Sunday, July 31, 2016

[bad word]

Yesterday I was so tired I didn't even do my God Time, much less my blog. 

I got up early and went to the warehouse.  All was well, except they were out of Coke.  We need Coke to run the business. 

So Ron talked to the driver and we went to the other warehouse.  I had to stand in line forever and then try to mush all the Cokes into the truck bed, amidst the other merchandise. 

Even "funner", I got to unload it all.  Knowing what I do now I will never allow Ron to help me unload, again.  Maybe light stuff like chips. 

I got that all put up on carts and pushed them into the building.  Fun times, especially in feels-like-100 hot sun and humidity. 

The extra trip to the other warehouse vastly cut into our stocking time, so I didn't even attempt to do snacks, I just focused on getting the inventory put up and helping Ron.  I reminded him, a couple times, we can always do it Monday. 

We had a couple of "bad marks" already and could not afford to get another one by suspending our pickup.  So I made what I felt was the best decision.  Snacks weren't empty, they will be on Monday, but they were OK for Saturday. 

We finally came home and I took a nap.  We went out to dinner at a BBQ place.  On the way back, I mentioned I have FAS (fetal alcohol syndrome) and the driver told me this horrible story about how her in laws tricked her into drinking 3 alcohol drinks when she was pregnant.  "I couldn't taste it, I only tasted the sweet, and I was really craving ice at the time, so I had 3." 

Later that night, she said, the baby got so restless she thought she was going to have a miscarriage.  Yup, fetuses don't like that alcohol.  "I swore to God" the driver told me "I would never drink alcohol again while I was pregnant". 

Well, there's that.  Of course Ron tried to tell her the baby was maimed for life.  Even if it is, I wouldn't say that.  I just said I was sure she was fine.  No one knows how much alcohol is bad, so it's hard to say.  She may have a deficit off what she "might" have been, but there's no way to know. 

We came home and I went to bed.  This morning, I got up, but I was so tired I didn't even want to do my God Time.  I did it later. 

We had breakfast and then I took a nap for a couple hours.  I had a strange dream about a blue macramé project. 

I checked the mail and Ron's test results were back. 

Good news: his leg veins are fantastic.  Very good function. 

Bad news: his back is a hot mess (that phrase wasn't in the report).  Report said "Severe degenerative disc disease" (not the first time I've heard that) and "Spinal stenosis" (narrowing of the spinal cord canal.)  Oh, yeah, and some nerves are rubbing on bone.  No wonder he's in so much pain when he stands up. 

L2-L5 are toast. 

"Recommendations: neurosurgery"

[bad word]

Ron is in really good spirits but I am trying to figure it all out.  Does Ron get surgery?  How much will it cost?  How in the name of vending will I manage the business and do the caregiving?  I can't hand over keys to our business to anyone, and I don't want strangers in my house. 

[bad word]

Friday, July 29, 2016

Take it off of hold

Today was a long day, 12 hours, so I may be incoherent. 

I didn't sleep well last night and got up at 2 AM.  I got ready for work. 

Ron's legs were bothering him, a lot, so we decided to take the wheelchair.  Paratransit was able to adjust the trips to accommodate the wheelchair. 

On our first trip, Ron would have been packed in the back seat with 2 other people, so a good thing he was riding in his wheelchair.  They rode us around for an hour before taking us to work. 

Our delivery was supposed to come between 6-8 AM.  It didn't come until after 10.  It was so late we had to suspend our pickup from work "Put the ride on hold". 

In the meantime, we did all the stocking we could.  Ron's leg has bothered him all day, nothing I could do about that. 

He drank a lot around dinner but I'm getting ahead of myself. 

We finally left work around 11 or so.  We went to the bank to deposit some change.  We had a good ride.  All the drivers were nice about strapping Ron down in the wheelchair. 

We got to the bank and did our business.  It takes a while to do a coin dump. Also, there were a lot of people there.  I guess a lot of people get paid at the end of the month. 

Good thing I remembered to mail my health insurance today.  The PO box is in Dallas so I'm not too worried about it getting there. 

We had to put the bank ride home, on hold, because we were running so late.  According to Dr Pepper, they had a problem with a printer, and the guy got lost trying to find us.  Frustrating. 

Ron did give them my phone number as a secondary. 

Back to the bank, we finally finished, Ron paid me, and we called to take that ride off of hold.  We had to wait a while on that but we did it. 

We got home around 2.  I was exhausted, hungry, and thirsty. 

I think I did the smart thing, I had a small snack and then took a nap.  I slept for about 2 hours and woke up pretty energized, for me. 

I still have some anxiety, etc, but not awful considering.  I did go way over my caffeine allowance today, waiting on our rides.   Not excusing that, but it may come back to bite me later tonight. 

I notice if I have too much caffeine, I can usually get a nap, but later on I have trouble sleeping at night.  I hope I'm wrong. 

Ron, frustrated with his leg pain, called the doctor.  The test results could take 7-10 days to come back.  If something is urgent they will call us. 

When we got home I don't know what he did but he was quiet while I slept.  When I got up, though, he got into the vodka and wine, telling me he was "sorry if he had a blackout but he couldn't take it anymore".  So far he has behaved. 

I hope that continues.  It's been a long day and the last thing I need is him belligerent all night. 

Ugh. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Lazy and boring

I was lazy and boring today. 

About the only thing of interest, Ron has had me checking his blood sugars.  So we found out it went to over 180 after eating fried rice and a skillet meal from Denny's.  We also found out it apparently isn't affected by alcohol (?).  I checked him before and after vodka (about half an hour after the vodka) and the numbers were about the same or a little lower. 

I have plenty of test strips and always happy to stick him.  My hands shook a couple times but I got the readings every time.  His sugars are still a little high after eating, clearly, but the fasting sugars are in the 80's which is good. 

He's more a starting type 2.  We will see what Doc (almost typed that as God) says when we see him to review Ron's test results. 

Ron requires a deeper stick (almost at the deepest setting), and a wider lancet (the mean kind).  He doesn't bleed otherwise.  He has more meat on his fingers than I do.  I have longer, slender, fingers, a legacy from my piano-playing mother.  I can use a very thin lancet at a light setting and get a good blood drop. 

I am a big fan of www.bloodsugar101.com.  She has all kinds of information. 

My sugars run a little high fasting but my AIC was 5.3, an excellent reading.  I don't worry about it. 

I did weigh myself today and I was about 235.  I need to focus on getting below 200 at least.  I feel like I am carrying an apron of fat on my abdomen. 

Not much fun during the summer, let me tell you. 

In between blood sugar readings, I did my God Time and watched some Supernatural (where Dean goes to hell, and is released).  That's when they introduced the Castiel character.  Fans liked "Cass" so much they kept him and here he is several years later. 

Of course Supernatural theology is all out of whack, but it's entertaining.  I haven't received any conviction over watching the show so I don't worry about it. 

Then I took a nap.  Why?  Because I have to get up at 2 AM tomorrow.  We have a soda delivery coming.  At least I have a good hand cart to transport the soda, now. 

In addition to getting the delivery, I will have to do all my usual work and help Ron.  I believe Ron may want to sort some change too.  The bill changer eats a lot of quarters. 

I may take my shower tonight and save the trouble tomorrow morning.  I'm still debating about that.  I will be groggy, depressed, and exhausted.  I am slightly less so, at present. 

Especially when I have to shave my legs.  I really hate shaving my legs at 2 in the morning. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wednesday

"I can't help him" the driver told me "Or I'll get in trouble."  I stared at Ron, struggling to move himself on his rolling walker (he was sitting on the seat).  I couldn't believe it.  I ended up helping Ron instead. 

The driver had taken "You can't transport someone sitting on a walker" to mean "You cannot help someone on a walker" and was forcing the clients (there was another one who was even worse off than Ron) to do for themselves.  I came very close to calling in a formal complaint on the driver, but Ron said he would "fire himself". 

Maybe when someone falls off their walker and hurts themselves, he will understand the difference between assist and transport.  And I thought I was literal! 

I'm still upset about that. 

I got to sleep in and wake up at 6 AM.  I took my shower, did my God Time later, and off to the warehouse.  I got 3 cases of chips.  We had to wait an hour on our pickup. 

We had the driver I already mentioned.  I didn't like him one.  bit.  I was pretty clear on that, too. 

I was really upset when I saw how he treated the other client, an elderly, obese woman who could barely bend over to pick her purse off the floor.  He forced her to propel herself from the vehicle to her front door, seated on the walker (which is really hard).  Yes, she really should have been in a wheelchair, but people can be surprisingly stubborn about things like that.  Ron has always been happy to use the wheelchair but pitched a fit when I bought him a support cane because "Only old people use a cane".  But he'll use a wheelchair anytime. 

The other lady told me she had just buried her husband.  She was clearly pretty broken up about it.  She was struggling to balance her packages as she sat on the walker, and it was so upsetting to me I turned away. 

I made a big point of helping Ron down the stairs, just so the driver would feel bad.  When we got into work they told us they would be waxing in front of our area, in about an hour.  We had to rush to do all the "stockroom" stocking and do our inventory, put up the carts, etc. 

We did that. 

We managed to finish 'most everything in time, and left around our pickup.  It was raining.  I held the umbrella over both our heads but Ron complained it was "poking" him and pushed it to the side.  Our ride came pretty fast and we went home. 

