One Year On, One Year Strong

She loves to gossip. It doesn’t seem to matter that I dont know who shes talking about. She just likes the company. 
They have the cutest little pup who we joke has a lesbian crush on me. She goes nuts every time I make a visit and I love it. 
Hes not social. Hes more of a come in, do the job and get out, kind of guy. I’m cool with that. 
Shes got to be at least 90 years old. Lives alone, has visitors from time to time. She really and I mean REALLY loves a good cup of coffee. 

Its been a year. One whole year today that I moved my life to this beautiful little city and started 2 brand new jobs not knowing a single soul. I dont regret one day. And there have been hard ones. Tiresome ones. More importantly there have been really really HAPPY ONES, both in my personal and work life. I’ve gotten to know my clientèle. So much so that there will be a mutual missing as I embark on my well deserved vacation this week! It took a year to get here. One whole week with no obligations.

Sadly my other half does not have vacation time. He caught my cold during his week off (hard AND tiresome times).

Sorry I haven’t been updating a lot. I’ve been working or trying not to boil in this blasted heat. Ill try to get it together by September, but no promises.

Safety First

I laughed to myself as I typed in the title for this post; A post I try to do once a year at this time of year in regards to heat safety. I laughed because I am burnt to a crisp after spending 2 days in the sun with out the proper protection. And the funny thing is is that this happens to me EVERY YEAR. And every year I say, nope, NOT next year. It’s embarrassing. But you know what’s NOT funny or embarrassing? Skin cancer. A very real threat that shouldn’t be taken lightly. I tell you I am PAYING in spades today for my stupidity. Not only do I look like a tomato with raccoon eyes, but I feel like absolute crap.

I like to talk about this not just for OUR safety, but for those we as PSWS take care of. The biggest problem I have in working with seniors in the summer is getting them to drink water. Or any liquid for that matter. Even if you’re not thirsty, I can’t write for words HOW important this is. I’ve seen people faint; become delusional, lethargy and a whole slew of other ailments that could be prevented with one simple trick.

So far this season I haven’t had too many concerns with those that I visit. But EVERY TIME I am there I make a point of emphasizing water, water and MORE water. My clients have told me that drinking a lot is a concern due to incontinence issues. I’d rather a slightly wet pant than a trip to emergency, and once they get that thought through their head they usually comply.

Do any of you have trouble with this as well? If so I’d LOVE to hear your feedback and any tips & tricks you may have.

And remember. Wear sunscreen.

Walk For Alzheimer’s 2016

A week ago today at this time we were tired, sweating buckets, eating water melon & drinking water like it was going to run out. But we were happy. All 140 or so of us who showed up at 10 am ready to walk 5km in 30 degree weather all for a wonderful cause to raise awareness & funds to combat a devastating disease: Alzheimer’s.

My alarm went off at 7:45 am thinking I had enough time to get up, WAKE up and get hyped for the day. Little did I know that my beautiful friend was already here waiting to get pumped with me. Another friend showed up half an hour later & together we pumped ourselves up, tied our laces & put on sunscreen ready to kick Alzheimer’s in the ass.

Well, unfortunately the disease still prevails, with an estimated 747,000 Canadians living with Alzheimer’s since 2007. By 2031, if nothing changes, those numbers are predicted to hit 1.4 million.*

Scary, huh? As a PSW I can’t imagine what my work load will be like. But more importantly, as a HUMAN, I’m worried someone I know will be dealt the horrible blow of a dementia related diagnoses.

I am super super proud to say that our team apswlife raised  $685 for The Alzheimer Society of Perth County, with all proceeds going toward education & research for a cure. Over all Stratford raised over $20,000 & I cannot thank you enough.

Thank you to those who could support financially. Thank you to those who could support emotionally & spread the word. A huge, HUGE thank you to my beautiful friends Gloria & Barb who made the trek out here just to walk with me. I can’t ask for better friends.

Can’t wait for next year!

*For more information, please visit alzheimer.ca

12 More Days!

Good Morning!
I don’t know about you, but I was thrilled to wake up this morning and see SUNSHINE! Yesterday we had wee snowflakes falling down here in Stratford. Pardon me? Unacceptable! I’ll be paying close attention the weather now. Not because I am desperate to always wear sandals – which I am – but mainly because in just 12 days time team apswlife will be walking to raise awareness for Alzhiemer’s Disease! May 28th is the magical day for the Stratford walk and I am so so pumped!

