Reading and calling.

Vickey and I are reading On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. It is a beautifully written book and we are enjoying chatting about it even though we are only on page 45-ish. I was reading it over the weekend and halted at the first whiff of animal torture and put the book down. Vickey continued reading through the whole bit and then warned me about bad things that are going to happen (which, of course, I knew before I even started the book) without any spoilers and now I’m reluctant to pick it up again. But I will eventually continue, hopefully today.

We had an hour-long phone call with SSA yesterday. A phone interview – I somehow got intensely agitated and nervous in advance of the phone call (I understand generally for no reason, just my own head working against itself). I am doing most of the logistical paperwork for Edda’s adulthood, Jeremy is my cheerleader. I get mired in difficult to understand legal things, or frustrating procedural things and I get discouraged and frustrated and then I turn to him. He calms me and reassures me, sometimes he drops things off at the court house or leaves phone messages at help-desks for me or buys me a cookie. Yesterday, he came into my office as I was warily waiting for the incoming phone call. He was sweaty and still in his workout clothes and asked if I wanted company for the phone call. I said yes (surprising myself – because usually company makes me more nervous than no company) and he sat down next to me and we took the call on speaker together. It went fine.

Dog and running.

We are still dog sitting Scarlett. I’m concerned about her owner, his blood counts are still wonky – hence, the continued dog sitting.

2021 was a banner year for running. I wasn’t really injured, I trained well, I had a nice race. I exercised more than 15,000 minutes on my peloton (not all running, some yoga, some strength training, some meditation) and for that, they unexpectedly rewarded me with branded clothing that they probably couldn’t sell last season. $95 dollar leggings and a $45 dollar shirt which I delighted in because I would never spend so much on leggings or a shirt. But what goes up must come down. I did run some glorious and extended long trail runs in Dec/Jan/Feb, but in March, I had to take an easy month because I had overextended myself and my perpetually injured shoulder was killing me and then in April, I had covid. I did not do much more than walks around the neighborhood and slow, short, shuffling jogs. But I’m ok with that. I’m happy that I don’t seem to have long covid which makes me short of breath on exertion. I’m happy with the puttering runs, but I’m also happy to start training again.

Science fair, scout banquet.

I’ve been in a mood recently – a little down, feeling sorry for myself. For what reason, I know not. Just the regular things that are sad and unfixable. But there are lots of things bring me joy. I try to focus on that.

I went to Sofie’s science fair on Friday night at the elementary school. She did an electrical experiment involving potatoes and lemons and our multimeter. Lol. I held out the program to her and had her direct me to various experiments she found interesting (mainly manned by her friends). I spent the hour walking around and asking kiddos to tell me about their experiment.

One of my favorites was about chromatography. I love chromatography in a strange way. I spent many hours in an organic chemistry lab running chromatography columns willing my organic synthesis to have worked. I was not a very good synthetic organic chemist. But it doesn’t mean I don’t love a good chromatography column/experiment. And this one was particularly beautiful, you ran the chromatography on coffee filters and then made them into flowers. Art and science at the same time. I was so impressed by these kids! You so quickly forget what a 2nd grader is like or a 4th grader when you aren’t raising a 2nd or 4th grader. They are so so cute and they are so cute explaining their experiment to me. Each was willing to explain. Some of them read from their poster, other kids spoke extemporaneously, some kids had chocolate, other kids let me handle slime.

I’m still getting used to large groups of people, I feel handicapped or traumatized or triggered or whatever the word is by the state of the pandemic, and even though I’ve had covid, I have no idea what is happening. I want to feel like the world is a safe place, but it always feels unsafe to me now. I walked around and took masked/not masked data.

Jeremy reprised his role as Scout Banquet chief chef. It has been cancelled for two years, but Jeremy was the last one to cook it and they wanted a “passing of the torch” as is the scout troops desire. So Jeremy rode 80 miles on his bike in the morning and then cooked for 80 people at night.

Edda and I did not go, rather, we stayed home and folded laundry. But Jeremy took home some of the leftovers for us.

Bug love, bug hug.

I spoke with Vince yesterday. He does call less now that he’s busy, but we try to talk at least once a week. The time zones make it hard, he wants to call when we are already asleep – this time we chatted when he woke up and I was the the Trader Joe’s parking lot. This time he asked if I would still love him if he was a bug – he said it wasn’t related to Kafka – it was an internet thing. As such, I did not know of this thing – but I answered and said I’d love him in any form, but I wanted to know if he would be a human sized bug or a bug sized bug? He said that he hadn’t thought about it that much. I said I would prefer a human size bug because then I would, generally, always be able to find him to give him a big bug hug. Or I could ask anyone on the internet – hey – where the that human sized bug now? And google would know.

Edda and Scarlett are still enjoying each other’s company. I was moody yesterday, hopefully a more productive/less moody type day today.

Orientation.

We look the same, no?

I was at the hospital yesterday. I was not expecting anything weird, but I ended up with both a new grad nurse on his last week of orientation and a student nurse. I didn’t quite understand that this was happening as the night turned into day, but when I finally came to my senses, I walked around whining to Bismark – the night charge – with these two people new-ish people trailing me, why me? (I usually get out of these things because I work so infrequently). And he said – well because you are a senior nurse and everyone else is busy. Hahahaha. So that’s what I did yesterday. Because the new grad nurse was 90% done with his orientation (he’s taking shifts by himself next week) I gave him all five of my patients and told him to start taking care of them and that I was available for any questions and I’d check behind him. And then I started bringing the student nurse with me showing her (with my extra time now that I had someone else essentially doing most of my job) all the things I found interesting as a student. It was an interesting day, I had a good time. The new grad nurse said it was the first time he was able to do most of the shift on his own and he gained confidence and I was always right there to answer any questions and still help people to the bathroom or do a few things like pick things up from pharmacy or security. The mix of five patients was perfect, interesting, but not too hard. Some standard challenges, but spaced well enough apart that the new hire can deal with them one at a time. I think for my trouble, I got an extra dollar and hour – so $12. Then Astra, the day charge, asked if I could work tomorrow (meaning today) and I said no.

Weekend update.

A nice quiet weekend – I think Jeremy and I are almost fully recovered. I coughed only once in the middle of the night last night.

I’m feeling old these days, I gave up Facebook and Instagram about thanksgiving last year. This past week, I had to delete youtube off of my phone. It’s those reels or shorts or whatever they are, they really get me. The things that last 10 seconds and then you flip past them. All the apps have them, I just hadn’t explored them very much on youtube, but once I started, somehow they just draw me in. I can’t control my time very well around it. And somehow, I feel more anxious when I do these things. But without all these apps, I miss photos of friend’s children doing nice things – being in France, playing music, playing with each other. I don’t know the tiktok songs/dances. It is, honestly, a somewhat big price to pay. A lot of chatting revolves around posts that people have posted or funny memes or whatever. I constantly feel out of touch, so now I’m less anxious, but I feel dumb and old. I’m not sure it’s better.

When I was young-ish, a middle schooler, I loved reading at night in my closet. I did it all the time when the house was quiet. I kind of want to do that again – all the time. I’d drag my comforters into the closet and shut the door and hang out with myself there.

Shift, Gorgeous, Monstera

I went to the hospital yesterday for the first day of work in almost three weeks. I took the time off because, well we were supposed to go on a trip, but instead I spent it with covid and I got well enough just in time to go back to work. I still have a lingering cough which can last for a minute and you know how to freak your coworkers out? to be coughing and coughing (n95) and then they ask if you are OK and then say – oh it’s no big deal, just the end of covid – don’t worry! it’s been like weeks. And it has been weeks now. I think constantly of quitting this job. Constantly. But it was a fine shift yesterday. I had only 4 patients at a time – a dream. Everyone needs so much fussing. We are all *still* so needy. Coaxing people into blood draws (coaxing the phlebotomist too! I tried earlier and they were so rude!) , calming them down from a panic attack, telling them what they want to hear, which is exactly what I want to hear whispered into my own ears in the middle of the night – I’m sorry it hurts so much/is overwhelming/is unfair. I’m here, I’ll take care of you, we’ll be here together now. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. This takes something out of me, I want to keep that energy for myself. To not give it away to someone else.

Vickey and I chose The Wonder for the next book in the two person book group. It’s been our selection for a few weeks now and neither of us has made it past page 15. The chapters are so long! I like a book with 4-8 page chapters. For a few days, I’ve been saying we need to move on to another book, this is not our book. Then on Wed we decided to try On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. Already 2 paragraphs in, I can tell I like it better than the Wonder.

Along with the decluttering of the house, I took all the underwatered, droopy plants in the house that were all shoved in a single corner and placed them around the house in spots that made it seem like I actually decided to put them there as decor and I started watering them regularly. And now I’m rewarded with an emerging leaf. I’m so proud!

Updates. Life goes on.

Look at this supercute photo of Donald and baby Edda. Katherine found it while she was sorting through some old photos – it was with a pile of photos I probably took from Thanksgiving 2004. A lifetime ago. I knew nothing.

We are still kind of recovering from covid. Everything is negative now, we still both have slight lingering congestion and Jeremy is still dealing with hives which are ok during the day, but come back at night and cause a poor night of sleep. Kind of a bummer, but also happy that it’s mostly over.

I went to a couple of appointments for Edda this week. On Monday, I went to get her blood drawn for a regular check up. We’ve never had any problem getting blood from Edda, but this was the first time I had three phlebotomists look over Edda’s veins before deciding which one to poke. They got it the first time (bypassing the common AC (the one in your elbow pit, generally the easiest) and going for one in the hand), but commented on her fine veins. I kind of shuddered imagining any hospital stay with IV antibiotics with blown vein after blown vein and lots of poking. Jeremy said – we’ll lets keep her out of the hospital.

On Tuesday, we met with the equipment people. I was trying to get a seat for the home with lateral supports for feeding. Edda tends to lean towards the left in a regular seat now, I’m trying to keep everything straight. I thought we were going to talk only about that, but we discussed a new wheelchair for her – she’s apparently outgrown her present one now (I was surprised, I thought we had the biggest one already) and also a gait trainer. The gait trainer is not to help with her gait, but to help her not fall and hit her head when she has a seizure. Her seizures have been great meaning non existent, but I’m still nervous to let her walk unattended for long periods of time.

Negative! kind of.

So I’m testing negative this morning. I still feel a glob of phlegm in the back of my nose/top of my throat. It’s not very mobile, it’s quite sticky, so I’m trying to drink water to loosen it up. If you hold this test up to the light, there is ever so slight of a line – but I’m taking this as not being very contagious which is good because we are done with our spring break – it’s back to work and school now. Edda has a bunch of appointments this week.

Jeremy is having a terrible time. Each time he has a viral infection and it resolves, then he’s hit with a course of hives. This one is pretty bad, he’s been waking up in the middle of the night with itchy/swollen hands. His face is swollen, there are hives all over his body. He’s gone through Benadryl, Claritin and now Allegra. I think Benadryl works the best, but it just knocks him out and he doesn’t like that. This is going to be more than 2 weeks of feeling bad for Jeremy. Poor guy. I think as he gets older, this weird reaction is getting worse.

Discouraged and TV.

Jeremy tested negative (finally) last night. I’m still testing positive today – honestly, I’m a bit bummed…if I use Jeremy’s timeline for myself, I won’t test negative until the 22nd. Maryland freed me from isolation on the 14th or so – but I still felt pretty sick then – that might have been the worst day. I feel good physically, I worked most of the day on Friday – though kind of slowly. No running yet for me. I will be well just in time to go back to the hospital for a shift. I know, I know – lots of people have lots of big issues and these are small issues compared to those, but we missed spring break, we are going to miss family Eastover dinner. We are both going to lose 2 weeks worth of training for our big races and it’s not just losing the training, but we’ve both detrained a lot. oh well. What is there to do? Honestly, I’m most happy that it seems that Bob and Kiki did not catch it from us for their one overnight stay. And our vacation rental was used the whole time by people we love.

The week was not an entire wash. I managed to correspond with our estate lawyer to make progress on our will (this has taken over a year because we are lame and who wants to think about death? no one.). We filed for guardianship for Edda this week with the Circuit Court. I got an appointment with the Social Security office in a couple of weeks (this involved 2 hours on the phone, mostly waiting). I’m grateful all these offices are less than 3 miles from the house. Edda has a new (old) iPhone, new iPad (birthday), new email address, new phone number. For this modern age, Edda needs all those for accounts, logins, etc. I cleared off a desk of old paperwork/bills and I managed to quilt a bit.

This is the scene from my spot in the bed. That TV was Vickey’s she bought 17 years ago for some enormous sum of money and she gave it to me when she upgraded many years ago. It bit the dust sometime last week and when I told Vickey – she said that the salesman said it would last at least 5 years, so it outlived his estimate by a long, long time. We don’t watch TV a lot (Edda is the main TV watcher in the family), but we do usually watch a single youtube video at about 9:00 pm (see the time? I’m missing a working TV right now) for about 15-20 minutes. Usually something silly, a cooking one or a travel one or a woodworking one or an animal one. But it’s when we’ve both put away our phones and discuss a little fun thing to watch. When Vince is at home, we often invite him over to crawl into the bed and choose with us – meaning he gets to decide and introduce us to some weird kid thing. At first, we weren’t going to replace the TV because I didn’t want to spend the $ for 15 minutes everyday. We were like – we can watch on a laptop – or one of our phones. But I missed it each night. So we are going to buy a TV for that spot and say goodbye to Vickey’s old TV (I did ask Vickey if she was ready to upgrade her TVs right now again (she has good taste in TVs) and she said – no, I’m good. lol.)