Sunday, July 29, 2007

Not too bright, but happy.

I’m not too bright because in my last post I said I had 43$ left from home savings… well, that was before I added what was in my Canada Savings Bond. Oops. It’s the best kind of mistake to make! :-) I’m also not too bright because the intelligent thing to do would have been to put the money aside for my tuition. Obviously, I didn’t do that. Instead, I found an awesome deal on a couch and chair for 900$ plus tax. How could I resist!? So I went ahead and bought it. I’m back to my 43$ and change, but at least I have new furniture. Wheeee!

I figure I worked so hard to save this money I deserve to treat myself. And, the price was too die for. So I might be a student come September, but at least I won’t have my student-y futon.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I'm in... I think.

I haven't received my admissions letter, but yesterday I received my course selection package. Among the documents there was a letter stating that I haven't sent back my acceptance letter. Kinda hard to do when I haven't received it! So by the package of information, I'm assuming I'm in and the letters just got crossed along the way by Canada Post.

I've picked my classes and unlike most freshmen, I made sure I had early morning classes almost every day. I figure if I'm up for a class in the morning it'll be easier to study in the afternoon. If, on the other hand, I had afternoon classes, I just know I would be challenged to get up early to study.

In other news, I have 6 days left before closing - WAHOO! I have potentially rented out another bedroom which would mean I would only have one left to rent. It's someone who works in my building and she is coming over to see the place on Wednesday. I also met with my lawyer today and everything is on track for the big handover next week. I had hoped I would have some savings left-over, but after finalising the all the cost I have $43 left. Ugh. Oh well. When I did my calculations I had added a 10% buffer. I figured I wouldn't actually have to use the buffer, but since I do after all, I'm sure glad I added it in!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Out Loud

I was happy to see I'm not alone in my office loud talker pet peeve. In fact, it’s the highest office pet peeve according to this article. It caught my attention today as I have a particularly LOUD co-worker.

Despite the laundry list of complaints, the loud talker wins the award for most annoying. Of 2318 people surveyed in March 2006 by Harris Interactive and Randstad, 32% say an office loud talker is their biggest pet peeve. Coming in a close second at 30% is using an annoying cellphone ringtone; 22% said speakerphones are their No. 1 peeve.

As in this article I know way too much about said co-worker. I usually know what he is having for dinner, what he paid for his current house, what range he would like his new house to be in, what his weekend plans are, how much money he has in his bank account... seriously, I'm just waiting for him to announce his credit card number so I can start charging earplugs from e-bay to his account!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Oh Happy Day!

I’m currently enjoying the afternoon off due to the torrential downpour over my cubicle!

I was working through lunch today (which is a big no-no… but thank goodness I was), when I heard the sound of water. I looked over at my neighbour’s cubicle when I saw water leaking from the ceiling. A co-worker got up at the same time and noticed the leak so she grabbed a garbage can. Just then, the water went from a slight drip to a rainstorm! Water was pouring on my neighbour’s cubicle and making it’s way towards mine and others! My co-worker and I tried to salvage as much as we could from the cubicle being rained on and cleared stuff from all other cubes. The fire alarm sounded and we had to leave the building.

We were outside for over an hour just waiting around while the fire department made sure the water hadn’t caused an electrical fire. When we were finally aloud back in, we were greeted by the clean-up crew letting us know we could only grab what we needed and to head home. It was the most wonderful news I’ve had in a long time!!

There is a big gaping hole above my cubicle, but nothing seems ruined. It’s a pretty sweet deal because I get the afternoon off without actually having to deal with having my stuff destroyed. Life is good. :-)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Pass the Ativan*

I’m having an anxiety attack. Ok – it’s not exactly an anxiety attack, but panic is settling in. I’m really going to jump and I don’t have a parachute. I don’t do well with uncertainty. I’m a super planner and although I’ve detailed my jump as accurately as possible, there are still a few unanswered questions.

1. Will I be able to find someone to take over my lease?
2. Will I find two more roommates?
3. And the big one: Will I be able to get a student loan or student line of credit?

