Wednesday, September 19, 2007

It's My Birthday

I'm 31 today, and I never could have imagined what this new year in my life can bring me. Though the celebration isn't going to be majorly exciting (I have work all day and school all night), I am truly grateful to be surrounded by the love of Rob, my family and my friends. I've reflected on how my life has completely changed over the past year. From the mistreatment that I received from a couple of previous employers... to my experience and ordeal in the hospital earlier this year... to the unemployment shortly after... followed by the job that has become a blessing and Rob moving out in July, I definitely can say it has been a life experience.

The challenges that I have encountered in the 30th year of my life has definitely affected me emotionally and mentally. The self-confidence for me to find a job that I most deserve has definitely affected me the most to the point that I hit my most low. The hospital was majorly traumatizing that even letting Rob hug me caused me to cry.

Nevertheless, putting aside the negativity of all that, including Rob moving out (which I am not completely ready to talk about), has given me something positive to look forward to. With a new job that I love, it has given the confidence to make the 31st year of my life a better one. I have taken everything that has occurred and have used it as a life lesson.

Bring it on!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

My Mom's Birthday - Sept. 14

September 14 marked the day that my mom has lived 70 years on this world. To think how my mom has lived her life during the 30 years that I have been a part of hers truly has me cherish having her in my life. Mom and I have had our differences, but what mother-daughter relationship does not? I definitely know, that despite all the words said and all the emotions felt, my mom has always been there whenever I have needed her.

My mom has encountered so many challenges in her life. She moved here to the U.S. almost 35 years ago. She was a single mother traveling to foreign lands with an 11-year-old son, and not really having any sort of close family around to help her out. In 1988, she was diagnosed with brain cancer after complaints of dizziness and headaches. Her doctor found that she had a tumor the size of a golf ball sitting on the base of her head. In 1994, she was again diagnosed with cancer -- this time breast cancer on the left side -- after she found a lump.

So, for the 70 years of my mom's life, it has been a milestone for her. She has shown that she has the strength to overcome any challenges that life has given her. For that, my mother has truly become my hero.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM! (A tribute a day later!)

Friday, September 07, 2007

A Three-Month Recap

Hmmm... I believe my last posting was in the first week in June... Well, a lot has happened since then, and I'm not sure where to begin....

Let's see.... In July, shortly after the holiday, Rob moved out of the house - which was for the best - because of some very personal issues that I shall not discuss publicly. That same day, I lost two of my special cockatiels - Sally and Stewie - because of them getting spooked and flying away. To this day, there are no signs of whether or not they are still around (or Bebe, who we lost last year).

What else has happened? I have gone back to school after taking about a year off to regroup and focus. Rob has also started school. Rob lost his Grandma Sally a couple of weeks ago.

Work has been great. It has had its ups & downs, as any job can have, but I definitely enjoying what it has had to offer.

Other than that, I am living everyday as I can. I have Rob, my family and my friends around me... What else can I ask for?

Next thing to look forward to? BIRTHDAY #31! :)

Monday, September 03, 2007

Extremely Hectic...

I know that it's been about three months since my last posting... There have been many things that have been going on that when I actually have the time to sit down to talk about it you will definitely have plenty to read about. So hang on tight... and I'll chat with ya in a bit! :)

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Not yet engaged...

Though we are not 'officially' engaged, Rob & I went to Robbins Bros. during our anniversary to look at engagement rings. We wanted to get an idea of how much it would cost to get one to his likings. We narrowed it down to three (as you can see by the pictures). Rob and I really loved this ring overall together (I had one I liked and he had one that he liked), except this had a princess cut diamond in the center. Somehow it just seemed to 'fit' with the promise ring that Rob gave me back in November. Even with a round cut diamond, it looked right.

Anyway, the process of looking through the rings and picking it out was perfect. I can see why Robbins Bros. really is the "World's Biggest Engagement Ring Store." Their prices are reasonable, the staff was perfect, and we didn't have the pressure of getting the ring NOW. Our salesperson, Rose, was excellent and helpful. We went through every single display case, and looked at every single ring one-by-one. There were so many rings that just took my breath away!

Going to Robbins Bros. definitely gave us an idea of where to go to get the right ring. I know that when the time is right Rob will pick out the ring that he loves for me (with the help of the BFF, Jamie). I look forward to the day when Rob will ask me to become his wife.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Weekend Getaway - Saturday's Itinerary

Originally, Rob and I were planning to go to Disneyland. Unfortunately, despite setting the alarm clock at 7:30 AM, we ended staying in bed until 10:30 AM. But if you think about it, sleeping in just a little bit longer made it all worthwhile.

Our day began by having lunch at J.T. Schmidt's in Anaheim. It's a brewery/steakhouse with many choices of food. Rob and I both opted to have steak for lunch, with me having a New York Strip and Rob having a 16 oz Rib eye. The place is a bit pricey, but I love eating at this place!

After lunch, we headed off to Target. Our plans were to purchase some swimsuits to relax by the pool. Unfortunately, we didn't find anything to our liking, and it would cost me $25 alone just to purchase a top. Instead, we chose to purchase a few movies to watch in our hotel room.

When we returned to our room, we watched "Hannibal Rising." Good, but disturbing. We also purchased "Secret Window" for Rob to watch and "Because I Said So" for me. We had Chinese takeout delivered to our room.

After a quick bite to eat, we decided to go to the Block in Orange once again just to walk around... ate pretzels... then headed back to the room.

An end to a relaxing day!

Weekend Getaway - Friday's Itinerary

11:00 AM to 12:15 PM
Breakfast/Lunch at Coco's

Our day had a slow start, mainly because of me, but we headed off to Pasadena around 10:30 AM with plans to have breakfast/lunch at Denny's (off of Colorado). Unfortunately, Denny's was not to be because they shut down for remodeling. Instead, we headed off to Coco's in Arcadia (between Michillinda and Colorado). This added to our time, since we had to be at Amadeus Spa a half hour before our appointment time. When we arrived, we had a 10 minute wait until we could be seated. Our waitress was not the best waitress. She told us she would be with us in a minute, but we still waited for an additional 10 minutes. Then, she came and took our drink orders. It only took her about 5 minutes to come back, and take our food order. Well, a group of four arrived shortly after she took our drink order (about 10 minutes later), and they still managed to get their food first (considering we ordered our food right when they were settling into the booth). Our appetizers arrived at the same time as our meals. What's up with that? She offered to get me a refill for my coffee, but she returned without a coffee pot in hand - only to drop off our check. I left very disappointed.

1:00 PM to 3:45PM
Massage at Amadeus Spa & Salon for Rob and me

Let the relaxation begin! I have been looking forward to this massage since the day I booked it a month ago. A session of just letting all that tension and stress flow out of me was worth paying a lot of extra dollars. I never realized how much stress I was holding onto until the massage therapist started digging into my muscles. But it was worth it!

5:00 PM to 6:00PM
Sitting in traffic to get to Anaheim

I don't really have anything to say about this... I'm sure that when someone sees the word traffic they would understand. All I can say is that people are annoying, and there is just no courtesy when it comes to driving. That's it!

6:30 PM to 9:00 PM
Running errands and getting some Sonic food for dinner

Yeah, Rob and I ended up going to Wal-Mart when we got to Anaheim. I somehow managed to forget to pack my shoes (and he forgot his shoes), socks, and some other miscellaneous stuff because of the late start this morning. So, Rob and I went off to get these items. Then, we headed off to Sonic for dinner. I haven't had Sonic in such a long time, and it seems that this is the only one around that I know of in Los Angeles or Orange Counties. I haven't had Sonic since maybe when I was in Nashville. Yummy food!

9:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Corresponding with family and friends

I had the need to let family and friends know that Rob & I made it safely, and chatted a little bit online with Jamie and my cousin.

10:00 PM to 1:30 AM
Off to The Block in Orange to go see "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End"

Awesome movie! Totally better than the second one, and even funnier than the first. Definitely will see it again in the theaters!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Music - A quiz thing

So, here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button

Opening Credits:
Toxic - Britney Spears

Waking up:
Call Me - Deborah Cox

First Day at School:
Mean Girls - Sugarland

Falling in Love:
Modern Day Drifter - Dierks Bentley

Fight Song:
Lay Down Your Love - 4 P.M. (For Positive Music)

Breaking Up:
How To Deal - Frankie J

1999 - Prince

College Life:
Feel Good Inc - Gorillaz

Mental Breakdown:
In a Small Town - Kenny Chesney

Getting Back Together:
Can't Help Falling in Love - Andrea Bocelli

Cold Hands (Warm Heart) - Brendan Benson

Birth of a Child:
Don't Cry Out Loud - Diana DeGarmo

Final Battle:
Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen

Funeral Song:
Speed of Life - Sugarland

Ending credit:
Come a Little Closer - Dierks Bentley

Monday, May 28, 2007

Much needed getaway!

Rob and I are planning a much-needed getaway this upcoming weekend. We're not going far (just to Anaheim to spend the weekend at Disneyland and possibly California Adventure.) Anyway, I think all the stresses of me being unemployed and everything else going on have really gotten to me. I need the chance to unwind, and just try to spend as much time as I possibly can with Rob. Since I've started working again, I hardly get to just "spend time" with Rob these days. I miss the sleeping in time... the just having the whole day with him. It seems and feels "different" seeing him after we both get off work. I consider that my "me" time. So, I don't know... Weekend will be great just to have each other all to ourselves, I guess! Come back in a couple of days to hear about our trip and see the pics!

Friday, May 18, 2007

EVERYTHING’S GOING DOWN … Well, the servers at least

Wednesday was interesting enough… We spent our day just going through the everyday processes of dealing with our company’s contract administrators being completely stupid. I mean, for an everyday thing that seems somewhat repetitive, how is it that every single one of them seems to be so clueless in what is mandatory in submitting a project? I cannot recall a time when Elaine isn’t on the phone or emailing one of these idiotic CAs reminding them of the things that they do in an everyday basis. I can admit that I am not quite the perfect person when it comes to remembering a task (and I’m new at this position), but many of these CAs have been there for so many years! How is it that you can forget to upload a contract backup into the system when you know that it is required? Who is it that they’re going to blame when a certain project goes through the audit process? The CAs will be the ones, not the contract assistants who are setting up these projects. We cannot create or update contracts in Oracle until we verify the correct information. How do we know that the correct revenue budget is in the proper project? Sometimes $1 goes along way, especially if it’s a $6 million project for the U.S. Air Force!

I just had to get that off my chest considering that it’s a day-to-day thing. Anyway, projects are coming along. Approximately 11:00 A.M., everyone in our department is trying to process our contracts. If you’re saving information, the little status bars on the bottom right of the screen kind of does what I call a “ping pong” status (the bars just go back and forth with nothing happening). The system did not let you sign back on if you happened to sign off Oracle because the screen went blank. Apparently, the servers were down, and no one in the Tech Support department decided to give us a heads up! (They’re useless sometimes)

I am at my desk twiddling my thumbs away (literally). I literally cannot recall what I exactly did to let the time pass by. I think I might have organized my desk, read a little email, walked around the building a few times, ate a little snack, and waited until lunchtime. What did I do for lunch? Hmm… Can you tell how bored I was?

Luckily, the servers were back up shortly before two o’clock. Despite the server going down, we still managed to finish all of our projects. It definitely must have been a slow day if we managed to do that!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

ALL BY MYSELF (and no, I’m not singing)


Like I stated on my Monday posting, my co-worker, Elaine, was having "one of those days. " So, she decided to call out sick on Tuesday morning. So guess what happened? I had to solve, fix, etc. all by myself in terms of every single person's problems -- well, so I thought… I didn't really have too many problems to try to resolve.

Problem #1 -- I received an email from a contract administrator. It says that her employees have been able to put charges into a particular project, and asked me to fix it. Don't you just love how these CAs say to "fix it," and never "Can you see what the problem is? " No appreciation at all! Anyway, I went to look at the project, and found that when I had set it up, I didn't change the status from "Unapproved" to "Approved." That was simple enough!

Problem #2 -- Another email from a CA. This one saying that her project manager wanted to place charges on two of the project's task, and asked me again to "fix it." I again reviewed the project, and found that all the tasks had open-end dates -- meaning doing charges and funds to these particular tasks. I email her back, and she tells me, "OK, I was just checking." Why couldn't she take the time to look it up herself? The time it took me to read that email, look at the project, ask the assistant manager to look at it (2nd opinion), go back to my desk to email her, and wait for her response, the CA could have done it herself! My goodness! Do these CAs have any brains? I'd get into it, but that should be another blog. Not really worth blogging about it!

Anyway, since I was by myself to create and update contracts, I just kind of jumped around. By the time I left work at 5:00 P.M., there was no open tickets remaining. I have to say that I did pretty well myself!

OH, SUCH A SLOW DAY (well, for me anyway)…

Monday was a major contrast to the hectic day of last Friday. Monday morning started out pretty much how a normal morning would start. Monday mornings are catch up for whatever projects and updates were leftover from last Friday. I think that my Friday disarray mirrored my fellow co-worker's Monday chaos.

I just went on with my routine… I completed one ticket after another… Having my minor little detail questions answered here and there. Everything bombarded my poor co-worker left and right. If it was not a project she was having problems with, there was something going on in our department. If it was not coming from our department, she was getting phone calls from someone in our company's different divisions/organizations. Poor Elaine… It was one of those days where you think that your day will be easy (like I did last Friday), and everything and everyone becomes a problem that you have to drop everything to fix it! Every time she attempted to sit at her desk to start working on a project Elaine was taken away to do something else.

All that said… There really isn't much else to say. It definitely was a slow day! The sign was when I returned shortly after lunch, I had a total of 10 projects completed by 2:00 PM. I spent a remainder of that time walking around the building, sitting at my desk hitting the "Refresh" button on the browser in hopes of something coming in, and organizing my desk to my liking!

Can you tell I get bored easily?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Friday Mayhem

How is it that one simple little task that a person does every single day cause so much trouble? Well, let me tell you one thing… If you were a fly on the wall that day, you definitely would be able to answer that question.

My day -- actually, my morning -- started out pretty well. I drove to work with ease… It was payday *cha-ching*… In addition, I was planning to go with the flow of things. THEN I WALKED INTO WORK! I went through my usual morning routine -- turned on my computer, got my desk ready for work, put my personal things away, and got my breakfast and morning coffee. Once I got settled, I logged onto Outlook to read my e-mail, which I always do to see if there were any project updates that I needed to do right away. My attitude was, “Why bother considering no one would be sending me anything to work with?” I set aside that thought, and of course, I definitely found something in the email!

SUBJECT: Project # (whatever it was - you wouldn’t understand it)
BODY: Project such and such had its ticket closed out, and not in Oracle (our projects and contracts database). Please fix it!

So, I was thinking that this should be easy enough considering that it does not take that long to create a new project and contract into a database. Geez, I was definitely wrong about that! Everything that you could possibly think that could go wrong definitely did… Prior to setting up a project, I normally go through all the information, and highlight “key” items that needs inputting into Oracle. Well, going through my “highlighting” process, I found that there was a little mix up with the prime and end clients. Considering that this project was an “Intercompany” contract (a project funded by our own company), I had to make sure that everything was done carefully. The contract administrator had placed our company’s name in the end client. The norm is when dealing with an Intercompany contract, we are always the prime client. [Let me explain prime and end clients -- the prime client is the company that holds the contract, and funds the services provided; the end client is the company who receives the services provided for the particular project.] The CA and I agreed with the definition of the prime and end clients, but which category the client should be in became a disagreement. So, I discussed it with one of our CAs in our department. She clarified what I had stated above, but told me to discuss it with the head of our billing department. I emailed her, with a copy of the contract attached, and she clarified my thought. Anyway, I was right… He was wrong… He made the correction… Easy enough, right? WRONG!!!!

Another problem (same project) comes along. My thought process was to set up the project, and close out the ticket once he made the corrections. Here is where my mistake came along… As I was setting up the project, I did not realize that I had setup everything with the old information. So, everything that I had tried to make clear for an hour and half all went to waste! Because of this blunder, I had to close out the project, and recreate a new one since Oracle is not friendly to those who make little mistakes like that.

Anyway, as I was starting over (for the second time), I came to realize that the customer database contained 225 different addresses for our company. To find out the address, I went back to the contract to figure out which client numbers to choose. I could not find the address at all! So, I called the CA to see if he could help me out… He was of no help at all! I just picked the closest thing I could get, and compared the numbers to the listing that we have for reference.

Overall,… this project took me FOUR HOURS to work on! Oh, so frustrating…

To compensate for such a hectic morning, though, the day went on slow. We did not really get that many projects to update or create. The Contracts Assistant that I work with leaves at 3:00 every Friday afternoon. So, she told me to go home early since there was not anything left to do. Me like it!

Rob and I went out for dinner, and played pool at 4th Dimensions (kind of like a belated “We met a year ago” kind of anniversary outing / “I had a bad day, and need a drink” kind of fun.) It was an end to a very interesting and overwhelming day (and week).

So far behind...

I've got stories to tell about my experiences at work over the last few days, but I've gotten very overwhelmed in other things that I haven't had the chance to sit down to share my thoughts. I'm working on it, though... I should have last Friday's (5/11/07) experience posted in a little bit, with more on the rest of this week to follow...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

A year gone by...

...and I never imagined that my life would be so filled with the love I have had from my boyfriend this past year. Rob and I met a year ago last Saturday, and I cannot express how much Rob has meant to me. One year ago, we had an instant attraction that I never could have imagined that would have gone beyond that first meeting. At the time, my life was filled with lots of insecurity, low self-esteem, and a fear of letting someone know who I truly am. I was also "letting go" of someone who felt like dead weight to me.

In the year, it has been up & down. Rob has been there for me no matter how tough it got (read previous posts). I never imagined that I could find someone that I could spend my life with forever. Today, I really wouldn't know what I would do if Rob wasn't in my life. He is my rock... my soul... my love...

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Another week completed...

I am beginning to get into my own thing at work... I've managed to survive doing this job with out being overwhelmed with the responsibilities that come with the job. I'm actually enjoying myself. My fellow co-workers in the department have been excellent to work with, and very helpful when it seems like I've asked them the same questions 100 times in 5 minutes. I have not quite ventured out in terms of getting to know others at work (it seems there that each section of cubicles is a new realm that only those inside live in). The commute to and from work still hasn't gotten to me, but I'm still trying to figure out alternative routes. I think I may have figured one out going in one direction, but still playing around with the other direction.

Other than the little scare I had yesterday afternoon ... I was working on creating a new project. It was around 3:30 in the afternoon, so I was getting tired. As I was typing up the project, I was not quite paying attention as to how I was working on the project. I kept thinking to myself that I had already created it, so I closed out what I was working on to search for it. Didn't realize that I had already saved the work. So when I went back to search for the template I needed, the already saved project came up. It scared the heck out of me because I thought I erased the template. Asked one of the girls to see if she could help me fix it, and we came to realize that I had changed the project name to the title of the template.... I am doing well. I have adjusted... I have found a job that has made me happy -- and a lot of money ;)

Saturday, April 28, 2007

End-of-the-week thoughts...

OK, well, I have completed two and half days of work at my new job! I have to say that I actually survived the experience. I never thought that this job would become so easily for me. There is definitely a lot of things and information for me to learn and understand in terms of the job, especially since it requires a lot of attention-to-detail. The position deals with creating, modifying and closing out contracts... If you miss one tiny, little detain... Put in one wrong number... It will mess up everything involved and cause the company a lot of money!

Going into the job, I really was not nervous... I think that the only thing that freaked me out the most was trying to figure out the best commute to work without trying to kill anybody (I do not do fairly well sitting in traffic). I found a route that suited me for now, so we will see how long it will take me to change my route again... Anyway, I think I have just anticipated my expectations of what my responsibilities were for this job. I was more relieved with FINALLY having a job to go to everyday... Being unemployed for so long was beginning to get to me A LOT (see my last post). As I ended my day on Friday, my manager told me how she and everyone on my team were impressed by how well I was doing and how quick I was picking up the process. Therefore, that was a lot of weight of my shoulders for me! (in addition, a boost in confidence)

Therefore, I am looking forward to getting a decent income... To getting out of the house... and entering the workforce again! It is different from what I have been used to doing for the last seven years, but I think I am going like doing this a lot!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

This might be it...!

...I'm not really getting my hopes up, but I've got a phone interview on Monday for an engineering company in Pasadena... If things go well, I may possibly start on Wednesday. PLEASE KEEP YOUR FINGERS CROSSED! :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The frustrations of finding a job...

So, here I am... STILL looking for a job! It's been two and a half months since I walked out on that ridiculous job in Gardena. I've had several job interviews, but no takers! The problem is, with all the talent & experience that I've maintained throughout the years, going from one industry to another makes it difficult. I've been attempting to make that transition from healthcare to whatever else is out there, and no one seems to think that I have the capability to do the job. The last place I interviewed at literally "slapped me in the face" because she didn't think that I had enough office experience. Well, if she READ my resume, she will see that a majority of my work has been in an office environment. It seems that people don't see how I am an all-around worker... I've basically worked in every department / area in the places that I've worked at. It seems that the lady didn't think that I had enough experience in answering phones? Come on, I've done that for so long.... How difficult is it to answer calls? To schedule appointments & meetings? To enter information into a computer? To fax a document? To photocopy a piece of paper?!? Oh, my!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Sebastian naps

Despite all the chaos going on (with birds 'fighting' for territory & the TV blaring in the background), Sebastian still managed to squeeze in his afternoon nap... I wish I could say the same for me!


Here is a lovely poem I found online...

A friend is someone we turn to
when our spirits need a lift.
A friend is someone we treasure
for our friendship is a gift.
A friend is someone who fills our lives
with beauty, joy, and grace.
And makes the whole world we live in
a better and happier place.
- Jean Kyler McManus -

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I need a job!

It has been about two and half weeks since I quit my job from that registry office (I am sure all of you I have spoken to already heard... Those who have not, IM me... It is a long story). I had taken about a week or so where I didn't really want the job hunt to begin - just because I wanted to have some "me" time to rejuvenate myself (especially with all that's happened over the last couple months). I have enjoyed that time, BUT I am really starting to get that itch to go back to work. I want to have a normal routine again! *Ok... I got that out of my system!*!*
I never realized how I took having a job for granted. In the last four years or so, I have to admit that I got stuck into a very repetitive routine -- wake up, go to work, do the work, leave work, go home, sleep (and starting all over again). This completely has thrown me back into reality, especially since the $$ is starting to dwindle down and the hospital bills are starting to arrive in the mail.

Anyway, I started the job hunt over the weekend.... mailed/e-mailed/faxed my résumé to a bunch of places.... IN ADDITION, I am keeping my fingers crossed because I have got three interviews scheduled for this week! So, please pray (or whatever it is that suits you) that I get something, and I am back out in the work field!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Stewie sings

The newest edition of the family joined us back in December 2006. He was still a baby when we got him, as he would often cry (rather than do a bird chirp type that cockatiels do). So, it amazed me that the little guy has learned to sing (quite like how Bella used to do -- *see my blog "Bella & 'Fireflies'" posted in October 2006*). Here he is "singing" a duet with Rob.

Monday, January 29, 2007

The greatest boyfriend...

I cannot imagine what life has been like for my boyfriend over the last couple of weeks. He’s definitely had it rough as a result of my hospital stay, as well as finding out that his cousin was stabbed 15 times (he’s OK, though). I know that living with me over the past couple of weeks has not been easy. My hospital stay has affected me both physically and mentally. I do not have too many limitations as far as usage of my arm, but I do fatigue very easily because of non-movement while in the hospital. As far as mentally, I have taken it so hard. It has gotten to the point where I just wish that all of this was over, and that I could get back to living a normal life. I have been angry… I have been sad… I have been depressed… My moods often use Rob as a punching bag.

On the upside, when the moods have not kicked in, he has made sure that I have taken my medications… Prepares my meals for me (even though I am more than capable of doing it)… He has even helped me take a bath this evening!

Words often cannot describe how much I have appreciated all of this. There have been times where I have felt that I have not told him that I appreciate and love everything that he has done for me. Therefore, I am letting him and everyone know… THANK YOU sincerely! I love you, Rob! I am grateful for having you in my life!

Friday, January 26, 2007

A big ordeal...