I took a nap for a couple of hours and then got up.  I had a moderate headache and took some aspirin.  Ron was still asleep so I left him alone.  I did some of my God time (Isaiah) and did the prayer portion when we got back from dinner. 

We went out to dinner at a cheap place and had a good meal.  Paratransit left us there for over an hour, though, so Ron left a good tip to compensate the waitress.  I like that about him, he is very respectful of service providers, and generous. 

I got my hashbrowns extra crispy and they were delicious.  If you've ever eaten potato sticks (they may just be a Southern thing) it was like a whole mound of delicious potato sticks.  Yum. 

I had a couple diet sodas, I hope I don't regret that when I try to sleep tonight. 

When we got home I finished my God Time and fed the cats.  They love their canned salmon in gravy, still, thank God. 

Although, if I end up with a surplus of cat food I know now how to get to the shelter. 

Oh, I'm tired.  My headache wants to come back so I will probably need to take some more aspirin.  Yeah, it's been more than 4 hours so I ought to be OK. 

We haven't heard anything back from Ron's medical providers but I will also check my email. 

It's been a long day. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

"You were having that good sleep"

Today was a little bit crazy. 

I got up at 4 AM and got ready for Ron's exams.  I got him up and dressed, made sure he was wearing his sandals, etc.  He got in the wheelchair and off we went to the hospital. 

It was very nice and they had complimentary drinks and fruit salad, for those interested.  They even had a fruit-infused water (it had melons, cucumber, mint, and citrus - I had a glass and it was interesting, but I didn't have another). 

Ron and I filled out some paperwork and paid the copay.  They had us wait for a while.  After about a half hour, they took us back to ultrasound.  It was a little after 8 AM.  She had him take off his shorts (glad he had clean underwear) and lie down on the bed. 

I've seen Ron get leg vein ultrasounds before, twice.  It was pretty much the same thing this time.  At one point he told her "That's what has been bothering me, right there" as she pressed the wand against his foot.  Good, maybe there is something relevant that can be fixed. 

I chatted with the tech about testicular ultrasounds and she told me she used to practice on her husband, when she was just starting out. 

Ron fell asleep during the second leg and began snoring loudly.  We had a quiet giggle over that.  Suddenly someone banged on the door.  It was the office manager.  "Your 7:30 is here and wants to know when you will be finished". 

"He's late" the tech told me after the manager left.  "He can keep waiting.  I'm going to do this right."  I appreciated the sentiment. 

I was disappointed the manager woke Ron up.  "You were having that good sleep" the tech told him.  "The kind you only get in the morning".

I got Ron dressed, put him in the wheelchair, and we rolled out into the hall, where we were appropriated by the radiologist.  He asked some questions, and had some questions, about Ron's clot filter.  He said he would have to do some research before he could proceed. 

We said that was fine with us and waited while he made sure it was OK to MRI a clot filter (Ron's still alive, so I guess).  I asked God to give Doc the right answers. 

Doc came and got us, and took us into the room.  Ron had to walk a little to get to the platform.  The wheelchair, being metal, couldn't get too close to the machine.  Doc had me empty out my pockets and said I would be staying with him, right? 

I thought it would be like a CAT scan, but I had drunk a lot of diet soda and was having some anxiety.  I wasn't too sure, but Doc said it was no big deal and left. 

I didn't know they would lock the door. 

At first, it was OK.  Just some loud humming and banging.  But the banging was erratic and I kept jumping.  Ron was fine.  I kept waiting for one of his implanted devices to rip out of his body but nothing happened.  He just lay there.  All I could see were his lower legs and feet.  BANG!  AH!  Oh, it's the machine. 

HUMMMMMMMMMM BANG BANG BANG BANG HUMBANGHUMMMMMBANG UGH. 

All of a sudden, Ron goes "What about our wedding rings?" 

"THEY'RE TITANIUM" I yelled at him.  "SHOULD BE FINE"

Then I thought.  Ron's ring was titanium.  Mine was tungsten.  Would tungsten be a problem?  Maybe I should put my ring in the pocket on the back of the wheelchair.  That's when I got up and tried to open the door, only to discover I was locked in. 

Great, I am trapped in a room with the machine from hell making all kinds of noise designed to freak out a person with PTSD, which I have.  I would have hated to see my blood pressure, and I wasn't even in the machine. 

It seemed like 2 hours, but was probably closer to 25 minutes.  Finally, Doc came in and let Ron go.  I couldn't wait to get out of there and I wasn't even in the machine. 

Please God, don't ever let me need an MRI.  Or rather, let me be drugged if I am.  Or unconscious.  Although the noise would probably wake me from a coma. 

[shudder]  That was the worst part of my day. 

We came home after that and I took a nap.  Surprisingly, I could sleep.  I slept for a little bit with Torbie.  When I got up, Biscuit, who'd been on the floor, tried to get into bed with us.  Torbie smacked him across the head and hissed at him. 

Torbie is very sweet with her humans, but she's a bitch to other cats! 

I got up and we went to Walmart.  This was Ron's way of apologizing to me for such a short trip yesterday.  He overslept his alarm and I had to wake him up. 

It must have been the effects of that leg ultrasound!  He was having a good time!  I hated to wake him. 

We went to Walmart.  I didn't need much, I mainly wanted some aspirin and food.  I got that.  I didn't get any cat food because I just bought a case yesterday. 

The store was full of screaming toddlers and kids yelling in Spanish.  It didn't even faze me, not after the adventure in the MRI room.  I got what I wanted, and some takeout for Ron.  He wanted fried rice and chicken strips.  OK, I can do that. 

I don't fix him dinner most nights, mainly because he prefers takeout and TV dinners to my cooking.  I'm not a bad cook - I had customers lining up 2 hours in advance to buy my rotisserie chicken with homemade gravy, but he just prefers the absolute consistency of a premade meal. 

I'd say it's a head injury thing but he was like that, before.  If I do cook he nearly always makes yum, yum noises and praises it to the skies, but he just prefers takeout.  OK. 

He had me check his sugars a few times the last day or so.  Everytime, it has been a little high.  Doc may want to put Ron on some Metformin or another blood sugar drug. 

We just have to wait on all the results to come in - then I suppose Doc will call us to make an appointment.  Or we make the appointment ourselves. 

It shouldn't take too long to write the MRI report. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

I need to go to bed

I woke up with a headache.  WTF, I thought.  I just finished my cycle.  I'm supposed to get the headache before the cycle, not after. 

I took some Excedrin, got up, and took my shower.  I did my God Time later.  God understood. 

We went to work, which was pretty uneventful.  The other vendor was there and we showed him the tires on the handcart.  We replaced the inflatable pneumatic tires, with a solid rubber "no flat" tire which has been great.  It only cost $40 and you bet it was worth every penny.  He was very interested. 

"I've used the cart" I told Ron "To carry 30 cases of Dr Pepper.  Not only that, I did 10 cases of bottled water on Saturday with no problem."  So, they work.  Glad I saw the tires on a Dr Pepper handcart, and glad Ron and looked into getting them for ourselves. 

That is a definite business "win". 

We had a long day at work and did everything.  Some of the things I do:

  • Help Ron "What's this?" 
  • Help Ron "Can you get me a...."
  • Help Ron get soda from the fridge to put into the bottled vendor. 
  • Replace said soda. 
  • Fill up the snack machine: chips, cookies, pastry, crackers, cookies, trail mix, granola bars, etc.  Each vending machine has between 40 to 60 selections and each row has  to be filled, on a good day. 
  • "What's this?"
  • Help Ron with the inventory if we are doing a supply run or placing an order. 
  • Service food machine, fill it up with good things to eat. 
  • Change banks: fill up quarters, dimes, nickels, as needed.  Since our chips are 70 cents I fill up a lot of nickels. 
  • "What's this?"
  • Check the path is clear for Ron to go to the bathroom.
  • "You need to help him" [he is struggling with something and too proud to ask for help]
  • Service coffee machine, make sure powder levels are OK, cups are stocked, and empty the waste bucket (aka the yuck bucket).
  • Sometimes: take money out of the vending machines. 
  • "Where's the Coke, Heather?"
  • "Is this a Coke or a Diet Coke?"
  • "Can I get change?"
You get the idea.  All done, we came home.  We rode with a driver who hated cats.  I can't fathom a person who hates cats, and wonder what kind of childhood they had. 

In my case, all 3 of my cats picked me.  They wanted to live with me.  That's an honor, I try to respect that and make it worth their while.  After all, they gave up their reproductive organs to live with me.  That's a pretty big deal. 

The driver did agree the catio was a good idea, no one has to encounter a cat unless they walk into my house. 

I just have to marvel at people who hate cats, and I have to figure someone like that ran over poor Gravy, or hurt him.  After all, in addition to a very bad break, he had been kneecapped.  That's some severe trauma.  It makes me sick to think about it. 

I don't regret putting him down, knowing all that.  These days if someone gets badly hurt we can just amputate and keep them, but back then they were still outside/inside cats.  That would not have worked, a 3 legged cat outside. 

Anyway, onto happier subjects, I came home and all 3 cats were waiting to say hello.  I took some aspirin (my headache wasn't gone), and laid down for a little while. 

Then we went to Walmart, but our ride was late.  The driver asked Ron what happened to his head (he has a couple of abrasions from Friday).  He told the truth, I had too much vodka.  She asked me quietly if he had a drinking problem (he was in the back of the vehicle).  I told her yes, simply.  She asked me if he got mean with it.  I told her, sometimes, simply.  She looked at me with such pity. 

And that will probably be all over the system by the time I finish this post, but Ron's the one who said it.  I don't feel bad for elaborating.  He would be the first to say he can act like "a real creep". 

He always tells me not to believe what he says when he is having a blackout (awful things).  He was trying to throw some of my old sexual sins back at me, but he got me mixed up with some other woman and kept throwing tales I'd never heard in my face.  I had a hard time not laughing. 

"Ron!  You got your hoes mixed up!"  [snort]

Anyway, sometimes I think, and even Ron agrees, he might get, like, infected by a demon or something during his blackouts.  He acts very differently and seems hell bent on hurting us both. 

I don't know.  He's been behaving the last couple days. 

He did say tonight his leg was bothering him, about 3 hours after he ate a BBQ sandwich.  I checked his sugars and they were 130, pretty high considering he had eaten hours ago. 

He is diabetic, but usually his sugars are fine.  Anyway, could be high blood sugars are causing the leg "zaps" and pain, which have led to him drinking and having blackouts in the past.  Hopefully moderating his food intake, and avoiding bbq sauce (he said he had a bbq sandwich before the leg zaps on Friday, which led to the drinking and the blackout). 

I left Ron up front in the wheelchair and did my shopping.  I got some notebooks and index cards for work.  I find them endlessly useful. 

I got a case of Gravy Lovers Salmon for Biscuit and Baby Girl, happily they are still eating that flavor.  I got 2 big tins of cat treats for everyone. 

Did you know Torbie will pat Ron's arm with her paw when she wants treats?  It's very cute. 

I got protein bars for me, some mini chocolate bar "copays" for the various medical outings we'll have, and some soda.  Drink mix, pens, etc. 

I managed to get it all done in half an hour (I only had 40 minutes) and even had enough time to get some takeout before our ride came.  The driver was really nice about strapping Ron down in the back of the vehicle. 

I got everything put away and did some laundry.  I got Ron in his bath and make sure he got everything.  He has abrasions on both arms, one knee, and his head.  He fell a lot on Friday. 

Of course you don't mention the word "fall" around a medical person, EVER, unless you want a whole river of intervention.  We don't. 

Ron just needs to put the bottle away.  He already hates it.  I think that's a good start.  We will hear about his liver test results when we go back to primary Doc.  If they are altered in any way I think that will be additional motivation for Ron to reform. 

But it has to come from him.  He did agree to take milk thistle.  Milk thistle can help the liver and is totally safe to take.  It will either work, or it won't. 

In the past, Ron had really good results with his psoriasis when he was taking milk thistle.  In fact, it was frustrating.  He had been taking it about the time of his accident.  He was in a c-collar for a week until they could rule out a broken neck/back.  When they took it off his neck was suffering a horrible psoriasis attack. 

I asked them to give him something and they just scratched their heads and went "dunno" and asked me what he took before.  I told them, milk thistle.  And they just looked at me like "say what?"  They wouldn't give it to him. 

No, they'd rather he suffer untreated than to use something that had worked in the past.  Eventually it improved.  But he looked awful.  No wonder no one wanted to visit. 

Except me.  The old faithful hound, sitting by his bedside, holding his bad hand and talking to him. 

So, I know milk thistle will work for his psoriasis, if nothing else.  And his scalp is pretty bad. 

Tomorrow is MRI day.  We will see how that goes.  Good news it isn't really "interventional".  It's just going to look at him lying on the bed and take some images.  Then someone's going to do an ultrasound of his legs to make sure he doesn't have clots.  He said his legs are not as sensitive to rubbing as his back and abdomen, so that's good.  He had an abdominal ultrasound in 2008 and almost hit the ceiling at some points.  The copay isn't horrific, $100.  Considering he pays 20% that's not a bad deal. 

Ron has never wanted to change his medical insurance so we won't. 

The chocolate copay should be a big hit.  I have only once ever had a medical provider say "No I don't want that chocolate" and that was our vet.  She is on a special diet, so I bring her fancy soaps now.  She's happy, I'm happy, the cats are happy. 

And I need to go to bed. 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

I'm just so tired.

Ron's MRI is scheduled for Tuesday.  It should be interesting.  He has plenty of hardware in his body so it will all be a very interesting photo. 

Artery graft
Clot filter
Hernia mesh
Hardware in right tibia (big bone in lower leg) holding his bone together

All of it should be fine but it will be an interesting amount of paperwork.  I have no idea what the copay will cost us. 

Not surprisingly, I've had a lot of depression and anxiety today.  Mainly general worries about just about everything. 

I slept OK last night, and got a nap today (no thanks to slamming doors, next door).  I'm as rested as I can be.  I even tried to get "another" nap a little while ago but the anxiety was too bad. 

Maybe I need to double check my pill organizer.  I just checked.  Nope, everything's fine.  I didn't put Vitamin E in one weeks' worth of pills, but I fixed that, and took a couple while I was at it. 

I forget I have a lot on my plate.  He's an alcoholic.  He is disabled.  He has new, additional, issues.  He is in chronic pain.  We work together running a small business.  I have my own problems. 

It's understandable.  But still overwhelming. 

And people are all asking me, "When's your next Bible Handout?" and "How's it going?" - not really wanting to hear the answer.  So I tell them what they want to hear "I don't know" to the Handout, and "Fine" to the "going". 

I got to thinking about something.  A lot of those "fun quizzes" on Facebook are actually designed to get your security information.  Mother's maiden name, date of birth, hometown, etc.  First pet's name, first type of car driven, first street address, etc.  Don't take them. 

I don't. 

I dislike being tagged to "play" in games, either.  If I want to play I will join in. 

Well, I'm getting a little tired now and winding down.  Apparently the Vitamin E does help somehow. 

I'm just so tired. 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

"I know I'm being a pain in the ass"

Pretty tired, it's been a long day. 

As you know I didn't get any sleep the night before last.  Last night Ron woke me up accidentally. 

I was exhausted this morning, but my mood was OK.  Just tired.  I got my shower with a nice new bar of goats milk lavender soap I got from Swanson Vitamin. 

I dressed in my shorts, quarter crew socks, and a performance t-shirt.  Of course underwear and my steel toe sneakers. 

We went to the warehouse, they had water.  I bought 10 cases per Ron.  I didn't have much room for snacks after getting all his drinks, but I did what I could. 

I loaded the truck, unloaded the truck (Ron helped a little, as much as his back would permit - which was sufficient), got everything on hand carts, and into the building.  I did my stocking and helped Ron with his. 

Pretty soon we were done. 

I took Ron out in the wheelchair, which he appreciated.  He isn't up for walking more than, say, 20 feet at a time. 

As a result, I am glad he keeps his alcohol in the kitchen, a good 45 feet away from his bedroom.  He has to be sober, and very motivated, to go get a drink. 

We came home, I had a short nap.  That helped. 

We got up and decided to get some BBQ.  He called our driver, who came (Ron paid him and bought his dinner). 

Ron was pretty stiff, so I brought the wheelchair.  That worked pretty well for Ron.  I just had to fold it and put it in the truck bed, then unfold it and take it out.  It was harder getting it in than it was getting it out. 

Actually, it slid around in transit.  It was hardest getting the wheelchair moved back by the tailgate.  I had to reach over, grab something, and manually drag it backwards to the tailgate (which was closed), then open the tailgate and remove the chair. 

But I know, if our roles were reversed, Ron would do it for me.  He had an easy time as a result and even went through the line with me. 

I wanted French Toast.  Now the BBQ place will serve some breakfast items for dinner, but they don't always like to. 

"I know I'm being a pain in the ass" I started, then ordered the French toast.  They were seemingly happy to make it although I'm sure the line cook in the back had a few things to say about me. 

The cashier was happy to help carry the tray to our table as I pushed Ron in the wheelchair.  It has been my experience, as a disabled person, and loving one, that most people are very nice if you ask them for help. 

I'm getting better at asking for help. 

We had a good meal.  Ron worries about his digestion and problems, so he didn't eat at the restaurant until I started feeding him bites of chopped beef off my plate.  It was cute.  He was peeping like a baby bird and I was feeding him.  I had already eaten all I wanted, apparently 1/4 of a pound is too much to eat when I had a plateful of French toast (which, by the way, was perfect and delicious).  The driver left, I think a little sickened by all the "cute". 

We finished and went out to the vehicle, but the latch on "Ron's" door was broken.  Great.  Ron had to get in behind the driver.  The driver had to move Ron's 3 bottles (a gallon and a half, total, I believe) of vodka.   Ron had sent him to go buy that a few days ago. 

"I wish" I responded "You had bought him gin, or anisette, or something nasty like that - something that tasted so bad Ron would never want to drink it."  I just left it at that slightly humorous remark and didn't get upset. 

Ron's going to find someone to buy him alcohol, that's a given.  Before this guy, Ron had a cab driver going out and buying it for him. 

Ron got loaded and I got the wheelchair into the back of the truck, closed the gate, and got in on "my" side (front passenger).  He parked on the far side of our driveway, so I had to unload Ron into #6's lawn.  I felt a little bad about that but they were gone, and I'm not the one who parked there anyway. 

I would never do that.  But I don't have the keys. 

Ron held the alcohol, like a baby, cradled against his chest.  We got in the garage and he put it in his walker (it has a carrying pouch), then went into the house and put it in his "liquor cabinet".  I don't know if he drank anything but he went back to bed. 

