Thoughts On COVID-19 From A Disaster-Planning Catastrophizer With OCD

I’ve been hemming and hawing over whether I was going to write a post about the current coronavirus/COVID-19 issue, but despite avoiding the news and keeping my nose buried in projects at home, the topic has become impossible to avoid. Turn on the TV, it’s there. Turn on the radio, it’s there. Drive by a grocery store, it’s there. I’m in touch with quite a few of my family and friends on a regular basis, and things are even creeping into our text conversations.

At my last job, one of my jobs was to handle Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity planning for a large IT system that served several thousand people, including some who were responsible for some aspects of public safety. I was really good at it and people from other cities would send their DR/BC plans to me to check and see if I could find something they missed. I ALWAYS found something they missed. Always.

What I didn’t realize was that I’d been letting my OCD and urge to catastrophize run free when doing that planning, and it worked really well until everyone was asking for me to do that all the time and I couldn’t control it and ended up in the psych ward.

Where am I going with this? Well… I’m not a doctor, epidemiologist, or any kind of scientist, but I’m REALLY good at looking at an existing or potential problem and extrapolating to a ridiculous extent to think of the worst thing that could happen. So, you may be a little surprised when I say that the spread of the COVID-19 virus is…

… really not bothering me that much. Honestly. Don’t get me wrong – I’m aware of it of course, and it’s proven to be more dangerous than seasonal flu on a per-case basis, but you won’t see me fighting over the last roll of toilet paper or box of frozen hashbrowns at the store.

There are a few themes that keep coming up in conversations and in whatever news report or blurb I happen to stumble across online. If you’re bored, keep reading for my thoughts on them…

 

Should I Stockpile Supplies?

There is a lot of news about people clearing stores out of certain kinds of items. Frozen pizza-related food, bottled water, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper(?) seem to be popular. Unfortunately, everyone from the most reputable news outlets, to your favourite social media stars, to the guy who runs a pirate radio website saying the government is coming to get us all have one thing in common: every page view or video click they get equals money for them. Add that to the fact that almost every single person carries a video camera in their pocket, and you have a recipe for non-stop clips of people leaving Costco with two carts full of Hot Pockets and Purell.

Just seeing or hearing about those videos makes people worry that they’re missing out on something; some of those people then go to the store to stock up, which leads to more available footage, which leads to more people seeing it… you can see the feedback loop that happens. The thing is… it’s all unnecessary. The grocery store supply chains are not going to break down. Think about it: Walmart, for example, is an ENORMOUS company with an insane amount of resources. If one producer is unable to meet demand, Walmart will engage another one to either replace them or complement them. Every store and every chain, whether it sells medical supplies, stationery, televisions, groceries… it is in their best interest to maintain stock so they can sell it and make money.

What you should be doing, though, is not waiting until the last minute to buy something that you normally pick up on a schedule. Things like medications – call the pharmacy a couple of days earlier than normal to give them time to get your stuff ready. Do you have equipment that uses distilled water? Pick a new bottle up a day or two before you run out. Are you having company over on Saturday? Pick up that ham or roast beef after work on Wednesday or Thursday instead of Saturday morning. And yeah… don’t wait until you’ve used your last square to buy another pack of toilet paper.

Think of it like you’re going on an overnight road trip – you should pack your socks and underwear ahead of time instead of hoping that one of the gas stations along the way has stuff in your size.

This Virus Is More Dangerous To Seniors.

A couple of my friends who happen to be anywhere from their mid-50s to mid-60s tell me about this a lot. They are very concerned that COVID-19 is harder on older people.

Here’s the thing, though – I can’t think of a single disease or syndrome (aside from child-specific diseases like Kawasaki, or weird genetic disorders) that isn’t more dangerous to seniors or elderly people. As we get older, our immune systems don’t have the same potency that they used to, and errors at the cellular level build up over time, making it more likely that we’ll develop things like cancer. It’s not a happy thing to think about, but it is, unfortunately, how it goes. On the other side of the coin, the very young are much more vulnerable to viral and bacterial infections, too, because their immune systems aren’t fully developed yet.

You know who else is more vulnerable and more likely to get sick after catching something?
– Poor people,
– Homeless people,
– Disabled people,
– Immunocompromised people (whether it’s the result of a condition or a treatment), and
– Mentally ill people.

That is not an exhaustive list. You probably know or work with one or more people who fit somewhere into the above list. You may not even know it – not everyone wants even their closest family or friends to know they have a disease or condition or are financially struggling. This is why you should be observing personal hygiene and courtesy by washing your hands, cleaning the surfaces you touch, and cover up your sneezing or coughing. Which brings me to…

Should I Wash My Hands Or Use Sanitizer?

After seeing the video clips of people using their arm to sweep a shelf worth of hand sanitizer into their shopping cart, it’s easy to think that hand sanitizer is the best thing. It’s easier, for sure – just pump and wring your hands for a few seconds and you’re done – 99% of the germs on your hands are now dead/nonviable. But it’s not as good as washing with soap and water. Sanitizer doesn’t make your hands less dirty – it just kills what’s there. Those dead germs fall apart but the pieces stay on your hands, becoming a nice little growth medium for those few bacteria that survived the onslaught, or the ones you just picked up by touching that door knob, elevator button, or your own phone.

Here’s an example that I think does a good job of demonstrating what I mean. Have you ever driven around (particularly on the highway) and had bugs splatter on the windshield? On some days they’ll be all over front of the vehicle – windshield, hood, bumper, lights, etc. Once you pull off the highway and park, though, more bugs show up almost immediately and start to feast on the easy meal of bug guts that you’ve so nicely provided for them. So by killing bugs, you’ve also made food for bugs.

When you wash your hands properly with soap and water, though, you’re physically and chemically removing the germs and any other debris from your hands and washing them to a treatment plant where they are killed, or into a lagoon or somewhere else where they’re suddenly surrounded by a whole bunch of other things that will eat them. So you end up with no germs AND no leftovers for new ones to feed on. Plus, soap and water can remove things like chemicals, plastics, metals, and other things you don’t really want to eat or rub in your eye.

Does that mean sanitizer is bad? Not at all – it does a job, and it does it well. But if you have a choice, properly washing your hands with soap and water is the better way to go.

I Saw That [INSERT HOME REMEDY HERE] Kills Coronavirus

I think this is the one that really bugs me. No, drinking apple cider vinegar will not fix your cough or kill COVID-19 if you have it. No, making a salt/honey/vinegar/whatever mix and drinking it will not fix you up. No, zinc/copper/gold/germanium/silver/whatever will not fix you up. People are trying to make a quick buck off you, either by getting money for page views when you go to their site or watch their video, or by selling some kind of miracle cure that does absolutely nothing at best and can possibly make you sick when you’re not.

Don’t waste your time on those people – they’re parasites, and not the good kind like those little fish that stick to sharks and keep their skin clean. They’ve been around for thousands of years, peddling garbage to people who will try anything. They don’t have a cure and they don’t care about you. They just want your money.

 

So there you have it – that’s my take on this whole thing so far. I’m aware of it and have adjusted some of my behaviours a bit, but I’m not panicking or filling the basement with toilet paper and dried lentils. And you know what? For a guy who’s used to planning for the worst possible outcome, it feels good to be able to look at things rationally.

Stay safe.

Much Better Sleep

Song: “Skipper Dan” by Weird Al Yankovic

Mood: 7

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Pack

It was easy to get to sleep last night and I slept pretty well. No nightmares and I only remember waking up maybe three times to worry about things, none of which kept me awake for very long.

I got quite a bit done today. Had a small but interesting chat about religion with my aunt over text, got a lot done on one of my electronics projects, and two packages showed up today.

I’ve been finding that with the right combination of mood, sleep, music, comfort, and interest, I am getting quite a bit better at concentrating on things. There’s a positive reinforcement cycle that happens, where I’m concentrating on something so I’m not worrying about things, which lowers my anxiety and lets me concentrate better for longer. I think part of it is that things are moving in the right direction, but I’m pretty sure that a lot of it is practice.

It doesn’t really matter why, though – I’m just happy that I can work on something for more than five or ten minutes before switching to something else or taking a break. I feel a much better sense of accomplishment when I can see that I’ve done or made progress in something. That improves my mood, which makes it easier to concentrate, which lets me accomplish more things, which improves my mood. Positive reinforcement everywhere!

The stuff that Dr H called about yesterday was on my mind today, too. I’m not so much worried about how it affects things today as I’m tired of all the doctor appointments and probes and scans and tests. It’s also got me a bit worried about what the future is going to be like. I’m in my mid-forties now, and, if I’m being frank about it, the things that normally happen when one ages are going to start happening, but I have the added “bonus” of going into that with things already wrong.

