What a whirl of a week this has been. Summer is in full swing and with it, the heat and the storms that I so love about Florida. Even living a stone’s throw from the beach, I still haven’t had the opportunity to get out much. When I can, I enjoy every second of the scent of the salt water, the wind, and the sounds that make Vitamin-Sea such a vital part of a healthy spirit.
Photo on Hutchinson Island, Florida, credit: Heather Noel (LifeInPawPrints).
Summer plans have gotten off to a slow start, mainly due to finances and unstable hours at work. It’s the slow season so where I was hoping for overtime, there hasn’t been any and there’s always a chance of being volunteered to go home early, so that make it hard to plan some things, not knowing how much a paycheck will be when it’s all said and done. BUT… I’m working on other financial fixes, they’re just being stalled by a very slow legal process which is driving me mad. I always found it ironic that it costs SO MUCH to fix money problems. Perfect example: Bankruptcy. Hundreds of dollars to file, yet if you’re truly bankrupt, you don’t have hundreds of dollars to file, or you wouldn’t be bankrupt. The legal system is twisted and distorted to work against the people, not for the people, but that’s a whole ‘nother rant altogether.
My daughter had wanted to get a job this summer at Publix but even after applying and following up, she was not not called back. They will hire at 14 but she may have a better chance when she turns 15 in a couple weeks. She’s already worked there unofficially, bagging for her grandmother who worked as a cashier, so one store’s staff already knows her. That’s always a plus. But until something comes through for her on employment, she is enjoying the first weeks of summer with me and my partner, his mother and sister. We keep her busy with the art studio, the gym, DIY projects… there’s always something to do. Plus, she gets to sleep in to her heart’s content 🙂
Projects for me include getting some flowers planted (though I’m a couple months late in doing so!) and building a container garden that won’t fall apart like the last attempt. Aside from the seaside, gardening is good medicine for my often bitter spirit. It takes me out of the world and back into the basics of life. I like sowing, I like producing, and I like the idea of making something useful out of nothing. Growing things does that for me. Trouble is finding a place to grow where all the animals won’t destroy my work. Chickens and raccoons are great at getting onto and into places they shouldn’t be!
Suppose that’s it for now. This heat is making me grouchy. Normally I love this house (basically an open-air wood cabin type historic house – no AC – central or window shakers) but summers are a real bitch. There’s no escaping the heat. Even the shade is brutal.
Hi kids! Today we take a moment to remember that quiet, alone time can be a GOOD thing! It means not having to wake and work around 4 other schedules, being able to watch TV (specifically a documentary on minimalism) until 2 a.m. because I wasn’t tired yet. It means sleeping in til 9 a.m. and having the cats forgive me the moment I gave them milk with their breakfast. It means being able to listen to Ani DiFranco on iHeartRadio while I take my time going through the morning news.
Sits in his 37th floor suite
And swivels to gaze down
At the city he made me in
He allows me to stand and
Solicit graffiti until
He needs the land I stand on
In my darkened threshold
Am pawing through my pockets
The receipts, the bus schedules
The matchbook phone numbers
The urgent napkin poems
All of which laundering has rendered
Pulpy and strange
Loose change and a key
Go ahead, ask me if I care
I got the answer here
I wrote it down somewhere
I just gotta find it
I just gotta find it
Somebody came on too heavy
Now look at me made ugly
By the drooling letters
I was better off alone
Ain’t that the way it is
They don’t know the first thing
But you don’t know that
Until they take the first swing
My fingers are red and swollen from the cold
I’m getting bold in my old age
So go ahead, try the door
It doesn’t matter anymore
I know the weak hearted are strong willed
And we are being kept alive
Until we’re killed
He’s up there the ice
Is clinking in his glass
He sends me little pieces of paper
I don’t ask
I just empty my pockets and wait
It’s not fate
It’s just circumstance
I don’t fool myself with romance
I just live
Phone number to phone number
Dusting them against my thighs
In the warmth of my pockets
Which whisper history incessantly
Where were you
Wishing I could cry more
And care less,
Yes it’s true,
I was trying to love someone again,
I was caught caring,
This country is too large
And whoever’s in charge up there
Had better take the elevator down
And put more than change in our cup
Or else we
SHARE YOUR WORLD – 2015 WEEK #40
I’m jumping in just a bit late here (OK 10 months late) because a: I just discovered these prompts and b: if I don’t start now, then when?
#1: If you have been to a foreign country name those you have been to?
I have skirted around Cuba and the Bahamas but the place I actually spent considerable time and never wanted to leave was Quintana Roo, MX. It was on a honeymoon cruise in 1997 and we entered Cozumel through Playa del Carmen. Admittedly, I was disappointed at first because it felt no different than being in Miami. The first thing I saw off the boat was a Burger King and a Daquiri bar popular in the ‘States. Liberating ourselves from the tourist trap however, we were transported into a whole new world of single lane dirt roads, quiet villages, and some of the nicest people I have ever met. Even with a language barrier, there was still understanding, kindness, generosity, and genuine welcome.
#2: Is the glass half empty or half full? What type of glass is it and what is in the glass?
This question has always irked me because it forces one to be judged in such a closed-ended, black-and-white manner that really isn’t realistic. Our moods change, our personalities change, our momentary stimulus changes and the answer can be different every time, leaving us wrongly judged because we are just being judged in the moment.
I see it this way: The glass is halfway to whichever direction the contents were traveling. If it was in the process of being filled, then it is half full. If it was in the process of being drank or poured out, then it is half empty. It isn’t about what *I* think. It’s about the facts happening around the situation and leading up to it. There are always other facts to consider. Is it half full or half empty? “It’s just half.”
Incidentally, it should contain a good, hearty, merlot.
#3: If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get?
Sushi, hands down. It’s a dish that can be created endless ways under one label, it’s fresh, it’s clean food, and can be nutritionally dense. I could easily live off sushi.
List: List at least five places worth shopping.
As one who doesn’t shop often, this will be difficult…
1. Local farmer’s market (downtown, Saturdays)
2. Nelson Family Farms
3. Local artisans
4. Local art galleries
5. Any small business with a quality product or service
Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
I’m grateful I got to spend some quality time with my daughter, especially now that she is getting to the age between being a little girl and wanting her teenage freedom. This week coming up will be hella busy at work because open enrollment for Medicare Part D is starting, so we are gearing up with parties and all types of goodies for the crazy time ahead.
Hello, friends. Please bear with me while I vent. Maybe you can even relate a thing or two to your own experiences and silently lend support with a shake of the head and a sighed, “Been there…”
So yesterday was a MONDAY. It was a Monday to the extent that I tweeted an exasperated:
It took no less than a half hour to get my sleep-through-a-nuclear-annihilation child out of bed in the morning. No matter how early she is sent to bed, every Monday morning is still a battle, some worse than others. We ended up running late in getting her back to her dad’s house but after we’d left, it came to realization that she’d forgotten her notebook of homework so we had to turn around and get it.
I barely skidded into work on time and no sooner did I sit down at my desk to log into the phone did my team leader come by, “I’m sorry, I have to send you home to change.” What the? See, during the summer, the dress code is pretty lax, with shorts and hats allowed in the call center. Friday however, apparently an e-mail had gone out notifying staff that we had corporate company coming this week and were on a “business casual” dress code – no shorts, jeans, hats, etc. This notice went out at 4:45 p.m. on Friday – my shift ends at 4:30. Brilliant. Trying not to miss *too* much time, I lead-footed it home and ended up getting stuck waiting for one of the Tropicana trains that snakes slowly across several intersections in the neighborhood, leaving no way around it. I get home, I change, RUSH back to work, log in 32 minutes late and start having trouble breathing.
Rummaging through my purse, I cannot find my inhaler (I have chronic asthma) – Ok, I’m thinking, I’m going to drop dead at my desk. Calls are pouring in, I’m trying not to sound like a pervert breathing heavily on the phone and trying to basically meditate myself out of this asthma attack between calls. I make it through to lunch and call the pharmacy who has been trying to reach my doctor for an inhaler refill for two weeks now. They still haven’t gotten a response but the pharmacist offers to try calling her directly to get an emergency refill. I only made it until 2:30 when I could no longer talk on the phone and had to flag down my team leader to tell her I needed to go get a breathing treatment. She said I could leave but would have one “occurrence” against me. This is essentially their writing me up. We are not allowed any time off for anything, period. Screw it. Breathing is kind of important. I drive myself to the hospital and decide to take one last look through my purse, dumping the entire contents out onto the passenger seat. Wouldn’t you know it, there stuck in the *lining* of my bag is my inhaler. I contemplated going in for a treatment anyway because by then the asthma attack was so bad the inhaler wasn’t working fast enough but I eventually did get it under control. As I was pulling out of the hospital parking lot, I get a call from the pharmacy that my prescription is in. Of course, the price of it ended up being too much for me to afford this week so I would have been screwed anyway.
The majority of my bad day ended there thankfully. I did leave out one bit that I didn’t think needed to be aired here, but still… yesterday was one of those, “Enough already!” moments when I just wanted to break down and cry and be held. But of course crying would only give me a headache and there is no one to hold me anyway, so I just kept pushing through it all begging for it to end. Anyway… signing it off here, writing off yesterday as just another day in hell and waiting to see what kind of mood the roommate is in once he wakes up. Then again, with him just staggering out of the bedroom, my asking him, “How you feeling?” and his response being a sinister, “Don’t. Talk….” I can see how this night is going to go.
Trying to come up with some radical new idea (ok, maybe “radical” in this day and age was a bad term) – a BIG new idea for research for my next FME article. With everything happening in the news, I should not be at a loss for a topic, however my fear is that I will just come across as repeating the same news we’ve been hearing every day. What would YOU like to read about, or hear a fresh view on? Tell me in the comments!
Just to drop an update on myself, ever since my boss passed away on December 28th and the company subsequently closed on January 2, I have been seeking work. For 3 1/2 months, I have been living on my tax return and the grace of friends and charity however that is all running out quickly. If I don’t find viable work *this month* I will be facing very dire circumstances.
The stress of this has caused my blood pressure to shoot up as the worry is constantly there, 24/7, and I have rarely been able to sleep at night for the past couple months. A week and a half ago, I ended up having to break down and go to the doctor with the joints in my right wrist severely inflamed – I was unable to move my wrist, hand or fingers at all. The wrist was treated and cleared up in a matter of days with a brace and a prescription anti-inflammatory but we still don’t know the cause of it. X-rays showed no fracture, blood tests showed no elevated uric acid and therefore no possibility of gout, and the doctor also ruled out arthritis. It remains an excruciating mystery but at least I have leftover meds to treat it should it recur.
While at that doctor visit, whereas the wrist was treated quickly enough, the focus of the visit quickly turned to my blood pressure when my vitals were taken. Back to that – my BP was 210/140. YIKES! The doc immediately gave me a Clonidine and told me to go to the emergency room however if you’ve ever read my previous post about Lawnwood Regional, you’ll understand why I was loathe to even consider stopping in there. In the end, I did not go to the ER, taking the prescription for Clonidine and hoping that would start to lower my numbers.
Like an idiot, I started right in on the full prescribed dose. Had I remembered the problems I had when starting on another BP med several years ago (heart rate below 60, fainting, inability to walk more than a few feet without severe difficulty in breathing), I would have started small and worked my way up to the full dose. The first 3 days of full-dosing this time, same thing. I was fainting, could barely breathe due to very slow heart rate, and (thankfully this was over the weekend) was barely able to stay awake for more than a couple hours at a time. My thinking and reaction times were very slow so driving anywhere was NOT an option. By that Monday, I was vomiting and fainting and I stopped the med completely (another stupid thing, but I did consider how my BP would shoot up in doing so). I called my doctor and told him I *have* to do this my way. By stepping the dose up slowly over the next few days, I was fine on the prescribed dose. Hitting my system all at once though is something my body just couldn’t handle.
In taking my BP every couple days over a week and a half, I saw the numbers were going down but not nearly enough. I called the doc and reported the latest readings and he still *insisted* that I go to the ER. It was either that or drop another $60 at his office to be seen for another reading and a dose adjustment. I did not have $60, I’d just dropped my entire unemployment check at his office at the initial visit, so this time I had no choice – I had to go to Lawnwood.
Checking into the ER, my initial reading put the staff on alert: 240/120 – Hypertensive Crisis. The previous afternoon’s reading was around 203/116 – I am willing to bet that just the thought of having to go to this hospital spiked it. Immediately, I was in a bed hooked up to a monitor, getting about a dozen vials of blood drawn, the works. The odd thing is, I *felt* fine, but this is why they call hypertension “The Silent Killer.” They ended up doing a chest X-ray on me and an EKG. Bloodwork came up clear, X-ray came up clear, I don’t know what the EKG said. After receiving additional medication, 3 hours later my BP had reduced to 174/91 – the lowest it’s been since this whole ordeal started. That was enough for them to discharge me with two new medications in a combo pill to be added to my original one.
Because of the urgency in getting those numbers down to stay, I have gone headfirst into the full dose of the new med(s). Since I lack a way of checking my BP at home (can not afford a home device), I have to go to a pharmacy or a fire station to get it checked for free. Driving right now is not an option, so it’ll have to wait until my head clears from the new med. What a headache this has all been, especially thinking of all the medical bills when I’m trying to survive on a tiny unemployment check that pays my rent but nothing else 😦
This is a perblog post because there is nothing else I am able to do at the moment. For the first time in three years, I ended up pulling my back out again. Hefting 500 20-pound bags of oyster shells to help build an artificial reef didn’t do it. Helping the neighbors move didn’t do it. No, it was bending over to pick up a piece of trash in my yard that sent a searing pain ripping across my lower back and just about dropped me. Barely made it back inside clinging to the wall for support and now I can’t stand up. Or turn. I hate my back 😦
I am here alone, and scared to death, have a broken front window that’s patched with duct tape and the south winds are just driving the rain in. I’m fucking terrified, it’s the middle of the night, and I have no one to call.
Someone please tell me this is almost over…