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([personal profile] marketeer Apr. 30th, 2017 03:37 pm)
For example, I learned that dental bone grafts are just about one of the most painful things that you can do, dentally speaking. It's probably just as well that I didn't google that before the surgery. I fel that if I could get through surgery for De Quervain syndrome two years ago, this wouldn't be so bad. I think the difference is that I was under for a lot longer this time (my wrist surgery was astonishingly quick), so I'm dealing with the effects of the anesthesia and oxygen as well as the pain of the graft. I went to the office on Friday, and it was a big mistake. I ended up leaving around noon because I felt so bad.

I am feeling better today, largely because the swelling around the diminished considerably overnight, but my throat is still very sore from the oxygen. Eating is challenging, although I did go out for breakfast with Mark this morning.

We had tickets for the Nationals-Mets game today, and I told him on Friday to find someone else to go with, so he's there with a friend, Jim W. They're eating all the unhealthiest food in the ballpark. Then he's going to go out for Mexican food after the game. He keeps calling me to tell me what they're doing. It's kind of like last September, when I came down with an awful cold and couldn't go up to the beach as planned. He kept calling to tell me that it wasn't the same without me, while eating dinner at the seafood buffet I steadfastly refuse to patronize. (It's called Crabby Dick's, and they're fond of tee shirts and signs with suggestive slogans about their crab balls. Plus, it's overpriced.) Thanks, honey.
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([personal profile] gale_storm Apr. 29th, 2017 05:47 pm)
"Short-burst ambush tactics"

This was a bit of the narration of a Nat Geo Wild programme about bobcats we were watching last night.  

I copied this bit down in a note because it reminds me of you-know-mew.

Tactically, Moxie seems to have something inside her that drives her to occasionally chase my feet. If she caught them, though, she might reconsider ever doing it again. Because feet. Yeah.


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A dear friend contacted me at random yesterday. They’re having a get-together at a nearby hotel, and asked if I could join them. Dinner and drinks will be served. They set me up with a hotel room and made sure it was OK that I brought Nora and Charlie, not just to the hotel but to the party as well.


I freaked out a bit, and I had no idea why. Mind you, I’m incredibly appreciative of their kind offer and will take them up on it. Still, somehow I was lying awake at 2 AM last night thinking about this and why it suddenly ramped up my anxieties to a fever pitch. I think I can make some guesses.


Dan and I were together for 18 years. In social situations, there was rarely just me or just him – it was usually us together, and I was very OK with that. I always loved spending time with my husband any way that I could. This meant that we weren’t really good at spontaneity, though. Travel required packing and making sure we had all electronics, CPAP, clothes, toiletries, etc. that we both needed. The dogs needed someone to watch them. Dan had food allergies we needed to take into consideration, as well as occasional flare-ups of IBS. So travel required some degree of planning ahead.


Now, within the span of 24 hours, I have received an invitation and will throw the dogs in the car and go spend the night away from home with pretty much no planning at all. Mind you, I did this for the 12+ years I lived on my own before I met Dan so it’s not like I’ve never done so.


I realized that this is a very firm reminder that Dan is gone. And that’s a new kind of pain.


As with so many feelings I’ve had over the last month, I have to acknowledge that pain and deal with it. It’s not going to go away – this isn’t something that gets better. But I will learn to deal with it. I will go and I will spend time with friends. I will have fun and re-learn a bit of spontaneity. I may need to take a break from time to time, but in the end I think I will be glad I went. Certainly nothing good is served by sitting at home alone.


Life goes on, and every day is a new day of learning to cope. Some days I’ll cry, some days I won’t. I will find new ways to press on. But I will never, never, never forget my love for Dan and the wonderful life we had together.



