Friday, January 1, 2021

2021 ALREADY? Living in a time warp

 I am in front of my light therapy box, have bergamot in the diffuser and have a roll on cbd oil on my wrists and I am trying to get motivated to do some things. Any things. When you have that list a mile long, but know you may really only get to two of them. I am trying to decide which 2 things will take priority when and if I get moving.

Also, I am looking on my sidebar at all the blogs I follow, or follow'ed' regularly and almost all of them have not posted in YEARS!! Not months, years. So I don't feel so bad dropping the ball here myself when I was so on top of things in the past.

One note to make was I was home 100% of the time, on disability. I had nothing but time to research things, read, and write. Now its been a few years where I have been working full time or working art time with side jobs. There is never enough money and I swear if I want relying on so many vitamins and supplements to function every day Id have a few more dollars in my pocket. 

I have now left the preschool I was at, Covid-related (and I was totally backstabbed by a boss I've known and trusted for about 25 years, lets just put that out there since this is my honesty place).

I had 2 friends simultaneously ask about watching their kids when school  started in September, and i looked at it as a blessing from God since we would have been homeless without my income to help. Where do you go to get a job during a pandemic that you actually feel safe and would bring home a decent paycheck? 

So now i have kids in my house, parents aren't allowed to go past the front porch for drop off and pickup, but its still scary. My kids are remote and have been since school started., probably all year at this point. Its better I am home.

Today starts 2021.

No resolutions because those aren't actually kept. Just to continue working on myself is my plan wherever that leads. I am back on meds for the winter, although I have skipped a few sessions, talking to a therapist, and the next is to get back to the chiropractor.

"I dont have feel good, I just want to feel better"~Alone Time by Lovelytheband

that sums it up. I know it does for a lot of  people.

'...And I would change it if I could, if I could
I'm sick of sadness all together
Oh, I could use a distraction to cope with my life
So thin a little more healthy
See the sun every night
I don't have to feel good
Oh, I just wanna feel better"

I heard a statistic the other day that the person in the household who goes to therapy is the higher functioning person. I already could have told you that 😆 but hey...

So I just walked the dog, feel better. 

Lots of stress and concern in this house because we are black, spanish and have asthma.
Apparently Fibro isn't an added condition to be concerned about, but the stress of thinking about it is still an energy sucker.
 Beyond that, stress itself can have a toll on the immune system and that's what they are listing as making you more susceptible to covid!  A compromised immune system. I say that it does not mean you have a have diagnosed autoimmune system disease, I believe it only needs to be just weakened or compromised. CHRONIC PAIN DOES THAT! STRESS DOES THAT!
Had to look up some things, thought I'd share.

So the key here is as usual, as many post, study, research, and publish about, is to find ways to be less stressed. NOW more than ever for those of us with chronic pain conditions. PERIOD.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Stay at Home? (You don't have to tell me twice!)

Stay at home advisory. Still working for me!!

Today is 28 days since we were told to stay home because school was closed in neighboring towns (the first time). We were originally supposed to stay be closed for 2 weeks until March 27th. Then it was extended to April 7th.
 I wont lie the first few days I was so stressed  about work and money it triggered anxiety (more than usual), insomnia, an over consumption of coffee and a lot of depressing thoughts. Mostly because I knew the insurance if approved would be about 3 days pay compared to working a full week. Then March 25th Mass had a  stay at home advisory and schools closed at least until May 5th. Wait what?!

I tried to think positively but it wasn't easy. When I'm at work I want to be home. I think of all the things I could be doing, painting, cleaning, or just laying on the couch letting my body hurt and rest.
SO, mentally I had to recenter myself. It didn't work, but I felt better at least trying to be calm than feeding the stress. Stress is a killer. ( Haven't said that before 👀).

A press conference almost every day, one from The Governor an one from the mayor, then the President started.  The news at 4 o'clock, 5 o'clock, and 6 o'clock with the daily updates on positive test numbers, how many deaths, and social media is mostly people in fear spreading more news about the virus an things they heard to prevent it, treat it, avoid it....SO I switched to decaf, started some online CBT and stopped looking and listening to all that.
Then the approval came from unemployment and although it was not a lot it was better than nothing and I was lucky to have it. Some people were getting nothing. But then I started looking for a job because its just not enough. That's reality. No matter how lucky I am to have it, it does not pay much more than a weeks worth of groceries.

