Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Friday, December 04, 2020

Meltdown

I'm afraid I'm about to overshare, but try to understand what it's like living with issues such as anxiety, bipolar II, and ADHD all at once, all of which are normally quite in balance and do not easily reach the tipping point thanks to modern medicine.

So today had such promise, but it wound up being Lisa and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. It was even our holiday celebration at work (socially distanced and virtual even), and I wore red and black and a jolly Santa hat with a bell on it, but I am so terribly overwhelmed at work at the moment that I didn't let myself take part in the festivities or even enjoy our provided lunch [well, yes, the brownie was good]. It didn't help that I missed my oral meds last night, and because of that, when I went to take them this morning, my holder was empty, because I didn't realise it needed to be filled. So I didn't have the medications that help me focus with ADHD or the ones that keep me from being anxious and falling apart in an emotional mess. Don't get me wrong, anyone would be overwhelmed (I think I've gotten over 25 offsite requests to schedule this week and had several others in-progress). But no amount of breathing or trying to put things into little chunks helped. I did get a lot done, even so, better than a normal day in some ways and worse in others. But I felt absolutely horrible the whole day, had a terrible headache, and didn't relax at all, feeling like a hamster spinning in a wheel while drowning all at once. Most people went home early, and I was going to stay my full shift, but after I started catching small errors I was making, I decided I had to call it a day and left about 45 minutes early, as I was absolutely no good for anything at that point and wasn't going to get anything else accomplished and just might make it worse. So I tried to focus on what I did get done, but on the shuttle to my car there I was, in a Santa hat with a jingle bell, just crying. It's a good thing I had a mask on.

But a couple of nice things happened today. I won parking for a week in March. A man let me go (with my one item) before him at the line at Kroger, where they were really backed up. I got home and had Sabbath dinner, and it was really nice, vegetarian tsimmes with carrots, honey, and raisins, Quorn roast, cranberry sauce, and challah. The company was good. My roommate was very supportive and encouraging, even when he called me at work to see if I was able to stop by the store, and he realised how fragile I was feeling. So the day is ending on a better note. Monday I'll try to hit the ground running with the phone calls I need to make. Tomorrow is another day, and in this case, tomorrow is the weekend, so I'm going to focus on resting and getting back on my schedule. This is the worst I've felt since August, when I had to ask my doctor to change my medicine because I was in a very dark place and was a bit of a danger to myself briefly, something that surprised my doctor, as I'd been completely stable as long as he'd treatment me over the last decade. Since we made the adjustments I've been fine, at worst a little stressed. That worked for a good solid three months. But I missed two doses and it all fell apart. I hate to think that I'm that fragile. But it does mean I need to be more proactive in self-care, definitely.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Whoever invented the ceiling fan is my hero

Sitting under three fans (two ceiling, one pedestal) as my blood sugar went low at Kroger and I get very hot and drenched with sweat when that happens, on top of feeling shaky. I carry glucose tablets with me normally, so I ate some and waited till I felt better to drive. But now that I'm home and I've gotten the groceries inside during the rain and my roommate has put then away, I've checked my blood sugar (it's normal now) and stripped down to shorts and a tank top to sleep in. I still need to do some things before bed but I'm going to stretch out and set an alarm and enjoy the moving air.

Friday, November 06, 2020

2 am

So I just finished making the challah for the week as I got a late start tonight. But I think it will be worth it.
 Here are a couple of other pictures from the interim of no blogging. First, it pumpkin contest entry (we got second place, behind a Baby Yoda one) :
And finally, this year's Halloween costume:
Alright, good night! 

Thursday, November 05, 2020

I can't believe

that I've gone a whole month and a half without writing on this blog. It was not my attention to let it founder. It's not that things have been boring or anything. I've just been kind of wrapped up with work and life. And I've been on Facebook a lot when I should be writing here. Plus, my laptop is currently borrowed as the desktop my roommate was using bit the big one this summer, and most of my stuff online is done with a Galaxy S20 and a Bluetooth keyboard, but it's much easier to write on the laptop, even so.

While I've been gone I had a car accident that was very frightening, but I was fortunately okay.  There was a thunderstorm during the morning rush after a dry spell.  I went and got gas before work, which was why I was on a main thoroughfare that I don't go down usually in the morning, one that has no reflectors built into the lane guides.  It was raining so hard, and being close to the time change, it was very dark even though it was almost 8 am.  I was going down the road in the left lane as that's the direction I was going to turn in order to get to where I park at the University of Kentucky.  I couldn't see the lanes at all, and I don't think anyone else could either, and I didn't have anyone to follow, so I tried to go into the right lane, and just as I was about to, I realised I was skidding/hydroplaning right into a left turn lane and into a median, going up on it at about 20-25 miles per hour with both driver-side wheels, somehow managing not to flip (because I sure didn't have control of the car at that point, never managed to brake in time, and wound up bounced into the right lane, which was thankfully vacant, although I think a car had to brake hard to avoid me.  This was right past Armstrong Mill coming into town on Tates Creek Road.  I'd obviously popped at least one tyre, and I went down to Gainesway, less than a block away, and pulled over.  I tried to collect myself, called my boss to let her know I'd had an accident, left a message for my roommate, and called a AAA truck and the tyre shop I have my warranty with.  Then I had the car towed over there, and they gave me a ride to work after it was determined that I'd bent two rims and killed a tyre, the latter of which could be replaced under warranty.  One rim was bent somewhat, but the tyre was still holding air, but the other was bent beyond all hope.  I had to get a new rim to replace that one, and they'd had to order it for the next day.  So he took me to work, and I made it in within an hour of my usual time.  But I didn't really have the money to spare for that, although I got it fixed anyway.  It took a couple of days, and a couple of my co-workers took me to and from work because I'm not stepping foot on the city bus during a pandemic if I can help it, so I'm very thankful for them.  The car is still making a sound like there's a rubbing going on; I need to get it checked by my regular mechanic but that may need to wait till I have the money for it. I couldn't turn it into my insurance because it was under the deductible unless my mechanic finds more.  But it's driveable for now, although I recently got together with some co-workers at a farm where we could spread out and work on a pumpkin contest, and I got a ride rather than go out on the highway.  Plus, I still, because of the pandemic, haven't managed to get a spare tyre to replace the original doughnut that bit the dust back right before I got all the tyres replaced in February. 

Despite all that, I am very grateful I didn't get hurt or hurt anyone else.  It was very scary. My roommate said my message was almost incoherent; he had to play it several times.

That's the most important thing that's happened lately.  Plus we had Halloween at work and of course the election.  I hope you voted, if you're in the U.S., regardless of whom you might have voted for.  I've also been making time to read this month; I've read four of five days, and I started the Enola Holmes books by Nancy Springer (whose Books of Isle series was a favourite of mine some 30 years ago; I'm glad she's still writing).

That's it for now.  I will try to get in the habit of writing, even if it has to be on the phone.  I don't want to let this blog die away.  Now I'd better check on my bread dough.  Good night.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Baking

Tomorrow night is Jewish New Year, known as Rosh Hashanah.  This year it also falls on the Jewish Shabbat, or Sabbath. I'm not Jewish, I wasn't raised Jewish, so I never got any instruction on how to make good challah (my main contribution to the Sabbath meals is making bread).  Fortunately for me and others, there is the Internet.  So I googled a four-braid round challah. A round challah is traditional for Rosh Hashanah,  I've heard different reasons for it.  But nevertheless, there you are.  It represents the wheel of the year, which is seen as cyclical.  It also represents a crown of God.  Some people just make a long coil and put it in a spiral like a snail's shell.  Others, however, do a round braid.  (Challah is often braided, as I've shown I past posts).  So I decided to do the round braid, and instead of the apples I meant to use, I did raisins (which are also traditional, as it represents the sweetness of the new year).  For each loaf, you make a rectangluar coil and then roll it out flat, then put raisins  on the dough and roll it up into a long coil.  You do this four times, then you braid the challah.  I've found instructions all over the internet.  The first loaf I tried was kind of haphazard.  The second was much better.  They're rising now and will be ready to bake about 11 pm.  This is also the best use I've ever for my Pampered Chef rolling pin I got years ago, which has two narrow rollers, as it didn't take up as much of my workspace (I was doing this all on a floured cutting board for easier cleanup). I got the roller years ago at a party and literally have used it maybe twice. :) So it was nice to use.  Here are the pre-rise pictures of the loaves, as well as a picture of the rolling pin.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Yay!

I got the cast and boot off! Now I just have a compression bandage that comes off and I can take a normal shower and soak my feet to get rid of all this dead skin. Yay! 

Friday, August 28, 2020

Darn

Well, I jinxed myself. I brought my other shoe with me to my doctor's appointment in case I got to wear it again, and it turns out that I have pain in a very bad spot (the cuboid something-or-other), pain I've actually had for a couple of years but flared up while I was walking to my car so I mentioned it, and I'm in the cast and boot for two more weeks. It could have been a week but next Friday was not good for me due to some things going on at work. I am not happy.  At this point, if it weren't environmentally horrible, I would burn the thing. But I guess it's better than continuing to be in pain, right?

Public Service Announcement of the Week:

Well-meaning people often use the term 'bipolar' as a synonym for acting crazy and maybe having a few ups and downs or mood swings.

But clinically, bipolar disorder can be a crippling illness that brings crushing depression that creeps up on you before you realise it, punctuated by disorganised and horrible highs that feel good at first but threaten your well-being or throw your good judgement out the window. That's Bipolar I. If you're 'lucky', you may have disturbing-yet-not full-blown manic episodes (known as hypomania) that's no less serious but generally gets treated as such. That's Bipolar II. Or sometimes it's a mix of it all, what's called mixed episodes, where you may feel so depressed you may just want to end it all while being agitated and irritable all at the same time, a particularly dangerous combination.

Mental illness, like all illnesses, makes us feel horrible and exhausted. There is no shame in it; there should be no stigma. In some ways, it's no different than having high blood pressure or diabetes, but at the same time, it is insidious, as it alters our emotions and thinking, and people see the behaviour but not the pain, and it can absolutely wreck relationships.

Even when you've been stable on the same medications for years, it can strike when you're least expecting. Suddenly you're speaking with push of speech, very fast, or it's hard to get up in the morning and you drag trying to get out of bed because you're depressed and facing taking a shower is so hard, like you're moving through jello, and all you want to do is to curl up in a ball and let the world pass by. Having bipolar disorder or any other mental illness during a worldwide pandemic, with all the anxiety, uncertainty, and change in routine is even more difficult. That's why it's more important than ever to have a good healthcare team, the support of loved ones, and the ability to self-monitor before it gets too bad. And it's important to reach out to the people in your life before it gets to be too much or to call a number such as the national suicide prevention hotline (1-800-273-8255).

We never know what's going on in someone else's head or how they're really feeling. But we can listen to them put those feelings into words and try to understand their pain. Empathy is one of the greatest gifts we as humans possess.

Monday, August 24, 2020

My day didn't go quite as planned

I called 911 about 2:15 am this morning and I was in the ER from about 2:45 am till noon, not for me, then came home, let the dogs out, fed everyone including me, napped for about an hour, got things together and took them back over to the hospital, and then came back home, where I started my laundry to make sure I had clothes for tomorrow and then made about eight phone calls.  I was exhausted.  It was time to feed them and take them out again, so I did, and then I put the clothes in the dryer and just crashed on the bed with the two dogs (we take up the whole bed, which is only full-sized.

It's 2:08 am. 24 hours of stress and trying to get everything finished that needs to be while balancing that with my medicine, food, and sleep.  Tomorrow's a workday and right now I plan to go, but I'm so tired.  My eyes are bleary and I'm still in my clothes (although at some point at least I got a shower).  I really am burning the candle at both ends.

And I'm scared.  Really scared.   I'm holding up pretty well considering a week ago I was having suicidal thoughts.  My doctor adjusted my medicine and it seems to be helping.  But my support system outside of anyone directly affected already is a couple of friends, my work lunch bunch, a couple of other co-workers and usually my online friends (which, while not really 'friends', with the exception of a few librarians I've never met, are all people I know personally or family.  But I can't share this on Facebook due to respect for privacy.  So I texted and messaged my work buddies called my friends, and I've pretty much reached out as best I can. I even checked in with my aunt and uncle in other states. But I recognise that while I'm physically fairly healthy, I'm kind of fragile emotionally and I need to be on my guard for any issues that might be triggered by it.

So anyway, that's what's going on.  I've spent 15 hours in the ER in the last week, and it's taken a toll.  But I'm trying to be strong and not fall apart.  I'll fall apart after the crisis if need be.  In the meantime, I've been told I should read Marcus Aurelius and Seneca, two Stoic philosophers, for a little insight.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Getting things done

I had a huge list of things to get accomplished this weekend and made a lot of progress towards completing it.

Today's completed tasks:

  1. Wash, dry, and fold roommate's laundry and some table  linens
  2. Clean our masks
  3. Put roommate's medical information in my phone
  4. Put away dishes
  5. Load dishwasher
  6. Wash plastics
  7. Take out the trash
  8. Take out the recyclables
  9. Straighten up utility room
  10. Go to the pharmacy
  11. Do a small grocery trip
  12. Make bread
  13. Clean the bathroom
  14. Get rid of expired milk
  15. Go through the produce
  16. Read
  17. Listen to music
  18. Take a nap
  19. Feed the animals and let the dogs out
Plans for tomorrow:
  1. Get dog food and a couple of items from the grocery
  2. Change the cat litter and pads
  3. Sweep the floors
  4. Mop the floors
  5. Find some important papers
  6. Take a shower
  7. Re-pot the olive trees into a pot with better drainage
  8. Clean out my nightstand drawers
  9. Bills
  10. My laundry

Friday, August 21, 2020

Wednesday

I was called at work due to an emergency and the last few days have been a blur.  Wednesday morning I'd scheduled two urgent offsites, but I had to leave at 2 pm.  I won't go into details, but it was very serious, as in possibly life or death.  Now things are okay again, the emergency is over, and I'm just trying to catch up.  Work still went pretty well (except I overslept today) and while I didn't clear my desk, I got a lot off of it and filed away.  It felt good that afternoon to leave work fairly taken care of, although I still need to work on surgery authorizations ahead (I'm usually a month out, now I'm filling in fairly close to the date of service, and that's not great).

Today was also when all the emergency issues settled down and all was mostly well.  There was no Sabbath dinner though, which felt odd.  I didn't get much taken care of during everything, so this weekend I plan on getting quite a bit done.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Feeling better

Today I saw my psychiatrist through a Telehealth appointment.  He was very surprised, as he's seen me for 9 years at least and I've been stable at the same dosage for all that time. He upped my mood stabiliser, lamotrigine, by 50 mg, to be taken in 100 mg increments twice a day, rather than the current 150 mg once a day and kept my aripiprazole (an atypical antipsychotic for bipolar disorder), buspirone (that's my anxiety med), and atomoxetine (for ADHD) the same.

I am feeling better at work, too, even without the medicine change being in force yet.  Monday I got a lot of offsites scheduled (10).  I'm working steadily through my to-do pile.  I'm keeping up with the surgeries but I'm not as far out as I'd like on those.

But things are looking up, at least.

Monday, August 17, 2020

I have not been doing well

The last two weeks I've really spiralled down in terms of my mood.  I keep a mood diary (a good thing to do if you have Bipolar II) and have done so for over a thousand days.  It really tanked as I've been very anxious and almost paralysed with making phone calls from that anxiety, which is unfortunate, as that is part of my job--calling on insurance authorisations, calling facilities to schedule imaging tests, and calling families to let them know when those are scheduled.  It's been awful. 

And now the emotional storms are back. I've been generally very irritable at home, not so bad at work, but I've had no tolerance for frustration at either place.  Yesterday I was yelling at my roommate over a criticism.  I've also being feeling responsible for just about everything, even things I can't control.  The pressure of that has made me boil over (again, at home), and yesterday I was in so much distress I actually felt like cutting my wrists and ending it all.  Not good.  So this morning I went ahead and made an appointment with my psychiatrist.  I have a telehealth appointment tomorrow.  I've also filled out a screening form for him to go over.  It has me pretty depressed and very agitated the same time. I think I'm having a mixed bipolar episode, with major anxiety elements, and it's gotten to a dangerous level both in terms of my mood and the effect it's having on my work and relationships.  I really think that after years of being completely even in mood, I may need some adjustment to my medicine.  But all this is scaring me.  I want to just curl up in a ball and hide from the world and hide from myself.  That latter, especially, is simply not possible. 

Today I must admit went much better.  I made myself make phone calls all day and answer them.  I scheduled 10 offsites, got five surgeries authorised, and got a denial for an MRI complely overturned.  I was productive.  I've been working steadily for weeks, but I have felt like a hamster in a wheel, just spinning and going nowhere. 

I'll see how things go with the doctor and if he thinks I need to go back into therapy, I will see if my former therapist, who got me through my hoarding issues, is seeing clients either virtually or in person.  He was always very good at cutting through my overthinking to the heart of the matter. 

Anyway, that's what's going on in my life.

Sunday, August 02, 2020

So I'm just starting my day

And I haven't made it through all my caffeine yet, but I thought I'd write a little. I want to get back in the habit again. I hate that I haven't done this blog justice in awhile. I guess I'm on Facebook too much. 

My roommate is getting ready to take a shower and then I'm going to wash my hair and clean up (I can't take a shower due the cast and our shower is not configured right for trying to shower with your foot covered in plastic, even with my shower chair helping.)  I long for a shower.  After I get cleaned up I need to make a quick trip to the grocery store for a few things, come back, and start my Sunday chores to get the house in order for the Cthulhu game with Brenda.  I also am going to put my roommate's bedsheets into the washer and do some laundry, as he sleeps with the dogs and the bed is covered in hair. Fortunately I did my laundry yesterday.  Once I get involved in the game, I tend to forget to change from the washer to the dryer. 

The game last week was very eventful.  One of my characters was nearly burned as a witch, and since the adventure before that had had her shot in the face in the Elizabethan era with a flintlock, and her face had been reconstructed with a futuristic plastic skin, her face kind of melted with the fire. But only two character knows about the plastic skin other than mine, and I'm not sure it'll come up, because one would have to remember and the other is usually on the periphery and probably won't get the information she'll need to share.  Like I said, it was eventful.  It should be interesting to see what happens today. 

So that's what's going on here.  I know it's not particularly entertaining or informative, but it'll hopefully help me get back into the habit of writing, and then I will try to actually generate some decent content.  Thanks for sticking with me. 


Saturday, August 01, 2020

A lazy day

I didn't really need to go anywhere today particularly, not the independent pharmacy I normally use, nor the grocery or other errands.  I do need to pickup another prescription drug up at Kroger perhaps today, perhaps tomorrow. So it's been quiet. 

I stayed up very late with the candles for Sabbath last night, but not as late as they sometimes burn.  It was about 1 am.  I woke up at 7 am though, got up and used my computer (my roommate was using my old desktop and it crashed a few weeks ago; a friend's son is trying to resurrect it or at least save the data but in the meantime he's using my laptop most of the day, and apparently had used up half my SSD drive in the process).  When he woke up I moved to the phone, which I can do most things with, especially as I have a small Bluetooth keyboard that attaches for long posts such as this one.  (One can only swipe on an on-screen keyboard so we'll). 

While I was waiting for the candles to burn out I listened to about three chapters of Caitlin Dougherty's 'Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs'. She is a mortician whose YouTube channel I've watched and enjoyed.  The book is all about answering children's questions about death.  It's very interesting. 

Yesterday morning I did a dumb thing. I'd transferred things from a small crossbody purse to my backpack and there was some cash, about $24-$25, and instead of putting it in my wallet (I'm not used to a wallet--I'm used to having a wallet case on my phone and that was not the case yesterday (that is not meant to be a pun).  So I put it in my jeans pocket (it was jeans day at work, given that it was Friday).  Unfortunately, I thought putting it in the main front pocket was a bad idea, because I was afraid to put it in the same pocket as my keys, as I didn't want to lose the money if it came out when the keys did.  I didn't think about the back pocket as I never use them for the most part. So I put it in the coin pocket. Unfortunately, these jeans have shallower pockets than normal (my phone was and issue in the front left pocket), but I thought it would work.  Anyway, I went to the UK parking lot, parked, walked to the shuttle, took it to UK's hospital, and then walked around the building and across the street to work (I haven't been going through UK as I'd have to be screened there as well as at work, and it always confuses UK that I'm not an employee).  Somewhere between the car and work I lost the money.  That was a real bummer. I did try very hard not to let it ruin my day, and for the most part succeeded.  I did retrace my steps on the way to my ankle doctor's appointment, and I asked the shuttle driver on the way to my car if anyone had turned in some case, but of course, they hadn't.  No doubt I made someone's day, though. 

As far as the appointment went, I was put in another soft case, so no showers, of course, but this time it will be for two weeks as the doctor is taking next week off.  He does think, since it's feeling better, that I may be able to take it off then and keep it off. Let's hope so.  I did order a little hose and shower head that is just rubber and you put on a sink to help me with my hair, since I've been doing sink baths and haven't had a shower since June 22nd.  :(

Anyway, that's what's going on lately.  I also used a good trade-in deal to upgrade my four-year old phone while I could (it wasn't being updated with security patches or anything anymore).  It was good while it lasted, but it was time for another.  I've been trying to figure out the differences in Android 10 from Oreo, and working with some of the features.  I plan on having this phone just as long, if possible. I know some people who change phones every year.  I'm not one of them.  I did try to make sure that instead of getting cases that match what I wear, I'm doing neutrals. I ordered a wallet case, and I financed a case and screen protector before I even got out of the store, because I do that (I also keep insurance on my phones, and my last phone had actually been replaced under that because it went haywire, not because I abused it in anyway.)  I made sure I got a black case on the way out, and then I ordered a wallet case in grey.  When my roommate asked me about my Amazon order (remember, he's on my computer), I explained I'd had to get a wireless charger and that I'd gotten a wallet case. [I know, you can't use them together; I can with the other case]. I also got a car charger because this takes a USB-C cord, which I didn't have.  So I think the accessories are covered. I explained the wallet case was grey, so it would go with most things (I think it's part of my OCD, all my clothes down to my underwear need to match, as do purses, phone cases, and even facial masque.  It's pathological, I know, but mostly harmless).  However, over the four years I had my last phone, I had gotten maybe seven cases.  This time I got the grey one.  My roommate, an artist, immediately pointed out that it doesn't go with everything--not red and yellow for example. I pointed out that I rarely wear red and never wear yellow, they look atrocious on me.  So I think I'm okay. I'm going to try to keep it to just a couple of cases, then.  We'll see. 

So that's why I didn't have a wallet case to put my cards into, which is why I had to put them in my wallet, which I then packed away in my backpack and didn't think to put the money there, and then managed to lose money in the process.  I feel stupid.  It was a costly mistake, but on the other hand, lesson learned, hopefully. 

Okay, I'll sign off here for now.  Hope you have a pleasant weekend.  I've gotten a lot of rest (I've already laid down for about an hour and a half, dreaming vivid dreams of superhero stories in cinematic quality).  I'm going to try to read and maybe get a few of my Sunday things done early.  And there are game notes to do, yay. 

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Gardening

Yesterday, among other things, I repotted or side-dressed every pot on our back porch with fresh potting soil, putting the tomatoes and a few others into bigger pots. 

Normally I wouldn't do that while they are blooming/putting on fruit, but the big tomatoes were shrivelling up in the sun easily and there was a smaller pot of tomatoes that just weren't doing well. (These were all cherry tomatoes from a friend at work.) Plus, I had a couple of new dwarf tomatoes plants from another friend that I put in slightly larger pots, and I put the olive trees in a bigger pot. 

I was very tired and I got covered in soil, which is bad when you are in a cast and can't take a shower, so I had to do my best in the sink. My roommate doesn't understand why I was so hot--he basks in 90 degrees. I did wait until the last part of the day, but still, it was very hot! Here are some before and after pictures:

Original configuration
96 quarts of soil and three new pots (I used 64 qts of soil).

.
Everything re-potted

Oregano, sage, tomatoes, bamboo, and aloe

Tomatoes, bamboo, aloe, hyssop, dill, and olive tree

Tomatos, dill, jalapeño, dwarf tomatoes, and red velvet echevaria

Olive tree, dwarf tomato

Jalapeño, dwarf tomatoes, and red velvet echevaria

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Well, damn

I was feeling better, and so earlier this week I dispensed with the boot and just wrapped my foot, and I did pretty well, not hurting any more than it did in the boot.  I had an MRI on Monday, and got the results on Friday.

So by the time I went to the appointment on Friday, I actually showed up in sandals without having even wrapping my foot.  This was not a good idea, and the doctor was not pleased. Now, in my defence, he didn't think there was going to be much on the MRI to be concerned with when he ordered the MRI.  And my foot and ankle was feeling much better.

However, his first words to me when he came in was that the MRI had shown all sorts of problems.  I do have arthritis midfoot and some mild plantar fasciitis, but the more worrisome issue was the ligament status.  Several were terribly sprained and one was actually kind of lax.  So...I have to be in the boot, probably for about five weeks, to make sure the ligaments do not become any more damagaed, and certainly I don't want to tear anything completely.  This was not the information I wanted to hear.  Even worse, without me quite realising what he was doing, he put a soft cast on my foot, using a plaster bandage with magnesium in it that helps keep down swelling.  But I can't get it wet.  And I don't go back for a week, which means I can't take a shower.  On the one hand, I've talked to a few people at work (we are an orthopaedic hospital, after all, even though we mostly deal with children and adolescents).  Several suggested putting a heavy plastic bag wrapped tightly with tape over my foot, but the problem I have with that is the layout of our bathroom.  The  shower has two doors and is set with the tub between two tiled pedestals that are tiled halfway up and glass above, so glass on three sides.  I have been using a shower chair, but if I sit on it and open the door with my foot out in the bag, the shower head is on that side and the water will spray out, but if I turned on the other side, my foot would be on the wrong side to put it outside.  Plus, the tub doesn't quite drain quickly, so if I get up to get out, I'd have to put my foot down into the water, which defeats the process.  So it's sink baths fo me, I guess. :(  So yeah, not ideal.  My roommate has been mocking me unmercifully and not letting me forget that I was not being compliant, and rightfully so.  So, since I don't want surgery and don't want to be out for weeks on end (wearing the boot), I will wear the boot like I'm supposed to.

Monday, June 29, 2020

I understand why my break wasn't bad enough for surgery

I finally got out my old external DVD-ROM drive, as my laptop is new enough it just has an SD card slot for removable storage, and put in the CD that has my x-rays on it. I understand why, while it hurts and is making me limp, I can still bear weight on a broken ankle. Yes, it is a medial malleolar fracture, which is a broken bone in the ankle joint on the inside of the ankle. I had one on my right ankle when I got hit by a car years ago, but that was due to a lot more force and a different subtype of fracture. It took me a little while to see the broken part on this one...it's just a little bit on the end of the tibia, which isn't all that integral to bearing weight and doesn't require surgery. Here's the image, with the broken bit on the left tip of bone:



That doesn't mean it doesn't hurt, of course, but it is much milder than my fracture of the right ankle eight years ago. And thankfully, being on the left, it doesn't affect my driving. I am taking the boot off and just leaving an ACE bandage wrapping, sock, and shoe on while driving, but I drive an automatic so the left foot is not used.

I went back to work today, had a very productive day, and despite being physically tired after walking all over the place in a boot, I feel good about going back.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

*Facepalm*


Sigh. My roommate worked as a CNA for years. I have learned today that 1) I was wrapping my ACE bandage wrong, and that's why it was slipping and 2) I sat on the shower chair (which is backless) the wrong way when I showered. (Should have YouTubed that one first). Once he showed me how to properly do the bandage, it occurred to me that I didn't do well in the shower and that was probably wrong, too, so I did, indeed, look it up on YouTube.
How is it that I had THREE nurses in the family and no one bothered to tell me? And I sprained my ankle approximated four times a year. I guess that's on me for apparently not paying attention, but still.
As I have said on numerous occasions, I realise that I'm book smart, and I may have once been in a Gifted & Talented programme, but my common sense leaves much to be desired. Which I know, which is wisdom, I guess. But man, I feel dumb right now. [And just in case you need it, here's the video that comes up when you Google 'how to use a shower chair']:


Okay

So I didn't quite get to the shower part today, although I got a lot of rest. We're down to one lightbulb of six or seven in the bathroom and I wanted to make sure I had light and my roommate was around in case I fell.

But...despite sink baths, I haven't really felt clean since I showered five days ago.  Now the puppy just smelled me all over like, 'hey, you smell like garbage, can I roll in you?'  I am definitely taking a shower first thing in the morning after my roommate and I are both up!  I hope the chair fits, as this shower is a bit narrow.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

I had to remind myself that it's Saturday

I've been off since Tuesday after the accident.  I am glad I'm going back to work this Monday, though.  I was so happy when Dr Fine told me that I didn't need surgery that I cheered in the exam room.  See, the last time I broke an ankle (my right one), I got hit by a car on October 12, 2012, and didn't go back to work till January 2, 2013.  And I didn't even get to take a proper shower till December 13, 2012, because a stitch had popped up so it didn't completely heal as it should have immediately.  My doctor did tell me I could take a shower with this as there's no incision, but to use a shower chair, which I have with me. I've actually been putting a pillow on it and using it to prop up my ankle for icing.  I got a walker, a boot, and the chair out of my storage unit the other day because I was afraid I might need surgery or even might be put non-weight-bearing when I went to my appointment on Thursday.  I am so glad I went in a few months ago and brought them from the back of the storage unit to the front. But I didn't need the walker, at least, although the boot was useful, as I didn't need to get another, and my goal today is to use the shower chair and get one, as I'm tired of sink baths.

I'm also just taking it easy.  Saturdays I have a few chores I normally do, but I'm not going to today, although I do need to see if I can do just a little laundry. It isn't much, so it won't be heavy.  I think I can do it without pain.



Friday, June 26, 2020

Had an early morning appointment

with my ophthalmologist, Dr Kielar, today.  I started seeing him twice a year several years ago because I had a little ocular hypertension--not glaucoma, or even high enough for drops, but the pressure in my eyes was just a bit too high.  He also follows me to see if there are changes in my retinas or eyes due to my diabetes.  This was just a brief exam--no field of vision test or picture of the optic nerve this time.  They basically numbed my eyes with these yellow drops and did the pressure check, after just running me through a quick exam to make sure I was seeing well.

He said the pressure was a little higher, but not enough for drops as if it gets too high and I'm put on the drops I'll be on them the rest of my life.  But apparently, it reads a little higher anyway because I have thicker corneas, which is genetic.  He said that's better than if they were thinner as they'd have higher pressure than the readings.  He also gave me some tips on my contact wearing (which I knew, and which I follow, thankfully, except sometimes I'm a little over my monthly wear, and so I've started changing them at the beginning of the month to be sure I don't go too long).  But I don't sleep in them or swim or shower in them at all; I even take them out for naps.  I usually do take my contacts out when I get home, which he encouraged, as 12 hours is about the limit of what they should be worn.  We also discussed amoebic and bacterial infections and what happens when they infest the eye (apparently it's extremely painful and takes 6 months just to kill amoebae, and then there may be scarring and a need for a corneal transplant.  I first was made aware of them by my optometrist, Dr Zent, who stressed drying hands thoroughly after rinsing or washing them with tap water, as any wetness could allow the parasitic infection.  Dr Kielar said you should not rinse your case with tap water, but use solution, and if you can, have two, so you have one drying at all times.  I don't use tap water on mine.  I actually just ordered a multi-pack of the solution I use, Bio-True, from Costco yesterday (that was what I needed but wasn't going to go in-store for because of my ankle).  It has two full-sized containers, one travel one, and a couple of cases.

Speaking of my ankle, I'm feeling pretty decent.  I did wear my boot today while I was out, and I remembered the secret to getting the thing on without stress. 1) Put your foot into the inner lining. 2) Put that with your foot into the plastic/rubber case. 3) Line up the bladder with the hole on the cover.  4) Lace the straps through their loop and fasten.  It makes it so much easier than trying to just put your foot in the whole thing at once.  Also, I wore short capris today, which was a mistake, and I must remember to wear long pants rather than a skirt or shorts or capris.  I have a pretty large calf and the velcro only closes in a sort of 'v' shape, leaving part of it unattached.  It doesn't hurt as far as the fit and the use, but it does rub against bare skin unless I have some cloth there.  That is not good for someone who is diabetic at all.  So again, lesson learned.  I'm glad I have till Monday to work out the kinks before returning to my job.

Okay, it's late morning and I haven't eaten anything. I'm going to go have some cereal. :)

Thursday, June 25, 2020

It has almost been a month since I posted

I'm not sure why I dropped the ball on that.  I've been busy--I went back to work full-time on June 1st.  Then three weekends in a row we took down a honeysuckle hedge and then our friend Brenda came over and we chipper-shredded the resulting wood so Brenda could take it to her garden and spread it on the paths.  We've filled up the lawn waste receptacle two times with branches that were sawn because they were too big for the chipper-shredder.  There's about one more load.  But we got enough done so the mowers could mow.

So my weekends have been busy, too.  In fact, the only reason I'm writing now is that I'm home for a few days because at 12:37 am on Tuesday (Monday night), I tried to pick up something that had dropped off the bed (if you must know, it was a teddy bear).  I had my CPAP masque and a pair of headphones on and was teetering on the edge and trying not to lose the headphones or masque at the same time while trying to grab the stuffed animal.  And then I fell, with a very loud boom, onto the hardware floor.

Once I picked myself up, I was hurting all over and it was hard to tell what I'd done to myself, although my toes looked bruised pretty quickly and my foot and ankle hurt more than everything else.  I went to an urgent treatment centre for x-rays the next morning, first thing, and found out that I had broken my ankle (yes, again, but this time the left instead of the right, thankfully), a medial malleolar fracture (which is what I had on the right when I was hit by a car in 2012).  They gave me a lace-up brace and made me make an appointment with the doctor who did my ankle surgery back then.   They sent me home and didn't say anything about being non-weight-bearing, so while I've stayed off of it mostly and iced it for two days, I have put some weight on it. I had an appointment with my doctor today. I do have a fracture, but it's more like a chip on the bone, and he didn't think it warranted surgery.  I could go back to work Monday in a boot and since it's the left ankle, I can still drive and then take the shuttle with the boot on, which is much easier than if I'd had to have a walker or something.  I'm the only driver in the house, so it was important that I be able to drive.  However, he did want to get an MRI to make sure the deltoid ligament was okay, although he said it was a large ligament that was not likely to have torn.  He just wanted to rule that out.  So I should have an MRI sometime next week.  I'm off till Monday but I can go back, to the relief of my backup person at work, I'm sure.  My boss was relieved as well, I think.  Considering the last time I broke my ankle I was off for three months, this is really good news.  And yesterday I'd gone to my storage unit and got out my walker, my shower bench, and my old boot from the last time.  I couldn't find my cane, but I took the walker with me today in case they made me non-weight-bearing.  But I'm okay.  I just need a boot, and the boot I have is universal, not right or left, so I can use it, although I forgot how long it took me to get into it and how heavy it is.  But it's better than surgery.  And he said I shouldn't take a shower standing up but could use a shower bench, so it's good I pulled that out.  I've taken sink baths and washed my hair in the bathroom sink the last couple of days. I am definitely showering tomorrow!

Anyway, that's what's going on in my world.  Hope you're doing well.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Better

This is my last day off before returning to my normal schedule on Monday. I'm feeling much better, despite about four hours' sleep. I took my medicine right after I woke up, got some cereal, started the caffeination process, etc. So far I've done two loads of laundry, put two hampers of laundry away, made my bed sans sheets (I've got some on the way but the first lot got lost, so at the moment I only have one set of sheets and pillowcases and I plan to launder those, so in the meantime, the duvet and other pillows are on the bed hiding the mattress cover from curious kitties. I've also washed my hair, which always makes me feel better. I've made sure the table linens are ready for tonight, and the bread is ready, of course. I've been listening to music (Lewis Capaldi) while I've been working; I think now I'm going to read and maybe study for a bit.

What a day

I had my first attempt to use the dough setting on my machine, followed by punching it down, one more knead by hand, my first try at braiding, brushing with an egg mixture, and baking for 25 minutes. The first picture is the braided dough before baking, the second is the final result. It was a recipe that did the two loaves I needed at once. I'm really looking forward to tasting it tomorrow. I even put a few sesame seeds on top to be fancy.




The bread was my crowning achievement for the day, along with getting in some information on a website in a timely fashion. Otherwise, I managed to 1) forget to take any of my medicine, oral or injected, 2) had my blood sugar fly up to the 340s as a result, 3) received a kitchen timer in the mail that didn't work per the instructions so rather than just returning it I unscrewed and fiddled with it most of the day, figuring out how to put it back together but unable physically to do so, and getting mightily frustrated, to the point where I just threw it away, since I couldn't return it, 3) slept most of the rest of the day, 4) had a recurring anxiety dream which began with Dungeons & Dragons (which oddly enough, as a gamer, I've never played) in the Patterson Office Tower at the University of Kentucky, and ended with a full-out musical number with Nancy Drew in that location.
I get a little off when my medicine's off. The dream was my anxiety, I was more frustrated than normal, my blood sugar was affecting my thinking and in general, I was both anxious and depressed.
But I made good bread, so that's going to be my takeaway. In the meantime I've taken all the meds I can at night (ADHD and water pill/potassium are the exceptions, as they're a morning thing). I've also had a bit too much caffeine today, and it's late, 1:35 am and I'm both tired and awake. I watched some 'Designing Women' with my roommate just now, though, so I feel a little better.
That timer was sort of a metaphor of my day. Non-operational, then wound too tightly, and you take me apart and the spring explodes and you lose the screws.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Whew!

