What A Good Week

Song: “Bright Side Of The Road” by Van Morrison

Mood: 7.5

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Few

I’m a little sad that it’s Sunday night, because this week has been very good. It feels weird to type that but it’s true.

I got a lot of things accomplished, including some printing stuff, some radio stuff, some electronics stuff, some house stuff, some TV stuff, some phone stuff, some family stuff, some friend stuff, some reading stuff, some game stuff, some thinking stuff, some plant stuff, some quiet stuff, some music stuff… all kinds of stuff.

It was so nice to hang out with J and chat about this or that, or lean on each other while watching TV, or even just sitting in the same room doing our own things.

Speaking of TV, we finished the third season of Stranger Things. What a great cast – this season I was particularly impressed with Robin, Steve, and Nancy (holy crap, Nancy!), and the guy who plays Billy should get some kind of award for making his character so horrible and creepy. I am pretty satisfied with how it ended, but one thing that still gets me is HOW ON EARTH DID THEY COVER IT UP AGAIN? I mean – not to be gross or anything – but how did they get rid of that much meat? When a dead whale washes ashore, it makes the news because they often end up dynamiting the poor creature to help get rid of it. And, once again, the only winners in Hawkins, Indiana are… the real estate agents. But it’s a great show and I’m looking forward to season four.

We had a storm roll through here this morning, which woke me up and, from what I can remember, I enjoyed. Lots of lightning and thunder, and enough rain that I don’t think I need to water the garden even tomorrow.

I didn’t sleep all that great, mainly because I started falling asleep on the couch again, but things around home were pretty relaxed so it wasn’t a big deal if I sat down and zoned out for a couple of minutes here or there.

I’m quite excited by some of the progress I’ve made with some of the electronics stuff this week, and I am now finally finished the enclosure for my little garden project!

Despite my best efforts at organizing my stuff, the dining room has somehow… gotten worse. We’re well past tornado now and heading toward tsunami. I need to get a handle on things quick.

FA is coming over tomorrow! We have a trip to the hardware store and burrito lunch planned but beyond that I’m not sure what’s going on, other than it’s going to be fun.

I have an appointment with Dr C this coming week but otherwise I don’t think I have any appointments. If the week is half as good as this week was, I’ll be happy!

Stay safe.

The Week Is Going Well

Song: “Acapulco 1922” by Kenny Ball And His Jazzmen

Mood: 7

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Lots

Yesterday and today flew by – I have no idea where the time went. I don’t think I spent it passed out on the laundry room floor, so I must’ve been busy. Regardless, this week feels pretty good so far!

I’ve made a lot of progress organizing my hobby stuff into that new case. I think it’s going to work really well for “portable” hobby stuff. The dining room table has gone from “asteroid impact” to “tornado”, so the time I’m spending on it seems to be paying off. They sell extra trays for the case, so I was even thinking that in the future I could even get some more trays, fill them with stuff for other hobbies, and swap them out as needed. A nice fancy modular hobby kit…

I also got some more designing and printing done. I got filament from a different place and it’s been working really well so far. Hopefully I don’t regret saying this, but the nozzle clog (that would be a great name for a band) seems to be fixed. I know that clogs are are a matter of when not if, but I’m happy with how well the printer is working.

We got a lot of rain yesterday and the ground was still damp today. We really needed the rain, some people are having house foundation problems because the ground got so dry it started pulling away from the walls. Plus, it greened the grass up very nicely and the garden got a really good watering. I went for a walk this morning and it was pretty decent out, but the afternoon was pretty swampy.

Heard from a motorcycle riding buddy I haven’t seen in a while, he’s got some health stuff going on but is doing pretty well. It was good to hear from him, and good to hear that he’s still collecting more and more bikes. I have no idea where he gets them – he lives in a somewhat remote area – but he enjoys getting them running again and trying them out. He’s a really good guy (his whole family is great) and I hope his health issues are worked out soon.

My sister texted me this evening and told me that my nephew finally got his birthday card – 13 days after we mailed it. I remember back in the day we used to be able to count on three business days. Yeesh.

J and I watched another episode of Stranger Things this evening. The pace has really picked up and it’s gone in a direction I wasn’t expecting but I think that’s a good thing. I am a little curious about how dumb/oblivious the citizens of Hawkins and the surrounding area are that so much stuff is happening under their noses and they don’t notice. Seriously, people… a five-storey (plus several underground levels) building’s worth of people got eaten two seasons in a row and nobody seemed to notice. The real estate agents in Hawkins would’ve made a pile of money selling and re-selling the houses the staff lived in. Heh… it’d be quite the twist if the extradimensional portals and mind-controlling monsters were a local real estate conspiracy.

I don’t have any appointments tomorrow but I’m expecting my new Raspberry Pi order to arrive. I’m looking forward to trying the new ones out. Hopefully tomorrow will be another good day!

Stay safe.

Not A Bad Start To The Week

Song: “Jimmy Jimmy” by The Undertones

Mood: 7

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Lots

It took me a looong time to fall asleep last night. I was up past 4AM, but when I woke up this morning I felt a lot better than I expected.

The day went by in a flash – I don’t know where most of it went. I called my folks and talked to Mom for a bit, then surprised my sister by calling her at work to say hello. My nephew’s birthday was last weekend and the card we sent him at the end of June hasn’t arrived yet. I feel bad about it and hope that he doesn’t think that we forgot about him. I think we’re going to give it until the end of the week and if it doesn’t show up we’ll send him another one.

I got a call from the clinic today and, true to her word, it looks like Dr H sent out the referrals right after my appointment on Friday. I now have an appointment with a lungologist in a couple of months. I also called a different clinic to find out how their EKG department worked, and it turned out it all I had to do was walk in with the requisition. I told J that and she offered to take me there after she got home.

The skies got pretty dark this afternoon and we got some badly needed rain with a nice bit of thunder thrown in. It only rained for a little while, though, so I hope we get some more soon.

I was waiting by the door when J got home and we went to the clinic for my EKG. Aside from the staff, the room was empty so I got in right away. The person running the test was very friendly and told me that the test wouldn’t. I told her I knew that, and she said that I looked scared, plus, I was sweating up a storm (ewww). I told her I got anxious a lot and we talked about mindfulness and some of the resources online for that kind of stuff. Aside from really not wanting to be there, it was a pleasant experience – she didn’t even rip out any chest hairs. Of course, me being me, I took the wrong set of stairs up and ended up lost inside the clinic, but I just kept walking and eventually found my way out.

I’ve been trying to organize some of the hobby stuff that I’ve got going on in the dining room, and after looking around I found something that looked perfect… a tackle box. After the test was done J and I went to the store and picked one up that should do the trick very nicely. A big space in the top to hold active projects, and four organizer drawers to sort parts and tools and stuff like that.

On another interesting note, since I started taking that new medication that I was prescribed last week, I haven’t felt lung-y once. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or if it’s actually helping my symptoms, but it’s nice to not have that feeling for a few days at least. I did a bit of digging into off-label uses of the drug and was a bit unhappy when I saw it’s used for heart failure, but I figure if I had heart failure Dr H would’ve been all over that. Although I did just get the EKG today. Hmm… okay, I am going to try not to worry about it or freak out whenever the phone rings. Now that I actually give a crap about what happens to me, I find that it’s actually a little nervous-making. I think that’s probably a good thing, though.

I won a prize in STO this evening – a snazzy new ship. It’s pretty neat and I haven’t gotten it blown up yet.

J and I watched another episode of Stranger Things. It’s pretty great, but again – all of these problems could be solved a lot faster if everyone just talked to everyone else. They’re all going to end up working together to get rid of the monsters again, anyway…

Nothing scheduled for tomorrow yet. Depending on what it’s like out I may spend some time outside watching the rabbits and the trees again. Yes, the bunnies are pests, but it’s kind of relaxing to watch them stretched out and resting on the grass or eating dandelion leaves.

Stay safe.

Yesterday, July 6th

Song: N/A

Mood: 6.5

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Lots

So, yesterday went better than I expected. J took me to the clinic and I met with my nurse who set me up with a blood pressure meter, gave me a whole bunch of information and answered my questions, then left the room. I put on some music, closed my eyes, and concentrated on relaxing. The results of my blood pressure test? 124/82, or pretty much perfect. I told her my BP gets much higher in the evening (up into the 150s) but the important thing is my average reading throughout the day is nice and low now.

