Tuesday, August 26, 2014

That wouldn't work

Manic today.  I always seem to be manic when I see Doc [scratching head]. 

Ron kept checking on our ride, because, unlike work, we actually had an appointment.  Sure enough, there were problems, but they fixed it. 

We got one of our favorite drivers.  Even better, she stopped at a gas station.  I bolted and bought some snack foods while the driver pumped gas. 

I was a little worried about putting Ron in the back, because the backseat driver's side passenger was an autistic guy in a helmet.  I have seen autistic clients beat up the vehicle, grab the steering wheel while in transit, and hit the drivers, so I'm wary. 

I really did not want Ron in the back. 

Yes, I know most autistic souls are lovely people.  Two of my favorite relatives are high-functioning autistic.  Let's just say, the ones I've met on paratransit can run the gamut of behavior. 

Ron decided to play some music on his talking book machine, which made him the immediate star of the show.  The other client began clapping along with Gloria Estefan, and vocalizing, as we went down the road.  It was a rather surreal moment. 

One of those "I have to put this in the blog" moments - but today I actually remembered. 

We got the client dropped off at his day program, which is in a terrible area.  Don't any caregivers actually do research?  I wouldn't want anyone I loved in that area unless they were helping me with a Bible Handout. 

Maybe he lives in a group home and they don't care. 

Yet another reason I would never have Ron in a group home.  The ones I have seen really take advantage of the clients.  The clients are usually dirty, unkempt, hungry.  Behavior issues.  The drivers agree. 

We finally got to the office.  The driver overshot it a bit but I told her that was OK, let us out in the street.  I used a parking lot entrance as a "ramp".  I went up to the front of the buliding, which is set back from the street. 

I got a little irritated as I viewed the flights of stairs, leading into the building.  Well, that wouldn't work. 

I went around the side of the building.  Aha.  There's a switchback wheelchair ramp leading up to the building.  I failed to notice: it did not have an exterior door handle.  In fact, when I got to the top, I realized it was the "emergency exit" egress ramp.  That wouldn't work. 

I was pretty upset.  Ron begged me to park him on the sidewalk so I could walk around.  "No, I won't do that" I told him grimly.  "I'm going to get you in the building." 

I spotted some office workers walking past. 

"Excuse me!" I said loudly.  They stopped.  "Where is the Federally required Americans with Disabilities Act wheelchair ramp?"    They paused and gaped at me. 

"Um, in the back?" one replied.  "You didn't see it when you parked?" 

Some of us are crippled!  I didn't say that, though. 

"We took public transit" I replied.  "Not everyone can drive a car."  They gave us a pitying look as they walked past, in the street, as though Ron might be contagious. 

Ron kept telling me to calm down.  At the very least I told him, they could have had a sign up at the other doors, telling wheelchair users to go around back.  Agh. 

I was not happy walking into the building, but I didn't want to present angry.  I take pride in my label as a "very stable" patient and knew Doc would have a resident on hand to observe.  I enjoy both. 

I walked around the ground floor, pushing Ron in his wheelchair, as I calmed down.  I found the office easily and went in when I felt ready. 

The office is a lot smaller.  No view of the skyline.  They must have been raping him on the rent at the old place.  This place looked a lot more reasonable.

I did wish they had a vending machine, but, [sigh] they don't. 

A resident came out and got me, we talked a little, and Doc came in.  "I can tell you're manic" he said cheerfully "I could hear you down the hall." 

We discussed my case, and I shared Ron was uncomfortable with my level of depression.  "It's my understanding, you want me functional.  If I can bathe, work, eat, take care of the cats, that's OK. If I'm not functional then we need to talk?"  He agreed. 

"I just don't like the illness beating her up" Ron replied.  Doc agreed. 

I asked for more phenergan while they were doing my prescriptions.  It works very well for me, against migraines, and minimal interactions.  It isn't addictive either - always a primary concern for me.

My birth mother always made it clear she had a lot of addictions, and it was important for me to stay away from anything that might cause a problem.  My adoptive mother completely backed that up.  As I got older I realized it was just a good policy. 

Other than that it was pretty standard.  We left. 

I did give Doc a scripture booklet in a bag of candy.  I've been seeing him for 8 years.  He is about the only important person in my life I haven't really shared my faith - I felt it was time.  He can read it or throw it away, it's up to him. 

We had a long wait afterward, an hour and a half on our pickup.  Doc actually walked by, going to the bathroom.  "You're still here?" he asked with concern. 

Ron explained: paratransit. 

I cheerfully noted we don't have to buy car insurance, and he laughed. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Some help

Ron usually takes an afternoon nap and gets up in the early evening. 

When he did, he told me, "Oh, I decided your life is so much better with me."  He then proceeded to remind me of all the indignities I suffered growing up and "remind" me that he didn't do that. 

I had some very bitter thoughts.  One, thanks for reminding me of all I've endured.  You just made me more depressed. 

Two, you're no treat yourself.  The all night verbal abuse and blackouts come to mind.  Caregiver burnout.  Old things I won't repeat because, like I said, it'll just worsen my depression. 

"I wish you'd stayed asleep" I thought then and at various moments throughout the evening. 

After that, he did his existential stuff for a while, which I always find completely depressing.  The sad thing, I think he really believed he was helping me out. 

I told him I found it very depressing so he wanted to talk about depression.  I told him: you wonder how "You can tell if I am really fighting the depression or letting it run all over me without resisting". Well, I got up. I took my shower. I went to work and worked over 13 hours sometimes. I come home. I cook food. I take my meds. I do laundry. I take care of the cats.  Clearly I am fighting. 

I found it pretty insulting I even had to explain that.  He says I am "lazy" - even though I work 13 hour days, day after day, literally dripping with sweat unloading a truckload of merchandise... he'll say things like "God made my back go out so you'd have to work for a change."   I guess, to him, "emotional laziness" goes right along with that. 

You and I know the truth.  I don't have to defend myself; my own actions speak for themselves.  I'm a dligent worker.  I battle demons at every moment of every day.  I fight harder than Ron can imagine. 

Then I looked up the taqueria.  Our former favorite, it went on the naughty list when I caught it shut down with the Health Inpsector, writing in his notebook, outside.  The inspector looked pretty grim. 

I finally dug up the report.  It's horrific.  5 visits in a one month period.  Multiple, multiple, violations.  Twice they had to throw out the entire contents of the fridge.  Cross-contamination.  Handwashing issues. 

Do I need to go on?  I was horrified. 

Ron immediately leapt to their defense, I think identifying with the restaurant owner.  "How do you know the health inspector wasn't trying to extort bribes?  How do you know these are real violations?" 

Ron, I told him, five visits. Each visit has multiple citations.  I'm never eating there anymore.  We argued. 

You have to admit, he demanded, they might be innocent. 

Sure, they might, I told him. 

But you can go eat there on your own.  I'm not going. 

If you get sick, I added, I'm not taking care of you either.  He got pretty upset at that.

I reminded him, you need me stocking your vending machines.  Do you want me sick?  Who's going to fill your machines? 

He got angry at changed the subject.  Apparently, I was just supposed to "open my mind" to the fact that the health inspector could have gone to all the trouble of "fabricating" these reports because "He has a friend with a competing business, or he wanted a bribe." 

People, I don't believe that for a second. 

Anyway, feeling far worse than I did while he was asleep, I now have to wind down and go to bed.  Agh. 

Make it better

Sorry I haven't posted lately. 

Rapid cycling.  Short "def" - bouncing up and down like a friggin' bungee jumper. 

I am happy I'm not "mixed" - that's up and down at the same time, and like I told Ron "That's where everyone suicides".  Well worth the $8 a month for the Depakote to keep that away.  Worth the weight gain.  And the brain fog...

Anyway.  Torbie cat has been an awesome, sweet, girl, sleeping with me every night, and even during some naps. 

Ron's been alternating between supportive-ish and verbally abusive.  He went off on me for 5 minutes today, in front of customers, because I asked him to bend his knees as I cut around a sharp corner.  I couldn't make the turn with him sticking his legs straight out.  He kept accusing me of "attacking him" and trying to get me... I don't know what the hell he wanted. 

Anyway, he wound down, I avoided him, except for the usual bellowing for me now and then.  Exhausting.  And it was a short day! 

I finally had the energy to go to Sears and order my glasses.  I got 2 pair bifocals for about $300.  Not bad considering, and purple frames to boot. 

Ron paid.  I don't feel at all guilty for that.  He liked that mall. 

I should get my glasses in 2 weeks. 

Depression days are awful, I can't even do my God Time half the time.  Manic days are good but I can't catch up on everything I couldn't do during the depressions. 

Work is good.  I'm showering and keeping up with the laundry. 

I'm just weary. 

Tomorrow (as scheduled for 3 months) I'll see Doc.  Odds are I'll be manic.  [rolleyes] 

I get that Ron feels very frightened and uncertain when I'm depressed.  He's very dependent on me.  I understand that translates to lashing out at me. 

It doesn't "make it better". 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Are you going to see a doctor?

I own a couple pair of shoes. 

I have my standard leather-upper steel toed loafers, ($20).  I wear them to work and on the occasional Bible Handout.  They also work for church. 

Second most popular, my $3 fake crocs.  I got them at the dollar store.  I wore those yesterday.  I also wear them to church.

I also own a very battered pair of sneakers ($12).  I wear them on Bible Handouts.

Lastly, the sandals, a comfortable slip on.  Most expensive at $24.  I bought them for a wedding but they work well for church in mild weather. 

Yesterday, I wore the "crocs".  They worked OK with my battered foot.  I took my foot out and displayed it to a few people who wanted to know why I was limping.  They all gasped and asked me the same question "When are you going to see a doctor?" 

I'm not, I replied.  They can't do anything for a broken toe.  [Not a greenstick (incomplete) fracture of the pinky toe.]

Not only that, sick people go to the doctor.  I don't want to be anywhere near that, especially as we enter our busy season at work. 

I spent enough on pain relieving sprays, etc.  Those actually work, especially the arnica gel and the icy hot spray. 

The arnica's done a great job reducing the bruising.  The Icy Hot spray relieves the pain without messing with my lithium levels, liver, or kidneys (unlike an over the counter pain reliever).   

Speaking of kidneys, Ron and I ride with a lot of dialysis patients.  I never, EVER, want dialysis.  They are all universally sick, weak, and depressed.  Half of them can't even get on the vehicle under their own steam. 

Let me go. 

I have some personal issues with organ transplants.  If Ron or I are brain dead and deemed suitable, go ahead, but don't give us anything. 

For instance, at work they are doing a bone marrow registry drive.  That's a good thing.  Donating myself?  Notsure. 

I just did research.  Not only am I too fat, but I have a delusional disorder.  Looks like I couldn't donate.


God IS watching

I had a migraine, Wednesday.  I worked anyway.  Over the course of the day, at appropriate 4-to-6 hour intervals, I took a couple doses of over the counter headache meds, which are known to raise lithium levels. 

Later that night, I ran into and fell over the couch, breaking my left pinky toe and bruising up my left forearm. 

I had Thursday off, we just went to Walmart and home.  I started getting a little manic.  Thank you JESUS! 

I had to work today.  I had to work today, early.  As in, get up at 2 AM.  We went in and paid a $5 refund because the bill changer went down.  She worked the night shift and the other vendor's wife witnessed the transaction.  The other vendor's wife told me "Oh, there she is."   Note that.

We saw the Big Boss today because the other vendor's moving into their new breakroom up front, near us.  I did what I could to be helpful and bless them because, after all, God IS watching. 

We had truck day - we went to the warehouse and I got a whole flatbed of merchandise.  One of the other vendors, a "big" customer, gave me an approving nod as he saw me pushing the behemoth (ow!  With a broken toe!) through the store. 

Our friend picked us up and I unloaded the pallet right as the Big Boss showed up.  He was impressed. 

I got the loaded handcarts shoved into our area.  We saw the day shift as I loaded the machines and Ron did his department.  The Big Boss shook his head in amazement as Ron rolled by in his wheelchair, again and again, holding a case of soda in his lap each time. 

Ron's pretty unstoppable. 

The state movers took a minute to adjust the lineup of some vending machines - they had been shoved very close together and it was impossible to open or close them.   Perfect, because, according to contract, they are the only ones allowed to move the machines anyway! 

Finally done.  We have been at work for going on 8 + hours.  The swing shift starts to come in, and a lady runs over "Oh, your bill changer had a light on it?  That's because it ripped me off for $5."  No, it didn't.  It ripped the other lady off.  Once a machine "takes the money" it shuts down, at least ours do.  It couldn't have taken $5 and then another $5 12 hours later. 

However, we paid the refund.  God will repay her if she's lying.  Like I said, God IS watching. 

Ron said he was OK on the food machines being a little light on soda, since the bottled vendor was stuffed.  We really are done.  I put up what I could on the racks, but since the other vendor was there the stockroom was pretty crowded. 

We can get it later.  Pick the battles.  Besides, I slept pretty poorly last night and I'm exhausted. 

All done.  Yay.  We had a good ride home with a driver I like.  I told her some of the outrageous-but-true stories of our life together.  She was roaring with laughter. 

After we got home, Ron said "Well, you need an audience."  Since when?  I could tell she was having a bad day and cheered her up. 

Ron is a little uncomfortable with me getting positive attention.  For instance, work seems to work like one of those ultimate workout machines.  My NEW pants are getting baggy now.  I told Ron I may need to size down again. 

"Don't lose too much weight" he replied.  "You'll get a lot of attention." 

Whatever!  I'm no whore.  I am very modest even on the hottest of days, covered from my neck to my knees and nearly to my elbows.  For Houston, that's positively prudish. 

Today, for instance, I saw a pair of hot pink hot pants I wish I could unsee. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sick enough not to write my usual book

I slept badly last night; woke up with a horrible headache.  Copied from my Facebook: 

This morning at 3:45 AM found me wranging a wild grasshopper on the transit van. Attracted by the lights, it flew aboard, causing the driver to flee the driving area and have hysterics. A chase ensued - me vs. grasshopper as the driver shrieked "Get it! Get it!" I caught it in my hand (I've had practice thanks to Baby Girl) and disembarked. I made sure the driver shut the door before I threw ...the bug into the air. Then I knocked on the door, showing my empty hands, and got back aboard.

Can you imagine if that had flown into her face as she went down the Beltway?

We went to work - I washed my hands very well, and worked. We have been there for all three shifts this week - very proud of that.

Oh, and I had a horrible headache. Since I could work and put up my soda I won't call it a migraine but it has been nasty.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Another Tidwell Handout

I was so eaten by depresison I couldn't even do my God Time. Showering was a massive undertaking but I can't scare the recipients!  

I knew depression would eat me alive if I stayed home.  It did every other time I did that, lately. 

We went to W. Tidwell @ Antoine. It was a good spot last time. I hoped to hand out 50 Bibles in an hour. I had mostly whole Bibles, the last of what I got with my "fun money" from Ron. They're a nice whole Bible with evangelism section, $1.40 each in a case. ...I got them from Lifeway.

However, as before, I handed them all out in half an hour. An African immigrant in a cab wanted 2. The cab driver leaned back away from the Bibles as I handed them in the window.

Everyone at the bus stop came over to get a Bible, except one lady. I went to her. New bus stop passengers kept running over as I faced them with the sign. This happened last time as well.

I had a couple people stop going the wrong way to get Bibles, including one old lady in a beat up car. She wanted 10. I "just happened" to have 10.  I always shudder when they do that, envisioning a horrific rear end collision.  I tried to get them served as quickly as possible. 
I kept running back and restocking.

I "only" had 50. Pretty soon I was out and yelling at Ron to put the sign down. I had about 3 Spanish left, but I also handed out a couple of my "emergency" Bibles (in case someone approaches me after I'm "out", it happened once and I truly had nothing to give him). I really did about 50.

Then we had half an hour to wait on our ride. Since "The worker is worthy of his wages" (1 Timothy 5:18), I took Ron out for a fried chicken special. He ate 6 pieces and had a great time.

I came home, took my pills, had a nap. Today was a lot better than staying home would have been.

Please pray for the recipients.

Monday, August 18, 2014

I wanna get better!

Hideous depression.

I recently found a song that completely describes my thoughts on the matter: 

I wanna get better. 

[big sigh]  Failing that, I tossed and turned all night.  Woke up at 2 AM for a delivery that never came.  Did what I could of my God Time (got the rest before I got online).  Torbie slept with me and woke me up a couple times snoring. 

Man, that cat can snore! 

I went to work totally depleted and worried about half a dozen things I couldn't fix.  We saw the other vendor, he's been amicable.  I told him I'm looking forward to his new breakroom to take some of the load off, and I meant it.  He laughed. 

We worked 13 hours today. 

Highlight of the day: pouring the French Vanilla powder into the wrong canister on the coffee vending machine.  Ugh.  Once it's in you can't get it out. Very frustrating. 

I did get plenty of whole beans (everyone likes our whole bean coffee), and added some grounds to the hopper. 

As I was stocking in the later afternoon, I came around a corner and saw the cranky customer frowning as she shoveled coins into the cold food vending machine.  I hid. 

[laugh]  One of the other employees saw me, looked, and looked back at me, grinning.  Pretty funny.   Best of all, she didn't blow my cover as I hid behind the other vendor's unplugged cold food vending machine. 

Not so fun when we came in though.  Both food machines were down and I had to throw away all the perishable food therein.  Having almost died of food poisoning back in 2004, I am adamant about food safety. 

We lost about $15 (wholesale) inventory.  Not horrific.  I fixed that.  I fixed the bottled vendor which had been naughty.  I stocked everything and helped Ron stock canned sodas.  Ron is impressed and appreciative. 

I stocked what I could for snacks.  They were pretty slow.  I suspect power was out for a long while this weekend. 

I paid some refunds.  Good.  I want people walking away happy.  I give them a choice between product or cash.  Most times they take the product. 

I was working hard.  I'm exhausted.  I didn't have problems with the depression while I was working.  Not really, other than the anxiety. 

Dr Pepper came, for the other vendor.  They swear we'll get our stuff on Wednesday.  Agh.  Get up at 2 AM two days in a week.  Ugh. 

Sandwiches came.  He's a nice guy.  I stocked most of them but held some back for later this week. 

Then we went to the warehouse, where I got the coffee supplies, cold food (more burritos and frozen sandwiches - the freezer was OK).  If something thaws out and refreezes you'll see ice crystals.  I didn't, and the temperatures were in the proper range. 

I also got some candy.  I stocked it all. 

Pretty soon it's time to go and it's pouring.  Ron and I prayed and the rain passed.  By the time our ride arrived, it was clear. 

Thank you Jesus.