Tues. June 30, 2020: Die For Your Employer/Die For Tourist Dollars Day 43 — Surgery with Mixed Results

Tuesday, June 30. 2020
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Foggy, stormy, humid

Venus went direct on the 25th, so at least a little pressure has eased.

I thought I’d scheduled a post yesterday. I’m sorry I didn’t.

I was on a clear liquid diet, pre-op, on Wednesday. Miso soup and white cranberry-peach juice for breakfast, chicken broth for lunch, more miso for dinner. It was pretty good.

Went for my COVID test in the morning. Very well organized. A few seconds of discomfort when they jab the swab up your nostrils, but that’s it. Everyone very nice.

Home. Info full quarantine. Checked in with a client, designed some A/B ads, got out an email blast. Participated in Remote Chat, which is always fun.

Got the call from the hospital. My surgery was scheduled for 9:30 the next morning. A relief to get in there in the morning, and home as soon as possible.

The COVID testers only call if it’s a positive. So, once the deadline passed and no call, I started the rest of the prep, which was awful, I had side effects, and I was up all night, miserable.

I got ready in the morning, and got a call at 8 AM, asking me to come in an hour and a half early.

I got there, and was sent to the OR. Um, I knew it was surgery, because they had to remove something, but had been told it would be a simple procedure. Originally, I was told it would be done in the office.

So I was prepped for surgery, much like the last time, and a little thrown by it.

Unfortunately, it took 7 tries to get the IV in. SEVEN. I was upset. I also felt guilty (which, looking back on it, I shouldn’t. It’s not MY fault they can’t hit a vein. But it hurt like hell).

They finally got a pediatrics nurse to get it in.

Then some guy starts yapping at me, and I finally asked, “Are you the doctor?” And then I deliberately mispronounced his name, which threw him.

He said yes and corrected the pronunciation of his name.

I said, “Oh, okay, it’s just that I’ve never met you or talked to you before and you’re about to go digging in my insides. I’ve dealt with more than a dozen people while I’ve been lying here in pre-op and I’m trying to keep them all sorted. Now that we’ve been properly introduced, what’s going on?”

He said, “Oh, I’m sorry, I’m a little presumptive sometimes” and then we talked about the surgery.

The nurses were howling. They told me later the male patients usually start sputtering and the female patients are often in tears. They never saw anyone stand up to him before.

So we had a chat about what was going on. I was a little disconcerted, because no one seemed to know why I was there. Why didn’t anyone read my chart? I’m not the professional. I’m the patient. I know, in basic strokes, why I’m there, but not the details.

I told the anesthesiologist that, especially after all the trouble getting the IV in, I didn’t want to know anything.

When I came out of it, the doctor said, “You should thank that CT technician. This surgery probably saved your life.”

Turns out it was much more complicated than anyone had told me, and, if I’d blown off this surgery (as I was tempted), by the time I knew something was really wrong, it would have been too late, and needed very complicated surgery.

So now I get to wrap my head around that and worry about the results of the biopsy.

The nurse called my ride, I got dressed, and off I went home.

I was too rattled to really sleep, but I also couldn’t do anything. I’d saved back some of the pain pills from the last surgery. Of course, they were on the list of things I couldn’t take. But I didn’t really need them.

To keep myself occupied, both the miserable night before surgery and the day after, I read the first four books in Martha Wells’sMurderbot series. I loved them. So clever, and funny, and full of action, and full of heart.

We’d set up the living room again for recovery. I ate scrambled eggs for dinner – I hadn’t eaten solid food in 48 hours, but that’s all I could stand.

I went to sleep early, and slept through the night for the first time in who knows how long.

Friday, I got some material off to a client. Heard back that she’s going in a new direction for something. She’s going to try to push me to do work that needs someone with different skills, and there will be problems going forward. So I need to find a replacement client so we can part ways soon without me taking a major hit to my income.

I got out one LOI, and then back to bed.

One of my nurses checked in with me, to make sure I was okay. I am. I mean, I’m healing. “Okay” is relative at this point.

