Friday, September 21, 2012

A conversation with myself

Two weeks (3 papers, 4 researched discussion postings and 14 responses to others' postings.  seriously.  I counted) left in class 2.  10 classes left after that and then 18 months in the Master's program (oh what have I gotten myself into!) and I will be done with school in this lifetime (When I say 'lifetime' it doesn't seem quite so bad.  Maybe I'll miss it?                       Nah.).  I had another MS exacerbation at the beginning of class 1 (I think I already wrote about that) and most of the symptoms went away (Either that or you're dragging your leg again).  Did I mention that I got an A on the last 2 papers (100%'s. Not bad for an old bird)  and an A in the last class (98.37%.  Damn!  You have to remember to look for allllllll of the gramatical errors.  Thank the gods that blogs aren't required to have APA format!)  I'm not really bragging.  More surprised than anything (You think?  Beating yourself up over every paper doesn't tend to bring out the best in you.  How do you spell insecurities because I spell it L I N D A)

I am spending a hell-a-cious amount of time on school stuff.  Up at 5 and at it almost all day. On the days I don't work I try to go for a walk for a break (after you spend 30 min deciding if you can 'do' the walk.  Worst case scenario is that you turn around, dummy.  And just how many times in the past year have you not been able to complete a walk anyway?  ZERO times.  Get over it). And on the days I work, I work at the paper for a bit before going into work, print it off and work on it during down time at work, come home and type in the info/corrections while I eat dinner and try to connect with Terry.  Today is a day off and the goal is to complete 2 responses and get a rough completion of this week's paper so that I can edit it tomorrow and submit.  Sunday we are driving down to Terry's parent's house and I'll have 5 hours each way to connect with the hubby (what you should really do is print off the discussion questions for next week and do them in the car so that you can sleep unto 6am all week!).  If I'm done early enough today I hope to get my little garden weeded and some of the seed planted (tick tock baby.  seeds needed to be in 2 weeks ago). Remembering how yummy that lettuce was (and how convenient it would be to not run to the store for lettuce) is one of the motivators for cutting this post short at getting back to work on that (bloody) paper.

I've missed all of you and hoping that I can get caught up with your blogs soon (fat chance of that if you're going to whine about 'only' getting a 98.37%).

Somebody shut her up, will you?

Monday, July 30, 2012

hitting the books

Today is day one.  After 15 years of procrastination I have finally enrolled in school to pursue my BSN.  15 years is a long time to avoid the inevitiable.  LOL  I'm hoping that the accumulated energy of avoidance will prove to exceed the energy it takes to just tackle this bugger.  Graduation will be in May 2013 [with class ending Sept 2013-not sure how that all works]

I'm thinking a Mexican Fiesta for the graduation party - you're all invited!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Super glue

Well, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised but it caught me off guard again - another exacerbation. My leg has been wonky these past weeks but I was unable to move toes Thurs and the trigeminal neuralgia reared it's ugly head.  Stress will do that to ya.

Terry is back in Illinois handling the physical aspect of the eviction.  Lots of hard work that is almost done. Painting, cleaning, and LOTS of minor repair.  The good news is there was less major damage than we first thought AND I had saved enough scraps and pieces of wallpaper that Ella was able to repair what those horrid people had destroyed.  That and super glue :-)  :::shaking head.  Terry and his super glue:::  Funny thing is if I had been there I would have fussed and taken it down and started over. Terry squirted super glue in the appropriate places and spread it back into place.  Wall paper paste wouldn't hold it but super glue did.   End result is exactly the same, I just would have made it harder.  And more expensive.  Super glue hadn't even crossed my mind.

My daughter-in-law reports how much more peaceful it is with those horrid people gone for 5 days.  My step-daughter reports how excited her mom [Terry's first ex-wife] is to live up there and how, in Sept after my son and his family have moved to Kentucky, excited she is to live in the lower half of the house.  Terry says how much fun he and his friends/family have had tackling this project.  Hard work but fun. I'm thinking of starting a business there.  One that helps walk landlords thru this process.  Providing the muscle to move squatters out.  Providing before and after pictures to the landlord. Maybe a cleaning service. Providing a secondary source of income for some people back home whom I love very much. This is turning into a very good thing. 

Like the wallpaper, I should have just used super glue.  Like I would have done with the wallpaper, I've stressed and stewed about it, worked myself into a big lather over the past weeks and worked myself into this damn exacerbation. My own doing.  Trying to cover every angle.  Trying to cover all my bases.  Bases that weren't touched.  Bases not worth touching.

Today is Round 3 of infusions.  I hate getting the IV and I hate the way the infusion makes me feel.  Too tired to do anything and too cranked on the steroids to sleep or concentrate to read.  Crazy hungry and too nauseous to eat.  Eternally grateful for this treatment despite my whining.  It's been rough to go thru this all by myself but easier in a way too.  I'm glad Terry didn't see me like this.  He is back in AZ tomorrow and it should all be over.  As much as it is ever over.

Terry is reclaiming my house there in Illinois. 

I'm reclaiming my house here.  This garage is proving to be super glue for ME.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

This old house - update

I can't figure out how to upload the photos that were emailed to me but you get the idea.  This is some of the stuff that had to be hauled out.  Add many more bags, a couch and chair and mattresses.  The front door was kicked in as was the beautiful bathroom door. Tiles around the bathtub broken and/or removed. They drilled holes in the refridgerator and then punched dents in it. They left . . everything.  Food, clothes, furniture, toys.  Everything.  And everything with syrup on it.  Syrup in the stove and fridge. 
Let me say right now and to all of blog world - I have the most amazing friends and family to have taken care of this for me.  I will never be able to repay this debt.  Not ever.
Pat has repainted the trim in the livingroom while Ella and my daughter-in-law Heather have tackled the kitchen.  Zach repaired the tile in the bathroom.  Terry has done . . .everything.

There haven't been any more phone calls or text messages from the FORMER tenant since this morning.  Amidst the obscenities and screaming she told me I should be grateful [GRATEFUL!] that they didn't do more damage and that I deserved everything they did to the apartment and more. 
I can't wait to play that for the judge  :-D

Monday, July 23, 2012

This old house

That's Seth and Miles in the upper right, flying their kite. :-)

I spent a couple of hours on Sunday painting a picture of my house in Illinois . . in my garage in Arizona.  I'm not the artist in the family - that would be my brother Steve or my kids, Zach and Rachel.  I've never painted a darn thing. Not ever. My artsy-fartsiness  has been limited to sewing and cross stitch, scrap-booking and baking.  The garage project started out as me hating the floor [so I turned it into bricks like I did back in Illinois on our front steps] and the fence because Arizona just doesn't have picket fences.  Of course what's a picket fence without flowers.  What's flowers without a garden/zombie gnome.  And then the fence needed a gate because I got called out on putting up another wall or sorts and everyone knows a gate has to open to  . . .something or why is a gate there in the first place. There never has been a plan, I just keep thinking of stuff and adding it.  One thing leading to another.  Which is a good thing since there are 2 more walls  . . much to Terry's chagrin. 
I lived in this house for 12 years and have owned it for 15.  It was built in 1902 and has the original woodwork and some of the charms of an old house - the nooks and crannies that made more sense then than now but I love it all the same.  It was a sanctuary to me after the divorce.  A place to get back on my feet because there was a tenant upstairs helping to pay the mortgage.  It has also been a sanctuary for my son and my daughter during rough times in their lives when they need a place to live.  Ditto for my step-daughter.  I even moved back upstairs during a brief time when Terry and I broke up.  It's just always sort of been there.  A sanctuary.
That's not to say there haven't been problems.  There's always something that needs to be fixed - a broken furnace belt at an in-opportune time, plumbing repairs, windows needing to be replaced.  There is always a list of repairs that need to be done.  Even that has had it's good points - so many skills I have learned because I couldn't afford to hire it done.

Today is the day.  After 9 months of legal process my tenant is being evicted.  I have never had a problem with a tenant.  Not in 12 years.  I dropped Terry off at the airport this morning so he could fly back and handle things for me - I just get too upset.  Upset as in wonky leg and chest pain.  I just can't do it.  Terry's a good man to step in and deal with this [but I suspect he has just enough detachment that it's almost kinda fun for him] They haven't paid rent since Feb but it's not the money that upsets me - it's the disrespect.  The place is trashed.  They've kicked in the panels of those old old doors - they might as well have kicked me in the gut.  It's filthy.  The wallpaper has been ripped off - might as well have been my heart. 
They are way more savvy about this process than I am.  They are refusing to leave.  Even with a court order for eviction they are refusing to leave.  It blows my mind.  I have to pay to have the Sheriff show up tomorrow and walk them off the property. They won't leave without that. Just plain refusing to leave.  Amazing huh?  It astounds me that someone in there 20's could know THIS much about the system.  Last night they did move some things out.  Know how they did it?  Did they rent a truck or borrow a friend's car?  Nope - they called Late Night Ride, the free taxi service that is provided by the community to reduce the number of impaired drivers.  Late Night Ride exists out of the goodness of my community - no questions asked, they will drive you from one location to another. They called Late Night Ride right after they stopped texting me at 1am.  The 3 hours of constant texting telling me they weren't leaving. They don't pay rent, a community charity pays their utilities, food stamps, free childcare at the junior college where she has a scholarship and the local Salvation Army provides clothes, diapers and rides to school  Un-frickin-believable.

So.  I need to let it go.  Let go of the anger.  Let go of the frustration.  Stop the tears and the constant feeling that I'm going to vomit.  Letting it go.

I love that old house so I brought it to Arizona.  Bringing all the good memories and leaving the garbage behind.  Hauling the garbage down the vinca and rose bordered path to the road and leaving it there.

It's turning into a sanctuary again this time for Terry's daughter [the downstairs] and his first ex-wife [upstairs].  LOL  I gotta laugh but it's the right thing to do.

24 more hours and it will be a sanctuary again. 
It's gonna be ok.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

What if?

Last July I wrote this post  about the ER's responsibility to say 'No' when it comes to prescribing narcotic pain medication.  Addiction is never a patient's intent when they come back again and again and again for symptoms that don't match up with test results but it is a known fact that that is the likely result.  While the patient may not be ready to acknowledge this end result healthcare workers DO know the slippery slope on which they are headed.  I hate the healthcare dollars that are wasted by this 'frequent fliers'. I hate the drama that each of those visits bring in a effort to convice us that the pain is real. Most of all I hate that this is someone's brother or sister, someone's child and that I am playing a part in their undoing in the name of Customer Service and Patient Satisfaction.

Last year I even wrote Obama about my concerns. I almost got fired over it when I posted the letter on Facebook.  I wrote about a patient [didn't name him or disclose any details about him] who had been to the ER 50some times in 6 months.  Mine wasn't the only ER he came to.  He 'hospital-hopped' and didn't fill his prescriptions because coming to the ER cost him nothing.  He mis-used the system, frequently called 911 to bring him in and has been a pain in my butt the entire time I have worked there.

 He pissed me off a few times.  Really pissed off.  Tried leaving with his IV in more than once and I called Security each time.  There's only one reason a drug addict leaves with an IV in. After that little stunt I refused to start an IV on him ever again.  Met with the Director of the ER and refused to take care of him ever again too,  Nobody wanted to take care of him so I backed down from that.
As it happens all too frequently with addicts he got really sick several times.  Suddenly I was the only one who could get his IV - his veins were shot. I went from not wanting to do an IV on him to hoping I could get one in before he crashed. 
He and I talked about why I was so mad at him for abusing the system.  About why I was so frustrated he was only 31 and abusing his body in a way that would eventually kill him. A couple of times I thought I got thru to him.  Pretty sure I did.  Really thought I did at the time. Talked to his mom.  Thought I might have gotten to her too.

I haven't seen this man [or his twin brother who has the same addiction] for several months.  I've thought about him from time to time and hoped that they both beat it this time.

His brother came in today.  He has gained a much needed 50ish pounds and has been 'clean' since Christmas  - he really looked good - but fell off the wagon 2 weeks ago and was looking for some help.  He fell off the wagon because his brother had died.

I feel sick about it. Intellectually I know, as one of my favorite, trusted docs pointed out, 'he was living on a spent dime'  There is a limit to the abuse a body will take and Larry had surpassed his.  I'm sure the mg of Dilaudid administered in 2011 was in the hundreds.  Really. 
I'm left with this question that will always be there - What if?  What if we had said no?  What if I had been pushier and refused more?  What could I have done to tip those scales?

Just sick about it

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Opening up

I realized I had built myself another wall  :-)
So I added a gate.

If you look closely, midway up on the wall and left of John the Zombie is the beginnings of my house back in Illinois :-)