21 December 2005

wahoo! & we're off...!

So, my guy and I drove down to my place; got the tags and registration for my vehicle renewed; dropped off my library books; WENT TO THE WELLNESS CONNECTION CENTER and got my present (a year's membership); mopped all my floors; played with my pups; and loaded Ace and all his things up.  We drove back to my guy's and I gave Ace a bath, in the kitchen sink, using the little spray hose attachment.  At first he appeared to be ready to leap from the sink, but lo and behold! he discovered the dirty lasagna pan (cuz I haven't stuck it in the dishwasher and we just emptied it).  THAT cheesy goodness captured his interest for the entire bathing process....

So, we are almost ready to take off for the Ouchita Mountains of Arkansas!!!  Yea!!!  Here I come, memom and pops!!

ch. ch. ch. chilly

Last night, my guy and I watched "The Interpreter" with Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn.  Well, we didn't watch it with them (eye roll here).  Then, we bundled ourselves up and returned the movie and stopped at Wal*Mart to pick up a few necessities (ya know, like toilet paper).

It was a cool thirty degrees fahrenheit.  Oh...my...frozen...tush.  My jaws were chattering, from the cold that is, my teeth clicking together like a wind-up toy.  My eyes teared and I hastened to wipe the moisture before it froze in little jewels on my cheeks.

Ok, maybe that was an extreme reaction.  Especially for a girl from PA.  But, I gotta tell ya, that's damn tootin' cold, especially for MS.  I'm just sayin'.

It took me quite some time to warm up.  My guy's body-heat sure did help!

20 December 2005

uh, she sheepishly bleats

or maybe that's "utters".

I didn't realize til just now that it has been so long since I posted an entry.  This update won't cover everything, but some highlights are touched upon.  Hopefully, I won't rest on my rhodedendrons too long before the next post!

Well, my guy and I went to see Chronicles of Narnia:  The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe.  It was fine, very similar in themes with the Lord of the Rings, but I guess that isn't very surprising since Lewis was very influenced by Tolkien in other matters as well.

We also went to see King Kong, which was good.  I've never seen any other version, so I wasn't doing comparisons, but obviously I was familiar with the whole saving the damsel in distress, fighting off the airplanes, whilst balancing on the empire state building.  I mean, I don't think you can grow up in US and not have some imagery of those elements ingrained at some point.

My father's birthday was last week.  I called him and, as tradition holds in my family, sang "Happy Birthday" to him.  It was a good conversation.

My guy and I are driving out to see my folks on Thursday.  My guy will return to MS to be with his mother on Christmas Eve, while I will stay with my folks as I haven't seen them since LAST Christmas.  I'm really excited about the visit.

I'll be taking Ace, my Boston Terrier with me.  He is older and his coat is thinner, and he minds the shivery cold very much.  My neighbors are watching my other two pupsicles and they are lending me their pet carrier.  The carrier is not so much for the trip but for the stay, that was he can bed down for the night and I won't have to worry about him roaming and "marking" the place (well, he is a little incontinent....ok, he's alot incontinent...but I still love him, even if he is a lil stinker).

Ziggee curls up with Shaddow and they will be fine.  I cannot imagine taking all three of them in the car, nor can I see imposing on my folks for that length of time with all of them.  So, I'll bundle Ace up in his lil sweater (he looks so dignified...well, he does!) and harness and take his leash, bowls, food, toys, etc.

Well, I've got to run, got lasagna baking and it smells sooooooooooo good!!!

11 December 2005

Hello, from Oxford

Mississippi, that is.

I'm visiting my guy for the first time since August.  It's about a two hour drive from my place.  Yesterday was a nice day for the drive.

My neighbor is doggie care-giving for me.  She spoils my pups rotten, microwaves and serves their food warm.  Dudes!  There's times I feel like pouring milk over cereal is sufficient for a meal, let alone zapping the dogs' food.

Today, my guy and I went for a very nice lunch on the square and then while he met and worked with another grad student, I read my book and drank the house coffee of the day.  After that, we went to Walmart to stock up on groceries and stuff.  We both have to be in the right frame of mind to face Walmart.  I'm not fond of shopping, so it's a real chore.  But it's done.  Yea!

Now, he is sorting through all his paperwork, school work, etc.  And I am thinking that it's too late for nappage, but I might call it an early night.  Tomorrow we drive down to Jackson for the day.  I have a feeling this week will zoom! right by.

07 December 2005


Tomorrow is Thursday, which means it's Group Facilitation Day (I actually DO think in caps like that).  Sometimes, I get a bit more tuckered out on Thursdays than any other day.  It involves driving from my place in the country to town, then driving to another town, and back again.

It involves being able to be a facilitator for two support groups for those with mental illnesses &/or brain disorders.  Usually, that is not too hard, but the days when I feel like crap and need some support myself, I don't really have a chance to get it from the groups.  Sometimes it is enough to know that I am helping SOMEBODY but sometimes I need some help too.  I can't really find that within the group, as our groups are fairly young and haven't had time to bond and become cohesive.  The groups still very much continue to need facilitation to ease the flow of communication and redirect focus to the topic at hand and generate support for each group member, and as of yet, I don't feel that I am a group member, because of not being able to participate to the same extent as the others.

Next Thursday will be the first time since September that I will have missed facilitation.  I have notified my co-facilitators, so they can field this as they see fit.  Both of them (one for each group) are nervous as all get-out.

06 December 2005

why, oh! why, can't I?

The day seems to go by so incredibly fast.  There are still 24 hrs in it, but the shortest sunlight hours are here.  I'm trying to get out of the house everyday, and not to hole up immediately when I come home by retreating into my bedroom with my jammers all comfy and warm.

Some days I have more success than others.  Today, I was driving home from PT and was thinking about errands.  I was tired and not up to doing them this afternoon or evening.  So, I will need to get to them tomorrow.

I just seem to be tapped out of energy.  I've been trying to make sure that I am getting adequate rest and staying active in some ways.  But I just can't seem to get it together.

05 December 2005

Let's get physical

So, I'm thinking that maybe it would be a good idea to do the "before and after" thing.  It's not so much that I'm thinking there will be a definitive "after" point.  But I think that if I took a picture of me before I started using the gym, sort of a recently turned 35, end of 2005 motivational snap.  Ya know?

That way, I can SEE what a change.  I've noticed a slight difference already.  This past month, I've been going to PT.  I carry myself a tad bit more straighter through the spine and no hunched shoulders (I didn't even realize that I did slump my posture so badly).  My weight hasn't changed all that much, but I didn't expect it to.  One reason is that it is the holidays and I figured that losing might be too much to expect, how about just maintaining...?  Also, muscle weighs more than fat, per volume.  So, I do notice some difference in the fit of the clothing.  On Sunday, I tried on a pair of jeans that didn't fit at all a month ago.  The jeans slipped right over the thighs and hips and zipped right up.  yea!

The gym I am joining is an extension of the Baptist Hospital's services.  It's housed in the same unit as my PT.  The facilities include a lap pool, hydrotherapy pool, whirlpool, steam room, sauna, equipment, track, free weights, classes, etc.  Yippee!!

I'm very excited and happy.  Can ya tell???

la la la la laa, la la la laaaaaaaaaaaaaaa...

I heard Cheech and Chong's "Santa and His Ol Lady" on the radio earlier, while I was driving home.  If you would like to give it a look-see, go here.  My favorite part is this:

Richard "Cheech" Marin:  Aw, man, you don't know who Santa Claus is, man!
Thomas "Tommy" Chong: Yeah, well, I'm not from here, man. Like, I'm from Pittsburgh, man. I don't know to many local dudes.

merry christmas to me!!!! and a happppppy new year!!

A friend of mine e-mailed this to me over the weekend:

A husband was in big trouble when he forgot his wedding anniversary.
His wife told him,
"tomorrow there better be something in the driveway for me
that goes zero to 200 in 2 seconds flat."
The next morning the wife found a small package in the driveway.
She opened it and found a brand new bathroom scale.
Funeral arrangements for the husband have been set for Saturday.

This friday will be the last PT session for me.
So, I was discussing gym membership with my guy Saturday night.
He asked if I would USE the facilities if I had access.
Yup. So he said, "Merry Christmas".
He's getting me a year's membership.
This makes me SOoooooooooooooo happy.

03 December 2005

got milk? not me!

Also, whilst over visitting my forementioned friend....her baby-girl is about a year and a half and she does nurse occassionally yet.  Since her vocabulary is expanding and her knowledge-base is growing in leaps and bounds, the baby-girl sometimes will lean against her mom and pat her chest gently and pronounce, "milk!"  Sometimes, my lil year and a half old friend wants a little variety I guess, cuz from time to time, she'll reach for ME and demand, "milk!", while trying to root under my shirt.

The first time it happened, I was taken aback.  Uhhhh, what to do...?  Now, I redirect her toward mommy or I go get her a drink in her sippee-cup.  The thing is, she seems to be frustrated that I don't oblige her desire to nurse.  Maybe she's puzzled, I mean, it LOOKS like I got the equipment.....but, I'm not the mommee (ala Alanis's "I'm not the Doctor").

sssssssssssaaaaaaaaay, wotchu got there?

Last night, I was over at my friends' place.  Their six year old daughter was playing with her Barbie while sitting on the floor in front of me.  The lil girl turned toward me and held up the doll.

"Look, Mizz Debra, Barbie's white, just like you."

"uhhuh" (ain't I so intelligent?)

"'cepting she's got blonde, i mean white, hair"

"uhhuh" (me again, showcasing my intelligence)

"and it's looooong.  her hair, i mean"

"uhhuh" (not a lot of variation coming from me, is there?)

"and," she leans really close, cuz this is very important, as she peels up Barbie's lycra/spandex/nylon shirt to reveal her nippleless breasts, "when I get bigger, I'm gonna grow some of these."

"uhhhhhhhhuh"  (hey! if the answer is working, don't mess with the formula)

After the BIBLE-STUDY, I slipped on over and related the conversation to her mother.  She laughed and reassured me that I handled it just fine.  Which is good, cuz sometimes I am clearly at a loss of words around the child.  But, the child is usually intent on rambling to me so she doesn't really need much feedback, just my attention.  That, she has, no problem.