Lots of back and forth with places, also thought of going to offer services if they needed teachers at one of the approved daycare centers allowed to stay open for first responders children. Then didn't want to put myself in harms way deliberately.
Ended up having interview with Amazon, on line then in person. Then the news started telling us how Amazon/Instacart workers are afraid (who isn't!) because they don't have proper ppe. Instacart workers were getting offered big tips to complete orders and then after the deliveries the costumer was changing the tip amount to very low.
WHY are costumers allowed to change the tip amount for up to 3 days after a delivery anyway?! That system seems set up to fail and completely one sided, but  I digress....

Then the more I looked at the training video for amazon the less I wanted to work there. Seems there is no way not to touch everything and stay safely distanced from people, even with masks and gloves, does not seem safe when the alternative is to stay home.
Then the approval of the stimulus package that included an increase in the amount of unemployment so problem solved. Im staying home!

I decided if the mayor had a press conference Id listen to that, and the one 1/2 hour at night with David Muir would be my only dose of news for a little while.

That brings me to today. I finally felt like actually posting more than just some projects.

 I am able to be focused and finish tasks everyday said NO ONE with chronic pain EVER!

Today I finished painting on glass, a mandala that I printed from the Cricut Design space, and that's about all I did. The weather is rain and wind, the lights flickered, oh and I managed writing this. That's not lasting long.

 I'm not sure if I am putting back in the picture frame I took the glass out of or making some other thingymagig to be able to hang it up as a stained glass. Either way its done. I wanted to paint on glass and it was the only available glass. I started 4 days ago then took a break for the masks.

Well more later. Now that I am home and have time, I can update. I think I said that last February. Yikes SMH

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Did I have Covid-19 (The Coronavirus)?

Friday March 6 
  That was a normal day.
That night I was exhausted. Beyond regular exhausted or fibro exhausted.
Everything hurt so bad I couldn't move at all once I laid in the bed. I had to grab my phone and text one of my kids to come get the dog to go out.  I barely moved or rolled over at all the entire night. I just lay there in agony. Muscle aches and extreme fatigue prevented me from even getting up for the bathroom which I usually do twice a night.

Saturday March 7                           

  I have no recollection of that day (or night) at all. Yeah I  think that's a bit strange.
Side note: I couldn't remember Saturday by the next Monday!

Sunday March 8 
  That was a normal day other than the fact I wasn't hungry at all until about 3 in the afternoon and only ate something because I felt nauseous. That night again I was in bed early before my kids I was so fatigued. I could not move my body at all. I tried to get up to let the dog out and I was so dizzy I started to fall over. I grabbed the wall, steadied myself then got back in bed. I texed my other daughter this time to come get the dog. Hhmm, no flags yet since all these things have happened before.

Monday March 9
  I woke up very nauseous and dizzy, but when I mentioned it at breakfast to my kids, my youngest said "You always feel sick in the morning". Well, shes kinda right. I always feel sick, and unhappy, and a little terrified wondering if I can even fake it and make it through another week of work. I thought about calling in sick but I wasn't really sick was I?  For me to miss work, even one hour less in a much needed paycheck, I have to be under a bus LITERALLY, so I didn't do that. But, I can suck it up, because that's what I do. My breakfast tasted totally disgusting. I specifically had a conversation with  myself about how many of these breakfast sandwiches I just purchased and what a waste it was if I was already getting sick of them.

When I got to work I let my coworkers know I didn't feel good but I wasn't going to say anything because I did not want to get sent home and lose hours, and to keep their distance.

Side note: We had the stomach bug going through the building bigtime, teachers and kids were dropping like flies for about 2 weeks. My boss was sending people home every day in between people calling out. I was NOT going to be one.

At this time it was the beginning of the freak out about the Coronavirus. We had confirmations in Boston, Natick and Wellesley and Lincoln. Near us in Wayland relatively speaking, but nothing to make us really worry about yet. The only things we discussed were if school shut down would we keep working or stay home with our kids. But if the governor issued a stay at home order we all said we would not be going to work even if we were open. (Sorry boss.)