My appointment with Dr H was pretty brief. Pretty much every test but one is perfect, but the one that’s not perfect is just a little off and she told me that if they did the test right now it would probably look normal again. She was happy about the quetiapine reduction, and we talked a little more about my “lung-y” feeling. One of the things I really like about Dr H is that if she doesn’t know something, she says so. I respect that. The downside is I now have referrals to see a cardiologist and pulmonologist. I’m not keen on more appointments but it would be nice to know what’s going on.

I was pretty anxious by the end of the appointment, so when we got home I went outside and watched the rabbits play, eat, and relax by the deck. I don’t think they have a nest there, I just think it’s shaded and there isn’t any animal or kid traffic to disturb them. When I was a kid, my sister had a guinea pig. We used to put him outside on the lawn under a box or laundry basket when it was nice out. We’d check in on him an hour later and every square centimetre of lawn under the box was eaten down to the dirt, so we’d move him over, make sure he still had water, and let him do that again. I sometimes wonder if it’d be possible to catch 30 or 40 rabbits and have them all under a huge laundry basket, mowing the lawn. Now that I think about it, it’d probably be easier to just buy a goat.

My battery box finished printing overnight so I now have what I need to put the electronics outside by the garden. I won’t get useful information from it – I still need to design and print the screen that’s going to protect the electronics enclosure from the sun – but it will be good to see if the radio link is reliable. I will probably put it outside later this afternoon and then sit down and watch the rabbits again.

Stay safe.

Real Quick

Song: N/A

Mood: 6.5

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Lots

Just on my way to bed and realized I hadn’t done a post. Yay, bullet points:

  • Woke up a few times last night, had to get up twice for the front door. Woke J up a couple of times by accident, too.
  • Took a while to get going again today.
  • It was really nice out – the sun was very warm but there was enough of a breeze to chase a sweat away.
  • My order of filament arrived today, it’s from a different place and costs less but I loaded a spool of PETG and it seems to be printing very well so far.
  • I’ve been itching to try the new Raspberry Pi 4, I finally found a place that sells it and doesn’t charge $30 to ship so I ordered two of them. I have plans…
  • My Dr C appointment felt like it went on forever and I was just spinning my wheels.
  • Not sure if it’s a coincidence or what, but since the most recent quetiapine reduction, I haven’t been craving candy all the time, which is wonderful.
  • Dr H appointment tomorrow, should be progress on my vertebra and “lung-y” stuff. Hopefully it goes well.

Stay safe.

Appointment Went Well!

Song: “Get Over You” by The Undertones

Mood: 6.5

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Lots

I don’t think I slept too badly last night. I remember waking up twice, but a quick look at my phone was enough to let me get back to sleep.

I woke up at that aggravating point before my alarm went off where I spent 20 minutes wondering whether I should try to get back to sleep or get up. I ended up getting up and shuffled around for a while. The print I started yesterday evening failed overnight, so I cleaned everything up and started it again, then had breakfast. Or I had breakfast and then did the printer thing. I can’t remember.

J got up a little while later and we both got ready for the day, then we got in the car and went to my appointment. Even though we got to the clinic ahead of time, we got taken to a room as soon as we got there, and the doctor came in a few minutes later. I gave him the notes I prepared yesterday and, when he was done reading them, he looked through some of my tests, asked me some questions about my medications, and then said that there’s nothing wrong with me – the symptoms I’m experiencing are a result of the medications I’m on. He gave me a prescription for something to try for two weeks to see if it helps, and told me to come back in three weeks. And that was it.

Seriously – that was it. No buts, no dramatic pauses, no “you have Kuru”. I could get used to that!

J dropped me off at home (THANK YOU!!!) and headed off to work. I gave my folks a call and let them know how the appointment went, then sent out my usual round of texts. After that, I plopped myself down in bed to see if I could catch a bit of a nap, but, having no luck, I got up and got to puttering.

It rained several times today so I didn’t have to water the garden. It was pleasant rain that left the air smelling fresh.

[Wait, did I start the print after I got home, or at breakfast? I can’t remember. Today was a very foggy day. That’s why J sat in with me at the doctor.]

During the afternoon, that “lung-y” feeling hit me again, quite intensely. I tried the puffer but it didn’t make any difference. It hung on for a while and then slowly went away. It’s weird because it used to only happen in the late evening – now it’s happening in the afternoons, too. The good thing is that each time it happens it’s a little more information. I still don’t think it’s anxiety but beyond that I have no idea.

