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oromendur

Oromendur: Scouring, Part 2

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2 hours ago, oromendur said:

Onward

 

Yes, onward! I'm proud of you for not letting these setbacks stop you. It's frustrating, I know, but if it's worth it you will continue to fight for it. 

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I’ve totally dropped the ball on following everyone. But I’m back. I love your challenge and personifying the demons.

 

I. Love. It. 
 

Sending waves of support. 

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Dammit dammit DAMMIT what happened to this week? Gah.

 

So I guess it's Friday. Let's see. What news?

 

The most recent rejection letter came in around noon instead of overnight, just to make a change (because clearly I needed something to feel sorry for myself about while waiting around at the VA hospital). There is a smattering of remaining applications still dangling precariously at the end of my spreadsheet, but I'm having a REALLY hard time convincing myself I even [BLEEP]ing want any of them right now.

 

Wait, actually, I do know where the week went: I had a bunch of medical appointments requiring a compounding mess of people-ing and doctor-ing and bureaucracy-ing that sucked the will to live out of every cell in my body. Ugh.

 

Representative interaction:

 

My surgeon: I want you up and walking around as soon as you can manage, but no exercise for at least 4 weeks after the surgery.

Me (suspiciously): What does that mean?

Her (even more suspiciously): What do you normally do in the gym?

 

Now, I will admit to being a little flattered that she thought I looked like I'd seen the inside of a gym in the last *mumble* years, but for some reason the question flustered me and my brain failed to generate the questions it should have done while I had her there in front of me. I mentioned kettlebells (I mean -- like I'm actually doing anything with them?) and she said definitely not. Running (same caveat)? Nope. Walking? Sure. Lifting things in the kitchen? No, she didn't think anything would be too heavy. What's too heavy? Oh, ten pounds, maybe fifteen.

 

My ridiculous brain: That 8kg kettlebell might round down to fifteen...

 

I guess the best way to get me to actually decide to do something I know I should do (that I say I want to do, and that I still somehow can't manage to get done) is to tell me I mustn't. So I have a whole week yet! I should go do kettlebell things, right? Except that there's no point to it because any strength improvement will just vanish with four weeks of inactivity so clearly I shouldn't even bother...

 

Did I ask about Beat Saber, longer walks, dancing, you know, any of the things I'm actually doing? NO. Stupid brain.

 

Anyway. My normalizing intentions are slowly becoming reassuringly normal: meditation is happening, PAI is good, I even cleaned the coffee machines again AND took out the trash for the second time in three weeks, which I think is a post-dissertation record. I'm doing dough prep today and will bake bread tomorrow. I went for a walk on the coast during a break between hospital events and watched white waves crash into the blue sea for a while.

 

Not to wish my life away or anything BUT CAN THIS BE OVER NOW PLEASE so I can get on with things?

 

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On 3/4/2020 at 5:08 PM, Sciread77 said:

I love your challenge and personifying the demons.

 

I. Love. It. 
 

Sending waves of support. 

 

Thank you! I do think the personification is helping. I also think I saw some of those waves down on the ocean yesterday -- I'm grateful :)

 

Support coming back atcha! Hope you're doing OK and recovering from your own ordeal. 

 

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Me this morning: Wow, look how dark it is! I'm up early to start the week. <pats self on back> Well done me.

Daylight savings: <snickers> It's not as early as you think it is...


Happy Monday, everyone. Time for a 

 

[WEEK 3 UPDATE]

 

It's a mixed bag this week. I guess most of them are.

 

Battles with Phil

 

PAI: 113, 105, 119, 128, 118, 83, 104. Saturday was kind of a mess. I really don't know what angel brought to me the wherewithal to walk eight miles last week, but I was definitely not blessed with any such presence this weekend after the PAI ran out. It took two pretty serious sessions of Beat Saber, one on Saturday and one on Sunday, to get me back into the green -- and I'm going to have to do another one today if I want to stay there for at least part of Week 4. Incidentally, this is how it's supposed to work; the way PAI is calculated is meant to incentivize numerous shorter bursts of activity rather than one long thrash session followed by six days of inactivity. But I'm kind of stupid.

