Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Chocolate = Death?

I guess Part 3 of my story will have to come later seeing as I don't have it in me to write it right now. Oh well...

I'm not sure what exactly I want to write I just know that I wouldn't mind an outlet. Just don't know what to let out.

I mentioned before that I am learning some Catholic stuff. I kinda want to look at it as Liturgical stuff right now seeing as I guess specifically that is what I am looking at.

Right now we are in Lent. I'm learning more and more about it. I'm finding it rather incredible and interesting.

When I was a teen I thought that Lent was about picking out something you loved (like chocolate, tv, video games) and giving it up for forty days. I was never entirely sure as to why. I guess I thought it was to represent Jesus giving up his life. You know, because me giving up chocolate is like totally the same as Jesus dying and stuff.

I would love to go on and tell you what I'm learning but I'm not ready yet. I will say that I know now that Lent is not about really comparing your toils to that of Jesus really, it's about growing closer to Him. Well, that's the short version I guess.

I thought I had more, but I don't.

I'm a tad on the melancholy side right now. Not a bad thing. Just a thing.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Friday, November 13th, 2009 - Part 2

The door opened and Guy's mother marched up the stairs up into the kitchen and I think flew into his room. She essentially began doing what he said she was going to do. Except for actually using the word retarded that is.

In that moment I felt like a betrayer. I felt like I fed him to the wolves. I just wanted to hold him.

You see 2 weeks prior, we faced a similar scene (minus the sexual assault and plus a physical one). Then though it was Guy telling us that he wanted to die, to run into the middle of a road and get hit by a car. That he hated his mother and hated his life.

It was then that I had to identify with him and let him know, though I didn't have his life, I had felt those feelings before in my teenage years. That I too had feelings of suicide in my life. That I too felt angry with my mother at one point.

I remember telling him that he didn't want to kill himself and there would be a lot of people that would be so saddened if he hurt himself , that he was loved. (I will never tell someone how they feel again - it's not fair and I knew that it was wrong). He looked at me very honestly and purely, and said 'I don't care'. The sad part is I could tell by his eyes that he didn't. I knew that by the way he was treated in his life, having to live in a group home (while his four siblings lived in a nice home in the country), not being given any control or barely any choice, he would feel better off dead. It broke my heart.

Of course now it was two weeks later and this incident was even more out of control and even more heart breaking to watch.

After his mother got to his room she spent a good 10-15 minutes shouting at him, about being disappointed in him, and on and on. At one point her live in boyfriend joined her side as a male figure. This didn't help at all. He was senseless when it came to dealing with someone who had a disability and was mentally distraught - he had also never seen this side to our very sweet Guy.

It wasn't long and Guy had lost it. And I mean lost it. He began to physically retaliate towards his mother. We had to intervene and then he tried to get out the window again to run.

During this time the decision was made for me to call 911. I did so and was told by the dispatcher that 'it is a busy night tonight we'll get someone there as soon as possible. Call back if things get worse'.

Things continued to get out of hand. Guy at one point had jumped onto his bed, peeled off his shirt and started groping different body parts, seemingly at his mother and step father. I couldn't gain eye contact - he did not even seem present. His face was bright red, his veins were popping, he was displaying raw anger at the world, specifically those in his world. Part of me couldn't blame him.

Guy continued to utter 'I hate you' at his mother along with a colourful host of other profanities chained together in the most interesting of ways (at least that I'd ever heard).

After beginning to lash out again physically at his mother (who by the way is like 5 feet tall and would weigh maybe a hundred and ten pounds). Her boyfriend helped her put him in a physical restraint that was anything but proper (yes there is a proper way to do it). At this my co worker (who is a Safe Management instructor - teaching holds and protective actions) and I had to remain hands off as he is under age with his mother there sort of calling the shots. If she hadn't have been and we felt the need we would restrain, but with caution and proper technique. People have died while in restraints.

Guy is now laying in our narrow hallway outside of his room on his naked stomach with his mother sitting on top of him and his step father on his legs. He is now using every last bit of his strength to get them off. At one point he head butted his mother in her face, among other things. Again the profanities were streaming out of his mouth and the anger boiled.

At this point I had made a second call to 911 saying we needed help now! They said they send some one over soon but it may take 20-25 minutes (there goes our so called emergency plan).

The next 15 minutes were spent retraining him (by, of course, his mom and her boyfriend). Finally my co worker stated that is was not safe to keep him like this and at the count of three to let him go and get him directed back to his room. At the count of three they released him and he somehow got back to his room. At which point he began hitting out at my co worker and started using objects in his room to throw at her or anyone around them. She took a hit and her glasses were thrown off (good thing she has loads of experience with that sort of thing).

I make a third call to 911 and plead with them to get some one there to help. Within a couple of minutes our manager finally arrived (she was out of town for the day). She is able to calmly walk into his room. At which point Guy put himself in his closet and wailed with the door closed while the five of us made a mini assembly line and took every object we could get our hands on and put them into Gui's room for everyone's safety.

Then, all but our manager, got out of the room.

She stayed in his room and talked calmly to him and he did calm down ... somewhat. Definitely not completely or even a lot. But enough to get him to a place where he was prepared to be taken to the hospital for help.

Finally, as Guy and our manager began to walk out of his room to get to a car, the police make their grand entrance. Well it wasn't really grand. While Guy was in his room they had come in the house and got a one minute overview with who they would be dealing with and the state of things. That's when Guy came out of his room.

As soon as Guy saw the two officers he tried to run, then he punched the one officer in the face. At which point he was once again restrained (and instantly might I add) on the floor, on his stomach.

He again began to yell and wail hateful comments and interesting profanities, followed by the statement 'Please just kill me now'.

