Everything Went Well

Song: “I Can See For Miles” by Lord Sitar

Mood: 5.5

Nightmares: 0

After a final check of all of her stuff, J declared that she was ready for her trip. We hung out for a while and watched some Arrested Development before heading to bed. It took me a while to get to sleep, but I slept better than I expected – I only remember waking up three times. It took me a little longer to get back to sleep because I was worrying about J and her trip in addition to the normal stuff, but seeing that she was comfortable enough to sleep helped me relax.

We both set alarms, and they both went off at 4:15AM. J got up immediately and started getting ready. It took me a minute or two to figure out who (or maybe what) I was, but then I got up and floated around the house, trying to be helpful and trying to not get in J’s way.

J has a million wonderful qualities. One of them is her ability to be organized. She’s always jotting down lists, thinking about how better to set up or arrange things, and can remember all kinds of details about rules or processes or things that need to be done. Not only that, but she is really good at doing that stuff not just on paper, but in real life, too. Because of this, she was ready in… I don’t know, maybe ten minutes? I was still kind of stumbling around so I’m not sure, but we actually had time to sit down and chat for a while before the phone rang, letting us know the cab was outside.

One last hug and she was out the door and on her way to the airport. As soon as I couldn’t see the car anymore, I started to worry. I wandered around the house for a while, marvelling at how quiet things are at 5AM and carrying my cellphone in one hand and one of the cordless landline handsets in the other, just in case J needed something or was trying to get ahold of me.

After an hour and a half or so, the feeling of how ridiculous I was being exceeded how worried I was. I went to my comfy spot on the basement couch, put in my earbuds and put on my ear defenders, and did some mindfulness exercises. About half an hour later, I went back upstairs, got into bed, and managed to get another hour or so of sleep.

After I woke up, I checked the phones, did a quick circuit of the house, and then went through my morning routine. My exercises went much better than I expected them to, and I was feeling much more alert and less dumb than earlier. I turned on some music, sat down, and did some writing. Every once in a while I would make sure I hadn’t missed a text or call, but otherwise I was pretty relaxed and could focus on what I was doing.

At around 10AM I got some texts from J. The first leg of her trip had gone much better than she’d expected and she was doing well and at the gate to catch her next flight. I was happy and relieved that everything had gone so well. Like I said earlier, J is amazing at organizing things, but if anybody could throw a wrench into things, it’d be an airline. Fortunately, everything went really well. We texted for a bit and then she caught her second flight.

I went back to writing for a while but then I started chasing ghosts again. Music both helps and hinders me when it comes to sounds around the house. It covers up a lot of the quieter sounds so I don’t even notice them, but it makes the louder ones more difficult to identify or place so it’s more likely I’ll have to get up and try to figure out what it was I heard. Sometimes I’ll get frustrated and have to turn the music off for a bit, while other times I’ll get frustrated and turn it up. Today was a “turn it up” day.

I had an early lunch – yogurt with Raisin Bran in it. Don’t laugh until you try it – it’s pretty great. If you leave it for a couple of minutes before eating it, the flakes get soggy and more delicious.

My mom called a little while later and we had a good chat, taking about all kinds of stuff. It was good to talk to her, and I felt a little more relaxed after we gossiped and shared stories. I think I will give my folks a call tomorrow – can’t hurt to interact with other human beings, right?

This afternoon, I puttered around the house and watched a couple of my favourite episodes of Community. I spent some time thinking about DA’s cabin security issues and jotting ideas down. I thought about making some cookies but I was feeling weak and realized that if I made two dozen cookies, I was probably going to eat two dozen cookies – quite possibly before they’d cooled. Maybe I’ll make some later in the week, right after a meal so I’m not as tempted to gorge myself on them.

I tried playing some Star Trek but wasn’t having a lot of luck, even with headphones on and music blaring in the background. I went downstairs, grabbed my ear defenders, and swapped out my headphones for earbuds and turned off the music. Still not good enough, but after I closed the front blinds, I was in business and played for a good 30 minutes before I got interrupted, then played for another 45 minutes or so. I feel a little dorky sitting in the dining room with big yellow earmuffs on and the blinds shut, but I don’t care – it works.

I was going to have butter chicken for supper but changed my mind at the last minute and made ham and perogies. It wasn’t too bad, and a little while after I finished eating, I got a text from J saying that she was at her hotel and all was well.

