Sunday, August 26, 2012

Long story short, you're probably dying.

Oh my...I kept debating on whether to update tonight because I wanted to get to bed early but honestly, if I wasn't doing this I'd be staying awake some other way even less productively than I am now. 
This week I went back to school. Well, I went to my internship and then sat on my couch for class. My internship rocks. It's with a youth advocacy center that researches, works with a plethora of youth related service organizations and also goes to the Capital to let politicians know what they're doing when they write out policy that effects people. My supervisor seems great and the Executive Director has already talked to people about finding me a job somewhere in Louisville, this man is efficient. In related news, I have an interview tomorrow across the bridge in Indiana for a case management job. I'm crossing my fingers that my days of getting punched and spit on are behind me. You never know when those days are behind you though, really. So overall the 'work' week was pretty rad, aside from minor technical issues. I bought a new laptop for school since my old one decided that it doesn't like being on for longer than twenty minutes again. The new one is definitely not as fancy but it just needs to get me through the school year without costing me any more money. That is my only hope for this laptop, my expectations are low.
So by the time Friday comes around I'm feeling positive about life, I love my internship, my classes seem like they are going to be interesting and I am even getting a short visit from my Aunt. All awesome things and then suddenly in the middle of a meeting with a very reputable and enormous foundation I get distracted by weird tingling in my legs. Then I get the tingling in my arms and hands. I start guessing that maybe too much caffeine, I'm dehydrated, I'm having an aneurysm, the usual. I leave the meeting still feeling mostly normal except for the weird tingling. I stop and get gas, continue on home and by the time I hit my house I'm feeling really warm and my head is swimming. I take my temp, pretty mild and take some aspirin. An hour goes by and my temperature goes up by 2 degrees. Odd but still functioning and not craving brains yet. My Aunt visits, I feel hot but can carry a conversation and I'm happy. Then the aspirin begins to wear and the headache returns along with pain in my lower back and up my spine. I take some more aspirin and nap on the couch. Jason and I then go to a cookout to see friends, one of whom that was in town from New York that he doesn't get to see often. After an hour at the cookout I'm back to feeling completely miserable and on the verge of tears because there is so much pressure in my head and neck. Jason takes me home and we have a conversation about going to the ER. I don't have health insurance right now so that seemed out of the question. Instead we go home and I lay in bed and cry because I feel so awful while he runs around the house looking up phone numbers to nurses hotlines and getting me cool washcloths for my head. The pain has traveled from my lower back to all of the joints in my body and my head is on the verge of exploding like Gallagher and his watermelons. My temperature gets up to 102.6 and we finally contact a nurse. I talk to her briefly and her suggestion was to see a doctor in the morning unless the pain gets so bad I can't touch my chin to my chest. She also mentions meningitis. Yikes. My fever persists, chills, body aches and it looks like the flu but there is zero nausea or vomiting. Jason continued to check on me, got me aspirin and read to me (the Hobbit) and yes, he is amazing. I woke up a few hours later in a pool of sweat with what felt like the worlds worst hangover. Saturday was rough but not near what I was experiencing the night before so I'm guessing whatever it was had passed. I avoided seeing a doctor and I probably won't until my insurance gets reinstated sometime this week. Mostly the experience made me angry that I had to choose between obscene medical bills or silent suffering in my home with the possibility of a serious virus infiltrating my body. Luckily it appears that it was a 24 hour bug though I still continue to have some discomfort in my joints. At one point while I was laying there with tears streaming down either side of my face I thought that I was maybe just going to not wake up because I had West Nile or meningitis. It is entirely possible that I had West Nile, some people get it and don't even show symptoms, others die, depends on your immune system. Anyway, I didn't die though at times I was sure I was going to and I live to fight another day. And kill any damned mosquito that I lay eyes on. 
Next week is my first full week at my internship and school. I'm looking forward to learning a lot and re-familiarizing myself with excel spreadsheets! Yay! Ugh. Maybe school will get me back to writing in one consistent tense and proofreading the things other people see. Don't get your hopes up.
Have a wonderful week. Maybe this time next week I'll have some more great news and less dramatic stories about my physical health. 
Also my best friend Jen, is awesome. (there's your shout-out you nerd)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Inside jokes and outside voices

This morning I awoke at 8 a.m. only to realize that it's Monday and I don't have anywhere to be at all. So I forced myself to go back to sleep for three hours. It was awesome. I'm trying to ignore the nagging stress that keeps creeping in when I'm trying to be lazy and relax. Over the next two days I need to buy a new laptop, books for school and start my internship. No big deal. 
Last week was full of awesomeness for the most part. Monday through Friday I was at work during the day, pretty standard, though Friday was my last day at work. I'm not technically unemployed, I still work there when I want to pick up shifts. I don't want to pick up shifts. I've been job hunting for some time now but it's beginning to get a bit frustrating. There are a ton of jobs that I'm qualified for but can't get because they are either full time or I don't know anyone that works there and it's a nepotistic organization. Or I'm really not qualified. Who knows. In the meantime I'll keep pretending that I'm going to do productive things like clean my house and pick up shifts at the dreadful job. 
Last week involved hang outs and time with my favorite people. Monday night was trivia night where Jen and I ended up on an all girls team and did awesomely, however we got second place. We'll get em next time. Tuesday I was exhausted from work and fell asleep on the couch for over an hour only to get woken up as my part time roommate came home to see if I'd like to join her and her classmate for dinner. Oops. Moped night and then after work on Friday I ran away from that place as fast I could and drove home to see what kind of trouble we could find. We ended up playing nerdy board games at home and making each other crack up over random things, inside jokes and whatnot. I'm glad we are all getting along like gangbusters. Jen and I walked to the local watering hole to check things out. Both of us got drawn into different conversations with strangers. I overhead a guy talking about being a lobbyist and public policy so I naturally interrupted the conversation and started asking questions. He was highly educated at East coast schools and is now pursuing a doctoral degree. He was old enough to be my father and jokingly said he was going to "take you home to Mama." He clarified that with, "you have nothing to worry about I'm 49 years old and bi-sexual." I have no idea how any of that made the kidnapping statement sound any less threatening but I laughed it off. We talked about the education system and living in the South. After walking back home we spent time with friends on the porch as I struggled to stay awake. Saturday was a little less eventful, but still a good time. Sunday I was supposed to spend cleaning because both of the roommates were at work but instead I decided to walk in circles around my house most of the day trying to figure out where to start and then went to Target. I did get some things done but not as much as I should have. I just nag myself about it.
This week looks to be exciting purely for the fact that I get to start my second year of grad school! Nine more months and I'm Shannon Moody, MSSW. That looks kind of stupid but those letters after my name are expensive and time consuming so I will use them. 
There were some things that happened this weekend that made me think about really appreciating how things are going in my life. I've had two friends over the weekend lose a close family member. It's sobering news to hear that people you care about, or were close to at one point have experienced a loss like theirs. It's scary to think about and makes my heart hurt for them. And how do you really comfort people that are going through these things? What can you say that's going to make any bit of difference? It's a selfish thought to have when you hear about someone dying and I think, "I have no idea what that would feel like but I hope I never have to know." The reality is, we all die but timing seems to make it that much more or less tragic. I guess since it's something that didn't happen to me personally I need to take it into consideration and make sure I'm never unappreciative of the people in my life, because you never really know when you'll lose them. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Home sweet home

An excellent example of Southern hospitality this week came in the form of a favor at the grocery store the other day. Jen and I were grocery shopping and I was struggling to reach a can of black beans on the top shelf near the back. I have disproportionately long arms so I knew she couldn't reach it either and just as I was about to give up on that metal can a man, not much taller than me, asked if he could help. He struggled to reach and ended up having to jump up to grab it. I looked over at Jen and kind of smiled. I thought to myself, I can't imagine that happening to me in the North. Not that Kentucky is very Southern, but people are noticeably more friendly. I'm beginning to like it here. Not just for the black beans or the cheap drinks, but because it just seems to suit me. Dare I say, Kentucky is beginning to feel like home. I just hope I don't develop some kind of accent after claiming Louisville as my home. Who knows how long I'll be here but I'm really ok with not knowing the answer to that. 
It has come to the end of the summer (my summer not weather based) and I didn't think I would get here at times. I have just five days left at my job (BIGGEST sigh of relief!) and just 9 days until I start classes and my new internship. I will likely struggle to make it through the week, as I have most weeks at work, but I will dance my ass off when I get to clock out on Friday and get in my car to head home. I still haven't found another job yet but I'm hopeful that I can find something, somewhere so I don't have to return to that undesirable place. 
The week went quickly and by the time I clocked out of Friday I have put in 90.5 hours in over the last two weeks at work. Jason has been working like crazy too since he's off school for another week. We didn't see much of each other except to cross paths and also to have him pick us up from the bar after work last night. Jen and I get to spend some time together and I've been taking her to the regular haunts. We did trivia, played games, hung with the part time roomie and made dinner together a few nights. I've been thankful to have her around. I'm also thankful for Jason's friends that don't mind me being around either. 
Lots to do over the next two weeks without the resources to really do it successfully. I'll figure it out and make it work, I usually can. I'm not looking forward to the last five days of work but I'm going to power through and get it done. I'm very much looking forward to next weekend and buying books and getting organized for school and the beginning of my last year of grad school. Boy does it feel good to say that. 
Have a wonderful week. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

It's almost here..

I'm currently typing this from my laptop....same laptop, but it's suddenly working correctly again. This is definitely a result of my superior computer fixing skills....but I'm not sure what I did at all that made it work again. Let's hope it's not just temporary. Now if I could just restart my brain and get it back to where it doesn't have awful songs in my head and be able to focus. It's been 'call me maybe' and 'jermiah was a bullfrog'...what is wrong with my head?
This last week i started counting down the days until I'm done with work. I also decided to continue looking for a new job so I don't get stuck where I am. For a minute there I considered it thinking that I could just pick up shifts to transport kids or random shifts not in the dorm. After working 50 hours this week I don't think I could even stand that at this point, so coffee shops and part time cashier work it will be, hopefully. As long as no one really cares that I'm in grad school and have no intention of staying there after I finish in May. A nine month commitment would work, right?
It's been fantastic having my roommate/best friend here for the last week. I still feel like she's just visiting, but I'm sure she does as well. I spent way too much time this week staying out too late and not getting enough sleep. That probably didn't help with my motivation to work. We explored a bit, made lots of meals at home and looked for cheap drinks at trivia night and the Back Door. Jen got to meet our part time room mate and they hit it off swimmingly. I feel like it's all a really great fit. Obviously it's early but I'm feeling hopeful. 
This week, when I was working, I started thinking about the clear reasons why I have such strong negative feelings about my job. The biggest issue is an issue of ethics and it kind of brought me back to my first semester of grad school and critically thinking about personal conflicts I have with the organization itself. It's becoming more and more clear to me that my ideas of what is right and best for the client do not align with their ideas. Every organization has it's own theories and practices that they feel are best for the clients, the ones they focus on just don't make sense to me. I've got 10 work days left to count down with each passing day. 
I can't wait to start school back up and get into my internship. I'm also ready to stop feeling miserable after an 8-10 hour workday. I'm ready for some transitions back into normalcy.