Posts Tagged ‘sick’

There is So Much

March 23, 2019

To write about.

And where to begin?

I almost titled this blog, One Hour, as an homage to something quite big.

I also thought about naming it, “Are you Here?” as I suspect my ex is back in town.

At least it feels that way.

More about that later.

Then I thought I should write about my awesome and amazing Mike Doughty experience and having gotten to see him on Wednesday of this week and how I played hooky from clients and went out on a school night.

I didn’t really play hooky, I just rescheduled them for later in the week, I had one tonight and I’ll see the other tomorrow after my regular Saturday clients.

Then I thought, oh yeah, I should call this, “Vive La France!”

As I bought a ticket to Paris last night!

Yeah.

So.

All the things.

All of them.

So much going on.

Plus, of course, the school thing that is happening and how I managed to get all my papers done and turned in on time and also how I got back some really amazing comments on my last couple of papers.

“Clarity, erudition, adept usage of third person, meticulous APA style,” I could go on, but then I think that’s just ego.

I”m right on schedule with school at the moment and extremely happy about that, despite feeling a little disconnected from school since I did not get much time this week at work to do homework.

The family had the flu.

Like seriously bad, fevers, aches, chills, super bad sore throat, coughing.

I do not know how I escaped, but I did.

I also got my flu shot this year so that might have helped and as soon as the family was diagnosed with the flu at the doctors they called me and said call my doctor and get Tamiflu, which is a preventative medicine that will work if taken within 72 hours of exposure.

So I’ve been taking that all week and seemed to have skated by the flu.

Thank fucking God.

I cannot afford to be sick.

And.

I don’t like being sick.

Even the small part of me that rather enjoys lying around all day in bed.

The rest of me drives itself crazy when I’m sick.

So I’m super happy I avoided it.

But man, work was a tough one this week.

Which made it easy to ask off for time to work with a client.

Yes.

It’s official.

This week I got my tenth client.

I took a leap of faith when the person reached out and offered expanded hours beyond what I have available.

Meaning.

Wednesdays I work from 9 a.m. to 5p.m. then see clients at 5:30p.m., 6:30p.m. and 7:30p.m.

I offered the client a 4:30p.m. slot.

Technically I’m working as a nanny, but I’ve been in conversation for months now that at some point I would slowly begin the transitioning down of nanny hours for therapy hours.

I hesitated for just a brief moment but knew, really knew, that I had to offer hours that would overlap into my nanny shifts.

And the client took the Wednesday slot.

Which means I have to be done at the nanny gig by 4p.m. now on Wednesdays.

One hour less of being a nanny.

One hour more of being a therapist.

Plus.

This new client found me on Psychology Today and was not a referral from my agency, meaning the client is full fee.

Yippee!

The more full fee clients I get the faster I will transition out of nannying.

I mean, I love the family, but $30/hour versus $140 an hour.

Well.

I know what works better for me.

Anyway.

That’s therapy business.

Then there’s Paris business which in a way segues into ex-boyfriend business.

Yesterday at work I was checking e-mails in a brief moment of time when I wasn’t picking up used Kleenex, hydrating some small child, washing dishes, drawing, cuddling, or making hot tea with honey and saw an interesting email from a friend.

It was an e-mail that he forwarded that there was a one day sale happening for round trip tickets to Paris.

Oooh.

I wasn’t planning on going to Paris this year, I’ve been planning on going to Hawaii in July,(but still haven’t done anything about it as I’m waiting on my employers to let me know when they’re going to be in Finland and if, probably not, but if they are also planning on taking me to Helsinki with them)  going to Maui and staying in Paia, where my grandmother was born in 1928.

But.

I was curious about the flights and a little bug got in my ear and so I searched and shit, the price was too good to pass by.

So I picked the best time for me to go, end of the fall semester, in December.

Yes.

That’s right.

I’ll be in Paris on my birthday and for Christmas.

I fly out of SFO on December 17th, landing the next day at Charles de Gaulle on December 18th, my birthday, in the early afternoon.  I’ll fly back on December 27th.

So I’ll be there from my birthday through Christmas.

I will sit in cafes, go to museums (the Louvre, the D’Orsay, the Jeu de Paume, the Pompidou–which is open on Christmas, I know where I will be, wandering the galleries there for sure on Christmas day, the Orangerie, the Palais de Tokyo, the Grand Palais, the Petit Palais, the Musee de l’Art Moderne), walk everywhere, read books, go do the deal with the Paris fellowship, hang out with my best girlfriend from my Masters degree cohort…we’ve already made plans to go to the ballet (I messaged her right after I bought the ticket).

I got the ticket from Air France round trip, direct flights there and back for $579.32!

I still can’t believe that!

My girlfriend asked me why December after exclaiming at the cost of the ticket.

I told her that my birthday and Christmas have been really tied up with my ex the last two years and maybe its better for me to be in Paris then in San Francisco and really just do something for myself.

I always wanted him to come to Paris with me and I had even brought it up in the days before we broke up that I wanted to plan a trip with him there.

It is such a screamingly romantic city.

And he’s such a foodie, he would have loved it.

I’m still sad we didn’t get to experience that together.

She understood.

Plus, I told her that it makes sense with my school schedule and it’s the slowest time of year for therapy clients….the last two holiday seasons were really slow and I hear that it’s that way for most therapist.

So.

Yeah.

Booked that ticket.

I don’t think I’ll stay with my girlfriend, despite knowing she’d let me, I think I want a little more autonomy and she’s got young twins, who are super sweet and adorable, but the house isn’t huge and as much as I loved staying with them, I don’t want to stress them out at Christmas.

I figure I’ll Air BnB in the Marais where they live, it’s super central and I know it well enough, and just be an independent lady at Christmas time in the City of Lights.

God.

There’s more to say.

The feeling of my ex being in town, and wanting him to reach out or to somehow bump into him, it’s big, but I’ve not got time to write more.

I need to get up early, lots of clients tomorrow.

So.

I bid you adieu and I’ll see you on the flip.

