Monday, January 28, 2019

Okay...deep breath...

So.  Yesterday.  Yesterday, we planned to go up and visit my in-laws--Odysseus, the imp, the pixie, and me.  I actually am very fond of my in-laws, and circumstances...yeah.

Just before we left, the pixie got sick.  Puke and poo.  She got most of the former into the toilet.  I'd rather she'd done that with the latter, but she didn't.  Poor thing. 

So I didn't get to go visit my in-laws.  Neither did the pixie.  Odysseus and the imp went ahead. 

And the pixie was fine less than an hour after they'd left.  She's still fine, but school rules require a 24 hr separation between last emission and returning to class.  So she's currently in the family room, watching Willow on DVD.  She'll have a bunch of make-up work tonight, and will go back tomorrow. 

About six or eight weeks ago, I had an appointment with a nurse practitioner in my endocrinologist's office (rather than the doc herself).  I asked to try Armour thyroid--it's the first thyroid replacement medication that went on the market a long time ago, and is basically desicated porcine thyroid gland.  Yes, I know what that means.  No, it doesn't bother me.  It works.  It works better than the synthetic T4 only thyroid replacement hormone for me.  I've had good days.  I hadn't had those in a few years.  Yes, I still have CFS flares, but it's not a constant state of being.  I've had fewer really bad days with the Armour than I did with the Tirosint (which was better than the levothyroxine). 

This morning, the NP's nurse called me and said that the NP wants to try me on a slightly larger dose in the morning, with the same dose in the evening: basically, two prescriptions.  Which, together, will cost the same as the Tirosint (if not a hair more). 

The irony?  I wanted to try the Armour because it cost less than the Tirosint. 

I think I've found a coupon, though.  I just need to print it and take it in when I fill the other 'scrip. 

Odysseus has also directed me to ask if doing a discount plus self pay for those discounts that won't pair with a prescription plan would be cheaper to pay than what the cost is with the insurance picking up part of it, that the pharmacy can answer that question, now.  

Last week, I had a regular GP's appointment.  I needed a year's refill on another 'scrip.  Went through the appointment (I really hate seeing the doctor, and I've been having to see too many doctors, way too often, for the past four years, now), got the 'scrip promised...and now, I have to call the doc's office and bug the hell out of them because they didn't send it in to Sam's Club for me like they were supposed to have done. 

And, along with that, I need to keep trying to find somebody to do some repairs.  None of the handymen I've called have bothered to return the calls.  On to the specialists--roof repair, and some electrical.  I've almost got the brains to do that, but can't today--there's a noise box in the other room, and I need to not have to focus part of my attention on her.  I'll do those calls tomorrow.

Wish me luck finding someone that's willing to do the repairs instead of simply quoting a price to replace the entire roof that doesn't need replacing, yet. 

Monday, January 21, 2019

Holy shit.

For the last two weeks, we've been having a lot of precipitation all at once.  I have a miniature lake out just past the driveway on the west end of the house where the sump pump line exits the crawl space (and boy, has that thing been constantly busy for the last couple weeks!).

Clearly, that hasn't been the only issue.  All of the ground is pretty saturated.

And it didn't freeze fast enough last weekend.  We had a winter storm hit with lots of cold and more wind than precip (we got a little bit of rain through the day Friday, and a bare dusting of snow Friday night/Saturday).  And it dropped a tree to the east of the house on the backyard fence.  Uprooted.  It's balanced between the roots, a stub of a branch dug into the ground inside the fence, and another main part of the trunk (it forked) braced on the corner post of the fence.

Yes, we tried to clear it.  We didn't realize a) how big it actually was,* or b) how precariously it was situated.  No, we haven't managed to do more than cut it down to a slightly more reasonable size.

So, today, I called a tree removal service, and mentioned the tree that went down on our fence.  I got an "Oh, bless your heart!" and a demand for the address, then a promise that they'd be here in half an hour (it was 20 minutes).  And the guy hops out, grinning, and said he'd trimmed the trees here years ago, and hustled around the house.  He's going to clear both the downed trees in the yard (there's a big one out past the fence that was here when we got the place) in the next couple days because the doc said his cancer didn't come back, and he's ready to get back to work.

His cancer.

I hate cancer, and I'm always happy to hear when somebody beats it.  No matter if I know them or not.

I will admit to having cheered for him right there, loudly and spontaneously.  Because I hate cancer almost as much as I hate Alzheimer's.

But he wants to get back to work.  And he said he was glad I called so that he could.

Yeah, his name/number's going into my planner for tree care.  Because there's other trees on the property that need dealt with before they become or cause a problem. 

*Tree was a good twenty inches in diameter or so.  And we had a 16" electric chainsaw.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Interesting insight.

So, yesterday, I asked my son to do something.  Something fairly small.  He was getting a drink of water, so I asked him to stay in the kitchen with me and get some things out for me to make supper because they were down low and my hips and knees were complaining about the weather and being out from under the electric blanket. 

He huffed, snarled, heaved a sigh, and got out the cookie sheet for tater tots.  Which he likes.  And I get a "Is that all?" spit in my face.  I called him (mildly) on his attitude, and asked him to also get out the big, nonstick skillet for burgers. 

And he huffed and snarled and groaned and got it out, then got snotty.  Again. 

So I called him on his attitude, and asked him where he got the idea that acting like that was okay.  Did he ever see me act like that?

Well, no.  But.  "You're Mom.  You're not supposed to act like that.  You're a girl."

Speaks volumes, doesn't it.  I don't have the influence on my son that I'd like to have.  I don't have the influence on shaping his attitudes and behaviors that I'd like to have.

Wanna know what does? 

His ADHD does--he doesn't rule his impulses, they rule him.  He KNOWS his attitude, when he acts like that, never fails to get him in trouble, but it's not something he's willing to curb in the moment.  I'm not entirely sure he's able to, yet.  I don't have him drugged into a zombie, and I won't drug him into a zombie.  Which means his impulses still rule him, despite a constant struggle for otherwise.

His peers do.  The other boys at school act like this.   Many of them are also hyper-smart ADHD kids ruled by their impulses.  He knows they get in trouble.  He knows he will get in trouble.  But since they act like that, he will, too. 

Dad does.  Dad is often as tired as Mom, but still does things.  But Dad grumbles.  Huffs.  Snarls.  I see some of the same attitude in Odysseus that I do in the imp, but it's nowhere near so pronounced in the adult as it is in the child, and unlike the child, the adult works longer hours every week, on much harder things, and comes home exhausted daily.  With no real recourse--adults' work is never done, while kids get after homework hours and weekends off. 



Children don't see that.  Just as girls follow the examples their mothers set (the pixie reads, picks stuff up, helps with housework--mostly quietly and without complaining), and that their classmates and other girls set, boys follow the behavior modeled by their male role models (teachers, sports stars, fathers, men in music and TV), and by their peers. 

I hear complaints all the damn time, from all around me, about "toxic masculinity."  And I see news stories of football players raised in single parent homes where their male role models were bums and abusers being given a pass because they're stars.  I hear "music" blasted from the local university's football field denigrating women and going on about hitting them, or putting them in their place.  I see men on TV either held up as boobs saved by the really smart women in their lives, or assholes like the ones in the "music" these boys are listening to, or sports stars they're looking to for role models.  And this is the example a lot of boys are living down to.  This may, in a lot of cases, be all the role models these boys have: either be a feminized soy-boy (and who wants to be a door-mat?), or be an asshole. 

So many, many boys do not have a father.  So many, many boys who are lucky enough to have a father have a father who's not present, or who's been emasculated by his wife or by the culture. 

Real masculinity isn't toxic.  Traditional masculinity isn't toxic.*  The image of masculinity presented by our current, poisonous culture is what is toxic. 

And the APA can go fuck themselves with their lack of understanding of traditional masculinity.

*Traditional masculinity isn't demonstrated by sportsball players.  It isn't demonstrated by musicians, or actors.  Traditional masculinity is that which goes out and provides for the family.  Traditional masculinity is about offering respect in the same measure it's given.  Traditional masculinity is inner strength, brought about by determination, understanding, and purpose.  Traditional masculinity is demonstrated by the husband that works and takes care of wife and children, resisting temptations set in his way by the world to cheat, lie, or abrogate responsibilities for whatever the hell reason. 

Monday, January 14, 2019

Winter weather in SWMO.

We had snow forecast for Friday night and Saturday.

We didn't get snow.  We got a bit over an inch and a half of rain, instead.  Cold rain.  Soaking cold rain, on cold days that didn't get out of the mid-thirties in either direction. 

We didn't have any snow forecast for last night.  So what did we get?

We got a dusting of snow that was still coming down while I was dropping the kids off at school.  And it keeps coming down every so often in fits and spits. 

It was supposed to get up to the mid 40s today, with the sun coming out.

It's still cloudy, and has gone from 28 degrees when I dropped the kids to 30 just a bit ago.  No sun--or even thinning clouds--in sight.  I doubt we'll see either prediction come to pass for today. 

I don't care for cold.  I actively hate wet cold, just as I hate wet heat in the summer. 

Is it any wonder at all that I sprang for an electric blanket for my recliner in the living room this morning at Walmart? 

I wonder if we're going to get sun tomorrow, like they predict, or if we're going to end up with more frozen precip that was supposed to have hit us Saturday, but didn't.   

Thursday, January 10, 2019


...still not good. 

Which sucks.  It's surprising how fast you get used to decent-to-good days. 

Since I've gotten on the Armour Thyroid, I've had good days.  I hadn't had good days in a long time--I'd had a few decent days, here and there, but no good ones.  General pain levels have been reduced to the point that I often forget to take something because the pain's at the same levels without aspirin as they've been with it in the past. 

