Oh man. It is one of those up in the middle of the night kind of things, aching, hurting, questioning and guilty. The sadness has been with me a couple of days now after writing Joseph's story out for Heroes For Children. He's an Honored Hero this year for their 5K fundraiser in September and they wanted his story for their website. Joseph's picture is up there as well. All of this makes me very happy, but writing it all down has lead me down some sad, dusty pathways. I can get so tortured wondering what his last moments were like, wishing I had done some things differently before he got sick, regreting things and missing him. Can you belive it still can hit me that fresh, three and a half years later? It has been several days of this aching, right on the fringe of my consciousness. It woke me up in the middle of the night tonight. Is anybody ever a good enough mother in their own eyes? I know I certainly am not and was not.
School starts again at the end of August. It feels like it has been too long and my stomach knots up with uncertainty. I am positive that is simply because I have not really started studying yet. Our schedules came in the mail a couple of weeks ago and contained a big list of homework we have to do prior to the first day of class. I was so happy to see it, but I have not started on it yet and I need to for my own sanity and sense of confidence. My externship over the summer has gone well. I am getting exposed to so many different kinds of patients, so many different kinds of illness. I am learning a lot, the central theme of which is being much more comfortable at the bedside and dealing with a wide range of personalities and needs. Interestingly, I have been hit on at the hospital more than I ever have in my life. Must be something about the scrubs? I am always trepidatious when I have a shift coming up and then always so glad I worked when I get there. I love being in the hospital. I often get floated to floors other than the one I was hired to be on and I have no complaints about that. I figure the more contacts I make and the more I get exposed to, the more likely I am to find work after graduation and the more well-rounded I am going to be in my profession. New graduate nurses across the nation are experiencing very high unemployment. Hospitals just aren't hiring, or if they are, they are specifying they wish at least one to two years experience minimum. The nursing shortage will come back in time, but it certainly isn't here now.
I am back to working out more regularly. I have taken to four-ish mile walks listening to my headphones. I love doing it. It gives me guaranteed alone time to just think and process my life. And I tend to eat better when I have done it. I'd love to shed another 40-50 pounds before I graduate. I am working 12 hour shifts and my legs hurt something fierce once I get home and sit still. It scares me to be honest. I will be royally peturbed (to put it politely) if I have chased this dream too late and I am too old to handle floor nursing. Getting more fit will at least increase my odds of being able to do it.
On a happier note, I am thrilled with how much weight I have lost thus far. I ought to post before and after pics on here. It is dramatic and Joe is always good about reminding me of it. I have fun picking out my clothing now and enjoy going into my closet to select my outfit for the day. So opposite of when I was near 300 pounds and dreaded going out in public.
It is hotter than heck here in Texas right now and getting outside to exercise is tough. I hate hot weather and I hate getting sweaty. Of course, sweat is necessary when working out, but there is a difference between getting sweaty and dripping all stinky and flushed and eyes burning from it running into them. I bought all new work out clothing as both reward and motivator and that helps - the new moisture wicking fabrics are wonderful. I've been wanting to post a punchy blog about getting out nearly naked in public. It is so hot that I have gotten to the point I do not care who I offend - my shirt is coming off when I do these walks. I walk at a brisk pace, around 4 mph and I was getting to where it was hard to see from sweat rolling into my eyes. Misery. It was hard the first time I did it - walked in just my shorts and a sports bra. I mean, let's face it. Out of shape and (nearly) 40 is not exactly pretty. That's a whole lotta jigglin' my friends. But interestingly, it also filled me with a kind of gleeful freedom. It was SO much cooler and more free and felt slightly rebellious. Fat chick takes off clothes in public, thumbs nose at society. The truth is, I am not THAT fat anymore. Playboy isn't banging down my door, but nobody threatened to shoot me while I walked either. Nobody drove by hanging out their car window screeching "Yo yo DoughGirl!" In fact, nobody seemed to pay me much attention at all. How many other things in life do I needlessly overthink to the point of paralyzed, fouled up self esteem? How many other ways do I hide and actually hurt my own quality of life? Something for me to ponder.
Ah, I am just so sad inside, here in the middle of the night. I miss Joseph. I have regrets about the past. I am nervous about school. It has been a cranky, crabby, moody summer. I don't like this lull in my goal chasing. Time to start studying. Between that and the hospital, I am betting I will feel better.
Here's before and afters (or rather, durings, if you will):
This first one was taken on Alexander's Make-A-Wish trip to Disney World. He is swollen from being on steroids. I am swollen from being on.....well....food.