 

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Sneaky Blog

February 12, 2019

I really should probably look at my homework.

But.

Fuck.

I have done a lot in the last couple of days and I also really should let myself off the hook once in a while.

I wrote a paper yesterday as well as attended a three-hour training in Berkeley for my internship.

Day off, what day off?

I also did laundry and roasted a chicken for food prep and packed up my carry-on for a trip this weekend.

I am going to do a quick zoom in and out of D.C.

A friend gave me some miles and I’ve booked an Air BnB with a fireplace in Georgetown.

We’re going to hang out, go to coffee shops and eat nice food.

I might not even go out all that much.

Sit in front of the fire-place and toast my toes.

I am going to do as much homework as possible this week so that I can actually enjoy my time there.

The trip was originally supposed to be before I started up school again but my friends schedule got wonky and we had to push it out.

So.

I will have a quick two and a half days and I’ll be right back in it.

Next weekend will be my weekend off.

Of course it does mean staying on top of things and as of such I did read 65 pages of an article today.

No fucking article should be that long.

Just saying.

Thank goodness the baby took a long nap today.

Poor little guy.

He’s been sick.

Went with the mom to the pediatrician today and it turns out he’s got an eye infection, a sinus infection and an ear infection in both ears!

He’s going to get a whopping big dose of antibiotics in the next couple of days and hopefully it will all get knocked out.

And yes.

I do actually have his cold.

I suspected I was coming down with it on Friday.

Sure as shit, Saturday I was running a fever.

But there was really nothing to do about that.

I got up, I did my morning routine, I went and saw my clients.

Fortunately it never really got anywhere as bad as the little guy’s had.

I’m a tiny bit sick, more like a light runny nose and some yuck congestion in my nose and throat when I wake up in the morning.

It’s like I got the diet version of his cold.

It’s enough to be a little annoying, but not enough to knock me down.

I will admit I was in bed pretty early last night, just to make sure that I was getting enough sleep.

That is the thing I constantly have to do for myself, get enough sleep.

Other things are getting dropped.

Socializing.

Blogging.

My blogging has been slight and I’m not excited about that, but I have to address homework pretty much every day and there is just so much to read.

My God.

The reading is heavy.

I am so very grateful I knocked out three books before the semester started.

I’m also 3/4s of the way through one of my class readers, which is going to be really helpful as I move forward.

But there is just always something else to read.

And I am constantly being sent stuff to read as well.

I can’t do it all

And I can’t blog as much as I would like, but I feel like I’m in a good place right now, turned in that paper yesterday and today did a substantive post to one of my classes.

I need to check into the other two and see what’s on the agenda, but I don’t have to do anything quite yet.

Aha.

I actually did.

And I just did it.

Hopefully I didn’t screw with the flow of the blog, but yeah, I had an inkling there was something I needed to attend to in my Arts and Creativity in Leadership class.

And there was.

So.

That’s done and now I can say I checked in and took care of it and between that, the discussion posts, the responses to others I made today and all the reading, I’m pretty good with my efforts today.

Really.

As long as I stay sober today, ultimately nothing else matters.

But I do want to do the work to get this PhD.

It does feel really important.

I have had some people in and out of my cohort as well exhort me to do a book about what I am writing on and to have it full of photographs of my tattoos.

I am actually thinking about that quite a lot.

I do know some photographers.

I should start asking around.

Of course the two that pop up in my head first are professionals and would probably be a lot to use, but it may be worth it to start engaging in looking.

I would like to document my tattoos anyway and since I’ll be writing about them and my experiences I am also leaning very heavily towards adding them into my dissertation as well.

Which is something I can do with the methodology I’m using.

Things to think about.

I also have to remember I’m meeting with one of my professors next Friday, pop that on my calendar.

My online program piece uses a lot of Zoom meetings, but I can’t make most of them wtih my schedule.

I actually had one this Saturday, client cancelled, and I checked in with one of my professors who lives on the East Coast.

We had a great talk and he gave me some of the best compliments.

I mean.

I was really blown away.

He said, “Well, Carmen, I just think you’re brilliant, I really do.”

And.

He added a little later that he had something else to admit to, “I save your papers until the last to read, that way I have something to look forward to.”

OMG.

Best compliment.

I was so very flattered.

I really want to let myself enjoy this compliment too.

In the not so recent past I have used compliments like this to stress myself out, I better perform even better, I can’t disappoint now!

So for the last couple of days I have really held that for myself.

Of course.

The paper that was due yesterday was for his class and the first of the semester (for this class, not for the semester, I’ve already turned in two other papers thank you very much).

So.

Yeah, I had some anxiety writing it.

But overall, I think it was a good paper and he’ll like it and it’s ok if he doesn’t either.

I know that I have skills.

Maybe not mad skills, but I do think I have some writing chops.

Grateful as hell for that.

And with that.

I bid you adieu.

It’s time to attend to a few more school things before winding it down for the night.

Sweet dreams.

Sleep tight.

Don’t let the bedbugs bite.

(I have always wondered how one does that?)

Heh.

Nothing’s Sunk In

May 8, 2018

I have not yet felt the reality of being done with my Master’s program.

It has not sunk in at all.

I bumped into, and invited, a former employer who I ran into today in Noe Valley to my party, who replied after giving me a huge hug, how much the boys would love to see me and that they would of course come.

It was very sweet.

She and her partner are both psychiatrists, so it was really nice and quite validating to get some of the recognition from them when I worked for them regarding my abilities.

The last time I bumped into them I had just begun practicum.

Now I’ve completed the program.

It was a touch surreal.

The time has gone by fast, even though it was such a slog too.

So much work.

She insisted that I needed to stop and take it in and take a moment.

But I don’t have any moments.

Not right now.

Not right yet.

To appreciate and reflect and give myself a pat on the back.

I just jumped right back into work today and before work I had to go to Hayes Valley and drop of my paperwork that needed to be signed.

And of course.

I fucked it up.

OHMYFUCKINGGOD.

What is my problem?

Tired.