While the kids (at work) slept I had muscle aches and pain like there I ran a marathon in bad weather AND got run over by a 18 Wheeler. After I filled out parent notes I could not get up off the floor. I had the floater cover me to go in the office and get Advil assuming it was my fibro and or arthritis trying to kill me.

By the time I left at 5 o'clock I was burning up. I had to flap my sweater open and closed to avoid to passing out while I stood there making some copies. One of the bosses actually asked me if I was having hot flashes. I said YES, to which she replied "The heat is on pretty high in here"
Went home and basically sat on the couch all night. Then moved to the bed. Tired, hot, then cold, then passed out.

Tuesday March 10
  Woke up actually sick. Full out nausea.  My insides were shaking like when you have those butterflies before vomiting. I could barely stand up straight. I was breathing heavy ( I say panting like a dog) to catch my breath. I thought about going to work anyway for a second, then laughed at myself at how ridiculous that was. No way was I infecting anyone else AND I wasn't going to make it. Lets be real. I took a bucket with me to drive the kids to the bus stop in case I threw up. I called out of work then went home. Stayed on the couch, bathroom with diarrhea, freezing cold, chills, still on the couch, bathroom, then to bed where I would NOT leave again for almost 48 hours.

I stayed in bed all day except 2 more trips to the bathroom. I felt like I was in a dream, or coma. Thing were fuzzy and I couldn't  tell if it was day or night, or how much time passed, minutes or hours.  I only moved to kick the blanket off when I was too hot, and to put it back on when I was freezing. I was waking up because of sleep apnea all day. 

That was the scariest part.I mean THE SCARIEST thing of all. To stop breathing while your sleeping and wake up gasping for air!!! I mean OH MY GAWD! If you've never been through it, you think you will die. You'll just not wake up one of these times and that's it, its over for good. I thought about going to the doctors, couldn't even move for the phone, and I knew I couldn't even get in the car to go. I thought at one point I was going to die for real, I just couldn't breath. I had to  and lay on my stomach to be able to breath at all. I thought I was not long for an ambulance but then I thought about the $500 emergency visit copay and decided no. Ill just die here in the bed. My family knows I want to donate organs. 

My husband had the day off and says he was checking on me but I don't really remember. I remember he was going to pick up or drop off a child and I said migraine meds and saltines. Took them with a few crackers after he was home and kept feeling the same. I still no idea what time it was. Heard some people talking downstairs in between waking up then it was dark, I was still sleeping. I have no idea if I had any conversations with anyone. I took the migraine pills again later but 2 times as much as I was supposed to and it eventually did make a slight dent in the head pain. The night was a blur other than gasping for air, wheezing and managing to get to the bathroom once. 

I had a migraine, stiff muscles and muscle aches, the sleep apnea, fever, chills, dizziness, dry cough, tight chest and a fear of death. 

Wednesday March 11
  Woke up slightly better but called the doctors anyway. Stayed in bed until it was time to go. Work said to stay home the rest of the week because what I had sounded worse what everyone else had and they were all set anyway. Denied!! I was a little irritated about it because again, I need the money. At the doctors they made me wear a mask which has been standard procedure if you have a cough for a long time now anyway, but if it wasn't they would have  made me wear one because of  Covid. I gave them all my symptoms, they asked if I have been in contact with anyone who's tested positive or shown symptoms. NOPE.

 They diagnosed me with a gastrointestinal virus (stomach bug/flu). I was severely dehydrated and she said that explained the muscle aches, fatigue, dizziness, all over body pain and probably what triggered the migraine. The stomach bug explained the tender belly and diarrhea, nausea and awful stomach noises, and dehydration.
She failed to explain everything else but at that point I didn't care. All I was focused on was getting a note so I could go back to work on Thursday and Friday but she said no. She gave me 24 hours to re-hydrate myself  or else she was going to send me to the er for iv fluids. She said she would write a note on Monday to go back to work on Tuesday if I was better, but not the rest of the week. Denied again!

Thursday March 12th and Friday the 13th slowly on the mend, very little activity. Sitting, resting, only eating soup and crackers. the cough was slowly going away. The dizziness was slowly going away. I was partly thankful I didn't go back to work because other than the fibro flares I used to have that laid me out, I haven't had a rest in a while. A real sit around and do nothing rest. 

