Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Sunday, December 02, 2018

It was a very nice workweek

A little shorter, of course, with the funeral on Monday, which was very nice.  All three sons got up and shared memories.  It was a good turnout.  We didn't go to the internment due to the bitter cold and wind; the family had a big potluck later and our friend was set for food, so we gave the family some space to mourn.

She had such a lovely personality, and I miss her very much.

After Monday, of course, it was back to work, but it was a normal week without being overwhelmed, and Friday was actually the way Fridays should be, a good day to play catch up.  I'm keeping track of what I'm doing each day for my boss (as are my department co-workers), and I actually do quite a lot and am very busy, and this is borne out in my log, and it's giving me a greater perspective on how much time it's taking to do what, so it's been useful.  My partner downstairs has been helping with the off sites as she was caught up with her things, and that's been very helpful.  We actually have all but four scheduled, and of the four, one is a coordination of different departments that is being worked on at the university, one is a problem one that was scheduled but I'm trying to get rescheduled to an earlier time, one is in the hands of the sedation scheduler there and I'm just waiting to hear back, and one I'm waiting for word from a care manager, as theirs is scheduled a month away and both family and the doctor want it earlier but the university has nothing, so I've asked if it can go to another facility.  I'm using two different facilities beyond the university as its schedule is such that I can't get anything within a month for any type of ultrasound or MRI, and when I cancelled an ultrasound I'd taken for January but was able to get next week at another facility I let them know why.  Really, I'd like to schedule there but there's roadblock after roadblock.

Yesterday I did my friend's laundry, my shelves to dust, and some things around the house, but mostly it was relaxing.  We went over to my friend's house whose mother had died, and we had fish from Captain D's and visited for a while.  There was a big storm that blew up just as I got back with the fish, and it really rained and thundered.  Today, however, it is up in the 60s and sunny but also windy, and I have my laundry to do and just a few things around the house.  Not bad for the second day of December.  We're going to see Fantastic Beasts: the Crimes of Grindelwald today, his treat.  I'm out of my free passes from work, but I've taken care of most of the movies we've gone to in the last couple of years with them, and last time (for The House with a Clock in its Walls) I was able to do both the free passes and a gift card for the concessions, all because they were employee appreciation gifts over the years.

I did some drawings earlier.  I never had anything beyond third-grade art, and I would like to draw better.  I used to do it almost obsessively, doodling a lot.  I haven't drawn in years.  Anyway, I have this book on drawing basics called Drawing for Everyone by Bruce Waldman and drew some things based on the first two chapters.  YKWIA, who is an artist, looked them over and said the main problem was that I was very timid about shading and needed to do so with more confidence.  Otherwise, they look pretty ghostly.

I think I'll do some reading before we go.  It's been a while and my book awaits.  I'm still reading that Kate Morton book, and I'm only about a fifth of the way through (it's 530 pages).

Monday, November 26, 2018

So we're getting ready for the funeral

I'm dressed and ready; YKWIA is shaving.  We have to be there in an hour.  It's cold outside, much cooler than yesterday (the high I think is supposed to be 39 degrees).  The crows have been taunting the dog; the starlings have been flying in a flock up and down in the yard.  It is very windy.

The kitten went into the bathroom during each of our showers.  He is careful not to get wet, but he likes to keep us company.  The cat is asleep on my bed, something he usually only gets to do on weekends after breakfast, as I keep my room closed so the kitten will not play with wires or orchid roots during the day.

Tomorrow I'll have to get up much earlier and go to work.  Today my backup is dealing with the stuff I normally do, and I'm grateful, as I need a break.

I just wish the break hadn't included Mrs Fore's passing.  She was such a lovely person.  I will miss her terribly.  I've only known her since April, but she was so good to us, and really rather adopted us both.

Okay, I have some final things to do before we go.  Hope you had a good Thanksgiving break (if you're in the US, anyway).  Otherwise, at least I hope you had a good weekend.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Did you know?

That if you sign on to an unfamiliar computer, say, at a library, Google will send you a notification (not a text, a notification) asking if it's you and then have you tap one of three numbers to correspond to what the computer says?  That was a little creepy.  Very useful, but still creepy.

I'm on the computer at the Beaumont library because it's not quite time for the public visitation for my friend, but I didn't want to go back home, but rather stay on this side of town.  The funeral home is right down the street.  I took YKWIA, who will be helping our friend with the family visitation, so he had to go earlier.  But I'm all dressed and ready, and there seemed to be no real reason to go back home until later.

So I'm where I feel most comfortable, a library, looking through books and music. I pared down my keys to the car fob, ignition key, and house key only to realise when I got here that I don't have my library card, the actual card being with my Kindle and the key ring card being on the rest of the ring at home.  But they let me use my licence to check out a few things, which was nice.  I can apparently sign in to a computer using my name, but when I went to the reservation kiosk it asked for my library card number, which I was able to glean from the Lexington Public Library application on my phone.

Anyway, the plan is to spend some time doing some things here rather than go home.  It's just a little over an hour till the public visitation begins, and the library closes at the same time, so it was fortuitous.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

The last few days have been

very nice. I've read.  I've relaxed, taking a nap here and there.  I've listened to music, and I've done stuff around the house like raking leaves (again) to try to get ready for the vacuuming truck that comes by.  I got 2/3 of the yard done this afternoon, and I'll try to do the rest tomorrow.  I came inside to hydrate and got caught up in a 'Black Mirror' episode, and realised I was really tired and with the game called off tomorrow, it could wait till tomorrow, when the weather's supposed to be a little better anyway.  I have a two-foot pile of leaves in the road verge at the moment; it'll just grow a little bigger.  Most of the main leaves are already there.

Tomorrow I'll do my normal Sunday tasks: floors, bathroom, trash/recyclables, laundry, and cat litter boxes.  I did the dishes tonight so I think they're okay.  But the evening will visitation for the little lady who died, whom I cared a good deal about.  I'm going to take my friend over that afternoon to help with my other friend, who will be in a wheelchair so he can attend the family hour of visitation, and then I'll come at the regular time for the public.  I would take our friend, but my car is an old Ford Taurus that is so low to the ground that we have trouble getting in and out of it, much less someone with mobility issues.  I am not a big fan of visitation--I find it a bit morbid, to be honest.  But for her, I'll do it.  She was such a wonderful person, who lit up a whole room.  I was looking at Thanksgiving flowers the other day and found myself thinking about bringing some, and then remembered that she was gone.  That's the worst thing, I think, after someone dies--all the little things you want to share with them that evaporate in your mind as soon as you realise they have passed and you'll never share with them again.  It brings the pain up all over again.  That was certainly the case for me when my mom died.

So for now, though, I'm listening to Mumford & Sons, trying to decide whether I should 1) go to bed or 2) read some more.  The book (Kate Morton's The Distant Hours) is very well-written, the prose is lovely, and I'm about 50 pages in and I like how it's unfolding.  But I'm a little tired.  I'm in my pyjamas and I've brushed my teeth.  I'm ready for bed.