You are tired and overwhelmed and want everything to be completed and you just finished a Herculean task and haven’t really sat with the reality of what it all means.

And.

I didn’t fuck it up that bad.

But for a minute there.

I was so mad at myself I could have screamed on the corner of Gough and Hayes.

In fact.

I did say a couple of profanities out loud in frustration.

I was so set on getting the paperwork to the right place, to the right mailbox on to the next thing that had to be done, so über focused, that I didn’t realize the door code to the building I was using was the wrong one.

I made the presumption (as it has happened in the past when I met with my supervisor that I would occasionally get to the office before it was open and I would have to wait until he arrived to turn the dead bolt) that when the code didn’t work it was because there was no one in the office and the dead bolt was still in place.

I was so mad.

Why wasn’t there someone there?

There’s always someone there by this time.

What the fuck is going on.

I was so frustrated, thinking that I had come all the way down and there was no way of getting my paperwork to my supervisor and shit, I’m going to have to come down again and damn it all to hell.

I sighed.

I turned around.

Then.

I noticed the mail slot.

I could put the envelope through the mail slot.

I hemmed and hawed, the post it note with my supervisor’s name and suite number  could come off, then how would anyone know where it was supposed to go.

But.

I figured if he didn’t get it I would just print off another form and run it back down.

I slid it through the mail slot.

I decided I had enough time to mail out my Mother’s Day gift and I headed off to get into my car and wait a second.

The code.

Did I use the wrong code?

What code did I use?

Shit.

I think I used my therapists code.

My therapist in Noe Valley.

Hallelujah!

I ran back, I looked up my supervisor’s code, I let myself into the building, I went to the mail slot and looked at the floor.

There was nothing there!

Where’d the hell it go?

I dashed upstairs.

The door to my supervisor’s office was closed, I know better than to knock, he could have been in session, but I hoped fervently that he was there and had gotten the envelope.

There was nothing left to do but go and send and e-mail and feel a bit chagrined and not beat myself up too much, I still did a little, and get on to the next thing.

Mailing said package.

Which I did.

Then ran into the former employer.

And yes.

I did acknowledge she was right, I need to stop.

To sit.

To savor it.

But honestly.

All I feel like doing is crying.

I’m in a lot of pain again with the reflux and I haven’t enjoyed the ending of the program partially because I haven’t had the time to do so but also because I’m in gnarly ass pain again.

Fortunately.

The GI’s office got back to me today and booked the three procedures with me the doctor wants to do.

I will go in on May 17th and see what is going on.

I have taken that whole day off from work, I’ll be doing a ph test and wearing a wire that will be inserted through my nose into my esophagus and into my stomach, for 24 hours.

I had already asked off for the 18th, figuring that I would be socializing with my mom who’s coming for my graduation.

I really don’t want to deal with a parent visit and the wire test, but what the fuck can I do?

I can’t take being in pain like this much longer and I’ll deal with the visit the best I can.

The doctor will also do an endoscopy.

The procedure will be done at 1p.m and I can’t eat 6 hours prior or drink fluids 4 hours prior.

My mom called today, she’s back from her trip and wants to discuss her trip.

I don’t even know what to say right now.

I feel like I’m just hanging on, I’m not sure I can manage more.

I’m just in pain.

I know it will pass.

I won’t die.

I mean.

I hope not.

I want to wear my cap and gown.

I want to walk the stage.

I want to celebrate on the beach with the people I love.

I really do.

Ready, Set

March 28, 2018

Interview!

My PhD interview is tomorrow morning!

Holy crap.

I’ve got to get all the profanity, crassness, and foul language out of my system before going in.

Although, to give myself some credit, I am an articulate person.

I have a way with words.

Plus.

I interview well.

Which was not a talent I would have recognized in myself previous to this experience, but when I reflect on how I have done historically in interviews, I usually get the job, or the school to accept me.

Sometimes even when I don’t think I have done so well.

Hell.

Most times.

Most times before not too long ago, I would think that I hadn’t gotten in.

I didn’t think I was going to get back into my Bachelor’s program at UW Madison, I mean I seriously fucked up my first round of schooling there.

But I did, I interviewed with the dean of admissions after sending in an application letter to be readmitted and I was shocked I mean, shocked, when they let me back in.

There wasn’t even any waiting period, the woman basically told me at the end of the interview that I was accepted back.

That I could start that Spring!

It was the fall term and I think I had interviewed at the end of November, beginning of December.

I had not planned on that.

I hadn’t planned on getting in, I was “humoring” my best friend and a good friend of hers, a boss that I worked for, by applying to school again.

“You are just too smart to not be in college,” my boss said, echoing my best friend’s sentiments.

“If you don’t apply, I’m going to fire you,” my boss continued.

“What?!” I said, incredulous.

“I’m serious, Carmen, you really are just too smart, and I wouldn’t feel right if I wasn’t encouraging you to go back to school, go back, we still want you to work here, but you really should go back.” He concluded.

Of course I applied.

I didn’t want to lose my job.

And maybe there was a part of me that wanted to go back, to get my shit together, to do it right this time.

But I hadn’t expected to get right in, nor that I would be able to start in the Spring semester.

I had only a few weeks to adjust to the idea that I was going to be back in school full-time.

My boyfriend at the time was not at all pleased.

He was, in hindsight, though I couldn’t see it at the time, very jealous of my time.

He was also displeased, I suspected, because he had dropped out of UW Madison a couple of years prior and hadn’t managed to get his shit together to go back.

He did eventually.

After doing time for a felony conviction for stalking me.

But that’s another story, for another time.

Suffice to say.

The encouragement of my friends got me in and the encouragement of my friends here in San Francisco got me into my Master’s program.

I think they’re all still behind me for going for the PhD.

Last time I checked in with anyone it felt that way.

Although a few acquaintances did register surprise.

“Two more years of school!”

“We’re never going to see you at fellowship again!”

True.

And not so true.

Yes.

I will still be busy.

But I think I have learned well over these last few years to balance out my studies with my job, my recovery, and my social life.

