Tag Archive | family

Silent Killers

I read a blog post the other day that made me realize just how lucky I am that my mother is still here, and it caused a calm-before-the-storm shuddering-standstill reaction from me. I broke.

In 2007, Umi had a Pulmonary Embolism. I knew it was serious then, and I drive her to her INR appointments every two to three weeks to have her blood checked now, to make sure it’s between that 2-3 range; not too thin, not too thick. She calls it her bloodletting. I have to watch her diet, too, because certain foods can thin or thicken her blood if she has too much of it. But what I didn’t know, what I learned the other day, was how very fucking beyond serious her situation was, and by that I mean how insanely close I came to losing my mother ten years ago when she threw that blood clot. I mean, blood clots kill about 100,000 Americans each year out of the roughly 900,000 affected. One in nine; that’s too close a call in my opinion. Blood clots are silent killers. It’s not like a heart attack; instead, they’re non-violent. You can’t pop an aspirin and stop it, or perform CPR to save a person’s life. You can, however, watch for signs because there are early warnings your body shouts at you.

I wanted to comment on the post, but I couldn’t seem to find the words, knowing that this person’s sibling was gone yet my mother was still here. It didn’t feel right, I guess, commenting. It’s difficult to explain the feeling, but I suppose the closest I can get to it is that by not commenting, I’m not adding to the possible survivor’s guilt the person might be feeling since it’s such a sudden death. Make sense? I don’t know. *shrugs* I liked the post to let her know I’d read it, even if I couldn’t offer words.

Umi’s 71st birthday is less than a month away. Last year, I took her to Hogwarts at Universal Orlando. She had a blast. I’m not sure if I can top that this year. Maybe I’ll just cook a steak and lobster dinner for her again. And buy her a new book she’s wanted for a while now.

But there’s one thing I know for certain, something I realized the day I read that blog…

Side note: Right now, my aunt is in long term care, and it’s killing me that I can’t help her get better. All I can do is work with my family to make sure her bills are paid and she’s getting the care she needs, and find a way to take care of the house before the home my grandparents built is gone, lost to the bank and medical liens. I want this house because it is the last piece of my childhood, my grandparents, but if the sum of loans and liens is too high, I can’t buy it, and that’s killing me. Seeing my aunt cry at the thought of not going home again and losing her precious dog because none of us can take him is beyond heartbreaking, too.

I am at a loss.

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Exhaustion

One of the things about working full time at my age with everything I have to deal with on a health level on top of Umi’s health crises is that trying to promote anything regarding my books is daunting. It doesn’t help that I’ve been on medications that affect the way I think for so long that I’m starting to wonder who the hell I am anymore. I can hardly make time to write, let alone do anything else to push them forward. If I want more time to write, I get 5-6 hours sleep, maybe less. If I want to sleep and feel better, I lose writing time. If I could have even a 36-hour day, I’d be happy because I could get shit done.

I know, I know. Poor little ol’ fucking me, right? It’s damn difficult to talk about how you’re feeling without sounding like you’re whining.

The 36-hour day thing is a lie, though. We all know we’d just find more time to procrastinate, play video games, run errands (which I loathe at this stage of my life). Then you think, “Well, if I could make the same amount of money without working as many hours….” but in truth, if you’re anything like me, you’d just find more work to do that isn’t what you need/want it to be. It’s a mindset thing, really. I can’t seem to get my mind used to the idea that my writing is THE job and the IT shit is the hobby. It might have something to do with my paychecks.

Health-wise, there are a million things wrong with me, but hey, none of it is trying to kill me at this present time, so if I could just push past the fatigue and brain fog, and piercing headaches, I could actually get shit done. Right now, all I’m getting done is shit at the day job, or shit that people send to me with money attached because I do things for money. Not those things. THESE things. I started working out again, waking up at 5:00 A.M. because I’m apparently insane. Doc is slowly working me off one of three meds that affect how my brain works, or doesn’t, really; I’m just hoping the hellish pain of the pinched nerve doesn’t return with it. By the way, I started this post a while back. Hell, there’s a fifth installment of The Secret Life of Jinxie G that’s been sitting in draft since February. That’s how tired I am. I get home, get comfy (if I don’t have to go to the store or take Umi to a doctor appointment or do anything else outside the house), and veg out in front of my TV for the next few hours before bed, making dinner at some point in between, because by this point I. Am. Exhausted.

*collapses*

*sits up again*

I keep telling myself to STFU, stop making excuses, and get the shit done. Then my body laughs at me and I realize that I’m really not making excuses 99% of the time. Okay, maybe 90% of the time. But still….

Know what else causes the exhaustion? Allergies. My body is fighting off everything outside right now, so having to even set foot out my front door means either hives or not breathing, and I kind of like breathing. Working with people who insist on leaving a fucking door open regardless of what I say because “It’s so nice outside” does not help me in the breathing department. I’m having trouble breathing now, and I have a headache. Both signs of the allergens outside kicking my ass.

the adventure begins

 

LHogwarts Castleast week, Umi and I took off to Florida for a couple of adventures. The first was to cross Hogwarts off Umi’s Bucket List. We had a blast. I’ll write up a separate post for that.

The second reason we were in Florida was because my BFF from high school got married! Seriously, I’m writing that post soon because the groom’s entrance was thunderous.

My point for telling you about the vacation is that when we returned home, I needed a vacation from my vacation. I tried to wake up at 5am to work out….no go. So I’ve decided I’ll start that routine again next week. I’m still pretty fucking tired like I’ve been all week long. I’m starting to think it’s just being in this state with the allergy attack going full throttle, and I don’t know what to fucking do about it….except sleep.

It’s all just extremely frustrating because while I can vomit a few paragraphs onto a blog post here or there (which has been pretty fucking sporadic lately), writing or editing my own work (books) is difficult to do at home, after work, or even on the weekends because I so very fucking tired (that typo proves it). I’m not even going to go into the arthritis in my hands and elsewhere as of late.

*head desk*

Something needs to change. I just don’t know what it is yet. Well, I might have an idea….

The Secret Life of Jinxie G: Part IV

….you want me to go out? Social Anxiety! ACK!

Yeah, it’s a problem I have. I want to go hang out with friends, yet I don’t because Oh My Fuck, I have to interact with people (strangers) and what if I say or do something stupid. I mean, I have no problem laughing at myself, but embarrassment can reach a level of “WHAT DID I DO?” that’s difficult to recover from. Blurting out something incredibly stupid? Yeah, that’s practically my daily life. I can talk on the phone all day and feel comfortable, but face-to-face is a whole other world that I do not do well in, though on occasion I have said something stupid on the phone too. I’d be surprised if extroverts understand what we introverts go through when it comes to socializing, but by all means correct me in the comments because I don’t want to come off as some “all-knowing” bitch and shit. Although, however introverted I may be, I *do* actually like socializing…with a small group of friends. I can’t handle big crowds. I end up sitting in a corner, observing everything, making friends with the dog if there is one. That also has its own benefits because the realist and worst-case-scenario person in me looks for ways out of every situation. You know, in case the zombie apocalypse begins while I’m out. One time, Scooter Boy wanted to do one of those wine and paint night things. They’re a lot of fun. So I grabbed my Groupon and registered, only to find out he and no one else had yet. I panicked and told him, “You *do* realize I have social anxiety and the idea of walking in there by myself is freaking me out.” His response was simply, “Oh shit!” and we had him and his girlfriend registered within a day or two. The result was that I now have a Starry Starry Night painting with a T.A.R.D.I.S. flying through the middle of it. It’s hanging in Umi’s room, mostly because I’m her favorite daughter (and only one), but also because that particular Van Gogh is her favorite. But yeah, social anxiety for me means that I can’t go do something like that by myself. The thought terrifies me.

