What Happened To Aunt Debbie?

Well.

Have you noticed my absence? I’ve been gone for a bit.  At first, I was just lacking the motivation to write or do anything else creative. I didn’t stress over it. I just let it be.

Then 2 weeks ago, on Feb. 1, we were low on propane. Our propane heater is our primary source of heat. We use space heaters periodically, to help keep the chill down when it’s colder than usual. Our propane provider says to order when the tank reads 30%. They also say not to let the tank get below 10%, ever. And they have an attitude if you try to order when the tank is over 30%. So, knowing we were at 30%, Dad called in the order. 

Since this particular company took over we hadn’t had a problem. The company prior to, is a different story. I thought I had blogged about the past incident but I couldn’t find it to link to it here. What happened with the prior company was that Dad didn’t order propane in time during the holiday season and were conserving propane until after the new year when they finally showed up to fill the tank. We were cold but we were not hit with a severe snow/ice storm that year. Unlike this year… You’ve most likely heard about the severe winter weather advisories for some of this country. That’s what we’re going through right now in SW Missouri!

Up until now, our current propane provider had been here within 2 or 3 days to fill our tank. I know they get busy during the winter months and with the road conditions right now, I can understand the delay…BUT we ordered on Feb. 1st. The roads were fine then. The weather was cold, but fine then.

Here we sit on Feb. 15th. Still waiting for propane. Our tank is now at 10%. We can’t use anymore. We have been using space heaters for the last week. Two space heaters, in the living room, to be exact. We can’t use more heaters because the idiot who built this house put almost everything on the same circuit as the kitchen so anytime we use something ‘extra’ that draws a lot of power, we blow a circuit. Even the toaster blows a circuit if too many things are going at the same time.

Here’s one heater. Look at the temp:

41 degrees, in the house, and just around the immediate vicinity of the heater. Can you imagine? The rest of the house is cold as ice! Unless, of course, you’re next to the other heater like poor Alice, who is disgusted with the present condition of her safe and warm home! This heater shows a higher temp because the photo was taken on Saturday when the sun was shining bright and the temp was a tiny bit higher outside. 

As you can see, I have placed cat beds all around the heater so my poor babies can stay warm. As for Dad and I, we are bundled in layers of coats and sweaters, gloves and scarves, hoods and caps, blankets and throws. We are using heating pads. I had planned on buying a couple electric blankets, but didn’t get a chance before this winter storm. We aren’t getting deliveries of any kind at the moment because of the road conditions, but I will order the blankets soon. This bitter cold has played hell on my legs, my arthritis. For a couple of days, the pain in my legs hindered my ability to walk. I had to do something so – don’t laugh – I wrapped my legs with small fleece throws and used duct tape to secure them! This has helped my legs stay warmer and I can walk better. I am still not a happy camper!

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Last Tuesday, Dad called the propane company to find out when they might be here to fill the tank. He had to leave a message. They called back on Wednesday and told us the truck would be here to fill our tank that day. They never showed! We kept calling and emailing the company, explaining that we have no propane and that one of us is elderly, the other disabled. They haven’t returned our calls or emails as of yet. Yesterday, I heard that the truck was in our area! It was nearly 5pm though and they hadn’t shown yet. I don’t know if they were actually in the area or not.

I’m really disgusted, and extremely cold…ANGRY even. I think if the propane companies can’t handle the demand during this time of year, then they should hire more drivers and/or get more trucks! I also think that since they know how unpredictable our weather can be here in the Ozarks, they should have trucks that are able to get on these roads during severe winter weather. As my grandmother used to say about businesses that fall short: “Shit or get off the pot!” I agree 100%.

We are looking into changing propane providers; some don’t serve our area and others will but only if a neighbor needs propane at the same time, IF there’s a neighbor with the same provider, that is. We also have to consider rent and other fees for hook up of a new tank, and the policies they have regarding keeping that tank filled. 

I hope this will soon be another shit stain memory that we will never have to repeat. For now, we wait. We sit here, in the cold, waiting… I may not write again before we get propane. It’s just too damn cold. 

Numbness

It began the Monday before Christmas. I woke up and my feet and ankles were swollen. I figured my sodium intake had been too high lately, because it has happened before, and decided to cut back on the sodium and drink more water than normal. It helped a little but 2 days later, the swelling hadn’t gone down much more and I started to feel some numbness in my ankles. There was no way I could get in to see my NP before Christmas so I waited.

After another day, the numbness had worked its way up my left leg, and the next day (Christmas Day) I was feeling numbness in my right leg, although not as bad. My legs were weaker than normal and I was sleepy as hell for the last couple of days. I knew what I was facing. There’s no way I was going to go to the ER on a major holiday, so I waited again. I have to tell you, I WAS WORRIED.

