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2015-04-15 - 11:00 a.m.

Working from home today taking courses on Altheimer's disease and care of those with Alzheimer's.

I am finding these courses absolutely exhausting.

Having friends with parents that have developed dementia in some form makes me feel very blessed my parents are well congnitively.

My mother does have back trouble, and other medical physical issues, but other than normal memory issues she thankfully seems to not have memory issues.
At this point we really are blessed as a family that my one brother IS living with my parents. As they have aged he is truly helpful in caring for them and living with them. What seemed such a tragedy ten years ago when he was identified with social anxiety disorder and my oldest brother did an intervention to get him out of living as a hermit by himself and not interacting with anyone , has turned around.

In the past ten years he has come out of his shell of where he was then, undergone his own care and treatment, became very involved in the Obama campain in Fl that got him out of his shell. Our family is convinced he has undiagnosed aspergers or a form or autism that was never really understood. Autism needs to be diagnosed based on developmental delays present prior to age 18 mos. (at least that was the criteria 20 years ago... not sure if that changed as I have been out of that field of working in autism care for 20 years.) Nonetheless, there were many who fell through the cracks of diagnosis and care for decades based on that diagnostic criteria and we believe my brother is one of them.

I think the criteria MUST have changed which accounts for the increased numbers of autism today. I haven't done the reseach to know..

BUT the good news is my brother is well. He has come a LONG way in the last ten years. He now is an indispensible part of my parent's daily lives and contributes much to their happiness, well being and care.

My parents celebrate their 50th Wedding anniversary in a few weeks.

I wanted to try to travel for that weekend. The worst part of having low wage jobs is that one has LESS freedom than in higher paying 9-5 jobs!
ANYONE WHO CAN STUDY AND GET A DEGREE AND PASS NEEDED QUALIFYING EXAMS should work their butt off to do so in order to have greater freedom than one would have working low wage jobs!

However what baffles me is the amount of education, knowledge and skills that health care providers have in order to do their jobs well, and the fact MOST are paid poorly! FOr every RN working in a facility there are a dozen or so certified nursing assistants providing the hands on daily care. There are then more resident aides who ALSO have to go through on the job education and training.

It just baffles me as I am studying the materials for my reception position and learning more about Altheimers that this is not exactly EASY material to master. Its not "rocket science" as they say, true, but it still requires attentive study and learning to master. It still requires practice and application to learn the nuances and skills to be GOOD at working with people as a care provider. IT requires emotional intelligence and sesitivity that some naturally have but others have to learn and train themselves to aquire.

EMTS SAVE PEOPLE'S LIVES and are some of the most poorly paid professionals there are! YES THEY ARE PROFESSIONALS. An EMT goes through education and practice and becomes adept at what we should value in society.

Its just amazing to me.

I have two bodys of knowledge to study which I am concurrently working on this week:

One is the required training for the job at the assisted living community where I get paid $11.50 per hour

The other is the FAR Federal Acquisition Regulations. I totally put off that study until I didn't land any offers in the commerical sector and feel like I have to just DO THIS.

So I am studying the FAR, with NCMA review materials.

This week I got through about 20% of it and am mastering the first 20% of material review questions. I figure a total of six weeks of study and I will then take the certification test.

The irony is that the first half of this week studying the FAR consistently (Thankfully I had LESS hours @ the supermarket so I could study and make all my shifts at the HIGHER PAYING job of retirement home.... ironic....I actually pay for a cab to get home during the week so it ends up being a wash.. but I think a worthwhile place to be. IT feels like volunteer work actually, just an investment in doing something worthwhile and I joke its my "retirement" job considering that to work there means I still have to pull from my 401K and get about 25% per hour than I USED To get paid...

YET the irony is that study of the FAR, which is going well MAKES ME LESS TIRED than the attending on line lectures and studying of Alzheimer's disease.

I am finding this study EXHAUSTING... perhaps because at some level it is DEPRESSING to really understand what happens in the mental decline of dementia, it is SCARY to read of what happens (especially for me as I have had such challenges with memory , but thanfully that does NOT seem like dementia but rather some OTHER reason, maybe tramatic experiences causing damage... PTSD... a head injury perhaps.... severe attention issues... who knows....still not convinced there is not SOME reason which has not yet been identified...)

Regardless, I am at least still cognitively sharp and able to understand and study and master material. The inability to pass the BAR defintely seems related to my ADHD and attention issues of not being able to focus for the two days straight.

On thing is clear I am a PERFECTIONIST
My daughters come by that honestly.

In the final course assesment in one Alzheimers class taken I couldn't just take the final assessment test and BE HAPPY with the initial score of 80% ! NO!!! I HAD to retake the test to find out what I had incorrect.

Did so first to get 70% (That changed answer was correct first time around!)
Took a few trys to land the 100% and discover which questions I had wrong the first time.

I was laughing at my insistance on re-taking until I had the 100% and LEARNED What I had incorrect!

It reminded me of my daughter's challenges with school projects that were NOT handed in on time.

OK the half hour break is now up. This half hour of rambling kept me awake, and rejuvenated me so I can get back to it.
But last quick vent:


I think the plumber actually BROKE that valve in the wall when he tightened it! I think he OVERTIGHTENED it and it snapped! The leak before was from the tank which was seeping out , as the valve IN THE TOILET mechanism itself was not working and water kept seeping through that I could hear. The valve on the wall was not shutting tightly enough to block it when I shut it off. He replaced a valve IN THE Tank and he pointed out that HE was able to close the other valve (on the wall ) more tightly to stop that water leak. So he seems to have fixed the leak IN The toilet but I suspect the valve in the wall snapped when he forced it shut more? Cause now THAT one is leaking... so I have to call the plumber back! BUMMER (WILL DO NOW AS SOON AS DONE SO I DON'T FORGET! just discovered that today!)

Only OTHER bummer to vent of is that I checked my SW Airline points and DO NOT HAve enough for a flight to FL.

Thus the comment on how it stinks to NOT have a better paying job.

Having to work weekends, and not having cash flow is an impediment to fundamenally MORE important things-
like seeing my folks for their 50th Anniversary!

I think the Vietnam contingent are coming to town then!

My order of priority however HAD to be this month to pay:
*IRS *STINKS but I owed them $930 as had to PAY BACK a subsidy for health insurance that in the end I did not qualify for as I pulled TOO MUCH out of 401K which became "income" that was taxable.
*certification exam fee and study materials $230 (for NCMA CFCM EXAM)
*Spent money on CONFIRMATION DRESS and SHOES for DAUGHTER * AND Getting off work from ONE JOB for the Confirmation itself which reduces income coming in( I did sandwich in volunteer work with the master gardener's association that morning since off at the Supermarket.I have to keep active ENOUGH to maintain staus in that org so that when I DO land a more NORMAL 9-5 job and have free time on weekends again then I CAN resume the fun of volunteering at the farmer's markets as a Master Gardener which I so love!)
* $150 due for membership in the National Contract Management Association which is actually worth maintaining as their Contract Management magazine and educational seminars are wonderful. I MIGHT Make it to one of their seminars in the next few weeks if not working that day. Its at a local govt contractor , is only $10 and a very valuable seminar on the oh so very exciting FAR SEC 12, commercial items.

I also put $40 down on a BANJO

I NEVER before bought anything on layaway.

The Banjo was in the window of the music store for $200 and I COULDN'T RESIST as when I picked it up and strummed it sounded SO GOOD. I heard my oldest daughter's songs in my head. (She and her bandmate looped a banjo along with her violin playing). I thought SHE NEEDED THIS... but then thought I would buy it for MY houshold collection of instruments that the kids can all experiment/play with and eventually whoever really falls in love with that instrument can use it. (Maybe it will be me? Maybe she will visit and it will be a gift? ) I will play around with it and see if anyone has interest. The girls do occassionally play around with the other instruments that are here. (One picked up the Clarinet and sounded shockingly good, which made me happy as she can take that at school next year and she WANTS to do this and has registered for that class.)

I do earn my money on weekends and evenings, so to be off two weekends in a row for the Confirmation and travel to see the show made it hard to even ASK OFF the VERY NEXT Weekend to try to travel to FL. I didn't RULE IT OUT as if I had enough points I was going to book a flight and just give notice I can't work then either! I mean I have been available the whole holiday season and worked EVERY SHIFT that the supermarket scheduled me for EVEN WHEN THEY DID SO When they KNEW I was supposed to work the other job at the retirement community. (That happened EVERY WEEK for months! I would give availability and be scheduled at the supermarket deli EXACTLY When I said I couldn't work as was at the other job! IT was so very oddly passive agressive I thought! So for months I would give up a shift at the retirement community to work at the deli which pays $3.50 LESS PER HOUR JUST to Maintain BOTH jobs as after all the Deli HAS been giving me 20 plus hours a week and does not require transportation (A COST) to get there so in the end made it WORTH Doing so for me.

Alright vent done as feeling a bit guilty I didn't make plans to get to FL.

I will have to be present via SKYPE
and am VERY Happy that thankfully neither of my parents have dementia, and that my one brother lives there to be present while they are aging as I am not in a position yet to support them ! (REALLY at some point the obligation shifts and parents need THEIR KIDS to support THEM) I am still struggling to support MY KIDS
And my oldest are doing a find job of supporting THEMSELVES. DAMN I Wish I could HELP THEM MORE Than I can.

One last vent:
Today is Soren's 20th Birthday
I couldn't find the perfect gift.
Searched and looked and didn't come across it YET. Will go see his current show and hope that is gift enough. So much for half hour break. Exacly one hour... back on the clock and back to training. I DO LOVE working from home sometimes!!

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