Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

I was hicoughing, I was so hungry

For about an hour,  trying to figure out how to make dinner with a whole pineapple and canned tuna,  when I remembered I had some eggs and pancake mix/syrup.  Yay,  dinner!  Good thing I get paid tonight, late,  as in almost tomorrow.

A little troubled tonight

I went to the gynaecologist today,  and I have to admit,  I'm a little concerned about my health. At the very least,  it looks like I may have a urinary tract infection. But I also have to have a transvaginal ultrasound due to some symptoms that could indicate a condition,  endometrial hyperplasia, that could (in some cases)  lead to things such as uterine cancer and hysterectomy. I'd never heard of it.  I have risk factors like obesity,  never having children,  and having diabetes and polycystic ovarian syndrome.  It's an overgrowth of the endometrial lining of the uterus due to hormonal issues,  especially too much oestrogen. It can cause bleeding outside of normal menstruation.  Dr Elkinson wants to rule it out,  at least. It is treatable with hormones. She also checked my thyroid because that could be why I'm hot so much.  Now it may just just be normal perimenopause,  so I'm not going to panic just yet.  But it's not something you want to hear when you're about to lose your health insurance in six to nine months. I also had the normal Pap smear and breast exam (I had a mammogram in April). She was very thoughtful,  when I explained that I hadn't been sexually active in awhile, and used a small speculum.  It still hurt though--there are reasons women tend to put this off. Anyway,  with that I think I've covered all the preventative health screenings I need for awhile--I'm not due for another colonoscopy till sometime between 2020-2023, for example.  I at least got what I could while I have insurance. I really need to start comparing Affordable Care plans,  I guess.

I'm home,  I'm tired.  It's been a busy week. I'm going to try to get a nap in.

And here's one at my desk

Don't I look like I should be a librarian?

Take me away to the beach!

I couldn't resist--the backdrop was left over from the luau-themed prom at work Friday. They did a great job decorating.  I think this is where they took the glamour spots after they got dolled up.  It sounds like it was quite a success.

Wow, what a crazy, busy day

I worked steadily throughout the day, especially on my referral duties. After work I had my first appointment with the new therapist, who seems very competent and knowledgeable. I showed him pictures of my apartment, and he immediately isolated things like videotapes without a VCR, etc. He is an expert in cognitive behaviour therapy, which is somewhat helpful for hoarding, more than most things. He did say the prognosis was guarded; hoarding is very difficult to treat, mainly because clients drop out of therapy when things get difficult. I really do want to change my coping strategies and try to get a handle on my hoarding. We also discussed my anxiety issues and driving anxiety, and we'll work on that, too.

You know one way to tell when someone has an anxiety disorder? When they take their medicine to work, realise that the one type of pill that's missing is their anti-anxiety medicine, and then get all anxious because they don't have it. That was me this morning, filling up my pill reminder box. So, driving over to the therapist's, while uneventful, really, left me shaking by the time I got there. I know, it's odd. He's the first counselor who's ever really asked me why I have trouble. The truth is, yes, I'm afraid of getting hurt, but when it comes down to it, the problem is that I can play by the rules, such as when I was struck by the car in a crosswalk while walking with the light, and bad things happen, but other people essentially don't follow the rules of the road fully and this makes me incredibly upset and agitated, especially if I feel threatened by them, like if they merge into my lane across three lanes and then slow down to a crawl right in front of me. Or people who intentionally get into lanes that will go away so that they can then bully their way in amongst the people who had the good sense to just get in the right freaking lane in the first place really get under my skin--that sort of thing. Essentially I get anxious and annoyed at people for not following the (my) rules. YKWIA calms me down when he's in the car; A actually makes it worse, because he has some visual issues, and if a car turns suddenly into the lane next to me, he's practically in my lap. Anyway, the counselor, Larry Coy, agreed that I should work on these issues (and hopefully I explained things without sounding like a total lunatic). He definitely thought I could benefit from CBT. We're going to try to get back together in two weeks, after I get out of work. CBT involves homework, often. My homework this time is to get a book, a workbook, actually, aimed at hoarding. He had an older version. It's called Treatment for Hoarding Disorder: Workbook , 2nd ed., by Gail Steketee. it is almost $35, and not particularly thick--both the Anxiety and Phobia Workbook and the dialectical behaviour manual for borderline personality disorder (I have both of those.) He has the first edition; hopefully the new one is somewhat expanded. He's going to get the therapist manual that goes to my edition, which is almost $50. I gather that he doesn't have any other hoards at the moment because he hasn't updated to the new definition or anything.