I had whooping cough in November and that took me 6 weeks to stop the horrible coughing and I was still at work everyday. Same doctor, and she only said I had to stay out of work 1 day that time.
Late Wednesday work called and said I couldn't go back without a FLU test. OMG what a pain!

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Called the office. I was told my symptoms were not flu like related, I had already been diagnosed with the stomach bug, and they wouldn't give me one. I asked for a call back from the manager/head doctor. He in turn said the same thing, but in addition,  he said they are not doing any mouth or nose swabs at this time because they have no way to protect the staff. I could go to the emergency room if I felt like it but that they wouldn't test me for the flu either because I had no symptoms. Again, not paying the emergency room deductible. 

I told work on Thursday they would give me a flu test, she responded  with "go to the minute clinic". PPFFTT  😡

Friday the 13th I went to The Minute clinic, waited 2 1/2 hours  even though I had an appointment, with actual sick people everywhere, any of which could have actually had the coronvirus, for the flu test. NEGATIVE for A or B. So yeah I can go back to work.

This all makes me wonder (after the fact) if this time, because of covid the doctor didn't want me to  go back to work? Either because they had no tests, I didn't fit the criteria of being in contact with a positive person to get tested (even tough symptoms fit), or she thought I had it and didn't want to tell me, freak me out AND couldn't test me. Who knows, but I wonder why with something that IS contagious she let me go back to work in the middle of flu season, and with the stomach bug she had me out for almost a week in spring?? At this time they are saying a lot of people who test positive for coronavirus also test positive for the flu, and it was taking 2 weeks for most people to get better so I had not really myself contemplated the idea that I would have it. Plus I wasn't near any one that I know of. 

*Update: 4/19/20 We do now know the criteria for getting tested changed a couple times, the availability of testing was always an issue until just recently, and there are many people who had it but never got tested because there wasn't a test available. Also some were told to stay home because there was nothing to do and only come in if it got worse and it became severe enough. Some people had it with such mild symptoms they never went to the doctor or assumed it was a cold or allergies and did nothing about it.

Also Friday March 13th
  Work had so many children out they were getting a count of who wanted to work the next week and who didn't so they could staff appropriately. I said work. I was just out a week I mean really! 

By Sunday March 15th schools closed for 2 weeks, so we were closing on the 16th because of coronavirus, until March 27th. "Stay safe, stay healthy"  Apply for unemployment. WHAT?! Who's paying my bills?

Holy crap! I will be homeless and cant pay rent for sure now. Talk about STRESS!

March 24th we were issued the "stay at home advisory" until April 7th.

March 25th schools were closed until May 4th

March 29th Stay at home advisory until April 30

March 31st Stay at home advisory extended to May 4th

Now is when I think I may have to go back on meds that I have previously gotten off of. 

In between here I decided to start some "coronacrafts". I saw that term somewhere else among others but that was the one i liked best and seemed less to offend anyone. Make the most of being home with my babies while I can, if I didn't have to find a job.

Fun Things to do While Social Distancing 

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Stay at Home Day 10

Day 10

I used My Cricut to cut out a heart shape and put the heart on one canvas and the cut out on another canvas to mirror each other. 

I used the Cricut to cut thin strips so I could  divide them into sections. I used painting tape on a similar project and because of the texture of the canvas it bleeds slightly through so I decided to stick with the vinyl. (Excuse my foot HA HA)
Then painted each section a different color. I made sure to use only the exactly same colors on both of them.

I peeled off the vinyl.

Basic and easy but cute. I went with colors that would be bright since things have such a somber overtone lately. 
#Keeping Busy

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Stay at Home Advisory Day 9

Day 9

Im setting small goals daily. You have to. I went a little crazy the first couple days home and realized I cant run like that. I will be burnt out, in pain and the mental energy thats required to sustain that kind of focus is not attainable, not long term anyway.
Case in point, right now, my body hurts, sat in front of email and Pinterest for a couple hours just vegging out. 
I finally decided to try the wood burner my kids got me for Christmas. I looked on line and decided on a deer silhouette I found on Design Space. I cut one out of vinyl, stuck it to the wood and traced the outline.



 original post on Insta

It came out ok. Im a pretty good artist but by definitely not a professional at wood burning. It is fun, and I have practice boards so I will get better with time and practice.