My Blog

Posted in Rays Of Sunshine

The Weird Category

I read some where (don’t quote me) that nurses have one of the highest rates of mental illness. I can understand why! Anyone that has a heart doesn’t stay in long term care unless they care! Of course there are some nurses that play tough (fuzzy wuzzy) but for the most part you don’t make it any length of time as a LTC nurse without having a heart. I would like to add that the home I work at now far surpasses any other facilities I have worked at in the past when it comes to caring nurses, CNA’s and caring families! So props to us for that!

So: The Weird Category. I was getting report from a nurse this week and some how the term weird came up. I told her that I would put myself in “The Weird Category”. I think it causes me just a little bit of trouble and it requires a lot of patience!! My personality seems to be associated with a Big Heart . Unfortunately they don’t pay well for “Having A Big Heart”.  I find the term: Weird to be endearing for some reason. I think it means that people these days are far more accepting toward people that aren’t in the “normal” category. So although I have little love for what “Politically Correct” has gotten us, I absolutely love that fact that my children are far more open minded toward people than my generation.

At any rate if you show up on our door step with one of our children rest assure we will waive you in no matter, race, gender, sexual orientation.

Posted in The Journey

Pondering Life

I have this ever present longing, for what I am not sure, to do something great I guess. The funny thing is that if I come across a situation or cause that I can do nothing about it really bothers me! Whether it be in my personal life, something I see happening at work,  or something I have heard about on the news that I feel passionate about. I just feel like I want to help in some way and I just don’t know how.

I am sure this drive is directly related to my becoming a nurse. Unfortunately this has been a good and bad choice. Good because I love to help people and bad because often my hands are tied as a nurse. I spend so much of my time advocating for my residents that I feel exhausted.

Every cause I come across: Nursing Homes, Poverty, Mental Health, Overcrowded Prisons & Mandatory Minimums. I research for hours on end and I’m not quite sure why but I’m sure it’s because I feel  I can make a difference somehow. I have done a handful of things to do my little part. I work in a nursing home so I’ve presented several ideas to my supervisors to make things better. I go out of my way to make things bearable for my residents!! As far as the other causes mentioned, I have sent several letters to politicians pleading for change as well as educating myself about the politicians so I can feel good when I go to vote. I joined FAMM: families against mandatory minimums and allows you to sign petitions that directly affect people and their causes. Lastly I started this blog in hopes that I will say something or provide information to someone that will be of help and/or make a difference!



Posted in Rays Of Sunshine

Shame isn’t a must


There are so many great blogs/articles that cover/explain the shame associated with childhood abuse. I will try to create links to them because I think the single worst cruelty to occur to an abuse victim is the feeling of shame. Shame leads to so many other negative thoughts and feelings about our self worth that it creates a terrible downhill spiral for victims.

The truth is that the abuser robs us and in my opinion they win if we feel shame, guilt, self doubt and/or feel that we have to keep it all a secret or else others will look down on us.

Just like depression is a dirty word so is: victim, rape , domestic violence, addiction and/or any other form of abuse. If we could find a way to change the way we look at these words, these people, looking at them like they aren’t poor pathetic soles may  help to encourage them to behave in a new way: they may feel as though they are : “normal, confident, smart, assertive and so on. Everyone should own their own feelings, but we could all do our part in lessening the stigma associated with survivors of abuse!!

If someone that you know or love has been abused, please do what you can to help them feel empowered!! It may be a challenge at first but it is worth it!!

Posted in Healthcare/Nursing/Work

2nd Shift

While the kids were growing up I worked day shift. So from 1993-2013 I never slept (OK maybe a little) but I certainly never slept in!  When I became a nurse in 2005 I had to work day shift because I had to have the kids in daycare. Of course getting a daycare to take kids at 5:30 am wasn’t easy and getting them there was much more difficult!!

In 2013 when I moved back to Decatur I worked 6 pm – 6 am for a year and then when to 2 pm – 10 pm. I had no idea how much I would love these hours. Needless to say morning time is not my friend. I try to steer away from morning appointments when at all possible.

Being a nurse on 2nd shift especially in long-term care brings its own special set of negatives/positives. It often means more interaction with the family members. It also means fewer staff members. Very little ancillary staff. And thanks to sundowning a remarkable amount of increased behaviors. I often feel like I am in an episode of Twilight Zone, I am not saying this in a negative way. All the excitement makes the time go quicker!! LOL


Posted in The Journey

Openly Depressed

Depression is a big part of my life. I’ve been going to counseling for most of my life.  I know full well a big part of warding off the negative feelings associated with depression is to take my medicine regularly. So why is it I feel it is OK to go days and even weeks without taking my medicine?  I am a nurse so that is just one more reason I should know better but for some reason it doesn’t work like that. At times going to appointments, keeping up with scripts and working through the awful world of health insurance requires more effort than I am willing to put in to anything. After going a month without any medicine and several months without taking anything consistently I finally made it back to the Dr. and went back to taking Wellbutrin. Of course the Dr. office called the script into the wrong pharmacy and it was a holiday weekend so it took FOREVER to get it straightened out but I got it! Yeah me! One small victory! Woo Woo!!

I’ve come to realize that openly working through depression helps in several ways.

1: I have a larger support system

2: I have more people to help hold me accountable (taking my medicine and going to appts)

3: Depression comes with such a terrible stigma and if openly sharing my struggle helps even one person than I am thrilled!

Posted in The Journey


So I am still stuck in the crazy middle of wanting to share my thoughts and wanting to keep them private. Having said that I constantly check the stats on my blog and was so excited to get a little note stating: congrats on 10 likes on: Something about Sunshine. 1. Thank You for the likes and 2. Please someone tell me how they get over/past not wanting to feel the vulnerability that I seem to directly associate with having people read my blog!

Posted in Rays Of Sunshine

Why does it have to be so difficult

There is so much baggage to carry around after a sh*t childhood. Each day that goes by seems so flipping difficult than the day before.

2 weeks ago my mother moved in with me. I embraced it the best I could, thinking this will surely lead to some  kind of mental health!! I really thought it seemed healthy. Then My mom’s money from social security disability was loaded onto her account. She made a list of reasonable items that she wanted to purchase and when I tried to show her some options online for a phone she started giving Roger (my husband) a hateful look and started yelling at us that she would not be paying for any bills! Then my “crippled mother” took off out that back door down toward the gas station. That was around 2 am & did not knock on the door until 6 am and when she did asked me: why  didn’t you tell me? Referring to the argument we had before she left.  Some how my childhood came up and I asked her why she was running off like she did when I was a child.

Posted in Healthcare/Nursing/Work

National Hospital Week aka Nurses Week, aka Mothers Day followed by Nursing Home Week : The week in review

So I am a firm believer that it is of the up most importance to be “normal”. I’ve come to the conclusion the the previous sentence is proof of my ongoing bout with insanity!  Let me attempt to explain how this has anything to do with the title.

Everyday I exclaim to my coworkers “you have to be a little crazy to survive working in healthcare”, I state this to cover a few topics that my self conscience brain uses on me daily: 1: I should be normal and although I don’t know for sure what that means, I know that it lies somewhere in the June Cleaver household (those of you under 40 will need to google the relationship between June Cleaver and “normal”) 2: Because I can’t “live up” to that version of normal I must be “crazy” .  To prove to myself  that all my actions are acceptable I have to believe that “you have to be a little crazy to survive working in healthcare”. No one should  have a thought process this complicated!!

Lastly, due to the insanity of LTC there isn’t quite the excitement or enthusiasm in celebrating anything in the title this year!

Lastly, lastly ask me again in 2 days and I’ll think nursing is the next best thing to sliced cheese!

Posted in Rays Of Sunshine

The story according to Cheryl

Around March of 1977 21 yr old Cheryl decided she would leave Mississippi. According to her she had every intention of taking all 4 of her children. As the story goes her husband (the father of the older 3 children) would not let Cheryl leave with any of the children except the 3 month old baby. It was unusually warm this March. Cheryl & her husband Carl and the 4 children are all out in the yard. Cheryl tried to leave with all the children but Carl  threatens her if she takes any of the kids other than the baby. Against her will she leaves on foot with the clothes on her back and the baby.

Before too long Cheryl is stopped by a lady that ends up buying a plane ticket for Cheryl and baby back to Central Illinois.

Over the next 3 years Cheryl would marry James Ahearn (J.D.)  with this marriage came a German Shepard name: “Lady” who would protect the baby/toddler, often a bit too aggressive but protective nonetheless!  Cheryl and her family lived in an apartment on Condit street. At 3 years old her daughter started preschool at Anna Waters Headstart in Longview……

Posted in All My (our) Children

Life as I see it (rambling)

I’ve been a mom for 24 years and a nurse for 12 years. Clearly that makes me an expert on both, right? Sitting here now I realize I can’t give myself such a broad subject because I can’t figure out where to start!

Our youngest turns 18 in 2 weeks, graduation in next weekend. This has made me so very sad/tearful this week. I really don’t know what to do if I am not being a mom/wife/nurse 24-7. It just doesn’t seem that I’ll have enough to keep me busy and if I’ve learned anything from years of counseling I’ve learned there is no better way to avoid resolving a disastrous childhood then to have a very busy life!!

We all know children don’t come with a handbook but I’ll tell you what, I know what things I got right and…….which one’s I got wrong!!  I can also tell you that the older I get the better I get at parenting, I am sure of it!!  To anyone that ever tried to claim that you can be a great parent at a young age hadn’t been a parent at 40+.  Everyday I get better, I become more humble, more wise and all around better parent!!  Although  I raised 4 kids while finishing nursing  school and working 5 doubles a pay period, I do much better work over the last few years, working 40 hours a week and co parenting!! Although the children often ask where the other mom went, they are quick to tell you how great the last few years have gone.