Solitude is DangerousDon’t get me wrong, I can do some things on my own, like grocery shopping or shopping in general, but I don’t see the point of going to a movie alone or anything that’s of entertainment value. I’m also weird about meeting new people, mainly because I’m worried they’ll think I’m weird, which I am, so…yeah. And I don’t like being in a position where I’m going to be put on display, which is why I didn’t go into acting and refuse to do karaoke, even though I can sing. As a writer, I sit here tapping away at my keyboard. My performance is done in private. You get the end result that (hopefully) is free of mistakes.

I like the solitude of my hermitdom, but holidays are the worst. My family doesn’t really get together anymore, and to be honest, I’m okay with that for me because I can write or watch a movie and be happy in my introverted little world. But Umi likes being around family sometimes, so I feel bad and try to make up for it as best I can. This Christmas I couldn’t do much because money is tight for multiple reasons. She deserves so much more. I actually wanted to travel somewhere this Christmas, but that didn’t happen. Normally, though, I forget there’s a holiday unless someone tells me. The only exception is Hallowe’en.

1622272_650308168340344_1401925496_nI started this post three months ago because it’s a struggle to reveal something on this level. When friends want me to go out with them, there are a number of factors at play. Sometimes I have a deadline and editing/writing during the week is tricky when I’m working a few long shifts to make up lost time for Umi’s doctor appointments so I don’t have to use my personal time. I’m already always exhausted due to lack of sleep and health issues. Having to work a longer shift makes it worse. Sometimes I’m not comfortable in my own skin and most certainly don’t want to go to a club. I don’t care for that scene anymore; it just annoys me on many levels and I don’t dance anymore. Other times I just want to sit and watch a movie, whether on my own or out with friends. I’m cool with grabbing a bite to eat or a coffee now and then, but I just don’t have the funds to go out more than once a month right now, and when you’ve had your friends pay your way for a long time in the past, it gets real uncomfortable for you when you actually have a job. To be honest, it’s embarrassing and makes me feel like complete shit. That’s not to say my friends treat me that way; just the opposite, in fact. My friends are awesome and try to make me socialize, which is sometimes a good thing, but the timing has to be right. If I’m a broke emotional wreck with a deadline? Forget it. (This actually happened Friday, for which I feel bad and know G is reading this)

10406784_755469571172772_6371810132442591024_nSo much happened the last half of 2015 that I’m still adjusting to the wreckage and picking up the pieces. Shit happened that I don’t talk about, because it doesn’t need to be talked about; it just needs to be fixed, which I am doing, but it’s going to possibly take me a couple of years to make things right. None of this helps the social anxiety at all. It sucks.

So….yeah, I have social anxiety, which I think has worsened over the years, but I’m working on it. It may seem like this post is about more than social anxiety, and it is. I’ve been slowly prioritizing things in my life, removing the things that aren’t important or urgent, so that I can create that life I don’t need a vacation from. A life on my terms. A life with functional social anxiety, with a little bit less fear. A life with more freedom than I have ever known.

 We’ll get there.

Dear June

…I’d like a fucking do-over, please, and yes, that includes my birthday.

If you stalk follow me on the interwebz, you may be well aware of the month I had…and I didn’t even share it ALL with the world. Oh yes, there’s so much more, but I won’t go into it because it’s a private matter.

Allow me to point you to the Gallbladder of Doom first. No, really, go read that and then come back here. Don’t worry about losing this page. It’ll open in a new tab. Go. *taps foot* I’m serious.

I will wait for you

*whistles*

Oh, you’re back. Good. *kicks feet off desk* Where was I? Right, so yeah, that was a lot of fun. I didn’t sleep much that week. Do you know what I did for my birthday? Nothing. I stayed home because I was exhausted. Excuse me a sec….

Mom, it is not your fault. I love you and will always drop everything for you when you need me. I’m your daughter. You know I like to bitch and where I get it from. *ahem*

Okay. I did work on my own book on my birthday, so that was nice. Dropped 1,000 words on Assassin. Go me. I also got some editing in that weekend that was apparently irrelevant, but whatever.