That is when I am quite positive my heart broke all over again for this young man whom I spent 30 hours a week with taking to basketball try outs, floor hockey nights and helping do homework.

I've mentioned before that I'm not a crier. Let alone in front of my boss and several strangers. But I couldn't take it anymore, I lost it. I wasn't hysterical but a well of tears escaped as I watched my Guy be detained. In my point of view for simply revealing his hurt.

A hurt might I add he tried to show us two weeks earlier but was ignored (even when three of us core staff sat and pleaded to our manager in her office to get him some help).

After several minutes and a call for backup, he finally agreed to comply with the police. A third officer arrived to help take Guy out to a proper cruiser for transport. Guy seemed to be doing ok until he got into the cruiser and realized his dreams of overtaking the police weren't going to come true. He wrestled and couldn't get out of his handcuffs and was now not going anywhere. He apparently had a look of desperation on his face.

The house was a flurry of people communicating where everyone was going. Mostly all but my co worker and I were going to the children's hospital (Guy was only 14). Meds and papers were being sorted through. At one point my manager gave me a hug, which I wasn't entirely sure if I wanted (or at least not from her) but I let her. She attempted the same thing with my co worker, who had kept it together, but was declined. My manager made sure to remind us to fill out all necessary Occurrence Incident Reports for the evening and not to forget any other paperwork. (Because that's the most important thing ... clearly. Sarcasm strongly intended).

Finally it was 5:30pm, two excruciating hours had passed by, and my co worker and I were alone, with Gui still locked in the living room (it's an open area which we can monitor all the time). We just looked at each other for a few seconds and then ... we wept. And we wept. Then we wept a little more. She asked me if she could hug me. I said yes.

After 3-4 minutes we took a moment to breathe again and then she looked at me and said 'we can't do this tonight' (meaning work the rest of our shift with Mr.S.), there were still 5 1/2 hours to go.

She immediately went into the office to call someone to come in and be with Gui, while I went up to the raised living room to get him out to give him a brief change and think about what to feed him for supper.

However as I stepped up the stairs I noticed that Gui was bending his legs funny. He was no longer standing straight up at the banister looking on as he usually does, he was slowly shrinking to the floor with wide eyes.

I comment and said 'Gui, what are you doing? I've never seen that look before.' I opened the gate and got near him - not something you usually do without caution. I begin talking to him. My co worker hears me say 'That's weird Gui, you sound like you are sleeping' and she bolts out of the office.

She yells 'Oh my goodness! He's having a seizure!'

What?! I thought. Could this really be happening. Literally five minutes after an incredibly huge rage by Guy. This couldn't be happening.

My co worker jumps into the living room as I try to feel for a pulse. Gui is now lying on the floor with eyes glazed over. I couldn't find a pulse, but then again my adrenaline was pumping pretty hard.

She had grabbed his emergency med and gave it to him and listened for breathes. He began to turn a pale blue colour. She states 'He's stopped breathing' and proceeds to ask me to get the scissors to get his shirt off. I do so and within seconds he is lying bare chested on the floor receiving CPR by my co worker as I am calling 911 for the fourth time in 2 hours.

Within minutes the ambulance arrives with three EMS personnel. A small young lady, and two burly men, one of which could have used a few laps around a track (no judgment though). They declared that Gui wasn't having a seizure and looked at us mockingly for calling it that. Because Gui wasn't having a traditional seizure of shaking of the body and such they figured we had no idea what we were talking about.

Of course as we debriefed them on Gui and his disability and behaviours they had no idea what we were talking about. I am constantly astounded at how little those in the medical community know about people with disabilities. Astounded.

Because Gui is a big guy they decided to lift him down all of our stairs themselves (split level houses aren't an advantage when you need an ambulance). They got him to the stretcher and he had already improved quite a bit. By that I mean he was already swinging and trying to head butt the ambulance people. Because of their rudeness to us, we didn't mind.

Once again meds were found, papers and cards were sent and Gui's father was called to meet his son at the hospital - something normally we would have taken care of. Clearly that night we weren't going anywhere.

It was 5:55pm and the house was now officially empty, except for my co worker and I. This time we were stunned. We looked at eachother and and began to laugh. And laugh, then laugh some more.

I mean what are the chances that something like this is ever going to happen? Like never. Four 911 calls, three for police, one for an ambulance. The need to use both PRNs, that are generally used in extreme circumstances, for both guys, within 2 1/2 hours. To see one guy have a psychotic break and the other one literally stop breathing, is just silly. It's just ... crazy.

And there we were, 2 1/2 hours into our shift with nobody to support.

The dramatic part of the story ends here. However the bitter end doesn't.

I shall wait and share that in Part 3.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

At Work - Friday November 13th, 2009

I'm probably breaking rules or something, I'm not exactly sure. I'm at work right now doing a sleep shift at my old job, which I have to add doesn't necessarily mean you sleep the whole time. I just tucked in Mr. Slaps-a-lot (it's wrong for me to say that, I'm not trying to be rude but he does do that), a few mintues ago after he got up soon after my arrival.

Poor guy has a cold. At one point I heard him gasping for air, wait I thought I heard him gasping for air (on the monitor we keep in his room). You see Mr. S. (A.K.A. Gui)has life threatening seizures that we have to monitor. They don't happen often, but when they do, it's really crazy. An automatic call to 911 is required, along with serious first aid, sometimes including CPR. Not my favourite activity.

Mr. S. doesn't have seizures often, maybe once a year. However this year he's already had three (all since the time I've been working there - hopefully that's not saying anything about me).

