PM Medications Hitting Really Hard Today

Song: “Country Roads” by John Denver

Mood: 6

Nightmares: 0

Real quick today, my evening medications are kicking the crap out of me.

Day was okay.

Didn’t go for a walk but got the snowblower running. Took a little while but it finally coughed to life

Did my time in the truck and backed out into the driveway today. From the look of things, that coolant leak might be getting worse. I really need to do something about that.

Learned more about the different stitches on my sewing machinhe. Some of them are purely decorative so I’m not sure if I’ll ever use those ones.

J brought home another five yards of towel material today (thank you lady!!!). Hopefully I have learned enough from my previous attempts to be faster and more accurate. I folded the edges over twice and ran a basting stitch to hold them in place. Hopefulyl that’ll keep the edges from fraying when I wash the material tomorrow.

My parents called today. I had a good chat with my mom and then an interesting chat with my dad. It seems that their neighbour is a 3-D printing freak and has made everything from a life-sized R2D2, to vases, to urns for cremation ashes. He wants a newer and faster one so may be willing to part with his current one for a steal. That’d be interesting.

Dr W appointment tomorrow. It’s been quite a while since I saw him last but I really don’t want to go. With all the new things that are going on and the plans to move his practice to another hospital on the other side of the city, I would rather just stay home and hide under a blanket.

I need to go to bed right now. Sorry about that.

Stay safe.

Terrycloth Shenanigans

Song: “Liquid Lunch” by Caro Emerald

Mood: 6.5

Nightmares: 0

Ugh… it’s already really late so I need to be brief.

I haven’t had any nightmares for the last few days, which has been great. I’m still waking up because I’m worrying about things but I’ll take that over nightmares anytime.

Winter weather has settled in. It’s not “bitterly” cold out, but it was cold enough to make me shuffle a little quicker when I was out today. You know up to that line in the cold where you can still get away without wearing gloves? I think we’ve crossed it. It’s not too bad when I’m sitting in the truck, though.

That reminds me, I really need to get the snowblower ready and see if it starts. Rumour has it we’re supposed to get more snow soon. I must remind myself to do it tomorrow when I’m outside.

I’m still feeling kind of queasy about the insurance/work stuff that’s going on. J has been very patient and helpful about it but I still can’t kick the notion that there’s another shoe waiting to drop. Getting phone calls during the day from weird numbers doesn’t help… and neither does people sitting in their running cars for 15 minutes in front of the house. I know, I know – try not to roll your eyes.

So there’s bits of white fuzz all over the house. On a completely unrelated note, I finished the first set of towels I plan to donate – two bath towels, two hand towels, and two facecloths. They went through the washer and dryer this evening… and survived! It’s definitely been a learning process but it’s been very interesting, I enjoy doing it, and it is a very good way to spend time. Hopefully, despite their quirkiness, the towels will be useful in some capacity. I’m looking forward to making more and seeing if I can make them a little less quirky.

I’m not sure what my next sewing project will be. Lots of ideas and things I want to do/try, but I have to make sure I don’t go off in a hundred directions, none of which I actually finish.

The pharmacy that J and I moved our prescriptions to has been really good. They haven’t forgotten anything, handed out broken pills, not bothered to mention anything when we have no refills, and haven’t faxed the wrong doctor with the wrong information. Not so far, anyway. It’s a little farther away but so far I think it’s been worth it.

I’ve got a lot more stuff I want to talk about but I should probably end this here.

Stay safe.

Big Panic Attack Today

Song: N/A

Mood: 5.5

Nightmares: 0

As usual, I woke up worrying about things several times last night. I also remember having several weird dreams that took place in a grocery store but they weren’t scary and didn’t wake me up. I was feeling pretty tired when I got out of bed, and it stuck with me all day.

Dr C suggested last week that there have been some studies that show a possible correlation between eating more protein for breakfast and lower anxiety and depression symptoms. Since my breakfast is typically cereal and toast, there’s definitely something to be desired in the protein department. As a result, I’ve been eating a hard-boiled egg every day with my breakfast. I don’t know if it’s making any difference, but it’s nice to add a bit more variety to breakfast.

