It seems my sleep schedule is completely backwards.
I've been working almost all overnights lately, and it's worked out wonderfully. Except for the fact that I CANNOT WAKE UP once I get comfortable on the couch at home. I could sleep for 16 hours straight if my husband would let me. I've learned to block out all of the everyday noises of people yelling down the stairs and across the house, or the pots and pans banging about in the kitchen. I don't use earplugs, but it's like my ears have developed their own resistance to the sounds.
Time to try something new.
I'm going to try to set my alarm and actually GET UP when it goes off every night. I want to be awake for the better part of the afternoon, if possible. I want to spend every minute I can with my family, because that's what is most important. It's easy to get caught up in the every day I-need-to-make-money-to-survive mindset and let other things fall by the wayside. It's going to be a lot harder to force myself into a schedule that my body is rejecting even as I think about it.
I miss my family.
I have been trying to juggle everything when I need to just let some things drop. Like expecting 6-8 hours of sleep a day. My anxiety peaks when I think about only getting 3 or 4 hours of sleep some days. I need to get over it. Suck it up and move on. People function with less than that all the time. I've been greedy to want the sleep and the family time all together. It just doesn't work with an overnight schedule. A lot of the time, you have to choose one over the other.
I choose my Loves.
Starting tomorrow, I will be waking up earlier and forcing myself to drink coffee and shower as soon as I'm up. Hopefully that'll give me the extra boost I need to get through the sleepiest part of my night and it'll be smooth sailing from there.
I'm just sick of sleeping my life away.
So I'm going to start sleeping less, and start living my life more.
If you catch me snoozing, feel free to poke me with a stick. A really long stick would be best - sometimes I wake up swinging!
This past weekend blowed.
The worst part about working the overnights is when our daughter doesn't have school for a few days and my sleep "schedule" is all screwed up. And by screwed up, I mean I don't really get to sleep. Wait, wait, that's not true...I do get to take short naps before I go into work once the hubby gets off of his shift. The only problem is, once I've stayed up all morning it's really difficult to get my brain to wind down and go to sleep in a reasonable amount of time. I'll just lay there for an hour or two and tell myself that closing my eyes and relaxing is almost the same as sleeping...But since it's not, I hit that 4am wall all weekend where my head started to pound and my eyes felt like they were made out of sandpaper. I almost never have that problem anymore - only on our weekends on when I have to stay up with the munchkin for the majority of the day. Don't get me wrong, I love spending some good QT with our daughter! I just hate feeling like a walking zombie for 3 days straight. (I know the weekend is only 2 days long...but it takes me an extra 24 hours to finally catch up again.) It's all worth it in the end, though. I tend to appreciate our weekends off even more when our weekends on fray my nerves.
All about balance...
I am not sure if I deserve to be celebrated or to get a firm boot in the ass.
Over the past year, I've still been doing my overnight schedule...which means there has been less time to spend with my kiddo than I would like. A lot of our quality time spent together is either at the dinner table or getting ready for school in the morning. My husband picks up most of the slack with the bedtime routine and homework help due to me needing to rest before I head back to work at night. I wish there was more I could do for my daughter...but honestly I don't have anything left to give at this point. I can truthfully say that I am doing the best I can. I am trying my damndest to balance being a full-time mom and a full-time worker bee. Add onto that I picked a career which flip-flops my days and nights. (When the rest of my life is supposed to continue on the normal daytime pattern.)
Okay, maybe I could use a card or something.
Did I mention that I am secretly hoping my husband actually buys me that police scanner I've been wanting? A friend of mine has been talking about hers for years and I'm always jealous that she knows more about what's going on around town than I do....so maybe someone can put a bug in his ear that they're not too expensive and can be found at Best Buy or RadioShack....
Lastly, I would like to say that on this Mother's Day, I really feel like we're making progress in our lives. We have our own house, are both stable in our jobs, and I'd like to think we're doing a bang-up job of raising the youngun'. We're finally grown ups! Who would've thoughtI'd ever get to this point?
Speaking of which....
Thank you for all you've done for me over the years, Mom(s).
2 weeks off of work to recover and I manage to get a nasty head cold the day I go back!
Feeling much better (physically) these days. Rarely nauseous - which is amazing. I had forgotten what it was like to go for an entire day without vomiting up the entire content of my stomach. (TMI! Sorry!) Apparently the gallbladder was the issue all along - out it went, and with it went most of the ugly symptoms I was having.
It was absolutely surreal being off of work for two weeks and being on a daytime schedule. I never really got the hang of sleeping during the night, but was able to at least lay down with the hubby until he fell asleep and I wandered off to do something else like a normal nocturnal person. I had a ba-jillion Dr. appointments to attend, so that was pretty much what my time was spent doing. That and resting and relaxing, of course.
I did miss work, I have to admit. It can get really boring and lonely sitting at home by yourself all day while the rest of your family is at school or their job respectively. I spent a lot of time catching up on my DVR'd shows and doing laundry. And more laundry. How on earth do we have so much laundry when only 3 of us live in this house??? Also, why are there like 20 different spin offs for different pawn shop shows?? Just curious...