On Sunday, I did an online symptom checker. I was a CNA/CMT for several years so I knew what it would say: blood clots/DVT, PAD, among a few other things. That’s exactly what the checker told me, plus “GO TO THE NEAREST EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT.”

I did. It’s not something I was looking forward to: a possible hospital stay with tons of tests, not to mention Covid-19 and a long ass wait with a bunch of dumb ass people who weren’t wearing masks. I was pleasantly surprised. There were no others in the waiting room when we arrived. (Dad insisted he go with me. He absolutely refused to stay home. Everyone was wearing a mask!) I was checked in and called back in less than 10 minutes. The doctor on call came in relatively quickly and ordered 60mg IV Lasix to get the swelling down. A technician came in and did an ultrasound on both of my legs. Blood work followed.

While we waited, I peed 6 times; the effects of the Lasix. I was getting impatient, although we hadn’t really been there for too long. I think we were there for 3 hours, give or take a few minutes. After a while the doctor came in and told me my blood work looked good, and there were no blood clots, signs of DVT, and I had blood flow to my extremities, indicating no PAD (Peripheral Artery Disease) so that was a major relief! Oh, you just don’t know the relief I felt! He gave me a script for 20mg Lasix, orders to check in with my NP for a follow-up, and he sent me on my way.

Now 2 days later, my legs aren’t as weak as they were but I still have a little swelling and numbness which comes and goes. I couldn’t get an appointment with my NP until Monday due to the New Year’s holiday, but I will get in. She will most likely raise my Lasix dosage but we’ll see.

I’m worried because I can’t even tell you how many times my concerns and health issues have been swept under the rug over the years. Not by the NP I am currently seeing but by actual doctors/specialists! I have pretty much given up trying to find a doctor who gives a shit. The ONE doctor who actually tried to help me, got sick of the bureaucratic bullshit she had to endure at that particular clinic, and she left for a better job. Can’t say that I blame her.

Anyway, I’m doing alright. Taking it day by day; doing what I can, resting often, watching my sodium, drinking more water, and taking that little pill that makes me pee my brains out all day long!

I Loved Him Once

My ex has been the subject of The Ex-Files for quite some time. I am discontinuing this series until a further date, if at all. It just doesn’t feel right.

CP has been a heavy smoker for most of his life. Smoking 2-3 packs a day will catch up to you eventually. It has been my understanding that he’s been on oxygen for the last 10 years and has continued to smoke. How did he think it was going to end?

A few days ago, I learned that CP was in the hospital. My first thought was Covid. Nope. He had COPD. Most likely other health issues that I am unaware of. He was being moved to Hospice. He passed away yesterday.

You know what? I was sad. I even cried. I didn’t think I’d be upset but I was/am. I cried because you just don’t live with someone for 12 years and have 2 kids with them and not care. I really didn’t think his death would affect me in this way.

It made me sad that CP never knew his children, but that was his choice. I was sad because he died alone. I learned that my son went to see him, though. My son said that CP knew he was there but that’s all I know at this time. My son is still on his way back home. I regret that my children never had a relationship with their father but that wasn’t all on me. I tried. I always tried to make things work, but he didn’t do his part. I left CP and took the kids but he has known for 30+ years where we live and had all the information needed to stay in touch. He chose not to.

I have written in this blog about the BS I endured with CP. He was a jerk, and he was a bit narcissistic and controlling, but he wasn’t a bad person. He was messed up but it wasn’t all bad memories. We had some good times, too, like…

  • Our first date. We went to a Tom Petty concert.
  • The drag races! I loved going to the drag races.
  • The time I went to pick CP up at his uncle’s house. He had been spray painting dry wall or something and had white paint all over him. He was sitting in front of a white wall and when I walked into the room I didn’t see him anywhere. I asked, “Where’s CP?” Everyone laughed as CP stood up.
  • The time we went miniature golfing for the first time. Funny! Neither of us knew what the hell we were doing!
  • Being broke and all, we rarely went to sit-down restaurants. Usually it was fast food and it was time spent together laughing and talking about life’s mishaps.
  • The first time I met CP’s mother, and sisters in Las Vegas. I really had a great time being with them all. It was our first trip together.
  • Family dinners; aunts and uncles, cousins all around. None of my aunts and uncles or cousins were local. It was nice to be a part of this large, close family. They all made me feel welcome and CP was always happy I was there, too.
  • Then, there’s the births of our children. We both felt the joy of our little ones coming into this world. Proud parents we were! I wish that feeling had lasted for him; long enough to have led him to choose to stay in touch with them.

I have a lot of bad memories but the good ones, like the ones above, make me smile. There are more but those were just off the top of my head. I have to remember that I loved him once…

It’s A Wonder…

Sometimes, I amaze myself at how brilliant I can be and other times, it’s a wonder I can walk and chew gum at the same time. Seriously. I’ll explain.