An hour or so later, she texted again and asked if I wanted to do a video chat. I certainly did, and it was wonderful to see her and talk to her. She was comfortable but tired. Everything had exceeded her expectations – the cab, the flights, meeting her co-worker at the airport and getting a ride to the hotel, and the hotel itself. We talked for quite a while and it was great. It was like a weight had lifted from my shoulders. Texting is one thing, but being able to see and talk to someone is so much better.

After we hung up, I sent out another round of texts to let everyone know that J was doing great, and texted with people for a little while.

Then it was back to thinking about DA’s cabin. I know that DA is a big boy and is responsible for all of his own stuff, but it’s an interesting thought exercise. DA and I used to work out this kind of stuff together on our whiteboards during our breaks at work. I miss doing that so it’s nice to be sharing ideas over email and text.

The rest of my evening went pretty well, and right now I’m doing alright and am just about ready for bed. I think I’m going to drag out my colouring stuff and do some of that for a little while before I turn off the light. With luck, I’ll get a decent sleep. I hope J does too.

Stay safe.

J Is Heading Out

J has been very busy today getting everything ready for her trip. Suitcases are packed, paperwork is printed, batteries are charged, things that needed to be bought are bought, and she’s ready to go.

She called and booked a cab for 4:45 tomorrow morning. Nope, not a typo. Brutal.

I think we’re both a little nervous and will feel better when she is safe and comfy in her hotel room tomorrow evening.

J is going to have a good time on this trip, I think. Aside from getting there and getting home (which are always stressful), I think she’s going to enjoy meeting people she’s only heard over the phone, and it looks like the hotel has the amenities so she can get in some pampering if she feels like it.

I’m not particularly concerned about the week while she’s away – I don’t expect I will have much trouble keeping myself busy. I’ve got a lot of people I can call or text if I get bored or feel like I need to talk to a human being, too.

Have a good trip and a wonderful week, sweetie! I’ll see you on Thursday!

Stay safe.

Done For A Week

Song: N/A

Mood: 5

Nightmares: 0!

This is going to be another short post. I’m starting it too late, I’m too tired, and I want to get to bed. So…

I slept better last night than I have for the past week. For starters, no nightmares. I can only remember waking up worried four times last night which isn’t too bad. I’m pretty pooped, though.

Exercises didn’t go very well because my mind kept wandering and losing focus. More sleep will help that.

Listened to a lot of music today and tried to keep myself busy. I sent out my texts and had a couple of enjoyable and funny conversations with people. Someone tried to break through the gates DA and I built at his cabin couple of years ago (they tried to pull it apart with a tow strap. It bent but held) and I’ve been giving some thought to other ways he can improve security or somehow get a photo of the people or their vehicles.

My appointment with Dr P started out quite poorly. I was sweating like crazy, couldn’t keep still, and was having trouble keeping myself from screwing my eyes shut. We talked about my recent stint in the hospital and how things went, and how I was feeling at the time. I told him I was feeling guilty about my decision to go back to Dr C when she returns. It was really bothering me and I wanted to get it off my chest. Then we moved on to some more ACT work, some of which was the new stuff he learned at the ACT seminar he was at. One of the things we tried was opening my hand and listing things that I don’t like about myself or that I feel negative about and assigning it to one finger. Come up with something for each finger and then clench your hand into a fist and open it again. Trust me, it sounds/works a lot better from an expert like Dr P than the way I can describe it. We also went through another exercise where I had to figure out what was exciting to me if I had exactly one year to live. What would I want to do, where would I want to go, who would I like to see, etc. Then I had to do the same thing for six months. Then three. Then one. Then a week. Then a day. Then an hour. Then ten minutes. Then one minute. I found it very interesting how easy it was to plan for three or six months, but it was very difficult to plan for a year or for the periods shorter than a month. By the time the appointment was over, I felt a little better than I did when I’d arrived.

J made some delicious hamburgers for supper. I don’t know what she did (or what they were made of) but they were really tasty.

After supper we hung out for a while and then went downstairs to watch some Arrested Development. We picked up the fourth season and it’s been decent so far. Not as good as the earlier ones, but not too bad.

I have no appointments until next Wednesday. That is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

Stay safe.

Not My Greatest Day

Song: N/A

Mood: 5

Nightmares: 3?

I started this post last night but fell asleep at my keyboard before I finished it. So just in case the timings seem weird, it’s meant for last night.