Sometimes better than others.

And sometimes I really had to work hard at it.

Hell.

It’s been all hard work.

“Sometimes I wish I was done with the hard work!” I expressed to my therapist today.

We had a really huge session.

In fact, I left over time with her saying that she would like to support me in whatever I needed regarding our session.

I thanked her for that.

That’s the second time in a month my therapist has let me know that I can reach out for support after hours, or without having a session scheduled.

Though I don’t think I will do that.

I was quite touched.

I am, however, going to do some work.

The work it doesn’t really end.

It just changes.

And I change.

That’s the hope, anyway, that I will change.

Grow or die.

Ha.

Well.

Perhaps not that stark, not that black and white.

But I was pretty miserable today and sad and angry and upset.

I talked with my therapist about my health stuff, going really into detail, letting her know how I was affected by the system I seem to be unable to get out of.

And.

By my history.

What health advocacy looked like in my home.

In my family of origin.

Which was shit.

I only went to the doctor in an emergency.

There was no healthcare aside from the mandatory doctor’s physical before school each year.

There was only a doctor’s visit when something horrible was happening.

And it had to be really bad to get the attention of my mom.

Really bad.

I remember an incident that happen when I was seventeen.

Mono, strep, and tonsilitis all at the same time.

I was delirious.

I remember calling my mom and begging her to come home from work.

She told me she couldn’t.

I walked around the house crying and delusional with a fever that was so high the emergency room doctor chastised my mother for not bringing me in sooner.

He was irate.

It was one of the few times I remember my mom getting me a special treat from the market, croissants (day olds, but fuck, I had never had such an amazing piece of bread) and crab salad (fake crab, but crab!) and ice cream.

I certainly felt special and the words of the doctor faded out of my perceptions in a haze of fevered ice cream eating and sleep.

But the impact lasted.

I wasn’t allowed to ask for help, I wasn’t allowed to get sick, I wasn’t helped out when I was, I had to take care of myself and figure it out and doctors, dentists, hospitals, the medical system, all seemed scary and also not allowed for me.

I have done a tremendous amount of work to get through it and to be where I am, but it raised its head and there I was in therapy with a pile of tissues around me and angry tears on my face.

And.

Oh, the gratitude.

Some client advocacy from my therapist who made some suggestions and gave me some very valuable information.

Information I will be acting on pretty much immediately.

Well.

First the interview.

Then new insurance!

It’s how I celebrate now.

Not popping a bottle of champagne.

But rather.

Gifting myself.

Better.

Health care.

Officially.

#adulting

Long Days

February 28, 2018

And tomorrow will be another one.

I was asked yesterday by the mom to come in two hours before my scheduled time tomorrow.

I said yes.

They have been having a rough go of it, three sick kids.

The oldest boy had to call out of school today with an ear ache.

A trip to the pediatrician and it turns out he has an ear infection.

Meanwhile, back at the house, I had the baby strapped to me pretty much all day, he’s still so sick.

And at the doctor’s office the pediatrician was super concerned bout the little lady bug, who has now officially been out of school for ten days, and it turns out she has a severe lung infection.

The mom has also been sick, so the doctor ran a test on the mom to see if she’s got the flu bug that has been so vicious.

Negative.

Thank God.

I don’t know if I could have handled hearing that she had the flu.

I am healthy as fuck.

I rarely get sick.

I had a cold about a year ago.

And I’ve had a couple of instances of food poisoning this year.

Once from sushi and once from oysters.

Neither one was fun, the one from the sushi was horrendous and I won’t be going back to that restaurant again.

But.

I haven’t had the flu.

I did do the flu shot at the beginning of the year and I’m super grateful for that.

I don’t really know if it’s all that effective with the strain of the virus that has been going around, but I’m glad to know I have it.

Could just be the placebo effect.

Could be that I have pleaded with God to not let me get sick.

I am far too fucking busy for that.

So.

Tomorrow I will have a ten-hour day at work.

Gratefully I don’t have clients on Wednesday.

When I get off from work I will be coming home and making soup.

I didn’t have a chance to do food prep for the week, lunch prep, I did dinner, and I’ve been eating salads at lunch.

Which is lovely, don’t get me wrong, but with it being as cold as it’s been, I prefer a nice hot bowl of soup.

Today, though, I have to say it felt pretty good to have a big salad.

I eat really clean.

No sugar, no flour, and a few other things that I pretty much eschew.

But I don’t graze, I’m not typically a big salad eater.

They tend to be a last resort for me.

I like to have a meal cooked and hot for my lunch, especially, having a warm lunch at work really helps me be grounded.

But.

In a pinch, I’ll do a salad and I had hit up Rainbow yesterday after supervision and I got lots of good salad fixings to carry me a few days into the week until I could do some food prep.

The salad today seemed particularly to hit the spot.

Because.

Well.

Yoga.

I was, and am, very pleased to say that I finally made the 7 a.m. yoga class at my studio.

My therapist was out of office today, so we didn’t have a session, and although I love the family I work with, I was loath to say anything about having any extra time, I decided rather, to go in at my regular time and to allow myself some yoga this morning.

It was great.

My favorite instructor taught the class and it was small.

Saturday and Sunday there were at least thirty people crammed into the studio.

Today.

Not so much.

There were just three of us and the instructor.

And for the first time.

The guys outnumbered the girls.

Three guys and me.

It was pretty awesome.

And there was lots of hands on instruction and attention and it felt good to be in my body and I was very happy with it.

So happy that I pretty much pledged to be there again next week.

It turns out that I have enough time to do the yoga class before I go to therapy.

I have to plan out somethings, have my clothes ready, and all my bags and folders and books and meals and what have you packed, but I can do it.

I can do the 7 a.m. class, get back to the house, take a quick shower, dress, do hair and makeup and get out of the house in a timely enough manner that I will be able to be on time for my therapy session.

I am pleased as fuck that I can fit it in.

I even discussed, fingers crossed, with my instructor the possiblility of the studio doing another morning class.

