Inspection Week

It’s Monday and holy hell is it ever Monday. So this morning, I woke up and, as consciousness slowly came to me, I found myself thinking, “I feel really well rested!” So, of course, a sinking feeling of dread sinks in and I check my watch and sure enough… it’s an entire hour and forty-five minutes past when I normally wake up for work. In a complete and utter panic, I throw myself out of bed, wash my hair over the tub, throw on yoga pants and my blue Corpsman undershirt from last year’s Naval Hospital Rota Corpsman Ball fundraiser, stomp on my Vans, and basically run from my barracks to the hospital. What an excellent start to my day/week/etc. Here’s hoping that this isn’t indicative of how the rest of the week is going to go, because I have way too much riding on this week for the whole week to be as much of a disaster as this morning was.

That being said, I ordered a new phone that I will be getting at the end of the month, and I’m going to the NEX after work to buy a freaking alarm clock. I haven’t owned an alarm clock… actually ever. I got a cell phone when I got a job, as was my parent’s policy with all of us girls, and before that I just woke up when I woke up, or my other family members would wake me up if there was something I needed to be up early for. Perks of being home schooled: I normally didn’t get up until around eight and school usually started around nine. (Plus I was almost always done by noon and I got to do school in my pajamas.) But I will be buying an alarm clock, and you can bet it will be one with a battery backup, because we have been known to have occasional power issues in the barracks. The Seabees normally get them resolved fairly quickly, but still. I have duty days and other nonsense coming up and I cannot be having alarms not go off. Hell, if I’m late for duty I go to DRB! (Disciplinary Review Board, for my non-military readers. Essentially, a bunch of chiefs get me in a room and yell at me and tell me what a terrible sailor I am and inform me that if it happens again I’ll go to Captain’s Mast.)

Anyway, this morning’s insanity aside, I’ve already been pretty productive today. I’ve hand-delivered a few sets of glasses to some of my more important/favored patients (I’m not going to make Command Master Chief come to Optometry for her glasses, that’s just ridiculous), gotten four pairs of glasses prepped to get mailed off at the end of the day, taken care of several patients, talked to my career counselor about my lack of orders and set a time to call my detailer together, and overall just beasted out. I have to say, I’ve recovered pretty well. I still have a few more things on my to-do list, but so far I’m on a roll. One of the coping mechanisms I’ve learned over the years to deal with stress is to take a second, breathe deeply, tell myself the old cliché of accepting what you can’t control and being strong enough to change what you can, and use my stress as motivation. It’s taken me almost twenty-six years to figure that out – which is kind of sad, when you think about it, but I’ve always been stubborn and had to learn things the hard way – but now that I’ve learned it, I think it’s been good for my blood pressure…

This week is going to be interesting. The two most important inspections the hospital ever goes through are coinciding this week: The Joint Commission, who handles hospital accreditation and can shut us down if we fail, and the Medical Inspector General, which is probably even more serious than it sounds. So, as I’m sure you can imagine, the past few months have been nothing but pre-inspections, stress, mandatory training, and other absolute insanity. Now, though, with the inspection just a day away, things are starting to pull together and shape up. The clinic is spotless, all of our required signage is posted, my new kid has been studying his TJC handbook, and my Chief and I did a last minute fog-walkdown and made sure the clinic was squared away and ship shape in preparation for the inspection. My biggest “UGH” for the coming week is the fact that we have to wear NSUs for the entire rest of the week, which is one of the more uncomfortable uniforms we have. (Plus it restricts movement to a degree, which can make patient care a little more difficult. Unfortunately, most female Navy uniforms are not tailored with the concept of broad shouldered women being taken into account.)

I guess we’ll see how things go. In just a few short weeks, I’ll be boarding a plane home, and looking forward to that has carried me through the past few weeks.

 

Until next time, stay frosty, nerds! Excelsior!