Wow. I know it's almost 2 am, but I am falling asleep with my computer up on my legs, lying in bed. I had better go on to bed. I spent three hours after the therapist's appointment cooking soup (curried soybean), a main dish (a Basque dish with peppers, onions, and tomatoes in egg), nd a salad with smoked salmon, berries, oranges, and honey mustard dressing--all from scratch. He couldn't really help because he was still having some issues, so he just directed me and I actually cooked almost everything. But I'm very tired as a result. Good nigth.

Monday, September 26, 2016

By the way

At work Friday they had a prom for the kids and it had a luau theme,  and one of my coworkers gave me a whole pineapple that was left over.  I love fresh pineapple,  although I've never cut one before.  It's pretty easy to figure out how,  but I did Google it just to make sure. Anyway,  it was very nice of her,  and I plan on cutting it up later tonight and I can take some for lunch tomorrow.  I also need to make some bread tonight.

I've been stuck three times today

Good news: I probably don't have cellulitis,  although my nurse practitioner did take a couple of cultures just in case.  She had to take a picture with her phone and blow it up to see the fang marks; since I haven't been out in the woods,  where I could pick up a tick,  the most likely culprit is a spider.  For some reason (probably the hydrocortisone cream), the redness had gone down,  leaving the dark red mark but not the lighter red,  and you could see a raised red bite this afternoon.

Because I am at risk for an infection,  though,  she took blood work and had an assistant give me a shot in my butt (an antibiotic) and put me on an oral one as well.  I was kind of embarrassed that it was just a bite,  but she said I absolutely should have come in,  because it could have been cellulitis,  and it's an easy thing to take care of if you catch early,  but can be serious if not. While I was there,  I told her about my neck pain flare-up,  and she's sending me back to PT.  Yay.  It has been better today.  I'd say on a scale of 1-10, it was about a 4 or 5, whereas it has been about an 8 this past week most days.

The third stick was this morning's flu shot.  I always get them; they're free at work.  Since I've been getting them,  I haven't had the flu; the last time I did have it,  I was out for four days.  Let's hope it works great this year.

After my appointment,  I decided to stop by the apartment for some water and food,  then went over to my friend's and did some shopping and some other small things for him.  I got home about 8, and now I'm listening to music and I may do some reading.  Tomorrow I have my first appointment with my new therapist,  after work.  I'm glad he has evening hours.  Wednesday I have a gynaecology appointment.  There were a couple of late appointments my friend needed to have me take him to,  but he's going to reschedule them,  so my week just got a little quieter.  That means I can go Wednesday to the pharmacy for the antibiotic.  Today would have been pushing it; they're a great independent pharmacy,  but they're clear across town and close at 6; I got out of the appointment after 5. But the injection should help in the meantime.  I had thought to get my allergy shots today,  but I've been poked enough today,  and I figured it would be bad to do a shot in my right arm on the same day as the flu vaccination,  as I get two allergy shots,  one in each arm.  So I'll try to do that some other day this week.

Okay,  I think I'll sign off for now.  Hope you're having a good day.

No game today

We canceled a couple of hours before we were due to start,  and there won't be one next week,  as Brenda will be visiting relatives out of state.  But that's okay.  I've spent much of the weekend at my friend's house helping him and then running people around town.  I did get home by six last night,  but I had to do the game notes,  since the plan was to play Call of Cthulhu at that point. Today I cleaned his house,  but we also watched Netflix ('Star Trek: Deep Space Nine',  'Haven' ,  and 'Very British Problems')  and Hulu ('Ugly Betty').  He also fed me dinner.  So there was relaxation,  too.  My neck is doing a little better,  yay.  I got home a little before 9 pm and listened to music/rested before getting A from work at midnight.  Richmond Road is being paved at night and is down to one lane of traffic.  The flag worker had a sign that said 'slow' that also had lights on it.  So,  it took a little while to get there.  Fortunately I come home on Alumni.  Anyway,  that was my day.   I've got to get up in about five hours.  Good night.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Damn...I'm going to have to call my doctor Monday

