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Saturday, October 2, 2010

No Smoking


I took my blood pressure on Monday afternoon, and it was 159/99. Boink! My Virginia Slims went directly into the trash, and I did a yoga practice, coaxing my body into slowing down and rejecting the stress that has bombarded me for weeks.

Work stress. Everyone is sick of hearing about it, but I am certain it is a factor in my blood pressure, which, by the way, has come down. Stress at work was my excuse for not giving up cigarettes; in fact, I used it as an excuse to smoke more and more.

(Aside. I am willing to admit that smoking is a stupid thing to do. I have smoked off and on since I was 15, even stopped for 13 years one time and taught a class on how to quit. Smoking is an especially stupid thing for a nurse to do. Really, now. Think about it. I work in a field in which I help people die, many of them from cancers caused by tobacco use. What do you supposed I have been thinking)?

Now, I have a plan.

First: Stop hurting myself with cigarettes.

Second: Stop hurting myself by bringing work home with me, a rule I intended to implement when I started my job.

You might imagine that I have a Type A personality. I was the kid who always expected straight A’s, always wanted to do it right the first time. Now I’m, 62, and I still want to do it right the first time. Only now, I can’t do it.

My perceived “failures” in my job are not my fault. It’s okay for me to say that out loud and not sound like a baby. I never participated in a formal orientation to hospice home care, was set free to make it on my own. I am not a genius, but I worked hard, and I’m a good nurse. I learned from the other nurses and am confident in my skills, knowing there are some areas where I need work. I am satisfied in my ability to take call on the weekends.

On August 26, I was handed a laptop and told to be ready to go paperless on September 1. Instead of whining that I had not been offered even one computer class while the others had spent days working on them, I got busy and made it work - with much help from my neighboring nurse in the next cubbyhole We’ll call her Angel.

The Hell Bitch saved my butt. She put together a little handbook to walk us - (Some of the others were having more trouble than I). - through the program and enter our data properly and get our time and mileage recorded so we get paid for it.

I am a winner. I’ve got it now, and when my previous errors get kicked back at me and I have to fix them, I will do it.

Now for the third part of the plan. I didn’t think it up. My bosses did, and I think it will work for as long as my job is part-time. It will doubtless bring down my stress levels. Instead of working two (five-hour) days a week, which only breeds frustration, I will work every other weekend and four hours in the office on the following Monday to clear out my documentation.

Here’s an example of why the shorter days are so exasperating. Last Monday, I had three patients to see. This is a reasonable case load for a five hour day - IF your day doesn’t start out with a meeting that runs nearly two hours. I felt rushed and pressured the keep my hours down, but I got the job done in six hours. (No bitching from the boss). If there had been any small glitch in my day, I would have been working for seven or eight hours - a big “no-no” now that they have stopped using me for full time help with no benefits and not paying me on time.

Bitter? Yes, I’m getting that way. I don’t like bitter. It’s ugly and it tastes bad.

Cigarette? I could eat one right now.

© cj Schlottman


Linda @ A La Carte said...

This is the best plan I've seen you come up with! Now just do it!! Stop Smoking...yes what were you thinking? Enough said!


Sue said...

Good for you for stopping smoking, again. It can't be easy, especially during such a stressful time.

Take care of yourself, CJ. The world needs you.


jeff campbell said...

You can do this...I did, and have been cigarette free for well over 20 years. As for work stress...you are bright and will figure out how to make it work...I would suggest meditation. There are many good resources out there to help with meditation...DVDs, CDs...also deep breathing exercises are very good for BP.


Rose said...

sounds like you 've got a good plan. if you stopped smoking before you can do it again. my husband quit 1x and then 4 years later went back. he quit again over 5 years cold turkey. i hope he never picks up this habit. it's tough breaking habits. best wishes. rose