Just Another Blog

my random ramblings about crafts, writing, books and kids

Archive for the tag “end of the world and i don’t feel fine”

Day 114 of Isolation: Independence Day!

4thojjuly

I know there’s not much going on in this country to be truly proud of these days so here’s a picture of my kids from nine years ago when things were better:

070411-(17)

They were 9 1/2, almost 1, 11, 5, and 8 1/2.

This was probably the last time they were all home on the 4th and definitely the last time they let me dress them all up for pictures. I miss those days.

This year, three of them aren’t home and neither is my grandson. It’s just the youngest two, and the now-14yo doesn’t want to celebrate at all because she’s fed up with the attitudes of her fellow Americans*.

We’re not actually doing anything today. I’ll be cooking dinner later: steak sandwiches with fries and possibly mac & cheese. I was going to grill hot dogs, too, but then half the kids left and it looks like it’s going to rain so there’s no point. There’s apple pie for dessert and strawberries to much on during the day. Fireworks that shoot up in the sky (ie the cool ones) are banned in our town and all of the 4th of July celebrations have been canceled because of the pandemic. I’m sure some of our neighbors will still be shooting stuff off so I’ll be sitting on the porch watching.

That’s the extent of our holiday, though.

Hope everyone has a great day if they can in today’s volatile social climate.

*I don’t really blame her.

Day 113 of Isolation: Self-Centered People

I am so fed up with individuals, especially those in my town, that are so ignorant and self-centered they refuse to wear a mask or do even the slightest to mitigate the spread of this virus.

I had to run to Safeway today to get stuff for dinner tomorrow. I’ve avoided stores for the most part the last four months and normally go when they’re not very busy. Of course, this was a Friday afternoon the day before a major holiday. Ugh.

Masks are now mandatory in Washington state for everyone inside of buildings and where social distancing can’t be maintained yet there were so many people in the store without masks or not wearing them properly (pulled down below their noses or even just sitting on their chins). Even some of the employees didn’t have them on right which was even worse.

Then there were the families with kids–none of them wearing masks, kids touching every-fucking-thing. One family had a baby and three children under ten. None of them were in masks and were going the wrong way down the aisles, letting the kids get close to everyone, touching all the chips, etc. Ick. I haven’t taken my kids anywhere since this started–it’s not worth the risk.

And so many people just ignoring social distancing and the aisle arrows, just going wherever they wanted and blocking the aisle so other people couldn’t get by without getting close. When I got in line to check out, this other guy got right up next to me so he would be out of the main cross aisle (the lines for the registers were going down the food aisles making distancing even harder while shopping). He was just feet away from without a care in the world. Ugh.

I was so stressed out, I almost just left everything and went home. We’d eat whatever I could scrounge up at home instead. Then I had to go to Grocery Outlet because they sell big bags of chips for cheap. I was already anxious because of Safeway. Luckily, Grocery Outlet isn’t as busy. They don’t have one-way arrows on the aisle but three weren’t a lot of people there except in the produce section so I avoided it. I was in and out in a few minutes and was 2nd in line when I checked out (compared to like 6th at Safeway with six registers open and 6 self-checkouts).

I just don’t understand these anti-mask yahoos talking about their freedoms and shit. What about my freedom to not be infected by a deadly virus? But I should just stay home so they can get back to their normal lives. They’re so ignorant, and sadly, their ignorance is deadly. There are so many people like this in our town. On the local Facebook group, the moms are freaking out about school opening in the fall–not because it’s too risky for kids but because the kids will have to wear masks and their kids will not be wearing masks. They’re all taking their kids back to the playgrounds again even though they’re still closed because their kids are bored and life needs to just be normal again.

I guess they’ve decided the pandemic is over and doesn’t apply to them at all.

I just can’t even.

Sometimes I’m glad my fatigue makes it impossible for me to go places. Today was a rare day with a little bit of energy so I thought I’d make the run for groceries. I regretted it immediately and definitely will not be going out again any time soon. Not worth the risk to my health or sanity.

Day 112 of Isolation: Health Update

I had my followup with my new doctor today. Not much to really say about it.

