laugh until you pee

I spent a good part of this morning in the basement cleaning up/out my desk and surrounding areas. When I moved upstairs (movin’ on up to the west side, fo reals yo) I didn’t take too much time to worry about the space I was leaving behind in the basement, space that had included my bedroom and an office area. But something about the upcoming surgery, and the difficulties lately in finding things, put me in a frame of mind to get down to it. We’re also getting ready for my mom’s new treadmill to be delivered tomorrow so the floor needed some attention. All of this explanation to finally explain why I am laughing until I pee (this time).

Garth has a little stuffed squirrel toy that is his absolute favorite. He carries it around in his mouth even though it’s nearly the size of his head. His favorite thing to do is throw it up in the air and then catch it. I lovingly refer to it as his Squirrelfriend. Tossing her around is even more fun to do on the wide open basement tile floor.

Anyway, I’m feeling a bit like there’s a ticking clock looming over my shoulder. Not in an “end of my life, Grim Reaper” kind of way, more in a “holy fucking hell, I’m having surgery in only slightly more than TWO WEEKS” kind of way. Wait, maybe that is the fame feeling…

I’ve been working diligently to make sure that everything is as ready as possible before S-Day. The amazing thing about having a surgery in December is that you’ve almost certainly met your health insurance deductible. The horrific thing about having a surgery in December is that convalescing time is almost certainly going to wreak havoc with Christmas preparations.

Wish me luck.

killing time, putting in my time, nothing but time on my hands

I finally got a call from the oncologist’s office on Friday, but not the call I wanted. The nurse was letting me know that the doc I was scheduled to see was going on a leave of absence and they’re bumping my appointment from Thursday to Friday. Not horrible, but still.

Friday night I did get to go take a blown glass ornament class which was beyond amazing.

the ones on the far left were mine

I managed to get 12 ornaments successfully made and had a hell of a lot of fun doing it.

Yesterday I finished putting together my fused glass 3D Christmas tree.

amazing, yes?

And I finished a shawl I’ve been working on that I had planned to wear to a play I was going to head out to see today.

I get by with a little help from Garth

But then this morning was the time change and I got up and started doing stuff and that was great but when it came time to get ready to head out I just couldn’t do it. I was honestly afraid to leave the house. While this isn’t unheard of for me, it sure as hell hasn’t happened in a good long time. Rather than beat myself up I decided to just be gentle and take care of myself today.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to see what other appropriate mischief I can get myself into while wearing pjs.

nothing to see here, keep moving

Still no call from the oncologist’s office about an earlier appointment. I’m just sort of resigned to the fact that I won’t get in before November 9th. And you know what? That’s ok. I haven’t had any more attacks or flares or whatever the hell you want to call the pain that this damn thing causes when it decides to be a problem. Totally ok.

I’m going about the business of living, because I am alive and because this is what I do. One of my mantras is “fall down seven times, get up eight.” I just don’t know how to quit.

I rock the panda thing, yo

We had an amazing Halloween party at work. My panda partner in crime and I had matching panda pajama costumes and our hallway won the decorating contest. Because honestly, what rocks harder than pandas with Canvas emblems on their butts?

I am trying to prepare for what I think is an inevitable surgery. Mom and I talked last night and nearly everything I would need access to is on the top floor of the house – except an ample supply of knitting projects. So I picked out enough yarn for 5 (6 maybe?) projects last night along with the necessary patterns. Tonight I’ll gather the needles and notions I need for each and get them packaged up for myself. I do like a good plan.

I have a finished shawl at home right now that needs to be blocked. I’m hoping to get that done this weekend as well as the glass tree. Keeping myself occupied with creative projects definitely helps keep my mind off of all the worst-case scenarios. And the total bonus is that I’ll end up with all kinds of pretty bits. Winner, winner, chicken friend steak dinner.

let me distract all of us with some pictures, eh?