Expectations

Nothing stands to make a girl feel as good about herself as finding out that she’s meeting (or even exceeding) the expectations of people whose opinions she respects. After a year plus, I finally got back in touch with one of my favorite instructors from Corps School (training for corpsmen after boot camp and before we go into the fleet). I told him what I’ve been up to and thanked him for his help, mentorship, and advice throughout Corps School, found out that he picked up HM1, and had a good long talk that culminated in him telling me that he’s proud of me and that I’m a “hard charger,” a high compliment in the Navy. It made me feel so good about myself to be making an HM1 like him (multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, highly decorated, and just a generally good person both on and off duty) proud.

I also got a random “I love you and I’m so proud of you” type text message from my sister this morning, a sincere apology from someone who owed me one, and a continuation of my flirtation with a cute MM3 I’ve known since boot camp. Overall, today has gotten off to a really good start. I know it can’t take full credit, but I’m at least partially attributing it to my waking up and making the conscious decision to be in a good mood today. Attitude isn’t everything, but it accounts for a lot more than I think people realize.

Now, with what is going to come for the rest of this week, I think that having this Monday workday start out so well was really and truly necessary. I have my PRT tomorrow afternoon and I likely won’t pass but, again, I’ve made the conscious decision not to let it bother me. It is only due to some physical illness as well as mental health issues that I got to be as out of shape as I am, and now that I have a handle on it nothing is going to stop me from achieving my goals. I’m telling you, this whole positive attitude thing might be the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I’m sure it will annoy my coworkers a little, but they’ll get used to it eventually. That being said, as much as I might have to potentially worry about this week, I have even more to look forward to. I have a big family dinner planned for the squad this Saturday evening, I should find out on Friday if I got selected for orders or not, and this is yet another week that I get to go home to a wagging tail and some aloof appreciation of my presence (dog and cats, respectively).

On another note, I’m so grateful to have gotten referred to my current psychiatrist. He is excellent at his job, but he’s also one of the few providers I’ve ever seen who treats me as a patient and not as a corpsman. I’ve had so many healthcare providers dismiss requests, talk over me, and ignore my input simply because I’m a low-ranking corpsman who worked for them at one time, when they would never do that to any other patient. On the flip side, my psychiatrist values my opinions, listens to me, and takes my opinions into account. He sees my being a corpsman as a good thing, giving me more say in my treatment than he might for someone without medical field experience. It’s nice, too, because we both know that I do research into medications and treatments before I talk to him about them, so it’s not like I’m one of those “I Googled my symptoms and I have cancer” patients or, heaven forbid, the “well, my sister/aunt/uncle/friend is a nurse and THEY said…” type patients.

He and I both agreed that aggressive treatment was best for me – especially given my mental health history and history of suicidal ideations/suicide attempts/self-harm/etc. – and the routes that we’ve taken so far seem to have been helpful, exponentially improving my mental state. I am so blessed to be in a situation where I have access to good mental health care and I’ll say again, as I’ve said many a time, that I am so grateful to the Navy as a whole, because it literally saved my life, not to mention introduced me to some of the best people I have ever met in my entire life.

 

Seeing as how today is the first day of a new month AND a Monday, and given that I spent a good solid chunk of the weekend re-evaluating my entire life, I’m making some serious lifestyle changes. I refuse to participate in the whole New Year’s resolution thing because the fail percentage of the average person to stick to their resolutions is super high, and thus I also reject the label. Lifestyle changes it is. That being said, I do have a rather consistent history of being kind of a flake, which is something that I am actively trying to change. My focus in the coming months will be in two areas: things that I’m trying to turn into daily habits (writing, going to the gym, eating better and tracking my calories, etc.) and big lifestyle issues (getting a better handle on my finances and getting out of debt, losing a significant amount of weight and keeping myself overall healthier, taking a more proactive stance on my mental health, etc.). A big problem that I’ve always had in my life is that I have a tendency to give excellent advice… that I fail to take myself. A good example of that would be the innumerable times I’ve counseled friends and loved ones to take time for themselves/make sure they schedule self care/etc., which is something that I never do for myself. So, moving forward, that will be another thing on my “work on this” checklist.

 

Well, that’s it for this week’s Monday update. Until next week, stay frosty, nerds! Excelsior!

Heeeeere’s Monday!

There has already been a weird start to this week, and it’s only Monday. It is time, ladies and gentlemen, for me to tell you all about The One That Got Away.