I went out to do my homework today and go for my walk. I started in on the truck first, and was sitting there with the ignition off, listening to music and doing some grounding, when the insurance company and work popped into my head. We got a call from the insurance company last week and an email from work this week. J has been taking care of it (thank you!!!!!) and has told me several times that it’s actually good news, but I don’t trust anyone from the insurance company or work.

Even with good music playing and the truck was still sitting in the garage, I couldn’t get those thoughts out of my head – all I could think about was that it’s all a trick and they are cutting me off and I have to go back to my old job. I tried very hard to stop catastrophizing and to bring my thoughts back to the present, but I could feel that prickly feeling on my back, chest, and forehead meaning that a flop sweat was on its way. My thoughts went crazy to the point where I couldn’t fully make sense of what I was thinking, and every part of me was screaming at me to do something. I rested my head on the steering wheel and did several rounds of grounding but I couldn’t break the panic.

I gave up trying to fight it in the garage and staggered, whimpering, to the garage door button to close and then fought hard to stay and wait until the door had fully closed before I bolted for the house. Once inside, I grabbed two PRNs, went downstairs, put on some loud music, and tried to ride it out. Even with the lorazepam, it took around 40 minutes before things calmed down the point where I could take a full breath and I didn’t feel like I was going to die. I know I’ve said this before but I HATE panic attacks. Nothing makes me feel so helpless, pathetic, and unable to control my own body more than a panic attack.

So… my homework did not go well today at all.

After I calmed down I listened to some more music and then started to send out my round of texts. A nice thing about texting is that you can be in a terrible mood and type stuff like, “Hey! How’s the new dog? Has he dug up another one of your plants and dragged it around the house? LOL :-D” and still be sociable. I think that’s important – to keep doing the texting thing even when I really don’t feel like it. I need to keep in touch with my family and friends.

I looked at the towel I made yesterday in the light today and I’m actually pretty pleased with it. It looks kind of weird and isn’t the right dimensions, but if someone wants to dry something with it, I think it’ll work. J’s aunt D mentioned that she has some towel material she bought years ago and never got around to doing anything with it so she was wondering if I wanted it. I said sure, so she’ll bring it with her next time we get together. I guess this is as good a time to mention that if anyone has any old bedsheets that they’re going to toss out, I’ll take them off your hands and make pillowcases out of them to donate to shelters.

Today I made a bunch of bean bags. I haven’t filled them yet but it’s just a matter of pouring the rice in and then finishing up the stitches. The stitches are a little thick where I go back and forth a few times to lock in the stitches but otherwise I think they look pretty good – I like the yellow thread.

Tomorrow I have a Dr C appointment. I would prefer to not go but while I am usually exhausted after a session, I often feel better than I did when I went in. Hopefully that’s the case tomorrow.

Stay safe.

Finally Made Something!

Song: “Midnight In Moscow” by Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen

Mood: 6.5

Nightmares: 1

Not a great sleep last night either, but it could’ve been worse. Only one nightmare, but it had me sitting on the edge of the bed with my face in my hands, trying really hard to not wake J up.

My day went alright. Had a couple of conversations through text with people and got a couple of really funny pictures from one of my friends.

My sister called today and we had a good talk. My nephew is really enjoying playing hockey and his team has yet to be defeated this season. My sister is super busy (I have no idea how she does it) so I appreciate the time she takes out of her schedule to chat with me for 45-60 minutes each week.

Got a call from Dr W’s office today – he’s sick so my appointment today was cancelled. I hope he feels better very soon, but to be honest I wasn’t too unhappy about not having to go today.

