Making Some Changes, Too

Song: “Act Naturally” by Buck Owens

Mood: 6.5

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Several

It’s been a while since my last post. I’m not sure why I’m not writing more often – there always seems to be stuff going on.

Whether it’s the increase in prazosin, changing my nighttime routine a bit, or any other factor, my nightmares seem to have backed off somewhat. I’m still getting them but not every night again, and on the nights when I have them, I don’t get them one after another after another. Hopefully I don’t regret saying this, but I don’t seem to be having the nightmare with the capsized boat anymore, either. Maybe the other two will disappear over time, too…

Some of my OCD issues have been flaring up again lately, mainly around the garage and front doors – to the point where J has been noticing. It could be related to everything that’s been going on, but when it gets to the point where J notices, it’s very important for me that I do something about it. So Dr C and I have been talking about it and she has me doing ERP on them again. ERP helps me a lot but it’s not very pleasant to do. The idea is that exposing yourself to what bothers you and forcing yourself to not give in to the compulsion will cause your anxiety to rise, but if you hang on and wait it out, the anxiety should drop after a while. Ideally, the anxiety over time curve should look something like this:

Typical ERP GraphAnd as far as the garage door goes, it follows that pretty well (this has four trials on it in different colours):

ERP Graph - Garage DoorBut the front door is a different matter. For the better part of two weeks, my charts looked like this:

ERP Graph - Front DoorI know that from your perspective this is just a little graph drawn by a stranger on the internet, but to me it represents hours I’ve spent forcing myself to feel like someone’s tightening a strap around my chest and I’m grinding my teeth down to stumps. Anyone who says “well, just think about something else” or “don’t worry about it” or “deal with it” may be well-intentioned, but they have no idea what it’s actually like to deal with this kind of thing… and I hope they never do.

The good news is that my worries about the garage door have dropped back to a very manageable level, and the front door is finally getting there now, too. It’s frustrating that I’ve had go back and work on several things now, but Dr C says that anxiety and OCD are like playing whack-a-mole. It’s taking less time to “re-ERP” things now than it did at the start, which is good, too. I should probably also try to be more proactive about these things and catch them before they’re at the point where they’re bothering me and/or other people notice.

Another thing Dr C has me working on is the little patrol I do inside the house before I finally go to bed. I take pictures of a bunch of things in a particular order, and sometimes just knowing that I’ve taken the picture helps me when I wake up worrying in the middle of the night. But it’s not a healthy habit and is likely feeding and/or is part of my OCD behaviour now. So she has given me the homework to not take a picture of one thing during my wander around the house. I’ve started with the stove and so far it’s going very well. Of course I picked something easier to start with but if I’m successful I should be able to build on that with something a little more difficult, then something more difficult again, and so on. If this works out, it’ll save a lot of wear and tear on the SD card in my phone!

With the uncertainty surrounding J’s job (or, more like the certainty now that it’s going away), other things that I’m worried about, and the recent frustration and stress that it’s caused, I decided to bow out of volunteering at the church down the street. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve been at the building in the last six months, nevermind the volunteering. While I like the idea of helping people, I’ve accomplished next to nothing there and the effort and worry isn’t worth it anymore. I left the door open in the event things change, but I don’t think I’ll be going back.

Let’s see… what else is going on. Oh, the blood pressure thing, right. That’s actually kind of a funny story. Funny? Maybe not “funny” but probably chuckle-worthy. So my GP had me stop taking one of my BP medications and it immediately made a difference in how tired I was during the day. I still have to “finish rebooting” as FA says, but after that I’m alert and don’t immediately fall asleep when I sit down. But then my BP went up… and up… and up. And that’s when I figured it out.