To date, our team has raised $685, that’s $185 more than I had hoped to raise! Not only that, but our team is #2 in raising the most funds in Perth County! Thank you! I am so so grateful to everyone who has been able to support us – whether it be financially, emotionally, morally or in good friendship. Thank you.

In other news, work has been going very well. I have really taken to my new role as a personal support worker in home care. I still remember not too long ago how I was dreading it and wishing I could do anything but. Now I’m content. I adore my clientèle. I love not ever having to work the midnight shift again. Hell, I love not having to work past 10pm!

My mind has been all over the place lately with blog post ideas, so as soon as I can sort those out I’ll be right back here typing away. Now I must go fetch some coffee.

Hope you all have a great day!

(To donate to team apswlife, please click here.)

Update On Life. Sort Of.

Wooooah! It’s been awhile, eh’? Sorry, but I WORK.
No, I’m not yelling at you, it’s not your fault. It’s no one’s fault really, but some days are more frustrating than others. I’m sure you can relate.
So you can imagine that when ever I come across a reading or hear anyone say something along the lines of “well, it’s not like you’re a nurse or anything, you’re ONLY a PSW” it just creams my corn.
Only? You’re right. Why don’t you show me how it’s done. My morning consisted of working with a woman with a brain tumour therefore dealing with several seizures. My client after her had severe Cerebral Palsy. #3 is a woman who I’m convinced hates me because she ALWAYS refuses care and yells at me in her native tongue and tries to hit me – and SUCCEEDED the other day might I add. And lastly – at least for the morning – is a gentleman I very much enjoy visiting and working with except when he’s on the verge of a Diabetic coma & you’re like -_-
So yeah. I’m ONLY a PSW.
Take a look at my buddy PSWHQ’s page here & take a read on the job description of a PSW.

Phew. HAD to get that out.

Secondly, it’s LESS than a month until my team aptly titled apswlife walks for The Alzheimer’s Society to raise awareness and funds to fight Alzheimers! I’m very excited about this & so so thrilled with all the support we’ve been getting to date. Still, if you’d like to support our team, take a looksy over here to donate! Just search for our team, apswlife.

And thirdly, I’m off this weekend so insert happy dance here! 🙂

The Decision.

I either just did something really dumb or really smart. Either way, I’m confident with the path I have chosen and can already feel the stress and tension lift off my shoulders.

I quit my job.

Guess which one. I’ll give you a hint. Remember a while back when I went on a rant about homecare and about how much I loathed it? Yeah, NOT that one.

I gave in my 2 weeks notice for my casual position at the long term care facility. I’ll tell you why, because there might be a lot of you out there in a similar boat.

I love LTC. And until now I thought that was where I was supposed to be. And who knows, maybe in the future I’ll be back there again. But for now it isn’t worth it. I have FULL TIME hours while working in homecare. Why am I working another job ON TOP of that? Why am I exhausting myself with 16 hour days when I don’t need to be? It finally got to me and something had to be done. So I made the decision to let go of the job that wasn’t getting me further. I had been told when I was hired last July that getting a part-time or even full-time line would come easy and that I should have one by September. It’s almost February and I’m tired.
Despite my moaning I’ve come to enjoy homecare. I can more or less chose my hours and the work load isn’t as heavy as in LTC. I worked in LTC for almost 6 years. I think it was time for a change. I don’t want to worry about 2 jobs and balancing them both. It isn’t worth my sanity & it isn’t worth the extra $300 or so I’d be bringing in every 2 weeks. There are A LOT of things in life far more important than money and work. I intend to enjoy it. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about this job is that life goes by pretty damn fast.

No body on their death bed has ever said “I wish I worked MORE”.

#WalkForMemories & #BellLetsTalk

Someone’s a little hashtag crazy. Yes, unfortunately you need to work that pound key when you depend on social media to get the word out there!

Two things:

The Annual Alzheimer’s Society Walk For Memories is upon us & I am estatic to say that I will be walking on May 28th in Stratford! Last year I participated in Cambridge & although was thrilled to be donating my time to a wonderful cause, didn’t so much enjoy walking circles in a mall. SO, this year I will be out doors with two of my closest friends in this wonderful town (that thinks it’s a city) where I now reside! So far team #apswlife has raised over $300! I am beyond grateful for everyone’s generous donations and kind words of encouragement.

I am doing this walk for several reasons. The main one being that we need a cure YESTERDAY & I certainly don’t want to have to endure this illness nor do I want that for any of my loved ones. Secondly, I work with far too many clients who are already afflicted & it breaks my heart to see them deteriorate day by day.

If you’d like to support our team, please click here for details.

Item number two for this evening is about what has been going on today: Bell Let’s Talk Day. Another cause that’s very important to me for several reasons, the main one being that I too have dealt with Depression and know all too well how debilitating it can be. Mental Illness in 2016 still carries with it a terrible stigma that needs to be destroyed. You find me one person who hasn’t dealt with SOMETHING and I’ll call you a liar. I wrote a post on this last year I do believe & if you’d like to take a peek, please do so here.

For each time that someone uses the hashtag #BellLetsTalk on Twitter or other media outlets, Bell will donate 5 cents toward mental health initiatives.

Get pressing on that pound key! I have to get back to watching American Horror Story. It’s my new obsession.

Working In A Winter Wonderland

Wow. I don’t know where you are but it has been snowing here the last 2 days with A VENGEANCE! Seriously, what did we do?? I guess it’s just January.

With the lovely white stuff come the lovely – Not said sarcastically, I swear! – people who do not know how to drive in it. It peeves me off to no end. Yes, your pick-up truck is bigger than me and I’m sure your penis is smaller than mine as well. That doesn’t give you the right to pass me on a hill in the dark in an apparent white out. But HEY, what do I know. I’ll wave as I drive by at 40 and see your sorry behind in a ditch. Or upside down as I saw earlier today.

Working in homecare means that I do A LOT of driving. On my part I make sure to always give myself extra time, have a full tank of gas, windshield wiper fluid and anything else I may need to assure that I get where I need to be safely. YOU in turn should also be doing the same and not acting like an idiot just because you have a larger vehicle than me. I’m sorry to pick on those with larger cars – I know not ALL of you are asses – but the majority or asshatory that I’ve encountered were from those in trucks. So quit it.

I hope to be properly blogging for OPSWA on their website soon. The Association has grown up A LOT and I can’t wait to share all these new achievements with you. I’m in our Cambridge office this afternoon doing some admin work while M & K (Our P and VP respectively) are out making the connections that help to benefit us. Our 3rd Annual Conference is coming up on April 23rd at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. Check out http://www.opswa.com for more details.

AND DRIVE CAREFULLY!

A New Year.

I am so amused. Today apparently marks the “first day” back to work after the holidays. I laugh at this as I sit in my PJs sipping my coffee with no where to go on this chilly Monday morning. As a PSW, I WORKED during the holidays. Christmas AND New Years. Now I’m not complaining, but if you try to feed me your woe is me crap because you have to go back to work I’m not going to buy it. Don’t take up a career in healthcare, I don’t think you could handle it.

ANYWAY, I had to get that off my chest. HAPPY 2016 Everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas & New Year. As mentioned I worked on those days so I just altered my holiday to other days. No biggie.

I’ve worked NY before, infact thats ALL I worked when I was in Toronto. This year was my first time working Christmas Day and truth be told I REALLY enjoyed it. I worked home care in the AM and LTC 3-11. Both shifts were lovely. I felt really happy to be able to spend my time with folks who otherwise might not be with anyone else. A little secret – people tend to spend holidays with their families when in LTC, so needless to say that shift was practically a dream because a lot of residents were out of the building. We had fun with those who couldn’t venture out. Champagne & eggnog WITH Rum were served to those who cared for it. Who says you can’t party in LTC.

Last night during my home care visits, I made a call to one of my regular clients that I normally see in the morning and not at night. During the night he wears a condom catheter & I was super nervous about having to put it on. I see penises all the time. It’s a body part, it no longer phases me. But most of my contact is help with cleanliness and that’s it. Having to apply a plastic-like wrapping around one that isn’t erect is something else. I don’t know how to work these things, I don’t own this equipment! (Seinfeld, anyone?!) But this gentleman was a doll in directing me step by step on how to properly apply it so that it would stay on during the night. I was quite proud of myself for having done a good job.

Maybe I should be a doctor?

No thanks.