Sunday, November 29, 2009

Still Bitter, Is There a Cost?

When my teacher failed me in nursing school, was it a blessing? I had to drop out of nursing school. I was later re-admitted, but a new teacher at the school failed me. I was heart-broken and hated her for many years . I wanted to become a nurse after my mom died, I worked as a nursing assistant for a year, got good job reviews, entered school, got good grades but had to drop out because my husband got sick. When I re-entered ( I even audited a course that I had previously taken, because I did not want to take any chances that I might have forgotten something), they assigned me to a new teacher for my clinical experience. She was an experienced nurse, but never taught before. Besides the fact that I was an experienced certified nursing assistant and had received good clinical grades previously, it was a short summer semester, so I was not worried. During the first few weeks, she expressed frequent concerns about a male student. When she seemed satisfied with his progress, she focused on the oldest student in her class (me). Now I was getting the patients with the 20 (no kidding) different meds. I had to memorize each one, with the type of drug, how it worked, drug interactions, and side effects literally overnight. Well, I did it and she said that I took too long to recite this information. She ignored other students and followed me around. One day, I went up to a new patient with my meds and said, “Wait a minute. You are not Mrs. _____. I was still holding the meds and went to the other bed and said Hello, Mrs. _________. My teacher accused me of trying to give meds to the wrong patient, and failed me. I guess it would have gone better if she had gone after me first instead of the only male student. Then I would have had time to prove myself to her. What amazed me was that she was so obsessed with me, that she never checked to see if all the other students had the required experience of giving injections or doing dressing changes. I tried to dispute her claim, but being in a Catholic School, questioning authority was useless. I was heartbroken and in shock. I loved nursing and if I had won the lottery I would have done it for free. But unfortunately, being out of the working force for so long had severely stressed my finances and I had to get a job paying more than a nursing assistant. I went back to the bookkeeping world. I am still feeling bitter. I don’t know what good came out of it. Maybe something good will happen. Are my negative feelings keeping this from happening?

How to Become Rich

I define “rich” as the quality of the life that you living. Money is one of many tools that can be used to increase your quality of life. An abundance of money does exist, but at this very moment it may not be in your bank account. Do what you can to change this, but if you have enough to take care of your basic needs, be grateful. Working toward your goal, a positive attitude, and gratitude are other useful tools.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Things That Have Kept Me Sane

What I like to do: Listen to music, read, drive my car with the moon roof open, enjoying the breeze ( I live in Florida). I used to enjoy gardening when I lived in New Jersey,. I planted begonias, marigolds, geraniums, zinnias, coleus, I planted a flower bed, hanging baskets and pots around my front door. When I was 10 or so, I used to like to sketch. My parents could not afford the lessons that an artistic neighbor suggested, but I’d like to try it again. I used to go to the library every week during the summer and borrow as many books as they would let me have. My parents were not big readers ,so I don’t know how I inherited the “reading gene”. By the time I was 14, I read Dickens, Hawthorne, Alcott, Hardy, Baldwin and Shakespeare and every super-hero comic I could get my hands on. When I was a teen-ager and subject to bouts of depression, I used to like to take the train downtown and walk from City Hall to the Art Museum in the fall.
I know that I inherited my enjoyment of music from my mother. In the early sixties,rock and roll was relatively new and few adults like it. Of course, that was before the influence of drugs. My mom liked Elvis, Chuck Berry, the Beach Boys, the Four Seasons (of Jersey Boys fame, among others.She also enjoyed the music of her youth, especially by Frank Sinatra and music of the Big Band Era. I take after her in a way, because my son likes to share the music he listens to with me. I wonder how I am influencing my kids. I guess it flows from one generation to the next. These are tools of survival. They've gotten me to where I am today

Just Glad It's Over

Last Wednesday, I went to get my yearly Reclast treatment for my osteoporosis. With this treatment, I could go a whole year without taking those weekly or monthly pills that I forget to take half the time. The medical center is about 10 minutes from home and the treatment takes less than an hour so I left my pork roast in the fridge, thinking I could cook it later. Less than 5 minutes after the IV started, I felt dizzy and sweaty. I called the nurse, they disconnected the IV, gave me oxygen, checked my pulse (40) and I heard one say she could not get a blood pressure reading and they were calling 911. I was in the ER for a couple of hours and was told that I would be discharged. Then a nurse came in and checked my blood pressure. It was 70 over something. They gave me dopamine to raise it and tilted the upper part of my body back on the bed. I felt like I was passing out. They stopped the dopamine and said that I was probably allergic to Reclast, but since it is a rare reaction, they wanted to put me in ICU for observation with a heart monitor.

I’ve read a lot about trying to live in the present moment, but I had no desire to do so while I was hooked up to an IV and a heart monitor, getting Nexium shots in my stomach, undergoing bloodwork, etc. It’s hard to be spiritual when you are in the hospital.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Basics

One of the most common signs of depression is neglecting your responsibilities. I know when I was depressed, I neglected household chores and paying the bills. Eventually the depression made me feel so exhausted that it took most of the day to get enough energy to take a shower. On top of that, my husband did not realize my depression and just thought I was lazy.

