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!

2022/04/26

45 Days

Da Goddess @ 12:00

I got accepted into a long Covid study. Forty-five days of monitoring my symptoms on medications and various other treatments.

It looks like it’ll consist of twice weekly checks on me, how I’m doing with meds, and if there’s any improvement.

I didn’t think I’d qualify based on the fact that they weren’t monitoring me from the beginning of the infection, but that’s kind of the point for the study. That’s fine by me. Anything that helps raise the profile of long Covid is worth doing. If it helps to refine the process of treatment for others, it’s a good thing. If it helps to identify the signs and symptoms as well as the need for treatment of long Covid sooner, that’s even better.

There’s no stipend, but I get free meds, free appointments, free monitoring at home, it’s going to help track the effects of the disease process, and maybe even help stave off more serious complications from Covid.

With more and more people discovering they’ve developed long-term health problems from the virus (any variant), it’s comforting to know there are teams out there putting time and effort into making life easier for those who’ve found themselves on the losing end of this awful illness.

I can’t stress enough how fortunate I feel that I had a mild case and didn’t end up in hospital, on a respirator, or losing my life from Covid. If not for the vaccine, I don’t know that I’d be here or be in good enough shape to write this.

Yes, I still got sick. Yes, I still ended up with long Covid. But at least I’m still here and able to contribute to the development of protocols for others.

If you’re not yet vaccinated, please consider doing so. We have no idea what the next variant will do or when it’ll hit…but hit, it will. There are so many places where hospitals are at capacity once again. The airlines are already seeing a loss of flight staff since declaring an end to mandatory masking. As more people feel emboldened to eschew masks

, travel more freely, and return to pre-pandemic behavior, this will only get worse. We’re not done with Covid and it’s not done with us.

Please protect yourself and your loved ones by getting vaccinated and boostered. Mask up. Wash your hands like they’re covered in shit. Sanitze the house like you just discovered an Ebola outbreak. It’s our best defense against prolonging the pandemic.

And please, remember that I wasn’t out and about when I got infected. It was brought home by someone who thought he was safe because he’d had it before and had been vaccinated since. Covid’s gonna Covid. There’s no grace for those who don’t believe in the virulence of it. It can happen to anyone. It happened to me.

2022/04/13

And So It Goes

Da Goddess @ 23:45

There’s nothing standing in the way of Long Covid around here. Nope. Not a damn thing.

Vaccines? Boosters? Masks? Handwashing? Hand sanitizing? Staying home? Cleaning every surface with the intensity of a obsessive compulsive? Check × 7.

But! And this is a HUGE BUT! Without the vaccine and boosters and all the other measures

, I’d have been sicker and could’ve been hospitalized. Thus, I’m exceedingly grateful for all the steps taken to ensure my infection was mild and short-lived.

What I didn’t expect was ending up with Long Covid. The pulmonary effects, I understand. The headaches, I think I’ve come to terms with them. The odd sleep patterns have been part of my life for ages; they’re just different these days. But now there are palpitations and other nasty little bits of cardiac complications that may never go away completely. Oh, and a funky bunch of kidney/urinary things that have cropped up. Whether from the meds, the infection, or a combination thereof, remains to be seen.

I’m being treated for all my symptoms, being worked up for the new ones, put on medication — hopefully — temporarily. I just wish I could see the light at the end of the tunnel for a change.

Basically, it’s been party city all the way ’round.

Omicron has been a nasty motherfucker. I don’t want to meet the newest version of it or any other version of Covid. Ever. I highly recommend you do your best to avoid all strains as well. I wouldn’t wish this shit on my worst enemy.

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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2022/02/27

The Covid Chronicles, Day Something or Other

Da Goddess @ 03:42

I really have no idea what day I’m on numberwise with my Covid recovery. It’s been more than three weeks, for sure. Maybe four. Beyond that, no clue.

The coughing continues unabated. Ugh. My voice is coming back. The headaches are much less frequent, which I greatly appreciate. Boy do I not miss the headaches! The fevers and chills are (mostly) a thing of the past. And I’m no longer positive!

Honestly can’t believe I was testing positive for as long as I did. And while I’m so glad I was vaccinated and had a mild case, I feel badly for anyone who isn’t vaccinated and/or has had a worse time with the plague called Covid.

I truly had a few days of feeling like I should’ve been put out of my misery — and misery it was! When everything hurts as much as my body hurt (from my split ends to my tips of my toenails)

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, fever, chills, coughing, congestion from head to chest, and every other malady, I simply cannot comprehend the whole “it could be worse” concept. Except, I kind of can. I mean, I survived sepsis, right? Covid and sepsis had a couple features in common: nipples feeling like they were on fire, bleeding, or just ready to fall off; body pain (body “aches” won’t cut it when you feel like I felt); the chills (I know my fever didn’t come anywhere close to what I experienced with sepsis — 105+°, anyone?); the overall regret that I had to deal with any of it.