I heard from one of my other doctors, who found out I was having this procedure; he checked in to see how I was doing. He was the one who talked me into going through this second surgery; I wanted to blow it off. But he’d been right about everything else, so I went forward. It’s a good thing I did.

I have the same post-anesthesia effects I had last time – first day or so, I have a runny nose, and then I have a few days of a scratchy throat.

I have to monitor my temperature twice a day for two weeks, to make sure I didn’t catch anything at the hospital.

My arms are so bruised from the failed attempts to insert the IV. I have track marks and bruises. I’ll have to wear long sleeves for at least a week. And I need to heal before I go in for blood work.

I managed to go down to the library for a curbside pickup and got more books. Read Donna Leon’s BY ITS COVER. I love that series.

But it was not a productive day, by any means.

I got in touch with the guy who mows the lawn; he came and did it. It looks better, but I need to put fertilizer on it.

I did not sleep well on Friday. I was up by 3 AM, fretting.

Saturday morning, I moved the two potted trees on either side of the front door to the side. They’ve grown through the years, and don’t look right there any more.

I was working on cleaning out the front beds and found a wasp nest attached to the siding in the front, near the front door. I’m so sick of the damn wasps. It never occurred to me they would build there.

I didn’t want to go back to Hyannis Country Gardens, but I know where everything is there. So I masked up and drove over.

I am never going there again, even once this is all over. Wearing the mask around your neck is not wearing the mask. Staff and customers did this (register staff were the only ones fully masked). The place was packed.

I grabbed my wasp killer (you have no idea how much strength it took not to spray the Sliding Mask Skanks). I grabbed some lawn food. I got the hell out of there as fast as I could.

I felt safer walking alone at 2 AM in NYC’s worst neighborhoods than I felt in that store.

Our numbers are going up again in MA. Not as badly as in down south, but going up enough to be concerned.

Not that anyone else here is. Because, if you’re not rich around here, you’re expendable and expected to Die for Tourist Dollars.

Came home and took out my fury on the wasp nest.

Rested a bit; once the buzzing died down (pun intended), I brought some of the oversized red geraniums from the back to flank the front door. They look good, and it’s good Feng Shui.

I couldn’t work in the beds, so I took myself to bed and rested for a bit. I read Ellen Byron’s PLANTATION SHUDDERS, and loved it. Excellent book, and I’m excited to read the rest of the series.

Soaked in a bath of Himalayan Salts for a bit. Cooked dinner – nothing fancy, I’m easing back in.

So the Sociopath was informed in March that Russia pays bounties to kill American soldiers? And keeps making concessions to Russia? I hope the military turns against him, once and for all. We have a sociopath calling himself “President” who is not only actively killing citizens with a pandemic, but allowing our enemies to kill our soldiers for profit. What’s his cut, I wonder? Because he does nothing without an eye to personal profit.

Why would anyone think the GOP will do anything about it? Remember, only a year ago, over Fourth of July, 10 GOP Congress people traveled to Russia to genuflect.

Those 10 should have been arrested the second they returned. But they got away with it, and here we are.

No wonder the EU is banning Americans from travel. Good for them.

And the airlines who are going to start flying at capacity? I hope they all go under. And why the hell is ANYONE flying right now?

The selfishness and stupidity are overwhelming.

Moved back up to my bedroom by Saturday night, and had a good night’s sleep.

But sat on the deck early Sunday morning, weeping, because I feel overwhelmed on a personal level, and on a broader, societal level. I’m sick, exhausted, and don’t see a way forward in anything.

Rested most of Sunday morning, because that’s all I could handle. I read a delightful book called RAISING THE BARRE by Lauren Kessler, about her journey to dance in a production of THE NUTCRACKER as an adult. So well done, on so many levels. However, I did lose a bit of respect and felt disgust when she skipped part of the tour that was the reason to write this book in the first place because of “family commitments” and because she was teaching a writing workshop. That, hon, is why you’re not in the business. The show comes first. Always. Life fits around theatre (or, in this case ballet) for professionals. Theatre does not fit around life.

That, right there, is why I managed to be one of the 11% who actually MAKE it to Broadway. Commitment and priority to the work. And why dancers can do what they do.

My arms really hurt from the bruising of the failed IV attempts.