I still haven’t heard anything from the oncologist so Mom has been doing her best to keep me busy. She’s done a great job. And so have the boys. Nothing like little balls of fluff to keep you distracted.

handsome orange kitties sleeping on my bed
baton competition on Saturday meant lots of knitting time for me between the girls’ performances
we must check out this counter mama, much important
“but moooooom! we gotta chase this bug!”
3D fused glass tree, some assembly required (and still needed)
pumpkin carving
Yoda Cat
weirdest aunt ever

This afternoon I have an appointment with my therapist which is good. I just wish I would hear something soon. As Tom Petty once said, the waiting is the hardest part.

the update that is not actually an update

I had really, really, REALLY hoped by now to have something to tell you. Well, that’s not entirely true. By this pointed I myself wanted to know something about what’s going on.

But I don’t. And it’s kind of killing me.

All I know is that I have already had most (all maybe?) of the preliminary tests the oncologist would want before s/he sees me so that will help, and that I’m at the very top of the cancellation list. They know that I’m roughly 20 minutes from their office and ready to leave with as little as 5 minutes notice.

I’ve spent most of this week trying to make sure that when the call comes in, if I do need to jump that quick, that I’m ready for it. I don’t want to leave my teammates in the lurch. I have the luxury of some lead time so I want to be as prepared as humanly possible.

I’m keeping myself busy at home, too. I have another shawl I’m working on and I brought home the pieces for a 3D fused glass Christmas tree on Wednesday so I need to start getting that assembled. In all honesty, I have enough creative/craft materials already at home that I could occupy myself until roughly the coming of the Zombie Apocalypse.

remember that one time when I thought I had a virus but really my body was fighting off some kind of wicked cyst thing? yeah, good times

I really should have listened to my mom last Monday and gone to the ER when I was writhing around praying for death. I’d have been a whole week closer to having all of this nonsense behind me. Let me explain.

I don’t do being sick well, we’ve established that. But I recognize patterns and I learn. So when I started getting that awful stomach cramp thing again at 5:30 Sunday morning, I paid attention. By 8am it was obvious that it was not getting better and so I was getting to the ER.

Blood pressure through the roof, duh. Temp up a little, duh. Serious pain when touched, duh.

The rotten ass ER doc was just positive I had a kidney infection and just needed an antibiotic, but they’d do a CT scan just in case. That lead to an ultrasound because there was a “shadow” on the scan. Oh, did I mention the Dilaudid? That’s some nice stuff right there.

Anyway, nothing wrong with my kidneys but how about an ovarian cyst as a consolation prize? WHAT?!

Today I’ve gone to two other doctors, my regular and a GYN and now I know that the cyst is 6.5cm, looks sketchy so it could be cancerous, my liver looks kind of weird too, and regardless of what actually is going on with the ovary that little sucker needs to come out.

My next stop will be with a gynecological oncologist. I’m actually waiting for that call right now.

So yeah, nothing but excitement around these parts right now.

staring down the barrel of a week off work

You can ask anyone who knows me that I don’t often take time off work. It’s not that my work means that much to me, more that I know I do better with the structure that going to work for 9 hours every day brings. And I do actually love what I do, so that helps. But anyway, more often than not the little HR system sends me a nastygram every few months telling me I’ve got so much vacation time waiting to use that I’m going to stop earning any more.

Well hell.

Part of my dilemma is that I mostly hate to travel. Flying is The Suck and driving Takes Forever. I will say that I prefer to drive because then I’m on my own schedule and I can take as much of my stuff with as I want and I can use a real restroom. I am 41 years old and have yet to use the loo in an airplane. Rather proud of that, actually.

Anyway, traveling with people is much more interesting but it still involves packing and the actual travel and then sleeping in a strange bed and the whole Being Away From Home nonsense.

It’s just not often my thing, ya dig?

So I’ve taken the entirety of next week off work but I don’t really plan to go anywhere. I much prefer to Staycation. I fully intend to be lazy, do some things around the house, maybe do a little shopping, and mostly just breathe. Oh, and knit.

I do think it’s super important to take time away from the daily grind and to recharge the ol’ batteries. If we don’t do that, and put ourselves first now and then, we end up with nothing left to give anyone else.