Today I got something I'd ordered as a lightning deal from Amazon, which I almost never do.  It's 128 GB SD card that is meant to go in a camera but can also go in laptops with the right reader, and I have one on mine.  I got it for $19.95, which was roughly half of the normal price, and it works, it's inserted into my computer, and I've backed up some files to it.  It's not great as a long-term storage option (they do break down over time, just like flash drives), but it was cheap and easy and while I have my documents backed up in other places (OneDrive, Dropbox), after what happened with the Windows update in October when I lost all my documents, I thought that it would make a good local option that wasn't at the mercy of cloud providers, and I can't afford a USB removable hard drive at the moment.  Also, if something happened to my laptop I could just switch out the card like I do with the microSD card in my phone (that has pictures and music on it).  So we'll see how it works out.   I took a few minutes earlier to back things up to the card and to the cloud.  I need to do that with the desktop, which YKWIA uses.  I also spent some time yesterday at the storage unit (looking for a couple of cutting boards, with no luck) and found my Civilization IV game, and so I pulled out the old DVD-ROM external drive I have here (it's from when computers didn't have them yet, and my computer is so 'advanced' it doesn't have one at all, so even though it's a little slow and clunky, it works--although not to play CDs lately, something in one of the Microsoft updates apparently broke that, too, so I guess the only CDs I'll buy in the near future are ones with AutoRip, where they do it for you, as otherwise, I can't get the CD music on my phone.  Anyway, it does work for CD-ROMs, and I was able to get the game onto this computer, so I'm happy, as it's one of the few games I ever play consistently.

Okay, I guess I'm just babbling about my life now.  It's going pretty well.  Work is still stressful but not as much as it had been.  I am very blessed right now.  I do feel a little guilty posting the pictures of Thanksgiving and the abundance of food for two people.  I live paycheque-to-paycheque, and I don't feel particularly affluent at all, but on the other hand, I have so much compared to some--a home to go to, food to eat, great companionship, and relatively good health, really.  I don't mean to flaunt it, but I think of the homeless, or the starving children in Yemen, or the refugees seeking asylum, etc., and I do feel guilty, although I really was just trying to express how grateful I am for life right now.  I don't have enough money to donate to any causes right now, it's been a struggle lately, and we had to pool our resources to make Thanksgiving happen, but maybe I could volunteer some time around Christmas.  Which reminds me, I guess I need to get some cards to send out.  We don't really celebrate Christmas, as I'm pagan (I celebrate the Winter Solstice, Yule) and YKWIA is Jewish.  But the holiday season is still a good time to think of others.  Chanukah, which of course is a minor holiday in the Jewish year, although most Christians, I think, just see it as Jewish Christmas, is coming up quickly--it starts December 2nd.  My plan is to get YKWIA some good house shoes, as his shoes have nearly died.  (I can say that here, as he doesn't read my blog, because as he puts it, he knows what goes on in my life).  But I'll have to wait till the next payday, which happens in the middle of Chanukah.

Okay, the cat wants to cuddle, the music has stopped.  Time to go to bed.  Good night.

Friday, November 23, 2018

I had a great Thanksgiving

It was a lot of work. I think we had about ten dishes overall: the Quorn 'turkey' (made from mycoprotien/fungous/mushrooms), rolls, gougers (this time with Bleu cheese), butternut squash with Gruyère cheese, curried pumpkin soup (also made with butternut squash, so much easier to peel than the kabocha was a few years ago), mashed potatoes (of course), green beans with shallots, Brussels sprouts with chestnuts, homemade cranberry and sauce with red wine, and pumpkin/caramel pie (the latter two were cooked/baked on Wednesday night). The pied took a while to come out and cool, so we were up late then, and got a late start on Thanksgiving, starting the preparation and cooking about 12:30 in the afternoon. We ate around 5:30 pm. I think it was the best Thanksgiving we've ever done. Afterwards, I cleaned up (that was a task), and he put everything into containers and into the fridge because he's good at spatial relations and can damn near bend space, if not time. Here are some photos:











We were both asleep by 8 pm, although I did wake up and woke him up at 11 so we both could take our medicine. We weren't up very long, though.

I slept well, and was able to sleep in till about 9 am or so as I'm off today. I'm actually off till Tuesday, as I have a funeral to go to, for the mother of a friend, the latter of whom had adopted me like a granddaughter. She'd just had her 94th birthday, and was a lovely woman with a huge personality that just lit up the room. I'll miss her a lot. The visitation is Sunday night so we won't be playing the game. I'm going to take my roommate early so he can help our friend (who has cancer) during the family visitation.

But today is a relaxation day. We'll take our friend some food. I'll stop by the storage unit and finally put my summer clothes in it [they were in my room for a good long while, and then the car]. I need to go by the library and take back The Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington, which I have out from interlibrary loan, now that I finished it this morning. I'm also going to take back some CDs, and Imagine Dragons one and one by OneRepublic. I plan on starting The Distant Hours by Kate Morton, which YKWIA had checked out and said was excellent, so I wanted to give it a try.

I guess that's all for now.  I plan on getting some rest before going back to work.  Days off are rare.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

:( Sad today

It's rare that you meet someone who is an honestly good person who adopts you as part of the family even when you are not related by blood. Several months ago I was fortunate to have someone come into my life who did just that. She died today at the age of 94, peacefully in her sleep, and the world seems emptier without her. Requiescet in pace, Mrs Fore. I will miss you terribly. Following so close after my father's death, I can only hope that the old adage of death coming in threes is wrong in this case.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Requiescat in pace

I've written a little about the estrangement between my father and myself in this blog over the years.  The photo below is a photo of my family, one of only a couple of photos of my mom, dad, and me together. We really were three individual people with no real cohesiveness as a family, except at dinnertime, which we spent together. My mom had ceramics as a hobby, my dad had his radio room, and I read a lot, escaping into fantasy. My first six years of life my dad was mostly in southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. At 15, my parents divorced and my mom and I moved back to Danville and I withdrew further into myself. I tried to keep a relationship with my dad for a while, but there wasn't much of a foundation to build on and a lot of negativity to overcome. Finally, 25 years ago, when I was 26, we broke off contact with each other entirely and went our separate ways. I changed my name. The years passed. I got a better perspective of just how dysfunctional my family was, but also how it probably was from my parents' perspectives. With age comes wisdom. I used to be angry with my father and later realised that some of that anger should have been directed elsewhere. I haven't been angry in a while. We just never were going to be the family I wanted us to be. I accepted it. My mother's death last year brought some closure regarding that. We had talked out some of it. And the rest didn't so much matter anymore with her gone.
The other day I found out my dad was in hospice. He died last night, peacefully. I don't really know how I feel. I'm kind of la-la-la-ing in my head. I wish we could have had a better relationship. We couldn't. Just because you're related by blood doesn't automatically make people love you.
Anyway, for what is worth, I wish you peace, Daddy. I'm sorry we couldn't make it as a family. Rest in peace, Allan Joseph Broadbent, August 19, 1947-November 8, 2018.

It's hard to believe they're both gone.  They were my world when I was younger.  We moved from place to place due to him being a career airman, and with no siblings of my own, my main interaction, for good and bad, was with them.  They were just 19 when they married, and I was already on the way.  Neither of them was particularly ready for a child, an admittedly good child who mostly read but was overly-sensitive and kind of a cry-baby and too bright but socially awkward for her own good.  

Saturday, November 03, 2018

What a glorious day

It's a beautiful sunny Saturday, with the sunlight streaming through my bedroom window, which is nice, as the plants (and we) have had to endure several days of gloomy, rainy weather.  Our area actually moved trick-or-treat from Halloween to Tuesday due to inclement weather.  So the kids were out on a sunny evening that had mild temperatures and then the next day it was pouring and would have been terrible for them.  And since then there's been wind and rain.  So it's nice to see the sun.  Plus the kitten is playing with the sunbeams in the hall.

I slept 12 hours last night, even with being up in the middle of the night for about an hour.  It was good to get some rest.