Got out 5 LOIs, then sat out on the deck for a bit, reading. Watered the back, where I’d put down lawn food and fertilizer. Couldn’t face another wasp battle in the front.

Tackled the mending, because the light was good, and I need true daylight at this point to sew. Got a good part of the stack done. Still have a few pieces, including socks.

Managed to sleep through the night on Sunday, up early on Monday, normal routine. Because, you know, the cats like a normal routine, and it’s all about the cats. Arms really hurt from the IV bruising.

Annoyed by people on social media who beg for followers, then deride people who support them. I don’t have time for that b.s.

Also annoyed because people are asking to come visit. As in show up and stay a few days. In a pandemic? I don’t think so. Close friends understand it’s not viable. We’re going to make plans to see each other WHEN IT’S SAFE. It’s the borderline “acquaintances” who are the problems. The ones who stay in touch because they see us as free accommodation in a tourist spot they want to visit. I can’t believe how many emails I’ve gotten in the past two weeks that are “oh, we’re going to be in your area on vacation for a few days. We’d love to see you. Can we stay?”

Nope. Not doing any hosting this summer. Sorry you think just because the government decided to recklessly reopen, I’m going to put my life in danger so you don’t have to pay a hotel bill. Not happening.

Absolutely dreaded going in to the client’s on Monday.

Didn’t get a lot done on BARD Monday morning. I had to research mandolins and mandolin making before I could write the scene. Then, when I referenced something from an earlier chapter I found an enormous mistake. I have to go back and fix it, or it will throw the entire book off. I’m so annoyed with myself.

But that’s what I get for not making tracking sheets up front. Serves me right.

Discouraging, but my own damn fault.

Onsite for the client wasn’t bad. Staggered hours, lots of precautions. Only a little overlap, so we’re in synch, and not full staff (the way it should be, but isn’t on Wednesdays).  The client expects me to pull off the type of advertising campaigns that large companies with huge design and advertising budgets do, and she expects huge returns within 48 hours. That’s not realistic. She keeps sending me ads with “do that” — I can’t without design tools and time and professional photographs of product, and a budget to spend for placement.

Came home, wiped out.

I meant to only peek at the online course I’m taking on FutureLearn on The Book of Kells from Trinity College in Dublin. It was so interesting that I went through the entire week’s work. Which was pretty cool.

I decided I should brush up on my rusty Latin, and was looking for a way to do that, when, on Coursera, I stumbled across The Miracle of Human Language, from University of Leiden, where I’d studied the International tribunals a few years back. I signed up and started work on it. It’s fascinating.

That course will help me as I develop languages for books like DRAKECLIFF and other fantasies.

I was still worn out, and ran out of intellectual steam, so I stopped.

I also bought Sharon Hurley Hall’s SHADEISM. We’ve been talking about race, inspired by her most recent writings; this book will not only expand my understanding, but it will be good background for ELLA BY THE BAY.

Then, the phone rang.

It was the doctor.

As I wrote above, that’s never good news. They only call if something is wrong, never when it’s right.

The doctor had even improved his bedside manner, which worried me even more.

The news was mixed: there were some cancerous cells in what was removed, but at the tip of the polyp, not the base, and the cells scraped from the lining were clear. He believes he got it all. Originally, he wanted to see me in a year; now, he wants me back for another procedure In six months (um, Happy Holidays to me?). We’re going to treat it like another full-blown surgery, and hope it’s just a look that reveals everything is clear. He was upbeat and reassuring about it – which meant I wasn’t sure whether to go with it or worry more.

Something else to wrap my head around. Disconcerting, to say the least.

But what else can I do other than keep on keeping on?

I do have to behave as though I’m immune compromised and stay home as much as possible, avoid crowds, socializing, etc. I told him that was the plan for the foreseeable future, anyway.

He promised to take good care of me. I thanked him (which surprised him) and he rang off.

I’m a little tired of 2020 piling it on.

I need to talk with my primary care doctor in the next day or two, and come up with a plan for the next six months. Losing weight and getting fit will have to be a part of it. I already eat pretty well, and I’d cut out most beef and quite a bit of pork out. I will have to continue with that. I’m glad I can cook.