J got home with a surprise – she picked me up a new set of headphones, and they are FANTASTIC. Noise-cancelling, really good sound, on-ear, fit my head… they’re perfect! My old headphones were about $25 ten years ago and they’ve been shedding bits of plastic for a year or two now. They’ve done their time and owe me nothing.

J and I hung out, talked a lot, and watched another episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with Dr C. I’m still not 100% comfortable with moving to every second week but I feel better about it than I did. We’ll see how tomorrow goes. For now, I’m going to sit back and enjoy some music.

Stay safe.

I Almost Forgot…

Between all the noises that were bothering me, and how alarmed J was at the noises when she heard them, and the fact it was well off warranty, we decided to get a new hot water tank. It was installed on Friday evening.

So, now the tank no longer makes ticking, thumping, and booming sounds when it’s heating, and check this out:

New Hot Water TankThere’s a nice, big, deep drip tray with a hose outlet that goes right to the drain. So even if the tank starts to leak, the water will collect in the tray and run down the drain. There’s still always a chance that the tank could fail at a seam, but even then the outer shell should contain it and direct it into the pan. If the pan overflows, it’s right near the drain anyway.

I think this is a good thing, and should at the very least move the tank much lower on the list of things that bother me. Considering how much it cost to get a new tank installed (holy crap!!!), I hope so.

Stay safe.

Nice Visit With My Parents

Song: N/A

Mood: 6.5

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Pack

I managed to get to sleep a little earlier than normal last night. Not much earlier, but enough that I was able to get up, do some tidying up, and be semi-coherent for when my parents arrived. For whatever reason I was really anxious again; without having much time to sit down and do grounding, I took some PRNs and turned the music way up.

My parents arrived right on time and once they got inside we sat down and had some lunch. Just simple sandwich stuff but I think it did the trick. After lunch, we sat down in the living room and talked until it was time for them to go to Dad’s appointment.

After they left, I tidied up from lunch, went out and watered the garden, and sat in the basement and did some breathing, muscle relaxation, and grounding exercises. Everything had gone well but I was still nervous – I still don’t know why, and I think my parents would feel hurt if they knew I was worrying about everything and nothing for no reason. It wasn’t anything they did or said or anything like that – it was 100% me, as usual.

The exercises helped somewhat, which was good because I got a text from Mom saying they were on their way back over an hour before I expected them to be. Turns out the appointment they came in for was unnecessary and the doctor here told them to go back home and talk to their doctor there. I am like my father in quite a few ways, and neither of us like someone wasting our time. My folks got back and poor Dad was pretty irritated, which I could completely understand. The good thing about this, though, was that we had more time to hang out and chat, which we did.

J got home from work early and brought along some stuff for supper. Dad and I played with FA’s Software Defined Radio and he found it very interesting when we were listening in on the aircraft and various other signals. He has a multi-band receiver at home that he’s going to bring along next time he’s here and we’re going to see what kind of stuff we can find.

J and Mom offered to do supper, so Dad and I went outside to set up the little garden automation stuff that had just finished printing that morning. We spray-painted the post white, hammered it into the ground, and then the plastic base part that I’d printed… didn’t fit. Turns out when I was hammering in the post, I flattened the end so it was too wide for the hole it was supposed to go into. I thought what the heck, this is made out of PETG so it’s strong, so I put it in place and hammered it down. Until it broke. So… there’s another one printing right now, and it has a bigger hole for where the post is supposed to go.

Supper was good (smokies and potato salad and regular salad, with ice cream and Nanaimo bars for dessert), and after that we moved back to the living room and talked for a while more before they decided to hit the road.

It was a short but great visit, and once again, I was nervous for nothing. Sitting in front of fans, mopping my brow with a paper towel… for nothing. It’s embarrassing and very frustrating, and I don’t know how to fix it. I will have to ask Dr C about that when I see her on Thursday.

I started printing a replacement part for the one I hammered until it broke, this time with more infill and thicker walls, and a larger spot for where the post goes. It should be done by the morning.

J and I watched an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine; this new season has been decent. It’s missing some of the snappiness of the old seasons but I think it’ll pick up again. It’s still quite good.

I’m hoping to get to sleep earlier again this evening; my appointment tomorrow is at 10:30AM, which is well before I’m out of my morning fog. J will be driving me (THANK YOU!!!) and has offered to come into the appointment to be another brain and set of ears, which may not be a bad idea. As soon as I post this, I’m going to jot down some notes and timeline stuff for tomorrow which may help.

Aside from the appointment, I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do. I guess some of it depends on what the doctor says, how badly I get violated/toss my dignity out the window, and how many other sets of tests I need to do. We’ll see.

Stay safe.

Busy Week Coming Up

Song: “The Passenger” by Iggy Pop

Mood: 6

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Several

Quick post, bullet points:

  • The weekend was a little rough but still went by far too quickly.
  • My folks are coming in tomorrow for an appointment.
  • I have an appointment with a urologist on Wednesday, an appointment with Dr C on Thursday, and an appointment with my nurse and Dr H on Friday.
  • I don’t want to go to any appointments, I don’t want to talk about what’s going on, I don’t want to find out there’s yet another thing wrong with me. I just want to stay home where it’s quiet and I can putter and listen to music.
  • Didn’t accomplish much this weekend.
  • Slept better last night and felt better this morning, but as the day went on I got more and more anxious and got hit by a panic attack when I was in the shower this evening. I hate hate HATE panic attacks, I hate them, I hate them.
  • I feel pretty bad for not being more fun this weekend, but it was still so nice to hang out with J.
  • Not sure what else is going on, I’m sure I’m forgetting something.
  • Trying to get to bed pretty early this evening, we’ll see how it goes.

Stay safe.

So That’s It, Then

I am now officially “retired”.

My co-workers and I used to dream about what it would be like to retire, and a few of us had even figured out how many months or even days left before that wonderful day. We joked about the trips we’d take, or the time we’d have to go to shows or concerts, or riding our motorcycles around. All the things we could finally accomplish without that 40-hour-a-week weight around our neck.

Well, here I am, and it sucks. Things have not turned out the way I’d hoped. Not even close. Twenty years of work flushed down the drain.

I don’t know what I’ll be able to do, or what I even CAN do anymore.

I don’t spend the day relaxing at home, doing whatever tickles my fancy at the moment. I wish. It sucks when I look at a bunch of things that I enjoy doing but have to grit my teeth and force myself to sit down and play with some electronics or start up the printer, instead of just going downstairs and sitting on the couch in the dim quiet.

Started thinking too much about this stuff a couple of hours ago and had a good cry. No panic attack, at least. So there’s that.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about today (or if I was going to care about it at all). I’m sad because life hasn’t gone how I’d hoped. I enjoyed working with WG, DA, and so many other people. I enjoyed solving problems, fixing things, and figuring out ways to provide new services to clients or improve existing ones. People across the country would ask me for help planning or troubleshooting. I was proud of the work I did. Whether it’s old-school or chauvinistic thinking (or if they’re the same thing), I wanted to be the rock so that J could do whatever she wanted. Go back to school, start a business… anything. That didn’t work out, and I feel terrible about it.

I’m angry at the people at work who moved me into another department without letting me know, and the management of that new department who, through incompetence and neglect, slowly degraded and ruined the services, systems, and relationships I’d worked so hard to build. Their indifference when I begged for help or parts. Their casual, uncaring disassembly of all the plans and agreements I had with previous management that allowed me to take university courses. The humiliation I felt when I had to look people I’d known for years in the eye and say that yes, I knew that I used to be able to do that stuff in an afternoon, and yes, I knew it’d been a year, and no, I couldn’t tell them when I’d be able to help them. The dread I felt (and still feel) whenever the phone rang, or when I heard footsteps approaching my door. All the time I spent hiding in the server room or another building because I couldn’t face people and tell them I couldn’t help them.

I also feel very guilty about all the stress I put my family and friends through both after I ended up in the hospital and the months or years before that where I was unwell and acting strangely but unable to see it for myself. I honestly didn’t know that I was being unpleasant or downright dickish. I should’ve listened to J when she first suggested I go talk to someone. Or when she suggested it the second time… or the fifth time, or the thirtieth time. I am so, so sorry to everyone I upset, stressed out, inconvenienced, or otherwise bothered. Thank you all so much for sticking around and supporting me. I don’t know why you did, but I am so incredibly grateful I don’t know how to express it properly.

So yeah. I’m 43 and “retired”. It’s not as much fun as you’d think.

Argh… I better go hide in the bathroom, I think another cry might be coming and the hot water tank guy is here.

Stay safe.