicked.

But.

There will be a party.

And there will be vacation time.

And I want that time to be enjoyable.

I started doing a little bit of party planning with my best friend who is helping me organize and do set up with another dear friend of mine.

I’m trying to come up with a graduation theme.

I was thinking “Gidget Graduates.”

I’m having a beach bonfire party at Ocean Beach.

I thought it might be cute to have some sort of theme, 50s or 60s beach party.

I found this super cute Gidget book cover that I think the movies were based on.

“The little girl with big ideas.”

Kind of cute.

Or I might go Frankie Avalon and Annette.

Anyway, it’s going to be fun and I’m looking forward to it and I want to through the next two weekends of classes and get all my papers done and in.

After tomorrow’s presentation I have two papers left.

Two.

I am so ready to be done.

So ready for a break.

From school.

And from my tummy.

Seriously.

 

11 Months Ago

April 4, 2018

Today.

You kissed me in the door way to my heart.

The threshold was crossed.

I have been altered.

Changed.

Irrevocably.

Fast forward.

Today.

Your face.

This morning.

When I said.

“Happy eleven months.”

I had no idea why.

It just.

It just.

It just popped out.

It’s not been a happy eleven months.

Has it baby?

At least not the last few months.

It’s been roller coaster months.

Up and down and side ways.

Kisses in the dark corners of my heart.

Tussles in the sand dunes of my soul.

Tears on my pillow.

Tears on your shoulder.

Tears in my car.

How I have gotten home sometimes I still wonder.

Bleary eyed and heart sore.

Tender in places and spaces inside of me that I did not know existed.

You are so interwoven in me.

Sometimes there is comfort in this, closeness, interconnectedness.

Sometimes.

Pain.

The heart pulled and ripped and torn.

The love though.

The love.

Oh.

The love for you my sweet, sweetest, sweeting love.

So much.

I thought I knew every chamber and echo cavern in my heart.

Then you kiss me, again, here, there, and everywhere.

And.

There is more, there is more space, my rooms, more places.

You engulf me.

I am filled.

Your words in my ears.

Your love like a swaddling comfort to wrap myself in when I am tender.

Sore.

Tired.

“I sure love you,” you said to me, as I lay curled in your arms, adrift on the rise and swell of your breath in your chest.

You don’t remember saying it.

But I do.

Oh.

I do.

And it comforts me when you are not here.

My eyes.

Now.

Full of tears.

My throat choked with love.

Love that hasn’t gone anywhere.

Love that only seems to grow bigger.

Despite being boxed in, held tight, reined in.

Bounded in boundaries.

It slips past and swells into the sunlight.

Rises with faith and hope.

Rises like the uptick of your ribcage underneath my head.

Rises like the words from my mouth

As you drifted off to sleep.

That one night not so long ago.

“I sure love you too.”

 


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