I've only ever seen one and that was on the night of the 'Incident'. I started my post on the 'Incident' but never finished. It's a lot to bite off, chew and spew out.

Maybe I'll try. THe following si the beginning of the post I started about my Guy and the 'Incident'.

Here she goes.

My guy is Guy. Guy is the young man I worked with at the group home I worked at (well still take night shifts at once in a while). This is an account of the date above. And how my heart broke again for the first time in a long time.

It was 3:15pm as I opened the back door of the house. I noticed I was a few minutes early so I slipped into he office to check my e-mail for the day. It was Friday. Finally. I would get my only day off for the week, the 70 hour week, tomorrow.

The 15 minute walk I took from the college was very cold and it seemed unfair that the bus drivers were on strike. But they were and I had legs so ... that was that.

I quickly checked my mail and by 3:30pm was already into the staff room (which is just a third bedroom where the night staff slept, meds were kept and the rest of us congregated). I was reading through the first of 3 books I would need to catch up on with what was up. (Wouldn't take long since I was in every day).

Not two minutes after I began my reading I hear Guy enter the house. There's a brief conversation between him and a staff, then out of no where the staff yells 'Eva I need your help Guy just sexually assaulted me!'

I bolt out of the bedroom to see Guy going into his room with the staff behind him. HE slams the door and begins to cry loudly in anger and slam things around. There are three staff present in total. Myself, the co-worker that was assaulted and the staff that just returned home with Guy.

The three of us congregate in the staff office to go over what the heck just happened. A phone call is made for the PM (Program Manager - our boss). A few minutes have gone buy. Myself and the staff that just returned comment on how quiet Guy is in his room. Initially he was crying and being very loud, slamming things and such. At this point we didn't hear a thing.

I ran into Gui's room to look out the window as the other staff knocks and enters Guy's room, to see his window wide open with the screen removed. I see that Guy has climbed out of the window and onto the room and is making his way along the awning to jump down and run away. We catch his attention by yelling his name. HE stops and grins at us.

I dart out the front door and to the side of the house where he is several feet in the air climbing on the over hang on the patio. I quickly call his name, calming ask him to come down carefully so we can go into the house and talk. He begins to come downward until he sees the staff he asssaulted. HE then begins going back up. I ask the staff to return to the house and that I felt ok to handle it. I knew that her presence at that point wouldn't make him feel secure. I talked with his for a few minutes and he slowly made his way down. I allowed him to follow me into the house, until we got to the front door, when I let him go in first.

He was imediately asked to go to his room to hang out - with the door OPEN this time. HE did so without a problem. There was much discussion at that point with our manager over the phone as to what we should do.

The Program Manager (PM) decided that I should give him his PRN medication. This is generally a big deal however I had gotten the experience 2 weeks prior of giving it to him. It's a story in itself.

You see he used to get it all of the time when he was young and raged. His behaviour has improved greatly over the past 6 years and hadn't had it given to him in over a year.

Luckily (I guess) I had the experience of doing this before myself in a very similar situation. I needed gloves (so the med wouldn't get into my skin and knock me out), a cell phone (in case he acted out), and mental preparation because I knew this would take a little while.

I took a deep breath and was given by my co workers what I needed. I went in and held what I had discretely in my hand. And we talked. We actually started the talking 10 minutes before I got the med, then we continued to talk for 20 minutes before he would agree to take the med. But he eventually did take the med.

2 weeks prior when I had to go through virtually the same routine and I had gotten him to take the PRN my co worker's eye balls had almost bulged completely out fo her head. He took it peacefully, willingly and came out of his room calmly after wards. She told me she(in her 6 years of working with him) had never seen anything like it. Of course that stroked my ego (a lot) and gave me confidence the second time around.

The only thing was, the second time around was a whole different ball game and everyone knew it.

AFter he finally take the med, which once his adrenaline calms down is supposed to kick in and really relax (and at times knock) him out. At least it had 2 week before that.

Afterwards I stuck around standing just outside his bedroom door chatting with him as another staff fixed him a sandwhich (as he hadn't yet had lunch). I got out of him why he had done what he did, as well as a confession of what he indeed did do. He told me that 'she deserved it' because she was 'torturing him' and he wanted to 'teach her a lesson'.

Now I need to set the record straight. She is a fabulous staff. Probably the strongest one on our team. She has become a close friend of mine as well. She in no way was torturing him, but in his mind her specifically asking him to do something (like leaving his overnight bag in the staff office due to the fact there were his meds in it for the weekend visit he was soon to be picked up for). He has a history with her. Memories of her being there when he used to rage as a child, of when things weren't so smooth.

Anyways I talked with Guy for another 30 minutes. Everything was very calm however I knew something was 'off'. He wasn't right. He began to fixate on the door. He was calmly anger at the other staff, whom I had to ask to leave the area as I did not feel she was safe, even though he was quitely talking to me in his room.

At this point during hte incident the third staff who had been with Guy all afternoon, had left (as things seemed calm), the other staff was outside the front door making phone calls to both Guy's mother (who was supposed to be on her way to pick him up anyways for the weekend), and our PM (boss). She was making sure everyone was up to speed. Oh yes, Gui (A.K.A. Mr.S.) was in the gated living room for his own safety.

During the 30 inutes after giving Guy his med I discretely called my co worker on the house's cell phone I had in my pocket. I feared he was going to escalate. As I said before, he wasn't himself.

He told me that he wanted to run to the door and distract his mother before she heard what happen. He was literally preparing to run. He also spoke of how he could out smart the police as well and how they wouldn't be able to catch him. He also said that he knew that his mother, if she found out, would come into his room and yell at him about what he did and call him nothing but 'a little retard'.

All the while I continued to talk with him, update my co worker, and wait. His mother was running late as usual. Of all days, this didn't seem to be the one to have her be late on. But she was (an hour late).

When she finally arrived my co worker was outside briefing her on the events of the afternoon, telling her that she really needed to go in and approach him with love and care.

Unfortunately that idea turned into a pipe dream because it wasn't love we saw ...

To be continued another day ...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Nudie Patoodie

Six months into my new field (like around June of last year), I had made the announcement to my loved ones that I hadn't' seen so many nude men in all of my life.

Several months have gone by and I can now say that I have never seen so many nude women in all my life.

As I have been training to work with so many different people during the past couple of months I have really begun to think of how vulnerable those I work to support are.

Initially when I began seeing the naked bodies of strangers I was understandably a little embarrassed. I mean it wasn't like I was going to have to take my turn being naked in front of them.

Clearly it was not a game of 'If you show me yours, I'll show you mine'.

Now though, several naked bodies later, I am nearly unphased at the nudity I am exposed to.

I will admit I don't think I was really prepared to deal with that part of the job. It's not exactly the reason I went into this field. I mean originally I thought I'd work in a school (and still may some day), not a forum of birthday suits.

I think back to when I was growing up, to a time when my parents said I began to really become aware of my body and being unclothed. I was very young. Since then I have always been quite conservative with how much and what areas of skin I have shown. Sometimes it doesn't have to even be about the skin, it could be just about how much concise my silhouette is.

I've learned a lot seeing people at their most exposed.

I've learned ...

It's not fair that there are people that have to allow strangers to bath them.

The ability to clean your body yourself is a gift.

So much trust is involved, yet more times than not people aren't given a choice whether they trust you or not.

Ultimately you don't get to decide the temperature of the bath water, how well you are cleaned, if the shampoo is rinsed out or how you want your body cleaned.

I've also learned that bodies are bodies. It is rare to find body perfection. The vast majority of humanity are physically imperfect - eat the dam fat-full salad dressing already!

Bums can be triangular.

Most women have boobs that hang (mine don't - and it's not because they are young either...)

I've also learned though that having to be naked doesn't have to be the end of your life, or pride.

A couple of months ago I was talking with a friend about my schedule and that you don't really get 'lunch breaks' or breaks at all. She asked about when I get to go to the bathroom and where.

When I told her that I politely just ask the person I'm supporting if I can use their washroom she was aghast. 'You actually sit on their toilets?!' she asked.

I said 'Their shit is no different than yours or mine'. She nodded her head in embarrassment.

I will admit though there are certain bathrooms you do like to disinfect before you use them. One guy I see has Hep B and you have to. You get the point though.

I'm not exactly sure where I'm going with this little rant. I suppose I just want to dispel the myth that those who are different than you, aren't really all that different than you.

I learned today too that just because someone is used to having most people in their life see them naked doesn't' mean they are always comfortable with it. One person I was seeing today, when asked if I could come in and watch their bathing routine, told my trainer 'no'. The trainer said she never says 'no'.

I was kind of proud of the lady for saying no to me watching. Not because I'm tired of seeing strangers in the buff. But because she used her voice and it was respected.

If her privacy couldn't be at least her voice was.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ninjas in Wrinkleville and other wandering thoughts...

This morning my thoughts wandered a bit.

Nothing much new about this except I thought I'd try and write them down to share with y'all before I forgot. You know, 'cause they could like, change the world or something.

I was waken up by a horrible song on the radio (from the station that neither Wally nor I like but seems to be a mediation - at least he thinks it is).

I kinda think that I was dreaming at the time because in my dream I hated the song too. Mysteries.

I suited up for my morning dragging by the dogs (right now I'm hoping there's only one meaning for the word 'dragging'. Who knows these days).

I put on Wally's black silky track pants with a white stripe down each leg, over my lovely M & M pj's that, to be honest, I find really ugly but fitting for me (I have a love for peanut M & Ms). I then put on my biggest, thickest maroon hoodie with yellow 'Florida State' letters on it. Once again another article of clothing I honestly think is ugly to look at but perfection to wear.

I then dug out my thick multi coloured toque, put it on then whipped my hoodie hood over top of it. Then came my huge blue-plus-other coloured scarf (over my hoodie hood), soon followed by my sporty winter coat.

Oh, I think I forgot to mention putting on heavy M & M night socks which at some point throughout the evening I throw off because I am too warm. I usually put them back on in the morning and tuck my pj pants into them, you know, to help them from wandering north while I make the addition of the track pants.

Finally I add the piece de resistance (that's supposed to be said in a French accent), my tan coloured suede boots. You know, to complete the ensemble. I was now ready for the cat walk ... or should I say dog walk.

Anyhoo, I head out the door with my two dogs in tow and thus begun my wandering thoughts...

As we were exiting our building I quickly noticed the newspaper stand thinger and the story on the front. It was about a solider killing two women at an army base. I quickly wondered if I should dare leave the building in the dark at 6:15am to venture out into the scary world. Then I gently reminded myself that I lived int he slowest moving village within the city and likely the biggest threat would be someone with a cane that couldn't run, well, as fast as a jet like me.

It wasn't far into the walk when I hit an icy patch and used my cat like reflexes to keep me from bottoming out. They worked. I then concluded that dog walking could indeed become an Olympic sport. Flexibility, balance, sheer determination and grace were needed to succeed. clearly I would win a gold medal.

On we went.

I got to the 3 or 4 way stop, you know, depending on how you look at it. Saw a Dodge Caravan come to a stop, then ever so slowly make their turn. It looked like they had seen my dogs and I and were going to be one of those polite law breakers who would let us go ahead but they would still inch out so they wouldn't have to wait the entire time for us to cross. But then they did not let us cross - it was weird.

Then I noticed the person driving the van was a female ninja. 'Weird!!' I thought. A real Ninja mom here in Wrinkleville. 'Cool!!!' However it also may have been a Muslim because there is a Mosque down the street and it was that hour. (Ok so I don't know the actual hour but I've seen some traveling early in the morning before).

As we continued on I decided to avoid some of my chances to exercise my cat like reflexes by walking on the cliffs surrounding them. Ok they weren't really cliffs exactly. But they were a good 4 inches high of hard snow.

The dogs apparently didn't want to use their cat like reflexes either, because they joined me.

At one point we passed a parking lot with a little moped (incidentally I never knew what a moped was when I was younger, it was always a prize on Wheel of Fortune for our Commodore 64 - now I know though) Anyways, I wondered what person in their right mind would be riding around on it in the dead of winter, let alone why they would leave it in the parking lot not chained to anything. I could have like picked up with my bare hand and walked away with it. In fact I am now wondering why the dogs and I didn't hop on for a little joy ride. Oh wait, it's the dead of winter, that's why. (You thought I was going to say it's wrong to steal didn't you? Pffst!)

On we walked. Sweet accomplished some business and as I knelt down to pick it up I briefly thought about the three deer we saw yesterday and worried they may make an appearance. I had visions of the three of them in ninja costumes trying to pounce on me. They had clubs. I intentionally moved a little quicker.

Just as we were almost at the door of our building I noticed that I was seeming to be dragging Sweet. He apparently was not done his business and I realized I'd been dragging him for several paces. It's not like him to be the drag-ee.

I think my mind was wandering a little more this morning than usual...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Meloncholy closet time

Today I began my day as I did yesterday. Once my shower was over I snuck a towel or two into my new found 'closet' and enjoyed the solace. I even did a little prayin' - out loud like. It's been a while since I've done that, it was ... alright.

My potential priest friend said that even a minute with God would be a great start. I decided I would allow myself whatever felt right.

In my closet a few minutes felt right. And good.

I went about my day heading to work for most of the day time, then coming home for a couple of hours between work again.

I disciplined myself to take the dogs out right away, then threw the laundry in the washer in the laundry room without waiting. I had a brief snack then collected my wet clothes to hang in our apartment to dry.

I finally sat down and checked my e-mail, all four of my addresses. Why do I have four addresses? I quickly learned that I had some issue at work to face. A mistake that I made - well sort of.

Not to pass the buck or anything but the mistake really wasn't mine. I had not signed off on giving a med (it wasn't really a med, it was gravol. But in this field everything is a med and requires proper documentation ... unless there's a hitch, which in this case there was). The reason I hadn't signed off was because I was told I didn't have to - I had even specifically asked. Anyways, in the end I should have and I didn't leaving me with 4 med errors. There's more background to this but it's boring and I feel like I have just done enough of boring so I won't bore any longer. Bottom line is: I was bummed.

I then had a few moments of wanting nothing more than to eat something comforting. As I briefly considered it I quickly thought of my new space and how peaceful it was.

It was then that I decided to make a cup of vanilla rooibus tea to take with me to my spot. I took a cloth and cleaned out the tub, got an old mini duvet, my Bible and journal. I threw the duvet in the dry tub, followed by my bath pillow. I then stepped into my make shift sanctuary and got comfortable. And of course ... closed the curtain.

As I sat there I looked around and couldn't help but wonder if I was going mad (crazy like). Who in their right mind sits in their empty bath tub with a blanket, books, and tea to relax? To connect. With God no less.

Well I decided that because it felt right, I did. So ... I did.

I instantly felt the pressures of my world fade away. I took a moment just to breathe. Then a few to just read some of Matthew, which just talks about Jesus' life and stuff. It wasn't magical but it was something. I pondered what I read a little, wondered things. I jumped over to Proverbs for a second and laughed a little at how some were worded. You see I was reading what a friend of mine refers to as the 'Fisher Price' Bible - The Message. It's just a leisurely read, that's what I needed.

I took a few moments to write in my journal. Just a few points about things I wanted to remember in prayer, then a few people I wanted to remember to think about.

At one point while in the tub I began to smell something. Kind of like smelly feet. I thought 'Hmmmm, if those are mine I'm definitely int he right place.' I awkwardly tried to sniff my feet but being in a tiny tub the positioning didn't lend itself to me coming to a concrete conclusion. Instead I touched my sock then quickly touched my fingers to my nose. Smelled ok to me.

I guess the smell was going to remain mystery.

A few moments later, after I'd drank my tea and contemplated life (and where the smell may have been coming from), I heard someone shut their water off from a different apartment. And for some reason it began to rain on my peaceful parade ... literally.

A steady stream of water escaped the tub's faucet and my sock and duvet got well hydrated.

I determined that my parade would be acceptable wet.

Well I spent around 25-30 minutes this afternoon in my 'prayer closet'. Overall it was ... wonderful. I went about the rest of my day feeling at peace.

Anyways, other than the meeting I attended late this afternoon that was my day. (A meeting in which my manager asked the team I work with for a particular house of young ladies we support, 'Has anyone ever felt fear for their safety with so and so'. At which point every one in the room put up their hand. I wonder sometimes what I've gotten myself into...)

I came home and Wally had made supper. At which time I cut into my chicken and yelped 'It's pink int he middle!!!' Only to remember that it was chicken cordon blue (from a box) which, of course, had ham in the middle - which indeed is supposed to be pink.

There's the story of my slightly melancholy day and my time in my closet.

Bath tubs, not just for bubbles anymore.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Yesterday Wally had an idea. He thought we should try walking our two little s on separate leashes. You know, to see what they would do.

You see, as I've mentioned before my little Sweet (my baby) is full of life and always on the move. This is often not conducive to Sour getting much business done, due to the constant motion Sweet is in.

So we did it.

I don't think we had any idea what we would be in for either. I took Sweet, Wally took Sour and let's just say there was beyond a distinct difference in how our two little terrors approached their morning constitutional.

Sweet immediately plunged forward dragging me with all of his might ahead of Wally and Sour. I soon got the impression that there would be no walking, only running and pulling. At one point I told Wally I thought I'd better jog a bit with Sweet, to wear him out. So we did.

The only one that got worn out was me. As we returned to Sour and Wally (who by the way were both carefully, quietly and gently walking down the street. No pulling, no running, no frolicking in the snow or eating it. Just a leisurely little stride.

I was immediately jealous of Wally and his 'angel' of a dog. by the time we were at the end or our new walking adventure three of the four of us were worn out and the other had just turned his energy down a hair.

Wally and I have often joked about our two dogs being perfect representations of us. Sour being timid, careful, thoughtful and slow to do try things. Not unlike Wally. Then Sweet, who has boundless energy, full of love, doesn't often look like he has a thought in his head (I know he's a dog but still ... Wally teases that he thought Sweet's thoughts would sound like a gentle breeze being blown by the mouth of an empty cave).

Changing directions for a minute ...

Today I had the day off. We are still getting used to schedules and life without school and assignments (as I've already mentioned). We have recently found ourselves rather bored and without things to do or people to see. Today was no different.

It started out with some computer glitch, which around here means turmoil. I often just like to hide when that happens. For some reason whenever Wally is even remotely frustrated I turn into an ostrich.

Today my retreat was the shower - a great place to think. And I did. I thought of how nice it wold be to be unleashed. Unleashed from another person who I have committed myself to until my death (or his). Unleashed to explore the world and everything in it. Unleashed to come and go in any direction without question or worry. Unleashed to do things however I want, when ever I want, with whomever I want. Simply Unleashed.

During my twenty minute shower, I put the water from warm to scalding hot, to cool then back to tolerable, I continued to think.

My dogs when apart are accelerated versions of themselves. This is really only noticed on their walks. I've read that walking is, for a dog, their purpose - their joy. For the past year and a half our dogs, when walked, have been put on a lead which causes them to HAVE to work together and they HAVE to respect (to some degree) the limits of the other dog or ... someone will get very hurt.

Not to sound like over zealous dog lover, or a cheese bag, but I have to make the obvious comparison.

Wally and I have committed to one another. We have put on our own 'lead'. But doing so we keep one another 'in line' per se. When I think of what I would be like without Wally I think immediately of my little Sweet. Uninhibited, carefree and to some degree reckless. When I think of Wally and his personality thoughts of Sour jump into my head. Slow to try something new, careful, gets close to people on his own terms, especially in his own space.

However the interesting thing is that when Sweet and Sour (and Wally and I) are connected to each other the walk seems so much easier. The limits are respected (most of the time), the flow is natural and neither seems to really have issues with getting off track.

As I spent time thinking in the shower I sat down and enjoyed the water falling on me as I sat in the tub relaxing. I finally realized I had to shut the water off before the neighbour wondered what was going on.

I know that generally when you finish a shower you open the curtain grab your towel and it's over. today I wasn't exactly ready to go back out and face my leash (I'm not trying to sound derogatory, it's how I felt today).

So I decided I would stay in my little shower closet.

After a few seconds though I realized (when the ice cold air found it's way in) that it may not remain comfortable for long - but I still wasn't ready to go. I snuck my hand out the side of the curtain and grabbed my towel and wrapped it around my body. I was still cold so I squeaked my arm back out to venture for Wally's towel. I put it on my legs and tucked in around them. Soon my head got cold. Back out my arm went and discovered the towel I would dry my hair off with. I draped it over my head like I was being Mary in a Nativity play.

Then, I sat there.

And sat some more.

I enjoyed the cocoon that I created and decided that this may indeed become my new prayer closet. It was so peaceful and warm.

Finally, after about 30 minutes, Wally began to look for me and I heard him call my name. He was in the bedroom now saying "Eva? Eva, where are you?"

I quietly said "I'm here" from my cocoon. Praying that whatever the glitch was it was figured out.

High above my head the curtain opened and at that point I had really wished I had my glasses on.

Wally just looked at me and began to giggle. "What are you doing in here?" He knelt down and held my gaze.

"Just sitting" I said.

We had a good chuckle together. I shared my excitement over the discovery of my new 'spiritual space' and then we laughed some more about how ridiculous I looked. I laughed until I had tears and couldn't breathe. It felt good.

I then felt ready to climb out of my refuge and encounter the rest of my day. And decided something...

I may need to purchase a Shamwow. For my make shift 'prayer closet'.

Leashes aren't all bad by the way. In fact I think mine keeps me from getting hit by a car.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

My day ... simplified

Woke up.

Got distracted doing chores, finished washing the dishes before even taking the dogs out.

Did an interesting experiment while taking the dogs out (more on that later - of course who knows if I'm telling the truth as I tend to lie about such things).

Once inside continued to get distracted from every intended activity with other activities. Vacuumed the place.

Watched a show with Wally that he downloaded.

Dusted while watching a show Wally downloaded for me.

Finally got into the shower at 11:30am and got distracted while showering with scrubbing the grout between the tiles. Quickly realized I was wrinkled like a prune and I needed to stop.

Tried to finish getting ready but got distracted while in the bathroom and ended up cleaning the toilet, tub, shower and sink before actually completing my head preparation for the day (you know, hair and make up).

Went out with Wally to fulfill the reason for me working a 10 hour night awake shift earlier in the weak - the adoption of a Magic Bullet. During which time Wally was embarrassed to walk through the store with it in our cart and referred to ourselves as trailer trash for buying it. Clearly he didn't agree with my choice. Clearly I didn't care that he didn't agree.

Got home and ate 3 M & M cookies we bought at Wal-mart.

Checked my e-mail and did some work stuff.

Left to do some book research at the Christian book store.

Realized the Christian book store doesn't believe Catholics are Christians, but did find a little book on Lent and one on liturgical practices. Bought them both.

Realized I ran out of time and went straight to work.

Once at work had all 20 of my nails, fingers and toes, painted by one of the girls I support. Well, painted or glued. It was dollar store nail polish that was very thick and stringy, the kind you peel off in gobs, even hours after it's dried. It was a 'french' manicure in pink. It looks ... interesting.

Felt nauseous from the cookies I ate.

Had one moment in the evening when I was glad the knives weren't near the one girl I support. I'm sure if they had been she would've helped one find my heart. Literally speaking.

Got home. Ate a tiny bag of mini eggs. Had regrets, but didn't dwell on them since at this point I am wearing pants with elastic that also stretch.

And here I am.

What to do tomorrow?

Friday, February 5, 2010


That's what I feel like I'm trying to do.

In so many ways. In the realm of work - starting a new career (or field of work). In life, figuring out what to do next in this 'stage' of things. In my marriage, getting used to a new 'normal' with our new jobs, new potential church (after not being a part for one years). In my continuing pursuit for health as I ... mature :)

I honestly had no idea that coming out of school would be such an adjustment. Really, who knew?

Today I woke up and realized I actually would get most of the day time to myself before heading off to work at 4pm. I was excited. That soon fizzled out after I had gotten caught up going through papers and files trying to 'organize' myself but then quickly realizing (as I was running the water for my shower) that they were shutting off the hot water at 9am. It was 9:30am. Rats!

Of course this happened after I also realized that the stew I had eaten for super last night was indeed the culprit for Wally's violently ill spell earlier in the week. (The one in which he called me at 5am at work while I was doing a 10 hour night awake shift, telling me I had to come home that instant to take him to the hospital. Clearly I could not just leave 3 men who could not be left unsupervised to do this at the drop of a hat. I called tele-health instead, waited on hold for 15 minutes and learned no more than I knew before).

I wasn't ill like Wally because as I always say "I have guts of steel". (Although he lost like 7 1/2 pounds, sometimes I wish I weren't so steely).

I then had to 'rinse' my head in cold water in the kitchen sink, not fun however as I write this a wee bit of perspective makes it's way into my mind and reminds me that I'm lucky that hot water is my norm).

There was something else but I can't remember so I'll move on...

I sat down and watched the Osbornes (Ozzy, Sharon and the kids) on tv and remembered how much I loved them. Yes it's true ... and odd.

Wally and I started watching their show years ago when it was on and initially I was completely offended. Necessity being the mother of invention though (we had no cable and were at a point in our lives where Christian stuff was smothering us while our loved ones kept dying off). Leaving us to make company with an unlikely match.

Anyways seeing them today reminded me of hope for change and how particularly attractive people are when they are completely honest about themselves, especially if they can laugh too.

After Ellen was over I treated myself to a trip to Chapters to peruse the Religion section in hopes of finding a book recommended to me by my potential priest friend. He is someone that I banter with back and forth every so often on facebook and rather enjoy interesting conversation with. He puts up with my many questions about his conversion to the Catholic faith (from Protestantism), while still participating in a Protestant church.

Anyhoo, I looked to no avail and came to the conclusion I should have ordered it in the first place online. While I was there though I met several potential friends.

I got to know many very briefly but to be honest the cost of taking them all home was much too high. I ended up leaving with nothing in my hand but the thought that they would be there again and that the library holds many potential companions for no cost at all.

The topic of conversation with my friend as of late have been questions I've had about the expected 'quiet' or 'devotional' time we Christians are to have. This I admittedly used to be completely relationally religious about. I was a 'star' pupil and could teach anyone the benefits and necessities of completing a daily routine of worship, prayer and study.

I was so engrossed in my routine that when I met Wally and got married I could not seem to figure out how to incorporate my personal 'quiet time' with that of another in a married context. It overwhelmed me and guilted me for years. Until the time came when all practices 'Christian' seemed empty and meaningless, because the majority of those around us seemed that way.

By no means did we abandon our faith, in fact quite the opposite. But we struggled to find what our changing views were supposed to look like in a very stationary circle of Christ followers. Thus leaving us to abandon our rituals and routines completely.

Now that I am beginning once again to search out what my daily time with my Creator (I'm not trying to sound New Agey, just get sick of using 'God' all of the time)looks like. I thought I would ask my devote friend, who is experienced in different (obviously quite different) practices than my own.

Through the past few years of change I have truly begun to appreciate the diversity of others' thoughts and views on things. I have learned to be able to take time to hear them and get something out of their perspectives, something I never knew how to do before. I used to hear the word New Age and shut someone out. I heard Catholic and would have the urge to pray for their salvation. Now I don't. I don't feel the need to. I instead feel the need to listen and learn. They have different experiences in life than I. Things I can learn from.

So now as I go back to the roots of my faith and decide to open myself up to finding out more about a different angle to it I feel the need to explore.

I would like to rediscover what it is like to love God again. (Not that I haven't' been loving Him now, but perhaps being more aware of new ways I can love Him). I want to remember what it's like to feel connected to Him.

I believe it will be interesting and hopefully eye opening. Christianity is not supposed to be a one time thing. It's not supposed to be an event where it happens and your in - at least not in my opinion.

I'm not saying you 'earn' your way to heaven or anything, but I think it is an ongoing journey of growth and refinement as we open ourselves up to be shaped by God.

My hope is to be refreshed and reintroduced to the beautiful faith that has grounded me and provided for me through out this crazy life. I am so thankful for the loving God I serve.

He is ... my Papa.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Super women

Women are super.

At least that's what I think.

They do it all.

Well many of them ... us.

Though I will confess I have said many times that I could never become a lesbian (aside from personal views perhaps) because I also think woman are crazy hormonal messes. All in all though ...they amaze me.

I bring this up as I strive to get back into a full time job as well as a full time household. I want to say first off that I have absolutely no earthly clue how women work full time and have kids. No idea. This by no means is a judgment just a mere wondering.

I shared with you how lately I have been overwhelmed by the 'catch up' around the apartment. Let me tell you, it builds up over a few months. This past week I was determined to try and get some of it done. Of course this was heading into a 53 hour work week.

Astoundingly I have made some real headway and am felling like a different person because of it. Instead of putting off little jobs, I've been tackling them when I've had the chance. I mentally feel much lighter and happier because of it.

However there's another side to the coin. When you get into the routine of HAVING to get the little job done, you often overlook the chance to catch some relaxation you may need.

I have an aunt (who I think could be reading this). Who has struggled with this for years. She's a mom of three grown children, who were born very close in age. She spent years as a home maker and mother raising them, until her husband was ill (he has kidney disease). Then when they were in their 'tween years she had to work outside of the home to help provide. It soon turned into full time and she then bore the weight of the household entirely on her shoulders.

Because her husband was sick she HAD to do it all: raise the children, cook, clean, work full time to provide, entertain company and so much more. In some ways this doesn't sounds all that earth shattering but if you knew how she completed all of these things you'd be astounded.

You see my idea of cooking in those conditions would be sidekicks with some chicken added, or mac 'n cheese with hot dogs. Not her, it was always a healthy well rounded dinner, a spotless home and to church on time.

I know she wouldn't necessarily say she did everything right and perhaps would do things a bit differently next time (she wore herself out). THe point is I think that we, as women, do it. Or at least we try.

I am by no means knocking men, I'm not a feminist either, but I find it very interesting how we as women feel the deep need to 'do it all'. Why?

I only recently witnessed my husband remotely concerned about the floors being vacuumed. I remember when Wally went to school we did everything we could so that he could concentrate entirely on his school work. After 5 or 6 months we quite working even part time at the barn. When I went to school I continued to clean, cook (as much as I could), work part time, do the laundry, do yard work, take out the garbage, deal with the animals and on and on.

Again, I am not saying men are lazy at all (though I'm probably not convincing you at this moment) just that they think so differently than us.

Their primary thoughts on their purpose in life is work, providing.From my experience, when they are focused it's on primarily one thing.

Women have a thousand and one things on the go at any given time.

I really had to learn to step back during my last semester and was amazed that Wally could indeed pick up the slack,in fact he was better at many things than I was.

I think we need to provide more opportunity to men to flex their multi-tasking abilities. We need to let go more and relax (even though I know that sometimes doing the dishes and getting the dusting done seem more relaxing at the time!)

I'm not sure where that all came from, but there you have it. You have my permission to rest!

Monday, February 1, 2010


So, I'm sorry (sort of) for leaving you hanging. I have actually began the post I promised but it's a big one and has alot in it, so you'll have to be patient.

It's funny. I've definitely noticed with my blogging that it goes in fits and spurts. Right now I'm sort of quiet ... I know that's bizarre. I wonder what it is that triggers a writing spell. I'm not real sure but it seems to be the way it goes. I haven't felt all tat inspired lately - that's a new thing for me.

I think it's sort of because it's only beginning to set in with Wally and I that we are done a certain chapter in our lives.

The last chapter was really all about a risk, all about adventure. It truly was exciting.

Now we are in more of a season (sharp turn there sorry) of reward. At least that's what I feel. We got Wally's first pay cheque the other day and we both sat down on the couch while we opened the pay stub. We just stared at it for a few moments in awe. The numbers were much bigger than we were used to. Especially the 'per hour' ones. We did some mental figuring and were in disbelief that even with just his paycheque we would have enough to fulfill our needs. It was a weird feeling.

Not to mention the fact that a few days later I received my first paycheque. It was the first paycheque I have ever received for a full time job. Before I always got cash or a mitt full of small cheques. This time I got to experience what it was like to say goodbye to nearly a third of it right off the hop. Not as exciting as I thought.

Anyways, now we are trying to get used to this new way of life and trying to maintain our debt free status for as long as possible. We are very fortunate people.

I think it'll take a while to get used to. I would love to know what is around the bend for us, but wouldn't we all. I think now is the time for us to relaly spend some time seeking God in what he wants us ot do for Him. Even in saying that I have know idea what that really means.

I guess I think of it in terms of Wally and I learning together, experiencing growing opportunities together (hopefully Thailand), reaching out to our community by giving our time to help others in practical ways together. Lots of togetherness.

Of course there is also the obvious question of children. The plan was that when school was done for my thirtieth birthday we would begin the steps towards adoption. Since school finished quicker than we noticed we may hold off 6 months to a year to get sed to this new place in our lives. I have a feeling that however our children come it will be as exciting and spontaneous as our last chapter of our lives.

At least I hope so.

Good night.