Work, work, work…

That’s been my life for the last week.  In 8 days I worked 70 hours.  No, I didn’t just make a typo, you read that correctly.  I’m not quite sure how or why but I managed to schedule myself for 6 days in a row with a day off followed by another shift.     And of course, this was during a busy time at work.  Patient volumes are still high, tensions are a bit high among staff, we’re still hiring and training new team members and we just underwent a huge (but exciting) change last week.  Add the wicked cold I came down with and it was an exhausting 8 days.

Thankfully I have a wonderful husband who was flexible, helpful and rather patient with me all week.  And this week is much better!  I’m enjoying a much needed day off today while getting some things done around the house, including cooking up a Cinco de Mayo feast for just the 2.5 of us.  I had considered inviting some friends over to share the meal but that would mean I have to clean the house – yeah, I’m not feeling that ambitious today!  If all turns out well with my kitchen experiments, I’ll make sure to post recipes soon.

On the agenda for this week is catching up on some reading, cooking a few meals, cleaning up the house and getting back to the gym.  And while I’m looking forward to a low key week, I’m really excited to start the countdown to our beach vacation next month!

Pity party of 1

As I’ve mentioned previously, we may be nearing the end of our time here.  Unless someone can find a hidden position or stack of cash, I’ll be saying goodbye to my position and coworkers in a few short weeks.  C and I have started to face up to the facts and started looking into jobs back home.  Yesterday I was feeling pretty mad/bummed and today I was just feeling sad for myself.  I even mentioned to C that I was throwing myself a pity party and just wanted to let myself be upset and angry.  Of course, being an amazing husband, he was totally supportive and understanding.

Fast forward a few hours.  During my shift today I had some very great signs from God.  First, I had a long conversation with a patient about our time here so far.  I told her about our travels and recommendations of places to visit.  We even chatted some about traveling with Lacey and I recommended they take their pup when traveling.  She commented how we must have had such a great time and what a wonderful opportunity it was.  No less than an hour later I had to deliver bad news to a patient.  Not the “I’m sorry you’re going to get a shot” kind of news, but some life-altering and heartbreaking news.  Talk about a big fat dose of perspective!

As I was sitting at my computer getting things together for the 2nd patient I mentioned, I said a few words to God in my head.  It went a little something like this: “Okay, God, I get it.  It’s not the end of the world if we have to go back home in a few weeks.  In fact, I should be grateful for such an opportunity.  And not to mention our health, the health of our family and friends and so much else.  I can’t promise to perfectly happy with our situation, but I will try harder to look on the bright side and stop feeling so bad for myself.

I finished up my shift and noticed on the drive home that it seemed exceptionally dark.  Darker than it’s been on my drives home previously.  As I was driving, I noticed some stars dotting the night sky, but didn’t dare stare at them for fear of driving off the road into a ditch.  When I got home, Lacey was dancing around the front door like she needed to go out (despite 4 trips outside during the day, 2 more than her usual).  C and I took her on a short jaunt down the street to her favorite grass patch.  While walking we looked up to the sky and it was filled with hundreds of bright, sparkling, beautiful stars just twinkling away.  Okay, God, I get it!  Point taken

Random musings

The theme of this week and next is work, work, work.  Now that I’ve started working, I just can’t get enough.  No, not really.  But it is really nice to be making money again!  I’m getting settled, figuring everything out and getting good feedback from my coworkers and physicians.  I work the next three days in a row, get two days off, then work another four in a row before two more days off.  It’s going to be tiring (all 12-hour shifts), but I’m looking forward to the days off because we have some exciting stuff coming up!

We were planning to head to Wimbledon today to catch some tennis.  C tried to score tickets online but they sold out in less than a minute.  We then decided to wake up before dawn and head down to London early to join “The Queue” for 2 of the thousands of day-of tickets and passes available.  When the alarm went off at 3:00am we smartly decided to check the weather one last time.  Well, there was a 100% chance of rain and most likely rain all day.  We knew we had no chance of getting Centre Court (the only one with a roof) passes since we didn’t camp overnight and decided we weren’t really that excited about being soaked all day and not actually seeing any tennis, so back to sleep it was!  It was a good decision – most of the games were postponed and not much tennis was played on the outside courts.  However, since I’m such a great wife, I offered to push our beach trip back by a week to give us a 2nd try at Wimbledon glory.  So, we’re going to head out Tuesday and hope for better weather.  The beach will still be there a week later, The Championships won’t.

On a good note, I got a new “driver’s license” today!  It allows me to drive on base and in the UK as well as purchase fuel on base.  This is key because gas on the economy is over $7 per gallon.  From what I hear, gas on base is pretty close to US prices – less than $4 per gallon.  I had to sit through a driver’s ed class on Wednesday morning then take a test to prove I knew the rules of the UK roads.  As much as I was dreading the class, I actually learned quite a bit.  It’s a little scary to think that I’d been driving around for almost 6 weeks without knowing some stuff!  In addition to the driver’s license I picked up a ration card allowing me to purchase alcohol, cigarettes and coffee on base.  The alcohol and cigarettes I knew about, but they ration coffee??  Kinda strange to me, but whatever.

In other great and exciting news we planned another trip!  We’re heading to Paris and Brussels (and possibly Bruges) in August!  And I have another good run of days off in August so we might plan a trip within the UK – we’re looking at Bath/Bristol or Manchester/Liverpool.  Who knows…the more I research trip ideas, the more places I want to visit.

And to close on a totally random thought: Sticky Toffee Pudding.  This stuff is amazing!! It may sound bizarre, but trust me, it’s great.  It’s a mildly spiced, moist gingerbread cake topped with vanilla bean ice cream sitting in a pool of creme anglaise and toffee sauce.  I’ve only ever eaten it at one restaurant a couple times but I think I need to start trying it everywhere.  It just might become one of my favorite sweet indulgences!