I think it's not an insect bite at all in my leg.  Cathy at the pharmacy said it didn't have any centre at all,  it's redder and spreading.  I got some hydrocortisone cream,  but I think it may be cellulitis.  I've never had it,  but my mom has,  and it looks similar.  I'm at a higher risk due to my diabetes and chronic aedema. I do take medicine for both,  but I'm thinking I may have scraped my shin just a bit on the bedrails that are broken,  and it's set up an infection.  Cellulitis is generally easy to treat and can resolve in just a few days,  but it can have complications,  including the infection getting into the bloodstream.  It's not contagious,  which is good,  as I work in a hospital (albeit not in patient care),  but it should probably be looked at by my doctor or nurse practitioner,  and go on antibiotics if I'm right.  Even YKWIA thought it looked worrisome,  and he has had medical training. Oh,  well.  I'll call the office Monday morning. I can also ask about going back to physical therapy for my neck,  which isn't resolving on its own.  I had the heat on it,  and that felt better,  but as soon as I went to get A,  it was painful again. I'm just falling apart,  I guess.  Welcome to middle age.  :)

UPDATE: This is a spider bite,  apparently.  See post  above. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

I've been reading to YKWIA

The book is called The Arm of the Stone and is by Victoria Strauss. It is very well-written.  It reminds me a bit of Patrick O'Leary's The Gift in terms of narrative and language. We're two chapters in,  and I'm enjoying it.

I've finished the game notes and am listening to the OneRepublic station on Pandora and am lying here in bed with the heating pad on.  I can't take the tizanidine just yet; I have to pick up A from work at 1 am.  My neck is doing a little better; it gets worse over the course of the day,  but feels okay in the morning,  anyway.

Okay,  I think I'll just chill for awhile.  I've been so tired from yesterday,  and it's nice to get some rest.

Just got home

It's nearly 2 am.  I worked a half day,  then took a friend who was having minor surgery to his procedure, got him home, left him with another friend while I went for medicine and food,  took that friend home,  and then came back and stayed until now,  watching a show or two with him and reading to him. My neck has worsened over the course of the day.  My feet hurt from all the walking I did today. But now I'm home,  in bed,  with CPAP on and ready to get some sleep.  Also,  something (insect,  spider,  bug of some sort)  has bitten me and my leg is red,  itchy,  painful, and very hard to the touch,  which is a bit concerning.  It looks worse than the picture below...but hopefully it won't get worse.  I'm going back over to my friends' house early tomorrow and then to the pharmacy for three days in a row,  and while I'm there I'll try to get some cream for the bite. I also have to take a friend to an appointment by 11. So I should sign off and get some sleep.  Good night.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

I'm trying a different tack tonight

I borrowed my heating pad back from YKWIA,  and I have it on medium heat on my neck and shoulders.  I have tingles going down my body due to the muscles relaxing and,  hopefully,  easing off the nerves.  Too bad I can't keep it on 24-7.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

I'm at the library

I'm not sure how long I can sit up and type; after work and everything this afternoon I came home, laid down for about an hour, and my shoulders and neck finally unbunched to the point where I was no longer in pain. It was a bit better today, but still bad, and it's already bunched back up some in the hour I've been back up and gone out.

I wanted to get some books on job hunting, and as a special bonus prize I snagged the first season of 'Lou Grant', a show I really enjoyed as a kid, which was not available on video until recently. I also decided to pick up, on the recommendation of one of the staff (you know, on the shelf with a card saying, 'I couldn't put it down') a book by V.E. Schwab called A Darker Shade of Magic, which looked intriguing. In all, I checked out nine items, paid off a fine (I know, bad librarian), and now I'm sitting by the front window typing.

It's amazing how much I type these day, but rarely write anything by hand. I was working on a Greek lesson the other day (mainly because I wanted to stimulate the little grey cells, as Poirot always put it, and I've always been embarrassed that I only made it to the aorist in Ancient Greek, about a semester and a half). I don't have special software that writes out the language (including the diacritics, anyway), and so I was writing it out by hand, and my hand kept cramping up and sometimes I'd just sort of flail and fail to write a letter correctly. I must practice some more; I don't want to lose the ability to write for any length of time.

Today it was hard to be productive with the pain, but I got what I needed done, did some online searching, and then took a friend to get a shot and some blood work at two different offices. Afterwards we went to Captain D's, and I had a nice salmon salad. I shared my cheese sticks with him, and he gave me his hush puppies. :) Then I helped him with something at the house, came home, and it wasn't quite 6 pm. That's when I laid down, then got up at 7 pm, put some other clothes on (I got some cherry preserves on my skirt somehow), and came over here. I browsed the shelves for awhile. I've decided that I do like the new branch after all, even though it is no longer in walking distance (and if I took the bus, I'd have to go downtown and transfer to another one, even though they're not that far). Richmond Road was terribly backed up where they're doing some paving, but I was able to avoid it for the most part, just crossing straight across it. I need to get some gas, but I may have to wait until tomorrow since they're doing the work at night.

Okay, I guess I need to go ahead and go. The library's going to close in a little while and I'm really starting to hurt. I have pain just going down my left arm. Maybe one of my co-workers is right, and I should go back to physical therapy. Right now, though, I'm going to go home, take some ibuprofen and the tizanidine (but not that much, as last night it made me a little sick to my stomach), and lie back down. I hate that I'm not really doing much at home, but really, I guess what's important is that I function at work, can do my job well, and then come home and try to ease it up. Good night, if I don't write any more tonight.

PS (another one)

According to MedlinePlus, tizanidine can cause an upset stomach, which seems to be the case with me right now. So, I'm hurting and am nauseous. Lovely. I'm going to bed and hope it passes. I don't need any more tonight. I just hope it helps with the tense muscles. After all, that's why my doctor prescribed it. Good night.

Moral of the story, I suppose

Is not to shift twelve shelving units (72 shelves) of heavy medical books and bound journals (some of which are six inches wide!) by yourself, especially if you are in you 40s and have some neck/shoulder/back issues anyway (as many people in their 40s do). The problem being, of course, that I am the only library staff--I don't have a tech or volunteer to work with. Volunteers have really been needed in other parts of the hospital of late, and no one, I'm sure, wants to move a lot of books. If I were actually moving the library I'd box up books with the help of volunteers, and then probably materials management, environmental services, or plant operations would make sure they made it to the loading dock and then on their own home.

But we're not moving, Blanche.

Instead, I'm looking at the daunting task of shuttering a library. The only good thing about going through this is I might be able to write about it, get an article published. But it doesn't make it less heartbreaking to know that the library I cared for for nearly 20 years will be (at best) parceled out to departments and other hospitals and libraries. It's not a big library at all, about 15 by 30 feet, and some of that is occupied by cubicles that were put in a few years ago for another department. But it's home. Let me show it to you, at least in part:

Book collection (with unbound journals in foreground)
Bound journals (and some things I'm working on)
I won't show the rest, but I took a set of pictures all around the room to remember it by. I will so miss this place!

Okay, the muscle relaxer is kicking in (very tiny doses, but still), I feel a little better, but sleepy, too. Good night!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Ahhh

I'm finally home,  and I'm stretched out with my neck and back straight and it feels much better,  although I've got numbness and tingling going down my sides where the pressure is temporarily off the nerves.  I've been wanting to lie down all day because I knew it would help.  I've taken arthritis Tylenol,  but it didn't really touch it.  I need an anti-inflammatory,  like ibuprofen or naproxen,  even though they're not great for the kidneys.  I think I still have a little ibuprofen somewhere,  although I gave my big bottle to A. I've also used muscle rub,  which helped just a bit.  I took my preliminary dose of tizanidine a little while ago,  which is a mild muscle relaxant.  That will probably help more. I'll take the rest before actually going to bed.

Because of the flare-up,  I emptied my backpack of every little thing I could. It's not very heavy,  really,  mostly medicine and toiletries.  I don't even have a book in it now, just my Kindle and a single-subject notebook  for taking notes along with a couple of Kindle books on ancient Greek.

Today I had my teeth cleaned and then went to YKWIA's and went to the grocery for a few items he needed. Now I'm home listening to Pandora. Think I'll set an alarm and lie here in a darkened room stretched out for a little while.  The plan is to blog on the computer later (I'm on my phone right now).  And I found a job I can apply for and want to learn a little more about writing a curriculum vitae,  as it is academic and requires one,  so I need probably need to tweak mine.

Okay,  that's all for now.

Apparently

All that productivity last week,  plus a busy weekend of cleaning and running people here and there and gaming,  meant crashing by 10 pm tonight (and every other night in between),  so I didn't blog for several days.  Sorry about that.  I'll try to get back on track.