My blood pressure was 156/92 while I was there. I haven’t been keeping track of it at home because I’m not sure my cuff is working right, but the few times I’ve checked it’s been between 125-140 over 80-90. She wanted it under 130/90, I think. Of course, the stress of going to the doctor usually raises blood pressure, but she still found it concerning so now my blood pressure meds are doubled.

I was also having a lot of trouble breathing, and it had nothing to do with wearing two masks (mine and the one they gave me). I’ve had the issue off and on since the week before my initial visit to the ER in April, but the last week it’s gotten really bad. Yesterday was probably the worst it’s been.

I admitted that a lot of it could be anxiety making all of my symptoms worse, but she agreed that the tightness in my chest/difficulty breathing wasn’t good. My lungs, though, sounded clear, and I can take deep breaths fine. My O2 was also 98% so I’m getting oxygen.

Anyway, she prescribed me an albuterol inhaler to help with the breathing. My son has asthma so I have experience with these, although I’ve never used one myself. Hopefully, it helps because it was really hard to sleep last night with it feeling like my trachea was coated in wool or something.

That was all we discussed. I didn’t get to bring up the anemia and the after-visit report she sent said I was up-to-date on my labs which look fine (because I had bloodwork done at the hospital). Apparently, my iron deficiency has gone away? But they also haven’t gotten my records from the other office yet to see what my levels were last year when I had special tests done (I’ve never seen them either because we lost our insurance and couldn’t go back at the time).

She also made me feel like she was implying all of my symptoms are psychosomatic and just kept bringing up making an appointment with behavioral health. Yes, obviously, I need to get back on my bipolar and anxiety meds, but my chronic fatigue isn’t being caused by (just) my depression. In fact, my depression is being made worse by the constant fatigue.

My old doctor thought the fatigue was from the anemia, but I guess I now have to hope it’s a symptom/side effect of the hypertension because if bringing my blood pressure down doesn’t solve the fatigue and anemia isn’t an issue anymore, I don’t know what I’ll do. There isn’t really a treatment for chronic fatigue that isn’t being caused by some other underlying condition. You just have to live with it, and I can’t keep living like this. It sucks.

I cried all of the way home thinking about it. All of my hopes and dreams for the future will just be gone if there’s no treatment for the fatigue. I can’t go for walks with my grandson, can’t write, can’t play board games with my son, can’t keep the house clean or do anything. I just sit here. Ugh.

My weight was also back up to 267lbs. It’s kind of impossible to lose weight when you don’t have the energy to take a shower (dear god that nearly left me in a coma earlier today) let alone exercise. The only way I’ll take in less calories than I burn is if I stop eating. I managed to lose four pounds by eating half of a small turkey sandwich with a salad for lunch for a week with a small portion of whatever I made for dinner. But we ran out of lunchmeat so I started eating leftovers for lunch which are much more fattening than the sandwich/salad combo.

The only positives I’ve seen over the last few months is that the swelling in my legs and feet have gone down. That used to happen in the summer when it would get hot but generally went away if I put my feet up and drank a lot of water. And wasn’t an issue at all in the winter. This last year, though, it was nonstop, and if I sit at my desk for more than an hour, my feet swell up so bad, I can’t bend my toes. It doesn’t go away ever and was making it hard to bend my knees (at one point, I couldn’t tuck my legs under me anymore). The swelling isn’t completely gone, but it’s so much better on the blood pressure meds. So that symptom definitely had to do with my blood pressure.

When I ran out of pills a few weeks ago, the swelling came right back and has mostly disappeared in the two weeks I’ve been on them again. So I guess that’s a win.

I have to take what I can get.

Day 109 of Isolation: A New Site to Try

The other day, I was on Habitica looking for some new guilds to join out of boredom (not that I really participate in any of them) and found one for people doing daily journaling. Hey, that sounds like a guild I could handle since I already do a daily journal on 4thewords.com, and their one main challenge is to keep a journal for 7 out of 10 days. I haven’t missed a day in 3 1/2 years. I can do that!