02 December 2005

whine and crackers

My last entry was full of whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiining.  I did go to PT and did do some of the chores such as the garbage.  Plus I threw in an unscheduled stop at Lowe's and picked up fifty feet of fencing.  I unrolled and flattened it, preparing it for installation, as soon as I got home.

Then I realized my lower back was spasming.  The PT is in response to my persistantly explaining that my lower back would bind tighter and tighter as I moved, so much so that simply walking would bring tears and difficulty in breathing.  Finally, a month or so ago, the doc said, "hey!  I think you have a chronic sprain that needs to be addressed."  Gee, Wally, ya think?

Hence, the PT was ordered.  I am using equipment that should be increasing the toning and strength of my torso in particular, the rest of my body in general.  The weight is being added so that I've gradually increased the amount of resistance.  My PT says that I am doing great and since we are 3/4 through, he feels that I should be able to do chores, such as laundry and simple lifting, with no problem.

My lower back, particularly on my right side, has been in spasm most of the day.  I told him after therapy that my back siezes whilst walking short distances still.  I am beginning to get frustrated all over again.

After I left PT, I did a few errands, paid a few bills, and stopped at LJ's Coffee and Bakery for some tea.  I am very conscience of my posture, so while I was sitting there, I could still feel my back doing funky things it oughtn't be doing.  Then I noticed I was feeling slightly nauseated.

That's where the crackers would have come in, if I had some.  I didn't want to try eating, cuz lately that seems to make me feel worse instead of better.  The not so great wooziness continued for a couple hours.

The good thing is, now I am feeling better.  The bad thing is, I am not sure what is causing the nausea.  I am also frustrated because I have no idea what else to do to strengthen my back so I can walk pain-free.

One thing that I plan to do, is to see about continuing my workout at the university's gym.  I need to see if I can find someone (a student, faculty member, or staff) to sponsor me so that my fee for the term is more affordable.  There are trainers there.  I spoke with my PT and he said that was a great idea.

We shall see.

Wake up, sleepy me...

I am very tired.  The thought of getting in my car and driving to PT is not welcome.  My dishes need washing, my fridge needs cleaning, the garbage needs to be taken out, the floor ought to be scrubbed, and my sheets should be changed.  Then I ought to wash my laundry and get everything squared away.

Then there is all the paperwork that needs to be completed.  Oh, and Christmas cards to be sent.  And really all I want to do is crawl back into bed and snooze on.

hope your day is going better.

30 November 2005

Fear of harm to non-existent children

I was thinking about feelings earlier.  Actually, I was thinking about my lack of emotions.  I am very sensitive in some ways.  But I don't seem to experience a broad range of emotions as most folks appear to.

But I know fear.  I am acquainted with many brands of fear.  Fear is not rational.

It is, however, rational to feel fear.  Fear of dangerous sorts of things allow us to dump into flight or fight mode.  We cannot survive without a healthy dose of fear.

Some of us feel a disproportionate amount of fear toward what might not seem to warrant it.  For example, I fear harm to my non-existent children.  How can this be possible, you might ask.

Well, I have no children.  One of the reasons I have no children is because for most of my adulthood, I feared that I would be an awful parent.  I fear that I would somehow warp my offspring so badly that they would need counseling, therapy, and quite possibly drugs in order to cope with their own lives.

I know no one is a perfect parent.  I KNOW that.  But there is a difference between KNOWING and believing.  I have not yet allowed that knowledge to inform my beliefs that I might be a good parent.

Instead, I have this terrifying, hugely overwhelming fear that I would be an irreparable harm to my non-existent children.  It would be laughable if it weren't so damn scary.  Isn't it pathetic?

24 November 2005

sing it with me now...

you can have anything you want,
at Alice's restaurant...

This afternoon, after the roasted chicken, potatoes, candied yams, sauteed squash, seasoned mustard greens, whole-cranberry sauce, and salad...

but before the pecan pies, cookies, pecan treat with ice-cream...;

I heard "Alice's Restaurant" on the radio.  It's that station's tradition to play the song/narration twice on Thanksgiving Day, every year.  I'd heard the song long ago (clearing throat, maybe not that long ago, coulda just been a coupla-few years back) but it's been awhile and I do like to catch it when I can.

So, I settled back in my pink plush swiveling rocking chair and indulged in Arlo's rendition of his tale.  Poor kid.  For those of you who would like to brush up on it yourselves, check this site.

And remember,,,

it's around back, half a mile from the railway track.

oh my eyes!!

ya know that age old analogy...?  tummy's bigger'n the eyes...?  need i say more?  no, i didn't think so.

i stuffed and roasted a chicken and made the fixens.  burnt my arm.  then made the pecan pies.  i was kinda nervous about those, cuz i never made pecan pies before.  but i cheated and used ready-made frozen crust and the rest is as easy as, uh, pie.  (sheepishly grinning)


23 November 2005

My birthday suit

Yesterday, I discovered that my post-man left a package inside my car.  Normally, I lock my vehicle, even though I live in a safe neighborhood.  The area residents are small creatures like rabbits and mice, slightly bigger ones like foxes and coyotes, and the biggest ones are deer and the occassional lost mule that wanderes onto the property.

Anyway, the package was containing my birthday suit.  It was a very light box.  Because, let's face it, my birthday suit is not very heavy.

It's from my friend who knows that I would appreciate such a gift.  And I do.  I don't think my guy will.  That's because my suit cuts down on accessibility, so to say.

It's red fleece, all one piece, got feeties...a bit big on me, but better that than too small, right?  My guy leaned over the table and said, "I adore that you couldn't wait til we got home to open your gift."  I was tickled pink over the suit.  Though, I don't know how comfy the other patrons felt with me displaying my jammers.

I had told my friend that if she were to drive them here and hand deliver them, I would model them when we went for lunch.  She sorely regrets she was unable to do that.  Thanks, sweetie, I love the duds!!

bawwwwwk, bawk, bawk, bawk

Since my guy's mother is having dinner on Friday, I decided that he and I could have a little bit of a Thanksgiving Day dinner here tomorrow.  It'll involve a bit of a twist on the traditional dishes, but I'm sure it'll all be good.  One big difference is that my bird will be a chicken.  It's actually a whole-fryer, but I'll probably roast it with potatoes, carrots, and onions.  I'll stuff it, but I'm not sure with what....

I idly mentioned taking something to his mother's for dinner.  He said that we could make pecan pies.  Uhhhhhh...I've never made a pecan pie, but I guess I can follow the instructions on the back of the bottle of Karo syrup.  I was thinking more along the lines of a salad, one that includes whip topping, cream cheese, some fruit, and other wonderfully decadent goodies.

Last year, for his birthday, I made him a turtle-pie.  His favorite cake, caramel, was already served at his mother's on Thanksgiving.  His birthday is the 28th.  What I did was I mixed caramel, chocolate, pecans, milk, cream cheese, whipped topping, and a few other ingredients.  Poured it into a graham cracker shell.  Stuck it in the freezer.   Hmmmmmmm good stuff.

I like his family, although all the women are little.  His one sister is 4'8", his mother is 4'10", and his other sister is 5'.  They are all little itty bitty in weight as well, hovering right around the hundred pound mark.

Compared to them, I am a giant.  I am an substantial goddess of 5'7".  I eat with the big boys.

The very first time I had joined the family for dinner was Christmas of 03.  His sisters were moving about fixing little plates with a smidge of this and smudge of that.  I thought they were making the kids' plates.  Nope.  The kids were happily chowing done, while their moms were eating little teeny tiny portions, moaning about holiday feasts.

I ain't no chicken...I'll be dining with them on Friday.  It's a bit of a challenge not to withdraw from the scene.  Shhhh, our secret.  Don't tell nobody.  Maybe I'm a lil chicken.  bawk....

22 November 2005

It occured to me a few years back that most of my students had no idea why the day after Thanksgiving is called "Black Friday". So I gave them this explanation, because it is a part of our society's culture. It makes sense.

Traditionally, that day is the day most retailers hope to be brought out of the red into the black. The red and black refer to the color ink that used to be used in accounting records. Red was in debt. Black was showing a profit.

Most small retailers have such high overhead costs that if they can hang in there til the Holiday season, they've got it made. The day after Thanksgiving is usually the day when gift-shopping begins in earnest and most stores will cater accordingly. They open earlier and close later than usual. They usually have incentitives to draw crowds to their stores, such as first 50 customers receive 50% off. Also they tend to have lots of extra stock on hand.

So, it's the spending habits that enable stores to show a profit that brings a store out of the red into the black that gives that day it's moniker. Some of my students thought it had to do with race/ethnicity. Uhm, how so? I asked. Some thought it was because that's when the Stock Market crashed. Every year. Uhm, nope.

21 November 2005

hey there! just a quick note...

yesterday, my guy and i went to my friend's place for their thanksgiving dinner. it was really nice and sort of put me into the holiday spirit. i have been feeling pretty removed from the holidays as a whole this year. but yesterday helped lots.

hope everyone enjoys their festivities!!

19 November 2005

I had a year's subscription included with my laptop. The following year, my folks kept my monthly fees paid as a gift to me. Then, I had the option of staying with AOL or going with another ISP.

I went with another ISP in Feb 05. Why? Because it was cheaper. Although AOL does have lots included in their package deal, like the email, virus/spam protection, easy-to-use features, etc.; for me, I couldn't afford $25/month.

So, I have another ISP with wonderful connection abilities (I have dial-up and the "new" ISP is faster than AOL was on it's best day). I use mozilla's firefox as a browser (it's free and it is fast and I hate MicroSoft's Internet Explorer for a variety of reasons). I use changenotes.com or bookmark sites as favorites if I want to keep up with pages. I use AIM and sometimes Yahoo! IM.

I had an AOL journal from Sept 04 through Jan 05. Then I tried Blogger and Blogspirit and some other blog space-providers so I could see what was what and what worked for me. When AIM journals were offered, I established another journal in May 05.

Happy to see folks again and be a part of the J-land community, I read and considered the angry voices AOL customers were issuing over AIM journals. That died down. Now I do understand to a degree the dissention amongst the ranks about the banner-ads.

I feel you should have been warned. I feel there should be disclaimers set forth. However, I also know that there is more to the service than simply the journals.

Also, since banner-ads have been running on my AIM journal since conception, I am used to simply ignoring them. I don't even actively "see" them, unless folks draw my attention to them. Which is what folks are doing increasingly.

You see, when you point out to someone those ads (even if it is to protest), you are doing them a wonderful service. You are promoting them, you are making them more noticable, you are drawing attention to them. So, even negative publicity is still publicity.

Most of these companies are large, well-established corporations that either folks use or not. If they already use them (ie Verizon), chances are slim to none that the individual is going to go through the hassle of terminating their usage and employing another. If they don't already use them, then is this fuss going to make that much of a difference anyway?

Now I know that someone is going to get all blown up and indignant over this post, feeling invalidated or trivialized. But the bigger picture is that there are more services that AOL provides their customers than just the journals. And there are more things worthy of taking a stance over besides this.

Yes, AOL should not have made this move with out proper research marketing on how it would affect their customer base. Yes, I think they should use disclaimers. No, I don't think that it's been worth all this fuss.

'nuff said.

17 November 2005

I do notice that the daylight hours are shorter and the night spans forever. I know that next month we will reach the apex, and then the days will slowly begin to lengthen and the nights will not suddenly slam the afternoons into midnight blackness.

Thursdays are my Support Group Meeting Days. The last meeting I co-facilitate is over at 3:45p. As I walk to my car, the sun is low in the sky. On the drive home, it sets. By the time I pull up to my mail-box, it is totally dark out.

I feel so odd about that. Like I ought to jump in my jammies and brush my teeth for bed as soon as I walk in the door. My pupsicles are not too fond of wearing their sweaters (well, I just tried it, it was an idea, and apparently not a very good one). They all three clamor and scamper about my knees while I'm trying to open the door, turn on lights, feed them. I choose to look at it like this: they LOVE me. Although, it could be a combination of...we are lonely, let us inside, feed us! water, we neeeeeed fresh water with no leaves in it....I'm going with, they LOVE me.

16 November 2005

(couldn't get this to "save" so I am trying to go thru AIM) went to bed feeling too stuffy and warm. This morning, I awoke to a much more frigid dawn then I've seen this entire season.

Could it have just been coincidence that it's my birthday? hm.

If you look closely at my ID, you'll even be able to figure out how old I am now.

dkb 11 16 1970 (cuz all those number run together can get a bit messy)

It wasn't a bad day. There were some very pleasant points. But I was grace itself as per usual. I twisted my ankle three times. The third time, I skinned my bad knee and now it's five lovely shades of black. OOOOOOOhhhh, aaaaaahhhhh.

I'm too old for this falling down stuff. It hurts now. And it takes a long time to mend up from it.

Goodnight to all.

14 November 2005

time for a check

It does not seem to me to be mid-November already.  The temperatures here have been unseasonably warm.  It's about ten days til Thanksgiving, less than six weeks til Christmas, and one week after that is the New Year.  I'm not sure why I always feel like I should have gotten way more done THIS year than I did.

Although this year has flown by remarkably fast, I feel as though I have done lots this year.  Did I push myself?  At times.

But I am learning my limits, how to accept them, and how to honor them.  For instance, if I am feeling very irritable, I know that being around alot of people is not a good idea.  So scratch the plans to visit Wally's World.

And yes, I do need to be careful and not hibernate the winter away, I do realize that there are days when nappage is required.  I try to meet my needs before they become too pressing.

I've gotten better at self-monitoring.  Sometimes I do miscalculate or simply don't see what is going on within me.  But I do better now than I had.

Speaking of which...it's time for me to toddle off to bed...zzzzzzzzzz

Viet Vets

Well, last Friday was veterans' day.  Sunday was the 13th and it was the day that the viet nam vets' memorial (the wall) was erected on the capital's mall in 1982.  On both days, I meant to write something special for my dad and the men I grew up with, who are his friends and viet vets too.

Mostly the reason I didn't was because there are so many mixed feelings, strong opinions, and odd attitudes that I wasn't sure how to approach the issue.  I know that my father joined the army (paratrooper) because he thought it was the right thing to do.  Shortly after being in-country, he discovered that the government (ours) was portraying the war one way, while it seemed to be an entirely different sort of war in reality.

My father became very soured on our gov, establishments in general.  In the mid-80s, he worked hard with some other viet vets in the area (PA) to raise funds to be able to attend Chicago's Welcome Home parade that was being given in April 86 for the Viet Vets.  It took quite some time for my father to get adequate treatment for various problems which stemmed from his tour of duty.  Mostly, the government declares its ignorance of the potential harm Agent Orange and other pesticides and chemicals used during warfare can cause.  However, the companies which produce those chemicals can show that they sent memos and other notices to the government addressing the harm that exposure can cause.  So it's no wonder to me that my father has just cause to not be so trusting of our gov's claimsmaking rhetoric.

I wish I could tell you that my father is well-taken-care-of now.  He's not.  He's still dealing with various health problems.  In addition, dealing with the VA is difficult to say the least.  I cannot tell you the number of times my father's records have been lost.  I know he isn't exclusively special in that regard, but that doesn't excuse anything.  It makes the situation all the more appalling, to tell the truth.

I'm proud of my father.  My parents have raised me to be a critical thinker.  In my opinion, they did a good job.  My dad had lots going on, while I was growing up, and yet he always made time to talk with me.

He has his own demons to fight and I can't really help with that, other to lend a listening ear.  My father is one of my most important heros.  I hope he lives to see many more years so that I can enjoy him more and more while he is here on this earth.

13 November 2005

Suggestions, anyone...?

My friend is having a very rough time right now.  Her mother is in a nursing home, with dementia progressed to the point that she doesn't recognize her own daughter much of the time.  My friend took care of her during high-school and college years, before her mom went into the nursing home.

My friend is very intelligent.  She knows lots about the political processes.  She was one of the founding members of the Green Party in Mississippi.

She is frustrated because she tires more easily, grows more easily confused, and has periods of depression that really get her down.  Sometimes she feels as though she is losing her mind.  This last thing is by far the worst for her.

Her father is dying.  He has colon cancer and is not responding to the chemo and the other treatments.  It may have spread to his liver, to his stomach, and elsewhere.

She is 30.  In her 20s, she had cancer, a brain tumor.  After chemo and surgery, she struggled with recovery and remission.

She wants to be strong for her dad.  She doesn't want him to see her upset, crying.  She knows this would upset, worry him and in turn that might have a bad effect on what health he does have.

But, she has no idea how she is going to get through this...

On the material side of things, she is concerned that the house that she grew up in, which only has 2 yrs of payments left, might be snatched out from underneath her.  Selling the house is not an option for her yet.  Her whole world is about to change radically, that house may be one of the only anchors left for her.

Her dad thought he had life-insurance.  Turns out that's not so.  She might have enough to bury him with the policy through the funeral home.

I feel helpless.  I cannot think of a thing that would help.  I want to, but I have no idea what to do.

If anyone has any suggestions, about any aspect of this situation, please let me know.  I appreciate it.

10 November 2005

New Doc in Town

Last week, I had a three month follow-up appointment with my psychiatrist.  Well, the old one had left and the new one started the week before my appt.  Some people aren't fond of the man.  But I like his style.

First, he met me on MY level.  He reviewed my diagnoses and discussed them with me.  We talked about the causation of the conditions.  We discussed the current medications and the side-effects.  Then we talked about desired changes and difficulties with the meds I've had.

In part, it is because of the new doc that I feel better, more optimistic about getting the weight under control.  We've changed two of the medications to PRN (take as needed) instead of taking them every day, several times a day.  We also upped my anti-depressant some, as I have been finding it increasingly difficult to actually get out of bed, let alone the house.  I want to hibernate.  THAT's not good.

And what I really like is that we have a plan in place for doing some gradual changes over the next few months that will hopefully help.  In two months, I go back to see the new doc (who won't be "new" then) and if all's well, we are going to switch one of the meds.  That is a very significant change so I hope it all is fine for me.  Then in a couple months after that, we might make another change in the meds.  Then I think I'll just coast for awhile and let it all sink in.

So, having a plan is good.  I feel better.  I feel the doc is interested in what I have to say about my own health care.

09 November 2005


Tomorrow is Support Group Day.  Every Thursday is now Support Group Day (I even think in Capitals when thinking of Support Group Day is Thursday).  Tomorrow, I am giving an In Our Own Voice (Living with Mental Illnesses) presentation at the General Support Group in Columbus.  The meetings are held at Community Counseling.  So the administrator has let her staff know that they can choose to attend, but it is not a requirement.  So, I have NO idea how many people will actually be attending tomorrow.

When the holidays approach, when the daylight hours become shortened, when the weather changes, folks become more stressed, less able to motivate themselves to attend things like support groups, and sometimes they cannot even get themselves out of the house at all.  So knowing this, I tried to prepare myself for a decline in attendance, especially as these groups are relatively new.  But it was still disappointing when last week's numbers were down so far.  The only good thing was that it allowed for those folks that did come to really have some quality time discussing the issues that were the most pressing for them at the time.

And really that's what it's all about anyway.

But, I'm a little nervous about tomorrow.  Why?  I'm not sure.  I've no problem with speaking before groups.  I've given this same presentation to Adult Mental Health Care Providers just a few months ago.  So even if all the counselors show up, which is highly doubtful, I'd still know what to say and still be prepared.  But for some reason, I have just a little nervous activity going on in the belly and I'm hoping that goes away with a good night's rest.

Physical Therapy and Me

Well, week one of PT is through.  Three to go.  It's good, not bad.

See, I have gained about 40 lbs in the past year.  This makes for a catch-22 situation.  I need to exercise, but even walking is painful.  The weight is not good for my joints and other systems.  So I should exercise but ack.

So I persisted with my desperate pleas with my docs about assistance with this matter.  Cuz walking it off was not even an option.  I have curtailed and altered my diet.  I am increasing the intake of water.  Some of it is the medication and my thyroid problems and we are taking proactive steps now.  FINALLY.

And the physical therapy is to help strengthen my lower back and work my stomach muscles, some of my leg muscles, and mostly focus on torso so that my spine is supported the way it needs to be.  It took me the better part of 6 months to bring this to the serious attention of my docs.  In large part (pardon the pun) because I don't "look" like I weigh over 230.

Gee, you carry it so well.

K, yeah, well, see....It doesn't matter how "well" I carry it...my knees protest stairs, my back protests chores and a stroll to the mailbox, my blood rushes through my ears, and I get winded...ok, so no that's not good and so I don't really care if I look like I weigh less than that.