I didn’t sleep well last night and had more nightmares again. Still the same ones it’s been for the last few years.

I’m still pretty sore today so I didn’t go for my walk again. My exercises didn’t go all that well, either.

This morning was my appointment with Dr H. I called for a cab ahead of time and asked them to be here at 11:15. No problem. I started to get ready, but before I was done, the phone rang and it was the taxi company telling me my ride had arrived. Sure enough, when I looked out the window, there he was – early. In my haste to get out of the house, I forgot any of my anxiety stuff – the fidget ring, bean bag, and I didn’t have a chance to take any PRNs.

The car ride was difficult. I had to fight to keep from asking the driver if he’d noticed that I’d locked the front door and whether I’d closed the garage door. Very very difficult.

I got to the clinic and was taken to a room after only about five minutes from when I checked in. I realized at that point that I’d forgotten any of my fidgety stuff, but fortunately I had a handkerchief (for the flop sweat) so I started playing with that.

Dr H arrived a few minutes later. I gave her the discharge form from the hospital that I got last week and we talked about what had happened a bit. I was very anxious and could feel that I was flailing my arms around and not talking very well but she was very patient with me. She told me that what J and I had done was exactly the right thing. Apparently, surgery is the very best thing to do in situations like mine, because if they’re not taken care of properly, people can get very sick very quickly. I also asked her about that blotchiness on my face. She took a look and prescribed something that I’m supposed to try for a couple of weeks. If it doesn’t work, I should try another thing, and when I go to see her in late September, she’ll do a biopsy.

As we finished up, she asked me if I was okay to go home or if I would like to sit in a quiet room for a little while to calm down. I thanked her for the offer but said I just wanted to get home. I went outside, called another cab, and paced back and forth until it arrived. The ride home was a little embarrassing – the driver was very pleasant and was trying to make some light conversation but all I could do was nod or say, “yeah” once in a while.

Finally, to my relief, I got home. None of the doors were unlocked, nothing had been left on, and nothing had leaked. Everything was fine. I took some PRNs, went downstairs, put on some loud music, and screwed my eyes shut, trying to concentrate on the individual instruments and push all the other stuff out of my head.

J got home a couple of hours later to take me to my appointment with Dr W. The drive out started not too badly, but it didn’t take time for me to start winding myself up again. By the time we got to the hospital, I told J I needed to use the washroom. I went in, washed my hands, and then closed my eyes and leaned against the wall. I don’t understand why I’m still so anxious when I go out there – I’ve spent months living on the ward and I’ve been going back to see Dr W for around two years now – but I could feel the sweat running down my back as I stood there with my eyes closed. I grabbed some paper towel and dampened it with cold water and patted my forehead and then went back out to the waiting room.

While J and I were in the waiting room, three of the nurses from the ward wandered by; all three of them said hello, remembered my name, and recognized me even though I don’t have my moustache or beard right now. That was nice of them and made me feel a little better.

My appointment with Dr W was pretty rough. We talked about my hospital adventures last week (embarrassing and painful), how I am doing (not great), am I hearing any voices (no), and have I thought of hurting myself (yes, last Thursday at the hospital when I wasn’t getting my medications and was up all night with nightmares and panic attacks, but I was hooked up to too many machines that would alert the nurses if I did anything). Dr W was concerned that I’m not making much progress on my ERP targets but I told him that I’ve been mainly working on ACT. He wants me to try to manage the worry I have for things I have no control over and I told him that I’m doing my best.

Again, I’m not doing this stuff on purpose. I do not enjoy chasing down every noise, smell, and suggestion of motion out the side of my eye. I do not enjoy worrying about whether the water hose to the dishwasher is leaking right now. It’s not (I just looked), but in the time that it took for me to get back to my chair and sit down, it could have started leaking. It probably didn’t, but it could have. Now, multiply that by every thing in the house that COULD go wrong on its own. Every hose, motor, pipe, pump, electronics, batteries… everything. It is so bloody frustrating.

Dr W also wanted to make sure that I had a list of activities to do while J is away on her business trip next week and a list of people I could call if I feel like I should reach out. I told him that I was in good shape in that respect.

This evening, J and I took it pretty easy. She’d had a long day at work and neither of us were feeling that great or productive. It was good to be home with her.

Thursday afternoon I have an appointment with Dr P. I expect we are going to cover much of the same material that I went over with Dr W. I’m not looking forward to it, but Dr P just got back from an ACT seminar where he learned a bunch of new stuff in the field. It should be interesting.

Stay safe.

Feeling Kind Of Weird Today

Song: N/A

Mood: 5.5

Nightmares: 2+

This is going to be a very short post – I can barely keep my eyes open…

I woke up a few times last night in a panic from nightmares, but I only had to get out of bed and go into the living room once. I’m blaming the nightmares on my medication being kind of messed up last week. It could also be related to the discomfort I’m feeling since my little operation. Either way, as a result of the poor sleep, I’m very tired again today.

I didn’t go for my walk because of the discomfort I’m feeling. I think it hurts more today than it did yesterday. It’s still so much better than it was, though!

My exercises didn’t go very well and I gave up on them and started just listening to music after a little more than an hour of trying.

Sent out my texts today and had a couple of chats.

My folks called today and we talked on the phone for almost an hour. It was really quite nice and it sounds like Dad (or maybe both of my parents) want to come out and visit while J is away. I don’t mind the idea of a visit, I just wish it wasn’t because people are worried about me being by myself.

I don’t feel particularly well today. Aside from being tired from lack of sleep, my stomach is bothering me and I’m shakier than normal. The stomach problems are most likely from those antibiotics I took last week, but I have no idea what else is going on. Hopefully I’ll sleep well tonight and tomorrow morning I’ll feel better.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with Dr H in the morning (which I’m not looking forward to) and one with Dr W in the afternoon (which I am not looking forward to). Dr W (and Dr P when I see him tomorrow) are going to want to know every gnarly detail of my hospitalization and how I (didn’t really) cope, and I don’t really want to talk about it. Since the site of my surgery is hurting a little more today, it’s probably a really good thing that I’m seeing Dr H tomorrow. J has meetings all morning so I’m going to give it a shot and take a cab to get there and home. Wish me luck.

Stay safe.

Improving Quickly

Song: “Act Naturally” by Buck Owens

Mood: 5.5

Nightmares: 0

I didn’t sleep very well last night. Woke up quite a few times worrying about something, and a couple of times it was less worrying and more panicking. Fortunately, I was eventually able to get back to sleep (even though it took a while some of the times).

I’m happy to report that in the aftermath of my adventure last week, things seem to be healing up quite well. I’m in very little discomfort compared to a week ago, and while I get the occasional zap of discomfort, I only have to be careful about how I sit down, get up, and move around. I’m pretty happy about that.

I’m also feeling a lot closer to normal now that I’m back on my regular medication schedule. I still feel a little weird during the day but that could be any number of things. I’m still surprised at how hard it was to miss the venlafaxine and prazosin for two days. I’d better make sure I never forget to call the pharmacy for a refill…

My exercises didn’t go as well today as I’d hoped. I was too tired and couldn’t maintain focus on what I was doing. I ended up giving up after about an hour had passed. That’s okay, though – not every day can be perfect. Hopefully I’ll sleep better tonight and things will go better tomorrow.

I spent a lot of time today writing. I’m almost comfortable with those articles I’ve been working on, and I just need to get some more pictures and do a bit more writing and I think that blurb about cells I’m writing for my nephews should be done. I also worked on a template that I think might be handy for some people who are going to their doctor.

I didn’t get out for my walk but I made sure I (slowly) got up and shuffled around the house a couple of times an hour to make sure the blood was still flowing. Getting another pulmonary embolism now would be exceedingly uncool.

I’ve got two appointments on Wednesday – one with Dr H and one with Dr W. I made the Dr H one back when I thought I could wait another week to deal with that infection. I was tempted to cancel it but one of the doctors at the hospital recommended that I keep it so I can get prodded and poked again to see if it looks like it’s healing properly and isn’t infected. Oh, goody.

I know I’ve got stuff going on tomorrow but I’m too tired to remember right now. Hopefully it’s nothing important, or at least it’s stuff I can deal with without needing to comb my hair.

Stay safe.

That Escalated Quickly

Song: N/A

Mood: 5.5

Nightmares: 6+ (Thursday night)


I started this post yesterday (Friday) evening but had to go to bed before it was done.

This post was supposed to be about how my day had gone and how nice the peppers are that we’re getting from the plant on the deck. See?

Chili PeppersBut other things have happened, which weren’t quite as fun. Anyway…

I went back to the walk-in on Wednesday morning for my follow-up. Today is Friday, and I didn’t get home until about 2:30PM. It was quite an adventure, quite a lot of discomfort, quite a bit of embarrassment, and enough anxiety that I was holding on by my fingernails for a while.

The next thing to get out of the way is that I fibbed a bit in a couple of my posts. After I confirmed it with every medical person who would talk to me, I am confident in not being the only person who has had an infection…

On their butt.

Yes, it’s true, dear readers. I lied to you and said abdomen because I was embarrassed, but the doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants, surgeons, and the lady who brought the newspapers around all say it just happens. Doesn’t mean I’m disgusting (although I kind of feel it right now), doesn’t mean I’m dirty… it just happens.

Okay, so here we go – best as I can remember.


I got up at 7:30AM, showered, and got ready to head out. I figured I’d take my pills and breakfast when I got home (which I foolishly assumed would be less than an hour).

J and I got to the clinic at 9AM. At about 9:20, I got in to get my infection checked. It was not the same person who I saw on Monday about it. This person took a quick look and immediately summoned a colleague. Painful probing and embarrassing questions followed, and then the two of them huddled for a minute before turning back around and telling me I had to to go the emergency room. They would call ahead to the triage nurse so they’d know what was going on.

At about 10AM, J and I got to the emergency room. I was in quite a bit of discomfort at this time, but we got in to see the triage nurse quickly. I really like the renovations they’ve done – it’s way better than the old system.

At about noonish? Somewhere around there, I got moved into a small examining room. Over the next several hours, I was prodded and probed by more nurses, a physician’s assistant, and a doctor. The doctor took a look and then said he thought it was going to end up being a surgical intervention.

So we waited for the surgeon to come by. They’re busy people and a fat guy with a butt pain doesn’t rate high against car crashes and stabbings. But, he finally came and took a look. He was pretty sure that taking the antibiotics would be the best thing but he was going to consult with his boss.

A while later, his boss and several of his cohorts came by and took a look. The boss and his associates prodded around, said some fancy medical words, and then said they were going to slot me in for surgery, and they hoped they could get me in that afternoon or evening. That was great!

Except I couldn’t eat or drink anything until after the surgery… including my morning pills, which I had not yet taken.

Two Hours LaterI was brought up to a room that normally held four but I had all to myself. It was pretty nice. More people came to check on me and poke at me, and then J went home to pick up some stuff – magazines, clothes, my phone and charger, CPAP machine, all kinds of stuff. I was really glad she was there, but I feel terrible for ending up in the hospital AGAIN during one of her holidays. (I’m really sorry, sweetie – I don’t do it on purpose, I promise!)

Later Wednesday evening, it was determined that I was not getting in that day for the surgery. I got some of my night medications (the quetiapine and zopiclone were there, thank goodness) and two of the best tasting pieces of toast I’ve ever had in my life, and then got hooked up to a bunch more machines and tried to go to sleep. Of course, the fire alarm picked that time to start ringing. I was frozen in place, pressing the palms of my hands to my eyes and trying very hard to ignore the ringing and relax. Fortunately, the alarm didn’t sound for too long and I was able to use some of the ACT stuff to calm down a bit. I was already pretty tired, and between that and the zopiclone and quetiapine, it didn’t take too long to fall asleep. I woke up many times over the night in a panic, worrying about the house, worrying about J, worrying about the car, the garage door, if there were problems on the ward, if the nurses were okay, the hot water tank, the toaster, all kinds of things. I didn’t get a good sleep that night.


Surgery was going to happen, so no food, no drink, and no venlafaxine again. I didn’t think missing a day or two would cause that much of a problem, but by the afternoon I had the sweats and the shakes, and it was REALLY hard to keep from freaking out or punching my way through a wall and walking home in my gown. All I could think of were all the horrible things that were happening that I couldn’t do anything about because I was stuck in the stupid hospital because of a stupid infection that I should never have got in the first place. My nurse came into the room and asked me if I was okay. I told her I was panicking and having a lot of anxiety, and she said, “Okay, I’ll be back in a bit,” and left. I understand why she did that now – she had dying people to keep an eye on and a fat guy with the sweats wasn’t at the top of her priority list – but at the time, it felt like a betrayal. I went back to bed and screwed my eyes shut and set my phone blasting ocean sounds into one ear and tried with every fibre of my being to keep from freaking the hell out. I tried every technique that I’d been taught or even heard of. It was so hard to think or to focus on anything. I had some luck with the cognitive defusion techniques that Dr P had taught me, and some with the grounding techniques that Dr C had taught me, but they served mainly to keep me rooted where I was instead of changing back into my own clothes and bolting for the door.

I managed to send out a couple of slightly mangled texts when I heard that I was finally going to be heading in, and they came and got me for my surgery shortly after. I finally went in around 2:30PM, and they asked me to try and lie still on the operating bed but I told them I was doing my best. Then down came the mask, they told me to breathe deeply, and for a couple of beautiful seconds I felt my anxiety melt away just before I fell asleep. I don’t know how long it took and when I woke up in the recovery room, it was only myself and two nurses, both of whom were very pleasant and helped bring me back into the world of the awake. My throat hurt quite badly (I’d been intubated for the procedure) and I was having trouble making more than a raspy sound at first.

After recovery, I was sent back up to my room, where J was waiting for me. What a sight – I appreciate her so very very much, and her being there when I got back to my room was fantastic. She stuck around for hours to talk and be supportive, leaving a couple of times when nurses or doctors or that guy from Maintenance came by to look at my butt. She also sent texts out to some people to let them know I was out of surgery and it had gone well. Some of my lucky relatives even got a picture that looked (mostly) like this:

Hospital BedI was still pretty relaxed and groggy from the anaesthetic, and between that and J being there, I felt a lot better than I had earlier in the day. Supper came by, and I lucked out – it was perogies, garlic sausage, and corn. Not too shabby.

Eventually, J headed home to get some sleep (I felt really bad for her – she looked so tired but insisted on hanging around and making sure I was okay), and I got my evening medications and went to bed early.

Unfortunately, Thursday night was not good. Whether it was because of my discomfort, the aftereffects of the anaesthetic, that I had gone cold turkey on the venlafaxine, or that I hadn’t been given any prazosin, I had rampant nightmares. I was also hooked up to machines on either side of my bed so I couldn’t get up and go to the nurse’s station, and I was too much of a chicken to press the call button and tell the nurse I was panicking, so I laid there most of the night, shaking and sobbing through panic attack after panic attack. It was unbearable.


I was very sore and groggy on Friday morning. Every one of my muscles felt like they were rusty and didn’t want to move – everything from my ribs to my shoulders to my thighs to my neck to my hands. Thankfully, though, the first thing my nurse brought me was my venlafaxine and I took it immediately.

Breakfast was a cinnamon bagel and some applesauce. Again, not too bad.

My nurse came by to remove the packing the surgeon had left in the wound. I was expecting it to feel kind of weird as she pulled it out, but was a little worried when she told me to “breathe through the pain”. And boy, was there pain. She stopped for a second and I said, “can’t you just rip it out and yell TAA-DAA or something?” I think she thought I was joking because she chuckled and then went back to tortuously pulling what felt like a red hot bass guitar string coated in salt and vinegar chip shards out of me, one agonizing femtometer at a time.

Finally, it was out. It took a couple of minutes before the pain died down. A couple more doctors and nurses came by to inspect my new butt hole and nodded approvingly. I got out of bed and had to admit that just standing there felt better than it had before the surgery. Sitting was another thing, though, and I’ve still got to be pretty careful when it comes to that.

My nurse then started to talk about letting me go home. We went through the paperwork and care instructions, and then she said I was free to go when I was ready. I texted J and she came right over. We waited to talk to my nurse for a little while (there was a critical patient on the floor that was in rough shape and needed help) but we chatted until my nurse came back and gave us the okay to head out. I changed back into my clothes and J and I headed home.

J dropped me off at home and then went to get my prescription and pick up some supplies, while I took some PRNs to calm down before I made some calls and sent some texts telling everyone I was home and doing alright. I also called Dr P and thanked him for introducing me to ACT techniques because some of them helped me get through the pain and venlafaxine withdrawal. He sounded very interested in talking about my experience and how I managed to handle being away from home.

I still have my appointment scheduled with Dr H on the 15th and I’m going to keep it. At my last count, 17 strangers have looked at my butt; may as well make it 18 and make sure everything is healing properly. I am also supposed to make an appointment to meet with my surgeon in a month to make sure everything is okay.


So far, today has gone reasonably well. I’m a little uncomfortable but less uncomfortable than I was before I went to the clinic on Wednesday. My muscles all feel even stiffer and rustier than they did yesterday but once I get to shuffling around a bit, I start to limber up. I’m still trying to figure out why I’m stiff all over. J suggested it could be that I spent hours curled in a very tight ball when I was panicking – that could certainly be a cause.

Pretty much all of my family I’ve talked to have said that I proved that I can handle being away from home if I have to. While that may be technically correct, and while it’s true that I didn’t run out of the hospital and grab a taxi home, I was utterly miserable and wasn’t really a functioning human being. Thursday night was AWFUL, and after the third or fourth nightmare (all of them were the one with the tent) and subsequent panic attack I was starting to think about how to stop it all.

But now I’m home and safe. I won’t be going for my walks for a little while and I’ve got a bunch of restrictions on what I can do but I did my exercises today and they went reasonably well. And like I mentioned earlier, I already notice some positive changes from getting the surgery done.

Stay safe.

Fun With Antibiotics

Song: N/A

Mood: 5.5

Nightmares: 0

I slept about as well as usual last night. I woke up several times but fortunately none of them were for nightmares. It gets frustrating repeatedly lying there in the dark, trying to convince myself to stop worrying. On the upside, I did sleep in a little bit so that’s good.

J had today off, too, and my exercises went quite well again today. It sure makes a difference in how my day goes when not only do I put the time in, but it goes well.

J and I split up and attacked various messes in the house today. She did laundry and I worked on the kitchen. We both made enough progress that we could actually see the difference, which is always nice.

After that, I didn’t do very much again. I’m still quite uncomfortable so I didn’t go for my walk, and the antibiotics I’m taking have really upset my stomach (but in the strangest way), so I REALLY wasn’t interested in doing anything fancy.

Tomorrow morning I’m heading back to the walk-in for a followup and then I have a Dr W appointment in the afternoon. I’m not looking forward to it – I always feel… almost guilty when Dr W asks how I’m doing and I tell him I’m doing “about the same”. I wish I could look him in the eye and say “fantastic!” or “so much better than last week!” or “I took up monster truck racing!”.

I was confused about my Dr P appointment this week. I had it written down that I had an appointment, but for some reason I was certain that we had talked about it and it turned out I wouldn’t have one. I left Dr P a voicemail today and I quickly got an email back confirming my appointment on Thursday. That’s good, even though my chest is tightening up as I write this.

J and I finished the first season of Parks and Recreation this evening, and the box set is on order. It’s a quirky, enjoyable show. I’d still put Community at the top of my favourites pile, but P&R is certainly up there.

Aside from the two appointments tomorrow, I’m not sure what I’m going to do. J has the day off again (five day weekend, whoo!) so maybe we’ll watch some shows or play a game or something. Having her home for a long weekend like this has really been great. I sure do enjoy hanging out with her!

Stay safe.

A Nice Visit

Song: “I’m OK, You’re OK” by The Dickies

Mood: 5.5

Nightmares: 0

This past weekend went pretty well. My parents came out on Sunday for a visit and we had a good time – lots of talking, laughing, and good food. It was very good to see them again and the time flew by. J and I were sad when they left, but they’ll be back! Both of my parents say that they can see a (positive) difference in me since the last time we hung out. That’s good – I don’t really see much difference myself, but I see me every day.

The rest of the weekend was pretty calm. Not much happened but that was okay. J rented Parks and Recreation from the library and we started in on the first season. I think we both like it quite a lot. It’s quirky, funny, and I feel like I know real people who are like almost every character in the show. We’re almost done the season and the library doesn’t have the next one so we’re probably going to buy the series. I’ve also heard that 30 Rock is very good, we’ll have to try that one sometime too.

So I’ve been increasingly uncomfortable over the last little while. I haven’t been going for my walks, and even shuffling around the house has been pretty uncomfortable. I made an appointment with Dr H, but the earliest appointment was on the 15th. J had been suggesting that I go to the walk-in clinic but I had resisted for a little while, pretty sure that I’d just pulled a muscle or something. Yesterday evening I finally agreed to go.

We got there right when the clinic opened, and I only had to wait about ten minutes before my name was called. I was seen by a very brusque but professional RNP who poked and prodded for a minute before determining that I had not, in fact, pulled a muscle. Being as lucky as I am, I have an infection.


So, I’m adding another pill to the handful I’m already taking and I have to go back in a couple of days for a follow-up. Could be worse. I was worried I had a hernia…

Not much else exciting happened today. J has the day off so she spent it relaxing with a good book and I played some more Star Trek and did some reading.

I’ve done my exercises over the last few days and they sure are a lot easier with J at home. Even with the ear defenders on, I worry a bit about what I may be missing, but when J is home I am much more comfortable about things.

Other than that, I had no significant accomplishments over this past week like I was hoping. I will try again for this week. Wish me luck.

Stay safe.

Clenching My Jaw Too Much

Song: N/A

Mood: 5.5

Nightmares: 0

Last night went about as well as nights have gone lately. I clearly remember waking up four times to worry about things, all of which were in reality fine and there was nothing to worry about (like usual).

My exercises went alright. Some focus issues but I got through the time and when I was done them I felt better than when I’d started.

I’ve been clenching my jaw all day again and got another headache. I don’t like how this is going – I got headaches every day at work for years, and would really like to not get them again now.

I sent out my texts and had a couple of good conversations. I enjoy sending and receiving them, although I will admit that sometimes when I get six or eight coming in at the same time I start to get anxious. I worry that someone is trying to text me with some kind of important message or emergency, so I keep telling myself that everyone I know would use voice for something important.

I did not go for my walk today. As far as the weather went, it was a really nice day for it, but I’m still pretty uncomfortable and walking makes it quite a bit worse. I did totter out to the driveway and check out the front and back yards. I am pleased to say that both the front and back yards are still there and not filled with old washing machines or piles of burning tires.

I spent some time cleaning up in the house today. Nothing too fancy, just doing the dishes and putting some things away. Lots more needs to be done, so I will spend a couple of hours on it again tomorrow I think.

I also made an effort to finally finish one of the three documents that I’ve been working on for a long time now. While I was going over one of them, though, I found quite a few sections that were pretty clumsily worded, so I tried to rework them. I’ll check it again tomorrow – hopefully it’ll be good to go.

I spent too much time chasing ghosts again today. I like opening the blinds in the living room but there is a very big elm tree out front. Some of its branches hang quite low and sway in the breeze. No matter how many times I see it or know what’s going on, the swaying of that branch out of the corner of my eye always grabs my attention. I put up with it for a while but then gave up and closed the blinds. The city owns the tree so I can’t just go out there and hack pieces off it. The house was making a lot of creaks and ticks too. Most of them I couldn’t locate or identify, and I kept getting interrupted bu them all day.

I need to listen to something when I’m at home. Usually I hook up some speakers and put on some music. The problem with that is that it makes finding where the ghosts are harder to do. I’ve tried turning the music down, but that causes its own set of problems. I don’t know how much higher I can turn it up before I start bothering the neighbours or my eardrums. I need to think about this a bit.

The radio announcer today said that he could feel that summer was getting old and fall was on its way. While I don’t necessarily disagree with him, I wish he hadn’t said it. I’m not looking forward to slogging through the snow and fighting with the snowblower while I freeze my butt off. It’s so hard on everything, too – from wood to engines to rubber seals.

I haven’t even been out on my motorcycle yet this summer. That is yet another thing I feel guilty about. My bike is my buddy, and I feel bad for leaving him just sitting there in the garage and not going out for rides with him. We’ve been to a lot of places over the years together. I hope we will get to more.

No Dr P appointment today, and this is my last week “off”. Next week I get back to things with an appointment with Dr W. I would prefer to not make any medication changes at this time but I’ll see what he has to say.

Speaking of Dr P, he wants me to decide by the next time I see him whether I’m planning to stick with him or go back to Dr C when she gets back in late August. It’s a really tough question, and I keep flip-flopping on what I think would be the best thing. The original intent was for me to go back to Dr C, but I’ve been seeing Dr P for a year now. They’re both very good therapists and have both helped me immensely. I’m not sure. If you have any thoughts or opinions, please feel free to drop me a comment!

J brought home burritos for supper today, and they were delicious. That burrito shop a little ways from here makes the best ones I’ve ever tasted. They’re so much better than those little frozen ones from the grocery store (although they have their uses, too). I’m pretty sure I could eat those burritos every day. Or at least five times a week.

Still no big accomplishments, although parts of the house do look better than they did yesterday. I’m not sure what tomorrow is going to bring (aside from the aforementioned cleaning).

Stay safe.