Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Saturday, February 27, 2021


So I came home last night all wound up after two or three days of working multiple freaking miracles in terms of scheduling same-day or within the next couple of days imaging exams, and my roommate pointed out that I was acting a bit manic, talking a mile a minute with push of speech. Which is true. And I will probably crash this weekend from the results of too much adrenaline this week. But while mania and hypomania are never really desirable, and have a host of problems if prolonged, a little extra zing in my step really helped this week. This proves that even challenges can be helpful if channelled correctly. I spent a lot of time this week using the Pomodoro technique to focus (you use a timer--such as an app I use called Focus To Do--for 25 minutes of focused work, followed by 5 minutes' rest, repeat, until a few cycles and then you get a 15 minute break--it's called Pomodoro from the Italian for tomato, because a lot of early kitchen timers were in that shape). Anyway, it really helped this week, along with taking some of my boss' suggestions for organising, and it really cut down on my scheduling time. I guess all those time management books I've been checking out from the library are starting to help, too. 🙂 Now if I can just get comfortable asking for help rather than trying to please everyone when I'm drowning. I'm still trying to figure out this thing we call life. I think we all are.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Feeling relieved

So back in November, I called to make a mammogram appointment because I'd last had one a couple of years before and I'd put it off, mainly due to COVID. I needed a late appointment, which pushed it out to January 18th, but that was okay, I figured. I went and got it, didn't think much about it, and had decided that all must be fine or they'd have called me, and I'd probably get something in the mail in 2-4 weeks (or more, given the challenges of getting anything through the Postal Service these days).

Then they called.

It was all matter-of-a-fact. There was need for a diagnostic mammogram because of something on the images. I was in enough shock I didn't ask what it was. At the urging of a co-worker who has been through cancer and was talking me down from a panic attack, I called back and was told it had to do with assymetry, something showing up inside one breast but not the other, something not noticed on my previous imaging. I was to come today for that mammogram and prepare to stay one to three hours in case there was need for an ultrasound or biopsy.

Fortunately we've been dealing with ice in our area, so I haven't had much chance to overly worry. But I went today and had just the left breast scanned, and then sat in the waiting room in my little half-gown wondering how it would come out. Then someone called my name, told me I was free to go, and took me to the changing room and showed me the results were normal, that it was just normal tissue. I was very much relieved, dressed, went back to the car, and texted my friends at work--two of whom were not so lucky to get good news--my results. All in all I was in there about 37 minutes, only about 25 past my appointment time. It was over very quickly, and that was great. But there were other women who were there, and I remember one pacing in the hallway, others quietly introspective. One of them might not be getting good news.

So that was the sum of my little scare, but it all came out happy in the end. Thank you so much to Jessica, who talked me through the panic and got me to seek as much information from them so I could empower a sense of calm.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Ice storm!

A bottle of deicer I bought on Amazon and had delivered last week got me to work this morning, a little late, but overall it went pretty well. I got the car door open within a couple of minutes.  It took another hour or so to get the windows as clear as I could of ice, and then a slow trip for the four miles to work.  I usually clock in at 8:30 am, and I made it there between 9:10 and 9:30 am (I'm not sure of the exact time, as I was kind of tired by that time and was just thankful to have made it to the Orange Lot at UK, walked to the shuttle, rode the shuttle, and then walked from the other side of the UK hospital to my workplace.   The only dicey part actually was crossing South Limestone at Conn Terrace, especially as the sidewalks were clear and salted, but didn't have the little bit of snow on them for traction.  The pictures are of what I found outside the house this morning.  The trickiest part was getting the limb off the porch without falling off the porch.  This is now the fifth major ice storm I've been in (four in Kentucky, one in South Carolina of all places, with seven inches of snow right outside Myrtle Beach, where I lived when I was about five because there was an Air Force base there). Anyway, I managed to get a lot of work finished because there weren't many e-mail of phone call interruptions. :) I got home after 6:30 pm because I had to go to the pharmacy (I was out of insulin pen needles), get gas, and get a few things at the grocery.  It was definitely re-freezing once the sun was down.  Now I'm safely at home, letting the bread dough rise, and thankful to be inside.  We lost power for just a couple of hours last night. Fingers crossed, I hope we don't have a repeat, as I couldn't sleep without my CPAP that whole time. 

Also, a big thank you to the gentleman who, seeing me struggle to spray and pry ice off of my gas cap cover for five minutes, help me get the last of it off so I could open my tank and fill up. 

Friday, February 05, 2021


It's 9 pm on a Friday night and both my roommate and I are headed for bed. He cooked and did a lot today at home. I worked really hard despite less than 4 hours of sleep and forgetting to take my meds till about 3:30 pm. Also, I hurt all over tonight (a fibromyalgia flare up) but also my knee is throbbing so badly I can barely walk, and it's swollen. I haven't done anything to it recently. It took three ibuprofen and ice to get where I could do the dishes. I tore my meniscus when I fell in February of last year, but not to the point of surgery. I think I've somehow irritated that. I'm off it now; hopefully it goes back to its normal, everyday osteoarthritis pain. Good night.