Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's A New Day

Upon waking up on July 16th,2010 alive in ICU on a ventilator, I realized what I had done. On July 15th, 2010, I tried to take my own life. Still, to this day I can't explain why, to myself or anyone else.
There are a few things I do know for sure. I love Annie with all my heart. I am happy, and grateful to be alive. I want to thank Annie for me being alive, she found and saved me. Annie saved my life.
I love life, I love me, I love my family, and I love Annie. What more is there to say?
Looking back on that day, I think what the hell is wrong with you! You have a great life, a great love, a great family. All I can say is I snapped....cannot explain it, other than I snapped.
I went to see a counselor, but found no solutions as to why I tried to take my own life......Chalk it up to, Jan is crazy. Judge if you want, agree if you want...I did it, I am not proud of it. I AM happy to be alive.
Each day that passes, I thank Annie for saving me, silently or out loud.

There is nothing I can do to make up for what I have done. to Annie, and my family, other than love, cherish and adore them, and say...never ever again will I be so stupid.

It is a new day. It's Christmas time.....I wish my family a Merry Christmas. I wish all of you a Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A New Day-

A new day, a new beginning. Finally a long over due decision made...
I am going to college. My goal is LPN to RN transition. First step are the required prerequisites. Today I met my adviser and set my schedule. I am taking 14 credit hours..and think already I have lost my mind. My classes are Speech, English Comp, First Year Experience, United States History and Introductory Algebra.
In the last post I talked about having a melt down, seeing my Doc, change in meds and two weeks off work. In that two weeks I did a lot of thinking. Do I want to be a nurse any more...if not then what do I do with my life. I do not know anything else. If I continue nursing then I must become an RN. Is that what I want??? My final decision was yes I love nursing, I love helping people. Then my only option was and is to continue my education. So there it decision, my gift to myself. I just hope and pray I can do this.

Annie has been a trooper for and with me. She is my rock and has stood beside me through thick and thin. Annie I promise you that I will do this. It is what I want, its the only thing to do and the right thing to do.
Now I will challenge myself and put my inactive brain to work.
Thank you Annie for being here with me. Thanks for your love, your support and trust that yes I can...Yes we can!!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Soul Searching

Recently I have done lots of soul searching. Just recently have I realized it was soul searching that was triggered a few months ago by several factors.
These are not in any particular order, just as they come into my brain.

One being the miscommunication and loss of friends. Annie found a long lost friend after being apart for thirty years. Her name is Laura. Her partner of twelve years Ginger. Annie and Laura began communicating by e-mail, getting to know one another again after all those years. Then there was phone communication. I watched as Annie changed into a happier person by getting to reconnect with her friend. She felt as if she had found family. Annie and Laura were like sisters. They e-mailed daily, talking, learning and growing in their relationship. Her happiness made me happy. I too became friends with Laura and spoke a few times on the phone with her.
Ginger her partner was a woodworker and wood turner. She also loved to fish as I do.
Both retired both love the outdoors. They live twelve hours from Georgia in a beautiful home nestled in the woods with five acres of wooded area behind them. In that area is wildlife. Deer that come up to their yard to say hello. A quiet area just minutes away from lake Michigan.

Annie and I went to visit August 2008 and spent eight days with them. It was wonderful, magical. A quiet serene meeting of friends, their two dogs included. We spent time together, getting to know each other. Visited historical sites, art galleries, Monet flower garden and water. They took us out on their boat. Ginger and I fished, Annie and Laura talked, worked on projects together.
Annie and spent time together in early morning watching the deer in the woods and talking. It was fantastic for us as well. Our hosts went to bed early, Annie and I played, played on line, watched tv, read, sat outside and listen to the lake. It was all breath taking. The best trip ever.

Later in the year They were to leave by boat from Michigan to Florida and stop over in Tennessee and visit with us. They arrived late one week after Thanksgiving. We had Thanksgiving in our home with them and other friends.
Turkey and all the trimmings. They supplied the wine. Ginger made a delicious homemade apple pie. It was a celebration, a renewal of friendship. A playtime of hobbies and art. While we were in Michigan Ginger took me to her workshop and showed me wood turning, pen turning and let me help her make me a pen. I fell in love right there with wood turning. As a result my family bought me a lathe and all the accessories for mu October birthday.