I would have done the blog a lot sooner but Torbie got on me.  She got her last steroid pill tonight and is much better.  She sat on the couch and stared at me with her big green eyes.  I could tell she wanted a cuddle, so I sat down on the couch and spread something over my lap.  That is her sign to climb aboard, and she did. 

I held her even after my left arm started twitching like something out of a bad zombie movie, but when I adjusted her to kiss the top of her head she got up and left.  I guess that was too much.  She sniffed my hand in approval (I smelled right, like Torbie, now), and left. 

Biscuit likes to sleep on the floor of the computer room when I'm in here.  He has a paper bag, he's very fond of it. 

I would never get rid of that paper bag. 



Friday, July 22, 2016

All the sleep I can get.

I finally decided I would go demento if I stayed home.  1.  Neighbor kids in #6 screaming outside my bedroom, so no chance of a nap.  2.  Ron was raucous.   3.  Baby Girl had taken over my TV chair and I didn't want to move her. 

I tried to take a nap, it didn't work out.  Torbie did get on my chest and give me cuddles, though. 

I took a shower and got dressed in my quarter-crew socks (a little over the ankle), baggy cotton shorts (knee length), and a baggy black t-shirt.  I brought my bus pass holder, minus my debit card and work ID.  I brought a little cash, my pocket knife, and my cell phone.  I wore my cheap $10 sneakers, that look like exactly that.  In the ghetto, you tend to be rated on your footwear - the more expensive your footwear, the higher your rating on the social scale and the more likely you are to be mugged. 

My most expensive footwear consist of a pair of steel toed sneakers I wear to work.  $30.

I decided I wanted some Pupusas.  There's a place near our house, the first place I had them, and as I recalled they were awfully good.  It would be a little bit of a trip getting there and returning, requiring 3 buses, but I figured it was worth it to get a good meal and some peace and quiet away from the house. 

I walked the half-mile to the bus stop, it was so hot I had sweat running down my legs into my socks.  I had my "foldover" sunglasses, that go over my regular glasses, to prevent headaches.  Seems to have worked.  I got to the bus stop and had a short wait.  Then it came. 

I got off at the pupusa place and the waitress wouldn't serve me at first.  She thought I was some - character, I suppose.  But her husband, the owner, knows me, came out, greeted me by name (I gave them a very good Google review), and asked about Ron.  I told him Ron's back was bothering him.  True enough. 

To her credit, it is a pretty rough neighborhood and they're right next to a liquor store.  So much for peace and quiet, though, she had her kid at the restaurant and he kept bugging her.  "Mommy!  Mommy!" 

I left a good tip anyway.  My meal only cost $6. 

I decided the pupusas in Acres Homes, at De Soto and Antoine, were better.  They had more cheese and a crunchier crust.  They had more filling overall.  I think they were bigger.  I liked them better.  Of course I didn't say anything, but the next time I want a pupusa I will just go there instead. 

Besides, I would only have to take 2 buses there as opposed to the 3 I was faced with now.  The restaurant was on a very busy street served by 3 bus lines.  The street always has a high-volume of traffic.  I have seen, literally, no shitting you - two, two people run over by cars on this street.  Let me tell you, the sight of a person clutching their clearly broken leg, screaming their lungs out, is not something easily forgotten.  And I already have issues since Ron's accident. 

No way was I going to walk across that street.  No, I was going to ride the bus until it crossed the street, get off at the first stop after that, cross that street, and wait for the return bus. 

I did just that.  Again, I didn't have to wait long.  The bus driver agreed with my philosophy. And she drives that street every day. 

I got off and crossed the 4-lane street.  I went into the Vietnamese grocery store and got some cookies and cold drinks (Oolong tea, and a can of Diet Dr Pepper).  I paid for all that and decided I would treat Ron as though he wasn't having a blackout and get him some eggrolls from Timmy Chan.

TC is a cheap, fast, greasy kind of Chinese food.  It is fast and pretty good, though.  I had already eaten (not that I loved it), so I just got Ron 2 orders of eggrolls.  I have never seen Ron turn down eggrolls. 

I had a pretty long wait out in the hot sun but eventually I got the same driver who had taken me across the street.  We chatted.  I told her a little about Ron, something I realize now may not have been a good idea: just that he was blind and having some health problems, and I wanted to get him a treat. 

I forgot there are other people on the bus. 

Someone else rang the bell for my stop as we approached the intersection.  A man got off with me (black, if it matters) and began asking me very rude and intrusive questions.  I answered the first one "Are you single?"  I told him no and left it at that.  Then the guy tells me a man shouldn't make his woman ride the bus, he should drive her a around.  Then he asked if I was blind, to which I said no.  I didn't want him to think I couldn't ID him (he was probably confused by my sunglasses, which are occasionally worn by blind people with light sensitivity).  Then he told me he was unemployed, I didn't respond to that. 

I finally stopped walking, forcing him to go on ahead, and then to make it completely clear I crossed the street and walked on the other side from him.  He went on ahead, looking back occasionally. 

I waited until he was WELL ahead before checking the mailbox (junk mail) and heading into the house.  I thought that was bad. 

I came in the house to a partially nude, very drunk, Ron on the floor, mumbling.  He was pretty belligerent.  I tried to give him the eggrolls but he said no, put them in the fridge.  I found a half-eaten sandwich on the floor, in a plastic bag, and put that in the fridge too.  I helped get him on his walker and to the bathroom. 

Then I tried to lie down.  Torbie got on me again for some more cuddles.  Eventually I slept for about an hour, but #6 apparently came home from some sort of outing and spent half an hour slamming their front door, again and again.  I don't think they realize how intrusive it is. 

Their old door was much quieter, I never heard it.  But after our cheap wood door was kicked in during a robbery, a door shop owner at the church donated a door to us.  It is very pretty.  Not to be outdone, #6 went out and bought a similar door, but much larger and more elaborate.  It also clashes with the color of his house - the door is deep red and the house is pink.  I guess she picked the house and he picked the door. 

Ugh.  So now, whenever they leave or come back, I am faced with loud door-slamming noises - it is very near my bedroom wall - another thing they don't consider.  I don't know what they think we have at the back of the house, but they sure don't act like it's a bedroom. 

Sometimes I debate telling him "You know this is our bedroom, we can hear everything that goes on outside this wall."  I remember one time a friend of his came over around midnight, banging on the door, in some kind of crisis, and they had this whole conversation about it, for half an hour, practically leaning against my bedroom wall.  If I knew better Spanish I would have had a lot of gossip.  Very annoying. 

I have enough problems within my house, I don't need more problems out of it.  I do thank God we are not in an apartment because Ron makes so much racket during his blackouts, he would disturb all our neighbors. 

[sigh]  I'm just exhausted.  Ron is finally sleeping peacefully and I can't.  I'm going to try again, though, because I need my sleep.  If Ron has another blackout tonight I'll need all the sleep I can get. 



"Don't pay attention to what I say"

Ron woke me up sometime last night.  He had, he told me, extreme "zapping" in his leg and he couldn't sleep. 

He was sorry, he informed me, but he would be drinking well over his limit and would almost certainly have a blackout. 

Why did you tell me this, I replied.  I'm trying to sleep and that's just....

"Well, I know I'm going to act like a jerk but I want you to remember I love you."  He got all "greeting card" for a while, lovely warm sentiments, then repeated the fact he was going to have a blackout "Don't pay attention to what I say"

He asked what he could do.  I told him to lie down in bed because he falls a lot and gets lost "wandering" the house, cursing and crawling around.  Please lie down and save us both that.  He did. 

A couple of hours (?) later he woke me up cursing and falling on the floor.  He needed to use the bathroom.  I helped him get to the toilet and left him alone, but he was angry I "wasn't a better helper".  I have a very strict hands-off policy since the blackout in 2007 where he got abusive and left me covered in bruises.  I refused to "let" him walk on broken glass in his bare feet.  He also broke the bed tackling me. 

Anyway, cue verbal attacks, abuse, etc.  He keeps going on about "how perfect" I seemingly think I am, how I think Ron is a POS and none of that is true.  I am very clear on my flaws and shortcomings.  While I don't hate myself the way he seems to want me to, I accept I am a mixed bag of traits.  I know a lot of that goes to Ron's self-hatred. 

It got so bad (verbal abuse) I put on the noise-blocking earmuffs.  I heard Ron go into the garage and wondered how that would go.  CRASH.  Ron crawled back in, cursing me for "letting" him get hurt.  He apparently has a black eye (from what I could understand of his ravings).  Uh, that's not my fault.  It's his fault for drinking to a blackout.  It's not my job to follow him around nannying him during a blackout, even assuming he WOULDN'T be abusive (he is, when I try to "help").  I left him to crawl into the kitchen, get more vodka (!) and crawl back up the hall. 

I had started my God Time by this point.  I had finished the Bible Study part (Hezekiah and Isaiah), and moved onto the prayer part.  More verbal abuse (from Ron, not God) :P.  I put the earmuffs back on.  They didn't block everything but they muffled most of it and I could focus on praying for everyone, including you guys. 

I pray good stuff for you, peace, good relationship with God and others, stuff like that. 

I finished that up about the time Ron decided to go to bed.  Thank God. 

I went to the bathroom, finally it was clear.  He had been on the floor in there for a while.  At least, to my knowledge, he didn't pee on the floor. 

