SURGERY DATE!!!

Finally got the much awaited call from my surgeons office! My surgery is scheduled for August 23rd!!!! I can’t believe it’s only 11 days away. Everyone keeps asking if I am scared and honestly no I’m not. I will probably start getting nervous a few days before maybe, I mean it is a surgery after all. But mainly I’m so excited I can’t stand it.

I don’t think it has really hit me yet. I’m just trying to plan everything out with work and boarding my pups etc etc.

August 17th I have to go to in to the hospital where my surgery is being done and sit through a nutrition class and have blood work done. Then the next day on the 18th I start my 5 day liquid diet. Which while I’m not looking forward to this AT ALL, I’m grateful that I’m only required to do the 5 days!

I can’t believe that after over a year of waiting I’m so close to my new life!

 

911 Dispatcher

I’ve been debating for a while now if I wanted to talk about my career field. I’ve decided that I need to, this blog is meant as a way to express myself and being a Dispatcher is a huge part of my life. It’s not just what I do, but makes up a large part of who I am.

I’m not what I would consider a “Veteran” dispatcher and I don’t work for a huge, highly populated area so I don’t deal with tons of insane calls like some do. Props to those who do, but I don’t know that I’d want to work long term in a high volume center. I’d hate to get burnt out on a job I absolutely adore.

I’ve been dispatching for about 3 years, I was hired on by my agency when they opened and had zero dispatch experience. They hired 12 people, none of which had any previous experience and we trained for 3 months, getting all our certifications. Then the day our center opened we “flipped the switch” and that was the first time any of us had ever answered radio traffic or phone calls. It was very much a sink or swim type situation.

Out of the 12 people hired, only 4 of those original hires are still here. In just under 3 years. Since then we’ve gone through hoards of new hires. Dispatch is definitely not for everyone.

For those of you who aren’t familiar on what a 911 dispatcher does, I encourage you to do some research. There is an amazing Podcast called “Within The Trenches”, they have a Facebook page. You should definitely check out some of the stories submitted by dispatchers. I could go on and on about the responsibilities and roles of a dispatcher but those stories in my opinion are the best way for people to truly get a glimpse into what we do.

Granted not every call you get is a horror story. The majority of the calls are run of the mill calls, Traffic Stops, Reckless Drivers, Civil Dispute, Theft etc. What’s exhilarating and slightly terrifying is you never know when that “Oh damn” call is going to come in. You’ve got to be ready at all times, and yes sometimes it’s not at the most convenient moment. Like when you’ve just taken a bite of your sandwich or you’re in the bathroom.

My agency handles 3 city Police Departments, the Sheriff Office, Two ambulance bases and 3 volunteer fire departments. We operate with at least two dispatchers at all times, if possible we have a 3rd. We work 12 hour shifts; 6am to 6pm and 6pm to 6am. Currently I am working nights until a new hire is ready to go to a 2 person shift.

Sometimes I wish I could say that I’m a big tough dispatcher and calls don’t get to me. But to be honest they day they stop “getting to me” is the day I’ll turn in my resignation. I remember all my “serious” calls. I replay them in my mind, and am constantly thinking of ways to improve it or be more efficient.

While your agency provides you with valuable training, there is no way to be fully prepared for a call. No calls are exactly alike and they never go the way you want them to. You’re dealing with real human beings who are calling you on possibly the worst day of their life. They are angry, terrified, heartbroken. Most of the time they don’t want to talk to you, they want someone there “NOW” It’s easy to get frustrated at the caller for ignoring your questions and demanding you “get help there NOW” but if you take a step back, it is easy to understand. They are scared, they don’t understand that we may be able to help them before a responder gets there. That’s due a lot to the fact that not many people understand what dispatchers do, or the training they have.

Every dispatcher has their preferences and how they want to handle things. My coworkers all know that I am quick when it comes to answering calls and radio traffic. Which usually means that I answer the majority of 911 calls. I don’t mind, I know some people shy away from them and prefer to dispatch it out. I like doing both so I’m game for anything. I just get a thrill out of not knowing what’s going to be on the line.

As much as I love and support my Law Enforcement Officers, I HATE the majority of law calls. Lot’s of baby momma drama, druggies, drunken morons, family squabbles and juvenile delinquents. I do lean more towards EMS and Fire calls, which some dispatch agencies only do EMS and Fire. I’ve thought about going to an agency like that but at the end of the day I love my community too much. I know the area like the back of my hand, know the people and have formed bonds with the responders and my coworkers. While our agency has and continues to endure countless setbacks, I am still determined to stay as long as I possibly can.

