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.