He’s all about it.

And the owner, in an e-mail recently, had mentioned that they were considering it.

On Thursdays.

Which would be perfect for me.

It would literally mean something almost every day of the week before work, but it would also mean staying flexible doing some good self-care and getting more exercise, which I have been craving.

So.

Yeah.

It felt pretty good to eat a great big salad after doing a 7 a.m. yoga class and going to work and being a really good nanny.

The baby took two very long naps on me and was either being carried by me and sitting right next to me the entire day.

He craves being held.

It makes so much sense, just the comfort of being held, it is such a nice thing.

I miss it too.

I have that same craving.

I suspect many of us do.

I sense, though, that it will come to me again.

Patience I tell myself.

Patience.

Just be patient.

Baby girl.

All good things to those who wait.

 

 

Thank You!

February 24, 2018

Thank you Carmen!

The mom said, and pulled me into a hug.

I wasn’t expecting that.

It was so sweet and so endearing, I teared up.

She was thanking me for the week, one of the most challenging weeks I have had with the family I nanny for.

Two very sick kids.

Dad and the oldest were out-of-town all weekend visiting Grandma and relatives and friends out of the country, so it was just the mom and I.

And two of the sickest little monkeys one could imagine.

Today I carried the baby on me for nearly 8 hours.

I might have had a few moments, a run to the bathroom, a quick gulp of tea, where I wasn’t holding him, but he was pretty much glued to me the entire day.

The mom’s been handling the nights and I have been handling the days and she is sorely short on sleep.

I did my best to help out as much as possible.

Which really meant tending to the baby while the mom helped the little lady.

She is not a good sick kid.

Who is, really when it comes right down to it.

And she needed a lot of attention.

Mom would nurse the baby, then hand him to me, that was about my only reprieve, when he was nursing.

And let me say, it wasn’t the worst way in the world to spend my last day of the week, a hot little baby cradled against me all day, sleeping mostly.

He’s been running a fever and just has no desire to do much but sit and snuggle and doze.

Once in a while a big coughing fit would lead to some screaming.

There is nothing more disarming to my psyche than a child screaming in pain.

It was piercing the few times it happened to me today, but fortunately, he was fast to be soothed and I was able to get him comforted and back to sleep fast.

I spent many hours just holding him and rocking and humming.

I spent some time too with the both of them when the mom had to make a run out to do some errands.

At one point I had the baby on my chest sleeping and the little lady snuggled up under my left arm, a pile of stuffies, two blankets, and some children’s video playing on the tv and, yes, I nodded out.

All three of us sleeping in a pile on the couch.

It didn’t last long.

The mom came back and I woke quickly, I wasn’t really deeply asleep, just in that drowsy half state that happens right before true sleep.

I was really grateful that I could help the mom so much and I was happy to receive her thanks, if a tiny bit overwhelmed and surprised by it, I was also very, very touched.

I like her.

I like her a lot.

She’s quick becoming a friend and I feel very much a part of the family.

I was also grateful to leave tonight.

It was a long week.

I had a big trip the weekend prior and school the weekend before that.

So this is actually my first weekend at home in a couple of weeks were I’m not obligated to much.

To much.

Ha.

Fuck.

I make myself laugh.

I have plenty I need to do this weekend and plenty that I will attend to.

I do hope, though, that I will have some down time and some moments to relax.

I will definitely be going to yoga.

I have missed it for two weeks, the travel and school, and I’m sure I’m going to be rusty and sore after tomorrow’s class, but I need to get back in it.

And my best friend is going to come with me to class on Sunday, so there’s great impetus to get my butt to go to the studio.

We had breakfast today before work and I was very happy to meet, to spend time, to feel like a human being connecting with another human being, before I became a comfort pillow for the baby for 8 hours today.

Grateful for my friend and the time I got to spend and that I get to have company in my yoga class on Sunday, that will be awesome.

Although I know I will be self-conscious.

I’m usually a bit self-conscious any way, but I go, and I always feel better and I usually wish that I could go more often.

But I’m also never sure when the hell I’m supposed to be able to get to another class.

I may be able to squeeze in a third this week though, my therapist is out of office on Tuesday, I could make the morning yoga class happen before going into work.

Any time I can squeeze it in I am trying to do so.

Life is busy.

Yoga in the morning, shower, breakfast, writing.

PhD application preparations until I have to go to my internship.

Group supervision from 2-4p.m.

I might try to swing over to Hayes Valley and go to Optical Underground afterward, I have the prescription for new glasses to get filled.

I have gotten my last two pairs from them and I always find something I like there and they are cheaper than a lot of places.

I am still a bit miffed that the UCSF optical department doesn’t accept my insurance for glasses.

What was the point of going there?

I’m still so not pleased with my school’s health insurance but hey, I do have it, even if it doesn’t seem to have paid off any, at least I won’t get the ding when I go to do my taxes.

Which I also want to do very soon.

Indication of how busy I have been, I haven’t yet done them.

I can’t believe that it’s almost the end of February and I haven’t done them.

Very unusual for me.

But.

Hey.

Last year I didn’t have an internship or supervision, I wasn’t in therapy, I had a few spare minutes to attend to it.

I will, and soon, just need to get my PhD application done this weekend and then the taxes.

And then.

The carrot.

With my return I will be doing some traveling.

That’s always the reward for taxes getting filed.

A trip.

I’m still waiting to see if the family is going to take me a long for part of their vacation and what that will look like, but I do have it narrowed down to July.

Paris in July will be hot.

But it will be Paris.

Anyway.

That’s a wrap on today.

I’m ready to chill out.

Have some tea.

Watch some Peaky Blinders and go to bed.

I have a lot to do tomorrow.

A lot.

And Then There Was This

January 24, 2018

January 22, 2018

To:

I am writing to strongly recommend Carmen Martines for your doctoral program. I work with Carmen at the _________________ in San Francisco where I serve as the Director and one of the Clinical Supervisors. Carmen is a masters level psychotherapy intern here, providing psychotherapy services in our non-profit community mental health center.

As a counselor here, Carmen is able to help a large number of clients to grow and heal. I can not over emphasize the valuable and unique set of experiences, drive, compassion, and intelligence that Carmen brought to her work here and is capable of offering to the world.

Carmen has overcome tremendous obstacles in order to now be in a position to increase her knowledge and skills. She has an innate drive and professionalism that I believe will be a good match for your program.

I myself am a graduate of _________, where I received a Ph.D. in East-West Psychology. I understand well the intellectual, academic, and practical aspects of the work involved and feel that Carmen has all the skills, natural abilities, and resources to excel as a doctoral student.

In short, the current and future potential of Carmen to be a gifted force in the community is undeniable. Her education in your program and subsequent contributions will surely increase that potential. Please consider her to be an exceptionally strong candidate.

If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

That is from my supervisor at my internship.

I found it in my file tonight in office.

I was thrilled to say the least.

I was expecting a good letter of recommendation, but this letter really hit my heart and made me realize, I am really going to do this.

REALLY.

It still fills a little strange and as I was sharing with a friend today whilst scurrying from one place to another, I already feel behind for this semester, that I am going to apply to a PhD program.

But.

Yes.

Indeed I am.

It was a nice letter to get.

It was affirming and it was just another soft layer of nice on top of a day that has been surprisingly less painful than the past week has been.

I have been in such excruciating emotional pain that I cannot even believe I made it through the week, then to add the getting a crown shoved in my mouth to the whole deal and navigating my way through my first weekend back in class, well, fuck, it’s been a tough week.

Let me also add I haven’t had a day off in I forget now how many days, but ten?

And I’m on track to work overtime this week at work.

I got a message from the mom asking me to come in early tomorrow, one of my charges is sick.

Sigh.

I said sure.

I could use the money frankly.

The unexpected out lay of $1300 for the dental procedure rather stripped me down on my reserve.

Plus.

I am getting a tattoo on Saturday.

Two pieces actually, and I’m not sure how much that’s going to be, although I have a ballpark feel for it.

So sure, I’ll come in two hours early tomorrow.

Sigh.

I feel like I can do it though as I actually got some sleep last night.

It was the first night in a week, longer? That I didn’t fall asleep crying.

There’s been a lot of nights falling asleep crying, but this last week it wasn’t just slippery tears and sadness, it was all out weeping and consternation so deep it felt like I was being torn in two.

Emotionally shredded.

I haven’t been able to write my blog for a few days, there was so much emotionally happening for me, I can’t even begin to know how I got through the week.

But it started to ease last night.

Thank you God.

I got some sleep.

I didn’t wake up crying.

Oh yeah, crying, like that’s what it was.

It was more like.

Falling on the floor and sobbing.

I went to bed weeping every night and by the time I hit my knees to do my morning prayers I was crying again.

Now.

I won’t lie.

I had therapy today, so there was crying there too, but not the deep gut wrenching, heart-sick, soul rending crying that I had been doing all week.

It was more of a processing cry.

The session went by fast.

I had so much happen this past week it still rather astounds me.

I grew a lot.

Inevitable that, when I go through a lot of pain I either grow or I wither.

I was forced, it felt, in a way, to grow and grow in ways I never even imagined I could or would.

But fuck me.

I certainly did.

I suspect the growth is still going to happen, I don’t know how it can’t, but I feel that I am through some of the hardest parts of it.

I sincerely fucking hope so.

That kind of pain is just not sustainable.

I don’t know that I could have taken much more of it.

I ran into an acquaintance tonight who remarked on how different I looked, saying how obvious it was the amount of pain I was in on Saturday.

Of course, he thought it was all about the tooth pain, and truth be told when I saw him at the spot, it was painful.

 

 

 

 

 

And oh.

There.

Look.

Pain.

Again.

And again and again and again.

Hey, surprise.

You don’t get off the hook that easy.

Thought you were going to make it through the day didn’t you?

Fuck.

I’m just going to go now.

I’ve lost all ability to string a cogent sentence together.

I’ve been crying for the last hour.

I don’t know why I even bothered to try to write.

Good night.

Sweet dreams.

May god bless you and keep you and hold you tight, warm and safe and secure in the knowledge of all the love I have for you.

I can’t express all the love there is for you.

I can only go and cry my heart out some more over you.

Cry and cry and cry.

And.

Fucking cry.

 

           

 

Whole Lotta Nothing

December 30, 2017

Not that it was bad.

No.

It was divine.

I only left the house today to go to yoga.

And.

I almost didn’t go.

My brain said, hey, you were sick yesterday really bad, you should lie in bed and make sure that you’re ok.

Even though I was pretty much back to my normal self by the time bed time rolled around last night, no nausea, no headache, so no reason for me to lay in the bed this morning.

I got up and got dressed and walked over to yoga.

And it was good.

I got nice and warm and sweaty and had a good work out and stretched and my back is slowly feeling better, between a couple of chiropractor visits and doing a little more yoga, I have a much happier back.

Sure, some poses still not great at and I couldn’t hold a few of them today, tough on the tender ankles, but I know that balancing is helpful for strengthening my ankles and I also did some foot exercises today that my chiropractor recommended to me for strengthening my ankles.

I went though and I am happy I did.

It was the only time I went outside today.

I ended up taking a huge hot shower, wrote many pages in my notebook, and then had my best friend over for hang out time.

Lots of talking, hanging out, getting caught up, and I made some yummy food.

I cooked up my version of a Cajun gumbo/jambalaya.

Sans the crayfish.

I used shrimp instead.

It wasn’t really a gumbo and it wasn’t really a jambalaya, but it was somewhere in between and it was tasty.

I am very happy I made it too, knocked out some food prep for the week, what wasn’t eaten was put up and frozen and I’ll probably run some over to my person too, who’s recuperating from a hip replacement surgery.

I got the best text message from him regarding one of my soups that I had given him.

I made him an Italian sausage with white bean soup and then my version of chicken soup with veggies, brown rice, and Andouille sausage.

