Been awhile since I posted.  Life has been busy with general life stuff.  I managed to finish my 30 day core competencies, and take my 90 competency exam all within 32 days of starting my job.  Helps I have training in a lot of the stuff I'm doing.  

That being said, working with adult clients who often see things from the perspective of children is trying in some ways.  On the other end of the spectrum, we also have clients who most of the public right off as unintelligble or "retarded" (regardless of diagnosis as such) who I'm pretty sure mentally surpass me in more than one area.  Needless to say, work is never dull and even when it's a "routine" day, there is almost always something new that I am learning, be it from a client or the computer system.

This week has certainly been interesting.  Monday, I started off training at a new house so I can work there unassisted.  Of course, it's not going to happen by the end of this week seeing as how this week is going.  When I first got there, the door was flung open by a client who shook my hand and asked me how I was and what my name was.  Within minutes though, they also threatened to kill me.  I think this was mainly because the client likes to be the center of attention and when not, has learned some very negative attention getting behaviors.  Verbal threats and posturing are just two of them.  The staff is excited to have me be there as they like that I was able to remain calm, laugh it off (as I was told by more than one staff, "Death threats usually mean x you're part of the family around here."), and discuss the clients triggers and ask them to tell me what they have tried and what works and what does not with the client.  My goal when I'm there over the next week, when not doing manager stuff is to work with the client more and see if I can observe or suggest anything that might be being missed by staff that see them all the time.  I'm good with details, challenges and predicting behavior based off small indicators, so I look forward to trying to work out the puzzle.

I have also been faith healed by the same client three times while I've been at the home.  The client comes over, places their hands on my head and pronounces me healed in Jesus' name.  I take healing where I can get it and I've needed it this week.  I pinched a nerve in my back during the course of exercising and have been stiff, tender and sore the last two days.  

Yesterday was an all staff meeting.  First one I've been to.  We do them quarterly.  We got to watch some video clips, and the more I learn about Autism and what we're learning about the disorder just makes me want to study it more in depth.  I am hoping that through this job, I can do that, and use the educational courses I take to 1) get paid for by my employer and 2) help keep me current on the School Counselor license.  One of the goals for the agency is to begin working with schools on creating transition programs for students with developmental and physical disabilities from the world of school to the real world of either higher education or work.  I want to be instrumental in bridging the gap and I'm looking forward to being able to advance the field of counseling into an area that most counselors are not comfortable working with-our exceptional learners.

And then we come to today.  I was woken up by head-butts from my cat.  I was sleeping on the couch because my hip was so sore that despite the vicodin and muscle relaxant (which only serves to make me feel lethargic and dizzy, even in dream-state) I needed to sleep on a firm surface.  So I took my blankets to the couch where I slept off and on until the cat head-butted me awake.  As soon as I sat up, she jumped onto the arm of the couch and poked her head between the curtains.  I got enough of a glimpse of fluffy white that I knew it was snowing.

Ryan heard me get up and came out to check on me.  It was almost 5am at this point and we had nearly 3 inches of snow on the ground.  Now, while this doesn't seem like much to the midwesterners on my list, let me tell you that in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, that much snow is just about unheard of.  Especially not in March when we are starting to see warmer weather and lots and lots of rain.  By the time we got up at 6am, another inch had fallen.  

And this was snow more like what you see in the midwest, meaning that it was not melting very quickly.  Ryan actually took a broom to our cars to get the snow off.  More snow was still falling too.  So by the time I left for work an hour later, I had another inch on my windshield.  As it was, I was attempting to get to the house in Eugene.  I barely made it out of the driveway and had to hit the gas to get the all wheel drive to engage so I could get over the snow hump.  Then I made it around the block before I came back home and called my supervisors to tell them it was not safe for me to travel anywhere.

At least by car.  I called On-call and the one house that I am now clear to work at without supervision needed a staff person to go over and relieve the person who'd been on shift for almost 8 hours.  This house is much closer to me.  So I bundled back up and walked over to the house.  On a good day, this walk would take 15 minutes at most.  It took 25 and I never knew if I was walking on the sidewalks for most of the time.  All of the clients were home as all of their jobs were closed for the day.  Well, except for one, who works around the corner and had walked there, worked and walked back.  That client was giving us all a hard time for not toughing it out.  

I at least got a ride home from the person I covered for today.  I peeled off my wet clothes and stuck them in to wash with the rest of the clothes that needed washing and got warmed up before being brave enough to go to the store, as we were in need of more soy/almond milk.  We should now be suitably stocked up for a few days.  Which is good since we're apparently in store for another wave of Oregon Blizzard action.
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