I want to lose 20 pounds, the doctor wanted me to lose 10, we compromised on 15 (which I have not lost), but I think I want to go back to 20. I feel better when I weigh less.

I’d already started up core work again on Sunday, so I will do more of it.

I’d love to walk around the neighborhood, but the clumps of Maskless Wonders make it a non-starter.

Much as I hate the exercise bike, the exercise bike it is. If my 95 year old mother can do 30 minutes a day, 7 days a week, I can work my way up to similar.

But I’m rattled.

Went to bed early; slept through the night.

Up early today. Have to fix BARD today, so I can move forward on it. There’s a deadline looming. Got two rejections on LOIs because they want someone with more experience in the tech sector. Which is understandable, but they SAID they wanted someone to communicate what they do to a more general audience. At least they responded, and I got responses from the companies themselves instead of a third party recruiter.

Client work. I have to come up with a new strategy for a struggling client. I have a few ideas, but I wish I had more time with them, because it’s hard to focus right now.

Classwork for Miracle of Human Languages later, and then maybe purging a few boxes in the basement. I need to get back to that.

I can’t believe it’s almost July. It’s hard not to feel defeated.

Especially when you look at the rampant corruption and stupidity people are getting away with, with absolutely no consequence.

Going back to the page will help. I hope.

Peace, friends.

Wed. March 18: Fluid Schedules

Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Waning Moon

I actually have a post over on Ink-Dipped Advice today, with some tips for adjusting to working from home. I have a few more posts scheduled in the upcoming weeks. I’m trying to catch up, and I will, eventually, get the other blogs back up to speed.

Cancellations coming in from small businesses on a few projects. One of my steady local clients, who is a small business, is getting holds and cancellations on what she does, so I bet that reverberates back to me eventually, too.

Turned in my reviews, put in the request for new books. Downloaded the last of the books for the contest, and am back to reading contest entries.

Received the check from the radio play, which is great, since it will be awhile before I have any more productions (they are done in front of a live audience).

Was in contact with a couple of theatre friends, who are worried about being out of work. Come on, unions, step up. This is your moment to prove why you’re relevant and necessary!

And, of course, Dickhead McConnell is kicking the aid package that would actually help people down the block. Truly an evil man. He’s doing all this, getting away with it, and now whines because his challenger calls him out.

Andrew Cuomo, Governor of NY, achieves more positive work in 12 hours than the entire administration has in four years. Because he gives a damn and doesn’t grift. I’ve always liked his style (even when I don’t agree with every decision). One of the last things we did before moving here was to vote for him in the 2010 election.

These airlines and other huge companies that are laying off tens of thousands of workers and then screaming for bailouts? Should not get a penny. They have the resources to give their workers paid leave, and are CHOOSING not to do so. Do not bail them out. They’ve squandered profits (lining top executive pockets and doing stock buy-backs). They’ve evaded taxes. Let them go under.

Let new businesses rise, created by ex-employees. Give them support. Set regulations so this kind of thing can’t happen again.

I might have to break up with a client next week — which I can ill afford to do. But this client is not taking the pandemic seriously. If she tries to put my life (and thereby my family’s life) in danger, I’ll have to leave. The client isn’t around this week, so I can work safely; but next week, I have no doubt there will be demands for in-person contact, because you know, “the flu is much worse. Everyone is making too big a deal out of this.”

I AM making a big deal out of it and will continue so to do. My life and my family’s lives depend on it.

Most places are being responsible and cancelling events, classes, etc. One is not, encouraging people to come in anyway to class, just keep a “safe” distance. Um, no. I’d stopped frequenting that place a couple of years back, because they call their fees “investments” instead of what they are, which is a fee for a good or service, and that turned me off.

CVS again refused to fill my pre-op prescription. When I called the doctor’s office to let them know, and to ask about rescheduling the surgery in light of the pandemic, I found out that they’d cancelled the surgery, but hadn’t gotten around to telling me yet. I’d rather it was cancelled — they need to concentrate resources; while the first surgery was vital to keeping me alive, this one isn’t (or at least, isn’t yet — I have wiggle room). The scheduler felt bad because she couldn’t even give me a ballpark of when it might happen. I told her not to worry; let’s, literally, survive this pandemic first, and then we’ll sort it out.

Let my doctors know of the change, and told them I planned to stay home and quiet, and they’d only hear from me if something went terribly wrong.

Did client work yesterday, and will do some today. I’m not sure what next week will bring, so I’m just taking it one day at a time.

I SHOULD have done yard work on Monday when I came home, but I was too tired. Tuesday it rained. I’m hoping today and into the weekend will be nice enough so I can work outside a bit. They said it might hit the 60’s — maybe I’ll put the Adirondack chairs out on the deck.

I’m thinking of ordering some of the spray paints I need online and doing my spring painting and touch-ups while I’m home. At the same time, I hesitate to spend money on anything that’s not absolutely necessary (like food, insurance payments, rent, and a little to utilities) when I’m losing work.

The writing is going slowly, but going. I’m hoping to dive back into edits and revisions this weekend, as well as writing new work. I should draft a new play for a contest. I’m hoping some grant money comes through for which I applied before my surgery (that would be June). If and when it comes, it would be a much-needed infusion.

I’m tempted to write a light, romantic comedy in these dark times, just for fun. Sort of like the radio plays — comedy, romance, mystery, banter. The only thing I know so far is that my protagonist’s name is Sharon. I’ll let the rest simmer for a bit. It will come out when it’s ready.

I might buy some more paper and pens this weekend. Not that I don’t have a kazillion notebooks, but I started a few projects on yellow pads, and I like to do the entire project on the same medium in which I started. One of my eccentricities. And pens tend to run out just when you need them most. There’s plenty I still draft in longhand, before putting it into the computer.

Back to the page, and best wishes to you all.

Published in: on March 18, 2020 at 6:30 am  Comments Off on Wed. March 18: Fluid Schedules  
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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday, June 20, 2009
Day before Dark Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy, warm,humid

Yesterday, I was what I commonly call “a waste of food.” Not particularly productive at all. Checked the job boards, finished up a couple of client projects, did a bit of research trying to get quotes from a hire I need to make in the next couple of weeks, dealt with some unpleasant stuff, etc.

The weather dried up and the sun actually peeked out for a few minutes (although not long enough for the morning glories to open).

I actually got some writing done in the afternoon — oh joy, oh rapture. Not much, and afternoons aren’t usually my best creative times, but it felt good to get some stuff down on paper. I read the Wharton bio, and did some more research for Prague. September’s really not all that far away. Prepped a bit for both DC and the NHL draft. Figured it will take me less time next week to drive 329 miles than to fly it, with all the time it takes to GET to and from airports, get through security, etc.

And explain this to me: If I want to fly to Montreal, and the direct flights out of JFK don’t fit my schedule, so I try to go out of a smaller airport or a different airport, all of them have me change planes in either Philadelphia, Newark, or DC. Now, if I could just stay in DC on Thursday night and fly out, it wouldn’t be a problem, but I can’t, because I can’t haul the stuff I need for the weekend down to the rally with me. If I book out of Philly, I have to change planes in Newark; if I book out of Newark, I have to change planes in Philly. But I can’t ORIGINATE on a direct flight out of either airport. WTF? If there is a connection,doesn’t it mean the connecting flight is travelling DIRECTLY? So why can’t I join it for the direct portion,from, say, Newark?

And the airlines wonder why they’re losing money! Not only do they treat their customers like crap, overcharge and underfeed them, but the routes are totally illogical.

So I’m driving.

Crunching the numbers, even with gas prices back up to nearly $3/gallon here, it’s still cheaper than flying AND takes less time, which is also money,

But that means I’ll be home for maybe four hours of sleep, so my bag for the weekend has to be packed and ready by Wednesday. All I can do Friday morning is pick it up and walk out the door.

Got a little bit of writing done this morning. I hope I can clear some errands out of the way this morning, before the next major storm hits. I’ll move the car up the hill. We’re on flood watch until late tomorrow afternoon. Let’s hope it’s a precaution, and not a prediction.

Back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on June 20, 2009 at 6:45 am  Comments (1)  
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