What’s Eating Aunt Debbie?

It’s been quite a long time since I’ve sat down to write. It’s difficult with lack of sleep and when things aren’t going so well. I haven’t been on social media much lately because the bullshit infuriates me. Between the misinformation and the hypocrisy, I don’t know whether to shit or go blind, as my Granny used to say. 

I’ve been watching my Dad’s health decline over the last few months and it’s ripping my heart out. Inevitably, I will lose him so I am making the best of the time I have left to love and appreciate him. His memory is failing him and he’s been having some health issues. He’s finding it more difficult to understand simple things. Thankfully, he hasn’t had a fall since July…knock on wood. He’s a bit unstable at times when walking but manages to keep himself upright with the aid of a cane. I’m finding myself watching him like a hawk, trying to do so without making it obvious. It’s been a rough couple of months because as you know, I have my own health issues; chronic pain and mobility issues always make things more difficult for me. Dad’s not able to help me with little things around the house like he used to and I have no other help. I just take things one day at a time.

Someone asked me the other day, “What will you do when you have to live alone?” “I’m not afraid to live alone,” I explained. “I’m afraid of being forgotten. Forgotten by family and friends. Left behind. Most of my family is in Tennessee and I’m in Missouri. My son is less than 15 miles away and I don’t hear from him very often.” I don’t relish the thought of living here without my Dad but I don’t have a problem living alone. The memories will haunt me, I’m sure.

I’m really trying to hold things together here, and I know I need to write more. I try. I think about something I’d like to write about and then…I just don’t do it. I just don’t have the motivation but I’m trying to get it back. I keep saying that and maybe it will snap back into place sooner than later!

I am enjoying the cooler weather, now that Fall is here. Sweater weather is my favorite weather of all! I just pray that the winter we have coming won’t be like the last! 

Until next time, 

Aunt Debbie

Got My Fauci Ouchie

Go ahead. Call me a sheep. If I’m a sheep because I listen to SCIENTISTS rather than Fox News, then so be it. 

I heard the Covid Vaccine being referred to as the “Fauci Ouchie” the other day and I thought that was quite clever! I got my “Fauci Ouchie” this afternoon. I wish it had been a drive through vaccine clinic like when Dad got both of his but it was a walk-in and sit clinic instead. Ugh. It was at the health department and being a small community, the building and parking facilities were also small. I had to park too far away considering how high my pain level was today. Then there wasn’t enough room inside the building so they gave a me a fold up chair and sat me outside with a couple other people. It was hard to get down on and to get back off of but I managed. I got my vaccine quickly but had to wait 15 minutes so they could keep an eye on me. The only thing wrong with me is that I had to pee. Damn medications!

Next month, I’ll get vaccine #2. When the waiting period is over, the first thing I’m going to do is get a haircut!! It has been over a year since I last had it cut (other than me butchering my bangs) and I’m sick of this long, stringy crap! For most of my life I kept my hair long but in the last few years I went shorter and shorter. By the time Covid hit, I had been used to wearing a short style. Now, I’m wearing a pony tail and it drives me absolutely bonkers! 

After my haircut, we will be making plans to go out and enjoy a nice meal in a nice comfy restaurant. I told Dad today, “What if we’ve forgotten how to behave in a restaurant?” We just laughed and laughed!

 

Still Kickin’

Happy Monday!

What’s that? Yes, I’m still kickin’…and sometimes screaming. I’m trying to get back on track but this past couple of months have sucked and quite frankly, my desire to do anything has diminished.

We finally got propane, which is our primary source of heat. It took an entire month to get that no-good, mofo company out here to fill our tank! We went through that zero degree weather with 2 little space heaters in the living room, which didn’t even begin to keep us warm. I ended up buying a couple of electric shawls that were a Godsend, holy crap. They really helped – but now it’s warming up and I have packed them away for next winter.

We thought we were in the home stretch when our water pipes froze. We always take precautions and this time was no different but it was so much colder than it normally is that what we did wasn’t good enough. When it started to warm up and the pipes started to thaw, we realized we had busted pipes and we had to shut the water completely off. My son came and replaced pipes and repaired leaks and we thought we had it made but then for some reason we only had hot water in the bathtub and cold water in the toilet but no water anywhere else! My son checked and double-checked but could find nothing wrong! Nearly 2 weeks later, we finally found a plumber and $500+ later, we had water everywhere we were supposed to have water! The faucets were clogged; the kitchen faucet even had to be replaced. Boy, was it nice to be able to take a shower and wash dishes like “normal folk”.

I’ve been having health issues again. You may recall I was in the ER in December with swollen legs and numbness. I’ve been taking meds for that but last week I was in the doctor’s office with “leakage” in my legs. Technically, it’s lymphedema and I need a specific treatment which my insurance won’t pay for. That doesn’t surprise me at all, as it’s not the first time I’ve not been able to have the treatment/procedure/medication that I need to improve and protect my health. Anyway, the medical center has sent me forms to apply to a local charity that sometimes pays for things that folks can’t afford. I won’t get my hopes up because if I do, the rug will get pulled out from under me as it always does.

On the bright side, my daughter has given birth to a bouncing baby girl! My baby girl now has her own baby girl and that makes me so happy! On that note, I will leave you with a photo of Miss Angelina Rose!

angelina rose

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!

Thoughts & Revelations

Today is the 67th day Dad and I have stayed home. Other than hitting the liquor store, the bank, and the pharmacy drive-thru windows, that is. I’ve had many thoughts over the past couple of months and I thought maybe I should put them in writing. It’s been difficult to get back to writing in my blog and it has taken me 3 weeks to finish this post. There have been days of anger, days of sadness, and days where I have been completely drained and discouraged, but I have finally completed the task! I just hope it’s coherent. Hahaha.

Just to be clear, these are MY thoughts and MY opinions and no one else’s. If you don’t agree then fine, don’t agree. Just move on…

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1. We are a nation of spoiled brats. That’s right, I said it. People are up in arms about being asked to stay home, and now, after states opening up again people are being absolutely hateful for being required to wear a mask before entering an establishment. That proves nothing except how spoiled they are. The me, me, me mentality rears its ugly head. Wearing a mask or staying home to save lives or at least to slow the advancement of a deadly virus is just an inconvenience! Nothing more. AN INCONVENIENCE, TEMPORARY. I am sickened by the headlines of violence taking place because of a mere inconvenience. And don’t give me your cockamamy bullshit about your rights being violated. It’s your right to go out and contract COVID-19 but it’s not your right to put others in danger in any way, shape, or form. It won’t kill you to wear a mask because you may be asymptomatic and not know it, therefore spreading the virus.

2. I have learned that I don’t need as much as I thought I did. In order to avoid stores, I managed to buy most things online and if I couldn’t find a certain item, then I’d just go without. Even toilet paper. Yep. Even toilet paper. I purchased UNpaper toilet paper and UNpaper paper towels from an Etsy shop. UNpaper products are made from cloth, in case you’ve not heard of this before. Use, wash, reuse. Simple as that. No stress about finding paper products online or in the stores.

3. I’ve learned that I’m perfectly fine with fewer friends. I’ve recently cut ties with people I’ve known much of my life because I’ve had it with their attitudes. I can handle differences of opinions. I don’t mind a discussion over different views, however, when I state my opinion on a subject and someone decides that I must not know “x, y, or z” and they make it a point to say “you may not know this but…” or “but what you don’t understand is…” it really pisses me the fuck off. I mean, just because my opinion is different does NOT mean that I don’t know something, or that I don’t have all the facts! Of course, I don’t know everything and I may not have all the facts, but just because my opinion is different than someone else’s doesn’t mean that a person (who claimed to be a friend) has the right to invalidate my opinion by assuming that I mustn’t know “x, y, or z.” I don’t have time for such nonsense.

4. Regarding doing research… It cracks me up when people read an article put out by the CDC and then start telling people to do their own research. Wtf is up with that?  Do they really think that ANY research that I (or they) do can beat the research put forth by the CDC? By scientists? Ridiculous! The CDC has been in existence for nearly 75 years and its sole purpose has been to research communicable diseases and protect public health. I think they know a little more than some idiot who spent 2 hours watching YouTube videos!

5. I’ve seen some very inspirational stories of people lending a helping hand; donations, delivering groceries to the elderly, kids using their own saved money to purchase items for the needy, people handing out toilet paper from the trunk of their vehicles, and the list goes on. Why can’t everyone be so selfless? Instead, they purchase items that they may already have at home, leaving shelves empty and someone else to go without. Shameful.

6. Over the years you’ve heard people complain about store clerks and fast-food employees wanting higher wages; living wages. And during the stay-at-home time those essential workers have put themselves and their families’ lives at risk so we could have the groceries, paper products, etc., that we need. Don’t you think they would have liked to stay home to prevent illness? They weren’t afforded that luxury if they wanted to keep their jobs. Don’t you think they would have liked to protect their families? So, let’s just give them a higher damn wage because they deserve it!

7. That brings me to the fact that nurses, doctors, CNAs, cleaning crew, lab personnel, technicians, EMTs, police, firemen, etc., have all put their lives on hold and in danger to take care of us. They have families, too. Many of them stayed away from their families and probably still are staying away, so as not to expose their spouses and children to COVID-19. I am very much in awe of each and every one of them because quite honestly, I’m not sure that I would have been that selfless. They are the heroes. We all owe them a huge THANK YOU.

8. Most of us like to think that we are self-sufficient and for many things we are. But during a pandemic like the one we are experiencing, we are realizing how much we really do depend on others. It’s hard handling things alone. We need each other. We are in this together.

9. I can’t even begin to imagine how women and children in abusive relationships have felt being locked down with their abusers. Kids, whose only respite was to go to school, who have been suddenly stuck at home, are suffering at the hands of some abusive narcissist.

10. I have anxiety and depression to deal with but I can’t imagine having those issues or worse with no one to lean on. Can you imagine living alone and being quarantined with no one for support? Mental Health is always very important but during this time it is especially important so if you know someone who has issues, please reach out to them. You could be their only lifeline.

11. This pandemic is enough to cause panic, anxiety, depression, etc. People panic when they feel they no longer have control of their own lives. This is why hoarding was so out of control, and still may be in some places. Anxieties build up, depression swallows. Be kind. Be thoughtful. Be helpful.

12. Teachers and schools have stepped up during this time and delivered food to their students, provided lessons online, and I’ll bet you’ve seen stories of teachers going the extra mile to help their students with their studies while stuck at home. They’re so amazing!

13. And one final thought: Those who are spreading conspiracy theories need to STOP! We have enough on our plates already. Stop making things worse!

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I’m not sure that Dad and I will feel safe to go out for a few more months, but who knows. Maybe that second wave won’t happen. Maybe things will go back to a somewhat normal way of life. We can only hope…

woman in white long sleeve shirt holding lemon fruit

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