 

Supplements/evening routine: done every day. I didn't want to on Saturday but I was able to make it happen anyway.

 

Kettlebells: Look! A dragon! <runs>

 

Battles with Tom

 

Structure: um, no, I guess not :(
 

Content: <blink> <blink> <uncomfortable shifting>

 

Weekly cleaning: My plan to have Google send annoying messages into OneNote reminding me of the things I'm supposed to do every week on the day I'm supposed to do them is sort of kind of almost working, maybe? I cleaned the coffee machines again, and even took out the trash, and those are the two items that I've managed to get into the system thus far. Maybe if I pull my head out and put some of the other things into the system they'll get done too? Or maybe it's just that these two are left over from my Habitica days and already internalized? I don't know. I did do better this week keeping up with the kitchen, though (as long as we all just pretend we can't see the floor).

 

Battles with Ned

 

Meditation: done every day. I mean, I'm not sure I'm doing it *well* or anything, but it is getting easier. This morning I woke up with a relentlessly annoying song in my head ("Rasputin" from Funk Overload, courtesy of my Beat Saber workout yesterday), but while I was concentrating on my ritual and my breath, it went away. I actually didn't notice it was gone until I finished my session, left my meditation space and went to RAH RAH RASPUTIN LOVER OF THE RUSSIAN QUEEN (sigh) It might be a bit early to celebrate, but I think this challenge's efforts to re-establish at least parts of my routines is proving to be successful. I don't have to fight myself in the morning anymore. I just get up and do my thing because it's what I do. 

 

Delights: a little better this week. Wednesday was such a beautiful day that I thought, hm, I have a nice salad in the fridge, why don't I ever sit outside on the deck and have my lunch? When I went out I was reminded why: because the table and chairs were totally disgusting, and rather than clean them I put the salad back in the fridge and almost had cheese on sourdough toast in my dark little cave of a kitchen. But the thought of that made me feel lazy and useless enough that I sucked it up, went outside again, wiped the worst of the bird poo off one of the chairs and the table, and got the salad out again. I can't delete the "clean deck table and chairs" task from OneNote because I didn't really even clean the one I was sitting on, but I got to have lunch outside and watch the clouds chasing each other through the blue sky and enjoy the sunshine playing on my palm tree. Then on Thursday I had two appointments down at the hospital, and pretty much everything I touched that day turned to shit; after my third choice for a nice lunch failed (the first restaurant I had been counting on had evidently closed last year, the second wasn't going to open for another two hours, and the third had literally just shut down three days earlier) I said [BLEEP] it and went into La Jolla village, parked in a spot that magically opened up as I drove by, and walked along my old coastal running route from when I used to live there. It was another beautifully sunny spring day, and closed restaurants and rejection letters and painful memories* all kind of faded away as I walked in the breeze and watched the waves comb the blue water in the tidepools beneath the cliffs. Then on Saturday I baked my first set of sourdough bread with about half white whole wheat flour, and it was a success -- the bread is softer, chewier, and tastier. I think I'll do it that way from now on.

 

*I lived in a tiny little studio apartment in that area for about four years with a guy I was SURE I was going to marry. We were even looking for houses to buy together. Then I went to Kosovo and then Iraq, and then Iraq again, and he broke up with me over Skype text two weeks before I was supposed to come home from that second tour. I moved out about two weeks after I got back. The whole incident is still kind of a raw spot in my psyche, honestly, but there's no denying it's a beautiful place. 


Journaling: Look! A dragon!

