Sunday, November 27, 2016

When You Think About It...

Yesterday, I read someone's comment to a post regarding the "Gilmore Girls" - something to the effect of "I was too busy being pregnant and raising children to watch that show."  It reminded me of this comedy routine from two women making the comment that pregnant women are too smug.  Truth is - they are right.

As of late, I read so many women my age going on about raising children and the sacrifices that they made.  Because of that, they feel entitled to certain things.  You know, I look at this from a different point of view - that of the single, childless female worker. 

No matter what order, the decisions to have a child and get married are made by you.  No one told you that you had to do them - it was a choice that you made.  However, those of us that do not make that choice are looked down upon and expected to give up their vacations during the holidays in order for you to fulfill your plans because you have a family.  I mean, how much more blatant could that whole scenario be explained as well as in the movie While You Were Sleeping.  Sandra Bullock's character is single and childless, but her co-workers expected her to give up all of her holidays for them to spend with their families.

While I realize that those times are very special in the "family" dynamic, I think those same people need to realize that you cannot consistently call upon your single, childless co-workers to work every holiday season.  Allow those people opportunities to spend time with their parents or families.  Not every single, childless person is an "orphan" - some do have their parents and other family members that they would like to see during the holidays.

It really makes me sad when people use their life choices as excuses for why they do not like something.  You know what, you do not like it - I don't need your excuse.  That is almost as bad as listening to a friend go on about how much she does not like cornbread.  Or the nasty look she gives when something does not appeal to her and she expects her company to feel the same.  Just to piss people like that off, I go for it.  You did not want dessert or even that type of dessert, hey, more for me - bring it!

This life is just too fucking short for that sort of behavior.  Someone does not like "Gilmore Girls", then turn off the TV and walk away - don't post about it or anything like that because it is just stupid and makes that person look like a pompous ass. 

I feel a lot of my irritability towards this behavior is because of the election.  Never more than this election have I felt that I had to be conform myself into some damn box.  I am a fucking human being and I have my opinions and thoughts.  They may not agree with you, but rather than just agreeing to disagree and remain friends, I have to deal with smug, snotty attitudes on both sides.  Seriously - this world has bigger issues - get the fuck over it.  As for having children and raising them, that was a choice you made and good for you for making an effort to do a good job.  However, do not hold that over my head as if you are better than me.  You made a choice and I made a choice.  Neither are better than the other, so there is no sense in trying to make that choice look like one is better than the other.  It is not an opportunity to use as an excuse - you made a choice - that is it.

People scream for equality all day, every day.  How can you have equality when among ourselves, we put ourselves above one another for one thing or another?  That has to stop in order to make sure we are all equal.  Otherwise, it just continues.

So, the next time someone uses the excuse that they decided to have a family and so forth, I plan on making sure that I let them know - "Hey!  That was your choice - just be honest with yourself - it was not an interest of yours and live with it."

Friday, November 25, 2016

When Giving "Thanks" Turns into Tears...

Yesterday, I had to take Chloe back to I-20 for a recheck.  This time, she would get a sonogram and x-rays done.  Overall, Chloe had started back to eating, but she had a small incident with diarrhea.  Chloe's vet came back into the room alone and gave me the bad news.  There appears to be a large lesion on Chloe's liver.  I was stunned and yet, I am not sure why.  Maybe because I had always hoped that Chloe would simply go to sleep one night and not wake up.  I could bear that.  I would not like it, but it would be easier to make sense and I would avoid the heartache of making that huge decision.

I suppose that is why my mother wanted me to care for Chloe after she passed away.  She figured I could handle the hardest of decisions.  Honestly, none of us can handle those decisions, especially with those closest to us.  Chloe has been a large part of my life for a long time.  Nothing makes me feel more loved than to be sleeping in bed and feel her little body pressed against mine.

Trying to celebrate Thanksgiving yesterday was not easy.  I kept crying like a big baby, but I tried to keep positive.  I have months and maybe even years depending on how things go.  She is and always be the sweetest of girls and carries my heart.  She reminds me that I can love and be loved.  I love her to the very core because she was just so very special.  When she passes away, that chapter of my life regarding my mother will be closed.  

So, for the time I have with Chloe, I will work hard to make her comfortable and happy.  She deserves all of the good stuff life has to offer - chicken with rice and cupcakes.

I tell Bo that he will have to be prepared for his mamma to lose it because I will when she passes away.  I am so very thankful to have Chloe in my life and I will be so very sad when she takes off to be with my mom.  I know Chloe's vet was trying to ease the pain by telling me that I did a good job taking good care of her.  However, I am grateful for Chloe's vet in that she told me that we needed to just make her comfortable and dissuaded me from any thoughts that would make life more painful for her, which is not what I want.

Right now, I have spent the day breaking down in tears grieving a bit over the news, then worrying over my own issues.  Just praying to be strong enough to handle everything.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Scary Times Ahead...

I try not to worry and allow life to run its course, but unfortunately, my mind just won't let me.  This past week, I was completely stressed out over getting my first set of injections done for my right side of my back.  Mainly because I was worried about my potassium levels.  I got the same nurse who had issues putting the IV in my vein under my wrist last time.  So, that did not put much strength into my faith that all would be okay.

The nurse did get the IV into a vein on top of my left hand.  However, when she drew blood for labs, the machine returned that my potassium level was 7.  I hit the roof mentally.  I need this to work!  I have to get this done and I need to get it done now - not next year when I have to pay more money to have it done.

So, this nurse decides to rerun the labs by drawing more blood.  She tries every port in the IV, but nothing comes out.  However, I am bleeding like a stuck pig all over the place.  I nearly lost it.  She decides to try to pull blood from my right arm.  She needs the vein finder to do it.  She gets in the skin and starts mucking about with the needle.  It hurt like hell and she finally gave up when there was no blood to be taken.  She went to get another nurse.  That nurse finds a good vein, gets the needle in, and is able to pull enough blood to show that my potassium level was 5.1, which is the high end of normal, but I am able to get in there and get the shots done.  

The only person I felt even remotely comfortable with this time around was the anesthesiologist.  God bless him - I am not sure what I would have done if he had not been there.  He put me at ease and talked me down from where I was mentally.  I was able to get the shots I needed in my back, but I so did not need that hell.

As to how I am doing with my back, well, I still have a lot of pain, but I feel it pulling mainly on the left side.  The injections hurt a lot, so this second time, I will make sure to use plenty of ice packs to help with the swelling.

The next day, I went to see my OB-GYN.  I watched a video on how a D&C is performed.  Next, I signed some paperwork and the doctor came to talk to me.  I discussed with her about my high potassium levels and explained that I could not take Motrin due to my kidneys.  She looked at me and said "You just cannot catch a break, can you?"  That was when I broke down and cried.  I said that my mother's cancer issues started with her having cervical cancer in 1980, then she had vulvular cancer in 1998, and the rest of the history.  I cried and said I was so scared because I have no idea what is going on inside of me.

She held my hand and reassured me that we were going to make this okay.  I laughed and said, I am praying that my body is just being a weirdo, as usual.  I told her how I thought I had PCOS (Poly cystic ovary syndrome) - I had never been regular with my periods, overweight all my life, and the dark hair around and under my chin area that I have to shave.  She told me that she would call me with the results - good or bad - I would not hear anything from a nurse - period.  Next, she had the idea that while I was out and she was performing the D&C, she would insert a Meridia IUD - the thought is that everything will be okay - just that my lining is thick and needs to be scraped out.  The IUD would release progesterone to help the lining properly slough off in layers, rather than gobs.

I have to go to the hospital tomorrow to have more blood work drawn up in preparation for the procedure to take place next Wednesday.

Next, I have issues with Chloe and her constant diarrhea.  I took her to the vet to get her checked.  She got a couple of shots and the vet adjusted her medication.  Chloe came home and just would not take any meds - period.  She would not even eat her soft food.  It has been hell the past several days with her.  She is finally getting around to eating her soft food as long as I heat it up a bit in the microwave.  Tomorrow, I am going to poach some chicken and cook some rice for Bo and her to eat.  I think both dogs would benefit from having a bland diet.