At the end of the day after all the dust has settled and I have had a moment to see through the B.S. and political nightmare that comes with the job. I am reminded of how much I LOVE what I do. I feel like I stumbled into my dream job. It’s the most stressful, emotional and mentally exhausting job I have ever had but I can’t imagine doing anything else.

If you all enjoy reading about what I do I will try to write more on the topic. And PLEASE feel free to ask any questions, I’d love to hear what you all think and get stories from other dispatchers!

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6 Month Supervised Diet COMPLETE

The long awaited moment has arrived! Friday 7/28/17 was my sixth and final month of supervised diet for insurance. I know not everyone is required to do this, but for my insurance it is required…bummer but at least I’m not going to have to pay the full amount.

I have to say it wasn’t as bad as I sometimes made it out to be, I mean yeah I wish I could have already had the surgery by now but I think it will give me an even greater appreciation for the Surgery (btw I’m talking about VSG, a type of weight loss surgery) I spoke to my surgeons office today and they have submitted everything to insurance so now it’s in their hands…I don’t even know what I will do if they deny it…Seriously I can’t even think about it.

If everything with Insurance goes smoothly the surgeon’s office lady said she’s confident I could have the surgery before August is over. I think she said he had openings on the 26th and 28th. Fingers crossed!

I am so excited for this new journey, I have never been so sure of anything in my life. I know it’s going to require hard work and a complete overthrow of my old habits but I am 100% ready.

Bring it on!

Pre-VSG Appointments

This morning I made the pain-staking journey to St.Louis for my “pre-op appointments.” First things first….I DESPISE driving in St.Louis and try to avoid it if at all possible. It’s about a two hour drive from where I live and I had to be there at 830. Being the anxious worrywart that I am I felt the need to leave WAY too early. Now in order to really appreciate the situation fully you should know how exhausted I am. It is 7/17 and I have had two days off so far this month, made worse by the fact that I work 12 hour shifts. I am so far behind in sleep that I really just want to take some NyQuil and slip into a nice comatose state.

Last night I got home about 930 and fell into a pretty good sleep until I woke up at 1am to go to the bathroom and then could not for the life of me go back to sleep. My mind did that adorable thing where it doesn’t shut up…you know creating imaginary scenarios of what could happen at my appointments, and just thinking of anything and everything that could go wrong. Not to mention my fear of sleeping through my alarm and missing my appointments….Needless to say I was (and still am) running on fumes.

When I got to the hospital (which I’m not sure if I will share which hospital that is) the woman at the reception did not see my name on the “schedule” which nearly made my heart stop. Luckily after looking on her computer and making some calls she figured out what was going on and everything worked out.

The receptionist gave me a “patient passport” which essentially had the times and locations of all my appointments on it…see below…

As you can see they were all back to back and a lot quicker than I had anticipated which was fantastic. My first stop was the Psych Consult..I can’t say I was very impressed by this experience. Walking into his office I was welcomed very warmly….by the smell of BO…..the psychiatrist was less than friendly. When he did talk it was yes or no questions or he was sort of answering for me. “You have a good support system? yes?” or “You’ve tried different types of diets? correct?” He also had a thick (I believe Indian accent) and was pretty difficult to understand. All of this topped off by the incessant ringing of his phone…. It was not at all what I was expecting, which is sort of a good thing since I was expecting very deep and personal questioning. Blessing in disguise I suppose.

Next stop was the Dietary Consult. I actually really like the nutritionist I spoke to. She was very friendly while also being straight forward and not sugar coating anything (pun intended.) She thoroughly answered the couple of questions I had about bariatric product brands and also hair loss. Overall I was happy with that appointment.

The EKG was a first for me. I’m still not overly excited about lifting up my shirt for random strangers, odd right??

The Spirometry test was a bit odd, mainly because it was in a tiny closet… Seriously the poor guy’s office reminded me of Ryan’s office from The Office. Wait for it……

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Last but not least was the Chest X-ray, that was pretty straight forward. I mean having to take my bra off was not ideal but all in all it was pretty painless. Stand like this, breath in, hold it, breathe out…done.

So that’s about it, all in all not bad. Sorry if this wasn’t super in depth, I’ve been up since 1am and am stuck here at work until 6am….yay me…

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Saying Good Riddance…

If you are anything like me then you know how hard it is to cut people out of your life, even if said people have been horrible to you.

Well, in the past week I’ve said goodbyes to two separate people. One was slightly harder than the other but both were difficult in their own ways.

The first was a guy I had started talking to online only really due to the fact that I knew his older brother. He himself was a couple years younger than me and I didn’t really see anything coming of the initial conversation other than possibly friendship.