I should have known that the first week of June, with its calm and serenity—which was a much-needed break at work—was the precursor to the oncoming storm. I mean, emergency gallbladder surgery, then another publishing issue popped up that had to be taken care of immediately. Then the A/C died the week after Umi’s surgery and I got home Thursday night with plans to work on a not cheap line edit over the weekend, but I had to pack up Umi and Princess the Chihuahua and go sleep in a goddamn Motel 6 that our landlord put us in with crappy Wi-Fi and the first thing I did in the room was kill a cockroach. I will be discussing with him which hotel I’d like to stay at if this ever happens again, and it sure as fuck isn’t Motel 6. After waking up on the incredibly hard too-small bed with very little sleep, I sent him a text stating that I cannot sleep on that hard bed another night and I had a job to complete for a contract that I CANNOT LOSE. We were back in our apartment by 2:00pm, though it was a bit muggy/humid as the poor A/C unit worked in overdrive to cool the place off again. It ran for five hours straight. FIVE. HOURS. I’m afraid to see the electric bill. I slept through those five hours because I didn’t sleep much the night before, and neither did Umi. She passed out too.

im-so-tired

Then the A/C starting leaking right from the filter. The maintenance guy came back and fixed it. And then it continued to leak from the filter and inside the hall closet, thereby ruining a few things. He fixed it again, supposedly. Then on the 29th as we were leaving for Umi’s follow-up appointment with the surgeon, he was to look at it while we were gone. We stopped at the store on the way home, and when we got there, he was already gone. There was no leak in the hallway anymore. Then as I unloaded groceries from the ‘lanche, Umi started screaming from her bedroom that there was water coming down. I kid you not, there was a fucking waterfall coming out of her closet. I had to shut off the water to the entire building until the maintenance guy could return. The landlord showed up and I pointed out where the waterfall was and he saw the leak in the hallway that the maintenance guy apparently did NOT fix. At this point, he feels bad. The maintenance guy doesn’t show up again the rest of the week and is supposed to be out today.

I’m done with this place. Seriously. It’s ancient and falling apart. Their remodel four years ago was only aesthetic.

The sad part? I just found the PERFECT townhouse directly across the street from where I work for cheaper rent than what I’m paying now and with more room, and we are not in any kind of a position to move yet. Maybe in a couple of months, I’ll be able to do it. I can only hope that place is still available then, but I doubt it.

So if you need an edit, or know anyone who needs an edit, share my Editing page, would ya?

Thanks.

Oh, and go fuck yourself, June. I’ve had it with you. I think I’ll start celebrating my birthday in December.

The Gallbladder of Doom

…may be coming for you.

In early 2010, right after I’d moved down to Tucson and in with my friend Heather a.k.a. Kitty, the Gallbladder of Doom struck her a month after it’d struck her sister CJ Redwine, and for two months, I took care of her. Since then, the Gallbladder of Doom has come for many of my friends, it seems.

Now it has reared its ugly head yet again.

Snap 2015-07-01 at 17.29.59On June 8, 2015—five days before my birthday—Umi called me before noon crying because she was in a lot of pain. And I know it was a lot of pain because she called me at work crying and telling me to come home. I panicked a little, but for the most part kept calm. I think I surprised my co-workers by how calm I was. It’s perfectly normal for me to be the rock for everyone else in my family. That’s the way it’s always been, so panic is not an option. Now, when it comes to my mother, I will tend to “lose it,” but only when she’s either not in my line of sight or when it’s not imperative that I get to her in one piece….like on June 8, 2015. I needed to drive 11 miles from work to my home so that I could assess the situation and get her ass to the ER, which took some persuasion, by the way.

Snap 2015-07-01 at 14.34.33Once I got her to the ER, they got her back there quickly. Umi already has COPD and is on blood thinners because she had a pulmonary embolism several years ago, so they decided 10 hours later and after a CT Scan, an ultrasound, and the HIDA scan, that they wanted to do the surgery the next morning. They finally admitted her to the hospital. When the time came for her surgery the next morning, her INR was 4.1, which is incredibly high and she would bleed out if they did the surgery. So we had to wait another day. By Wednesday, her INR was down to 1.5, an Snap 2015-07-01 at 14.35.20acceptable level for the surgery. The surgeon told me her gallbladder was very infected and he took care of the hernia while in there. Meanwhile, they’re all surprised by her attitude because she’s cracking everyone up and not acting like she’s in pain at all. But that’s Umi. Ever the joker, always willing to make others laugh, makes friends everywhere she goes. She hides her pain well.

I’d always thought that my ability to mask my pain was due to my being a Gemini, but it’s apparent to me now that I’ve inherited it from my mother. And her Taurusian stubbornness.

Here’s basically a rundown of what happened while at the hospital all week…

Snap 2015-07-01 at 14.35.51 Snap 2015-07-01 at 14.36.12

Snap 2015-07-01 at 14.36.48 Snap 2015-07-01 at 14.38.02

Snap 2015-07-01 at 14.38.23 Snap 2015-07-01 at 14.38.49

Snap 2015-07-01 at 14.39.08 Snap 2015-07-01 at 14.39.23

Snap 2015-07-01 at 14.39.47 Snap 2015-07-01 at 15.04.22

Snap 2015-07-01 at 15.04.44 Snap 2015-07-01 at 15.05.16

Snap 2015-07-01 at 15.05.39 Snap 2015-07-01 at 15.06.17

Snap 2015-07-01 at 15.06.47 Snap 2015-07-01 at 15.07.17

Snap 2015-07-01 at 15.09.06 Snap 2015-07-01 at 15.09.28

Snap 2015-07-01 at 15.44.44 Snap 2015-07-01 at 15.45.03

Snap 2015-07-01 at 15.46.48 Snap 2015-07-01 at 15.50.09

Snap 2015-07-01 at 15.49.26 Snap 2015-07-01 at 15.50.55Snap 2015-07-01 at 15.50.34 Snap 2015-07-01 at 15.51.14 

Snap 2015-07-01 at 15.51.35 Snap 2015-07-01 at 15.51.56

Snap 2015-07-01 at 15.53.53 Snap 2015-07-01 at 15.57.47

Snap 2015-07-01 at 14.31.30Due to the fact that her insurance had yet to activate, we need a little help with her medical bills. We’d appreciate any help at all. It’s been a pretty crazy month, but that’s another post altogether.

Peace,

Jinxie

Happy Holidays!

…and I’ve missed an entire week of these, haven’t I? Oh wait, I did one on Monday. Never mind.

So Christmas has arrived and I don’t know what the rest of you got for gifts, but you can’t top a dragon! That’s right, I got a dragon. I’m now the Mother of Dragons.

327353_444994185551841_346823252_o

Okay, his name is Smaug and he’s only six inches tall, but whatever.

Smaug, the all-powerful

Smaug, the all-powerful

In all seriousness, though, today I am grateful to have the ability to spoil those I love with things they want. If you’ve been around here at all the last five or six years, you know that I haven’t been able to do that and how much it pained me because I truly enjoy giving gifts and seeing faces light up. Oh, I know it’s the thought that counts, but when you’re on the end of not being able to buy anything at all for people you care about while others buy things, thoughts become melancholy and it outright sucks. I have worked my ass off to get back on my feet and take control of my life once again. The only thing that truly gets to you is the amount of time it takes with that hard work. No one tells you how long it will take because it’s different for everyone. Me? I drowned myself in the well of depression for two years (though I had a pretty damn good reason with the love of my life walking out on me), so it really wasn’t until I suddenly had to take care of my mother that I got my ass in gear.

I have two driving forces (or motivations) in my life: money and Umi. The former helps me take care of the latter, though the latter is most important.

What’s your motivation in life, and what are you grateful for?

Monday Morning Blah

…and it is the last Monday of this year I will be working. Woohoo!

Good morning, minions! I wanted to take this moment to wish each of you a Happiest of Holidays and hope all wonderful things come your way. I’m grateful for you all! You keep me grounded. Thank you.

That is all.

Spock