Our project for today: cutting down the HUGE honeysuckles that take up about 1/4 of the backyard. They have always been the place the dog poops (she's shy) and we hate doing it, but the dogs have been digging behind there at the fence. The challenge is we're doing it with a pair of loppers, him lopping and me dragging branches. The new dog sees nothing wrong with it and seems to just be happy being out there with us. The older dog is decidedly not happy we're messing with her yard. We may be about halfway through after 45 minutes to an hour with this part (there's also the getting twine and tying them into bundles so they can go to the curb). Now to get water and a rest break. It's about 6 big honeysuckles.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Today was rather busy

I:
1) watched several episodes of different shows : a) Designing Women, b) Bless This Mess (3 episodes), c) The Great, d) Rizzoli & Isles, and e) Grimm.
2) totally redid my closet, taking out the intermediate clothes to take to storage as erk a the long organiser, rolling all my tops into two short hanging organisers with two sections each, hanging my purses and lunch bags, and putting my hamper underneath, and organising the shelf above. This is a small entry closet, so space is at a premium. I put away any remaining laundry, gathered clothes I'd pulled out that are for cooler weather, and put them into two plastic bags, along with the six-compartment organiser, to take to my storage unit.
3) cleaned the bathroom and completely emptied and refilled the cat boxes as we have an outdoor project planned for tomorrow so I did some Sunday chores today. 
4) watered all the plants inside and out. 
5) did the dishes.
6) dusted my DVDs and the shelf above them (I do two shelves a week, rotating throughout the house).

Not too bad, right?


Two things

First, I got my test results by 8 pm tonight, which was pretty speedy, and yes, I am negative, but of course, that just means right now.  Still, it will help going forward at work.

Second, while I was at Kroger this morning I looked at their plants.  You see, we have a hook next to the front door and last year midway through the season I got some impatiens that did well in the morning sun.  Granted, I've only looked at plants at the grocery because I was out making essential trips, but I haven't seen any impatiens or other part-sun/part-shade plants.  Everything has been petunias or geraniums or the like.  So today I saw a Fuschia plant tucked in with everything else, a type I hadn't seen before. I don't have a great deal of luck with them, as I've tried twice and gotten whiteflies each time, but also tried to raise them as a houseplant rather than outdoors.  I decided to give it a shot, especially as they were $17 for a very decent size.

Here is the plant in its place by the door, both the whole hanging plant and a close-up.  These are more slender and elongated than some I've seen, and it's more the bushy rather than trailing sort, which I thought odd in a hanging plant, but oh, well.  As a plus, they're not toxic to animals as near as I can discover--they're not on the ASPCA list at all, for example.



Friday, May 15, 2020

I haven't been good about

writing lately. I have meant to blog and just haven't. I'm home again on my week off due to COVID-19. Most people are starting back at work on Monday, but because of my diabetes and asthma I am in the vulnerable category, so I'll be going back full-time on June 1st. That means I'll go back the 20th-26th (but of course Memorial Day is a holiday), then be off for three days, and then back for good, so long as things don't change with a spike or anything.

Kentucky is doing pretty well about opening slowly.  We've been at a plateau, even decline, and testing has ramped up significantly better than it was even a month ago.

The last two days of being off I haven't done much, as I've just felt a little blah. I'm having horrible nightmares at night, too.  So I guess that's from anxiety.  Today was better.  I:


  1. Went to Kroger [masked] to get some soda (so I do actually have some caffeine in my system, which has been part of the problem and a few things we needed.  I looked for disinfecting wipes without success but found the Kroger version of the multi-purpose cleaner that has similar disinfecting properties that can be used with paper towels.  Everything I bring into the house gets disinfected if it can be, you see, along with my keys, the door, etc.
  2. Went to Fresh Market [also masked, of course] to get a couple of loaves of challah.  Here's the story behind that.  So last week I had gone back to work on Wednesday and Thursday and I'd been pretty busy, all things considered.  Plus we had worked on a couple of projects at home, and in it all, I'd forgotten to make bread for Sabbath, something I remembered early Friday morning as I dressed for work.  After work, I ran to Fresh Market to at the very least try to find a couple of brioche loaves, but they did have challah, nicely braided, and I was saved.  Fast forward to this week.  This week I was determined I would not have an ADHD moment and so on Wednesday I was going to do my regular chores like dishes and cat boxes, but definitely went to to the bread first.  I got the bread maker down and looked inside, and there was no paddle (kneading blade).  None.  And then I remembered.  The last time I'd made bread, two weeks before, it had not done well.  My bread comes out pretty evenly decent, but occasionally I get one that doesn't rise well and doesn't even mix right.  The one I got was a little square with lots of flour in the bottom, and not suitable for human (or even dog) consumption, so I threw it away.  Rarely, with this machine, the paddle stays in the bread.  I never checked.  Never thought.  Just chucked the sad bread and went on with what I'd made already.  Hence, I threw away the paddle something like two weeks ago.  It's in a landfill, irretrievable.  So I went online and found a suitable replacement (it says it will fit my model) from a storefront on eCrater (I'd never heard of them).  Anyway, it's ordered, so it should be here in about a week, but hasn't shipped yet, and we needed challah in the short term, so Fresh Market was the place to go, and I got their last two loaves.  (It was $10 for two loaves of bread, but the paddle itself was $20 and if it works, will get me back to making loaves cheaply).  In recent weeks I have found bread flour with difficulty and the help of co-workers, ordered instant yeast from Amazon (a whole pound), and generally have had to work hard at getting what I need for the bread. But I was all set, and then no paddle. :(  Oh, and instant yeast is apparently different from active dry yeast in that active dry yeast has some ascorbic acid in it.  I have a loaf booster I use for wheat bread that has that in it, so I'm going to use that when I can bake again.  The booster has soy lecithin and ginger in it, too.  Anyway, that's the bread saga.
  3. I came home, caffeinated, and had some cereal I'd gotten.  Then I went to be tested through a drive-through testing site for COVID-19 here in Lexington at Walgreens on Executive Dr near Hamburg.  It was well done.  None of my things--ID, etc. ever left the car.  A cart with the swab in a bleached box was placed near me so I could take out the swab (in its wrapper), swab each nostril for at least 3 seconds, replace the swab in the wrapper, and put it back in the box, where it was wheeled away after things were explained further to me.  All the people working there had gloves and masks, and my window remained up except when they were talking to me, whereupon they asked me to just roll it down for an inch or two so I could hear them.  The only time my window was down completely was to get the swab and replace it in the box, and they stood way back. I should know by tomorrow but most people get an e-mail by 8 pm the night they take the test. I'm self-quarantining (that's why I got my stuff prior to that, which yes, might be bad I guess if I am positive, but I am asymptomatic, and really got it primarily in anticipating going back to work, as they'd asked us to.
  4. Since I've been home I've swept and mopped the kitchen and bath and cleaned two of my masks and my roommate's mask.
It's a gorgeous day with a nice breeze. We have the windows open.  The dog has been outside most of the day as she has wanted to stay out, electing to go lie down in the grass and sunbathe.  We check periodically to see if she wants to come in to get some water or anything, but she hasn't wanted to.

We have a new member of the family, though, a male dog my roommate adopted on Sunday.  He's a chocolate Labrador mix, also probably with a little Pit Bull given his head.  His eyes are a beautiful honey colour, whereas the other, who is also the same mix, is blonde with dark eyes.  He looks for all the world like a chocolate Lab puppy, smaller than her, although he's about two years old per the humane society.  He's brought out the maternal in her, and they've gotten along well, although despite being fixed he has tried to mount her a bit and she's discouraged him strongly.  She's much calmer in general though.  He also plays with the kitten, who is now 14 lbs and is rougher than the other with him, so we're keeping an eye on things.  He has tried to play with the older cat and discovered that that is not a good idea.  He loves comfort.  He came from an abusive situation and has a couple of scars.  But he seems really gentle and also seems really happy here.  He has chewed the head off of a stuffed mousie that is the kitten's, and is totally not interested in balls, although the Nylabone was appreciated.  Neither dog understands they are part retriever, but he is fascinated with birds and chases them.  I do think he's had soft stuffed toys, though, so I'm keeping my teddy bear up, as he seemed very interested in that.

So there are two people, two cats, and two dogs in the house.  Everyone seems to be doing pretty well with one another.

So I've got the weekend and then Monday and Tuesday before I go back this time.  I'm going to try to stay caffeinated so I'm actually productive.  And yes, I'm going to try to remember to write.

Hope you are having a good week.  I'll sign off for now. :)

Monday, May 04, 2020

Another one







I've never had a professional manicure or pedicure in my life, and I just get my haircuts (without colouring) at Supercuts or Great Clips [and I'm sure it shows], so I don't get the urge to go back to normal in terms of primping. But I found this hilarious.

Sunday, May 03, 2020

How I'm doing #HealthyatHome

So I'm about two-thirds of the way through my third 'week off' due to Coronavirus, as I alternate being at work for a week and a week off. The first couple of weeks off I used personal time off, but I was rapidly using that to try to deal with it, but this time I broke down and applied for unemployment benefits since my hours were reduced by half. Since that could take awhile, I'm not sure how financially that will work out. It seemed a better idea since I'm not sure how long we'll be operating on this plan. The governor is opening things up very slowly, starting with healthcare, but it could take some time to get back up to normal levels, and even so, we need to do it gradually to protect patients and staff.

I'm actually getting ready to listen to Governor Beshear in just a couple of minutes. His 5 o'clock briefings have become part of the routine for many Kentuckians, as it is carried on TV, radio, and online in many media settings. He actually took off yesterday for the first time since this began with Kentucky's first case.

I've been home except for going to the grocery, pharmacy, or pet food store. Yesterday I did some re-potting of plants. Two friends, Brenda and Feliz, dropped off plants for me in a socially distanced way, where I didn't get out of the house. Brenda gave us a hyssop plant and a dill plant. Feliz had some really tiny cherry tomato and jalapeño plants, just sprouted, and I put them in pots, which I'll have to re-pot as they're going to get bigger, I just got them out of the cups they were in. I also potted up two African violets I got at the grocery during a run for essentials.







I also have a new orchid blooming:



So my bedroom is full of plants:





Shopping in the age of Coronavirus

If you see price gouging on Amazon, you can use the report incorrect product information link and then choose other product information to get to price issues. This is what I found today while searching for the bread yeast I use. Four stores I tried did not have any yeast whatsoever, so I thought I'd try Amazon. $50 for a 4 oz. jar that usually runs about $5.50 is ridiculous and is obviously price gouging, and I've reported it to Amazon.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

We are always living history, but now more so

The audiobook I'm listening to, The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History, by John M. Barry, just spent a chapter on how Woodrow Wilson's contraction of the 1918-1919 pandemic influenza in Paris had terrible effects on the post-World War I talks with Britain and France. Where he'd been set to remove himself from the negotiations, he instead came back from the illness, probably too soon, and gave in to all of France's demands, the very ones that set up the rise of Adolph Hitler and WWII. Since that time we have made connexions between influenza and neurological and disposition changes.

The next chapter is discussing the resurgence of flu the next fall, and how it finally faded over the next few years. But millions had died, many children were orphaned. For many, the effects were lingering, some for a year or more. But through so much of the pandemic, it was downplayed due to the war effort. 'It was only influenza', ignoring the virulence of this strain.

It's also talking about the lack of writing about the pandemic at the time, and how that was like the mediaeval accounts that lack much of any study of the Black Plague. It reminds me that we are living through history. We need to take pictures of grocery stores with their lines. We need to write our stories. I started this blog in 2001 shortly after the attacks on September 11th. It's waxed and waned over the year, but this reminds me that this is an opportunity to put down what we do and how we feel.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

So yesterday was actually pretty productive

and I'm on track for today as well. Yesterday I:

  1. Went to two pharmacies and got medication for my roommate and myself.
  2. Got some groceries while I was at the second to try to combine runs.
  3. 'Read' for two chapters (but it was an audiobook, so I listened for about an hour, really), The Great Influenza by John M. Barry, about the 1918 flu pandemic.
  4. Listened to music and perused Facebook, which probably shouldn't count as productivity, but I was up and that's what matters.
  5. Organized about 60 Kindle books into categories so it isn't a terrible mess.
  6. Composed a complete yet eloquent rant on Facebook concerning those who were outside of our Capitol building while the governor was announcing deaths in a huddled mass shouting for him to reopen the state and end the COVID-19 restrictions.
  7. Re-watched and sang to 'Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog', which made me feel quite a bit better after that. :)
Today I woke up at 7 am because I'd set my alarm to early as I had not done my normal task of washing the percolator and its basket so my roommate could make coffee this morning. I wanted to make sure I was up before him, as when he gets up to make coffee he is usually so out of it and if the pot and basket are clean, he is too out of it to do himself. It's one of those little things I do for him each night, I just forgot to yesterday.  For those who don't understand, you try using a percolator rather than a Keurig and see how you do when you're half-awake.

So after I got that taken care of (three hours before he woke up!) I:
  1. Called T-mobile to finally get my hotspot fixed, as  I knew I'd need it where I am now, away from the Wi-Fi, and it hasn't worked in months.  Apparently, there was no problem with my plan, the data, the laptop, or actual connexion.  It was connecting, just not giving me Internet.  So we went through various settings and two operators, each of whom had to call me back periodically, and I had to factory reset my phone, but it is now working.  If it hadn't, I still have my phone under insurance and they were willing to replace it. I feel good about my service; they were very helpful.  Now I just need to restore some of the stuff that was backed up and re-download some applications and I'll be good to go.  My music and everything was all on an SD card, so I didn't actually 'lose' anything.
  2. I've taken my car to the shop to get the front brakes fixed.  They've needed it for a while.  My mechanic, Kenny @ Mitch's Auto, runs a small shop and I know their business has really been impacted by all this.  So I thought I'd get them fixed while I was off rather than taking it to a chain.  They've always been really great about fixing my car and not overcharging or anything like that.  I'd highly recommend them.  They're on Industry Road near the Circle in Lexington.
Other plans today: 
  • I have to go back to our small independent pharmacy as my roommate was asleep when I picked up what was ready yesterday, but he had a few other things he needed.  But that's just a drive-through sort of thing.
  • I'm going to take some things to my storage unit.  I have my winter clothes packed up (in one, not two totes this year), and I have a few other things that are sitting in my room right now otherwise.
  • Reading some more. I'll listen to more of the Barry book, maybe while I'm waiting for the car to be finished.
  • Re-install things on my phone.
  • Do some more reading as far as my Kindle goes now that it's ready to go.
  • Straighten up my room a little.
  • Launder my masks and the clothes I have on right now and from yesterday that I went out in.
  • Take some pots and put them in the shed until I'm ready to use them so they don't wind up being blown around like the other day when a couple were in the yard
I wish I was in a good place for gardening.  The soil in the yard at roommate's house really needs to be worked and amended.  I thought about getting a hanging plant yesterday when I got groceries from Kroger, but it's cool right now and we've been under frost warnings.  I'll look next time I make a trip out to the store.  But container gardening is about our only hope right now, as neither of us has much to spare in terms of getting what's needed to improve the soil.  I do have a big tub at the storage unit that might work for a tomato plant later once the frost is not an option.  I just need to drill a few holes in it, although a co-worker has my drill at the moment.

