Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Using my eyes to read is a little painful

So I listened to chapter 19 of 'The Cave and the Light: Plato and Aristotle and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization'  by Arthur Herman (the one on Gallileo), and then followed that up by listening to Meteora by Linkin Park (right now it's 'Breaking the Habit'), an odd combination,  I admit. One's very cerebral,  one's pure emotion. They both have their place.

So we've reached the miserable stage

I don't just have a cold. That's gotten worse, and last night my throat was hurting so badly that I could barely swallow. No, I have pinkeye, too, and got sent home from work since it's so contagious. I managed to see my nurse practitioner this morning (I had a wellness exam scheduled for tomorrow, so they just moved it to today). She put me on sulfa drops, which I have to be on for 24 hours before I can go back to work. She was ready to give me a note that would have me coming back on Monday, but I have very little PTO, so I asked her if I could go back tomorrow afternoon and she said yes. My boss (who's also the employee health nurse) is going to let me work from 1-5 pm tomorrow so I can catch up on my charge sheets. She's also going to let me come in on Saturday to make up time so I can work on the policy editing. Yay.

I came home about 9 am, slept for a bit since I'd had almost none the night before, had my appointment at 11:30, then went and got the prescription and a few groceries. By the time I got back home, I was tired again. I went back to sleep from about 2 to just now, about 5, and took my medicine again. I have to take it every three hours while awake. I have absolutely no energy. I'm finally home, able to do things around the house, and am too sick to do so. Maybe tomorrow morning I'll feel better, and can tackle some of it.

So I'm listening to Pandora (the OneRepublic channel, which has that, Imagine Dragons, 3 Doors Down, The Script, Shinedown, and Matchbox Twenty, among the others. I feel somewhat mellow as a result. I just feel physically 'meh'. I'm blowing my nose a lot, washing my hands a lot, and generally feeling achy and feverish. My throat isn't as bad today--and thankfully, they did a strep culture, which was negative, so there's that--and that's a blessing.

Okay, I'm going to go to get some orange juice and then pay a bill that I forgot. T-Mobile didn't cut me off, at least. :) I meant to make a payment arrangement and totally forgot to. So I'd better pay now. I'll probably write later.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


My cold is getting worse and trying to settle in my chest.  My throat and head are hurting.

Mom's back in the Danville hospital.

I have stuff to do tonight,  but no energy. So I'm going to go to bed early and try again tomorrow.

I'll also keep this brief.  Good night.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Feeling a little better

I went to my counseling session yesterday evening, and I feel much better and have some ideas for reducing my stress levels, taking care of the things that I can take care of, and trying to let go of the things I can't. The hoarding issue can wait a little; I've got to get a handle on how I feel, the panic I've been under lately. Meanwhile, my friend YKWIA and I have had several discussions, and he's right, I let things build up over and over again, only to blow up emotionally and melt down. There's actually an analogy he mentioned, taken from Transactional Analysis and entered into popular psychology, where you 'save up stamps' like people used to do when they went to the grocery store. Unlike the prizes that you could get through the stores, this allows you to save up until you're ready to blow, and all the little issues justify the blow up. Of course, if the person does so around someone else, that's really not fair to the other person, and that's what happened the other day. I've been so busy keeping things together in other arenas, like work, that I let go around someone I felt comfortable with, and caused an issue.

So, I obviously need to work on my emotions and on taking a proactive, not reactive role in meeting problems head on rather than letting things pile up. It's like emotionally I'm doing the same thing as my house--pushing the stuff around, at best, not dealing with it, and then it piles up and causes me problems.

My mom, who had been back in the hospital, seems to be on the mend, so that's one stressor down for now. Work is going well in general, although the end of that run is quickly approaching, and I'm having a lot of anxiety over that. My counselor made some suggestions for the running to appointments issue as well, some alternate means of transportation that we need to find since when I find another job, I will 1) not have PTO to burn at all and 2) most places will not be as understanding about my taking someone I'm technically not related to around to various appointments. So we need to find a good alternative. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Our local partnership between the local bus system and the Red Cross, Wheels, is apparently meant to be a transient service when a person is getting used to being disabled. I'm going to check out a service called ITN, which my counselor suggested, as it is more of a subscription-to-ride sort of service, and can take him anywhere in town, not just doctors and grocery stores. But it's meant for seniors and those with certain disabilities, so he may not qualify. Oh, and Uber and Lyft are not tenable, as you need a smartphone for that, and he doesn't even have a cell phone. Cabs are prohibitively expensive and, in our town, rather unreliable.

