Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I Facebooked My Therapist

Yep, I did that, after almost completely losing it. It's been a rough few days. I'm stressed about money, I'm in a lot of pain, and I miss Paw. Sigh.

So to cheer myself up, I'm indulging in some narcissism - one of my favorite things - and reading some old tweets. Maybe I'll make a post of tweets from my blog hiatus.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Panic! at the Yolos

Well, friends, I went back to work Friday after Thursday's procedure. I got to work, and let me say first off that they were really understanding about giving me time off for Paw's funeral.

But he isn't going to die every fucking week, and I'm really fucking tired of my hours getting cut. So I was originally scheduled 5 days this week. Then it got changed to 4, and this is after He Who Makes the Schedule went on a little tirade about how no one should change the schedule. Yes, friends, the irony is not lost on me. And I like He Who Makes the Schedule, but I like him a little less now that he's fucking with my money. Anyway, down to 4 days. Then Paw died and I had to take Monday off. Then I go in last night and discover I've been taken off of Sunday. WHAT THE BLEEDING HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? Is this because I'm a girl, I have a medical disability, or people have the habit of dying inconveniently around me? Le sigh.

So I check out next week's schedule, and I'm working...wait for it...TWO FUCKING DAYS! Christ. Doing the math, I realize that at this rate, my net income for both jobs is going to be around $1000 a month. OK, and we know I spend about $500 on medical-related costs, but I'm going to be optimistic and say that these injections might keep me from going to the doctor as often, so I'm going to subtract $150 from that for copays I won't have to pay. So that leaves me with $650 for a month. Whoops! Gotta pay my car insurance and my phone bill. Now we're down to $450. And I still haven't put a roof over my head, food in my mouth, lights in my house, or gas in my car.

So I started having chest pains and shortness of breath. I figured it was either a reaction to the procedure or the onset of a panic attack. Nota bene: I've had two panic attacks in my life, they've both involved the Devil and were well justified. But seriously. As soon as I reduce my expenses, I reduce my income, leaving me only a little better off than I was. I have savings now, but I have to spend about half of that on insurance for June because the medical bills I've amassed cost more than my COBRA insurance cost.

When it comes to finding a place to live, I'm going to have to pay a LOT of money in deposits for an apartment and utilities because of my stellar credit. At this moment, I don't have the money for that, let alone a pet deposit. So what do I do friends? And don't say find another job. I've been looking for jobs for six months. I was lucky to find Chili's. I need a miracle. Any day now would be nice.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Are You There God? Or Is George Carlin the One Doing All This Shit to Me?

OK, is this some cruel cosmic joke? It's not news that my grandfather died, and that is certainly a tragedy. Then my laptop got all kinds of fucked up by about 24 different viruses and threats. It's on life support. It stops functioning at least once a day. AND NOW MY CAR WON'T START.

I drove home from work and parked as usual. Then I decided to go to the store to get stuff to make pie because I can't eat after midnight due to the procedure I'm having done. But my car wouldn't start.

When I try to start it, the dome light and dash lights flicker and it makes a continuous clicking sound. My CD player also clicks (there's a CD stuck in it - it's been there since 2007 - and if you try to eject it, it clicks). Naturally, seeing as I have lights, I assumed it wasn't the battery. Also, that battery is barely a year old. Tried to jump it anyway but nothing happened. The connectors were corroded, so we tried to clean them as best we could, but still nothing.

I work a double on Friday, so this really needs to get resolved Thursday so I can get to work. But when I wake up today, I'm headed to the hospital for injections and IV sedation. That means I can't drive for 24 hours, so I can't get a rental and if I can magically start my car I can't take it anywhere.

This comes right after I just put money into savings. I have savings. For the first time in about five fucking years. Possibly six. And I'm going to have to spend it to fix my stupid car so I can go to stupid work and oh I'm just so mad I could spit acid. Which might come in handy if it's battery acid.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dear Computer: I KILL YOU!

OK, so life has been less than peachy lately, but if there's one thing that is about to send me over the edge into CrazyTown, it's this laptop. IT WON'T OPEN .EXE FILES.