Remember Zombie Mark? The guy who’d eat cake or chocolate syrup at night and then fall asleep on the couch? Well, we fixed that problem by taking my nighttime medication just before I went to bed, instead of at a fixed time in the evening. Well… making that change ended up moving my nighttime and morning medications to anywhere from eight to six hours apart, instead of the twelve that they’re supposed to be. So I was accidentally stacking my medications, almost all of which are known to have the side effect (or main effect) of lowering blood pressure. Anyway, I called my GPs office back and said to the nurse, “you’re either gonna laugh or yell at me”. She was very pleasant about the whole thing and by the end of the day I’d changed my nighttime medication schedule back to the way it was and was back on the medication I’d been taken off (albeit at a lower dose).

Zombie Mark has made a couple of appearances since (most notably to eat an entire bag of chocolate chips and then fall asleep on the couch), but another thing Dr C has been working with me on is getting my bedtime set to a more reasonable hour. It’s working, too… slowly but surely.

Because her office is closing, J has to do a lot of inventorying. Because of the social distancing policies and that it’s easier to do that stuff when people aren’t bothering you every thirty seconds, she went into work last Sunday for about five hours. I tagged along and sat at her desk and puttered with my phone and a computer I brought while she scurried around with a pen and paper. I was glad when we finally got home, but it wasn’t too bad.

I’m also still working on keeping myself occupied at home. Now that I’m not fighting to stay awake all afternoon it’s a lot easier to concentrate and I’m accomplishing stuff again, which is really quite nice. I’m also fascinated and entertained by the rabbits that stop in our yard to relax during the afternoon. I know they’re basically pests, but they can sure be cute.

Bunny stretched out and relaxed in back yardSo if you stop by and there’s no answer at the door, I may be in the back yard watching the bunnies.

Stay safe.

Some Changes Coming

Song: “Midnight Star” by ‘Weird’ Al Yankovic

Mood: 7

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Several

So the big news right now is that J just found out that head office is winding down operations at the place she works and she’ll be out of a job soon. With all the stuff going on right now, we were kind of expecting that something was going to happen, but it still sucks. We (and by “we”, I mean 99% J) have our finances in order, though, so with some changes we should be okay. We’ve been talking a lot and throwing a bunch of ideas around, but I expect we will be having several to many thinking sessions with lots of paper and numbers very soon.

Since we found out, I’ve been up pretty late going over numbers and scenarios and thinking up (and dismissing) lots of ideas. I don’t think I’m getting wound up or anything like that, but yeah… lots of thinking.

Went to the clinic on Friday to do a blood pressure test and then have an appointment with Dr H. I’ve been very tired lately (much more than usual) and have spent way too much time trying to keep from falling asleep (or just giving up and taking a nap, which I’m not supposed to do). I have a little blood pressure checker at home and during the day my numbers have been pretty low. Anyway, the nurse did the test, found that my BP is too low (which isn’t great) but it stayed constant when I stood up (which is good). Then had my appointment with Dr H and she told me to stop taking one of my BP medications and to keep an eye on things. I think it’s working – I’m seeing numbers that are much closer to normal, and today is the first day in a while that I haven’t completely zonked out after getting up.

There’s a bright yellow bird that’s been visiting the bird feeder. J and I thought it was maybe someone’s pet because it was so bright and looked out of place. We get blue jays, which are kind of snazzy, but this particular bird is really quite yellow:

American goldfinchTurns out it’s an American goldfinch, up in this part of the continent mainly to make more American goldfinches.

So yeah… lots of changes coming. We’ll see what happens.

Stay safe.

Another Weird Dream

Not a nightmare, thankfully, but pretty weird.

My mother has a collection of fancy plates and cups that she values and takes really good care of.

So where my dream starts, I get a call from Mom that there’s one last piece she needs to finish her set, and it turns out she got a text from Linda Ronstadt (yes, THAT Linda Ronstadt) saying she had a spare and would be willing to sell it to Mom for thirty-five dollars. The only kicker was that Ms. Ronstadt was in China at the time, so Mom asked me if I could go and get it for her.