So there's that. In the meantime, I'm doing some things to try to get things back on an even keel. I'm trying to get more rest (although I only got about three hours' sleep last night because I made the mistake of taking a cold medicine with pseudoephedrine in it, and couldn't sleep after 2 am). I'm reading or at least listening to an audiobook for at least 30 minutes a day, possibly longer. I'm still making my way through The Cave and the Light: Plato versus Aristotle and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Tradition by Arthur Herman. I just finished chapter 18 out of 31. They are long chapters, and of course the material is rather dense, although not exceedingly so. But each chapter lasts about 50 minutes of recording. So I'm doing half a chapter to a chapter a day.

I've also exercised a little. Last week I spent some time on the exercise bike in our fitness room at the apartment complex, then walked on the treadmill--not for long, but enough to get a start. Tonight I'm doing laundry in the same building, and they have Wi-Fi, so I'm writing this from the laundry room, but before sat down to the computer I put my laundry in the washers (three loads!) and then went over and biked for a few minutes and then tried the elliptical, which I do not know if I am coordinated enough for that. I lasted three minutes total on the elliptical. 1) I have a tendency to go backwards, and 2) it's not supposed to hurt my knees, but does, mainly, I suspect, because I don't use my knees correctly enough. I bend at the back rather than my knees (yes, I know that's bad) because I have hard problems with my knees since I was a teenager. I also have to be careful if I stop with the elliptical because it practically throws me off. I'm glad no one was in there. But I'll keep trying, anyway. I'm also using Habitica, which I've mentioned before, to help with the stress-reduction, reading, and de-cluttering. I reached level 121 as a mage and have used the Orb of Rebirth so that I have been 'reborn', so I'm a level 9 warrior at the moment. I think I'll stay a warrior this time; you can work your way through all the classes, including rogue and healer. It really is helping, though, and I'm questing with others, which keeps us accountable and more likely to take care of our daily tasks. In other words, it's helping with my resolutions to de-stress and de-clutter my life.

Okay, I promised a friend who doesn't have a computer that I'd upload his résumé and help him apply for a job listing. Time to be productive. Have a good night.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Naan and popcorn for dinner

Technically I do have basmati rice to go with some prepackaged Indian food  and some pasta and sauce,  but both of then require boiling the rice or pasta.  I don't feel like even doing that amount of cooking,  small as it is. And I'm not very hungry. I'm starting a cold--sore throat, headache,  runny nose,  cough,  achiness,  and wheezing.  I have some Mucinex,  some Stahist,  Ricola, two kinds of cough syrup--all left over from May's bronchitis--some ibuprofen,  and the Albuterol for the nebulizer (which I just used). That should help.

I went to counseling tonight and while we didn't tackle hoarding,  which I've barely worked on with all that's been going on,  we did discuss my stress levels and how to bring them down so I can cope. I feel better as a result,  although I'll have to do  proactive things to improve my stress that will war with my need to do everything.

So now I'm listening to Pandora,  drinking water,  and eating just a little.  I have some things to do tonight,  but right now I'm taking some time to myself. I need it.  I also want to read (or at least listen to my audiobook),  go online and help a friend apply for a job,  and pick a chore to work on that is small but will help with the house.  Actually, I may just create a plan,  given my schedule for the week.  I have a list of what I need to do,  but I need to assign times so I'll actually do them.

Okay,  back to Pandora.  I may write later.  If not,  have a good night.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Obviously I've been having a rough time

and last night I was actually the furthest down I've been in years. Too much stress, probably weird hormones, and funky brain chemistry are conspiring to make me less resilient than usual. Ironically, I started back at the Family-to-Family class that I've taken and taught, this time as a resource person, and I'm finding that maybe my friends should be taking it rather than me, because I seem to be having issues and it's hard, maybe, to be around me just now. This is the first time I've actually been on the laptop rather than my phone in quite some time, attempting to write something a little more substantial than I have lately.

Stressors the last few weeks have been:
  1. I'm losing my job as of March 31st. I have an entire library to shut down before then. I've been applying and interviewing, and it's becoming desperate.
  2. My mom's been very sick. She's back in a center right now that will hopefully get her back home, but it involves a lot of ups and downs.
  3. I've had appointments or places to drive to (either for me or for my friends) almost every day for at least six weeks. On the rare days that I haven't been busy, I've been so tired, I crashed.
  4. I'm very low on personal time off as a result, and while my bosses have been very understanding, I've been short on my pay at a time when my finances have been difficult.
  5. I really need to get my brakes fixed on the car, and don't have an emergency fund to tap into. Friends can help, but my half is taking awhile to gather, and I'm already behind on bills.
  6. I've been trying to be there for months for a friend who has been going through a very difficult time, but I don't have any other real network of my own to help me when I get overwhelmed.
  7. I'm going through perimenopause and have had some issues as a result, and a possible cancer scare, and my health in general has suffered over the last few weeks, because my eating and diabetes care has become more haphazard, and I always seem to be running somewhere. If I sleep, I sleep poorly, and usually no more than four or five hours, because I'm trying to make up hours, get things done, take care of all the things I feel I should
So last Sunday, I broke, and finally told my friend that while I wanted to help out, I hated doing my Sunday cleaning list every week. So he said I don't have to do it anymore. Seems good, hmm? No, because now he feels like he can't rely on me at all, I think, and it also means that he had declared that I can't do any of those things for him any more, and he's not really up to doing them at the moment. So I feel like I let him down. Funny, he always quotes the phrase, 'the truth shall set you free', but I don't feel that way at all. I should be happy that after fifteen years or more of coming over on Sundays and cleaning for five to six hours, that I should be relieved. I feel unwanted and miserable. He actually referred to me as the lady who took him to appointments, and I felt like that meant that was all I was to him, after nearly thirty years of friendship. I may be reading stuff into it, but I know he's unhappy with me, and he's pretty much my world. I've focused my life around him for decades. And I'm seeing that as a major problem. I've never found the balance of living my life and being there as a friend, too. And with all the stuff going on in my life lately, everything--my emotions, my housework, my handle on my health--have totally fallen apart. I feel like such a screwup. I'm not sure where I even start putting things back together. But here's what I'm trying to do:
  1. Exercise helps stress. I did some earlier this week in our fitness centre at home. But I have to do it very early to be assured I can get it in, and that cuts in on my sleep a bit.
  2. I'm trying to sleep for at least six or seven hours, shooting for eight.
  3. I'm trying to read (a pleasurable activity I enjoy greatly, and stimulating) at least 30 minutes a day, including listening to audio recordings of books being read.
  4. I'm trying to be better about checking my blood sugar, taking my meds, and eating, using a couple of applications to keep track of meals, glucose, medicine, etc.
  5. I'm going to try to write more. Writing is a release for me; I've gotten out of the habit, and while my days are not always fascinating reading, it helps to put the words down of what happens and how I'm feeling.
  6. I'm going to try to spend time with my friend doing things that are fun for both of us, and help him without sacrificing my own needs.
  7. I'm going to see if I can move up my appointment with my psychiatrist, which is three weeks away.
  8. I'm going to work on small discrete projects, like taking down the tree (no, I haven't begun to do that, yet), laundry, watering plants, cleaning the bathroom, etc.
  9. I"m going to try to breathe and enjoy life as much as I can right now. Because the last few weeks, I haven't been living so much as reacting to problems that arise in life.
It's a start, I guess.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

I feel

Terribly unloved at the moment.  I'm not sure if it's actually the case,  but it's how I feel.  I hate that feeling.  :( I'm actually beginning to question the whole point of it all.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

It's been a very rough start to 2017

My mom is back in the hospital. She spent six days in a rehabilitation centre, fell, showed major confusion, and wound up back in the university's emergency room. Thursday we had our first snow, which, while minor, wreaked havoc with the roads, followed by single digit and low teen temperatures. It took me two and a half hours to go from work, make a quick stop at Kroger, pick up A, take him home, and then go home myself. I got home about 7 pm. My stepfather barely got back to Danville, as I think they had more snow. That night, my mom's potassium was very high and they wanted someone there who was family, because they had to put in a central line and put her through dialysis to get it down, so about 10:30 pm I went over there, and she was coherent and awake, and we talked, and despite the fact that she was very sick and in the hospital, had a good visit. At one point there was a problem with the central line and they asked me to step out of the room for about 15 minutes, which stretched to an hour. I was in a small waiting/consultation room, and it was dim and quiet, and I nearly fell asleep. I finally got to go back in, and stayed a little while. But by 2 am, I'd been up for 22 hours straight and was afraid I wouldn't be able to drive home on the nasty roads if I stayed much longer. So I headed on home and went straight to bed, got about four hours' sleep, and went to work. I was struggling all day to stay awake. On Friday night I picked A up from where YKWIA was helping him job hunt. I took him home, and went and visited my mom in the observation area. But whe mostly slept, and when she id waken briefly, she didn't know I was there. The nurse did get her to drink her medicine, but beyond that she was unresponsive. I came on home about 11 pm and was very discouraged. My stepfather and I texted back and forth about DNRs and letting go. I updated my aunts. That sort of thing. I was pretty down.

Today I spent most of the day doing errands with friends, and instead of going over to visit my mom, I told my stepfather (who'd come over to find her awake and doing much better) that I would visit in the morning. I then proceeded to crash for four hours. I got up after 8:30, went to Kroger for a few things, where the checkout lane totally shut down and wouldn't scan, so we moved to another lane, and then I somehow didn't get a bag of bread, an apple, and bananas home with me, so I guess it got lost in the shuffle. :(

I feel stressed and anxious. I'm sad and angry and conflicted; the way my mom has bounced back and forth to various extremes is heart-wrenhxhibg. I've had a lot of responsibilities lately, a lot of appointments both for myself and YKWIA and I've been doing some extra projects at work, so I've been going in early. I think last night, when I slept for 8 hours, wa the most I've slept in over a month and a half. I've been averaging 4-5 hours a night, and it's been very broken sleep.

I should work on the house, which is reflecting all the inner emotions right now. Instead, I'm trying to calm myself down by listening to the Bastille Pandora station. It isn't helping. I feel bad for not seeing my mom today, although the rest did help a little.

A is going to call me later so I can pick him up at work by 1 am. BUt I think I may take some time to rest some more. I'm just not up to anything else, right now. Hope your new year is off to a better start.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017


A day or so before payday,  and I'm looking in my fridge and freezer,  and find insulin,  hummus,  sour cream,  eggs, naan,  and a giant box of soft pretzels (the latter was a 25-pretzel manager's special for $3.99). Can you tell I live by myself? I guess it's better than a bunch of takeout containers,  but barely. The food in the pantry is a little better,  at least, so I'm not in dire straits or anything.  But when you have more medicine than food in your refrigerator,  I think it says something.

Quote of the day

'Iron rusts from disuse; stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind. So we must stretch ourselves to the very limits of human possibility. Anything less is a sin against both God and man.'--Leonardo da Vinci

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Happy New Year!

May 2017 be a really great year,  even though it looks a little sketchy.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Well, that was decidedly odd

I've been burning the candle at both ends, by working long days, doing errands and going to appointments with friends and for myself, visiting my mom (who was transferred to the rehabilitation centre within the nursing home my grandmother used to be in, closer to their home but further away from me), and basically getting about 4-5 hours of broken sleep at a time. So it's probably no wonder that I haven't written much.

I came home about 6:30 or 7 tonight, had a quick bite to eat, and then laid down for a bit. I shot for an hour's nap; I got two, with Pandora in the background and my fan running (I was terribly hot). I'd been having some trouble breathing today, which is why I didn't go get my allergy shots today. Anyway, I slept well. Then I woke up, went to the bathroom, and then the kitchen, where I grabbed something to drink and some string cheese, and I had my glasses off (you know, you get used to your house and can do certain things, even if you're nearly blind without them). But I did notice the light in the aquarium was off, which was odd, because it was on when I got home, and I didn't turn it off. I have several LED bulbs in the aquarium hood--one might have gone out, but that is unlikely, as they're not old and LEDs last a long time. So I went and got my glasses, turned the light to the dining room on, and tried the light. Nothing. I looked around to see what could be amiss, and it turns out the large and one small, heavy pictures on the wall, maps of the world, had fallen off somehow, fortunately straight down, so they didn't hurt the aquarium (29 gallons of water and fish on the floor would not have been good), but they did unplug the light and the pump. So I've plugged those in and I'm going to check and make sure the pump is putting water through in a minute. But it was weird.

There are a few things I need to do this weekend:
  1. Get up early tomorrow and go over to YKWIA's house by 8 am and get him up for an appointment.
  2. Take him to said appointment.
  3. Go get some of his medicine from the pharmacy.
  4. Pick him back up.
  5. Take him home.
  6. Go to the library and return a book. Read off the small amount of fines I have (they've got a fine read-off through tomorrow).
  7. Go to work and get some hours in, doing the extra work I agreed to do, which will help keep me from being as short from the holiday for Christmas day from Monday.
  8. Come home and work on:
    1. A book review.
    2. The game notes.
    3. The house.
    4. Watch the ball drop at midnight.
    5. Pick up A at 2 am from work on New Year's Eve downtown, hopefully without getting struck by a drunk driver.
    6. Get over to YKWIA's at 9 am Sunday to clean house for the game.
    7. Play the game.
    8. Pick A up at midnight from work. At least I don't need to work Monday due to the holiday, unlike normal, when I struggle to get up in time on Mondays.
  9. For Monday--I have physical therapy with YKWIA in the middle of the day. Otherwise, I'm going to try to work on my own house and try to get caught up on my rest.
So, yeah, still busy, and starting the year off just as hectically. Oh, well. Anyway, I hope you all have a good New Year. 2016 has been pretty sucky--here's hoping that 2017 will be much better. Granted, I'm scheduled for a lay-off, but I might do better in the long run.