Archive for the ‘Psychological attendant’ Category

Oh my, this morning I was totally contemplating whether to go to work or not but I am happy I decided to go after all.

Something weird happened last night – I think – I am not sure though, did I dream?? Anyway, I think I jumped out of bed, took two steps into my living room, turned around once, looking right and left and then went back into bed.

So – either I am suffering from panic attacks or something might be wrong with my heart. You guys remember that I mentioned before, that I would experience this weird sensation just moments before falling asleep. I would hear my heartbeat extremely loud in my ears and then be wide awake right away.

I think I experienced some extreme version of it last night because I clearly remember jumping out of bed, wander around shortly and then return to bed … but then again I am not sure whether it was a dream after all.

So this got me a little concerned, after all I have been suffering from stomach pains for month now and stomach pains can also have meaning in that regard, so I called my doctor today but had no luck. She is on vacation until Friday and I don’t want to go to the hospital and ask them for a 24 hour ECG, cause they won’t do it. Also the doctor who is substituting for her won’t do it either, since he/she is not my doctor.

I am thinking it’s only stress but it has been going on for 2 month now, so being a medic, I should most certainly stop ignoring and figure out what’s going on. The thing is, my stress should now come to an end since I got the call today!! People, we have the apartment for my parents!!! YAY!!!

But let me start at the beginning …

Okay, my older sister and Mom arrived around 3 pm on Sunday. I had prepared some cauliflower pizza, we  ate together and they all loved it. Afterwards Nicky left again and Mom and I went for a walk. I showed her the street where the new apartment would be situated and we walked into Friesdorf, where my parents would have to do their shopping.

Only 10 minutes walk from the place there is a swimming bath, 2 banks, 2 supermarkets, bakeries, pharmacies, a post office, kiosk and bus stops going to either Bonn or Bad Godesberg. She was a little overwhelmed I think but that is totally understandable, after all she spend the last 6 years in a village with only 6 buildings or so. We then walked back and talked about my cousin and her children, where Mom is staying at the moment. Oh, by the way, Dad has returned from his stay at the health spa, so he is staying there too at the moment.

Once we returned we had dinner – which is usually bread here in Germany. I went along with it and had 2 slices of bread with cheese. Then we had lots and lots of tea and talked and talked and talked until we eventually went to bed. I prepared my bed on the ground, while my Mom took the bed. Much to my surprise, Shorty follow me and took his usual spot next to my head, only this time he was a little confused about the location I guess. 😉

Kaya on the other hand decided to stay away and spend the night on the cat tree.

Despite the heater being on and the window closed, I got up in the middle of the night and tuned up the heater all the way, I was so cold … but hey, no incident that night. 😉

Anyway, the next morning after breakfast we went to Friesdorf again and did some shopping and spend the rest of the day talking and waiting. Waiting fo 3:30pm, when we could eventually get going and meet the realtor/landlord.

We also checked the site of the realtor and were shocked to find that the apartment he had invited us to look at, had been published – how dumb of us, we had thought that we were the only one to look at the place. No, we were not, there were 3 women and one man also interested in that flat and while my Mom was so excited and ready to basically show all her cards at once, I tried to signal her to wait with the “real” questions until the rest of them were gone.

The apartment was still furnished since the old lady who had lived there before, had been transferred to a nursing home only a couple of days before that. It was obvious that nothing had been done in that apartment for a while, like renovating. The wallpaper was yellowed and seemed as if it had been brought in the 70’s. So the place was in no good condition. By the way, here in Germany you don’t move into furnished apartments, when you move in, there is nothing in there, you basically always have to bring all your own stuff, even the kitchen. So you move into empty rooms, whenever you move. You can make a deal with the previous tenant and buy their kitchen if  they offer to sell it but if the old tenant wants to take his or her kitchen along you are forced to either make your own kitchen fit into the new rooms or buy a new kitchen.

Anyway, after the other people were gone we talked business and my Mom decided to take it. He said he would call me today and we then left.

We then took a cab to Bad Godesberg, had a Latte Macchiato in front of my Red Cross unit’s house and I then we walked to the train station and I took care she would get a seat in the train, since it was after work rush hour.

I felt a little bad leaving her in the train but I had to work today and spending another 40 € to accompany her and then take the train back to Bonn again would have been a little too much.

I took the bus back home but got off at Ronnie’s place and spend another 90 minutes at his place before I eventually walked home again. I took a shower, grabbed my cats and was off to bed.

This morning I had only arrived at work when I got a bunch of calls. First the head of my psychological attendant group called, informing me that I would be somehow responsible for organising the upcoming meetings of the group, since she would be on vacation for 4 weeks. Then my Red Cross unit boss called talking to me about the upcoming First Aid course this weekend and the assignments for St. Martin in the next week.

And then came the call I had been waiting for – the realtor!!


We decided to meet again on the 12th to sign the contract, so I am taking off that day again since my parents will both arrive on the 11th, stay over night and then take the train back after everything is done. Also some more good news, the realtor is going to give us 14 days to do the renovations and moving without having the pay rent. So in December – we can start renovating on December 1st – they will only have to pay half the rent.


So, this X-Mas, they will have their own place and all will be good. Hopefully. 😉

I am off to bed now, real tired. Everybody on the east cost – God bless and be safe.

Night folks.


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Okay then, today was the first day that I tried to follow my nutritionists instructions of avoiding any and all salt when cooking and of course the no sugar rule.

“Spicing instead of salting” it says

And this is what I came up with. I actually checked Amazon for a book on this topic but was presented with spices instead. I am hoping to find cheaper options along the way but for now, after only dipping into the topic, almost 5 Euro per container must do. I actually bought one more container with a Asian mix but upon checking it at home – you have to understand that when I found it in the shop, all the way at the bottom of the rack I was so excited that I just grabbed one of each of them, that I didn’t check – I discovered that the Asian one does contain sugar. It’s the last item on the list but still it contains sugar so I am not going to use it until I have checked with my nutritionist.

Which brings me to the fact that I actually totally forgot to finish my story about being an emotional eater yesterday.

So here goes that story. I did talk to my nutritionist about the fact that I don’t need to eat at 4 pm, because I just wasn’t really hungry then but  that I REALLY love my ice coffee in the afternoon. I wanted her to agree that I could have my ice coffee instead of eating a small muesli or slice of bread with cream cheese or something. After all they both have about the same calorie value. She then asked me what the ice coffee is doing for me.

I tried to put it into words and then told her that the ice coffee for me symbolises the end of the working day, just something to make me calm down, relax and forget about the stress at work.

And CHA-BANG, that is when it dawned on me and looking at her face I saw from her expression that she realized that I realized – does that make sense?? Hahaha. 😉

So, hello my name is Janet and I am an emotional eater, (you are now supposed to say “Hello Janet”).

She then prompted another task to me, instead of focusing on the exact amounts and calories of what I eat, I am now supposed to write down how I feel before, during and after eating. This way we will hopefully figure out whether I am feeding my body or my soul.

What is quite cool about it, is the fact that I am going for another Red Cross training tomorrow which will be about how to deal and cope with psychological stress. Okay, it’s another Saturday where I can’t relax, since the boss of that unit – this is not my Red Cross unit boss Hassan, but the boss of the psychological attendant group Almut, where I am also involved – asked me, whether I would possibly like to become an instructor of that topic later, so I will have to stay focused all the way.

Anyway, let’s get back to my NO SALT challenge, which has started today by the way. Ops, anyone care to join me?? Feel free to do so. It’s only going to be a three-week challenge, so don’t worry about lacking salt after those three weeks cause there is a lot of salt in the rest of the food you are having on a daily basis. So feel free to join me.

I am totally excited to see whether my weight will reflect anything in three weeks time when my next appointment with the nutritionist is. After all I have scientific prove that I am retaining water.

So here is what I had today.

Chicken with no salt added and peas, carrots and corn. also unsalted. I used the spices you can see above

And, well … it was good. Different but okay. I guess I can get used to it.

That’s it for today people. I need to take a shower and then head for bed. A colleague is going to pick me up tomorrow at 8:15 am.

So night folks and sleep tight. 😉

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I have been planning to write about the training at weekend for a couple of days now, but time sure flies by and since my computer at home is still not working, my lunch break is just not sufficient to blog a whole lot about anything, but I’ll try my best.

When I got home on Friday, I was aware that I had to be in at the Bonn Red Cross headquarter for a “meeting” at 6 pm. I wasn’t aware though, that the meeting was actually a training and that this training would take the entire weekend. So imagine my utter surprise when the trainer welcomed us to a psychological attendant training “weekend”. I kept my expression neutral but inside my head, things were a little less calm.

I remember that I enrolled for a training a couple of month back, I guess I had just forgotten about the fact that this was the weekend. I had to push myself already just to show up on Friday. I hadn’t eaten before coming, which is also the reason why my Friday ended up way under 1900 calories. I was tired, hungry and moody due to TOM.

Almost the entire Friday I was twitching my feed nonstop and I am sure that was quite visible for the trainer. I am actually sorry that I was in such a bad mood but what could I have done. I was just thrilled to spend my entire weekend getting up at 5 am in order to manage at least some chores at home.

Actually I told the trainer on Saturday that I was in a rather bad mood and that I was sorry if it showed. He replied that nothing showed and that I was such a friendly person and whether I was even more friendly when not moody.

Well, I am not naive, I knew that he must have realized my twitching leg but he decided to play nice and I was okay with that.

Another reason why I didn’t really want to be there, was probably his teaching style. He introduced himself in a very, very, very mellow manner, holding his hand in front of his navel, – which by the way is where your hands are supposed to be most of the time when teaching, because this is considered a neutral/positive position for your hands. I went through the training to become an instructor, so I’ve learned that as well. His fingers where spread wide open, with the tips of his fingers touching each counterpart.

Claire de Lune was playing in the background, while he deliberately chose his words. He even paused whenever you would usually fill the silence with an “um” or “err”. I perceived the resulting silence as unnatural and artificial. 

So when he started his training like that, I was basically feeling defensive right away. Seriously I didn’t want to be there and the prospect of three days of this kind of teaching method, didn’t lighten my mood particularly!!

Anyway, things did change though, whether this was due to a slightly improved mood on my part, or the fact that he eventually became less controlled in his teaching method on Saturday. But the instructor was not the only reason why I started the weekend on bad terms. The remaining attendees, each and everyone is a member of the recently founded EKN Team, come from different Red Cross units and the units here in Bonn are rather competitive. I am in the Bad Godesberg unit and my unit is commonly disliked by the other units vice versa. It’s a long story, too long to tell just now though.

When we started the team, there were 6 people from Bad Godesberg all together, so we actually held the majority. Due to unclear statements, concerning what we will eventually do as an EKN team, 4 of my Bad Godesberg colleagues drop out of the team and one colleague was actually on vacation this past weekend. So I was the only member of Bad Godesberg around. I never thought it possible, when we first founded the group, but people avoided me. Nobody sat next to me, nor did they particularly talk to me during the breaks. I felt rather excluded the entire weekend.

I am not sensitive when people don’t like me because of my weight, that I can deal with, but last weekend was rather difficult for me in that regard. I am not sure whether I will remain a member of that team if things continue this way. Ah well, I don’t know. Is it because I am from Bad Godesberg, or because they just don’t like me, period. I have got no clue. I guess I never realized anything because during the other meetings I was never alone, there were always Bad Godesberg colleagues around, with whom I get along great.

Anyway, the training ended up being worthwhile, well, great actually, and I really learned a lot of things which I didn’t know before. For instance what different stages you have to go through when leading a conversation as a psychological attendant. Or the four sides of communication, which had been covered by a few other trainings before. It was really good to go over it again.

The four sides of communication – SOURCE: Wikipedia

I think I really want to continue that path and hope that the fact that I am from Bad Godesberg will – if it wasn’t my imagination – soon stop being an issue.

Now, why did I create the idea of honesty being a bad thing at times, with my title? I know, I know, at times, well most of the time actually, I end up writing a whole lot in order to explain something rather insignificant, don’t I? Sorry for that. 😉

Okay then, when the training came to an end and the instructor asked what we thought about the training, I guess I should have just said all was great and I enjoyed the entire experience, shouldn’t I…? Well, I thought he really wanted my honest opinion and that I should tell him to be fair.

Are you shaking your head in disbelieve as you read these line??

I DO!!

Didn’t I write somewhere in this post, that I am not naive…well, I guess at times I am! So I told him! I told him that I didn’t really like the, for my taste, overly mellow approach – since  this is not really my cup of tea, but all in all I really liked the training, because the atmosphere did change over the course of the three days and there were plenty of things that I am going to take along from this training, especially the different sides of communication and the 7 stages of a psychological approach for traumatized people.

Oh and I also mentioned that I would have like, had he kept the times for the breaks. His timetable announced the breaks but he always postponed them, like by 40 minutes, without actually announcing it. Okay, okay, I am being petty! Well but I said it nicely and after all, if you offer the chance to give feedback, shouldn’t you then accept feedback?

The thing is, despite the fact that I said it nicely, I didn’t anticipate that he might actually be annoyed with me afterwards. I also didn’t think about the fact that in Northrhine Westphalia there are not many instructors for these topics and I might most definitely meet him again at another training.  

After I was finished he smiled at me, seemingly accepting what I had said and we started cleaning up the room. When we were finished, I went outside and put my things into my scooter seat and then returned to say good-bye. I shook hands with the instructor and told him that I hope he wouldn’t take it personal and that I felt this way because I was just in a bad mood — thinking back now, I think this might have caused it — his final reaction.

He actually grinned at me with narrow eyes, – and I am quite good at reading people, – while he shook my hand and nodded in sync with every up and down movement of our hands. That was the moment, I realized that I had made a mistake and that sometimes honesty sure sucks!!

I am all the way to the right, behind me, the instructor…

 Well, let’s hope I learned from this incident…

All is really warm over here…

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Yay, it’s weekend….that’s what I thought!!

That was before I realized that I had to be in a psychological attendant training. ALL WEEKEND!! So the weekend was quite stressful and I have to admit that I was one miserable attendee. But I will write about that in the next post.

So here you go, the last three days of food choices and NO WORKOUT. I feel bad about it because I have only worked out with my Wii once this past week but TOM eventually showed its true face late Friday and I was just miserable. Not so much physically but emotionally I felt totally drained. Realizing that I had to be at a training the entire weekend, also didn’t help improving my mood.

Okay, here you go… Friday’s choices.

DAY 11

Then there was Saturday – I got up at 5:30 am since I still had to do some chores in my flat…

DAY 12

…and Sunday, got up at 6 am…arg, I was in a mood, seriously…

DAY 13

Got back home at 6 pm. Maybe I shouldn’t have gone to the training because I think the trainer hates me now. I am just too honest at times, I should have just shut it. I’ll write about it later.

TOM will hopefully be on his way latest by tomorrow.

All is exhausted… 😉

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Have you ever experienced moments in your life, where you want to give your all to make something work, even though it is not work, or family related. I am not talking about relationships here, they clearly belong to family… 😉

Ja, right…I tried this new EKN thingy…now, after Sunday and the Bonn Marathon I am not sure this might be the thing for me. Not because I had a very traumatized person whom I talked to. Nothing of that sort. I am a little discouraged about the leadership position in our tiny group. Don’t get me wrong, as for myself I don’t really care who is the boss, as long as the person is sensible and gets things done….well…

Let me start at the beginning.

I got up quite early that day, actually it was 5:45 am when my alarm went off. Kaya was already gone from her spot on my pillow, while Shorty was still sitting next to my head waiting for the “Rise of the Can-Opener” 😉

As always, Kaya and Shorty lay siege to the fresh plate of food, while I took a shower. I got dressed and by 7:15 am – Kevin, who always walks to my place – and myself were sitting on the bench at the closest bus stop, waiting for Daniel to pick us up. Usually Torsten would pick us up, but he had decided to be a medic that day, thus he had to be elsewhere.

*UGH* I neeeeeed them cooooooffeeeeee!!!

By 7:45 am, we had arrived at the KV (district association) of the Red Cross in the center of Bonn and just kept walking to the nearest filling station to get ourselves some much-needed coffee. On the picture that’s Daniel to the left and Kevin to the right. Since my friends are basically embarrassed to take picture of me in public – whatever reason they have – you hardly ever see me on those pictures.

Anyway, with our coffee we returned to the KV, where the cars had all been lined up for the day’s work. By 8:30 am the other EKN volunteers had arrived and we went inside, found ourselves a little corner to organize ourselves in and get changed.

Pascal fits into that vest quite easily - in my case...well, let's not talk about it... I am on my way to look just as un-stylish as the others in the vest *lol* just a few more pounds...

Almut, our boss had mentioned that we might use public transportation to get to our job site. Here you go, that is the first thing I am feeling annoyed about -> PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION!!!! Are you freaking kidding me??????? It’s okay, if I need to take public transportation to get somewhere off duty, but once I am “on duty” these kind of things need to be organized. What if I am being told that somebody is traumatized in a certain location in Bonn.

Should I go “Right away Mam, we are on our way… *erm* I mean, once we have figured out which bus to take and when it leaves, we will be on our way. At your service!”

Erm, I don’t think so. Eventually we ended up being transported to our location but embarrassment seems to be cover the roads we walk, it seems. Maybe that’s what it takes to be in EKN – stop acknowledging any form of embarrassment. My unit boss Hassan ended up driving us into town, since he was in the KV just when we needed him.

This is the Muenster, which has been standing there ever since the 11th century. It's a pity, I have never been in there so far - note, I need to do that!

Once we got off, we had to walk a few more minutes to get to the Remigiusplatz where we had to sign it. From the Remigiusplatz we walked down the street one tiny block and had reached our final destination, the Marktplatz.

Red jackets everywhere...

After we had been there for approx. 10 minutes, Almut, our current EKN boss was called to the EAL (assignment unit leader)  back to the Remigiusplatz. To cut it short, due to whatever reason he wanted us out!!! Obviously Almut and him were headed for a confrontation but since Almut didn’t want to force a confrontation so early in the game she retreated halfway.

When she returned, none of us knew what had happened and she told us that we would leave again at around noon. Attention please, here we go again… LIKE WHAT??? WTH?? I got up at 5:45am, on a Sunday, only to be pushed out of an assignment after not even 2 hours???

Considering the people coming in here only did the half-marathon, they really looked good. 😉

Anyway, due to NOTHING, Kevin and myself walked around once, just to make the day count for something.

But that is what happened. At 11:45 am Almut signalled us to gather and we left again. After being ridiculed, due to out vests, after being mistaken as marshaller by other Red Cross colleagues. After being ignored by all other colleagues – which was to be expected, since no one wants to talk to the psycho’s openly.

We were driven back  – thanks goodness – to the KV, returned our vests to Almut and talked about the assignment around a rectangular table. Most of us fell silent but non of us, including me, dared to pop Almut’s fantasy bubble that this had been a splendid first appearance.

I was not in the mood actually to say anything, since TOM had kicked in by then and I was basically happy that the assignment was over. I got home at around 1 pm and while I sat at home cuddling with my cats, those colleagues of mine who had decided to go medic for the assignment, were still on the streets some 4 hours later.

Anyway…a rather disappointing first appearance all in all but I am not giving up yet. We only just started, so let’s just wait and see.

Okay, my weekend starts now and unless I will be able to formatC my pc at home and reinstall everything you won’t hear from me for the weekend. So people enjoy your weekends.

All is well…

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Due to my lovely friend TOM, I left the office early on Monday – it was 11:24 am actually – I had the entire program of pain on my plate, I’ll spare you the details. Anyway, I worked through the remaining pile of mail with my apprentice, in order to show him some more stuff, so he wouldn’t be bored after I was gone.

I got home at around noon, made some fresh food for the cats then prepared a hot-water bag for myself, changed and went to bed right away. I was knocked out for 4 hours, it was past 4 pm, when I opened my eyes again. Basically the rest of the day I only moved from bed to my sofa and the other way around.

I also took Tuesday off, only to find that my home pc has once again been infected with another Trojan.

Thus, I am unable to be online at home. The moment I go online that darn trojan pops up again. Don’t ask me where I got this damn thing. I guess I will have to format C:  my poor old pc.

I hope I will be able to finally write about my first EKN assignment.

All is well.

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Hold on, does anyone of you remember that I enrolled in a training from the Red Cross, to become a psychological attendant? Vaguely?? Just a little? Well, I didn’t write a lot about it, so let me mention the end of that training now.

Ladies and Gentlemen – I hereby proudly present my certificate. 😉

After having gone through a few month of training, we seem to have come to the end of that experience.

Last year I already participated in another training and when a more advanced training was offered, I was keen on becoming a part of that group. So far the Red Cross in Bonn does not offer any PSU Team, so everything is new. Only later I found out that all the other volunteer organisations in Bonn, seem to already offer psychological attendant groups. Weird, since I thought that our group was supported by the city of Bonn and actually requested.

Now hearing that there are groups from the Malteser, the Johanniter or Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund, makes me wonder why the city of Bonn would want a specific team from the Red Cross. Mh, I am sure there are plenty of things which I just don’t know yet and which will remain under the veil of secrecy, forever locked away.

I don’t care much for the political power games that are going on around me, unfortunately the longer anyone is an active volunteer, the more one gets to see and figure out eventually.

Anyway, what does a psychological attendant really do for the Red Cross?

Well, in the beginning the plan was, that we would tend to affected people we might encounter during medical services. That was changed to only tending to colleagues from volunteer organisations who deal with medical issues. That was when the Team was still called PSU – I am not translating the abbreviations, because we haven’t yet reached the final destination.

Now, back in January our team was called PSU-Team, then the Red Cross psychological attendant county association, (whatever they are called) decided to change the name to PSNV. The work we were supposed to do had not changed. We were still supposed to tend to Red Cross colleagues who experienced a traumatic event.

Okay, check here…but….then, last Saturday our, yet not active, team was informed that we would be called EKN from now on… 

EKN would translate to Relief Forces After-care.

I don’t really care how we will be called, whatever reasons there might be to remove the “psychological” from the original terminology, I couldn’t care less. After all, I most certainly want the pastors to tend to people who want to commit suicide or reach a point where my training becomes too little.

Anyway, to return to what we are supposed to do; imagine a volunteer would injure him or herself with a syringe that was previously used by a diabetic or a patient on an ambulance. We would then offer that volunteer the opportunity to talk, about his or her fears of having had contact with the blood – of course that person will have to get tested and it takes a few weeks to get the results.

Or a group of volunteers experienced a traumatic event during which some patients die or are mutilated, or a colleague dies. We will offer to talk to groups or individuals. They only have to be medical volunteers in the Red Cross.

The entire EKN-team

This Saturday is going to be my first assignment as a EKN volunteer during the Bonn Marathon, which takes place annually in Bonn. I am looking forward to this assignment. Due to the sensitive nature of EKN, I will not write about what I experience in specifics but will have to be very cryptic. Sorry about that but as always, I am bound by the obligation to secrecy.

Now, that being said, let me write about the food situation of last Saturday. Saturday was actually great. I was on track that day. For breakfast I had one yoghurt and later in the day during the EKN training, we drove to the Johanniter Hospital in Bad Godesberg to eat.

It wasn't great, actually the meat was too fatty - but hey, I didn't have to pay for it...

While I sat in front of my plate, I actually wished I had gone for the vegetarian soup with plenty of carrots and Fusili. Well, my eyes were obviously greedy for the Goulash that came with the penne noodles.

I don't know why, but salad and vinegar *omg* - I think I am not normal. 😉

Later at home I had a salad. So food-wise the day was quite good.

Now, I am looking forward to the developements concerning the EKN Team and the first assignment on Sunday.

All is well… 😉

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