muckefuck: (Default)
Even before [profile] monshu's fateful office visit a year, a month, and a week ago my interest in work was flagging. It peaked modestly during our 2015 reorg, which I saw as an opportunity to move into new areas, but the response from my new boss was that she basically wanted me to continue doing the the same job I've always done. I wasn't thrilled but I also knew that, given all the uncertainty about my husband's future, this wasn't the time to make any sudden moves--a conclusion which is short order was 100% validated.

Last year my focus was anywhere but at my desk--a situation that my boss and überboss were completely sympathetic to--so this can got kicked to the end of the year. I quickly stooped to pick it up, thankful for a complete change of pace and a chance to get involved in some group work again. But at the last minute, I drew back and gave it another toe-nudge. At the time, I blamed grief. My domestic worries--the flood, the rats, the fridge, the finances--were becoming overwhelming and it was tough to find brainspace for anything else.

In time, those tides have receded as well, exposing some nice firm beach...that I still have no interest in racing over. Things turned up a bit last month when I was draughted for translation project and started getting excited about development opportunities for me and other staff again. I still didn't feel particularly engaged, but I could see a future where I would be.

And now this. Yesterday, after a stimulating workshop, I dallied with a couple colleagues and learned in short order that:
  1. a recent hire I was reasonably fond of had been let go two weeks ago without so much as an acknowledgment
  2. the only remaining representative body for professional staff had been killed
  3. a complete reorganisation of one of our major public service programmes had been carried out in secret by the upper administration.
In conversations with other colleagues today, I learned that however bad something looks at first glance here, upon closer examination, it's worse. Not even those collaborating with the firee on specific projects had been told; one spent a week working on a presentation before getting the news from a back channel. And admin had actually convened a task force on the public service programme which spent a year-and-a-half assembling a report, all of whose major findings were ignored in the reorg.

In other word, SSDD. The whole two-year initiative to "change the way we do business" was the giant farce we all feared it was and the new hires (including my überboss) who we considered on board are just as head-in-ass as the old guard. Communication has gotten worse and some of our most reliable workhorses and best advocates for outreach and collaboration are eying the exits.

Which I guess I should be doing, too, but that toxic inertia which has seeped into the rest of my life is still very much in my veins whenever I walk in these doors. I have stability and security here and a lot on my plate for the coming year. (Tomorrow's condo meeting is reminder enough of that.) So yeah, there has to be a reckoning, but does it have to be now? Not if I put my head down and my hands over my ears, no, no there doesn't.
Sep. 2nd, 2016 12:25 pm

Mixed

muckefuck: (zhongkui)
One of the worst things about discussing [livejournal.com profile] monshu's care with those around me is the tremendous amount of experiential knowledge many of them are lacking. This is not their fault; I've been through a similar situation before with my ex and even so I was very naïve about all sorts of aspects of a long hospitalisation. Some things you can try to explain, but that takes time and energy you don't always have.

All of this most commonly manifests when I talk about bringing him home. Understandably, the usual response is, "Yay! You must be thrilled." What they don't understand is that just because insurance will no longer pay for someone to be institutionalised doesn't mean they're able to care for themselves and that the excitement you feel at finally having someone where they really want to be is tempered by the massive increase in your own responsibilities. For months now, I've only been expected to manage his care. Now I (along with my mother) will have added to that responsibility for providing that care. Feeding, cleaning, laundry--none of this will be taken care of by something else (unless we're willing to pay out of pocket for that). The days of being able to go into work with a clean conscience and retreat to a quiet cave at home are gone--and might never return.

So my own feelings are decidedly mixed, and it's hard to express that without coming across as selfish or ungrateful. Other caretakers understand, but not everyone in this world is a parent or has had to provide care for a relative or friend. The ones who have are immediately simpático; sometimes I wish I could talk just to them and leave everyone else out of the loop.
Aug. 23rd, 2016 11:36 am

Endless

muckefuck: (zhongkui)
Yesterday sucked. So did much of Sunday. If I were to plot my psychoemotional trajectory for the last several days, it would've peaked some time Saturday night (probably watching the moonlight dance on the waters at Berger Park after a lively meal at Sabri Nehari). The low point is harder to pinpoint; maybe leaving the care facility on the verge of tears yesterday evening?

