Hypervigilance Rears Its Ugly Head

Oh, boy. I had a rough night. My anxiety is at full throttle. I don’t mind staying at home because it’s pretty normal for me anyway, however, I miss the option of going out IF I so choose. That’s not what’s causing my anxiety. My anxiety is coming from the deep, dark crevices of my feeble brain…and my brain wants to know “will this nightmare ever end?” It’s worrisome. It’s frightening. Not knowing what’s going to happen, how it will all play out is what’s causing my anxiety. My therapist once told me that I most likely had PTSD from some rather nasty personal experiences in my life and I’m sure this pandemic has added to it. Anxiety and I had an agreement; I will chill if anxiety would chill. We were doing well until last night.

I went to bed at 2am and I wasn’t even sleepy. It took about an hour to drift off. I slept for about 2 hours before waking up. As I lay there, trying to fight through my pain so I could go back to sleep, I became very aware of every sound known to man. That’s an exaggeration…I think. I heard the clock in the kitchen ticking…tick, tock, tick, tock. I heard one of the cats walk across the kitchen floor. I usually hear them when they run through the house but walking? I’m pretty sure it was Alice.

A few minutes later, I hear this horrible rumbling and I had to get up to see what it was. The water heater. I never hear the water heater! Then, coyotes in the distance. It sounded like they had pups. Then gnawing… Damn critters in the walls. Gnaw, gnaw. I pound my fist on the wall above my head. I’ve spooked them and now I hear the little footsteps running. A few minutes later, more gnawing. Good grief! The refrigerator is making some gawd-awful noises now!

Getting close to daybreak and I hear an owl at a fair distance so it wasn’t too loud. Now, a fucking woodpecker is in the tree outside of my bedroom. Knock, knock, knock. I hope he knocks himself cuckoo. Crunching. Crunching? What the hell is that? One of the cats is eating dry kibble. Drip, drip. Kitchen faucet dripping. Honey Bear is snoring at the foot of my bed. I hear a whistle and realize it’s my damn nose. My stomach growls and at first, I think it’s another critter. Nope. But now something is in the crawl space above my closet. I can hear it moving around. I hope it’s big enough to fucking kill me and eat me, I thought. I hear a cat scratching on the scratching post now. Ssshhh….I thought I heard a door open. I got up to check it out. I never figured out what it was. Maybe that critter in the crawlspace found his way in and is going to kill me now.

I turned on the a/c in my room just to drown out the noises. I should have used my earplugs. Earplugs are a wonderful invention! With my earplugs, the only sounds I hear are the sound of my heart beating and my own breaths. It’s very relaxing; I wish I’d have thought to use them. It’s 7:30am by this time. I wasn’t having any luck going back to sleep so I just got up.

After chores and lunch, I crashed in my lift chair and took a nice 2 hour nap. I slept hard. I wish I could sleep like that at night and in my bed. Ugh.

Sunday Morning / Day 35

It seems like I’ve been in this house for 135 days, not 35. The days are long and boring. They have been boring prior to this pandemic, but at least then I looked forward to going out on occasion. Right now, I don’t even dare go to the grocery store for fear of bringing the virus home to Dad. Besides, the way they have the stores set up right now, I wouldn’t be able to handle it. Only allowing so many people in the store at once means that I would have to wait in line and I doubt my legs would let me get any further. Inside the store, IF I were able to make it that far, some stores have one-way aisles and most have 6-foot markers. I don’t have time to stand there waiting for the person in front of me to move another 6 feet. I mean, I have all the time in the world BUT with my pain level and mobility issues, I have to get in and get out quickly, which would be next to impossible right now.

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I’m ordering most things online, but thankfully, we don’t need a lot because we had our freezers and cabinets full (as we always do) before the stay at home orders. We’ve run a bit low on meat, but we have some shelf-stable meals to help. I’ve also ordered a few things from Schwan’s so that will help with the meat situation, as well. My son is going to the store for me; just a few staples like bread, butter, potatoes, bottled water. I will need to order more canned cat food soon as The Pack has informed me that we only have 22 cans left. Hahaha!

