Work and BPD Archive

Loss and Honey

Posted July 22, 2021 By kmarrs

Lost my most recent patient, Miss Pattie, to liver cancer this week. I wasn’t there when it happened, but I was with her quite a bit leading up to her final moments.

I really enjoyed the time spent with her while she was still functional. I only had about a week or two of that time with her, but I’ll treasure it.

I firmly believe that everyone we meet leaves an impact on our lives, even if our time with them is brief. Miss Pat introduced me to honey.

I mean, I’ve always been a huge fan of honey. I spend way too much money at the local farmer’s market buying quality honey. I have spicy honey. I have a lot of honey. But I’ve never quite known what to use it for other than adding it to tea. Yes, even my spicy honey.

(Spicy honey in tea when you have a cold is the best. The spice clears your sinuses and the honey soothes your throat. And tea is also good for a cold too, of course. But I’m serious, get yourself some spicy honey for your next cold.)

In her final days, Pat didn’t eat much. But what she would almost always agree to eat was honey on a toasted English muffin. Now, my kids are big on English muffins, so I usually have some on hand. One evening after my shift with her, I tried it, and it opened my mind to a world of honey uses. The next day I excitedly reported back to her that I’d tried honey on a muffin for myself and understood why she lived on them. She sent me home with a fancy jar of honey from her friend’s bees, and instructions to try it on vanilla ice cream.

I’m telling you here and now, honey on vanilla ice cream is absolutely the best way to eat ice cream.

From there I branched out to fancy honey. Expensive honey. But EBT paid for it, and we currently have extra EBT because of Covid, and it’s use it or lose it. So if ever there was a time to try acacia honey and manuka honey, it’s now.

Next on the list was honeycomb. Because I’m trying to honor a woman who I’ve known for a very short time, but touched my heart, I’m diving head first into honey adventured. I will say autism and beeswax in the mouth aren’t the best mix for me, but the honey is good enough that I’ll finish what I have. I melt it over muffins and that helps with the texture. Also, my 13yo, who has a chewing stim, got to discover raw honeycomb, and he is a huge fan.

My final adventure will be creamed honey. I haven’t bought any yet, but that is simply because I forgot. I plan to do that in the next week. That too will probably land on an English muffin.

I really appreciate having met Miss Pat. Watching her die from liver cancer is probably the most triggering thing I could ever watch someone die from, but I honestly think in the end it was worth it.

Be the first to comment

Working with BPD and things, an Update Part 2

Posted September 10, 2020 By kmarrs

This new job is really working out for me. I don’t just mean the dynamics of my relationship with my client. I mean it works in all the ways my mental health usually doesn’t let things work.

It’s slow-paced so I don’t have to thrive under pressure. I don’t have sales or referral goals. I’m allowed to be somewhat nocturnal, which is an ADHD trait.

This is a job that lets me be useful to society and a community in a way that isn’t detrimental to my mental health. I could even argue that it agrees with my physical heath, considering I was able to do the job well even with no blood the past few weeks.

All in all, I don’t feel particularly disabled trying to do this job. It’s a great feeling. I really think this is something I can do long term.

I can’t actually post photos of the people I give care to. That’s a huge privacy violation. So please accept this stock photo in its place.

Be the first to comment

Working with BPD and things, an Update Part 1

Posted August 27, 2020 By kmarrs

So I am officially working now. I’m a senior caregiver with a international company, though they are franchised out.

I started a week ago and spent a few evenings (I work 3pm to 11pm – mostly) with a really nice lady who had just had emergency surgery. By the time I got my turn with her, she was mostly recovered. She was well on her feet in a way that you wouldn’t think a 91-year-old would be. She was for the most part able-bodied, and her mind is as sharp as a tack. I spent most of my time with her reading beside her, refilling her water as needed. It was a really relaxing way to get my feet wet.

By Monday of this week she was well enough that she didn’t need us any more, and good for her. She was a delight to work with, but I’m glad she’s feeling better.

My new case is a little more challenging. She is 90-years-old and about 80% able bodied, though she is slow getting on her feet and uses a chair lift for stairs. But she gets around. The catch is she has dementia. So she’ll present a unique challenge.

I’ll just have to be patient and persistent. I spent a few hours with her Tuesday while she was in someone else’s care, to get to know the case, her needs, and my way around the house. I will officially take over the 3-11pm shift on Thursday. I’ll be with her 5 days a week.

This is subject to change at any time, but this seems to be where I’m stationed.

I’m feeling pretty relaxed about the challenge ahead. I’ve been around dementia patients before. I know to just go with the flow and not add to the confusion in her head. I know how to place ideas in her head that she’ll develop and claim as her own as the day progresses that will allow me to make sure she eats, bathes, etc.

In closing, I present one of the sunflowers the local birds planted in among my lilies. Some people would be bothered by this and pull it all. However, I myself am an agent of chaos, so I support the birbs in their gardening efforts.

Be the first to comment

Time sort of got away from me. I suppose it does that when the calendar no longer matters. Last week was a rush of phone interviews, COVID testing (I’m fine. It was a precaution.) and such.

