Tuesday, December 27, 2016

My Last Christmas Dinner

Yes, you heard me right.  I've cooked my last Christmas dinner.  It was delicious!  My cornbread dressing was mouthwatering, the ham was perfection, the home made mac and cheese was dreamy.  And I hope they enjoyed it.  It just took too much from me, and two days to recover, and I'm turning over the responsibility to my new DIL, I'll just consult.  I was exhausted.  Not to mention....

We had grand-girlie starting Thursday, planning to stay through our dinner Saturday.  Friday night just before bed, she began throwing up.  Great.  I had immediate visions of re-sicking with that stupid crud I just survived.  She was sitting on the toilet and hurling in the garbage can, and propelled that mess all the way over and across my feet.  And I'm thinking...."do I have any cuts on my feet????"  Its heck when you have no immune system, I can't even fight a head cold at this point.  but anyway -

She held out, and so did I, until about 10:00 Saturday morning, and I finally got her up and took her home.  Thankfully, I had felt good enough (even though I was POOOOOPED by the end of the day) to start the cooking Friday, and most things just had to be "assembled" and shoved in the oven to cook.

It wasn't a great day.  The Mr. was in a "mood".  The dog pooped on the floor while I was gone taking B-girl home, and that's all it really takes for him, especially in the morning, and since he has so little control over his emotions, as usual, it was an all-day-funk.  Although he did "keep it together" while company was over to eat, you could tell because he had nothing good to say about anything, and kept getting up and pacing like usual when he's like that.  Made H nervous.  but then she's new to the family, she's doesn't understand how he operates.  She doesn't understand that when he gets like that, its best to completely ignore it, act like its not happening.  because if you "notice" it or say something, omg, all that does is wind-him-up.  Living with a Boarderline can be a very precarious situation at times.  And now that I'm on prednisone full time since this last year, that has now become the "catch-all" for everything that goes wrong, or any attitudes that get flung.  'course that doesn't explain the first 28 years of being together, but hey!  Who's counting that?  Its all good.

It wasn't a great day #2 - I think H called son-#1, because 10 nano-seconds after everybody left, I txt him to say Merry Christmas, and he immediately calls me (huge sigh....its RARELY good when he calls, long story another day).  I sighed heavily and answered hesitantly.  He immediately wanted to talk about "the shit that went down there today with dad".  Huh?  "yeah, I heard he upset H".  "hmmm...that's news to me".  I could see she was nervous, but to say that "shit went down" is WAY over stating the "incident" (if you even can call it that.  its just dad being dad. I guess I'm so used to it, it doesn't bother me anymore like it used to.).  Now, considering all the crap that has went down between our oldest and us (did you know mental illness CAN be hereditary??), the first thing I wanted to tell him was "if something did, what business is it of yours?"  but I didn't.  Once he realized he wasn't going to get anywhere with me on that score, he launched into his usual diatribe about how unfair we treat him, how bad he's had it, and there are usually some words placed in my mouth that I never said (generally his twisted version of something I said and by the time his brain computes it, its completely totally NOT even close to what I said.  Can you say "boarderline"?).  I let him yammer on with out a word for about 3 minutes.  Then I tried to talk.  Which never works with son #1.  He's never interested in listening, he's only interested in talking which means when its my turn, he is constantly interrupting, interjecting, being rude, and we usually end up talking at the same time, like we're on the Bill Oreily show or something, and that's usually when the yelling starts.  But yelling doesn't really work for me any more.  being upset, doesn't work for me any more.  I finally told him, "look, my heart rate is up so far, I'm dizzy.  Why are we talking about this AGAIN?"  he said "I know...but..."  see that's the problem.  My health issues don't even compute with him.  If I had stroked out and died right there on the phone with him, he would have been pissed off that he didn't get to say all he wanted.  Anyway, we finally ended off by him saying "well, I guess I have nothing left to say" and I answered "I truly love you" and I hung up.  I love you son.    But you can't disrespect me, and yet demand respect.  And even the laws of nature say its not even possible that your dad and I are guilty of being the cause of ALL that went wrong in your life.  Stop lightly passing off your own mistakes and take personal responsibility for yourself and actions.

But anyway, yes, I've prepared my last Christmas dinner this year.  We still have a fridge full of "Christmas food", you know how that is.  by Thursday we'll be sick of it and be longing for a burger and fries.  :)  

haven't picked up a hook or needles much at all.  And I have this one HUGE project that I'm working on.  Months ago I said my days of taking orders to make things for other people, were over.  Dead lines and I do not work well anymore.  If I see a pattern and think "oh that would be so cute on so-in-so!"  then I'll make it and give it.  No pressure.  And if I don't finish it, then nobody gets hurt.  But no more "will you make me a _______)"  no, I won't.  And to her credit, this person did not ask me to make this afghan for her.  I made one for the Mr. and it is STUNNING!  and she admired and admired and gushed over it and the words "do you want me to make you one?" came out of my mouth before I could stop them.  She teared up and said, "would you???"  well, it was too late then.  So I'm about 1/10 into an afghan that is over 6ft across at the widest point.  but she's a good friend, and worth it.  Now if I can just stay well, and some how re-start my craft-mojo, I can get this done, and start making things on my list that I WANT to make.  I have this goal....to use up all my yarn stash before I croak.  You should see my yarn stash.  smh......not as much as some I've seen....but well, we'll see if I can do it.  Stay tuned for a future Etsy shop.

And that's about all the Christmas drama I can think to talk about.  Christmas hasn't been "magical" since I was a kid.  My brother and I both lamented Christmas Eve about how we missed the "magic" and the waiting that was so hard, waiting for Christmas morning.  *sigh*

Ya'll be sweet and happy new year!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

.......And we're back again!

Well now!  This has been a fun week.  Not.  Two weeks out of the hospital with PE, and I caught the crud.  Back to the recliner for me, from Tuesday the 13th until...well, to be honest, its today that I actually feel my old "normal".  A FULL WEEK again.  Sick...again.  Fever, chills, nausea (and some hurling too), bad headache and serious dizzy, and just a general "oh God...I think this is it" feeling.


Friends...I'm almost at the end of my rope with this.  And remember....March is coming....with pollen.  A lung flare is just a given.  but you know what?  I feel pretty good today.  And its been weeks and weeks and weeks since I could say that.  So today, I'm going to enjoy and be glad and grateful and thankful.  The sun is glorious, even though its cold as a witches tit in Idaho.  Its beautiful outside my big window.  Which, I am going to lose pretty soon.

When I left last week sick, before I left Boss #1 called me in his office, and in a most loving, kind, compassionate way, basically told me to "make a plan".   Since October 1st, I've used up all my sick leave, all 140 hours of it, and will now have to dip into my annual leave.  Which I do NOT want to do because that's the one I get the lump-sum pay-out for.  That's what's going to pay off my mortgage and loans so I can afford to go on disability.  With disability, I estimate my monthly earnings will decrease by at least 1/4 of what I bring home now, so expenses have to be cut.  Our standard of living is going to be a lot tighter.  but at least our home will be paid for.  We have a roof over out heads.  Not a great roof, but a roof none the less.  :)  God is good.

But still...make a plan.  So as I laid in my chair hour after hour day after day sick, I made a plan.  The disability retirement paper work is complete, all I have to do now is get my doctors to do their part.  Stop!  ok, my Rheumy Dr. Eye, is moving offices and will not even be in operation until February.  No way in hell am I going to drop those papers off right now.  They'll never be seen again.  I'll wait and hand deliver them to my next appointment on 7 February.  Ok, that's a delay.  But, it may be a good delay.  I had not planned to take any time off this week for the holidays to save my vacation time to sell.  But I really think, and Boss agreed, that I came back too early after the hospital stay, my immune system is so compromised already.  So I decided to work a few hours yesterday and a few hours today to clear out some critical work, then I'm off until Monday.  So...that's 24 hours of my vacation that, with the doctor delay, I can earn some back before my papers process.  I'm just hoping it doesn't take so long that I end up in the March flare and have to be off which cuts into my leave time.  but anyway, I can't fret that.  I'm only 5 payments away from my mortgage being paid off, so woot woot! on that. 

So yeah, I made a plan.  When we are all together again after the holidays, Boss #1 is off until after the new year, I'm going to lay out my plan:

The fact that this illness is completely unpredictable (except for the pollen flares, just expect them), I can never say from one day to the next how I will feel.  Its the nature of the beast.  It just is what it is.  Now we throw in the blood clots in the lungs and we have a whole new ball game.  Those will take months and months to be absorbed.  Because of the RA-Lung already my breathing is not normal, add in the PE and I'm a walking slug.  So.  Given that the position I hold is a very "Visible" position, it needs to be filled.  And any time I'm gone off sick, my desk and phones have to be covered.  A little background, I am the personal admin for the chief and asst chief of the Ops Division with one of the largest engineering companies in the world (you would know them immediately if I told you the name, but I have to have some privacy, plus I don't think the bosses would like that).  I work among some of the most educated, smart, gifted people you'll ever come across.  I am surrounded daily by suites and ties, people who make embarrassing amounts of money, and our company also holds many patents, we have inventors, guys who blow things up and build things, we have many people in the building who have letters after their names, we have people who dig in the dirt.  But any way, yeah I have a very visible job.  So, my plan is this, go ahead and put my position out on the street and replace me.  Bring this person in and let me train them, and shadow me for a few weeks, then find me a closet some where away from people with germs, I'll file, be a time keeper, what ever, and just wait out the time till I am processed out.  Our company is so large, I'm told it can take as long as 6 months for the approval to work though our system up to the home office.  Since this is a "disability" retirement, and not a "real" retirement (I'm too young for real retirement *wink*), it takes longer, has to be signed off on by many people.  So that's the plan.

I've been in this room since 2001.  I got this position two months after 9/11.  And I came from another office in the building.  In total, I have been with this company since right out of high school.  I hired on as an entry-level clerk-typist in 1987, they sent me all over the place to train to be a buyer, and eventually that's what I became.  I'm one of the few people in this building that has a company credit card.  I've worked, pretty much, full time since I was 19 years old.  As of this past September, I have 29 years.  And that's enough I think.  Its a scary leap of faith, to be sure. 

So that's "The Plan".  I'm about to close a door, and another is going to open.  I don't know what's on the other side.  Only God does.  but He's given me a lot of peace about it.  I don't want to stop working yet, but my body (God) has another plan.  I'm trusting in Him.

Well, ya'll be sweet, and have a good Christmas!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

I'm Like The "John Wayne" of Health

Yes, I've been gone for a while.  I had a "little" issue that landed me in ICU for two days, and 3 days in a "regular" room after that.  Here's the story:

First, in my own defense, I did not recognize any different symptoms.  With RA-Lung, some shortness of breath and lightheadedness just goes with the territory.  And I'm on pain killer, so I didn't notice any worsening or "new" pain.  That being said, once again, I faced down death.  Apparently, God still has a plan in action for me, because I really should not have walked away from this one.

I went to bed Saturday night, 19 November, as I usually do.  Nothing to report, all systems normal (my RA "normal").  Sunday morning when I woke up to go to the bathroom (and its only about 15 feet from my bed to the bath door), I had to stop 1/2 way there, gasping for breath, like I'd just run a 5K, heart racing and pounding.  WTF now???  So all day Sunday, I just laid around in the chair.  I couldn't move around without feeling like I was going to faint.  And of course, I'm so predictable, I got up the next morning, dressed and came to work.

I already have my own handicap parking spot right next to the building, 30 maybe 40 feet from the front door.  By the time I got thru the door, I almost buckled.  The security guy came running around with a chair and then helped me to my office.  The whole time I'm thinking "I should have stayed home....something is very wrong".  Once I got to my office, I called my friend Pam in the safety office which is where we keep the nurse too, but who was not yet in.  Pam came up with that little Sat meter that measures how much oxygen is getting to the blood.  As long as I was sitting, it was 95, perfect.  Then I got up and walked around my desk one time, and my sat rate dropped to 78.  Pam tried to talk me into calling 911.  She got the work nurse on the phone, and told her and she agreed, 911.  I was not about to be hauled out of here in an ambulance.  Pam had also brought up the wheel chair, of which I was MOST grateful, got me out to the car, drove me home and Leslie (another dear friend) followed her to bring her back.  Tim took me to the ER.

Got there, got checked in.  Leslie's son is an RN in the ER, so she had already called him to tell him I was on the way, and he brought me straight back, no waiting.  LOVE HIM!!  As long as I was still and calm, no problem.  Soon as I'd start talking, or get up and walk, my sat rate plummeted.  In my mind, I'm thinking "well, the ILD is progressing, I guess I'm going to be on oxygen now"  which, by the way, they did shove the oxygen thingy in my nose, and I was mucho better immediately.  but anyway, the ER doctor got in touch with Dr. G, and he ordered a CT with contrast.  People, when the ER doctor came in and told me the results, you could have knocked me over with a feather.  Pulmonary Embolism never even hit my radar.    Blood clots in both lungs, and both legs.  5 days in the hospital.  I had a DVT in my left leg with complete obstruction back in 2012, it just never occurred to me that I had them in my lungs.  The symptoms of PE are the same as the ILD, only magnified by 1,000.

My Rheumy, Dr. I, came to see me, she said "Do you know how blessed you are?"  I said "ummm yes!"  Apparently, a couple of the clots stopped just before they reached my heart.  I came close this time.  Bad news, as if it could get more bad, there is "infarction", which simply means the tissue around the clots in my lungs has already died.  In short, I will never breath the same again.  I have a new drug now, for life.  Blood thinner.

Depression.  Despair.  And trying to keep a good attitude.  Still putting together my papers to take early retirement/disability.  There's so much going around in my head, that I think I'll leave it for tomorrow.  At the moment, I am back at work, and playing catch up.  And...well, there's just a LOT going around in my head that I need to get down in writing.  Just maybe not today.

So yes, back at work.  But moving at a snails pace.  I can't let my heart rate go up, or my chest will hurt and I get very dizzy.  I have to be careful not to even let myself get angry or upset, nothing that makes my heart beat faster.  People.....I am a slug.  But I'm a living slug.  I walked away, again, from a serious blood clot condition.  That's twice now!  God is good.  :)