Saturday, May 29, 2010

My Big Bingo Win

"You will be helping 'Hilda' with Bingo today. She has dementia and is rather ummm... difficult. Just go along with anything she says."
Shit! Firstly, I have never played Bingo! Secondly, I know nothing about dementia! So I am left standing there trying to wrestle the querulous old so & so into her chair while she mutters about not knowing how to play either and the blind leading the blind. So I plant her in her seat and steal her stick just in case she decides to whack me with it and firmly tell her 'We will figure it out. How hard can it be.'
Seems that you don't have to remember that you play every week, the instinct just kicks in. Well we didn't win a thing!!!! Damn it, not sure who was more pissed off! We watched everyone else's piles of chocolate bars and talcum powder get bigger and bigger and never even got close! So, every 10 mins or so she would start to sulk and tell me that she wasn't going to play any more and that I would have to do it, but she would soon take over again as soon as I got a few numbers. Somehow we got through it and I found that I had quite enjoyed myself, between dealing with 'Hilda' and placing markers on numbers for the lady on the other side of me during her very frequent micro-naps I had been quite busy and time had flown.
My only concern was that 'Hilda' had not enjoyed herself. But as I was leaving the woman in charge pulled me aside and said 'That was great! We told you she was difficult but you handled her really well. That is the first time she has stayed for a full round of Bingo.' Wow! Must admit that then I felt great! Didn't really do much for my first shift, but I left feeling like I had had a big win!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bingo Time!

Well I finally got off my butt and finalized my paper work for the Nursing Home. Have to report for duty on Friday in time for 1 O'clock Bingo!
So I am going armed with great advice from a great friend.
Friend - "Now if you are reading out the BINGO numbers - speak slow and clear."
My Response - " And very bloody LOUD!!! LMAO"
Bring It On! It is all starting to happen now! 

Something To Ponder.

When a defining moment comes along, you can do one of two things - define the moment or let the moment define you...

Monday, May 24, 2010


DSCF6107, originally uploaded by Muddy Sunday.
Woke up this morning to this view from my kitchen window! Amazing! Not a morning person but didn't mind getting up to this.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Something I Have Been Avoiding

Five weeks ago I went and applied at the local Nursing Home to be a Volunteer Carer. This is mainly to back up my application to go to Uni next year. As part of the application process I have to submit a written proposal stating among other things what I have done ie. community involvement, work experience in the nursing field.
If my score on the STAT test is high enough I will get in with no problems, but if my score is average these extra things will be the one's to push me over that line and get my application approved. So I have enrolled in all sorts of classes etc but according to the Uni Entrance Officer the voluntary work will be looked upon very favourably and count for big points. So I have submitted my application for Police Clearance, but in the mean time I can start at the NH with just a Stat Dec signed by one of their senior staff.
I have been up there three times to get the Stat Dec signed by this woman but every time she has been out of the office. But to tell you the truth I have not exactly chased this woman down as I am not exactly excited about the whole thing. 
OK, so it was completely my idea, and I know I will probably love doing it but.... As a  VC I will spend my time working for the Leisure and Lifestyle Department, which basically means as well as spending 1 day running the Op-Shop, I will be filling 3 days a week taking LOL's for walks and drinking lots of cups of tea.  I will probably enjoy this immensely but there are so many other things I am feeling the pressure to do.
So I got a call from the NH Office last week which made me feel incredibly guilty. They are so excited to have me on the team and can't wait for me to start. I have met the ladies I will be working with and they seem really great. We spent a lot of my initial meeting with them laughing and I have no doubt that I will fit in well, but it is not ultimately where I want to end up. In fact Aged Care would probably be my last choice.
I was chatting online with my Aunt who lives on the other side of Oz last week and she asked what I was hoping to study. When I told her Nursing her response was 'Great! You will be able to take care of all us oldies in years to come'. BLOODY HELL! Glad she could not see the look on my face at that one! I love my family but the thought of combining them and aged care is the stuff nightmares are made of!
So tomorrow I will go and sign off on the last of the paper work and organise when I am starting. I will no doubt enjoy the whole experience and make some useful contacts, so it is time to get my act together and just do it!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Time To Put It All In Perspective

