172 // From Bad to Better to Best

I’m still not feeling much like myself but I am doing my best and pushing through. I just wish time would move a little faster so I could get back home and get back to resting. I’m grateful for my fiance today who will answer a call and reply to texts even when she’s busy because she knows I need her. I’m grateful for a partner who will leave early to make lunch plans and who can make me feel that even if  “right now” kind of sucks, “soon” will be so much better if I can just hang on.

So, lunch had to be canceled due to family emergencies, but the day still got so much better. I got that nap I needed very much and afterward, we went to do another fitting for my suit. It’s coming along so beautifully. Now just the pants need to be hemmed up and let out a little at the waist.

The weather was crappy, and we were hungry. The week was still wearing on us still and we’ve missed each other, so we opted on impulse for a much-needed dinner and a movie date night. We got crappy seats to a zombie comedy, ate too much popcorn, had too many cocktails, and giggled like schoolgirls in love. Oh, how I’ve missed that! The week couldn’t have ended on a better note!

171 // It Could Be Friday

Today was a hard day. My mood is in a downward swing and I’m not playing well with others. I did my best to fake it for as long as I could but I ended up calling it a day early and heading home to my dog and a good nap.

Fatigue is killing me. I used to be able to fake it. I used to pride myself on my ability to power through, but lately, I haven’t been able to hide it so well. Lately it’s been noticeable and lately, I can’t even gather myself up enough to pretend.

I have the option of making today my Friday and making Friday the beginning of a three-day weekend which sounds really nice but I keep doing the math in my head so many dollars per hour times so many hours per day is how much money I am taking away from us when I stay home. My actions impact others and taking care of me often means depriving my home of something it needs.

It could be Friday but I doubt it will be. My guilt won’t let it.

157 // I Need to Sleep

Productivity will be impossible today.

In addition to the aforementioned fatigue that has been plaguing me and two nights in a row of staying up much, much later than I should, I took an allergy pill a coworker gave me this morning and find myself ready to fall asleep where I stand.

I’m growing increasingly irritated at the inconvenience of a day job and angry at having to force myself awake. I’ve had three espressos and seen zero signs of improvement and have resorted to walking around the building outside hoping to keep the blood flowing to my brain. I’m doing everything I can to outpace the drowsiness creeping into my limbs but I just need to sleep.

I’ll head home in just a few hours and do my best to squeeze in a catnap and a late lunch before I’m off to help my mom with a few things. I’m already looking forward to the evening when I’m back home. The plan is to crack a beer, eat something bad for me, and head right to bed.

These entries are inspired by TDH.se


156 // Midweek, Mostly

It’s my second day at work after taking another three-day weekend and I’m already ready for the week to end.

I’m determined to work the rest of the week but my fatigue is terrible and only getting worse. Caffeine has stopped helping and I worry that increasing my intake will only make matters worse. I need more than rest or sleep. What I need is a break. I need time outside of time.

I need to get away from all the things that are making me anxious. I need to get away from work, from people, god, from myself most of all. I need to spend some time in deep focus I think. I have time to spend there but not enough time to get anything of substance or value done. Things interrupt me. I interrupt me.

These entries are inspired by TDH.se

076 // A Body That Won’t Cooperate

I’m feeling awful today. My head, my stomach, my whole body! And I’m so tired. I got nothing done and now I’ll have to spend tomorrow trying to redo today.

I guess that’s not so bad, as long as I actually feel better. Either way, I will do my best and then I’ll do just a bit more. I want to hit the ground running this week and get some shit done this week. I don’t have time for this chronic illness crap. It’s so frustrating to be inside of a body that can’t, or won’t, cooperate.

These entries are inspired by Thord D. Hedengren

054 // A Whole Lot of Unproductivity

I woke with grand plans this morning but lost the battle to myself and the couch early on. In my defense sleep has eluded me all week. I’ve been overworked and filled with worry. I’m still off my medication and my body is responding in strange ways including a persist and headache and joints that ache in turn. In my defense I was defenseless.

So, today I rested and I ate, and tomorrow I’ll get up and try again.

Wish me the best of luck would you?

These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

034 // Growing Old While Young

Ending the night in pain. The joint that connects my middle finger to my palm has swollen and the joints in my feet are protesting against my weight.

I’ve taken ibuprofen even though I know I’m not supposed to because it’s the only thing that helps. I’ve got two heating pads going and I’ve put myself to bed early hoping to wake up in a better state.

I’m doing my best to stay strong because know I’m only going to get worse while I wait for financial assistance from the new drug company. I’ve got my fingers crossed for that phone call sometime this week.

Damn, it’s depressing to grow old while you’re still so young.

These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

If We Were Having Coffee // The Art of Worrying About Worrying

Hello dear readers! Happy Sunday and welcome. Thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up.

The sun is shining this morning but it won’t be for long, according to forecasts. We’ll be going from a high over 50 degrees today to one of only 28 tomorrow. We’re looking at snow, again, and I’ve got my fingers crossed for another snow day but the chances are slim. So, I’m soaking up the sun while I can, before I’m forced out into the cold tomorrow. I’ve got the blinds open and a few windows cracked, letting the crisp air in.

So, pull up a chair and help yourself to a cup. I’ve got plenty of cold brew ready or I can put the Moka pot on if you’re craving something warmer. Let’s talk about last week.

“Life isn’t sugarcoated. Why should coffee be?”

— Tommy Wallach, Thanks for the Trouble

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it was a wintry week here in Colorado. This week, in fact, felt like the very first time winter had made an appearance at all. We had blizzard conditions, icy roads, freezing temperatures, and stand still traffic across the city. But as much as the traffic, the snow, and the cold inconvenienced us all I was glad it finally arrived and not just because of the resulting day off of work.

While most of the worry over climate change focuses on the coastal regions, and rightly so since their homes and businesses may be underwater as a result, we sometimes forget—here in the middle of the country where mountains fill streams from snowpack and cool air rushes over peaks to cool our cities—that we are just as vulnerable. Our mountains are not the strong and steady defender we imagine them to be.

We’re seeing less snow, warmer winter temperatures, and less water in our rivers. We’ve been seeing hotter and hotter summers and higher and higher chances for wildfires. A warm dry winter might feel nice, but it’s troubling too. I sincerely hope we see a lot more snow in the coming weeks and months—and a few more snow days spent cozied up on the couch wouldn’t hurt either, you know?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the snow made the short week an even shorter week which threw everything and everyone off at work. Then, we had more snow, which made for even more confusing and anxious conditions. We made a lot of mistakes and we all, including me, had to take a moment to admit our shortcomings and resolve to do better, to slow down, to pay closer attention, and to make better choices, no matter what.

For my part, I have to ask more questions. I have to get more involved, double-check, and see for myself more. I know that my coworkers are smart and capable, but I have to remember that they aren’t perfect. I have to help them out, and all of us in the process, by being a second set of eyes and ears and picking up the slack where they will from time to time undoubtedly drop it—as they would do for me.

At the same time, we all, especially me, have to learn to separate the big and dangerous mistakes from the little baby mistakes. We have to separate the mistakes we might have changed from the ones wholly out of our control too. I saw a lot of people stressing about things that had no discernible impact and that could not have been avoided. All that stress is contagious, and we were spreading it around like a bad rash, making a bad situation worse for no reason.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I leveled up in my anxiety when I managed to make myself sick by worrying too much about not worrying too much.

I talked a bit about it already but last Friday I received some bad news. The medication I am on to control my ulcerative colitis is working, but it’s damaging my liver. So, I have to be moved to something new. Something new means a whole lot of “what if’s” and worrying. Worrying that actually triggers my symptoms.

After my initial freak out, I tried really hard to calm down, and I tried really hard not to worry about all those “what if’s” but I ended up triggering my symptoms anyway when I couldn’t get the consequences of all this anxiety out of my head. So, now I’m just trying to think of anything else. I’m trying to occupy my mind with books and writing, and getting out of the house later for shopping and sun.

Tuesday I have an appointment with my GI to discuss my future medication and hopefully, she will answer some of those “what if” questions and put my mind at ease. She’s usually pretty good at that.

If we were having coffee, I would have to bring up the current state of politics in this country. I don’t know where you fall on the political spectrum and I certainly don’t want to argue. I’m not here, today anyway, to change minds. I think many of us are past that. I think right now most of us are just tired. I am tired.

If you are one of the federal workers who has struggled through this government shutdown, with the loss of pay and, in many cases, with a lack of options to express your frustration and needs, my heart goes out to you and I hope with all my heart that this two or three-week reopening can be made permanent. I hope this will never, ever happen again, but I confess, I am almost certain it will.

Earlier this week I read an article about the way politics functions in this country and how it leads to situations just like this one and may lead to worse and deeper deadlocks in the future. I think the tide needs to shift. We need to find a new way to fight each other that allows people to give in for the good of the country!

But I fear this shutdown, rather than waking us up to the worst parts of our politics has only further desensitized us.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I can see the sunlight beginning to creep through the westerly windows. If I don’t get up from this seat, get moving and get out the door soon, I’ll miss it. I’d like to have a little bit of Sunday before Monday, you know?

I hope you had a good week. I hope you made some progress and that you made time for you. Try not to stress too much and I won’t either. Try to breathe, to take it slow, and I will too.

Until next time.

Written for the #WeekendCoffeeShare link-up hosted by Eclectic Alli.

Photo by andrew welch on Unsplash

025 // Bad News Day

It’s a lot to get into, but some news I had been dreading to receive, news I had just begun to hope wouldn’t come after all, came today. Long story short, my medication is damaging my liver and even though it is keeping the inflammation in my colon at bay, I will have have to cease taking it and start something new.

If you live in America and you have a chronic illness you’ll have some idea how stressful it is to deal with insurance companies during treatment changes. First, there must be a cost analysis done to find out if, and how much of the cost they will cover. This medication will more than likely cost thousands of dollars a dose, the same as my last medication. How much my insurance will cover and how much I can get assistance for the rest will take time to work out and there is a possibility that it won’t.

In the meantime, I a ball of stress and anxiety, a state that actually triggers and worsens my symptoms. What if we can’t afford the new medication? What if I am allergic to the new medication? What if the new medication doesn’t work? What if, while I’m waiting for the cost analysis and the financial assistance, my symptoms return or worsen? What if, what if, what if…?

Of course, worrying does nothing, and like all things, I just have to wait for answers to come and deal with them as they do.

But that is easier said than done.

These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

If We Were Having Coffee // Strong Enough to Examine, and Change

Hello dear readers! Happy Sunday and welcome. Thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up.

Waking up was a little easier today than most Sundays. I think knowing that I have an extra day away from work tomorrow makes it easier for me to get this day going. A three-day weekend really makes it clear how much a four-day work week would do for the human psyche and soul.

So, pull up a chair and fill up a cup. The sun is shining and the temperatures are rising fast. It’s going to be the warmest week of the day and I plan to get out and soak up the sun while I can. So, quickly now, let’s talk about last week.

“Presently the small of coffee began to fill the room. This was morning’s hallowed moment. In such a fragrance the perversity of the world is forgotten, and the soul is inspired with faith in the future…”

Halldór Laxness, Independent People

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that last week was good, I think. It was certainly not bad, but it was long and tiring. I’m beginning to believe the problem is with me and not with work or the world. I’ve been feeling especially tired for weeks now and as someone who has a chronic illness, I have learned to pay attention to my body and to take action when something is wrong. Better to make a few appointments and run a few tests now before things get bad.

I’m at the halfway point between last months infusion day and next month’s. I’ve had a theory now that my infusion days are set too far apart and that I would do better at six-week intervals rather than eight. This month I’m tracking my symptoms and energy levels so I can present my case to the powers that be and get my treatment plan revised.

In the meantime, I’m taking one day every week to simply rest. I got the idea last week from Eclectic Alli’s Weekend Coffee Share post and gave it a try myself yesterday. I talked about it a bit last night already but I want to say again to anyone that needs to hear it, acknowledging that you need to rest, giving yourself permission to do so, and even seeking a little reassurance from loved ones as I did with my fiance, can really go a long way.

I was able to rest without anxiety and without guilt. I was able to really rest.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week was an okay writing week. It was better than last week, but I’m still struggling to finish the drafts I start and I still haven’t begun work on my larger projects. This coming week I’m going to keep on doing what I am doing and trusting that I will keep getting better as long as I keep stringing words together either on the screen or on the page. I have to trust in the long run and broaden my focus from the day-to-day.

I’m not really disappointed though because even though it might have been a less than ideal writing week, it was a stellar reading week! I finished both Homer’s The Iliad and On the Genealogy of Moral by Friedrich Nietzsche, two books I had failed for months to get through in 2018. I started The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It’s very different from my last two reads but I think that is how I proceed best through books by jumping from one genre or time period to another radically different.

Next, I’ve got The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery, then a couple of volumes of Saga comics, and then The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that we’re over halfway through Dry January and I am finally seeing some benefits. I’ve lost weight, a surprising amount of weight and I do feel like I am sleeping better through the night than I have in a long, long time.

I’m starting to think now of if, and how, I will return to alcohol once the month is over. I’ve broken my dependence on the need for alcohol to trigger a relaxing response after a hard or frustrating day at work. I no longer need to come home and pour a glass of wine or make a margarita on those especially hard days. I no longer feel that social gatherings or events require alcohol to be fun. I feel like I have a little more choice about when I drink, and I don’t want to lose that.

Going forward, I will regulate alcohol to the realm of “special occasion”. It will be a once a week or less indulgence. When I purchase alcohol I will buy in smaller quantities so that I don’t have so much to “get through”.

Drinking alcohol isn’t inherently a bad thing, and while I did indulge regularly, I didn’t and still do not, consider my relationship to alcohol to be problematic. It’s like sugar or fast food, or coffee even, it just became a habit and I want for all my habits to be a little less automatic. I’m proud of myself for being strong enough to examine and change.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that as much as I enjoy chatting with you the morning is moving on toward midday and I’ve got shopping to do and maybe a lunch date with my lady if I can leave soon enough.

I hope you had a wonderful week. I hope you made some progress and if you experienced any setbacks; I hope you know you can start again as many times as you need. Get out and see the sun if you can, and rest without one iota of guilt if you can’t, okay?

Until next time.

Written for the #WeekendCoffeeShare link-up hosted by Eclectic Alli.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash