Can a day or a week be hectic and full of emptiness at the same time?
Of course it can. I certainly know that.
I’ve spent the last couple days balancing household chores, some obligations I volunteered to do, medical appointments and animals.
I really want a beer or a glass of wine.
I’m technically overweight now — my BMI is 25
But I am pleased with some of the progress I made on projects, primarily submitting an idea for a virtual book fair fundraiser for Mary Meuser Memorial Library (which the committee has responded very favorably to) and sorting through some old little girls’ clothes from the attic.
So in the midst of everything I noticed my front garden is a mass of nettles.
I pulled a bunch of weeds when I got home from the hospital but they grow faster than I can yank them out.
But then I saw this:
My roses need to be trimmed. Another casualty of my hospital stay. But I needed this glimpse of beauty.
And I cherish it.
In other news, I tried a stroopwaffel from Lidl. They were impressively gooey even without the obligatory coffee to warm the caramel inside.
I left my home at 6:15ish a.m. on Monday. I was in the ER within walking distance of my home by around 6:30, blood drawn around 7 a.m. and admitted shortly thereafter. I was transferred to another hospital, arriving at 3 pm, and I haven’t left my 9th floor room every since.
It is 9:30 am on Thursday.
I had a cat bite. One tooth. Punctured my finger. 3 pound kitten.
The almost instantaneous cellulitis was scary.
The fact that it got infected is not unexpected—most people don’t realize that 50% of cat bites get infected versus 5 to 10% of dog bites.
This whole adventure taught me a lot about animals, emergency medicine and hospitals.
My favorite nurse Michelle just announced I am being discharged as soon as she can fill out the paperwork. They cultured my blood— that was those bottles I posted the other day—and nothing grew!
So now that these have come back clean, I can head home. My neighbor, Jan, little dog Sobaka’s mom, is on her way.
I have set up my follow up appointment with my primary care physician, who will be very glad to see my blood pressure has reached normal levels.
I can’t even remember what I wanted to write in this because I’m so excited to go home.
I drink a lot of water and also urinate a lot. If the average person urinates 2000 ml a day, I probably hit almost 3000 ml.
I heard a “rapid response team” code 3 times while in the hospital, once each night around 8 pm. Last night, it was in a room a few doors from mine. Seeing the red cart fly by and people streaming from every direction, including the corridor I could see from my window. It was sobering.
I always feel like I’ve ordered half the hospital menu and when the food comes, I’m always shocked at how little food is on the tray.
My blood pressure was consistently about 117/75.
Being in the hospital for 3.5 days allowed me to follow the routines and “get to know” the staff and the other patients. In this time of Coronavirus, I couldn’t leave my room without mask and what not and really where would I go?
I saw the nurses deal with several difficult situations.
I watched the patients walking the corridors for exercise, in their gowns and with their IV poles.
I loved watching shift change, and when the residents and interns gathered for rounds.
I spoke with the teenager early this morning and asked for some pet updates throughout the day and this is what I can tell you:
Zeus and Artemis are allowing the teenager closer. Hermes doesn’t do more than a token flee when the teenager administers his meds.
Misty has taken to sleeping in my purse, which is balanced on a stool.
Good news: Ortho, the department supervising my wound care, has released me to go home.
Bad news: My attending physician will not release me until I have 72 hours of normal blood draws just to ensure that there is no infection lingering in my system.
When I got to the ER on Monday morning, my blood work drawn at 7 am was normal, my blood work drawn here 24 hours later was also normal. So, and the attending physician specifically said this— If they draw my blood tomorrow at 7 am and it is also normal, I can go home.
This explains why I unexpectedly had another IV bag of antibiotics. Last night I slept well enough to dream and my brain transformed the chime from the IV pump in the room neighboring mine to Diana Ross’ “I’m coming out.” I dreamt I was dancing in a disco.
Upon hearing the news that my discharge would be delayed, I’ll be honest… I cried. Not in front of the doctor or my favorite nurse but I did cry.
Then I called “the meal hotline” and told them I was stress eating dinner tonight. I ordered a garden salad, cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato and ranch dressing, broccoli, tator tots and a fruit cup.
Speaking of food, I tried the pancakes for breakfast with turkey sausage (that had a bite) and the chicken salad on rye for lunch. I promised the teenager I would try the sugar cookies.
Good news: The pancakes tasted as good as a diner. I was craving honeydew melon and it was so delicious. And the chicken salad also hit the spot.
Bad news: The breakfast was too small for me— if I do that again I am going to have to get scrambled eggs as that was not enough food for me and I was physically shaking by lunch.
Now that my meals are situated, I FaceTimed my cockatoo. That always cheers me up. I don’t have any clean clothes, except for a pair of jeans, so I asked Gayle to bring me a t-shirt and some dental floss.
She said yes and offered to stop and get me Dunkin so I placed an order. First I got her an iced tea and then I ordered munchkins. I checked out and realized I forgot my order. So I placed a second order.
Apparently that Dunkin’ closes at 2 and they were no longer accepting mobile orders— even though I had placed one one minute earlier.
And they were out of munchkins. So we got doughnuts in the munchkin flavors.
When Gayle left, it felt so good to wash, floss and put on the closest thing I had to an outfit.
Sometimes I am reminded of my age— when I think of those summers of my girlhood circa the 1980s, when Pennsylvania experienced temperatures that averaged in the high seventies/low eighties and for about 2 weeks every August a heat wave of around 85 degrees.
It also snowed a lot more, and I can’t say I miss that.
Now I won’t be naive enough to suggest this pandemic has been fun. Some people have gotten seriously ill, others have died. Luckily in my circle, those who contracted Covid-19 survived and none ended up in the hospital.
But as I said in the beginning of the pandemic, the Coronavirus has forced us to look at our health system, our purchasing habits, our supply chains, what we need and what we don’t. I have found a more relaxed pace of life, and while I have lost my job, I have found some inner truths that bring me hope. Perhaps that is where my naïveté lies.
Yesterday, I had a business meeting with my first client as a partner in Thrive Public Relations. Thrive is the brainchild of a friend— who has been searching for someone with media, print and editorial experience to complement his digital marketing, strategy and networking expertise. I have agreed to help him, and hopefully this will lead to some paying work that could help keep me afloat and allow me to rebuild my career portfolio.
I spent much of the last year as a grant writer, and would love to highlight some current public relations work to augment my grant writing potential.
So I was asked to attend a business lunch at Sogo Asian Fusion yesterday in one of my favorite environs, downtown Easton. I thoroughly enjoyed, despite the 95 degree heat, dining on the patio. It felt lovely to build an outfit, put on make up and head into the world.
Then later that evening, my propensity for stress-related binge-eating led to me eating most of a jar of “trail mix” — I put that in quotes because it had walnuts and almonds but was mostly butterscotch and white chocolate chips— that my blind friend Nancy gave me for Christmas. I had it on my desk at work and it was one of my possessions that Mr. Accordion drove to my house.
And then my daughter cornered me. She started reciting old bits from Brian Regan, one of my favorite comedians (from the golden age of the early 1990s, before I graduated high school and Nirvana changed the world).
Finally she got tired of her delivery falling flat and we spent an hour watching Brian Regan clips from YouTube on my phone. I grabbed a Diet Coke and finished the rest of the vanilla vodka from County Seat Spirits.
The teenager’s father, my husband of 20-years whom I separated from last summer, does not like stand-up comedy. But a good stand-up comic (like Regan, or Trevor Noah, or for those who have thicker skin and/or less sensitivities Denis Leary and George Carlin), can lift my darkest spirits. So I love the fact that our daughter inherited my taste in comedy.
And when I got up this morning, as mundane life started to overwhelm me with chores and commitments, Nan called.
The Mighty.com had published her piece on our summer picnic and shared it with Yahoo News. It features me, and the teenager, so I got to enjoy reading about my life.
There’s so much good activity in my life right now — I’ve been too busy to catch everyone up.
My last day at work is tomorrow and my colleague, Mr. Accordion, is coming over tonight.
I have been working hard publicizing Aspire to Autonomy’s upcoming events, and they have given me the title of Communications Director. I am working with a fantastic intern on public relations and I think, I hope, she is having fun.
Gayle, the teenager and I, went for a nice walk in Easton Cemetery last night. Every time I go up there I find more cool things!
Gayle, the teenager and I went to Porter’s Pub last night after the walk and they let me eat all the “stinky cheese.” Gayle bought me a very delicious salted caramel chocolate porter from Saucony Creek. To celebrate new beginnings!
I cashed in my free medium 2-topping pizza from Dominos.
I’ve been making Nala puzzles every morning to try and keep her busy.
We found someone that can get Mama cat spayed for free. (Did I mention we were out on a walk and our kittens’ mama came to us and we brought her home. She’s pregnant. Again.) We thought the organization would let us foster her and her kittens until they found homes… but now we’re being told they might keep her. So we are a tad sad.
And for multiple days in a row I have made 10,000 or more steps a day!
But at the end of the post, there will be a bit of bad news explaining why I had said blizzard. But let’s focus on the good. Because that’s how I roll.
The teenager and I skipped breakfast and went to Dairy Queen for lunch with Nala, the Goffin’s Cockatoo.
The Drumstick Blizzard
The latest blizzard creation from Dairy Queen is the drumstick blizzard with chunks of deep fried chicken in ice cream. Just kidding.
They crushed up bits of Drumstick ice cream cones and peanuts! So good. Very similar to a Snickers Blizzard but not as chewy. The ice cream cone pieces were crunchy and tasty.
And Nala enjoyed her French fries.
So now I have 503 reward points at DQ which is enough for a free 4 piece chicken strip basket.
What I struggle to understand is what is this super bendy straw for?
So, now the bad news… I was informed today that my last day with the non-profit agency where I work will be July 10. That’s why I had a Blizzard.
Here’s to the next chapter. I had a great time learning a lot of new skills in a field that was brand new to me. I had a lot of good experiences and made a lot of new friends and new connections. I look forward to finishing out next week with the team, and I wish the agency the best in the future.
The teenager has committed herself to her fitness goals at the same time that I have to use some serious discipline on my own behalf.
As the woman in her mid-forties with lower body cerebral palsy and a history of anemia, I have to join her.
The stress of my job has impacted my sleep and my blood pressure and the exhaustion that comes everything—from turning to various comfort eating techniques, drinking too much coffee and working too hard—leads to me not getting enough steps and not doing cardio or weight training.
That makes me look different, feel different and act different.
I like being a strong, fit woman, even if my body isn’t athletic.
My daughter informed me that she can’t work out with me. She doesn’t want her success or failure to have anything to do with anything other than herself. I respect that heartily, but I hope soon we can at least go to the gym together.
She downloaded the Instafitness app onto her phone. I purchased this app for $5 six years ago and it helped me make my body sleek and lean. I went all the way from 142 pounds to 110. That was too thin.
By the way, today I’m 142 pounds.
But why we like Instafitness— it divides workouts several ways:
By body group
By equipment (body weight exercises, dumbbells, and resistance band)
Some are labeled as weight loss
Each work out ranges from 10-20 minutes so you can mix and match to build a routine.
Today I tried an arm workout on FitOn. It was a 10-minute burnout session for upper body. I liked how complete it was, but man, I was not prepared for ten minutes of non-stop high intensity dumbbell pounding.
So far, and the reality of our need to get in shape has only really hit us this week:
We have made smarter food choices.
We have eaten most of the remaining “junk” in the house.
I have eaten less refined white carbs.
I have eaten more fruits and veggies.
My steps were averaging a sedentary 2,000 to 4,000 a day; now I am in the neighborhood of 6,000 to 8,000.
I lifted today. Briefly.
The teenager is killing it— yesterday was chest, abs & lower body. She repeated chest & abs today.
I might even try to get up early tomorrow and do yoga. Maybe.
On Saturday morning, the teenager and I went down to Easton cemetery to support the Palmer Kiwanis team as they participated in the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community to support my employer, ProJeCt of Easton.