So there I was, off to China in an old cargo ship. There was a terrible storm and the ship broke apart and I was stranded on an island where my phone didn’t work, but not long after, one of those old PBY flying boats from WWII landed nearby and took me to China.

When we got there, I called Linda Ronstadt but when she answered she said that I was too late and she’d gone to Jamaica but had the plate with her if I still wanted it. I was a little frustrated at this point but the pilot of the PBY said he’d take me to Jamaica for fifty bucks.

After we landed in Jamaica, there was another horrible storm that blew down all the cell towers so I couldn’t get a signal to call Linda Ronstadt. I ended up going to a clinic and putting my feet into two buckets of water that had a galvanometer hooked up to them. Somehow I could control the galvanometer with my mind, and the nice people at the clinic hooked the galvanometer up to the satellite dish on the roof of the building.

The rest of it was pretty boring. I was able to call Linda Ronstadt using the water bucket galvanometer brain scanner satellite thing, she met me at the clinic with the plate, I gave her the thirty-five bucks, thanked the people at the clinic, then got in line at a wharf and waited to board another cargo ship to go home.

I woke up at that point, so I’m not sure if Mom ever got her fancy plate. I hope she did – dream Mark went through a lot to get it from Linda Ronstadt…

Stay safe.

Better Than I Could’ve Hoped

Song: N/A

Mood: 8

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Several

Just a quick post tonight about how Monday went. I was nervous Sunday night but Monday went so well I’m still trying to figure out if I missed something.

With J’s urging, I got up on time, got all prettied up, and was ready by the time FA arrived around 9AM. J had moved the vehicles around while I was getting prettied up so there wasn’t even that to do (THANK YOU!!!).

After a quick chat and loading up the truck, we were on our way. I think FA and I talked for about… 45 minutes? Something like that. Then I fell asleep and woke up about an hour later with FA still at the wheel driving intently, and everything else was fine. Seems I didn’t say anything dumb while I was still really groggy, I didn’t snore (at least not too badly, I don’t think), and a quick glance in the mirror showed me that FA didn’t shave off one of my eyebrows or draw something weird on my face.

We made good time and got to my folks’ place, where they came out to say hi while we were unloading. We went inside, hugs all around, and then had a good chat before having a little lunch.

After that, we headed outside to work with Dad on his pump. Spent a lot of time outside testing one idea, then another, until we figured it out – the well isn’t refilling fast enough to keep up with the pump, so it runs fine for a minute and then slows right down as its slurping at the bit of water that does come in. Not the answer we were hoping for, but at least there’s nothing wrong with the pump. He does have a work-around, so that’s good.

We took a break midway through and sat on their deck and talked some more. Shared more stories, caught up on stuff… it was great. We also probably couldn’t have asked for a nicer day to be working outside – it wasn’t too hot and there was a bit of a breeze. Considering the swampy, thick heat and storms we’ve been getting lately, I think we lucked out.

After we were done with the pump, we talked some more and then had a delicious supper of BBQ chicken, BBQ corn, and salad. Then we moved back into the living room and talked some more until it was time for FA and me to hit the road.

We tossed the stuff back in the truck, had another round of hugs, and were on our way. FA offered to drive home but I was feeling pretty good so I figured I’d drive at least part of the way. We got gas, then went to a hardware store to see how it compared to the hardware store in our town. Lots of different stuff, but lots of the same stuff, too. It smelled and felt a little different than our store… I think I like ours more. But that one would do in a pinch!

I decided to give driving the rest of the way home a shot. Knowing that FA was there and able to take over if/when I started to fade was a big help, and being in a familiar place (I’ve driven that highway probably hundreds of times now) AND headed toward home and J was also very, very helpful.

We got back to the house around 10PM, and everything was fine. I drove the whole way back, and it was kind of like one of the geek-out sessions that FA and I have – we talked about pretty much everything on the way back. We also shared some pretty stale sour gummy candy that also became a topic of discussion itself.