I think Dad is a bit more stir crazy than I am. He wants to go out and have lunch but I’ve told him the only way we will do that is if we fetch food via curbside or use the drive-up window. Unfortunately, we live too far away to take advantage of delivery services. I was informed that prices have been jacked up sky-high by some places; like McD’s, 3 simple meals for $50. Ridiculous and this ol’ broad would have to be starving to eat at McD’s in the first place let alone at that price!!

I’m trying not to be negative at this point but I really don’t see things ending well for this country. We need competent leadership to unite us during this most challenging time. I’ll stop there before I say what I really think about our current leadership or lack thereof.

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I hope you all are staying safe and making the most of your situation. That’s about all we can do right now. I am asking one favor of you all. If you read this, please comment where you’re from and how you’re doing. What are you doing at home to pass the time? I’d really love to hear!!

I just can’t seem to focus on my blog these days but I will try to write more in the coming days. until then, take care of yourselves, my friends!

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Day 25 and Counting…

Dad and I have been holed up now for 25 days. Our lives aren’t much different than prior to the pandemic. I enjoy being home, doing my own thing but I like being able to go out if I so choose. Hopefully, this won’t last as long as I expect it to.

Yesterday, Dad and I did venture out. I needed to pick up my meds and Dad needed his wine. Both pharmacy and liquor store have drive-up windows so we never had to get out of the car. I never even had to get dressed! Jammies all the way!

I’ve been trying to stay away from Facebook as of late. I’m so sick of the misinformation and attitude of people these days. Some aren’t taking this virus seriously enough while others are bitching about the “shelter in place” order being an infringement of their rights. Come the fuck on, people! It’s temporary! I’ve had to unfriend several people over this past week. I’m tired of people talking to me as if I’m stupid, or as if I don’t have a right to feel the way I do. Sometimes the comments are so condescending I want to throat punch someone! I mean, what the fuck is it about ME that makes people talk down to me like that? Do I appear to be stupid?

I’m feeling heartbroken for our country, for the people who have died and their families. I just can’t believe this is happening to us; the USA! My only focus right now is making sure Dad is safe. My sisters are counting on me to take care of him since they can’t. I will see him through this. Our country will come through this even stronger, hopefully with a deeper appreciation for what we had/have.

My hope is that people won’t congregate for Easter, as this will prove to be a huge mistake. Our “shelter in place” is working, so let’s not screw it up! That reminds me of one year (many years ago) when my sister and her kids came for a visit in July. I decided to cram all the holidays into that one week. Imagine having Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Easter (etc.)…in July! We had a blast! So, just remember you can celebrate Easter anytime when this is over!

So, I’m trying to stay positive even though my heart is heavy.  I can still go outside and enjoy the Spring! I hear the birds chirping outside my bedroom window as I type this. There’s a woodpecker in the walnut tree banging his damn fool head; it almost sounds like he’s headbanging to a classic heavy metal song. The redbuds and dogwoods are blooming. The air is fresh and warm. There’s a cold front moving in. They say tomorrow it will be near freezing.

I appreciate this life, although a bit interrupted and inconvenienced. It will pass….slowly, but it will pass. Be grateful, friends, and stay safe!

 

2 Weeks and Counting…

Social distancing isn’t new to me. It’s something I’ve been doing for many years now, even before I became disabled. I enjoy my alone time. I like the peace and quiet. I like being alone with my own thoughts, most of the time. Right now, I’m not happy being alone with my thoughts. My anxiety is high. I can’t sit still. I’ve not been able to write. My thoughts are so scrambled! I know I’m not alone. I may be having a hard time at the moment but I’m not in panic mode….at least not yet.

So many people are concerned about running out of toilet paper, bread, milk, and other things that they’re panic buying. They aren’t thinking (or just don’t care) about others who also have those very same needs. Thankfully, Dad and I always have our freezers and cupboards stocked, but eventually, we will run out and I will have to venture out. We have been in self-isolation now for 14 days but I think we have enough food to last another 3 -4 weeks!

If you know anything about me, then you’ll know that my 83-year-old Dad is my biggest concern. I worry that when I have to go out I could bring the virus home to him. I worry that he will want to go out, too. If Dad contracts COVID-19 and ends up in the hospital, he will be there all alone with no family beside him. If he doesn’t pull through, he will die alone. Let that sink in.

If a loved one is hospitalized with this virus, they will be alone, with only doctors and nurses. That includes your children. YOUR BABIES. Can you imagine the fear and anxiety they would experience if you are not there for them? You won’t be allowed. Simple as that. If YOU contract the virus, who will take care of your babies?

Stay home for your loved ones! If you still have to go to work, then take precautions! Do what you have to do so that you don’t expose your children and other loved ones to COVID-19. Wash your hands, a LOT. Use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available. Wash your clothing and shower before you give your children hugs! Disinfect your shoes! Coronavirus can live on your shoes for 5 days! Disinfect surfaces, a LOT! Protect the people you care about and protect the people the rest of us care about, too. Please.

We all need to do our part and listen to the scientists and doctors! We have to get through this together, not divided!

Take care of yourselves, everyone!

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A special and heartfelt thanks to doctors and nurses, other health care workers, truck drivers, store clerks and cashiers, gas station attendants, police, fire and rescue, and everyone else who is working diligently to protect us, serve us, and help us during this stressful time.

Makin’ A List

The holidays are not what they used to be…at least for me. I used to enjoy the holidays when my kids were small. The joy and wonder, the anticipation was worth all the hassle of decorating, shopping, wrapping gifts and hiding them, etc. It was fun to help the kids make gifts and goodies for Santa! We had our traditions; the cookie baking, the homemade pizzas, popcorn cake, and pizza balls. That was all on Christmas Eve! The kids got to open a gift that night and leave cookies for Santa. We watched Christmas movies and had lots of laughs! I always made a big ham dinner on Christmas Day, along with tons and tons of appetizers that we got full of before we even had dinner! The kids enjoyed all of it and so did I.

The kids got older, became harder to shop for, harder to please. You know, pre-teens and teenagers. They no longer believed in Santa Claus. Ok, so before someone decides to educate me on the true meaning of Christmas, don’t. I’m quite aware. I’m not a religious person but I always taught my kids “the reason for the season.” But that’s not what this post is about.

About 11 years ago, certain events changed the way I thought things would be in our family. On top of that, chronic pain has invaded my every move, my every thought and…my everything. It’s rough. I was able to spend a little time with my son, his wife and the littlest grandson on Christmas Eve and I enjoyed every minute of it but I thought my house would be full of kids’ laughter and play, during the holidays. Depression, loneliness, and sadness always sets in.

I try not to succumb to the depression but it’s hard. I eat too much, don’t sleep enough, and I cry a lot when I’m alone. During the holidays, I try so very hard to hide my sadness and put a smile on my face. I’m not able to do the cooking I used to do. My son made the popcorn cake for Christmas Eve this year but he didn’t have time to make the pizza balls. That’s ok though, we still had pizza; it was frozen pizza but it was still good. I threw a ham in the oven on Christmas Day and opened a can of baked beans, which was fine because it was just me and Dad. Still, not what this post is about.

I bet you’re thinking, “Damn, I wish she’d get to the point!” I’m getting there, I promise.

Every year I try to make myself feel more festive and happy by giving gifts to others. GIVING TO OTHERS makes me feel good about who I am and I love to make gifts. This year, I crocheted over a dozen gifts for family. I carefully chose the yarn color and pattern/design I thought was perfect for each person. I worked my ass off, sometimes ripping out a design that just didn’t look good and starting over. I put my heart and soul into everything I made. It felt good to do it and I’m not sorry I did, but I’ll tell you what…

I’m makin’ a list…

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I’m making a list for next year and if anyone wonders why they didn’t get anything from me then maybe they should think about Christmas 2019 when they didn’t even have the common decency to send me a simple text to thank me for their gift. It takes just seconds!! What a bunch of ungrateful shits in my family. And this does not apply to young children. It applies to adults; young adults and older adults.

I didn’t make the gifts for the thanks, just to be clear. But it would be nice to be recognized and appreciated. I busted my ass to get everything finished and shipped in time for Christmas. It really hurts my feelings that only 3 people thought to thank me for their gift. Next year, I’ll be sending my handmade crocheted items to people who might actually appreciate it…perhaps the Nursing Home, a homeless shelter, or the children’s hospital. Maybe I’ll just make scarves for all the homeless dogs and cats in the area!

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