How did I reach that point? Saturday's evening meal was much spicier than expected--everything seemed to be spiked with chiles except the lassi and the naan--so I got to sleep late and didn't sleep well, leaving me strung out on Sunday. The original plan was to come by in the morning and get the Old Man out in the open air for a while. (Sunday is the one day he isn't scheduled for therapy.) But all he wanted to do was sleep. That's all I wanted to do either, but I didn't have a bed to do it in. (I found a couch in an unoccupied meeting room on the ground floor, but no sooner had a lay myself down before a stray jet fighter from the Annual MilPorn Extravaganza flew over.)

In all, I was there for five hours, during which [livejournal.com profile] monshu and I hardly interacted, he never got up, and he hardly ate a thing. I left in a state of exhaustion and annoyance. My plans for the afternoon--I'd hoped I might be able to spend an hour or two at the Glenwood Arts Festival seeing my friends--got scrapped, since all I had the energy for was coming back home and crashing. Besides, I had still had chores to finish. That gave me a certain sense of satisfaction and I felt better by bedtime (balanced out, however, by a phone call from the nurse that [livejournal.com profile] monshu was running a slight fever).

Next morning was a different story--achy, stuffed-up, bowels acting up, etc. It felt like the onset of a severe cold, so I called in. I didn't want to sleep too much, lest I throw off my schedule, but I didn't accomplish much beyond paying a few bills (including the insurance on our, which I ran over to the office for, since it was due that day), and picking up a prescription on my way in to see the Old Man. Not much change: still a slight fever, still not interesting in eating anything but a few pieces of watermelon. Nonetheless, I stayed for nearly three hours, waiting for my chance to coax some broth into him, before I gave up.

Before I even got there, though, I got a call from the administrator saying that our insurer had denied our request to stay through until Thursday morning and the next two days would out of pocket. So the beginning of my visit was spent in his office trying to get an estimate for our pharmaceutical expenses in order to head off nasty surprises. (Thank the gods he got the shot at the oncologist's or there'd be no way we could afford this.) While waiting for the elevator, I had an unpleasant run-in with the companion of another resident, one that left me shook up for hours. I left, as I already mentioned, on the verge of tears. All I wanted was to be home and the bus stubbornly refused to come while some jerk sat in the bus shelter and smoked so I had no place to sit down.

We're trying to make arrangements to get [livejournal.com profile] monshu home, so there's an awfully good chance yesterday won't be the worst day I'll have this week. So nerve-wracking, relying on people you hardly know to do what they should so you and yours aren't suffering in the days ahead. And so hard to plan expenses, with no real idea what the timeframe is and what will and won't be covered. I've found myself saying, "When this is all over..." and then catching myself, because this won't ever be over. At some point, it will be for [livejournal.com profile] monshu, of course, but then I'll be left with a crushing load of grief on top of the responsibility for managing all the finances and hospital affairs. How do people deal with that? Guess I'm soon to find out.
muckefuck: (zhongkui)
I don't know if all grade schools do this, but instead of making each child responsible for themselves, the parochial schools we attended had a way of designating one child from each family to be the responsible party for such routine business as bringing news home, purchasing lunch tickets, and so forth. The term used was "oldest and only": If you were an only child, or if you were the oldest of several in the same school, you were on the hook to see that these jobs got done.

I wasn't the oldest; I was the second-oldest, and only a year younger than my older brother. So for seven years, any time "oldest and only" came up, I tuned out. Not entirely, I don't think; there must have been days where it was something interesting enough for me to bring up at home if my brother forgot to. But for the most part, I was like "Oh, he'll take care of that."

Of course, after eighth grade, he moved on to high school and suddenly I had to pay attention. I hadn't really considered what had been asked of him until his responsibilities became mine and I realised I was terrible at them. More than once, I was pulled out of class because my younger brother was standing there beside the lunch line unable to eat because I'd forgotten to purchase lunch tickets for the three of us as I was supposed to. (The youngest children always went to the cafeteria first.) I'm sure there were bigger messes I made that I've forgotten all about now.

That's what the last 19 weeks feel like to me: a flashback to that eighth-grade year. There were good reasons for assigning [livejournal.com profile] monshu the responsibilities he had, and though I had some idea what was involved, I didn't appreciate enough what it would mean for me to have to take them all on. And belatedly I recognise that I might never be able to give them up again.
Aug. 3rd, 2016 12:29 pm

Alden times

muckefuck: (zhongkui)
I'm sorry to say I'm not really impressed with the place we transferred [livejournal.com profile] monshu to on Saturday. At first I made a lot of allowances for the fact that it was a weekend transfer, since those are always problematic. But here we are, four days in, and some basics (like making sure he has a wheelchair) still haven't been taken care of. I don't think I realised myself how many issues there were until I got a QA call yesterday and heard the sympathetic clucking of the survey-taker.

I figured having roommates would be the biggest adjustment. After all, unless you count me sleeping over three times a week while we were dating and him staying in my apartment for two weeks after his was sold, he hasn't had to go without a room of his own in probably 30 years. I was loath to tell him about that aspect, in fact, but he shrugged it off. We haven't done too badly. The one is pretty quiet--like the GWO, he seems to be recovering from a severe injury, but he's not so far along. He keeps to himself and channel surfs to pass the time.

The other has been in the building for 17 years and is--as you would expect--rather territorial. (After his third passive-aggressive reminder of the posted visiting hours--which don't apply to close family, like spouses--I asked to have the policy printed out so I could tape it to the wall.) He spends most of the day listening to music and only occasionally trying to start a conversation about his handful of idées fixes. I feel sorry for him, but not enough to be much more than civil. As [livejournal.com profile] monshu says, he's "so 50s" that neither of us have much in common with him. (His favourite opera is La fanciulla del West and he watches lots of Bonanza.) I've had more interesting chats with a couple of the guys who hang out in the common area most of the time, even if one of them is a natural member of Trump's constituency. (He was dissing his roommate for playing "Mexican music" even though this is the "US of A", but the young Black activities director ganged up with an Italian-born grandfather to shut him down right quick.)

But, really, I think the biggest adjustment is the level of care and level of service. As I told the survey-taker, I couldn't stand in the hallway of the other places we've been for more than a minute without someone asking me if we needed anything. Here I feel invisible to the CNAs and even staking out the nurses' station generally isn't enough to get their attention. It's not entirely their fault--they seem badly overworked. (One of the CNAs subtly indicated this when the nursing supervisor told me their ratio is 1:8 and she quietly added, "It's supposed to be eight"; from what I can see, the norm actually seems closer to twelve.) But some screw-ups--like completely forgetting to bring his dinner the other evening--are hard to excuse.

But one of my biggest concerns is being met: the amount of time he's spending in therapy is at least double what it was, and it's all one-on-one rather than group. This is huge, because it's hard to imagine having him home if he's still not able to make it out of bed without assistance. Moreover, he never warmed to the physical therapist at the last place, but so far everyone on the time here has been great. Also, after four months in places who make a fetish out of isolating patients from the out-of-doors as much as humanly possible, we finally have a patio we can go to (even if it requires a damn hall pass to get him out there). The alone is worth worlds.
Jun. 21st, 2016 03:07 pm

Resetting

muckefuck: (zhongkui)
So my sleep may not have recovered, but my health has: bowels are working normally once more and my weight has bounced back up to 12½ stone, which basically puts me and the Old Man at about par. Incidentally, I worry about the muscle mass he's losing, but there's not a whole lot I think we can do about that until we can get him into acute rehab somewhere (an idea I'll push again at next week's meeting with the surgeon).

I've also gotten back to reading again. Not as much as I used to, but a regular commute makes a tonne of difference. I've got less than a hundred pages left in Er ist wieder da and no real idea what to follow it with. Maybe just some more challenging English prose? But Search sweet country seems challenging enough, to be honest. It's not so much the language as it is the structure; if there's a unifying narrative, it hasn't emerged as of yet (a mere 40 pages in) so everything is feeling very vignetty. As I've mentioned before, that's fine and dandy, but it doesn't really make me feel compelled to read another chapter.

And I'm really taking the advice about self-care and caretaker burnout to heart and trying to fit in as much socialisation as I can without shortchanging [livejournal.com profile] monshu. It's helping, I can tell, but the household is paying the price. Of course, entertaining is really the only thing that ever prompts me to do a proper cleaning, so this could be a problem that solves itself eventually. If not, Mom is returning for a visit soon and maybe she'll feel so inclined.
muckefuck: (zhongkui)
I'd been a bit puzzled why I've still been shorting myself on sleep despite the fact that things have gotten so much quieter with [livejournal.com profile] monshu. In theory, my stress level should be if not exactly normal then close enough for horseshoes and hand grenades. Then it occurred to me that things began to get better just as the days were lengthening to the point where the sun no longer sets before 8 p.m.--and I'm quite often on the streets that late coming back from the care facility. So I think it's just my dumb brain saying, "I have HOURS before I need to go to sleep!" and clinging to that in defiance of all evidence to the contrary.

It's the same problem on the other end as well. Today I woke up to find sunlight shining through my bedroom window. My bedroom windows all face north. I don't use an alarm clock; I rely on the brightness of the room to wake me up on time. I'm pretty good at adjusting for the change the light (mainly by knowing whether it's safe to go back to sleep or not, confirmed with glances at the clock when necessary). But even so, it's hard to to convince my reptilian brain to shut down again.
muckefuck: (zhongkui)
The day before yesterday, I surveyed the hellstrip and found even more stakes missing. Infuriating. I even fantasised about staking the place out (har har) to catch the vandals. But then I thought more about it and considered doing things the "Rogers Park way" instead, like setting out a stack of stakes with the sign "If you need one, please take it, but leave the ones in the garden". When I explained this to [livejournal.com profile] monshu, I think it convinced him I've lost my marbles. So so far all I've done is take the few stakes I have and pounded them in as far as I can make them go. I'm beginning to worry that the effort to wrest those from the ground is going to be more risky to the plants than their mere absence.

The Old Man is stable again, so they're once more planning to step him down a long-term acute care facility in our neighbourhood. I keep hoping that will allow me to adopt a schedule which gives me some time to actual do anything at home (not to mention showing my face at work more than a couple times in a week). Thanks to Mom, the downstairs bathroom is clean for the first time since this all started in March, but she can't do anything about the pile of bills and such building on the dining room table.
muckefuck: (zhongkui)
Today I discovered I was wrong about the Solomon's seal and lilies-of-the-valley. They weren't dead, just a bit slow to emerge. There's even one coming up in plot alongside the alley, where I thought nothing had survived (apart from the Dutch irises). Plant are even coming up in places where I'd forgotten I'd planted anything: a clump of lilies near the new dogwoods, a second satellite wood aster.

A month ago, I bought a bundle of green-dyed bamboo stakes to mark out several plants in hopes of saving them from the tuckpointers. Some days later, I looked out again to find that they were all gone. Not a few here and there (as I would expect from random passerby vandalism) but every last one of them. I guess someone was walking by and decided they had more need of them than we did?

Even more curious, I was reconnoitering yesterday and found several of the wooden stakes I'd used to enclose the saplings missing as well. These weren't like tent poles, but they were substantial; I'd used a mallet to pound them into the ground. Of course, when I'd pulled a couple up in order to reposition a tree or two, I'd done so barehanded. I shook my head and made a mental note to replace them if time ever allowed.

Then that afternoon, I got a text from my botanist neighbour across the street. He'd found a couple in the alley and scooped them up for himself, but realising they were mine while passing by the property, he dutifully returned them. He also invited me over for a bite on the back porch in the unseasonably fine weather with his sister-in-law. She was a delight, and they fed me even though I'd come well after they'd finished eating.

His theatre prof husband was recovering from surgery, having had a device implanted in his lower back to relieve pain, and had already retired. I listened with polite forbearance to their tale of woe. ("Three hours in recovery before they assigned him a room!" Oh, the horror of it.) It was such a relief from our marathon day of specialist visits that I didn't want to leave, but I still managed to head out before I was turfed out.

Tomorrow Nuphy plans to visit the GWO so Mom and I can join [livejournal.com profile] bunj for a little picnic in the park. I have to say, that's damn clever solution to the problem of where to go for Mother's Day, if a damn impractical one in Chicago most years. [livejournal.com profile] innerdoggie and [livejournal.com profile] tyrannio plan to stop by later. All of them have some experience with catastrophic illness and drawn-out recoveries, so I'm hoping they'll be able to buck up the Old Man somewhat (not to mention me).
Apr. 7th, 2016 03:07 pm

Déjà flu

muckefuck: (zhongkui)
I was looking through my journal from a year ago and was surprised to see that I'd managed to post anything at all during [livejournal.com profile] monshu's hospitalisation. Maybe there was a bit more adrenaline I needed to work out in those days as opposed to now where after I type up my daily digest I'm fit for nothing beyond bed. Especially now that I've managed to come down with something.

Saturday it felt like an ordinary cold, so I went on a zinc regime and it seemed to clear up to the point that I discontinued it. But I tried my first nearly-full day of work this week and I feel pretty craptastic at the moment. For a while it was dodgy if I'd even be able to keep my lunch down, but it stayed and now it's just a creeping crud-type illness which if I'm luckier than I have any right to be is some 24-hour bug. If not...well, it hardly bears thinking about, does it? Mom could end up with two patients when she comes into town.

Now it's a waiting game. The Old Man is perfectly stable, he is--by some measures--ahead of where he was at this point in his last extended stay. But his physical therapy only began yesterday and--most importantly--his GI tract is still slumbering and until something gets out, he doesn't get out. Today I let [livejournal.com profile] mollpeartree and [livejournal.com profile] zompist take over some of the burden of distracting him. Tomorrow, Nuphy will be able to pitch in. And if I can convince myself that the world doesn't come to a halt if I'm not there to keep pushing on it, I might even be good to myself and get a little rest tomorrow.
muckefuck: (zhongkui)
Another rough morning on the heels of another rough night. I consulted my calendar, saw I had nothing on it, and called in. I know I can't keep doing this, so first thing I did once I was up and had had some lunch was see about making an appointment with a gastroenterologist. I ran through the referrals from my primary, eliminated those choices with terrible online reviews, and quickly found someone who was taking new patients and can see me...in two months time. So, yeah, if you're living in Chicago and you have a GI doc you like, I'm all ears.

It took me hours to finally get back to sleep, which played hell with the Old Man's schedule for cleaning up the place. But he eventually got done and by then I was feeling well enough to attend the gallery opening for one of our favourite contemporary artists. I'm really glad we were able to go. We both loved her new work and it's good to see her reputation growing, even if it does mean we probably won't be able to acquire any more of her pieces.

[livejournal.com profile] monshu even felt good enough afterwards to suggest dinner out. Well, I guess I did technically. I asked if there was anything at all he felt like eating and he lamented the lack of good sushi restaurants near us. I pointed out that we were travelling north on the Red Line past scores of good sushi restaurants. He wanted noodles, too, so we ended up at Indie Café on Broadway. We would've have gotten plain yakisoba if I hadn't spied mock duck as a meat option. Not the best I've had, but good. That, spring rolls, and two fusion rolls (pretty similar, actually, except for the presence of mango in one and blue crab in the other) rounded out our meal.

All in all, the day ended on a much better note than it began--not least of all because I also learned that my mother is home from the hospital where she was admitted for observation late Thursday night with kidney stones. Let's hope we don't have to weather the same progression tomorrow.
muckefuck: (zhongkui)
One of the perks of being married that no one ever tells you about is that you can say to another person--someone with no medical expertise at all--"I need you to look at my anus", and they will. (Without going into detail, I now have more sympathy for ladytroubles that before.)

The day didn't improve much from that point. Which is all the more reason why I need to recall what a great day yesterday was. Seems odd to be saying that when we spent the afternoon at the hospital, but that's the best mood I've seen [livejournal.com profile] monshu in in weeks. I'm sure the anaesthesia played a role. I'm worried the lack of food did, too. (Now that he's no longer fasting, it's back to the same level of discomfort as before.)

Everyone we had to deal with--from the receptionist to the cabbie to the pharmacists--was cordial if not outright friendly and never less than competent. I got the meds, did a little shopping, and picked up Thai for dinner and still made it home before 6 p.m., which left me time enough to watch a film and read more than half of a new novel. (The Old Man bested me on that, staying up until 4 a.m. to finish devouring his.)

He's back next week for a CT scan. I'm trying not to fret about what they might find. But whatever it is, yesterday was a great day.
muckefuck: (zhongkui)
After stumbling through Thursday, my first day back at work after my heinous GI explosion, I told [livejournal.com profile] monshu that I was resetting my expectations and that henceforth any day which didn't feature anything violently exiting my body would qualify as a "great day". By that criterion, Saturday was amazing. For the first time all week, I woke up fully rested. I had energy to do things! Like walk down to Andersonville and run errands. Or pick up all the fallen twigs in the yard and make a neat little pile of them.

Sunday, alas, was back to normal. I was dizzy half the day, leading me to suspect that I was yet again the victim of minor food poisoning. I'd originally hoped to spend some time out-of-doors with my pal Bruce, but ended up pouting around the house until the Old Man suggested I take a test stroll with him to the grocery store. It was successful and I celebrated by letting the cat out to explore the now dog-free hintercourt.

Meanwhile, I texted Bruce letting him know that I was open to a visit once he got done checking out the Leather Archives and Museum. He came by mid-afternoon and ended up staying for dinner. I had a tough time reading [livejournal.com profile] monshu's reaction--Bruce is a strong-opinioned talker, just like me--but the next day he told me he'd enjoyed meeting him. By the time he left, a front had blown through, dropping the temperature significantly and bringing a little rain.

Today was miserable but tomorrow I'll have the opportunity to sleep in since the GWO has another minor procedure scheduled for the middle of the day and needs someone to escort him home. I'm greedily thinking of it as another chance to do some of the reading I was kept from on Sunday. I raided [livejournal.com profile] monshu's stash for something by a younger Chinese writer and discovered he had not only Liu Cixin's Three-body problem but a book of his shorter fiction as well.
muckefuck: (zhongkui)
Today spring arrived in the form of four fat robins that were in no hurry to evade me as I tromped past them. Sure, there's still some snow on the ground in places, but only where it can crouch down and hide. On my way back from lunch I cut through an area where I knew I'd find snowdrops sprouting. A long drink of the warm temperature this weekend and they'll be in full bloom for me next week.

That was the highlight of my day. The rest of it was dull flight from one responsibility to another. Several times I thought the exhaustion and lack of attention on my face must be unmistakable, but the colleague with me kept banging on unthwarted. I cancelled lunch with my best pal and choked down my sushi quickly so I could buy a book for [livejournal.com profile] monshu. But the proprietor has started calling me by my nickname so at least I took the time to learn she is called "Rong".
Feb. 24th, 2016 08:44 pm

Home again

muckefuck: (zhongkui)
Today did not start well. Moments after my man left, I had stuff coming out of both ends. So I cleaned up the mess, called in sick, and then slunk downstairs to bed and went back to sleep for three hours. I woke up craving graham crackers and had no qualms about sending my ailing husband back out into the blizzard to get them for me. By dinnertime, I was brave enough to venture plain spätzle and applesauce, both of which went down okay, so I may be out of the woods.

It was a gross day to be out anyway. The wet snow wasn't sticking, but later it got hella windy and the commute back probably would've been hellish. Instead, I had a chance to get some reading done and to finally watch Wong Ka-wei's 2046. I appreciated the science-fiction touches (which go a long way to keeping it from feeling like a simple retread of In the mood for love), but what I enjoyed most were the performances from the great Chinese actresses of my lifetime.

I also completed the job I'd started yesterday evening and took down the lights from the front and back windows as well as the mantlepiece. (Though I will confess to briefly weighing the idea of just leaving them up until next year.) I also dismantled [livejournal.com profile] monshu's darling New Year's arrangement on the sideboard, which gave me my first chance to really appreciate it since I hadn't more than glanced at it for the two weeks it's been up.
Feb. 23rd, 2016 10:12 am

元宵

muckefuck: (zhongkui)
I didn't expect [livejournal.com profile] monshu to remember that yesterday was the Lantern Festival and I certainly didn't expect him to put together a festive meal given that he's been feeling poorly the last several days. But I know he tracks full moon days for fasting purposes, so I should've reckoned with the possibility. He nixed the pomelo salad (which comes as a relief to my esophagus) and served up two kinds of dumplings plus inarizushi. So a very simple meal, really, but very satisfying.

I wish I knew what to blame for the problems I've having. The "sweet-and-sour fish" I ate before the opera turned out to have chilis in it, so I resigned myself to a possible bad night. Instead I've had three in a row, all involving propping myself up to keep the reflux at bay. Lately my suspicion has begun to fall on the banana bread I made as a treat for the Old Man on Sunday that he turned out not being able to eat, since it's the only common element in my diet recently and everything else has been so bland.

At least the loss of sleep isn't keeping me from reading, as it sometimes does. I'm officially at the halfway point in Life and death are wearing me out, which I still expect to finish even if the whole time I'm reading it I'm nagged by the suspicion that there is a much better book out there I could be reading instead. And I've decided to put off Er ist wieder da until the Führer's birthday month so in the meantime I've returned to Der Nachsommer. Still as boring as ever, but that's not a bad thing when you're trying to fall asleep at night.
muckefuck: (zhongkui)
I'm not a big fan of pseudoephedrine. Sometimes it's the only thing that works, though, and last night I was desperate after a coughing fit that woke me up shortly before one and wouldn't quit even after a couple spritzes of Chloraseptic. (Yech!) But those little crank eggs charge me up, which is the very last thing I need at night. I actually slept all right, considering, but I had more ultraviolent dreams.

This time, it wasn't zombies like the previous night, it was my own family. Or rather people I understood to be my own family. The only members who were really recognisable were my sister, mother, and grandmother. But it was the menfolk I was actually fighting, and they were so generic I couldn't keep their names straight. (At one point my mother used "Jim" for the guy I'd been calling "John"; only later did it occur to me that I'd originally been calling him "Ted". At least we all agreed his wife's name was "Mel".)

I have to say, they brought it on themselves: one of them (or an evil priest working in concert with him) led all my younger cousins to a disused chapel in the lower level of the family church. To what purpose, I dunno, but I had no choice other than to crash the Christmas mass going on upstairs. The uncles prevented me from reaching the altar, but I was close enough to scream things like "What's the Hebrew for hostage?" loud enough to disturb the congregation and throw the priest off his game.

It all ended in a mêlée from which I emerged victorious, but still my outraged ranting fell on deaf ears. The cousins clearly escaped on their own and, after that, no one wanted to talk about it. I resorting to taunting them about the asswhippings I'd given out just to get some sort of response. Then Uncle Ted collapsed and began bleeding from his nose and mouth and suddenly the concern became about getting him into an ambulance before it was too late.

So yeah, going to try to make it through the night without resorting to any more little red pills. I have to say getting a second nasty lingery cold barely a month after the last is only fueling my folk theory that warm winters are the worst for illness. But here it is, above freezing again and predicted to stay that way at least through Saturday, though next week we may see some relief.
Jan. 2nd, 2016 11:07 pm

Soft open

muckefuck: (zhongkui)
I vacillated about hosting cocktails tonight. I wondered whether people would be up for more pseudodebauchery so soon after New Year's. Then my cold really took hold and I questioned whether I wanted a bunch of drunk people over at my house. I decided to take the path of least resistance and wait to see if anyone contacted me. No one did until yesterday when Fig responded to my New Year's wishes with the question, "Are you hosting?" And I was like, For you, yes. I contacted the couple across the street and secured their participation, then notified Scruffy and left it at that. I also moved up the time an hour in deference to an Baoigheallach, who had just flown back from Ireland, and to facilitate [livejournal.com profile] monshu's participation. This worked out beautifully, as things broke up shortly after ten and before much longer I will be crawling into bed.

The cold is fading, but it's leaving a painful sore throat in its wake. I'm nursing myself the best I can with mug after mug of tea impregnated with the raw honey [livejournal.com profile] monshu's folks sent us from Oregon. My cocktails were hot toddies with only enough whiskey for flavour. The transition to my ordinary schedule will be rough enough without any additional burdens.
muckefuck: (zhongkui)
I can't remember the last time I had a cold this bad. Not last winter, even with all the stress and exhaustion of those goings on. The worst part is the false hope I had. Thursday evening I finally felt I was getting better and, since it was the last really mild day of our recent spell, I went out for a stroll and that ended up being a piece longer than I'd planned. Nevertheless, I felt good enough Friday that I even went out to JB's for dinner and boardgames. That also went longer than planned, but I wasn't worried because I had all day Saturday to rest up before the evening's opera.

And I needed it, because I woke up feeling almost as sick as I did the first day. Sheer determination carried me through Wozzeck, which was naturally the performance I'd be most looking forward to out of our entire subscription. I staggered through Sunday, leaving the house only to buy some Mucinex, and called in yesterday. I thought sleeping in the morning would make it hard for me to drop off in the evening, but it didn't, demonstrating that this wasn't malingering. I really am still that sick.

But I've got training this week I really don't want to miss, so here I am again staring glassily at my coworkers as I struggle to understand their requests and hoping I don't infect them. It's cooler outside, but still beautifully autumnal and I can barely gather the enthusiasm to go out and enjoy it. Needless to say, that last bits of gardening--raking leaves into a compost pile, bringing in the geraniums, etc.--are not getting done. And I've got another opera coming up this weekend, as well as the game on Sunday.
muckefuck: (zhongkui)
Tá an méid sin tuirse i gcónaí orm sna laethanta deireanacha so ná fuil aon rud suimiúil a rá agam. Cad é atá le déanamh? Deinim iarracht ar dea-roghanna a dhéanamh agus is cuma sa diabhal é. D'itheas bia tláith iné agus daigh chroí mhillteanach orm dá ainneaoin sin. Tá dóchas tabhairt suas agam.

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