Also posted on Tumblr at: http://ift.tt/2oFvLUe

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([personal profile] marketeer Apr. 27th, 2017 05:19 pm)
I "worked from home" today. You've got to love a job that that's flexible. I had my cell phone next to me in case any emails came in, and I dialed into one conference call, but that was it. I needed a quiet day. I didn't sleep well at all last night, and I still felt woozy from the anesthesia and the painkillers yesterdays. Apparently, dental bone grafts are more painful than extractions. I also look like a squirrel gathering nuts for the winter on one side due to the swelling. I also was able to eat more today, which made me feel better.
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([personal profile] duncandahusky Apr. 27th, 2017 07:45 pm)


I’ve written about my mental health in the past and how I talked to my doctor in early 2015 about the anxiety and depression I’ve experienced for a good part of my life. Since then I’ve been on a course of Prozac and Wellbutrin that has served me exceptionally well. When I started the medications, though, my doctor suggested (though didn’t insist) that I supplement the treatment with other assistance, like yoga, meditation, or therapy. I agreed it was a good idea, but never really followed up.


Now here we are two years later. I was a couple of weeks into grieving and feeling completely unmoored and drifting. My friends and family have provided an amazing amount of support, and that’s great and so appreciated. However, at night, when the lights are off and it was just me and the dogs, I was finding myself lying awake for hours. At work, the slightest thing was setting off a crying jag. The worst of all was that the last minutes of Dan’s life played in a loop in my mind, over and over, setting off a cascade of guilt and despair.


I finally realized I’d had enough. I thought I could be strong and endure the grief alone. I had to admit that I was wrong. Not only that, but I also had to come to terms with the fact that I was wrong and that was OK. I needed professional help.


This being the digital age, I started where one normally starts: Google. Even the slightest mention of finding counseling or therapy in my area pointed me to the Psychology Today database. Now, I can’t vouch for the quality of the contents of the database, but it is certainly easy to apply filters. I narrowed things down to someone within 10 miles of me, who specialized in grief counseling, and was LGBT-friendly. This gave me a handful of names to work from. I cross-referenced this with my health insurance provider’s in-network database and settled on a therapist ($20 co-pay per visit. I can deal with that). I called and was able to set up an appointment for two days later.


I showed up a little early and filled out the forms, and then Patti introduced herself. We chatted a bit and then got to the heart of the discussion. I provided some background about myself and Dan, and we shared a chuckle because she and her partner had the same experiences we did, going from commitment ceremony to civil union to marriage. I won’t get too specific about the rest of the conversation except to say that it included a very difficult recounting of what happened on Dan’s last day, and what had happened and how I felt since.


Patti sketched out the approach that she thought might be good for future sessions (acceptance and commitment therapy, for those who might know what that means). We had a good conversation about how I tend to think very logically (hey, I’m an engineer through and through) and overly emotional thoughts can seem odd and irrational to me. Part of future sessions will involve reconciling the logical and emotional parts of the brain, and finding some kind of a happy medium.


The most important part of our conversation for me was when we discussed the images and events that kept looping in my mind. Patti explained that this is something commonly seen in people who have experienced trauma, such as those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. What is fascinating to me is that this is actually a physical manifestation, not a mental one. The brain is physically changed by trauma, and the looping events are a common symptom of this.


What does this mean, and how do I deal with it? Well, that is part of the conversations still to come. In the meantime, knowing that this is something physical and not a mental aberration or weakness has helped me tremendously. When I start to experience this, I can identify it for what it is. I’m still working on how to cope with it, but even that much is a big step forward for me.


So that’s where I am right now, and all of that after just one appointment. Unfortunately, Patti is on vacation this week, but our next appointment will be next week and I’m looking forward to it. Just having gotten over the initial internal resistance to seeking help was a big deal for me. The fact that I seem to work well with Patti and found the first session useful just confirms that I made the right decision. I know that I’ve got a very long road ahead of me still, but having one more tool to help me cope will make it that much more bearable.



Also posted on Tumblr at: http://ift.tt/2qkg0yt

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([personal profile] gale_storm Apr. 27th, 2017 05:04 pm)

Really, this is strange. I've now tried to call someone from my iPhone in the middle of the night. But I didn't. Really, I didn't, but now it's been done twice, just last night being the second. Now I'm wondering whether Little Miss Moxie Pinknose has anything at all to do with it.

And, no, I only refer to The Cat by that name in joking terms, such as here:

Oh! I'm up and so is CF or TC or CP or whichever acronym she chooses to be today. So, she's kind of like David Bowie but with lots of wild howling and earflaps.

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([personal profile] gale_storm Apr. 28th, 2017 05:57 pm)
Watch it, kid. Next, she'll expect you to bathe yourself. Yeah, just watch the cat. Watch in horror.

What is it in me that wants to put the word 'horror' in dark red in a bloody drippy font? I'll leave that to you, deer reader. Yeah yeah, I was supposed to address you as 'Dear Reader,' but it seems that Vincent Price stepped into my mind just then.

 

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([personal profile] marketeer Apr. 26th, 2017 06:14 pm)
Today was Day 1 of the 2017 Dental Extravaganza. I had the bad tooth pulled, a bone graft for the implant that will replace it, a root canal, and a temporary crown installed. Thank Heaven for general anesthesia; there's no way I could have endured all of that wide awake. After Mark drove me back home, I napped till 3:00, then got on a conference call for work. My biggest is now is that I can't really eat much. I've had some yogurt and applesauce, and Mark is going to bring me some soup after he gets off work. But, because I couldn't have anything after 12:00 last night, I'm absolutely ravenous. I think I'll make some rice next.
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([personal profile] marketeer Apr. 25th, 2017 09:43 am)
While we were on vacation, I noticed that one of my teeth was becoming a little sensitive. I'd previously had a root canal and a crown on the tooth, so it didn't hurt. It just felt a little funny. I went to the dentist after we got back, and it turned out that there was decay below the crown that had penetrated down to the bone. The treatment plan was to pull the tooth, put in replacement bone, and eventually put in an implant. The dentist also noticed that a very old filling (dating from my childhood) was cracked, so it also needs a root canal and a crown.

Long-time readers may remember that novocaine doesn't work for me and, thanks to our evil family dentist who didn't believe me, I grew up to be severely dental-phobic. For anything more extensive than a cleaning, I have to have general anesthesia.

I've been trying ever since then to get medical clearance for the anesthesia. My EKG was fine, but my primary care doctor wouldn't write the letter to the dentist without hearing from my allergist about whether my asthma was under control. It wasn't. I've had two bad cases of bronchitis this winter, and I still had a slight wheeze. I had to go on a steroid inhaler for a week to see if that helped. It did, and I'm finally having all the dental work done tomorrow.

But, the big news is that my new allergist says she doesn't think I actually have allergies anymore, just really sensitive skin that reacted to the pricks for the testing in the past. She did blood tests (nine tubes of blood when I went to the lab), and the blood tests showed no allergies, except a slight one for milk. I always said I was never convinced the allergy shots worked.

This may mean that sinus surgery is now in my future, though.
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([personal profile] gale_storm Apr. 23rd, 2017 02:57 pm)
Grissom: High school has a timeless quality.
 
Warrick: Were you a jock or a brain?

Grissom: I was a ghost.

CSI (season 1, episode 27)
 
Huh. Yeah. This pretty well describes me in that environment, too.
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notmanos:



Not that anybody asked for it, but here’s part two of Construction Zone: http://ift.tt/2pNSc6J




Also posted on Tumblr at: http://ift.tt/2p5AUnq


notmanos:



Another bit of flash fic for you. Not as violent as the last, but weird. http://ift.tt/2oyFRBo




Also posted on Tumblr at: http://ift.tt/2oSEHnU

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([personal profile] gale_storm Apr. 21st, 2017 02:28 pm)

http://www.gocomics.com/half-full/2017/04/21

It used to be called the Heavy Petting Zoo, but someone got offended. It was the beaver. Yeah, she was bulimic and was sometimes mistaken for a toothpick dispenser. 


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