Staycation Life Update

staycation
image: Ron Mader

This week I’m off work.  Not doing anything except recovering my equilibrium.  I was feeling my mental state getting too close the edge of the abyss.  And I just did not want to fall in.  So I took off a week.

Already I’m feeling better.  So I think it was a good choice.

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I only have one, possibly two work related things I need to do.  One is to catch up a report that I’ve been neglecting all month.  It’s tedious and it’s easy to say to myself, I don’t have time today.   It’s supposed to be done daily.  I think I’ve got 5 days in the report so far.

The other is to possibly go into work for a visit from a tech guy for our reservation/dispatch system.  I have thoughts I want to share.  Many, many thoughts.

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I have become addicted to a game on my phone called Wordscapes.  Like I just started playing 3 weeks ago and I’m on level 1241. Each puzzle is a level.  I hate when computers  make pretending it’s not that bad impossible.  At least it’s a mind exercise, but it is far too easy to do the game rather than do my life.

I find it easier to break a habit by replacing it with another habit.  So I bought an embroidery kit to see if I can start a new habit to keep my life occupied.  At least there is a sense that I accomplished something tangible with the embroidering

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I’ve recently become obsessed with keyboards.  I want a mechanical one.  Like we had in the old days.  Where there was a tangible click when you pressed down.  And you could feel the key go all the way down.  And the keyboard wasn’t flat but had a pleasant upward curve.

I know it’s probably a bit more fatiguing to your hand if you have to type a lot, but I am mostly not typing long form.  I’m working in accounting software.  I mostly use 10key skills.  And doing 10 key wants to feel more like I associate with those horrible giant adding machines.  So I want to have a mechanical keyboard.

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I have decided that the small daily changes – like a different keyboard are the things that make life better. So many things in life that we just accept, but are not really that comfortable.  So I’m going to start paying attention to those things.  See if I can get my life to feel more like it’s moving smoothly, rather than being dragged over gravel.

 

To the Doctor or Not to the Doctor

That is the question.

I have Iritis.  Which can be summed up by saying my left eye waters and is deeply painful.  But only periodically.

It’s started a periodic.  The treatment is prednisone eye drops.  I have left over from last time, but I probably only have 4 or 5 drops left.

To get more I must visit the doctor.  I don’t enjoy doctors.  Mostly because getting my ass into a different pattern of action – ie going to the doctor’s office is hard.  Depression has this thing where it wants to keep doing what ever it is currently doing.  It’s super stupid.

Anywho.  Sometimes the pain goes away after just a few treatments.  Sometimes it lasts for more than a week and the drops take 3-4 days to touch the problem.

Also, and really kind of super important, even if it goes away before the drops run out, then I won’t have the back up drops for the next episode.  This means I would suffer for many days before I can get into see the doctor.

Finally – I don’t want to go because what if it’s worse.  What if I’m going blind?  What if the next step is some horror, like eye surgery or something???  Ignorance is not bliss, but it is a numb alternative to bad news.

This is definitely a boring post.  However it did help me work my brain through it’s spaghetti reasoning and come the to conclusion that I should call for an appointment.

sigh.

cranky kid

Reasons I want to Drink

My coworker in a 2 associate team is on vacation.  We recruit a backup for her from the call center.

It was a hectic day today.  I had a regularly scheduled person who helps on Mondays when we are Extremely busy.  Usually my coworker manages  her and I only have her for 3 or 4 hours.  But they changed her hours to match mine and damn it’s hard to manage someone inexperienced while trying to do your own job.

But.  That’s NOT the reason I want to drink.  The replacement co-worker pointed out that my regular coworker has not been marking sales tax on her invoicing for a very large account. Presumably the total amount billed is correct, I have not checked.  PLEASE UNIVERSE, LET THE BILLED AMOUNT BE CORRECT.   But because she has not been doing this, I have not reported those taxes collected and they have not been paid.

Taxes.  NOT paid.