I have been inspired by It's Just Me! in her latest post on her blog - Who's life is this anyways? - to do another stocktake of where I am up to with the goal list.
  • Beat Pot Habit - Dec - Done
  • Put on weight - Steady on target weight since Jan
  • Leave Ex - Dec - Done
  • Find a house to live in - Dec - Done
  • Leave the cafe I ran with the Ex - Late Jan - Done
  • Sort out Tax issues from previous years - March - Done
  • Stat test - May - Done
  • Human Physiology Class - Started
  • Advanced Medical Terminology Course - Enrolled - Start next week
  • Quit Smoking - Attempt 1 - Failed - Attempt 2 - Started
  • Enroll for Bachelor of Nursing - Awaiting STAT results - apps close Oct 31
  • Transition to Nursing Studies Course - Oct
  • Buy a car - Awaiting Tax Return
  • Regain Drivers License - Been Ignoring it
  • Senior First Aid Certificate - Well and truly expired
  • Get Immunisations up to date
  • Get voluntary work at local Nursing Home - Paperwork just needs signing
  • Nursing Student!!
Well, seems I am getting there, but I still feel like I am a mess most of the time. I guess it is just one day at a time, take it as it comes and I will get there.

    Friday, May 21, 2010

    Blog Awards

    Richard Hemby here from, I'm contacting you about a nursing web awards we're currently running with the following categories:

    * Best Nursing Blog of 2010
    * Best New Nursing blog of 2010
    * Best/Influential Post of 2009-2010
    * Top Nursing Twitterer of 2010
    * Most Useful Nursing Website of 2010
    * Most Useful Web/Mobile Tool for Nurses of 2010

    1st place, 2nd, and 3rd place winners will receive Kiva gift cards for best nursing blog, new nursing blog, and best nursing post. Besides Kiva gift cards, we have some pretty nice web badges for other categories.

    We have just started accepting nominations and we would really appreciated (really!) if you could give the awards a plug on your blog so we could make this the biggest and best nursing web awards! Tweet it too if you could!

    Here's the awards website:

    Faced The Firing Squad And Survived - I Think!

    Walking up the hill to the Uni this morning I felt like I was going to face the firing squad. There is nothing worse than that impending feeling of doom. All the what if's were flying around my brain - What if I have a complete brain explosion? - What if I run out of time? - What if I throw up on the test book? Trust me they got more absurd from then on in! At least I was able to give myself a bit of a chuckle at the door. But then they made us wait for the correct time to enter the exam room and we all sat there looking scared shitless.
    So I spent the next two hour swinging wildly between confident and petrified and then back again. Who the hell writes these questions? I spent 10 minutes analysing drawings done by a man on Acid! No kidding! They were sort of cool! But some of the other questions had  my head spinning. I managed to finish with 15 mins to spare and had time to recheck a couple of answers I was not confident about then closed the test book and stared out the window resisting the urge to panic for the last 5 mins.
    The sense of relief when I walked out of that room was quite intense. I think I have only just calmed down after spending the afternoon completely delirious. Found myself in tears several times for no reason at all, but what keeps going around in my head can be summed up by the following song. Have a listen!
    Dar Williams - Farewell to the old me

    Well Here We Go

    D-day has arrived! I am sitting on the step of the local Yoga Centre in 'Slightly Bigger Town' after hopping off the bus waiting for the exam time to roll around. Only another 45mins! So instead of checking that I have everything for the 100th time (2 pencils, Eraser, Sharpener, ID, Letter of Confirmation - Check) I thought I would de-stress on the laptop.
    Thank God the bus was better this morning. The crazies don't seem to get up that early so I had a bus full of school kids (reasonably annoying, but they ignore you) and the intellectually disabled . That I can handle! I spent the first 10 mins with the girl who brings all her dolls on the bus. She is really sweet and I even got to hold 'Katie' as she moved them all to another seat for the third time. Apparently this must be done in a particular order and some of them don't like to sit next to each other. So I forgot all about my exam by playing dolls for a while, but then she decided she needed to claim a seat further down the front before all the school kids got the good one's and left me to it. It was a MUCH better trip! I like talking to disabled people a lot more than those who are simple crackers.
    So now I am sitting here trying to soak up a few rays of sunshine and maybe some residual good vibes from the yoga centre, having received my good luck calls from my cheer squad (thanks guys) and thinking that maybe it will all go well. 20 mins to go now so I will sign off and walk up to the Uni now.
    Wish me luck!!!!!

    Thursday, May 20, 2010

    What Is It With These People!!!

    Every Thursday I hop on the Crazy Bus to head into Slightly Bigger Town because that is where all the services are - government offices, employment agencies, my family counsellor and the Uni Ed Centre. Every Thursday I spend my time on the Crazy Bus trying not to make eye contact with the same group of crazy people. To catch the bus as a full paying passenger is outragously expensive ($20 return) but if for some reason you have a pension card you get an all day ticket for $2.50. So most passengers are either elderly, single parents or on disability pensions. Most are simply nuts! I am OK with nuts, but why do they all seem to single me out as most likely to listen to crazy talk? So I hop on the bus every Thursday with full armour - I-pod, sunglasses, a good book and a filthy look on my face. And usually it works, but today just as I thought I had mission success she got me! I was sitting the main street of town without full armour on killing time til my appointment, when she sat next to me and proceeded to launch into a full speel about how nice I was etc.... And then a full rant about all the nasty people etc... So what do you do, she basically has you pinned down in the main street and you can't tell her to fuck off becuase she is basically foaming at the mouth and you are 'nice'. Shit!!! So you let her rant for another 5 minutes and then 'Ooops, look at the time. I had better go. Don't want to be late for my appointment!'
    Crazy number 2 got me when I was leaving my appointment. When you have earphones in and the music so loud that they have to be able to hear it you would think they wouldn't bother, but no, they stand in front of you talking until you remove said earphones and listen. This one told me that he wants to sit next to me on the bus next week so we can talk! Not fuckin likely!!! What do you say to that? I don't do casual conversation well - This is my zone out time - I use my time on the bus to study etc...
    So now I find myself at the bus stop with the music blaring and the laptop open completely surrounded by the usual group not daring to look up. Every week is the same.
     I understand that you are lonely but honestly I am not your new best friend! So leave me the hell alone!!!!

    Wednesday, May 19, 2010

    Amazing Version Of A Classic

    Put It Out There, Then Let It Go

    Horoscope from the paper yesterday. This guy mostly dribbles generic shit, but every now and then it is spot on. This one made me laugh. Read it and I will explain.
    There are several things you wish you could be doing. For one reason or another none are possible. There are other things you would prefer not to be doing. It seems, though, you have no alternative.I'm not saying you should accept just anything. If, though, you can bring yourself to be realistic about your options, you will start to feel differently about some of the factors you resent. Don't compromise a big aspiration. Do, though, look at another way to get your desired result.
    As you are aware I am hoping to start my Bachelor of Nursing next year. There is a small University campus in a town only 25 kms from where I am living which conveniently offers this course. All lectures are done by video conference from the Main Campus and it is closely linked with the Hospital which services our region. I can study with minimal difficulties ie: custody arrangements, transport, moving etc.
    But I have discovered a double degree (Bachelor of Nursing / Bachelor of Clinical Practice - Paramedic) I have been drooling over at another University about 600kms away. So firstly, it would involve not only moving but it would also start the custody war to end all wars. If I stay here there is basically nothing he can do but share. If I try to remove my son without his approval he can get a court order to have him returned, so we don't want to start that at this stage.Secondly, the course load is much higher with a lot more block pracs. This would mean more juggling of my son and yet again it comes down to custody, I don't want to do anything to give the bugger the excuse to go for full custody. I think I will be pushing it to get him to cooperate with my current plans (when he eventually finds out, of course). Having all my family on the other side of the country is hard in that respect, no instant babysitting service. I also love living in Town A for various reasons - good friends, good lifestyle, and a significant piece of Eye Candy I have become quite attached to. 
    So having had a good drool, I will stop pining after the impossible and start to focus on what I can do at this stage. That doesn't mean I am giving up the dream by any means. I will start with the parts I can do now and re-evaluate when my son is a bit older. But for the moment I have put it out there to the Universe that I would love the Ex to suddenly decide to leave the coast and move to Town B for some random reason ( not likely) and for my 'Significant Eye Candy' to suddenly decide that a change of scene would be good and put in for a transfer as well (even less likely) and then I would be a very happy woman! So having put it out there, I have had a good laugh at myself and let it go!

    Sunday, May 16, 2010

    I Wonder If They Know

    I am meant to be studying but as I sit here with all my books open in front of me struggling through study guides my mind keeps drifting from basic chemistry (which doesn't seem too basic to me at this present time) to other things. I tend to take my books to a local cafe so I can have a steady dose of caffeine to keep the brain running along nicely. The cafe I used to own with the Ex, which he still runs, is just around the corner and a lot of our ex-customers now frequent this one. It is amazing to me the number of people who approach me to offer their support. These are people who while I was still with the Ex would look the other way in the street. I guess we made a lot of people uncomfortable with the rows we had in the cafe. But now it is a regular occurrence for these people to come up to me and give me a squeeze on the shoulder or sometimes even an unexpected hug and offer their support. I am a fairly forthright person and have not hidden the fact that I have left the cafe and an abusive relationship. I also tend to be quite blunt about other challenges I have overcome in this journey. 
    My time-wasting pondering was set off today by a lady who I was fairly certain did not approve of me in any way. She approached me and said she had been thinking about me and that I should be proud of myself. Then proceeded to say 'If you need anything at all, please call me. I am here for you any time' as she gave me her phone number. She is not the first to do this.
    Although I have never called any of these people who have done this, I wonder if they appreciate how much those expressions of support mean to someone in my position. I have a great network of friends and have never felt alone on this journey but these little moments often give you that internal 'lift' that makes you feel like it is all worth it. They make it easier to continue on towards your ultimate goal.
    This must be one of the best parts of living in a small town!

    Saturday, May 15, 2010

    Nervous And Starting To Stress!

    I am starting to get nervous about the Uni Entrance Test now. At 10am next Friday I walk into the Exam Room knowing that what I do in those next two hours has a major impact on my future. My whole plan could fall apart miserably in those few hours and the worst thing about it is the fact that I can't study for it. You either have it or you don't. 
    To this point I have been determined not to have a backup plan and I don't see the need to start worrying now but I have to admit that the thought has crossed my mind. I have the option to re-sit the test at the end of the year if my results are not high enough to guarantee me an offer after this one, but my concern is more that unless I blitz it this time around I may not be guaranteed entrance and have to re-sit anyway only to find out that my score would have been high enough after all the results are in anyway. 
    So I may be doing my head in over nothing but we will have to wait and see. By the end of June I will have a better idea, or maybe not!

    Friday, May 14, 2010

    Where I Intended To Be

    I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I had ended up where I intended to be.
    Douglas Adams 
    There are times when life seems to be so off track that you lose sight of where you are and what you are doing. But I have realised that despite life's twists, turns and complete detours things always happen for a reason. Sometimes the reason is not apparent, in fact, it can be quite frustrating when things don't go as planned.
    But often the only thing stopping life from moving forward is my own acceptance. But as I have started to accept that life will lead you toward your destiny no matter what, it seems that I have stopped coming across roadblocks of my own making and things have started to happen.
    So my goal is now to keep my eye on my goal, but not stress about how I get there. Sometimes there is something down a different path that may not be visible from where I stand but may ultimately help me get to my destination. The trick is to find the courage to follow those paths as they present themselves.
    So I will continue on with my destination firmly in mind and trust that I will end up where I intended to be.

    Helicopter Rescue - What A Great Read!

    It is now 1:15am and I am lying in bed with a splitting headache from reading to much, but WOW! I have not been able to put this down. All I can say is, I'm glad I don't have to be up early in the morning because I am only half way through.