230+ is a lot, a huge amount of weight to be on this frame.  No matter how large my frame is.  That is still not healthy.

It took me stressing this point to DOCTORS and other health care providers (what's wrong with THIS picture??!?!) repetitively for months in order for me to get through to them that this is a serious matter.  Ya know, affects the health in all sorts of ways.  Not even to go into anxiety and depression....

But the good news is....

We're doing something now.

So, good on me.

So yesterday...

Yesterday I'm eating a hearty breakfast of pancakes at the local cafe (which is really a 24 hr diner) and I pick up the local university's student paper.  I see that there are three students pictured holding signs that are imprinted with:  It's not just a food, CHINESE NOW.  Basically, the students would like the Chinese language to be offered as course work at the college.  Hm, not a bad idea.

Then I drift on over to the side-bar and stop slurping my coffee.  My eyes did a rather audible blink, blink and the diner-clatter faded in the background.  What is this I see?  Nooo.  Yes.  Whoa.

"Denver says 'yes' to Pot"

And there were some interesting editorials too about the issue.  One woman focused her entire article on how the legalization would allow taxation and do all sorts of wonderful things for our economy.  Now, these are not original arguments but they are still good points to be made ri'cher in what is a sort of conservative place.

The ironic thing is (well, there are many ironic points, but the one for HERE is) that ri'cher in Starkville, MS we are about to go non-smoking in all public facilities, including bars.  Which I don't see as being entirely incompatible...but it is rather odd that while one area of our fair country is doing one thing, another is seemingly so opposite.

The reason I say seemingly is because one of the other points made was that if pot were legalized, it could be regulated, and harmful additives could be screened out.  Whereas we already know that cigarettes do not have those harmful additives screened out.  So, some have made the case that alcohol and nicotine and caffiene are far worse gateways to hard drug usage than pot.

I'm just saying...

food for thought, good on the mile-high city.


It's been over a week since I last posted an entry.  Since then, I've been trained to be a mentor for the Peer to Peer education through NAMI.  Yea!!!

I also was extremely tired last week.  But I had appointments and obligations and things along those lines so I didn't get to get caught up on sleep.  And now, I can't seem to relax enough to go to sleep.  argh.

Saturday, my guy and I went to see his sister and her new baby.  The little guy was so tuckered out, cuz being born is rough stuff, that he snoozed right through all the commotion everybody made with the oooohs and aaaaaaaahs.  My guy and I gave a basket of onesies, sleepers, and bibs.  Oh, and one of those soft and squishee chicks that probably will not make it into the baby's room as every one was coveting it.

When we left Tupelo, we drove down part of the Natchez Trace.  The fall foliage was beautiful.  Lots of folks were out, enjoying the weather.

Then we stopped at The Sweet Potato Festival in Vardaman.  It is a very small town.  I think the fest was really good sized for the area it was in.  There was lots of food, crafts, and games, as well as two performance areas.

On the way back to my place, we stopped at Woodland Furniture.  It is HUGE.  It occupies the buildings which used to house the school system.  There is a big map/directory posted outside the office, near the parking-lot.  We didn't even go through all the buildings.  Mostly we looked at desks and office chairs.

This week has been rushing by...Monday I finally got the flu shot.  Yea!!  I didn't even get a fever.  Sometimes, I get sorta blech for a day or two afterwards, but still it's way better than the flu for me.  When I get the flu, it takes a good 2 or 3 months for me to recuperate.  So it is a good idea for me to get the shot if I can.

Last Friday, I started physical therapy.  Today I had it again, and so will I tomorrow.  Usually it is a Mon-Wed-Fri thing, but my therapist will not be here this Friday.  Which is fine.  I'll have 4 weeks.  We are working on strengthening my lower back, in particular.  Actually, my torso is receiving the full work-out.  So far, it hasn't been too taxing.  I'm hoping that at the end of 4 weeks, I will be able to do some of the exercises at home.  Right now, mostof the therapy is on machines, with weights for resistance.

November is full of friends' birthdays....if you are reading, Brenda, HAPPY BIRTHDAY today the 9th.  My friend up in PA is having her birthday on the 11th, and another PA friend is having his the 17th.

J-Land's own Judy Heartsong is having her's on the 16th.  If I had to choice with whom to share my birthday, it would be her.  So, Happy Birthday to both of us.

Another friend here in MS is having his on the 22nd.  AND MY GUY'S is the 28th.

Of course, Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  In fact, I heard an ad yesterday on the radio for the Christmas Parade that is scheduled for this Friday.  Can you believe it?  I'm so not even ready for the holidays this year.  But ya know what?  They are happening whether I am ready or not.

I haven't seen my parents in a year.  We might get together for Christmas.  But that remains to be seen.  The price of gas has put a crimp into travel plans.  Also, there are other small issues, like the furry critters.  I don't think I want to load up my car with three dogs.  One of whom has a spastic colon, another who does not travel well (he's a little guy and trembles, tucking himself into my chest and trying to burrow under the seatbelt), and although Shaddow travels very well, I think even she would find the space to be cramped.  I'm not sure if my folks could come this way or not.  If they do, they'd have to bring the RV cuz I don't have lots of sleeping room.  Also, mom's cat rules the RV when it is parked here.  My dad's dog gets along well with Shaddow but the other two little guys here haven't met him yet.  Clyde (dad's dog) is very mellow, so I am sure he won't have a problem.  But Ace, my boston terrier, gets to thinking he's big billy bad-ass and sometimes his growling challenges are hard to ignore.

So that's all the news here...

30 October 2005


I woke up this morning feeling not so good.  Kinda puny.  Ya know, just sorta shaky, sorta achy, sorta nauseous, sort clammy...just not quite right.

So I went back to sleep for a bit more.  That helped some.  Finally, though, I HAD to get up...even turning the clocks back wasn't helping all that much.  cuz i got so much to do and so little time.

I folded clothes, washed the whites (they're in the dryer now), started to get things together for the next few days...finished the paperwork for the NAMI folks I'll see tonight...got online and started to sift through email.  ya know, stuff, just stuff that has to be done.

yesterday i asked my neighbors if they could let my pups in for the night, out for the day, i got food (would they feed and water em?) and all that.  sure they would.  i knew they would, but it's always a good idea to ask.

so, i have a few things to do.  then, i'm ready to roll on down the road for the peer to peer mentor training (NAMI).  yippee!!

actually, I am feeling muuuuuuuuuuuuuuch better.  and i know this will be lots of fun.  so i am all giddy.

and it's at LAKE TIAK-O'KHATA which is soooooooooo cool.  peaceful, beautiful, and with it being fall, i'm sure it'll be even more breath-taking....

so, dudes, might not be around to update for awhile...don't worry, i'll buzz back in when i can!!  have a great week!

28 October 2005

Yet another interaction with the doc's receptionist...

This morning, I checked my messages and my doc was calling to say that one of the reasons I am feeling sorta sluggish and gained EVEN more weight was because she needs to up my dosage of levoxyl (synthroid, the stuff your thyroid makes to help you do many things, not the least of which is to metabolize your rates a bit).  So, she says, would I please return her call and tell her which pharmacy I use.  She'll call it in.

I call the doc back.  Realizing she's most likely in with a patient, I figure I'll leave a simply message that the simply receptionist can grasp.  There I go thinking again.

Recep:  Hello, such and such a clinic, kinahhepya?

me, speaking slowly, clearly "e nounc e ating":  hello.  I am returning Jayne Hare's call.  I want to leave a message for her.  My name is Debra.......

her:  wait!  are you a pt here?

me:  yes, i see jayne hare.

her:  ok, name?  your's i mean.

me:  debra ........(I spell my last name after saying it, with a pause after every 3 letters.  i repeat the name, then the spelling again.  experience has taught me that people here add extra letters that don't even vaguely belong and substitute other letters where they see fit...say an "n" for an "m"...that's why i go nice, slow, clear, repeat.  sometimes it does the trick, sometimes it does not)

her:  k, what's the message?  WAIT!  is it Debra Kaye?

me:  yes, yes it is.  (i know that I am the only one with my last name in the entire region, not just this county.  let alone the ONE with the first name debra to go with it...but apparently ascertaining my middle name is of key importance)

her:  k, what was the message?

me:  "the drug store I use is ............"

her:  k.

me:  WAIT!  got my number?

her:  yes it's on caller id and on the computer records...

At which point I wonder if perhaps caller id has the SPELLING of my NAME (oh, hell just my name would suffice, cuz i know the phone company has it right, we made real sure of that in the very beginning.  me, cuz i wanted to be listed right.  them cuz they like to be able to go after ya to collect their money and it helps if they have as much correct info as possible, like your name, in all its gloriously correct spelling)...and how much of this driveling sniveling assinine routine is to test my sanity's bounds...which is why i have counseling today, to check and see how my sanity is...cuz i wanna make sure that i haven't been losing it or misplacing it or leaving home without it...

i've been known to do that before, leaving it in my other hat.  boy, oh, boy, what a day that makes for...sometimes, i leave it in the car at night, that way it's there when i go somewhere the next day...

kinda like the teacher asking if you all have your thinking caps on....i picture my sanity as a skintight oldfashioned swimsuit cap.  One of those thick rubber ones seen in old synchronized-swimming films.

Mine is a lovely shade of aquamarine.  sometimes it blends.

Taking the next step

Well, in less than 2 months, we've presented, supported, educated, and advocated to and for and with about 100 people in person.  I've taken a few weeks away from mass emails and other letters with info.  But, I'll probably start that again in this next month.

But, this Sunday night, I set off for Lake Tiak-O'Khata for the Peer to Peer MENTOR Education Training.  I took the education course in June and it was my first NAMI experience.  Now, I am preparing for the position of mentoring for others when they take the Peer to Peer Education workshops.  Cool, huh?

We train Mon, Tue, and Wed.  I imagine it will be very good.  But I think come Wed evening I will be one sleepy, tired girl.

Speaking of which....blink, yawn, blink...g'ni

27 October 2005


Well, the latest is that the newest addition to my guy's family won't arrive til next Friday.  The doc decided lil Gabe could grow a bit more in him mum's belly, so they'll wait another week.  I wonder how she is feeling...last time I saw her was when my guy and his sisters (and their families) got together to celebrate their Mother's birthday.  She was just tiny, just starting to show at about 6 months or so.  Of course, all the women in his family are lil itty bitty things.  Making me a giant by comparison.

Speaking of giants, Roald Dahl's "BIG FRIENDLY GIANT" uses the phrase "How whoopsy-splunkers!" rather joyously.  This brought to mind an entirely different babe.  My lil one and half year old friend...

She's recently discovered that unlike her mom who only lets her pretend to feed her, I will bite.  My little friend approached me the other day with an animal cracker and offered it to my mouth.  Actually, she pressed it against my lips.

I (not having children) didn't realize I was supposed to go, "hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm" until she took it away.  Whereupon, she would feed it to herself.  I didn't catch that little rule in the book, I must not have gotten to the "Toddlers Feeding Others" chapter yet.

Anyway, she pressed the cracker to my lips.  I opened my mouth.  She reached her little hand into my mouth and placed the cracker wayyyyyyyyyyy at the back of my tongue.  For some reason I thought of taking communion from Father Neopachi (I'm not Catholic, but I visited my friend's church when I was a teen, seems I got hazy on rules even then, cuz when she went to take the body/cracker, so did I).

I waited til she removed her hand and then started to chew the cracker, "mm good, thank you."  She seemed sort of pleased and mildly surprised.  So she must have decided this was a fun game, because she got another animal cracker from the bag and was going to feed it to me too.  But I hadn't finished chewing the first one.

My lil friend's mother came back in the room and saw the baby "feeding" me the cracker (pressing it with increasing intensity against my lips) while I was moving my head further back out of her reach.  My friend said, "say, mmmmmmmmmmm, miss debra."

I swallowed and said, "I already did."  My friend looked really confused.  So I further explained, "when she feed me the first one."  My friend's eyes got a bit wider and she opened her mouth for a moment.  This has long been recognized by myself that I did something "not right".

Unsure of what faux pas I'd committed this time, I waited for her explanation.  That's when I found out that you're not supposed to actually eat the offered food, just to pretend that you are.  Well, I thought the roles were reversed, baby feeds adult...but hey this is all new to me at this point.

That would be a "whoopsy-splunkers" move on my part.  I think that's why my lil friend likes me so...I'm a lil different from the rest of the adults that follow the rules to the games.  I actually bite.

26 October 2005

trippin to the docs, the blood draw OR a halloween tale

Wed.  8:40 am appt. Yea, for me!  I got there early.

The doc pulled a pop-pap on me.  THAT caught me off-guard, but it's not like I had to study or anything...I just wasn't expected to experience that jolly treat.  There's a reason we do this once per year and no more.  Although I feel better hearing, "your cervix is looking healthy" to which I want to respond, "well, a healthy cervix is a happy cervix"; it isn't something I devote lots of thought to.  This paragraph is probably the most I'll focus on that part of the exam, here in the journal or anywhere else for that matter.

Moving on...the nurse was new.  She came in to do my blood-draw.  I asked her what all she was drawing for...she told me, seemingly offended.  I said, "um, ya need another tube, without gel in the bottom."  She snaps the tourniquet on my arm and snaps at me, "been doing this a long time, I KNOW which tubes I need."

Ok, folks.  I know getting the nurse pissed that's gonna stick ya is not a good idea.  But dudes, I've been going at least every 3 months for blooddraws for the past several years, because the one drug I take could seriously torque the liver functions...that and I need to stay within range for max benefit.  So, I know which tubes LABCORP uses for which tests that I need to have done...cuz where my health is concerned, I just am a busybody and like to know what is relevant to me.

Besides which, I have been increasingly hard to part with my blood.  My veins are easily "blown" and I bruise super easily.  Once they get the blood flowing into the tube, leave the stick in and snap in the next tube, really it's for the best.

I say to her, "no, I'm serious, you'll need to do a tube with NOTHING in it for the (drug) levels".  She pops her jaw out and with clenched teeth, grinds out, "I know what I'm doing."  Nope, she didn't.

She is slapping away at my arm, thumping, poking, prodding, rubbing, sterilizing, and then doing it all over again.  I hesitate to tell her that she might as well forget the inner creases of my elbow which is usually where draws are done, and go for the lower (fore)arm.  I mean, what the hell do I know?  I must not be around when I get my own blood drawn.

Finally, she seems to have found something.  I think she was just determined that she was gonna get that needle in me no matterwhat.  So she stuck me.  Nothing.

She jiggles the needle around.  Nothing.  She slides it in and then slides it mostly out.  Nothing.  She angles this way and that.  Nothing.  She now is beginning to mumble to my arm and the needle, as tho my vein will pop into place and the needle will seek it successfully with a little verbal coaxing.

She then drops the tube and all the accutraments, leaving the needle and its casing bobbing in my arm.  She bends and then suddenly straightens, cuz I am guessing she remembered that you aren't supposed to leave a needle unattended in the patient's arm.  Not good policy, all kinds of things could happen.  I could have for instance, pulled it out and stuck it in her rump when she was bent over.  Not that the thought even occured to me, but I'm just saying.

She is very flustered by now and says to me that we'll need to do this later.  After popping a bandaid on me, she vacates the room and my doc breezes in.  I like my doc.  I interviewed her and chose her to be my doc.

We do the ol in out scrap thing.

Later, I'm in the lab.  Waiting for the next attempt at the blood draw.  The same nurse wants to try the other arm.  Fine.  Basically a repeat of the fishing expedition.  Only this time, it's hurting some cuz, well, there're nerves in there.

Then, after she has popped another bandaid on me, she calls in the reinforcements.  The headnurse of the lab (who has stuck me both successfully and not so, in the past) comes in...she assesses the situation.  Moves back to the first arm, and tries for a nice beautiful blue line to the extreme edge of my arm.

Nothing.  Then, SPLAT.  OMG, the two nurses actually jumped back like my blood was gonna spurt on them when it is in a contained butterfly tube.  But there is no flow.  Not into the tube anyway.

There is however a nice pool spreading inside my arm, under the skin.  A widening woman-made pond that is not going to yield any fishing in the near future.  But because of the jostle the nurse gave the needle, there was a bit more pain and I felt momentarily woozy as she pulled back.

Now, my blown vein is dripping blood unto the countertop.  I remain fairly calm.  I even make the dry suggestion that they could just pop my wrist and the nurse was horrified, omg, no, you'll bleed to death.  This as I am wondering how many CCs I am losing to the papertowels...and the red haz-mat bag.

My doc sticks her head into the lab.  Problems?  Umm, yeah.

She comes over, lemme try.  Sure, I say, go for it doc.  I bare my other arm.

I say, I know it hurts, but can you take it right there?  pointing 1/3rd way down my forearm to the side a bit, where there is a bright blue line practically pulsating at me.

Sure, she says.  Ever so gently, she inserts the needle.  The nurses are peering over her shoulders.  No one is breathing.


And then, YES, a blood-flow!!  As the first tube is filling, the doc asks the first nurse for the other tube.  She gapes about as though something will come to mind in an hour or so.  I say, she doesn't believe that a clear tube is necessary.

The doc deftly reaches under the counter and snags the right tube without losing a second and pops the first tube off and affixes the second.  She says to the nurse, "you always do drug levels in the clear tube, no gel in the bottom or any other prep."  The nurse flushes deeply.

I am happy to be finally through with my impression of a pin-cushion and/or bloodless ghoul.  The doc slaps another bandaid on me.  The nurse is protesting that at her old job they never did it this way...and the doc says, "well, LABCORP is particular, ya know...."  shrugging as she leaves the room.

I hop down from the elevated stool and skedaddle on out, feeling like I ought to have a sucker.  I mean the least they could have done was offer me a dum-dum.  I like the rootbeer ones best.

Another Yippittee Skippittee moment...

It's very rare that I actually awake feeling REFRESHED and that I have had ENOUGH QUALITY sleep that I can face the day without really wanting to ignore any and all other commitments, appointments, or even the phone (the ringer is perpetually "off" in my home).  So, when I woke up at 7am this morning (on my own, without the alarm) feeling bright eyed and bushy tailed, I had to do some self-monitoring for a moment.  After I got dressed that is, cuz dudes! it was less than 30 degrees this morning....

First off, I know some of you might be like, "7 is early for her?!"  Well, yes, it is.  I need solid sleep and very rarely get it.  I'm seeing one doc today and another next week, so I hope to get that straightened out.  Cuz sleep hygiene is such an important thing.  Do ya think I have been reading one too many medical journal articles when I start using lingo like "sleep hygiene"?

Yeah, me too.

Second, I am in an almost constant-mode of self-monitor.  It makes me feel better to think that I am staying in touch with myself enough to know what's going on with my various systems.  In a way that sounds sorta new-agey but with a mechanical twist.

But, ya might not realize this (so, I'm telling ya), but for some folks, that extra happy, weeeeeeeee phase of bipolarism known as mania, is the absolute BEST...they crave it.  Me?  I am scared of it.  Rather, I should say, I have a healthy respect for knowing that the state of mania and all it's zippittee-ness is extremely hazardous to me and my health, even my sanity.

So, while it might seem that thinking, hm, is this ok to be this perky? might seem to be odd for some; it's the right thing for ME to do for myself.  But on the downside, I have been known to go too far with the whole self-monitoring thing....I told my therapist that I know I need "help" when I've began to be wary of being happy.  Cuz, dude, life is enjoyable and those happy times are GOOD things...

I just need to remember not to get too swept up and carried away in them...

25 October 2005

exasperated doesn't even come close!

To borrow a phrase from the Scalzi dude, "argin fargin"....

I have started this week in a deplorable fashion and seem to be stuck in the mire.  It ain't lookin too awful pretty at this point, guys.  First off, I seem to have started to speak in swahili or some other unknown language to these here parts.  An example of this can be seen by a brief re-cap of yesterday's visit to the Doc's.

Receptionist:  hi, can I help you?  (pointedly ignoring the drug-rep, who was trying to juggle multiple boxes of various sizes filled with samples, yippee!)

Me:  yes, I'd like to make an appt.  I'll need it for the first thing in the morning because I'll have to have a blood draw.

Her:  Well, we don't make appts on Tuesdays.

Me:  ...k, today is monday and I don't want the appt for today, or even tomorrow, it's just that I need an appt that is first thing in the morning, because I'll need a blood draw.

Her:  You can just walk in tomorrow.

Me:  ...K, I don't want to compete with other walk-ins.  I would like an appt.  I need it early, because I need lab work, including blood work.

Her:  Would Wed be ok?

Me:  Yes.  (BIG SMILE)

Her:  Ok, morning or afternoon?

Me:  Morning, preferrably first thing in the morning as I need to have blood work.

Her:  Well, there isn't an appt avail until 8:40.

Me:  ...K, 8:40 Wed morning is great.

Her:  I'll write that down so you don't forget.

Me:  Thanks.

THE OTHER RECEPTIONIST:  hey, don't forget to put it in the computer this time ok?

Her:  Oh.

Me:  (silently eyeing the drug-rep who has now managed to stack all the boxes and is observing this exchange with a rather amused expression, i would have been amused too, had it not been so damn irritating)

Her:  Ok.  Name?

ME (I give my last name, and spell it)

Her:  Oh wait, is that your last name?


Her:  Oh, wait, have you been seen here before?

ME:  yes.  I see Jayne Hare.  (cuz it is a multi-practicioner facility)

Her:  ok, (muttering, jayne hare, (my last name, including spelling it out) appt date and time)  Now, what is it for?

Me:  (blinking rapidly and breathing with a maximum amount of control)
She prompts me, "What's the appt for?"

Me:  Well, it'll be a check-up, including a blood draw, amongst other things.

She finishes with a flourish and looks downright proud of herself.  I prompt her for the appt card that she is still holding.  Then I ask, "Are you still in training?"  (I'm thinking THAT was a stupid question, but apparently not.)

She gives me a puzzled look, "no, I've been here 3 yrs now."

The day did not improve with the propane dealership encounter.

It's days like that I wonder, "Is it just me?  Have I begun to cycle inappropriately...?"

my vivi votes go to...

Journal of the Year:  Judith  Heartsong (love ya Judi!)

Lord of the Blog:  The StupidSheet Guy (St. G, ya done good)

Lady of the Blog:  My feelings are real...  (yes they are, and doncha go fergittin it!!)

Duchess of the Blog:  Adventures of a desperately fat housewife

Marquis of the Blog: Aurora Walking Vacation (p.little, a wide variety with a quirk, my kinda read)

Best use of Graphics:  GCS (even tho his approach has changed slightly, his journal is worth a visit, an add-to-your-alerts, and a few comments)

Most humorous Journal: DATING TIPS FOR PSYCHOPATHS (what can I say?  it speaks for itself)

Most Emotional Journal: Just One Girl's Head Noise (not so much for her display of emotions, so much as the emotions evoked.  pammee, you go girl)

Most Thought-Provoking Journal: My feelings are real...(and don't let anyone ever TRY to convince you that they aren't)

Most Educational Journal: Confessions of a Madman (dedication, MM, you d'man)

Most Inspirational Journal: Just One Girl's Head Noise (cuz she is REAL and sharing and we're all rootin' for ya girl!)

Best Family Journal: DUST BUNNY CLUB OF NORTH AMERICA (an oldie but oh so goodie)

Most Outspoken
Best use of Attitude:  Screamin' Remo (might not always agree with him, but that doesn't matter, he gets his point across and usually with some real gritty intelligence...ya just don't find that very often)

Most Well-Written Journal:  Unhinged (hands down, you kick it girl!)

Best Entry/or Series of Entries: Day in the life of Shelli D (usu a good read)

Best Theme-Based Journal: Stories From My Ambulance (nuff said)

Best New Journal: Adventures of a desperately fat housewife (glad i found it)

Best-Kept Secret Journal: Lotus Martinis (no secret to me)

Most Missed Journal:  (sniff) A LIFE IN SLOW MOTION  (i think i've finally accepted she's not coming back in the form of slomo...and what a great loss to this community that is)

Most Creative/Original Journal: My feelings are real... (gutsy)

SO...from me...
  "My feelings are real.." earns three votes;
  "Adventures of a desperately fat housewife" earns two;
  "Screamin' Remo" earns two;
  "Just One Girl's Head Noise" earns two;
  and to all the nominees, congrats.

I'd like to add a special note:  there were some journals and folks that I love, that were not nominated (admittedly in part because I didn't nominate any one or take part in any phase except this final vote).  Some of these are found on the side-bar.  Also, Jimmy of StupidSheet Guy is a fairly new addition to my preferred reads.   MM (madman) and P. Little (aurora) are great to pass the time with.

And Judi, you ARE the best.  Make no mistake, honeychile...  This lady was the reason I began an online journal in the first place.  You'll always have a special seat reserved in my kitchen, pull up a chair, grab a cuppa, and we'll talk.

embarrassing, but shhhh, nobody tell him, k?

Ace has been a good dog since I've had him for about a month.  Well, he was probably a good dog before that, but you know what I mean.  There's been a problem which has persisted though.

Ace had some of the most high-octane flatulence problems I have every encountered.  Clear the room, bring tears to your eyes, leave you gasping for breath, and it lingers.  I thought, well he IS a little guy, comparitively speaking.  And little guys tend to have nervous delicate systems.  So I figured give him time to adjust.  Feed him the good food that seems to have straightened out Ziggee's similar problem when I first encountered him.

But I really thought four weeks would be enough.  Apparently not.  So I looked on line, cuz surely there are sites which discuss canine flatulence issues.  Oh boy and is there ever.

With all sorts of conflicting advice.  Feed him this, avoid that.  No, feed him that, avoid this.  Poor guy, he always looks so down-hearted when the gas passes and he has become a rather smelly dog, needing some sort of relief, solution, pronto!

One possibility that has been mentioned several times has been (gulp) expressing the impacted anal glands.  Ok.  Dudes, I don't even wanna go there.  Literally.

But I will if it means he will be happier and healthier and those of us in the household, including Shaddow and Ziggee, are also happier and healthier.  Cuz I am not sure how much longer my brain can sustain the lack of full-bodied properly balanced Oxygen.  That and Ace really is shamed by this.

So, shhhhhhh, ya'll don't tell him, k?

He's sensitive.

The new babe, Gabe

Ya know, as a general rule I don't use names (except mine and the pups') in my journal.  My guy is, my guy (I know, how original is THAT?  but it keeps confusion to a minimum so I'm sticking with it, besides, it kinda has a catchy ring, doncha think?).  MY mom is memom for reasons I will not divulge at this time.  Maybe later.  Dad is dad.  Cuz that's who he has always been.  Sometimes, just to irk my brother, I would call dad, "MY dad" which somehow my brother took to imply that dad was not also his...but I digress, yet again.

So I am breaking my own tradition by sharing with you the moniker of the newest addition to my guy's family.  His sister is due to give birth to Gabe in just a few days.  I'm so excited, I can't hardly sit still.  Cuz I might get to see him on Saturday.  And I haven't seen a newborn in years.  And maybe I oughta do something about that internal, maternal clock that's starting to sound off and annoy the hell outta me.

I went months ago and pawed through bibs at a consignment shop (the same one from which I bought my queen-sized bed).  I selected 10 of them.  Cuz babies use lots of bibs with all that drooling going on.  I even got matching "Daddy's little boy" and "Mommy's little boy" ones and just how adorable is THAT?!?

Then this weekend, my guy and I went to Wal-Mart.  I found a small willow laundry basket.  Covered its bottom and sides with a few layers of tissue-paper (green, yellow, and of course, blue).  Filled it with baby-boy things...

I took all the onesies outta their packages, rolled each one up, and tied a bib around it.  I stacked them carefully in the basket and topped it off with a card.  In the basket were also 3 pairs of newborn-sized socks.  An aside here, why do the socks have no-skid grips on them?  Does someone think a newborn is gonna hop up and skedaddle across the kitchen floor?

The card shows little diaper pins scattered across the front with a rubber duckie pictured front and center.  The outside reads, "Just a little something..." and the inside finishes with, "...for your little someone."  I gave the basket and all the trimmings to my guy to deliver to his sister from the two of us for Gabe, the new babe.

His older brother, who is now 4, asked his mom why they were buying diapers.  After all, he is a big boy.  His mom explained that the baby would need them.  To which he replied that he'd teach Gabe not use the diapers but to use the potty, like he does.

Kids, ya gotta love em.

FREEZING my ass off in Mississippi

Lest ye forget my whereabouts, I am located in the SOUTH.  As in the southeastern region of the USA...as in Mississippi.  Been here, going on into 5 winters now.

Oh!  ya think it doesn't get cold in MS?!?

Well now, lemme tell ya a thing or two.  I know cold.  I grew up in the Pocono Mnts of Pennsylvania, for pete's sake.  Ya know those little caps Laura and Mary wore in Little House?  k, well so did I, in my big house, with no heat in my bedroom.  I would weight myself down with so many blankets and tuck me entire body, head and all, under the covers, just leaving my nose to poke out so I could breathe.  Usually, the position I went to sleep in was the same I woke up in, cuz, well with that many blankets, quilts, comforters it's kinda hard to move.

It was so cold that I would set my alarm clock across the room just so I HAD to get out of bed (throwing my clothes under the recently vacated warm blankets so that the bite would be slight eradicated...ever try to put jeans on in a room that has windows that ice has formed on the inside of?  denim is frigid, even with thermals under them).  When I moved to Valdosta, GA, I returned home to PA for Christmas one year.  On the drive up, my skin gradually lost any moisture content and by the time I cruised past Harrisburg and meandered up along the Susquehana, my hands were cracked and bleeding.  So, I know cold.

So when I tell ya that I am FREEZING my ass off in Mississippi, I mean it.  I have a big-butt so there's plenty to freeze...but that's beside the point.  The point is, I didn't expect to have demanding winter weather in Mississippi.

The cold here is damp.  It penetrates to the bone.  It settles in the joints.  It shows up along about October or November and stays til April.  This is a cold that once it's in me, I can't shake.  I'm not warmed and thawed through for months and months.

Every muscle in my body spasms and cramps with shivers.  My joints creak and ache.  My nose threatens to run off my face and hide in warmer spaces.  Even my hair becomes frigid with the oncoming winter weather.

Visions of Bob Cratchet with his multilayered look, scarves, hat, and gloves to boot whilst indoors are not so very foreign to the actual look I am currently sporting (except I haven't yet rooted for my gloves).  Perhaps I should have titled this entry "got gas?" cuz I sure am limited on the propane right now.  This means I get to be really really cold, or I get to bundle up and stay in bed, or I get to run up my electric bill with the space heater I have, or I get to spend a significant amount of time away from home in warmer environments.