The thing is – she did it correctly for about 7 months and then in March she just did it randomly and in April only 4 items and after that…

I have NO idea what was going on in her mind.  But I do know that I report the taxable payable amount to the owners of the company and they faithfully pay that amount to the state.

And it was wrong since March.  By a not insignificant amount.  This puts them in danger of audit and fines etc.

I love my co-worker.  But she works too fast.  That’s her key strength but it’s also her weakness.  I worry that her desire to get my work started before I arrive is causing her to let important things slide.  She likes to be the hero who helps people.

And I worry that telling my bosses that the last 4 months of tax reporting I did for them was wrong.  Because they will want to know why.  And then I will be throwing my friend under the bus.

She’s on vacation.  I talk to her regularly by text but I’m not going to ruin her vacation with this nightmare.  Still it’s giving me stomach issues.  I can’t tell them without telling her first.  But that’s a weeks wait.  sigh.

Drinking seems like a decent solution to get through the week.  If only it had no next day consequences.

 

Confession: I hate the Forth of July.

I live in a city and state that allows every Tom, Dick and Harry to shoot off fireworks.  And in my neighborhood, they do.   They start days before, often before dark and it goes on for weeks afterwards.

Loud unexpected noises make me jump and more than occasionally scream.  However, I haven’t screamed this year.   In the case of the fireworks – it sets all my fight or flight nerves on edge and I end up with some irrational anxiety over things I know won’t hurt me in my bedroom.

I have one neighbor who doesn’t go for the sparkly fireworks that go off with a muted pop.  He enjoys the bombs.  He sets them off days before and continues straight through.  And then just randomly during the summer he will get a hankering and just shoot off a dozen or so.  It a nightmare.

Last night another neighbor started his fireworks at 11 pm and kept it going to 1 am.  Thankfully it was all sparkly muted pops.  But still – its a bit much.

Then there’s the guy who in the midst of the biggest mess of fireworks going on all over the damn city pulls out a gun and starts shooting in the air.  Now, I know I’m being a killjoy here, but bullets shot straight up have to come down somewhere.  People have died that way too.  And that doesn’t even account for the blood alcohol level of someone handling a live weapon.  Well.  Lets face it.  I am a killjoy.

I don’t make a thing about it to anyone who is enjoying their family fireworks.  I just complain to friends and write a whining blog about it.

I just think that in a sane world – fireworks would only be handled by professionals.  And set off in public places far from me.

Grouchy Sara is grouchy.

ANNOYED HUSKY

Peas and Mashed Potato

I have loved that combo since a kid, but for some reason hadn’t eaten it in probably nearly 10 years.  On Friday I bought Kroger Mashed Potatoes and frozen peas and may I recommend?

I know.  It’s not home made.  But.

It has all the things that make Peas and Mash a comfort and a delight.

Lots of butter in the mash and also because I add it.

The frozen peas are lovely.  That requires no explanation if you like peas.

Mix together into one.

Together the soft with tiny little explosions of pea magic.

They are the panacea for a crappy day.  Low to no effort and pure comfort.

HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

 

Things I just can’t deal with right now.

Life Generally.

Flat tire, specifically.

I had a flat at work about 3 weeks ago.  I work for a transportation company, so I just refilled the tire and watched it.  It kept inflated for weeks.  I thought perhaps it was an April Fools joke as it happened on April’s Fool Eve.

But today, the tire is flat.  Indeed, it was flat yesterday.  My neighbor knocked on my door to tell me.  I was feeling like the struggle bus had run over me and then he showed up with more cheery news.

I ignored it.  I have a portable electric air pump.  But it does need to be plugged in and that is where it all sort of falls apart.  I live on the second floor of the building but I don’t have an extension cord long enough to handle it.

I also have a roadside assistance contract.  They will come and change the tire.  Presumably they might have an air pump as an alternative option.  But it’s not a guarantee.  I cannot change the tire.  I know this from previous attempts, when I was in better shape than I currently am.  I have little to no upper body strength,

Right now my trunk is full of various forms of detritus that have formed in the last 7 years.  It’s in desperate need of a clean out.  And if I call roadside assistance, I’m gonna need to clean it out, so the spare can be removed.   My desire to do that clean out of the trunk is damn near nil.  But it must be done.

All of this is just me whining about a perfectly normal hitch in life, which the stillness in my brain has enlarged into a mountain of gargantuan size.  So much so that my plan to take care of it today did  not happen.

 

Considering Dal

I have a slow cooker.  I don’t use it.  But I have it.  In case I finally live up to my ideal of cooking up meals for the week ahead.

This week I’m considering making a dal.  So easy, so freezable, so yummy.

But I’m not a cook.  And my entire yummy dal experience is from a local Indian Restaurant that does something magical to beans that makes me like them.

So I googled, as one does.  And it turns out… Dal is not just one thing.   Or it sort of is – it’s legumes.  But sometimes they are whole, hulled or split.  Depends.

India is GINORMOUS, for those of you who flunked geography.  And different areas do different versions of dals.  Different spices, or beans or what not.

Very few recipes are already for a slow cooker and I’m not an expert so…

I have no idea what kind of dal my favorite is.  It’s just the magical stuff you put over the rice and then it’s contentment in my mouth.

I was overwhelmed by the possibilities I see.  And I’m fairly sure I’m not going to be making dal tomorrow.

I might buy some on the way home though.  😍

 

 

 

That time I had a stroke and didn’t know it. But at least I don’t have syphilis.

Yesterday morning, at the ungodly hour of 8:20am, I was sitting in the opthamologist chair being tested in various ways.  I have iritis.  Which is painful occasionally.  I was there for follow up tests following an exceptionally painful bout.

During one of the tests, the doctor turned to the assistant and said, I want her to have a field of vision test today.  It wasn’t what I was scheduled for.  He said to me there is some evidence of narrowing of… (I have lost those words he said.)

So I had a very boring field of vision test and it turns out there is a very pronounced and clear lack of vision in upper right peripheral vision.  Both eyes.  Which is a result of an apparently small stroke I had in the past.  No way to know when.

That is both disturbing and also not really relevant?   I mean it’s weird and sort of scary that I had a stroke and was COMPLETELY unaware of it.  I’m very lucky that the result of it is that I have a small field of vision problem that I am unaware of in daily life and the doctor says won’t even cause me to lose my license.  Indeed I may well have taken the vision peripheral tests at the DMV since the stroke.

It most likely happened when I wasn’t controlling my blood pressure problem when I was in the deepest parts of the abyss.

My primary care doctor wants me to have an MRI.  I’m wondering if knowing the extent of the damage is of any fundamental help?

I need to ask that because I’m still paying off the rabies shots and the iritis, separately from this stroke situation, is leading to a bunch of costly tests to see what caused the iritis.   One of those tests was to see if I have syphilis.  But good news – Nope.

I feel like I’m going to be forever in debt to medical costs.  Rabies was going to take me a year to pay off, this round of tests I don’t know yet, but I’m guessing a year again.  And now the MRI, which sounds expensive.   And all of it with insurance.  But because of the deductible…

And all of this is happening when work is kind of a zoo.  In fact it’s a major zoo.  Zoo Poo is being flung about like it hit a propeller.   It’s taking most of my focus and energy just to deal with work.  Adding this on top is just not good timing for my brain power.  But I’m trying my best to power through.  Not with a ton of success, but with moderate adequacy.

It’s been a very busy week.  Very stressful.  And it was capped today by a mistake by omission that sent me home in near tears.

We are putting in a new software system and I have been given quite a lot of extra responsibility with that.  And since it’s implementation was supposed to be Friday, the last week was fraught with various glitches and various things not done.  All while my full time job was not done by me with any great focus.

In the end we did not go live on Friday because there were too many roadblocks.  I was relieved because a good portion of my responsibilities on it were unfinished.

To add stress and work to this, Friday was the monthly close for billing.  On the 1st I am normally putting in at least a 10 hour day.  But due to the system it was just impossible to even get done, after my 12th hour.  So.  I left and came back today.

Needless to say, I have set aside a whole lot of non-urgent tasks during the last month.  And one of them was a contract my boss gave me to read.  It outlines the new rates etc for our biggest client.  I read it today.  After I sent the invoices, which were based on a conversation I had with my boss on how much the fares were.  I don’t know if I misunderstood him or if the contract was not written to his verbal agreement, but it specifies a whole different rate structure than I billed at.   And it doesn’t matter what he or I understood, because what he signed says these things.

When I say it’s our biggest client, I had 1500 line items on one invoice and 600 on the other.  And all of it is wrong.  I have pull it apart and redo it.  Then apologize profusely to their AP folks.

I couldn’t face it and I walked out tonight  on the verge of tears.  I called my coworker and she talked me off the full on breakdown.  She’s good at that.   I might go in tomorrow.  Because Monday is going to be yet another day of system issues and I won’t have time to do it.

But I’m on the verge of a nervous breakdown.  Last time I felt this shitty was when I literally stopped moving, lost my job, and after exhausting my savings became homeless.

On a positive note though, I notice I’m handling it better this time.  I have tools to deal with it, I guess.  Last time I refused to acknowledge it.  Because I had a great life, I couldn’t possibly be depressed or anxious.

But now I see what’s happening and have more tools.   I am better prepared and more aware of it.  When the feeling of near breakdown was worst was the beginning of this week, I just sat myself down and realized I had to let things go.  I had to stop internalizing things I couldn’t control and recognize the limits of what I could do in the space time I was allotted. .  And after that, things got a lot easier.  Although I’m still prone to snapping at people, and all of my coworkers recognize that I’m a bit overwhelmed, I’m not internally as ready to just curl up into a ball and not participate.  Which was how I was at the beginning of the week.  And how I was when I fell apart years ago.  Back then I did just curl up and stop participating.  But I won’t do that this time.

I won’t let this kill me.  I’m fighting for my own sanity this time.  Maybe the odds don’t look in my favor, but I think I got this.

serenity-movies-summer-glau-firefly-river-tam-screenshots-desktop-2117x900-hd-wallpaper-855869

 

 

Passing the Doctor’s Office Visit

I had a physical and follow up visit with my doctor yesterday morning.  I very much was not interested in going when I woke up.  The stillness was enveloping me.

But that was the reason I needed to go.  Also I have a spot on my leg that my anxiety has diagnosed as skin cancer.

But I went.  Using all my mental resources to push the rock up the mountain and get moving.  I love my doctor.  She is kind and thorough and responsive.  She listens.

So.  We adjusted the depression meds.  And she told me I don’t have skin cancer.  And she ran a calculator on my risk factors for a heart attack and found it’s only 2.5% in the next 10 years – which is basically just the standard of the general population.  And since I’ve been harboring an anxiety that I will die of a heart attack at 55 like my father did that released another anxiety.

I normally feel like I flunk every doctor’s appointment.  Something is diagnosed as wrong and then we have to treat it and then we follow up for what feels like dozens of times trying to get it fixed.  So it feels nice to have only depression which feels like the normal.

Which is, of course, why it’s problematic.  I think this way I’m living is normal.  It’s not.  It’s just the life I’m used to.  But when she ran through the questions for anxiety/depression it struck me that this REALLY IS WRONG.  It’s amazing how awful living just stops feeling wrong and just feels like awful is normal.  And in many ways, my ability to manage my depression and keep functioning is why it feels OK.  I never felt like it was OK when I was unemployed and stayed in bed 23.5 hrs a day.  But now I have a job and an apartment and I keep a minimum standard of living going.  It tricks me into thinking life is supposed to be this way.

Hopefully the meds will kickstart a new path in my brain that I can take advantage of.

Cross fingers.