I probably shouldn’t worry about that, though, because Dr H is on top of things and we’ve already fixed some stuff. No reason this won’t be fixed soon, either.

Next week is going to be a little busy – I have appointments on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Nothing scheduled for the rest of this week, though, but I may volunteer at the church sometime in the next few days. We’ll see.

Tomorrow I hope to print some stuff up, get some more work done on electronics projects, and start sorting the chaos in the workshop. I’d also like to listen to some records. It’s been a while.

Stay safe.

Didn’t Sleep Well

Song: N/A

Mood: 7

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Lots

Short post today, I’m beat.

Yesterday was a pretty great day. FA was over for close to 11 hours, which may very well be our biggest geek-out session of all time. We got all kinds of stuff done and talked about pretty much everything. We also got out to the hardware store, had a delightful burrito lunch, and after J got home the three of us had a great chat, too!

Dr H called yesterday morning about the ultrasound I had on Monday. When I saw the clinic’s number on the display I felt a pang of worry, but it was okay. Long story short, I’m not dying but I am going to get to meet yet another specialist – this time a liver specialist. Dr H also wanted me to get more blood tests done and for me to come in again soon to talk about this stuff, which I’m perfectly happy to do. The sooner it’s fixed and over with, the happier I’ll be.

I had a lot of trouble falling asleep last night. I tried everything – muscle relaxation, breathing, getting up and going back to bed – but it was after 5AM when I finally fell asleep. As a result, I didn’t really accomplish anything today (although I did stare at stuff a lot), and I spent a lot of the day in a fog.

When J got home, she took me to the shiny new lab near home to get those blood tests that Dr H wanted done. I think I’m going to make a giant copy of a blank test requisition form and put it on the wall and play blood test bingo. Some of them are going to be tougher to get (like BHCG), but who knows…

This evening has been pretty quiet. I kind of half zonked out on the couch for a while after supper and then J and I spent some time chatting. Hopefully tonight I will be able to get to sleep at a reasonable hour.

No appointments tomorrow, so I hope to work on some electronic-y project stuff. We’ll see what happens.

Stay safe.

Kind Of A Weird Day

Song: “Country Gardens” by Percy Grainger

Mood: 6.5

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Pack

I think I slept reasonably well last night. I definitely remember worrying about the gate but I don’t think I was up for very long about it. No nightmares, either.

I ended up going to the church down the street to volunteer for a little while today but I was late because as I was getting ready I was thinking about the ultrasound I had scheduled for the afternoon. That made me think of all the other tests and all the other things going on, and before I knew what was happening I had a panic attack. As far as panic attacks go, this one wasn’t too long, and about half an hour later I’d stopped gasping and the screaming going on in every cell in my body had quieted down. I hate panic attacks. I hate, hate, HATE them.

I usually have a “gaaah, what’s next?” approach to getting tested and prodded and probed, so I was surprised that things bothered me today. Maybe there’s a limit to the number of x-rays and blood draws I can tolerate. Maybe there’s a part of me that’s really upset that I still don’t have any superpowers despite all the scans and medications. I don’t know, but I now know it’s something I need to be more mindful about in the future.

Panic attacks take a lot out of me, both mentally and physically. I walked to the church today, and at the end of the six-minute walk I was winded. Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m not in the best shape, but little walks like that have never been a problem for me. When I’m panicking I tend to breathe in little sips instead of regular breaths, so maybe I was still doing that? I don’t know, but it was weird and later in the afternoon when J and I were wandering around the hospital looking for the ultrasound place, I was fine.

Volunteering at the church went pretty well but I was only there for about 45 minutes before J arrived to pick me up and take me to my appointment. The appointment went pretty well, too, although the staff at the desk all looked very tired and more than a bit cranky. I took it as a good sign that the imaging specialist doing the test asked me to flip over to scan my other side instead of looking at the screen and saying, “Hoo-boy… no point wasting time” and then sending me away. After she left the room and I was wiping the goop off me with one of those astonishingly thin yet abrasive cotton towels that the hospitals around here have (brought back some memories of my stay), I stole a glance at the screen of the ultrasound machine.

Now, I’m no doctor, but I’ve watched a lot of shows and done no small amount of reading about medicine and various conditions. If I’m watching one of those true medicine shows where they talk about symptoms, I usually have the disease (and sometimes the treatment) figured out before the big reveal at the end. I also pay attention to the little organ models or charts that the doctors use to indicate what’s going on and where. Now, I’m well aware that patients are not supposed to diagnose themselves, but I am comfortable saying the following things about what I saw on that ultrasound machine screen:

  • It’s not lupus, and
  • My kidneys kind of look kind of like chubby fetuses.