Wait, that wasn't nearly as dramatic as I'd intended. Once more, with feeling.


Much better. I'm sure we all remember downloading a .pdf at some point, and the explorer thing pops up and is all "Choose a program to open this file" and then you're all "Acrobat Reader" and then it works and everything is kitties and rainbows.

Well, when I try to run .exe files, it makes me pick a program. And my options are limited: Internet Explorer, Notepad, OpenOffice, 7-zip File Manager, Microsoft(C) Register Server, Windows Media Player, and Windows Picture and Fax Viewer.

That. Is. It.

So, of course, I Googled this and found all sorts of programs guaranteed to open anything ever. Of course, they're all .exe files and thus COMPLETELY USELESS TO ME.

So if anyone can help me, let me know. I'll be the girl banging her head against the wall.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Facebook: How to Find out Your Grandfather Is Dead

Well, it's been a long few days. Paw died this morning. I woke up to a lot of texts, most of them from Twitter. One was from my mom asking me to call her when I woke up. Another was a Facebook update from my cousin stating that Paw was in a better place. I assume he meant heaven and not, you know, Disney World, so once again my family emergency was sent to my phone via Facebook update (which usually runs about two hours behind) before anyone actually told me. I called my mom, and she told me Paw had died, which at this point was just confirmation on what I had suspected.

I'm glad I saw him last night. I went after work, and I'm so glad Mike said he'd clean up for me so I could get to the hospital, because that was the last time I saw him alive. I kissed him goodnight, told him I was off all day today, and I'd already told him we would be OK before I went to work. Sandi and I were talking about how we thought he was ready, and I told her about my upcoming procedure that will hopefully help my pain. Even though he was sleeping, I figured Paw would hear enough of it to know that I'd be OK. He always worried about me. He once told me I was too young to have to go through all the surgeries and tests that I've had.

I really want to see my dad. My mom told me she doesn't want him at the funeral. And apparently what I need to get through this doesn't matter to anyone. You know how in Romeo and Juliet at the end the Montagues and Capulets stop fighting because of the tragedy? You know, "doth with their death bury their parents' strife." I think that's the exact line; if not, it's the gist. Well, that doesn't happen in my family. I think after this funeral I need a break from family..."family"...relatives I guess. I'm sure my mom doesn't see this the way I do, and I don't think she's intentionally trying to hurt me, but it doesn hurt me. He's my dad. He's famliy. And they're divorced, but my dad doesn't have a relationship with his dad. Paw was my dad's family for nearly three decades. And every time I went to visit him in the nursing home, he always asked about my dad. I think he'd want him there.

I don't even know if my dad would be able to go or not, or if he'd want to, but I know he would want to be there for Misty and me if we needed him. And now I'm just disillusioned, in a lot of pain, waiting for this all to sink in and hoping my pain pill kicks in before I completely lose it.

I've gotten a lot of support from a select few friends, but that's the circle I chose. And Twitter has been great. I don't know why, but I take a lot of comfort in knowing that there are people out there who care, even if we've never met. Twitter friends beat Facebook friends 90% of the time. A few people from my old church have reached out, too, and that's actually been helpful. Mostly Melissa, who was the only person in my youth group who didn't judge me for being different, didn't treat me any differently. She was always kind to me, whereas the rest of them mostly ignored me, made fun of me, or were indifferent. I guess that's why I go to therapy instead of church.

I'm getting off track. Let's sum up: Facebook = good for support, bad way to find out about family crises; Twitter = awesome; Family = unintentionally stressful; Friends = :)

Driving Lesson the First: DON'T CLOSE YOUR EYES

First off, hello to my sister, who recently stumbled upon my blog, which is convenient because she's in this post. Welcome to my little corner of the Internet. It's much like the corners of my mind: a little dark, a little inappropriate, and not at all corner-shaped.

Moving on, let's talk about driving blind.

I got off work early tonight, so I went back to the hospital to see Paw for a bit before bed. I need to add that I am completely worn out. I was hoping to get home, maybe catch up on some Jeopardy!, but most likely blog myself to sleep. Here's what actually happened.

Remember when my eyes were stinging Tuesday?

The same thing happened today. I was driving home and was coming around the curve where 65/40/24 all merge into one giant drug trafficker's heaven interstate extravaganza and my eyes started the stinging again. It was so bad I had to close my eyes. Do you know what it's like to be going 65 mph and suddenly have to close your eyes because you can't stand the stinging when they're open? IT'S FUCKING SCARY. I was crying uncontrollably because there was no shoulder due to the merging of interstates. There was a bit of space/grass between the 40 and 65 sides, so I stopped there. There was already another car pulled over and one of those trucks with a blinking arrow on the back.

After mistakenly dialing 1 (voicemail) instead of 2 (sister on speed dial), I reached my sister and managed to get out through blubbering tears that I needed her to come get me and that I was near the Cumberland Science Museum (yes, I know it isn't called that anymore, but it'll always the the Cumberland Science Museum to me) but couldn't open my eyes to look around me for anything. She found me! Then we went to Baptist and thank God I wasn't dying or anything because we had to wait so long that by the time they called me back, I was able to open my eyes again. Same thing happened Tuesday - after 2 1/2 hours of closing my eyes, the stinging stopped.

The nurse said my eyes were pretty and kind of green and brown. Neat. Now let's fix them. He then told me he was giving me drops to numb my eyes. LIAR! That was the same effect Visine had. The doctor came in, stained my eyes, looked at my corneas/retinas/other eye stuff and said my eyes looked great.

So now what? "Follow up with your doctor." Yeah, I'll do that in a hurry. I don't have an eye doctor because I don't have vision insurance because I'm 20/20. Also, I don't think it's an eye issue. Today I was at work and the hospital all day. Tuesday I had an appointment and then stayed home. No common factors here. If it were irritation or something, I would think it would occur in the same place or something. I think my nerves are screwed and it's related somehow to the stinging in my hands from last Sunday.

But, the good news is, I didn't careen into anything while driving blind. Survival of the fittest!

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Weak End

Yes, I get that this is an inappropriate pun, but I'm hiding behind my humor. Leave me alone and don't judge me!

Work was slow so I left after only being there 45 minutes. It really pissed me off until I saw I'd missed a call from my mom. The gist was that there isn't really anything they can do for Paw (which I kind of already assumed). They're tranferring care to hospice on the 18th. So now we wait.

I sat by him and held his hand for more than an hour. It's hard to watch. I can tell by his face that he's in pain. He's getting morphine every hour. His temperature was 103.7 and his oxygen and blood pressure are low. I see his face and I know he doesn't want to leave us, certainly not my grandmother, but he looks like he's crying with no tears. It rips me apart. And I don't know what to do about it other than blog, so here I am.

It seems we don't really end that differently than we begin. He can't take care of himself. He couldn't really talk tonight, though he did look at me a few times. And I swear I saw a smile and almost a laugh every now and then. I was trying to tell funny stories, and I was talking to him a lot. I know he knows me, and that matters a lot. I knew when he first went to the nursing home that there would come a time when he wouldn't know me, so I started wearing the same body spray scent every time I visited. I figured that later on down the road, he'd at least be able to recognize my smell. I think it worked.

I can't make sense of this. I tweeted about this earlier, saying that I was in no way ready for it, but I think he is. I can't bear to see him in pain. I asked the nurse to talk to the doctor about it, because with his fever so high there's no way he isn't miserable. He can't tell us, but I can see it. She said they'd see how the Tylenol worked with the morphine and then go from there.


By the by, when I'm on my deathbed, I will attack you if you give me Tylenol. I want strong drugs and lots of them. Put on some Buffy or West Wing, shoot me full of dilaudid or fentanyl, and watch as I drift into my happy place.

Anyhow, they said it could be any time over the next few days. And it's so unfair that the rest of the family can take off work and be there while I slave away working both jobs every day until my body is literally on the verge of shutting down. And I just want to hold his hand and tell him not to be afraid. I know, I know. I could probably get my shifts covered, but that doesn't work when you still haven't gotten your insurance paperwork so you're technically uninsured even though it will be retroactive and you're paying full price for scripts and still racking up doctor bills.

And none of this matters because someone I love is going to die very soon and there isn't a damn thing I can do about it but type out all the feelings I'm trying to hide from everyone else. That's it. I'll update again tomorrow.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Few Possible Reasons Why I Might Stab You - Yes, YOU - in the Face

I'm making a commitment to update this more frequently. Perhaps some day I'll be a professional blogger! Right now, I'll settle for being totally awesome. In case anyone cares, my hands are still burning. But enough about that - you've got to be wondering why I might stab you - yes, YOU - in the face. Here are some reasons.

You hit on me via Facebook chat.
There aren't many things that irritate me as much as this, including burning hands. Facebook chat pickup attempts are far worse. First off, if you're going to Facebook IM me every time I log in, I am going to think you are a stalker. I will try to avoid you. I will also never, never, never meet you in person. Never. Granted, this only applies to people I haven't actually met. If I've met you, then odds are we're cool. But have you noticed that my relationship status is "It's Complicated?" That's code for "If you hit on me via Facebook chat, I will complicate YOUR FACE." Probably with stabbing.

I even once got a Facebook chat marriage proposal. This is, by far, the most absurd thing that has happened to me on the Internet in quite some time. This is exactly what happened. I know this because I was so amused by it that I copied and pasted it into a message to a friend. Laughs were had by all.

Facebook Chatter: so will you marry me

Me: definitely not

FC: why you think i'm not able to make u happy i think u spend with me one night you'll not forget me

Me: 1) I don't know you. 2) You have terrible grammar. 3) You seem to think spending one night with you will somehow happen and end well for you, so you're clearly delusional.

Delusions I could possibly deal with, but not the lack of knowing and bad grammar. Deal breaker.

Facebook Chatter then accused me of not liking immigrants, and I kindly replied that I dislike bad grammar despite national origin. No discrimination here!

You're a know-it-all, yet you don't know it all. You don't even know it a little.
I was blessed/cursed with being one of the few people on the planet with a functioning brain. This gives me the special super power of knowing when other people are full of shit. If you don't know something, don't pretend that you do. It's irritating to those of us who actually do know things. A prime example of this is when people use Latin incorrectly and/or pronounce it wrong. That drives me insane. People only do this in order to seem educated and/or pretentious. This might work on the average folk, but when you say "circa" and you mean "est" a little part of me dies. Then the audience has to clap to bring me back to life and, oh, wait, that's Tinkerbell. But you get my point. Stick to things you know, and strive to learn what you don't. Just don't fake it.

You don't call back ... and that's what I pay you for.
Of course, it's annoying to have calls go unreturned, but the people in my life have actual lives of their own that do not revolve around me, so it's usually days of phone tag before contact is established. Established - from the Latin est, meaning "it is" - see, learning is fun! This scenario, while frustrating at times, is perfectly acceptable. We all have busy lives - hell, even I take forever to call people back. It just happens.

Having said that, if you're my doctor, I'm paying you to be at my beck and call during business hours. If I call for a prescription refill, send it to the pharmacy. If I call about a change in symptoms, call me back and tell me what to do. If you're part of the Wendy-getting-better process, wait by your phone. I'm going to call.

You respond to my increased pain with the always frustrating, never fruitful question, "Are you wearing your back brace?"
This makes my skin crawl in a special way. When I call my doctor during a bad flare-up to see what type of medical attention, if any, is needed, I do not want to hear about my back brace. First off, if I'm calling you, I've already tried the brace. And the stretching. And the pills and the deep breathing and all the other useless crap you tell me to do before someone has to shoot me full of narcotics and send me home to wait to die lie around alternating heat and ice until the flare-up is gone.

My problems will not be solved by a back brace. Also, I'm not stupid. I'm not lying around in pain, staring a my back brace and not making the connection that maybe I should try that for a while. Furthermore, my pain problem is not my back. So quit with the back brace nonsense.

