FMLA- when you need to put yourself first

With everything going on with my health and no true answers, only guesses, I have decided to apply for FMLA to use intermittently. Luckily at my job the process is pretty straight forward. I contacted employee health, they asked me some questions, and a few days later they emailed me some forms. One for me, one for my supervisor, and several for my doctor. I need to submit those within two weeks and I will hear a verdict soon.

I am not sure what lies ahead for me and my stomach. My PCP thinks it’s just my IBS getting worse, after initial concern for my galbladder. The ER doctors thought it was a stomach flu. No one truly knows what is going on, so I am seeing a specialist next week and we will see what they say.

Thanks for listening and if would like to hear more about FMLA law or procedure let me know in the comments!

New titles on my TBR

Wild Signs by Patricia Briggs- This is the newest release for the Alpha and Omega series. I am excited to purchase and read this once the readathon is over.

The Exile’s Gift by Tamora Pierce- This is the second book in the Numair Chronicles and I am excited to see more from the World of Tortall

Also this list of YA books by black authors- https://www.epicreads.com/blog/black-history-month/

I already have Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi so that will be my first read from the list.

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn is next on the list as it is the group read for Mythothon.

After that I would like to work through each of these books depending on what I receive from my TBR for my birthday!

Love and light all!

Mythothon!

Hello All,

I will be joining Mythothon Round 4 hosted by Foxes and Fairytales. The Theme for this round is Arthorian Legends. So we pick a magic user, the knights of the round table, and then on to save Camelot.

Not only did I use the prompts but I challenged myself to use books I already have at home to fulfill the prompt. If I did not have something I decided to buy used as weddings do not pay for themselves!

For some of my prompts I left myself some options, I do not want to be too rigid as I want this to be fun, and not too time consuming as I am still wedding planning and studying my social work exam.

So onward to my choices!

  1. Merlin — Read a book with a witch or wizard.- Tempests and Slaughter (The Numair Chronicles #1) by Tamora Pierce.

    I know I have been trying to read this book for a month or so but life keeps getting in my way. So I will be prioritizing this book by reading it for the Merlin prompt.

  2. King Arthur — Read a book featuring royalty.- To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

    I purchased this book in December and it has been sitting on my shelf collecting dust. I thought it was time to break it out!

  3. Sir Lancelot (Arthur’s greatest companion) — Read a book from a favourite author.- Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky #2) by Veronica Rossi

    I really enjoyed Veronica Rossi so this was the first book I though of for this prompt. I have the e-book version but I have ordered a used paperback version. My eyes get screen tired with my new contacts and I do not want any excuse to not finish my reading list!

  4. Sir Gawain (Known as the Green Knight) — Read a book with the colour green on the cover or in the title.- Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper #1) by Kerri Maniscalco

    This is another book I bought in the winter and have heard good reviews on. I have a bit of a true crime obsession and have watched too many shows about theories on who Jack the Ripper was. I hope this book is delightfully mysterious.

  5. Sir Percival (the original hero in the quest for the Grail) — Read a book with a shiny cover.- Ever Worlds by K.A. Applegate

    This is a book my fiance picked out for me, our taste is not always the same but when he said it has the greek gods in it I was sold.

  6. Sir Bors (Arthur’s successor) — Read a sequel.- The Testaments (The Handmaid’s Tale #2) by Margaret Atwood OR Vampire Knights volume 2 or Science Fair Crisis (DC Comics: Secret Hero Society #4) (4) by Derek Fridolfs

    For one of my previous readathons I read the handmaids Tale so my go to for this prompt is The Testaments. However, given my current health I am giving myself the option to swap this heavier book with the Vampire Knights or Secret Hero Society sequels. If I feel particularly energetic I may go for all three.

  7. Sir Lamorak (one of the best knights but overlooked in the chivalric romance genre) — Read a book you think is under-hyped.- Study Hall of Justice (DC Comics: Secret Hero Society #1)

    I read this book in grad school while on public transit for an hour. I usually do not read DC comic but I feel like this book does not get the attention it deserves. I hope to re read it and perhaps get to the sequels soon! The series is five books in total.

  8. Sir Kay (Arthur’s foster brother) — Read a book with a significant sibling relationship.-Wolverine Origin by Jenkins, Kubert and Isanove

    I purchased this graphic novel of Wolverine when I was in college as a short read between writing papers. The small business owner who sold me the book thought it was an odd choice, but went along with it knowing I was one of the new nerdy students on campus. I would now like to re-read this book specifically with the lens for the relationship between Wolverine and his half brother Sabertooth.

  9. Sir Gareth (the youngest knight) — Read a recent addition to your TBR.- Fort Solitude (DC Comics: Secret Hero Society #2) (2)

    The Secret Hero Society books were brought back to my attention and re-added to my TBR after I received a box of books I had been storing in my ex fiance’s basement for the past four years. I will be reading or leaving myself the option to read several books from this series. They are more of a Manga than a book, however I am trying to keep more of an open mind with the DC comic universe as I focus a lot of my attention on Marvel.

  10. Sir Bedivere (returns Excalibur to Nimue) — Read a book with something pointy on the cover.- Vampire Knight volume 1 by Matsuri Hino

    This is another manga I picked up from the small local business near my undergraduate program. It was something I picked up as a quick read while I was waiting on a medical appointment to start. I really want to give this book and it’s sequels more attention as they do have a good plot.

  11. Sir Galahad (“the most perfect of all knights”) — Read a book with a title that starts with a “G”.- The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

    One of my roommates let me borrow her copy of this book in college and I liked it. The series lost my attention for a while because half are paperbacks and half are e-book only. I now have access to the electronic omnibus and would like to re-read the whole series in order including the e-book only portions.

  12. Sir Tristan (falls in love with Isolde) — Read a book with a romance that should be legendary.- Startrek the next generation Imzadi by Peter David

    I ended up seeing this and purchasing it at a comic book shop that also sold used nerdy books. It has been sitting in my TBR since 2015. Grad school left me little room for reading. However, I have no excuse to not read about the epic but tumultuous relationship between Deanna and Will. On screen they are good friends and there is tension. The only story of their romance is in the books or the movies. I am excited to delve in!

  13. Sir Gaheris (“the least well spoken of all his peers”) — Listen to an audiobook or read part of a story aloud.- Detention of Doom (DC Comics: Secret Hero Society #3) (3) by Derek Fridolfs

    I am giving myself the option of reading this manga which I bought used, or listing to something through the public library as an audiobook. I wanted a place holder on my list. My public library is changing who offers their audiobooks as of tomorrow so I am unsure what titles will be available to me.

  14. Camelot — Read a book set in a place you’ve never visited. – The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab OR Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

    I received The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue from a friend for Christmas, thank you! I have heard it can be a heavy read so I am leaving myself the option to read this book which is set in France.

    My second option is another book I am purchasing used, Other Words from Home. It is a graphic or light novel written bu a woman of color. The setting is in Syria. I realized many of my manga choices were written by men and my books are written by white women. I want to change my reading habits to be more inclusive. Really I want to change the way I consume media in general.

Wish me luck dear readers and I will be giving you weekly recaps and book reviews soon! I will likely be starting with the prompt for Merlin then moving to some of the manga/light novels and saving heavier reads for weekends.

Test Prep Day 3

Ethics, ethics, ethics. That was all of Friday’s lecture. Ethics are underneath most questions of the exam. We discussed everything from a colleague struggling to things that need to be brought to the attention of the board.

Some helpful hints for ethics, the NASW code is the go to for studying, if you work in the United Sates and have not read it you should take a peak. The code governs everything from fee for service to confidentiality.

If you happen to be a NASW member then there is an Ethics hotline you can reach out to for advice.

Phone: 1-800-742-4089

Hours:

Mondays and Wednesdays 1 – 4 pm (ET)

Tuesdays and Thursdays 10 am – 1 pm (ET)

Link to the code: https://www.socialworkers.org/About/Ethics/Code-of-Ethics/Code-of-Ethics-English

Until next take take care!

Test Prep Day 2

Hello All!

Today was day two of test prep and it was difficult! The content was non challenging per say but my body and mind are tired today, I do not have the same stamina to sit through an almost 5 hour a day course everyday anymore. Additional, the weather is giving me a headache. However, I persevered.

We finished reviewing the DSM 5 today. We also reviewed all the major theories in Human Behavior part 1 and 2. I am really struggling with remembering the corresponding ages and stages. I have received some good feedback from my social worker friends on test prep options so I am hoping that helps.

As another nugget of information for folks, my trainer directed us to the following website for free resource.

https://www.inspiredconsultinggroup.net/blog/Social+Work+Exam+Prep.aspx

Uncle Frank- the movie

Last night I watched the movie Uncle Frank on Netflix. I had been seeing clips of it, and wanted to see more. Uncle Frank is a white gay man from the south who moved to a northern city to get away from his family. He is forced to hold several different identities due to his fathers bigoted views of homosexuality.

I feel the piece does a good job working within the time period, the early seventies. It touches on subjects including alcoholism, sexuality, death, bigotry, religion, and many more.

I am disappointed that the few diverse cast members seem to be token nods to other cultures. This includes Frank’s live in partner Walid. I hope to continue my steps into LGBTQ media, as I have noticed that most of the media I am exposed to is hetero normative.

If you have any suggestions leave a comment below!

First Day of Test Prep (officially)

Hello All,

Today is my first official day of test prep for my independent social work license. I am working from home for the next few days, attending a five hour a day crash course for the exam. Luckily, it also partially counts as a continuing education course. Only 12 of the 15 hours plus homework time count but that is better than no hours.

Today was somewhat frustrating for me as it focused on reviewing the bare bones material that is covered on masters level and independent level exam. However, tomorrow we get into the meat of the course with psychopharmacology and the DSM 5.

I am pleasantly surprised by the content I have remembered since sitting for my initial exam in 2017. I sure hope this continues!

Self care

It is with frustration and maybe a little bit of hope that I let you all know that I have begun the process of FMLA for a chronic medical condition. Some combination of my IBS-D, anxiety, depression, acid reflux, and possibly gallstones is making me debilitatingly sick.

I’m dehydrated, my diet is limited to simple carbs, easy to eat vegetables, and lean meats. I’m dependent on gatoraid for electrolytes and hydration.

My primary care physician is finally understanding how sick I am and has agreed to fill out the forms. It is a week wait period between letting employee health know that I want to apply for FMLA and when they furnish the application.

I will keep you posted on my journey. FMLA is something I hear about a lot with peoples journeys to make a larger family(a couple is a family), but not often with chronic illness. This is a new journey for me so here we go.

Social Work in the Movies (or this case on Netflix)

As you may have guessed this post will be discussing the character Sam Healy from Orange is the New Black. I enjoyed this show while it ran but the prison social worker, Sam drove me absolutely bonkers!

Sam is a burnt out prison social worker who falls more in line with the administration and prison guards than he does making his own imprint on the inmates lives. I feel like the portrayal of the burnt out social worker is merely a plot device to make things interesting and not a true look at what forensic social workers can do.

Prison is traumatizing, due to the stress, food, healthcare, and many other factors it ages people beyond their years. Social workers help in advocacy, trials, and so much more. Forensic social workers even have their own yearly conference!

While OITNB is definitely entertaining and interesting I sill find myself frustrated with the media perpetuating the myth that social workers are not helpful.

If you have watched OITNB or any other media content with social workers leave a comment below!

Love and light