Enjoy your weekend!  I’ll be working away ♥

Work it, work it….

Welp, I’m 3 full 12-hour shifts in and so far, so good.  Without going into too much detail, things around here take some adjusting to get used to.  First and foremost, the charting and computer system is completely different than what I’m used to from my previous hospital.  I’m slowly getting used to it, though and hope to have it pretty much figured out in a week or so.  The logistical aspects of this place can be maddening sometimes and other times great!  I know a lot of it is just getting used to this way of working, rather than what I was previously accustomed to, so I’m trying to be flexible.  The patients have been a good variety with lots and lots of kiddos, which I am A-okay with!  But most importantly, the people I’m working with have been great so far.  Everyone (with the exception of one person – there’s always one, right?) has been helpful, kind and very social!  The doctors have been so welcoming and encouraging, the nurses have been great and the uber-respectful techs sure know how to get things done in a timely and efficient manner.  By the way, I’ve never been called ma’am so much in my life!  Also, I’m learning (and re-learning) a bunch already.  I think this is going to be a great experience and it will definitely help me grow personally and professionally.


She works hard for the money

I’m a working girl again!  No, not that kind of working girl…

Yesterday was a disappointing day.  I went up to the hospital hoping to have computer access, no dice.  I ended up going to the office who takes care of it only to find out there’s another form I needed to fill out (in addition to the 3,000 or so I’ve already completed and signed).  Long & painful story short? I went up today, visited no less than 3 offices and finally got my access by early afternoon.  In the meantime I saw patients!  It was a little nerve wracking, to be honest.  I haven’t treated a patient in almost 2 months now and the last time I saw an adult…gosh who knows!  But all went fairly smoothly and I clocked a full shift before heading home for the night.

Up next, I’m working all weekend and have to be up at the hospital for work or training every day of the week except Friday.  Then its work for 3 days before we’re off to the beach! Plus we might try to score some tickets to Wimbledon on Friday – keep your fingers crossed!

Work? Who needs to work?

In case you didn’t guess by the title, I’m still not working.  We are going on 4 weeks here and I’ve logged less than 20 hours of “work.”  I’m starting to go a little crazy, to be honest.  The worst part is all the timelines I’ve been given on how long it takes to get this or that accomplished have been completely and totally wrong.  Initially I was told 2 weeks to get my clearance and start working, then it was 5 business days from when I talked to one guy (that was about 9 business days ago).  Last Wednesday I signed some paperwork and I was supposed to hear something by Friday.  Of course I didn’t hear anything until I contacted them on Monday.  And the answer? Waiting on some agency – should hear something by Tuesday.  Have I heard back from anyone?  Of course not! One person even said to me last week something along the lines of “this isn’t stopping you from work is it?” Yes it is!  I’m sitting on my bum, racking up bills and not getting paid because you guys can’t get your s*** together!  I would love to show them just how much money I’ve lost out on from not working (aka how much I was supposed to make in 1 month and how much we’ve spent since moving) and ask them how they would like to make this up to me.  Too bad it would get me absolutely nowhere.  Oh and by the way, the UK government beat their “best case scenario” timeline by 5 business days…just saying…

On a happier note, in addition to the 2 trips I mentioned previously, we booked a 2 day beach getaway in a couple weeks.  Its a place about an hour away sitting between two of the UK’s best beaches according to some newspaper article.  There’s also a place to go seal watching and beautiful gardens with sea views nearby.  Honestly, I’m most excited to have the sand between my toes!

Think some positive, happy thoughts for me and my work situation this week, would you?  A prayer or two could help as well.

♥ Cheers!

Some days you just want to scream…

…and today is that day.  It started off just fine, we woke up, made and ate breakfast, took the dog for a walk then I headed off to the base to drop of paperwork to complete my security clearance.  Got home, our packages had been delivered (you have to sign for them apparently) and headed off to open a UK bank account.  We get to the local branch of the bank only to be told that you have to make an appointment to open an account and they were all booked for the day.  The teller said we could drive to a larger city and attempt to walk in but she wasn’t sure.  We tried calling the bank at the closest “big city” but it took you to their general phone center and we found out you get charged to call 0800 numbers from mobile phones.  Yes, what is a toll free number in the US gets charged (on top of your allotted mintues for the month) in the UK.  We decided to try the bank down the street and got the same story.  We went ahead and set up an appointment for tomorrow hoping that we can get everything opened with the documents we have (i.e., no utility bill with our name on it).

Frustrating, but not a huge deal, after all its not the first issue we’ve come across in our 2 weeks here.  Well fast forward 20 minutes and we’re back at the house.  I checked my email only to find that I wasn’t supposed to print off the aforementioned paperwork for my security clearance.  It locks your account when you print it and it turns out I didn’t answer 1 question properly.  Now I can’t fix my answers until some person on base re-opens my application and that takes 24 hours.  Are you freaking kidding me?!  The instructions specifically said to print off the stupid paperwork and now I’m getting chastised for doing exactly what I was told.  So stinking frustrating!

Oh and one more thing?  We called the electricity company from my cellphone to set up our account.  Again, its an 0800 number, meaning we get charged.  It took 25 minutes to get the account setup, charged £10 ($15) and the call ended before everything was fully done because that was all the credit I had on my phone.  Only to find out you can call 0800 numbers from landlines for free, and we have a landline thanks to our landlords.  We’re just hoping it all went through because we don’t want to sit on hold for another 10 minutes to talk with someone. Ugh.

Thinking about curling up under a blanket and reading a book for the rest of the day…