 

So -- some success, some failure. Pretty standard for me these days. Oh, yes, I also managed to torture out one more job application to knock off my spreadsheet, so that wasn't completely a bust this week. (Nearly, but not completely.) I also spent a LOT of time this week on computer and network geekery; everything electronic in my life seemed to fail at the same time, so much so that I went and checked to see if Mercury was in retrograde (it actually is, it comes out on Tuesday) and I've been spending inordinate amounts of time deep in command lines struggling to get shit that used to work fine up and running again. Maybe this is why I'm not getting anything else done? (shrug) 

 

Week 4 needs to be all about surgery prep.  I'm not sure how long it will take before I'm able to handle basic functions again, so my plan is to do as much as I can beforehand to give myself space to do nothing but recover for two solid weeks. This means grocery shopping and batch cooking so I have food, the more-strenuous visitor-prep cleaning of things like bathrooms*, and [BLEEP]ing laundry because I've been blowing it off for WEEKS and I think my surgeon would probably say schlepping my entire closet's worth of dirty clothing to the laundromat counts as 'exercise' and I'm not supposed to do that. It would also be nice to have clean sheets if I'm going to spend a week in bed.

 

*About three weeks after the surgery, my friends from the UK are meant to come and stay for a while. I got an email today saying they're considering canceling the trip because of the whole coronavirus thing, which would make me very sad because I've been *really* looking forward to their visit, but it's their decision. Right now I still have to clean the house in case they do come.

 

Challenge-crushing danger of Week 3 doldrums narrowly avoided! Onward!

 

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1 hour ago, oromendur said:

Me this morning: Wow, look how dark it is! I'm up early to start the week. <pats self on back> Well done me.

Daylight savings: <snickers> It's not as early as you think it is...

 

I woke up at my biological normal time today. 
 

Nobody else did. Jessie’s phone didn’t change time so I was all ready and had lunches packed to go and everyone else was still asleep lol. Never had that happen before. 

 

1 hour ago, oromendur said:

 

*I lived in a tiny little studio apartment in that area for about four years with a guy I was SURE I was going to marry. We were even looking for houses to buy together. Then I went to Kosovo and then Iraq, and then Iraq again, and he broke up with me over Skype text two weeks before I was supposed to come home from that second tour. I moved out about two weeks after I got back. The whole incident is still kind of a raw spot in my psyche, honestly, but there's no denying it's a beautiful place. 


 

 

 

That is awfully rough. 

 

1 hour ago, oromendur said:

.About three weeks after the surgery, my friends from the UK are meant to come and stay for a while. I got an email today saying they're considering canceling the trip because of the whole coronavirus thing, which would make me very sad because I've been *really* looking forward to their visit, but it's their decision. Right now I still have to clean the house in case they do come.

 

That rotates like a bucket of beans on a Scotsman’s porch on Labour day. Makes sense, I suppose. My company cancelled basically all business travel. 

 

1 hour ago, oromendur said:

Challenge-crushing danger of Week 3 doldrums narrowly avoided! Onward!

 

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Rock on!

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"Pain is not a punishment. Pleasure is not a reward." ~Buddhist teacher Pema Chödrön, quoting Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

 

"The [Force/Tao/will of God/energy of the Universe/<insert personal concept of ultimate truth here>] never stops flowing. You can't stop it. But you can stop fighting with it." ~Me, while journaling to try and arrest the tailspin I went into yesterday

 

(sigh)

 

I am getting so [BLEEP]ing sick of the pointlessness of this [BLEEP]ing job hunt :angry: I've now lost two days to pathetic personal anomie caused by two particularly painful rejection letters. One of them hurt because I *really* wanted the job, and since it had an ecocriticism element I thought I had a chance. Spoiler: I didn't. In fact the response time on it was less than three weeks, so I didn't even make the shortlist. Then the other one hurt even more because it was the sort of thing I've been considering as a last resort, a freelance type of gig, almost the equivalent of academic contract piece work; I was so arrogant, so damned sure they would be glad to have one of my talent and qualifications, that when the even-quicker rejection came in I started to realize that I'm old and useless and worthless and unemployable and [BLEEP] me I have surgery in a few days and do NOT have time to get derailed by this bullshit.

 

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I've done no cleaning. I've done no laundry. There's no food. And instead of [BLEEP]ing taking care of business in these last few dwindling days before I won't be physically capable of dealing with anything for a while, I'm getting caught up in some sort of pathetic emotional morass of self-pity and denial, and spending hours upon hours reading or websurfing or compiling stupid [BLEEP]ing Gentoo on an old laptop for crying out loud. 

 

I have to stop it. Now.

 

Tonight I am going to send another job application, replace the downstairs showerhead, and clean the toilets IF IT KILLS ME. 

 

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On 3/9/2020 at 11:05 AM, Sciread77 said:

That is awfully rough.

 

Yeah. That incident certainly goes on my list of shit to work through if I ever do sort out some therapy. But it could have been a lot worse, and I know it, and I'm at least partially over it; we've only spoken once since, but I am more or less able to wish him well now. Reading back over that post it feels like I probably shouldn't have brought it up, because it just adds to a creeping sense I have that these days my NF contributions are nothing but endless pathetically drama-licious handwaving bids for attention -- but I was really just trying to explain how there was more going on that day than just a pleasant seaside stroll in the sunshine (sigh). Thanks for the good thoughts.

 

On 3/9/2020 at 11:05 AM, Sciread77 said:

That rotates like a bucket of beans on a Scotsman’s porch on Labour day. Makes sense, I suppose.

 

I had a short WhatsApp call with my friend yesterday and they haven't cancelled yet, although they're considering not doing the Disney parks at Easter as they'd planned. (shrug) There's not much I can do about it either way. We'll just have to see what happens.

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14 hours ago, oromendur said:

Tonight I am going to send another job application, replace the downstairs showerhead, and clean the toilets

 

I guess two out of three ain't bad. Last night I send another wretched application for some wretched job I don't want in some wretched place I don't want to live* but dammit I sent it. I also got the showerhead done. The toilets are still smelly little cesspools of doom, but that's actually a quick job once I find the disinfectant so I'll deal with it here soon.

 

Today's absolutes are two heavy-lifting jobs that must be done on a weekday (of which I now only have two left, because I am foolish and undisciplined and over-stressed):

 

LAUNDRY

RECYCLING

 

I will report back here when they're done.

 

* Not really, but that's what it feels like right now

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Right. My report. (I didn't do it last night because I was down to my last broken and jagged spoon.)

 

Naturally -- because I find it necessary to metaphorically beat myself nearly into insensibility just to conduct basic life functions to begin with, and clearly I needed more punishment -- it was an absolutely hellish day. It poured with rain ALL DAY. Now, water falling from the sky makes people in Southern California lose their minds on the best of days; when there's a pandemic to have fun panicking about, it turns into some sort of bad LSD trip. Not only did I have to go do unpleasant things, I got to be wet and miserable and surrounded by irrational idiots while doing it. AND the heavy rain meant it was also a three-buckets-on-the-couch-that-need-to-be-emptied-every-two-hours day too.

 

But I got it done.

 

First I loaded up the mounds of overflowing recycling and took them to the center, got soaked to my toenails waiting my turn, and walked away with $16.76. Then I went to the laundromat and spent $15.92 on washing four loads of laundry . (It was supposed to be three, but one of them was extremely disgusting for reasons related to the purpose of my upcoming surgery and so I ran it twice.) Net gain: $.84 (well, that and the *real* reason I bother, which is the satisfaction of sticking to my principles by recycling as much as I can with companies who are actually incentivized against just dumping the shit they collect into the landfill).

 

Then I put all the wet washing in the car and went to brave the battle zones of the grocery stores. (We are definitely NOT going to get into the financial details here because it's depressing.) I got *most* of my shopping done, but due to irrational panic buying there were empty shelves and I still need to go out again today for some things. You know. Disaster preparedness options like spices and milk :rolleyes:

 

I came home, put the first of the wet loads into the tumble dryer, and finally had something to eat. I don't normally do eighteen-hour fasts, but it sort of worked out that way yesterday. I then had about two hours to cycle laundry through the dryer, put groceries away, and take stock of myself, and I managed to recover enough to go to Argentine Tango class for the last dancing I'm likely to have for a good long while (sigh). At least it was a really good class...

