Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Thursday, October 27, 2016

But first

Okay,  I decided to put the heating pad on for about 30 minutes before tackling the clothes.  If I can't take meds for the spasms,  then some heat should help.  I must work on the clothes though,  as I almost fell badly when I closed the blinds.  So for now I'm listening to Mumford & Sons and not putting on the CPAP in the hopes that I won't fall asleep.


I had to do some minor electrical work to the headband, as one of the wires had come loose. I got it back in the right spot, and it does, indeed light up. So I'm ready for Halloween. :)

I'm trying

to make things more ergonomic at home as well as work, to be better for my neck. To that end, I've hooked up an external keyboard to my laptop, and I went by YKWIA's and got one of my monitors (I have two, one with the desktop he has borrowed, and one that he had borrowed before his desktop tanked). I found a nice, sturdy box to elevate the monitor, which doesn't adjust normally, that my Bulova clock came in when I reached my ten-year anniversary at the hospital. (Yes, I have kept this box for nearly 10 years, without using it for anything. Have I mentioned I'm a hoarder?) Unfortunately, I forgot to get the power cord to the monitor, so I can't hook it up just yet, and I apparently didn't hoard an extra monitor power cord, and so I have the entire laptop up on the box, which does better for looking at the laptop screen. Just having my normal ergonomic keyboard on its tray should help.

Today my neck, shoulders, and arm have been pretty painful. I have taken ibuprofen, arthritis Tylenol (not at the same time), used the muscle rub--nothing has come close to taking it away. The muscle rub actually does best, because I think it actually gets to the nerves, as opposed to the oral medicine. I will have to go back and look at last night's post that I did while under the influence of the muscle relaxers. I remember it being damn difficult to type. I was also waiting for my bread to bake, and it had something like 12 minutes still on it, and I was trying to patiently wait while practically falling over. So the relaxers do make me loopy after all. I definitely cannot take them till bedtime tonight--I'm getting A, who is doing a special shift at work, at midnight, and I certainly can't drive if I take them.

Today was good. I was as productive at work as one in severe pain could be, and I got all sorts of things done. I found out that they can participate in DOCLINE (the National Network of Libraries of Medicine's interlibrary loan system) even after I'm gone and there is no longer a library, because they will have access to enough electronic journals that if they're willing to lend, they can borrow as well. That gives research and other clinical staff access to the information they need.

I also paid some bills, went to my allergist, got my shots, went to the grocery store, and took a care package over to YKWIA (and picked up the monitor, sans cord). I now have a Halloween costume to wear to work Monday. I'm going to wear my Miskatonic University School of Library Science t-shirt, with a headband I got at Kroger with light-up tentacles. Yes. A graduate student who has read too much, most likely. I have a box that looks like a large book, and I'm thinking of putting something on it (that's removable) that says Necronomicon. There's only one person at work that I know who has read HP Lovecraft, so most people really won't get it, but they'll like the headband, anyway. :) That's the second Cthulhoid costume I've worn to the hospital, the first being Great Cthulhu himself.

Alright, I've hooked up the keyboard, I've eaten. Now I am going to put away the rest of the groceries, queue up some music through the Bluetooth headphones, and start folding clothes, after rubbing some more of that stuff on my neck and shoulders. It really is the best option. I should have gotten some more while at Kroger's. Oh, well. Tomorrow is another day.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Note to self

Normally I take the tizanidine (Zanalfex) right before I go to bed. Tonight, like last night, I was having spasms so bad that at one point this evening that I gasped out oud. So I went ahead and took the pills, along with Tylenol Arthritis and menthol muscle rub. It's barely touched it all day. So I took the medicine, which is a muscle relaxer, as soon as I got home fro the day.

That was two and a half hours ago. Apparently that is my 'normal' window. After that I begin to list to the side, nod off, and I can't type a sentence without a LOT of typos. Plus, words seem to be fleeing me. Time for bed, I think. I'm no good like this. Good night.


Between a friend's appointments,  we stopped by Goodwill and they unloaded the entire back seat,  which was full,  as I'd added things since I took the picture.  I feel pretty good about getting it all out of the house,  along with a bag of recyclables and two of trash.  It'll be nice to go home tonight and find the dishes done,  the fish happy,  etc.  I still have to work on getting the clothes folded or hung up.  If I can do that,  then I can (temporarily)  move to the other closet and deal with the cables and small electronics in there.  My therapist didn't want me hurting myself by tackling the books,  just yet,  which YKWIA had predicted.  The main thing is to progress some each time.  I'm seeing the therapist every two weeks.  That gives me time to work on things,  since as a hoarder I tend to procrastinate that.

I also need to work on a cover letter and apply for a job that closes Friday.  Our plans for tonight have changed,  so I may do that.  I also want to retrieve one of my monitors from YKWIA,  plug that and my keyboard into the laptop,  and set it so I can run it closed.  I think that will be ergonomically better for me at home.  At work things are set up much better. At home I hunch over the laptop even though it is on the computer desk.  That's not good at all.

Okay,  I think I'll close for now.  His appointment will go for awhile longer,  but I think I'll close my eyes and just relax for a bit.


I decided the only way to do a few things before a friend comes over to bake a cake in my kitchen was to do it early in the morning before I was hurting too much to lift a finger.  So,  I got up at 5:45 this morning,  and I have:

1. Taken the things for Goodwill to the car.
2. Taken out the trash and recyclables.
3. Washed dishes.
4. Wiped down cabinets and did some rearranging.
5. Cleaned up the dining room table so we have more prep space.
6. Gave the bathroom a once-over.
7. And lastly,  but certainly not least,  as it will probably be felt longer,  I filled the fish tank with 15 gallons of water,  five gallons at a time.  It had to be done,  neck issues or not.  But everything else was light,  and I used my granny cart for the trash.

So  I've been drinking water for a few minutes in front of the fan.  Now it's time to get ready for work.  But it was nice timing - - I started listening to two albums by OneRepublic when I started working,  and they just finished. Hope you have a good day.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Hurting too much tonight to really write

Therapy: Excellent.  My therapist had good suggestions and was pleased with my progress.

Dinner at YKWIA's: Very nice,  yummy,  with good companionship.

Pain: Neck and shoulders in spasm,  couldn't get comfortable.  Once home,  slathered on muscle rub,  took Tylenol Arthritis and muscle relaxer.  Listening to music and am stretched out on the bed.

That's a brief update.  Good night!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Here's what's going to Goodwill

Not bad for my first foray into getting rid of things under therapy. I've gotten the game notes finished and need to fold the clothes that are on the bed and put them in the chest of drawers or hang them up in the half of the closet that's free before A calls about 12:40 am.

Closet before

An hour and a half of diligent effort. My plan originally was to start with the books. When I was over at YKWIA's earlier he pointed out that since I had been in intense pain for several days, this would be stuipid, and my therapist would understand if I didn't do repetitive lifting of anything heavy. He has a point. Instead I concentrated on the clothes, stuffed animals, bags, and various stuff. I filled up a 13-gallon bag with clothes, filled three boxes with shoes, toys, stuffed animals, belts, etc., threw away some things that were just not something you give away (dying underwear, old CPAP masques, etc.) There was a small bag of medication I missed for the Med Toss, but most of it was stuff they couldn't take, like nasal sprays. I just went ahead and threw those in the trash bag with the other things. I want them out of the house. I went through the rest of the clothes and purses and decided what to keep, all of which is in good repair except for one dress, which needs some attention, but is quite lovely and I wasn't going to part with it just yet, as it's totally fixable. I left my Sandman and Mummy shirts out of the pile to go, because I want to see if YKWIA wants them. I seem to recall taking them over before and he didn't, but they are his size, so I want to be sure.

So right now the top of the closet is completely taken care of. The bookshelf had some things that went, that weren't heavy, such as ankle braces, etc. Yes, the camel with the fez went, too. The stuffed animals are actually the hardest. Some things, not so much--the Rainbrow Brite horse is okay, because I didn't bond with it in childhood and actually when I got it the horse was part of some things set out, and I had no idea what it was till someone told me, as I never watched the show. But I managed to give a large elephant and several smaller stuffed animals away. Now I just have to load the trunk of my car with everything. The boxes are purposefully light. I'm not sure I want to actually take them to Goodwill right now, though--YKWIA pressed on my shoulders and back, causing me much pain but releasing a lot of the tension being held there. He suggested taking one of my muscle relaxants (I'm supposed to take three at night, so it was only 4 mg), when I got home, as it would wear off by the time I have to get A tonight, as I was worried about that. I then took a nap with the heating pad on and woke up feeling much better. I don't feel groggy or anything from the medicine and I've been working steadily without feeling sleepy.

On the other hand, I still need to do something with the clothes that are the bed. Some can be hung up, and I've cleared the chest of drawers, too. But I have to also work on the game notes, which shouldn't take too long, as we didn't play for very long because of Brenda's son's work schedule--maybe three hours, and it was down time. Still, I'm supposed to finish it by midnight on Saturday so I don't stay up till all hours. On the other hand, I'll be up till about 1:30 am anyway, getting A. But I think I'll work on the notes for awhile and then go back to the clothes, as I won't be able to sleep otherwise (most are on the bed).

Friday, October 21, 2016

Did I mention

That I got notice of my final day at my job at Shriners,  barring finding a new job before then?  My last day will be March 31, 2017--right after I reach 20 years there,  and two days before my 50th birthday. Somehow knowing the final date makes things more real--it saddens me and makes a cold pit of fear dwell in my stomach. I'm trying to not be anxious or depressed,  but it's hard,  especially with the other stuff going on right now.

Today I spoke with one of my bosses about the upcoming procedure and small (must remind myself of this) chance of a hysterectomy. She was very encouraging.  I should draw up a plan to complete the shuttering of the library using other personnel chipping in,  just in case.

Tonight I took my friends to the store and A to a meeting, and then came home and laid on a heating pad listening to Pandora on the bedroom Roku box.  I used the time to free up some space on my phone so I could download some updates. Between uninstalling and moving applications to the SD card,  I freed up about 2.5 GB. Yesterday I had a Marshmallow security update,  and it optimised 334 apps. That seems excessive.

Now I'm baking some herb bread.  It should be ready about an hour and a half from now. So, basically it's a quiet night.

Tomorrow I need to pick up some medicine from the pharmacy (on top of everything else yesterday,  I have a yeast infection due to a round of doxycycline for that spider bite). Then there's taking a friend to an appointment.  While he's there I'll try to work on the notes for Sunday's game,  assuming we play (it's Brenda's birthday).  I also plan to work on my closets in the bedroom tomorrow,  as that was my 'homework' from my therapist,  and I see him again on Monday.

Okay,  I'm going to lie down again and listen to music on my phone while the bread machine makes bread.  The heating pad helped,  but my neck is still having issues.  Good night.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

I'd said I'd update

although my neck pain is enough that I'll try to make this quick. Sigh. I'm still digesting the full-impact of what I was told, but here is the gist:
  1. The lining of my uterus is very thick, much thicker than normal, and that's a sign of possible endometrial hyperplasia.
  2. I have fluid inside my uterus, which may be some sort of fluid-filled polyp or the like.
  3. I have a couple of fibroids, nothing to worry about--they're benign--but they could be causing the bleeding.
  4. I have to have a biopsy of my endometrial lining to check for the hyperplasia, see what type it is, and check for precancerous or cancerous cells.
  5. The doctor tried to do a biopsy today, but:
    • I apparently have a very small, very closed cervix.
    • She could not get the instrument into it.
    • In order to dilate it, she will need to use another tool that will hurt. A lot.
    • Also, she might have to cut it somewhat, to get it open, so that will also hurt, a lot.
  6. As a result, I will have to have a hysteroscopy and D & C, so she'll open up my cervix, put a camera inside, take the biopsy, scrape the lining and remove the fluid. All of this will be done while I'm under, so I need a driver, and I'll need to take off work for a day, and I have almost no personal time off, due to going to doctors' appointments for me and a friend.
  7. Best case scenario: The endometrial lining is relatively normal, and does not show hyperplasia.
  8. Medium case scenario: I have endometrial hyperplasia, and have to have a special IUD placed inside my uterus for the next five years that will release progesterone, keeping the lining small, reducing the chance of developing cancer, and make my periods irregular and possibly stop.
  9. Worst case scenario: They find precancerous or cancerous cells, meaning I'll have to have a hysterectomy, be off work for two to six weeks depending on what type, may need a short hospital stay, and take care to recover well.
  10. I got sent home with a pill I'll have to use vaginally four hours before the procedure. Hopefully I won't lose it in the meantime. :) It will help my cervix loosen up a bit. They will call me with the appointment time and date as soon as it is scheduled.
I've always rather taken my lady parts for granted. Sure, I've had the hormonal imbalance found in polycystic ovarian syndrome all my adult life, but my periods were regular and everything seemed to work as advertised. I assumed that the symptoms I've described were the beginnings of perimenopause. I think my doctor's very good with instinct, and I'm glad she counselled having the ultrasound and getting checked out for this. At no point has any other gynaecologist even mentioned the chances of uterine cancer were higher due to diabetes, obesity, and PCOS. She said that was probably due to my lack of symptoms and regular periods. That's actually in my favour; the risk for cancer is there, but is much greater if you go for long periods without a period due to hormonal imbalance--too much oestrogen--(rather than pregnancy or breastfeeding, both of which lessen your chances of uterine cancer).

I know most likely it will all be okay. But this is the first time anyone has seriously thrown the 'C' word into play, and I'm a little scared. Scared of cancer. Scared of having minor procedure and then possibly major surgery, especially with so little time left in my job, almost no PTO (although my extended illness bank is great, so that would pay for all but three days of the recovery, so that's good), and with so little time left with insurance.

After I got back this afternoon, in the midst of the initial stages of panic, I called my best friend. Just hearing his voice was comforting. I knew he wouldn't sugarcoat anything, insist that everything would be fine, etc., but even though he is usually about as comforting as Sheldon from 'The Big Bang Theory', I find him comforting in times when I need him most. He calmed me down and urged me to take it one step at a time. Later, I went over there after work to help with a couple of things and he fed me; he's Jewish, what can I say, he comforts with food.

So I will not panic. I'll take information as I get it and weigh my options. Even if the cells are cancerous, I think the hysterectomy is normally sufficient, so long as it hasn't spread outside. Even worst-case scenario, it's not like I'd die the moment they tell me. But I have to admit, this just reiterates to me how precious time is.

I debated doing this update. It might complicate my job prospects, for example. I finally decided for one reason: if any of you are experiencing changes in your bleeding, spotting between periods, missing periods--even if you're of an age for perimenopause, I strongly urge you to seek medical advice. I'm glad that my gynaecologist, on my very first visit with her, immediately pursued this rather than just pooh-poohing me or assuming I was going through the change. I really appreciate her manner and candor. Her name is Dr Elizabeth Elkinson, with KentuckyOne Health.. If you're in the area, have these symptoms, or any of the reproductive system that just don't feel right, I would recommend her.

Okay, I think I'm going to go ahead try to relax, maybe listen to some music, and then turn in early. Good night.

Well, the ultrasound wasn't bad

Better than an external one on my legs that I had one time,  which hurt quite a bit in the trigger points near my groin.  They were running behind,  so I went back 15 minutes before my follow-up appointment with my GYN.  I'm in her waiting room now to get the results.

This morning,  I woke up about 5:30 and thought,  heh,  I'll stay up,  go to work early,  etc.  Then I moved,  and was in very bad pain (about an 8 1/2) and laid back down.  I woke up at 8:11 and had to call my boss and explain that I'd be a little late. The pain is a little better,  so long as I don't move much.

Okay,  I'm back in the room now,  so I should go.  I'll update later.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

On a 1 to 10 scale

where 10 is the highest, I've been having pain at about the 7 or 8 range. Despite this, and the difficulties concentrating, I soldiered on through work and doing some things for YKWIA and A. So now I've used the heating pad and am somewhat, just a tiny bit, better. Now I'm going to take the muscle relaxer my doctor prescribed and some pain reliever, and head to bed. I have been doing my exercises faithfully. I hope this flare-up ends soon. I'll go months without any trouble whatsoever and then have this happen, although this is worse than I remember. I don't have physical therapy until next Friday, I think. It's going to be a long week. And I had my allergy shots today, so I was itchy and in pain. Joy. Oh, well, I'm sure things will be better soon. In the meantime, I'll just keep soldiering on.

Tomorrow I have

a trans-vaginal ultrasound and a GYN appointment immediately thereafter to determine if I have endometrial hyperplasia. It's probably just as well that I'm having this done; I was supposed to start my period last week, and never had it, even spotting. While it could be just going into perimenopause, she thought there was a good chance that it is this, instead, as I am at a higher risk due to diabetes and polyscystic ovarian syndrome. If it comes back positive, that could mean treatment with progestin, a dilation and curettage (D & C), or worst-case scenario, maybe a hysterectomy. Since I have about nine months of health insurance through my job, it would good to find out now one way or another. I am a little nervous, I must admit. Wish me luck.

I don't know how

but I just got home, opened the windows, put on Pandora, and put my feet under my computer table, only to brush against something...moist and cold. At first I just thought maybe I'd dropped some eggplant last night, and I looked down, and it could have been that, but it looked, well, different. My mind was trying to tell me that a slug was not in my house, on my carpet, but that was what it was, little antennae going and slinking about to full length (about an inch and a half). It curled up when my foot brushed it. I guess it got through the window screen somehow. I'm sorry, I don't need a roommate: time for sluggie to go outside.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Fifteen years ago today

I started this blog in the days post-9/11 with an post that was frustrated and annoyed, as I was just learning how to do it, spent time composing the perfect first post, and then lost it. I've gotten better since then, at least. Nearly 11,200 posts later, here I am. Thank you for reading. I know it's not earth-shattering stuff, usually. But I appreciate you all anyway.

This makes me think of my great-grandmother

who lived with Alzheimer's disease for fifteen years.


I filled up my medicine box, straightened up all my medicine bottles and put them in order of expiration, consolidated some, put the expired ones in a bag to go into the Med Toss they're having in Lexington on Saturday, and then got the clothes off the couch and went through a box of things and put them where they should be. I took the reusable bags that were in a pile in the living room, put them together in one bag, and put them in the hall closet, where they belong. Now I'm terribly hot. I have the windows open, but the breeze has stopped, and where I've been up and down, it's warm. That leaves one box of papers to go through later and a box of things to give away. I even managed to get the star-shaped fairy lights back up and turned them on for fun, which really hurt. I think that's enough for tonight. That just leaves a few things in the dining room on the table and finding a place for a few things that are stacked up in boxes in the bedroom (most of those being holiday decorations).

Eating the last of the Chinese food from Saturday

Which was garlic eggplant and tofu. Last night I finally got some much-needed rest. I'd been going to bed late, tossing and turning, not being able to get comfortable. I had physical therapy yesterday and YKWIA suggested my heating pad. So I took my mild muscle relaxer, put my pad beneath me (it turns off automatically after an hour, which is nice), and proceeded to fall asleep. I woke up about 4:30 in the morning without pain whatsoever. It was wonderful. It didn't last very long after I got up, even with a hot shower, but it helped me get some rest.

So this afternoon, I went to sleep on the heat again, supposedly for an hour, but it turned out to be two. Again, it's just great enough to let me sleep, but all I had to do was reach my hand up to about chest level and it hurts again. But hopefully that's a temporary thing. Now I'm awake, and I'm going to do some things around here, go through some things that didn't really get put away during the great clean up a week or two ago, that sort of thing. I'm listening to Ed Sheeran, which is conducive to that. I want to get the living room totally put away (There's not much to put away, so it's doable). I also need to get a few things ready for tomorrow, like filling up my medicine holder and the like. I watered all the plants once I got home, but I'd like to fill the aquarium as well. So, I have my evening planned out until bed, I guess. It's a quiet evening at home. I saw YKWIA earlier and took him on an errand, changed the pads under his cat litter box, and then we sat down and verified what was needed for a dinner we're having for a friend. The dessert will be baked here, as his oven's a little touchy, and while it works for most food, it's harder to bake when an oven needs adjusting. That'll be next week, so I have incentive to keep the house nice.

Okay, time to sort. I'll probably write later, but if not. Good night.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Here it is

I came very close to hitting a puppy today

I was on my way to YKWIA's,  and a dog with a leash came running in front of my car suddenly,  with a man chasing it.  I hit the brakes for everything I was worth. It activated my anti-lock brakes.  I managed to stop.  The man said thanks and kept running after the puppy. I had someone behind me,  so I drove on to my friend's house, shaking and crying the whole way--and that was having avoided hurting or killing the dog.

Which is one reason I cannot see the movie from the previews called A Dog's Purpose, as the trailer alone made me cry a lot.  I'll try to post it here.

Instead of playing Call of Cthulhu today

YKWIA,  Brenda,  and I went to see Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. It was enjoyable,  although the book was so much better.  I did okay with most of the changes from the book,  but I really don't understand why Tim Burton switched Emma and Olivia's power of fire and air,  respectively.  And of course in the books the air power was limited to floating,  really.  But they did okay with it despite that.  The hollowghasts were well done. Anyway,  it was a nice outing,  and I used my cinema and concession passes from my annual employee appreciation gifts, so it didn't cost anything.  :)

Saturday, October 15, 2016

A pretty active day

I have worked,  been to Costco,  Meijer,  Kroger,  to my friend's house,  to Jin-Jin,  back to his house,  and more,  finally,  I am home.  I am pooped.  And my feet hurt.  But look at my activity and walking stats,  plus I hunted down and brought home a reasonably-priced vacuum,  which I have put together and would love to go ahead and test,  but it is midnight.  On the other hand,  my upstairs neighbours are making some sort of sofa or bedspring bounce up and down above me in their living room,  a sound that cries 'sex'.  So they probably wouldn't notice.  The ones downstairs might,  though.  Oh,  well,  that will be tomorrow's fun.