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05/01 Direct Link
Script Frenzy came and went, and I have found that it was tougher than NaNo. Writing scripts, to me, is completely counterintuitive when you're trying to construct a story while using that format. "So-and-so speaks here. Remember to add a line break and mention what music is playing in the background. What's the exterior lighting look like?" I have a greater appreciation for how professional screenwriters go about their business now, but I wonder if they find it's easier to just write a story like everybody else when they get the chance, or if it just becomes habit.
05/02 Direct Link
I wonder how much longer I will have to keep working at this job. Three years at the same place and I haven't even gotten a raise for this one. I grit my teeth now at my bad grades in my misspent youth. Will I ever get ahead? Will I ever be able to earn an advanced degree? Oh sure, I could take business classes, but we all now by now that I have a serious disdain for desk jobs. The other alternative is to take on serious debt by going to a lesser college for that next degree. 
05/03 Direct Link
There's a billionaire who says that higher education is a "racket" and that you don't really need a college degree. I would like to know if I could argue that I don't need a BSN because some rich college dropout who's a tech whiz didn't have to get a piece of paper that enables him to work in medicine. Just think of how many prospective med students listened to that guy and thought, "I wish I could get away with doing that." But I doubt that billionaire would let some fresh-faced kid with just good intentions cut him open.
05/04 Direct Link
I have been trying to remember to work on the exercises that the physical therapist prescribed to me when I am at home. I usually get as far as the hamstring and ITB stretches and slack off after that. On the plus side, I have required less ice and ibuprofen on my left hip for the last few days, so I believe that the exercises are helping. I just haven't been great about doing them quite like I should. Still, I see patients shuffle before me when I am at the facility who clearly don't even try to help themselves.
05/05 Direct Link
Am I going to run again? Is it true what the docs and old physical therapists back home had told me: that I'm just a few years from a total hip replacement? I keep thinking about how I still haven't been able to run a 100 miler or even a full 24 hour race. I used to keep putting it off; "Oh I don't have time to train that hard!" "I can't because the significant other would get crabby if I..." Excuses, all of them. Now I seem to have a legitimate one: I really don't have much time left. 
05/06 Direct Link
My brain feels like it has shut down the Idea Engine lately. I have no desire, no spark in me to create anything. Anything that I had got used up during Script Frenzy, which was quite the exercise in procrastination. I may do better at it next year. Then again, I may not do it at all. The most enjoyable thing that I got out of it was the plot generator on the site's front page. I'm still waiting to see if they put out the call for new MLs. My region could use one. Am I really qualified, though?
05/07 Direct Link
It's been about 5 months since I started taking Lexapro for depression. I wonder if it is really working sometimes. Then I look at the calendar and usually find that my period is a few days away from returning. For some reason, Lexapro doesn't seem to address the hormonally-induced moodiness. It also doesn't address my craving for junk food. On the plus side, I no longer feel depression cutting into my brain like a dull grey blade that never ceases to be there. I haven't thought about dying for a while either. That's supposed to be a good thing.
05/08 Direct Link
Another day at work. Another moment of brief dread when I realize that I have to return again tomorrow. It's not the patients that get to me; it's my co-workers, and sometimes the family members of the patients too. I get why the relatives can be so obnoxious, but when it comes to my co-workers lately, I have to think that there's no excuse. I tire of the drama queens who seem to take their cues in social behavior from the morons who appear in "reality TV" shows. This country really is going down a stopped-up drain.
05/09 Direct Link
My father emailed me out of the blue, asking what I wanted to do with my old bike (the one that UPS failed to deliver and just sent back East, because heaven forbid that a delivery driver get off his butt and do his bloody job). I would have liked to have it sent here, although the delivery rates these days for a package that size is probably unreal. Better to let him hand it off to somebody who can actually use it. I should probably haunt yard sales and used sporting good stores for a decent road bike soon.
05/10 Direct Link
I honestly thought that Mother's Day was on the 15th. Oops. I haven't heard from my mom or any other family member in months, however, so I guess that scrambling to let her know that I didn't mean to forget is a pointless exercise now. I've sent out emails and heard nothing. Her phone seems to have been shut off again. I wonder how it is that her kids ended up better "put together" for the most part. I guess one could argue that it was due to a sort of social Darwinism: nobody else could get our acts together.
05/11 Direct Link
I wonder how it is that Annie graduated from puppy obedience class when she still latches on to my legs with her teeth when she's at home and destroys anything that she can grab. She is still learning about settling down for belly rubs, and that petting behind the ears is not an invitation to clamp her jaws around my wrist. Redirecting her only works some of the time. She often looks back at the toy that I have dropped for a moment before she turns back towards me for another attack. Does she really hate me that much? Why?