I can fix most every problem I have ever had with my computer, laptop, printer, etc., with little to no help. Sometimes I have enlisted the help of my brilliant, tech-savvy brother in law, but most times I’ve not had any help, other than my own research and troubleshooting skills. Since we got our very first internet-capable computer back in 1993, I can count on one hand how many times we’ve taken the computer to a computer repair shop. That was in the early days of my computer experience and I have learned a LOT since then!

Over the years, I’ve had to call tech support for one thing or another… More times than not, they’ve been of no help. I normally end up fixing the problem myself because they can’t. I’ve done hundreds of hours researching one issue or another. Last week, I had a problem with my wireless printer, and I thought it would be quicker for them to help me fix it but…after 45 minutes the problem still wasn’t solved and they referred me to someone else. I ended up fixing the problem myself. I should have done that in the first place but I was trying to save some time, since they’re supposed to be the experts. Snort! 

Moving along… A couple of weeks ago my Android tablet stopped working. It turned on but it wouldn’t connect to the internet. No matter what I did, it wouldn’t connect. My WiFi was working, other devices connected, and it had just been used less than 12 hours prior. I couldn’t figure it out so I decided to reset to factory settings. One of the first things you do when you reset is to set up your internet connection, but it wouldn’t/couldn’t cooperate. I tried and tried and tried again…for days. I couldn’t find any information online that actually applied to this issue. The tablet is several years old…10 years maybe…so I figured it’s time for a new tablet.

After a 2 week wait, my new 10″ Android tablet arrived and along with being WiFi capable (aren’t they all these days?), you can also insert a SIM card and use it to make phone calls. That’s probably the norm with tablets these days, I don’t know. I don’t really need to use my tablet as a phone unless my phone decides to take a dump, but I thought I’d be brave and check it out. Well, check it out I did without any research – IF they had included a decent instruction manual then I would have at least read that – but I didn’t read anything. I don’t know anything about SIM cards, never really thought much about them before, so the fact that I didn’t research or read or ask anyone anything was UNBELIEVABLY STUPID of me! I didn’t think about the SIM card in my phone being a micro card. I put that micro card in the tablet’s SIM card slot and LOST it. FOREVER. It was stuck in there and nothing I did could retrieve it. The new tablet does not take a micro SIM card. STUPID ME.

So, I had to buy a new SIM card for my phone which I am waiting for FedEx to bring at this very moment.

For someone who can troubleshoot, research, and fix many computer issues, and normally does research on something every damn day…I was incredibly stupid and my brother in law is probably still laughing at me.

Sometimes it’s a wonder I can walk and chew gum at the same time.

~~~

PS

Last night I decided to turn on my old tablet and see one last time if it would cooperate. Well, guess what?!? I was able to set the connection and I was online in less than a minute. I was LIVID!

Just Call Me Quasi

I slept in my lift chair last night…I mean, this morning. I had a Mudslide and was up until after 3am. I don’t know how long after 3am because…umm…the Mudslide. I decided my chair would be a better place for me because when alcohol enters the picture, I’m more apt to fall on my ass trying to get ready for bed.

I slept well until about 6:30am. Not a lot of sleep but I did sleep better than I do in my bed. I’m walking better as well but I have a kink in my neck and an ache in my upper back. When I looked in the mirror, I noticed my hair was sticking straight up…in the back. I looked like Quasimodo for fuck’s sake.

I have to apologize, my friends, for not posting Friday’s Funnies yesterday. I promised myself that I would try harder but time just got away from me yesterday. When I looked in my file for memes I realized I never saved one meme all stinkin’ week anyway! I just haven’t been on social media much lately. It’s actually been nice. I’m thinking of deleting a couple of my Facebook pages and maybe my Instagram account. I don’t use that one much anyway.

I crashed at about 10am, as I thought I would. I was falling asleep sitting up. I dreamed that I looked out my bedroom door, which was on the opposite wall than it really is, and saw the back door. Under the back door, I saw a huge gap between the bottom of the door and the floor and thought, “No wonder I get so many bugs and critters in my bedroom.” I then Googled (still in my dream) ‘Why do I see a gap under the door?’ and Google’s answer: ‘Perhaps you see something that really isn’t there.’ Lo and behold, I looked again, and there was no gap under the back door. See, Google is always helpful. Even in dreams. Then I woke up and realized only an hour and a half had passed. Maybe I should Google “Why is Debbie losing her mind?”

I crashed again at 2:30pm. Another hour and a half of sleep. Still looking a bit like Quasimodo, I realized sleeping in my lift chair at night instead of my bed probably isn’t the best place for me, Mudslide or not.

Have a great Labor Day weekend, and be safe and not sorry.