I met Him on Tinder (yes, I know, eye roll, etc.) in I want to say either October or November of 2015, and we hit it off instantly. I wound up asking him if he’d like to get a beer and hang out, and he said he would, but he was going TAD the very next day to Virginia for a few weeks. He said he’d hit me up when he got back, and I took that as a gentle brush-off, chalked it up to a loss, and moved on. Well, on December 29th, 2015, I got a message. All it said was, “I’m flying back in tomorrow. Still down to get that beer this weekend?” I was absolutely floored. After we’d sorted out his duty schedule, we ended up making plans to meet up on New Year’s Day. I spent that entire 96 with him and we’ve been together off and on ever since. We both have our share of depression and mental health issues, and we’ve always been there for each other, no matter what. To give a few examples, he’s literally told his Chief to fuck off and walked off his ship to come find me before, because I told him I was having a panic attack. When he was struggling with some suicidal ideations, I stayed up with him until three in the morning on a work night to make sure he would be okay. Without going into too much detail, suffice to say that I’ve never met anyone else like him, and that applies to all aspects of our relationship. It had been so long since I’d been with a guy who treated me well that it almost made me slightly nervous at first. But, the more time we spent together, the more I came to realize that he was just a genuinely good person. He had my back and I had his, and it was sort of us against the world, for a while there. Because he was on one of the ships that calls Rota home port, he’d be gone on patrol for four months and then back in port for four months, but the four months apart never really seemed to affect things. It was like he went on a short business trip, and when he came back and we picked up right where we’d left off, like he’d only been gone a few days rather than a few months.

He left for the States on the 10th of this month, and we didn’t get to say goodbye. Nothing I can recall has ever fucked me up quite so badly as that fact, especially since we didn’t talk at all after that until recently. I thought I’d lost him – I really did – and on Saint Patrick’s Day, I drunkenly messaged him, telling him that I missed him. I never expected to hear back from him but, about a week later, he messaged me back. “Pick orders to Portsmouth.” I was floored. He still wanted me in his life, at least in some way. I couldn’t believe it. We haven’t talked much since – we’re both pretty busy right now – but knowing that he cares enough to tell me that I should pick orders to where he’s stationed means the world to me.

 

All that to explain the fact that I nearly smashed my phone when my alarm went off this morning, because it woke me from a dream about him that was one of the best and happiest dreams I’ve had in… well, ever. I spent the morning listening to music that reminded me of him while I went about my day-to day life (i.e.: gym, shower, galley, work, etc.) and, who knows? Maybe I still have a chance. I kind of doubt it, but a girl can dream, right?

In other news, the advancement exam is finally in the past, meaning that I can now relax (at least a little bit) and stop studying. I have so much free time now I almost don’t know what to do with myself. It’s weird. Hopefully by the end of April/beginning of May, I’ll find out that I picked up Petty Officer Third Class and I can celebrate with my other friends who will be getting frocked with me.

It’s been a pretty happenin’ month, March has. My best friend and the (possible) love of my life left for the States, I took my advancement exam, my hair is finally getting long enough to be able to be put up for work, and I’m getting my life back on track, slowly but surely. We’ll see how things go, I guess!

 

Until next time, stay frosty, nerds. Excelsior!

FML

Fruit Monkeys Lie. Obviously. Well, it’s once again a Monday. I’m grumpy and everything sucks. I suppose I should begin at the beginning, so here it goes.

Friday night, which was Saint Patrick’s Day. I got all dolled up and went out with my usual crew, plus a few new pals. I nursed a (green) Adios Motherfucker and tried not to keep one eye on the door, waiting for blind date to show up. Tucker had told me that he would be coming into Rota around 2000, so when it hit 1945 and he still hadn’t shown up and the squad wanted to go out in town, I shot him a message, letting him know where we’d be. A few hours into the evening, I resigned myself to the fact that I’d been stood up, and not just for one night. He’d told me he was going to spend the weekend with me, so there went my entire weekend. As the evening wore on, I stepped out of the bar we were sitting in and lit a cigarette, sagging against the wall and rubbing my face. Complete and utter waste of makeup and a cute outfit. And then I heard the rumble of a car engine approaching; when it slowed to a stop in front of me, I glanced up cautiously and found myself smiling for the first time all night. It was one of my best friends, a guy named Aaron, who kidnapped me a proceeded to brighten my evening up.

Saturday day was pretty decent; I ventured out to Cadiz with my squad (me, Taylor, and Ben) and spent the day sight seeing and eating amazing helado. I had made plans to grab drinks and hang out with an Air Force guy… who proceeded to be the second person to stand me up this past weekend. Luckily for me, I’d taken two of my girl friends out with me, and they kept me from slipping into the depths of self pity and despair.

I pretty much grumped around all day Sunday (though I did get to catch some awesome Pokémon) and didn’t do shit, because I was down and felt bad about myself after being stood up TWICE IN ONE WEEKEND. I did get some laundry done… but that was about all I did. Oh, that and get trolled by some douche bag frat boy asshole and his little buddy on Tinder. Which actually bordered on cruel.

Which brings us to this morning, Monday. I actually woke up in a relatively good mood (which should have been my first red flag.) I showered and made myself some coffee and got all the way to work… and then realized that I’d left my locker key at home on my nightstand. So, I opened my clinic, texted my co-worker, and then walked my happy ass all the way back to my barracks to get my locker key, then all the way back to work to get ready for my workday.

I am disgruntled, people. Dis. Gruntled. Is it Friday yet?

 

Until next time, stay frosty, nerds.

ANXIETY OH GOD

I swear I started this post on Monday, but then… well, that was two days ago, so while I can’t remember exactly what happened, I know there was a perfectly valid reason for why the post didn’t get finished. … don’t look at me like that, there was!

 

Moving on, the Navy-wide advancement exam for sailors attempting to achieve the rank of Petty Officer Third class is tomorrow. I’m going to vomit just thinking about it. I’m normally not a terribly anxious person, but in certain social situations, when giving speeches or addressing groups just in general, and when it comes to test taking, I turn into a bundle of raw nerve endings and borderline insanity. I test well and I’m reasonably smart, but I always get so nervous right before a big test…

And tomorrow is one of the most important tests I’ll ever take in my life, because it determines if I advance my career or not. I’m freakin’ out, man!

Trying to focus on other things. I’ve been heavily fatigued all week (not sure why, as I’ve been getting the normal amount of sleep), so I’ve decided that I am going to cold turkey quit caffeine starting Monday morning, start tracking my water intake and calories seriously again, and get back into my daily gym routine (or at least make sure I’m doing bodyweight workouts on the daily). I can’t expect to see a change if I don’t make one! Honestly, I’m looking forward to coming back to the barracks. I’ve enjoyed dog sitting for my HM1, but I don’t think I’ll do it again. It’s been too stressful with not having a car and it’s made getting to the gym impossible.

I just want it to be the weekend. I’m so ready for sleeping in and not stressing out about studying anymore and hopefully spending some time with my Airman. I’m so exhausted today, I’m about to fall asleep at my desk. I need sleep and cuddles and wine this weekend.

~

Went and got food from the café attached to our hospital and was SO out of it that they had to call my name repeatedly. When I finally registered that they were talking to me, the girls teased me and asked if I needed another coffee. They’re the worst, but they’re also not wrong. I do need the coffee. I drink the coffee and then I do the things. I can’t figure out what’s wrong with me! I’m looking forward to getting everything pushed through for the sleep study LCDR Stetler wants me to do. I would hate to be diagnosed with sleep apnea, because that would just be one more freaking health issue for me to deal with, but at least if I get that diagnosis we can start treating it and I can (hopefully) start sleeping well again. I really just need to get back in the gym, though. Being overweight is a huge contributing factor to sleep apnea, and while I doubt getting fit would completely solve the problem, it certainly couldn’t HURT. Plus, I know I have more energy when I work out on a regular basis.

I’m so tired today that the thought of getting up from my desk to walk to the galley for lunch is completely daunting. I have to make myself do it, because I know I get hangry if I don’t eat, but I’m so tired… UGH.

 

Until next time, stay frosty, nerds!