He did spill a can of v-8 in the bedroom.  That's going to be a real mess to clean up. 

So, it's 9:44 in the morning.  He's already having a blackout, says it's the "only thing that helps his legs".  His ID card is expired so he can't get any pain meds.  Not that I think that would be a good idea to mix with alcohol anyway. 

Oh, what a morning. 

Ron was so proud I would have "2 days to sleep in".  Not.  Quite. 

I'm debating if I should go back to bed for a while and get some more sleep while he's quiet, or stay awake and do household things.  I sure don't want to stick around the house today but we are in the middle of an epic heatwave. 

Decisions. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Thursday

Well, I have to give Ron is props.  On his own, without any prompting, he apologized for being cranky yesterday, and having the last blackout. 

He's still hunched over and moaning.  That's pretty awful to watch.  I do have to respect the fact that he refuses narcotics.  He is, oddly enough, worried about addiction. 

So I have to watch him suffer.  Not fun, even when he is being nice. 

I slept late, until 9, and I managed to throw out my shoulder my rolling on it today.  I'm pretty stiff but I can work when I need to do so. 

The cats are good, but Torbie fought me on her steroid pill tonight and clawed my hand.  Not badly, more puncture wounds.  I washed it pretty well so I should be fine.  I had Ron help hold her down on the third attempt, which worked. 

I had a horrible cyst on my leg.  It's finally resolving on it's own without intervention.  I think the Vitamin C capsules really helped. 

The weather has been hot and miserable, my diet awful, my caffeine intake moderate.  We had a driver today who said we had a "sick" sense of humor (for the non-American readers, that's a compliment), and wished he could ride with us every day.  I liked him.  I hope he makes it. 

Biscuit just came and loved on my leg.  He's a sweet boy. 

Oh, and I did my God time and all the usual stuff in a timely manner today.  I even filled out the forms for the MRI.  They want a surprising amount of information.  Some of it I had to ask Ron about, but it's all done now. 

I just need to throw him in the tub and scrub him down "real good" before we do it.  I haven't told him yet about the leg ultrasound which is going to be horrible for him.  But we need to see if it's a blood clot causing the trouble. 

I almost wish it were, that would be an easy fix. 

I have a bad feeling Ron will require a back operation. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Steadfast

A tough day. 

I didn't sleep well last night so I woke up exhausted.  It was nice to have both Torbie (who apparently forgave me for "pilling" her with her steroid) and Biscuit (after his nums) in my bed.  I hit the snooze alarm a couple times and enjoyed the company. 

Ron is in excruciating pain and snapping at me on occasion, kind of like a wounded animal.  I have a hard time "not" taking it personally. 

I feel like hey, I'm here to HELP you.  I'm here because I love you.  Please at least speak to me with a nice tone of voice.  I already have to watch my husband suffering in agony - he forget that hurts me too. 

Oh, well.  It's such a freaking cliché, the wounded alcoholic lashing out at his steadfast wife. [sigh]

Work wasn't too bad (except for watching Ron try to stand up).  I even took him out in the wheelchair (normally he pushes the walker).  He was so, pathetically, grateful.  Our driver was early so I loaded him into the vehicle and took the wheelchair back, locked it up (we don't want it walking off).  I put up the carts, loaded the change (we were doing a change dump) on the walker, and pushed the walker out to the front.  I gave Ron the change to hold while the driver locked up the walker. 

We picked up another client, a guy in a wheelchair we've been seeing a lot lately.  He keeps going to the medical center, I suppose for care. 

I was thinking about that, the demise of hope, when someone with a life changing injury gives up.  I never believed Ron would make a full recovery, not after seeing the damage he sustained after the accident.  He would talk a lot at first, about "When I get my legs back".  I even got him to promise to run a half marathon with me when it happened.  Somewhere around the 1-year anniversary of the accident, he stopped talking about it and started talking more about getting around on a day to day basis.  I never told him it couldn't happen (recovery), but I was realistic. 

I had very severe depressions on the anniversary of Ron's accident, every year, for several years.  Now, 13 years later I can handle a lot.  I can even handle the occasional surprise encounter with the man who ran over Ron.  I can even joke with him, smile, and mean it.  That's all God working in me. 

Today I was looking at a Bible Handout photo from 4 years ago.  I looked so bright and happy.  Now I feel so discouraged and oppressed.  One pastor has told me this is spiritual warfare.  I have heard it other places, too.  I don't know if it is or not, or whether I just failed God and am letting my torch sputter.  I still do my God Time, I still do Bible Handouts, not as often, but I go.  I pray for the recipients every day and do what I can to be kind to everyone. 

I just feel like I failed God somehow. 

So, we got to the bank, unloaded. Ron wanted to wait on the steps.  I left him and took the change in and did the deposit.  I came back out and waited. 

The security guard made some odd comments to us ("Oh, you're disabled?" [I had explained why we were waiting instead of driving off], "You must get a lot of money from the government" - "Not as much as you think." I replied).  I finally concluded he had Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, which explained the inappropriate behavior, standing too close, and "bothering" us when we clearly didn't want to talk. 

Ron had a miscommunication with our driver so we had to wait an hour.  Not fun.  When we got picked up, Ron asked the guy to guy him more vodka.

"You drank it, already?" 
"I only have one left."
"When do you want it?"
"Saturday at the latest." 

Years ago, when he started doing this, he told me, if I informed (the driver) Ron was having abusive blackouts, he would stop buying alcohol for Ron.  I "lost it" during Ron's blackout about 3 weeks ago and informed him Ron was having abusive blackouts.  I was nearly crying. 

He's still buying Ron alcohol.  I'm trying to see some kind of good in that.  If Ron can't use this guy he will find someone else, someone who will probably charge him more money. 

Ron gave him the money as I tried to keep a neutral face.  By this time we were home and I was getting the walker out of the back of the truck.  I positioned it about 2 steps from the truck (I was worried about dinging it) and Ron blew up at me, screaming and waving his hands angrily. 

"If you're that bad" I told him sharply. "You need to be in a wheelchair". 

"No I don't" He groaned as he struggled to follow me into the garage. 

I think so. 

Biscuit just came and sat on my foot.  I can see why some people forsake humans and become "cat people".  It's funny.  I get utterly revolted at the thought of a dirty diaper, but I don't mind doing the litter box. 

I'm sure some human parents feel the same way, in reverse.  "Eww, litter box". 

Funny how people work.  Biscuit is sitting behind me now.  He is such a charmer.  He literally picked me out as I walked down the street, climbed my shoulder like an acrobat, and sat on my shoulder as I waited on the bus.  Then he tried to ride the bus with me. 

He continues to charm, even though he isn't a lap cat.  He's more of a "Sit on the tub mat while Mom takes a shower" type of cat. 

Torbie needs her steroid.  I hate to give her pills.  Not because she is mean, but because she is overall very polite.  She struggles but doesn't fight, and eventually swallows the pill. 

When we got in the house, I took a nap.  I woke up about two hours ago.  I was having a lovely dream about a house in the woods, snow outside, and fresh green homegrown vegetables.  I had friends over, helping me. 

Like I said, a lovely dream.  I hated to wake up but I had to pee.  Oh, and I started my period, finally.  Tomorrow will be the heavy flow day stay close to home or bring a lot of tampons, day. 

I already ate but I may scrounge up a snack.  I already had a protein bar.  I always figure one of those can't hurt. 

I'm going to go dose Torbie now. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Well, last night after I finished my blog, I checked out Torbie.  She does have a small scab so we will take her to the vet shortly.  I need to get ready to put her in the box. 

Well, I just got back from the vet.  She has "hot spot" or allergic dermatitis.  Doc gave her a shot of antibiotics because she has open, oozing sores, and steroid tablets for me to give her every day. 

Oh, goody.  I'm not a big fan of pilling cats, although Torbie is better that most.

So, I got up at around 6, did my God Time and shower.  Ron took me out to breakfast.  I let him.  I got French Toast and a huge portion at that.  Most places only give you a few slices but not these guys.  I ate the entire thing.  It was good. 

We came home and I took a short nap before taking Torbie to the vet.  I stuffed her in the carrier about 15 minutes before our pickup, went and checked the mail.  I got my t-shirts which are supposed to be "performance" but look like cheap polyester.  I will have to give them a try and see.  Looking at them closer, they're not as bad as I feared.  They are a performance fabric, it just looked like one of those cheap pilly knits that falls apart on the third wash. 

Back to Torbie: She is down about a pound, which is very good.  She was pretty fat.  Doc liked that I admired "her manicure".  She had trimmed Torbie's nails during the procedure and they still look good. 

Doc loves Torbie and considers her a good patient.  Torbie was very good for the vet and no biting, hissing, etc.  She is more a passive resister if anything.  However, she was happy to roll over and display her belly, etc. 

Doc gave her a shot of long acting antibiotic because the wounds (raw open skin - hate to say it but Ron was right) could get infected.  I expected this, because (as a child) I had a cat who used to get "hot spots".  They had to give him steroids, and sure enough that's what they did for Torbie.  I also asked for the "better" flea control product because I see my guys scratching a lot.  I know flea bites can cause "hot spots" and irritations like Torbie is battling. 

