2022/05/18

Fifty-Six

Da Goddess @ 00:01

I am in utter disbelief that I’m now 56 years old.

There are days when it seems nigh impossible for that to be accurate. It was only yesterday when I was sliding down into the canyon (now just more houses, natch) to go make a fort with Michelle, Kecia, and/or Laurie.

We had the perfect place for our fort: on the bank of a hill, behind a huge bush/tree. Scrub bushes grew big in the canyon. This one had branches that gracefully arched overhead. Any that didn’t were summarily removed. Big boxes were broken down, used to slide down the hill a few hundred times before becoming the base of the fort. If we could manage to sneak a blanket out of the house, it would most definitely find itself an integral part of our refuge. Pads of paper, pencils, pens, crayons, and various cast off toys enjoyed a cushy life at the hideaway, too.

We never needed to phone one another to set a meeting time. Each of us ran through our Saturday chores (or homework if was a school day), made ourselves some sandwiches, and then hightailed it to the fort. If you got there first, you were responsible for making sure there were no spiders or rattlesnakes around. Stomping and waving cardboard about, nothing could sleep through the racket, and most definitely nothing stuck around! We once chased a javelina family from our sanctuary, but that’s about as exotic as our visitors got. Garter snakes, lizards, and tarantulas were common and became favored captives for short periods of time. None of us wanted to remove them from their homes or families for too long. Mostly, we just enjoyed their company before we released them back into the wild. We played Marlin Perkins and his trusty assistant, Jim. Or we took turns being Joan Embery visiting with Merv Griffin or Mike Douglas and presenting our latest finds to the host. (One guess who got to be Joan Embery most often.)

While we loved the canyon and the freedom we experienced there away from the prying eyes (and the beckoning calls to come home) of our parents

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, our days there were numbered. The same is true of childhood. However, the loss of our fort was due to discovering a real live adult human being we didn’t know taking up residence in our spot.

For once, Michelle and I met up at the corner across from my house before we made our way down the hill and over the uneven terrain to the fort. We talked loudly and stomped our feet in our normal “dangerous-animal-be-gone” manner. Unfortunately, it didn’t scare away the man we found. In fact, I think it’s safe to say it merely served as an alert for him to strip down and begin masturbating, because that’s exactly what we found upon arrival. We both yelled at him and began kicking dirt in his face, throwing wood and rocks and whatever else we could find. When he failed to stop touching himself, we left in disgust. We never returned to that spot again. Instead, we explored further afield and always with a buddy. It was just safer that way.

About a year later, the big machinery arrived and curtailed our adventures further. We just got a little more creative with the how and what of our play. On weekends, when the site was abandoned, we scrambled up and down the diggers and dozers and other vehicles. We yelled and ran through the giant concrete pipes that would someday serve the expanding neighborhood. We also caused minor mischief by hiding loose materials whenever we could. We didn’t go too crazy with it because we knew that anything major would only bring in security guards. We knew this because Michelle’s brother and his friends had caused that very thing to happen at another site.

In the end, the timing couldn’t have been more apt. We were nearing the age of more “serious” pursuits as we went from preteens into full-blown adolescence. And while we would occasionally make our way down to the canyon

, it was less about play and more about sneaking cigarettes and maybe increasing the quality (and quantity) of our creative obscenities. No prying ears or eyes to limit our newfound endeavors.

I’m not entirely sure how this turned into a major nostalgia-fest, but I suppose it beats the other direction I could have gone. I was going to mention all the heartbreak of the past year and all the ways life has changed in that time. I’m actually very glad for the “remember whenning” about my childhood as it feels more relatable and somehow more comforting — and definitely healthier — to reflect in that manner.

So, here’s a great big “I’m so glad I’m still here at 56” shout declaration from my tiny corner of the internet. I hope I can do this again next year.

TTFN!

2022/03/21

Memories, Nostalgia, and Obsession

Da Goddess @ 00:33

I started a walk down Memory Lane one recent night that quickly led to a case of nostalgia for my very early years on this earth. It didn’t take long for nostalgia to become obsession.

I was overwhelmed by memories of my maternal grandparents: Grandma and Grandfather. My Dad’s parents were Grandma and Pappy (though Pappy married Grandma Eleanor or Lenore [who had A PINBALL MACHINE IN HER BASEMENT!!!] after Original Grandma died). Anyhow, I was thinking about Grandma and Grandfather this particular time. They were the ones who: had an enchanted garden, a magic mirror in the bathroom, the electric organ, and neighbors with the little girl burned to death (Bernadette). Their house was the second one from the corner. That detail I distinctly recall. How can I be certain? Because the cars would have to slow down for the stop sign at the intersection. We kids slept in the front bedroom and we could hear the telltale clickety tickety of the slowing tires and watch the headlights as they rolled past. I remember Bernadette’s house being on the corner. Grandma and Grandfather’s house was a single story, whereas Bernadette’s house was two stories. These are important details, as you’ll come to appreciate shortly.

For some reason, as my nostalgia gave way to curiosity (oh, shit! I left out that part of the grand journey to obsession, didn’t I?), I started to think maybe I could find their house by googling the road. That’s the only part of the puzzle I had firmly in my mental grasp. No street number, just the name of the street. Should be relatively easy, shouldn’t it? Google maps could lead me down this path and I’d magically (technologically) find a piece of my childhood and live happily ever after, secure in the knowledge that something so precious to me still exists.
If only. All I have to do is find a single story house next to a two story house, second from the corner, on a specific street, and BAM-A-ROONY! Mystery solved.

As if.

I spent no less than three hours trying to find the house. That night. I’ve since revisited the oh so (not) helpful maps of Googleland. My quest, apparently, has no end.

At this point, I should mention that I’m working with a very fickle Bluetooth signal. (Predictive text tried to turn fickle into fucked, which is not only kinda funny, but also a whole MOOD…and an accurate one at that.) So, of course, while I have to my Google map groove in gear and hot on the trail of MY QUEST FOR THE HOLY GRAIL of childhood memories

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, the Bluetooth signal keeps crapping out on me. I think this is how memories become nostalgia becomes curiosity becomes obsession. Curiosity can become victory pretty quickly if you have a solid connection to the world wide web. Denied that solidity? Curiosity becomes obsession. The itch to continue your search leads to a jittery and frantic dance as you toggle between windows/functions. Just as you think you’re on the precipice of a MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH, you get a wee dinosaur and the notice of “lost connection”.

This. This is when you realize you can no longer just drop the search for a bit and get some sleep. Oh no. You’re far too keyed up for sleep. You’re at peak wakefulness now. You. Must. Continue. The. Quest.

So, three hours and multiple “damnit!”, “fucking hell!”, “shit on a pointy stick!”, and other utterances of frustration (are there any other types of utterances?) later, you finally give up — ¡temporalmente! — because your already wreck of a body can’t take any more spasms and teeth-grinding madness. There’s only so much a body can take. I don’t care who you are. There’s a point where you simply must decide that shitting yourself during the marathon just isn’t worth it. I’m all for not shitting myself, figuratively or literally. And my back and neck will attest to the fact that I can no longer spend hours tied up in knots of anticipatory stupor. I just can’t do it.

And thus, I’ve reached the end…so far…of my QUEST for the house my grandparents owned when I was a wee bairn. I shall let you know when — not “if” — I am triumphant.

Wish me luck.

P.S. I blame this all on Covid brain

, lingering paroxysmal coughing fits, and my ever present insomnia. But, mostly Covid brain and the coughing. So, basically, Covid.

2022/03/08

International Women’s Day

Da Goddess @ 17:30

I wish I had photos of all the amazing women who’ve influenced my life and helped me get to age 55.

Barring that, here’s a few of them.


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2022/03/02

It’s a Boy!

Da Goddess @ 18:56

In the past week, while I’ve been cursing the slow progress toward recovery from the dreaded Covid, Mr H got himself another dog.

He got drunk one night and, while on Facebook, looked at the local lost and found pets page, saw a dog he couldn’t resist (this is actually the second one; the first was with a woman who wouldn’t deliver*), and agreed to take if the rescuers could bring the dog to the house. They agreed. And the very next day

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, voila! Another dog.

It’s a boy.

His current name is Duke. Or Juke. He answers to both (because they sound the same). He briefly answered to Rex. He was also temporarily Billy Joe, after Billy Joe Shaver — he seemed to really like “Live Forever” and so we tried that. Prior to that was Bubba. H calls him Buddy more often than not. He also refers to him as “her” because he’s used to having a female dog around. He’ll be paying for DJuke’s therapy for years.

This beastie is young. He’s totally untrained and, boy oh boy, he’s doing his best to resist learning the basics! I think he was abused before he was abandoned because of the way he reacts to a hand placed on his rump. If you slide a hand down while petting him, he’s okay. Try touching his hind end otherwise? He’s jumpy and he tries to squirm away. So, teaching him to sit is a very slow work in progress. I’m doing my best to capture the behavior and reward him for it while repeating the word “sit”. It’s pretty much the only way to get there from here. I’ve also resorted to asking Cookie to sit and rewarding her for doing so in front of DJuke.

I haven’t worked with many abused/abandoned dogs in the past

, but I’m willing to put in the work while I can because I really love this goofball. Already. Yeah, it’s a sickness. I fall for animals very quickly.

DJuke fell in love with the Mr Piggy toy. The weird, deep squeal it had turned into a a funny, higher pitched squeal. Then it went silent. The pig has lost some of its appeal without the sound. According to the dogs, that is. Maybe according to the humans, too. Maybe. Maaaaaayyyybeeee. Possibly.

Now it’s time for me to go slather purple dye on my head again. I have errands tomorrow afternoon with H’s sister and I’d like to look presentable. Ish.

* H’s car has died again and he needed to have the first dog dropped off. The woman agreed to it, but flaked. I was secretly relieved because the dog looked less-than-healthy. With DJuke, the young couple who found him had taken him to the vet for a once over and a chip check. He was deemed healthy and unchipped. And thus he was posted to the Facebook group. The couple also delivered.

2022/02/16

TJH: Inspire – OINK!

Da Goddess @ 01:41

This is one of the dog’s toys. It has the most hysterically weird oink I’ve ever heard. It sounds a bit like a cross between an old boar’s grunts and that of an aged, emphysemic cow. It’s truly delightful to hear when Cookie starts romping about with it.

It would seem Piggy somehow offended Cookie and the punishment was a backyard burial. I guess I interrupted the plot because this is as far as the dog got with her plan for revenge. Piggy survives to annoy and offend another day.

There are other toys facing execution. I’ll have to remember to get photographic evidence of their existence before they disappear without warning.

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2022/01/07

91

Da Goddess @ 01:32

Dad would’ve been 91 today. It’s strange to think he’s been gone almost four years. I miss him every day. There are so many things I want to ask him. Things I never thought to ask him while he was alive. But that’s always the way

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, isn’t it? We don’t know how much time we have with anyone and, if I could give you any life advice, I’d suggest you make the time to ask your loved ones as many questions as you can now.

I miss you, Dad. I miss you and I love you very much.

2021/12/12

2021– Day 346

Da Goddess @ 05:10

Forgive me, reader, for I have sinned. It’s been 92 days since I last posted.

I have absolutely no excuse for not posting other than the fact I just haven’t. Some depression

, pain, pain AND depression, avoidance, and even a heavy pour of not feeling like anything I might post would be interesting.

I’m not sure how or why I’ve been so blasé these past few months beyond simply…life. I dunno. There are a lot of gray clouds in my head and they sometimes make it difficult to see beyond them.

More than “occasionally” I’ve found myself truly missing Mom. I’ll watch a show or a movie and think how much she would enjoy it. I start to pick up the phone to call her and then remember she’s gone. I still do that with Dad, too. He’s been gone 3.5 years and I do it. Mom’s only been gone since mid-July. How long does this go on? Anyone know?

ALSO: Every few days

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, I’ll wake up from some crazy dream, one where they’re still alive and everything is chaotic, perilous, and/or frightening. I’ll awaken and feel a bit shaken, but somehow also at peace because they were helping guide me/us (sisters, kids, friends, etc.) through whatever the crise cauchemardesque (crisis of/in the nightmare). I know it’s my brain trying to work through things. I get that part. And I understand the reason one or both parents are there, taking charge, doing parenty things. I don’t understand why it’s happening so regularly.

It’s frustrating to come to and have that sense of security, warmth, and love dissipate like steam from a cup of tea. You know, on a cold day, having that steam rise and warm your face as you hunch over the cup, both hands wrapped around it. At least you can nuke your drink and feel that rising heat if it gets too cold. You can’t do that with dreams. I mean, you can try to guide your dreams, but I can’t ever seem to get to just the part where I find comfort. Not on demand. Not without the stressful scenes. And I really want that.

I may need to call my therapist for a quick tune-up. In fact, I know I need to do so. I guess that’s the big ticket item on this week’s TO DO list. Happy happy joy joy.

2021/07/19

2021 – Day 200 – There She is Gone

Da Goddess @ 02:50

I will love you always, as I know you always have loved me. I will remember you forever, as you always remembered me. I will go forward with love in my heart and courage to face the unknown. Life continues, but it’s lost a little magic since you left this corporeal existence. I know your magic will find its way to another soul; that’s what you once told me happens when someone you love dies — everything good and kind and wonderful about them finds a new soul and returns to this realm. I believed you then and I believe it still. Your lessons stay learned. Well

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, most of them.

I was blessed to have you as my mother. You taught me how to find joy and love and how to bring it to others. You taught me the beauty of wonder and how it’s so important to hold on to it, to share it, to encourage it, to keep it alive in your heart. You taught me to laugh, even when you most feel like weeping or when you’re scared. You were my home, both literally and figuratively. You were my True North and my home port, my first love. You were and always will remain my mom.

Love doesn’t end just because someone dies. Your love is in every sunset chased, flower noticed, in the laughter of a child, in the very air I breathe. You were made of stardust and to stardust you shall return until you find the next new spirit is borne into this world.

Thank you for your love and for all the light you shined upon us all. I will love you always, as I know you always have loved me. I will remember you forever, as you always remembered me. I will go forward with love in my heart and courage to face the unknown.

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.

She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then

, someone at my side says;
“There, she is gone!”

“Gone where?”

Gone from my sight. That is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port. Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just at the moment when someone
at my side says, “There, she is gone!”

There are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout; “Here she comes!”

And that is dying.

~ Luther F. Beecher

Thank you for your love, my dear.

At around 0130 this early morning, she left us.

Vale, Mom.

2021/06/23

2021 – Day 174

Da Goddess @ 20:58

It’s been quite the day.

It all started last week. Mom was admitted to hospital with CHF/COPD problems. She’s still there. She’s had every kind of test one can imagine. But what she went in for isn’t necessarily why she remains there. You see, there’s a lot going on. Granted, you don’t reach almost-86 without a few problems, right?

Mom has cancer. She likely only has about six months left. She wants nothing more than palliative care and we’ve all agreed this is the right path for her.

Our family is pretty practical about this stuff. That’s how we were raised and those are the rules.

While I’m not ready to be without a mom

, I certainly don’t want her suffering. So, I’ve made my peace with her decision and am going to do whatever I can to make sure she’s having as much fun as she’s hoping for, is as comfortable as possible, and gets to do what she wants as often as we can make happen.

Here’s a question for you: what ideas do you have for a dying 86yr old who’d like to be silly, laugh a lot, enjoy our first big family gathering since covid became a thing? Fancy dress (costume)? A movie “premier”? A M*A*S*H* party? Glasses with funny noses? A petting zoo? Gimme some ideas I can run past her, please.

Oh, and if you have an extra prayer or kind thought, could you send it my mom’s way? Thank you.

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2021/06/10

2021 – Day 161

Da Goddess @ 00:08

My friend’s dog meows.

Yep.

Her dog meows like a cat. I heard it with my own two ears. Upon hearing it yesterday, I immediately enquired about the meow. I asked because I know for a fact that her wife is allergic to cats, so I knew it was likely just some loud neighbor kitty visiting at the door or something. “No cat. That was Molly. She’s really weird now.” I’ll say! When I dog sat for them years ago

, Mol did NOT meow. She barked. Like your normal, average

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, everyday, common, garden variety dog.

That is no longer the case. This previously regular doglike dog is now a badass who sounds like a motherfucking cat.

And that’s pretty cool. I’ve demanded video so we can make her go viral and let her become a big doglebrity. I’m only asking 10% of her earnings. I’m not greedy. There’ll be plenty of cheddar to go around.

Anyone else have an animal capable of subverting societal expectations? I’m thinking we could have ourselves a pretty major double, triple bill for events.

Tell me what your animal does so I can work it into act.

2021/05/16

2021 – Day 136: 19 Years

Da Goddess @ 09:53

Are we who we think we are? Or are we who others think we are? Can both these perceptions exist simultaneously and both be equally true? If you know how others see you — and it gives you pause to reflect — does that invalidate what you thought of yourself? Or

, if it changes how you see yourself, does THAT invalidate your previous view of who you thought you were? Should it? Should we then reconsider everything we thought we knew?

Is it possible for our actions to be purely received as we intended them, or is everything we do — regardless of our intent — completely at the mercy of how others perceive them?

These are the things running around my head at the moment.

I’ve been blogging for 19 years as of today. I guess I somehow thought I’d have a better idea of who I am and who I was at this point, but I feel I may never have any answers and I’m not sure if I want them any more.

Of course, I didn’t have any idea when I started this blog back in 2002 that I’d still be at it almost 20 years later. Hell, I didn’t have any idea I’d still be at it even two or three years ago. It makes me wonder if I should continue on; if I should make it a full 20 years of blogging; if I should take it up to May 16, 2023, which would be the end of my 20th year and call it quits then; or do I just keep on plugging away until my fingers seize up or fall off? I won’t make any decisions for now. I’m not in what anyone would call a prime decision making frame of mind at the moment. Have I ever truly been in that frame of mind?

Sometimes I don’t know if the me who started this blog is the same person who is currently writing this entry. I know both of us have inhabited the same body, but is that really all it takes to be the same person? I have no clue.

As I say almost every year, the only thing I know for sure is how much I value the people I’ve met through blogging. Each of you have left an imprint on my heart. Some have taken a bite of said organ, some have helped it grow, some have tried to rip it out and stomp it in to oblivion, and some have returned time and time again to help patch up what’s been bitten, beaten, torn, and bruised. You who have helped me grow, who have nursed me back from the brink of disaster, you are the ones I like best. Obviously. Feel free to tell the others. I won’t deny it. (If you were my children, this would be an entirely different conversation.)

Speaking of nursing, can you believe I was still a nurse when I started blogging? That seems a lifetime ago! It definitely seems like it’s, at least, been half a lifetime ago.

Little Dude was just four or five, and Mojo was eight or nine. Now? They’re grown and off on their own journeys of self-discovery, exploration, adventure, mundanity, heartache, heartbreak, recovery, triumph, and, hopefully, fulfillment and contentment. Instead of the precious, fragile little beings I once held close and fussed over every breath or cry or sigh or laugh, I have to remind myself they’re now capable of wiping their own bums, fixing their own meals (and mistakes, for that matter – steaks and mistakes, anyone?), determining their own lives. In the time since starting this blog, they’ve become fully formed people who no longer need me for, well, anything. It’s both sad and wonderful.

It’s the way the world works. Time passes; living things grow; living things die; we change; we do our best to get from one day to the next.

Using that particular lens, I can see I’m still me, just the older version of me; the me who has seen fire and seen rain (literally, at times); the me who has loved and lost and cried and laughed and LIVED. I don’t think I’d want to be the same exact person I was when I started blogging. Sure, there are some parts of this strange trip I might wish had gone differently, but I can’t say I’d want to have come through all of it and to not have changed in some way or another. I’d be crazy to not want to learn and grow along the way.

And so, with that in mind, I think I’m going to be okay with not knowing if I’m the me I think I am or if I’m the me you think I am or if I’m some mashup of the two. We can revisit this a year from now and see if I’ve miraculously found the answer. See you then?

2021/05/07

2021 – Day 127: Three Years & a New Loss

Da Goddess @ 15:55

Dad’s been gone three years now. I’m 100% aware of this, yet I still have moments when I almost forget. Almost. Just before I reach for the phone or think “he’d love this!”, I remember. Or the memory becomes less foggy. Either way, I have that incredible split second moment of him being alive again.

I know I’ll never stop grieving the loss. I know the edges of it will dull and the corners round off with time. I know this. I’ve done this before. Just never lost a parent before. Grandparents, sure. But they were old and th…oh yes. That’s right. I remember now. Dad was old, too. It just doesn’t feel like he was old in my heart and my heart calls a lot of the shots on such things.

I miss you, Dad! I love you and miss you and wish I had even five minutes more with you. Even if those five minutes were you yelling. I’d take it.

Dad

* * *

I’d meant to post this other news sooner, but I somehow managed to forget each time.

Jan from the Cascade Exposures blog

, who also occasionally posted here, passed away in March. At the beginning of April, I texted her a link to a place I knew she’d want to explore. I didn’t hear back right away as I normally would. Odd. And then I woke up Easter morning to “This is Jan’s mom…” and I knew. I said a quick prayer that maybe she was just in hospital or something, but I knew. I just did.

I didn’t ask for details. I don’t know the exact day she died or the cause. I’ve just felt blessed to have known her and for her mom taking the time out of her grief to let me know her daughter was gone.

Jan had just retired after 30yrs at the same job. She’d loved it. But she finally had the chance to retire and she took it. With the pandemic, work was becoming a hassle with rotating team shifts and such. So, she was excited to retire, hang out with her sweet Lily cat, and she and her mom were planning some trips for the moment they had the okay to safely travel. Jan was going to show her mom Death Valley, which I guess she hadn’t stopped talking about since she and I had gone. I completely get that. It’s a special place for so many reasons.

I wish I could say it gets easier to say goodbye to people as I get older. The simple truth is it gets harder for me. Of the bloggers I’ve lost (Rob, Mikey, Scott, and now Jan), it just seems to me that the world keeps losing bright lights and big hearts. There will always be a place in my heart for these special souls, but especially for Jan. I consider myself fortunate to call her my friend and deeply honored that she called me one, too.

Jan

Okay. That’s it. I’m going to spend the rest of my day tending to my body and soul with some TLC and a warm shower to wash away the sadness.

Please promise me you’ll be here when I get back.

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.

2021/02/03

2021 – Day 35 34

Da Goddess @ 00:44

My sister left me a voicemail yesterday. She’s on the mend from the covid and you can hear the toll it’s taken on her. That’s pretty much what everyone I know who’s had this or has taken care of someone with it has experienced. The lungs really take a beating.

As I told my sis, the best and most fun way to improve lung function is by blowing bubbles into a drink via a straw. Like when you were a kid. It sounds silly as hell, but it works.

In other news, my first physical therapy session is Friday. My first derm appointment is next Monday. And I still haven’t heard back from the interfaith council as to whether I’m approved for rent assistance. Today I make the difficult call to the landlord. Fingers crossed that he’ll allow me to use my deposit to cover rent this month. Also, trying to get anyone to come do a TNR on the kittens has proven nearly impossible. I’ve made at least 15 calls and filled out even more web forms. I’m desperate to get these kitties vaccinated and spayed. I’m concerned we’re going to end up with kittens having kittens and I that is something I cannot abide.

And with that, you’re officially caught up on the glamorous goings on in my life. What’s new with you?

Who loves ya, baby?

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

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, 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

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