I'm terribly frightened that this winter is gonna be a tough one, tougher than most.  Cuz it's already this cold.  My pipes froze last night, I kid you not.  And what with the price of propane...ack!  ack!  ack!

The one really cool thing about all this, I have my three dogs and they are little hot-pads.  One nestles into my belly, one nestles into the small of my back, and shaddow, well she sprawls across my feet and ankles.  I'm sure we make for a funny pic, but it works for us.

Hope you are staying warm!

MY Mom

(special thanks to Andi for sending me this little number)

Ok, I know that I shouldn't brag like this, but...MY mom is superWOman!

Alright.  I'm gonna be 35 next month.  Ya'll might say I'm biased.  But, MY mom really is astounding.

And today is her birthday.  She's 29 (again--still, always and forever).  It's appalling that she has a daughter my age...

Lemme list out a couple-few reasons I think MY mom is frabulous.

First, there's the obvious.  I mean, without her, where would I be?  Literally.  No where.  So, there's that.  Ya know, the fact that she's MY mom.

Then, there's the childhood stuff i remember...the sacrifices she made (and didn't make a point to say, "i've worked so long and hard and made all these sacrifices...", cuz really THAT fact is just as important as the acts she did and didn't do, as the case may be).  MY mom graduated high-school, a few years back (but not TOO long ago, mind you, cuz after all she is only 29), on a Thursday (I know this cuz that school always grads the kids on Thursday) and began work at the sewing factory with HER mom on the following Monday.  Mom continued to be a seamstress for most of her adult life, my entire childhood and then some.  She worked lots of overtime, came home and brought work with her, cuz we had several industrial sewing machines in our dining room.  MY mom has always been a hard-worker.

And then there's the fact that MY mom is smart.  And I'm not just talking about book-smarts (although I'll get to that later).  MY mom raised me up to be a critical thinker (tho ya can't always tell, but that's not her fault, lots of that's my own doings).  MY mom was always open to discussion about almost any topic.  If she didn't know much about that topic, she wouldn't bullshit ya into thinking she was all-knowing.  MY mom just knows lots about lots, but then maybe most kids think that about their moms, but with MY mom, it happens to be true.

Then there is the book-smart thing.  MY mom went back to school, earned her Associate's degree, at tender age of 50.  You go, girl!  And guess what?!?  MY mom is now in school again.  Betcha she gets her Bachelor's by the time her 60th rolls around.  GOOD ON YOU, memom!!  (wink)

THEN too, there's that love.  MY mom has a remarkable capacity to love.  She doesn't tolerate shit, so don't try to pull the woolover her eyes.  But she'll love me true forever and for always cuz she's MY mom.

But even if she weren't MY mom, I'd love her anyway...cape, tights, and all...

Happy Birthday, memom. 

I love ya.

22 October 2005

Bath Day at Debra's

I just couldn't stand it anymore.

The filthy.
The smell.
The wafts of aroma that trailed...
The mud.
The dried (and yet oily) skin.

Times a couple-few bodies.


So, first I dumped Ace in the tub.  Scrubbed him down but good.  He stood still for it.  Though you'da thought I was traumatizing the poor guy.  Drying him off was okay too.  He seemed to like the attention.  I even got in and cleaned his ears out.  He obliged by cocking his head, first thisa way then thata way.  He got his special-favorite treat.

Then I dumped Ziggee in there.  He tried his damnedest to wriggle and writhe and slip my grip and plunge out of the tub.  But I held my own.  After all, he's about 5 pounds.  Soaking wet.

I cuddled with him while I was towelling him off.  He was shaking like uh, well, a chihuahua (which is in his genes).  I cleaned his ears out too.  But only after I pried him off my chest.  I don't know why he was cowering so.  But for some reason, baths just aren't his thing.  But all's well.  He was a good guy.  Yes, he was.  He sure was.

Then Shaddow eyed me up.  I eyed her up.  We both headed down the hall.  I went into the bathroom, she tried to turn the backdoor knob.  I wrestled her into the room and shut and locked the door.  Ya gotta understand, the lock is about my eye-level so I counted on it to keep her in.

I heaved her into the bathtub.  Here's where it gets interesting.  She's a lab.  65 pounder.  The best way to "bathe" her is with the shower.  So, I climbed in too and got her nice and soaked, me too.  I lathered her up with apple doggie shampoo, me too.  I rinsed her.  Then let her out of the tub.

Shake it off, girl!!  Shake it off!

She shook it off everywhere.

After I showered, I climbed out and toweled her down.  I grabbed a few more towels and dried her some more.  And well with a lab, ya just don't have the same dryage success rate as you do with say, a boston terrier or a rat-cha.  So, after I cleaned her ears out, I unlocked the door and let her out into the house.

Then I had to swab down the rest of the bathroom.  The floor, the cabinets, the washer and dryer, the walls, and the toilet all were coated with black lab hair.  I'd like to see a forensic scientist try to chart that splatter pattern!

So, now I'm fresh and clean.  I smell vaguely of sugared apples.  Ace is spiffy.  Ziggee is happy.  And Shaddow?  She wanted out into the yard post-haste.

So, come Saturday night, if ya'll are lookin for some good clean fun, head on over to my place and feel free to jump in the suds.

20 October 2005

Pimp, pimp! Hurray!! Pimp, pimp! Hurray!!

Pimping Paul pimps posts.

Paul pimps the posts on CarnivAOL.

Pimp, Paul, Pimp!!

See my pal, Paul, pimp?

Paul proudly posts on his own journals, too.

Paul even pimps here.

Pimp, Paul, pimp.

17 October 2005

Mississippi Dept of Corrections, NAMI, and Me

Well, a friend went with me to assist with the presentation for the Mississippi Department of Correction's training.  I'm glad she did as she had never seen an IOOV and she was a huge help to me as several things required "fixin'" (the TV/VCR and the flipchart and the improvised easel).  Also, she served to help me check my reality of the situation afterwards (for example, was that man as hostile to me as I thought he was?  Why yes, Debra, he was.  In fact, I think I would expect him to do his level best to rip you to shreds in his evaluation.  Thanks, that's what I thought.)

As I assumed, most of these folks resented having to attend YET another annual week of training for field officers.  I discovered when I got there that I was scheduled for 4 hours (?!?!).  No problem.  So I asked the coordinator of training for MDOC, when I met her right before the presentation, if they would be heart-broken if I let them out early.  She said of course they would.  So I did my damndest to keep them there til six.

No.  All kidding aside, I was scheduled to begin at 1.  But because the guys didn't really want to be there, we started at 1:30 when most of them straggled in from an extended lunch.  I told them I was going to give them a modified presentation because after the IOOV, we would take a short break, then I was going to cover some other information in brief.

Shortly after I began the IOOV, there was a gent who interrupted me to tell me that the problem with my suggestion that they should take someone who might be off their meds, self-medicating, etc. to the ER is that, well, who is gonna pay?  So I repeated his question so we ALL could hear it.  and said, let's focus on that.  First off, if the person needs meds, they aren't going to receive them in the jail cell.  Second, it has been FEDERAL law for about 15 years now that the ER cannot refuse treatment based on the ability to pay, especially if it is truly an emergency.  Third, ability to pay should not even compete with matters of health and life or death.  Tho it does and we are often the worse for the wear for waiting too long to seek treatment.  Fourth, most of our counselors, mds, etc. tell us to call 911 in the event that we are feeling suicidal.  We are told that we will be taken to the ER where they are equipped to deal with crises.  It's a good thing for me to know that if ever I need to call 911, I can expect you to lock me in a cell instead, thus triggering deeper panic and perhaps bringing on a psychotic break.

The gent glared at me and he crossed his arms like a petulant child.  I don't expect he'll send me a christmas card this year.  So, there might be a really nasty volitile evaluation, penned by him.  If so, I decided to take it with a grain of salt, cuz you win some and lose a few for whatever reasons.

Shortly after that, another crusty ol fella whipped out his cell, sent a text message, then followed that up with a cell call.  I stopped in midsentence and waited til he noticed, and asked him to take it outside, thereby extending common courtesy to myself and the other attendents.  He stopped out with not a lot of grace.

I am thinking that won't be a glowing review either.  Damn, and I was so counting on a perfect-pleasing score of having nothing but super positive evaluations and feedback.  But alas, I think the general overall mood was one of, I'm here, cuz I gotta be, alright?  YOU the speaker should be glad...

I did do the IOOV and asked them to complete the eval forms before they stepped out for a break.  I think there were a couple folks who did not complete them.  I think there were 15 or 16 people there, excluding my friend and myself.

The state coordinator for education and training of these fine folk, approached me afterwards and asked if I would be willing to come to the state convention next year and speak.  I said, of course, I'd be delighted.  And I would be.

Cuz, afterwards, there were a few folks that made their way up to me and thanked me for coming out.   They said that it was good to put a face to MI/BD (mental illness and Brain Disorders--not bipolar, cuz i know in med field they use bd to designate bipolar, but i used mi/bd to stress the chemical/biological nature of the condition in today's presentation).  The folks who approached me afterwards were very encouraging in their words and feedback.

One gentleman said that I have inspired him to finally do what he has been thinking of and that is to offer a support group for divorced fathers so that they can better understand how to effectively stay in touch with their children in reality, instead of in body only.  That was a real boost to my day.  I wish him lots of luck.  I told him that that sort of thing is needed in our society.

so, that was a quick overview.  when they came back from break, i told them about the education classes, and the three most common mi/bd, and our support groups here in the Golden Triangle.  They had that info on a sheet in front of them adn I said that I am certain that each one of them knows at least one person that could use this information, so please pass it on.

So, there might be a few less than glowing evaluation sheets.  I'm chalking that up in part to the general hostility that those persons might have had regardless of who gave what presentation.  Course now, I could be wrong.  They might have been mature enough to set aside their obvious contempt for attending such things, and actually paid attention and learned some amazing (shocking, but oh so true) things about MI/BD and those who have the conditions.

Anyway, there it is.  I hope that I did not encourage hostility with any of my own preconceived notions or assumptions that I drew early in the game.  But I think I most likely did.