So, I joined and was looking around when I found a link to an online journaling site they reccomend/run called AYearAgo.Today. I checked it out of curiosity because I sure don’t need anymore sites to keep track of but found out it’s sort of gamified where you earn “XP” by making entries in your journal and level up. The site seems pretty new and the levels apparently don’t do anything besides exist.

I signed up since it was free, figuring I could use it as backup to my 4tw journal, but after staring at it for awhile, I decided to use it for something different. So now, it’s mainly a personal journal about dealing with chronic illness.

I rant about my health a lot in my private 4tw journal but tend to not bring it up too much on this blog because it sounds whiny or would be overwhelming. Instead, I now have a journal to chronicle my journey with and trying to overcome all the issues I’m having. The entries are public, so it’s kind of like a blog but more focused than anything I write here.

You can check out my profile here. Not sure if you need to be logged in or not to see it.

If you’re looking for a place to journal with a little bit of motivation to keep the habit up, I highly recommend AYearAgo.Today. You can keep your entries private, of course. There’s also a simple “planner” which gets you XP by completing tasks and a logbook where you can make logs of whatever info you like (I have one for chore, one for food I eat, one for fun stuff I do).

It looks a if the site might be new and eventually have more roleplaying aspects added to it in the future. I’m curious to see where it goes. I’m also assuming it will one day be a paid site so get in while it’s free for now.

Day 105 of Isolation: Food Anxiety

I fear I’m on the verge of a serious eating disorder. I know it’s happening and yet…

The problem is I’ve developed a new symptom of whatever is wrong with me that makes me extremely sleepy any time I eat. Doesn’t matter how much I eat or when, as soon as I’m done, I’m falling asleep.

Think after-Thanksgiving food coma sleepy. Every meal. Every day. I could eat a sandwich or a bowl of cottage cheese or a handful of popcorn and instantly be nearly comatose.

I don’t know what’s causing it. Could be part of the anemia or maybe the hypertension or perhaps the beginning of diabetes?¬† I don’t remember exactly when it started, but I’ve been complaining about it for several weeks now, and only just realized last week how bad it was.

It’s so bad that I’m now avoiding eating because I don’t like napping all day. And by “napping” I mean lying in bed like a slug, unable to do much of anything but also not sleeping because my brain won’t shut off. I end up just simmering in anxiety over everything and get up four hours later just as tired as when I laid down and usually with a killer headache.

It’s actually, funny enough, exhausting. My whole life is exhausting. Being awake is exhausting, being asleep is exhausting, being alive is exahusting. WTF body? Why?

So now I don’t want to eat. I have so much anxiety over the lethargy that comes after eating that I can’t eat even when my stomach is rumbling and I feel sick from hunger. I wait until dinner and even then I don’t want to eat because 5pm is too late for a nap and too early for bed. I hold off eating until 7pm if I can then try to stay awake a couple hours after.

I managed the other night by downing half a pot of coffee at 8pm. Caffeine really does nothing for me.

My husband says I should just eat and sleep if that’s what my body needs, but I don’t know how to explain this lethargy/exhaustion. It’s not a fun kind of sleep. It’s more like being trapped in a body that can’t really do what I need it to do (stay awake) but my mind is racing all over. It just causes so much anxiety that I don’t rest. I can’t rest. I lie there, tossing and turning (when I can gather the energy to roll over) with my thoughts tumbling all over.

Normally, I fall asleep by thinking of story plots to focus on. I can’t even do that. I can’t grasp on to anything in my head. It’s a tornado of thoughts that won’t ever settle. Occasionally, I pass out from exhaustion but wake at every noise. I wake randomly in a sheer panic (heart racing) over nothing. I started taking old anxiety pills at bedtime just to get any rest.

I’m stuck in this cycle of being too exhausted to stay awake but too awake to sleep but not awake enough for my brain to make sense.

I literally cannot explain it. I feel like I’m going crazy. More crazy than I already am. I’ve suffered from severe chronic insomnia before (lasting years). This is different. It’s terrifying. And food seems to trigger everything so I’m afraid to eat now.

