2021/02/08

2021 – Day 39b

Da Goddess @ 05:44

There’s a post from yesterday (which I couldn’t publish due to connectivity issues) on another device I can’t access at the moment. In that post, I mention I’m working on something about the coronavirus and basic health concerns. It ties in with the discussion happening in the comments from this post.

As someone who spent a lot of money and time on education to become a registered nurse, and who spent a great deal of time continuing my education in the pursuit of practicing the best care possible (I still do this even though I’m no longer licensed because I want to stay informed and I like to learn), I value the wisdom that comes from those who are on the forefront of medical care — through research and clinical practice — and I have to take care to approach new information with an open mind free of personal or political bias. To be frank, disease doesn’t give a flying fuck what party you belong to or who you vote for. Disease just happens. And we fight disease with science, with fact, and with the knowledge that addresses the disease. Politics may decide funding and dissemination of information to the public, but the actual fight against the disease isn’t political for medical professionals on the frontline. It can’t afford to be.

Anyhow, I have thoughts. So many thoughts. About Covid and healthcare in general. About how information is spread. About how people want to believe in practices other than that based on scientific and medical facts. I’m all for complementary medicine — homeopathy and holistic approaches — when they’re used in conjunction with that of conventional medicine. Together, that’s where the best stuff happens. I have a few too many friends who rely on homeopathic remedies and/or supplements as their own personal shields against disease and who then are surprised when they discover they’re ill.

Basically, my thoughts cover all of this and more and it’s coming. I just want to say it right.

So, please feel free to join the conversation in this other post and I can address topics of concern directly.

My goal isn’t to make anyone feel bad, but to open minds and hope that logic and common sense win out over what feels to be self-interest (even when it’s not intended as such).

I love you all and value our conversations, whether here on the blog or via email or text or phone calls. So, don’t be afraid to join in. I won’t bite. I promise. It’s not hygienic and it’s difficult to do while masked.

2021/01/29

2021 – Day 29

Da Goddess @ 02:03

I’m still (mentally) on Day 28, but it’s officially the 29th, so blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

Health update: first, my sister seems to think she’ll be “better” on Sunday, as if Covid is predictable. I’ve told her to not worry about the timeline as it’s arbitrary and the most important thing is for her to just get healthy again. My friend who had it over the summer is still struggling with respiratory symptoms (diminished lung capacity is the biggest problem) and everyone seems to recover differently from this virus. What tends to be true for the majority of people who’ve been infected is that it takes a while to feel like yourself again.

More than anything, I really just want my sister to feel better. I want her to be as fully recovered as possible so that she can get back to doing the things she wants to do. I know it’s difficult for her to accept such a passive role at the moment, but it’s the best course for her.

I have found I really really really miss our Saturday outings to the grocery store. I miss her giving me the rundown on Mom and her various health problems. I miss just being able to hear her voice and spending those few minutes in the car with her. Our relationship has had its share of speedbumps over the years, but since Dad’s death and then Covid, well, it’s meant we’ve found a new rhythm for interacting that’s been quite lovely. Go figure — it only took a parent’s death and a pandemic for us to hit the right notes of sisterhood!

But again, as much as I miss her and our time together, I just want her healthy. She’s had enough bullshit in terms of health problems the past few years. She really doesn’t deserve this. Nobody does. And I mean NOBODY.

Secondly, Mom’s finally been given some meds to relieve her intractable pain. It’s been emotional torture to hear her physical pain over the phone. I mean, it killed me to not be able to do anything to help her and to know her fucking doctor wasn’t going to give her anything more than Extra Strength Tylenol for the pain that was making her weep all day and all night for over a month. Well, enter Lil Sis and yet another trip to urgent care for help. Mom was finally put on steroids and a low, temporary dose of Percocet. Halle-fucking-lujah! I’ve now had several calls with Mom where she was able to actively participate in the conversation. There are no tears. There’s no distress in her voice. She has actual relief from the pain!

I can’t stress enough how important pain management is. Even if it’s just temporary relief, breaking the pain cycle for any length of time is HUGE when you’re dealing with chronic pain or even an extremely acute flare-up. Mom has relief for now. The pain isn’t completely gone, but it’s been reduced to something livable. Mom’s physical distress is no longer psychic distress as well. Especially in older patients, especially when they’re isolated (as we’ve all been for waaaay too long [but necessarily]). There’s a level of emotional pain that comes with unaddressed physical pain (as I’ve said in my previous post and many others before it) that only becomes more debilitating with loneliness and age and loss of autonomy. To have a doctor refuse to address the problem is a slap in the face and is cruel beyond reason. People don’t let animals suffer like that! At least now Mom is feeling better and, hopefully, this flare-up can just become a distant memory for a good long while.

Thirdly, I had my three months follow up to my diabetes diagnosis. And cholesterol problem. And…blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. My labs were fantastic and my doctor declared me his most improved patient for the quarter. I went from extreme danger zone heart disease-wise to “this is what I call healthy and normal” range. My blood glucose levels are more in line with what they should be (there’s still room for improvement) and the doc was impressed with my reduction of my A1C. I went from “so far out of range to somewhere close to acceptable” according to him and that’s good enough for me for the moment. No changes in meds. No changes in anything else, although I asked again for an appointment with a nutritionist. I know that’ll do me a world of good.

I also got referrals to physical therapy for my neck and back (work comp won’t approve/cover it, but MediCal will) and to dermatology for multiple skin concerns. First and foremost, the two areas on my nose that are suspiciously awful from time to time. One lesion has finally stopped scabbing over (never did anything to it to make it get scabby in the first place) and the other has become the current problem. I know 100% that this is the result of unfettered access to copious amounts of warm California sun exposure in my youth. The endless sunburns. The endless exposure without sunscreen (remember when you bought Coppertone because it was a suntan lotion and not a sunscreen?). The years and years of carefree days spent browning like a holiday turkey or ham. Yep. It’s finally caught up with me. I knew it would. And the time is now. I’ll let you know how this plays out.

So, despite the need for referrals, my health has taken a turn for the better. In three months, I managed to undo however many years of unchecked nasty cholesterol and diabetes and am hanging out in a much better health neighborhood. I’m proud of myself. I wish I could say my glucose numbers were better, but that’s a necessary gradual change. Still, I’m regularly under 200 and that’s a major accomplishment for someone who started out over 400! I’m no longer drinking two gallons (+) a day. I’m not feeling the need to sleep all the time (or at least now it’s because I’m tired for other reasons). I don’t feel like I would rather curl up and die. I have real, actual days of not wanting to nap! This is a big deal for me. The last several years were awful and I didn’t know why. Then, BAM! The truth of the matter was made painfully evident via lab work. Now, I’m like a real person again. I’m thrilled!

I don’t know how I managed to ramble on for so long. I guess there’s just that moment between semi-awake and total sleep where the brain can somehow form complete thoughts and demand to let them out. Lucky you! And now you know more about me than you did yesterday, probably more than you ever wanted to know (and I didn’t even get into the embarrassing stuff). But there it is.

Now it’s time to crawl into bed. The Dick Van Dyke Show will wait. I’m going to take full advantage of the sound of rain on the roof to get in some quality zzzzzzzzzs. Fingers crossed!

Here’s a quick phone snap of the late afternoon sky before the storm came in. Sheesh! SoCal has such awful, ugly skies, right? XOXO

Before the storm

2021/01/17

2021 – Day 17 Bad News + TJH: Inspire

Da Goddess @ 00:01

My sis has the covid. I wish I could have it for her. I’m the one who has fuck-all to do. She’s the who holds it all together. She handles everything with Mom. She’s the one who gets shit done. And now she’s sidelined by this fucking virus.

My fingers are crossed in hopes that she recovers quickly. Honestly, she’s the last person in the world I’d have expected to get it because she’s so vigilant about handwashing and sanitizing. However, she’s also the one who is out and about, trying to keep the water from sinking the ship.

If you have a spare moment, please say a prayer for her. Thanks.

P.S.

Single line contour drawing of my big sister

This was my attempt to draw a quick sketch of my big sister — though I’m not sure why I gave her short hair. Her hair is currently long and gorgeous these days. No color or highlights, just natural. It’s my favorite hairstyle she’s ever sported. I don’t know why I’m going on about the hair; it just feels like it’s important to acknowledge the beauty of her locks for some reason, even though I bollocksed it up in the sketch.

Carry on.

2021/01/07

2021 – Day 7

Da Goddess @ 02:07

Dad would’ve turned 90 today.

I miss him terribly at times. Other times, I’m grateful he’s out of pain and not witnessing the insanity of the past year. Hell, the past 24 hours have been crazy enough and likely would have caused him to have a stroke or a heart attack or something.

I think about my dad so often, it’s almost as if he’s still here. There are many things that bring him to mind, but mostly I feel as though he’s just down the road a few miles, sitting in his favorite chair, watching races or car auctions, or maybe picking tangerines from his tree.

There’s something comforting in feeling his presence. I know he’s gone, yet I feel him near, guiding me, reminding me to keep on keepin’ on.

Miss you, Dad! Happy birthday!

2020/05/07

Dad. Two Years On.

Da Goddess @ 13:49

Today is the second anniversary of Dad’s death. I miss him more today than ever. I miss his grumbling and his yelling and his laughter. But most of all, I just miss HIM.

He was one of a kind. He was belligerent and bombastic. He was loud and often angry. But he was also loving and kind in a hundred little ways. He was thoughtful and funny. He was creative and had a vision for junk that was incredible. He was upcycling long before upcycling was a thing. He bought junk, but he sold functional art.

Dad, I will miss you forever. I love you always.

2020/04/08

It’s a Different World

Da Goddess @ 10:34

Had the world been put back to right by now, I’d currently be on a plane to a place in the middle of a vast ocean. I’d be just a few hours away from seeing my daughter and her husband and their cats.

But it’s a different world at the moment and everything is upside down and topsy turvy.

I can’t wait to wake up one day soon to news reports of a week without any new cases of coronavirus and no deaths from it in a month. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

I want to ask you to remember the past several months when you cast your vote in November. I want you to remember the man and his administration who all hemmed and hawed and screamed about Covid-19 being a big Democratic hoax, the people who sat on lifesaving information while they divested themselves of stocks that would tank and bought up shares of stocks that would payoff big once they put the wheels of fighting the pandemic in motion.

I want you to remember the man who has no redeeming qualities — personally or professionally — and who has shown no true leadership skills, who diverted attention from a global health crisis to tell us he’s trending on Facebook or that he used pandemic pressers as campaign rallies.

I ask you to remember this when casting a ballot in November because it’s important he not be re-elected. If he’s re-elected, we will not survive the next crisis, be it health or otherwise.

I may not be a working nurse any longer, but knowing what I know and having access to emails from former employers, I wouldn’t want to ever face another shitshow like this knowing the government didn’t have the backs of those who fight to prevent as many deaths as we’ve seen.

I would willingly give up ever going to see my girl & her hubby any time to ensure my family, friends, and my global neighbors were able to avoid another insane event like this. I wouldn’t have to think even a second to vote this massive oozing chancre out of office. With any luck, his actions will land him in prison. You don’t get to play at being president and profit off the deaths of the citizens of your country. Not in this day and age. Not in a time when your acting Secretary of the Navy is forced to resign after he castigated and demeaned a true leader who was trying to protect his troops. If we can create such pressure in less than 24 hours after a leaked recording of Modly’s address to Captain Crozier’s sailors and get him to resign, surely we can create even greater pressure to have trump removed for every act (not just words, but direct actions) leading to the deaths of our countrymen and women and children. This goes beyond party. This goes to the very core of what it means to be human.

Yep. I will give up any future travel, entertainment, and merriment on my life to avoid another catastrophic event like this.

2020/03/12

Baggage

Da Goddess @ 14:32

Any recommendations on luggage? Nothing expensive, just durable and easy to maneuver for a gimpy old broad. It has to have good wheels and it would be a major bonus if it could fit in an overhead compartment.

Yes, for the first time in a decade, I’m getting on a plane. I’m going away. Not for long, but for long enough. And I’m going to see my daughter and son-in-law. And their cats. In a beautiful locale. Yay!

So, yeah. I need a decent, inexpensive but easily wheeled about suitcase. I mean, just because you have baggage doesn’t mean it can’t be functional and maybe even pleasant.

2020/01/07

89

Da Goddess @ 05:30

Dad would have been 89 today.

I miss him so very much. Every single day.

I’m so grateful I had a father who was so memorable and missable.

2019/12/25

Merry Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:02

May you all have a day full of love, laughter, joy, and a feeling of belonging.

If you’re feeling alone and blue, please know there are many who also feel this way. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, please reach out for help. 1-800-273-8255

2019/11/28

Happy Turkey Day!

Da Goddess @ 00:07

Monica with the turkey

Happy Thanksgiving

Da Goddess @ 00:05

Wishing everyone a very happy Thanksgiving!

I have much to be grateful for and I find myself adding to the list every few minutes. Just as I think I’ve reached the end, another thing pops into mind. I’m almost embarrassed by how many reasons I have to be thankful. But this is one of those times when you thank God for every single item on the list and hope you’re doing justice to the gifts you’ve been given.

Funny how gratitude can change your attitude.

I hope you all have a beautiful day.

2019/11/02

Happy Birthday, Mojo!

Da Goddess @ 00:27

The birthday girl as she was so long ago…

Happy 27th, my sweet one!

2019/10/31

Boo!

Da Goddess @ 02:34

Are you ready for Halloween? I am. And I don’t think Halloween can serve up anything worse than what I’ve been through this week. Yes, I’ve already had my scares. And, yes, I said scares. As in multiple scares.

Let’s start with the winds. And the fires. They’re here. All we can do is be prepared for evacuation at this point. I am totally prepared. Thankfully, after one particularly tense afternoon, I realized we were going to be okay. Others aren’t so lucky and my heart goes out to them.

Today’s humidity stands at 4%. FOUR PERCENT. That’s very, VERY dry. And the winds are alternating between calm and the Wicked Witch is coming for you and your little dog, too.

The winds cause the weathervane on my roof to turn. Unfortunately, when it does turn, it sounds like a ghost crying about how heavy its chains are.

Also, being that my home is about 90 years old, windows sometimes open randomly. Not so much a problem for the windows with screens, but the ones without are usually the ones that pop open. And they usually have the most giant spiders and giant spiderwebs. No bueno. I have enough spiders, thank you very much. I’ve learned to jam paper, cardboard, old gift cards, and everything else I can into the gaps in an attempt to keep them closed. Most stay shut. However, one, in particular, proves difficult. The one with the most giant spider and web. Needless to say, I have been known to wake suddenly and sit bolt upright when I have even the slightest suspicion it’s opened up again. I’m not sleeping well, obviously.

Despite all that, I’m better off than those who are in a fire’s path. I keep praying for firefighters to gain the upper hand on all the fires and let people return home…provided they still have one. Please say a prayer for them.

On to other things.

Then there was the other evening when I returned home after having dinner with my sisters and our mom. Normally, Fletch is waiting at the door. No Fletch. I called for him. Nothing. Panic set in. If he somehow got out, he wouldn’t stand a chance against the local strays or the coyotes that are frequent visitors in these parts. Then, in a burst of inspiration, I rushed to my closet and opened it to discover a VERY upset cat. He bolted out of the closet, practically knocking me over. He’s been known to sneak into closets and cupboards and pantries and just about anywhere he could possibly get closed in. I’m usually very careful about checking for him, shooing him out, and closing doors. I missed him sneaking in behind me as I prepared to leave this time. I was gone all of three hours. He wasn’t happy to have been stuck in the closet, but he was relieved to be let out.

Unfortunately, this was the one time Fletch really really really had to pee while trapped. After tearing apart just about everything stored on the floor, he chose to pee on the two worst things to pee on: a leather backpack (KA paid $5 for it, but it was immensely useful and a personal favorite of mine) and — oh, God, this one really hurts — my camera backpack, complete with three lenses and my old camera. The camera and lenses survived, though I lost a variety of ephemera I can’t replace. The important stuff survived and that’s what matters most.

Throwing out both bags made me want to cry. It was a ridiculous reaction. For one thing, both bags can be replaced (or, y’know, not) and all turned out okay gear-wise. Secondly, I hadn’t used either since moving. Whatever importance they held was strictly (weirdly) sentimental and didn’t warrant tears. Thirdly, Fletch did what he had to do. I can’t fault him for heeding nature’s call. Bodily functions are bodily functions. In fact, I’m kind of proud of him for not getting the urine all over the carpet. Quite thoughtful, if you ask me! Actually, I’m guessing nothing got on the carpet. Every time I’ve opened the closet, I take a significant breath and can’t smell anything.

Now, my new fright is having to find a replacement camera case. I’ve started my search and am overwhelmed. Do I want a rolling bag or a backpack or messenger bag or something else? Do I want a bag capable of carrying two camera bodies, five lenses, a flash, my laptop, and the other accessories necessary for a successful shoot? I don’t have a camera shop nearby where I can dig around and try bags on for size. (I miss you, Calumet!) So, I’m trying to sort through the plethora of options online and finding myself paralyzed by the prospect of making a choice.

After all this, I think I can manage whatever Halloween has in store for me. I have candy for my landlords’ daughter as well as any other kids that might show up. I doubt I’ll see anyone else, but I’m prepared nonetheless. I can always eat whatever’s left.

Saturday is Mojo’s birthday. It’s also the landlords’ daughter’s birthday. Mojo’s gifts were sent and a card is on the way. Little Miss Tiny (Fletch’s name for her) has a couple little, inexpensive presents to open because she’s quite honestly one of my favorite kids I’ve ever met. I can’t help but pick up a book or some other little item for her. Fletch adores her and that’s a ringing endorsement if ever there was one.

I got way off track here and it’s late. This is where the post ends. Except to say:

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

2019/10/05

Reminders

Da Goddess @ 15:02

Reminder of Dad

There are reminders of Dad everywhere I look, everywhere I go.

That succulent? In my sister’s backyard, from Dad’s memorial.

In my home, he’s everywhere even though he never set foot here. He’s responsible for the roof over my head, the food I eat, and sometimes even the clothes I wear were his. There are china cups and saucers, a tiny little teapot, artwork on my walls, shorts and shirts I’ve been wearing now for over a year, and the oddest thing: I feel him in the moving shadows as the winds push and pull the big tree outside.

Mostly, I hear him in the crows as they choose their squabble corner right in front of me. Or maybe they’re gossiping. Probably both, as I’ve seen just about everything with them from my windows or from the porch.

Even on my walks, I get the sense he’s not far away. The arguing neighbors, the orange trees pregnant with an endless bounty — or so it seems — and the grapevines that stretch from post to post along the wires between, with their pale green fruit slowly turning purple.

All of it reminds me of Dad. Not in a sad way, though I certainly feel sad sometimes. What I feel is more like…I’m not entirely certain…but, the closest I get to the right words is comfort and gratitude. Dad’s still here, watching over us, and sending reminders of how much he loved us, even if he didn’t say it often.

Isn’t that the best kind of love? The kind that needn’t be spoken because it just…is?

I miss him. I always will. I know this to be true. I also know he’s still close because he’s everywhere — in the little things, the big things, and even in the things we can’t see or hold.

Sometimes, when I’m out walking, I get the sense he’s not far and I always nod my head and say, “hi, Dad. Thanks for everything. I miss you.”

2019/10/03

Happy Birthday, LD!

Da Goddess @ 00:23

He’s not little any longer, but he’ll always be my Little Dude.

Happy 23rd!

This photo was taken back in 2010. Can’t believe how time has flown. From this cute kid to a man in what feels like the blink of an eye.

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