Better yet, I've had some energy.  I've been able to do some things.  I still have CFS flareups if I do too much (and I've triggered some by doing exactly that), what "too much" is has expanded, but only a little bit, but I've been able to get some needed things done that I hadn't been doing.

Hell, I've even managed to do some of it with the migraine I developed yesterday (and still have today). 

For instance:

This morning, I got up, got the imp out of bed and eating, started the kettle, started the pixie's breakfast, then went to get her up and getting dressed.*  Came back, put her breakfast on the table, made Odysseus a 30oz travel mug of tea, cleaned the cats' box, and went back to get day clothes on.  Came back out, chivvied the kids through finishing their breakfasts and feeding the pets, (and the imp through getting dressed) while I made sandwiches (honey peanut butter for the imp, pb & Nutella for the pixie) for them to pack in their lunches.  I was done making their sandwiches before the imp was fully dressed, or the pixie finished eating four French toast sticks and four strips of thin-sliced bacon.

Oh, and picking up and discarding a used-up cat toy (i.e., a dead mouse) left on the floor in front of what we use for an entertainment center.

Usually, I unload the dishwasher while the kids are eating breakfast, but this morning, I had to make lunches.  There are more days where the kids eat what's at school. 

Besides that, I can usually manage one or two other chores (not counting fixing supper).  But not more than that, or the pain levels start creeping up, I pop a fever, and can't do anything other than the bare necessities the next day (i.e., getting kids to school, getting them home, chivvying them through homework, and making sure my family is fed). 

Yesterday, I managed to finish filling the dishwasher and running it.  I did not manage to make a decent dinner for my family--I made macaroni for the spouse and kids as a side, fed spouse and pixie leftovers, and the imp had chicken nuggets.  And that was about it. 

Because yesterday, I woke up with a sinus headache, didn't manage to get it killed in time, and it turned into a migraine.  Yes, I still have it.  No, I haven't managed to unload the dishwasher yet--there's too much light in the kitchen.  And the living room, where my bag (which holds my sunglasses) is.  I'll brave that in a little while. 

But I do have the energy to unload and reload the dishwasher, and hand-wash the things that must be hand-washed.  Not the desire (who ever really does?), but the energy.  And maybe enough to clear off the counter a bit while I'm fixing stew for supper, now that the meat has thawed.  But no more than that. 

Today's headache isn't nearly as bad as yesterday's.  And I have hope that, with enough time, meds, and caffeine,** I can kill it. 

*I've found mornings work best if the imp eats while still in his pajamas, because he's nearly done and away from the table by the time the pixie gets there if he's eating while she's dressing.  There are fewer fights that way.   He's a morning person, but she takes time to wake up and is cranky until she does.

**Caffeine: the wonder drug.  One Anacin (two is too much aspirin), one regular strength aspirin, two Midol, and two cups of Earl Grey to help deal with the mild nausea that has accompanied this migraine.  So far.  There will probably be more Earl Grey consumed.  

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Bad timing

The kids' school started back up, yesterday.  The imp didn't start back with it.  No, he was sick with a fever on Monday.  Which meant he wasn't allowed to go to school by school rules yesterday. 

He did need the morning, at least.  He's always up by 6:30, and he didn't wake up 'til 8:30.  And was quiet until lunch, despite forgetting his "focus pill."

I did get him through all of his makeup work yesterday evening, despite his transformation into spaz-boy. 

This morning, I woke up with a sinus headache. And I still have it, despite Midol (contains an antihistamine), caffeine, aspirin, and sorta-sudafed. 

I did get some writing done yesterday, but I'm having trouble thinking today with the pain in the head. 

Why do these things (sick kids, headachy me) always have such horrible timing?  Everything would have been a lot more tolerable if they'd happened a week earlier during Christmas Break, when I was getting jack shit done anyway.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Okay, then.

I ordered a new Acer laptop on New Year's Eve.  And with it, I ordered season 2 of Night Court.  

The laptop arrived today.  The DVDs just left Texas today.  I'm sure even a little bit of snow is a major emergency for areas that really aren't used to getting snow.  And parts of Texas didn't get just a little bit. 

They got a clone of the storm that hit us in November, and had the kids out of school for a snow day.  The storm that dumped seven inches on parts of Joplin, and five on my house.

So yeah, the DVDs were delayed, but the mail carrier handed my laptop to me just before 3:00 pm.  

First thing I did was lock down my privacy settings and turn everything Cortana-related off that I could, and download Firefox.  Second was dump Norton and download AVG free.  Third was downloading iTunes (my preferred music player, by far), fourth was dump Office and download LibreOffice.   I still need to go in and set defaults for music and for documents, but...that will happen.  After I finish transferring documents, pictures, and music.

But I have a laptop to transfer files to, and one to pull files from.  And I need to get those files semi-organized.

Yes, I've already got my current writing project transferred and opened up.  Yes, I have already been working on it.

I forgot how nice it was to have a full-sized shift key, instead of a bitty little key the same size as the letters on the far side of the up arrow.