The big news today was that I finally forced myself to make something with the new cloth that J picked up for me the other night – a towel. It took about five hours in total (and a couple of rounds of flop sweat) but the next one will go much faster than that. I lost some time because I washed the towel material last night but didn’t secure the edges so they fell apart, which required that I cut two new straight likes and remove the frayed areas. Of course the material is much larger than my desk so I needed to spread it out on the bed to get a look at it. Then I needed to fold it in half and then adjust so the frayed parts ended at the same place on both ends. Then I needed to mark it but I couldn’t figure out how to do that with the tape measure I had. A quick trip downstairs for the drywall square and I had two nice straight lines.

I measured again, this time for the first hem. I held it in place, ironed it, and then pinned it, moving along four inches at a time. Then I put it into the machine and carefully started sewing. It went pretty well and didn’t take me too long to get to the end. When I held it up to look at it, I realized that the hem was waaaay too big. So, I got out my seam ripper, fully intending to remove the stitching and do it over with a smaller hem. Unfortunately, I saw this:

Can't Find Thread In HemSee the white thread in there? ME NEITHER.

I did my best to remove the stitches for about 20 minutes and then gave up and hacked that part off and started again. It went better the second time, and, being happy with the way that hem went, I flipped the towel over and did the other side. So, here’s how it turned out:

First Completed Towel!The edges are a little wavy but I think that’s because they got stretched a bit while I was sewing them and I’m hoping they’ll shrink a bit when I give the towel another trip through the washer and dryer.

So… not bad for a first try, I think. A little woogly and it’s also kind of a weird size: 48”x21”. It was supposed to be closer to 23” but I lost some when I cut that strip off. Hopefully when I donate the stuff to a shelter they’ll still be able to use it if it looks a little odd or isn’t made to standard towel dimensions.

Over all, I enjoyed doing this today. It took a lot of time but I was getting used to how things worked. The sewing machine performed beautifully and I didn’t end up with any thread tumbleweeds or missing stitches or anything like that. Tomorrow I will either make another towel or some facecloths. Or something else entirely. I’m not sure yet.

I’m glad I tried this sewing stuff out. It’s a good hobby that tolerates interruptions well (and there were a lot of them today), and I already feel good about making a single weird towel to donate to someone who needs it.

No appointments tomorrow so I will crank up the music again and get some more stuff done!

Oh, and there is now yellow thread loaded in the machine for tomorrow. Should be easier to find if I want to remove some stitches.

Stay safe.

Lots Of Cleaning Today

Song: “The Humpty Dance” by Digital Underground

Mood: 6

Nightmares: 2

I didn’t sleep well last night – woke up quite a few times. Most of them (six or seven?) were the usual wake up and worry kind of thing that I could check the pictures on my phone and feel a little better about but two were particularly nasty nightmares (tent). I was able to keep from getting up or falling into a panic but nightmares are a crappy way to wake up in the middle of the night.

As a result, I was moving pretty slowly this morning and wasn’t firing on all cylinders until lunch. Hmm… going with that analogy, I wonder what kind of motor I’d be. Something like an old Ford 170 straight-six that smokes pretty bad, desperately needs carb work, and a mouse nest removed from the airbox.

Fortunately, sending out my texts doesn’t require me to be particularly smart – I can type them out pretty slowly and I go back over them several times before I hit send. The odd mistake makes its way through but for the most part it works out okay.

Today was my day to clean, though. I spent from around 10:30AM to just before 5PM cleaning, reorganizing, and throwing out old stuff in Lloyd’s room. I also moved him across the room to another table so my beefy old computer desk (it’s so old, the first computer that it held was a Commodore 128D) would be freed up for the sewing machine. Having all the sewing stuff out in the dining room hasn’t been too big of a problem so far but I’ve made quite the mess with all the fuzz and clippings and patterns.

With the sewing stuff all ready to go, I intend to start in on stuff tomorrow. I plan to make a couple of beanbags and then move onto towels. I’m a little nervous about sewing on fabric that’s not rags but I need to start doing it sometime and straight lines on a towel should be a decent place to start. Plus, it’s not the end of the world if I mess up the towel part and end up making eight or ten facecloths instead.