We decided to meet up one night and just hang out, and I was thrown off by how sweet he was at the beginning. He seemed genuinely interested in me and my life. He was always asking questions and wanted to know to get to know me, which was definitely not something I was used to from guys. After that first night things sort of just took off.

The two of us spent quite a lot of time together, he would come over to my house and I would drive into town and we would drive around. I had (much to my surprise) really started to like him.

That’s of course when things started to unwind. He slowly became a little more distant, not texting as much and not wanting to hang out. And without any warning or reason why he just stopped talking to me all together….story of my life.

Like always I went through the phases of sadness, and anger. Then finally I picked myself up and did my best to forget and move on. A couple of months passed and he messaged me out of the blue. It’s also important that you know I had deleted him from Facebook so I was surprised to get a message from him on there.

He started talking about “old times” and not even a day passed before he decided to take the conversation to a completely inappropriate place…especially considering he was now in a relationship with someone else. He constantly wanted me to send him pictures and asked what I was wearing. Then of course it got even more inappropriate… I’ll leave it at that.

I sort of gently told him that I didn’t feel comfortable talking to him that way since he had a girlfriend. So he lost interest and stopped talking to me…

Over the past year we had a handful of conversations all going about the same way. The most recent being this past week. When I finally told him I was no longer going to be the “spare girl” which guys just keep around for when they are lonely and horny.

I decided that the only way to solve the problem was to cut him out of my life completely, so I told him that. I told him that what he was doing was wrong and I no longer wanted to be a part of it, that I felt sorry for his girlfriend that he was talking to other girls that way…And then I blocked him…before he could even respond. I did this because I knew if I didn’t he would come up with something elaborate to keep me around.

So that’s numero uno.

The second person I have written about before. We have talked on and off for 6 years. When we are together in person it’s great or at least seems that way. But I seemed to be the only one interested in making it work. I would drive to see him, I would start the conversations and keep them going.

He always said he wasn’t ready for a relationship, he was not stable enough for  a relationship or he wasn’t financially stable enough.

After hearing all his excuses for 6 years I decided if someone actually cares about you as much as he said he did then they would MAKE IT WORK… It wouldn’t matter what the circumstances are, they would fight for you…

I told him this….And all he could say was “Well I do care about you, I don’t want this to be the end but if you ever need anything let me know…” The emptiest “kind words” I had ever heard. There was no fight…

Me leaving didn’t shatter him…to be honest I don’t think it even phased him.

I could tell you in great detail all that happened in this “relationship” but quite frankly it’s exhausting.

Long story short… I cared about him..Deeply. I think I may have even loved him. But I realized that he didn’t feel the same and I was nothing more than a listening ear to him…

I’ve cried my tears, I’ve mourned the loss and now it’s time to move on.

 

I honestly don’t know where the strength came from to cut these people out of my life with such finality. I can only say that I’m proud of myself, I’ve finally made myself a priority… I can only hope that other girls do the same.

 

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Day without Mom

I’ve been trying to think of ways to address the topic, and I still don’t know if there is a “good” way…so I’ll just let it out the best I can.

Every year on Mother’s Day some of us are faced with the difficult task of celebrating Mother’s when ours is no longer here. Whether she has been gone for one year or thirty, you don’t stop missing her.

My mother passed away when I was two years old of Brain Cancer. June 17 1994 was the day she slipped away. Being as I was so young, I do not remember a single thing about her. I spent my whole life wishing I could remember something…anything about her. It’s difficult when everyone tells me how much I look and act like her and not know enough to agree or disagree.

Growing up without her affected me more than even I think it maybe should have. Then again that may be due to the fact that some people feel that having no memories of someone means you shouldn’t care or think about them at all. One person in particular (I’ll keep out names) hated that I thought so much about my mom. She even made a comment to me once in my teen years…”You didn’t know her, why does it bother you so much”….

Well let me tell you why it bothers me…I feel cheated…I feel like the most influential person in any persons life is their mother and mine was taken from me…Taken from me before I even got to know her. It bothers me because I don’t have and never will have memories of her. I don’t know the sound of her voice, the smell of her perfume, the sound of her approaching footsteps. All I have is memories collected from photographs, keepsakes and other family members.

I’ve lost many people in my 25 years on this earth, grief and sorrow are not new to me. When I was 16 my grandpa passed away and I still don’t know how I survived that loss. But it felt/feels different…I have memories with him. I can take some comfort in the fact that he lived a long life.