PS I'm up in the middle of the night taking my meds,  brushing my teeth,  etc.,  and the laptop is still packed away from the game on Sunday, so I'm blogging on my phone.  In the previous paragraph it autocorrected to 'drinking people'.  My phone is somewhat bloodthirsty apparently.

Good night.

Well

Found one of my buttons from the 80s (remember them?)  and it seems more appropriate now,  actually,  so I put it on my bookbag.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

I won't say I was super-productive

at work today, but I did get everything I needed to do finished, despite having to leave at lunchtime for an appointment and coming back afterwards, and knowing that I would, I went in early. Actually, my day started at 5:30 am, by 6:10 I was at Kroger picking up a few things that I needed, at 7:05 I was getting a bottle of gas treatment (my car's running a little rough; I thought it might help clean things inside) and gas. By 7:15 I was at work. It turned out I had a patron I was able to help that early in the morning. I did various things to do with the library and went ahead and worked my referral queue and did the charge reconciliation just in case I got delayed coming back. Then I picked up my friend, took him to his appointment, dropped him off, and got back. I did charge entry for much of the rest of the time. I'm going to save moving the last of the bound journals for tomorrow, when I'm in jeans (I was in a black skirt and cotton sweater today, which would have shown a lot of stuff), and I need to work on an interlibrary loan tomorrow as well, and follow up on a referral that the doctor's office supposedly sent but not to me, and also fill the clinic cart with children's books and mail those book cards and pockets.

But after work, I was super-productive. I came home, turned off the air conditioner, opened the windows, filled the fish tank with a gallon of water because the pump was empty as a stop-gap measure, reconciled my bank ledger (I find I do better with an actual notebook rather than a phone application), paid every bill I could and put in the ones that will come out of this pay cheque. Then I went to Costco, opened a membership there, got a few things like tuna, bagels, orange juice, and a bulk item YKWIA has been having a co-worker of mine pick up for him and reimbursing because for $12.69 you get 40 packages as opposed to Kroger, where the same item has 10 packages for $5.99. He has two packages a day, so that's a significant savings. I didn't get any, but the Frigo string cheese I get for the game came in packages of 60 for $9.99 vs. 16 for $6.79. Guess where I'm going to get the cheese from now on?

While I was in the store, a friend called who was stranded and needed a ride over to a house to pick up some food and then a ride to his home. So, I did that after checking out, and then stopped by Kroger on the way home to get dressing for the tuna (which will go well with the cheese bagels), cream cheese (to go with the cinnamon ones), the makings for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, burritos, that sort of thing--easy, ready-made or non-cooking stuff. I haven't given up my desire to cook or anything, I just wanted to get some things I consider staples that I can easily bring to work. I have a new cookbook they were giving out a work where each recipe has just four ingredients, and some sound pretty nice, so I'm going to look through it and see about getting a few things to cook with. Kroger is having their 'A Taste of Italy' special right now and I saw some lovely pasta (I can't remember what it was called) that was very intriguing, as well as balsamic vinegar and pesto from Italy. Costco had huge bottles of balsamic vinegar, which I adore with olive oil and some French bread for dipping.

Now I'm home. I'm glad I went ahead and closed the windows; I was gone much later than I planned, and I don't want someone breaking (or in this case, not breaking) in. So I got home and turned the a/c back on because it was stuffy. Fortunately, one of the bills I paid tonight was an electric bill I'd gotten a disconnect notice for tomorrow. Glad that the date fell okay. I kept thinking I was getting paid on the 14th, not the 15th, and so there seemed to be plenty of time to take care of it.

I found some calcium chews to take this morning that weren't expensive at all, were similar to Caltrate, and had extra D3 in it as well. I already take vitamin D pills, so I need to make sure I don't overdo it. I take 5000 IUs a day. I have some 2000s from when I was taking a lesser dose; I think that, along with the other, should equal out pretty well. I need to see about getting some more B12, since I'm out after this week. I'm not a big supplement person, but I've noticed more energy since I started taking them. So I'll keep plugging along.

So, it's 10 pm and I'm finally sitting down and starting to get tired. I'm going to eat a small meal, listen to some music, do some reading, and go on to bed soon. I'd like to go in a little early tomorrow, as I'm about 2 1/2 hours short for the week and I'm trying to save up PTO. Oh, and I talked to our retirement representative about our pension plan today. I can still draw from it, as I'm vested, after I leave the company. I can actually draw at 55 (in five and a half years), but the benefit will be greater if I wait till normal retirement age. We checked to see if our plan was one where you could draw it out as a lump sum and put it into an IRA, but it isn't. That's okay, though. I can roll my 403(b) into a similar plan (even a 401(k)), though, assuming I can find a job with benefits.

