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HAPPY BIRFDAY [profile] ladnews!!



Going through something hellish right now...

Last night, as I was turning to back into the driveway, I felt a thud near the front tire. I was wondering what the hell it was, wondering if there was a problem with the front brakes, or if I'd run over a stick or something, but the road was clear when I started my turn. As I backed in the driveway, I saw a cat body writhing in the street in front of me. By the time I stopped the car and got out, the writhing had stopped. I went in the house and got Mom, and when we got out there, there was another car coming down the street. We waved him around, but in the headlights, Mom could tell the cat was still breathing, and then the cat took its last breath and...was no more. Crossed the bridge, if it hadn't done so earlier, and everything else was just nerves, given that it was a head injury that killed him.

I haven't really slept, well or otherwise, since this happened. Mom dragged the body to the edge of the yard, just so he wouldn't get hit repeatedly or anything, and while I was getting the windshield replaced today, she made some calls. We were hoping animal control would come out and take care of the body, maybe make a note of the description in case he belonged to anyone and someone came looking for him. Turns out, animal control doesn't deal with anything dead, nor do they collect information like that. They referred Mom to DelDOT, who said that if the body is on the property, there's a fee for removal, but if it's in the road, removal is free, and so, maybe drag the body back into the road.

Fuck it. I dug a hole in the back yard, got one of the smaller boxes we have for moving, lined it with an old towel which doubled as a burial shroud. He (and I'm assuming it was a "he") was stiff with rigor mortis, but I did the best I could to make him fit in the box with any kind of dignity. Wrapped him in the towel, closed the box, said a few words over it, and apologized profusely as I buried the box. The cardboard casket.

It pains me to think he may have been some kids best friend. But then, this is why my cats are indoor cats. And why they have collars and chips.

He may also have been a stray or feral. Just...don't know.

What kills me is that despite his injuries, I could tell he was a beautiful cat. And no matter how accidental, no matter how unintentional, I feel like complete and total shit about this.

And as I've had a low level of acid and bile from all of this all day, I get a thing in the mail from the GI doc. The biopsies came back, and I'm back to having Barrett's Esophagus, which is basically a condition where my esophageal cells have mutated into something thicker, and are more likely to mutate further into cancer cells. Hence, more frequent endoscopies, more aggressively working to prevent gerd, and so on. With the stress from work, and now this recent...incident? Tragedy? Added stress? Yeah, I can feel my stomach eating itself right now.

The only good thing from the last day is that I finally got my damn windshield replaced. There was a tiny, very thin scratch on the new glass that I may have never noticed if they hadn't said anything, but they did, and they took $100 off for it. Also, when they took the old windshield out, they sanded down the rust from two windshields ago, that was done sloppily by another company and leaked like a sieve, and treated that. And cleaned/vacuumed the front seats and footwells as well as cleaning all the windows. Given that they took almost half the price off for a tiny scratch and everything, I'd highly recommend the Safelite shop on Kirkwood Highway for automotive glass repair or replacement.

Rocky...knows I'm upset in general, and he's been a little extra affectionate today, which just makes me feel worse. I feel like I betrayed his kind somehow. And considering how karma likes to make me its bitch, I'm terrified of something similar happening to him. Then again, he's an indoor cat and is perfectly okay with that. The door can be wide open, and he'll just sit at the edge, no desire to go any further. All of my cats have been like that. The furthest any of them ever wanted to go was the garden in the front yard. Some of them liked to sit in the back yard, but that was problematic, because they saw the deck as a neat part of the house and liked going exploring under it and were real pains in the ass about coming out when it was time to go inside.

But, yeah, I'm feeling pretty crummy. Maybe esophageal cancer is a just punishment for me or something.

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HAPPY BIRFDAY [personal profile] miss_tish AND [profile] deweybeachgirl!!



So, I took a sick day today. And I slept through most of the day.