I have a grooming appointment set up for both dogs, but I am scared to send Chloe.  She really needs the grooming badly and I cannot do it due to my back.  I have a difficult enough time just bending over to clean up the poop on both dogs, then carry Chloe back up the stairs.  I feel awful, but I just cannot do as much still.

While none of this is Chloe's fault, I am so down trodden over everything.  It is almost like when I was caring for my mother while she was dying.  I am trying whatever I can do to try to save Chloe and myself.  It just feels like it is never enough.  In the meantime, everything else around me is spinning so fast out of control.  I scream for it all to stop and give me a break, but it is just not happening.

I ask the rhetorical question - Why?  However, is there ever any "right" time for anything?  What is the lesson to be learned here?  I just do not get it and I feel completely lost.

I know my hormones have been out of whack.  Maybe it is something someone will notice other than myself.  However, no matter how hard I try to "give it to God", my mind races around with "What ifs".  I just wish I had someone to just hold my hand and tell me it will be okay.  It is okay to cry.  It is okay to be scared.  You will not be alone.

...It is hard being strong and alone...I know that is my fate in this life, but I do not have to admire or like it.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Where Am I Now - Health-wise?

Past few weeks have been crazy.  I finally made it to get my ultrasound on my uterus.  The uterus and ovaries look great, but I have a thick lining in my uterus.  Make matters worse, what is there is in globs and not layers.  So, I am scheduled for a D&C to clear that out and test for cancer.

My mother's cancer woes began with her reproductive organs.  Her cervix had cancer, so they froze the cells off in 1980 - she was cancer free after that.  Next, she had vulvular cancer in 1998.  Nutshell, the outside was scooped out, but she was cancer free.  In 2000, she was diagnosed with colon cancer.  She had a resection done and endured 9 months of chemotherapy.  In July 2008, she was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer and lost her battle in January 2010.

So, as you can expect, I am worried and anxious.  As I explained to my counselor today, I do not want to go down as my own mother did.  It is not what she would want for me - I know that.  I remember her telling me that if she had to do it all over, I would not be here because of the pain she has had to endure with cancer.  She never wanted that for me and it upset her so much to know that it was something that would linger over my head.

My prayers are that I am worrying over nothing.  Otherwise, I pray that it is caught early enough.  Just another thing to preoccupy my spare time, I suppose.

The other day, I received a bill from a lab.   I was not sure why I was getting a bill since I have reached my maximum out of pocket deductible.  I found I was being charged for a drug test that my back specialist ordered when I was taking hydrocodone.  The lab was not "in-network", so they wanted $3600.  

I am fighting it.  The doctor's office stated that they contracted the lab for the patient's convenience.  Well, getting a $3600 bill is NOT convenient at all.  In fact, I consider it a scam.  The doctor is "in-network" and any lab work should have been done by an "in-network" lab.  If anything, next time someone wants labwork, I will be more than happy to drive my happy ass over to Lab Corp, as I do for my nephrologist, to get any lab work done.  This is just insane!

On Monday, I am scheduled to have my right side of nerve blockers injected in my back.  I hope this works.  I want so badly to be able to walk normally again.

I am working on easing myself off Facebook since the election.  People are so ugly - friends are ending friendships over who they elected.  Come on - it is easy enough to disagree.  I think I am just sick of having everyone who is upset that Clinton did not win the election cramming it down my throat that this country is racist and such.  I refuse to believe that entire nation is racist - yes, we have our minorities, just like any other country on this planet.  I wish these people could visit other areas of the world to be truly educated in how customs are.  There is a huge degree of racism and discrimination in the world.  We need to strive to be better, but this country is just like any other country in the world.  It is true.

I am also bothered by the media going on about how the Trump voters were primarily non-college educated voters.  I swear, we spend too much damn time labeling people when they could discuss by region - the urban voters vs the rural voters.  How difficult is that?  With all of the graphics that were shown, you could see that and it made sense - your everyday, hard-working farmers and so forth were making their voices heard.  Many of them either went to college or have a college degree.  I cannot stand the media.  I was sort of glad that their polls were off, yet, again.  I would be happier if people would tell them to STFU and not tell them who they voted for - then again, maybe many of them lied for that purpose.

It is sad when people are shamed for who they voted.  It is their right to vote for whoever they wanted to vote.  If you do not like it, accept the difference and respect one another.  Good grief - you would thought the whole process was a WWE special.

Sorry for the rant - I just hate reading all of the negative crap.  Yes, yes, you have your right as an American, but hey, at some point, you have to learn to let it go.  You cannot keep dragging it up every single minute of the day.  The election is over - life is important - focus.

With that, maybe I can find solace in the simple things while the rest of the world wants to wallow.  You see, I have a lot of scary things going on and I will be damned if I am going to let this election worry me.  Life goes on and I need to tend to me.

Thoughts and Feelings Regarding the Latest Presidential Election...

This year, the country needed to elect a new President.  Barack Obama cannot run as he has been in office for 8 years.  Has his presidency improved my situation over the past 8 years?  Not really.  In fact, it made it worse.  The Government health plan is wrought with issues.  People do need health care, but companies are not really doing their part to help provide that.  Did I see the administration do much about the corporations outsourcing jobs to other countries for lower wages?  No.  The situation only got worse.

So, when the process started, I was surprised that Biden did not run.  Then, again, I remember when he tried to run and he ended up dropping out over plagiarism.  I figured he did not want to go through that.  

Next, Hilary Clinton put her hat into the ring.  I lived through the "Clinton Years" in the 90s and I still have a bad taste in my mouth over that.  I flat out do not trust the woman.  I would have preferred Condalezza Rice to have run for office.  I would have voted for her in a heartbeat!

Bernie Sanders - I really could not get behind his plans.  

Then, there was the Republican offers.  Jeb Bush was probably the only one I would have voted for in that group.  However, in the end, Donald Trump was able to kick each and every one of them to the curb.  For the record - I cannot stand Donald Trump.  He is a loud, obnoxious, inconsiderate, ugly soul man.  At the same time, everything you need to know about him is out in the open.

The debates that took place between both candidates was a complete farce.  I felt I was back in middle school listening to two kids bad mouthing the other and going on about what they would do to one another.  There was no high road with either of them and it was just plain sad.

For me - neither candidate truly expressed what they would do to help this country.  When faced with the violence, neither had an answer.

When November 8th rolled around, Donald Trump won the electoral vote, so he wins the presidency, even though Hilary won the popular vote.  So, I can understand why people do not want to exercise their right to vote - the common man really has no say.  A group of elitists do.

It is what it is.  I did not want or vote for either candidate.  However, I am stuck with whoever wins the electoral college.  Okay - let's see what happens.  That is my attitude - let's see what happens.  Maybe he will be a good president; maybe he will suck.  However, I said the same thing when Barack Obama took office.  I did not like either candidate, nor did I vote for either.  However, like it or not, I said the same thing - "Let's see what happens."

So, now, I am going to voice my opinion regarding the reaction that so many people have had with this outcome - this is my right:

Hilary/Democratic voters:  Hilary made mistakes.  While a candidate cannot be everywhere, it does no good to shun the "common voter" to hob-nob with celebrities.  If you look at how the electoral college was broken down, those hardworking farmers and so forth were not happy with the current administration.  Those people did not wish to see another 4-8 years of the same thing.  Furthermore, I am appalled at the attitudes of those who consider themselves "open-minded" and so forth.  You label these people as "racists" and "misogynistic" because they voted for Trump.  Seriously?!  I would imagine a small minority are that way - a larger amount are concerned with how the current administration is basically taking from them to provide for others who are not carrying their weight.  Those people are screaming for help and to be heard.  Rather than insult and shun them, take some time to hear their fears and help.