He was very, very happy with them both, but I think the latter got the big applause.

I do like to cook, it’s a nice way to show someone who you care for that you love them.

Since I don’t eat sugar or flour I don’t make super intricate stuff for myself, but since I know how to cook and have cooked plenty with those ingredients, I know how to combine flavors.

Sometimes I have no idea where the stuff comes from, I’m just like, hmm, put that with this and see what happens.

It’s a nice skill to have and I’m always surprised that so many people can’t cook or don’t know how to do even basic stuff.

I’m not a great cook, but I’m good and I feel like I’m definitely better than the average bear.

My friend seemed quite happy to eat the food.

I don’t recall any complaints.

We hung out past sunset, which really isn’t that late since the sun goes down around 5p.m. and by the time my company had left and I washed up the dishes and put everything away I had absolutely no desire or urge to go outside.

It’s just too cozy in my little house and I’m happy to stay put.

It feels rather nice to not have clients tonight, to not have work either, which is why I was able to go to a 8:30 a.m. yoga class today, the family I nanny for went out-of-town for the weekend.

I’ll be going back into work on Tuesday.

Back to therapy, back to seeing clients, back to it all.

Fortunately the kids will be going back to school by that time as well, working early every day this past week, with the obvious exception of yesterday having called out sick, is a bit of a grind.

I don’t mind it horribly and I’m always glad I can be flexible for the family, but it will be nice to go back to my regular hours.

In the meantime I don’t have a lot planned for the weekend, and no plans at all for New Years.

I would just rather skip it.

I have my dance party on January 13th and that will be my dancing fun, I don’t need to go and be out amongst the hoi poi over the weekend, I’m more than happy to skip lines, drunks, amateurs, and Uber and Lyft crazy drivers from out-of-town.

Not sure what I’ll do, if anything, to celebrate.

More yoga.

The studio has classes on Monday, so technically I could do yoga tomorrow, Sunday, and Monday, making it a four-day run for me.

I think that’s the best idea.

And maybe I’ll take a little trip to Stinson or Muir in my car.

I got my FasTrak in the mail today, so I can pay tolls via that instead of cash and it’s a no brainer to get over the bridge.

I do have group supervision tomorrow, lest I forget, though it was a very, very quiet week for clients, only one client, I only have to attend group, which is nice, but I do have to attend.

My solo supervisor is still out on Monday, which is New Years Day, so I won’t start back up with him until the 9th of January.

A tiny bit more of a break.

School is back on the 19th, 20th, and 21st of the month, January that is.

I still have a few weeks before I have to start thinking about it, although I already have a tiny bit.

I just checked my grades, I’m still carrying a 4.0!

Huzzah.

That’s always nice to see.

I also need to start looking seriously into applying to the PhD program at my school if I’m going to do that.

I think I have to apply by February or March.

My supervisor at my practicum site already said he would write me a letter of recommendation.

I definitely want to have that!

Plenty to think about and do over the next few months, but for the rest of this weekend, I’m just going to chill out, do lots of yoga, cook some nice food, maybe I’ll even buy a book that’s not related to psychology.

Maybe.

 

Locked And Loaded

December 8, 2017

I am so ready to get through this weekend of classes.

Last one of the semester.

My books and notes and papers and readers are packed.

My lunch is ready.

Coffee is set.

I’ve done laundry.

My house is clean.

My head hurts, but that’s a story for another time.

I’ve been not feeling well now for a bit and I’m more than tired of it and sort of worn down by the low-grade constant ick I’ve been in now for over a week.

I have been taking some over the counter stuff recommended by the pharmacist and patiently waiting for my doctor appointment on, sigh, December 21st.

Although if it gets much worse I might pop into an urgent care.

When?

I don’t fucking know.

It’s not debilitating, but it’s low-grade constant pain and I’m really tired of it.

I can work, I have worked all week, I’ve seen clients, I just have been sick the entire time, again not enough to warrant calling out and it seems to be something that I am really going to have to speak to a doctor about, it’s not a cold or flu.

It does seem to be some kind of weird reflux thing and as such I’m taking the generic version of Zantac that the pharmacist prescribed until I could get into see a doctor.

I’m on a new health insurance.

Fuck I hate it.

I have to find a doctor on my own and nothing says fun times like waiting on hold while bad music plays for a very long time to only be told that the facility is not taking any new clients.

None.

UCSF.

Fuck you.

How can you not be taking new clients?

It’s a huge fucking facility.

But nothing.

And the amount of bullshit I went through to get to actually talk to a person was way beyond.

I called the number my insurance gave me only to get someone in accounting.

“Yeah, I keep getting calls from United Health Service, and yes, I do work for UCSF, but I’m an accountant.”

Well, that doesn’t fucking help.

The accountant gave me a number.

I called the number.

It was for a time share in Florida.

I shit you not.

I gave up that day, then tried again the next.

This time I found a number on UCSF’s website.

I called the next day only to be told that I needed to go on the website and then the machine hung up on me.

What the fuck?

Back to the website, a ton of digging and I finally got a number and found a list of doctors taking new clients.

I called every one of them.

Not a single one was seeing new patients.

I asked if I could get put on a wait list.

No.

Well what the fuck?

I was told to just keep calling back.

Are you for real?

Holy shit.

So.

I still have an appointment with the doctor I had called five weeks ago to be seen.

I was aghast that it was five weeks before I could be seen, but thank God I kept the appointment, or I would be another five weeks out.

I did also find the urgent care I can go to, it’s at Davies on Castro.

I am hesitant to go as I said it’s not an emergency, it’s just low-grade constant pain.

Ugh.

Anyway.

I will muddle through.

I will get through this weekend.

I will get all my papers handed in.

I will do my final group project on Saturday.

I will show up for class and participate.

I still have not done my dream reaction paper but I haven’t had a dream to write-up.

I’m hoping I get one tonight that I can do.

Otherwise I’m just going to have to piece something together.

I can probably also do an active imagination piece if I don’t have a dream to write on before the class on Saturday.

