Thursday, July 31, 2008

My mother, the liar

I found out last night that my mother lied to me about the reason she's in SICU. Yeah, sure, her medical history made it good sense to put her there, but something happened. After her surgery, while she was in recovery, she had a cardiac "episode". Tests showed that it wasn't a heart attack, but something happened. Anyway, she's doing increasingly better, but is still in SICU.

I am exhausted, mentally & physically. Every member of the family, my mom's friends, plus MY friends, have all been calling me to find out how things are going. While I appreciate the show of love and support, I do not have the time or energy to return the 10+ calls per day.

1) Cell phones are not allowed in SICU.
2) I am in the SICU with mom most of the day, and also in the early evening.
3) There is zero cell phone reception in the hospital, so even if I wanted to sit on the phone, I couldn't.
4) Seeing as this is (gasp!) an intensive care unit, there are no telephones in the rooms. People who are in an ICU ward aren't chatting the day away.

So when I stumble home after dark, fumble sleepily through the kitchen to try to find something to eat, curse because there's not much to have low-sodium other than a salad, etc., I might remember to turn on the cell phones and check the messages from the day. But at that point, I probably won't call you back unless you're family and it's been over 48 hours since our last conversation.

Nothing personal, friends; I'm just so. freaking. tired. I wasn't expecting to be off work this week, but here it is. I have no idea if I'm going to have a job anymore when this is over, and that especially sucks since I'd just been offered a permanent position at the company where I'm temping. Bah. I can't really worry about that now.

Yesterday was my due date. Sob sob, boo hoo, I was a bit emotional yesterday, being in a hospital and all, but it didn't last long. There's too much real drama going on in my life right now, for me to linger too long on the sorrow of a theoretical due date for a baby who's been dead for 6 months.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mom's surgery update

It's only 4pm, but I feel like I've been up and going for ages. Today was Mom's surgery, and we had to be at the hospital at 6am. It had originally been a leisurely 6:30 arrival time, but they called and changed it last night; she was going to be one of the first people taken in to surgery.

We got to the hospital, and were immediately sent off to the lab. Apparently her last-minute INR levels at yesterday's labs were wacky, and they wanted to do another check to see how it was to determine whether or not she should have surgery. Mom usually takes coumadin, but to prepare for this surgery they stopped coumadin 4 days ago, and had her take lovenox injections. And it was just funny to me, because as an infertile I'm used to women TTC using lovenox, rather than geriatric people. I joked with her that I was going to pimp out her dozens of extra syringes of the stuff, since I know so many TTCers using it.

Anyway, Mom had her surgery, and at some point it was over. I say "at some point" because I don't have a freaking clue, because the nurses didn't bother to contact me in the waiting room the way they're supposed to. I got the first call saying that the inital incision had been made at 9am, and then nothing until I got fed up after 2pm and went to hunt her down. I don't think it's exaggerating to say that I was quietly freaking out when I found out she was in SICU rather than a regular room.

Thankfully, her SICU stay seems to have been a preventative measure, rather than the result of an incident during the surgery. Because of her various and sundry health issues, the doctors and anesthetist thought it prudent to stick her in SICU to be on the safe side. So, that's where she is now. She's obviously very out of it, but is in a surprising amount of pain considering how fresh out of surgery she was. I mean, the really bad pain doesn't usually kick in that quick, but an hour out of recovery and she was already hitting the pain med pump.

I came home to get something to eat, as the cafeteria food is all heavily laden with salt unless I had a salad, and G-d knows I didn't want a salad today. So I've just had "breakfast", and will be heading back to hospital shortly.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Paging Dr. Feelgood

Just back from the doctor, and I'm feeling pretty good. My blood pressure, while a bit high for normal people, is absolutely fantastic for me (130/90). And in the last three weeks, I have lost 5 pounds without even trying. I'm cautiously happy about that, and just hope it continues.

I'm not bothering with counting calories or carbs or anything like that; the only thing I'm really being vigilant about is sodium. I mean, I'm using some common sense, like not deep-frying my cucumbers in lard, or refraining from spreading an entire jar of jam on a PB&J sandwich. But it's kinda neat to see that at least a couple of pounds are coming off just from my healthier eating habits.

By the way, I found a great peanut butter brand, Krema, which is nothing but ground up peanuts. No added sugar, salt, or weird oils. Yes, the peanut oil separates out, so you have to stir it really well before you eat it; yes, it is a little on the runny side; yes, the flavor takes a little getting used to if you're a typical American who's used to super sweet peanut butter. But by gosh, I can have peanut butter on occasion without feeling too terribly guilty about it, and I'm happy.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I hate my job, and I don't even have it yet

I've been so effing tired lately. The regular gal on my job-- not my crazy boss, but the other full time/non-temp type person-- was on vacation last week, so me and the other temp were so busy we barely had time to think. Not only was the "go to" person out, but the work load (of course) was about 70% heavier last week. I really don't care much for this job, but it's a paycheck. I can't believe I've been temping at this place for 4 months now.

So of course, since this is the last place I really want to work forever, guess what? I got offered the full time, regular job yesterday. Even though I feel sick to my stomach, I accepted. I figured, I would have worked here until they ditched me or I found something else, so I might as well keep working here and get benefits kicked in.

I feel so guilty, like I'm being ungrateful and surly when I should be lighting a candle and saying thank-you prayers. But I really don't feel excited, because I don't really want this job. I know I need a job, but this isn't it, you know? But it has to be "it" for the moment, because I ain't stupid. Although to be honest, it isn't so much the actual job I dislike, but my boss. She is nuts, and when I officially move into the permanent position, I won't be in my little file room anymore. Nope, I'll be in the cubicle right next to her. All. Day. Long. Every. Single. Fucking. Day. I can already feel the ulcer coming on.

To make it worse, the other temp-- whom I happen to like very much-- will be let go once I'm hired. I'm probably not supposed to know that, but my crazy, stinky boss let it slip that the other temp would not be kept on once I went permanent. So, I feel even more guilty that a single mom who just moved to town a few months ago is about to be released, while here I am not even really wanting this job that she so desperately needs. Not that I don't desperately need it too, but you know what I mean. And on a selfish note, I don't want her to get fired because, damn it, there's too much effing work for them to let her go! We're crazy busy with 3 workers plus a supervisor now; it's freaking me out to think of how busy it will be with just 2 workers and a supervisor. As if I wasn't already apprehensive about this job.

There's just so much going on. I feel a little (read: a LOT) resentful that I interviewed for this job nearly 3 months ago, and they're just choosing someone. Even though I'm the one they chose, and I secretly don't even want the position, it still pisses me off that it took them this long to make a decision. And they haven't even done background checks (the HR lady told me), so I don't know what was taking so long. As a job-seeker, it is hugely annoying when companies advertise a job, interview candidates, and then take months on end to make a choice. People are looking for work now, not a quarter from now.

And of course, next Wednesday is Ye Olde Due Date. Blah blah blah, same old whining, different day. Next Tuesday is the day my mom has surgery, and I am quietly terrified that she is going to die. I am just far too mentally committed to personal and family issues right now to be able to handle the added stressors of this job situation, but I gotta suck it up and wear my big girl panties for now.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Don't listen to me, I'm just a temp

About two weeks ago, one of the IT guys came up to my little room and told me my computer had raised a "ding" and needed to have a mega-virus scan run on it.  It took about an hour or so, but it came up clear.  IT Dude advised me to clear my cache and cookies often, and if I do this, I won't come up on The List.
Now, I do that clean-up fairly frequently at home, but I honestly just don't think about doing it that often at work.  One, it's not my personal computer.  Two, I'm a temp.  Three, I have nothing to hide, so compulsive computer cleaning isn't as much a priority as it was at my last job.  You know, the job where my Big Gay Boss Friend would look up gay porn.  A lot.  Luckily, the two of us were the only people in the office, and our two computers weren't linked to any company network or anything; we were on a tiny little network of two.  Still, seeing as I was the computer savvy one, you'd better believe I was doing some constant upkeep to keep those computers clean.
Anyway, while I was talking to IT Dude, I asked him why, if the internet was available to all the employess-- albeit with some sites "FORBIDDEN!" or "BLOCKED BY BIG MANUFACTURING COMPANY's IT GODS!"--- they didn't use something like McAfee Site Advisor.  That way, the sites that aren't blocked would have a safety rating, and employees could engage in safer internet activities.  He immediately fell into advanced Geek Speak (I only know beginner Geek Speak, so he left me in the dust), explaining how it wouldn't work and that it wasn't necessary with the current filters.  I understood enough G.S. that I still wasn't convinced that it wouldn't be a good idea, but I just shrugged and went on with my business.
Now, two weeks later, you'll never guess what just landed in my email inbox: an inter-company email explaining how Site Advisor is going to be deployed on all the company's PC starting tomorrow afternoon, so that our browsing will be more safe.
OMFG <-- I generally hate IM speak (unless I'm actually IM'ing), so you should know just how much I mean that.
It could be a complete coincidence, but somehow I'm just not able to convince myself of that.  I mention Site Advisor two weeks ago to one of the IT Dudes, who sorta puts me down for my silly plebeian notions, and then suddenly the "new, grand" idea at the company is to use it?  Asshat.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

TGI Humpday

Thanks to the stellar suggestions of several friends, I've been looking into several dietary websites where you can keep an online food diary. I have, quite magnanimously, decided to join one of those to keep track of my sodium intake, so I don't bore you all to death with numbers and whining about how hard it is to budget out my sodium over the day.

While still swollen, my ankles are not as big tonight as they usually are by the end of the day. I don't know if it's a real effect from my lowered sodium diet, seeing as it's only been about 5 days, but I'm a bit stoked to see a reduction. I'm just hoping this is a real trend, and not just a temporary aberration.


On a completely unrelated note, I have to ask: am I the only person in America who is sick of all the reality and competition television shows in primetime? I can't stand any of 'em. I don't care who can sing, dance, cook, lose the most weight, do standup, or sashay Shante better than the other contestants. If this tells you anything, I have never watched an entire episode of American Idol. When people talk about the shows and the folks on them, I never have a clue who they're talking about. Most of the time, I'm popping in a DVD to save me from "Dancing with Hell's Biggest Survivor Top Talent Idol".

By the same token, I'm also sick of the 5 billion cop/lawyer shows out there. And of course, to make my life complete, my mum loves them all. Allllllll of them. I'm just waiting for there to be a "CSI: Graceland", where an Elvis impersonator-turned-cop specializes in investigating crimes while in full regalia, sneer not optional. As with all such shows, there have to be exciting opening sequences showing scenic landmarks, such as the gates of Graceland, the Pyramid, and Neely's BBQ. I would actually watch a show with The King-- or even a pseudo King-- solving crimes here in the BBQ capitol whilst sporting polyester & sequins.

Monday, July 07, 2008

The fat and salt of it

So here's the part I didn't get around to in my previous whining, bitching emails: in the past 6 months (since you-know-when), I have apparently gained 15 pounds. Ho. Lee. Shite.

Now, since practically everyone reading is of the feminine persuasion, you might think it's weird that I didn't know how much I weighed until I went to the doctor last week. But see, here's the thing: I know I'm fat. I've been fat since the day adolescence kicked in. My weight--albeit far too large of a number-- has been stable for years, so there was no need for a scale. Between TTC and other medical appointments, I was weighed often enough in a doctor's office that I knew that my weight stayed within about a 5 lb range... until I miscarried, got depressed, and started eating poorly and too much.

Now I have the lovely situation where my doctor and the nutritionist he sent me to completely disagree. The (male) doctor is concerned about my weight & BP, and wants me on a low-cal diet to shed some pounds. The (female) nutritionist, on the other hand, is far more concerned about the typical Southern diet & sodium & BP, and wants me on a super low-sodium diet, screw counting calories. The nutritionist, a doctor in her own right, basically told me to use good common sense when it comes to fats and sugars, but not to freak out about counting calories, carbs, and all that stuff. My focus is counting sodium. She says that if I stay true to a good low-sodium diet as we went over, I will by default be eating healthier and making better choices, so worrying about counting calories & carbs would just be too much on top of everything else. I think I like the nutritionist's view. She's looking big-picture and long-term, and I like that view.

Here's what sucks, though: do you have any idea how much sodium is in practically everything we eat? Dude, it's everywhere. Even an 8oz serving of 2% milk has about 120mg of sodium. For me, as little sodium as I'm supposed to take in right now, that's more than 10% of my daily allotment. Eight ounces of milk. My personal ambrosia. Yes, I am a milkaholic, and I can't believe my sweet cow teat juice is so salty.

Anyway, I hesitate to say this for fear of running people off, but I may start a kind of sodium diary here, so I can keep tabs on how I'm doing. Hey, at least I won't neurotic and female and fretting about calories, right? Just geriatric and worrying about sodium.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Excuse me while I clear my throat


After getting around to posting for the first time in forever, I decided to suck it up, and catch up on groups and blogs and whatnot, and see what's been happening in the world while I've been... whatever it is I've been doing.

The first thing I see on FF is Shadow Pregnancy's baby pic. Yes, her baby came a month early. Like me, she had BP issues. And as I always expected would happen to me, they took her baby early from IUGR. All personal anguish aside, he is a cutie.


On a good note, Cali is in her FET cycle, and ET is only a little over a week away. I'm keeping all my puffy toes and swollen fingers crossed for you, hon.

July: the month of hell

My doctor's visit Thursday did not go well. The change in my meds that they were trying not only didn't improve my BP, but it made it worse. Another change, another two weeks, here we go again. I just keep having the macabre thought that hopefully I won't die before the next appointment.

No, I'm not exactly Miss Mary Sunshine these days. Not only do I have the stress of uncontrolled BP (again), but it's July, what would have been my due month. I keep thinking that right now, I'm supposed have an huge baby-belly, be cranky yet excited, and have swollen ankles for an entirely different reason. I'm supposed to be getting ready to bring a baby home at the end of the month, not getting ready to ovulate then.

And even though I cancelled all my diaper, formula, etc. website memberships, I still occasionally get baby coupons and things in the mail. But the last week? It's really ramped up, I guess since it's my due month. I've gotten coupons galore, free diaper bag offers, diaper samples, and two-- count 'em, two-- big cans of formula. As if my head wasn't messed up enough.

Ever since the calendar read "July", I've been back to the emotional tentativeness of this past bleak January, where a look or a word can send me off the deep end. Practically everyday has seen crying jags so violent that I nearly convulse with the pain and anger of it. Anger at myself, my doctor, at God, at the universe, I don't know. It's like my emotional-healing clock has been completely reset, and I'm back to ground zero, just dealing with this for the first time.

There's one group on FF with whom I've been friends for years now. So much so, that we're running away and setting up shop on a new site that one of the ladies is creating (which of course, I will plug shamelessly once it's out of beta testing). But I had already kinda deserted the FF group, because of the newer girls (as in, she joined our long-standing group about, oh, two months before she got pregnant) on there got pregnant almost at the same instant I did. Seriously, our due dates are/were 3 days apart. T-h-r-e-e d-a-y-s.

Do you have any idea of how much just seeing her pregnancy ticker seems to mock me? How jealous I feel everytime she writes about a doctor's appointment, an ultrasound, feeling her baby kick? Knowing that I was supposed to be at the exact same phase of pregnancy? It got to the point where I just didn't go to the buddy group much anymore. It's selfish, true, but it's also an act of self-preservation. I just can't handle it right now.

Oh, and just to put a cherry on top of the sundae, my 20 year old cousin has gotten his (also) 20 year old girlfriend pregnant. Completely by accident, of course. She's about 4 months along I think, but they waited to announce it because "it wasn't the right time". Independence Day is one of our family gathering days, so here I am trying to play nice to this pregnant 20 year old, when all I want to is slap her first for being stupid, then be incredibly jealous because she gets to have a baby. My Dark Side is slightly pleased because she is white, and my cousin's grandmother is the main one in our family who has color issues. It will make for interesting family gossip, to be sure, and at least it won't be about me for a change.

And what they really meant about "it wasn't the right time" to reveal the pregnancy is that they were letting things cool down from the fallout of another 20/21 year old cousin who accidentally got his girlfriend pregnant, and didn't tell the family until the day the baby was born, which was the day before Mother's Day. Can you imagine finding out that your son/grandson/nephew/cousin was becoming a father, but didn't bother to tell anyone until the freaking baby was born?!? It is just Not Done. It makes me so proud, to have my family fulfilling every negative stereotype imaginable right now. Multiple unplanned pregnancies by young people, wigger girlfriends, fights where men get put out of the house and they go home to momma. Ahhh, yes, I believe the children are our future, all right.