Okay, I think I'll go ahead and post this and switch over to working on the phone.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Two

One

Found on Facebook

Good information embedded in the humour

Another one...

it does help if you can understand a Scottish accent, unlike my roommate, who gets about every three words, mainly the first and last of a phrases

This is hilarious

So

Starting the second round of staying at home for a week. Things I'd like to do differently:
  1. Work on my mental health. Work sent out something from our EAP about a service/app called Whil with all sorts of educational resources for mindfulness, anxiety calming, meditation, and stress release. I went ahead and signed up at work (as it required the work e-mail) and now I'm set. My goal is to spend an hour a day on these. They include video and audio programmes, and it's free with our EAP up to June.
  2. Try to actually read. Again, an hour a day is my goal, whether it's an audiobook, e-book, or physical book.
  3. Finish 'Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance' with my friend on Netflix.
  4. Survive my bread cravings from Pesach/Passover since I can't get something and bring it home until Thursday after sunset.
  5. Do almost no travelling out of the house, with some planning. Today I do have to go out to two pharmacies, one of which is Kroger, so I'll try to do a grocery run in and out at the same time.
  6. Do some writing, whether it's on my blog or other things. Something to keep me from being on Facebook all day and feeling that I accomplished something.
  7. Get my brakes fixed, as my mechanic is only open on weekdays and I'm off. Also, I'd be supporting a local small business.
That's a start, anyway. I'm off through Tuesday before I return to work this time.

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

It was nice

to watch the first episode of Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance on Netflix today.  It took me right back to the magic of the original movie. :)

Day One

of my week off.  I managed to get everything taken care of that I could in that week I was still working so my backup will hopefully only have to deal with add-on surgeries (we're only doing fractures and casts at the moment) or urgent offsites (the University of Kentucky, our main imaging partner, is scheduling non-urgent scans in July as of yesterday).

I tried to get up at a reasonably early time for someone who had really nothing to do today, although I did reset my alarm so it wouldn't start at 5 am.  I tried for 7 am but instead wound up getting up about 9:30.  I got ready and went out to Kroger for a prescription I had waiting for me and finally managed to score a package of paper towels while I was at it, then came home and since then I have mostly been looking at the news, or Facebook, or listening to music, or downloading audiobooks and looking at books to read.  So today is my preparatory day for the rest of the week.

So far I haven't been very bored, although both the food in the refrigerator and my bed are calling to me, so maybe a little. I have discovered that my roommate binge-watches 'Dark Shadows' on Hulu at the moment to wake up and meet the day.

Last night the kitten was inconsolable because his toys were all missing except a ball with a bell in it that really held no interest for him.  I had the intuition to move a marble-top washstand in the living room and voilà! we found his hoard of toys, including the butterfly with the crinkly leaves he adores but I had never actually seen because he hid it the day he got it. Now I've got both cats on my bed and I'm listening to Bastille in my room facing the window with the orchids and a blooming redbud tree outside.

I put a little laundry away, but today was about relaxing after working a week and a half out in the world while most people have been off or working from home.  Our hospital is screening everyone with a temperature check before they come into the building--patient, visitor, staff--and distributing homemade masks that are primarily to help you remember not to touch your face and keep out any droplets.  It won't protect from the virus such as the ones the first responders and ERs have (the lucky ones, anyway), but it'll keep us from pulling any from other places that may need them more.  Our team approach is reducing exposure.  I haven't been able to eat with my lunch bunch all week--my boss directed us to eat lunch in our offices and keep the doors shut.  The only time I go to any other place in the hospital is to go to the bathroom, get a drink, check the mail in the mailroom, check my offsite folder (which I can see through our department door, so I don't have to go in unless there is one) or, in yesterday's case, I filled in at the sign-in desk for a half an hour so someone could go to lunch.  I had to stamp passes the parents had for parking, so I was very cognizant not to touch my face and then washed my hands really well when I was done.  I also wiped down the whole office with disinfectant before I left for the day, as someone else from upstairs might use it while I'm gone.  Of course, when I come back next week I'll do that all again.

I think I will lie down just a bit.  Governor Beshear is going to give his update at 5 pm, so I want to be up by then.  The updates have become known outside of Kentucky, and people are creating memes and videos of him.  There's a fund set up to help with the COVID-19 fallout in Kentucky and someone created quotes on t-shirts with 100% of proceeds going to that fund.

This evening I may go for a walk (by myself).  I have some new shoes that (unlike the walking shoes and Mary Janes I had) are completely level and not worn down from my natural walk, which is on the outside of my feet.  My Mary Janes, which were three years old, were so worn down they were at a 0-45 degree angle and my foot was rolling over every time I walked, so I had to throw them away.  They were in such bad shape there was no reason to try to donate them.  The walking shoes were getting there, too, as they're five years old.  So it was beyond time.  I only have a pair of sandals (which also need replacing) and a pair of house shoes, as I'm pretty utilitarian when it comes to shoes and keep them to a bare minimum.  So these are work shoes but look like a sneaker.  They are from New Balance, and they come in an extra-wide size and don't press badly on my feet (which is bad when you have diabetes), but they also have a steel toe, anti-static protection, and skid-resistant shoes, which probably isn't bad since I'm accident-prone.  So I'm trying to break them in before I go back to work. I wore them to the pharmacy today, and like I said, may go for a walk in a little while.  They're a little heavier than normal due to the steel toe, so I had to be careful not to put the accelerator down too far when driving. Talk about a lead foot. :)

Okay, that's all for now.  Hope you are having a wonderful socially-distant week.  Hopefully, you are staying at home unless you're an essential worker or needing to go out for supplies.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

This pretty much describes things perfectly around here



We're up to 169 cases in Kentucky, 4 deaths.  Our governor is taking steps to help flatten the curve, but we are, of course, still part of the upward swing one would expect at the beginning of a pandemic.  Still, we're doing better than a lot of states surrounding us, so that's a positive thing.

Starting tomorrow I have a new work schedule, where we've divided into teams.  My team will work Wednesday through Friday, then Monday and Tuesday, and then the other team will take over for the next span.  At least in doing so, we're spreading people out and halving the exposure to the world outside our homes.  We have options to take the off-days with paid time off if we have it (I do, for about two months of this, anyway, so this is my choice), taking it without pay, or supplementing income by working with other departments in the meantime.  If one of our team members gets the virus, we would all quarantine, leaving the other team able to do essential tasks.

So no one's being laid off or anything.  Those without PTO are also allowed to go into the negative, they just can't take normal PTO until they get back into the positive.  It's a reasonable plan.  I'm not sure if the third option above really helps with limiting exposure, but for those without underlying issues, that may not be such a problem.  However, with mine, I'm going to stay home on days I'm not scheduled.  That's five days (seven with the weekend) at a time that I don't have to take the parking shuttles or anything.  And all of the departments are doing a version of this, worked out with their managers, so that pretty much halves the number of people in the building.  And some are working from home--I just couldn't because of the amount of patient health information I deal with (virtually everything I touch is protected information).

We were scheduled to start this tomorrow, and I was supposed to be at work today, but my car wouldn't start this morning.  I have almost nothing in my bank account (22 cents, to be exact, but hey at least it's positive), so I can't do a thing about it till Thursday.  I don't think it's the battery.  My roadside assistance is in jeopardy due to the tow I had in the fall and then the two to do with the tyres, so I'm afraid to use that.  I was planning on transitioning to AAA, but that's been put off as I'll have to fix the car.  If it isn't one thing, it's another.  I was already looking at fixing the front brakes this weekend. :(

Okay, that's enough for now.  Hope you got a laugh out of the video.  We need things like that to keep us sane during all this.  Take care, and stay well.