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Author Topic: Needed to release off chest
Alergnon
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I guess I'm just posting and it's really not important just need to get it off my chest. I'm also not looking for someone to fully counsel me because I'm not asking that at all. I guess, "It's all about me," sorta deal- that is why I'm putting it here.

Don't get me wrong, my life isn't de-railing at the moment but inside it's completely off the tracks and I'm trying to stay away from coming off those tracks. Things have been easy and relaxed in my life, I'm dreading something I wrote in an e-mail to an intake worker for counselor and I only wrote it because I was sick of it and fed up. It was maybe too honest and now I feel the intake worker is lost in who I should see because she hasn't e-mailed me back or she was off or busy, but either way, I was way too honest in my e-mail because she needed information.

Yesterday, I found a clinic and it's also a family doctors office and other stuff within the office. I'm meeting the doctor in November, they also provide counseling but I need to go through the doctor before so she refers me. I kinda feel dumb for sending that e-mail out because I was... desperate and sick of it. 3-9 months of uncertainty for a counselor or whoever they place me with and having to re-explain myself again, which I told her if they ask me these questions in person when I'm hooked with someone, I basically said for her to e-mail it to them or print it off because I was sick of explaining my life.

I can't believe I disclosed all that information about myself without knowing anything about her. I just wanted someone to talk to, and I expressed that many times in the e-mail. I also said, I'd rather not label myself with a mental illness because I don't like labels what are truly crippling to oneself who believes they can't have a normal life (Which I've been told that before...)

The other day, I was stressed beyond everything, I went for a bike ride and stopped and lit a cigarette (I secretly smoked for a little over a month before moving) and sat down, I then called Kids Help Phone... the whole phone call was just positive, everything I said was positive about my life and what I want to do with it. It confuses me beyond everything that it was positive, a positive call, and yea I talked about why I lit the cigarette in the first place, I told her, "because I'm feeling numb and the cigarette makes me numb (I confused her and myself) and it gets me this high feeling..." Now, I can't wait for my cousin goes on a business trip Thursday for a few days, so I don't have to 'cover up' the smell. Another reason why I do, is it prevents me from breaking to my knees.

Yea, things are falling in place, I got a handle on my credit card bills, finding a job is getting closer and closer- just had an interview today at a gas station, I'm volunteering today and that. What's not to like about myself? Everything that is inside that I keep close within myself. Sounds dumb.

I need to leave to the volunteering position for 4 hours.

I'm looking for anything just needed to get it off my chest, and my secret no one knows... the smoking.

Thank You

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Heather
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Hey, Alergnon. It's always totally okay to just kind of let stuff like this out here.

Just FYI, been in the middle of some offline work, but saw your post the other day, and that was all great news. Again, I'm really impressed by the way you've so amped up your self-care and regard lately, and I think that's just so awesome.

I think that that intake worker is probably used to at least occasionally, if not more often, getting emails like that. Most of us who work in anything where people can be in trouble or in crisis are. I think it's always good form to send a simple apology (nothing over the top, after all, it's not like you hurt her dog or anything), and really that should suffice.

You will, of course, need to talk to the counselor you get, in part because obviously, that's how talk therapy goes, and hearing a patient talk about things out loud is part of how a counselor or therapist does their job. Just the facts, ma'am, isn't really workable for good therapy. I know that's loaded for you, and I get feeling weary, and know how easy it is to get weary when you've had a history with a lot of intake situations or asking for services, etc. So, you'll need to just deal with that and yes, re-explain, but I suspect that you'll be able to do it, even if some of that is a drag of feels repetitive.

I'm perhaps not the best person to talk with about the smoking. Alas, I've been a smoker for around 30 years now, and am in one of the many attempts (more successful than most of the time this time though!) to try and cut way down and eventually quit. So, I get it's a crap habit, but I also think there's no reason to give yourself such a hard time about it, especially when it's really not a habit of yours in a big way. But again, I perhaps have some of my own bias around that.

Again, I think you've been taking many big steps here, and even that when it's positive can cause some stress (eustress is a term for stress from positive things: it's not just about negatives). So, I hope you can give yourself props, more of those that critiques, and keep up with the self-care you're developing around that, too.

[ 09-11-2012, 06:52 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Alergnon
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Yea, I was surprised myself that I just, my determination went through the roof and went for it looking and found it. I was shocked at myself. The shock was a lot and it felt good.

I guess my biggest fear is talking and having someone tell me they can't help me to the fullest. I need to try and push past that as much as I possibly can. But with time I can try my best, that's all I can ask for myself at this point.

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Claire P.
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Alergnon,
If you do want to talk about smoking, in whatever context, I can relate so could be helpful for whatever you're wondering about? I smoked a pack-a-day during college, and quit over a year ago now. Also started the habit because I found it really soothing during a stressful time.

Don't beat yourself up about it!
[Smile]

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WesLuck
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It's amazing, the universe seems to help us along the more we take care of ourselves. But we are allowed to be human too. [Smile]
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Alergnon
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That would be really helpful Clair; it's not like I'm doing it everyday, I did before I moved in with my cousin, I lied to her because no one knew I was smoking it was a secret within myself. Last time I smoked was Monday evening when I was out and just broke down (not crying)I got of my bike and sat on a small hill beside my bike on the path. The smoke just helps me not feel numb but it makes me feel numb at the same time, but a numb that is good. I love the dizziness it brings in me and feeling weightless.

Yea the universe seems to help WesLuck and I love to be just human. [Razz]

I now have to think of my actions from a e-mail last night I sent at midnight to the intake worker, I'm not on the list, she hasn't put me on it from what I sent her last night. I regretted sending all the information to her about my life. Time to think this through and how to respond now. [Roll Eyes]

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Heather
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In terms of your concerns that someone will tell you -- or demonstrate-- they can't "help you to the fullest," can you explain to me what that means?

I mean, chances are no one person CAN if you mean any one person can help you with all your issues expertly, or go through your whole (lifelong!) process of healing and dealing with you. So, if we're talking about that, then I'd work on adjusting your expectations to know that that just isn't possible, period. Or even ideal, honestly.

But maybe I'm misunderstanding?

Btw, hearing what it is that a smoke gives you, it sounds like the effect you're digging is the dopamine rush and the elevated heart rate that happens: those are the things that create those effects you're talking about. The good news is that there are a LOT of ways to have both those things happen in your body without smoking or doing anything that poses risks to your health. [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Alergnon
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This morning I left on a bike ride for the trail, I needed an escape and riding my bike makes me feel free. I got off my bike and sat down on a small hill with trees and lit a cigarette and it just relaxed me and put me at ease. I then noticed my shoes ripped, and looked for a store near-by (and didn't want to go to wal-mart due to the weird traffic set up at the lights) so I just bought lunch.

The counselor I had when I was a youth I told her I was confused about being bisexual and she told me she wasn't sure how to help me because she hasn't dealt with that, she told me she would get material on it (never happened) then I was let go at 18. I went to another counseling place, second time she told me my mental health is beyond her expertise and no other person was capable in helping and it was very short term. I then went to this other place, saw her maybe 5 times and told her I'm struggling with eating and that I'm starving myself, she told me they had programs (I was like all in) until she is like, "Alergnon, how old are you again?" I couldn't believe she asked me my age after spending 2 almost 3 months in a screening process and then tell her about myself. Then she told me I was too old for the program it's for youth. I told her how I felt, swore at her telling her this was bull crap, yelled and quit then I had to sign dumb papers before they let me out (they lock the building up when your brought back) I cried when I left. Never felt in my entire life, that ticking bomb went off, I had to reamin calm because, they have this crisis team and crap then if they can't get the person settled down they either call the police or an ambulance and I wasn't risking that, or I would of yelled and swore more than what I had before.

I did reply back to her e-mail then while I was out and after I smoked a cigarette I called her and just left her a message asking her to call me.

What else can I do, to feel the dopamine feeling I was feeling? I bike like 1-3 times per day and each time it's different length of time.

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Heather
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Well, exercise -- especially making sure it's more than 20 minutes at a time, if you can, with your heart rate up will do that. masturbation is another free and you-only-need-yourself option. Really, anything that elevates your heart rate that you also find pleasure in? That'll usually do it!

I understand about the frustrations you've had sometimes with these services, I think we've talked about these experiences before.

But I do think it's important to try and equip and prepare yourself for things like this: for a given person not being an expert on everything, or qualified to work with every issues, or for a given service to have restrictions. That is going to happen.

It sounds to me like one takeaway from this might be, when you start with a new counselor, to ask for help creating what feels like a fuller network of helps and supports for you, so that you have access to ways to cope and work with every issue you want to, without having the impossible expectation -- one which is never going to get met -- any one person or service can do that, you know?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Alergnon
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The counselor part, I think I did mention it before in another post. Not going to repeat a new post from a previous one.

Anyways, I did ask for a male counselor (I feel comfortable with a male in a variety of ways; I don't feel scared of what to say or how I'm feeling, I'm myself, I don't really feel extremely vulnerable with a male, I feel protected, a male adult figure, I find they aren't "sorry like," after I explain (which I dislike when a counselor mainly females tell me, "Ohhh... I'm sorry that happened to you... how scary...") that is the last thing I want and males aren't like that, they are more, gentle and understanding) and once I'm (hopefully) hooked with a male counselor, I may just lay my life out on the table for them and ask if they can help me the best they can. Maybe that is overwhelming on their part but I can't just talk and then bring a new issue up and they fire the bomb on me, "Not sure how to help you with that..." so may be easy and upfront for me, which is going to be extremely hard.

I can say I feel desperate, desperation is seeping inside.

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Alergnon
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Okay I need to share...!!! Oh my goodness... I just got an interview... OMG and it's full time, I have an interview tomorrow afternoon. I literally got desperate and went on Kjiji and found a job...!!!!!! Well, I called and they want me to have an interview, it's full time. I'm literally smiling like someone that is high on life!!!
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WesLuck
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Sending best wishes for you! [Smile]
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Alergnon
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Thank You WesLuck, I will try to do my best and to be normal, my normal-ness landed the interview, hehe, so it shouldn't be a problem [Razz] when I get it, if I do, I will let the thread know (everyone) from my cell phone.
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Claire P.
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Alergnon,
To add to what Heather mentioned re exercise- I'm not a biker, so can't really speak to that experience, but you could try running- achieving the so-called "runner's high" really is intensely both amazing and calming in a way that could be compared to how it sounds like you are experiencing smoking. Aerobic dancing can also have the same effect. Achieving that "dopamine feeling" has a lot to do with a certain period of consistent intensity of movement in which your heart rate is elevated- that is, it is potentially possible to jog or bike miles at a relative-to-the-person easy pace/track without approaching that feeling.

Also, do you have anything else in your life- perhaps a ritual from your childhood- that you find calming due to a built-up personal history of associations with it? Making a point of reincorporating an activity that fits that for you, on a daily basis perhaps, could also satisfy that need for relaxation from your stress.

I hope your interview went well!

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Alergnon
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I went to a walk-in-clinic this morning was told the wait would be an hour, after 2 hours go by I was very mad and couldn't believe I was wasting my time. I freaked out at the receptionist and yelled, "wow, I've been waiting over 2 hours and wasting my time here," I could care a less what people thought of me. I finally saw the doctor she asked me if I was there for results from my PAP test or if I was back for the same reason. I said no. Anyways, last night I smoked 3 cigarettes in 20 minutes and got home and sat down, felt extremely dizzy. I almost past out from the dizziness and I sat beside the toilet then I got up to turn off lights and fed the cat. I then walked up stairs and puked in the sink. I told the doctor it was brown and red... she took my blood pressure and it was low and once I stood up it dropped even more. I told her about my dizziness and stomachache.

She didn't do any tests she told me she wants my family doctor to run tests, right wait till November for tests. She gave me a booklet of information on other things I could use, like the patch, gum, etc., I went and bought gum, chewed it and it stung my mouth and made me feel worse. Yea I know I'm suppose to chew then leave it on my check then chew again, I did try that, did it work no. My mouth still stung and hurt.

I tried calling a hot line but after like 3 more, "all our representatives are certainly busy would you like to either... 1) visit our web site 2) call back 3) or leave your name and number and we will call you back as soon as possible." I hung up and went on their site and posted how I'm feeling.

Yesterday I completed my valuation for my job interview, it was a 8 hour valuation second part of the interview. I got hired at 9:20pm when everyone came back and I filled out this paper. I start Monday 12-9pm to Friday.

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Onionpie
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Hey Alergnon, sorry to hear you had a bad experience with the walk-in clinic. I too have had to wait for a while at a walk-in clinic -- it really is just dependent on how many people show up for walk-in appointments in a given day, so there's not much anyone can do about it. Which can be very frustrating, so I understand how you felt.

Sorry if I'm missing something, but are you saying you won't be able to go and see your doctor until november? If that is the case, did you explain that to the doctor at the clinic? If she was aware of that fact, it may be that she thinks what's going on isn't anything really bad and thus you can wait until november for the tests. If she wasn't aware of that, I suggest you try again at the clinic and explain that you won't be able to get tests done with your family doctor until november.

I'm also sorry to hear that the hotline was not helpful for you. I'm glad you were still able to access their website; more support is always good, even if it's only online for now. Have you also tried any other support hotlines? Would you like help finding more you could try?

And also, about your previous post -- I think it's a totally fine idea to put everything you want to work on on the table upfront so you can discuss with your counsellor what they can and can't help you with, and they can help you find other support for the things they don't have expertise with. If you want, you could even make a list of all the things you want help getting through/dealing with right now, and you can share that list with the counsellor when you start having sessions with them. Sometimes people find they go blank when they're in the moment of trying to explain things with a counsellor, so writing out a list can help you make sure you cover everything you want to cover. Do you think that'd help you out?

Anyway, I'm glad to hear you got the job! Congratulations! [Smile]

[ 09-15-2012, 03:30 PM: Message edited by: Onionpie ]

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Alergnon
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She was aware of me seeing the doctor in November. She just told me to start off in calling the number and getting Nicotine Gum until I wait to see the doctor. She asked if I'm in counseling, I told her I'm on a wait list and I'll get hooked up likely in 9 months.

I needed to take a nape, not only was I about to have a complete melt down I was extremely tired. I'm feeling a little better, I do have a craving to smoke.

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Karybu
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I'm glad you're feeling a bit better now, and I'm sorry you had a bad experience with the walk-in clinic.

Unfortunately, I have absolutely zero expertise when it comes to quitting smoking, so I can't offer any suggestions about dealing with cravings. Good luck with quitting though, I've been around other people quitting enough to know that it's extremely tough!

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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WesLuck
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Love and light from me and the universe to you, Alergnon. [Smile]
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Claire P.
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A 2-hour wait at a walk-in clinic is actually a relatively short waiting time, even if you were originally told an hour. It is a similar experience to waiting in an Emergency Room. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult for the medical staff (or anyone) to access ahead of time how long it will take to see each patient, depending on a number of factors, including that what the patient reports is the problem may in fact not be, or may be just a small element of the greater medical issue. I hear your frustration, and understand your concern that your time was taken up, but also keep in mind that the receptionist has no control over the patient flow, and it is in his/her best interest to keep things running as smoothly as possible, so I doubt there was intention to cause you- or any other patients in need- additional pain of any kind.

Smoking 3 cigarettes all in a row during 20 minutes? That level of nicotine rush would make me really dizzy and throw up as well.

I am just a little confused. When you say the doctor at the walk-in clinic did not do any tests, what kind of tests are you talking about? Are these tests related to the symptoms that seem related to your smoking? If I am missing another obvious option, please let me know what it is.

You also have been talking about being on a waitlist for counseling- I see you told the walk-in clinic doctor about this. What else did you tell her during that meeting, to make her even ask about counseling? What did you tell her was your reason for that particular meeting with her that day?

What do you consider your biggest need to be right now? Is it finding counseling- and feeling overwhelmed because you do not want to wait until November to start?
I am not sure what you said in your email to the intake worker, but often wait lists are very long, and disclosing information that has to do with what your problem is is actually a good idea, because it can bump you to a higher spot on the waiting list. So if you did that, I think you are probably on your way to something good. Unfortunately, paperwork and the process can take awhile, but if you feel you can hold on for another few weeks, it does sound like things could start working out for you!

About the cravings- when I asked about whether you had any rituals or activities, I was thinking in terms of fighting these cravings. For example, if you grew up in a household where tea-drinking was a thing, you could make yourself a cup of tea every time you felt a craving. Or, re Heather’s exercise suggestions, every time you feel a craving, you could go for a run or a bike-ride. At the very least, try to make sure you do not allow yourself to have easy access to cigarettes.

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Alergnon
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Sorry for the long wait Clair, I've been busy. I'm no longer working for the job, I basically got fired on my second day but I asked to be transferred and they did, I later found out the job wasn't for me working Wednesday and my boss was training me and after we all got back to the office after 9pm and I signed my log sheet and left, someone stopped me because he wanted to talk to me. He fired me due to it wasn't the right job for me. I told my cousin it was a mutual agreement we had made that it wasn't a good fit. I was going to quit anyways once I found a new one but my boss just fired me.

Monday I smoked 7 cigarettes and then went 2 solid days without one, my stomach hurt so badly, Yesterday I needed something, bought more and rode my bike while smoking two cigarettes. It calmed me after a few puffs.

Yesterday I called this counseling center and the operator message was french and didn't have an option for english and I pushed '0' and tried to follow numbers and pushed them as best as I could remember the french numbers. I finally got to an answering machine and left a message telling them that there web site is in english and they didn't have an option, I was so close of throwing my cell phone at the wall. I called my doctors office asking for an earlier appointment, there wasn't any. They gave me a few numbers to call, so I did.

I was thinking of going to a private therapist near-by because I would of been able to afford it with the job before I got fired.

To clarify the doctor at the clinic had told me about my low blood pressure and she said that my doctor will talk about running tests for hemoglobin and such to figure out how my blood and such is doing. She told me it's best for her to run tests since she would be my doctor, me I was confused. If they ran tests and when I see her she could review them and investigate further.

What's important at this point for me is to get medical care, counseling and a job, these are top 1 for me. But, I have to wait for the doctor and counseling to start so right now I'm looking at finding a job. My bank account is getting low on money and I just paid two bills and bought a book, and I need to keep extra money for cigarettes (lame that I need money for cigarettes). But, I am working on my financial part. I should be getting two more checks in the mail from tax returns in 2 and half weeks from now, so I have a bit of leverage there. But that wont even cover my rent at all. I may talk with my cousin and clean the house top to bottom and do other things to pay for my rent and do things for her. I'm going to try it. And if there isn't anything left to do for her and I need to cover the rest of the rent for October I will figure that out later. Plus I should get paid next Friday for working at the job.

The wait begins, has begun.

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copper86
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Hi Alergnon,

I just wanted to check in and see how you're doing today.

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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Alergnon
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I'm doing okay. Working full time, found a new job which I'm loving. I'm doing training and soon I'm working night shifts 11pm to 7am, it's going very well.

I'm seeing my family doctor finally tomorrow evening wrote up my symptoms, concerns and questions for her, it's a page and half so far of my medical history, symptoms, concerns and some questions.

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copper86
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Hey! I'm so glad that you have a new job, and one that you love! Good for you! [Smile] Keep us informed about how training goes!

Making a list of your symptoms and everything you'd like to discuss during the appointment is a very wise idea, especially if doctor's appointments make you nervous. Please let us know how it goes, and how you're feeling! Take care!

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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Alergnon
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Hey Copper,

Yea on my second day for in Kitchen training my trainer goes up to me while I'm washing some things before my shift is done, she's like, "I want you to know and the managers here wont say anything to you but I want you to know, your f*cking amazing! Your working really hard and I'm impressed how much you're able to do most people can't do those things on their second day." I laughed. They're actually shocked at how fast I'm learning. I'm a baker and right now I'm being trained during the morning 7am to 3pm on the baking, soon I'll be doing 11pm to 7am night shifts. I've got all the codes down packed already what is what, how their made. They haven't seen someone like m learn so quickly, one of their overnight bakers still can't do what I can do... hehe.

My appointment with my doctor went very well. I'm going back in 2 weeks to explore all my symptoms and such.

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Karybu
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I'm glad things are going well for you in the new job, and that you're starting to get some progress made with the healthcare stuff. Go you!

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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Alergnon
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I have a day off tomorrow and I'm going on a date with someone [Smile]

Anyways, I have to go into work because my boss wants to discuss my work hours for next week.

Work is going pretty well.

I have a question, How does someone cope or deal with a close family member who is very ill? I'm not sure what or how to cope, I've been busy with work, sleeping, eating and resting.

My cousin messaged me on Facebook Monday in a private message to tell me Grandma went into the hospital Friday 28. I read on and on, asking myself did I just read what I read. I had to center myself. He then replied more with information. “They found cancer and 2 tumours.” Then two days after he knew more, “Grandma got some results today. She has lung cancer stage 1 and brain cancer stage 1.”

How do people deal with this?
How can I prepare myself if my grandma did pass?

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Heather
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Hey there, Alergnon.

I'm so sorry to hear about your grandmother's illness.

Unfortunately, though, as a sexuality and sex education service, counseling people about dealing with family illness and death is really outside the range of what we can do for folks here.

However, usually, hospitals offer counseling or coping information and resources for family members in this situation. Perhaps you can ask about them if and when you're visiting her next?

Alternately, I'm not sure if you've been able to follow up with continuing your general counseling (or if you were waiting -- just don't know where things are with that), but this is certainly something a general counselor or therapist can help someone with.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Redskies
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Hi, Alergnon.

I'm really sorry to hear about your grandmother - I know it can be very hard and frightening to find out a family member has a serious illness.

In addition to what Heather said, I'd also suggest a couple of other things. "Cancer" is often a scary thing to hear, but there are many different outcomes possible, depending on a whole heap of circumstances, so I'd be inclined not to jump straight to thoughts of losing your grandmother (unless you have more information than you wrote above, in which case I apologise for being wrong). If it's possible and something you wanted to do, might you ask your grandmother if you could speak to the medics treating her? They probably know the most about your grandmother's specific situation and be able to tell you what it might mean for your grandmother. Depending on how you and she feel about it, and how well she feels she understands it herself, another option might be talking to her directly, or to another close family member who's had the information from the medics. There are also cancer charities in nearly all areas, so contacting one of those to talk more or for more information might be an option.

Do take care of yourself.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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WesLuck
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-hugs-
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