On one hand… that’s bad. You need food. On the other hand, I weigh 263lbs so I could stand to eat less. Except I know it’s still bad because starvation diets are just bad for your health. But but but… ugh.

I go back to the doctor on Thursday. I mentioned the food/sleep thing right at the end of the last appointment, but I’ll be bringing it up more this next time because it’s out of control and scaring me. I am no longer a functioning human.

 

Day 104 of Isolation: Even More Birthdays

I swear everyone I know has a birthday in June.

So far this month there have been at least ten birthdays:

My grandson on the 7th along with my daughter’s friend’s son who was born 12 hours later, my husband on the 11th along with a close online friend, my Uncle Mark on the 16th, my grandson’s other gramma on the 17th, a friend’s daughter on the 18th, my cousin’s son on the 19th, my sister-in-law on the 21st, my Aunt Sue on the 22nd.

And now there are FOUR today!

happybirthday

So HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my cousin, Joe; my “brother,” Javier; an old friend, Robyn; and my great-niece, Hope who is turning 13 today!

And the birthdays aren’t over yet… there are still a few more to go and they just kind of continue on into July. I really can’t keep track of them all. Actually, I might have missed some of my friends’ kids and maybe some cousins.

Day 101 of Isolation: Belated Birthday and Better Bread

Just wanted to wish a Belated Birthday to my sister-in-law, Julie. There was just too much going on yesterday that it slipped my mind.

080610_kirksville (49)

With my oldest son in 2010 while we were visiting on our cross-country move.

She’s a big ol’ pain in the butt, but she’s family. And as she likes to point out, I chose to be in the family unlike the rest of them so that makes me twice as crazy as them, lol.


sourdoughsaga

And an update on the sourdough saga.

So, my bread didn’t turn out yesterday because I forgot the salt. I was so disappointed, I almost didn’t eat anything. It’s little things like this that just overwhelm me. It didn’t help that it was Father’s Day, and I was trying to make a special meal which I totally fucked up.

I ended up taking out the starter I had put aside in case a friend wanted it and started over before I went to bed. This morning, I got up and remembered to add the salt this time and went through the exhausting motions of dealing with the rising dough throughout the day.

By the time it was ready to bake, I was so not in the mood, but got the dough in the oven. I waited for the first loaf to bake so I could have fresh, hot bread with my leftover stew from last night.

I’m happy to say that this batch turned out. It was crunchy on the outside and nice and soft and flavorful on the inside. Not very sour, though. That’s either because it just hasn’t sat around long enough or because I added a bit more yeast when I added the flour and that yeast didn’t ferment? I don’t know enough about sourdough to tell, but it was fine. It had a hint of sour which meant my 9yo ate it because he otherwise hates sourdough.

It was delicious with the stew.

I don’t think I’ll be making that salt mistake again.

Day 100 of Isolation: Father’s Day and Failures

One Hundred Days.

Ugh.

One hundred days of sitting around the house doing nothing. Which is kind of funny because all we ever do is sit around the house. For me, it’s because I literally don’t have the energy to do anything else; for the family in general, it’s because we usually don’t have the money or time.

Maybe that’s why this seems so much more extreme. Last year, we sat around for almost the entire year because my husband was injured and getting paid worker’s comp. It was just barely enough to cover our bills. There were no day trips to the coast, going to the movies or even driving to a state park for a hike (couldn’t afford the gas or the parking pass).

He went back to work in January, and the plan was to make up for it with visits to all of our favorite places including the coast. Despite my chronic fatigue, I managed to go walking most mornings along the Columbia River and do some writing. I was looking forward to doing that again this year.

And then COVID hit, and everything changed. Now we have a little extra money and gas prices are cheap as hell, but there’s nowhere to go. My fatigue has only gotten worse with my hypertension and can’t handle walking to the end of the block most days, let alone walking the two miles I averaged most days last summer. Besides, that park I used to walk is probably crowded with non-mask wearing idiots that seem to live in this town.

One hundred days of doing nothing with another hundred to look forward to. Maybe if my doctor can figure out what’s causing the fatigue and fix me up, it won’t be so bad. Then I could at least have energy to clean the garage and fix up the yard. Maybe we could paint like we had planned when we moved in almost four years ago.