 

While I can't fully tick off either of those absolute tasks just yet -- I still need to clean out the closet and put the recycling bins back where they belong, and I also need to put away the laundry -- considering the challenges of the day, I'm going to call it close enough to success.

 

Today:

 

- dough prep for tomorrow's bake

- brave the shambling zombies at CostCo (on Friday the 13th, so help me...and it's *still* raining...) and finish the grocery shopping

- clean the [BLEEP]ing toilets

- Part 1 of ALL THE FOOD PREP

 

I am absolutely NOT permitted to do anything else until these tasks are done. Report to follow.

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Report follows.

 

The dough prep got done and I'm going to start heating the oven as soon as I finish here. The CostCo/grocery run got done -- in the end it clocked in at three and half combat hours, but I got everything I needed except for the herbes de Provence I usually get at Trader Joe's (I even went to a different store, but they were out too; I guess lavender and savory are in high demand for plague posies, or something, so I'm just going to have to do without). Although I feel like I spent the ENTIRE rest of the day in the kitchen (and considering the smelly mess that greeted me when I went to make an espresso this morning, it certainly looks like it), I still have quite a bit of food prep to do.

 

Those [BLEEP]ing toilets are going to be the death of me (sigh)

 

Today:

 

- clean enough of the kitchen that I can move in there again

- bake two loaves of bread

- dough prep for tomorrow's bake (I only have two brotforms, so I can only proof two loaves at a time, and I want to give my dance teacher a fresh loaf as a thank-you, so I have to bake again tomorrow)

- season, seal, and freeze chicken leg quarters

- cook chuck roast in Instant Pot, portion, and freeze (this is likely to also involve a bit of freezer cleaning and Tetris)

- cook chicken soup in Instant Pot

 

In the unlikely event I have any give-a-shit left in the evening, I'll plan to tackle repacking my guest room closet (at the moment its contents are strewn across the entire guest room to the point you can't see the floor). Since flights are still being permitted from the UK, I'm holding out hope that my friends are coming. If such hope turns out to be futile at least I'll have a slightly cleaner house. I will leave the [BLEEP]ing toilets for tomorrow's planned bathroom-and-floors blitz.

 

There are SO MANY THINGS that need doing that are not going to get done because I'm [BLEEP]ing stupid but there's nothing I can do about it right now :angry:

 

The reporting requirement seems to be helping, so I'll keep it up. Report to follow on today's painful adventures in paying the wages of procrastination :rolleyes: 

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22 hours ago, Sciread77 said:

They declared a state of emergency here too, earlier today,  and people started panic buying within minutes.

 

It took fifteen minutes of waiting in line in the rain JUST TO GET IN THE DOOR at CostCo yesterday. It was insane.

 

I want no part of this craziness. The next time I leave the house will be Monday morning for the surgery, and then I hope not to leave it again for at least a week. I think it was quite clever of me to pre-schedule my self-quarantine before the pandemic arrived :) 

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3 hours ago, oromendur said:

 

It took fifteen minutes of waiting in line in the rain JUST TO GET IN THE DOOR at CostCo yesterday. It was insane.

 

I want no part of this craziness. The next time I leave the house will be Monday morning for the surgery, and then I hope not to leave it again for at least a week. I think it was quite clever of me to pre-schedule my self-quarantine before the pandemic arrived :) 


 

Agreed. I also want nothing to do with the craziness. We went Costco shopping last week and are as good as we can be for quite a while. My wife’s aunt was at Costco when the announcement hit and it was insane. 

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Reporting in... 

 

I spent basically all day yesterday in the kitchen and got most of it done: bread bake, check; dough prep, check; jerk chicken seasoned, vacuum-sealed, and frozen, check; chicken soup: check. I didn't end up cooking the chuck roast, so I guess that counts as a failure* :(

 

I also cleared out the fridge and freezer to make room for all that, and got all of the laundry put away (finally). Looking at this list it hardly looks like I accomplished a full day's work -- but I guess it doesn't take into acccount the inordinate amount of time and energy I had to spend washing up, just to make a mess again. Seriously, how do people who actually cook every day keep up with the dishes? I can't imagine having to do this more than once a month or so. Anyway.

 

Today:

- bake two loaves of bread

- make and freeze sourdough waffles (and maybe eat one or two for lunch, yum)

- perform bloody triage on house task list

- do as many as possible of the tasks that make the cut (ABSOLUTES: clean disgusting downstairs toilet, tidy dining room, put smelly trash in outside bins)

- shower with antibacterial soap (ugh) and go to bed SUPER early


The ban on flights from the UK has caused the amount I care about what the house looks like to plummet dramatically. This is actually kind of stupid, because I'm so much happier NOT living in an apocalyptic wasteland and I would likely find recovery more pleasant in an environment that didn't involve insect carcasses and kettlebell obstacles in the dining room (sigh) I am still going to do what I can. My dance teacher might see some of the downstairs rooms when she drops me off tomorrow, so I'll at least panic-clean those to the point where I can fool someone into thinking I'm not totally disgusting. I'm afraid that in the upcoming task triage the guest room, office, and upstairs bathroom are totally goners though.

 

I am now going to fortify myself with a cup of tea, heat up the oven, and tackle the remaining mess in the kitchen.

 

Report to follow...

 

* It's a super-simple recipe, though; if future-invalid-me can't face dumping it into the Instant Pot and pushing a button before its best-by date, she is welcome to select one of the other approximately eleventy-billion meals from the freezer and put the uncooked chuck roast in its place.

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Let's do a same-day report tonight because tomorrow's grand adventures start VERY EARLY.


Report: whatever. It's fine. I don't care anymore. The end.

 

(sigh) Oh, all right. I baked the bread, made (and enjoyed) the waffles and studiously ignored the stupid task list. Instead I cleaned the kitchen. Then I stared at a few soft brown bananas that were definitely going to turn liquid in the next three days, looked at the clock, looked at the bananas again, and said [BLEEP] it. I dove into a fairly involved but EXTREMELY delicious holiday-level recipe for banana bread, and added some chocolate chips just for good measure, which resulted in two beautiful loaves now cooling on my counter. Then, of course, I cleaned the kitchen AGAIN.

 

Were there much more productive activities I could have been doing? OF COURSE THERE WERE. But the truth is, I'd rather bake delicious things than clean my house, and since the reason for cleaning got cancelled along with the rest of Western civilization I decided to spend my last fully-functional afternoon for a while doing something I like to do. I'm going to gift one of the loaves along with a sourdough boule to the wonderful lady who is interrupting her life (her current single-mom life with her husband stuck in Italy indefinitely and her kid home from school and a job that involves touching older people every day) to brave the plague and get a casual friend from the hospital. I always knew I didn't deserve her, even when all I was doing was benefiting from her skill as a teacher. Now it's completely beyond dispute that I totally don't deserve her.


The absolute tasks (dining room, toilet, trash) did get done so I've got that going for me. 

 

I'm out of time, so it is now what it is. Anything that I can't manage I'll have to do without until I can. Fingers crossed my recovery will be quicker than I'm planning (I'm being conservative because that's what cynical jarheads do) and I'll be back at it soon. I am looking forward to being down at least one of the soul-crushing stressors currently wringing me out like a towel. All the rest of them will be waiting for me when I get through this particular ordeal, but I will have a good reason to ignore them for at least a few days...

 

As I often do when needing motivation around the house, I have been spending some quality time with the music of Blackmore's Night. There are several reasons why I love them:

 

- period medieval and Renaissance tunes with a powerful '80s rock feel

- the occasional punch in the gut from the lyrics to keep you emotionally honest

- RITCHIE [BLEEP]ING BLACKMORE on guitar

 

Here's a song to close out this series of reports (lyrics behind the spoiler because the poetry is speaking to me right now):
 

Spoiler

 

Don't shed a tear for me
I stand alone
This path of destiny
Is all my own
Once in the hands of fate
There is no choice
An echo on the wind
You'll hear my voice

 

Some choose to fall behind
Some choose to lead
Some choose a golden path
Laden with greed
But it's the noble heart
That makes you strong
And in that heart, I'm with you all along

 

The olde village lanterne
Is calling me onward
Leading wherever I roam
The olde village lanterne
A light in the dark
Bringing me closer to home

 

So when you think of me
Do so with pride
Honor and bravery
Ruled by my side
And in your memory
I will remain
I will forever be within the flame

 

Now at the journey's end
We've traveled far
And all we have to show
Are battle scars
But in the love we shared
We will transcend
And in that love, our journey never ends

 

Don't shed a tear for me
I stand alone
This path of destiny
Is all my own
Once in the hands of fate
There is no choice
An echo on the wind
You'll hear my voice

 

 


I don't know if I'll be up to posting anything in Week 5 or not, but if I'm not, stay home and stay safe, everyone! May you always find yourself with enough toilet paper :) 

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Surgery report: I'm alive.

 

It's been a rough few days though. Even though they do it all laparoscopically with robots these days, major abdominal surgery still tears a body up, and I keep accidentally bumping into the edges of what I can do by trying things like, you know, getting out of bed :rolleyes: Overall pain hasn't been too bad; I never needed any of the narcotics they gave me, and I'm tapering off the NSAIDs now. I may give them up completely soon so I can be fully aware of my body again. I'm still a little hesitant about that, but I figure I can always start them up again if it's too much. For a while there, it was QUITE obvious when it was time for another dose of meds -- but I slept nearly the night through last night, and missed my every-six-hour dose by almost three hours. (shrug) We'll see how it goes. I'd like to have a better idea of what's really going on inside there.

 

I'm now shifting into the restless and dissatisfied stage of early recovery. I don't feel like death anymore, but things don't work very well yet. I can walk just fine, though, and since my PAI numbers are in the toilet I should totally be following my surgeon's instructions to go out walking every day, but the weather has been uncharacteristically shitty and the effort to dig my raingear out from where it's buried in the closet is a step too far at the moment (prolonged rain is not usually a problem in Southern California, so my kit lives in the 'shit I need for Alaska' place on a high shelf I need a stepladder to reach and yeah, no). So instead I'm kind of pacing around the house. I'm afraid to try Beat Saber because my range of strong motion is still very restricted, and I could easily get into the music a bit too much and tear something. I can't lift anything, bodyweight exercises hurt like a mother, and I can only climb those stupid stairs so many times. It looks a bit nicer out today; maybe I'll get dressed and adventure the 150 meters out to my mailbox...

 

I'm probably not eating enough. I'm not really hungry. I know my body needs food to heal, but -- meh. Funny thing is, with all my prep efforts last week, I have food enough for a small army, and I'm out of room in the freezer to preserve the stuff I left in the fridge for quick eating. I mean, I have steel-cut oats for DAYS. But I'm chafing under enforced inactivity and feeling fat and bloated and yucky and I just don't want to eat.

 

Oh, yeah, I guess there's some sort of global pandemic thing going on too, but I'm not really in a position to notice or care. It's kind of funny; this same thing happened with 9/11. I mean, of course it went on to completely change the course of my life (I got pulled back into the military world I had attempted to escape), but when it actually happened I was flat on my back with bacterial pneumonia, as close to death-by-sickness as I've ever come. I was loopy and ill and really didn't understand why my grandma was so upset when she woke me up with her call that day. <shakes head> And now this. Two of the defining moments of my generation, and the only story I'll have to tell my grand-nieces and grand-nephews is something along the lines of "I was sick that day" :)

 

Mentally I think I'm doing better. I was more than a little worried, on that long lonely Lyft ride to the hospital at zero-dark-thirty on Monday, that my surgery might not happen, so when I saw my surgeon walk in I was hugely relieved. She told me I snuck in under the wire; most non-emergency surgeries were being cancelled starting that day, but -- what with the failed procedure I had a few months ago and how much I was struggling -- she decided to let it slide and go ahead and do it anyway. So whatever else might be going on, I feel like I have a chance to start moving forward again. My current struggles with Phil are now progressive. I'm still limited, but I will recover, and once I do, I will no longer be living in fear of his constant attention. Maybe I'll be able to actually plan to do things like martial arts again? Hope. It's been an infrequent visitor to my life of late, and I have to admit I'm glad to see it again.

 

I still don't have a job. The stock market crash means that I have many fewer options than I did a month ago. I'm going to run out of cash in June. If things continue I might have to take a loss when I sell more of my retirement investments to pay my mortgage and buy things like food. My house is still an utter disaster (and the prolonged rain is really damaging my calm as I continue to empty the buckets catching the water falling on the couch, out the door of course because I can't pour it down the drain because my septic tank is already stinking up the neighborhood). The glorious spring adventures I had planned with my friends from the UK and my sister and her family have all been cancelled. I'm starting to worry that my yearly sojourn to Alaska this summer is going to follow suit. The plague is spreading everywhere and I'm not confident that the measures being taken are going to be effective. All of that SUCKS big blue donkey balls -- but I am in a much better position than many, many other people right now, and so I really do have to be grateful.

 

It's probably time just to wrap up this challenge. I'm not going to bother with the numbers for Weeks 4 and 5 because they're pretty depressing anyway, so I'll just say that overall I think I was at least partially successful, particularly in renewing pieces of my old routines. I expect my next challenge will look to continue that trend, as well as address my not-insignificant failures (that Tom guy is SUCH a bastard) -- but that's a question for another day.

 

If you're reading this, I hope you're holding up all right under the uncertainty of these crazy days, and I'm grateful for your presence in my virtual life. 

 

Hang in there, everyone ❤️ 

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On 3/16/2020 at 8:20 AM, Ann of Vries said:

Good luck with today, and the coming days. ❤️

 

Thank you so much! I appreciate your positive presence here. I hope you and Mr and Enting are as well as you can be. 

 

On 3/16/2020 at 8:20 AM, Ann of Vries said:

I love Blackmore’s Night.

 

Me too. Here's Cantiga de Santa María number 353, re-imagined, as a gift for my favorite kitchen witch ❤️ 

 

 

 

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New challenge is up:

 

Spoiler for some bitching about my recovery that doesn't need to clutter up the positive energy of my zero week hype over there:
 

Spoiler

 

I am kind of grumpy right now. All I had to eat yesterday was two small bowls of oatmeal and an orange, and today I've managed to choke down an açaí smoothie. Probably TMI, but if I don't poop soon things are going to get very bad... THIS IS WHY WE DON'T TAKE NARCOTICS BOYS AND GIRLS. I couldn't figure out why I was having such a prolonged problem, as I have thus far avoided taking any of the oxycodone they gave me -- but they *finally* got around to posting the surgery notes in my file on the VA website, and it turns out they gave me IV hydromorphone at the hospital. I apparently said I was in a lot of pain (8/10) when I came out of the OR. I don't actually remember this (sigh) Guess it's another few days of the all-oatmeal diet and a week of magnesium oxide overdosage for me then.

 

AND today I got another rejection letter. Because of course I did :angry: Not hiring me is apparently a fully functional part of the academic work-from-home protocol, pandemic or no pandemic (double sigh)

 

Anyway. Whatever. It's done and I'll recover and I promise not to moan quite so much in my new challenge.

 

 

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