Looking back on that dark period, I now realize that if I make a list of the basic things that I really need to do to keep my life running smoothly and check them off when completed, I not only get a sense of accomplishment that keeps my spirits up, but I am also preventing future depression, as well. It must be a very basic list. No goals, no big projects. Just the things that fell apart the last time I was depressed:

Get dressed as soon as I wake up.
Cleaning kitchen every day
Make the bed every day.
Keep up with the laundry.
Hair and make-up every day.
Taking my meds.
Make sure we have enough food in the house
Check the bills

This list is the absolute minimum that I have to keep up with. If I am having a bad day and I still get these things done, I am surviving to fight another day.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Forgotten Treasures

I found a copy of a book that I bought a couple of years ago at Barnes and Noble for $3.99. It’s called “The Positive Bible”. For the past year or so, I’ve become more interested in other belief systems. I‘ve been studying Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth”. I am taking a class in Buddhist meditation. I am a fan on Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Wayne Dyer, and others. So I was curious, as a former Born-Again Christian, can I still relate to the Christian Bible. The book that I found just contains quotes from various Biblical translations that are inspirational, not judgmental.

Thumbing through the New Testament section, I found from Matthew 5:44-46 (NKJV):
4 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,[h] 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?

Well, the above underlined phrase just about jumped out at me. As a Christian, I believed in a personal God. Of course, I could not completely explain “Why Bad Things Happen to Good People”. There is the concept of Free Will, which I think states that we are all given a choice, to be good or evil and God does not force us to choose the right way. We can also say that God permits difficult, even unfair situations to occur to teach us. Now, I don’t know if I can ever explain everything bad that happens. I really can’t say that I’m wise enough. But reading the above phrase gave me an additional thought (assuming of course, that there is a personal God). First of all, I think that the first part of the phrase denotes something good, whereas the second half is an example of something negative. Rain is life-giving, but at the wrong time, it can produce catastrophes like mud-slides and floods. So, God the Father, permits both. He does not just love those who love him. He is the Source of Love. We are encouraged to love all, as well, so we can be “sons” (Bible language, not mine) of our Father in heaven. Also, by loving our enemies, blessing and praying for them, we are following God’s example of love.

Just a thought (don’t know if I’m right or wrong). I didn’t even realize that I still believed in a personal God. I kinda like it, though.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Progress report

I periodically go through periods of depression. The last one started a few weeks ago at a party. I suddenly felt separated from everyone else. I told myself that was ridiculous, but the feeling stayed with me. Instead of the positive, uplifting atmosphere that I usually experience with my friends, I felt as though no one really wanted me there. I have been reading the Eckhart Tolle book “A New Earth” and one theory I could not understand was “the pain body”. He devoted an entire chapter to this, but from what I do understand, I think he defines it as an accumulation of old, negative emotions, that form an energy field that exists in your body. It lies dormant, and one day, wham, something sets it off. It takes you over and you just want to be miserable and make others feel bad, too. Your pain body feeds off this.

Afterthe party, I came right home, me and my pain body, that is. Within hours, I could see a change in attitude in my husband and in my kids, as well. At this point, I believe in the existence of the pain body. I don’t want to engage in any helpful behavior, In fact, I am getting worse. I‘m not concentrating as well, I make a mistake with paying a bill, and my husband, who is already feeling negative about the world, said some very upsetting things to me.
The old feelings of no respect for myself were returning. Something came up with my daughter, so I had to miss meditation class. I was sliding downhill rapidly.

One day I read on Twitter “Take a moment and ask yourself, are the feelings I have right now supporting me in my ultimate purpose and goals,” Ken Lauher. I examined how I was feeling at that moment and asked myself if that was how I wanted my life to be.

Well, now I am posting a bit more on Twitter and Facebook, writing more, and I am going to attend a meeting of Toastmasters to see if that can help me to become more self-confident. I will be taking a French class next semester and moving forward on some business plans. And I am back on my diet. So far I’ve lost 22 lbs., have 25 to go.

I am taking responsibility for my own happiness.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Gay-Marriage Activists Look Ahead After Maine Defeat

Gay-Marriage Activists Look Ahead After Maine Defeat

This is so sad. "Marriage between a man and a woman. No one is discriminating against gays. We just prefer a traditional marriage." It is discrimination. If it were to be applied fairly, we should at least make sure that people who claim they are male or female are what they say they are and are in compliance with the law. We should have DNA testing to make sure that not one single woman is suffering from AIS (Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome), in which someone who thinks she is a woman actually has male DNA. There are approximately 7,500 women who have this disorder. But who knows how many really have it? I believe that these people are breaking the law in states where "one man, one woman" has been legislated.
After all, this law applies to everyone, does it not?