Annie showed them how she makes mosaics, they played with glass. Annie and laura spent a lot of time with Laura's photography. We again grew to know and love more about each other.

After they left to drive back to Florida for the winter and summer things changed. An e-mail was sent to Annie by Laura. A reply was returned with honest thoughts and feelings and truths. The problem was that Laura had her e-mail set up to go also to Ginger. The hurt and anger began. Laura never explained or accepted responsibility. That was the beginning of the end of the relationship, the family, the friendship. Annie's loss of her sister, of her family, her friend. It was extremely painful for Annie it was painful for me. It's still painful today.

The second being my work. The increase in pressures, the increase in work and the decrease of staff. One less nurse every day. Taking care of five patients now instead of four. The decrease in hours and overtime. I went from working 48 to 60 hours a week to working 32 to 36 hours per week. No overtime allowed with no warning. It just happened, boom!!
That resulted in doctors becoming more demanding, as there was not enough staff to properly care for our patients. Taking care of 5 sick people at once is impossible.Just about everybody got IV's and multiple meds ordered, Then was the multiple other procedures ordered. One doctor in particular drives me nuts or rather I allowed him to drive me nuts. His quotes: Let's make this happen, right away, Give SOME demerol. Ok the LETS in make it happen was me, it was the nursing staff as he was standing in the way of us nurses taking care of patients. You had to tell him to move or put your hand on his should and guide him out of the way. SOME DEMEROL....ok Doc how much is SOME?
Then the addition of extra work required daily. The newest JAHCO that popped up every week. Cleaning the lounge behind grown ups, cleaning out the fridge behind grown ups. Picking up supplies left everywhere and anywhere by grown ups.
And the added responsibility for me...I took this on myself so I can only blame me. I was taking care of the same number of patients as everyone else but also taking care of supplies and equipment for the ER. Fixing the broken if possible, ordering new when needed and explaining why we needed 3 new thermometers at once because the others disappeared because staff left them in patients rooms. Telling everyone where certain supplies are located or kept because they would not take it upon themselves to learn.
I reached my boiling point on the last two regular shifts I worked.
My last regular shift a doctor screamed at me about a psych patient. I screamed back because he did not listen to what I was trying to tell him. He only heard half of it and assumed well whatever he assumed he took it out on me. It became a screaming match to which I just walked away. When I get that angry and upset I cry, which in turn makes it very difficult to take care of my patients. The doctor came to me a few minutes later and wanted to apologize and talk about it. I told him not now to just leave me alone.
He did apologize later in the afternoon. I continued to fume that this was done in front of everyone at the desk. That just pissed me off and hurt my feelings.
A few days later I had a break down. I cried, I sobbed, to Annie. I did not want to be a nurse any more but I know nothing else. I felt like a total failure. I was a failure to myself to my family to everyone.
Annie and I realized it was time for help. I had a doctors appointment later that week. Medication was changed and given 2 weeks off work. I called and set up counseling and attended a session then an orientation session for new patients. It will be on going until I get myself back together. Just being away from work has been my saving grace. I had to remove myself from the source of stress. I am much better already with one more week off to go.

The third factor was the death of my closest friend from South Carolina. Carol and I met in nursing school 27 years ago. She was 6 months ahead of me in school. She went to work at our local hospital as did I 6 months later. At times in the beginning on my career we worked together and started to become friends. She always worked in ICU and I would get pulled from med surgery/pediatrics/geriatrics to ICU. I learned lots about that type of nursing. We taught/helped each other. We started a long lasting friendship.