I know all of you are hurting because you are so passionate for your candidate, but all of this gnashing of teeth, squandering around, and so forth - accept it.  I have accepted every single president elect in my 50 years on this earth.  It won't hurt you to think:  It is what it is.  I may not like this outcome, but I will get through this.  If I do not like what is going on, then by God, I am ripping out some people in congress in two years.  In the meantime, I am going to keep an eye on what I can do locally to make changes to improve not only my life, but others around me.  How about expending that energy there?

Trump/Republican voters:  I think it is right that Donald not accept the $400,000 salary.  He is wealthy enough.  Furthermore, make sure that Trump is surrounded by good, solid people who will guide him in the right direction.  Squelch building a wall - remember how well that went over in Berlin - it makes no sense, seriously.  This country was built by foreigners - let's try to make it better for the hardworking illegal immigrants to become naturalized citizens.  Help make health care more affordable - let's do something about these CEOs buying companies and raising medicine prices - it is beyond insane.  Also, how to make sure the doctors, labs, and so forth are not screwing the patients (I have my own story regarding this).

No gloating - you have a long road to haul here and you need to back your word and do your part.  There is a large part of America looking for better changes.  If anything, Democrats and Republicans MUST come together to help heal this country - it is in dire pain.  We have so many issues to fix and I know one President cannot fix what is wrong, but as a collective, we have to come together and do our part.

After you read this, consider the following:

Can Trump really make a lot change in his term in office?  He can try, but I doubt seriously a lot of that will be done.

Are these issues that the President/Congress really need to address or is this something I need to start addressing on a local level?  I think  you will find that internally, we have a shitload of work we need to do and we need to quit demanding someone else do that dirty work for us.  We need to step up and get dirty - it may get nasty at first, but in the end, we will all be better for it.

Lastly - What if - what if Trump actually does a good job?  The very least we can do is give him a chance.  Forego all of the insanity and let's just focus on trying to do the right thing.  I think we can all learn something from all of this.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Jumping in with Bullet Journaling...

I usually order a Circa Master Planner from Levenger and use it for planning my activities, events, and so forth.  As you know, last year, I got 2 planners.  When I attempted to use both, one for work and the other for health/miscellaneous, my life got pretty complicated.  So many calendars, work and personal, and trying to maintain some sort of order in my life. I was finding my life was becoming more chaotic as I was trying to make doctor appointments and consistently gettting meeting requests for work during the same time.

I had known about the Bullet Journal from a friend on Facebook, Stefanie Harvey, as well as Random Cathy.  Initially, I thought - This would be great!  I could see the ease of use and so forth.  Recently, I began to see all of these people who put their "BuJos" on display.  Oh - My - God!  Talk about overwhelming!  These beautiful pieces of art that you would love to be able to do, but yet, you feel like "How would I have time to do that?"  After awhile, I got too caught up in that overwhelming feeling.

Finally, I simply put my foot down and said - Just make it clean and simple.  Do you really need all of that frilly stuff?  Not really - I need the Bullet Journal to just do the simplest of functions for me.  Maybe later, I can add some pretty things to it, but let's not push it.  

So, I sat down and followed BohoBerry's suggestion - Mind dump.  Put down on a sheet of paper what exactly did I want the BuJo manage.  I feel that should be the first step for anyone about to create a Bullet Journal - sort out what you want to get out of this - what functions do you want to manage?

On Monday, I had a small notebook with lined paper and decided - This will be my step-off.  So, it won't be beautiful, but in order to find out what works for me, I need to "play" with it.  I went back to Ryder's site and watching the video.  Taking notes for what the "basics" are and working from that point.  I honestly believe, we should all start "clean and basic."  Later, if you wish to make it fancy, go for it.  However, I feel that this initial step is very important.

So far, I am writing down my activities, getting my appointments sorted out and updated in my various calendars, and setting up a health tracker.  I am working to track my blood sugar and pressure as well as setting up a "food log".  The food log helps me track how well I am working on eating better and seeing where I am making mistakes.

We shall see how well this test Bullet Journal works out for me.  So far, I am using it quite a bit to keep myself updated on my activities and so forth.  Trying to make it a habit forming thing to do.