I'm almost feeling normal. Right now, I still have a disconnected feeling. And some occasional dizzy spells, but, considering my activity level has been reduced for a few days, and my hemoglobin's been running low for awhile now, that's to be expected.

I did keep my chiropractor appointment this evening. However, there might be a problem with Cammie...

Specifically, she's slipping. That is, the transmission is giving me a hard time shifting gears. On really cold mornings, I could get out of the driveway, and then the transmission would basically act like it was in neutral instead of engaging in first gear. I could either over-rev or pull over and give it another minute to warm up, and it would be fine. Today, however, even warmed, there were some problems. It would give me a hard time shifting out of first. And if it was in the correct gear for the speed at which I was traveling, it would sometimes downshift to a lower gear and thus over-rev. Sometimes I'd manually shift into second, but it would sometimes downshift into first on its own. I could sometimes get it to shift by slamming the gas.

I checked the fluid... It's still pink and at the correct level. No burnt smell, doesn't seem like there are any metal shavings in the fluid. I'm wondering if I have a blown seal somewhere, which would be Bad. Or maybe my torque converter went bad. Or maybe the throttle position sensor/cable needs to be adjusted. If it's a simple adjustment, then I need to get it in to Gary. If it's a seal, then I might need a new tranny. If I need a new tranny, I'm fucked.

But, again, the fluid was pink and full, so, I doubt it's a seal. Still, thoughts anyone? (Looking at you, [profile] scarybaldguy...) Unfortunately, I don't have the model number. All I know is that it's a three-speed turbo (automatic) from a truck. I doubt the new engine ate it since I've had the new engine for a little over two years now and haven't had any problems. Then again, it could just be the crazy weather we've been having. Fortunately, tomorrow is the last day it drops below freezing for the better part of a week at least.

I hate being poor and massively in debt like this.

On the bright side, I am feeling better. And I got some reading done.

Otherwise? Meh.

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HAPPY BIRFDAY [profile] monkeyspy AND [personal profile] shadesong!!



The Battle of the Cold...continues...

I went out this morning and resupplied on Coricidin. I also made a semi-impulse buy and got a vaporizer. And some Vicks Vapo-Rub. It's helping a little. I also stopped at the grocery store and get a few more cans of chicken noodle and chicken and rice soups.

This is easily the worst cold I've had in years. Part of me is wondering if it's not a mild version of the flu. But, with no fever and no nausea, I'm skeptical it's any kind of flu. I think it's just a Really Bad Rhinovirus.

Sorry about no comics, but, I am just not feeling up to going through and posting them and such. Sorry. They'll return when I'm feeling better and can type without my eyes gooping up and making it hard to see.

Yeah, my sinuses are so congested, they're pressing on my tear ducts and assorted nerves. Hence, the tearing up.

With all the sneezing I've been doing, as well as blowing my nose, my abdominals are hurting. Imagine not exercising for a few years, and then being compelled to do about 500 crunches or sit-ups. Yeah. Hence, why I refer to my ample gut as an alien baby bowling ball. The muscle tone I have under there is still significant. And yeah, I'd like to get started on testosterone therapy before I lose that muscle mass. In fact, once that all gets started, I might start some mild yoga or calisthenics to rebuild some muscle tone. Right now, I'd just be spinning my wheels. Or spinning my myofibrils.

Anyway, dance is out for tonight. I'd likely hurt myself. As is, work on Monday is iffy. We'll see how I feel tomorrow.

I'm muddling my way through housework. It's all intermixed with naps. Though... See, with all the tired muscles and such, the area where I have the herniated muscle that contributes to my GERD is also all fatigued, and thus the surrounding muscles are fatigued to where they can't compensate for the minor herniation. So, I had some reflux wake me up from a nap. Meh. :(

And yes, this is even with being raised a little.

Yeah, the more I think about it, the more that whole situation is a Catch-22: The acid reflux medicine has side-effects which are affecting my weight and such, which then leads to me having more weight to push on my stomach, which makes the acid issues worse, which necessitates more medicine...

I'm a medical mess.

Fortunately, I have Doctor RockyCat trying to help me out. I really hope this cold isn't something that can jump species; I'd hate to put him through this. I wouldn't wish this on anyone but the people most annoying to me.

Though, it gives me an excuse to freebase Wasabi.

More later...

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Well, I got a good five or six hours of sleep, but now, I am not tired enough to overcome the congested feeling and go back to sleep. Oh well. Maybe I can wear myself out with house stuff and take a nap later.

Dance is really iffy tonight. As much as I want to go, I don't want to just sit there because I'm too congested to dance or anything. Then there's the whole contagion issue. Grr, I say, GRR!

Oh, and I still feel like I've been hit by a truck. And my abdominals are making their presence known, what with constantly blowing my nose and evacuating snot from my sinuses.

Fortunately, I don't have much left to get done this weekend.

More later. Maybe.

Reading Update: Books read so far this year )

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HAPPY BIRFDAY [profile] andrian6!!



Today was, overall, a good day. Despite being sick, blowing my nose every five minutes or less, and the fact that my sinuses and tear ducts actually hurt right now. It doesn't help that I finished one book, Wrath of the Prophets, about a virus and started a second one, Double Helix: Infection, about another virus. Yeah, Star Trek, but, so what? I still think that when my nose drips into a puddle on my desk that it's a droplet of contagion and misery. I hate the rhinovirus with a passion.

But, I digress.

Despite turning off my alarm and such, I only slept an extra hour. I woke up with a rather dry and sore throat and Rocky trying to shove one of his toys in my mouth. I don't know if he was trying to wake me up or quiet my snoring, since the only time I snore anymore is when I'm sick and congested.

Anyway, I managed to get the house vacuumed, which takes considerably less time when no one else is here. Then I had lunch, then errands. One of them was to stop at Henry's and ask very nicely if they would patch the one tire that's been giving me problems. Turns out, Gary was there. They pulled my car into the bay, popped the tire, and found not only the screw, but a second puncture from a nail. Patched both. Gary also insisted on checking the oil and other fluids. I mentioned the slow oil leak, and he found that the valve covers just needed a little tightening. They also tightened the power steering belt. Oil looks good; it's not dirty, so, even though it's been a year since the last change, it's still good, what with it being syntec and all. I asked him how critical the tires looked, and he said I've got 5-10k miles worth of tread there. I barely put 6k on it in a year, so...tires are not nearly as critical as I first thought.

So, Cammie is doing well and can last a bit longer sans maintenance (beyond what I do here, of course), and I have enough time on the tires to finish paying Gary off and letting him pit the right tires on her when the time comes. Gary said that right now, I can't have any major repairs or work done, but for tire patches or lights and such, he'll still work on it. Hell, even with something major, he'll to a temporary repair, if need be. But with not having to set aside $500-$600 for tires, I can hopefully pay him off sooner. Though I still need to replace the windshield. But, overall, things don't seem nearly as insurmountable as before.

So, it was a good, productive day, despite being sick. Though now, maybe I'm paying for it. And I used the last of my Coricidin. I thought I had another package of it, but, alas, I don't. First thing in the morning, it's a trip to the drug store.

Anyway, no comics today, since I don;t feel well and my eyes are gooping to where I can't see. So, laters folks...

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HAPPY BIRFDAY [personal profile] annietopia!!



Just have a little laundry to finish up, and then the weekend chores are done.

Mom and Rich may have a solution to the wedding flower woes: Costco. In short, they can order flowers from there, then create the centerpieces and such themselves. With help, of course. Good thing I'm already looking ahead and figuring of taking some vacation time around then.

Today has been a lazy day for me. I woke up in the middle of the night with a stomach ache and esophagitis, coupled with an obligatory panic attack. Took stuff for it, then zonked out. Until noon. Then I took a nap. So, yeah, brain no worky today...