There was also a weekend depression because I found a job. While I’m excited about the job itself, I wish it was a 2021 job. Not an end of the summer 2020 job with COVID still being out in full force in my community. But, well… the unemployment bonus is gone and I have a family to provide for.

Anyway, I’m not ready to talk about the job. I had orientation yesterday. I start my first shift tomorrow. So I’ll have something to say next week.

Also, just a note. I’m going to start having new posts drop on Thursdays. Wednesdays are my guaranteed day off and I work a lot of weekends so it just makes sense to drop things the day after I have a day off, so that if I am writing last minute it’s on a Wednesday not a Sunday, when I’m working.

Be the first to comment

This One Is About Money

Posted August 3, 2020 By kmarrs

So the GOP failed to agree to a stimulus without trying to add to the military budget, or fund a refurbishment of the west wing, so like many Americans, I just lost 80% of my income.

Which means I’m now job hunting. Which is exactly what the GOP wants me to be doing. I’m just supposed to ignore that there were 1700 new cases in my county the other day, and that that is normal right now.

I don’t really know what I’m looking for. I think I’d prefer something where I’m in scrubs. But I’d be fine with a regular office too. I’m just sort of seeing what’s out there and applying to anything that will pay the bills.

I’m not settling for less than 15$ an hour. I’m aiming for 18$ an hour. I have 5 people besides myself to support, I’m nearing 40, and I have a college degree. I will be paid my worth.

Realistically, I’ll accept whatever I’m offered, but I’ll keep looking even after that if the pay isn’t a reasonable living wage.

This is such bullshit though.

Anyway.

I between my income and Robin’s disability, we have enough to cover rent. We are still, however, short about 800$ for utilities, insurance, and various debt payments. If you like what I do here, now is the time to tell me via PayPal. I put a lot of work into being a source on mental health shenanigans, and I don’t run ads. I think asking for tips is valid. So if you can, now is the time to toss a coin to your blogger, oh valley of plenty.

You can do so here.

As tip tax, I offer the corn the birds out front (we’re not buying bird food this month obviously) tried to grow.

They have an entire garden going out front, in the beds and in the lawn, but this corn is my favorite. I’m kind of sad Robin pulled it.

Be the first to comment

Life Goals

Posted June 29, 2020 By kmarrs

I’ve been doing some soul searching and big decision making. The easiest way to share this is to copy/paste a couple of Facebook posts that are about a week and a half apart.

First, some background. Sammy was playing outside barefoot and stepped on something that cut her foot open right between her toes. The cut was superficial, but with where it was located, there was a lot of blood. More than a band aid could handle so the next best bet was a lot of gauze and some tape. Only, I didn’t have any tape and only had just enough gauze. Anyway, I made do with what I had, and then started the quest of building a proper first aid kit. I had a lot of input from a lot of people as to what should go into it, and actually built two: one for the car and one for the house. I could have called it done, but the process ignited something in me. Something that realized I needed to learn how to properly use some of the things I had.

“I want to take an EMT course. I don’t want to be an EMT but I want the EMT certificate so I’m prepared for anything my kids throw at me. It’d also mean I could be a street medic at things like Pride. Finally it’d look really good on my resumé and grad school apps. The single class I need for the official certificate is 1120$ for the 7 credit hour class, plus there is a test which probably costs a few hundred. If I throw a tax return at this, this is doable. By this time 2021 I could be a fully certified EMT. (Which isn’t the same as a paramedic. Though this is the first step if I wanted to go further. I don’t.)”

I lived with that dream for about 9 days. 9 days full of soul searching.

“Wanna hear my new life plan?

So the old plan was masters then doctorate then diagnosing especially women with ADHD and autism because the system is failing them. But. I’m old, tired, neurodivergent, and in over 60k worth of debt just from the first degree. Plus the system is realizing they are failing women and it’s no longer an, “if I don’t do it no one will,” situation. By the time I get my doctorate, I’ll be late to the game. Am I capable of getting my doctorate? Yes. But at what cost? Plus to get accommodations I’d need to be officially diagnosed. And well, that affects my ability to work in the field.

Anyway.

I really want to get this EMT certificate. I really want this. So I was thinking. What if I got it like planned next summer, and then contact the official PRIDE scene in Columbus and ask them if they have a use for me? If it’s just a voluntary position, I work some 9-5 and volunteer on the side. If they have a paid position, they become my 9-5 or whatever. My 9-5 can stay whatever I find next for the coming year. Or maybe I get the cert and work EMS elsewhere but not for the city. I don’t want to be a paramedic or city-based EMT. But I could work at like the zoo or something, for all I care. If I need a day job that’s not the pride scene I can do even a random office job. Then volunteer with the pride scene.

Robin is supportive as long as I’m getting a paycheck from someone. Though she is concerned I need to work on my upper body strength. I’m surprisingly strong, but I welcome the excuse to join the community center gym and lift. Also, building upper body strength will help with back pain and breast support. But I want to be buff. Just super jacked. Men fear me. Women loving women flock to me. The lesbian dream!”

Anyway, no matter what I need to find at least a temp job for the coming year or more. No matter what, I want to get my EMT certification. And I really like the idea of using that certification to help the PRIDE scene here locally. Even if that isn’t my actual career, it can still be my passion project.

Be the first to comment