The first two I can get around for a few months if the third one comes through. However, without the financing I’m toast. I won’t be able to afford my tuition and I wouldn’t be able to eat. Getting rid of my house doesn’t make things any better – it would actually make my financial situation worse! I wouldn’t be getting rental income and paying an apartment would actually be more than my mortgage!

I don’t like the unknown and right now I won’t have any answers for at least another two weeks. I really hate that things are out of my control. Bah! I’m so OC*!!

I’m not panicking in the sense that I’ll be out on the streets – It’s more that I won’t be able to fulfill my dream of going back to school. I won’t be giving my notice until I’m sure about everything and even if I DID give my notice, it would just mean going to school part-time and working part-time for the first semester. Hmmmm…. I think I might have found a way to get around this should the financing fall through. It wouldn’t be ideal, but I could still get all my courses completed by the end of the second semester and be ready to apply for the Radiology program for September 2008.

I love blogging. It actually helped me think things through and subside the heart palpitations. Who knew blogging could act as a stress reliever. :-)


Just because I know at least one person is not going to get my post:
*Ativan- Drug used to treat severe anxiety
**OC – Obsessive-Compulsive (not Orange County)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Give me a W… Give me an O….

Guess what? Today’s job shadowing in radiology had lots of little wows. I think that’s definitely something. I think it’s impossible to have a perma-wow in any job, but the stuff I saw today absolutely has me wanting to see more.

The first part of my visit was in the Fluoroscopy room (I think that’s what it was). I saw a few procedures where the patient drinks a barium solution and then the x-ray is taken in real-time. You can see the solution go down and coat the oesophagus and stomach. The radiologist takes shots of the images he wants while the tech preps the patient and the solutions. I’m not sure what the radiologist was looking for, but it looked really cool and was quite fascinating. I was there for about an hour and it just flew by. I didn’t have a chance to speak with the tech because she was so busy, but I did get a chance to talk with a second year student who was doing her clinicals. It was nice to talk to someone who has been doing the program I will be doing. She said she really enjoyed the program and reassured me that the physics classes aren’t as scary as first year physics (phew).

Next up: Computerized tomography (CT scans), i.e., detailed cross-sectional images of the body. You can’t work in CT with only your undergrad – you need an additional year of study. However, this is offered through part-time distance education so it’s definitely something I could look into. The CT Scans where very cool (I’m sad that I can’t seem to find more interesting words to express my experience except COOL – but that’s exactly what it was). Anyway, I think this was my favourite area (although I didn’t get to see the OR – which I think would also be extremely fascinating). I got to see brains, hands, hips and hearts. Wheeee! It wasn’t very busy so I got a chance to talk to the more experienced techs between patients. They really gave me a good view of the job.

Finally I was off to see plain film radiological technology, i.e., x-rays of the chest, bones, joints, spine, etc. It was interesting to see how the job can be very “clear-cut”, but you still have to improvise with patients who might not have enough mobility. I like that is brings creativity into play as well.

There are still a few areas I wasn’t able to see like the Operating Room, Angiography and Emergency Procedures – but it did give me a good sense of what I would be doing. There are also so many directions I can go from there! I already mentioned CT Scans, but there is also MRIs, ultrasounds, mammography, nuclear medicine and more I can’t think of right now. I love that there are so many options available. Essentially I could do lots of lateral movement in my career without even changing hospitals! I really like change so these types of options really appeal to me.

While doing research on the field, I found an interesting quote that said: The field of radiological technology is a combination of science and art. After today’s job shadowing I can certainly see that. The work you have to do to get a patient in exactly the right position is definitely an art.

Oh - one more thing - the program accepts 9 students and year and 4 of them have the opportunity to study in Belgium or England for 2 months - how cool is that?!

So *deep breath* I think I’ve made my decision – radiology it is. I can start University in September with confidence that in September 2008 there is a viable and exciting option for me.

This is where the fear sets in – I’m really going to take that leap! It’s a freakin’ scary financial leap, but I guess I just have to jump in and not look back. Eeeek!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Don’t Stop

For all the runners who read this blog in the hopes of following the trials and tribulations of a marathon runner, I have three words of wisdom for you: Don’t. Stop. Running.

It’s incredible how even a few weeks without a run can put a dent in your running form. I haven’t run in two months. Today I received an email from the Running Room advising me that the new half-marathon clinic was beginning tomorrow. I had completely forgotten that I had pushed my winter registration to the summer/fall session. My initial reaction was: oh crap – I can’t do this now! But even though I’m on hiatus from running right now, I really, really don’t want to give it up so I half considered re-joining. However, when I checked the schedule and saw that our first long run (this Sunday) was 7 km I quickly decided a half-marathon training wasn’t the best thing to be doing right now. Oh yeah… and running 7 kms scared the shit out of me too! It’s crazy that in the last year I’ve run three half-marathons and a full marathon, yet after a few months without running and I’m scared I won’t be able to do a 5-k!

My second piece of advice my friends: diversify! I realize I kinda overdosed on the whole running thing this year. On top of my training I also taught two clinics. What do they say? Hindsight is always 20/20. Ah yes. I did a little too much of the running thing this year and perhaps if I had changed up the routine a little I might not have burnt myself out. The irony is that I actually teach this in my clinics. Yeah. Do as I say; not as I do. Hah!

Don’t give up on me just yet fellow runners! If I can get my life/career on track and into my house I will be hitting the trails again. We’ll just call this my off-season in the meantime.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Waiting for the Alarm to Sound

Six years ago I weighed 165 pounds. I know what you are thinking - holy crap! Is she really talking about her weight? Gah! So, as I’m writing this, I’m mentally going through the people who have access to this blog… talking about your weight is so taboo… but you know what? Who cares if people know what I weigh or weighed. Are you really going to think any differently of me? And if you do, do I really want you as my friend? (That’s what my Mom always said, anyway)

Anyway, at the time, I actually didn’t even know what I weighed. I think I had been around that weight since the infamous freshman 15 (or is that the freshman 50). I can’t remember why, but I decided to join Weight Watchers. Over the course of 6 months to a year I lost close to 30 pounds. I also started running at that point and ran my first half-marathon. I continued to run and maintained my weight. Eventually I left Weight Watchers, figuring I could maintain my weight on my own (famous last words, as they say). Well, life got in the way… I stopped running… stopped paying attention to what I ate and eventually the pounds started to creep up. I remember weighing myself regularly and even though the number was going up, I wasn’t concerned.

About 2 and a half years ago, I weighed myself and I had reached 168! Wah? I had gained more weight than I had lost?? I was panic-stricken. Alarm bells started ringing in my head. Forget the fact that I had been at 164 for the previous 6 months… I was now 3 whole pounds heavier than when I had started. Why that seemed more dramatic, I don’t know… but I got back to work… started exercising and eventually running and training again, even watched what I ate and finally got back down to 145. Not as low as it had been the last time around, but still respectable. I kept up my running, did a couple of half-marathons and a marathon.

So now it’s been 7 months since my marathon. I’ve been living at my Mom’s place and it always amazes me just how much your environment can influence your lifestyle. Yep. In the last 7 months I’ve gained almost 30 pounds. Wow. Sadly though, no alarm bell has gone off in my head this time. It’s like I’m living outside of myself. I see the number, see that my clothes don’t fit, but I haven’t gotten depressed about it, haven’t panicked, haven’t even had the least bit of interest in saying – it’s go time D. You need to take control of your life again. Nope. Not feeling it at all. Not even the fact that I weigh more than ever is motivating me. I don’t feel any self-pity or sadness because “I don’t know what to do anymore” like so many people complain about. I certainly KNOW what to do. A) Run B) Lay off the two-bite brownies, blizzards and chicken wings C) Ummm, that’s it. You have to cut back 500 calories a day to loose a pound a week. There are 200 calories in 2 two-bite brownies… I eat the entire bag in one sitting – you do the math. It all seems pretty simple, yet my brain isn’t able to compute. It’s like my brain is a little kid going nah-nah, I’m not going to do what I’m supposed too.

