The Awkward Inner Unicorn

Sometimes we have to face the hard truths.
I decided to take my Inner Unicorn for an outing, and realized that even she, like me, is a super-awkward being.


She and Mr. Blitch are trying to have a go at something resembling a vacation.
It’s unpaid, as all the Bob King FMLA days have wiped out Nurse Apple’s paid vacation bank.
It’s 47° degrees and storming on the Oregon coast. (A redundancy, I realized as I typed.)

Yet, it is still time away from Portland. It is a day without illness, without eldercare responsibilities, without a set timetable of tasks to be done.

That said, my Awkward Inner Unicorn apparently does not know how to relax.
Awake at o500, there was some stretching, some coffee consumption, and then the focus shifted to the studying that needs to be done.

Something shitty happened recently. I was given a 2 year timeline to accomplish completion of an Oncology Certification. There was a 2 year timeline: from the time of hire at my new job as an Oncology Nurse Navigator.
Study guides were enthusiastically purchased, all best attempts were made to both learn a new professional role, take care of an elderly parent, and raise a teenage son, and be some kind of spouse, and study. Study on the sidelines.

Several Continuing Education self paced courses were purchased: Lung Cancer, Chemotherapy & Management of side effects, Skin Cancer, Women’s Cancer, Pain and Palliative Care.

I’ve been chipping away at these. In hindsight, not a good strategy. It would have been better to take one at a time, and designate time for study. Instead, there was one in my office, one in my car, one in my purse… when I had a moment, I’d grab a highlighter and read a bit. Here and there. It was what I could do.

One night recently, I decided to just finish one of the damn things. I stayed up until midnight, and finished the reading, and filled out the quiz.

The next morning, I faxed the quiz off to the testing company. I knew it was close. I had had 1 year from the time of purchase to complete and submit. But life hasn’t been gentle or kind to me or my family this year, and. And.

The test was denied: it had expired.
It wasn’t just a little expired, it was 3 months expired. 15 months had blown by, with me clinging to a fantasy that I could somehow control my Crohn’s disease, my schedule, my care taking of my parent…
I give myself A for effort. 

It’s now o600. Day 1 of Oregon Coast Study Vacation. Here I go again.

Wish me luck.

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One thought on “The Awkward Inner Unicorn

  1. My heart goes out to you as a fellow chronic illness survivor. Life happens so messily, doesn’t it? I hope that things get better and that your vacation goes well. I am amazed at how you handle all your obligations with grace and humor.


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