Anyhow, I feel for anyone who has experienced Covid in any capacity, especially those who didn’t get a mild case. I can’t urge you enough to get vaccinated. Really, truly, I beg of you: get vaccinated!!! This shit is nasty.

Some stats (for those who like that sort of thing):

Cough drops: let’s call it 190+.

You may think I’m exaggerating the number. I am not. I started with a bag of spearmint cough drops, approximate number 30. H brought me two bags of cherry cough drops, each count of 80. I’m already on my second bag. So the approximation of 190+ is more than valid. My tongue may be permanently red at this point, but I don’t care because these damn things are precious (kind of like the One Ring, as opposed to the other nineteen) and have saved my chest, throat, back, and gut from taking an even worse beating than it did (has, continues to endure). Just a few minutes ago, I was coughing up what’s left of my lungs. Thanks to the cough drops, it hurts less than expected because I’m constantly sucking on these drops made from the nectar of the gods. I cannot encourage you enough to always keep cough drops around! They help clear phlegm and the like, reduce throat tickle, and generally keep things loose and easy to hork up. It makes all the difference between paroxysmal coughing that’ll kill you — or at least make you pass out — and the coughing I have now. It’s still unpleasant, however, I’m not going to pass out or die from what remains. I will not miss coughing. Let’s hope I’m celebrating soon.

Tissues and tissue-adjacent materials: 1000lbs. Or, that’s what they’ve been asked to contain! Lots of congestion means lots of clearing the entire body of all this snot and it snot fun. (Make pun of me all you want. I’m glad I can get this deathbed humor off my chest!)

I have no idea what prompted me to stock up on tissues a couple months ago, just glad I did! When combined with the toilet paper, napkins, and paper towels, I think it’s safe to say I’ve used a half ton of soft, thin, pliable products to catch the ick out of my nose and mouth.

Gallons of water and other beverages I’ve choked on and/or spit out and/or puked up: close to 30 gallons, I’m confident in saying. In fact, the entire reason I started this particular post comes down to me choking on a teeny weeny, itsy bitsy, microscopic amount of water! Forget any other reason I may have previously given. It was choking on half an eighth teaspoon of water that got me reaching for my phone to share the near death experience with you. That’s the God’s honest truth.

Compared with the huge numbers of everything else thus far, 30 gallons seems like child’s play, doesn’t it? Except, it’s actually a significant amount of fluid one’s body very much doesn’t want in one’s lungs.

It was awful. My glasses are now covered with the dried tears of my efforts to clear what’s left of my lungs of the deadly invader called water.

Loads of laundry: More than I can remember. Between sweating, not wanting to keep breathing in anything viral, and the result of the next item, I was doing laundry every few days. Blech.

Number of times I almost pooped/did poop myself while coughing: THREE. Okay, FIVE. Fine! Damnit, a whole bunch!

One of the ingredients in the cough syrup acts like a stool softener for me. So, as much as I needed the cough suppressant feature, I absolutely hated taking it because I didn’t want to end up crapping the bed/myself. Thankfully, I didn’t have many actual soiled drawers. There’s only so much laundry one can do from one’s sick bed. Y’all know I’d never leave something like that unlaundered beyond the time it takes to shower off one’s own ass and get into fresh, clean clothes. Add to that the whole lack of energy and you got a perfect storm of shittiness.

And here’s the final entry. Cough syrup: less than you’d think. Three or four (maybe five) bottles. I tried to take it just at night in order to help me sleep. Mostly didn’t want the poop situation happening every time I started coughing, sneezing, breathing, or blinking. The more I take, the more likely to have a code brown. What a conundrum, right? Thus, a truly unique situation presented itself. It reminded me of a George Wallace joke about the time he and his wife had the stomach flu. “Sleep tight took on a whole new meaning. You puckered up, but not how you’d think.” (I’ve tried to find a clip of him saying this on the Tubes of You and had zero luck.)

Okay, I’m off to sleep. I desperately need it.

Please take care of yourselves and each other. We’re not out of the Covid woods yet and I’d really would like all of you to remain healthy and alive!

2022/02/12

I’ve Lost Track

Da Goddess @ 17:34

I’ve lost track of which day I’m on of Covid infection. I’m certain it’s been over a week, but beyond that I’ve no clue.

What I’m experiencing now is utterly delightful. Not so much. Severe headaches, increased cough, absolute disaster as far as sleep goes. I mean, I already have sleep issues

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, right? So why must that now be compounded by the coughing and headaches? Can’t I just get to the point where I’m too sick to stay awake?

H ended up with the same symptoms today, which means we’re having a grand old time of it.

The dog’s on high alert, barking at every fucking thing seen, heard, and/or imagined. Each bark translates into brain rattling and soul crushing pain.

To add to the extreme fun, our toilet stopped working. Again. Third time since I’ve been here. This particular time, though, had me waiting five hours to pee after waking with a full and very uncomfortable bladder. I found myself wishing I’d been born a boy so I could go pee out in the yard. No such luck for this gal. When the toilet was finally fixed, I started the miserable trek to the bathroom. It was at that moment H decided he wanted to tell me about the plumber and his brother. I think the look of murderous rage (along with the sloshing of urine) in my eyes was what stopped him from continuing the story. Smart decision. I’ve been incited to violence by less.

Now I’m back to simply and silently cursing this plague, for I don’t know how much longer I can take the headaches and the coughing.

I’m considering rigging up an Acme anvil to drop on my head at some random moment. At least that way, I’ll be unconscious for a while. Also? I’m wondering how much more my head could possibly hurt.

Anyone available to help with the rigging of the aforementioned anvil? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller*?

* Autocorrect is our frequent flyer here. The second Bueller corrected itself to read Mueller. I like that simple twist and wish I could say I came up with it to begin with. Problem is: I have no idea from whence it came and lack the gumption to fight it.

2022/02/10

I’m Positive

Da Goddess @ 21:47

I spent part of last night and this morning rather angry. I mean, *really, really angry*. For good reason, too.

I’m 100% positive. Nary a doubt in the universe. That’s quite a strong response, to be honest, but it’s deserved.

Then, I got yelled at for telling someone.

Here’s the thing: I ended up with Covid. I haven’t been out of the house in over a month, except one trip to the grocery store. Weeks ago. And I was masked, used hand sanitizer, etc., etc., etc. There is only one way I could have been infected.

H was sick about a week ago. Then I started getting sick. It honestly felt like a low-key sinus infection for the first couple of days. By the third day, I had awful chills; a severe headache; a dry, persistent cough; horrendous body aches; and my sinuses were half congested/half draining like mofos. On day four, my cough turned productive and chunky, plus all the other symptoms were kicking my ass. Day five was slightly better??? Day six was awful again.

Day six was also the day my Covid test kits finally arrived. I took a test, et voilà! Positive from the very second the solution hit the test card. I waited the full 15 minutes, though, to confirm. The results hadn’t changed.

I promptly informed H. Instead of staying home, he opted to go to an open mic at a local restaurant. He’d been to one on Monday as well.

When he got home, I made him do a Covid test, too. While his wasn’t strongly positive from the start, it was positive. When I suggested he needed to inform both venues he’d been to, he said he wasn’t going to tell them, that everyone goes out to such places and takes their chances. I disagreed and he told me I could inform the guy who runs the open mic night at one of the places. And that’s exactly what I did.

Why? Because it’s the responsible course of action! Both H and I have been vaccinated. Some of the people who attend and/or perform the open mic events may not be vaccinated or may have family who haven’t been and who are immunocompromised. They should be told.

When I woke up today, H was pissed because I did exactly what I told him I’d do, what he told me I should do, what was the proper response to having a positive result. It was not a pretty conversation. However, I stood my ground. Then he was mad because his name was mentioned. Listen, it shouldn’t matter! Just be responsible.

Him: why did you have to tell them it was me?

Me: I passed along the info like you agreed to.

Him: but, tell me why you had to share my name!

Me: depending on who you were talking with, as well as who was in the closest proximity to you, it’s all relevant.

Him: and so, now what am I supposed to do? I’m just supposed to stay home and not go anywhere the entire time? Even if I don’t have symptoms? Bored?

Me: that’s right. That’s exactly what you’re supposed to do!

H was livid. After him trying to make me feel badly about the situation, it was my turn to get cartoon-level furious! How. Fucking. Dare. He? None of this was my fault!

I passed along word because some of the people who go to open mic nights have newborns

, while others have adults in their lives who might not be able to fight the virus so readily.

A few hours later, H had come to his senses and posted online that he was, indeed positive for Covid. The way he worded it was great and it was exactly the way I would’ve written it myself.

What made/makes me rage-y about the situation is how he tried to make me feel I was in the wrong for doing what I did. That somehow, I was the asshole responsible for any and all anger that might come his way.

This is the part of the post where I get fucking real. Real bitchy, that is: if you aren’t going to take responsibility for getting the information out there in the world, you don’t get to be a fucking asshole about how it’s done. If you don’t want people to think you’re a selfish prick, maybe you should have the balls to tell them yourself. It’s that simple! If you want to control the narrative, you need to be the one to make the statement. Pretty easy Public Disclosure 101 stuff.

I don’t know what the hell he was thinking prior to posting the news on social media, except that I know it wasn’t anything I was responsible for creating, nor was it in any way, shape, or form my fault or my responsibility. He made it my responsibility by refusing to own up to his responsibility to his friends and the community at large.

Whatever made him change his mind, I’m just glad he did.

I can tell you this, too: it’s the last time I listen to him try to make something my fault, try to weasel out of doing the right thing, and definitely the last time he acts ignorant about the most basic of virus protocol.

I’m grateful I got vaccinated, that I’ve isolated, follow good handwashing routines, and am constantly disinfecting every surface I see. If I hadn’t or didn’t do any of those things, I can only imagine how sick I may have become.

I’m not out of the woods yet. I’m getting chills again tonight, the headache is building, and I can feel the body aches ramping up.

If you haven’t been to get the jab(s) yet, I don’t know what you’re waiting for. The side effects of the vaccine are minimal for 99.99999% of those who get the jab. Don’t take a chance on getting Covid. Again, I feel much, much, muchly better knowing I’m more likely to avoid hospitalization and avoiding more serious long-term effects of the virus because I’ve been vaccinated.

If what I’ve had thus far is the mild version, I’m glad I’m not having the worse version. Mild has been awful enough!

Please stay safe out there! Mask up, wash up, clean up, and vax up! The alternative is too horrendous to contemplate.

Yours in positive for Covid,
DG

2022/02/03

17°F

Da Goddess @ 16:45

It’s been a chilly couple of days here. Snow yesterday and today.

I was excited when the temp finally hit 17°, as opposed to hovering at 12° like it had most of the day. Overnight, it was said to be -1 to -15 with wind chill factored in.

You better believe I’m grateful for having a roof, four plus walls, and heat!

Cookie couldn’t decide what she most wanted to do when she went out for the second time this afternoon: 1. stand around looking at snow and maybe finding a squirrel to bark at, or 2. running around the yard, barking at invisible squirrels, maybe finding one under the snow, and then rolling in snow to show both snow and squirrel who runs this yard. She’s a loon.

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2022/01/01

Happy New Year, Y’all!

Da Goddess @ 00:23

I hope you’re safe & warm and feeling appreciated.

May 2022 be kinder!

2021/12/25

On the 12th Day of Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:01

On the twelfth day of Christmas, a song from John Berry. That voice. This song. Every year. Every. Year.

It’s simply THE SONG I have to hear on Christmas day.

Merry Christmas, friends! May you always remember the best moments of life and love today.

(more…)

2021/12/24

On the 11th Day of Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:02

Oh, on the eleventh day of Christmas, Tim Minchin sings to thee…

This song does me in every time. I listen to it on repeat because there are smiles

, a laugh or two, and there are tears. Tears for what once was, what is, what might be, and what is. It’s an EVERYTHING song to me.

Bless you, Tim. Bless you and your humanist heart. You really know how to get to me.

Last year, I encouraged you to get his album Apart Together. If you didn’t, do yourself a favor and get it now. It’s a work of art and has been in heavy rotation throughout this past year for me. I truly believe Tim Minchin is one of the greatest composers of our lifetimes. Not only has he written beautiful music for the stage (Broadway, the West End, etc.), he’s funny and deeply rooted in crafting songs that speak to the soul of us all. He gets it. And he shares it with us, even when so many of us feel we’re not into “that kind” of music. Friends, he writes about us, for us, and it’s most definitely the kind of music we need in our lives.

2021/12/23

On the 10th Day of Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:01

On the tenth day of Christmas, Justin Hines brings a smile to my face.

I know, I know. It’s the same every year. But it’s the same every year for a reason! I’ll always include him and his songs. I. Just. Will.

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2021/12/22

On the 9th Day of Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:22

On the ninth day of Christmas, a song from Brenda Lee!

She was 13 years old, y’all. 13. THIRTEEN! I don’t know about you

, but I don’t think most 13 year olds could pull this off. But she did.

2021/12/21

On the 8th Day of Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:03

On the eighth day of Christmas, I think we could all use a little something different, don’t you?

Well, here’s something different!

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2021/12/20

On the 7th Day of Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:17

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love — me — gave to…me…I gave this to me:

A punk pop song to get my blood pumpin’ and get me out of bed.

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