So, if you know how I can stop my brain from rebelling against my body – please let me know. Until then I shall remain pleasantly plump.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Not the WOW I was hoping for

I just spent the morning at the hospital with Respiratory Therapists (RTs). It was interesting and I got a chance to visit different areas and talk to people, but since it was a fairly slow day, it was hard to get a sense of whether it was right for me or not. I was hoping I would get a clear, “yup, this is me” feeling, but it didn’t happen. I didn’t get an “ugh this job sucks” feeling either so it’s left me unsure.

I got a chance to see a few operations in the OR and see what happens in the ICU and ER. The OR was interesting, but there was a lot of waiting around as the RTs mostly help out when a patient is being put under anaesthesia or when waking up (if the patient is a child). From what I saw, the RTs prep the OR for the anaesthesiologist and assist them during the anaesthesia process. I was able to attend most of a little girl’s (4-ish) operation to have tubes put in. Poor little thing was doing great right before she entered the OR... once she was on the stretcher she started to cry as she was obviously scared. No one tried to reassure her and that made me a little sad. :-( I also saw a lobectomy (operation to remove the lobe of a lung) being performed. The RTs are called in to the surgery room if the anaesthesiologist has to leave for whatever reas... like having to go to the washroom, which was the case today. They let me actually look in to see what the surgeon was doing. It was surprisingly really clean! I was expecting blood everywhere, but it wasn’t the case.

In the ICU the RTs have specific patients who are on respirators or have certain pulmonary “issues” (for lack of a better term). There’s a lot of checking of the machines, making notes, doing consultations and likely making decisions (although that wasn’t very obvious to me). In ICU I also had a chance to attend rounds where the doctor, nurse, RT, physiotherapist, nutritionist and occupational therapist discuss each patient. This was particularly interesting as I had been interested in both physio and nutrition. However, their role in these cases seemed quite limited. The nutritionist asked if each patient was eating and that’s about it. The physiotherapist discussed the height of one patient’s bed and his mobility. Overall, the RT and the nurse had the most interesting stuff to report. Of course, this could just be today in particular. I have been told that physio is very repetitive and that nutrition can be frustrating because you always see patients who refuse to listen to you. If nothing else, today’s job shadowing reaffirmed that physio and nutrition probably isn’t for me.

So for now, all I can do is wait till Tuesday and see how job shadowing in Radiology goes. If I’m still unsure, I guess I’ll have to do more research or I’ll go back to the drawing board. *sigh*

Call me wacko, but I really believe that something will guide me in the right direction. If I didn’t get the wow feeling today, it might be to make my decision to do something else easier.

I have faith that I will eventually find my path, I just have to keep searching.

Speaking of – my sister told me a few months ago that the song Put Your Records on by Corinne Bailey Rae reminds her of me. Now, every time I hear it, it makes me smile because I know that I’m gonna find myself somewhere, somehow. :-)

A few excerpts from my new theme song:

Three little birds, sat on my window.
And they told me I don't need to worry.
Summer came like cinnamon
So sweet,
Little girls double-dutch on the concrete.

Maybe sometimes, we've got it wrong, but it's alright
The more things seem to change, the more they stay the same
Oh, don't you hesitate.

Girl, put your records on, tell me your favourite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams,
Just go ahead, let your hair down.

You're gonna find yourself somewhere, somehow.


'Twas more than I could take, pity for pity's sake
Some nights kept me awake, I thought that I was stronger
When you gonna realise, that you don't even have to try any longer?
Do what you want to.

Girl, put your records on, tell me your favourite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams,
Just go ahead, let your hair down.

Oh, you're gonna find yourself somewhere, somehow

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Job Shadowing – Take Two

Take Two – the theme of the week. :-)

I’ve got my second job shadowing appointment set for Thursday. Wheeee! Thursday I’ll be exploring the World of Reparatory Therapy which includes visits to ICU and the operating room, how cool is that?

In theory, I should know what I want to do with the rest of my life by next Tuesday as I’ll have completed the job shadowing for both fields. There are three possible outcomes:

1. There is a clear winner between Respiratory Therapy and Radiology, making my decision an easy and confident one.

2. I love both fields equally and although I’m 100% certain I want to go back to University I’ll have to do more research to determine my concentration for September 2008

3. I hate both fields and left thinking – Oh crap! Now what?

Let’s hope for either 1 or 2. No worries, I’m feeling confident. :-D

Monday, July 9, 2007

Blarg. Take Two

It’s not so much that I’m still feeling blah, but more of a continuation of my earlier thoughts.

I just had a tear-filled conversation with my Mother. She feels like her family has abandoned her. She was upset because she feels I’m not there for her… like yesterday when I got home I just went to my dungeon instead of checking in with her. I told her it’s an issue of survival. I can’t take care of her right now – I need to take care of myself. She says she understands, but I don’t know she does.

She’s gone to see her doctor right now and all I can say is THANK GOD! Maybe I’m too much of a pro-counselor pusher, but I don’t understand why people insist they don’t need counseling! It’s not a question of needing it; it’s a question of making your life easier. If you had the following math problem to do:
(3985 x 439) – 4790 + 3958 (7485 / 74) + 3985 = ?

You could probably figure it out on your own with a lot of work. However, wouldn’t it be easier if you had a calculator? In fact, if you had a calculator and you insisted on doing the problem without it, people would whisper; look at that stubborn idiot! That’s how I see counseling – it’s a helping hand. It doesn’t mean you are a failure or that you CAN’T do it on your own, it just means you are using all the tools available to you.

My Mother claims I am not being supportive, but when did it become the child’s role to be the parent? If you have kids or will have kids, do you expect them to take care of you in a moment of crisis? Do you expect your children to be your social network if you should loose your partner? What would have happened if my father had passed away when I was a baby… would my siblings have been expected to take care of my mother? What about the person who doesn’t have a partner or kids… who takes care of them?

I think I’m frustrated because I’ve been in this role-reversal for the last 15 years. I realise I need to get over my frustration but it’s not easy - I feel like a part of my childhood was taken away from me. So how, after all these years, do I become the child again?

Hmmm… maybe going back to school is more appropriate than I had ever thought


This day cannot go by fast enough. Mondays in general are sucky, but today I’m feeling extra tired and cranky. Yeah, the after-effects of the alcohol are likely the cause of my bitchness, but the fact that it’s a Monday isn’t helping either.

I’m trying to work, but my carpel tunnel is really annoying me. Typing is fine, but as soon as I try to use my mouse, my wrist gets painful. This makes doing research (which is what I’m supposed to be doing) a little challenging. I’m going to see an acupuncturist tomorrow morning – I’ve hear acupuncture really helps. We’ll see.

Things on the home front are tense (to say the least). My Mom is having a bad week and making sure we are all aware of it. It’s difficult because both my sisters and I are tapped out. We don’t have any sympathy left to give… we just can’t seem to listen to her cry anymore… we all have our own shit to deal with. I know this must sound awful to an outsider, but this isn’t the first time we’ve gone through the grieving process. We grieved on our own and we’ve helped my mother grieve… right now we all just have enough energy to keep ourselves together. However, my mother doesn’t see it that way – she’s already half-mentioned that her daughters aren’t there for her. I think she is mad/sad that none of us are at her side constantly…. none of us are calling to ask her out for supper… none of us are checking in… none of us are dropping by. She sees us as selfish – yet, we’re just trying to survive.

Honestly, I have no idea HOW to be there for her. It’s like, I’ve been down this road so often that I’ve turned off that part of my brain that can help people. It’s like I’ve run out of sympathy gas.

I hope things are better when I get home tonight. Yesterday was like walking on eggshells. I hid in the basement most of the day. Ugh. 22 days to go. I CAN do this.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Drunk-dialing is a serious disease!

Verb (Nonstandard)
1. the need to call everyone you know when copious amounts of alcohol is consumed.

Friday I headed to Pictou for the good’ol Lobster Carnival. Of course, much beer was consumed for the occasion. Having been a victim of my drunk-dialing obsession in the past, I took some precautions for the evening and deleted any “dangerous” phone numbers from my cell phone. Numbers like ex-boyfriends, single friends or anyone else I thought I might call in a moment of weakness. Some numbers I KNOW I won’t call… like my sisters who both have kids and would kill me if woke them up just to tell them how awesome they are. Or my friend Michelle who is 5 months pregnant and can’t stay awake past 8:30 PM… I mean; I DO have a conscience.

Around midnight the urge to dial was just too strong. I flipped through my contact list and when I got to the last name without finding a suitable chatting partner, I got desperate. Friends… I’m not proud of what I’m about to write next, but in my effort to promote the seriousness of drunk-dialing, I feel the need to share. I called myself. I called my office and left MYSELF messages. Good Lord I’m sad!

Well, one thing I can say is at least I’ll be smiling at my desk on a Monday morning for the first time in a long time. Hah!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Blackberry. Crackberry.

My department has recently implemented a really cool work/life balance initiative. The purpose is to ensure people don’t over-work themselves and to make sure the work we do is done efficiently. This new policy entails the following:
- No emails between 7 PM and 7 AM (in other words, if you are at home you should be spending time with your family and not on your blackberry).
- No meetings during lunch – you MUST take your lunch hour
- No blackberries during meetings or during meals.
- You are not to use your blackberry in the car – even as a passenger. You should take the time in the car to socialize we fellow co-wrokers.
- If you call a meeting you must state the purpose, why the person you to attend should be there and include an agenda.
- Use proper email etiquette. There is no need to cc the entire world. Think before you cc… does this person really need this information? What do you require from them if they are cc’d?

I think these are awesome policies! I don’t have a blackberry, but when you receive an email sent from your boss at 2 AM, it really makes you wonder if the same kind of dedication is expected from you! I mean really, why should you need to email in the middle of the night?

A recent accident definitely put this into perspective for all of us. I don’t know the client or even the sales person who told this story, but apparently a client recently died in a head-on collision during broad day-light. He didn’t survive the crash, but his blackberry did… the screen showed a half-written email. He was 32 with a wife and kids.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Wanted: One Lab Coat

I've just received confirmation that my first job shadowing has been scheduled! Wheeeee! I am beyond excited! I'll be visiting the radiology department on the morning of July 17, so look for a full report sometime that afternoon. Apparently I need a lab coat for my adventure. I used to have a lab coat way back when... I wonder what happened to it? Anyway, I'm not too worried - I'm sure I'll figure something out. I still have to wait until next week to schedule my second job shadowing in Respiratory Therapy as the Program Director is on vacation until Monday.

In other news: My house will be all mine in 27 days - yippee!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Application Form Complete

I just got back from submitting my official University application form. Wheee! Now I get to wait two to four weeks to see if I’ve been accepted. I must admit, I was nervous about the whole ordeal – I know, it’s silly. I guess I was just worried that I would have papers missing or maybe what the program director told me wasn’t all that accurate – weird fears. However, it all went very well. It was silly of me to be nervous, quite frankly. I didn’t even get a parking ticket (I didn’t have change for the meter).

This whole idea still seems surreal. It reminds of when I decided to join Team Diabetes. It had been in the back of my mind for years so when I finally joined it’s like it was still just an idea or a dream. Once the initial high of joining passed, panic set in. What? I have to raise $6,200 AND run a marathon? GAH! That’s the stage I’m currently feeling. It’s like the seed has been planted but I won’t know for a while if the plant is actually going to take. Until I started seeing the money for Team D come in and the training began, it still felt like it actually might not happen. So until I get my house, get accepted, get my finances in order, I’ll have to keep watching my little seedling, nurture it and hope it grows and blooms.