    Helicopter Rescue: The true story of Australia's first full-time chopper doctor

     By Ken Wishaw
    Autobiography of Australia's first full-time helicopter doctor. Describes his passion for flying, his crew membership of the Surf Life Saving Association rescue helicopter, and his role in developing the operations of CareFlight. Tells of the many helicopter rescues he has made. Includes full-colour photos. Foreword by Dr Fran Smith. Author is a doctor with specialist qualification in anaesthesia, who teaches advanced resuscitation and crisis management skills to other anaesthetists.

    Thursday, May 13, 2010

    Approval Given - But.....

    My 6 year old has given his approval for me to study Nursing.
    "Mummy, I think that is a really great idea, but I want you to be the nurse who goes into all the rooms and checks on the patients and gives them their medicine, not the one who has to do all the wounds and messy stuff."
    Bless Him! I could be one bored nurse if he has any say!

    Wednesday, May 12, 2010

    Domestic Abuse Quote

    A friend posted it on her FB Wall and I really liked it. 

    Facebook: "While you SCREAM at your woman, there's a man wishing he could whisper softly in her ear... While you HUMILIATE, OFFEND, and INSULT her, there's a man flirting with her and reminding her how wonderful she is. While you HURT your woman, there's a man wishing he could make love to her. While you make your women CRY there's a man stealing smiles from her... Post this on your wall if you're against Domestic Violence"

    During the final year of my abusive relationship and beyond there was a man who did remind me how wonderful I was and also steal smiles from me. These small moments were a great incentive to remove myself from the place I was. Small reminders that there are wonderful men out there and that I did not have to put up with less. As for the other two, who knows what he was thinking, but one can hope! 

    Sunday, May 9, 2010

    That Defining Moment Of Clarity Examined

    A woman was sitting at her son's bedside in the busy ER of a large hospital. Her 5 year old son had been taken to the ER of their local hospital with a broken arm. Because there were no surgical facilities at the small local hospital they were transferred to a bigger regional hospital for surgery. After an aborted attempt to fix the arm there they were then transferred to Canberra Hospital. The child was calmly enduring everything and though he was obviously in a fair amount of pain had not complained the whole time.The child's father had spent the 48 hours since the accident alternating between getting drunk, abusing his partner and her father and driving between hospitals. He still had not arrived in Canberra 2 hours after the rest of the family, but was expected at any time and quite frankly his arrival was being anticipated with trepidation. The woman herself was feeling the strain of  48 hours with no sleep, being the buffer between her partner and the hospital staff (who would not deal with him) and trying to stop him from turning the accident into his own personal drama at every turn. She was also still feeling a fair bit of shame at having swung punches at him in the street outside their business when he refused to let her go to her son.
    Yep, that was me 12 months ago. It all seems so surreal now, but my life was falling apart around me while I just sat there and waited for the next blow. So I sat there watching the organized chaos of the ER as my son dozed and a sense of great peace came over me. It was like suddenly being in the eye of a cyclone, and then I had a moment of clarity. This was where I belonged! But I was like the kid peering through the fence at what they perceive to be a better life. I was on the wrong side of the fence! I was living a life I hated and sitting there watching people who were living my dream. In that moment I decided to end my abusive relationship and take back control of my life. At that time the dream of nursing was something I still did not think of as a  possibility, but I was later to get back enough confidence in myself to start dreaming again.
    It took me 6 months to fight my way out of that relationship. The more I tried to wrestle control back the worse the abuse got, but in a way I am grateful for that. The way I look at it, I was pushed to breaking point and well past 'the point of no return'. I was left standing there with a pile of rubble at my feet and now brick by brick I am re-building my life with that rubble, but this time I know what I want it to look like and I am following the plan.

    Friday, May 7, 2010

    Plan B

    I went to see my 'Employment Case Manager' today. Went well, but it still does my head in! Basically in order to keep my pension I am required to actively look for work or be participating in a activity that will enhance my ability to look for work. No probs! That is where my case manager comes in. The strategy is for me to get into full time study next year, but there is a lot of time to fill before then, so what to do? I don't really want to get another job in hospitality and coming into winter in a tourist town there are not many around anyway, so we have basically decided that doing a Uni Prep course may be the way to go. So I have spent many hours on the internet this evening trying to find out my options. Well, they are fairly limited! There are courses through the local TAFE college that cater for people who want to continue study but never completed their schooling, but they are only going to get me to the pre-Tertiary Prep Course Stage.

