Category Archives: mental health

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

What’s a Newspaper?

first thing this morning I noticed the sounds of workers out behind my apartment and thought, great, I get to blindly search for dog poop in front of strangers. If only I had known that would be the least of my problems. The noise, oh the noise! The sounds of rocks thumping together, men shouting, eventually a loud machine doing God only knows what and it would have been fine if it weren’t for that meddling tooth pain that is back with a vengeance today going up into my ear hurry up insurance suits hurry up I need my ear! Thank God I’m on Lexapro, seriously. I called the apartment office to find out what the workers were doing and of course no one answered. They never answer. I called Carol. She told me the cutest story!

Friday Carol went to Starbucks with the intention of enjoying some coffee while doing a crossword before hitting the book store. There weren’t any tables available but she noticed two little girls sitting beside each other at a small table, playing on an iPad. Carol asked the two women next to the girls if they belonged to them and then asked if it would be ok if she sat on the other side to do her crossword. The older of the two girls hardly paid any attention but the younger girl was very interested in Carol. The following is what happened, told from the best of my memory of the conversation.

Carol: I only need this much space. (She drew a square around her coffee cup, making the girls giggle)

Youngest girl: What’s that?

Carol: This is a newspaper. (The younger girl came over to get a better look)

Youngest girl: What’s a newspaper?

(I groan at this point. How old do I feel?)

Carol: (Points to the iPad) It’s like that, but made out of paper. (The moms laugh)

The youngest girl is then interested in the crossword. Luckily the perfect clue presents itself.

Carol: How does every single fairy tale start?

Youngest girl: Once upon a time!

Carol: So that’s the clue for this four letter word, do you think the word is once, upon or time?

I can’t remember if she told me the rest but I just loved that story. Yes, the child not knowing what a newspaper is was a bit depressing, but the story of the interaction was happy making. I love random encounters with kids! I knew I had to share in today’s post.

There was also a funny part about the men working outside. At one point I heard a song being sung in spanish as one of the men worked. A little while later a phone rang and the ring tone was the “mine! mine! mine!” from Finding Nemo, which made me think of Tropicana Field.

It’s the little things.

Happy birthday, Ricardo!!!

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Filed under apple Inc, birthday, Dental Health, gratitude, mental health, NaBloPoMo 2013, random stuff

Smoke Free One Year

When I was a smoker, I tended to be a bit of a closet smoker. I tried keeping it from my family and you’ll notice if you’re a long time reader here, that I kept it off my blog, too.

I was always ashamed of smoking, especially since my mom died of lung cancer. Smoking is also such an enormous waste of money. I’m happy to say, though still rather embarrassed to admit that I smoked, that I have been smoke free a year today!

I don’t know how many times I tried to quit over the years. I tried the patch, the lozenges, the gum, nothing ever worked. The longest I went was four days. I tried quitting on July 4, 2011 (what better day to get independence from nicotine?) and caved on the seventh over writing stress. I begged B to stop and get me smokes. In my sighted days I tried to quit and one time the urge to drink was so strong I decided to smoke instead.

I knew the last chance for me would be Chantix so I asked my doctor if she thought I could handle the drug. I was afraid of the mental side effects we all hear about and had known someone who wanted to kill herself on the drug. She admitted she already had severe depression before she started Chantix so I figured I’d be ok since I only had depression in spurts. My doctor and I are pretty sure that my murder of the coffee maker about ten months after I quit smoking had a lot to do with the chemical changes in the brain that nicotine causes. It might have been a good idea to go on Lexapro sooner, but hindsight and all that.

So I started Chantix at the end of 2011. My doctor said to pick a quit date and start Chantix a week before that. I didn’t do that though since in the past, quit dates had never worked for me. Not long after starting the medication the urge to smoke became less and less and I would rarely smoke a whole one. Finally I gave my last unopened pack away and finished the ones I had. The next day was the seventh and I haven’t touched a cigarette since!

All my previous attempts at quitting armed me with a lot of knowledge. I knew what my triggers were and I told myself there was no excuse to smoke, none. I made everyone promise to say no to me if I asked them to get me smokes. Being blind in this case was an added bonus since I couldn’t hop in the car though nothing kept me from calling a cab, so I told myself that wasn’t an option.

I armed myself with a new crochet project, made sure I had plenty of audio books, avoided the phone since that was a huge trigger for me, and gave myself permission to eat whatever I wanted but for no more than two months.

I told myself I would gain twenty pounds and that was ok. Basically I eliminated every excuse that every smoker has for lighting up. When Gamma fell and broke her hip a month later, the fact that I got through that without picking up a cigarette proved to me that I could get through anything.

I didn’t keep the eating up for two months haha. After I finished the Super Bowl snacks I get every year, I was done with the junk food. I still sucked on hard candy but even those didn’t last long. I developed a taste for flavored coffee creamer though and after I went through a big bottle in five days I realized I had to limit myself on that haha! I rarely have a cup with creamer now.

I did put on that twenty pounds, but the exercising before hand kept my shape pretty much the same. My jeans got too small though. A year later I can fit back into them but they’re still a little snug.

I didn’t stay on Chantix as long as is recommended. It made me incredibly sick to my stomach so after being quit a month I asked my doctor if I could go off it. She said if I thought I could stay off the smokes, to go ahead. I felt pretty confident because I was loving being a non-smoker and loving the money I saved even more.

So that’s my story. I was a smoker and I hated to admit it. Now I’m a non-smoker and I’m damn proud! I just hope I quit in time…I’ll always have that fear now. *Fingers crossed*

PS – The closest post to the day I quit last year was the ninth and I totally lied, saying I had a stomach thing. Um, how bout no? I had started a stop smoking drug that made me sick and I didn’t want to admit it hahahaha!

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Filed under accomplishment, anniversary, coffeeholic, doc, Gamma, gratitude, mental health, mom, on this date, sobriety

Let’s talk about God, shall we? Don’t be scared.

I haven’t used a lot of the writing prompts suggested by a Twitter account I’m following but I liked this one and decided to see if I could do it with my one and only iBook. The prompt was to grab the nearest book, turn to page eight-two and work the third full sentence into a post. Since going blind, I can never participate in these sorts of things, grabbing a sentence from a certain page, since that isn’t possible with an audio book. Now however, I have an iBook and the ability to choose my page! I am pretty sure page eighty-two of my iBook isn’t the same as the print book, but it works.

When I found the desired sentence, I was torn about whether to do this. This sentence addresses the major controversy about the program that rescued me from the clutches of alcoholism – God.

When I first stumbled into my first meeting and saw God on the walls in the steps I thought, well I’ll do those steps because I don’t want to drink anymore, but don’t talk to me about God. Of course I knew they would talk to me about a higher power. I had known a guy who had made a band his higher power. Before I had ever started drinking, I hung out at a coffee shop with a bunch of young people who were newly sober and they talked about how they could make their higher power anything they wanted. Yet, it was God on the walls everywhere, not a higher power that was a door knob or a band.

I wanted what those people had though, so I trudged forward and decided to deal with the God thing when I came to it. I wanted to be happy like those other people, those people who didn’t drink and still smiled and laughed, genuinely laughed!

“When we became alcoholics,crushed by a self imposed crisis we could not postpone or evade, we had to fearlessly face the proposition that either God is everything or else he is nothing.”

I have read that sentence countless times this morning as I copied it down from my iBook word by word. Looking back on those early days over seven and a half years later, I see that I had already noticed that God is everything when I looked at those happy people and decided I would do whatever they had done to be like them. I didn’t know it yet, but it was their faith in something, call it whatever you want, that was pouring out and making me drunk with the desire to be happy with them.

The misconception about this program and God on the wall is that when you walk in the door they start throwing bibles at you and making you believe what they believe. That is so far from the truth I laugh when I hear it. You hear comedians talking about it, you see it online in every social networking group there is, it’s everywhere and it’s sad.

The chapter in the book, (yes there’s a book but it’s not a bible, it’s more a manual) this quote comes from is the chapter called “We Agnostics”. The writers of the book understood that in order for their program to save as many lives as possible, they would need to reach out to people of all faiths. All faiths include no faith. That is where the God of your understanding comes in and that’s what saved my life.

I craved having something to believe in. I needed it. I was frightened off of religion as a child though and never found anything I could believe in. I tried as a young adult. I went to supposed “cool churches” but they still preached hate. When I was told I could borrow my sponsor’s God, I was intrigued.

She asked if I believed she believed in her higher power. Well, yes I did. She asked if I wanted what she had, meaning her sobriety and her happiness. yes I did. So she said I could borrow her God. She called it God because that is a universal name and it’s easy to spell. So when I left her house, I pretended her God came with me. I started talking to her God, just asking for help staying sober, simple stuff in the beginning. I cannot describe the relief!

Whether that God was real or not didn’t matter. The point was I was so sick and broken that believing that her God was watching out for me and helping me stay sober brought me relief and took away some of the fear that I would go weak and buy a drink. It didn’t take long for me to morph that comfort into my own conception of my own God.

That faith that helped me stay sober in the beginning has helped me through so much more than I ever thought possible. Whatever it was that I talked to and begged for help when I was diagnosed with MS, kept me from drinking and got me through that adjustment. Whatever it was that I leaned on and relaxed into when I went blind on my three year sobriety anniversary helped me stay sober through a life altering ordeal and helped me through that adjustment. Whatever I sobbed to on my knees in the kitchen with a destroyed coffee maker and water and coffee grounds all over me, kept me from drinking and guided me towards getting help for my mental health.

So in my life, is God everything? You bet. Is my God a religious God? Not for me, but if that’s what you need, fantastic! Is my God always God? No. I don’t pretend to know what God is and sometimes my higher power is just the part of me that is sane, the part of me that knows what the next right thing is and does it, the part of me that knows right from wrong and cares about others. So you see, sometimes my God is me. If that isn’t everything or nothing, I don’t know what is.

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Filed under Adjustment to blindness, apple Inc, faith, fellowship, gratitude, mental health, My story, NaBloPoMo 2012, sobriety, spoons, twitter me this

And it would have been fine if it hadn’t been for those meddling headphones

This is why I really shouldn’t make plans. Strike that, I need to be prepared when a wrench is thrown into the works. It’s not even like I had crazy awesome plans, but I had my Saturday pretty much mapped out to be leisurely after a stressful week. I planned to give a book a read through to write up a post on it today. I managed to read the book but then…enter the wrench.

Last night I discovered something I didn’t know about my Mac that is pretty sweet. I had this book in a text document but I have no way of holding my place in such a long document so I planned on recording system audio during a time I wasn’t on my computer. Luckily I mentioned this to my Mac expert friend Ricardo and he informed me that the Mac will convert text to speech into a sound file in itunes. No way! Way! He explained how to do it and it worked. So Today I had an audio file of Voiceover reading the book just like an audio book with the ability to play and pause when I needed to.

So after I was done with my morning reading which included an email with content that got my blood pressure up and my heart rate pounding which started a headache (this is foreshadowing), I settled back to go over the book and drink my coffee.

B stepped out to run errands so I took my Logitech USB wireless headphones off and plugged them in to charge so I could enjoy the book over my speakers and also to throw some additional charge into the headphones. Sometimes on Weekends the charge doesn’t last all day and while I can use the headphones while they’re charging, I don’t like being tethered now that I am so used to the freedom of wireless.

I was jotting down notes for my write-up when B got home and I plugged the receiver for the headphones in and switched them on. Nothing. Hmmm. Switch off and back on. Nothing. No beep. They usually beep when switched on and then beep again when connected. Nothing. Over and over, on and off and on. Nothing. Unplug receiver. Nothing. Headache getting worse.

I dig out the old Logitech headphones that I had taped together to salvage them until B got me a new set. Nothing on those. I switch off and on. One beep. Ooh! Then nothing. Both sets were dead. Head is pounding.

Ok, so remember the vicious murder of the coffee maker?

I stood up with the Logitech and tightly grasped the earpieces in my hands.

“I’m going to break this,” I grunted through gritted teeth.

“No!” B exclaimed, making the moment sound very dramatic.

“Why not? They’re already dead!” I said, stomping towards the kitchen, prepared to snap the things like a wishbone. B stammered something and I came to my senses. I’m not sure if it was him or the Lexapro that kept me from destroying the Logitech. It turns out the charger for the headphones will work to charge B’s phone via his computer, so at least something good came from it. For some reason, both dead Logitechs went back into my drawer.

I began the task of shopping for a new set of wireless headphones. The major thing I didn’t like about the Logitech was the behind the neck design. The tops of my ears begin to ache after prolonged use and I can’t rest my head back on the couch. So deciding to try something new meant that I wanted to find a set with the old headband design.

If anyone has any questions about wireless headphones for computers, I think I read about nearly every kind out there. I asked Twitter for recommendations and it failed me for the first time. No one had opinions which shocked me. Actually one person did recommend a Plantronics set but that was after I finally settled on something.

I don’t remember how I finally found these but I decided on this Soundblaster Tactic3D Wrath wireless usb headset from Creative> After reading that page I was beginning to drool and after I read reviews on Amazon from extreme gamer types I was sold. Headphones are an extension of my computer for me. I need to be able to hear my screen reader when B has the TV on and I also don’t want him to have to hear my computer. Not only that but my music, books and movies as well. Oh and let’s not forget baseball! They must be wireless, especially for baseball, so I never miss a minute of a game when I have to walk away from my computer.

B had already agreed that a Best Buy trip would be in order once I found the headphones I wanted. I checked the website and they carry them but it said that store delivery or something wasn’t an option. That worried me. I called to see if they had them. After getting through the Silicone Sally prompts, I was told one caller was ahead of me. Loud, no not loud, blaring synthesizer Christmas music began pumping through my bluetooth. Headache. Got. Very. Very. Pissed. I thought to myself, if they have the headphones, the obnoxious music will be worth it. They didn’t have the headphones.

This was a few hours after the death of the Logitech. I had my old wired headphones plugged in and had even tried paring the Plantronics bluetooth I use for my phone to the Mac but it sounded awful and I scared myself, thinking I had killed the connection between it and the iPhone forever haha.

So when we found out Best Buy didn’t have the Soundblaster headphones, we were both dumbfounded. What other electronics stores are there? We both drew a total blank. Finally I just Googled electronics stores and remembered Radio Shack which made me remember Gamestop and SWS. Neither Radio Shack nor Gamestop had them. The man at SWS sounded regretful to inform me he didn’t carry them either but at least he had the knowledge to tell me it would probably be hard to find Soundblaster devices in stores. He told me they make soundcards and such but that I’d need to get the headphones online.

“Yeah, my headphones broke today so I was hoping to replace them today,” I said, defeated. He went on to tell me he carried Logitech and I thanked him and hung up.

I went back to Amazon and put in the order. I’m saving fifty bucks. Go Amazon! In the meantime I’m tethered to my desk. I kept getting tangled in the chord . Once you go wireless, you just can’t go back! I began to wonder how I could sit on the couch with my headphones when I remembered that my Samsung Gomic has a headphone port in it. Perfect! So I’m using that as an extension for now so I have a little more freedom of movement.

I said to B after that was all over with and we ordered dinner that this was the first day on the Lexapro that I really felt my emotions go out of control. He said the headphones must have just been the last straw. Just yesterday I wrote about taking care of the little things. They can still totally sneak up on you. This morning I had a hard time catching Timmy so I could put him in the room to keep him from escaping while I took Jayden out. I collapsed on the floor sobbing, and the darned cat came right to me. This was after awakening from a nightmare that someone had stolen Jayden. Then the email happened, then the headphones died, all after a tough week. Perfect recipe for a breakdown. It wasn’t awful though and getting some emotion out was actually a relief. Good floor time with Jayden made the headache go away.

At least no electronics or appliances were harmed in the making of this day.

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Filed under Amazon, apple Inc, coffeeholic, dream, Jayden, mental health, NaBloPoMo 2012, proud geek, screen reader, Silicone Sally, Timmy, twitter me this

What is unique about this post?

This post is going to be at least five hundred words about my mundane Friday, however there is going to be something about it that readers probably won’t notice until this fact is revealed. Originally when I read this writing prompt, a word count didn’t factor in. I decided to increase my difficulty by adding a word requirement. A topic wasn’t given; I decided just to write whatever came into my head.

I have made Fridays my weekday to do my chores. This entails vacuuming as well as mopping. I also tidy up kitchen counters along with washing dishes. I like to utilize soapy dish water to wipe down counters as well as my coffee table. Jayden also gets a thorough brushing before I vacuum so that Mr. Eureka takes care of shed yellow doggy hair.

I told Georgie this morning as we talked while I swept that I know I am doing well mentally when I make sure to do this cleaning every week. The benefits are many. My house stays clean which helps my mental state. Doing it every week keeps it easy since it never derails so badly that it needs hours upon hours to complete. Even when I have intervals of severe spoon depletion, it doesn’t take much time to catch up upon recovery. I’m also never mortified when I have a surprise guest.

After I finish these chores, furniture gets sprayed with Lysol, airy spaces with Febreeze room freshener. When this is completed, my house feels so fresh that I am able to relax back, feeling accomplished.

Little things really matter, I have come to discover. My conversation with Georgie this morning reminded me of little things I keep a close watch on when it comes to my mental health. Since I became sober, I have known that ignoring little things will make them fester into large things. It tends to be easier to deal with large things as they happen than it is to deal with lots of small things. It doesn’t seem like it should make sense, I know. When looking at life as a huge picture however, dealing with small things as they happen seems to make life’s insanity more manageable. In my life this translates to taking care of little things daily before they balloon into gigantic things. I don’t always succeed at this however I make a valiant effort. Being medicated is a huge advantage in this life design since I don’t become overwhelmed by small things like I used to.

I took a long break from writing this since Carol called. Naturally we talked a long time since we’re incapable of having brief conversations. I am dealing with another stressor, (what is life without stressors?) so talking to my best friend helped.

I took a shower since I desperately needed it after cleaning. I suppose this is done since I don’t want to be writing before sleep just to include an entire wake cycle in this post.

I have decided to wait on revealing what is unique about this entry. Go ahead, leave a guess in a comment. I will refrain from publishing comments until Sunday or so. To those following Twitter accounts giving writing prompts, no cheating! Keep your knowledge to yourself. Does your blog have a post such as this?

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Filed under fellowship, Jayden, mental health, NaBloPoMo 2012, random stuff, spoons, twitter me this

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

Books thirty-eight through forty in 2012 – Three Connelly Books

I’m going to have Michael Connelly to thank if I end up with stable potassium numbers. Hear me out haha. In the two Terry McCaleb books, “Bloodwork” and “A Darkness More Than Night”, McCaleb is a medically retired FBI agent who is doing some moonlighting investigative work, much to the chagrin of his cardiologist and wife. What does this have to do with my potassium?

I’ve had issues with low potassium in the past and I’m supposed to eat a banana every day. I sort of do, but I share it with Jayden so I really need to supplement with orange juice, something I had gotten out of the habit of drinking. Terry McCaleb is an orange juice addict, let me tell you. No, he doesn’t drink it with vodka. So the whole time I’m reading both books I was craving orange juice.

I had B pick some up for me and then I saw my doctor and she put me on Lexapro and I read up on the drug and it can lower your potassium and cause funny heart stuff. It just so happened that I had been drinking the OJ along with my half a banana daily for a bout a week before starting the drug. See how I will have Michael Connelly to thank for my hopefully good potassium numbers? Mr. Connelly, thank you for making Terry McCaleb an orange juice addict.

In addition to McCaleb’s beverage of choice helping me out, these books were great. The first one had nothing to do with Harry Bosch but it’s important to read it before the Combo Bosch book so you understand who and what Terry McCaleb is. In the second book, Bosch fits the profile of the killer McCaleb is after and even though I knew there were more Bosch books after that one I couldn’t help but think hmmm, did he do it? Stuff gets covered up all the time, you know. Cops can get away with a lot.

I hope we see more of Terry McCaleb and his OJ addiction in the future. I liked that character.

In “City of Bones” we’re back to just Harry Bosch working for the LAPD. This time he has picked up a cold case, the bones of a young boy found buried in a shallow grave. A man’s dog returned to his person with a human bone. Every dog owner’s worst nightmare? Makes me glad if I ever take Jayden into the woods, he’ll be in harness and not allowed to go digging.

Bosch becomes a man obsessed and Connelly once again brilliantly makes you suspect everyone. Will the murder be solved? Will Bosch even stay with the department? So many questions are raised in this book. I can’t wait to move on to the next but I’m waiting for another credit, so the next chapter in the Bosch story will wait a bit.

Have I turned you on to Michael Connelly yet? If not, at least go drink some orange juice; it’s good for you. Oh shhh, don’t tell the Rays, but I prefer Minute Maid.

2012 Audio Book List (all unabridged):

1. “IT” – Stephen King – Began end of 2011, finished 1/4/12

2. “The Concrete Blonde” – Michael Connelly – Finished 1/9/12

3. “Under the Dome” – Stephen King – Finished 1/22/12

4. “The Black Echo” (Harry Bosch #1) – Michael Connelly – Finished 1/24/12

5. “The Black Ice” (Harry Bosch #2) – Michael Connelly – Finished 1/27/12

6.* “The Concrete Blonde” (Harry Bosch #3) – Michael Connelly – Finished 2/2/12

7. “Stories I Only Tell My Friends” – Rob Lowe – Finished 2/6/12

8.** “So Yesterday” – Scott Westerfeld – Finished 2/10/12

9.** “Peeps” – Scott Westerfeld – Finished 2/15/12

10. “1Q84” – Haruki Murakami – Finished 3/12/12

11. “The Stand” – Stephen King – Finished 4/2/12

12.** “Uglies” – Scott Westerfeld – Finished 4/9/12

13.** “Pretties” – Scott Westerfeld – Finished 4/15/12

14. “The Last Coyote” (Harry Bosch #4) – Michael Connelly – Finished 4/20/12

15. “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” – Seth Grahame-Smith – Finished 4/25/12

16. “Zero Day” – David Baldacci – Finished 5/1/12

17** “Specials” – Scott Westerfeld – Finished 5/7/12

18.** “Extras” – Scott Westerfeld – Finished 5/13/12

19. “77 Shadow Street” – Dean Koontz – Finished 5/21/12

20. “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)” – Jenny Lawson – Finished 5/25/12

21. “Engines of Change: A History of the American Dream in Fifteen Cars” – Paul Ingrassia Finished 6/1/12

22. “The Glory of Their Times: The Story Of The Early Days Of Baseball Told By The Men Who Played It” – Lawrence Ritter – Finished 6/3/12

23. “The Given Day – Dennis Lehane – Finished 6/17/12

24. “Trunk Music” (Harry Bosch #5) – Michael Connelly – Finished 6/22/12

25. “The Lincoln Lawyer” (Mickey Haller #1) – Michael Connelly – Finished 6/29/12

26. “The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science” – Norman Doidge – Finished 7/6/12

27. “A Dog’s Purpose: A Novel for Humans” – W. Bruce Cameron – Finished 7/11/12

28. “The Potato Factory” (The Australian Trilogy Part One) – Bryce Courtenay – Finished 7/25/12

29. “Tommo and Hawk” (The Australian Trilogy Part Two) – Bryce Courtenay – Finished 8/8/12

30.* “Fifty Shades of Grey” – E. L. James – Finished 8/11/12

31. “Fifty Shades Darker” – E. L. James – Finished 8/16=12

32. “Solomon’s Song” (The Australian Trilogy Part Three) – Bryce Courtenay – Finished 8/22/12

33. “Fifty Shades Freed” – E.L. James – Finished 8/25/12

34. “The Poet” (Jack McEvoy #1) – Michael Connelly Finished – 829/12

35. “13 Things That Don’t Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time” – Michael Brooks – Finished 9/4/12

36. “Angels Flight” (Harry Bosch #6) – Michael Connelly – Finished 9/8/12

37. “The Scarecrow” (Jack McEvoy #2) – Michael Connelly – Finished 9/13/12

38. “Blood Work” (Terry McCaleb #1) – Michael Connelly – Finished 9/20/12

39. “A Darkness More Than Night” (Terry McCaleb #2, Harry Bosch #7) – Michael Connelly – Finished 9/25/12

40. “City of Bones” (Harry Bosch #8) – Michael Connelly – Finished 101/12

*Audio book previously listened to.

** Audio book previously listened to multiple times.

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Filed under 2012 Book List, Audio books, Jayden, mental health, silly girl