God, please let the medicine kick in.

Gah.

I think I’m just getting old.

Reflux, what the fuck.

I have to say, it is not fun.

But hey, it’s not cancer, or a broken leg, and my ankle’s doing better too.

Much better.

In fact, it’s funny, the appointment was made to check out my ankle and also my back and neither of those things will I be going in for.

In fact,  a week from tomorrow I’ll be seeing a chiropractor for the first time in about a decade, so the back thing will get worked out.

As for the ankle, just being careful and taking it easy on it and I will ask the doctor to check it out, but mostly I just want the reflux to stop happening.

It might be the most obnoxious health thing I have ever dealt with.

Anyway.

I hate complaining and I’ve pretty much kept this on the down low.

I did have a fit with my person on the phone about my inability to find a doctor to see me and he was the person who recommended I talk to a pharmacist and that was super helpful, and basically I just have to deal with this for two more weeks.

I’ll say one thing, it’s absolutely killing my appetite.

I have not felt like cooking much at all, rather had to force myself to make soup yesterday.

Just trying to be gentle with myself and take care of the next little things in front of me.

I’ll get through this.

There have been much harder things in my life to get through.

I’ve almost convinced myself.

Almost.

Heh.

Anyway.

Speaking of food, time for dinner.

And then winding down to get a good night sleep and get myself off to school in the morning.

It’s going to be a good weekend.

It’s the last one of the semester!

Thank God.

Smoky Voice

October 18, 2017

Sultry yes.

But sore and dry throat is tired.

It was smoky again today.

I was disheartened to say the least when I went outside to get on my scooter and head in to my therapy session in Noe Valley.

I was looking forward to seeing my therapist as we had to cancel last week.

She was affected by the fires in Sonoma and Napa.

I have been affected too, but in lesser ways and in ways that I have felt loath to gripe about as my hierarchy of needs have been basically met.

Yet.

There has been suffering and there has been a constant feeling of sickness and showing up for work has been hard, keeping the kids inside all day long for over a week and they all, ALL, of them now have the croup.

It is heart breaking listening to them cough.

The mom has it too.

Knock on wood, I haven’t gotten it and I know that the ugly feeling in my lungs is not from a cold.

It’s from the smoke and whatever nasty particles I have been inhaling.

My lungs feel tender and my throat super sore and raw and my head has been hurting all day.

I also have gotten spacey and a little dizzy a few times.

The EPA had the air quality showing unhealthy for most of the day.

And that’s pretty much how I have felt, unhealthy.

Granted.

I am able to work and able to get myself going, I’ve just not been my best and I’m such a healthy person in general, that I feel a bit depleted.

It was hard to hold space for my clients tonight at my internship and I felt pretty out of it.

I had thought for a moment about cancelling clients tonight, but I figured I would just muscle through.

I did it, but it was tough and I’m really grateful to be home.

I am also grateful that the unhealthy air is projected to be moderate tomorrow, not good yet, but better than today and fingers crossed it will continue to get better.

There are still fires burning, it’s not over yet.

I can’t quite wrap my head around that, fires still burning, fires not contained yet, the fires have been going on now for ten days.

TEN.

It’s hard to fathom.

The losses, the wreckage, the ravaging of the land.

I was praying last night before bed and I was thanking God that the family I used to work for wasn’t in Glen Ellen when the fires broke out.

They have a vacation home there and they’d been there just the weekend before.

I literally started crying when I realized how close they were to the fires, I don’t know if the property made it out, but I was overwhelmed with gratitude that the family, the boys, the dog, hadn’t been there, I would have lost my mind if they had.

Lost it.

So it’s hard for me to fathom those that did lose it all and sad for it, heartbroken.

And also aware that I have to keep my spirits up, that people need me, that I need to take care of myself.

My therapist and I discussed that a lot today, how being a caregiver, being in the helping field, being a nurturer, that I had to focus on doing for myself, because getting sucked into the drama of it or the trauma news cycle via social media, I would not be helping any one at all.

Grateful for her perspective and all the other things that I get to work out with her.

I am super grateful to be back in therapy and I just realized I forgot to add the hour to my BBS (Behavioral Board of Science) tracking.

Excuse me a moment, that has to happen right now.

There, that’s better.

Under current BBS requirements I can count my own personal therapy towards the 3,000 hours I need to accrue.

Which is awesome.

And.

The best part.

They count as three hours.

I book one hour and it gets counted as three.

Granted.

I am only allowed to accrue 300 hours of personal therapy towards my license, but I will take any extra hours any where that I can.

I also talked about the stress of getting hours or wondering how I was going to get them all before the licence requirements change.

As of January 2021 the BBS will be changing a number of things.

One of them will be that personal psychotherapy will no longer count.

The other is that Couples Therapy will not count double as it currently does.

So I want to make sure that I can get all my hours done by December 2020.

That’s not that far away.

I have had not anxiety, per se, but a little concern, now that I am in the actively doing therapy process, about how the fuck I’m going to get all the hours.

I am working full-time to support living in San Francisco.

How will I squeeze more hours into my schedule?

I want to vomit thinking about it.

I have so much going on and I want to have a life, a teeny, tiny bit of a life, I need my human connection, I need my recovery,

Ugh.

I can’t speculate on how it will happen, I will just keep practicing faith and I will pick up extra hours here and there whenever and wherever I can.

It will happen.

And thankfully, my last semester of the Master’s degree is only two classes plus practicum (which is for all intents and purposes my internship), so I won’t be running with the same full class load that I am now.

And who knows what will happen.

I could come into money, I could win the lottery, I could get a paid internship, I don’t know, and I don’t have to.

I just know that I will keep trying and keep doing the best I can and I know that I am doing that.

I am holding my own.

Not always with the most grace, but with strength and integrity and valor.

I am doing the work.

And in the end.

Every time I go back to it.

I am so worth the effort.

Therefore I will be ok.

Because.

Well.

I already am.

Just for today.

I am exactly where I am need to be.

Seriously.

 


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