    Course 6504 Preparation for Vocational and Further Study is designed to help you to improve your knowledge and skills for further study in TAFE or University or to refresh your skills to enter the workforce. This course is particularly suited to those returning to study after a long absence or needing to upgrade your skills to enter other courses in TAFE and some Universities.
    This course can be used as entry into the Tertiary Preparation course in TAFE which is the tertiary pathway to some courses in TAFE and University.
    So I do 360 hours and achieve not much! The idea is to get my brain going as well as keep the government powers-that-be happy. Well, no tick in the first box for that one! 

    As it does not really matter to them what I study, I have come up with Plan B.

    Medical Terminology (Advanced)
    Complete by Distance Learning using a workbook and CD and regular phone and email contact. Course covers medical terminology from introduction to advanced. Successful participants will receive a Statement of Attainment for Certificate III Business Administration (Medical).
    I can study from home, which is very helpful when you live in the middle of nowhere, it may just be a lot more helpful to me next year than a General Studies Course and it is Accredited.

    Monday, May 3, 2010

    Registration Posted - On My Way

    Today I posted off my registration to sit the STAT test, then did a little jig in front of the post box. It is such a good feeling knowing that things are really starting to happen, albeit very slowly. I did the practice test last month and got 90%, so I was pretty damn pleased about that. So I am now not as stressed as I was about having spent the last umpteen years trying to fry my brain and fairly confident about getting a high enough score.
      Fingers crossed and bring on the 21st!

    Too Sick For School But.....

    Text from the EX: M... is off school today could you look after him

    Of course! He is my son, so I cancel appointments, rearrange my day and head off to pick him up. As I walk through the door I am greeted with "Nice of you to turn up", so I inform him that I had things to do and got there as soon as I could, in fact a lot earlier than I told him I could. He then proceeded to say "Things to do? You don't do anything" in front of a half full cafe of his customers. Nice!

    As I left with snotty, but not sick, 6 year old in tow, his final words were "Make sure you have him back here by 3:45 for soccer training". Now don't get me wrong, soccer training is a great activity and I don't even mind that he organized an afterschool activity for him on one of my nights, but Too sick for school, Too sick for soccer!

    So I told him so! I didn't go on to mention that he was well enough to accompany his father to the races yesterday and the beach afterwards, but I sure as hell thought it!

    Anyway, the 6 year olds take on it all - "I just didn't want to go to school" Yep, sounds right!

    Sunday, May 2, 2010

    So Much For Smoke Free!

    Damn it! Only lasted on the smoke free kick until I had to do the Saturday Handover with the EX. That man really has the ability to bring me to the point of murderous thoughts in record time.

    Went straight to the shops after he left and bought a pack. Felt much better after three in a row. How sad is that? Very!

    Well, when the Tax Dept. finally get their shit together and send me my refund I will be taking a trip to the Hypnotherapist to get the issue solved once and for all!

    Saturday, May 1, 2010

    The Boardwalk

    DSCF5510, originally uploaded by Muddy Sunday.

    Wish I was there now! So peaceful!

    Armed With A Patch And A Valium

    Well, the last six months has seen me achieve some goals I had considered to be quite unachieveable when I set them. But step by step I muddled on, then one day realized that I had done it. So I celebrated my new and improved life by having a little cry - go figure! And then set a new bunch of goals!

    1/ Gain acceptance to Uni.
    2/ Put on another 2 kgs.
    3/ Get my photography out there for sale.
    4/ Quit Smokin!!!!

    So twelve hours in, I am armed with a patch and a Valium, and feeling fairly confident, that may obviously change in the next ten seconds and back again shortly after. But it is time!

    So now the world gets to see me at my most psychotic, but maybe along the way to being smoke free I may give you all a laugh. (And possible make you cringe) But there you have it, the next road trip of life has started, so now I attempt to enjoy the ride.