Day Nine

Both. Again.

1. What is the most ironic thing that has ever happened to you?

Well, I’ve gotten a free ride on the streetcar when I had a pass that was good for that day. But it didn’t rain on my wedding day. (No, we didn’t have a “wedding day,” but that’s completely beside the point, now isn’t it? It didn’t rain that day!)

2. Who is or has been the most influential person in your life and why?

You know, I honestly don’t have an answer to that question at this point. My parents, my dad especially, shaped lots of things in my life. But I appreciate that I’ve been allowed to find my own way on many things….

Maybe I can write about certain individuals who helped me gather a few important things?

My high school football coaches, and my Army JROTC instructors helped me with punctuality. Being late as a broadcaster is a Bad Thing (TM). In all my years in radio, I think I was unexpectedly late for work maybe three times. Since then, I’m worse. I’ve been late for work a few times since I left radio.

Only once did I really feel like it was something for which there was no good excuse. I forgot to set my alarm, and just overslept.

Of course, there’s other things where I was influenced by things I’ve read. Not many of those are were case studies in how not to be “That Guy.” I am not “That Guy.”

At work, I don’t suffer fools with much grace these days. There is a problem with that, however: much of what I consider foolishness is also considered “tradition.” So, you’ve done this task this one way for fifteen years.

Give me a minute. I might find the fuck I’m not giving. Just because you’ve always done something one way doesn’t mean it’s eternally the right way

At the same time, I’m open to hearing a compelling argument. Even if I’m initially skeptical about something, you might be able to convince me.

Now I’m doing a really lousy job answering the prompts. Somehow, this feels familiar. Doing things strictly by the prompts normally doesn’t work out completely right for me.

If you’re not okay with me trying to find the best way to do something, don’t ask for my help….

But that’s about all I have for today. I’m spent. More tomorrow.

Day Eight

Or, to quote Mr. Mackey, “you’re pretty messed up, mmmkay?”

I’ll tackle both prompts again, today, because one I only have a couple of things to say.

1. What steps do you take for your health? Do you exercise? Eat healthy? Or do you figure you only live once and the heck with worrying about it?

A few years ago, when I was planning to ask my fiancee to marry me, I decided I needed to get more serious about taking care of myself. So, what’d that entail?

1. Harmful recreational chemicals,
2. Bad diet
3. Doing things to, “feel better.”

I was doing pretty well with all of it until the Nor’easter three years ago. Fall 2008, I’d gotten a new glasses prescription. The optometrist couldn’t correct me to 20/20 in my left eye. That wasn’t totally surprising after I’d had a problem with it about a year and a half before.

In November 2009, my apartment was destroyed in the storm. I’d spent much of that year working time-and-a-half helping with a big project, and trying to finish another.

After management finally got around to repairing my place, I just couldn’t get the strength and motivation to get things rearranged properly. And my eyes were crazy. Optometrists and psephologists had no idea what was causing my “optic nerve pallor.”

Fast forward six months, I’m dealing with the medical nonsense related to the MS diagnosis. Some of the progress I’d made on general health stuff I set aside just to deal with feeling lousy all the time.

I started seeing a resident at the local medical school who worked with me on a few things, some more successfully than others. I lost a lot of weight. (I went from bumping close to 250 down to around 185.) The medication I’m on now doesn’t kill my appetite as much as the first one did.

Even after switching my injections to the mornings, I still didn’t want to eat much of anything for several hours after taking the medicine.

My dad died in December 2010. I probably drank too much in the year or so after. Not so much because I was sad, but because I like alcohol.

The resident had said a couple of beers probably wasn’t a bad thing, with the weight loss continuing. She also put me on diet shakes to try and keep weight on. Before we actually got married, I was going downtown for sushi and beer probably every five days or so (expensive!).

After we got married, I was eating at home. And drinking more. Moreso after I stopped driving at night. Not to the point of being drunk, but beyond the point where I felt like I could drive if I absolutely needed to, but….

Fast-forward to this year. I started this new medication in February. Increased liver enzymes are an uncommon, but not rare, side-effect. After twelve weeks on the drug, blood test. My enzymes were high. Could have been the alcohol or the drug. Maybe both; I don’t know that there’s a way to know for sure. Week sans booze, and my liver was “normal” again.

Since the forced-sobriety period, I’ve started drinking again. A lot less than I was, and ever on nights I give myself a shot. On nights when I do drink, I try and watch my intake better. Pfft.

The weight loss stopped, too. I’ve been within about a ten pound range for almost two years now. I’m okay with what I weigh right now. Would I like to be fitter? Absolutely.

But I can’t run anymore. At all. Not even ten yards. Walking more than a couple of blocks nearly lays me out.

The last time I went to the med school to see a doc, the woman I’d been seeing had moved on to greener pastures. I saw someone different. She gave me three vaccines, and put me on blood pressure medication. My blood pressure has always been slightly elevated. Too many stimulants probably didn’t help. The Air Force made me do five remedials on it. When I saw the new doc, my BP was almost exactly what it’d been when I was seventeen years old (and that hte Air Force was finally okay with after taking it whatever it was…fifteen times?)

She also wanted blood. Still being bad about getting leeched, I delayed that until the neurologist visit. Neuro faxed the results over. My cholesterol wasn’t great. “Borderline high.” My HDL was low, and my LDL was a bit high. Combined was fine.

I’m going to go see someone else next week. I guess we’ll see what this new one has to say. Not doctor-shopping. Same practice. But the one who put me on the BP med seems to be overloaded. Whatever. I’m fine being a guinea pig. If there’s a resident who can learn from me, great.

2. Have you ever been hypnotized or seen someone hypnotized? What happened? If you haven’t, would you allow yourself to be if the chance presented itself?

Um. I’m not allowed to be hypnotized. Yes, I’ve seen what it looks like. (college, maybe?)

At a station where I used to work, there was a hypnosis group who’d come do a radio show periodically. They were, ummm, interesting. Brother and sister who, I think, had taken over their dad’s practice. Brother would bring his wife in. Sister was freakishly high-energy. I think she’d been a Marine, if that says anything…….

The brother had a very intense stare. And worked virtually expressionlessly. His was wife was pretty, more human, but also seemed a bit off……

I’ve S’dTFW a couple of times to see what happened to them, since I hadn’t heard them in awhile. Looks like the company failed under shomewhat mysterious circumstances or something. Regardless, they moved out west, etc.

And I’m going to shut up there.

Day Seven

Are you listed as an organ or bone marrow donor? Why or why not?

Yes. Because I really don’t need them after I’m dead; what do I care?

Whether there’d be much to salvage from my diseased body is a different story, altogether.


Apologies on the curtness of this one, but there’s really not a lot to say.

Day Six

I’m not hitting the prompts directly today. They both deal with friendship, what makes them, etc.

I don’t know, really. I know that I’ve probably ailenated myself to a lot of my former “friends,” over the past few years.

But, at the same time, I have to ask in a few cases, were they ever really friends? I kept confidences, etc., only to be taken advantage of. But that’s true about many other aspects of my life; I played doormat very well for a very long time. Almost as well as that punk on the Eagles last night laying in wait for that forward lateral. Oops.

I’m really bad at it these days. I really can’t put up the facade I used to. That doesn’t mean I’m going to be rude to you directly. Heavens no! I’m too damn passive-aggressive for that. But I will not waste spoons trying to accommodate you.

See yesterday’s entry. I know I’m an asshole some, if not most, of the time. Am I Tucker Max? No. I don’t aspire to be.

In many ways, social media has just changed how this stuff works. Instead of gossip behind someone’s back, it’s sort of more out in the open. But it’s still high school bullshit. If you haven’t grown up to get beyond that, don’t expect to see or hear much from me. My time and energy are too limited.

Now off to tak my shot. **exasperated sigh**

Day Five

Double duty again today, because I would like to say a little about each.

1. Are you an extrovert or an introvert? Both? Do you wish you could have more of the other characteristic?

I’m terribly introverted. Have been since about puberty. Some of it is related to how physically unattractive I view myself as (fat kid syndrome). Some of it has to do with a low overall opinion of many others.

At the same time, very few people understand what makes me tick. Fewer, still, agree with me. Whether that makes me disagreeable is up to you. If you don’t wish to keep my company, whatever. The reverse is also true.

I don’t feel obligations to some people that I probably should. Especially those who don’t even attempt to understand what it is I’m going through. No, I can’t stand in one place for five minutes without wobbling. Yes, I used to be able to march in a straight line; I can’t anymore.

There’s nothing that’s going to fix me. There’s not even really anything that’ll make life halfway normal. How the hell can you explain to someone who’s never experienced it what it’s like to have to remember to breathe? How do you explain to someone that there’s no glasses that’ll make your eyes work better?

This is just not stuff most people can comprehend. But it’s reality for me.

2. If your younger self could time travel and meet the you of today, what would they think of you? What would you tell your younger self?

See the answer to question number one, but….

You’re a jerk. A complete assholekneebiter. Use that to get them to figure out what the hell is wrong with you when you’re 22 instead of 30.

Maybe you’re being self-destructive right now; don’t worry so much about it. Have a little fun, asshole. You’re too old for your age. Enjoy being what you are; you’ve only got one chance at it.

Staying Put

This weekend’s news? We’re staying put for another year or so. Whether or not this is good news or not is open to debate.

I’ve also pretty much made up my mind on how I’m planning to vote Tuesday. Though, traditionally, I’ve been a vote-first-thing-in-the-morning guy, I’m going to go after work. In 2008, I had to wait three hours; I want my vote to count, so I chose not to go cast an early absentee ballot. I can come home after work, chill out for a bit, then go over to the Chrysler Museum. If I’m in line by 1900, they have to let me vote.

Pretty disgusting seeing the tweets from NBC tonight; they’re so desperately hoping that something goes incredibly wrong with the voting Tuesday. Yes, they want Obama to win, and the Democrats to keep at least one part of the Congress. But the messier the better for Sweeps. Sandy is over. Not a lot of people died. That’s a bad thing for TV weenies.

Day Four

Since I don’t have a tome for either, I’ll try to address both writing prompts. Instead of an extra hour of sleep, I’ll attempt an extra few minutes of writing.

1. What do you desire most in your life? What is holding you back from obtaining or achieving your heart’s desire?

At this point, normalcy. It’s very absent for anyone with somewhat fragile health. I have my soulmate. I had professional potential (though I have my doubts about it since my vision started going). The routines in life, however, are gone — possibly forever. I can’t know on a day-to-day basis how I’m going to feel, whether I’ll be up to whatever I have planned.

That’s put a strain on many other relationships I had. My wife is understanding; she sees what’s going on. Others don’t. But I don’t look sick! Yeah, and you don’t look stupid; looks can be deceiving.

I don’t feel comfortable around other family members for other reasons, too. There’s been a lot of bereavement in the past few years. Nothing, other than this little apartment with my wife, feels like “home.” When we stayed with my mom last year during Irene, it just felt strange. Visiting my grandfather and uncle after my dad died felt strange.

Thanksgiving with her parents will be a bit more comfortable (I am starting to feel a bit more at home at her parents’ place…..it has taken six years, but….), but I’ll be worried about what my mom is doing.

2. What is your strangest tic or habit? For example feeling compelled to sniff your food before eating it or always counting steps when you go up or down stairs.

Uhhh…..I have MS. I have lots of “strange” things. Some of them aren’t terribly noticable if you’re not paying attention. My left foot doesn’t point straight ahead. My gait is weird. I can’t run at all. My eyes do weird dances. Restless Leg Syndrome? Uh, no. But I do have similar twitches.

I also have “angry hands.” I do do this thing where I interlace my fingers when I’m frustrated with something.


*yawn*
Yeah, time to post up, and try to sleep. Aint’s aren’t until Monday night. But watching Eli Manning beat the Falcons will suffice.

Day Two

Writing Prompt: What was a time you felt the most brave? What was a time you didn’t feel brave at all? 

Much like yesterday’s entry, it’s tough to pin a single instance down. I am, by no means, a corageous person. Am I the lion from The Wizard of Oz? Hardly. Am I brave? Hell no.

So, two brave times (and they may also just have been stupid).

1. 2004, when I drove to and from Spokane to see my friend. Alone. I’d been feeling horrible before the trip, so I figured if I made it alive, I’d be okay. I did. Felt like crap when I was there, but felt somewhat okay on the way back, and the week after. I didn’t have many more serious MS symptoms for years after that. (Until the bout of optic neuritis in 2006?)

2. When I went for the MRI for diagnosis. Well, three MRIs. I hadn’t married, yet. My dad offered to give me a ride to the hospital, but I truned him down after they scheduled me at 0545. I drove myself. I made it through almost three hours inside that damn tube. No drugs. I admit I did punch the panic button once, but that’s only because I was afraid I was going to puke after they injected the dye.

And, on to the least brave….

1. Leaving that last company, which shall not be named. My boss was on vacation. I’d driven to his house before he left to let him know it might be happening if I got the offer.

I really didn’t get the offer I was hoping for. I got a different one. The money was right, so I took it. I’m still there. It’s now the job I’ve had the second-longest in my life. Telling the weasel owner I was leaving was tough. I thought I liked the guy. Little did I know what he’d done — what he’d done, what he was still going to do to fuck me over. Seriously, fuck that guy. There’s a reason he’s teaching high school in Florida.

They fired my boss two days after I turned in my notice. I turned in my resignation letter as I was leaving Monday evening. They fired him Thursday. While he was still overseas on vacation. Yes, that shady. My problems started a couple of weeks after I’d left; walking in to the Magistrate’s office to take out a protective order takes a certain amount of bravery….

So, moments of being not brave?

Umm…..I’m sure they involved medical stuff. Getting veins stuck does bad things to me.

 

Yes, there’s things missing from this that I put in the other one.  Sue me;  my blog sucks.  But, I will put in something here I omitted in the other one — douchebag’s initials   Since, after the mess with me leaving, I bitched vocally here about the criminality I saw, it wouldn’t surprise me if PG still checks from time to time.  If so, fuck you, guy.  Florida is exactly the right place for you.

Day One

Writing Prompt: What has been your biggest accomplishment in your life so far?

(And since this is my blog, I’ll track back to Dana, who’s doing this, also, though with different prompts since she’s using a different site.  But it’s a November thing.  I’m also doing the mustache for November.  If it looks stupid, it’s becoming a beard.  I already feel like a damn hippy, and it’s only been one day without shaving!  And, as I said, pls2notbementioning the URL of the other place where I write if you know, or find it.)

Have spent a lot of time considering what I should choose for this; I don’t focus much on past accomplishments. Not terribly long ago, I was complaining about the Captain Philip Francis Queeg school of management. Queeg, of course, spent his entire career trying to recreate his few moments of adequacy. I try hard to avoid that.

My focus, professionally, is creating a workable solution at a low cost. Sometimes finding that solution requires setting aside what you’ve done in the past, and re-examining everything.

Getting married has definitely affected my evaluation criteria. Things I would have taken pride in as a single dude really aren’t important anymore. Woohoo! I drank an entire six pack in one sitting! Big fucking deal to most frat boys. My wife, however, would be disgusted by that behavior.

So, since I can’t isolate a single thing, I’ll just throw some things out of which I’m proud:

1. That I married someone who might possibly be my perfect partner.
2. That I’ve yet to miss a dose of any of my MS meds, now more than two years’ into taking them.
3. That I am dedicated to work, despite more than ample reason not to be.
4. My service to others. Some of it is kind of thankless, but…. The vast majority of it’s been without compensation. Is it satisfying when something I put together is still functional years after its expected demise? You bet. As far as I know, there’s systems in use at former jobs. My old company, whose name I will not mention, is still selling things I designed. Something I put together now almost seven years ago is still chugging along. And so on.
4. That I surpassed the 2,000 entry mark, and didn’t even notice it.
5. That I’ve been responsible elsewhere in my life last few years. I was reckless when I was younger. I admit that now. Yes, being sick has sapped my reckless abandon on some things, but I’d started down that path before I knew I was sick.
6. Forgiveness. I’ve gotten better about it. Those who’ve harmed me may not be as dear as they once were, but I’m still civil. When I was younger, I probably wouldn’t have been.

So, is there a lot to point to, there? Yes. Is there a “crowning achievement?” No. (Though number one comes awfully damn close…..I still haven’t figured out how I pulled that one off while still being myself….) I’m okay with that.