But after all that cleaning I was pooped. Lots of running upstairs and downstairs to sort things out. Oh, and I used a hot glue gun for what I think was the first time today. Glued a magnet to a pen so it could stick to the fridge.

Oh, and I was listening to the radio today while I was working and they played a song called “Farewell to Nova Scotia”, which is apparently a folk song from Canada’s Maritime region. This particular version was sung by Catherine McKinnon, and I don’t know if it’s the way it was recorded or her voice, but I found her singing gave me goosebumps. It was almost… haunting? Is that the right word? Something like that. If you haven’t heard the song, it’s on YouTube, but make sure you listen to the McKinnon version.

I didn’t go out and do my homework today. I feel guilty about that, but I accomplished a lot around the house so at least I have an excuse, as weak as it is.

One of J’s aunts and I were texting today and it sounds like she listens to a lot of classical music but might be interested in expanding her musical tastes. I think that when I text her I will send a suggestion or two of something from another style of music with links to the songs. Other people showing me what they liked was how I found out about all kinds of music, maybe that will work with her. I think I will stay away from the Moog Cookbook and probably some of the punk and metal stuff, at least for the first while.

J and I finished off Parks and Recreation today. Usually I have a hard time with shows that I enjoy coming to an end, but the way the seventh season was done (especially the last few episodes) kind of decoupled the characters from the show for me, and the last episode did a very good job of wrapping things up. I’m a little sad, but don’t feel like my soul’s been torn like it did after Community or Scrubs or House or Knight Rider. I think J and I both think we need to go back through and watch it again to see how much more we can catch. But yes, it’s a great show and if you’ve ever wondered whether you should give it a try, I suggest you do.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with Dr W in the afternoon. J will be driving me (bless you!!!), but I’m not looking forward to going. I hope it will be a quick appointment so we’re back home fast. I will bring a beanbag along with me and ask him if they’d be ok to donate a bunch of them to the ward. Part of me worries they’d become weapons, but I’ve seen food and books and furniture thrown around, so I don’t think a little beanbag should be much problem. But who knows. I would very much like it if he says they’re an ok idea; I would be happy to make them a batch periodically.

[Just woke up at my computer, looks like I’ve been asleep for over half an hour.]

So… I’m going to make something tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Stay safe.

Really Short Post

Mood: 6

Nightmares: 1

Very short post, but a few things happened today.

Didn’t sleep so well last night and have been groggy all day.

Dr C suggested I get some protein with my breakfast so I made a hard-boiled egg and had that. I think there’s protein in eggs – I probably should’ve looked that up first.

Had a good chat with my folks, they’re both doing well. Dad is very interested and encouraging about the sewing stuff. I really appreciate that.

J offered to go to the fabric store on her way home today so I spent a couple of hours figuring out how much of what I was hoping to get and she picked it all up so I think I will be trying to make something for real for the first time tomorrow. Wish me luck.

My employer emailed me today, which made me feel quite ill. J read the email and said it was good news but I’m still feeling kind of queasy.

Had to wear my parka and touque for the first time this season to do my stuff outside. I’m not ready for winter.

More tomorrow, but now I need to sleep really badly.

Stay safe.

A Good Weekend, But Too Short

Song: “Poison” by Bell Biv DeVoe

Mood: 6.5

Nightmares: 0

Like most weekends, this one went by far too quickly. I’m having trouble remembering everything that happened, but that could partially be because of how late it is.

It was a good weekend, though, and I’m feeling better now than when the weekend started. Lots of that has to do with hanging out with and talking with J. We spend a lot of time talking and even though we’ve been married for 17 years and have been together for about 20, we still haven’t run out of new things to talk about.

I played some Star Trek Online this weekend. It’s eight years old but they still haven’t worked out a whole bunch of bugs but it’s… satisfying? Is that the right word? Satisfying to play? Like when you see one of your teammates is getting mangled and you swoop in and save them, that’s pretty satisfying. All three of my characters are interesting and I fiddle around with all of them.