05/12 Direct Link
Annie discovered the joys of agility course objects last night at a nearby park. She did well with everything despite the heat, at least until we came to the tunnel. She reacted towards that like she does when I am about to put her into the car: she panicked and made a very determined effort to get away. Me and another classmate had to line the tunnel with treats and hot dogs in order to get her to consider going to the other side. After the second run through it, Annie became a "tunnel junkie" and didn't want to leave.
05/13 Direct Link
My nook has become a source of frustration lately. The e-books that I have downloaded into it are prone to crashing all of a sudden, and I have had to reinstall the software twice now. It really seems to hate the larger e-books, and that bothers me. Part of the benefit of having an e-book reader was supposed to be that you could cram over 1,000 books into the little machine, rather than break your back trying to lug all of them in your backpack or suitcase. I hope that it's just a simple software issue.
05/14 Direct Link
It appears that I will be finishing my physical therapy in June. I haven't been officially cleared to begin running again, but the staff has told me that I could start now if I wanted to. I think the better plan would be to walk first, however. What a change from when I was in my twenties and always came back too fast from an injury. Even if I don't know what caused the hip to "go out" in the first place, experience has finally taught me that it is not a cardinal sin to take things a bit slowly.
05/15 Direct Link
My lungs feel as though I am trying to breathe through rocks today. I felt fine yesterday, but I woke up around 1:30 this morning gasping for air. My back and shoulders feel like they are on fire, in a "fever achy" kind of way but a bit worse. Ibuprofen isn't doing a damned thing. I took Mucinex to try to get the junk in my lungs to come up, but it's not doing a whole hell of a lot. I have been drinking Theraflu like it's merely flavored water. I had to leave work early because of this.
05/16 Direct Link
I left the CPAP machine off last night because I couldn't stop coughing up crap. I finally fell asleep around 3 a.m., only to wake up around 4:30 and sprint to the bathroom so I could vomit. There is no way in hell I can go to work like this, so I called up the supervisor shortly after that mess and told her so. I need the hours, but I don't need to be infecting patients with this stuff either. The doctor's office told me that they can see me this afternoon. I'm surprised. No PT today either.
05/17 Direct Link
I tested negative for strep, but I left the doctor's office with scripts for three different medicines to combat whatever the hell is going on with me. They kept asking if I had nasal congestion and insisting I had that first. No, I know damn well that it started in the lungs and it has stayed there. If I thought it was a normal case of the flu, I bloody well wouldn't be thinking about taking a heavy dose of antibiotics to combat it. The doc finally listened after the third explanation. At least she gave me medicine with codeine.
05/18 Direct Link
I left work early again today, this time for physical therapy, although I probably would have left early anyway given how I am feeling. The "blowtorch effect" in my upper body continues, and the ibuprofen still isn't touching it. Last night, I turned my head briefly and saw what appeared to be a rash on my left shoulder. It turns out that this rash is all over my back and shoulders. Strep can cause this sort of thing, but since I have already tested negative for that, the only other thing I can think of right now is Lyme disease.
05/19 Direct Link
I'm finally starting to feel a little more human today. I am coughing up less junk and the fever has finally broken. I am still dealing with a bit of a cough, but I can live with that. I still have no idea what was going on with my upper body. My back and shoulders still hurt a little bit, but not enough to make me go rush back to the doctor. I see her again next week, so I will have to bring up the rash then. I realized the other day that I have had that pain before.
05/20 Direct Link
"Words, words, words." Thank you, Mr. Shakespeare. I wonder what you and your contemporaries would make of today's blogs, writings sites like this, "text speak" and Twitter. Especially Twitter. Would you still insist on typing everything in proper English? Would you ever just break down and type something like "Dude WTF? lol" Would you pull your beard apart over the likes of Stephanie Meyer, or would you simply laugh it all off because your writings continue to stand the "test of time", and hers would (hopefully) be forgotten in under a century? Would you ever write Broadway musicals with U2?
05/21 Direct Link
I feel sometimes like I am bailing out a large canoe with a kid's blue plastic bucket in a hurricane. The lightning is flashing so quickly that it acts like a strobe light. The sheets of rain and hail hit my bare arms like tiny spears of ice. I can't find the paddle and I don't know how I am going to get out of this. The only thing I know how to do is keep bailing, even though it stopped working a while ago. "Keep going!" somebody shouts. "Faster! Faster!" And yet the water keeps getting higher and higher.
05/22 Direct Link
The world was supposed to end yesterday around 6 p.m. PST. I actually had a full bottle of Captain Morgan ready for the occasion. The world, of course, continued to spin on its tilted axis regardless of what many people were praying for. 'Why do they do that?' I have often wondered. In the 1300s when the Black Death marched all over Eurasia, that kind of fatalistic thinking did have a sort of logic behind it. Yet humans still feel the need to imagine that the world couldn't possibly go on without them. I feel sorry for the kids.
05/23 Direct Link
I have slacked off in so many ways lately. I don't meditate anymore, I haven't even attempted to run since the hip "went out" back in April, and I haven't even done more than glance at my new yoga DVD. I know that this cannot be good for me, and yet I still don't feel "good enough" to exercise. The cough still comes and goes, and it usually drives me nuts at night. It's hard to keep the CPAP mask on my face when I am trying my hardest to breathe. Obviously, I continue to sleep poorly despite that too.
05/24 Direct Link
The doctor listened with a frown on her face when I told her about the aches and rashes and the previous bouts of angioedema. A couple of years ago, I wanted to believe the old doctor when he told me that I was just having food allergies. I know I'm not now. She asked about the family history of RA and things like that. I knew, in the back of my mind, what she was looking for, what she thought it was. She eventually ordered a slew of bloodwork to be taken. Five vials' worth were pulled out of me.
05/25 Direct Link
The tornadoes seemed to be touching down everywhere last night, mostly to the west and south. There are several dead and missing right now. It's been years since it seemed necessary to put the pets in the storm shelter. Mischief and Annie hated it. Nutmeg seemed to think it was interesting. I remember now why I don't like using that shelter. It was so humid in there, and the sounds of dogs barking and a parrot whistling and chattering bounces off of the concrete walls and through one's skull. Just being in there for an hour seemed way too long.
05/26 Direct Link
Annie went to the groomer's this morning. For once, I didn't have to worry about carsickness, since I now know that putting her in the crate and then into a moving vehicle is what causes it. She still hates getting into the truck. It was a few minutes before I could grab her ever-wriggling body long enough to get her into the passenger's seat. She decided to move over to the driver's seat, and then I had to coax her to back up enough to get my own backside onto the seat. She kept her head planted in my lap.
05/27 Direct Link
The final toll that the recent tornadoes took is just now becoming known. One of the foster homes for the rescue took a direct hit. Most of their horses were killed. One was put down because of his injuries, only to somehow survive the euthanasia and walk around. He went through surgery to reattach his ear and stitch up his many wounds, but it's still not clear if he'll completely pull through or not. Horses, as large as they are, are still remarkably fragile creatures. I wonder if cows are more durable, which is ironic considering what becomes of them.
05/28 Direct Link
The end of the world is now supposed to happen in October. The guy who supposedly does the math to calculate this sort of thing said he's "flabbergasted" that his prediction didn't come to pass. I have to ask: what kind of math is done to predict these sorts of things (if any)? Does it require knowledge of calculus? What equation was he using? Did he ever think that he should get out of the "end of the world" business when his prediction didn't come to pass the first time around? Why do people give so much money to him?
05/29 Direct Link
The bloodwork results have come back, but I will leave that topic alone for now. I need to focus on keeping myself active and as healthy as I can, without falling into a Slough of Despondency again. I have begun to read up on new research that says certain foods and increase inflammation. Nightshade vegetables like tomatoes and potatoes are chief among them. "But I like tomatoes on my salad!" was my first thought. I wonder if yams are on that list too. So many things to consider, all to keep my body from going back to war with itself. 
05/30 Direct Link
Three day weekends always mess me up. Especially since I have to work on them. That's what they don't tell you about working in health care. Your job is probably damn near guaranteed, but your hours are going to suck unless you're an M.D.. I spent half of the day thinking, "I need to go by the Business office and pick up my check after this," before I finally remembered that *they* had the day off (as did the bankers, meaning that I couldn't have cashed it after work even if I had been able to pick it up).
05/31 Direct Link
I'm having my second-to-last physical therapy appointment today. I feel kind of silly for being there sometimes, because I usually remember what exercises to do and in what order. Then there's always that moment after the first four or five when I look up at the ceiling with and stare. "What was I supposed to be doing again?" My thoughts do that more and more. I always have at least one instance every day where I cannot remember what I was just thinking, and I cannot remember why I walked all the way down the hall for something.