Category Archives: Gamma

Moving State with a Disability

I’ve needed to write a post about moving and simply have not gotten around to it. Then this morning, it occurred to me how I can sum it all up with the aid of lists. So let’s see how this works. I’ll attempt to briefly sum up the reason for the move, and then add some lists. Ready? Here we go.

I’ll not give details, but B and I split up and tried to stay in the house in Tucson as roommates, since I didn’t exactly have easy options for moving out. Life tends to offer little choice when living on disability, as I’ve learned all too well. Our lease was up at the end of September, and we were going to go month-to-month while I figured out what I was going to do.

I had a plane ticket to Washington to test things out. Doctors have told me for years to move to a cooler climate, and it seemed as though the Universe were nudging me to finally act on that advice. I had met someone on an iPhone app called Vorail, which is a voice only social network. You can see why the blind flocked to it, ha! His name is David and we quickly formed an intense friendship. He came to Tucson in early July and we clicked.

So, August 15 was to be the start of a test here in Washington, but then it turned out that B and I would not be going month-to-month after the lease was up, so I had nothing to return to.

I packed everything up and put it into storage in Tucson and brought with me to Washington, three suitcases, a backpack, and Jayden.

Crazy right?

I could drone on about the travel day, but really there’s not much to say, other than I bawled my eyes out that morning after the movers came back and took my bed and my friend picked me up to drive me to the airport. Thanks Maritza, miss you! Leaving Tucson, the only city in which I’ve ever lived, for good? I didn’t yet know. Tears rolled down my face as the plane taxied and a man behind me told stories to his son about the things he saw out the window, how the airport had looked decades ago. I cried as I thought about my grandpa having been the accountant for the airport and how, at his retirement party, he was presented with two cakes made up to look like Alka-Seltzer tablets.

The roller coaster of emotion I had been on for months was taking another loop-the-loop. I was so excited to get here to David, to meet his nine year-old son, to see the house I’d heard so much of over vorail and FaceTime, to meet his family, to be near the ocean, but I was leaving my entire life behind. I was so grateful I had Jayden with me.

So that, in a nutshell, is the how and why I have been in Washington state for two months. Now for the lists of things I’ve experienced and learned that I think will be valuable for other disabled people contemplating a move to a different state. *Disclaimer: The following experiences have been my own and may not be the same for every state and/or every person with a disability.

Moving state when you live on disability

• Transferring your benefits is nerve wracking and scary, especially if you have a chronic condition like I do.

You can’t have benefits in two different states, but you’re limited as to how long you can be out of the state where you have current benefits. In other words, if you have an emergency situation, your hospital is covered by Medicare, but any medications are covered by your state, in my case AZ. I had a bout of diverticulitis after being here two weeks, Medicare covered my hospital but my medications weren’t covered. While I was recovering and sick from antibiotics, I was helping the hospital via the phone to get my AZ insurance stuff settled.

Rule of thumb: as far as I can tell Medicare is national and follows you. Medicaid is by state.

• Refill your medications before you go, and try to have more than a month on you.

Luckily, I was able to get three months of my meds before i left Tucson, all but my MS medication Gilenya. That’s been another scary thing, since I knew I’d be between insurance coverage. Luckily, I can get Gilenya straight from the pharma company temporarily until I get my insurance stuff settled, which is still a work in progress but will take a second post to explain. Maybe next Sunday ha!

• Do all this insurance research stuff before you leave your state.

I did not. Everything was happening so fast before I left Tucson, that figuring out benefits wasn’t high on my to do list. I thought, how different can it be? Mistake. Big mistake. Don’t assume anything. Medicare and your Social Security benefits are the only things that stay the same, but the majority of your day-to-day medical care, like doctors appointments, medications, and medical tests are covered by your new state’s Medicaid and those programs are vastly different. Luckily I now have Washington state benefits and the application process was much less of a headache than it was in Arizona, that’s for sure. But, their program is much, much more confusing than AZ.

* Be prepared for stress as you learn your new benefits plan.

Because I was honest about the chunk of my inheritance from Gamma I get every month, and because I can’t pay David rent lest his benefits get affected, I am not considered medically needy, which means I have a deductible of $3,400. Which resets every six months. I need to keep track of all my medical receipts and submit them to Medicaid every six months to prove I’ve met the deductible, or spend down as they call it. This means my Gilenya would need to be paid for out of pocket before the spend down is met. Thank God the Pharma company is helping, because I cannot miss a dose, and I don’t have $1,200 laying around every month.

• You’ll need a credit card.

I should say that all this is just one person’s experience, so don’t take what I write here as fact for everyone in every state with every disability. I could have done all this with no credit card, had I had plenty of time to get everything arranged, but I needed to put my stuff in storage and had no credit card. I don’t know what people do who don’t have a good support system, I really don’t. I’m also pretty scared about what’s going to happen with my medical stuff with no credit card and this spend down thing, but luckily there’s an agency here whose primary purpose is to help the disabled navigate the system. It’s called the Whatcom Alliance for Health Advancement (WAHA), and they helped me feel a little better about how I’m going to handle things.

• Take plenty of time to plan a move to a different state.

That’s my advice to anyone on benefits due to their disability. Give yourself plenty of time if possible. Moving is expensive for anyone, and when you have to worry about your benefits, the whole thing gets very overwhelming. Disabled housing takes years to get, so you’ll need to have a place to stay where you’re welcome for an extended period of time. If your temporary address is with another person on benefits, be aware that your presence might very much affect their benefits, which will affect yours since you won’t be considered to have shelter expenses.

Those bullet points are the things I can think of today that other folks on benefits might benefit (haha) from knowing before a big move. The most disheartening thing about all this has been feeling like I’m not supposed to fall in love with a blind guy. I’ve known that benefits are not family friendly, and now I really know it. I feel like, oh you’re disabled? Oh we forgot to tell you that you don’t have the freedom to pick up and move where you like, or to fall in love with who you like. I’ll be applying for disabled housing since combining incomes when you’re on benefits just does not work. How lovely.

and for Heaven’s sake, if you get a little extra from a family inheritance, be prepared for it to hinder more than help. Do I use it to buy the things I need for life in a cold climate that’s good for my health, or to pay my medical bills I’ll wrack up thanks to my health? My dad said, honesty is the best policy, unless it isn’t.

I wanted to end this post with more entertaining facts about my move, but I’m feeling rather mentally unstable today. Writing fun stuff would probably help, but I’m so tired after writing the frustrating stuff. I suppose this is motivation to write again soon, eh? I realized today that I’ve neglected the blog so much because I wasn’t living life. Now that I’ve moved, I’m living again! I know I was meant to move here, know it with all my being and I won’t let all the red tape kill my happiness. Not totally anyway. I need to have days like today to remind myself of how good I have it.

My next post will include pointers for moving from a hot climate to a cold one, and a story about a drone that nearly drove my dog insane.

***Parting thoughts: If your poop bag malfunctions first thing on Sunday morning, be prepared to have a shitty day.***

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Filed under accomplishment, family, fellowship, Gamma, gratitude, humor as coping skill, Jayden, transitioning

September’s Audio Books, etc

Where did September go? I’m really not sure what I did all last month. Though I suppose it’s evident I did a lot of reading. I also focused on recovering from the awful depression of August. Which, by the way depression and anxiety? I feel you lurking there, just below the surface, ready to drag me back under. I know you’re still hungry. I’m not going to let you have me.

I’m preparing for NaNoWriMo in November, writing bits of the book in my head since nothing can be written with my keyboard until November 1. I cannot wait to write the opening scene, especially since last night I came up with another angle that’s going to give my female protag the problem I’ve been searching for. Can’t wait to start! Ancient Egypt research has been done, thanks Amanda for all the links you’ve stumbled upon. Oh that reminds me, I need to get with my friends daughter to discuss some terms for that one thing…

In brand new and very exciting news, another trip to Florida is now in the works for the beginning of March. The only thing set in stone is the, drum roll please, JOSH GROBAN CONCERT I’LL BE ATTENDING! Ahem, ok I’m done screaming now. The tickets were purchased and I was given the express instructions to be in Clearwater on March 1. I’ll also be going to Rays spring training in port Charlotte, and seeing my florida friends so woo hoo!

I have the most amazing people in my life, that’s all I gotta say.

Happy birthday, Gamma! I miss you. 🙁

*Ten full books this month*

78. “Crux” (Nexus book 2) by Ramez Naam – narrated by Mikael Naramore

Finished September 30

the first book in this trilogy is a few headings down in this post. I read another book between books one and two since they have different narrators and Luke Daniels narrated the first book and he’s just awesome. Naramore was ok but he’s no Luke Daniels and I have to wonder if Daniels passed on doing this book on purpose. What a let down after the first one. I think “Crux” needed another revision or two. I felt like the information was being forced on me rather than shown to me. It ended up being terribly confusing since there were several parallel story arcs that didn’t mesh together. There seemed to be endless passages where characters were thinking. Thinking thinking thinking. So and so did this to me, I’m gonna do this, I really shouldn’t do that, what if this happened. The book just needed to be tightened up and it would have been fine, instead, those screws loose killed the pacing and bored me to tears. I kept thinking about the new White Trash Zombie book out on the sixth and how I was going to reread book four to prepare.

Ricardo says book three is good and full of action, so I’ll give it a try, but I’m glad for the break with my zombies.

77. “Cold Cold Heart” by Tami Hoag – narrated by Julia Whelan

finished September 27

I’ve taken to buying any book narrated by Julia Wehlan, or as Ricardo and I call her, our Gone Girl girl.

‘Heart’ is a book I found while doing such a search and wow. What a great freaking book. Dana Nolan was kidnapped by a serial killer. The book opens with her escape and agonizing recovery. Does one ever really recover from something like that, though? She’s lost not only her ability to think clearly and speak easily, she’s lost her identity as a reporter. Instead of doing the reporting, she’s now reported on.

In order to find a new purpose in life after she returns to her mother and stepfather’s home in the small town where she was raised, she decides to brush off her old investigative skills and look into the disappearance of her best friend from high school. If only she could remember to turn off the water faucet.

What follows is a riveting mystery with a deeply flawed protagonist struggling to make sense of the world post brain injury. though our situations are nothing alike, boy did I relate to Dana Nolan and her “before Dana” and “after Dana”, the way her relationships changed when she became “after Dana”, the way she struggled to figure out who she was after the “accident”. Oh, and there was a great mystery too, and a cute cat who looks like my Anastasia.

I love Julia Whelan so much I found her on Twitter: @justjuliawhelan. She’s been added to my list of favorite narrators. Great company with Scott Brick and Ray Porter, and so far, she hasn’t done a bad book that I’ve found.

@TamiHoag is also on Twitter but she’s not very active. She has an interesting author’s note at the end of the book, in which she describes her own traumatic brain injury and gives resources for others. She also tells the story of people who inspired another character in the novel, a war vet with his own traumatic brain injury.

76. “Nexus” (Nexus book 1) by Ramez Naam – narrated by Luke Daniels

finished September 23

Ricardo recommended this one. It took me a few hours to really get into it but once it grabbed me, it wouldn’t let go. Imagine a drug that lets you communicate with your own mind as if it were a computer. You could write code in your brain to make things happen, all with thoughts. You can even install apps. Want to be able to win a fight? There’s a Bruce Lee app for that. Now imagine if you could link minds with others on the drug and communicate by just thinking. At first, I was like ok that’s cool, but then it got scary. A woman is held captive, her mind under the control of those who have her, and she’s completely paralyzed. A hacker could break into your mind and make you do things. Totally shudder making. This is the first in a trilogy and it’s narrated by Luke Daniels, who I like. Definitely a good read. I look forward to book two.

Twitter: @ramez

75. “Darken the Stars” (Kricket series book 3)

Finished September 19

This is the last book in the trilogy, which I read all of this month. Book two is below this and book one a few headings below that.

I was bummed when this book ended, dangling bits and all. This trilogy was the perfect escape and I’ll miss Kricket’s sarcasm read with Kate rudd’s voice. I checked out the reviews on Audible last night and my were readers upset with the ending. I thought it stayed true to character and was a good lesson that not everything is a happy ending. I’m going to miss that world, that’s for sure.

Notes I took while reading*

I don’t want to like Kyon but his character is so awesome for humor. Was just eating mini wheats when he made me laugh so hard I slapped my leg and almost choked on cereal.

I did a search to find the spelling for Kyon’s name and I am so grateful I can read books just to enjoy them, not feel the need to dissect every character and the tropes they fall into. My goodness. This series is fun for book’s sake. You know, fun? That thing that’s well, fun?

Had to stop my vacuuming to jot this thought down. The teen reviewers of these books love them. Since the books are classified YA, the teen reviews are all that matter to me. On the adults writing about the violence and sex in the books? Well, adults enjoy violence and sex in their entertainment and teens are, wait for it, YOUNG ADULTS.

74. “Sea of Stars” (Kricket #2)

Finished September 16

*Notes I took while reading*

She says something like, I open my eyes, trying to get my wits about me, I can’t keep them open. She can’t keep her wits open. She’s feigning delirium, telling the enemy to be sure and follow the white rabbit, and then, you killed Kenny…you bastard. The aliens are dumbfounded. I laughed out loud despite the migraine.

*End notes*

73. “Lone Wolf” by Jodi Picoult – narrated by Natalia Payne,Louis Changchien,CelesteCiulla, Nick Cordero, Angela Goethals, Mark Zeisler and Andy Paris

finished September 15

This was yet another daily deal I picked up at some point since I generally enjoy Jodi Picoult books. they are always about regular people and family being shoved into a supremely awkward situation, testing the bonds of love within a family. I don’t know why these books draw me in. Maybe because there’s always siblings, and I’ve always wanted siblings.

“Lone Wolf” was interesting because the supremely awkward situation was the father in a coma, but he’s not just any father, he’s a conservationist who went into the wilds of Canada to insert himself into a wolf pack for study. He literally gets the pack to accept him as a wolf. I thought this rather unlikely until Ricardo found an article for me about a guy in real life who did just that. I should have saved the link but I’m sure, if you’re interested, some googling would find it. I should have known this actually happened since Picoult writes books ripped from the headlines. She’s got one good eye for spotting true events that will make compelling fiction. She also added a second ripped from the headlines instance of, should life support be continued on this patient?

You know, I wonder if she wrote the book after the true wolf guy. I meant to check on those dates but now the total curiosity has passed and since this is my blog and not, like, true journalism, I don’t feel like it. So there. *stomps foot*

I always enjoy how each chapter is told from the point of view of one character, which means the audio books introduce several narrators. The books are always excellent entertainment.

I could have done without the epilogue though. Cheeseball!

72. “Before He Finds Her” by Michael Kardos – narrated by Julia Whelan

Finished September 12

Audible, Have I told you lately how much I love you for the daily deals? I’ve had to stop buying them over the last few months since summer electric bills don’t allow for extras, but daily deals have added so many books to my library that I always have something to read. I remember when I first became a digital audio book listener, it was hard to afford them through iTunes. then I became an Audible subscriber and I’d have to stretch my reading between credits. These daily deals have stocked up my book collection so that I never have to wonder where my next listen is coming from and I have read books I never would have known about otherwise. The last few books on this list were all daily deals. I got this one because Julia Whelan narrated it and she has quickly become a narrator I’m guaranteed to buy, like Scott Brick or Ray Porter.

This mystery was fantastic. I didn’t want to stop listening, and I didn’t want it to end when everything was being resolved. Man but this book was gooooood. The main character was annoying at times but what pregnant seventeen year-old raised in witness protection who lives on Nancy Drew books wouldn’t be annoying when she decides to go into the world and find her father since law enforcement can’t seem to and she’s sick of hiding?

I hope you don’t get motion sickness because the twists and turns in this book will leave you puking on the side of the highway. So freaking good. Julia Whelan, will you marry me? I love your voice.

71. “Under Different Stars” (Kricket, book 1) by Amy A.. Bartol – narrated by Kate Rudd

Finished September 10

Total soap opera teen romance fluff set in a sci-fi world, terribly written with dangling bits everywhere, but I enjoyed it despite all that. It was highly distracting and a lovely escape from reality. this is not a serious book that’s going to dazzle the reader with beautiful prose. Instead, it’s full of tropes. Girl all the guys are crazy about but she’s oblvious, total meat head, overbearing men etc etc etc. the girl is nice and tall on earth but on this other planet she’s tiny and adorable. Awww. Total eye roller I didn’t want to end. Lucky for me there are more books in the series. Honestly though, I’m surprised it won UtopYA awards (I wonder what those are) for best book of the year and sci-fi. On what planet? Maybe Ethar. Audible got me on this one. Hook me with the daily deal so I get addicted to the series. Well played, Audible, Well played.

Twitter: @Amy_A_Bartol

70.“The Magician’s Lie: A Novel by Greer Macallister – narrated by Julia Whelan and Nick Podehl

Finished September 8

Oh man this book was so freaking good I pretty much listened non-stop. I am on a roll with good books right now. This was a daily deal I picked up since Julia Whelan narrated it. She did “Gone Girl” and she’s just plain good.

‘Magician’s’ did something I contemplated doing in my own novel, writing one character’s POV in the first person, and the other MC in the third. In my novel, I wanted to use first person to put emphasis on my female protagonist but I decided it wouldn’t work. In ‘Magician’s’ however, it totally works. Whelan narrates the character of the magician, written in first person, telling her story to the police officer who apprehends her for the murder of her husband. The chapters alternate between her and the officer, written in the third person, conducting the interview. Podehl reads those chapters. He’s familiar but I’m not sure what other books I know him from. He’s also good. I thought the book was extremely well done and the story the magician tells is absolutely captivating. the title of the novel tells the reader there’s a lie, so the narrative of the magician is completely unreliable which makes for a very uncomfortable reading experience. This book freaking rocked. I wish the author was on Twitter. If she is, I can’t find her. Her? the name makes it hard to know, but I feel like a woman wrote the book. Yep, she’s a woman. I looked her up and found this interview, in which she mentions nursing her child. I can’t wait to read more from her!

69. “A Curious Tale of the In-Between” by Lauren DeStefano – narrated by Brittany Pressley

finished September 6

This book was awesome! I had been looking forward to it for so long since I follow Lauren DeStefano on Twitter and love her but had yet to read any of her books. She has really engaged with me over writing and she’s just plain hilarious so I’m so glad I liked this book. I was a little worried since the last book involving ghosts that I had been looking forward to was a serious disappointment.

Not this book! Eleven year-old Pram Bellamy can talk to ghosts. She lives with her two aunts in an old colonial house turned nursing home. She knows she’s an orphan, that her mother died in childbirth and her father is absent but she doesn’t quite understand why her aunts are so protective of her, schooling her at home. Her only friend is a ghost named Felix. When social services insists she attend school, she meets Clarence, a boy who’s mother is also dead. The two set out to uncover secrets. What follows, to me, is more a terrifying tale than a curious one. It reminded me of the old Goosebumps stories I read as a kid. It was so good I clapped when it ended. I only wish it had been longer. It was so good!

Twitter: @LaurenDeStefano

68. “Dies the Fire: A Novel of the Change” by S. M. Stirling – narrated by Todd McLaren

finished September 4

This book was so fun in the beginning. It’s a post-apocalyptic tale which I love. something happens to electricity and even compustian. What is it? No one knows. Planes fall from the sky, technology is dead, guns don’t work. So who survives? Wiccans and SCA members since those two groups of people already knew how to live off the land. It took me right back to my teens and early twenties, it did. I was a Wiccan and briefly an SCA member. In case you’re wondering, the SCA is a group that gets together and holds old renaissance festival type things.

So those people who respect the earth and can fight with swords are the ones to survive. It’s plausible to me. The book began to lose me the farther into it I got with the two main characters and their constant inner dialogue. I can’t explain why it got so annoying. then the story seemed to unravel near the end, like the author just wanted to move on to working on the next book or something. About the last quarter of the book suddenly got confusing, with no explanation of exactly how and why something was happening. It felt like the author was figuring out the story as he wrote it and didn’t quite tighten it up in revision. It’s becoming harder to just read now that I’m also a writer, that’s for sure. It’s an entertaining read if you’re able to suspend your disbelief. An attack on a strong hold with hang gliders? Really? In the dark? By people who had only a few days training with them? Alrighty then. Oh, or what about the fourteen year-old who teaches herself sign language out of a book in just a few months after she discovers there’s a deaf girl in the Wiccan camp? Uh huh. Oh well, it was the perfect book to follow Fitz and the Fool and I wasn’t yet ready to return to reality.

67. “The boys of Summer” by roger Kahn – narrated by Phil Gigante

finished September 2

This is the book I read for the book club I’ve mentioned in the last couple posts I think. The book club consists of Rays fans reading books about baseball. I could not get invested in this book. the writing didn’t grab me. The first part of the book is basically Kahn’s own biography and I was reading the book for baseball. The second part was Kahn visiting the old Dodger players he had written about in the fifties. parts of the book would be really interesting and then I’d find myself bored again. Discussing the book was interesting, reading the comments the people in the club wrote. since I couldn’t just leaf through the book for names, I was at a loss, not remembering which name went with which story.

the baseball history was interesting, especially Jackie robinson of course. The book just didn’t hold my attention. I have to wonder if the depression I was slipping into didn’t play a part.

I’ve always liked Phil gigante. He’s a great narrator, doing accents well, very easy to listen to.

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Filed under 2015 Monthly Audio Book Lists, Audio books, baseball, birthday, cats, fellowship, Gamma, gratitude, mental health, music, twitter me this, writing

2014 Audio Books and why I changed the format

It’s just a blog. It’s just a book list. they are just book posts. It’s just a yearly top ten list. right?

So why has it killed me and haunted me that I have to give up on the 2014 book list and not do a top ten list?There’s just no possible way I could write posts for all the books. There’s too much other writing I want to do and sadly, writing is pretty hard on my body. I’m up to the beginning of June on the list haha! There’s just no way. So I had to admit defeat and decide not to try and play catch up for 2014. Should I try and pick my favorite book from last year though? Perhaps.

I’m going to post the document in which I kept track of all the books from last year, up to the point where I stopped writing book posts. I thought some might enjoy seeing how I keep track and it ought to give you an idea of just how far behind I got.

Last year was just so crazy. i mean craaaaaazy. It’s no wonder the blog wasn’t top priority. There was so much work to do in order to get ready to move. I had to find a suitable house to rent and start going through the old two bedroom apartment, getting rid of stuff and packing. Talk about a mass purge! It was an incredibly therapeutic experience, literally throwing away my past lives. As I put hands on every single one of my possessions , a quick decision was made. If I couldn’t tell what i was holding, it either got donated or trashed. That means every single photograph.Every visual, non-tactile memory, gone. let go of. I made the decision to scale down my stuff. A lot. A lot a lot. And man did it feel good!

There was old junk jewelry of my mom’s. It’s gone now. I made peace with that, with her. It’s like I knew she was cool with the fact that I let that stuff go, that those possessions didn’t keep her on this plane with me. I feel like she’s with me stronger now that I’ve let those physical things go. I know that may not make any sense, but it does to me.

So while the preparation to move was cathartic and wonderful, it was a lot of work. A lot a lot of work. that I did on my own. B took care of his stuff, I took care of mine. he did all the heavy lifting of trash removal and donations though, thanks. B. I also hired a junk removal service to come and take some of the bigger items. They donate what they can and trash the rest. The stuff we moved fill this three bedroom house quite nicely. We’re no longer cluttered. All of the keepsakes I could not part with fit in Gamma’s cedar chest which now resides in my “Duchess Den”, so named since it was decided “girl cave” just didn’t sound right and my friend Professor Twain named me the Rays Duchess of the Arizona Territories, so my room in this house is called the Duchess Den. It’s a wonderful room. I’ll write about it some time.

Anyway, after the move and getting settled, which I did in one week, my MS decided it was pretty pissed at me for all the hard physical work and i ended up with four new brain lesions. Good thing I had established care with a new neurologist just before the move. I underwent steroid infusions which I wrote about in November. Check those posts out. I imagine they are rather entertaining now that I’ve gotten some distance from that. I’ve started an oral MS medication called Gilenya. I’ve been on it just under a month and it has been a challenge.

So, something caused me to write this today and post my unedited 2014 book list and after writing that, I’m really ok with not doing my book posts like normal. Extenuating circumstances and all that. 2015 is a new beginning and who knows how or if I’ll do book posts this year. I’ve gotten some good work done on my YA novel but I’m taking a break from that to start work on the memoir. Who knows, maybe it’ll make someone’s book list some day. Ok, let me look at this list and see if I can pick a favorite.

Took a break to read some Twitter and this tweet made me remember trashing my old journals during the purge. I was kinda glad I couldn’t read them, though I still felt a pang when I trashed them.

@SaraBareilles reading old journals is excruciating.

Ninety-six books in 2014 woo hoo! That’s up from seventy-one in 2013. I am such an addict!

Ok so I’m going to mention several books methinks. Just going down the list for starters, I think I can easily say one of my favorite stand-alone books was ‘Station Eleven’ by Emily St.John Mandel. I’m not going to write about books in this post though, so you’ll have to click the link if you’re curious. I highly recommend it. Any book mentioned in this post is highly recommended. My favorite author Scott Westerfeld had a new one this year, ‘Afterworlds’, and I read it twice, back-to-back so that was like four books since this book is two books in one. My friend Robin recommended ‘The Gods of Gotham’ by Lyndsay Faye and I’m so glad she did! The Dead Six series by Larry Correia and Mike Kupari is narrated by Bronson Pinchot who is right up there with Ray Porter and Grover Gardner for me, meaning if they narrate it, I buy it and I’m never disappointed, at least not in the narration. The Dead Six series rocks! A new favorite narrator is Luke Daniels who reads the The Brilliance Saga which also rocks. I got ‘Joe Ledger: Special Ops’ just for the interview with Ray Porter which had me grinning the whole time. I had read most of the shorts already but they were easy to hear again.

That gets me caught up to the other books I read last year and reviewed on the blog. There are some really great reads on that list as well.

I have to mention who I think is most definitely the most entertaining author I stumbled upon in 2014 thanks to Audible’s daily deals and that’s Diana Rowland, author of the White Trash Zombie series and Kara Gillian series which I am currently rereading. As soon as I finished the sixth book, I immediately began book one again. I just wasn’t ready to be done with the characters until April when the next one comes out. There were also many details that have become more clear during the second read through. This world is very complex. The narrator for the White Trash Zombie series, Allison McLemore, is most definitely my favorite female narrator. She’s terrific! I follow @DianaRowland on twitter and I just adore her.

Yikes, almost forgot Robin Hobb’s Farseer Trilogy, The Tawny Man trilogy and the new Fitz and the Fool trilogy which only has one book out so far. These books are awesome and follow the life of Fitzchivalry Farseer. the only downfall to this series is the changing of narrators which is a major bummer. Robin Hobb and Diana rowland were most definitely my favorite authors last year.

Ok, I like how that wrap-up turned out. I think for 2015 I might try doing a monthly wrap-up like this post rather than stress about reviewing every single book since I go through them so fast. Audio books on iThings can be devoured quite quickly since they can be listened to no matter what you’re doing. Unless I’m sleeping or on the computer, I’m reading. It’s no wonder the books pile up. Here’s to a better 2015 for everyone! below is the unedited list I used to keep track of all the books.

Phew! Oh, all the ‘Demon’ books below are the afore mentioned Kara Gillian books. There are six out right now.

96. Touch of the Demon Finished December 30 So good

95. Sins of the Demon Finished December 27 (So good!)

94. Secrets of the Demon Finished December 25 (So good!)

93. “Blood of the Demon” by Diana roland – narrated by – Finished December 23 (so good!)

92. “Mark of the Demon” (Kara Gillian book One) by Diana Rowland – narrated by – Finished December 22 (So good!)

91. The Amityville Horror by – narrated by Ray Porter – Finished December 20 (So good!)

90. Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb – narrated by – Finished December 19 (Entertaining)

89. “The World’s Strongest Librarian” by – narrated by – Finished December 14 (Marriage Material)

88. “Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett – narrated by – Finished December 12 (So good!)

87. “Revival: A novel” by Stephen King – Finished December 3 (So good!) *Shudder* Terrifying. Something happened.

86. Royal Spyness book 3 finished November 30 (entertaining)

Assassin’s apprentice again Finished November 28

85.All Farseer books ( Finished November 25 (Marriage Material)

81. Book 2 Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb – narrated by – Finished October 31 (Marriage Material)80. Farseer book 1 by – narrated by – Finished October 26 (So good!)

79. “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel – narrated by – Finished October 20 (So good!) Finished again October 23 (Marriage Material) Jeevan being on stage trying to save Arthur, the image of being there behind the curtain, drowning out the audience, what memories. It making a room with a high seiling, the wings with crevies.

78. “Midnighters #3: Blue Noon” (Midnighters Trilogy) by Scott Westerfeld – narrated by Voiceover (iOS Kindle app) – Finished October 19 (So Good!)

77. “Her Royal Pain” by – narrated by – Finished October 17 (Entertaining)

76. Dresden book by – narrated by – Finished October 14 (Meh)

75. Twain book – narrated by Grover Gardner – Finished October 10 (entertaining)

74. “Afterworlds” by Scott Westerfeld – narrated by – Finished September 26, read it again and finished the second time October 5 (So good!)

73. “Edge of Eternity” by Ken Follett – narrated by – Finished September 23 (Entertaining)

72. “The Maltese Falcon” by – Finished September 14 (Meh)

71. Sherlock book by Lyndsay Faye – narrated by – Finished september 13 (Entertaining)

70. “The Virgin Suicides” – Finished September 11 (So good!)

69. “Echo Burning” by Lee Child – narrated by Dick Hill – Finished September 9 (Entertaining)

68. “The Haunting of Hill House” by Shirley Jackson – narrated by – Finished September 5 (Entertaining)

67. “The Gods of Gotham” by Lyndsay Faye – Finished August 29 (so good!)

66. “Swords of Exedus” (Dead Six book two) by Larry Correia and – narrated by – Bronson Pinchot – Finished August 26 (Entertaining)

65. “Dead Six” (Dead Six book one) – Finished August 22 (So good!)

64. “The Silkworm” by Robert Galbraith aka JK Rowling – Finished August 18 (Meh)

57. – 63.Entire HarryPotter series – Finished August 14 (Marriage Material)Started Bryce Courtenay book but I was depressed so started White Trash Zombie again, read Harry Potter at night. Brian in Flagstaff

56. 4th Lincoln Perry book – narrated by Scott Brick – finished July 14 (Entertaining)

55. “A Welcome Grave” – narrated by Scott Brick – finished July 11 (Entertaining)

54. Second Lincoln Perry book – Finished July 9 (Entertaining)

53. “Tonight I Said Goodbye” – narrated by Scott Brick – Finished July 8 (So good!)

52. Dresden book – Finished July 6 (Meh)

51. “How the White Trash Zombie got Her Groove Back” by Diana Rowland – narrated by Allison McLemore – Finished July 3 (Marriage Material)

50. “Wicked Girls” – finished July 1 (So good!)

49. “Doc: A memoir” – Finished June 28 (Entertaining)

48. “The Power of One” by Bryce Courtenay – narrated by Humphrey Bower – Finished June 26 (Entertaining)

47. “A Better World” by Marcus Sakey – narrated by Luke Daniels – Finished June 20 (Marriage Material) Terrifying. I was listening while doing dishes and felt a tremendous sense of fear as US soldiers coralled American refugees

46. “A Hymn Before Battle” – finished 6/18 “Meh”

45. “A Kiss Before Dying” – finished June 13 (So good!) Twitter made me jump. Wish I hadn’t heard the forward.

44. “The Descendents” – Finished June 12 (So good!) Sid rocks

43. “Joe Ledger: Special Ops” by Jonathan Maberry – narrated by Ray Porter – Finished June 10 (Entertaining)

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Filed under 2014 Book List, Audio books, Gamma, mom, new year, spoons, twitter me this

“White Trash Zombie Apocalypse” by Diana Rowland – narrated by Allison McLemore

Hi School Zombie Apocalypse!! Two exclamation points, don’t forget the two exclamation points. I imagine this movie like a Sharknado with zombies. Hmmm, Zombnado?

Wait, is this a post about a movie?

Well it’s a movie in the book, yes. A zombie moving is being filmed in Angel Crawford’s home town and she can’t help but enjoy watching the fake zombies shamble around, that is until they are no longer fake zombies but real zombies after her. Oh yeah, and she has to take the GED test thanks to her probation and the stupid rain just won’t stop.

Turns out a lot of rain in Louisiana is a very bad thing.

There was a scene in this one that had me in tears and when I told Diana Rowland that on Twitter, she was very happy. Pssst, it’s us writer’s goal to make you cry.

There’s only one more WTZ book to review this year. I love these books! Hey, got any pudding?

Rating: So good!

“White Trash Zombie Apocalypse” at Audible

My schedule next week for my steroid treatments isn’t yet confirmed and that’s kind of bothering me. Dr. V’s MA said I’d hear from the hospital but I haven’t yet. I called the MA today and left a message just following up since it’s the end of the week tomorrow and I’m supposed to start treatment on Monday. I don’t know about you, but when I need treatment to calm my brain lesions down, I kinda want to know it’s scheduled good to go, you know?

I had a woman come today and clean my house. That was very very weird. When we moved in here I had to admit to myself that I didn’t have the energy to give it the good deep cleaning it needs. It was clean when we moved in obviously, and while I had hoped to just keep that up on my own, it wasn’t going to happen. It’s a very strange feeling to be chilling in your house while another person works hard to clean it. She’s sort of the family cleaning lady, having done my uncle’s house for years and Gamma’s house for the last few years of her life. Now she’s doing my house. Just need to get my dad on board to give up his cleaning haha!

I soaked in a nice freshly scrubbed bathtub this afternoon and the water melted away all my weird feelings. I need to spoil my body right now.

Now Playing: “Everybody Hurts” from “In Time: The Best Of R.E.M. 1988-2003” (R.E.M.)

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“A Dance With Dragons” (A Song of Ice and Fire Book 5) by George R. R. Martin – narrated by Roy Dotrice

Well, all caught up with this series now and await the next book with the rest of the world. B is watching season three of the Game of Thrones TV show so I enjoy watching the episodes with him since I know what’s happening. I’ll miss the realm until book six, but I’m happy for the break as well.

‘Dragons’ was better than book four but the narration problems still persisted. this time, Dotrice just used the same voice for all the Lannisters and the same hagy voice for all the women, even the Queen of Dragons. I am highly disappointed in the production of the last two books which is probably why I wanted to just get done with book five and move on. I probably should have taken a break between four and five like I did with the other books.

*Small spoiler here*

The title was deceiving. I was waiting for an epic dragon battle that never came. Ok spoiler over.

I think these books are definitely worth listening to especially since I think they’ll end up as classics in a few decades. One thing I love about them is liking people I used to hate and fighting the pity I feel for characters who get their “comeuppins” as Gamma used to say. I’d cringe and think oh just stop already and then tell myself but that person was horrible! It doesn’t matter how horrible they were in the past, some of the “comeuppins” these people get are just wow and cringe making.

I’m sure I’ll be excited when I hear about the sixth book coming out but part of me hopes for a narrator switch. Humphrey Bower anyone? Maybe the sixth book will be as good as the first three.

Rating: Entertaining

“A Dance with Dragons” at Audible ~ “A Dance with Dragons” at Amazon

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Hanging with Ro Episode 14 – New Year’s Eve in Flagstaff Style

On New Year’s Eve, B and Jayden and I piled into the car and drove up to Flagstaff, AZ. The band Quiet Riot was doing a show there so we had been planning the trip for about a month. When he first asked me if I’d want to go I thought it would be fun to chill in the hotel while he went to the concert, but then I considered going to the show. It had been years since I rang in the new year anywhere other than my bed haha! I ended up not going though because it would have just been too loud for Jayden and for me. I like my hearing, thank you very much.

The drive up was uneventful. I listened to Josh Groban non-stop. B started telling me about snow on the ground next to the highway the closer we got to Flagstaff. Snow! When we arrived at the hotel the temperature change was quite drastic and the breeze bit my skin as we walked to the lobby. Inside I quickly put my Rays hoodie on.

The room was great! It had a little kitchen with a full size coffee maker. I brewed the coffee they provided but it wasn’t good so we’d have to hit a Starbucks so I could get some instant.

We relaxed for a bit in the room and after I fed and relieved Jayden, we headed to the casino to eat. B had to pick up a player’s club card which was the ticket to the show. Sitting in a diner at a casino at 5pm is super creepy. Unless it was just this particular one. It sounded like the most depressing place. There was no laughing, no idle chatter, no music and I kept hearing what sounded to me like a zombified game of Marco Polo.

As we ate I listened and finally got that people were walking by the diner saying, “Kino,” and the staff at the diner parroted them back in a very lackluster voice. Alrighty then.

Then B noticed the band walking right by the diner! He named each member as they passed. The drummer was last, the only original member of Quiet Riot and B said he was the only one with an entourage. Me: Really? B: Yeah, two people.

They were carrying their own bags and everything. Life as a washed up old hair band? It was still cool though.

As we were walking onto the actual gaming floor to get B’s pass, a security guard stopped us. I couldn’t hear what he was saying so he spoke up. He was asking if Jayden had paperwork. I blurted that I have an ID for him but I think the guy could tell I was shocked at the question. He said something like, “what are those dogs called, I can never remember.”

“I’m blind and he’s my guide dog.”

He let us go then. It was bizarre.

The game floor was so smokey! It rather disgusted me and I couldn’t believe I used to do that. I guess I have become the grumpy ex-smoker haha! It’s not so bad outdoors but inside there? Whew!

B got his pass and we went back out into the cold. Wow cold. I mean, cold!

We headed back towards the hotel and I used Siri to locate a Starbucks. Now I had real coffee and was good to go. We hung out for a bit and B tried watching that awful duck show. He switched to New Year’s stuff and there was a year in review show that was rather interesting. We never watch TV other than sports, so it was an experience haha! They discussed things I had only read about on Twitter. Pop culture anyone? It’s lost on me.

After B left I decided on a whim to record a voice note and it morphed into a Hanging with Ro episode. It had been awhile since I recorded myself being a goofball haha!

Ok so now for Hanging with Ro Episode 14. How perfect is that? Episode 14, ringing in 2014. Whoa. *opera voice* Spoooooky! *end opera voice*

So there are two files. This first one is the longest. I think it’s around forty minutes or so. I had no idea where it was going when I started haha! Topics include but are not limited to:

*Breaking the rules with Jayden

*Being out on New Year’s Eve. I just remembered the last time. It was 2005/06 and Georgie and I went to an AA New Year’s event. We were both in our first year sober and we were so scared we’d get hit by a drunk driver.

*Muttmuffs

*B stands for…

*Getting distracted and laughing at the TV

*Seriously? That’s CNN? Anderson Cooper giggling.

*Remotes hate me.

*2013 year in review. Colorado to see Chupa and my first Rays game. Feeling fabulous in Colorado.

*Hip pack humiliation.

*Bad summer, bad health oh who’s singing?

*Josh Groban. How I love the Josh Groban.

*We need to move. Teeth. Not move teeth. Ow.

*Gamma

*I don’t get TV.

*I make a cup of instant coffee but not in the closet.

*I sing la la la and the Josh Groban love begins with gusto.

*Flagstaff smells good.

*I try and describe the Grand Canyon.

*More Josh Groban drool only this time with songs on the iPad. I’m pathetic.

*Ok Josh maybe I didn’t hear that right from you I can’t be certain because you all talked a lot.

*Wow I was sniffling already. I got totally sick the next day.

*The song that made me cry in the car is a Stevie Wonder cover.

*Here is the translation to the song I was swooning over.

*I tell you to look up this clip on youtube so here it is.

*Ok wow I really am happy being me, trust me.

*Who’s outside the window?

*I wish I could shut up my humming.

*I waste time trying to play a song. I didn’t realize I had lost my wifi so I couldn’t get it from the cloud. Here’s the other Brave song by Sara Bareilles. You’ll probably recognize it from those Microsoft commercials.

*I wrap up this portion finally haha!

New Year’s Eve Part 1

And we’re back. This one is about sixteen minutes.

*I’m paranoid it’s not recording.

*Two minutes away from 2014.

*Loud upstairs neighbor.

*David DeJesus is mentioned. Baseball must be on the brain.

*Sleepy girl

*Midnight in New York phone call.

*A totally lame Arizona midnight but at least I checked the time at the exact right moment.

*Evan Longoria. He is seriously mentioned in every single one of my audios. You’d think I do nothing but talk about that man!

*I talk about the Phoenix trip I had forgotten to mention in my year review. Who got to go on the field at Chase Field? Thank you David Price!

*Phoenix killed me though. Well not really since I’m alive but you know.

*Disappointed girl in a Vanderbilt shirt.

*Dave and Andy!

*Learning from mistakes.

*Sleepy iPad scrolling. More talking about Josh Groban. Here’s the song I talk about where his voice becomes part of the instrumental. I really think that’s one of my favorites.

*Finally come to my senses and wrap it up. I also mess up a New Year blessing haha!

New Year’s Eve Part2

I was up when B got back. Just after I stopped recording, fireworks started and there were a lot of people outside the hotel. When I took Jayden out I couldn’t believe how cold it was! Wow. When I asked Siri she said, “brrrr, it’s twenty-two degrees.” B and I talked about the show and then I tried to sleep and failed miserably.

The next morning I woke up way too early and sat on the strange uncomfortable couch waiting for B to get up. Even he couldn’t sleep late. That hotel was so noisy!

We took our time getting ready and headed out to the Grand Canyon. I was sneezing a lot and wished I had taken some of the cold meds I brought with us. The Canyon was about an hour and a half from the hotel. On the road leading to the Canyon, there was suddenly a huge heard of elk! Do they roam in heards? Is it spelled that way? Hmmm.
Anyway, B had exclaimed, “deer! Wait, those are too big to be deer.”

“Are they elk?” I asked.

He said I was probably right and explained that a few crossed the road and several were on the side grazing on grass. Cool!

We parked and found the restroom and I had a total panic attack in there because it had hand dryers that sounded like freaking wind tunnels and they hurt my ears and Jayden was affected by them too and holy crap it was good to get out of there.

We made our way to where B could see the canyon and I listened to all the accents around us and children and different bird sounds. It was very cold and breezy. I did not feel well. There was much more walking than I had expected. I mean it’s a huge hole in the ground. It doesn’t seem like you should have to walk very much to find an edge. It had been sixteen years since I’d been there so couldn’t remember. I wanted to get to a good spot to get a picture with Jayden and me in front of the canyon but it was going to involve steps and there were too many people and yeah. Blah.

I snapped some pictures with my iPhone and sent one to Twitter and apparently it was lovely. Let me see if I can find the tweet. Ok I can’t find it so I asked Twitter. Might just have to upload it again. I should really figure out Word Press pictures haha. Here’s the picture. Thanks, @L_Squared!

So I just got sicker and sicker as we went back to the hotel. I collapsed for a bit and then we started trying to figure out food. The only two places that were open on New Year’s Day were The Outback and Sizzler. Sizzler? They still have those? That was my first ever job. I was a salad bar keeper. Fried shrimp entered my brain and that was all I could think about. So we went there and there was actually a huge snow drift in the parking lot! I had my fried shrimp but I was so miserable I hardly remember it. Bread pudding for dessert. I thought a rap in my head: I had dinner, at the Sizzler with my mister, on New year’s Day, while I had a fever. Wow. Um. Yeah hi. I won’t quit my day job. Oh wait, I don’t have one.

We went back to the hotel and I did some packing up and crashed. That was pretty much it! It was a really good time and I’m glad we did it. I felt pretty good there in Flagstaff, minus being sick of course. It was like how I felt better in Colorado. High elevation and cold, I tell ya. I used to think I’d like to live in Flagstaff but I don’t think so. Just too cold and there’s an odd feeling there. Just like in Sedona when I went with B several years ago. We both feel it in northern Arizona. Just an odd feeling. It’s a nice place to visit though!

Happy 2014 everyone! I hope you enjoyed the audio if you listened.

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Filed under apple Inc, baseball, coffeeholic, Dental Health, evan longoria, Gamma, gratitude, hanging with ro, holiday, Jayden, Microsoft, music, new year, num num food, plugs, random stuff, sicky sick, silly girl, sobriety, spoons, twitter me this, Voiceover, weather, white cane, wow, youtube

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

You know, normally I am Mrs. Bah Humbug on Christmas day. I seemed to live in the past or something and not just accept what Christmas is for me today and that is a very simple day of relaxing with b. Why did I have so much envy for the people posting their family stories on social networks? Why couldn’t I be happy for the people with children to spoil with gifts? Why couldn’t I be thrilled for adults with big Christmas trees and plenty of wrapped presents to open from loved ones?

Something changed in me this year and I’m just so incredibly happy! There were no presents to open, no new toys and gadgets to play with, just me and B and Jayden and the cats and the dinner I’ve been planning since Thanksgiving when we once again ate from a food establishment.

There is peace in the thought that Gamma isn’t suffering through another lonely Christmas missing her husband. I miss her. I miss talking to her on the phone today. But I’m cooking Mom’s roast in Gamma’s pot and while I was preparing it I couldn’t help but smile thinking about how both of them are represented for me today.

So what if my Christmas isn’t “typical”? So what if there aren’t decorations and bows and wrapping paper? Ice T put it perfectly in a tweet of his this morning. He wrote something like, if you have a warm place to sleep, you are having a Merry Christmas.

I will embrace my inner peace today and not question why I am happy. I just am! And that is a lovely place to be.

PS – I’m starting to smell the roast cooking!

PPS – B was in charge of picking out a pie since I was too ill to bake one like I wanted. Why did I even bother to ask what he got? peanut butter, of course!

PPPS – I’m going to post this completely as is to capture how I feel in this moment. 🙂

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Pancake Soup

I have a post to write about a trilogy I just finished called The Grimnoir Chronicles that I loved so much I immediately went back and started the first book over again even though I’m practically swimming in audio books. When I finished the third book however, I couldn’t imagine beginning something else. I don’t think I’ll read the entire trilogy again right now. I’ll probably finish the first book and then read the book Amanda got me. When you really want someone to read a book and they don’t do it, just buy it for them. 😉

Another reason I didn’t want to start a new book was because I’ve gotten foggier and foggier as time went on after the tooth extraction. Yesterday I almost decided to go to the ER after scrambled eggs caused agonizing pain and many tears but I decided I didn’t want to pick up someone’s flu or wait there for six hours.

What I have learned through this experience is that I need to remember that everyone is different and just because everyone else I talked to ate solid food right away without a problem, didn’t mean I could. Wednesday was an enigma. I don’t know why the pain didn’t kill me then but wow did it set in. I’ve since read that the older you get before having your wisdom teeth out, the harder it is for the surgeon and the more pain. I took all the Vicodin and prescription Advil the surgeon gave me. Luckily B and I had some leftover Tylenol with codeine from our past tooth issues so I’ve been alternating four regular Advil and the Codeine with two hours in between. B picked me up a bottle of Advil Liquigels yesterday because my generic ibuprofin didn’t work nearly as well as the prescription stuff had even at the same miligrams. The real stuff most definitely works better. Gamma, you were right all those times I tried to tell you how much cheaper generic pain relief was. “It doesn’t work as well,” you’d say. I believe you now.

I finally figured out that the only “food” I can handle is food with the same consistency as baby food. I actually thought about getting some of that but those jars are so tiny it would be a huge waste of money. So today I’ll get more yogurt and apple sauce since I blew through that like it was water, along with Cream of Wheat and ice cream. I tried oatmeal but even that didn’t work. The oats separate too much and get stuck in the holes. Ow.

On Sundays B and I get Breakfast from The Good Egg, an Arizona based breakfast/lunch restaurant that ROCKS. It’s usually my favorite meal of the week and I get the veggie skillet yum! I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat that today though so I got a short stack of pancakes, ripped them up into small pieces, mixed them with the butter and syrup provided, heated it up again and basically turned the whole thing into pancake soup. It was perfect! You don’t need teeth to mash that up and swallow. It was wonderful! I’m full for the first time in quite awhile. I only wish they had put a little more syrup in there though since I didn’t have any and it really could have used some more.

So that’s the update. I hope I don’t jinx myself when I say that today the pain has either been bearable or I’m just getting used to it. The right side is the worst because that wisdom tooth was almost completely impacted and sideways. When it was in there I could feel it trying to protrude out of the gum sideways. So no wonder it hurts like a bitch and is completely swollen still. The left side is beginning to Heal. It almost feels like it wants to itch like skin does when it’s healing. It’s the most bizarre feeling!

I can honestly say that December has been my worst month of 2013, with Gamma dying and now all this pain. At least I know that in this calendar year at least, I can’t have a worst month. 😉

Wow, that took forever to proof read haha! I make a lot more mistakes when I’m in pain and drugged.I forgot to mention how wonderful chamomile tea is. It is so very soothing on my mouth. Last week the store was out of Celestial Seasonings and this other brand doesn’t taste as good but it’s still wonderful.

T minus 13 minutes till Advil

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Now I definitely know I don’t want to be drunk and blind

Not that there has been any doubt. When I got out of the hospital after going blind my uncle asked If I wanted to drink and I said, “then I’d be blind AND falling on my ass.”

It’s pretty scary when you have a hard time walking under your own power and you kind of rely on your legs and stuff to help you negotiate the world around you that you can’t see because when you can’t see the horizon you need the rest of you to tell you which way is up and when you’re drunk, this doesn’t work too well.

Wait wait wait, back up, drunk? What?

Yeah no, not drunk on alcohol, drunk on the remnants of anesthesia. Rejoice! The teeth finally came out! The poisonous teeth and even though it hasn’t even been twenty-four hours since they were cracked and pried from my skull, I already feel better. Yes yes yes yes yes! Surgeon’s office called Thursday with the insurance approval and I got the first available appointment yesterday. yes!!!

Ok, deep breath. Really did just take one. I’ve been awake since 2:30am because I got too much sleep yesterday and that kills my “non-military regimented sleep schedule”. First I had the nap thanks to a needle in my arm and then I had a nap on my bed at home later while my body adjusted to the vicodin it had never experienced plus the half a cup of coffee I nursed in bed that wasn’t enough to keep me awake. I couldn’t even have water before the surgery. I had to wake up without coffee. Any time B asked me the night before if I was nervous I just said only about waking up without coffee.

The no water was actually harder though. My throat was so dry and I felt like there was a lump there. I gargled when I brushed my teeth and I was allowed a sip to take morning meds but I’m used to twenty ounces of water in the mornings so I was parched like fall foliage.

B and I got to the surgeon’s office ten minutes before my 10:45am appointment. It was nearing 11am when I said to B they probably schedule you for 10:45am so you won’t be late for your 11am appointment and then I had an internal rant about how we punctual people are being punished thanks to the chronically late. It was then that I noticed I was getting anxious. I was ready to get this over with, I had survived the no coffee and now it was time to face the fact that they’d be knocking me out and crunching five teeth out of my head. Ok to be fair they probably only had to crunch two out, the two impacted wisdom teeth. The top wisdom tooth was just a leftover root of the tooth that broke while I ate Lucky Charms years ago before i had dental insurance and the other two were the bottom front teeth that I ruined with a steal tongue ring all those years ago when I didn’t listen to my dental hygienist friend and replace the balls with acrylic. Those teeth have been loose for years so they probably popped out no problem. So I’m sure there was only crunching on two teeth but man my neck and shoulders feel it today. What did they do to me while I was asleep? I had the idea to start a voice note on my phone in my pocket but I felt too much like an NSA spy so I didn’t do it. I mean what if the surgeon and his assistants discussed deep life issues?

They had told me at the consult that the anesthesia would be just like when I had the colonoscopy so I was expecting to come out of it asking questions, not with the remnants of my dream about manipulating gravity.

When they were hooking me up to the hard monitor and such, the pitch of the beep beep beep kept changing when I moved. At one point they all left the room so I started playing with the beeping, slowing down and holding my breath so the beeping got slow and then taking a quick deep breath to speed up the beeping. I’m weird, but it distracted me from the fact that I had left Jayden in the lobby with B and this patient who had been seriously interested in him. (Jayden, not B.)

The main assistant was the woman who did the brunt of my consultation and I remembered her telling me she’d be there the day of surgery. She told me her name was Leah but said I probably wouldn’t remember but I said I would because my friend Amanda has a guide dog named Leah and Leah the woman asked if Leah the dog was a good dog and I said yes.

So I kept waiting for Leah yesterday and she finally got there and I got happy and she rubbed my shoulders. Everyone there was so personable and they made the experience less than scary, just like the people at the colonoscopy. Medical professionals are awesome. I should know, I used to be one. I made them all laugh when I heard a woman say, “heart rate is…” she trailed off and I said, “elevated”. I was nervous haha.

So Leah asked if anything had changed since I was there and I said no and she asked when I was there and when I told her she said, “Oh, the day before I found out I was pregnant!” So we had a squealy girlie moment and she empathized with the no coffee since she can’t drink coffee now either. “At least you get to have some when you get home,” she joked.

Then the surgeon was there and he started my IV and I told Leah to make sure nothing fell down my throat and she said they’d put in a throat cup and then I was waking up from my dream about manipulating gravity. And freezing. I was shivering so hard and it’s a good thing my mouth was full of gauze. I tried to talk. Ha!

The rest was a whirlwind. They brought B and Jayden in and were giving B instructions because obviously I was way too out of it. I was still thinking about gravity and wondering why I couldn’t talk and was that my lip? Holy crap that’s my lip! Is there a baseball where my chin should be?

They got me to a wheelchair and Jayden gave me a once over and they were wheeling me out and to B’s car and Leah and B helped me to the car and Jayden got in and I looked at Leah and muttered through gauze,” ngats ong te aby.” and I gestured at my stomach. Leah was awesome! I think I might send the office a card or something.

I barely remember the drive home. I tried to take a picture of myself but the camera wouldn’t work. It was probably drunk user error.

B and Jayden helped me in the house and then we took Jay out to pee and then I collapsed on the couch and I told B I wouldn’t move until he got back from getting my prescriptions and some mac and cheese. But pain started setting in right after he left so I got up to look for the codeine I still had from the dentist but I couldn’t find it so I took two Tylenol. That could have been bad because the vicodin the surgeon gave me has Tylenol in it. I did my drug research this morning now that I’m coherant. It was fine though. I was still cold so I changed into warm house clothes and climbed into bed, using Gamma’s cane to get around and when B got home he brought everything into the bedroom. I took a Vicodin and we discussed that I also had prescription Advil and I was to alternate the two every two hours. This has held the pain no problem and even when I slept last night, I magically awoke when it was time for the next dose. I’ve hardly felt any pain at all, thank God! I also noticed last night that the pressure in my lower jaw is gone and the vertigo is already subsiding! Those teeth were poison! I swear, medical and dental needs to be covered by the same money. Even flossing was easier without those two wisdom teeth pushing everything together.

I settled into bed and Jayden sat right by the bed even though his bed was right there in the corner. He wouldn’t leave my side. So I pulled is bed right next to me and he curled up. Such a protective boy!

I had started coffee right when we got home and had a cup by the bed that literally took me hours to drink. I got hungry and got up and as I walked out of the room B said, “whatcha doin, you ok?” Such a protective boy!

Eating hard boiled eggs with a partially numb mouth was a bad idea. It was hard to tell what was egg white and what was cheek. I had two cups of apple sauce after that (apple sauce is crack on a sore mouth yum) and when I put my book on it wasn’t long before I turned it off and went to sleep. B woke me at 4:30 since he was going to get some dinner and I was like oh it’s time to feed Jayden! So I got Jayden fed and relieved and then got back into bed. I dictated some tweets and then ate a big thing of Stouffer’s mac and cheese and listened to my book and took my meds every two hours and went to sleep at 10:30 and then magically woke up at 12:30 for my next dose and then again at 2:30 for my next dose but then I couldn’t sleep again so I finally got up at 4 am and I’ve been up ever since. I just checked and it’s 10:18am. I think I’ll get back into bed soon.

Jayden was adorable when I got out of bed at 4am to get some caffeine since a caffeine headache was breaking through the meds. Jayden got up on the couch and methodically sniffed my jawbone. He knows it hurts in there. I swear to God it was like he was making sure I was ok! Either that or it just smelled different and interesting.

When B got up and was heading to work I asked him something, I can’t remember what, and he needed me to repeat it since I now sound funny. You know the beaver from Lady and the tramp? I sound like that now. Ok maybe not quite to that extreme. 😉

It’s time for Jayden to pee and split a banana with me and then I think I’ll retire to listen to the book and the character who manipulates gravity.

Speaking of gravity”

Random Coolness

Tucson is Epicenter of Meteorite Strike

That explains the boom I heard last night that rattled the bedroom window. I didn’t say anything to B because I thought it was just the drugs talking. When he cane in later and read the story of the mysterious boom on his phone I sat up in bed and exclaimed, “that’s what that was!?” B was bummed he hadn’t heard it.

Oh PS – Yesterday was Mom’s birthday! I used to drink a daiquiri or five on her birthday, then when I got sober I switched to some kind of food she would have liked but yesterday there was no eating Greek food or blackened chicken but she did used to like Stouffer’s mac and cheese! I also found out on Twitter today that she shared a birthday with Michael Dorn a.k.a Worf.

PPS – Georgie called as I was previewing this post. She had seen my posts on Facebook and was calling to check on me so we traded wisdom teeth stories. I wish I had asked her if she heard the boom last night. When we hung up my jaw ached. It is hard to talk without those lower teeth. I have to work harder to get the words out. Fun!

PPPS – How are all my run-on sentences? That’s how I think when I’m sleep deprived. Or maybe all the time. Is it time for my next dose? Not yet.

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Filed under Adjustment to blindness, birthday, coffeeholic, Dental Health, dream, Gamma, Jayden, jayden quirks, mom, num num food, silly girl, Sleep Deprived Fun, sobriety, twitter me this

Five Missed Calls

When you’re expecting the news and you roll over to check the time on your phone and find five missed calls, you know.

I didn’t think to change the Do Not Disturb feature on my phone to allow favorites to ring through. A month ago, favorites would have rang through but I had changed it again.

Gamma passed away in her sleep sometime around 2am. Dad was called by the hospice nurse and he went to Gamma’s side. I am so grateful he has been so close to her home and was able to visit often.

I’m writing this not for sympathy but for me to put down in words, what? Put what in words? I am numb today. Walking around in a haze. Dad and I spoke on the phone for quite awhile this morning. We agreed we were glad she was no longer in the prison of dementia. She was with Grandpa and Mom and Aunt P and all the friends and family Gamma has lost in her long 89 years on this planet. She’s wanted to be with Grandpa for years and now she is.

Gamma took over when my mom died. She was an excellent second mom. Because of her I have never gone without and she was always available at the other end of that phone when I needed her. She bought me a talking watch in my early blind days so I’d stop calling to ask what time it was, though that always gave her a kick. Like when I called to ask how to boil eggs. She’d chuckle and I could imagine her shaking her head with that sly little grin. “When are you going to remember?” She’d ask. The last couple times I did remember because I had written it down but I called her anyway.

The best year of my life was the year after I was diagnosed with MS. I was in my second year of sobriety, I quit working and it was such good timing because Gamma could no longer drive. I spent an average of three days a week with her that year, going to doctor appointments, grocery shopping, the mall, out to lunch, always out to lunch. Gamma and her strawberry waffles and her bacon extra crisp. Not crispy, crisp. We had so so so much fun. So much fun.

And then Sundays after I went blind, every Sunday at her house, lunch and dessert. Today I will get a fruit pie of some sort. I just need a fruit pie. She loved strawberry rhubarb pie. I brought her one from Village in, cut into individual pieces so she could have a piece at her home.

Just gave my grocery list to B. He’ll call me from the pies. Just need a fruit pie.

He just called and they had strawberry rhubarb. Tears.

I love you so much, Gamma. Say hi to everyone for me ok?

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Filed under Gamma