Anyway, when J and I were on our way out of the hospital, we took a quick detour to check out what’s happened with the psych ward since I was last there. It’s pretty sad, actually – it was closed a while ago and seeing it unused with a single light on and no nurses or patients walking around and no sound made me a little… I don’t know if sad is the right word. It didn’t feel right. Even seeing it under construction would’ve been better. It shouldn’t be left sitting and collecting dust. All of the decorations and a bunch of the signs were gone aside from the usual hospital boilerplate stuff and a single hand-made sign with a pink background that had the word “Enjoy” in a swirly script. I remember that sign.

Since I hadn’t had anything to eat or drink up to that point, we also stopped at the pharmacy and I got a drink and some peanuts. I still don’t get hungry but I start to feel all shaky and weird when I need food.

After we got home, J and I talked a lot about our days and how things were going. There’s still some of the evening left but I’m not sure what I’m going to do.

FA is coming over tomorrow, which will be a hoot. We may be able to knock one or two projects off of our lists – we’ll see what happens!

Stay safe.

Visiting And A Good Day

Song: N/A

Mood: 7.5

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Few

Today was another good day. It started out a little stressful because J’s aunt was coming over to visit and I always get anxious before anyone visits, but even though it’s a little unpleasant I know to expect it now (the nerves, not J’s aunt).

She arrived a little after 2PM and the three of us hung out, talked, and had snacks until around 5PM. I had a very good time and enjoyed the conversation. We talked about all kinds of stuff: family, politics, museums, news… all kinds of stuff.

After she left J and I had supper and then we listened to music while she read and I went through my project bins to sort things and throw out junk. Got it down to two bins from three and a little one, so that’s progress!

My Dr C appointment on Wednesday went pretty well. We are still working on fixing up my sleep schedule and (hopefully) getting me ready in the event that Dr W and I do more nighttime medication reductions, but we also talked quite a bit about current events and how much they’re bothering me. Things are good in that regard now, but I have to pay attention to how I’m thinking about things so I don’t start to obsess over it. Dr C says I am pretty good at knowing when things are going wrong, so hopefully I’ll stay on top of things.

My back is pretty much always sore, so a couple of years ago, J finally convinced me to make an appointment with the massage therapist she sees. I’m not a particular fan of people (particularly strangers) touching me, but I was surprised to find that the therapist was very understanding of that and that it ended up helping. I found I was reasonably comfortable with her and decided to go back. My luck being what it is, though, she ended up leaving for a different physio shop in a different part of the city. Recently, though, my back has been really bugging me again, so after a bit of conversation, J convinced me to give her new RMT a try.

So, after my Dr C appointment, I headed over to the physio place. The new massage therapist is much different than the previous one and she does things differently but it worked out pretty well. She talks a lot more (and about all kinds of stuff) and I found it a little distracting to begin with but now that I’ve thought about it some more, I wonder if it’s her way of getting people to relax. At any rate, I think it helped so I’m going to go back and give it another try soon.

I’m going backwards through the week, but my Dr H appointment this week went pretty well, too. None of the specialists I’ve seen have found anything that could cause the unsettling feeling in my chest; the pulmonologist suggested it’s a “functional” issue, which means that there’s nothing physically wrong but for some reason I (or my brain) am interpreting some signals incorrectly. I don’t feel like that’s what’s happening, but hey – if it turns out it’s a software problem instead of something actually wrong with my lungs or heart or whatever, I’m fine with that and will accept it. If, however, the doctors missed something and I suddenly drop dead in the middle of the grocery store one day, they are going to feel soooooo silly…

Dr H was talking about my test results as she was reading through them and mentioned how they were coming back as better or “significantly” better than average. I waved at my flab and said, “Yes, I’m a prime physical specimen.” She found that quite amusing and laughed while the printer spat out a requisition form with enough boxes checked that the lab took seven vials of blood from me when I went for blood tests an hour later. My personal record is 13 (11 of the little ones and two of the big ones), although I’m not sure that’s something to brag about. Anyway…

I also heard from the church people today so I may be going over there sometime next week to volunteer for an hour or so. It’s been a while since I was there last and it will be good to talk to the folks there again.