Halloween was an absolute success.  Many of us dressed up in the hospital.  I got a co-worker who gets up at an ungodly 4 am each day so she can work out and get ready to call me at 4:30 am so I would have plenty of time to do the makeup, etc.  I left home at 6:30 am and arrived at UK's lot at 6:55, and at work about 7:10 am, so I was a little early, but not much, and there was time to chat with others, play a bit on the laptop I brought, and take pictures.  Thankfully, I was not the only person on the shuttle to wear a costume; Mr Incredible was there as well, although the guy lamented that the pyjamas that he was wearing (they were cheaper than the costumes with the muscles) had no pockets, and therefore he was carrying his phone, keys, and badge in his hands and had no idea what he would do with them during the day.  :) Welcome to the world of women, who rarely have pockets and if so, they're never deep for anything of note.

I had street clothes, the lightest I could find, as I knew I'd be hot, underneath mine, although they were polyester so that probably defeated the attempt at staying cool.  And I had no pockets.  But once I clocked in, I put my badge on my pants waistband so I'd have my keys and badge with me without ruining the effect of the costume.  Granted, the whole point is to ID someone, but I was more concerned with the fact that our badges unlock various areas of the hospital and I didn't want to get trapped anywhere. :)

Here are some pictures from that day:

At home, after finishing the makeup

In the break room

Up in our department

Also in the break room

So I think it went really well, it delighted the kids, and we had great fun.  Today I'm going to pack it away and take it, along with the summer clothes that have been sitting in my room in a couple of tubs, to storage.

I have a lot to do today:

  1. First, get caffeinated and ready for the day.
  2. Go to the pharmacy for YKWIA when he gets up.
  3. Get gas for the car.
  4. Drop off the summer clothes and the Maleficent costume at the storage unit.
  5. Do a couple of shelves (dusting) in my room. I do two shelves every Saturday to keep all the books in the house clean, on a rotating basis.
  6. Launder the bedding.
  7. Go on a grocery run.
  8. Do the game notes.  Last week we barely survived an evil witch and yes, I called it, Cthulhoid faeries.
  9. Do some cooking.  We're making pumpkin beignets, among other things.
  10. Straighten up my room.
  11. Read more of The Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington.
  12. Make bread.
  13. Water the plants.
  14. Watching more of 'The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina' on Netflix; we've watched four episodes and it's really good.
What I do not plan to do is go anywhere near the University of Kentucky, the stadium--Kroger Field--or downtown.  There is a Kentucky-Georgia home football game that determines who goes to the Southeastern Conference tournament, and Kentucky is usually incredibly well, bad, at football, and a season where they've lost 1 out of 8 games is almost unheard of.  We are well known for our basketball programme, but football?  Anyway, the fans can be a little intense, which is why LEX 18 (the local NBC television station) posted this on their Facebook page:


I personally don't get the appeal of sports. I don't get that sort of fervour at all.  But hopefully, win or lose, it won't come down to that sort of thing.  Since the last major incident was a car being flipped on the street next to us at work, the police are using our gated lot as a staging area to keep order.


Saturday, October 06, 2018

I'd like to think that I could write on days other than weekends

But it seems, for now, I'm too tired in the evening.  Here is a re-cap of the last few days:

Thursday, September 27th -- I utterly broke down at work because a mom was not happy that I hade made an appointment at an alternate location since I can't get an MRI at the university until a month after the child was supposed to have it.  Turns out the doctor told her they couldn't have it locally because the university's scanner is so much better.  She was very strident, not necessarily abusive, but it just set me off into a crying fit (it turns out I was also pre-menstrual, so maybe that can explain the sudden lability), and my neighbouring co-worker heard it, had me unlock the door, and talked me into taking a walk and stepping away from the office.  It was a really hard day.  I had over 20 off-sites to schedule (still do, as every time I manage to schedule one about 2-3 more appear in my box).

The university is down to two, maybe one MRI scanner (depending on certain conditions like age, if it's with contrast, etc.) due to some maintenance, and so the other day I managed to get a cervical, thoracic, and lumbar MRI scheduled there--a long scan, easily over 2 hours--but otherwise without any of the constraints I'm normally given (it was originally supposed to coordinate with a brace pickup, but the university was too booked, so they just said any time I could get), and the first available was in the middle of December.  Now in some cases, I do have an alternate place I can go to--the one I scheduled the kid in that caused his mom to go ballistic--and I was given the go ahead to go there for this one, as it's just too far out.  Most of these are supposed to be same day so they can see our doctors then, and they're usually in clinic about two days a week, given that they're in surgery or at the university on other days.  But if I go to the alternate place, I have to clarify a spine survey (a reduced scan) vs a full scan, and all these little details take time, especially since I try at the university first as that's preferred.  And they can't do sedation ones.

Meanwhile, the baby hips are causing me no end of stress.  When we ask for an ultrasound for hip dysplasia, it's usually for treatment, not for diagnosis, and it has to be without manipulation, often in a harness.  These kids are extremely delicate--they can't be moved out of position at all.  The university is the only place in town that does them without manipulation, and they're down three techs.  The requests for these are always the same day, as is our protocol, and usually a week or two weeks out.  I'm struggling to get dates before a month out, and I'm relying on cancellations to get anything scheduled.  There are lots of little things that go into all of this, forms to fill out, faxes or e-mails, calling the centres, calling the parents, rescheduling, usually, as it doesn't suit someone, and then mailing letters, maps, and updating a summary, and sending the form out to a group.  That's just my part.  Then I hand it over to someone else who pre-certifies it.  But this could easily be a more-than-full-time job alone.  And it's just half of what I do--the surgery pre-certs are the main thing, and I"m struggling to get those done ahead of time because of all the time I'm spending on the off-sites.  I tracked the last week of off-sites on a running total to see how many I had a day, how many I got done, etc., whether I ran into any problems.  The one where the mom triggered the crying fit took about three hours total. On a good day--if I only work on off-sites--I can do about seven, or one an hour.  But that's without doing the surgeries at all that day.  Usually, it's two, maybe three.  And they just keep coming.  Plus, they have to be prioritised as they come in, as some are more urgent than others, like ones that are post-surgery the next day, or the baby hips for a week out.  It's causing a lot of stress.

I've already had an episode where I went to the emergency room for hours with chest pains and headache, and they eventually decided I'd had a migraine that was causing numbness and pain down my left arm.  I told that to my neurologist yesterday and he gave me a dissolving medication for migraines.  But I'm sure the whole thing was stress-related.  I'm getting a lot of headaches, have had some gastroenteric issues, and I've been stress eating from the vending machines, so my hA1c jumped from 7.1% a few months ago to 9.0% since I started in June.  I'm going to have to start packing carrots and other healthy foods, as I'm not sure I can curb the urge to eat, but at least I can change what I eat, and my endocrinologist said that was fine.

Friday, September 28th--It was a better day.  Busy, of course.  I started tracking the off-sites at work.  I had 26 that morning and got it down to 19.

Last weekend--my friend, the kitten, and the cat were all sniffly and under the weather.  The dog and I were the only ones fine.  We didn't play the game as a result, but I got a lot of rest, at least.

Work throughout the week--I just sallied forth and did what I could.  Surgeries were mostly done the day before or day of.  I realised late Friday afternoon that I had not sent one, and sent it in.  It may be denied for no timely authorisations (most places don't due retro ones).  That's not acceptable, and I know it, and it most likely will be an issue.  It won't be passed to the family (we are an actual charity, not just a non-profit), but it will cost the hospital money if denied.  So there was stress there.  I didn't think I was doing well, but I didn't think I'd actually drop the ball entirely on one.  So we'll see if they approve it.  I have no illusions that they will.

Tuesday, October 2nd--So I updated my laptop to the Windows 10 October Feature Update.  More on that in a minute.

Wednesday, October 3rd--That evening, I went to do a book review that I hadn't managed to get in by the 1st, and lo, my documents were all gone due to the update.  No one was really reporting on it at the time, just a few things in the fora.  I spent the evening seeing if they had been moved to another area, and I rolled back the update to see if they would appear.  Nada.  Nothing on my desktop, music, or photos had been touched, just my local drive non-cloud documents.  But that included the game notes, my job hunt materials, and my book reviews.  I updated back and at least I have some of that on Dropbox.  The game notes were backed up a month ago, and there are just two sessions I lost, which is good, and those recordings were still on the desktop, thankfully, so I can reconstruct (over several hours).  Most of the important stuff was already backed up.  But I was not happy with Microsoft at all.  I was also up late that night backing up my desktop, where my friend has tens of thousands of documents and pictures that he's collected and created over years, and we unplugged it from the Internet entirely.

Thursday, October 4th--News stories started making the rounds on the tech sites of the data loss issue with the update.  I did find a good tool for trying to recover files, but it only recovered a few non-important files I'd deleted myself, although I did get a book review back.  But either the files I'd had were just absolutely deleted by Microsoft's update, or rolling back--which even now Microsoft is suggesting,--just deleted them beyond recovery.

I did find ways to make sure the desktop didn't get the update (fortunately that machine is Windows 10 Pro, not Home like the laptop, so it's easier.  We were able to plug the computer back in.  It's deferred all updates for a month, and any feature updates for a year.  So we're good for now, hopefully.  But again, despite my best efforts to go to bed early, I was awakened in the middle of the night for a minor crisis and didn't get back to bed till 4 am.

Yesterday--We are officially out of grocery money.  I'm broke in general, my last purchase being a pie for a send-off at work for a co-worker who is moving to a new department.  It's going to be a very lean week until I get paid.

Today--I got some good sleep last night, and woke up to sun streaming through the window, and the cat, who'd really been struggling with the crud, obviously doing much better.  I got up, got some water, took my medicine, and played with the kitten with a laser pointer, although I have to be careful because while he's up to playing, he's still got a little breathing issue from the crud he had.

Okay, that's it for now.  Sorry I haven't blogged.  Today is the library, pet food run, book review, and working on the notes, plus going over to our sick friend's for a visit and maybe a movie tonight.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

So since I last posted

I moved the kitten-toxic plants to work:

From home:



The office from the door. The peace lily the hospital sent to my mom's funeral is to the right on the other side of a chair out of the camera's shot, and it is blooming. Note that I carefully made sure no patient info was showing or exposed. It was hard. Folders, magazines, flipped papers, and photo frames were invaluable.



Here are some close ups:







The plants are very stress-releasing, which is good. Depsite that I had a breakdown the other day at work. It wasn't a good day. A series of events triggered it, but I just sat down in my office and cried. A co-worker helped me feel better. The next day was better, I went from 26 offsites at the beginning of the day to 19, and at least made progress after everything came to a crashing halt the day before. But I was so glad to leave work for the weekend, to get some rest and try to recharge. I'm going to try to speak with my boss Monday about some of the challenges I'm running up against.

The kitten continues to delight. Saturday morning I got a laser pointer (a cat toy that can easily be put up so the dog doesn't eat it), and he has discovered the red dot. He is adorable. He's on the tail end of a little viral kennel thing. The other cat is just starting with it. Meanwhile, totally unrelated, I believe, YKWIA has been fighting some sort of sinus gunk for three days, and I woke up sneezing this morning. So the dog is the only one of us not sneezing at the moment.

One last thing...our department at work is going to do Halloween as Disney characters of various types. I chose Maleficient, and I got my costume in the mail right about 8 pm last night (the US Postal Service cut it pretty close, but delivered it on time.) Here it is, sans any green makeup I'll actually do for the face (I haven't figured out what to do with the hands yet, as they should also be green. Gloves? Makeup? I don't want to get the latter everywhere.







Saturday, September 15, 2018

One last kitten update for the night

So the dog has been so anxious since the older dog, her little friend, died two and a half months ago. Since the kitten came out of hiding she has gone through the gate into the yard by herself, eaten normally, and generally seemed to be quite a bit calmer. So she apparently has a security kitten. He even curled up with her on the bed briefly, and she seemed okay with that. The cat is still hissing. He came in to be with me but the kitten came in so he hissed and ran away. Now the kitten is chasing him around the house. He wants to play. The cat will come around, eventually, of course. Good night!

I am pooped

I have gone to Kroger twice (once for caffeine to get going, once for more litter). I have taken the trash out, changed the litter out completely (and changed the pads under them), looked all over for a small grey kitten, including moving furniture and mattresses, taken plants outside, and while I've only walked 3,318 steps, it is also on 1:38 pm. Fortunately, I don't have to game notes today, as I did them last week. We don't have anywhere to go specifically today, although I might go by my storage unit. The other day I went before work and found the large map and one flanking map to hang on my office wall, but couldn't find the other. And several others are somewhere. Meanwhile, there are some things I put in the storage unit first that I might need on a pinch, or just want to get out occasionally, so I may move the pictures and mattresses out, get the other stuff up to the front, and then put the mattresses in the back and move the pictures back somewhat.

I really do think I'm going to lie down for a little while and listen to some music. YKWIA is sitting in the living room with the kitten on his lap having quiet time and reading. I have the cat. The dog is outside (it is a pleasant day). Time for a nap, I think.

After an otherwise thorough search produced nothing

Except a cut on my foot from a falling painting that was mounted on heavy wood, we resorted to the kitten detector (Felis silvestris catus, of the adult variety), by taking him into the bedroom. He lashed his tail and got up high on the chest of drawers, so we took that as a sign that the kitten was in that room, and took my friend's bed apart as far as sheets, pillows, and mattresses were concerned. The kitten was in one of the two box springs. He is now in the bathroom, and so he shall be while we make sure he has food, water, and until he and the cat are more comfortable with one another.

So I'm going to mash three Facebook posts together for one here

From yesterday:
It's been an eventful evening. We went to the local pound, found out they were closed, but that many of the animals up for adoption had been moved for an event to PetSmart, including the kitten my friend had his eye on. Went to PetSmart, started the adoption process when two women who were workers of either the society or the store were attacked by an over-excited, overstimulated dog and had to be taken to the hospital. [One was trying not to go, but my friend convinced her to do so, as she was bleeding more than she realised and it was her thigh.]

They shut down everything to deal with the crisis, but because he'd started the adoption, my friend was allowed to take the kitten home. What we have discovered is that the kitten is a master at hiding, and actually vanished while we were both looking at him, and is now nowhere to be found. So we now have a ninja cat with vanishing or teleportation powers in the house. Here's hoping that the women will be okay, the dog isn't just put down, as he apparently has never shown any aggression and it was really noisy and just got him overwrought, I think. Here's hoping that the kitten reappears. He's a little wary of the dog in our home, who hasn't seemed to really notice him yet; she just wants my friend to let her on the bed, and she's not supposed to be on it except at bedtime. Meanwhile, the cat has hissed and hidden a little, too, and I'm not sure he's really thrilled by the interloper. But hopefully, everyone will warm up to each other. Meanwhile, while the dog and cat I have been living with do not bother my allergies so much, I have discovered PetSmart, with the concentration of animals, made me regret not having my inhaler with me. But I did okay. It was just a weird night, and I like I said, I hope the ladies are okay. I didn't actually witness it, just the scene right before and after, but my friend gave a witness statement. All the workers were obviously rattled by the whole thing, understandably.
Then:
It's good that I have an appointment next week, as I have parking at work. Turns out nearly all of the plants in this window--no, all of them, are toxic to cats. The adult cat has never bothered them. We're not sure how the kitten will deal with them. So I'll put them all outside for now and take them to work next week...fortunately African violets, orchids, and Christmas cacti are all safe, so there will still be plants in the house.

And then:
Apparently the hiding place of choice is under and behind an antique marble washstand. We turned out the lights to go to bed and a tiny meow or two issued forth. I guess the dark scared him. He's only about ten weeks old.
Flash forward to now. I haven't seen him this morning. My friend said he cuddled with him, slept on the bed, didn't even seem to mind the dog and vice versa (she's been trained to keep her distance by the other cat, although she forgets, so she has little scars on her nose from their training sessions), and then this morning the big cat came in the room and the kitten moved quickly off the bed and has been hidden since, although my friend heard a couple of meows later. We're reasonably certain he's still in the bedroom, and the big cat is on my bed in the other room. We're hoping he comes out to eat and use the litterbox soon. We could tell he was a little shy in the cage at the store, but he also ate well and played with the other cats and snuggled up with them, too. It's just the big cat doesn't know what to make of the interloper, and the little cat is aware that he's not being welcomed with open paws just now, anyway. :)

PS There are approximately 4,000 books in this house and various antiques and cubbyholes to hide in. I suspect it will be a long week.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Wow

So I called my student loan servicer because I had received an e-mail saying my forbearance was ending, I was on an income-driven plan, and oh, by the way, your first payment is more than you make in an entire month. So I called and apparently, not in the e-mail, was the fact that they were waiting for a $5 payment to switch me over to a plan that is only $111.02 a month. Much different than over $1,800. Much different. Anyway, I get paid tonight so I set it up for tomorrow and it should reflect the new amount in 3-5 business days, then the new plan will start in about 45 days. Go me for being proactive. :)

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Do not engage the crazy

And I say that as someone who deals with mental issues. Okay, I hesitate to post this, because it has to do with race, and people have strong opinions on things. Was in line at Kroger when a woman, who had left her cart in line and then gone and done some more shopping accused a man of touching her cart (which she neither owned, nor anything in it, as it hadn't been paid for yet, and she'd taken her actual belongings like phone/purse, or whatever with her). She started screaming at the top of her lungs about how it was because of her race, when he 1) hadn't touched it, as far as I or anyone else saw, 2) race had nothing to do with it--people moved away and treated her differently because she was a raging lunatic at that point, and how he obviously felt entitled due to white privilege. She started screaming at us because we'd offered him a spot in our line to get him away from her, but we didn't engage her. I pointed out to the man that calling her crazy repeatedly (although she was certainly acting like she'd lost it) wasn't helping the situation. Security came and got him and hustled him to another checkout lane much further down, to try to diffuse things, which only incensed her further. We got through our checkout while she railed on, stopped by the wine and spirits section, and she was still complaining at the top of her lungs when we left several minutes later. There are so many things wrong with this country and race relations. There are lots of people who actually are oppressed or even being shot in the street. This was not that situation. This was an attention-seeking woman who went off on some perceived slight and used it to bully her way into getting attention and who knows what else. She was the one who had no thought towards others by basically abandoning her cart for several transactions. She came back and was upset that another lane had opened and she had missed the opportunity to get into it, I suspect, and he'd gone up ahead of her, because, well, she'd left her cart. The cart she was so protective of afterwards, and in the process slowed down the entire checkout for everyone in the two lanes. She called it sticking up for herself. She also threatened to harm him. She was basically acting like a rude kindergartner--he touched my stuff! I'll whack you! It makes me sad that anyone would cry wolf in a situation which clearly was not racially-biased or the result of white privilege when, in fact, there are plenty of cases where it is a serious problem. I never thought of her in terms of her race, any more than I would have thought about the man's race. I thought in terms of behaviour, and how she was losing her ^&%E in public over something so trivial [although I recognise it was not trivial for her, and she probably has gone through a lot of actual racist stuff that left her primed and ready to explode, stuff that was legitimate], and for a while I thought things were going to come to blows or worse because she was combative and he was acting surprised yet just repeating 'You are one crazy woman,'--not even an insult instead of the word woman--over and over, but definitely not making things better. The staff did what they could to calm her down, brought her attention back to her lane and checking out rather than her march towards him, tried to use customer service skills to diffuse things. But man, who knew going to get some food at the grocery would be this intense? And while I did not touch her cart, I have been known to move ones out of the way that were left in the middle of aisles unattended when they're in my way. Not so sure I ever want to spark a case of grocery rage just for doing that.e When did grocery rage become a thing?

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Feeling down

Today was difficult. I came home and curled up in a ball for awhile. Feeling a little overwhelmed at work. But I did get up, did some laundry and dishes, and read another chapter of 'Library of Souls' (the third book of Miss Perigrine's Home for Peculiar Children), and so I feel a little better. And I got in 8000 steps--not quite yesterday's count, but I made goal, even though it meant pacing the house for the last 600 steps. :) Here's hoping I can make more headway (and pull off a minor miracle) tomorrow. Good night.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Yesterday was the game

So it was a matter of getting the house ready, doing laundry, and rolling dice. Brenda and I are both playing characters we hadn't played in years, which was fun, although I have no clear idea of how to play mine since it's been so long.

Today, meanwhile, has been fairly relaxing, although it started out not so great. I'd forgotten to change my alarm, with it being a holiday, but more to the point, YKWIA came in shortly after 6 am to check on me.  Turns out that he'd dreamed I was dead and wanted to make sure I was alright and alive.  I think it was his mind's response to all the stuff that happened last Monday when I went to the emergency room.  So we talked for a while and both of us went to bed till about 9 am.

It was nice to have a day off from work. My physical therapist is out at the end of the week, so she worked on Labour Day, and they called and had a cancellation, so I moved my appointment from 6:30 to 2:00. I was there till about 3:30 pm [my piriformis and other muscles were really tight, probably from sitting at the game, so Grace took awhile working on it]. Then I went and got my hair cut, and he didn't take much off but at least it looks a little neater.

Before

After

After and smiling :)

I'd taken YKWIA over to a friend's so he could help him with some things, so I went and got him and we went to drop off a bill and got a few things from the store (he's been cooking dinner; I've been keeping him company.) We're having sautéed zucchini with parsley and shallots, along with bell peppers stuffed with a tuna-onion mixture. [Note: I'm continuing this post-dinner and cleanup; it was very simple yet very yummy.]

Okay, it's after 10 pm now.  YKWIA is on the phone with a friend from Cicero.  I'm in my sleep clothes, and I have washed dishes, cleaned up, changed my purse, and packed my lunch.  I even laid my clothes out.  I don't usually do that.  It's time to go to bed now.  6 am comes early.  Have a good night!

Saturday, September 01, 2018

New month, new attempt to blog more often

My friend is in the shower. We're going to go pick up my insulin and then go to Masala, a local Indian restaurant, to celebrate his birthday, which was this week. It's the buffet. I hope they have gulab jaman--they don't always, but I shall content myself with naan, pakora, and the rest if not.

I had a scare the other day, on Monday. I was working at the computer and slowly realised that my face was growing numb, as well as my arm. At first I just thought it was my posture along with a pinched nerve from my neck, but I couldn't get it to let up at all and then I started having chest pains, starting from the heart area and going towards my left arm, and my shoulder and jaw ached terribly. Afraid to cause an issue (I know, good Southern girls probably drop dead rather than cause a scene), I called my friend, who used to be a nursing assistant, and he pointed out I was in a hospital with plenty of nurses to take my blood pressure. I had it taken by the lady whose cubicle is across from my office, who is acting as the employee health nurse right now, and it was a little high for me 135/85, but not dangerously high. Still, she offered to take me to the emergency room, and I asked her to take me to St. Joseph. She got the car and we left. She couldn't stay but dropped me off. They took me back for an EKG and bloodwork relatively quickly. I had a headache too, which I didn't really notice too much at first (I get a lot of them), and I was a little dizzy, so they got me a wheelchair. I sat for a while after the triage. I didn't realise it but I was a little confused, at one point realising that I didn't exactly remember the ride over (though I did later), and about two hours in remembered to tell them that I was on a beta blocker, which might be an issue if I were having heart issues.

Once I finally got into a room, a gown, and a bed, the nurse came in and took a history. I explained my symptoms, as well as a headache, which was getting terrible. They took me for a CT scan of the head (I'd already had a chest x-ray) and put me back in the room, and I stayed there a long time. One nurse came in and put me on a monitor (they hadn't, probably because I had come in during shift change), and then took some more blood. There was more waiting, but she'd gotten my phone out of my bag for me, so I ran it down to about 2% battery touching base with my friend and posting on Facebook. Eventually, the doctor came in for a couple of minutes. Everything was negative. They took a while to discharge me. A co-worker came and got me and took me to my car, which was over at UK, which was a blessing, as it's a long walk, and I'd been there almost six hours by the time I got out, so it was dark. They didn't know exactly what caused the 'unspecified' chest pain. I appears I had a migraine, and I hadn't thought I had had one in quite some time, but looking at symptoms that come with migraines, it could explain the dizziness I've been having on and off, as I have had quite a few headaches, just not the standard light-sensitive ones I used to have. Also, one type of aura for a migraine involves numbness and tingling in the arms, especially the left one. So that may have been part of it. They gave me some info on migraines, unspecified chest pain, and paresthesia, and sent me home. Thank goodness I've met my out-of-pocket expenses for the year in terms of health insurance.

So it all came down to nothing, but I'm glad I got checked out. But it was a little scary. I think a lot of it was stress, and had the equivalent to 4 1/2 cups of coffee in caffeine that day, via soda. So that could have been part of it. I've cut back on that. The job has been very stressful the last few weeks (I had 20 off-sites to schedule at one point last week--I have 5 now, most from the last couple of days). It's put me a little behind on my surgery authorizations in terms of time I usually get them in. But I keep chugging along. I didn't think I felt particularly anxious that day, but maybe I was somatizing instead.

Okay, I'm going to go now. I'm going to try to write more often, shooting for daily. I consider it a stress reliever.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Excited!

So today I was off work and one thing I did was roll up a Dungeons & Dragons character for a game a friend is going to run.  Now mind you, I've played roleplaying games [and by that I mean the tabletop/dice and paper kind] for 27 years, but, while I have done Call of Cthulhu (for that entire time) as well as Ars Magica, Shadowrun, Brave New World, Vampire/World of Darkness, and Hârn, I never actually ever got a chance to play D&D.  Now I have a half-elven fighter-thief named Aderyn who is going to help escort a caravan with 8 hit points, all the gear I could muster for 110 gold pieces, and an abiding dislike of orcs and goblins. :)  Here's hoping I can keep myself (and the others) alive.  I know my other friend, the one I live with, plans on standing behind me, as he's a magic user with half the hit points I have, so he can be killed by the common housecat. :)

Monday, July 30, 2018

I think

This is the longest break I've taken from blogging in a while. I've mostly been working and getting a handle on the new job, and I think I'm settling in pretty well.

Also, I've started physical therapy for the sciatica/myofacial pain, which consists of deep massage and loosening the tense muscles and tissue, which is pretty painful at the time, but it is lessening the pain I'm feeling the rest of the time. I'm lucky that they have late appointments, plus my schedule was adjusted a half hour earlier on arrival and departure from work, so that helps, too.

The dog is still full of anxiety. She only feels relaxed and safe with YKWIA and Brenda - not me. He was here all weekend but went over to help our friend who has cancer today, and when he got back she was just shaking. She needs a companion (the cat does not count; he just acts out and beats her up when he's ready to eat). But neither of us can afford to adopt another dog from the pound just yet. I hope she gets better at being alone.

I guess that's how my life is going right now.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Blissful coolness

So, I'm broke, but I managed to pay for the air conditioning to be fixed, so things are much more pleasant in the house.  It was funny, I don't see any reason to tell YKWIA this, as he would be terribly offended, but when I called to see if I could get the fan motor that was maybe one tick up from the cheapest part the tech quoted, the lady said that he'd actually given us an estimate on an original Coleman part that is factory-authorised, but knowing money was an issue, had given us the quote based on a senior discount.  So Tuesday came and I left my debit card with YKWIA and apparently the fan blade itself was so rusted in place that it wouldn't move, so the tech had to get that order brought over, which took awhile, but he got it fixed.  I guess that's what burned out the motor in the first place--it rusted over the winter because when we first turned it on in May, it pretty much worked for just a few hours if that. When I got home, I asked how much more the fan blade was.  'I don't know. I just handed him your debit card.' That struck fear in me, as while I had extra money in my account, it was earmarked for my car insurance.  So I went to my e-mail and it turns out that the tech did the complete repair for the original quote, without charging for the blade at all.  Yay! I really liked them--we went with Synergy, and the tech's name was Zach Taylor and he did an excellent job.  I have to thank my former boss for pointing me to them--she'd heard an ad and directed me to them.  That night, I didn't know what to do--I had to sleep under a cover and I wasn't drenched in sweat that morning, nor did I have the 'break-out-in-perspiration-as-soon-as-you-get-out-of-the-shower' issue.  But because I'd kind of gotten too used to that, I didn't sleep super well that night.  I did last night, though.  Yes!

Yesterday was mostly about medical testing.  I did work from noon to 4:30 pm, but I had an EEG at 7:30 am and an MRI of the brain at 10 am.  I had gone to my neurologist concerned over periodic dizziness (I think now that it's vestibular, but we needed to rule out other concerns).  I also expressed concern that my memory issues have gotten worse, and while it's probably normal ageing, I've done a lot of replacing words that I have had a hard time finding with the opposite, stuff like that.  Now I have ADHD, the inattentive types, so maybe it's just partly that, and as we get older there's more information to juggle.  But I've had several untreated concussions, and my family doctor and I wanted to rule out any chance of dementia or early Alzheimer's, a personal fear of mine given my great-grandmother's battle against the latter.

Anyway, the EEG--which was quite interesting, by the way--was negative for any of that.  My brain's not slowing down, even though it sometimes seems that way.  And the MRI was fine, too.  I came home yesterday and looked at the MRI scans they'd given me at Lexington Diagnostic Center.  Not that I know how to read an MRI at all, but you can kind of look for light or dark areas that don't fit the rest of it, and I didn't see anything.  This morning my neurologist's office called and said it was fine.  I did get put on a beta blocker that is good for essential tremor, a benign tremor that can make your hands shake when you hold a spoon or write, or hold a letter, or even a phone, say if you've got it above you in bed. :) Not that you should be lying in bed looking at your phone when you should be asleep, right?  Anyway, it's a small dose and it's good for anxiety, too, according to my psychiatrist.  It does seem to be helping.  Otherwise, I got a clean bill of neurological health.  I just am going to have to accept that my memory is not what it once was (and in truth, it was good when I was young, I didn't have to take notes in high school, but I dealt with a lot less information).  Given my experiences with anxiety and depression, it's no wonder I've had some impact on daily life.  And I tend to compare myself to YKWIA, who has an eidetic memory, rather than say, your average 51-year-old. :)

Today I won the parking behind the building (which is funny, as I'd reserved it yesterday since I was coming from my appointments, so I'm a little spoiled--I have parked there two days in a row), so I took Samantha, my co-worker to her car both days, but today after that I went over to the pharmacy for my pen needles (which are a pain to get anywhere else if you don't have the prescription on you, like you can shoot up heroin out of an insulin pen, thank you, Kroger).  Then I went and got YKWIA from our friend's, the one he's helping who is battling cancer.  Since my schedule has shifted a half-hour earlier and I hadn't had to go to my car on the shuttle, even with the trip to the pharmacy we were home about 5:30 pm.  He was really beat, so he went to bed, and he's still there.  I'm going to wake him in a bit to take his medicine.  I ate, and then realised I was pretty tired, too.  I worked very hard and very steadily today.  I like my new job, but I can't ever say I'm bored.  So I settled down for awhile with the cat about 7 pm after I'd fed the animals and brought the dog in--who actually wandered around the yard and acted nearly normal.  I woke up at 9:45, started some bread making (now that the temperature and humidity are back to where they should be), filled the dishwasher, put away plastic dishes, washed the ones in the sink, took out the trash and recyclables, and took the Herbie and Rosie (the trash and recycling containers, respectively--we name ours here in Lexington) out to the kerb, and generally straightened up a bit.  Now I'm listening to Pandora and spending some time on the computer.  We're about an hour from bread.  The cat's on my bed again.  I think I'm going to put the flowered quilt back on the bed, as I don't have to worry about sweat stains now.  But that might be a task for tomorrow morning--the cat is quite happy and quiet at the moment, and we like to keep it that way.  So I have a task to do online and then I may lie back down till the bread machine beeps and listen to music.  My phone turned off, as I let its charge run down, so I'm playing the music on the computer.  I may do some brain exercises that go with an application on my phone that are pretty challenging, too.  Just to help out on the memory issue--which I do fine with the memory tasks on that.  So maybe it literally is just in my head.  I don't know.

Alright, I am definitely getting some water and finishing up here.  I also should work on a book review by the end of the week.  And I just got another published.  Yay!

Good night.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Progress

The big dog is out in the yard, as first, she sat, now she's lying down. It's progress. Since the other dog died on Sunday, she has been looking for her little friend, even leaving the bed at night to go lie by the front door and wait for her. She's always needed her little friend to go out into the yard with. They used to run out like children, spilling into the grass together, even though little dog was 14 and had to take chondroitin to keep up with her. This one's grieving, as is the cat, who after all, has had little dog around all his life.

Meanwhile, the oppressive heat that means I felt like melting and dying over July 4th has ended.  I actually woke up with a blanket on that I'd pulled up, for the first time in days or even weeks. We are waiting for the air conditioning repair company to call us back concerning a part.  But I think it's okay that we won't get it fixed this weekend, anyway.

YKWIA is soothing the cat, who looked like his tummy might be upset.

I should get a shower, as I need to go by the pharmacy before they close and take him to meet someone/drop something off, and the pharmacy closes at 1 pm, but it'll probably be a couple of hours before he's had his coffee, etc.,  and gets ready.  It takes awhile for him to get going.

Right now I just want to enjoy the pleasantness that is inside the house, though. :) Less than 72 degrees!

Thursday, July 05, 2018

A dollar? Really?

Got a text today from Aspen Dental regarding a balance on my account, so I called. 'We were just trying to reach you about the balance left after your insurance so you won't go into collections,' Matt said. 'Oh,' I said, 'I haven't gotten a bill or anything. How much of a balance is it?' '$1.00' he says. '$1.00. A dollar?' 'Yes. Did you want to pay it over the phone or come in to pay on it?' I did pay with my flexible spending card, but seriously, you never send me a bill for the amount and then talk collections over a dollar? Matt could not see the absurdity of it, I guess. He just went on as if it were $100 rather than one. Mind you, I have the Dental Managed Organisation (DMO) insurance, where you pay half of what people who have the Dental Preferred Provider network have (think PPO, but dental), so that's the only practice in my network, basically. But still, really? Weird. Makes me want to change come October. The only consolation is they probably paid more in credit card fees than they collected from me. :)

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

So the other night I upgraded to Oreo

On my Samsung Galaxy S7. Only issue so far is that the Gallery and Music applications weren't pulling from the SD card. I restarted it, tried pulling it out and putting it back in, but about the only thing I saw that it did was show the SD card in the File Manager application. So I went on to an image and opened it in Gallery, and they suddenly were all there, and did the same for Samsung Music. Now my music, which is on the card, is accessible. Simple fix, better than everything else I found online, so I'm including it here.

Monday, July 02, 2018

I have to get up in two hours

When you can't sleep so you upgrade your phone's operating system to Android 8.0 (Oreo). Thanks T-mobile.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Sigh

This was at the vet today. The candle was burning for us - - I snapped this after we said our goodbyes. The house seems emptier without her. It's going to be hard to sleep tonight.

When did I get old?

So this morning we were at McDonald's (after all the trauma with the dog) and a nice young man, seeing his kids were dawdling at the drink fountain, urged them to hurry up because no doubt the old lady behind them needed to get a drink. He was talking about me. I've never heard anyone call me an old lady before. I know he meant well, but if I'd had a cane I might have whacked him on his shins. That was my first reaction - - which I realise is the reaction of an old lady. Sigh.

Very sad day

One of the dogs had to be put down today. The whole thing was sudden and traumatic.  But we  couldn't let her suffer. I miss her so much already. I was lying in bed feeling sad and the cat came and laid on my arm and purred. I think he's sad, too. He and the other dog keep looking for her.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

I have not fallen off the face of the planet

I am so sorry that I've been absent.  With the new job, I've been training like mad, plus I have a sciatica flare up so at night I've pretty much been putting my leg up in bed and resting and trying to stretch or applying heat to my back and ice to my leg and it hasn't really been fun. But I've been soldiering on.  My trainer's last day was Wednesday, so on Thursday and Friday I was on my own, and I think I'll be okay.  Still working the kinks out on things (like authorising Dysport injections, as those are a little tricky).  And she said I could text or call her if I did need anything.  I do have a question for her, but I messaged with my former boss (she left for another facility right as we were making the transition.  I owe a lot to her and was wishing her well on LinkedIn, and we discussed who at headquarters might be able to help on that one.)  And I'm finally making headway on scheduling off-site tests.

I'm back to working normal hours, which we are adjusting to 8 am to 4:30 pm, so shifting a half-hour earlier but later than I have been coming in lately.

I'm happy with my office, and I've got it set up quite nicely, with lots of plants:

Succulents in the window with pretty stones arranged around them.


Blooms on the succulents.

This is the orchid I got at the Bluegrass Orchid Society's meeting, plus the sign I had at my old desk.

My peace lily. I think I have to move it; it looks cramped.

An orchid that's been blooming since February, plus an African violet on the desk.

An orchid reblooming on the left, its counterpart, which is peach, but resting, and ivy in the middle.

A lovely bunch of peonies I got at Kroger.

My new title and sign to my office.

I've made contact with several people at the University of Kentucky and corporate that will be of assistance, and I had some training from a liaison from UK yesterday regarding a software package I need for my job since I get authorizations for UK surgeries for our patients that have out-of-state Medicaid plans.  The funny thing is to get access I had to have an account with UK and once they give you a computer account it's for life, as mine is based on one I got in 1985 as a student in a computer science class that has my old initials in it. :)

Here is my agenda for today:

  1. Get insulin I've been out of for 24 hours
  2. Caffeinate and eat breakfast
  3. Work on game notes for our Call of Cthulhu game
  4. Shower and get ready - I look a mess
  5. Go see Incredibles 2 with friends!!! With free tickets from my hoard of employee appreciation tickets [I'm using 3 and I'll still have 5--shows how often I go to the movies]
  6. Check on an ill friend and his mother
  7. Dust two shelves in the bedroom.
  8. Move some files on the computer for YKWIA [we're going to do that tomorrow; I'm tired and hurting]
  9. Do more laundry tonight or tomorrow morning [again, tomorrow]
Not quite restful, but I spent most of last evening in bed with the sciatic pain, and I am going to do everything possible to be productive and enjoy this weekend.