J was at home waiting for us and as FA and I unloaded the snowblower from the back of the truck (bet you didn’t see that coming), she came out and we talked for a few minutes until the mosquitoes found us and started swarming. FA got into her truck and headed home, and J and I went inside.

We talked for another hour and a half or so, but not long after I sat down inside I could feel whatever oomph I had leaving me quickly. It was so good to be home and to see J again, but doing the road trip with FA and seeing my folks and working on stuff all afternoon and everything going so well… things just went so well!

I think one of the things that helped an enormous amount was that someone I trusted very much was keeping an eye on the things I worried about. I knew that J was home and she would be all over anything that could go wrong here, while FA was with me in the truck and I knew that if I was tired or had some other problem, she could (and did) take the wheel and would be all over that stuff. Plus, we were going to see my parents – a place I’m familiar with and where everything was fine.

I have said this many times on this blog already, but I am very lucky to have the kind of supportive family and friends that I do. J was 130% supportive of this whole endeavour, FA didn’t even bat an eye before agreeing to come along (and drive) on a road trip on a weekday, and my parents put zero pressure on me for being there. I’m not entirely sure what to say other than THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!

Oh, and as an added bonus, in the time I spent driving on the way back, my right hand didn’t get so much as tingly even once! So the whole arm surgery thing seems to already be paying off very well!

Well… so much for that being a short post. It’s so good to be able to write posts that fall into the “what a great day” category!

Stay safe.

Good And Bad, But A Road Trip Coming Up

Song: “Love Child” by Diana Ross & The Supremes

Mood: 7

Nightmares: Usually several a night now

Ghosts: Pack

There’s been quite a bit going on lately, some great and some not so great. My arm is healed nicely, and the fingers on my right hand are working better and are less numb and tingly than they have been in years. I’m looking forward to getting my other arm done at some point.

I’ve been having a lot more trouble with nightmares, panic, and sleep lately. It’s to the point where I called Dr W outside of our appointment hours and asked if he could help me, so my prazosin dose has been increased back to 9mg in the evening and we’ll see what happens. My Dr C appointment this week was very difficult because of the nightmares and because of some of the other stuff that’s been going on lately.

One of the things that’s really got me bothered is the state of the volunteering that I had planned to do at the church down the street. There’s no schedule, no communication, and I got an email out of the blue from one of the folks there asking if I could send an email in some sort of official capacity. Since I haven’t done anything there, haven’t heard from them in months, and the time I spent there before Christmas was sporadic (at best), I declined. Despite being told by Dr C and Dr W last year that getting out and doing this stuff is something I need to do, I’m terrified that my insurance or disability will be cut off. I was doing okay with the phones but I’m back to not even wanting to look at them when they ring, afraid that it’s going to be work calling and demanding that I come back.

I know it’s not rational, and Dr C said she and Dr W would back me up, but I can’t get it out of my head and it’s really messing with me. I’ve been trying meditation, grounding, and all the other tricks in my toolbox, but nothing is tamping down the churning in my stomach and tightness in my chest very well. I am also upset at the fact that I am currently upset, and I’m really afraid that this will be a problem for the rest of my life. I don’t want to be 80 years old and worried about work from 2016 calling me back. It doesn’t make any sense and it shouldn’t be happening. It’s causing me a lot of anxiety and I’ve been having more panic attacks again along with the nightmares. It is really, really bothering me.

On the upside, though, I got together with J’s aunt yesterday. She picked me up and home and we went to her house, talked about everything, and had snacks. I put up a blind in her kitchen, said hi to her cat, and we just shot the breeze, talked about the world, exchanged gossip, that sort of thing. I am quite comfortable around her (I find her to be very unassuming and easy to talk with), and to my surprise, I was comfortable at her house, too. I brought the crib board but we didn’t play – just talked. It was very nice and I hope we can do that again sometime soon.

