That moment you realize life needs to change….

For the past week I’ve not felt well.  Something is wrong, and I’m pretty sure it’s stress.  Well, I WAS pretty sure it was stressquote but now I don’t know what to think.  Last week I started to have chest pain while  I was at work. Sharp shooting pain that was gone the second I put my hand to my chest, that’s how fast it went.

I was unable to sleep the past few days and unable to relax.  I felt a bit anxious, but couldn’t understand why.  Then I started noticing that I could not walk from the house to the car without being out of breath.  My heart was pounding in my chest.  I took a shower, and when I got out I got a phone call.  My friend asked why I was out of breath.  I said “I just showered”, and his response was, “and just what were you DOING in the shower to be so out of breath?”   “Haha, nothing, but, it’s weird right, and my pulse is 110”!

So I saw the doctor today and said “it’s just stress, I know…but I wanted you to rule it out”.  He didn’t answer me and I got a little worried…He always tells me it’s stress.  Well, my pulse was 81, and I was still out of breath. He put the pulse ox on my finger and had me walk into the office and down a small hallway and again my pulse shot up to 110.  I’m out of breath and my chest hurts.  So, not normal! I was sent to the lab for blood work and a chest x-ray and if that comes up clear he is putting me on a 24 hour cardiac monitor called a Holter Monitor I think.

I debated coming to work tonight, #1 because I’m exhausted from this erratic heart rate, and #2 because of the work I do.  It’s physical.  If I have to go on a medical/trauma call I could have to hike someone in or out of somewhere with gear to carry too.  I just can’t do it right now.  My chest hurts bad again tonight, I’m trying to relax and I’m going to try to lay down.  I just had to get up and go into the ambulance for the patient care computer and when I got inside, again I couldn’t breathe.  My pulse was 120.  I am feeling horrible and hate waiting for the results.

However this turns out, whatever it may be…and it may be just stress after all.. but I realized one thing.  I always put EVERYONE else before myself.  I guess that’s what most women do.  But I don’t take care of myself.  I have been eating like crap, not exercising, work is quickly killing my spirit and then some. I need to start making changes that are good for ME and taking care of ME.  If I’m not here, I’m no good to anyone.  I never worried that I had high cholesterol or blood pressure.  I’m young.  I’m only 38 but I guess it’s time I started to take my health a little more seriously.  I need to make regular appointments for checkups and watch what I eat and exercise.  I told myself,  my body is like my car.  It needs an oil change and tune up and gasoline, etc…or it’s not going to perform the way I need it too. Well, If I don’t take the time to give my body what It needs it’s not going to work for me the way I need it too.

Also, I have a huge amount of stress in my life and I don’t know how to deal with it.  I was talking with a friend of mine yesterday, I’d gotten out of a meeting, was going into two more, and my ex-husband was texting me being a prick.  I looked at my friend and said while trying to catch my breath…I’m gonna have a freaking heart attack!

If anyone reads this post and you have any tricks or techniques for relieving stress or relaxing and shutting out the world please let me know.  I need some changes fast before I’m not here to make them.



Candy Corn

I came across this ad in a magazine. People…Candy Corn is Candy Corn. Starburst is Starburst. They are not interchangeable.

Some things just need to remain the same.

There, that’s it, I said my peace. Now I want some candy!


Added – A dash of humor to my day!

feetToday was chock full of appointments.  I got dressed up, put on my high heels and ventured out.  I’m from the boonies, and where I live there is not as much traffic as where I was headed.  There are also no one way streets and parking garages.

Yes..the fun was just beginning.  Around and around and around I drove, literally! My GPS said take the next right over and over as I tried to reach my destination, and apparently kept passing it. I didn’t see the building I was looking for, nor did I see the parking lot that was supposed to be next to it.  I opted for a parking garage in the general area of my destination.  I drove in, and asked the attendant if I could park there, or if it was only for Hotel visitors as it was attached to a hotel.  He told me to go ahead, and down under the building…eek..creepy! So I did, and it was cramped to say the least down there.

The elevator sign said “Hotel Lobby”, so I hesitated, and asked a man getting off the elevator how to get to Main Street, that I was not going to the hotel.  He assured me to go up to the Hotel Lobby and then exit to Main.

This was NOT the day to wear heels! I walked all the way down main street…no 1331 Main.  I walked back the other way and decided to call the office I was looking for.  I was already 10 min’s late and my feet were blistered in my damn heels.

I had to cross a very busy street, walking like a penguin…or maybe a duck..I don’t know, but my feet hurt so bad I must have looked like a fool.  I looked around and finally found a small door in the back of a building…again..eek!

It was nice inside however, and I apologized for being late as I was out of breath and covered in sweat.  Great first appearance.  I told the woman that I would probably walk back barefoot until she advised me not too, that someone she knew that always walked barefoot had the flesh eating bacteria disease thingy!!  WHAT? Oh Lord!

I hobbled down the street and back down to the parking garage.  I found my way out and took literally FOREVER to figure out how to pay at the machine.  I couldn’t find the spot for my debit card, and when I fished out a $20 bill the poor attendant said, “Give me that and I’ll give you change or you’ll get almost $20 back in coins…yeah, that would go over well with the cars behind me!

Out of the lot I drove, glad to be going the right way on the one way street.  Out to the rotary I drove around it 3 whole times trying to figure out how and where to exit…geez.

I headed to another meeting in another town I was not familiar with and when that was finally done I got on the highway heading in the wrong direction…damn GPS! It’s the GPS’s fault you know! Seriously.

I can’t see well at night anyway and to make matters worse It started to rain, I was almost out of gas and it was 9pm and I had not eaten all day.

I finally made it home and felt like collapsing to the floor from my adventure and blistered feet.  I could have screamed and blown off the meetings, but I laughed and thought to myself, geez you might think this was my first time in the big city! I wonder how many people looked at me and, is she for real?  Hahahaha, at least I can laugh at myself.  Right?

So now I”m happy to be back, literally in my own neck of the woods.

Damn GPS!



Alicia – One Year Later

Last night I spent some time thinking about the progress Alicia has made and the things she has endured an overcome in the past year.

It’s not easy being a teen, but I can already see that my daughter has MY strength, determination and sass! She will do good things in life because she is already a strong independent young lady!

Last year on this day, she watched her father marry a new woman. She had just moved from her home she grew up in, to this home of her new step-mother and step-brother. Instantly life had changed, and she had a new – extended family.

In September she began the first year of a new school, in a new town where she knew no one. Eighth grade is a tough one to start alone. To my surprise my shy and quiet daughter made a lot of new friends instantly. I was so happy for her and it seemed that things were going to be okay.

Then came the morning that they were told about their classmates death the night before. She was a girl in her home room, and a few other classes – – dead from a house fire. Alicia was quiet and didn’t talk about it much. When she did talk she commented in how she can’t believe someone, even her age, can be here – full of life one minute – then gone the next. It’s a hard thing for adults to understand, and I felt for all those kids.

She tried to concentrate on school. She was having problems with algebra because she never had pre-algebra in the other school. She took the initiative however to ask for help. She stayed after when she was able, and even started tutoring with her grandfather. I was so proud of her for making such an effort. This is something she wouldn’t have done before.

Things were still difficult at home and it was still a situation in which she was trying to adjust. Her step-mom and her butted heads a lot. Alicia came to me and said she was finally ready to go to counseling, and please make her an appointment. I was happy to do so because when I suggested counseling a year earlier she refused. Again, I can see she is growing up.

Most of you that have read my earlier posts know that she recently started cutting herself and dealing with depression and uncertainty about how to express her feelings at home. She spent 5 days in a behavioral hospital and said she wanted to live with me.

After I began making preparations for that to happen she told me she changed her mind. That despite the way things were at home, she had a lot of friends and wanted to continue school with them. That she would put up with home life and stick it out. She also agreed to finally start taking the antidepressant the doctor prescribed. These have been a lot of hard decisions and situations for a fourteen year old to handle, but she has handled them well. I am very proud of her.

Next week she begins a new year, and a new chapter in her life.
HIGH SCHOOL – – I wish her the best and hope she has an amazing 4 years!

Good Things Come To Those Who Wait…Right?

Yesterday was a long long day.  It started at 5:15 AM, off to job one.   When I was done there I had a job interview, then picked up my boy.  I was so happy to see him. My daughter is going with her grandparents so I said Hi/Bye..and Jake and I headed to job #2.  Luckily the woman is pretty much out of money this month so it was a quick day and I didn’t have to bring her out and entertain.  While we were there, Jacob told me his dad never gave him his medication, nor did he pack it for the weekend…Are You Kidding?  So, Instead of going home to relax as planned, I had to make plans to once again meet up with his father to get his medication.  We went to the store, got an Ice cream, and went to a fishing pond to chill out for a  while until It was time to meet him.  While I was there I got an upsetting email, and I was so ready to go home and be done with everyone and everything.  I met his dad, and went home.

I called my mother to let her know about the days happenings.  She told me I really needed to get out of the job I was working, that right from the beginning the place had completely changed my life.  She is right.  Oh she is very right.  All was right with my world until that place.

It started with the childish co-workers, barely out of diapers, that enjoy playing the game “operator”. Remember that one? You start a rumor and see how far it can spread.  Yeah, well, the rumor about me is what started all the problems.  But regardless of the rumors, the childishness, the lack of structure and the horrible hours, I’ve become a much stronger person.  I realized what is important to me. I realized the things I will and will not tolerate in my life.  I strive for so much more and am not happy to sit by and let my brain be wasted.  gossip_girls

Yes, I am sick when I go to work. I am tired of the stress, and I don’t need it in my life.  Not the kind I’m dealing with.  But I still don’t regret my decision to become an EMT, and the work has gotten me through the last 6 years.  But most importantly I’ve developed some life long connections and friends that I hold very dear.  I would not have had the courage to start again, nor would I have the amazing support group that I have in my life had I not gone down the path I chose to take.  It is however, important to realize when It’s time to move on.  It’s something you just know. You feel it in your heart.

Despite the complete exhaustion I felt from the day, I tried to lay and watch a movie with Jake after he came home from the neighbors house.  I had to shut it off half way through because I had to go to sleep.  Sleep eluded me however.  I was probably overtired.  Hour after hour I lay there with so much on my mind.  Trying to figure it all out in one night.  Worried that If I go with A, I lose B, and If I stay with B, I will never get anywhere the way I would have with A.  But I don’t know if any of it’s worth it to lose B.  Why can’t I just have it all.  God knows I’ve worked hard enough for it, with all my heart and soul.

I sat at the table this evening and reminded myself of something I was told a few months ago when Alicia was in the hospital.  You can only live right in this very minute, this second.  You can change nothing in the past even just a minute ago, and you don’t know what the future brings until It gets here.  I need to live in the moment.  I know what my goals are, and that is not something everyone can say. So I need to keep working towards them, because good things take time.  No matter how far away the good things may seem.

-Childlike Elderly Woman-

I had to laugh last week when I was working with the elderly woman I work for, that is paralyzed and in a wheelchair.  Most days, it’s comical, because she is like taking care of a toddler.  This day however, she was more like a teen going out with her friends…but imagine this…Here she is in a wheelchair, paralyzed after a stoke, and her companions for an outing to a “clock store”  with  another elderly couple.  I just shook my head when I saw the gentleman that was going to be doing the driving, some walking out with his cane holding his oxygen bottle, and his wife was trying to get into the car with her walker.  Now I just watched and thought to myself, how the hell are the three of them going out for the afternoon.   Like the blind leading the blind.

Of course the clock store was closed, and the trip was rescheduled…with me! She asked me today if I wanted to go for a ride to the store.  I said, yeah sure. Just get me the address and I’ll find it (it’s in another town). So she calls her “friends” and asks if they want to go out tomorrow, that Tawnya’s gonna drive us! Jesus!! Lord help me.  I told her we should probably go by ourselves because we also need to grocery shop (she is a pain in the butt to shop with) and she said it’s okay, they might need to get groceries too! SERIOUSLY?? UGH! I’m not taking 3 disabled people to the grocery store.  I hate when she volunteers me for things.

The last time we went shopping, it was about 98degrees outside and humid.  She rides around in her chair, while I run around getting her things and showing her things she wants to look at.  And boy can she shop…loves clothes UGH! So she says, I’m thirsty.  I buy her a water and put it in the car as I try to load her, her wheelchair, groceries and myself.  She says “where is my water, I’m thirsty”.  I told her I put it next to her and I will open it when I get the groceries in.  She yells, Come on and hurry up, I’m getting dehydrated”.  I was losing my patients and asked her why she would be dehydrated when all she does is sit there and I do the work.  Again, she said, where is my water, I can’t find it…grrr…hold your friggin horses!

So bringing the three of them out tomorrow will be a real treat.  I think I’ll need something stronger than water when I get home.

Old Drawings

A few old drawings from a few year back that I decided to share. I have had the urge and desire to draw all day but I have no inspiration right now.



Follow my heart? How?

It’s hard to rebuild your life.  I’m not going to lie.  Is it worth it? Yes! And most satisfying.

In the past few years I’ve been trying to figure out what will make me happy.  I’ve spent a lot of time trying to think back on the times in my life when I was content, and the things that make me calm, relaxed and happy.  Where do I belong?  Where do I fit into this world and what was I put here to do?  One of the things I used to want to do were fashion design. I once thought about going to Vassar College, but that didn’t go anywhere. Couldn’t afford it, didn’t have enough self confidence to think I could make it…and so on!   I’ve always loved art, and writing.  I started drawing when I was in high school, and had to keep a sketchbook for art class. I never knew I could draw until then.   I’ve always loved anything that involved putting pen or pencil to paper.  Drawing, writing in journals, or writing story’s, even English class.  My heart and mind keep going back to this. Like I need it, like its in my soul.  Whenever Ive imagined my life, what I wanted and where I wanted to be, I always go back to having a small log cabin on a lake.  Being on the water, quiet, rustic and peaceful.  Drawing and writing in the calm serenity of this place I would call home.  That is what I want and where I long to be.  I recently went back to school, majoring in Paralegal.  I thought it would be a good job, making decent money.  I used to work in Human Resources and enjoyed the legal part of it.  So, I thought, it’s lots of research and writing so it’ll be perfect.  But I’m not so sure.  I would love to pack up and move to the coast.  I keep talking about taking a leap of faith and just doing it, but how do you afford to live on faith.   I’d be worse off than I am now.  How do you find your way to your dreams?  How do you even figure out what  your dreams are supposed to be.   I know what I like and what makes me happy.  But how do I find what it is that I”m supposed to do with that?  I can’t follow my heart when I don’t really understand where it’s taking me?

Life’s Blessings


The Kids and I

A friend of mine posted on Facebook that in the difficult times, it’s so important to remember what you’re blessed with.  We all go through hard times, difficult times.  But sometimes it seems like the hard times will never end.  So I started to think about all of the things in my life that I have been blessed with.  First and foremost are my two beautiful and healthy children.  Sadly, there are too many parents that have children that are not blessed with good health.  Also I have my health, and a roof over my head and food on the table.  I may not have much money, but I get by with the basic necessities that many people do not even have.  I have been blessed with the ability to start college at 37 years old, because I have the strength and determination to fight like hell to have a better life.  I value my independence, and am proud of myself for being able to survive mostly on my own, and be such a good role model for my kids. 

I could not do all of it on my own though, I have been blessed with the most amazing friends, that are always there for me.  Thankfully I still have a little time for my friends, my flowers, and for studying  despite the three jobs I need to work to pay the bills.  I am blessed to have a good therapist, that has helped me to deal with depression, grief, guilt and loss.  Helping also to deal with the feelings I have about my daughters cutting.

All in all I have more than a lot of people even dream of.  When I feel like I have nothing, or when other people are lucky and they have more than I do, I just remind myself that there is always someone that is worse off than I am.  Always someone who has less or is in a worse situation.  I am a glass half full kind of person.  I always see the good in people.  Sometimes it gets me hurt, sometimes I get taken advantage of, but it’s who I am and it’ll never change.  It is and always has been my nature to believe other people are good. Sometimes circumstances get me down for a while, but I get right back up.  Thanks to all of the blessings in my life. 

Relaxation and Dreams

Today was perfect. Despite getting up at 4 AM I knew that it was for a day at the beach, much different from a day at work. We made it to Gloucester just before nine and the beach was already filling up fast. The weather was absolutely wonderful and the water was amazingly clear. I was able to spend the day relaxing without any worries on my mind. I read for a little while, I dozed off for a little while, and I was able to spend a lot of time thinking about what I wanted for my future…my hopes…my dreams… Thinking about how I could be true to myself. It’s not so much that I have soul-searching to do, but I have to learn how to be good to myself and do what’s best for me. I think I’m on my way. It was a good day and it was just what the doctor ordered.
I look like a lobster tonight, but I’m home and comfy on my couch settling in for the night. I can’t wait until next weekend to see my kids…can’t believe our summer is almost over.