PS They realised that there was no way I could cover for the Physical Therapy secretary's maternity leave and do the new job, so I'm in my office full time now.  New people have been hired in the department for my old job and another checkout position.  One of my co-workers moved into the specialist position I was hired for before the other person left, and then another co=worker moved into hers.  They're still working with headquarters to get my job official, the new pay rate, etc., as it was such a quick transition.  I'm hoping that's just a mere formality, as everyone else has taken the other positions. :)  But I should know for sure next week.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Glad that it's Friday, but

I am planning on going in to work tomorrow, at least for a few hours, maybe a half a day. The plan is to move some files (I'm going to stay in the same office, so I need to switch the outpatient visit authorisations and the surgery ones,  as the woman who has the other office said I was welcome to, so long as she knows where things are.) I also have some authorisations to document that we didn't get in today because I trained all day on surgeries and off-site imaging and testing. Finally, I'll work the queue, filling out forms and creating a running request for clinical notes that can be fulfilled by the medical records department on Monday so I can fax a whole bunch of requests then.

That should keep me occupied for quite awhile.  I'm going to run by the storage unit earlier in the morning and get out one of the folding bookcases to take in since I can park in the building's parking lot tomorrow.

On Monday, I'm training from 7-9 and then will be in the rehab department all pretty much all day, or at least till 3 or so.  I think I return to my desk then if I remember right.  Tuesday I'll train from 7-9, be in rehab for the rest of that morning, leave for an appointment, and come back from 3-5 for more training.  Wednesday and Thursday I'll train from 7-9, be in rehab from about 9-12 and then in my office thereafter.  By then I should be doing my job with my trainer nearby for any questions.  On Friday I'll be in my office all day and should be working on my own, again, with her just a couple of offices away if I need her.  Meanwhile, she's going to train my replacement on Monday and as needed throughout the week.  So hopefully I won't be doing it all for very long. I seriously don't know how she's done it for months now, with just a couple of things taken over temporarily by others.  The off-sites alone could be a full-time job.  Scheduling is difficult and can be frustrating, as you are playing go-between between families and facilities.  One she showed me today took about 45 minutes to hash out.  That's my part, the scheduling, as my replacement has already been doing the pre-auths for those and they didn't see any reason to switch, even though the others were doing the opposite section prior to this.

So I'll be responsible for getting pre-authorisations for surgery cases that are done in our ambulatory surgery centre, as well as those of our patients done at the university that have out-of-state Medicaid, and patients undergoing halo traction, which is a long inpatient stay, plus scheduling the MRIs, ultrasounds, and EMGs that are done at the university and other facilities.  My counterpart will get authorisations for outpatient visits and off-site imaging and tests.  There are some others things--reports and audits, for example, but that's the bulk of it.  For the outpatient visits, there's a lot of faxing.  For surgeries, there is more contact via phone with the insurance companies, plus, of course, the scheduling is mainly done via phone.  We will, of course, be each other's back up and help each other as needed, too.  I think we can work well together.  We're a little more isolated from the department--on a different floor, in fact.  But because we deal with so much protected health information, we each get our own offices, which is nice.  You've seen mine.  I like the setup there better as the desk is on the left facing out towards the common area and so the phone and computer are on the left.  I am right-handed, so I prefer the phone on the left so I can write with my right hand, although I have a headset, too, and that will help.

If I stay for four hours tomorrow, I'll have a total of 22 and a half hours of overtime for the two-week pay period or an average of about 10 hours a weekday.  Which is good, as I have to file my taxes still, and then pay on them.  The overtime won't last forever, but I'm trying to do as much as I can while it's approved.

Okay, I'm going to try to get some notes transcribed for the game Sunday. I'm assuming we'll do that.  It's supposed to be 95 degrees that day, and I'm not sure we'll be comfortable, but we'll try anyway. :)

Good night.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

My head is still spinning a bit

So awhile back one of our co-workers left and the woman who was in my position filled her place. She has been training me to request pre-authorisation for the clinic visits and getting me set up with tools I need to do my job since I started the new position a couple of weeks ago. I've been doing some overtime to train and still be able to cover in physical therapy for the secretary who is on maternity leave, then coming in at the end of the day to cover check out upstairs. Lots of hours, lots of bouncing around, lots of learning.

This week my trainer's husband got a dream job that will require relocation to another state, and they will be moving and he will start in less than two weeks. She will follow shortly thereafter, once she's fulfilled her two-week notice. So the last couple of days have been a bit of a roller coaster ride as we're trying to get me trained before she leaves, and of course, I'm her back up, so there was that to consider (she does the surgeries, which are more involved, as well as other things). So the powers that be did some shuffling and now I have been offered and accepted her job, the second promotion in a matter of weeks, and one of my teammates will take mine. It will still be a struggle to get trained in such a short time due to my coverage of rehab, but tomorrow the whole day will be spent on training. So my new title will be Revenue Cycle Coordinator. I'm assuming it will kick in when the other person leaves.

In the entire time that I've been with the company (21 years), I've had six jobs, four of them in the last year. So it's been a whirlwind since getting laid off from the first two when the hospital moved. But things have, indeed, worked out pretty well. I'm happy, and a little scared given the time frame we're talking about, but I'm pretty sure I can handle it. So here's to new adventures.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

I finished the normal

Sunday chores, but it took about 45 minutes of lying under the ceiling fans to recover. Now I'm going to work on the shelves (which is technically a Saturday chore). The only other things on my list are to take some library books back, buy some glucose tablets, and get a birthday card for a co-worker. Oh, and of course laundry goes on for awhile, so I'll finish that tonight. My first load is still in the dryer. There's a second. I also have to wash the mopheads, the blanket the cat threw up on the other day, and YKWIA's laundry. I've been listening to Pandora all morning, mainly the 3 Doors Down station.  YKWIA has mainly had quiet time.  No game today because Brenda is celebrating Father's Day with her husband (I know, Father's Day is next weekend; either she is celebrating early or they made a mistake, but regardless we had a break from the game this week, so I didn't have to do notes, although we should be good to go for next week).

Hot

It's 69 degrees outside and 80.8 degrees in here--at 7 am. So much for getting up early to do chores when it's 'cooler'. Time to check the weather forecast for this week. :( No idea when we can get the air conditioning looked at, much less fixed.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Warm

This weekend we're in the 90s during the day and it's been miserable in the house even with the fans on. And because the house is brick, it holds the heat in. So wishing it would cool back down. I did go in to work for 2 1/2 hours today, so at least I spent a bit of time in air conditioning. Tomorrow I have to do laundry and chores, so I'm getting up early in the morning to beat the heat, hopefully.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

I feel a bit like a bouncy ball

Today: I was in my office-->my trainer's office-->physical therapy-->checkout-->kiosk to sign in-->checkout-->physical therapy-->checkout. Whew! I walked 5,588 steps today (not great, but better than my usual lately). It was a lot of mental gymnastics with lots of different tasks and learning more. It was kind of stimulating actually; I feel like I got a real workout, mentally, anyway. So this will be how things go until 1) they get the new person at checkout or fill my position, whichever happens first, then the maternity leave coverage is about six weeks in duration. I'm going to start working the authorisation queue tomorrow morning with my trainer sitting with me, and I'll be able to work part of Friday on top of the early morning sessions. From there I might need to work on the weekend as well, so there's some overtime to get, yay! Okay, off to work on a project with my friend. Good night for now.