On Monday, I hope to hit the road and visit my parents. Dad’s having some trouble with his well pump, and J is working during the day, so FA has been kind enough to do the trip with me. If you’ve read this site before, you’ll know that FA is one of the very few people that I feel comfortable enough to do something like this with, and I think it’s going to be a fun time. The last road trip we took together was, uh, something like 25 years ago? We’re going to leave a little earlier in the day, so FA is going to drive on the way there while I finish rebooting (as she likes to say). Fingers crossed that I don’t fall asleep, half wake up, think she’s J, and say something really embarrassing. Although now that I think about it, FA would probably find it funny and just tease me relentlessly about it for the rest of my days. 🙂

I washed the truck today. Poor thing has needed it for a while now so got out the hose and bucket and soap and fluffy mitt and went at it. I missed a few spots and left greasy handprints on others but at least it doesn’t look like someone will catch tetanus if they touch it. We’ve had a lot of rain lately and the air was thick and swampy but not too hot. The sun, though… wow, that was warm. After I was done I rinsed out the washing bucket, filled it with cold water, got out my chair, and sat in the shade with my feet soaking in the cold water. It was pleasant and I will do it again.

With the nightmare, worry, and panic I’ve been experiencing lately, it’s been quite a bit more difficult than normal to motivate myself to do things I enjoy. It’s also more difficult to concentrate on the things I am doing. I’m more tired during the day and it feels like I’m not running on all cylinders. I asked Dr C during my appointment the other day if there was a way she could hypnotize me so that I’d have a different kind of nightmare instead of the usual three (actually, it’s pretty much down to two now, the boat one doesn’t happen very much anymore). I’d pay good money if I could be chased by skeletons or a giant monster for once. She gently reminded me that I’ve asked that question several times before, and said that it’s unfortunately not possible.

Tomorrow I’m going to head back outside and make sure the truck is ready for Monday. After I finished washing it I checked and topped up various fluids, but I still need to check the tires, the spare (which I suspect no longer holds air), and all of the lights and indicators. Monday will be a blast!

Stay safe.

Stitches Out!

Song: Soundtrack from Surviving Mars (Computer Game)

Mood: 7.5

Nightmares: More than usual lately

Ghosts: Pack

Today was an early day. Got to the clinic with plenty of time to spare (thanks sweetie!) and I didn’t even have to wait too long until I was called in to see the nurse. She was pleased with how my arm looked and it took only a minute or two to get the tape off and the stitches out. Talk about relief… the novelty of feeling the stitches pulling whenever I bent my arm a bit wore off pretty quickly.

According to the nurse I don’t need to worry about my elbow splitting open if I bend it too hard, but the skin is pretty tight around there now so while I can bend my arm pretty well now it’s still a little uncomfortable when the skin stretches. As an added bonus, if I bend it even farther, I irritate the nerves there and it feels like I’ve banged my funny bone. I’m supposed to work on range of motion but not lift anything heavy or do anything strenuous with that arm until I’ve had the followup with the surgeon in a few weeks.

I’m very pleased with things. I’m pretty sure my fingers are already less numb and more useful, and it’s so good to be able to use both arms again.

As far as other stuff goes, things aren’t too bad. I’ve been keeping myself very busy and am working on a couple of different projects. J and I have been watching 30 Rock and playing Stardew Valley, and we’ve had some really nice weather so we’ve spent some time outside, too.

I’m still not sleeping all that well and have been having more nightmares than usual, though. They’re almost all the same tent one, but sometimes the life jacket one gets in there too. So it’s taking me a while longer to shake off the morning grogginess and concentrating on things is a little more difficult. The good thing is that if the past is any indicator, this should pass shortly and I’ll be back to getting sleep and not having nightmares and making weird noises or talking and waking J up (sorry about that).