One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn is that even though my brain is fully capable to running for days on end with next to no food or sleep when I’m not taking my meds and that kind of feels like flying and being on top of the world, it’s really the worst thing ever.

Anyone who tells you that they miss being manic is delusional. Mania is a liar, worse than any cheating lover. For as high as you go you come crashing, hurtling, down twice as fast and far. The end is awful. And it’s not worth a single minute of it.

That’s why next week I will be going to bed at normal hours, eating healthy and wholesome food, and taking care of myself. I need to punch my own damn reset button every now and again.

august, you hit like a little bitch

I’ve completely lost track of how many hours I’ve worked since returning from the conference. I’m at that place where numbers have ceased to have meaning. Nights, weekends, early mornings… It’s all blurring together. Today might be Friday, but then again it might be next Thursday. Who’s to say.

But truly, I thrive on this nonsense.

I loathe boredom and I really do prefer having a lot to do as opposed to very little. I do remarkably well when I have more things to do than I really should be able to get done. There’s almost something magical about the stress of needing to do my best when I’m sleep deprived.

I may have stumbled on the secret of how to cram 36 hours worth of crap into a 24 hour day. Maybe. Then again, I may also have developed a recipe for poo scented shoe inserts. Only time will tell.

What I know for sure is that people keep saying nice things, the kittens are adjusting to the move at home, and I actually did some knitting last night. Life is good enough right now.

the only thing that stays the same is change

I should be finishing packing, or getting the last few things done for work, or cleaning something, or…

But I’m procrastinating. This isn’t usually something I do, honestly. I’m much more of a “get this crap done NOW” kind of girl. No sense in putting off until later what I can do right this very minute. But sometimes I get in a funk, and sometimes change is at the heart of it all.

Backstory – I’ve been living in the very lovely basement of the home I grew up in for a good number of years now. I love it. It’s spacious, I have a 1/2 bath here, my own full-sized fridge. It’s like a studio apartment with an attached house. But my mom and I are trying to get healthier and part of that is having a place to exercise. The basement is the most logical place for that so I’m moving upstairs.

I’m actually looking forward to it. A “normal” bedroom again sounds like fun. And the walls are pink (as is the carpet) and that sounds like fun, too. Plus, if something happens and either of us gets sick in the night it’s safer.

But it’s a change. I really do try to see any change as an opportunity for growth and good stuff. All of this will be done before life at work explodes again with the start of the Fall semester. I’ve booked movers to come take care of the furniture for us since there is no way in hell that the two of us can wrestle this stuff around.

I’m very much looking forward to going to this conference for work, but that’s some change there, too. I’ll be out of my normal element, but I’ll have a good chunk of my tribe there with me, and I know that will help.

And my therapist’s office just called saying they have a cancellation for this morning. Praise the squirrels.

Now I just need to decide if I’m going to take one of my little stuffed dragons with me or a squirrel…

on traveling

I would greatly prefer it if the fun and adventures would show up on my door step, encompass a single amazing day, and then leave me to sleep in my own bed with my own pillow and my own kitties. But alas, that just ain’t the way it works.

I’m not sure if it’s actual a by-product of any of my mentalness or just a personality thing but I’ve never really liked being away from home, even as a kid. My family typically did road trips, partially because that’s just how people took vacations back in those days. I’d rather road trip than fly any day, but alas, that just ain’t always the way it works.

This time next week I’ll be enjoying (I hope) the sights and sounds of Keystone, CO and the InstructureCon 2017 conference. Many of my good pals from work will be there and there are 4 of us flying out together, so that will help.

But as someone who lives with bipolar disorder, routines and sameness are critical to maintaining my mental health. I need to know that certain things will be done in certain ways and at certain times on a very regular basis. If not, well, then chaos takes over. For short spans of time though I can pull of pretending I am quote-NORMAL-endquote.

I will take the necessary bottles of medication, the essential oils to help with anxiety, things to distract my hands on the short plane trip, and I will do what I often do in situations like this…

I will get by with a little help from the amazing people I work with, many of whom I am privileged to call friends.