J and I talked a lot about sewing stuff this weekend. Actually, I probably started most of the conversations but she was very patient with me. She stepped in as the voice of reason today, though, and reminded me that I have a tendency to run off in all directions when I’m trying something new and that I should limit myself to just a couple of projects while I’m starting out. That made perfect sense to me.

Since I already have quite a list of things I want to make – some for myself, some for others, and some for charities, I sent my sister a text asking what she thought would be good to make. She used to work in a shelter and has a pretty good idea of what they seem to need. Her suggestions were: mittens, bags, and towels. I would really like to do towels – it would be great hemming practice. Bags would also be pretty good. I would also like to do the mittens but I need some more practice sizing the pattern I have – I’d like to keep it to two or three sizes if possible. J has offered to stop by the fabric store on the way home and pick up some stuff for me but I need to give her a list. I think I’m going to ask for some denim (for bags), some cotton terry cloth for towels, and the cheapest fleece they have so I can practice some more before going crazy on the mittens.

Oh, and did I mention anywhere that the fourth prototype mitten I made only took about 20 minutes (not six hours this time)?

But yes, I need to do some more thinking – not just about what to make and what to make it out of, but how to do it so I get as much satisfaction out of it as possible. Because yes, I really want to be a good person and help others out if I can, but I also enjoy the feeling that I get when I make something for someone with my own two hands and they both like it and use it. It’s a really great feeling.

Oh, I learned something neat today, too – the Fortnite dance is a copy of the Turk dance from Scrubs!

Scrubs was a wonderful show. I miss it – should probably watch it again soon.

But now I must go to bed. Like, two hours ago.

Stay safe.

Rough Appointment

Song: N/A

Mood: 5.5

Nightmares: 0

I slept alright last night and only woke up four or five times worried about something. In all cases, it only took 15 to 30 minutes to fall back asleep.

I spent time in the truck again today. Didn’t move it again but at least I got out and did that. I’m getting more comfortable with being in the garage and the truck, but I’m still having a lot of trouble with not being able to see the front of the house or know what’s going on inside.

Had a decent chat with my folks this morning, they’ve been keeping pretty busy. Mom found my mitten saga from yesterday to be pretty amusing.

My appointment with Dr C was difficult today. I tried to get ready earlier so things wouldn’t feel rushed, but between a call from the insurance company, the cab arriving ten minutes early, the alarms going off in the clinic where Dr C works, and the ambulances on the street outside, the appointment was tough and very tiring.

J picked me up from my appointment and we went home and both kind of flaked out for a while, then had supper, flaked out some more, and then watched some Parks and Recreation. I’m still not feeling this seventh season very much.

I would really like to write more but I really, really need to get some sleep so I will stop here.

Stay safe.

SIX &$@&%#$ HOURS

Song: “Act Naturally” by The Muppets (starring Gonzo)

Mood: 6

Nightmares: 1

I slept much better last night. Only one nightmare, and I think I woke up worrying fewer times than normal.

The day went alright. I spent time in the truck today and started it up but didn’t take it anywhere.

My exercises went ok today, too.

I was supposed to have an appointment with Dr W today but unfortunately, J was stuck at work and couldn’t make it home to drive me. I called his office and it turned out to be no problem.

I spent a lot of time doing sewing-related stuff. Made a new beanbag today and figured out how to fill it without tilting the machine.

[I can barely keep my eyes focused, I need to end this post ASAP]

I messed up my first attempt but on the second try it turned out great. The washable fabric marker ink came off too so it looks a lot better.

Then I decided to give mitts another try. I found a great video describing how to do them and I eagerly and attentively followed along. I had some trouble making the pattern (I kept feeling like I was missing something) and then when it came to apply the pattern to the material, I had some more problems with how it was going to fit, etc. But I eventually got it cut out (a single piece pattern!) and then tried to figure out how to fold or various parts so I could pin and sew the appropriate spots.

I’d been working on the mitt for, oh, maybe two hours by this time. I spent the next FOUR HOURS watching and re-watching and re-re-watching 15 seconds of video and trying to figure out what I was messing up. For the life of me, I could not figure out why, when I pinned the thumb pieces together, the thumb pointed down. I’d take it apart, try flipping it around, trying all kinds of stuff – none of which helped. Shortly after J got home this evening, I gave it another try. The thumb pointed down again. Something occurred to me and I grabbed the thumb and flipped it so it pointed upward.

IT TOOK ME SIX HOURS TO MAKE A SINGLE MITTEN TODAY BECAUSE IT DIDN’T OCCUR TO ME THAT FABRIC CAN BEND

So anyway, after I calmed myself down (I almost ran around the house swearing but J was on the phone) and watched the next part of the video a bunch of times, I lined up the fabric and stuck pins in all over the place (thanks for picking those up, J!!!). Then it was time to stitch it together. Despite going slow, I went off track a couple of times but it wasn’t the end of the world, just get back on track and start again. When it was finally done, I had this:

Homemade Mitten

And that, folks, is a mitten.

It’s a bit small for me, but it fits J perfectly. Now that I know the instructions work, I can tweak the pattern here and there to adjust for bigger or smaller hands. The only other things I’d like to do with the mittens is sew a hem around the base of the cuff, and put an elastic just before the wrist.

I’m sorry but I have to go, can’t even see what I’m tying anymore. I apologize for all of the mistakes and/or odd things I may have written. I’ll take a look at the post tomorrow.

Stay safe.

Lots Of Nightmares, Very Tired

Song: “Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” by B.J. Thomas

Mood: 6

Nightmares: 4+

Very short post because I really need to get to bed.

I slept very poorly last night and spent a lot of time awake because of nightmares. I woke J up several times by talking in my sleep, and spent almost two hours in total overnight hiding and trying to be quiet while I had panic attacks. I don’t understand how I can get hit with more than one panic attack about the same thing at night, particularly after taking my evening medications and some PRNs during the first one. So yeah, not much sleep at all.

The plumbing company called around noon and said the plumber would be onsite in 15-20 minutes. I took some PRNs to be on the safe side (particularly after last night) and about 20 minutes later, he arrived and got to work cleaning the line. They’ve upgraded since the last time we had them over, with new camera systems that are pretty fantastic. I sent a picture of it to J and she said it reminded her of the kind of picture you get out of one of those deep-sea ROVs:

View down sewer lineHe was very pleasant and didn’t mind me fluttering around and hitting him with piles of questions. I tried my best to keep from asking him if he could work faster or if he really needed to do various things.

After that was all done, I talked to my folks on the phone and had another good conversation. They’re both still quite interested in the sewing machine stuff. I’m still a little surprised but very pleased.

Between half nodding off and chasing ghosts (Jesus, some days are more frustrating than others), I did a lot more research into how patterns work and some sewing basics. I want to be able to start making useful things soon, not just mitts with holes in them or lots of parallel stitch lines on an old teacloth.

I ordered groceries over the Internet two days ago and J stopped by the store to pick them up. It’s a neat little service – you just park in a particular spot, call, and they bring the groceries out to you. Well, J got home and we started unloading the car and taking the bags upstairs, and something didn’t look right. Turns out they mistook our order for someone else’s, so J had to go back and get things swapped around. Fortunately, it worked out OK.

I’ve been giving a lot more thought to the charity stuff, particularly as it pertains to mental health and homelessness. I think there are quite a few little things I can do that might help someone out and make me feel like I’m worth the air I breathe. I hope I can make it work.

J and I started in on the seventh season of Parks and Recreation. I’m a little confused with what’s going on, and I don’t really like the new dynamic and direction. To me, it feels like they weren’t expecting to get renewed and now need to figure out how things are going to work after how last season ended. Going to have to go back and watch them all again I think.

I have a Dr W appointment tomorrow. I don’t want to go – I wish we could do our appointments by phone or video chat. I need to remember to ask him if the beanbag idea is a good one or if they’re not a good thing to have on the ward.

Stay safe.