Nothing too fancy going on this weekend, although I am running an event in STO on Sunday afternoon. I’ve never done that before so it’ll be an interesting experience. Monday I have an appointment to get an ultrasound of my liver – along with the bloodwork, Dr H is putting me through all kinds of tests to figure out why some of my liver numbers are slightly elevated. I do really appreciate her taking that stuff seriously and being proactive about it. I’m very lucky to have a lot of competent and caring professionals on my side.

Stay safe.

Early Day Tomorrow

Song: “Winchester Cathedral” by The New Vaudeville Band

Mood: 7

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Few

Things are going pretty well. J has this week off and it is so nice to be able to talk to her and hang out during the day! We don’t even have to be talking or working on the same thing – just being in the same room as her or knowing she’s in the house makes me happy.

I’ve been working on a thermometer for J’s aunt. I got the electronics working properly and I designed and printed up a little box for it. Just need to stuff everything in there and it’ll be good to go. I hope to give it to her on Friday – she’s coming over to visit that afternoon.

FA came by on Saturday and we did some troubleshooting on some electronics. J was home, too, so the three of us also hung out and had burritos for lunch.

No volunteering at the church lately. Might happen later this week but I’m not sure.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with Dr H at… 8AM. Blugh. I’m mainly going to get some paperwork filled out for the elbow surgery I’m getting in a couple of months, but I’m hoping to ask her a couple of questions about other things, too.

Thursday I have a Dr C appointment, and Friday is when J’s aunt is coming over. Busy week!

Stay safe.

Finished That OCD Study

J and I got home a little while ago from participating in that OCD study. It was much easier for me today because J was there, we brought some drinks, and while J was being interviewed, I got around half an hour out in the hallway by myself so I listened to a bunch of loud music and did some grounding.

I thought there were three more appointments, but it turns out that while there were five parts to the study, I did two of them when I was there the first time and the other three got done today.

So that’s it. They’re hoping to publish the results of the study by the end of the year – I think I’m going to keep an eye on their website in a few months and see if they found anything out.

If you’re a psych student or a psych or medical professional and have done studies or papers, thank you so much! As someone who is getting treatment for mental illness, the thought that there is active research going on that might uncover improvements in therapies or improvements in understanding the illness makes me happy and gives me hope. We’ve come a long way from treating mental illness by trepanning, lobotomizing, and balancing humours because people are applying the scientific method to the study of how the brain and mind work. There’s always more to learn and new treatments to discover!

Please keep doing these studies!

Stay safe.

Getting A Lot Accomplished

Song: “Red River Rock” by the Silicon Teens

Mood: 7

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Several

Things have been going pretty well lately. I’ve been keeping myself very busy, which has been paying off both in how I’m feeling and in how productive I’ve been, which itself helps my mood. I’m making a lot of progress on quite a few projects, and have even checked some off my list!

Still have quite a few to do, though, and I’m adding more to the list pretty steadily. That’s actually a good thing, though, because an idle Mark is not a happy Mark. Plus, a lot of the things I’ve been doing are for other people, which makes me quite happy. The project I’m working on right now is a thermometer for J’s aunt. This is my third time taking a run at it, and now I’ve done it three different ways but I think I’m happy with the way it turned out this time.

My sister got those coin things I made today and she said they were exactly what she wanted so that worked out well, too. From a design, preparation, and printing time perspective, that was by far the biggest project I’ve ever done with the 3D printer. I’m really happy with that machine – 14 months now and it’s still working really well. I’ve replaced a few parts, but they were all (mostly) on my schedule so it hasn’t been dead while I’ve been waiting for parts or time to figure out what’s broken.

When I was young, my family used to pack into the car and drive for a couple of hours to visit my great-grandmother at her farm, and then later at the home she moved into. On our way home in the evening, we’d always stop at another house and visit with a couple. I remember she always had a box of rosebud candy for my sister and me, and they were always very friendly. I’m still not 100% sure how my parents came to know them, but they were good friends of the family, the woman in particular (he ran off with their neighbour at some point and died about a dozen years ago). Anyway, Mom has been in touch with her and she’s not doing so well. I wanted to make contact with her and say hello so I tried to write her a letter but six pages of nothing in I was getting bogged down and frustrated.

So I gave her a call. It was kind of surreal – I think the last time I spoke with her was over 25 years ago and a lot has happened to both of us, but we talked for a good half-hour about all kinds of stuff. She was very happy to hear from me and I was very happy to talk to her again. She asked at least three times when we were coming out to visit. Turns out she’s living in the same place that my great-grandmother lived in. I hope that my parents and J and I can get together and make the trip out there soon; if that doesn’t work out, perhaps J and I can get out to visit. Lots of memories out in that area, the last time I made it out that was was… I think 2009 when I took a day trip on my motorcycle to find and visit my great-grandmother’s grave. I’m going to make a point of calling her regularly to say hi.

We had some really nice days here lately. Just the other day it got up above freezing. I went out to check the mail and I could feel the sun on my skin – I know in six months that’s going to be the last thing I want, but right now it felt good and it’s a sure sign that spring is getting close!

This Friday J and I are going to do the second part of that OCD study. Hopefully it won’t be another long haul like the last one was, but just in case we’re going to bring along something to drink and a snack of some kind.

On Saturday, FA and I are going to have another geekfest and work on some stuff. I’m looking forward to it – we’ve put a lot of thought and time into the current project and it’s rewarding to see each bit of progress we make.

I may be volunteering at the church sometime later this week, too, but I’m not sure how or if it will work out yet.

Stay safe.

Still Busy But Still Good

Song: N/A

Mood: 7

Nightmares: 1

Ghosts: Pack

And another six days have gone by. I’m starting to wonder if I’m actually a robot and J is turning me off and putting me in a corner somewhere for a couple of days each week. Let’s see…

I’m still keeping busy with projects and stuff around the house. I’m almost done those coin holders for my sister – just waiting on some springs to arrive, of all things. I made a lot of progress on something DA wants, and I’ve done some work on the things FA and I have been working on.

This past Friday I went to do the first part of that OCD study. I’m still glad I did it, but it wore me right out. J’s aunt drove me there (bless her) and we had a good chat along the way like we usually do. The building the study is being done in is not what you’d call “modern” – everything is grey and worn and it’s like a maze with tons of tiny little offices. I was expecting to be there for an hour or 90 minutes. That changed to two hours, then two and a half… I finally stumbled out of the building a little more than four hours after the session started. The person running the study also ran the session, and he was very pleasant and friendly and reiterated that I could take breaks or leave whenever I wanted.

The plan was for me to finish earlier in the day and go for lunch with FA and DM and then hang out at their place and talk and/or work on projects and/or geek out. Even though it was over two hours later than I’d expected, they still picked me up and we went to the burrito store in their part of town, then back to their place to have lunch. Despite me being in kind of rough shape and certainly not at my best, I had a good time hanging out with them and was happy to have finally made it to their place for the first time in… two years? Something like that. They are very good friends and I really appreciate that they still picked me up, still wanted to hang out, and weren’t irritated or put-off when it’d take me ten seconds to respond to a question. Thanks, you two!

After I got home on Friday, I didn’t do all that much. J and I hung out and talked a bit, and I stayed up for a while after she went to bed. I thought a lot about the day and was happy (and a bit embarrassed) about how the afternoon had gone, but I was still glad to have gone to the study. When I finally went to bed, I put my head down and that was it – I was out. I don’t remember waking up even once either Friday or Saturday night. No nightmares, no worrying about things… my poor tiny brain was worn right out.

My Dr C appointment today was good but tiring. I drove again and things went pretty well. It was my first appointment since J and I visited both of our parents and she wanted to know all about it: how things went, what was going on in my head, what I did for coping, etc. She was very happy to hear that it went well and said that it’s normal that I was so tired afterwards. We also talked about the study (apparently a four hour session isn’t that out of the ordinary), and then spent the rest of the time working on sleep stuff again. I’ve got more homework to do, and hopefully after the next session we will start making changes to my sleep schedule. The intent is for me to get more sleep (I seem to be getting anywhere from 5.5 to 6.75 hours over a usual night) and to adjust my sleep schedule so I’m getting to bed and waking up earlier.

After my appointment, I went and picked up a package from the local post office, and got gas for the truck for the first time in almost 11 months. I’d like to say it’s because the truck gets great gas mileage, but no – it’s because the poor thing has sat in the garage all sad and lonely. I like the truck.

I don’t know what’s going on for the rest of the week. Now that one of my bigger projects has reached a milestone, I’m tidying up a bunch of the stuff that’s spread out all over the dining room table. This is good, because it was even starting to get to me – I’m kind of surprised that J didn’t just elbow it all into a garbage bag and throw it out. Once the table’s cleaned up, though, there’ll be lots of space for another project!

Oh, and my computer just dinged at me – some of those springs I’m waiting for just shipped and should be here tomorrow. So that’s another project that’ll be done soon!

Stay safe.