The absolute worst part of going back to work was having to say goodbye to my husband. We've pretty much had 2 weeks of nonstop QT together. I could see him pretty much all of the time when he wasn't at work. It was wonderful. I will miss it terribly. But I am glad to have my nights back.
I've missed the random middle-of-the-night stuff that only people on my schedule get to encounter. I will not bother to elaborate (most of it sounds stupid and petty, and I enjoy it just the same!), but those of you who work the 11-7 shift would probably agree that one of the best sounds on earth is the chirping of the birds at 5am signaling the last little stretch before you're free!
Can't wait to go home and give my husband the biggest hug ever. Days like this remind me of how much I love and adore him.
Now you can go vomit, too!
I have officially declared myself a "creature of the night."
I honestly believe my body was assembled to run on it's own clock. I am WIDE AWAKE at 4am, which is when even the most seasoned 3rd shift workers start to hit a wall. I try to keep to myself and chatter as little as possible so that I don't overload anyone's already sensitive senses at that time of the morning. I just can't sit still, though! I'm constantly pacing around the office looking for new things to do. During the day, it's a struggle to peel my self away from the couch - it literally feels like it's the middle of the night for me.
All of the doctor appointments I've had to schedule lately have been killing any type of schedule I'd managed to get myself on. I've had to try to shift back and forth between sleeping in the morning and the afternoon. Oh, and don't forget my nights off when I sleep at nighttime to try to make up for missing my husband all week! I literally don't have a specific time of day that I can absolutely say I can go to bed.
The good - I'm used to it.
The bad - it's probably wickedly unhealthy...
I always feel terrible when I have to orient someone new to the overnight shift. They're all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the first half of the shift! They have so much confidence about it being easy to make it through the night and blah, blah, blah....then at 3:30 on the nose, they start to look a little pale and sickly. By 4-4:30 they look like they want to abandon ship. I try to keep up with the words of encouragement - "Don't worry - it only took me 6 months to get used to this routine!" (Probably not helpful.) And, "At least now you can go to the liquor store at 9am and not look like a serious boozer - just tell them you worked all night!" (That one usually helps a tad.)
I also try to enforce the whole "we need to be veerrrryyyyy quiet on this shift. If you start a party at 3am by closing the doors too loudly, you'd better be prepared to host it!" I really, truly love my staff I work with. They put up with my shenanigans, and we all work together as a solid team. No matter how the night looks like it's going to turn out, I know we'll make it through it as long as we keep each other motivated.
OOH-RAH! GET SOME!
*Insert obligatory fist pump here*
Today I got my nose pierced.(!!!)
After I got my yearly haircut/dye this morning, I loved my new look so much that I finally allowed myself to put that hole in my face I've been wanting for so long.
The guy that took me back was COVERED in tattoos - head to toe. Seriously, he had a ton of them all over his face, as well as about 10 separate piercings from forehead to chin. This may be offputting for some, but to me it just meant that this guy obviously had experience with what he was about to do to me. I was immediately happy that I had chosen this place to get my piercing done.
As I sat in the chair, the guy with the mohawk that had helped me at the front desk came in. I figured he was just giving the piercer some paperwork for his next client. Then he started putting on gloves and positioned himself next to me with this serious, concentrated look on his face.
I immediately recognized his expression. I've seen it oh-so-many times.
It was that, "Oh, crap, please don't let her be a biter..." look.
I burst out laughing and both men turned to stare at me like I was insane. I collected myself and looked at Mr. Mohawk.
"You're here in case I need to be restrained, aren't you?" I asked.
They both looked at eachother and then back at me.
Mohawk: "Pretty much!"
Oh, the things that you notice if you work on a psych ward...
In our line of work, it is very easy to become stressed out, burned out, irritable, and just downright grumpy. This is something you have to quickly learn to manage if you want to make it in the psych field. If I snapped at every patient who demanded I get them what they wanted instead of asking politely, I'd be in the running for the title of bitchiest nurse in the region. I certainly don't want that!
I've learned to let most negative comments roll off my back like water on a duck. (Sure, there are plenty of times I go home to my husband and whine about how it seems like people aren't taught appropriate manners these days and how it seems like pleases and thank yous are very few and far between.) I do remind people that although I am happy to help them out with whatever it is they need, I am not their personal assistant and there are other patients on the floor who require my attention as well. Sometimes all they need is a reminder that I understand that they are going through a difficult time, but they are still expected to be respectful of others on the unit - staff and patients included. Sometimes they are so sick that this goes right over their head. Can't blame me for trying!
In my years as both a nursing student and a licensed RN, I've seen staff burnout rear its ugly head. I've seen call bells being ignored because the patient was known for being "needy" and it was assumed that whatever they wanted now could not possibly be urgent. (What if that time it actually was urgent, though?) I've seen staff goaded into arguments with patients who are irritable and just looking to pick a fight with the first person they see. I've seen a lot of ugly things that made me wonder why people chose to work in the psych field if it makes them so miserable to be around.
Here's a word of advice to anyone who is thinking about working in psych - if a patient is exceptionally rude, negative, or just plain hateful...don't take it personally. For myself, I know that when I am sick with a bug, or haven't gotten enough sleep, I can be a little extra snippy. These people are patients for a reason! They are going through an incredibly difficult time in their lives and they don't feel well. In fact, some of them feel so bad that they would rather be dead. Do you really think they are going to spend their practically nonexistent energy trying to make you feel better? If you had just lost your house, your job, your spouse, your kids, and half of your real teeth, do you think you'd be concerned with boosting the ego of the person whose job it is to help you?
I didn't think so.
I'm fortunate enough to work with great people who understand this and don't get overly upset when patients lash out at them. They calmly remind the patient that they are here to help, but that it is easier to understand them if they are calm and controlled instead of shouting in their face. The majority of the time, that seems to work. And if not....dude, you can't win them all! Some people are just born cranky.
I suggest you accept this and move on, or you're just setting yourself up to be miserable. "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." And if you want a job that is mostly sunshine and roses, work in maternity, not a psych ward! You can't seriously expect a suicidal patient to put on their happy face just to appease you, can you??
So, thank you for listening to my rant. I apologize for being crabby. I'd appreciate any constructive criticism if you don't agree with anything I post on here!
I met my husband a little over 4 years ago when I was still in nursing school. It was my 2nd semester and time for our psych rotation. I had been looking forward to this clinical since the beginning of school - I knew I wanted to be in psych the minute I made the decision to get my RN. (Which of course made my entire class think I was insane myself.)
I noticed him the minute I walked into the building on my first day. He had brought some patients down to the cafeteria for lunch, and he was standing there talking to one of them when I saw him. I've never been one to base first impressions on looks or a person's reputation - honestly, the first thing that peaked my interest was his facial expressions when he was talking. (The looks and his good name were just a bonus in the end!) He was so animated...and he had the patient's complete attention. They both seemed to be enjoying whatever conversation they were having, and all I could think was, "I wish he was working on my floor!" I immediately wanted to learn how to do that.
Much to my surprise, 15 minutes later he walked into the office of the unit I was assigned to and introduced himself as a counselor on the floor. He told me he'd been working there for a few years and he especially liked working with the adolescent population. After just 5 minutes of talking to him, I had decided I was going to cling to him like a barnacle for the rest of the rotation and pick his brain until I knew everything there was to know about working in adolescent psych. Over the next few months, that was exactly what I did.
I was so lucky with my clinical assignment - I was put on a unit full of employees who were there because they loved the job. The staff worked as a well-oiled machine, and I desperately wanted to be a part of it. I tried to gain as much knowledge as possible from my experience there, and I definitely didn't leave disappointed.
On my last day of the rotation, I was beyond sad. I didn't want to move on to our next assignment (I cannot express how much I wasn't looking forward to med surg...) and spent most of the morning in a fog, dreading the moment I would leave that unit for the last time. I had met so many wonderful people there - I couldn't fathom enjoying another clinical like that.
My husband was working on my last shift. He was about to go on his lunch break and I was going to be gone by the time he came back. He came up to me and started rambling on about "if you ever need a reference" and "good luck in school" and then he handed me a little folded up piece of paper with his phone number on it. I was completely confused...this confident man I had been watching for the past few months was suddenly stumbling over his words and couldn't quite meet my eyes when he was talking to me. I had no idea why he seemed so uncomfortable, and it wasn't until after he was gone that I figured it out. (One of the other staff members actually had to spell it out for me.) I called him the next day and scheduled our first date.
During those first few weeks, I was deliriously happy. (Still am!) I didn't know that relationships could be like that. We had so much common, and we shared the same views on the things that were most important to me. It was surreal the way he seemed to be made just for me. He was a combination of everything I wanted in a partner - even the weird quirky parts that I never thought I'd find.
We've been together for over 4 years now, married for a little over 1. There is not a day that goes by that I don't thank the universe for giving him to me. I feel like I'm finally whole. I have everything I ever dreamed of, and I am so grateful.
My advice to everyone is this - don't settle. You never know where or when you'll run into the person who suddenly makes your world come into focus.
I hope everyone gets the chance to love someone this much at least once in their lifetime.
I love, love, love sensory items.
We use them all the time at work, and I am constantly stocking our house with aromatherapy stuff (i.e. "Sid", my teddy bear stuffed with lavander and a bunch of other herbs who can be put in the microwave to be warmed up!), or hot tea (I like the fruity flavored ones), or those weird giant squishy koosh ball things that are shaped like various bugs that you can squeeze over and over and over. However, I think this one is my new favorite: I just found a website where you can personalize your own adult baby blanket!! You get to choose which type of fabric you want for each side (swirly, fluffy, soft, etc.), if you want a silky/satin border, and they can embroider it for you!
Seriously, I am in love.
Mother and wife by day, psych RN by night. So many different ways to view life. I try to take everything in and be very slow to judge.