She became divorced, I was single. We were inseparable. Her sons raced go karts. We traveled together to these races that lasted 2-3 days. In the divorce she gained a camper at the beach where she visited frequently, as did I. We both loved the ocean and loved each other. Our friendship had grown. We watched her oldest son play softball, she watched me play softball. I played in church league, coed EMS league and fast pitch womens league. My spring and summers were consumed for years with softball. I was good, very good in my day and in my time. As I got older my joints did not like me any more. My shoulder hurt every time I threw a ball. My knee hurt from an injury years prior. I still played but not as often. My body would not let me.
I met Annie online and moved to Georgia in April of 1999. It was love at first site. Ten years later we are still in love and happy. Not to say we have not had our share of problems but we always work them out and our love grows as a result.
Carol and I remained in frequent touch after my move for a while. She sent cards, I did not. I occasionally called, she called more often. I was the one that stopped calling. We visited a few times and stayed with Carol during our visits.
In January of this year we made a trip there. We stayed with my sister about 45 minutes from Carol. Annie was in class during the day. On Sunday I called Carol and we set up getting together for lunch. We spend about 1 1/2 hours at the restaurant together with two of her grandchildren then back to her house where we talked about 2 hours about any thing and everything. She told me finally about her son who abused drugs and used her. She said she finally cut him off financially. I was proud of her. She had hinted about him to me several times but would never admit to me he abused drugs. She also gave me latest update about her workers comp shoulder injury and that physical therapy had failed. She was going to have surgery in the near future to repair the damage.
I talked by phone with her a few weeks later, she gave me the surgery date. I promised to call her after the surgery to check on her. After the surgery she stayed at her daughters house just over a week to recuperate. I never called and still today am kicking myself for this.
I received a phone call from another friend in the early afternoon of March fifth. Missy explained to me that Carol had died earlier that day. Her daughter the night before had taken her home because her daughters husband was coming down with an illness an neither Carol nor her daughter wanted Carol to get sick. Daughter talked with Mom that night at 11:00pm, she was doing fine. The next morning Carol called her daughter at work and told her something was wrong, she told her she was going to die. She could only speak one word at the time....It was her last words.
Annie and I prepared for the trip for Carols funeral. We stayed in a hotel in that SC town where Carol lived and I had lived 10 years prior.
I felt anger, I felt guilt for not calling and talking with her one last time. I did not know it would have been the last time, but that did not help my guilt. It did not help the loss my best friend ever from SC. Annie was a trooper. She was right there for and with me through this time, through the funeral. At the funeral the when we arrived the casket was open. I had to go. Annie was on my left another long time friend on the other side of her, on the other side of me was a friend who offered to take that walk with me. I declined. It was something I had to do by myself. I stood up to take that long dreaded walk up that church isle, my insides shaking, I felt as if my legs were shaking beneath me. I had to say goodbye to her body to my friend.
After the funeral the family met in the church fellowship hall. I hugged and talked with her oldest son and her daughter. I hugged her oldest grandkids that I had watched grow up. I hugged her sisters and talked with one of them. They were very close. What a great loss to everyone. When we started to leave the church Annie stopped in the parking lot and told me to go and visit the grave site. To have some quiet time to say what I needed to say. I did and it was painful. I walked back with tears in my eyes. Annie was so caring, loving and supportive of me.
I felt as if I had let Carol her down. I did let her down. I was not a good friend to her in the most recent years and mainly the most recent weeks. I failed her and I failed myself.

The end result of all of this ranting is this:
Life is short, life is precious. Nothing in or about life is guaranteed, there is no warranty on life. The just isn't. Life is too short to let the little things drag me down. The big things I have to learn to deal with much better and I have in the past. That is a work in progress.
Life itself is a work in progress and one in which I want to live with open eyes and open mind. Loving, laughing and living....what more is there!!!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

How Long Did You Raise Her!!!

So, I am sitting on our couch watching taped biggest loser and who appears at our door.
John Burke III the BIGGEST LOSER!! Yep thats right the kids dad parades himself up our front walkway, knocks....stupid me I let him in. He says nothing but Where is Carol (Annie)?
She is in the office I will get her. The asshole follows me down the hallway. He then proceeds to start screaming and cursing at Annie about Katie. Is she a meth head? She looks like shit, she is too skinny. Did you see the bruises all over her? Is she sticking her finger down her throat and puking? Her damn teeth are falling out of her head, they are rotten he kept saying as he cursed. This ass has a lot of nerve walking into our home and start screaming.
Annie handled the whole thing very well. I on the other hand was fuming the entire time he was here and still fuming. How dare he accuse Katie of using meth. She lost weight by exercising and walking, the bruises all over her...she has none. What she was talking about is a dark spot on her neck that has been there for many years. Where have you been dad??? Have you never noticed that spot on her neck? Oh yes I forgot you have not been around. 2 hours at Thanksgiving, 3 hours at Christmas and maybe 6 hours total throughout the year. You really get to know you children with spending 11 hours a year with them.

I kept my mouth pretty much shut and only said a few things like....Katie lost her weight by walking and the "bruise" on her neck has been there for years. No she is not a meth addict or any other drug. She looks great with her weight.
Annie did the rest of the talking and did a damn fine job at it too. She has known this volatile man for many years and knows the best and only way to deal with him is to pacify him and use humor. Any thing else and he becomes mean and abusive. It took everything I had not to scream at him to get the F out of my house. Our house....Annie, Jan and the kids house. You are not welcome and do not belong here. I have not been this mad in a very long time. He will not be back in our house ever again. If he tries, I will have him arrested.
My only words to him is get the fuck out of our house and our lives.
You no longer belong here and haven't for many years.
You cheated on your family and lost any right you have to step foot here ever again.
You John Burke III will not terrorize my family again. Your words nor your actions will never hurt anyone here again. YOU ARE NOT WELCOME EVER!!

My question is to John Burke III........How Long Did You Raise Her???
The answer is about 5 years...while you cheated and treated your entire family like crap. You do not deserve this wonderful family.

I am so proud of Annie for standing up to him in the only way she could with kindness. She did not let that asshole run Katie into the ground. Thank you Annie. I love you!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I Know, I Know, It's been a long time....

Whew, its sure has been a long time since I have seen this blog page. Sorry folks.
No excuse just have not done it.
Christmas is a week away, I am excited. The shopping has been completed. The gifts are all wrapped. I think Annie will be surprised at her gifts this year and pleased as well. She has been completed 95% of all our Christmas shopping, decorating and preparing by her self this year. Thank you Annie and just for that Santa and his reindeer will come to see you as you have been a very good girl this year.
She took time out from her art to complete Christmas and make it wonderful as always.
This is a big deal as she loves her art and misses creating very much. It is a joy to watch her work, to watch her create. Darn, how did she get all so gifted? I can not draw a straight line with a ruler.

A few weeks ago Annie and I went to South Carolina to visit family and friends. It was a very brief visit just 24 hours. It was wonderful to see my sister, brother in law, niece, Aunt and cousins. Our time was short but the visit was great. We spent the night at a friends house that I met through nursing school 26 years ago. It was also wonderful to see her as well. The next day we had lunch with some of the EMS folks I used to work with. For a brief moment it made me miss EMS...Not enough to work 24 hour shifts again. But, there was that brief moment. These guys/gals have not changed one bit in the last 8 years.
It is extremely difficult to stay in touch but we promised to do better. I promised as well and Annie will hold me to it. Family and friends are important.
After lunch Annie and I headed to Myrtle Beach for our first non coroner related vacation in several years. OCEAN here we come. It was absolutely wonderful. A suite ocean front with private balcony. We left the sliding glass door open the entire time we were there. Nothing better than sleeping with the sound of the ocean.
Another reason for visiting Myrtle Beach was the anual Spring-Maid art show. It is the first weekend of December every year. Four floor of hand crafted art and only one person there with mosaics. Next year Annie will be there with her mosaics. Lets put some competition in this art show people. Her art will far exceed any one elses.
If you have not seen her art please go to:
I think you will agree it is fantastic.
Thank you Annie for the ocean trip. You are wonderful and I love you with all I am.
Merry Christmas honey.

Friday, May 05, 2006

This and That

I haven't felt like I have had anything to say lately.
Life has been in a tail spin or rather work has been in
a tail spin.
I am in the same place doing the same thing, nursing. The reward
has not been the same lately. I've been pushed and pulled in
many directions....None of which I am happy about. It began
quiet some time ago. First many things that I have been able to do
as an LPN was taken away. Many IV medications I can no longer give.
Not just me but, every LPN in that hospital. It sucks. I have been
giving those medications for years and suddenly its taken from me
by hospital administration. Not some JACHO rule but the hospitals
I was the only LPN allowed to start External Jugular IV's ( it an IV
that goes in a persons neck). This was allowed because I am also
a paramedic. This was also taken away. Very ironic that only RN's can
start EJ's....The ironic part is that only a very few RN's were trained
in how to start them. So, then what happened.....RN's were coming to me
for me to teach them how to stick a person's neck. They also came to me
to ask how to give one of those meds that I could not longer give.
For some time I answered them and helped for the better of the patient,
my patients. That grew old....Take the time and initiative to read and learn
about those medications as I did so many years ago....And continue to learn
each and every new medication as it comes out. We deal with peoples lives
each and every day. It really pisses me off that a lot of people don't
care enough to do the job right, to take the time to learn, to give
the best care available. Learn how to do your damn job people!!!
Please, don't get me wrong I do not hate RN's....I love them and all
they stand for, for all I stand for.
It's just that LPN's have been treated like skum of the earth and I for one am
sick of it.
Next thing take away was the days I work. I had been working Thursday
through Sunday for over 2 years. 12 hours four days a week.
Suddenly that was taken. I was given no options....You will begin working
Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. I was asked what I thought after
I was told my new days. I raised hell, cursed, pitched a fit....All
to no avail. The problem with working Monday and Tuesdays is that I take
coroners call on Monday and Tuesday.
I was told that secondary jobs take a back seat to other employees
education. First comes staff, them family and education and second
jobs takes a back seat to it all. Never mind that I had a signed
contract to work every Friday, Saturday and Sunday(work on weekend).
I had multiple conversations with the BOSS.....Cried, yelled, screamed
and cursed him to his face. Nothing changed. He did not care that he
just took money from my pocket. I was the one that had to change my damn
schedule.....Others soon followed.
Next change.....All LPN's would be stopped from working 12 hour shifts.
You will now work 4 ten hour days. This was explained to make it sound better.
Instead of working 3 twelve hour shifts a week for 36 hours, now you get
40 hours a week. 40 hours.....Shit I have been working 48 hours a week
for more than 2 years. How is this better I asked? Because you get 4o hours
instead of 36. But, stupid I have been working 48.....That just does not
add up....Maybe my math is wrong.
Jan, you can work more days if you want more hours. What choice do I have.
You are making me work Monday and Tuesdays which stops me from taking call
during those days. So, I take call at night on Monday and Tuesday
and take the chance of being up all night. Which has happened.
OK, now Jan that you decided you wanted to work 5 days a week. Here are
your days off.....Every Wednesday and Friday. You can't have 2 days off
in a row. Work 4 days take one off then work one and take one off. Repeat
cycle over and over.
I have stewed over this now for a couple of months and almost ruined
myself with anger and depression.
Hell all I want is to work Thursday through Sunday 12 hours, take great care
of my patients, and provide for my family. Now I feel as if I have no family time.

There are choices, either I deal with it and wait out the boss or leave.
I have decided to wait out the boss. He is boss #8 in the 7 years
I have been there.....Time is drawing nigh.

On a much brighter note. I am very well loved and that feels good.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Seven Years Today

Seven years ago today at 3:30 in the afternoon I met Annie
face to face for the first time.
That was one of the most wonderful days of my life.
Annie and I fell in love the moment our eyes met.
I still stare into her eyes and feel that love all over again.
Wonderful each time.
She completes me.
We finish each others sentences.
We love to sing to each other as a CD plays ( the dogs don't even howl)

Annie and I have 3 anniversaries.....Today February 13,
April 21....Our first wedding on our deck and,
September 12....Wedding with our friends.
I think we have decided to celebrate February 13.

Happy anniversary my love.........
You are my heart.......
You are the love of my life.........

Lunch today with Annie and her sister Cris at Olive Garden.
Then shopping at Michaels, Hobby Lobby and AC Moore......What
a great day!!!

God, I Love This Woman!!!!!!