Doc asked if I had introduced any new products (cleaning, fragrance, etc.) and I said no.  I believe it is just cumulative stress.  I mean, think about it:
Gravy died.
The survivors became inside cats.
We've had a lot of repairmen over. 
Ron has had some blackouts. 
They all had their annual vet checkup. 
Torbie had her operation. 
Torbie had to wear "the cone of shame" for 2 weeks. 
Torbie had to have her stitches out (and she wasn't happy about that one). 
Epic flea season in Houston.

That's a lot for an old lady to handle in just a couple of months.  3.5 months, to be exact.  I am wracking my brain, and I can't think of any new products I might be using.  The only "new" thing are the garbage bags, and I have had them for over a month now.  I doubt they're the problem. 

No changes to food or treats.  Ron is feeding less treats, which is working, because Torbie is slimming down.  I just hope she isn't losing weight because of the problem. 

If she is, the steroids will take care of that.  Steroids, apparently, make "everyone" gain weight, be they human or feline. 

So, all that and we came home.  I came in the door and let Torbie out, then got half a steroid tablet (per doctor's orders) and dosed her.  I got cat slobber all over my hands, I had to jam it down pretty far.  I washed up (I am allergic), asked Ron to give her some treats (he was drinking and that's the kind of job he likes), and got dinner. 

We ate and he went back to bed, Torbie went with him. 

I had a good nap earlier, by the way, with Biscuit.  Torbie had been sleeping with me but probably not anymore with the dosing and all.  They're good cats. 

I don't care about holding a cat.  I'd like to have it in my lap but that's not mandatory.  What I do love is for a cat to sleep with me.  I just love waking up to a cat or two in the bed, rolling over for a pet, or even better, when they roll over and flop atop me.  Good times. 

I'm a simple girl. 

So, praying Torbie gets better soon.  She did look pretty raw once the doctor - I can't think of a non-sexual term here - exposed her on the exam table.  Let me be clear, Torbie's privates are fine.  It's her "armpits" in the front that are raw and sore.   Poor girl. 

She seems fine, though. 

The other cats are also fine.  Biscuit and Torbie are out on the catio right now enjoying some fresh air.  We had about an hour of thunderstorms today and it was lovely, and cooling.  It's about 10 degrees colder than normal, in the low 90's.  I'm not sure where BabyGirl is hiding, she likes to steal my chair when I'm not in it. 

Depression was around but not as bad as it has been.  I even managed to clean the toilet this morning, and the litter boxes (3 of them) tonight.  I'm also doing a load of laundry. 

My period is due anyday so I am anticipating that.  I should probably put some extra tampons in my purse. 

I think it's funny, in French a tampon is any kind of sponge or scrubber, and in America it has a totally different meaning! 

I have to get up pretty early so I'm going to go now.  Take care and have a good one. 

If you pray, I would love one for Torbie to heal up with no re-occurance.  Thanks! 

Monday, July 18, 2016

A frustrating day

Well, Ron had a blackout but he didn't "point" any of it at me.  Just the usual, grunting, falling on the floor, etc.  He kept me up half the night.  Of course he didn't remember any of it. 

I wondered it he would be fit for work, or had even called in the trips, but he had.  He got ready for work and was ready on time. 

"Did I have the blackout" he asked "After I went and had that extra drink around midnight?"  Thank God I didn't know about that, not really. 

He admitted he went over his portion control "because I was eating a hamburger and I didn't want it to mess with the alcohol [absorption]"  I told him that was a bad idea but didn't get all shriek-y. 

Sometimes he will starve himself the whole day, come home, and drink, "because I get more of a kick if I drink on an empty stomach".  But he doesn't have a problem, just ask him. 

Of course nothing can happen as regards rehab of any sort, until he does admit: I have a problem and 2.  I don't have control over it.  I learned that much from AA. 

Work was pretty uneventful, but something funny did happen: I was bent over, with my head inside a vending machine.  I was trying to get the bucket of nickels so I could fill a change bank.  Someone walked up behind me.  "Hi Heather!"  I said Hi back and teased her about recognizing my butt.  I thought that was so funny, walks up, sees my butt, "Hi Heather". 

It just makes me smile. 

We came home, I ate something and took my pills.  I took a nap because I was exhausted from the sleep deprivation the night before.  I slept enough to catch up, and had Torbie in the bed. Biscuit joined me at erratic intervals. 

He seems to have learned his lesson about his nums.  I noticed they (Biscuit and Baby Girl) ate all their breakfast this morning.  They usually leave 2/3 of it to waste.

When I finish this, I'll give him another can.  He's a good boy. 

Ron was petting Torbie and found part of her fur was matted.  Now he's all freaked out.  He "had" to clean her with a wet wipe.  When that didn't do the trick he called the vet.  Of course they want their exam fee, so they'll see her.  What a waste of time and money.  I am certain she is fine. 

Ron once took a cat to the vet "because he was purring too loud, and something had to be wrong with him".  We haven't spent enough on vet bills, so we have to go tomorrow.  I was also annoyed he did not consult me before he called the office and set up the appointment. 

Ugh. 

Then, all day, he's bugging me, let me know if you want to order Chinese food.  I finally decide, yeah, sounds good.  But he's "on the phone" texting so I have to wait. 

Now, I was taught, if someone is in front of you give your attention to that person.  You don't hold up your hand and make them wait because texting LOL ROFLBAO is more important. 

I won't stand around and wait on him when he's doing that, as I find it rude.  I am your wife.  God knows he has tantrums if I don't hang up the phone when I'm talking to someone, or "pass on" all his commentary. 

Finally he deigns to listen to me.  I tell him I am ready to order Chinese food, but it is so late now you will have to get something too, or I will have to get a double order.  I told him what I wanted and left. 

A couple minutes later, I am in the kitchen and he yelled a question at me.  I answered him twice and he kept saying he couldn't hear me.  How about you take off your headphones, huh?  I hate it when he talks to me while wearing headphones and then complains he can't hear me. 

So, the third time, I yelled "Yes" loud enough that he could hear it.  But now his precious feelings are hurt because I was mean, and raised my voice to him.  So, because I was "mean", he wouldn't call in the order until I "apologized for yelling at him".  I explained, you couldn't hear me unless I yelled.  It didn't register. 

What I hate, but he didn't do tonight, is tell me I'm not mad at Ron (telling me what to think and feel), I'm mad at God because God made Ron deaf.  No, Ron was a drummer in a rock band (for a little while).  Ron listened to music at high volume on headphones.  Ron had bad DNA for nerve deafness.  None of that is my fault.  Besides, like I said, I am 95% sure he was wearing his headphones at the time. 

He kept waiting for my "apology".  Why should I apologize for raising my voice to someone who didn't hear me?  He heard me when I did, right? 

I figured screw it.  I have cottage cheese.  I'll eat that.  So I did.  Ron kept waiting for me to "apologize" so he could call in the order but I won't.  I didn't do anything wrong.  It's not my fault he's deaf, I have no reason to apologize. 

I saw/read something recently about how women are always apologizing for things that aren't their fault, so I have made a concerted effort NOT to do that.  That just feeds his ego and makes him a victim.  The last thing Ron needs is coddling.  He needs a good, swift, kick in the butt. 

But I am sick of coddling the poor, precious baby.  We are going to waste over $100 tomorrow over nothing, NOTHING because he doesn't like the way my cat's fur feels.  She's fine, doing all her normal activities.  You take a cat to the vet when they're sick. 

Not when their fur feels "funny".

Sunday, July 17, 2016

A trip to the shelter

Well, I did it. 

I did some research into the location, address, hours, and needs of our local "kill" animal shelter.  I recruited our driver to help.  I collected all Biscuit's uneaten num-nums - still good in their unopened cans, and found I had 5 bag's worth. 

Then I had our driver take me to Walmart where I got various items on the list.  I mainly focused on dry cat food, dog and cat treats, and some peroxide for the clinic.  I didn't want to get bleach or dish soap, worried it might "open up" somehow in transit, leaving the truck a mess and ruining the other products. 

Then I took the cart out to the truck, loaded everything, and off we went to the animal shelter. 

It took a while, they are a ways off. 

Finally arrived.  I went in and saw a nice bottled vending machine, a lot of seating, and some families sitting around.  A lady was at the desk filling out paperwork.  The security guard asked me if I needed help, and I explained I needed a cart, as I had some donations to unload. 

She went and found someone to get one and came back.  We chatted for a minute as we waited for the volunteer and cart to arrive. 

They did, and we went out to the truck.  We unloaded everything, almost too much for the cart.  Good.  I know the shelter has hundreds of just cats so it will go fast.  The security guard came out and did a double take, then grinned and waved. 

I won't say what I got, I already said too much, but I was/am happy to do it.   Anyone can do this, you probably have a car so really no excuse.  I guarantee your shelter will be thrilled. 

You have to have an ID card to see the animals, and I specifically did not bring mine.  I don't need to have my heart torn out by tragic little faces.  I've already done what I could. 

Not so fun, Ron kept bugging me with texts every couple minutes. 

We (the driver and I, as Ron refused to come), went to dinner and got Ron some takeout.  Ron continued to "bother" us.  I don't know why he didn't just come, if he wanted to interact so much.  Or maybe he was "worried" about us, which is stupid. 

We finally finished and beat the rain, as a large stormcloud was moving in.  It did hit right as I got home, and I had to dash through the rain to get into the house. 

I came in to find Ron completely drunk, nearly falling off his walker, grunting incoherently.  Ugh.  I was sorry I had even come home. 

I fed the cats (Biscuit was a little traumatized when I took all his nums away, even though he doesn't like them anymore), and filled their water bowl.  Crap.  I just remembered I need to take my pills, let me do that. 

Did that. 

Anyway, Ron is sitting on his walker, snoring.  At least he is quiet. 

I hope I have a boring night. 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Squeaky mouse could be anywhere

We had today off but I still got up pretty early. 

We were going to Walmart.  Ron said he didn't want to try going in the kiddie cart so I left him up front while I shopped. 

I forgot the tampons.  I should have enough, anyway.  I checked, yeah, should be OK. 

Worst case I still want to do a Walmart run, buy some of those huge bags of cat food, and take them to the animal shelter anyway.  I can certainly pick up a box of tampons while I'm there. 

Ron waited up front while I got out stuff (except the tampons).  I got a lot of dairy products, some deodorant on sale (I love the fragrance and I believe it is on clearance), the q-tips I forgot last time (boy was I happy to clean my ears when I got home), and various "Ron" snacks. 

I am trying to get him to eat more protein. 

Yes, he very well could have hurt his back when he fell during the blackout.  He fell a lot, couldn't stand up, kept crawling and falling and it was awful.  The timing is about right, too. 

At any rate, he was about as stiff as I've seen him in years, since he moved that vending machine back in 2013.  He is not using the wheelchair in the house but everything else is pretty similar. 

I am awaiting the MRI results with a combination of curiosity and dread.  I honestly believe he will need to have surgery, which will make life all around pretty difficult for us.  Who will take care of him while I'm filling the vending machines?  Good question. 

We'll see.  I am also curious to see the blood test results.  Hopefully he will take the results seriously if they show any problem with his liver. 

Doc said he could get Ron a sedating antidepressant if desired, but drinking would be a bad idea.  If Ron "can't" drink maybe he will be more willing to try it. 

I don't know.  I have a million anxieties all fighting to be heard, and I'm trying to just make them all shut up. 

The cats are good.  Baby Girl keeps sleeping in my TV chair, I have to keep moving her to sit.  She is so sweet I hate to do it but she would never get in my lap.  Torbie is sleeping with Ron right now, he will put his hand on her while he sleeps, like a little kid with a teddy bear.  Biscuit, I believe, is either on the back of the couch or out in the catio watching birds. 

He found a squeaky mouse today and had a lot of fun chasing it all around the house.  I'm not sure where it ended up but it's been very quiet of late.  My house is a mess, so squeaky mouse could be anywhere. 

We came home, I put my stuff away, and I took a nap for a little while.  I got up and did my God Time. 

We went to Arby's, well, we tried.  We got picked up by a conspiracy theorist guy who kept talking about Freemasons and such.  We went to an apartment complex. 

We went in the complex.  We waited for ages on the customer.  They finally called the customer and she said she was waiting by the exit gate.  Fine.  We went to get her. 

The driver gets out of the vehicle and the client's very frail, on oxygen and a walker.  Driver is worried about her walking around the vehicle and asks Ron to move.  I told him I would.  And I did. 

He gets out and talks to her for a few minutes, then walks her back to her apartment.  Apparently she decided it was too hot to go run her errand.  It's 4 PM, in July, in Houston.  Did she think she would need a sweater?  And why was she wearing long sleeves and slacks?  In Houston, in July?  Of course it's hot, it's Houston!

By the time the driver got it all sorted out, and "permission" to take us to our destination, it took literally an hour for us to go 10 minutes from the house.  I am glad she received a "bad mark" for cancelling her trip at the last minute (and probably her pickup to go home, too); annoyed we also got a "bad mark" because Ron had to reschedule our pickup.  It wasn't our fault!  They got us there an hour late! 

We finally got to Arby's and ate our meal.  The place is always dead when we visit.  I don't know how they stay in business.  Maybe late night traffic. 

We didn't have to wait too long on our ride home, and we were straight, so that was good.  I took my medication and laid down for a little bit, then called my Dad. 

They had "the grandson" (the child of my abuser) visiting.  Mom flew back with him to his hometown and stayed a few days to "visit".  Dad is at home alone right now, but he does fine on his own.  She will be coming back in a few days.  I gave Dad a rough outline, minus cat activities. 

Ron's up and seems to be moving OK.  I already did the litter boxes but I need to top them off with more litter. 

That's the only bad side to inside cats.  I'm sure our neighbors are very happy the cats aren't "using" their yards and gardens anymore (even though cats always cover it up). 

Friday, July 15, 2016

He's working me to death!

I drank a cold diet soda when I woke up last night.  Oftentimes, it really helps with a headache. 

I couldn't take any painkillers for 2 hours but I could have a diet soda.  It helped a lot, I went back to bed, and got about 4 hours of sleep. 

2 AM came far too early this morning.  I hit the snooze alarm a couple times, cuddles with Biscuit, who had been in the bed most of the night. 

I finally dragged myself out of bed, gave Biscuit his can of food, and took my shower.  I got dressed in a performance t-shirt, comfortable underwear, knit shorts, and my steel toed sneakers.  Ooh.  I'm a fashion blog now. 

We got picked up on time.  Ron had a hell of a time getting out of the house.  He's walking hunched over and groaning in pain.  And he wonders why I took him to the doctor. 

It was the large white van, which has 3-4 steps to get into the vehicle, if you're not riding in a wheelchair.  He had a heck of a time getting into the vehicle. 

There was a blind guy already in the vehicle.  He was listening to music, jerking, spasming, waving his hands around, and jumping in his seat.  I guess no one ever taught him to sit quietly and listen to your music.  Then he started "singing" if you can call it that.  He was only blind, he didn't have "a cognitive" (problem).  He had a very expensive Iphone - a lot of blind people do, but if you want a talking phone you can just buy an LG 450 like Ron got, for $70. 

I'm annoyed because someone like that makes Ron look bad.  People think every blind person = weird.  Now, admittedly, Ron lectures every driver he can about the mark of the beast so maybe I should shut up. 

We got to work.  Ron hobbled down the hall to our area and collapsed into his wheelchair (we store a wheelchair, at work).  We got to work.  I had very little inventory so I did what I could (not much!), helped Ron when I could, and waited on Dr Pepper. 

They came around 7:30.  The driver was delighted with my "new" handcart.  It was so much easier to load the soda and transport it into our area.  The driver unloaded the cart while I made him a lunch.  We paid and got our receipt. 

He left. 

We left pretty soon after and went to the warehouse.  I got $600 worth of inventory, candy, snacks, you name it.  Except water, which they didn't have.  I put the chocolate in the truck, in Ron's lap. 

We went back to work.  My carts were pretty empty so I got them out quickly.  The other vendors were getting their second delivery of the day. 

I loaded up the carts, brought them in the building, got a very stiff Ron into the building, and got to work.  Ron ran change - putting it through the coin sorter, and sorting quarters, nickels, and dimes into separate jars.  It's important to transport the change in a jar with a screw on lid, because accidents happen and it's no fun picking up 300 quarters off the floor. 

I finished and told Ron I was done.  He wanted to keep sorting change.  I reminded him, bad headache yesterday morning, bad headache last night, very little sleep, I got up at 2 am, got the soda, did "Truck day", could we please go home soon?  He finally agreed, grumbling, but I think his back/legs were bothering him. 

We called and "took our ride off of hold".  Ron had suspended our 8:30 pickup when Dr Pepper ran late.  He asked them to come and get us, they said sure. 

In an hour. 

Not bad considering, especially considering the neighborhood, but a long wait nonetheless.  At least we had some chairs in the air conditioning, it was bright and oppressively hot. 

We made a raid on the other vendor's machines and a pit stop at ours (well, I did) and got some snacks.  We ate and Ron drank a ginger ale while we waited.  For an hour.  To go home. 

Finally pickup time, or thereabouts.  We went out and waited a few minutes while Ron hunched over in pain.  And, there's our ride. 

Ron took a minute getting into the minivan.  I'm glad he's getting an MRI pretty soon. 

We went home, I ate, took my pills, and went to bed.  I slept for hours, having dreams about being thirsty.  I woke up thirsty and drank all the water out of my bedside water bottle. 

Then I got up.  Biscuit had slept with me, apparently after throwing up in Ron's bedroom.  I stepped in the puke.  Yuck. 

I cleaned it up.  I got online for a while. 

Now I plan to go back to bed. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

A trip to the doctor.

So, what happened at the doctor? 

We had a good trip there and stopped at the Starbucks in the parking lot for a treat before entering the building. 

Ron had to "complete" a dementia/depression assessment.  He lied and said he was happy most of the time. 

We waited.  For once, I didn't hear a million sick people hacking moistly in the background.  If you have to get sick, mid-July seems to be a good time. 

We brought the wheelchair.  Ron got progressively more painful as the day wore on, which makes me think this is his back. 

They took us back, weighed him (152), blood pressure (122/70), and put us in a room.  A medical assistant came in and asked for the medical history.  I laughed as I gave it, it's pretty long.  Ron kept chipping in and "reminding" me of things I'd forgotten. 

Doc came in and examined Ron.  Not sure if it is a blood clot because it's both legs, but no back pain so maybe a nerve issue with the back?  Ron will need an MRI and ultrasound to determine. 

I was impressed.  Ron specifically told the doctor he is "drinking to tune out everyday" and "would like something to help him sleep".  Doc suggested an antidepressant. 

