Hello from 35,000 Feet

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So my wife and I are currently flying from Washington Dulles to Austin Bergstrom. It’s been a whirlwind trip full of ups and downs, and I’m only now starting to let things sink in.

My mother was sleeping when we left her, so there was no goodbye, although we did get to visit before she dozed off. Her speech and motor skills are damaged by the stroke, possibly beyond repair, and she’s going to likely be more or less completely dependent on her caregivers from this point forward.

It breaks my heart that there’s not much that we can do for her, short of trying to save up the money to bring her out to Austin with us. That will take a couple of years, given our finances. That will be even more incentive to succeed in school this fall.

Despite the knee immobilizer, the flights have been good. United not only moved me to the bulkhead but moved my wife from wherever her seat assignment was to beside me. They also arranged for skycaps to meet us at the gate in each airport to wheel me from gate to gate. It’s been nice, but the reason for it kinda stinks. My knee is better, but not to the point that I can go without the immobilizer for long periods of time, nor will my leg support my weight beyond a limp. Hopefully it won’t be long before I’m back to normal.

There’s a guy in front of me, across the aisle, playing Civilization V. Makes me want to get back to it when I get home. My laptop is a 17.3-inch model, so there’s no way of putting it in front of me on the flight. There are times I wish I had a smaller, more convenient laptop, but I’m still very pleased with this model going on three years after purchase.

Sorry for the rambling post, but I wanted to be sure I posted something today and I had the downtime and wifi access, so here it is. I’ll hopefully be more coherent tomorrow.

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I Might Have Spoken Too Soon

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So, my throat is sore again.

I was doing very well, hadn’t had sore throat problems for days, and now it’s coming back. This is somewhat concerning, since I’ve been on antibiotics since Thursday night, and there was supposed to be a noticeable improvement within 24 hours.

I don’t think I’ve caught it again from somewhere, at least, I hope I haven’t. I’d hate to have to go through a second round of antibiotics to get rid of a recurring case of strep.

My energy level is somewhat less than it was yesterday as well, but I was decidedly more energetic yesterday than I’ve been in a long time. I was dozing off and on from 6:30 when I got out of bed for my back to 11:00 or so. Now that I’m awake, I’m feeling like being productive, but this sore throat is causing a tickle that’s sending me into coughing jags from time to time, the hard ones that kind of shake you for a couple minutes.

I hate feeling under the weather. I already feel kind of impotent in a way during a regular day, but tack on feeling bad on top of that and my mood tends to plummet. Fortunately, my mood seems to be fine so far. It’s not as rosy as it was yesterday, but it’s better than it’s been in the recent past.

I’m sucking on Smith Brothers’ Warm Apple Pie Warming Throat Drops. If you can find the things, they’re amazing for a sore throat, and taste fantastic. I have to be careful, since they’re basically pure sugar, but one of them every couple hours won’t be a problem. They have little droplets of cinnamon suspended in them, and the cinnamon surprisingly helps.

Can’t remember if I mentioned this, but both my wife and I have replaced our gaming drives in our laptops. I downgraded from a solid state drive to a hybrid drive, and she upgraded from a regular optical hard drive to the hybrid. Both of us are getting more space. The downside to this is that everything needs to be reinstalled, but that project, at least on my end, is going well. I should be done sometime tomorrow, I would think.

That’s about all I have for today. Sorry for the stream of consciousness post today. I’ll try to be a little more thematic tomorrow.

Made It, and Made It

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One more short blog post today, since I’m pressed for time suddenly. I had a doctor’s appointment this afternoon that lasted far longer than I thought it would (everything’s fine, was just a regular checkup and medication consolidation and flu shot and bloodwork for a ton of things and holy cow were we thorough today) and that’s kind of pushed everything else back.

Yesterday I completed full marks on my checklist for the 13th straight day. That’s a new longest streak for me and I celebrated it by creating an activity item in my Daylio mood tracker app that recognizes full marks, so I’ll be able to track that as its own activity item moving forward. (I did go back and fill in the item for the 12 previous days in this streak as well.) I’m trying to get back on track to make it a full two weeks today. In some ways I’m cutting corners – the shorter blog posts, the math homework only to the point that the streak remains alive for the day – but in others I’m not. My reading is still one section in my books per day, my Spanish is still all my refresher lessons plus one new one, exercise has to be dedicated walking and not “I was pretty busy around the house so that counts.”

It’s a good feeling to be back in the middle of a streak, although there’s occasionally panic that I’ve forgotten to do something. But I’m being fastidious with my checklists and not lazy (checking off days at a time based on what I remember doing and what I’ve recorded in other places) and that’s helping.

As far as my weekend project, I reached my goal: I met the requirements for an anniversary giveaway in one of my games that gave me a free account-wide item worth $25 cash. All in all over this anniversary season I received over $150 worth of in-game items and services for free, missing only two potential giveaways – one because I already had the item being given away, and one because I didn’t have a qualifying character of high enough level to unlock the item. I’d consider that a decent haul for the week – plus I have another year to get that qualifying character high enough to unlock similar items in next year’s anniversary giveaways. Piece of cake.

 

Achievements and Rewards

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As I wrote at length yesterday, I fought down one of the biggest anxiety attacks I’ve ever experienced Thursday. I’ve had them more acute, to the point that I’ve been hospitalized for fear of having a heart attack, but none have been as long-lasting.

So today I’m rewarding myself for overcoming that challenge, partially.

Part of today’s activities have been governed by a migraine that won’t seem to go away. It’s not a bad one, thankfully, but being still and not doing much helps alleviate the pain a good deal, so partially because of the headache and partially because of my achievement on Thursday I’ve decided to dedicate today to computer gaming.

I’m still doing my checklist items, but fortunately they don’t take long to do and I’m consciously limiting my to-do list to “whatever arises in the kitchen over the course of the day.” I’m not cooking, but I’ve made a round or two of coffee for me and my wife, and I’ve cycled our water. (We rotate through three gallon jugs of water and the large Brita reservoir in the fridge, so there’s always plenty on hand – outside of coffee, milk, and the rare soda and even rarer hard cider, water’s what we drink.)

But today I’ve made a conscious decision to put everything else off until tomorrow and spend the day losing myself in my favorite computer game.

My wife and I are playing different installations of the same single-person game and we’re essentially shadowing one another through the same content. She’s taken a break to make dinner, so I’m taking a break and writing here.

Apart from the headache, today’s been a good day so far. I’ll take it.

Being Productive Can Be Expensive

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Today I basically had one thing on my to-do list: take the car in for an oil change and tire rotation and a topping off of all the fluids. And I did it! Cue the dancing girls and the juggling monkey!

Only when they came back with the paperwork they started with, “Well, we put the spare on for now,” which is never a good sign.

The oil change and tire rotation was today. Later this week, we’ll be getting two new tires, a new rim, and an alignment done.

Seems we managed to bark up against a median a little too hard and bent the rim, which led to a slow leak in that tire.

On the plus side, this means that instead of having to fork out for four new tires in a year’s time, we just split that out to alternate between changing two and two, which more importantly splits out the cost of having to replace all four tires simultaneously.

I found the silver lining in an expensive auto maintenance trip. I think I’m done adulting for the day now. Let the administration of coffee (in celebration of International Coffee Day!) and cheesy movies and computer games begin!

(NB: Yes, I know this one doesn’t really deal with my mood or my mental illness or my physical health. Thought a break from the stress of NEEDING to write about one of those topics would be good and a simple “what I did with my Tuesday” post fit the bill nicely.)

May 31, 2015: Three Good Things

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Today’s things are going to be kind of low-key, to match the day.

1. I made a plan of attack for my current healthcare situation starting tomorrow.

2. I got almost all of my checklist done today, once again skipping exercise and stretching. I need to figure out a way of getting that done with the wife at home.

3. I managed to make great progress with my newest character in the computer game that’s currently got my attention, far more progress than I expected to make today.

May 28, 2015: Three Good Things

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1. I found a seated cardio workout that’s 11 minutes long and fun to do. This is good for two reasons: first, I’m actually doing cardio; and second, it’s not 12 minutes long, cause I was DONE at the end of 11. Like, could barely lift my feet off the floor done. Given the weather in Austin lately, it’s a much more reliable workout than walking and I honestly feel it’s a better one, using much more of my body than walking at 21 minutes per mile. Arms went one way, legs went another, and there were times that I got so confused I had to stop and reset the motion because I’d gone past cardio into interpretive seizure, but I think my ability to keep it straight will improve with time – as well as my endurance.

2. Now for something that involves sitting on my butt for long periods of time. I’m something of a gamer, and I found the voice cast listing for the game that’s currently holding my attention. It’s amazing to see how versatile these voice actors are. There were many voices I recognize from the game that I would never have thought were performed by the same actor. I’ve always had an interest in voiceovers, so I was very happy to find this list.

3. Today was the first day with the changes to my checklist, and I made one more change mid-day, changing “walk” to “exercise” to reflect my newfound cardio program. (The program also features cooldown stretching, which took the place of yoga, so it’s killing two birds with one stone.) First impressions: today felt so much easier to manage, despite dealing with a headache for most of the day, and I got everything checked off.

Bonus! I have the medications that I need to manage my blood pressure, at least until my new primary care physician comes online June 30. My blood pressure is still very high, but it’s not quite to the point of being a hypertensive crisis, like it was last night. (I do not fancy regular visits to the ER to manage my blood pressure.) Hopefully over the next few days I can get that down even more.

Extra bonus! I started a food log that tracks what I eat and my exercise. It’s got me on track to lose a pound a week. Yesterday I was over my caloric allotment by 74 calories. Today I was under by 354!