Thursday, February 19, 2015

Truth and Consequences

I've been stuck at home for the last five days, due to a threatened blizzard of 12 inches of snow that turned into a couple of inches of ice.

I'm disappointed that we didn't much snow, just a dusting at my house, but it has given me a whole week off work.  I couldn't take the chance on wrecking my car because I don't need to get out that much.

I don't have a lot of great food choices here, because I didn't expect to see such a dire situation at the grocery store Sunday night.  Yes, bread was wiped out, but so was a lot of the produce section.  Wow.  I was gonna buy pineapple, big carrots, oranges.... And there weren't any at all.  So I got basic juicing stuff : apples, lemon, ginger, and freaking baby carrots that suck at being juiced.  My fault. I wanted to get some Tropicana Farmstand juices, but the veggie ones were gone.  Even the green ick one.  Weird.

It isn't like I'm going to starve.  I've got Ramen noodles and eggs, and other things to eat if I need to.  I could also just eat the apples to make them last longer.  It's just that I didn't get to buy what I wanted.  Bummer.

This many days of ice mean I'm spending a crazy long time alone, and I start thinking, and I become depressed.  You could even chalk it up to my sudden reduction of sugar and caffeine intake.  People swear it's not detoxing, but when you are trying to remove a toxic influence from your life, what else could you call it? Withdrawal, maybe?  

Thank God I've never played around with drugs or alcohol addiction, because just kicking sugar and caffeine is bad enough.  Although I do have enough alcohol here to become a drunk very rapidly, if I choose.  And I'll admit, I've a couple of bottles (gin and Triple Sec) I've had here for 19 years, last used for Long Island Iced Teas on a camping trip.  I'm glad that guy dumped me.  It would have been horrible to be stuck with a cruel person, lying cheater as he was.  Those are separate -- being cruel, being a cheater, and being a liar all defined him each on their own.  Good riddance.

It hurts to be lied to and used.  He lied about the other woman he was dating behind my back, and married quickly after he dumped me.  But it showed me a whole host of betrayers -- they all knew and blithely smiled to my face while covering up for him: his friends / formerly my friends, my "family", his family

I don't know when alcohol expires... Does it?  I know rubbing alcohol has an expiration date, but I think that's a marketing ploy.  Who knows these answers?

Thoughts on being a teacher... I'm one of those who will fall between the cracks, forgotten, unpopular, and resented, if I'm remembered at all.  I teach the wrong age group to be remembered, and I don't let my students run the classroom and slack off constantly, so they don't like me.  I don't get specialized training for my class, even when I ask for it, and then I'm demerited for not getting extra training.  I'm not the "cool one".  I don't give them cash just because they ask me to -- that's been happening a lot lately.  Just "Give me money."  And they hate me for not doing it.  

They hate me for requiring them to do the work required by all the standards.  (basically, doing my job pleasantly and caringly.) They hate me for trying to teach them touch typing.  A lot of enmity from that one.  And that's the basis of my job. Still, I smile, encourage them, give them all I can, and turn the other cheek when they punch the first one for all my caring.  I still love my job, and where I work, but it's not my one reason to stay alive.  It doesn't want me to.  

That's just the way it is, baby.  Some of us have to be hated, I suppose, so that others can be worshipped.  But I have to admit that I'm really starting to hate myself, too, for all the wrong reasons.  They'll have to pay mourners to come to my funeral, I'm sure.  

As much as it hurts to be realistic, it still hurts crushingly to realize you've been the subject of so many lies over the years.  The lies told about me to former "family" shone at a recent funeral.  The teller had been outed to me years before, at work.  Everyone who met me at work was so shocked to find that I was polite and friendly, and a very hardworking person.  Their introduction to me by word of mouth, over the years, was far different.  I was supposedly lazy, dishonest, slutty (a slutty virgin? really? I got dumped by that year's boyfriend because I WASN'T a slut), an alcoholic (that one was a shock - I'm still not into the stuff), rude, disrespectful, and constantly hateful and ungrateful.  Even when my hands were torn up, bleeding and abraded from packaging fan clutches at a high speed, they caught me singing along with my permanently employed coworkers. Happily.  Like freaking Snow White.  

I wonder, did The Saint tell the family and coworkers that she had threatened me with genital mutilation when I was seven, very explicitly described, because I was an occasional bed wetter? (The cure for bed wetting, is it?) Did she also tell them that at the same time I was having all those nightmares that led to the bed wetting, that I was also being abused by someone outside the family, and though she suspected, she never did anything to protect me? Never even asked if I was okay.

But that didn't stop me from being polite at the funeral.  I even helped send a wreath, though the florist failed to follow through on the order.  

It hurts to be lied about. One of those permanent workers told me all about the lies the supposed saint had told about me, before I ever was there.  Just so I could be aware.  Then I stopped holding back my sunshine, because it was the only thing keeping me going that summer.  And I got dumped, by yet another boyfriend, but I faked being okay about that.

It hurts to hear lies adults and kids tell about me surrounding my work, but I know that's how some people are.  The kids may grow out of it.  Some of them create the tales with their very active imaginations.  The adults are stuck with the rottenness in their souls.  

Still, it eats at me to know that while I go in with a smile, someone is always wanting to hurt me for it.  It's tough, not being the Chosen One.  But you've gotta ingratiate yourself into their "society" to be eligible for their awards.  I'd have to pull a Margaret Mitchell, and then I'm sure the Junior 
League would be after me.  I'm okay without the Junior League, just like she was.  I'm going to have a very diminished perception of self for the rest of my life anyway.  No WASPy social club is going to help repair that.  

So I'm a little damaged.  Though I don't hurt other people, it does seem to make me an irresistible target for those who do.  Sucks to be me, I guess. The jury is still out on whether this life is punishment for things I did in another life, or if it's the payment for a good one that I'm due.  Spare me the judgment, though.  You don't have the right to judge me for my failures.  I know I'm not a cute little plastic personality who has had every advantage in life.  I'm a bit emotionally ragged, and for most of my life, I'm the only one who truly cared about my well-being.  But I do still care, a tiny bit.  The little bit I didn't manage to give away.

That's the truth.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Snowmageddon 2015

Okay, so there is a massive winter storm predicted starting tonight for my area. People are apparently heading to the stores and clearing out the shelves of bread and milk. I'm not particularly worried, because I have a massive bag of Honey Nut Cheerios and a whole half gallon of milk ready and waiting I also have a multi pack of chicken flavored Ramen noodles in case of emergency.  Hopefully, I won't have to resort to the Ramen noodles.

Yesterday, I fasted for most of the day, sort of. I was drinking juice all day though it wasn't homemade juice. Still, it was a lovely sickly shade of green-ish though it tasted like bananas and pineapple juice. It was actually half vegetable juice, half fruit juice.  I'm thinking about going on another juice fast, and yesterday just made me more sure that it's the right thing for me to do.

I was making chocolate covered strawberries for Valentine's Day, and I just didn't feel like eating anything. I feel like my belly is completely stuffed and it doesn't seem to be fixable. I suspect it's just a complication of my IBS,  which doesn't bother me all that often, but I suspect that I hold onto more than I really should.  Yeah, that's TMI, I know.  I'll stop there with that.   Still, it does mean that I have  abdominal pain most days. And then there are those days when my body decides that it's emptying time and then there's that misery. As in, I know that I didn't eat that much food over the course of the last week and yet here it comes. It could be so much worse. However I do hate feeling like a stuffed sausage. 

So the juice fasting really helps me with that. Nothing tends to accumulate inside of me -- it seems to find its way out on a daily basis,  like a normal person. So that's good.  

The funny thing is that I didn't really get hungry yesterday because I was drinking my juice. Tropicana Farmstand, if you're wondering. I plan to make my own juice again but I was in a hurry to have some juice on hand so that I could drink it when I felt like it. It gives me energy and it makes me feel like I'm not overloaded with stuffing. 

So last night, after the movie, we went to Cracker Barrel for dinner. I was actually reasonably hungry by the time the food came and ate well. The funny thing was that I was craving raw vegetables, so I got the cucumber tomato and onion salad my dinner of grilled chicken tenderloins. 

If I drink juice all day and then for one meal eat a decent meal, it probably won't feel too bad for me. I think my problem is that I'm eating so much processed food that it's turning into glue inside my body and does not want to leave. Too many Pepsi's too much sugar too many starches.  I just don't feel well.  

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Hospital Bag

A few years ago, my dad had to have heart surgery in a city a couple of hours from my home. We each spent a couple of nights and lots of daytime hours visiting with him, taking care of the minor needs we could accomplish for him. 

Fortunately, the hospital had a great cafeteria, but in a typical hospital, the cafeteria isn't open 24 hours.  Plus, there is not usually a store which stocks anything that might be useful for the filly members having to stay overnight without a motel room nearby. 

I've seen a few posts on Pinterest showing how to put together a "sunshine" bag or box for the patient, but not much for those family members. It's all well and good to plan to stay with the patient, but what about when you're unexpectedly at the hospital, because of an emergency situation, such as a heart attack or car accident?

I know that chances are I'll need to spend time at the hospital for as yet unknown reasons , so I've started preparing a bag that I can just grab and go when the need arises. 

I'm adding to it as I think of things, and as I find them in tiny trial sizes. It's great to have some lotion when your hands (or the patient's) are dry, but you don't want to lug a full sized bottle around in the meantime. I've also begun packing a nearly duplicate bag of comfort items to take to a friend who might be spending unplanned-for time at a hospital. 

My last ride-along to the emergency room was a little bit embarrassing for me. The preceding night, I had decided to overnight-condition my hair with jojoba oil   It wouldn't have been a problem to wash out the next day, but I got the call at 5 am, and I had to pop my contacts in and go immediately. There was no help for it. And I looked like an utter greaseball who never washed her hair (but I washed it everyday, after the deep conditioning treatment!) to all who saw me. 

No problem, if everyone in emergency had been strangers. Of course they weren't!  The guy coming in to take care of my dad was someone I hadn't seen since I was in high school -- over 20 years. And there I was looking horribly unpresentable.  Oily. Ew. Decidedly unclean. All for the goal of soft, shiny, healthy locks.

As a result, one of the items in my hospital bag is baby powder, aka emergency dry shampoo. 

Here's my list of what's in / going in my bag:
Baby powder - dry shampoo and the usual uses
Baby wipes
Hand sanitizer
Easy knitting / crochet project - to occupy my time and nervous hands
Puzzle book
Beach ball - pillow, foot rest, lumbar support, and MAYBE something to bridge the horrible fold gap in hospital fold-out bed/chair/torture devices.  In my travel blog I also figured out why you should take one traveling to Europe. :)
Change of underwear
Warm socks
T shirt
Maybe a hoodie, depends on space and weight. 
Small first aid - manicure set
Reader's Digest - to leave in the waiting room when finished
Ipad charger and cable - because it'll charge my iPhone too.
Small bottle of ibuprofen - even visitors get headaches, or neck aches from those horrible fold outs
Tums antacid
Contacts Solution and a case
Breath mints

Sunday, February 8, 2015

My Migraines Come From.... Light

But God made the Light, and it was good, so what the?

Confession time: Last night I needed some food and I made a carryout order from Domino's, as sort of a last overly calorie-filled meal.  I'm thinking seriously about going back to my juicing.  I sure felt better when I did it, and it kept my weight down.  It also gave me a lot of energy, something commercial energy drinks and massive amounts of B-12 have failed to do.  Being tired all the time really sucks.  

I'll probably slowly transition into it.  This week is my birthday, and I'm possibly going to eat some restaurant food.  :)  I had students beg me to make them brownies for my big day, and while I'm rolling my eyes, I'm considering doing it. After all, their good behavior does deserve a reward.  Because I'm not a "real teacher" in their eyes, I seriously doubt any of them will think past themselves anyway.  

It's ok.  I'm used to it, and I expect it.  

I'm not sure exactly why I got a migraine yesterday. I was enjoying the heck out of a rare, beautiful warm February Saturday when I started hurting.  I think it was a combination of things: being tired, sitting badly on the couch, tech neck, sunlight through the wide open blinds, and caffeine withdrawal.  Not so much a perfect storm as a real pain in the neck which telegraphed directly to the dent in the right side of the back of my skull.  Usually it's the left side though.  

I could have taken my Imitrex earlier, but it would have ruined more of my day.  It usually takes 200 mg of Imitrex to help me, but the side effects really bother me.  I don't have problems with high blood pressure (mine is always good and my pulse is runner-slow), but Imitrex jacks my pressure up to the point where my neck feels like I'm being choked and it makes my jaws ache horribly.  Within hours my entire scalp hurts. I become really dizzy.  And then comes the nausea, which persists for several hours.

Which is worse? Imitrex or a potential stroke from a migraine that won't stop?  I try to sleep through the Imitrex, but sometimes I don't get that choice.  It's too bad I don't have ready access to a Toradol shot when this happens. A painful injection, $25 and twenty minutes later, I'm snoozing while the drug alters my hormones to kill the pain.  It almost seems worth it.  But I lose the rest of my day.  Imitrex just makes me WISH I could lose the rest of my day.

I waited to pick up my food order at Domino's until their tracker told me it was ready.  I trudged to the car in nothing but sweatshirt, sweatpants, and house slippers, looking a raggedy mess, with my head throbbing all the way to the middle of my forehead.  Thank God for the drive-through, I thought.  Some food might derail the pain.  My blood sugar was starting to drop. Not a good combination.  

I waited for fifteen minutes in the drive through for the first car to finish up and leave. Then the truck ahead of me just sort of camped out.  I suspect he placed his order for two pizzas and drinks at the window when he arrived.  