16 October 2005

just checking in

Getting ready for Monday's presentation to the fine folks at Mississippi's Department of Corrections.  You think I can convince them that since the sight of one uniformed officer is enough to trip a panic attack, that the whole lot of them should oughta strip to their skivvies?  Then I wouldn't have to IMAGINE them in their whitee tightees....

13 October 2005

Omg, omg, omgaaaaawd!!!

Ok, so today, I zoom by and remember to pick up the ladies that I forgot to get last Thursday...I go to the Starkville meeting.  It progresses quite nicely.  I chit-chat with a friend of mine.  That progresses quite nicely.  I love on her baby (who has decided that I am now in her good graces, again).  That progresses quite nicely.  I go to the Columbus meeting.  Say it with me now, that progresses quite nicely.

And guess what?  I've been invited to speak before 40+ law enforcement officers on Monday.  I plan to do an In Our Own Voice Presentation and take along lots of pamphlets and information on the support groups.  I'm sure it will progress quite nicely.

And guess what else?  I've been invited to speak before another group, in Columbus.  And I am sure that will progress quite nicely.

And!!!  Some local therapists and counselors want more information to spread to their clients about the support groups.  So that is progressing quite nicely.

And!!  I got some reimbursement checks so that is very nice indeed.  My gas tank thanks NAMI Mississippi and so does my printer (it was low on ink) and so do I.  So, it is all progressing quite nicely.

Now, if only I could organize the entire backseat of my car....there're pamphlets and books and files, OH!  MY!  and posters and hand-outs and envelops OH, MY!  I am thinking maybe I should change the title of my journal to "All things NAMI-related..."  or how about "MI?  BD?  Take a look-see"?

Ya know, I think I might be feeling a little too happy...

12 October 2005

"...nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall..."

Well, you know as well as I do, we all make mistakes.  Even the post office makes their share of faux pas.  So here's the thing...

It's actually quite funny.  No harm done.

About a month ago, I got a call from NAMI-MS office to see if I could fill in for a woman who had to leave the area on short notice.  Sure, I said, just send me enough pamphlets and materials to get started.  So they did.

Well, I take my peach colored slips to the post office to claim my packages.  Mr. PO-Clerk takes the slips and disappears.  For a really long time.

I am beginning to think, maybe he went for lunch, break, or something.  But nope, he comes back and very apologetically says to me that 2 of the 3 packages are accounted for and if I could just sign here and print there and then sign here and print there, well then he would give me two of the three boxes.  Yeah, ok, and?

Mr. PO-Clerk says to me that he will scour the back, ask my delivery man, diligently search all the nooks and crannies.  In short, he vowed, he would live no stone unturned.  I was beginning to think I saw his chest swelling and then I decided it was a trick of light.

So nothing comes of it.  Til today.  Today, I was in my whitee-tightees, about ready to strip them off and climb into the shower.

When I hear a horn blast several times, my 3 dogs went into a spasm of barking, and I went into a spasm of trying to jerk jeans on and i grabbed the first top and shoved my arms and head into the appropriate holes.  The top turned out to be my PJ-shortie gown.

I tripped over the dogs and made it down the steps in one piece.  I go out the gate to meet the PO delivery man, who is rather friendly.  He didn't even smirk at my pj's and wild hair.

He says, hey there!

I say, hey!

He says, I got this here box that's been supposed to back to the sender cuz of the red-hand return-to-sender stamp, see there?

I say, I sure do see it.  It's the box that I was supposed to get like a month ago.

He says, That's what I thought too.  I looked at the date on the stamp and I said, that gal out there, she probably needs this here box.  I better run it on out there.

I say, Well I sure do appreciate it.  I took my lil peach slips in to claim it and they couldn't find it.

He says, Well, here you are.

I say, thank you so very much.

He leaves.

I think, ya know, I betcha it's cuz it didn't snow, sleet, nor hail on account of it being SUMMER in Mississippi that I didn't get the package til now, that the evenings are chillin.....

10 October 2005

blah blah blah d'blah, sigh, blech

some days, it is a struggle to get up, out of bed, to contemplate taking a shower, (usually if i can get so far as the bathroom, bushing my teeth is priority), getting dressed is a choir, let alone doing anything constructive.

some days are like that.

i have fewer of those days, these days.

every day was like that for the better part of two years.  and i gave up on trying to explain to friends and family that pulling myself up by my bootstraps wasn't the answer, namely cuz i wasn't wearing them.  i stopped trying to explain that taking a walk was exhausting not invigorating.  I gave up on trying to find the words to describe how I was feeling, mentally, physically, emotionally.

now, i co-facilitate support groups for those with mental illnesses and brain disorders.  i advocate when and where possible for those who feel helpless and voiceless.  i educate various groups, including those who are mental health care providers.

and yet...

when it comes to friends and family, i've given up trying to explain, advocate, etc.  i think that's sad and wrong.  one of these days, i'll be brave enough, coherent enough to talk to them and explain with clarity.

one of these days.

not today.

07 October 2005

Slightly bewildered

Subject:  Slightly bewildered because I am experiencing conflicting feelings.  I was so tired this morning, but cozy as I wriggled further into my nest of sheets and blankets and dogs.  I slept in.  It was really, really nice to sleep in.

But I wanted to get some things done before I went for my own counseling session.  It has been over a month since I have seen my own therapist.  So I really wanted to make sure I got there on time and all.

So I called all the folks I need to call about the NAMI Support meetings.  For the group here in starkville and both groups in Columbus.  I sent a few more emails about said meetings.

I afixed more postage on certain returned envelops that I stuffed with pamphlets and letters and info sheets.  I tidied up on a few last chores I needed to do before I left for tomorrow's convention.  I felt a real sense of accomplishment, along with zinging and pinging thoughts and racing heart.

I go to counseling.  I won't go into HUGE details.  But...

I discovered that I made the paper.  My former counselor clipped it and brought it down to share it with my current counselor.  I had no idea.

I mean, I emailed info but no one contacted me.  And I don't get the paper.  A friend mentioned something a few days ago, but I thought she meant the other Debra (there really is another Debra that is a good friend to us both).

Of course, the paper and the library were both closed.  A search of the archives online yielded nothing.  So I guess I'll just wait til next week.

Then I came home and my neighbor and I took turns sledgehammering concrete and digging dirt.  Ya know what?  Flying chips of concrete leave bloody lil knicks.

So, I threw my clothes in the washer (now, they're in the dryer).  I'm gonna shower.  I'm going to bed early.

Big day tomorrow.

Mood:  Actually, tired and reflective.  But those aren't options.  Neither are.

Music:  including:  The House that Jack Built; Son of a Preacher Man; Spirit in the Dark; I say a Little Prayer; Bridge over Troubled Water; Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing; Without Love; Eleanor Rigby; and Rock Steady.

06 October 2005

uh, and other witty comebacks

i don't know where to start, cuz there really is no beginning to this thread.  it's just woven right into the fabric of life, one episode after another, some sliding and over-lapping.  so i should have known better to slam-dunk 40 ounces of dark caffiene...at the time it seemed like a good idea, cuz i was not used to the whole "pre-dawn/being in a public place so early" thing.  so i thought caffiene would help.

oh boy WAS that a bad bad bad idea.  yes.  say it again with me. yes debra, bad idea.  first off, caffiene with my Dx is not a suggested combo.  then there's the idea that the Rxs are a good mix with caffiene (i very briefly thought of this as i washed down this morning's main meds with italian dark roast).  and then there's the notion that caffiene is not a good idea on an emp-a-ty tummy.

but, i was so busy doing my thing, that i did not realize that my hands were shaking.  my arms were shaking.  my head was a bit spastic, and then i realized my eyeballs were rattling about in their sockets.

ok, so, i get to the meeting, and realize i forgot to call, notify, and PICK UP several of the women.  smack.  the only thing that made it even somewhat ok was that it allowed us to focus on really giving someone the help and attention that was needed.

ok, so i'm stuffing envelopes and taping, and stamping, and choosing pamphlets (cuz very few places really needed all 9 pamphlets).  i got seriously hungry so ate all the wilted celery i had in the car (long ass, boring story, lets not go into it, k?).  so now i'm fidgetee cuz of the caffiene and the need to hop up and run to the restroom every few minutes.

my friend's child, who up til now has delighted in me and i am tickled with her, decided today that she really didn't like me.  it's a phase thing.  maybe.  so she was crossing her lil 17 month old arms and pouting and glaring at me.  and i had no clue why she was doing that.

i dash out the door, swing by the post office, drop off all these super stuffed, stamped, taped envelopes.  probably pissing the postal people off cuz i'm sure there is some thing i am SPODA do for bulk stuff.  and drive over to the other meeting.

NO ONE showed up at the other meeting.  I was early.  as per usual.  and it was getting closer to the time for some of the folks to be drifting in...and NO ONE was there.  while i was sitting there, going over a few things, making a few lists, glancing at the clock, i began to tear up.

after waiting around for awhile.  i left a message for the admin.  and drove back toward home.  sobbing the entire way.  i would get things quieted to a sniffle, then burst into big ol streams dripping off my chin onto my shirt, which was getting drenched.

i swung by my friend's place, who had taken her father down to jackson for chemo today.  and left a note.  and then cried all the way home.

only to find ace had taken off for parts unknown.  i went out to finish working on the fence and somehow he got away.  i have a smaller dog than he, who does not flee, although he could.  and i have a bigger dog than he, who does not flee, but could as well.

and oh! joyous wonders, while i am out fixing the fence....the place i adopted him from calls to tell me that i am a bad mom (k, they didn't really say that, it was just implied) and this lady leaves a message telling me to call her.  so i finish the fence and realize, i sat in poison ivy while fixing the fence.  and i sliced my thumb numerous times, but failed to notice that bright red blood was causing my fingers to get really sticky.

so i shower and drive over to get ace.  he is being held in a chicken coop (?) behind a trailer that has enough lawn bags overflowing with beer cans to start a recycling center right there...i get him in the car, thank the folks for picking him up (right out side my house and driving him to their place, can you imagine, k, well, think on it).  drive home with a seriously flea ridden, smelly, unhappy boston terrier.

i figure i best return the call to the place i adoped him from, so i call and they want an explanation and my whole brain tries to jump out my mouth and what comes out is this "erk" sound.   which i covered by clearing my throat.  and all i could think at that precise moment was, "uhhhhhhhhh".

it's days like today, that i think, i so can NOT handle having a life.