Which reminds me--the perfect job came up, for which I am perfectly qualified, and here in Kentucky. But it's in Pikeville at the osteopathy school there, where they're starting an optometry programme up and need a librarian for that specialty. I can't drive to Pikeville (which is in the far eastern part of the state, I think about three hours away by car), and I have ties here that I'm unwilling to leave. But I have faith that a good job will come up. In the meantime, though, I think it's almost time to start looking outside of the library field. :(

Okay, good night.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

PS

Although my anxiety levels have been up due to actually starting the process of shutting down my library, and its immediacy without having another job in the works, all the activity I've been doing has actually been very good for me. I've kind of been bored in my library as of late. Now I feel like I'm actually accomplishing some things, and spending almost every moment doing something of value. That's got to be good for the soul. I need a job that will keep me busy and happy.

Hmmm....

I listened to some music, took a nap, and then got up about 10 pm and cleaned off my loveseat (and by that, I mean pushed the stuff on it to another location, throwing away just a couple of things that were obviously trash), changed the light bulb in my lamp to a CFL with less flickering, and sat down and read the theory/assessment sections of two books I'd bought on my Kindle. The first was Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding, second edition, by David F. Tolin, Randy O. Frost, and Gail Steketee. The second was Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding: Why You Save and How You Can Stop by Fugen Neziroglu, Jerome Bubrick, and Jose A. Yaryura-Tobias. I stopped before reaching the practical parts of each; that I'll save for another day. But I did mentally fill out some checklists and examined a little of my motivations in hoarding, which according to the tests show currently that I have a moderate level of hoarding with some issues that are of particular concern. For example, it would be difficult for a rescue squad to get through my house to me; the only exit is partially blocked, and there's just so much stuff on the floor. I have dishes in unexpected places, and while nothing's mouldy (well, I did find a partial bread loaf that had, and threw it away), I have fruit flies again, much to my annoyance. I could easily fall, and have tripped several times of late. So yeah, it's serious, and I definitely need to seek help for it.

I'm hoping that this therapist, who specialises in anxiety, OCD, and hoarding behaviours using cognitive behaviour therapy (the only therapy that seems to really work with hoarding, from what I can tell), can help me navigate the problem. I know part of mine has to do with indecisiveness, perfectionism, attention issues, a certain amount of disorganisation (which is ironic, I suppose, as my entire profession is built on organising other people's things, mainly books), memory issues, and oh, yeah, the big E (emotions, both in terms of what I attach to objects other people would see as worthless, and the emotions I feel if someone has to come into my apartment for any reason, that sort of thing). Here's an example. Someone has put free objects out at work (pillows, books, whatever), and I decide to take one or more because [and there's a whole inner dialogue, trust me] of various reasons I propose. 'I don't think anyone else will want it, it's like the Island of Misfit Toys. I'll take it so it doesn't seem discarded.' (You can see I identify emotionally with my own feelings of worthlessness and unwantedness, emotions that are strongly entrenched in me from my childhood.) Or, 'This will be interesting to use/read sometime'--but I have lots of things I've never used at all, and lots of books I'll supposedly get to 'someday' (hoarding books is a real problem for me--which is bad in a librarian that has access to withdrawn texts--I once actually lost a group of library books from UK that I'd been using for my thesis in my house, because some of all my books, and incurred several hundred dollars fines, as there was no cap on fines there and it was 25 cents per day for each book, which as a graduate student I could have for three months. Turns out I'd boxed them up in preparation for a move and forgotten them. Obviously I'd stalled work on my thesis, too. Fortunately I found and returned them, but I paid on those fines for awhile before they forgave the bulk of them.) Or, 'I'm probably the only one here who understands/would like this', so it's fueled by a need to feel special. That sort of thing. Most people do not think this way at any point. I can (although I get overwhelmed sometimes and don't) recycle circulars or junk mail, if I can ignore potential coupons or offers, but bills cause a real problem. Sometimes I avoid them completely. Sometimes I save things I've already paid or don't need, often in boxes, or on the kitchen table. You see how this easily fills up the house.

But at least it's manageable at the moment. It's not in the severe category, or the worst I've ever had. I don't have animals at the moment, save four goldfish (who desperately need their tank filled, Java moss cleaned out, and algae cleaned out), so that's good. When I did it was sometimes much worse, as I had a dog that had issues with urine, a cat that had chronic diarrhea, and another cat that had a skin cancer issue that caused oozing. I found a home for a dog, Basil, and eventually put the cats (Darius and Buns) down--though not when I should have). My other dog was great, although she had a few accidents right before she died, and Spock never had any issues till he got into heart failure at the age of 17. But this is one reason why I have avoided getting a cat or dog in recent years. I'm just not at the point where I can, yet, until I can recover from this, and have a little more financial stability, for that matter.

I probably shouldn't be writing this, as someone who is admitting to mental illness who is also looking for a job, but it does help, so I guess if it means not being hired, so be it. But my hoarding has little impact at work, and I compartmentalise, I guess, because I keep my behaviour at work and home pretty separate. And maybe it can help someone else to read about things from 'the inside', I guess. I think the two books I mentioned before are very good. So many books out there that claim to help you reduce clutter are by professional organisers and do not really touch on the issues people who hoard face. Many 'pack rats' simply are not hoarders, and they really can't imagine the pain and embarrassment people who hoard feel every day. Even when my house is at its best, I feel incredibly anxious having people in it, including my best friend, who is like a brother. While many people who hoard really don't understand how bad their problem is (with most mental illnesses, there is a chance of anosognosia, where the person does not recognise they have a mental illness), I'm almost hyperaware, although in the past, I really ignored just how badly things had gotten. I've come a long way already, really. Now if I can just get that awareness to fuel change.

Okay, I'm going to head to bed. Good night.

Another very productive day

This morning I went over to YKWIA's at 7 am (so I got up at 6) and got him up for his appointment this morning. I then took him to the appointment, dropped him off at home, and went to the office. Unfortunately, while I'd been at his house I'd gone through my morning routine--taking my oral meds, checking my blood sugar, taking my Byetta and insulin. That in itself is not bad, but I then totally forgot to eat the peanut butter and crackers I'd brought with me for breakfast. I realised it while I was at his appointment. By the time I got to work, I could tell I'd gone low on my blood sugar; it had been a nice 122 this morning when I'd tested it before I took my meds. Now it was 58. I ate something and started feeling better very quickly. I still can't believe I actually forgot to eat.

After that, I checked my e-mail and then tackled the bound journals. Over the course of the rest of the morning I rearranged and moved four shelving units (twenty-four shelves) of very heavy journals, some as old at 1919. I still need to move some of the Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research unbound journals that were shelved with the bound ones (the journal changed its format from monthly hardbacks to larger paper journals a few years ago, which really messed with my OCD). Then I need to move the rest of the bound ones (about a eight shelves) over. That will give me some empty shelves between the books and journals to work with.

I looked up when I got to the point where I was too hot to go on without sitting in the front of the fan for a few minutes to find that it was almost lunch time. I had lunch with my normal lunch bunch, and one mentioned that there was a mobile hearing test station out front for the day that was offering free tests to kids and adults who came by. It's called Songs for Sound. Well, I took the test (you pressed a button on a monitor whenever you heard the tone). My right ear is better than my left, but I'm in the category of mild issues, which considering I'm nearly 50 isn't bad. I've never been around really loud noises regularly, and I've never really played my music very loudly, either. In fact, at work, if I'm listening while I do the data entry, I can usually hear the pages overhead still. Basically 30 decibels was normal. The tones I could hear in my left ear started at 45 decibels, and my right was 35. That's not bad, at all.

After that, I did my data entry, the referrals, the charge reconciliation, and responded to some requests for information or sheets. I called an insurance that we just got in-network with that we're getting a lot of patients from to clarify whether they needed a referral to see a specialist, because the summary of benefits said yes, it did, but I'd been told patient by patient that they didn't need one to see us. Thankfully, I found out that this particular plan does not require them for a specialist (we're an orthopaedic clinic and hospital). Yay (and there was much rejoicing). So those won't clutter up my queue anymore.

While I was on the phone with the insurance company, the therapist I've been trying to reach tried to call me. I left a message for him, and he called back, and we were finally able to make an appointment. Also, yay. It's a first step, anyway, to getting better with the anxiety and hoarding issues. It still amazes me that I can keep my desk at work and my car in nearly-pristine condition, but it's like I nest in my house and try to wall the world out with all the stuff. Hopefully he can help me find real solutions so I don't keep up this cycle.

Now I'm home. I was going to stay late at work to make up for this morning, but I'd finished everything I needed to do for the afternoon job, and I wasn't ready to tackle those last shelves yet. I'm on my gas light again. Fortunately, we get paid so tomorrow morning on the way to work I should be able to fill up, and I am going to try to go in a little early and then go get my allergy shot after work, since I missed their late day. Which, drat, I just realised is today, and they just closed this minute. I could have gotten it after all. :( I was a little focused on coming home and using as little gas as possible, though.

I've plugged the computer up in the living room to charge and I'm listening to music from my phone. I left today with the blinds closed, so I've opened them, and the sun is streaming through, though it is low in the sky. It's hard to believe that it'll be autumn soon. Yesterday I put new inserts into my Mary Janes (you blow dry them to heat them up, put them in your shoes, and then walk on them, and they conform to your feet), in preparation for the new season without sandals.

I finally started my period 4-5 days late. I have a gynaecology appointment the last week of this month, so hopefully I'll learn more about whether or not I'm truly in perimenopause or not, but I'm pretty sure I am.

Okay, I think I'm going to do some reading for a little while. I'll probably write later, but if not, good night.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Odd

You wouldn't think I would fine Linkin Park's Meteora to be relaxing music before bedtime, but that's exactly what I'm doing. I couldn't actually sleep to it, but I do find it takes some of the tension out, even cleanses my emotions a bit. Weird.

I have been extremely productive over the past two days, both at work and outside it. Yesterday I moved the better part of 800 books, many of them twice, as I integrated the newer books into my collection, which had become crowded early in the classification scheme (which is odd, as most of what I get are WE, WS, and WY (musculoskeletal, pediatric, and nursing, respectively, in the National Library of Medicine classification system). I evened things out and got everything put in properly, with just a few oversized books to work left at end of day. I also entered a lot of data entry sheets, as Friday had been a large day in clinic for that day of the week and Monday was busy, too.

After work on Monday I took a friend to a 5:45 appointment, then helped him with some things around the house. I also went to the library and picked up an interlibrary loan for him and a book for me. Between all the book moving and all, I was pretty tired yesterday evening when I did get home and I relaxed with some music and went on to bed.

The odd thing was my back didn't hurt at all, even with all the moving and walking I've done. Maybe it's feeling better, and more activity should help.

This morning I moved a bunch of children's books from one cart to the smaller one so that I could take that to the clinic when it's not insanely busy over there (which it was, today). I also packaged up and prepared some book cards and pockets to be sent to other libraries that could use them. I catalogued the last three books of my collection, from the order I made in July (they'd been on backorder). I had just enough labels, pockets, cards, etc. to process them. I had to use laminating sheets cut to fit rather than label protectors. But hey, I got it taken care of. I took the lobby magazines to their p;ace and shelved the new journals in the library. The library itself is looking neat and nice. Tomorrow I'd like to move the bound journals down so I can finally get some old Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery issues in their proper place. That might actually take a couple of days.

I did a lot on referrals today, and did a lot of charge entry sheets and the operating room reconciliation. I also sent a message to the therapist I'm trying to get in to see, since when I call I tend to get the answering service (real people), and I don't want to keep playing phone tag with them in the middle.

After work I went over to YKWIA's and helped him with a few things, watched a play called Dark of the Moon that his grandmother had taken him to as a child that was very interesting, and then I went to the store and got some groceries he needed. Now I'm home, I've taken my nightly meds, gotten ready for bed, and will turn in soon, because I have to get over to his house at 6:30 in the morning in order to make sure he's awake and ready before a 9 am appointment. Then it's back to work and hopefully lots of productivity again.

I've been feeling well the last couple days, and a little less anxious, despite the fact that this morning two cars nearly collided in front of me, and the first thing I did upon getting to the office was to accidentally dump out my meds from their reminder box, and I had to figure out which bin was missing which tablet. :) But my mood stayed steady.

Maybe the hormonal stuff has passed for the month, although I haven't started my period yet and I'm three to four days overdue. Ah, perimenopause.

Okay, the album has ended. I should head on to bed. It's early, but morning comes very early. Good night.