My mom was 25 when she died, the same age I am now. She had a husband and 3 young kids. She had only just started her life…she missed out on her kids growing up…she won’t get to see her grandchildren. She won’t get to grown old with the love of her life…There is no comfort in that…

I hate the expression “You can’t miss what you never had…” Believe me, you can….

Growing up no one talked about my mom. My dad remarried and I guess everyone knew it bothered my stepmom. So we all just kept thoughts of her bottled up. When I was about 7 or 8 I made the mistake of asking my grandma what she was like. After hearing the crack in her voice I decided I would not do that again.

I struggle everyday thinking of everything she has missed and will be absent from in future.

She was not there for my high school dances to help me get ready, I wasn’t able to give her a rose at my graduation, she couldn’t help me move into my college dorm. She won’t be there on my wedding day, she will never hold her grandchildren or watch them grow.

My loss is no greater or worse than anyone else’s, I just want others in similar situations to know that they are not alone. And that we grieve just like anyone else.

All I can do is hope that my mom is looking down on us and that she knows just how much she is loved and missed.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mothers whether they be on Earth or in Heaven.

50 Facts About Me

  1. Super Introverted
  2. Collect Books
  3. Have 3 siblings, two brothers, one sister
  4. Mom passed away of brain cancer just after my second birthday.
  5. Obsessed with watching documentaries
  6. Favorite books to read are historical fiction
  7. Extremely interested in British History.
  8. Favorite book to movie adaptation is “American Sniper” with Bradley Cooper playing as Chris Kyle a Navy Seal who was killed by a former Marine who he was trying to help work through his PTSD.
  9. I have a freckle on my eye…or what is called “Chorodial nevus” Image result for choroidal nevus
  10. Favorite scents; Lilac, Hyacinth and anything “fall” scented
  11. When I was a child I wanted to be… a chef, veterinarian or an Archaeologist
  12. Favorite TV show- Downton Abbey
  13. Biggest Fear- Spiders and never finding someone to spend my life with.
  14. Never done drugs…Never will
  15. Frequently have nightmares with Tornadoes and Sharks.
  16. I have 2 dog
    1. Aurora- Female Red Merle Australian Shepherd
    2. Aspen- Male Chorkie (Chihuahua and Yorkie Mix)
  17. Foods I do not like…. Mint flavored anything, Chocolate, Bacon…sorry 99.9% of the population
  18. Do not like shopping… at all.
  19. Never carry a purse
  20. Don’t drink soda but I do like Iced Sweet Tea on occasion
  21. Biggest Pet peeves; Interrupting people, “One-Uppers,” nose & mouth noises (sniffling, slurping, lip smacking, etc)
  22. Very socially awkward…Socially Awkward Penguin - Discover Socially Awkward Penguin Find comfort knowing ur not alone:
  23. Profession: 911 Dispatcher
  24. 90’s Country is my favorite music to listen to
  25. I hate #hashtags…I don’t use Twitter for that reason
  26. Watching the news gives me serious rage issues
  27. I’d choose the mountains over the beach any day
  28. Hate crowds
  29. Christmas is my favorite holiday
  30. I’m a hopeless romantic yet I have no clue how to work a relationship. Beautiful quote ❤️ www.kaylaitsines.com/app:
  31. I have MASSIVE trust issues
  32. Nicknames
    1. Bear- apparently due to my “attitude”
    2. Mer-Mer- because my nephew couldn’t say Amber
    3. Amberger- My dad has always called me this, no idea why
  33. I’m OBSESSED with traveling
  34. Current vehicle- 96 GMC SierraImage result for 1996 GMC Sierra
  35. I’d love to learn how to play the piano
  36. Want to learn a second language. Studied Spanish in high school but couldn’t get into it.
  37. I actually like to drink water, it’s basically all I drink.
  38. I HATE how “weddings” have become more of a priority than the marriage itself.
  39. I used to use Sims to create my “ideal life”
  40. Blood type is O+
  41. Hate reality shows…
  42. Would love to one day own and run my own Bed and Breakfast or Inn
  43. I cry when I am really frustrated or passionate about something…drives me batshit crazy.
  44. LOVE Thunderstorms
  45. When watching TV I have to be doing something with my hands. It’s usually scrolling through Pinterest on my phone.
  46. Notorious for not responding to texts, or typing a response and not sending it.
  47. I believe everyone needs to work in retail and food service so they know how they should treat people.
  48. I sing along to the radio when I drive
  49. Prefer to have the windows down than the AC on. House or Truck. Ironic since my first 3 cars didn’t have working AC.
  50. Autumn is my favorite season.Autumn Cozy : Photo: