Category Archives: humor as coping skill

Thanks for the Bone, Universe. It’s delicious.

This morning I had a house call with a nurse practitioner. This is a program my insurance participated in a couple months ago but it’s not actually new, just new here. Basically her visit was just meant to supplement my regular doctor visits and the point of the program is to try and keep people out of the hospital. I was incredibly impressed with her and the program and they’re “mission statement” if you will, keep people out of hospitals, keep people healthier, the better for all of us.

The visit was very comprehensive including the normal sort of checklist you might fill out at the doctor, but more brief. She got to know all about my medical history just by asking questions and having a conversation. She was easy to communicate with, knowledgeable about MS, not at all condescending, understanding about my choice not to get a flu shot, not distracted by my dog and ignoring her patient, not rushing, just all around a good experience.

I was impressed when she said, “I bet you’re happier than most that summer is over.” She knows!!! She gets it! When I explained that I’m on gabapentin for my pain and that I’m trying not to go the narcotic route for as long as possible, she gently but firmly explained that pain can trigger my MS just like heat so I should not live with pain. I mentioned medical pot and she told me how to go about opening up the dialogue with my doctor and what to expect about the process. We talked about how B and I are both in recovery so there’s that to contend with. She just understood it all.

When I mentioned the tooth problems and how much Advil I’ve been taking she asked if I had tried calling the insurance to speed up the process. When I explained that I had and it didn’t go well, she gave me a phone number to try and basically gave me the courage to keep trying until I found someone who could and would help. I’m going to try again tomorrow. If at first you don’t succeed and all that.

She tested my urine to check my sugar and kidneys which came back normal despite all the Advil. We talked about my vertigo and I told her I wanted to get a cane and she agreed that would be a good idea. She told me to call that same number to get assistance finding a neurologist.

Gosh, what else did we discuss? Oh she gave me a physical and everything looked good on the outside and sounded good on the inside. She checked my feet for neuropathy and even though I’m having tingling in the right one, that came back ok too. I did fail the three word test though. I could only remember two of the words. So I don’t know what that means. I also drew a clock haha!

“Can you draw the face of a clock?”

“I’m blind!”

“Do you remember what a clock looks like? Here, draw it.” Hahaha! I giggled. She said my circle was perfect. I drew the hands to the time she wanted but they were a little off since I couldn’t remember exactly where I had drawn the numbers. Good times!

I am exhausted this afternoon but it was such a good experience. She really helped. It’s like she picked up on exactly what has been a stressor and gave me solutions. Oh and we talked about therapy too, which is funny because this morning I was thinking I wanted to get back into it. She gave me a phone number for that too, a number that will help me find the right kind of help. She iterated how important it is to have that outside party that won’t judge what you say. It was like this woman was reading my mind!

So wow, maybe the universe heard me when I asked if a bone could be thrown my way. I definitely don’t feel so lost at sea now. I feel like now I can just focus on not feeling well at the time being and can just relax. I feel like she was my spotter while lifting heavy weights. Which oh man have I gained weight. We talked about that, too. About how easy it is to get out of the habit of daily exercising especially when you don’t feel well.

Anyway, yay! As I was catching up on Twitter after I had some lunch, I read the following tweet:

@BMcCarthy32 I have a painful wisdom tooth situation happening, so I apologize if I’ve been cynical and sarcastic on this website recently.

Wow, I get to have a painful wisdom tooth situation at the same time as Brandon McCarthy! How lucky am I? Wait Ro, I clicked that link, he doesn’t nor has he ever pitched for the Rays. I know, but I admire him. Dude got his head split open by a line drive, fell into a coma, came out of it and is pitching again. I’m honored to share wisdom tooth misery with him. Though something tells me he doesn’t have to wait for insurance to tell him he can have it removed.

Random Happy

If you read my review of “The Fault in Our Stars”, you know how much I adored it. If you follow me on Twitter, you know how much I like Mental Floss. So when I found out that John Green himself (author of aforementioned novel) does videos for Mental Floss, I was thrilled! That man talks so fast. Seriously.

So today, how happy was I to open a video full of outtakes from Mental Floss and John Green? It was the perfect way to unwind after the house call this morning. I haven’t laughed that much in a long time.

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Filed under baseball, Dental Health, gratitude, humor as coping skill, mental health, NaBloPoMo 2013, spoons, therapy, twitter me this, youtube

Doggy Diaries: Jayden and the Return to the Human Dentist

All my dental issues certainly aren’t making me lack for things to write about, that’s for sure. Jayden and I went back to the dentist today to have two cavities filled. I just prayed this morning that things with paratransit would go more smoothly and that the driver would not be late picking me up like he was on Friday.

My prayers were answered, at least for the first ride. The driver arrived promptly at 10am and we had one pick-up and drop-off and then it was my turn. I was there fifteen minutes before my appointment time and they took Jayden and me right back.

I wish you could have felt the difference in Jayden today. I’m sure other guide dog handlers will know what I mean when I say I could just feel that his confidence was much higher than it was on Friday when everything was uncertain and I was stressed and in pain. Today it was like he was thinking, ok Mom is much better, I know this place, these people are nice, it’s all good.

Today he just followed the woman back to the exam room and there was a spring in his step. This time I wasn’t stressed and my pain level was severely decreased after being on antibiotics all weekend for the infection. The fillings were done without a hitch and Jayden even slept right through the drill. He’s been through so much medical stuff with me he just doesn’t even bat an eye anymore. He used to give the stink eye to anyone who laid a hand on me haha! I think he understands what medical professionals are now.

After I was done, we had awhile to wait. My appointment was done forty minutes before my paratransit window even began. I knew I probably scheduled that one a little too late but I didn’t want to take any chances. I talked with the receptionist about my oral surgery stuff and she called to schedule a consultation with them on Wednesday. That I can do alone since there won’t be any extracting going on. I called the place when I got home to ask about the building and about how long the appointment will take and if I need to arrive early, but they didn’t answer and haven’t returned my call. Until I get my ride scheduled, I feel like I can’t quite relax today.

After I got that scheduled I used the human relieving circle and then took Jayden out to the place one of the women showed me on Friday. Jayden went right back to it and relieved and then took me back to the front of the building. I hadn’t been paying enough attention to how far the door was after the turn but I could tell he had passed it. He was just exploring haha. We turned around and found the door and settled in to wait.

At 1pm I called paratransit because it was the end of my window and no van was there. She said I was next and the van would be there in five minutes. When we got on board, the driver apologized and said she had been on her lunch break and didn’t realize she had gone past the end. I thought to myself, you should have kept quiet, your dispatcher covered for you.

I listened to my book for a bit and then some really nice ladies got on so we talked about dogs until the driver got to my place. I had made the mistake of telling Jayden he’d get a banana when we got home and he jumped up from his down, all excited. The ladies got a kick out of it. When we got off the van, he practically ran to our door haha!

I’m in quite a bit of pain as time goes on now. Not where the cavities were filled, but up by the back wisdom tooth that needs to come out. My mouth still needs so much work that this was like poking an angry bruise. I hope the oral surgeon’s office calls back soon so I can just relax.

Jayden is snoring loudly on the couch beside me. God I love that dog!

Oh! I almost forgot the joke I played on the dental assistant haha! She gave me safety glasses to put on and after I had them on I said, “I can see!” I am such a brat.

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Filed under Dental Health, Doggy Diaries, humor as coping skill, Jayden, jayden quirks, NaBloPoMo 2013, num num food, relieving, silly girl, working dog

Rays Road Trip Day One

So I shut down my Twitter client so I would just focus on writing this post. I tell you, Twitter has ruined my blogging haha! I want to capture as many memories as possible from this trip so I’m just going to write. I can pretty much guarantee that this post will be long. (Yep, WordPress tells me it’s 3,600 words. Whoa!) My hope is to write about the first day today before the Rays game at one and then write about the second day tomorrow. Let’s see how I do.

So for those who don’t know, B and Jayden and I set out on Tuesday August 6 for Phoenix, AZ to attend the two Rays games against the Diamondbacks. B got us a really nice room at a brand new hotel in downtown Phoenix right near the park and the hotel was pet friendly with complimentary dog bowls. When B read me the description of the hotel my eyes lit up. I was a little leery of dealing with other dogs but if the place was pet friendly, there would be a nice and easy relieving area, right? Ha!

B got a fantastic deal on the room. He’s really gotten good at road trips on the cheap, using hotels.com. The closer it got to the trip the more excited I started to feel but I made myself keep on an even keel so I wouldn’t get exhausted before we even left. Added to the mix was the possibility that we’d be going on the field for batting practice before the Wednesday game. What? I know. I got a message about it from David Price’s lady, Tiffany, a few days before the trip. David Price wanted to get me on field passes. Oh. Em. Gee. I felt the excitement bubbling up inside me at the possibility, images began dancing in my head of walking with Jayden on the grass, could we walk the bases? Could I get an idea of how big the field is? I started thinking about meeting the guys, getting a hug from David Price so I could tell how tall he is, telling Evan Longoria all about how he gave me baseball, was all this going to happen? Whoa there, slow down, stop it girly. Stay even. Deep breath. No highs ok? Don’t start with the expectations. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst right? Yes, even for fun things. So I tried putting that out of my mind. I told my friend Manda on Twitter and of course I told B and Carol but that was it.

So anyway, I had been checking the weather in Phoenix. Not for the impact on the games since Chase Field has a retractable roof, but for me. I was happy to read that it would be dry there. It had been somewhat humid here and I know I know those of you who live in humid climates think I’m nuts but I live in the desert because it’s dry most of the time so when you add a little moisture, I feel it.

We left here about noon on Tuesday and I was reading Twitter on my phone. David Price was tweeting a lot about food, making me laugh. Then Sarah Maddon, who I really hoped to meet who lives in Phoenix, tweeted about rain and Jaime Edmondson, Evan Longoria’s lady, tweeted about rain and I was like what? No! It’s supposed to be dry! Sure enough, we soon encountered wet freeway the closer we got to Phoenix. Bullocks. I heard rain on the windshield. Normally I love rain, however when I have to leave the house and go out in humidity, it’s a problem. Oh well, brush it off.

We hit a little bit of traffic going into Phoenix but not major traffic jams, miracle. B let me know when we drove passed Chase and I said hi to the Rays though it was like 2pm so they probably weren’t there yet. B found the hotel and it looked like it was valet only. He drove around looking for a lot but nope, valet only. Ok so valet is nice right? But when you’ve been in the car for two hours, you want to get out and stretch and leisurely move. At least I do haha. Nope! You have to get out and get your stuff right away. I’m not used to valet anything. I’m a small town girl haha! There was also kinda loud music playing. Not your normal stuffy hotel music either. So I couldn’t hear very well. We were downtown too so there was traffic noise right there, traffic and music and I just told Jayden to find B and I went on auto pilot. Somehow we got inside. B was checking in and I asked about the relieving area when suddenly there was another dog in the lobby so I was controlling Jayden and explaining that he couldn’t say hi and then B was done checking in and I asked him if he heard where the relieving area was because I hadn’t.

I had made sure we got a room near the elevator so I wouldn’t have to walk Jayden too far down halls in the morning when he had to pee. We were on the sixth floor. Holy plush carpet Batman! We went up to the room so I could use the human relieving area then we went back out to relieve Jayden. Remember how I thought a pet friendly hotel would have a convenient relieving area? Ha!

We’re walking and I’m like, “are you sure this is where they said to go?” There’s traffic and we cross a street and I’m like what? And it’s humid and I’m covered in sweat and then we’re going up some steps and I’m like, “seriouslY?” I hear a fountain and B said yes, the grass by the fountain and then there’s grass. Wow. Alrighty then.

We get back to the room and there’s time to relax before we need to head to the field. I need coffee desperately. B starts looking for the coffee maker. Hmmm. Actually you know what? He looked for it before we took Jayden out. There was no coffee maker in the room. Are you kidding me? I asked when we took Jayden out and the concierge lady said she’d send one up. They have coffee on the second floor in the morning too. I also requested dog bowls. So when we got back to the room we had the dog bowls and a coffee maker. I collapsed on the couch thing next to the bed and begged B to start a pot of coffee. I’m imagining those little pots in most hotel rooms right? Wrong. B isn’t a coffee drinker but because of me, he knows how to brew boring old coffee in boring old makers. I hear him making questioning sounds and I’m like, it should just be a little packet of coffee like a tea bag. He hands it to me. Oh! This is a K cup! Uh oh. I don’t know how to use a Keurig. I know what they are but I’ve never used one. So B reads the instructions and gets it figured out and brews me a cup. A cup. For me. The coffeeholic. Ha! There were two K cups. Two cups of coffee. I had to save the other one for morning. Oh my. But, the one cup was ok for right then and there.

I think I tweeted some then, Jayden drank water, we relaxed. I turned on my Verizon hot spot since the hotel didn’t have free internet. It was getting closer to game time and I was getting more and more excited. I changed into my Rays shirt and hat and we got ready to go. We were just going to walk from the hotel. The description on the website said it was a seven to ten minute walk. Not bad and B said it wasn’t far. Ha!

{Pause writing to drink coffee}

Ok, where was I? Short walk, right. I fed Jayden and we set out, pausing at the relieving area. It was so humid right there because of the grass and the fountain so I was drenched in sweat before we even really began the walk. Thank goodness for the cloud cover! It really was a gorgeous late afternoon for a walk except for the humidity. Rain had really cooled things down nicely.

We walked and walked and walked. And walked. And then walked. Jayden wasn’t happy. There were surfaces he didn’t like. I wasn’t really ok physically which added to his discomfort so the walk wasn’t fun but we finally made it. We’re here? Finally? The Rays are here! yay!

We got the tickets I had ordered over the phone. I asked the will call girl about what would happen if I got field passes and she said if they were there tomorrow, they’d be at window one. Naturally I focused on her saying “if”.

We walked not very far inside before B found our section. It was blissfully cool inside Chase Field. I had bought accessible seats on the phone but B said, “this is supposed to be accessible?” I asked if there was an usher and one magically appeared. She looked at the tickets and explained that she would get us chairs. Our seats were indeed accessible! We got cushy folding chairs right where wheelchairs would go. We just positioned the chairs behind a row of seats so we had drink holders and everything. The usher closed a rope behind us and we settled in. Jayden had tons of room and the seats were great. We were on the first base line behind the Rays dugout and up a few levels. We hadn’t needed stairs or an elevator. We had been to Chase for a game back in 2009 when the DBacks played the Angels and back then they didn’t have nearly as much accessible seating as they do now.

So anyway, I put Jayden’s mat down but he immediately plopped his belly down on the cool concrete, resting just his head on the mat. He passed out. It was blissful to take my backpack off! I learned from the game in Colorado, which I haven’t even written about here oops, and brought my own radio. It’s the radio I got when I was first blind, before I had any iThings and digital audio books. It’s an AM/FM CD player, like you’d have in your office. We had to get batteries for it, batteries! How archaic! It took C batteries. I didn’t even know there was such a thing haha. The radio got good reception as long as I held it on my lap. Unfortunately I couldn’t listen to my guys, Dave Wills and Andy Freed. If only the At Bat app wasn’t two minutes behind. Oh well, luxury problem. I had a radio and that was all that mattered.

Are we to game time yet? I will turn this blog right around and go back home.

I had given our seat info to some friend son Twitter, something I also learned from Colorado. Before we left the hotel, I tweeted Dave Wills and asked him the best way to make sure we met since we missed each other in Colorado. He said to tweet him when we got there so I asked Manda to tweet him my seat location. I snapped a pic of the field and tweeted it to let my friends know we’d made it. B was hungry but the heat and humidity had zapped my appetite. I knew I needed to eat something so he got me some nachos and then went off to find food fore himself. I munched on nachos and listened to the sounds of the park, music playing, fans talking,, laughter, calls from the beer guy. The game wasn’t quite close to starting. I was just taking it all in. You can feel the enormity of Chase Field. It was just as impressive as it was the first time I was there in ’09 only more so now that my Rays were there. Joe Maddon was there! Evan Longoria was there! Wil Myers was there! David Price was there! Jim Hickey and Tom Foley and Fernando Rodney and Jose Lobaton and Jake McGee and Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist and and and!!!!

“Ro?”

Did I just hear Ro? I had just shoved a nacho in my mouth. The din around me and the sound of my chewing was playing tricks on me.

“Ro?”

I know that voice!!!! I turned around in my seat, waved, pointed at my mouth and the nachos.

“It is her!”

I set the nachos on B’s empty chair and stood laughing and shouting about my mouth being full. It was Dave Wills and Andy Freed!!!! Right there!!! the men I listen to every single day, the men who taught me baseball, the men I so wanted to meet! They were right there!

I hugged them both and jumped up and down and they met Jayden and we chatted and I said they needed a park like this in Florida and they said a bit smaller and we chatted and I can’t even remember about what exactly. It was so comfortable because they weren’t strangers to me at all. I know them, probably better than they realize. When you listen to someone talk on the radio for at least three hours for at least 162 games, you learn about them. Especially Dave and Andy because they are great friends so they chat on air and you really get to know them. And here they were! I was just so happy, probably the happiest I remember feeling in a very long time. B got back with his food and I introduced them and they razzed him about wearing a DBacks shirt and then they had to go to work and they said they’d come by the next day too and I whispered about the possible on field passes and said, “shhh I don’t know if it has to be on the down low” and they laughed and we hugged again and they were gone. Wow! Ok, I’m good, let’s go back to the hotel. We got up and left. Just kidding!

Oh, one thing that really impressed me about Andy Freed was he just came out and asked how I went blind. I love that! Just get it out there when you’re curious. I can’t remember which one asked me how long I’d had Jayden but I ended up explaining that he was raised for a year before his training and Andy Freed said he knows someone who raises puppies and I asked if it was for Southeastern Guide Dogs there in Florida and it was. It was just kinda cool to have that link with him. Puppy raisers rock!

So wow, the game part of this post is probably going to be the shortest part. It was so awesome to be able to cheer loudly for my guys and ring my cowbell. Coors Field in Colorado had banned cowbells. Maybe that’s why I haven’t written about that game. I didn’t really get to be a fan there. Anyway, I got to ring my bell and cheer and listen to the DBacks radio guys describe the action and B was there and Jayden was there and my Rays were right down there on the field and yay! I heard the crack of the bat in person and yay!

Ok so Jeremy Hellickson is a slooooow pitcher this season. It’s bad enough listening at home on the radio but it’s kinda torture at the park when he’s pitching and taking so long between pitches. I just knew Dave and Andy would be talking about how his defenders were on the field way too long and getting bored and the DBacks radio guys were definitely taking jabs at Helli and how slow he pitched. He did get a hit though! I Honestly don’t even remember a whole lot about the game itself. I was oh for one coming into the game since the Rays lost the one game I went to in Colorado so I was hoping for a win. I cheered and rang my cowbell when good stuff happened and I heard other cowbells and it was awesome to add mine to the chorus.

At one point, Evan Longoria was batting. I had my headphones on in both ears, keeping track of what happened. Then the crowd got loud for really the first time and completely drowned out the radio in my ears. I figured since the crowd had gotten loud, something good happened for the DBacks so I sat back and waited for it to quiet down. B shouted, “you were awfully quiet, why didn’t you cheer?”

“The crowd got loud, I couldn’t hear the radio, I figured they got him out.”

“Longoria hit a home run!”

Crap. Evan Longoria hit a home run at a game I was at and I didn’t even cheer because I didn’t know it had happened.

I said that to B and then said, “well, that’ll make a funny story for the blog.”

When I read Twitter that night after the game, there were so many tweets about Evan Longoria hitting a home run and how excited I must have been. All I could do was shake my head and chuckle. It was a valuable lesson. I kept my finger on the volume wheel after that so when the crowd got loud, I could turn up the volume.

When the DBacks fans did cheer for something good, I could tell the difference then. Unfortunately, the DBacks fans got to cheer the whole rest of the game since they won it. I was now oh for two. Bullocks.

We stayed until the last out. Even though my guys had lost, it had been such a fun night! I packed up and we waited for the crowd to dissipate some before heading out.

{Pause writing to drink coffee}

Just had a quick thought, in twenty years I can say I was at a game during Wil Myers’ rookie season, a game in which I didn’t know Evan Longoria hit a home run. Who else can say that?

I stopped at the ladies room and the female DBacks fans were all nice to me. Classy fans, they really are. I was so impressed with the way the park cheered for Ryan Roberts, who is now a Ray but who used to be a DBack. It was just a great experience all around.

As we were heading out I heard my name. It was Sarah Maddon! Yay!!! I was so hoping to meet her after talking to her on Twitter quite a bit this season. She’s tiny! I only know that because we hugged, not because I did that blind movie thing where the blind person feels up everyone they meet. I got to meet her husband too. We only chatted briefly and then the rest of her party were leaving so we parted ways. I had the biggest grin as we walked out! I got to meet three of the people I hoped to meet! yay!

It was a completely different world outside the park than it had been when we walked in. There was a saxophone player somewhere nearby playing Take Me Out to the Ball Game. I sang along, a bounce in my step. There was music everywhere! Musicians on street corners, musicians in bars, music everywhere! There were people walking on the sidewalks, milling around outside bars, smoking cigarettes, talking and laughing. It was like we had been transported to a big city. Oh wait, that’s because we had haha!

We stopped and relieved Jayden before going back up to the room. Ah, quiet. I tweeted some and read all my mentions. My Rays Twitter Family had been very active and it made me smile to read all the messages. I love them so much!

I decided to shower that night because we had to check out the next day at noon. The shower was bizarre! Imagine a normal stand up shower with two sliding glass doors. It was like that, only with one door and it didn’t slide. It was where the shower head was and the other side was completely open. My uncle has an open shower like that but his is a big thing, this was just crazy haha. And it’s drafty hahaha!

It took me a long time to fall asleep and I didn’t sleep well. It had been such an incredible day and perhaps the latte I’d had in the seventh inning contributed to the sleep issue but man it was good. I had also been a little chilly in the air conditioned park.

The bed was extremely comfortable though I was confused at first. I always turn down the comforter and fall asleep with just the sheet. When I went to turn down the comforter I grabbed sheet. Huh? Turned out they made the bed with a sheet, the comforter, and another sheet, like a duvet cover that doesn’t close. Interesting. Haha! The room was swanky indeed. I was almost bummed we were only staying one night.

I think I’ve pretty much captured all of the first day. My arms are pretty sore now haha! Time to go through and edit and see if anything else comes to mind. Coffee first. 😉

Finished editing and Jayden asked to go outside and I checked the time. Whoa! Gotta love the writing induced time warp!

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Filed under accessibility, apple Inc, baseball, blind tips, coffeeholic, desert life, Doggy Diaries, dogs, evan longoria, fellowship, gratitude, humor as coping skill, Jayden, jayden quirks, music, puppy raisers, relieving, spoons, twitter me this, weather, working dog, wow

Let the Updating Begin

Ro? Who’s that? Oh wait, is that the chick with the guide dog named Jayden? Yeah, I remember her. She kinda disappeared though, didn’t she?

Hola one reader I have left haha. My friends on Twitter know I’m alive but for those of you who read here and for future me, the posting has been sparse, I know. I haven’t been well most of this year so far. Even the book posts had become daunting, trying to think enough through brain fog. So as a result, I’m behind on book posts and general updating.

I had to have a colonoscopy last month because I kept having recurring episodes of diverticulitis even though I thought I was doing everything necessary to prevent it, avoiding nuts and seeds, exercising though that had become sporadic due to the pain of the diverticulitis blah blah blah.

After the attack in March my doc made me see a gastroenterologist and he wanted to do the colonoscopy to check me out. He said surgery might be an option so I was preparing for that possibility. He started me on daily fiber and probiotics to make sure everything wasn’t inflamed for the procedure and I instantly started feeling better.

The preparation for that procedure was horrible! I had to drink stuff the night before and couldn’t eat the whole day before, then I had to drink stuff the morning of and I won’t go into the gory details but I was most definitely emptied out.

B and Jayden came with me and the nurse said when B led Jayden away once I was on the gurney, Jayden kept looking back like, but, um, what?

I was a little nervous about the anesthesia but the nurse explained that it’s a very light drug, not a narcotic, you go under quick and come out quick. When the doc injected the IV, the nurse said I should be feeling sleepy. I said, “I’m not feeling sleepy at all.” Then I woke up. They made sure my vitals were good then went and got B and Jayden. Jayden was so happy to see me he put his front paws up on the gurney even though he knows that sort of behavior is forbidden haha! B said Jay slept in the lobby but when he woke up he kinda freaked out a little bit. One of the medical staff was telling B and me how terrified of dogs she was since she grew up in the Philippines and there are a lot of wild dogs there that chased her when she was a child. She actually pet Jayden and he licked her hand. She was telling all her coworkers, “did you see me pet the dog!?!” It was so cool!

I was so glad that thing was over and the doctor told me afterwards that he didn’t see the need for surgery, just keep on fiber and probiotics. Yay! Probiotics tip, get them on Amazon. Much cheaper! Oh and he said the nuts and seeds thing doesn’t hold true anymore. He said eat what I want, just stay on fiber and probiotics. Oh, almonds, oh, tomatoes, oh, happy!

So that hurdle was cleared just in time for the next one, a massive staff infection. I’m the luckiest girl in the world! Again, I’ll spare you the gory details but here’s a tip, if you get an eruption of painful boils on your arse, take that arse to the doc and fast. I ended up getting a shot of antibiotics in said arse, a culture sent to the lab, a nasal ointment to kill the staff that lives in the nose and a course of oral antibiotics. I grossed out the nurse practitioner and made my doc exclaim, “ouch!” when she came in and saw me. Fun! We were all a little nervous that it was the antibiotic resistant strain of staff but it wasn’t, thank God.

Antibiotic tip, always always always take the full course prescribed. Always. These bugs are getting resistant to antibiotics because people stop taking them when they feel better and they leave one little bug in their body that learns how to adapt to our medicines and then tells its friends. So please, always take your full course and don’t push your doctor to give you antibiotics for things like colds. It’s possible I have success with antibiotics because I only take them when absolutely necessary too. If you take them all the time, eventually they won’t work in your body. Also, if you get boils, be very very careful with the stuff that comes out of them. If it happens to be staff, it is highly contagious. I was grateful I used to work in medicine and knew how to care for contagions.

All this staff stuff went on a week before I was getting on a plane to go to Colorado to visit Chupa and go to a Rays game. That’ll be it’s own post or two coming soon with links to photos, audio and video. I wrote on Twitter last night that I’d write at least a post per day until I was caught up with book and trip posts. If it’s on the internet, it must be true. All the illness and then the trip took its toll on the MS and my body but I think I’m bouncing back, knock on wood.

Oh before I wrap this up, I want to give kudos to Jay and his terrific work when we went for the meet and greet with the gastro doc. We took paratransit for that one and the office was under construction so not only was it a brand new place that neither of us knew, there was walking between buildings and following medical staff. Jayden did excellent work as usual. I’ve thrown a lot at him the last few months and he’s done nothing but keep me safe and sane through it all. Good boy!

Edit: The staff had nothing to do with the colonoscopy. The boils started before that procedure.

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From the Desk of My Somewhat Sleep Deprived Mind

I’m going to make a sleep deprived label I’ve decided. Yep, it’s that time again so I went and did a search for my sleep deprived posts and they’re getting up there. Best to have a label, yeah? It’s currently 6:04am as I begin this post. I’ve been up for awhile and I should have seen this coming. The other morning I realized I was awake and after some time, finally checked the time. Time. Let’s write it again. Time. It was 2:30. Whoa baby! How bout no? I lay there thinking I needed to put the meditation bells on. I have this app called AmbiSci 300 and it’s got all sorts of ambient sounds. The meditation bells are perfect for lulling me back to sleep. I just stick my phone under my pillow. It takes some time but it works.

That time I fought to get back to sleep because I was fighting an infection and knew I needed my rest. This time, damn that was only a few days ago I think, I just gave up. Did that make sense? No. But do these posts ever make sense? I decided when I checked the time and it was 4am, that that was late enough to just get up and make coffee since it was pretty obvious it was time for another sleep deprived day. I usually sleep really well though I had to laugh when I read the last sleep deprived post that my doctor had asked how I was sleeping and I told her fine only to not sleep that night.

Speaking of the doctor, I love her but I’m seeing her too much lately. Did I see her last Monday? I think so yeah. I told her it was much nicer to run into her at Joe’s Crab Shack than to be constantly seeing her at the office. I’m just falling apart, ya’ll!

I have a meet and greet with my new gastro doc in April. Yep, a gastro doc. I get to have a hose in me bum. What? A colonoscopy. Weeeeeee! I had more diverticulitis even though I’m doing absolutely everything I’m supposed to in order to prevent it. Nothing with seeds. No nuts. No tomatoes unless diced. I’m even avoiding lettuce after reading that it’s difficult to digest. I take a fiber supplement. I exercise regularly. Still I got the pain. That’s just not normal, doc says. I was expecting her to say I had to have the bum hose when I got that last attack. Now It’s just the damn waiting. Hurry up and wait. It’s not even like there’s probably anything that can be done anyway. They’ll just go in and make sure nothing more serious is going on and then that’s it. Maybe I’m being too cynical but at this point in my life, after living sick for so many years I’m just like whatever dude, throw more at me. Might as well. My life is already incredibly limited and messed up, why not give me more? Bring it! Hey, maybe I’m given all the stuff that others wouldn’t be able to handle so they don’t have to handle it. Not that I believe that any of us are given anything on purpose, but sometimes it’s nice when I’m giving myself a pep talk out of depression to think that maybe I’m preventing someone else from going through what I go through even though I know that’s not true. It’s not like I went blind so you wouldn’t have to and it’s not like I have MS so you don’t have to and it’s not like I have to get a bum hose so you don’t have to because guess what? Even if you’re the healthiest person alive, you’ll still have to get a bum hose one day if you stay on top of your screenings bwah ha ha ha!

My cat, Timmy, is snoring on the couch next to me and Jayden is on the floor at my feet which is odd because usually he’s on the couch with me. All the animals are like, what are you doing up? And Jayden is probably like, when the coffee is on, I’m usually not hungry and my bladder is usually relieved so wtf? Yes, my dog thinks wtf ok?

So if the narrator you’ve always thought should narrate your memoir says you should write your memoir when you tell her that you want her to narrate it but then you’d have to write it, you have to write it, right? I also got to thinking, now that my blog is hosted, if I die, it’ll go away. That’s a terrible thought. If I die, will someone figure out where I’m hosted and pay it? Hahaha! So then I thought back to Lorelei King tweeting me to “do it, baby!” and I was like, well at least that would be a legacy but then who am I to leave a legacy? I’m no one. If I wrote my memoir, would you read it? People have told me from the beginning of my blindness that I needed to write my story. However what voice has stuck with me? The negative one. I need to shut that voice up. Maybe if I wrote a memoir I could be somewhat self supporting because damn, relying on something other than myself for income really sucks. Then again, authors are going broke since people only want to pay ninety-nine cents for a book on their stupid electronic devices so really, can anyone make money selling books anymore unless they’re Stephen King?

Alrighty then I think that’s about all I have. I think I’ll publish this thing and then go add a sleep deprivation label of some sort. It’s 6:25am, do you know where your teeth are?

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Filed under coffeeholic, doc, humor as coping skill, I might be a writer, Jayden, plugs, rambles, random stuff, sicky sick, Sleep Deprived Fun, spoons, Timmy

Twenty Cool Things About Being Blind

I was wondering what to write about today when this random idea popped into my head, so I quickly jotted down a list of things that are cool about being blind:

1. Not seeing horrible sports injuries replayed over and over and over again.

2. Laying in bed or on the couch in pretty much any comfortable way while watching TV since looking at the screen is not required.

3. Being able to control a computer from anywhere in the house with just wireless headphones and keyboard. I rarely sit in a desk chair anymore.

4. Saving a lot of money on electricity since lights are not required.

5. Always looking twenty-nine in my mind.

6. Guide dog Jayden. ‘Nuff said.

7. No more paying for car insurance, gas and repairs.

8. Audio files are so much smaller than video files.

9. Not being forced to see all the images the media wants everyone to see.

10. Not seeing pics of food.

11. Hands free snuggled up eyes closed reading.

12. Food tastes good no matter how it looks.

13. No one judges me for eating with my hands. Or if they do, I just don’t care. Because they are mean.

14. Everyone is beautiful in my head.

15. I don’t see the faces of people after tragedies.

16. I don’t see destruction and poverty, pollution, trash, bruises.

17. I no longer judge my body by how I see others’ bodies.

18. My baseball games are never ever blacked out since all I need is radio.

19. I’ve never had to see skinny jeans.

20. Being able to do the morning ritual without opening sleepy eyes.

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Filed under baseball, blind opinion, humor as coping skill, Jayden, NaBloPoMo 2012, sports

A Letter to Fifty-Three Year-Old Me

Writing the letter to my fourteen year-old self was fun. The writing prompt I took the idea from said to follow it up the next day with a letter to myself in twenty years. I didn’t give it much thought until it was the next day and the thought of the future was too scary. I think today I am ready to do this since two fictional worlds I’ve dived into recently are more scary (hopefully) than twenty years from now will be.

So, fifty-three year old Ro, I hope you are alive to read this. If you are not fifty- three year-old Ro, meaning you are Ro and not fifty-three yet, don’t read this. You can’t read this until November 11, 1032. Oh wow.

Oh and readers, you should leave a comment. If this blog is still here in twenty years, hopefully it is, your comments will be in a time capsule of sorts haha!

Dear fifty-three year-old Ro,

Wow, so did I make it this long? Mom didn’t make it to fifty-three so if I’m reading this in twenty years I better be grateful. Remember how you thought you’d never see thirty because of how crazy your life was and then you literally didn’t see thirty because you went blind at twenty-nine? Yeah, I still think that’s funny today. Do you still find it funny in twenty years? I hope so, because without humor there’s just no point.

Do you need a refresher of what life was like for you at thirty-three? Well, I’ve been with B for just over five and a half years now. Are we still together in twenty years? If we are, what is he like? Did he ever start eating vegetables? I know, that’s probably a really stupid question. My three best friends are Carol, Chupa and Georgie. How are they? Ok I’m misting up thinking about these people in twenty years. Do you remember being convinced that everyone would die before you and you would be left alone in this scary world? That was only like two months ago, before I started Lexapro. Thinking about the people I love the most and how it will be in twenty years is starting to freak me out. It’s a good thing I’m medicated.

What about Erik? He’s my only friend who’s younger than I am. Only by a few months but still. How is he? I hope you are still in touch with him. We’ve been friends so long and there has always been gaps where we lose touch. Although ever since I went blind and started using my Macbook, we haven’t lost touch, so I hope in twenty years we’re still close.

Ok, so speaking of my Mac, what is technology like? Do people have stuff implanted in them yet? I always imagine little nano chips for phones and stuff. I mean seriously, the technology has to be amazing in twenty years! Or is it scary? Has it gotten out of control? It could go that route too. Right now you have an iPhone 4 running iOS 6.0.1. The latest iPhone is the 5. What is the iPhone in twenty years? Do you have an iPhone? Has any other phone ever rivaled the accessibility of the iPhone? I have a Macbook they don’t even make anymore. I was almost completely out of space on it so I started converting videos to mp3. What do you have in twenty years? Do they even make laptops anymore? Do they use wires at all? I can’t imagine there would be wires anymore. Am I right?

What animals do you have? Right now I have Jayden and Timmy and Spinelli and Fi. I can’t think about the future without them.

Are you still blind? Did they figure out how to give you new optic nerves? If so, did you get them? As of right now, I can’t imagine seeing again. I’m so used to things the way they are, so I don’t know if I would try anything to see again. I remember when I first went blind I wanted more than anything to see again, even just a little bit. I was ready to get on a plane and go to the UK where they were experimenting with a cancer drug that helped MS patients regain lost functions. Now though? I couldn’t imagine testing a drug. It’s a scary thought. So what have you done in twenty years?

I’m afraid to think about what the MS has done to me in twenty years. It’s impossible to think about my future self though without wondering about that. I won’t think about that now. Maybe you’re reading this in twenty years and smiling because nothing horrible has happened. Is that too much to ask for?

There really isn’t much more to write. There isn’t much to say to a future self beyond asking questions. I can say I hope you are as happy as I am today. Though I hope you are happier. I’m happy, but I could be happier. I just hope you aren’t less happy. I hope you’re still sober, though obviously when it comes to that I can’t really think beyond today. If you’re sober and still smoke free and at least as happy as I am now, then you’ve got it good.

Oh hey wait, I have to ask, is there equality? Have people finally quit being so damned uptight about gay marriage? Has racism and bigotry finally really gone away? Do women still have freedom over their own bodies? Has the insanity over birth control gone away? Did people start finally focusing on the real problems? God I hope so. If there isn’t more love an acceptance in twenty years, how are you managing?

I’m reading “The Handmaid’s Tale”, do you remember reading that book? It’s incredibly depressing. It’s what could happen if the crusty old white guys don’t stop wanting to control the female body. It’s terrifying. I hope it’s nothing like this in twenty years because if it’s going to go down that path, I hope the Mayans were right. If they were right, you won’t be reading this in twenty years, no one will.

Ok wow, this turned very doom and gloom. I was afraid this would happen when I thought about writing this letter. Writing to fourteen year-old me was fun because I don’t fear the past and because I knew what happened. This letter is nothing but fear of the unknown and my dwindling hope for a happy future.

I guess my only hope is that there’s just more love in the future. There has to be, or the future is grim grim grim.

I should end this on a happy note. Hmmm, happy. So have the Rays won a World Series or five? Ten? How long did Evan Longoria stay? Please tell me he didn’t end up with Boston or New York. What about David Price? Did I ever meet any of them? How are all my online friends? I don’t want to start naming them all because that’s a lot and I’m sure I’d end up leaving someone out.

One last question, what kind of voice are you listening to on your Mac? I can only assume you still use a screen reader and a Mac. Is it still Alex or have they made new voices that are just as good? Knowing Apple, they probably use human speech in twenty years haha. Ok, I just heard my DM ping. I think that’s my cue to wrap this up.

I hope this letter finds you well , my fifty-three year-old self! Oh, happy early birthday!

Love,

Thirty-three year-old Ro

PS – Do they have replicators and/or transporters yet? Did you ever publish anything?

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Filed under accessibility, Adjustment to blindness, Alex, apple Inc, assistive technologies, baseball, cool product, evan longoria, fellowship, Fi, humor as coping skill, I might be a writer, in the news, iPhone, Jayden, letters, mental health, misty eyes, mom, My story, NaBloPoMo 2012, on this date, politics, proud geek, screen reader, silly girl, sobriety, Spinelli, spoons, Timmy, twitter me this

It Smelled Like Going Blind

“The sense of smell can be extraordinarily evocative, bringing back pictures as sharp as photographs of scenes that had left the conscious mind.” – Thalassa Cruso

This is long so grab some coffee or tea or chicken broth.

Saturday night I took B out for steak dinner for his birthday. It was pretty good but I didn’t know this particular restaurant cooks green beans in over salted bacon grease. When I felt nauseous after laying down Saturday night, I blamed the few fork fulls of the disgusting greens I had eaten while trying to convince myself they didn’t taste that bad. I guessed I had just eaten too much of them because I din’t think a plain filet and plain mashed potatoes would make me feel so sick. My extremities had also begun to hurt but I thought that was just because I was due for my nightly nerve pill.

Sunday morning I woke up with the worst headache of my life. I also had a pain on the right side of my abdomen near my belly button. Again I blamed it on the food and thought maybe the Lexapro might be partly to blame because some of the side effects are headache and slowing of the erm, lower digestive system. I wasn’t awake for very long before I decided to drink some mil of magnesia and see if getting things moving a little faster would ease the pain. It didn’t and only seemed to bring the nausea back and increase the headache.

B got up a little while later and when he turned the TV on the sound went straight to my brain. The pain was as bad as that of driving at night with a migraine when light from oncoming cars enters the eyes. It wasn’t hard to decide to go lay back in bed so I shuffled into the bedroom, switched on my white noise maker and climbed into bed. That was where I spent all of Sunday.

I never spend entire days in bed. Even when I have bad MS days, I just lay on the couch. It has to be really bad to keep me in bed for an entire day. I even ate in bed. I couldn’t stand sitting up on the couch long enough to do anything. When I first got into bed the headache was so bad I didn’t even put on my audio book. I just pulled the covers tightly around me as cold began to set into my bones and my body began aching even more. The headache and body aches distracted me from the abdominal pain, that’s for sure. Probably around noon the headache began to ebb after lots and lots of fluids and some ibuprofen. Every blow from the referee’s whistle as B watched football in the living room still cut through my white noise machine and dragged long fingernails down the chalkboard in my head. I decided to stay in the bedroom to keep the headache from coming back.

As the day wore on I had moments of intense cold under the covers and then moments of feeling ok. I was able to take Jayden out like normal but that was about it. Luckily I was able to tolerate my audio book so I just lay in bed and read and Jayden snoozed beside me on his bed.

Eventually I knew I had to be running a fever. I was freezing but my skin felt warm even to me. When B came in to check on me, he felt my forehead and agreed so I got up to get the thermometer. I still don’t have one that talks so B had to read it. It was 100.6. It had been so long since I had had a fever that I almost forgot what to do for one. Oh yes, Tylenol, wipe the skin with a cool cloth, ok, yes, fluids, lots of fluids, bring the fever down, the MS doesn’t like fever, the MS can get royally pissed off and start making my immune system attack me if I run a fever, bring the fever down, bring it down.

I wet a washcloth and wiped my face and the cloth became warm where it touched my skin. I grabbed my ice pack and took it and the washcloth back to bed and swallowed two Tylenol. I lay in bed with the ice pack on my stomach and alternated the cloth on my forehead and behind my neck. I was freezing. Then soon I wasn’t. I finished my book and began another. I was warm. My body had begun to melt the ice pack. I kicked the covers off. I was uncomfortable but the fever was beginning to break. I checked it again. 100.2. Down four tenths. I went to sleep after telling B I was calling my doctor in the morning.

Unfortunately she had no available appointment so I found an urgent care and B came home around noon to take me. They got me back quickly and a nurse practitioner examined me after I described the pain as a four on a scale from one to ten unless the spot was touched then it was higher. At first she thought kidney but she told me she was going to thump my back and when she did it didn’t hurt. So she checked my abdomen and the pain was too high to be appendix so she thought maybe gallbladder which freaked me out. She asked if I had weight fluctuations which I have my whole life and if I’d recently eaten a high fat meal. I explained about the filet the night before and the green beans but she said the fatty meat she was thinking of was more like a prime rib. She then suggested going to the emergency room for an ultrasound to check my gallbladder since they didn’t have the proper equipment there to do that. At this point I started getting a little more scared. She wanted to check the urine sample I had given before settling on a possible gallbladder problem but that came back normal so it was the emergency room. Joy.

She asked which hospital and I named the one I had been to for my two big MS flairs and she sent all my info there and said they were expecting me so off we went. We signed in and a man asked B for the envelope please and I cracked a joke about him sounding like an award show host but no one laughed and my mood darkened and we sat and they called me back to triage somewhat quickly and then had me sit in the lobby again. It wasn’t too crowded but I could feel the anxiety starting to try and boil up. Thank God I’m on Lexapro. I mean really, thank God. The Ellen Show was on the nearby TV so I just tried to focus on that. It didn’t take too incredibly long for them to call me again and Jayden jumped up the minute he heard my name, which made me laugh.

This time we were led deeper into the emergency department to my room and as we walked, memories flooded back to me, memories of the last time I had been there, the smells were the same and instantly I could picture the emergency department since that is the last place I saw. It smelled like going blind. I began to cry as I walked between Jayden and B. The nurse let us to my cot and told me to undress from the waist up and put the gown on and then she left and I lost it when B asked if I was in pain. I told him it smelled like going blind and he said it all came rushing back to him too. We had a moment there, standing in the tiny cubicle, wondering what came next.

There was a whole lotto waiting. I texted and tweeted and emailed and B watched ESPN. It made me think of House after B said they had cable. Honestly how can you not think of House when in a hospital? It was specifically the cable though and if you’re a House fan, you’ll know why.

After a bit everyone came in at once. The doctor, two med students and a nurse to draw blood and start my IV. Why they ran a bag of saline through me is beyond me, probably because they could get fifty bucks from Medicare for it. The doctor asked some questions and examined me and when I said the nurse practitioner at the urgent care suspected gallbladder he palpated just under my ribs and it didn’t hurt. He found where it hurt and the medical student said, “that’s too low to be gallbladder.” Yes, Thirteen, you are correct. The doctor said my pain was between my appendix and gallbladder which was curious and he wanted a CT scan. I said I was there for an ultra sound. I wonder if he rolled his eyes. He said that wouldn’t do any good since he didn’t want to focus on the gallbladder. They all left and we waited some more.

The bag of IV fluid was ready to come out not long after and I don’t mean out of my arm. I pressed the call button and told the voice on the speaker that I needed the restroom but was hooked to an IV. Fifteen minutes later no one had come so I just had B get the bag off the hook and the bag was empty. I shoved it in my pocket, grabbed Jayden and B helped us find the restroom. After that we waited some more and then the radiology tech came to tell me to take the remainder of my clothes off and she’d be back soon to take me for the scan. We waited some more and then I left Jayden with B when they came for me. I told him to stay and be a good boy and I’d be right back and as soon as we were out of ear shot I started crying. I knew he must be wondering what on earth was going on. If hospitals are scary for children, how must they be for dogs?

I told the woman that I went blind in this hospital, about going into the MRI machine with a little vision left and coming out with none. She was stunned and said I wouldn’t go blind this time. I laughed and said I’m already blind. She said I wouldn’t go any blinder and I laughed and she complimented my sense of humor. I should have thanked her for being the only person with a sense of humor in the entire emergency department.

The scan was quick, just a transfer to another table and then an electronic voice gave me breathing instructions. When I was brought back I was very happy to see Jayden. B said he did fine, he looked after me for a bit when I was taken, then B gave him some kibble and he lay down. I was happy B had done this. When I first handed the leash to him after the CT scan lady left I told him the kibble was in my bag and to give him a few pieces. I’m glad he took it upon himself to give Jayden some after I was gone. I like to make experiences as positive for him as possible and he is very highly food motivated. He was allowed to eat more than I was. When we left the urgent care I was given strict instructions not to eat or drink anything. B thought it was because of the ultrasound I was originally going to have but I told him it was probably in case I needed emergency surgery and that’s what it was. After the CT scan we didn’t see any matter of nurse or doctor. I knew Jayden would need a bathroom break because it was already well after his normal feed and relieve time. I just said screw it and crammed the empty IV bag back in my pocket and out we went. A nurse tried to stop me, saying they prefer the patients to stay in the hospital but I said no one had been to see me in hours and I am the one with the rights, not B, not my dog and he could be denied re-entry since we were unable to make arrangements with the hospital. It was well beyond the time he needed a potty break and I was taking him. I honestly don’t know how true what I said was but I was refusing to be separated from my dog. I was mobile and didn’t even have any medication in me and obviously the hospital thought I was find since no one had been by to check on me. So we marched out and Jayden peed a river. Poor guy. B decided he would run back to his office and grab his phone charger. He had left it since he had expected to return to work after the urgent care. I said that was a good idea and I bet him I still wouldn’t have any information by the time he returned. We got back to my cubicle and I proceeded to listen to the NLCS game seven between the Giants and Cardinals. I ran through obedience with Jayden, feeing him a decent portion of kibble, grateful I had thought to grab his afternoon snack and bring it along with his collapsable water bowl. I gave him some water out of my bottle and felt happy that of the three of us, he was fed, watered and relieved.

B called when he was heading back from the office and I still hadn’t seen the doctor. A nurse had poked her head in and said, “oh you’re back, the doctor will see you soon now that you’re back.” Really? You’re going to put this on the five minutes it took to let my dog pee? B called after that and I told him what she had said and he laughed. We hung up and just before he got back the doctor finally came in and told me I had diverticulitis That is a Mayo Clinic link I found this morning that is really useful. the doctor briefly told me to take my antibiotics, just drink some clear liquids over the next few days and then switch to easy to digest foods. Make a follow-up with your doctor etc. I asked if I could exercise and he said give it a few days. Then he was gone and soon B was there and I told him. I was very relieved not to be having surgery and I’m familiar with diverticulitis since my dad was diagnosed with diverticulosis when I still lived at home. That just means you have the sacs and could suffer from diverticulitis. Back then they thought that seeds and popcorn played a part but according to that Mayo Clinic link, they no longer believe that. It sounds like it might be my poor choices in the past that could have brought this on since I live pretty healthy these days. I did recently take time off from exercise while the weather had me in pain and it sounds like lack of exercise can bring this on as well. I believe I had it last year also, when the nurse practitioner at my doctor’s office diagnosed me with a kidney infection even though the urine wasn’t conclusive. She based it all on the fact that I jumped when she thumped my back. I told her I jumped because I wasn’t expecting it, not because it hurt. So the two nurse practitioners I’ve seen are zero for two though at least this last one thought it was something serious enough to warrant an ER visit. I see my doctor in two weeks for a follow-up. It was the soonest she could see me.

We waited at least another thirty minutes and then the discharge nurse finally came in. B and I had already worked out that we’d take care of getting my antibiotics and broth and everything today since we were both exhausted by the time the hospital was going to let me go. The nurse went on and on about nearby twenty-four hour pharmacies and I just nodded in agreement rather then explain that we had already made our plans. He handed me the discharge papers and told me my prescriptions were stapled on top, the first one being oxycodone. I began shaking my head vigorously and telling the nurse I didn’t need that, I hadn’t even taken ibuprofen and the doctor had said nothing about pain medication but the nurse just said if I didn’t want it, don’t fill it. B exclaimed, “no wonder so many people are addicted to pills!” and I agreed, both of us beginning to rant and then realizing it wasn’t the nurse’s fault. We got the heck out of there and I swore I’d never go back. I’m obviously not filling the prescription for oxycodone. However that must be the hospital to go to if you’re a drug seeker since I didn’t even ask for Tylenol and they handed me a narcotic. Disgusting.

While we were walking to the car Jayden suddenly stopped and relieved himself. B was like, “he’s going! He’s going! Do you have a bag?” Do I have a bag. Silly man. First rule of guide dog handling, always have a bag. I theatrically pulled a bag from my pocket and snapped it open. Jayden immediately moved as far from the mess as he could and B asked why. “He’s ashamed when he goes in harness,” I explained. I wasn’t angry with him at all. He had done a lot of walking in the hospital and I was just glad he waited until we got outside. We got home at eight o’clock and I fed and relieved Jayden and then we went to bed. I was so relieved to be home in my own bed with Jayden and my cats and my man. I had had awful visions of being stuck in the hospital for days. What. A. Day.

This morning I woke up starving. I hadn’t eaten anything since Sunday. A little over an hour ago B brought me some low sodium Swanson’s chicken broth, some bouillon and apple juice. He was going to call me from the pharmacy so I turned to Google to compare bouillon to liquid broth and ran across my favorite fitness site and a liquid diet with calories article. Score! It recommended both forms of broth so I got both. I got the low sodium Swanson’s since the article recommended low sodium when possible. I tell you, that Swanson’s chicken broth tasted so incredibly delicious after not eating since Sunday! I chugged some apple juice before it was even cold and thought, well this isn’t so bad. My belly felt full and I tasted something other than water and coffee. I laughed at myself and thought, ask me again tomorrow if this isn’t so bad. Luckily I can drink coffee and tea with no cream which is how I drink it anyway but I’ve mostly only wanted water since the coffee makes me a little nauseous. After a few days of the liquid diet I can start introducing low fiber foods and then after that get back to a normal fiber intake. I find it odd that a diet low in fiber contributes to the problem yet while recovering from it fiber must be avoided.

It was quite an ordeal but we all made it through ok and I didn’t have to go under the knife. Jayden didn’t seem phased by it in the slightest. After the smells brought back all the memories of my last visit and the not so pleasant experience this time, I think I’ll be looking for a new hospital. I just hope I won’t need one for a very long time.

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Filed under cats, coffeeholic, doc, humor as coping skill, Jayden, mental health, misty eyes, sicky sick, working dog

My First Week on Lexapro – The Drug Might Have Saved a Leaf Blower Man

Today is a week since I began taking 10mg of Lexapro daily to help with my depression and anxiety. I know I’m not yet feeling the full effects of the drug since it takes about a month for this kind of thing to really build up in the system but the placebo effect is strong in this one. Tell me this pill is going to make me feel better and just the knowledge that relief will come will make me feel better. It’s like when you’re starving but you know you’ll eat soon, you can make it, but if you don’t know when your next meal is coming it’s harder to make it through.

I feel like my hands have been freed and I can reach my tools again. I know how to cope and get through life but I couldn’t reach out and grab that knowledge. It was like the depression and anxiety were shackles binding my wrists. I now feel like those shackles have been loosened enough for me to get one hand free. Life is looking up, just knowing that my brain chemistry will be getting back on track.

The first few days I was a little apprehensive. I wasn’t told about side effects and I didn’t look them up. A friend told me she had headaches on Lexapro so wouldn’t you know, I started having headaches. I looked up Lexapro and headaches and sure enough, lots of people have had that problem though headache isn’t listed as a side effect. I found a forum were several people said the headaches went away after a week or so for most so I had hopes that they would for me too and they have. I started taking Advil when I felt a headache coming on and now I don’t even need that. I also experienced some pretty bad nausea when I ate but luckily that has gone as well. Too bad, I need to lose some weight after being so inactive. 😉

This week I returned to the gym. My doctor cleared me to exercise when I saw her last week and I’m so grateful. I know exercise will help with the depression as well and now that the weather has chilled out and I feel better physically, I feel like I’m in the home stretch. It was so great to get back and see my friends this week and today Jayden flirted with a new guide dog in the restroom.

Yesterday was a huge test of my psyche. I don’t do well with loud noise. If the police were ever to need to flush me out of a building all they would need to do would be to cause a lot of noise and I’d come out willingly. Yesterday morning I was relaxing, reading Twitter, contemplating doing a home workout, sitting on the couch with Jayden, when this God awful noise started. I thought it might be a leaf blower but the sound was more shrill. Turns out it was indeed a leaf blower. I began to live tweet about it and last night I copied the tweets to include in this post since I’m pretty sure something would have happened had I not been medicated. So, here are the tweets:

Noise outside, no clue what it is, combo leaf blower/wee wacker? OMG my head is gonna split open. Help! 8:39am

This could be a headline: “Blind woman accused of murdering a leaf blower in AZ” 8:47am

Reminder, a leaf blower is an inanimate object. Can it be considered an appliance? 8:50am

I’ve been known to murder appliances. Ok seriously, this dude needs to move the eff off. 8:51am

Why is he focusing on my apartment? I think he wants to kidnap me. Like Wanda Sykes’ comedy skit. 8:52

(Reply to friend asking me to just be sure to get out of prison by Opening Day) I just want to break his stupid appliance. Not him. That’ll be a slap on the wrist. 8:52am

My dog is starting to get stressed. What do I do? This dude won’t effing stop! 8:56am

Just when I think he’s leaving, he comes back. This is insane! 8:57am

I think he’s finally moving on to torture another apartment. Do I dare hope?9:00am

Hey leaf blower man, you’re lucky I’m medicated now. That’s all I have to say. He’s finally gone far enough, I hope. 9:09am

(Reply to friend telling me her old landlord threatened a leaf blower man with a gun) Oh geez! I would obviously never threaten this guy but he was out here much longer than normal. My head, oh my head. 9:13am

As you can see, the leaf blowing went on for a good half hour. He kept coming back to my door. I have no idea why he kept coming back and I was so tempted to open the door and scream at him or call the office and scream at them. Luckily I did neither. The stress of it exhausted me though and I ended up putting on comedy on ootunes to try and relax and recover. I ended up doing this for about six hours though I had no idea that much time had passed. I included two more tweets here to show how much time had gone buy:

Catching up on Twitter and I’m a little nervous to find out how that 23 mile skydive went. 3:13pm

Oh, apparently my nerves were all for not as the jump was aborted. 3:15pm

I was definitely still feeling anxious and had the worst case scenario in my head while reading tweets about that guy who wants to do a twenty-three mile skydive. Today I feel a little more hopeful about that haha!

So, that’s my first week on Lexapro. I’m excited that my life seems to be getting back on track and I think I’ll be able to handle the next curve ball a little more easily. Lexapro is my hitting coach. Can you tell it’s a day of baseball? Listened to the Nationals/Cardinals while at the gym and now it’s Reds/Giants. Gotta love playoff baseball but I sure wish my Rays had made it.

Oh, another possible side effect of Lexapro is the desire to switch to hot tea from coffee in the afternoons. That one is a little bizarre. 😉

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Filed under baseball, coffeeholic, doc, faith, gratitude, guide dogs, humor as coping skill, Jayden, mental health, twitter me this, workouts

From the Desk of My Sleep Deprived and Hopeful Mind

I suppose it’s time for another sleep deprived stream of conscious post. And now I have to Google “stream of conscious”, because I can never remember if that’s correct. See it’s a good thing I turned to Google since it’s actually “stream of consciousness”. I think I knew that deep down but then I thought well conscious works too. I mean I’m conscious. I’m sleep deprived but I’m awake.

I woke up at around 2:30am. Mafia Guy Bladder woke me up and I checked the time because my body felt awake. You know those times? When you wake up and your body feels awake so you’re like oh it must be time to get up soon but you check the time and it’s only 2:30am? I could tell I wouldn’t get back to sleep. YOu just know. I gave it the old college try though. Lay there for an hour and then just wanted coffee.

What’s with the saying, “gave it the old college try”? Don’t we use that when we fail at something? Yeah I gave it the old college try but it just wasn’t meant to be. So are we referencing failing college?

The Rays gave it the college try but it wasn’t meant to be. They won last night but were eliminated when the A’s beat the Rangers. I don’t feel like talking about that.

I went to the doctor yesterday and had an anxiety attack. Yes! Yes? Yeah, I was happy about it. You know when your car is making a funny noise and you take it to the mechanic and it stops making the noise? I didn’t want that to happen. I mean I know my doc and she would believe me when I told her about the anxiety and depression but I’m just glad she got to see it. I had scheduled my appointment for 1:10, her first appointment after lunch. Paratransit got me there about 12:50 and they had to unlock the door to let me in. Receptionist said they’d call me up in a bit to check me in when it was time so I used the restroom, came out and sat down. I heard another paratransit and then I heard a white cane and a woman checking in. A slight pang of fear went through me, wondering if they signed her in ahead of me but I thought they knew that duh, I was there, right? Wrong. They called her back first even though I heard her say her appointment was at 1:20. Normally this kind of thing wouldn’t bother me. I know it’s usually a wait at the doc but at mine it’s never that bad. The problem is that taking paratransit means you’re always watching the clock. I thought I scheduled it fine, just like I always do. My return window began at 2:10, an hour after my scheduled appointment. It would have been fine, if it hadn’t been (for those meddling kids) a Monday first of all and then I later found out that they were implementing a new computer system as well.

By 1:30 I hadn’t been called back yet and I felt the anxiety well up. I gave myself a pep talk. If I miss my ride, it’s fine. It’s not going to harm me. I might wait awhile but it’s going to be fine. Stop panicking. Stop it. Oh crap there’s the tears. Well, at least she’ll see what I’ve been going through. When they took me back to do vitals the M.A. tried to help calm me down. I did a little and she said I’d be done by 2:10, the doctor was just finishing up and she’d be right with me. I sat in the room and time ticked by and I started dreaming of grabbing stuff and throwing it. When the doctor came in and saw me she said my dog looked worried. Not, oh hey what’s wrong, why are you crying. Your dog looks worried. My doctor is brilliant. Get me talking about my dog. Calm me down. I love that woman. She assured me I’d be done in time and we were just wrapping up when the driver got there. When you hope the driver will be late, they never are.

Long story short she checked my heart, it sounded fine, she ran through questions and I’m starting Lexapro. I couldn’t get it yesterday. Insurance problems. But of course, right? It’ll be a low dose. I’ve been on it before; it’s what they gave me when I went blind to help me ease into the adjustment. I probably should have just stayed on it. Oh well, lesson learned. I was also cleared to exercise again so yay! There is hope. I feel hope.

I do have to laugh though. She asked me if I’m sleeping. Oh yeah! I sleep great! It’s 4:40am as I write this and I’ve been awake for two hours haha!

I’m going to take a break from this for a minute. I’m hoping to record some blabbering later since I got a new mic so I don’t want to just write everything that’s on my mind and have nothing left to blabber about.

Well that wasn’t much of a break since Twitter is kinda slow. Speaking of Twitter, I has a funny. I’m going to include this in the audio too but this is just too good. Yesterday on the way to the doctor I was on the paratransit and wanted to send a tweet so I started typing in Fleksy listening with my Bluetooth headset. Unfortunately Voiceover just isn’t very loud on the Bluetooth and the paratransit van was noisy so I didn’t really hear Fleksy correctly. I tweeted the following:

@Raynaadi – I’m getting notion sink on this transport wide. #vomit

I didn’t know this until I got home and checked my mentions and Steve asked if I meant to tweet that or if it was an autocorrect fail. I thought with Fleksy you couldn’t have autocorrect fails but apparently that only works if you can really hear Voiceover well. Lesson learned, next time I’ll turn spell mode on when surroundings are loud. It sure made for a great belly laugh though when I really really needed a good belly laugh. I favorited the tweet for future laughs. I’ll definitely include it in the audio though since it’s funny to hear Voiceover say it.

It’s 4:54. I think I’ll edit and see what we’ve got.

I heard a Twitter mention and a DM. Wow both! I also have that Call Me Maybe song in my head. I started thinking about the Rays rookies dance number and now that song is in my head. *Shakes fist* damn you James Shields! I’ll get you! And your little meddling kids too! Or dog. Kids? Dog. Ding don the witch is dead! Another mention, shiny! Ok, that’s a wrap. A 30. It’s 5:16am. Do you know where your slippers are?

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Filed under assistive technologies, baseball, coffeeholic, doc, funnies, gratitude, humor as coping skill, Jayden, mental health, rambles, random stuff, screen reader, Sleep Deprived Fun, treat for me, twitter me this, Voiceover, workouts