The cloudy/rainy/drizzly/foggy weather doesn't help, either. Though I do get a sense of happiness, or maybe just smugness, that I did get the outdoor Christmas decorations and lights taken down and put away yesterday.

I'm also in a weird headspace to begin with... One of the books I'm reading, My Enemy, My Ally... It's an original series Trek novel by Diane Duane. I've read it twice before, and both times, it was during a rather nasty life-changing crisis. The first time was when Dad had his heart attack back in July of 1989. The second time was when I had to change schools in 1991. I know it's entirely irrational, but since then, I've considered the book to be "cursed" somehow, and even though I enjoyed the story, I've avoided re-reading it. But now, I have a copy on my Kindle. I feel like I need to hurry up and finish reading it before something bad happens rather than to just...enjoy the story.

Again, I know it's entirely irrational. But the events mentioned happened in my early-to-mid teens, and have stuck with me since. One of those irrational childhood things that carry over to adulthood, you know?

Anyway, not much else. Dental cleaning and night guard fitting tomorrow. Mom's birfday next weekend and a three-day weekend. Other than that, it looks to be a fairly quiet week. And since I get paid this week, that also means a trip to CBH. Woot?

Though, when all is said and done, I'll be happy to be a non-sick, normal-ish-feeling human bean.

Comics )
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HAPPY BIRFDAY [personal profile] unsilenceddream, [profile] drewshi, AND [personal profile] seanan_mcguire!!!



So...life has smacked me upside the head. A little. First off, not going to dance tonight. The anemia stuff has me feeling a little drained, and the morning ended up being busy. So, I'm going to pace myself. As for the morning's busyness? Well, I went to check the fluids and such on the car. I also noticed a front tire kind of low on air. So, I got to try out my new digital tire gage and such. Put air in the tire, thanks to Rich's air compressor, but, I discovered a few problems. First, there's a slice mark on that tire into a small area of tread. There's also a screw embedded in the tread. Lastly, the side walls are cracking. I noticed various degrees of cracking on the other tires. The result is that I will be replacing the tires sooner than later. I was hoping to hold out until the summer, but... Meh. The windshield might have to wait until after the tires. So, I need to do some budgeting this weekend and figure out how things are going to go the next few weeks. Or months. Or whatever.

Here and there, I'm still getting impressions or even admissions that people think I'm slumming here at home. It's annoying, but these days, it's annoying in that it means there's someone else I have to write off. At this point, if people don't know my situation, know what I've done for my family, and so on, then they don't deserve to be in my life. Indeed, they're already out of it to be so clueless. The Cliffsnotes version, for anyone needing to be brought up to speed, is that I helped out my mother after my father died. I put my family first and helped pay the bills, mortgage, and so on when the place where Mom worked kicked her to the curb. It was only two years ago that she found a permanent job that paid her more than half of what she was making before. She's still getting on her feet financially. On top of that, before she had the hip replacement (almost three years ago), there wasn't a whole lot she could do around the house, and I couldn't see having to take care of my own place and be over here 2-3 times a week to take care of this place for her.

Why am I still here? Well, before Mom had the hip surgery and before she got her current job, I sacrificed my own credit to keep a roof over our heads, up to and including buying her a car when her Sebring died. She no sooner got her new job that the engine in my car went, and it was cheaper to replace it than get a new car, or, another used car with likely the same or more problems than what Cammie has. Given that my credit was shot, there was no way I'd get approved for anything "new" or even comparably equipped to what I have now. What I'm restoring now. Now, I'm still paying off the engine, since there have been other issues that have come up, like all the dental work I needed that wasn't covered, other medical stuff not covered (such as co-pays), needing a new motherboard and chipset when the furkids knocked a glass of iced tea onto my computer, and then all the vet stuff this past year with TomTom and YoYo and Rocky. I'm surprised I had anything left for Christmas gifts.

I'm not here because I'm lazy or mooching or can't function on my own or anything else. I'm here because I'm, if anything, more responsible than most and have a high value on my immediate family.

Will I be here forever? Probably not. I'm here for the next few years at least, since it's going to take some time to dig myself out of debt and save up enough for my own place. I can't see getting an apartment or somesuch where I can't have pets or don't have enough room for all my books and such. I would like my own place someday, but for right now, where I am works. I can continue to help Mom and Rich out, dig myself out of debt, and have some significant freedom for my cats.

Anyone who doesn't know this by now or who still thinks I'm slumming it...can go take a long walk off a short pier.

In other news... I didn't get any writing done yesterday. I instead had that annoying voice that says I'll never be published, that I don't have what it takes to be an author. So, instead of getting any writing done, I was instead busy gagging that bitch and kicking her off a cliff. Would I be able to write full-time? Don't know. Not any time soon, that's for sure. I'd need to get established first. And I need the medical benefits from my current day job. But, if I'm successful at writing, then early retirement is a definite option...

Just some stuff bouncing around in my head. That, and... I'm going to (finally) use some of my medical time on the 14th for a trip to the dentist. I'm debating taking the whole day and maybe getting in to see the family doc to get the ball rolling on this anemia thing. Sadly, I shouldn't have to even think about this; I should be able to put my health first. It's times like this that I wish I had ignored a LOT of people in the past and actually focused on my writing a lot sooner...

Comics )
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They say that whatever you do on the first of the year, you'll be doing that for the rest of the year. For that reason, I had originally wanted to avoid doing the cat boxes and such, or else I'd be cleaning cat boxes all year. But today, I went ahead and did the cat boxes and such, as well as took care of the recycling, made iced tea, did grocery shopping, and took care of a few other odds and ends so that, basically, I'm actually ahead on the housework for the week so that I can deal with the shock of going back to work by coming home, feeding the furkids, and then napping.

I'm thinking - hoping - that rather than do inane things all year, rather than doing the cat boxes all frakking year, maybe instead I will be productive all year.

Granted, I was hoping to get some serious writing done over the break, as well as get myself immersed in a video game, but, I now have, instead, several days where my non-work time is fairly free. And working regular writing into my regular schedule would be good. Same thing with gaming.

On a tangent... Normally, it takes a few weeks for a vitamin regimen to really start to take hold. However, I'm noticing some improvement already. The fact that I was so productive is indicative of a bit of an energy boost. Also, I've been less hungry throughout the day. Crossing my fingers that this continues to improve and such.

Anyway, more later. Work in the AM...

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Thus far, it's been a week of hell...

First, my job is being eliminated and, though they're giving me another job, it's still a major change. Then yesterday, I had a bit of a medical emergency. Granted, not life-threatening, but just incredible amounts of pain. I woke up around 5AM with pain in my left lower back. At first, it felt like a muscle cramp, but then it ramped up and when I stood up to stretch, I started seeing stars. And then the pain got worse to where I was debating vomiting, crying, or passing out. Tried lying back down, which was only marginally better. Then another wave hit and I somehow managed to stumble into Mom's room and wake her up to take me to the ER. Got back into my room and managed to put on socks, pajama bottoms, a shirt, and slippers, then was overcome with pain and nausea. Crawled to the top of the steps with my wallet and cell phone. When I got there and didn't hear any movement from Mom's room, I used the cell phone to call her and wake her up. Then I proceeded to swing my feet around so I could crawl down the steps feet-first. Meanwhile, TomTom stayed with me, licking my head. Rocky beat the crap out of Mom's door. Then when I started to go downstairs, he smacked my head several times, probably thinking I was about to fall down the stairs, but when he saw what I was doing, he backed off, then ran downstairs, thinking he would catch me if I fell instead of flattening him, 30-pound cat or no. Got downstairs and waited about another 10 minutes for Mom. In all fairness, sher had a doctor appointment later in the morning, and she needed to make sure she had everything for that so she could go there right from the ER, if necessary. She left the house first to start the car, and I decided I didn't care if it was cold or not, and I stumbled out to the car. Fortunately, the hospital is less than five miles away, and it wasn't quite rush hour. The pain escalated to where I ended up taking off my seat belt and putting the seat all the way down so I could lie where the pain was only slightly more bearable. Got there, and there was only one person ahead of me, and they processed me pretty quickly. It didn't take too long from when they brought me back to a bed/gurney to when a nurse came in and started an IV, followed by a doc who first checked for any hernias then ordered dilaudid. Five minutes later, I started to feel like I didn't have a broadsword impaled in my lower back.

So, I apologized for being a little wuss and was told, "Don't worry about it; it's just classic kidney stone symptoms." I looked down and realized the ER/Hospital gown really did have moons and stars on it, and it wasn't just the ones in my head. Though at this point, my memory is a little fuzzy, as the dilaudid was putting me in a very good mood, bring a whole new concept of "being stoned." Mom had to leave for her appointment, and I told her I'd call if there was a problem or when I was done. Note: Mom also had an appointment for a nerve block in the afternoon. Yeah, I picked a real good day to throw a stone...

Anyway, they took me for a CAT scan and politely smiled when I mentioned that TomTom and Rocky had already given me one, explained who TomTom and Rocky are, but that I was all for nuclear imaging. After I got back from the electron portrait, the pain was starting to return. So, they hit me with more dilaudid, took a urine sample and a blood sample, and I think I took a nap.

A little while later, the ER doc woke me up and told me the results of the CAT scan. I had/have(?) a 3mm stone, likely calcium oxylate, at the bottom of my left ureter, poised to pass into my bladder, after which, it wouldn't be a problem anymore. The lab results showed nothing else unusual, save for a slight elevation in white blood cell count, so, they were sending me home with a script for Vicodin and an antibiotic. My brain almost gave the comment that I wouldn't be like Steve Austin anymore, but then another part of my brain slapped the first part and said, "Anti-biotic, not anti-bionic, you moron!" So instead, I just nodded and smiled and called Mom. She was otherwise occupied in her own medical adventures, but told me she'd called Eileen (friend of the family), and she could come bring me home, and she would call her and let her know that they were kicking me loose.

So, got my stuff, waited for my ride, and when Eileen was taking me home, I came to the realization that I didn not have a house key on me. Wallet and cell phone, yes, but no key. So, I called my car-less sister, discovered she was indeed home, and went there to borrow her house key, then came home. Between the dilaudid and the fatigue factor, I took a cautious nap. I wanted to get my scripts filled, but I wasn't yet up for driving, but I was a little scared to sleep in case I woke up in pain again and didn't have anything for it. I ended up sleeping anyway from sheer exhaustion.

Woke up later after Mom was home from her adventures, had some dinner, and felt of enough sound mind to go get my scripts filled. Managed to get there before the pharmacy closed, and the pharmacist and tech were both very, very kind in filling the meds right before closing.

Anyway, I took today off work to continue to convalesce. I think I've probably passed the stone, and may have passed it before I left the ER. In any event, I have meds to help if I'm wrong. But with a slight infection and being on an antibiotic, I rescheduled my blood donation appointment from tomorrow to next month.

Next week, I finish the old job and start the new job while trying to ignore Valentine's Day and remembering that Wednesday makes it 9 years since Dad died.

Thanks to all who have posted well-wishes on FB.

Next up: another grievous example of someone who wishes they could be a cool nerd and failing miserably...



Just...stay with your conformist, unimaginative, nerd-bashing little clique of common denominators until you're truly interested in learning how to distinguish between Imperial hardware and Cybertronian life-forms. Or even between a real and photoshopped picture...

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