You use "me" and "myself" interchangeably, and they're clearly not.
This is especially prevalent on the Real World/Road Rules Challenge, and I will not get into why I know that on here. "The teams going into the challenge are Douche and Bag and Ego and Myself."

What? Did you learn nothing in school? Myself is either reflective or intensive. Observe:

I myself love attacking unsuspecting strangers like a ninja.
I broke out of prison all by myself. Just like a ninja!

Yes, I know that's a sentence fragment. But I'm blogging here! And it's for added effect. If you knew the way I talked, you'd understand. Fragments are part of my charm. Just like a ninja!

I'm sure I'll think of a few more of these as the time passes, but for now, let me attempt this thing called sleep, which would be a lot easier if my doctor had called in some sleep meds.

Monday, June 14, 2010

"Will You Think That You're All Alone When No One's There to Hold Your Hand?"

OK, I really need to start blogging again. A lot has happened lately, but tonight I'm just going to focus on what it's like to watch someone near the end of their life. You guessed it - it sucks!

Wednesday, Paw (my grandfather on my mom's side) had a heart attack...AND NOBODY CALLED ME. Thank goodness my 15-year-old cousin updates his Facebook frequently. Also, hospice got involved a few weeks ago...AND NOBODY CALLED ME. Are you noticing a trend here?

I went to the hospital after work Wednesday night. Around 11 they moved him to the cardiac ICU. We went up to see him, and the double doors were shut with visiting hours posted. When this issue came up, I responded, "Well, they're not guarding the door, so I'm going in." And I did. The rest of the family followed after I got the OK from the nurses, and we said goodnight and went home.

I spent a lot of time there Friday, but he wasn't really alert at all. He looked right at me Saturday, though, and he was talking some. He ate some today, so I think that's an improvement. We still aren't sure what's going on, but it's really hard to be there and be so helpless.

I didn't really cry until Saturday night at work. I was sweeping the walk-in and just started bawling. Luckily, no one saw. I've been doing pretty well with it. There are worse things than people dying in their late 70s I suppose. He hasn't really been able to do things for himself for the past few years because of the Parkinson's. But it doesn't make it easy, and watching my grandmother cry is quite possibly the most depressing thing ever.

My mom was really upset, too, for obvious reasons. And if something happens I want my dad there, which I'm sure will cause unnecessary drama. Sigh. Sometimes I feel like the only grown-up. But right now I just feel like a little kid, and I don't want to lose somebody I love, and I know it's going to happen and I can't do anything about it.

And, though I know it's totally selfish and inappropriate to say, it really irritates me that apparently it only matters if you have pain in my family and you're old. My mom was crying because of Paw being in pain. I understand that, of course, because pain and I are intimately acquainted. I don't want anyone to be in pain. But I've been in pain for the last two years. We had 9 people in Paw's room yesterday. Yet the number of times my family visited me during my 11 months in bed is less than 20. So I got a visit about twice a month on average. I don't mean to seem petty, but I need to get that off my chest.

I don't remember what it feels like not to hurt. I want so badly to feel something good, just for a little while. And I know I could take a few of these pills and probably feel as good as I'll ever feel, and I don't. I choose pain over pills almost every time, because I'm afraid of what happens if I choose pills. But I've been dealing with this for two years now, and to my credit I've avoided addiction, which I consider a great accomplishment because I'm doing this the hard way.

But nobody notices. Just the fact that I have pills freaks out my mom, who keeps insisting they need to take me off of them. They need to take me off of pain - then I won't need pills. I still have bad days where I have to take something to get through work, but most of the time I just suffer through it.

Then I look at my grandfather in the hospital, and he's not himself anymore. I know he's hurting, if not physically then psychologically. His medication gives him confusion, and I know he's scared and he probably feels alone. And I know there are things worse than death.

Trying to sleep now, which hasn't worked out for me lately. Here's hoping Dr. Williams can give me some valium or something so I can have some peace, if only for a fleeting moment.