I had another appointment with the dietician and we went over a lot of stuff. We are both pleased with the things I’ve been working into my diet and the effect it’s all been having, and we started to talk about entire meals. She gave me a recipe for taco salad that I wasn’t too keen on trying (anyone who knows me will know that coleslaw is NOT my thing, bleurgghhh), but J and I made it that evening for supper and I found it surprisingly edible. A bigger surprise was that we had leftovers and it seems that sitting in the fridge for a day made it even better. We’re going to see if we can work it into a rotation. Hooray for cabbage!

Tomorrow (or later today, I guess) is Friday and then it’s the weekend again. I hope there is some more good weather. I have some stuff that I’d like to do outside, and if the weather cooperates I’d like to spend some more time in my big fat man chair, staring at the sky and watching the rabbits wander around the yard.

Stay safe.

My Brain Says Some Weird Stuff

I was sitting on the couch with my eyes closed and started to drift a bit. My brain often does strange things when I’m in that half-awake/half-asleep zone. I don’t really dream but I “hear” lots of stuff, and this one was stranger than most.

VOICE 1: “We have Jimmy Stewart in the studio here today.”

VOICE 2: “Uh, hello there, here I am.”

VOICE 1: “Jimmy has promised to smoke 200 cigarettes right here on live TV every time someone donates more than five dollars. You’re a good man.”

VOICE 2: “I will. It’s for a good cause.”

That was when I shook my head and got up off the couch…

Stay safe.

Good Stuff

Song: “My Perfect Cousin” by The Undertones

Mood: 7

Nightmares: 2?

Ghosts: Few

Friday was a very long day, but the surgery on my arm went well and there were no surprises like finding a golf tee in my elbow or discovering that the nerves in my arm have been infected with liver flukes. I’m afraid to say anything but I think I’m already noticing an improvement in my hand.

Something did happen, though, but I’m not 100% sure what it was. I guess I started to panic partway through the surgery and they had to dose me again to get me to calm down. I don’t know what was bothering me, although I remember that sounds weren’t working properly and there was a blue surgical drape to my right. Beyond that, I have no idea. It’d be nice to know, though, so if I end up in an operating room again I’ll know what’s coming and can advise the doctors.

J and I hung out and were pretty quiet for most of Friday evening and Saturday. I slept like the dead on Friday night, probably because I was still shaking off the aftereffects of the medications… but I had nightmares (tent) on both Saturday and Sunday nights.

With a lot of the COVID-19 restrictions being lifted, it’s easier to get out and do things. FA came over yesterday afternoon and she, J, and I had a good chat before FA and I headed off to the hardware store to do a short walkthrough and some shopping. It closes earlier than I thought on Sundays, so despite all of the weird things and laughing and noises we’ve made in there over the years, yesterday was the first time an employee suggested that we start heading toward the door.

After we paid for our stuff, we went and picked up some burritos at the burrito shop, then went back to the house and the three of us had a delightful burrito dinner and another great chat outside on the back lawn. The weather was pretty much perfect for me – warmish but half-overcast and with a nice breeze. Very pleasant.

Aside from being kind of tired because of the nightmares waking me up last night, today has been a pretty decent day. My mother-in-law dropped by for a visit on her way out of town, and it was very good to see her and catch up on some of the news and gossip. She seems to be doing pretty well, and hopefully she’ll be back in town for another visit soon!

J is still working from home so things are pretty quiet during the day and I’m still so happy she’s around! She takes her work seriously, though, so I only really see her on breaks or when she takes her lunch, but just knowing she’s here or hearing her move around or her muffled voice makes the house so much brighter and happy. Ahhhhh…

Aside from that, I’ve got some more projects that I’m working on. Nothing too important, but enough to keep my mind and hand(s) busy.

Stay safe.

Tomorrow’s The Day

Song: N/A

Mood: 6.5

Nightmares: 1

Ghosts: Several

Very short post because I need to get to bed. Going to the hospital tomorrow morning and getting my arm surgery tomorrow afternoon. I’m excited about getting it done and hopefully getting better control over my fingers again, but I’m also getting very nervous. I’m a little nervous about the surgery (which is very common and minor) because I’m concerned he’s going to open it up and go “uh-oh”. I’m also nervous about getting there on time, whether I get lost or say/do something stupid, and whether I’ll have everything I need.

But it will be fine. Late tomorrow afternoon I will be back at home, sitting on the couch in the basement, and watching shows or something. It’ll all go perfectly.

But… maybe if you don’t mind, wish me luck. Can’t hurt.

Stay safe.

Slipping

Song: “I Think We’re Alone Now” by Tiffany

Mood: 6.5

Nightmares: 1

Ghosts: Several

The weekend was good but it went by a little too quickly. We had some pretty good weather, and I spent some time outside enjoying the air and puttering around a little bit. Saturday in particular was beautiful, with a deep blue sky with nothing but a faded moon interrupting it. I took a couple of pictures, none of which really show just how blue the sky was:

Blue skyWe’ve had lots of animals in the back yard, too. Rabbits, squirrels (which are no longer welcome because they’ve been devouring the bird seed), and lots of different birds like chipping sparrows, juncos, blue jays, robins, crows, and a bunch I haven’t been able to identify yet. Pretty neat.

My Dr C appointment was alright. One of the things that frequently amazes me about Dr C is that she remembers all kinds of things that I mention. She’ll often reference something that I said a few sessions ago, a few months ago… even a few years ago. I don’t know how she does it, but it’s impressive. I’m pretty sure I’m not her only patient, so where does she get the brain space to remember all that stuff about all her patients? I’ve asked her a couple of times and she just smiles and says, “part of the job”.

One of the things that came up during the appointment, though, is that it’s becoming apparent that I’m slipping in several areas. I’m not worrying about things like the freezer or stove (thank goodness), but I’m getting stuck on the doors again, having some more nightmares, and experiencing more panic attacks. My sleep is all over the map again, but I’m not falling asleep on the couch (or at the dining room table now), which is good. J and I talked a bit about this stuff today, and she mentioned that she’s noticed I’ve been more concerned about things again too

I’m also feeling much more reluctant to leave the house, which bothers me a lot because of how well things were going just a few months ago. It’s easy for me to joke about having to self-isolate or whatever, but I don’t like feeling that I really shouldn’t go outside. I still haven’t started up my motorcycle this year, haven’t done any welding… haven’t even had the truck out for weeks now I think. Not that there’s a lot of stuff that I should be doing or want to be doing, but I don’t like the feeling of dread settling on my shoulders again when I’m thinking about going out.

Speaking of going out… I’m still scheduled to get that minor surgery on my elbow done on Friday. I’m excited about getting it done, but I wish they could come and do it here. Even out in the back yard or something – get some good sunlight, everyone gets some fresh air, we could have some iced tea and do up some hot dogs on the BBQ, maybe some fruit salad and potato chips – everyone could go home after a nice relaxing operation.

Part of the problem is that with all the precautions being taken by the hospitals around here, J won’t be able to come into the hospital with me and instead will drop me off at the door and then pick me up when I’m fixed. As I’ve said about fifty thousand times in my posts here (and will continue to say), J makes everything so much easier just by being around and being herself. Yes, I’m a big boy, and yes, things will get done and work out fine, but this has me nervous and gives that part of my brain that wants to curl up in the basement ammunition when the rest of me argues with it. But yes, I know it will be fine.

I’m also having trouble with what’s been going on in the news. The magnitude and breadth of the current issues makes it impossible to avoid hearing or reading about it, and I’m finding it hard to keep from dwelling on it and trying to figure out how it should be fixed. I need to keep my hands and brain busy with other things like tasks or hobbies… which will be more difficult if I need to keep from using one of my arms after Friday. We’ll see what happens.

I hope you are all well and safe. Take care of yourselves and make sure to tell your family and friends that you care about them.

Stay safe.