Rather than call every single person on my “Contacts” list, I figured I would minimize the trouble (and the cell phone bill) by sharing my news on this blog… I was in the hospital for five days (since last Friday) because of an abscess [a pus-filled cavity resulting from inflammation and usually caused by a bacterial infection (from Encarta Dictionary)] that developed under my left armpit. This abscess started out two Saturdays ago as a swollen sweat gland that I accidentally “nicked” while in the shower, and resulted into an infected hair follicle. It did not start out too bad, and it was one of those things where I thought it might “just go away.” However, as the days went by, the area began to get bigger and the pain began to radiate to the point where I could not sleep comfortably at night. I had trouble moving my arm in any motion. There was also bad cellulitis, which is an inflammation of tissues beneath the skin [Encarta], around the infected area and bicep/triceps area. By Thursday, I was literally trying to find one position where I could sleep comfortably, as well as not making any movements that would bring on the pain. I also was having slight chest pains and headaches. At first, I thought that I was having a bad side effect from the birth control I was taking, but then again, why would I be having it now? Therefore, when I woke up Friday morning with excruciating pain that practically had me in tears, I made an appointment with one of my doctors. She clarified what I had stated earlier, and gave me antibiotics to clear up my infection. The pain was tolerable enough that I was able to have lunch at Denny’s with Rob and go to the pharmacy to get my medications. When Rob and I finally got home doing what we were doing, sitting on the couch became unbearable. I was back to trying to find a position for my arm so that it did not hurt too much. I was not comfortable sitting up… I was not comfortable lying down… A pillow under the arm made it worst… No pillow under the arm made it doubly worst. Therefore, Rob had me go upstairs to try to rest. As my doctor told me, give it some time… If I did not feel better by Monday, she recommended I see an internist. Well, by 10:30pm that Friday night, I was lying in bed with the chest pains AGAIN! They seem to worsen in any kind of position I was in, regardless of sitting, standing or lying down. Therefore, here we were… Friday night @ 11:00pm… My dad and Rob take me to the emergency room at Queen of the Valley Hospital in West Covina (btw… not one of the best hospitals, but that is a different blog). I’m having chest pains, I’ve got an abscess on my the size of a golf ball, and I’m in a lot of pain. Luckily, I saw a sign in the ER that said, “If you are experiencing chest pains or severe distress, please notify a staff member immediately.” I was in with a nurse in 10 minutes (wish I say that when my father went to the hospital back in November, but again, a different blog). When they were doing the screening, my blood pressure was 118/98, and blood sugar was 353. Not a good sign! I was given an EKG. I believe it did not come out so good since they immediately brought me back to a room, and was automatically hooked up to a heart monitor. The next couple of hours were rather interesting. Before I get into details, can I just say one thing? WOW is morphine interesting! OK, I will get into that in a minute. I had never been poked or prodded so much in my life! The nurse tried to get the pick line on me, but did not succeed in trying to find a vein. They tried twice, and oh, boy! I was not too happy about. A respiratory therapist came in to check my blood glass, and they had trouble finding a brachial pulse, so they went for the radial. Not comfortable to get a needle and blood draw around the area. Oh, and for my favorite part… DRAINING THE ABSCESS! They gave me Benadryl for the itching from the cellulitis… They gave me morphine for the “pain.” The instant they ran the morphine in my line I was out cold! Talk about a lightweight, huh? Anyway, that fun did not last too long because they got the local anesthesia on the abscess and drained that baby out! Oh, if you were there, you would have heard me scream like there was no tomorrow! The doctor and nurse that were working on that were great! The nurse even told me that it was OK for me to scream! Anyway, I was told that they took out about 50cc of pus. That is about 3 tablespoons of that stuff! They took it in for a wound culture, and found that I had a staph (Staphylococcus Aureus) infection. Therefore, I was automatically put on IV and antibiotics. The MD that admitted me said that there are no problems with my heart. My sugars are under control. I still have to change the dressing every day for my wound. I have a couple of follow-ups with the doctors next week. Anyway, other than a few sleepless nights, because of my fellow hospital roommates and hospital staff poking and prodding at me, I am glad to say that I am happy to be home, and sleeping in my own bed! It was tough week for me – physically & mentally – but I am moving forward to the best! So, if you were wondering what is being going on…? Now you know the story!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A reflection...

As I look back at 2006, I have come to realize that I have learned a lot from my many life experiences crossing my path. I have had some ups & downs that have allowed many changes help me "grow" into the next steps of my life. I celebrated my 30th birthday... I had to say goodbye to those who held a special place in my heart... I have looked back on my accomplishments and achievements.... I have welcomed a new love in my life.

I cannot clearly recall where my life was at around this same time last year. I know that I was looking at letting go of many things that I felt was bringing me down. At the time, I was reaching a crossroad in my career... I was at the end of the road with a teeter-totter relationship of four years.... IN ADDITION, I was at wit's ends with a long-time friend.

The keyword that was necessary for me to move on was "change." I was stuck at a job that was going nowhere -- no appreciation -- and it definitely was not enjoyable. My relationship with Aaron was not going anywhere until we simultaneously agreed that our individual goals came first. My friendship with Elizabeth came where the balance scale leaned towards her needs rather than it been even.

Therefore, as 2007 begins, I have learned to fall in love and allow someone to love me again. Rob means so much to me, and holds a special place in my heart... Yes, there have been times where I have probably gotten on his nerves (and vice versa), but he has taught me many things when fear, insecurity, and other feelings have overwhelmed me. I have welcomed the adjustments in my life with open arms. My job has taught me, though it has been a shock to my everyday life (as you all know), a great deal of patience... to get in touch with my inner child... and to just have fun! As for my family & friends, things are not always a one-way street. You never know when you feel so alone when those that you NEED around you are not there.