After a thirty minute wait in the drive through, I took my sorry-looking, bra-less self inside to try to get my now-cold food.  (Don't judge -- that's why they invented drive-throughs. ) I was never supposed to get out of my car in that condition.  And when I went inside, they waited several minutes before even asking if they could help me.  Then they made me wait even longer while they made the guy at the window's order.  Well, one guy did.  The other one just stood around looking useless.  

I quietly and politely told him I'd been waiting in the drive through half an hour for the order I'd placed over an hour ago, while I attempted to massage my throbbing forehead.  Oh they were so sorry, and so busy, and after nearly lecturing me about how bad off THEY were, gave me 30% off my food that was now at room temperature.

So of course, when I got home, I had almost lost my appetite due to nausea.  I took my meds and spent the next four hours fighting nausea and trying to sleep, simultaneously.  It was a thin slice of Hell. My Yorkie parked himself protectively and compassionately across my thighs in a show of sympathy.    

I finally did sleep, and then woke up.  I packed my head with ice, and melted the pack in a couple of hours, turning the insides to very warm goo instead of chilly relief. Mild fever, according to my thermometer.  Why do I get fever with a migraine? Or is it the Imitrex causing fever?  

  This is what my time in bed looked like last night.  At 2 am I had to get another ice pack just to keep from screaming.  At 5:45, my dog sensed a disturbance in the Force and demanded to be let outside, where he barked and snarled bloody murder at foes unseen by me.   I suppose my brain was trying for deep, healing sleep, but things (pain, dog, excessive heat, thirst) kept pulling me out of slumberland.  

Oh, but not before having freaky dreams about catching a friend and a family member (both married to other people) in bed together, and Joe Mangienello and Channing Tatum giving me a special birthday striptease.  Well, at least that part was entertaining.  Not really sure why they were there, but hey, I'm thankful for Nepenthe to quaff.  

At some point last night I had a memory of being in Kmart as a little girl, and remembering just how badly that place always hurt my eyes and head, and that I always became nauseated standing around in there, waiting on clothes shopping (always for someone else, not me) to be finished.  Several times I complained about the pain, and that I felt sick, but I always got in trouble because I was aggravating to be concerned with while my stepmother was enjoying her shopping.  She accused me of faking on many occasions.  

I'm sure I was whiny and annoying, but I really did feel horrible in there.  The front of that particular store was covered in windows right in front of the clothing department, and it always felt glaringly bright and hot.  I wasn't allowed to stay home alone, and I wasn't allowed to roam the store without an adult, so I was stuck in my own Hell at Kmart.  At some point I remember going to the front wall and sitting on the floor with my back to it so I couldn't see the light, then hiding my head under my folded arms until it was time to go.  I did that every time I went back, from then on.  

A couple of years later I had to get glasses, and I remember the eye doctor telling me I should wear sunglasses when I was outside.  Somehow I was actually given a pair of very dark polarized sunglasses with neon orange frames -- they were very cool looking and I loved them. But the important thing was that they darkened the world to tolerability.  

Ah, darkness... Balm for my throbbing head.  Well, that and massive amounts of ice, of course.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

A Little Vinyl Worry

Someone wants me to make them a Valentine's Day  shirt with my Cricut.  Yay! I'm thrilled for the chance to make a small step in paying for my new Cricut Explore. :) Maybe also to help with my recently inflated living expenses, which have resulted in a $100 a month pay cut with no hope of ever having a pay raise.  So I need to do some work on the side.


You might notice that Friday is likely the deadline for wearing a Valentine's themed shirt at work.  And she hasn't brought me the shirt yet.  When she does, I'll have to prewash it to make sure there is no sizing on the fabric.  Not a problem, except that I don't like to run my dryer for one item of clothing to dry.  I suppose I'll have to, in order to make this shirt happen.  

Now if I actually could afford shop space, I'd probably have a full range of vinyl and glitter vinyl at my elbow in any color anybody could want, but I'm going to have to order it on the off-chance that I will psychically choose the color she would like for me to use.  :). 

Don't misunderstand -- I LOVE the idea of having all those colors handy -- it's just not financially feasible to have thousands of dollars in vinyl sitting around, hoping someone will hire me. :) 

I don't mind ordering the colors needed, as long as the client doesn't mind waiting on the correct color of vinyl to arrive from the other side of the country.  And what if she changes her mind after I've paid for this vinyl?  That's happened before. Hm.  Well, I guess I'll just have to take that chance and then make myself a shirt instead. I haven't made myself a monogram yet, after all.  

I've been running through some ideas for combining vinyl monograms and fabric on my existing plain sweatshirts, to make them dressier for everyday wear.  I'd just like to have something different from the ultra-trendy stuff everyone else is already wearing.  

I have the skill.... I've just gotta have the will.  And maybe the contacts, because getting started in an ultra-small side business is difficult. So far it's been all expenses.