Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December Journalling

1.     I don’t seem to tolerate medications well. The new drug they were trying to switch me to, because of the side effects of the last one, is much worse. I started to have involuntary muscle clenching of my jaw. It started after three doses and by midnight it was closing my jaw like a drawbridge, up for one minute, down for one minute, for an hour, then it came less frequently, but lasted longer, up to five minutes, and then seven minutes at the longest. My mouth wouldn’t open and my teeth would grind. At first, since I didn’t know the cause, I considered calling an ambulance. It was very distressing and I was crying and feeling panicky. Thankfully, my daughter was awake and she looked up the side effects of the drug and when we saw that this could happen, she helped me breathe through it. Needless to say, I never want to see that medication again.

2.    I was hoping to do twelve hour shifts this week, but it looks like I’m doing three eight hour shifts of paperwork. The meeting with occ health is delayed till Wednesday.

3.    I’m kind of nervous about going back to patient care.

4.    On my way to the occ health meeting today, the GO train stopped at Eglinton because of debris on the tracks. When the doors opened, I saw one last cab. My doors opened right at the stairs and I ran as fast as I could hobble and had him drive me to the subway. When I got there, another delay on that train had me arrive ten minutes late for my meeting. I called once and left a message, but when I called back to update, my phone was dead. After all that, I was told I could work full time, but it had to be three weeks of days to prove myself, then I could go back to nights. I would have to work 11 to 11 in the day; worst shift ever! But I smiled and agreed to do it.

5.   Oh. My. Goodness. This is a horrible shift. It doesn’t help that it came at the end of three short shifts, or that it’s my first week. Also, I was buddied with another nurse so it was hard since I didn’t have any clear idea of what was expected of me. Next week I’ll take my own assignment.

6.   So happy to see the weekend! Heading to London tomorrow, to our Finnish family Christmas. Lots of food, of course.

7.   Always nice to come home again.

8.   Week two of full time hours, modified duties. Not so bad. I may get through this.

9.   Trying to begin my Christmas decorating, but it’s hard to do with these hours. Also, I can’t make dinner for my family, so they’re managing without me.

10. Today was the union Christmas party.

11.   Happy to see the end of my work week. Today was difficult, especially the last five hours, then a delay on the subway made me take an alternate route. But no matter how late I get home, I watch the recorded episode of Jeopardy. You know you’re old and set in your ways when…

12.   I don’t usually talk about these things, but I’m so excited that this is probably my last period. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. I know there’ll be trade-offs, but for today, I am happy.

13.   Tonight we had my unit’s Christmas party at a Cuban salsa club and restaurant. That included a 45 minute salsa class. I watched but didn’t take part in it. I did dance a bit, but it was a lot for me. Still fun to be out with my co-workers in a different setting. Of course, my usual date was with me.

14.    Today our friend, Leah is getting married. She is forty and has been waiting for this day her whole life. We’ve been waiting for it with her and are so happy God brought Glen into her life.

15.  Guest preacher today. He spoke from the book of Daniel and it reminded me of my husband telling bedtime stories to our daughters when they were young. For the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego he’d make the sounds of all the instruments that signalled the people were to drop.

16.   Third week of full time work; four twelves this time. Still on the crappy 1100-2300h shift. I’m X-ing off the days as I do them.

17.   Christmas is sneaking up on me, and I have no gifts purchased, no tree, and no turkey.

18.    Urology day. I hate urology day. Very stressful shift.

19.     Last day, and the complete opposite of yesterday. Also, we did a gift exchange with my co-workers. The nurse who drew my name said, “Yes, the easiest person!” I got a Chapters gift card. I guess they know me. Yay! I did it! I survived working three weeks of full time hours. Now I am off for 17 days, maybe 24 if my vacation gets approved.

20.     So nice to sleep in. Laundry and Christmas shopping. At the Christian bookstore, I may have bought a few extra books. Then stopped to buy some yarn. Aaah, books and yarn make me happy. Pizza for dinner. Friday is a no-cook day.

21.    My mom cooked both cabbage and turnip the other day. Though she warned us in advance, still surprised the smell lingered so long. I hope it disappears before Christmas day. Cleaning and shopping. Hope we get our tree and turkey today.

22.   An ice storm started last night. Our youngest drove up to Orangeville with friends and now may have to stay there. Our church services were cancelled today. Thousands without power. It’s strange to be home from church. Trying to get things done while we still have power.

23.     I went to the dentist to get fitted for a mouth guard to stop the jaw clenching which makes my headaches even worse. Toronto’s ice storm may mean that many cannot cook their Christmas dinner. Last night my brother-in-law and his wife came over. They’re just a few blocks away and they are without power. They came over to warm up with some tea, and charge their phones. We offered our guest room, but they declined. They may come over to cook on Christmas Eve. We’re at my sister’s house then, so it’s not a problem.

24.    Deep fried turkey at my sister’s house. It’s so good. A 25 pound turkey cooked in 90 minutes.

25.  Hosted today. Tired. We had a gift exchange and I got a big, warm, soft blanket.

26.  Two couples came over for hot tubbing. My husband and another friend rolled in the snow. Who’s the Finn in this family?

27.  Still over 25,000 without power. Isn’t it ironic that we never lost power and I’m more prepared for emergencies than the average person.

28.     Pajama day. Prepped the Jeopardy categories. I like doing this kind of thing.

29.   Nice to be back at church. Full house, but there were no babies so I didn’t have to go into the nursery. I also had to throw out almost everything in the fridge at church since the power was out for four days.

30.   Well, this first year of journaling this way is done. I like it. It’s doable and so I think I’ll continue into next year. Also, I picked up a mouth guard so hopefully my headaches won’t be so bad.

31.  Dinner and games at church tonight. I hope the new year will be better than this past one. I can honestly say I’m not sad to see this year end. My daughter kept a jar of positive events that happened, and re-reading them encouraged her again and reminded her that many good things happened and life was good. I think I’ll try that for this year. Also, just found out that I get next week off as well. That's 24 days off!  Woot! Woot!

Friday, December 27, 2013

My 2013 Reading List

My 2013 Reading List

1. Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz

2. With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin

3. Sea Captain’s Promise by Joyce A. Scott

4. The Proverbs 31 Woman: One Virtue at a Time by Courtney Joseph

5. Kate’s Kisses by Mary Manners

6. High Desert Haven by Lynette Bonner

7. Gentleman of Her Dreams by Jenn Turano

8. Speak Up with Confidence by Carol Kent

9. Second Chances by Allison Stanley

10. Garden of Madness by Tracy L. Higley

11. The Scoundrel’s Essential Guide to Surviving Socio-Economic Collapse by Tom Fox and Gwame Brown

12. Tempest in the White City by Deeanne Gist

13. The Deepest Waters by Dan Walsh

14. The Colonel’s Lady by Laura Frantz

15. Set Sail My Heart by Colleen Coble

16. Mirror Image by M. Dello and A. Reid

17. Noble Pursuits by Chautona Hauvig

18. Trapped: the Adulterous Woman by Golden Keyes Parsons

19. Cafenova by S. Jane Scheyder

20. Rocky Mountain Oasis by Lynette Bonner

21. Bug-Out Bag: Prepper’s Guide by Gayle Richardson

22. Out of the Wilderness by Anita K. Greene

23. Benaiah by Cliff Graham

24. Outlining Your Novel by K.M. Weiland

25. Love’s Reckoning by Laura Frantz

26. The Reliance by Mary Lu Tyndall

27. Unending Devotion by Jody Hedlund

28. Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer

29. A Texan’s Promise by Shelley Gray

30. Destiny’s Hands by Violet Nesdoly

31. Waiting for Summer’s Return by Kim Vogel Sawyer

32. The Pursuit of Lucy Banning by Olivia Newport

33. The Bachelor Puzzle by Judith Pella

34. Lethal Legacy by Irene Hannon

35. Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden

36. Love Ahoy by Colleen Coble

37. David and Bathsheba by Roberta Kells Dorr

38. Chasing the Sun by Tracie Peterson

39. It Happened at the Fair by Deeanne Gist

40. Rebekah by Jill Eileen Smith

41. Betrayed by Robin Lee Hatcher

42. Vanished by Irene Hannon

43. Grave Consequences by Lisa T. Bergen

44. Glittering Promises by Lisa T. Bergen

45. Alone by Golden Keyes Parsons

46. Trapped by Irene Hannon

47. Trouble in Store by Carol Cox

48. Heart of Gold by Robin Lee Hatcher

49. When Love Calls by Lorna Seilestad

50. The Tutor’s Daughter by Julie Klassen

51. A Heart Deceived by Michelle Griep

52. Deeply Devoted by Maggie Brennan

53. Twice Promised by Maggie Brennan

54. So Shines the Night by T.L. Higley

55. Where Hearts are Free by Golden Keyes Parsons

56. The Rebel’s Pledge by Rita Gerlach

57. The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow by Olivia Newport

58. Forsaken Dreams by Mary Lu Tyndall

59. Widow of Gettysburg by Jocelyn Green

60. A Bride for All Seasons by Brownley, Clopton, Conneally, Hatcher

Friday, December 13, 2013

November Journalling

      1.     Actually saw some of my neighbours have their Christmas lights up already.  
2.     Went to a lingerie shower for a friend today. I bought lingerie, of course, and included a gag gift of a honeymoon survival kit. I can’t tell you what was in it, though.

3.     My husband is fishing this weekend. Life is so different around here. I am in flannel pajamas, the clocks won’t get reset until he returns, and my daughter has to show me how to set the alarm. I know I sound inept, but he’s an enabler. Princesses are made, not born.

4.     I’m working two- six hour evenings, paperwork only, then I have a few tests to find out what’s going on with my leg, hopefully. I have an EMG (electro-myelogram ) on Wednesday, and an MRI of my lower spine on Friday.

5.     Work was okay. My back gets sore by the fourth hour and I have a constant headache, but I feel I accomplish something. I prepped two rounds, ten categories of Bible Jeopardy for the Women of Faith Christmas brunch.

6.     I went for my EMG and nerve conduction tests today. My mom kindly drove me downtown. The parking cost $28 for three hours! Isn’t that ridiculous? Also, the test was unpleasant. They zap your muscles with electrical shocks and then poke you with needles. Not fun. In unrelated news, the doctor told me I had scoliosis and one leg shorter than the other. See, if you get enough tests done, you find out all kinds of things about yourself. I wonder if that’s why when I stand up to sing, after a few seconds of standing straight, I kind of throw my weight over to my left side. Probably because of that.

7.     Another strange thing yesterday was the doctor who examined me came in wearing gloves, then he went to wash his hands. I thought he removed his gloves, washed and then put on a new pair. Instead he washed his hands while the old gloves were still on. Very strange. They’re not expensive gloves, I’m sure he could change them. In other news, we’re eating some of the fish my husband brought home. He got five trout and filleted them himself. Time to get writing. It’s been about two weeks since I worked on my book.

8.     My third MRI of the year. I expected they would do just the lower spine, but they did the entire spine, so I was in the tube for forty minutes. In spite of the noise, even with ear plugs and headphones, I managed to fall asleep.

9.     Today I cleaned a bit, and relatives visited. I was prepping a Bible Jeopardy game for the Women of Faith and was just putting the finishing touches on it. I’ll need to buy some bells of some time, for the contestants to ring in.

10.   I went to the doctor and the tests from last week were generally okay, no cause found for the leg weakness. That leaves all my strange symptoms to the documented side effects of Lyrica. So she plans to wean me off it and change to another drug. I must admit, I’m afraid the facial pain will return, but I’d be happy not to have this limp, or the stabbing pain in my thighs, or the anxiety, or the backache, headache and anemia.

11.   Lest we forget.

12.  I got our Christmas letters printed today. I plan on a stress free Christmas season, so I’m not even sending cards, just the letter, and most will be hand delivered. I’ll do what I did last year and decorate the house one day, and leave the tree purchase and decorating for mid-December.

13.   I’m getting better at work, my stamina is improving. I’ve been so de-conditioned by this year’s illness and time off work, but I’m slowly remembering how to do my job; the paperwork, at least.

14.  A home day, since my mom’s car is getting its winter tires. I did some laundry, reading and crocheting, mostly to procrastinate. I must write. It’s been a week or two since I’ve done any serious work on my book.

15.   I went for a bone density test. The usual; a lazy day. No energy. Reading and crocheting.

16.  More laziness, a little cleaning, a nap. More writing.

17.  A providential dinner after church today, and a wedding shower for the pastor’s daughter and her fiancĂ©. A very long day, and now I have no inclination to do anything of significance.

18.   I had a meeting before work today with Occupational Health, my manager, a union rep and me. It’s about my return to work plan. I need to go back to the doctor to get a more detailed plan for December, but November is as planned. Work was good tonight.

19.   My back was really hurting this evening at work.

20.  I have made two crib size baby blankets. I may bring them to a crisis pregnancy centre nearby as Christmas gifts.

21.   Prepping to go to the SGF Annual Asssembly on Friday and Saturday in Grimsby. We’ll be staying in a motel nearby. There are four couples going from our church. I think I’m going to be exhausted because Friday will be a long day, at least eight hours.

22. Hearing updates from our sister churches and other ministries is as encouraging as salvation testimonies.

23. Napped when we came home from Grimsby.

24.  Our computer literally disintegrated in front of us. Not a good time of year for a big purchase, but I need it. So we’re planning to use the cash I’ve set aside over the year to purchase it, so we don’t need to charge it.  No new debt is nice, but I would have liked to use it for the party I was planning for my fiftieth birthday. I guess I’ll just start over.

25.  Working my usual 8 hour shifts of paperwork. I’m getting into a routine with it and I’m getting faster.

26.   I’m hooked on Jeopardy. Always happy when I know some obscure answers, like the name of the first submarine; the Hunley.

27.   I’m beginning to recognize snow clouds. You’d think so after half a century in Canada.

28.  Doctor’s appointment today, authorizing me to increase to full time hours, but with modified duties. Don’t know how I’m going to do it, but I have to try work hardening. Also trying to change some of my meds.

29.   We had the Elders, Deacon’s and wives Christmas dinner at a restaurant tonight. It’s nice when none of us have to do the work. No stress. New and improved holiday season.

30.  We had the Women of Faith Christmas brunch today. We played a round of Jeopardy that I made and a silly balloon game. My message was on Jesus, the God-Man and then we ate lots of food. In the evening we attended a dinner party with two other couples and they had a seafood theme. Lots of fun, but I was worn out early.