I talked to Ron later and he said he will not drink while taking the antidepressant, "Just don't take away my crutch without giving me another one".   He will talk to doc about the antidepressant during the follow up. 

I am impressed.  I just sat there with my mouth shut and let Ron do the talking. 

Ron asked the doctor to run blood tests (that will be very interesting to see the liver result), so Doc wrote orders for that. 

Ron told me today he didn't understand that the liver can only regenerate "so much".  He thought it just kept repairing itself indefinitely.  I am glad he is thinking about that. 

After we scheduled the MRI, they took us to the blood lab.  A very young woman drew Ron's blood.  I suggested she try the left arm but told her to look for herself (the right arm's veins are destroyed from the accident and subsequent hospitalization).   Ron didn't even know she had stuck him.  They took about 8 vials of blood. 

When we finished, Ron called the paratransit company, but the "system was down".  They couldn't transport anyone. 

Great.  Here we are, probably 10 miles from home...

We called our driver.  Nothing.  Ron sent him a text.  Nothing. 
We called a couple of cab drivers.  Nothing. 
We called Yellow.  Ron offered a $10 tip if they came fast. 

We had a ride within 10 minutes.  The driver and I folded up the wheelchair and put it in the back of the vehicle, once Ron had transferred.  The driver had had us before and was delighted when Ron gave him the $10 up front. 

Of course Ron paid the fare when we got home, but that bonus really made his day. 

Most importantly, we got his phone number so we can call him again. 

I came home and ate a slice of pizza, taking ALL my pills at once.  I had not been able to take them earlier due to the severe headache.  I laid down. 

I woke with another severe headache.  Apparently my body doesn't like pizza anymore.  I tried aspirin but that doesn't touch it.  I will have to wait until I can take some headache pills, which will mess up my sleep cycle, or try to sleep with the headache. 

And I have a long day tomorrow.  Oh, well. 

Get out of bed

Ugh.  I was sleeping well until I awoke with a crushing headache around 2:30.  I laid in bed, debating if I should take Excedrin (it has caffeine and might interfere with my sleep cycle), and finally decided I didn't have a choice, I had to take it. 

I did, and went back to sleep for about an hour and a half.  I had an interesting dream about scented geraniums, which I love.  When I awoke I wished I could get some, but realized I have Bad Cats who would knock them over and break them (as houseplants), and a very eager yard man who would probably weed-whack them as "weeds".  I did recall I had built a small raised garden, if I cleared out the weeds I might be able to put a rose (probably a Cramosi Superior, or a Hansa), plant some scented geraniums all around the edge, it would be lovely. 

But I couldn't sleep.  I lay in bed for a while, trying.  I finally got up.  Ron was already awake.  I told him he didn't have to be quiet (I tend to roar at him if he wakes me up) anymore.  He told me to go back to bed.  I told him I couldn't.  He told me to go back to bed.  I thought, I can't.  I already tried lying in bed and I can't sleep.  All the sleep experts say, if you can't sleep, get out of bed.  Then he told me to "Take a Phenergan" which is his stock answer for when he thinks I need to "take a sleeping pill".  I never do, unless I have a REALLY bad headache. 

I don't like the concept of taking a pill just to sleep, ever.  The only time I ever did that I had really bad insomnia, was manic, and had a raging kidney infection.  I was in the hospital vomiting my guts out every day, feverish and miserable.  I could not sleep.  I got cranky enough (! Not proud of that!) that the nurses got the doctor to order me Valium.  They kept me pretty drugged up until I got better.  A win for all of us.  But that was over 23 years ago and I've never done it since. 

I have also seen enough of those reality medical shows to know, if you overuse a substance, you become immune to it.  Then it doesn't work when you do need it.  So, I didn't take a pill. 

Ron fell back asleep (!) and is now snoring. 

I got up, started the dryer (I had some wet clothes in there).  I don't dry clothes when it is hot, in the middle, or later, in the day.  It's just foolish to run the dryer and the A/C at the same time, if you can avoid it.  I don't have that many loads a week, so I can run it in the cool of the day.  This time of day (5:42) is about as cool as it will get.  So, they're running. 

Then I did my God Time.  All done.  When I finish my blog I will probably take a shower.  I might buy those sheets I was talking about last week - those cotton/poly sheets don't breathe and are miserable, but I had a very slim mattress before.  I don't have any sheets that will fit my new bed.  Well, I do, but they're cotton/poly and don't let me breathe. 

The cats seem happy to have me awake, I fed Biscuit and Baby Girl (salmon in gravy) and he is exploring the computer room.  He knows not to get near the keyboard now, I have a water bottle.  I will shake it at him if he gets too close, and he runs off. 

He and Baby Girl were fighting last night so I squirted them both.  I don't know who started it but I finished it. 

Ron's already had his bath (last night), amid much complaining, so all I have to do is dress him in a clean outfit for the doctor.  Since it's his back I assume that's what Doc will be looking at. 

This is the same Doc who treated my bladder infection in December, and my sinus infection in January, so he's good.  If anyone can help Ron, or at least get him started on the road to recovery, it's Doc. 

I found it really encouraging, when Ron drinks (alcohol) he gags and complains about how awful it is, he doesn't want to drink, etc.  Ron mentioned he might talk to the doctor about his drinking.  (me, quietly: !!!!!)  I will let Ron bring it up, but when we are filling out the forms I will ask him to be honest about the amount he is drinking every night (about 6 ounces that I know of). 

So today is just doctor day.  We will see how it goes, I will keep you posted. 

I have to go to bed early because we have to get up at 2 AM tomorrow to go to work and get our delivery. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Yogurt + mood stabilizers

It was a long day. 

I didn't sleep well. 

I got up around 8 with a headache and took some Excedrin.  I laid back down for a while with Biscuit and waited for the medication to work.  Once it did, I got up. 

I did my God Time and took my shower, then I got on the computer for a while.  I am looking for good poly performance t-shirts because Houston is hellish 80% of the time.  I'm not sure I found what I want. 

The brand/style I wanted are completely sold out, or unavailable, in my size.  Frustrating.  I will have to go to another brand. 

About 1, we got picked up and went to work.  We met our driver.  I got the folding mag-liner
and put it in the truck.  You can google "mag liner image", it won't let me put one up. 

It was fun getting it in the truck but I did it, and we left.  We got lost on our way to the place but we found it, eventually. 

I took the cart out of the truck and someone was already holding the door open.  Two attentive people asked me what I needed.  I explained.  The first person (a man) took the cart away.  I heard some power tools being used as I waited.  I chatted with the sales rep for a few minutes and looked at the XL model.  Boy, it was nice.  I gave the sales clerk our information. 

About that time, the man brought out my mag liner!  I have had ongoing issues with a bad wheel, also, the latch was bad and it kept "attacking" me everytime I tried to fold it up.  It looked glorious with the new wheels and latch.  I squealed with joy and made happy squeaks as they laughed at me. 

I paid (of course!) and we left.  The man put it in the truck for me.  Great customer service! 

[Later on, I sent an email to our "rep" with the state blind vendor program, recommending these guys, and I also gave them a five star review on Google.]

We got to work and I took the cart out.  It stayed closed, not attacking me as I moved it.  Nice.  It rolled so nice!  Still does!  Glad, glad, glad, we did that. 

Then we went in and stocked, of course.  That took a while and we came home. 

My headache is back.  If I can get rid of it I will get some pizza but that is dubious right now.  I may just do yogurt + mood stabilizers for dinner. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

$20 Handout

With the political climate the way it is, I was a little worried about going to Acres Homes today.
Turns out I should have been more worried about my ride home.
I decided to call a cab, as Ron didn't want to go. He arrived promptly, was very nice and helpful, but not overly so (let me put the cart away myself). He was very quiet but nice, and the ride was only $20, a bargain, I thought, considering one of my tie-downs had snapped on my hand cart and smacked me in the hand.
It was very slow. I picked, I think, a bad time of day. Had I gone after dinner I think things would have been much more lively. However, I did distribute a little over 50 Bibles in about an hour and fifteen minutes.
I did mostly singles, ladies with gold teeth for a while. Then a few men who clearly lived in the neighborhood, interested. I was delighted to distribute to them.
"I want to pour a little Jesus on things" I told one recipient, a white lady in a fast-food uniform (she wanted 3). She agreed, said things were getting really bad, and I reminded her Jesus was coming back for us soon.
I had a couple of passers-by, including a young woman in scrubs, who took Bibles. One lady stopped going the wrong way, walked back, and got a few Bibles. Another Spanish lady wanted an English Bible for her son, so I gave her one of each, so they can talk.
One car going the other way stopped dead, almost causing a pileup, and the car behind started honking. I had gotten the first car by that point so I grinned and held up my sign. She waved me over!
I got some couples, clearly from the neighborhood, and was thrilled with them. One older couple, him overtly disabled, sat on the bus stop and watched me like a theater. It was a little disconcerting.
The Friendly mart changed it's name and the usual crowd wasn't hanging outside it anymore. So it was probably one of the safer handouts I've done.
When I finished, I got some Pupusas and called a (different) cab, who jerked me around playing games for an hour, before I said forget it and took the bus.
I was home in 20 minutes.  Please pray for the recipients! 

I wish there were a test

"Stop bothering me or I'll hit you. " Ron shouted.  Alarm bells began to ring.  Lately, Ron has been threatening physical vi...