Today is Father’s Day as well!

So wishing a Happy Day to my husband who has put up with me and our five crazy kids for 20+ years now. He’s just excited because our grandson comes home from his dad’s house this afternoon (he has Fridays and Saturdays off but the baby always heads over to his dad’s on Thursday afternoon, right before my husband gets home from work).

theviewplain_070712

One of my favorite pictures of him with our youngest daughter when she was 6 at Cape Horn, WA.

Also, Happy Father’s Day to my dad, I guess. I haven’t talked to him in years for reasons I won’t get into, but I hope he’s doing okay (my brother says his health is crap).

091013_sayingbytopapa (4)

From when he visited in 2013. Not sure where my oldest son was when the picture was taken.

Epic Failure

sourdoughsaga

My plan for dinner tonight was beef stew with homemade sourdough bread.

I took my starter out on Tuesday and fed it several times then last night added three cups of flour and some water to get ready to bake today. I even added a smidge more active yeast. Everything was looking good. Got up this morning, added the rest of the flour the recipe calls for, kneaded it and let it rise for four hours. Gothe dough shaped into rounds and let it sit for a couple hours.

My husband got home a little before 3pm which is when I started the stew. When I turned the instant pot on, I got the oven going. It was all working out well. The bread should have been done at about the same time as the stew.

And then it all went wrong. First I got a burn notice on the instant pot. So we had to empty and clean the bottom. Meanwhile, the first loaf of bread is already baking. The stew was mostly cooked just from getting up to pressure so we put it all back in and set it for 20 minutes cooking. I went and sat on the porch for a moment when I was struck with absolute panic at a thought: I forgot the salt when I added the extra flour!

And it was way too late to fix it. I go back inside and cut a chunk off the first loaf that was cooling at that point. And BLAH! It was awful. The recipe is literally just flour, water, yeast and salt. And I forgot the salt. So it was like eating flour. No flavor at all. I was devestated.

And then the instant pot beeped at me with BURN across the front. At that point, I was nearly in tears. I just wanted a nice meal for my husband since I don’t get special meals or anything on Mother’s Day (unless I cook them myself). I figured at least one of us should get something special once in a while. And nothing was going right.

Luckily, the stew was pretty much cooked after getting up to pressure twice, so I just added the frozen corn and peas and let it sit while the 2nd loaf baked. Which was so pointless because the bread was gross. My husband and some of the kids still ate it. Apparently my grandson loved it, but he’s one and doesn’t know any better.

I had saved back a cup of starter (possibly to give to my grandson’s other gramma) but instead I took it out last night and added the initial batch of flour and water you do the night before baking.

So tomorrow we will hopefully have edible sourdough loaves. If I remember the salt this time.

In the end, the stew turned out well enough that no one noticed the bread really. I was too tired and sore from cooking to even want to eat which is pretty common.

Day 97 of Isolation: Health Update

I finally found a doctor and got an appointment. Ended up going to the doctor my husband sees. When we first moved here with both went to the clinic in town but saw different doctors that worked there. Then mine retired and his wasn’t accepting any new patients at the time. Basically, everyone that had been seeing the retiring doctor had to go somewhere else. I went a few years without a doctor until the kids started seeing our previous one. I liked her, so made myself at home there, too.

And then COVID-19 and she downsized her practice and we were left out. Just as I was needing care for an urgent matter, of course. Read more…

Day 81 of Isolation: I Just Can’t

I wanted to post something about Black Lives Matter… maybe one of those posts with a bunch of resources to support those that need it since I can’t physically or monetarily help in any way, but it’s just too much for me.

The constant bad news from around the country, the interruptions from my kids who are bored and anxious because of current events, the constant overwhelming anxiety and depression as I watch the world fall apart…

It’s too much.

I need a break so I think I’m going to take a few days off from my daily posts so they’re not all just doom and gloom.

My oldest son graduates high school on Saturday and my grandson turns one on Sunday so I should have some positive posts by this weekend. Maybe I’ll stay off social media altogether and read or work on one of my fanfics.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: